Clinton’s Effort to Build a Syrian Government in Exile Seems Doomed

Clinton’s Effort to Build a Syrian Government in Exile Seems Doomed
by Joshua Landis, Nov. 3, 2012, Syria Comment

Already the Syrian opposition’s back biting and emulous factions seem determined to sink Washington’s latest effort. Hillary Clinton is having a last go a putting together a “secularish,” upper-class leadership for the Syrian rebel effort. A swansong?

Washington’s Plan A, which was to create the SNC, went down in dust. By all accounts, Clinton cannot even stand to hear the name, SNC, uttered any longer.

Plan B was to set up the US office in Istanbul to meet and take the measure of Syrian militia leaders and local coordinating committee directors. The militia leaders scared Washington and the CIA. The word got out that they were “penetrated” by al-Qaida and Salafi types.

Plan C is now in the making. It is to return to the educated Syrians in the hope of doing a little shake-and-bake. Clinton is reconstituting some sort of US-friendly leadership drawn from elements of the old SNC with generous add-mixtures of Coordinating Committee types, some government defectors, and others who will join. It sounds as if the SNC is boycotting. Michel Kilo has said he will not join. Others are also taking a wait-and-see attitude.

The object of this exercise seems to be to glue some sort of US-friendly educated elite onto the military effort that looks too Islamist for Washington’s taste and not very human-rights observant.

But can this last minute fix possibly work?

This effort is almost identical to US and British efforts of the 1950s to stop Syria from slipping into the hands of the USSR, Nasser and the leftist Baathists.

Eisenhower and Anthony Eden did everything they could in 1956 to force Syria’s urban elites to cooperate in a pro-Western coup, but to no avail. The two largest parties in parliament – the People’s Party of Aleppo and the National Party of Damascus refused to cooperate among themselves in order to avoid revolution .  Pro-Western Syrian politicians insulted and fought amongst themselves with such ferocity, that Western diplomats pulled their hair with despair as they sought to keep Syria from going “commie.”

When the coup failed, many of Syria’s leading pro-Western notables were accused of treason and fled the country. In 1957, the US sought to carry out another putsch, this time on its own. The “American coup”, as it was named, was no more successful. Some of the CIA operatives in charge of handling the Syrians are still alive. Additional Syrian politicians sympathetic to the West were forced to flee the country. Destabilized by Washington’s failed coup making, Syria announced the creation of the United Arab Republic only months later. Nasser become president and carried out wide-ranging land reform in order to destroyed the economic underpinnings of the urban notables that had allied with the West.

Today, Washington is again trying to rally the pro-Western elites of Syria into putting their shoulders to a common wheel with America. In 1957, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iraq cooperated in Washington’s efforts for regime change. Today Qatar replaces Iraq, but the line up of states helping the US in its “struggle for Syria” has hardly changed. Other aspects that have not changed are the infighting among Syria’s elites and the general resentment and distrust that Syrians share toward the US . It is hard to be optimistic.


News Round Up

Exclusive: Bashar Assad wants war not peace reveals Syria’s former prime minister Riyad Hijab
The most senior politician to defect from the Bashar al-Assad’s regime has revealed that the President repeatedly rejected calls by his own government for a political compromise, in favour of all-out war.

The most senior politician to defect from the Bashar al-Assad's regime has revealed that the President repeatedly rejected calls by his own government for a political compromise, in favour of all-out war.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (left) and former Prime Minister Riyad Hijab Photo: AFP/Getty Images
By , Amman,04 Nov 2012

In his first full interview with a Western newspaper since he fled to Jordan in August, Riyad Hijab, the former prime minister, told The Daily Telegraph that he and other senior regime figures pleaded with Mr Assad to negotiate with the Syrian opposition.

One week before his defection, Mr Hijab, the vice-president, the parliamentary speaker and the deputy head of the Baath party together held a private meeting with Mr Assad.

“We told Bashar he needed to find a political solution to the crisis,” he said. “We said, ‘These are our people that we are killing.’

“We suggested that we work with Friends of Syria group, but he categorically refused to stop the operations or to negotiate.”

Mr Hijab referred to the war waged against the Muslim Brotherhood by Mr Assad’s father, Hafez, which led to the deaths of up to 10,000 people in an assault on the city of Hama.

“Bashar really thinks that he can settle this militarily,” he said.

“He is trying to replicate his father’s fight in the 1980s.” Mr Hijab was speaking as key anti-regime figures gathered in the Qatari capital Doha to replace the fractured opposition Syrian National Council with a new government-in-exile. Once formed, the new Council would seek to gain formal international recognition, and, crucially, better weapons.

Mr Hijab said he rejected an offer to be part of the US-backed proposal, promising to be a “soldier in this revolution without taking a political position”.

He said the lack of serious action by the West had consolidated President Assad’s confidence.

“Bashar used to be scared of the international community – he was really worried that they would impose a no-fly zone over Syria,” he said. “But then he tested the waters, and pushed and pushed and nothing happened. Now he can run air strikes and drop cluster bombs on his own population.”

Mr Assad’s acceptance of ceasefire proposals by the United Nations envoys Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi during the 19-month crisis was “just a manoeuvre to buy time for more destruction and killings”, he said.

Indeed in a speech to his cabinet Mr Assad extolled only the dictums of warfare, Mr Hijab said.

It was as he watched his leader speak – coldly, confidently and gripped by the blind conviction that only military force would crush his enemies, he said – that Mr Hijab knew he had no choice but to break away.

“My brief was to lead a national reconciliation government,” Mr Hijab said. “But in our first meeting Bashar made it clear that this was a cover. He called us his ‘War Cabinet’.” The explosion at the Damascus national security building that killed the country’s defence minister and the president’s brother-in-law marked a turning point, Mr Hijab said. After that, no holds were barred.

“The new minister of defence sent out a communiqué telling all heads in the military that they should do ‘whatever is necessary’ to win,” he said. “He gave them a carte blanche for the use of force.” In recent months the formal government had become redundant, Mr Hijab said. Real power was concentrated in the hands of a clique comprising Mr Assad, his security chiefs, relatives and friends.

Certain that he had lost all influence, and watching the tendrils of smoke rising from his home town of Deir al-Zour near the Iraqi-Syrian border after another wave of air strikes, Mr Hijab plotted his escape: “A brother spoke with one of the Free Syrian Army brigades in Damascus,” he said. “We had expected to be at the border in three hours, but it took us three days.”

Since then, the violence has worsened and new fronts have opened across the country. On Sunday a bomb exploded in the centre of Damascus, wounding 11 civilians, state television and activists reported. The blast was detonated close to the Dama Rose hotel, which hosted Mr Brahimi during his recent visit to Damascus.

Rebels also claimed to have seized an oilfield near Deir Al-Zour, while fighting continued around army and airbases west of Aleppo, which the regime have used to strike rebel-held areas in recent weeks.

Mr Hijab said the violence would continue and the regime would stay in power for as long as Russia and Iran continued to provide support. But even if they cut their allegiance, he said Mr Assad would most probably still refuse to quit.

“I am shocked to see Bashar do what he has doing,” he said. “He used to seem like a good human being, but he is worse than his father.

Hafez is a criminal for what he did in Hama, but Bashar is a criminal for what he is doing everywhere.”

Syrian opposition meeting in Qatar to broaden, unify ranks
Reuters, November 4, 2012Syrian opposition begins talks to broaden, unify ranks

* Five days of talks in Qatar try to meld disparate groups

* Major goal is to align opposition abroad with rebels in Syria

* Some analysts are sceptical of major results

By Rania El Gamal and Regan Doherty

DOHA, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Syria’s splintered opposition factions began talks in Qatar on Sunday on forging a common front for their war against the army of President Bashar al-Assad, but analysts were sceptical that the meeting would bring immediate results.

It was the first concerted attempt to meld opposition groups based abroad and align them with rebels fighting in Syria, to help end a 19-month-old conflict that has killed more than 32,000 people and devastated swathes of the major Arab country. The war threatens to widen into a regional sectarian conflagration.

Tensions between Islamists and secularists as well as between those inside Syria and opposition figures based abroad have thwarted prior attempts to forge a united opposition and analysts sounded a note of caution about the five-day talks.

One Qatar-based security analyst, who asked not to be named, said: “No one was expecting anything to be delivered despite the heavy Qatari hand on this. The Syrian National Council is just too divided. We are likely only looking at a small movement forward.”

Sunni Qatar along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey are backing the mainly Sunni rebels, while Shi’ite Iran supports Assad.

The talks in Doha are intended to win greater international support for the rebels and crucial arms supplies. One aim is to broaden the SNC, the largest of the overseas-based opposition groups, from some 300 members to 400.

Opposition leaders hoped this would pave the way to a follow-up meeting in Doha on Thursday bringing in other opposition factions with the goal of creating an anti-Assad coalition and ending months of political and personal infighting.

“The main aim is to expand the council to include more of the social and political components. There will be new forces in the SNC,” Abdulbaset Sieda, current leader of the Syrian National Council, told reporters in Doha ahead of the meeting.

He said the meetings will also elect a new executive committee and leader for the SNC, criticised in the past over perceptions of domination by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The United States called last week for an overhaul of the opposition’s leadership, saying it was time to move beyond the SNC and bring in those “in the front lines fighting and dying”.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the meeting in Qatar would be an opportunity to establish a credible opposition.

Internal feuding, a lack of cooperation between leaders abroad and fighters in Syria and the rising clout of autonomous Muslim militants in rebel ranks have deterred Western powers keen to see Assad gone from offering more than moral support.

Influential opposition figure Riad Seif has proposed a structure melding the rebel Free Syrian Army, regional military councils and other insurgent units alongside local civilian bodies and prominent opposition figures.

On Sunday, Seif said the initiative has won the backing of “12 key countries” but would not specify which ones. He said if a decision on the new leadership was made on Thursday, “maybe 100 countries will recognise this new leadership as the legitimate and only representative of the Syrians.”

Those countries would convene a “Friends of Syria” meeting in Morocco to support the new elected group, he said.


Western, Turkish and Arab recognition of the new opposition structure, Seif said in an interview with Reuters last week, will help channel anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels and “decide the battle”…..

Syria rebels seize oilfield, down warplane

Alawite FSA supporter whose father backs Assad tells of a Syrian family ripped apart
The National, Justin Vela, November 4, 2012

Loubna Mrie is one of the few who belong to the minority Alawite sect of Syria’s president, Bashar Al Assad, and oppose his rule.

The 21-year-old activist, from a village near Latakia, said the country’s conflict has torn her family apart. She fled to Turkey in August after hearing security forces knew about her role in smuggling bullets to the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA). En route, she was recorded talking to an FSA rebel in a video that was uploaded to YouTube. Within days, her mother was kidnapped from her home and has not been heard from since.

Ms Mrie blames her father, Jaodat Kamel Mrie, for the abduction.

“He is ready to do anything to show his loyalty to the government and Bashar Assad,” she said in an interview last week.

At the beginning of the uprising, her father, 69, a wealthy businessman, became a member of the dreaded shabiha, armed Alawite groups accused of acting as government sponsored militiamen.

Ms Mrie said he felt his financial success was due to privileges granted by the regime. He began arming unemployed Alawi men, paying them to carry out attacks, and training them.

“I am sure he is responsible for what happened to my mother,” she said.

Her decision to work against the regime came from a fierce independence her mother had instilled in her, she said. Her parents had divorced when she was in fifth grade and growing up she only saw her father a few times a week. Because so many people in Latakia, where she attended university, were pro-regime, she left for Damascus and begin assisting the FSA. [Continue reading…]

Death of monument to human history in Syria’s war-torn Aleppo
By , Aleppo

The Furies have not been kind to Aleppo’s Great Mosque and Souq. In 1,300 years of history, their columns and colonnades have been consumed by fire, destroyed by earthquake, levelled by the Mongols.

Aleppo’s medieval fabric, its miles of winding markets and 1,000-year-old mosques, Koran schools and merchant houses with overhanging balconies of wood and iron latticework, is being dismantled…..

The rebels seized half of Aleppo, including parts of the Old City, in July. For weeks, they were held at bay by troops in the Citadel which, as intended by Aleppo’s first inhabitants thousands of years ago, acts as a natural raised vantage point.

But they were able to make strategic thrusts, and a month ago surged west into the oldest part of the city around the Mosque. It was during this fighting that the Souq caught light, flames roaring through the fabrics and spices, the silver and gold shops that were one of Syria’s biggest tourist draws, down the miles of arched shop fronts, stripping them of their wooden panelling to the stone and brickwork beneath.

Both sides blame each other. The rebels also claim it was a regime tank that punched man-sized holes through the walls of the haberdashery market; ash eddies in the shafts of sunlight now beaming in. …..

The souk is not beyond restoration. When that will be is less clear….Mr Khalil shook his head but also reflected that unlike the men on either side who had been killed these wonders would yet live to see another day.

“It is very bad and very sad,” he said. “But we can rebuild it, after the revolution is over.” Unesco has called on both sides to spare these “monuments to human history”. It seems neither is listening.

Amr Sherif عـمرو (@Amr5herif) /4/12, 2:20 PM

‏الشيخ كريم راجح ردًا على مَن يريد محاصصة طائفية في ‏‫#سوريا‬‏ كالتي في لبنان : لا يوجد في سوريا طائفة اسمها السنة، السنة هي الأمّة والباقي طوائف

Comments (94)

Pages: « 1 [2] Show All

51. Syrialover said:

TARA #45

Like you I was frustrated beyond bearing that the west didn’t physically sort Bashar out.

However, remember Riyad Hijab’s narrative has two key points, both sounding true, but with one completely cancelling out the other.

1. Bashar might have been wetting his diaper at the thought of trouble from the international community, but

2. when that problem started to materialise, in rushed the biggest schoolyard thugs and bullies to stand guard at Bashar’s playpen, encourage him and make sure he had what he needed to feel secure to continue his rampage.

So it wasn’t that simple.

You live in the west – if you have any contacts in government policy circles, ask them about the impact on their decisions of the UN impasse and Russia and Iran’s trumpeted intervention (intervention which had little to do with Syria per se, but more to do with Putin’s and the Mullahs personal stance on the west).

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November 5th, 2012, 8:14 pm


52. habib said:

44. Jarthouma

Lol at “sectarian Alawites”.

The hairy Salafis now not only have Alawites, secular Sunnis, Socialist Palestinians and so on to worry about, they now have to watch out for the Kurds too.

Which parts of the Syrian population have they not yet alienated? Apart from other dirty Salafis, of course.

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November 5th, 2012, 8:17 pm


53. Visitor said:

Citizen = Ann = Quack

If you haven’t noticed, Citizen’s only original comments are single sentence paragraphs,

Everything else is copy and paste from links. Ann does the same and so do quacks.

But he/she nevertheless has great ‘pride’ in his/her quackish Sunnism.

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November 5th, 2012, 8:56 pm


54. Tara said:

I am against bombing Mazze 86. Not all Alawites should be assumed to be pro-regime and not all pro-regime should be assumed to be shabeehas. Bombing alawite areas indiscriminately make the bombers no different than the thug regime they are fighting.

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November 5th, 2012, 8:56 pm


55. Johannes de Silentio said:

29. 5 Dancing Shlomos:

“the zionized west and israel are running scared”

Good to see you back, Shlomie. Hope the doctors gave you a clean bill of health. And don’t worry about that rape charge with the Philippino cleaning lady. Some of your Salafi “friends” had a little chat with her. She’ll drop charges.

While you were away, there have been some big changes in the World. First, the West is no longer zionized. There was a vote and the West agreed to drop the “z” and now refers to itself as “ionized.” Secondly, Israel has been destroyed. There was a war with Iran and the Iranians dropped a nuclear bomb. Actually they missed their target and hit Jordan, but the bomb was so powerful, it wiped out Israel as well.

Hope this finds you in good health.

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November 5th, 2012, 9:09 pm


56. Sibylle said:

I don’t really understand why weirdos here support the dictatorship in Syria. How is 50 years of family rule legitimate?
Are we supposed to believe that the disgusting commies from China and KGB are on the right side of history here?

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November 5th, 2012, 9:20 pm


57. ghufran said:

first they destroyed Iraq then they want to get paid to rebuild what they destroyed:
Former prime minister Tony Blair warns of a danger that UK companies will lose out to European competitors in rebuilding Iraq. Speaking at a conference in central London, Blair claims Iraq is ‘set to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the world’ over the next decade, noting that last month’s oil exports of Iraq surpassed that of Iran over the same period

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November 5th, 2012, 11:26 pm


58. zoo said:


That’s what the West are really interested in: rescueing their crumbling economy by encouraging and financing poor Arab countries to destroy each other countries as well as their ‘old’ cultural heritage and later to call the West with oil Arab financing to rebuild them with modern malls, fancy shops and cafes and highways.
It happened in Lebanon, soon in Iraq, later in Syria.

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November 5th, 2012, 11:35 pm


59. Visitor said:

7hamas finally decided to ditch the so-called ‘resistance brothers’ once and for all,

So, What’s up?

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November 5th, 2012, 11:38 pm


60. ghufran said:

sheikh Zayn Eddin:

ليس للدروز مصلحة في دخول الثورة إلى مناطقهم، إضافة إلى انه لم يبق أي منطقة آمنة في سورية إلا المناطق الدرزية، والدروز في سورية، وفي خارج سورية ليس لديهم مشروع إلاّ مشروع الوطن الذي يقيمون فيه، وهم لن يزجوا بأنفسهم في اي صراع داخلي مهما كانت الظروف إلاّ إذا كان هناك خطر قادم على البلد، وعلى مصيرهم، والتاريخ يشهد أنهم لم يتأخروا يوما عن محاربة الغزاة من إبراهيم باشا المصري الذي حاول دخول جبل العرب، وقاتلوا العثمانيين، وأطلقوا شرارة الثورة السورية الكبرى بقيادة سلطان باشا الأطرش، وللتاريخ أيضا عندما حاول اديب الشيشكلي دخول جبل العرب بالقوة رفض سلطان باشا الأطرش مقاومة الجيش العربي السوري لأن الدروز يابوا تدمير بلدهم، ومؤسساتهم، وفضّل الخروج من سورية نحو الأردن، ولم يعود إلا حين خرج الشيشكلي من الحكم.

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November 6th, 2012, 12:09 am


61. habib said:

55. Visitor

So they could join the Zionist endorsed, Gulf sponsored “moderate Arab” fold. Great, huh?

The Palestinians are fucked now. First the Zionists bought Fatah, now the Gulf is buying Hamas. At least the Palestinians are united under Zion now…

Soon Palestine will be a Bible theme park.

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November 6th, 2012, 12:56 am


62. MarigoldRan said:

Clinton’s efforts are doomed because Syria’s not going to have a government for the next 30 years.

Assad’s an idiot. I think even supporters of the regime can agree to that statement. Two years ago, he was unchallenged. Now, look at his rule.

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November 6th, 2012, 1:32 am


63. annie said:

25. Uzair8 said:

“I understand Global Reasearch (GR)is an unreliable source. It seems to be Russian. Is there any damning information on this organisation? Is it on par with Thiery Meyssan and his Voltaire Network ( Syrian funded)?”

I think GR is only anti-imperialist, to wit this piece written by

Dr. Chossudovsky (is not Russian but Canadian) about Syria

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November 6th, 2012, 3:39 am


64. MarigoldRan said:

The difference between Western news sources and Russian and Syrian news sources is that the Western media is biased, but the Russian and the Syrian media tell blatant lies.

Say what you want about CNN, but at least their reporters try to get at the truth. Syrian and Russian reporters are merely government mouthpieces who get arrested if they don’t toe the line. As a result they spew all sorts of silly, unbelievable crap that destroys their credibility.

Alternative news media that complain about mainstream Western media miss the point. They can diss Western media all they want, but they themselves are not any better. In fact, they’re significantly worse.

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November 6th, 2012, 4:22 am


65. MarigoldRan said:

Complain all you want about the Sunnis and the rebels, but no one has yet made a convincing argument as to why Assad should stay in power. I mean, even the commentators who hate the rebels can’t think of anything positive to say about Assad’s regime.

That’s why the regime ultimately is doomed. It has no future.

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November 6th, 2012, 4:27 am


66. Syrialover said:

Come on, some things are getting even more wobbly and confused here than usual.

Are we to see it as an immense failure and scandal in the world that Iraq will have sufficient funds to call in global tenders to rebuild it? (Ghufran #53).

I’m not even sure if would be actually re-building, it would be more like first-time development. After all, the main capital projects in the Saddam era were his palaces, there was little urban planning and development, and chronic underdevelopment of the oil production and refining infrastructure.

And then we are told that the west is systematically working on getting poor Arab countries to self-destruct so they can then rescue their own crumbling economies through winning tenders to rebuild those ruined countries i.e. Syria (Zoo #54).

The way the alleged prize is presented, one imagines the writer must have something in mind on the scale of post-war reconstruction of Germany and Japan.

Don’t we wish! Even before the country was bankrupted and trashed and the funds may have been there, the Assads never saw the point of anything beyond limited, cheap and small scale construction and infrastructure projects. But the writer sees fancy malls and highways as inevitable in the aftermath of his hero Assad. Very confusing.

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November 6th, 2012, 7:43 am


67. Syrialover said:


You’re on fire writing about the Western news media Vs the Russian and Syian news media. Then you make some punchy statements about Assad.

You’re right,I thought, so right.

But then you toss around ash and mud with the words: “Clinton’s efforts are doomed because Syria’s not going to have a government for the next 30 years” (#58)

You’re wrong, I thought, so wrong.

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November 6th, 2012, 7:56 am


68. Visitor said:

Cocky Habib@57,

I think it is the other way around Mr. Cock. To use ur own words, it is the so-called ‘resistance gang’ that is f***ked and really bad.

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November 6th, 2012, 8:23 am


69. Visitor said:

Today seven Generals decided to repent from life of crime and seek forgiveness,

If you are a thug in the Assadist army, you should ask yourself the question: how long the door of repentance will remain open? It may be just a little bit too late for you when you finally decide to become a non-thug good Syrian!

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November 6th, 2012, 8:26 am


70. Baran said:

SC is becoming Syrialover’s comment. Syrialover: can you stop commenting on all the comments.

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November 6th, 2012, 8:28 am


71. Visitor said:

The ever barking Lavrov is finally down on his knees seeking forgiveness from his Arab superiors,

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November 6th, 2012, 8:39 am


72. Ziad said:


Gone are the days when US administrations used to cloak their directives with the third person narrator voice and their injunctions in a passive prescriptive tone: ”X should do this”, “y needs to do that”, “there must be z” etc. Gone too are the pretenses of the Syrian opposition’s autonomy, independent decision-making and by implication, popular legitimacy. Now, the US has abandoned all diplotalk and concerns for the Syrian opposition’s public image in favour of a first person narrator voice and an active prescriptive tone that closely resembles that of colonial administrator. Earlier this week, Hilary Clinton announced the birth of a new opposition coalition — the Syrian National Initiative (SNI)— that is to supersede the SNC, in language that can only be described as that of High Commissioner for the Syrian opposition:

“And we also need an opposition that will be on record strongly resisting the efforts by extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution,” she said.

We have recommended names and organizations that we believe should be included in any leadership structure,” she told a news conference.

“We’ve made it clear that the SNC can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition. They can be part of a larger opposition, but that opposition must include people from inside Syria and others who have a legitimate voice which must be heard.”

As the references above demonstrate, the US boldly asserts what its “ needs” in Syria are, “recommends [Syrian] names”, “makes things clear” to its clients, deciding what they “can be part of”, and judging whose voice is “legitimate”.

Yet in an audacious denial of reality, former SNC spokeswoman, Basma Kodmani declared that

“it was wrong to suggest that the US or any other government was involved in selecting the new council… She said: “Foreign powers have not been involved in nominations. The authority would selected by Syrians. It is a completely Syrian process. Names have not been designated, only groups and organisation which should be represented have been proposed.”

This despite Clinton’s reference to both “names and organizations” which Washington recommended.

More ironic still, is Riad Seif’s blueprint document for the SNI which clings to the self-delusion of “Preserving the national sovereignty and independence of Syrian decisions”.

A US official who spoke to Foreign Policy would beg to differ with the SNI’s self-professed autonomy : “We need to be clear: This is what the Americans support, and if you want to work with us you are going to work with this plan and you’re going to do this now. We aren’t going to waste anymore time.”

In the final analysis, Clinton’s message can hardly be considered insensitive when neither the Syrian opposition nor its supporters appear deterred by the Zionist proclivities of some of their members, let alone by such passé considerations as the imperious tone of their American masters. Such are the priorities of those who see authoritarianism as the new imperialism.

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November 6th, 2012, 10:06 am


73. Uzair8 said:

#43 & #46 Juergen & SyriaLover

It’s one big reason to suggest why the regime will not win.

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November 6th, 2012, 10:30 am


74. Uzair8 said:

#59 Annie

Thanks. I do remember reading about GR and it being canadian. I can’t remember where. I’m sure it was mentioned (mocked) in an opinion piece on somewhere like Al Akhbar.

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November 6th, 2012, 10:35 am


75. ghufran said:

مجموعة مسلحة أقدمت، يوم الثلاثاء، على قتل الدكتور محمد أسامة اللحام شقيق رئيس مجلس الشعب في منطقة الثريا في الميدان بدمشق.
“إرهابيين ترصدوا الدكتور اللحام وأطلقوا النار عليه في سيارته خلال توجهه إلى عمله ما أدى إلى استشهاده على الفور”.
يشار الى ان الدكتور اللحام يحمل دكتوراه في الزراعة
those assassinations,like it or not, do not provide hope for either the opposition or the country, no rebel group in modern history succeeded by using car bombs and assassinations, these two methods fail because they usually indicate lack of vision and public support.

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November 6th, 2012, 11:05 am


76. Sami said:

Yasser Haidar Kizbari son of former Syrian Prime Minister and an accomplished Captain was killed by a regime sniper yesterday close to Harasta.

He will be missed…

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November 6th, 2012, 11:14 am


77. Visitor said:

How laughable for a thug apologist to call the killing of a thug servant a martyr as in comment 70?

I would say it is quite laughable.

To hell with him and his likes and good riddance.

How is your BMS Ghoofie?


Why does everybody want to save a criminal?

Since the world has done very little to save the thousands of Syrians who were massacred by this thug they are trying to save, the world should leave it to the Syrian people to exact justice. Hands off Mr. cameron.

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November 6th, 2012, 11:25 am


78. Jarthouma said:

Habib, clearly you like to delude yourself.

Does it help you that you have the waivering support of some PKK militia ? In your eyes that equates to the whole Kurdish population!! Lol! Idiot!

Does it help you that you have the support of a mad Palestinian warlord Ahmad Jibril ? Well done that equates to the whole Palestinian population lol! Idiot !

There you go Sectarian Alawite Mezza 86 demographics!

Presto Aleppo is liberated by the duck….,

I mean how that really makes you feel better is beyond me. Are you in the denial stage at the moment ? I wonder how long before you are on Prozac

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November 6th, 2012, 12:16 pm


79. Uzair8 said:

RT “@ZeinakhodrAljaz: #Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov said #Syria rebels have obtained 50 Stinger shoulder-launched missiles”


Today 2 planes have been shot down in Idlib, 1 plane in Al Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor. A mig 23 was shot near Anjara in Aleppo RIF. Another one in Jpb Khashbet in Aleppo RIF


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November 6th, 2012, 12:55 pm


80. Uzair8 said:

Like a previous user said I too feel Aleppo is going to fall.

The Tawheed Brigade are a very determined bunch who will come at the regime forces again and again. Like in Assault on Precinct 13 (1976).

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November 6th, 2012, 1:03 pm


81. visitor said:

Uzair 75 said,

“Like a previous user said I too feel Aleppo is going to fall.”

The right way to say it in my opinion is:

Like a previous user said I too feel Aleppo is going to be liberated.

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November 6th, 2012, 1:12 pm


82. Dolly Buster said:

I wonder why the White House isn’t taking Syria more seriously. Iran is the biggest enemy of the U.S, and Russia is also a nuisance to the free world. By toppling the Baath dictatorship, the U.S. would damage both of those foes. Yet Washington hasn’t been very active in helping Syrians militarily. I hope that the reason for this lack of help, is that experienced diplomats in D.C. have decided that the civil war will end favorably anyway.

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November 6th, 2012, 1:24 pm


83. Visitor said:

Dolly Buster 77,

FYI the US has been taken over by the worldwide leftist plot. You will find many members of these conspirators among the contributors to this blog.

A sigh of relief for meeting a rare guardian.

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November 6th, 2012, 2:13 pm


84. Juergen said:

Saudi Gangnam style

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November 6th, 2012, 2:44 pm


85. MarigoldRan said:

It took Lebanon 15 years to be put together. Syria’s more than twice as big. Hence the 30-year approximation. I could be wrong though. Hopefully I am wrong. But…. it ain’t looking good right now.

The issue is not Assad. He should fall within the next five years, max. The difficulty is the power struggle afterwards. Those suicide bombers Al Nusra is throwing at the regime (with effect)? They can be used on other targets too, like the Kurds, or other rebels who don’t agree with them.

The only thing keeping the rebels together is a common enemy. Just look at the fiasco of the SNC.

Two MIGS got shot down? Ooooo. Show me the videos.

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November 6th, 2012, 2:44 pm


86. MarigoldRan said:

To Dolly:

The White House is taking Syria pretty seriously. Of the last 50 or so news headlines involving Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, more than half of them are about her discussing Syria. The issue is not about whether the administration is serious. The problem for the administration is this: does America want to get involved in this mess?

The last time America got seriously involved in the Middle East, the result was Afghanistan and Iraq. Does America want a repeat? Also, some of the rebels fighting against Assad also fought against the Americans in Iraq. Hence the hesitation.

Syrians cheered when 9/11 happened. The State Department and the career bureaucrats in the American government have a long memory.

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November 6th, 2012, 2:45 pm


87. Citizen said:

Israeli Government threatens military intervention to Syria
The Chief of staff of the army for the defence of Israel, General Benny Gantz, visited the Golan Heights region and pointed out that the operations of the Syrian forces against armed groups could lead to military interference with the Israeli regime. The Israeli regime threatened, this Sunday, to pursue a military intervention in Syria.
The Israeli regime threatened, this Sunday, to pursue a military intervention in Syria, when three Syrian tanks penetrated the demilitarized zone of the Golan Heights Plateau, with the aim of attacking armed terrorist groups that headed in the direction of Israel to seek refuge and escape the justice of Damascus.

“The Syrian conflict can pass into the territory of Israel, but in this case the Israeli army will oppose it with all of its military might,” stressed Gantz, then added that “any attempt to get Israel caught in the internal conflict of Syria is destined to failure.”

He also referred to alleged clashes that are developing between forces of the Syrian Government and armed terrorists in this region.

“The 36th Division is ready at any time in which the fire changes direction and comes to us,” Gantz said.

With respect to the incursion of three Syrian army tanks into the Golan Heights, he stressed that “the Israeli army has instructions to be kept on alert in that area”.

Syrian tanks that entered the demilitarized zone on Saturday still have not left the area. Tel Aviv sent a complaint for the examination of the Commander of the United Nations (UN) forces in the the region of the Golan Heights.

For its part, Lebanese sources reported that this Sunday, Israeli military helicopters flew over the occupied region of the Golan Heights and the occupied Shab’a farmlands, in the South of Lebanon.

In 1967, the Israeli regime occupied the Golan Heights, during the so-called Six-Day War, in order to have access to the Sea of Galilee, a main source of fresh water for the Israelis. In 1981 it incorporated it into its territory (North), by imposing its legal, administrative and judicial system and offering the inhabitants Israeli citizenship.

In December 1981, Resolution 497 of the UN Security Council declared that the Israeli decision was “null and void.” Today there is a strip of territory administered by the United Nations that separates the contenders who still compete for possession, amid a precarious peace.

The whole area of 1,860 square kilometers in which prior to 1967 more than 150,000 Syrians lived, was devastated, and at present there are little more than 30,000 inhabitants remaining.

Ed. Two interesting points is that the UN declaired the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights illegal and “without international legal effect” (section 1). Therefore, they have no right to take any action against Syria on legal Syrian territory.

The second point is that armed terrorists were fleeing TO Israel, which implies foreknowledge that they would be not only protected there, but also that they are serving the interests of the State of Israel to destabilize the Syrian government.

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November 6th, 2012, 4:08 pm


88. ghufran said:

killing people as a way to deliver freedom to them:
هزت ثلاثة انفجارات ضخمة بعد ظهر اليوم الثلاثاء حي الورود الواقع بين منطقتي دمر بلد وقدسيا بريف دمشق اسفرت عن سقوط عدد كبير من القتلى والجرحى.
وأفادت الانباء الواردة من موقع التفجيرات أنها وقعت في مكان مكتظ بالمواطنين في آخر خط السرفيس في الحي المكتظ بالسكان والمارة والبسطات والمحال التجارية،
Aleppo will not fall not because I trust the regime but because most Aleppines are not willing to live with the Islamist thugs.

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November 6th, 2012, 4:10 pm


89. Dolly Buster said:

How can you quote red KGB media like Pravda, Voice of Russia, Russia Today and other garbage?
Are you that naive – that you can’t see the ulterior motive of these dictatorships like China and Russia?

Every year, 2 countries switch from totalitarianism to democracy. That means the trend is working against Beijing and Moscow, because in a few decades the entire globe will be democratic.
So these regimes like Tehran are panicky, which is why all the pro-Assad headlines are coming from news outlets like PressTV, Shanghai Daily, etc.

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November 6th, 2012, 4:17 pm


90. Visitor said:

DB 84,

You just discovered what we’e been complaining about for ages here on this blog which is administered from the heartland of the US.

But you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Wait until Ann/Spam shows up with his/her truckload of Pravda/VoR/RT/SANA/Dunya/AsiaTimes/3Alam(of Mullah-stan) and the rest of the mouthpieces of the Global Left US Takeover Squad or GLUSTS for short.

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November 6th, 2012, 4:26 pm


91. ann said:

Armed men blast evangelical church in Syria’s Aleppo – 2012-11-07

DAMASCUS, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) — A large portion of an evangelical church in Syria’s Aleppo was destroyed after armed men blasted the building on Tuesday, the pro-government al-Ekhbaria TV reported.

The church is located at al-Jdaideh district in the old quarter of Aleppo, reports said.

Blasts have become daily occurrences in the unrest-hit country. Earlier Tuesday, three people were killed when a booby-trapped car went off in the resort town of Zabadani near the Syrian capital Damascus, the pro-government Sham FM reported.

Meanwhile, a car bomb was dismantled by engineering units in Damascus’ district of Tadamun, witnesses told Xinhua.

Sounds of bomb shells reverberated in several areas across Damascus Tuesday in what appeared to be the army’s attacks on the rebels’ strongholds.

Activists reported aerial bombardments on the restive southern suburbs of Damascus, including Hajar al-Aswad and Tadamun. Intense clashes raged on in al-Tadamun and surrounding areas between the government troops and armed rebels.


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November 6th, 2012, 4:32 pm


92. ann said:

US to Focus Exclusively on Arming Al Qaeda in Syria – Nov 1, 2012

The Washington Post in its recent article, “U.S. looks to build alternative Syrian opposition leadership,” claims:

The Obama administration has spent the past several months in secret diplomatic negotiations aimed at building a new Syrian opposition leadership structure that it hopes can win the support of minority groups still backing President Bashar al-Assad.

The strategy, to be unveiled at a Syrian opposition meeting next week in Qatar, amounts to a last-ditch effort to prevent extremists from gaining the upper hand within the opposition and to stop the Syrian crisis from boiling over into the greater Middle East.

The Post also indicates that defacto “administrative zones” are being set up along the Turkish-Syrian border with “nonlethal” assistance provided by the United States, France and “other like-minded governments.” The so-called “Syrian National Council” is being discarded, as it is wholly seen as illegitimate by both Syrians and the world at large.

The Washington Post would also quote Secretary Clinton:

The SNC, Clinton said, should no longer be considered the “visible leader” of the opposition.

“There has to be a representation of those who are on the front lines, fighting and dying today to obtain their freedom,” she said during an unrelated visit to the Balkan states. “. . . And we also need an opposition that will be on record strongly resisting the efforts by extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution.”

It is clear that both the West’s political proxies, and its armed militant proxies have been compromised and the narrative that tentatively worked against Libya, is now unraveling and failing against Syria. While the US attempts to portray this latest move as an attempt to “prevent extremist elements from gaining the upper hand within the opposition,” it must be remembered that as early as 2007, US officials had admitted that efforts to overthrow the governments of Syria and Iran would include primarily US, Israeli, and Saudi armed extremists drawn from across the Arab World, and sent into Syria to create the very sectarian bloodbath now unfolding. Rhetoric of “freedom” and “democracy” serve merely as cover within which foreign military aggression is couched.

This was first exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker report titled, “”The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?”

In the report it specifically stated:

“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Hersh’s report would continue by stating:

“the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

The link between extremist groups and Saudi funding was also mentioned in the report, and reflects evidence regarding the origin and backers of similar extremists who flooded Iraq during the US occupation, sowing sectarian strife and killing Western troops alike:

“…[Saudi Arabia’s] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s whothey throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

It was exposed in “NATO Using Al Qaeda Rat Lines to Flood Syria With Foreign Terrorists,” that indeed, the very networks used by Al Qaeda to flood Iraq with foreign fighters is now being used by the United States, NATO and the Persian Gulf States of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to violently overthrow Syria. The narrative that recent US efforts aim at heading off “extremists” from “hijacking” the armed violence in Syria, is exposed as a blatant lie. Extremists have constituted the so-called “opposition” from the very beginning, by design, with explicit US, NATO, Saudi and Qatari funding, weapons, and support.


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November 6th, 2012, 4:42 pm


93. ann said:

US to Focus Exclusively on Arming Al Qaeda in Syria (exhibits)

Image: (Left) West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s 2007 report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” indicated which areas in Syria Al Qaeda fighters filtering into Iraq came from. The overwhelming majority of them came from Dayr Al-Zawr in Syria’s southeast, Idlib in the north near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border. (Right) A map indicating the epicenters of violence in Syria indicate that the exact same hotbeds for Al Qaeda in 2007, now serve as the epicenters of so-called “pro-democracy fighters.”

Image: The most prominent routes into Syria for foreign fighters is depicted, with the inset graph describing the most widely used routes by foreign fighters on their way to Iraq, as determined by West Point’s 2007 Combating Terrorism Center report “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” (page 20). These same networks are now being used, with the addition of a more prominent role for Turkey, to target Syria directly. (Click to enlarge)


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November 6th, 2012, 4:48 pm


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