Bourhan Ghalioun is Sunni; Big Demonstrations in Hama

Bourhan Ghalioun, the newly appointed President of Syria’s new Provisional Council, is NOT an Alawi, but a Sunni from a town hear Homs. I incorrectly said that Ghalioun was Alawi and posted the comment of a Commentator, who I trust, who wrote, saying Ghalioun was a non-religious Alawi. I apologize for getting it wrong. I corrected my statement with an addendum to the post of 29 August 2011 within hours of publishing it, after receiving notes from two other readers correcting me. But the damage was done. I apologize to my readers and to Professor Bourhan Ghalioun for mis-characterizing him as an Alawi.

A Syrian-American Dr. writes:

….I read with amazement the malignant, and more importantly, completely inaccurate, depiction of Dr. Burhan Ghalioun in your commentary dated 29 August 2011 as an Alawite. Feelings in Syria today have become extremely polarized and require a focus on accuracy of reporting. This is especially true with regards to subtle issues that have the potential to highlight and/or exacerbate an incredibly sensitive sectarian divide, as well as energize and further fragment the largely unsophisticated masses that are looking for leadership. ..

The language of Syria is changing as more people join the revolution, writes “Some Guy in Damascus:”

I was discussing things with a Homsi guy and asking him about the allegiance of a mutual friend( who I believed was against besho). مع او ضد ( with or Against) I asked him.

He replied مع( with) to my surprised expression…then he said things only Homsis can say: مع الثورة ( with the revolution) . Here in Damascus مع was reserved for the majority which was for bashar….the homsis changed all of that. It’s simple change of terminology that gives you an idea about reality.

Turkey is cutting military relations with Israel over the Mavi Marmara issue, but upgrading with NATO as it places new US missiles on its territory to protect against Iran. Turkey also ponders what its next move will be toward Syria.

The Oil Embargo: The West will likely allow economic sanctions to take their toll on the Syrian regime and society before pushing ahead with new measures. Full oil sanctions do not come into effect until November. Chris Doyle has written to explain:

The EU oil exports embargo actually come into force immediately but the mid November date is for existing contractual obligations. The Italians as stated got a delay but not as long as they would have liked. They deliberately did not include gas.

Will the Regime Collapse? Or Will it Have to be Pushed Over?

In a discussion with Ausama Monajed, a leading activist based in London, I was assured that the opposition leaders on the outside believe that the regime will collapse with increased defections. They insist that Syrians must not turn to armed resistance or try to open up a military option. They believe that “a tipping point” will be achieved by defections and sanctions that will cause regime change without excessive violence. They argue that as sanctions begin to bite, merchants and military personnel will begin to bail out. This will bring down the regime. I still have a hard time imagining how this works. How do merchants bail out? If all Sunni soldiers defect, the army will be much diminished and its legitimacy for those who support it today will be eroded, but would the regime collapse? Many may remain loyal and fight for the regime. If so, it makes sense that a counter military effort will have to be organized.

There remain a number of smart analysts who are not convinced that Assad will fall, or that if he does, it will necessarily be that bad for Iran or good for the US. One smart skeptic is Flynt Leverett, who writes:

… it is far from clear that the Assad government is actually imploding. It is obvious that a portion of Syria’s population is aggrieved and disaffected, but it is not evident at all that this portion represents a majority. President Bashar al-Assad still retains the backing of key segments of Syrian society. Moreover, no one has identified a plausible scenario by which the “opposition”, however defined, can actually seize power.

We have been through this sort of situation before. In 2005, in the wake of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri’s assassination, most Western commentators confidently opined that President Assad was finished. Instead, he not only survived, but came through the episode with greater authority domestically and having reasserted Syria’s unavoidably central role in Middle Eastern politics and diplomacy. In light of this history, assumptions that Assad cannot survive are, to say the least, premature. This is yet another example of something so utterly characteristic of the way in which Western analysts approach Middle Eastern issues, especially those touching on the Islamic Republic and its interests—analysis by wishful thinking

Second, while most Iranian policymakers and foreign policy elites would almost certainly prefer to see Assad remain in office, it is wrong to assume that Tehran has no options or is even a net “loser” if the current Syrian government is replaced. A post-Assad government, if it is even minimally representative of its people, is going to pursue an independent foreign policy. It will not be enamored of the prospect of strategic cooperation with the United States, and may be less inclined than the Assad regime (under both Bashar and his father, the late Hafiz al-Assad) to keep Syria’s southern border with Israel “stable”. Tehran can work with that…

Peter Harling, who has lived in Syria since 2006 and provides excellent analysis for ICG, disagrees.

The swift collapse of the Libyan regime is unlikely to have a decisive impact on the Syrian conflict, but it provides a serious hint as to its ultimate outcome. Syrian protesters did not need to see the rebels overtake Tripoli to boost their confidence; for months they have shown extraordinary resolve in the face of escalating violence. They will not give up if only because they know that worse would be in store were the security services to reassert unchallenged control. Colonel Qaddafi’s fall is relevant for a different reason: it provides evidence of the internal frailty of the patrimonial power structures that have plagued the region.

Such regimes ultimately rest on fear and opportunism far more than they do on institutions or a cause. They crumble the moment the army of zealots that form their ranks realize the battle is lost. One day, they appear strong. The next, they are gone. In 2003, when U.S. troops entered Baghdad, they revealed – much to their own surprise – that Sadddam’s regime was hollow. Tunisian President Ben Ali’s leviathan turned out to be a pygmy on rickety stilts. In Libya, loyalist forces had fought the rebels into a seemingly endless stalemate until they suddenly were swept away.

The Syrian regime is no different. Its compulsive use of thugs, known as Shabbiha, speaks volumes about the state of its institutions, even in the security sector. Its claim to embody resistance against the injustice of Israeli occupation and U.S. hegemony has been shattered by its treatment of its own people. Reforms have been exposed as a charade. And under any conceivable scenario, the economy will not recover under President Assad’s rule. …

How not to prolong the agony? At a time when the international community is feeling a compulsion to do something, the overriding principle should remain to do no harm. Two significant mistakes in particular should be avoided.

First, beware of far-reaching economic sanctions….The regime will pin economic woes on an international conspiracy. …Finally, they should be coupled with a credible, proactive plan to revive the Syrian economy in the context of a genuine political transition. Nothing will have a more profound impact on Syria’s business community, which is eager for reassurance that change presents real opportunities and not solely risks. … For now, there is no need for prematurely crafting a power-sharing arrangement. The focus should be on thinking through how to manage the transition’s early stages, sustaining basic governance, and reviving the economy.

News Round Up

More huge demonstrations in Syria, From: AFP, September 02, 2011 10:25PM

HUGE demonstrations have rocked Syria, including a rally urging Russia to stop arms sales to the regime and another in support of an official who resigned in protest at the government’s brutal crackdown, activists say. The protests came as the European Union adopted a ban on crude oil imports from Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for its brutal repression of protesters, diplomats told AFP.

The embargo will take effect on November 15 for existing supply contracts, after Italy demanded a delay, the diplomats said. The protesters across Syria were responding to calls posted on the internet for nationwide anti-regime demonstrations after the weekly Friday prayers under the banner of “death rather than humiliation.”

The Local Coordination Committees (LCC) said demonstrators rallied outside the home of the attorney general of the flashpoint rebellious province of Hama in support of his reported decision to resign…..

Pirouz writes:

So far the only video I’ve seen purported for today shows a few hundred protesters in Khaldieh (the caption says “thousands”). Anyone have any other videos to point to, for Friday’s protests? I’m beginning to think the protests are receding, without ever fully materializing in the capitol.

Syria’s opposition: Can it get together?
Syria’s disparate opposition must unite if it is to topple the regime
Sep 3rd 2011 | BEIRUT |

ANGER on the Syrian street is not just directed at President Bashar Assad and his regime. It is also being aimed at the opposition. Six months into the uprising and with over 2,200 dead, Mr Assad is still failing to quell the protests. In addition, he faces rising international pressure to step down. But one thing has so far helped him: the inability of the opposition to unite.

Whereas the street movement has become tactically adept, better organised and cohesive, political opposition groups inside and outside Syria are still fragmented. They are divided not just between exiles and those within. Individuals have been jockeying for position. “There have been a dozen conferences and statements in several cities but nothing to show for it,” says a protester. “Meanwhile we continue to go out and take the bullets.”

Proposals to create an all-encompassing opposition have come thick and fast. A National Initiative for Change was promoted in April by dissidents based in America. This was followed by a Conference for Change held in the Turkish resort of Antalya. Then came a gathering of dissidents in Istanbul under the aegis of a National Salvation Council, spearheaded by a lawyer, Haytham al-Maleh. At this meeting the Kurds walked out when others wanted to keep the word “Arab” in the name of the Syrian Republic. Then on August 23rd another national council was mooted but has yet to take shape.

Dissidents within Syria often accuse exiles of being too keen to spend time grandstanding in Western capitals. Protesters on Syria’s streets say that the better-known internal dissidents spend too much time currying favour with diplomats in Damascus. Many of Mr Assad’s foes in Syria, most of whom are secular-minded, are edgy about the role of Turkey, with its Islamist government, in hosting most of the opposition meetings. Even the two main activist groupings, the Local Co-ordination Committees and the Syrian Revolution Co-ordinators’ Union, have niggling differences.

On August 29th a new national council, apparently unrelated to the meeting six days before, put out a list (published in Ankara) of 94 members. Many of those on it immediately dissociated themselves, but most of them are now agreeing cautiously to be included. They are waiting to see how people in the streets respond to particular signs and chants, a rough yet innovative way of testing popular feeling.

The new council’s diversity is striking. Syrians of all hues are represented. Roughly half are in Syria, including Riad Seif, a veteran dissident, and younger activists, such as Razan Zeitouneh, a lawyer. It illustrates Syria’s changed political landscape. Heading the list is Burhan Ghalioun, an exiled Sorbonne professor in his 60s. A secular Alawite who has often appeared on foreign television channels during the uprising, he has managed to win a surprisingly large following inside Syria.

It is not surprising that Syria’s opposition lacks cohesion. The country embraces an array of religions, sects, tribes and ethnicities. Baathist repression over four decades has taken its toll. Many prominent figures in the opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood, are still abroad. Veterans inside have made great sacrifices over the years, but they have been overtaken by the savvy young campaigners of the current uprising. It is too soon to say whether the latest council will gain momentum. But if a broad-based opposition front were able to establish itself as a clear alternative to Mr Assad and his ruling Baath party, he would go a lot sooner.

EU Bans Syrian Oil After Assad Dismisses Resignation Demands
2011-09-02, By Jonathan Stearns

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) — The European Union banned imports of crude oil from Syria, expanding sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for its deadly crackdown on protesters. The oil embargo approved by EU governments today in Brussels affects Syrian exports valued at 3.16 billion euros ($4.5 billion) in 2010, according to the European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s executive arm. Crude oil accounted for 88 percent of total EU imports from Syria last year, commission data show….. Total SA, Royal Dutch
Shell Plc, Repsol YPF SA and OMV AG are among oil companies, refiners and traders that had planned to ship about 162,200 barrels a day of Syrian crude this month, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg.

Syrians must contemplate foreign help – if not the West’s
Guardian on August 31, 2011
By “Abdur Rahman al Shami”

….But our peaceful revolution received no official support from the Islamic and Arab countries. All we got were hesitant platitudes from our neighbours. Likewise, the west called only for reform, or at most economic sanctions. This encouraged Assad to increase his repression in the hope that he would be able to quell the revolution quickly.

But our revolution gathered momentum. Always peaceful, and without any external intervention it spread, with more and more protesters, cities and villages taking part. Syrian opposition figures inside and abroad worked to support the revolution through a series of initiatives, culminating in the formation of national councils earlier this month.

The revolutionaries on the ground now find themselves confronting a new reality. On the one hand we are faced with Arab silence, an ongoing regional indecision – especially from neighbouring Turkey – and the west as passive spectators to Assad’s violations. On the other, Tripoli and Libya are liberated. While Nato support was helpful, credit must be given to the determination of the Libyan people and their tactics, including armed struggle.

There is no doubt that the Syrian revolutionaries will now carry out a reappraisal of their own position; especially as we witness the daily bombardment of Homs, Latakia and Deir al-Zour; while Hama is attacked, the plains of Houran bleed, Aleppo is terrorised and Damascus repressed. The revolutionaries are now questioning the peaceful nature of the Syrian revolution – we have not until now used arms against the regime – and also re-evaluting our position on foreign intervention.

There is a consensus against any western intervention in Syria. The country has a proud Arab nationalistic character, and suffered greatly in the colonial era. The example of Iraq is fresh in our minds and the presence of its refugees a constant reminder of their tragedy. We are well aware, too, of the sensitivity of the central status of Syria in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

However, this refusal to contemplate foreign intervention has allowed the regime to do whatever it wishes, knowing it will escape punishment. In the absence of a genuine alternative, the Syrian opposition must reconsider its position on foreign intervention; it is now essential that we prepare for this eventuality before it is too late.

It has become clear to us from intelligence and political analyses that the Syrian regime is pushing the country to civil war and partition; especially after reports of the arrival of large supplies of weapons from Iran to Syria via Iraq. It seems the regime and its allies would prefer a sectarian civil war in which they would have the upper hand militarily to a peaceful handover of power.

A civil war in Syria and its potential partition is not in the interest of its people. Likewise, it is not in the interest of Arab states, Turkey or the west, because it would lead to an unprecedented chaos and uncertainty from which none of these blocs or states would be safe, particularly Turkey.

It is therefore important to find a solution that stops Assad in his tracks. Given that Syrians will continue to object to western intervention, the formation of an Arab-Turkish pre-emptive force to protect the people in Syria is perhaps the best option. It could preserve the unity of the country and prevent chaos and violence.

Syrians have risen up against tyranny and are no less determined than their brothers and sisters in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. However, they are suffering extraordinary brutality and are looking for real regional support. This is a regional necessity. The Arab spring cannot flourish without Syria, where the Arab heart lies.

Michel Kilo writes that the internal opposition is united, but that the external opposition is fragmented – 2011-09-01

ناشط سوري : المعارضة السورية في الداخل “موحدة” أما في الخارج فهي “مشتتة

أعلن الناشط السياسي السوري ميشيل كيلو اليوم الخميس أن المعارضة السورية في الخارج مشتتة أما في الداخل فهي موحدة في الرأي, مشيرا إلى أن مطالب المعارضة الداخلية تتركز حول الحوار وإيجاد حل توافقي وعن نظام انتقالي يقود البلاد إلى الديمقراطية.

EU tightens sanctions against Assad’s regime
By Peter O’Donnell and Constant Brand
01.09.2011 / 05:20 CET

EU officials eyes formal agreement around the weekend. The discussions are coloured by awareness that an oil-trade embargo without wider international backing may not work, even though the US has also recently announced similar restrictions. Bill Farren-Price, of UK-based consultancy Petroleum Policy Intelligence, said the envisaged sanctions present difficulties and will hardly represent a knock-out punch for Syria. “There’s plenty of demand for Syrian oil not in the EU and that’s where they’ll sell it,” he said.

Jane Kinninmont, a senior research fellow for the Middle East and north Africa at Chatham House, a UK-based think-tank, also doubted that sanctions could bring about the collapse of the regime, even if there would be some effect on Syria’s sources of foreign income.

Richard Youngs of Fride, a Madrid-based think-tank, considers oil sanctions “more symbolic than substantial”. In his view, the “real problem” in Syria is the fragmentation of opposition forces, coupled with the EU’s failure to consolidate relations with opposition forces when they were “crying out for contact” before the repression.

Oil firms bet on survival of Syria’s Assad
By Reuters, 01 Sep 2011

Reuters reports: Oil companies in Europe are betting on the survival of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, in sharp contrast to their support for Libya’s opposition six months ago, even while the European Union is expected to soon slap oil sanctions on Damascus. Several tankers are sailing to Syria this week to either deliver fuel or pick […]

Several tankers are sailing to Syria this week to either deliver fuel or pick up crude, which may suggest that oil companies believe the rebellion in Syria will fail to overthrow Assad’s government.

The same companies, including Swiss-based trader Vitol, made the opposite bet when it came to trade in Libya. They agreed to supply opponents of Muammar Gaddafi with fuel in the hope their support would be rewarded at the end of the war.

“What oil firms are currently doing does really look like they believe Assad will win, and they will have to deal with him again,” said a Western diplomatic source….

Total CEO Says He’s Decided to Stop Shipping Oil From Syria, [They resisted quitting all week but now decided to leave]
2011-09-01, by expat 1000

Tom writes in the comment section

With regard to the National Council, many “members” announced a statement complaining that their names were quoted without their approval, including “Chairman” Ghalioun. So the Council broke apart in the air immediately after the announcement. This is my understanding.

Asharq al-Awsat article indicates that Saudi Arabia placed a complaint to Turkey by saying that Erdogan should not sell a dream (to topple al-Assad) to others.

A few days later, a professor of King Saud Univ. said, on the same paper, that Turkish role has ended and that Turkey may publish a statement of excuse or withdraw its ambassador from Damascus, but they won’t do anything more than that against Syria.

A few hours ago, Nuland of the US attacked Syrian foreign minister by using exceptionally excited expression. Previously the US has frozen assets of 3 Syrians who don’t have any assets in the US. No one will call it a sanction.

US calls Syrian minister Assad’s ‘shameless tool’. Any move in the UN Security Council will be blocked by Russia. All of these would be an indication that the one who is standing at a crossroad is the United States, not Syria.

I remembered a miserable intelligence failure by Israel in Lebanon in 1982. They relied on the Maronites only, and failed.

This time, Turkey could not fulfill its promise to topple al-Assad due to their low quality of Middle Eastern studies and intelligence as well as immaturity of strategic planning. The US relied on Turkish Sunnis only, and is about to fail.

Turkey to Station U.S. Radar to Counter Iranian Rockets SEPTEMBER 2, 2011

WASHINGTON—Turkey has agreed to station a high-powered U.S. radar on its territory as part of a missile defense system to protect NATO allies from the threat of long-range Iranian rockets.

The deal for Turkey to host the so-called X-Band radar at one of its military bases accelerates deployment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-backed early warning system.

Assad Regime in Syria Crucial to Iran
interview, Council on Foreign Relations | Karim Sadjadpour says that if the Syrian government fell it would be a tremendous blow to the Iranian regime and threaten Tehran’s support of Hezbollah.

LA Times [Reg]: Iran lawmaker says Tehran should not back Syrian regime 2011-09-02

Reporting from Tehran and Beirut— In a sign that Syria’s crackdown on dissent is fraying one of its few alliances in the region, an Iranian lawmaker said in an interview published Thursday that his nation should be supporting the protesters and …

Obama, American liberator?
By Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz, Published: September 1

… Syria will be his real test. … Unlike Iran, the Assad regime could be hurt rapidly and perhaps decisively by sanctions…. Obama wouldn’t necessarily have to lead from the front. … Bashar al-Assad’s bloody oppression gives Washington the high ground. What seemed impossible five months ago is becoming practicable.

And the Syrian opposition has unified sufficiently to be an effective recipient of Western aid. Funds for striking workers, a wide variety of portable encrypting communications equipment and, critically, a cross-border WiFi zone that extends to the city of Aleppo, the commercial hub of Syria just 23 miles from Turkey, could greatly aid the opposition’s resistance. Covert action takes two to tango: Let the Syrian opposition tell us what it needs. Washington shouldn’t be more “virtuous” than the people dying. Even the unthinkable — Western military action — has become more likely because of Libya. If the Sunni-Alawite sectarian split in Syria worsens, it’s not that hard to imagine a scenario in which Sunni Turkey will be forced to provide a refugee haven across the Syrian border. A NATO-backed no-fly, no-drive, no-cruise zone could follow. And the realignment of Turkey, which under the Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been seriously flirting with Damascus and Tehran, back toward Europe and the United States would also be a blessing for the region. ….

Syrian opposition provoked into dialogue boycott – Lavrov
© AFP/ Louai Bashara
MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti)

A group of states is provoking the Syrian opposition into boycotting discussions on “quite realistic” reforms proposed by President Bashar Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

“Why is it that in Yemen, where a serious armed conflict is taking place, all the members of the international community are reasonably trying to encourage dialogue between the authorities and the opposition, while in Syria a number of influential states are persistently provoking the opposition to boycott national dialogue proposals and to inflate confrontation?” Lavrov said at a meeting with students and professors at Moscow State University for International Relations.

He said that international partners refuse to even discuss the reforms proposed by Assad, which are “belated, but yet quite realistic.” He reiterated that though Russia condemns violence in the country, it considers any interference into Syria’s domestic affairs inadmissible. “We clearly stated this position, including during the UN Security Council vote on a special statement on the Syrian issue,” Lavrov said.

Before we take down Assad
By Rajendra Abhyankar
The Syrian regime has to be given an opportunity to make changes within a finite period, and with agreed-upon benchmarks.

Is Syria burning? Most emphatically not. This was the overwhelming impression after a visit there late last month. Nor does it look as if the regime is on the verge of collapse. As an international group of journalists invited by the Syrian government, we visited, in addition to Damascus, Hama and locales near Homs. From the many Syrians we met, the common refrain was, “We do not want to become the next Libya” – referring to the total disarray there months after NATO intervention. Given its pivotal position in the eastern Mediterranean, any precipitate international action to provoke change in Syria would affect the entire region, including Israel.

Media reports clearly biased against the Syrian regime make reality appear far worse than what we encountered on the streets of Damascus. Yet under an overlay of calm, the tension was palpable, especially in Hama.

There is much that is wrong in Syria, and much that has to be fixed, if the Syrian people are to enjoy their democratic political, economic and social rights. But, the reprehensible brutality reportedly employed against the protesters still does not justify armed groups’ violence against the state. The reform plan offered by President Bashar Assad on August 22 – local and parliamentary elections within six months and an end to the predominance of the Arab Baath party – though a first step, is the last chance for the regime’s survival.

Escalating with each passing Friday, the protests have themselves changed in character. All the centers of protest have been Sunni-majority cities – Daraa, Jisr-al-Shughour, Deir Ezzor and Homs – bordering each of Syria’s fractious neighbors. Cross-border smuggling of arms and funds to the protesters was repeatedly mentioned by local observers. Hama, in the center of the agricultural heartland, is a case in itself, with a long history of antipathy to the regime among its Sunni business- and land-owning classes. In 1982, this led to the infamous military operation against the city.

The escalating anti-regime sentiment has at least five distinct causes: First, 40 years of a heavy-handed security system that has quelled dissent; soaring real-estate and rental costs in the major cities that has placed a heavy burden on a population already living at the margin; widespread corruption and capitalism dictated by cronyism; neglect of agricultural and rural infrastructure; and finally, a lack of jobs and educational opportunities for a growing proportion of youth.

In considering Syria’s future, many factors need to be weighed. First, is regional stability. Under the Assad regime, the border with the Golan Heights has been kept quiet…

across the state; the trade unions, with a membership of 2.5 to 3 million, especially as the state is Syria’s largest employer; and, the army, about 400,000-strong, which has mainly been used to protect the nomenklatura and keep a lid on Lebanon. The three groups account for 6 million out of a population of 22 million…..

Comments (287)


ann said:

At UN on Syria, An “Attempt to Break the BRICS,” To Leave Russia & China Solo

September 2, 2011

http://www.innercitypress.com/syr4rusres090211.html

UNITED NATIONS, September 2, updated — With dueling Syria resolutions and philosophies competing in the Security Council, the Western side has invited India, Brazil and South Africa to consultations on Friday afternoon.

Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong told Inner City Press that his county and Russia would not be attending. We had a meeting yesterday of the BRICS, he said with the smile.

Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative Pankin added: the BRICS, you build with them.

Later Russian Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin, when Inner City Press asked him if the BRICs would be broken, said with bravado, “Never!”

Churkin & Li Baodong, between IBSA & the BRICS

Friday afternoon’s session will follow a Thursday afternoon meeting at the UK Mission at which all parts of the European and US draft were discussed except the sanctions provisions. Some have dubbed these faux negotiations; others see an attempt to peal off the so-called IBSA.

Will the BRICS hold? Watch this site.

* * *

At UN on Syria, China Says BRICS United, Points to Bahrain, India on Tripoli

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, September 1 — With two different Syria draft resolutions pending in the UN Security Council, the “UK is trying to appease some members into their draft,” South Africa’s Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu told Inner City Press on Thursday, adding, “I don’t know if it will work.”

Russian Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin told Inner City Press on September 1 that the two drafts represent “two different philosophies,” particularly with regard to imposing sanctions.

For now not only Russia and China, but also the so called IBSA of India, Brazil and South Africa, are dubious about sanctions. Together the five are known as BRICSA or BRICS.

Also on September 1, China’s Permanent Representative Li Baodong told Inner City Press that “on Syria, the BRICS have their own common position. This is the new development, the new phenonment after Libya. That really helped the BRICS to strengthen their position. We believe it is very important to have a common position.” He added, “Now there’s a problem in Bahrain.”

Indian Permanent Representative Hardeep Singh Puri said that “the Libyan experience has made people extra cautious… You see what’s happening in Tripoli — the guys who were in the lead looked like nationalities other than Libyan. That’s the discussion that’s going to take place. People are going to agonize about it then decide.”

The UK called for another meeting Tuesday at 2 at its Mission on the modified draft it has sponsored with the Council’s three other European members and the US.

Afterward a representative of one of the BRICS laughingly told Inner City Press that the UK had purposely limited the discussion to the “non-sanctions” portions of their draft. That’s putting off the “agonizing” referred to by Hardeep Singh Puri for another day.

Speaking of agony, Li Baodong’s reference to Bahrain included the killing of a 14 year old boy Ali Jawad Ahmad by the government.

Inner City Press on September 1 asked Ban’s new Deputy Spokesman Eduardo del Buey if Ban had seen the YouTube video entitled “Ban Ki-moon, Do you see?” (click here to view the video, being warned that is graphic, autopsy, photo here).

The Deputy Spokesman repeated previous urgings to act in accordance with relevant law and said that since Ban is traveling, he could not confirm or deny that Ban has watched the video.

As Inner City Press exclusively reported, Ban had told Bahrain he would send as his envoy UN political official Oscar Fernandez Taranco — then when Ban got an angry call from Saudi Arabia, Taranco’s mission was scrapped. Ban Ki-moon, do you see?

September 2nd, 2011, 12:11 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

The Cycle of Violence Continues

Alaska Woman Punches Bear in Snout to Save Dog

JUNEAU, Alaska – Black bears in residential neighborhoods aren’t exactly unheard of in Juneau. While many people stay inside when bears are about, one local woman says she had a different instinct when she saw her dog was in trouble.

It started out as a typical evening for 22-year-old Brooke Collins. She let her dogs out as usual but this time, she said there was a black bear outside who took hold of her dachshund Fudge.

She said she feared for her pet’s life and, in an instant, ran over and punched the bear right in the face to make it let go.

“It was all so fast. All I could think about was my dog was going to die,” said Collins.

“It was a stupid thing but I couldn’t help it,” she said. “I know you’re not supposed to do that but I didn’t want my dog to be killed.”

Collins said she didn’t see the bear outside when she let the dogs out around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

She said Fudge just darted out and the barking could be heard almost instantly. She said that barking was “the most horrible sound in the world.”

Collins said when she looked outside she saw a bear was crouching down with Fudge in its paws and was biting the back of the dog’s neck.

“That bear was carrying her like a salmon,” she said.

She said she almost instinctively went up and did the first thing she thought of. She punched the bear’s face and scooped away her dog when it let go.

It all happened too fast to really think about but she had flashes of hearing about how some animals will back off from a punch to the nose, she said.

She said her boyfriend Regan O’Toole came out upon hearing the screaming. O’Toole said the bear already looked startled from being punched at that point. He said the animal went down the driveway and into the bushes to the mountain as he ran toward it.

Her dog suffered some claw and bite marks but they weren’t deep so she said she decided not to take Fudge to the vet. She said the dog appeared to be more shocked than injured. She said she will get Fudge checked out if they appear infected.

Collins said she’s very close to her dogs, which is why she reacted this way. She said after this experience, however, she’ll keep a closer eye on them outside, as she fears an encounter with her other canine, a Pomeranian named Toki.

Collins lives in a neighborhood tucked up against Mount Juneau. She said black bear sightings are a regular occurrence there. She believes this same one has been around her house many times and is not afraid of people.

She said if this is that bear, it’s definitely used to people and keeps coming back and may even know what days the trash will be out. She said she’s even followed it to take pictures before.

O’Toole said he’s seen five bears in the area this year, including a sow with two cubs.

“We haven’t had any attacks over the years and they’re around all the time,” he said.
Collins said one scary thing in hindsight was the bear’s size, which she said was very large even when it was crouching. O’Toole said it was definitely a large one.

Collins said the whole experience of a physical encounter shook her up, calling the whole thing an eye-opener. She said she’ll be taking a lot more caution from now on and definitely won’t be approaching neighborhood bears.

“It’s definitely changed my opinion because I never thought one would attack my dog,” she said. “I wasn’t in my right mind at the moment but I would never think of doing it again.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/01/alaska-woman-punches-bear-in-snout-to-save-dog/?test=faces

September 2nd, 2011, 12:18 pm

 

ann said:

Turkey will no longer recognize the Gaza blockade and will take the issue to the International Court of Justice.

Turkey will take measures for freedom of maritime movement in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

September 2, 2011 – 11:36am, by Yigal Schleifer

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/64118

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-slams-uns-mavi-marmara-report-announces-measures-against-israel-2011-09-02

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-255625-turkey-downgrades-diplomatic-ties-with-israel-after-un-report-leak.html

The big question now, it appears, is how will this falling out play out regionally and how will its impact be felt in Washington, where support for Israel, especially in Congress, is very strong. Clearly, this is only the beginning, and not the end, of this story.

September 2nd, 2011, 12:31 pm

 

ann said:

Thousands Denounce Bahraini Monarchy at Funeral for Slain Teen

September 02, 2011

Thousands of people marched in Bahrain on Thursday at the funeral of a teenage protester allegedly killed by police. Human rights groups say the teen, Ali Jawad Ahmad, died after being hit by a police tear canister. The crowd of more than 10,000 marked one of the largest displays of public protest against the Bahraini monarchy since neighboring Gulf states, with U.S. backing, helped crush demonstrations earlier this year.

September 2nd, 2011, 12:43 pm

 

joujou said:

j’espere que mes mots seront publie:
la majorite des syriens sont avec les reformes et contre cette opposition redicule. meme les intelectuels ont perdu leur credit avec leur position contre le dialogue. ce qui a pousse les integristes a pousse leurs actions destructives.
est ce qu’on cherche d’immiter l’iraq ou la libye. est ce l’exemple des revolutionaires libyiens vous faire confiance dans l’avenir de la libye. l’armmment massifs des gens anime par la haine et les pensee integristes vont changer la face de la libye?
la syrie est bien et elle va rester bien avec les syriens qui sont avec la reformes et avec le president bashar.
non aux freres musulmans
non a la violance
non aux mainfestations debiles
oui pour le dialogue constructif
oui a l’unite syrien
dieu garde la syrie de ces syriens payes par hariri pour detruire ce que les syriens ont consrtuit depuis l’independance.

September 2nd, 2011, 12:48 pm

 

ann said:

Bahrain cleric blames police for protester’s death

4 hours ago

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gAYBYng0Y7jstuIizA544Kj8Pw9Q?docId=e512cfa0455a405ba0efbf51f14f081a

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A senior Shiite cleric has blamed security forces for the death of a young protester in Bahrain.

Sheik Isa Qassim says “the killing of a 14-year-old boy by security forces” during an anti-government demonstration Wednesday shows that the island nation’s Sunni rulers are not listening to people’s demands for greater rights.

Bahrain’s majority Shiites began protests in February inspired by other Arab uprisings. More than 30 people have died during the demonstrations and crackdowns.

Rights groups claim the boy, Ali Jawad Ahmad, died after being hit by a tear gas canister fired at close range by police.

The government says he did not die as a result of being hit with a tear gas canister, and that it was still investigating how he died.

September 2nd, 2011, 12:49 pm

 

ann said:

Bahrain cleric to rulers: Reform or risk ouster

Associated Press, 08.26.11, 05:56 AM EDT

MANAMA, Bahrain — Bahrain’s most senior Shiite cleric is warning the Gulf kingdom’s rulers to either ease their grip on power or risk joining Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi and other Arab leaders swept aside by uprisings.

The defiant Friday sermon by Sheik Isa Qassim was attended by thousands of worshippers after Bahrain’s justice minister accused the cleric of promoting unrest.

Qassim vowed he would not be silenced, saying it’s his religious duty to support demands by Bahrain’s majority Shiites for greater rights.

He says that Bahrain’s ruling Sunni dynasty can either enact sweeping reforms or risk the same fate as Gadhafi and the ousted presidents of Egypt and Tunisia.

Bahrain’s Shiite-led protests began in February inspired by other Arab uprisings.

September 2nd, 2011, 12:56 pm

 

annie said:

Ce post commence mal avec une intervention à côté de la plaque (The Cycle of Violence Continues – I know AP meant it as a joke) et ce message de soutien à Bachar en français. Joujou, te frappe pas; il y a de la liberté d’expression ici. Ce sont les insultes qu’ils ne tolèrent pas.

I have a feeling people don’t always bother with the articles Josh gathers for our attention; they rush to the comment section with their own collection of interests.
I have no beef with Ann since I am not forced to read everything she posts. But Tara is right it does not look well for the occasional passer by to have a deluge of articles. A title and a url would be enough.

After all, this is the comment section and not a blog within the blog.

September 2nd, 2011, 1:13 pm

 

norman said:

Ehsani,

Syria did not chose to be against the US as you know , the US chose to be against Syria and Syria’s rights and left Syria to seek help from the soviet union,

The US can solve the whole problem by forcing Israel to leave the Golan for a full peace treaty between Israel , Lebanon and Syria,

Unfortunately The US foreign policy is controlled by Israel in the Mideast.

September 2nd, 2011, 1:33 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Syria did not chose to be against the US as you know , the US chose to be against Syria…

Norman,

Along with the US, the Syrian people are ALSO against Syria.

Is Bashar listening?

September 2nd, 2011, 1:50 pm

 

norman said:

AP,

Many of the Syrians might be against the government in Syria but do not be so optimistic thinking that they will be for even peace with Israel,

Just look at Egypt and draw your own conclusion, you are smart enough to figure it out.

Ann,

Keep these articles coming, they are assets to SC

September 2nd, 2011, 2:16 pm

 

Tara said:

New slogans are heard during today’s demonstrations:

الجيش السوري خائن. (the Arab Syrian army is traitor) 

And

نطالب بحماية المجتمع الدولي (we ask for international protection)

September 2nd, 2011, 2:17 pm

 

ann said:

The disaster known as Netanyahu

Rather than apologising for Israel’s killing of nine Turkish activists, the prime minister dug in he heels.

MJ Rosenberg Last Modified: 02 Sep 2011 17:54

http://politicalcorrection.org/fpmatters/

Well-handled, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Rather than apologize to the Turkish government for the deaths of nine of its nationals on the Mavi Marmara, you dug in and now your ambassador to Ankara has been expelled. At this rate, the once critical Israeli-Turkish relationship will soon be finished, leaving Israel with no friends in the region except shaky Jordan.

The peace treaty with Egypt is holding, but just barely and Egypt can hardly be considered a friend anymore. Its people despise Israel and identify it with former President Mubarak, the one Egyptian relationship Israel bothered cultivating. Israel’s de facto friendship with Syria will end when President Bashar al-Assad goes. He is no Zionist, but he has been a force for stability on Syria’s border with Israel, and Lebanon’s, too.

Once he’s gone, the north will almost surely heat up, especially now that Hezbollah plays a dominant role in the Lebanese government. As for the Palestinians, Netanyahu says that if they dare to take their case to the United Nations later this month, he may declare the Oslo agreement null and void. In other words, the Palestinians will be deemed enemies of Israel. Again.

In short, Binyamin Netanyahu is very close to bringing Israel back to where it was before the Oslo agreement of 1993. There is even the strong possibility that he will take it back to where it was before the Camp David peace treaty with Egypt — with the added disaster that the relationship with Turkey (established in 1948) will also be gone.

In a normal country, a record of disastrous failures like those would lead to Netanyahu’s departure from office. But not in Israel. Despite all the damage he has done to the country’s security and to its economy (note the massive protests against Netanyahu’s Tea Party economics), he remains in office because the right supports him and Israel is governed by an entirely right-wing coalition.

The worst part is that nearly all of Israel’s problems with its neighbors could be resolved by ending the occupation. Even the economy would benefit if the Israeli government was not wasting so much money on the settlers and their exorbitant demands.

Israel’s propaganda machine would have it otherwise. It insists that the Palestinians, and the Arabs and Muslims throughout the world who support them, don’t really care about the occupation. Their goal, we are constantly told, is to destroy Israel itself. As proof, they insist that “the Palestinians have never recognized Israel’s right to statehood.”

This is the kind of thing that used to be called the “big lie.” The Palestinians have repeatedly recognized Israel’s right to statehood and security within the ’67 borders.

For those who have forgotten, that is what President Clinton, Prime Minister Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat agreed to on the White House lawn that day in 1993. Israel recognized Palestinian rights and the Palestinians recognized Israel. In the years since, neither side has threatened to revoke that recognition until last month when Netanyahu began saying that Oslo could be revoked if the Palestinians go to the United Nations.

But why?

The Palestinian turn to the United Nations offers the solution to virtually all of Israel’s problems. President Mahmoud Abbas says that once Palestine is recognized by the international body, he will resume negotiations with Israel over all the issues that divide the two sides. The only difference will be that negotiations will be between two states, not one powerful state and one supplicant hoping a few crumbs fall off the table.

Netanyahu is terrified of a U.N. vote. He and his emissaries are going around the world demanding that the statehood resolution be voted down. And the combined forces of Netanyahu and the lobby here have cajoled the Obama administration to join Netanyahu in demanding a “no” vote.

It is clear that Netanyahu wants to preserve the status quo, even if it means that Israel reverts to a position where every one of its neighbors is an actual or potential enemy, even if it means that its strategic relationship with Turkey is over, even if it means that it has no one in the region to help prevent war with Iran.

It sounds crazy, but only because it is. Netanyahu’s highest priority is to maintain the occupation. The settlers and the religious fanatics are his people; the Israelis of Tel Aviv and Haifa are not. It’s not that Israel’s security does not matter to Netanyahu. It does. But for him, Ariel and the crazed settlers of Hebron matter every bit as much as the state itself. To him, there is no difference. (On that score, Netanyahu is much like Palestinian extremists who view all of Israel as occupied territory. Netanyahu makes no distinctions either.)

Netanyahu is bringing Israel to the brink and no one is doing anything about it. Both the president and Congress go along with Netanyahu because the lobby tells them that the only way to support Israel (and, in turn, be supported by its “friends”) is to approve of everything done by the Israeli prime minister. That is why the Palestinians have to go to the U.N. They cannot expect anything from the United States or even the Europeans (who are being pressured heavily on Netanyahu’s behalf by the U.S.).

The U.N. vote is expected to occur on September 20. It is too much to hope that America will do what it knows is the right thing and vote “yes” or be an honest broker and abstain. The best we can hope for is that the United States and Israel are part of a very small minority voting “no.” That kind of vote will strengthen the Palestinians and perhaps frighten Netanyahu into negotiating in good faith.

But even if not, the U.N. will have stated that the Palestinians are people, too; people with rights, including the right to full sovereignty in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. At that point, the writing will be on the wall. The occupation is ending, hopefully before Netanyahu does too much more damage … to Israel.

September 2nd, 2011, 2:19 pm

 

Aboud said:

The silence on this forum is deafening. People, SANA reported that a Lt.Colonel was killed in Telkelakh. To me that would seem to be one of the most remarkable developments in weeks.

Telkelakh is a town that has been under heavy military occupation for months. And yet, according to SANA, someone somehow allegedly managed to kill a high ranking officer there.

But instead of giving this event the prominence it deserved, it seems to have been shrugged off by professor Landis and the Menhebaks, for which there can be only one explanation; not even they consider SANA to be in any shape, way or form a credible news source.

So professor, sorry for saying this, but I think the days when SANA articles could be quoted on this forum are long behind us, since apparently everyone here holds it in such low regard.

September 2nd, 2011, 2:27 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

Aboud,
I was wondering if you could recommend me some forums I can debate in. I have some spare time and I would like to annoy some menhebaks.
@professor landis,
Does your book have a release date?

September 2nd, 2011, 2:42 pm

 

ann said:

The most remarkable development of Month

September 2nd, 2011, 2:42 pm

 

Pirouz said:

So far the only video I’ve seen purported for today shows a few hundred protesters in Khaldieh (the caption says “thousands”).

Anyone have any other videos to point to, for Friday’s protests?

I’m beginning to think the protests are receding, without ever fully materializing in the capitol.

That said, law enforcement, security forces and the military will still be in an extended position, effected by a number of tension points, for an indeterminate period of time.

When are reforms supposed to come on line?

September 2nd, 2011, 3:32 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

I’d rather talk than spann

Many of the Syrians might be against the government in Syria but do not be so optimistic thinking that they will be for even peace with Israel,

Just look at Egypt and draw your own conclusion, you are smart enough to figure it out.

Norman,

It sounds to me you are making a case for Israel to support “strong men” like Mubarak and Assad, because they keep the peace with Israel. I have difficulty believing this is really a priority for you.

So I say, phooey (hogwash). If an Arab state wants to make war with Israel, bring it on. As AIG has said many times, don’t complain about the result. However, if the people want peace, that’s even better, and if the people don’t want either, that’s good too.

The bottom line is, I would rather deal with a people than an empty suit. Dealing with a government led by the people is a WIN-WIN for both Israel and the Arabs. Let’s DO IT!

Ann,

What is so “remarkable” about the demonstrations?? That no one was shot dead by the Israeli government? Maybe you can mention something to Chris W.

September 2nd, 2011, 3:44 pm

 

ann said:

Is This The Bright Future Awaiting Syria’s Educated and Liberated Women?

http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook/2011/09/our-readers

Our readers sent in a lot of interesting letters regarding our recent package of articles about Islam and democracy. Writing from Montreaux, Samih Sherif thought that our leader calling for Islamists to be “drawn into the hoped-for new democracies” that might spring from the Arab uprising was “enlightening”. But he thinks that,

“It would be naive to believe that, for example, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has evolved to the extent it claims. For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has acted strategically with its head. The masses have reacted emotionally with their heart. I understand the fear of the sceptics.

However, I am all for giving pluralistic politics a chance. One way to prove this would be if the head of the Muslim Brotherhood issued a manifesto that is broadly circulated throughout Egypt and the Arab world stating that the Brotherhood will not impose sharia law, will uphold women’s rights, will not force women to wear the veil, will not ban alcohol and will respect ethnic and religious minorities.”

David Scott from Loughborough points us towards our chart, which showed that more than 80% of Egyptians support the death penalty for Islamic apostates: “Given that up to 10% of Egypt’s population is Christian this implies that virtually everyone else supports the execution of people on religious grounds. How on earth can we expect a liberal democracy to emerge from a population with such an extremist and illiberal stance?”

We held up the example of the “dominant new generation of young Arabs using Facebook and YouTube” to suggest that the Arab spring will eventually become a liberal summer, but Karen Kramer, a lecturer in Middle Eastern studies at Purchase College in New York state, is of the view that it is not at all clear that this generation is dominant.

“In the March referendum in Egypt, for example, only 20% supported the liberals’ position. Most Egypt watchers would concur that the population is relatively conservative. Conservatives united with the young liberals to oust Hosni Mubarak, but past that, their priorities are likely to differ markedly from the Facebook crowd.

It is the West that has written the narrative that the events in Egypt were dominated by liberal young activists. To be sure, these brave people spearheaded the upheaval. But it was the participation of the vast majority of conservative Egyptians, enraged by decades of humiliation, corruption and poverty, that produced the critical mass that brought Mr Mubarak down. It is by no means clear that, ‘the revolutions…have everything to do with the simple secular democratic demands of frustrated peoples.’ Alas, a rejection of the status quo does not necessarily mean a buy-in to a liberal, secular order.

Furthermore, it is no good looking to Turkey’s Islamist parties as an example. They are moderate because they operate in an officially secular society and because the country wants to join the European Union. They accept the validity of a secular state.

You are right to say that there cannot be any democracy in the Arab world without the participation of the Islamists. They are a big force in society. The real question is, can there be meaningful democracy with the Islamists?”

Indeed. Writing from Istanbul, Chris Miller thinks, “It is wrong to use liberal and secular as synonyms. The region’s most influential secular parties have deep authoritarian roots. Egypt’s Mubarak, Tunisia’s Ben Ali, and Syria’s Assad built brutal (and deeply illiberal) police states with strong secularist support.”

But on a positive note, Rogier Creemers, of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, reckons that a parallel can be drawn between the Arab world and European political parties: “Christian Democrats are now the largest fraction in the European Parliament. Given time and space, perhaps an Islamic democrat movement could come into being”

Turning to our description of Salafists as “inspired by the puritanical zealotry of early Islam” David Warren, a specialist on the Middle East at the University of Manchester, says we didn’t recognise that this group is anything but monolithic. “Take, for example, the simple fact that there are already three Salafist political parties: al-Fadila (Virtue), al-Asala (Authenticity) and al-Nur (Light). All have spoken of their democratic aspirations and none have yet suggested that violence may be a legitimate political tool.

Although Egyptian liberals may well find some of their slogans and attitudes unnerving, the fact that many seem to prefer to sow fear about their more religiously austere countrymen, rather than seeking to engage with them and bring them into the political mainstream, echoes the tactics of the Mubarak era and should have no place in the new Egypt.”

Finally, Jeffrey Lunstead says we have overlooked a fourth Muslim-majority country—in addition to Indonesia, Mali and Malaysia—that enjoys political liberty. “The Maldives, a small nation in the Indian Ocean, is entirely Muslim and moved on its own, and largely peacefully, from an autocracy to a full democracy in 2006-07. This story is little-known, but deserves more attention.” Mr Lunstead is a former American ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

September 2nd, 2011, 3:47 pm

 
 

Khalid Tlass said:

SPANN, Spammy Ann, started Spanning again ?

15. Some guy in damascus said:

” I was wondering if you could recommend me some forums I can debate in. I have some spare time and I would like to annoy some menhebaks”

http://www.ShiaChat.com

Lots of animated sicussions foing on abt Syria. Large numbers of non-Syrians too, being misled by a former commenter on this blog who went by the name of “SyrianCommando”. I think you should take a look.

September 2nd, 2011, 4:09 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

SANNA AND ANNA
Aboud

Ann does not use SANA much, she does not read arabic, and also SANA news are too short to make the daily quota.

aummmmmmmmmmm aummmmmmmmmmmmmm. You’r right it is too quite

I think i’ll go on twitter, I heard commando is active there, I need some material … Yet again, seeing betho unravel is the material of a lifetime..

September 2nd, 2011, 4:38 pm

 

hsyrian said:

I posted on September 2nd, 2011, 8:35 am
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=11743#comment-271083

a comment including an article from SANA which seems to have been overlooked by some people.

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/09/02/367067.htm

GOVERNORATES, (SANA) – Lt. Col. Fidaa al-Sheikh was martyred by an RPG hit by an armed terrorist gang in Talkalakh, Homs on Thursday.

Three martyrs from the army and police personnel were escorted to their final resting place in their home cities and towns.

Second Lieutenant Dr. Khaled Taher al-Sheikh, Policeman Hassan Mahmoud Hamdan and conscript Akeel Hussein Nasir were killed at the hands of armed terrorist groups in Idleb, Deir Ezzor and Homs.

Solemn processions were held for the martyrs, as they were covered with the Syrian flag and held up on shoulders while the Military Band played the music of the “Martyr” and “Farewell”.

Families and relatives of the martyrs expressed their pride in the martyrdom of their sons, emphasizing that Syria will overcome the crisis thanks to the unity and solidarity of its people and their readiness to provide more sacrifices.

Disclaimers

This is consistent with a report from a foreign free press journalist that I read on Internet:

In Homs , the protesters are directed by a Muslim Brother sheikh well versed in media propaganda.
They are in contact with the Muslim Brothers in Damascus.
The protesters are armed.
Some protesters assaulted and killed security personnel outside demonstrations.
Large amount of heavy arms like RPG are stored in the Homs neighborhood.

September 2nd, 2011, 4:58 pm

 

NK said:

HAMSTER, Aboud and SGID

I wouldn’t bother trying to find menhebaks online these days, I think the regime reached the point where they need all boots on the ground. Let’s just hope their aim is as bad as their logic.

September 2nd, 2011, 4:59 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

@ hsyrian
SANA, syrian state tv, addounia and al ikhbaria al souriya are pathetic excuses for journalism.
SANA intentionally misquoted the american representitive that met with besho
syrian state tv still refers to these demonstrators as pro-reform demonstrators
addounia never showed us

September 2nd, 2011, 5:24 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

missing out from previous post
@ hsyrian

addounia never showed us hama, until after the invasion
al ikhbaria al souria……no demonstrations, only people celebrating the rainfall.
so far none of them gave an apology over their lack of professionalism.
france 24 did apologize when they reported that the ambassador quit.

hahah look what i found on the besho’s page on fbook.
مع العلم ان مازالت صفحة الجزيرة على فيس بوك تتعرض لهجوم سوري -جزائري ..كاسح رغم الحجب …وطريقة فك الحجب أستخدام برنامج ” الترا سيرف ” …
ونود التنويه على ان السوريين والجزائريين يقومون بهجوم مشترك ايضا على صفحة قناة العربية
regime supporters use ultrasurf(a bypassing program) so they can log on facebook which is banned by the regime they support to insult the hell out of al jazeera and al arabiya for reporting they are oppressed. talk about irony!

September 2nd, 2011, 5:34 pm

 

N.Z. said:

“A Syrian-American Dr. writes:

….I read with amazement the malignant, and more importantly, completely inaccurate, depiction of Dr. Burhan Ghalioun”

The first I’d ever read about Burhan Ghalyoun’s background, was on SC by no other than Abu Ghassan. Since then we haven’t heard from. His depiction of this honourable opposition figure went virile.

The most important lesson we can learn about Mr. Ghalioun inacurate depiction, is Syrians do not care about what sect is the opposition figure, they did not do a sectarian search. This is a confirmation that Syrians are not sectarian, they are nationalists, Arabists and freedom loving, for all people. Injustices done towards any group of people is against their nature.

Today’s indiscriminate killing of protesters and the soaring numbers of innocents killed by this regime, 3000+, makes anyone who support this mafia an outlier/outcast.

September 2nd, 2011, 5:49 pm

 

Tara said:

I am not sure why JL decided to cite Pirouz’s opinion in the main post in regard to the size of the demonstrations today. The demonstrations were massive and were featured on Aljazeera and reported on many news outlets. Pirouz’s opinion was based on what is “fed” to him through SC and not based on any attempt to seek the truth. The fact that Mamnhebaks did not post links to the demonstrations does not mean it was receding.

September 2nd, 2011, 6:05 pm

 
 

uzair8 said:

#24 NK

“HAMSTER, Aboud and SGID

I wouldn’t bother trying to find menhebaks online these days, I think the regime reached the point where they need all boots on the ground. Let’s just hope their aim is as bad as their logic.”

That was funny. Lol.

Anyway. Im hoping for a Menhabek defection on here. The defector would reveal all kind of secrets. The expose would embarrass the other menhabeks.

September 2nd, 2011, 6:08 pm

 

hsyrian said:

Dear Joshua,
You wrote
“Total CEO Says He’s Decided to Stop Shipping Oil From Syria, [They resisted quitting all week but now decided to leave]
2011-09-01, by expat 1000 ”

with a link to
“http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2771948/posts

But I did not find any mention of Total there :

Syria is burning, not because of the Arab Spring or Tyranny or Twitter, or any of the other popular explanations. The fire in Syria is the same firestorm burning in Iraq, in Turkey, in Lebanon and throughout much of the Muslim world. It has nothing to do with human rights or democracy. There is no revolution here. Only the eternal civil war.

Most people accept countries with ancient names like Egypt, Jordan and Syria as a given. If they think about it at all they assume that they were always around, or were restored after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. But actually the countries of the Middle East are mostly artificial creations borrowing a history that is not their own.

When Mohammed unleashed a fanatical round of conquests and crusades, he began by wrecking the cultures and religions of his native region. And his followers went on to do the same throughout the region and across the world.

Entire peoples lost their history, their past, their religion and their way of life. This cultural genocide was worst in Africa, Asia and parts of Europe. But the Middle Eastern peoples lost much of their heritage as well.

The Muslim conquerors made a special point of persecuting and exterminating the native beliefs and indigenous inhabitants they dominated. Israeli Jews, Assyrian Christians and Persian Zoroastrians faced special persecution.

Conquered peoples were expected to become Muslims. Those who resisted were repressed as Dhimmis. But those who submitted and became Muslims suffered a much worse fate, losing major portions of their traditions and history. They were expected to define themselves as Muslims first and look back to the great day when their conquerors subjugated them as the beginning of their history. Their pre-Islamic history faded into the mists of the ignorant past.

But Islam did not lead to a unified region, only to a prison of nations. The Caliphates, like the USSR, held sway over a divided empire through repression and force. Many of those peoples had lost a clear sense of themselves, but they still maintained differences that they expressed by modifying Islam to accommodate their existing beliefs and customs.

Islamic authorities viewed this as nothing short of heresy. It was against some such heresies that the Wahhabi movement was born. But these attempts to force the peoples of the region into one mold were doomed to fail.

Islam came about to stamp out all differences, to reduce all men to one, to blend state and mosque into one monstrous law for all. And it did succeed to some extent. Many cultures and beliefs were driven nearly to extinction. Jews, Christians and others struggled to survive in the walls of a hostile civilization. But Islam could not remain united and the divisions resurfaced in other ways.

Muslim armies did succeed in conquering much of the world in a frenzy of plunder and death. But they quickly turned on each other. Rather than conquering the world, they went on to fight over the plunder and the power. Nothing has really changed since then.

The fall of the Ottoman Empire brought in the Europeans to reconstruct the Middle East. The modern states are the work of their hands. A clumsy mismatch of borders and warring peoples. The USSR came after with its own line of coups and Arab Socialist dictatorships. Now the third wave of Islamist tyrannies is on the march. But none of them can solve the basic problems of the region.

Syria is burning not because of human rights, but because it’s a collection of different peoples with different variants of Islam who don’t get along. A handful are descended from the original natives. The rest are foreign Arab invaders, some more recent than others. The story repeats itself across the region. And across the world.

Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon are just some examples of countries permanently divided by such a mismatch of peoples. Agreements and elections come to nothing because no group believes that they will be treated as equals if they aren’t in power. And they’re right. Equality doesn’t just come from open elections, but from a cultural acceptance of differences. This simply does not exist in the Muslim world where gender differences mean you’re a force of corruption or a slave, ethnic differences mean you are the son of a dog, and religious differences mean you’re an enemy.

Had the forces of Islam not turned the Middle East upside down, the nation state might have evolved out of individual cultures, rather than as a strange hybrid of feudalism and Great Powers colonialism. For all their bluster and viciousness, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon are abandoned colonies. The Gulf states are even worse, backward clans of cutthroat merchants who are parasitically feeding off the West, even as they try to destroy it.

The rulers invariably marry Western women or women with a large dose of Western blood. Both Sadat married the daughter of an English woman. Mubarak married the daughter of a Welsh woman. For all that the Hashemites tout their descent from Mohammed, Queen Noor is more Anglo-Saxon than Arab. And the current Jordanian King’s mother was originally known as Toni Gardner. Even when they do marry Arab women, they are usually Christian Arabs and British educated.

There’s something pathetic about the sight of the post-colonial Arab leadership trying to gain some psychological legitimacy by intermarrying with their former rulers. As if pumping enough English blood into the veins of their offspring will somehow make them as capable as the Empire that ruled them and then left to attend to its own affairs.

But not nearly as pathetic as half of them claiming descent from Mohammed. Both reveal the underlying historical instability of their rule. These aren’t nation states, they’re hopelessly dysfunctional geographical divisions bristling with Western weapons and money, with interpretations of the Koran and texts on Arab Socialism, where everyone is a philosopher and a scholar– but no government lasts longer than it takes to overthrow it.

Every colonel and general dreams of empire, and every cleric in his flea ridden robes theorizes on the Islamic state, but none of them can do anything but act out the same murderous dramas. Building their house of cards and then watching it tumble down.

Had Western shenanigans not raised the price of bread, while providing support to local leftists from wealthy families, the Arab Spring would not exist. Now that it has, it’s only another excuse for locals to fight their civil wars and then erect another ramshackle regime on the ruins of the old.

This isn’t 1848 as some have theorized. It’s 848, over and over again. Worse still, it’s 748.

When you don’t have a nation, but you do have an army, then what you have is not a state, but a Shawarma Republic. To keep the army from overthrowing the leader, he must find internal or external enemies. When a downturn occurs, and the mobs gather, either the army massacres the mob or overthrows the ruler. Or the rebels cut a deal with some internal elements and wipe out the loyalists.

This is an old regional narrative that has nothing to do with democracy, human rights, Twitter or any of the other nonsense flowing through New York Times columns faster than the sewers of Cairo.

The modern Shawarma Republic has some royal or military ruler at the top who receives money from the West or from its enemies to hold up his end of the bargain. Which to him means stowing the money into foreign bank accounts, sending his trophy wife on shopping trips to Paris and striking a fine balancing between wiping out his enemies and buying them off.

Naturally he carries on the ritualistic chant of “Death to Israel”, and if Israel ever looks weak enough, or his new Chinese or Iranian allies kick in the money for a full fledged invasion, he may even take a whack at it. But mostly the chants of “Death to Israel” are a convenient way of executing his enemies for collaborating with Israel.

In Syria, Assad’s Shawarma Republic (officially the Syrian Arab Republic, formerly the United Arab Republic, after a bunch of coups and one kingdom, the privately owned fiefdom of the dumbest scion of the clan) is on fire. Because the enemies of the regime, and some of its former allies, got around to exploiting Bashar Assad’s weakness.

For now Assad’s armies backed by his Iranian allies are in control of the Shawarma Republic of Syria but that might change. Especially now that Turkey and much of the Arab world have stepped into the anti-Assad camp. And when the fireworks die down, and the corpses are cleaned up off the streets, there will be another Shawarma Republic. This one may not be run by the Alawites. But it will be run by someone, and it won’t be the people.

The irony is that after turning Lebanon into its puppet, Syria got the same treatment from Iran. And if a revolt succeeds, then it might get the same treatment from Turkey. The big dog bites the little dog, and the bigger dog bites it.

The process can’t be stopped, because the Islamic conquests that wrecked the region, the Caliphates that tried to make it static, and the colonial mapmakers who turned it into a ridiculous puzzle of fake countries filled with people who hate each other– make it impossible.

There was a brief window after the war when the exit of empires and the presence of a large Western educated class seemed as if they might lead to working societies. Instead they led to the pathetic imitations of the worst of the West, dress up generals and scholars cranking out monograms explaining how everything could be made right with their theory. Now it’s leading back to Islamism and the bloody clashes in the desert that led to this permanent state of dysfunction.

The Islamic Caliphate as a panacea for the problems caused by Islamic caliphates is about as good an idea as pouring gasoline on a fire. Which is exactly what the Islamists financed by Gulf royals, who can’t help cutting throats even when it’s their own, are doing.

You can’t build a country out of sand and a book. Nor out of armies and billions of dollars. The last 70 years testify to that. The reason that Israel works and the Arab world doesn’t is very simple. The Jews retained their identity and their humanity. The perpetrators and victims of Islam who surround them have no roots. Only the sword in their hand and the shifting sand underneath their feet.

September 2nd, 2011, 6:22 pm

 

Aboud said:

“I am not sure why JL decided to cite Pirouz’s opinion in the main post in regard to the size of demonstrations today.”

We’ve gotten used to Landis highlighting menhebak opinions that the demonstrations are tiny in size, nonexistent or “exhausted”, as one menhebak infamously put it…three months ago LOL! 🙂

If the demos are so small, why the massive army deployments all over the country? Let the army stand down for one Friday, and we’ll see how “popular” Besho is.

September 2nd, 2011, 6:33 pm

 

manus said:

As to the UN, I believe Russia and Brazil are still “old school” enough and could be reasoned with to go with the Syrian people. As for the leaders of China and India, they could care less what Assad does with his people; they only care about their own people and thereby their international policies are based on only obtaining resources to fuel their economic engines, no matter what the moral cost. They are really the “New World Order,” which does not bode well for the future. What they do not realize is that the whole World is watching their behavior, and in the end, in a myriad of ways, “what goes around, comes around.”

September 2nd, 2011, 7:15 pm

 

ann said:

Instigation Channels Continue Attack on Syria, Call for Arming Terrorist and Demand Foreign Interference in Syria’s Affairs

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/09/03/367197.htm

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – A number of satellite channels entered a new stage of bltanat hostility towards Syria, calling openly for providing terrorist groups with weapons and money and adopting all opinions that support this regardless of who is behind them or what agenda they’re carrying out.

In the coverage of these channels – particularly al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya – of Friday’s events in Syria, all reports called for arming the terrorists and foreign interference in Syria in a manner that betrays clear annoyances and disappointment over the gradual return of normal life to several Syria cities which had witnessed criminal acts by armed terrorist groups.

These channels unashamedly spoke on behalf of the Syrian people, claiming that they demand “international protection” while ignoring the millions who marched in Syria in protest of foreign interference.

The channels also surpassed the stage of receiving calls from “eyewitnesses” and coercing them to say what they want or outright instructing them on what to say, moving from media instigation against Syria to direct contribution to the acts of the armed criminal groups who commit murder, vandalism, abduction and other crimes against the Syria people.

In their new approach to dealing with Syria, these channels started calling on the international community to intervene in Syria as it did in Libya, demanding that the Security Council impose sanctions.

Friday saw these channels transforming into veritable operations rooms on all levels in a desperate bid to mobilize the Syrian street, adopting the opinions of oppoisition figures abroad who want to achieve their goal at any cost, even if this cost is the destruction and division of Syria, justifying this by the argument of “the price of freedom is blood” which constitutes clear instructions to armed terrorist groups to shed more Syrian blood.

In this context, these channels were quick to choose the “Libyan option” to resolve the situation in Syria, asking the people it interviews why they aren’t working to impose this model which they claim is irreplaceable, without forgetting to instruct the Arab League to give cover to the Security Council to issue a resolution under the pretext of protecting civilians.

At the time, these channels persist in using provocative and instigating terms that strengthen sectarian sentiments, taking advantage of any story about the events in Syria without verifying its sources and authenticity, heedless of the victims who are dying at the hands of armed terrorist groups.

These channels have been disregarding the Syrian people’s awareness of its hostile intentions for months, relying on lies, instigation and the passage of time to alter the Syrians’ convictions to no avail at the Syrian people continues to show understanding of the conspiracy targeting its homeland.

September 2nd, 2011, 7:16 pm

 

N.Z. said:

The youngest of the TWENTY-TWO protesters that lost their lives today by Assad’s killing machine, a young girl, 16-year-old Aisha Al-Sheikh. Her life was cut short by the father of three, Bashar Assad.

September 2nd, 2011, 7:17 pm

 

beaware said:

Vivid Scenes of Defiance in Syria
September 02 2011
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/02/vivid-scenes-of-defiance-in-syria/

Syrian activists said that another 11 protesters were killed by the country’s security forces on Friday, as my colleagues Nada Bakri and Steven Erlanger report.

While restrictions on independent reporting continue to make it difficult for foreign news organizations to gather information inside Syria, activists posted several video clips online that appeared to show scenes of remarkable defiance by protesters, who faced down armed officers and fought for control of the streets.

One activist who is based in neighboring Lebanon, Shakeeb Al-Jabri, reported on Twitter that a pundit on Syria’s state-run television channel insisted that there had been no demonstrations at all on Friday. Foreign satellite channels, he claimed, were broadcasting old footage and scenes filmed on Hollywood sets.

Commentator on #Syria TV today: No protests what-so-ever; “them satellite channels” recycling old footage and using Hollywood sets. #SyriaFri Sep 02 16:10:02 via TweetDeckShakeeb Al-Jabri
LeShaque

One night earlier, Syrian television broadcast a report about a “terrorist” from the city of Hama who “confessed to acting as an eyewitness and fabricating false news and videos on events in Syria for Al Jazeera,” according to Syria’s official news agency.

On his @LeShaque Twitter feed, Mr. Al-Jabri posted a link to video that was said to have been recorded on Friday in Irbin, a suburb of Damascus, the Syrian capital, where some protesters were reportedly killed. In the first of two brief clips that appear to have been filmed on the same street in Irbin, protesters seemed to taunt officers in the distance.

more…..

The Lede is a blog that remixes national and international news stories, adding information gleaned from the Web or gathered through original reporting to supplement articles in The New York Times and draw readers in to the global conversation about the news taking place online.

Readers are encouraged to take part in the blogging by using the comments threads to suggest links to relevant material elsewhere on the Web or by submitting eyewitness accounts, photographs or video of news events. Read more.

September 2nd, 2011, 7:38 pm

 

Aboud said:

@34 Is this the same SANA that reported that a Lt.Colonel had been killed by armed gangs in Telkelakh, a town that has been under heavy military occupation since May?

I don’t blame the menhebaks for not wanting to go near that one. Either SANA are lying, or the army and shabeha are incompetent beyond belief.

“In their new approach to dealing with Syria, these channels started calling on the international community to intervene in Syria as it did in Libya, demanding that the Security Council impose sanctions.”

I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware the the general managers of Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya had been on air, goading Syrians into taking up arms *facepalm*

The menhebaks think that every channel is like Al-dunya, where a paid trumpet’s words are an expression of official government policy LOL! Just by making that claim, they negate their own Stalinist-like propaganda. I hope they never, ever catch on 🙂

September 2nd, 2011, 7:41 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

@ JouJou #5

Je vous prie de lire l’article suivant pour voir pourquoi Bachar s’est lui-même condamné.

http://haytham-khoury.blogspot.com/2011/08/bachar-et-la-pression-accrue.html

September 2nd, 2011, 7:42 pm

 

beaware said:

US congressman slams Turkey for expelling Israeli envoy
By JPOST.COM STAFF
09/02/2011 22:40
http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=236473

US Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) on Friday criticized the government of Turkey as hypocritical for its decision to expel Israel’s ambassador to Ankara while Syria’s envoy to Turkey remains in place.

“Turkey should be ashamed of itself,” Engel, a senior member of the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee said in a statement. “In an almost unbelievable act of hypocrisy, the Syrian ambassador sits comfortably in Ankara, while the Assad regime kills more than 2000 of its own people, but Turkey has expelled the Israeli Ambassador for Israel’s proper enforcement of a legally-established blockade. Rather than bashing the only real democracy in the Middle East, Turkey should focus on its own problems, such as ending its occupation of Cyprus once and for all,” he stated.

Engel also commented on the UN report on the raid of the Mavi Marmara: “The Palmer Commission report accurately confirmed that Israel acted within its rights in establishing a blockade of Gaza, and enforcing it. I think the report went too far, however, when it said Israel used ‘excessive’ force. Only after the Israelis faced serious, life-threatening violence did they act legally in self defense. I can see nothing wrong with that.”

September 2nd, 2011, 7:45 pm

 

Abughassan said:

I am a fan of Dr Landis work despite all of the unfair criticism he gets here and his pessimist position about Syria’s future,I think he overreacted to the possible error about
Dr Galioun and I am probably the one who deserves the blame,assuming that Burhan is actually a Sunni 🙂
The truth is that I,and most educated Syrians,do not give a rat’s behind if Burhan was An Alawi or not,we want a new and accountable leadership in Syria. Also,keep in mind that a number of trusted media outlet called Burhan an Alawi and he actually have a perfect Alawi accent and he looks like the twin brother of an alawi friend I have. Syria is beautiful,Syria is diverse,it is not a crime for Burhan to be an alawi or Sunni,this severe apology is not necessary,Joshua ,I am fully willing to take the blame. My opinion of dr Glioun is the same and I will judge him by his future acts not his religious affiliation,he is one of the loudest critics of Islamists,and he has my support on that front.

September 2nd, 2011, 7:46 pm

 

Tara said:

While I get overwhelmed with utter sadness watching Syrian blood being spilled, I came to realize today that our bravest and finest inside Syria are living in elation.  The elation that comes from tantalizing emotion they never experience before.  Elated as they managed to turn fearless and proud willing to pay the heavy price tag that came with it. 

Freedom and Karamah, concepts always felt to be unobtainable or beyond reach are knocking on their doors.  You observe them repeating their slogans with fire, enthusiasm, and ecstasy and you just wish you were there..   

September 2nd, 2011, 7:47 pm

 

beaware said:

Three law-enforcement members killed by gunmen across Syria
2011-09-03
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/03/c_131094896.htm
DAMASCUS, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) — Three law-enforcement members were killed in separate attacks on Friday by armed groups in Syria ‘s central Homs province and suburbs of the capital Damascus, the official SANA news agency reported.

Armed groups attacked law-enforcement members’ checkpoints in the town of Talbiseh near central Homs province and in the Damascus suburbs of Arbeen and Hammorieh, killing three and injuring others, said SANA, adding that the law forces fired back at the assailants and killed four of them.

Several areas in Syria witnessed on Friday limited gathering and dispersed by their own, said SANA.

However, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), an activists network that track protests in Syria, said at least 12 were killed in clashes with security forces during what activists have dubbed “death rather than humiliation” Friday.

Also, the Doha-based al-Jazeera TV cited witnesses as saying that thousands of people streamed to the streets Friday in several Syrian cities to press demands for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, Syria’s state TV on Friday accused al-Jazeera of inciting people to take up arms against the government. Syria has repeatedly accused al-Jazeera and other media of leaping over facts and fabricating events on the ground to apply a western- backed agenda with the aim of overthrowing al-Assad.

Also on Friday, in its feverish pursuit to further isolate al- Assad’s government, the European Union (EU) further tightened its sanctions against Syria and imposed a ban on the import of Syrian oil to the EU.

“The prohibition concerns purchase, import and transport of oil and other petroleum products from Syria. No financial or insurance services may be provided for such transactions,” said an EU statement.

In addition, the Council of the EU added four more Syrian persons and three entities to the list of those targeted by an asset freeze and travel ban, according to the statement.

The oil exports of Syria, which produces about 350,000 barrels of oil per day as well as natural gas, are among the main earners of foreign currency for the government. Europe consumes the vast majority of Syrian exported oil.

Europe’s move came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday urged the world community to target Syrian oil and gas exports and again repeated U.S. calls for al-Assad to step aside.

On the sidelines of a Paris summit on Libya, Clinton said ” Syria must be allowed to move forward, those who have joined us in this call must now translate our rhetoric into concrete actions to escalate the pressure on (al-)Assad and those around him, including strong new sanctions targeting Syria’s energy sector to deny the regime the revenues that fund its campaign of violence.”

Washington had already slammed sanctions on more than 30 Syrian officials, including the president, and banned U.S. imports of Syrian oil or petroleum products. On Tuesday, the Obama administration broadened its sanctions and added three senior Syrian officials to its sanctions list including Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, Bouthaina Shaaban, Syria’s presidential political and media advisor, and Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali.

The Syrian leadership repeatedly shrugged off the international uproar as “flagrant interference in Syria’s internal affairs,” blaming the national unrest on armed groups and extremists backed by foreign conspiracy with the aim of unseating al-Assad.

Al-Assad reasserted, during an Iftar banquet held in honor of clergymen two weeks ago, that his country is subject to foreign conspiracy, saying that foreign pressures are building up on Syria because it is the “problem” of the West in the region.

International pressures on Syria are mounting “not because the West is keen about the Syrian people or reforms, as they claim, but because Syria is the West’s problem in the region and they want Syria to submit concessions,” al-Assad had said.

September 2nd, 2011, 7:48 pm

 

beaware said:

Iran lawmaker says Tehran should not back Syrian regime
By Ramin Mostaghim and Ellen Knickmeyer, Los Angeles Times
September 2, 2011
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-syria-allies-20110902,0,7618383.story
Syrian protests against President Bashar Assad are legitimate, Ahmad Avaei says. He is the second Iranian official to publicly criticize Assad’s deadly crackdown on protesters.

Reporting from Tehran and Beirut—
In a sign that Syria’s crackdown on dissent is fraying one of its few alliances in the region, an Iranian lawmaker said in an interview published Thursday that his nation should be supporting the protesters and not the Syrian regime.

Ahmad Avaei, a member of the Iranian parliament’s national security commission, said the fact that Syrian President Bashar Assad joined Iran in opposition to Israel and support for Lebanon’s armed Hezbollah movement was no longer reason enough to continue backing Assad’s government.

“The fact is that supporting the Syrian rulers at any cost was not right, as those who staged the protests were Muslims, and their protests were legitimate,” Avaei said in remarks quoted by the semiofficial Fars News Agency.

“Unfortunately, the Syrian leadership has realized too late the necessity of entering the reform process and should have done that much earlier to avoid the current crisis,” the lawmaker said.

Avaei was the second leading Iranian official to publicly chastise Syria for a military crackdown that by the United Nations’ count has killed more than 2,200 Syrians since protests against Assad’s government began in March.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said over the weekend that Syria’s opposition had “legitimate demands” and Assad should heed them.

In a sermon Wednesday in which he praised revolutions elsewhere in the Arab world, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei avoided all mention of Syria, focusing instead on his fear that the “tyrannical and despotic United States” would expand its influence in the countries hit by uprisings.

Syria and Iran for decades have had few allies in the Middle East but each other and are bound by their material support for Hezbollah. Syria long has been a vital transit point for Iranian aid to Lebanon’s militant Shiite Muslim organization. The European Union since early spring has accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guard of helping Assad’s security forces crush the Syrian uprising.

Iran previously had followed Assad’s line that the uprising was the product of foreign conspiracy.

Iranian officials’ switch to public criticism of the Syrian crackdown follows an apparently influential visit to Tehran late last month by Qatar’s emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, who supports the Syrian uprising and called efforts to crush it “fruitless.”

Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, an Iranian analyst and journalist, said in an interview that Iran had sought to reach out to at least one opposition group in Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah took the middle ground recently in Syria’s conflict, saying last week that he supports both the government and reforms.

In a far more fiery speech reported Thursday in Lebanon, one of that country’s top Shiite clerics warned leaders of the Arab world that if Syria and its armed allies Hezbollah and Hamas were in trouble, they were too.

“You are in the same boat,” said Sheik Ahmad Qabalan. “Be vigilant in defeating the hellish scheme which not only targets Syria or the resistance in Lebanon or Hamas in Gaza, but also targets … your systems, your people, your oil and your wealth.”

September 2nd, 2011, 8:06 pm

 
 

beaware said:

Why Can’t the Syrian Opposition Get Along?
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/09/01/why_cant_the_syrian_opposition_get_along?page=0,0
Persistent divisions and a brutal crackdown have prevented Syria’s dissidents from presenting a united front against the Assad regime.
BY KATE SEELYE | SEPTEMBER 1, 2011

…….
Five months after the start of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad that has left more than 2,200 people dead, dissidents are still struggling to forge a united front that could duplicate the role played by Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC).

The NTC was created just 12 days after the start of the Libyan uprising, quickly organizing resistance to Qaddafi within the country and lobbying for support on the international stage. By contrast, the opponents of Assad’s regime have held gatherings in Antalya, Turkey; Brussels; Istanbul; and even Damascus, the Syrian capital, to shape the opposition’s leadership and articulate a road map toward a democratic Syria.
…..

Given the lack of a recognized leadership, different Syrian groups — mainly based in the diaspora — have been jockeying to assert themselves. Most recently, on Aug. 29 young dissidents speaking on behalf of a revolutionary youth group inside Syria named a 94-person council to represent the Syrian opposition. At a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, Syrian dissident Ziyaeddin Dolmus announced that the respected Paris-based academic Burhan Ghalioun would head the so-called Syrian National Council, which would also comprise the crème de la crème of Syria’s traditional opposition.

Dolmus said the council would include many of the traditional opposition figures based in Damascus, such as former parliamentarian Riad Seif, activist Suhair Atassi, and economist Aref Dalila. “Delays [in forming a council] return our people to bloodshed,” he said at the news conference, which was broadcast by Al Jazeera.

But no sooner had the council been announced than it started to unravel. When contacted by the media, Ghalioun and the others quickly distanced themselves from the announcement, claiming they had no prior knowledge of it, according to reports in the Arabic press. Later, Ghalioun denied any association with the group on his Facebook page. One Washington-based Syrian activist, Mohammad al-Abdallah — whose father, Ali al-Abdallah was named to the council — dismissed it as a joke.

Others said it was an attempt by young revolutionaries, upset over the lack of progress, to put forward a wish list of opposition members. U.S.-based Syrian activist Yaser Tabbara, who had helped organize a gathering of anti-government Syrians a week before in Istanbul, called it “an earnest attempt by youth to reach out and demand that we move faster than we have been.”

According to Tabbara, the Istanbul conference that concluded on Aug. 23, was motivated by a similar sense of urgency. “It has been five months since the uprising started, and we don’t yet have a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Assad and his cohorts for their massacres,” said Tabbara. “Part of the reason is that some in the international community, like India, Brazil, and South Africa, do not see a viable alternative to this regime.”

The four-day Istanbul gathering, according to organizers, sought to unite all the efforts of previous opposition efforts under one banner. Few of the groups or individuals from previous opposition gatherings attended the meeting, however. Members representing a consultative committee that emerged from a June opposition gathering in Antalya withdrew at the last minute, claiming, according to Reuters, that it “did not build on earlier efforts to unite the opposition.”

The conference was further handicapped by what Syrian journalist Tammam al-Barazi called “the perception that it was held under an American umbrella.” Its organizers included members of a grassroots community group based in Illinois, the Syrian American Council.

Although dismaying, the opposition’s divisions and sniping are hardly surprising. Most activists grew up under the Assad family’s authoritarian rule, and their differences reflect the many divisions inside Syrian society, which is split by sect and ethnicity as well as ideology. The opposition includes Arab nationalists and liberals with little trust for the Muslim Brotherhood, whose supporters were accused of dominating the first Istanbul conference organized in July by a leading human rights lawyer, Haitham al-Maleh.

The many Kurdish parties that have participated have also been unhappy with some dissidents’ attempts to define a future Syria as “Arab.” Most are also highly suspicious of the West and any support it might offer.

The other challenge has been linking the diaspora opposition, which has been leading lobbying efforts abroad, with the political activists inside Syria. Although the diaspora has contacts among the traditional Syrian opposition based in Damascus, such as writers Michel Kilo and Louay Hussein, it has struggled to familiarize itself with the young activists who have led the protest movement. These protesters, who have organized themselves into local coordination committees, have largely remained anonymous to avoid arrest.

Signs are growing that some of the protest leaders are unhappy with the recent flurry of gatherings abroad. According to Washington-based dissident Ammar Abdulhamid, a group calling itself the “Syrian Revolution General Commission,” which he says represents up to 70 percent of the local coordination committees, reacted to the Istanbul meeting. In an Aug. 21 Facebook message, it supported efforts by the opposition to coordinate activities meant to support the revolution, but advised against forming any kind of representative body to speak on behalf of the revolution.

The reasons for the Syrian opposition’s inability to organize an umbrella group may be understandable, but the costs of failing to do so remain real. It will take a unified effort to communicate the opposition’s vision for their country’s future and convince those Syrians still sitting on the fence that a viable alternative to Assad’s rule exists. The opposition must also coordinate its message to encourage defections among the main supporters of the regime — informing them that their rights will be guaranteed under a democratic Syria, but that they will eventually face justice if they continue to support the government’s crackdown.

A united opposition is also urgently needed to challenge the growing call for armed resistance by some protesters in cities like Homs, where the Syrian government’s crackdown has been especially harsh. Some protest leaders have suggested that the Assad regime’s crackdown can only be effectively opposed at this point through force, while other protesters have held banners calling for a no-fly zone.

Just across Syria’s border in Antakya, Turkey, two groups of renegade Syrian army officers — the Free Officers of Syria and the Free Syrian Army (sometimes known as the Free Officers Movement) — are arming, according to Abdulhamid. A YouTube video uploaded on Aug. 18 shows an announcement by the Free Officers Movement declaring itself to be an armed group committed to protecting “the peaceful revolution and protesters.” Just last week, the Free Officers of Syria published a statement claiming that the defections of a significant number of soldiers were reported in a Damascus suburb.

The dissidents gathering in the many meetings outside Syria say they remain committed to a peaceful revolution free of outside intervention. The local coordination committees in Syria also released a statement condemning the use of force as “unacceptable politically, nationally, and ethically.”

But clearly, the many Syrians who have not yet abandoned support for Assad’s regime fear what will follow its collapse. If they are to be convinced otherwise, they will need to see the establishment of a broad-based opposition leadership whose public face is comprises respected dissidents living in exile, like Ghalioun, who reject armed struggle to achieve their aims.

Such a unified coalition has the opportunity to help Syria make a peaceful transition to a democratic, pluralistic form of government. Until that happens, a storybook ending to Syria’s uprising remains little more than a distant hope.

September 2nd, 2011, 8:14 pm

 

Tara said:

I wonder whether Iran “U-turn” is due to genuine sympathy towards the Syrian people or a “paid off” change footed by Quatar’s Emir.

September 2nd, 2011, 8:17 pm

 
 

N.Z. said:

Here is an article by a Syrian Canadian MP, Omar Alghabra, I thought I will share with you, he is the first Arab to get elected as Member of the Canadian Parliament. What I liked most about the article, other than being truly objective, it does not deny the other side, the supporters, their reasons to be so. It explains the steps how and what is important to us to develop and advance our democracy in a society, where freedom of speech was forgotten for over 40 years.

Subject: My take on the situation in Syria

My take on the situation in Syria
Omar Alghabra
September 2, 2011

In case you have been hiding under a rock during the last 6 months, Syria is experiencing one of the most critical periods in its history. Syrians have had many other historical moments given Syria’s strategic geographic location, and this phase will go down in history as yet another memorable phase that will define it for centuries to come. The ongoing uprising against the regime, which is known for its brutality and control obsession, is revealing unprecedented bravery and determination.

As a Syrian Canadian, I have been following what is going on there with tremendous interest. Given my emotional and historical attachment to Syria and the Syrian people, not only am I curious as to what is happening there, but I am also interested in the well being of my family.

The uprising in Syria appears to have gained unstoppable momentum. President Assad tried to manage public’s anger by promising superficial reforms but the regime’s insistence on quelling any peaceful protest with force and terror rendered those promises meaningless. The ongoing protests moved the international community’s opinion. Where at the start of the protests most of the world’s governments ignored them, the bravery of those who are calling for change in the face of such brutality compelled those governments to speak up. Now even the allies of the Syrian regime are calling on it to end the violence and respond to the legitimate needs of its population.

The regime’s misunderstanding of the Syrian sentiments and the way it chose to react to it has for all intents and purposes guaranteed that its end is inevitable. How and when that end will come about is still uncertain.

In addition to force, one of the regime’s most potent tools to defend itself has been their promotion of the fear of the alternative. Who will fill the vacuum left by the regime when it crumbles? Defenders of the regime keep propagating that the alternative would be an Islamist regime that would enforce a medieval rule with no respect for minorities; or that the alternative is an agent for the west which will ignore its people’s priorities. The lack of prominent organized opposition and its platform enabled the regime to create a scary image and helped those who are on the fence to hold their nose and accept the regime with all of its flaws over the supposed chaotic alternative.

The reality is that after more than 40 years of an authoritarian government suppressing all forms of intellectual debate and political discussion, Syrians lack institutions that could help them organize. It is understandable when opposition to the Syrian regime appears fragmented and disorganized. It’s unreasonable to expect them to present a comprehensive program of political reforms when all forms of civic society have been denied room to breathe for decades.

The central question must remain if Syrians deserve a democratic system that respects the rights of all of its citizens. Syrians, like other human beings, are entitled to freedom, dignity, equal opportunity and a functioning democracy. Supporters of the regime are directly or indirectly denying Syrians those rights. I understand the fear that some Syrians may feel. Many don’t agree with regime’s obsession with power but fear the alternative could humiliate them or worse persecute them. Those fears are legitimate and must not be dismissed. The opposition needs to define the kind of Syria they are pursuing. It would be unfair to demand that they agree on everything though. In fact, we should be concerned if they agreed on everything. Syria doesn’t need to replace a totalitarian culture with another.

However, there are certain basic boundaries that are essential for a new Syria: An uncompromising vision for a state that separates between religion and government; governed by civic laws that treat all citizens equally; a citizenship that regardless of one’s background must not make them feel as an outsider. A Syria that is for all of its citizens whether they are Arab (the majority) or not, whether they are Muslim (the majority) or not, whether they are Sunni (the majority) or not, whether they live in Damascus (Capital) or not, whether they are wealthy or not. A country that respects the integrity and independence of its judiciary. As long as freedom of speech is guaranteed and independence of judiciary is enshrined, errors committed in earlier stages of rebuilding Syria will be self-corrected.

Canada can offer Syrians much help. In addition for calling on the regime to stop shooting its own people, it can help the regime realize that the rest of the world is unwilling to accept unchecked brutality by suspending all diplomatic and economic relations.

Canada can also work with sincere elements (How to know who is sincere is a subjective evaluation that comes after engaging them in candid conversations) of the opposition who are genuinely seeking help to build institutions that Syria lacks. Syrians can benefit from the experience of others on how to overhaul a constitution, create space for political debate, enshrine the independence of the judiciary, design a fair election commission and rebuild an economy. The Canadian government can tap into the Syrian Canadian community to provide insight and help navigate the complicated regional and local Syrian political landscape (This is not a self-promotion plug. There are thousands of highly qualified professional Syrian Canadians who understand Syria much better than I and can be extremely helpful).

There are some Syrian Canadians who support the regime. Some mysteriously believe that it is a transparent government, while others are doing so because they are vested in the regime and are benefiting economically or socially. However, many are doing so because they are genuinely worried about what could happen if the regime falls. Those are fair questions, but I’d rather encourage Syrians to prepare for an equitable and peaceful transition than demand that they tolerate further humiliation and oppression.

The Syrian people have exhibited tremendous courage. They understand that by publicly demanding freedom and democracy they will be jeopardizing their lives yet they choose to embark on an unpredictable journey driven by their hunger for dignity and self-respect. The least we can do, as global citizens from the comfort of our peaceful homes, is support their desire to receive the same rights we take for granted on a daily basis.

September 2nd, 2011, 8:23 pm

 

N.Z. said:

“Do u think Burhan will be accepted by the Islamists? Most of us know the answer.,”

The answer is YES!!

I hope we can all learn how to talk straight, “Islamists” is a term coined by Daniel Pipes, to reiterate his term, is an implication of support. There is no political Islam, they are Muslims who use Islam in a perverted way to justify their ends, as they are others who use anything Islamic to instill fear in the ignorant. As well they are Muslims who has every right to form a political party. It is up to the majority to decide, not the likes of Assad $ co. Soon the time of elimination, liquidation and deportation will be things of the past.

Any political party in Syria’s dawned new future must be acceptable.

September 2nd, 2011, 8:46 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Beware @45:

The obstacles that are preventing from the opposition ouside the country to unite are mainly two

1. The ideological intolerance
2. The psychological problems

How to solve these problems is a conundrum

For more details:

http://haytham-khoury2.blogspot.com/2011/07/syrian-opposition-from-absurdity-to.html

http://haytham-khoury2.blogspot.com/2011/07/response-to-call-to-hold-meeting-for.html

September 2nd, 2011, 8:47 pm

 

True said:

@ 232. Abu Umar

Musa Alsadr In August 1978, and two companions Sheikh Muhammad Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine departed for Libya where they have disappeared

Te War of camps was erupted on May 19, 1985.
Amal took control of West Beirut, establishing a number of outposts and checkpoints around the camps in that’s the Multinational Force (MNF) withdrew from Beirut in February 1984

Read “Snow Ball” by Shimon Shiffer
(The acronym in Hebrew for the invasion’s official title, Operation Peace for the Galilee, is SNOW.)

Amal and Nabih Bari should apologise to Palestinians otherwise tell them to get ready when Betho runs away to Iran.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWqxtsa8hzo

September 2nd, 2011, 9:08 pm

 

Norman said:

I wish i were able to see the future to see what Syria would look like if the opposition wins, so i can make a better stand for what is going on in Syria.

September 2nd, 2011, 9:14 pm

 

NK said:

“Do u think Burhan will be accepted by the Islamists? Most of us know the answer.,”

It’s not the “Islamists” who won’t accept Ghalioun lol, check this out

http://bit.ly/re9bl8

البوطي: برهان غليون علماني مارق ومحارب للدين وعميل أمريكي

September 2nd, 2011, 9:34 pm

 

ss said:

Ramadan is behind us, many relied on this month heavily as the month during which president Assad fall will be sure. That did not happen!

Many continue to write the same info over and over “the regime is falling””Besho””Menhebacks””Shabeeha” etc, and thats not helping you. The president and the army are well.

Aljazeera is more repetitive than you guys on SC. They are running out of news and they keep posting the same pic over and over, again and again, day after the other…absolutely nothing new, nothing new at all. Aljazeera post big lies about Syria, nothing factual at all

Amir Qatar went to Iran and was sent empty handed. He hoped to get some assurances, cut dealos, restore broken ties….he was disappointed.

The president had made a bold move and challenged the western and the arab world and that tells stories about the solid foundation, and the confident he has in his army. He decided to restor order and he is delivering so far. He already gave a big finget to the MBs

The guests of many political programs on bbc, cnn, and even fox news deliver one message: It is unlikely that the west will be able to intervene millitarily in Syria. That is a big blow to the cheer leaders here on SC. One of these guests just said today that Obama has no intentions whatsoever in entering a third war in the middle east. All agreed on one option: put more pressure. I think you are smart enough to realize how ineffective any sanctions would be on Syria. Syria got a sanction vaccine long time ago and it is immune.

I feel sorry for the emotions and the time that supporters of the criminal islamic gangs are spending here on SC. I have one advice for you: Go have life

September 2nd, 2011, 9:40 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

@ Norman #52:

I understand your pain. It is completely your right to think and struggle as long as you need.

I agree with you that the opposition did not yet prove that it can manage the transition. Let us give Burhan Ghalioun a little of time.

I will keep pressing him for a real program (security, administration, internal and external political visions). Anybody’s ideas are welcome. I cam transmit.

September 2nd, 2011, 9:40 pm

 
 

Haytham Khoury said:

@ NK# 53:

It is almost impossible to sell Burhan Ghalioun for the Islamists. Burhan Ghalioun does not hide his allergy against the clerics. Burhan Ghalioun is liked by the political opposition inside the country, thus he does not create a schism between the opposition inside and the one outside the country. This is the reason for which he was chosen. My first choice for the transition council was Haitham al-Maleh. Haitham al-Maleh would have created national popular consensus (but nobody listens to me)

We were trying to organize a national meeting for the opposition that was supposed to comprise the whole spectrum of the opposition and I was lobbying for Haitham al-Maleh. That did not happen for reasons that I will tell later.

September 2nd, 2011, 9:54 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

ss,
this is what happened during Ramadan.
the Arab world broke its silence.
the Americans and the Europeans called on him to step down.
the Russians said , if things continue as they are , besho will face a sad future.
Damascus took a much more proactive role.
demonstrations are occurring less than 450 meters from besho’s house.
– I want you to assume the demonstration do fizzle out, do you think us,syrians have a bright future?
oh and btw deraa and hama are up and at it again, Syrians wont be subdued.
now stop focusing on al jazeera and start focusing on al ikhbaria il souriya, maybe a few raindrops will help you.
“I feel sorry for the emotions and the time that supporters of the criminal islamic gangs are spending here on SC. I have one advice for you: Go have life”
thanks for the psychoanalysis dr.freud. but il take my chances and fight for a LIFE OF DIGNITYالموت ولا المذلة

September 2nd, 2011, 10:07 pm

 

ann said:

As Lebanon Heads UNSC, Salam Riffs on Palestine, Doesn’t Defer to NATO

http://www.innercitypress.com/sc1leb1sep090211.html

UNITED NATIONS, September 2 — With the UN Security Council presidency being taken over by Lebanese Permanent Representative Nawaf Salam for September, the month of the General Debate and when Palestine might ask the Council to join the UN, many of wondered if Lebanon’s complex politics might impact the Council’s plumbing, if not its ultimate decisions.

Lebanon, for example, blocked the first proposed Press Statement on Syria, then disassociated itself from the Presidential Statement adopted on August 3.

While the two dueling Syria resolutions now pending in the Council may pose a problem for Salam — on Friday he said his “good offices” to mediate haven’t been requested — an issue he clearly feels passionate about is Palestine.

During his press conference on Friday, his longest answer concerned the questions of Palestinian statehood. He recalled that Palestine declared itself a state in 1988. He cited the 1933 Montevideo Convention and said that Palestine has all the attributes of a state.

On the question of undefined borders, he compared it with South Sudan, which is still in a dispute with Khartoum for Abyei, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

Palestine is not, however, listed on the Council’s program of work for September, even in the footnotes. Inner City Press asked Salam about Kordofan and Blue Nile. He said they could be addressed at the September 8 consultations on Sudan and South Sudan, and said he would come speak to the press after those consultations.

On Libya, Inner City Press asked Salam about a statement by French president Nicolas Sarkozy on September 1, that the so-called “Group of Friends of Libya” had decided that NATO can keep bombing.

The same is implied in the UN Secretariat’s Libya plan written by Ian Martin, which Inner City Press exclusively obtained and published. Inner City Press asked Salam, but isn’t that the Security Council’s decision?

Salam said that yes, the Council can consider and decide on NATO’s mission, at its Libya consultations scheduled for September 26. That seems late, but at least Salam said it’s not just up to NATO.

Salam is an intellectual, having for example edited and written a chapter in the 2003 book “Lebanon in Limbo.” His review copy inscription says, “Best wishes from a region (and not only my country) in limbo.”

We will be reviewing the book during his month; we’ll see where he comes out between the mere three media stakeouts held in May by French Ambassador Gerard Araud, and the eight full blown stakeouts conducted by Hardeep Singh Puri of India in August. Watch this site.

September 2nd, 2011, 10:32 pm

 

Some Guy in Batswana said:

This is what happened during Ramadan. Saudi Arabia and gulf states, with a straight face, called for political reforms in Syria.

I’m guessing that since Bashar didn’t have a chop-chop square, it wasn’t liberal enough for King Abdullah. I mean nothing says liberalism than chopping the head off a maid who was repeatedly raped.

I heard the house of as sabah in Kuwait is so liberal, they will even allow a male who only is half a as sabah to be in government.

Maybe Syria can call on Qatar for guidance on liberal leadership?

‘The Rule of the State shall be hereditary within the Al Thani family and by the male successors of Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim. The inheritance of the Rule shall go to the son to be named by the Emir as Heir Apparent. If there is no male offspring, the Rule shall be transferred to the one from the family whom the Emir names as Heir Apparent and, in this case, the Rule would then be inherited by his male successors. A special law shall organise all provisions related to the ruling of the State and its inheritance, to be issued within one year of the date of this Constitution coming into force, and should have a Constitutional validity.’

Yeah! The Arabic monarchs and dictators that all have aligned themselves with the U.S. call on Bashar to leave for ‘Human Right’s’ reason. Give me a break.

Maybe that why Obama’s ratings in the Middle East is down to the 10% level? Real Arabs (not blog-bots) understand just how our policy continues to suck up to the oil money.

September 2nd, 2011, 10:33 pm

 

True said:

Revolutions are not simple mathematical equations, actually it’s more like chemical equations where the output is fully controlled by many elements and the surrounding.

Syrian people managed to regain their confidence and for that they’re happily putting all these enormous sacrifices on the line, that’s in order to nail the job down and earn their freedom, actually against all the odds the protesters managed to acquire a unique experience of running peaceful protests, addressing demands and reaching out in no time, an experience needs decades of time to be acquired in normal scenarios.

September 2nd, 2011, 10:42 pm

 

NK said:

Dear Haytham

I think you are overestimating the power of hardcore Islamists in Syria, you’re summing them together as well, even though they are not unified under one banner as far as I can tell. You are also underestimating the popularity Dr. Ghalioun enjoys among the youth.
I could be wrong, your input will be much appreciated.

Please note that Al-Bouti doesn’t enjoy any popularity whatsoever among the revolutionists , he lost whatever support he had when he sided with the regime. The “secular” regime and its “secular” supporters are defending Dr. Bouti fiercely as a moderate and open-minded Islamic scholar, so I find it ironic when this same guy attacks someone else for being secular and calls him a “kafer”, after all that’s what مارق really means.

As for the transitional council, I really don’t know what the fuss is all about, yes we don’t want every group to form its own council and we want the council to represent the Syrian street with all its components, however trying to get all the opposition figures on board is impractical and unnecessary, and frankly it’s hurting the revolution more than anything. The way I see it those trying to form the council are going about it the wrong way. They don’t need the approval of the different opposition groups, all they need is the approval of the (Local Coordination Committees) as those are the only group with any influence over the demonstrators because they are the demonstrators, whether the traditional opposition figures approve of this council or not does not matter in the slightest, if they approve that’s fine, if they don’t the worst they can do is write about it somewhere where 10 people will read their article and forget about it 15 minutes later.

The way I see it, someone should put together a list of capable and widely accepted people, get this list approved by both these individuals and the local committees then announce it on Friday while the committees carry banners promoting this council all over the country, once they have the people in the street it doesn’t matter if others approve or not.

As for me, personally I prefer Ghalioun over Maleh, I think he is better equipped to lead the transitional period, and has a better vision for the future of the country and how to get there.

September 2nd, 2011, 10:53 pm

 

Revlon said:

40. Dear Abughassan:
You said:”The truth is that I, and most educated Syrians, do not give a rat’s behind if Burhan was An Alawi or not”

Yet you were quick to introduce him as Alawi!

You said: “He actually have a perfect Alawi accent”

Here you go again!
I listened to B Ghalyoon a few times before. He speaks with classical Homsi accent. For one thing, I do not recall him pronounce Q, typical of accent of mountain inhabitants, namely Druze, Alawi and some Christians.

“He looks like the twin brother of an Alawi friend I have”

You claim that you are the least sectarian on SC, yet you partly base your judgement of person’s sect on his looks!

Such a remark comming from a Sunni, MB or oterwise, would be so touchy, it would be dubbed sectarian, would it not?

September 2nd, 2011, 10:54 pm

 

Revlon said:

A Youth Movement have circulated a draft document of a declaration of principles and a plan with road map for transition from current regime to the elections of mayors, a parliament and a president.
http://the-syrian.com/archives/35716

The declaration dodged the currently contentious point of arming the revolution.
The plan bridged the gap between the Antalya and the Istanbul meetings by setting a deadline for the president to resign.

The following is a personal translation of the document:

1. Syria is a civil states, for all of its citizens; There is no distinction on the basis of ethnicity, religion or sect.

2. No ethnicity is permitted to demand self-rule or independence.

3. It is imperative that steps be taken for dissolving all nationalistic and religious parties.

4. Bringing down the system gradually, as per the following:
a. Handing over of the president’s and all of his family’s powers to the interim president; his first deputy.
b. The interim president calls for:
i. Dissolving the Baath party and the National Progressive Front (NPF).
ii. National elections of members of the Founding Council (FC), to be comprised of 3 elected members per governorate. Candidates can not be past members of either bath or NPF parties.

5. Once elected, the FC
a. Choose its president and deputy
b. Form a government of technocrats; they should not be eligible for occupying a governmental, parliamentary, or high administrative posts, at least until after two respective rounds.
c. Call labor and professional Unions for arranging free elections: Baath and PNF members are not permitted.
d. Call the lawyers Union to:
i. Arrange free elections of Higher Council of Justice
ii. Form an Constitutional Assembly to amend the 1950 constitution
e. Set laws and rules relating to the formation of political parties,
general presidential elections and local elections of municipalities and
mayors, within 9 months of its commission.
f. Revamp and consolidate the various security Systems and transforme it into civil bodies, under the jurisdiction of civil court system.
g. Call for elections of Peoples Assembly, Mayors, and finally the President of Syria.

6. In case the president did not resign within 20 days of the adoption of this declaration, a National Council is formed
a. It is founded on the three aforementioned principles of this document.
b. Its authority is limited to the facilitation of peaceful transition to and the laying of the foundations of a democratic system, using free ballot as a mechanism of selection.
c. It should be staffed by specialist technocrats and academicians who pledge not to run for high posts before at least two election rounds.
d. The National Council establishes a special court charged with handling claims of crimes committed by regime members.
e. The adoptions of an amended version of 1950 constitution in the transitional period.

بيان عاجل من الشباب السوري منبثق عن نبض الشارع
إن النضال والصمود الأسطوري الذي مازال يسطره الشعب السوري لنيل الحرية واستعادة الحقوق والكرامة الوطنية وإنشاء دولة المواطنة يلقي على عاتق الوطنيين الواعين الرقي إلى مستوى هذا الدم الذي مازال يقدمه الشباب السوري، والنأي عن الانقسام والاختلاف والمبادرات الإقصائية التي استفحلت في أوساط تيارات المعارضة السورية لدرجة أننا أصبحنا نشكك بأجندة بعض فصائل واسماء المعارضة الذي سيكون له أثر سيء في استمرار إراقة الدماء في سوريا، بل والمساهمة في إطالة عمر النظام. وعليه فإننا سنقدم ورقة للمعارضة (راجين منكم المساهمة بأفكاركم وإقتراحاتكم وتعليقاتكم لنضغط إتجاه مبادرة تعبر عنا كشباب الثورة) متأملين أن يتم تبنيها من المعارضة والوطنين ويتم العمل على اساسها وتطويرها.
وثيقة الشرف الوطنية
1. سوريا هي جمهورية مدنية لكل أبنائها وأطيافها لا فرق فيها بين طيف أو دين أو طائفة.
2. لا يحق لأي طيف في سوريا المطالبة بحكم ذاتي أو انفصال أو فدرالية.
3. إن تضحيات الشعب السوري تحتم على الجميع العمل اعتباراً من هذه اللحظة على حل كافة الأحزاب القومية والدينية وتشكيل تحالفات وطنيه بحتة.
4. إسقاط النظام بطريقة تدريجية على الأسس التالية:
• الاستقالة الفورية لرئيس الجمهورية وكل أفراد عائلته من السلطة السورية وتسليم إدارة البلاد لنائبه الأول.
• يعمل نائب الرئيس (الرئيس المؤقت) على حل حزب البعث والجبهة الوطنية والدعوة الفورية لإجراء انتخابات بإشراف عربي ودولي لمجلس تأسيسي للدولة يضم عن كل محافظة ثلاث شخصيات لم تشارك ولم تكن يوماً ضمن أي من أحزاب الجبهة

5-فور انتهاء الانتخابات يقوم المجلس التأسيسي باختيار رئيس له ونائب وتشكيل مجلس وزاري من تكنوقراط ومستقلين على أن يتعهدوا بعدم التقدم للإنتخابات في الإنتخابات العامة والبرلمانيةوالمجالس المحلية وللمناصب الوزارية والإدارية الرئيسية بشكل نهائي أو بعد إنتهاء دورتين انتخابيتين على الأقل.
• يدعو المجلس التأسيسي كافة النقابات لانتخابات جديدة تضمن عدم مشاركة أعضاء الجبهة فيها.
• تقوم نقابة المحاميين السوريين بإجراء انتخابات لإنتخاب المجلس الأعلى للقضاء و هيئة لتعديل دستور 1950 بما يتناسب مع الوضع السوري والأخذ بعين الاعتبار ترشيح قضاة مستقلين ومشهود لهم بالنزاهة.
• يقوم المجلس المؤقت بوضع كافة القوانين اللازمة للأحزاب والانتخابات العامة وانتخابات الإدارات المحلية والمحافظين والرئاسية والدعوة لها خلال 9 أشهر من تسلمه السلطة.
• يقوم المجلس بتوحيد كافة الأجهزة الأمنية وإعادة هيكليتها بأجهزة مدنية محددة الأهداف وخاضعة لسلطة القانون.
• يدعو المجلس لإجراء انتخابات جديدة لمجلس الشعب والمحافظين ومن ثم رئاسة الجمهورية.

6- سيتم تشكيل مجلس وطني موحد تكون مبادئه الأساسية هي البنود الـثلاثة الأولى من هذه الوثيقة في حال عدم استقالة الرئيس خلال عشرين يوماً؛ وذلك لضمان عدم وجود فراغ إداري سياسي. يتمثل المجلس الوطني الموحد بسلطة انتقالية مهمتها تنحصر في الانتقال السلمي إلى النظام الديمقراطي وتأسيسه، على أن تكون الخطوات الأساسية الكبرى التي يقرها المجلس مبنية على الاقتراع. وأن لا تملك أهداف سياسية تجيّر لأجلها شكل النظام المقبل لمصالحها الذاتية فمن هنا يجب أن يكون المجلس من المهنيين المتخصصين والأكاديميين الذين يتعهدون بعدم الترشح للانتخابات العامة والبرلمانية والمجالس المحلية وللمناصب الوزارية والإدارية الرئيسية بشكل نهائي أو بعد انتهاء دورتين انتخابيتين على الأقل.
يتولى المجلس كذلك إنشاء محكمة ابتدائية خاصة بالنظام ورموزه على الجرائم التي ارتكبوها وإحالتهم للمحاكم المختصة.
اعتماد دستور عام 1950 كمرجعية دستورية في الفترة الإنتقالية مع تعديل بعض مواده.
الرجاء من كل من يجها تمثلة زيارة رابط المبادرة الأساسي والتوقيع عليها والمساهمه في نشرها
وشكرا

September 2nd, 2011, 11:01 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

Hey doctors,
I’ve met some university students and they hold burhan ghalioun in the highest regard.
One student said: appointing dr.burhan is good because he will attract Alawis
Another student replied: NO! , from now on we’re just going to refer to him and them as Syrian citizens.
To me this was this was dr.burhans value
When he was an alawi: x
When he was a Sunni : x
If he turns out to be a Buddhist: x
When he was a syrian scholar in a esteemed position In a very reputable university: X+Y+Z.

September 2nd, 2011, 11:14 pm

 

beaware said:

‘Israel’s bullying in eastern Med is over’
Friday, September 2, 2011
Serkan Demirtaş
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=8216israel8217s-bullying-in-eastern-med-is-over8217-2011-09-02
The eastern Mediterranean will no longer be a place where Israeli naval forces can freely exercise their “bullying” practices against civilian vessels, a Turkish official said Friday.

The official said this would be the outcome of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s statement earlier in the day that “Turkey would take every precaution it deems necessary for the safety of maritime navigation in the eastern Mediterranean.”
…….
Erdoğan plans Gaza visit

As part of Turkey’s more aggressive strategy against Israel, sources told the Daily News that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planning to visit Hamas-controlled Gaza in the coming weeks, an intention he voiced in late July.

“Our prime minister has already instructed the Foreign Ministry to set a date for the visit. We are looking for the best timing for the visit,” a diplomatic source said. “Our primary purpose is to draw the world’s attention to what is going on in Gaza and to push the international community to end the unfair embargo imposed by Israel.”

September 2nd, 2011, 11:17 pm

 

ann said:

It Won’t Be Easy to Bring Down Syria’s Assad – September 03, 2011

Bye Bye Islamist Terrorists your window of opportunity is closing!

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/09/03/it-wont-be-easy-to-bring-down-syrias-assad/

No one, certainly not any of the protesters across Syria, has suggested military intervention to quell the Assad regime’s relentless campaign of violence. What Syrians eagerly want is explicit international condemnation of President Bashar al-Assad, and commensurate economic and diplomatic pressure that will force him to leave.

That was the message Radwan Ziadeh, a young opposition activist, brought to the U.N. Human Rights Council last week. “Syrians are looking for the Human Rights Council to unequivocally urge Syria to put an end to the regime’s clear shoot-to-kill policy,” he declared.

Ziadeh recalled that he had last flown to Geneva in April to address the council when it convened, for the first time ever, a special meeting devoted to Syria. With U.S. leadership, the council adopted a resolution on April 29 condemning Syria’s violation of human rights and “use of lethal violence against peaceful protesters.”

The council also decided to dispatch an investigative team to Syria. But it would take another three and a half months of ruthless killings and destruction until the Assad regime agreed to receive the delegation, and this only after the Human Rights Council convened for a second time, on August 22, to discuss the continuing, deteriorating situation. This time, 33 members of the Human Rights Council, including Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, voted for the resolution. Kuwait was elected to the Council earlier this year, after Syria was advised to withdraw its candidacy.

What the U.N. human rights investigators found, even with Syrian government restrictions on where they could go, confirmed the deepening concerns voiced by Navi Pillay, the U.N.’s human rights chief, about the regime’s crackdown. “It is our assessment that the scale and nature of these acts may amount to a crime against humanity,” Pillay said. She is urging that Assad be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The Hague-based ICC has issued war crimes indictments against other Arab despots, notably Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi. There are solid grounds for indicting Assad as well, whose forces have killled at least 2,200, detained tens of thousands more, and, as Ziadeh pointed out, have generally “spread fear among Syrians.”

To even refer the matter to the ICC, however, requires action by the U.N. Security Council, whose tepid response so far to the situation in Syria has abandoned vast number of Syrians to Assad’s torments. Not only has the Security Council ignored its sister body, the Human Rights Council, it has even failed to consider resolutions prepared by several European nations, as well as the United States.

Brazil, China, India, Lebanon, Russia and South Africa are the Security Council members blocking global action on Syria. Russia, in particular, has made clear it will veto any resolution on Syria.

While these countries have a variety of ties to Syria, their objections are based on the alleged fear that Security Council condemnation and sanctions would somehow lead to military action, even though, unlike the case in regard to Libya, no one has asked for it.

On a positive note, those governments standing in the way of stronger, non-military action are dwindling in number. Earlier this week, the Arab League finally called on Syria to “end the spilling of blood and follow the way of reason before it is too late.”

Even U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was miffed by the Assad regime’s assertions that all shooting had stopped two weeks ago, hours after President Obama and several European governments called on Assad “to step aside.”

“It is troubling that he has not kept his word,” said Ban, according to Washington Post U.N. correspondent Colum Lynch. “Many world leaders have been speaking to him to halt immediately military operations that are killing his own people, and he asssured me [that he would] do that and [that] military operations have already stopped…I sincerely hope that he heeds the international community’s appeal and call” for restraint.

Temperance is not in Assad’s vocabulary. Syrian forces welcomed Eid al-Fitr, the festive holiday marking the end of Ramadan, just as they ushered in Islam’s holy month by firing on worshippers leaving mosques after prayers and continuing to violently besiege cities around the country.

Soon, the Syrian regime will further demonstrate its disdain for world opinion by sending Foreign Minister Walid Moallem to New York to attend the opening of the U.N. General Assembly session. Though the U.S. has imposed sanctions on Moallem and other senior officials, he, like Syria’s ally President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, has the right, according to international law, to fly into New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to participate in U.N. deliberations.

Moallem will find a welcome mat out at the U.N. Lebanon, which objected to the Arab League statement criticizing Syria, assumes the presidency of the U.N. Security Council for September. Syrians, bravely seeking fundamental changes in their country, see the window of opportunity for a united international response to the callous Assad regime closing.

September 2nd, 2011, 11:26 pm

 

True said:

With or without the support of minorities, elite Sunni class, regime’s cronies and the international community, the protesters on ground will keep going and won’t kneel down or deviate from the ultimate goal of their struggle of toppling down the dictatorship, fully aware of the price they have to pay.

September 2nd, 2011, 11:34 pm

 

shabbi7 said:

http://wikileaks.org/cable/1995/11/95DAMASCUS5748.html

“SARG KNOWLEDGE OF ISRAELI
DOMESTIC POLITICAL DYNAMICS IS INDEED INADEQUATE.
BUT THAT IS NOT THE REAL POINT. EVEN IF THE SARG
HAD PERFECT KNOWLEDGE OF THESE DYNAMICS, IT WOULD
NOT ACT DIFFERENTLY, BECAUSE OF ITS OWN SELF-
IMPOSED PSYCHOLOGICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL CONSTRAINTS.
ASAD WILL DO A DEAL IF IT IS EVIDENTLY A GOOD DEAL
FOR SYRIA, AND HE WILL NOT DO A DEAL IF IT IS NOT –
– REGARDLESS OF WHETHER RABIN FALLS AND ASAD IS
FORCED TO DEAL WITH A LESS FLEXIBLE LIKUD
LEADERSHIP, OR IF THE PROCESS IS SENT INTO THE DEEP
FREEZE WITH NO PROSPECT FOR THAWING.”

Enough said.

September 3rd, 2011, 12:10 am

 

Abughassan said:

Revoln,I will reply because it is already Saturday and I am entitled to post again 🙂
I said what I knew about Dr Galioun,and I mentioned the guy’s assumed sect because it does matter to some and it would have been an issue worthy of discussion if he is actually an alawi. Knowing Syria today and after talking to
numerous Syrians,it has become clear to me that most Syrians prefer a change including ending the alawite’s 41 years of occupying the presidency. I want a secular president and I am without doubt willing to give my support to any qualified moderate politician who can unite Syrians and reassure those who are,and rightfully so,afraid of replacing a dictatorship with a theocracy.

You will see,and time is the judge,that opposition to Galioun will be much more fierce from Islamists than alawis and minorities because Galioun may not be “Sunni enough”.
I hereby provide my intial support for dr Galioun. His actions,not his sect,will determine whether I continue my support or not,and I hope all Syrians do the same. Enough playing with words,let us move to a meaningful discussion away from whether he is an alawi or not. Choosing him over an Islamist is a step in the right direction,nobody should expect me to choose sides,alawi versus Sunni,my choice is Syria that is free from a family rule and one party rule.. You guys have a lot more to answer than me and a good start is denouncing random violence regardless of who is doing it,denial is a game serious people do not like to play.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:09 am

 

Obsever said:

I am in the ME and let me share with you some of the stories of the resistance to the regime:
People released about 10 000 ping pong balls with the words down with the regime written on them from the Muhajereen district the highest suburb on the mountain of Kassioun and these trickled down all the way to the Ummayad circle passing through the street where the presidential residence is located with the guards running around to collect them.
In Homs and Hama street committees formed to warn of security sweeps and a system of communication established to allow for the demonstrations to spring up at a moment’s notice.
The thugs are paid 100 dollars per day and twice that on Friday. They are running out of people and money to do the job in every locality and in every corner of the country.
50% of the workers of the tourist industry have been let go.
The occupancy rate of hotels is just near 0-1%
The pictures of seid Nasrallah have disappeared from Damascus
The imam of the Rifaii mosque was threatened with the killing of his son if he did not relent and he refused to do so.
The population is arming itself but they are not taking up arms at all. They do not want to play into the hands of the regime.
About 20 000 soldiers have split and are in hiding in various parts of the country and a big split just happened again in Rastan
Iranians are in contact with the opposition to assess their prospects
Again the situation as I read it before is the same: the regime made the fatal mistake of making the opposition have nothing to lose and everything to gain and it has cornered itself with one tool only that of the use of brute force.

From demands of change within the regime the people are now asking for the execution of the president
Finally and this is a rumor only apparently the first lady wanted to leave with her children and Maher came to the airport and forced her to stay.

I am sorry the regime is hanging itself as we speak. Sorry to disappoint those on this blog and in particular this posting yesterday that seem to cling to threads here and there in the desperate hope that there is redemption for the regime.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:15 am

 

Abughassan said:

More on Dr Galioun
Do not believe the myth that islamists including albouti may support him

http://www.alarabonline.org/index.asp?fname=%5C2011%5C03%5C03-11%5C451.htm&dismode=x&ts=11-3-2011%209:07:03

September 3rd, 2011, 2:26 am

 

Shami said:

Many here seem to ignore that the syrian MB have had a parliemantarian past in Syria and took part to democratically set up governments.
Many here ignore that since the begining the MB have been in alliance with secular and christian personalities.(on the same electoral list)
The influent islamists in Syria are unlike the other islamists ,even the most salafis among them,their discourse is build on a long culture of co-exsitence.
As for Ghalioun i think that he was selected by a commitee made of islamists and seculars.I read his book le malaise arabe when i was 13 years old,he is a guenine secular ,not like those sectarian seculars that we may find in lebanon and some regions in syria who are seen in parties such as SSNP ,Ghalioun attacked such parties in his book.
The future will tell us if it was a smart decision.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:01 am

 

Syria no kandahar said:

It is a fact that Moslems have deformed Islam as much as they can these days.from 9/11 to suicide bombing to sectarian killing .let’s be honest,when Christians were slaughtered by the Turks and the Kurds 1915 ,they were protected by Arabs and Moslems.if you watch an old song for umkalthoum you will see that people then were less hijab or niqab than these days.Moslems have changed significantly to the worse,and I say that in general not in syria alone.Extremists are much more common.Hijab and niqab are much more common,and dishonesty and lack of manners is so common.This could be true for other religions too,due to the nature of time and may be economical factors,but violence and terrorism have grown much more in Moslem communities.Fort or fifty years ago you could lend your Moslem friend or neighbor,if you know him well enough,and if he gives you his word,you can be sure 99%that you will get your money back.That was especially true in tribal communities.nowadays you can be 99%sure that you will not get it.
As Moslems became more pseudoreligious,manners,education,respect,honesty
And integrity deteriorated to a serious degree.
Having all that in mind,any talk about politics is not going to produce good communities becauseالعطل من الغسيل ومن الغساله

September 3rd, 2011, 3:37 am

 

Mango said:

http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/08/7-myths-of-crowd-psychology.php

7 Myths of Crowd Psychology

Crowds are not the many-armed destructive monsters of the popular or even fascist imagination.
How do you imagine an archetypal crowd of people – say at a concert, a sporting event or a demonstration?

If you picture an irrational, spontaneous, suggestible, emotional and even potentially dangerous group then you are in good company.

Sociologists David Schweingruber and Ronald Wohlstein have found this view of crowds is promoted by many authors of introductory sociology textbooks. Indeed the idea that crowds demonstrate bizarre, almost pathological behaviour was championed by eminent French sociologist Gustave LeBon.

Despite these beliefs both in sociology textbooks and in the general public, the actual evidence does not support it. Crowds are not the many-armed destructive monsters of the popular or even fascist imagination.

Here are the seven myths about crowds that Schweingruber and Wohlstein identify, in order of how frequently they appear in introductory sociology textbooks.

1. Crowds are spontaneous

The most common myth about crowds is that they are spontaneous, or worse, that they are hotbeds of violence, with complete chaos only a few ill-judged jostles away.

Research into crowd violence does not support this. One study of riots shows that violence is normally related to the presence of two opposing factions. Mixed crowds – which are the norm – are in fact usually peaceful and only engage in stereotypical crowd-behaviour, e.g. whistling and clapping, face-painting, singing and shouting depending on the occasion.

In reality most people will go to almost any length to avoid actual violence, whether they are in a crowd or not.

2. Crowds are suggestible

The idea that people in crowds have heightened suggestibility is also a relatively common myth. People are said to copy each other, looking for a leader, being open to others’ suggestion about how they should behave, perhaps resulting from a lack of social structure.

Schweingruber and Wohlstein simply find no research to back up this claim. If there is some truth to the idea that people in crowds are suggestible, no one has managed to demonstrate it empirically. One scholar has asked why, if crowds are so suggestible, they don’t disperse when asked to do so by an authority figure.

3. Crowds are irrational

One type of irrationality frequently attributed to crowds is panic. Faced by emergency situations people are thought to suddenly behave like selfish animals, trampling others in the scramble to escape.

A long line of research into the way people behave in real emergency situations does not support this idea. Two examples are studies on underground station evacuations and the rapid, orderly way in which people evacuated the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Many lives were saved that day because people resisted the urge to panic. Resisting the urge to irrationality, or panic, is the norm.

4. Crowds increase anonymity

A less common myth, but still popular is the idea that people become more anonymous when they are in a crowd. This anonymity is said to feed into spontaneity and even destructiveness, helping to make crowds violent, dangerous places in which society’s laws are transgressed.

Everyday experience, though, is that people usually travel in groups, with their family or friends, and so are not anonymous at all. Research confirms this, for example one study from the 70s found that most people at a football match were with one or more friends. Later research has repeated this finding.

5. Crowds are emotional

Less widespread this myth – nevertheless crowds are thought by some to be particularly emotional. It is argued that increased emotionality is linked to irrationality and perhaps violence.

Modern psychological research, though, doesn’t see the emotions as separate to decision-making, but rather as an integral part. To talk about an ’emotional crowd’ as opposed to a ‘rational crowd’, therefore, doesn’t make sense. People in crowds make their decisions with input from their emotions, just as they do when they’re not in a crowd.

6. Crowds are unanimous

Few of the sociology textbooks endorse the myth of unanimity, but the idea does appear that when people are together they tend to act in unison. Research suggests, though, that this is rarely the case – people remain stubbornly individual.

7. Crowds are destructive

The least common myth in the sociology textbooks, but quite a strong cultural stereotype of crowds, is that they are destructive. This is closely related to the myth of spontaneity and is often connected to violence.

Again Schweingruber and Wohlstein find that the research (like this) shows violence in crowds is extremely rare. And what violence does occur is normally carried out by a small minority – these are the people that make it onto the news.

September 3rd, 2011, 5:26 am

 

Revlon said:

خولة دنيا : عن مدينة ساحلية في سورية: الاخوة الاعداء
2011/09/02
خولة دنيا
http://www.sooryoon.net/?p=32082

اليوم اقتحموا باب الدريبة.. اعتقلوا الشبان.. ونهبوا المنازل ثم أحرقوا ما تبقى..
هي جبلة الأدهمية التي تنتظر الرعب منذ عشرة أيام.. والمخاوف من الاقتحام لا تفارق شبابها..

جبلة اليوم هي مفتاح حديثي هذا.. بعد أن رأيت على الصفحة الخاصة بها دعوات طائفية للانتقام من العلويين بسبب مواقفهم السلبية من الحراك هناك، والمظاهر التي رافقت الشبيحة فيها من إبراز مظاهر الانتصار على الأخوة الأعداء فيها.

هذه الدعوات التي أصبحنا نتفهمها اليوم بعد كثرة التشبيح بأنواعه المادية والمعنوية.. وبعد الانقسام الحاصل فيها، الذي طال حتى شاطئها.. فترى نصف الكورنيش ممتلئا ومليئا بالحياة والناس .. والنصف الآخر مليء بالجيش والأمن والقناصة ويعاني من فراغ سكاني يملأ الجو بالخوف والذعر من القادم..

لم تكن جبلة وحدها على هذا الحال، فكذلك بانياس، واللاذقية والكثير من المدن المختلطة.. والتي يوجد فيها تواجد للعلويين. فمع ازدياد الربط بين الطائفة والنظام.. بدأت هذه المظاهر بالازدياد ومما فاقم الوضع الانكفاء الواضح لدى المثقفين وعدم الفعل للتخفيف من هذا التوتر الطائفي، وهو ما أرغب بالأتيان على ذكره هنا، وتفصيله.

في اللاذقية، وعند زيارتي للرمل الجنوبي، التقيت بأحد الرجال الناشطين هناك، قال لي: نريد تبيان موقف من الطائفة العلوية من النظام، وأن على المثقفين والمعارضين فيها التبرؤ منه، ومن أفعاله، وقتها قلت له، الكثير من المعارضين هم مع الحراك، ولكن لا يقبلون أن يحسبوا على النظــــام فقط لأنه علوي، نحن مع الحراك لأنــــنا سوريون ولأنكم سوريــــون، ولأن وجعكم وجعنا، وما يصيبكم يصيبنا. الرجل تفهم الأمر ولكن لم يستطع تقبله فهو لم ير أيا من هؤلاء المعارضين متواجدا بينهم كسوري، وبقوا لوحدهم هناك في الرمل الجنوبي يعانون الحصار والعزلة.. وكان الاقتحام في اليوم الثاني لهذا الحديث.

وعلى الرغم من الصدى الإيجابي لكلامنا ذاك، إلا أنه لا يشفي قلب المواطنين الذين يعانون في كل لحظة من تعنت وعسف النظام.

في نقاشنا مع الشباب المعارضين هناك في الساحل كان موقف الجميع نحن سوريين ولا نريد أن نحتسب الآن على أساس طائفي..
ولكن ما لفت نظري هو الـــموقف من الذهـــاب إلى مناطق الحصار، أو محاولة التـــظاهر في مناطق أخرى.. فقد قالوا لي: نحن علويين في النهاية، والشبيحة لن يتركونا بحالنا أبداً ونحن نتلقى تهديدات يومية ومحاولات إيذاء ولا نستطيع النزول بحرية للتظاهـــر وتبيان الرأي!!!
سوري بمواقفك.. طائفي في خوفك.. أيها المثقف كيف؟

الشيء الآخر: أن الجميع احتج على توقيعي على بيان للعلويين يتبرأون فيه من النظام مع أني كتبت (مع فصل الدين عن الدولة) لتبيان علمانيتي، غير أنني أحسست أن هذا التوقيع قد يجد صدى في قلوب الناس، فالناس متدينون والاحتقان موجود، وإن كان توقيعي يخفف منه فلم لا… صحيح أنا في النهاية علمانية، ولكن كل كلمة أو فعل لا نقوم به، قد نندم مستقبلاً على عدم فعله، وخاصة إن كان يصب في مصلحة توحيدنا كسوريين.

العلمانيون رفضوا التوقيع بحجة أنهم سوريون أولاً، ولكن خوفهم مما يجري يتم بحسابات أخرى وبأنهم علويون في النهاية ويخافون الانتقام.
الملخص:في التضامن نحن سوريون ومواطنون أولاً.. وفي تبيان هذا التضامن نحن نخاف كطائفيين!!!
هذه المعادلة وكيف ضبطت ما تزال تثير استغرابي.
الأثمان التي دفعها السوريون هناك كبيرة جداً على وجدان أي واحد منا…. وطريقة التعامل الطائفي التي يحاول النظام تكريسها بل وكرسها في الساحل بالفعل، تحتاج إلى فعل سريع وفوري، كي نستطيع تجاوزها، والأخطر هو هذه الدعوات التي نراها اليوم بالانتقام، فهؤلاء المحتجون لم يروا أمامهم سوى القتلة والشبيحة ورجال الأمن الذين يلبسوا لبوسا طائفيا، ويتهمون الآخرين على أساس طائفي بالسلفية والعرعرة… وغيرها من تهم.

وخوف المعارضين أو المؤازين للانتفاضة السورية لم يظهر على السطح للأسف بسبب خوف هؤلاء، هذا الخوف الطائفي بامتياز، فأنا معارض ولكني علوي في النهاية، وسيتم الانتقام مني، من العلويين، كعلوي…..
ومع أننا يجب أن لا نتجاهل أن الشبيحة والمدافعين عن النظام ليسوا فقط من طائفته، وأن هذا يظهر في المناطق التي لا يوجد فيها هذا التمايز الواضح في الطوائف، كالمناطق الشرقية والشمالية وحلب، غير أن خطورة هذه الدعوات توجب علينا عدم تجاهلها، والعمل ضدها، وتبيان الرأي المخالف لها، وهذا يتطلب شجاعة من الجميع تبيان مواقفهم كسوريين أولاً، ومعارضين ثانياً بغض النظر عن طوائفهم.

المشكلة اليوم، أنه إن لم تظهر مواقف صريحة وواضحة من هؤلاء، وإن لم تظهر معارضتهم واستعدادهم لدفع ثمن هذه المعارضة، وأن يشاركوا إخوتهم السوريين معاناتهم بحق وحقيق… فستذهب هذه المعارضة الصامتة أدراج الرياح… ولن تفيد في ساعة ازدياد التوتر الطائفي وبروزه بأشكال عنيفة.

المثقف من الطوائف الأخرى يبدو ثقله أكبر اليوم، بسبب انتمائه لتلك الطائفة، لذلك رأيت أن هناك إشكالية يجب تجاوزها عند التمييز بين خوفنا الطائفي، وانتماءنا الوطني، وأن هناك ضرورة الآن تبدو ملحة للخروج من البوتقة الطائفية وإعلان مواقفنا بغض النظر عن طوائفنا، وتجاوز مخاوفنا الطائفية تلك.. فنحن كسوريين معارضون يجب أن نكون في الشارع.. ولا يمكن تبرير عدم نزولنا بأننا ننتمي إلى طوائف قد تحاربنا لأننا نزلنا.

على السوريين الذين يمتلكوا موقف مما يحدث إن كانوا مع الانتفاضة بشكل صريح أو رافضين للتعامل الطائفي للنظام، أن يبروزا هذه المواقف وأن يحددوا من هم:
هل هم سوريون فعلاً وعلى استعداد للمشاركة في الصالح والطالح مما يجري؟
أم هم طائفيون وعليهم أن يتحملوا نتائج ما تعنيه هذه الكلمة الآن وفي المستقبل.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:24 am

 

Aboud said:

“He decided to restor order and he is delivering so far”

How did a Lt.Colonel get himself killed in Telkelakh, according to SANA? If that’s “order”, I’d hate to see what’s chaos in Besho’s books 🙂

It is quite telling that the menhebak’s desperation is such that they console themselves with the fact that the regime still exists on life support.

Other menhebaks saw the writing on the wall and left this forum, their former menhebak identities discarded, just like the pro-Qadafis discarded their uniforms. If you believe that BS about professor Landis curtailing his online activities on account of writing a book, I have a bridge I want to sell you.

It’s been over a week since the regime said it would track down the people who beat up Ali Ferzat (another one of Besho’s “achievements” according to people like SS). Not surprisingly, they haven’t caught anyone. Duh.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:24 am

 

hsyrian said:

Dear Joshua

You quoted an article

Obama, American liberator?
By Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz, Published: September 1
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obama-american-liberator/2011/09/01/gIQA3e5HvJ_story.html

“”
And the Syrian opposition has unified sufficiently to be an effective recipient of Western aid. Funds for striking workers, a wide variety of portable encrypting communications equipment and, critically, a cross-border WiFi zone that extends to the city of Aleppo, the commercial hub of Syria just 23 miles from Turkey
“”

The background of the authors of this OPINION is “interesting”

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA officer, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the author of “The Wave: Man, God, and the Ballot Box in the Middle East.”
Mark Dubowitz is the executive director of FDD, where he heads projects on sanctions and the use of technology to encourage democratic change.

These authors should know that :

1) Some Syrians pretending to be Opposition ( including Muslim Brothers – Al Qaeda ) have already received such aids from the different US AdministationS in the past and now ;
some are now very rich .

2) Their proposed WIFI cross border zone over Aleppo is TECHNICALLY not feasible

Disclaimers

The gullibility of the readers of American or Western newspapers or viewers of satellite TV is absolutely amazing.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:31 am

 

Aboud said:

Oh, and how has “order” been restored in Hama if the province’s most senior lawyer can be kidnapped, as SANA is claiming?

“Restore order” in menhebak speak means “killing or jailing demonstrators and sending tanks to their neighborhoods and shelling mosques with tanks and navy boats”

September 3rd, 2011, 6:37 am

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

Ghraiwati and Anbouba have finally been named and shamed. Obviously we all knew what these two characters were doing, and we also know who else should be up there, but it’s great to see some official recognition that these people are propping up the regime. Joud and Nahhas next please. Even if they escape official condemnation everybody knows where their loyalties lie, post-revoltuion Syria is going to be a bleak place for some.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:42 am

 

Norman said:

Does anybody think that the last Syria council was named by the US and pushed forward?

Revlon,

Any suggestion by the opposition for the resolution of the Baath party and/or the army will go no where,

Equal chance for leadership , yes, but marginalizing the Baath party opposition is not a solution,

September 3rd, 2011, 7:47 am

 
 

Norman said:

A cool head from the opposition, there is a chance for peaceful reform,

http://www.alquds.co.uk

معارض سوري يعتبر أن الدعوة لتأسيس مجلس للثورة أمر في غاية الخطورة

موسكو- (يو بي اي) اعتبر المعارض السوري هيثم المناع، الناطق باسم اللجنة العربية لحقوق الإنسان، أن الدعوة لتأسيس مجلس للثورة في سوريا أمر في غاية الخطورة.
وأشار المناع، في اتصال مع قناة (روسيا اليوم) من باريس، إلى وجود توجه يأتي من الخارج، من دول الخليج بحسب اعتقاده، يسعى بأي شكل من الأشكال لتشكيل هياكل للمعارضة السورية على وجه السرعة.

واعتبر في هذا الصدد ان “الدعوة لتأسيس مجلس للثورة في سوريا، التي أطلقها المعارض برهان غليون، أمر في غاية الخطورة”، مؤكداً ان “كل من يدفعنا الى الاستعجال له أجندة لا تخدم الشعب”.

وأوضح المناع ان البعض يدفع باتجاهات لها نتائج تدميرية على وحدة الحركة الشعبية المدنية في سوريا.

أما فيما يخص التدخل الأجنبي، فقال ان الغرب يحسب حساب الأمن الاسرائيلي أكثر مما يحسب حساب الأمن الوطني السوري أو الفلسطيني، والغرب ينطلق من مصالحه ويريد أن “نكون ثوريين بالوكالة في معركته مع النووي الإيراني.. يريدنا أن نقوم بحرب بالوكالة لا بثورة بالأصالة”.

وأكد المناع ان”المطلب هو ثورة ديمقراطية لأجل الشعب السوري، وهذه النقطة تخيف الإمارات والممالك الخليجية وتخيف العديد من العروش التي اهتزت وعفنت”، والتي تتصرف اليوم وكأنها مدافعة عن الحرية.

وتشهد سوريا منذ 15 مارس/آذار الماضي مظاهرات تطالب بإصلاحات وبإسقاط النظام، تقول منظمات حقوقية إنه سقط فيها أكثر من ألفي قتيل من المحتجين ورجال الأمن، فيما تتهم السلطات مجموعات مسلّحة بإطلاق النار على المتظاهرين وقوات الأمن.
t1

September 3rd, 2011, 8:07 am

 

Revlon said:

81. Dear Norman,
Baath party members are loyal to the authority that guarantees their membership-related privileges.

Once reforms are introduced, and human rights and opportunities are guaranteed, Baathists will be left with one of two choices; Privileges is not one of them!

They either stick it with a party ridden with half century long history of unrealised slogans, military coups, corruption, assassinations, and crimes against humanity.

Or, seek mercy of their abused
…ouch!

September 3rd, 2011, 8:15 am

 

Norman said:

Revlon,

The Bath party members should have never gotten privileges that they did, that was the price of the System that we need to change, the single party system, it destroyed the reputation of the Baath party, accountability and prosecution of the corrupt baath party members are justified but witch hunt for the Baath party membership should never be allowed to happen, we will see with that what happened in Iraq, they will carry arms and as you know they are armed and will fight back, then any chance of a democratic reform will go down the drain,

Later on today i will try to write the way i see for comprehensive reform and the building of the new republic of Syria,

September 3rd, 2011, 8:24 am

 

Chris W said:

Thank God for the Russians, the international voice of reason.

As for the many fantasies of revenge against the Baath, historical experience doesn’t really bear these out.

In the peaceful transition of power that occurred in in Russia, many Communists – thanks to skills and experience – were able to adapt and thrive in the new society. Below the upper leadership level, who were politically finished, I think you’ll find most Communists continued in much the same role in the new society.

Incidentally, until the purges, a surprising number of erstwhile Whites thrived in the early years of Communism, too, for the same reasons.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:29 am

 

Aboud said:

“they will carry arms and as you know they are armed and will fight back,”

But they are fighting back, right now. The regime sees itself in a war, and is behaving accordingly. When the regime’s fall comes, it will be because the Baathists have expended all means and will to fight on. There will be no Baathist fighting force left by the time Besho takes that plane ride to Tehran.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:30 am

 

Chris W said:

If you have a choice between reform and revolution, however inadequate the reforms, reforms are a better choice than revolution. History has shown that time and again since 1776.

This would be true even if your goal was just the replacement of the current unjust system with an alternative, equally unjust one, with yourself in a position of privilege. Fellow travelers after the revolution are never rewarded with what they were promised before. Depending how violent the revolution, the fellow traveler can find himself more brutally suppressed than members of the old regime.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:52 am

 

Chris W said:

Incidentally…

…if the supporters of the revolution who are so well educated that their English can scarcely be distinguished from that of Western agents provocateurs are indulging in revenge fantasies against members of the current government, what must the mentality of the actual Syrian revolutionaries battling on the streets be?

September 3rd, 2011, 8:57 am

 

Aboud said:

“Fellow travelers after the revolution are never rewarded with what they were promised before”

Tell that to the Americans who overthrew British rule. Or the Indians who gained independence. Or the countries who stood up to the Nazis. If they had listened to you, they’d still be serfs under tyrannies.

“what must the mentality of the actual Syrian revolutionaries battling on the streets be”

The Syrian revolutionary is the bravest human being on the planet. He and she has gone out and demonstrated every single day for the past 25 weeks, with nothing more to sustain them than the hope of a free life. They have gone out again and again, despite murderous assaults by tanks, navy gunboats, helicopters, and a massive army of paid shabiha mercenaries.

Meantime, Riyad Shalish is such a pussy that he’s gone and hidden his dozen expensive cars LOL!

September 3rd, 2011, 9:04 am

 

Norman said:

What i see in Syria is only pressure on the government, what Syria needs is some pressure on the opposition to sit with government and seek solutions, i doubt that it will come, the goal of the western powers is destroying Syria not building a new democratic Syria.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:27 am

 

annie said:

حديث الثورة مع د عزمي بشارة الجزيرة التطورات في سوريا واليمن وليبيا 02 09 2011

http://youtu.be/ZcBKCTakSLc

Azmi Bishara

To tell you the truth I do not understand 100% but I trust Azmi.

71. Observer, that was an interesting report

September 3rd, 2011, 9:30 am

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

@ CHRIS W “Incidentally…

…if the supporters of the revolution who are so well educated that their English can scarcely be distinguished from that of Western agents provocateurs are indulging in revenge fantasies against members of the current government, what must the mentality of the actual Syrian revolutionaries battling on the streets be?”

Er, the mentality is that those responsible for over 2000 deaths should pay for their crimes. The system of patronage in Syria is so deeply entrenched that revolution is the only option left available. Even if you disagree with that statement, people are now saying that too much blood has been shed for there to be anything but a complete overhaul of the system.

– Even if Assad did manage to cling to power, he would end up a prisoner in his own country.

– I think the Russians are more concerned with any potential loss of influence in the country, that’s all very well and good, but as Iran is now realising, they might just be throwing good money after bad. If Assad falls, they end up on the wrong side of the majority of the population.

Also, it’s true, many of the people that have benefited from this regime will survive in a post-Assad Syria, but if we get rid of the top ten – the most egregious cases – then it’s a good start.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:31 am

 

Chris W said:

The Nazis by definition are an exception, besides they are a classic example of a population choosing the revolutionary over the merely reformed.

The Indians gained independence peacefully, so they are an example of the opposite.

And the Americans… despite the fact that they could, with a little patience, have had all they wanted peacefully, they elected a horrible revolutionary war accompanied by ethnic cleansing to produce a state so flawed it’s only been in relatively recent decades the majority of its people have enjoyed something close to the rights and justice the rest of the British commonwealth/empire enjoyed for generations. Not to mention the worst civil war outside of Russia and China; and this from a society descended from the most civilised people in the world – the British. Bad example, ‘Aboud’.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:32 am

 

Revlon said:

85, 86, 88, 89. Dears Norman and Chris W,
The issue of “the day after for Baath party members” was so touchy to you guys that you both misunderstood what I wrote.

Here is what I said again:

“They either stick it with a party ridden with half century long history of unrealised slogans, military coups, corruption, assassinations, and crimes against humanity.

Or, seek mercy of their abused”

Here is an elaboration on my earlier concise statement:

Those were two categories of Baath party members!

The first, the benefactors without abusing their powers. They would be left withou priviliges, but with a stigma that they would be grateful to live without!

The second, the benefactors whose abuse of power resulted in economic hardship for the masses and suffering and death of citizens.
Those Baath party members should seek the mercy of the people, for the civil court rulings shall not be in their favour.

Exposing abuse and crimes of ex-Baath party members and seeking appropriate justice shall be part and parcel of, among other things, paying tribute to the martyrs of this revolution and surviving loved ones.

Almost without exception, all of those who have cmmitted crimes against humanity, during this revolution or prior have been Baath party members.

To call for excising justice from such mob, in courts of justice can hardly be described as revenge fantasies or witch hunt.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:36 am

 

hsyrian said:

Historical little facts

1) The Nazi party in Germany never won more than 30% of votes in any elections.

2) After their victorious coup in Nov 1917, the Bolsheviks, formerly a small conspiratorial organization, found the need for a more established structure to run the country. Among other changes, the Eighth Party Congress created in March 1919 a “Politburo” of senior members, to be selected from the larger Central Committee.

None of them died of natural cause ( except Lenin and Stalin )

http://www.cyberussr.com/rus/polit-hist.html

3) The February Revolution (March 1917) was a revolution focused around St. Petersburg) . In the chaos, members of the Imperial parliament or Duma assumed control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government.
In the October Revolution (November 1917), the Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin, and the workers’ Soviets, overthrew the Provisional Government in St Petersburg. The Bolsheviks appointed themselves as leaders of various government ministries and seized control of the countryside, establishing the Cheka to quash dissent.

Disclaimer:

In the Syrian opposition , which terrorist group is the most numerous , best organized and determined to seek revenge for their unsuccessful armed uprising between 1976 and 1982 ?

September 3rd, 2011, 9:41 am

 

beaware said:

When the Baathists Read Their History
(Sami Moubayed | DP-News – huffingtonpost )
http://www.dp-news.com/en/detail.aspx?articleid=95160
SYRIA- The pre-Baath era in Syria is generally acknowledged by most people as the “golden era” of Syrian democracy. Even radical Baathists who refused to admit that in the past now nod affirmatively when such a bold statement is made, acknowledging that when operating through a real democracy, the Baathists won an overwhelming number of seats in the parliamentary elections of 1954.

That period roughly lasted from the birth of the republic in 1932 until rise of the Baathists in 1963. The socialists, officers and politicians of the post-1963 order often accused this period of having been elitist, feudal and unjust, concentrated in the hands of the urban notability, claiming that it was a dictatorship of the elite, representing urban Syria with no regard for its rural population, rather than a true democracy.

Now with rural Syria ablaze since March, young people are demonstrating to bring down Baath Party rule. These rural districts are the same ones that produced many of the Baath Party’s veteran leaders, 50 years ago. The Baathists came to power with the ostensible objective of empowering rural Syria, never imagining that one day they would face the most serious threat to their rule from rural areas.

Baath Party rule, as we have known it for 48 years, is practically over. The party simply cannot survive with the same tools, rhetoric and mechanisms that it has used to rule for nearly five decades. It will be only a matter of time before all official symbols of Baathism start to disappear, ranging from their control over state media, youth organizations and syndicates to Article 8 of the constitution, which designates the Baath as “leader of state and society.”

The Baath Party, as a grassroots organization with millions of followers and a long history, will continue to operate in a multi-party system. It would be wrong and unfair to deprive the Baathists of their constitutional right to run for elections, hold cabinet office or try to win a majority in parliament through the ballots. To prepare for the new Syria, people have been digging up their not-too-distant past, well into the pre-Baath era — not to copy it, but to learn from it.

As Syria gets its new political party law, some are trying to resurrect parties from the pre-1963 era, such as the National Party of Damascus and the Aleppo-based People’s Party. The two parties were non-ideological, mirroring instead the business interests of both cities.

The National Party was close to Saudi Arabia and Egypt and headed by veterans like president Shukri al-Quwatli and premiers Sabri al-Asali and Fares al-Khury. These men, it must be noted, were among the finest nationalists of the Arab world in the 20th century, hailed as freedom fighters for having liberated their country from the Ottomans and the French.

The People’s Party, which came to power through the ballots between 1949 and 1951, was close to Iraq, and it produced the last democratically elected civilian president of Syria, being Nazem al-Qudsi, who was toppled by the Baathists in 1963.

All of these figures are long gone, but activists are trying to rediscover them and walk in their footsteps. The initiative is being led by the sons and grandsons of an older generation of Syrian politicians who were sidelined by the Baathists in 1963. These two parties were all outlawed, along with five others, by the Baath Party when it first came to power 48 years ago.

The photos of these historical figures are already reappearing, on the Facebook pages of active Syrians. People are replacing their profile pictures with those of former presidents Mohammad Ali al-Abed, Shukri and Hashem al-Atasi.

Additionally, several opposition activists are related to former Syrian heavyweights, such as the grandson of president Adib al-Shishakli, the son of former Prime Minister Maarouf al-Dawalibi and the daughter of Sultan al-Atrash, commander of the anti-French revolt of 1925.

That is in addition to the large and influential Atasi clan of Homs, which produced three presidents — Lu’ayy and Nur al-Din (during the early Baath years) and Hashem al-Atasi, one of the founders of Syria’s independence from French colonialism.

After a long absence from public life, the Atasi are reemerging quickly on the political scene. Legal experts calling for amendment of the constitution, for example, are digging up Syria’s previous constitutions, the first dating back to 1928, trying to find a formula that combines a presidential system and parliamentary republic.

And finally, the pre-Baath flag of Syria, known as the “Flag of Independence” because it was used when the French evacuated in 1946, is starting to reemerge in street demonstrations, after a 50-year absence.

The biggest lesson to be learned from the pre-Baath era should be for the Baathists themselves. They were born out of a democracy in 1947 and allowed to grow and prosper in a healthy political environment during the heyday of Syria’s multi-party parliamentary system.

Back then, they had a very promising and idealistic party, filled with capable leaders, inspiring doctrine and A-class intellectuals with an ambition that knew no bounds. Because of that, the Baath Party managed to attract the brightest and most capable of Syrian youth during the 1940s and 1950s. At that time, Baath Party veterans would tell aspiring young members that they had to be number-one in order to be considered for membership.

From the 1980s onwards, however, it became the opposite: party members were given number-one status in work, pay and professional development not because of their merit or achievement, but simply because they were members in the ruling party.

This created three generations of mediocre and below-average members who rose to positions of authority in the state not because they were good, but because they were Baathist. More than anybody else, the Baathists of today need to reach back to the civility, democracy and good citizenship that characterized Syrian society prior to the March 8, 1963 revolution.

It was a period of gentleman politics, where word of honor prevailed, and where good manners — in day-to-day life and political conduct, were respected and expected by Syrian society. There are so many lessons that need to be learned from that era, both for the Baathists and for the architects of the new Syria.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:46 am

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

@ Norman “What i see in Syria is only pressure on the government, what Syria needs is some pressure on the opposition to sit with government and seek solutions, i doubt that it will come, the goal of the western powers is destroying Syria not building a new democratic Syria.”

It’s your average Syrian that wants to destroy the government, ‘Western powers’ might benedfit from such an outcome, but it’s most definitely the people that are calling for Assad’s execution etc.

This government has sat on its ass doing nothing for too long, that wouldn’t be a problem in a democratic system as we’d just vote them out, but as you well know the situation is slightly different here. Instead the president and his cronies will be forced out of office and made to pay for their crimes.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:58 am

 

Revlon said:

97. Thannk you Beaware for the enlightening article of Sami Moubayed.

September 3rd, 2011, 10:01 am

 

sheila said:

Dear # 57. Haytham,

I respect Haitham al-Maleh very much. He is a hero by any measure, however, I think the choice of Burhan Ghalioun was on the money. Most important advantage Ghalioun has over Al-Maleh is his age. The enormity of the task thrown on Ghalioun’s lap would have been too much for an 80 year old to bare.

September 3rd, 2011, 10:13 am

 

Revlon said:

88. Chris W:
“If you have a choice between reform and revolution, however inadequate the reforms, reforms are a better choice than revolution. History has shown that time and again since 1776”

The argument is invalid.
Every example you have mentioned followed one of two case scenarios. The other; we shall never know!

On the other hand, It is naiive to conclude that success of reform in example A country means it would succeed in example B country.

For reforms to be adequate to rising Syrian people they should include both
1. immediate resignation of Thug One.
2. immediate disbanding of all security forces

The survival of either would mean buying time to wipe out the entire population that partook in the uprising and the life long suffering of their families and offsprings, for generations to come!

While you may have the luxury of betting your money on their success,
Seekers of freedom on the streets are paying their lives for the very same bloody reforms!

September 3rd, 2011, 10:33 am

 

hsyrian said:

Report from a reporter who traveled secretly in Homs recently available on Internet

Many residents have fled abroad or to Aleppo,Damascus, …

In the poor neighborhoods in downtown Homs people have barricaded their streets with electricity poles , garbage bins , private cars ….

One protester explains that :

He has beaten up policemen and killed soldiers. ..

He is building bombs ..

He can get in the neighborhood rifles, rockets , missiles and cannon .

Each demonstration lasts only a few minutes.

He at the protests is temperamental and cannot control himself and be calmed …

He belongs to a group of 20 men who carry guns and Kalashnikovs and are linked by wireless walkie-talkie .

The men leader is a young and bearded man with the title of “Sheikh”

A secret committee of the “opposition” coordinates from the Damascus

Disclaimer
Any resemblance with Muslim Brothers is purely coincidental

September 3rd, 2011, 10:34 am

 

Tara said:

Asset freeze should include Asma, her parents and her brothers, the kids, Bushra, and Anisa.

September 3rd, 2011, 10:34 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

It is bad enough that history is written subjectively, it is worse when history is read with malice.

The Indian independence movement had its violent factions, those who attempted to, or even were successful in assassinating British officials and Indian collaborators where part of the movement. While the non-violent segment received all attention, primarily due to the brutality of the British and their mercenaries, violent revolutionaries continued to work, and some even allied themselves to Gandhi and even sprang from Congress party itself. Gandhi’s approach is misunderstood, primarily by the type of people he stood against. The aim of non-violent protests is NOT the de-legitimization of self defense, but the dehumanization of the brutal violence of the adversary. The Algerian revolution, a violent one, accomplished the same by making the french reach an intolerable recognition of their own brutality.

That said, the Syrian revolution, largely non-violent, with its non-violent approach being fiercely protected by the coordination committees on the ground is succeeding because of the stupidity of its adversary and the failure of Bashar and his goons to read history, including very very recent history ( i mean less than two weeks). You, SNK, Buthaina, or the long line of blathering fools appearing on TV and writing in Iranian, some Indian, and Russian press loudly proclaiming it a violent revolution, will not change its characteristically and largely non-violent nature, at least to date.

As for the American revolution, only a naive person would believe that members of the commonwealth do not partially owe their freedom to the American Revolution as well as to the french revolution. Go tell the mothers and wives and husbands of thousands of political prisoners in Syria (before the uprising), go tell people who were abused on daily basis, whose dignity was violated in every interaction with regime goons, go tell them to wait until Hafez Jr. becomes their king, after all his mom is a citizen of the commonwealth and he would be not only western (Eton college probably) educated, but western raised. He would be a real reformer, wouldn’t he?

September 3rd, 2011, 10:37 am

 

Aboud said:

@102 I call bullshit on your reporter.

Show me one picture of a barricaded street.

I have been to numerous demonstrations, they do not last just a few minutes. How many times do you menhebaks need to be referred to the videos and live stream from the satellite channels? Or are you claiming that thousands of hours of footage has been faked?

“He at the protests is temperamental and cannot control himself and be calmed …”

Here we go again. The hallucinogenic pills myth yet again.

“The men leader is a young and bearded man with the title of “Sheikh” ”

No, he’s called the “Emir of Homs”. Duh.

“He has beaten up policemen and killed soldiers. ..”

Shabihas do not count as policemen nor soldiers.

I don’t blame you for not linking to that bit of fiction.

September 3rd, 2011, 10:46 am

 

Aboud said:

“Not to mention the worst civil war outside of Russia and China”

So what if the Americans fought a civil war? Do you imagine history and politics ever has a “and they lived happily ever after”? Politics and history never ends, it is a long series of a crisis concluded, only for the next to rear its head.

The issue here is whether a population of 23 million want the right to live in freedom, and not under a regime whose answer to every peaceful demonstration is tanks, more tanks, and even more tanks, with a sprinkling of gunboats and helicopters.

September 3rd, 2011, 10:56 am

 

beaware said:

No point for optimism in Syria’s case, expert says
Sergei Strokan
Sep 3, 2011 10:40 Moscow Time
http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/03/55574885.html
Interview with Evgeny Satanovsky, President of the Institute of the Middle East.

Russia and the West have locked horns over Syria. Do you believe both parties can reach compromise in the Security Council as there are two rival draft resolutions on Syria?

To my mind there is no chance that the western block, what we are seeing now, organizes some informational and political basement for the intervention, like it was organized in Libya based on the United Nations resolution. The Russian position, and we have some guarantees about the Chinese position, are much more careful and not so radical, because we have the Libyan experience, and that is a very negative experience, and neither Moscow, nor China, nor Beijing wants such an end in Syria which practically destroyed the whole Levant area, the whole Eastern Mediterranean. So we will see what it will be. Anyway, the Libyan campaign ruined the Russian and Chinese interests in the Libyan economy, if that is in Syria, there is absolutely no chance that Russia will vote for the western resolution or that it will be something like that. What compromise it is possible to have, that is the western problem.

But at any rate, do you still believe that Russia and the west can reach a last-minute compromise and work out some comprehensive draft resolution?

The problem is that the civil war in Syria which beginning we have now was initiated not only by the illegal activity of Bashar al-Assad’s leaders or the minister of defense and police, but also by Doha and Riyadh. Saudi Arabia in its non-formal war with the Islamic Republic of Iran wants to replace Bashar Assad, they need Syria without Iranian influence, they want to destroy maybe this country, because the civil war in Syria will really have a terrible end, we have 5 or 6 different formal Turkish provinces, governors, who will be independent one of each other, but that is what they really want. That is not true that the western countries, the western block by itself wants to do something, that is the Arab game inside the Arab world, and in this situation Russia wants compromise and wants to save Bashar Assad as the leader of the country, because anarchy is something terrible, there will be really rivers of blood after the destroyal of the country, even Israelis don’t want destroyal of Syria and replacement of Assad. But the western block just now is not more than an instrument in the hands of Doha and Riyadh, they really need something, what compromise can be reached in this situation, I cannot understand.

As I understand according to you, the West doesn’t have any independent interest in Syria?

Of course, the West has an independent interest in Syria, and its independent interest in Syria also includes destroyal of Syrian-Iranian alliance. The only problem is that in this case egoistic interest, financial interest, political interest, security interests in the crushing of Iran, not of Syria are absolutely out of reality of Syria under Assad. The Russian interest is not destroyal of the whole area. So what compromise can we have? And how will orthodox Wakhabit Arab monarchies reach their goal if Bashar al-Assad is saved as the President of Syria?

Well, you sound pessimistic, but you might have a point definitely. But coming back to the future of Bashar Assad – in your personal view – is Assad a goner or does he still have a chance, because now there are a lot of talks about his future, so what is your assessment?

To tell you the truth, this is the last thing I am interested in, the future of Arab leaders in the time of the Arab spring. Who remembers the European leaders, their names and their future at the beginning of the First or Second World War? Bashar maybe has a chance, if he is brutal enough. His problem is that he is trying to be brutal, he wants to be as his father, but he cannot. He is not half as his father, he is not more than Bashar al-Assad, and that is really his problem, because it is much better to have some heavy conflicts for the brief time than heavy conflicts for the long, long months, which we have now in Syria.

So you think that his chances are just to tighten the screws, not just to unveil and go ahead with democratic reforms? Do you mean this?

We do not have a humor show now, so please don’t discuss the democratic reforms in the Arab world, will it be in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya or Syria. This is a question of islamisation, radical or not, this is a question of destroyal of national consensus and destroyal of the Christian community, this is a question of interconfessional and international conflicts between Jews, Arabs, Turks, etc. Is that democracy? I am very sorry, but this is not good democracy. But anyway Hitler was voting by the power in a democratic way, maybe that type of democracy we will have in the Middle East?

I got your point, and my final question is what in your assessment might happen to Syria if Bashar is forced to resign? Can we expect any calamities; can we expect that the country will fall apart or it will turn into a springboard of terrorism?

We will have a combination of the Iraqi situation and the situation in Libya. Upgraded level of al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, which are much more radical in Syria than in Egypt, really rivers of blood of Christians and different national groups, conflicts between Kurds and Arabs, exactly destroyal of few parts. That is a war of everybody against everybody. Because of Syria we have also from million to million and a half Iraqi refugees and around 400 Palestinian refugees, and we have Lebanon with its situation of selling state. The whole area will be in the hands of Sunni Islamized groups, which might be good for conservative Arab monarchies, but not so good for the future of secularism, the last representative of which in the Arab world is Syria’s president.

And what are the implications for Israel?

Israelis will look at this situation, understand that this is so good that they don’t agree with Bashar al-Assad about the Golan Heights, which in that case, if there is peace agreement between them and Syria, will be in the hands of radical Islamists and the Syrian army, and wait, because just now they have a position of militarized Switzerland in Europe at the beginning of the Second World War.

So as I understand the so-called Syrian track in the Middle East settlement will be also affected?

What can we do? Nothing good, no optimism at all. Maybe Russia can make some balance stopping the West, Qatar and Saudi attacking the Syrian situation, maybe not. Anyway we will have some interesting time in that corner of the Mediterranean.

September 3rd, 2011, 10:58 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

HSYRIAN,

Thanks for the history. The lesson for me is that once a government is elected, they can’t halt civil rights, they can’t disband opposition political parties, or cancel future elections.

Easier said than done. It takes a strong people to ensure freedom, and the Syrians can do it just like any other people given the opportunity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_election,_March_1933

September 3rd, 2011, 11:00 am

 

Revlon said:

A list of the 31 mobsters engaged in daily killing, torture and arrest of civilians across Syria.
All are Baathists!
All shall be brought to justice!

http://www.facebook.com/UgaritNEWS#!/photo.php?fbid=251205451586828&set=a.251205304920176.63385.229200633787310&type=1&theater

September 3rd, 2011, 11:05 am

 

beaware said:

Iran: Planning for the post-Assad period
03/09/2011
By Huda al Husseini
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=26446
Is Khamenei’s Iran concerned for the people of Syria, or is it solely concerned about its regional plans and ambitions? Iran has today – via Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi – called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to respond to his people’s legitimate demands, whilst warning NATO of becoming embroiled in a “quagmire from which it would never be able to escape.”

Salehi’s call confirms that even Iran, the last remaining ally of the Syrian regime, does not believe everything that it is saying with regards to it embarking on a process of internal reform that requires six months to be implemented. The reason for this warning [from Tehran] is that Iran does not want to find itself embroiled in a war outside of its own borders. For what if Tehran becomes embroiled in such a war, and then the expected popular uprising breaks out in Iran?

more….

September 3rd, 2011, 11:07 am

 

Aboud said:

“because we have the Libyan experience, and that is a very negative experience, ”

Yeah, I’m just heartbroken over the bad experience the Russians and Chinese had in Libya. How tragic that they had to lose a friendly despot, for millions of Libyans to gain their freedom. What a terrible outcome for the detached-from-the-times Russians and Chinese.

September 3rd, 2011, 11:07 am

 

Revlon said:

Defection is snowballing.
Two incidents of defections and infighting have been reported within the last hour in Rastan and Idlib followed by intense campaign to arrest them
• أموي مباشر #syria ◄ إدلب >> انشقاق في صفوف الجيش في قرية الجانودية وحصيلة القتلى في صفوف الامن و الجيش الموالي للسلطة تسعة قتلى وسبع وعشرون جريحا وجميع المنشقين بخير وتتم حمايتهم و ايوئهم من قبل ( الشرفاء),,,,,,

5 minutes ago

• Ugarit News | أوغاريت الإخبارية
أوغاريت || الرستن حمص :: عاجل :: انشقاق في قوات الجيش لضباط مع عساكرهم و سلاحهم و قوات الامن تلاحق المنشقين الشرفاء داخل المدينة و بخاصة في الحي الفوقاني و شرق المدينة …..

50 minutes ago

September 3rd, 2011, 11:18 am

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Dear NK @62

I hope you are right. I do not include all the Islamists (rather I should say the conservatives) in one umbrella. My fear is Burhan Ghalioun himself. I should tell you that I like him as an intellectual, however I am afraid about him when he loses his temper. When Burhan Ghalioun loses his temper, he can’t be diplomatic. He may alienate some segments of the population (particularly, the conservative one). Further, Ghalioun’s idea about secularism is the French one, however, I prefer the British one (I can elaborate more on that).

Having said that, I am supporting fully Dr. Ghalioun in his new responsibility.

September 3rd, 2011, 11:22 am

 

Mango said:

Positions of Russia and the USA across Syria: whether rapprochement of poles is possible?
The Russian experts consider that the approach of two countries to the decision of the Syrian problem differs essentially

The Syrian armies have entered again into a city of the Boor in 205 km to the north from Damascus. Operation is conducted for the purpose of search and, probably, arrest of active workers of oppositional movement, has informed on Wednesday on August, 31st ITAR-TASS. According to foreign news agencies, hundreds soldiers which support tank divisions, search houses in a city, sounds of shots are audible.

Earlier, we will remind, armies have been deduced from Boors after the 10-day armed action directed on the termination of antigovernmental performances.
Past Friday the delegation of management of the United Nations on coordination of humanitarian questions has concluded that in Syria «there is an urgent need in protection of civilians against excessive use against them force». According to the United Nations, all from the beginning of mass actions in Syria were lost about 2,2 thousand persons.

On this background the world community is occupied by search of the adequate measures, capable to force a mode of Bashara Asada to soften carried out to the policy. As already informed «the Voice of America», the USA have entered sanctions against the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Syria and two other high-ranking Syrian officials in connection with their participation in reprisals against opposition which Damascus spends already about half a year.

Ambassadors of the EU countries at European Union directing bodies on Tuesday on August, 30th have held session on development of sentences on introduction of embargo against Syria, but could not come to a common opinion. Italy has demanded to postpone this point in question till November of this year.

As it is known, Russia has acted earlier categorically against presented the USA and a number of the European countries of the draft resolution of Security Council of the United Nations across Syria. By a mark постпреда the Russian Federation at Vitaly Tchurkin’s United Nations, the given project «is absolutely biassed and provides pressure only on the Syrian management».

The chairman of the Russian committee of solidarity with the people of Libya and Syria, the chairman of the Russian public conjunction Sergey Baburin, recently as a part of representative delegation has visited the country torn apart by contradictions. As he said, it has allowed it to be convinced «of total information war against Syria conducted from the outside».

By sight Baburina, the sanctions, apply which western powers to Syria, strike blow to the political country leaders not so much, «how many conduct to a paralyzation of internal life».

«That there were problems, first of all, with medicines, then – with the foodstuffs and fuel. Though formally sanctions concern other things, their realization pursue overthrow of the today’s power in Syria», – Baburin has told, answering a question of the correspondent of Russian service «Voice of America».

He welcomes a firm position of the Russian management concerning Syria.
«Russia against acceptance of any resolutions across Syria because they conduct to deterioration of position in region. Key difference of the Russian position from American that Moscow supports settlement of internal political difficulties in Syria its people, politicians of different directions who are in the country. And our neighbors in the West, unfortunately, try to import it the politicians lured in Europe. This import still did not lead up any country to the world», – the chairman of the Russian public conjunction summarized.

According to the vice-president of the Russian society of friendship, cultural and business cooperation with Syria Oleg Fomina, the USA – in the name of Barack Obama and Hillari Clinton – act as defenders of the rights of the Syrian people and democracy.
«But, at the same time, carrying out sanctions against Syria, they thereby operate against its people. Because Bashar Asad will suffer from these sanctions, first of all, not ruling mode, not, and simple people», – he has added.

The expert considers that the position of Russia is directed on maintenance of an independent policy of Syria, and in it its difference from the approach of Washington.

«Russia supports forward development of democracy in Syria, but without mentioning its sovereign rights. And the policy of the USA is directed on intervention to country internal affairs», – Fomin confirms.

Managing the international department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation it seems to Andrey Filippovu that one of the reasons of a different campaign of Russia and the USA to the decision of the Syrian problem consists that «the school арабистики in Russia is much better, than in the United States».

«Our experts on the Arabian East are stronger, rather than American, – he has declared. – if the American experts really knew a real situation in Syria, they never would advise to the madam to call Clinton for that in Syria there was a multi-party system. There multi-party system exists for a long time already. Communists, for example, are present at parliament and the government».

Under its data, in Syria seven or eight parties operate. Phillips assumes that right conclusions do not allow Americans to make ignorance of local features.

Meanwhile, in EU do not exclude that in the near future Italy can change the position, transfers ITAR-TASS. In this case the question on introduction by the European Union of power sanctions against Damascus will arrive on consideration of session of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the EU countries which will take place on September, 2nd in Poland.
About an event in the Near East read in спецрепортаже «Libya and Syria: aspiration to democracy»

September 3rd, 2011, 11:23 am

 

Revlon said:

News has it that Attorny General of Hama, Mr A Bakkour has arrived in Turkey, in the company of a soon to defect army officer.

أموي مباشر – Omawi Live
أموي مباشر #syria ◄ حرية عدالة || عـــــــــــــــــــــــــــاجــــــــــــــــل || عااااااااااااااجل وردنا الان خبر هام جدا جدا تم بحمد الله تعالى وصول السيد المحامي عدنان بكور الى الحدود التركيه برفقة احد الضباط الشرفاء الذين لا زالو على رأس عملهم بالجيش السوري وهذا الضابط سيعلن انشقاقه قريبا ان شالله
56 minutes ago

September 3rd, 2011, 11:27 am

 

ss said:

Some people in SC are living out of reality. What I hear here and on Aljazeera does not reflect what is going on in Syria at all. People are living, parties are being held, marraiges, shopping, etc…people are living normal life and what interrupts their life is the news now and then of some thugs trying to conduct their revolution. This revolution, if it was indeed a real one, we would not have seen Assad at all now. This is a fragmented one with attacks here and there that has no effect at all on bringing a goverment down. The intellect outside are taking advantage of that to pass their agenda which falling by all means.

I can assure you that there is no single incident in Lattakia, Tartus, Jabla, Banias, Damascus city, and Aleppo as I have friends and relatives all over these cities. I call and tell them, I heard this on Aljazeera, is it true….their reply: LOL, do not listen to or read Aljazeera, 70% of its news on Syria is not true. Actually when I call my friends I feel so relaxed because they are relaxed and not concerned at all. I am more concerned than them because I only have western media that does not relect the reality.

My sources now is H.N.N; D.N.N; L.N.N on facebook where people report a gun shot by time, location and it brings updates second by second. I log into these websites on daily basis and the news is so far reassuring.

All the credit is for the Syrian army. Great job……

September 3rd, 2011, 11:35 am

 

Revlon said:

Insider’s information

As the lifeline of petrodollars is drying out, the command of security forces have decided to diversify their resources.
They plan to arbitrarily arrest as many civilians as possible and then demand the value of 100 to 400 USD for bail.

أموي مباشر #syria ◄ عن ضباط شرفاء ما يخطَط له داخل فروع الاستخبارات السورية: يحاولون اختطاف واعتقال أكبر عدد ممكن من الشعب سياسيين كانوا أم غيرهم, وإجبارهم على دفع كفالات للإفراج عنهم تصل بين الـ(5020-20000)ل.س لتعويض الأموال التي تهدر أجوراً للشبيحة وبذلك يتم إعطاء أجور العسكريين لأنه مضى شهران ولم يعطَوا أجرهم فاقتصاد البلد في أسوأ حالاته

September 3rd, 2011, 11:42 am

 

ss said:

117; Revlon # do you work for Aljazeera?????

September 3rd, 2011, 11:45 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

ss
do you work for mukhabarat?

September 3rd, 2011, 11:50 am

 

Revlon said:

While SS friends were partying, Security forces were ramsacking houses and looting and destroying property in Qmaira, jableh

Ugarit News | أوغاريت الإخبارية
أوغاريت || جبلة :: حملة مداهمات من قبل عناصر الأمن والشبيحة لمنطقة القميرة والأراضي التي تحيط بها وعمليات سرقة و نهب وتدمير لأرزاق الناس (مواتير المياه مضخات السماد تلفزيونات أدوات زراعية )

مدينة جبلة
2hours ago

September 3rd, 2011, 11:50 am

 

Aboud said:

“Some people in SC are living out of reality”

This from the guy whose regime claims that there were no demonstrations at all on Friday.

Tell me, what exactly is the news that Al-Jazeera reported, and that you’ve been told is fake? Demonstrations? Defections? Condemnation by everyone, including the Pope and Iran? Man, only Besho would have the ability to get the Vatican and Ayatollahs to agree on anything.

September 3rd, 2011, 11:54 am

 

Tara said:

22 were killed in Syria on Friday.

Besho should not be allowed a refuge in Iran. Afghanistan may be but not Iran. Iran will not stay as a thocracy forever. The last thing I want to see is Besho living in a secular Tehran and enjoying the Persian culture and cinema. Yes their cinema is sad beyond measure and that is probably why they win international awards but he can not feel sadness. when I envision Besho, the murderer, I can only see his retarded giggles. He reminds me with deranged serial killers. He should rotten in jail. Either a Syrian jail or ICC one. I bet he prefers ICC one but I prefer Sednaya or Tadmur jails. He should be haunted by the souls of all the innocents killed by his family. This is the only way for justice to be served.

September 3rd, 2011, 12:01 pm

 

OFF THE WALL said:

A frank conversation with a Syrian intellectual.

While regime’s pseudo intellectuals live in denial, create diversions with useless workshops in Aleppo and Damascus, real intellectuals like Yasin Haj Salih try to address challenges head on. Notice the honesty and lack of equivocation. Points of view within the opposition diverge, but that is a healthy thing as we are all trying to get rid of totalitarian ideologies.



الحاج صالح لـ «الراي»: التنحّي ليس في قاموس الأسد … إما البقاء في السلطة وإما تدمير البلد

بيروت – من ريتا فرج

أكد المعارض السوري ياسين الحاج صالح انه فوجئ بايراد اسمه بين اعضاء المجلس الانتقالي الذي تم الاعلان عنه من انقرة قبل ايام من دون اخذ رأيه في الامر، واصفاً ما جرى في هذا الإطار بانه «غير مقبول»، لافتاً الى انه لا يعرف «من هو أو هم وراء هذه الحركة، ولا دوافعهم للتصرف على هذا النحو»، ومشيراً الى انه «اذا سلمنا بحسن النيات فإنه يحدو من هم وراءه الرغبة في تشكيل مرجعية أو إطار سياسي للانتفاضة، وهو ربما محاولة لفرض أمر واقع على الأشخاص الذين أدرجت أسماؤهم في القائمة، لكن هذا لا يستقيم، وما هو «مكركب» بهذا القدر لا يمكن أن يمشي».

واعتبر ان تنحي الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد «امر غير وارد» موضحاً «ان هذا عسير على الاسد سيكولوجياً وسياسياً هو المرتبط بأسرة موسعة وبطبقة من المستفيدين الذين اعتادوا على سلطة مطلقة وحصانة مطلقة ومواقع امتيازية تدرّ ثروات بالملايين والمليارات»، معلناً «هذا تكوين متطرف جداً، بل انتحاري، وهو ما يفسّر مضي النظام في الحرب ضد المجتمع السوري المحتجّ»، هذه المواقف أطلقها ياسين الحاج صالح في حديث الى «الراي» في ما يأتي نصه:

– فوجئت بالمجلس وبورود اسمي بين أعضائه من دون أخذ رأيي في الأمر. ويبدو أن آخرين غيري أدرجت أسماؤهم من دون علمهم، وهذا غير مقبول. نعترض على النظام لأنه ينطق باسمنا من دون أن يستشيرنا يوماً في شأننا العام، فكيف يفعل بعضنا الشيء نفسه؟ ولا أعرف من هو أو هم وراء هذه الحركة، ولا ما هي دوافعهم للتصرف على هذا النحو. وإذا سلمنا بحسن النيات فإنه يحدو من هم وراءه الرغبة في تشكيل مرجعية أو إطار سياسي للانتفاضة. وهو ربما محاولة لفرض أمر واقع على الأشخاص الذين أدرجت أسماؤهم في القائمة. لكن هذا لا يستقيم، فهناك منطق في الأمور، وما هو «مكركب» بهذا القدر لا يمكن أن يمشي.

والسؤال البديهي الذي يفرض نفسه هنا: ما وضع الجهة التي وضعت قائمة الأسماء؟ هل هي متفانية لا تريد إلا خير الانتفاضة، أم أنها صاحبة غرض؟ وما هو؟ الناس ذوو أغراض. وأفضل بألف مرة عرض أغراضنا والتسوية بينها، على الزعم الغيري ظاهريا بأن لا أغراض لنا. من يزعمون ذلك، يتطلعون على الأرجح إلى أن تكون أغراضهم فوق أغراض غيرهم، وأن تحظى بالشرعية والرعاية قبل أغراض الجميع.


• كيف تقرأ الموقف التركي الاخير الذي اعلن عنه رئيس تركيا عبدالله غول؟

– قد يسأل البعض هل يحتمل أن تصريح غول يمثل قطيعة مع المواقف التركية المتموجة مع النظام؟ هذا محتمل، وإن كنت لا أعلم بأي دلائل عليه. أخمّن أن وراء هدوء جبهة المواقف والمبادرات خلال الأسبوعين الأخيرين شيئاً ما يجري وراء الكواليس. ننتظر ونرى، نحن الواقعين أمام الكواليس.

• ماذا عن حركة الانشقاقات في الجيش بعد صدور أول بيان من «الضباط الاحرار» وهل تمهد هذه الخطوة لحركة انشقاقات أوسع؟

– أظن ان الانشقاقات تتكاثر وحركتها تتسع، لكنها لا تزال بعيدة عن التسبب بكسر صلب الجيش. ويبدو أن بعض العمليات العسكرية للجيش السوري موجهة ضد هذه الانشقاقات، وكثير من قتلى الجيش هم رافضو أوامر بإطلاق النار على المحتجين السلميين، أو «منشقين»، أو قتلوا في سياق مواجهات موضعية داخل الجيش. وأخشى أن يعمل عسكريون منشقون على عسكرة الانتفاضة، الأمر الذي ينال من الطابع الاجتماعي والسلمي والوطني العام لها.

• الرئيس الأسد يعلن للمرة الرابعة عبر المقابلة التي أجراها معه التلفزيون السوري عن تعرض سورية لمؤامرة خارجية. لماذا في رأيك يحيل الأسد ما يجري في سوري الى وجود مخطط غربي؟

– من أجل تحويل ما هو مشكلة بين النظام وقطاعات متسعة من المجتمع إلى مشكلة وطنية عامة، ومن ثم تخوين الانتفاضة وتبرير سحقها بالقوة. فإذا كانت الانتفاضة نتاج مؤامرة أجنبية، يغدو الرد عليها بالعنف واجباً وطنياً. الغرض أيضا استنفار النازع الوطني الاستقلالي عند السوريين، والاستفادة مما يكنّه عمومهم من شك عميق بمقاصد القوى الغربية. وعموماً يصدر هذا الحكم عن منطق سياسة الإجماع الوطني في مواجهة عدو خارجي، بغرض تثبيت الأوضاع السياسة القائمة. الانتفاضة تنتمي إلى منطق الصراع الاجتماعي والسياسي الذي يؤسس لوطنية جديدة متمركزة حول المواطن وحرياته وحقوقه، وليس حول الإجماع الوطني والوحدة الوطنية كما يريد النظام لإسكات الاعتراضات الداخلية.

• لماذا تجنب الرئيس الأسد في المقابلة التي اجريت معه الحديث عن الحركة الاحتجاجية في سورية؟

– ليست موجودة في أفقه الفكري. إذا جرى الإقرار بأن هناك حركة احتجاجية عامة، لزم الإقرار أيضا بأن هناك اختلالات سياسية واقتصادية واجتماعية تسببت بها، أي الاعتراف بشرعيتها، ووجوب معالجة الظلامات الكامنة خلفها بوسائل سياسية واقتصادية واجتماعية، وليس باعتقال المحكومين وتعذيبهم وقتلهم، ولا باحتلال المدن وقصف الأحياء السكنية بالدبابات والمدافع. لا يستطيع السيد بشار الأسد، وهو ليس رئيساً منتخباً، أن يقرّ بشرعية الانتفاضة من دون أن يقوّض شرعية نظامه.

• الرئيس الأسد أكد في المقابلة أن الوضع الاقتصادي في سورية يستعيد عافيته. ما رأيك في ذلك؟ وهل صحيح أن جزءاً من الأموال يتم سحبها من البنوك السورية؟

– يبدو هذا الكلام أقرب إلى تطمين ذاتي منه إلى حقيقة واقعة. هناك تراجع كبير في المبادلات الاقتصادية مع العالم، يرجح أن يتفاقم مع ظهور مفاعيل المقاطعة الأوروبية للصادرات النفطية السورية. ويشكو عموم أصحاب الأعمال في البلد من تراجع مواردهم إلى حدود عدم قدرتهم على دفع أجور العاملين لديهم. أما أصحاب المنشآت السياحية فيجمعون على أن هذا أسوأ موسم لمشاريعهم منذ اعوام طويلة. ويميل عموم السكان إلى ضبط إنفاقهم بشدة، خشية من أيام مقبلة أسوأ.

أما بخصوص سحب أموال من البنوك السورية، فقد قيل شيء كهذا في وقت مبكر من الانتفاضة. وجرى الكلام على سحب عشرين مليار دولار من المصرف المركزي وتهريبها من البلد لمصلحة الأسرة الحاكمة. لكن يبدو لي ان الرقم مبالغ فيه، وقد يكون من نوع الاشاعات التي تنتشر في أوقات الأزمة. في كل حال من يدري؟ تجري في الواقع أحيانا أشياء أغرب من الخيال.

• للمرة الأولى طالبت الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا الرئيس الأسد بالتنحي. هل هو في رأيك قادر على القيام بهذه الخطوة؟

– ليست هناك مؤشرات من أي نوع على ذلك. ويبدو لي أن هذا عسير عليه سيكولوجياً وسياسياً. فقد ورث سلطة وملكا، إن لم ينمّهما ويوسعهما، فعلى الأقلّ أن يحافظ عليهما، وهذا يجعل التنحي أمراً غير وارد. والرجل مرتبط بأسرة موسعة وبطبقة من المستفيدين الذين اعتادوا على سلطة مطلقة وحصانة مطلقة ومواقع امتيازية تدرّ ثروات بالملايين والمليارات، لا تقبل التفاوض والمساومات والتسويات والحلول الوسط، أي لا تقبل السياسة. هذا تكوين متطرف جداً، بل انتحاري، وهو ما يفسّر مضي النظام في الحرب ضد المجتمع السوري المحتجّ. قضية النظام هي السلطة وثمراتها الذهبية، وهو يبدو مستعداً لفعل كل شيء من أجلها. لذلك التنحي ليس كلمة موجودة في قاموس النظام والرئيس، فإما يبقون وإما تدمير البلد. بعد احتلالها في مطلع رمضان، كتب الموالون للنظام على الجدران في مدينة حماه: الأسد أو لا أحد! هذا هو المنطق العميق للنظام.

• المعارضة السورية في الداخل والخارج امام تحديات مختلفة بينها قيادة المرحلة الانتقالية نحو الديموقراطية والتعددية. هل المعارضة قادرة في هذه المرحلة وسط الحديث عن تضارب الرؤى السياسية بين قواها على قيادة أي فراغ سياسي محتمل؟

– سيكون الأمر صعباً جداً. المعارضة التقليدية منقسمة ومتنافسة ومستوى الثقة متدن بين مكوناتها. لكن كل شيء مرهون بكيفية الوصول إلى المرحلة الانتقالية: هل بجهود الانتفاضة وحدها أم بتدخل دولي؟ أم بانفجار داخل النظام؟ الأسوأ طبعاً إذا جرى تدخل دولي. لأن المعارضة ستتعرض عندئذ لمزيد من التمزق فوق تمزقها الحالي، وستكون الكلمة العليا للقوى المتدخلة وللسائرين في ركابها، ويرجح غالبا أن يكون هؤلاء من معارضي ربع الساعة الأخيرة، المقيمون في الخارج والمتكاثرون بوتيرة لافتة، وهم يتميزون بعلو النبرة والعدوانية ضد المعارضة التقليدية، ومحاولة امتطاء ظهر الانتفاضة من دون أن يكون لهم أدنى ارتباط فعلي بها.

والاحتمال الأفضل هو تحقق التغيير بالقوى الذاتية للانتفاضة. وهذا يُدخِل إلى المشهد وبقوة المعارضة الجديدة المتمثلة بالانتفاضة ذاتها، أو بالكادر الشبابي النشط المتكون في سياقها. وفي رأيي ان تَعاون المعارضة التقليدية والجديدة يمكن أن يقلل من مخاطر المرحلة الانتقالية. وقد يكون من شأن انشقاق مهم داخل النظام أن يحول دون فراغ سلطة، وأن يستجيب في الوقت نفسها للتغيير السياسي المطلوب. ولا أرى أن أحدا يفكر في تحطيم أجهزة الدولة السورية، وإن وجب حتما تفكيك أجهزة الأمن الإرهابية، والقطع العسكرية المختصة بوظائف أمنية موجهة نحو حماية النظام ومتأصلة في العداء للمجتمع. الكتلة المكونة من نشطاء الانتفاضة ومن معارضين تقليديين، ومن «الدولة»، وكوادر من الطبقة الوسطى، يمكن أن تغطي المرحلة الانتقالية التالية للتغيير.

• يلاحظ بعض المتابعين للحركة الاحتجاجية في سورية غياب الحضور المسيحي. ما رأيك في ذلك؟ وهل صحيح أن المسيحيين يتخوفون من سقوط النظام بسبب المشروع الاسلامي من جهة وبسبب تخوفهم من خسارة مواقع اقتصادية معينة؟

– المسيحيون ليسوا غائبين تماما عن الانتفاضة اذ يشارك رجال ونساء مسيحيون في أنشطة الانتفاضة الإعلامية والثقافية، وحتى الميدانية. ويبقى صحيحاً للأسف مع ذلك أن الميل المسيحي العام يراوح بين التحفظ عن الانتفاضة وبين العداء. الأصل الظاهر لذلك هو الخوف من حلول الإسلاميين محل النظام، لكن وراء ذلك أشياء أهمّ. فتاريخ العقود الماضية كان تاريخ تراجع للمشاركة المسيحية في الحياة العامة في سورية بعدما كانت هذه المشاركة مهمة منذ نشوء الكيان السوري الحديث في نهاية الحرب العالمية الأولى وحتى سبعينات القرن العشرين. في أساس هذا التراجع شيئان: أولهما تراجع نسبة المسيحيين بين السكان إلى ما دون 10 في المئة أو حتى قريب من 5 في المئة كما تقول بعض المصادر، وذلك بفعل تقلص عدد أفراد الأسرة المسيحية في وقت أبكر من نظيرتها المسلمة (لكونها تمثل بيسر أكبر نموذج الأسرة الخاص بالطبقة الوسطى في الغرب والمعمم عالمياً)، وكذلك بفعل ارتفاع نسبة الهجرة المسيحية قياساً إلى هجرة المسلمين. وهذا التراجع يثير «قلقا وجوديا» عميقا، خوفا من الموت والانقراض. العامل الثاني هو صعود الإسلامية السياسية والاجتماعية منذ ثلاثة عقود أو أربعة، وتاليا احتداد الوعي الذاتي المسيحي بالاختلاف، وتمركز هذا الوعي حول الانتماء الديني. وهذا بدوره يدفع إلى تصدُّر رجال الدين موقع القيادة في الجماعة المسيحية، وتدني فرص ظهور قيادات سياسية وثقافية مدنية. علماً انه منذ أكثر من جيل لم ينتج المسيحيون السوريون قيادات فكرية وسياسية مستقلة.

• ما الذي يمكن أن يحسم المعركة لمصلحة الحركة الاحتجاجية في سورية على مستوى الحركة الميدانية؟ ولماذا يبدو عمق العاصمة دمشق بعيداً عن الحراك الجاري؟

– «دمشق القديمة»، عدا المكوّن التجاري، ليست بعيدة عن الانتفاضة. حي الميدان هو بؤرة احتجاج نشطة ومستمرة، وكذلك ركن الدين. البعيد عنها هو «دمشق الجديدة»، أحياء أبو رمانة والمالكي والروضة التي تسكنها النخبة السياسية والثرية من مسؤولي النظام وأبنائهم وشركائهم القدامى والجدد. وتقديري أن المكون التجاري، المستقل نسبياً عن النظام وعقوده وصفقاته والأكثر ارتباطاً بالإنتاج، سيغيّر موقعه بقدر ما تتجه الأمور إلى الانفلات من يد النظام. والطرف الذي سيبقى مرتبطاً بالنظام حتى النهاية هم من كوّنوا ثرواتهم في ظله، ولا يدوم عزهم إلا ما دام عزه وذلّ عموم السوريين.
أما ما يمكن أن يحسم الأمر لمصلحة الانتفاضة، فهو استمرارها وتوسعها جغرافياً واجتماعياً. ومشاركة أوسع من حلب يمكنها أن تكون حاسمة. هذا هو الشيء الأساسي. وهو يكاد يكون مضموناً بفضل تطرف النظام ونجاحه المستمر في ارتكاب أسوأ الأخطاء وأكثرها دلالة على الوحشية والغرور والأنانية المطلقة. ورغم التكلفة الإنسانية العالية، فإن الوقت في صالح الانتفاضة.

ياسين الحاج صالح

September 3rd, 2011, 12:15 pm

 

Revlon said:

B. Ghalioun announces that landmarks of a road map to a National Council to be taking shape.

The road map shall include:
– Providing a vision for its organisational structure.
– Mandating a committee to contact activists and nationalist figures to be chosen for membership, by end of first week of September.

غليون: خريطة طريق لانتقالي سوريا
برهان غليون يرأس المجلس الوطني الانتقالي السوري (الجزيرة)
3/9/2011 م (آخر تحديث) الساعة 13:14
http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/788BEAAD-5AA6-4E2E-81E5-33CFE2E64652.htm?GoogleStatID=9
أعلن المعارض السوري برهان غليون عن تبلور معالم خريطة طريق من أجل تشكيل مجلس وطني يعلن عنه قريبا، يقود الحراك السياسي وينظم علاقة الثورة داخل سوريا وخارجها ويساهم في اتخاذ القرارات المصيرية.
وأكد غليون أن هذه الخطوة جاءت بعد قبوله التكليف من التنسيقيات والقوى السياسية وبعد إجراء الكثير من المشاورات والاتصالات.
وتتضمن خريطة الطريق، وضع تصور لهيكلية المجلس الوطني السوري المنشود.
وتشكيل لجنة للاتصال بالقوى والشخصيات الوطنية لتحديد قائمة الأسماء التي سيضمها المجلس تنهي عملها خلال الأسبوع الأول من هذا الشهر على أن يتم الإعلان عن المجلس في الأيام القليلة التالية.
وكشف غليون عن أن المجلس يتكون من ممثلين لتنسيقيات الشباب وممثلين عن التشكيلات والأحزاب والحركات السياسية والاجتماعية تختارهم التنسيقيات والتنظيمات السياسية نفسها، ومن شخصيات مستقلة وطنية يتم اختيارها بالتوافق.
ويمثل المجلس الثورة السورية بجميع مكوناتها، ويعتبر سيد نفسه، لا يخضع في قراراته لغير الالتزام بالمصلحة الوطنية, وهو الذي ينتخب لجنته التنفيذية ورئيسه.
ومن مهام المجلس بلورة الخط السياسي العام للحراك الديمقراطي، وتنظيم جميع الجهود لوضع حد لما سماه غليون الدكتاتورية والانتقال بسوريا نحو نظام ديمقراطي تعددي.

—-more

September 3rd, 2011, 12:19 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

Aboud, is all safe in Homs ?

Aklso, Aboud and SGID, pls DO NOT register at http://www.ShiaChat.com. That site is run by people very close top Hezbollah and the Iranian Government. The adminsitrators of the website are privy to very private information abt registered members, including location. And as the administration of the website has links with Intelligence and Military agencies, they have technology that can pinpoint the exact location of the IP. So I would advise you guys NOT to register there, nor any other menhebak-friendly wesite (especially those run by Lebanese or Iranian expatriates) for that matter. Believe me those guys really hate the Syrian revolution and will pass on any such info to the Mukhabarat.

September 3rd, 2011, 12:19 pm

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

@ SS

“Some people in SC are living out of reality. What I hear here and on Aljazeera does not reflect what is going on in Syria at all. People are living, parties are being held, marraiges, shopping, etc…people are living normal life and what interrupts their life is the news now and then of some thugs trying to conduct their revolution.”

“Actually when I call my friends I feel so relaxed because they are relaxed and not concerned at all. I am more concerned than them because I only have western media that does not relect the reality. ”

The fact that people must still cook their kids dinner, drink a glass of water or catch some sleep does not suggest an absence of protests. Tripoli was fairly quiet two weeks ago, some people might have misconstrued that as meaning the population supported Gadaffi, others pointed out that those who protested were carried off into the night and shot. What do you think is happening in Damascus right now?

September 3rd, 2011, 12:21 pm

 

uzair8 said:

I read yesterday that the Hama attorney general was out of the country with his family so the regime were arresting his relatives. The threat is obvious. If he speaks out then his relatives will be harmed. What does he do?

Another point. The Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wasalam warned us that in the end time ‘Lying would become an Art’.

Assads mafia cannot even lie convincingly (SANA, armed gangs, state tv). The western politicians (diplomats etc) have fined tuned lying to an art.

September 3rd, 2011, 12:26 pm

 

Aboud said:

“they have technology that can pinpoint the exact location of the IP”

I have such technology as well 🙂

http://www.ip-adress.com/ip_tracer/

Khaled, it wouldn’t do them any good to know my IP. And Shiachat doesn’t sound like a place I’d waste my time on. Syria Comment is important because it gets quoted so much in the press, and we couldn’t very well have the regime’s apologists running around, muddying the waters and telling lies that go unchallenged.

But even I’m surprised at how comprehensively the menhebaks have collapsed. They don’t even think it’s worth their time anymore to manically press the “dislike” button.

Know what, I’ll post my IP anyway

127.0.0.1

😉

September 3rd, 2011, 12:35 pm

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

“Actually when I call my friends I feel so relaxed because they are relaxed and not concerned at all. I am more concerned than them because I only have western media that does not relect the reality. ”

Yeah, mate you just sit there chilling, everything is good, your family’s business is safe, no worries. Crack open another beer.

Nizar Qabbani wrote a nice little poem about people like you:

بهروا الدنيا..
وما في يدهم إلا الحجاره..
وأضاؤوا كالقناديلِ، وجاؤوا كالبشاره
قاوموا.. وانفجروا.. واستشهدوا..
وبقينا دبباً قطبيةً
صُفِّحت أجسادُها ضدَّ الحراره..

قاتَلوا عنّا إلى أن قُتلوا..
وجلسنا في مقاهينا.. كبصَّاق المحارة
واحدٌ يبحثُ منّا عن تجارة..
واحدٌ.. يطلبُ ملياراً جديداً..
وزواجاً رابعاً..
ونهوداً صقلتهنَّ الحضارة..
واحدٌ.. يبحثُ في لندنَ عن قصرٍ منيفٍ
واحدٌ.. يعملُ سمسارَ سلاح..
واحدٌ.. يطلبُ في الباراتِ ثاره..
واحدٌ.. بيحثُ عن عرشٍ وجيشٍ وإمارة..

آهِ.. يا جيلَ الخياناتِ..
ويا جيلَ العمولات..
ويا جيلَ النفاياتِ
ويا جيلَ الدعارة..
سوفَ يجتاحُكَ –مهما أبطأَ التاريخُ-
أطفالُ الحجاره..

So you sit there mate, put your feet up and chill, go to the cafe with your mates, hang out in that new night club. Afterall, there’s nothing happening on your family’s road. Why do you think that is? Probably because they are part of the problem.

You don’t deserve any stake in a post-Assad Syria, but you’ll probably get by. You’ll make out that secretly you had always supported the protestors.

September 3rd, 2011, 12:38 pm

 
 

beaware said:

ICRC president, Syrian leaders to meet
By the CNN Wire Staff
September 3, 2011 8:10 a.m. EDT

(CNN) — A top international Red Cross official will be meeting with Syrian leaders over the next two days to discuss “urgent humanitarian challenges” in the conflict-wracked nation and permission to visit detainees amid stark reports of prisoner abuse.

Jakob Kellenberger, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, was to arrive in Damascus on Saturday for a two-day visit, the ICRC said. He will meet with President Bashar al-Assad, Prime Minister Adel Safar, Walid Muallem, the minister of foreign affairs and expatriates, and the Syrian Red Crescent, the ICRC said.

This comes as Syria remains engulfed in nearly six months of public protest, and the regime has been reviled internationally for its crackdown on peaceful demonstrators, which has led to more than 2,000 deaths and thousands of arrests.

more…

September 3rd, 2011, 12:45 pm

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

@ SS

There’s nothing happening on Jawaher lal Nahro either. If Rostum Ghazali looks out of the window of his top floor flat he will see the same white Peugeot there in the layby with his four bodyguards in it. Funny that. I mean, if there aren’t any protests in Malki then there simply can’t be protests anywhere else in Syria, that would be crazy.

September 3rd, 2011, 12:46 pm

 

Tara said:

Beaware@131

Sorry but you forgot the link. We can’t read more.. unless you include the link.

September 3rd, 2011, 12:52 pm

 
 

uzair8 said:

#128 Aboud.

You’ re right its not worth going to Shiachat. The pro Assad people there will not change their views. They counter with propaganda. They wouldnt last long on SC. There are already some anti Assad people on there including some ‘neutrals’.

It can be frustrating when some of their ridiculous comments go unchallenged. I’ve seen similar comments ripped to shreds on here.

SC is the place to be.

September 3rd, 2011, 12:57 pm

 

ss said:

126. DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA

There is not a single person in my family who benifited from this regime. Not a single penny. The only benifit we had is that we were and so far (until now) able to practice our believes with no interference from anyone. We were enjoying a social freedom and there were no threats to our lives. Safety and security are considered blessing for us. Thankfully we are all educated, most of us live abroad and we do help our country when we used to visit every year. I am grateful for the country that gave me the best childhood I would ever imagined. I am grateful for this country that gave me a higher degree of education for free. I have no hidden agenda except my strong belief in the pain MB had caused to us in the past and my strong belief that Syria should remain secular and for all sectors, and my strong belief that this revolution lost its way 4 months ago when it moved to Kefa7 Mosala7, and my strong hate to radical islam, and my strong hate to radical islam, and my strong hate to radical islam.

As for what you call “Besho””menheback” etc; these terms have been repeated million times here and what you gained; show me your success. I would love to see anything new in what you write. It is all boring same old news, words, sentences, phrases, that did you nothing. As a matter of fact many “Menhebak” discovered the low level of intellect you guys have, the only thing you do is attack and some boring phrases. I see no trace for Jad, SAYU, NORMAN, and many other names who disappeard as they discovered the childish mentality some of you had brought to this forum.

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA
I am not chilling as you stated; i have said that I am very anxious and concerned when I listen to your beloved Aljazeera; the only people who are chilling, and relaxing are the Syrian people back home who believed in the army, and believed that this is a conspiracy against Syria. Syria is 23 million, and sure it is okay if 1000 wants to get out in the streets; dont be angry, I will make it 100 000; and for your beloved MBs I will make it 1000 000. This will never ever bring down a regime so immune like the one in Syria. This is reality, this is a fact. Syria is not like Lybia and you never ever going to get it. Tureky, West, media, and all your presumed friends have done nothing except talk; this is a fact too. The Syria regime is too big to be swallowed.

September 3rd, 2011, 1:12 pm

 

jna said:

hsyrian said (102):

“Report from a reporter who traveled secretly in Homs recently available on Internet”

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2011-08/syrien-homs

“Nato must help us!”

September 3rd, 2011, 1:28 pm

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

@ SS

“The Syria regime is too big to be swallowed.”

Don’t kid yourself. All good things come to an end…

You’re so out of touch with what’s going on that it would be amusing if it weren’t for that fact that people like you perpetuate this myth that the uprising is about Islam. It’s about freedom mate. This is what annoys me, you’re happy to sit there in some western country benefiting from everything it offers, only to then want to deny your fellow countrymen the same freedoms. Really, pathetic.

It’s all going to be swept away…

September 3rd, 2011, 1:30 pm

 

sheila said:

To #74. Syria no Kandahar,
I agree with your assessment about the deterioration in the understanding of Islam. I truly believe that something drastic needs to happen with the interpretation of religion to help the society and therefore the country.

September 3rd, 2011, 1:39 pm

 

Aboud said:

@137

“But he can’t just desert the intelligence service either because that would endanger his family. “A friend of mine quit his job,” he says. They came into his house, raped his wife and took him away.”

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2011-08/syrien-homs/seite-4

September 3rd, 2011, 1:42 pm

 

jna said:

#140

That’s a quick turnaround. Yes, the German reporter was ushered around by the anti-Assadis and shares their bent.

September 3rd, 2011, 1:48 pm

 

ss said:

138: BOSRA FELLOW “This is what annoys me, you’re happy to sit there in some western country benefiting from everything it offers, only to then want to deny your fellow countrymen the same freedoms. Really, pathetic”

How about your leaders. Arent’ they in France, UK, the US.
Most of the physician in this forum are either in Canada or the US. Arent’ they chilling out here enjoying the freedom while moving the streets to their agenda. No one reached your level of lie and fabricating facts. I raise my hands and I will say: YOU ARE HE MASTERS OF THE LATTER.

September 3rd, 2011, 1:51 pm

 

Aboud said:

@141 Frankly, I’m happy that people in Baba Amr have started to arm themselves. Do you know how many hundreds of people have been killed from that neighborhood? How many times its been invaded by tanks and APCs? How many thousands of prisoners from there languish in jails?

Maybe if a shabiha turd runs the risk of getting shot back at, he’ll think twice before taking aim himself.

Maybe if a mukharabarat operative runs the risk of getting shot, he’ll think twice before bashing down doors and hauling people away.

And maybe if an army thug runs the risk of getting a bullet through his head, he’ll think twice before covering a shabiha and mukharabarat thug.

Baba Amr arming itself is no more a terrorist movement, than the French resistance in WW 2 was, or the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Good on them, and Allah yehmehon.

But I still have not seen one street barricaded with anything more than trash containers. And try as I might, I can’t remember seeing a salafi looking bearded guy at any demo. Maybe you can point some out in Youtube. No? Maybe Al-Dunya’s footage of the demos? Ah right, Al-Dunya claims there weren’t any.

As for demonstrations lasting a few minutes, what does the reporter define as a few minutes? Does anyone think it is possible for the thousands and tens of thousands we have seen on Youtube to gather, camera men to take up positions, chant leaders to head to the start of the demo, and banners to be unfurled, and then all disperse, all in the space of 10 minutes? 20 minutes? 30 minutes? That would be a logistical miracle.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:02 pm

 

sheila said:

To Dear #76. Revlon,
This piece is very strong and to the point. I think this lady articulated the dilemma and responsibility of minorities very well. They are truly between a rock and a hard place with a great urgency to make up their minds. We should all understand the difficulties they are facing, but I it is high time they stood on the right side of history.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:05 pm

 

Aboud said:

“Arent’ they chilling out here enjoying the freedom while moving the streets to their agenda. ”

Um, excuse me habibi, I’m very much in Syria, and I don’t take orders from any physician in North America. In this revolution, the street “moves” the council, not the other way round.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:05 pm

 

beaware said:

#131
ICRC president, Syrian leaders to meet
By the CNN Wire Staff
September 3, 2011 8:10 a.m. EDT
http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/09/03/syria.unrest/

September 3rd, 2011, 2:17 pm

 

ss said:

ABOUD, you gotta be kidding me.
If you are the one of this head of the revolution then the regime and Syria will be 100% safe. Arent’ you tired of sitting on this net. I feel bad that I gave you the opportunity to write. As far as I can see you are 24/7 on this net. I think you are smart like the rest and you choose to sit behind your pc all day long, even if it is in HOMS. Now I forgot to mention that HOMS is fine and very fine except few areas where the MBs are rooted. The army is taking care of the business there so the rest of HOMS would stay in peace.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:31 pm

 

uzair8 said:

Just been reading the 5 pages of the article ‘Nato help us’.

I cant describe my feelings.

These bastards have to go. Sorry but they also deserve their heads be smashed in.

One thing gives me comfort. God is watching everything.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:33 pm

 

beaware said:

Why Rushing to the Polls Could Reignite Civil War
Dawn Brancati and Jack L. Snyder
September 2, 2011
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/print/68162?page=show
With Libya still in the hands of armed regional and tribal factions — each challenging the other’s pretensions to political authority — it seems wishful to believe that the country will enjoy a smooth and quick transition to stable democracy. Even so, Libya’s National Transitional Council and the United Nations are already planning for Libya’s first elections.
……
The UN memo is right to stress the need for preconditions. Our research on all first elections after civil wars since 1945 underscores the dangers of hasty voting. We found that the sooner a country went to the polls the more likely it was to relapse into war. On average, waiting five years before holding the first election reduced the chance of war by one-third.

more…

September 3rd, 2011, 2:35 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

Hey ss
Tell your friends to spend Friday midday in midan
و قلي شو بصير معك
Thanks to Ramadan it has become customary for people to demonstrate daily after evening prayers.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:44 pm

 

ss said:

150# just Midan; as far as I can tell my friends are everywhere not only in Midan. What Midan has done so far; did it topple the regime SGID??I do not think so Midani. Go and eat Shawarma, with Homos and Fatta before it is too late.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:47 pm

 

Tara said:

@146

Thank you.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:51 pm

 

Aboud said:

@147 Yeah, Besho has nothing to worry about. What does he have to fear from Homs. Nothing at all.

Then why have your turds just blocked off half of Al-Mal3ab, Ghota and Insha’at? Geesh, a few soldiers defect, and junior gets all nervous.

OK, maybe not just a “few”…heheheh 🙂

September 3rd, 2011, 2:52 pm

 

ss said:

You welcome

September 3rd, 2011, 2:54 pm

 

Abughassan said:

Without a coup from within,this crisis in Syria will only take longer to end and more lives will be lost in the process. The new regime will be under pressure to make concessions in foreign policy in return for easing sanctions. Western governments never cared about the average Syrian,they are obsessed with Iran and can only see Israel when it comes to the Middle East,this fact remains true for the whole region and the larger Islamic world,that is why we are reading about conditions imposed on the new Libyan regime before Libya’s own money is released !!
It sounds simplistic,but the truth is that the key to a quick and relatively bloodless resolution to this conflict in Syria is in the hands of those who still support the regime or remain neutral.if the new opposition council is to succeed ,it needs to initiate contacts with community leaders,especially the minorities, and give them public and written assurances that the new government will respect diversity and maintain a secular approach to governing. People who advocate armed resistance are either ” revengists” or affected with a lethal form of political nearsightedness,Syria is too beautiful to be subjected to a civil war or foreign invasion,and broad sanctions will not bring this regime down,it will only make life harder for the average Syrian. It is outrageous that those sanctions are promoted by foreigners and expats who spend more on their Latte and entertainment than what Syrians spend to survive and feed their kids. In a way,economic sanctions is a form of collective punishment against Syrians who failed to topple the regime as fast as Egyptians and Tunisians did. The only part of those sanctions that I can understand is the one that targets certain officials and corrupt businessmen and companies that have a clear link to the regime,like Rami’s companies.
The division within the opposition and the alienation of people like haytham manna’ ,michel kilo and Aref Dalila can not be good for democracy and change,Galioun by himself is not enough to reassure skeptics.
I never thought that I will meet so many militant “thinkers” on a Syrian blog but I was wrong..

September 3rd, 2011, 2:55 pm

 

Norman said:

12. Tara said:

New slogans are heard during today’s demonstrations:

الجيش السوري خائن. (the Arab Syrian army is traitor)

And

نطالب بحماية المجتمع الدولي (we ask for international protection)

3 16
and said that Asma and her children should have their assets frozen,

you probably should lobby to freeze the assets of all the Baath party members and the loyalists,

I can not believe that you would or any real Syrian say that about the army, apparently the plan for Iraq is in full swing in Syria,

September 3rd, 2011, 2:56 pm

 

beaware said:

Amr Moussa, Egypt Presidential Candidate, Predicts Bashar Assad Will Fall
By DAN PERRY 09/ 2/11 02:36 PM ET AP
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/02/amr-moussa-egypt-bashar-assad_n_946954.html
CERNOBBIO, Italy — Amr Moussa, a leading candidate for the presidency of Egypt, said Friday that he had warned Hosni Mubarak days before his fall to call off security forces who attacked demonstrators but was ignored by an authoritarian ruler who seemed convinced he could ride out the popular uprising.

In an interview with The Associated Press at an economic conference in Italy, Moussa predicted that embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad would fall as well – and that democracy would spread across the region.

“I hope that all of them, including the Syrian regime, will understand that this is a historic trend. There’s no U-turn in it. People have spoken. They cannot get back to the normal life (of) the last 10, 20, 30 or 60 years,” Moussa said. “If they don’t, it’s a matter of time. … The situation now is untenable.”

Moussa said that as secretary-general of the Arab League earlier this year he encountered opposition to a tough hand against Syria because there was a desire to prioritize Libya’s descent into civil war – but there was also opposition to a direct Arab intervention in Libya.
……
In the case of Syria, he said, the Arab League would be more proactive: “I believe that the Arab League will vote (to) intervene – an Arab intervention to protect the population, I don’t know whether military or not. It was not available in the Libyan case, because I tried it and I did not succeed.”

“I do expect the success of the revolution in Syria.”

Moussa, who served Mubarak in the 1990s as foreign minister, acknowledged that the Arab Spring – as the uprisings in the region have come to be known – “surprised everybody.”

“But the event itself, a revolution against tyranny, was in the air. So many of us smelled it, expected it, predicted it, including myself.”
……
Moussa rejected the fears of some in the West – that the peace treaty with Israel was in danger, or that Islamists might emerge powerful and that in a worst-case scenario Egypt might go the way of Iran, where the Shah was overthrown largely by secular forces who were then quickly undone by an Islamic revolution.

“I don’t think that the Islamic currents will have the majority,” he said. “We’ll have very … serious debate – it won’t be easy for any group to enforce certain kind of laws on the parliament.”
…..
He said that change could even touch a country like Saudi Arabia, currently a proudly independent and tightly controlled monarchy where women cannot drive and individual rights are minimal.

“There might be differences between change in Saudi Arabia and change in Egypt, monarchies and a republic or something of that kind, but change will sweep the Arab world in my opinion.”

September 3rd, 2011, 2:58 pm

 

Norman said:

Beaware,

Mubayyid article is so real according to my experience,

Do you think that the foreign policy article is a plan for Syria, before or after, do they want president Assad to wait 5 years before a free election or they want the MB when they take power to do that later.

September 3rd, 2011, 2:59 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

Ok, how about Hama where the regime got so scared , they removed hafez’s statue?
Thing is the regime never anticipated this, besho did declare Syria was “immune”. Was it immune?
Now back to Damascus.
Don’t you think demonstrations in badr mosque bought things to a different level? 450 meters from besho’s house? It’s definitely an escalation.
mid an didn’t topple the regime but it has become a dissent hotspot in its own right, furthermore it can’t be cut off from Damascus like barzeh and qaboon.
Btw , when you questioned your friends I hope you didn’t via phone? You do know they won’t dare speak of demonstration?

September 3rd, 2011, 3:00 pm

 

hsyrian said:

When I quoted a report published in the free press Die ZEIT in Germany,

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=11790&cp=all#comment-271232

the MB in service answers about its beloved free press :

@102 I call bullshit on your reporter.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=11790&cp=all#comment-271233

then some commentator leaks the link of the article and the same MB in service starts using the same source for its usual propaganda :

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=11790&cp=all#comment-271275

forgetting its previous definite appraisal of the reporter and carries on to acknowledge the actions of its MB terrorists.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=11790&cp=all#comment-271277

Disclaimer
If Muslim Brothers tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, Syrians will eventually come to believe it.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:07 pm

 

beaware said:

Turkey Brings Israel Gaza Blockade Before International Court
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/03/turkey-israel-gaza-blockade_n_947758.html
…..
Davutoglu said the report – prepared by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, and presented to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – was not endorsed by the United Nations and was therefore not binding.

“What is binding is the International Court of Justice,” Davutoglu said. “This is what we are saying: let the International Court of Justice decide.”

“We are starting the necessary legal procedures this coming week,” he said.

More…

September 3rd, 2011, 3:10 pm

 

Tara said:

Norman

It should be no brainer to freeze Asma and the children assets. Any money in their names is stolen from the Syrian people.

In regard to the army, I do not submit to the taboo concept. Yes, it was part of our ME culture to avoid discussing many taboos and to avoid calling things by it’s name. You can’t question god, the holy book (the interpretation of the holy book that is), inter- and intra- gender relationships, sects particularly Alawism, family values, parental and older brother authority, the Baath party, the Assad dynasty, etc). Individuals in our society are hesitant to voice a different opinion not consistent with the mainstream in fear of being labeled kafer, heretic, traitor…

I am not afraid of discussing any taboo nor am I afraid of being given any label. The Syrian army is traitor and nothing but. The only victory it achieved is invading cities and murdering people. I have said it before: watching Syrian tanks invading Hama and Deir trigger the same negative feeling in me as watching the Israeli army invading the West Bank and Gazza. It is contemptuous and should be disintegrated and rebuilt. I do not want for Syria to end like Iraq and it will never do. The fear of civil war is exaggerated for the advantage of the regime.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:19 pm

 

Tara said:

154

The”thank you” was not for you. It was to dear Beaware.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:21 pm

 

SF4123 said:

I totally agree with you SS (post 116) …. Life in the coastal region is very normal. Restaurants are busy, entertainment programs and wedding parties were back, sea resorts and beaches were crowded during the second half of the summer season. ALL villas and cottages were rented ($150-$400 per night) no vacancy. 60% of the tourists were coming from the hot spots such as Hama and Homs and 40% from Damascus, Aleppo, and other areas. In mater fact, I made a mistake cancelling my trip back to Syria this summer. I should have trusted my friends and family who kept telling me that things were not as bad as Aljazeera and Western media claim… They are right!! Events were blown out of proportion and exaggerated on this forum, western media and on the internet.

I don’t know what the future will hold for Syria but I am not optimistic.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:23 pm

 

Aboud said:

@160 Interesting what you choose to copy/paste out of a 5 page report.

The way you posted them was taken completely out of context to the rest of the article. But again, I don’t blame you for not wanting anyone to see the article itself.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:24 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

@ Norman #156.

I agree with Norman regarding the Army. I am planning to send an e-mail to Burhan Ghalioun over the next few days encouraging him to make a clear statement regarding the future of the Syrian army and also regarding the integrity of the Syrian territory.

Without clear statements on those the minorities will remain skeptical regarding the revolution.

Guys, you should be careful with what you say.

In the beginning on the revolution the Christian leadership on their statement in early April were pro revolution. That attitude changed dramatically by June 2 (the second statement). That change happened, because of the slogan that was said in one of the demonstrations in Homs (Christians to Beirut and Alawis to grave). I know may be only few people who said that, but that was enough to induce great fear to minorities.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:32 pm

 

Norman said:

It is not a taboo to call the army a traitor, IT IS TREASON .

Can you say that on the American army , it is not taboo, just remember what it is .

September 3rd, 2011, 3:44 pm

 

Tara said:

Treason, Norman, is killing your own people. Therefore, Assad, his circle and the army committed treason. It is not treason to call them traitors. You are just describing their action. Describing some one’s action is not treason. It is saying the truth.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:51 pm

 

Aboud said:

The Syrian army ARE traitors. Anyone still in uniform is a traitor to the people who paid for that uniform.

Armies are supposed to defend their own country, but I could expect better treatment from an Israeli army of occupation.

Khayen khayen khayen, el jaish el Souri khayen!

Aweeeeee, is the feelings of those army turds hurt? What are they going to do, SHELL MY MOSQUE????

September 3rd, 2011, 3:51 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

Norman,
Is it treason to accuse leaders of the army of treason?

September 3rd, 2011, 3:54 pm

 

Aboud said:

“That change happened, because of the slogan that was said in one of the demonstrations in Homs ”

Tough shit. Hundreds of thousands of people out demonstrating, and people expect never to hear something disagreeable, not even once?

Those were mere words, and yet what the regime has done is much worse. Anyone still on the sidelines can’t use his or her “minority” status to hide behind anymore. It is moral cowardice, pure and simple. Enough with the bullshit excuses.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:54 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Regarding freezing Asmaa assets, it should be done. Asmaa was part of the regime she was the good image of the regime at the international scene and among minorities, too. For this reason, her assets should be frozen. According, to some legal experts, if Asmaa was in Damascus when the Dra’a’s crime against humanity happened and her husband is convicted by the International Criminal Court, she could be sued in civil cases by the family of the victims.

Regarding the assets of the kids, there is no legal or moral ground to do that except if these assets are used as a means for trafficking money from or to Bashar.

Regarding Assma’s parents. Her father is very rich even before she got married with Bashar. However, he mother had a charity that was financed by the regime. In this respect, an investigation of the mother’s charity should be initiated by the British authority.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:54 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

SOME VODCA, Please

Mango @ 114.

«Our experts on the Arabian East are stronger, rather than American, – he has declared. – if the American experts really knew a real situation in Syria, they never would advise to the madam to call Clinton for that in Syria there was a multi-party system. There multi-party system exists for a long time already. Communists, for example, are present at parliament and the government».

Under its data, in Syria seven or eight parties operate. Phillips assumes that right conclusions do not allow Americans to make ignorance of local features

ROFL,…If your Russian “expert” thinks that this is what multi-party system is, and now that Ramadan is over, I definitely want to get some of the vodca he’s been sipping. I have a revolution I want to deny….

Question

Libyan rats, Syrian germs, Yameni ?….
This guy Abudllah Salih lacks immagination..

Leaky comments
@ 160
then some commentator leaks the link of the article and the same MB in service starts using the same source for its usual propaganda

So we weren’t supposed to know your sources… Damn, freedom of information sucks…..but you menhbbakites can teach the world how to look authoretative…and off course transparent. If you get my drift.

September 3rd, 2011, 3:55 pm

 

hsyrian said:

The MB in service replies :
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=11790&cp=4#comment-271300
“””
@160 Interesting what you choose to copy/paste out of a 5 page report.

The way you posted them was taken completely out of context to the rest of the article. But again, I don’t blame you for not wanting anyone to see the article itself.
“””

1) I copied the facts that the “”journalist” reported in the original German article .

2) The rest are opinions and the usual ( and the new ) tales
( you have a more graphic and classy term for such tales : bullshit and I concede that you are an expert in it )
that the MBs are telling to the “gullible” foreign free press .

3) I did not want to frame you but you did frame yourself and you carry on.

Disclaimer
Give a MB enough rope and he’ll hang himself.
American Proverb

September 3rd, 2011, 4:03 pm

 

Abu Umar said:

164. SF4123 said:

Don’t worry Menhebek thug, you will never return to Syria and you posted an article by a Jewish Neocon hypocrite to further your pathetic cause. So much for “mumaana”. My fake condolences(which the Asad mafia specialises in) on the coming demise of the regie.

September 3rd, 2011, 4:05 pm

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

SF4123

“ALL villas and cottages were rented ($150-$400 per night) no vacancy.”

You have spent so long in the states that you are effectively a stranger in your own country. Do you even know what the average Syrian makes? Certainly not enough to be spending USD 150 a night in Latakia. The fact that you know Syrians who spend such sums tells me a lot about you. Why don’t you come and visit, spend some money in Narinj or Sahara while they’re still there.

ps. Do you feel comfortable in Narinj knowing that all the staff are from a certain minority sect?

September 3rd, 2011, 4:05 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Ropes

@174
Dis claimer
May be so, and give the Baathist enough rope and he will hang his nation. (Assadist reality)

September 3rd, 2011, 4:07 pm

 

abughassan said:

criticizing the syrian army and calling for a reform and accountability within its ranks is something but calling the army a traitor is something else. I see a great deal of immaturity and lack of wisdom among advocates of “dissolving” the syrian army as if those bloggers never heard of Iraq when an idiot named Paul Bremer decided to send 300,00 Iraqi soldiers home only to see the bulk of those soldiers joining an insurgency that took the lives of more than 4,000 US soldiers,hundred of thousands of Iraqis and
more than $2 Trillion from US treasury. We are watching as the new council(s) being formed with the goal of regime change,which is desired by most of us here,but the devil is in the details.
Be very suspicious of any politician or a politician in the making who advocates one or more of these ideas:
1. dissolving the syrian army
2. supporting planned attacks on the army
3. publishing a list of ordinary low ranking officers as traitors
4. calling for deeper sanctions against Syria
5. encouraging sectarian attacks of any type under any name
6. pushing for an islamist constitution in the name of respecting the will of the majority.
7. inviting foreign troops to “liberate” Syrians
(these are what a friend calls “the seven sins” , as for the regime,I lost count of their sins 🙂 )
I am ready now for a new wave of name calling from people who can scream louder than they can think…

September 3rd, 2011, 4:07 pm

 

Abu Umar said:

” 167. Norman said:

It is not a taboo to call the army a traitor, IT IS TREASON .

Can you say that on the American army , it is not taboo, just remember what it is .”

So what do you call the collaboration of Asad’s grandfather and other Alawis with the French colonialists? Do you dare call that treason or is treachery ok with you when your beloved regime is doing it?!

September 3rd, 2011, 4:10 pm

 

NK said:

I’m not sure if others are familiar with Milgram experiment

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

SGID #159

Let’s just say “friends” is a loose term 😉

September 3rd, 2011, 4:16 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Please find below an excerpt of a letter that I sent to Radwan Ziadeh upon his request on May 13. You can find more excerpts at

http://haytham-khoury2.blogspot.com/2011/07/strategies-to-fight-regime.html

“Another target that will help us break Bashar up is his wife. When she got married with him, she was 25 years old. She was full optimism, full of energy and successful. She thought that was coming to a third world country to enlighten the people there, to help them see the light and to guide them to the right path. Also, most likely somebody (her parents) told her that she can do that. During the last 10 years this image was reinforced in her mind. She thought that she was doing a big favor for this miserable people. She thought that she was carrying out a big philanthropic mission. She thought that she was the Guardian Angel of this people. Those most likely were deep believes in her mind. Of course, she was blind and most likely she still is (two months are not enough to change what ten years deeply seeded in the mind, even if she really started to face the reality; however, I doubt that). She did not know that if the Syrian people are in bad condition, it is because her family in-law contributed largely to this end. She did not know that the machine inside the regime is bigger than her. She did not know that regime was using her simply to embellish its image. She did not know that her family (father and mother) also were profiting from her marriage, and probably they were enthusiastic about it from the beginning to fulfill some of their psychological needs. I heard that the president named one of the streets in Hama after her mother (this is precedent in the history of humanity, similar to the one the Caligula did when he names his horse in the Senate). To my knowledge, the former Prime Minister is maternal relative of hers. Most of her father’s awards are coming from meetings took place in Syria. Further, I heard that many of the Akhras family are implicated in the regime’s corruption. We should show her what illusion she was living in. We should show her how people used her. We should break her current psychological underpinnings. We should keep pressuring her till this evil regime goes away. For this reason, I propose the following:
1. We should write an open letter to her in the name of the children of Syria stating “you promised prosperity, your husband delivered destruction; you promised heath, your husband delivered death” and so no. We should finish with the sentence “Where did you go and left us to you husbands machine of death”. We should send it to her personally. We should publish it in good newspapers. We should send it to all TV stations.
2. We should send the video clip, which you mentioned to me on the phone, by mail addressed to her personal name to see it.
3. We should make more video clips that show her how the regime used her and how her family profited from her while she has been the “First Lady”.
4. We should a special web page with her name and put all these clips on it to shoe people what deception she has been living in. We should invite all Syrians to visit that web page.
5. We should shoe the Syrian people that while she was exposing her luxurious fashionable clothes on the fashion magazine “Vogue” (March, 2011 issue), the woman of Syria were losing their kids and husbands on the hands of her husband.
6. We should hack into the web page of the British Syrian Society and put these videos there.
7. We should write newspapers’ article showing how her family profited from her.
8. We should write to the University of Rome to revoke her honorary doctorate.”

September 3rd, 2011, 4:17 pm

 

Aboud said:

@174 The irony is that not many people would have seen or known about that article, if you hadn’t bought it up. How many people read things from German websites anyway?

Now, thanks to you, many, many more.

And I’ll link it again

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2011-08/syrien-homs

@178 So in other words, be wary of anyone who calls for anything except for allowing demonstrators to go to their deaths in their hundreds. Beware of anyone who could possibly call for effective measures against this murderous regime.

In other words, people should do what Abughassan is calling for, sitting in the West while people in Syria have to put up with things described in this article

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2011-08/syrien-homs

Beware of people who claim to hate the regime, but are against any concrete and effective steps against it.

Be wary of people who want the Syrian people to endure this for an undetermined eternity;

“All morning in Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, dozens of people have been taken from their apartments. ”

“The army has tried repeatedly to invade the district. At night, streaks of red gunfire and artillery light up the sky.”

“Twelve of his friends have died in the last weeks; eight alone in the past days.”

“Instead, the army opened fire at 1:55 am. Hundreds are believed to have died, some say thousands. Until today, it’s not clear exactly how many people were killed.”

“An eleven-year-old boy lies on a blood-stained mattress. His mother sits at the foot of the bed. Shrapnel ripped into the boy’s right foot.”

“The doctors working here risk being imprisoned in dungeons run by Syria’s state security services. ”

“The man was released a few days ago from prison where he was beaten and tortured. The authorities used a razor blade to cut the skin of his scrotum to shreds. They shoved metal pins under his fingernails and jolted it with electric shocks for weeks.”

Had enough? I know I have. A soldier’s job is to defend his people. Where are the 400,000 “soldiers” while their people are being murdered? I sure am glad we haven’t been to war with Israel in living memory. Everyone of those khawana would have hightailed it for the Turkish border.

September 3rd, 2011, 4:26 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Name Calling Wave

Abughassan (here you go, I am calling you names)

1. dissolving the syrian army
Big mistake. Should not be done. But does not mean that the army should remain as it is. It should be de-ideologized and given two missions and two missions only. Train, and protect the country when needed. Attempts by the Commander In Cheif or any other officer to use the army for political purposes and for suppression of legitimate opposition is and should be treated as high treason. Anyone who obey such command is a participant in the act of treason. How high, again courts will decide.

2. supporting planned attacks on the army
No one is stupid to plan offensive attacks on the army. Self defence is a right, not all chose to use, but can’t blame those who do, courts should decide that.

3. publishing a list of ordinary low ranking officers as traitors
This continues to be a source of debate. People throw the word treason easily. I have seen some people refer to these lists as cease and decist lists… I am not for that.

4. calling for deeper sanctions against Syria
Against Syria no, against the regime and its sources of funds and power, by all means. The most effective sanctions should and will eventually come from the inside in the form of wide scale civil disobedeance, especially of those who really move the economy, the workers.

5. encouraging sectarian attacks of any type under any name
Agree with no comment

6. pushing for an islamist constitution in the name of respecting the will of the
I will be suspecious of that, but rest assured it will happen by some, counter push starts now.

September 3rd, 2011, 4:32 pm

 

Aboud said:

Abughassan’s Al-Jaysh Al Souri Al Basel. Tank machine gun firing directly at civilians

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCpezHHaRdA&feature=player_embedded

Wallak etfeeeeee 3ala hayk jaysh khawana.

September 3rd, 2011, 4:32 pm

 

hsyrian said:

Dear Abu Ghassan

I will add the 8th sin to your list for the opposition

8) Associate with the Muslim Brothers

But for that last one , it is clearly too late to claim convincingly a dissociation from the Muslim Brothers terrorists

September 3rd, 2011, 4:34 pm

 
 

Abu Umar said:

178. abughassan said:

Even though you used to be a menhebek, why is the Iraqi regime, which came to power on American tanks, one of the biggest allies of the Asad mafia? What happened to “mumaana”? Why is “Sayyid al-Muqawama” silent on his allies who were handed Iraq on a silver platter by the Jewish Neocons?

September 3rd, 2011, 4:39 pm

 

abughassan said:

aboud,as smart as you are,but wrong often like many of us,how would you deal with the army situation now and after a regime change?
We heard the slogans about the army so many times,the question is which army do you want to keep order later on ?

September 3rd, 2011, 4:41 pm

 

hsyrian said:

The MB in service @ 182 carries on

“”
And I’ll link it again

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2011-08/syrien-homs

“”

forgetting that he called it
“@102 I call bullshit on your reporter.”

before he found out that it was the usual lies by the MB propaganda machine.

September 3rd, 2011, 4:44 pm

 

sf94123 said:

# 175 Abo Umar aka Shikh Araor…. Keep on drinking!
# 176 keep looking for gold because your Khlifa will not let you stay free in Bosra without bribing him with your gold (The official currency of your Islamic republic of Syria). Dream on!!

September 3rd, 2011, 4:45 pm

 

Tara said:

Dear Syrian Hamster @174

Knowing your interest in particles, I suggest calling the Yemeni revolutionaries Prions.

Prions are fascinating lethal protein particles that incorporate themselves into the host genome and cause neuro-degenerative diseases. They are more sophisticated than germs and incurable. A prototype is the agent that cause.. Mad cow disease. The inflicted “regime” goes literally crazy then expires at about 12 month interval. You can do absolutely Nothing to revive it!

Do you like the suggestion?

September 3rd, 2011, 4:51 pm

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

sf94123

you know so little about your country. go speak to your father, ask him about the relevance of my title name.

September 3rd, 2011, 4:52 pm

 

ss said:

166. Haytham Khoury

Dr. Khoury all of a sudden appeared on this forum and started making emails to Mr. Galion. All of a sudden we are seeing future mini leaders appear here and there; shooting themselves emails, and text messages.

I guess instead of giving advice to Mr. Galion with your emails, I would suggest you shoot him an email begging him to come and see your website and read your posts that were posted 4 months ago. Can you believe it???4 months ago and a leader is poped up like a geniue from a bottle.
You should ask him to elect you as a minister or something in his new goverment.

September 3rd, 2011, 4:54 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

What of Surgical Strikes Bassam?
Nothing, zero, nada, zilch, the man threw his credibility in the same gutter he found his words at. He is now a regime appologist, exactly like the ones Aboud warns against.

Beware of people who claim to hate the regime, but are against any concrete and effective steps against it

What of Asma?
Haytham
She is part and parcel of the regime, she helped create the fradulant image of “modern” “western” educated fraudster. Why should we care what she does and waste efforts writing letters to her. There are women in Syria worth her a thousand times. What of Samar Yazbek, Sahar Attasi, May Skaf. I would rather write open letters of support to them, or to the mothers, wives, and sisters who lost loved ones.

September 3rd, 2011, 4:57 pm

 

uzair8 said:

An alleged leaked Syrian Intelligence plan to deal with Uprising:

Read it all.

http://news.intercom.gs/leaked-syrian-plan-to-deal-with-uprising-dera

September 3rd, 2011, 5:04 pm

 

Aboud said:

@188 Wow, and the misplaced priorities award of the year goes to….

How about getting that army of thugs to stop killing their own people, then we can worry about creating the First, Second and thousandths amendments?

Or do you imagine the American Founding Fathers had the constitution all worked out in 1776? It wasn’t made into law until 1787. Until then, the Americans had the pesky little problem of being occupied by the world’s Super Power.

Uzair8 @195

“There is a plan prepared being prepared by a security cell, which will be introduced/implemented in a suitable, timed way on questionable sites under the name of “Bandar Sultan’s plan”, which is believable and convincing.”

And remember that you first heard about the Bandar Plan from your friendly neighborhood Aboud, when I called out a menhebak for quoting it in his post. That proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there are some menhebaks here who are paid operatives of the mukhabarat.

At least, they were until Besho ran out of money and stopped paying them LOL!

September 3rd, 2011, 5:04 pm

 

sf94123 said:

192- I know more than you think about Syria…I visit more than you! You probably never went back!

As someone who is wise said “ You are either a revengists” or affected with a lethal form of political nearsightedness” I think you and many on this forum possess both.

September 3rd, 2011, 5:14 pm

 

uzair8 said:

Aboud @196

I’ve been wandering about the regime running out of money to pay its thugs (esp Shabeeha).

Its been frustrating to hear about the thugs looting businesses, homes of valuables including jewellery. Also how people are inprisoned and released for a hefty bail. I suspected these were some ways to raise funds to meet the wages of the thugs.

On the other hand such tactics would only create more anger and opposition amongst the population. That is unless the regime targets well known opposition hotspots for the looting and arrests.

September 3rd, 2011, 5:25 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Fascinating Particles

Dear Tara

Fascinating indeed and fits the trend in going lower on life forms from Rats-> Germs -> Viruses -> Prions (are they considered living?) So Prions it is, Salih would probably pronounce it Brions. Are Bahriani equality seekers called viruses by their Emir?

Seen any Nutt-rinos or Nutt-rons lately, I bett you can feel their presence.

Contrary not As
Mr. Zipcode
You should have said: contrary to what a wise man said.
Why? The wise man used either/or excluding one or the other. Your argument contradicts him by asserting mutuality or concurrence..

Ever studied logic?….

and what’s with leaky systems today?

September 3rd, 2011, 5:30 pm

 

uzair8 said:

Another thing. About Sh. Arour. Im not Salafi. Actually disagree with Salafi doctrine.

Is this Salafi thing being emphasized and exaggerated by the regime to distract from the reality of the opposition?

If my memory is correct I thought the 1.2 billion muslims were majority traditional Sunni muslims, 20-30 % Shia, and about 5 % Wahaabi/Salafi.

September 3rd, 2011, 5:30 pm

 

Norman said:

What i have bees seeing on SC, from making the Baath Arab socialist party illegal, without access to power in the future and the call for dissolving the Syrian army, making me more convinced that there is no chance for the Baath party, army, and the government will give power peacefully as the opposition is not seeking power peacefully,

If the Syrian army were killing his own people then will see hundreds or thousands dead each day, they are securing the country and arresting the violators of the peace and shooting back at the people shooting at them,

September 3rd, 2011, 5:46 pm

 

hsyrian said:

One commentator asked :
“Is this Salafi thing being emphasized and exaggerated by the regime to distract from the reality of the opposition?”

This is the usual stance by the Muslim Brothers.
NO !!!

the Muslim Brother terrorists operated between 1976 and 1982 in Syria : killings , murders , bombings , etc
and
the Facebook site for the revolution is run by Swedish MB.

September 3rd, 2011, 5:54 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

“the Facebook site for the revolution is run by Swedish MB.”
and the Syrian autocracy is run by Baathist Assads.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:01 pm

 

sf94123 said:

199 SYRIAN HAMSTER:

Yes… I totally forgot! You are the Genius one! Einstein– I am so sorry!

We should ask Mr. Galian to appoint you the Minister of Education!

September 3rd, 2011, 6:01 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Scandal

the Facebook site for the revolution is run by Swedish MB.

Man, why didn’t any of you say so on March 15, you could have saved all the real seculars some major embarrassment?…

I don’t give a rat’s tail if you want to fool yourself into believing the fairy tale that this is an MB facebook insurgency?

It was a protest, your dumb friends made it a revolution…

Rat’s Brain
MR. Zipcode
No, wrong again, I am not genious, I am a rat, with rat’s brain.
Mr. Ghalyoun has no executive authority, Appointing minister requires an election.. Or did you also forget that we want to do away with cult personality…. It seems that your side can not resist acting from power, you have been appointing the government of free syria all day now. Well guess what, it does not work that way. We will have something called real election.. Heard of that, they have it in SF.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:03 pm

 

Aboud said:

“and arresting the violators of the peace and shooting back at the people shooting at them,”

The Syrian Army, shooting back at people who are “shooting at them”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzbg89YNWEM&ref=nf

Notice how these turds aren’t taking cover, are not being fired on, and aren’t even in their bullet proof armor. Their friends up at the checkpoint as similarly unconcerned.

Another video;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MQec-0ZcwM&feature=player_embedded

Yeah, that minaret was really posing a threat to all those tanks.

“the Muslim Brother terrorists operated between 1976 and 1982 in Syria”

Notice that another menhebak, long since departed from this forum, also used the ridiculous phrase “The Muslim Brother”, and not their proper term “The Muslim Brotherhood”. See how these absurd little menhebaks give themselves away…I mean, how the single menhebak on this forum gives himself away.

But hey, he’s only following his paymaster’s plan;

“Connecting the protests with personalities who are detested among the Syrian public, such as known Saudi and Lebanese personalities [possibly alluding to March 14] and connecting all of them with Zionism and the USA. ”

http://news.intercom.gs/leaked-syrian-plan-to-deal-with-uprising-dera

September 3rd, 2011, 6:05 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

not really relevant to the topic, but the “revolution in qatar” is more concerned about events in syria than events in qatar.
نقلا عن احد المهتمين بتقنيات الجزيره :بعد الأخطاء الفادحة التي ارتكبتها قناة الجزيرة فيما يخص إدعائها النقل المباشر من سوريا ,,, نرجو لفت الإنتباه إلى مايلي
or
الان هجوم عربي على صفحة قناة الجزيرة التي تمنع السوريين والجزائريين من رؤية الصفحة عن طريق الفلترة في الفيسبوك…
يمكنكم استخدام برنامج كسر البروكسي الترا سيرف للدخول
الرابط هو
like i said yesterday, theyre telling people to use ultrasurf to enter facebook(which is banned in syria) and attack aljazeera for reporting that people in syria are oppressed. talk about irony
only a person raised in assadistan can fail so much.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:18 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Syrian Hamster @194:

What I wanted from the letter not supporting her, but showing her the reality of the man she got married with. I thought (at that time) that breaking her psychologically could help (This was on May 13, just after the events of Dara’a).

When I wrote that e-mail to Radwan, Radwan and his people thought just with the demonstrations alone they would bring the regime down. I tried to tell them that they should vary their weapons against the regime. As you know, I just give the advice and the opinion. I do not execute. I have no connection with the people on the ground, but others do.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:28 pm

 

Aboud said:

SGID, when the Internet is down in Syria, the “Qatar Revolution” page doesn’t get updated. You’d think the mukhabarat would have its own lines LOL!

September 3rd, 2011, 6:34 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Hackers or Quackers

SGID
Oh no it is relevant. Stupidity and incompetence are the name of the game for these quarks, bozo-n, nutt-rinos, and nutt-rons of the Syrian electronic army.

The victorious attack on Aljazeera has been going on for two days now, the site loads with no glitch as well as the fb page of Aljazeera. What a waste of an already crappy bandwidth, what a waste…

Dear Haytham
I don’t doubt your sincerity.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:35 pm

 

Aboud said:

Al-Jaish Al Souri Al-Basel…firing on unarmed civilians

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCpezHHaRdA&feature=player_embedded

Wallak etfeeeee 3ala hayk jaish khayeen.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:40 pm

 

Chris W said:

I’m under no illusions that the Syrian security forces are angels; Syria needs reform, even its president agrees; but I’m extremely skeptical about the few specific allegations made in that German (‘Zeit Online’) magazine article: a scrotum shredded by razor blades and the Syrian army secretly murdering thousands of people to sell their organs on the Black Market. They’re just too far-fetched to be credible.

The rest of the article reads like Gothic literature: the details of the author’s anxious psychological state building up a sense of something fearful and sinister, yet somehow just out of sight. A knock on the door that startles the household, a fearful and mysterious telephone call, fresh bullet-holes in a car door: send the script to the BBC!

The really scary part of the article is in its headline: ‘NATO, come and help us’, by which they mean, “NATO, come and bomb us.”

As Joshua said, ‘the West are getting their ducks in a row’. Military assault against Syria – without any considered strategic objective – is the aim of many in the US and the West. Syria helped Hezbollah, Syria stood up to Israel, Syria isn’t on ‘our side’, so it must be punished; American military thinking at its dumbest and most opportunistic.

Isn’t that the reason so many of you post so frequently on English-language websites? Hoping to create a buzz that will influence decision makers in the West?

The result would be a big, needless, bloody, chaotic mess.

September 3rd, 2011, 6:51 pm

 

Aboud said:

“Isn’t that the reason so many of you post so frequently on English-language websites?”

Yes, because Obama cannot bomb Besho to smithereens without the readership of Syria Comment turning solidly against junior *facepalm*

“Syria needs reform, even its president agrees”

Reforms like rearranging Ali Ferzat’s hands and Ibrahim’s throat. Why is Najati Tayara in jail if Besho is so big on reforms. Oh wait, Najati was released…only to be immediately arrested by the Air Force UN-intelligence.

“They’re just too far-fetched to be credible. ”

Yeah, the German chapter of the MB managed to buy yet another journalist. Since junior made the idiotic decision not to allow the foreign press into Syria, this is the only way Western journalists can get into the country. Or do you expect them to believe everything Al-Dunya spoon feeds them? Not everyone is Taleb Ibrahim.

“Syria helped Hezbollah, Syria stood up to Israel,”

The muqawama myth yet again. Junior hasn’t fired a shot on the Golan since he came to power, and neither did his father since 1973. In fact, it’s in Israel’s interests to keep this scared rabbit in power.

September 3rd, 2011, 7:03 pm

 

sf94123 said:

To 205. SYRIAN HAMSTER:

You are right again! I am so sorry master! It will never happen again. I promise!!!. But I have to say one more thing and that is it “ Eventually, Syria will be bombed and your wishes will come true “ weak , injured, broken and divided country will hold an election to install a 21st century government in the Islamic Republic of Syria”

It is sad that thousands Syrians will be killed and millions will be displaced in the name of your phony democracy.. Are you happy now! go back to your hole.

September 3rd, 2011, 7:13 pm

 

tarek said:

Are the US, France and England for or against Arabs and Muslims.?

September 3rd, 2011, 7:15 pm

 

Chris W said:

Sure, ‘Aboud’, they’re selling organs on the Black Market. Ridiculous…

Why not just claim Pres. Assad is killing babies with clandestine nukes to breed a zombie army? Your audience is Americans, they’ll believe anything.

September 3rd, 2011, 7:22 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

we’re already living in a phony democracy, we’re already living in a nation where any person with connections can kill people in a car crash and walk out freely.
it wasnt a few months ago when naji jamil’s son was released from his extremely short sentence( he was tapping into the state’s stocks of chemotherapy and selling them at outrageous prices).
were already weak, broken and injured
israel can taunt us and shatter lebanon, while we stand.
israel can bomb us, and we have nothing to display.
people in israel are safely protesting for better living standards while syrians are dangerously protesting for basic living standards.
i dare you to criticize rami makhlouf in front of any authority figure in syria.
i don’t know about you but im fed up of paying taxes to a government that won’t support me.

September 3rd, 2011, 7:27 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Ma-menhebak people:

You can’t imagine the immense effort that people are doing to bring the regime down. Of course, I am not one of them. My contribution is very tangential. However, I think it is not enough just to discuss on SC. We should always find ways to get close to the people who are on the ground. Of course, not all the efforts will be successful. However, the more you are successful, the faster you will help bring the regime down and consequently save innocent lives.

September 3rd, 2011, 7:34 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

By the way I set up blogs in French and Arabic to connect with the people with France and in Syria, consequently.

I always send to Burhan Ghalioun what I write in French. It is very enriching discussing with him. I enjoy it very much.

This is just to tell you that you should try to communicate with people you never imagine you can communicate with them. If only 20% respond you favorably, it is fine. I am never sensitive about rejections or very happy about acceptance. The train of life is going on who comes on board is fine.

http://haytham-khoury.blogspot.com/
http://haytham-khoury3.blogspot.com/

September 3rd, 2011, 7:48 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

Doctor haytham can you give me an English link of your blog.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:02 pm

 

ss said:

الكاتب بسام القاضي

فبعد ستة أشهر متواصلة من الاحتجاجات، وأربعة أشهر تقريبا من الصراع المسلح بين النظام ومجموعات الإجرام الأصولي وغيره، تراجعت أعداد المتظاهرين بشكل ملموس، وتركزت أكثر فأكثر بين فئة الأطفال تحت 17 سنة، وتحول شعار “إسقاط النظام” إلى اسطوانة مشروخة لا تثير إلا الاشمئزاز، واستبدلت كل الشعارات المحددة الملموسة بشعارات طائفية وأخرى شتائمية قذرة، وإن تمكن المزورون أمثال عمر إدلبي وملاذ عمران (رامي نخلة) وفداء السيد وغيرهم من منتجة الفيديوهات واللعب بها لتعطي انطباعات بعكس الحقيقة التي صورت فيها.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:03 pm

 

ss said:

وبالتالي، فإن هذا المجلس المفبرك فعلا، لا يمثل على أرض الواقع سوى محاولة يائسة أخرى لاستعراض عضلات مريض بالإيدز لم يعد الدواء يجدي نفعا معه. فبدلا من أن يمضي ما تبقى له من أيام في ما يريده ويحبه، يحاول أن يخلد اسمه ببطولة مثيرة للشفقة.

الكاتب بسام القاضي

September 3rd, 2011, 8:06 pm

 

Aboud said:

“We should always find ways to get close to the people who are on the ground”

Haytham, if I sometimes act like I know better, it’s because I do.

The people on the ground want the Baathists to pay for all the people they have killed, for all the people tortured and disappeared. The people on the ground have no love anymore for the army which is killing its own people. This was the first week when I heard the chant “The Syrian army are traitors”. You bet I shouted that at the top of my lungs.

In these six months I have seen atrocities that I will never forget as long as I live. But I have also seen courage, resilience and bravery on a scale and magnitude that I thought to be unimaginable. Syrians are writing their own epic saga with every drop of blood they spill.

Without Hitler, there would have been no Churchill. Without a King George III, there would have been no Washington. And without junior, as evil and murderous as he is, Syrians would never have discovered the bravery, ingenuity and resilience they have in them and which they are capable of.

My God, when I look at some people I admire the most in all this, I remember shaking my head at them last summer, wondering what they would have done had they had to fight a war with Israel. Now I know, they would have kicked Netanyahu’s ass all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and then some.

The Baathists are doomed, they cannot save themselves any more than the Roman Empire could have prevented its down decline.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:07 pm

 

Aboud said:

@221 *facepalm* Which just goes to show how out of touch Bassam Al-Qadi is. The demonstrators are all under 17? Almost every victim last Friday was 18 and over. The demonstrations have lessened? Dear God we have been hearing this myth of “demonstrator fatigue” for months now.

And Bassam Al-Qadi has proof of fundamentalist armed gangs? That’s nice, have him drop it off to Al-Dunya, because they haven’t provided a shred of proof in 6 months. Or is this going to be another tall tale of church shootings?

And demanding the regime’s downfall is “provocative”? Bassam Qadi is a shameless hypocritical sellout turd. Now THAT’S provocative. And here’s why we want Bassam on the plane with Besho to Tehran, because he defends atrocities like this, a school in Latakia turned into a mass prison camp.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:14 pm

 

True said:

@ 122. Tara

“He should rotten in jail. Either a Syrian jail or ICC one”

ICC is too much luxury with air conditioned cells for Besho, the criminal!! His finale should be in Tadmor prison so he could feel thousands of innocent souls haunting that place.

and yeah in Tadmor Betho will be the boy to “pick up the soap” in showers when it slips down 🙂 I’m sure he’ll get used to it loooooooooooooooool

http://cedarnews.net/prisoner-of-damascus
http://akorra.com/2010/03/02/top-5-most-horrible-prisons-on-earth/

September 3rd, 2011, 8:17 pm

 

Aboud said:

Thanks Tara. Are you menhebaks happy? One of Besho’s few achievements is to have the world’s 3rd worst prison. I’m sure al of you on the mukhabaRAT’s payroll will do your utmost to make sure it becomes the world’s worst.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:19 pm

 

NK said:

SGID

here’s the link to Dr. Haytham’s English blog.

http://haytham-khoury2.blogspot.com/

September 3rd, 2011, 8:20 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

And now the hole
Aha, @ 214 SF is so reliable. Two or three exchanges and the rat gets the traditional menhebbakites send off ” go back to your hole”

Thousands have already died at the hand of this criminal regime. Tens of thousands have been subjected to a level of inhumanity and brutality unheard of since the dark ages. Cities have been invaded by army who is acting worst than an occupation army, and you have the audacity to proclaim your sadness while at the same time denying these dead even the simplest acknowledgement of the justice of their call for freedom, and the right to demand it.

Every post you write in support of this regime turns into a bullet killing yet another young Syrian who dared demand his/her voice being heard. You are the lifeline extended for this regime, you give its thugs moral support, you help them in their propaganda, you add water to their muddying of the facts, spread the sectarian fear they long to instill, and assist them in scaring the witless of a vacuum in state, as if they have not created a vacuum that sucked the talents, integrity, and dignity of Syrians into a black hole, and siphoned their meager earnings into the pockets of the few. There are people like you in Syria as well, and their silence and excuses to not stand for their own rights, and for the rights of their fellow citizens despite of all the blood-shed and the criminality of the regime around them is the real sad thing. Well if the Muslim Brotherhood becomes too powerful in Syria, it is because these pathetic souls who refuse to join the protest. As a secular rat, my joining gives me a voice on the side of those demanding rights from their oppressor, as a secularist, you are betraying your own secularism by refusing to stand for its most important values that have helped make great secular nations, liberty, fraternity, and egalitarianism. Secularism without liberty is meaningless for the real value of secularism is for one to be free to think. Something the Assads can’t tolerate and fraternity is not in condemning the victims and lying about them, but in standing up to those who murdered them. You keep giving bullets to the regime, and from my rat hole, I will keep giving hopes to the oppressed.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:22 pm

 

ss said:

227# I wish you can be generous and write him a comment. He has been advertising this new 4 month old sudden onset website for a while now and it looks empty without any comments. I am sure your feedback will be greatly appreciated

September 3rd, 2011, 8:23 pm

 

beaware said:

Some 450,000 Israelis march at massive ‘March of the Million’ rallies across country
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/some-450-000-israelis-march-at-massive-march-of-the-million-rallies-across-country-1.382366
Protests held in major cities across Israel represent of the biggest rallies in the country’s history. Protest leader: We have chosen to see instead of walking blindly toward the abyss.
……,
Actress and comedienne Orna Banai told the crowd in the capital: “I am not amused that there are hungry children here; that we have a soldier rotting in captivity for five years; that Israel is one of the poorest examples there are of human rights.”
….
The Haifa protest focused on the issue of discrimination against Arabs. Shahin Nasser, representative of the Wadi Nisnas protest tent in Haifa said: “Today we are changing the rules of the game. No more coexistence based on hummus and fava beans. What is happening here is true coexistence, when Arabs and Jews march together shoulder to shoulder calling for social justice and peace. We’ve had it. Bibi, go home. Steinitz, go and don’t come back, Atias, good-bye and good riddance,” he said, referring to the prime minister, the finance minister and the housing minister, respectively.

more…

September 3rd, 2011, 8:26 pm

 

True said:

@ Menhebeks (Tadmor Massacre)

Anyone to tweet Betho asking him what actions did he take to bring justice for those prisoners who were murdered coldly by the Assadians in Tadmor prison massacre?

We will not forget ….. We will not forgive!!!!!

http://www.tadmor.8k.com/
http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-27/hell-harvard-chicagoan%E2%80%99s-story-survival-syria%E2%80%99s-infamous-tadmor-prison-8 –listen to the story

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgDYZ19YN8M —part1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph01LijaqSI —-part2

September 3rd, 2011, 8:28 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

Norman, take a good look at aboud’s video. I accuse the army of treason.
I remember an Israeli soldier was punished for merely taking photos of Palestinian prisoners, it truly is a sad day when you realize the Israelis treat Arab prisoners better than the Syrian Arab army treats Syrian Arab prisoners.
Today I was at the Cham city center located in kafer suseh. 3 shabeeha thugs were strolling about with their batons and their button up shirts wide open, they cast fear into the hearts of everyone….security agents?? Quite the opposite.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:31 pm

 

beaware said:

Syrian crisis not a conspiracy, an opponent says
2011-09-03
by Gong Zhenxi
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-09/03/c_131095948.htm
DAMASCUS, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — A prominent opposition figure stressed that the current crisis in Syria since mid-March reflects the presence of an existing crisis in the country rather than a conspiracy as the government claims.

During a recent interview with Xinhua, Michel Kilo, a Syrian Christian writer and human rights activist, criticized the handling of the crisis carried out by security apparatus, suggesting that the crisis has no security nature but rather a problem with political, social, economic and cultural dimensions that should be dealt with by political tactics.

Kilo made it clear that the continuation of the security handling would lead to a foreign intervention in the Syrian affairs, reiterating that protesters demanding freedom, for example, should not be met by tanks but rather by granting more freedom, even if it is implemented gradually.

Syria has blamed the five-month unrest across the country on armed groups and foreign conspiracy, and has vowed to hunt gunmen and bring them to trial to restore security and stability in the county. Meanwhile, activists groups accuse the authorities of resorting to violence to suppress “peaceful” protests country-wide.

Asked about his vision on the future of the unrest, Kilo said the protests will continue and further escalate, saying the authorities “left no backdoor for the demonstrators to return from.”

He pointed out that stopping the protests would have much higher consequences than carrying on with it, in a reference to a possible harsh retaliation by the authorities on those who have been demonstrating.

“The Syrian leadership didn’t made serious promises to convince the demonstrators to go home,” said Kilo.

He denied the existence of sedition or a salafi movement in Syria, suggesting that protesters did not shout any Salafi slogans, adding that there is a misunderstanding of the legitimate demands of the people.

He also denied the involvement of the United States or any foreign party in igniting the popular movement in Syria, illustrating that what is happening is a result of many years of accumulating sufferings.

He made a comparison between Syria in the 1950s when there was a period of economic prosperity, with the present situation, where five percent of the population gets half of the national income.

Recently, the United States and some European countries have ramped up pressures on the Syrian leadership. On Tuesday, Washington expanded its net of sanctions on the Syrian government, banning Americans from doing business with the country’s foreign minister and two other senior officials.

Kilo said the opposition is bracing itself to convene an opposition conference in September, dismissing claims that the Syrian opposition cracks.

He also confessed that some opposition figures abroad are calling for a foreign intervention in Syria, which is something ” that the opposition at home rejects.”

Some opposition figures announced in Damascus last June the formation of the National Coordination Body with aims at transforming Syria into a plural and democratic state. They believe that the proper solution to the recent crisis is for all Syrians to sit around one table, analyze the situation from all aspects and speak in one mentality to agree on a method to find out an outlet.

The Syrian opposition has boycotted a consultative meeting, announced by President Bashar al-Assad and held in Damascus on July 10, which cited the lack of a suitable environment for dialogue.

Meanwhile, al-Baath newspaper said Thursday that the national dialogue combining representatives of Syrian parties, the government, and the opposition, in addition to independents and intellectuals, will kick off on Monday.

The paper said the gathering will be a prelude to the convening of the national dialogue conference, adding that it also aims to guarantee the accelerated pace of reforms and the broadest popular participation in how to shape a future vision to build up Syria in all domains.

The Monday meeting will be at the level of all Syrian provinces. All social, economic, political and services issues are expected to be presented for debate, and the recommendations will be discussed at the comprehensive national dialogue conference.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:31 pm

 

uzair8 said:

@223 Aboud.

“Syrians are writing their own epic saga with every drop of blood they spill.”

SubhanAllah. I cant agree more with the post and in particular the quote above. I have felt for a while now that we are watching something very special (the word doesnt feel right) unfolding before our eyes. The Syrian people are facing my worst fears and I can only watch stunned with mouth agape. I can only praise Allah. MashAllah. Im not Syrian but I cant describe the pride the Syrian people fill me with.

When the day finally arrives, the elation will dwarf that felt after the fall of Mubarak or Gaddafi. InshaAllah.

I have felt throughout the Arab Spring that there is something special going on here and the decision has probably already been made in Heaven regarding the fates of the regimes. Whatever the regime has thrown at the people, and it has thrown everything and the kitchen sink, it has failed and seemed futile.

Once again, a moving post that sums up the situation.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:36 pm

 

beaware said:

Syria to witness broad national dialogue for reforms — “Al-Baath”
Politics 9/1/2011 10:36:00 AM
http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?Language=en&id=2187842
DAMASCUS, Sept 1 (KUNA) — Nationwide national conciliation dialogue is due to be launched on Monday as a prelude to holding a broad national convention, the state-run newspaper, “Al-Baath,” said in its edition published on Thursday.
The national dialogue, due to be launched on Monday and last till the 20th of the month, would be held at the level of committees, set up in each of the country’s governorates, Al-Baath said.
The commissions, formed to prepare for the broad conciliation convention, would include representatives of the government, political, social activists and economic figures, leaders of the opposition parties, academic figures and members of unions.
Agenda of the talks at the level of the commissions deal with political reforms, economic and social affairs.
These committees will draft plans for reforms and specify the social and economic needs in each of the country’s provinces — to be submitted to the premiership. They will also list the candidates for taking part in the scheduled general convention for the national dialogue.
Among the topics to be tackled, according to Al-Baath, are means for preserving the national unity, facing the “external conspiracy, the questions of the constitution, basic laws, political parties, the elections and role of the media.” The conferees are also scheduled to address various other topics, namely the financial and taxation policies, trade, protection of the national product, investment affairs, employment, creating jobs, development of the agricultural, industrial and energy sectors, as well as education and health services.
Al-Baath said implementation of plans for developing these sectors and tackling these issues would be tied to schedules.
The government, facing popular unrest and protests by activists calling for reforms, has vowed to press ahead with the process of reforms. (end) tk.rk KUNA 011036 Sep 11NNNN

September 3rd, 2011, 8:39 pm

 

Tara said:

True

You just can not forgive a mass murderer. We will not seek revenge but we will seek justice from these prominent figures who ordered the killing and whatever humiliates Bashar is fine with me.

The regime has a deep rooted inferiority complex otherwise why are they carrying out this culture of humiliation. Why are they forcing people to say “no god except bashar”? Why do they force people to prostrate to his picture? Why did they stepped on people in Bayda? There is no logic explanation other than incurable feeling of inferiority! If any one has insight into the psychological root of this hatred other than “feeling inferior” please share. “Reign of a slave” is what come to mind.

September 3rd, 2011, 8:54 pm

 

Husam said:

SF4123:

@ no vacancy! You are full of Sh*t. I see you dropped one number from your zip code, what are you afraid of… seriously…hehe!? Shubak Khieeef Amo?

I cancelled my trip. A Syrian Business conference was cancelled. My cousin is having his wedding in Beirut instead. People cannot plan anything. Who wants to celebrate, go to restaurants when blood is running on the streets but the diehard mnehabks who stole the money and are blowing the last of easy-money.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:02 pm

 

Chris W said:

Revenge is a bad way to begin a new state, Tara. Yugoslavia was a state built on revenge.

Reconciliation is a hard pill for most people to swallow, but those states who’ve gone down that path have found it succeeds.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:02 pm

 

beaware said:

Re-imagining the resistance axis
By Mahan Abedin
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MI02Ak01.html
As the street-level opposition to the Syrian regime shows no signs of abating, there is growing pressure on strategic planners in Tehran to prepare for all scenarios, including one that doesn’t involve current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as the lynchpin of Syrian politics.

The perceived gravity of the problem, reinforced by region-wide changes, should force the entire Iranian foreign policymaking establishment to re-think and re-imagine the deepest dimensions of the country’s regional diplomacy, including the very idea of the so-called “resistance axis”.

There are deep fears in Tehran that the downfall or emasculation of Assad and the Alawite-led Ba’athist regime in Damascus will at
the very least complicate the intricate set of relations that Iran maintains with Lebanese and Palestinian non-state actors, notably Hezbollah and Hamas, and effectively set the Islamic Republic on the back foot in the great strategic rivalry with the United States over influence and hegemony in the Middle East.

While this anxiety is understandable and partly reflects the genuine balance of forces and interests on the ground, it is ultimately myopic and the product of unimaginative strategic thinking. The partial and (in the case of Libya) total collapse of several Arab regimes in the Middle East and North Africa, is a harbinger for a profound re-alignment of the strategic map of the region, and specifically one where diplomacy is set to become more complex and entail greater involvement by indigenous powers.
…….
In view of these regional dynamics, namely the empowerment of potentially pro-Iranian Islamists in Cairo and the emergence of a volatile and inexperienced regime in Tripoli, Iran should look to cultivating deeper ties with these states and by extension de-emphasizing the relationship with non-state actors.

The resistance axis needs to be rethought and reconfigured to adapt to emerging political and strategic developments and ultimately tied to a more lucid definition of Iranian national interests.

If Iran’s primary national interest in the region is the expulsion of foreign military forces from the Persian Gulf area, then the emergence of more democratic regimes, whose chief sensitivity is their own public opinion, is supportive of this long-term strategic goal.

From this point of view, the downfall of Assad, however unlikely it may appear at this stage, is not necessarily the disaster imagined by many in Tehran’s policymaking circles.

Mahan Abedin is an analyst of Middle East politics.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:03 pm

 

ann said:

Syria’s official TV airs confessions of alleged terrorists

2011-09-03 17:56:20

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/03/c_131095857.htm

DAMASCUS, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Syria’s state-run TV has broadcasted late Friday confessions made by alleged members of the terrorist and armed groups in the country.

One alleged terrorist, Qusai Abdel-Razzaq Shaqfeh, 29, from the central province of Hama, confessed that he had acted as an eyewitness and fabricated false news and videos on events in Syria for the Doha-based al-Jazeera TV channel, and had collaborated with foreign sides to form armed groups to attack the army and security forces and civilians.

Shaqfeh admitted that he had lied about the incident of attacking the al-Hader police station on Aleppo highway when he claimed that a defection and a consequent confrontation took place among police members.

The terrorist also said he had lied about the killing of security members, whose bodies were thrown in the Orontes River when he claimed that those members were killed by other security personnel who put on Hama costumes, in order to accuse Hama inhabitants of the crime.

“In fact, the gunmen had killed those members and threw their bodies in the river,” he admitted.

Shaqfeh said he received about 2 million Syrian pounds (about 40,000 U.S dollars) in installments from the so-called “a free Hama citizen,” whom he later knew to be a relative of Adnan al-Ar’ our, a defected Syrian clergyman who used to appear on Arab TV channels to provoke Syrians to demonstrate against the government.

He said that the money were used to supply protestors with food and money, and help them to set up the barricades and roadblocks and to buy weapons, including machine guns, for the gunmen.

Shaqfeh said he contacted professional people who made montage for programs, fabricated demonstrations and sent the videos to Arab TV channels.

The Syrian TV also broadcasted confessions of one member of alleged armed terrorist gangs that committed crimes against police and security forces in Hama, terrorized citizens and smashed public and private properties.

Omran Abdel Razzaq al-Aqra’, 24, from Hama, said he had taken part in various events in the city and was involved in the formation of armed groups. He admitted that members of his group were armed with all sorts of automatic weapons including shotguns, pistols and Kalashnikovs.

In a related development on Friday, Syria’s state TV accused al- Jazeera of inciting people to take up arms against the government. Syria has repeatedly accused the Doha-based TV channel and other media of leaping over facts and fabricating events on the ground to apply a western-backed agenda with the aim of overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has been in unrest since mid-March when anti-government protests broke out in the southern province of Daraa and spread to other cities. The Syrian authorities blamed the unrest on “armed groups and foreign conspiracy,” and stressed that it would track down gunmen who have intimidated people and damaged public and private properties.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:04 pm

 

Tara said:

Beaware

Check this out:

Reign of slaves
Syria Soldiers Abuse Prisoners in School Converted to Prison …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd19xFJokgQ
 

September 3rd, 2011, 9:20 pm

 

True said:

@ Tara,

Surely Betho and his folks of Menhebks do suffer deep issues and it’s their problem not ours to contain them

On the other hand in order to have the best new Syria then justice should be rolled out with no exception or differentiation, every file should be addressed leading to reward or punishment.

Pleas read “Just Five Minutes Nine Years in The Prisons of Syria
by Heba Dabbagh” it’s a book MUST read and tell me if Betho will be happy to see Asma oe Anisa in her shoes.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:21 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Dear SGID:

The link for my English blog is

http://haytham-khoury2.blogspot.com/

I will continue writing till the regime falls. Once the regime falls, I will go back to my recluse life. I hate politics, but I am doing that for saving lives. The regime is so wicked (this is the subject of the writing piece that I am doing now).

September 3rd, 2011, 9:21 pm

 

True said:

@ Chris

We should NOT be ashamed of seeking punishment to every criminal, it’s a pure justice and it’s how humans could control good and bad but Menehebks (bluffers as always) would call it revenge instead.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:26 pm

 

ann said:

Syria rummages around for other markets after EU oil embargo

2011-09-04 02:11:09

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/04/c_131096103.htm

DAMASCUS, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Oil embargo lately slapped by European countries on Syria would inevitably overburden its stagnant economy, but experts believe that the country that has been put into a tight squeeze after nearly six months of unrest is still able to withstand the sanctions and find alternatives.

The European Union (EU) imposed Friday sanctions on Syria’s energy sector which is one of Syria’s few lifelines.

The EU move came in harmony with earlier sanctions imposed by the United States on Syria in an effort to tighten the screws on Syria and further squeeze its economy, which is likely to hasten the collapse of the Syrian regime that was widely censured for alleged violent crackdown on protesters.

Syria has shrugged off the allegations and said it’s hunting down armed terrorist groups that are messing with the country’s security and stability and are held accountable for the killing of hundreds of security agents and policemen and the wounding of thousands of others.

Experts believe that the U.S. oil embargo has a limited impact as Syria does not export oil to America and it didn’t prohibit foreign companies from working in Syria.

Yet, sanctions by EU members are deemed to be relatively significant. Syria exports some 150,000 barrels of oil per day, with the vast majority going to the European Union. Oil trade earns Syria 28 percent of its annual revenue.

George Jabbour, a parliamentarian and a political analyst, told Xinhua that those sanctions would harm Syrian citizens, adding: ” Using those sanctions as a political weapon is immoral.”

Khaled al-Aboud, another parliamentarian, told Xinhua the sanctions would reverberate on Europe itself, which he said ” should also look for an alternative to the Syrian oil.”

Ahmed al-Haj Ali, a political analyst, said the sanctions are not merely economic. “The sanctions are used as a political tool to cripple the Syrian economy … They are also a reflection of the actual U.S. political stand that aims to increase pressure on the Syrian government,” he said.

The EU ban covers the purchase, import and transport of oil and other petroleum products from Syria. The embargo takes effect Saturday, but existing contracts can be fulfilled until Nov. 15.

The sanctions have been blasted by Russia, which has said it won’t go along with them.

Syrian experts, while downplaying the impact of the EU and U.S. embargo, look at Russia and some other countries as the most reliable saviors that could fill the void.

They suggested that Syria should trade crude oil with oil derivations with countries that maintain good relations with it.

The other available alternative is for Syria to conclude a deal with foreign refineries that would rectify the Syrian crude oil and change it into oil derivations.

The third alternative, which is most preferable, is for Syria to conclude long-term contracts with friendly countries to draw the Syrian oil and supply Syria with oil derivations in return, they said.

Since the eruption of the unrest in Syria in mid March and the ensued U.S. and European pressures, Syria has been steadily shifting its trade from West to East.

Jabbour said: “If Europe refrained from purchasing the Syrian oil, this didn’t mean that this oil will not be sold … There are always other available markets … The Asian markets welcome the Arab oil.”

Abboud concurred, saying: “I believe that the Syrians have already prepared themselves for such sanctions … There are oil ties binding Syria with Iraq and Iran, and I believe that Syria’s oil deals could pass through this triangle.”

Recent statistics by the Syrian Oil Ministry revealed that Syria produces more than three quarters of its needs of oil derivations. Syria is however still considered a relatively small producer of oil as its contribution to the world oil output did not exceed 0.5 percent in 2010.

Oil production peaked in 2001 to reach 581,000 barrels a day. It declined in 2009 to reach 375,000 barrels per day. It nevertheless improved to 385,000 barrels in 2010 when new fields started operating.

Syria’s oil reserve amounted to 2.5 billion barrels by the end of 2010, around 0.2 percent of the world’s reserve.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:35 pm

 

Husam said:

@Tara:

Disgusting! These guys being abused will want a bloody revenge. BTW, the video you posted has only 6 views, can you tell me how you got to it?

September 3rd, 2011, 9:37 pm

 

True said:

@ 243. Haytham Khoury, HUSAM

Yeah keep writing mate good on you, and maybe soon enough we’ll be able to gather up in the new Syria (ASSAD-FREE) for some

Shisha @ Alnoofara near BabToma in Damasacus — SGID ur the host
shish tawook @ Kriesh in Homs —- ABOUD ur the host
fresh juice @ Lafah near Slaybih in Lattakia —- who wants to put his hands up?

I’m sure w’ll be talking and giggling for long 🙂

@Menehbkes you’re NOT invited!!!

September 3rd, 2011, 9:45 pm

 
 

Aboud said:

Mmmmmmmmmm Kreish…..he didn’t open all through Ramadan. I really need to get my sheish and nugget fix.

September 3rd, 2011, 9:58 pm

 

Aboud said:

لحرية لسبيكرات عرنوس

ROFL! 🙂

September 3rd, 2011, 10:05 pm

 

ann said:

Some 450,000 Israelis march at massive ‘March of the Million’ rallies across country

Protests held in major cities across Israel represent of the biggest rallies in the country’s history. Protest leader: We have chosen to see instead of walking blindly toward the abyss.

By Oz Rosenberg, Ilan Lior and Gili Cohen – 21:28 03.09.11

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/some-450-000-israelis-march-at-massive-march-of-the-million-rallies-across-country-1.382366

Over 450,000 protesters attended rallies across the country last night calling for social justice in what was the largest demonstration in Israeli history.

The main protest took place in Tel Aviv’s Kikar Hamedina, where some 300,000 people gathered after marching from Habima Square about two kilometers away. Protest leader Yonatan Levy said the atmosphere was like “a second Independence Day.”

Protest leaders Daphni Leef and National Student Union Chairman Itzik Shmuli both addressed the Tel Aviv crowd. “Mr. Prime Minister, the new Israelis have a dream and it is simple: to weave the story of our lives into Israel. We expect you to let us live in this country. The new Israelis will not give up. They demand change and will not stop until real solutions come,” Shmuli said.

“My generation always felt as though we were alone in this world, but now we feel the solidarity,” said Leef. “They tried to dismiss us as stupid children, and as extreme leftists,” but last night’s countrywide protest proved otherwise, she said.

Dr. Shiri Tannenbaum, a medical resident leading the young doctors’ protest against the recent collective wage agreement signed between the government and the Israel Medical Association, also spoke at the Tel Aviv rally.

In Jerusalem, an unprecedented 50,000 people filled Paris Square and the surrounding streets, almost twice the number that attended previous protests this summer.

Actress and comedienne Orna Banai told the crowd in the capital: “I am not amused that there are hungry children here; that we have a soldier rotting in captivity for five years; that Israel is one of the poorest examples there are of human rights.”

The chairman of the Hebrew University Student Union, Itai Gotler, said: “We changed this summer. The voice of the mother, the teacher, the student, have been heard…The fire of protest was lit in Tel Aviv, but the tent city in Jerusalem shows that the protest belongs to all of us.”

Gotler said the Jerusalem tent city was closing down, but pledged to continue the struggle.

Yehuda Alush, 52, from Be’er Sheva, among a group of protesters from the Negev who marched to the capital, said: “This protest must not stop or we’ll lose.” In Haifa, the protest drew 40,000 people, many of whom waved red flags.

The Haifa protest focused on the issue of discrimination against Arabs. Shahin Nasser, representative of the Wadi Nisnas protest tent in Haifa said: “Today we are changing the rules of the game. No more coexistence based on hummus and fava beans. What is happening here is true coexistence, when Arabs and Jews march together shoulder to shoulder calling for social justice and peace. We’ve had it. Bibi, go home. Steinitz, go and don’t come back, Atias, good-bye and good riddance,” he said, referring to the prime minister, the finance minister and the housing minister, respectively.

The chairman of the University of Haifa’s student union, Yossi Shalom, told the crowd, gathered at the foot of the Bahai Gardens in the city’s German Colony, “There is no more beautiful sight than social solidarity. As a student, this is the most important lesson I have learned in recent months.” At the protest in Afula the numbers reached 12,000; in Rosh Pina, 7,000 and in Kiryat Shemona, 7,000.

Meanwhile, in the south, a total of more than 1,000 people took part in rallies in Mitzpe Ramon and Arad. Ya’akov Laksi, an organizer of the protest in Arad, told the crowd: “Social justice means Arad will no longer be called an outlying town. We need to bring people work.”

Laksi said organizers had expected only 100 protesters.

“We want the government to increase funding, not take from someone else,” Eyal Adler, an organizer of the protest in Mitzpe Ramon said.

A protester who gave her name as Ruthie, said: “We are far from the eye of the media, but we deserve no less funding and a change in the funding map of Israel.”

Concerns over possible rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip led the Home Front Command to issue a directive prohibiting demonstrations in Be’er Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon.

September 3rd, 2011, 10:05 pm

 

Tara said:

Husam

I saw it on Alarabya and then found it on you tube.

True,

Who is hosting morning manaeesh zaatar in Shaalan? You?

September 3rd, 2011, 10:10 pm

 

Husam said:

Saydnaya Prison Massacre Explained via latest Wikileaks:

September 3rd, 2011, 10:14 pm

 

Tara said:

All

True’s link in 248 is a must read!. Thanks True.

September 3rd, 2011, 10:30 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

The arnous speaker incident was hilarious.
Someone placed a lot of speakers atop a tall abandoned building in arnous. He had the speakers remote activated to broadcast anti-regime chants. When the shabeeha thugs hurried to catch the demonstrators, they were faced with staircases lined with motor oil, HAHA. It took them like 30 minutes to get up. It’s also worth noting that many of the nearby stall owners took part in this operation.
@ true ,
I’d be more than honored to host you guys. Damascus has a lot to offer, shawerma, falafel, sabara……more specifically midan they’re awesome at oriental food.
I’m sorry homsis, forgive me but what’s kriesh?

September 3rd, 2011, 10:42 pm

 

Husam said:

Interesting Facts on Libya:

In 1951, Libya was the poorest country in the African continent… Before Gaddafi, the literacy rate was less than 20%. Now the literacy rate has soared up to 83%. That is a monumental increase!

Before the NATO bombings, Libyans enjoyed the highest standard of living in Africa. For the benefit af those relying solely on the main stream media for news, let me point out certain aspects of the Libyan Jamhariya Government.

Were you aware that that electricity is free for all Libyans.. there is no monthly electricity tariff bills to pay?
What about healthcare? Free as well to all Libyan citizens… sounds great, no?
As regards to education… that is free as well for all Libyans.

Newly married couples get $50,000.00 to buy their own home… but somehow that does not seem enough right? How about this then.. the differential amount will be financed by the Libyan Central Bank at zero interest rates!

If a Libyan buys a car, the government pays 50% of the purchase price, the rest? Bingo! You guessed right, the rest of his loan will be financed as well.. at zero interest rates!

Any Libyan wishing to be a farmer is given free use of land, equipment, livestock and seeds..

And where does all these moneis come from? Quite simple really, it is the profits from the sale of oil. Period. Another interesting fact.. the price of gasoline in Libya is $0.14 .. yup, fourteen cents per liter.

Let’s see what will happen to all this when the capitalist storm in.

September 3rd, 2011, 10:51 pm

 

beaware said:

Egypt edging near recession
Farah Halime
Sep 4, 2011
http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/industry-insights/economics/egypt-edging-near-recession
The Egyptian economy, reeling from a big budget deficit in tandem with falling GDP and the government’s decision to brush off privatisation, has been the subject of criticism.
Khaled Desouki / AFP
CAIRO // Egypt’s economy is struggling to overcome a tussle among private companies hoping to take advantage of the fall of big business and to overcome the interim government’s resistance to any move towards privatisation as reminiscent of the Hosni Mubarak era.

Experts representing the country’s private sector have criticised the government’s decision to brush off privatisation as a means of supporting the economy.

Six months on from when Mr Mubarak stepped down from the presidency, Egypt is still reeling from a big budget deficit and falling GDP.

more….

September 3rd, 2011, 10:55 pm

 

Syria no kandahar said:

JL
Your site has become a place where MB members talk about flafel and shawarma.

September 3rd, 2011, 11:00 pm

 

ann said:

*** How you get around Syria’s Kurds refusal to be part of the NeoCONS agenda (revolution) on Syria? ***

*** The headline from AFP reads: “Syrian Kurds meet in Sweden to push Assad’s ouster”.

But when you start reading the body of the story, You very quickly realize how misleading the headline is, and how those “Syrian Kurds” have nothing to do with the Kurdish people and their political parties inside Syria! ***

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jf6ROH7ORBUxZhkGQcfklpIp5xKw?docId=CNG.8e3e8af3a6fc02c8a1fde7406092ab00.541

Syrian Kurds meet in Sweden to push Assad’s ouster

(AFP) – 15 hours ago

STOCKHOLM — Around 50 expatriated Syrian Kurds gathered here Saturday for a two-day conference on how to strengthen Kurds inside Syria and get them more involved in efforts to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“We want to push the Kurdish people inside Syria to support the revolution more… Kurdish people both inside and outside Syria need to work harder to change this regime,” said Massoud Akko, a Kurdish writer living in Norway who helped organise the conference.

The first meeting of The Conference of Syrian Kurdish Youths Abroad gathered more than 50 people from across Europe, the United States and the former Soviet Union to a large room in the Swedish parliament, Akko told AFP.

Members of parliament, politicians, writers, intellectuals and rights activists figured among the attendants.

“We tried to invite people living in Syria too, but it was too difficult for them to come. They have a travel ban,” he explained.

Organisers said in a statement ahead of the conference their aim was to help “provide a clear vision and practical projects to activate the Kurdish role inside Syria and abroad in toppling the regime of Bashar al-Assad and realise the peaceful transition of power to the people.”

Akko said the ultimate goal was to establish “a pluralist, democratic civil state” that would give Kurds equal rights.

“There has been violence on the Kurdish people in Syria long before the uprising began (in March). Kurds do not have equal rights. There are many things pushing us to energetically take part in the revolution,” he said, also stressing the need to put more pressure on the international community to help push through a regime change.

In their earlier statement, organisers said “the conference will provide a roadmap that provides a fair political solution for the Kurdish people’s cause according to the rules of the UN and international treaties, and at the same level with all other (ethnic groups) in Syria”.

When the conference concludes Sunday afternoon, organisers will publish a declaration of intent and announce possible future meetings of the conference, Akko said.

According to the United Nations, more than 2,200 people have been killed in Syria since the protests began.

September 3rd, 2011, 11:06 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

I heard about this incident in Homs where , shabeeha clones were chasing 2 demonstrators. 1 of the demonstrators tripped and was immediately surrounded by 5 shabeeha. His accomplice shouted: Abu issam! There are 5 kufar surrounding you, blow yourself up!.
And the cowardly shabeeha immediately ran away.
Of course he had no explosives, he just wanted to free his fellow country man.
@ snk.
I’m going to say this once: I don’t support the MB and personally, I want a liberal Syria.
Talking about Syrian gastronomy isn’t really contributing , but hey! It beats the angel plays you make.

September 3rd, 2011, 11:07 pm

 

ann said:

*** Notice how the occupied Syrian Golan is OMITTED from the discussions on Middle East peace ***

EU Ministers Discuss Syria, Middle East Peace

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/europe/EU-Ministers-Discuss-Syria-Middle-East-Peace-129113788.html

European Union foreign ministers kicked off a two-day meeting in Sopot, Poland, Friday to discuss a variety of common topics, including the Middle East peace process and sanctions against Syria.

The 27 EU member nations are looking at taking a unified position on Palestinian statehood in a United Nations vote later this month. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who backs an independent Palestinian state, urged the EU to reach a consensus so it can “speak with a single voice.”

Though Sarkozy’s position is backed by a number of member states, such a consensus may be difficult to achieve. The United States has said it would veto the Palestinians’ U.N. bid, and both Germany and Italy oppose the move, calling instead for a return to Arab-Israeli peace talks.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the European nations are united in their desire to restart the peace process. She says the eventual goal is a two-state solution, in which a secure, stable Israel exists side-by-side with a secure, stable Palestinian state.

The meeting also is focusing on ways to stop the violence in Syria. In a statement Friday, the EU said it was imposing an embargo on Syrian oil imports, which will cost President Bashar al-Assad’s government millions of dollars every day in money it earns selling oil to the EU.

September 3rd, 2011, 11:19 pm

 

Norman said:

I have a feeling that the world is going toward a world government that the West control and decide winners and losers.

September 3rd, 2011, 11:26 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

@ Norman
I agree.
And we syrians have a name for it. It’s called poliception like the movie inception only it’s politics this time.
We live in a dictatorship(Assad regime) that’s part of a world dictatorship.( UN security council)
It’s a nightmare within a nightmare!!!!

September 3rd, 2011, 11:31 pm

 

Norman said:

The day will come where the poor of the world will rise against the rich, that will be something to see,

September 3rd, 2011, 11:55 pm

 

ann said:

What’s the end-game for the Syrian crisis?

Sep 4, 2011

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/whats-the-end-game-for-the-syrian-crisis?pageCount=0

Where and how will the Syrian story end?

It is unlikely that the Syrian opposition would turn to armed resistance against the regime in the present circumstances, suggested the columnist Mazen Hammad in the Qatari newspaper Al Watan.

It is not an option in the face of an all-powerful military machine adamant on breaking the backs of protesters. The “violence for violence” equation is impracticable in Syria for the time being.

While the Syrian authorities are continuously increasing the number of security roadblocks in various cities, they refuse to listen to the counselling of Russian friends or to the threats of their US enemies. During the five months since the start of the uprising, the Assad regime proved that it is bent on pressing forward with the violent clampdown. It seems that the regime is convinced that terrorist radical infiltrators are instigating the people into an armed confrontation.

“No one knows where the Syrian story would end, but the developments on the ground indicate that matters are at risk of becoming explosive as armed cells would be formed to perpetrate attacks on the army and the armed forces and slowly chip away at the regime’s power.”

President al Assad’s biggest fear is to be forsaken by Moscow and maybe even China, which would give the UN Security Council the opportunity to impose the harshest of sanctions on Damascus.

Turkish position constitutes precedent

The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, didn’t disappoint us when he decided to expel the Israeli ambassador in Ankara and cut military ties in protest over the Israeli massacre on board the Mavi Marmara aid ship to Gaza last year, said Abdelbari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of the London-based Al Quds Al Arabi daily.

“This is the first time in decades that an Islamic state dares to defy Israeli arrogance so firmly,” he said. “Traditionally, Arab states would swallow their pride and yield to Israel’s blatant insults.”

Turkish-Israeli relations have been rapidly declining over the last three years. What once was a comprehensive strategic alliance and joint military manoeuvres is now a minimum of diplomatic representation.

The Turkish government didn’t succumb to the Israeli blackmail attempts to instigate Turkish neighbours against it or to pit the Armenian lobby in Congress. It insisted on demanding an apology and financial damages for the massacre that killed nine Turkish activists.

“This courageous Turkish position constitutes a precedent of great importance,” he said. “Many Arab and Islamic countries that maintain diplomatic ties with Israel would be advised to follow suit as a response to Israeli aggression and conceit.”

Arab Christians are unclear about Spring

It seems that Christians of the Middle East are ambivalent about the revolutions reshaping the Arab world, wrote Mohammed al Sammak in the opinion section of the Emirati newspaper Al Ittihad on Friday.

On the one hand, Middle Eastern Christians see the positive aspect of the Arab uprisings, bringing down repressive regimes and carrying the promise of freedom, dignity and human rights. On the other they see no clear alternative to these toppled regimes and dread the ascendance of radical Islamists to power.

“Their misgivings are legitimate; ignoring them would be self-delusion,” the writer said. “The fact that Muslims keep telling Christians ‘don’t worry about it’ won’t dissipate those misgivings.”

What’s more, this apprehension lands Middle Eastern Christians into a more serious dilemma: whether to take the side of authoritarian regimes on the basis that they are at least familiar with the scope of that suffering; or face the uncertain prospect of a form of religious fanaticism that, once in power, may infringe upon their freedom of religious practice.

“Middle Eastern Christians have been an essential component of post-independence Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, because they opposed colonisation. But what would be their status the day repressive regimes fall, and they hadn’t been opposed to them?”

South Sudan’s ties with Israel are worrying

Every state has the sovereign right to establish the diplomatic ties it considers constructive, but the newly established state of South Sudan has taken it a bit too far when it picked, of all places, occupied Jerusalem to headquarter its embassy in Israel, stated the Sharjah-based newspaper Al Khaleej in its editorial yesterday.

The move sends an extremely negative message to Arabs and offends the Palestinian cause and the right of Palestinians to establish their own state, with Jerusalem as its capital. Such a decision on the part of the South Sudanese government amounts to “a deliberate choice to take the side of the enemy of the Arabs”.

This was not all unexpected, though. Even before the admission of South Sudan as the 193th state in the UN General Assembly earlier this year, its leaders never hid their intention to fully open up to Israel. Their argument has been that a number of Arab states have normal relations with Israel, and Israeli flags flap high in their capitals.

“Such a pretext is not convincing,” the paper said. Granted, some Arab nations do have normal ties with Israel, but why would South Sudan insist on having its embassy in Jerusalem, not in Tel Aviv, which is significantly less symbolic?

September 4th, 2011, 12:19 am

 

ann said:

Sanctions cloud Syria’s big plans

Sep 4, 2011

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/industry-insights/energy/sanctions-cloud-syrias-big-plans

The EU’s ban on oil from Syria has further jeopardised energy projects in the country, where pressure is being put on the Al Assad regime over the violent treatment of political protesters. With foreign investors reluctant to get involved, there is much at stake — and little time, April Yee reports

Until recently, Syria was not a big presence in energy markets, coming in at number 33 on the list of the world’s top oil producers.

Yet it hoped to transform itself from a minor crude exporter into a major transit point for the world’s energy.

Just this year, the government signed deals for multibillion-dollar pipelines from Iran and Iraq, invited foreign companies to drill offshore for the first time and sought builders for a 100-megawatt wind farm.

Now, increased sanctions on the regime of Bashar Al Assad, the Syrian president, have put those plans in doubt.

Yesterday, the EU formalised a ban on imports of Syrian oil, depriving the regime of its main crude customer. The ban does not extend to investment in energy projects, but mounting international pressure on the Al Assad regime because of violent crackdowns on protesters could scare off foreign investors.

“They’ll all be very reluctant to put new money in while there’s so much uncertainty,” says Catherine Hunter, an energy analyst at IHS Global Insight in London. “Finance from developmental organisations is drying up.”

The price for Syria could be high. Deadlines are approaching for international bids for two new oil and gas production sites, and Iran and Iraq were relying on Syria to serve as a gateway for their oil and gas to reach European markets.

The National looks at some of the projects hanging in the balance.

Production

Syria’s oil production peaked in 1996, when it pumped a record 582,000 barrels per day (bpd), according to the US Energy Information Administration.

By last year, that had declined to 387,000 bpd. Most of that was heavy oil, a product from ageing fields not as highly valued by refiners.

Starting last year, Syria began opening up new areas to drilling to boost its declining output.

In May, it awarded licences to France’s Total and Petro-Canada to explore a set of onshore blocks. Dana Gas, an energy company based in Sharjah, has also bid to explore part of the remaining share.

State-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, which holds a one-fifth stake in Syria’s main production consortium, was among the other bidders.

Chinese companies could gain an edge in energy project awards if European companies withdraw, said an oil industry official.

“The opportunity will be favourable for Chinese companies, in the event of withdrawal of European investments, to buy assets,” Ali Abbas, the director of Syria’s General Petroleum Corporation, was quoted as saying on the Syrian news website Day Press. Next month and in November, foreign companies face deadlines to bid for two more projects, one to drill offshore for gas and another to develop oil shale resources.

The oil shale blocks 96km south-west of the city of Aleppo hold an estimated 39 billion tonnes of deposits. But turning the mixture of hydrocarbons and rock into fuel is more challenging and costly than pumping crude.

Pipelines

“Really, Syria’s long-term potential is all about transit,” Ms Hunter says.

Two pipelines more than half a century old link Iraqi and Saudi oilfields with the Syrian coast, a potential route for export to western markets via the Mediterranean. But both have been unused for years.

In June, Syria and Iraq penned an early-stage agreement to repair one of the pipelines and build two new ones that would transport 2.75 million bpd.

The following month it signed a preliminary deal with Iraq and Iran for a US$10 billion (Dh36.73bn) pipeline to send Iranian natural gas through both countries and on to Europe.

The planned pipeline would stretch 5,000km and connect to the Arab Gas Pipeline, which stretches through Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Turkey.

Renewables

Like other oil producers in the region, Syria was eager to replace some of the fossil fuels it burns to produce power for its citizens with renewable energy. Its plan was to build wind farms of between 50 and 100 megawatts each near the ancient town of Palmyra and Damascus, the capital. Last year it awarded the Danish wind giant Vestas the contract for its first wind power plant, a 90-megawatt array near the town of Homs.

In January, the government awarded a contract to Spain’s Gamesa to build another wind farm near the same city, a project worth €60 million (Dh313.1m).

September 4th, 2011, 12:28 am

 

Revlon said:

182. Dear Aboud, thank you for the link to this foreign correspondant’s strory from Homs.

I must say, this four part article has been the best piece of reality reporting I have read on the living hell in Homs city, particularly for activists and their families.

The presence of tens of thousands of detainess in make shift school-prsions, the lack of safe medical care for the wounded, and the clandestine organ-trade in a large secret prsion outside the city of Homs paint a picture much worse that I ever imagined.

The deterioration of morale amongst security forces is encouraging.

Armed resistance is still limited to guarding activists and make-shift hospitals.

Activists in exile or posters on this blog have been accusing activists like Ahmed or Mazen, in this article, who are calling for international-NATO’s protection, of lack of wisdome, hot-headedness, or worse; conspirators!

I would like to invite them to thoroughly read this foreigner’s account of the gruesome realities that activists and demonstrators are going through, put themselves and their families in their shoes and then darw their own conclusions!

September 4th, 2011, 12:35 am

 

ann said:

Gulf to help EU as Syrian oil banned

Sep 4, 2011

http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/gulf-to-help-eu-as-syrian-oil-banned

The Gulf is poised to help Europe to meet its energy needs as a ban on Syrian oil comes into play.

Yesterday, the EU formalised an embargo on Syrian oil, increasing pressure on the regime of Bashar Al Assad, the Syrian president, to halt its violent clampdown on protests.

The fresh sanctions come at a particularly tough time for the EU, which relies on Syria for 1.5 per cent of its oil supply, as demand grows for winter fuel and oil production from Libya remains stalled.

“Europe needs a lot of oil ahead of the winter to produce more heating oil, and in the absence of Libyan crude it’s not possible to replace all of these barrels,” said Ehsan Ul Haq, a senior market analyst at KBC Energy Economics in the UK. Saudi Arabia, he added, could send more oil to Europe to replace Syrian oil.

Last year, Europe bought 95 per cent of Syria’s crude exports, contributing €3.1 billion (Dh16.18bn) to the country’s oil revenues.

The sanctions, which were negotiated last week and came into effect yesterday, make it illegal to enter into new oil import contracts or, after November 15, to fulfil existing contracts with Syria. That followed the US decision last month to ban Syrian energy imports.

In particular Syria’s sulphur-laden oil is similar to Saudi crude, making it easy for Riyadh to step in to meet the gap. Syria currently exports about 160,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Also as the world’s top exporter, Saudi Arabia holds most of the Gulf’s spare pumping capacity and took the lead this year in replacing the loss of Libyan crude.

In July, Saudi Arabia pumped close to 9.8 million bpd, its highest level in 30 years, according to the International Energy Agency, an oil consumer watchdog in Paris. Every summer the kingdom burns extra oil to meet peak demand. “Electricity demand usually goes down after the summer, so they can send these additional barrels to Europe instead of decreasing production,” said Mr Ul Haq. “They can easily send 200,000 [or] 300,000 barrels of oil to Europe.”

However, a sustained increase in Saudi production could increase tension within Opec. Saudi Arabia and other oil producers clashed at June’s meeting over whether to increase the oil organisation’s pumping levels.

The mounting sanctions on the Syrian regime have also led companies to re-evaluate their exposure to Syria’s energy industry.

“Obviously Syria can sell its oil in other places, but there’s going to be a disruptive effect as traders look at Syria in their portfolio,” said Catherine Hunter, an energy analyst at IHS Global Insight in London. “There will be the actual compliance of the letter of the law and there will be the cautionary compliance beyond that.”

The Anglo-Dutch company Shell, Spain’s Repsol and the Austrian energy company OMV, in which Abu Dhabi owns a 20 per cent stake, are among the oil companies that have contracts to ship Syrian oil this month.

Total, the French oil major, has said it will stop shipping Syrian oil and will cancel a cargo the company was to load this month. “I took this decision very clearly,” Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive, said. “It’s been stopped.” The French company, however, has not announced any plans to pull out of an existing exploration venture in Syria.

Gulfsands Petroleum, a British oil company, halted payments last month to a cousin of Mr Al Assad and temporarily stripped him of voting rights. The cousin, Rami Maklouf, owns 5.75 per cent of the UK company.

September 4th, 2011, 12:45 am

 

ann said:

Special Tribunal for Lebanon concealed evidence Al-Qaeda cell killed Hariri

Saturday, 09.03.2011, 01:54pm

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Lebanon&article=4670

WASHINGTON – In focusing entirely on the alleged links between four Hizbullah activists and the 2005 bombing that killed Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the indictment issued by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon earlier this month has continued the practice of the U.N investigation before it of refusing to acknowledge the much stronger evidence that an Al-Qaeda cell was responsible for the assassination.

Several members of an Al-Qaeda cell confessed in 2006 to having carried out the crime, but later recanted their confessions, claiming they were tortured.

However, the transcript of one of the interrogations, which was published by a Beirut newspaper in 2007, shows that the testimony was being provided without coercion and that it suggested that Al-Qaeda had indeed ordered the assassination.

But the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) was determined to pin the crime either on Syria or its Lebanese ally Hizbullah and refused to pursue the Al-Qaeda angle.

Detlev Mehlis, the first head of UNIIIC, was convinced from the beginning that Syrian military intelligence and its Lebanese allies had carried out the bombing and went to extraordinary lengths to link Ahmed Abu Adas, who had appeared in a videotape claiming responsibility for the assassination for a previously unknown group, to Syrian intelligence.

Violating the general rule that investigators do not reveal specific witness testimony outside an actual courtroom, Mehlis described testimony from “a number of sources, confidential and otherwise”, which he said “pointed to Abu Adas being used by Syria and Lebanese authorities as scapegoat for the crimes….”

Mehlis cited one witness who claimed to have seen Adas in the hallway outside the office of the director of Syrian intelligence in December 2004, and another who said Adas had been forced by the head of Syrian military intelligence to record the video in Damascus 15 days before the assassination and was then put in a Syrian prison.

Mehlis quoted a third witness, Zouheir Saddiq, as saying that Adas had changed his mind about carrying out the assassination on behalf of Syrian intelligence “at the last minute” and had been killed by the Syrians and his body put in the vehicle carrying the bomb.

The Mehlis effort to fit the Adas video into his narrative of Syrian responsibility for the killing of Hariri began to fall apart when the four “false witnesses” who had implicated Syrian and Lebanese intelligence in the assassination, including Saddiq, were discredited as fabricators.

Meanwhile a major potential break in the case occurred when Lebanese authorities arrested 11 members of an Al-Qaeda terrorist cell in late December 2005 and early January 2006.

The members of the cell quickly confessed to interrogators that they had planned and carried out the assassination of Hariri, The Daily Star reported Jun. 6, 2008.

Obviously based in large part on the interrogation of the cell members, the Lebanese government wrote an internal report in 2006 saying that, at one point after the assassination, Ahmed Abu Adas had been living in the same apartment in Beirut as the “emir” of the Al- Qaeda cell, Sheik Rashid.

The full text of the report was leaked to Al Hayat, which published it Apr. 7, 2007.

The report said Rashid, whose real name was Hassan Muhammad Nab’a, had pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1999 and later to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq.

Rashid had also been involved in the “Dinniyeh Group” which launched an armed attempt to create an Islamic mini-state in northern Lebanon in 2000, only to be crushed by 13,000 Lebanese troops.

The members of the Al-Qaeda cell later retracted their confessions when they were tried by military courts in summer 2008 for “plotting to commit terrorist acts on Lebanese soil”, claiming that the confessions had been extracted under torture.

But the Al-Qaeda cell members were being held by the Ministry of Interior, whose top officials had a political interest in suppressing the information obtained from them. The full transcript of the interrogation of one of the members of the cell was leaked to the Beirut daily Al Akhbar in October 2007 by an official who was unhappy with the ministry’s opposition to doing anything with the confessions.

The transcript shows that the testimony of at least one of the members contained information that could only have been known by someone who had been informed of details of the plot.

The testimony came from Faisal Akhbar, a Syrian carrying a Saudi passport who freely admitted being part of the Al-Qaeda cell. He testified that Khaled Taha, a figure the U.N. commission later admitted was closely associated with Adas, had told him in early January 2005 that an order had been issued for the assassination of Hariri, and that he was to go to Syria to help Adas make a video on the group’s taking responsibility for the assassination.

Akhbar recalled that Sheikh Rashid had told him in Syria immediately after the assassination that it had been done because Hariri had signed the orders for the execution of Al-Qaeda militants in Lebanon in 2004. Akbar also said he was told around Feb. 3, 2005 that a team of Lebanese Al-Qaeda had been carrying out surveillance of Hariri since mid-January.

Akhbar also told interrogators some details that were clearly untrue, including the assertion that Abu Adas had actually died in the suicide mission. That was the idea that the cell had promoted in a note attached to the videotape Adas made.

When challenged on that point, Akhbar immediately admitted that a youth from Saudi Arabia, who had been sent by Al-Qaeda, had been the suicide bomber. He acknowledged that Rashid had told him that, if detained, he was to inform the security services that he knew nothing about the subject of Abu Adas, and that he was to warn the other members of the cell to do likewise.

But the interrogator employed a trick question to establish whether Akhbar had actual knowledge of the assassination plot or not. He gave the Al-Qaeda cadre a list of 11 phone numbers, four of which were fake numbers, and asked him if he remembered which ones were used in the preparations for the assassination.

Akhbar immediately corrected the interrogator, saying there had only been seven numbers used in the preparations for the assassination, including the five members of the surveillance team. That response corresponded with the information the investigation had already obtained, and which had not been reported in the news media.

The response of UNIIIC, under its new chief, Belgian Serge Brammertz, to the unfolding of an entirely different narrative surrounding the assassination was to shift the focus away from the question of who were the actual perpetrators of the bombing.

In his March 2006 report, Brammertz said the “priority” of UNIIIC “is being given not to the team that carried out the assassination but to those who ‘enabled’ the crime”.

And Brammertz had still not abandoned the story originally planted by the false witnesses in 2005 that the role of Adas in making the videotape had been manipulated by Syrian intelligence.

In his June 2006 report, Brammertz said the Commission continued to “entertain the idea” that whoever detonated the bomb may have been “coerced into doing so”. And in the September 2006 report, he suggested that Adas may have been coerced into delivering the videotape, just as Mehlis had suggested in 2005.

Despite the official Lebanese government report confirming it, Brammertz never publicly acknowledged that Adas was deeply involved with an Al-Qaeda cell, much less that its members had confessed to the killing of Hariri.

Daniel Bellemare, the prosecutor for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, similarly chose not to pursue that evidence, which directly contradicts the assertion in his indictment that it was a Hizbullah operative – not Al-Qaeda – who had convinced Adas to make the videotape.

September 4th, 2011, 12:58 am

 

ann said:

Syria terrorist admits Saudi, Jordan links

Sun Sep 4, 2011 4:27AM GMT

Syrian officials say a captured terrorist has confessed to receiving foreign aid and instructions from contacts in Saudi Arabia and Jordan to deface Damascus.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/197314.html

In comments televised on Syria’s national television on Friday, Ammar Ziyad al-Najjar admitted that he was involved in a group that received instructions on how to kidnap people and blame it on the Syrian government, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

The man also confessed to, among other crimes, purchasing firearms and distributing them.

He also recounted how groups of outsiders, many of whom not Syrians, showed up during the attacks on police stations in Hama.

Najjar said the men would distribute food and drink to demonstrators, sometimes slipping money into the food to encourage protests and adding stimulant powders at other times.

There was another type of pills that made people more aggressive — pills that were given openly to members of the foreign-backed terror squads, he explained.

Syrian state television has also broadcast other reports showing seized weapons caches and confessions by terrorist elements describing how they obtained arms from foreign sources.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of the country’s President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

According to the Syrian government, unknown gangs are responsible for the deaths and are the driving factor behind the unrest in the country.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

September 4th, 2011, 1:06 am

 

ann said:

Turkish Navy Will Escort Gaza-Bound Aid Ships

In light of Israel’s refusal to apologize to killing Turkish aid workers last year, Turkey is implementing more aggressive postures

by John Glaser, September 03, 2011

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/09/03/turkish-navy-will-escort-gaza-bound-aid-ships/

The Turkish navy will significantly increase its presence in the eastern Mediterranean and plans to escort civilian ships carrying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as part of a “more aggressive strategy” following the release of the UN Palmer report on the 2010 Gaza flotilla.

“The eastern Mediterranean will no longer be a place where Israeli naval forces can freely exercise their bullying practices against civilian vessels,” a Turkish official was quoted as saying.

The announcement comes after the leaking of the UN report on the Mavi Marmara flotilla killings. The report characterized Israel’s killing of aid workers as “excessive and unreasonable.” Still, Tel Aviv refused to apologize for the incident, maintaining that killing civilians aboard a ship filled with humanitarian supplies headed for suffering Gazans was an act of self defense.

In response, the Turkish government expelled Israel’s ambassador and is considering legal action against the Israeli soldiers and all officials involved in the attack. In the event of another aid ship headed for Gaza, the Israeli navy will be less apt to raid the vessel if the Turkish navy is there to protect it.

September 4th, 2011, 1:14 am

 

True said:

@ 254. Tara, no worries i could not but share it with you folks 🙂 another reason why Homs should be the capital, its people simply wicked!!

@ ABOUD

For those who’re still suspecting that ABOUD lives in Homs, i can simply vouch or him as no one would know that Kreish was closed during the month of Ramadan unless you keep driving by its shop everyday.

i did call one of my mates on Homs and he confirmed this fact.
you off the hook mate while I’m sure Menehbeks still believe you;re in Boston somewhere getting paid by G.Bush lol

September 4th, 2011, 3:27 am

 

Revlon said:

Officer Udai AlAli and five soldiers of his unit who defected and joined FOM in Rastan, yesterday.

أوغاريت انشقاق الملازم عدي العلي وانضمامه لكتيبة الضباط الأحرار 3 9 2011

September 4th, 2011, 4:05 am

 

solitarius said:

272. True,

It’s well known in Homs that Kreish closes every Ramadan. This is not a special case this year. I don’t really follow posts closely here to know whether ABOUD is inside or outside Homs, but knowing this simple fact doesn’t mean one is currently in Homs.

September 4th, 2011, 4:31 am

 

Chris W said:

I guess ‘Aboud’ deserves credit. Getting the details right is the mark of good fiction.

September 4th, 2011, 4:44 am

 

Mina said:

Norman,

What a deal… France gets a big share in Lybia oil in exchange of letting the US finally achieve their taking over of Iraq, something they refused to C Rise some ten years ago. Now France US and UK are just paying for their dark games: a society where you are obliged to export youth into wars just to avoid local civil war, it reminds me of “Bowling for Columbine”, where Moore pointed at the bad consciousness of these guys all making a living from selling bombs for Lockheed Martin at the time of the war in Yugoslavia.

September 4th, 2011, 4:57 am

 

Revlon said:

Sources close to authority claim that Major general Habib was killed after resignation.

العماد حبيب: قتله النظام بعد بث فيديو “الإستقالة”!

2011/09/04

أكّدت مصادر سورية قريبة من السلطة أن العماد علي حبيب قُتِل بعد استقالته!

وردّاً على سؤال حول الفيديو الذي ظهر فيه العماد حبيب بعد “إقالته” من منصب وزير الدفاع السوري، قالت المصادر أن السلطات السورية قامت بتسجيل شريطين وليس شريط فيديو واحد للعماد علي حبيب بعد الإقالة يؤكد فيهما أنه “استقال لأسباب صحية”! وأضافت المصادر أن العماد حبيب قُتِل بعد تسجيل الشريطين، وأن ذلك يفسّر إختفاءه التام منذ بث الشريط!

وتحدّت المصادر سلطات دمشق أن تسمح للعماد حبيب بالظهور على شاشة التلفزيون في “بث مباشر” إذا كان على قيد الحياة كما تزعم السلطة.

September 4th, 2011, 5:18 am

 

Aboud said:

SGID, once you’ve tasted Kreish’s sheesh sandwiches, you’ll want to move to Homs 🙂 It’s a place near Dablan street that’s been around since I can remember.

Revlon, you’re welcome. I wouldn’t have known about that article if the Menhebaks hadn’t “leaked” it LOL! 🙂

September 4th, 2011, 6:58 am

 

sheila said:

Dear #201. Norman,
You said: “If the Syrian army were killing his own people then will see hundreds or thousands dead each day”. No one can dispute this. Indiscriminate shelling by tanks would have caused far more causalities, but it would have also created the urgency for the world to act and forced the west to intervene. Exactly like what happened in Libya. It was not until Gaddafi’s troops were marching toward Benghazi promising to kill everyone, that the urgency to interfere before a massacre would be committed, arose. Then you said: “they are securing the country and arresting the violators of the peace and shooting back at the people shooting at them”. Now that is complete and utter nonsense. The army is out on the street to quell the demonstrations and stop them from growing, by using every scare tactic in the book: random arrests, torture, killings, terrorizing the residents and the list goes on. The goal is to keep the Assads in their thrones and nothing else. It is painful for all of us to see how our government can care less about the country and the people. Had Bashar really wanted to push Syria forward, he could have done a lot in 11 years. If you look at his record of reforms, you can clearly see the pattern of reforms that presented opportunities for his family and cronies to make billions. The reforms that are very necessary for the country to advance, were completely ignored: improving education, fighting corruption, creating institutions, making the judiciary truly independent, Improving the infrastructure and the list goes on. Look at China and tell me what happened there in the last 11 years. The difference between Syria and China is that China is ruled by those who are working hard to improve their country and we are governed by those who are working hard to increase their bank accounts in Switzerland. This point takes me to your last statement: “the government will (not)give power peacefully as the opposition is not seeking power peacefully”. I am sorry Norman, but the government will not give power period. Whether the opposition is peaceful or not. To reiterate, the wellbeing of the country and the safety of its people is really the last thing on the government’s mind.

September 4th, 2011, 9:32 am

 

Norman said:

Sheila,

It is interesting that you compare Syria to china,

Syria has been under attack since 1948 and under sanction since 1978 , while China has the US market for the last 40 years with free trade and preferential treatment, Israel has even better deal from the US and the EU as a payback for the Holocaust.

Syria did a lot in the last 11 years with economic reform , not political one, they were following the Chinese model, unfortunately the West does not want reform in Syria they want to destroy the stand the Syria has toward the Palestinians and Arab rights.

Actually the economic reform that president Assad started with redistribution of wealth by taxation is what started this uprising that is being used to destroy Syria with the complicity of some Syrians.

September 4th, 2011, 11:09 am

 

Abughassan said:

There might be a generational rift in the Arab Springs,and I do not think this should surprise any of us. Expats and older Syrians inside Syria deserve little credit,if any,for the changes we are witnessing today.It was the youth who started and maintained this uprising,however,this group is underrepresented in all of the councils we see here and there because they are not equipped to act like politicians and give speeches to the media and get their pictures taken with the likes of Hillary. We knew for years that the young generation in the middle east is a time bomb,and mid eastern governments did very little to tackle their problems especially unemployment and lack of political freedom. Now we are stuck: the youth are not willing to compromise and the elderly may not be able to deliver. Look at Egypt,young people,many without jobs and without hope,keep demonstrating and asking for justice and more measures to change the society they live in while the military council is struggling to keep order and prevent more chaos and stop the bleeding in the economy. No solution in Syria is likely until the regime starts to listen to the youth movement and stop brutal arrests and oppression. What started as an uprising for dignity and accountability is now a campaign to change the regime,and the right thing to do is for Bashar to begin a transition that ends with his departure,those cosmetic steps he proposes will not calm the streets.

September 4th, 2011, 11:43 am

 

sheila said:

Dear #280. Norman:
Come on Norman. You are educated and smart. How can you write that?
1- China is a very complicated country in terms of ethnicities and religion. I thought comparing us to China would put this” Syria is a very complicated country” to rest.
2- “Syria’s been under attack since 1948 and under sanctions since 1978 why?. Because of our “smart” leadership. “while China has the US market for the last 40 years with free trade and preferential treatment”. Why?. Because its leadership actually cares for the country and works for the advancement of its people. The Chinese took all sorts of belittling and abuse from the US until the day they can stand up tall and dictate their terms. We, on the other hand, are our own worst enemy. Instead of trying to lift ourselves up by aligning ourselves with the winners, we align ourselves with the losers, because they tell us what we want to hear.
3-“the West does not want reform in Syria they want to destroy the stand the Syria has toward the Palestinians and Arab rights”. What stand?????
4- “Syria did a lot in the last 11 years with economic reform”. Really Norman???. Yes, you are right if you look at Rami and co’s bank accounts, everybody else have been suffering: agriculture is literally destroyed because of “alkiadeh alhakeemeh“, between failed irrigation policies and rotten imported seeds because somebody made more commission on them, industry was and still is at the mercy of the “masool“ who will share in your profits in exchange for “facilitating“ your business. And taxation………… Are you going to tell me that Rami was paying his share?. Please Norman. Yes, taxation could be what started the uprising, when people saw how they have to pay and all those pigs sucking Syria’s wealth get away with it. Oh please…

September 4th, 2011, 12:01 pm

 

beaware said:

At least 15 dead in Syrian violence
September 4, 2011 – 11:04PM
AFP
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/at-least-15-dead-in-syrian-violence-20110904-1jsbv.html
At least 15 people died in violence across Syria on Sunday as the visiting Red Cross chief sought access to those detained in five months of anti-regime protests.

Six soldiers and three civilians were killed when an armed group opened fire on a bus in Maharda, central Syria, state news agency SANA reported.

“Nine people, among them an officer, were killed and 17 others wounded this morning in Maharda in an ambush by an armed group who opened fire on a bus carrying soldiers and labourers going to work,” it said.
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SANA said a security patrol killed three of the assailants and seriously wounded a fourth.

The Local Coordination Committees, which group anti-regime activists on the ground, said security forces shot dead three people in the Khan Sheikhwan area of Idlib province in northwest Syria.

Security forces encircled hospitals “to prevent the wounded from being brought in for treatment”, it charged.

On Friday, SANA said gunmen in Khan Sheikhwan had kidnapped Wael Alia, corporal with Syria’s internal security services.

International Committee of the Red Cross chief Jakob Kellenberger flew into Damascus on Saturday for talks with President Bashar al-Assad over access to prisoners and areas of unrest.

According to activists, 27 people were killed in operations by the army and security services across Syria on Friday and Saturday.

The latest bloodshed came as European ministers warned of more sanctions in addition to an oil embargo over Syria’s defiance of mounting international calls to halt a deadly crackdown on anti-Assad protests.

More than 2200 people have been killed in Syria since almost daily protests began on March 15, says the UN, while human rights groups say more than 10,000 people are behind bars.

Apart from the oil embargo that went into effect on Saturday, the EU expanded a list of about 50 people, including Assad, targeted by an assets freeze and travel ban.

The embargo is aimed at depriving Assad’s regime of a vital source of cash, as the EU buys 95 per cent of Syria’s crude exports.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton warned on Saturday that the body would “continue to put the pressure on and to look for ways of doing so”.

Marianne Gasser, the Red Cross delegation chief in Damascus, said Kellenberger would stay in Syria until Monday afternoon and meet Assad, Prime Minister Adel Safar and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

Kellenberger’s office said that during a previous visit in June “an understanding was reached” for “enhanced access to areas of unrest, and negotiations would take place concerning ICRC visits to detainees”.

Asked about the possibility of visiting detainees, Gasser said: “We are confident that we will be able to start visiting people detained by the interior ministry.

September 4th, 2011, 12:07 pm

 

sheila said:

To dear AbuGhassan #281,
Very well said.

September 4th, 2011, 1:48 pm

 

transformation said:

Wake up people!! Here is the true face of The Sunni. See it with your own eyes! May God Protect the Innocent!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=2263064372058

No one deserves to die like that! ):

September 4th, 2011, 10:52 pm

 
 

Bill said:

Dear Professor Landis:

I would like to bring to your attention an Arabic article that was published in Al Quds Alarabi for Subhi Hadidi. I don’t know if you can read and write Arabic, but if you don’t you should ask an Arabic speaker to translate it to you. He blames your for being behind the widespread wrong info. regarding Burhan Ghalyoun’s religion. He also accuses you of having friendship with those in the Syrian regime. the title of his article is “Ghalyoun the Alawi, and al-Assad the Democrat.” He also describes you as being one of the “Orientalist Youths.” The link to his article is:
http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=data\2011\10\10-30\30qpt998.htm&arc=data\2011\10\10-30\30qpt998.htm

I used to infrequently view your blog, but (although I respect your right to take any intellectual position that your wish) I find it intellectually troubling that any scholar would NOT wholeheartedly embrace the cause of the freedom-loving Syrians, who have been terrorized for over 40 years on the hand of their hereditary dictator and his brutal father. I think, and I respect your right to disagree with me, that intellectual “fairness” should not mean giving an equal time to Bashar (the hereditary dictator) al-Assad and to the courageous Syrian demonstrators.

October 31st, 2011, 1:02 pm

 

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