Capture of Raqqa – Daraa Offensive – Schooling Crisis – Kerry Supportive

Captured Baath Party Officials in Raqqa- Video

This video of the heads of the Baath Party in Raqqa sitting next to the leader of the Islamic Front forces that conquered the city and governor’s house, or “palace” as it is called, is instructive. Both describe how the city was conquered. The Islamic Front leader has trouble saying that he is part of the Free Syrian Army and quickly credits the conquest of Raqqa to the Islamic Front. He is given the title of “Amir” or Prince, which is a Jihadi term. The Baathists sitting in their blue blazers, look very old-school and unhappy. The difference in style and dress between the new revolutionary forces and the old authoritarian Baathists is readily apparent. The Baathists are older, well groomed, and white haired. They have all the hallmarks of functionaries who are used to authority. The fighters are young, sport beards and confident. The leader wears a turban – some believe his accent gives him away as a foreigner – but one friend writes: “the guy is Deiry [from Deir az-Zor] & everything about him is Deiry, except no mustache. ” There can be little doubt that we are witnessing a changing of the guard. The group the Emir mentions is Jabhat al-wahdet al-tahrir al-islamiyya. The Islamic Front of Unity and Liberation. I am told the militia was made up largely of local tribes and they used their connections to take the city with little fighting.

Video of Raqqa victory of the Islamic Front and the tearing down of Hafez Assad’s statue

About 400,000 people have left the country since January 1 writes Antonio Guterres for the Internatinoal Herald Tribune.  He said, “Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster.” Additionally, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a report Tuesday depicting the collapse of Syria’s education system. About one-fifth of the country’s schools have been damaged from fighting, while others are being used as shelters for civilians who have been displaced by the conflict. About 2 million people are estimated to be internally displaced. Schools holding classes are severely overcrowded, and many teachers have not been reporting to work.

According to a 2010 paper sponsored by Stanford University, nearly 40 percent of Syrian youth ages 15 to 24 dropped out of school before the ninth grade. And many Syrian youth, particularly women, faced crippling unemployment rates.

Major offensive in Daraa Governorate and area near Golan

The area around Daraa near the Golan Heights is being conquered by Free Syria Forces. While most attention is being paid to the north of Syria, a major push by militias in the south is unfolding. Videos by this same guy depicting conquests in the governorate of Deraa and interviews with fighters have been posted.

Here is a map of the region in question

تحرير حاجز الخيمة في درعا على حدود الجولان المحتل

Another checpoint and gives some details about the recent operations: http://syriavideo.net/video/28244/
Al Msayfra: army base
Al Sahwa: army base
Syria Rebel Group Says It’s Holding UN Observer Troops Hostage
2013-03-06 By Donna Abu-Nasr
* Rebel fighters demand withdrawal of Syrian army from
outskirts of village of Jamla:

Yesterday we posted video, reportedly taken in Daraa province, that showed the Islamist “Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade” executing a group of prisoners of war. Today, the group has released a video of fighters standing in front of a convoy of UN trucks. They say they have captured the UN workers and they are demanding that Bashar al Assad’s forces leave the area.

Qatar lectures Kerry on arming Syrian rebels
By Anne Gearan

DOHA, Qatar — Qatar, which is widely believed to be providing weapons to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, gently lectured visiting Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Tuesday about American reluctance to get more involved in the two-year civil war that has killed more than 70,000.

Syria’s House of Cards
BY AMAL HANANO | MARCH 6, 2013

After two years, 1 million refugees, and more than 70,000 dead, some Syrians — and one American president — are still looking to protect their own interests rather than save a country…. Burn the cards. It’s time to go all in.

Low on ammo, rebels drive in northern Syria slows
By STEVE NEGUS | Associated Press

Iraqis Call for U.S. Military Aid After Nusra-Linked Assault on ‘Innocent Syrians’ By Roy Gutman | McClatchy Newspapers

Kerry Confident Arms Reaching Syria Moderates Al Jazeera

Western Outsourcing of Regime Change in Syria May Mean Chaos By Moritz Pieper and Octavius Pinkard | The Daily Star

Al-Qaeda’s Syrian Revival, a Lesson for Egypt By Hamad Al-Majid | Asharq Alawsat

Kerry Says Administration Backs Mideast Efforts to Arm Syrian Rebels
By MICHAEL R. GORDON

(New York Times) — DOHA, Qatar — Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that the Obama administration supports efforts by Middle Eastern nations to send arms to the opposition in Syria, and had had discussions with foreign officials to make sure those arms go to moderate forces rather than extremists.

Mr. Kerry’s comments were the most direct public affirmation to date that the Obama administration was supporting efforts to arm the Syrian resistance, provided that the arms are sent by other nations and that care is taken to direct them to factions the United States supports.

His comments also signal a more transparent effort to coordinate military assistance for the opponents of President Bashar al-Assad. …. “There is a change in the international position and the American position,” Sheik Hamad said. “They are talking about weapons. We hope that this had happened some time ago because this would have maybe lessened the death and destruction that took place in Syria.”

A major question is whether these efforts will be enough to turn the tide against Mr. Assad.

As Syrian refu­gee population nears 1 million, relief agencies cannot keep up

The spread of makeshift aluminum shelters erected by Syrians now outpaces new rows of U.N. canvas tents here in chilly northern Jordan, home to one of the world’s fastest-growing refugee camps. A vast black-market bazaar has sprouted from the desert sand, where enterprising refugees hawk bottled water and other basic necessities that most fellow camp residents can’t afford.

In Syria, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter
– Peter Gelling and Tracey Shelton

It’s a vital distinction that, as evidenced by US reluctance to intervene in Syria, could influence the outcome of the conflict.

Syria Crisis: U.S., Israel Leaders Worry About Who Follows Assad
by Joshua Hersh

WASHINGTON — In a pair of speeches at the annual gathering of a major pro-Israel group, top U.S. and Israeli leaders expressed deep concerns about the civil war in Syria and indicated they worried as much about the situation that might emerge after the removal of the current regime as they have about the regime itself.

“The United States and Israel have a shared interest in Syria,” said Vice President Joe Biden, during a generally warm speech before some 13,000 attendees at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac). “[President Bashar] Assad has been engaging in the brutal murder of his own citizens, and our position in that regard cannot be clearer: Assad must go.”

But Biden continued, “We are not signing up for one murderous gang replacing another in Damascus.”…

“The danger of these weapons falling into the hands of these terrorist groups is very real,” Netanyahu warned. “Terrorist groups like Hezbollah and al Qaeda are trying to seize these weapons as we speak — they’re like a pack of hyenas trying to feed off a carcass, and the carcass isn’t dead yet.”

IDLIB, Syria — It’s a vital distinction that, as evidenced by US reluctance to intervene in Syria, could influence the outcome of the conflict. So which is it? Are they really terrorists? In exclusive interviews inside Syria with several senior Islamist rebel commanders, a complicated picture emerged.

…“International backing gets messy if you can’t identify an opposition you can trust to carry on international interests,” Wagner said. “Yes, Assad is not a good guy, but the alternative may be worse. Better to watch what you ask for.”Western counterterrorism agencies also worry about the training men like Yousef Topprakaya — an Australian bricklayer who joined the Syrian uprising — may be receiving on Syria’s front lines.
“Like a pack of hyenas feeding off a carcass and that carcass is not finished yet. ”

After 27 days of pleading, the “valve was opened,” Idris told TIME in an interview at a hotel in Antakya, southern Turkey. (The command is based inside Syria, albeit close to the Turkish border.) He remains at the mercy of suppliers he declined to name but who are widely known — mainly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with the blessing of Turkey and Western states. “Our brothers in the field make demands as if I have any influence over our suppliers,” Idris said. “I can’t force them to give us ammunition. If they say ‘I don’t want to give you anything,’ what can I do?”

Syria’s Many Militias: Inside the Chaos of the Anti-Assad Rebellion
By Rania AbouzeidMarch 05, 2013

The men on the ground aren’t necessarily waiting for Idris’s supplies — they have become adept at scrounging for weapons and ammunition, buying them from the regional black market or from corrupt regime soldiers, capturing war booty and making their own armaments, rockets and improvised explosives devices. Almost two years of a grinding civil war have necessitated such skills.

But if the Military Command is to successfully stitch together the patchwork of factions and militias that make up the rebellion, it needs some form of leverage — and the funneling of weapons and ammunition into Syria is supposed to be its modus operandi. Although there are reports of new batches of armaments being shuttled mainly via Syria’s southern border with Jordan, as well as its northern one with Turkey, Idris says it’s all not enough: “We need between 500-600 tons of ammunition a week. We get between 30-40 tons. So you do the calculations.”

So how will the Military Command succeed in imposing its authority when all of its various predecessors largely failed, and Islamist groups outside the Free Syrian Army (which itself is just a loose umbrella term) are growing in stature and influence?

It’s not just about providing material support—the promise of prestige plays a part too. Although there are Islamist Jihadi units of various shades within the Free Syrian Army, other large independent groups like the Salafi Ahrar al-Sham brigades and Jabhat al-Nusra offer the strongest Islamist units within rebel ranks. The U.S considers Jabhat a terrorist organization with links to al-Qaeda although the group denies this and is widely respected by other rebels for its fighting prowess. Some FSA units are joining the Ahrar and Jabhat, not just because their networks of support seem to be more consistent, but because it has come to be perceived as a kind of graduation or a promotion, an acknowledgement that a particular FSA unit or an individual fighter is good enough to become a part of the most respected, most disciplined rank of fighters. It doesn’t hurt that the Ahrar and Jabhat turn fighters away, often because they aren’t considered pious enough, making acceptance into the groups a form of achievement…..

U.S. policy on Syria is self-defeating
March 02, 2013 12:50 AM
By Rami G. Khouri
The Daily Star

The U.S. is reluctant to offer direct military aid to the rebels because it fears weapons might fall into the hands of groups the United States does not like, especially Islamist groups such as the Nusra Front or smaller groups with alleged affinities to Al-Qaeda that have grown rapidly in the past year and now spearhead military advances in parts of Syria. Presumably, that is because the U.S. does not want to arm Islamist or other unfriendly groups who might agitate against the U.S. or its allies, such as Israel, Saudi Arabia or Jordan.

That sounds like a reasonable policy, but in reality it is a total failure. In fact it brings about precisely that outcome that Washington says it wishes to avoid – the rise to prominence, or even dominance, of those Islamist groups the U.S. dislikes. So as the U.S. speaks boldly about bringing down the Assad regime, but does little on the critical military front to help bring this about, Islamist and other rebel groups whom the U.S. dislikes have received plenty of arms and made sustained gains militarily. They have therefore won the confidence of ordinary people across the land, enhancing the likelihood that these groups will dominate the post-Assad system of power.

The wiser policy for the U.S. and other foreign states that oppose the Assad regime is simply to provide plenty of arms and other forms of military assistance (such as satellite intelligence) to groups it is already dealing with, such as the Syrian National Coalition, the Syrian National Council or the Free Syrian Army. If some weapons slip through to other groups, so be it – because withholding U.S. arms is not slowing down the acquisition of weapons by the Islamist and other groups the U.S. dislikes. American aid to the mainstream rebels, in turn, will enhance the likelihood of these groups dominating the post-Assad governance system, and of cordial ties between the U.S. and the new government that will arise in Damascus.

American officials have been naive in withholding arms and criticizing rising Syrian Islamists, while expecting everything to work out for the best in the end. In reality, Washington may wake up to a situation in a post-Assad Syria in which it is ignored, criticized and marginalized for not helping the rebels when they urgently needed military help. This may facilitate the dominance over Syria of Islamists and other “bad guys” in American eyes. It is hard to think of a more simplistic, ineffective and counterproductive policy than the one the U.S. is now pursuing.

The new normal in Baghdad
by Peter Harling

After violence that shattered hundreds of thousands of lives and left nearly everyone with a tragic story to tell, life in Iraq has settled into a strange normality — with no discernible direction or clear future. “How do you make sense of the last ten years?” said a novelist, who is trying […]

Independent: The Sunni rise again: Uprising in Syria emboldens Iraq’s minority community
2013-03-05

“Iraq or Maliki! Iraq or Maliki!” shout Sunni Arab demonstrators as they block roads in western Iraq in protest against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and discrimination against their community. Demonstrations by Sunni, in their tens of …

How Michel Kilo Negotiated a Tenuous Truce in Ras Al Ayn By Omar Hossino

Kurdish and Arab militias waged a bittkilled nearly 300 people. It took a diverse group of men and women, Kurds and Arabs, Alawites, Sunnis, Christians, tribal leaders and urbanites to broker Feb. 17’s tenuous peace.

“We tried to have all sects represented,” said Ata Kaml Ata, a member of the Committee for the Protection of the Civil Peace and Revolution, a new group formed by Kilo…..“Our next priority is in Houran [as the southern plains of Daraa are known], regarding the kidnapped people between Houran and Swaida,” said committee member Ata.er battle for three months in the northern city of Ras Al Ayn, in Hassakeh province. Now, they’ve reached a truce that has managed to last into a third week, marking an early success for a nascent group of peacekeepers led by famed Christian dissident Michel Kilo.

Syria’s northern towns and villages, with their complex ethnic and religious divisions, are a tinderbox for internecine fighting. They contain fault lines between ethnic groups, Kurds and Arabs, and among competing forces within each group — battle lines that could trigger a disintegration of the Syrian state. Ras Al Ayn is a microcosm of them, arguably the most complex town in the region. The months of fighting in Ras Al Ayn

Barack Obama, Parochial Leader for Parochial Nation: Fouad Ajami
2013-03-04
By Fouad Ajami

March 5 (Bloomberg) — It wasn’t Barack Obama’s doing — at least not fully. The crowds in Paris and Berlin, and the Muslims in Cairo and Karachi, eager to be done with President George W. Bush, took the new standard-bearer of American power as one of their own, a cosmopolitan man keen to break with the embattled certitude of the Bush years.

STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON SYRIA March 5, 2013 Washington, D.C. ­

Reuters.com – U.S. efforts on Iran not working, Syria planning underway: Mattis

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Comments (683)


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651. AIG said:

Visitor,

“Bad news is you are dead wrong and DISHONEST in your answer to the above question. If someone tried to prevent you from exercising what you consider is your absolute right to free speech, there will DEFINITELY be a counter action, perhaps a law suite or may be a public brawl or who the hell knows what.”

Dishonest? Not at all. I would allow the person to speak his mind about freedom of speech but of course would not allow him to shut other people up. That is all I said. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of violence. You can say whatever you want, but you cannot act in violent ways against other people. It is really very simple.

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March 10th, 2013, 6:12 pm

 

652. Dolly Buster said:

646. majedkhaldoun said:

You clearly have no evidence that God does not exist,to me the evidence is Nature, science, and conviction

 
According to Shia, the people who have it worst in hell are Abu Bakr and Umar.

According to Sunnis, Abu Bakr and Umar are in the very best levels of paradise.

So here were have 2 convictions completely contradicting.
Therefore belief in god is practically irrelevant, because it leads to 180 degree opposite things.

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March 10th, 2013, 6:14 pm

 

653. AIG said:

MAJEDKHALDOUN,

“You clearly have no evidence that God does not exist,to me the evidence is Nature, science, and conviction”

I think I have good evidence God does not exist. If he would have existed he would not have allowed the AIDS virus to emerge for example. AIDS has killed millions of children worldwide. Why would a good and moral person allow that let alone God? And if he couldn’t stop the AIDS virus from evolving or passing into humans, then he is not omnipotent and therefore not God.

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March 10th, 2013, 6:18 pm

 

654. zoo said:

Israel official warns of ‘Somalization’ of Syria

BURAK BEKDİL JERUSALEM – Hürriyet Daily News

How much are you concerned about radical Sunni elements taking power in a potentially post-Assad Syria?

I have to admit that it’s a big concern. Because of the way things are developing you can see that the chances of an orderly transfer of power re diminishing by the day. You can see how there are different extremist groups playing their own game in the great chaos that is now taking over Syria. As there is no central authority emerging, the control of the territory is becoming more difficult everyday.

There is a great concern that uncontrolled elements at the service of extremist ideas will manage to take over smaller or bigger separate territories inside the Syrian borders. This is definitely a possibility, and it is a cause for great concern because these elements would be subversive and violent towards any future.

The “Somalization” of Syria is a great concern. We hope that this war ends as quickly as possible, with a central power emerging that will rule all Syria for the benefit of its own people and its neighbors. But until we reach that phase there will be many ups and downs, including the empowerment of extremists in certain areas of Syria, and perhaps with advanced weapons in their hands.

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March 10th, 2013, 6:22 pm

 

655. Uzair8 said:

So:

– Raqqa has fallen
– Aleppo is teetering and expected to fall in the near future
– and now, Homs is back in play.

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March 10th, 2013, 6:27 pm

 

656. omen said:

before the uprising, syrians of different sects would visit one another’s churches and mosques to worship together, especially to mark certain holidays. differing beliefs doesn’t mean the people are incompatible and are incapable of living in harmony.

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March 10th, 2013, 6:30 pm

 

657. zoo said:

US-Russian efforts can end Syria crisis

Putting a stop to the killing of innocents, enforcing United Nations control and creating the space for dialogue is critical since those who persist in feeding the conflict with arms know it can last for years

By Luc Debieuvre | Special to Gulf News

..
Europeans continue to favour the Syrian National Coalition route. But it is clear that the collection of jihadists, deserters, genuine freedom fighters and exiled, talkative intellectuals would lead nowhere.

A recent development at the Paris-based Arab World Institute illustrated the widening gap between politically correct do-gooders and what should be a pragmatic foreign policy.

The Arab League already demonstrated some months ago its pathetic response. Whatever the reasons, some Arabs thought it judicious to help destroy another Arab state instead of concentrating on other targets.

The Arab failure to bring peace to Syria has paved the way for a Russia-US solution. The Russians have already received coalition leader Muath Al Khatib and the Americans will receive National Coordination Haitham Manna’s friends in Washington in mid-March.

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March 10th, 2013, 6:31 pm

 

658. Uzair8 said:

Yesterday I posted a video of regime supplying rotten food to it’s troops. Now this one.

===================

Yalla Souriya

#Syria, Aleppo, soldiars in Mennagh airport must be desparate. They eat weeds

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March 10th, 2013, 6:40 pm

 

659. omen said:

russia cannot claim to seek peace or resoltuion while supplying this regime with military helicopters and other armaments.

lavrov declared russia will never ask assad to step down.

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March 10th, 2013, 6:40 pm

 

660. revenire said:

I doubt there will ever be a US-Russin condominium on Syria. It would mean a totally change of heart for the US. That isn’t going to happen.

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March 10th, 2013, 6:40 pm

 

661. revenire said:

Omen it must be hard to walk through life so blind.

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March 10th, 2013, 6:42 pm

 

662. zoo said:

A law suit against Turkey filed in Germany

A group of Syrian groups and individuals have filed a lawsuit against the Turkish government in a European court for backing militants, who stole Syrian assets and smuggled them into Turkey.

The lawsuit was filed by Syrian labor unions and the chambers of industry, trade and tourism in addition to opposition and independent figures, the official SANA news agency reported on Sunday.

The head of the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Industry, Fares al-Shihabi, said on Sunday in Damascus that the lawsuit was referred to a court in Germany on March 7.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/03/10/292911/syrian-groups-individuals-sue-ankara/

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March 10th, 2013, 6:43 pm

 

663. Citizen said:

649. MARIGOLDRAN
Are you attentive man? Are you read com.629
http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fanna-news.info%2Fnode%2F10136
Regarding Bahamas, they are very suitable for you as a free democratic Anglo-Sax!

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March 10th, 2013, 6:48 pm

 

664. omen said:

in addition to opposition and independent figures

such as?

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March 10th, 2013, 6:52 pm

 

665. omen said:

let’s take it at face value for a moment that qatar & ksa are arming the rebels. these countries are richer than god. why would they price anti-tank weapons at $25K a piece? these are black market type mark-ups. such a high price makes it hard to buy adequate numbers needed. is creating restrictive conditions the intent?

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March 10th, 2013, 7:00 pm

 

666. revenire said:

Omen war in business. My God, we just can’t give away weapons.

Seriously the rats are welfare bums without money to pay. It’s all part of the big game.

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March 10th, 2013, 7:02 pm

 

667. zoo said:

#660 Revenire

The USA badly needs Russia cooperation to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and Israel is starting to feel very uncomfortable with Islamists at its door, for the first time since Gaza.

I guess the USA will play the double strategies as they always do: They will appear to support the opposition by making dramatic public announcements and in the background they’ll be twisting the hands of the opposition by challenging them to unite and to control the armed rebels, two impossible tasks.
Then like they did with the SNC, they may dump the NC, if they find another opposition group less dysfunctional.

I think it is a question of time that the USA will rally to Russia’s views. There is no other way out.

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March 10th, 2013, 7:06 pm

 

668. Dolly Buster said:

Russia is completely irrelevant. The United States can do whatever it wants, no other country can challenge them.

The only reason Obama isn’t bitch-slapping Putin in public, is the kindness of his heart.
 

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March 10th, 2013, 7:23 pm

 

669. Syrialover said:

AIG #653

You say the ultimnate evidence that God doesn’t exist is that he wouldn’t have allowed AIDS?

Come on, if you’re going to talk theology and belief systems here here you have to come up with something more convincing than “he would’t have let a bad disease happen”.

Though if I look at the Assad family, I can accept your line of reasoning that no God could allow such subhuman murderous dictators to exist.

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March 10th, 2013, 7:35 pm

 

670. Uzair8 said:

666.REVENIRE_said: ‘Omen war in {is} business.’
Spoken just like Damien.

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March 10th, 2013, 7:52 pm

 

671. AIG said:

Syrialover,

It is just one example of the Argument from Evil.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil

And it is quite convincing because one can argue that God wants us to have free will and therefore lets people like Assad commit horrendous evils, but what free will does a virus have? Nothing would have been lost if God eliminated it.

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March 10th, 2013, 8:02 pm

 

672. revenire said:

Zoo yes perhaps. The US has so much invested in changing the region that I can’t see them dropping their plans and admitting defeat. It seems their Iran policy would also be defeated the moment they stop with this Syrian gambit.

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March 10th, 2013, 8:05 pm

 

673. revenire said:

Dolly it is no longer a unipolar world. That time was short during the 1990s. Russia is back and engaged.

Think of it this way: the US wanted Assad out yesterday. The Russians, and Chinese, stopped them dead.

If not why doesn’t the US just start cruise missiles tonight? Hmm?

After the Libya NATO attack Russia said that’s enough.

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March 10th, 2013, 8:09 pm

 

674. Akbar Palace said:

Discussions of G-d and religion can be entertaining, but in the end they are very personal decisions. There is no right or wrong religion – you should believe in whatever you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone or step on someone’s rights as a human being.

I happen to believe in G-d. I don’t attend formal religious services and my religion doesn’t consume much of my time.

When American finds itself in the business of “nation building”, whether the US deposes a self-appointed “God” like Saddam Hussein, or Gadfly or possibly Assad, or just supports a new regime in another ME country, the US has to think about how that country will govern. Will the country be secular, Islamist or something in-between.

In the case of Turkey and Egypt, both of which have become more Islamist recently, the US tries to hold out with the hope these countries will be “moderate” (what ever that means). US policy employs LOTS of hope, especially when it is a liberal democrat at the helm like Obama.;) But there really isn’t much the US can do.

Most advisers understand that “democracy” in the ME, is not the same democracy in the West. Perhaps this is true. Right now we have several Islamist governments in the ME (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, etc) and each has its own flavor.
___________________

I also like the issue of what a “Jew” is, because people have a mental block understanding that being a Jew is more than a religion. Most Jews (but not all), consider themselves part of the “Jewish People”. Whether you accept that or not doesn’t matter, because only people can define themselves.

Using the Palestinians is a good example. Over the years, many did not recognize the Palestinian people as a nation or unique people. It took years of fighting and struggle to get the attention they needed to get this recognition. Kudos to them.
I am proud to say, that it was the GOI that negotiated with the Palestinians for autonomy and a direction to statehood. It wasn’t Egypt and it wasn’t Jordan; two countries who could have given the Palestinians a state prior to 1967. I suppose the Egyptians and the Jordanians were not as magnanimous as Israel and the Zionists!

Visitor, if you don’t think the ME is ready for a western-style government where you can say anything or write anything without any consequences, that’s fine with me. It is YOUR country, not mine. Personally, I like complete freedom of speech, even if what I hear sometimes angers me.

Another example about who is a Jew, was also formed during our hardships through WW2. The Germans didn’t ask people what they believed in when being forced into ghettos and cattle cars.

In the end, most Jews, identify themselves as a people. I also think most non-jews recognize that there is a jewish people as well.

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March 10th, 2013, 8:28 pm

 

675. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Cannibals, your prethident the buffoon has just called for Jihad, are you joining his Batta Jihadi (BJ) mafia militia.

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March 10th, 2013, 8:35 pm

 

676. Syrian said:

Rafik Helou
بشار يعلن الجهاد !!!!!! معقول هي أخر نكتة طلعوها الحماصنة ولا شو؟ ما عرفنا شو رأي ادونيس و فراس السواح و زياد الرحباني ؟

بس هي كيف معقول تتفسر.

هدول جنود الأسد من كتر ما كدسوا مسروقات ببيوتهم ، ما عاد ألهم قلب يموتوا ويتركوها. أكتر شي فيهم يضربوا صواريخ و هاون من بعيد.

لما صار بشار بدو مقاتلين حقيقيين قام طلب إعلان الجهاد.. بيمشي التفسير هاد؟ بعتقد بيمشي.. بس هاد اسمو إعلان جهاد على الجهاد.. هاد بيفوتك على جهنم مباشرة !!!

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March 10th, 2013, 8:48 pm

 

677. Akbar Palace said:

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished NewZ

Americans training Syrian rebels in Jordan.

This will certainly change the minds of those American critics!

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/americans-training-syria-rebels-jordan-spiegel-194808853.html

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March 10th, 2013, 8:48 pm

 

678. Sami said:

Another tribute for the fallen Hero Omar Aziz.

شمعة لذكرى عمر عزيز
مسعود يونس *
الأربعاء ٦ مارس ٢٠١٣
آخر مرة تخابرت فيها مع صديق العمر عمر عزيز على الهاتف، كان متفائلاً بالمستقبل في سورية وسعيداً بعمله في إسعاف المنكوبين وفي تنظيم مجالس محلية في القرى والبلدات في ريف دمشق من أجل هذه الغاية. أجبته بأنني متفائل أيضاً بالمستقبل، لكن كي تكتمل فرحتنا أنتظر أن نكون سوية في الاحتفال بالغد الموعود. وطلبت منه للمرة بعد الألف أن يأتي لزيارتي في بيروت ونتكلم طويلاً ووجهاً لوجه في شؤون الدنيا وشجونها. رفض طلبي، وكان جوابه المقتضب: أنا إذا كنت قد غُيِّبْتُ في ذلك اليوم فأضيئوا شمعة لذكراي.
بعـــد أيام قليلة اعتقلت الاستخبارات الجوية عمـــر في منزله بالمزة واقتادته إلى أقبية التعذيب في أحد مراكزها المجهولة. ثلاثة أشهر انقضت من دون أن يعرف أحد عنه أي خبر، نقل بعدها إلى سجن عفرا، ولم تمض أيام إلا جاءنا الخبر بأنـــه مات في مستشــــفى حرستا بسبب مضاعفات قلبيـــــة. كان ذلك يوم عيد ميلاده الرابع والستين. مات عمر وبقيت الشمعة، على ما أوصانا.
في الحرب الأهلية التي خضنا غمارها في لبنان، لم أخف يوماً من الموت، لكنني كنت أرتعد من فكرة التعذيب، وكنت كلما اضطررت إلى المـــرور على حاجز مشكوك في سلوكه أحتاط، كي لا أقع في الأسر وأنا حي، وكنت أقول في سرّي: بعد أن أموت فليتصرفوا بجثماني كما يشاؤون.
غاب عمر في يوم عيد ميلاده. أنا لا أعرف كيف مات، قالوا إنها مضاعفات قلبية، هكذا وصلنا الخبر. عمر كان مترعاً بحب الحياة، وهو السيد، الذي كان يرى أنها تستحق أن يخاطِر بها من أجل أن يكسبها… لكن غيابه كان إعصاراً اجتاحنا ليرمينا في عمق اللجة، إعصار على قسوته قبلناه، فالموت حق، كما يقول بليغ الكلام.
أما ما لست بالقدرة على تحمله، فتلك الأيام التي قضاها في أقبية التعذيب قبل رحيله. لا نعرف التفاصيل، وربما غداً أو بعد غد سوف نعرف، لكن أن يُحشر هذا السيد مع ثلاثة وثمانين معتقلاً في غرفة مساحتها أربعة أمتار بأربعة أمتار، كما قيل لنا، فهذا عنوان الرسالة، كما يقال، ولا شك في أن الباقي أعظم…
لا يوجد مثقف في الدنيا، إلا المأجور والمرتزق، يمكن أن يبقى مكتوف اليدين أمام هذه المقتلة التي تجري في بلاده. وعمر الصادق الصدوق، ما إن بدأ الحراكُ الشعبي في سورية حتى حزم أمتعته وترك عمله الذي كان يعيل به عائلته في السعودية، ورجع إلى الوطن كي يكون شاهداً على عذابات شعبه. لم يكن يملك غير لسانه وقلمه، لا ثروة ولا حزب ولا عشيرة أو طائفة. ربما ذاكرة تاريخية لعائلة تألقت في مسار حركة التحرر والتنوير، هذا كان كل ما يملك. مثقف حداثي متابع بجد لمجريات الفكر في هذا العصر. كان صدقه وتواضعه يَحُولان دون أن يعتلي برجه العاجي كـ«وجيه ثقافة». هذا الرجل جاء إلى وطنه في زمن النزوح عنه، نزوح المثقفين وغير المثقفين، كي يعمل مع الناس البسطاء من أجل مقاومة الموت والخراب، من أجل استعادة الكرامة المهانة والانتفاض على الإذلال الممنهج، كي يشهد ويعمل من أجل جموع الشعب السوري في الأرياف وأحياء المدن الفقيرة، المهمشين منهم والمضطهدين والمحاصرين بأدوات الإرهاب والقمع. فاجأته الثورة في سورية كما فاجأتنا كلنا، كان يقول لي في زمن الربيع العربي إن الحراك في سورية سوف يبدأ بعد سنتين، لكنه انطلق بعد شهرين، مخالفاً توقعاته، فحمل أمتعته ورجع إلى سورية.
عمر عزيز لم يقاتل، فهو لا علاقة له بالسلاح والعسكر، وهو ابن أواسط الستينات، من سكان حي المزة، الذي يضم العائلات المرموقة، ليس له أواصر علاقات بهؤلاء الشباب الذين كانوا يتظاهرون في محيطهم وبين أقربائهم وجيرانهم في الأرياف والضواحي، كما أنه لم يختر أن يترك سورية، كما فعل كثيرون من زملائه، بعد أن اشتدت وطأة القتال والحصار كي يكتب مدونات في التنظير حول ما يجب أن يكون وألا يكون في سورية.
كان عمر يعمل للحاضر ويتطلع إلى المستقبل. للحاضر أطلق فكرة المجالس المحلية، طرح مشروعه من أجل تبنيه على كل من لهم تأثير في مسار الحراك الشعبي. الحراك الشعبي كان يركز فقط على التظاهر والسلاح، من دون الالتفات إلى الحياة اليومية للمواطنين الذين يعانون ويلات الحرب، الجرحى وعائلات القتلى والمعتقلين ومن تهدمت بيوتهم وفقدوا أعمالهم، فكل ذي شأن كان عليه ان يحل مشكلته على قدر إمكاناته. ولتخفيف الشقاء والبؤس والتشرد، كان من المهم خلق هيئات مدنية تعنى قدر المستطاع بالتعاضد الاجتماعي وتقديم المساعدة. هذه الهيئات عمل على تكوينها مع الشباب في ريف دمشق بعد أن كان أطلق الصيحة لتعميمها على كل سورية، غير أنه كافح طويلاً في وجه مصاعب وعقبات، منها اعتماد الفكرة ولكن بعد تشويهها، ومنها عدم الاكتراث واللامبالاة، باعتبار أنها ليست من الأولويات، تلك التي تقتصر على التظاهر والقتال. نجح عمر في إيصال فكرته بعد طول أناة، والآن نسمع بانتخابات تجري هنا وهناك، الانتخابات التي تجري منذ عقود بحرية تحقيقاً لهذه الفكرة.
هذا عن الحاضر، أما للمستقبل، فكان عمر يحـضــّر دراسات من أجل المصالحة وإعمار الدمار الذي أوقعته الحرب، والخراب الذي أحدثته عقود من سياسات ما قبل الحرب. ويخطط لبرامج مركز أبحاث يضم المتخصصين من أجل هذه الغاية.
مات عمر في مطلع الربيع، هذا الطائر المحلق من دون سرب، سوى سرب شعبه الفقير والمقهور والمهمش. مات، لكن الخلاص آت لا محالة، رغم الدم والدموع وطول المعاناة وقساوتها، في عالم لا يحركه الضمير إنما المصالح الباردة، فما من شعب قدم من التضحيات من أجل حريته وكرامته بقدر ما قدم الشعب السوري في الأزمنة المعاصرة، ولا بد أن يطلع الفجر، ويأتي زمن سورية التي حلم قلب عمر الكبير بها. وسوف تبقى سيرة عمر عزيز حاضرة في ذاكرة شعبه، تتوارثها الأجيال جيلاً بعد جيل.
مات عمر في مطلع الربيع، وليس عندي ما أهديه إليه إلا باقة من الزنبق، زنبق الربيع الأحمر، بلون دمه ودم كل من استشهد من شعبه من أجل سورية الأبية والحرة.
في بداية الحراك الشعبي وعلى تخوم جامع الأمويين في دمشق، هتف الشارع: «الشعب السوري ما بينذل». اليوم وبعد كل هذه التضحيات، أثبت شعب عمر عزيز انه لن «ينذل

http://alhayat.com/OpinionsDetails/489491

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March 10th, 2013, 8:49 pm

 

679. Sami said:

“I am proud to say, that it was the GOI that negotiated with the Palestinians for autonomy and a direction to statehood.”

The hypocritical irony in this statement is dumbfounding… Was it not the GOI that exiled said Palestinians from their own State to start with? Or should I have left that titbit out?

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March 10th, 2013, 8:53 pm

 

680. Dolly Buster said:

Because Obama doesn’t feel like forcing the solution.
He would be capable of forcing an intervention.

Obama’s naive and weak behavior is encouraging rogue nations to be more aggressive. Today, millions of people share your incorrect view that Russia is strong enough to thwart the U.S.

This is why Syria is a decisive battle for the future of humanity.

Because this time: Russia has sided decisively 100% with one side, and publicly drew a line.
If it can be proven that Russia has in the end LOST — then it has been shown that Democracy Prevails.
In that case, democracy will prevail globally in the coming years.

 
 
“Unipolar” is probably the wrong way to think of it. There will be no poles in a democratic global state. Every citizen of Globa is equal before the law.

There will be a world government of course, but that is no reason to call it unipolar. I mean, USA has a government in DC, and we don’t call their country “unipolar” because of it.
Instead, a person from San Francisco has the same rights as a person from D.C.

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March 10th, 2013, 9:17 pm

 

681. Akbar Palace said:

Sami,

The Palestinians actually had no say in the matter. They had no government, no formal army and no sovereignty.

Let’s talk about today. Today Israel is being told that if they go back to the Holy green line, a full peace can be signed. This is what is known as “The Saudi Plan”.

I say, where was the Saudi Plan when Jordan and Egypt had control of the Green Line? No matter.

The bottom line is, Israel was the first and the last party to negotiate with the Palestinians over the borders of State of Palestine, and no other country has had that distinction. The Palestinians have only been used by the arabs to subjugate their own people. Nothing more, and nothing less. The thought of an arab country negotiating with another arab country (or people) about borders is a pipe-dream.

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March 10th, 2013, 9:18 pm

 

682. revenire said:

Dolly a person in DC, or San Francisco, has rights by their station in life.

M-O-N-E-Y

That’s how things work in the US. If you have the cashola you “got” the rights.

I am not sure what planet you live on sometimes. You have a rather romantic view of the USA.

The US has not been a bastion of democracy for maybe 50 years. That’s all over now. Times change.

Even elections in the US are not as democratic as you seem to think. It is more of a pretense than a real democracy (unless you consider two idiots like Obama and Romney the best the country had).

You’re not stupid but you don’t get it.

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March 10th, 2013, 9:36 pm

 

683. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Seems like the rat ate the buffooon’s Jihadis’ tongues. Let’s now how the cannibals are going to twist this one.

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March 11th, 2013, 3:09 am

 

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