Ambassador Ford’s Confirmation Delayed

Addendum: See Laura Rozen’s take on this here. She interviews mainly WINEP people – Shenker and Tabler, who address the Israeli point of view that it is dangerous and destabilizing for Hizbullah to get better weapons. Of course from the Syrian point of view, it is essential that they get improved weapons. Any realist understands that the only way peace agreement is going to be signed between Syria and Israel is if Syria and its allies get stronger. Today, Israel can dismiss them. The US, if it is interested in a peace deal, will have to allow for a shift in the balance of power. The improvement in Hizbullah’s arms would have the effect of giving the US added negotiating leverage in the region. It is not a bad thing for the US. The only solution to Hizbullah is a political solution, which will happen only once an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict has been concluded.

Here is Marty Peretz of The New Republic, “When Will He Ever Lear”. “Assad is monstrous enough, running a minority personal polity that has nullified the diversity of Syrian society, smothering whatever chance Lebanon had to be Lebanon, and turning himself into an errand boy of the mullahs by spreading imported advanced weapons southward throughout the Levant and elsewhere as far as the Persian peacock aims to strut.”

U.S. delays Syria envoy over Hezbollah arms deal
By Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel

The American administration postponed “until further notice” the appointment of an ambassador to Damascus, Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai Al-Aam said over the weekend. Robert Ford was supposed to have been confirmed by the Senate for the post, making him the first American ambassador in Syria since 2005.

According to the daily, the decision to postpone the appointment was prompted by information about trucks bearing advance weaponry that passed from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon, with the Syrian regime’s blessing. The report is based on quotes from American sources who spoke with Al-Rai Al-Aam’s Washington reporter.

The report says that Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, passed the Syrian leadership a message from the U.S. administration when he visited Damascus earlier this month. Kerry asked for explanations about the relationship between Syria and Hezbollah, and voiced reservations over Syrian support for the Shi’ite organization.

The American source told the reporter the kind of weapons transported to Hezbollah could start a new war with Israel, but did not specify what kind of weapons were involved.

Tensions between Syria, Israel and Lebanon came to the fore most recently in late January, when Israel and Syria traded verbal blows and American and Israeli officials voiced concerns about Hezbollah rearming with the help of Syria and Iran. At the peak of the tension, the Israel Defense Forces held a prescheduled military drill.

However, Israel clarified to the Assad regime that it had no intention of attacking Syria, and even went as far as excluding reserves mobilization from the drill, so as not to alarm the Syrians even further. The steps appear to have had some effect, as tensions eased the following month and comments from all parties became more restrained.

Nevertheless, one of the central issues in the northern arena remains Hezbollah’s plans to avenge the 2008 assassination of its senior operative Imad Mughniyeh, which it blames on Israel. ….

Congress wants to know: Is Syria rearming Hezbollah?
Posted By Josh Rogin on the Cable, Friday, April 9, 2010 – 4:46 PM

Informed administration sources said they were well aware of the rumors that unspecified amounts of a new type of weaponry are making their way over the border and into Hezbollah hands. Sources close to the issue said that the weapons were of a characteristic and range that could pose a risk to large swaths of Israel, not just the communities in the north that already live every day under the threat of short-range rocket attacks…..

Ahmed Salkini, a spokesman for the Syrian Embassy in Washington, strongly denied the allegations.

“These reports are unequivocally false and are a product of the Israeli government that is trying to speciously create a raised level of tension in the region to justify a future conflagration of violence on their part, or simply to divert attention from the real issue at hand: Israeli settlements and expansionism,” he told The Cable.

Comments (45)


1. qunfuz said:

Because of the strength of the resistance front, based mainly on the proven fighting capacity of Hizbullah, and because of Turkey’s new independent policy, the US clients are becoming irrelevant. Hence Petraeus’s reasonably public intervention on Israel. It is in Syria’s interests, and in the interests of justice in Palestine, to continue to build a deterrent. It isn’t in Syria’s interests to capitulate to the power that arms the terrorists of the occupation.

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April 13th, 2010, 12:15 pm

 

2. jad said:

Dear Qunfuz,
I agree with you, the resistance is the only way that works with any occupation, it was said before by Sultan Basha Al Atrash and it is true until the end of days:
What was taken by force by force only can be back.
especially with an enemy that lost all kind of human morals and turned into the devil.
Let Obama and his administration keep their ambassador, we don’t want him. Like his president he is balls less and he is not going to change a thing so what the point of getting another idiot to preach Syria what to do?!

Ghat’s links again on here about the new ethnic cleansing plan:
IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1162075.html

سورية تدين “بشدة” قرار إسرائيل طرد آلاف الفلسطينيين من وطنهم وتصفه بالـ”تطهير عرقي”
http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=112988

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April 13th, 2010, 2:34 pm

 

3. Akbar Palace said:

Resistance measured in Milliohms

It isn’t in Syria’s interests to capitulate to the power that arms the terrorists of the occupation.

Qunfuz,

Syria has “capitulated” for the past 35 years. A most quiet and serene border if I ever saw one. Probably quieter than the Canadian-US border.

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April 13th, 2010, 3:17 pm

 

4. Mich said:

Assad is still playing his “Assad fi lebnen, arnab fil joulen” game. What a shame

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April 13th, 2010, 4:05 pm

 

5. Akbar Palace said:

Feltman’s Day-Off

Wait, you mean all the talk and threads on Syria Comment about the glorious reinstatement of a US Ambassador and a new chapter in US-Syrian relations was all for naught?

Another surprise from the pro-peace Assad family.

Thank you Dr. Bashar for “humiliating” the US yet more time…

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1162658.html

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April 13th, 2010, 4:13 pm

 

6. almasri said:

It is nice to remember Sultan Basha alAtrash as mentioned in Jad’s comment, particularly at this point in time. The question is, Jad, are there still men with the same qualities as Sultan? It would be very interesting if you, Jad, could present on SC the circumstances that led to the rise of alAtrash and the achievements that he was responsible for. This is very recent history and some people who witnessed the events may still be alive today. What about the new generation that seems to be going in a different direction? Will this new generation respond to a man like alAtrash who enigmatically mesmerized the eyes of imperialist France with just two lines of poetry uttered from over the back of a horse which caused a volcano throughout Syria and Lebanon? Do you, Jad, recall what he said in those lines and what was the reason for his call?
Needless to say, we, in Egypt, also benefitted from those events by having the most popular and talented musician of all times – Sultan’s son.

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April 13th, 2010, 4:55 pm

 

7. Ghat Albird said:

“Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nations in which they live.”

The above is a quote from Elliot Abrams’s book published in 1997 and titled “Faith or Fear – How Jews can survive in Christian America.

Mr. Abrams reads like a devotee of Rabbi Kook who also wrote a book on jewish relationships to gentiles[christians].

“The difference between the Jewish soul … and the soul of all the
Gentiles … is greater and deeper than the difference between the
SOUL of a MAN and the SOUL of an ANIMAL.. —

Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook.

Mr. Abrams is still vocal in how the USA needs to treat the Arab world and the Palestenian/Israeli “never ending farce”.

Strange that those who have been victimized by Israelis and Zionists do not accept the realities of the long held views and actions towards them.

How many more times must one read that the Gentiles, Palestenians, Arabs, Iranians, Muslims are basically animals before the realization that such remarks factually are representative of most Israelis/Zionists and Jews?

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April 13th, 2010, 4:59 pm

 

8. majedkhaldoun said:

Israel insist that it is a jewish state,prevent Arab refugee to come back to their home land in palastine.and now Israel is kicking out Palastinians from west bank.this is to prove ,beyond any doubt,that zionism is evil and racist nation.
Whoever defends zionism is racist himself.
God is not evil racist.so zionists work for Devil.

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April 13th, 2010, 7:17 pm

 

9. Akbar Palace said:

Dr. Stranglove’s Addendum

Addendum: See Laura Rozen’s take on this here. She interviews mainly WINEP people – Shenker and Tabler, who address the Israeli point of view that it is dangerous and destabilizing for Hizbullah to get better weapons.

Professor Josh, just FYI, this is also the UN’s point of view (UNSC 1701), not just Israel’s.

Of course from the Syrian point of view, it is essential that they get improved weapons.

Professor Josh, not only is it NOT “essential” (Syria could make peace if she so desired), it is also illegal. As an American, I find it is strange that you would promote a foreign government to undermine US policy. But, hey, US “academics” are a “different breed”.

Any realist understands that the only way peace agreement is going to be signed between Syria and Israel is if Syria and its allies get stronger.

That’s what Saddam Hussein used to say. No, Syria just has to end her main role as terror supporter.

Today, Israel can dismiss them.

Israel dismisses all countries and organizations that work to harm Israel.

The US, if it is interested in a peace deal, will have to allow for a shift in the balance of power.

Again, a Saddam Hussein like request. The US will never allow a “shift in the balance of power” with a country that gives aide and comfort to terrorists. This includes Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and a couple other rogue states.

The improvement in Hizbullah’s arms would have the effect of giving the US added negotiating leverage in the region.

The improvement in Hizbullah’s arms means Syria is ignoring the international community, plain & simple.

It is not a bad thing for the US.

Arming an unregulated, extra-governmental military organization IS a “bad thing” for the US. Your opinion is way outside the bounds of American public opinion.

The only solution to Hizbullah is a political solution, which will happen only once an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict has been concluded.

Whatever. As long as they don’t accidently get “trigger-happy”, all will be well.

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April 13th, 2010, 7:31 pm

 

10. Akbar Palace said:

Ghat,

Can you show us where you got the Elliot Abrams quote?

Thank you in advance,

AP

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/5471

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April 13th, 2010, 7:47 pm

 

11. Ghat Albird said:

AKBAR PALACE said:

Ghat,

Can you show us where you got the Elliot Abrams quote?

Thank you in advance,

AP

Gotta buy his Faith and Fear book. Used for .20 cents and new for $3.00 from amazon

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April 13th, 2010, 8:02 pm

 

12. i said:

The only reason that Assad is tolerated is because the alternative is worse (MB or AQ). Due to his recent actions, it’s no longer certain that he is the lesser evil. I’d be very, very carefull if I were him.

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April 13th, 2010, 9:00 pm

 

13. Ghat Albird said:

Israel Marks Holocaust Day with Iran Warning
and
Netanyahu compares Iran to Nazi Germany
by AMY TEIBEL/Associated Press Writer
April 12. 2010.

Talk about chutzpah and who is the lesser of two evils. Boom Boom Bibi who threatens the US to nuke Iran or he will do it and thereby start a nueclar war.

With at least several hundred thousand deaths. Or a potential Ahmedejinad CHUTZPAH threat [since they are now Nazis according to Boom Boom Bibi and American zionists] of moving women and children both muslims and jews within a mile or two from where everyone knows THE US OR ISRAEL WILL DROP BOMBS.

IF I WERE HIM I WOULD BE VERY, VERY, VERY CAREFUL AND MOVE HIS FAMILY BACK TO PHILADELPHIA.

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April 13th, 2010, 9:59 pm

 

14. Off the Wall said:

كيف تتحول الحرية الفردية من ضرورة الى شأن أمني؟
ميشيل كيلو
4/13/2010

From alquds alarabi

منذ الخمسينيات، كانت الأحزاب القومية والشيوعية تروج للتحرر باعتباره شيئا مختلفا، وفي أحيان كثيرة، متعارضا مع الحرية. التحرر، في مصطلحها وفهمها، كان له معنى وحيد أو رئيسي هو تخليص العرب من الاستعمار الخارجي، وحصولهم على حق تأسيس دول مستقلة خاصة بهم، على أن تلي ذلك مرحلة تتحقق فيها الحرية.
بهذا الفهم، لم يبق من سبيل إلى التحرر غير وحدة وطنية وشعبية داخلية صماء، كتيمة ومطلقة، يصعب على المستعمر النفاذ إليها لتفتيت إرادة الشعب الموحدة، أداته ووسيلته إلى الاستقلال. بما أن الحرية الفردية والشخصية قد تمس بهذه الوحدة، من حيث تمكن المواطن الفرد من العيش وفق قناعاته وعلى هواه، فإن أهميتها احتلت مرتبة تالية بالمقارنة مع أهمية التحرر، فلا بد أن تنضوي فيه وتخدمه، ولا أهمية لغير جوانبها التي من شأنها تأسيس وتوطيد وحدة الشعب والوطن: رافعة الاستقلال وأداة منع الاستعمار من المناورة على أي تناقض قد ينشأ بين حرية الفرد وتحرر شعبه ووطنه.
بهذا، تم التغاضي عن ضرورة الحرية وممارستها باسم تحرر وطني لم يعتبر في أية مرحلة من مراحله مفهوما مركبا، إن تجانست حرية المواطنين الأفراد وتفاعلت في إطاره كان بلوغه أكثر سهولة وخروج المستعمر أيسر منالا. كما فهم التحرر بوصفه حدا جامعا مانعا يقابل ويبطل، ولو إلى حين، حد الحرية، الفردي والتفريقي، الذي يمكن أن يقوض أو يضعف، عند ممارسته، إرادة الجماعة وتاليا فعل التحرر، وأن يخدم المستعمر، فلا ضير في تقييده والحيلولة بينه وبين تهديد مصالح وأهداف النضال العليا، لأنه عندئذ سيلعب دورا لا يمت إلى الحرية الحقيقية بصلة.
ثمة، في خلفية هذا النمط من الفهم، قدر من التضارب بين حرية الفرد / المواطن وحرية الجماعة الوطنية، يسلم بصعوبة، أو استحالة التوفيق بين أهدافه وأهدافها، وبحتمية إعطاء مرحلة التحرر أولية مطلقة، وإن قيدت الحرية كضرورة وجود وحياة للمواطن / الفرد، وأقرت بأنها تصبح شرعية في المرحلة الثانية، التالية لإنجاز التحرر.
ثمة هنا مسألتان تستحقان الاهتمام:
– تعتقد معظم النظم العربية الراهنة أن مرحلة التحرر لم تنته بعد، بسبب الاحتلال الإسرائيلي للأراضي العربية ووجود المشكلة الفلسطينية، والصراع الدائر في المنطقة العربية وعليها بين العرب وقوى أجنبية متنوعة، دولية وإقليمية. بما أن مرحلة التحرر لم تنجز تماما بعد، فإن أوان المرحلة الثانية، مرحلة الحرية، لم يأت أيضا. من هنا، تضمر المطالبة بأوليتها تهديدا جديا للوحدة الوطنية، ينجم عن التباين بين طبيعة التحرر وطبيعة الحرية، وعن ارتباط الأول بالجماعة وقيمها ومصالحها، وبتشكل الشعب والوطن والدولة، والثانية بالفرد ونوازعه الشديدة التباين من شخص لآخر، وبحقه في أن يكون ما يريد، وأن يفعل ما يشاء. هل صحيح أن مرحلة التحرر لم تختتم بعد؟
يكفي تذكير من يقولون هذا من أنصار النظم الحاكمة أنهم كانوا يتباهون إلى ما قبل سنوات قليلة بطرد المستعمر وتحقيق الاستقلال وبناء حياة جديدة تحميها دول مستقلة وحديثة نجحت في اللحاق بالعصر. غير هؤلاء رأيهم، على الأرجح، بسبب هزيمتهم أمام العدو الإسرائيلي في عام 1967، التي تحدت قدراتهم، وعجزوا عن الخروج منها، كما عجزوا عن تحقيق ما كانوا قد وعدوا بإنجازه من مشاريع تحديثية، وخاصة منها مشروع بناء دولة حديثة، عامة وشاملة ومجردة، تكون لكل مواطنيها، يحكمها قانون هو السيد الوحيد فيها، وتعمل على توحيد العرب. هذا الفشل، هل يعيدنا إلى مرحلة التحرر الوطني؟. وهل يجوز أن تكافأ عليه نظم قيدت وأبطلت حرية مواطنيها، أم يجب أن نخرج منه عبر استكمال التحرر بالحرية، وسد الثغرات الكثيرة والكبيرة جدا، التي أنتجتها خيارات وممارسات النظم الفاشلة خلال نصف القرن المنصرم؟.
– لعب التناقض المصطنع بين التحرر والحرية دورا خطيرا في إيصالنا إلى ما نحن فيه، ليس لأن المفهومين غير متناقضين وحسب، بل لأن أحدهما لا ينهض دون الثاني، ما دام التحرر هو حرية الشعب، والحرية هي تحرر المواطن / الفرد من أية عقبات وعوائق تقيد حقوقه وإرادته في إطار الجماعة. إن وضع التحرر في مواجهة الحرية أبطل طابعه، ورؤية الحرية أو ممارستها خارج إطار التحرر قيدها وشوهها وحد من فاعليتها، وينشر بدلا منها فوضى مدمرة في كل مكان. بكلام آخر: إذا كان نجاح مرحلة التحرر العربي يتطلب تهميش الحرية كمفهوم وكممارسة، فهذا يعني أننا نسير اليوم، وسنسير في الغد أيضا، من فشل إلى آخر، على صعيدي التحرر والحرية، وأننا رفضنا تعلم أي شيء من تجربة نصف القرن المنصرم، وتأمل نواقص وثغرات فكر وسياسات النهضة والتنوير، وفهم أن التحرر إما أن يكون محصلة عليا، على صعيد المجتمع والدولة، لحريات المواطنين، أو أن لا يكون هناك أي تحرر على الإطلاق.
قد يعتقد بعض القراء أن هذه مشكلة نظرية مجردة. أذكر في هذا السياق بتجربة ثورية عربية قرر قادتها الميدانيون التخلص من أي منتسب إلى الثورة حظي ببعض التعليم، لاعتقادهم أنه خطر يتهدد الوحدة الوطنية الضرورية للتحرر، بما في نفسه من نزوع نحو الحرية!.
بعد الاستقلال، الذي يفترض أنه كان نتاج التحرر، وقع انتقال خطير في العقل السياسي العربي، الذي وصل إلى السلطة أواخر الخمسينيات، كشف ما في معارضة التحرر بالحرية من شمولية كامنة، حين جعل سلطة الدولة الجديدة ممثلا شرعيا ووحيدا للجماعة الوطنية في طور أول، ثم اعتبرها في طور ثان هذه الجماعة بذاتها ولذاتها، المهددة بالغزو الصهيوني والمخاطر الإمبريالية والمؤامرات الرجعية، فلا بأس عليها إن هي اتخذت، باسم الحفاظ على وحدة الجماعة، مواقف متشددة أو عدائية من مبدأ الحرية، ومن ممارساتها الملموسة، وتعاملت مع الداعين إليها باعتبارهم اختراقا خارجيا يمكنه تقويض وحدة الوطن وتهديد استقلاله، خدمة للعدو بطبيعة الحال. بهذه النقلة، أوجدت السلطة لها عدوا داخليا هو المواطن الحر أو المطالب بحريته، أخذت تطارده وتقمعه وتدفعه إلى خارج السياسة والشأن العام. بمرور الوقت وتكريس هذا الموقف في أيديولوجية قامت على العداء للحرية باعتباره إحدى ضمانات الوحدة الوطنية والاستقرار الداخلي، تحولت الحرية من قضية فلسفية وضرورة سياسية إلى مسألة أمنية، وتحول المناضلون في سبيلها إلى جواسيس لا بد من قمعهم، يتبنون مواقف مناهضة لخيارات سلطة هي الجماعة الوطنية، وبالتالي الوطن، من واجبها الدفاع عنهما بكل ما في أيديها من وسائل.
استفحل هذا الجو وتفاقم خلال السنوات الخمسين الماضية، وحمل طابع سياق تاريخي وضع الجماعة فوق الفرد وفي مواجهته، ورأى فيها كلية شبه مقدسة لا قيمة له بالمقارنة معها، ليس له أي حق غير الالتزام بما تراه، مقابل هوامش شخصية، اجتماعية وأخلاقية، توطد وحدتها وأمنها ولا تلحق أي ضرر بمصالحها. ثمة هنا حرية تقتصر على تماثل الفرد الطوعي مع الجماعة التي ينتمي إليها، وعلى الدفاع عن قيمها ومواقفها، وتقديم روحه، عند الحاجة، في سبيلها. هذه حرية الشخص في أن يلغي فرديته وتاليا إنسانيته، وأن يعطي جماعته أولية مطلقة على ذاته، التي لا يحق له اعتبارها، في أي حال، ذاتا حرة تتعرف خصوصيته كإنسان بها. ليس الفرد شيئا من هذا كله. إنه مجرد عضو في جماعة تتلاشى صفته الإنسانية بقدر ما يتماثل معها، وليس إنسانا يقوم فضاؤه الخاص في ذاته وما يشبهها من ذوات، وليس كذلك فضاء هيئة مجتمعية عامة تتكون من ذوات حرة هي مادة أي تكوين عام، لذلك لها الأولية عليه، خاصة إن كان وجوده ينفي وجودها، وتبلوره ينفي كيانها الإنساني، وتاليا المجتمعي والمدني.
يعتقد معظم الساسة العرب أن المقاومة حق مقدس للشعوب. لكن أغلبهم ينكر أن الحرية حق مقدس للأفراد، وأن تحرر الجماعات الوطنية محال بدونها. من كان يظن في منتصف القرن الماضي أن التحرر لن يحقق الحرية، بل سيقيدها، وأن نظامه سيضع مثل العرب العليا وأهدافهم بعضها في مواجهة بعض، بحيث يبطل كل واحد منها غيره، ويحقق عكس ما يعد بتحقيقه أو يراد منه؟. ومن كان يصدق أننا سننحدر باسم التحرر إلى الدرك الذي نحن فيه؟..

‘ كاتب وسياسي من سورية

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April 13th, 2010, 10:48 pm

 

15. norman said:

Abrams behaves as his Khazar ancestors did in Germany in 1916, January 14, 2010
By HistoryBuff “Charles”

This review is from: Faith or Fear: How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America (Paperback)
This man is a Zionist who was supposed to be an independent voice in the Middle East under Bush – same as Dennis Ross with Clinton, also a Zionist. Twenty five years ago, Irving Kristol – the creator of NeoConservatism and William’s father – said in the Wall Street Journal that Jews had never had it so good as they do in the United States – with the possible exception of Germany, prior to their betrayal, when the Khazar descendants wanted to grab Palestine in 1916 and from one day to the next, stopped supporting Germany and lied to get the US on the war on the side of England.
Kristol said that never in any Fascist or dictatorial country, including Soviet Russia, had Jews been given the opportunities they had been given in America, where they had been free to pursue their interests and become wealthy on the average without religious impediments. He begged the Jews who were influential in the media, Hollywood, and the professions to stop trying ti Judaize America – to leave it as Christian as it had been traditionally, for only then could Jews be assured of a long permanence here – if that were what they wished.
Today, AIPAC can produce a letter to the president, signed by as many as 85 US senators, telling the president whom we elected, not to try to pressure Israel to seek peace with the Palestinians, whose land has been robbed one inch at a time until they have almost nothing left. The president – all presidents since Eisenhower – then will have his hands tied and will have to follow Israel’s dictates, to lend credence to Ariel Sharon’s aphorism: “Jews are in charge in the United States”.

The hypocrisy of Eliott Abrams is typical of his type – who claims to have a hard time surviving “whole” religiously in America, when by Judaism’s own reckoning – including many rabbis on TV – so very few of those claiming their faith even believe in G-d. Kristol says in his book
“NeoConservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea” that in the Eighteenth Century the Jews discovered there was no G-d.

Wouldn’t a safer way to survive, not be going back to “his” country Israel and leaving us callous, insensitive Americans to remain Christians without Hollywood and the rest of your help?
It has always been the Jewish choice and no one else’s.
Charles Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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April 14th, 2010, 12:57 am

 

16. Majhool said:

Could someone please explain this video to me, its taken at a church in Latakia.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=112122162142501&ref=mf

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April 14th, 2010, 2:08 am

 

17. Majhool said:

The Video has been removed. The video showed crowds celebrating Easter at a roman Orthodox Church in Latakia, what’s totally shocking was the amount of firearms people had. There were no less that 100 individuals with rifles, pistols, and machine guns shooting for 5 minutes straight ( in the back yard o the church). The extent of how some regions/communities in Syria are armed is frightening. I wish that Dr. Landis touches on the subject.

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April 14th, 2010, 4:25 am

 

18. jad said:

Majed,
In Syria student studies the Arab Revolution against the Ottoman occupation in the 8th grade and then in the 9th grade they study the Syrian Revolution against the French occupation with lots of details and Sultan Basha AlAtrash is one of the main characters they do read about.
No I don’t think that we have anybody like him anymore and we wont have anytime soon.

I’m sure that you know lots about Sultan Basha but I thought that you will appreciate his speech of 1925 against the French:

خطاب سلطان باشا الاطرش عام 1925

السلاح، إلى السلاح

يا أحفاد العرب الأمجاد. هذا يوم ينفع المجاهدين من جهادهم، والعاملين في سبيل الحرية والاستقلال عملهم. هذا يوم انتباه الأمم والشعوب. فلننهض من رقادنا ولنبدد ظلام التحكم الأجنبي عن سماء بلادنا. لقد مضى علينا عشرات السنين ونحن نجاهد في سبيل الحرية والاستقلال، فلنستأنف جهادنا المشروع بالسيف بعد أن سكت القلم، ولا يضيع حق وراءه مطالب.
أيها السوريون، لقد أثبتت التجارب أن الحق يؤخذ ولا يعطى، فلنأخذ حقنا بحد السيوف، ولنطلب الموت توهب لنا الحياة.
أيها العرب السوريون، تذكروا أجدادكم وتاريخكم وشهداءكم وشرفكم القومي. تذكروا أن يد الله مع الجماعة، وأن إرادة الشعب من إرادة الله، وأن الأمم المتحدة الناهضة لا تنالها يد البغي. لقد نهب المستعمرون أموالنا، واستأثروا بمنافع بلادنا، وأقاموا الحواجز الضارة بين وطننا الواحد، وقسمونا إلى شعوب وطوائف ودويلات، وحالوا بيننا وبين حرية الدين والفكر والضمير، وحرية التجارة والسفر، حتى في بلادنا وأقاليمنا.
إلى السلاح أيها الوطنيون، إلى السلاح، تحقيقاً لأماني البلاد المقدسة. إلى السلاح تأييداً لسيادة الشعب وحرية الأمة. إلى السلاح بعدما سلب الأجنبي حقوقكم، واستعبد بلادكم، ونقض عهودكم، ولم يحافظ على شرف الوعود الرسمية، وتناسى الأماني القومية.
نحن نبرأ إلى الله من مسؤولية سفك الدماء، و نعتبر المستعمرين مسؤولين مباشرة عن الفتنة. يا ويح الظلم ‍ لقد وصلنا من الظلم إلى أن نُهان في عقر دارنا. فنطلب استبدال حاكم أجنبي محروم من مزايا إنسانية، بآخر من بني جلدته الغاصبين، فلا يُجاب طلبنا بل يُطرد وفدنا كما تطرد النعاج.
إلى السلاح أيها الوطنيون، ولنغسل إهانة الأمة بدم النجدة والبطولة. إن حربنا اليوم هي حرب مقدسة. ومطالبنا هي:
وحدة البلاد السورية، ساحلها وداخلها، والاعتراف بدولة سورية عربية واحدة مستقلة استقلالاً تاماً.
قيام حكومة شعبية تجمع المجلس التأسيسي لوضع قانون أساسي على مبدأ سيادة الأمة سيادة مطلقة.
سحب القوى المحتلة من البلاد السورية، وتأليف جيش وطني لصيانة الأمن.
تأييد مبدأ الثورة الفرنسية وحقوق الإنسان في الحرية والمساواة والإخاء.
إلى السلاح، ولنكتب مطالبنا هذه بدمائنا الطاهرة كما كتبها أجدادنا من قبلنا. إلى السلاح والله معنا. ولتحيا سوريا العربية حرة مستقلة.
سلطان الأطرش
قائد عام جيوش الثورة الوطنية السورية

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April 14th, 2010, 5:45 am

 

19. Badr said:

AP,

In regard to Elliot Abrams’ quote, check this Web link:

http://www.ihr.org/judaism0709.html

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April 14th, 2010, 7:09 am

 

20. Shami said:

Jad ,most of the intelligentsia in Syria and Lebanon,at least the liberals(forget the traditionalist ones),the top historians,christians and muslims alike dont call the Ottoman era an era of occupation .You have to take into account this fact and you are not obliged to repeat the Baath version of history.for example ,one of the most popular men in Syria are the last powerfull Sultan Abdulhamid II and ancestors Suleiman al Qanuni and Mohamad al Fatih.We inherited a more tolerant ,sophisticated,liberal,cosmopolitan Syria from the Ottomans than the Syria we will inherit from this regime.
Majhool ,Michel Kilo had said his word in a brave manner on such anomaly and they jailed him.

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April 14th, 2010, 9:25 am

 

21. Akbar Palace said:

More SC Racism

In regard to Elliot Abrams’ quote, check this Web link

Badr,

Unfortunately, my company’s security software is preventing me from accessing this quote. The software states that the website you linked to (Institute for Historical Review) is a “hate and racist” website. I’m sure you can find Elliot Abrams’ quote on a more respectable source website or news article, no?

Abrams behaves as his Khazar ancestors did in Germany in 1916

Norman,

How do you know this?

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April 14th, 2010, 10:53 am

 

22. Akbar Palace said:

Syria Comment’s Educational Value

Abrams behaves as his Khazar ancestors did in Germany in 1916

Norman,

How do you know Abrams has “Khazar ancestors”? And why does this matter anyway?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khazars

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April 14th, 2010, 11:07 am

 

23. jad said:

“You have to take into account this fact and you are not obliged to repeat the Baath version of history”
Kareem, why don’t you take the same advice you gave me?
You are not obliged to repeat the religious ‘intelligentsia’ version of history.
For me ANY country/empire/entity who ruled over any land other than its own and in any land where the language is not its original and where the army is not formed from locals is an OCCUPATION Regardless of this occupation religion being similar to mine. God, Allah and religions are not enough for me to let someone rule over anybody.
Ethically, philosophically, scientifically and historically the Ottoman turks were an occupation in the sense of being a different entity coming by army to other region and staying there for 400 years, either you agree with me or not it doesn’t change this ‘Baathi’ fact that I believe in, keep your ‘liberal’ religion thinking to yourself, I’m not interested.

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April 14th, 2010, 1:52 pm

 

24. trustquest said:

Majhooo,

Is this the video you are talking about,

http://chamtube.com/index.php?q=ar/video/1819

The other sad story is what happened to this young girl named Ayat:

You won’t believe this is happening for young girl just started college in Syria:

A Syrian citizen, Mona Henawi, called on President Bashar Assad to interfere to release her daughter, Ayat Henawi, who is in custody of Syrian authority since October 18, 2009.

Mrs Henawi in her statement to Al-Kuds Press, called on President Bashar Assad, to look into her daughter case and to protect her youth before is too late.
She said: My daughter was arrested on October 18, 2009 and she was less than 20 years old, she was hardly put her first steps in the university as a French literature student, she was arrested on the basis that she has Wahabbi Islamic believes, and this accusation is not true at all as she is a graduate from a licensed Islamic college of sheikh Ahmad Keftaro, she was ready to go to work in one of the private airlines, she is not aloof and has no problems interacting with people, we were thinking of sending her alone outside Syria for study, not to mention that non of her family members has any association in entities with extremists Islamic affiliation be it Islamic parties, wahabbis’ ideas from opposition or non opposition, ADDITIONALY HER FATHER WHO SHE CONSIDERS HER IDEAL NEVER PRAYED OR FASTED.
Mrs. Henawi added: I call on president Bashar Assad to interfere in my daughter case as my daughter always repeated in front of us her admiration and her high respect, love and loyalty to him and to Syria, she was every time we are away from Syria for a while show her impatience to go back to Syria. We have been told that during her imprisonment she would have nerve breakdown followed by three days not capable to talking. My daughter is sick and has stomach ulcer and she still too young of 19 years and for the first time in my life I feel the burn and the grieve for her youth and I did not see her since they arrested her. I have no place to go now except GOD and you Mr. president, the father of all Syrians and their protector asking you to please give me back my sweet heart, if she made a mistake we will straighten her ourselves and we will give you a promise since she still young.
Arabic transcript at:
http://www.syriahr.com/10-4-2010-syrian%20observatory.htm

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April 14th, 2010, 2:18 pm

 

25. Shami said:

Habibi Jad ,almost all soldiers and sultans who defeated the crusaders and mongols were turks   .do you call those invaders ?do they brought turkish masses to Aleppo, Baghdad,Sanaa,Cairo,North Africa? Yes they brought large numbers of christians and jews into the ottoman muslim majority cities in order to develop the textil industry and trade,the ottomans liked pluralism and religious co existence in fact they resumed a policy that they inherited from the Roman empire ,Ummayads,Abassids and Fatimids.
 

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April 14th, 2010, 4:31 pm

 

26. Majhool said:

TRUSTQUEST,

YES!!!! that’s the one. Thank you!! I was totally shocked!! As for the young girl, this has to stop.

Shami

My fear is that sectarianism (sectarian fascism not sectarian politics) is on the rise, even among Christians. Worst, this seemed to be ok with the church and the government.

The good thing about this video, is it helps illustrate how Mafia-like behaviors are a reality in Syria.

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April 14th, 2010, 4:45 pm

 

27. Husam said:

Majhool:

I understand standing in the street and shooting like that is dangerous and stupid. But other than that, what is there for Prof. Landis to touch on? What is wrong with bearing arms? People can bear arms all over the world including Texas! The biggest lobby in the US is non other than The National Rifle Association with 100,000’s thousands of members? And?

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April 14th, 2010, 4:46 pm

 

28. Shami said:

LOL what happened to my comment,here is a copy:
Habibi Jad ,almost all soldiers and sultans who defeated the crusaders and mongols were turks .do you call those invaders ?do they brought turkish masses to Aleppo, Baghdad,Sanaa,Cairo,North Africa? Yes they btought large numbers of christians and jews into the ottoman muslim majority cities in order to develop the textil industry and trade,the ottomans liked pluralism and religious co existence in fact they resumed a policy that they inherited from the Roman empire ,Ummayads,Abassids,Fatimids

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April 14th, 2010, 4:47 pm

 

29. Shami said:

Majhool they are not representative of our sophisticated christian community.Those are agents of the regime who are ready to buy their honnor i would not be more explicit in order to have some farcial privileges like playing the Rambo in Latakkia streets.What make me very sad is that they are leaving because of this damaged environment.

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April 14th, 2010, 5:04 pm

 

30. Majhool said:

Husam,

Bearing arms maybe ok, when its safe, and regulated.

The problems are:

1) Easter celebrations don’t call for using weapons.
2) This extreme celebration suggest that the church and some believers hold extreme sectarian feelings.
3) This would not be allowed in a mosque
4) this would not be allowed in an interior city

Shami,

Christians don’t need my testimony. They are a great community. However this is indicative of something bigger.

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April 14th, 2010, 5:10 pm

 

31. Husam said:

Majhool said:

“The good thing about this video, is it helps illustrate how Mafia-like behaviors are a reality in Syria.”

The target in his video was the sky, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gaza the target are real people, many of whom are innocent.

How many videos on Google and YouTube have been published or leaked showing the civilian target practice commited in those countries?

I just did a 5 minute search for yah:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJC1unnuwds&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOIT8CSIoZc&feature=related (Iraq is a play ground, they didn’t even stop and continued on)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fbBRthe0q8&feature=related (you gotta see this, out of nintendo)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krHV9iT20zw (a few bullets in the air is a few drops in the ocean compared to this)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25EWUUBjPMo (this one is really cool, while you watch this, check out the other videos on the side)

Now, Majhool perhaps you, yourself can “touch on this subject of mafia-like behavior” or more correctly worst-than-animal-like behavior.

Also Majhool, would you like to see Assad regime toppled and replaced by multinational forces so Syria, Damascus and the cradle of civilization be wiped out just like Iraq?

So, please stop with the petty stuff, and see the big picture.

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April 14th, 2010, 5:25 pm

 

32. Husam said:

Trustquest, Shami, Majhool:

You guys are blowing this out of porportion. This has NOTHING to do with Christians and everything to do with M.E. culture. How many times do we see this happening with Kurds, with Muslims @ weddings, etc…

These are not agents, come on, do they look like agents to you? We all know what agents look like. These guys were clean shaven, clean cut respectable guys having fun albeit very irresponsible and stupid.

To change this, you will have to start with education and improvement in civil order (Ministry of Interior, rings a bell)…which is another subject altogether.

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April 14th, 2010, 5:36 pm

 

33. Majhool said:

Husam,

If you are going to compare Syria to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Gaza then you I would have to re-adjust my expectation of Syria and Syrians. I am not planning to do this any time soon.

If I use your logic, then any progress, or debate around progress, will not be warranted.

Let me let you in on the big picture, this type barbaric celebration is not allowed in Damascus, Aleppo, or Hamah. People in Latakia seem to have lots of guns and it seems to be ok with the government. So why is that?

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April 14th, 2010, 5:51 pm

 

34. Badr said:

AP,

I don’t have an immediate access to Elliot Abrams’ book “Faith or Fear”, and I’ll try to get my hands on it. I’m simply interested in finding out whether the quote in question is a true or false attribution. I gather you are saying it is false. Please correct me if not.
By the way, how come your company’s security software is not preventing you from accessing this blog 😉

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April 14th, 2010, 6:22 pm

 

35. trustquest said:

Husam, on my end I agree with you, I think the video is not that interesting except from the fact that 25 years ago we did not see such display and especially in front of a Church. And the video is on one of the government site, champress which may send double message about disapproval of the government as title say and another subtle message of encouraging some sectors of society to behave more strongly. It was shocking to me the change in culture of behavior and display which send a uncivilized message about society. I thought that under dictatorial regimes arms are not encouraged and showing it would challenge authority but what I know, it seems I’m not right and this theory does not apply for this time.

I’m heartened by that lady Ayat, it is a sad current affair which has nothing to do with toppling the regime it has to do with pushing for civil rights and legal application of the law.

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April 14th, 2010, 6:41 pm

 

36. Akbar Palace said:

I’ll try to get my hands on it.

Badr,

OK, but don’t go out of your way. If the quotes and context are true, perhaps it will change my opinion of Mr. Abrams. I spent a few minutes searching and didn’t find anything reliable.

I don’t now how the software works. I suppose it acts on key words.

AP

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April 14th, 2010, 7:26 pm

 

37. Ghat Albird said:

Extract from US Veterans Website.

The AIPAC conference ended to the news that Israel intends to rev up its colonization with plans to triple the number of settlements across the West Bank, while the IAF stepped up indiscriminate bombing raids on hapless Gaza.

Israeli “Defense” Minister Ehud Barak made use of the all-Zionist parade at the AIPAC war party by securing another massive arms deal from the Pentagon. That’s chutzpah for you folks.

BET THEY WERE NOT SCUD MISSILES.

Gordon Duff, Senior Editor at VeteransToday.com makes a good case for A SCHISM DEVELOPING between US/Israel. (‘The Special Relationship is Dead,’ March 16, 2010).

The problem is that the US is so thoroughly DOUBLE-CROSSED
by its ALLY/partner in every sphere that any attempt to remove the PARASITE’S
TENTACLES IS a bi problem.

For now, Obama is staying on message about the Israeli fantasy of
Iranian nukes. This episode has only emboldened Israel to brutalize the Palestinians some more and threaten the Syrians.

(NOT WITH SCUD MISSILES BUT WITH BOMBING AND NUKING
WITH THE LATEST UP TO THE MINUTE US MILITARY PRODUCTS)

Their US-made-to-order jets, helicopters and tanks terrorizing Gazans over the Easter weekend. In fact, Israel is menacing all its neighbors in the knowledge that it has the US over the barrel of a gun.

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April 14th, 2010, 7:45 pm

 

38. trustquest said:

positive news,
Cheers finally, the message reached the Syrian and they start talking about health burden, last time in the year 2000 talking to a news reporter working for the Syrian Government met on the airplane she was smoking in the plane and she was convinced that cigarettes cause no cancer and it is all American Jewish lawyers conspiracy to make money.
Now with new media messages starts getting through and things may be start to change on some levels at least the price of cigarettes is going up but I doubt they will enforce the public smoking ban unless they gave the implementation to secret services.
http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=88808

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April 14th, 2010, 8:03 pm

 

39. Husam said:

Majhool:

As for why it is allowed in Latakia and not in other places, I guess it is because an uprising will probably never come from Latakia (Loyalist). Perhaps, just like Texas for Bush 🙂

Real progress for Syria is NOT only dependent on Syria or Syrians. Correct me if I am wrong. While some (important) things don’t seem right or fair in Syria, it is not unique to her. I hate it when the burden of being good is on the east to prove itself to the west. Why I brought up the videos of Afghanistan & Iraq (BTW, the speed in which you answered, I am sure you did not see them all…I encrourage you to reconsider) was to demonstrate to you exactly what your so-called “PROGRESSED-NATIONS” are doing: Mafia-like behaviour.

Lastly and most importantly, you personaly may look at Syria and think it is not progressing, while from other’s perspective Syria is already progressing. I think it is. I don’t this video puts any huge dent in that. And, I don’t think this video is as remotely “S-H-O-C-K-I-N-G” as you make it out to be. The videos I pasted for you however, show the highly-progressed-nato-alliance using machine guns to actually kill innocent people which thwarts stupid-wasted-bullets in the air in one town – Latakia.

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April 14th, 2010, 9:03 pm

 

40. Husam said:

Trustquest, please my reply to Majhool.

As for why now, and why in front of a church. I willl state again that I think it is stupid. However, some things Hafez did or turned a blind eye on back then, I and millions of Arabs thought that it was stupid at the time. Now we see things differently and and only now we understand the circumstances, the strategies and the tactics.

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April 14th, 2010, 9:09 pm

 

41. Husam said:

Husam,

I don’t disagree with you.

Cheers and be careful from stray bullets

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April 14th, 2010, 10:50 pm

 

42. Majhool said:

Husam,

I don’t disagree with you on many things you said. But again, progess should be measured against east and west, past and present. in the 80s were were no progressing, now we are in very low speeds.

This however is another topic. For now, this “uncivlized” act by middle-class syrians is not acceptable and the goverment should not allow people to take firearms, especially when its denied to others.

Be careful from stray bullets

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April 14th, 2010, 10:52 pm

 

43. Husam said:

Majhool:

Progress should be measured, in my opinion, by certain minimum standard of morality.

I can give you list of several hundred top things that Syria and Syrians should be doing to be more civilized. That is only half the story, the other half belongs to others exploiting Syria and interference by design in the name of bringing so called democracy to the M.E.

Any comment on the videos? The best one was the Abrams Tank driving through a baghdad downtown market hitting everything in sight…you guys have to see it.

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April 15th, 2010, 12:50 am

 

44. Mike said:

Shami 25

Where did you get the information that the turks defeated the crusaders? Really, I’m interested by history. The turks came to the middle-east long after the crusaders were defeated.

Also, you make it sound like the ottoman occupation was some sort of “ClubMed” activity.
For your info, the ottomans divided in order to reign. They squashed all revolts (for ex. the Aleppo revolt by sunnies against the Pacha in the early 1800’s.

Christians and jews were not allowed have normal lives within their native environment. They were lesser citizens, had to push aside to open way for a moslem, not allowed to dress up with colorful garments; were not allowed to ride horses or donkeys, they had to walk. Had no privileges for doing business. Some jews and a handful of christians were only allowed to handle accounting books for moslem businessmen, mmh, I wonder why.

Christian and jews were not brought by the turks to develop any kind of business; they were there already, long before the turks invaded the levant.

The ottomans were behind bringing the druze and maronite communities in Mt-lebanon to full confrontation in 1841/2 and 1860.

The only time christians and jews were given equality rights vs moslems was when syria was taken over by Ibrahim pacha, Mohammad Ali’s son, Pacha of Egypt (Albanian by the way) and trying to break away from ottoman mold. This infuriated so much the moslems that it resulted 20 years later in the christian massacre of Damascus (1860)

The ottoman glory culminated with the 1st genocide of the 20th century – the armenian genocide

I could go on and on…

I am sorry to say that the mirror image of yourself is a little distorted. So open up, stop contemplating your navel, get informed, read books etc.

Thanx for reading my post to the end

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April 15th, 2010, 6:51 am

 

45. Shami said:

Mike ,anyone who has basic knowledge in medieval history of the middle east will confirm what i wrote ,the turks ruled the region and took the effective power of the Abassid caliph even prior the crusades ,and not only they defeated the Crusaders but also the the Mongols and the Sefevid ,these last ones are ethnically related to them btw.You mixed ottomans with turks,prior to them we had the Seldjuk ,the Zengids and the turkish Mameluks.(the later ones were circassians).
You cited Aleppo ,it’s a good example ,how a political decision from the Sultan ,has greatly increased the number of christians and jews in the city ,for example the maronite community came back to Aleppo during the Ottoman era(they were banned by the Byzantians ) ,in which they built one of their most famous school which gave pionner of Arab renaissance like the Bishop of Aleppo ,Gabriel Farhat Germanos ,it was thank to enlightened maronite Patriarch Estefan Duwayhi who founded this school in the city,under the ottomans ,the christian culture in the city has reached a peak in art ,philosophy ,theology and literature.
The Ottomans also brought many anatolian christians and others from Hama ,those of Hama gave one of the greatest artists in the art of the icons and have built the first arabic character printing house in al judaydah ,the new christian neighborhood of north Aleppo ,established during the Mameluk era ,but later widened by a firman of the Ottoman Sultan Murad who moved 40 families to the district ,till now ,we know it as the quarter of the 40 families.
As for the Aleppine jews ,most of them are sons of spanish jews who took as new refuge the Ottoman cities of the empire.
As for the revolt against the pashas ,they were common in the 19th century because corruption reached a peak ,but this was the case all over the Ottoman empire and not only in Syria…later the Sultan Abdulhamid 2,has improved the situation and built modern hospitals(watani in aleppo ,italian hospital in damascus) ,suqs(zarb in aleppo ,hamidiyeh in damascus) ,univerities(damascus university) ,modern schools(al maamun in aleppo,anbar in damascus),train stations(hijaz of damascus ,mhatet baghdad in aleppo) and wonderful network of railways,great infrastructures in few years ,most of them are still visible.In fact ,the last Sultan that enjoyed effective power ,had even privileged the arab wilayat over the anatolian ones.Now there is no perfect or infaillible systems,but what you are doing is a generalization and exaggeration of some sad events in the dying process of the ottoman empire ,shows that you are more in accordance with the islamophobic literature of Bat Ye’or than to the respectful historians of the Ottoman era among them the levantine christians historians and of course the ottomanist scholars of the most renowed universities in the world.

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April 18th, 2010, 6:20 am

 

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