Arab League Peace Plan? Syrian Opposition Shoots Back. Turkey Hardens Stand on Syria

Syria agrees to an Arab League peace plan set to be disclosed today, Foreign Policy writes:

In reports released by Syrian state television, President Bashar al-Assad’s government has accepted a roadmap presented by the Arab League on Sunday to end violence. However, the Arab League has yet to receive an official response to the proposal, saying Syrian officials have claimed they are waiting for a document on the situation in Syria. The Arab League has a meeting scheduled for today, and expects to receive a reply from Syria, which it said it would announce at the headquarters in Cairo. A Lebanese official with ties to Assad’s regime said Syria presented its own proposal to the Arab League calling for “the opposition to drop weapons, the Arab states to end their funding for the weapons and the opposition, and an end to the media campaign against Syria.” Syrian opposition groups remain skeptical, however, insisting to see the agreement that they are concerned “helps the Syrian regime to remain in power while the demands of the people are clear in terms of toppling the regime.”

Accepting Arab League mediation is a smart move by Assad, if true. It will buy time and placed the ball for dialogue in the opposition court. If the opposition refuse to engage in political dialogue – as they have stated they will do – Assad will be able to shift blame for the lack of compromise toward the opposition. The international community must play along because both NATO and the US have stated that they will not intervene in Syria militarily. Even if Assad is using the Arab League mediation effort to win time for his effort to suppress the opposition, the Arab League will take a more forward role. If dialogue fails, as everyone seems to expect, the Arab League will have to take concrete steps to isolate and condemn Syria. The Syria opposition and Western leaders will hope that at the end of the day this will place greater pressure on China, and perhaps even Russia, to condemn Syria in the UN. The West and possibly Turkey will be positioned then to tighten sanctions further and contemplate the military involvement that all disavow today.

It has been a bloody week in Syria.

This Tuesday – A prominent Sunni businessman, Muhammad Awais (أقدم مسلحون مجهولون يوم الثلاثاء على قتل الصناعي محمد الويس بالقرب من مدينة سراقب )was assassinated outside of his factory on the outskirts of Aleppo (processed food). His brother and three others were also shot with him.

This micro-bus full of Alawi civilians were killed today in Homs. A friend in Homs said that 11 were killed with axes. There were protests in Al-Zahara afterwards, an Alawi neighborhood in Homs.

Opposition activists said at least 21 people were killed by government troops over the weekend, including at least 11 who died when Syrian forces pounded the western city of Homs with tanks, sustaining fire with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Four people were killed in Hama and one each in Hasaka, Daraa, Idlib, Keseh, Zabadany and Deir Ezzor, according to the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) of Syria, an opposition group that organizes and documents protests in Syria. Government forces killed six people they described as terrorists Saturday, and arrested 20, the SANA reported Sunday. SANA said four members of the security forces had been killed in the clashes.

Andrew Gilligan, of the Telegraph reports that the Opposition is beginning to kill as many Syrians as the Army.

“the death toll among the security forces is now starting to surpass that of the protesters. … Last weekend, across the country, at least 35 members of the army and police died. As the regime reaps what it has sown, what’s happening in this part of Syria looks increasingly like armed conflict.”

The Tunisian Annahda Leadership kicked out the Syrian ambassador and recognized the SNC.

Coordinating Committees in Syria – Who are the real leaders of the revolution and how Islamist are they? According to one friend who has spent time with a number of tansiqiyat leaders:

The tansiqiyat are nor one group of people. They are probably more than 500 groups who do not share many things other than hating the regime. Some of them are not Muslims, many are not religious at all, some drink alcohol and didn’t fast in Ramadan.

The tansiqiyat in villages and suburbs are mostly conservative and some are islamist. those in the city are more politically aware and secular. I met some in the cities who are young engineers, doctors, bankers etc. all are very tech-savvy.

The thing is that the tech-savvy well-prepared Ikhwan and FB revolution page ( and later SNC members ) are well connected with the tansiqiyat since day one. They are the central command for many isolated, lost and clueless tansiqiyat. So they fell under their charm as the only saviors!

This is unfortunate as the internal opposition is only in control of smaller number of tansiqiyat as it is more dangerous and easier to get caught than communicating with people through skype under the safety of TOR. So the poor tansiqyat were thrown to the lap of the islamists and the SNC. it’s not who they are it’s who they were pushed to be.

Turkey is hardening it line toward Syria. It has signaled possible support for a buffer zone to protect Syrian civilians if Damascus continues its crackdown on democracy protests, as tensions rise between the two former strategic partners. The financial Times reports that  Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, told the FT that Ankara was preparing targeted sanctions against Damascus and left the door open for more drastic steps at a later date, such as a buffer zone or a no fly-zone on Syrian territory.

Syrian Colonel Says He Leads Armed Rebellion: L.A. Times, 2011-11-02

In the interview, Col. Assad declined to say whether his forces were conducting cross-border operations from Turkey. He appealed to the international community to impose a “no fly” zone similar to what the North Atlantic Treaty Organization enforced over Libya. He also called for a “buffer zone” in Syria that would provide protection for fleeing civilians — and create a haven for his forces.

Reporting from Antakya, Turkey, and Beirut— From his heavily guarded enclave in Turkey, a leading Syrian defector says he is heading an armed rebellion against the regime of President Bashar Assad. The brutality of the regime in Damascus left him …

Erdogan Says Syrian Political Structures ‘Totalitarian’:

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Syria is suffering from “totalitarian” political structures. Erdogan, speaking today in Berlin at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said he cannot accept what’s happening in Syria…. Noting that Syria and Turkey share a 910-kilometer border and have a common destiny, he underlined the importance of unity and order in Syria, saying Turkey would be hurt if Syria’s national unity and territorial integrity were harmed.

Assad’s interview on Russian TV Sunday Oct 30, 2011

According to Al-Qabas daily, the Arab League ministerial delegation to Damascus warned Assad that failure to resolve the crisis within an Arab fold would mean “internationalizing” the issue…. “This would mean Syria should expect a foreign intervention and a painful international blockade on the economy and other aspects,” it added.

Gulf State Ministers make Demand that Syria Introduce Radical Reforms and Democracy in exchange for Lifting Sanctions and an End to Demonization Campaign against Syria – Monday, October 31, 2011: Elections

أنباء شبه مؤكدة من مصادرنا في الدوحة مقربة من الوفد السوري بقيادة رئيس الدبلوماسية السورية الأستاذ وليد المعلم, افادت هذه الأنباء عن رفض القيادة السورية لورقة العمل التي طرحت في اللقاء مع اللجنة الوزارية العربية, وهنالك كلام حول أن الوفد السوري تقدم بورقة بديلة تحتوي على جملة من النقاط في مقدمتها, إيقاف الحرب الإعلامية ضد سورية, ومنع تمويل وتهريب السلاح عبر الحدود, ورفع العقوبات الظالمة على الدولة السورية. مقابل جملة من الإصلاحات الجذرية والسريعة وأولها إجراء انتخابات لتشكيل جمعية وطنية سورية لوضع دستور جديد للبلاد وإقامة انتخابات رئاسية تعددية. وهذا بانتظار تأكيد ذلك من مصادرنا الأخرى في الدوحة.

Russia Opposes Isolating Syria, Interfax Reports, Cites Lavrov, 2011-11-01, by Paul Abelsky

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) — Russia is opposed to isolating Syria, Interfax reported, citing Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

NATO Chief Rules Out No-fly Zone For Syria, 2011-10-31

TRIPOLI (AFP)–NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen ruled out the possibility of a no-fly zone for Syria, in remarks to an AFP correspondent as he travelled Monday to Tripoli to mark the end of the alliance’s air war in Libya. “It’s totally ruled out. We have no intention whatsoever to intervene in Syria,” Rasmussen said when asked if there was a possibility NATO would now spearhead a no-fly zone in Syria….

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani told reporters after the meeting that Assad risks forcing an international intervention if he allows the violence to continue.

Syria’s Assad on media offensive to defy critics By Nehal El-Sherif, DPA

….US-led consultations are secretly taking place, in renewed international efforts to bring back the Syrian file to the United Nations Security Council. China and Russia vetoed a UN resolution this month critical of al-Assad’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, which would have targeted his government with further sanctions. Syrian opposition figure Fawaz Zakri said that the impetus to taking the Syria file back to the Security Council came after comments by China’s special envoy to the Middle East. Wu Sike, who had visited Damascus last week, said that the “dangerous situation in Syria cannot continue,” adding that “Syria must show some flexibility to help the Arab League implement its proposal.” “These statements have encouraged the world again to make a decision because it means a change in the Chinese position,” said Zakri, who is based in Turkey…..

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Calls Syrian Protests ’Glorious’

Sen. Toomey Co-Sponsors Syria Sanctions Act Of 2011, 2011-11-01. Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA) News Release

October 31, 2011 (Federal Information & News Dispatch) — WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) co-sponsored the bipartisan Syria Sanctions Act (S. 1472), directing the president to implement stronger sanctions on Syria. The increased pressure on Syrian President Bashar al- Assad will send an important message that his tyrannical and violent actions

Monkey Cage: How Important is Turkey’s Support of the Free Syrian Army?

This week, the New York Times reported that Turkey has begun to actively support the Free Syrian Army by providing shelter in a camp guarded by the Turkish military. From the Times: Turkey is hosting an armed opposition group waging an insurgency …

Dan Byman, Peter Chalk, et al also identified sanctuary as the most important type of support an insurgent group can receive, as it allows rebels to move and organize freely, to import weapons, and to train for operations. However, they write:

Foreign assistance in the form of international sanctuaries, while often extremely useful to guerrillas, can also have a negative impact. In moving abroad, insurgents risk cutting themselves off from their base of popular support. Resting and recuperating across a border, while providing obvious benefits, also carries the danger of operational isolation from potentially lucrative political and military targets.

Michel Kilo’s view of Assad in an interview:

” يجب أن نرى الأمر ضمن سياق كلي .. علينا أن نسعى إلى حل سياسي يأخذنا جميع إلى تسوية تاريخية و إلى الديمقراطية .. فإذا كان بشار الأسد يؤيد هذا الحل فنحن سنحتفظ ببشار الاسد إن كان ذلك بايدينا .. و اذا كان لا يريد ذلك فاعتقد أنه عليه ان يذهب

See this very useful website:

Hundreds of students clashed today in Kalamoon university (loyalists vs. Opposition) after a day of similar debate which took place in the university. These are the sons and daughters of the richest people in syria, studying at an expensive university (by SYRian standards). If this is the case among the “elite” then no wonder people are killing each other in the villages. The university is closed for the rest of the week. Can someone check with Sami Mubayed on what really happened?

Assad: challenge Syria at your peril,
By Andrew Gilligan, in Damascus, 29 Oct 2011, Telegraph

Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has warned that Western action against his country would cause an “earthquake” that would “burn the whole region”. President Assad admitted that ‘many mistakes’ had been made by his forces in the early part of the uprising, but insisted that only terrorists’ were now being targeted

In his first interview with a Western journalist since Syria’s seven-month uprising began, President Assad told The Sunday Telegraph that intervention against his regime could cause “another Afghanistan”.

Western countries “are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely,” he said. “But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different.

“Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake … Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?

“Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region.”

Thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets in two Syrian cities on Friday to demand the imposition of a Libyan-style no-fly zone over the country. According to the United Nations, at least 3,000 civilians, including 187 children, have been killed during protests against the regime. Thousands more have been imprisoned. The government says 1,200 members of the security forces have also died.

President Assad admitted that “many mistakes” had been made by his forces in the early part of the uprising, but insisted that only “terrorists” were now being targeted.

“We have very few police, only the army, who are trained to take on al-Qaeda,” he said. “If you sent in your army to the streets, the same thing would happen. Now, we are only fighting terrorists. That’s why the fighting is becoming much less.”

On Friday alone, however, opposition groups claimed that 40 people were killed by the regime, and government troops shelled a district of Homs, a centre of opposition.

Seventeen soldiers also died in overnight clashes with suspected army deserters in the city, which foreign journalists are forbidden to enter.

Syria was condemned yesterday by Arab League foreign ministers for its “continued killings of civilians”.

The number of protesters appeared to fall earlier this month, but has increased again after the death of Col Gaddafi gave opposition groups new heart. A general strike affected much of the southern part of the country.

President Assad insisted that he had responded differently to the Arab Spring than other, deposed Arab leaders. “We didn’t go down the road of stubborn government,” he said. “Six days after [the protests began] I commenced reform. People were sceptical that the reforms were an opiate for the people, but when we started announcing the reforms, the problems started decreasing e_SLps This is when the tide started to turn. This is when people started supporting the government.”

Some Damascus-based opposition leaders say the reforms, which include laws ostensibly allowing demonstrations and political parties, are a start, but not enough. However, the leaders of the main protests say they are meaningless and President Assad must go.

“The problem with the government is that their dialogue is shallow and just a tool to gain time,” said Kadri Jamil, of Kassioun, a Damascus-based opposition group. “They have to act to begin real dialogue because the security solution has failed. We have one to two months before we pass the point of no return.”

One Homs-based opposition activist said: “Killing people is not an act of reform. We aren’t calling for economic or even political reform under Assad, but for the departure of this bloodstained president and free elections.”

President Assad said: “The pace of reform is not too slow. The vision needs to be mature. It would take only 15 seconds to sign a law, but if it doesn’t fit your society, you’ll have division … It’s a very complicated society.”

He described the uprising as a “struggle between Islamism and pan-Arabism [secularism], adding: “We’ve been fighting the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1950s and we are still fighting with them.”

In interviews in Damascus, some without government minders, secular Syrians and members of the country’s substantial Christian and Alawite minorities said they supported the Assad regime for fear of their positions under a new government. Those attending a large demonstration in support of the regime last Wednesday did not appear to be coerced, according to independent observers.

However, interviews, even some with minders present, revealed widespread and vocal discontent over corruption and living standards.

CNN: Syria sets out to draft new constitution, 2011-10-30

Syrians aiming to write a new constitution for the strife-torn country will meet for the first time on Monday, the state news agency reported Sunday, after a weekend of intense violence. Syria sets out to draft new constitution Sun, 30 Oct 2011 08 …

Guardian (GB): Is Syria next for Nato?, 2011-11-02, Robert Dreyfuss

Now that Nato is closing up shop in Libya, will it turn to Syria? Right now, the answer is no. But if the fragmented Syrian opposition – bolstered by Turkey, a member of Nato, which is turning increasingly against the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad – manages to set up a Benghazi-like enclave either inside Syria or across the border in Turkey, anything goes. To be sure, there are lots of differences between Libya and Syria.

Syria Mining Lebanon Border,  2011-11-01, By BASSEM MROUE

Serhaniyeh, Lebanon (AP) — Syria is planting landmines along parts of the country’s border with Lebanon as refugees stream out of the country …. A Syrian official familiar with government strategy claimed the mines are meant to prevent arms smuggling into Syria.

AP Exclusive: New Signs of Syria-Pakistan Nuke Tie, 2011-11-01, By DESMOND BUTLER and GEORGE JAHN

Washington (AP) — U.N. investigators have identified a previously unknown complex in Syria that bolsters suspicions that the Syrian government worked with A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, to acquire technology that could make nuclear arms. The buildings in northwest Syria closely match the design of a uranium enrichment plant provided to Libya when Moammar Gadhafi was trying to build nuclear weapons under Khan’s guidance, officials told The Associated Press. The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency also has obtained correspondence between Khan and a Syrian government official, Muhidin Issa, who proposed scientific cooperation and a visit to Khan’s laboratories following Pakistan’s successful nuclear test in 1998.

The complex, in the city of Al-Hasakah, now appears to be a cotton-spinning plant, and investigators have found no sign that it was ever used for nuclear production. But given that Israeli warplanes destroyed a suspected plutonium production reactor in Syria in 2007, the unlikely coincidence in design suggests Syria may have been pursuing two routes to an atomic bomb: uranium as well as plutonium. Details of the Syria-Khan connection were provided to the AP by a senior diplomat with knowledge of IAEA investigations and a former U.N. investigator.

Syria’s government confident, but country polarized, By Liz Sly, in Wash Post: October 28

DAMASCUS, SYRIA — President Bashar al-Assad’s government is confident that it has weathered the worst of the turmoil sweeping Syria and will soon be able to overcome any remaining challenges to its survival.

Whether that confidence is justified — and how broadly it is shared — is in question. Even as the government boasts that it is prevailing over the eight-month-old uprising, the economy is imploding, protests persist in many parts of the country and an armed rebellion is stirring…..

The failure of the Syrian opposition to present a united front and articulate a clear vision of what a post-Assad future would look like is also keeping silent the majority of Syrians, who have neither joined the protests nor support the government, Western diplomats say….

LA Times [Reg]: Syrian Americans in Syria feel unfairly targeted by sanctions, 2011-10-27

Ahmad is not one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s cronies. But since August, when the U.S. imposed its most recent sanctions on Syria — which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said targeted “Assad and dozens of his cronies” in the wake … Under the order signed by President Obama, an American working in Syria is deemed an exported service and in violation of the sanctions. The livelihoods of some have been devastated….. He said one Syrian American doctor he knows had left Syria rather than risk getting into trouble for treating patients. Others, faced with having to end their business interests and radically alter their lives in Syria, have decided to stay anyway. Still others are holding out hope that the sanctions won’t be enforced on American citizens not connected to the regime.

Austrian Airlines will cancel all of its flights from and to Syria as of 1 December.

Goldman Sachs Rips Off Libya, Donald Trump Admits Screwing Gaddafi –

Bouthaina Shaaban top adviser to the president, admits that corruption remains a serious problem in Syria. “Rami Makhlouf isn’t the only one who made money in the past period,” she says in an interview at the presidential palace. “There are many people, big capitalists, who made a lot of money.” But, she argues, the government has taken steps to reform. “This crisis has made us 1,000 more times more aware,” Ms. Shaaban says….

Syrian opposition struggles to unite By Zeina Karam
Associated Press / October 28, 2011

The council’s leadership — currently headed by Burhan Ghalioun, a professor at the Sorbonne in Paris — will rotate every three months, reflecting the absence of a single popular leader who stands out among the country’s disparate groups.

The council’s formation is a remarkable achievement given Syria’s complex sectarian and ethnic makeup.

But the group has yet to gain the recognition of any countries other than Libya and faces criticism from opposition groups that declined to join, accusing it of trying to monopolize the movement.

Haitham al-Maleh, an 80-year-old lawyer who was imprisoned for years for his political activism, also accused the SNC of sidelining major figures and said the group never consulted him.

“We have a 50-year history of struggle against this regime, while nobody had heard of these people before,” he said of the SNC leaders.

Bassma Kodmani, another Paris-based academic and a spokeswoman for the council, rejected the accusations and said the SNC was open for all Syrians. “We did not exclude anybody,” she said, insisting the council represented the majority of Syrian society.

An attempt in July to hold a dual meeting in Damascus and Istanbul was canceled when security forces besieged the conference location in Damascus a day before it was scheduled to begin and shot dead 14 protesters in the area.

Foreign leaders have welcomed the formation of the SNC, but say the opposition needs more work to become an effective political force.

“The opposition must still improve its organizational and outreach efforts,” said U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, who returned to Washington this week over security concerns.

He said developing consensus around a specific political and economic plan would help persuade Sunni business elites and other Syrians still on the fence to defect from the regime.

“There is a huge need for the council to explain what exactly they will bring to Syria,” Ford said during an address this month to The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

A key sticking point is whether to ask for foreign intervention like the NATO airstrikes that helped oust former Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

The SNC’s founding statement rejects foreign intervention, but its members are calling for “international protection for civilians,” an ambiguous statement that leaves the door open for interpretation. The NATO action in Libya was carried out under a U.N. mandate to protect civilians but ultimately proved key to the rebel victory that led to Gadhafi’s death.

Haytham Manna, a Paris-based dissident who heads the external branch of a smaller rival group called the National Committee for Democratic Change, objects to any possibility of military intervention.

“The Libyan experience is a painful one,” he said. “There has been so much destruction and I don’t wish for my country anything like that.”

Manna, whose brother was killed by Syrian security forces in the southern town of Daraa during a funeral in August, says the SNC had no right to say they represented Syria.

“Having one representative is dangerous and reminds us of the one-party rule which we have been fighting for decades,” he said.

Another key point of contention is whether to negotiate with the regime. Some dissidents point to dialogue as one of the only ways out, but others reject the idea as long as the government keeps up its deadly military assault on protesters.

Extract from an interview with Burhan Gallioun, leader of the Syrian National Council, sent out by a Kurdish group:

In answer to a question about the fear of the Kurds and Arabisation in Syria, and institutional racial discrimination suffered by the Kurds since 1958 when the name of the county changed to the United Arab Republic:

The interviewer asked:How can you make a Kurd feel assured about his future in Syria,when you are hoisting a state emblem of the new Syrian state which is Arabised, I mean, from the beginning he is excluded, therefore the conflict between the poles of the opposition is not just about the goal of toppling of the regime, but there are fundamental significant differences between the poles of the opposition?

Gallioun: No, no, there was exaggeration by some of the Kurdish brothers who raised the idea that it should be the Syrian Republic rather than the Syrian Arab Republic, but … of course, Syria is an Arab state .. there is no discussion about this .. there is no debate that Syria is an Arab country because the majority of the population are Arabs … because participation in the history, culture and geography does not mean denying the existence of groups and clusters of other nations, and speaking other languages, just as we say France is France, but of course there are Muslims and immigrants from Asian countries. The discussion is not about the identity for Syria. Kurds … you cannot tell the Syrian Arabs that you are not Arabs … is that OK? Here is the wall.

Interviewer: Is this not a condition of the civil state?

Gallioun: No, no there are no conditions ……….. the media created this story that there is deep disagreement about the identity of Syria, the identity of Syria is clear …………

The Kurdish people are very upset about the comments made above. They are indigenous to the area, not immigrants, and they are a separate nation from the Arabs. The SNC leader has the same view of Kurds as the current regime in Syria.

Unreported World this time from Syria – Channel 4 documentary film – 21.10.2011

Facebook and the Arab Spring: A medium or a tool?

Austria Money-Printers Expensed Viagra, Bribed Syria: Standard, 2011-10-28 , By Boris Groendahl

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) — Managers of Austrian money-printer Oesterreichische Banknoten- und Sicherheitsdruck GmbH may havepaid bribes to get orders from Syria and and may have expensed items including Viagra, newspaper Der Standard reported, citing an internal review of the Austrian central bank, OeBS’s owner. The auditors found “unusual” expenses of as much as 600,000 euros, which included charges claimed for furniture in a Romanian apartment as well as for Pfizer Inc.’s impotence drug, the Vienna-based daily said. They also found payments of as much as 14 million euros ($20 million) made to win contracts to print Syrian bank notes, the paper reported.

14 million euro is a large bribe for a “printing” contract. Adeeb Mayale confirms that the printing contract was worth 29 million euro but he does not say whether this 29 million euro was yearly payment or one off. The Austrian prosecutors will have more to say on this perhaps حاكم مصرف سورية المركزي ينفي تهم دفع رشاوى لدار طباعة العملة النمساوية

POMES’s From Washington covers State Department statements and WINEP views

Ambassador Pulled from Syria: Robert Ford was brought back to Washington due to credible threats against his safety in Syria, though he has not formally been recalled. A report released by Amnesty International alleged that hospitals have become “instruments of repression.” David Schenker argued that the administration should “focus on expediting the end of the regime,” and Elliott Abrams noted that the goal of “U.S. policy should be to end the violence and lay the bases for a stable democratic system.” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe announced that Assad’s regime “will almost certainly fall under the pressure of protests and sanctions.” Jeffrey White said the risks of not intervening in Syria are great.  Jim Brann asserted that the West has been reticent to intervene because ”Syria is seen as being much more problematic [than Libya].” Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford met with Hillary Clinton to update her on the situation in Syria; Victoria Nuland said, “the violence needs to end…that the arrest and the torture and the brutality needs to come to an end.”

Juan Cole writes of Tunisia

Tunisia’s election outcome gives 41% to the Muslim fundamentalist party Al-Nahda. One of the other two winners is the Rally for the Republic– of long-time political exile Moncef al-Marzouqi. Then the third major party is al-Takattul or the Democratic Forum for Labor and Freedoms, headed by Mustapha Ben Jaafar.
The latter two mentioned are secular, and al-Nahda needs these secular allies to run the government, not to mention achieve a majority. The al-Nahda fundamentalist party, moreover, told me last June that they want a pluralist system that makes a place for believing Muslims, but that they will not dictatorially impose policies on one another. I asked about liquor and they admitted that they would try to discourage drinking. But they said they would do so by increasing taxes on alcohol, just as governments have done with smoking.
If the al-Nahda semi-victory (they did not get the majority and so did not ‘win’ in the American sense) contributes to an opening up of Tunisia to a variety of styles of life, if it makes Tunisia more multi-cultural, then that would be all to the good. There is an admitted danger that al-Nahda will try to limit freedom of speech. Tunisia is now the only Arab country without print censorship, and you wonder if that will last. Marzouqi and al-Takattul bear a special responsibility for keeping Tunisia free.

The murder brigades of Misrata

Gadhafi’s demise was just a part of a vast revenge killing spree

By Daniel Wlliams


Misrata steadfastness

Libyan rebels secure prisoners in the back of a pick-up truck. The graffiti on the truck, in Arabic, reads, “Misrata steadfastness.” (Credit: AP)

MISRATA, Libya — If anyone is surprised by the apparent killing of Moammar Gadhafi while in the custody of militia members from the town of Misrata, they shouldn’t be.

More than 100 militia brigades from Misrata have been operating outside of any official military and civilian command since Tripoli fell in August. Members of these militias have engaged in torture, pursued suspected enemies far and wide, detained them and shot them in detention, Human Rights Watch has found. Members of these brigades have stated that the entire displaced population of one town, Tawergha, which they believe largely supported Gadhafi avidly, cannot return home.

As the war in Libya comes to an end, the pressing need for accountability and reconciliation is clear. The actions of the Misrata brigades are a gauge of how difficult that will be, and Misrata is not alone in its call for vengeance. In the far west, anti-Gadhafi militias from the Nafusa Mountains have looted and burned homes and schools of tribes that supported the deposed dictator. Anti-Gadhafi militias from Zuwara have looted property as they demanded compensation for damage they suffered during the war.

The apparent execution of 53 pro-Gadhafi supporters in a hotel in Sirte apparently under control of Misrata fighters is a bad omen. ….

Robert Worth in the NYTImes – “the-arab-intellectuals-who-didnt-roar

“Everything in Colonel Qaddafi’s Libya was styled “revolutionary.” When the rebels overthrew his government this year, they found it difficult to separate the names of their own revolutionary councils from the ones they were overthrowing.”

Portraits of a People, by Amal Hanano at Jadiliyya -Portrait of a Leader: Burhan Ghalioun

One late summer day in 2001, Burhan Ghalioun was sitting in Damascus with Riad Seif, discussing the political climate in Syria and the heavy cloud of repression and despair that once again hovered over the country just over one year into Bashar al-Assad’s presidency. Ghalioun asked his friend, “Why did you close the forums?” referring to the political and cultural “salons” that had thrived in Damascus and across Syria that spring, representing a new era of civility under the insecure, and in many people’s eyes, illegitimate leader. Seif replied that the regime had threatened the participants with plans to issue a law making the forums illegal. Ghalioun chided, “You made a mistake. You should have let them come and close the forums themselves.” Seif told his friend he was willing to reopen his Forum for National Dialogue if Ghalioun would give the first lecture. Ghalioun agreed. The Sorbonne professor of political sociology returned to France, prepared the lecture, and within a few weeks he came back to Syria. He remembers, “It was the first ticket I bought out of my own pocket to give a lecture. On September 5th, I gave my lecture and stayed a week. Because of that lecture, ten people who attended were arrested, Riad included.” They were all sentenced between two and ten years in prison; the forum was shut down. And that was the end of the Damascus Spring. Read more


Comments (634)

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401. jad said:

Official Source: Statements of US Department of State Spokesperson Prove US Policies in Support of Killing and Financing Armed Group

DAMASCUS, (SANA) _An official source at the Ministry of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs stated that the US administration disclosed again its blatant interference in Syria’s internal affairs, and its policy which supports killing, in addition to its funding of the terrorist groups in Syria.

The evidence on that is the statement of US Department of State spokesperson, Victoria Nuland which she made on 04/11/2011 in which she said that she doesn’t advice the terrorists to turn themselves in to the Syrian authorities and this statement came in a response to the general amnesty decision taken by the Syrian Government which includes whoever hands his illegal weapon to the Syrian authorities, the source added.

The source said that the Syrian Government condemns these irresponsible statements which only aim at inciting sedition, supporting the acts of killing and the terrorism practiced by the armed groups against the Syrian citizens.

The Syrian Government calls on the international community to stand against these policies which contradict with the provisions of the international law and the UN Security Council’s resolutions related to combating terrorism and financing it, the source added.

Earlier on Friday, Nuland advised the gunmen in Syria not to hand their weapons to the Syrian authorities in a response to the amnesty offer by the Ministry of Interior.

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November 5th, 2011, 11:40 am


402. jad said:

-“If Borghan Ghalioun is able to convince the Syrians in Syria”
Bourhanmission is to convince the WEST not the SYRIANS of specific points they asked him to do, a clear stands on coupld issues and that what he is going to deliver

-“Ghalioun will resign to allow some ‘moderate AKP-like’ islamist to take over the SNC for the next round.”
He already finished one month of his 3 month term, he is leaving either way, he is just a better face than the other Islamists in the mighty SNC.

-After his mighty speech the LCC will declare that they want the SNC to be their representative and the only one out of this theatrical show will be the domestic oppositions, there is already a plan to shut the domestic opposition up in anyway possible because they are the only issue before declaring the SNC as ‘THE’ only opposition.

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November 5th, 2011, 11:50 am


403. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

‘Labbaik. Allah humma labbaik oh rising Morning Sun, Al Adha ( the Slaughter fest) is a sign of the Dawn of New Day. To you blood sacrifices will be made by the multitude,’Labbaik. Allah humma labbaik.

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November 5th, 2011, 11:51 am


404. jad said:

Attacking the Syrian Army by the terrorists:
هؤلاء هم جنود الجيش العربي السوري في ادلب

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November 5th, 2011, 11:54 am


405. Tara said:


I am not following. Why is the mistrust? Ghalioun is SECULAR, well before the start of the Syrian revolution. Why would he want the Shariaa law?

Also, why the assumption that Syria future will be controlled by the US, France, and Turkey. On what ground are you accusing the SNC of being either Islamists or traitors?

Bashar is a man, a mortal man. He is not Syria and Syria is not Bashar.

Bronco, the real question I have for you is: Can you accept that one can be secular and extremely patriot but at the same time wants to topple Bashar?

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November 5th, 2011, 12:03 pm


406. Revlon said:

Deception and more regime deception!
Sources: Workers in Factories of the Ministry of Defense in Sayyedah Zeinab, Damascus will continue to work full time through the holdiay.

They are under time pressure to deliver a large order of blue uniforms with Anti-Riot-Police logo, to be soon used by Asad army and security forces!

حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom
أموي مباشر سوريا #syria •◄ غرفة سورية العدل و الـْـْحرية :: حرية عدالة // خبر عاجل:معامل الدفاع في السيدة زينب البحدلية تستمر بالعمل أيام العيد بسبب طلبية كبيرة من البدلات بلون أزرق كحلي لتوزع على عناصر الأمن والجيش على أنهم قوات حفظ النظام يرجى النشر

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November 5th, 2011, 12:05 pm


407. jad said:

من يريد جر سوريا إلى مواجهة مع تركيا؟

داود رمال
في موازاة دخول الحل العربي للوضع السوري في مسار آليات التنفيذ العملية بعد موافقة القيادة السورية على الخطة العربية للحل، فإن حراكا دوليا ـ إقليميا من نوع آخر يشي بعدم وجود نيات غربية سليمة تجاه سوريا، بدليل العمل على استغلال المدى الايجابي الذي وصلت اليه التطورات، وفي الوقت نفسه، العمل على سيناريوهات مغايرة، ما يزيد الشكوك في صدقية النيات الغربية، وهل فعلا هناك من يريد الاستقرار لسوريا أم الخراب وصولا الى استنساخ النموذج الليبي الراهن حيث الثورة تتصارع مع الثورة، وأحيانا تبدو الثورة أكثر دموية من الديكتاتور كما حصل مع مقتل معمر القذافي والتشهير بجثته.
ويقول مصدر دبلوماسي عربي لـ«السفير» انه بعد صمت تركي امتد نحو شهر تجاه الاحداث في سوريا، «عادت وتيرة الانتقادات والحملات الاستفزازية لتطل برأسها مجددا وعلى لسان كبار المسؤولين الأتراك، علما ان مسار الحل العربي انطلق مع الموافقة السورية على خريطة الطريق التي اقترحتها الجامعة العربية واللجنة الوزارية العربية برئاسة قطر، والتي جرى التفاوض حول صيغتها النهائية مع الجانب السوري، وهذه العودة التركية لتصعيد اللهجة تجاه سوريا انما تنم عن توجه غربي، بدأت تتوضح معالمه يوما بعد آخر».
ويوضح المصدر «ان ثمة معلومات يجري التدقيق فيها وتفيد بأن تركيا بدأت عمليا تقديم مساعدات مالية وعسكرية ولوجستية للمعارضة السورية بتغطية من جهات خليجية وبطلب أميركي، حيث ترسل الاموال الخليجية الى تركيا التي تقوم بدورها بتوزيعها واستثمارها في بناء منظومة عسكرية وأمنية لأطياف المعارضة السورية على أراضيها».
ويضيف المصدر «ان تركيا بدأت عمليات تدريب للمعارضة السورية في معسكرات مخصصة لذلك على اراضيها، بالقرب من الحدود الجنوبية، تمهيدا لإنشاء منطقة عازلة داخل الاراضي السورية أيا كان حجمها ومساحتها، فالسيناريو الذي سيعتمد يبدأ بالتركيز المتواصل على مزاعم عن ارتكاب النظام السوري جرائم ضد الانسـانية، ويــترافق ذلك مع دعوات مكثفة للتدخل الاجنبي عبر فرض حماية جوية ومنطقة حظر جوي فوق سوريا».
ويكشف المصدر «ان الخطة الاساسية تقوم على توغل قوات تركية داخل الاراضي السورية قرب الحدود بين البلدين بهدف جر القيادة السورية الى اتخاذ قرار بإرسال وحدات من جيشها للتصدي لهذا الاعتداء على الاراضي السورية، ما يتيح لتركيا بالاستناد الى اتفاقية إنشاء الحلف الاطلسي، الاستنجاد بالحلف بحكم عضويتها فيه، وأحد بنود اتفاقية إنشائه تنص على التدخل إذا طلبت احدى الدول الاعضاء ذلك، وما نفي الحلف لذلك حاليا إلا عملية صرف للانظار عن هذا السيناريو».
ويشير المصدر الى انه «في موازاة ذلك تقوم المعارضة السورية باستهداف مواقع للجيش السوري والمخابرات العسكرية بالتزامن مع خروج تظاهرات تطالب بتدخل الحلف الاطلسي مستفيدة من بنود الاتفاق الذي أقر في الجامعة العربية لحل الازمة السورية والذي ينص على سحب الجيش من المدن ووقف العنف وإنهاء المظاهر المسلحة».
ويلفت المصدر الانتباه إلى أن «التوقعات حسب السيناريو المعتمد، ان تكون الحرب طويلة، ذلك أن ثمة اتفاقا أميركياً ـ تركياً بإفقاد سوريا أوراق قوتها الإقليمية وبالتالي موقعها ودورها كقوة إقليمية فاعلة في المنطقة».
وأكد المصدر أن ما يمكن أن يعوق سيناريو كهذا، هو أكثر من عنصر ولكن لا بد من الأخذ في الحسبان دور المستوى الأمني والعسكري التركي، الذي لا تزال قنواته مفتوحة حتى الآن، مع القيادة السورية، السياسية منها والعسكرية، وهناك شخصيات عربية ولبنانية التقت مسؤولين سوريين ولمست لهجة إيجابية في الحديث عن دور الجيش التركي وكذلك المخابرات التركية، حيث تزداد ملاحظات المستوى الأمني على أداء القيادة السياسية وتحديدا وزير الخارجية داود أوغلو».
وختم المصدر بالقول ان الأتراك سمعوا من الايرانيين ومن غيرهم كلاما واضحا بأن أية محاولة لاستدراج سوريا الى مواجهة عسكرية تحت عنوان إنساني أو أي عنوان كان، لن تقتصر على سوريا بل ستؤدي الى مواجهة إقليمية كبرى، وهو الأمر الذي لمّح اليه صراحة الأمين العام لـ«حزب الله» السيد حسن نصر الله في مقابلته الأخيرة مع «المنار».
واشنطن تدير الصراع في سوريا: لا تسلّموا السلاح إلى السلطة!

خضع الاتفاق بين سوريا والجامعة العربية أمس لأول اختبار عملي على الأرض، حيث خرجت تظاهرات شعبية في عدد من المدن السورية، انتهت بحسب نشطاء إلى مقتل 17 شخصا، فيما نفت السلطات السورية سقوط أي قتلى. وفي الوقت الذي أعلنت فيه وزارة الداخلية السورية العفو عن كل من يسلم سلاحا خلال مهلة أسبوع تبدأ من اليوم، سارعت واشنطن إلى حث المسلحين على عدم القيام بذلك، متذرعة بالقلق على سلامتهم، في موقف يثير الاستغراب ويوحي بأن أميركا تدير بشكل مباشر الصراع المسلح في سوريا.
من جهته أكد نائب الأمين العام لجامعة الدول العربية أحمد بن حلي، في مقابلة مع قناة «العربية»، أن «الحل الأساسي يجب أن يكون نابعا من الأطراف السورية»، موضحا أن «الهدف من المبادرة العربية مساندة الحل السوري». وأضاف «إن الاحتضان العربي لملف الأزمة السورية هو لتشجيع ودعم جميع الأطراف السورية، حكومة ومعارضة بكل أطيافها، للوصول إلى حل سلمي».
وفي حين أعرب وزير الخارجية المصري محمد عمرو عن أمله في حل الأزمة السورية في إطار سوري ـ عربي ومن دون تدخل أجنبي، معتبرا أن ذلك، في حال تحققه، سيكون نصرا كبيرا للعالم العربي وللجامعة العربية، شككت باريس في صدق النظام السوري في تنفيذ خطة الجامعة وذلك بسبب «استمرار القمع الدامي».

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November 5th, 2011, 12:05 pm


408. bronco said:


I doubt the LCC, the FSA and,the SNC will ever agree on a common program as they have totally different views of how to deal with the situation. Everyone sings his own song( More demonstrations, more killings, more observers)
As long as all Arab countries ( except Libya) continue ignoring the SNC, it won’t have any credibility.

The Syrian government has shown an incredible unity and determination and has offered a clear roadmap to democracy ( Ignored by the media) while the opposition has shown disunity, calls for void and chaos ( Idealized by the media)

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November 5th, 2011, 12:06 pm


409. ann said:

Syria releases 553 prisoners ahead of Muslim Eid al-Adha – 2011-11-05

DAMASCUS, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — The Syrian government released Saturday a total of 553 prisoners arrested during the seven-month- long unrest on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the state-run TV reported.

The released prisoners did not commit homicide crimes, the TV said, adding that another 119 detainees have been recently released.

Activists said that about 15,000 people have been detained during the unrest in Syria.

The release of those arrested during the unrest topped the demands of protesters and was part of a deal concluded lately between the Syrian government and the Arab League (AL) ministerial committee to bring the Syrian crisis to a close.

Still the government has not announced when the other prisoners will be set free.

The AL plan was endorsed on Nov. 2, calling for ending violence and withdrawing military vehicles from Syrian streets, in addition to releasing detainees and holding a dialogue between the Syrian authorities and the opposition.

Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, is one of the most important feasts on the Muslim calendar. Releasing prisoners during national holidays is common in Syria.

Since taking office in July 2000, Syrian President Bashar al- Assad has ordered to release hundreds of political detainees.

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November 5th, 2011, 12:18 pm


410. Tara said:

Releasing 553 activists when 2000 activists were arrested 2 days earlier means nothing except that the regime is not genuine in delivering on its promises to the AL.

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November 5th, 2011, 12:23 pm


411. ann said:

Sole Military Super-Bloc: NATO Issues Daily Reprieves To The World


On October 31 North Atlantic Treaty Organization chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen arrived in the Libyan capital of Tripoli at the end of seven full months of the military bloc’s war in the country and effused: “It’s great to be in Libya, free Libya.”

Like Scipio Africanus the Younger almost twenty-two centuries earlier in what is now Libya’s western neighbor Tunisia, then Carthage, Rasmussen planted the banner of a conquering power on the soil of North Africa. Perhaps NATO will grant Rasmussen, too, the honorific agnomen Africanus after the military bloc’s first war and first conquest on the continent.

While basking in the triumph of what Western commentators have celebrated as NATO’s first complete and uncontested military victory – “the most successful in Nato history” in Rasmussen’s words – in the Libyan capital, the secretary general was questioned by a reporter about plans to replicate the Libyan model in Syria and stated: “My answer is very short. NATO has no intention (to intervene) whatsoever. I can completely rule that out.”

However, to belie his claim he immediately added: “Having said that, I strongly condemn the crackdown on the civilian population in Syria. What has happened in Libya sends a clear signal. You cannot neglect the will of the people.”

The 227-day war against Libya waged first by U.S. Africa Command from March 19-31 and thereafter by NATO is, according to the NATO chieftain, “a clear signal” to Syria, but “NATO has no intention” to commence military actions against Syria. Scant assurance to the nation’s government and populace alike, to be sure.

On the day Muammar Gaddafi was brutally killed, Senator John McCain, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and presidential candidate in 2008, threatened the president of Syria, the prime minister of Russia and unnamed Chinese leaders with the less than eloquent admonition that they “got a reason to be uneasy” according to one account. He told the BBC on October 20: “I think dictators all over the world, including Bashar al-Assad, maybe even Mr. Putin, maybe some Chinese, maybe all of them, may be a little bit more nervous.” He repeated the parallel between Libya and Syria three days later while in Jordan.

Had Rasmussen been someone other than who he is, which is to say an honest individual, his comments in the Libyan capital would have been limited to the line of Tacitus about a Roman campaign in the century following the Third Punic War: Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant. (They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.) Libya has been destroyed. What is left of the city of Sirte presents a vivid image that suits all too well the Roman historian’s words.

Back at home in NATO Headquarters in Brussels three days later, Rasmussen gave his latest monthly press briefing, in which he stated:

“Let me stress that NATO has no intention whatsoever to intervene in Iran, and NATO is not engaged as an alliance in the Iran question.”

He began his comments with this account: “This week I had the privilege to visit Tripoli, the capital of free Libya. It was the first time ever that a NATO Secretary General set foot in the country and something none of us could have imagined only a year ago.”

During the question and answer period which succeeded his presentation he responded to a question on Libya by stating:

“We would be prepared to offer the same kind of assistance as we have offered to other partners within defence and security sector reforms. That is, overall to help put defence and security agencies under civilian and democratic control. We can also help in organizing a modern defence, modern structures. In more specific terms we can help when it comes to institution-building like the building of a defence ministry, how to organize General Staff of the Armed Forces, just to mention some examples.

“NATO has a lot of expertise within defence and security sector reform, and actually a number of our Allies have gone through a similar transition from dictatorship into democracy, so they have a very valuable experience to offer. And I talked with Chairman Jalil and made clear that we are ready to assist Libya within such reform efforts if requested…”

Given the alliance’s history over the past twenty years, what he in fact pledged was that NATO will train – from scratch and in English – the armed forces of the new Libyan proxy regime as it has done previously and is still engaged in doing in other nations and provinces it has invaded and in other manners subjugated: Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Libya, which until now has been the only North African nation not to be pulled into NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue military partnership – Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria are members as are Israel, Jordan and Mauritania – will become the eighth member and a joint asset of NATO and U.S. Africa Command.

The chief of what is not only the sole extant military bloc in the world but the largest and longest-lived multinational armed alliance in history may have taken to issuing regular disclaimers concerning attacking new nations well outside the so-called Euro-Atlantic zone, but how much credence the secretary general’s pronouncements should be given is best indicated by how unconscionably NATO lied its way into full-fledged wars in three continents over the past twelve years.

With 28 full members at present, after a 75 per cent increase between 1999-2009, and over 40 partners around the world, the North Atlantic bloc has integrated the militaries of a third of the world’s nations for deployments to war and post-war zones in the Balkans and South Asia, with Africa the next destination.

Its latest trophy is the battered, bloodied and brutalized body of Muammar Gaddafi, murdered after a U.S. Hellfire missile and French laser-guided bombs struck his convoy outside Sirte on October 20, eight months before what would have been his seventieth birthday. So bereft of the most elementary notions of decency and values, moral and aesthetic, are the governments of the West and the people they deserve (as a British writer a century ago reversed the well-known dictum of Joseph de Maistre), that the only stimulants left to awaken their satiated and dehumanized sensibilities are – as they are inured to violence, even on a mass scale – necrophilia and fiendish, ghoulish Grand Guignol. The lower tier of American culture, mass-market escapist entertainment, is consumed by a fascination with vampires, flesh-eating zombies and the like and graphic depictions of foreign leaders and former leaders being mauled and murdered are simply more lurid diversions for jaded ennuyés.

In reference to the murder of Gaddafi and his son Muatassim, the public display of their corpses and the sports enthusiast-like celebration of those gruesome acts by the likes of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin lambasted them as emblematic of sadistic triumphalism, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denounced them as disgusting and Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Ivan Melnikov characterized the first as “a striking illustration of American and their NATO allies’ policy in the North-African country,” according to Interfax in the third instance.

They are in fact grotesque, in the sense that Hegel defined the word, as the idealization of the ugly.

In his own words, the last-cited Russian official warned: “I think that the entire world should watch today the published photographs and video records of Gaddafi’s murder. It is not just a dead former leader of Libya. It’s the symbol of the sovereignty of an independent country that was torn to pieces by Americans.”

The day after Gaddafi’s murder the same news agency cited another deputy of the lower house of parliament of the same, Communist, party, Vadim Solovyov, as affirming: “The American economy is in need of inexpensive oil, so the U.S. government is even ready to wage wars, if only oil arrives…Any country with large reserves of energy resources – Iran, Syria, Venezuela or Nigeria – could come next.”

NATO ground, air and naval forces continue their murderous rampages in Afghanistan, across the border into Pakistan, in Kosovska Mitrovica, in Libya and off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden and adjoining waters (where NATO killed the captain of a Taiwanese fishing vessel and wounded two Iranian fishermen in separate attacks earlier this year).

A Stop NATO feature in August provided an, admittedly incomplete, list of nations that NATO, actuated by its first Strategic Concept for the 21st century adopted at the bloc’s summit in Lisbon last November and its initial implementation in Libya this year, could attack or otherwise intervene in next: Algeria, Belarus, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Chad, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cyprus, Ecuador, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Moldova-Transdniester, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, the South Caucasus (Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia), Sudan-South Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Uganda, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

In the interim the Obama administration announced the deployment of special forces to four of the above nations and on the day of Gaddafi’s murder the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on African affairs, Senator Chris Coons, was reported by Associated Press as asserting that “Moammar Gadhafi’s death and the promise of a new Libyan regime are arguments for the measured U.S. military response in central Africa where the U.S. has sent roughly 100 troops” to Uganda, Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

That the nations of the world require almost daily assurances, however untrustworthy, that they will not be attacked by the mightiest multinational military formation in history is an indictment of the age that submits to living under such ongoing and ubiquitous threats. The time is ripe and in fact long overdue for issuing a call for an international anti-NATO initiative addressed to individuals, organizations, political parties and governments to convene an extraordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly to demand the disbanding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a – as the gravest – threat to world peace.

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November 5th, 2011, 12:27 pm


412. jna said:

Re: #392

Sources: Workers in Factories of the Ministry of Defense in Sayyedah Zeinab, Damascus will continue to work full time through the holdiay.

They are under time pressure to deliver a large order of blue uniforms with Anti-Riot-Police logo, to be soon used by Asad army and security forces!

Good planning by the government. If the army is withdrawn from the cities security must be beefed up to protect the people from the terror thug groups.

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November 5th, 2011, 12:28 pm


413. Tara said:

The Prime Minister and the Sunnis
Published: November 4, 2011
The authoritarian tendencies of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq are well known. But the arrest of more than 600 Iraqis whom the government describes as suspected former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party and army is particularly cynical and reckless. With American troops scheduled to withdraw by year’s end, the last thing Mr. Maliki should be doing is stoking sectarian tensions.

As Andrew E. Kramer reported in The Times, the detainees — a vast majority are assumed to be Sunnis — were rounded up after the Shiite-controlled government supposedly received a tip from the new interim leaders in Libya that former Baathists were plotting a coup.

Some political leaders have discussed replacing Mr. Maliki through a no-confidence vote. The government has yet to provide any real evidence of a plot, and the idea that 600 people were involved strains credulity. American officials are highly skeptical.

The majority Shiites were badly persecuted under Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-led regime. Post-Saddam governments have all been Shiite-dominated and far more interested in payback than inclusion. If Mr. Maliki has proof that any detainees committed real crimes, they should be prosecuted in a just and transparent process. Otherwise, he should release them.

All Iraqis have reason to be unhappy with Mr. Maliki. A report in September by the International Crisis Group describes his government as riddled with corruption, lacking credibility, showing “authoritarian tendencies,” and contributing to a “severe decay in public services.”

The record with the Sunnis is especially bad. The government promised jobs to 100,000 members of the Sunni Awakening Councils — insurgents whose decision to switch sides helped end the civil war — but only half that number have been hired. Sunnis do lead a few high-profile ministries but don’t have nearly the clout they expected after their bloc won the most votes in the 2010 election.

The Bush-era Coalition Provisional Authority that initially ran postwar Iraq disbanded the army and barred most Baath Party members from government jobs. A law passed in 2008 was intended to promote reconciliation by opening jobs to former Baathists. But it has been applied in a selective way to undermine political opponents.

The government needs to clearly define what degree of involvement with the Baath Party was so egregious as to be disqualifying for government jobs and carry out those judgments equitably. (The number of worst offenders is believed to be very small.) Parliament still hasn’t enacted a law, called for in the Constitution, that would provide a legal basis for determining who should be prosecuted for supporting the Baath Party or other extremist ideologies.

Washington’s influence is diminishing. But Baghdad still wants to buy American weapons — it has F-16 jet fighters on order — and needs help with military training. The Obama administration needs to use that leverage to press Mr. Maliki to restrain his worst impulses. Iraq’s democracy is fragile, and the risk of renewed sectarian violence is chillingly real.

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November 5th, 2011, 12:33 pm


414. bronco said:


The SNC is islamic, Ghalioun is only a secular cover up to reassure the Western countries already worried about Tunisia and Libya slippage into an Islamic state.
Therefore the SNC is fake. It does not have any significant support inside Syria as it is made of expats who have lost touch with Syria and are totally immersed in the US and Western countries (some zionists) plan for the region. They are just puppets, intelligent with a strong and pumped up egos, but nevertheless puppets.
For me the only valid opposition is the one from the Syrians in Syria. Unfortunately they are confused and disorganized but I still hope they will wake up.
Secularism is out of fashion in the Arab world. We see one by one the Arab countries moving toward Islam. Who can guarantee what kind of Islam will prevail, and how would it evolve?
Turkey became secular thanks to the dictatorship of Ataturk (still worshiped in Turkey) and later by the Kemalist army that imposed secularism from 1962 to 2001. It seems that secularism can only exist if it is forced by laws and the only regime that could do it is obligatorily a authoritarian regime.

That is why the army in Egypt is attempting to control the Constitution: To make sure that Egypt does not slip into an extreme islam. I don’t know if they will succeed or if on the 23 November Egypt will find itself controlled by MB and Salafists.

If you hope for secularism especially in a country where mixed religions coexist, it seems that you must accept an authoritarian regime (a moderate dictator, a military regime) to impose the necessary laws and prevent any slippage. For example, the Lebanese constitution that guarantees the share of political power of different religious communities was imposed by the French after the independence. Some say it is not valid anymore as the demography has changed, but no one will take the chance of opening that subject for fear for chaos.

There is no alternative because Islam in the Arab world, however moderate, cannot transform itself in secularism naturally and in a year or two. It took the French to impose it on Lebanon and it took 40 years of army control in Turkey to reach that and it is still a subject of debates and tensions.
How would you think it will happen in Syria after Bashar?

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November 5th, 2011, 12:35 pm


415. Mango said:

387. JAD

It is necessary for government of Syria to appeal against irresponsible statements of the speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USA and the statement of the American lecturer of State department, Victoria Nulend which it has made on 4/11/2011 at diplomats of Russia and China and aе Diplomats of India to the republic of South Africa and Brazil! It simply Nonsense and it is impossible to be silent in this question of principle!!!!

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November 5th, 2011, 12:44 pm


416. Tara said:


I copied this from the Wall.  

Only a Homsi can come up with this

If you do not smile,  I would be very upset. 

It is unfortunate that we are losing our funniest and brightest.

Happy Eid to you and to all.

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November 5th, 2011, 12:46 pm


417. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

# 316 Revlon quotes the foreign minister of Canada saying yesterday “The continued violence in Homs, which claimed the lives of 20 civilians today, demonstrates that President Assad has already reneged on his commitment to end his campaign of terror.” Food for thought: “The bigot is not the man who thinks he’s right. Every sane man thinks he’s right. The bigot is the man who cannot understand how the other man came to be wrong.” By that definition of a bigot, you can call me an anti-Canadian bigot, because I regard that statement by Canada’s foreign minister as horrifically insane.

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November 5th, 2011, 12:55 pm


418. jna said:

I love this example of racism:

369. Amir in Tel Avivsaid: If you really want to know what Arab cruelty means, watch CNN’s ‘Death in the Desert’

Cruelty is not Arab, it is people, Amir. See

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November 5th, 2011, 12:58 pm


419. majedkhaldoun said:

New term the regime supporters has to get used to

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November 5th, 2011, 1:12 pm


420. Revlon said:

حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom
يا شباب شيء مذهل ومن منجزات المبادرة العربية

نبيل العربي اصبح قلقا بعد ان كان ممتعض

طبعا الفرق كبير بين ممتعض وقلق , يعني كان عم ياكل ليمونة حامضة وامتعض

وهلأ عم ياكل فلفل وصار قلق … ايه عقبال ما يصار مستنكر
2 hours ago

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November 5th, 2011, 1:26 pm


421. Revlon said:

حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom
أموي مباشر سوريا #syria •◄ عاجـْـْل من عرفات مراسل الدنيا يؤكد أنه لا يوجد أي تجمعات هناك و الحياة طبيعية و أن ما نراه على الشاشات هو: . . . . . مجسم لجبل عرفات .. في الدوحة
2 hours ago

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November 5th, 2011, 1:27 pm


422. jad said:

Thank you for the excellent comment #300, I agree with you.

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November 5th, 2011, 1:38 pm


423. Revlon said:

So far, 12 civilians have been killed by regime forces in Homs.
AlFatiha upon their souls,
May God bless their families with solace and empower them with patience.

Ugarit News | أوغاريت الإخبارية

أوغاريت || حمص :: ارتفاع شهداء المدينة إلى 12:
1-زاهي غنام .
2-تامر عبد القادر ختم . باب الدريب
3-سبيع أحمد عثمان عشيرة
4-خضر أحمد عثمان عشيرة
5-عبد الباسط أحمد عثمان عشيرة
6-خالد أحمد عثمان عشيرة
7- حمزة غالي
8- فراس نصوح نشيواتي الخالدية
9-محمد عبد الحميد الفاعوري دير بعلبة
10-محمد فطراوي باباعمرو
11-زهير الشمالي كفرعايا “باباعمرو”
12- محمد سعيد قصاب بابا عمرو …
25 minutes ago

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November 5th, 2011, 1:39 pm


424. jad said:

عيد بأي حال عدت يا عيد بما مضى أم لأمـر فيك تجديد
أما الأحبة فالبيـداء دونهم فليت دونـك بيد دونهـا بيد

رحم الله كل الشهداء من مدنيين وعسكريين وألهم أهلهم الصبر
إنشاء الله العام القادم السوريون جميعاً ينعمون بعيد أكثر أماناً
أضحى مبارك

كلمة سماحة مفتي سوريا في عيد الأضحى المبارك 5.11.2011

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November 5th, 2011, 1:46 pm


425. jad said:

HNN| شـبكة أخـبار حمص
‎”يعتذر دولة الرئيس نبيه بري عن تقبل التهاني في عيد الاضحى المبارك، متمنيا ان يعود على اللبنانيين والعرب والمسلمين بالخير والاستقرار والوحدة وليس ذلك على الله بعسير”.

طبعاً هذه بادرة محترمة جداً من قبل رئيس مجلس النواب اللبناني … نحن نحب الحياة و نريدها أن تستمر و لا تتوقف عند أحزاننا و آلامنا … لكن من الجميل أن نقدر ما تشعر به آلاف الأسر في سوريا و هي تجلس على موائدها و هناك كرسي فارغ … هناك آلاف
من رجال الشرطة و الجيش تحت الخطر و الموت في هذه اللحظة … هناك مئات من الجرحى في المشافي و آهاليهم ينتظروت الفرج … الله كريم و الله أكبر و الله محبة …

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November 5th, 2011, 1:49 pm


426. Revlon said:

Asad mobs were here!
A video showing marks of destruction on the residential neighbourhood of Baba Amr in Homs.
باباعمرو من هنا مر التتار!
Uploaded Nov 3, 2011

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November 5th, 2011, 2:08 pm


427. Revlon said:

Speech 1 by B Ghalioun
Bravo Mr President and Eid Mubarak to you too.

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November 5th, 2011, 2:23 pm


428. majedkhaldoun said:

Assad troops are worse than Tatar,Bashar like Holago and Nero.

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November 5th, 2011, 2:26 pm


429. Khalid Tlass said:

Eid Mubarak to all,

SNP, we will physically exterminate you. It will be a pure physical struggle between us and Al Majous, and their ass kissers, like you.

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November 5th, 2011, 2:33 pm


431. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Not Even your filthy murderous Allah and his fagot savage Mohammad the butcher, and neither the hordes of human filth he brought out to destroy this world scares me any bit. I am used to coward Moslems human garbage making threat. Read that filth, the Quran, and see how many time genocidal threats made against those that will not surrender to the filth Allah. Yours is just one more.

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November 5th, 2011, 2:49 pm


432. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Please support this great lady, buy her book, and at the least publish and promote her story, copy and paste the link on other blogs, thank you.

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November 5th, 2011, 3:01 pm


433. Mango said:

المتحدث باسم وزارة الخارجية الصينية “هونغ لي” أوضح، في مؤتمر صحفي ببكين، إن “بلاده تدعم جميع الأطراف المعنية في سورية للخروج من الأوضاع الحالية عن طريق الحوار والتشاور واختيار طريق التنمية الخاص بها، وفقا لظروفها الوطنية من أجل تحقيق الاستقرار والتنمية والازدهار على المدى الطويل”.
وتعارض الصين إلى جانب روسيا تمرير أي قرار في مجلس الأمن الدولي ضد سورية وترفضان كذلك التدخلات الخارجية في الشؤون الداخلية السورية.
وكانت الخارجية الصينية دعت في بيان سابق القوى الخارجية إلى ألا تتدخل بالشؤون الداخلية السورية بدية أملها بأن يلعب المجتمع الدولي دورا بناء بهذا الصدد، كما أكد وزير الخارجية الصيني يانغ جيه تشي أن الصين تدعم الإصلاحات التي يتخذها الرئيس بشار الأسد.
الجنرال إيفاشوف: ما تتعرض له سورية حملة واسعة النطاق تستهدف سياستها المستقلة ودعمها للمقاومة

من جهته اعتبر الجنرال ليونيد إيفاشوف رئيس أكاديمية العلوم الجيوسياسية في روسيا أن ما يجري في سورية حالياً هو حملة قوية واسعة النطاق ينفذها الموساد الإسرائيلي ودول الغرب ولاسيما الولايات المتحدة وفرنسا في محاولة منها لتفتيت سورية بسبب سياستها المستقلة ودعمها للمقاومة ضد إسرائيل وإقامة علاقات وثيقة مع إيران.

ولفت الجنرال إيفاشوف في حديث إلى مراسل سانا في موسكو اليوم إلى أن الغرب يستهدف سورية أيضا لكونها تشغل موقعا متميزاً في العالم العربي وتعتمد طرازاً خاصاً للتطور يعتبر قدوة ونموذجاً لبقية الشعوب العربية ولاسيما بعد أن أثبت الطراز الليبرالي فشله في العالم بأسره مشيراً إلى أن الدوائر المالية العالمية التي نظمت هذه الحملة لزعزعة أوضاع سورية لا تريد نجاح النموذج السوري ولا تريد أن تستمر سورية في ممارسة سياستها الوطنية المستقلة غير المرتبطة بالولايات المتحدة والدوائر المالية العالمية.

وأوضح الجنرال الروسي أنه يتم حاليا تنفيذ المرحلة الثالثة من الخطة الأميركية لزعزعة الوضع في سورية والتي تتجسد في تنفيذ أعمال تخريبية واغتيال في عموم البلاد وإراقة دماء كثيرة ومحاولة نقل الموقف من المجرى السياسي إلى المجرى القتالي في حين تم خلال المرحلة الثانية إثارة مجابهة مسلحة ضد قوات الجيش وحفظ النظام وتم خلال المرحلة الأولى التي سبقتهما جلب الأموال والأسلحة والقيام بحملة إعلامية تضليلية قوية وتنظيم مجموعات مسلحة إرهابية.

وفي هذا السياق انتقد إيفاشوف الحرب الإعلامية والسيكولوجية الشديدة التي تشنها بعض وسائل الإعلام والمحطات الفضائية ضد سورية بهدف بث الفوضى والخوف والهلع في نفوس السوريين منوهاً في الوقت نفسه بالإعلام السوري الذي يتصدى بكل جدارة لهذه الأسلحة الإعلامية ويفضح أكاذيبها وخداعها وتضليلها أمام الرأي العام.

وأعرب الجنرال إيفاشوف عن ثقته بأن سورية ستخرج من هذه الأزمة أكثر قوة ومناعة بفضل المبادرات التي يتقدم بها الرئيس بشار الأسد وتنصب في مصلحة تعبئة المجتمع السوري كما ستتمكن من وضع حد للأعمال الإرهابية والتخريبية التي يقف وراءها جهاز الموساد الإسرائيلي وأجهزة الاستخبارات الغربية معربا عن إدانته للعمليات التخريبية التي استهدفت قطاراً للركاب من حلب إلى دمشق وخط أنابيب لنقل النفط في حمص داعيا إلى تحويل أي عمل إرهابي تتعرض له سورية إلى عامل لرص صفوف الشعب السوري وجعله أكثر يقظة وحذراً.

وفي سياق متصل أشار ايفاشوف إلى أن الولايات المتحدة نظمت في دولة مجاورة لسورية دورة لتدريب المعارضين السوريين وزودتهم بتعليمات وتوجيهات لتنفيذ أعمال إرهابية وتخريبية في سورية والعمل على استغلال المطالب المحقة لبعض السوريين والتي بدأت القيادة السورية بإيجاد حلول لها من خلال إصدار العديد من التشريعات والقوانين الإصلاحية ولاسيما إلغاء قانون الطوارئ والعمل على إصدار قوانين للانتخابات والأحزاب.

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November 5th, 2011, 3:02 pm


434. Khalid Tlass said:

Survival of the fittest, you douche. I am not even using the Qur’an, I am using Darwinian theory that ppl like YOU subscribe to. In the end it will be a pure physical tussle between us and you, and we will prevail, we forced you to accept our language, our religion, and even succeeded and tricking the Alawis into declaring Syria an “Arab state” and every State institution an “Arab” one. We even succeeded in tricking/forcing the Phoenician race to be our whores. Heheheh….we even succeded in tricking the Lebanese and Syrian phoenicians into fighting OUR war 9 Palestine). We even succeeded in tricking 100,000 plus Lebanese phoenicians into dying , for something thats a problem between Arabs and Jews. Hehehehehhehe. LOL.

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November 5th, 2011, 3:02 pm


435. Mango said:
US Plans To Neutralize Russian Nuclear Weapons By 2012-2015
by Andrei Kislyakov
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Jun 19, 2008
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in his address to officers at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia that Russia was focused on strengthening its nuclear capabilities rather than building up its regular armed forces, which makes maintaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal increasingly important.
The two nuclear superpowers may be building up their nuclear capabilities, but no reasonable person can imagine using them. On the other hand, more armed conflicts are taking place in the world every year, which means the world needs more conventional arms, or better still, precision weapons with effects comparable to those of nuclear weapons.

As it draws attention to a Russian nuclear threat, the United States has accelerated its transition to conventional armed forces, lessening its dependence on its nuclear arsenal. Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, John C. Rood, said as much in late May.

Why is Gates expressing this concern about Russia’s nuclear strategy? Does he know more than we do? And, is Russia really preparing to make a breakthrough in the sphere of conventional weapons?

According to Reuters, “Moscow has boosted military spending as part of an effort to make Russia more assertive on the world stage after the chaos of the post-Soviet period. It has also tried to reform its military to create a more professional, well-equipped and mobile army. But that reform has been slow, some critics say.”

“Russia is really not investing very much in their conventional forces. It’s really clear and for a whole bunch of reasons, demographics and everything else,” Gates told reporters after his visit to Langley.

It seems to me the Americans are painting the situation in Russia’s defense sphere all black.

Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, president of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Problems, commenting on Russia’s triad of strategic nuclear weapons, including ground-based missiles, submarines and bombers said, “We are really worried by what is happening. The mobile Topol-M missile systems are vulnerable to conventional strikes; their mobility is no longer a guarantee of concealment or protection. Rather, they have become a deterrence factor only toward the east.”

“The airborne component of the nuclear triad is degenerating, despite promising projects underway in design bureaus. The state defense contracts do not stipulate the creation of modern strategic cruise missiles,” the general said. “The situation in the naval section is also dramatic; there are no clear ways out of this dead-end.”

Ivashov was clearly referring to the Bulava ballistic missile, which is to be produced for the Russian armed forces this year although the missile needs further development.

Gates should be happy that even Russian generals, who cannot be suspected of love for the United States, are openly talking about the weakness of Russia’s nuclear capability.

In early June, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said deadlines for the creation of new weapons for the army and navy should be streamlined.

“We must make financial decisions to accelerate the completion of promising R&D projects already launched. We must restore order with deadlines for their implementation,” Vladimir Putin told a June 10th meeting devoted to Defense Ministry orders due in 2009-2011.

The demand to “restore order” definitely means that there is a lack of order in the development of new weapons.

In late March, Sergei Ivanov, then first deputy prime minister, told arms producers in Tula, “Many defense enterprises are not prepared for serial production of modern high-tech weapons that are in high demand on the global market.”

He was referring to problems with batch production of the S-400 and Pantsir-S1 air defense missile systems, which can repel precision offensive weapons and form the core of the country’s aerospace defense command.

The United States is working to create a global aerospace defense system whereas Russia has very few such weapons on combat duty, and all of them were created decades ago.

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November 5th, 2011, 3:05 pm


436. hans said:

More and more evidence that USA is using the radicals (MB) including Al Qaada in Syria, Libya, and other countries to achieve its strategic map changing policy, in Asia, middle east, even in Pakistan where USA fund 30% of the Pakistani military budget but still understands that the army is infested with radical/AlQaada.
in Syria the USA is bringing the MB to power to not only kill more Syrians and destroy the country but also to establish a regime can counter the Iran/Iraq Shiaa domination, it was clear that Assad is in alliance with Nouri Almalaki and given the failure of USA in Iraq and withdrawing without leaving Bases there it is crucial to establish a sunni regime in syria to send more radicals into Iraq to fight and kill the Shiaa. Voila Israel enjoy the peace you want and maybe the MB pigs will give you the Golan Heights for free for toppling Assad.

Bingo… I should be working for the CIA, but i am much better…

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November 5th, 2011, 3:13 pm


437. Norman said:


It does look that the US decided after it could not defeat AL Qaeda, it decided to join them and help them change the secular regimes and defeat Arab nationalism.

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November 5th, 2011, 3:33 pm


438. Areal said:

Armed Terrorist Group Abducts Head of Veterinarians Syndicate

Nov 05, 2011

IDLEB, (SANA) – An armed terrorist group on Saturday abducted head of the Syrian Veterinarians Syndicate Dr. Samir Ismael.

The terrorist group broke into Dr. Ismael’s home and abducted him, taking him to an unknown location.

THE USUAL EXCUSE by the MB terrorists : Syrian veterinarians are not treating well anti regime donkeys in their clinics .

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November 5th, 2011, 3:35 pm


439. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

YA YA YA Tlass, I know you are neither Arab nor Moslem, I just cannot conclude, as of yet, if you are on CIA desk or Herzalia internet army. But keep talking, eventually I may pay close attention to your worthless insane crap, which I never did so far, will conclude which racket you are from. But thanks buddy for the third life threat, it will come handy for that AK47 open carry permit my anti musluman, ultra right wing skinhead friends/ body guard needs. I hope the administrator don’t remove it.

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November 5th, 2011, 3:38 pm


440. Khalid Tlass said:

hahaha skinheads, lol, we have “big” brothers with bigger guns and bigger hearts. heheheh….these days we have access to all armouries of Egyptian Army, lol. Infact we have tea and snacks with the armoury guards.

We are waiting to rape you Pheonicans, all of you.

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November 5th, 2011, 3:42 pm


441. Khalid Tlass said:

Now if you’ll excuse me, I jave to go and tend and feed my 4 sheep and 2 Barford steers, I have to slaughter them on Eid. maybe I’ll send a few steaks to our friend DARYLL in Australia….hey Daryll, would you like Australian Braford beef ?

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November 5th, 2011, 3:45 pm


442. Hans said:

@ 423 Norman

True True except the joining them! that’s why the Dron’s program at the DOD is never cut or is subject to deficit reduction…
remember Pig Laden, Saddam fought with the CIA in 80’s then CIA killed them, apply that to all of them then MB Syria are going to be hunted with Drons in the next decades the Arabs never learn the lesson or read history which keeps repeating itself…

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November 5th, 2011, 3:46 pm


443. Uzair8 said:

Speech of Burhan Ghalioun, President of the Syrian National Council – 5 November 2011

The Address of SNC Presidnet; Dr. Burhan Ghalioun to The Syrian Nation

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The great people of Syria,

I address you today on the eve of eid al-Adha, as our country reels from the violent actions of an unjust regime which has transformed our country over the decades into a kingdom where power is inherited, where rights are deprived and where dignity and freedom are beyond reach of its people.

We became accustomed to this predicament until we could tolerate it no longer. In your revolt for freedom, you sacrificed your most precious assets until every home in Syria has experienced the loss a father, the rape of a daughter and the arrest and disappearance of a young man or child. And as the pillars of tyranny shook, your courage, determination and capacity to sacrifice has captured the world’s admiration. You are not in this ordeal alone, your sacrifices have been noted by Syrians everywhere and your efforts have highlighted the trove of talents and creative abilities of all Syrians.

The great people of Syria,

From this day onward, Syria is home to freedom and dignity, free of all discrimination, injustice and exclusion. Syria is one nation for a united Syrian people with no reference to majorities and minorities, religion, sect or regional affiliation. It is a country where the principles of citizenship and equality reign and where people are judged on the basis of their capacities to give and sacrifice for the sake of their country. Syria’s new constitution will protect minorities and their rights, including the Kurds, who have suffered discrimination. Syria will have a new judicial, legislative and executive system which will be held accountable by the people. The power of government will be limited and the people will choose who governs them through the ballot box. Syrians will enjoy the rule of law, where everyone is equal before an independent judiciary, and all Syrians have equal rights to form organizations, political parties, associations and participation in decision-making.

The great people of Syria,

With each passing day, and with every drop of blood shed, we are one step closer to freedom. The days of tyranny are numbered and the demise of the current regime is inevitable. History has taught us that regimes based on corruption, oppression and slavery are bound to fail: all unjust rulers who detain its youth, steal the wealth of the country and kill its people inevitably come to an end.

The great people of Syria,

The Syrian National Council is fighting a political battle with you, and on your behalf, at home and abroad. It is your Council, your voice heard by the world to defend your cause. Its members are your comrades in the battle for freedom. We are honored by you all, and heartened by your support of the National Council. We promise not to waste any effort or time to overthrow the tyrannical regime. Will not negotiate on the blood of the victims and martyrs nor will we compromise on the pained groans of detainees. We will not be deceived. The National Council will not allow the regime to bide for time. We are aware of the responsibility and trust you have placed on us. But the challenges that we face are great. We are working towards building a solid council with strong foundations to be able to manage the affairs of the country during the transition. This mission cannot happen overnight and we have made rapid progress. We have submitted a formal request to the Secretariat of the League of Arab States and the United Nations to protect civilians in Syria and send international observers. The Council is exploring other options as well.

The great people of Syria,

On this holy day, we salute our soldiers who are refusing to carry out orders. They are risking their lives and those of their families to defend the people and protect them in their peaceful revolt. Syrians will not forget what these soldiers have done for them by showing their support and commitment to their real duty of protecting them. We call upon the rest of the Syrian army to follow example to protect the homeland and citizens.

The great people of Syria,

Syrians will not forget all those nations and organizations which have helped and supported them to gaining liberty. We will continue to mobilize local, regional and international support for our just cause. The regime is still intent on drawing the country into chaos and civil war, but we will resist by uniting until we are victorious.

The great people of Syria,

The future begins today. We are working towards building a new Syria where freedom replaces oppression, dignity wins over discrimination, love takes over hatred and progress triumphs. All of us together today have a duty to create such a Syria and restore it back to life.

May God have mercy on the fallen heroes. May the wounded and injured be healed and may the young detainees soon be released.

Long live free Syria and the great people of Syria and great Eid to all.

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November 5th, 2011, 3:54 pm


444. Mina said:

Turath al Arab:

Iraq’s official archives stolen and under good protection in the US, who grant access to small portions to well-connected researchers and journalists. A model for democracy, no doubt.

Angela, oh Angela…. please do something!! Remember your past at the potato-fields, the visit of the red square!
Look at what Dr Folamour is heading to:

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November 5th, 2011, 3:54 pm


445. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Hey Tlass, who is minding Libya armory man? get on that too please, hurry up. Next year we need it for the Muwaiya Islamic Liberation Army man, 200,000,000 strong. You will be the Dahran liberation brigade Commander, we need you man, it is only 700 miles to Dhahran buddy. I am proud to have you on board in leadership position pal, even if you speak Hebrew or English only. Just make sure you look real, have black beard ok. I am reserving the commander name for you:


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November 5th, 2011, 3:56 pm


446. Mina said:

Ghalyoun’s speech

Despicable hubris!!! What is this BS?
“until every home in Syria has experienced the loss a father, the rape of a daughter and the arrest and disappearance of a young man or child”

who can believe that? I hope he will get a straight answer from all the Christian congregations in Syria and quick. They are the only ones who the West may listen to.

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November 5th, 2011, 3:58 pm


447. irritated said:

With this speech Borhan Ghalioun has realized his dream: Become the Robespierre of the Syrian Revolution.

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November 5th, 2011, 4:05 pm


448. Uzair8 said:

Btw the translation of the speech on #429 is courtesy of ‘Balkis’ on AJE Live Syria blog.

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November 5th, 2011, 4:12 pm


449. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Oh no, sorry Tlass, that Dhahran Liberation Commander Position is already taken by another Moslem hero name Hurmuz. I will recommend that you command the Othman Istanbul Redemption Brigade, it is a walk in the park, but looks good on your accomplishment because then you would have defeated a NATO country dude and liberated an Islamic country from the clutches of the crusaders. That is nice, that is awesome man. And don’t worry about NATO, just grab all the weapons you can out of Libya and will deal with the NATO rotten rats. We can deny them use of ships, we can locate their submarines by GPS using your cell phone, we can deny them the ability to launch aircrafts or move trains, and we can even deny them the uses of space and even take out space based junk they call it fancy names. So don’t expect them to come to gypsies turkey help. You are going to be the liberator of Istanbul.

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November 5th, 2011, 4:13 pm


450. irritated said:

With this heroical and lyrical speech trying to touch the emotions , Borhan Ghalioun has realized his life long fantasy:
Become the Robespierre of the Syrian Revolution.

Who was saying that Bashar’s speeches were bad?

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November 5th, 2011, 4:14 pm


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