“Exclusive: Secret Assad Emails Lift Lid on Life of Leader’s Inner Circle,” in Guardian

The Assad emails
Exclusive: secret Assad emails lift lid on life of leader’s inner circle
BY Robert Booth, Mona Mahmood and Luke Harding – Guardian

• Messages show Bashar al-Assad took advice from Iran
• Leader made light of promised reforms
• Wife spent thousands on jewellery and furniture

Assad emails: ‘If we are strong together …’

Date: 28 December 2011
A simple supportive message from Asma al-Assad to her husband.

If we are strong together, we will overcome this together…I love you…

 

Bashar al-Assad took advice from Iran on how to handle the uprising against his rule, according to a cache of what appear to be several thousand emails received and sent by the Syrian leader and his wife.

The Syrian leader was also briefed in detail about the presence of western journalists in the Baba Amr district of Homs and urged to “tighten the security grip” on the opposition-held city in November.

The revelations are contained in more than 3,000 documents that activists say are emails downloaded from private accounts belonging to Assad and his wife, Asma.

The messages, which have been obtained by the Guardian, are said to have been intercepted by members of the opposition Supreme Council of the Revolution group between June and early February.

The documents, which emerge on the first anniversary of the rebellion that has seen more than 8,000 Syrians killed, paint a portrait of a first family remarkably insulated from the mounting crisis and continuing to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle.

They appear to show the president’s wife spending thousands of dollars over the internet for designer goods while he swaps entertaining internet links on his iPad and downloads music from iTunes.

As the world watched in horror at the brutal suppression of protests across the country and many Syrians faced food shortages and other hardships, Mrs Assad spent more than £10,000 on candlesticks, tables and chandeliers from Paris and instructed an aide to order a fondue set from Amazon.

The Guardian has made extensive efforts to authenticate the emails by checking their contents against established facts and contacting 10 individuals whose correspondence appears in the cache. These checks suggest the messages are genuine, but it has not been possible to verify every one.

The emails also appear to show that:

• Assad established a network of trusted aides who reported directly to him through his “private” email account – bypassing both his powerful clan and the country’s security apparatus.

• Assad made light of reforms he had promised in an attempt to defuse the crisis, referring to “rubbish laws of parties, elections, media”.

• A daughter of the emir of Qatar, Hamid bin Khalifa al-Thani, this year advised Mr and Mrs Assad to leave Syria and suggested Doha may offer them exile.

• Assad sidestepped extensive US sanctions against him by using a third party with a US address to make purchases of music and apps from Apple’s iTunes.

• A Dubai-based company, al-Shahba, with a registered office in London is used as a key conduit for Syrian government business and private purchases by the Syrian first lady.

Activists say they were passed username and password details believed to have been used by the couple by a mole in the president’s inner circle. The email addresses used the domain name alshahba.com, a conglomerate of companies used by the regime. They say the details allowed uninterrupted access to the two inboxes until the leak was discovered in February.

The emails appear to show how Assad assembled a team of aides to advise him on media strategy and how to position himself in the face of increasing international criticism of his regime’s attempts to crush the uprising, which is now thought to have claimed more than 10,000 lives.

Activists say they were able to monitor the inboxes of Assad and his wife in real time for several months. In several cases they claim to have used fresh information to warn colleagues in Damascus of imminent regime moves against them.

The access continued until 7 February when a threatening email arrived in the inbox thought to be used by Assad after the account’s existence was revealed when the Anonymous group separately hacked into a number of Syrian government email addresses. All correspondence to and from the two addresses ceased on the same day.

The emails appear to show that Assad received advice from Iran or its proxies on several occasions during the crisis. Ahead of a speech in December his media consultant prepared a long list of themes, reporting that the advice was based on “consultations with a good number of people in addition to the media and political adviser for the Iranian ambassador”.

The memo advised the president to use “powerful and violent” language and to show appreciation for support from “friendly states”. It also advised that the regime should “leak more information related to our military capability” to convince the public that it could withstand a military challenge.

The president also received advice from Hussein Mortada, an influential Lebanese businessman with strong connections to Iran. In December, Mortada urged Assad to stop blaming al-Qaida for an apparent twin car bombing in Damascus, which took place the day before an Arab League observer mission arrived in the country. He said he had been in contact with Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon who shared the same view.

“It is not out of our interest to say that al-Qaida organisation is behind the operation because this claim will [indemnify] the US administration and Syrian opposition,” Mortada wrote not long after the blasts. “I have received contacts from Iran and Hezbollah in my role as director of many Iranian-Lebanese channels and they directed me to not mention that al-Qaida is behind the operation. It is a blatant tactical media mistake.”

In another email Mortada advised the president that the regime needed to take control of public squares between 3pm and 9pm to deny opposition groups the opportunity to gather there.

Iran and Hezbollah have been accused throughout the year-long uprising of providing on-the-ground support to the regime crackdown, including sending soldiers to fight alongside regime forces and technical experts to help identify activists using the internet. Iran and Hezbollah both deny offering anything more than moral support.

Among others who communicated with the president’s account were Khaled al-Ahmed, who it is believed was tasked with providing advice about Homs and Idlib. In November Ahmed wrote to Assad urging him to “tighten the security grip to start [the] operation to restore state control and authority in Idlib and Hama countryside”.

He also told Assad he had been told that European reporters had “entered the area by crossing the Lebanese borders illegally”. In another mail he warned the president that “a tested source who met with leaders of groups in Baba Amr today said that a big shipment of weapons is coming from Libya will arrive to the seashores of one of the neighbouring states within three days to be smuggled to Syria.”

Link to this videoThe emails offer a rare window on the state of mind of the isolated Syrian leader, apparently lurching between self-pity, defiance and flippancy as he swapped links to amusing video footage with his aides and wife. On one occasion he forwards to an aide a link to YouTube footage of a crude re-enactment of the siege of Homs using toys and biscuits.

Throughout 2011, his wife appears to have kept up regular correspondence with the Qatar emir’s daughter, Mayassa al-Thani. But relations appear to have chilled early this year when Thani directly suggested that the Syrian leader step down.

“My father regards President Bashar as a friend, despite the current tensions – he always gave him genuine advice,” she wrote on 11 December. “The opportunity for real change and development was lost a long time ago. Nevertheless, one opportunity closes, others open up – and I hope its not too late for reflection and coming out of the state of denial.”

A second email on 30 January was even more forthright and including a tacit offer of exile. “Just been following the latest developments in Syria … in all honesty – looking at the tide of history and the escalation of recent events – we’ve seen two results – leaders stepping down and getting political asylum or leaders being brutally attacked. I honestly think this is a good opportunity to leave and re-start a normal life.

“I only pray that you will convince the president to take this an opportunity to exit without having to face charges. The region needs to stabilise, but not more than you need peace of mind. I am sure you have many places to turn to, including Doha.”

The direct line of reporting to Assad, independent of the police state’s military and intelligence agencies, was a trait of his father, Hafez al-Assad, who ruled Syria for three decades until his death in 2000 ushered the then 36-year-old scion into the presidency.

Assad Sr was renowned for establishing multiple reporting lines from security chiefs and trusted aides in the belief that it would deny the opportunity for any one agency to become powerful enough to pose a threat to him.

His son has reputedly shown the same instincts through his decade of rule. The year-long uprising against his decade of rule appeared to be faltering this week as forces loyal to Assad retook the key northern city of Idlib.

Much of Assad’s media advice comes from two young US-educated Syrian women, Sheherazad Jaafari and Hadeel al-Al. Both regularly stress to Assad, who uses the address sam@alshahba, the importance of social media, and particularly the importance of intervening in online discussions. At one point, Jaafari boasts that CNN has fallen for a nom-de-guerre that she set up to post pro-regime remarks. The emails also reveal that the media team has convinced Twitter to close accounts that purport to represent the Syrian regime.

Several weeks after the sam@alshahba.com email was compromised in February, a new Syrian state television channel broadcast two segments denying that the email address had been used by Assad.

Opposition activists claim that this was a pre-emptive move to discredit any future leaking of the emails.

The US president, Barack Obama, signed an executive order last May imposing sanctions against Assad and other Syrian government officials.

In addition to freezing their US assets, the order prohibited “US persons” from engaging in transactions with them. The EU adopted similar measures against Assad last year. They include an EU-wide travel ban for the Syrian president and an embargo on military exports to Syria.

Syrian National Council is an “Illusion”

(AP) — “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 …. One of the dissidents who resigned, Kamal al-Labwani, accused the leadership of the Syrian National Council of controlling the body’s work while sidelining most of its 270 members.
“There is no council, it’s an illusion,” said al-Labwani, who worked for years against the Assad family regime before being jailed in 2005. He joined the council soon after being released in November.

He accused council chief Burhan Ghalioun and a few others of running the organization autocratically, even comparing it to Assad’s ruling Baath party….
He said that another council member, Catherine al-Talli, has also quit and said he expected many more to quit soon to pressure the council leadership. Al-Labwani called for an international conference in Turkey to give the council a new charter and make it more democratic.

Another dissident, 80 year-old lawyer Haitham al-Maleh, said he too had quit the council, but did not say why. He has accused the group in the past of being out of touch and not consulting those long opposed to the regime…. “

The Rafiq Hariri brigade demonstrates in this video how many soldiers they killed and captured prior to the military assault of Idlib. It also shows the tanks they captured.

By Sharmine Narwani - Tue, 2012-03-13 15:12- The Sandbox – Al-Akhbar
Last October I was asked to write an article on the direction of the crisis in Syria – a month later, I had still not made it beyond an introductory paragraph. Syria was confusing. The public discourse about events in the country appeared to be more hyperbole than fact. But even behind the scene, sources strained to provide informed analyses, and it was fairly evident that a lot of guesswork was being employed.
By December, it occurred to me that a big part of the problem was the external-based opposition and their disproportionately loud voices. If you were actually in the business of digging for “verified” information on Syria last year, you would have also quickly copped on to the fact that this wing of the Syrian opposition lies – and lies big.
This discovery coincided with a new report by US intelligence analyst Stratfor that claimed: “most of the opposition’s more serious claims have turned out to be grossly exaggerated or simply untrue, thereby revealing more about the opposition’s weaknesses than the level of instability inside the Syrian regime.”
I had another niggling feeling that just wouldn’t quit: given the amount of regime-initiated violence and widespread popular dissent being reported in the mainstream media, why was the Syrian death toll so low after 10 months of alleged brutality?
Because, if the regime was not engaging in the kind of reckless slaughter suggested by activists, it would appear that they were, in fact, exercising considerable restraint.
Stratfor said that too. The risk analysis group argues that allegations of massacres against civilians were unlikely because the “regime has calibrated its crackdowns to avoid just such a scenario. Regime forces,” Stratfor argues, “have been careful to avoid the high casualty numbers that could lead to an intervention based on humanitarian grounds.”
For me, the events in Homs in February confirmed rather than contradicted this view. The general media narrative was very certain: there was a widescale civilian massacre in Baba Amr caused by relentless, indiscriminate shelling by government forces that pounded the neighborhood for weeks.
The videos pouring out of the besieged city were incriminating in the extreme. Black smoke plumes from shelling choked the city, piled up bodies spoke of brutal slaughter; the sound of mass wailing was only interrupted by explosions, gunfire and cries of “Allahu Akbar.”
But when it was over, we learned a few things. Contrary to reports during the “siege,” there were only a few thousand civilians in Baba Amr at the time – all others had already evacuated the area. The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and its local partner, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), had been administering assistance at nine separate points in Homs for the duration. They would not enter the neighborhoods of Baba Amr and Insha’at because of continuing violence on “both sides.”
The armed opposition fighters holed up in Homs during that month were, therefore, unlikely to be there in a purely “protective” capacity. As American journalist Nir Rosen points out, what happened in Homs on February 3 was a government response to direct and repeated “provocation:”
“Yesterday opposition fighters defeated the regime checkpoint at the Qahira roundabout and they seized a tank or armored personnel carrier. This followed similar successes against the Bab Dreib checkpoint and the Bustan al Diwan checkpoint. In response to this last provocation yesterday the regime started shelling with mortars from the Qalaa on the high ground and the State Security headquarters in Ghota.”
This account contrasts starkly with the oft-repeated notion that armed opposition groups act primarily to protect “peaceful demonstrators” and civilians.
Homs also marks the point in the Syrian crisis when I noticed a quiet cynicism developing in the professional media about sources and information from Syria. Cracks are bound to appear in a story this widely broadcast, especially when there is little actual verifiable information in this highly competitive industry.
Cue the now infamous video by Syrian activist Danny Abdul Dayem – dubbed by the Washington Post as “the voice of Homs” – where he dazzles CNN’s Anderson Cooper with little more than bad 1950s-style sound effects, blurry scenes of fires and a breathless rendition of “facts.” Of all the media-fraud videos Syrian TV broadcast two weeks ago, none were as compelling as Danny’s – his credibility stock plummeting almost as fast as his meteoric rise to media “darling.”
It reminds me of August 2011 news reports of warships shelling the coastal city of Latakia. Three separate sources – two opposition figures from the city and an independent western journalist – later insisted there were no signs of shelling. It was also the first time I learned from Syrians that you can burn rubber tires on rooftops to simulate the after-effects of exploded shells.
Question: Why would activists have to resort to stage-crafting scenesand sound effects of violence if the regime was already “pounding Homs” to bits?
What have we actually seen in Homs? Explosions. Fires. Dead bodies. Injured civilians. Men with weapons. The government has openly admitted to shelling, so we know that is a fact. But how much shelling, and is it indiscriminate? Observers afterward have said Baba Amr resembles a destroyed ghost town. How much of this was done by the regime? And how much was done by the opposition?
Turkish publication Today’s Zaman reported on Sunday: “Last week, a Pentagon report stated that IED usage by the opposition has more than doubled since December.” How are these Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) – used mainly in unconventional warfare – being employed? As roadside bombs, targeting security forces, inside towns and cities?
On Sunday I was included in a private messaging thread with seven Syrians who I have communicated with over the course of some months. Most are known to me either directly or with one degree of separation. This was not a usual thread on Syria – the initiating participant, who I will call Ziad, was informing the others privately about what was taking place in Idlib as government forces moved into the area.
Ziad’s family is from Idlib, and although I wasn’t a participant in the conversation, it appears that he had spent much of the weekend making phone calls to family members who were reporting the following. I have changed the names of participants to protect their identities. Two things strike me about this chat – the first is the information that armed groups are rigging the town with IEDs before the army arrives, either to target security forces or to create material damage to buildings. The second is that there is a malaise among the message participants about this information. As in, so what? Who is going to believe this? Who is going to do anything about this?
Ziad:
Today the Army went into the city of Idleb (the city itself not the province).
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 uncles balcony , who now lost half his home, his living room got bigger and has a panoramic view.
They had set up machine gun nests on a few mosques and communication towers.
Around 200 militants were gathered near my grandmother’s house and took refuge in the building right next to them. The neighborhood is a Christian neighborhood (cant confirm or deny it’s a coincidence).
The battle lasted all day, my family is safe but both my grandmother’s house and my uncle’s house got damaged. The first by the IED and the second 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 so there was no surprise there.
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 pressure and you have to attempt several times for the call to go through.Ziad:
The plan will probably be pushing them into what is called “the northern quarter” an area already emptied from civilians and largely a militant stronghold. Once they corner them in the northern area the army will take them out decisively. Most people expect this to end within the next two days.

Outside the city there was a clash on the Turkish border with militants attempting to come from turkey to Idleb to reinforce the militants.
Ziad:
Just to make it clear the Army did not finish sweeping the entire city
Joumana:
I don’t know what to say Ziad. Should I be happy or sad? I feel sorry for the people caught in the middle, but this has to be done! So is the city clean?
Ziad:
No its not clean. Operation started yesterday from 5 am till around 6. The same thing today but today the army went in deeper. They are doing it progressively and trying to avoid the most damages.
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)
Ziad:
Also, contrary to what is being reported, the town of Benech (بنش ) was not shelled today and was not even attacked.
Oh and since the morning the army was asking people to go down to the shelters and take refuge using speakers across the city.
I just heard on Aljazeera that the army dragged over 20 civilians and executed them in “Dabbit neighborhood”(ضبيط ), that is not true because I have family there too and that did not happen.
Hanan:
Ziad, they are using the propaganda of the 80′s. Want to lead people’s brains to the Hama massacre. To make it look believable
Joumana:
The MB are insisting on getting their revenge. Linking the events to what happened in Hama. Many people will believe.
Ziad:
Just to give you a perspective on the scale of irresponsibility and damage by the militants. Just under my uncles house there were 4 IEDs, one of them exploded damaging a BMP (and the building) as the army was approaching and the army stopped there and pulled back to reassemble for another try. In that single spot there was over 60 kgs of explosives. Once large one was planted in a 2×2 hole. Right now the army reached their neighborhood and is still there.
These militants don’t even live there and are just making those neighborhoods their front using civilians as shields. Once they are pushed back into the open fields the army will mow them down like grass.
I’m optimistic this will be over in the coming two days.
Jouwana:
But Ziad, why isn’t there anyone reporting this to the media?
Mohammad:
if they report it no one (outside Syria) will believe it …
Ziad:
I think by now we can all agree the pro Syrian media has limited clout and the anti Syria media just doesn’t do any fact checking and research and is resorting to sectarian tone and hysteria.
The government I think it focusing its energy and resources on finishing the security element of the crisis while juggling the economy and foreign diplomacy. They realize they cannot win the media war and might as well focus on what they are good at and what is more important. Syria never was “popular” and it certainly won’t be done during this crisis.
Ziad is not a reporter, he relies entirely on his family’s accounts and estimates in Idlib, and his claims cannot be verified at this point. But these are important testimonies – the anecdotal evidence that provides the basis for further investigation. We used to hear many more of these accounts from all sides in the first few months of the Syrian crisis, before the pressure of the dominant narratives intimidated even the best bloggers into toeing a hyper-cautious line.
Conjecture and hysteria aside, there is plenty of indication that the Syrian government is pursuing a policy of eliminating armed groups in a slow, measured sweep of the country, particularly focusing on towns and neighborhoods where they have allowed these elements to swell in recent months.
There are many who would find this offensive enough to continue raging against the Syrian regime – it is unnecessary to concoct daily stories of civilian slaughters to keep Syria in the headlines.
There is also increasing evidence that armed opposition groups are targeting civilians, security forces and property with violence in ever greater numbers. Is there absolute evidence of this? Not yet. Is there absolute evidence for the allegations against the regime? Not yet. I doubt that there has been a recent conflict with this much finger-pointing, and this little established fact.
Today, reporting from inside Idlib, Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught described the bombing as “earth-shaking and relentless.” Bombing caused by who?
“Hollywood” in Syria? Oh yes. Scene-setting the likes of which we have not yet seen outside of celluloid fiction. Delivering lines to a rapt audience that seems incapable of questioning the plot. Some of what transpires in Syria in the future will depend on this: Do people want to go behind the velvet curtain and see the strings – or are they content to be simply led by the entertainment.
Sharmine Narwani is a commentary writer and political analyst covering the Middle East. You can follow Sharmine on twitter @snarwani.

A journey into Syria’s nightmare

Reuters By Zohra Bensemra | Reuters

Zohra Bensemra is a news photographer for Reuters. Based in Algiers, she traveled on assignment to Syria in February. This is her account of that journey:

…. Smoke was still rising from some buildings as we entered through back roads. Local people kept approaching us: “Come and see my father, he was killed!” one would say; “Come down this road, there are two bodies!”; “Come and see my house that was destroyed.”

The shelling seemed to have been indiscriminate. Houses in different parts of town had been hit. It was as if a blind man had been firing the guns and could not see or did not care where the shells fell.

Local people took us to a house where they said a woman of 70 had died. A shell had hit it. The mirror in her bedroom was spattered in blood, and flesh. It was as if she had exploded…..

Monastery in Sednayya attacked

Syrian Kurds get cold reception from Iraqi Kurds
By LARA JAKES and YAHYA BARZANJI | Associated Press

QAMISHLI, Iraq (AP) — Kurdish Syrians fleeing their nation’s bloody uprising are all but prisoners in northern Iraqi refugee camps, though they seek shelter in a region that was created specifically as a safe haven for ethnic Kurds.

Local Kurdish officials in the Iraqi province of Dahuk, which borders Syria, voted Wednesday to open a second refugee camp for the growing number of Syrian Kurds who are arriving every day. But they are not allowed to leave the first, spartan camp at Qamishli, and have been told they must apply for residency before they may live freely in the region widely referred to as, simply, Kurdistan.

It’s a twofold irony: Kurds are Syria’s largest ethnic minority but long have been considered illegal immigrants there. Moreover, Iraqis used Syria as a safe haven during the worst of the sectarian violence that nearly plunged their nation in civil war just a few years ago.

“We can’t move or work freely, and our family can’t send us money,” Qamishli refugee Radhwan Nadhum al-Ali said in an interview this week. He compared the small camp to “living in a big prison cell.”

“I’m mulling whether to go back and face death rather than staying here,” al-Ali said.

Iraqi Kurdish soldiers guard the camp at Qamishli, about 60 kilometers (30 miles) from the border. Dahuk provincial immigration director Mohammed Abdullah Hammo said its Syrian Kurdish residents “are not allowed to leave the camps.”

“They need security approval and residency permission to be in Kurdistan, just like anyone else,” he said Wednesday. He estimated that process would take a month. (…)

Comments (856)


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651. Jad said:

تفجير سيارة مفخخة من قبل ارهابيين في حلب 18 3 2012

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March 18th, 2012, 11:57 am

 

652. Jad said:

Mjabali
Izra3a bida2ni hal marra.

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March 18th, 2012, 11:59 am

 

653. Dawoud said:

Wanted!

Picture of the terrorist who planned and ordered the terrorist attacks in Damascus yesterday and Aleppo today.
If you know the terrorist shown in the picture on the Website link below, please call the police:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashar_al-Assad

His picture will be shown on a new program called “Syria’s Most Wanted!”

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March 18th, 2012, 12:00 pm

 

654. Jad said:

The funeral of yesterday victims in Damascus

تشييع شهداء تفجيري دمشق الإرهابيين 18/3/2012

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March 18th, 2012, 12:04 pm

 

655. Jad said:

رد الشعب السوري على التفجير الارهابي – يارا صالح

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March 18th, 2012, 12:13 pm

 

656. ann said:

Obama’s Muslim Adviser on Assad’s ‘Resistance to Israel’ – 3/18/2012

A Muslim adviser to the Obama White House tweeted last week that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can’t deliver ‘resistance to Israel.’

A Muslim adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama warned in a post on the Twitter social networking site last week that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can’t deliver ‘resistance to Israel.’ The adviser, Egyptian-born Dalia Mohaded, is employed in the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, at the White House.

The tweet, posted on March 10 and picked up by the media watchdog Jihadwatch, read as follows: “To those siding w/Assad: he cannot deliver stability, protection of minorities, or resistance to Israel. He is a killer w/o legitimacy.”

The issue of Mogahed’s questionable priorities has also been raised by the Family Security Matters (FSM) organization, who noted that Mogahed serves on the U.S. Homeland Security Council, and is an executive at the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and its polling center.

“Mogahed has been a tenacious defender of groups like the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), both of which are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood,” points out FSM in a post on the organization’s website.

[...]

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March 18th, 2012, 12:15 pm

 

657. Dawoud said:

Everyday is a Cyber Monday for Asma Bashar al-Assad:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber_Monday

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March 18th, 2012, 12:17 pm

 

658. mjabali said:

[ Mjabali, there are 9 posts held back at this moment. Most will be put back up without comment. Some will be deleted to trash.

Moderating comments has a few techical limitations. If we need to add a note, correct typos, improve readability, or add answers to comments, those comments are suspended from the web page while review and editing is done. Sometimes this is seconds, sometimes this is, to my regret, hours.

Deleted are items that go against Dr Landis's Rules and Regulations, most usually for discriminatory, derogatory, accusatory or otherwise hateful or needlessly provocative language.

My job is to apply the rules and to keep discussion relatively civil, and open to the widest possible range of opinion. I strive to be fair and consistent in doing this service. I do appreciate corrections and criticisms.

If you have complaints or suggestions or questions, please write directly. Thank you for the opportunity to explain that sometimes posts are briefly held back for review or answer, as with this one.

SCModeration@mail.com]

The moderator of this blog again put my ideas and words in his jail instead of bringing us some quality information about what is going on in Syria. This moderator is responsible for to migration of many good people off this blog. I think i will be the next and say goodbye to this place that is reminding me more and more of Syria where no one could say a word without fear of “moderation.”

Moderation in this blog is pure censorship. Come on put my words again on moderation and make them disappear. Shame on you.

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March 18th, 2012, 12:18 pm

 

659. 873 said:

[ 873, there are 8 posts held back at this moment. Most will be put back up without comment. Some will be deleted to trash. See the note to Mjabali above.

Re: Nir Rosen, within the last week, one commentator urged that one of his comments mentioning Nir Rosen be removed. The commentator noted to me that his comments needed to be removed, because they had been noted by Rosen's professional colleagues, and that they could be used to compromise his personal security. I will not repeat the content of those comments.

This is a sensitive issue, 873, and forgive me if I am too alert to the implications of some charges and accusations against Rosen. The proper place for discussion of Rosen, his alleged collusion with the Syrian government, his alleged participation in Israeli secret services, etc. - is at the link provided, where the men in question - including Carl Prine - are in discussion.

Please be mindful of the risk that journalists may encounter presently. It is a time of death in Syria. Nir Rosen lives in Beirut.

Thank you for the opportunity to explain. I will send you a private note with further details.]

OMEN,

Suddenly BOTH the Nir Rosen comments now ‘under consideration”.
Just answer the question Nir, or Carl for him- what was your job in IDF and why not include it openly in your bio?

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March 18th, 2012, 12:19 pm

 

660. Dawoud said:

[ Dawoud, please avoid further language singling out a national group as below.]

As I said in my earlier comment 604. DAWOUD, RT and Xinhuantet (whatever) woke in Beirut, Lebanon and began to post pro-Dictator propaganda!

First, although I am not a fan of any absolute monarchies, I would like to thank Saudi Arabia and Jordan for providing military assistance to the FSA and the Syrians who are trying to protect themselves from Bathar (Bashar) and his T72 tanks and helicopters. Syrians need anti-tank 72 missiles in order to destroy Bashar’s T72 tanks that are hitting civilian houses, mosques, and churches in Homs, Idlib, Dera’ah, etc.

Syria is an Arab country and I hope that our Jordanian and Saudi brothers also send military advisors, primarily to defeat Bashar and his non-Arab Persian Iranians. Isn’t al-Quds forces and Hasan Nasr something Shabiha already helping the dictator kill our people in Syria.

It is very sad that Bashar is killing our people in the latest terrorist bombings in Damascus and Aleppo in order to distract the UN monitors, who are requesting entry into Syria. Didn’t he do the same thing when AL monitors were about to begin their mission?!

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March 18th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 
 

662. Dawoud said:

I don’t think that Israel has anything to worry about from the person whom they describe as the “paper tiger” (Bathar or Bashar)!
بثار الاثد :-)

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March 18th, 2012, 12:26 pm

 

663. Alan said:

659. MINA
Happy news for Juergen.

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March 18th, 2012, 12:27 pm

 

664. ann said:

FM: No plans to swap Turkish journalists for Syrian generals – 18 March 2012

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-274693-fm-no-plans-to-swap-turkish-journalists-for-syrian-generals.html

A story by the Hürriyet daily last week reported that the government is pondering swapping six defecting brigadier-generals who recently crossed the border into Turkey for the journalists, the Foreign Ministry told Today’s Zaman on Sunday this is false. Instead, diplomatic sources within the ministry told Today’s Zaman that ministry officials and their Syrian counterparts are discussing the matter but have not come to an agreement.

[...]

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March 18th, 2012, 12:31 pm

 

665. Dawoud said:

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/03/18/201485.html

مراسلات بشار مع شهرزاد ولونا الشبل ووالد زوجته
فواز الأخرس اقترح أن تستضيف قناة دنيا أو قناة سوريا معارضين من الخليج

العربية.نت
كشفت مراسلات البريد الإلكتروني المسربة للرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، التي حصلت عليها قناة “العربية”، عن وجود أكثر من شخصية تنصحه في مجال الإعلام والتواصل، أبرزهم شهرزاد جعفري، ابنة بشار جعفري سفير سوريا لدى الأمم المتحدة، والإعلامية لونا شبل وفواز الأخرس والد أسماء الأسد.

ويبدو أن شهرزاد الجعفري هي المستشارة الإعلامية للعلاقات الخارجية لبشار الأسد. وفي رسالة بعثتها إلى بشار الأسد في 20 يونيو/تموز 2011 رشحت صحافية قناة “إن بي سي” الأمريكية آن كوري للقيام بحوار مع بشار إن كان يرغب هو بذلك، مؤكدة أن كوري لها “مقاربة حسنة” لما يحدث في سوريا.
شهرزاد الجعفري تنصح الأسد قبل مقابلة “أي بي سي”
وقبل مقابلة بشار الأسد مع مذيعة قناة “أي بي سي” بربارة والترز يبدو أن جعفري بعثت رسالة إلى الأسد بتاريخ 19 نوفمبر/تشرين الثاني 2012 تفصل له فيها أولويات المقابلة.

وعلى سبيل المثال نصحته بتذكر أنه ليس هناك “زعماء للمعارضة” السورية بل فقط “شخصيات معارضة” غير موحدة أيديولوجياً.

كما نصحته بالقيام بعرض موجز للإصلاحات التي تمت في سوريا من دون التطرق إلى التفاصيل، مضيفةً أن “الأمريكيين أغبياء جداً في فهم التفاصيل”.

ثم طلبت جعفري من الأسد خلال المقابلة توضيح أنه في بدء الأزمة كانت سوريا تسمح بدخول المراسلين الأجانب إليها، لكن تم منعهم عندما لوحظ أنهم يحاولون تضخيم الأمور وتصويرها بطريقة تصلح لفيلم هوليوودي.

كما قالت للأسد إنه يجدر الإشارة إلى كيف أن الإعلام مدح كثيراً وانتقد كثيراً شخصية الأسد في العقد الذي مضى، شارحة أنه “في وقت ما كان ينظر إليك كبطل، وفي أوقات أخرى كنت (الشخص السيئ)، الأمريكيون يعشقون هذه الأشياء ويقتنعون بها”.
[...]

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March 18th, 2012, 12:38 pm

 

666. ss said:

Those who support the regime I have this to say:

1. Are you surprised by the terrorist attacks in Damascus yesterday and in Allepo today?

I hope you realize we are in it for the long run. The regime is facing muslim brotherhood and al Qaeda both united. This is not going to be easy and I expect many terror attacks in the future. This is the only language these terrorist islamic based organizations understands.

2. Why should I blame SC for not reporting the terrorist attacks, at the end this website should not go againts the mainstream media in the US. I think we are asking a lot. BBC, CNN, FOX, Aljazeera are attacking the regime in Syria and labeling with many names, they are lable the attacks as made by the regime, on top of that you want from SC to jump and report the incidence as a terrorist attack. Well I think we would be asking too much.

For those who support terrorist and United MB+Qaeda organization:

1. You are facing the Syrian people, your job is going to be hell hard.

2. Your language of explosions and mass killings will not help your cause. You have no freinds amonst the free Syrian people.

3. I am shocked how some here send their condolences to a patriarch of the Orthodox Coptic Church Schenuda III, which is noble thing to do but at the same time failed to express their sorrow for many christians who were killed in Qasa3 yesterday.

4. Do you think by exploding cars and bringing terror to the Syrian people you will be able to topple the regime?? Do you think that the Syrian people will trust you???

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March 18th, 2012, 12:42 pm

 

667. Dawoud said:

662. DAWOUD

Dear Moderator:
I think that you misinterpreted what I said. I was stating facts, not opinions: Saudi Arabi and Jordan are Arab countries, and Iran is a non-Arab Persian country. That’s all!

S.Arabia and Jordan are member of the Arab League, Iran isn’t.

Sincerely,
Dawoud

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March 18th, 2012, 12:45 pm

 

668. Alan said:

The Obama Doctrine
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/02/27/the_obama_doctrine
…(….)…
Crises the administration deems indirect threats to the United States — such as the uprisings in Libya and Syria — are “threats to global security,” Rhodes argued, and will be responded to multilaterally and not necessarily by force. The drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the creation of a smaller, more agile U.S. military spread across Asia, the Pacific, and the Middle East, are also part of the doctrine. So is the discreet backing of protesters in Egypt, Iran, and Syria.

The emerging strategy — which Rhodes touted as “a far more focused approach to our adversaries” — is a welcome shift from the martial policies and bellicose rhetoric of both the Bush administration and today’s Republican presidential candidates. But Obama has granted the CIA far too much leeway in carrying out drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. In both countries, the strikes often appear to be backfiring.

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March 18th, 2012, 12:56 pm

 

669. Mina said:

SS
Don’t even ask them to reflect on the Algerian or the Iraqi experience; to condemn the mad Gulf clerics and their sectarian provocations; to have the slightest idea of how they see “day 2″ or “day 3″. It is none of their business. Just click-and-pay.

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March 18th, 2012, 1:02 pm

 
 
 

672. jad said:

Blackening Assad, whitening Cameron and Obama
{…}
Do Nick Robinson, Mark Mardell and their BBC associates even deserve the basic entitlement ‘journalists’? What they say and convey is so routinely, so obediently, pro-establishment, so removed from any semblance of analytical integrity, it might reasonably shame Pravda.

From illegal invasions to proxy coups, here are two countries directly responsible for the worst warmongering catastrophes on the planet, two super-imperialist entities with not the slightest right to claim ‘moral intervention’.

But, why might the ‘BBC’s finest’, flying on the PM’s plane, drag up such awkward, core realities when there’s so many more ‘diplomatic’ things to say on the ‘cool chemistry’ between the Camerons and Obamas?
{…}
On the issue of Syria, the mainstream media is awash with atrocities committed by Assad. All fair reporting of regime-directed killing, one might reasonably say, particularly given the accompanying appeals from Amnesty and Human Rights Watch.

Yet, they, along with the Western mainstream media, have amplified a convenient headline narrative, failing to report the complexities of the conflict, the multi-competing forces, the manoeuvring of favoured regimes like Saudi Arabia and, above all, the West’s own pernicious agenda.

Where amongst all the damning columns on the Assad regime is the key story of Nato’s dark ‘interventionist’ intent? As Wikileaks-released emails from the Pentagon-linked Stratfor agency confirm, US/Nato forces have been operating inside Syria all along seeking to destabilise Assad.

Which begs related questions of a media with so much nuanced information at its disposal. Why isn’t the conflict reported as an effective civil war? Who is arming the opposition? Who, beyond the Free Syrian Army, are the opposition? Why are the media only citing selective opposition ‘sources’? What responsibility does the FSA bear for the killing and casualties? Do the majority of Syrians, even those not supporting Assad, really want regime change?

Fair presentation of those questions would be in the public interest, but it wouldn’t suit the Manichean, black-and-white view the West wants promoted.

Also, what’s the true reason for vilifying Russia and China? For all their own vested interests, both are still rightly resisting any Security Council mandate that facilitates Western force.

Only rare, yet still marginal, voices within the liberal media like Jonathan Steele are helping to separate fact from stylised fiction.
{…}
Only the Assads and other Western enemies, it seems, are capable of living lavishly, indifferent to their war crimes, while ‘our’ criminality, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Palestine and elsewhere is treated as ‘intervention’ and ‘conflict management’, the state executives of those high crimes, from Blair to Cameron, deferred to as political celebrities.
{…}
As Sharmine Narwani asks:

““Hollywood” in Syria? Oh yes. Scene-setting the likes of which we have not yet seen outside of celluloid fiction. Delivering lines to a rapt audience that seems incapable of questioning the plot. Some of what transpires in Syria in the future will depend on this: Do people want to go behind the velvet curtain and see the strings – or are they content to be simply led by the entertainment.”

But that again would require proper media insight and courage, the depressing vacuousness of which is pressed home in Narwani’s scathing letter Dear Western journalist.

Assad’s repressions should be fairly reported and condemned, those personal indulgences noted. But his crimes and abuses are minuscule – and calculatingly exaggerated – compared with those committed by the US/UK.

Instead of sycophantic spin on the ‘special relationship’ and US/UK plans for ‘ethical assistance’, any serious reporting of Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and other sites of imperialist interest would relate, as standard truth, the reminder that Obama and Cameron are themselves proven warmongers, that their states are responsible for mass crimes against humanity and that the ‘moral concerns’ they gushingly express from the White House lawn should be treated by the media and public alike as warnings of further subterfuge, war and illicit killing to come.

http://johnhilley.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/blackening-assad-whitening-cameron-and.html

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March 18th, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

673. jad said:

Syrians are helping each-others in the aftermath of the criminal terrorist attacks:

“السوريون يساعدون الجهات المختصة برفع الأنقاض ومساعدة المتضررين في القصاع – احتشد مئات السوريين اليوم الأحد أمام مقر المخابرات الجوية في المنطقة الواصلة بين شارع بغداد والقصاع، حيث تشاركوا مع الجهات المختصة برفع الأنقاض ومساعدة الأهالي المتضررين. وكان تفجيران إرهابيان هزا صباح أمس السبت مدينة دمشق، استهدف أحدها فرع المخابرات الجوية قرب ساحة التحرير، في حين استهدف الآخر إدارة الأمن الجنائي بمنطقة الجمارك بدمشق، مأدى لاستشهاد 30 وإصابة 140 من المدنيين والعسكريين إثر التفجيرات الإرهابية. المؤشرات الأولية أشارت إلى أن التفجيرين نفذا باستخدام سيارات مفخخة، في حين اكدت مصادر خاصة بشوكوماكو ان أضرار مادية كبيرة لحقت بالمنازل المجاورة لفرع المخابرات الجوية نتيجة التفجير.”
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.371834882836577.86060.279535285399871&type=1

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March 18th, 2012, 1:22 pm

 

674. ann said:

Syrian Rebels are Foreign-backed Terrorists – March 18, 2012

Latest terrorist attack in Damascus illustrates illegitimacy of both Syria’s rebels the UN/NATO backing them.

by Tony Cartalucci

http://endthelie.com/2012/03/17/syrian-rebels-are-foreign-backed-terrorists/#axzz1pTh8nzeb

March 18, 2012 – A twin terrorist bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus, allegedly targeting government buildings, ripped through a Christian neighborhood killing an estimated 27, mostly civilians. A third bomb exploded, killing only the driver of the car it was placed in, in what was apparently an attempted triple suicide bombing. CBS News reports (1) that after other similar attacks, U.S. officials suggest Al Qaeda terrorists “may be” amongst the Syrian rebels. However, while the West attempts to portray this as an unexpected development, we shall see that it not only was likely, but in fact the premeditated modus operandi of Western-backed destabilization efforts directed at upturning not only Syria, but the entire Arab World.

Pentagon’s Premeditated Arab World Blitzkrieg.

From the beginning the United States has been directly behind the unrest in Syria. In fact, America’s involvement in destabilizing Syria began years before the admittedly US-engineered Arab Spring (2) even unfolded in a premeditated plot to upturn the entire Arab World and reorder it according to their own corporate-financier and hegemonic geopolitical interests.

The overthrow of Syria’s government is a premeditated US plot.

A concerted campaign to isolate, destabilize and overthrow the government of Syria began in 2002, a year after Clark was informed of the Pentagon’s plan to blitzkrieg through the Middle East. It was then that Secretary of State John Bolton added Syria to the growing “Axis of Evil (11).” It would be later revealed that Bolton’s threats against Syria manifested themselves as covert funding and support for opposition groups inside of Syria spanning both the Bush and Obama administrations.

In an April 2011 CNN article (12), acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated, “We’re not working to undermine that [Syrian] government. What we are trying to do in Syria, through our civil society support, is to build the kind of democratic institutions, frankly, that we’re trying to do in countries around the globe. What’s different, I think, in this situation is that the Syrian government perceives this kind of assistance as a threat to its control over the Syrian people.”

Toner’s remarks came after the Washington Post released cables (13) indicating the US has been funding Syrian opposition groups since at least 2005 and continued until today.

In an April 2011 AFP report (14), Michael Posner, the assistant US Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labor, stated that the “US government has budgeted $50 million in the last two years to develop new technologies to help activists protect themselves from arrest and prosecution by authoritarian governments.”

The report went on to explain that the US “organized training sessions for 5,000 activists in different parts of the world. A session held in the Middle East about six weeks ago gathered activists from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon who returned to their countries with the aim of training their colleagues there,” (emphasis added). Posner would add, “They went back and there’s a ripple effect.” That ripple effect of course is the “Arab Spring,” and in Syria’s case, the impetus for the current unrest threatening to unhinge the nation and invite in foreign intervention.”

More recently, revelations that Syrian militants are in fact being armed, trained, funded, and even joined on the battlefield by Libya’s Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization (listed as #27) (15) only further highlights the necessity of Syria’s government under President Assad to attempt to restore order at all costs. The Telegraph would report in November 2011 (16) that LIFG leader, Abdul Belhaj met with senior leaders of the “Free Syrian Army” on the Turkish-Syrian border. It was reported that Belhaj was pledging weapons and money (both of which he receives from NATO) as well as sending LIFG fighters to train and fight alongside Syrian militants.

[...]

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March 18th, 2012, 1:46 pm

 

675. Badr said:

Syrian surgeon: Why I’m risking my life to treat protesters

“The only people who can get treated are those who support of the government. It’s inhumane.

It is very dangerous. In the beginning we were afraid to work. But we need to know inside ourselves, in our hearts, that we are human. Our role, as doctors, is to treat the injured, whoever they are.

What motivates me? My honour, my duty as a doctor.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17398886

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March 18th, 2012, 1:52 pm

 

676. ann said:

Red Cross heading to Moscow for Syria talks

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross will meet Russia’s Foreign Minister in Moscow to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria, the ICRC said on Sunday. Jakob Kellenberger and Sergey Lavrov will review the ICRC and the Syrian Red Crescent’s aid efforts in the country and coordinate further steps. The Red Cross is especially worried over the situations in Homs, Idlib, Hama and Daraa provinces. “A daily ceasefire of at least two hours is imperative to allow the evacuation of the wounded,” Kellenberger said in the statement. He urged “an unambiguous commitment by all parties concerned … to end the fighting” so that aid workers “can help people who are cruelly in need.”

[...]

http://rt.com/news/line/2012-03-18/#id28157
.

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March 18th, 2012, 2:09 pm

 

677. Haytham Khoury said:

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March 18th, 2012, 2:21 pm

 

678. Alan said:

Saudi sends military gear to Syria rebels: diplomat

ed note–if the Saudis indeed want to ‘stop the bloodshed’ then they need to STOP sending more guns. There was no ‘bloodshed’ until the US, Israel, and other powers fomented this ‘revolution’ in Syria, which is just war by other means in bringing about Israel’s long term foreign policy objectives in the region.

AFP

Saudi Arabia is delivering military equipment to Syrian rebels in an effort to stop bloodshed by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, a top Arab diplomat said on Saturday.

“Saudi military equipment is on its way to Jordan to arm the Free Syrian Army,” the diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“This is a Saudi initiative to stop the massacres in Syria,” he added, saying that further “details will follow at a later time.”

The announcement came two days after the conservative Sunni-ruled kingdom said it had shut down its embassy in Syria and withdrawn all its staff.

It also followed a brief meeting on the Syrian crisis last week between Jordan’s King Abdullah II and the Saudi monarch King Abdullah in Riyadh.

There was no official reaction to the statement from the Saudi capital, but Jordan flatly rejected the report.

“Jordan categorically denies the report,” government spokesman and information minister Rakan Majali told AFP.

“This is completely baseless. Jordan has not discussed this issue with any parties or brought it up at all,” he said without elaborating, while adding that an official statement would be issued later on Saturday.

Amman had called for a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis earlier this month, arguing that the kingdom was among the worst affected by its repercussions.

Jordan shares its northern border with Syria, through which more than 65 percent of its trade transits. According to local officials, some 80,000 Syrians are estimated to have fled to the kingdom since March 2011.

[truncated ...]

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March 18th, 2012, 2:23 pm

 

679. omen said:

873 @ 12:19

what’s the harm in asking? who knows, maybe even nir rosen will answer.

here, here is his address on twitter: @nirrosen

ask him directly. him or carl, i would love to see how either of them would answer.

if you are so confident about your theory, 873, i don’t understand why you would be reluctant to pose the question.

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March 18th, 2012, 2:28 pm

 

680. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I like Nir Rosen very much, and I think that Nir Rosen is doing a great journalistic job.

Haha … not really. Nothing can be more damaging for Nir Rosen , than a Zionist, praising him.

Even the most anti-Zionist Jew will always remain a source of suspicion in the eyes of the Arabs. Sad.
.

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March 18th, 2012, 2:40 pm

 

681. Alan said:

החוק השלישי של ניוטון

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March 18th, 2012, 3:01 pm

 

682. omen said:

628. Alan said:

what is this ?
Obama Takes Control of ALL of the US in Prep For WWIII (done late on a Friday afternoon, of course!)

i don’t know. could be routine safety drill? or could it signal the US is going to attack iran?

[recovers from hyperventilating]

oh, it could be a saber rattling, pressure tactic, trying to scare iran.

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March 18th, 2012, 3:03 pm

 

683. omen said:

345. Son of Damascus said:

Then you better find a new hero, Assad is arabic for Lion. I much rather his old family name Wahesh.

does wahesh mean something?

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March 18th, 2012, 3:09 pm

 

684. omen said:

Ghufran @ 9:14

Enough of Bashar and his wife’s shoes, all women love shoes

not true. this is a stereotype marketers spread to get women to buy more shoes!

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March 18th, 2012, 3:15 pm

 

685. Alan said:

againe what is this ?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myPENDAJdE0
Alert! Obama Declares Peacetime MARTIAL LAW – Executive Order Explained

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March 18th, 2012, 3:23 pm

 

686. Alan said:

:)

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March 18th, 2012, 3:26 pm

 

687. Syrialover said:

639. Jad said:

“To all Syria haters and morally bankrupt guys writing nonsense on SC: You have no shame whatsoever.”

I know, I’ve been saying the same. And getting the collective block of automated red thumbs down every time

Hi there Luna, hi there Hadeel, hi there Sheherezade and your team.

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March 18th, 2012, 3:28 pm

 

688. SANDRO LOEWE said:

FCBarcelona football team sharing in the conspiracy against Syria Democratic Assad Regime.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfpHdWCIx0U&feature=player_embedded

Levels of paranoia are unlimited and eternal like Assad.

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March 18th, 2012, 3:29 pm

 

689. SANDRO LOEWE said:

681. OMEN

Wahesh which seems to be the original name of the family means Beast. It seems to be a totally probed fact. But there are some stories that go further back in time telling that before Beast they were Jahsh family (Donkey).

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March 18th, 2012, 3:33 pm

 

690. Alan said:

Western Psikhushka Killed Demjanjuk
http://www.roytov.com/articles/demjanjuk.htm
Yesterday, March 17, 2012, John Demjanjuk died in a retirement home in southern Germany. On May 12, 2011, he had been found guilty by a German court in Munich of helping to murder around twenty-eight thousand Jews at Sobibor in World War II. The court sentenced him to five years in jail but then decided to release him, pending an appeal, due to his advanced age. Looking at the facts of the case, it is difficult not to conclude that this was a case of political torture aimed at advancing Israel’s political agenda.

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March 18th, 2012, 3:41 pm

 

691. omen said:

601. 873 said:

Where is the democracy movement for Saudi Arabia??

when they run out of oil? it’s going to happen eventually. hope i’m alive when the s**t hits the fan. which will go first? china or saudi arabia?

yet, there are signs:

The western media, where they notice the ferment in Arabia at all, focus on the Shia revolt and the position of women. It is true that the Shia are very active in protest – their demonstrations are massive. However, they are a minority and the regime links them with Iran, so their protests remain isolated and self-contained. The regime has so far successfully used these protests in its favour, by persuading the Sunni majority of a threat of a Shia “takeover” of the Eastern province.

Two weeks ago, a tribe in Taif, near Mecca, prevented the security forces enforcing a royal order confiscating their land. They forced the authorities to cancel the confiscation order by physical protest. Across the country, people are asking: if one small tribe can regain its land through peaceful protest, why shouldn’t the entire nation reclaim its rights in a similar way?

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March 18th, 2012, 3:51 pm

 

692. Syrialover said:

It is hard not to think more than one person is using the name “873″ in this forum.

The recent posts by “873″ on Nir Rosen are interestingly very different in tone and style from the “873″ spitting out hysterical conspiracy theories about the Saudis being behind the demonstrations in Syria and telling us what a corrupt, evil, inhumane disaster zone America is for Americans.

Something to ponder for those doing academic content analysis of what’s here.

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March 18th, 2012, 3:54 pm

 

693. Uzair8 said:

A bit right now but later I’m gonna have a look back at the archives (around december 7th) to see pro-Assad activity. I wonder if users here are instructed by to Luna al-Chabel?

“On December 7, 2011, Assad’s interview with ABC was stirring much controversy as opposition accused him of editing it and slammed state media for misleading the people. On that day, Chabel sent Assad an email telling him that she instructed large numbers of Syrians to flood social networking websites with praise for Assad’s stance in the interview in which he insisted on denying all reports of violence against civilian protestors.”

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/03/18/201393.html

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March 18th, 2012, 3:57 pm

 

694. omen said:

SANDRO LOEWE @ 3:33

that is amazing. the man lives up to his name.

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March 18th, 2012, 3:58 pm

 

695. omen said:

assad is the ron paul of the internets. there is more “support” for him online than in real life.

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March 18th, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

696. Alan said:

Jad Your favourite of KGB !
Interesting on what democracy have closed access of viewing of this video? It is literally an hour 20 minutes ago?

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March 18th, 2012, 4:17 pm

 

697. Alan said:

Syrian Rebels are Foreign-backed Terrorists
http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/syrian-rebels-are-foreign-backed.html

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March 18th, 2012, 4:24 pm

 

698. Syrialover said:

Alan,

You keep posting links to videos that are not available to use (maybe can only be seen by you).

Instead just tell us what they show.

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March 18th, 2012, 4:42 pm

 

699. Alan said:

681. OMEN

Just in case there’s anyone who thinks you don’t live in a police state, take a look at this Executive Order signed on March 16. The Government can now empty your pantries, confiscate your cars, trucks, tractors, etc., take your sons and daughters into “service”, and pretty much do whatever they want. I don’t know what to call this “new” nation you live in but it isn’t the one you where born into:
http://farmwars.info/?p=8052

New Executive Order Seizes Total Control over Civilian Activities

Translation
Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

A new Executive Order signed on March 16, 2012, gives Obama the power to seize all forms of transportation, food, and any other civilian services including health care, for national defense, as well as to conscript necessary persons for a National Defense Executive Reserve. This is an all-inclusive E.O. that executes total control over everything from home gardens to any form of transportation, to forcing people to work for the collective. Read it and weep.

For those who think this new Executive Order will not affect you because you think we are not in a “national emergency,” understand that WE ARE, with Iran as the excuse. Obama signed a “Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Iran” on March 13, just three days before the following E.O.

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March 18th, 2012, 4:44 pm

 

700. omen said:

[greenlight Omen, I updated your 10:01 comment, adding a link to Carl Prine's answer to 873.

Line of Departure: A defense of Nir Rosen \#comment-8391]

873 [+ at 8:40 am]

post that on the comment thread of the article. carl prine has been responding to charges. let’s see what he says.

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March 18th, 2012, 4:45 pm

 

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