“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)


Pages: « 18 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 [16] 17 18 » Show All

751. jad said:

Hans
As far as I know:
Syrian Airlines for sure, BMI, Austrian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Russian, Polish and all the Arab countries’ airlines including the Qatari and couple of private airlines.

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March 18th, 2012, 9:21 pm

 

752. Tara said:

Syrialover,

Yes. Moreover, Shaking someone’s hand is not exactly a “boast-able” material in my views. This is rather an overt inferiority..

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March 18th, 2012, 9:24 pm

 

753. Tara said:

Syria blocks rallies to mark year of uprising
By BEN HUBBARD | Associated Press – 2 hrs 4 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-blocks-rallies-mark-uprising-114740334.html

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s scattered opposition faced a harsh security crackdown Sunday aimed at preventing rallies marking one year since the first nationwide demonstrations of the country’s uprising.

Activists said security forces and pro-government thugs swiftly dispersed an anti-regime rally in the capital Damascus and arrested opposition leaders.

They said the deployment of government snipers and tanks, as well as clashes between rebels and regime forces, deterred major demonstrations in some other parts of the country.
..
The spotty turnout shows how armed confrontation has largely eclipsed the mass popular demonstrations that originally drove the uprising.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on an activist network in Syria, said the Syrian army and pro-government thugs fired guns and arrested leaders while breaking up a rally of hundreds of marchers in Damascus.

The Local Coordination Committees said the rally took place in the central Fahameh Square and that rights activist Fayiz Sara was arrested along with at least one other leader, Mohammed Sayid. Neither group reported injuries.
….
Tight security, including army checkpoints on main roads and snipers on government buildings, restricted plans in the southern city of Daraa, considered the birthplace of the uprising.

Nearby activist Adel al-Omari said at the uprising’s start, people from the surrounding regions flooded in to participate in protests. Now many fear leaving their villages.

“They have a hard time because there are many more checkpoints in and around the city,” he said. “They can’t have a big protests, only small quick ones that are spread out. If they get too big or last too long, the army will come and crack down.”
…..

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March 18th, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

754. ann said:

Turkish opposition leader against military intervention in Syria – 2012-03-19

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/19/c_131474446.htm

ISTANBUL, March 18 (Xinhua) — Turkish main opposition party leader said on Sunday that he is against getting militarily involved in Syria and called the unrest-hit country a “brother.”

Republican People’s Party Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu said in the central Anatolian province of Nigde that some world powers appear to be pressing Turkey to intervene in Syria while they themselves choose to stay away from the trouble.

Today’s Zaman quoted him as saying that “some countries avoid entering Syria but try to talk Turkey into doing it,” noting that the United States, Britain and France all seem determined to avoid militarily involvement in Syria.

“Why should we go into Syria? Syria is our neighbor, brother. Why should Muslim nations fire at each other?” questioned Kilicdaroglu, who is also skeptical of Turkish military presence in Afghanistan after 12 military personnel got killed in a helicopter crash in Kabul last week.

[...]

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March 18th, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

755. Syrialover said:

# 749. “873″

If you don’t get what’s especially wrong about Hadeel al-Ali, I must assume you share her particular universe.

By the way, I worry she is letting your side down by her excitement and love of living in America indicated by her online postings.

She would have been too busy wearing her cowboy boots, showing off her kid-level PR ideas and flirting with Bashar to notice all those terrible things you have been revealing about her preferred place of residence.

Syria has had too much of the Hadeel al-Alis. Their lives are built from birth to sneer at and deprive others.

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March 18th, 2012, 9:47 pm

 

756. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

On March 7-2012, A waitress in Texas when asked how is her day, said that she was really not that cheerful about the fact that her sister, in the U.S. military, had just received her orders to report to Syria and that her sister would be shipping out very soon.

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March 18th, 2012, 9:51 pm

 

757. jad said:

Norway of the Middle East:
الذكرى التاسعة لبدء الغزو الأميركي للعراق(2)
العراقيون و«دمارهم الشامل»… بالأرقام

{…}
شهدت مرحلة ما بعد الغزو تفكيك الدولة العراقية وحل الجيش واستبداله بالميليشيات التي تأسست وفق إيديولوجيات وأجندات متناقضة. واختلط المشهد السياسي وتدافع مع الأمني، وتهشمت واجهة العراق كدولة لتحل محله الفدراليات، وبلغ عدد الجماعات المسلحة المتناحرة مع بعضها البعض في العراق وبعضها الآخر مع الاحتلال الـ48 ميليشيا وفصيلا مسلحا.
من جهة ثانية، بلغ عدد ضحايا العنف من القتلى المدنيين، بحسب إحصائيات وزارة الصحة العراقية، ما يقارب الـ200 ألف قتيل، بينما قالت منظمة «إيراك بادي كاونت» البريطانية التي تضع قاعدة بيانات بكل الشهداء في العراق بالمنطقة والاســم والمهـــنة وغيرها من البيانات، في آخر تحديث لها بداية العام 2012 ان 162 ألف شهيد سقطوا في العراق منذ الغزو، 79 في المئة منهم من المدنيين.
إلى ذلك نتج عن التجربة الدموية التي عاشها العراق أن انقلب على مدنيته مغلّباً عليها الطائفية التي نمت تحت ضغوط الإفرازات المذهبية والعرقية والاثنية التي قسمت العراق إلى مثلثات ومربعات، شيعية وسنية. في تلك الفترة، كانت فرق الموت تعمل وفق آلية وتخطيط ممنهجين، حيث الاغتيالات بكواتم الصوت، غير تلك التي تتم بالعبوات اللاصقة وغير التي تزرع في الطرقات أو المفخخات في السيارات، كما أنها غير الأحزمة الناسفة والانتحاريين ذكورا أم إناثا، عربا وأجانب أم عراقيين، علماً بأن العراقيين كانوا قلّة إذا ما قورنوا بالليبيين والسعوديين والسودانيين واليمنيين والأفغانيين والسوريين والأردنيين والتونسيين وجنسيات أخرى.
كواتم الصوت «الغادرة» استهدفت بشكل خاص الكفاءات العلمية، حيث «اقتناص» الأدمغة والعقول في العراق كان ممنهجا، يشير علانية إلى إصبع استخباري قام بالبحث والتحري والتخطيط والتنفيذ، لاغتيال كبار علماء الطاقة والنفط كما الأطباء وكبار ضباط الجيش من الطيارين وأساتذة الجامعات والفنانين والقانونيين والأكاديميين، حتى فاق عدد أصحاب الكــفاءات الذيــن طالتهم يد الموت الهمجي الـ 1400 ضحية.
وبما أن كشف هذا الواقع يكون بفضل الإعلاميين والصحافيين، كانت حصيلة الشهداء من هؤلاء الأكبر عالميا في العراق، حتى فاق عددهم منذ بداية الغزو 150 صحافيا، منهم 128عراقيا وآخرون من جنسيات أخرى.
ويبلغ عدد الأيتام، بحسب وزارة العمل والشؤون الاجتماعية، 4,5 ملايين يتيم، وما يزيد على 500 ألف منهم يعيشون في الشوارع من دون أي حماية أو بيت يؤويهم، علما بأن في جميع انحاء العراق لا يوجد سوى 18 دارا للايتام بحسب الوزارة نفسها.
يعكف على خدمة هؤلاء الأيتام عدد مخيف من النساء الارامل، اللواتي لا يعرفن طريقا لكسب العيش سوى التسول أو الهروب إلى خارج العراق. وبحسب الإحصائيات الرسمية والصادرة عن وزارة شؤون المرأة العراقية والصليب الأحمر الدولي وجهاز الإحصاء المركزي في العراق، فان عدد الارامل في العراق بلغ المليون امرأة، في كافة الحروب التي شهدتها البلاد، فقدن معيلي أسرهن.
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March 18th, 2012, 9:54 pm

 

758. ann said:

Heavy firefight breaks out in Syrian capital – March 18, 2012

http://www.wqad.com/news/nationworld/sns-rt-us-syria-damascusbre82i010-20120318,0,5107087.story

AMMAN (Reuters) – A heavy firefight broke out on Monday between Free Syrian Army rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in a main district of the capital Damascus, witnesses said.

The sound of heavy machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades echoed through the night from the western neighborhood of al-Mezze, one of the most heavily guarded areas of the capital and home to several security installations, residents told Reuters by telephone.

“There is fighting near Hamada supermarket and the sound of explosions there and elsewhere in the neighborhood. Security police have blocked several side streets and the street lighting has been cut off,” a housewife who lives in the area said.

Extra troops have been patrolling in Mezze, located on the Damascus-Beirut road, after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in the neighborhood last month to denounce Assad following the killing of several protesters.

[...]

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March 18th, 2012, 9:57 pm

 

759. jad said:

«نعوّل على أنان.. والحسم العسكري غير ممكن.. وموقف الحكومة اللبنانية متوازن»
زاسبكين لـ«السفير»: الوضع السوري سيتدهور إذا فشلت جهود التسوية «الأحادية الأميركية كُسرت ونتقدم نحو عالم متعدد المراكز.. ونرفض استهداف إيران

مارلين خليفة

لا تزال روسيا متمسكة بموقفها الرافض لأي تدخل عسكري في سوريا، وإذا بلغ أي مشروع قرار ينص على التدخل عتبة مجلس الأمن، لن يقابل الا بـ«الفيتو» من جانب روسيا.
يقول سفير الاتحاد الروسي في بيروت ألكسندر زاسبكين في حوار مع «السفير» إن بلاده تعتبر أن الأزمة السورية شأن داخلي سوري، ويؤكد أن النظام السوري «طرف أساسي في البلاد ولا يمكن تجاهل رأي الجماهير التي تؤيده، أما المراهنة على الحسم العسكري من خصوم النظام، فلا نراه أمرا محتملا»، يضيف «لا يمكن لأي طرف أن يحسم عسكريا، وفي كل الأحوال، لا بد من الحوار وهو الطريق الى الحل السياسي»، ويحذر من أنه «إذا لم تنجح الجهود السلمية، سيتدهور الوضع أكثر، لذا من الضروري التوصل الى اتفاق لوقف العنف وتنظيم الحوار الوطني الشامل»، ويشدد على تعويل روسيا على الجهود التي يبذلها المبعوث الأممي كوفي أنان، ويدعو المعارضة السورية الى الحوار «من دون شروط مسبقة».
منذ بداية مهمته في بيروت، يحرص زاسبكين على التواصل مع الاعلام. المهمة صارت مضاعفة مع الأزمة السورية والدور الروسي المحوري في قلب هذه الأزمة. لا يتردد السفير الروسي في نعي مرحلة الأحادية القطبية، أي النظام العالمي الجديد الذي ساد بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق. ثمة نظام دولي جديد متعدد الأقطاب والمراكز يولد. وهذا الواقع يقتضي التشبيك وليس الاستفراد بالقرارات.
{…}

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March 18th, 2012, 9:59 pm

 

760. Ghufran said:

Al-sharaa is supposed to visit Russia to meet with opposition leaders including members of the FSA,the SNC was not mentioned in the report probably due to the fact that it is expected to survive much longer.
I will try to get more info on this matter.

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March 18th, 2012, 10:02 pm

 

761. jad said:

Dear SNP
Any link for the news you wrote about?
Thank you.

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March 18th, 2012, 10:04 pm

 

762. Syrialover said:

#745 “873″

You really are keen to share the exposure in Bashar’s leaked emails of his apparent affair with another woman.

This report with a clear transcript of their exchanges and the sexy picture she emailed him has been posted here several times before, yet you have posted it again.

So here, I will help you in case anyone missed it:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9149596/Syria-Bashar-al-Assad-email-reveals-mystery-near-naked-woman.html

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March 18th, 2012, 10:05 pm

 

763. jad said:

نصيحة نصر الله لبشار الأسد: حتى لا تدمّر الفتنة المنطقة جميعاً

طلال سلمان

لم يعد ما تشهده سوريا من أهوال بين تعبيراتها الدموية المباشرة جرائم القتل الجماعي الوحشية في أحياء سكنية أو قرب دور العبادة والمدارس، صداماً بين نظام حديدي لا يقبل الاعتراض ومعارضة «تقاتل» من أجل الحرية والديموقراطية والتعددية السياسية.

ولم تعد الوقائع اليومية المفجعة في دمشق وحلب وغيرهما مجرد تعبير بالسلاح عبر قتل أكبر عدد من الناس، نساءً وأطفالاً وعابري سبيل ومكافحين خرجوا في طلب اللقمة، عن تعاظم حركة الاعتراض على الإصلاح الذي تعهّد النظام تنفيذه وباشره عبر خطوات بطيئة وقاصرة عمّا يطمح إليه الشعب في سوريا ممّا يعتبره حقوقه الطبيعية في وطنه.

لقد تدهور «الوضع الميداني» عبر لجوء «قوى مجهولة» إلى التفجيرات التي تتسبب بمذابح جماعية يذهب ضحيتها العشرات من المواطنين الأبرياء، وتنشر الذعر في كل مكان.. والأخطر أنها تلغي «السياسة» وتخرج القوى «المجهولة» التي تنفذها من خانة الاعتراض لتصنفها في خانة «السفاحين» ممّن يتقصدون تدمير سوريا جميعاً، بدولتها وشعبها ومراكز الإنتاج فيها، وبمعزل عن المواقف السياسية لهيئاته وتنظيماته المعارضة إلى حد المطالبة بإسقاط النظام.

وترتكب المعارضة، لا سيما الخارجية منها، بأشتاتها وفرقها المتنازعة على مشروع «سلطة المستقبل»، خطأً سياسياً قائلاً بتبني هذه العمليات الوحشية وتوهم الإفادة منها عبر الصمت عن طبيعتها الإجرامية، لاغية السياسة، والهادفة إلى ضرب أي مشروع أو أية محاولة لتوفير حل سياسي لهذه الأزمة السياسية الخطيرة التي تعصف بسوريا ويفتح تأخير حسمها أبواب الحرب الأهلية على مصراعيها.

لقد أسقطت مواجهة النظام معارضاته الداخلية بالسلاح الكثير من فرص الحل السياسي لهذه الأزمة الدموية الخطيرة التي تتهدد وحدة الشعب ودولته، من دون أن تلغي احتمال ابتداع مثل ذلك الحل المطلوب، الذي تتولى روسيا حالياً (معها الصين) صدارة الجهد المبذول من أجل إنجازه.

صار النظام أكثر وعياً بأن الحل الأمني يأخذ إلى تفتيت سوريا، خصوصاً في ظل «الجهد الأخوي» الذي يبذله أهل النفط أساساً لتعقيد الأزمة ودفعها إلى ذروة الخطر، بتعطيل دور الجامعة العربية، بل وباستخدام هذه المؤسسة العريقة والتي كانت سوريا من مؤسسيها لشرعنة «التدخل الدولي» عبر نقل المسألة إلى مجلس الأمن… ولقد وفر الفيتو الروسي ـ الصيني الفرصة لإفشال هذه الخطة بشرط تسريع الإصلاح وتعميق ركائزه العتيدة وعدم الاكتفاء بعمليات تجميل المظهر، مع إبقاء الطبيعة القمعية للنظام على حالها من القسوة التي بين عناوينها اتهام أي معارض بالعمالة للأجنبي.

وبدافع الحرص على سوريا، دولة وشعباً، انتقلت قيادة «حزب الله» من مرحلة تقديم النصح إلى النظام ورئيسه سراً ومن دون إعلان، إلى إطلاق الدعوة علناً وبلسان أمينه العام السيد حسن نصر الله.

يوم الخميس الماضي توجه «السيد» علناً ومباشرة إلى الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد وإلى المعارضة أيضاً داعياً إلى اعتماد الحل السياسي، مؤكداً أن ليس هناك إلا الحل السياسي للخروج من المأزق الدموي التي حوصرت فيه سوريا…
{…}
لقد دخل «الإرهاب» الذي تتقنه جماعات أصولية وافدة أو كانت كامنة في بعض أنحاء سوريا، في توقيت مفضوح القصد ومزدوج الغاية: إذ أنه قد يدفع النظام إلى مزيد من التورط في الدم، بما يقفل الباب على أي حل سياسي، أو يلغي وجود المعارضة السياسية أو يكشف عجزها، وفي الحالين فإن ذلك كله قد يلغي دور «السياسة» في توفير الحل الضروري لإخراج سوريا، بشعبها ودولتها من الدوامة الدموية التي تطحن حاضرها وتهدد مستقبلها.

إن النظام الذي استعرض قوته بما يكفي، والذي عجز ـ برغم ذلك ـ عن حسم الأزمة، وتوفير المناخ اللازم للتسوية السياسية، مطالب الآن وأكثر من أي وقت مضى بوقف آلة القتل، والتصدي للمهمة الصعبة التي تتطلب قوة الإيمان بالوطن وشعبه، أكثر مما بقوته العسكرية، وهي: المبادرة إلى الدخول في حوار جدي وفوري مع المعارضة الوطنية التي يعرف رموزها الذين بقوا في الداخل برغم كل الإغراءات التي قدمت إليهم، ويعرف ـ ويعرف السوريون ـ أولئك المعارضين الذين شاءت لهم مقاديرهم أن يكونوا في الخارج أو أن يبقوا فيه، إما بدافع الخوف من التصفية، أو نتيجة فقدان الأمل في أن يتصرف النظام بعقله لا بمدافعه.

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March 18th, 2012, 10:12 pm

 

764. ann said:

Syrian Unrest And The Dilemma Of Circassian Repatriation – Analysis – March 19, 2012

As Syria’s conflict escalates, questions abound over the fate of the Baathist country’s multiethnic constituents. For Syria’s small but significant Circassian minority, they want to go home.

http://www.eurasiareview.com/19032012-syrian-unrest-and-the-dilemma-of-circassian-repatriation-analysis/

One hundred and fifty years after their expulsion from the North Caucasu, one community of the Circassian diaspora is trying to come back to their ancestral homeland. At least a thousand of the more than 100,000 ethnic Circassians living in Syria have expressed a tentative commitment to repatriating to Russia if — but more ideally when – the opportunity arises. It is likely that even more are hoping to leave Syria but fear publically expressing their desire for repatriation. Circassian NGOs in Russia and throughout Europe are coming together to galvanize federal support for the quick repatriation of Syrian Circassians before the conflict in Syria worsens. After months of meetings, committees, attempted rallies and failed appeals, it looks as though the possibility of repatriation is now starting to materialize.When the Syrian Circassians first appealed for help seven months ago, the Russian government responded that the situation in Syria did not call for Russian intervention (in all matters relating to Syria, Russia has been opposed to outside intervention, to say the least). However, the political and economic life of Syrian Circassians has been increasingly destabilized and Moscow now seems to be warming up to talks of repatriation. On December 25th, 115 Circassians living in Syria sent an appeal to Medvedev for assistance as the Syrian situation worsened. Three days later, another 57 Syrian Circassians addressed Russian federal and regional leaders with specific requests for resettlement to the historically Circassian areas of the North Caucasus (namely, the republics of Kabardino-Balkaria, Adygea, and Karachay–Cherkessia).

At the same time, the coalition of Circassian NGOs created a commission specifically dedicated to the project of repatriating Syrian Circassians. Despite hitting dead ends in their repeated appeals to the leader of Adygea, the commission has succeeded in facilitating discussions with Moscow and other regional leaders. In particular, a delegation of Circassian representatives from Syria — unidentified for security reasons — met with Medvedev in person on January 31st in another sign of accelerating prospects for repatriation. Meanwhile, leaders in the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic (where the majority of Russian Circassians live) have met with the Syrian delegation and spoken optimistically of imminent repatriation. On Feburary 11, over a thousand activists met in Maikop in the Russian Republic of Adygea to discuss the problem of their Circassion brethren in Syria. Six days later, in light of the momentum the cause has finally achieved, the Russian government told the news agency RBK its most promising statement yet: that it “is carefully examining the address by the republic of Adygea to the Federal Assembly about assisting the Syrian Circassians to return to their historical homeland.” So even if Moscow has not yet said yes, they still haven’t said no either.

The Circassians of Syria primarily reside in Damscus, Aleppo, and Homs, all areas seriously affected by the current troubles in Syria. The Circassians (who call themselves the Adyghe) see themselves as one of the oldest indigenous cultures in the North Caucasus and, while they never formed a coherent unified nation state or kingdom in the way that Georgia or Armenia have, they maintained their linguistic, ethnic, and cultural identity through centuries of invasion, migration, and occupation. The Russian-Circassian war of the 1860s is largely the reason for the current population’s residence in the Levant, as the Russian campaign aimed to push out any surviving Circassians into the Ottoman Empire after their violent defeat. Most of them settled in Turkey or the Balkans, with some traveling as far as Syria and Jordan. However, as the Ottoman Empire lost control of the Balkans, Circassians increasingly migrated to the Levant, especially after in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Conflicts throughout the region steadily pushed Circassians into Syria, with immigration leveling off after the First World War, when the last major wave of Circassians from Turkey settled in Syria. Overall, much of the Circassian diaspora community has called Syria home for the better part of a century and must now decide whether a notional homeland in the Russian Federation is better than a more familiar but endangered one in Syria.

[...]

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March 18th, 2012, 10:16 pm

 

765. jad said:

هل تستعيد المعارضة السوريّة استقلاليّتها؟
ابراهيم الأمين
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مرّت سنة على الأزمة السورية، وقلة من الناشطين الميدانيين أجروا مراجعة يمكن القول إنها واقعية إلى حدود بعيدة لجهة قراءة ما يجري على الأرض (راجع مقالة الزميل في «الأخبار» أرنست خوري السبت الماضي)، إذ بمعزل عن التقديرات والتوقعات والأفكار التي يضعها ناشطون كمهمات للمرحلة المقبلة، إلا أن قراءتهم لما حصل خلال سنة، تعكس، قبل كل شيء، أنهم يعيشون في قلب المشهد. وهم لا يحتاجون إلى أي نوع من التزوير، لأن ذلك لا يفيدهم أبداً. أما إذا كانوا غير قادرين على رؤية المشهد بكامل عناصره، فهذا عائد على الأرجح إلى تجربتهم الجنينية في السياسة، وإلى قصور في مواءمة بين الحافزية على تحقيق هدف ما، وبين القدرة على الوصول إليه.
{…}
، لأن الخصم المفترض هو نفسه، أي النظام، ولأن أداة الحراك هي نفسها، أي الشعب. وفي هذه الحالة، يمكن القيام بمراجعة هادئة تقود إلى الآتي:
ـــ تصوّر كثيرون أن النظام في سوريا يشبه أنظمة الحكم في مصر وتونس واليمن وليبيا. واعتقد كثيرون، من سوريين وعرب إلى قوى وشعوب من العالم، بأن هذا النظام لن يصمد أكثر من أسابيع وسيسقط كما حصل مع غيره، واستند أصحاب هذا الرأي إلى اعتقاد أصرّوا على اعتباره حقيقة، وهو أن غالبية ساحقة من الشعب السوري تريد التخلص من النظام، وأن من معه ليسوا سوى أقلية ستنهار تباعاً. وظل الأمر كذلك حتى استفاق الجميع بعد عام على مشهد مغاير، فلا النظام هو على صورة الآخرين، ولا المواجهة تدور بهذه السهولة.
ـــ اعتقد كثيرون، من داخل سوريا ومن خارجها، بأن التعقيدات الطائفية والمذهبية والعرقية في سوريا إنما هي فزّاعات يقف النظام خلفها، حتى استفاقوا بعد عام على انقسام أهلي وطائفي ومذهبي وصل إلى قلب تجمعات المعارضة نفسها.
ـــ تصرّف كثيرون على أساس أن لعبة الإعلام المفتوح على تداخل الحقيقة بالكذب من شأنه قلب المشهد الشعبي، وأن الضغوط القائمة من جانب الرأي العام كافية لهزّ الأرض من تحت النظام أو سحب البساط من تحت رجالاته ومؤسساته. وجرى الإيغال في لعبة الفبركة والمبالغة والتضخيم إلى حدّ فقد معه هذا الإعلام دوره وفعاليته، قبل أن يستيقظ الجميع على مشهد مختلف، يقوم على أن النظام لا يزال متماسكاً، وأن أجهزة الأمن في دول العالم القوية تبحث عن موظف أو دبلوماسي سوري تعرض عليه الانشقاق مقابل مغريات تكفي لإنماء قرية في ريف حمص.
ـــ تجاهل كثيرون حقيقة التوازنات الإقليمية والدولية المحيطة بالمشهد السوري. وقلّلوا من أهمية وقوف جهات مثل حزب الله في لبنان وإيران والعراق وروسيا والصين إلى جانب النظام السوري. وبالغ الخصوم في استخفافهم بأهمية هذا العنصر، وصاروا يكثرون من الكلام العام ويعرضون الصفقات، من دون إدراك حقيقة أن تشابك المصالح الإقليمية والدولية يجعل هذه الدول الجهات صاحبة مصلحة في منع سقوط النظام. حتى استفاق هؤلاء على عطب في الماكينة الدولية (الأمم المتحدة)، وعلى عطل في الماكينة العسكرية (التدخل الخارجي)، وعلى تعثّر في الآلة الاقتصادية (العقوبات وغيرها).
ـــ تورّط كثيرون، خصوصاً من جانب معارضي الخارج، وحتى بعض الداخل، في لعبة السقوف المرتفعة. فصاروا أسرى شعارات تدفعهم إلى مزيد من الخسائر، من رفض فكرة التغيير التدريجي، إلى رفض مبدأ الحوار، إلى منع التواصل مع وسطاء مع النظام، وصولاً إلى تحريم الحديث عن مرحلة انتقالية. وكان هؤلاء يعتقدون أنهم كلما رفعوا الصوت أو سقف المطالب، حشروا النظام أكثر. لكن حقيقة الأمر أنهم كانوا يمارسون الضغط على الناس، ويدفعون المجموعات السورية المشاركة في الحراك إلى خطوات كبيرة تفوق قدراتها وطاقاتها، حتى وصل الأمر بقسم كبير منهم إلى حمل السلاح، بحجة أنه لم يعد ممكناً مواجهة جيش النظام بالصدر العاري. فكانت النتيجة أن مسرحية الجيش الحر انتهت عند مئات أو ألوف من المواطنين الذين حملوا السلاح، واكتشفوا أنهم يحتاجون إلى لغة متطرفة للتعبئة وبناء عصبية. ثم ما لبث أن انهار كل شيء خلال أيام.
ـــ أصرّ كثيرون على اعتبار أن النظام لا يتمتع بشعبية حقيقية، ثم وقعوا في فخ المغالطات نفسها. من جهة تحدثوا عن النار والحديد اللذين تواجه بهما تظاهرات صغيرة في الأرياف، بينما يرفضون تفسير سبب عدم انخراط المدن الكبرى في الحراك، ثم يكتفون بالإشارة إلى أسباب أمنية. وكأن السوري في المدن هو غيره في الريف، أو أن النظام في المدن أكثر قساوة من الأمن في الريف. هذا لا يعني أن كل من بقي في منزله هو من المؤيّدين للنظام. لكن التوترات وانتقال العنف من مرحلة المشادات إلى المعارك والسيارات المفخخة، تعني أن من يخرج مؤيّداً للنظام ليس مرغماً كما يقول هؤلاء.
{…}
والخطوة إلى الخلف، اليوم، تعني التعامل بواقعية مع المشهد، والحفاظ على وحدة سوريا ومنع التقسيم، والعمل على الحدّ من التعبئة الطائفية والمذهبية، وضمان منع استخدام سوريا في المواجهات الإقليمية والدولية، ومنع سقوط المزيد من الأبرياء من مدنيين أو عسكريين في حفلة الجنون العبثية. أما عن كيفية حصول ذلك، فأقلّه هو استعادة المعارضة هويتها الوطنية من خلال استقلالية عن خارج متآمر، واستعادة صلتها بالناس عن طريق خطاب يلامس حقائق الهوية الوطنية لسوريا، وليس فقط هوية الحكم فيها. وكل ما هو خلاف ذلك، يبقى، على ما يقول السوريون، «علاك بعلاك»!.
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/45881

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March 18th, 2012, 10:17 pm

 
 

767. jad said:

عشرات القتلى والجرحى في تفجيرات عشيّة وصول بعثة الأمم المتّحدة
الإرهاب يضرب دمشق وحلب من جديد

سقط عشرات القتلى والجرحى يومي السبت والأحد في انفجارات وقعت قرب مراكز أمنية في دمشق وحلب، فيما شهدت أنحاء عدة من سوريا عمليات عسكرية واشتباكات مع منشقّين، عشيّة توجّه البعثة الأممية المفوضة من المبعوث الدولي، كوفي أنان، لإجراء مباحثات مع القيادة السورية حول وقف العنف
{…}
(The stupidity of the Syrian security dealing with people in the streets is astonishing. I wonder how long it will take to train the police and the security guys to properly and respectively deal with demonstrators, I think Lebanon can help in that)
وفي دمشق، «اعتدى عناصر من الأمن على القيادي المعارض محمد سيد رصاص واعتقلوه مع مجموعة» من الناشطين في هيئة التنسيق الوطني للتغيير الديموقراطي، أثناء تظاهرة «ضمت المئات وطالبت بإسقاط النظام». وتعدّ هيئة التنسيق الوطنية لقوى التغيير الديموقراطي أبرز تكتل لسياسيين معارضين داخل سوريا.
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/45851

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March 18th, 2012, 10:25 pm

 

768. ann said:

The Merchants Of Death

Black market for weapons nearly depleted, smugglers to Syria say – March 18, 2012

Donors have given money to aid the Syria rebels, but the needed arms are getting harder to find, merchants in Lebanon say.

http://www.dailyamerican.com/la-fg-syria-weapons-20120318,0,4879321.story

The weapons shortage has serious implications for the uprising, even as Syrian expatriate money increasingly flows to the rebels and international support appears to be growing for arming the opposition. On Monday, the opposition umbrella group the Syrian National Council announced that it would help arm the Free Syrian Army with the help of foreign governments, which it declined to name.

But little of that seems to affect the situation as rebels find fewer weapons sources and have a harder time getting the arms into Syria.

In the face of a much better-armed Syrian army, the rebels will find it difficult, if not impossible, to sustain their insurgency if a surge of weapons doesn’t come soon.

Some weapons have also come in from Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, but rebels report that it has been easier to get arms from Lebanon. Even that route — the one also used by fleeing families, journalists and humanitarian aid — is dangerous, and many rebel smugglers have been killed along the way.

Despite talk from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar of arming the rebels, no money has come from other nations, they say. Instead, much of it has come from expatriates. Until recently, many of them were supporting nonviolent aspects of the uprising, but now they have diverted much of the money for weapons, said Amr Al-Azm, an opposition activist who is involved with the Syrian National Council.

“They believe that by putting money into arms it will somehow accelerate the downfall of the regime,” he said. “I speak to activists who complain they are no longer able to buy the tools they need, like laptops or phones.”

The conflict in Syria isn’t the only thing depleting the weapons black market. Underscoring international fear that the unrest in regionally strategic Syria will spill over its borders, Lebanese who support Assad and those backing the opposition are also buying up weapons, Abu Ismail said.

But not always. Some of the ammunition and grenades have been manipulated — filled with TNT — to explode inside the weapons, killing the rebels, he and others have said. Other times the weapons are just duds.

[...]

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March 18th, 2012, 10:58 pm

 
 

770. Ghufran said:

Darryl,

Good luck with your work and family, I understand your position.at this rate,Syria will be like Iraq, I am about to get rid of any property in Syria limit my involvement to charity and occasional visits after I am comfortable, if ever, that security is at an acceptable level, most Syrian expats will do the same including those who are lecturing us about freedom and democracy.

A close friend who signed off is still receiving emails, once you do it, you are stuck, I hope Joshua can fix this problem, I am sure SC data base is as hackable as any other similar site, I suspect that many current and previous members would have done things differently if they knew then what they know now.

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March 18th, 2012, 11:28 pm

 

771. ann said:

Three saudi ANGELS were apprehended in relation to the bombings in Damascus two more are still at large

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March 18th, 2012, 11:28 pm

 

772. jad said:

Ghufran, Darryl, Norman, SNK, Mjabali and and and…

What gain Syria, our homeland, where our ancestors lived and died for, where they create us our roots, where our memories, our happy times, bad times, tears and joy, our schools, our first love and first kiss and first step, what are you giving Syria if you and every other rational Syrian leave and gave up to voice his or her cry in defend the soul of Syria from being stolen away from us all? NO, Syria never needed us as it did today, Syria never let us down, the land didn’t ask for anything from us in return of its eternal love and leaving it now when it needed us the most is a treason not only to the homeland but a treason to every man and woman, kid and senior living in Syria today and dealing with pure evil attacking them day and night.

Syria is our homeland, we must defend it, and the least we can do is to speak up on behalf of every member of our families and reflect their hopes, fears and dreams.

You people need to wake up and stop this giving up useless trend, it’s embarrassing, do the minimum to your homeland speak out if not for yourselves, speak for others, speak for the living and for the dead, speak and shout and kick and do anything you could not to let it go easy.

Yousef Alazmeh knew that he is going to die but he didn’t give up, he believed in Syria, and so every one of us should do the same. Just believe and defend as much as your could so the next generation can enjoy a ‘homeland’ call Syria.

مو مشان شي بس كرمال يلي راحوا ما يكونو راحوا ببلاش

For those who left (died)…to others to rest (to live a better life)
The homeland is calling….to heal its wounds
Our homeland is in pain…..enough tears (It had enough sadness)
lit candles to its martyrs….and give it back its morning glory

كـرمـال اللي راحـو … لَ غيرُن يرتاحو
الـبـلـد عـم بـيـنــادي … لَ نداويلو جراحو
بـلـدنـا مـوجـــــــوع … بـيـكـفّـيـه دمـــوع
ضوّي لَ شُــهَـداه شــمــوع … و ردّلـو صـبـاحـو
..
كرمال اللي راحو

http://soundcloud.com/shadi-ali/kermal

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March 19th, 2012, 12:22 am

 

773. Syrialover said:

# 770. Ghufran

I know it is your own personal reasons and choice, but I feel sadness and despair when I read of people moving to distance themselves from Syria.

Syrians disinvesting in Syria, separating themselves out already.

I think of the Syrians who do not have that choice. They lose one thing after another.

Good luck with a buyer and price. Somebody keeping belief in the regime is your hope and will have some way to pay you in foreign currency.

You say casually, “At this rate, Syria will be like Iraq”.

Interesting. Well, here is a very cynical and depressing true story that could make some Syrians selling up now wonder about their timing.

Several years ago an Iraqi I know was stunned and did not know what to do after he found out how much he could get for his land back home in Iraq. The price had soared to some unbelievable height because the Saudis and Iranians then were competing to buy up land in his area to help firm their positions in Iraq.

He did not sell in the end. He decided his emotion and attachment to Iraq was stronger than financial need.

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March 19th, 2012, 12:29 am

 

774. ann said:

Police Push Occupy Wall Street Out of Zuccotti Park Again – American Spring?

Who ordered this crackdown, several in the crowd asked. There was some ugly back and forth. Buzz went through the crowd of more arrests, further north, and a march set off. American Spring?

http://www.innercitypress.com/ows1stpat031712.html

UNITED NATIONS, March 17 — When Occupy Wall Street rallied Saturday night in Zuccotti Park, police began to assemble on Broadway and Liberty Street. In the part, a small green tent went up, no more than a tarp hung on a line between two trees.

There was chants about an “American Spring,” and against banks: “hit the road, banks, and don’t ya come back no more.” Then the police moved in.

First they surged in from Broadway, pushing the crowd back. Some were arrested and pulled up to Broadway where a paddy wagon was filled.

To the south of the park, a march arrived with a band playing Irish music on bagpipes, on this St. Patrick’s Day. The police shut that down too. An MTA bus showed up, “Not in Service,” to be filled with other arrestees. From inside an arrested tweeted there were 16 others; it was Bus Number 6694.

A woman flopped on the sidewalk; people said she had a seizure. Photos on http://www.twitter.com/innercitypress; video here and below.

While the crowd was focused on that, police and security from Brookfield Properties, the owner of the prviate public public, rushed in with metal barricades to close off the park again. Meanwhile more NYPD vehicles showed up.

As Inner City Press sought information about the woman with the seizure, a three wheel police scooter drove up fast and did not stop. It was Vehicle Number 3530, in from the 78th Precinct.

Soon a wall of police was pushing the crowd south on Broadway to Thames Street. The police pushed, and some people fell down. But the police kept pushing foward.

[...]

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March 19th, 2012, 12:33 am

 

775. jad said:

SYRIA: Media Accuses Syrian Government of Collaborating with Al Qaeda.

The latest terrorist attack in Damascus is described by the media as yet another government sponsored initiative geared towards killing Syrian civilians.

The CTV-AP report of this tragic event resulting in 27 deaths and some 140 wounded is riddled with contradictions. First it acknowledges that the target of the attacks was government buildings including Air Force Intelligence and National Security buildings in Damascus:

Two explosions rocked the Syrian capital of Damascus Saturday … The twin suicide car bombs were aimed at intelligence and security buildings in the capital. (CTV, March 17, 2012, emphasis added)

Obviously, it follows, says the report, that the Syrian regime is responsible for targeting its own government buildings.

Now why on earth would it do that? The answer: “The attacks occurred in areas where government security is typically high, raising opposition suspicions that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible.” (Ibid, emphasis added)

The attacks have the fingerprints of a carefully planned intelligence operation. The Syrian government pointed to the responsibility of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists supported by foreign powers, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia:

The explosions were carried out with devastating precision outside police and military intelligence headquarters in the capital, Damascus, in the early hours, Saturday. The devices comprised two vehicles packed with explosives, according to Syrian state media reports. Local residents described how the bombs were detonated within minutes of each other, causing horrific scenes of carnage.

Many ordinary Syrians are convinced that the latest atrocity – as with previous deadly blasts in the capital and other cities across the country – is the work of terrorist groups that are being trained and supplied by foreign states in a bid to destabilize the government of Bashar Al Assad.

Certainly, the lethal attack appears to be well beyond the capability of “rag-tag rebels”, as the so-called anti-government opposition is often portrayed in the Western mainstream media. Its sophisticated execution suggests the involvement of special forces. The presence of British, French, Saudi and Qatari special forces involved in training and directing Syrian oppositionists in has been reported previously by Global Research and other alternative media. But the mainstream media appear blind to the earth-shattering implications of such a connection. (Finian Cunningham, Saudi Arabia Is Arming Syrian “Opposition” As Twin Car Bombs Kill 27 In Damascus, Global Research, March 17, 2012)

How the Media Views the March 17th Attacks

At this point the media hype becomes even more embroiled and confused. The latest reports on the Damascus March 17 attacks seem to have abandoned their usual blanket statement that the killing of civilians had been ordered by Bashar Al Assad and was carried out by covert government operatives and militia.
What the Western media is now saying is that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks, which, ironically, on the surface concurs with the official position of the Al Assad government.
{…}
http://www.infowars.com/syria-media-accuses-syrian-government-of-collaborating-with-al-qaeda/

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March 19th, 2012, 12:40 am

 

776. Ghufran said:

The time for moderates to give ends when guns take over, I fault the regime and all violent elements in the opposition for the state of despair that controls syria today,of course I expect some to cry that I can not equate the brutality of the regime with that of the opposition, I have personally observed many Syrians going from bad to worse as this crisis reaches its first anniversary. oil money and hunger for power drive most parties today, and vindictive attitudes and the urge to kill dominate the thinking of many Syrians especially the born again Islamists and the thugs who are used to do what they want since the 1970s.

Rich expats who gave very little to charity are now giving generously to buy guns to “liberate” Syria and are boycotting anything that does not have the approval stamp of their sheikhs and “thought” leaders.

Syria has no future if violence does not stop in one way or the other, and the failure of both parties to win led to more blood shed instead of leading to a negotiated settlement.

You will hear from us when the guns stop talking, for now, take care of your family and pay to feed the hungry and help the poor in the motherland.

The memories jad is talking about are like precious metals that we can not use or sell, it is too painful to even look at.

سلام

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March 19th, 2012, 12:46 am

 

777. Equus said:

721. Tara said:

http://www.net-a-porter.com/am/viewfullsizeimage.nap?productID=189062&currentImage=189062_in
This is the crytal-encrusted Loboutini shoes that Asma was buying. The price tage of Homsi children.
———-
From this post and previous comments, I sense major jealousy of Mrs. Assma. Was Assad dating you then dumped you? Therefore you harbor so much loath. It’s common for women to love shoes including yourself as you wrote in previous comment; you were looking at Spring shoes 2012. With photo match of posted pictures of Mrs Assad, she never wore these shoes you have linked (unless someone quickly do a photoshop and post it). Either the emails are phony or she simply offered them as gift to someone else, obviously not you.

Lady Di had over 2,500 pair of shoes.She supported morally many many charity organizations but she never donated one 1$ herself. Everything, is relative in life. You went with your children to watch the Lorax you could’ve donated this money to the children of Homs.

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March 19th, 2012, 12:46 am

 

778. Equus said:

Police arrested over 120 protesters at another large Newroz gathering just outside the capital Istanbul.

http://www.euronews.com/2012/03/18/turkey-police-arrest-protesters-marking-kurdish-new-year/

Alevi in Germany protest against Turkey’s Erdogan

http://www.euronews.com/2012/03/18/alevi-in-germany-protest-against-turkey-s-erdogan

Needless to state the obvious, he is not practicing what he has been preaching for a year….

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March 19th, 2012, 12:53 am

 

779. Jerusalem said:

عرب تايمز – خاص

حتى لو صحت الاخبار المفبركة عن ايميلات الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد والتي بثتها محطة الاميرة الجوهرة ( العربية ) ومحطة الشيخة موزة ( الجزيرة ) .. فان المأخذ على بشار او زوجته او ربما ابنه انه اشترى من موقع اي تون اسطوانة غنائية … واتخن اسطوانة غنائية في امريكا لا يزيد سعرها عن عشرين دولارا

محطة العربية اعتبرت هذا تبذيرا ودليلا على ان بشار وزوجته يعيشان عيشة بذخ وترف وانفاق غير محدود

هذا الفديو لامير سعودي في ملهى ليلي ( نايت كلوب ) … عم هذا الرجل هو الملك عبدالله ملك السعودية وخادم الحرمين … والاميرة الجوهرة صاحبة محطة العربية هي ارملة عم هذا الرجل … اذا كنت ضعيف القلب وتنتزع القرش من انياب السبع لاطعام اطفالك لا تشاهد هذا الفديو … حتى لا تموت بالسكتة القلبية

طبعا هذا الفديو لن تعرضه محطة موزة ولا محطة العربية ولن يكنب طارق الحميد افتتاحية عنه في جريدة الشرق الاوسط … ولن يصدر مفتي الناتو يوسف القرضاوي فتوى بهذا الامير

انقر … وشوف

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2_5OdK9Sww&feature=youtube_gdata_player

http://www.arabtimes.com/portal/news_display.cfm?Action=&Preview=No&nid=10814

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March 19th, 2012, 1:05 am

 

780. Jerusalem said:

عرب تايمز – الافتتاحية

بسبب عقدة ( الخواجا ) نعتقد نحن العرب ان كلام الصحف الامريكية او البريطانية قرانا منزلا … وكثيرا ما نعتمد ما تنشره او تقوله هذه الصحف ونعيد نشره وكأنه حقيقة علمية مع ان فضائح جرائد مردوخ مثلا تكفي لاثبات ان اهمل واصغر جريدة عربية في الصومال قد تكون ملتزمة باداب العمل الصحفي واخلاقياته اكثر من … الغارديان

والغارديان – هذه الايام – حديث العرب لانها نشرت ما تزعم انها مراسلات وايميلات بشار الاسد وزوجته … وسرعان ما طبلت محطة العربية ومحطة الجزيرة والصحف الاردنية لما تقوله الغارديان في محاولة لاقناعنا وافهامنها ان بشار الاسد وزوجته اللذين يعيشان في غرفة نوم واحدة مع اطفالهما في دمشق يتواصلان .. بالايميل … وان ايميلاتهما تؤكد – وفقا للغارديان ومن بعدها محطة العربية – ان بشار واسماء يعيشان عيشة رغد فاخرة وهنية في دمشق

هلق صارت اسماء هي التي تعيش عيشة رغد وتنفق الملاييين .. يا محطة العربية

وماذا عن كلاسين زوجة ولي العهد السعودي التي كانت موضوعا لاكثر من خبر وبرنامج تلفزيوني في فرنسا بعد ان هربت من باريس دون ان تدفع اثمانها بعد ان تبين ان زوجة سموه تشتري كلاسين بكذا مليون يورو

وماذا عن فضائح الاميرة الجوهرة صاحبة محطة العربية التي تتنقل ما بين منتجعات فرنسا وجنيف مع ابنها الامير عزوزي وحاشية من الف شخص بخيمة مكيفة تنصبها على رؤوس الجبال المثلجة في بذخ هو اليوم حديث الفرنسيين والسويسريين

ولا تنسوا موزة … التي تعلق في غرفة نومها لوحة اشتراها حاكم قطر بربع مليار دولار

هلق صارت اسماء الاسد – ياصحافة ملك الاردن – هي التي تبذح .. وملكة الاردن لم تترك عرض ازياء عالمي يعتب عليها واصبحت مضرب الصحافة العالمية في التبذير والبذح وحفلة عيد ميلادها في جنوب الاردن حديث القاصي والداني … حتى في طبربور

هلق اسماء التي لم نقرا يوما في اية صحيفة عربية او اجنبية انها طارت للاستجمام في اوروبا وامريكا والمرة الوحيدة التي زارت فيها فرنسا كانت بصحبة زوجها وبدعوة رسمية من سركوزي … وكل ما انفقته مع زوجها فنجان نسكافيه في احدى مقاهي الشانزيلازيه .. هلق اسماء هي التي يشار اليها بالبنان عندما يتم الحديث عن عهر نسوان الحكام العرب …. وبذخهم

والله عيب

ولكم استحوا … واحترموا ذكاء القاريء العربي

http://www.arabtimes.com/portal/news_display.cfm?Action=&Preview=No&nid=10801

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March 19th, 2012, 1:12 am

 

781. Juergen said:

Hans Jad

Austrian Airlines has suspended all flights until further notice, originally they planned on flying again in late April, but i think they just decided to wait. Usually their planes were filled with businessmen in their business class and lots of tourists who liked their good flight schedules, but without the tourists, its not a good business anymore.

Hans
From the christians i know i heard since December that they predicted an direct attack on them, they arent surprised and most know that they represent an big asset to the regime.

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March 19th, 2012, 1:39 am

 

782. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

#766
“The stupidity of the Syrian security dealing with people in the streets is astonishing. I wonder how long it will take to train the police and the security guys to properly and respectively deal with demonstrators, I think Lebanon can help in that”

Oh, so now the “Syrian security” (sic) is stupid…why, I wonder? Because they are arresting and beating Jad’s favorite opposition members, but were doing the right thing sniping other peaceful demonstrators throughout the whole previous year?

The hypocrisy is absolutely sickening!

Or was it being (cynically) suggested that the Assadist Mafia thugs should have shot and killed Mr Rassas and the other NCB/NCC activists instead of just beating and arresting them, just like they murdered thousands of other demonstrators?

When will the Assadist Mafiosi and Associates (ASMAA) realize that their “iron fist” approach has utterly failed? When will they withdraw their thugs and allow the people to demonstrate and voice their wishes freely, like they did in Hama in July and in Homs before that and all over reef dimashq and Kafar Souseh, Mazzeh, Midan, etc, etc.

It is now clear and beyond doubt that all the ASMAA care about is their continued control over the private prison-farm called Syria, and would rather burn it to a cinder than surrender it to its people, its real owners. They are in a mad rush to re-plant fear and terror into the hearts and minds of the people, but it will not work; the people have broken the chains and are no longer afraid of their jailers, no matter how brutal the response.

FREEDOM JUSTICE and DIGNITY are ours.

حرية عدالة كرامة
بالرغم عن أنف كل سفاح أسدي حقير

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March 19th, 2012, 1:43 am

 

783. Syrialover said:

#776 Ghufran, you say:

“You will hear from us when the guns stop talking, for now, take care of your family and pay to feed the hungry and help the poor in the motherland.”

I’m unsure what you intended, but to me this reads like ‘don’t wake us until it’s over’.

And you say: “The memories jad is talking about are like precious metals that we can not use or sell,it is too painful to even look at”

Those precious metals are fuel in Syrians’ veins and brains that keep them caring and grappling with reality even through the worst. They are not in anyone else’s veins.

Jad in #772 couldn’t have given a stronger message to expatriate Syrians, no matter which side of the dispute they are on.

Syria is there for Syrians, but it there will be nothing there for anybody if pessimism, defeatism and negativity are the drink of choice and the attitude is, ‘it’s too scary and difficult, and the bad guys are just being too terrible, especially foreigners. I have decided to switch off until it is all fixed again to my liking. Meanwhile, I’m OK cause I’m far away.’

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March 19th, 2012, 1:52 am

 

784. Mina said:

Anna 767 “I speak to activists who complain they are no longer able to buy the tools they need, like laptops or phones.”

You mean, when the journalists of al Jazeera and other networks and their bags of cash are not around anymore? Even recently the Mundo journalist who got out of Baba Amro was boasting about the thousands dollars in his bag that he had to leave behind!

Even if the Tahrir demonstrations in Egypt started from a genuine massive protest (and long delta workers strikes) where one could see every kind of citizen in the demos, old and young, poor and rich, it was by then annoyable to see some guys reporting from the square all day with phones that obviously had had to have been given by the station’s reporters…

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March 19th, 2012, 2:17 am

 

785. Syrialover said:

Assad: faithful student of ruthlessness

By Roula Khalaf , Financial Times, March 18

Excerpt:

Experts who have studied the trove of Assad emails say the Syrian leader is not a conventional dictator. James Fallon, an American neuroscientist who has written on the mind of dictators, says Mr Assad shares some of the characteristics of other tyrants – lack of empathy and need for flattery (he surrounds himself with young female aides who seem to be in awe of him). But he finds him “an incomplete dictator” who appears to lack a personal sadistic streak. “He comes across as a pathetic adolescent little tyrant. a weak leader … a sorry character,” says Prof Fallon.
…………
One government loyalist says no one should be surprised by the behaviour of the Assad regime. “It’s the only way the regime knows how to act, it’s just the way things are done.”

Though he might not look the part, Mr Assad has proved to be a faithful student of his father’s ruthless strategies. What has made him potentially more menacing, however, is that he lacks Hafez Assad’s character strength, his experience and self-confidence.

Back in 1982, Assad bombed the city of Hama to put down a rebellion by the Muslim Brotherhood, killing as many as 20,000 people. The tragedy of Hama is now happening in slow motion across Syria. Except that today, while the activists send the world images of the suffering and the destruction, the young Assad apparently surfs the net for amusement.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e0ce4102-710e-11e1-a7f1-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1pWrHG8AF

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March 19th, 2012, 2:28 am

 

786. Mina said:

To be a mainstream journalist nowadays, you have to be ready to go far in submission (no matter on what side you are)

From the Angry Arab:

Répression en Syrie

Watch this debate on French France24 TV. Several points come to mind. The viewpoints expressed by Joe Bahout and Haytham Manna` (and both are opponents of the regime for sure), are not permitted to be expressed on US and UK (and of course Saudi-funded and Qatari-funded) media. 2) What Joe Bahout expressed is a point of view that has been validated by recent events, regarding the regime gaining the upper hand. 3) It was quite typical that the anchorwoman cut off Joe Bahout but tried (without success) to interrupt his flow. 4) It is ironic that she in disagreement with Bahout and Manna` would bring up the fact that they dont reside in Syria when the Syrian National Council (comprised almost exclusively of Syrian living abroad) is permitted to speak without question or doubt on behalf of all Syrians. 5) The White Man has been amusing me these days. The White Man has fallen in love with armed struggle in the Middle East, having annoyed our years for decades in his preachments against armed struggle in Palestine.

http://angryarab.blogspot.de/2012/03/repression-en-syrie.html

(which he commented again later with: “In the news show on Franc24 linked below, Haytham Manna` makes a good point. He asks: who are the ones who declare Jihad? Are they the secular democrats? “)

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March 19th, 2012, 3:21 am

 

787. Mina said:

In pictures: what Qatar possesses in Europe.
http://www.challenges.fr/galeries-photos/monde/20120214.CHA2189/ce-que-le-qatar-possede-en-europe.html

Rejoice Jürgen, we are the new Egyptian colony for the Gulf!

To say that KSA is arming the rebels, is it just to be silent about Qatar and its piles of cash?

Look at it cynically: arm the belligerents and watch them kill each other. When you want the game to stop, have an incident involving Iran or Israel, and enter the party.

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March 19th, 2012, 3:26 am

 

788. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Last night, Bashar and Imelda heard the people knocking on their window with live rounds. Bashar and Imelda were busy with polishing (her) designer shoes, and downloading (his) songs from iTunes, when bullets started to fly real close.

I always thought that the two corrupted families, Ma7louf and Assad, will be forced to quit power only when the revolution knocks on their private doors.
.

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March 19th, 2012, 5:11 am

 

789. Juergen said:

Amir

In the US they say: the chickens come home to roost. Good Abu Hafez and Imelda wannabe Marcos had a bad night sleep. If for a second I would believe that the bombs were orchestrated by the islamists then why not targetting the master of this desaster?

May be the IDF air force should make a short visit to the house as they did in 2006, i was in Damascus during the Lebanon war, and the baath loyalists were then outraged by the Chuzpe of the Israelis.

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March 19th, 2012, 6:12 am

 

790. SANDRO LOEWE said:

I hope the burning of a mosque in Belgium last week (which seemed to have some relations with Syria) and the killing of three jewish boys in a school in France today be not warning signals of intimidation from Assad Mafia to France.

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March 19th, 2012, 7:03 am

 

791. Valerya said:

788-
what level of ethics have you man ? i am admired.

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March 19th, 2012, 7:12 am

 

792. Juergen said:

Sandro

I have a feeling that the european right wing will be found responsible for the events. The killing of the jewish children is related to other killings of soldiers some weeks earlier. The killed have all in common that they were of foreign decent so an xenophobe killer seems obvious. One could blame despots like Assad for instrumentalizing political islamism and therefore nurture the rise of xenophob, islamophobe parties and organizations throughout Europe.

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March 19th, 2012, 7:44 am

 

793. Juergen said:

Valerya

spare me from your admiration, i think you have a hardtime sharing admiration other than for your saviour Assad. You should worry about the level of ethics shown by Assad when he thinks children are terrorists.

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March 19th, 2012, 7:49 am

 

794. zoo said:

The FSA is being infiltrated by pro-regime generals, ready for the next step of negotiations” (FSA + Local Opposition) vs (Farouk Sharaa and Regular army)

Two more Syrian generals defect: Turkish diplomat
AFP – 8 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/two-more-syrian-generals-defect-turkish-diplomat-114034174.html

Two more generals have fled Syria and linked up with rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Damascus, a Turkish diplomat said on Monday.

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March 19th, 2012, 7:52 am

 

795. zoo said:

NATO must probe, pay for errors in Libya: Amnesty
AFP – 3 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/nato-must-probe-pay-errors-libya-amnesty-080556119.html

NATO must investigate the killing of dozens of civilians during its air campaign in Libya last year and provide reparations to the people affected, Amnesty International said on Monday.

“Adequate investigations must be carried out and full reparation provided to victims and their families,” said the rights group in a statement released one year after the first strike sorties were carried out by the alliance in Libya.
(..)

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March 19th, 2012, 7:54 am

 

796. zoo said:

Is Bashar Al Assad about to re-establish control over the country, if there is no military option soon?

What Are Our Military Options in Syria?
Michael O’Hanlon
March 19, 2012 | 12:00 am
http://www.tnr.com/article/world/101792/hanlon-syria-intervention

But the alternatives are not pretty. Alas, perhaps the most likely outcome is that Assad will brutally reestablish control over the country, in a way that might end the war, or at least prevent it from becoming an all-out conflagration. But it is also quite possible that things will continue to get more chaotic on the battlefield. Meanwhile, some Sunni Arab states are probably considering arming the opposition themselves—this would likely not be enough to overturn Assad, but just enough to stoke the conflict further.

As the death toll from the year-old conflict rapidly approaches 10,000, it may not be too early to raise these types of military possibilities in public—if for no other reason than to signal the murderous Syrian regime that we do have options besides just hoping that Assad will fall of his own weight. Ideally, down the line the credible possibility of their implementation will persuade Assad’s cronies to demand that he go into exile. Perhaps it could even convince them to form a new power-sharing government with the opposition. That may not be a utopian solution, but, under the current circumstances, it may be the best we can hope for—even if it requires uncomfortable talk of military intervention.

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March 19th, 2012, 7:58 am

 

797. zoo said:

Hussein Mortada: “What the Guardian is publishing has not been verified..

“They are liars and I will take them to court, and if they have any evidence let them bring it to the court where we will bring them to trial in their own country”

“Now we are a year into the Syrian crisis and they cannot impair the unity of the Syrian people, they cannot impair the Syrian youth, and they cannot achieve any of their goals.”

http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=28905

As for the accusations that he traded e-mails with Bashar al-Assad, Mortada told Asharq Al-Awsat “this is a ridiculous accusation and its objective is clear to all the Syrians, whether opposition or loyalists, I warn against anybody believing such exaggerations where the objective is to portray President al-Assad in an unrealistic and incorrect manner. Those who are promoting this idea have forgotten that the President they are talking about is the same man who shrewdly fought the Bush administration, and emerged victorious against them the following day after the Iraqi invasion. He is the one who fought an international battle in defense of Syria and the resistance during the July War [2006 Lebanon war] and the Gaza war. He is the president who in his wisdom is leading Syria through this crisis to safety, away from civil war and chaos…therefore the core of the issue is not true, and whoever has evidence let them bring it forward. I would personally be honored to carry out correspondence with any Syrian figure, but this did not happen, even on a professional level, we did not even get an interview with President Bashar al-Assad.”

As for why his name appears in the leaked e-mail case, and whether Western media outlets have tried to get in contact with him, he said “they have not called me at all, if they had called me then they would be professionals, so are they [professional]? They are liars and I will take them to court, and if they have any evidence let them bring it to the court where we will bring them to trial in their own country. What the Guardian is publishing has not been verified.

This was a cheap opportunity seized upon by the hostile media to implicate the names of Iran and Hezbollah. With regards to those who pay half a billion in Lebanon to tarnish Hezbollah’s reputation, according to Jeffrey Feltman himself, how much will they pay to tarnish the image of Iran, Hezbollah and Syria all together?
From here, Mortada continued: “they inserted my name because I am Lebanese and I work as the head of Iranian television channels in Damascus, so is there anyone more suitable for their lies than me?”

Now we are a year into the Syrian crisis and they cannot impair the unity of the Syrian people, they cannot impair the Syrian youth, and they cannot achieve any of their goals.
….

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March 19th, 2012, 8:10 am

 

798. Dawoud said:

# 773.

Although I support the Occupy Wall Street Movement (I do NOT support Israeli occupation/colonization/war crimes), the courageous activists in Zuccotti Park are lucky that they are only facing police pepper spray, rubber bullets, and batons!!!!!!!!! Had they were in Syria Bashar’s murderous forces would have fired T72 tank shells on bombed them from helicopters. Women would have been arrested, raped, tortured, killed, and dumped on the streets!!

I find it one of the greatest puzzles of the century that an American highly educated person would validly complain about NYC police brutality while AT THE SAME TIME defending a murderous Syrian regime and propagating on its behalf!!!

Supporting the resistance and opposing Israeli aggression in Palestine and Lebanon should never ever make a principled intellectual, or an average human being, support the murderous hereditary Syrian dictatorship!

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March 19th, 2012, 8:12 am

 

799. Valerya said:

792
are you europian ?
your comments show clearly not.
for whom are you working ?

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March 19th, 2012, 8:16 am

 

800. zoo said:

Anyone knows who are the five members of the UN team?

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March 19th, 2012, 8:21 am

 

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