Analyzing the largest Syria crisis Facebook polls, by Camille Otrakji

Analyzing the largest Syria crisis Facebook polls, by Camille Otrakji

Originally appeared on Creativesyria’s “The Syria Page” blog

 

Several Facebook polls on the Syrian crisis have been conducted over the past year, eliciting widespread responses among Syrian and Arab Facebook users. While sample sizes vary, many are much larger than regular online polls thereby ensuring representativeness of the sample, at least among Facebook users. It is worth noting here that Facebook polls prevent account owners from voting multiple times from different computers as they usually can for other online polls. Although some online activists have more than one Facebook accounts, the effect of this bias is negligible given that activists from both sides of the political divide are expected to be equally likely to own a second account.

A significant number of responses by non-Syrian Arabs should be expected given that many of them support the Syrian revolution just as many Syrians supported the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions before them. However, since the contribution of non-Syrian Arabs to the survey remains unknown, it is impossible to tease out Syrian responses from Arab ones. Moreover, it should also be cautioned that Syrians with FB accounts are not a truly representative sample as the sampling frame excludes Syrians without FB accounts as well as Syrians with no internet access. Results, therefore should be read with these limitations in mind.

Having said that, the large sample size of the polls selected here, in addition to the consistent results across a large number of polls make them worth analysing.

Below is a selection of the largest (15,000 to 180,000 voters each, over one million votes in total, all results updated on Jan 23rd 2012) Facebook polls on the Syrian crisis, Voting and community initial biases (where the question first originated) are specified under each question.

 

President Assad’s popularity

Q1 Syria needs?
Answers: Freedom (42,103), Bashar Al-Assad (40,992)
Biases: Poll started within a biased pro opposition community. The bias inherent in this question is twofold: in the first place, it is a “loaded” question in that it introduces a value bias (concept of freedom) which is contrasted against Assad (by implication, authoritarian). Second, the categories freedom and Assad are not mutually exclusive for many of the respondents, thereby forcing them to choose between either Freedom or Bashar Al-Assad. This eliminates many of the votes for the Syrian President by those who value freedom the most but believe that Al-Assad should lead the country to reforms and freedom. Despite these biases the results are close to a tie.

Q2 Will you vote for Bashar Al-Assad in direct Presidential elections in Syria?
Yes (22,111), No (13,102)
No apparent biases.

Q3 Will you vote for Bashar Al-Assad next Presidential referendum?
Yes (27,642), No (8,947)
Biases: Question originated within a biased pro President community.

Q4 If a referendum was held today, are you for nominating Assad for another term?
Yes (47,615), No (42,448)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro opposition community.

Q5 Would you accept someone other than President Assad as your President?
No (22,277), Yes (19,072)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro President community, however, the question itself introduces a counter bias as it seems to force the respondent to vote for an absolute right for Bashar Al-Assad as a President of Syria.

Q6 Which number is larger on Facebook?
Assad supporters (40,652), Assad opponents (39,749)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro opposition community

Q7 Is Assad qualified to govern?
Yes (87,915), No (93,473)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro opposition community

Q8 do you want Assad to remain President of Syria
Yes (40,549), No (33,659)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro opposition community.

Q9 Do you support President Assad
Yes (22,957), No (22.523)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro Assad community.

Q10 If elections were held, who do you want?
Bashar Assad (14,513), Burhan Ghalioun (1,903), Adnan Arour (289)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro opposition community that includes many non-Syrian Arabs (Aljazeera).

 

Popularity of demonstrators, their allies, demands and strategies

Q11 Are you for changing the shape or colors of the Syrian flag?
No (20,593), Yes (578)
Biases: none

Q12 Do you support stopping the protests in Syria to give a chance to reforms
Yes (50,303), No (42,667)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro opposition community that includes many non-Syrian Arabs (Aljazeera poll)

Q13 Are you for, or against Aljazeera?
For (21,562), Against (37,179)
Biases: Poll originated in what appears to be a pro-opposition community that includes many non-Syrian Arabs.

Q14 Do you support a UN resolution on Syria?
Yes (16,988), No (30,589)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro opposition community that includes many non-Syrian Arabs (Aljazeera poll)

Q15 Do you support Turkish military intervention in Syria?
Yes (425), No (15,339)
Biases: Poll originated in a pro opposition community.

Q16 Do you support Russia’s policy towards Syria?
Yes (31,028), No (28,819)
Biases: Poll originated in community that includes both pro-Assad Syrians but also includes many non-Syrian Arabs who are mostly pro-opposition.

Q17 Do you support Arab sanctions against the Syrian regime?
Yes (11,105), NO (20,100)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro opposition community that includes many non-Syrian Arabs (Aljazeera poll)

Q18 Who is responsible for the deteriorating situation in Syria
The regime (15,798), the opposition (17,803)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro opposition community that includes many non-Syrian Arabs (Aljazeera poll)

 

 

Analysis:

The overall average (53 %) and mode (most frequently recurring statistic) for the President’s popularity type questions (1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9) are similar to results of other related questions/variables (as in Q12 and Q18). This suggests that despite all the shortcomings of the surveys, they do have a high degree of “internal consistency reliability”, the results for one cluster of questions measuring one concept (support) are consistent with other results measuring related variables/concepts.

Like other online polls, Facebook polls have only limited validity and reliability. Only those who own a computer and a Facebook account can answer them; the strongly opinionated are more likely to answer them than the undecided. When a question measuring popularity is asked by a Facebook page that attracts a biased community of Syrians (or Syrians and Arabs), the final results tend to reflect some of that bias especially for smaller sample sizes. Questions that originate in pro-revolution pages tend to still make it to the general community of Syrians and when they do (at larger sample sizes) the results are mostly close to the 50% mark (See Q7), and almost all results are still in Assad’s favor. Some Questions by pro regime pages even reveal results that are as high as 75% pro Assad (see Q3).Only biased and limiting questions (ex: Freedom or Assad?) result in a slightly less than 50% for President Assad but another way to read those is that President Assad’s diehard fans (they will vote for him even if he does not reform) might alone count for over 40% (see Q1)

In addition to the majority support Assad enjoys, the even larger majority that voted against Al-Jazeera, Turkish military intervention in Syria, an Arab boycott of Syria, changing the colors of the Syrian flag or against a UN vote targeting Syria, should be construed by policy makers in Washington and “the international community” that they are interfering on the side of a minority of Syrians and against the wishes of a clear majority. All the questions which measured the popularity of the protesters’ demands and their tactics revealed that the protesters’ tactics are not supported by Syrians at large.

Domestic support for Assad may be even higher given the large number of non-Syrian Arabs respondents particularly on al-Jazeera facebook page. The Arab public’s noted sympathy for the revolutionaries may well skew the results in the latter’s favour. For example, in one survey which asked if Egyptian respondents favored kicking out the Syrian Ambassador to Egypt, 60,000 (88%) of respondents said yes, while only 8,000 (12%) said no. Tunisians often demonstrate in large numbers in support of a revolution in Syria, while Saudis listen to endless lectures by TV preachers telling them dramatic stories of Alawite regime crimes against Syrian Muslims.

Moreover, in one Doha Debates(Qatar foundation)  episode  in response to a question asking if President Assad should resign, a historic vote of 91% of the mostly Arab audience said Assad should go away. All left that room convinced that they were supporting the Syrian people in their struggle. The same Qatar foundation conducted an online poll asking if the Syrian President should resign: 81% of their Arab respondents said he should whereas 55% of their Syrian respondents said they wanted him to remain in power. The poll was published and reported widely although its sample was heavily biased and small (1000 people participating, of which only 97 are Syrian).

Having said that, the overwhelming votes in favor of preserving Syria’s integrity, national security and symbols implies that despite the large number of Arab respondents, these Facebook polls also attracted a large number of Syrian respondents.

It is clear from these 18 Facebook polls that at least among the more decided group of Syrian Facebook users, President Assad enjoys a comfortable margin of support. Although many support freedom and democracy in general, or object to the President running for office again in 2014, the revolution’s specific positions and demands have little support. While respondents are almost evenly split on Russia’s position on Syria, there is much less support for an Arab boycott of Syria, little support for a UN resolution against Syria and near zero support for Turkish intervention. Interestingly, even among Arab viewers, it seems there was little tolerance for Aljazeera’s one-sided pro-revolution coverage.

The Syrian opposition leadership fared even worse with a statistically insignificant number of supporters for Burhan Ghalioun. Ghalioun’s failure to garner more than 0.12% of popular support (Q10) is a clear indication of the international community’s failure to pay attention to the Syrian people’s real preferences.

The opposition’s tactics did not win much approval either with a majority of respondents supporting dialogue rather than protests, and a similar number blaming the revolutionaries for prolonging the crisis. Viewed in combination with the even greater numbers who reject foreign intervention, it is increasingly apparent that neither the objectives nor the tactics of the SNC represent the aspirations and preferences of the vast majority of Syrians.

Nonetheless, these conclusions remain tentative considering the large number of Syrians who are not represented by these polls, such as the many poor and uneducated who cannot access Facebook. Syrians on Facebook who have an opinion either way, are split between those with almost unqualified support for President Assad and those who want democracy now. But as noted above, even this latter group of regime opponents is clearly not impressed with those who are leading the movement which claims to speak in their name.

 

Many thanks to Dr. Amal Saad-Ghorayeb for her kind and valuable assistance in evaluating the reliability of these polls.  

 

Comments (222)


1. Pirouz said:

A very useful indicator, and analysis/commentary on the results. Thank you.

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January 24th, 2012, 7:44 pm

 

2. Ghufran said:

I welcome this attempt to identify the level of support policies and politicians have in Syria,however,I have few points I would like to bring:
1. How do we know whether the respondents were Syrian or not?
2 what percentage of respondents actually live in Syria?
3. It is common knowledge that Syrians with a Facebook account represent a biased sample,most face bookers are young and have access to a good Internet connection and extra time and money to spend,many Syrians can not afford this luxury.
4. A lot of Syrians are still fearful of speaking out against the regime,especially if they live in Syria. Almoukhabaraa is still able to identify the source of Facebook feedbacks using equipment they already have and new equipment they manage to buy through a third party.
This poll is still useful,it illustrates that Syrians are divided and that no exclusionary solution is likely to end this crisis.

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 18

January 24th, 2012, 7:48 pm

 

3. Tara said:

There is a selection bias of the poll population that renders the whole survey invalid and only useful for regime Propaganda. Additionally, it is not a secret, that Bashar al Assad murderous regime has launched the so called Syrian Electronic Army, the only goal of it is to spread pro-regime Propaganda. I am surprised that a biased assessment is allowed on SC.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 34

January 24th, 2012, 8:01 pm

 

4. Ghufran said:

Tara,
The poll has a number of holes but there is also a lot of anti regime face bookers.
كشفت مصادر على صلة بالملف السوري أن الأمين العام للجامعة العربية، نبيل العربي، طرح اسم الرئيس السابق للوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، محمد البرادعي، ليكون مبعوثاً خاصاً للجامعة العربية إلى سوريا، كما راسل العربي ورئيس الوزراء القطري وزير الخارجية، الشيخ حمد بن جاسم آل ثاني، الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة، بان كي مون، لطلب دعم مجلس الأمن للقرارات العربية الأخيرة

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9

January 24th, 2012, 8:06 pm

 

5. Tara said:

Ghufran

This is for you.  I stole it form Heetan.  It was posted by N.Z.

قصيدة لـنـزار قـبّاني .. كانت ممنوعه

لمْ يبقَ فيهِم لا أبو بكرٍ .. ولا عثمان
جميعُهُم هياكـلٌ عظمية في متحفِ الزمان


تساقطَ الفرسانُ عن سروجِهم

واعتُـقِل المؤذنونَ في بيوتهم
واُلْـغِيَ الأذان
جميعُـهُم .. تضخَّـمت أثـدائُهم

وأصبحوا نسوان


جميعُهم قد ذبحوا خيولهم

وارتهنوا سيوفهم
وقدّموا نساءَهم هدية لقائد الرومان

ما كان يدعى ببلاد الشام يوما
صار في الجغرافيا…

يدعى (يهودستان)
اللهْ … يا زمان

لم يبقَ في دفاترِ التاريخ

لا سيفٌ ولا حِصان
جميعُهم قد تركوا نِعالهم

وهرّبوا أموالهم
وخلَّـفوا وراءهم أطفالهم

وانسحبوا إلى مقاهي الموت والنسيان
جميعهم تخـنَّـثوا
تكحَّـلوا…
تعطَّروا…
تمايلوا أغصان خيْزران
حتى تظنَّ خالداً … سوزان

ومريماً .. مروان

اللهْ … يا زمان…

جميعُهم قد دخلوا جُحورَهم

واستمتعوا بالمسكِ ، والنساءِ ، والرَّيْحان
جميعُهم : مُدَجَّـنٌ ، مُروَّضٌ ، منافِـقٌ ، مزْدَوجٌ .. جـبان

هلْ ممكنٌ أن يَعْـقِـدَ الإنسانُ صُلحاً دائماً مع الهوان؟
اللهْ … يا زمان ..

هل تعرفونَ من أنا ؟!

مُواطنٌ يسكُنُ في دولة ( قـَـمْـعِـسْـتان(
وهذهِ الدولة ليست نُكتة مصرية
او صورة منقولة عن كُـتُبِ البَديعِ والبيان

فأرضُ (قـَمعـِستان) جاءَ ذكرُها
في مُعجمِ البُلدان …
وإنَّ منْ أهمِّ صادراتِها
حَقائِباً جِلدية

مصْنوعة من جسدِ الإنسان
اللهْ … يا زمان …

هل تطلبونَ نُـبْذةً صغيرةً عن أرضِ (قـَمعـِستان(
تِلكَ التي تمتدُّ من شمالِ أفريقيا
إلى بلادِ نـَـفْـطِـستان

تِلكِ التي تمتدُّ من شواطئِ القَهرِ إلى شواطئِ
القـتْلِ
إلى شواطئِ السَّحْلِ ، إلى شواطئِ الأحزان ..
وسـيـفُها يمتـدُّ بينَ مَدْخلِ الشِّـريانِ والشريان

مُلوكُها يُقـرْفِصونَ فوقَ رَقـَبَة الشُّعوبِ بالوِراثة
ويَكْرهونَ الورقَ الأبيضَ ، والمِـدادَ ، والأقْـلامَ بالوراثة

وأول البُـنودِ في دُسْـتورها:
يَقـضي بِأنْ تُـلْغَى غريزَةُ الكلامِ في الإنسان
اللهْ … يا زمان …

هل تعرفونَ من أنا ؟!

مُواطنٌ يسكُنُ في دولةِ (قـَمْعـِسْـتان(
مُواطنٌ …
يَحْـلُمُ في يومٍ من الأيامِ أنْ يُصبِحَ في مرتبة الحيوان
مُواطنٌ يخافُ أنْ يَجْلسَ في المقهى ..

لكي لا تـَطلـَعُ الدولة من غياهبِ الفنجان
مُواطنٌ أنا .. يَخافُ أنْ يقرَبَ زوجته

قُبيلَ أن تُراقبَ المباحثُ المكان
مٌواطنٌ أنا .. من شعبِ قـَمْعـِسْـتان
أخافُ ان أدخلَ أيَّ مَسجـدٍ

كي لا يُقـالَ أنّي رَجُـلٌ يُمارسُ الإيمان
كي لا يقولَ المُخبرُ السِّرِيُّ :

أنّي كنتُ أتْـلو سورةَ الرحمن

…………

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 15

January 24th, 2012, 8:07 pm

 

6. Ghufran said:

Thx,Tara
Nizar is a national treasure,he is at his best when he talks about love,his political poetry is very good too.
As a thank you note,I will give you this piece:

اعتبرت الجبهة الوطنية التقدمية أن القرارات الصادرة عن مجلس الجامعة العربية على المستوى الوزاري أمس الأول شكلت تصعيدا عدائيا ضد سورية وشعبها وانتهاكا للسيادة الوطنية السورية وتدخلا سافرا ومشينا في الشأن السوري الداخلي وخرقا لميثاق الجامعة العربية وإجهاضا متعمدا لعمل لجنة المراقبين العرب.
ودان بيان الجبهة هذا التصعيد العدواني الذي يخدم أعداء الأمة والعاملين على استلاب القرار العربي المستقل، معبرة عن رفضها لمحاولات الهيمنة والإملاء على شعبنا. وأكدت الجبهة الوطنية التقدمية أن سورية قادرة على مواجهة التحديات بالاعتماد على وعي شعبها ووحدته الوطنية، وأنها ستجتاز الأزمة الراهنة استنادا إلى قواها الذاتية وقواتها المسلحة الباسلة ومساندة الأشقاء والأصدقاء وقوى التحرر والتقدم في العالم.
(just kidding)

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

January 24th, 2012, 8:17 pm

 

7. almotali3 said:

i think that all of the syrians that live in syria and are against Bashar Al-assad use fake names in facebook; because they have fear to their lives.

many of my syrians frinds in germany use also fake names or don´t share their opinions in Facebook, because they have fear to their families that still in syria.

in the airport of damascus security forces sheck the facebooks accounts of the arreiving syrians. if he made any comments or vote against bashar al-assad he will be arrested and tortured and maybe killed.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

January 24th, 2012, 8:19 pm

 

8. zoo said:

Libyans reject ‘hijacked’ revolution?
Published: 24 January, 2012, 22:32
http://rt.com/news/libya-revolution-clashes-discontent-603/print/
Violent clashes between supporters of the new and old regimes have been seen in cities across Libya. The successful regrouping and attacks by former regime loyalists has raised fears that another civil war might take place in the country.

­Fighters loyal to late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have clashed with revolutionary forces in the former regime stronghold of Bani Walid on Monday, taking control of the city in the process. At least five NTC troops were killed and 30 others injured in the violence.

There is a lot of disquiet in every corner of Libya at the moment, as investigative journalist Simon Assaf told RT.

“The thing we have to remember about the Gaddafi regime or any kind of regime is that it isn’t simply about the people at the top,” Simon Assaf explained. “There are people, the supporters on the ground, low and mid-level officials and so on. And I think quite a few of them would have been thrown to the winds after the death [of Gaddafi].”

Assaf believes that this group, “the new victims” of the revolution, represents a “certain section of population that now wants to find its voice.”

“The NTC forces when they marched into Bani Walid would have had to face the local population,” he said. “Now it is the local population that seems to have thrown them out.”

There is extreme discontent with what some people are describing as the “hijacked revolution,” Assaf says. And the process of hijacking was very “messy and brutal,” leaving many people seeking revenge, he added.

“There was the total annihilation of Sirte, the attacks on areas considered to be loyal to the old regime,” Assaf explained. “So I think there is no question that there are many people who died under NATO bombs. I think there are quite a lot of acts of revenge taking place.”

“The thing about revolutions is that they are not simply passive events,” he concluded. “There is a whole awakening of the population in the Middle East.”

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

January 24th, 2012, 8:30 pm

 

9. Observer said:

Hahahahahahaha

I love this latest attempt by Alex to demonstrate how much the wonder boy is loved.
With an army of people clicking and re clicking on various polls and questions no wonder these results are in favor of the regime.

What is much more important is that we no longer have 99% in favor.
Wow that must be reform indeed!!!!!!.

Did he ask for the polls to be conducted in Syria in those areas where the electricity has been cut and the internet monitored?

How about in those areas were tanks are shelling entire sections?

This latest post is pure garbage and is irrelevant and should have focused on the latest political moves.

I would rather listen to Tabel Mu’allek than read this garbage.

Thumb up 22 Thumb down 27

January 24th, 2012, 8:37 pm

 

10. anton said:

Dear Alex

Thanks a lot for your superb job/analyzing facts. its a time to have people like you speak up, please continue to provide us with such articles.

Way to go

Thumb up 24 Thumb down 25

January 24th, 2012, 8:46 pm

 

11. Ghufran said:

الاسلاميون يكتسحون البرلمان المصري ، أمّا ” شباب الثورة ” فبالكاد يحصلون على البعض القليل من مقاعده . وهكذا كانت الحال تقريبا ً في الانتخابات التونسية ، ومن المرجح أن تكون كذلك في كل انتخابات تدعى اليها الشعوب العربية في الأيام الآتية : الزمن زمن الاسلاميين ، إمّا لأنهم كانوا مضطهدين في ظلّ الأنظمة السابقة فاستحقوا العطف بأصوات الملايين ، وإمّا لأن المجتمعات العربية نفسها لا تزال مجتمعات متديّنة أكثر من اللزوم وترى أنه ربما كان الاسلام هو الحلّ ، وإمّا للسببين معا ً. واذا صحّ ما يقال عن أن الاسلاميين أنفسهم قد اعتدلوا وأصبحوا أقل ّ تزمتا ً أو أكثر انفتاحا ً على الآخرين ، إلاّ ان الصحيح أيضا ً ان الدولة باقية دولة اسلامية الدين والمعتقد حتى اشعار آخر ،  وان ما كان يرتجى من ثورة حقيقية على هذا الصعيد ومن عبور في اتجاه الحداثة قد تأجّل الى زمن لاحق.
 
وربما كان الاسلام ، حقا ً ، دينا ً ودولة في آن واحد كما يزعم كثيرون ، أو كما يريده كثيرون ، فعبثا ً يحكى عن الدولة المدنية في هذه الحال  . والأكيد ان ليس من أجل الفصل بين الدين والدولة كانت التظاهرات المليونية في مصر أو في تونس أو في اليمن أو في سوريا وأي بلد عربي آخر  بل من أجل لقمة العيش والحرية والكرامة ، أو بغية اسقاط حكم ظالم أو فاسد أواستبدادي . أمّا أن تكون الدولة دولة اسلامية فأمر طبيعي وفي منطق الأشياء ، ومن ليس على دينها يكون في حمايتها أي على ذمّتها . وأمّا القول بالدولة المدنية والحديثة فلا يزال مقتصرا ً على قلّة من الناس ، أو على المفكّرين والمثقفين والشعراء وأهل الفن .
(from kataeb.org)

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

January 24th, 2012, 9:14 pm

 

12. Alex said:

Thanks Anton and Pirouz

I will be back in an hour to answer my fan mail. I knew I’ll make some people here have the best laugh of their life at my “latest attempt” that required me to collect ONE MILLION VOTES… and a bit less that half of them anti regime.

Thumb up 27 Thumb down 16

January 24th, 2012, 9:14 pm

 

13. sheila said:

Dear Dr. Landis,
This is the worst piece of crap statistics that I have ever seen in my entire life (pardon my French). The attempt to make it look scientifically viable and unbiased is even worse. For a respected university professor like you to allow this garbage on his blog is beyond shameful. Any one with any basic knowledge about statistics can shred this pathetic post to pieces. This feels like watching SANA, where insulting people’s intelligence is a way of life.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 30

January 24th, 2012, 9:20 pm

 

14. Ghufran said:

I think that some of you guys have been too harsh in your criticism of the Facebook poll,we all know its potential flaws but calling it “crap” is just wrong.
From what I see,Syria is divided,it does not make a big difference if regime support is at 25% or 50%, the conclusion is the same:
There is no party that can claim the support of the vast majority of Syrians.

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January 24th, 2012, 9:34 pm

 

15. Tara said:

Dear Alex

Acquiring a million votes that is pro-regime is not an enormous task at all. The Syrian Electronic Army is under any interested pro-regime party’s disposal. They view such activity of clicking and rechecking as their “patriotic duty”. All what it takes is a simple phone call to someone in the fifth or sixth outer circle to activate. You don’t even need to be well connected. Just a simple email correspondence and voilà, the whole electronic army is at your service for Internet activity. No sweat. Just point them out to where you like to have the vote and instantaneous victorious results are guaranteed (or your money back).

The point is, the Syrian people is far and beyond being infantilized by dictator-propaganda.

Please note, I am not personally accusing you of any malicious act to distort facts. I am just pointing out the activities thar can be taken up by the so called electronic army.

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January 24th, 2012, 9:36 pm

 

16. Tara said:

Ohio-born student missing in Syria; marks 2nd American this month
From Brian Vitagliano, for CNN
updated 5:55 PM EST, Tue January 24, 2012

Obada Mzaik, a dual American and Syrian citizen, went missing on January 3
The 21-year-old student was born in Columbus, Ohio; he was in Syria with his brother
He is at least the second American citizen to have gone missing in Syria this month
Mzaik’s family back in the United States is now fearing the worst
(CNN) — The mother of an Ohio-born man is “hanging on by a thread” after her son disappeared earlier this month in violence-wracked Syria, according to family members.
Obada Mzaik, a dual American and Syrian citizen, went missing on January 3 after he traveled with his brother on a flight from Detroit to Damascus, his uncle, Dr. Firas Nashef, told CNN.
Mzaik was studying civil engineering at a private university in the Syrian capital and had planned to pursue a master’s degree in the United States, his uncle said.
The 21-year-old student was born in Columbus, Ohio, but moved with his family back to Syria when he was child. He had enrolled in a seasonal program at a Michigan community college.
His uncle said Mzaik returned to Syria earlier this month with his brother, Obaie Mzaik, to visit family and prepare for the start of the new semester in Damascus.
The 19-year-old brother said that upon their arrival, they were detained by security officers for questioning, according to Nashef.
The younger brother was soon released, but the officers kept Obada Mzaik for further questioning.
“In his mind, he was expecting to see his brother in the morning,” said Nashef. “But that never happened.”
Mzaik’s family is now fearing the worst.
“We hear some horrendous stories from over there,” said Nashef.
“And my sister is hanging on by a thread,” he said of the missing student’s mother. “We’re all hanging on with a bit of hope. But she’s angry and she has no information.”
This month’s arrest isn’t the first time the 21-year-old has been detained by Syrian security forces.
Last summer, he was arrested and held for 37 days for “spreading fliers about the revolution,” according to his uncle.
A Facebook page, meanwhile, is calling for Mzaik’s release.
The U.S. State Department also weighed in Tuesday, saying it’s aware of reports of his disappearance.
“We are working with local authorities to ascertain (Mzaik’s) welfare and whereabouts,” said State Department spokesman Noel Clay.
Mzaik is at least the second U.S. citizen to have disappeared this month in Syria, raising questions as to whether the missing men could usher in a more public State Department presence in the restive country.
Abdelkader Chaar, 22, is thought to have been arrested in Aleppo, Syria, five days after Mzaik disappeared.
Chaar was born in Syracuse, New York, moved to Aleppo with his parents when he was a boy and is a medical student at Aleppo University, his uncle said. His family has not been told why he was arrested, said Sam Chaar, who spoke to CNN from Arizona.
(…)

http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/24/us/ohio-missing-american-syria/index.html?eref=rss_crime

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January 24th, 2012, 9:46 pm

 

17. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Q7 Is Assad qualified to govern?
Yes (87,915), No (93,473)
Q9 Do you support President Assad
Yes (22,957), No (22.523)

The above is an indicator that the votes either rigged, or the voters are too young to be trusted in voting let alone State affairs, most likely they are the underage Baathist kids who their fathers responsible for theft of Syrian lives, economy and treasury. A clear majority admits that the puppet is not a capable leader, but they support him anyway, because their daddy has a lot to lose or few terrified of Arrour and Aljazeera.

Q10 If elections were held, who do you want?
Bashar Assad (14,513), Burhan Ghalioun (1,903), Adnan Arour (289)

This is flawed poll, obviousely, deliberately set up to generate high response for Assad. Even I will respond by choosing Bashar over Burhan or Arrour.

Q12 Do you support stopping the protests in Syria to give a chance to reforms
Yes (50,303), No (42,667)

That is been done and tried now, as the protest slowed down this month, the puppet fluffed up by his handlers and spent almost 2 hours proclaiming more use of deadly force by an iron fist. It is obvious that the regime respond positively when violence escalate and think they can beat and win the oppositions when they are quite.

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January 24th, 2012, 9:49 pm

 

18. Mawal95 said:

The largest individual poll listed above got 180,000 responses (it asked the question “Is Assad qualified to govern?”). This particular individual poll was asked three months ago by the blog http://www.facebook.com/We.Syria1?sk=wall If you visit the “Wall” or homepage of that blog today you can find another poll question that they’ve been asking since 18 Jan 2012. So far it has received only 63 responses.

To repeat, one of that blog’s polls has received 180,000 responses over twelve weeks and the other has received 63 responses over one week. Clearly, to get 180,000 responses, people must’ve been canvassed elsewhere, outside the community of that particular blog. We don’t know where. It was successfully canvassed somewhere. Maybe many places. I think the result would be meaningless even if you found out where it was canvassed. But the fact that you don’t know where it was canvassed means its triple meaningless.

Anyone who doesn’t think it’s meaningless is crazy imo.

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January 24th, 2012, 9:49 pm

 

19. Norman said:

One pall or two can be wrong but with all these palls, there must be right about the popularity of president Assad, that is if we do not think that Face book is a Baath party club,

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January 24th, 2012, 10:08 pm

 

20. Ghufran said:

نبراس شحيد
راهب يسوعي سوري
أولاً، تغيير نوعية ارتباطنا بالحقيقة. يأخذ نيتشه على رجال الدين في نقده السابق ادّعاءهم امتلاك الحقيقة، فأجوبتهم جاهزة وأسئلتهم مراوِغة. إنهم لا يبحثون عن الحقيقة لأنهم لا يرغبون فيها بل يحتاجون إلى استحواذها كي يعيشوا آمنين! هكذا، تتشوه «الحقيقة» لتصبح مجرد تكييفٍ للعالم بما يتناسب مع مفهومنا عنه؛ هكذا تنقلب «الحقيقة» من حياةٍ في ضيافة الواقع إلى حالةٍ دفاعية قائمة على نبذ كل شخصٍ أو فكرة يهددان استقرار عالمنا المألوف وعاداتنا. من هذا المنظار، يتحول الدين بحسب نيتشه إلى مصدرٍ للعنف، ولا يبخل التاريخ علينا بأمثلة بيّنة تحوّل فيها التدين إلى إقصاءٍ للآخر تحت اسم المطلق. قد يعادي الدين الحياة عندما يدّعي أنصاره امتلاك الحقيقة، وبالتالي لا يكتفي تأوينُ بعضٍ من نيتشه اليوم بمطالبة رجال الدين بالكف عن الهروب من الواقع، بل يستقضيهم بأن يكونوا دعاة واقعٍ جديد لا تتحكم فيه بارانويا الأقليات على الشعوب من جهةٍ أولى، ولا يكون فيه الدين مصدراً تشريعياً من جهةٍ أخرى، بل نهجاً إنسانياً قبل كل شيء.
ثانياً، العمل على المصالحة الوطنية. جلُّ ما يميز روحانية العبيد عند نيتشه هو الحقد، فقلوبهم تأكلها المرارة من أسيادهم، ونفوسهم تجترّ كرهاً لا ينطفئ إلا بالانتقام… يغذّي رجال الدين بحسب نيتشه هذا الحقد لأنهم يبغضون مغامرة الحياة، فمَن يبغض الحياة لا يمكن أن يحب، وإن غفر فليس إلا من باب التشفي: «أسامحك لأقول لك إنني أفضل منك! أسامحك لأنني أحقد عليك!» ما يميز روحانية العبيد هنا هو انحباسهم في منطق رد الفعل. أشير إلى ذلك لأننا شاهدنا جميعاً كيف أفرغ بعضٌ من «أحرار» ليبيا حممهم على من أسرفوا في القتل، فأذلوهم وقتلوهم من دون محاكمة… لا يمكن هؤلاء أن يكونوا من مريدي الحرية بحسب نيتشه، لأنهم ارتهنوا إلى مرارة الماضي، فأذابوا المستقبل في أنين الجراح. في سوريا أيضاً نظامٌ يتاجر بأرواحنا وشبابٌ يساق إلى العنف، وكم أخشى أن ينقلب غضب الشارع المصلوب يوماً انتقاماً أرعن ينسف وطناً طال انتظاره. وهنا قد يبرز مجدّداً ما يمكن أن يكون دوراً منتظراً لرجال الدين في بناء جسورٍ جديدة بين الناس قد تسمح للعدالة بأن تأخذ مجراها من دون أن تتحول إلى انتقام، شرط أن يستطيع رجال الدين أولاً مواجهة مخاوفهم من الواقع، ومن الحياة والحرية…

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January 24th, 2012, 10:09 pm

 

21. Aldendeshe said:

The poll should have asked this:

If Syria can have free elections, which of these would you want?

1- Would you vote for freedom and democracy or Baathism and Socialism

2- Would you vote for Freedom of Press or Sensorship.

3- Would you vote for freedom of expression or Assad Prisons

4- would you vote for the right to choose your education or state mandated.

5- Would you vote for war or peace with Israel

6- Would you vote for economic freedom or Baathist Socialism

and the list can go on, but it should ends with this question:

Would you vote for Bashar Assad, Micky Mouse or Some hot blond celebrity, I dont know of any, other than my wife.

And the stat for this is clear, the Celebrity is #1 Micky Mouse#2 and Bashar Assad a distant #3.

Cheap shot Alex.

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January 24th, 2012, 10:12 pm

 

22. Ghufran said:

عارف دليله
وحول التخوف من سيطرة القوى الإسلامية على السلطة، قال دليلة “في ظروف استثنائية ممكن لفئة ما أن تحتكر الدور السياسي لكن هذا ليس وضع طبيعي لذلك نقول يجب العودة إلى الحياة الطبيعية والشعب السوري قادر على فرز مختلف أشكال التعبير وستتنافس جميع هذه المفرزات على برامج معينه لكسب ثقة الشعب”.

وأضاف “في لحظات معينة قد يأخذ الحماس الأغلبية باتجاه معين لكن سرعان ما يتكشف أن هذا الاتجاه صالح أو غير صالح، وهذا كله منوط ورهن بالعودة إلى الحياة السياسية الطبيعية دون عنف أو اضطهاد دون استبعاد وبالتالي في المجتمع السوري التعددية أكثر وضوح وليس في مقدور طرف الإدعاء الاحتكار للأغلبية الساحقة لا بد من المشاركة”.

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January 24th, 2012, 10:20 pm

 

23. Jerusalem said:

فهد الريماوي عمدة الكتاب الاردنيين يهاجم ابتذال الشيخ حمد بن جاسم واخلاصه لاسرائيل

عرب تايمز – خاص

تصدى عمدة الكتاب والصحفيين الاردنيين الاستاذ الكبير فهد الريماوي رئيس تحرير جريدة ( المجد ) تصدى في مقال له نشره في جريدته لرئيس وزراء قطر الشيخ جاسم واتهمه بالابتذال وبالولاء لاسرائيل وقال الريماوي إن حمد توهم أن سورية نسخة عن ليبيا وفقد أمام عروبتها كامل رشده معتبرا أن غلطته الأكبر كانت في تجاهله ما للجيش السوري من مناعة وشجاعة تفوقان الوصف وما للشعب السوري من روح وطنية وعروبية يضرب بها المثل وما للدولة السورية من مكانة واحترام لدى عموم البشرية التقدمية وما لفصائل المقاومة والممانعة والنضال المؤيدة لسورية والمصطفة إلى جانبها من عزيمة فدائية وجاهزية كفاحية تتحديان أعتى القوى والدوائر الامبريالية والرجعية والصهيونية

ولفت الريماوي إلى أن تحالف الأشرار قد يشغل سورية ويرهقها ويستنزف الكثير من قوتها وثروتها ودم أبنائها ويثير العديد من الفتن والصراعات غير أنه أصغر من أن يقوض وطنا أو يتسلم زمام المبادرة مؤكدا أن انتصار سورية وخروجها سالمة من الأزمة واستيعابها لدروس هذه التجربة الصعبة سيليه تغيير كبير في المعادلات والخرائط العربية والإقليمية وحتى الدولية بما من شأنه تحقيق انطلاقة نوعية لقوى الممانعة والنضال الوطنية والقومية والتقدمية وضمان تفوق ساحق لها

واختتم الريماوي مقاله بالقول إنه لا خوف على الحمى السوري المكين من دسائس ومكائد هذا الحمد الطائش فلسورية شعب يحميها وجيش يفتديها وقائد يحرص عليها وحلفاء يستميتون في الدفاع عنها وإنما كل الخوف على قطر التي بدد حكامها أموال شعبها وحملوها فوق طاقتها وسخروها لخدمة إسرائيل وأقحموها في لعبة الأمم واستعدوا عليها ملايين الشرفاء العرب

حمد نموذج للابتذال السياسي

The sad part, that the Syrian uprising had it’s momentum at first and had many supporters; but unfortunately other benefactors rode the wave and converted the honest uprising to international scene.Like in Egypt the facebook revolutionary youth who actually made the revolution, now they take the back seat and Muslim Brother take first seat with full support of the US. However, the patriotism of Syrians demonstrated that their first goal is keeping their country together and then reform, change, improvement all come later and not at the determent of their country. Not to mention that the opposition couldn’t gain ground with Galioun on top. Au contraire, people backed off.

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January 24th, 2012, 10:29 pm

 

24. ann said:

At UN on Syria, Meeting of “Arab Monarchies”, Guatemala, UK, France & Turkey, “New Resolution Coming” – Jan 24, 2012

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1fruking012412.html

UNITED NATIONS, January 24, updated — On his way in and out of the Security Council Tuesday morning French ambassador Gerard Araud was asked if France is working on a new resolution about Syria, to supersede the draft Russia introduced last month. We’re always working, Araud quipped. Later he told the press that the Russians’ is the only draft.

But a well placed Security Council source told Inner City Press that France has requested a meeting of Security Council allies and “select Arab countries — the less democratic ones,” listing Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Qatar, along with allies including Council members Colombia and Guatemala and notably non-Council member Turkey.

Referring to the escalating dispute between Paris and Ankara about France’s Armenian genocide denial legislation, one wage asked Araud if there would be a Turkish – French text. That’s not a UN issue, Araud said, yet.

Council sources predict that a new draft resolution on Syria would emerge, late this week or Monday. But would it still be vetoed?

Update of 4:10 pm — meanwhile, a BRICS meeting at the Permanent Representative level convened inside the Security Council suite of rooms, with the Perm Reps of China and India walking in. One told Inner City Press that the Russian draft is the draft, and that the Arab League mission should be extended for another month. Inner City Press asked, what about the GCC countries dropping out? The representative said there are other in the Arab League who want to continue. We’ll see.

Earlier, UK ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said, “we are having consultations with our Arab colleagues here…further consultations today, both on the timing of a briefing from Mr Al-Araby and the Qatari Prime Minister, and on a Security Council response to the request for support from the Arab League.”

Sources say Monday evening’s meeting was Permanent Representatives, along with the Arab League’s UN representative; Tuesday’s at the expert level.

At Tuesday’s noon press briefing, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said that Ban spoke Monday by phone with Arab League Secretary General Al Arabi, but said that no letter had yet been received. Twenty minutes later Nesirky’s office said a letter was received, but provided no further information.

A European Council member’s spokesperson said the Council should hear from Al Arabi and “the Qatari prime minister, but not from Al Dabi,” the Sudanese head of the Arab League mission to Syria.

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January 24th, 2012, 10:30 pm

 

25. Revlon said:

2. Ghufran:
((This poll is still useful, it illustrates that Syrians are divided.))

God!
How did I miss that?!
Umm! Let’s see!
Syrian Assad-Makhloof Clan and beneficiaries are killing Syrian protesting populace!
Gosh!!!
They are divided.
You are right Ghufran!
Silly me! How did I miss the light in the high noon sun?

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January 24th, 2012, 10:37 pm

 

26. ann said:

Watch out Alex, 8)

First the call your poll “crap” Then, the death threats follow, and before you know it they’ll bomb your car and blame it on Bashar Assad regime 😀

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January 24th, 2012, 10:43 pm

 

27. AIG said:

Who knew? Assad was popular all along? Why was he afraid of reforms and true democratic elections? He would have been reelected anyway!

Unlike Alex, Assad knows how unpopular he is. That is why he suppressed freedom of speech. That is why he made very few democratic reforms in 11 years. That is why he did not allow any true opposition. And that is why he employs an army of snitches that spy on their fellow coutrymen.

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January 24th, 2012, 10:50 pm

 

28. Equus said:

I have to say the polls are an interesting attempt and it takes a lot of guts to actually publish the findings. Of course criticizing is the easy part. I think the only missing piece of the puzzle is the questionnaire didn’t include the change of mind of the interviewer especially that the Syrian uprising has been going for over 8 months. For instance, I was for the revolution in Syria especially after seeing what happened in Daraa. Then, after seeing how Aljazeera and Al Arabia network are fabricating news and their first goal is disinformation it made me widen my perspective. Then all of a sudden Islamist parties started to mushroom after each uprising with great blessing from the US. Syria is becoming the deja vu of Libya and Galioun keeps dancing to the West’s tune makes me puke.Turkey has taken soft landing after France blow doesn’t know which side to play. So I’ve changed my mind (only fools don’t change their minds)I don’t support this uprising any more so where do you categorize those opinion changes?

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January 24th, 2012, 10:56 pm

 

29. Revlon said:

Dear camille,
Could you kindly provide me with comparative data related to

1. Activity of your polling website in the following periods:
– two weeks prior,
– two weeks of the polling
– two weeks after the polling.

2. Characteristics of the visitors in the those periods.

Thank you very much.

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January 24th, 2012, 11:05 pm

 

30. Son of Damascus said:

Ann,

No need to call it “crap”, Alex himself stated that Facebook polls are limited in reliability and validity (in layman’s term its inadmissible in any scientific or social studies).

Here let me put it in terms you might understand, Justin Beiber is not the best singer in the world because he has the most “Hits” on youtube, neither is Bashar the best for Syria because of Facebook likes. What the internet has taught us is that when it comes to polls if little teenie boppers can create multiple accounts just to inflate the numbers of Justin Beiber, anyone can do the exact same for whatever cause they want, and therefore make the poll pretty much useless to anyone but people polling Facebook.

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January 24th, 2012, 11:05 pm

 
 

32. ann said:

Son of Damascus said: (29)

How convenient, you want to discredit FACEBOOK and U-TUBE because they don’t serve your purpose in this case, but it’s OK for the anti-Syrian propaganda peddlers to plaster this blog with anti-Syrian fabricated islamist terrorist venom from FACEBOOK and U-TUBE.

I vote for banning all references to FACEBOOK and U-TUBE on this blog

How do you vote?

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January 24th, 2012, 11:19 pm

 

33. irritated said:

#18. Norman

If the impatient plotters in Doha, Ryad, Istanbul and Europe let it happen, the referendum on the new Constitution will be the best poll of the popularity of Bashar al Assad.
The irony is that if it happens, the new Constitution will require a new presidential election, so anyway Bashar will step down before the end of his term.

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January 24th, 2012, 11:28 pm

 

34. ann said:

At UN on Syria, BRICS “Winning Plan” Says “Don’t Dictate Outcome,” Mid East Debate – Jan 24, 2012

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1brics012412.html

UNITED NATIONS, January 24 — As countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar met with experts from some Security Council members about Syria Tuesday afternoon, inside the Council suite of rooms the Permanent Representatives of China, Russia, India and Brazil held a counter-meeting.

Afterward Inner City Press asked India’s ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri about the meeting. He told Inner City Press, “If you talk of things like political process, inclusion, trying to solve the problem, that part is OK.

“But you can’t write what you think should be the outcome should be as the starting point here, ‘we’ll have a political process but you must first step down.’ The Security Council is not meant to rubber stamp, you can’t say ‘you step aside and then we’ll see.'”

Inner City Press asked Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin if BRICS had come up with a game plan. “We have a winning plan,” he said with a broad smile. Some wonder, winning for whom? But the same was asked about Libya.

Other sources opined to Inner City Press that “the problem BRICS have is if they adopt the Arab League, it’s toward sanctions,” and noted “the Arab League is split,” pointing at Egypt’s Middle East speech, in name of the Non Aligned Movement (in which for example North Korea joined.)

Earlier, Hardeep Singh Puri said that a problem with the draft that got vetoed on October 3 was the reference to “Article 41, breaking diplomatic relations.” He said, “we see these things, you have to read closely.” Yes, you do.

Meanwhile inside the Security Council chamber, the main topic of Tuesday’s daylong debate was Palestine. Inner City Press asked Palestinian Permanent Observer Riyad Mansour about the US Republican Party debates. He replied, of Newt Gingrich, “he says we don’t exist? There are pictures of him with… Arafat.” And Inner City Press quickly found and tweeted one, here.

At the stakeout, Inner City Press asked Israel’s Permanent Representative Prosor about Mansour’s statement that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would travel to Ramallah in connection with his trip to the African Union. Prosor said he’d leave it up to Ban’s office to answer, but that it would be a useful trip, referring to rocket shot into Israel from Gaza. We’ll see.

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January 24th, 2012, 11:34 pm

 

35. Son of Damascus said:

Ann,

Did you actually read what I wrote, I am NOT discrediting the CONTENT of Facebook and YouTube, but rather the POLLING conducted on Facebook and YouTube.

Because if we take the polls on Facebook and YouTube as a barometer of actual REALITY then Rebecca blacks Friday was the best song of 2011.

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January 24th, 2012, 11:38 pm

 

36. ann said:

Syria accepts extending Arab observers mission – 2012-01-25

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/25/c_131375921.htm

DAMASCUS, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — Syria’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Damascus accepted the Arab League’s (AL) request of extending the Arab observers’ mission in Syria for another month, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Syria’s approval was conveyed in a message sent Tuesday by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem to the AL chief Nabil al-Arabi, said SANA.

The AL started a monitoring mission in the country on Dec. 26 of last year, and made an assessment on Sunday, during which Arab foreign ministers decided to extend the observers’ mission in Syria, to provide them with technical and financial assistance, and to cooperate with the UN Secretary General in this regard.

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January 24th, 2012, 11:45 pm

 

37. ann said:

China supports all measures to restart Palestinian-Israeli negotiation – 2012-01-25

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-01/25/c_131375931.htm

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — China welcomes and supports all efforts and measures that would break the current deadlock of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiation and relaunch their dialogues, Chinese UN ambassador Li Baodong said here Tuesday.

Li made the remarks when addressing a Security Council monthly open debate on Middle East.

“The Middle East peace process is currently in a stalemate. China is deeply concerned over the development,” Li said.

“We always maintain that the parties concerned should resolve their disputes through political negotiations under the relevant UN resolutions, the principle of ‘land for peace,’ the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East Roadmap for Peace with the goal of ultimately establishing an independent Palestinian state and two states,Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace,” he said. China appreciates the efforts made recently by Jordan and Quartet of Middle East to facilitate the two parties to have direct contact, said Li, adding “We hope the relevant peace promotion efforts will help resume the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiation sooner and achieve substantive result. China supports a greater role of the UN in resolving the Middle East issue.”

Calling the Israeli settlement “a major obstacle” for the resumption of Palestinian-Israel peace negotiation, Li said China is seriously concerned about the recent approval by the Israeli government of plans for expansion of new settlements.

“China is always against Israeli establishment of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem. We urge Israel to cease the settlement construction immediately, be prudent in action and work actively in collaboration with the efforts of the international community to promote peace, and create conditions for the resumption Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiation,” the ambassador said.

China has always supported the Palestinian people in their just cause to restore the lawful rights of the nation, and maintained that establishment of an independent state is the lawful right of the Palestinian people as the basis for the implementation of the “two-state solution”

“China supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that enjoys full sovereignty, with East Jerusalem as its capital and based on the 1967 border. China supports Palestine’s membership in the United Nation,” Li said.

The Syria-Israel track and the Lebanon-Israel track are important component of the Middle East peace process, and play an indispensable role in the overall settlement of the Middle East issue, Li said.

China firmly supports the just cause of Syria and Lebanon to maintain sovereignty and territorial integrity, and recover their occupied territories. China supports the strategic choice made by Arab states in their pursuit of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region, Li added.

He also called on relevant parties to keep constrained, avoid the escalation of tension in Gaza, effectively implement relevant UN resolutions and fully lift the Gaza blockade.

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January 24th, 2012, 11:51 pm

 

38. majedkhaldoun said:

Alex
as always you make a great effort, I admire you for that,I think this poll is accurate considering that a million vote was taken,I dont think there is a million facebook account in Syria,probably not 100,000,considering facebook was banned in Syria till recently,and as you said this is unreliable poll,and non scientific, the analysis therefore is not meaningful.I am glad you are making provacative comments,I believe you were the one who showed the video that Muallem showed us,and it turned out to be faked.
Alex you are a good person ,and I wish that you one day you write your criticism of the regime and Assad,where there is plenty to criticise.

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January 25th, 2012, 12:03 am

 

39. ann said:

*** TAKE YOUR FILTHY OTTOMAN HANDS OFF OF IRAQ ***

Turkish PM slams Iraqi PM’s remarks on Turkey – 2012-01-24

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/24/c_131375734.htm

ANKARA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday slammed recent remarks of his Iraqi counterpart Nuri al-Maliki who said Turkey was intervening in Iraq’s internal affairs, saying the statements were “very ugly and unfortunate.”

Turkey will never attempt to support or oppose or rule any sect or ethnical group in Syria, Iraq or any other country in the region, Erdogan said in parliament.

“We assess each matter in our region from the aspects of stability, tranquility and peace,” Erdogan said, adding that Turkey was aware of the heavy cost of clashes among sects in the region for centuries, and Turkey was exerting sincere efforts to prevent these clashes.

Turkey did not intervene in Iraq even when the United States and other countries entered, the prime minister said, noting that Turkey hopes that Iraqi administration will act with responsibility and end clashes among sects in the country.

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January 25th, 2012, 12:07 am

 

40. Averroes said:

Wow, Alex, your post really seems to have hit a nerve. Although the polls have limitations as you’ve explained, they still have value. We can safely say that the president has AT LEAST 50% support. Why is that such a fantastic claim to some, is beyond me.

In other words, what they’re saying is that Ghalioun has 99.9%; otherwise it’s all rigged. Wake up you guys. Those days are over … both ways!

Great work, Alex.

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January 25th, 2012, 12:35 am

 

41. Revlon said:

Here is a less contentious, ongoing poll run by the Poll Center of the Syrian revolution, until Feb 15th.

The posed question is :Which member would you vote for to lead the SNC, after Gahlioun’s term expires.

Preliminary results are posted in a comment on the Syrian revolution General Commission website.
25/01/2012
http://www.facebook.com/SyrianRevolutionGeneralCommission#!/photo.php?fbid=311096358926227&set=a.236384236397440.51555.236339873068543&type=1&theater

One notable finding is that Mr George Sabra is currently ahead of Sheikh AlAroor!

مركز استفتاء الثورة السورية
الاسماء العشرة الاوائل حسب نتائج التصويت حتى الان هي: 1- هيثم المالح
2- عمار القربي
3- محمد العبد الله
4- جورج صبرا
5- عدنان العرعور
6- عماد الدين الرشيد
7- رضوان زيادة
8- بسام جعارة
9- زهير سالم
10 عبد الرزاق عيد
… يوجد أسماء اخرى كثيرة …تستحق صوتكم لتكون من ضمن قائمة العشرة الاوائل ايضا فنرجو من الجميع المشاركة:
http://www.facebook.com/questions/276387245750326/?qa_ref=qd

(الان يمكنكم التصويت على 100 شخصية مرشحة بنفس الوقت أما في مرحلة التصويت النهائي فسيكون الخيار متاح للتصويت على شخصية واحدة فقط من بين 10 شخصيات)See More

أي من الشخصيات الوطنية ترشحها لرئاسة المجلس الوطني السوري خلفاً للدكتور برهان غل…يون الذي تم تمديد رئاسته للمجلس لغاية 15 شباط 2012 ؟ …. (يمكن اضافة عدة خيارات و التصويت على أكثر من شخصية)See More
مركز استفتاء الثورة السورية
12 hours ago

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January 25th, 2012, 12:37 am

 

42. Revlon said:

Position of the Syrian revolution General Commission on the late Arab Initiative is rather similar to that of the Local Coordinators of the Syrian Revolution:

– Rejection of extending AL-Dabi’s mission.
– Rejection of any implicit or explicit items in the AL initiative that would stipulate or imply regime partnership in the negotiations for political solution!
– Pleading to the international community and SC to implement effective measures to protect civilians and support of the FSA.

23/01/2012
http://www.facebook.com/SyrianRevolutionGeneralCommission#!/SyrianRevolutionGeneralCommission#!/photo.php?fbid=311096358926227&set=a.236384236397440.51555.236339873068543&type=1&theater
……………….
لذلك فإننا في الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية نعتبر المبادرة العربية المطروحة اليوم مع قرار التمديد لبعثة المراقبين العرب لا يرتقيان لطموحات الشعب السوري ونعتبرهما مهلة إضافية لاستمرار مسلسل التنكيل والإبادة الجماعية التي يمارسها نظام الإحتلال الأسدي بحق السوريين، لتتحول الجامعة العربية لشاهد زور ومبرر لكل ما يرتكب الآن بحق شعبنا،

وبالتالي فان أي حل يعتبر فيه النظام اللاشرعي طرفاً فيه يعتبر مدانا ولاغيا، دون ان نغفل مواقف بعض الدول العربية والدولية الداعمة للشعب السوري ،

ولهذا نحن نطالب الأسرة الدولية ومجلس الأمن باتخاذ قرارات واجراءات فعّالة من أجل حماية المدنيين ودعم الجيش الحر الذي يقوم بعمل بطولي مشرف، والإنحياز لتطلعات الشعب السوري في الحرية والكرامة والديمقراطية
………….. More

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January 25th, 2012, 12:53 am

 

43. ann said:

*** GET READY TO PAY FOR ARMINIAN REPARATION CLAIMS NEXT ***

Turkey Slams France on Genocide Bill – JANUARY 25, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203718504577180341490461840.html

ISTANBUL—Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced French lawmakers as racist and vowed to retaliate Tuesday after the French Parliament approved a bill making it a crime to deny that the 1915 massacre of Armenians was genocide, marking the latest salvo in an increasingly toxic dispute between Ankara and Paris.

In a speech to lawmakers from his governing AK Party in Parliament in Ankara, Mr. Erdogan described the bill as “discriminatory, racist and unjust.” Turkey would take a “step-by-step” approach to calculate its policy response, he added, suggesting Ankara would hold off from immediately imposing a raft of countermeasures to punish …

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January 25th, 2012, 1:03 am

 

44. Aldendeshe said:

“……………..Wow, Alex, your post really seems to have hit a nerve. Although the polls have limitations as you’ve explained, they still have value. We can safely say that the president has AT LEAST 50% support…….”

WOW man, let have a United Nation mandated and Supervised election in Syria. If this clown / puppet wins more than 12% and get really 50%, will just go for division of the country into 2 sides (Kurds might wants the third part), the hopless idiots Baathist State of Alawite/Shia overloards and the 50% Socialist low life serfs slaving for them. and another, a Republic of Syria, where the other 50% is at peace with Israel and living as overlords of own democracy and freedom.

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January 25th, 2012, 1:18 am

 

45. Syria no Kandahar said:

I will vote for Alaaroor to co-chair with Revlon.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:28 am

 

46. Hashashji said:

A few things to consider:
– Before the revolution, only 17 or 18% of Syrians in Syria had access to the Internet!
– after the revo started and over its course, many areas in Syria that are major hold of anti-regime protests have had no electricity and certainly no Internet (hence the use of satellite phones to upload videos and what not)
– I have a household of 6; of which I’m the only one who would vote on such polls, the remaining 5 are either not on fb or in Syria and worry of arrest. That goes for most of my friends as well..
– If you are in Syria, to click and vote for the regime puts you in no fear, that’s not the case for clicking against it, at least in people’s mind.
– Internet acess in Syria has always been a privilege to certain segments of the society who can afford paying the relatively expensive fees to get a dsl account (no less than 1600 sp for a 265 kb per month if available). In a country where more than 30% live under the poverty line and an average of 20000 sp income per month for a large portion, those who are not happy with the regime may not have the means to vote on fb, leaving the rich and well-connected to dominate the Syrian cyber space!
– The president has praised the Syrian Electronic Army, which makes me believe they have some sort of funding and unmatched support, that’s not the case with anti-regime activists or pro-revo enthusiasts inside Syria who get the extrem opposite of that support.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:41 am

 

47. alex said:

Ghufran

I’ll answer your four questions:

1) In the original post you can have an answer to your Syrians/Arabs questions. There are Arabs voting on Syria topics, but we do not know how many. However, since most Arabs are enthusiastic supporters of the revolution and since the President won most votes, I would expect that most of those who answered were Syrians.

2) I don’t see why we should doubt that Syrians inside and out participated. Those who have internet access and Facebook accounts obviously. We can’t tell the ratio (Syrians inside to Syrians outside), but does it matter?

3) I did mention in the article that Syrians who have a facebook account do not represent all Syrians. But they are Syrians and it is interesting to learn about their preferences.

4) And a lot of Syrian are fearful of the revolution and therefore they avoid voting or writing anything online that the revolution does not approve of … so the fear argument goes both ways.

Tara,

If you are surprised that a biased assessment is allowed on SC then why did you tolerate everything else we published here in the past? … do you have any doubt that most of what is printed is biased one way or the other? I did not see you outraged every time we had an opinion piece here.

As for your suggesting that the SEA are behind all the significant “selection bias” you found in these polls, how can you explain the President losing a number of polls? … the SEA did not feel like doing its job on those days? … The SEA idiots voted for the wrong side?

Sorry if I will not take the “selection bias” too seriously … there is no pre-planned selection … anyone on Facebook can vote when they see the poll … obviously it did not bother you that among the voters there are many Arabs who vote against the regime … THAT selection bias is just fine I am sure.

Observer,

As I mentioned (and you did not read obviously), the polls are accessible to Syrians who have a computer, internet service and a facebook account.

When you finish laughing and can think straight I will be happy to answer any serious questions.

Sheila,

No one attempted to make these polls more “scientifically viable” than what they are. You are just looking for an excuse to make them totally invalid because you do not like the results …

Mawal95 … when a group on Facebook asks a questions … it might die within an hour, or it might keep growing until thousands or tens of thousand sanswer it. You will never know in advance which one will grow and which ones will not. It is not your immediate group that define these numbers … polls grow out of their groups at some point.

Son of damascus

Multiple accounts exists on both sides … this is an online poll. Online polls are popular despite the limitations you mentioned.

Thank you Majedkhaldoon!

The polls are significant.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:49 am

 

48. Aldendeshe said:

“……The polls are significant………..”
Significant in what way, they are not woth a crap. Deceiving and cheap propoganda in fact, @45 explained.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:51 am

 

49. Syria no kandahar said:

Alqaeda in Syria(Also called Syrian revolution)
Forms:
جبهة النصره لأهل الشام
عرقنة سوريا جاريه شكرًا لشعبنا الغبي

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January 25th, 2012, 3:02 am

 

50. alex said:

Hashashji at 45,

you are repeating valid points that I already recognized … it seems none of you read the original post. These polls probably represent

1) Syrians and Arabs (not all Syrians)
2) Syrians outside more than Syrians inside

Fear: goes both ways … many fear the regime and decide not to vote and many fear the opposition and its threats to any “shabee7a” (ie: anyone who dares write a thing not to their liking) and decide to not vote or open their mouth.

What the anti-regime camp loses because the poor are not too well represented, they gain because pro-revolution Arabs are voting heavily (Aljazeera polls for example)

the SEA has many more equivalent groups that are pro revolution … they tell their supporters to change their profile pictures to a flower, and suddenly half of them have flower pictures…. same way they can tell them to vote on pols by linking them.

Again .. the polls are not “scientific” … but the collection is worth a serious look.

Any NEW threat to validity that I did not cover?

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January 25th, 2012, 3:03 am

 

51. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Syria needs a United Nation protection, failed people, failed state. We need a French or International mandate all over again.

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January 25th, 2012, 3:12 am

 

52. Aldendeshe said:

@REVLON

Your list of poll winners is not any better than Otrakji, in fact worse. The only legitimate way to rule and be elected is a U.N. mandated, administered, monitored and supervised one. That is the only one. So wait until the U.N. gets its act together on Syria and get this going, will see how Otrakji broken horse and broken record as well, and just as bad, your lame horses will perform in a free U.N. supervised election. I willing to bet the hill, on the losers, Bashar Assad and any of his company as well as will double the bet on your list of racers. This is the only way it is going to ends up, SNP made up its mind to push for total U.N. control of Syria file until the Nation is all tucked up fairly in the right arms, not in the Baathist Mafia and not in the “Murtazaka” class. That day is coming to an end. Finally Syrian nobilities shall again, rule the Nation.

بلّطو البحر وشربو ميّتوه

اهدافنا …الأمم المتحدة ـ لا عمال ولا فلاحين ولا شيعة ولا علوية ولا بعثية ولا إشتراكية ولا شيوعية ولاإنتهازية ولا مرتزقة ـ فقط الطبقة النازهة وللي مايعجبه يرحل ـ

ولا تجّار النساء ولا تجار الأسلحة ولا نهابين الشعب والدولة ولا القمرجية ولا المنافقين الشيعة ولا الفاسدين والمحتكرين يالله يالله يالله حماية دولية لسورية لنركض وندخل عل الأمم المتحدة ـ حاجي زعبرة وقتكم أنتهى ـ خلص ـ بقدم القرار الأسبوع القادم ـ

هادا اوتركجي اخيرآ قنعني قنعآ تامآ

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January 25th, 2012, 3:13 am

 

53. AmalSG said:

Just to clarify the point on reliability: by [scientific] definition, the reliability of a technique suggests that if it is applied repeatedly to the same object, it will yield the same response each time. Note that this applies to the SAME measurement method, not different ones. What this means, is that if the same survey was administered by different pollsters, they should expect the same results each time. Indeed, the reliability of a poll is further ensured if its findings square with those of other polls. The 18 questions Camille selected are not part of the same poll which is repeatedly administered, but different ones using the same sampling frame –Facebook. While Facebook is not a “neutral” ground for a poll, it is not a political ground per se as are the other websites such as the BBC, and other Western mainstream media. The latter’s contrary findings are largely attributable to the significant segment of regime supporters who no longer follow these news sources given their rampant media distortion (or if I want to play devil’s advocate here, the perception of distortion). The consequent underrepresentation of this category therefore results in an even greater sampling bias than Facebook which is not subject to such political boycotts.
As Camille noted in his analysis, the consistent results across all questions, which give a slight advantage to Assad, are an indicator of these polls’ internal consistency reliability. Moreover, despite the small Syrian sample used in the Qatar Foundation YouGov poll, and that survey’s very limited reliability, its findings also confirm the Facebook polls’ findings (55% of Syrians in the QF poll support Assad compared to 53% of FB respondents). I selected this poll as an example precisely because it is Qatari sponsored and hence one can expect it to be biased in favour of the opposition.
While these polls doesn’t tell us much about that Syrian population as a whole, what they can tell us is that there is a tendency among the study population (not to be confused with general population) of internet users (in the QF poll example) and Facebook users to support Assad. I used the word “tendency” because as Camille emphasized in his article, these findings remain tentative at best, given that the polls are drawn from non-probability samples. The Facebook polls most closely approximate “snowball sampling” whereby the respondent intentionally or not (because of the newsfeed update) suggests additional respondents and so the sample grows. Granted, this is not a scientific technique, but it is a useful gauge of public opinion in the absence of more scientific probability samples. Camille did not try to delude readers into believing otherwise and made several caveats and qualifications in his analysis of the findings.
Finally, the issue of the Syrian Electronic Army skewing the sample is really a moot point considering that the opposition has an equally if not more active community of online activists and hacktivists, which effectively levels the playing field. It is not without reason that the so-called “Arab Spring” is being labelled as the “Facebook Revolution”. The “Syrian Revolution 2011” Facebook page alone has over 350 000 fans! This is over and above the massive backing by mainstream Western and Arabic media on Facebook which the opposition enjoys.
If only the opposition would subject the casualty toll, disseminated by human rights organizations and the now discredited SOHR , to the same level of scrutiny that they employ when assessing the validity of polls whose results are not to their liking.

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January 25th, 2012, 3:16 am

 

54. Syria no kandahar said:

ضحايا أفاعي جيش العرعور العميل

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January 25th, 2012, 3:22 am

 

55. Syria no kandahar said:

عالم حمار
من الد انصار الارهاب في سوريا

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January 25th, 2012, 3:43 am

 

56. Badr said:

Would the Assad regime dare to extend an invitation to the polling firm Zogby International to conduct a survey in Syria?

Listening and Learning: Arab Opinion Matters

Dr. Jim Zogby
Arab American Institute

I listened attentively to Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s most recent speech in which he berated the Arab League’s intervention to help stem the violence currently racking his country. Claiming that he was listening to his countrymen and speaking for them and that his regime was the standard-bearer of “Arabism,” al Assad denounced the League as not representing true Arab sentiment. For obvious reasons, we can’t poll in Syria right now, but as the past ten months of mass protests and the unremitting and largely regime-sponsored violence have made clear, al Assad may speak for some, but certainly not all Syrians.

On the other hand, we have polled about Syria across the Arab World, and what we find is that it is al Assad who is out of touch with the reality of Arab opinion or, as he might put it, “the beating heart of Arabism.” In every country surveyed, including Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, we learn that overwhelming majorities of Arabs side with the Syrian demonstrators and say that it is time for the al Assad government to step down.
.
.
.

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January 25th, 2012, 3:56 am

 

57. Juergen said:

Ghufran

I listen to madinah fm sometimes, it seems like there is a quote of patriotic songs they have to play, 3-5 songs in an hour. I mean those cheap dabke singers who came out of the dark with their besho love songs.
Do you think the regime proposes such a quote or the stations do that in a submissive obedience?

Funny was the last time there was an fair in Damascus for clothing. The director of the fair was in the studio and quite desperate, because the people werent coming. He said that he does not understand why the Damascenes are staying in their homes, and most funny he complained that he can not make any friday trips to the countryside anymore.

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January 25th, 2012, 4:09 am

 

58. Valerya said:

I consider that at the moment it is necessary for the Syrian government to update the contract on military protection with Moscow! and go to drink champagne ! 🙂

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January 25th, 2012, 7:11 am

 

59. Observer said:

Since the author recognizes the limitations of this poll and others have shown the basic flaws in statistics, methodology, source of the material, lack of representative sample, dissemination of the internet in Syria, and the presence of the Electronic Army, can we move on and have another post now.

This is soooooooooooooooooo lame and stupid.

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January 25th, 2012, 7:16 am

 

60. Tara said:

Alex

You understood “selection bias” incorrectly.  For results of a study to be valid, the sample studied should represent the general population at large, other wise the results only reflect the opinion of a subgroup of the general population.

Syrian FB account users do NOT represent the Syrian society in general but rather a small well to do fraction, therefore the outcome represent them only.  

You asked me how come I was not outraged every time an opinion piece is posted on SC since all material written are biased one way or another…  Exactly!  Alex, people are entitled to their opinion whether I like it or not.  While I personally do not like any pro-regime opinion as I am pro-change 105%, I still respect it as long as it is not a paid one.  What is different about the “opinion piece” yesterday (i.e. the poll) is, it tried to use a “scientific approach” to validate the opinion and by doing so, I perceive it as another shrewd way of propaganda now with “scientific” outfit.  A nice way to continue infantilizing the masses so to speak.

The selection bias, the possibility of the SEA participation, the ability of a single user to click and re-click using different aliases, the participation of the non-Syrians, etc remind me very much how “spontaneous” demonstration of support were forced and makes the science behind the poll rather non-scientific.   

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January 25th, 2012, 7:20 am

 

61. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

FB polls. How much more pathetic can you get? And meaningless. Mnhebak crap.

The only valid poll would be free democratic elections in Syria.
.

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January 25th, 2012, 7:33 am

 

62. Ghat Al Bird said:

Amir is right about FB polls. Facebook also has made numerous references to the ONLY DEMOCRACY IN THE ME.

Which incidentally is pollarized according to the US Veterans Website.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/01/25/jewish-imperial-news/

Talk about a pathetic individual calling others pathetic.

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January 25th, 2012, 8:21 am

 

63. majedkhaldoun said:

The recent conflict between Turkey and Iraq,at the level of PM,is not going to get worse,as Turkey talk but not do,

Syrian regime is planning mistakes, massive killing of syrian people, and if fails to suppress the revolution, the regime is planning to provoke a fight with Israel, the first mistake will provoke Arabic and foreign response.
You make mistake and you loose.

President Obama said yesterday, Tyrany is not a match for liberty, No one can agree with him more.

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January 25th, 2012, 8:44 am

 

64. zoo said:

Happy Birthday to Egypt’s Doomed Revolution
Eric Trager
January 25, 2012 | 12:00 am
http://www.tnr.com/article/world/99981/egypt-arab-spring-tahrir-obama-administration

That mile-long march, which culminated with the protesters bursting through a human chain of officers and seizing the Square, was the most inspiring thing that I’ve ever witnessed, and it remains so…
…..
The reality of the past twelve months, however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule. And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop the coming disaster

Perhaps the administration is betting that recently reported negotiations between the SCAF and Muslim Brotherhood will yield an agreement that satisfies both parties and, at the very least, promotes domestic tranquility. If so, it would be a telling indicator of where things stand: a year after the ebullience of Tahrir, an alliance between military autocrats and radical theocrats is viewed, sadly, as a best-case scenario.
———-
Egypt’s Economic Crisis: Where Are the Promised Billions and What Will It Take for Investors to Return?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carina-kamel/egypt-economic-crisis_b_1224994.html

But some say they might just have to wait a bit longer.

“After revolutions things get worse before they get better.” Mirow of the EBRD said. “I hope young people in Egypt show patience and understanding that the very deep structural changes that are needed will not happen in a month.”

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January 25th, 2012, 8:58 am

 

65. zoo said:

A surgical offensive on Hama’s defectors strongholds, ‘at least one person dead’?

http://news.yahoo.com/activists-syrian-troops-shell-central-city-103103225.html

Activists: Syrian troops shell central city
By ZEINA KARAM | Associated Press – 1 hr 25 mins ago
]
Government forces stormed restive districts of a central Syrian city on Wednesday, firing mortars and deploying snipers in an assault that killed at least one person, activists said.
..
Soldiers who sided with a group of anti-regime army defectors known as the Free Syrian Army are also known to be active in Hama, and some in the city said they were the target of the current government assault.

Residents near Hama reported hearing loud explosions throughout the night and on Wednesday and said phone lines to the targeted areas were down.

“They are trying to storm the Bab Qebli, Hamidiyeh and Malaab districts because defectors are there,” said Ahmad al-Jimjmi, an activist who spoke by telephone from a town several miles away.

He said the areas had recently witnessed large anti-government demonstrations, live-streamed on the Internet, in which defectors protected the protesters.

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January 25th, 2012, 9:07 am

 

66. jad said:

Thank you Alex and Amal for the effort you did to get this work together.
What matters is not the subject i.e. ‘Bashar’, what matters is that the methodology used here is original and some reality is shown through real numbers not speculations.
These results may be the closest reflection of the real numbers we could get without the usual media fabrication and manipulation.
Regardless of the shortcoming of the FB polls, the number of people participating as well as their mixed backgrounds, citizenship and political views, is worth to study.
As usual for the radicalized supporter of the uprising, it’s very hard if not impossible for them to accept reality, it must be the universal conspiracy against them.
The results are varied and not all of them are in favor of Bashar, Q6 and Q7 are good example, because they summarize the whole situation, more than 50% of people support Bashar out of some (Feelings) yet more than 50% of people (Think) that he is not qualified to govern Syria, how to fix that and which side will take over, nobody knows.
Nevertheless, that is an impressive work, Thank you both.

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January 25th, 2012, 9:54 am

 

67. zoo said:

#62 Majedalkhaldoon

I think the relation between Turkey and Iraq will degrade further.
Syria is encouraging Iraq’s Central government to antagonize Turkey and we see that the relations are becoming more tense. Turkey is flirting with Iraqi Kurds with an agenda of luring Barzani into massive economical developments that will take him away from the Kurdish independance ideology that may threat Turkey’s own Kurdish population.
Erdogan wants at any cost to prevent any closeness between the Iraqi Kurds and the Syrian Kurds, knowing that Bashar is suspected to help the PPK and to have promised autonomy to the Syrian Kurds. That could trigger a disaster for Turkey, as on the other side of the border the Turkish Kurds have been asking for the same for years.
The proxy war between Turkey and Syria is going through Iraq and the Kurds.

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January 25th, 2012, 9:55 am

 

68. Revlon said:

((@REVLON, Your list of poll winners is not any better than Otrakji, in fact worse))

This poll shows two things:
First: Ground popularity has little to do with Facebook popularity; Alaroor has more presence on the ground, amongst demonstrators, while George Sabra fairs better amongst Syrians with Facebook accounts who are frequent visitors of Revolution websites.

The right conclusion here is that George Sabra is more popular amongst Syrians who have Facebook account who cared to share in the polls.
But to generalize like Camille did in the orange colored box above by saying: “measuring attitude of Syrians” is misleading. The correct statement should read “measuring attitude of Syrians who have Facebook accounts”.

Second:
Contrary to Camille’s poll, the SNC presidency poll shall have an impact on how SNC members cast their votes when they elect the president.

Cheers!

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January 25th, 2012, 9:56 am

 

69. jad said:

هيثم مناع لـ«السفير»: الخطة العربية تمنع شبح تدويل الملف السوري
محمد بلوط

«خطوة بالاتجاه الصحيح» قال هيثم مناع في وصف الخطة العربية الأخيرة لسوريا.
أمين سر الخارج في هيئة التنسيق للتغيير الوطني والديموقراطي. قائد المعارضة السورية البارز في الخارج، واحد أكثر قادتها إثارة للجدل ومدعاة لنقد شديد في اتخاذه مواقف لا تصب جميعها في خانة الإجماع الذي يسعى إليه «المجلس الوطني السوري» الذي يقوده برهان غليون.
ويرى مناع، المعارض السوري المقيم في باريس، أن أفضل ما في «خريطة الطريق» العربية أنها تقطع الطريق على دعاة التدويل، وان الحل المعروض يطيح بالنظام لكنه يحفظ مؤسسات الدولة السورية، وهو ما يحمي الأمن السوري والمؤسسات ويمنع على الراغبين بالتدخل لإسقاط النظام تكرار التجربة الليبية وتدمير الدولة السورية. ويعتقد مناع أن مصر أدت دورا رئيسيا أيضا في دفع خطة العمل العربي إلى الأمام، لمنع قطر من الاستفراد بالقرار العربي، خصوصا بعد انسحاب السعودية من مهمة المراقبين في سوريا.
وقال مناع، ردا على سؤال لـ«السفير» عن رأيه بخطة الجامعة حول تنحي الرئيس بشار الأسد ونقله صلاحياته إلى نائبه فاروق الشرع، «إنها خطة تأخذ بعين الاعتبار مطالب المعارضة. هي لا تضع لنا برنامجا مسبقا، ولا تبحث عن ترجيح كفة طرف منها على كفة الآخر، وهي خطوة باتجاهنا في عدة نقاط: باختيارها أشخاصا لم تتلوث أيديهم بالدماء للعمل في المرحلة الانتقالية، ولأنها تترك الباب مفتوحا أمام الحل العربي وإبعادها شبح التدويل، حتى ولو رفعت الخطة إلى مجلس الأمن لينظر فيها. لقد حمت الخطة الجديدة مهمة المراقبين العرب وتعهدت بدراسة مطالبهم لتطويرها، وهو أمر يصب في صلب مطالبنا. ونحن سعداء لأن ذلك يصب في صلب مطالبنا، ولأن الملف السوري يبقى ملك الجامعة العربية، ولم يذهب إلى مجلس الأمن، كما كان يطالب بعض المعارضة».
وتعيد الخطة العربية الجديدة ضرورة إحياء الاتفاق ما بين «هيئة التنسيق» و«المجلس الوطني» بعد أن تخلى «المجلس الوطني» عن اتفاق موقع مع الهيئة الشهر الماضي في القاهرة. وكان الخلاف قد دب بسبب وجوب تعهد الأطراف برفض جميع أشكال التدخل العسكري الخارجي، ومع إبقاء الملف بيد الجامعة العربية، وابتعاد شبح التدخل الخارجي، فهل تعود المعارضة السورية إلى محاولة توحيد الصفوف؟
وقال مناع، ردا على سؤال، «إن المؤتمر العام للمعارضة السورية عاد إلى الطاولة مجددا، والخطة تضع الجميع أمام مسؤولياتهم. المعارضة أصبحت أمام مسؤولياتها أيضا أمام حلفائها. أصبح مطلوبا تحديد الأطر والبرنامج السياسي الانتقالي المشترك. إن الخطة العربية تضع السلطة أمام مسؤولياتها تجاه حليفتها روسيا، التي تسعى للبرهنة من خلال دعم الخطة أنها قادرة أن تفعل مع حليفها السوري ما قامت به الولايات المتحدة مع حليفها المصري حسني مبارك عندما دقت ساعة الخيارات الصعبة للخروج من الطريق المسدود، بعد 11 شهرا من إراقة الدماء والحراك الشعبي من دون أن يقوم النظام بأي إصلاحات».
يجزم معارضون سوريون أنه كان من غير الممكن أن تخرج خطة العمل العربية الجديدة إلى النور من دون مفاوضات جرت بين الأمين العام للجامعة العربية نبيل العربي وبين الدبلوماسية الروسية، لترشيح الشرع لاستقبال صلاحيات الرئيس الأسد. وكانت صورة الصفقة قد رسمت في لقاءات الشهر الماضي في موسكو مع نائب الرئيس فاروق الشرع. ولكن ما هي الصفقة؟
وقال مناع «الصفقة هي أن يحفظ الروس امن عائلة الرئيس، وأن تشمل الضمانات بعض حلقات النظام المقربة وبعض المسؤولين الكبار. ولكن ضباطا كبارا سيلعبون دورا رئيسا في العملية الانتقالية. يريدون تغيير النظام، وعدم التضحية بالدولة… ولن تتغير تركيبة الدولة جذريا، ولكن المجموعة الجديدة ستعمل على الحفاظ على التحالفات الإقليمية والدولية لسوريا، كضمان لتخلي روسيا عن النظام الحالي».
وحول جزم معارضي الداخل والخارج في «هيئة التنسيق» أن الحل المعروض سيقطع الطريق بشكل خاص على التيارات الإسلامية، وعلى حركة الإخوان المسلمين، وستمنعهم من لعب دور رئيسي في المرحلة الانتقالية، قال مناع إن «الإخوان المسلمين سيخسرون في الخطة العربية والمرحلة الانتقالية، لأن لا قواعد لهم داخل مؤسسات الدولة الحالية التي سيتم الإبقاء عليها، كما أن لا تأثير لتيارهم على الإدارة، بعكس الأحزاب والتيارات الليبرالية والعلمانية الأخرى، ودعاة التعريب بشكل عام».
وأضاف «أما فاروق الشرع، كما يقول معارضون، فيبدو محتفظا بأوراق قوية: القدرة على الاتصال بالتكنوقراط، الحديث إلى المعارضة الداخلية التي حاول لقاءها وجمعها في اللقاء التشاوري في تموز الماضي من دون نجاح، ووجود حكومة تكنوقراطية وعسكرية إلى جانبه. لكن المعارضة لن تقبل أن يقود مرحلة انتقالية بصلاحيات رئاسية كالتي يتمتع بها الرئيس بشار الأسد حاليا. إن أي حكومة للمعارضة إلى جانب الرئيس المؤقت لن تعمل إلا وفق دستور عام 1950 كما قالت هيئة التنسيق، وهو دستور يقدم صلاحيات الحكومة على الرئيس، ويجعل من مجلس الوزراء مجتمعا سيد نفسه. كما أن الحكومة هي من يحدد الاستحقاقات الانتخابية والهيئات الانتقالية، ولن تقبل بأن يستخدم الرئيس المؤقت صلاحيات الرئيس الأسد التي تحيل الوزراء إلى مجرد موظفين لا سلطة حقيقية لهم».
وحول رأيه بالشرع، وهل ستشاركون في حكومته، رد مناع «السؤال غير مطروح بالنسبة لنا. وهي ليست حكومته. واعتقد أننا سنسلك طريق التجربة الانتقالية التونسية، أي مجموعة مطمئنة من التكنوقراط أولا، وسيكون الحل على مراحل».
وعن رفض النظام السوري الخطة العربية، اعتبر مناع أن «النظام سيندم، وسيعود إليها كما عاد إلى المبادرة العربية، وما يقدمه لا يشكل حلا مقبولا، أي أن تأتي المعارضة إلى حكومة موسعة، وتبقى الأمور كما هي فهذا مرفوض».

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?ArticleId=2227&EditionId=2059&ChannelId=48951

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January 25th, 2012, 10:19 am

 

70. jad said:

Occupiers’ mentality:

الاستعمار يقول:
«نحضِّرهم فيأكلوننا»
نهلة الشهال

توزعت ملامح الرئيس الفرنسي بين الدهشة والامتعاض: «ندرّبهم فيقتلوننا»! وهذه استعادة فرعية تكاد لا تحمل أي تجديد لجمل مشابهة قيلت مراراً، تنتظم كلها في المنطق الاستعماري ذاته: «نحضِّرهم فيأكلوننا». لم ينتبه السادة البيض الى أن هؤلاء المتوحشين لم يطلبوا شيئاً، وأنهم لم يبادروا الى الذهاب الى باريس أو لندن ليحدث ذلك الاصطدام، بل جاؤوهم هم بأزيائهم وعاداتهم الغريبة، وبصحبتهم وحوش ضخمة تنفث النار، وبعضها ينقضّ عليهم من السماء. وكان بأيديهم أيضاً سياط وسلاسل، علاوة على البنادق، وهم مذّاك يقررون عنهم ما اللازم وما اللائق. وراحوا يسيجون الاراضي ويصادرونها، ويزرعون فيها ما يشاؤون ويأكلون منها، ويرسلون الغلال الى بلادهم، وراحوا يحفرون باطن الارض ويأخذون ما بداخله، ويستولون على النساء لخدمتهم ومتعتهم، ويضعون هؤلاء المتوحشين، نساءً ورجالاً وأطفالاً، في قعر سفن ويرمون بهم عبيداً في أماكن قصية، يموتون فيها من الإنهاك والجوع والبرد. والأدهى أن العبيد كانوا من يجذف في السفن حتى تصل الى شواطئ أميركا، ومن يعمل في الارض المصادرة والمنجم المشاد، وقد كانوا قبلها أصحاب المكان، يعيشون فيه كما يحلو لهم.
وفي رواية اكتشاف أميركا، يُغفَل أن البيض أبادوا سكانها الأصليين، وبعضهم بناة حضارات عريقة كالإنكا والأزتيك. أبادوهم عن بكرة أبيهم، وبنسب تصل في بعض الأحيان الى 95 في المئة من أعدادهم الأصلية. ومن بقي رغم كل شيء حُبس في «محميات» أشبه بحدائق حيوانات للفرجة. هذا حين لا تُستجلب منهم ومن الزنوج الأفارقة، عينات تُنظَّم من أجلها «المعارض الكولونيالية»، لإدهاش السيدات والسادة في العواصم الأوروبية، بينما يدور نقاش جاد بين العلماء حول نسب آدمية تلك المخلوقات.
ورغم أن هناك اعتباراً لدور «تحضيري» للاستعمار حتى في كتابات ماركس، مستمد من فكرة تحقيب التقدم الانساني وفق فرضية النموذج، ومن فلسفة الأنوار نفسها، فقد اعترض الحزب الشيوعي الفرنسي وقتها على «المعرض الدولي الكولونيالي» (باريس 1931، وهو الأوسع، وقصد منافسة «معرض الإمبراطورية البريطانية» 1924)، وارتفعت الى جانبه أصوات بعض المثقفين. ولكن المعرض استقبل 8 ملايين زائر من أصل 40 مليوناً كانوا مجمل سكان فرنسا يومها، ما يعني نجاحاً غير مسبوق بكل المقاييس. وكانت قد نُظمت، ومنذ نهايات القرن التاسع عشر، عدة معارض كولونيالية أكثر تواضعاً، في مدن أوروبية مختلفة، ومنها تلك الفرنسية التي كانت تُفتتح باسم «الجمهورية الفرنسية». والأخيرة لم تعتذر يوماً عن تاريخها الاستعماري، ولم تر موجباً لتعويضات، كما لم تفعل بريطانيا والولايات المتحدة ولا غيرهما من المستعمرين.
وهذا أمر طبيعي، لأنه لا يمكن الاعتذار عما هو مستمر. بل إن الرئيس الاميركي، وهو نصف زنجي، ويفترض بذاكرته أن تختزن تاريخ ذلك القسم من أجداده، قال بضجرٍ بادٍ، في معرض تمهيده منذ أشهر للانسحاب من افغانستان، إنه «لن يعاند لإرساء مؤسسات دولة حيث لم توجد دولة قط»، (يعني «يصطفلوا»!). وهو تجاهَل أن سلفه دمر في العراق، ليس سلطة صدام حسين فحسب، بل دولة لها مؤسساتها الحديثة، وهي رغم كل ما يمكن أن يقال بشأنها، كانت مستمرة منذ أكثر من ثمانين عاماً. وأن رجال الدولة الاميركية هددوا أثناء محادثات رسمية في جنيف قبيل الحرب الاولى عليه، العراق «بإرجاعه الى العصر الحجري». وأما العراق فبلد حمورابي، أبو القوانين في العالم! وقد نُسي بسرعة مدهشة شريط الفيديو الذي يُظهر جنود الولايات المتحدة المتحضرين يتبولون على جثث مقاتلين أفغان. وكان الشريط نشر منذ اسابيع قليلة. أحيل الجنود المرتكبون الى محكمة داخلية، سبقهم إليها جنود معتقل أبو غريب.
حسناً! لقد قلب جندي أفغاني بندقيته خلال درس تدريبي يتولاه جنود فرنسيون، وقتل أربعة منهم. وهذا ليس الحادث الوحيد من النوع، ولكنه يطيح بما تبقى من الروح المعنوية للقوات الغربية، وهي أصلاً في الحضيض، إذ يبدو اليوم الأمر برمته عبثياً. فقرار الانسحاب من أفغانستان اتخذ، وعُيِّن له موعد، ويُفترض أن المدة المتبقية تتعلق بترتيب نقل السلطة واستلامها. وهذه ستعود الى فرع «متحضِّر» من طالبان، يُسعى لجعله يقبل بتقاسمها مع الرئيس الحالي حميد كرزاي. والأرجح أن هذا الأخير سيأكله المتوحشون، حالما تختفي آخر شاحنة تقل آخر مجموعة جنود أميركان. يا للحيرة!
هي الحيرة نفسها بخصوص ليبيا، حيث خلَّص الناتو السكان من القذافي فإذا بهم غداة ذلك يتقاتلون، قبائل وجهات، بما يبدو بلا نهاية. وإذا بهم في سياق ذلك يباشرون بطرد رجال الغرب الخلَّص من السلطة، ويستولون على الأسلحة التي اعطاهم إياها الناتو نفسه أو التي نهبوها من مستودعات القذافي، ويهرِّب بعضهم بعضها الى مجموعات مسلحة تتخذ من مالي مقراً لها، فتستنفر دول المنطقة حيال خطر «القاعدة»، وتبدأ الأقمار الصناعية الاميركية في رصد حركة القوافل، وربما غداً في تنظيم الإغارة عليها، حيث ستصيب مجموعة مسلحة مرة، وتقصف بشراً آمنين مرات، كما يحدث في افغانستان كل يوم، حيث يُغار على تجمعات للأعراس أو لاحتفالات شتى، وتسمى «أخطاء جانبية»، تنسب أحياناً الى عماء الطيارات بلا طيار!
وللمصادفة، فقد افتُتح عهد الغارات الجوية في 1911. جرى ذلك في ليبيا منذ قرن بالتمام مقارنة مع عمليات الناتو فيها، وعلى يد طيار إيطالي شاب ومجنون قليلاً، راح يضع قنابل ومتفجرات في علب ويقذفها من أعلى خلال طلعاته الاستكشافية فوق واحة عين زارة، على بعد بضعة كيلومترات جنوب شرق طرابلس، حيث كان يتجمع المجاهدون ضد الاستعمار الايطالي، الذين لم يدركوا ما الذي يصيبهم. وبعدها قُنن الاستخدام وطُوِّر، واستعمل من قبل الجيش البريطاني في الصومال عام 1920 ضد انتفاضة الملا محمد عبد الله حسن (وقد ظن الصوماليون وقتها أن تلك هي «طير من أبابيل ترميهم بحجارة من سجِّيل»)، ثم ضد ثورة العشرين في العراق، حيث كانت القبائل الثائرة في جنوبه تكبِّد القوات البرية البريطانية خسائر فادحة، بل تهزمها، ولكنها عجزت عن مجابهة الطيران، وخلدت ذلك في شعر شعبي لا يُنسى، وخاطبت «الهوسة» القدرة الإلهية بعتب: «متعجِّبْ خالق له بعيرة»!
اليوم، يتضور الصومال جوعاً بل مجاعة، ولا يجد السادة البيض ما يستوجب الإنفاق لمنع الملايين من «النفوق». وأما أنا، فقد فتحت عيوني على هذا العالم، بينما يبث الراديو نداءات لنساء ورجال من اللاجئين الفلسطينيين الى أهلهم خلف سياج الاحتلال الاسرائيلي: طمِّوننا عنكم!

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionId=2059&ChannelId=48958&ArticleId=2166&Author=%D9%86%D9%87%D9%84%D8%A9%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%84

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January 25th, 2012, 10:26 am

 

71. ann said:

Russia vows to block any UN resolution authorizing foreign intervention against Syria – 2012-01-25

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/25/c_131376891.htm

MOSCOW, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Moscow stands ready to discuss a UN resolution on Syria, but is determined to block any unilateral sanctions or military involvement against the country, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

“We cannot support proposals under which unilateral sanctions were imposed against Syria without any consultations with Russia, China and other BRICS countries,” Lavrov told reporters after a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu..

Dismissing such resolutions as “unfair” and “counter-productive,” he said that Russia is also ready for a dialogue with its partners in the UN Security Council.

“This resolution remains on the table and consultations go on. We are open for the constructive proposals aimed at stopping the violence,” Lavrov said.

He also reiterated Moscow’s proposal to hold talks between Syrian confronting parties in Russia or any other location suitable for all Syrian sides.

“If the opposition does not want to travel to Damascus, it could be Cairo, Turkey, or Russia,” Lavrov said.

“It is important we all encourage the Syrians for the dialogue and break up with the armed groups,” he added.

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January 25th, 2012, 10:29 am

 

72. ann said:

Five killed across Syria, including government troops, in new wave of violence – 2012-01-25

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/25/c_131376665.htm

DAMASCUS, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — At least five people, including two law-enforcement members, were killed Tuesday in a new wave of violence across Syria, the state-run SANA news agency reported Wednesday.

Two law-enforcement members were killed by the gunfire of an ” armed terrorist group” at Khan Sheikhoun area in northern Idlib province, said SANA.

Quoting an official source, SANA said the armed group opened fire at a law-enforcement vehicle, killing the two members.

Also in Idlib, two other law-enforcement personnel were injured by an explosive device planted by armed terrorist groups in Ariha, said SANA, adding that the explosive went off while a car carrying food for the security forces was crossing the area.

In another incident at Jabal al-Zawya area in Idlib, the military engineering units dismantled four explosives, with each weighs between 25 to 30 kg, according to SANA.

Also, an armed terrorist group assassinated head of the Farmers Union branch in Idlib, Abdullatif Bakkour.

Another terrorist group killed a dentist who was driving his car in Idlib.

In central Homs province, a lawyer was found dead after being kidnapped by “armed groups” at al-Wa’er area.

SANA said that the body of the lawyer was found at Jouret al- Shayah area in Homs, adding that he was shot to death.

Meanwhile, an armed terrorist group looted and burglarized a seven story building between the neighborhoods of Jib al-Jandali and al-Zahra in Homs before setting it ablaze.

The group’s members targeted with their machine-guns the firemen who were trying to extinguish the fire, before firing RPGs on the building causing its complete destruction, said SANA.

Also, the Syrian authorities discovered a factory that prepares explosives inside a factory for diapers at the Izraa area in southern province of Daraa.

An official source in the province was quoted by SANA as saying that the authorities pursued and stopped a suspected white KIA-RIO car that was heading to the factory, adding that after examining the factory, they found a number of explosives inside it that were prepared for bombing.

The authorities also found detonators, ammunition, remote control devices and chemical fertilizers.

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January 25th, 2012, 10:32 am

 

73. jad said:

-Did Turkey sell out the armed militia of FSA for gas?
-Is there some kind of ‘deal’ between the Russian and the American?

Imad Fawzi Shueibi
تحولات تعكس تبدلا واضحاً في التعامل الدولي مع الملف السوري.
(ملامح صفقات!!!)
1. إعلان لافروف بأن روسيا (وتركيا) اتفقتا على ضرورة إيقاف العنف من كل الأطراف في سورية مقابل دعم مفاوضات السداسية عبر تركيا مع إيران. واضح أن روسيا اشترت جزءاً من الموقف التركي عبر التوقيع على تمرير جزء من أنابيب السيل الجنوبي للغاز في أراضي تركيا تعويضاً(جزئياً) عن خساراتها في خط غاز بروم.

2. قدوم جيفري فيلدمان إلى موسكو يعني تنازلاً أمريكيا بخصوص سورية لأن القادم نحو الآخر هو الأمريكي حيث أعلنت وزارة الخارجية الأمريكية ان الولايات المتحدة وروسيا أجرتا يوم الأربعاء “مشاورات مفيدة جدا” خلال الأسبوع الجاري في موسكو بشأن الأزمة السورية. والقول جداً يعني تقدم في المباحثات نسبياً، حيث قالت: “لا أقول إننا توصلنا إلى انفراج كبير”، وهذا يعني وجود انفراج أي صفقة على الطريق!! و اعتبرت ان تبادل الآراء بشأن الوضع في سورية وجهود الجامعة العربية في هذا الاتجاه ورد فعل الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد على مبادرات الجامعة، كان مفيدا جدا. وهذا يعني البداية باتجاه حلول وصفقات …

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January 25th, 2012, 10:40 am

 

74. ann said:

New Arab initiative on Syria unlikely to yield immediate results – 2012-01-25

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/25/c_131376712.htm

DAMASCUS, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — The Syrian government said Tuesday that Damascus has accepted the Arab League (AL)’s request of extending the Arab observers’ mission in Syria for another month.

The AL has announced a new initiative after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers on Sunday. The initiative urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to delegate power to his first vice president and stipulated the formation of a national unity government that should be formed within two months.

Analysts have said the fact that Syria has agreed to extend the mandate of the AL observer mission showed that Syria is not willing to shut down its communication channels with the outside world.

However, they also said the initiative, which aims to prepare for the transitional period of a post-Assad Syria, will surely meet strong opposition from the Syrian government. Therefore, it is unlikely to yield any results in the short run.

NEW INITIATIVE TRIGGERS MIXED RESPONSE

In an official statement released on Monday, the Syrian government dismissed the initiative as “flagrant interference in Syria’s affairs,” stressing that “the plan is outrageous and encroaches upon Syria’s sovereignty.”

The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), the main opposition force inside the country, believed that the new initiative would offer new opportunities for the present government, giving it time to put out the “flames of revolution.”

Burhan Ghalioun, head of the Turkey-based opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), said that the AL initiative emphasized the end of Assad’s administration, and that the SNC will not continue its dialogues with the Syrian government before Assad announces his willingness to step down.

For its part, the opposition group National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria (NCB) said it welcomed the initiative put forward by the AL.

NEW INITIATIVE HARD TO REALIZE IN SHORT TERM

Arab analysts pointed out that the new Arab initiative actually imitates the Yemeni approach to solving the crisis in Syria. They said the approach is a sort of compromise between the opposition’s request to overthrow Assad’s government and the current government’s solution of ending the revolt by force.

However, analysts said, considering the current situations in Syria and abroad, the new initiative could hardly be realized in the short term.

They argued Assad still retains firm control of the army, security and intelligence agencies as well as the situation overall in Syria. Unless it allows foreign military intervention in Syria, it is very hard for the opposition to overthrow the Assad administration. In fact, analysts estimated that pro-Assad supporters in Syria still outnumber those who oppose him.

On the opposition side, the SNC called for overthrowing the current government, protecting civilians and referring the Syria issue to the UN Security Council. Unfortunately, they lack strong support.

As regards outside forces, though the United States, the European Union, Turkey and the AL all demand Assad step down, they cannot take military action against Syria in the short term.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday that “The Arab League’s role in solving the Syria crisis has ended” as it decided to refer the Syria issue to the UN Security Council.

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL WITHDRAWS OBSERVERS FROM AL MONITORING MISSION

After the announcement of the new Arab solution to the crisis, the relations between Syria and the AL became tense again. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s decision Tuesday to withdraw its observers from Syria is a clear indication of this.

GCC members said in a statement that the decision was made because the Syrian government failed to end the “bloodshed” and implement the Arab plan. They called on the UN Security Council to use all means necessary to press the Syrian government to implement the already reached protocol.

AL Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Bin Heli said that the sending or withdrawal of the GCC countries’ observers from Syria is a sovereign decision, and he stressed that the mission would still perform its duty in Syria.

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January 25th, 2012, 10:46 am

 

75. majedkhaldoun said:

Zoo
I agree the relations between Iraq and Turkish Goverments may deteriorate, but what can and what will Turkey do about it?very little Turkey can do,short of verbal quarrel, monitor the border to tighten control, block the transport of oil,very limited invasion of kurdish area, none is significant, none will effect the central goverment in Baghdad.
The best thing Turkey can do is help overthrow Bashar goverment, this will weaken the Maliki position.
One important note that is,Iraq has much more oil than Iran

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January 25th, 2012, 10:46 am

 

76. Revlon said:

64. ((zoo: “A surgical offensive on Hama’s defectors strongholds, ‘at least one person dead’?”

Activists: Syrian troops shell central city
By ZEINA KARAM | Associated Press – 1 hr 25 mins ago]
Government forces stormed restive districts of a central Syrian city on Wednesday, firing mortars and deploying snipers in an assault that killed at least one person, activists said.))

You have characterised pounding of civilian neighbourhoods by mortars as “Surgical Offensive”!

Can you tell me how a mortar shell is going to “surgically” kill one wanted person in a building that houses 100 others, or 200 wanted persons in a neighbourhood that houses 20,000 people?

Or would you regard the Sniper kills as surgical because they only target armed people, ignoring the fact that thousands of unarmed civilians including babies, children, women and adults have been killed with malevolence.

How would you feel if Someone gave your characterisation ”Surgical offensive” to a military operation that involved deployment in your home town and own neighbourhood of snipers and tanks and pounding by mortars, with the aim of cleansing the town of anti-revolutionary traitors that include your family and friends!

Your statement is offensive.
Hama shelling is an act of destructive anarchy.
It can only be described as Surgical by A Shabbeeh Surgeon, who advances own interests over human life.

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January 25th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

77. jad said:

SNC is either delusional or stupid, who cares about the Syrian-Lebanese relationship at the moment?
When they get to power they can decided what Syrians want through elections, referendum and diplomacy then plan the best Syrian policies toward HA, Iraq, Lebanon, KSA, Iran, Russia, US, EU…whoever, not before, unless they are giving promises to the ‘masters’ on the Syrian behalf in return of something, which is even worse than being supid, that is so awkward.

المجلس الوطني السوري:لاعادة النظر بالاتفاقيات الموقعة بين لبنان وسوريا
دعا “المجلس الوطني السوري المعارض” إلى “معالجة فوريّة مباشرة لملفّات ملحّة، استناداً إلى المبادئ التي يرى أنّها يجب أن تحكم العلاقات بين سوريّا ولبنان”، بحسب بيان أصدره مكتبه التنفيذي.
وأوضح المجلس في بيانه أنه يود “إعادة النظر في الاتفاقيّات الموقّعة بين البلدين في سبيل التوصّل إلى اتفاقيّات جديدة تراعي مصالح كلّ من البلدين من ناحية والمصالح المشتركة بينهما من ناحية ثانية” و”تركيز العلاقات بين البلدين والدولتين في إطار التمثيل الدبلوماسيّ الصحيح على مستوى سفارتين” و”إلغاء المجلس الأعلى اللبناني-السوريّ”.
كما دعا ضمن جملة الملفات إلى “ترسيم الحدود السوريّة-اللبنانيّة لا سيّما في منطقة مزارع شبعا وضبط الحدود المشتركة بين البلدين، وانهاء الدور الأمني-المخابراتي، سواء التدخّل في الشؤون اللبنانيّة، أو التهريب السلاح لجعل لبنان ساحةً تتنافى ومبادئ الكيان والدولة والقانون، وتشكيل لجنة تحقيق سوريّة لبنانيّة مشتركة لمعالجة ملفّ المعتقلين والمفقودين اللبنانيين في سجون النظام”.
وشدد البيان على أن “سوريّا الحرّة المستقلّة والديمقراطيّة تعترف بلبنان وطناً سيّداً مستقلاً” و”هي تريد للعلاقات السوريّة-اللبنانيّة أن تكون بين دولتين مستقلّتين سيّدتين متساويتين”.
ولفت إلى أنه “يتعاون البلدان من أجل عقد عربي جديد يستلهم إعلان الرياض للعام ألفين وسبعة”.

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January 25th, 2012, 10:54 am

 

78. ann said:

Torture and lawlessness as Libya “victory high” ends – Wed Jan 25, 2012

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/us-libya-lawlessness-idUSTRE80O18P20120125

Violent crime and clashes between armed militants are running rife in Libya as the jubilation of last year’s liberation fades, to be replaced by the harsh and unromantic reality of building a new state.

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January 25th, 2012, 11:09 am

 

79. ann said:

Turkish city counts cost of Syrian violence – Wed Jan 25, 2012

Worry etched across their grizzled faces, truck drivers line up their vehicles at Turkey’s Oncupinar border gate, ready to run the gauntlet on a road they dread taking: south into Syria.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/us-turkey-syria-trade-idUSTRE80O19R20120125

Since Turkey late last year took the side of anti-government demonstrators seeking the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad, truckers plying the route between the border and the Syrian city of Aleppo have made an easy target for Assad loyalists.

Banking on safety in numbers, the truckers try to travel in convoys.

“They prefer to enter Syria together because their vehicles have been shot at and stoned,” said Zafer Aydinguler, head of a haulage association in Gaziantep, a city in southeast Turkey 100 km (60 miles) north of Aleppo.

The Syrian authorities say 2,000 police and soldiers have died fighting foreign-backed “terrorists.”

Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has demanded the resignation of his one-time friend Assad and in November ordered economic sanctions, which aim at Assad’s government while trying to spare Syrian people more hardship. These include freezing state assets, banning entry by senior officials and suspending financial dealings. Although Turkey still trades with Syria, it is seeking alternative transport routes to export goods to other countries in the Middle East, which it estimates will cost Syria over $100 million in transport fees annually.

The Syrian government retaliated by imposing a 30 percent trade tariff, and this month it cleared out its consulate in Gaziantep, historically one of the gateways from Anatolia to the Middle East.

Gaziantep, the sixth largest city in Turkey with a population of more than 1 million and industries ranging from food and textiles to chemicals, has been hit hard by the deterioration of economic ties with Syria.

While the city’s exports to Syria were previously only around $150 million, they have fallen by close to one-third since the Syrian unrest began, and the cost to Gaziantep is magnified by the loss of visitors from Syria.

Some 60,000 Syrians used to cross the border monthly, providing a contribution of around $1 billion a year to Gaziantep and the economy of the border region. The number of visitors from Syria has now dropped to around 1,000 people a month.

“The hotels where people stayed, the restaurants where they ate, the malls where they shopped, all the traders have been negatively affected,” said Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce chairman Mehmet Aslan.

BOOM

Located far from wealthy western parts of Turkey, Gaziantep is one of the Anatolian cities that has prospered most from the country’s economic boom over the past decade.

Its newfound wealth is evident in many new hotels and office blocks, and the city’s investment in a museum to show off its biggest tourist draw, an extensive collection of Roman mosaics.

Syrian visitors used to flock to the Imam Cagdas restaurant, founded in 1887, to sample its pistachio-and-honey baklava sweet pastries, but not any more. Owner Burhan Cagdas reckons he used to get 100 Syrian customers a week, but now sees only ten.

“Now they say they feel Turkey has turned against Syria. It is sad to see this because we are neighbors,” Cagdas said.

Aydinguler said the number of vehicles entering Syria had fallen by around 60 percent since the unrest started, because of both growing security risks and a doubling of customs duties that has caused truckers to opt for longer journeys through Iraq to serve Middle Eastern markets.

Sitting in a chamber of commerce office in Kilis, a Turkish town of 120,000 people less than half an hour’s drive from the border post, businessman Mehmet Erdal Ondes despaired at the way Turkish-Syrian relations had been turned on their head, reckoning that his area’s trade with Syria was down by almost three-quarters.

“We were friends and we became enemies,” Ondes said. “Trade is in an awful state at the moment. Our area is totally dependent on Syria and the trade has been cut off.”

The freight rate for a truck entering Syria has rocketed to $2,500 from around $300 before the unrest broke out last March, he said.

Turkey has traditionally been Syria’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade worth $2.5 billion in 2010. But on a national level, Syria has not been as important to Turkey; Turkish exports to Syria were $1.6 billion in 2011, a small fraction of Turkey’s overall exports last year of $135 billion, according to official Turkish data.

Exports to Syria have dropped about 30 percent from a year earlier in the last few months. But that figure understates the impact of the disruption of regional trucking routes on Turkish businesses in the border area, businessmen say.

“In Saudi Arabia in particular we achieved serious potential in the carpet sector. Now we are trying to get carpet deliveries from Mersin to Alexandria, and from there via the Suez Canal to Saudi Arabia. This brings with it a hike in costs and times,” Aslan said.

In Kilis, there is also widespread concern at the possibility of Syrian refugees being housed near the town. The fear is that some 7,500 Syrian refugees at relief camps in Hatay could be relocated to camps near Kilis, leading to a closure of the border gate.

“We don’t want refugees coming here. Our people are in a poor state. Some 15,000 people make their living from this border gate,” said Abidin Patlar, 58, a district official.

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January 25th, 2012, 11:19 am

 

80. ann said:

Red Crescent official shot dead in Syria – ICRC – Wed Jan 25, 2012

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/syria-cross-idUSL5E8CP3E520120125

Jan 25 (Reuters) – The head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in the northern town of Idlib was shot dead on Wednesday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

“We just learned a few minutes ago of the death of Mr. Abdulrazak Jbero, head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent branch in Idlib. Mr. Jbero was on his way by car from Damascus to Idlib. He was shot. Circumstances are still unclear,” Beatrice Megevand-Roggo, head of ICRC operations for the Near and Middle East, told Reuters in Geneva.

“Regardless of the circumstances, the ICRC condemns this very severely,” she said. “The lack of respect for medical services is still a great issue in Syria.”

Jbero, a Syrian national, was also vice president of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, having previously served as its first president, ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan said.

Syrian state television blamed “terrorists” for the killing saying that Jbero had been “assassinated” in Khan Sheikhoun district.

A volunteer of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent was killed last September in the flashpoint central town of Homs when an ambulance came under fire, injuring three other volunteers, according to the ICRC, the only international agency deploying aid workers in Syria.

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January 25th, 2012, 11:23 am

 

81. ann said:

2 Iraqi Kurdish Fighters arrested in Syria crossed “accidentally” – 1/25/2012

http://en.aswataliraq.info/%28S%28rurweial3vbcn2mrb0el0o55%29%29/Default.aspx?page=article_page&c=slideshow&id=146639

ARBIL / Aswat al-Iraq: A Kurdish Peshmerga ministry spokesman disclosed today that the two Kurdish soldiers arrested in Syria had crossed into Syrian territories by mistake.

The two Peshmerga soldiers accidentally crossed into Syrian soil last Monday, and are still being held in detention on the Syrian side.

Spokesman Jabbar Yawar added that the Iraqi defense and foreign ministries were informed accordingly to exert efforts to release them.

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January 25th, 2012, 11:30 am

 

82. ann said:

Russia offers to host Syria peace talks – 25/01/2012

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120125/170950531.html

MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti, Marc Bennetts) – Moscow would agree to host talks between the Syrian authorities and opposition forces in a bid to end the violence the UN says has claimed the lives of over 5,000 people, Russia’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

“As concerns the venue [for talks], we would welcome any choice agreeable to all sides,” Sergei Lavrov said. “If the opposition does not want to go to Damascus, this could be Cairo – the headquarters of the Arab League – Turkey or Russia.”

Russia has been one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s staunchest supporters during the more than ten-month uprising against his regime. Damascus has rejected international criticism of its human rights record during the conflict and says some 2,000 police and members of the security forces have been killed by “terrorists and extremists.”

“Russia and Syria enjoy old, solid ties that strengthen every year,” the new Syrian ambassador to Russia, Riyada Khaddada, told a news conference in Moscow later on Wednesday. “Syria does not take one step in the international arena without consulting with its Russian colleagues.”

He also thanked Russia for its refusal “to stay silent in the face of Western exploitation of the UN Security Council” and slammed the international media for its “lies and delusions” on Syria.

Moscow vetoed in November a UN Security Council resolution harshly condemning Syria and warned against attempts to end the crisis by the use of what it called “the Libya scenario.” Russia abstained in the UN vote on authorizing military intervention in Libya, but sharply criticized the NATO bombing raids that helped end the four-decade-long reign of Muammar Gaddafi.

Russia has also spoken out against unilateral sanctions imposed on Syria by the European Union and the United States. On Wednesday, Lavrov again said Moscow would stonewall attempts to gain UN approval for the embargoes. Moscow has proposed its own draft UN resolution on Syria, but Western members of the Security Council have criticized it as too weak.

“Russia’s support for Syria, it seems to me, has been agreed on with the U.S. and other leading European countries,” said Sergei Demidenko of the Moscow-based Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis.

Demidenko suggested that Western powers have no stomach for military intervention in Syria, which he said could see the rise of Islamic extremism – dangerous for both Russia and the West – throughout the region. “Russia is playing the bad guy,” he told RIA Novosti. “The West can therefore wash its hands of Syria, saying Russia and China block us at every step.”

Russia has rejected international calls for an arms embargo against Syria, saying this would leave the authorities without a source for legal arms deliveries, while doing nothing to prevent backdoor weapons shipments to opposition forces. It has also refused to explain or justify its own arms deliveries to the violence-stricken Middle East state.

The head of Russia’s state arms exporter Rostekhnologii, Sergei Chemezov, said on Wednesday that Moscow faced losing its leading position in the Middle East and North African arms market if it failed to maintain arms deliveries to Syria.

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January 25th, 2012, 11:39 am

 

83. Revlon said:

((jad:
هيثم مناع لـ«السفير»: الخطة العربية تمنع شبح تدويل الملف السوري
محمد بلوط

وحول جزم معارضي الداخل والخارج في «هيئة التنسيق» أن الحل المعروض
سيقطع الطريق بشكل خاص على التيارات الإسلامية، وعلى حركة الإخوان المسلمين، وستمنعهم من لعب دور رئيسي في المرحلة الانتقالية، قال مناع إن «الإخوان المسلمين سيخسرون في الخطة العربية والمرحلة الانتقالية، لأن لا قواعد لهم داخل مؤسسات الدولة الحالية التي سيتم الإبقاء عليها، كما أن لا تأثير لتيارهم على الإدارة، بعكس الأحزاب والتيارات الليبرالية والعلمانية الأخرى، ودعاة التعريب بشكل عام».))

That is the reason why Mr. Manna3 insists on the Arab Plan and keeping the “institutions”.
It is to have a better chance to impact on the future of Syria by keeping the Islamists, who are expected to have more popular votes than liberals and nationalists, at bay in the transitional period!

It is not to advance the interests of Syria the people!
It is to advance the interests of Manna3 Syria, after phasing out Assad Syria.

Mr Mannaa and NCB’s plans are conceited and disrespectful of the aspirations of the rising people who are powering the drive for change with their lives and living in order to dismantle their oppressor regime.

He and NCB bunch’s manoeuvres are bound to create difficulties and prolong the plight of the protestors.
However, neither they nor Jr and his vast army, Mukhabarat, and Shabbeeha shall be able to stop the Revolution’s train of change to reach its destination; Freedom from all Regime elements, including the corrupt ideological Army and beastly Intelligence agencies.

The goal of the revolution is to regain human and civil rights to all Syrians, including those who lost their lives to Assad aggression.
The rights of those martyrs shall be more sacred than those who survived.
They and their families have the right to excise justice from their murderers, never mind what manna3 or his foreign sponsors desire.

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January 25th, 2012, 11:52 am

 

84. Kurd said:

Those figures mean absolutely nothing to me, I am Syrian and I live in Syria but I don’t dare answer any of those questions that question the eligibility of Bashar to rule Syria, and you sure know why I can’t answer them.

An honest poll would be one that is conducted under international observation. If those numbers were true, then Bashar would have had no crisis, he would have elected and won, but they know better that wouldn’t be the case. What about the Syrian Electronic Soldiers? A group of pro-Assad people on facebook, the admin of the page orders the subscribers to comment with pro-Assad comments on certain polls, questions, news…etc.

I see people everyday talking about Syria on TV and I myself don’t dare talk a thing about my own country, and that kills me, maybe this will teach you that only Syrians know what Syria and the Syrian government are?

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January 25th, 2012, 12:12 pm

 

85. irritated said:

#79. ann

“Red Crescent official shot dead in Syria – ICRC – Wed Jan 25, 2012”

Another blunder of the FSA?

Let the Red Cross make an investigation unless it ends up in a drawer like the Gilles Jacquier investigation as it will not point the finger to the regime, but to the sacro-saint and untouchable “freedom hungry” opposition militias.

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January 25th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

86. jad said:

As yesterday in Homs, another explosives’ factory in a residential building went off killing 25 and the usual ‘normal’ daily life of Homs of kidnapping and killing continues:

HNN| شـبكة أخـبار حمص
حمص |استشهد والد ووالدة الأمين العام للحزب الديمقراطي السوري أحمد كوسا بعد إختطافهم منذ يومين في حمص..

مسلحون يهاجمون محطة قطار كفرعايا في حمص وتختطف أحد العاملين في المحطة

تم إختطاف السيد شوقي محمد الحوراني مواليد 1964 من منطقة الإنشاءات بحمص. وهو يقود سيارة بيجو رقم 521988 دمشق ويلبس جلابية لون بني غامق وجاكيت لون زيتي . متوسط الطول حنطي اللون وشعره خفيف لون اسود وهو مخطوف من مساء يوم الإثنين 23 الجاري .
الرجاء من يعرف عنه شئ أو عن السيارة المساعدة والإتصال بالرقم 0967396632 أو تبليغ فروع الأمن بحمص يرجى التعميم…

المجموعات المسلحة تطلق القذائف على حواجز حفظ النظام في شارع البرازيل و الانشاءات و حي الخضر ومحيط القلعة وكرم الزيتون والفاخورة والمريجة تلاها اشتباكات بين حماة الديار والمجموعات الارهابية .

انتشار علني للمسلحين في سوق الحشيش منذ أكثر من يومين.
مسلحون يهاجمون محطة قطار كفرعايا في حمص وتختطف أحد العاملين هيثم ابراهيم…

وصول جثة الي المشفى الوطني تم التعرف عليها وهي عائدة الي المواطن محمود الحايك وهو سائق سيارة تابعة لمعمل السماد كان قد اختطف وسرقت السيارة منه وعثر عليه مقتولا بطلق ناري .

القصير | وديع زيتون لم يكن من المسلحين هو من الشباب الوطنين المسالمين ولاعلاقة له بالفورة وقتل برصاصة طائشة…انتشار علني للمسلحين في مدينة القصير الذين يقيمون الحواجز والمتاريس وخصوصا قرب السوق الغربية هناك ايضا سيارات تجول في المدينة تحوي المسلحين مع كامل عتادهم واسلحتهم ويقيمون بتهديد الاهالي وترويعهم .

سقوط قذيفتين RBG على حي كرم الزيتون نجم عنهم اصابة مواطن صاحب احد المنزلين فيا اقتصرت الاضرار الباقية على المادية فقط.
———
إدلب | مراسل شام إف إم بإدلب: استشهاد الدكتور عبد الرزاق جبيرو مدير فرع الهلال الأحمر بإدلب والعيادات الشاملة برصاص مسلحين أثناء توجهه من دمشق إلى إدلب…
———
فيديو | حمص | إنفجار المنزل في حي النازحين بعد أن كان يستخدم لاعداد عبوات من قبل مسلحين تبين أن المنزل الذي انفجرت به العبوات الناسفة هو منزل مسكون وفيه عائلات واطفال وأحد ساكني المنزل هو أحد أفراد العصابات المسلحة، وقد خصص غرفتين في الطابق الارضي لتصنيع العبوات الناسفة و استخدمهما كمنطلق للعمليات الارهابية و لايواء رفاقه من المسلحين…

و أثناء تصنيع عدد من العبوات الناسفة ليلاً انفجر عدد من العبوات ما اسفر عن مقتل 25 شخص والقتلى هم المسلحين الإرهابيين (محمد البطيش، عماد خليف، عدنان اسماعيل).و هناك ضحايا من ساكني البناء وبينهم أطفال، وبحسب معلومات افاد بها شهود عيان من ابناء الحي بأن مسلحين قدمو على الفور الى مكان الانفجار وانتشلو عدد من الجثث بسرعة واخذوها الى جهة مجهولة حيث يعتقد أن يكون هناك مسلحين من جنسيات غير سورية، وأن سحب الجثث هو محاولة لاخفاءها حتى لا يتم اكتشافها خصوصاً أن بعض أهالي الحي أفادو بأن غرباء عن الحي كانوا يترددون على المكان المذكور
مرفق رابط فيديو…..
http://youtu.be/w-nN5EsMYvs

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January 25th, 2012, 12:23 pm

 

87. Juergen said:

I would like to add that i think that FB is still for many Syrians not a site they want to go on, or quote what they think. Its kind of an mirror of syrian society behavior. I see that with my friends, a dozen or so have fb accounts but rarely use it or write anything on the situation. A friend of Tadmor who works for an oil company send me a note stating that he can no longer write to me since he thinks he is monitored. An other friend of mine from Doha writes on the FB pages of the regime stating how much he adores the president and supports the regime, but he is very much against the regime. He is doing what he is doing on FB because he thinks that will help him when he wants to go ho home visiting his family. An other friend of mine refused to add me because in my friend list is one famous women dissident of the regime. So who knows if such online polls are always the true opinion of those who submit it.

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January 25th, 2012, 12:26 pm

 

88. irritated said:

#78. ann

Erdogan the Magnificent is making his people pay for his wounded pride and his undisputable love for the Moslem Brotherhood.
I guess his relation with Iraq and other Arab countries will soon get sour too. His relation with France is already on the way.
His relation with Iran could collapse anytime.
Soon Turkey’s only best friend left will be the USA and we know what it means to be the best friend of the USA, just remember Iran’s shah and Egypt’ Mobarak.

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January 25th, 2012, 12:31 pm

 

89. jad said:

Hama is not better:

شـبـكـة أخـبـار حـمـاه | H.N.N
عاجل||
استشهاد الكاهن باسيليوس على يد مجموعات إرهابية مسلحة
الأب باسيليوس من أهالي قرية ( كفربهم )
الاسم: مازن نصار
العمر : في بداية العقد الثالث
الاسم الكهنوتي : باسيليوس
استشهد في مبنى الأيام المسيحي في منطقة الجراجمة
استشهد برفقة الكاهن باسيليوس الشاب سمير الجمال من أهالي حي الجراجمة

رحمة الله على الشهيدين
ندعو الله للشهداء الرحمة ولأهلهم الصبر والسلوان وللقتلة جهنم وسوء العقاب

الأوضاع في المدينة على ما هي

اشتباكات في عدة مناطق متقطعة في بعض المناطق ومستمرة في مناطق أخرى
( الحميدية – الاربعين – حارة الصيفي – باب قبلي – الجراجمة – الجزدان – الشيخ عنبر )
أعنفها في الشيخ عنبر وباب قبلي والحميدية
قوات جيشنا الباسلة تقوم بواجبها على أكمل وجه وتسيطر على الوضع بشكل ممتاز
وأكبر دليل على أداء الجيش الممتاز هو غضب وهجوم العراعير على صفحتنا وتقاريرنا بهذه الطريقة

اللهم احمي جيشنا البطل وانصره على المسلحين من تكفيريين وارهابيين واخوان الشياطين

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January 25th, 2012, 12:32 pm

 

90. irritated said:

Juergen #88

“So who knows if such online polls are always the true opinion of those who submit it.”

And you dare praise the flawed Pepperdine University poll?
Was it because its conclusion was against the regime or because your numerous “friends” participated in it?

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January 25th, 2012, 12:36 pm

 

91. zoo said:

Read Joshua Landis final remark

Arab monitor mission to Syria limps on amid rifts
By Alistair Lyon | Reuters – 53 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/arab-league-turns-u-n-gulf-observers-quit-093752510.html

The monitoring mission has been condemned by Syrian opposition groups as a mechanism to buy more time for Assad to try to crush demonstrators and armed rebels. But the mission, with its limited mandate to observe but not investigate, also allowed an internally divided League and an equally divided U.N. Security Council to defer concrete action on Syria.
….
The Saudi-led push for a strong Arab stance stems in part from the kingdom’s Sunni rulers’ desire to weaken their Shi’ite regional adversary Iran by dislodging Assad, whose Shi’ite-rooted Alawite minority rules Sunni-majority Syria.

Syria has itself pointed out the irony of Gulf monarchies leading demands for democratic reforms that they shun at home.

Peter Harling, Syria analyst for the International Crisis Group, said the Arab League had been engaged constructively and that without the observers the violence might have been worse.

“Unfortunately, its more assertive members are those with the least credibility to take the lead: Gulf monarchies that united to put down popular protests in Bahrain tend to adopt a sectarian perspective on regional events and have paid only lip service to reforms at home,” he wrote in Foreign Policy.

“Other Arab countries are essentially in disarray, bogged down by domestic tensions, fearful of more regional instability, and distrustful of the West, given its track record of making things worse, not better, in this part of the world.”

Harling said the Arab plan gave Syria a chance to “recognize the reality of its domestic crisis and negotiate an exit, while fending off any risk of hands-on Western involvement.”

Qatar, which took part in the military campaign in Libya, has proposed sending Arab troops to Syria, an idea that so far has left other Arab countries cold, including Saudi Arabia.

“The Saudis don’t want a precedent of military intervention for democracy promotion,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at Oklahoma University. “What about Bahrain or even the Shi’ites of the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia who have been demonstrating for change and the overthrow of the Saudi monarchy?”

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January 25th, 2012, 12:46 pm

 

92. Tara said:

El-Arabi to visit Moscow over Syria
The head of the Arab League will next week head to Moscow to discuss with one of Syria’s key allies the prospect of encouraging Damascus to be flexible to outside mediation relative to ongoing internal strife
Dina Ezzat, Wednesday 25 Jan 2012

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/32771/World/Region/ElArabi-to-visit-Moscow-over-Syria.aspx

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El-Arabi is due in Moscow early next week for talks with senior Russian officials over the situation in Syria and the fate of Arab mediation there.
According to Arab League officials, two key matters will top the agenda of talks to be conducted: the first is to lobby Russia, the strongest ally of the Bashar Al-Assad regime, to convince the Syrian regime to agree to an initiative for the transition of power to Al-Assad’s vice president in a first step towards regime change; the second is to ask Moscow to encourage Damascus to permit entry to a high level Arab League delegation to discuss the power transfer initiative.

During a recent Arab League ministerial meeting, several member states, essentially the six member states of the politically and financially influential Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), proposed the power transfer initiative to the Arab League for adoption. The initiative is much like the one signed recently by outgoing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, aimed at ended protracted violence amid ongoing protests against Saleh’s rule.

According to Arab and foreign diplomats, Iraq had already proposed the initiative to Syria — in view of the relatively good contacts between leaders on both sides — but it was received with hardly any interest.

Meanwhile, Arab League officials say that El-Arabi has officially requested that Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and until recently a runner in Egypt’s prospective presidential race, to head the high level Arab mission in the coming weeks, to discuss ways of ending the current turmoil.

As a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, ElBaradei would be — according to the Arab League plan — in company of five other leading Arab figures, including former prime ministers and former foreign ministers from several Arab states. “But he is the only Nobel Laureate and as such he is in a higher status and is sort of head of the delegation,” said one Arab League official.

ElBaradei visited the Arab League Tuesday to discuss the matter, including the possible evolution of a joint Arab League-UN mission.

“He gave his agreement in principle, but of course we also have to have the agreement of Syria on the composition of the high level committee,” said the same Arab League official.

(…)

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January 25th, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

93. Revlon said:

Mr Ghalioun, a thinker and academician has gradually settled in his new capacity.
He now speaks like a politician and thinks like a leader.

24/01/2012
الصورة الكاملة: ثورة سوريا إلى أين – برهان غليون

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January 25th, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

94. Juergen said:

Irritated

Interesting that you find that Pepperdine set this conclusion. I thought it was more balanced, and the support for the president was also obvious. But i assume its again a matter of what you believe should be the result.
I know that many still support the regime in public, all i suggested is that such public shown support is not the last evidence of loyalty in Syria.

May be an opinion poll is something which does not fit to the despotism evident in Syria.

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January 25th, 2012, 12:53 pm

 

95. irritated said:

Juergen #95

80% of Syrians want regime change, secret Pepperdine survey finds.

http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_18995157

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January 25th, 2012, 1:05 pm

 

96. jna said:

It’s horrible that scores of Syrians are getting killed every day. It’s beyond horrible if thugs have now deliberately killed the vice-president of the Syrian Red Crescent.

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January 25th, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

97. alex said:

59. OBSERVER said:

can we move on and have another post now.

This is soooooooooooooooooo lame and stupid.

60. TARA said:

Alex

For results of a study to be valid, the sample studied should represent the general population at large, other wise the results only reflect the opinion of a subgroup of the general population.

Syrian FB account users do NOT represent the Syrian society in general but rather a small well to do fraction, therefore the outcome represent them only.

What is different about the “opinion piece” yesterday (i.e. the poll) is, it tried to use a “scientific approach” to validate the opinion and by doing so, I perceive it as another shrewd way of propaganda now with “scientific” outfit.

Dear Observer,

This post (and the original one on my blog) already made it to many email lists of influential decision makers, analysts, academics and journalists. The feed back from those who are not “105%” biased like some of you here was that the polls were very interesting or interesting. I am happy that the time spent on following these polls over the past few months and reporting them was worth it. As you can tell from my introduction and conclusion, I think these are “interesting” … they are not a perfect “scientific” reflection of the exact preferences of the Syrian people. But they are interesting.

Your reaction while not surprising, was again disappointing. You will not attract “regime supporters” as long as (edited for personal attack)

Observer habibi … (edited for personal attack) Congratulations, keep your confidence and closed mind.. let us see where Syria will go from here with your types and regime hardliners being that loud.

I published many original research papers in peer refereed journals and my experimental “sample” there was … 22 year old commerce students in one specific Montreal University … hardly a perfect representation of the population of this planet. Yet behavioral science research journals recognize and publish these research findings when they are interesting enough as long as the author recognized the limitations of the methodology… because you hopefully know that the perfect methodology does not exist. Only through repetition do we learn more and get more confidence in the reliability of findings.

Observer … I’ll leave you with this perfect “scientific” and representative sample that seems to be taken seriously by those who did not react in a farcical manner like you did here:

http://www.healthnewsdigest.com/news/Cancer_Issues_660/Walnut_Diet_Delivers_Promising_Results_in_Mice_with_Prostate_Cancer.shtml

Maybe next time we should test on mice… because suddenly “Syrians on Facebook” became yuck for all of you … they are a tiny fraction … non-representative … can not possibly think like other Syrians … loooooooooooooooooooooooooooool who in the idiot who would even think of looking at their preferances?!

Sorry if I am communicating with you with sarcasm. (edited for personal attack)

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January 25th, 2012, 1:19 pm

 

98. zoo said:

Will the Russian ask confused and worried Erdogan to exert pressure on the SNC to enter in a direct dialog with the regime?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also due to fly to Moscow Wednesday to urge Russia not to veto a UN Security Council Syria resolution, Turkey’s Today Zaman reported Mahir Zeynalov reported.
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/envoy/u-arab-states-press-russia-syria-213113184.html

………………………………………….
Russia stays firm on Syria as regime pounds Hama

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-agrees-extend-arab-observer-mission-040743209.html

“We are open to constructive proposals that go in line with the set task of ending violence,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow after meeting his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.

Lavrov said any UN Security Council resolution backed by Russia “must firmly record that it cannot be used or interpreted to justify anyone’s outside military intervention in the Syria crisis.”

His comments came after Russian and US officials held talks in Moscow on how to stop the violence in Syria,

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January 25th, 2012, 1:19 pm

 

99. irritated said:

Observer

I agree with Alex and in addition, as I have repeated it often, your posts win largely the awards of the most boring, empty, pseudo-intellectual, pretentious and depressing on this blog. And there was a fierce competition.

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January 25th, 2012, 1:35 pm

 

100. Khalid Tlass said:

ALEX will shut up after (edited for hateful comments)

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January 25th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

101. Khalid Tlass said:

 (edited for hateful comments)

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January 25th, 2012, 1:38 pm

 

102. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Sorry, but I am atonished about this new entry from SC. This is pathethic. The regime is over and you keep on trying to defend this suffering and unsurmontable situation.

This is all I could read:

Q1 Syria needs?
Answers: Freedom (42,103), Bashar Al-Assad (40,992)

Ha, ha, ha, haaaa, haaaaaa, haaaaa, haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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January 25th, 2012, 1:40 pm

 

103. Antoine said:

Aldendeshe,

In the new Syria, at least lets promise to get rid off those outdated French colonial funeral bands in the Army, they’re disgusting.

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January 25th, 2012, 1:43 pm

 

104. zoo said:

Another round at the UNSC now with the Arab League under the Gulf countries’ stick.

France, Britain join Syria peace push at U.N.
By Mariam Karouny | Reuters – 30 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/arab-league-turns-u-n-gulf-observers-quit-093752510.html

Several diplomats at the United Nations said France and Britain were working with Qatar and other Arab delegations on a new draft resolution supporting the Arab League plan which envisages Assad stepping down and making way for a unity government to halt the bloodshed of a 10-month uprising.

Valero said the talks should enable the Security Council to support and enforce the Arab plan by giving it the necessary international guarantees for it to be implemented.
(..){
===============================
Russia’s position on the Arab League “roadmap”: No preconditions to the dialog

“Lavrov called for a quick start of talks between the Syrian government and the opposition, suggesting they could be hosted by Egypt, the Arab League, Turkey or Russia.

Asked about the Arab League’s call Sunday for a unity government in Syria in two months, Lavrov said Russia believes the talks between the Syrian government and the opposition should start without any preconditions.

“We proceed from the assumption that all participants in such dialogue would seek to reach accord and show responsibility for the fate of the country and its people,” he said.”

http://news.yahoo.com/russia-keep-blocking-un-sanctions-syria-111034010.html

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January 25th, 2012, 1:45 pm

 

105. Alan said:

‘Stop the War’ alliance in Britain on Saturday announced plan to organize a protest demonstration in front of the U.S Embassy in London on January 28 under the slogan /Get Your Hands off Iran and Syria/. The alliance called on its supporters to participate in the demonstration which it described as the first big demonstration against any potential attack on Iran and Syria.

No foreign intervention in Syria

Statement by Stop the War Coalition

There is a clear danger of yet another war in the Middle East. The United States and Britain are turning their attention to Syria, with the intention of engineering regime change in their favour.

Stop the War Coalition fully supports the right of the peoples in all the countries of the Middle East to determine their own future and assert democratic rights. We are therefore implacably opposed to any external intervention, especially military intervention, in Syria.

In relation to Syria, any military intervention will most likely be even more destructive and costly than it was in Libya. It will increase Arab and Muslim alienation from the western powers. Most Syrian people, while demanding democratic rights, would oppose any such interference.

Public opinion in Britain would not support any further military adventures of the type seen in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, especially at a time when government austerity policies pose a growing threat to living standards.

NATO is already manoeuvring to weaken Syria through sanctions, which have never been an alternative to war as much as a prelude to it, acclimatising public opinion to the “inevitability” of war. It is also interfering politically, trying to ensure that the Assad regime is replaced by one with a pro-western orientation, rather than one based on those forces which have struggled for years to create a democratic and anti-imperialist alternative.

Stop the War Coalition believes the Syrian people should assert their own democratic rights and determine their own system of government without the kind of external interference which has proved so disastrous in Iraq and Afghanistan, and looks like working no better in Libya. We therefore oppose any foreign attempts to create an unrepresentative “government-in-exile”, which would have no purpose beyond further legitimising the case for military intervention.

World opinion, as expressed at the United Nations, is also clearly against any interference in Syria, with China, Russia, India and Brazil among those opposed. The US and Britain are therefore looking once more to the Arab League, and in this case Turkey, to provide a cover for their war policy. However, the world will not get fooled again after the experience of Libya, where a supposed intervention “to save civilians” developed into a regime change war which cost at least 30,000 lives.

Stop the War Coalition therefore opposes all foreign military intervention in Syria.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:01 pm

 

106. alex said:

While I am here I would like to ask one of you above who now despise and belittle “Syrians on Facebook” … Did you notice that you only email me and Joshua complaining about Pro regime commentators that you find offensive? … Did you ever complain and ask me to ban Khaled Tlass or Abboud before him?

No… those are just fine.

This is why I did not reply to your last email request.

You are all part of “the regime” that needs to be reformed.

But the good news is that “the silent majority” is not as extreme and not as blind.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:05 pm

 

107. zoo said:

Smuggled in a bread basket, Syrian ingenuity finds a way
Rym Ghazal
Jan 26, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/smuggled-in-a-bread-basket-syrian-ingenuity-finds-a-way

Never underestimate the Arab ability to find a creative way around an obstacle. And of course, the Arabs facing the most obstacles these days are in Syria.

I keep hearing Lebanese people saying that while their country is used to reviving itself after conflicts, the Syrians will have a tougher time, as they are “not used to instability”.

But I am not sure about that, especially after I sat and talked for over two hours with someone who was just there, on the ground, for almost a month during Syria’s most difficult time.

Recently I interviewed Mohammed Salim Al Kaabi, the only Emirati monitor who was part of the first batch of Arab League observers. He had been based with 11 others in the south-western city of Deraa, dubbed the cradle of the revolt that started over 11 months ago. A lot of our discussion was off the record, but still it helped me to see Syria through the eyes of a neutral party.

One of the biggest problems the monitors faced was that everything they did, even eating, was taped and posted on the internet. “You will have hundreds of people talking to you at the same time, and asking you questions while holding their mobile phones to tape it,” Mr Al Kaabi said.
….
By the end of our talk, it was clear that the story was not clearcut. There is now blood on both sides and it has reached the point where the truth is difficult to know.
(…)

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January 25th, 2012, 2:10 pm

 

108. Tara said:

Khalid

I think you should start calling me “kafira” too. I think what you are calling for to finish off Shiaa is criminal. I am sorry Khalid but you do not have any understanding of your religion. Should I should start giving you lessons about Islam now?

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January 25th, 2012, 2:12 pm

 

109. irritated said:

#108 Tara

Khalid Tllas’s posts have become as unnoticeable as a garbage can on a busy street. It often smells bad, but one gets used to pass them without complaining too much.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:18 pm

 

110. Uzair8 said:

The Syrians will say no to Salafistan and no to Islamophobistan.

They take pride in Islamic Civilization and will take inspiration from it rather than from what are to them alien ideas and systems. A traditional mainstream Islam transmitted from heart to heart generation to generation. They will avoid adopting the reactionary charecteristics.

Btw I came across this story about Hollywood Actor Liam Neeson considering converting to Islam:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/news/liam-neeson-considers-converting-to-islam-16108522.html#ixzz1kTtzXb5f

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January 25th, 2012, 2:22 pm

 

111. zoo said:

Trouble starting for Egypt with the USA and the Western countries?

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood reiterates refusal to engage Israel
25/01/2012
By Haitham al-Tabaei
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=28233
Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghazlan informed Asharq Al-Awsat that his group categorically rejects the principle of dialogue with Israel. He stressed that the Brotherhood’s position is clear and consistent on this matter, and is not open to discussion. Ghazlan made his comments after the Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that Tel Aviv would extend a helping hand to the new regime in Egypt. Relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv are governed by a peace treaty signed over three decades ago.
(…)

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January 25th, 2012, 2:25 pm

 

112. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Only a stupid can offer this 2 options. Assad or Freedom. So Assad is not freedom. Then you have to chose between Freedom or Not Freedom.

Q1 Syria needs?
Answers: Freedom (42,103), Bashar Al-Assad (40,992)

Ha, ha, ha, haaaa, haaaaaa, haaaaa, haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
I cannot stop laughing, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

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January 25th, 2012, 2:30 pm

 

113. Tara said:

Alex

Good question. Please stay tuned. I just can’t respond at this moment. Driving on the highway and becoming like uncle Erdogan who can’t multitask.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:36 pm

 

114. Khalid Tlass said:

TARA

I speak out of outrage. The behavior of SHIA IRAQ is outrageous.

For exactly 30 years, Shia clerics of Iran and Iraq were crying themselves hoarse about KAFIR BAATHI ( Saddam ) For exactly 30 years, Shia clerics if Iraq, Iran and Lebanon passed Fatwa that membership of Hizb al Baath is Kufr, Saddam is a Kafir, Iraq must be liberated, Iraq must be liberated.

Now that Uncle Sam did their work for them,

The Baathi of Syria is their best friend, what hypocrisy. I dare Alex to contradict me on this one. (edited for personal attack)

Even today, if you try to defend Saddam in front of Shiites, they get angry, I was banned from a Shia online forum, first for attacking Bashar, then for supporting Saddam.

(edited for hateful comments)

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January 25th, 2012, 2:36 pm

 

115. Alex said:

Now my turn to laugh Sandro hablo

If you could read beyond this first line, you would have realized that I am not the one who asked that question. In fact I criticized the question’s bias … it is still worth looking at that question and the way tens of thousands of Syrians answered it, but it is biased.

Here, read what I wrote habibi.

Q1 Syria needs?
Answers: Freedom (42,103), Bashar Al-Assad (40,992)

Biases: Poll started within a biased pro opposition community. The bias inherent in this question is twofold: in the first place, it is a “loaded” question in that it introduces a value bias (concept of freedom) which is contrasted against Assad (by implication, authoritarian). Second, the categories freedom and Assad are not mutually exclusive for many of the respondents, thereby forcing them to choose between either Freedom or Bashar Al-Assad. This eliminates many of the votes for the Syrian President by those who value freedom the most but believe that Al-Assad should lead the country to reforms and freedom. Despite these biases the results are close to a tie.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:38 pm

 

116. Khalid Tlass said:

(this poster is banned for two weeks)

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January 25th, 2012, 2:47 pm

 

117. Khalid Tlass said:

(edited for hateful comments)

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January 25th, 2012, 2:48 pm

 

118. Khalid Tlass said:

ALEX,

Make no mistake, Bashar and his entire clan alongwith their Tehrani-Qomi-Najafi handlers are going down, FLIP man, FLIP, FLIP, why can;t you see the light. We don;t want Syrians to go down along with them.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:50 pm

 

119. Juergen said:

Khaled

please when you feel angry beat up an pillow. Such words of hatred will leave an impression and will worsten the situation of many.Shia and alawites arent the problem, the criminal regime consists of all kinds, so also many sunni muslim are in it, as a matter of fact as Norman said it, we should all refrain from labeling each other because of the religion.

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January 25th, 2012, 2:51 pm

 

120. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Alex,

How can you explain these 2 contradictions? If you can read polls in Q8 many oppositors want Assad to remain while in Q9 there is a portion of pro-Assad that do not support Assad. This poll is simple schizophrenia.

Q8 do you want Assad to remain President of Syria
Yes (40,549), No (33,659)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro opposition community.

Q9 Do you support President Assad
Yes (22,957), No (22.523)
Biases: Poll originated within a pro Assad community

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January 25th, 2012, 2:54 pm

 

121. Khalid Tlass said:

(edited for personal attacks)

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January 25th, 2012, 2:56 pm

 

122. Khalid Tlass said:

JUERGEN,
(edited for hateful comments)

Btw, Juergen, I would like to change the topic.

You mentioned abt yor friend who served in Bosnia and beat up Serbian soldiers,

Was he part of UN Peacekeeping Force or was he a volunteer/foreign fighter in the Bosnian Army ?

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January 25th, 2012, 2:58 pm

 

123. Khalid Tlass said:

(this poster is banned from Syrian Comment for two weeks)

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January 25th, 2012, 3:02 pm

 

124. SANDRO LOEWE said:

This poll is pure perversion of truth. The main oppositor´s demand are described as:

* Change colours of flag
* Support NATO intervention

I am sorry but this is for fool people. Do they think we are stupid? The main demand from people in Syria (except parts of Damascus and Aleppo) is:

* Freedom
* Dignity
* Economical and social Justice
* End to corruption

Why not a single question about social justice, corruption and about deep causes of the problem?

Surely this poll did not question arabs, beduins and fallahs in Homs, Hama, Idleb, Raqqa, Deir, Qamishly, Daraa, which turns to be almost all the territory and at least 50 % of the population.
Aren´t they syrian citizens? Do they not deserve give an opinion? This poll was made via internet I bet 90 % were damascus citizens.

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January 25th, 2012, 3:15 pm

 

125. Lebanese Contemplating said:

History repeating itself right in front of my (our) eyes again! You Syrians will not get out of it any time soon if you keep this deaf talk ! We were exactly like that during our civil war (Lebanon) and believe me it did not lead to anything beautiful! If you guys will not manage to accept a moderate critique/ study/ opinion from any of both sides, and make an interesting discussion instead of another declared blind war by not being able to listen/ understand or accept the opinions of others, then do not place yourselves on high pedestals. If Syria is truly what you all care about, skip the small talk and embrace your differences.
We reached the point of killing each other only to finally force ourselves to sit on the same tables again and rediscuss the same issues but with a more open mind.

I picked this sentence for you to chew on from Nietzsche ‘s Thus Spoke Zarathustra :
“Vengeance will we use, and insult, against all who are not like us”

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January 25th, 2012, 3:27 pm

 

126. Antoine said:

My guess is that approximately 55 % of Syrians are hardcore anti-regime, and 35 % are hardcore pro-regime. The rest 10 % are fence-sitters, most of whom in fact do not like the regime, but just cannot bring themselves to support the Opposition, or they feel they have something to lose with the fall of the regime.

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January 25th, 2012, 3:30 pm

 

127. irritated said:

Khalid Tlass

The garbage bin is overflowing with you long posts and the smell is too much to bear. Move to Abboud’s blog, you’ll make a good duo.

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January 25th, 2012, 3:35 pm

 

128. SANDRO LOEWE said:

LEBANESE CONTEMPLATING,

Lebanon case was a different one. In Syria the people has been 40 years hearing the regime opinions and not having any chance of speaking a single word. Now the regime can freely turn democratic and asks the people to sit on a table while he holds a gun in the other hand. But even so the regime does it not.

In Lebanon the way to war was long, including palestinian factions, the progressist movement, nasserism, the effects of frustrated wars, and intervention of Syria, Israel, US and URSS interests. It took some years to create the war and lebanese were living a high standard living and certain degrees of freedom and democracy. The case of Lebanon is much more difficult to understand how an accomodated society could be trapped this way.

As per syrian society, has little to lose and all to win. Syrian people has been living under poverty levels and under dignity levels. This is, let me say, the contrary of Lebanon.

In Lebanon, as a result of war, all sides lost. In Syria as a result of a possible regime change 95 % of populatin has all to win.

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January 25th, 2012, 3:38 pm

 

129. sheila said:

Dear #125. Lebanese Contemplating,
You are right about Lebanon, but our situation in Syria is very different. We have a dictator, who is ruling the country as head of a Mafia that consists of many people from different sects, ethnicities and religions. We are not Sunnis fighting Alawis and Christians. The regime has a lot of Alawis, Sunnis, Christians and others in its ranks or supporting it and the opposition consists of Sunnis, Christians, Alawis and others. It is a fight for dignity and freedom after years of oppression and corruption. It is a fight to put Syria back on track to have a semblance of hope in a bright future.

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January 25th, 2012, 3:42 pm

 

130. jad said:

Lebanese Contemplating
Your comment is excellent, the irony is that you get replies like:
“Lebanon case was a different one.”
and
“but our situation in Syria is very different.”

“Deaf” indeed, may I add ‘Blind’ too?

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January 25th, 2012, 3:54 pm

 

131. jad said:

Syrian Snapshot I: A View From the Capital
By: Sharmine Narwani

“But two things caught my eye. The first was the posters vilifying certain media networks – Al Jazeera, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya, and the BBC – which dotted the walls of the border crossing. One to the right of the counter for “foreigners” hovered over the head of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) crew in line in front of me. Ah, I thought – the rumors that foreign journalists are now trickling into Syria may be true.

The second noteworthy detail was the whispers among border personnel that a busload of Syrian soldiers being transported from their barracks had been bombed by a roadside IED near Zabadani, a town now claimed by the armed opposition. I have no confirmation of this.”
{…}
“Later that day I met with the first person on my list of regime opponents, most of whom had served prison terms at some point in their lives. I will write in more detail about these men and women later, but they varied from those who desired an overhaul of the regime while keeping Assad’s presidency intact, to those who would not consider dialogue with any part of the existing government. There were some commonalities. All rejected any foreign military intervention and the militarization of the protests. The majority were scathing about the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and external opposition groups like the Syrian National Council (SNC), so liberally quoted by the Western media as the definitive voice of the Syrian “opposition.”
“Their decisions are made in America and Turkey,” said one regime critic about the foreign-based Syrian opposition. “I want decisions made in Syria.””
{…}
““Sanctions will not affect the authorities, but will affect the people,” claims retired political economist Aref Dalila, an organizer of the 2000-1 Damascus Spring (a period of unusual political and social openness in Syria immediately following Hafez Assad’s death) who was released from a seven-year prison term in 2008. “People are already paying a high cost – prices have risen dramatically, factories have shut down, imports have decreased by around half and unemployment has risen, especially in the tourism sector.””
{…}
“Damascus is bizarrely open for a city that has been the target of opposition groups intent on splintering the regime by first swaying the capitol from its pro-regime bent. The internet is bustling with competing narratives, the airways open to the vilified foreign media networks accused by Assad’s government of fueling and propagandizing the protests.

Walk into a Damascene café or business and you are likely to see television screens broadcasting the pro-regime Addounia network or state-sponsored Al Ekhbariya Soriyah alongside the much-maligned Al Jazeera or US-backed Al Hurra. It almost seems like the regime is saying “bring us your worst – we have little to fear.”

A world away, in Homs, Deraa, Idlib, Douma, Zabadani and other Syrian hot spots the battle for narratives is harder fought. These are the cities and towns where people are reportedly dying by the dozens each day. I had a trip planned to some of these places – one that did not materialize after France 2 cameraman Gilles Jacquier was killed by a projectile while on a government-accompanied tour of Homs. But although I felt as though I might actually be safer in the immediate aftermath of Jacquier’s death, some apparently thought otherwise.”
{…}
“This Syrian conflict has layers and layers that we have not yet peeled within the pages of our sanctified newspapers and online repartees. I have seen very little verifiable professional reportage from the main areas of conflict. Most of the “storyline” is taking place in capital cities where competing governments appear determined to decide Syria’s future. The Syrian people are just cannon fodder. I am not sure their lives are even considered, as long as their bodies, alive or dead, lying on streets or taking part in rallies/protests, provide these storylines a way to feed into their vying narratives.”

“I have seen gruesome still photos of casualties that don’t inform me if the victim is Sunni, Christian, Kurd, Druze or Alawite, but the sheer volume of these photos and footage suggests to me that some in Syria now think nothing of making snuff films to further their narratives. Is the shooting soldier really a member of the regular armed forces or someone donning a uniform to make it appear so? Is the bearded guy with the weapon really a militarized gunman or is that a trick of the regime?

The answers may be a long time coming, but one thing is certain: there are efforts underway by both sides to sway public opinion, and that effort is not by any means limited to those inside Syria. What do the majority of Syrians want? That is still the million dollar question, and the answer appears to shift with each major development – sometimes with optimism, usually with pessimism. If I were to wager on the outcome of this crisis though, I would firmly place my bets on the Syrian people rejecting these interventions and reaching their own national consensus on a democratic transition that ensures sovereignty. If civil war is to be averted, there are only a few options out of this conflict after all – and the one that offers the least chaos is the one most likely to appeal to the Syrian majority.”

Full article:
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syrian-snapshot-i-view-capital

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January 25th, 2012, 4:04 pm

 

132. ann said:

At UN on Syria, Arab League Annex Amateur Hour Delays Briefing Request

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1annex012512.html

UNITED NATIONS, January 25, updated — The request for the Arab League to brief the UN Security Council on Syria was the subject of back and forth inside and in front of the Council on Wednesday.

A Council source emerged and told Inner City Press “there is a problem with the annexes” to the Arab League’s letter. The UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant came out and told assembled reporters that “it is agreed,” that the month’s Council president, South Africa’s Baso Sangqu, will contact the Arab League and set up the briefing.

Lyall Grant said the UK wanted the briefing to be Monday (though given the request that it be “ministerial,” getting by then Ministers Hague, Juppe, Clinton, Westerwelle, for example, not to mention Lavrov seems unlikely. One Council wag noted, “as she does,” that US Ambassador Susan Rice is a minister.)

Finally Council President Sangqu emerged. Told of what Lyall Grant said, Sangqu said “he jumped the gun.” Inner City Press asked him about the annexes. He replied that one was only in Arabic, which he can’t read, and the other isn’t here yet, they’ve said it’s coming “by courier.” He said that if Syria asks to also speak, it should be granted.

Sangqu also said he would tell the Arab League that “some members” want the briefing to include Sudanese military official Al Dabi — who had responsibility in the Darfur conflicts, for which the International Criminal Court has indicted president Omar al Bashir. Can you say, amateur hour? Watch this site.

Update of 3:50 pm — a Western diplomat says Al-Arabi tells them he’s willing to brief the Council on Monday, and in person. One problem, it seems, is that Ban Ki-moon “as is so often the case” will be out of town. Apparently it would be violate protocol to have the Secretary General of the Arab League some and not meet the UN SG. So, video only?

French – Turkish Update: Tuesday morning Inner City Press reported that attendees to the French convened meetings on Syria included Turkey.

But on Wednesday in front of UN Secretary General’s question and answer session with member states, which was closed to the press and public, Inner City Press was told by two diplomats that Turkey had declined France’s invitation, citing the “Armenian genocide law” and, they said, French arrogance.

Will this impact that side’s coordination on Syria? We’ll see.

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January 25th, 2012, 4:16 pm

 

133. ann said:

Head of Arab observers to Syria stresses to stick to neutrality during his mission – 2012-01-26

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/26/c_131376975.htm

DAMASCUS, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Head of the Arab League (AL) observer mission in Syria Moustafa Mohammed Ahmed al-Dabi stressed Wednesday his mission’s resolution to “adhere fast to neutrality and objectiveness” to implement the protocol signed between Syria and the AL.

Al-Dabi made the remarks when he met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, during which he briefed al-Moallen on the report he had recently submitted to the AL ministerial meeting in the Egyptian capital of Cairo as well as the vision of the Arab observers toward the situation in Syria, state-run SANA news agency reported.

For his part, al-Moallem reiterated Syria’s commitment to a full cooperation with the Arab observers “in spite of the obstacles placed on its road by some parties” that have no desire to reveal the reality in Syria.

Al-Moallem said it is the government’s duty to “protect its people and put an end to the crimes of armed groups and their sabotaging acts that target civilians, security agents and public and private institutions.”

Syria’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Damascus accepted the AL request of extending the Arab observer mission in Syria for another month, SANA reported, adding that Syria’s approval was conveyed in a message sent Tuesday by al-Moallem to the AL chief Nabil al-Arabi.

The AL started a monitoring mission in Syria on Dec. 26, 2011, and made an assessment on Sunday, during which Arab foreign ministers decided to extend the observer mission in Syria, to provide it with technical and financial assistance, and to cooperate with the United Nations in this regard.

Besides, the AL also urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to delegate power to his first vice president and a national unity government in a fresh initiative aimed at ending the political crisis in the country.

The initiative, announced after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers, stipulated the formation of a national unity government that should be formed within two months with the participation of the opposition to eventually prepare for free presidential and parliamentary elections under the supervision of Arab countries and the international community.

The plan also urged the Syrian government to prepare a draft constitution to be approved through a popular referendum, demanding Assad delegate full powers to enable the national unity government to act in the transitional period.

The AL urged the Syrian government and all the opposition sides to start a political dialogue sponsored by the AL within two weeks.

Syria dismissed the initiative as “flagrant interference in Syria’s affairs,” but accepted to extend the observer mission as the last ditch effort to avoid the internationalization of the ten- month-old unrest.

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January 25th, 2012, 4:24 pm

 

134. ann said:

At least four people killed across Syria, including prominent figures – 2012-01-26

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/26/c_131376989.htm

DAMASCUS, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Two prominent Syrian figures were killed along with two other civilians Wednesday by “armed terrorist groups” in north and central Syria, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Abdel Razaq Jbeiro, head of Red Crescent branch in northern Idlib province, was assassinated on Wednesday by armed men in northern Khan Sheikhoun city, just outside Idlib, according to SANA.

The gunmen opened fire on Jbeiro and killed him with a shot to the head after which he was transported to a nearby hospital but could not be saved, the report said.

Meanwhile, another armed group assassinated Father Basilious Nassar, priest of Kafrbuhum village, while he was giving first aid to a wounded man at al-Jarajmeh neighborhood in central Hama province, according to SANA.

In another attack on Wednesday, an armed group killed an old man along with his wife after kidnapping them a day earlier in central Homs province.

On the opposition side, some opposition activists’ group was quoted by the Doha-based al-Jazeera TV as saying that a total of 24 people were killed by security forces’ gunfire in several Syrian cities on Wednesday.

The report said that the Syrian army conducted raids in Hama. The opposition’s report, however, could not be independently checked.

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January 25th, 2012, 4:26 pm

 

135. Observer said:

So there is clearly a major set of flaws in this survery with poor statistics, sampling error, sample representation, lack of input from the interior, and the use of the electronic army at the service of the regime.
To make my point this is today posted in Cham Press so there is such a thing as an electronic army that works to the bias of the regime
Here is the excerpt
دمشق..
أفادت “الاخبارية السورية” عن أن الجيش السوري الالكتروني يخترق الاف المواقع الاسرائيلية والاميركية والبريطانية، “اهداء الى سوريا واهلها”، وينشر على صفحته على الفيسبوك فضائح الجزيرة وموظفيها.

شام برس

So please can we move to a more substantial post, this is so lame and irrelevant to what is happening. It is so Alex that is boring me to death

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January 25th, 2012, 5:31 pm

 

136. Humanist said:

Alex,

I’m not suprised if these polls indeed are true for Syrian INTERNET USERS. That is my impression as well.

However I think the main problem with your “analysis” is that active internet users in Syria (as in other undeveloped countries) only represents a very small ELITE.

And in Syria, more than in the other “Arab revolutions”, it is obviously very much a class based uprising.

Just watch a anti-regime protest video. The people that protest mostly seem to belong to the poorer (and less westernized) 2/3 of the population.
I would say very few of these people have access to internet, but they still do represent the majority of Syrians (as a “social group” or class).

So in real, free elections the outcome would probably be very different.
.
.
.
(Well, that’s exactly why you don’t have any…)

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January 25th, 2012, 6:04 pm

 

137. Tara said:

Alex

First of all, I commend you for your good intention of attempting not to hurt Tara’s feelings by not addressing your post directly at her.  At least that is my interpretation of why you left off your post un-addressed.  Although I don’t believe you shy away from being “harsh or sarcastic” in your “come back”, I think it is rather our ME culture that treat women in general with some sort of either respect or delicateness, to the contrary of the western public opinion that is fixated on how much women are oppressed in those “uncivilized” Arab countries, and may be this is the case in some.  

Second, I am a bit surprised with your internalization of the critiques of the poll.  The criticism was directed at the study and not at you personally.  While you have published in peer review journals and I do not doubt your intelligence, energy, and hard-work; you should also know that some of us might be serving on the editorial board of those peer review journals deciding which original research contributions get published and which ones get tossed out based on the methodology.  As you well know, almost every published research study is followed in the same journal by an editorials opinion to highlight the weaknesses as well as the strength of the method used.  I do question the validity of a FB sample being a representative of the Syrian society.  This is rather a legit scientific question that does not warrant an emotional answer such as characterizing us as “those who despise and belittle Syrians on Facebook” or “you are all part of the regime that need reforms”.    

Personally, I would have rather your come back by not emotionally reacting to the question of “the validity of the sample”, but rather to my own emotional statement of “I am surprised that a biased assessment is allowed on Syria Comment” as this statement of mine does  imply Josh’s and your culpability in spreading pro- regime propaganda and that was not really the intention of my critique, rather it was the ME blood boiling in my arteries, reading the poll’s conclusion that is so far from the truth. 

As far as your last comment is concerned,  it is my opinion that Khalid Tlass should not be banned for hateful comments.  This is something I learned from JL.  This is a political blog and we should hear it all.  As much as I am personally dismayed by Tlass’ s opinion as well as by the statements of our many many islamophobes every time they insult prophet Muhammad, I do think Khaked and our collection of Islamophobes should not be banned for their opinion.  People should be banned when they use profanity or personal insults directed at another poster but not for sectarianism, hatred, or insults to the beloved leader.

It is my opinion that we shouldn’t burry our heads in the sand and pretend that there is no sectarianism or hatred in our country and that all Muslims and Christians, Alawis and Sunnis, Xs and Ys co-exist and in love with each others.  Apparently, they are not.  The sad truth is some never genuinely coexisted and never genuinely loved each other.  If we, as a society, kept those emotions suppressed and did not deal with them in the open,  we will remain sectarian, hateful, and will not progress.               

I would like now to turn the question back to you and ask how come you had no problem tolerating every and each Islamophobe, viciously insulting the prophet Muhammad and showed no tolerance whatsoever to Tlass today? 
 

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January 25th, 2012, 7:09 pm

 

138. Pirouz said:

We have a similar problem with how Iran public opinion polls are accepted.

In the case of the Iran public opinion polls, they have been conducted by professional, experienced outfits, American and Canadian, that are no friend of the regime. Yet they all (5) consistently show public opinion inside Iran to be in favor of the establishment by a 3:1 margin (including law enforcement and security measures, as well as a slighter lower majority in favor of certain civil liberties restricted based on national security needs). All five polls mirror the official results of the 2009 presidential election, and in varying degrees nearly 90% show support of some kind for their form of government.

Of course, this is anathema to the diaspora, much like the Syrian diaspora loathes the results of this Facebook poll.

One last comment: the Iran polls all used scientifically derived methodologies, whereas the Syrian polls utilize Facebook. Not as accurate, I admit. But like the Iran polls, the Syrian Facebook polls are fairly consistent, which suggests reliability. And that’s what an objective person looks for in a poll.

But for those emotionally invested in a certain outcome, any result not reinforcing their particular outlook will be rejected out of hand.

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January 25th, 2012, 7:23 pm

 

139. Tara said:

And the cosmic conspiracy now expanding to include Reporters without:

“Control of news and information continued to tempt governments and to be a question of survival for totalitarian and repressive regimes,” said the Paris-based group. 

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/178887/reftab/36/t/Syria-Bahrain-Yemen-get-worse-press-freedom-ranking/Default.aspx

Syria, Bahrain, Yemen Get Worse Press Freedom Ranking

PARIS, Jan 25, (AFP): Syria, Bahrain and Yemen received their worst ever press freedom ranking Wednesday in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) index for 2011, a tumultuous year that saw the downfall of several Arab dictators.

This year’s index saw many changes in the rankings that reflect a year in which many media organisations paid dearly for their coverage of popular uprisings against veteran autocratic leaders, RSF said.
….
RSF said it was no surprise that the same trio of countries — Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan — were bottom of the list because they were “absolute dictatorships that permit no civil liberties”.
“They are immediately preceded at the bottom by Syria, Iran and China, three countries that seem to have lost contact with reality as they have been sucked into an insane spiral of terror,” it said.
….
“Total censorship, widespread surveillance, indiscriminate violence and government manipulation made it impossible for journalists to work” in Syria last year, which fell to 176th position in the index.

(…)

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January 25th, 2012, 8:06 pm

 

140. Tara said:

24 killed by the regime today including one woman and a child. Tanks are shelling Erbeen in Damascus suburbs.

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January 25th, 2012, 8:15 pm

 

141. Ghufran said:

قررت أكاديمية ابن سينا للطب والعلوم في الهند ترشيح الدكتور عبد الناصر كعدان الأستاذ في قسم تاريخ العلوم الطبية في معهد التراث العلمي العربي بجامعة حلب لنيل جائزة نوبل لعام 2012 في مجال الأدب لإسهاماته المتميزة في مجال الدراسات التاريخية.
وقالت جامعة حلب: إن رئيس أكاديمية ابن سينا الهندية للطب والعلوم البروفسور الدكتور حكيم ظل الرحمن أبلغ الجامعة أن الأكاديمية تعتبر الدكتور كعدان أحد أهم الباحثين في مجال تاريخ الطب بشكلٍ عام وتاريخ الطب العربي الإسلامي بشكلٍ خاص، ولاسيما إسهامه بتصحيح بعض المغالطات المرتبطة بإنجازات الأطباء العرب خلال القرون الوسطى، والتي مازال البعض منها ينسب في المراجع الطبية بشكلٍ خاطئ لأطباء غربيين.
ويشغل الدكتور كعدان منصب رئيس الجمعية الدولية لتاريخ الطب الإسلامي، وهو رئيسٌ لتحرير مجلتها التي تصدر بالإنكليزية منذ عام 2000، كما أنه مديرٌ لتحرير موسوعة أعلام الأطباء العرب، وحائزٌ شهادة الدراسات العليا في الجراحة العظمية من جامعة حلب.
ونال كعدان أول درجة دكتوراه تمنح لطبيب في تاريخ العلوم الطبية عام 1993 من معهد التراث، وشارك في أكثر من 120 مؤتمراً محلياً وعربياً ودولياً، كما نشر ثمانية كتب وعشرات الأبحاث باللغتين العربية والإنكليزية في مجلات محلية وعربية وعالمية.
وكعدان عضو وعضو شرف في 17 جمعية علمية محلية وعربية ودولية، ونال عشرين منحة علمية وجائزة «Scholarships and Prizes» من كل من سورية واليابان وبريطانيا وسنغافورة وفرنسا وتايوان وألمانيا والولايات المتحدة الأميركية والسويد والدانمارك وسويسرا وبلجيكا وإسبانيا وجنوب إفريقيا ومنظمة الصحة العالمية. كما نال الدكتور كعدان جائزة باسل الأسد من مجلس مدينة حلب عام 2006، ومنحته جامعة طهران للعلوم الطبية لقب أستاذ شرف «Honorary Professor» عام 2010.

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January 25th, 2012, 8:42 pm

 

142. Dale Andersen said:

From the al-Qaeda/CIA/Jew/Non-Spammie Annie/EU/Salafist Press:

…before turning to Syria, President Obama mentioned Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who met his end at the hands of his own citizens:

“Gaddafi was one of the world’s longest-serving dictators – a murderer with American blood on his hands. Today, he is gone. And in Syria, I have no doubt that the Assad regime will soon discover that the forces of change cannot be reversed, and that human dignity cannot be denied.”

Obama’s remarks on Syria earned him a standing ovation in which both Republicans and Democrats joined in…

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January 25th, 2012, 9:00 pm

 

143. M K said:

This “analysis” is absurd and it neglected the largest bias of all: lack of poll anonymity. For those members who support the opposition, voting in a public poll that is tied to their real name could put themselves and their families in danger of arrest, torture, or execution by the regime. These fears are real – so much so that even Syrians living abroad are wary of participating in polls like this, fearing that their relatives living inside Syria could be put in harms way or they themselves would be “blacklisted” and unable to ever return to Syria without risk of arrest if the regime survived.

The other major bias that tilts such polls further in the regime’s favor is the fact that the Syrian government has been actively engaged in cyber-propaganda by making “astro-turf” Twitter and Facebook accounts to broadcast their messages. One only has to search #Syria to find a ridiculous number of suspicious users that do nothing all day except post how “beautiful” Syria is and how much they “love Bashar.”

I find it very strange that this Facebook poll is featured on Joshua Landis’ blog and yet all anonymous polling with far larger sample sizes are neglected. Polling aside, if the Syrian expat community is indicative of popular opinion amongst Syrians, it is clear from all of the flash mobs around the world that they overwhelmingly support the opposition. I have yet to hear of a single flash mob that is pro-regime. At best, pro-regime gatherings can muster a couple dozen people and only then in capitals where their embassy is based (likely embassy staff).

In short, this article does not pass the sniff test. If it looks like BS, smells like BS, and tastes like BS… well, readers here are intelligent enough to call it BS.

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January 25th, 2012, 9:26 pm

 

144. Ghufran said:

الخارجية الروسية: روسيا والجزائر على استعداد للمساهمة في تسوية الأزمة السورية
 
أعلن وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف يوم الأربعاء 25 يناير/كانون الثاني ان روسيا مستعدة لاستضافة الأطراف السورية في اراضيها لإجراء حوار بينها.
 
وقال لافروف في مؤتمر صحفي عقده مع نظيره التركي أحمد داود أوغلو في موسكو: “فيما يتعلق بمكان إجراء الحوار بين القوى السورية المختلفة، اننا سنرحب باي خيار يقبله الجميع. إذا كانت المعارضة لا تريد الذهاب الى دمشق، فان الحوار قد يجري في مقر الجامعة العربية بالقاهرة أو في تركيا أو في الأراضي الروسية”.
 
وتابع قائلا: من المهم ان نحث معا جميع السوريين على الجلوس الى طاولة المفاوضات. ومن المهم الابتعاد عن المجموعات المسلحة التي يشملها أيضا (مثل النظام السوري) الالتزام بوقف العنف وفقا لمبادرة الجامعة العربية. يجب أن تكون هذه العملية متبادلة”.
روسيا وتركيا تدعوان الى وقف العنف بسورية
 
أعلن لافروف في أعقاب مباحثاته مع نظيره التركي ان موسكو وأنقرة تدعوان جميع أطراف النزاع في سورية الى وقف العنف. وأضاف لافروف ان التدخل العسكري الخارجي في الشؤون السورية غير مقبول.
 
وقال لافروف: “لدينا مواقف مبدئية وهي، كما تبدو تتطابق. اننا، طبعا، ندعو الى وقف اعمال العنف في سورية، مهما كان مصدرها”.

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January 25th, 2012, 9:27 pm

 

145. Ghufran said:

أعلنت مجموعة آي اتش إس iHS غلوبال إنسايت عن تخفيض التصنيف السيادي للمخاطر الائتمانية لسورية في تقرير حديث نشرته عن نتائج العام 2011.
وجاء في تقرير المجموعة أنها خفضت التصنيف السيادي للمخاطر في سورية على المدى المتوسط من 70 إلى 75 درجة، وهي الدرجة المساوية للتصنيفCa/CC والتي تعني مخاطر ائتمانية عالية جداً، حيث تعتبر الدول المصنفة تحت هذا التصنيف ذات جودة ائتمانية ضعيفة جداً، ومخاطر مضاربة عالية جداً، وأنّ هناك بعض المظاهر لحدوث حالة عدم السداد.
كما صنفت iHS سورية على المدى القصير، بأنّ مخاطرها ارتفعت من 15 إلى 20 درجة، وهو ما يعني بحسب التقرير أن احتمالات وفاء الديون والالتزام بالتعهدات والعلاقات التجارية أصبح سلبياً.
واعتبرت مجموعة آي اتش إس أن هذه التصنيف يدفع سورية نحو default وهو أخطر تصنيف في تأمين السيولة يمكن أن تتعرض له الدول، وهو ما تعيشه سورية بسبب ضغط السيولة وندرتها.
وتوقع التقرير استمرار تدهور الاقتصاد السوري مع استمرار الأزمة وعدم وصولها إلى حل.
وبين التقرير مخاطر استمرار عدم الاستقرار السياسي، لأن البطالة بحسب التقرير ارتفعت لتصل إلى نسبة تتراوح بين 22-30% من السكان.
وبين التقرير أنّه مع ظهور مفاعيل العقوبات الأميركية والأوروبية والتركية والعربية، فإنّ الاقتصاد السوري سيعاني تدهوراً بدأ بخفض الموازنة العامة بنسبة 25%، ثم تلاه التدهور في وضع الليرة أمام الدولار، رغم القرارات المتعلقة بضبط العملة وتمويل المستوردات.
وتوقع التقرير أن يستمر تأثير المواجهات السياسية في سورية على الاقتصاد مباشرة، بما فيها اقتصادات بعض الدول المجاورة وبشكل مباشر منها لبنان.
ولفت التقرير إلى أن سورية أصبحت تمتلك عدداً محدوداً من الشركاء التجاريين، والذي يعتبر أكثرهم التزاماً معها هم روسيا، لكن هذا الالتزام غير مستقر بحسب التقرير.
وكان أول تصنيف ائتماني حصلت عليه سورية كان في عام 2010 من قبل وكالة كابيتال إنتلجنس العالمية، حيث حصلت على تصنيف BB- بالعملة الأجنبية، وتصنيف BB بالعملة المحلية للفترة الطويلة، وتصنيف B للفترة القصيرة، وهو ما يعني أن سورية صنفت يومها بأنها تقع ضمن درجة المضاربة Speculative Grade وهي مؤشر لارتفاع درجة المخاطر الائتمانية.

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January 25th, 2012, 9:45 pm

 

146. majedkhaldoun said:

I fully support the great FSA, the defenders of syrians, the nucleos of our future army, I think if Arab League want to help they should support the FSA.
Some members of the FSA are not naturally qualified to be leaders, but in the FSA there seems to have members who are fully qualified to be the leader of FSA and the future leaders of Syria, The political leaders of the opposition,they have to recognize the leadership of FSA.

Those who believe in peaceful revolution will change and will recognize FSA as the only way to overthrow Bashar, 3aqeel Hashem in the interview by france 24 certainly was much more convincing than the ignorant Haytham Manna3.

What The regime fear most is the FSA,the regime knows that FSA has the support of the people and a majority of the syrian army,

It is time to have a T.V. station and Radio who speaks for the FSA.

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January 25th, 2012, 10:00 pm

 

147. jad said:

الدبلوماسي السوري لوزير الخارجية السوفياتي: لا أطماع لبلدي في دولتكم!
من قال إن الأسد سيسقط قبل أوباما أو ساركوزي؟
عماد مرمل
قبل أيام، سأل مسؤول دولي مرجعا رسميا لبنانيا عن رأيه في المبادرة العربية الأخيرة لتسوية الأزمة السورية. ابتسم المرجع، وأجاب ضيفه: أتحداك أن تحدد بالضبط ما هي المبادرة العربية وان تقدم تعريفا واضحا لها، حتى أعطيك رأيي فيها.
وأضاف المرجع: لقد كانت الجامعة العربية من أشد المتحمسين لإرسال المراقبين الى سوريا، فإذا ببعض الدول الأعضاء فيها تسارع الآن الى سحبهم. وكانت الجامعة تضغط لإطلاق حوار بين النظام بقيادة الرئيس بشار الأسد والمعارضة، فإذا بالنسخة الجديدة من المبادرة تدعو عمليا الأسد الى التنحي وتفويض صلاحياته الى نائب الرئيس، أي ان المطلوب منه الآن أن يلغي نفسه لا أن يتحاور مع المعارضة.
ولعل قرار الدول الخليجية سحب المراقبين العائدين لها من سوريا، في مقابل بقاء مراقبين آخرين ينتمون الى جنسيات اخرى، يعطي مؤشرا واضحا الى حالة التخبط التي تسود المجموعة العربية، فيما بدا كأن دمشق ربحت جولة تكتيكية في المواجهة المفتوحة مع «صقور» الجامعة العربية، بعدما جاء تقرير رئيس بعثة المراقبين أحمد الدابي ليقلب السحر على الساحر، من خلال توازنه في توصيف الواقع الميداني وعدم حصره المسؤولية عن سفك الدماء بأجهزة النظام، خلافا للتوقعات المسبقة لدى أصحاب «الملكية الفكرية» لمشروع المراقبين، الذين كانوا يفترضون أن مضمون التقرير سيؤمن التغطية لـ«التدويل المنتظر» وسيختصر الطريق نحو إحراج النظام تمهيدا لإخراجه، بعد ضبطه بالجرم المشهود، وهذا ما لم يحصل وفق السيناريو الافتراضي المعد مسبقا.
لا يعني ذلك، بطبيعة الحال، أن استراتيجية النظام السوري في التعاطي مع الأزمة لا تخلو من الفجوات، وهناك بين حلفائه من يأخذ عليه أساساً افتقاره الى اللياقة البدنية في السباق مع الوقت، حيث كان من الأجدى على سبيل المثال ان يلقي الأسد خطابه الأخير، ليس مؤخرا كما فعل، بل قبل أشهر، لان المضمون الإصلاحي الهام الذي انطوى عليه هذا الخطاب فقد جزءا من فعاليته وديناميته نتيجة عدم ضبط ساعته على توقيت الأرض المتحركة.
وبرغم هذه المآخذ، يعتقد حلفاء دمشق أن الاسد ما زال أقوى مما يفترضه خصومه، وإذا كان هؤلاء يعدون الأيام لسقوطه، فإن الرئيس السوري يعد أيضا الايام الفاصلة عن موعد إجراء الانتخابات الفرنسية والأميركية، «وحينها من يضمن أن الرئيس نيكولا ساركوزي سيعود الى الإليزيه، وان الرئيس باراك أوباما سيعود الى البيت الابيض، ومن قال ان الرئيس السوري سيسقط قبل هذين الرئيسين أو أحدهما؟».
ولئن كان الحصار الاقتصادي هو أحد خيارات «الحرب النظيفة» على نظام الاسد، إلا ان «الحلفاء» يرون ان تأثير هذا الحصار لن يكون كبيرا ما دامت هناك حدود مفتوحة لسوريا مع بلدين هما العراق ولبنان، إضافة الى ان البوابة الاقتصادية مع تركيا لم تُغلق بعد، خلافا للبوابة السياسية. ثم ان ما يساعد سوريا كما إيران على مواجهة العقوبات، هو أنهما تعتمدان الى حد كبير على الاكتفاء الذاتي في العديد من المجالات الحيوية، من دون إغفال تحفظ الأردن على العقوبات الاقتصادية.
أما تركيا التي كان البعض يراهن عليها لشد الخناق على بشار الاسد، باعتبار انها يمكن ان تشكل قاعدة متقدمة للهجوم الدولي – الإقليمي، فهي استهلكت الكثير من زخمها وخسرت العديد من أوراقها، بسبب اندفاعها المبكر نحو إحراق المراحل، الى جانب انها تواجه أصلا نقطتي ضعف: الاولى تتمثل في أن العلويين الأتراك لن يتقبلوا بسهولة خسارة نظام علوي موجود بالقرب منهم، وان الأكراد الموجودين في سوريا والعراق هم قنابل قابلة للانفجار في أي وقت، فضلا عن نقطة ضعف ثالثة متصلة بالتأزم المتدرج للواقع الداخلي التركي.
وإذا كان البعض قد وجد في «النموذج اليمني» وصفة للتخلص من بشار الأسد بأقل الخسائر الممكنة، إلا انه يبدو ان المتحمسين لهذا النموذج يجهلون أو يتجاهلون انه لا يمكن ان يسري حتى إشعار آخر على سوريا للأسباب الآتية:
– ليست الثورات أو الأزمات في العالم العربي نسخة واحدة، ومن الخطأ التعامل معها وفق معايير واحدة، وبالتالي فإن المخارج التي تصح في هذا البلد لا تصح بالضرورة في بلد آخر.
– حظيت المبادرة الخليجية التي اعتُمدت لمعالجة الوضع اليمني بشبه إجماع عربي، بينما لا يتوافر هذا الإجماع في حالة الازمة السورية، حيث تتباين حسابات الدول العربية ومواقفها حيال هذه الازمة.
– افتقر الرئيس اليمني علي عبد الله صالح في «معركة البقاء» الى حاضنة إقليمية دافئة ونقطة ارتكاز دولية، في حين يتمتع الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد بـ«حماية روسية» ورعاية إيرانية.
– اصطفت الأغلبية الشعبية في الشارع اليمني ضد الرئيس صالح، في حين ان هذه الأغلبية، بمعزل عن حجمها، ما زالت الى جانب الرئيس الاسد في الشارع السوري.
– تعرّض الجيش اليمني لتصدعات حقيقية، على مستوى رتب عالية ووحدات مكتملة خرجت منه، بينما يحافظ الجيش السوري على تماسكه حتى الآن برغم بعض الانشقاقات الموضعية.
– ان إسرائيل لا تجاور اليمن، بينما تقع على حدود سوريا، مع ما تفرزه هذه «الجغرافيا السياسية» من معادلات استراتيجية تفرض التدقيق في الحسابات.
في هذا السياق، يروي أحد الظرفاء ان القائم بالاعمال السوري عبد المطلب الامين الذي كان معتمدا في موسكو في الاربعينيات من القرن الفائت، طلب موعدا من وزارة الخارجية السوفياتية للمراجعة في بعض الامور الروتينية. لاحقا، تلقى الامين اتصالا أفاده ان اللقاء سيكون مع وزير خارجية الاتحاد السوفياتي، وكان هذا واحداً من ابرز أبطال الحرب العالمية الثانية. فوجئ الامين بموعد لم يكن مستعدا له وراح يفكر بما سيقوله له عندما يلتقيه، الى ان وجد في «الطرفة السياسية» أفضل الحلول في مثل هذه المناسبات، فكان ان خاطب وزير الخارجية بالقول: انا أتيت لأطمئنك الى انه ليس لدى سوريا أي أطماع في الاتحاد السوفياتي!
يضحك الراوي، ناصحا بعض العرب واللبنانيين باستخلاص العبرة من هذه الواقعة.
http://assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionId=2060&ChannelId=48974&ArticleId=2378&Author=%D8%B9%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AF%20%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%85%D9%84

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January 25th, 2012, 10:13 pm

 

148. Ghufran said:

It is not the FSA that Syrians should fear as long as that army is doing what it says,protecting and defending civilians,however,events on the ground paint a different picture: random violent acts and a series of assassinations. Those unacceptable non defensive acts affecting syrians from all walks of life are done in the name of the FSA and the opposition in general.
Ahead of a potential forced political settlement,the fighting forces,especially the regime,are about to push hard to gain more ground,that means,unfortunately,an escalation of violence.

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January 25th, 2012, 10:24 pm

 

149. Revlon said:

137. PIROUZ:
((We have a similar problem with how Iran public opinion polls are accepted.))
In the case of the Iran public opinion polls, they have been conducted by professional, experienced outfits, American and Canadian, that are no friend of the regime.))
So what is the background of such professional outfits and who initiates the study?
– A for profit Iranian consultancy group with American/Canadian education?
– A for profit, private foreign consultancy group specialized in opinion polls.
– An independent, non-for profit NGO?

((Yet they all (5) consistently show public opinion inside Iran to be in favor of the establishment by a 3:1 margin (including law enforcement and security measures, as well as a slighter lower majority in favor of certain civil liberties restricted based on national security needs). All five polls mirror the official results of the 2009 presidential election, and in varying degrees nearly 90% show support of some kind for their form of government))

Yes!
– 90% will support Iranian claims over UAE Islands.
– 90% support Palestinian cause
– 90% support resistance foreign policy!
– Lower majority on certain civil liberties!! I guess I guess Iranian people want Allah, Iran, and Ayatollahs only!

((But like the Iran polls, the Syrian Facebook polls are fairly consistent, which suggests reliability And that’s what an objective person looks for in a poll).

One can be consistently accurate or inaccurate.
Consistent bias leads to systematic shift; you can rely on that rule.
Consistency and reliability are not synonymous with accuracy.

((But for those emotionally invested in a certain outcome, any result not reinforcing their particular outlook will be rejected out of hand.).

The emotional bunch are the insecure ones that refuse independent, professional field surveys lest their National Sentiment/Pride get hurt.

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January 25th, 2012, 11:04 pm

 

150. Ghufran said:

For those who like history,this is a very nice summary about alevis in Turkey.
The way Arabs and Muslim countries deal with minorities is one of the most reliable indicators of those countries’ ability and willingness to enter the 21st century as progressive nations instead of marginal masses.
http://www.alevi.dk/ENGELSK/Turkish_Alevis_Today.pdf

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January 25th, 2012, 11:12 pm

 

151. Ghufran said:

Rami Khouri-The Guardian:
The Arab League’s dynamism in Syria is refreshing and welcome, but it is also perplexing. I am not sure why most Arab countries vote for such sharp intervention in a member state when they know very well that this precedent could be used against them one day. It is strange to see calls for national unity governments and democratic elections by Arab countries that are mostly non-democratic and non-representative of their people.

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January 25th, 2012, 11:34 pm

 

152. Revlon said:

Light break from homsrevolution facebook page
http://ar-ar.facebook.com/Homs.Revo

هتلر شاف 9 مليون شخص من جيش العدو هاجمين

فـ قال الجندي لهتلر : شو بدنا نعمل يا سيدي ؟

فـ ابتسم هتلر وقال : معك رصيد يا ولد ؟
… …

قال : الجندي اي سيدي معي

فـ قال هتلر : بحياة أبوك اعمل رنه لشباب حمص

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January 25th, 2012, 11:39 pm

 

153. Ghufran said:

(CNN) — An Ohio-born student missing for three weeks after being detained by Syrian authorities has been released, his family announced Wednesday.
Syria’s government released 21-year-old Obada Mzaik to his father Wednesday evening, said his uncle, Firas Nashef. Mzaik was taken into custody after flying from Detroit to Damascus on January 3, Nashef said.

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January 25th, 2012, 11:43 pm

 

154. jad said:

بعد اختراقه لبريدها الخاص.. الجيش السوري الالكتروني ينشر تقريراً يفضح فيه مستور الجزيرة

قام الجيش السوري الالكتروني مساء يوم الأربعاء بنشر تقرير جزئي حول بعض فضائح متعلقة بالصحفيين والمراسلين وشهود العيان الذين يعملون لدى قناة الجزيرة والجزيرة إنترناشونال والذين تم استخدامهم للتحريض على سوريا وإثارة الفتنة بين صفوف الشارع السوري.
يتضمن التقرير الذي نشره “المحترف السوري” أحد أعضاء الجيش السوري الالكتروني على موقعه الرسمي معلومات وصور وأرقام هواتف لبعض المذيعين وشهود العيان والمحررين اللذين يشاركون في مسرحية “شاهد عيان”.
وقد توعد الجيش السوري الالكتروني بنشر أطنان من الفضائح التي قد توصل إليها بعد قيامه باختراق نظام البريد الالكتروني الخاص بقناة الجزيرة، إضافة إلى اختراق الشبكة الداخلية الخاصة بمكتب الجزيرة في الدوحة.
للاطلاع على تفاصيل التقرير.

http://blog.th3pro.pro/jazop/

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January 25th, 2012, 11:51 pm

 

155. syria no kandahar said:

Tara stated 20 people got killed today,she is counting the priest
who was killed by her friends.Tara needs counsling after loosing
her body khaled the terrorist.She is trying to use her terrorists friends in Homs tactics and kidnapp someone out of SC to bargain Alex for the return of her islamic idole:khaled.Khaled classifies almost every none sunni as subhuman.He is the best evidence that Darwin was right.We all feel for your loss Tara,Khaled is a big loss,He is a living example on how smart your crappy terrorist movement is.

Revlon joking is like Taifur singing or Karadawi dancing or Alaaroor doing Hussien Fehmi’s movie.

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January 26th, 2012, 12:06 am

 

156. zoo said:

Will the Russians fall into the trap set by the new UN resolution: Giving a carte blanche to the Arab League on Syria?
http://news.yahoo.com/u-n-showdown-russia-over-syria-looms-001130341.html

The new draft resolution says the Security Council “supports … the League of Arab States’ initiative … to facilitate a political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system … including through the transfer of power from the President and transparent and free elections.”

It falls short of making compliance with the Arab plan legally binding. But it does ask U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report to the council every 15 days on Syria’s compliance with the resolution, which would formally put it on the Security Council’s agenda.

Russia has repeatedly said it does not want Syria to become another Libya, where Moscow contends that NATO misused a Security Council mandate to protect civilians as a vehicle for “regime change.”

But Western diplomats said that Russia might find it difficult to use its veto against a resolution that is simply intended to provide support for the Arab League initiative.

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January 26th, 2012, 12:07 am

 

157. Revlon said:

Homs Revolution News أخبار الثورة بحمص لحظة بلحظة

16 year old Mohammad Nour Hasan was shot in the chest by an explosive bullet.
No Surgeon could be found in the two private hospitals he was rushed to and passed away.
He was gravely wounded by Assad thugs, and deprived by Assad imposed state of siege a timely access to life saving surgical assistance.

AlFatiha upon Mohammad’s soul.
May God bless his family with solace and empower them with patience.
25/01/2012
http://ar-ar.facebook.com/Homs.Revo

تقرير حول استشهاد الشاب محمد نور حسن اغا حيث استشهد لعدم وجود دكتور جراح
الشباب اصيب عند اشارة الفاخورة برصاصة متفجرة تحت القلب بقليل وتم اخذه الى مشفى باب السباع ولايوجد دكتور جراح
وبعدها تم اخذه الى مشفى بيسان ولا يوجد دكتور جراح
الشاب عمره 16 سنة
الله يرحمو ويتقبلو من الشهداء

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January 26th, 2012, 12:08 am

 

158. zoo said:

Syrians won’t go along with Obama’s wishes
Published: 25 January, 2012, 22:21
http://rt.com/news/syria-us-muhammad-assad-703/print/

President Obama’s promise to bring “strong and stable democracy” to Syria alarms its population, which sees the shining examples of Iraq and Libya and realizes what fate awaits it, says Dr. Ali Muhammad, editor-in-chief of the website Syria Tribune.

Delivering his speech to the nation, US President Barack Obama referred to Syria and said the regime of President Bashar Assad will soon discover that the forces of change – referring to the Arab Spring – cannot be reversed.

“Every Syrian knows that the country will never go back to what it was one year ago, but at the same time the change will be decided by the Syrian people, not by the US or anybody else,”argues Dr. Ali Muhammad.

In his speech, Obama also admitted that America has a huge stake in the outcome of the Syrian conflict. Dr. Ali Muhammad believes ‘the stake’ is nothing other than ‘a new Syria’ that will not support the resistance forces against Israel and will not be an ally to Iran, a scenario mentioned a couple of months ago by the head of the rebel Syrian National Council.
….

“He (Obama) is trying to portray a democracy that is really for the good of the people while the actions of America and its allies do not prove that.”

The US, the EU and the Arab League are now busy working out a new Security Council resolution on Syria, requiring President Assad to hand over power to a new government. Syria has repeatedly rejected this scenario. The recent proposal to Syria from the Arab League with essentially the same demand quite expectedly brought the same cold response from Damascus.

“Syria has always been proud of its independent decisions and the Arab League knew for a fact that Syria will never submit to the Arab League, the US, [the UN] Security Council or whatever,” Dr. Ali Muhammad stated, not forgetting to add that Russia is showing full support to Damascus despite all odds.

Dr. Ali Muhammad predicts that having received a negative answer from Syria, the Arab League will use it as a pretext to further escalate the situation around Syria.

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January 26th, 2012, 12:15 am

 

159. Revlon said:

A member party of NCB coalition breaks has broken ranks, citing deviation from party’s indeology and undemocratic practices on the part of the NCB
25/01/2012.
http://ar-ar.facebook.com/Homs.Revo

Homs Revolution News أخبار الثورة بحمص لحظة بلحظة
إنشقاق داخل أكبر أحزاب هيئة التنسيق

حزب الاتحاد الاشتراكي العربي الديمقراطي ( ألفي عضو ) . بيان

في اجتماع ضم أعضاء من اللجنة المركزية ومن قيادات الفروع وكوادر الحزب في المحافظات .وبالتشاور مع أعضاء الحزب في الوطن العربي والبلدان الأجنبية. للبحث في وضع حزبنا وهيئة التنسيق الوطنية للتغيير الديمقراطي قرر:
ان هيئة التنسيق الوطنية للتغيير الديمقراطي لم تعد تعني حزبنا وندعو الى الانسحاب منها وذلك للأسب…اب التالية :
1-اتخاذ الهيئة مواقف سياسية وتصريحات إعلامية لا تنسجم مع الخط السياسي الناظم لحزب الاتحاد الاشتراكي العربي الديمقراطي ولأهداف الثورة .
2-قيام قيادة الهيئة وقيادة الحزب بممارسات غير ديمقراطية دون العودة لمؤسسات حزبنا ولمؤسسات هيئة التنسيق.
3-إن الدعوة لانسحاب حزبنا من الهيئة هي تحقيقا لأهداف ثورة شعبنا وليس تحقيقا لرغبات أي جهة أخرى.

الرحمة للشهداء و الحرية للمعتقلين والنصر لثورة شعبنا
عاشت سوريا حرة ديمقراطية أبية.دمشق 25/1/2012

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January 26th, 2012, 12:24 am

 

160. zoo said:

Syria Chaos Claims Priest and an Aid Group Official
By KAREEM FAHIM and STEVEN ERLANGER
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/world/middleeast/humanitarian-official-and-priest-killed-in-syria.html?pagewanted=print

DAMASCUS, Syria — The secretary general of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and a Christian priest have been killed in violence that flared in parts of Syria on Wednesday, as Arab and Western nations continued their attempts to isolate Syria by trying to unseat it from two committees at a United Nations agency.

The Red Crescent official, Dr. Abd-al-Razzaq Jbeiro, was shot and killed while traveling on the Halab-Damascus highway in a vehicle that was “clearly marked with the Red Crescent emblem,” according to a statement released by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The priest, from the Greek Orthodox Church, the Rev. Basilious Nasser, was shot and killed on the second day of heavy fighting in the city of Hama. The Syrian state news agency blamed an “armed terrorist group” for the killing, while opposition activists in Hama said the priest was shot by a government sniper.

At the same time, at least 25 countries have joined an effort to try to unseat Syria from two committees of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or Unesco, Western diplomats and Unesco officials said Wednesday. The committees deal with human rights issues.
{..}

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January 26th, 2012, 12:25 am

 

161. Juergen said:

Jonathan Miller on Syria

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January 26th, 2012, 12:46 am

 

162. Syria no kandahar said:

Revlon said:
ولا يوجد دكتور جراح
No wonder,FSA killed him(remember the head
Of cardiothorasic surgery in Homs you killed).

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January 26th, 2012, 12:55 am

 

163. jad said:

Miller should be sent to Libya again to check for what`s happening their:
بيلاي: المعتقلون في ليبيا يتعرضون للتعذيب على أيدي الثوار
أشارت المفوضة السامية لحقوق الانسان في الامم المتحدة نافي بيلاي إلى ان المعتقلين في الحرب الاهلية في ليبيا الذين يحتجزهم االثوار، ما زالوا يتعرضون للتعذيب رغم الجهود التي تبذلها الحكومة الليبية لمعالجة هذه المسألة.
وأبلغت بيلاي مجلس الامن الدولي انها تشعر بالقلق البالغ على آلاف السجناء المتهمين بموالاة الزعيم الليبي المخلوع معمر القذافي وكثير منهم من أفريقيا جنوب الصحراء الليبية.
وشددت بيلاي على ان هناك ضرورة ملحة لخضوع جميع المعتقلات في ليبيا لسيطرة وزارة العدل ومكتب المدعي العام وأن تدقق في أوضاع المعتقلين كي يفرج عنهم أو يقدموا لمحاكمة عادلة.

Der Spiegel report about Alqaeda in Syria make it to the BBC now, everybody is warning from Alqaeda that the whole world knows the terrorist work of them except of course the MBs of the SNC, they DENY the existence of any Qaeda…I guess they don`t want to give away their agents.

سوريا: هل دخلت القاعدة على الخط؟
لفت نظر متتبعي المنتديات الجهادية اصداراً جديداً لمجموعة مسلحة جديدة تطلق على نفسها اسم، يظهر للمرة الأولى على المنتديات الجهادية، “جبهة النصرة لأهل الشام”.
الإصدار أطلقته مؤسسة تسمت باسم “مؤسسة المنارة البيضاء للإنتاج الإعلامي” تيمناً في ما يبدو بمنطقة “المنارة البيضاء” شرقي دمشق، التي أشير لها في بعض أحاديث النبي محمد.
وتضمن الاصدار كلمة صوتية لمن وصف قائد الجماعة، “الفاتح أبو محمد الجولاني” الذي توعد فيها بالجهاد ضد النظام السوري مشيراً إلى أنهم يمثلون جهاديين من “بلاد الشام”.
وندد الجولاني بمبادرات الجامعة العربية والحكومة التركية، وأكد رفض مبدأ الاستعانة بالدول الغربية في إسقاط النظام.
من المعروف أن المنتديات الجهادية، وخاصة المشهورة منها مثل: “شموخ الإسلام”، و”شبكة أنصار المجاهدين” باتت تعد مصدراً أساسياً للمعلومات عن المجموعات السلفية-الجهادية.
ويذكر أن التيار “السلفي-الجهادي”، لديه عدد من “المؤسسات الإعلامية” التي تنشط حسب موقعها الجغرافي.
تصمميات الاصدار تأتي على غرار اصدرات اخرى للتيار “السلفي-الجهادي”، ولكن لا يمكن البت في مدى صدقية هذا الاصدار المرئي.
“جهاديو سوريا”
تحولت سوريا عام 2003 إلى منطقة عبور للجهاديين للقيام بعمليات في العراق.
ويقول آرون زيلين الباحث في العلوم السياسية في جامعة برانديز الأميركية، والذي يدير مدونة “جهاديولوجي” المتخصصة في رصد المجموعات الجهادية المسلحة، إنه “لن يستغرب إن أعادت هذه الشبكات نشاطها في سوريا حالياً”.
وقد عرض اصدار “جبهة نصرة أهل الشام” بعض المجموعات المسلحة التابعة لـ “الجبهة” في عدة مناطق من سوريا شملت حماة ودير الزور وإدلب ودرعا.
وطالما اتهمت الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية سوريا بغض الطرف عن حركة المتشددين نحو العراق آنذاك.
ورغم تلاقي مصالح هؤلاء والنظام السوري في تلك الحقبة الا أن القطيعة بين الطرفين عميقة.
وقد نشر “الجهاديون” آلاف الصفحات في التنظير لمواجهة ما يسمونه بـ “مواجهة النظام البعثي الكافر”، و”الطائفة النصيرية الحاكمة”، وهي التسمية التي يطلقها المتشددون على الطائفة العلوية.
أشهر من كتب في ذلك هو “أبو مصعب السوري”، والذي يعتقد أنه معتقل حالياً في سوريا، بعد تسليمه من السلطات الأمريكية التي قبضت عليه في كويتا في باكستان عام 2005. وانتشرت مؤخراً شائعات، لم تؤكد، عن اطلاق سراحه من قبل النظام.
سلمية أم مسلحة؟
وقد عمد النظام السوري، منذ بدأ التظاهرات المطالبة بإسقاط النظام في مارس/ آذار الماضي، الإشارة إلى وجود مجموعات مسلحة بين أوساط المتظاهرين.
ويقول زيلين إن هذا الاصدار لا يجب أن يكون مفاجئاً “حيث بدأنا نلحظ بروز مجموعات إعلامية جهادية تربط نفسها بالحالتين المصرية والتونسية على وجه الخصوص”.
ويقول المحلل السياسي السوري أحمد الحاج علي لـ “بي بي سي” إن سوريا تشهد بالفعل حالياً “مقومات فكر، ومنهج، وأسلوب القاعدة، وبعض الخلايا من الخارج، وبعض الاستجابات من الداخل”.
إلا أن عبيدة النحاس عضو المجلس الوطني الانتقالي السوري المعارض يقول لـ “بي بي سي”: “نعتقد أن النظام هو من صنع مثل هذا الاصدار، فهو الذي أفرج مؤخراً عن عناصر القاعدة، بل وحتى نفذ تفجيرات مثل التي استهدفت مبنى المخابرات في كفر سوسة، وتفجيرات الميدان”.
ويضيف لم نشاهد خلال الشهور العشرة الماضية أي نشاط للقاعدة ولماذا الآن، ولم يسمع أحد باسم الجبهة من قبل.
ويرى النحاس أن النظام عبر مثل هذه النشاطات “يريد أن يرسل رسالة مفادها بأن هذا هو البديل عنه، والتخويف من “عراق جديد”.
أما الحاج علي فيعتبر هذه المجموعات أداة أميركية، وبالتالي لا يمكن أن يكون النظام يدعمها وهو “أمر غريب”.
البديل
وبينما تشير احصائيات الأمم المتحدة إلى سقوط نحو 5000 قتيل في موجة العنف المستمرة في سوريا منذ بدء التظاهرات، فإن تساؤلات تثار عما إذا كان خطاب القاعدة يقدم بديلاً للمحتجين في ظل غياب الافق السياسي، والحملات التي يتعرضون لها.
يرى النحاس أن “الجيش السوري الحر”، الذي يتشكل من مجموعات منشقة عن الجيش السوري، وعبر حمايته للمتظاهرين، بدأ يقدم هذا البديل بشكل واضح، وبالتالي لا مبرر لتبني إيديولوجية القاعدة.
ويضيف أن “سلمية الثورة” باتت ثقافة في سوريا، وليس مجرد خيار سياسي.
وبالمقابل يرى آرون زيلين، أنه من المهم الانتباه إن كانت هذه المجموعة “الجهادية”، أو غيرها في سوريا، ستربط نفسها بالقاعدة في العراق، أو ما يعرف بـ “دولة العراق الإسلامية”.
ويذكر أن الفاتح أبو محمد الجولاني قال في كلمته الصوتية، في الاصدار المرئي، إنه قدم إلى “أرض سوريا من إحدى الساحات الجهادية”، التي لم يسمها، مع مجموعة من رفاقه “بعد شهور من إندلاع الثورة نصرة لأهل الشام في ثورتهم ضد النظام”.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/worldnews/2012/01/120124_syria_jihadists.shtml

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January 26th, 2012, 1:10 am

 

164. Pirouz said:

Revlon, here are the Iran public opinion polls you requested:

http://worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/652.php?lb=brme&pnt=652&nid=&id=

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/65872019/Iran-Public-Opinion-2010

http://www.ipinst.org/images/pdfs/cr_iran_2010_survey_frequency_questionnaire.pdf

As you can see, the polling was done by WPO, the University of Maryland, IPI, Charney House, Globescan and others.

Sorry I didn’t provide this in the previous comment.

Now I do concede the Syria polls using Facebook do not possess the same level of credibility as these Iran polls, which all used a scientifically derived methodology. However, both the strengths and weaknesses of the Syria polls have been detailed by the author of this post, and the reliability suggested by consistent results emphasized.

My point was how persons heavily invested and with an emotion stake in a certain outcome cannot accept results which do not conform to that which they so avidly seek, especially from a distance. We find this close minded bias in the Iranian diaspora, and apparently now in the Syrian diaspora, as well.

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January 26th, 2012, 1:19 am

 

165. Syria no kandahar said:

FSA Female branch!
كتيبة خوله بنت الازور
الفزعه يابو متعب
والله بنتفزعو جد ابو متعب

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January 26th, 2012, 1:20 am

 

166. jad said:

SNK
At least those females are adults, they understand their action, the tragedy is when those terrorists use children and give them weapons to fight, that is pure evil:

اطفال مسلحين بين المتظاهرين السلميين
http://youtu.be/b2S_id3BZD0

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January 26th, 2012, 1:26 am

 

167. Syria no kandahar said:

Jad
Hamad (feels the pain of Syrian people)meanwhile Aljazera continue to put
Oil on the Syrian fire.Hamad is a criminal pig.
In a court of law Hamad and Aljazera can be tried
For causing most of the deaths in Syria:

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January 26th, 2012, 1:34 am

 

168. Syria no kandahar said:

After all the damage they have done to the Syrian
Infrastructure and after crying out to the west to sanction their country,the dumbo frozen revolutionists are complaining.As way say
ضربني وبكا سبقني واشتكا

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January 26th, 2012, 1:44 am

 

169. ann said:

Anti-Semitism Surges as Islamists Complete ‘Arab Spring’ Conquest –
January 25, 2012

http://www.thetrumpet.com/9041.7834.0.0/religion/islam/anti-semitism-surges-as-islamists-complete-arab-spring-conquest

Many Westerners long argued that ushering greater democratic freedoms into the Middle East would reduce or remove regional Muslim contempt for Israel, the Jewish people and the broader Western world. Over the past year, as tyrants were toppled in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, and very nearly in Syria, that hypothesis has been tested.

And it has been exposed as bunk.

Rather than quelling the Muslim hatred toward Israel and the Jews, democratic freedom has led these nations to grant more power to Islamist forces. It has also led to an explosion of anti-Semitic sentiment in the newly liberated nations.

That was the conclusion of a report released on Sunday by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry.

“[While] the popular uprisings in the Arab world do not represent a general change in attitude towards Israel, Zionism and the Jews it seems the anti-Semitic discourse and incitement have become more extreme and violent,” the report said. “Charges of an international Jewish conspiracy have been a central motif in the anti-Semitic propaganda that has accompanied the Arab Spring uprisings. This motif has been emphasized in each of the countries especially by way of pointing a blaming finger towards Israel, Zionism and Jews conspiring against Arabs and Muslims.”

The report provides an extensive list of evidence, such as Libyan rebels’ claims that the mother of ousted leader Muammar Qadhafi was Jewish as a means of defaming the slain ruler. The report also cites remarks made by officials from Syrian President Bashar Assad’s beleaguered government, calling the opposition “an army of donkeys in the service of the Mossad,” which is Israel’s national intelligence agency. In Egypt, the study points to numerous slanderous declarations by clerics associated with Egypt’s new ruling parties, as well as religious edicts banning Egyptian Muslims from making agreements with “monkeys,” a reference to Jews.

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January 26th, 2012, 1:54 am

 

170. ann said:

Anti-Syrian Pack Journalism – January 25th, 2012

When America wages war or plans it, major media scoundrels cheerlead in lockstep. Incendiary managed news follows. Truth and full disclosure lose out.

As a result, readers and viewers are uninformed. Imperial Washington gets free reign to keep ravaging the world one country at a time, threatening humanity in the process.

Arguably, three major broadsheets are America’s most influential – The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Each has large followings, especially among opinion makers.

They also contradict London Guardian commentator Jonathan Steele’s January 17 article titled, “Most Syrians back President Assad, but you you’d never know from western media,” saying:

“When coverage of an unfolding drama ceases to be fair and turns into a propaganda weapon, inconvenient facts get suppressed.”

No wonder a recent YouGov Siraj Syria poll was ignored. Funded by the Qatar Foundation, it was commissioned by The Doha Debates. Notably, Qatar’s monarchy one-sidedly opposes Assad. Its emir wants foreign intervention. Yet it published “inconvenient” poll results on its web sit.

It found most Arabs outside Syria want Assad to go, but not Syrians. A majority 55% support him, “motivated by fear of civil war” or greater violence and instability than now.

At the same time, half his supporters want near-term free elections. Assad promised them. “But it is vital that he publishes (new) election law as soon as possible, permits political parties and makes a commitment to allow independent” observers to monitor results.

In late December, Guardian writer Simon Jenkins railed against Britain’s “ruinous decade of wars.” He called UK interventionism “not so much the white man’s burden as his morbid thrill.”

Rarely do Steele/Jenkins equivalents get major media op-ed space in America. Nearly all commentators are hawkish, and television coverage screams.

On January 19, a New York Times editorial headlined, “Syria’s Rising Toll,” saying:

UN and other reports say deaths now exceed 5,400. “Yet the international community still has not mustered the tough pressure that might force Mr. Assad to stop the killing, or Syria’s Army and business elite to toss him out.”

Fact check

Alleged death toll numbers come from anti-Assad elements. They entirely lack credibility. Unmentioned were 2,000 or more Syrian security force killings by Western-backed externally generated insurgents. Inconvenient facts are ignored. They include Washington’s longstanding regime change in both Syria and Iran.

The Times accused Russia of “blocking the (Security Council) from imposing any serious punishment,” selling Assad arms, and “thwarting democratic forces and their Western backers.”

“On Monday, Russia proposed a shamefully weak resolution that put equal blame” on both sides. “That means it is up to Arab League ministers” to get tough and act. “Assad has made clear” his unwillingness to “compromise….and he has made clear his contempt for (League) efforts to broker peace.”

Fact check

Russia, China, BRIC allies, and other countries oppose outside intervention. At issue is not replicating Libya. Washington and Western allies want regime change, control, and delinking Syria from Iran. They don’t tolerate democracy abroad or at home.

Russia’s proposal was even-handed, despite insurgent responsibility for violence, not Assad who’s responding as would any leader. He’s expressed willingness to meet popular demands several times. His comments are ignored or discounted.

The Times want Arab League ministers to end their “failed monitoring mission” and impose tougher measures on their own. At issue is concern that mission head General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi debunked Western propaganda and confirmed evidence of an externally generated insurgency

As a result, he’s called unreliable. Efforts are made to discredit him. Media scoundrels regurgitate official lies. Arab League monitors and foreign ministers are meeting in Cairo this weekend.

A report on Syrian violence will follow. Perhaps al-Dabi will be entirely shut out. Earlier he reported regime cooperation and lashed out at monitor Anwar Malek’s comments for quitting the team. He called the mission a “farce,” saying:

“What I saw was a humanitarian disaster. The regime is not just committing one war crime, but a series of crimes against its people. The snipers are everywhere shooting at civilians. People are being kidnapped. Prisoners are being tortured and none were released.”

In response, al-Dabi said “Malek did not leave the hotel for six days and did not go out with the rest of the team into the field giving the excuse that he was sick.”

The Times sees “no easy solution,” but wants more international community pressure “to make clear to (Assad) and his cronies that their time has run out.”

Fact check

Washington-backed insurgents cause violence and killings. Moreover, international law prohibits interfering internally in other countries’ affairs. Washington and rogue NATO partners do it as official policy. They and Times editorial writers spurn what real democracies support and enforce.

A January 17 Washington Post editorial headlined, “Syria’s carnage puts Arab leaders on horns of a dilemma,” saying:

Arab League interventionist calls show “a sense of desperation.” In fact, they indicate Western policy reflected through proxy comments.

“Assad predictably (continues) killing people at a shocking pace.” Arab League observers “fail(ed), and one of its own members called (its mission) a farce.”

So AL members have a choice “between humiliation and stronger action….One way or another, the (League’s) predicament will be shared by NATO members,” including Washington….Standing by while the bloodshed goes on should not be one of the options.”

Indeed not, but pointing fingers the wrong way won’t end it.

Wall Street Journal contributor Fouad Ajami is a longtime Western flack. Long ago he sold his credibility for a buck. He showed it in a January 6 op-ed titled, “America and the Solitude of the Syrians,” calling the Assad government a “veritable North Korea on the Mediterranean….”

Predictably, he accused Assad of “hunt(ing) down (his people) and slaughter(ing) them like rats,” adding there’s “ice in this ruler’s veins. (He) mix(es) cunning and bluster. (The world’s) two big autocracies – Russia and China – have given this regime cover and sustenance at the United Nations.”

Fact check

Earlier comments debunked Ajami’s. They lay blame where it belongs. Moreover, Russia, China and other nations want conflict resolution, not war.

Media scoundrels like Ajami have other ideas, implied or explicitly stated. Like other like-minded scoundrels, his credibility long ago was lost. He regurgitates official policies, not truth and full disclosure.

As a result, readers are left uninformed and misdirected. They deserve better, especially on issues of war and peace.

However, major media writers, op-ed contributors, editorial writers, TV reporters and pundits won’t provide it.

Shut them out. Go online. Choose reliable sources to explain what media scoundrels suppress and distort. Make them a regular habit to learn what everyone needs to know – the truth.

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January 26th, 2012, 2:00 am

 

171. Juergen said:

So Gingrich wants to colonize the Moon, here is what this Republican party also stands for:

Islamophobic film produced by US republicans has been used as teaching material for NYC cops.

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January 26th, 2012, 2:12 am

 

172. Guest said:

I´ve debated much in (Venezuelan) Spanish language forums about President Hugo Chávez, and If I were to judge by the opinions in various forums linked to news sites, I would say that 95% to 98% percent of the Venezuelan public are very strongly anti-Chávez. However, on the street in a poor area one would draw the opposite opinion.

Conclusion: The web-based opinion reflects that of the comfortable middle class- not that of the working poor or countryside.

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January 26th, 2012, 2:20 am

 

173. majedkhaldoun said:

Ghufran
The violence that you are refeing to is committed by the Alawite shabbiha, The FSA is a noble army , they are over 20,000, their job is to protect the people from the crimes committed by your shabbiha.
God bless the FSA.
Ghufran I did not say the syrians are afraid of FSA, the opposit Syrians support the FSA, the regime is afraid of FSA
If the facebook is right , then why is the regime afraid to run fair and free election monitored by international organization? why the regime is afraid from performing free poll? why not allow foreign media to enter freely to Syria?.
Facebook poll is wrong,and as Alex said is not reliable.

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January 26th, 2012, 3:29 am

 

174. majedkhaldoun said:

Right now the regime forces,are committing crimes as they invade DOUMA.

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January 26th, 2012, 3:42 am

 

175. Revlon said:

162. Dear PIROUZ

The public support of A. Najad and Government institutions in the study that you linked earlier is actually much more humble and more reasonable than you said.
Furthermore, the study was not a direct field survey, but rather a meta-analysis of three sets of polling data culled by telephone interviews, one of which conducted by the university of Tehran while the others were conducted by Canadian and American consultant firms.

The university of Maryland study was titled: Analysis of Multiple Polls Finds Little Evidence Iranian Public Sees Government as Illegitimate http://worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/652.php?lb=brme&pnt=652&nid=&id.

FIRST, the analysis showed the following range values:
– pre-election intention to elect A. Najad: 52% to 57%
– Post election self report of voice choice: 55% to 66%
– Strong confidence in various government establishments: 38% to 64%.
These results are far cry from the 90% figure of agreement with government policies that was quoted in your initial post.

SECOND:
Here is may take on this study.
1. I start with a caveat on the above conclusion: the lack of evidence is not an evidence of absence!
2. The study was apparently solicited and authorized by the Iranian government. Addressed questions and applied methods must have been approved by the government.
3. The study is not a direct field survey. It is a meta-analysis of three sets of surveys.
It tests the consistency and agreement of results of the studied surveys. It does not test its accuracy! A systemic bias inherent to all could yield consistent, yet inaccurate results.
4. All polls were based on Telephone interviews, either calling into (University of Tehran and GlobeScan) or calling from within Iran (WorldPublicOpinion.org). Polling by telephone interview fits countries with secured civil liberties.
However, when polled on the telephone, citizens living in countries with questionable civil liberties and who disagree with the regime may chose to:
– Decline participation for fear of exposing their anti-regime views which results in underestimating their weight.
– Accept and volunteer regime-agreeable answers, thus overestimating agreement with regime.
– Accept yet volunteer cautiously agreeable answers, thus increase the number of fence sitters.
5. There were no questions on civil or human rights or how they view their political system, namely authoritarian vs. democratic!

I must admit that the claimed figures for support of Ahnmadi Najad (52 to 66%) look quite reasonable for the post of state president, compared to Jr’s consistent 99% performance.

Thank you for sharing your sources.

Cheers.

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January 26th, 2012, 3:53 am

 

176. Pirouz said:

One more item, Revlon,

It should be pointed out that the polls utilized in the WPO analysis had a slightly better answer rate than here in polls of Americans, which tends to debunk the argument that these randomly generated participants were too scared to express their true feelings. Also, when asked about their opinions on Iran’s economy, a majority answered critically.

As the author of the Syrian Facebook polls analysis has pointed out, consistency is a measure of reliability.

If you look at the IPI/Charney poll Scribd slide on Iran’s 2009 presidential election, you’ll find 5 different polls all mirroring the official results. I find this persuasive.

But for a lot of folks, personal emotions dictate what’s acceptable and what is not. This is especially true of a diaspora.

Personally, I’m an American of partial Middle Eastern descent and do not consider myself an element of a diaspora. If those five public opinion polls showed the opposite of what they do, I’d have no problem finding different results persuasive.

As for the Syria Facebook poll, as an observer of mostly military affairs, I find the results interesting in as much as they affect the security situation in the country, and geopolitics in the region. I’ve no personal stake whatsoever.

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January 26th, 2012, 4:25 am

 

177. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Very brilliant article from MICHAEL YOUNG,

HOW THE ASSADS WON THE WEST OVER

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2012/Jan-26/161085-how-the-assads-won-the-west-over.ashx#ixzz1kYeceq6N

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January 26th, 2012, 5:18 am

 

178. Juergen said:

Well here we go the lizzi show continues:

http://lizzie-phelan.blogspot.com/2012/01/syrian-opposition-courting-dangerous.html

looking at her page with the world map it looks like her ego is as high as Mt Kassioun

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyS8C2p8tw0&context=C3df9584ADOEgsToPDskKgYra9rfE3gCo3DgFzRPwB

Is that still journalism???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydpuE7yYaKQ&feature=context&context=C3df9584ADOEgsToPDskKgYra9rfE3gCo3DgFzRPwB

When you see this actor talk about politics it reminds me of soccer players commenting on their play. It just doesnt make sense…

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January 26th, 2012, 6:05 am

 

179. majedkhaldoun said:

Bashar is stupid, but he is lucky
1) Saddam was an enemy of Assad, saddam was reckless, and made mistake by invading Kuwait,the west declared Saddam Evil and sided with Assad
2) In 2003 US invaded Iraq eliminating Assad enemy,Saddam, Syria was under threat ,George Bush did not do anything toward Syria, Bashar escaped.
3) Israel helped Bashar by invading southern Lebanon, faced with strong resistance of HA Israel was forced to withdraw, Assad who was friend with HA gain a lot of support, inside Syria and in the whole Arab world.
4)As the Arab sping started and spread across the Arab world, Assad and Gaddafi were supported by Russia,Gaddafi was eliminated by the revolution and NATO help, that left Russia with only Syria that Russia can depend on to have Mediterranian access to its navy,so Russia feels strongly that they must help Assad.
5) The world financial crisis has hit hard the west and USA,Two wars in Iraq and Afaganstan broke the west budgets, and the financial crisis is playing major part in preventing the west from interfering in Syria.
All of the above were luck for Bashar ,but none was his own achievement.

Stupidity of Bashar
1) assassinating Rafiq Hariri, everyone knows that Bashar has major role in it, that mistake costed him withdrawal from Lebanon.
2) Bashar did not recognize the power of the Arab spring, he did not perform reform, and he used the brutal security force to quell the Syrian revolt, that was another stupid thing.
3) Bashar underestimated the economic disaster that he is putting Syria through.
4) he plan another mistake and very stupid thing, and that he wants to provoke Israel,who is protecting him,this will end his regime.

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January 26th, 2012, 6:23 am

 

180. Juergen said:

Majed

Even Saddam was warning the Americans about Assad.
You know Assad sen made those election campaigns and support demonstrations were held in every part of the country. Every school and factory organized such voluntary support rallies. He even had support rallies in the prisons, not even Saddam was so cruel to let the political prisoners vote for him in an election…

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January 26th, 2012, 7:24 am

 

181. Ghufran said:

وصف هيثم مناع قائد المعارضة السورية في الخارج، واحد أكثر قادتها إثارة للجدل ومدعاة لنقد شديد في اتخاذه مواقف لا تصب جميعها في خانة الإجماع الذي يسعى إليه «المجلس الوطني السوري» الذي يقوده برهان غليون، وصف الخطة العربية الأخيرة لسوريا بأنها «خطوة بالاتجاه الصحيح». ورأى أمين سر الخارج في هيئة التنسيق للتغيير الوطني والديموقراطي، المقيم في باريس، أن أفضل ما في «خريطة الطريق» العربية أنها تقطع الطريق على دعاة التدويل، وان الحل المعروض يطيح بالنظام لكنه يحفظ مؤسسات الدولة السورية، وهو ما يحمي الأمن السوري والمؤسسات ويمنع على الراغبين بالتدخل لإسقاط النظام تكرار التجربة الليبية وتدمير الدولة السورية. ويعتقد مناع أن مصر أدت دورا رئيسيا أيضا في دفع خطة العمل العربي إلى الأمام، لمنع قطر من الاستفراد بالقرار العربي، خصوصا بعد انسحاب السعودية من مهمة المراقبين في سوريا.
وقال مناع، ردا على سؤال لـ«السفير» عن رأيه بخطة الجامعة حول تنحي الرئيس بشار الأسد ونقله صلاحياته إلى نائبه فاروق الشرع، «إنها خطة تأخذ بعين الاعتبار مطالب المعارضة. هي لا تضع لنا برنامجا مسبقا، ولا تبحث عن ترجيح كفة طرف منها على كفة الآخر، وهي خطوة باتجاهنا في عدة نقاط: باختيارها أشخاصا لم تتلوث أيديهم بالدماء للعمل في المرحلة الانتقالية، ولأنها تترك الباب مفتوحا أمام الحل العربي وإبعادها شبح التدويل، حتى ولو رفعت الخطة إلى مجلس الأمن لينظر فيها. لقد حمت الخطة الجديدة مهمة المراقبين العرب وتعهدت بدراسة مطالبهم لتطويرها، وهو أمر يصب في صلب مطالبنا. ونحن سعداء لأن ذلك يصب في صلب مطالبنا، ولأن الملف السوري يبقى ملك الجامعة العربية، ولم يذهب إلى مجلس الأمن، كما كان يطالب بعض المعارضة».
وتعيد الخطة العربية الجديدة ضرورة إحياء الاتفاق ما بين «هيئة التنسيق» و«المجلس الوطني» بعد أن تخلى «المجلس الوطني» عن اتفاق موقع مع الهيئة الشهر الماضي في القاهرة. وكان الخلاف قد دب بسبب وجوب تعهد الأطراف برفض جميع أشكال التدخل العسكري الخارجي، ومع إبقاء الملف بيد الجامعة العربية، وابتعاد شبح التدخل الخارجي، فهل تعود المعارضة السورية إلى محاولة توحيد الصفوف؟
وقال مناع، ردا على سؤال، «إن المؤتمر العام للمعارضة السورية عاد إلى الطاولة مجددا، والخطة تضع الجميع أمام مسؤولياتهم. المعارضة أصبحت أمام مسؤولياتها أيضا أمام حلفائها. أصبح مطلوبا تحديد الأطر والبرنامج السياسي الانتقالي المشترك. إن الخطة العربية تضع السلطة أمام مسؤولياتها تجاه حليفتها روسيا، التي تسعى للبرهنة من خلال دعم الخطة أنها قادرة أن تفعل مع حليفها السوري ما قامت به الولايات المتحدة مع حليفها المصري حسني مبارك عندما دقت ساعة الخيارات الصعبة للخروج من الطريق المسدود، بعد 11 شهرا من إراقة الدماء والحراك الشعبي من دون أن يقوم النظام بأي إصلاحات».
يجزم معارضون سوريون أنه كان من غير الممكن أن تخرج خطة العمل العربية الجديدة إلى النور من دون مفاوضات جرت بين الأمين العام للجامعة العربية نبيل العربي وبين الدبلوماسية الروسية، لترشيح الشرع لاستقبال صلاحيات الرئيس الأسد. وكانت صورة الصفقة قد رسمت في لقاءات الشهر الماضي في موسكو مع نائب الرئيس فاروق الشرع. ولكن ما هي الصفقة؟
وقال مناع «الصفقة هي أن يحفظ الروس امن عائلة الرئيس، وأن تشمل الضمانات بعض حلقات النظام المقربة وبعض المسؤولين الكبار. ولكن ضباطا كبارا سيلعبون دورا رئيسا في العملية الانتقالية. يريدون تغيير النظام، وعدم التضحية بالدولة… ولن تتغير تركيبة الدولة جذريا، ولكن المجموعة الجديدة ستعمل على الحفاظ على التحالفات الإقليمية والدولية لسوريا، كضمان لتخلي روسيا عن النظام الحالي».
وحول جزم معارضي الداخل والخارج في «هيئة التنسيق» أن الحل المعروض سيقطع الطريق بشكل خاص على التيارات الإسلامية، وعلى حركة الإخوان المسلمين، وستمنعهم من لعب دور رئيسي في المرحلة الانتقالية، قال مناع إن «الإخوان المسلمين سيخسرون في الخطة العربية والمرحلة الانتقالية، لأن لا قواعد لهم داخل مؤسسات الدولة الحالية التي سيتم الإبقاء عليها، كما أن لا تأثير لتيارهم على الإدارة، بعكس الأحزاب والتيارات الليبرالية والعلمانية الأخرى، ودعاة التعريب بشكل عام».
وأضاف «أما فاروق الشرع، كما يقول معارضون، فيبدو محتفظا بأوراق قوية: القدرة على الاتصال بالتكنوقراط، الحديث إلى المعارضة الداخلية التي حاول لقاءها وجمعها في اللقاء التشاوري في تموز الماضي من دون نجاح، ووجود حكومة تكنوقراطية وعسكرية إلى جانبه. لكن المعارضة لن تقبل أن يقود مرحلة انتقالية بصلاحيات رئاسية كالتي يتمتع بها الرئيس بشار الأسد حاليا. إن أي حكومة للمعارضة إلى جانب الرئيس المؤقت لن تعمل إلا وفق دستور عام 1950 كما قالت هيئة التنسيق، وهو دستور يقدم صلاحيات الحكومة على الرئيس، ويجعل من مجلس الوزراء مجتمعا سيد نفسه. كما أن الحكومة هي من يحدد الاستحقاقات الانتخابية والهيئات الانتقالية، ولن تقبل بأن يستخدم الرئيس المؤقت صلاحيات الرئيس الأسد التي تحيل الوزراء إلى مجرد موظفين لا سلطة حقيقية لهم».
وحول رأيه بالشرع، وهل ستشاركون في حكومته، رد مناع «السؤال غير مطروح بالنسبة لنا. وهي ليست حكومته. واعتقد أننا سنسلك طريق التجربة الانتقالية التونسية، أي مجموعة مطمئنة من التكنوقراط أولا، وسيكون الحل على مراحل».
وعن رفض النظام السوري الخطة العربية، اعتبر مناع أن «النظام سيندم، وسيعود إليها كما عاد إلى المبادرة العربية، وما يقدمه لا يشكل حلا مقبولا، أي أن تأتي المعارضة إلى حكومة موسعة، وتبقى الأمور كما هي فهذا مرفوض».

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January 26th, 2012, 9:12 am

 

182. irritated said:

#171

“Right now the regime forces,are PREVENTING crimes as they invade DOUMA”

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January 26th, 2012, 9:13 am

 

183. irritated said:

#177 Juergen

“Even Saddam was warning the Americans about Assad.”

Now Saddam was a trustworthy guy… That’s becoming unreal.

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January 26th, 2012, 9:16 am

 

184. irritated said:

#176 Majesalkhaldoon

Oh yes.. he is really stupid. He should have acted like King of Jordan or Egypt’s Mobarak and sign a peace treaty with Israel and live or die happily ever after.

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January 26th, 2012, 9:22 am

 

185. Ghufran said:

لندن- (يو بي اي): حذّر الداعية الإسلامي السلفي الشيخ عمر بكري محمد، الذي أبعدته بريطانيا عن أراضيها قبل نحو سبع سنوات ويقيم في لبنان حالياً، من أن تنظيم القاعدة يستعد لشن هجمات إرهابية ضد النظام السوري.
وقال الشيخ بكري في مقابلة مع صحيفة (ديلي تلغراف) الخميس إن جماعات مسلمة سلفية متشددة، بما في ذلك تنظيم القاعدة وجماعة الغرباء التي يتزعمها “مستعدة لتقديم المساعدة إلى أشقائها المسلمين في سوريا من خلال شن حملة من الهجمات الانتحارية ضد الرئيس بشار الأسد”.

وأضاف أن تنظيم القاعدة “يمكن أن يجعل حزب البعث يهرب بعد عمليتين أو ثلاث عمليات تضحية، والتي يسميها الآخرون تفجيرات انتحارية، وسيذهب إلى البرلمان عندما يجتمع الحزب داخله ويفجره، لأنه ذكي جداً ويستطيع صنع الكثير من الأسلحة من لا شيء، ويمكن أن يذهب إلى المطبخ ويصنع بيتزا مفخخة ويسلمها طازجة”.
ووصف بكري موجة الثورات المؤيدة للديمقرطية التي اجتاحت منطقة الشرق الأوسط العام الماضي بأنها “انتصار لتنظيم القاعدة، حيث منح التقلب في العالم العربي وتفكيك الأنظمة الاستبدادية وأجهزة الاستخبارات التي لا ترحم الجماعات السلفية فسحة للتنفس، وتم الإفراج عن آلاف السجناء الإسلاميين في تونس ومصر وليبيا بعد انهيار الدكتاتوريات مما جعلهم يتحولون إلى أرضية خصبة للتجنيد”.
وقال “إن تنظيم القاعدة لا يزال ينتظر سماع نداء السوريين قبل أن يتدخل”، منتقداً المعارضة السورية على “طلبها مساعدة بريطانيا وغيرها من الدول الغربية الكافرة”.
وأضاف الشيخ بكري “أنا أول من يوجه الدعوة للجهاد في سوريا وحتى الآن ليس هناك وجود لتنظيم القاعدة في هذا البلد، وإذا استمر السوريون في المطالبة بالحرية والديمقراطية، فيتعين عليهم السعي للحصول عليهما والتمتع بهما.. ولكن في حال طلبوا مساعدتنا فإن أشقاءهم المسلمين سيأتون ويرسلون لهم الأسود”.
وقال “إن تنظيم القاعدة من المرجح أن يتدخل في سوريا في حال لم تتدخل القوات الغربية وفشلت في إقامة منطقة آمنة في البلاد للمساعدة في الإطاحة بالنظام بالوسائل السلمية

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January 26th, 2012, 9:38 am

 

186. irritated said:

#174. SANDRO LOEWE

Michael Young’ ‘brilliant’ article? not really.
It is just one more Bashar bashing from a frustrated Syria hater.

Look at his blog, it shows his persistent suspicion of Syria, his repeated call for US to intervene in Syria, his support for Hariri Jr and his secret love and admiration for Israel.

http://michaelyoungscolumns.blogspot.com/2011_04_01_archive.html

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January 26th, 2012, 9:40 am

 

187. Juergen said:

Irritated

No i was just showing that this tyrann which is received as one of the boldest examples was even mentioning to his allies that he fears Syrias Assad.

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January 26th, 2012, 10:16 am

 

188. majedkhaldoun said:

irritated
so you agree that Bashar is stupid

In Ghouta and Douma the Assad army is not preventing , they are causing murders, please look at the dictionery to understand the meaning of the words, your english needs to be fixed.

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January 26th, 2012, 10:23 am

 

189. zoo said:

Contrary to the widely dispatched news that Davutoglu’s trip to Russia was to ask Russia not to veto a resolution on Syria, it seems that Turkey may be now turning away from the Western stances of regime change in Syria (and maybe from the incoherent Arab League ‘roadmap’) to a declaration of similarity and readyness to work with Russia on solving the Syrian crisis.

Turkey, Russia converge on Syria and Iran crisis
Thursday,January 26 2012,
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-russia-converge-on-syria-and-iran-crisis.aspx?pageID=238&nID=12322&NewsCatID=338
Turkey underlines close cooperation with Russia on solving the Syrian crisis, while both countries emphasize that they have the same position regarding Iran
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey and Russia had a similar stance on ending the bloodshed in Syria, adding that Turkey is ready to work with Russia on solving the crisis. Davutoğlu and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov also said the two countries have almost the same position regarding Iran.

“An immediate halt to the bloodshed and an implementation of the reform process in Syria is important. Turkey and Russia share a similar stance on these issues,” Davutoğlu said on the close cooperation between Turkey and Russia on Syrian crisis, at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart.

“We are always ready to work with Russia, which has an important role in the region, to solve the Syrian crisis through intense dialogue. We believe Russia could make a significant contribution on this issue,” Davutoğlu said, adding that they always back the Arab League initiative which aimed to end the regime crackdown on protesters, Anatolia news agency reported.

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January 26th, 2012, 10:43 am

 

190. irritated said:

#184 Juergen

You mean that Saddam for once, made a true statement in telling the US that he feared Bashar al Assad?

Unreal…

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January 26th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

191. zoo said:

Jordan activist jailed for burning king’s picture
AFP, Thursday 26 Jan 2012
Human Rights Watch urges Jordanian state security prosecutors to drop charges against an activist who was sentence to two years in prison for burning King Abdullah II’s picture and undermining his dignity

A Jordanian political activist was sentenced on Thursday to two years in prison for undermining King Abdullah II’s dignity, after he set alight a picture of the monarch this month.

“The (military) state security court sentenced Uday Abu Issa, 18, to two years in jail. He has been found guilty of undermining the king’s dignity,” a judicial official told AFP.

Abu Issa had confessed to setting alight the picture after tearing it off a municipal wall in Madaba, south of Amman, saying he was upset over the death of a municipal worker who set himself on fire after his contract was terminated.

Human Rights Watch has urged state security prosecutors to drop charges against Abu Issa, who has apologised to the king in a letter sent by his lawyer.

“Burning a royal’s image as a political statement should not be criminally prosecuted,” said Christoph Wilcke, senior HRW Middle East researcher.

“To prosecute this act would send a chilling message that criticising the king is off limits.”

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/32867.aspx

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January 26th, 2012, 10:56 am

 

192. Juergen said:

Irritated

I put it this way, he was as trustworthy as Bashar al Assad is.

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January 26th, 2012, 10:58 am

 

193. irritated said:

El-Arabi to visit Moscow over Syria (with Al Baradei heading the delegation at the UN?)

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/32771/World/Region/ElArabi-to-visit-Moscow-over-Syria.aspx

The head of the Arab League will next week head to Moscow to discuss with one of Syria’s key allies the prospect of encouraging Damascus to be flexible to outside mediation relative to ongoing internal strife
..
Meanwhile, Arab League officials say that El-Arabi has officially requested that Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and until recently a runner in Egypt’s prospective presidential race, to head the high level Arab mission in the coming weeks, to discuss ways of ending the current turmoil.

As a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, ElBaradei would be — according to the Arab League plan — in company of five other leading Arab figures, including former prime ministers and former foreign ministers from several Arab states. “But he is the only Nobel Laureate and as such he is in a higher status and is sort of head of the delegation,” said one Arab League official.

ElBaradei visited the Arab League Tuesday to discuss the matter, including the possible evolution of a joint Arab League-UN mission.

“He gave his agreement in principle, but of course we also have to have the agreement of Syria on the composition of the high level committee,” said the same Arab League official.

Syrian sources in Cairo declined comment on the matter and insisted on expressing the dismay of Damascus over what they qualify as the Arab League’s “unfair and biased position towards Syria.”

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January 26th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

194. irritated said:

Juergen #189

“I put it this way, he was as trustworthy as Bashar al Assad is.”

So what’s the point of quoting what Saddam said about Bashar? None, I guess

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January 26th, 2012, 11:10 am

 

195. jad said:

Ghufran your news but in English incase the MBs don’t read Spanish, French, German or Arabic:

Muslim cleric banned from Britain claims Al Qaeda poised to launch sucide attacks in Syria

Omar Bakri Mohammed, the radical cleric banned from the United Kingdom for ‘glorifying terrorism’, has told the Daily Telegraph from his base in the Middle East that al Qaeda is poised to wage war against the Syrian regime.

Bakri, once nicknamed the ‘Tottenham Ayatollah’, said hard line Salafi Muslim groups, including al Qaeda, and his own Al-Ghuraba group, also proscribed in the UK, are ready to help their ‘Muslim brothers’ with a campaign of suicide attacks against President Bashar al Assad.
“In two or three operations, [al Qaeda] can make the Ba’ath party run away,” he added. “With self sacrifices operations – you call them suicide bombings, al Qaeda will go to the Parliament when the Ba’ath are inside, he will explode and he will say ‘Oh God receive me. Oh God I am hurrying towards you'”.
“Al Qaeda are so clever, they can make so many weapons from nothing. They can go to any kitchen, make a very nice pizza bomb and deliver it fresh,” added Bakri.
Speaking from his new home in Lebanon, the self styled cleric who caused controversy after the 2005 London bombings by blaming them on the government and British public, called the wave of pro-democracy revolutions that have swept the Middle East in the past year, ‘al-Qaeda’s victory’.
The volatility in the Arab world, and the dismantling of authoritarian regimes and ruthless intelligence services have given Salafist groups room to breathe and the thousands of jailed Islamists in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, released as the dictatorships crumbled, have been perfect for recruiting he added.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9039437/Muslim-cleric-banned-from-Britain-claims-Al-Qaeda-poised-to-launch-sucide-attacks-in-Syria.html

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January 26th, 2012, 11:11 am

 

196. zoo said:

“Post Revolution” Libya

Medical group halts work in Libyan city’s prisons
By RAMI AL-SHAHEIBI and SARAH EL DEEB | Associated Press –

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said Thursday it has suspended its work in prisons in the Libyan city of Misrata because it said detainees are being tortured and denied urgent medical care.

http://news.yahoo.com/medical-group-halts-libyan-citys-prisons-124323181.html

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January 26th, 2012, 11:14 am

 

197. jad said:

ya 7ram sho adami:

أوغلو ينفي دعم تركيا للجماعات المسلحة في سوريا
الخبر برس : الإخبارية اللبنانية

أعلن وزير الخارجية التركي أحمد داود أوغلو، أن بلاده ليست على اتصال مع الجماعات المسلحة في سوريا، وتدعو جميع المعارضين للنظام، إلى استخدام الطرق السلمية في نشاطهم.
وأضاف اوغلو، في حديث لوكالة “إنترفاكس” الروسية اليوم، “نحن لم ندعم أبدا أية جماعات مسلحة في أي بلد”، لافتا، ان انقرة تؤيد فكرة عقد لقاء بين المعارضة والنظام السوري.

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January 26th, 2012, 11:24 am

 

198. Juergen said:

It reflects how one despote saw the the other if true or not, but the quote came from George Bush sen, so i leave it to the community to decide.

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January 26th, 2012, 11:32 am

 

199. irritated said:

#194. jad

I think this is just a preliminary to a visible softening of Turkey’s hardline stances over Syria. Maybe Turkey will soon distance itself from the FSA-turned-terrorist, the failing SNC, and move on the Russian side.

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January 26th, 2012, 11:35 am

 

200. Juergen said:

Ghufran

thank you for the Alevi factsheet. I just wanted to ask you if you agree that Alevi and Alawite arent the same thing. In the factsheet the author suggested that this is the same religion.

Here is one article on wikipedia, which i think states it differently. I always thought that Alawis dont share much about their beliefs with non Alawis.

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

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January 26th, 2012, 11:36 am

 

201. Tara said:

Irritated,

Why do you think that Turkey fell back in love with Besho? I thought the Turks had nothing but contempt to Bashar for killing his own people?

I think you are wrong. Erdo is no longer deceived by Besho’s pseudo popularity.

And by the way, my original prediction proven right. Prince Hamad way outsmarted the beloved “leader”. Can I hear a concession from you now?

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January 26th, 2012, 11:52 am

 

202. zoo said:

Juergen

While Alavis and Alewis stem for different historical backgrounds, when one reads about them, they seem to share more similarities than dissimilarities.
I gathered that the main obvious dissimilarity is that the Arab Alawis are perceived ( and perceive themselves) as an offshoot of Shiism while Alevis are not.
I have not found any study comparing them systematically. If you do let me know.

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January 26th, 2012, 11:57 am

 

203. majedkhaldoun said:

juergen
The turkish Alavi are different from the syrian Alawis
The definition of syrian Alawites is they are the enemy of Sunnis.
the definition of Turkish Alavi they are friends of Sunni
As I said before, the ethnic origin of syrian Alawites are the Assassins, they are very criminal people lived in the mountains and they hated sunnis too much.The ethmnic origin has nothing to do with the religion itself.
I lived in a christian city there,Muhardah,for two months I visited several Alawite towns and saw what they think and do.

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January 26th, 2012, 12:04 pm

 

204. Tara said:

Time has come for some one to make documentaries about Alawis and Alevis as well as other ethnic or religious minorities in the middle east.

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January 26th, 2012, 12:23 pm

 

205. irritated said:

#198 Tara

After several political mistake Turkey did within the inter Arab complicated relation, Turkey may want to rely on more stable countries such as Russia and China, instead of the immature, incoherent and manipulated Arab League.
Turkey is facing too many external and internal problems to hang on a wounded pride and human rights outrage with Syria. It has to think about its own economical and political interests.

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January 26th, 2012, 12:34 pm

 

206. Afram said:

169. Juergen said:

“So Gingrich wants to colonize the Moon, here is what this Republican party also stands for:

Islamophobic film produced by US republicans has been used as teaching material for NYC cops”

whats wrong with colonizing the moon?
Retard muslims like your Homo erectus boyfriend Khalid tlass can stay behind’Enlightened ones like the muslim barack bin amama are welcome.

Islamaphobia –Is a manufactured crisis by muslims to crush dissent&Freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech YA Neanderthal is the freedom to speak freely without censorship by you or any muslim.

Christians&Jews come out of their churches&temples relaxed and happy,And I as an athiest feel secure among them

on the other hand, muslims walk out of their Mosques angry holding their book of Error&TERROR Quran and
Foaming at mouth with venomous hate barking and screaming like dogs in a crate( Death to the infidels)
Its NOT islamophobia,to the contrary it is infidelo-phobia

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January 26th, 2012, 12:37 pm

 

207. irritated said:

MajedAlkhaldoon #200

Now you are a specialist on the real nature of the Alawites?

Please submit immediately these corrections to Wikipedia and others informed sources. They will really appreciate such constructive and intelligent contribution

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January 26th, 2012, 12:43 pm

 

208. norman said:

Tara, Why don’t we have the same study in the US , how much the population of Jews and how many of them in congress, how many Mexican and what their share of the political system, if we did all this in the US the US will go into a worse civil than the one they are planning for Syria, what make people better is not their religion but what they do and say.

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January 26th, 2012, 12:44 pm

 

209. Juergen said:

AFRAM

It looks to me like that you have your dosis of hate already, be happy with it, its definatly not my cup of tea.

Yet there are many reasons why the US should not colonize the Moon.A friend of mine runs an food kitchen in Galveston, Texas. If you see how many depend on food donation, you will think twice about spending so much money for no obvious reasons.

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January 26th, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

210. ann said:

Syrians hold rallies denouncing Arab new stands on Syria – 2012-01-26

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/26/c_131377920.htm

DAMASCUS, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — Hundreds of thousands of people thronged main squares across Syria to demonstrate in solidarity with embattled President Bashar al-Assad and express rejection of the recent Arab League (AL) plan calling on Assad to step down.

Syrian across the country carried big posters of Assad and huge Syrian flags, changing slogans and singing national songs via loudspeakers.

“We are here to denounce the AL decision that came in compliance with the Western schemes against our country,” Malek Ali, 30, told Xinhua during a rally at Saba’a Bahrat square in the Syrian capital of Damascus.

Munsif Yusuf, 43, said “the Arabs should be ashamed … why haven’t they shown us their Arabism when Gaza was under Israeli rockets … shame on them.”

On Sunday, Arab foreign ministers decided to extend the observers’ mission in Syria, providing them with technical and financial assistance, and to cooperate with the UN secretary general in this regard.

The AL, at the same time, urged Syrian President Bashar al- Assad to delegate power to his first vice president and a national unity government in a fresh initiative aimed at ending the political crisis in the country.

The initiative, announced after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers, stipulated the formation of a national unity government that should be formed within two months with the participation of the opposition, to eventually prepare for free presidential and parliamentary elections under the supervision of Arab countries and the international community.

The plan also urged the Syrian government to prepare a draft constitution to be approved through a popular referendum, demanding Assad delegate full powers to enable the national unity government to act in the transitional period.

The AL urged the Syrian government and all the opposition sides to start a political dialogue sponsored by the AL within two weeks.

Syria dismissed the initiative as “flagrant interference in Syria’s affairs,” but accepted to extend the observers’ mission as the last ditch effort to avoid internationalizing the ten-month- old unrest.

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January 26th, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

211. ann said:

Syria’s acceptance to extend monitor mission not contradict rejection of new AL Plan – 2012-01-27

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/27/c_131378124.htm

DAMASCUS, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — Syria’s rejection of the Arab League’s (AL) new plan and its acceptance of extending Arab observer mission to Syria were seen by many observers as two separate issues that don’t contradict one another.

On Sunday, Syria rejected a fresh Arab plan which urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to delegate power to his first vice president.

The initiative, announced after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers, stipulated the formation of a national unity government that should be formed within two months with the participation of the opposition, to eventually prepare for free presidential and parliamentary elections under the supervision of Arab countries and the international community.

Arab foreign ministers also decided to extend the observer mission in Syria, provide them with technical and financial assistance, and cooperate with the United Nations secretary general in this regard.

Loai Hussain, an opposition figure, told Xinhua that Syria was surprised by the latest Arab decision because it raised the ceiling of demands and called on Assad to step down.

Syria dismissed the initiative as “flagrant interference in Syria’s affairs,” but accepted to extend the observer mission despite the fact that Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said in a recent press conference that “the Arab League’s role in solving the Syria crisis has ended.”

“There is no contradiction in the Syrian stances,” Ahmad Haj Ali, a political analyst, told Xinhua, adding that the two stances emphasize the “fundamentals of the Syrian policy.”

Refusing the latest move by the AL is to protect national sovereignty, he said, stressing that “Syria rejects the tone of dictations and threats.”

Ali believed that Syria’s acceptance to extend the observer mission for another month emanates from its willingness and desire to let the world know what is really happening on the ground. ” This (acceptance of extending the mission) affirms Syria’s keenness to let the world see the reality objectively and conscientiously,” he said.

“If there is any contradiction, it would be from the AL who skirted around the report put forward by the head of the observers to Syria who acknowledged the existence of armed groups in the country,” Ali said, charging that “the Arabs discarded the report and further came up with this initiative as an attempt to internationalize the crisis.”

At a press conference held in Cairo on Monday, the head of the Arab observer mission to Syria Moustafa Mohammed Ahmed al-Dabi said that “there were many terrorist bombings that targeted governmental institutions in Syria … which is completely unacceptable, in addition to targeting civilians and military buses, gas and oil pipelines, fuel tankers, bridges, electric power plants and pylons.”

He underlined that the Syrian government was effectively cooperative with the mission and provided protection for observers on the roads, adding that the government didn’t interfere in the mission’s work or accompany it.

The AL started a monitoring mission in Syria on Dec. 26 of last year to monitor the country’s unrest on the ground. The mission has been criticized as ineffective in stopping the violence.

Taleb Ibrahim, another analyst, said “Syria agreed to extend the observer mission because they are the best to reveal the truth. ”

“Syria wants to prove to the entire world that it didn’t kill its citizens,” he told Xinhua, adding that the observer mission is limited to monitor the situation on the ground rather than find solution to the crisis, thus there is no contradiction.

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January 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm

 

212. jad said:

Irritated,
You may be right regarding Turkey trying to distant itself just slightly from the Syrian armed militia. That’s why the SNC is cheering ‘nonstop’ the KSA and it seems that KSA is now taking the ‘flame’ of ‘democracy’ for Syria from Turkey.
Please check this report about that the Saudis financing the opposition through Dawalibi. I’m not sure how true the story is:

مليار دولار من السعودية لـ”المجلس الوطني السوري” !!!!!

ان سيريا
نجحت الضغوط العربية والدولية على “المعارضة الخارجية” السورية في ضبط خلافاتها وتأجيلها إلى مرحلة لاحقة، تحضيراً للمرحلة الأصعب، التي بدأت ترتسم معالمها بوضوح مع التورط السعودي المعلن في الأزمة السورية، بعد أن دأبت الرياض على ترك القيادة الفعلية لإمارة قطر؛ “الدولة العظمى” كما وصفها ذات يوم رئيس الحكومة اللبنانية السابق سعد الدين الحريري.

وتقول مصادر عربية واسعة الإطلاع، إن المرحلة التالية من الهجمة على سورية ستكون خارجية بامتياز، بعد فشل المقاربات الداخلية العسكرية وغير العسكرية التي قامت بها المعارضة السورية طوال الفترة السابقة، غير أن الثمن الذي يجب أن يدفعه المجلس الوطني للانتقال من الحضن القطري إلى السعودي، قد يكون غالياً بعض الشيء، خصوصاً لجهة استبعاد أسماء معينة والإتيان بأخرى، كمثال المعارض السوري – غير المعروف – نوفل الدواليبي، الذي يعمل من الرياض، ويسعى إلى تشكيل مجلس وطني “انتقالي”، وكذلك “حكومة ثورية”.

وأشارت المصادر إلى أن اتصالات سعودية مع قيادة الإخوان، لم ترتقِ بعد إلى مرحلة اللقاءات المباشرة الرسمية، قام بها مراقب الإخوان الذي “مُنح” تأشيرة دخول إلى السعودية من دون أن يحظى بنعمة اللقاء المباشر مع القيادات السياسية، واكتفت بتدبير لقاءات له مع شخصيات سياسية من المستوى الثالث من خارج الإدارة السياسية الفعلية في الرياض، بالإضافة إلى لقاءات مع مسؤولين في الاستخبارات السعودية، وضعوا له بوضوح بالغ “لائحة المطالب السعودية” من أجل الدعم المباشر لهذه القوى، وتقول المصادر إن السعودية تفضل العمل مع غير الإخوان، نتيجة “تجربة غير مشجعة مع إخوان مصر”، ولهذا تريد أن يكون هناك من يمثلها داخل المجلس الوطني.

وأوضحت المصادر أن الجواب السعودي باستقبال وفد “مجلس اسطنبول” كان الثمرة الإيجابية الأولى للقاءات مراقب الإخوان، خصوصاً أن هذه اللقاءات ترافقت مع تصعيد عربي مفاجئ قادته السعودية يهدف إلى تدويل الأزمة في سورية، والضغط من أجل المزيد من التوتر في الداخل السوري.

وكشفت المصادر عن رغبة لدى السعوديين باستدعاء “المعارضين” العاملين في الداخل – من غير الميدانيين – إلى الخارج، وهو ما بدأت دلائله مع خروج بعض هؤلاء كجورج صبرة وسهير الأتاسي من سورية، بالإضافة إلى شخصيات أخرى يجري العمل على تهريبها من الداخل السوري بطريقة ممنهجة ومنظمة، بعد أن أصبح وجودهم في الداخل “غير ذي نفع”، لعدم قدرتهم على التأثير في الشارع.

نوفل الدواليبي هو ثري سعودي – سوري، يلقَّب في الرياض بـ”رفيق الحريري السوري”، وقد كان العرض السعودي واضحاً بإمداد المعارضة السورية بمليار دولار للمرحلة المقبلة، من أجل تحقيق هدف إسقاط النظام، عبر إعلان الدواليبي عن رغبته في إنشاء حكومة منفى مؤلفة من أحد عشر وزيراً برئاسته، يكون فيها وزير الدفاع ونائب لرئيس الوزراء يعمل على دعم الجيش السوري الحر لحماية المدنيين كمكون أساسي يتبع هذه الوزارة وزيراً للخارجية ووزراء آخرين، معلناً عن اعتماد هذه الوزارة المؤقتة في المنفى ميزانية مقدارها مليار دولار أميركي للأشهر المقبلة.

ورغم أنه ليس من الواضح بعد مدى جدية الرياض في دعم الدواليبي، إلا أن المصادر العربية التي لم تسقط من حسابها أن يكون “أداة ضغط” لتحسين الشروط، مشيرة إلى أن في جعبة الرياض “أكثر من دواليبي”

http://www.in-syria.net

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January 26th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

213. jad said:

More about the Saudi-Wahabi politics in the region/world:

الغطاء السعودي للوهابية السياسية واستهداف بلاد الشام
الجمل: تحدثت التقارير والدراسات والأوراق البحثية في مطلع هذا القرن عن الحركة الوهابية الإسلامية، باعتبارها مصدر خطر لجهة تصدير الإرهاب للولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وبلدان الغرب الأوروبي، ولاحقاً، وعلى خلفية التطورات الجارية في مشروع الحرب الأمريكية المفتوحة ضد الإرهاب، بدأت نفس هذه التقارير والدراسات والأوراق البحثية تتطرق للحركة الوهابية الإسلامية باعتبارها مصدر دعم وسند لأمن واستقرار الولايات المتحدة الامريكية وبلدان الغرب الأوروبي: فما هي حقيقة تحوّل الوهابية من موقع العدو إلى موقع الحليف.. وما الذي تغير هل هو المذهبية الوهابية، أم الإدراك الامريكي الغربي ـ الأوروبي. وما هي طبيعة الدور القادم للوهابية في الشرق الأوسط وبقية أنحاء العالم؟؟

* طبيعة الوهابية: السيطرة على الدين بالوسائل السياسية أم السيطرة على السياسة بالوسائل الدينية؟
تشير الدراسات والتحليلات الجارية، إلى أن القرارات المتعددة للإسلام قد أدت إلى تعدد المذهبيات، وبكلمات أخرى فقد برزت قراءة سنية وقراءة شيعية وقراءة اسماعيلية وما شابه ذلك، ومع تطور الوقائع والأحداث الجارية فقد برزت العديد من القرارات الخاصة بالمذهب السني، بما أدى إلى ظهور ما عرف بـ (التيار السلفي)، وفي هذه النقطة تقول الدراسات بأن التيار السلفي قد انقسم إلى الآتي:
• تيار أكثر اهتماماً بالجوانب الدينية الخالصة، ويتمثل في رجال الدين الذين أداروا ظهرهم لأمور الدنيا.
• تيار أكثر اهتماماً بالجوانب الجهادية المسلحة، ويتمثل في الحركات الجهادية المسلحة الناشطة حالياً في العديد من مناطق العالم.
• تيار أكثر اهتماماً بالسياسة والمال، ويتمثل في الحركة الوهابية المسيطرة على المملكة العربية السعودية.
تقول المعلومات بأن ظهور الحركة الوهابية قد بدأ مع ظهور الإمام عبد الوهاب وأسرة آل سعود، والذين سعوا إلى ممارسة النفوذ باستخدام مثلث الدين ـ المال ـ القوة. هذا، وقد نجحت الحركة الوهابية في بسط نفوذها القوي في كافة أرجاء المملكة العربية السعودية، إضافة إلى بلدان الخليج العربي وإضافة لذلك تقول المعلومات بأن الحركة الوهابية قد نجحت في تمديد نفوذها وحضورها القوي لجهة تجميع معظم الحركات الإسلامية السلفية المنتشرة في أنحاء العالم تحت قيادتها، الأمر الذي أدى إلى وقوع الحركات السلفية تحت قبضة الرياض..

* التحولات الحرجة الجديدة في الحركة الوهابية:
لاحظ الخبراء باهتمام بالغ تزايد وتائر العلاقات والروابط القوية التي ظلت تجمع بين واشنطن والرياض، إضافة إلى تطور هذا التعاون بما أدى إلى قيام الرياض باعتماد المواقف الحرجة الآتية:
• السعي لجهة بناء الروابط والتفاهمات مع إسرائيل.
• السعي لجهة معاداة حزب الله اللبناني وتفضيل الوقوف إلى جانب إسرائيل في حرب صيف عام 2006 بجنوب لبنان .
• السعي لجهة معاداة إيران والمجتمعات الإسلامية الشيعية والإسماعيلية وغيرها.
استمرار التمادي في هذه المواقف، أدى في نهاية الأمر إلى تورط النخبة الوهابية السعودية في مخطط استهداف استقرار سوريا، إضافة إلى التمادي السافر في تقديم الدعم لكافة المخططات الإسرائيلية والأمريكية والأوروبية الغربية الرامية لاستهداف سوريا، حتى لو كان الثمن إشعال الحرب الأهلية السورية، وإضافة لذلك تجدر الإشارة إلى أن الوقائع الانتقالية الجديدة في التطور المعاصر للحركة الوهابية قد تخطت الأبعاد الوظيفية بما جعلها تعبر عن نفسها ضمن أبعاد هيكلية، أبرزها:
• الانخراط الفاعل في تجمع “المعتدلين العرب” الذي سعت لتكوينه جماعات اللوبي الإسرائيلي وجماعة المحافظين الجدد بالتعاون مع الحركة الوهابية.
• الانخراط الفاعل في صراعات المسرح الأفغاني ـ الباكستاني وأيضاً في مسرح القوقاز الشمالي، الذي يضم الشيشان والأنفوش والداغستان، ضمن منظومة الجمعيات والمنظمات الخيرية الوهابية.
• الانخراط الفاعل في مسرح الصراع اليمني والصراع الصومالي.
• الانخراط الفاعل في مسرح الصراع اللبناني.
• الانخراط الفاعل في مسرح الصراع الإيراني.
وإضافة لذلك، تمادت الحركة الوهابية لجهة القيام بلعب الدور الرئيسي في مخطط استهداف دمشق، والتعاون مع مثلث واشنطن ـ باريس ـ لندن، إضافة إلى تركيا وإسرائيل في العمل من أجل إنفاذ سيناريو تغيير النظام في سوريا، هذا وحالياً، وبفعل التحولات التي حدثت خلال الفترة من لحظة اغتيال رئيس الوزراء اللبناني السابق رفيق الحريري من مطلع عام 2005 وحتى الآن، فقد انتقلت الحركة الوهابية بشكل حثيث، بما جعلها مجرد حركة تحمل في ظاهرها مذهبية الإسلام وفي نفس الوقت تحمل في باطنها مذهبية جماعة المحافظين الجدد، القائمة على أفكار الفيلسوف السياسي اليهودي ليو شتراوس، لجهة التركيز على: نظرية المؤامرة ـ الحرب الدائمة ـ والكذب النبيل ـ وتغليب معطيات الحق الطبيعي على معطيات الحق التاريخي..

* السياسة السعودية في ظل السيطرة الوهابية: إلى أين؟
انطوت عملية صنع القرار السياسي السعودي خلال حقب ما قبل لحظة اغتيال رئيس الوزراء اللبناني رفيق الحريري، على المزيد من الدور المؤثر للمؤسسة الدينية الوهابية على فعاليات عملية صنع واتخاذ قرار السياسة الداخلية والخارجية السعودية، ولكن بعد ذلك تغيرت الموازين بحيث أصبح الأمر يتضمن المعالم الآتية:
• سيطرة النخبة العائلية على المؤسسة السياسية السعودية .
• سيطرة المؤسسة السياسية السعودية على المؤسسة الدينية الوهابية.
وباكتمال حلقات السيطرة أصبحت النخبة العائلية الحاكمة، تمارس سيطرتها المطلقة على المؤسسة الدينية الوهابية، والمؤسسة السياسية، إضافة إلى المؤسسة المالية الاقتصادية الواقعة أصلاً تحت قبضتها، الأمر الذي أدى إلى امتلاك النخبة الحاكمة للأعمدة الثلاثة: الدين ـ المال ـ السياسة.
وهكذا لم تعد السياسة السعودية تصدر قراراتها وتضمن توجيهاتها بناء على الفتاوى الدينية الوهابية.. وإنما أصبحت المؤسسة الدينية الوهابية تصدر الفتاوى التي تخدم توجهات السياسة السعودية، وبكلمات أخرى لم يعد السياسي يخدم الديني وإنما أصبح الديني يخدم السياسي، وهكذا أصبح منهج الفيلسوف اليهودي الحاخام موسى ابن ميمون حاضراً بقوة في تقاليد علاقة المؤسسة الدينية الوهابية بالمؤسسة السياسية السعودية، هذا ويمكن ملاحظة الآتي:
• ترابط الهياكل السياسية السعودية الداخلية مع السلوك السياسي السعودي الخارجي، وبكلمات أخرى، أصبحت الروابط التي تجمع النخبة السعودية مع الأمريكيين والإسرائيليين وغيرهم من أعداء الإسلام التقليديين لا تجد من يعترض عليها داخل السعودية
• تزايد التأثيرات الخارجية على توجهات السياسات الداخلية والخارجية السعودية، وبكلمات أخرى أصبحت واشنطن حاضرة بقوة في عملية صنع قرار السياسة الداخلية السعودية، وأيضاً في عملية صنع قرار السياسة الخارجية السعودية
تشير المعطيات والوقائع الجارية إلى أن السياسة الخارجية السعودية، ضمن سياقاتها الجارية حالياً سوف تظل أكثر تميزاً بالأداء السلوكي السياسي الذي يتضمن قدراً متزايداً من اللايقين وانعدام المصداقية في التعامل مع المعطيات الجارية في البيئة السياسية الإقليمية والدولية، بل وحتى ضمن البيئة السياسية الداخلية السعودية نفسها، وتأسيساً على ذلك فإن أبسط معطيات الوضوح لم تعد موجودة في محتوى السياسة الخارجية السعودية، بحيث أصبح من الصعب جداً إن لم يكن من المستحيل الإجابة على أسئلة من نوع الآتي:
• من الذي يحدد أهداف السياسة الخارجية السعودية؟ النخبة الحاكمة أم واشنطن .
• من الذي ينفذ أهداف السياسة الخارجية السعودية؟ الأجهزة السعودية أم الأمريكية .
• من الذي يستفيد من أهداف السياسة الخارجية السعودية؟ الأمريكيين أم السعوديين .
وبرغم أن التحديدات الشكلية الرسمية تراهن على الطرف السعودي، فإن التحديدات العملية تقول بالرهان على الأمريكي.. وعلى خلفية قراءة الدور السعودي الذي أصبح معلناً في ملف الحدث السياسي السوري، فإن الرهان على أن الأمريكي الفاعل الرئيسي الأوحد في عملية صنع القرار السياسي السعودي أصبح هو الرابح..

الجمل ـ قسم الدراسات والترجمة
http://www.aljaml.com/node/80472

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January 26th, 2012, 1:39 pm

 

214. Tara said:

Norman

I was asking for documentaries, ie short films about minorities. Not how many of them are “civil servants”. ( civil servants sounds pretty funny description in Syria). I don’t think documentaries are meant to plant seeds for civil wars. You probably have not watched any documentary about ethnic minorities.

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January 26th, 2012, 1:43 pm

 

215. norman said:

Tara, Do we have these documentaries about the minorities in the US.?

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January 26th, 2012, 1:50 pm

 

216. Tara said:

Norman

I don’t know about the US but I have watched some brilliant Iranian- made documentaries about ethnic minorities. They are not meant to provoke ethnic strife.

Btw, Tara did not know anything about even
mainstream Shiaa not too long ago. My taste has drastically morphed.

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January 26th, 2012, 1:59 pm

 

217. Afram said:

Heh Juergen the (edited for personal attack)

your computer was invented by Americans tax payers research money

(edited for personal attack and hateful sectarian language. All comments on SC are monitored. Hateful sectarian language and personal attacks will not be tolerated)

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January 26th, 2012, 2:03 pm

 

218. jad said:

After targeting the Syrian doctors, inventors, teachers, researchers, politicians and religious figures, it’s time for the terrorists to kill Syrian businessmen and those who are running the Syrian industry.
The fsa criminal terrorists just killed one of Aleppo’s well known businessman, Haytham Khankan.

Terrorist! Where!? NO! there are no terrorists in Syria, it’s a myth!

مسلحو رياض الأسعد يغتالون أكبر الصناعيين في حلب ، هيثم خانكان، بعد اتهامه بتمويل “الشبيحة”

كتيبة ” أبابيل” التابعة لرياض الأسد تتبنى عملية الاغتيال الذي جاء تفعيلا للاتفاق المبرم بين رياض الأسعد وبرهان غليون في 14 من الشهر الجاري في استانبول

دمشق ، حلب ، الحقيقة ( خاص من : سامر أبو الكيف + مكتب التحرير): اغتال مسلحو ما يسمى “الجيش السوري الحر” اليوم الصناعي هيثم خانكان ، الذي يعتبر أكبر الصناعيين في حلب. وتبنت “كتيبة أبابيل” في “الجيش” المذكور عملية الاغتيال على موقعها الرسمي ، زاعمة أنه موّل “الشبيحة” بأكثر من 15 مليون ليرة سورية . وقال بيان مقتضب للكتيبة المذكورة على موقعها الرسمي ، بعد البسلمة(!)، ” قامت عناصر من سرية الشهيد عمر حاوي باغتيال الشبيح هيثم خانكان ، وهو صاحب معمل برادات البطريق الذهبي ، ومن الممولين الكبار للشبيحة بحلب . وذلك بعد تتبعه ورصد المعلومات عنه ، وتبين أنه ممول للشبيحة بأكثر من 15 مليون ليرة سورية ، ونحذر كافة الشبيحة إنكم في دائرة الاستهداف “!

وعلمت”الحقيقة” أن بعثة المراقبين العرب عاينت جثة المغدور في مقر الطبابة الشرعية في حلب . وكانوا عقدوا قبل ذلك اجتماعا مع محافظ حلب موفق خلوف فور وصولهم إلى المدينة. وقال موقع “عكس السير” إن أربعة مسلحين يستقلون سيارة من نوع ” كيا” اغتالوا الصناعي الحلبي في منطقة “البريج” على طريق المنطقة الصناعية في حلب صباح اليوم. ونقل الموقع عن شاهد عيان قوله إن أربعة مسلحين يستقلون سيارة”كيا جيب ” تحمل لوحة دمشق فتحوا النار على الصناعي خانكان ، ما أدى إلى استشهاده في الحال ، ونقل بعدها إلى الطبابة الشرعية.

وكان مسلحو “الجيش” المذكور ، الذي تديره المخابرات التركية والملحقية العسكرية الأميركية في أنقرة ، فضلا عن المخابرات الفرنسية التي تساعده لوجستيا في شمال لبنان ، بدأوا مؤخرا حملة تفجير وتخريب واغتيالات بحق مدينة حلب بهدف ” معاقبتها” على عدم مشاركتها في الانتفاضة السورية. وذلك تنفيذا للاتفاق الذي أبرم بين رياض الأسعد ورئيس “المجلس الوطني” برهان غليون الذي عقد في 14 من الشهر الجاري في استانبول ، والذي جرى خلاله الاتفاق على إنشاء ما يشبه ” غرفة عمليات مشتركة” وعلى تنسيق العمليات العسكرية بينهما. ( راجع تقرير “الحقيقة” هنا). وبعد الاتفاق مباشرة ، بدأ مسلحو الأسعد تنفيذ عملياتهم في حلب وإدلب، والتي استهدفت منشآت صناعية ومحالات تجارية وأشخاصا متهمين بموالاتهم للسلطة. وهو التكتيك نفسه الذي لجأ إليه ” الأخوان المسلمون” خلال الثمانينيات بتوجيهات من فاروق طيفور ، الذي يشغل اليوم منصب نائب برهان غليون في “المجلس الوطني” ، لكأنما التاريخ يعيد نفسه!؟

http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/6547/Default.aspx

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January 26th, 2012, 2:05 pm

 

219. Juergen said:

Afram

If youd know history you would know that a german Konrad Zuse invented the modern computer. If you had manners youd be ashamed of what youd said.

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January 26th, 2012, 2:33 pm

 
 

221. majedkhaldoun said:

Alex
I like you to read Afram comment #214
It must be deleted

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January 26th, 2012, 2:59 pm

 

222. majedkhaldoun said:

the dollar is 62 lira,down from 75

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January 26th, 2012, 6:04 pm

 

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