Arab League Enters Syria as Violence Rises. Syria’s Deficit Spending Explodes but Government Hangs On

Arab League monitors are visiting a number of restive Syrian towns and cities, including Hama, Idleb, and Deraa.

Though Syria has made some concessions to the monitors since they began work Tuesday, government forces have at the same time been pressing ahead with attempts to put down peaceful protests in Hama, Homs and other parts of the country. Activists said at least 39 people have been killed by security forces in the two days since the observers arrived.

The government released 755 prisoners following a report by Human Rights Watch accusing authorities of hiding hundreds of detainees from the observers. It was the second concession in two days to the Arab League.

On Monday, the army pulled some of its troops back from the city of Homs after bombarding it for days and killing scores of people. It allowed the monitors to visit and as they came, tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets, chanting calls for the execution of President Bashar Assad.

The crisis in Syria was officially internationalized when members of the Arab League’s observer force arrived in Syria last Thursday. The following day, two car bombs exploded in front of state security offices in Kfar Sousa, Damascus, killing 44 and injuring another 100. The issue of who was responsible for the attack remains in dispute. Three days later, a second group of Arab League monitors arrived in Syria as violence in the central city of Homs intensified. Charged with monitoring the Syrian government’s implementation of the Arab League’s peace plan, the monitors have thus far been met with mixed emotions and varying levels of violence and disorder.

20% Deficit next year? Economy – EHSANI writes:

I think this Syria Steps article is extremely important coming from an economics expert at Damascus University. Usually, a budget deficit of nearing 10% of GDP starts to become a problem. This note claims the following:

1- Tax revenues next year will be less than half of what they were (50% drop).

2- Income from oil sale and the public sector will also drop.

3- The budget deficit as a result will be syp 529 billion out of a total budget of syp 1326 billion. In other words, 40% of expenditures will be unpaid for by revenue.

4- The resulting deficit of syp 529 billion is nearly $9 billion or 18% of GDP and this is assuming a GDP of $50 billion. The actual deficit/gdp ratio could top 20%.

5- The government has no access to credit markets. It never developed a local bond market and it can never access the international credit markets.

6- And here is the shocking solution: Force powerful companies, banks and even large car dealers to lend to the government especially that many made “enormous profits during the economic reform and liberalization process”. The way to do this would be through “tashreei” or passing laws that specifies the amounts, rates and tenor of these loans per company and even “individual”.

7- let me summarize it in simple terms: The state is only able to collect 60% of every syp it spends. It cannot borrow to bridge the gap. The only way to bridge the gap is to go to those companies, banks , car dealers, etc. that are thought to have benefited in the past and force them to lend to the state at rates and amounts that the government itself specifies.

The value of the Syrian Pound to the US Dollar has stabilized in the last few days on the back of the decision of the Central Bank to bring the national currency’s official rate closer to its black market value. The US Dollar now trades at around 59 Pounds per US Dollar from above 60 Pounds at the end of last week. (From Syria Report)

Government to Cut Overhead Expenses by 25 Percent – by Jihad Yaziji at Syria Report, 26-12-2011

The Syrian Prime Minister has issued instructions to all State administrations requiring them to reduce all their overhead expenses by 25 percent, excluding salaries.

The letter, which was issued by Adel Safar on December 18, says that the cuts must be made in various accounts including transport, stationery, office equipment, subscription to publications, staff bonuses, advertising, public relations and maintenance of equipment.

Both investment and current expenses are targeted by the measure.

The 2011 budget approved at the end of last year projected a budget deficit of 5.8 percent of GDP. However, a range of expenditure measures has been approved since last March by the Government in a bid to appease the protesters that have been taking to the streets across the country, leading to a significant hike in expenses. There is no estimate on how much these measures are going to increase the fiscal deficit.

The Syrian President also enacted last week the 2012 budget that forecasts a 58 percent increase in expenses to SYP 1,326 billion. This large increase is mainly due to the fact that expenses previously not accounted for in the state’s budget, namely energy subsidies, are now taken into account. The actual year-on-year difference in expenses with this year is ‘only’ 15 percent, according to the Minister of Finance.

The deficit should rise to SYP 335 billion in 2012. On the basis of this year’s Gross Domestic Product, the deficit would represent some 12 percent of GDP. It is not clear whether the 25 percent reduction in expenses required by the Government enters into account in this budget.

Current expenses are inceasing to SYP 951 billion and investment allocations standing at SYP 375 billion.

Many analysts had predicted the Syrian economy would collapse on the back of the political unrest, the economic downturn and the significant hikes in Government expenses. However, to this date the Syrian authorities have managed to keep a lid on inflation and to limit the decline of the Syrian Pound

Because of the absence of any data and the overall lack of transparency it is difficult to explain the performance of the Government. The decline in investment and spending has reduced imports and therefore reduced pressure on the national currency, while the good raining season has led to good crops, which in turn helped limit price increases.

Other analysts argue that the Government has been receiving outside help in the form of capital transfers from Iran or Iraq but there is no tangible evidence to confirm these assertions.

However, the closing weeks of 2011 have been difficult with the first large scale shortages of heating oil and domestic gas affecting Damascus. The Syrian capital is also facing daily power cuts of up to 3 hours, while until mid-November it was still largely void of any cut.

The last few weeks of the year have also seen increasing calls for strikes and boycotts. While the impact of these calls are discounted by Damascus-based analysts, in the countryside and many other cities they are relatively well enforced contributing to the general decline in business activity and government revenues.

Military repression in Homs is changing. Video of two T72s shelling Bab Amro sent by Thomas Pierret

This seems to be the first recording of tank fire or shelling of a Syrian city by a tank or heavy artillery. Earlier claims of tanks shelling Hama or ships shelling Latakia cannot be verified.

U.S. quietly preparing to support Syria opposition: report, December 29, 2011, The Daily Star

BEIRUT: White House officials are quietly preparing options to aid the Syrian opposition, Foreign Policy magazine reported.

In a blog posted Wednesday, the current affairs publication quoted two administration officials as saying the National Security Council (SNC), a body that aids the U.S. president in weighing national security policies, has commenced an informal, quiet interagency process of discussing options to assist the Syrian opposition.

Only a few select officials from the departments of State, Defense, Treasury and other agencies are engaged in the discussions headed by NSC Senior Director Steve Simon, the magazine reported.

The two officials, who were not taking part in the NSC meetings but familiar with the proceedings, said options being considered include setting up a humanitarian corridor or safe zone for civilians in Syria along the Turkish border, providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian rebels, offering medical aid to Syrian clinics and engaging more with the external and internal opposition.

The interagency is now looking at options for Syria, but it’s still at the preliminary stage,” Foreign Policy quoted one official as saying. “There are many people in the administration that realize the status quo is unsustainable and there is an internal recognition that existing financial sanctions are not going to bring down the Syrian regime in the near future” the official said….. Obama Secretly Preparing for Syria Intervention, 2011-12-29

Members of the Obama Administration are confirming tonight that the National Security Council has been instructed to begin seeking options for US intervention in Syria, including what they call the “unlikely” option of setting up a no-fly zone. …

….Abdo said many students in Idleb had stopped going to school and were instead on the streets calling for the downfall of the 41-year-old Assad family dictatorship.

“We are planning to close the international roads which link Aleppo with Damascus, Lattakia with Aleppo, and Idleb with Turkey in the near future,” he said. “We will do everything that hurts the Assad regime….

SNC president Dr. Burhan Ghalioun addresses the nation on Christmas and New Year -“The regime must be stopped by any means possible…”

U.S. arms sale to Iraq will proceed: Despite the recent political turmoil in Baghdad, the United States will sell nearly $11 billion worth of equipment and training to its military.

Syria’s Torture Machine – BBC 4

An investigation into the detention and torture of Syrian civilians, featuring shocking video evidence of men, women and children being subjected to beatings, whippings and more elaborate…

Des Libyens épaulent les insurgés syriens Figaro – Libyans have gone to Syria to fight.

Syria’s deep divide A group of Syrians gather in The Cafe to debate their country’s future. al-Jazeera

Max Weiss brings us Tha’ir Deeb interview on Jadaliyya

MA: What do the Syrian people have to do, in terms of escalation, in order to put an end to this regime, the most tyrannical in the Arab world? Put differently, when might this regime surrender?

TD: What the Syrian people need to do is continue the revolution, without violence, sectarianism, and asking for international intervention. This path, which seems long and heavy with casualties, is in fact the shortest and has the least casualties. What the Syrian opposition needs to do is to stop wasting time and jumping around from one place to another. It has to dare and put forward visions and practices right here and now in order to help dismantle the stumbling blocks of the Syrian people’s intifada. One stumbling block, for example, is the notion that the intifada is a “rural” one, meaning that it is “regional” and limited to certain classes and segments of society, that it needs to become more urban and adequately patriotic, with an acceptable platform and a clear program. The opposition also needs to stop imitating other experiences in spite of the importance of benefitting from them. A lot of people thought our trajectory was going to be similar to that of Egypt and Tunisia. However, with the exacerbation of this barbaric repression, they proceeded to pander to the Libyan model instead of standing first and foremost with the Syrian model—which has no equal…..

The Syrian Model

MA: You mentioned distinguishing the Syrian revolutionary model and how it differs from the Tunisian, Egyptian, and Libyan models. Can you elaborate on this?…..

Syrian unrest forces Hamas to plan for uprooting leadership across Mideast,  Associated Press, December 28

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Alarmed by bloody unrest in Syria, the Hamas militant group has pulled out many of its lower-level cadres from its Damascus headquarters and made contingency plans to move its leadership to locations across the Middle East, senior Hamas members have told The Associated Press.

NCB Announcement

The National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria [NCB] reports that a meeting was held in Cairo in the past two days between delegates of the NCB and the Syrian National Council [SNC], to continue the work of unifying the Syrian opposition. The atmosphere between the delegates was positive and co-operative during two sessions, and as a consequence they established a basic understanding about the tasks and rules for the expected transitional phase regarding multiple political and procedural aspects.

The most important agreement under discussion between the two delegations was to establish a Syrian General Congress under the auspices of the Arab League, to bring together representatives of the opposition of both of the blocks outside and inside Syria, public figures and independents, as one opposition group so that a Committee would emerge with a unified voice to officially represent the opposition in all forums…

The NCB Delegation in Cairo
27 December 2011

Comments (469)

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51. Ghufran said:

قتل ثلاثون شخصا على الأقل صباح اليوم الخميس في غارة شنها الطيران التركي وأعلن أنها استهدفت مقاتلين أكرادا جنوب شرق تركيا قرب الحدود مع العراق، لكن مصادر كردية تركية قالت إن القتلى من المدنيين القرويين الذين يعملون في تجارة المواد المهربة على الحدود.

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December 30th, 2011, 1:15 am


52. jad said:

‎#Syria #Damascus #News
نبشركم خيراً أن الصوت الذي سمعناه لم ينتج عنه أي إصابات أو إستهداف لمراكز أمنية و مباني حكومية و بعد الإتصال بمصادرنا و مراسلينا في دمشق و تقصي الحقائق مع شبكة دمشق الإخبارية الصوت ناتج عن قنبلتين صوتيتين في منطقة الغوطة الشرقية و الهدف منها إثارة الرعب في قلوب الناس و نؤكد عدم سقوط أي خسائر

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December 30th, 2011, 1:17 am


53. jad said:

The Syrian new trend of accusations and counter accusations is becoming more and more like a bad version of the Lebanese habit.
Nizar Nayouf reply to Mohammad Alabdallah:

من الذي أجرى مقابلة مع “يديعوت أحرونوت”؟ محمد العبد الله أم عهد الهندي أم كلاهما!؟

العبد الله ينفي ويؤكد أن زميله عهد الهندي ، ربيب السفارة الإسرائيلية في واشنطن، هو من أجرى المقابلة، أما رسالة “يديعوت أحرونوت” فتقول غير ذلك !؟

بروكسل ، الحقيقة ( خاص): أثارت الترجمة التي نشرناها يوم أمس لمقابلة معارضين سوريين مع صحيفة يديعوت أحرونوت الإسرائيلية ، والمعلومات الأخرى التي ضمناها الترجمة، الكثير من اللغط. هذا ناهيكم عن حفلة الردح والشتائم ، وصولا إلى وضع اسم نزار نيوف على “قائمة العار” ، ربما تهميدا لقتله كما فعلوا بالشباب الجامعيين الذين وضعوا أسماءهم على القائمة نفسها قبل أن يرسلوا أحد القتلة من أتباعهم ليطلق النار عليهم داخل حرم الجامعة!؟

حفلة الردح هذه ، التي ملأت صفحات “فيسبوك” ومواقع الإنترنت ، كان من الواضح أن من يقف وراءها مجموعة من الزعران أتباع “المجلس الوطني السوري”؛ أي الأشخاص أنفسهم ( أو زملاؤهم) الذين نصبوا كمينا في وقت سابق أمام جامعة الدول العربية في القاهرة لأعضاء في”هيئة التنسيق الوطني” لينهالوا عليهم بالعصي والسلاسل الحديدية على طريقة زعران السلطة و”شبيحتها”.

لكن أبرز فصول تلك الحفلة ، ربما ، هو التعابير السوقية التي كتبها الشاب محمد العبد الله وعهد الهندي ، المعنيان بالقصة. الأول لم يضف شيئا سوى أنه أثبت أنه يمكن أن يكون ربيبا لأي شخص ، بما في ذلك ضباط من زعران المرحومة “سرايا الدفاع” أو أحد أقبية المخابرات ، إلا أن يكون ربيبا لشخص مثل علي العبد الله المعروف بدماثته وأخلاقه الشخصية ، بغض النظر عن توجهاته السياسية والأيديولوجية التي نختلف معه فيها ، إلا أن هذا أمر آخر.

أما الثاني ، عهد الهندي، ربيب السفارة الإسرائيلية في واشنطن وضابط أمنها السابق الليفتينانت احتياط في المخابرات العسكرية الإسرائيلية نير بومس ، فقد أرسل لنيوف رسالة لم يترك مفردة من قاموس العاهرات إلا واستخدمها فيها ، قبل أن يشفعها بالتهديد!؟ ترى هل سيقدم على قتله عبر أحد مجرمي “بلاك ووتر” في طبعتها الثانية التي تعمل في الإمارات العربية على تدريب قتلة سوريين من أتباع”المجلس الوطني”!؟

كان بإمكان محمد العبد الله ، طالما أنه شعر بالظلم لأننا قلنا إنه ليس سوى “عمار” الذي أجرت معه “يديعوت أحرونوت” المقابلة ، أن يرسل نفيا وتكذيبا لذلك ، بدلا من حفلة الردح السوقية التي ملأ بها صفحات “فيسبوك”. وكنا قد أشرنا في نهاية الترجمة والتقرير إلى أننا نحتفظ له بحق الرد. لكنه لم يفعل ، واختار “الشوارع الإلكترونية” ليعبر فيها عن بذاءاته. والواقع إنه لم يفاجئنا. فمن تربى في زواريب آل الحريري ومن كان والده الروحي سعد الحريري لا يمكن أن يكون إلا كذلك ، حتى وإن كان والده البيولوجي علي العبد الله. فالأب الحقيقي ( أو الأم) هو/ هي من ربىّ وليس من أنجب! أو هذا على الأقل ما تعلمناه من رائعة الأدب الشعبي الروسي”دائرة الطباشير القوقازية”!

نحن عندما ننشر معلومات من هذا النوع لا نفعل ذلك إلا على أساس تطابق أكثر من مصدر ( مصدرين على الأقل)، في حال لم يكن لدينا وثيقة. وهذا هو أحد أسس العمل الصحفي ، لاسيما صحافة التحقيقات. أما حين يكون بين أيدينا وثيقة صادرة عن جهة معنية بالقضية، فيكفي ( من الناحية القانونية) أن تكون مستندا. وحين قلنا إن لدينا وثيقة من أحد العاملين في “يديعوت أحرونوت” ، حصلنا عليها عبر أحد الأصدقاء البلجيكيين ، فكنا نعني ما نقول ( ننشر جانبا صورة عن رسالة بالفاكس تلقاها صديقنا البلجيكي من أحد العاملين الإداريين في الصحيفة المذكورة مساء أمس).

إذن، مشكلة العبد الله ليست معنا ، بل مع الجهة التي قالت إنه “عمار”. وحفلة الشتائم السوقية التي شنها ، إنما تعبّر عن أنه معبأ سلفا ، سياسيا وطائفيا ومذهبيا، ضد شخص معين. ولا غرو في ذلك . فهو ربيب أيديولوجيا دينية مريضة لم يفلت من وبائها إلا من كان ذا حظ عظيم! مع ذلك ، فإن عملية الفضح التي ضمنها منشوره الزقاقي فيما يتعلق بعهد الهندي ، “زميله” في “المجلس الوطني” ، إنما جاءت لتؤكد ما كنا نشرناه عن الهندي في أوقات مختلفة خلال السنوات الماضية لجهة أنه عميل للسفارة الإسرائيلية في واشنطن!

تبقى ملاحظة أخيرة تتعلق بنزار نيوف و “علاقته” بما نشر. في الواقع أصبح أمرا مذهلا في وقاحته ورعونته أن ما قلناه خلال الأشهر الماضية ، وما قاله المذكور، عن وقف علاقته بالموقع ، لم يصل إلى أذن أحد من هؤلاء، لكأنما نخاطب مجموعة من العميان والطرشان والحمقى. ونحن نغتنم هذه الفرصة لنشير ، للمرة العاشرة ربما، أن المذكور لا علاقة له بالموقع منذ أيلول / سبتمبر 2010 ، وإن كنا نعتمد عليه في بعض الأخبار والتقارير التي يحصل على معلوماتها من مصادره الخاصة. وحين نفعل ذلك ، لا نحن نخفي الأمر ولا هو يتردد في الإشارة إلى ذلك وتحمل مسؤوليته. ولكن على من تقرأ مزاميرك يا داود!؟ على قطيع من الأنعام!؟

(*) ـ ملاحظة بشأن الوثيقة المرفقة: قمنا بـ”تعمية” بعض الأسماء والعبارات الواردة فيها انطلاقا من حرصنا على سلامة المصدر ، ولأن بعض المعلومات “المعماة” نحتاجها في تقرير لاحق ولا نريد الكشف عنها في الوقت الراهن.

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December 30th, 2011, 1:20 am


54. jad said:

ديبلوماسي عربي في باريس يكشف لـ”الحقيقة” سبب تصعيد الحملة “الخليجية”ضد نبيل العربي

دول الخليج أعطت توجيهات بشن حملة على الأمين العام للجامعة العربية على خلفية رفضه الاعتراف بـ”المجلس الوطني” ممثلا “وحيدا” للمعارضة السورية!؟

باريس ،الحقيقة ( خاص من : إيلين / سوزان برجوا + مكتب التحرير): لوحظ أن وسائل الإعلام العربية الممولة خليجيا بدأت منذ يضعة أيام حملة متصاعدة ضد الأمين العام للجامعة العربية،نبيل العربي ، على خلفية مواقفه التي وصفت بـ”المحابية” للنظام السوري . ومن المتوقع أن تتصاعد الحملة خلال الأيام القادمة على خلفية عمل بعثة المراقبين العرب في سوريا ، التي ستنال أيضا نصيبها من التهشيم والتشهير ، سواء بصفتها الاعتبارية أو فيما يخص رئيسها وبعض أعضائها ، وفق ما أكده لنا مصدر في مكتب الجامعة العربية في باريس. وبحسب المصدر ، فإن عددا من دول الخليج، وبشكل خاص قطر والسعودية، أعطت ضوءا أخضر لوسائل الإعلام الممولة من قبلهما لشن حملة تحريض ضد “العربي” شخصيا وضد بعثة المراقبين وتشكيك بنزاهتهما إزاء ما يتعلق بالملف السوري . وعزا المصدر سبب الحملة إلى جملة قضايا جرى تداولها في أورقة الجامعة العربية دون الإعلان عنها رسميا ، وأبرزها:

1ـ رفض نبيل العربي ” توجيهات” ومطالب كل من السعودية وقطر التعامل مع “المجلس الوطني السوري” بصفته الممثل الشرعي “الوحيد” للمعارضة السورية ، وإصراره على أن “المجلس” مجرد مجموعة معارضة من جملة مجموعات أخرى عربية وكردية. ويقول المصدر بهذا الخصوص إن العربي أبلغ موقفه بشكل صريح لممثلي “المجلس” في جلسات خاصة ، حيث أكد لهم أن الجامعة العربية ، وطالما بقي هو أمينا عاما لها، لن تعترف بـ”المجلس” بهذه الصفة، وبأن عليهم الانخراط في عملية مفاوضات لتوحيد المعارضة ، ولاسيما أقطابها الثلاثة الرئيسة ( “المجلس” و ” هيئة التنسيق الوطني” و “المجلس الوطني الكردي”) في إطار هيئة جديدة تمثل الجميع تحت اسم ” المؤتمر الوطني السوري” . كما أنه أبلغ موقفه هذا لكل من يعنيه الأمر في دول الخليج ، فضلا عن الطرفين الأميركي والأوربي ومعهما تركيا. وكانت هذه الأطراف الأخيرة مارست ضغوطا كبيرة عليه من أجل الاعتراف بـ”المجلس” بهذه الصفة . وحين رضخ “المجلس” ، أقلّه ظاهريا، لوجهة نظر العربي ، دخل في مفاوضات مع “هيئة التنسيق” و ” المجلس الوطني الكردي” ، لكنه حرص على أن يرسل مندوبين من ” الدرجة الثانية”إلى هذه المفاوضات التي جرت في القاهرة على مدى الأسابيع الماضية ، وحرص على أن يكون بعضهم من الوجوه ” الاستفزازية” و “المشبوهة” على خلفية علاقتها المالية بواشطن وحتى بإسرائيل ، مثل أنس العبدة الذي يعتبر ” ممثلا” للوبي الأميركي ولـ”إعلان دمشق” داخل “المجلس”، والذي كانت وثائق ويكيلكس كشفت علاقاته المالية ( كممثل لـ”إعلان دمشق”) بوزارة الخارجية الأميركية ، بينما تولت جهات أخرى الكشف عن اتصالاته بإسرائيل وبعثتها لدى الموفوضية الأوربية من خلال النائب التشيكية يانا هيباتشكوفا Jana Hybášková مفوضة العلاقات الأوربية ـ الإسرائيلية في البرلمان الأوربي. ويقول المصدر بهذا الخصوص إن مجرد قبول مفاوضي “هيئة التنسيق” ، هيثم مناع وعبد العزيز الخير و رجاء الناصر، التحدث معه اعتبر من قبل بعض موظفي الجامعة العربية ” اختراقا وتنازلا مهما”! ومع ذلك ، ورغم أن المفاوضات الماراثونية بين الطرفين توصلت إلى تفاهمات عديدة ،بعد أن قدمت “هيئة التنسيق” تنازلات سياسية غير مسبوقة خرجت حتى على ” ثوابتها الوطنية” وعلى الأسس التي وضعتها لنفسها منذ انطلاقتها، فإن الأوامر جاءت لمفاوضي “المجلس” في القاهرة بالهاتف بعد منتصف ليلة الإثنين / الثلاثاء من المكتب التنفيذي في”المجلس” ، الذي يسيطر عليه ممثلو قطر وتركيا وفرنسا ، للتنصل من جميع هذه التفاهمات ، وبشكل خاص التفاهم الذي ينص على أن “المؤتمر الوطني السوري” سيكون ” ممثلا ومرجعية للمعارضة السورية ككل”، والإصرار على أن يكون دور اللجنة التي ستنبثق عن المؤتمر العتيد مجرد ” هيئة متابعة وتنسيق لا يحق لها تمثيل المعارضة ككل أو الشعب السوري”. وبحسب المصدر ، فإن هؤلاء لا يقبلون سوى أن ” يلتحق أو ينضم” الجميع إلى “المجلس” ، سواء بصفتهم هيئات أو أفرادا ، على أن يبقى “المجلس” هو الهيكلية الجامعة لهم جميعا.

2 ـ إصرار نبيل العربي على أن يكون “المجلس الوطني الكردي” طرفا ثالثا في أي ” مؤتمر سوري” موحد على قدم المساواة مع ” هيئة التنسيق” و ” المجلس”. ويقول المصدر في هذا السياق إن العربي أبلغ هذا الأمر لكبير مفاوضي الجانب الكردي حميد حاج درويش ، فضلا عن الطرفين الآخرين. وفيما لاقى هذا الموقف استحسان ” هيئة التنسيق” ، رفضه “المجلس” جملة وتفصيلا ، وأصر على أنه يضم في صفوفه ” ممثلين للشعب الكردي”( عبد الباسط سيدا وأحمد رمضان وابراهيم اليوسف) ، رغم أن هؤلاء مجرد أفراد لا يتمتعون بأي تأييد حزبي ، واثنين منهما ( سيدا ورمضان) يمثلان بشكل أو بآخر ” الأخوان المسلمين” الذين يسيطرون أصلا على “المجلس”. ويكشف المصدر عن أن ” المجلس”، وفي الوقت الذي كان يتفاوض مع “هيئة التنسيق”، عمل على استمالة الطرف الكردي سواء بصفته الاعتبارية أو حتى كأفراد، مستخدما شتى صنوف الألاعيب السياسية و ” اللغوية” ( الحديث عن أن “المجلس” يقبل بتعبير”الشعب الكردي” لكنه يرفض الإشارة صراحة إلى الأراضي الكردية ، لأن الثانية متضمنة في الأولى تلقائيا!). ووصف المصدر سلوك “المجلس” بأنه ” ألاعيب ينقصها الشرف والنزاهة”.

3ـ إصرار نبيل العربي على أن يكون عمل المراقبين العرب في سوريا ” نزيها و مهنيا واحترافيا”، بينما طرح ممثلو ” المجلس” ، ومن ورائهم قطر والسعودية وتركيا ، شرطا مسبقا و ” معيارا وحيدا” لنزاهة عمل المراقبين يتمثل في “عدم تضمين تقاريرهم أي إشارة لوجود مسلحين ، وإذا كان لا بد من الإشارة إلى ذلك ، فيجب اعتبارهم جميعا منشقين ولا يوجد بينهم أي مدني أو وافد من الخارج أو من مجموعات إسلامية متطرفة”!؟

على الصعيد نفسه ، كشف المصدر عن أن جميع وسائل الإعلام التي تدعم”المجلس” تلقت توجيهات بتناول رئيس بعثة المراقبين ، الفريق الدابي، ليس عل خلفية وضع “الحقوقي” في بلده ، ولكن على صعيد اتهامه بقبض ” مبالغ مالية طائلة من النظام السوري هو وعدد من المراقبين العاملين معه”. وأكد المصدر في هذا السياق على أن أكثر من جهة معنية بالأمر ، سواء الجامعة العربية أو النظام السوري أو حتى المخابرات الروسية المهتمة جدا بعمل المراقبين، أصبح لديها ” أدلة وقرائن دامغة على وجود توجيهات من تلك الأطراف بالتشهير الشخصي والاعتباري برئيس اللجنة وفريقه” ، مشيرا إلى أن وزارة الخارجية الفرنسية “هددت الدابي شخصيا ، وعبر وزارة الخارجية السودانية، بأنها ستعمل على إضافة اسمه إلى قائمة المسؤولين السوادنيين المطلوبين لمحكمة الجنايات الدولية على خلفية دوره في دارفور ، إذا تضمنت تقاريره ، لاسيما التقرير النهائي ، أي إشارة إلى وجود مجموعات مسلحة في سوريا، أو أية إشارة يمكن للنظام السوري أن يستفيد منها في الدفاع عن موقفه”. وقال المصدر بهذا الخصوص” لقد كان الفرنسيون والسعوديون وراء جميع فضائح التزوير وشراء الذمم وشهود الزور في لجنة التحقيق الدولية الخاصة باغتيال الحريري في عهد ديتلف ميليس، وهم يريدون الآن تكرار الأمر نفسه في سوريا ، دون أن يستفيدوا أو يعتبروا مما آلت إليه هذه الفضائح وما كشف منها لاحقا”! وطبقا للمصدر ، فإن العربي قال للفريق السوداني محمد الدابي بصريح العبارة خللال اجتماعه به عشية سفره إلى دمشق” لا نريد ديتلف ميلس آخر في سوريا. فعمل هذه اللجنة إما أن يرفع الجامعة العربية إلى القمة أو ينزل بما تبقى من سمعتها إلى الحضيض”!؟

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December 30th, 2011, 1:24 am


55. stan catts said:

All the best to the Syrian people.May they rise up against oppression.May they succeed.May they all live in peace.

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December 30th, 2011, 1:28 am


56. Revlon said:

31. Haytham Khoury said:

The Syrian opposition did not learn diplomacy yet. When I met them on the 21&22 of December, I told them to do not get frantic as regard the observer mission. However, their anxiety did not calm down. I had to send an e-mail to Ghalioun yesterday before his visit to the Secretary General of the AL to calm him.
Do you think I will be able to teach them the sense of diplomacy?))

I share your disagreement with the SNC approach to the AL initiative as a whole, although mine is diametrically opposed to yours; while the SNC’s stands in the middle.

There are many facets to diplomacty.

Passive diplomacy: The SNC leadership adopted a passive wait and see diplomacy during the negotiations phase between the The regime and the AL. The outcome was undestandably a middle ground solution between the that of the Arab authoritarian governments and the regime, leaving the Revolution’s and their representative’s interests nowhere to be seen in the final draft.

What you are advocating, Haytham, is another phase of passive wait and see diplomacy!
The conclusion of the AL mission shall also represent a concensus interpretation of the events betwen that of AlDabi who was handpicked by the regime, and that of FM Mu3allem; It shall even be heavily in favour of the latter.

The SNC leaders have learned from their initial mistakes and are currently persuing a proactive diplomacy. They want to bring back the center of gravity of any outcome as close as needed to their and their constituencies interests.

Dear Haytham, the leaders you spoke about are as bright and proud of their diplomatic skills as your statement would imply you are. Some of those you have refered to might just be offended from the condescending undertones of your post.

Happy new year.

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December 30th, 2011, 2:02 am


57. ann said:

Riot-hit Homs awaits New Year without festivity – 2011-12-30

HOMS, Syria, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) — As much of the rest of the world are getting ready to joyfully ring in the New Year, residents in the Syrian city of Homs seemed to have few causes to celebrate. The streets are empty, and the shops are closed.

In the third-largest city of the Middle East country, anti-government protests and ensuing riots have lasted for almost 10 months, resulting in many deaths of civilians and soldiers.

A soldier, who identified himself only as Muder, was undergoing medical treatment at the Abdul-Qader Shafta hospital in Homs. His arm was in a sling. Muder was shot by a group of militants Thursday morning while providing security services for the Arab League (AL) monitors.

Dr. Ali Assi, head of the hospital, told Xinhua that his hospital had received about 25 to 50 wounded; most were shot in the head or chest. His hospital had treated 2,302 wounded personnel by the middle of November, namely 1,819 soldiers, 251 policemen and 232 civilians.

Assi said his hospital also treated terror suspects on humanitarian grounds.

The ambulances and hospital walls, riddled with bullet holes, proved that the militants knew no mercy nor limits to their violence. They even opened fire in children’s wards. The Shafta hospital alone has been attacked five times.

Downtown, several small stores were still open, and snowmen on the billboards were the only harbingers of the new year. But in Homs, no one was in the mood to celebrate.

In a house on Al Midan street, a man was mournfully polishing a photo of his 28-year-old son Muhammed, an anaesthetist. Muhammed was kidnapped and tortured to death by militants recently for no apparent reason.

Such tragedies are not rare in Homs as local residents said militants lurked around at night and targeted them. A local official was killed after such an attack in the early hours Thursday on Al Midan street.

The AL monitors, which had arrived in Syria Monday, visited the chaotic city for two days and said they have made initial assessments of the situation but would need more time for a final decision.

On Thursday, security forces set up checkpoints on Homs’s main streets, without disrupting regular traffic.

Meanwhile, a group of local residents gathered in a downtown bazaar to show their support for the government and President Bashar al-Assad.

Among them, a 25-year-old man who identified himself as Munssef said they are “real Syrians” and those behind the attacks are Syria’s enemies.

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December 30th, 2011, 2:03 am


58. Revlon said:

51. ((jad said:
#Syria #Damascus #News
نبشركم خيراً أن الصوت الذي سمعناه لم ينتج عنه أي إصابات أو إستهداف لمراكز أمنية و مباني حكومية و بعد الإتصال بمصادرنا و مراسلينا في دمشق و تقصي الحقائق مع شبكة دمشق الإخبارية الصوت ناتج عن قنبلتين صوتيتين في منطقة الغوطة الشرقية و الهدف منها إثارة الرعب في قلوب الناس و نؤكد عدم سقوط أي خسائر))

AlQaeda is using sound bombs!!
Gush, It looks like they have more mercy on people than junior who is using T72 guns!

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December 30th, 2011, 2:11 am


59. Syria no kandahar said:

This is how your terrorists Islamist friends clean:

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December 30th, 2011, 2:13 am


60. Juergen said:


I always liked Todenhöfer for his unique cv and his deep affection toward the arab world and overall he right in his standing that the western world has committed the majority of crimes against humanity if we just take the last 2 centuries. He rightly asserts that islam and arabic civilization has not brought up the concentration camps, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nor the cruelty of the iraq war. I respect his opinion that he still believes that Assad is the man of reform and that the world should take his words for reform an reconciliation for granted. He said it many times but in the interview again, that he met with people and they all said to him that Assad itself is not the problem, its the regime. Sorry in that point i could not disagree more. One can not single out Bashar and the desertrose Asmaa and the soon become heirs of the throne from this brutal and inhumane dictatorship of the Assads. You know it may be better than me, there will be always people who may actually believe that. Victor Klemperer a jewish professor for french literature from Dresden survived the Hitler era because he was married to an german women. He wrote all that time how the language and the behaviour of the germans changed within this regime.(in his famous book LTI) Not just once he noted that people came to him and said that they are sorry how he is badly treated by local muhabarat officers or police or party members, if only Hitler would know what is really going on. This sparing of the beloved leader from the dirty work of his servants, that may be not only a sign of true worship but also a sign how some parts of society would react in times of oppression-in true neglection of the crimes committed. I know you understand german, we have a saying here that the fish always starts to smell from the head.

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December 30th, 2011, 2:27 am


61. jad said:

“It looks like they have more mercy”
Keep up the marketing campaign for Alqaeda, it suits you, I just wonder what your american neighbors will think of you reading such comment.

FYI, even ‘Filthman’ is not dismissing Alqaeda responsibility and involvement in Damascus bombing, isn’t that strange!

فيلتمان : قلقون من أي محاولات من الاسد لتصدير مشاكله الى لبنان
الخبر برس : الإخبارية اللبنانية

مساعد وزيرة الخارجية الاميركية لشؤون الشرق الاوسط جيفري فيلتمان انه يجب اعطاء بعثة المراقبين التابعة لجامعة الدول العربيةبعض الوقت للتحقق من صدقية النظام السوري في تطبيق تعهداته الواردة في الاتفاق الموقع مع الجامعة ، لافتا الى انه في حال كانت الاجوبة في تقرير البعثة الشهر المقبل سلبية، فعلى المجتمع الدولي عندها ان يدرس الخيارات الاخرى الكفيلة بوقف العنف.

واوضح فيلتمان في مقابلة مع صحيفة “النهار”، ان ما يهم واشنطن ليس طبيعة بعثة المراقبين والخلفية الاستخبارية والامنية لرئيسها بل ما يفعله والذي سيفعله النظام السوري بالنسبة الى تطبيق الاتفاق مع جامعة الدول العربية.

وعن الانتهاكات السورية للحدود اللبنانية والتي أدت الى مقتل مواطنين لبنانيين، اشار فيلتمان الى انه كان قد اثار هذه المسألة مع المسؤولين اللبنانيين خلال زيارته الاخيرة للبنان وان السفيرة مورا كونيللي تتابع الاتصالات في هذا المجال، مبديا قلق واشنطن من أي محاولات من الاسد لتصدير مشاكله الى لبنان”.

واعلن فلتمان انه في حال كان صحيحا ان تنظيم “القاعدة” هو المسؤول عن تفجيرات دمشق الاخيرة، عندها يجب ان يدرك النظام السوري انه ساهم في جلبها الى سوريا.

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December 30th, 2011, 2:33 am


62. Syrialover said:

# 46. Jad

I know it’s all so BORING compared with your data dumps and verbal sniping at the Syrian opposition.

Black Africans themselves living in Arab countries will tell you how racist Arabs officials are towards them. Fact of life. Ask them.

And they will also explain to you that there would be hardly any regime on the entire African continent that would be able to officially provide appropriatly trained and experienced personnel for an observation mission. Least of all Sudan!

The performance of current Arab League officials is an ugly joke. But Syrians living at gunpoint and and the rest of the Arab world aren’t laughing.

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December 30th, 2011, 2:52 am


63. jad said:

‘Bashar is not the problem’ is as true as ‘Bashar is the problem’, I think that if ‘Bashar’ is the ‘problem’, Syria struggle would’ve been solved 10 months ago, removing him is the easiest solution, and if it was, he would’ve been gone by now, however, the issue is much bigger than him as a person, both sides made him their ‘God’/’Devil’ icon to simplify the struggle for the average Syrian, yet the oppositions couldn’t get the numbers they need to do it nor did they achieved what they promised the people with, the head of Bashar, instead of, a better future, hence we are in this deep hole at the moment.
What I say is that if activists are able to stop wasting time, energy and Syrian lives in focusing all their effort on him and instead concentrate on corruption, dignity, freedom and democracy values through forming political party, engage the public in their views, have a constructive vision for a better Syria and spread democratic values through public education instead of violence, blood and calling for occupation they will succeed and win much faster than this daily tragedy.
Cursing him doesn’t do it for me, it sounded rather stupid, besides, no human deserve people to die for, only nations deserve such ultimate sacrifice.
To do the change we must start somewhere, and I strongly believe that dialogue and nonviolence means are our only choices if we want to build a democratically sustainable nation, anything else is a crime against every Syrian.

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December 30th, 2011, 3:16 am


64. Uzair8 said:

Tens of thousands give inspiring pledge to Allah in Homs, Syria [Dec 2011] – MUST SEE!

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December 30th, 2011, 5:30 am


65. Mina said:

I guess the EU envoy does not understand Arabic and missed both last February’s Qardawi’s claims for his next preach in al-Aqsa mosque, and the Syrian opposition’s who “will get back the Golan because the Asad are famous Zionist agents”…

So the EU is scared to the point of banning niqab because of some 100 women wearing it, but the Middle East should not be afraid of the rise of Islamists? And what democracy is he talking about? The one that can raid 17 NGOs in Cairo yesterday? (For the Gulf, sorry, they didn’t reach the stage where you can open an NGO anyway).

So to this day, we are left with two MB-regimes that have actually been in power: Sudan and Hamas in Gaza. Famous success stories, if I recall.

EU envoy: Israel has nothing to fear from regional rise of Islamists
Europe’s envoy to the Southern Mediterranean says ‘It is much more difficult to have wars with democracies.’

The European Union’s special envoy to the Southern Mediterranean, Bernardino Leon, on a lightening visit to Israel Thursday, told Haaretz that he does not believe Israel need fear the rise of Islamist governments in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.

“It is much more difficult to have wars with democracies,” Leon said.

Leon, whose responsibilities include the EU response to the Arab Spring, was appointed to the post in July. He was previously the political adviser to the outgoing Spanish prime minister, Jose Zapatero, and is a diplomat with more than 20 years’ experience, dealing mainly with the Middle East and the Arab world.

Over the past few months, Leon has shuttled between Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya to begin to open lines of communication and dialogue between the EU and the new parties rising in those countries, particularly the Islamists.

Leon was in Israel to present the EU’s position on the regime changes in the Arab world to government leaders in Jerusalem, and to bring a calming message as to the impact the changes will have on Israel.

Leon met with National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror, with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and with more than 20 Israeli ambassadors to the EU, on Thursday.

“I understand the feeling of uncertainty – but my message to my Israeli friends is that the result of the transition will be different if the international community will support it. If we wait as spectators it might not happen – but if we engage it can work. This is not only voting – it is also jobs and this will not come without investment and the international community,” Leon said.

Israeli political and defense officials are said to disparage the term “Arab Spring” and are suspicious of it and officials who still use the term, prefering to use the term “Islamic winter.”

“I know the feeling here about the Arab Spring. It is not going to be easy but the real winter is what we had before – countries with corruption and torture. The transition to democracy can take decades, but if this line will continue it will definitely be better,” Leon said.

Leon said he believes that for the new governments being established in the region in the coming months, Israel will be a marginal issue. “The focus will be on internal issues and on building new societies,” he said. “They need stability to create jobs for the people and they will have to move from the symbolic world to the real world to bring back tourists and investors.”

He said the Muslim Brotherhood will have to move from the comfort of the opposition, to a point of bearing responsibility.

“Those parties will have to experience running a country and providing services to the people – so things will be more practical than metaphysical and they will deal more with internal issues than international problems. If tourists do not come back to Egypt – they will lose the next election,” Leon said.

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December 30th, 2011, 5:33 am


66. Uzair8 said:

Syria offers condolences for death of Kim Jong-Il

December 23rd, 2011

North Korea said Friday that the Syrian regime, accused of killing thousands in a crackdown on protests this year, had sent condolences for the death of Kim Jong-Il.

The message from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was addressed to Kim’s youngest son Kim Jong-Un, who like the Syrian leader is inheriting power from his father, according to the North’s official news agency.

It described the fellow strongman’s death “as a great loss not only to the Korean people but to the people of all countries struggling for freedom, justice and peace”, adding, “May his soul rest in peace.”

The United Nations estimates that more than 5,000 people have been killed in the Syrian government’s crackdown on protests since mid-March.

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December 30th, 2011, 5:44 am


67. defender said:

فيلتمان: قلقون من أي محاولات من الاسد لتصدير مشاكله الى لبنان
جهل سياسي أم نفاق اعلامي ! هل سوريا بلد مجاور للقمر ؟ صدرت أمريكا و لا تزال تداعيات أزمتها المالية الى كل بلدان العالم و لم يسم أحدا السيد أوباما بمحاولات تصدير أية أزمة !

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December 30th, 2011, 5:51 am


68. Mina said:

Angry Arab asks some to make up their mind:
Hamas: defending the Syrian regime
The sectarian agenda of the Ikhwan Syrian opposition (and their liberal lackeys) were exposed this week. For months, we heard from those groups fierce criticisms of Hizbullah for its lousy defense of the lousy Syrian regime. But when Hamas came out this week in support and praise of the Syrian regime, there was silence on the part of the Syrian Ikhwan opposition. Not a word of criticisms was uttered: only words of justification and explanation. Why? Because this opposition is blatantly sectarian and they are tools of Saudi Arabia. Pure and simple. You want me to support such reactionaries? You must be kidding me.

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December 30th, 2011, 6:11 am


69. Mina said:

You seem to have missed that the UN General Assembly has observed a minute of silence for Kim Jong Il’s death and that the flags at the UN building (including the UN flag)were at half-mast for the same reason two dys ago! This is what they call diplomacy.
Seeing the space given to Kim Jong Il’s death and burial in the Western media, you understand why dictators enjoy cult of personality so much!

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December 30th, 2011, 6:14 am


70. Juergen said:

Just read that Hitler Germany was also once visited by a monitoring group from the International Red Cross.
The nazis had established an system of concentration camps throughout Germany and the occupied terrotories, including Theresienstadt in Bohemia. In 1943 Germany had deported 476 jews from Danmark to Theresienstadt, the Nazis had tried hard to get hold of every jew in Danmark, but many managed to escape to Sweden. The danish government intervened hard on the Nazis to free the jews. In the end the Nazis allowed a commission by the Red Cross to visit Theresienstadt on 23 June 1944. For that visit the Nazis had turned this detention camp into an holiday camp. They had builded Cafes and opened an hospital and a swimming pool as well as a children playground. There was an children opera “Brundibar” performed for the montitors, as well as beforehand an famous filmmaker from Potsdam made an film about this camp for the german audience, so all could see the benefits of the regime and how humane the conditions were for state enemies.
There was afterall a small success for the Red Cross after long negotiations with the Nazis,they were able to fly out 1500 jews to neutral countries on Feb 6 1945, and the remaining danish jews who survived the “holiday camp” were freed on April 15 the same year. The red cross then also was totally responsible for the camp for 2 weeks before the Red Army went in on may 8th 1945.

I wonder how Seydnaya or Tadmor prisons will look like if the AL mission will visit them. Anyone has a clue what the Opera in Damascus is playing these weeks?

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December 30th, 2011, 6:14 am


71. Juergen said:

Forgot to mention, there was of course no time for the monitors to talk with the inmates.

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December 30th, 2011, 6:18 am


72. Syrialover said:

# 59. Juergen

And Russians perishing in Siberian labor camps used to say in frantic desperation, if only Stalin knew what they are doing to us!

And news for Jad #62 who claims:

“….if activists are able to stop wasting time, energy and Syrian lives in focusing all their effort on [Assad] and instead concentrate on corruption, dignity, freedom and democracy values through forming political party, engage the public in their views, have a constructive vision for a better Syria and spread democratic values through public education instead of violence, blood and calling for occupation they will succeed and win much faster than this daily tragedy”

Jad, that is HOW THE PROTESTS STARTED – but the “reformist” Assad government didn’t want to know and instantly started randomly shooting peaceful protesters and rounding them up for torture and disappearance. And the ugly rest of it.

It was only a matter of months ago. Jad can go back to the start and read about it. It’s well documented here on SC how the protests began with peaceful calls for action on economic distress and corruption.

The vicious, stupid, lying and panicky reaction of the regime was what has inflamed and spread the protest movement. Even Syrians not targeted have realised what a doomed loser and clown Assad is and that the stains of the regime’s crimes against Syrian people are now so deep and wide that trust, credibility, national unity and stability will NEVER happen until the stench of this regime is eradicated.

And if Jad thinks it’s fair enough to turn live ammunition on gatherings of unarmed citizens, surely even he finds some problem with the economic vandalism, lazy ignorance, misrule, corruption, menacing injustice and criminalisation of Syria’s institutions Assad and co have imposed on 23 million people for many years with the aid of the gun and torture chamber.

That is, unless Jad and his associates are 1. as tragically deluded as those Siberian prisoners or 2. are among the privileged minority who have benefited from the Assad regime.

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December 30th, 2011, 7:58 am


73. Juergen said:


I am sure you wont find one mnhbak after the downfall of the regime, all will declare then that they have lived in total opposition of this regime.
Let there be no mistake about it, for that sake he is president to know what is committed under his name, and given the size of the muhabarat he should know pretty well whats really going on in the country. If he doesnt know whats going on, if we follow the trail of Mina whole regions are governed by corrupt officals, sorry i just dont buy it, never would the regime give a piece of the cake away.

I read today on an other blog whích is run by supporters of him here in Germany that there is growing criticism against him among the supporters. There are fractions who seem to call out for Maher to stop the terrorists by even more brutal force, stating that the President is too weak to really save his people. Its a crazy world…

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December 30th, 2011, 8:14 am


74. Tara said:

Juergen and Syria Lover

People outlive the tyranny. No doubt about it. It may take some time. What do you think would happen to SC’s Mnhebaks after the fall of the regime, I am wondering. Would they just stop posting? Are the going to reincarnate themselves under different pseudonyms and claim they were opposition? Are they going to slip into severe depression? It would be interesting to observe. Mina, when the people of Syria emerge victorious, what are you going to do?

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December 30th, 2011, 8:29 am


75. Juergen said:


I suppose not all of the Mnhebaks are only loyal to Assad only, i read other blogs on Lybia and it got wild, there were many who cry over the death of Ghadaffi, i assume some will return with loveletters for the Iranians or other leftover despotic regimes.One can see the weirdest alliances now, right wing islamophobs and monarchistic Shalovers are among the worshipers now.

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December 30th, 2011, 8:41 am


76. norman said:


I do not think that you want people to talk about you and your parents under any label, treat others the way you want to be treated.

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December 30th, 2011, 8:49 am


77. defender said:


Soldiers of the USA are sent from Iraq, it is the fact. The fact also Syria has not fallen yet! You observe of well-being of Europe! It is necessary to underline that the capitalist world is sick and all planet is suffers from it
I recommend to be engaged in the affairs

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December 30th, 2011, 9:31 am


78. Syria no kandahar said:

Islamokoko Tartora
What is going to happen to you when Syrian people shove your Islamist terrorist
Into the Ass of History Garbage?Are your parents going to force not to use the Internet again because it is haram or are they going go have you use niqab
Instead of your Hijab?or may they will punish you and force you to have Bashar
Picture on your screen ?

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December 30th, 2011, 9:41 am


79. defender said:

The German mask , lack of morality by trading in blood and contribute to war

Germany’s contribution to the Arab spring: arms sales

German Arms Go East

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December 30th, 2011, 11:30 am


80. Juergen said:


Its not my intention to see Syria fall, after the fall of AssadSyria and his clan there will be still a Syria.
You run into open doors when you talk about the sick mind of capitalism, but i lived under communism and it failed as well, what do you suggest to live under Assadism?

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December 30th, 2011, 11:30 am


81. Tara said:


Bashar’s photo on my computer screen? I did not imagine you are that evil…No thanks! There is a photo on my computer screen taken in a restaurant in Toronto that I consider priceless. I do not like your criminal Besho. Did you forget?

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December 30th, 2011, 11:48 am


82. Tara said:

Massive demonstration in Syria today. 31 killed so far. The results of the AL’s conclusion is sealed unless they are all bought which I doubt. We will have to live through the daily killing for a month until the delegate submits it’s conclusion to the AL. Then, will see Bashar Jaafari’s face in the UNSC when it decides to refer Bushbush to the ICC. I am hopeful.

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December 30th, 2011, 12:08 pm


83. Tara said:

Where is pro Besho demonstrations that SS promised us yesterday? In a school square? Or Bushbush can’t get any lover on Friday? It is quite embarrassing! Hoe about offering his lovers higher price? I think it is kinda worth least for his self esteem.

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December 30th, 2011, 12:14 pm


84. Observer said:

I usually start the day by checking pro regime sites such as Cham Press and Doonia and the pro regime Lebanese newspapers.
There is clearly a realization that the regime is in a dead end. Even our Dear Professor here is realizing that. I do not know what Alex thinks.
I even watch JAD clutching at straws of information and even ANN is no longer cutting and pasting the Chinese and Russian quotes.

I think it is the beginning of the end and today in Damascus going from one area to another is near impossible due to the presence of so many security people trying to prevent demonstrations.

There is a hint of a new government and it will include opposition figures and independents. The boy wonder will not run in 2014 or so it seems.

Now instead of insults and cut and paste I invite the reasonable people on this blog to start a forum with the title:
How to uproot the regime while preserving the institutions for their ultimate reforms.

This is really hard work guys and girls.

Time to rebuild Syria, the Arab cause, the economies in tatters and the education of millions and to continue resistance to occupation and to invite the remaining Arab people to join in free economic union.

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December 30th, 2011, 12:15 pm


85. defender said:

كشفت الإذاعة العبرية، النقاب عن وقوع خلل فني وُصف بـ “خطير” في المنظومة الحربية الإسرائيلية “القبة الحديدية”، وكاد أن يتسبب بقتل عدد من الجنود والضباط الإسرائيليين داخل قاعدة عسكرية على الحدود مع قطاع غزة.

وقالت الإذاعة، صباح اليوم الخميس (28/12)، أن حادثاً وقع أثناء أعمال صيانة كانت تجري للمنظومة قبل عدّة أيام، حين انطلق عن طريق الخطأ حوالي عشرين صاروخ اعتراض سقطت على مقربة من مجموعة من الجنود والضباط إلا أنها لم تنفجر، الأمر الذي تسبب بإحداث أضرار جسيمة للصواريخ التي تحتوي على مئات الكيلوجرامات من المواد المتفجرة.

ونقلت الإذاعة، عن مسؤول عسكري إسرائيلي رفيع المستوى، قوله “إن الخسائر المادية كبيرة جداً بسبب انطلاق هذا الكم من الصواريخ دون جدوى، وقد تضرّرت ولم تعد صالحة للاستعمال ثانية في ظل عدم توفير كميات كافية منها”.

من جانبه، أعلن قائد سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي عيدو نحوشتان عن تشكيل لجنة تحقيق خاصّة للوقوف على تفاصيل الحادث، فيما أمر بالوقف الفوري لكل أعمال صيانة المنظومة إلى حين انتهاء التحقيق.

وكان جيش الاحتلال قد عمد إلى نصب عدد من البطاريات المشغلة لمنظومة “القبة الحديدية” لاعتراض الصواريخ قصيرة المدى على الحدود مع قطاع غزة، في محاولة لاعتراض صواريخ المقاومة الفلسطينية التي تنطلق من غزة باتجاه أهداف إسرائيلية داخل الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة عام 1948، والتي لم تظهر فاعلية على أرض الواقع في اعتراض الصواريخ، بحسب تأكيدات خبراء عسكريين إسرائيليين.

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December 30th, 2011, 12:47 pm


86. Khalid Tlass said:


I thought you were a tolerant person who though both Arab Christains and Muslims have the same roots and share much more with each other. Your comment about Arab Christians fighting each other with brooms while Arab Muslims fight each other with guns was DISGUSTING to say the least. ( btw Armenians are not Arab)….. I am expecting an aplogy from you….becoz by ur own admission, Arab Muslims and Arab Christians are just the SAME, but in ur previous comment you tried to show that they were DIFFERENT, so aren’t you playing with words ? And as I said, as an Arab Nationalist I expect an apology from you for what u said and you should take back ur words.

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December 30th, 2011, 1:19 pm


87. Dale Andersen said:

From the al-Qaeda/Salafist/Saudi/EU/Jew/CIA Press:

“…Syrian security forces opened fire at protesters on Friday, killing at least 12, as hundreds of thousands filled the streets of restive cities to demonstrate against the government of President Bashar al-Assad…”

Quote of the day: “I even watch JAD clutching at straws of information and even ANN is no longer cutting and pasting the Chinese and Russian quotes…”

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December 30th, 2011, 1:19 pm


88. Shami said:

SNK and the other islamophobs :
Do you also hate Ha$$oun ,Buti and the Kubayssiyat ?

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December 30th, 2011, 1:20 pm


89. Khalid Tlass said:

Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim,

Ida jaa’ Nasr Allah wal FATH,

Wa ra aytan Naas yadkhulouna fee deenillahi afwaaja

FaSabbih biHamdi Rabbuka WaStaghfirh inna hu kana tawaaba.

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December 30th, 2011, 1:23 pm


90. Khalid Tlass said:

Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim,

Ida jaa’ Nasr Allah wal FATH,

Wa ra aytan Naas yadkhulouna fee deenillahi afwaaja

FaSabbih biHamdi Rabbuka WaStaghfirh inna hu kana tawaaba.

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December 30th, 2011, 1:24 pm


91. Khalid Tlass said:

Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim,

Ida jaa’ Nasr Allah wal FATH,

Wa ra aytan Naas yadkhulouna fee DeenILLAHI afwaaja

FaSabbih biHamdi Rabbuka WaStaghfirh inna hu kana tawaaba


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December 30th, 2011, 1:26 pm


92. Khalid Tlass said:

Choke on this Assad supporters.

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December 30th, 2011, 1:29 pm


93. ann said:

Turkish rights groups want U.N. probe into deadly raid – Fri Dec 30, 2011

Turkish rights groups called on Friday for a U.N.-sponsored investigation after Turkish warplanes killed 35 villagers in an airstrike targeting Kurdish rebels on the Iraqi border that the government has called an operational mistake.

The incident, which is under government investigation, has raised tensions with minority Kurds in Turkey, sparking clashes between stone-throwing protesters and police in cities in the restive mainly pro-Kurdish southeast and areas in Istanbul.

The attack, one of the largest single-day civilian death tolls since the militants launched their armed insurgency in 1984, came at a time when Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has been trying to engage Kurds in talks to write a new constitution expected to address long-held Kurdish grievances.

“The incident requires a more detailed investigation, but it is an execution without due process, and carries the characteristics of a mass murder in terms of the number of victims,” human rights groups IHD and Mazlumder said in a preliminary report into Wednesday’s airstrike.

“Turkish and international non-governmental organizations should investigate the incident and the U.N. Human Rights Committee should send a committee right away.”

Erdogan’s government, which has admitted that those killed were civilian smugglers whom the military mistook for Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, has promised not to allow a cover-up of the incident.

“We are waiting for the investigation results. We will share its results with the public,” Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters on Friday.

“These incidents can take place in the process of the fight against terror.”

IHD and Mazlumder said most of those killed near the border village of Uludere were between the ages of 12 and 18. Turkish media has reported that 28 out of the 35 dead belonged to the same extended family and carried the same surname.

In their report, IHD and Mazlumder quoted 19-year-old Haci Encu, who survived the attack and was in hospital, as saying the smugglers were a group of about 40-50 people with mules and were attacked by drones when they were crossing the border to Iraq.

“We were going for sugar and diesel. We even heard the drone, but we kept on walking because it’s our ordinary route,” Encu is quoted as saying.

“The first drone killed 20 people, who were right on the border. We started running towards Iraq, and bombs started to fall on those who were left behind on the rocky area. We were six people in my group, and three of us survived. We had civilian clothes and nobody was armed,” Encu said.

“The attack lasted around an hour. Me and a couple of other people with three mules, we went into a river, waited there for an hour and went out to hide beneath rocks,” he said.

“We have been doing this for a long time. Two people from the group were married, the rest were high school and secondary school students. Nobody has contacted me for testimony yet, and I haven’t seen a single soldier since the incident.”


The funerals were expected to be held on Friday.

Turkey’s largest pro-Kurdish party, the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, labeled the strike a crime against humanity, and has accused the armed forces of a cover-up.

The Turkish military had said its warplanes launched air strikes after drones spotted suspected PKK militants in the area. The military said there were was no civilian settlement in the area.

Turkish newspapers on Friday carried front-page pictures showing lines of corpses covered by blankets on a barren hillside, with weeping relatives around the bodies.

“Deadly intelligence,” read pro-government Zaman.

The incident threatens to ignite more violence from the PKK, which is regarded as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The group has been fighting for an ethnic Kurdish homeland in a conflict that has claimed the lives of 40,000 people.

A PKK commander called on Kurds to rise up to what he called an organized and planned massacre.

“We call on all the people of Kurdistan and especially those of Hakkari and Sirnak to show their reaction against this massacre and to hold the perpetrators of this massacre accountable through their uprising,” Bahoz Erdal said in a statement.

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December 30th, 2011, 1:44 pm


94. ann said:

Israeli general hints at another Gaza invasion – Dec 30, 2011

Israel and Gaza traded fire this week as Israel began discussing the possibility of another invasion to reestablish “‘deterrence.'”

A retaliatory Israeli airstrike killed a Palestinian militant today amid a gradual resurgence of fire across the Israel-Gaza border that has prompted discussions in Israel about an effort to reestablish “deterrence.”

This week marks the third anniversary of the swift, devastating 2008-09 Israeli invasion of Gaza that was intended to cow Hamas into ending its rocket campaign in southern Israel. Although the ceasefire that ended Operation Cast Lead has largely held, there has been occasional fire, including this week.

On Dec. 28, Israel killed one Islamic Jihad operative and wounded 10 “global Jihad operatives” in two strikes, Haaretz reports. The following day, Gazan militants launched four rockets into southern Israel’s Negev desert, causing no injuries.

The head of Israel’s Southern Brigade said yesterday that preparations for another “large-scale” Israeli incursion into Gaza are underway “to renew our deterrence,” Haaretz reports.

“We are preparing and in fact are ready for another campaign, which will be varied and different, to renew our deterrence, if we are called on to restore full quiet to the communities [in the south],” said the head of the division’s Southern Brigade, Brig. Gen. Tal Hermoni.

“But I wouldn’t eulogize Operation Cast Lead just yet,” Hermoni added, in a briefing for military reporters. “On a daily basis, it’s pretty quiet here. The mild response [to Tuesday’s targeted killings] is evidence that they don’t want to feel the IDF’s fists.”

The intention is a shorter operation that employs significantly more firepower than Cast Lead did. The IDF believes that Hamas and the many other terrorist groups operating in the Gaza Strip, some of them outside Hamas control, have more weapons than they did in 2008. Emboldened, they fired rockets at IDF troops for the first time this year, according to Haaretz.

Think you know the Middle East? Take our geography quiz.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for all fire coming out of the Gaza Strip, but many of the rockets are believed to come from other Palestinian factions. The man killed in today’s Israel air strike, Muman Abu Daf, was leader of an Al Qaeda-inspired group known as the Army of Islam, BBC reports. The IDF believes the group planted explosives along the Israel-Gaza border and had a hand in planning an attempted attack along the Israel-Egypt border this week, according to The Associated Press.

Although Hamas continues to reject Israel’s existence, it has attempted to keep a tense peace with Israel by trying to rein in rocket fire from more radical groups in the Gaza Strip, The New York Times reports. The efforts mean little to some Israeli military officials.

“We shoot when we’re being shot at,” one security official told Reuters Friday. “It’s clear that Hamas does not have an interest in fanning the flames at this time, but it’s not dousing them either.”

According to a Haaretz report yesterday, in late November Hamas leader Khaled Meshal has ordered the group’s military wing to cease attacks on Israeli targets. Israeli officials say they’ve detected no change in the group’s behavior, nor have they received official word of Mr. Meshal’s order. They attributed the decision to convenience, not a change of heart. Hamas in Gaza scoffed at Meshal’s decision.

Hamas’ leadership in Gaza said it was surprised by Meshal’s statement and that “the only way to liberate the occupied lands is through the armed struggle.” The Hamas interior minister in Gaza, Fathi Hamad, added that the group’s “internal leadership” does not necessarily intend to abide by Meshal’s policy.

In an analysis for Haaretz, military affairs reporter Avi Issacharoff writes that Meshal’s decision is based on practicalities, not a true change in strategy or goals. He also notes that efforts to rein in rocket fire have earned Hamas in Gaza significant criticism, and prompted many defections to the more radical group Islamic Jihad, which continues to fire rockets.

The historical decision to modify the character of the Palestinian struggle – alongside Hamas’ agreement to join the Palestine Liberation Organization (and in large measure to accept the written agreements with Israel ) – does not necessarily attest to a strategic shift in terms of goals. It’s possible that Meshal and his aides realize that for now they need to forgo terrorist attacks in favor of new and more effective ways of achieving their goals: Indeed, Meshal and his colleagues admit that they have not completely abandoned the armed struggle and that they reserve the right to resist the Israeli occupation “using all means.” Meshal also emphasized that Hamas does not intend to disarm or to stop the organization’s huge arms buildup in Gaza.

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December 30th, 2011, 1:55 pm


95. Khalid Tlass said:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said

“If war ensues, Allah shall inspire from al-SHAAM a group of aid, the best of Arabs in horsemanship and the best in weaponry, Allah shall support the religion with them”

( On the authority of Abu Hureirah (radiAllah) Ibn Majah and al Faswi and ibn Asakir and Al Hakim, and declared Hasan by Al Albani)

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December 30th, 2011, 1:58 pm


96. Khalid Tlass said:


Stick to the topic or get ASS wh***ed.

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December 30th, 2011, 2:00 pm


97. Khalid Tlass said:

Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim,

Ida jaa’ Nasr Allah wal FATH,

Wa ra aytan Naas yadkhulouna fee DeenILLAHI afwaaja

FaSabbih biHamdi Rabbuka WaStaghfirh inna hu kana tawaaba


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December 30th, 2011, 2:01 pm


98. Khalid Tlass said:

Prophet Muhammad (saw) – said:

“Go to BILAD AL SHAAM for it is the best of Allah’s lands on earth, He drives the best of His slaves to it” (At Tabarani, and declared Sahih by Albani in Saheeh Al Jami)

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December 30th, 2011, 2:03 pm


99. Ales said:

Wishes of Assad opponents to remove him still do not seem realistic.

Today demonstrations were larger than in previous days, but numbers of people on videos are still exaggerated by 10 times. Instead of 250.000 claimed (in one place), truth might be 25.000. Looks like largest demo was one Khalid pointed at post 92. There was no single video of protesters being shoot at by security. Instead of complaining, protesters should thank observers, as now they have a chance to prove they can increase numbers. If demos do not increase in one month observers will be in Syria, Assad will remain in power.

If this happen, it won’t be acceptable by many in opposition and they will wage armed insurgency. Syrians should probably not wish for this to happen, as it will lead to Idleb style military operations in Homs and other insurgency areas. So far, army has been holding back well, considering they are shoot at and killed. At some point, holding back will end.

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December 30th, 2011, 2:07 pm


100. Haytham Khoury said:


Dear Revlon:

What I wrote was a joke/frustration (from the whole situation). I know it is easy for me to say. However it is hard for them to do. Indeed, they have to deal with a lot of pressures: the media, the public, the internal politics and the external relationship. For this reason, I felt I should help them to deal with AL with more controlled emotions.

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December 30th, 2011, 2:39 pm


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