Defection Rumors Rife; Annan Diplomacy Founders

The big rumor today is that Mustapha and Firas Tlass fled Syria and are in Paris. Mustapha Tlass is ex-Defense Minister. His son is a major businessman and his second son, Manaf, is  a current top officer in the Syrian Army, born in 1964.

Both Tlass and opposition members in Paris reject these allegations, claiming, “Syrian regime stalwart and former defence minister Mustafa Tlass has arrived in Paris with one of his sons but they are not defecting, opposition representatives told AFP on Monday.”

The Tlass family has long been one of the highest placed Sunni families of the Assad regime. If there is any truth to the defection story, it would indeed be a blow to the regime. Firas Tlass has been flirting with the opposition since the uprising began. He frequently writes on the Facebook sites of “friends” who are opposition members, congratulating them on their stands. Most people laughed at this sort of thing because the Tlasses are considered to be pillars of the regime and always trying to play all sides.

It should be expected that Sunni defections from the regime will travel up the ranks as the civil war in Syria becomes ever more overtly sectarian in nature. It must be remembered that it took Iraq three years to launch its civil war in earnest. That was after the bombing 2006 of the Askari mosque in Samara’. It takes a long time for people who have lived together in relative harmony for decades to stop associating with each other and put hate in their hearts, but that is what we are seeing. It is what happened in Lebanon and Iraq.

Rumors are rife that Adeeb Mayaleh, the head of the Central Bank, is out or on his way out, and that he has been stripped of his authority. Rumors are also rife, of course, that he defected. I don’t know if any of this is true.

This is a note from a Syrian in Latakia:

Dear Joshua, I am a christian Syrian living abroad. Last month I went back to Syria and spent a week with my parents in Lattakia. Here are some observations.

“The son of my 2nd grade teacher is in prison. He was caught distributing pro opposition fliers. A few days ago, his flat burned down and his 3 kids died in the fire. His wife is in a critical condition.

A relative of my family lawyer, a university student was arrested couple weeks ago in Damascus. She was released the day I arrived.

Another guy from our neighborhood, though known to be pro regime, was picked up by the secret police at the university as he was leaving his mid term exam room. He disappeared for 2 weeks. He was just released…. Some name miss match they explained.

I was stopped at the airport. Was called to Damascus for questioning by an officer in one of the security branches. Without my father’s connections I am sure I would ve not been able to get the travel permission and to leave on time. I still don’t know what they wanted from me.

We hear stories about kidnappings taking place in the eastern part of the country near Deir Ezzor, in Homs and on the outskirts of Damascus in exchange of ransom.

Lattakia is one of the cities the least affected by the events. It’s kept under tight control by a strong pro regime presence. The government is doing all it can to show that it’s business as usual. They do amazing cleaning job after each Friday clashes. As I hang out with some friends at a coffee shop in the afternoon, life seems to go on as usual in the busy streets… but something weird is felt in the air… a thick layer of pessimism and anxiety is hanging over the city… everybody feels that it is boiling and it might explode at any moment. You can’t miss the signs:

My high school has become an army base. The main city square, less than 1000 yards from my parents flat and a center of protests in the early days, is now filled with soldiers and sand bags. “Al Assad soldiers” they proudly painted on the walls.

My friends drove me by the Ramel neighborhood. One of the hot areas in town. Army check points with sand bags control all streets entering the neighborhood. “POLICE” is painted on them. We all know it is the army who controls them and not the police.

Gunmen in civilian clothing are present at all hospital entrances. They are there to arrest wounded protesters seeking treatment.

4×4 trucks with armed men and mounted machine guns pass by every now and then.

Electricity is cut off 6 hours a day, 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. It is setting the rhythm for business hours. – Today Electricity is off 12 hours a day. it’s on and off every 3 hours.

The price for heating fuel has sky rocketed. The price for cooking gas has doubled. It s cold in my parents and my friends flats. It’s been one of the coldest and rainiest winters in Syria. People wear many layers indoors and sleep with thick wool covers- these are still the privileged neighborhoods. I can’t imagine the living conditions in rebelled areas.

I have just come back from a week stay in Syria. I left as the bombing of Homs was about to begin.”

Rescued journalist Paul Conroy describes the situation in the Syrian city of Homs as ‘systematic slaughter’

Paul Conroy, the British journalist injured in an attack on the Syrian city of Homs says the situation is not a war, but a “systematic massacre”.

World News: UN End Visit in Syria With No Deal

Syria attributes currency depreciation to speculation
03-10-2012

DAMASCUS, March 9 (Xinhua) –Syria’s minister of finance attributed the depreciation of the Syrian pound to speculative traders’ manipulation in the black market, the state-run SANA news agency reported on Friday.

“The decline in the Syrian pound over the past two days was not caused by supply and demand issues. Rather, it was caused by speculative traders’ manipulation in the black market. These traders were after brisk and outrageous profits,” Mohammad Julailati was quoted by SANA as saying.

“Those manipulators are enemies of our people,” said the minister, charging that some Arab TVs have used the currency depreciation to deceive the Syrian people that the nation’s economy is in a bad shape.

In the past few days, the U.S. dollar was gaining value against the Syrian pound every passing hour and reached above 100 pounds in the black market on Wednesday, according to Julailati.

However, the central bank intervened on Thursday by officially announcing the exchange rate of the U.S. dollars at 80 Syrian pounds, forcing the black market to sell the dollars at the same rate, the minister said.

Since the eruption of unrest in Syria in March 2011, people have been rushing to change their Syrian pounds into U.S. dollars or gold to protect their wealth against the instability, bearing in mind what had happened in neighboring Lebanon after the eruption of civil war in 1975.

The intervention waiting game: a window for a new opposition?
11 March 2012 / NOAH BLASER , İSTANBUL – Zaman

As the international community remains hesitant about military intervention and Syria’s largest political opposition group remains divided, the likelihood for a new opposition leadership to develop amidst the country’s strengthening rebels may be growing.

“As the military opposition in Syria grows, a central leadership could emerge from the battlefield,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies and associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “If it can begin to coordinate the military resistance effectively, it might gain recognition as the Syrian opposition’s legitimate leadership,” he said in a Wednesday interview with Today’s Zaman.

Landis’ words come as the US, European, Arab and Turkish “Friends of Syria” alliance remains hesitant about military intervention or channeling arms to opposition groups, leaving Syria’s rebels to face Damascus’ military without outside aid for the foreseeable future….

One of the biggest unknowns in Syria has been whether or not the country’s fragmentary opposition, represented by the umbrella of opposition groups known as the Syrian National Council (SNC) will be able to pull together a coherent political and military opposition with a firmly established leader. So far, the SNC has remained fractured and doubts have grown about the leadership of Burhan Ghalioun, the group’s present leader. The SNC’s relationship with Syria’s armed opposition has also been tenuous, with rebel leaders criticizing the group for failing to provide them with money and arms.

“If Turkey and the international community see that the military and political opposition matures into a more unified, cohesive group, they will be more willing to help,” said Orhan. “That isn’t the situation right now.”

A new leadership on the ground?

With the influence of outside powers and opposition groups at a minimum, the question of opposition leadership may be left to Syria’s rebel forces. According to Landis: “If the conflict is left in the hands of local forces, the leadership question is going to be settled on the battlefield. A successful commander might emerge as the Washington or Atatürk of the resistance, and possibly of a new Syria.”

Presently, the country’s loosely coordinated group of anti-regime militias, known collectively as the Free Syrian Army (FSA), act independently. The present leadership of the FSA, headed by the defected Col. Riad al-Asaad from the Turkish border province of Hatay, has largely been ineffective at coordinating the FSA’s patchwork forces, while the unofficial center of the country’s opposition, the devastated city of Homs, was lost to the rebels this month as security forces pressed resistance hot spots across the country.

But as the brutality of Damascus’ crackdown has grown, defections to the FSA have sharply increased, with senior rebel leaders claiming that a record number of 50 officers — allegedly among them six brigadier-generals and four colonels — defected to the ranks of the anti-regime FSA last week. The number of low-level defections is also reportedly rising, with scores of newly posted online videos showing small bands of soldiers proclaiming their own revolutionary brigades.

Rising defections, says Landis, are only one sign that the regime is losing its grip in the country. The economy has been hard hit by sanctions, with the Syrian pound losing 90 percent of its value in recent months. Meanwhile, the use of indiscriminate violence in majority Sunni areas, says Landis, has succeeded in turning much of the country against the minority Alawite regime. “I don’t see Homs as a lethal blow. More and more Syrians are coming to the understanding that it has no future. Syrians are hungry and cold,” he stated.

While other analysts have speculated that the opposition will nevertheless remain a mild nuisance to the Syrian military, Landis says Damascus will be gradually less and less able to keep up with a growing insurgency. “Even if there are several different, uncoordinated militia groups, they are going to attack in a classic guerrilla strategy. Insurgent improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and snipers are going to snap the military’s morale pretty quickly and, if it can’t move on the highway because of IEDs, whole chunks of the country will fall out of its control.”

Last week, a Pentagon report stated that IED usage by the opposition has more than doubled since December. If such tactics do win Syria’s militias independent territory, it might allow room for them to meet and coordinate the resistance under a single leadership.

Managing the opposition from abroad?

As questions abound regarding the ambitions of Syria’s militias and Western fears grow about al-Qaeda’s potential influence on the resistance, the anti-Assad “Friends of Syria” alliance may wish to exert its own influence over the opposition through arms transfers, argues Steven Heydemann of the United States Peace Institute.

Heydemann, who told Today’s Zaman that peaceful political opposition groups like the SNC have been sidelined by the military opposition, believes that outside powers would be wise to stem the potential rise of a strictly military leadership by channeling arms to the opposition through the SNC. “The issue here is managing the militarization of the opposition. If we allow armed groups to form their own leadership without any command and control flowing back to civilians, we will see the proliferation a ‘guys with guns’ form of leadership,” Heydemann said. “Instead, the ‘Friends of Syria’ group could use arms to strengthen the SNC’s relationship with the Free Syrian Army. If the SNC could offer militias badly needed arms and supplies, I suspect that the odds are fairly high that they could reach a deal.”

However, the probability of such assistance seems slim in the foreseeable future. “We really don’t know who [the opposition] is that would be armed,” US Secretary of Sate Hillary Clinton told the press last month as she noted al-Qaeda and Hamas’ recent endorsement of the FSA….

The broader point may be that outside powers now have little control over the course of the conflict and the opposition that fights it. “The US and other ‘Friends of Syria’ nations won’t be able to hand the keys of the government to an opposition of their choosing when the conflict is over. They’ve raised the rhetorical bar against Assad, but there’s not much else they can do,” Landis said.

Fresh Fighting in Syria, Assad Backs ‘Honest’ Peace
by Edward Yeranian | Cairo March 10, 2012 – VOA

….Joshua Landis, who is head of the Middle East Studies program at the University of Oklahoma, says the Assad regime thinks it is winning the battle against the opposition, and that both sides’ unwillingness to compromise paves the way for a bleak future in Syria.

“This is a zero-sum game. There isn’t a compromise that can come out of this that I can see. Once Assad steps aside, the entire edifice of the regime is going to crumble. … There’s very little that can take the place of the Syrian Army or the Syrian government, and that has people wringing their hands in Syria. They don’t see a way out of going down a very dark tunnel, which is in the direction of what happened in Iraq or what happened in Lebanon during the darkest period of the civil war,” he said.

Landis foresees a growing cascade of defections from the upper echelons of the Syrian regime, but argues that President Assad’s Alawite allies are not likely to desert him. “They understand,” Landis says, “that they need to hang together or be hanged apart.” He also paints a somber picture of an increasingly sectarian conflict: “It takes a long time for people who’ve lived together in relative harmony for decades to stop associating with each other and put hate in their hearts, but that’s what we’re going to see.”

Video: Syrian forces launch massive assault on Idlib – al-Jazeera – Youtube: 11 Mar 2012

Legislation from POMED

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee approved “The Syrian Freedom Support Act”, H.R. 2106, introduced by Committee Chairwoman lleana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY). The bill imposes new sanctions on Syrian energy and financial sectors.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced “The Syria Democracy Transition Act of 2012”, S. 2152, to promote U.S. objectives in Syria and the departure of President Bashar Al Assad.

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad firmly in control, U.S. intelligence officials say
By Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung, Friday, March 9, 7:15 PM

A year into the uprising in Syria, senior U.S. intelligence officials described the nation’s president, Bashar al-Assad, on Friday as firmly in control and increasingly willing to unleash one of the region’s most potent militaries on badly overmatched opposition groups.

The officials also said Assad’s inner circle is “remaining steadfast,” with little indication that senior figures in the regime are inclined to peel off, despite efforts by the Obama administration and its allies to use sanctions and other measures to create a wave of defections that would undermine Assad.

Assad “is very much in charge,” said a senior U.S. intelligence official responsible for tracking the conflict, adding that Assad and his inner circle seem convinced that the rebellion is being driven by external foes and that they are equipped to withstand all but a large-scale military intervention.

“That leadership is going to fight very hard,” the official said. Over the long term, “the odds are against them,” he said, “but they are going to fight very hard.”

The comments, provided by three intelligence officials on the condition of anonymity to share candid assessments, were the most detailed to date by U.S. analysts on the status of the uprising, which began last March.

The officials said the regime’s tactics have taken a more aggressive turn, and newly declassified satellite images released Friday show what officials described as “indiscriminate” artillery damage to schools, mosques and other facilities in the beleaguered city of Homs in recent weeks.

Overall, they described Syria as a formidable military power, with 330,000 active-duty soldiers, surveillance drones supplied by Iran and a dense network of air defense installations that would make it difficult for the United States or other powers to establish a no-fly zone.

“This is an army that was built for a land war with the Israelis,” said a second senior U.S. intelligence official. After the regime hesitated to attack civilian population centers earlier in the conflict, its “restraint . . . has been lifted,” the official said.

Syrian forces continued their month-long shelling of the opposition stronghold of Homs, in the west-central part of the country, on Friday, according to news reports. Thousands demonstrated in other parts of the country in anticipation of the scheduled arrival of Kofi Annan, the special envoy of the United Nations and Arab League, in Damascus on Saturday. He is expected to meet with Assad.

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, who visited Homs this week, said she was “devastated” by what she saw in the ravaged city. “There are no people left,” she said.

Amos, speaking in Turkey after visiting refugee camps along the Syrian border, said the Assad government had agreed to a “limited assessment” of humanitarian needs but had refused “unhindered” access for aid organizations and “asked for more time” to consider U.N. proposals for extended assistance for civilians.

In Washington, the intelligence officials cited a number of factors protecting the regime from collapse. Not least among them is the level of motivation in an inner circle convinced that yielding power will mean death or life imprisonment.

U.S. intelligence has also detected an escalation in lethal support from Syria’s closest ally, Iran. Officials said that Iran had previously been supplying mainly training and equipment to suppress opposition forces but has recently begun sending small arms and sophisticated equipment for monitoring and penetrating rebel groups.

Iran has shared equipment and expertise developed during its efforts to put down its own internal rebellion in 2009. Syria also has a small fleet of unarmed drones that appear to have been supplied by Iran before the uprising began, the officials said.

They portrayed the political opposition to Assad as disorganized and hobbled by a lack of experienced leadership. The officials described efforts to unify and attract a broader following among Syria’s minority groups — another objective of U.S. policy — as having limited success. The Syrian National Council, dominated by exiles who are mainly Sunni Muslims, has been trying to attract Christians, Druze and Kurds away from Assad.

Fears that the opposition will oppress minorities or worse have been regularly stoked by the regime, which is dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

The intelligence officials also echoed concerns expressed by U.S. military leaders in congressional testimony this week about providing weapons to the armed elements of the opposition. They are equipped mainly with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades, giving them little firepower compared with Assad’s formidable forces.

An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 soldiers have defected and form the bulk of the Free Syrian Army. It is organized loosely, without effective command and control, and it has few links to the political opposition, according to U.S. intelligence accounts.

Protecting those forces would be a daunting task. One of the officials said that Syria’s air defenses include hundreds of surface-to-air missile sites and thousands of antiaircraft artillery installations.

Describing the dimensions of the challenge, this official said that Syria, barely one-tenth the size of Libya, has an army four times as big with five times the air defense assets, most of it supplied by Russia.

So far, the officials said, the bloodiest attacks against the regime appear to have been carried out by al-Qaeda elements seeking to slip unannounced into opposition groups that do not seem eager to have any affiliation with the terrorist network.

The U.S. officials said that al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq has reversed the flow of a pipeline that once carried fighters and weapons through Syria to battle U.S. forces at the height of the Iraq war.

“That network is still there,” said the first U.S. intelligence official, who acknowledged that the size and composition of the al-Qaeda presence in Syria is unclear. Some al-Qaeda members may be Syrian, others Iraqis.

The officials said their judgment that AQI — as the Iraq affiliate is known — was behind vehicle bombings that killed dozens of people in Damascus and Aleppo in December and January is based more on the nature of the attacks than independent evidence of al-Qaeda involvement.

The greatest damage done so far to Assad’s regime has been economic, intelligence officials said. Sanctions imposed by the United States and the Arab League, as well as European curbs on importation of oil, have caused spikes in unemployment, fuel prices and budget deficits in Damascus.

Over the long term, the officials said, economic hardships may be the most effective tool for unseating Assad. Still, the first U.S. intelligence official said, “to this point, we have not seen that having an effect on the regime’s ability to prosecute the war.”

W(h)ither Syria?
Brian Stoddart, March 11, 2012

Syrians were focus of NYPD surveillance
Saturday, March 10, 2012
BY HANNAN ADELY

Muslims of Syrian descent were the targets of surveillance by the New York Police Department — to the surprise of members of that community who said their ancestors have been here for generations and they consider themselves “Americanized.”

The report was the latest in a series of revelations that the NYPD had done extensive surveillance on Muslims in New York and New Jersey, including mosques, student groups and businesses. The surveillance has sparked an outcry from Muslim groups and civil rights advocates who charge the department was monitoring people based on religion and without any link to criminal activity.

On Friday, The Associated Press reported the NYPD compiled a report that listed “locations of concern” including businesses owned by Syrian Muslims in New York City.

The NYPD report points out that the largest concentrations of Syrian Muslims were in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn and in Paterson. The U.S. Census Bureau counted 295 people of Syrian ancestry in Paterson in the 2005-09 American Community Survey.

Mazen Tinawi of Wayne said Syrians generally do not live together in neighborhoods as do other newer immigrants from Arabic-speaking countries and have fanned out across the region and the U.S.

“It’s surprising to me that we’re talking about this,” he said. “We don’t live in a community. We’re very Americanized.”

Tinawi said he felt the same loyalty to the U.S. as do other Americans.

“I will not allow anyone to harm my neighbor and my children or anybody,” he said.

The NYPD’s report notes that the majority of Syrians that police officers met were second or third generation.

A widening rift between the NYPD and federal law enforcement seemed to intensify this week when Michael Ward, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark division, criticized New York police spying during a press conference, saying it has compromised trusted sources in the Muslim community. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called reports of NYPD surveillance in New Jersey “disturbing” during a Senate subcommittee hearing.

New York’s mayor and police commissioner have steadfastly defended the secret surveillance on New Jersey college campuses and in Newark and Paterson as legal and constitutional.

Syrians immigrated in large numbers to the region in the late 1800s and early 1900s and many of them came to Paterson, drawn by its thriving silk industry, said Matthew Jaber Stiffler, a researcher at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

Museum exhibit

The museum is documenting the experiences of early Syrian immigrants in the region in an exhibit called “Little Syria” that is scheduled to open in New York this fall. The “Little Syria” refers to the thriving Syrian neighborhood in lower Manhattan from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century.

The earliest Syrian immigrants were mostly Christian. Muslims started to arrive in the 1920s and 1930s, Stiffler said.

Some Americans may have Syrian ancestry that’s just a quarter or an eighth of their total heritage, Stiffler said.

“It’s a diverse community and some have been here for decades and decades,” he said.

Tinawi noted that Syrians had not been tied to terrorist acts. “I think all Muslims feel the same,” he said. “We are good Americans and we respect the law.

The report about Syrians instructs police to focus only on Muslims and not on the large population of Syrian Jews. No mention is made of Christians, who make up a large number of Syrian-Americans.

Jamal Laham, a Syrian immigrant from Garfield, said it was unfair for the NYPD to single out only Muslims. “Why do you want to go after me just because I was born a Muslim?” he said.

Sami Moubayed, “If Annan were to walk out on the Syria Mission, who would care?” on the front page of www.mideastviews.com

Kathimerini (EN): Athens-based firm keeps heating fuel flowing to Syria
2012-03-12

By Jessica Donati & Emma Farge Oil traders arranging millions of dollars worth of fuel shipments to Syria sit in the office of a little-known firm in Greece. The fuel, liquid petroleum gas for cooking and domestic heating, is not covered by …

The first wine from Syria is about to be released onto the UK market
Monday 12 March 2012
by Adam Lechmere

Domaine Bargylus, near the town of Lattaquie, or Latakia, in the north-west of the country, is a 12ha vineyard planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.Bargylus is a part of an enterprise started in 2003 by the Lebanese-Syrian Saadé family, which bought land in Syria, and also in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, in order to make wine ‘which has everything to do with the land’.

Saadé businesses include marine and land transport, wine, tourism, property development and finance. Although the Romans made wine here 2000 years ago, this is now the only commercial winery in Syria, Sandro Saadé, who with his brother Karim directs the company, said. ‘It is the only recognised wine produced to international standards.’

Comments (250)


jad said:

Dr. Landis,
Moustafa Tlass denies this rumors directly on New TV

العماد مصطفى طلاس يكذب الشائعات على الهواء مباشرة
http://youtu.be/EuFgHZsNFq8

And Zoo from the previous post wrote this:

The Tlass brothers defection: Another hoax?
http://all4syria.info/web/archives/56487

لا صحة لأنباء انشقاق عائلة طلاس

بواسطة
editor2
– 2012/03/12نشر فى: أخبار محلية
كلنا شركاء – مراسل المحليات

تواردت صباح اليوم أنباء عن انشقاق ابناء العماد مصطفى طلاس عن السلطة السورية وسفرهم إلى بيروت ..
وقد تأكدت كلنا شركاء من وجود ” مناف طلاس ” بدمشق وأنه لم يغادر سوريا أما فراس طلاس فهو الآن في زيارة عمل خارج سوريا كعادته خلال الأشهر الأخيرة وقد أكد لمصدرنا أنه سيعود إلى سوريا قريباً ..
Also
http://syrie.blog.lemonde.fr/2012/03/12/du-bon-et-du-mauvais-usage-des-rumeurs-en-syrie

March 12th, 2012, 7:26 pm

 

jad said:

Meanwhile in the land of ‘freedom’, ‘progress’ and ‘mercy’ that many are praising, even the US, here are a lovely news:

Moufti ksa is calling for ‘supporting’ fsa a sa way of ‘jihad’, and to turn down and destroy each and every one of the churches in the gulf. [I guess they have 5 maybe less, not sure.]

مفتي السعودية: دعم “الجيش السوري الحر” جهاد في “سبيل الله” ويجب هدم كل الكنائس في الجزيرة العربية!

أكد مفتي عام المملكة العربية السعودية ورئيس هيئة كبار العلماء ورئيس اللجنة الدائمة للبحوث العلمية والإفتاء العلامة عبدالعزيز بن عبدالله آل الشيخ أنه إذا تيقن وصول الدعم بأمانة ودقة إلى الجيش السوري الحر فإنه يعد من الجهاد في سبيل الله، مشيرا إلى أن كل ما يقوي شوكة هؤلاء ويضعف شوكة النظام السوري الدموي مطلوب شرعا، وأوضح سماحته خلال لقائه وفدا من شباب جمعية إحياء التراث الإسلامي من الكويت أن واجبنا نحو إخواننا في سورية هو دعاء الله وصدق الالتجاء والاضطرار إليه مع بذل الجهد في إيصال المساعدات إليهم، لافتا إلى أن التاريخ المعاصر لم يعرف جريمة سفك دماء وانتهاك أعراض كالتي وقعت بسورية، مؤكدا أن الله بالمرصاد، وأن العدوان والإجرام لا بد له من نهاية. وأشاد آل الشيخ بجهود جمعية إحياء التراث الإسلامي في الدعوة إلى الخير والدفاع عن الشريعة والسير على مذهب السلف الصالح وطباعة كتب علماء السلف وتوزيعها، مطالبا الشباب بأن يكون دعاة إلى الخير طالبين للعلم الشرعي متأسين في ذلك كله بامام المتقين محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم في جلده وصبره. وفيما يلي تفاصيل اللقاء:

{…}
واجبنا نحو سورية

يسأل الكثير عن الوضع في سورية، وما الواجب علينا تقديمه للمسلمين هناك؟

والله يا إخواني الوضع خطير وسيئ، وإنما علينا الدعاء لله، والالتجاء إليه سبحانه، والاضطرار إليه قبل كل شيء، ثم بذل الجهد في إيصال المساعدة إليهم إن أمكن، كما يجب على الدول الإسلامية دعم إخواننا بسورية، ويقظتها لهذا الخطر الداهم الذي سفكت فيه الدماء وانتهكت فيه الأعراض، ولم يعرف في التاريخ الحاضر والمعاصر جريمة ارتكبت مثل ما ارتكب بسورية، ففيها من الفظائع والمخازي والقسوة والشدة وإهدار كرامة الإنسان ما الله به عليم، هي في الحقيقة بلاء ومصيبة عظيمة، نسأل الله أن يزيل الغمة وألا يعاقبنا، فهؤلاء قد أفسدوا وطغوا لكن الله بالمرصاد، قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إن الله ليملي للظالم حتى إذا أخذه لم يفلته»، قال: ثم قرأ (وكذلك أخذ ربك إذا أخذ القرى وهي ظالمة إن أخذه أليم شديد)، فالله جل وعلا يقول في الحديث القدسي (يا عبادي إني حرمت الظلم على نفسي وجعلته بينكم محرما فلا تظالموا)، ولاشك أن هذا العدوان وهذا الإجرام لابد له من نهاية.
{…}
[send money to the terrorists their, let the killing continue and intensify, So what!(we malo)]
دعم الجيش الحر

هل دفع المال للجيش السوري الحر مشروع ويعتبر نوعا من الجهاد في سبيل الله؟

٭ إذا علم أنه سيصل إلى هؤلاء (الجيش الحر) وصولا جيدا بأمانة ودقة فلاشك إن شاء الله أنه جهاد في سبيل الله، لأن ما قوى شوكة هؤلاء (الجيش الحر) وأضعف شوكة هؤلاء (النظام السوري) مطلوب شرعا.

[In Syria Halal and everybody should go ‘Jihad’ while in ksa it’s forbidden and haram shar’an]
الإضرابات والاعتصامات

هل تجوز الإضرابات والاعتصامات للضغط على الحكومة لزيادة الرواتب أو إزالة ظلم واقع؟

٭ والله هذه لا تحقق هدفا، الذي يحقق الهدف هو العمل الجيد الخالص، وأما مثل هذه الاعتصامات والإضرابات فإنما تزيد شرا فيما يظهر لي ولا تحقق هدفا.
{…}
مقاطعة الكفار اقتصادياً

ما حكم مقاطعة منتجات الكفار في ظل الدعوات المتجددة التي نسمعها في هذا الشأن؟

٭ المقاطع ينظر هل للمقاطعة أثر إيجابي، إن كان لها أثر إيجابي يحصل به المقصود يكون له حكمه، وإن كان أثرها يسيرا لا يؤثر فلنعلم أنه كانت هناك تجارة بين النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وبين النصارى والفرس، حيث كان يتجر باليمن والشام، ويتعامل مع غير المسلمين، فلو كنا على يقين أن هذا المنتج لو تركناه تغير الواقع جاز، لكني لا أظن ان هذا يحصل.

الكنائس وجزيرة العرب

خرجت عندنا دعوات من أعضاء البرلمان الكويتي إلى منع أو هدم الكنائس، فما صحة هذه الدعوات في ميزان الشريعة؟

٭ الكويت جزء من الجزيرة، والجزيرة العربية يجب أن تهدم كل ما فيها من الكنائس، لأن هذه الكنائس اقرارها اقرار لدين غير الإسلام، والنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أمرنا وقال «لا يجتمع في جزيرة العرب دينان»، فبناؤها في الأصل لا يصح، لأن هذه الجزيرة يجب أن تخلو من هذا كله.
{…}
http://www.tayyar.org/Tayyar/News/PoliticalNews/ar-LB/ksa-mufti-syria-churches-zek-906.htm

March 12th, 2012, 7:37 pm

 

ann said:

Russia rejects foreign interference in nations’ internal affairs – 2012-03-13

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/13/c_122825796.htm

“I believe it was a very useful meeting of the Security Council which was important at this juncture when the events in the Middle East and North Africa are evolving,” Lavrov said. “It is important for the international community from time-to-time to get together and see what we can do to make sure that these processes are going naturally on the basis of the will of the people of the countries of the region, without outside interference, without imposing any prejudged solutions to a situation in one country or another.”

“They discussed a range of issues, including the situation in Syria and the way forward with regard to international efforts under the leadership of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan,” said the readout. “The secretary-general and the foreign minister also exchanged views on the situations in Libya and Afghanistan.”

Speaking to reporters, Lavrov emphasized that in his conversations earlier in the day with regards to Syria there was a “growing understanding of the need not to talk to each other on the basis of take it or leave it but to bring the positions together and to be guided not by the desire of revenge or punishment,” but instead “by the basic interests of the Syrian people.”

“Lets try to be respectful to each other, respectful to each other’s position and let’s find common approaches, but approaches which would be formulated in very clear terms and which would exclude a repetition of the situation with the Libyan resolutions, both of which were grossly violated in spite of the fact that the first one was consensus, and the decisions which would not be ambiguous,” he said.

“I will remind you that it was on the Russian initiative that as early as August last year, the Security Council adopted a statement where all the principles of resolving this crisis were set forth, including the importance of supporting the Syrians themselves to encourage the Syrian-led inclusive dialogue, to exclude any outside interference and so on and so forth,” said the foreign minister.

“It’s about saving lives,” he said. “Ceasefire is an absolute must, and we sincerely hope that the mission headed by Kofi Annan would succeed in developing some ideas which would make it possible for us to agree on how to stop the bloodshed immediately, how to stop the fighting irrespective of the source of the violence.”

[…]

March 12th, 2012, 7:54 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Regardless if you are pro or anti regime, you have to wonder what is the regime’s strategy or end game,it is clear that none of the regime’s previous “victories” was long-lived or convincing enough to prevent future flare ups of violence and counter attacks.

12 months of a limpy duck walk did not take the regime anywhere while violence and resentment was walking,or running,much faster.

A civil war or a defacto partition seems more likely than ever, thanks to the collective failure of those who have the power to change things for the better but never did, for the rest of us, blogging and complaining was the only thing we could do, it is now a bloody and dangerous game that only big boys can play.

March 12th, 2012, 7:56 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

There is doubt about Tlass defection,as long as Manaf is in Syria.His wife and the brother wife are out,so only Manaf was left there,if he could get out,then We will hear defection.
Mustafa Tlass is from Rastan,which is revolting against the tyrant.
Mu6ee3 Ilias,a christian general defected.
There has to be a time when something will give in

March 12th, 2012, 8:05 pm

 

Ghufran said:

http://www.alquds.co.uk
نطالبكم بتسليح غزة ايضا
عبد الباري عطوان
ان يحتل خبر المجازر التي ترتكبها اسرائيل حاليا في قطاع غزة ذيل نشرات اخبار محطات التلفزة العربية، وبالاخص تلك المتبنية لثورات الربيع العربي من اجل استعادة الكرامة والحرية، فهذا امر يبعث على الغيظ، ويدفع الى التساؤل حول حقيقة ما يجري في منطقتنا، وما يجري طبخه لشعوبنا وقضايانا في الغرف المغلقة، فمن المفترض ان الدم العربي واحد، وسفكه محرم على كل الجلادين، وعلى رأسهم الاسرائيليون.

March 12th, 2012, 8:06 pm

 

Ghufran said:

البيانوني عن غليون
Many will say ” I told you so”

March 12th, 2012, 8:16 pm

 

ann said:

On Syria at UN, Libya Echoes in Speeches, Of Who Could Impartially Monitor & Transition.. in Paris?

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria4monitor031212.html

UNITED NATIONS, March 12 — As inside the UN Security Council on Monday morning speeches plodded on about the “Arab Spring,” mostly but not only Syria, the press was told that French foreign minister Alain Juppe would come to the stakeout.

Then it was said there would be a delay, that Juppe wanted to stay in the Council and hear China’s Permanent Representative Li Baodong.

Li Baodong in his speech echoed Russia in questioning how the Council’s Libya resolution was implemented, cautioning against “exceeding mandates.” (Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov had said that on Libya some had “misled the international community.”)

Inner City Press asked Juppe, then this UK counterpart William Hague, about Russia and China’s accusation. Juppe was dismissive. Video here.

Hague, asked more specifically about the second of the five point Lavrov announced from Cairo, “impartial monitoring mechanism,” said the UK would have not a problem with that: “As to any role for a monitoring mechanism or process, well that would obviously depend on the political process that is agreed… We’re not opposed in principle to such a thing.” Video here.

But what would it mean? On camera, Inner City Press asked Lavrov to explain it. The answer veered into the role of Kofi Annan. Video here.

But Annan does not have binoculars. And Inner City Press has been told, and it is fairly obvious, that some no one trust current Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to run an “impartial monitoring operations,” after he announced in December that NATO had strictly complied with Resolution 1973 and its protection of civilians mandate.

France dropped weapons into the Nafusa mountains; the BBC has reported on the UK’s training role in Libya. The recent UN Independent Commission of Inquiry report on Libya says NATO killed some 60 civilians, including 18 rescuers in Majer. How can this impartially be called “strict compliance”?

Beyond the continuing disagreement on whether a UN resolution should call for a “transition” — or “regime change” as some call it — there is also this question of who would monitor that even protection of civilians or humanitarian aid wouldn’t turn into an exercise in importing weapons, including by French like airdrops.

[…]

March 12th, 2012, 8:24 pm

 

Tara said:

Respond in kind?   Playing with phrases to cover up their humiliation? 

Syria to respond in kind to recalled envoys: diplomat
By Steve Gutterman | Reuters – 9 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/syria-respond-kind-recalled-envoys-diplomat-113325687.html

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Damascus is planning to respond in kind to countries that have recalled their ambassadors from Syria in response to President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on a year-long uprising, Syria’s envoy to Russia Riad Haddad said on Monday.

“There are certain European countries that have already recalled their ambassadors from Syria. Syria will respond in the same way,” Haddad, told journalists, speaking through an interpreter.
EU member states have been discussing proposals, promoted by France, to collectively downgrade diplomatic ties both in EU capitals and Damascus, but with no agreement so far.
Syria has begun pre-emptively withdrawing ambassadors from Europe because it fears EU members will expel them, Arab diplomats said on Saturday.
The United States, Britain, Switzerland, Canada and France have closed their embassies in Damascus.
… .

Haddad indicated that U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s discussions with Assad at the weekend had not included a proposal that Assad step down.
“There were no other proposals aside from those that were announced to the media,” Haddad said, when asked whether Annan had proposed Assad step down.
He said the discussion between Assad and Annan had echoed the ‘five principles’ for a Syrian settlement agreed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on Saturday.
… .

March 12th, 2012, 8:25 pm

 

Tara said:

Buffer zones, safe havens, and closing Syria’s airspace are what the Syrians want.    

Syria dissidents want arms as talks falters
UNITED NATIONS

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syria-dissidents-want-arms-as-talks-falters.aspx?pageID=238&nID=15882&NewsCatID=352

İPEK YEZDANİ – ISTANBUL
… .
The Syrian National Council has said the international community’s condemnation of the actions of Syria’s ruling regime will no longer satisfy the Syrian people and called on other Arab nations and the international community for an urgent military intervention in Syria in a press conference yesterday. 

“The council has decided to arm the Free Syrian Army in order to protect civilians in Syria. We demand the urgent and systematic arming of the army by the international community,” council executive committee member George Sabra told journalists at a press conference together with leader Burhan Ghalioun and a limited number of journalists in Istanbul yesterday. The two will meet with U.N. envoy to Syria Kofi Annan in Ankara today. 

Sabra said the Syrian regime has once again committed a massacre in Homs, where a number of women have been raped, and that the regime is trying to start a civil war in Syria. “We need practical decisions action against [Bashar] al-Assad’s gangs. We want the international community to create buffer zones and safe havens in order to protect Syrians whose lives are threatened. And we want Syrian airspace to be closed immediately,” Sabra said.
… . 

March 12th, 2012, 8:29 pm

 

Observer said:

[Edited]

Here is my comment and challenge once more on this new posting

o who did the massacre?
Regular army, security forces, uncontrolled paid elements, FSA fighters, foreign armed mercenaries, local armed terrorist gangs, criminal elements, Alqadea, CIA, Blackwater, Mossad, combination of the armed terrorist gangs?

It is high crimes and crimes against humanity; therefore every effort should be done to bring the perpetrators to justice.

If it is army, the commander in chief should be brought for questioning. If it is the security services the minister of interior, if it is on the other hand any of the anti-regime groups as described by SANA then the security services have failed in their duties.

We were shown families returning to BA after it was restored to law and order and therefore the security services have not been able to secure areas of Homs.

If they are not capable of protecting the people then they require all of the support to restore order right?

Therefore, they should ask for help, for not asking for help is actually abating and helping the criminals escape and do more of the same and therefore the commander in chief and the ministers of defense and the interior should be questioned and removed from their offices.

At least I thought that this is what the new constitution has stipulated.

So here we have it now; let appropriate forces enter and help restore order.

I suggest troops from Algeria, Brazil, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Jordan, Nepal, Indonesia, and I suggester monitors from HRW, Amnesty International, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Oxfam, ICRC, and a few others to help ensure that no abuse is taking place.

I challenge every one on this blog to present me with a counterargument or a different proposal or a genuine attempt at a solution to this particular massacre and previous and I hope not subsequent ones.

If the regime is fighting armed terrorist infiltrating foreign elements of whatever stripe color and denomination and it is incapable of protecting life and property then what is the problem in asking for help.

We would certainly ask for help and we in the US did receive help from the Cubans after the hurricane that destroyed New Orleans. What problem does this have.

So go ahead and let us a genuine response to this challenge.

One final note, keep the debate on Syria not AJ, Qatar, Russia, China, US soldiers raping fellow female recruits, OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson, or any other distraction that we keep getting bombarded with from A…..fill in the blank News Network, or J……..Just A…………..adoring…………….D………dude or the like.

March 12th, 2012, 8:32 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Mjabali

First: please finish the verse not say only part of it

second: FBI should watch every one ,

third: I really do not understand your point ,in quoting this verse,The purpose in it is to humilliate the enemy, Are you suggesting that this is the way we should treat Bashar?There was no injection for execution at that time,there was no bullets then either.Killing is killing the difference is would you torture them before they are killed or just kill them without torture.

the regime sent Shabbiha and committed this massacre, I wish you denounce the Assad Mafia for committing such crime, what did the children do to deserve such torture and murder, They burned some victims, should we not treat the Murderers the same way? The crime of this criminal mafia are numerous.

If you finish the verses you will understand how merciful and forgiving Islam is, Islam forbid killing Musslem even during war, Bashar has been killing Syrian for a year now, not once I read your comment to denounce Assad himself,for committing these crimes.

AS for respecting other people, do I need to remind you that you said on numerous occasions the word AJDAB, do you call this word polite? do you consider this word, which means very bad insult, do you not understand what you say, do you not understand that you insulted Islam on numerous occasions, or is it O.K. to you and we have no right to respond, this is the mentality of this Mafia ,Please respect others before you talk about people do not respect you.

March 12th, 2012, 8:49 pm

 
 

Ghufran said:

الملافظ سعد يا عبعال

March 12th, 2012, 8:58 pm

 

MM said:

Since it is confirmed Mustafa Tlass is in France, you can rest assured that he is not visiting…he is getting the Rifaat treatment.

March 12th, 2012, 9:01 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

It has been announced that after a talk between Clinton and Lavrove, Lavrove said,he has to go to Moscow for consultation,does this indicates something has changed?

March 12th, 2012, 9:10 pm

 

ann said:

Many Syria solutions but little agreement in out-of-sync UN – 13 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/syria-un-lavrov-annan-411/

From the start of the conflict Russia has shied away from accusing Assad of being the sole perpetrator of internal violence. On Monday, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that Assad’s regime is up against “combat units of the so-called Free Syrian Army and extremist groups, including Al- Qaeda, which have committed a string of bloody terrorist acts recently,”

Russia and China also fear that any UN resolution passed ostensibly to protect the rights of ordinary Syrians could pave the way for foreign-orchestrated regime change in the country. Lavrov accused the West of using the pretext of establishing a “no-fly zone” in a previous UN resolution to carry out “mass air strikes” on Libya last year. Referring to the impact of Libya on any future resolution, Lavrov stated that “Whatever the goals are, they cannot be achieved by misleading the international community and manipulating UN Security Council decisions,”

Cairo Solution

Sergey Lavrov met with the staunchly anti-Assad League of Arab States in Cairo over the weekend.

After a tense meeting, the sides emerged with a five-point short-term plan for Syria. Its main conditions were the violence must stop immediately, no foreign countries will intervene in the conflict, and a mission by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan must play a central role in resolving the stand-off.

The plan has been welcomed by China and on Monday Syria’s ambassador in Moscow also hailed the initiative.

With such backing Annan visited Syria over the weekend, but did not leave with concrete promises to stop the violence. Nevertheless, the special envoy said he was “optimistic of a resolution.”

‘NATO reluctant to get involved in Syria’

“I think NATO is very reluctant to get involved in Syria, not least because it will be a hugely difficult conflict, much more difficult than Libya,” he told RT “And, of course, the criticism that NATO has come under after the Libyan conflict has been pretty harsh”

[…]

March 12th, 2012, 9:14 pm

 

Ghufran said:

رسوم أطفال سوريا
Sponsored by the opposition
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/multimedia/2012/03/120312_syria_drawing.shtml

March 12th, 2012, 9:16 pm

 

ann said:

India warns against military intervention, arming of civilians in Middle East – 2012-03-13

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/13/c_122825578.htm

“The solutions of the problems in each country have to take into consideration the society’s particular circumstances and the genius of its people,” he said. “However, what is certain is that solution cannot include intervention through military force or arming of the civilian populations.”

“Such a course of action will only fuel further bloodshed and instability and create new marginalized groups,” he said. “This also risks breeding extremism and intolerance whose adverse consequences will be felt in the region and beyond.”

Puri urged political leaders of the concerned countries in West Asia and North Africa to resolve the problem through inclusive internal political processes that meet the aspirations of their people in an atmosphere free of violence and bloodshed, adding “The principles of national sovereignty, political independence and territorial unity and integrity must be respected. ”

“The international community should, including through the auspices of the United Nations, use diplomatic leverages and make available technical assistance in fields such as political, security and justice sector reforms, drafting of new constitution and legal framework, electoral institutions and conduct of elections, etc.,” he said.

“Actions based on selective or partial interpretations of a mandate of the United Nations must be avoided to ensure that long- term political reconciliation is achieved among various sections of society through peaceful inclusive political process,” Puri noted.

[…]

March 12th, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Hamas is now criticizing aljazeera.
This video is from RT:

March 12th, 2012, 9:37 pm

 

Syria no kandahar said:

Lebanon soon to drink the poison it has been pouring in syria’s mouth :

March 12th, 2012, 10:27 pm

 

Tara said:

Call it by its name:

….For me the most significant difference between a Syrian and an Egyptian or Tunisian is not the Arabic dialect they speak, but the level of fear in Syrian eyes.

I have observed that Syrians are the most reserved people of the Levant when talking about their domestic politics. They will not utter the names of the Holy Trinity (Hafez, Bashar, and Basil or Maher al-Assad) without the proper checks for security. 

This is a country where a political “criminal” can easily have his prison term extended for offending the holy trinity; mind you this person is in solitary confinement. The threats to the regime have always been high: kalam en nas and mukhabarat ensure that.

It was very difficult for me to believe in the power of civilians to organize protests. I watched several videos of men, women and children screaming for Bashar to leave. Personally, I had mixed feelings of disbelief and hope. I could not help but ask how all these reserved people organized themselves quickly. Then I looked at the map and began marking the locations where the first “uprisings” happened. 

I also had to ponder how these “peaceful protestors” could inflict deaths upon the Syrian authorities. Seeing the Hezbollah militia and Iranian snipers on roofs signaled the seriousness of the situation. These were not isolated events, but they were not country-wide uprisings either. If maps are encrypted love letters, the maps of the Syrian uprising gave cues to the beginning of a very frightening affair.
… .
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/call-it-by-its-name-syrian-civil-war-2011-20xx-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=15845&NewsCatID=396 

March 12th, 2012, 10:52 pm

 

zoo said:

Obama is also a problem
12/03/2012
By Tariq Alhomayed ( mouthpiece of KSA)
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=28813

The blame for the situation in Syria does not lie with Russia alone; one of the biggest problems is also the Obama administration, which has squandered a golden opportunity to get rid of a significant obstacle to security in the region – and by extension US national security, Bashar al-Assad. However, it is clear that Obama is not concerned with the security of the region – even though it impacts upon international security as a whole, especially with the chaos in Syria overlooking the Mediterranean – rather Obama is preoccupied with his re-election bid.

The US administration has directed as much blame, if not more, towards the Syrian opposition as it has towards al-Assad. What is worse, and indeed a major scandal, is that the Obama administration has said that there could be an al-Qaeda presence [among the opposition] in Syria, even though al-Qaeda ran wild in Iraq under the auspices of the al-Assad regime. When I say this is a scandal, this is because the American newspaper The Washington Post – quoting US intelligence agents – reported that the only evidence Washington has of an al-Qaeda presence in Syria is the style – yes the style – of the bombing that took place in Damascus, and nothing more!
(..)

March 12th, 2012, 10:53 pm

 

Tara said:

Dale Andersen

What was her name again? The girl that you liked…who lived in Syria some umpteen thousands years ago?

March 12th, 2012, 11:05 pm

 

jad said:

Alhamidiyeh, an old Homsi neighbourhood, after the armed terrorist militia moved their battle to it two weeks ago:
عن حي الحميدية بعد دخول المسلحين
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.192555040847449.26616.100268953409392&type=1

March 12th, 2012, 11:06 pm

 

zoo said:

Bahrain declared enemy of Internet freedom

Published Monday, March 12, 2012
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/bahrain-declared-enemy-internet-freedom
Bahrain has been declared an enemy of the Internet by a prominent campaign group in a report on Monday to mark World Day Against Cyber Censorship.

Reporters Without Borders condemned the Gulf state’s continued arbitrary arrests of online activists, while criticizing Saudi Arabia and Syria for continued online censorship.

Bahrain was one of only two countries to be called an “enemy” for the first time this year, the other being Belarus.

“Two countries, Bahrain and Belarus, have been moved from the “under surveillance” category to the “Enemies of the Internet” list,” the report said.
(…)

March 12th, 2012, 11:26 pm

 

mjabali said:

Majedkhaldoun:

You were asking about the method to kill Bashar al-Assad, and I responded to tell you what many Sunni Muslims are saying regarding that issue. I was reporting what the “Sunni Scholars” were saying regarding Bashar al-Assad, his religion and how the treatment should be.

When I mentioned the Haraba Rule I was just reporting again what I have seen so far in that discussion. The link I posted was from the website of the Muslim Brothers.

As for continuing with quotes from al-Ma’ida verse so you could argue that Islam gave other options to deal with prisoners instead of nailing them to a cross or cutting their arms and legs, I say what is the use. Would you care to explain instead of giving this half answer demanding me to continue with the verse.

As for taking sides in this mess we have in Syria: I say that all have blood on their hands and I am from day one for the peaceful, democratic, and non-violent party. Everything should be investigated so we reach the truth. It is very simple.

All of these killing we are witnessing in Syria should be investigated because so far I believe only neutral sources in this case. The ones reporting it has their own agenda and a history of violence so why should I believe them over any independent source?

I am for anyone who could end this endless circle of violence in Syria through peaceful measures. There are no winners and to blame is the wrong move in my opinion. I do not want to fall into that depressed emotional state that would bring the blame game to the table. I try to be a realist especially with the future of Syria on the line.

March 12th, 2012, 11:31 pm

 

Tara said:

Can’t wait for Majid Majidi’s new film: Muhammad..

Iran cancels ceremony for Oscar winner

12/03/2012
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A semiofficial Iranian news agency reports that a ceremony in honor of Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi has been canceled after failing to receive official permission.

The Monday report by Ilna says two Iranian cinema groups issued a statement saying “cultural custodians” did not allow the ceremony to be held.

The report says officials apparently did not issue a permit for the event. It did not elaborate.

Iranian officials have praised Farhadi whose movie, “A Separation,” won the Oscar for best foreign film last month.

But some conservatives were upset with the film’s themes: domestic turmoil, gender inequality and the desire by many Iranians to leave the country.

http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=7&id=28820

March 12th, 2012, 11:35 pm

 

ann said:

News Analysis: Outside prescription, interference not conducive to proper solution to Syrian crisis – 2012-03-13

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/13/c_122825829.htm

“It is important for the international community from time to time to get together and see what we can do to make sure that these processes are going naturally on the basis of the will of the people of the countries of the region, without outside interference, without imposing any prejudged solutions to a situation in one country or another,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters here Monday at the end of the high- level council gathering.

PROPER SOLUTION

The proper political solutions should include an inclusive, Syrian-led political process which must bring more gains than losses to the country and its people. To this end, the priority is to ensure that the political process begins and develops in a peaceful and democratic manner with the respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms of all the people in the country.

In this sense, the outside interference is quite different from good offices of the international community on the Syrian crisis. No pre-conditions should be attached to the inclusive political dialogue and political reform in Syria.

At the Security Council, Russia, China and India, among others, were speaking firmly against the foreign intervention in the internal affairs of Syria.

Proposals were tabled by the council members in their speeches, in addition to the ones presented to Syrian President Bashar al- Assad by the joint special envoy of the UN and Arab League for Syria, Kofi Annan, when he met with the Syrian president twice over the weekend.

But foreign interference and prescriptions from outside, which run counter to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter and the norms governing international relations, are not conducive to the political settlement of the Syrian crisis.

“China opposes armed external intervention or pushing for ‘ regime change’. Use or threat of sanctions will not be helpful to the proper settlement of the issue,” Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, said at the Security Council meeting.

In essence, the unrest in Syria, just like that in the West Asia and North Africa which began more than a year ago, has its roots in the desire of people to play a greater role in shaping their destiny, politically and economically.

“These aspirations will not be met through violence or armed struggle,” Hardeep Singh Puri, the Indian permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council. “Nor can a solution be reached through prescriptions from outside.”

[…]

March 13th, 2012, 12:06 am

 

jad said:

Mr. Mjabali
Here is an article you may like, it’s talking about what some ‘angels’ are writing about nonstop some of them even have a ready plans for how to torture, their theme is ‘let’s kill Bashar’ as the most ‘peaceful’ solution, but it seems that even if they succeed in their assassination plan, nothing will change, on the contrary it seems that they will lose even more:

خصوم الأسد يفكّرون في اغتياله

ابراهيم الأمين
التقييم القائم من جهات مختلفة لواقع الأزمة السورية ينطلق، هذه الأيام، من المعطيات القائمة على الأرض. والمشهد الداخلي سيظل محل تجاذب لفترة طويلة، حيث يصعب توقع تفاهمات وطنية سورية سريعة تعيد الاعتبار إلى الوحدة السياسية والهوية الوطنية الموحدة. أما المشهد الخارجي، فهو أكثر ارتباكاً في ظل احتدام المعركة بين محورين حول من يمسك بسوريا، أو من يكون الأكثر نفوذاً فيها.
في الجانب الداخلي، يروي القادمون من أرض الشام أن الانقسام السياسي على أشده. الكتلة المؤيدة للنظام متراصّة وباتت أكثر تعصّباً في موقفها السياسي الرافض لكل تحركات تقوم بها أي جهات معارضة. وهي ترى أن المعركة الآن قائمة مع مجموعات مسلحة عسكرياً وسياسياً وإعلامياً واقتصادياً، تريد النيل من سوريا وليس من النظام فقط. ويجد هؤلاء في الرئيس بشار الأسد رمزاً لا يريدون له التنازل عن أي شيء الآن. وترافق هذا التحلق تعبئة ذات أبعاد أقلوية وطائفية ومذهبية، رغم أن مشهد المدن الكبرى لا يعكس الأمر على وجه الدقة.
في المقابل، يرفع المعارضون الصوت عالياً، رافضين أي نوع من الحوار مع النظام. بل هم انتقلوا الآن إلى رفض التعامل مع مؤسسات النظام، وباتت صورة الدولة متماهية مع صورة النظام، فصاروا يبررون هجمات المسحلين على رجال الشرطة والمخافر، أو على المؤسسات العامة، أو توجيه ضربات إلى منشآت حيوية للدولة، كذلك العمل في سياق ضرب الليرة السورية. وصار هؤلاء يكثرون من الكلام الحادّ ضد أشخاص الدولة وضد طوائف ومذاهب، في سياق يوضح حاجة هؤلاء إلى إبقاء الاستنفار على أشدّه.
{…}
أما خارج سوريا، فالمراجعة الجارية لمناسبة مرور عام على اندلاع الأزمة تنطلق من الحسابات الرياضية، خصوصاً عند خصوم النظام الذين أظهروا إفراطاً في التفاؤل مردّه إلى نقص حاد في التقدير السياسي السليم، عندما توقّعوا سقوط النظام خلال أسابيع أو شهور قليلة. ولذلك، تبدو علامات الخيبة والإحباط ظاهرة الآن على وجوه وفي مواقف وتعليقات وسلوكيات هذه القوى وأشخاصها وقواها السياسية والدبلوماسية والإعلامية وحتى الأمنية. وهذا الإحباط مردّه ليس فقط إلى عدم قدرة المعارضة الداخلية على نقل سوريا من مكان إلى مكان، بل إلى عدم القدرة على ابتداع أفكار عملانية من شأنها تحقيق هدفهم بإسقاط النظام.
عملياً، يرى هؤلاء أن عسكرة الاحتجاجات المدنية في سوريا خلقت أزمة كبيرة للمعارضين عند الناس، وأن الذهاب نحو عمليات شبيهة بالتي حصلت في ليبيا أو حتى اليمن، لم تنتج سوى المزيد من التعب للناس، بينما لم تبرز علامات الانهيار على قوى النظام ورموزه.
{…}
كل ذلك يجعل خيارات خصوم النظام في سوريا تضيق أكثر فأكثر، وفي هذه الحالة، ليس من الضروري أن يعلن هؤلاء الاستسلام أو التراجع، بل تظهر حدّة التصرف أنهم يفكرون في حلول أخرى تحقق مرادهم. وأخطر من هو متداول الآن بين أطراف هذا المحور، هو ما تحذر منه جهات وعواصم ودول، والمتعلق بسعي الأطراف المعادية للنظام في سوريا إلى تحقيق ضربات كبيرة، إما من خلال العمل على إقناع ضباط كبار بالانقلاب على الحكم القائم هناك، أو إشعارهم بأنهم في دائرة الخطر الأكيد. وفي النقطة الأخيرة، يبدو أن المجانين من خصوم النظام في سوريا قد انتقلوا إلى التفكير في عمل مجنون، عنوانه التخلص من بشار الأسد شخصياً…
ترى هل يعتقد هؤلاء أن اغتيال الأسد سيعطيهم فرصة الإمساك بسوريا؟
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/45383

March 13th, 2012, 12:29 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Tara
were you talking about Theodora.

Kofi Anan is expecting answers to his suggestions, to assad,in 48 hour.We still do not know the suggestions contents.

Mjabali
I was asking you,your prefered way to execute Bashar, not the Islamic opinion.
BTW I missed one more way,
Electric shock

March 13th, 2012, 12:30 am

 

jad said:

مصر عايزة دكر !!

صباحك يا مصر ترشح بعض الاسماء غير المعروفة من مواطنين عاديين للرئاسة
http://youtu.be/kJQ1zxRgz3U?t=1m

Hmmm I saw something similar in the US too 🙂
Vermin Supreme: Presidential Election 2012 “Free Pony for All”
http://youtu.be/WnvNoQPubM8

March 13th, 2012, 12:52 am

 

Alan said:

WAR PROPAGANDA: Staged Media Reporting from Syria: Fabricating the News
by Patrick Henningsen
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=HEN20120312&articleId=29725

March 13th, 2012, 1:07 am

 

Alan said:

Congress calls for end to Russia-Pentagon defense contracts
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/category/topic/syria

March 13th, 2012, 1:17 am

 

Juergen said:

Tara

I remember one time i was eating ice cream at Bakdash in Souk al hamidiye. They have a wall with pictures of celebraties, many actors and some pics of the president and his family enjoying the best ice cream in Damascus.I pointed out to a buddy, look Asma likes the pistacio topping as well. My friend was utterly angry with me and told me later never say the name of the wife of the president so loud in public, i would get in trouble. I am very much interested in politics, but really in depth conversations about the regime and the Baath party i did that only with good friends. One time though i met an older men at the Tratoria cafe near Schaalan. He was from Canada but born and raised in Syria. He was a communist and fled the country when he was 30. He told me that because his mother is so sick he came back, with some assurances that the regime would not arrest him, he said, well those promises arent kept here, but i wanted to see my mother before she dies. One thing he told me was memorable for me, we talked about the lousy army guys one will always see, bad uniform, old rusty guns ect. He said, they want you to see that, they have the most modern equipment, but thats hidden and its used by the special forces.

Syria you are not alone, Video of Chicago based folks

March 13th, 2012, 2:02 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Syrians are smart.Even kids in Syria know now that Aljazera is bunch of liars.what really matter
Is Syrians inside Syria .
Every Syrian who watched Khaled Abu Salah lies
Have lost trust in what he was told was revolution .
You may disagree,that is ok,you are probably not in Syria:

March 13th, 2012, 2:32 am

 

jad said:

Dr. Landis et al
You may need to read this excellent article about the element of the SNC, their brief history and their political positions.
It also explains what’s the next step for the council, it’s worth reading to understand what the SNC is all about, the most awkward part of it is the hatred toward the NCB, it’s just second after the regime in the category of ‘hate’, my guess is that at the moment, nobody between the council’s members have a chance in front of Haytham Manna.

المجلس الوطني السوري مراجعة ومهمات وتوصيات
يواجه المجلس الوطني السوري، أكبر فصائل المعارضة السورية في الخارج، تحديات كثيرة، وخصوصاً بعدما تعرض قادته لانتقادات من معارضين كثر، بينهم أعضاء فيه، إضافة إلى مجموعات ميدانية داخل سوريا، حيث اتهم بأنه لم يقم بالدور المتناسب مع ما يجري على الارض، وهو ما دفع المجلس إلى مراجعة واقعه بعد نحو سنة على اندلاع الازمة السورية
ناصر شرارة
{…}
وتشير الوثيقة إلى طبيعة التركيبة السياسية داخل المجلس، وتحدد القوى الرئيسية على الشكل الآتي:
1ـــ الإسلاميون وتمثّلهم كتلتان:
الأولى تتمثل في التنظيم الشرعي للإخوان ومراقبه العام المهندس رياض الشقفة ونائبه محمد فاروق طيفور،
{…}
أما الكتلة الأخرى (مجموعة الـ74)، فتتألف من شخصيات غالبيتهم ينحدرون من أصول إخوانية، ويجمع بين معظمهم أنهم عملوا لفترة في حركة الإخوان المسلمين ثم هجروها. وتميّز هؤلاء بأنهم مارسوا نفوذاً قوياً داخل المجلس الوطني، وخاصة في بدايات إنشائه، نظراً إلى الاسباب الآتية:
{…}
2ـــ جماعة إعلان دمشق: وتظهر التطورات أنه ليس لها تأثير جدي، علماً بأن لهذه الجماعة قوة في التنسيقيات العاملة داخل سوريا، ويمثلها في المجلس سمير النشار.
{…}
3ـــ حزب الشعب الممثل في المجلس الوطني، ورئيسه جورج صبرا.
{…}
4ـــ الطائفة العلوية، يمثّلها توفيق دنيا، وهو عضو المكتب التنفيذي للمجلس الوطني،
{…}
5ـــ الحركة الكردية ويمثّلها في المجلس عبد الباسط سيدا.
{…}
6ـــ الحركة الآشورية السريانية، ويمثّلها عبد الأحد صطيفو عضو الأمانة العامة للائتلاف العلماني.
7ـــ هيثم المالح.
8ـــ برهان غليون.
الاصطفافات داخل المجلس
بحسب الوثيقة، فإنه بفعل تعاظم وتيرة الأحداث والمستجدات الداخلية والخارجية المتصلة بالحدث السوري، حصلت داخل المجلس نقاشات وعمليات فرز في المواقف من قضايا مهمة طرحتها التطورات. وقاد هذا الواقع إلى حصول عمليات اصطفاف جديدة داخل المجلس، وحتى داخل مركّبات كل قواه. وأدى هذا المخاض إلى بروز كتلتين:
{…}
الأولى، تضم شخصيات يسارية وقيادات من اليمين ومن الوسط ومن الليبراليين.
{…}
أما الكتلة الثانية فقد تألّفت يوم 26/2/2012 باسم «مجموعة العمل الوطني السوري»، ومن قادتها هيثم المالح وكمال اللبواني ووليد البني والمحامية كاترين التللي وفواز تللو وآخرين.
{…}

يبدو من مراجعة الوثائق الخاصة بالمجلس الوطني أنه يشهد منذ نهاية الشهر الماضي نقاشاً عميقاً يتركز حول سبل تفعيله، وتحديد مهمات نوعية له خلال الفترة المقبلة المنظورة، أكان داخل سوريا أم على الصعيد الدبلوماسي الذي بدأت تدور في نطاقه معركة لا تقل أهمية عن المعركة الداخلية. وتشير وثيقة داخلية تحت عنوان «مستقبل العمل» إلى «الاقتراحات الخاصة بتفعيل العمل الداخلي للمجلس» ومنها:
أولاً ـــ توسيع المكتب التنفيذي، وتأكيد صفته كأعلى هيئة قيادية.
ثانياً ـــ توسيع الأمانة العامة. وهنا تلحظ الوثيقة أنه جرى اتخاذ عدة خطوات لتفعيل المستوى التمثيلي للمجلس عن طريق إضافة مكوّنات أخرى جديدة من قوى المعارضة والحراك إليه.
ثالثاً ـــ توصي الوثيقة بأن على المجلس وضع «فيتو» على القبول بإضافة هيئة التنسيق إليه، أو أيّ شخصيات منها، سواء كانت تقيم في الخارج أو الداخل، أو حتى أي امتدادات لهذه الهيئة، وسواء كانت ظاهرة أو مستترة، وذلك بدعوى ما ثبت من أن هذه الهيئة وكل مناخها يصبّان في نهاية المطاف في خدمة النظام.
رابعاً ـــ وضع آلية لتنظيم عمل الجيش السوري الحر في إطار المجلس الوطني، بما يقود إلى جعله الذراع العسكرية للمجلس. لكن الوثيقة تشير بطريقة لافتة إلى أن الجيش الحر تعرض لاختراقات من قبل أجهزة الامن السورية، وفي كثير من الحالات جرى تطعيمه من قبل النظام بجنود وضباط فارين، هم في حقيقة الأمر مرسلون من الامن السوري لاختراقه. كذلك فإن الجيش الحر يعاني من عدم تجانس أفراده ميدانياً.
{…}

[Article 4 has Zibaleh’s signature allover it]
توصيات بمهمات مقبلة

بشأن المرحلة المقبلة، تشير الوثيقة إلى مجموعة من المقترحات بالنسبة إلى المرحلة المقبلة:
أولاً ـــ دعوة المواطنين السوريين إلى المقاطعة الاقتصادية للنظام ومنتجات القوى الداعمة له.
ثانياً ـــ إعلان عصيان مدني تدريجي.
ثالثاً ـــ تأسيس لجان تنسيقية، أو تطوير عمل التنسيقيات وتحويلها إلى هيئات يجري بناؤها وتأهليها لإدارة شؤون المدن والبلدات من دون الحاجة إلى التوجه لدوائر السلطة.
رابعاً ـــ اللجوء إلى طلب الحماية الدولية عن طريق مطالبة المجتمع الدولي بتنفيذ قانون التدخل الإنساني، خصوصاً أن الوثيقة ترى أن التفاصيل التي يتضمنها قانون التدخل الانساني ممتازة، وقراراته ملزمة، حتى لحلفاء النظام السوري، والمطالبة به من قبل المجلس يجنّبه الشقاق داخله بين أنصار التدخل العسكري الخارجي ورافضيه، ويحرم النظام من القول إن سوريا تتعرض لاستعمار غربي عسكري.
{…}
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/45398

March 13th, 2012, 2:39 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Qataris caught in north Lebanon trying to cross to Syria to import freedom and democracy:

[ Link added: توقيف مجموعة «قطرية» في البقاع حاولت العبور إلى سورية لاستهدافات عسكرية ]
أكد مصدر أمني لـ«البناء» أن أحد الأجهزة الأمنية تمكّن مساء أمس من توقيف سيارة يقودها شاب سلفي من عرسال، كانت تحاول عبور الحدود إلى داخل سورية،
وفي داخلها أربعة مسلحين كانوا قدموا من دولة قطر عبر مطار بيروت الدولي في وقت سابق وأقاموا في فندق كواليتي إن في الشمال.

وكان في حوزة المجموعة المسلحة هواتف خلوية متطورة تبيّن بعد التدقيق فيها، أنها تحتوي على شرائح مفصّلة لصناعة العبوات الناسفة، وخرائط لمواقع عسكرية سورية.
From Syria now

March 13th, 2012, 2:46 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

[ Link added. http://aawsat.com/details.asp?section=1&issueno=12159&article=667863&feature=
SNK, please include a reference URL with your news excerpts.]

Yamen has turned into heaven to Alqaeda
You see when you change the طربوش things don’t get always better:
صعّد مسلحو «القاعدة» في اليمن من عملياتهم أمس، وانتشروا في أحد شوارع عدن، كبرى مدن الجنوب، ورفعوا أعلامهم السوداء على مدن بمديرية البريقة النفطية. وكشفت السلطات الأمنية عن «مخطط إرهابي»، لاستهداف منشآت حيوية من قبل «القاعدة» في عدة مدن يمنية.

وأكد شهود عيان انتشار عشرات المسلحين من «أنصار الشريعة» المرتبطة بتنظيم القاعدة، في منطقتي فقم وسواحل عمران، غرب مديرية البريقة بمحافظة عدن الجنوبية. وقال مواطنون لـ«الشرق الأوسط»: «إن مسلحي (القاعدة)، كتبوا شعاراتهم ورفعوا أعلامهم السوداء على عدد من المنازل والمقرات الحكومية هناك». وتعتبر مديرية البريقة من أهم المواقع الحيوية لليمن، حيث توجد فيها أقدم وأكبر مصفاة نفط.
From Alshark Alawsat

March 13th, 2012, 3:14 am

 

Alan said:

35.
توتة توتة خلصت الحدوتة! و الحكواتي من ب غ لين !

March 13th, 2012, 3:36 am

 

Mina said:

Is the next Salafi battlefield Brussels? And why not London, we may ask?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17346927

March 13th, 2012, 4:29 am

 

Mina said:

With Tlass in Paris (finally there will be a democratic opposition to Rif’at, or are they already good friends?) and Bashar in Moscow, and Mu’allem in charge, we’ll get back to the UN mandate on Palestine. Let’s hope they don’t mess it up like last time (and they beware of the perfidy of Albion).
Good old Syria anesthetized, the next steps towards Hezbollah and Iraq will unfold, no doubt.

March 13th, 2012, 4:35 am

 

Juergen said:

Mina

you better also consider right wing islamophobe weirdos who have also a record of such crimes. Think of Breivik.

March 13th, 2012, 4:49 am

 

Syrialover said:

Terrific festival on Syria coming up in London – worth reading the details of the films etc

http://www.reelfestivals.org/reel-syria/

REEL SYRIA 2012(UK) A 4 day festival of Syrian films, music and theatre, London & Edinburgh, March 15-18 2012

At a time when Syria appears engulfed in violent conflict, the festival will present a nuanced portrait of the country and its people. On the anniversary of the uprising, Mosaic Initiative for Syria will also raise funds for Syrian displaced and affected by the current violent crackdown.

March 13th, 2012, 5:44 am

 

Juergen said:

Syrialover

id love to see this one: A Flood in Baath Country hmm may be a trip to London these days is worthwhile. Is Omar Amiralay a known filmmaker?
Ah, just found a copy of this film in youtube, cant share youtube vids from my work though, but if one google and type the name A Flood in Baath Country, you will find the film.

March 13th, 2012, 5:57 am

 

Mina said:

[Link added]

From the Guardian live blog today
9.56am: The Syrian opposition leader Burham Ghalioun, appears to have changed tack yet again on the issue of an armed opposition to the Syrian government.

He has emerged from a meeting with the UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan in the Turkish capital Ankara sounding far less hawkish than in recent days.

He said foreign governments have promised weapons but the aim now is political and diplomatic solution, according to Reuters. (…)

March 13th, 2012, 6:30 am

 

Syrialover said:

Alert, this could be happening near you.

Documentaries by Syrian documentary makers – ranging from 1970s to current – will be shown in cities across the US, Europe, Middle East, Canada and Brazil on SYRIAN GLOBAL DAY March 15.

The Documentaries – http://www.dox-box.org/index.php?page=list&dir=items&ex=2&lang=2&year=2012&cid=11&

Cities – http://www.dox-box.org/index.php?page=fshow&dir=docs&ex=2&lang=2&ser=1&cat=405

Spread the word.

March 13th, 2012, 6:41 am

 

Mina said:

Another surrealistic step at the AL
http://www.egyptindependent.com/node/709241
“Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby on Monday expressed his regret for the comments of Mahmoud Ghazlan, spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, against the United Arab Emirates, which he called “hostile.”

Ghazlan criticized the Dubai Police for intending to ask Interpol to arrest the head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who was also a member of the Brotherhood, for condemning Emirati authorities for deporting Syrian nationals demonstrating against Bashar al-Assad in violation of UAE laws.

Ghazlan said the UAE would not dare arrest Qaradawi, and threatened to move the whole world to defend him.” (…)

March 13th, 2012, 6:53 am

 
 

Alan said:

46 –
9.56am: The Syrian opposition leader Burham Ghalioun, appears to have changed tack yet again on the issue of an armed opposition to the Syrian government.
تخيلوا أنه سيمثل كل السوريين 🙂 !

March 13th, 2012, 6:58 am

 

Tara said:

… giving “a voice to the voiceless”. He said: “You risked yourself so many times over for those to whom no-one else would show mercy.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/mar/12/marie-colvin-funeral-mourners-farewell
… .
Her brother Michael wiped his eyes and hugged their mother Rosemarie as she gazed at bouquets of lilies and white carnations laid next to Colvin’s simple coffin.
… .
Katrina Heron, Colvin’s best friend from college at Yale, delivered the eulogy at St Dominic’s Roman Catholic church, near her childhood home and school. Heron recalled her strong sense of humour and love of a party. “She would probably say this was a bit sedate for her tastes. I think she’d take one look around and say ‘Can we move this party? I know a great little place down the road’,” Heron joked, to affectionate laughter among the mourners.
… .

March 13th, 2012, 7:13 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

873
I read your comment, I can not believe what you say, I am sure you are aware that we have terrorists in the world, some in the USA who want to cause terrorism in this country, FBI has every right to be vigilant and careful, they must watch for those who plan terrorism in the USA, and yet you call this
“Post-Assad syndicate wont function too much differently than the current fascists, with such being the replacement ideaology”

Are you equating Assad mafia killing syrian,their own people, equating them to FBI who are defending their people, I am surprised, what kind of thinking is this?defending the people is plausible,killing your people is condemnable.

March 13th, 2012, 7:56 am

 

Juergen said:

DER SPIEGEL Interview with prime minister Hamadi Jebali, 62, who is secretary general of the Islamist Nahda party, Tunisian Prime Minister since December 2011. Under the dictatorship of Ben Ali, he was a political prisoner for 15 years in prison.

translated
“An intervention in Syria would be madness”

SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, about a year ago here in Tunisia, began the Arab spring. After rejoicing over the downfall of several dictators, the situation looks bleak. Libya threatens to drift apart, an halt of the democratization process in Egypt, in Syria, the Assad regime continues to hold firmly power. Do you consider the failure of a historic turnaround?

Jebali: You draw a black picture of the situation. The revolution in the Arab world was a historic moment and is not over yet, we are surrounded by a difficult process. The most important thing is that the revolution in North Africa will never be turned back.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Many believe that the revolutions just werent deep enough. Instead of dissolving the old power structures completely only the heads of the despots were deposed.

Jebali: Such thinking assumes that revolutions must always proceed in the same pattern – more or less like the French or the October Revolution with much bloodshed, revenge and endless thousands of deaths. I do not share this view. The world has moved on. We have today other dictators and the people who rebel against them are different, too.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The Tunisian people can currently be seen very often in protest, almost every day people go because of high unemployment and poor economic situation on the road. They demonstrate against your policies, not against a despot.

Jebali, I would be a fool if I would deny the tremendous economic problems in our country, they were so in addition to political repression and economic mismanagement, the main motives of the revolution. We will take many years to reduce the inequality between different regions and different social classes. Until then, everyone has the right to make us responsible for our failures.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In theory it sounds right, but eventually you will also be dropped off by the angry masses.

Jebali: Any government would have these problems. What is new is that every citizen can express his feelings on the streets. At the political level we have achieved a great deal: free elections, pluralism, democracy. Now we need to use these political successes to solve the economic problems.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: A key factor for the Tunisian economy is tourism. Their main customers, vacationers from Europe avoid the country still, because it is not safe enough.

Jebali: This image is distorted from Tunisia. If you look in the Tunisian press, you have that feeling that we live in the midst of a civil war. Of course I will not deny that there are daily demonstrations, sit-ins, protests at the universities. But do you feel that your life is in danger here?

SPIEGEL ONLINE: We tend to feel that you are at risk. Your seat of government is guarded like a fortress, all ministries have always barbed wire around them. For a tourist, not reassuring.

Jebali: The police presence is there and it is needed yet. But we even have in the revolutionary year not a single incident of tourists registered. I assure all tourists from Germany, that Tunisia is safer today than before.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: During this week you will visit Berlin and meet with the German government. What do you want from Berlin?

Jebali: Germany has already helped us and we are very grateful for their support. Right at the beginning the federal government has helped us with a debt relief . I will travel to Berlin, Germany in order to emphasize the importance of the democratic process in Tunisia and that you should help us.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In Germany we see, however, the Islamization of society and a growing climate of intolerance in Tunisia.

Jebali: I can understand that the victory of the Islamists in the elections for the outside observer must have been a shock at first, but what happened after that? We the Nahda Party sought a moderate way, we have formed a broad coalition. I am sure that the Tunisian society can come together through this moderate way of tolerance. This will also have positives impacts on the development in neighboring countries.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: There is a growing Salafist movement in Tunisia. Last year, extremists attacked a cinema, and only in the last week Salafists hoisted at the Manouba University the flag with the Islamic creed. Secular Tunisians have the impression that your government is not doing enough to prevent such acts or to condemn.

Jebali: There are two ways to respond to extremists. The first way is the one Ben Ali has been taken as a dictator. He has put all the opposition in jail. This is not a solution. The right solution for us is more freedom, more democracy. The Salafists want us to put them all in jail or kill them so that they become martyrs. They live on such doctrines and visions.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Lets talk about foreign policy. The biggest concern now is Syria. Recently heree in Tunis a conference of so-called “Friends of Syria” took place. Why has Tunisia been in the forefront of the coalition against the Assad regime?

Jebali, we can not and will not tolerate a regime that systematically murdered his people. That is why we have this conference here focused in Tunisia, a country which was little more than a year also not free.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: A lot more than declarations didnt come out at the conference.

Jebali: It was important to find a principled position against this dictatorial, murderous regime. This begs another question: How can you drive out this regime from power?

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Ask for a military intervention?

Jebali: In fact there is such intervention that already. Anyone who supplies the Assad regime continues with weapons helps in killing the Syrian people. Therefore, we have tried in Tunisia, to find a way for a counter-intervention, without that more blood must be shed.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So yet again, only harsh words rather than deeds against the Assad regime.

Jebali: Currently, a military intervention would be pure madness from the outside, they would pour more oil on the fire and give Bashar al-Assad the pretext that he is urgently looking for, proceed to make its military more sharply. We must carefully consider how to help the Syrian people, yet without inflicting more damage and make the situation even more complicated.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: But in your neighboring country Libya, Gaddafi would probably be never overthrown without the intervention of NATO.

Jebali: But in Libya, NATO would also almost been a victim of a tragic miscalculation, the success was not a matter of course and was achieved only by the best of luck. It was the right decision, but you can not use this simple pattern on Syria.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Your President Marzouki has brought into play, that Assad might go into exile in Tunisia.

Jebali: I understand the purpose of this invitation. If Assad leaves Syria, more bloodshed could be avoided. I respect our president, but I do not want to see Bashar al-Assad with us. And if I should meet him, I’ll put him on trial and hand him over to the Syrian people.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In recent months, Saudi Arabia has become one of your most important partners. At the same time the royal family protects the deposed dictator Ben Ali allows him to escape from draconian prison sentences which he would face in your country.

Jebali: The subject of Ben Ali will not be solved within a short time. It would have been possible, that Ben Ali went into exile in Germany. If we had stopped in this case our relations with Germany? Probably not. The situation is similar in the case of Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, we want to see Ben Ali, one day in a Tunisian prison.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Do you really believe that Ben Ali will spend even one day in a Tunisian prison?

Jebali: This is not a question of faith, but it depends only on himself, we would be good, fair, and treat only by the rule of law – all those things he has denied us for years. But he has not the courage, to face the Tunisians and see in their eyes .

The talk with Matthias Gebauer and Christoph Sydow was led in the Office of the Prime Minister in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,820701,00.html

March 13th, 2012, 8:04 am

 

Jasmine said:

“The Saadé family is releasing the first Syrian wine in the UK market”
Very smart move.
Antoine,one of their ancestors tried to export ideology but he was killed because of that.
Bonne Chance.

March 13th, 2012, 8:07 am

 
 

873 said:

#53
Maybe you should join these folks?

“Saudi cleric Dr. Awad al-Qarni is claiming that killing Syrian President Bashar Assad would be a more noble deed than killing an Israeli person.Saudi newspaper Sabah quoted al-Qarni as saying that Assad deserves to die for heresy, referring to him as “Basharon,” in a jab alluding to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.”

To advocate “just killing” either one is sickening.

As to the “terror threat”? Is that like the Illluminati’s contrived “Communist threat”? Before that the western-funded “Nazi threat”?
Grow up, or the post-Assad replacement will be little short of a repeat of Assad- but with the only tdifference that really matters: the new one will be Western-Compliant not defiant.

PS: FBI is already watching this forum so rest safe. Their Mukhabarat capabilities stretch the globe, not just Syria

March 13th, 2012, 8:30 am

 

DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

This is an excellent post. It confirms my earlier comments regarding the brutality and nastiness of Bashar’s murderous regime. By posting this post on Tlass, Syria Comment is confirming what I said earlier:
al-Assad’s regime is a murderous regime, and people can’t abandon it without being shot, killed, tortured, raped, and imprisoned. Syria Comment is mentioning that former Def. Min. Son is basically held hostage is Syria in order to blackmail and scare his father from speaking out against the regime!!!!!!!1
This is the reason why in dictatorial Syria, people DEFECT; they don’t resign! Either one is with Bashar, or they DIE!!!!!!!!!!

I am bewildered how educated Americans like ANN (I disagree with my brother Syrialover that Ann didn’t have a high school diploma, she has lot more than that) still defend and apologize on behalf of this thuggish murderous regime!!
Free Syria, Free Palestine!

March 13th, 2012, 8:40 am

 

Dawoud said:

Dear Moderator:

Please note that I will be returning back to my early posting name, just “Dawoud,” without “HOLY HOMS.” As you may recall, I started using “holy homs” in order to commemorate the heroism of Baba Amr’s residents, who were/are facing one the nastiest and most brutish violent repressions. However, it I don’t want to give any misleading interpretation for using “holy.”

Sincerely,

Dawoud

March 13th, 2012, 8:49 am

 

Mawal95 said:

As mentioned by MINA #56 the parliamentary elections will be held on 7 May 2012. Syria’s new Constitution says at article 156: “Elections for the first People’s Assembly under this Constitution shall be held within 90 days of the date the Constitution is approved through referendum.” So far I’ve been hearing very little chatter or campaigning for this election. Can anybody point me to any electioneering activity I’ve missed? Do you know of any political parties or individual candidates who you think have a realistic chance of getting elected to seats in the parliament, other than the Baath Party’s candidates?

As of 15 Feb 2012 there are six recently fully registered new political parties in Syria. They are: The Solidarity Party, The Syrian Democratic Party, Al-Ansar Party, The Democratic Vanguard Party, The Democratic Arab Solidarity Party, and The National Development Party. http://sana.sy/eng/337/2012/02/15/400778.htm . One other party is in an advanced stage of the registration process, namely The Democratic National Solidarity Party. http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/01/22/395862.htm . Two other prospective parties whose registration applications are in an earlier stage of process are the Syria Homeland Party and the Syria Free Party. http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2012/01/29/397327.htm . The Baath Party will be competing against those new parties plus parties that existed before 2011, plus independent individuals. It looks to me that most people in Syria don’t know the mere names of any of those newly registered parties, never mind what their political platform is. That’s based on my seeing so very little chatter about any of them on the Internet. The population is exhibiting very little interest in alternative political parties at the moment. If this continues, the Baath Party could potentially be the only political party in the next parliament.

March 13th, 2012, 8:54 am

 

DAWOUD said:

al-Quds Alarabi’s op-ed on the horrifying Homs’ massacre, on of Bashar al-Assad’s many massacres:

http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=data\201233-12\12qpt999.htm&arc=data\201233-12\12qpt999.htm

مجزرتا حمص
رأي القدس
2012-03-1

الصور التي بثتها القنوات الفضائية لضحايا مجزرتي كرم الزيتون والعدوية في منطقة حمص تقشعر لها الابدان من شدة الوحشية والدموية التي استخدمت في تنفيذهما.
ما لا يقل عن 26 طفلا و21 امرأة تعرضوا للذبح بالسكاكين من قبل مجموعات من الشبيحة دون اي رحمة او شفقة، وسط تقارير عن تعرض بعض الفتيات للاغتصاب قبل اعدامهن.
اتهام وزير الاعلام السوري السيد عدنان محمود ‘مجموعات ارهابية’ بارتكاب هذه المجازر وغيرها غير مقنع على الاطلاق، لانها ارتكبت في تزامن مع دخول قوات النظام الى هذين الحيين وسيطرتها على معظم احياء مدينة حمص.
قوات الامن السورية ليست معروفة بتعاطيها الانساني مع معارضي النظام حتى قبل اندلاع فعاليات الانتفاضة المطالبة بالتغيير الديمقراطي، ولذلك لا نستغرب ان تكون اكثر وحشية بعدها في ظل غياب اي رقابة مستقلة لما يجري على الارض حاليا.
لا ننكر مطلقا ان هناك جماعات مسلحة، وان هناك جيشا سوريا حرا بات يتلقى اسلحة من دول عربية واجنبية للدفاع عن المدنيين العزل، مثلما نقر بان هذه الجماعات وهذا الجيش يقوم بعمليات عسكرية ضد القوات السورية، ولكن هذا لا يعفي السلطات السورية من المسؤولية عن هذه المجازر التي تقع في مناطق باتت تحت سيطرتها، ومفتوحة على مصراعيها امام مجموعات من الشبيحة والميليشيات المعروفة بممارساتها الدموية التي تستهدف العزل والابرياء.
اننا نطالب السلطات السورية باثبات اتهاماتها للجماعات المسلحة بتنفيذ هذه المجازر من خلال السماح للجنة دولية مستقلة بزيارة المنطقة والتحقيق لمعرفة الجهة التي ارتكبت هذا العمل الوحشي في حق الابرياء.
عمليات القتل التي تستهدف ابناء الشعب السوري يجب ان تتوقف ايا كان مصدرها، في اطار تطبيق كامل للنقاط الخمس التي جرى الاتفاق عليها اثناء اللقاء بين وزراء الخارجية العرب ونظيرهم الروسي سيرجي لافروف في القاهرة يوم السبت الماضي.
الحكومة الروسية التي تساند النظام السوري مطالبة بتحمل مسؤولياتها كاملة من خلال التدخل لحماية المدنيين ايضا. حتى لا تؤدي هذه المساندة، وهذا الدعم، وهذه الحماية الدبلوماسية في الامم المتحدة، الى تشجيع النظام وقواته الامنية على ارتكاب مجازر اخرى.
الشعب السوري، وفي مناطق تشتعل فيها الاحتجاجات المناهضة للنظام خاصة، يواجه حلولا امنية دموية، ويعيش ظروفا معيشية صعبة حيث تنعدم الاحتياجات الضرورية من ماء وكهرباء وطعام ودواء وامن، وفوق كل هذا وذاك اعمال قتل انتقامية، وهذا وضع لا يجب ان يستمر تحت اي ظرف من الظروف.
[…]

March 13th, 2012, 8:56 am

 

Juergen said:

873

advocating the tyranns death is as old as our civilization. I believe the course of history would have been different if our world would have been spared by some tyranns. If Georg Elser succeeded in his bomb attack to kill Adolf Hitler on Novermber 8th 1939 about 50 million lives would have been saved. The outcome would have been surely Streets and schools named after this brutal man, but at least he could have been stopped before he started to terrorize globally. I see good moral grounds for such an decision.

March 13th, 2012, 8:57 am

 

873 said:

The not so Holy Heroes of Homs:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9122749/Thirteen-French-officers-captured-by-Syrian-Army.html

… more of those “conspiracy theories” gone wild I see.

March 13th, 2012, 8:57 am

 

Mawal95 said:

I asked this before and got no answer: I want to know how the “workers and peasants” thingy operates in the parliamentary elections and in parliament. I’m disappointed that nobody on this board can answer this. I take it as a prime simple example of the overall lousy quality on this board.

March 13th, 2012, 8:59 am

 

Mina said:

Jürgen,
So for you the clean hands drone-tyrans have no crimes on their conciousness? And what about the weapons manufacturers and sellers? Can you name a non-tyrant?

March 13th, 2012, 9:11 am

 

Tara said:

George Sabra for SNC president. Mr. Ghalioun needs to step down.

March 13th, 2012, 9:21 am

 

Syria no kandahar said:

Why not Abdul Baset Saroot for a president ?
Watch his best hit:
We are all jihadist,we will cleanse Alawites
كلنا جهاديين بدنا نبيد العلويين
His friend Fadwa sulieman has probably been cleansed:

March 13th, 2012, 9:31 am

 

Juergen said:

Mina

so again the schoolyard morality, the others do the same why cant i? I am far from advocating what we see as an US policy towards the ME. Surely those in power to send drones and send kill squards are at least elected and can be taken out of office. I think that countries with no rule of law and despotes ruling can not be subject to comparisons with democratic elected and controlled governments. A drone which killed Saddam Hussein may would have saved the lives of more than a million Iraqis, but still i am convinced that this world is better off without Saddam, was it worth the price of the many civilians who died, surely not. The good thing about democratic countries and a media which is alert is that nothing can be kept totally secret. Remember Abu Ghraib, without investigative journalists, the Bush administration would have downplayed the events.

Mina, not the weapon itself kill, its ideologies and policies.

March 13th, 2012, 9:33 am

 

Tara said:

Fabricated voice.

I will take Saroot for a president. He is cute and noble, and he never “cleansed” children. Bashar did.

March 13th, 2012, 9:48 am

 

Alan said:

Damascus blasts Qatar, Saudi Arabia for ‘supporting terrorists’
The Syrian government has accused a number of countries, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, of supporting militant groups in Syria. The states which are supporting “armed terrorist formations with money and weapons are allies of the terrorists fighting the Syrian people and bear full responsibility for the bloodshed,” Minister of Information Adnan Mahmoud said, as cited by Sana news agency. The ministry says that armed groups’ attacks are intended to destabilize the situation further and “attract the attention of the international community,” RIA Novosti reports.
======================================================
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/365083.html
Lavrov concerned that weapons may fall into hands of Al Qaeda
MOSCOW, March 13 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed concern that weapons may fall into hands of Al Qaeda.
“By the way, weapons flow to the opposition for the Free Syrian Army or other such groups through the territory of nighbouring countries and these are not only small arms, but also more serious things. But let’s not forget that if the reports about presence of Al Qaeda in Syria, and this is most probably so, correspond to reality, then weapons may fall into the hands of this terrorist organization,” he said.
Lavrov recalled that in compliance with the UN Security Council resolutions all member-states of the organization should ban not only any supplies to, but also any contacts with Al Qaeda at all.
The diplomat called for “concentrating efforts to develop a monitoring mechanism as a practical instrument for launching a ceasefire regime.”

March 13th, 2012, 9:52 am

 

873 said:

62. Juergen said:
873
“advocating the tyranns death is as old as our civilization.”

This statement can be made about every action people take. So what will be new about the post-tyrant regimes across the arab world’s “spring”? Change of tyrants.
The western corporations have already drawn lots for who gets what in post-Assad Syria. CLue: nothing more is slated to go to ‘the people’ after- than before- Assad.
Anyone see asharql awsat on the Libya carve up? looks like west is bringing back the grand nephew of King Idriss and carving up the country with the eastern oil area its own province.
Maybe Syria will get the Hashemites back. Is that why King Abdullah has been so quiet??

March 13th, 2012, 9:54 am

 

annie said:

http://anniebannie.net/2012/03/13/15-mars-1er-anniversaire-du-debut-de-la-revolution-syrienne/

Brussels : Amnesty organizes demo to commemorate anniversary of the start of the Syrian Revolution

Au 1er anniversaire du début des révoltes en Syrie, Amnesty fera du bruit en soutien aux victimes de la répression syrienne

Le 15 mars prochain, cela fera un an, jour pour jour, qu’ont débuté les révoltes en Syrie. A cette occasion, les militants d’Amnesty International se rassembleront devant l’Ambassade syrienne à Bruxelles, afin d’exprimer leur soutien aux victimes de la répression, mais aussi de mettre en lumière les recommandations de l’organisation.

Symbolisant les milliers de victimes syriennes, un bandage géant signé par de nombreuses personnes sera affiché face à l’ambassade, accompagné du retentissement de sirènes. Les directeurs respectifs des sections francophone et flamande d’Amnesty International Belgique prendront également la parole. Sophie Aujean, spécialiste de la Syrie au sein de l’organisation, sera aussi présente.

Outre son soutien aux victimes, au 1er anniversaire de la répression sanglante que connaît la Syrie, Amnesty International porte différents messages. D’une part, l’organisation demande à la communauté internationale d’imposer un embargo sur les armes à destination de la Syrie, de geler les avoirs à l’extérieur du président Bachar el-Assad et des autres principaux responsables du régime, mais aussi de déférer la situation syrienne devant la Cour pénale internationale.

D’autre part, Amnesty International exhorte les autorités syriennes à mettre fin aux arrestations arbitraires, à la détention au secret de prisonniers d’opinion – la dissidence pacifique doit être autorisée –, à l’usage excessif de la force contre des zones résidentielles, et à l’utilisation systématique de la torture ou d’autres mauvais traitements. L’organisation publie d’ailleurs, ce 14 mars, un rapport intitulé « I wanted to die » : Syria’s torture survivors speak out, qui rend compte de 31 méthodes de torture ou de mauvais traitements décrites par des témoins ou des victimes elles-mêmes. Pour la réalisation d’un tel rapport, Amnesty International a interrogé des dizaines de Syriens ayant fui leur pays pour la Jordanie. Enfin, Amnesty International demande que les organisations humanitaires puissent entrer en Syrie, immédiatement et sans entrave.

Où ? Face à l’ambassade de Syrie Quand ? Le jeudi 15 mars de 11h à 12h

Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 3

1050 Bruxelles

March 13th, 2012, 9:59 am

 

Juergen said:

873

true democracy for once that would be new to Syria. Not this Bashar version of democracy light what we see now.

March 13th, 2012, 10:00 am

 

Mina said:

“Surely those in power to send drones and send kill squards are at least elected and can be taken out of office.”
In the Gulf?? In Halliburton??
Come on, Jürgen, you have double standards.
If you allow your rebels to be supported by tyrants, do not come and cry wolf.
What about Libya? A democratic success?

March 13th, 2012, 10:10 am

 

873 said:

75
Well you wont get it operating with some of kinds of things we see advocated here; spying on dissent, killing at will… If some of these posters get their way, it’ll be police state all over again.

Why some are very cynical about the youtube revolution? Paul Conroy is MI6? The photo ops of him laughing, arm in arm with Libyan rebels is very unprofessional, to put it discreetly.

http://tunisianquestfortruth.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/samples-of-media-distortion-of-facts-about-syria-1-fake-pictures/

March 13th, 2012, 10:11 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Tara did voice analysis in 5 min and found out that the voice in the clip I posted for the terrorist
Saroot was fabricated by France news agency!!
Tara wants a president calling for jihad and ethnic
Cleansing .
By the way regarding the new MB slipper you recommended :George Sabra(or the new MB
Tarboosh ),did you ever read:
ولا تجعلوا من الكافرين عليكم أوليا
He is an ex-socialist,so even by Christians criteria
He is kafer,let say :double Kafer,Christian and Socialist.why don’t MB get a real wolf as Tarboush
Like Mohamad Abdallah ,Shafka,Taifur(not the boxer they just killed)…I gues their Tarabeesh are
Ugly and rodent.
You see when you wear deshdasha and a tie,you don’t look good.MB is Deshdasha and any tie you
Wear with it is going to look ugly.
You don’t have to respond,discussion over.

March 13th, 2012, 10:33 am

 

Alan said:

Teacher of Democracy !

German President Wulff quits over corruption claims
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPL6CBA14EQ

The year is 2011, how corrupt is Germany?
http://www.hellenesonline.com/go/2011/01/the-year-is-2011-how-corrupt-is-germany/

http://blog.transparency.org/2011/05/16/in-the-fight-against-corruption-germany-falls-behind/

Germany’s Ferrostaal Suspected of Organizing Bribes for Other Firms
http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,686513,00.html

Germany drops slightly on corruption perceptions index
http://www.dw-world.com/dw/article/0,,6152946,00.html

Greece’s rampant corruption is one of the reasons why the country’s economy is in such a mess. German companies have taken advantage of the system for years in order to secure lucrative deals.
How German Companies Bribed Their Way to Greek Deals
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,693973,00.html

The Total Collapse
http://www.thetotalcollapse.com/german-arms-exporters-book-record-sales/
German Arms Exporters Book Record Sales
by THETOTALCOLLAPSE.COM on DECEMBER 8, 2011
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German arms dealers logged record foreign sales in 2010, according to an annual government report. The opposition has urged more limits for weapons exports.

German arms manufacturers exported weapons worth 2.1 billion euros ($ 2.8 billion) in 2010 – a record turnover in export statistics and a significant increase from 2009. On an international scale, Germany ranked third after the US and Russia last year.

According to the German government, more than half of the revenue was due to the export of three warships to NATO partners: Portugal bought German submarines and parts for warships worth more than 800 million euros; Greece, too, purchased a German submarine.

Warships are at the top of armament manufacturers’ export lists – as are handguns, ammunition, military electronics and track vehicles, including the Leopard 2 combat tank, produced by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. Last year, Leopard 2 tanks were sold to Chile, Turkey and Singapor, among other countries. German government plans to sell hundreds of Leopard 2 vehicles to Saudi Arabia triggered a wave of criticism during the summer, with opposition politicians branding the tank deal as the wrong signal to the democracy movement in the Arab world.

The German government must agree to every single weapons export. The government must adhere to specific guidelines: Arms exports are only permitted to countries that respect human rights and are not involved in armed conflict. Every year the government declines requests for weapons exports. In 2010, rejections included exports to Belarus and Yemen.

Controversial export plans

Critics say exports to Saudi Arabia should also be rejected because Riyadh helped the government in neighboring Bahrain forcefully put down an uprising. Apart from in its annual weapons export report, the German government has remained silent on the issue. Where transparency is concerned, Berlin lags far behind many of its neighbors.

In 2010, German firms sold handguns, ammunition and military communication equipment to Saudi Arabia. The country ranks 10th among the 20 most important recipients of German arms exports.

This is something that outrages Jan van Aken, a Left party parliamentarian.

“Especially disgusting is the unimpeded sale of arms to states which disrespect human rights in the worst way,” Aken said. “Every euro that is earned from war is one euro too many.”

Weapons are also sold to developing countries – more in 2010 than in the previous year.

“The exception has become the rule,” criticized Green party parliamentarian Katja Keul. She said it sets a particularly bad example when Germany sells weapons to both Pakistan and India, who have fought three wars against each other.

“Detente looks different than that,” she said.

March 13th, 2012, 10:45 am

 

Tara said:

Ya kandi

I once was that close to marry a Copt. So I very well can take a Christian for a president….provided that I like him.

The 5 sec voice analysis I gave you, is the same analysis I have been getting from pro regime for the last one year.

I am still freind with him. We talk on the phone but my husband has no interest in meeting him…in case you want to know

Tutu..

March 13th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

zoo said:

Syria army reportedly takes north rebel stronghold of Idlib
By BASSEM MROUE | Associated Press – 39 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/syria-army-reportedly-takes-north-rebel-stronghold-140752971.html

BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian army recaptured the northern rebel stronghold of Idlib near the Turkish border, a major base that military defectors had held for months, a pro-government newspaper and an activist group reported Tuesday. An international rights group, meanwhile, said the regime was mining the border with Turkey.
Also Tuesday, President Bashar Assad set nationwide parliamentary elections for May 7. The vote was initially to take place in March but was postponed after last month’s referendum on the country’s new constitution that allowed new political parties to run.

In the past, the National Progressive Front, which includes Assad’s ruling Baath party and 11 other closely associated groups, had dominated elections and the 250-member legislature.

However, it’s unclear how an election can take place as a deadly spiral of violence continues to shake Syria.
(..)

March 13th, 2012, 10:53 am

 

zoo said:

Annan meets SNC and Ghaliun blackmail for a ‘political solution’ with the threat of accepting weapons from ‘foreign governements’

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-soldiers-reported-killed-ambush-092306124.html

Following meetings with Assad at the weekend in Damascus, former U.N. chief Annan held talks in Ankara with the Syrian National Council (SNC) – a fractious assortment of Assad opponents whose leadership lives abroad.

“I am expecting to hear from the Syrian authorities today, since I left some concrete proposals for them to consider,” Annan told a subsequent news conference.

“Once I receive their answer we will know how to react.”

Annan has not disclosed what his proposals entailed, but a diplomatic source said the U.N. envoy had told Assad he wanted an immediate cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access to the conflict zones and political dialogue.

SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun said the aim remained to secure a political and diplomatic solution, otherwise foreign governments would deliver on promises to supply weapons to rebel forces.

Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Qatar have called for arms to be sent to help in the fight Assad, who is a member of the minority Alawite sect and is allied to Shi’ite Iran.

March 13th, 2012, 10:58 am

 

zoo said:

Why Turkey Hasn’t Intervened in Syria
Soner Cagaptay
March 13, 2012 | 12:00 am
http://www.tnr.com/article/world/101629/turkey-intervening-syria

Turkey’s boldest response to the crisis in Syria came last week, when Prime Minister Erdogan called for the establishment of humanitarian aid corridors to help civilians there. But those hoping that Ankara’s aggressive rhetoric will soon be matched by equally assertive action will be sorely disappointed. If Turkey has one priority these days, it’s maintaining its soft power and popularity within the Middle East—and any sort of military intervention involving Turkish boots on the ground in Syria would directly undermine that.

A recent survey by TESEV, an Istanbul-based think tank that measures perceptions of Turkey in the Middle East, encapsulates Ankara’s dilemma in Syria. According to the poll, Turkey is the Middle East’s favorite country: A whopping 78 percent of the people across the region say they like Turkey more than any other country. Iran, Ankara’s only political and military competitor in the region, gets 45 percent, while the United States receives a mere 33 percent.
(..)

March 13th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

DAWOUD said:

http://www.aljazeera.net/news/pages/533e4265-45f0-4057-9ca2-dc744ce3b020?GoogleStatID=1

مجزرة بإدلب والوطني يدعم الجيش الحر

قال ناشطون سوريون إن قوات الأمن ارتكبت “مجزرة جديدة” اليوم بعدما أعدمت أربعين شخصا في إدلب، وتأتي هذه الإعدامات بعد مجزرة قال ناشطون إن قوات الأمن والشبيحة ارتكبتها في حمص فجر أمس وراح ضحيتها 52 شخصا معظمهم نساء وأطفال.

ونقل مراسل الجزيرة أحمد زيدان عن ناشطين سوريين أن أربعين شخصا أعدموا بجوار جامع بلال في مدينة إدلب، بعدما تجمعوا للتعرف على جثث جرى إعدامها في وقت سابق.

وأوضح ناشطون أن قوات الأمن قتلت سبعة أشخاص كانوا يحاولون الفرار إلى بلدة بنش بإدلب لكن الأمن كمن لهم وقتلهم، وحين جاء سكان الحي للتعرف على الجثث عاجلهم الأمن والشبيحة بوابل من الرصاص مما أدى إلى مقتل أربعين شخصا على الأقل.

بدورها ذكرت الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية أن قتلى سقطوا اليوم بالقصف العنيف الذي استهدف الحي الشمالي في إدلب، حيث تجدد القصف العنيف على معظم أحيائها لليوم الرابع على التوالي.

وتحدث ناشطون عن فرض حظر للتجوال في المدينة وتعرض قرية البارة بجبل الزاوية لقصف عنيف من المدفعية الثقيلة، وقد جرت اشتباكات بين الجيش الحر والجيش الحكومي.

وأوضح المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان أن مجموعة منشقة استهدفت آليات عسكرية ثقيلة بمدينة خان شيخون بإدلب عند مفرق بلدة التماتعة مما أدى لإعطاب آليتين والاستيلاء على أخرى.

بدورها وثقت الشبكة السورية لحقوق الإنسان ثمانية قتلى في حمص بينهم سيدة، كما سقط قتيلان بحلب.

مسلحون هاجموا حاجزا للجيش بإدلب وقتلوا عشرة جنود على الأقل (الجزيرة)
مقتل جنود

وأضافت الشبكة أن حي جب الجندلي في حمص يتعرض لقصف عنيف مما أدى إلى مقتل ما لا يقل عن خمسة أشخاص وجرح آخرين.

وفي بلدة القورية في دير الزور شن الأمن حملة اعتقالات مست عشرات الناشطين وسط إطلاق الرصاص عشوائيا وإصابه بعض المواطنين.

وفي اللاذقية تحدث ناشطون عن حملات مداهمة واعتقالات لأهالي سلمى ودورين، وترافق هذا مع وصول العديد من سيارات الأمن والشبيحة إلى المنطقة.

كما شهدت مدينة تلبيسة بريف حمص سقوط 14 جريحا بينهم امرأة وحالتان خطرتان إثر قصف للجيش الحكومي بشكل عشوائي على المنازل.

[…]

March 13th, 2012, 11:16 am

 

Alan said:

http://basik.ru/images/bull_2009/short.jpg
The USA and Great Britain will achieve discharge of Asada from the power in Syria
http://www.itar-tass.com/c1/365253.html
Washington, on March, 13th. / a correspondent of ITAR-TASS Ivan Lebedev/. The United States and Great Britain will continue the help of the Syrian opposition and discharge from the power of the president of Syria Bashara Asada will achieve. Washington is told About it a post “in joint article of US president Barack Obama and the British prime minister David Cameron, published today in the newspaper”.

March 13th, 2012, 11:16 am

 

Dawoud said:

Dear brother JAD # 81

If ANN and the pro-Dictator folks stop pasting so many paragraphs, I will do the same thing! I don’t see you complaining when Ann posts so many contents from RT, Press TV, Xinh-whatever, etc.!
We have to be consistent, not hypocritical!

Please Moderator say something about this!

March 13th, 2012, 11:26 am

 

Juergen said:

Alan,

good you point out something important. In my country no one gets by with corruption, not even the president lost his job for that, even though is not evident yet that he really was corrupt, the idea that he could be was enough for him to loose his job. my country is as corrupt as others, i dont think we are better than others, just some countries are treating the issue differently. An syrian friend here in Berlin needed an paper from the local municipical office, i helped him. he was astonished that the clerk did not ask for an tip to do the work. He told me, in Syria you will get nothing done if you dont pay them. At least on this level i havent heard of such in my country.

Arms are part of our live, unfortunately.I would be the first who would ban all weapons on earth if i could. We have a law in Germany which forbids the open sale of arms. Limitations are placed and parlamental control groups decide if a country gets arms or not. In the case of Saudi Arabia.The tanks were not sold or delivered yet, the company who produces them just followed the law and asked the government if Saudi wants such arms would we then sell them. Merkel tried to keep this demand secret, but the opposition and the media got wind of it, and the debate was quite emotional. The government knows now that most Germans oppose such a deal to an truly undemocratic absolutistic monarchy.

By the way, i havent heard of any self limiting law to sell arms in countries like China and Russia.

March 13th, 2012, 11:29 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

[ SNK, please include links in your excerpts, and do not make personal attacks against other commentators.]

Moderator
You ate my last post.can you tell me why?
Freedom of expression in Syria is better than SC.
Go ahead eat this post also.
You can’t be a fair moderator and biased toward certain religion .
SC freedom of expression is below a level I can
Accept.i am joining Norman and exiting .
Good luck every one.

March 13th, 2012, 11:41 am

 

DAWOUD said:

[ Dawoud, I deleted the squabble over named commentators and their habits of excerpting]

Where are my comments, Mr. Moderator?

March 13th, 2012, 11:41 am

 

irritated said:

#81 Juergen

If in Syria a clerk gets a small tip, in ‘democratic ‘ countries, it is the boss who gets the large one.
Most businessmen in ‘democratic’ countries call that a “commission”. When they are caught, it is called a ‘bribe’

Scandals involving millions of dollars are very common in ‘democratic’ countries, but the small clerk gets nothing.
When they steal, they steal big.

March 13th, 2012, 11:49 am

 

jad said:

Dear SNK
He is eating every second comment I write too :), not a big deal, he can delete them but he can’t stop us from writing, please don’t leave.
You and Norman give up so easily, how can you win any debate if you don’t speak your opinion?
Besides, look at the bright side, he left the comment that actually showing the reality of the person who wrote it untouched for any future debate since those comments are on forever and they are usually very helpful in case you want to use them as evidence. It’s all good my friend.
Don’t let anybody to take away your voice, if you let them do that they win.

March 13th, 2012, 12:04 pm

 

jad said:

SNK
Check out this, even fsa is saying (Long Live Syria ‘Alasad’) 😉

إبتسامة من أبطال الجيش الحر اخطاء وعثرات ولكن انشقاق
http://youtu.be/NqUHnjUJduo

March 13th, 2012, 12:12 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Jad,

“He is eating every second comment I write too”

Well it is lunch time, maybe the MOD is hungry.

March 13th, 2012, 12:16 pm

 

mjabali said:

Mr. Syria No Kandahar:

I love saying and writing your name. It is full of the struggle not to let Syria slip into the dark forces.

Syria that you love and represent is at danger. So, please do not leave because of censorship and please keep your voice loud and hard as it is.

March 13th, 2012, 12:17 pm

 

jad said:

Mawal
“I want to know how the “workers and peasants” thingy operates in the parliamentary elections and in parliament”
During the ‘one party’ rule’s era, the Baath as you may know put forward lists including 50% for ‘workers and peasants’ representatives so as a result of the election you will have 50% of the MP represents these categories.
Today they have quota for each Provence, please check this link:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/417374_324334004282593_180056782043650_845164_977653582_n.jpg

Regards

March 13th, 2012, 12:18 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Moderator
What kind of attack you are talking about? Is attacking MB personal to you?
It sounds like it.
Jad
This fight is taking so much time that I don’t have.I am sure that Syria will end up
Like Yemen ,lybia,iiraq,Egypt and Kandahar .The worst thing that Syrians have
Lost is love to each other and unity.wishing you and every Syrian the best.

March 13th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Son of Damascus,
Funny!
To be fair, every second comment of mine is either a complain or a silly reply to another silly question 🙂
I think that they have some useful/funny information but I accept the judgement as long as if it’s for the benefit of us all.
However, I’m not going to stop writing them.

March 13th, 2012, 12:24 pm

 

jad said:

SNK
Is spending 1 hour a day for Syria too much for you?
Just ignore any comment you don’t like and write what ever you want, if he wrongly deletes it write it again for all of us to read.
6anesh ya zalmeh, we don’t have time for this things at the moment, our VOICES are the ones that counts the most and if anybody succeed in shutting us up we don’t deserve a country called Syria.
So salli 3alra7man go away for some time, have a cocktail at Ramez then come back fresh and funny as you always are.

March 13th, 2012, 12:32 pm

 

873 said:

Does this appear to be an objective journalist or an embedded intelligence operative?

http://www.voltairenet.org/a173025

March 13th, 2012, 12:36 pm

 

jad said:

Mawal
Here is the link of the decree of the parliament election on May 7th 2012 in details:

الرئيس الأسد يصدر مرسوماً بتحديد الاثنين 7-5-2012 موعداً لانتخاب أعضاء مجلس الشعب
أصدر السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد اليوم المرسوم رقم 113 للعام 2012 القاضي بتحديد يوم الاثنين الموافق لـ 7-5-2012 م موعداً لانتخاب أعضاء مجلس الشعب للدور التشريعي الأول لعام 2012.
http://www.sana.sy/ara/2/2012/03/13/405879.htm

March 13th, 2012, 12:39 pm

 

jad said:

More about the fabrications of the ‘fsa’, it seems that many in those armed militias are not from the Syrian army at all which fits Rosen’s earlier findings and which make them an easy target to any terrorists group to take them over and use them as we see lately:

فضيحة انشقاقات الجيش بالدلائل والحرب الاعلامية
http://youtu.be/DLpxU0OHvQQ

“ارهابيون يقدمون أنفسهم على أنهم من “الفرقة 18″ المدرعة ويظهرون هويات لضباط شرطة
الارهابي الذي قدم نفسه” الملازم الأول أنس حيمود” ، والارهابي الآخر الذي قدم نفسه باسم “الملازم عمر حسن العلي” شخصان ارهابيان ومنتحلا صفة . ولدينا دليل قاطع على ذلك .
فقد عثرنا على فيديو يقدمان فيه نفسيهما على أنهما من “الفرقة 18 ـ اللواء 120 م /ك” ، إلا أنهما يظهران بطاقتين عليهما ترويسة في الأعلى تشيران إلى أنهما صادرتان عن وزارة الداخلية
(يعني ضباط شرطة!! هذا بافتراض صحة الهويتين ، علما بأن الهويتين أيضا مزورتان . فهويات ضباط الشرطة شبيهة تقريبا بهويات ضباط الجيش من حيث تقنية التصنيع من البلاستيك المقوى الحساس للضوء،
أي الصورة من أصل البطاقة ، وليس عليها ختم)!!!!؟؟؟
كما ان
الملازم أول أنس حيمود” كان ظهر في 7 شباط / فبراير الماضي في شريط لـ” كتيبة الفاروق” التي يسيطر عليها عناصر
“القاعدة” والوهابيون الآخرون على أنه “ضابط أسرته كتيبة الفاروق خلال إغارتها على أحد الحواجز العسكرية في حمص”!!
وفي الفيديو الاول يشكل سرية من ” المنشقين” في الفيديو الثاني “أسير” ، ، ويستخدم هوية ضابط شرطة في الوقت الذي يقدم نفسه على أنه ضابط من اللواء 120 مشاة في الفرقة المدرعة 18 !!!؟
كيف أصبح “ضابط أسير” لدى “كتيبة الفاروق” ضابط شرطة .. وضابطا في الفرقة 18 المدرعة ، واللواء 120 في الفرقة المذكورة / مشاة ميكانيكية معا !!؟ حتى إبليس نفسه لا يعرف
ما هو تفسير ذلك ؟ الأمر بسيط : هو أن تسعة أعشار “الضباط ” المنشقين المزعومين هم مجرمو حق عام و / أو مسلحون إسلاميون ينتحلون صفة ضباط . هذ من جهة ، ومن جهة أخرى ،
فإن أجهزة السلطة ضبطت خلال إحدى مداهماتها في حمص الشهر الماضي وكرا لهؤلاء مليئا بالبطاقات العسكرية وبطاقات الشرطة المزورة ، و أدوات تزوير ليس البطاقات فقط ، بل وحتى جوازات السفر!”
{…}

March 13th, 2012, 12:51 pm

 

jad said:

Alqaeda? Terrorists? in Syria? Where? We don’t see any!!!

Iraqi Sunni tribal sheikh admits sending men to fight against Bashar al-Assad in Syria
Travelling with a tribal leader last year by back roads over the desert border with Iraq, a young Syrian revolutionary was ushered into the presence of a man with flowing robes.

He was asked to explain the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad. “We want freedom and democracy, but they started killing us,” he told the man. “I am going to be a leader of the revolution. Our tribe is oppressed, and we don’t have our rights, and we have to revolt.”
His host, the sheikh and titular head of a group of linked tribes straddling the Syria-Iraq border, thought hard and then pronounced: “We will revolt with you.”
In the months since, the sheikh, who agreed to be interviewed by The Daily Telegraph on condition of anonymity, says he has sent hundreds of men and tens of thousands of dollars worth of arms and other aid over the border. Half a dozen of his men have paid with their lives, and are buried where they fell.
The effects of their sacrifice appear limited so far. The Syrian regime already has authority over the eastern provinces bordering with Iraq. Mr Assad appeared to have resisted the entreaties of Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, who completed a two-day peace mission yesterday. The Syrian president can still count on the support of Russia and China at the United Nations Security Council. But still the tribesmen make the journey. On the day we met, the sheikh said he had sent an ammunition shipment to the border.
Stories began circulating early in the uprising of “foreign fighters” heading for the Syrian revolution. It was claimed that the Sunni “badlands” of western Iraq — a haven for al-Qaeda and other insurgent groups during the Iraq war — were repaying the help offered to them by jihadi fighters against the Americans. The claims were backed by Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, who has refused to support the Syrian uprising, fearing his Shia-dominated government will come under threat from a Sunni takeover of its neighbour. James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, has also cited evidence of al-Qaeda activity in Syria.
{…}
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9137115/Iraqi-Sunni-tribal-sheikh-admits-sending-men-to-fight-against-Bashar-al-Assad-in-Syria.html

March 13th, 2012, 1:03 pm

 

Juergen said:

Irritated

the difference in Syria is then that everyone is expecting the tip, from the clerk who will issue your new passport only after you pay him, the nurses in the hospital will you give you your medicine if you pay them, and at the end its Maher and Rami who expect their small tip from companies. I know we have corruption, until recently companies could get tax reduction for bribes in other countries, but dear the climate has changed here too, now the media and the politicians are cautious, and yet it happens still, but it usually comes out sooner or later. I think to resign to the fact and reduce it to lets say a custom, ist a bit too easy. Greece economy suffered severely and i dont want to know how much it eats off from the GDP of Syria.

March 13th, 2012, 1:16 pm

 

jad said:

As expected Haytham Almaleh ‘defected’ from the snc, I guess that he will take the 20 members he lately formed a new ‘tribal’ with out of the ‘snc’.
Are they going to do the official defection video clip on youtube? I wonder what’s the name of their new ‘battalion’ will be.

March 13th, 2012, 1:23 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo

Pursuant to previous discussion.  Sorry they are not showing body parts.  It is for security reasons.

“Covered faces
Women have also sought to challenge critics of the uprising, who have said it is dominated by conservative Islamists and is sectarian in nature.

Activists say this is not because the women are conservative Sunni Muslims, but because they need to hide their faces out of fear of arrest.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17341613

13 March 2012 
Women play central role in Syria uprising
By Lina Sinjab
BBC News, Damascus

Women have been involved in the uprising in Syria since its very beginning of
Syria Crisis

Read more…

(…}

March 13th, 2012, 1:27 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Heard an interview on BBC Radio 5 last night and one question put to the guest (former syrian ambassador the UN) was about the defection of the deputy oil minister. The guest went on to describe what happens to those who resign or defect and gave an example.

Skip to 16 min 40 sec.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01d5x56

Available for 6 more days.

March 13th, 2012, 1:35 pm

 

Mina said:

Annan and Ghalyun try to reach an agreement, but Wissam Tarif’s masters stay hawkish:
his latest tweet says
wissamtarif: It’s like Annan is giving Al Assad the key to drive the bulldozer from city to city #Syria

For someone who has actually helped start a civil war, he sounds far from any remorse. No diplomatic skills whatsoever.

March 13th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

Thank you JAD for replying to my question about the “workers and small farmers”. But it does not answer the question, which is how the “workers and small farmers” provision operates.

For instance, suppose somebody is a high-ranking member of the Baath Party in a certain district, and he is judged by his peers within the party to be well qualified to be the party’s candidate in the election in that district, and they want to have him competing for a parliamentary seat under the “workers and small farmers” allocation. What attributes does the candidate have to have to qualify as a “worker or small farmer”?

March 13th, 2012, 1:45 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

The people behind this wine to be introduced in the UK market. Does anyone know whether they are hardcore regime loyalists? If they are does the opposition plan to create awareness and encourage a boycott of the product in the UK?

March 13th, 2012, 1:46 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

SyriaLover,

Thank you for sharing the link of the documentaries, I am looking forward to it.

March 13th, 2012, 1:48 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

The following info was already posted by JAD in Arabic at #1 but here it is English:

Lieutenant General Mustafa Tlass did not wait for Lebanon’s Al Jadeed TV to finish its news bulletin, he called the channel right away, interrupting their news with a phone call from Paris, during which he said “I am in France for medical reasons, issues to do with a heart battery, and I will be in my beloved Syria next Saturday. Everything your channel had broadcast is untrue.” Gen. Tlass also said that his relationship with Gen. Assef Shawkat is excellent. And regarding his son’s Firas, Gen. Tlass said that Mr. Firas Tlass is a businessman, and his work takes him to different countries every day.

March 13th, 2012, 1:49 pm

 

jad said:

Mina
Please check this article, from the reaction of Ghalyoun and our ‘beloved’ ‘twitter thug’ reaction:

مصادر في نيويورك لـ”عربي برس “: هذا ما قاله كوفي عن لقائه بالرئيس السوري بشار الأسد
كتب عمر زيادة – عربي برس – نيويورك
{…}
أولا
طلب عنان وقف العنف من الجانبين وتحديد وقت لإطلاق النار فرد الرئيس السوري ” بأن المدنيين السوريين في بعض المدن والمناطق السورية يتعرضون لإرهاب جماعات مسلحة ممولة من الخارج وتسلحها دول وجهات يعرف كوفي عنان عناوينها ، وأن قوات حفظ النظام السورية تخوض عملية جراحية دقيقة لتنظيف القرى والمدن السورية من جيوب الإرهابيين الذين ينبغي على أنان أن يحدد موقفه منهم بشكل مسبق لأن سورية لن تقبل بأي شكل من الاشكال أن تتفاوض مع الأرهابين وهؤلاء لا مكان لهم في أي تسوية سياسية تنتج عن الحوار الوطني بين فئات الشعب السوري كافة والسلطة . كما طلب الرئيس السوري من ضيفه كوفي عنان أن يحدد موقفه من الدول التي تدعو إلى تسليح مجموعات إرهابية متطرفة ليس لديها أجندة سياسية إلا الإرهاب ونشر الفوضى وقتل السوريين.
ثانيا
طلب عنان فتح ممرات إنسانية لإيصال المساعدات الإنسانية للمواطنين السوريين في بعض المناطق التي توجد فيها إضطرابات فرد الرئيس السوري قائلا بحسب تقرير كوفي عنان الذي سربته لعربي برس مصادر روسية :
” الحكومة السورية مسؤولة عن تأمين كل مستلزمات شعبنا ونحن لم نوقف أبدا إيصال المساعدات الإنسانية إلى محتاجيها ولم يكن هناك أي حصار لأي منطقة أو مدينة سورية ولم يمنع الجيش السوري والقوى الأمنية إمدادات الحياة الطبيعية عن أي حي أو منطقة يسيطر عليها الإرهابيون لأن هدفنا هو تخليص المدنيين من أسر الإرهابيين وليس منع الحاجيات عنهم ، كما إن المحتاجين إلى المساعدة في بعض المناطق التي تضررت من الإشتباك مع مجموعات الإرهابيين وصلتها مساعدات عاجلة ومستمرة من قبل الدولة السورية والمنظمات الأهلية بواسطة الصليب الأحمر والهلال الاحمر السوري ، ومع ذلك فإن الحكومة السورية ترحب بالمساعدات الإنسانية من الصين وروسيا ومن المانيا حصرا على أن يجري الإشراف على إيصالها من قبل ممثلي الصليب الاحمر الدولي والهلال الاحمر السوري.
ثالثا
عرض كوفي عنان لبعض النقاط (التي لم يذكرها في تقريره ) بشكل مفصل فإستمهل الرئيس السوري عنان وأبلغه بأنه سيحصل على رد سوري حول تلك النقاط في وقت قريب جدا
رابعا
تحدث عنان مع الرئيس السوري حول موضوع الحوار والتسوية السياسية فرحب الرئيس الأسد بأي جهد يؤدي إلى جلوس السوريين بجميع فئاتهم من المعارضين والموالين مع السلطة لرسم مستقبل البلاد على قاعدة نبذ الإرهابيين ونبذ التدخلات الخارجية لكن الرئيس السوري سأل عنان عن موقفه من الدول التي تحرض المعارضة الخارجيةعلى رفض الحوار والتمسك بالمطالبة بالتدخل الخارجي وبدعم الإرهابيين.
{…}
خلال لقاء عنان بالمعارضة الداخلية بدت تلك منقسمة على نفسها بين رافض للسلاح ومبرر له بحجة عنف النظام ضد المتظاهرين، ولكن رأي المعارضين بالتدخل العسكري الخارجي كان سلبيا وتسائل أولئك : هل حمى الغزو الأميركي للعراق شعبه من الحرب الأهلية التي إندلعت هناك بوجود مئة وخمسين الف جندي أميركي ؟
ويضيف عنان فيقول في تقريره الذي سربت مصادر روسية إلى عربي برس بعض نقاطه :
المعارضة الداخلية ترفض التدخل الخارجي ولكنها ترغب في إبقاء الضغط السياسي والإقتصادي على النظام، وهي غير مستعدة للمشاركة في الحوار إلا إذا ذهبت المعارضة الخارجية إلى الحوار مع النظام، خوفا من ردة فعل الشارع المعارض . وقد شكى المعارضون من تهميش الإعلام والديبلوماسية العربية والعالمية لهم وقيامها بدعم المجلس الوطني الذي يمثل المعارضة الخارجية بشكل حصري، وهو ما يجعل من الإقدام على خطوات للحوار مع النظام من قبل معارضة الداخل عملية إنتحار سياسي لأن الإعلام العربي عندها سيقلب الشارع المنتفض ضد المعارضين المتواجدين في الداخل .
{…}
ورأى المصدر الروسي أن الجهود الروسية تتجه الآن العمل على تأمين إبعاد الضغط الخارجي عن المعارضين حتى يتسنى لهم المشاركة في عملية حوار وطني تنتهي بتسوية سياسية في البلاد .
http://www.arabi-press.com/?page=article&id=27182#.T1-Fos7nR2A.facebook

March 13th, 2012, 1:53 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

Announcement of pro-regime rallies planned for Thursady 15 Mar 2012 at
Damascus: Omayyad Square
Aleppo: Saadallah Jabri Square
Tartous: Corniche seafront
Latakia: Square of town
Raqqa: President’s Square
Deir Ezzor: Seven Fountains Square
Daraa: President’s Square
Hama: Assi Square
Hasaka: President’s Square
Qamishli: President’s Square
Sweida: Sultan Pasha al-Atrash Square

The above announcement has no venue in Homs city. I’ll be watching the video of the crowd size in Assi Square in Hama city, and President’s Square in Daraa city. I’ve seen many rallies at the other venues before, and I can’t think of a reason to see more.

March 13th, 2012, 1:53 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Juergen,

Regarding the bribes analysis.

What you said about the comparisons are correct, but I would like to add to that the fact generally those caught in bribing scandals face actual jail time in Western nations, however in Syria bribery is as you said in the culture from the smallest state employee all the way to the top, with no real fear of legal repercussions.

This reminds of a time I was pulled over by the cops in Damascus (I went through a yellow, he still pulled me over) I immediately put a 100 SYP note with my drivers license and registration and handed it to the cop, he looked at the 100 SYP and reminded me it was Eid.

March 13th, 2012, 1:58 pm

 

jad said:

Mawal,
I don’t know in details how it works, sorry!

On the March for Syria, here are some more info:

المسيرة العالمية لأجل سورية 13-3-2012
http://youtu.be/t117yXmTrOI

Facebook site
https://www.facebook.com/LikesforSyria

March 13th, 2012, 1:59 pm

 

irritated said:

#97 Juergen

Most poor Arab countries ( Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Soudan etc..) have the same problem as average salaries are not enough to survive.

While in Arab countries it is out of necessity, in the West it is out of pure greed.

March 13th, 2012, 2:07 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Some will be impatient at how long the revolution is taking and will take till victory. I have attempted to answer this before with a suggestion of a possible explanation.

After this main post regarding Mustafa Tlass and also seeing the frustration of some on ‘The Walls’ blog as they realise the US (west) aren’t really interested here are my thoughts.

One wisdom in the longevity of the Syrian revolution maybe that all parties are being allowed to irresversibly incriminate themselves.

Perhaps regime loyalists and collaborators who may have had an iota of a chance to come out of this with excuses will have none. Has Mustafa Tlass going on the record (comment #105) with this phone call to the Lebanese station cleared up any speculation (read main post)?

On the international level regime allies Russia, Iran, Hezbollah have made their choice and the length of the crisis has exposed this clearly for all to see.

Those who had hope in the US or West are becoming frustrated and disappointed and have come to realise the reality of their role and interests. Many in the region and beyond were already aware of this.

Even the Arab League and Turkey have dissapointed. At times accused of giving time to the regime and at other times ultimately choosing their own interests above those of the suffering.

Who is left to help? So where does that leave the revolution?

All gazes turn to the sky, to the heavens. You may have only heaven with you.

Once the guilty have finished incriminating themselves I dread to imagine the Divine sentence and punishment.

As for those in whom the people invested their hopes and some thought were true friends well the reality is being exposed if it hasn’t already.

March 13th, 2012, 2:30 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

No deal in Damascus
Mar 13th 2012, 15:14 by The Economist online | DAMASCUS

SUCH is the level of disillusion in Damascus about the likelihood of an end to Syria’s crisis any time soon that few took much notice of the visit to Syria last week of Kofi Annan, the newly-appointed Arab League and UN envoy. On the capital’s bustling streets people talked of the latest assaults by government forces. Few considered the diplomatic efforts, which also included a visit by the UN’s humanitarian chief Valerie Amos last week, worthy of discussion.

[…]

http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook/2012/03/syria-0?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/nodealindamascus

March 13th, 2012, 2:52 pm

 

irritated said:

Juergen

“A drone which killed Saddam Hussein may would have saved the lives of more than a million Iraqis,”

Another drone which killed Bush would have save another million.
Another one which killed Nixon, would have saved another million vietnamese and hundred of thousands americans.

There are “international dictators”. Who decides who is a dictator?

March 13th, 2012, 2:58 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

About Russia talking about encouraging a ‘simultaneous’ ceasefire(see link below), would peaceful demonstrations be allowed anywhere in Syria during such a ceasefire?

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/syria-mar-13-2012-2055

March 13th, 2012, 3:06 pm

 

ann said:

Syrian army recaptures Idlib – Mar 13, 2012

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_03_13/68334097/

Syrian military forces have recaptured the rebel stronghold of Idlib, 300 to the north-west of Damascus.

A source in the army said that dozens of rebels were detained on charges of robbery and other wrongdoings towards the local population.

Currently, fighting continues in Jabal al-Zawiya on the Turkish border, while in the town of Hama, 200 km to the north of the capital, the situation seems to have been improved.

[…]

March 13th, 2012, 3:18 pm

 

Alan said:

113. IRRITATED
You casually haven’t forgotten who has thrown bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

March 13th, 2012, 3:24 pm

 

Alan said:

‘End of Free Speech’ Signed by Obama

March 13th, 2012, 3:27 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

155 Ann.

More like re-occupies Idlib.

Others will already have come across the UK Ambassador to Syria’s recent comments. I’ll repeat a couple interesting bits.

– The regime forces were beginning to resemble an occupation arrmy.

– That Assad has the support of about 20% of the country.

About this Idlib report. I came across similar on AJE blog a few minutes ago and was naturally upset and angry at the alleged news.

My immediate anger was towards Russia for giving the regime the green light (and time) to attempt to crush the revolution.

March 13th, 2012, 3:31 pm

 

Antoine said:

6. GHUFRAN said :

“A civil war or a defacto partition seems more likely than ever, thanks to the collective failure of those who have the power to change things for the better but never did, for the rest of us, blogging and complaining was the only thing we could do, it is now a bloody and dangerous game that only big boys can play.”

Alas, but my prescription has always been creation of a semi-autonomous zone in the coastal and mountain regions of Latakia and Tartous, similar to the Kurdish Autonomus Region in Iraq, where regular Syrian Govern,ent officials cannot be allowed to enter and where Russia and Iran will protect it. Sich a zone can be a safe haven to anyone inside Syria who fears religious persecution, on the other hand, the Alawite security elements must withdrwa totally from interior Syria. This way both sides remain happy. Syria will continue to use the ports of Latakia, tartous and Baniyas for import and export, and these coastal cities whoth Sunni majority must again be autonomous from the Alawite Enclave, and this protection should be guaranteed by Turkey.

I know this sounds like the worst joke of the century, but what can you do when Syrians, of all sects, still think like in the 17th century. Recent events in Syria and Iraq have shown Sunnis to be at the receiving end of violence and sectarian violence is no longer one-sided as it used to be in the 1980s. Therefore, creation of sectarian autonomous enclaves in Syria, Iraq and maybe Lebanon too, is the only solution. I expect the Druze in Suwayda and the Kurds and Assyrians in the North-East to also demand their own separate enclaves of the partition plan comes true. The people of Yugoslavia could not live with each other without killing each other, so alas, it had to be broken up into 6 different States, and now peace prevails.

Your thoughts Ghufran ?

March 13th, 2012, 3:34 pm

 

Mina said:

Spotted by the Angry Arab:
http://islamtimes.org/vdchmmnzz23nkid.01t2.html
Saudi Arabia Grand Mufti (i. e. an “official figure” of the Saudi regime) is openly pro-revolution IN SYRIA ONLY (since the Saudis have forbidden any demonstration and any critic of the regime as being “contrary to Islam”. They conveniently consider – after a few medieval theologians – that people should obey the ruler, as he would be “appointed by God”.
Basically everything that happens is “appointed by God”, except losing guerillas and warfare outside the Peninsula…

For Jürgen: one of the three perpetrators of the attack on the Shii mosque in Belgium has mentioned the situation in Syria as one of his reasons:
http://www.lesoir.be/regions/bruxelles/2012-03-12/un-mort-dans-l-incendie-criminel-d-une-mosquee-a-anderlecht-902359.php
Next local election in Berlin, you will see exactly what the Saudis mean with their pressures. I have seen them at work once in Wedding.

March 13th, 2012, 3:37 pm

 

ann said:

118. Uzair8 said:

115. Ann.

It’s not too late for you to join the majority of Syrians that refuses to end up like Iraq and Libya.

March 13th, 2012, 3:44 pm

 

ann said:

Special Reports

Signs are al-Qaida is on the move again – March. 13, 2012

A United Nations envoy has warned that al-Qaida is making “alarming” gains in strife-torn Yemen after seizing several southern towns, but it’s also resurgent in Iraq and North Africa despite U.S. air strikes that are picking off its leaders.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2012/03/13/Signs-are-al-Qaida-is-on-the-move-again/UPI-20861331667339/

BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 13 (UPI) — A U.N. envoy warned that al-Qaida is making “alarming” gains in Yemen after seizing several southern towns but it’s also resurgent in Iraq and North Africa despite U.S. airstrikes that are picking off its leaders.

The Sunni Muslim organization is also reported to be rearing its head in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and even Ethiopia amid speculation that it’s forging an alliance of convenience with Shiite Iran, with whom it has had a mystifying relationship for the last decade.

The warning about al-Qaida’s advances in southern Yemen, particularly since President Ali Abdullah Saleh was driven from office after 33 years in power by a pro-democracy uprising, was delivered to the U.N. Security Council Friday in a confidential briefing.

The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the report, quoted special envoy Jamal Benomar as saying the scale of recent attacks by the jihadist group in Yemen, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, “serves as a stark reminder of the security threat posed by al-Qaida.”

He said jihadist fighters have escalated operations against government forces, killing up to 185 soldiers in an assault March 4 in southern Abyan province, since Saleh’s U.S.-backed successor, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, was sworn in Feb. 25 pledging to crush the jihadists.

More alarming was a March 1 al-Qaida attack on a “security team” of U.S. troops in the port city of Aden, the southern capital.

The jihadists claimed they killed a CIA officer. The Pentagon denied that but confirmed the attack on U.S. personnel.

[…]

March 13th, 2012, 3:49 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

121. ann said:

“It’s not too late for you to join the majority of Syrians that refuses to end up like Iraq and Libya.”

Ann I’m genuinely interested to know what you mean by the part in bold text. Could you expand on that please.

What does it mean (practically) to ‘refuse’ to end up like Iraq and Libya? Does it mean willing to turn a blind eye to the atrocities?

March 13th, 2012, 3:59 pm

 

Juergen said:

Here is a documentary from 1984 which i was pointed out. There was a group called Tahrir who produced this documentary about the HAMA massacre in 1982. Very interesting to watch indeed.

March 13th, 2012, 4:08 pm

 

Jad said:

Ann
What are you saying, Iraq? Libya? No!
His aim is Afghanistan a la Somalia.

March 13th, 2012, 4:30 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

On 9 Mar 2012 Kofi Annan at a press conference in Cairo said about the Syrian situation: “We need to find a way to develop appropriate reforms.” The reforms are done, Kofi. We have a new Constitution, a new Elections Law, a new Political Parties Law, a new Information Media Law, and a new Local Administration Law. The new anti-corruption law is in the pipeline, Kofi. We’re going to have parliamentary elections in a couple of months. We do not need to find a way to develop appropriate reforms, Kofi, because the reforms are already done.

Today 13 Mar 2012 Kofi Annan at a press conference in Ankara said: “I am expecting to hear from Syrian authorities today [Tuesday] since I left some concrete proposals for them to consider [on Sunday]. Once I receive their answer we will know how to react.”

To which I say: Whatever your concrete proposals were, Kofi, stick them up your arse. Of course, if you can convince the militant opposition to adopt civilized electoral competition as their strategy, Kofi, then you’ve got inhuman magic powers. And you don’t have inhuman magic powers, Kofi.

March 13th, 2012, 4:31 pm

 

Antoine said:

The best hope is for Assad to end up like Anwar Sadat, that is, some soldier shooting him at a public function. That will be the endgame as the Alawis will go all crazy and it will be total Alawi vs Sunni, even ppl lke Walid Mouallem, Bouthaina Shaabana and all other Sunni menehebaks will be forced to side with the FSA just so to protect their lives. In the end it will lead to partition and thats just the solution for Syria.

March 13th, 2012, 4:32 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

It is clear at this stage that the foreign countries have committed themselves to letting the Syrians themselves solve their conflict by themselves. That was the only sane policy by the outsiders. Now clearly for the Syrian opposition factions the only civilized way for them to proceed is to compete for seats in parliament in the elections that are coming up on 7 May 2012; and any other way is both barbarous and futile.

In case you haven’t yet been totally convinced, here’s more evidence for you that the foreigners are not going to intervene in Syria’s internal affairs beyond what they’ve already done:

Dan Burton is member of the USA House of Congress and in the Congress he is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia. He is a member of the Republican Party in USA. Here he delivers a ten-minute prepared speech arguing against USA military interference in Syria, dated a few days ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3uoHDWsw_k . Yesterday the USA Vice-President, Joseph Biden, who is a member of the Democratic Party in USA, said that the United States rejects arming any of the parties in Syria. Also yesterday, 12 mar 2012, USA foreign ministry spokesman Mark Toner said “We don’t believe further militarizing the situation in Syria is a good idea…. At this point we’re not looking to militarize the situation any more than it already has been. We don’t believe that that’s gonna ameliorate the situation.” And also yesterday White House spokesman Jay Carney said “Our policy remains absolutely what it was, which is our belief that contributing to the further militarization of Syria is not a wise course of action right now. It could potentially lead down a dangerous road.” http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/13/c_122825803.htm , http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/13/c_131464991.htm . Also yesterday the Iraqi prime minister Al-Malaki “stressed his opposition to violence and the use of force as a means to resolve the crisis in Syria, and reiterated his rejection of attempts to bring weapons to Syria from any party whatsoever.” http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/13/c_131464991.htm . Similar statements have been made within the past few days by the governments of Morocco, France, and Germany, which were linked to on this board earlier.

March 13th, 2012, 4:35 pm

 

Tara said:

Juergen @124

I have family members from Hama. One of them was in high school in 1982. He and his father and little brother were saved by a miracle and then through family contacts moved to Damascus. Upon his return to highe school, only 2 out of 30 some students were left…alive. The whole class was…dead. They use to round up all the men to kill them. Men by definition are males above age 12. They will stand them in a raw. Bothers and family members near each others. Then, they used to excute every other…one brother dies and one bother lives. You know why? To build that wall of fear…and here you go..the wall of fear was built alright and well cemented…until ..Daraa children decided to take that wall down.

And despite all the unthinkable that went in Hama, Syrian forgave…well, no more this time.

March 13th, 2012, 4:44 pm

 

MM said:

I agree with Antoine. The faster Bashar al-Assad is killed, the better off we all are. The mistakes he made ate unbelievable, and the longer he stays the more he will try to justify it. There really is no future for him in power. Even Regime loyalists know that, but they prefer to stick their head in the sand for now. People need to get on with their lives, and more and more people are acknowledging this. Really, there is no point of return to normalcy available to the nation that involves him, he has no part in our future. He is a dead man walking. One bullet can solve all of this.

March 13th, 2012, 4:44 pm

 

Alan said:

The best hope is for Assad to end up like Anwar Sadat, that is, some soldier shooting him at a public function

I agree with Antoine. The faster Bashar al-Assad is killed

You wish death the person! Reflect! What it for a lexicon? Whether is offered a part of Christian morals? ANTON where your precepts?
Whether you know that your desire will rise in heavens and will return a grief to you!!!

March 13th, 2012, 5:01 pm

 

Tara said:

Antoine @127

Assad and his thugs have forged a profoundly atrocious history. Too much hatred, etched and engraved to death, apparently, in the psych of those Shabeehas, rendering them capable of performing tasks,only vicious animal can do. They know no limit, short than perhaps cannibalism. What is more than cleansing children? What is more than shooting atvpregnant women? Partition might indeed be the solution….And they are not going to be missed. They will however be a pariah state.

Yes indeed, the Syrian soul was put to death. You harvest what you planted. Can’t get any simpler.

March 13th, 2012, 5:02 pm

 

SALAH ADDIN said:

Tribute to Syria No Kandahar

Who could argue with refusing the idea to turn Syria into Kandahar?
Who could watch and listen to 3ar3our in SNK’s postings, and not cry and laugh at the same time?
SNK won our hearts with his virtual Syria in describing Syria and its leading characters in the next century, when he showed that the Syrian tragedy could still be comical in his ironic comedy settings, contrasting ugly reality with his creative improvised settings. Heck even the prince used to ask him for an encore.
Who else can make the idea of a meat processor in the hands of 3ar3our sound so funny, as if it were out of a setting from a political satire theater production?
He even turned a sincere and serious mehshi with garlic recipe, into the funniest thing that teuteu, or is it tutu, wrote.
SNK if you don’t come back, you will leave a void without your, of the cuff, comic-tragic provocative thoughts and comments.
SNK you might want to consider excusing the moderator’s set of rules, as they are difficult to apply to your dark comic-tragic approach. We don’t all appreciate art and comedy in the same manner (moderator this not a personal attack, SNK would say).
SNK what do you have to loose, other than watching Syria being turned into another Kandahar? But then that is what you are trying hard to bring to light, is it not?

March 13th, 2012, 5:03 pm

 

Mina said:

At the German University in Cairo, students may need to call Jürgen for help:
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/36691/Egypt/Politics-/German-University-students-battle-administration-o.aspx

As for Cairo University, the Islamists have had an Iranian film where all the women are veiled BANNED ! Not Islamist enough.
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/5/32/36671/Arts–Culture/Film/Egyptian-artists-condemn-Cairo-Universitys-Oscarwi.aspx

March 13th, 2012, 5:04 pm

 

irritated said:

#130 MM

If you are so convinced, why don’t you doing yourself instead of non-stop complaining here. You can make a small hit team of courageous willing SC bloggers ( they are some calling for that too), get inside Syria like Edith Bouvier, get help from the “angels” FSA and just do it.
We’ll be waiting to see the Youtube of it.

March 13th, 2012, 5:09 pm

 

bronco said:

Mina

Al Ahram had it wrong. The “Separation” is a huge box office in Iran.

March 13th, 2012, 5:17 pm

 

Tara said:

Salah Addin

I think you are the Enigma. Distinctively polite style that does not fit or mix well with other pro-regime. You, Habib and Shabeeh, and the the guy who once called me Grandma. I always forget his name. All were like that too. How is someone like you can’t see through?

And FYI, the only permission in regard to Teute was given to Kandi. I may consider future applications from others, but it is a process…

March 13th, 2012, 5:23 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Swissinfo.ch is reporting this:

“….Swiss consider accepting Syrian refugees
The United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has asked Switzerland to take in some Syrian refugees, says Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter.

The request is currently being considered by the relevant authorities, the minister told parliamentarians on Monday…”

__________________________________________________________________

As long as the Swiss authorities make sure the refugee applicants are not just Baathist running with the cash to swiss banks like Tlass and kids doing.

March 13th, 2012, 5:27 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

Hay…I thought you don’t watch Iranian movies. How many time I have asked you to watch a particular movie and you ignored me?

Do I really need to use reverse psychology?

March 13th, 2012, 5:29 pm

 

dawoud said:

Dear Moderator,
Why did you ban my post from Aljazeera? I didn’t mention names. It wasn’t all article. Is SC banning Aljazeera?

March 13th, 2012, 5:56 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

The defection of SNK is just one more example of how the regime has chosen the road to nowhere and will lose their supporters for many different reasons. Road to nowhere reminds me of the great Talking Heads song. Interesting lyrics:

Well we know where we’re goin’
But we don’t know where we’ve been
And we know what we’re knowin’
But we can’t say what we’ve seen
And we’re not little children
And we know what we want
And the future is certain
Give us time to work it out

We are on the road to nowhere.

March 13th, 2012, 5:57 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Another rare version dedicated by me to human kind warriors like Bush, Sharon and Assad II.

This video was originally created against war in Irak and Afganistan but if we change these words…

IF YOU DON´T COME TO DEMOCRACY
DEMOCRACY WILL COME TO YOU

…for the following:

IF YOU DON´T COME TO DICTATORSHIP
DICTATORSHIP WILL COME TO YOU

This videon is perfectly suitable for Assad II.

March 13th, 2012, 6:10 pm

 

bronco said:

#139 Tara

“The Separation” got a Oscar. It speaks persian but it could have been a british, italian or spanish film, universal. Well deserved award.

March 13th, 2012, 6:16 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco,

I get it. 😉

March 13th, 2012, 6:28 pm

 

Juergen said:

Tara

its just not understandable how people who have lived together would turn into animals within days. I saw the film with an syrian friend an d i was utterly shocked by the emotions the young children had and how vivid the memories of the horror still was. I have no idea how they managed to film and interview them in the presence of the muhabarat. There was also an eyewitness report of the fate of Khaled al Khani. It makes one very sad, also the fact that at that time if internet would have existed, probably the support for killing the terrorists would have been overwhelming. I hope i never see this big Assad statue again in my live in front of the city of Hama, it always left the impression to me that he wanted to triumph over the dead, the mutilated.

March 13th, 2012, 6:51 pm

 

ann said:

Chinese, Brazilian FMs discuss ties, cooperation, Syria – 2012-03-14

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-03/14/c_122830723.htm

They agreed to maintain communication and coordination to help bring forth positive outcomes at the upcoming fourth BRICS Summit in India and UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil.

The two also exchanged opinions on the Syria issue, agreeing to jointly push for a proper settlement through dialogue.

[…]

March 13th, 2012, 7:04 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

I see spammers have caused the closing down of AJE Live Syria Blog comment section. Last comment was half an hour ago.

At least the AJE ‘Syria: A call to arms’ blog comments are still continuing.

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2012/01/28/syria-call-arms

One comment 16 minutes ago:

“There are other Blogs than the Syrian live blog Freedom of speech will not be stopped by Spammers”

March 13th, 2012, 7:09 pm

 

ann said:

Syria’s Assad orders parliamentary elections on May 7 – 2012-03-13

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/13/c_131465202.htm

DAMASCUS, March 13 (Xinhua) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued Tuesday a presidential decree to hold the parliamentary elections on May 7, the Syrian parliament’s website reported.

The 250-seat parliament’s term expired last March but it has been extended in accordance with the country’s new constitution, which has recently been approved by national referendum. The parliament combines 80 independents and 170 parliamentarians from closely associated parties known as the National Progressive Front.

In July of 2011, the Syrian cabinet endorsed the general elections bill as part of the government’s reform program to tamp down months of unrest.

The bill aims to regulate the election of parliament and local council members and to ensure the integrity of the electoral process. It also stipulates the formation of the Supreme Commission for Elections to manage the election process.

[…]

March 13th, 2012, 7:20 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

The regime will hope this ‘victory’ in Idlib will go some way in helping it restore control over the country and suffocate the revolution.

There are a lot of determined people out there particularly the network of street activists (LCC), and also the FSA. These people will continue to organise and form networks wherever they can. There are probably 10’s of thousand of them. The regime cannot be everywhere and cannot identify and hunt down all of them.

The SNC may be struggling to make an impact. The FSA are trying their best I’m sure. However, the bread and butter of this revolution are the Local Coordination Committees (LCC). They built this revolution and they are not going anywhere.

March 13th, 2012, 7:29 pm

 

ann said:

Syria gives green light to Organization of Islamic Cooperation aid

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has received permission from Damascus to send humanitarian aid to Syria. The world’s largest Islamic body said on Tuesday it will send a team to Syria soon to assess the population’s needs. Preparations are underway for a mission to depart to Syria and to “the site of refugees on the borders of Turkey and Jordan,” Reuters quoted OIC spokesman Tariq Bakhiet as saying. Syria is one of the organization’s 57 member states.

[…]

http://rt.com/news/line/2012-03-13/#id27879

March 13th, 2012, 7:34 pm

 

ann said:

Obama and Cameron: the good, the bad or the ugly? – 14 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/obama-cameron-meeting-article-505/

Brave words are certainly aplenty in the article. The two men talk of dignity, civil liberties and rights for the world – and the responsibilities they bear as leaders. They certainly talk the talk – but do they walk the walk?

“With confidence in our cause and faith in each other, we still believe that there is hardly anything we cannot do,” says the article. However, what they seem to want to do doesn’t quite fit the uplifting nature of those words. Possible war with Iran. Possible military invasion of Syria.

And even the rhetoric used in the article was somewhat disconcerting. Quoting Winston Churchill, the two leaders wrote, ”Our victories on the battlefield proved what can be achieved by British and Americans working together heart and hand. In fact, one might almost feel that if they could keep it up, there is hardly anything they could not do, either in the field of war or in the not less tangled problems of peace.”

[…]

March 13th, 2012, 7:40 pm

 

ann said:

Damascus blasts Qatar, Saudi Arabia for ‘supporting terrorists’

The Syrian government has accused a number of countries, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, of supporting militant groups in Syria. The states which are supporting “armed terrorist formations with money and weapons are allies of the terrorists fighting the Syrian people and bear full responsibility for the bloodshed,” Minister of Information Adnan Mahmoud said, as cited by Sana news agency. The ministry says that armed groups’ attacks are intended to destabilize the situation further and “attract the attention of the international community”

[…]

http://rt.com/news/line/2012-03-13/#id27855

March 13th, 2012, 7:44 pm

 

ann said:

2 army officers gunned down in Syria’s Aleppo – 2012-03-14

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/14/c_122830891.htm

Armed groups showered the vehicle with a barrage of bullets in the Salamiya area, killing a colonel and a lieutenant colonel.

Separately, Syrian troops evacuated a two-story building in northern Idlib province after they found an explosive device planted by armed groups, according to SANA’s report.

In central Hama province, government troops clashed with armed groups at Al-Madiq citadel in the countryside and killed a number of gunmen, said SANA, adding that three law-enforcement members were injured in the clashes.

[…]

March 13th, 2012, 7:47 pm

 

ann said:

UN names regional coordinator for Syrian refugees – 2012-03-14

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/14/c_122830904.htm

UNITED NATIONS, March 13 (Xinhua) — The UN refugee agency, known as the UNHCR, has announced the appointment of Panos Moumtzis, previously its head of Donor Relations, as its regional refugee coordinator for Syrian Refugees, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here on Tuesday.

Addressing the media in Geneva on Tuesday, Moumtzis reported that the teams of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have been working for the past year to support the governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in providing shelter, assistance and protection to the refugees, Nesirky said at a daily news briefing.

Moumtzis was appointed to deal with a rising number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries due to significant increase in Syria.

[…]

March 13th, 2012, 7:52 pm

 

ann said:

Turkish journalist, cameraman missing in Syria: media – 2012-03-14

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/14/c_122830895.htm

ANKARA, March 13 (Xinhua) — A Turkish journalist and a cameraman went missing in Syria, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday.

The journalist, identified as Adem Ozkose and the cameraman, Hamit Coskun, working for Gercek Hayat magazine, arrived in the northwestern city of Idlib, a rebel bastion, four days ago to cover the Syria crisis, said the report.

They have not been heard of since then, added Anatolia.

[…]

March 13th, 2012, 7:54 pm

 

Tars said:

“I wanted to die”

Amnesty International: Syria detainees suffer systemic torture
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:21 PM EDT, Tue March 13, 2012

Based on interviews in Jordan with dozens of Syrians who have fled the country, the report details “31 methods of torture or other ill treatment” at the hands of the security forces, army and pro-government armed gangs.

Several detainees describe being forced into a vehicle tire and then beaten with cables or sticks, the report says. Others tell of being suspended above the ground by their wrists and then beaten, and of being forced to strip naked, often for long periods in extreme cold.
An 18-year-old victim named as “Karim” told researchers that his interrogators used pincers to gouge flesh from his legs while he was held for 25 days in Daraa in December.
Another man, a 29-year-old Arabic language teacher identified as “Musleh,” also described horrific treatment while being held in Daraa. “We were hung from wood — crucified — while blindfolded and handcuffed, and then beaten mercilessly and repeatedly between 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” he told the Amnesty researchers.
Detainees also were forced to witness abuse and hear others — sometimes relatives or friends — being tortured and raped, the report says.

(..)
http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/13/world/meast/syria-amnesty-torture/index.html?section=cnn_latest

March 13th, 2012, 8:59 pm

 

Tara said:

Yara’s lesson this weekend.  She calls him the “Dictor’.  She asked me to call him on the phone..and ask him to stop “beating up” the people…  

This week, the Guardian Teacher Network is offering resources to help students understand what is happening in the region.   

http://teachers.guardian.co.uk/teacher-resources/6758/?INTCMP=NECJOBTXT8769I

It can be used as standalone handout for pupils (aimed at KS2/KS3 but can be adapted for younger or older pupils) who want to understand issues in the news or as part of a lesson in conjunction with this related New in focus Powerpoint.

Age group:Ages 5-7, Ages 7-11, Ages 11-14, Ages 14-16 
Subject:Whole school
Created by:teacher.network

March 13th, 2012, 9:36 pm

 

Tara said:

Besho accepted Annan as a UN rep but not as AL rep.  I don’t blame him.  The slap he got from the AL was so hard, I bet it is still hurting..

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ruled out recognizing Kofi Annan as a U.N.-Arab League envoy at last weekend’s talks in Damascus, dismissing the League from the process, Hürriyet Daily News has learned. 

In their discussions in Damascus last weekend, al-Assad told Annan that he could recognize him only as a U.N. envoy and not as representative of the Arab League.

Annan had talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu late March 12 and met with the Syrian National Council yesterday, seeking grounds for ceasefire. In a meeting with Annan, the Syrian opposition outlined three simultaneous conditions for a ceasefire. “The Syrian administration must end repression, release rebels in the prisons and the Syrian army must return to their barracks,” Basma Qadmani, a member of the Council told the Daily News after their meeting with Annan. 

Qadmani said they had not discussed arming the Syrian opposition, but rather the ways to enact a ceasefire. He added that they believed “the freedom fighters themselves will immediately cease fire on the ground as well.” Annan said the opposition members had “promised their full cooperation, which will be necessary if we are going to succeed […] I have made it clear from the beginning of my mission that my main preoccupation is the welfare of Syrian people and the Syrian nation. We should put the interest of people at the centre of everything we do.”
(…)

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/pressure-mounting-for-syria-cease-fire.aspx?pageID=238&nID=15967&NewsCatID=359

March 13th, 2012, 9:50 pm

 

Equus said:

65-year-old California ‘milk man’ subjected to extreme torture, hypothermia, raw sewage in LA County jail

http://www.naturalnews.com/035208_James_Stewart_torture_county_jail.html#ixzz1p2d2xe9v

The Obama administration has continued and expanded the anti-democratic methods of the Bush administration, including the use of presidential assassination orders, indefinite detention without trial or charges, blocking court cases that threaten to reveal torture, domestic spying, prosecution of whistle-blowers (e.g.:Manning), “rendition” of alleged terrorists to countries that practice torture, open violations of US and international law, including the War Powers Act in the case of Libya and the Geneva Conventions more generally, and the maintenance of illegal torture camps such as the infamous facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/obama-administration-shuts-down-investigations-into-bush-era-torture/

Khalid told Red Cross that at Bagram he had been suspended by shackles and sexually assaulted: “I was made to lie on the floor. A tube was inserted into my anus and water poured inside”. Another prisoner, Raymond Azar, testified that 10 FBI agents had abducted him, shown him photos of his family and told him that if he didn’t “co-operate”, he would never see them again.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/20123172424486455.html

March 13th, 2012, 10:01 pm

 

jna said:

1. I’m not Syrian.

2. Very sorry (really sick} for all the deaths.

3. I wished and wished for finding a peaceful way out

4. I have no new ideas on a plan for a peace.

5. Bless you all, and I hope you and Syria find a resolution that spares Syrian lifes.

March 13th, 2012, 10:01 pm

 

Jad said:

Ref. The Guardian disgusting handout.
I thought that only the ‘backward’ people use their kids in conflicts.
It seems that the ‘developed’ ‘democratic’ ‘whites’ do brainwash their kids too.
By exposing kids as young as 5 to such political B.S. exceed the Holocaust education program that starts at age 11-12.
Pathetic writing, pathetic teaching and disgusting propoganda to invade elementary classes.

Here is the full text
http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1331544850.html

March 13th, 2012, 10:17 pm

 

Ghufran said:

A dose of humor from alarabiya,some people did not like it:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=%D8%B6%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B7%20%D9%8A%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%20%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A1%20%D9%84%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%B3%D8%AF&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CGYQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.anaween.com%2FContent%2FSectionNews.aspx%3FNewsID%3D38077&ei=MARgT4uHD4KasgKvw62MCA&usg=AFQjCNG8hbG3l_9rO_nP_diSN1
C7ujfd7g
The $ was sold for less than 80 lira today,regime sources are predicting a further fall for the $ within a week,will wait and see.
Ghalioun changed his tone after meeting with Anan who may have met with CIA director and is planning to visit Russia which seems to be ready to pressure the regime to accept observers under certain conditions.
After the const ,we now have PA elections,both moves are cosmetic in nature and will not survive the test of time as long as the regime picks and chooses its opposition and no monitoring is allowed,in that sense,these two moves are a form of black comedy.
Idleb may be the last “allowed” military campaign before some type of a cease fire is imposed,if no such cease fire succeeds,the Syrian crisis will drift further into chaos and blood shed,Antoine asked about partition,this dangerous move may come when people decides that partition is better than
death,my opinion on the subject does not mean that this is what I want to see,but faced with two bad choices,most people will choose the option that has a better chance of keeping their children alive,Latakia in particular will not wait until it becomes another Homs,its citizens will definitely shut down the city and practice a form of self rule and prevent outsiders from comin in,again this is a realistic assessment and not a wish list,latakians,with known exceptions,are a different breed and they are less likely to kill each other,no disrespect to other Syrians.

March 13th, 2012, 10:58 pm

 

ann said:

164. Jad said:

Ref. The Guardian disgusting handout.

The guardians should be distributing this factual YouTube video instead:

March 13th, 2012, 11:08 pm

 

Equus said:

Is anyone seeing pattern of events in Afghanistan?
First, few weeks ago marines urinated on dead corpses.
Second, Coran burning…which could’ve been easily avoided by throwing the books in a black garbage bag inside the compound and NOT outside to say (see me, I’m here)
Third, sadly the weekend event…….
I have a feeling the US officials cynically orchestrating these events to bring the troops like yesterday home. Thus, Mr. Obomer is a hero, assassinated Bin Laden and brought the troops home for the new elections. By the time they have taken their breath send them again to Syria & Iran. Voilà!

March 13th, 2012, 11:15 pm

 

Jerusalem said:

كتب سومر سلطان – إستنبول – عربي برس

فضيحة جديدة في السجون التركية:
بعد فضيحة التعذيب في سجن بوزانتي للقاصرين، والتي تم الكشف فيها عن أنواع مقززة من التعذيب والإهانة اللاحقة بالسجناء الصغار، فقد توصلت دراسة قامت بها جامعة تشوقوروا إلى تزايد معدلات الاعتداءات الجنسية على القاصرين في السجون التركية، وقالت أن كثيراً من السجناء يتعرضون في الأيام الأولى لدخولهم السجن إلى اعتداءات جنسية وإلى الاغتصاب، وأن الأغلبية الساحقة منهم تجنح للصمت أمام ضغوط الجو المحيط فلا يعلمون إدارات السجون. كما أوصت الدراسة بمراقبة الحمامات والمغاسل ووضع كاميرات مراقبة عليها لأنها تشكل أكثر الأمكنة لحدوث هذه الحوادث.
يذكر أن فضيحة سجن بوزانتي للقاصرين أظهرت قيام إدارة السجن بممارسة التعذيب وتعرية السجناء وضربهم وتهديدهم ومنع اتصالهم مع العالم الخارجي

http://arabi-press.com/?page=article&id=27242

March 14th, 2012, 12:06 am

 

Jerusalem said:

ميشال كيلو: دول خليجية تدعم المجموعات المسلحة في سورية
أكد المعارض السوري ميشال كيلو أن المجموعات المسلحة في سورية، تنقسم الى أربعة انواع وهي:
– المنشقين عن الجيش السوري وهم قلّة.
– مواطنين حملوا السلاح بحجة الدفاع عن النفس.
– مجموعات مسلحة تعمل دول خليجية على تمويلها بالمال والعتاد.
– عناصر من القاعدة والسلفيين الجهاديين قاتلوا في العراق واليوم جاءوا الى سورية، وهؤلاء لا ضمير لهم.
كيلو وفي حديث تلفزيوني لقناة الـ ” LBC ” أشار الى أنه ضد عسكرة الثورة لأن من يشجع على هكذا خيار يريد جر سورية الى حرب أهلية طويلة

http://arabi-press.com/?page=article&id=27071

March 14th, 2012, 12:12 am

 

ann said:

Diplomat: Syria answers Annan on ending violence – March 13, 2012

http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2012/03/13/turkey_to_host_meeting_on_syria_on_april_2/

ANKARA, Turkey—Syrian officials responded Tuesday to a number of concrete proposals by international envoy Kofi Annan on how to end the violence in their country, a U.N. diplomat said.

The U.N. diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no public announcement has been made, said, “He did get a reply, and it’s under consideration.”

[…]

March 14th, 2012, 12:22 am

 

zoo said:

Is Syria and Iran punishing Hamas by promoting instead the Islamic Jihad ?

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC14Ak02.html

There is every indication that Hamas was the one being punished, as much as Israel was being provoked with the missile salvos. In the last couple of weeks, though really ever since the Syrian uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad took off, Hamas’s relationship with its former patrons Iran and Syria have gone from bad to worse.

In late February, the organization moved its headquarters out of the Syrian capital Damascus, motivated by the fact that as an ideological offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, its primary allegiance rested with the Syrian opposition. Then over the last week, Hamas became embroiled in a controversy over whether it would strike back at Israel in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program. [5]

The punishment, it seems, came swiftly: at a period when Hamas is in flux, changing bases and supply lines and still responsible for the wellbeing of Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants, Iran and Syria apparently unleashed the other proxies they had cultivated in the strip. In so doing, they capitalized on Hamas’s lack of interest and readiness to fight, and sought to either draw the movement into a war that was bound to damage it badly or to weaken it domestically by portraying it as a collaborator with the Israelis.
..
The Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reported on this in an article published by the Jerusalem Post last October:

With the help of Iran and Syria, Islamic Jihad has become a major player in the Palestinian arena. The organization’s leaders now visit Cairo and other Arab capitals, where they are received as VIPs. …

The organization is beginning to emerge as a major challenge to the Hamas regime, especially given the fact that dozens of disgruntled Hamas members are reported to have defected to Islamic Jihad. Former Fatah security officers, some of whom were trained by the US and EU, are also believed to have joined Islamic Jihad in the past few years. [6]

Israel itself seems quite weary of an escalation, to the point where the measured response to the “unprecedented” rocket salvos has raised a lot of eyebrows among the right-wing allies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. So far, however, the lack of Israeli casualties and the surprising success rate of the surgical strikes have deprived the hawks of important ammunition.

As of early Tuesday morning, reports by the Israeli press suggest that the ceasefire was breached by new rocket strikes, but no casualties are being reported. Given Islamic Jihad’s humiliation, a few isolated rockets, perhaps aimed loosely or at military facilities, are to be expected in the hours after the ceasefire comes into effect; a symbolic Israeli strike, perhaps of an empty militant base, can be expected in return.

Victor Kotsev is a journalist and political analyst.

(Copyright 2012 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

March 14th, 2012, 12:30 am

 

zoo said:

An American in the Den of Assad
10 March 2012
http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blogs/michael-j-totten

Michael J Totten: What do you think the odds are that the revolution against the government will succeed?

Andrew Tabler: The odds are good, but Assad may be able to hold on longer than most people think, including those in the Obama administration. He’s not making the choices he could to get out of this. He’s not reforming. He’s not going to change the minority nature of the state.

At the same time, he has—and I talk about this in the book—he has one of the youngest populations in the Middle East. The demographics are a mess. Many Syrians were born in the ten years after the Hama massacre in 1982. Syria at the time had one of the fastest growing populations on the planet. All those young people are now out in the streets. In the long run I don’t see how a system run by the Alawite minority and that has been unable to reform under the Assad family for 42 years can accommodate the new Syria. In the end the regime will go down, but it could be very bloody.

Syria could become like Algeria where the regime just holds on while 100,000 people die and it could go on for years until there’s finally a negotiated settlement. Or it could go on for years and year and years and finally he falls. Either way, I don’t see Assad exiting quickly. I hope I’m wrong, but we’ll see.

March 14th, 2012, 12:33 am

 

ann said:

Syrian Christians worry about life after Bashar Assad – March 13, 2012

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Syrian+Christians+worry+about+life+after+Bashar+Assad/6294660/story.html

“I was wishing that life would go back to the way it used to be,” she said.

At night, Um Michael can hear the echoes of fighting drawing closer to her home in Bab Touma, the centuries-old Christian quarter of Damascus. Like many Christians here, she wonders whether Syria’s increasingly bloody, nearly yearlong uprising could shatter the veneer of security provided by President Bashar Assad’s autocratic but secular government.

But warnings of a bloodbath if Assad leaves office resonate with Christians, who have seen their brethren driven away by sectarian violence since the overthrow of longtime strongmen in Iraq and in Egypt, and before that by a 15-year civil war in neighboring Lebanon.

“If the regime goes, you can forget about Christians in Syria,” said George, a 37-year-old dentist who, like others interviewed, asked to be identified by either a first name or nickname. “Look what happened to the Christians of Iraq. They had to flee everywhere, while most of the churches were attacked and bombed.”

Worried Christians have only to look to the strife-torn city of Homs to see what a civil war might look like. There, residents say, Sunnis, Christians and the Alawite community, a small offshoot of Shiite Islam, have fallen victim to gruesome kidnappings and killings.

The rise of Islamist parties in post-revolutionary Egypt and Tunisia has added to the feeling among Syria’s Christians that they are under siege. Some find affirmation of their fear in the demonstrations that take place every week after Muslims’ Friday payers, when antigovernment protesters spill out of mosques nationwide, chanting religious and political slogans.

“Of course the ‘Arab Spring’ is an Islamist movement,” George said angrily. “It’s full of extremists. They want to destroy our country, and they call it a ‘revolution.’ ”

Syria’s Christians, who represent no more than 10 per cent of the country’s 22 million people, trace their origins two millennia to the beginnings of the faith. The apostle Paul is said to have converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus, from which he went on to spread the religion across the Roman Empire.

Church leaders have largely aligned themselves behind the government, urging their followers to give Assad a chance to enact long-promised political reforms while also calling for an end to the violence, which has killed more than 7,500 people on both sides, according to United Nations estimates.

[…]

March 14th, 2012, 12:34 am

 

ann said:

Goodspeed Analysis: Syria a chemical weapon ‘powder keg ready to explode,’ experts fear – Mar 13, 2012

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/03/13/peter-goodspeed-syria-a-chemical-weapon-powder-keg-ready-to-explode-experts-fear/

While United Nations officials said Tuesday that more than 8,000 people have died in a year of political unrest in Syria, some experts fear the collapse of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime may actually be worse than the threat of all-out civil war.

The sudden demise of Syria’s dictator has the potential to expose the Middle East and the world to a massive new threat from chemical and biological weapons.

Syria has been stockpiling chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction since the late 1970s and is widely believed to possess one of the world’s largest inventories of mustard blister agent, sarin nerve gas and possibly VX nerve agent.

“The country is a chemical powder keg ready to explode,” says a report released last week by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Hundreds of tonnes of chemical weapons, chemical warheads for medium-range, Soviet-built Scud B and C ballistic missiles, air-dropped bombs and conventional artillery shells are believed to be stored in about 50 sites around Syria.

At least four chemical weapon production facilities are located in the towns of al-Safira (12 kilometres southeast of Aleppo), Hama, Homs and Latakia, while massive munition storage depots are located at Khan Abu Shamat (northeast of Damascus) and Furqlus (just east of Homs).

“The situation in Syria is unprecedented,” said Charles Blair of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in a recent report for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. “Never before has a WMD-armed country fallen into civil war.”

[…]

March 14th, 2012, 12:50 am

 

Equus said:

Publié lemars 10, 2012

Un chercheur belge censuré par le lobby du Conseil National Syrien (La Nouvelle République)
Je lui avais proposé un article. Il m’a dit : « tout ce que vous dites est vrai et très intéressant ; mais nous ne pourrons pas le publier, car cela risquerait de désorienter nos lecteurs » (sic)…

http://jmoadab.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/interview-de-pierre-piccinin-un-chercheur-belge-censure-par-le-lobby-du-conseil-national-syrien-la-nouvelle-republique/

March 14th, 2012, 1:01 am

 

Jerusalem said:

مفتي السعودية: دعم “الجيش السوري الحر” جهاد في “سبيل الله” ويجب هدم كل الكنائس في الجزيرة العربية
الثلاثاء, 13 / 03 / 2012

http://alkhabarpress.com/%D9%85%D9%81%D8%AA%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AF%D8%B9%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%B4-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%B1-%D8%AC/

The churches in Syria are historical sites. That’s horrible. (Yassater)

March 14th, 2012, 1:18 am

 

Juergen said:

Zoo

Interesting point to compare Algeria with Syria. Someone i know wrote a book about the massacres which took place in Algeria in the mid 90s, and her conclusion was that over 80% of the violence committed were planned and executed by the government. Like in Syria there was a movement of loyalists who were selected to plan and execute massacres in order to blame the islamists who won the parlamentary election and dont let them take over the government. So overall an very good comparison if we consider what has happend in Syria.

Here is an older video of Todenhöfer explaining some of his positions.

March 14th, 2012, 1:44 am

 

jad said:

Mission accomplished:

The last Syrian Christian forced by the fsa terrorists to leave Alhamidieh in Homs.

مسلحو ” كتيبة الفاروق” أنهوا تهجير معظم مسيحيي أحياء حمص واستولوا على منازلهم بقوة السلاح

آخر المهجرين بقوة السلاح أستاذ جامعي وشقيقه من آل “غريبه”، والمسلحون داروا على المنازل بيتا بيتا وأبلغوا أصحابها : غادروا قبل أن نقتلكم ونبلغ”الجزيرة” بأن النظام قتلكم

حمص ، الحقيقة (خاص): علمت “الحقيقة” من مصادر كنسية في حمص بأن المدينة أصبحت شاغرة بنسبة 90 بالمئة تقريبا من المسيحيين ، ومن المتوقع أن يجري “تطهيرها” بالكامل من أبناء الطائفة المسيحية في غضون أيام أو أسابيع قليلة على أبعد تحديد على أيدي مسلحي “كتيبة الفاروق” الوهابيين. وقال مصدر في المطرانية الأرثوذوكسية لـ”الحقيقة” إن مسلحي “كتيبة الفاروق” داروا على بيوت المسيحيين بيتا بيتا في حيي”الحميدية” و” بستان الديوان”، وأبلغوهم بأن عليهم مغادرة بيوتهم ومدينة حمص فورا. وكشف المصدر أن آخر دفعة ممن شملتهم عملية التهجير بقوة السلاح كانت يوم أمس ، وشملت الدكتور طالب مشهور غريبة ، وهو أستاذ رياضيات في جامعة” البعث” بحمص ، وشقيقه الموسيقي مروان مشهور غريبة ( موسيقي في فرقة الفنان صباح فخري) ، القاطنين في حي “الحميدية” ، وشقيقتهما ماري مشهور غريبة التي تقيم في حي ” بستان الديوان”، وكذلك والدهم وزوجته المدرسة مها حبو ، اللذين يقيمان في مساكن حي “الوعر” الجديد. وشملت دفعة التهجير أيضا سكان بناية في حي “الحميدية” مؤلفة من ستة طوابق تقيم فيها 18 عائلة جميعها تقريبا من قرية “عيون الوادي”.

وقال المصدر الكنسي إن المسلحين أبلغوا أصحاب المنازل قبل مغادرتهم بأنهم وفي حال عدم المغادرة فورا سيطلقون عليهم النار ويصورون جثثهم ويرسلونها إلى “الجزيرة” على اعتبار أن “السلطة هي التي قتلتهم”! وأكد المصدر أن جميع من جرى تهجيرهم “لم يسمح لهم بأخذ أي شيء من ممتلكاتهم ، حتى ملابسهم الاحتياطية ، وفور خروجهم من المنازل جرى احتلالها من قبل المسلحين باعتبارها غنائم حرب من النصارى”!

يشار إلى أن عصابات ” كتيبة الفاروق” التي يسيطر عليها مسلحو “القاعدة” والوهابيون بمختلف ولاءاتهم التنظيمية ، ومرتزقة ليبيين وعراقيين وأفغانا ، أقدمت على استهداف كنيستين بالقذائف الصاروخية ، ما أدى إلى احتراق إحداهما وتضرر الأخرى.

http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/6923/Default.aspx

March 14th, 2012, 2:12 am

 

jad said:

Yes Zoo, it’s very interesting to mention Algeria, because after loosing between 150000-200000 lives there, our local ‘story teller’ is changing the history to his likes, it was the government who did most of the killing, I so believe that ‘made up’ history.

Talking of Algeria, it seems that the as many and 26 of their own terrorist alqaeda angles who have experience in slaughtering people are doing their ‘magic’ work in Syria.
No wonder we are reading about new massacre daily with the same Algerian ‘techniques’.

«الخبر»: فرع «القاعدة» في ليبيا يدرّب جهاديين للقتال في سوريا
ذكرت صحيفة «الخبر» الجزائرية، أمس، أن تحقيقات مشتركة بين أجهزة الأمن الجزائرية والفرنسية خلصت إلى أن 21 جزائريا وخمــسة فرنسيين من أصول مغاربية يقاتلون حاليا، في صفوف تنظيم «القاعدة» في سوريا، بعدما تسللوا ضمن المتطوعين الليبيين إلى سوريا.
وأشارت الصحيفة إلى أن باريس طلبت من الأجهزة الأمنية في تونس والجزائر والمغرب معلومات حول وجود مواطنين فرنسيين من أصول مغاربية في دولهم الأصلية، بعد اختفائهم في ظروف غامضة، والاشتباه في تنقلهم للقتال في سوريا.
وتشير الصحيفة إلى أن «الشبهات تدور حول ما لا يقل عن 10 مواطنين فرنسيين من أصول جزائرية مغربية وتونسية».
وبحسب الصحيفة فإن «المحققين في حوادث اختفاء 12 جزائريا، خلال الأشهر الستة الأخيرة من العام 2011، توصلوا إلى أن هؤلاء تنقلوا إلى ليبيا ومنها إلى تركيا من أجل التسلل إلى سوريا، للقتال ضد نظام بشار الأسد».
وبحسب المعلومات المتوافرة، فإن فرع تنظيم «القاعدة» في ليبيا فتح معسكرين على الأقل لتدريب المتطوعين من المنطقة المغاربية ومصر والأوروبيين من أصول عربية. وأحد هذين المعسكرين أقيم في منطقة صحراوية قرب مدينة هون في وسط ليبيا، بينما أقيم الثاني في موقع يعتقد أنه قريب من سهل عجلة في شرقي ليبيا.
ويعتقد أن المئات من الجهاديين الليبيين هم حاليا في سوريا ويقاتلون تحت لواء كتائب جهادية أنشئت مؤخرا في سوريا.
في هذا الوقت، ذكر مصدران أمنيان في مالي أن الجزائري مختار بلمختار، وهو احد قادة تنظيم «القاعدة في بلاد المغرب الإسلامي» موجود منذ «بضعة أسابيع» في ليبيا بغرض «التزوّد بالأسلحة».
{…}
http://assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionID=2100&ChannelID=50059&ArticleID=1436

March 14th, 2012, 2:22 am

 

abbas said:

The new kind of tourists that Syria is attracting now

March 14th, 2012, 3:07 am

 

Juergen said:

Jad

have a look at some peoples work over the last 18 years:

http://www.algeria-watch.org/en/hr/massacre/massacres.htm

There are no doubts nowadays that the Algerian state was involved in the killings which took place, what is questioned is until now who gave the orders and to which levels the command structure reached. But I assume its better to live with the black and white redneck vison of the world, very much the same good old Bush had.

March 14th, 2012, 3:42 am

 

Juergen said:

‘I wanted to die’: Syria’s torture survivors speak out
View as Single PageView More Research
Torture
Syria
A grim catalogue of torture has emerged from former detainees describing their treatment in Syria’s detention centres since the predominantly peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government began in March 2011. This report reveals that all the various security forces are routinely torturing and ill-treating detainees held in the context of the protests and unrest, using methods of cruelty mostly used for decades. The torture carried out appears to be part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population as part of Syrian government policy to crush dissent.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/i-wanted-to-die-syria-s-torture-survivors-speak-out

March 14th, 2012, 4:32 am

 

Mina said:

Bronco
“Une Separation” was one of the biggest hit of the box office last year, even though the French are supposedly allergical to the veil (which is not true, but this weapon of the Salafis has caused attacks from all sides in the suburbs and is used as a political pressure with no meaning). To comply with Iranian laws, the film respects that about veiled women (and younger girls).

March 14th, 2012, 4:46 am

 

Badr said:

join the majority of Syrians that refuses to end up like Iraq and Libya

and North Korea and Zimbabwe

March 14th, 2012, 5:51 am

 

Mina said:

Energy politics
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17344263
“Government plans for nuclear power risk handing control of the UK’s climate and energy policies to France, according to four senior environmentalists.” (…)

Qatar takes 2 percent of French state oil giant Total
http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-eco/2012/03/13/97002-20120313FILWWW00728-le-qatar-a-pris-2-de-total.php

March 14th, 2012, 5:52 am

 

Hans said:

SNC is collapsing from within that’s how sand house falls apart.
Go Baby go.
down to the traitors.

March 14th, 2012, 7:46 am

 

DAWOUD said:

http://www.aljazeera.net/news/pages/ae55c3c2-4403-4c93-8bde-bec5a6dfc0db?GoogleStatID=1

الجيش يجتاح إدلب ويقتل المزيد

قال ناشطون إن الجيش السوري سيطر على مدينة إدلب بعد هجوم استغرق أربعة أيام, وقتل فيه عشرات المدنيين. وواصل الجيش في الأثناء قصف واقتحام مدن أخرى في محافظة إدلب نفسها, وفي حمص ودرعا متسببا في مقتل المزيد, وسط اشتباكات متفرقة مع الجيش السوري الحر.

وقال عضو المكتب الإعلامي لمجلس الثورة في إدلب نور الدين العبدو للجزيرة إن الجيش أحكم قبضته على المدينة منذ عصر أمس, ويقوم بعمليات دهم وتفتيش من منزل إلى آخر, تواصلت حتى فجر اليوم.

وأضاف العبدو أن الجيش حول مدارس إلى ثكنات عسكرية, ويستخدم المدنيين دروعا بشرية لحماية نفسه من هجمات محتملة للمنشقين.

مقاتلون من الجيش الحر في شعاب قريبة من إدلب (الفرنسية)
اجتياح بعد مقاومة
وتابع العبدو أن المعارك في المدينة توقفت منذ مساء أمس, واضطر مقاتلو الجيش الحر إلى الانسحاب لعدم قدرتهم على مواجهة القوة النارية للجيش النظامي, وحرصا منهم على تجنيب المدنيين خسائر كبيرة في الأرواح.

ومن جهته, قال الناشط رامي إدلبي لوكالة الأنباء الألمانية إن الجيش الحر ألحق خسائر فادحة بالجيش قبل انسحابه من المدينة. وقال ناشطون إن المنشقين في إدلب لم يكونوا يتلقون سلاحا بخلاف زملائهم في حي بابا عمرو في حمص الذين كانت تصلهم إمدادات من شمال لبنان. وصمد المنشقون في بابا عمرو لمدة شهر, ثم اضطروا للانسحاب قبل أسبوعين بسبب نفاد الذخائر.

وكانت صحيفة الوطن السورية القريبة من نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد تحدثت مساء أمس عن سيطرة كاملة للجيش على إدلب, وعن قتل عشرات المسلحين.

وقبل الإعلان عن سيطرة الجيش على إدلب, كان ناشطون أكدوا أن القوات الموالية للأسد أعدمت أربعين شابا دفعة واحد أمام مسجد بالمدينة. وتحدثت لجان التنسيق المحلية عن قتلى وجرحى حين قصف الجيش صباح اليوم قريتيْ الجانودية التابعة لجسر الشغور, وبسامس التابعة لجبل الزاوية, وكلتاهما في إدلب.

قتلى جدد
[…]

March 14th, 2012, 8:29 am

 

Dawoud said:

Yesterday, I was watching Aljazeer’a “opposite direction” program http://www.aljazeera.net/programs/5e8caa4c-bd79-4203-ace9-753b1a63d6c6. Faisal al-Qasem, the program anchor, and one of his anti-regime guests mentioned some the mantras and thinking of the regime and its supporters/apologists:

1) A Syrian official mentioned that the population of Syria was only 8 million when al-Assad (butcher the 1st) succeeded in his coup. The hint is that the regime would be willing to kill so many millions until the Syria population goes back from 23 mill. to 8 mill!!!!!

2) On mosques’ walls pro-regime write “بشار أو لا حد” “either Bashar or Nobody,” which chillingly hints that the regime is willing to kill EVERYBODY in order to survive

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

P.S., moderator, please to edit my comments because I haven’t violated your rules-unless being anti-dictator Bashar is a big violation here at SC (in this case I plead guilty)!

March 14th, 2012, 8:38 am

 

Mina said:

Demo by the lawyers syndicate in Aleppo?
http://bambuser.com/v/2468323

It’s quite painful to see they have not much more to say than “Allah Akbar” and the Fatiha.

March 14th, 2012, 8:57 am

 

Tara said:

Mina

It pains me not at all. Would it be less painful to you if they say father, son, and holy spirit?

They may be able to take requests.

March 14th, 2012, 9:10 am

 

Tara said:

People need to face the prejudice within themselves. They think they don’t suffer from it but they do.

March 14th, 2012, 9:13 am

 

zoo said:

A Warning for Women of the Arab Spring
I hope that in the countries where people have risen against dictatorships, they will reflect on and learn from what happened to us in Iran.
By SHIRIN EBADI
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203370604577265840773370720.html

I do not agree with the phrase “Arab Spring.” The overthrow of dictatorships is not sufficient in itself. Only when repressive governments are replaced by democracies can we consider the popular uprisings in the Middle East to be a meaningful “spring.”

Since women make up half of the region’s population, any democratic developments must improve the social and legal status of women in the Arab world. It appears the Tunisian society has strong civil institutions, and there is much hope that democracy can take hold there. But in Egypt, many political actors are talking about returning to Islamic law, which could result in a regression of rights for women and girls similar to what we experienced in Iran in 1979.
(..)

March 14th, 2012, 9:33 am

 

zoo said:

The case of Syria could prove different
By AVIGDOR LIBERMAN
03/13/2012 23:15
A dramatic change in Syria’s regime is not only a moral imperative, but also an Israeli interest.
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=261738

The dilemma is a difficult one, entailing far-reaching consequences for our future. The events we have been witnessing over the past decade, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen or Egypt, represent an entirely novel and extremely complex phenomenon.

The main challenge of course is to identify and characterize the possible alternatives to the current regime. What are the different components of the opposition and what will happen the day after the regime is toppled? We have seen that the international community is capable of bringing to a relatively swift end the rule of a tyrant such as Saddam Hussein. It is far more difficult to establish a functioning, enlightened alternative, which enjoys the support of broad sectors of its society.

In this regard, it is important to recall that one of the key conditions for the emergence of stable and prosperous democracy is the presence of a strong, broad and successful middle class, something sorely missing in most Arab states. Will Syria after Assad degenerate into bloody sectarian conflict? Or will we see the emergence of a new country that will engage in genuine introspection and aspire to a better future?

THE SITUATION in Syria also bears upon the question of the Golan. In this regard, some rethinking would be appropriate for those who pressured Israel in the past to reach a deal with Hafez and Bashar Assad, for the transfer of the Golan Heights in exchange for a peace treaty. What would happen today had we given in to this pressure? What legitimacy would such a treaty enjoy? How would such a treaty be seen by those in Syria who have come out to protest the oppressive regime?
(…)

March 14th, 2012, 9:36 am

 

zoo said:

Erdogan compared to Hitler and dictator by his own people
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-assembly-brawl-fuels-dictatorship-quarrel.aspx?pageID=238&nID=15955&NewsCatID=338

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) declared Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a “post-modern dictator” while the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said the government had even “outstripped the Nazi rule of Germany.”
…..
“We have a post-modern dictator. Remember [Adolf] Hitler who claimed to know everything. Look at what a heavy price he forced on humanity,” he said, arguing that Erdoğan’s rage boiled over because “the lies of the dictator have been exposed” in the international community.
..
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli said the AKP conduct at the commission was an example of “despotism” that “outstripped even the Nazi rule of Germany.” The AKP has “turned democracy into a laughing stock,” he said. Bahçeli also slammed the prospect of Kurdish-language elective courses under the planned reform.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş also joined the criticism. While stressing the need to overhaul the education system, he accused the AKP of seeking to replace Kemalist ideology with an Islamic one. He also said Kurdish should not be an elective course but the primary language of education for Kurdish children.

(..)

March 14th, 2012, 9:47 am

 

zoo said:

Syria replies to UN’s peace envoy proposals
2012-03-14 18:08:30
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/14/c_131467431.htm

DAMASCUS, March 14 (Xinhua) — Syria replied late Tuesday to the UN-Arab League (AL) envoy Kofi Annan’s call, which were put forward to Syrian President Bashar al-Asssad earlier in the week as an endeavor to solve the year-long crisis in the country, a pro- government newspaper said Wednesday.

Al-Watan daily cited “well informed sources” as saying that the Syrian authorities have agreed with Annan to keep the content of the proposals and the Syrian reply away from the media in order to make the UN envoy’s efforts a success.

The unnamed source just commented that Syria had previously showed readiness to cooperate with Annan, according to the daily.

March 14th, 2012, 9:50 am

 

zoo said:

Veiled Russian pressures on Bashar Al Assad?

Syrian president’s actions to resolve crisis ‘delayed’ – Russian FM

­Moscow regrets that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad did not always heed the advice of Russia’s leaders leadership’s concerning the settlement of the situation in Syria, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. Assad did not always take “timely steps” either, Lavrov told deputies of the State Duma on Wednesday. The minister stressed that Russian arms have not been used against demonstrators and peaceful civilians in Syria. Moscow is only selling Damascus weapons “necessary for national defense and national security,” Lavrov continued.
http://rt.com/news/line/2012-03-14/#id27923

March 14th, 2012, 9:54 am

 

Alan said:

196. ZOO
It is diplomacy!! such too concerning Iran was!

March 14th, 2012, 10:27 am

 

873 said:

#172
Michael Totten was outed long ago during the first manufactred Arab Spring of 2005 so him interviewing Tabler is apropopos.

Is Syrian govt crazy or what? Can NOT figure it out. They let an Israeli neocon Andrew Tabler have close contact with Asma Assad for a YEAR, let this neocon agent run all over Syria with multi-visas collecting intel? Then predictably he returns to US-Israel and uses all he’s learn as an advocate there to bring down Syrian regime? Then Syria is surprised at the ready made “uprising” against it?
Like Hezbollah. They let some Israeli thinktank likudnik have free access to Manar TV. The guy traveled on US passport with fancy suits, briefcase, title etc. Then returned to US to write THE book that was then used to get Manar banned, censored, and eventually later targeted/destroyed by Israel. He’d gotten all needed info and stats.
What is wrong with these people??? Are they really that blind or self-destructive? I Dont get it. Can you explain?

March 14th, 2012, 10:43 am

 

Mina said:

Tara
Look at Egypt and at Shirin Ebadi’s article in the Wall Street Journal: how can someone who thinks that his religion is above other religions claim he can achieve democracy?
“Allah Akbar” and the Fatiha should be left for the mosque, for home, and for the cemetary.
It is a pity that educated people in the lawyer’s syndicate had no other “banner” under which they could agree.
I am Muslim but I don’t think Islam is above other religions. I say “allahu a’lam”, period.

March 14th, 2012, 10:55 am

 

Mawal95 said:

Since 10 March the Syrian army has been conducting a ‘qualitative’ operation in Idlib City. The following link is to a report by Sharmine Narwani, the primary of value of which is the quotes from “Ziad”, a person with pro-regime political opinion who has been in regular touch with family connections in Idlib City over the past few days: http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/sandbox/hollywood-homs-and-idlib

“Ziad”, speaking on the night of Sunday 11 March, says:

“Today the Army went into the city of Idleb. There was no random shelling, they were slowly moving into neighborhoods, starting from the east and southern. The militants had seeded IEDs (improvised explosive devices, basically remote detonated landmines) across the city, one of them was under my uncle’s balcony, who now lost half his home. They had set up machine gun nests on a few mosques and communication towers. Around 200 militants were gathered near my grandmother’s house. The battle lasted all day. My family is safe but my grandmother’s house got damaged by exchange of fire, largely done by the militants and the army was returning fire.

The army was moving in slowly and checked Idleb neighborhood by neighborhood. They searched most houses but there were no mass random arrests. Mainly they asked adult men out before searching and they were released after. I assume at this point they have a list of who to arrest. The plan [for the days 12 and 13 March] will probably be pushing them into what is called “the northern quarter” an area already emptied from civilians and largely a militant stronghold. The Operation started yesterday [10 March] from 5 am till around 6 [pm]. The same thing today but today the army went in deeper. They are doing it progressively and trying to avoid the most damages.

Just to give you a perspective on the scale of irresponsibility and damage by the militants. Just under my uncle’s house there were 4 IEDs.

Most damages are caused by the IEDs (some up to 50kgs of explosives) and random firing by militants (using PKT/PKC and DUSHKA/DShk machine guns), with the army returning fire when attacked, but no excessive use of force, i.e no artillery barrages as reported by al Jazeera and other channels.

The rumors of electricity and water cuts are not true. The entire country is suffering from electricity cuts, so Idleb will not be an exception. There is no cell phone coverage but landlines are working, though there is heavy demand pressure and you have to attempt several times for the phone call to go through.

The following is a very biased but worthwhile anti-regime take on Idlib City in recent days: http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2012/03/12/inside-idlib-assad-crackdown-grows-ferocity and related Al-Jazeera video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQI0AglBD-M

My favourite nugget from Al-Jazeera’s report from Idlib: “The black market price for a Kalashnikov is now $1,300, a single bullet is $3.” I assume those numbers are gross exaggerations (notice that “Ziad” says the militants were doing “random firing”). But I take comfort from the general idea that weapons and bullets are not cheap.

March 14th, 2012, 10:56 am

 

Ales said:

On a day of 1st meeting of Friends of Syria: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNation_mstd.htm?f=//2012/March/15/nation1.isx&n=nation&d=/2012/March/15

THE Department of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said a Filipino woman working as a maid in Syria was killed when she and her employer’s family were ambushed by “armed gangs” in Homs last Feb. 24.

The DFA said in a statement that the report on the death of Meran Prieia Montezor, 23, came only last March 12 from the Philippine embassy in Damascus.

The ambush allegedly took place at around 11 a.m. near a textile company within the industrial district of Homs.

Montezor, who hails from Camarines Sur, and the child she was caring for were both hit by bullets, including her Syrian employers.
….

March 14th, 2012, 10:57 am

 

ann said:

Prominent Syria Dissidents Defects From The Opposition – March 14, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304692804577281203942056664.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

BEIRUT—Two prominent Syrian dissidents said Wednesday they have quit the main opposition group that emerged from the year-old uprising against the regime in Damascus, predicting more would soon abandon what one of the men described as an “autocratic” organization.

The resignations from the Syrian National Council dealt another blow to the opposition, which has been hobbled by disorganization and infighting since the popular revolt against authoritarian President Bashar al-Assad started a year ago with protests calling for political reform.

[…]

March 14th, 2012, 11:10 am

 

ann said:

‘No independent journalism anymore’ – ex-Al Jazeera reporter – 14 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/hashem-al-jazeera-resignation-523/

Television channels have turned into political parties, pushing the agenda for some outside forces, former Al Jazeera correspondent in Beirut, Ali Hashem, told RT. Hashem has come in spotlight after resigning from the television citing its bias.

In emails leaked by Syrian hackers, Ali Hashem vented his anger over Al Jazeera’s one-sided coverage of Syria and its refusal to cover the events in Bahrain. In an exclusive interview with RT, the former Beirut correspondent Hashem refrained from discussing his resignation, but stressed that these days, independent media is a myth.

“There is no independent media anymore. It is whose agenda is paying the money for the media outlet,” he said. “Politicization of media means that media outlets are today like political parties. Everyone is adopting a point of view, fight for it and bring all the tools and all the means they have in order to make it reach the biggest amount of viewers.”

It is now the job of the viewer to compare the news from several different sources and then make his own conclusions, the journalist believes. “Today we are in the era of open source information and everyone can reach whatever information he wants.”

Hashem said the problem with this picture is that some news outlets can reach bigger audiences than others. “What they say will [seem] to be a fact while it might not be the fact,” he said.

Mass media should be “immune” when it comes to war and conflict, as this guarantees freedom of speech, Ali Hashem believes.

“In the year 2006, Israel bombarded Al-Manar television because they said Al- Manar was doing propaganda war against Israel,” he said. “Al-Manar was on one side of this war and they were supporting the Hezbollah and the resistance and the war against Israel. But does this give Israel the excuse to bombard Al-Manar? Certainly not.”

“We should as journalists, whatever our point of view is, (because it is clear there is no independent journalism anymore) have the right to say whatever he wants safely, without being threatened to be bombarded or killed or executed or arrested,” Hashem concluded.

[…]

March 14th, 2012, 11:21 am

 

ann said:

Our Own Camille Otrakji On RT TV!

Back Homs: Rebels flee, French troops captured by army

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYd6ad9g8iQ&feature=related

Go Camille

March 14th, 2012, 11:28 am

 

jad said:

Tora Bora in Homs!
مسلحين من افغانستان ام منشقين في حمص؟
http://youtu.be/6MiOYeXrR_k

March 14th, 2012, 12:16 pm

 

Tara said:

The weather is gorgeous outside where I am at. Sunny and warm. Since I am done with the Aspirin business, I want my guy whi knows himself (and you guys) to pay attention to vitamin D, leave home and take a walk in the sun. Skip opinion-ating and reading politics for one hour and take a walk with arms and legs exposed to the sunshine. It is good for you. Also have your doctor check your vitamin D level. I guarantee you it is low and needs serious supplement.

I am not being silly. I am very serious about it.
——

Kandi, let me see how you can make fun of my advise. There is no Mehshi involved.

March 14th, 2012, 12:18 pm

 

jad said:

The $ is down to 73-72 per SYP
“إنخفاض سعر صرف الدولار في السوق السوداء إلى 73 ل.س”

March 14th, 2012, 12:19 pm

 

ann said:

Two dissidents quit Syrian National Council

­Two dissidents have quit the Syrian National Council (SNC) in another blow to the main opposition group. One of those who resigned, Kamal al-Labwani accused the leadership of controlling the body’s work while most of its 270 members are sidelined. “There is no council, it’s an illusion,” AP quoted him as saying. Al-Labwani was jailed in 2005 for dissident activities and released in November, said the SNC leaders were running the organization “autocratically” and compared the council to President Bashar al-Assad’s ruling Baath party.

[…]

http://rt.com/news/line/2012-03-14/#id27937

March 14th, 2012, 12:33 pm

 

bronco said:

207. jad said:

“The $ is down to 73-72 per SYP”

Are the recent turns of the political situation reflecting in the exchange rate of the SP, from 100 to 73 in a 3 days?

March 14th, 2012, 12:40 pm

 

ann said:

Syria responds to Annan’s proposals on ending yearlong crisis – 2012-03-14

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/14/c_122835338.htm

Speaking to reporters, Jihad Makdissi said Annan presented his proposals in the form of a non-paper “and we have studied them for 48 hours and sent back a non-paper as our reply.”

“We are fully committed to making Mr. Annan’s visit a success and positively engaging with him,” Makdissi said, adding that the Syrian government “are diagnosing in a realistic way the crisis and are committed to a peaceful path of dialogue and political solution.”

Meanwhile, Makdissi stressed that the efforts towards peace need the participation of all other parties and called on those who are inciting the media with hostility to stop such practices.

[…]

March 14th, 2012, 12:43 pm

 

zoo said:

Send money for weapons or money for food?
UN warns 1.4 million risk hunger in Syria
AFP – 52 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/un-warns-1-4-million-risk-hunger-syria-154848159.html
Civil unrest is putting 1.4 million people at risk from hunger in Syria, which must raise cereal imports by around a third to offset a loss in local output, the United Nations’ food agency said Wednesday.

“Continued civil unrest in the Syrian Arab Republic since mid-March 2011 has raised serious concern over the state of food security, particularly for vulnerable groups,” the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) said.

The agency said that last year’s cereal production in Syria — estimated at 4.2 million tonnes — was about 10 percent less than the previous five years’ average, following late and erratic rains and widespread civil unrest.

“In several areas, it is reported that civil insecurity prevented farmers to access their farmland during the harvest,” it said.
..
Syria, which relies on food imports for almost half of its domestic use, should import around 4.0 million tonnes of wheat for food use and maize and barley for feed — about 1 million tonnes more than the previous year, it said.
(…)

March 14th, 2012, 12:44 pm

 

jad said:

Bronco
I don’t know if it’s related or not, but I read this article about the issue on Alakhbar that may explain a bit more of the steps the Syrians are planning to do regarding the currency rate, it seems that 70 is the threshold they are aiming for.
Ehsani is the one who knows this things, I’m so not good in economy:

عملة ورقية جديدة قريباً: توقيف مضاربين مرتبطين بجهات خارجية

دمشق ــ الأخبار
فقدت العملة السورية أكثر من نصف قيمتها خلال عام بعدما وصل سعر صرف الدولار الأميركي إلى 81 ليرة مقابل 49 قبل نحو سنة. كذلك ارتفعت الأسعار بنسب كبيرة، وسط حجم هائل من المضاربات في السوق، يشارك فيها سوريون يستفيدون من الأزمة، فيما تتهم السلطات السورية السعودية وقطر بلعب دور كبير في هذه المعركة الاقتصادية.

وإلى جانب الخطوات الإدارية ومحاولة رفع مستوى الإنتاج والرقابة، فإن دمشق مشغولة هذه الأيام بالحديث عن قرار سيطبق خلال فترة قريبة جداً لمواجهة الحرب على الليرة السورية. اذ تقرر توزيع أوراق نقدية جديدة، انتهى العمل من طباعتها، واستبدال الأوراق النقدية السورية المتداولة بها، على أن تقتصر على المقيمين داخل سوريا، ما يترك كميات العملة الموجودة في الخارج في خزائنها وبلا أي قيمة. ومن المفترض بحسب الخطة، أن يُعطى السوريون مهلة ثلاثة أيام للقيام بعملية التبديل هذه، على أن يحتاج تبديل أي مبلغ من المال فوق الــ١٠ آلاف ليرة سورية إلى موافقة خاصة.
{…}
وقال مصدر مطلع لـ«الأخبار» إن مجموعة من المضاربين وتجار العملة تم توقيفهم أخيراً في عدد من المحافظات، مشيراً إلى أن جهة خارجية عربية تقوم بتعويض خسائر هؤلاء الناتجة من المضاربة، والهدف هو الاضرار بالاقتصاد السوري. وأكد المصدر أن التحقيقات الأولية تشير إلى أن مدينة عربية على ساحل البحر الأحمر تعتبر مركزاً للجهد المالي المعادي للاقتصاد السوري وتمويل المضاربين.
من جهته، قال محمد غزال، وهو خبير اقتصادي، لـ«الأخبار» إن سعر الصرف الطبيعي والمتوازن، بناءً على المعطيات المرتبطة بالاقتصاد السوري والظروف السياسية المحيطة ينبغي ألا يتجاوز سقف الـ70 ليرة مقابل الدولار، بعد احتساب تراجع إيرادات النفط نتيجة العقوبات والانكماش الاقتصادي.
وأضاف غزال أن الدور الذي ينبغي على المصرف المركزي القيام به، هو إعادة الثقة إلى الليرة السورية، وصغار المودعين، الذين أقبلوا على تحويل عملات أجنبية وذهب إلى ليرة سورية، لإيداعها في المصارف الحكومية دعماً للاقتصاد الوطني، لافتاً إلى أن تلك الشريحة تضررت بشدة نتيجة انخفاض قيمة العملة
{…}
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/45482

March 14th, 2012, 12:48 pm

 

ann said:

Syria says gave positive response to Annan – March 14, 2012

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-syria-responsebre82d0t9-20120314,0,1154348.story

“The tone of our reply was positive,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdesi told reporters in Damascus, adding Syria had offered “clarifications” on implementing some of the proposals.

Annan’s spokesman said earlier he had received Assad’s reply to his proposals, but that questions remained over the response.

Adding to the uncertainty, a senior Western diplomat in the region said Damascus had rejected Annan’s suggestions. He gave no details.

A Middle Eastern diplomat characterized the response from Damascus as “not a ‘no’, but they are discussing some of the points they are not convinced about.”

[…]

March 14th, 2012, 12:49 pm

 

zoo said:

He looks really ill…
Sarkozy: Assad is a killer, must face world court

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/images/news/201203/n_15985_4.jpg

March 14th, 2012, 12:59 pm

 

jad said:

Not a single jet plane was used in this conflict yet the terrorists decided to go an destroy them, and they tell us that they care for Syria…Sure!

عملاء المخابرات التركية يستهدفون طائرة سورية
http://youtu.be/sRgOCjL_y-o

عملاء المخابرات التركية يستهدفون طائرة حربية وهي رابضة في قاعدة “ابو الضهور” حيث كان يعمل العميل الأسعد

استانبول ، الحقيقة ( خاص): استهدف عملاء من المخابرات التركية في ما يسمى “الجيش السوري الحر” طائرة حربية سورية وهي رابضة أمام هنغارها في قاعدة” أبو الضهور” الجوية شرق إدلب قبل نحو أسبوع. وأظهر شريط وزعه العملاء (منشور جانبا) عددا منهم وهم يقومون بإنزال قاذف مضاد للدروع من سيارتين في منطقة التلال المحيطة بالقاعدة قبل أن يتوجهوا إلى تخوم المطار ( حوالي 1 كم) ويطلقون قذيفة على الطائرة التي اندلعت فيها النيران. وليس معروفا بعد التاريخ الدقيق لتنفيذ العملية التخريبية، ولو أن الشريط جرى توزيعه في السابع من الشهر الجاري. كما أنه ليست واضحة نوعية الطائرة ما إذا كانت “ميغ 21” أو من طرازات أحدث ، بسبب عدم وضوح الصورة، إلا أن المرجح جدا أن تكون “ميغ 23 ” ، أخذا بعين الاعتبار الحجم الواسع لمدخنة المحرك ، وطريقة وقوف الطائرة بشكل مائل نحو الخلف ( مقدمتها أعلى من مؤخرتها) ، وهو من خصائص ربوض “ميغ 23” على الأرض. كما أن هناك ـ وكما يبدو رغم التصوير الجانبي ـ مدخنتين للطائرة ، وهذا أيضا من مواصفات “ميغ 23” التي تعمل بمحركين. كما أنه من الواضح أن الطائرة تبدو في حالة “عمرة” ( إصلاح) ، بالنظر لأنها تقف بين مدخلي هنغارين وتسد مسرب المناورة أمامهما ، وهو أمر لا يمكن أن يحصل إلا حين تكون الطائرة في حالة إصلاح.

يشار إلى أن العميل رياض الأسعد ، قائد ما يسمى “الجيش الحر” كان يعمل تقنيا في ” سرب البعث” في القاعدة المذكورة قبل فراره إلى حضن المخابرات التركية. وكان الأسعد وعد مؤخرا بتنفيذ ما أسماه “عمليات نوعية ستفاجىء النظام”! فإذا كانت هذه عينة من “عملياته النوعية” التي وعد بها ، فلن يكون من شأن الأمر سوى تأكيد المؤكد، وهو أنه عميل رخيص لا يستحق حتى صفة مخرب.
{…}

March 14th, 2012, 1:06 pm

 

mjabali said:

Jad:

Obviously the rich Gulf states fighting al-Assad are playing with the Syrian currency. They can do that. They have the means and of course the will. But, this does not mean that the Syrian currency and economy are healthy and strong. The state is crumbling and many of its enterprises are getting ransacked. As far as i heard things are expensive from the simple fact there are no safe roads anymore. The country is a danger zone. It is going to be years for the damage done to be fixed.

March 14th, 2012, 1:07 pm

 

Alan said:

‘Media – West proxy to fuel Syria conflict’

March 14th, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

Alan said:

Lavrov rules out Russia’s military presence in Syria
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/366130.html
MOSCOW, March 14 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has ruled out an opportunity for Russia’s military presence in Syria.
In his response to the question on Russia’s possible presence in Syria with a view to challenging the U.S. prestige, the minister underlined that “such a goal will be wrong.”
“We need to strengthen our image and not to crush out other’s one,” he told a State Duma session on Wednesday.
At the same time Lavrov noted that “the United States’ influence in Iraq and Libya has not strengthened,” he said.
The diplomat underlined that Russia’s military presence in Syria “would contradict Russia’s basic interests.”

March 14th, 2012, 1:25 pm

 

ann said:

Wag the dog: How to cook-up Syrian drama – 14 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/syria-information-wars-west-553/

‘Danny’ is a Syrian opposition activist who reports from Homs for CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. He is attached to the opposition movement and regularly calls for military invasion of Syria. He’s identified as Danny Abdul Dayem, a 22-year-old British citizen of Syrian origin.

Danny is far from being a lone soldier in an increasingly dirty information war. Investigative journalist Rafik Lotf has spent months looking at the background to footage that has helped shaped global opinion on the conflict. He told RT that Al Jazeera is involved in video fabrication to discredit the Syrian regime and cites a video described by Al Jazeera as proof Syrian Govt forces had bombed an oil pipeline.

“I know this video is on the Al Jazeera server. It is clear it is not an explosion but they ignore that and keep on reporting on the way they need to see it,” he said.

It is even thought that the clip may have been staged by rebels who blew up the pipeline themselves, as alleged on Infowars.com.

DARK TURNS IN SYRIA’s BLAME GAME

Most recently shocking footage emerged of some 47 bodies, including women and children found with their throats slit, bearing stab wounds and signs of rape. The opposition called for a UNSC emergency meeting on ‘the massacre’.

Assad’s government, in turn, announced that ‘terrorist gangs’ killed those in the video and claimed Homs’ residents recognized relatives among the dead, who had been previously kidnapped by the Syrian rebels.

As the mutual blame game spirals downwards and civilian suffering continues, the recent resignations of key Al Jazeera journalists may serve as a clear indicator – that some mainstream Syria conflict coverage is far from objective.

[…]

March 14th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

Mina said:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,821144,00.html
03/13/2012
Interview with Tunisia’s Prime Minister
‘Military Intervention in Syria Would Be Pure Madness’

http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/12350
New Sharine Narwani article:
Hollywood in Homs and Idlib?

http://www.thenation.com/article/166757/why-president-obama-keeping-journalist-prison-yemen
Or what side of al Qaeda are you exactly?

March 14th, 2012, 1:42 pm

 

Badr said:

Regime supporters, this is what professor Landis is telling you!

Analysis: Options for military intervention in Syria
By Jonathan Marcus
BBC Diplomatic Correspondent

Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says: “Despite the growing chorus of politicians calling for US leadership in Syria, the Obama administration is adamant that Washington should not take the lead, but follow regional partners, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.”

Mr Landis argues that the simple fact is that the Obama administration sees no strong reason to intervene.

“US officials are unanimous in arguing that the Assad regime is doomed and can only hang on for a limited time, with or without increased US support for the Syrian opposition. I think they are right in this analysis.”

“This means that the US has no compelling national security interest in jumping into the Syrian civil war that is emerging. The regime’s days are numbered.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17356556

March 14th, 2012, 2:03 pm

 

Alan said:

http://presstv.com/detail/231686.html
Twenty US soldiers involved in Kandahar killings
unless it shouldn’t be expected?
An Afghan committee says that up to 20 US soldiers have been involved in the Sunday killing of at least 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province.

March 14th, 2012, 2:16 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

#215 JAD

You mean this story (quote from AJE ‘Inside Idlib’ blog comment section?:

“Just watched a you tube of the FSA attacking an airfield and destroying a 40 million pound jet with an Anti tank missile. Happy days!. The FSA should be directly armed and supplied with as much of this stuff as possible. Obviously someone has been training them ;).” 3hrs ago.

People getting upset at this report will be questioned about any indifference to the reports of horrendous regime massacres.

Btw another quote from their 13 minutes ago. Any truth to it?:

“Syria is to launch a new currency. Exchanging old for new currency needs approval for SYP 10,000 or more ($125). Syrian money outside Syria will be worthless.”

March 14th, 2012, 2:35 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

James Denselow, Syria expert based in Kings Colleg, London, who has lived in Syria for a year was on BBC radio 5 last night. He made some interesting comments:

– The regime is the state. If it falls the state falls.

– 20% of the people are pro-regime. Another 20% are against. 60% are in the middle.

Listen from 6 minutes.
For the above comments go to 11 minutes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01d73js

March 14th, 2012, 2:48 pm

 

Tara said:

Moscow lost the Arab street and feels the cold shoulder and the growing anti-Russian sentiment. This might have bee the reason for the latest statement by Lavrov. The Arab street should go out and burn Russians flags in support of the Syrian revolution.

March 14th, 2012, 2:52 pm

 

Tara said:

71 killed in by Bashar al Assad in Syria today. Alfatiha upon their souls.

March 14th, 2012, 3:02 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

We are almost at the one year mark and I’m sure Prof Landis will be preparing a new post to coincide with this date.

A time for all to reflect and assess the situation. I guess the regime and opposition will be too busy to find time to stop and reflect. It is probably a time for the silent majority or the uncommitted to reassess their position and the future.

A year of chaos. Can they expect another year of the same? Can they or the country afford to face another year. Do they give up on the regime having any hope of restoring order? Do they remain silent and uncommitted? Is it time to join the opposition and speed up the overthrow of the regime?

These are some of the thoughts and questions they will be reflecting on.

A few months away is Ramadan. Another turning point. A time in which people (muslims) think beyond their own personal interests. A time in which the silent block will find it hard to conveniantly ignore their conscience.

March 14th, 2012, 3:04 pm

 

ann said:

Isn’t destabilizing Syria is what israel wants?!

Military intervention would destabilize Syria – Brzezinski – 14 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/syria-intervention-destabilize-libya-587/

Resolving the Syrian conflict by force would be “counterproductive, premature and destabilizing,” says former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

But even if the West intervenes, with America directly involved, there is a risk that that the conflict will turn out to harm the US more than help it, Brzezinski said, notably in terms of the Muslim perception of America. He also reminded his audience about Iraq and Afghanistan, where he said the US “has been for too long.”

However, the Carter administration’s National Security Adviser did not rule out US military involvement, saying that if neighboring Turkey and Saudi Arabia, along with the Arab community, support “a course of action that they think is needed for resolving the Syrian problem,” Washington will “fully support” it.

And if so, the US will “act a little bit a way” as “we acted in Libya” – “support from the back.”

“I think [it] would be counterproductive, premature, and probably even regionally, perhaps destabilizing,” he concluded.

Libya methods won’t work in Syria

“For example there was significant military and political opposition, at a high level, to Gaddafi, which surfaced immediately when the unrest erupted into violence. And that the Gaddafi regime was not a fully institutionalized regime, but highly personalized regime with special arrangements with particular tribes, also contributed to political stability. Once the special arrangements started breaking down the whole thing started breaking down,” explained Brzezinski while talking at a panel at the University of Maryland.

Besides that, Brzezinski said, air strikes against Assad regime “are not going to be very effective.”

[…]

March 14th, 2012, 3:13 pm

 

zoo said:

Diary In Syria
Jonathan Steele
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n06/jonathan-steele/diary
8th March

….
‘I’m an atheist but I call out “Allahu Akbar” because it makes people feel strong,’ my escort, Anwar, explained on our way home. He is a Circassian, a member of a Caucasian minority which fled to Syria to escape the tsar’s armies. ‘“Allahu Akbar” is also a riposte to a regime slogan that says: “Bashar and nobody else.”’ Later, we had a glass of wine in a smoke-filled café in an upper-class district of Damascus. Anwar’s friend Rime admitted that she was petrified before each ‘party’. ‘Calling out “Allahu Akbar” helps to calm me down,’ she said. ‘But there’s another thing. In detention they sometimes force prisoners to shout, “There is no God but Bashar,” so the protesters want to show there is an alternative.’

The question of how far the protest movement is controlled by Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the major unknowns of the Syrian crisis. An even bigger question is the extent of support for the resistance a year after the unrest began. No one can accurately gauge the size of the movement, but despite its surface calm, and the usual traffic jams, Damascus feels like an occupied city. Opposition activists whisper at café tables, never sure whether the people sitting around them are informers. Many activists have gone ‘underground’, living away from home to avoid arrest. People use Skype or proxy SMS networks to make it harder for the regime to listen in. Many supporters of the regime, as well as some in the opposition, see sectarian divisions as fixed: they claim that all Alawites, the minority Shia sect from which the Assad family comes, are pro-regime, as are ethnic and religious minorities, Kurds, Druze, Circassians, Armenians and Christian Arabs (totalling about 40 per cent of the population). This seems too simple.
(…)

March 14th, 2012, 3:21 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

Armed rebels wearing bulletproof vests and having possession of two tanks owned by the Syrian army. Most of them are wearing carefully trimmed Salafi-style beards. These rebels are in high spirits. I suspect a date in January. Video uploaded today but undated. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=gkfDgE_qgJI#t=38s

March 14th, 2012, 3:23 pm

 

zoo said:

Syria struggles with crippled economy

Syria’s currency has lost 50 percent of its value since the uprising began one year ago.
GlobalPost reporter in DamascusMarch 14, 2012 06:15
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120313/syria-economy-currency-money-sanctions-uprising

DAMASCUS, Syria — After a 20 percent pay raise took his monthly salary to about $500 at a state-run company here, Abu Bassam was doing better than your average Syrian employee.

Then began the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Now, state oil revenues have been slashed under crippling international sanctions. Tourism is nonexistent, and confidence in the economy is at an all-time low. As a result, the Syrian pound (SYP) has lost a full 50 percent of its value, falling to the psychologically hard-to-stomach yardstick of SYP100 to $1, compared with SYP48 when the crisis began.

“So now my salary is actually $250: In a year, I lost half my monthly salary while prices of commodities doubled,” said the 50-year-old, a father with four children in school and a three-room home in the struggling Damascus suburb of Hajar al-Aswad.

On his way into work, he said, the usually tight-lipped passengers on the minibus now all chat away about money and prices. And when he returns home ready to enjoy the traditional, leisurely mid-afternoon lunch, Abu Bassam now often finds his wife driven to distraction by pressures on the family purse.

“Usually my salary covers all our food and bills for the month. But this month my wife told me the money had run out after just nine days,” he said. “I don’t know what to do. She went to buy some commodities and came back from the shop very upset because the price of sugar is now 110 Syrian pound, whereas it was 75 just a few days ago.”

Staples like rice and eggs have tripled in price over the year, while cooking oil has doubled, according to residents of the capital. Bakeries, subsidized by the state, have held their price of SYP15 for eight pieces of traditional flat bread.

(…)

March 14th, 2012, 3:25 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Wake up!

Get on to this! The Assad family exposed through their emails.

Shopping online and joking while Babr Amr is happening. Plus lots, lots more to enrage and disgust the world.

And here’s why it is likley to be genuine (and read the stories linked in the sidebar to this to get the full staggering picture)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/14/how-know-assad-emails-genuine?intcmp=239

Great timing for Syria Day.

March 14th, 2012, 3:34 pm

 

Tara said:

“Sam is Bashar and AK is Asma”. Read on.  Very interesting.  The monsters shop on the Internet.  ..Never again would they shop anywhere else…except the internet.. What a pity.  

How do we know the Assad emails are genuine?
It is impossible to rule out the possibility of fakes in the email cache, but several pieces of evidence suggest they are authentic

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 14 March 2012 14.07 EDT
….
In Asma’s case, there are a host of emails sent between ak@alshahba.com and Asma al-Assad’s family which offer compelling proof. Many emails sent to “ak” from her family begin “Hi Asma”, and one of her family’s email header lists ak@alshahba.com as Asma Akhras, Asma al-Assad’s maiden name.

There are many other examples of family members sending affectionate emails to Asma at the “ak” account. On 21 November 2011, one of her brothers sent her photos of their father’s recent birthday party, with the subject line “Dad’s birthday 2011”. The photos show Asma together with identifiable family members standing in a kitchen. The brother also circulated the photos to her other brother.

Could a third person be using either of the accounts?

Emails from the “ak” account sometimes sign off with “Alia”. Syrian opposition activists say this is Asma borrowing the name of a company secretary, Alia Kayali, who works at al-Shahba’s London office. They say the real Kayali had no access to the “ak” account. The Guardian has been unable to contact the real Alia Kayali to verify this, but it seems unlikely that such an intimate email account would be available to an underling. In a conversation with her friend Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani, the daughter of the emir of Qatar, Asma was asked if al-Thani could pass Asma al-Assad’s private “ak” email address to the wife of Turkey’s prime minister, who wanted to get in touch. Asma al-Assad replied four days later: “I would prefer that she did not get my email – I use this account only for family and friends.” Asma al-Assad signed herself “aaa”.

It would appear that Asma is shopping under a nom de plume. In correspondence relating to at least two different purchases, mails to suppliers are signed Alia Kayali, but other mails to Asma’s associates are unsigned. Bashar also appears to borrow an identity – that of Ayman Mikati of Fifth Avenue, New York – to shop on iTunes.

(…)

March 14th, 2012, 3:38 pm

 

Tara said:

Scandelouds!!!

Asma on July 19 2011:  “kisses to you all.  We are fine”     

But Assad’s email, using the pseudonym Sam, reflected none of the bloody turmoil or diplomatic jeopardy facing his country. In a bizarre message apparently from the Syrian leader, he sent his wife the lyrics of a country and western song by the US singer Blake Shelton, and the audio file downloaded from iTunes.

Laden with self-pity, the communication appeared to exemplify the cocooned life of denial that Assad, his family and inner circle were leading while the country erupted around them. The first verse reads: “I’ve been a walking heartache / I’ve made a mess of me / The person that I’ve been lately / Ain’t who I wanna be.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/14/gilded-lifestyle-assad-coterie-conflict?intcmp=239

The emails appear to show how tens of thousands of dollars were spent in internet shopping sprees on handmade furniture from Chelsea boutiques. Tens of thousands more were lavished on gold and gem-encrusted jewellery, chandeliers, expensive curtains and paintings to be shipped to the Middle East. While the country was rocked by Assad’s crackdown on dissent, his inner circle was concerned about the possibility of getting hold of a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, or a new chocolate fondue set.

On 19 July 2011, Asma al-Assad could be found placing orders with her cousin Amal for jewellery made by a small Paris workshop. She requested four necklaces: “1 turquoise with yellow gold diamonds and a small pave on side” as well as a cornaline, “full black onyx” and “amethyst with white gold diamonds” of similar design. Amal replied that she would “launch” the order in mid-August with a view to getting it done “by mid-September”. On 23 July 2011 Asma said she didn’t mind the delay and added self-deprecatingly: “I am absolutely clueless when it comes to fine jewellery!” She signed off as “aaa” with: “Kisses to you both, and don’t worry, we are well!”
…..
The emails suggest a woman preoccupied with shopping – but also with an eye for a bargain. She was eager to claw back VAT on luxury items shipped to Damascus, it emerges, and complained when a consignment of table lamps went missing in China. Emails sent from her personal account also concern the fate of a bespoke table, after it arrived with two “right” panels instead of a right and a left one. More than 50 emails to and from the UK deal with shopping.

….
In July, “Alia” is found placing an order for about £10,000 worth of candlesticks, tables and chandeliers to be shipped from a Paris designer through a state company in Dubai. In early November, as protests continued, a London art dealer received a message asking about the availability and price of works costing between £5,000 and £35,000 each. In late January “Alia” unpacked a pair of bedside tables shipped from a Chelsea cabinet maker, only to discover a mistake. She complained they had “different finishes and they have different colour draws!?”.
——–

March 14th, 2012, 3:54 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Tara,

Did I not tell you about this already.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=13847&cp=all#comment-298935

March 14th, 2012, 3:58 pm

 

Syrialover said:

And on the Assad emails,

Remember the Guardian were key players in the Wikileaks exposure. They know what they are doing and wouldn’t touch it if they thought it risked being a hoax.

It’s going to be hard for the distraction faction and block of red thumbs voters here to live this one down.

March 14th, 2012, 3:59 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

This is amazing! They are being exposed in every way imaginable and from unexpected sources. Who would have thought it? In a water-tight police state.

It’s game over for them. What were we talking about yesterday? Incrimination? Well it seems the sentence has been passed. Before they could even have the chance to celebrate and consolidate this ‘victory’ in Idlib before moving on to push the ‘advantage’ home this bad news to popped up to put a dampner on things.

What an embarrassment. Who’d want to be a regime supporter? The impossible job got even more impossible.

March 14th, 2012, 4:04 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Asma Assad, now finally exposed as a Leila Ben Ali in training.

I always expected that as more years passed she will look and act more like the hated Tunisian dictator’s wife.

But more humiliation and insults for Syrians who have have been forced to eat the personality propaganda and fake images about family man Assad and his wonderful wife.

March 14th, 2012, 4:09 pm

 

Syrialover said:

New post just started. Switch your comments to there

March 14th, 2012, 4:16 pm

 

Tara said:

SOD and all

New post is on. Mover over.

March 14th, 2012, 4:17 pm

 

Alan said:

كل من تناول الشأن السوري فشل ، بدء من الولايات التحدة وأجهزتها الاستخبارية و كندا مرورا بكافة الدول الأوروبية و معها تركيا و اسرائيل و الناتو مضافا اليها دول الخليج جميعها و بعض الدول العربية كتونس و ليبا و جزء من لبنان و جزء من الأردن و الأمم المتحدة و جامعة حمد العبرية و بعض معارضة الخارج و بعض معاضة الداخل و المنظمات الدولية و الة الاعلام العالمية و منظومة الانترنت و المواقع الاجتماعية و الغرف السوداء و الأقمار الصناعية ! كلهم هؤلاء حساباتهم خاطئة ! حل الموضوع السوري سيأتي من النظام هكذاشاءت الجغرافيا السياسية ! هناك من يعتقد ببذل المزيد من اللولبيات عل الأمر سيتغير ! لن يتغير بالرغبات و لا بالخزعبلات ! العملية السياسية و نبذ العنف هي التي ستخرج سورية من الانسداد !

March 14th, 2012, 4:34 pm

 

Alan said:

Cameron considers necessary work with the Russian Federation and China on a problem of Syria
http://news.mail.ru/politics/8352584/
WASHINGTON, RIA Novosti news agency, Maria Tabak. The prime minister of Great Britain David Cameron warns that Assad’s actions will inevitably lead to revolution or civil war and consequently it is necessary to work with Russia and China over the solution of the Syrian problem, the head of the British government at joint press conference with the U.S. President in Washington told on Wednesday.

March 14th, 2012, 4:42 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

[ Sandro, this comment was filtered by the word list and put in Spam. I can remove that word from the filter.]

US and UK are act as if they were afraid of Syria-Iran-HA axis, and they are. They have almost nothing to lose if they keep the status quo since they have no serious allies in these countries. While if they try to change something they could lose too many lifes that would represent a political price for Obama and Cameron.

The solution US and UK propose is: let Assad kill all insurgency to its roots and let´s expect he finishes his job as soon as possible so we can rely on his authoritarian figure once again to keep stability. We do not care a sh** about freedom and dignity of syrian people and we need Assad dictatorship to keep syrians under slavery status. For the sake of Israel and the Oil.

March 14th, 2012, 10:05 pm

 

ann said:

Syria Puts On Mass Rally in Support of Assad – March 15, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/world/middleeast/syria-mass-damascus-rally-for-assad.html

The government has appeared to gain confidence in recent days, driving rebels from strongholds in the north and sweeping through Dara’a as international efforts to stop the violence appeared to stall and public strife erupted among exile opposition leaders.

The large rally organized in support of the government came a day after the main Syrian exile opposition group suffered a serious fracture as several prominent members resigned, calling the group autocratic, dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and powerless to help Syrian rebels as government forces, having flushed insurgent strongholds in the north, swept into the rebellious southern city of Dara’a.

The government’s near-complete takeover of the cities of Homs and Idlib fueled frustration with the exile group, the Syrian National Council, said one activist who had resigned, Kamal al-Labwani, a respected dissident released from Syrian prison last year halfway through a 12-year sentence.

The council, he added, was in danger of causing splits in Syrian society by failing to create a single rebel military command under its control, leaving individual militias to seek their own sources of help. He accused Muslim Brotherhood members within the exile opposition of “monopolizing funding and military support.”

The 270-member council has been plagued by internal disagreements. A member of its executive committee, Samir Nachar, played down the latest frictions, saying the members had not submitted formal resignations. One, he said, was simply frustrated at his exclusion from a meeting with the United Nations special envoy, Kofi Annan. Mr. Nachar said Mr. Labwani had attended few meetings.

Mr. Nachar acknowledged the council needed to improve but said disagreements were inevitable, noting that many members had never met before the uprising and had widely varying backgrounds and opinions.

But this time the departing members include some well-known figures with deep credibility among Syrians both inside and outside the country, including Mr. Labwani and Haitham Maleh, an executive committee member and lawyer in his 80s who served many years in prison after defending Syrian dissidents, including Muslim Brotherhood members.

Mr. Maleh could not be reached for comment, but told Al Jazeera that he had resigned because of chaos within the group and doubt over what it could accomplish, adding, “We have not gotten very far in working to arm the rebels.”

[…]

March 15th, 2012, 8:43 am

 

Henry said:

It is interesting that Assad and his regime partners write in English to one another. Are they better able to write in English then Arabic?

How ironic that the leadership of a Baathist regime uses English to communicate with one another.

March 15th, 2012, 12:48 pm

 

Mina said:

243 Sandro
Allah yunawwir ‘alayk… akhiran…
i. e. “the Syrian Falluja”.
Doooorrak djayy ya Abu Sa’ud!

March 15th, 2012, 1:03 pm

 
 

Leo Syriacus said:

Tara,

On the subject of vitamin D I can add, from clinicl experience as I co-authored a study about vitamin D3 supplementaion, that if you live any where north of the Carolinas you will benefit of 1000 international units daily ( exposure to the sun in most of Europe and North America is not even half sufficient)

So yes, all of you, especially women and the over 50 crowd, soak in some of the sunlight and be grateful there are no tanks, artillery, shabiha, or armed gangs that bug your compatriots and if you can not then visit your neighbour hood friendly pharmacist and get a pill, it is good for your bones, prevents certain cancers, and make skin cells regenerate better

March 17th, 2012, 11:07 am

 

Leo Syriacus said:

A year has gone by and the revolution/insurregency in Syria is getting more and more complicated…for six months the regime has claimed that it is “mopping up” the “terrorist armed gangs” only to see more and more civilians particularly women and children embracing the revolution.

For six months the opposition members have spoken of the “regime last days” only to see the regime holding strong in military and political sense

For almost a year the combined Arab/EU/US sanctions have crippled the Syrian economy and despite hurting the Assad Mafia and their business men allies the most in lost revenues the sanctions did hurt the average Syrian more as the poor face a crisis and the middle class slip towards poverty

For months American and European diplomats and their regional allies kept threatening Assad only to back off military intervention when words and declarations stop

The Assads and their opponents (SNC..etc) are both enjoying the status quo and the average Syrian suffers

March 17th, 2012, 12:24 pm

 

Leo Syriacus said:

After my “bitch-fest” post I want to follow up with a more meaningful post:

1-Moderator:
Could we keep Syria Comment an English language only blog?

[ In a word, no. Arabic articles and comments have been part of Syria Comment since its inception.

Syria’s majority language is Arabic, and much breaking news, information, and comment is available only through Arabic-only sites (as well as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube …).The great common language of the Middle East and North Africa, spoken in every world capital, official language of the UN. A non-starter kind of suggestion for Syria Comment, sorry, but thank you for inviting this clarification.

Bing, Google and others offer translation services, and Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer etc., have toolbars or extensions to make rough Arabic instantly available in their browsers.

I apologize for holding this comment for too long today, Leo.

SCModeratation@mail.com]

I refer many non-Arabic speaking friends to visit the blog only for them to complain about the Arabic content.there are plenty of Arabic language blogs about Syria yet very very few English ones.

2-Supporters of The Revolution:

Please referain from arguing with the Basharophiles and instead discuss strategies for Post-Baath Syria that preserve the Syrian state its economy and institutions.

Any human with basic intelligence and moral decency will be against this regime and its children killing crimes and laughable media

At the same time you should all stop the infiltration of the revolution by foreign jihadis and be realistic of your expectations of the rag-tag militias of the FSA and squabbling opposition

3-Supporters of Bashar:

I love calling you Basharophiles!!

The regime is DOOMED..plain and simple no repressive, minoritarian, corrupt regime can last long against the will of most of its people and the Cosmic Conspiracy that includes everybody in the universe with its latest joining partner:The Mighty Easter Bunny!!

Instead of living in the delusion that this movement is just a terrorist-jihadist-foreign conspiracy engage with your fellow Syrians on how we can achieve the following:

* Peaceful tranisition of power
* Fair trail to everyone responsible for bloodshed in the last year
* Preventing “Vendetta” and “Settling Scores” outside the legal system in the post-Bashar Syria
* Preserving the Syrian state, its army, economy, and resources
* Ensuring the secular nature of the political system by engaging progressive Islamist parties ( the Turkisk, Malaysian, Indonesian style) versus Wahabism or Velayat Al-Faqih that can prevail if we mistakenly portray the regime as protector of secular Syrians of any creed
* Economic development
* Major political and social reforms

I am hopeful for Syria s future
I hope you all are

March 17th, 2012, 11:20 pm

 

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