Assad’s Parallel Universe Suggests a Long Struggle

Assad’s ABC Interview with Barbara Walters – The parallel universe.

This interview suggests that President Assad continues to see his fight to be against terrorists and external plots, as he has argued from the beginning. He denied that he is killing his own people and suggested that more Syrian soldiers have been killed than Syrian innocents. Whether he remains convinced of his rectitude, whether his primary motivation is to hang on to power, or whether he is simply frightened of the consequences of yielding authority to his opponents, Assad gave no indication that he is having second thoughts about his position or is ready to yield. One must conclude that Syria’s fight will be a long one.

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Riad Al-Shaqfa, told ash-Sharq al-Awsat two days ago,”I believe that the al-Assad regime will collapse within the next few months. … the [Syrian] regime’s days are over. It is gasping its final breaths….; he wants to portray himself as being in charge of Syria’s land, sea, and air, but he is a liar, and is not in charge of anything but himself.”

This seems to be wishful thinking. Assad remains in control of the Syrian military, which is strong compared to the opposition. Economic sanctions are beginning to exact a terrible toll on the Syrian people. Most have no heat because mazoot (feul oil) is scarce or non-existent in most regions of Syria. The Syrian pound has fallen below 62 to a dollar from 47. This means that Syrians have lost over 25% of their worth and purchasing power. Price hikes are everywhere and dramatic.

Aleppo’s economy has been hammered by the freezing of trade with Turkey. Many Syrians have made trade with Turkey their livelihood over the past decade. Prices of all Turkish products (cloths in particular) jumped 30-40% overnight in response to the new 30% tariff that has been placed on Turkish goods entering Syria. “They are sawing off the branch they’re sitting on,” Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan told reporters in televised remarks from Istanbul. “These aren’t moves that a country with such a need for cash and a seriously pressured economy should be making.”

Locally produced Syrian goods are much inferior in quality to those imported from Turkey. A number of key Syrian industries have been shuttered due to Turkish competition, so the new tariffs are causing real scarcities in some goods.

Turkey responded today by suspending its free trade accord with Syria. It has slapped a 30% tariff on Syria’s imports and opened 2 additional crossings to Iraq in order to assist efforts by local merchants to bypass Syria in trade with the Gulf and Egypt.

Despite Promises From Assad, ABC News Crew Encountered difficulties – New York TImes Blog

President Bashar al-Assad held his first interview in Damascus with a U.S. reporter since the start of the Syrian uprisings,telling Barbara Walters that he did not order a government crackdown on protesters. Assad said that he had the support of the Syrian people and denied the credibly of the United Nations reports estimating the violent death of more than 4,000 people. He claimed that the majority of people killed since March have been government forces. He admitted that some mistakes had been made, but were undertaken by individuals, claiming that as president he does not “own” the army. The U.S. State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, responded to the interview stating “I find it ludicrous that he is attempting to hide behind some sort of shell game [and] claim that he doesn’t exercise authority in his own country.” Meanwhile the government committee advising on drafting a new constitution announced new provisions that would ban “discrimination between political parties.” However, the amendments further entrench Assad’s rule by legalizing his presidency by lowering age requirements and advancing his military rank to commander in chief of the Syrian military and armed forces.

 Assad said: “I’m president. I don’t own the country, so they’re not my forces.” “There’s a difference between having a policy to crack down and between having some mistakes committed by some officials. There is a big difference,” the reporter quoted Assad as saying.

The next day, his spokespeople were denying that he meant what he said: ASSAD REMARKS DIDN’T AIM TO DODGE RESPONSIBILITY: SPOKESMAN. 2011-12-07

Turkey downplays Syrian transit route for Middle East trade
Dec. 7, 2011 (Xinhua) — Turkey’s economy minister

downplayed Syria’s significance as a transit route for Turkish trucks carrying goods to Middle Eastern and Gulf countries. Zafer Caglayan said: “We have three alternative routes through Alexandria, Beirut and Iraq and possibly a fourth through the Suez Canal.”

“We moved yesterday evening to take advantage of these alternatives and all of a sudden the Syrian government decided to let Turkish trucks into the country,” he added. He noted that Syrian customs officials have forced Turkish truck drivers to form long queues keeping them waiting at the border gates with Turkey but on Wednesday trucks were allowed in.

“By-passing Syria is a piece of cake. But we did not to want to choose that path. We want to use Syria as a transit route and allow Syrian economy to make money out of it,” Caglayan said. Syria did not permit the entrance of Turkish trucks at the Babel Hawas Border Gate and began working on their computer systems on December 1, the day when Syrian officials suspended a free trade agreement between Turkey and Syria.

Guardian (GB): Sectarian bloodshed worsens in Syria amid uprising
2011-12-06

ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY Associated Press= BEIRUT (AP) — Dozens of bodies were dumped in the streets of a Syrian city at the heart of the country’s nearly 9-month-old uprising, a grim sign that sectarian bloodshed is escalating as the country descends … Up to 50 people were killed in Homs on Monday, but details about what happened in Syria’s third-largest city only came to light Tuesday with reports of retaliatory attacks pitting members of the Alawite sect against Sunnis.

The sectarian violence is a dire development in Syria, and one that opposition members say plays directly into the regime’s hands. Since the uprising began, Assad portrayed himself as the lone force who can ward off the radicalism and sectarianism that have bedeviled neighbors in Iraq and Lebanon.

Opposition figures have accused Assad’s minority Alawite regime of trying to stir up trouble with the Sunni majority to blunt enthusiasm for the uprising. …. Thirty-four of the dead were shot execution-style, their bodies dumped in a public square, according to Saleh and others who monitor the violence, including the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Saleh said all were from the predominantly Sunni district of Jabb al-Jandali. He said Alawite gunmen had raided the district after an Alawite was found dead earlier.

A Homs government official confirmed only that 43 bodies were found Monday in Homs. He asked that his name not be published because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The reports could not be independently confirmed. Syria has banned most foreign journalists and prevents the work of independent media.

With 4,000 people dead across Syria in the uprising, the conflict is no longer just a matter of government forces firing on peaceful protesters looking to topple Assad’s autocratic regime.

The government also has been facing strong resistance from army defectors who have taken refuge in Homs. But sectarian overtones are building as well, because the uprising has unearthed long-simmering grievances that are now exploding into violence.

WSJ: Hamas To Move Base Out Of Syria
2011-12-06, By Joshua Mitnick

Hamas ordered the departure of nearly all its staff at its Damascus headquarters by next week following pressure from Turkey and Qatar, two regional allies trying to isolate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad amid an eight-month crackdown on antiregime protests, according to a Hamas official. The Islamic militant group’s parting of ways with Mr. Assad marks the latest blow to the regime. Damascus has hosted Hamas since the Palestinian group was forced out of Jordan in the late 1990s. Leaving Syria also distances Hamas from Iran, an ally of Mr. Assad that has provided the Palestinian militants with money, training and military hardware.

Over recent months, Tehran has urged Hamas not to relocate, the official said. (This story and related background material will be available on The Wall
Street Journal website, WSJ.com.) Hamas will establish new headquarters in Cairo and Qatar to replace its operations in Syria, the official added. At the same time, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal is scheduled to meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan to discuss upgrading its presence in the kingdom. …

GENEVA (AFP)–The U.S. ambassador to Damascus will return to Syria Tuesday evening, Washington said. “Ambassador Robert Ford has completed his consultations in Washington and is returning to Damascus this evening,” a senior state department official said.

French ambassador returns to Damascus: ministry: “Eric Chevallier returned to his post in Damascus on Monday following the consultations for which he was recalled,” the ministry’s deputy spokesman, Romain Nadal, told AFP

Clinton: Syria must do more than remove Assad
2011-12-06

The United States on Tuesday calls for a new regime of tolerance and freedom in Syria as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad battle fighters infiltrating the country.
Clinton: Syria must do more than remove Assad …

From: State Department Press Office
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 11:17 AM
To: State Department Press Office
Subject: REMARKS – Secretary Clinton – Meeting with Syrian National Council

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
At Meeting with Syrian National Council

December 6, 2011
Intercontinental Hotel
Geneva, Switzerland

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me begin by saying that it’s an honor to meet with all of you, the president and senior members of the Syrian National Council. I look forward to our discussion and hearing from each of you. I am particularly interested in the work you are doing about how a democratic transition would proceed. Fred Hof, my special coordinator, has told me that you’ve put a lot of work into that paper, and there are many very constructive ideas in it, because obviously, a democratic transition includes more than removing the Asad regime. It means setting Syria on the path of the rule of law and protecting the universal rights of all citizens regardless of sect or ethnicity or gender.

Second, we will discuss the work that the Council is doing to ensure that their plan is to reach out to all minorities, to counter the regime’s divide-and-conquer approach, which pits ethnic and religious groups against one another. The Syrian opposition, as represented here, recognizes that Syria’s minorities have legitimate questions and concerns about their future, and that they need to be assured that Syria will be better off under a regime of tolerance and freedom that provides opportunity and respect and dignity on the basis of the consent rather than on the whims of a dictator.

And we certainly believe that if Syrians unite, they together can succeed in moving their country to that better future. We are well aware that there is a lot of hard work to be done. There are many Syrians in exile who are committed to helping their country make this transition. And there are many Syrians in their homes and neighborhoods and communities who are struggling against the violence and the repression to realize that better future as well.

I think Syrians both in exile and inside Syria are behaving with great courage and commitment and are inspired and motivated by the aspirations of freedom and democracy that are sweeping the Arab world.

So I look forward to hearing from each of you in our time together this afternoon. Thank you very much.

Embargoed Syrian Crude To Flow To India – Shipbrokers
6 December 2011
11:25
Dow Jones International News
– Indian refiner HPCL provisionally charters a tanker to take Syrian crude to India, shipbrokers say.
– Exports of Syrian crude have dried up since the imposition of an EU embargo in September.
– Syria has around 150,000bpd of crude to export, most of which traditionally goes to Europe.

Why Iran might be worried by Hillary Clinton’s meeting with Syria exiles – Christian Science Monitor
Howard LaFranchi, Staff writer / December 6, 2011

The subject of the Geneva meeting between Hillary Clinton and Syria exiles was the transition to democracy. But the group’s leader has been warning Iran a post-Assad Syria could be far less friendly….

Comments (1,539)


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1501. ann said:

British Media Propaganda Aims at Triggering NATO Military Intervention against Syria – December 18, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28270

Channel 4 makes Goebbels proud with conveniently timed propaganda piece.

With the UN’s recent “human rights” report falling flat, for lack of evidence and being compiled by Karen Koning AbuZayd, a director of the US Washington-based corporate think-tank, Middle East Policy Council, that includes Exxon men, CIA agents, US military and government representatives, and even the president of the US-Qatar Business Council, the corporate-media has stepped in to give faces and screams to the alleged victims of Wall Street and London’s premeditated implosion of Syrian society.

The UN’s human rights chief, Navi Pillay had been having difficulties peddling the recycled lies used just months ago to commence NATO and UN-sanctioned genocide in Libya, in what is now verified, even confessed fabrications produced by the Libyan opposition and filtered through corporate foundation-funded Human Rights Watch, the International Criminal Court, and the UN. Additionally, Syria itself had brushed off attempts by the Wall Street and London compromised Arab League and their numerous, feckless attempts to impose ultimatums clearly crafted in Washington and given an “Arab” face.

It is now, just as both efforts have ground to a halt and the Arab League prepares to bring their ultimatums and demands to the UN that Channel 4 in England has released “shocking images of violence and child abuse that proves Syrian torture policy,” reports the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail claims they are the most graphic images ever shown on British television, and surely such an exception has been made because Wall Street and London’s efforts to justify NATO intervention in Syria have stalled. Words such as “believed to be,” “allegedly,” and “strong evidence that” litter the Daily Mail’s article and cast serious doubt on claims that Channel 4′s objectivity-devoid presentation featuring the overtly biased title “Syria’s Torture Machine” provides “‘irrefutable prima facie’ evidence that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is torturing its citizens.”

Then again, “irrefutable prima facie” is what Wall Street and London have depended on to sell one genocidal military conquest after another, from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Libya to the gates of Damascus. In each case, the evidence upon closer examination, revealed the magnitude to which the truth had been stretched, abused, or all together fabricated. Already snipers have been uncovered killing both protesters and Syrian security forces in single confrontations – illustrating a malice element clearly seeking to prolong and expand the violence, conveniently giving the West an opportunity for a repeat performance of their military conquest of Libya.

To the trained eye, “Syria’s Torture Machine” salutes the crass, hamfisted propaganda films of yesteryear that instilled the baseless anger, outrage, and emotions throughout the masses that made the horrors of the World Wars possible. Channel 4 hopes to recapture the success of these vintage films, preying on the ignorance of what it hopes is an impressionable audience, as well as join the ranks of modern day war propaganda like the corporate-fascist Neo-Conservative produced “Iranium.” No mention will most likely be made that Syria’s opposition is entirely funded, supported, even armed, and harbored by NATO members, with the Syrian opposition literally based in London where Channel 4 is also conveniently headquartered.

The timing of Channel 4′s “presentation” and the unprecedented exceptions made to air its violent content publicly, illustrates an eagerness, almost desperation behind the West’s designs toward Syria. Indeed, just as it was with Libya, NATO intervention, the subsequent genocide, and the rise to power of a suitable stooge bent to the West’s agenda will be achieved at any cost. Stretching the credibility of an already discredited corporate-media is a risk the global elite can’t risk not taking.

One must ask themselves, however, how NATO, led by the US who has legalized, normalized, even standardized torture and indefinite detention, stands on any moral ground to use the rhetoric provided by propagandists in London as justification for further meddling in Syria. If Channel 4′s one-sided, clearly biased “presentation” is casus belli for NATO bombers to level Damascus, perhaps they should visit Washington D.C. or Langley, Virginia on the way.

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December 20th, 2011, 12:40 am

 

1502. zoo said:

Press conference this afternoon, the National Council of the Syrian opposition ( translated from french)
19 December 2011
http://directinfo.webmanagercenter.com/2011/12/19/conference-de-presse-cet-apres-midi-du-conseil-national-de-lopposition-syrienne/#more-5050

Meeting for three days in a hotel in the northern suburbs of Tunis, the National Council of the Syrian opposition, after tough discussions between its various groups, will expose, we are told, to representatives of mass media, the international resolutions and the new policy positions of its members, in this delicate phase of the struggle of the Syrian people for their liberation from Baathist regime’s Alawite family, in command of the country for over 40 years.

According to some corroborating sources, the presence of foreign journalists will be massive. A special plane from Europe, with on board more than 200 international press correspondents, has already landed at the airport Tunis-Carthage, to cover the event and collect the statements of of the Syrian leaders expatriates.

In fact, in visiting recently Borhan Ghalioun, president of the National Council of the Syrian opposition, Marzouki, head of the Tunisian state, recalling the refusal of Tunisia to a foreign military intervention in Syria, called the assistance to prevent the militarization and confessionalisation of the revolt of the Syrian people.

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December 20th, 2011, 12:41 am

 

1503. aldendeshe معتز الدندشي said:

انتظر وشوف انه هالاتفاق بحسب البنود اللي قريناها ووافقت سوريا عليها بدا تكون اعادة مسرحية العراق وننصح انه فورا سوريا تعزم روس وصينيين ومن بلاد محايدة لتشارك في المراقبة ودقق من كل مايأتي من المراقبين العرب نحنا عنا معلومات اكتر من سوريا وعم نحكي بالعامة الحمصية حتى نصعب الترجمة بلغوغل ومتلها

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December 20th, 2011, 12:42 am

 

1504. jad said:

Bronco, Zoo,
This draft of the agreement between SNC and LCC, actually it explained why Ghalyoun mentioned the Arab military intervention, it seems that both councils agreed on that, it wasn’t out of SNC creativity, however, going through the plan they have, it’s obvious that they are a bit naive in their expectation of running a country called Syria…fantasy world with limited understanding of the political nightmare of running a country in the heart of the middle eats..now I’m really scared of the future of Syria:

خاص ـ الانتقاد: ملخص وثيقة التفاهم بين هيئة التنسيق ومجلس اسطنبول في اجتماعات القاهرة
باريس ـ نضال حمادة

تشهد القاهرة منذ شهر تقريباً اجتماعات لمعارضين سوريين تحت رعاية الجامعة العربية، ومتابعة بعض الدول العربية ودول غربية تشكل رافعة للضغوط الخارجية على دمشق. وفيما يقيم أعضاء هيئة التنسيق في شقة تفتقر للتدفئة ولأدنى مقومات الرفاهية، ويجمعون الإيجار من معاشاتهم، يقيم أعضاء المجلس الوطني السوري أو مجلس اسطنبول في فندق سميرا ميس الفخم، وهذا الفندق يقيم فيه عادة أعضاء العائلة الحاكمة القطرية لدى زيارتهم القاهرة، وهذا يشير إلى الجهة التي تمول هذه الإقامة الباهظة الثمن.

وبالرغم من الوصول الى مسودة تفاهم سياسي مشترك، بقيت نقاط خلاف عالقة هي التالية:

ـ تبنت هيئة التنسيق اقتراح العمل بلجنتين لإنتاج ورقتين لمؤتمر المعارضة السورية المقبل إحداهما سياسية والأخرى تنظيمية بهدف توحيد الرؤية السياسية للمعارضة السياسية والعمل على الشأن التنظيمي للمؤتمر وخلق إطار سياسي واسع ينبثق من المؤتمر المزمع انعقاده تمثل كل أو معظم أطياف المعارضة السورية وتعمل على متابعة تنفيذ ما ينتج عنه وتكون قادرة على مقابلة الاستحقاق الشعبي والإقليمي والدولي. غير أن المجلس لم يكن موافقاً وأكثر ما يريده هو ورقة سياسية مشتركة تؤمن له إعلامياً على الأقل ادعاء التوصل لتوحيد المعارضة السورية الذي يطلبه الغرب للاعتراف بالمجلس ممثلاً لهذه المعارضات. كما أن الخلاف كان على مكونات اللجان حيث أرادت هيئة التنسيق أن تؤلف الأخيرة من مستقلين ومن الهيئة ومن المجلس ومن ممثلي الحراك، بينما لم يكن المجلس يرغب في ذلك، وكان يريد أن تختصر اللجان به وبهيئة التنسيق. وامتد الخلاف إلى موضوع الإعلان عن الورقة السياسية، حيث كانت رغبة الهيئة أن يتم بمؤتمر صحافي مشترك مع توقيع جميع الأطراف، بينما رفض المجلس هذا الأمر كما رفض أن تكون هناك توقيعات علنية.

ـ أما نقاط التفاهم التي تم الاتفاق عليها فهي:

1ـ وقف المهاترات الإعلامية والعمل على إعطاء توجيهات لخلق مناخ إيجابي بالحد الأدنى يراعي ويحترم حق الاختلاف بين الطرفين وكذلك مع كل طرف سياسي آخر.
2ـ حماية المدنيين بكل الوسائل المشروعة في إطار القانون الدولي لحقوق الإنسان.
3ـ رفض أي تدخل عسكري أجنبي يمس بسيادة واستقلال البلاد وكل ما يؤدي إليه واعتبار التدخل العربي ليس أجنبياً.
4ـ التأكيد على صيانة وتعزيز الوحدة الوطنية للشعب السوري بكل أطيافه ورفض وإدانة الطائفية والتجييش الطائفي وكل ما يؤدي إلى ذلك.
5ـ يعرب الطرفان عن اعتزازهما بمواقف الضباط والجنود السوريين الذين رفضوا الانصياع لأوامر النظام بقتل المدنيين المتظاهرين السلميين المطالبين بالحرية “ونتفهّم أزمة الضمير الإنساني والوطني التي زج بها النظام أبناءنا العسكريين الشرفاء ونحمل النظام كامل المسؤولية في ذلك”.
6ـ اتُّفق على اقتراح كون المدة الانتقالية سنة ويمكن تمديدها بأقصى حد لسنة إضافية أخرى.
7ـ تحديد ماهية المرحلة الانتقالية مع مدتها القصوى فضلاً عن الجهة التي سوف تتحمل مسؤولية السلطة في المرحلة، ومهامها.

أما مهام المرحلة الانتقالية المزعومة فهي سبعة :

1ـ ضمان الأمن والاستقرار الاجتماعي.
2ـ ضمان توفير احتياجات المجتمع والشعب واستمرار دوران العجلة الاقتصادية.
3ـ ضمان الحرية السياسية وحرية التعبير والإعلام.
4ـ ضمان الوصول إلى سلطة مدنية بأسرع وقت واستقلال المؤسسة العسكرية عن الانتماءات السياسية.
5ـ إيجاد الآلية والهيئات المحددة والمواعيد المحددة لكتابة دستور جديد للبلاد.
6ـ ضمان المساواة التامة في الحقوق والواجبات بين المواطنين السوريين بكافة أطياف المجتمع وانتماءات المواطنين في المرحلة الانتقالية.
7ـ خلال هذه المرحلة الانتقالية سيتم احترام كافة المعاهدات الدولية الموقعة من قبل الدولة السورية.

يبقى أن كل ما تقدم يدخل في دائرة التصور والتمني ليس أكثر لأن طرفي المعارضة المذكورين يعترفان في جلساتهما الداخلية بصعوبة سقوط النظام.

http://www.alintiqad.com/essaydetails.php?eid=50123&cid=76

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December 20th, 2011, 1:06 am

 

1505. jad said:

Mina,
This may interest you, the media game!

“Jihad Makdissi
CNN is questioning the authenticity of the video showing a member of the Egyptian forces shooting at protestors …when it comes to Syria nobody question any video !!!
قناة سي ان ان تشكك بصحة الفيديو الذي يظهر عنصر امن مصري يطلقد النار على متظاهرين و توقف عرضه….بالحالة السورية لا احد يشكك لا بقيديو و لا بشاهد عيان”

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December 20th, 2011, 1:10 am

 

1506. Juergen said:

Dale
The link to that Rap/blues poetry is quite something, i was shocked ton see the Muhammad cartoon on top of the page, who makes this blog?

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December 20th, 2011, 1:19 am

 

1507. Uzair8 said:

SFOs statement: #Homs: war academy: more than 500 elements of the acadmey defected, and there are huge sounds of explosions outiside of the academy.
ضباط الجيش السوري الأحرار صفحة ضباط الجيش السوري الأحرار |2011/12/19|: حمص – الكلية الحربية:
انشقاق اكثر من 500 عنصر في الكلية الحربيه بحمص واصوات انفجارات ضخمة خارجه من الكليه

Posted on AJE Live Syria blog 5 hrs ago in the comment section.

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December 20th, 2011, 1:56 am

 

1508. Uzair8 said:

I am upset after earlier reading the report of the upto 70 defectors martyred in Idlib. I wish they had defected more discreetly?

This incident may scare off other potential defectors.
It could anger the general Syrian population and the other soldiers encouraging them to defect.

Whatever the case, I would rather they defected safely. May Allah accept their martyrdom.

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December 20th, 2011, 2:03 am

 

1509. Zoo said:

‘Blue bra girl’ atrocity: Egyptian military police more than brutal (VIDEO)
Published: 18 December, 2011, 14:32
Edited: 19 December, 2011, 14:38

ATTENTION! SHOCKING VIDEO. Some of our viewers may find images disturbing (footage from elfaresboda’s YouTube channel).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iboFV-yeTE&context=C305902aADOEgsToPDskKO5Ok8KKKzHN4fN5stGllX&skipcontrinter=1

The blogosphere is boiling at the cruel beating of a female protester by Egyptian military police, who continued battling protesters in Tahrir Square on Sunday. The clashes, into their fourth day now, have left 10 people dead and hundreds injured.

­The video uploaded on YouTube Sunday reveals the extreme cruelty of the country’s law enforcers during the crackdown on Qasr Al-Ainy Street just off Tahrir Square.

The army soldiers in full riot gear have been savagely beating a seemingly unconscious female protester with big sticks, kicking her and stomping on her chest.

Moments earlier she has been struck countless times in the head and body with batons, while being dragged by the soldiers. She tried to cover her head from the blows with her hands.

Some men were apparently carrying her trying to flee from the military police. But the soldiers caught up with them, knocking down one man, whom they also set upon. All of them and some 150 other protesters were detained and charged with “the use of force and violence against army officers, by preventing them from performing their duties, through assaulting them with rocks, Molotov cocktails, and firearms.” All of the accused appeared before the general prosecution on Sunday – including 9 women, 7 of whom had earlier been hospitalized.

Security forces lashed out ruthlessly on armless civilians and burned down tents that had been put up by activists outside the parliament building to camp in protest against the military rule.

Meanwhile Associated Press also reports of military police openly beating women protesters in the street and slapping elderly people on the face.
(AFP Photo / Mohammed Abed)
(AFP Photo / Mohammed Abed)

Witnesses said they beat and gave electric shocks to men and women dragged into detention, many of them held in the nearby parliament and cabinet buildings.

Aya Emad, a 24-year-old protester, had a broken nose, her arm in a sling, and her other arm bruised. She told Associated Press that troops dragged her by her headscarf and hair into the cabinet headquarters. She said soldiers kicked her on the ground, an officer shocked her with an electrical prod and another slapped her on the face.

Reports suggest the troops swept into buildings from which television crews were filming from and confiscated their equipment and briefly detained journalists.

An Al-Jazeera TV crew claims the soldiers threw their equipment from a balcony, including cameras, batteries and lighting equipment, to the street, landing on a sweet potato cart whose stove started a fire.

Troops also stormed a field hospital set up by protesters next to a mosque in Tahrir, throwing medicine and equipment into the street, protester Islam Mohammed said.

The internet community therefore questions the methods of the military regime who took over power after the ousting of the ex-President Hosni Mubarak in February.

Egypt however is in the midst of multistage parliamentary elections, with the third and final round of voting set for next month in nine of Egypt’s 27 provinces.

The protesters began their sit-in three weeks ago to demand that the nation’s ruling military step down and hand over power to a civilian administration. Over the last three days, the protests turned violent, with at least 10 people killed and over 400 detained by police. Eyewitnesses claim most of the victims died of gunshot wounds. Troops have erected barriers to separate themselves from the crowds, but both sides continue hurling rocks at each other.

November already saw clashes between youth and security forces which left more than 40 dead.

Police then responded with a brutal crackdown. They used water cannons, tear gas and, allegedly, shot live ammunition over the heads of, and then directly at the rioters.

Some of the people killed in the clashes have been confirmed by doctors to have died from gunshot wounds.

When protesters tried to stop Kamai Al-Ganzouri, the new prime minister appointed by Egypt’s military regime, from entering a government building, one man was run over and killed by a military vehicle.
http://rt.com/news/egyptian-military-cruelty-beating-079/

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December 20th, 2011, 2:42 am

 

1510. ann said:

*** WHERE’S VICTORIA NULAND WHEN YOU NEED HER ***

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/12/18/1324209662950/Egyptian-army-soldiers-ar-005.jpg

• The UN’s human rights chief, Navi Pillay, has called for the arrest and prosecution of members of the Egyptian security forces involved in the crackdown on protesters that has left 14 dead and hundreds injured over the past four days (see 4.16pm). Clashes between Egyptian soldiers and protesters in Cairo demanding that the country’s military rulers give up power today entered a fourth day (see 3.23pm), with soldiers and protesters reportedly throwing rocks at one another this afternoon.

• The Supreme Council of Armed Forces said there was a plan “to topple the state” and defended soldiers who it claimed had shown “self-restraint” despite provocation. At a press conference, General Adel Emara said:

There is a methodical and prepared plot to topple the state, but Egypt will not fall … What are we supposed to do when protesters break the law? Should we invite people from abroad to govern our nation? … The media is helping sabotage the state. This is certain.

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December 20th, 2011, 2:46 am

 

1511. ann said:

*** SICK! ***

Film shows spread of fanatic Islam in secular Syria – December 20, 2011

Some Syrian expatriates during one screening were shocked at these scenes, but Meltzer said she wanted to leave the viewers to make their own decisions about the Islamic education and lifestyle depicted.

“I’m not convinced yet, but I’ll get used to it,” one girl tells Houda before her veiling ceremony. “It protects women, it shows you’re a Muslim person,” Houda says, adding: “No one can force anyone.”

The camera brings out many of the contradictions facing the young women.

The girls discuss the hair styles of television presenters and visit fashion shops which they leave after concluding they could never wear the fancy dresses on display.

Satellite channels subject them to a barrage of entertainment programming which Houda says is hindering their ability to focus on learning the Koran. The overwhelming impression is of happy growing teenagers, however.

Houda’s daughter Enas, a forthright 20-year-old studying at the American University in Sharjah, one of the more conservative cities of the United Arab Emirates, says she sees education as affording a chance to engage in Islamic missionary work that people of her mother’s generation did not have.

“I can see I can serve Islam by studying politics or economy. My mum didn’t have that,” she says in fluent American-accented English.

The film’s finale involves a celebration with the girls who have succeeded in memorizing the entire Muslim holy book dressed as if for a wedding in white dresses and tiaras.

They sing a song from which the title is derived: “Now we are veiled, there is light in our eyes.”

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December 20th, 2011, 2:58 am

 

1512. ann said:

Film shows spread of fanatic Islam in secular Syria – December 20, 2011

(first part)

DUBAI (Reuters) – A film about one of thousands of Koranic schools for girls in Syria has shocked some Syrians but impressed others with the implication that one of the bastions of Arab secularism has become a deeply religious society.

In “The Light In Her Eyes,” Houda al-Habash opens up the mosque and school she runs where hundreds of teenage girls, sent there by their parents, spend the summer learning to memorize the Koran and take religious study classes that conclude with most of them taking to the hijab, or Muslim headscarf.

The documentary’s directors, Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix, said they wanted to show that the conservatism depicted in the film reflects the mainstream in Syria today and should be seen as progressive in many respects.

“My experience was Syria and there is this religious population that’s growing and that’s a story that needs to be told about moderate Islam and it’s a story we don’t see, especially in the West,” said Meltzer, who taught journalism at Damascus University in 2005 and 2006.

Speaking to Reuters at the Dubai International Film Festival which ended this weekend, she said that this Islamist community is more organized in many respects than state institutions.

“What I saw in that educational environment (university) was that people did not arrive on time, teachers didn’t really seem to take things seriously,” Meltzer said. “In contrast to that world, going to Houda’s mosque was a really eye-opening, and complex, experience for me where girls were encouraged to read.”

Houda lectures the girls that the veil is an Islamic duty — a view that many Muslims would dispute — that God intended as protection and which for Houda is part of a process of empowering girls to play an active role in society as Muslims.

“The flag is the symbol of the state, but the hijab is the symbol of Islam … you have not been faithful to the symbol,” she tells the girls in one of her group pep talks. “God made the hijab an obligation to protect women from inappropriate looks and preserve her for her husband.”

However, she also tells them in another talk: “Does a woman have a right to be the president of the republic? Yes. Don’t let go your mind, or your choice” — an opinion that is the subject of dispute among Islamist political movements today.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has equivocated on whether women could rise the top positions in the state, while the leader of the Ennahda movement that won elections this year in Tunisia — another bastion of Arab secularism in the post-colonial era — says even non-Muslims could occupy such posts.

MODERATION VS. STRICT FUNDAMENTALISM

The directors splice the documentary with short segments from conservative preachers who argue on television that Muslim women should stay at home, avoid education and not work at all.

This debate between different visions of correct Islamic conduct is far more significant in Syria today than the polemic between secularists and Islamists over the religious values, women and politics, Meltzer said.

“That is the bigger question. Those people who are Salafi-influenced, more conservative, they don’t engage in dialogue,” she said. “The secular community in Syria has definitely been getting smaller.”

Syria has been gripped by unrest since activists began protesting for democratic changes in one of the most tightly run police states in the region.

The government of President Bashar al-Assad argues that it is facing an armed insurrection by Islamists dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood whose rise to power would destroy the balance that Assad’s secular state has maintained. Assad’s Baath party has relied heavily on his Alawite sect to run the security, military and other key arms of the state.

Meltzer said it was not clear to her while living in Syria and filming, the extent of any Brotherhood role in the moderate Islamic conservativism she witnessed and documents in the film.

She said there were only a handful of such girls’ schools in 1982, the year Assad’s father Hafez crushed a Brotherhood revolt, but now there are thousands.

The film includes scenes of girls whose families have sent them to the school deciding to take the veil after gentle persuasion in Houda’s lectures and one-on-one discussion.

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December 20th, 2011, 3:02 am

 

1513. ann said:

Tension rise as Iraq seeks Sunni VP arrest – 9 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/iraq-issues-arrest-warrant-vice-president-hashemi-174008037.html

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi authorities issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Muslim Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi on Monday for suspected ties to assassinations and bombings, a decision likely to fuel sectarian tensions after the U.S. troop withdrawal.

The move risks unraveling Iraq’s fragile power-sharing deal among Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs who have struggled to overcome tensions just a few years after sectarian slaughter drove the country to the edge of a civil war.

Interior Ministry spokesman, Major General Adel Daham, told a news conference confessions by suspects identified as Hashemi’s bodyguards linked the vice president to killings and attacks on Iraqi government and security officials.

“An arrest warrant was issued for Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi according to Article 4 of the terrorism law and is signed by five judges… this warrant should be executed,” Daham said, waving a copy of the document in front of reporters.

The political struggle between Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his Sunni rivals in the country’s delicate power-sharing deal has intensified during the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops nearly nine years after the invasion.

The ministry showed taped confessions, aired on state-run Iraqiya television and other local media, of men it claimed were members of Hashemi’s security detail. The men said they had been paid by his office to carry out killings.

The three men shown on television detailed the assassinations they were told to carry out by Hashemi’s aides including planting roadside bombs and driveby shootings of security and government officials.

One man said he was handed $3,000 as a reward by Hashemi himself.

But the identity of the men could not be independently confirmed.

Hashemi, who could not be contacted for a response, was in Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous enclave in the north, Kurdish political sources said. Kurdistan has its own government and security forces, making Hashemi’s immediate arrest unlikely.

In a statement earlier on Monday, Hashemi accused Maliki’s government of “deliberate harassment” after his plane was delayed for three hours at Baghdad airport. He had been heading for the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya to meet the Iraqi president.

Security forces arrested three Hashemi bodyguards on their way back from the airport, the statement said, adding military forces surrounding Hashemi’s house for weeks had been beefed up.

“The vice-president has been very patient and is waiting for a reasonable explanation from the government parties concerned,” the statement said.

DEEPENING CRISIS

Fearing a deepening crisis that could push Iraq back into sectarian turmoil, senior Iraqi politicians were holding talks with Maliki and other leaders to contain the dispute.

The U.S. ambassador in Iraq was in contact with senior Iraqi leaders, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad said, without providing details on which figures or the matters under discussion.

Violence has ebbed sharply since the peak of attacks in 2006-07 when suicide bombings and hit-squads claimed thousands of victims in tit-for-tat killing between Sunni and Shi’ite communities.

But sectarian tensions are close to the surface and still color many aspects of Iraqi political life.

The completion of the U.S. withdrawal on Sunday left many Iraqis fearful that a shaky peace deal between majority Shi’ites and minority Sunnis might collapse and reignite sectarian violence.

Maliki over the weekend asked parliament for a vote of no-confidence against another leading Sunni politician, Saleh al-Mutlaq, who is deputy prime minister, on the grounds that he lacked faith in the political process.

Hashemi and Mutlaq are both leaders of the Iraqiya bloc, a secular group backed by minority Sunnis, which joined Maliki’s unity government only reluctantly and recently boycotted parliament sessions after complaining of being marginalized

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December 20th, 2011, 3:08 am

 

1514. Juergen said:

Here are the two new reports of Dietmar Ossenberg und Jörg Armbruster. Again said they are both in Syria and allowed to work under supervison of the regime, both are very experienced reporters who both are stationed in Cairo. Both were on the same guided tour.

Ossenberg:

We are on the motorroute from Damascus to Homs. 20 km before reaching the city limits we see soldiers. Homs is today under fog and under fear. We see cehckpoints and the suburbs seemed to have been sealed off, if they want to crackdown the revolt in the city, we can not verify it.
What they show is the suffering and death of syrian soldiers. 4 are putting to rest today.
( young man shouting) They have slaughtered my brother, the armed mercenaries came out of Lebanon. Many of the soldiers were killed through booby traps or tracked in ambushes and then shot at, as they say to us, but again we can not verify what they say.

Its true that in battles the soldiers are hurt and killed. That may be an indicator that the peaceful demonstrations in the beginning have turned more and more violently.
(young man in hospital) I was on guard when masked men came and shot at me.
The goevernor of Homs denies that there are defectors fighting against the armed forces at this moment. Weapons, money and mercenaries are coming out of Lebanon and out of turkey to us he said. Every step we take is monitored and filmed by the syrian tv. They want as they said to us verify if today at least the truth is said by the foreign media. Everything must account as evidence that this is not an syrian conflict. ( Director of the hospital) These are ammunition we found in the bodies of our soldiers. They are coming from Israel the archenemy of the country.

Homs has 1.5 mio inhabitants and the areas which they let us see looked normal, but many shops and apartments seemed to be abandoned.From the distance we hear shootings. If those come from battles or if demonstrators are shot at, we do not know. Many inhabitants seemed to be traumatic.
( young boy) Everyday there are shootings and many get hijacked.

We are now in an residential area of Homs where mostly Alawites are living. Inside an hospital we find civilians who have been shoot at while they were on the streets.
( women in hospital) They shoot at us because we have the same religion of the president.
Even hijacking is now a daily routine in Homs.

Not everything is just propaganda, the violent clashes turn more and more into a religios war, sunnis against alawites. That could be the first signs of an civil war.

http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/1524292/Nordkorea-Diktator-Kim-Jong-Il-ist-tot?setTime=4#/beitrag/video/1524702/Syrien:-Journalisten-d%C3%BCrfen-einreisen

Armbruster:

War in Homs? No just a few terrorists who got financed from foreign countries are making trouble in the city. Thats what the information ministry has told us beforehand to our guided trip to the 3rd largest city of Syria. So no war in Homs. On the way to Homs we see other pictures, trucks filled with soldiers, happily shaking their Kalashnikovs, as if they are on their way to a party.
Obviously they are an amplification to the frontlines.
Arriving in Homs : checkpoints, every car is checked, just our bus from the government is waived through.
First we are taken to an military hospital. We are awaited by an crowd of people ready for an funeral. Even the governeur of Homs is present, all just waited for the foreign media to arrive.

Mourning march, the syrian way.

4 soldiers killed in fights with insurgents.900 overall are accounted dead said the military. And those 5000 civilian deaths as the UN report suggests? All propaganda say the generals to us.
Also for the relatives of the victims the sides are clear.

(man with kefiyeh)
He died for his country and his president, said this father, and added, i hope that he is the last victim in this fight.
(other man ) The terrorists are coming out of lebanon and they want to harm us here in Syria.

Afterwards we are taken to an hospital. The soldiers who are treated here were sentenced to inspection.One doctor is showing us in one room, young soldiers which been shot in the stomach, just a few days ago.
Not very sensitive how the doctor is treating his patients,but the camera should get forceful images. That is the work of terrorists.
(soldier in bed) At a checkpoint they came to us and shoot at us.The sitiuation is very bad for us outside, every day we are targeted.

The military is not responsible for the state of the country that shall be the message of those pictures we gather. The insurgencies are made by foreign terrorists. Our tour through Homs continues. We wanted to talk with inhabitants of an sunni residential area, and we are taken to an aliwite and christian residential area, all of them are true supporters of the president.
The answers are expeceted.
(Man)
The situation in Homs is not good, in some areas terrorists are killing and hijacking people.
We hope that the military will take control again of the situation.
(women)
Yes there are some people with guns, but we go to school and to university.
So war in Homs, not in this area.
From the distance we hear heavy gunshoots. We must go back to Damascus we are told by our truly nervous minder.

http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/syrien946.html

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December 20th, 2011, 3:20 am

 

1515. Revlon said:

The following was a comment in Arabic posted on Aljazeera.net from a civilian in jisr AlShughour describing the plight of the city and the army and security forces organised looting of shops.
It brings memories of the looting of Hama city when whole home furniture and appliances were moved from evacuated homes by military trucks to the mountains, in 1982!!

20/12/2011

Comment 186
بس عطيني الضو الاخضر
جســــــــــــــــــــــر الشغــــــــــــــــــور
ياياناس الامن والشبيحة عميدخل عالمحلات يلي مأضربة بحجة فك الاضراب بس الحقيقة انوالامن والشبيحة استباحت المدينة ونازلين سرقة بالمحلات تحت عنوان فك الاضراب,, الامن عبا سيارات مواد مسروقة تلفزيونات غسالات برادات موبايلات يعني يلي بدو يتزوج منن اجا عجسر الشغور منشان يجهز بيتو, اقسم بربي ما ضل ابشع من هيك نظام يسقط يسقط يسقط
http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9279BA21-61AD-42B8-B1CB-203445264266.htm?GoogleStatID=1

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December 20th, 2011, 3:28 am

 

1516. Habib said:

Interesting how there are no videos from Syria showing actual beatings and killings as in Egypt, only people lying on the ground and running around…

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December 20th, 2011, 4:35 am

 

1517. Mina said:

Jurgen
How come Dietmar Ossenberg endorses the anthem “now that the opposition is increasingly militarized” ?
Can’t he just check SC archive where Joshua Landis has documented last April how a so-called attack by the evil army on soldiers who would have refused to carry orders was actually an attack on the army by some armed men?
Uzayr reports of 500 defectors in Homs academy and the sound of explosions: this one has been used by al Jazeera almost once every month as a “breaking news”, as also the one about the “defection of the security basis near the Mezze airport” without any proofs given any time.
Le Monde is still the best piece to read if one wants to know the French agenda. Last friday they had a title about 200,000 demonstrators in Homs, but in the article the only concrete element was a reference to some 10,000 in some areas!! From 10,000 to 200,000 just a quick jump.

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December 20th, 2011, 5:03 am

 

1518. Mina said:

Jurgen
How come Dietmar Ossenberg endorses the anthem “now that the opposition is increasingly militarized” ?
Can’t he just check SC archive where Joshua Landis has documented last April how a so-called attack by the evil army on soldiers who would have refused to carry orders was actually an attack on the army by some armed men?
Uzayr reports of 500 defectors in Homs academy and the sound of explosions: this one has been used by al Jazeera almost once every month as a “breaking news”, as also the one about the “defection of the security basis near the Mezze airport” without any proofs given any time.
Le Monde is still the best piece to read if one wants to know the French agenda. Last friday they had a title about 200,000 demonstrators in Homs, but in the article the only concrete element was a reference to some 10,000 in some areas!! From 10,000 to 200,000 just a quick jump.
What I still don’t understand is who tortured the body of Hamza? Frankly if the mukhabaraat had done that, would they have returned the body to the family?

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December 20th, 2011, 5:06 am

 

1519. defender said:

Organized Criminal Groups ( OCG )
Today in the USA exists about 1,4 million active members of the criminal groups united more than in 33 000 gangs. Number of bandit groups has essentially grown in northeast and southeast regions of the country. However the most criminalized there are western areas and area of Great Lakes. The number of the groupings united on a principle Fellow countrymen and on an ethnic basis has essentially increased.
Gangs are responsible more than for 48 percent of grave crimes in the majority of states, and in some states this level reaches 90 percent. Big cities and their suburbs test today the greatest pressure from party( OCG ). Local gangs and groups of drug dealers continue to pose the most essential threat in the majority of communities. Aggressive recruitment of teenagers and immigrants, the conclusion of the conjunctions and struggle for repartition of spheres of influence between gangs has led to expansion of influence ( OCG )in many states.
Even more often( OCG ) are engaged in nonconventional kinds of crimes, such as contraband, human trafic and prostitution. Members( OCG ) are even more often involved in беловоротничковую criminality that less risky, than traditional kinds of criminal activity – traffic in arms and drugs.
The American gangs have established close labor relations with центральноамериканскими and the Mexican criminal syndicates that has led to expansion of their international criminal activity.
Considerable number of members( OCG ) continue to take part in activity of bandit groups, being in jails. Members of families give in it to them essential support. That many members ( OCG )which is in jails, accept radical religious sights separately is underlined.
Gangs actively encourage advancement of the members, and also relatives of members of bandit groups on supervising posts in bodies state and judicial authority that gives the chance for( OCG ) to get access to the important information, in particular, about preparing spot-checks of law enforcement bodies.
Penetration of gangs in armed forces of the USA continues to pose essential threat. It is established at least 53( OCG ) operating simultaneously in military divisions and abroad places of their basing. Experts of the Center notice that members of bandit groups who get access to studying of modern arms and perspective methods of struggle in armed forces, make use of the received experience and skills in activity( OCG ).
It is established that number( OCG ) was got lately by army systems of shooting arms that poses essential threat in case of occurrence of the conflict to law enforcement bodies.

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December 20th, 2011, 5:55 am

 

1520. Mina said:

Arab Spring or “Fundamentalists of the world, get united” ?

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/egypt-s-radical-islamist-party-vows-to-respect-peace-treaty-with-israel-1.402547

“The Palestinians cannot continue to hold the Arab world by the tail.”

Women should start on-line businesses wherever they are. It will soon be promoted at the UN as the best answer to the economic turmoil! Al mar’a sitt bayt, isn’t it Tara?

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December 20th, 2011, 6:28 am

 

1521. Mina said:

The Guardian condemns Syrian gov for passing a law punishing the distribution and sell of weapons by death penalty. Just wait for the next Brixton riot… It’s getting silly, ain’t it?

11.06am: Syria’s president Assad has a signed a new law that will impose the death penalty on anyone caught distributing weapons “with the aim of committing terrorist acts”.
(http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2011/12/20/389452.htm)
The regime has branded political opponents as terrorists since the start of the uprising, so the new law appears to be another signal of its determination to carry on with the crackdown.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2011/dec/20/syria-egypt-middle-east-unrest-live-updates

Probably to get some sympathy to the Syrian MBs, and confuse readers, the Guardian immediately follows this news with this one, which this time is about Egypt, but this is not mention anywhere.

10.49am: The Democratic Alliance, a political bloc in which the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party is the biggest player, has released a statement throwing its support firmly behind the protesters.

Confirming its intention to participate in the sit-in at the supreme judiciary court until violence against protesters is halted and executive powers are handed over to the new parliament, it says:

Scaf (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) has failed in the management of the transitional period up to this critical moment, and it bears full responsibility for immediate cessation of violence, abuse of the citizens, assault of female demonstrators, the targeting of the revolutionaries who stood in the face of heavy-handed attacks, and for the immediate release of all protesters detained for no legal reason.

The conferees insist on bringing to justice and accountability military leaders and security officials responsible for ordering and carrying out violent attacks on the protesters, sitters and demonstrators, and on the formation of a special independent judicial commission of inquiry to take the necessary measures for the afore-mentioned purpose with full authority to initiate an investigation with the military and the security forces in charge of the area at the time. The conferees also condemn attempts to tarnish the image of the revolution and the revolutionaries who were always determined to maintain the peaceful nature of their protest and sit-in, which lasted nearly three weeks without any attack on a single institution.

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December 20th, 2011, 6:35 am

 

1522. Mina said:

The West is really going to think twice before helping the Arab Spring anymore: they don’t even respect their white masters anymore!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/19/libyan-rebel-abdel-hakim-belhadj

• A Libyan military commander and rebel leader has launched legal proceedings against the British government over his rendition and alleged “barbaric” treatment meted out to him and his pregnant wife. Abdel Hakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and a former leader of the militant Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is suing ministers and MI6 for the part he claims they played in secretly sending him and his wife to Libya in March 2004.

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December 20th, 2011, 7:12 am

 

1523. Revlon said:

FSA unit facilitates defection of a military intelligence unit with their vehicle today.
AlQawriya, Deir-Ezzor

سرية زيد بن حارثة التابعة لكتيبة الله أكبر تسيطر على سيارة للامن العسكري وانشقاق عناصرها 2011 19 12

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December 20th, 2011, 7:12 am

 

1524. defender said:

TO SLANGS AND JARGONS :
German Arms Go East
| 20.12.2011 |
The 2010 German government’s annual Defense Exports Report reaffirmed the trend to extention that had already been confirmed by Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI).

As SIPRI review says Germany’s world market arms sales share increased from 7% to 11% in 2006-2010. Today Germany is the third leading weapons exporter in the world. The USA is the leader with 30% of world armaments sales followed by the Russian Federation with 23%. France (7%) and Great Britain (4%) are among the leading arms suppliers.

The 2010 figures shows for the first time German companies arms sales income exceeding € two billion. It means the growth is 60% in comparison with 2009 and almost three times more as to the end of 1990s.

The Germans primary concern is exports growth, they care little about how the weapons are going to be used. Take Bahrain for instance, France, Spain, Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands banned arms sales to this country, but not Germany. This policy comes under criticism from the opposition. Only this year it has introduced 16 interpellations demanding to stop arms exports to Bahrain as well as Egypt, Libya, Syria, Algiers, Tunisia, Oman, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar. As parliament voting results show the opposition fraction is left alone here; only 66 members supported the move, over 300 said no, about 200 abstained (1).

The Social Democrats stepped out against the planned liberalization of the issuance of permits for the supply of weapons regulations. But the move was dismissed by the parliament, 60% abstained, over 300 members failed the request (2). The government tries to loosen restrictions on weapons sales. In particular it tries to make the European Commission simplify control of duel use goods exports. The standing German regulations say a special permit is to be obtained by producers in case of exporting weapons systems destined to be directly used in combat (fire arms or tanks, for instance). In the 1990s an annual arms sales permits were equal to € 2-3 billion, in 2010 he figure was € 4.75 billion.

In summer 2011 a scandal broke down in parliament over a permit for 270 Leopard-2 tanks sale to Saudi Arabia. Back then the tanks got high praise from military, especially from the Canadians who tested the Leopard – 2A7 in Afghanistan. This last upgrade version was designed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall for urban warfare. The demand goes beyond the Middle East. In November 2011 Krauss-Maffei Wegmann signed a Leopard 1A5 € multi million five year maintenance contract with Brazil. 100 Leopard 2A6 tanks were supplied to Indonesia in 2010. Take note tanks supplies to China are under EU embargo. The Saudi Arabia tank deal the ban vote was turned down as a result of the Greens and Social-Democrats abstention. The vote result shows the political elite’s disregard for the people: as the polls show 73% of population say yes to the Saudi Arabia tank deal ban; only 22% of the questioned say no. As party affiliation votes confirm 86% of Greens supporters say no, as well as 77% in case of Social-Democrats and 76% among the Left supporters. Even the majority of those who support the ruling coalition speak out against; 69% as it goes for Liberals and 59% of the CDU/CSU adherents. Totally 78% of Germany’s population speaks out against arms exports.

The Greens are not as radical as the Liberals on the issue. But they deem it necessary to ban exports to the countries that are notorious for significant human rights violations. Besides, the Greens want tightening of legislative control: they want the planned deals to go through a substantiation process in Parliament. That’s what a corresponding Bundestag interpellation says, the one that got together the whole opposition. Still the demands were declined by the 309 against 265 votes majority ruling with one MP abstained (4). The Left party thinks arms sales should be banned to Israel too because of Arab minority discrimination.

It’s the geography of German arms exports that catches an eye. The two directions are becoming more and more distinct: first – the Persian Gulf, second – South, South-East Asia. Those who in theory could join anti-Iran or anti-China coalition…

The Persian Gulf shift has become evident since 2007. As the 2010 figures say the main German arms receivers in the region were: UAE (€ 262,5 million), Saudi Arabia (152,5), Kuwait and Oman (20 each), Bahrain (16,5) and Qatar (4). Saudi Arabia imports aerial intelligence systems, the Emirates bring Germany in to build a combat training facility. Situated at the distance of 250 km from Iran (through the Strait) Al Dhafra air base is used for regular exercises. The facility construction was a joint project with the USA, Great Britain and France back in 2003. Initially the US and Britain’s air forces took part in the drills. France, Saudi Arabia and Qatar joined later. Since 2010 Germany joined the team too.

Talking about the second direction, India’s German military equipment imports in 2010 were €100 million, by and large the same figure goes for Pakistan. The South Korea’s permits are equal to € 271 million, Singapore -54, Malaysia – 40, Thailand – 13. South Korea was the biggest German arms receiver in 2008 with naval vessels as priority on the list. Those who have sea disputes with Beijing are also German weapons buyers. For instance Brunei paid € half a million for patrol craft in 2009. The Sultanate and China dispute a group of South China Sea islands. Thus Germany shows a long term arms exports extension trend. Its geography displays a wide gap between Berlin’s human rights rhetoric and its security policy. At he same time there is a obvious mismatch between Germany’s ruling circles military exports growth policy and the public opinion that rejects it.

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December 20th, 2011, 7:17 am

 

1525. Revlon said:

A warm welcome to the new Generals of Post-Assad Syrian army!

The Syrian military council has bestowed higher rankings upon all of its members, including its top brass.
Such a smart move shall assert their leadership in the burgeoning new army of Syria on the one hand, and provide material incentive for hesitant Assad army personel to defect in order to stand a chance to improve their ranking in the future army of new Syria.

Once the regime is ousted and the top Assad army commanders is either on the run or arrested for crimes against humanity, the Syrian military establishment and its intelligence arms shall be in the safe hands of the new Generals of Syria.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
النشرة العسكرية للجيش السوري الحر
http://www.freesyrianarmy1.com/ar/node/131

الجمهورية العربية السورية
الجيش السوري الحر
الرقم : 3 / ن
التاريخ: 19/12/2011
العدد رقم: /1/ تاريخ : الرابع والعشرين من شهر محرم /1433/ هجرية
الموافق: التاسع عشر من شهر كانون الأول من العام 2011 ميلادية
أولاً: الترقية الإستثنائية إلى رتبة اللواء:
من رتبة عقيد:
رياض موسى الأسعد
مالك عبد الحليم كردي
أحمد حجازي حجازي
عرفات رشيد الحمود
عارف محمد نور الحمود
ويأخذون أقدمياتهم وفق التسلسل السابق
ثانياً: الترقية إلى رتبة العميد إستثنائياً: كافة الضباط من رتبة المقدم المنشقون عن الجيش العربي السوري والمنتسبون إلى الجيش السوري الحر حتى تاريخ 15/12/2011 مع الإحتفاظ بالقدم وفقاً لكشوفات الترقية السابقة.
ثالثاً: الترقية إلى رتبة العقيد إستثنائياً: كافة الضباط من رتبة الرائد المنشقون عن الجيش العربي السوري والمنتسبون إلى الجيش السوري الحر حتى تاريخ 15/12/2011 مع الإحتفاظ بالقدم وفقاً لكشوفات الترقية السابقة.
رابعاً: الترقية إلى رتبة المقدم إستثنائياً: كافة الضباط من رتبة النقيب المنشقون عن الجيش العربي السوري والمنتسبون إلى الجيش السوري الحر حتى تاريخ 15/12/2011 مع الإحتفاظ بالقدم وفقاً لكشوفات الترقية السابقة.
خامساً: الترقية إلى رتبة الرائد: كافة الضباط من رتبة الملازم أول المنشقون عن الجيش العربي السوري والمنتسبون إلى الجيش السوري الحر حتى تاريخ 15/12/2011 مع الإحتفاظ بالقدم وفقاً لكشوفات الترقية السابقة.
سادساً: الترقية إلى رتبة النقيب: كافة الضباط من رتبة الملازم المنشقين عن الجيش العربي السوري والمنتسبين إلى الجيش السوري الحر حتى تاريخ 15/12/2011 مع الإحتفاظ بالقدم وفقاً لكشوفات الترقية السابقة.
سابعاً: الترقية إلى رتبة ملازم أول: كافة المرشحون المنشقون عن الجيش العربي السوري و المنتسبين إلى الجيش السوري الحر حتى تاريخ 15/12/2011 مع الإحتفاظ بالقدم وفقاً لكشوفات الترقية السابقة.
ثامناً: الترقية إلى رتبة الملازم: كافة صف الضباط المنشقون عن الجيش العربي السوري وقوى الأمن الداخلي المنتسبين إلى الجيش السوري الحر من رتبة المساعد والمساعد أول حتى تاريخ 15/12/2011 مع الإحتفاظ بالقدم.
تاسعاً: يمنح كافة الطلاب الضباط في الكليات والمعاهد العسكرية المنشقون عن الجيش العربي السوري والمنتسبون إلى الجيش السوري الحر حتى تاريخ 15/12/2011 قدماً ممتازاً مدته أربع سنوات.
عاشراً: إعادة الضباط المسرحين تعسفياً بسبب موقفهم من النظام الراغبين بالإنتساب إلى الجيش السوري الحر وفقاً للقوانين والأنظمة النافذة

اللواء رياض موسى الأسعد
قائد الجيش السوري الحر

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December 20th, 2011, 7:26 am

 

1526. Juergen said:

Mina

Sorry i find the story of Hamza convincing. I asked my friends in Damascus and Aleppo, they all agreed that this custom to send back the molested body has been in practice by the syrian muhabarat for long, some ichwan families received such “packages” if they were lucky, many have disappeared and we all shall wait until the regime is gone to find the massgraves near tadmor and elsewhere.

Something else, he and Armbruster both reported that there were heavy gunfire in the distance. The minders did not want them any closer so they could not verify why there was gunfire, either caused by armed unrest or demonstrators. If you control what the reporter sees and who he talks to, surely you also control the images and the opinions. Ossenberg has specifically asked to stop in an sunni neighborhood and talk to sunni opinion, and was driven to an christian alawite neighborhood. Free movement of the press has more or less in Syria an different meaning i suppose.

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December 20th, 2011, 7:37 am

 

1527. Revlon said:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

بيان صادر عن الجيش السوري الحر كتيبة العمري
http://www.freesyrianarmy1.com/ar/node/130
20/12/2011

قامت مجموعة من كتيبة العمري بالتصدي للعصابات الأسدية في درعا الحراك و تم تدمير دبابة وباصين تدميرا كاملا وقتل 35 من الأمن والشبيحة وجرح العشرات وكما استشهد 7 من ابطال الجيش السوري الحر
الرحمة والخلود لشهدائنا الأبرار

AlOmari Battalion confronted Assad gangsters in AlHrak, Dar3a today and infilcted the following losses:
- Destruction of 1 Tank.
- Destruction of two busses
- Killing 35 and wounding scores of Assad Sahbbeeha and security forces.

Our casualties included 7 martyrs.
AlFatiha upon their souls
May God bless their families with solace and empower them with fortitude.

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December 20th, 2011, 7:40 am

 

1528. Revlon said:

المجلس الوطني السوري
http://www.facebook.com/TheSyrianNationalCouncil/posts/249167775150695

البيان الختامي لمؤتمر المجلس الوطني السوري الأول
المنعقد في 17 و18/ 12 / 2011

عقد المجلس الوطني السوري المؤتمر الأول لهيئته العامة في تونس العاصمة في17 و18 كانون الأول ديسمبر 2011، وقد وجه المؤتمرون تحية إلى الشعب السوري البطل الذي صبر واستمر في ثورته السلمية من أجل الكرامة والحرية،وأفشل كل مخططات النظام في جره إلى الاقتتال الأهلي والسيناريوهات المظلمة.

كما وجه المجلس دعوة إلى المتريثين من أبناء شعبنا وجيشنا الذين لم يلتحقوا بالثورة إلى أن يكونوا جزءاً منها.
وناقش المجلس القضايا الأساسية المتضمنة في جدول أعماله، وخلص إلى النتائج التالية:

على الصعيد التنظيمي:
______________________
ناقش المؤتمر وأقر البرنامج السياسي للمجلس الوطني السوري، والنظام الأساسي الذي ينظم العمل والعلاقات بين مختلف المؤسسات، وأعاد هيكلة مكاتبه التخصصية باستثمار الطاقات المتوافرة، لتحقيق المشاركة الفاعلة لكل القوى السياسية وقوى الحراك الثوري والشخصيات الوطنية المستقلة المنضمة للمجلس, بما في ذلك تعزيز حضور المرأة في مؤسساته.
وأكد المجلس سعيه إلى مواصلة جهود توحيد الصف الوطني، وتوسيع العمل الوطني المشتركوتكريسه، كضمانة أكيدة لنجاح الثورة وتحقيق أهدافها الإنسانية في الحرية والكرامة.

على الصعيد السياسي الداخلي:
____________________________
– جدد المجلس التزامه بخيارات الشعب السوري وأهداف ثورته المتمثلة في إسقاط النظام برأسه وكل رموزه وأركانه، وبناء سورية الجديدة ،دولة مدنية ديمقراطية تعددية يتساوى فيها أبناؤها – نساءً ورجالاً – في ظل سيادة القانون.

– أكد المجلس التزامه بالاعتراف الدستوري بالهوية القومية الكردية ، واعتبار القضية الكردية جزءاً من القضية الوطنية العامة في البلاد، ودعا إلى حلها على أساس رفع الظلم وتعويض المتضررين والإقرار بالحقوق القومية للشعب الكردي ضمن إطار وحدة سورية أرضاً وشعباً.
أكد المجلس التزامه بالاعتراف الدستور بالهوية القومية الاشورية السريانية ،و دعا الى حل هذه القضية ضمن إطار وحدة الوطن.

– شدد المجلس على نبذ التمييز ضد أي من مكونات المجتمع السوري :الدينية والمذهبية والقومية (من عرب وكرد و آشوريين سريان وتركمان وغيرهم )، في إطار دولة المواطنة.

-تعهد المجلس ببذل كل جهد لتوفير كل متطلبات استمرار الشعب السوري في ثورته السلمية, بما في ذلك متطلبات إغاثة المناطق المنكوبة بشكل عاجل، وإنجاح “إضراب الكرامة” على طريق العصيان المدني.

-يطالب المجلس الوطني السوري ومؤسساته، الجامعة العربية والأمم المتحدة والمجتمع الدولي بضرورة حماية المدنيين والثوار في سورية وذلك في مناطق آمنة وأخرى عازلة والتحرك السريع من أجل ذلك.

– تعهدالمجلس بتوفير الدعم والرعاية للجيش السوري الحر معترفاً بدوره المشرف في حماية ثورة شعبنا السلمية.

– أكد المجلس على حشد كل الطاقات لحصار النظام إعلامياً واقتصادياً وسياسياً ودبلوماسياً حتى إسقاطه.

– أقر المجلس رؤيته للمرحلة الانتقالية، والمبادئ العامة لسورية الجديدة، التي يسعى إلى تحقيق توافق وطني عام عليها، ودعا المجلس السوريين جميعاً إلى التلاحم والوحدة في مواجهة الظلم والطغيان، وإلى الانضمام إلى الثورة والمشاركة في صناعة مستقبل سورية.

على الصعيد الخارجي:
______________________
– أكد المجلس حرصه على التعاون مع جامعة الدول العربية والمجتمع الدولي والمنظمات الدولية لتحقيق أهداف الثورة السورية وخياراتها، وحذر من مراوغات النظام المستمرة للالتفاف على المبادرات والعقوبات المفروضة عليه، مؤكداً العمل على قطع الطريق على منح أي مهل إضافية للنظام.

– كما شدد على ضرورة تحمل الدول والشعوب مسؤولياتها الأخلاقية والإنسانية تجاه شعبنا الذي يتعرض لأبشع الجرائم ضد الانسانية، مؤكداً أن مصلحة الدول هي مع الشعب السوري وليست مع النظام الحاكم الآفل.

– وأكد المجلس أن سورية الجديدة التي ستعمل على استعادة السيادة الوطنية في الجولان المحتل، وتدعم الحقوق الكاملة والمشروعة للشعب الفلسطيني؛ سوف تكون عامل استقرار حقيقي في المنطقة، بعكس النظام القمعي المهدِّد للاستقرار والدولة الوطنية، الذي يستجلب التدخل الدولي في شؤون سورية، وهو وحده يتحمل المسؤولية عما تؤول إليه الأمور في البلاد.
* * *
تحية إلى شهداء الحرية الذين ارتقت أرواحهم إلى بارئها عزيزة كريمة …
تحية إلى الأم السورية المكلومة .. وإلى أطفال الحرية الذين سفكت دماؤهم بغير ذنب.

تحية إلى رجال سورية ونسائها وشبابها وبناتها.. الذين ما زالوا صابرين محتسبين صامدين، حتى النصر على الاستبداد والتحرر من الظلم والاضطهاد.

تحية إلى الجيش الحر وكل الجنود وضباط الصف والضباط الأحرار الذين رفضوا قتل الأهل والأطفال من أبناءشعبهم ووطنهم.

تحية إلى تونس الشقيقة الحرة، رئيساً وحكومة وشعباً، الذين احتضنوا مؤتمرنا الأول، في الذكرى السنوية الأولى لاندلاع ثورة الحرية التونسية.
تحية إلى كل الشعوب والحكومات التي تضامنت مع الشعب السوري في ثورته من أجل الحرية.

ألف تحية إلى شعبنا الأبي، الذي يتقدم بثقة وثبات نحو مستقبله الزاهر المشرق بإذن الله.

الاثنين في 18 من كانون الأول/ديسمبر 2011م

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December 20th, 2011, 7:51 am

 

1529. Revlon said:

Syrian National Council المجلس الوطني السوري

http://www.facebook.com/TheSyrianNationalCouncil

إعلام و صحافة دولية
============
«الجيش السوري الحر»:
التوقيع لا يعني شيئا لنا
سيواصل أعماله الدفاعية
FSA shall continue guarding and defending civilians, notwithstanding the perfunctory signing of AL protocol!

في حين كان يمتنع الجيش السوري الحر بقيادة رياض الأسعد عن التعليق على توقيع مبادرة المراقبين العرب إلى سوريا في انتظار إلى ما ستؤول إليه الأمور على الأرض، أكد عضو الأمانة العامة في المجلس الوطني السوري المعارض بشار الحراكي لـ«الشرق الأوسط» أنه «تم التواصل والتشاور بين أعضاء لجنة التنسيق المؤلفة من أعضاء من المجلس الوطني والجيش الحر، وقد تم الاتفاق على أن عمل الجيش سيبقى مستمرا في مهمته الدفاعية عن المدنيين إذا لم يتم تنفيذ كامل بنود المبادرة العربية بما فيها سحب المظاهر المسلحة من الطرقات وعدم قتل المتظاهرين، أما إذا تم تنفيذ هذا الاتفاق، فعندها لن يكون الجيش الحر بحاجة إلى القيام بعملياته الدفاعية».

كذلك، أكد وائل ميرزا أمين سر الأمانة العامة في المجلس الوطني السوري أن عمل «الجيش الحر» لن يتغير وسيبقى يقوم بعمله في حماية المدنيين بحسب الاتفاق الذي تم بينه وبين المجلس الوطني. وقال لـ«الشرق الأوسط»: «مسألة التوقيع على البروتوكول لا تعني بالنسبة إلينا شيئا، ولن يؤثر على أرض الواقع، والجيش السوري الحر سيبقى يقوم بأعماله الدفاعية كما هي عليه اليوم، فهو يقوم بحماية المدنيين وليس هناك أي ملاحظات على عمله، لا سيما أن الأمر له علاقة بالتنفيذ وليس التوقيع، وما إذا كان سيتم سحب العسكريين والشبيحة والآليات وإدخالها إلى الثكنات».

وفي ما يتعلق بما نشرته مجلة «تايم» الأميركية حول الاقتراح الذي تم تقديمه في المؤتمر الذي عقده المجلس الوطني في تونس، والذي يرتكز على الطلب من المؤسسة العسكرية السورية أن تمتنع عن مهاجمة الجيش السوري الحر المؤلف من منشقين، ومطالبة قوات الأسد بتجميد عملها والوقوف على الحياد «في النزاع السياسي الداخلي»، قال ميرزا: «لا يمكن الطلب من أي جيش وطني أن يوقف أعماله ويقف على الحياد في وضع كهذا، لكننا نطلب منه أن يحذو حذو الجيش السوري الحر ويدافع عن المواطنين والمتظاهرين».

من جهته، أكد عضو المجلس الوطني أديب الشيشكلي لـ«الشرق الأوسط» أن عمل الجيش السوري الحر في حماية المواطنين الذين يتظاهرون بشكل سلمي ويقتلون، سيستمر كما هو، ويضيف: «المجلس الوطني معترف بشرعية هذا الجيش الذي يستمد أيضا شرعيته من السوريين والمتظاهرين. وإذا تم تنفيذ البروتوكول ودخل المراقبون إلى سوريا، فسيدخلون ويخرجون في ظل وجود الجيش الحر وعناصره على الأرض».

كذلك كان رئيس المجلس الوطني برهان غليون قد وجه في المؤتمر الصحافي الذي عقده أمس، تحية إلى «الجيش السوري الحر» وقال: «طبعا هناك عنف، لكننا نرفض المساواة بين عدوين، فهناك عنف وهناك دفاع عن النفس ضد العنف. المسلحون في الأحياء يحملون السلاح لحماية المدنيين لأنه لا يمكن السكوت عن الاعتقالات والتعذيب والقتل الوحشي للناس».(الشرق الأوسط).

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December 20th, 2011, 8:00 am

 

1530. Juergen said:

Defender

Believe me that most Germans would not support our government in arms deals with Saudi Arabia nor Bahrain. Our law concerning such deals are tough, no sale should be made if such countries who buy the weapons would be at risk of using them against their own people or are involved in inlegitime. also all deals are made only with countries who can guarantee that the arms will not be sold to any other country or group. needless to say that politicians everywhere find ways to do just the opposite the law says. Merkel used a passage in the law which stats that in the interest of the country only a certain commisson has to decide, and they can do so by a secret voting. I am quite astonished that my country plays a frontline role after the USA and Russia and China in the overall sale of weapon technologies. When i was flying to Jeddah in April, i sat next to two represantatives who were on their way to sell their arms to Saudi Arabia. One was from EADS and they are currently selling the Saudis a product to secure the border by electronic means. There was a smaller scandal this year about this sale, DER SPIEGEL reported that along with the deal the government also agreed to send along german police officers to train the border police.

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December 20th, 2011, 9:36 am

 

1531. irritated said:

SC ( Syria Comments) should be renamed
ODC (Obituaries and Defection Comments)

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December 20th, 2011, 10:01 am

 

1532. jad said:

Irritated,
6anesh!
Check out the new post, it’s somehow funny because most of the articles linked goe back to the beginning of December..akhbar bayteh ya3ni ;)

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December 20th, 2011, 10:27 am

 

1533. N.Z. said:

STEPHANIE SALDAÑA, article,In Syria, Expelling the Peacemakers, is a must read to all those whom love to dissect the Syrian social fabric.

Israel is infamous for expelling peace activists, and on many occasions killing them, Rachel Corrie the 23 years old, is one of many. Syria’s regime is no different.

“Last week, the Syrian government issued an order that after 30 years in the country, Father Dall’Oglio would be expelled.

Father Dall’Oglio founded the community of Deir Mar Musa… The community would welcome each Muslim visitor as a sacred guest, just as Abraham, in both the Bible and the Koran, had welcomed the angels of God. ….The devastating fate of the Christians in Iraq has already served as a warning. Father Dall’Oglio’s expulsion, if it is carried out as planned, will send a clear message to all of them — that the regime’s support of Christians is not unconditional. Those who dare mention the oppression of the Assad regime or who advocate for a dialogue to change the country will be deemed members of the opposition.

This puts local Christians in a bind. To seek change may put their community at risk. Yet to remain silent in the face of injustice will surely reduce Christianity to an identity, a sect, and not a living faith seeking to follow the message of the gospels. ”

I will like to assure Ms. Saldana, that the opposition knows very well the difficult situation the Syrian Christians and the Syrian Alawites are in. The relationship will not be strained. Syrians have always lived together in harmony, warship places are sacred to all Syrians. I only hope that that Father Dall’Oglio will be allowed to stay, he belongs to Syria and his legacy will outlive the 40 years of Assad. Their destruction on everything Syrian is legendary.

Thanks Professor Landis for sharing.

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December 20th, 2011, 12:47 pm

 

1534. Bill said:

ANN

You post too many excellent links and articles. Do you have your own blog that includes more articles and posts?

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December 20th, 2011, 12:50 pm

 

1535. Tara said:

Amir

I think your are risking your reputation. Bashar will let the observers in but will obstruct their freedom to move. He will set up actors to convey to the observers the government’s narrative and to show fake emotion. He has had a lot of time to prepare for their arrival. I think he will surprise the world with dark creativity. By allowing the observers in, he buys himself some more time to kill.
—-

Why did the new post disappear?

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December 20th, 2011, 1:00 pm

 

1536. Bill said:

1533. N.Z.

The expulsion of Father Dall’Oglio is reminiscent of Israel, which was built on the debris of Palestinians’ lost lands and hopes, and its repeated expulsion of human rights activits who criticize its inhumane occupation and colonial policies.
P.S., Father Dall’Oglio should be lucky that the murderous Syrian regime did not torture him and cut his genitals, which was the fate of the courageous teenager, Hamza al-Khateeb. Also, he should be thankful that they did not break his face and fingers like what they did with the world-renowned cartoonist, Ali Farzat!

Being against BOTH Israeli occupation/war crimes and Bashar’s war crimes makes me very UNPOPULAR on the this blog. However, I am not interested in pleasing anybody as long as I believe in my convictions: Bias on the side of victims/occupied/dispossessed/tortured is a great virtue!

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December 20th, 2011, 1:06 pm

 

1537. Tara said:

kSA and Qatar areإيد وحدِة
 
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/gulf-states-issue-warnings-syria-iran-155853733.html
Gulf states issue warnings to Syria and Iran
By Assad Abboud | AFP – 1 hour 26 minutes ago

Gulf Arab states on Tuesday urged Syria’s government to immediately halt its “killing machine”, and called on arch rival Iran to stop interfering in their internal affairs.
In a statement issued at the end of their annual summit, held in Riyadh against the backdrop of the Arab uprisings, the GCC members called on Syria to “immediately halt its killing machine.”

In its concluding statement, the Gulf Cooperation Council also called on Iran to stop meddling in the internal affairs of the group’s members.
“Stop these policies and practices… and stop interfering in the internal affairs” of Gulf nations, it said, expressing concern over Tehran’s attempts to “instigate sectarian strife.”
……
In response to the region’s unprecedented upheaval, GCC chief Abdullatif al-Zayani said the group’s six members agreed to “adopt Saudi King Abdullah’s initiative to make the GCC countries a single entity”.
On Monday, King Abdullah asked the GCC leadership to “move from a phase of cooperation to a phase of union,” arguing the region’s “security and stability are threatened” and that such challenges require “vigilance and a united stance.”
The group also announced the establishment of a development fund worth about five billion dollars for Jordan and Morocco, though it did not clarify whether either nation would join the alliance of oil-rich monarchies.

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December 20th, 2011, 1:13 pm

 

1538. Bill said:

.انا فلسطيني الاصل وعشت بضع سنين في القدس المحتله
وشاهدت جرائم اسرائيل وعنصريتها وغرورها

ولكني استغرب كيف ان اي انسان يكره الاحتلال الصهيوني لا
يدعم الثوره السوريه. طبعا الظالم في سوريا داخلي وفي فلسطين خارجي. ولكن السوريون يريدون الحريه من الظلم مثل الفلسطينيين

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December 20th, 2011, 1:31 pm

 

1539. defender said:

JUERGEN:
You surprise me! Israel being above any world order, places for today the nuclear arsenal on German submarines and you tell us about German rigid laws!

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December 20th, 2011, 3:23 pm

 

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