Former Secretary James Baker Commenting On Syria – The Charlie Rose Show

James Baker, Former Secretary of State appeared on the Charlie Rose Show last night. His comments on Syria start on the 16-minute mark. Mr. Baker is always worth listening to. Set below are some quotes from the interview:

“I am not a big fan of what we did in Libya even though I am glad to see Gaddafi gone.  We don’t know who these people are, the Free Syrian Army and all those people.  Syria is a whole lot of a different case than Libya. We need to proceed very cautiously. We are broke. We don’t need another major engagement that we cannot fund. Assad has lost legitimacy. You can’t murder your own people and expect to survive for very long and when he goes, and my view ultimately he will go. That is not all that bad for us from the standpoint of the situation with Iran. “


Ousting Syria’s Assad through a ‘soft landing  – By David Ignatius

“Maybe it’s time for Syrian revolutionaries to take “yes” for an answer from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and back a U.N.-sponsored “managed transition” of power there, rather than rolling on toward a civil war that will bring more death and destruction for the region.

We should learn from recent Middle East history and seek a non-military solution in Syria — even with the inevitable fuzziness and need for compromise with unpleasant people.

The alternative to a diplomatic soft landing is a war that shatters the ethnic mosaic in Syria. It’s easy to imagine Sunni militias gaining control of central cities such as Homs, Hama and Idlib, while Alawites retreat to parts of Damascus and Latakia province in the north. Assad might still claim to be president in this scenario, but he would be little more than a warlord (albeit one with access to chemical weapons). It’s a grim scenario in which Western air power would have limited effect.”

Arab Spring Turns to Economic Winter on More Joblessness  – Bloomberg

To create jobs for their young populations, Arab economies need to integrate, according to an Oxford University study published in December by Adeel Malik and Bassem Awadallah, a former Jordanian finance minister. It highlights restrictions on the movement of investment, goods and people across borders.

The result, in an Arab world with a population of 350 million, is “insignificant” levels of internal trade and regional markets that are “cut off from each other and from the rest of the world,” they wrote. It can be cheaper for a Jordanian company to import from the U.K. than from nearby Lebanon, while “visa requirements for traveling within the region can sometimes be as cumbersome as the journey itself.

Whoever takes office will have to win back people like Mohammed, Ahmed and the others camped outside the Libyan Embassy trying to flee Egypt. Poverty and unemployment have clouded their view of the revolution they supported.

“There is no change,” said Mohammed. “We want to feel that we have rights in our own country. Who feels that way?” he asked, looking at the men gathered around him. Most replied: “No one!”

Threat to Assad remains despite claims of victory – Financial Times

Bashar al-Assad is acting victorious, marching under the gaze of state television crews into the ruins of the Baba Amr district of Homs, the city bombarded by his forces for nearly a month. In TV footage this week, the Syrian leader is seen surrounded by loyalists described as residents, though most of the inhabitants have fled. He blames his enemies for the devastation and promises to rebuild Baba Amr.

Mr Assad’s tour was another grotesque show of force aimed at humiliating the rebellious people of the district, who faced collective punishment for allowing Free Syrian Army fighters to protect them. It was also a manifestation of a renewed self-confidence following the regime’s seizure of a series of strongholds that had fallen under rebel control and brought the armed opposition dangerously close to the gates of Damascus.

The problem for Mr Assad, however, is that the Annan plan gives no relief from the most dangerous threat he faces. That threat has never been from the armed rebels but from the peaceful demonstrators who continue to stage protests more than a year after the eruption of the revolt. “As soon as a ceasefire takes hold, Bashar falls because the people will be on the streets in millions, even in Damascus,” says Samir Seifan, a Syrian economist who has joined the opposition. “There will be no need for the FSA whose members know that demonstrations are what will bring down the regime.” Mr Assad, insists Mr Seifan, can score military gains but he cannot win the war against the popular uprising.


Comments (598)

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501. omen said:

who cares what the battalion name is?
as long as fsa soldiers can shoot straight.

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March 31st, 2012, 11:53 pm


502. Son of Damascus said:


I don’t know if what you wrote in #502 is aimed at me, if it is let me clarify myself.

I am well aware that Gandhi was not alone in liberating India, I would even add to that Nelson Mandela advocated the very same thing Andrew Tabler mentions.

However in India and South Africa you never had a wholesale arming of the opposition, because the opposition realized that confronting the regime militarily would be counter productive and at best you end up replacing one Junta with another Junta if you happen to succeed (Cuba is a good example) at worst the armed rebellion gets mercilessly crushed and the civilians pay the heaviest toll.

So the importance of civil disobedience and non violent movement is paramount and should not be excluded as a solution for bringing an end to this barbarity.

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April 1st, 2012, 12:01 am


503. Hopeful said:

@Son of Damascus #500 re:

Thank you for your explanation and I am truly inspired by your thoughts and you commitment to non-violence.

I have to admit that I still cannot see how the regime could be *forced” out with non-violent demonstrations. You state that the reason people have not come out in large numbers is that the regime’s response has been to “mow them down”. If indeed that is the case, then what will make the regime stop doing it and what will make the people feel safe to go out in numbers again? How would all the things that you ask the opposition to do (being united, appeal to all factions, etc.) MAKE the regime stop shooting at demonstrators?

Milosevic and Mubarak were forced out *because* their armies turned against them. Do you believe that there is a chance that the Syrian army can/will *peacefully* turn against the Syrian regime?

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April 1st, 2012, 12:07 am


504. Hans said:

One year later and the winners are Russia, China, Iran, Israel.
ok then let’s rephrase the sentence, the loser after one years is the Innocent Syrians.
The criminals are the KSA,West, USA and the rest of GCC.
The one who deserves a medal is Iraq, it stood by the side of Syria in spite of all the pressures.
It is clear that Assad is finishing the 2012 and Obama/Sharkosy, may not continue beyond the 2012
I said Syria is a red tape for Russia, everyone understood and agreed except the dummies in GCC
even Turkey understood it is not winning the in syria.
it is not going to fall in the hands of the radicals that’s what Russia told the USA.
game over and time for a quick reorganizing the troops on both sides.

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April 1st, 2012, 12:21 am


505. Syria no Kandahar said:

Fantastic revolution !!!
25 people Kiddnapped today,at one million each that is 25 millions.if family don’t pay then سياف الثوره cuts the neck!!
مسلحون يختطفون حافلة تنقل أكثر من 25 مواطن.. استهداف قرية الحصن بقذائف الهاون
قال مراسل “شوكوماكو” في حمص أن مجموعات إرهابية مسلحة قامت بنصب حواجز بقرية الحصن، وأقدمت على اختطاف حافلة نقل ركاب عند مفرق البساس فيها أكثر من 25 مواطن واقتادوهم إلى منطقة مجهولة، وأقدموا على اختطاف شاحنة محملة بالبيض مع سائقها وأطلقوا النار على سيارة مارة أسفر عن استشهاد السائق وإصابة المواطن الذي كان بجانبه.
وأعلنت الجهات المختصة مساء أمس السبت قرية آبل منطقة آمنة بعد عدة عمليات تطهيرية نوعية، كما أُعلن حي الوعر منطقة آمنة بعد تطهيرها من فلول العصابات المسلحة.
وأفد مراسلنا، أن مجموعة إرهابية مسلحة قامت باستهداف قرية قطينة بـ4 قذائف هاون مما أدى لوقوع أضرار مادية جمة، بالإضافة إلى اشتباكات في أحياء الخالدية ودير بعلبي والبياضة ومحيط القلعة دون وقوع إصابات.
وشهدت منطقة الغوطة والدبلان انتشار كثيف للعناصر المسلحة أقدموا على قطع الطرقات وفتح النيران بشكل عشوائي أسفر عن إصابة مواطن.

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April 1st, 2012, 12:36 am


506. Son of Damascus said:


“Do you believe that there is a chance that the Syrian army can/will *peacefully* turn against the Syrian regime?”

Yes, and its all in the numbers that if it is well organized and sustained and most importantly in Damascus and Aleppo where “normality” is lost in the heart of those two cities would be the important catalyst that will nullify the legitimacy of this regime (In the eyes of the fence sitters, and the army)

What will be the spark that drives the people to do so. I wish I knew, but I look at Berliners tearing down the wall that separated them, I look at Georgia and Ukraine and how they inspired the world with their awakening and see that the ingredients they all had Syria has, we just need the right spark.

Or at least thats what I keep clinging by hope to…

I just want this nightmare to end and see our Syria free.

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April 1st, 2012, 12:40 am


507. omen said:

at worst the armed rebellion gets mercilessly crushed and the civilians pay the heaviest toll.

of course fsa can’t hope to compete head to head with the regime army. it’s going to have to use “hit & run” insurgency tactics. it was a small force which ousted the soviets.

i hope the fsa can get it together enough to put into play what prof. landis advised: wage simultaneous attacks in the different parts of the country in order to stress and fracture the army.

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April 1st, 2012, 12:47 am


508. Syria no Kandahar said:

Day by day, The truth is coming very clear:This is Taliban Terrorists movement
With a branch of torturing ,one for excecuting(by cutting neck) and one for
Burial and hiding bodies.History will put this movement at the same chapter
Of Alqaeda ,Taliban,Boko Haram….
One profile of the Syrian opposition fighters’ tactics appeared in the English edition of Spiegel Online (Germany) under the title “The Burial Brigade of Homs: An Executioner for Syria’s Rebels Tells His Story.” The executioner gave an interview using the name “Hussein” from the Lebanese hospital where he is recovering from wounds he sustained in the battle where the rebels lost Homs. He says he’s part of the “burial brigade,” whose members slit the throats of people who “confessed” loyalty to the Assad government. How the confessions are gotten is the work of the “interrogation brigades” who “do the ugly work” of breaking the prisoners. “Hussein,” however, doesn’t torture people. “Most men can torture, but they’re not able to kill from close range,” he said. “But it doesn’t bother me. That’s why they gave me the job of executioner. It’s something for a madman like me.” He is embarrassed that he has one of the lowest kill numbers in his brigade, but says that he can’t wait till he recovers so that they can “get back to work” in Syria.
The interview was conducted by Spiegel following the recent Human Rights Watch report that described and condemned violence of a war crimes variety being carried out by the Saudi and Qatar backed terrorist forces. Yet, despite the evidence of Syrian rebel terrorism including torture and killings of childen and other civilians, bombings, and assassinations, UN envoy Kofi Annan has now demanded that President Assad “stop” the government violence before anything else—a complete violation of the UN statement that created his mission.

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April 1st, 2012, 12:49 am


509. omen said:

497. abbas said:

Many are wondering why the silent majority are still silent,

tripoli remained a silent majority for a long time as well. what was once considered a “gadaffi stronghold” easily fell when the rebels finally rolled into town. whereupon the residents rejoiced at their arrival. this despite the constant messaging from regime media telling them that the rebels were al qaeda!

“damascus, here we come!”

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April 1st, 2012, 12:54 am


510. jad said:

“i hope………wage simultaneous attacks in the different parts of the country in order to stress and fracture the army.”


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April 1st, 2012, 1:07 am


511. Son of Damascus said:


“wage simultaneous attacks in the different parts of the country in order to stress and fracture the army.”

I don’t know if the FSA can develop such capabilities, at least not at the moment. I think the FSA should concentrate its efforts on protecting the protesters and try to avoid direct confrontation with the security service.

They keep trying to establish a Benghazi type of base of operation, but wherever they gain a foothold the civilians are loosing a mile, and at some point they have to realize that the regime won’t stop that.

I don’t want to blame the FSA for the regimes crimes, but after seeing the atrocities the regime is willing to commit in Baba Amr and Idlib, the FSA knows the tactics of the regime and the indifference of the international community, and its mode of operation should be based on knowing those two facts clearly.

And without a proper backing, training, and supplying of the FSA they will never have a chance in fracturing this regime, which is the case right now. (and I doubt it will change)

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April 1st, 2012, 1:13 am


512. jad said:

It seems that the ottoman sultan is changing his mind about the Syrian election at the same day of the enemies of Syria, strange!

Free elections in Syria can end violence, says PM Erdoğan

The solution to the current conflict in Syria between government forces and the opposition is holding free elections, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday, on his return flight from Iran, where he has been visiting since Tuesday.
“We talked about Syria with Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. We don’t differ in our approach toward Syria. He also wants the deaths to end,” Erdoğan said.

“A ballot box should be placed in front of the Syrian people with the correct time and conditions. Whoever the people want to see at the helm, they will be accepted. The question of who will succeed President Bashar al-Assad is moot. Whoever the people of Syria want will be in office.”

He said Iran might succeed in convincing Bashar to hold elections within six months, and Turkey can talk to the opposition.

Erdoğan said the elections should be fair, transparent and open to international monitoring. “If necessary, OSCE or regional countries can send observers. If Assad displays a positive approach, we will wait patiently, but the deaths must come to an end as quickly as possible.”

The prime minister also noted that he was optimistic that a settlement in Syria will be reached soon. “The two important developments are the idea of elections and that there is a united consensus against an intervention from outside. There can’t be a second Libya syndrome,” he told the journalists on the plane. He said there shouldn’t be any military intervention in Syria without a UN resolution.

He also noted that the US, the UN, Russia and Iran are all important actors in the process. He said Russia was positive about the prospect of an election in Syria, as is Iran. And the US is not interested in an intervention in Syria.

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April 1st, 2012, 1:27 am


513. jad said:

Did you miss this news from yesterday?
ma kan na2sna gher aljihadyeen mishan tkml far7tna!

Foreign Fighters Join Syrian Rebels
Jihadists Declare Holy War Against Assad Regime,1518,824875,00.html

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April 1st, 2012, 1:58 am


514. Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: HANS

RE: “…I said Syria is a red tape for Russia…”

Once again, you make no sense. I wish you would stick to a language you understand. It’s obvious English is not one of them. “Red tape” means complex and time consuming bureaucratic procedures, as in going to a Ministry office to file a complaint and the clerk has you fill out ten forms in triplicate. That’s red tape. You meant to say “red line.” A red line is an essential, non-negotiable component of a policy, as in the United States’ red line of not permitting Iran to manufacture a nuclear bomb.

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April 1st, 2012, 2:02 am


515. ann said:

CBS : USD Reaches SYP 59,93 Purchase, SYP 60,29 Sale – Mar 31 2012

DAMASCUS – The Central Bank of Syria (CBS) on Saturday fixed the USD exchange rate at SYP 59,93 purchase while it reached SYP 60,29 sale.

According to the bulletin of foreign currencies exchange rate issued by the CBS, the Euro reached SYP 79,93 purchase while it reached SYP 80,49 sale.

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April 1st, 2012, 2:33 am


516. ann said:

Syria Says 3211 Civilians Killed by “Terrorists” Who Stole 2256 Government Vehicles

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 31 — In the run up to Kofi Annan’s briefing of the Security Council on April 2, Syria late on March 30 wrote to the Council and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to say that nearly 6000 people have been killed in the country by “terrorists.”

This seeks to counter the numbers of civilians killed provided in briefings by High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay and outgoing head of UN Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe. Inner City Press has obtained the letter and puts it online here, before the UN has made it publicly available.

The Syrian letter states figures for killed civilians, police, army, then women and children, presumably already included in the civilian number. It also states for example that 2256 government vehicles have been stolen.


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April 1st, 2012, 2:50 am


517. ann said:


820 Second Ave., 15th Floor, New York, N. Y. 10017
Tel: (212) 661-1313

I have the honour to transmit herewith a detailed table on the losses incurred in the Syrian Arab Republic due to the acts committed by armed terrorist groups. The table covers the period
from the beginning of the events in Syria until 15 March 2012 and it contains the following information:

– Death toll of civilians: 3211 people.
– Death toll of police : 478 people.
– Death toll of Army and Security Forces : 2088 people ( as of 21 March 2012).
– Death toll of women : 204 people.
– Death toll of children : 56 people.
– Death toll of directly assassinated people : 106 people.

Resulting in a total of 6143 deaths in the Syrian Arab Republic

– Kidnapped civilians, army personnel, and police officers:
missing people.

– Stolen government vehicles: 2256 vehicles.
1560 people, including 931


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April 1st, 2012, 2:57 am


518. ann said:

Fighting continues in Syria as West, opposition to meet – 6 hrs ago

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Syrians trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad meet their Western backers on Sunday while fighting has continued despite the Syrian government saying the year-long revolt is over.

The political opposition remains divided and has not yet formally accepted a peace plan brokered by United Nations-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan.

Prospects of Western-led military intervention are close to zero, although Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal renewed calls on Saturday to arm the Syrian opposition, describing it as a “duty”.

Assad, whose foreign ministry has declared that the revolt has been crushed, has said he accepts Annan’s plan but has to keep security forces in cities to maintain security.


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April 1st, 2012, 3:21 am


519. ann said:

Peace first, then troop withdrawal – Syrian govt – 31 March, 2012

Foreign ministry spokesperson Jihad Makdessi told Syrian State television on Friday that the troops were stationed in a capacity of “self-defense and protecting civilians.” He emphasized that security was a Syrian matter and that the UN must recognize the sovereignty of the Syrian government.

Furthermore, Makdessi said that the Syrian government was willing to cooperate with Koffi Annan’s peace plan to “remove all excuses” for possible international intervention.

“The battle to topple the state is over. Our goal now is to ensure stability and create a perspective for reform and development in Syria while preventing others from sabotaging the path of reform,” he stressed.


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April 1st, 2012, 3:26 am


521. omen said:

484. Son of Damascus 9:41 pm

It is frustrating to read, but sheds light on more exaggerations by the regime or out right lies. If rebels are low on ammo and are counting every bullet it would defeat their purpose to indiscriminately fire at civilians and civilian targets as the regime is trying to make everyone believe (since they need every bullet to defend themselves). It also expands on the lack of wholesale arming of the rebels from the GCC (and western nations) as some commentators here keep proclaiming is the undeniable truth.

bravo. you turned lemons into lemonade.

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April 1st, 2012, 3:37 am


522. Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: ANN

RE: “…Death toll of Army & Security Forces: 2088 people…”

Does this number include Shabeeha?

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April 1st, 2012, 3:51 am


523. omen said:

3:36 ann

So far, Assad’s prevailed. He wants peaceful resolution, not conflict. Insurgents reject it. They’re resolved to fight and are well armed, trained and funded to do it.

is this man high? assad wants peace? has this writer seen homs? the insurgents are “well armed”? sigh…

who the hell is stephen lendman? what are his mena credentials? it’s obvious he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

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April 1st, 2012, 3:59 am


524. Mina said:

Mawal 486,
In the article which is the source for this, (which I have pasted too, yesterday or so), it is very clear that the French diplomats blindness was not due to bigotery.
It is rather a problem of a small group of “Atlantists” among them, including those at the top positions, who refuse to listen to what they are told in the reports from people on the ground, because they are here to do a certain job. Since their administration is certainly going to be ousted next month, they had to make it quick. Same problem with the EU.

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April 1st, 2012, 4:08 am


525. omen said:

red tape/red line … i knew what he meant. i wish i were bilingual.

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April 1st, 2012, 4:11 am


526. omen said:

and jad is reduced to nonsensical screaming. khaldoun was right about media shabbiha. bashar needs to send in a new crew. this one is burnt out.

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April 1st, 2012, 4:25 am


527. mjabali said:

Omen said in comment 509:

“i hope the fsa can get it together enough to put into play what prof. landis advised: wage simultaneous attacks in the different parts of the country in order to stress and fracture the army.”

General Omen:

I have no idea about your military training, but, you are trying to wage a war here.

Why don’t you go and participate, we see now an influx of those non-Syrians, lost in life, wanting to vent at something coming to Syria or meddling in the Syrian affair. Syrians are paying with their lives in this conflict dear general Omen.

Being a rebel does not work while Syrians are getting killed.

Law and order in Syria has to be restored and this will never be done with logic like yours.

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April 1st, 2012, 4:42 am


528. omen said:

mjabali, i wish i could take credit for it, but it isn’t mine.

it’s true what is happening is tragic. it’s the regime who needs to stop the killing and wreaking havoc and chaos.

Law and order in Syria

chilling words when coming from this fascist regime and its apologists.

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April 1st, 2012, 4:50 am


529. mjabali said:

H. R Clinton’s usage of the word “Sunni” is a departure from the norm. The price of this is yet to be seen.

The separation between Sunni and Shia Islam in the Western views about Muslims is going to be monumental.

Clinton’s support of the Sunni monarchs is temporary at best. Soon the deeds of those monarchs is going to be exposed more and they are going to be a liability with time.

The money that is going to the hands of the Sunni monarchs is making them dangerous players in the world, which is going to make them at the target of many too.

So, with a Wahhabi ideology in pocket and lots of cash you have a formula for disaster.

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April 1st, 2012, 5:01 am


530. mjabali said:

Omen said:

“chilling words when coming from this fascist regime and its apologists.”

First of all, I do not think I should bite your attempt into drawing me into your petty squabbles.

I do not think you are Syrian. I am. I lost family members in these events and see what is going on and Yes I have been calling for law and order from day one. Yes Syria wants law and order and if you are against this you are inciting violence as I have read in your comments over and over.

Yes Syria needs law and order.

By the way, I am still waiting for your answer about why you singled me out to ask me about an issue related to rape?

I see that you are not here to add any information about Syria.

labeling people is not gonna get you anywhere. So, if I do not agree with your great plan to arm the rebels I am an apologist? Huh? dude you are insane….

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April 1st, 2012, 5:09 am


531. omen said:

i’m sorry you lost family.

we can see from homs what assad considers bringing law and order. we can see from daraa the price paid for drawing words on a wall.

it wasn’t the people who drew first blood. people have a right to protest and people have a right to defend themselves. or are the majority of syrians supposed to abandon their own country and cede it all to one family?

i answered you earlier about the rape quetion. you had a post pondering charges being made against assad that questioned whether he was a true muslim or not. certainly by the practices going on in his detention center, they violate islamic principles.
i’m sorry if raising the question worried you somehow.

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April 1st, 2012, 5:30 am


532. omen said:

i didn’t say you had to agree to anything.

maher has been posting this poll on this board asking which option was best for syria. this answer got the highest percentage:

The regime stays on its current course of crushing the rebels, restraining free speech, restricting demonstrations, and introducing political reforms 58.46%

for regime supporters, “restoring law and order” is synonymous to advocating violence.

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April 1st, 2012, 5:36 am


533. Shami said:

Mjabali go out of your minority syndrom,if you remove the Sunnis in the Muslim and Arab world what would remain ?

The Sunnis are an umma (taken as cultural or civilizational perspective), Arab and Islamic. Its normal if you only hold hatred and always looking to antagonize this civilization, you will put yourself on the margin.

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April 1st, 2012, 6:13 am


534. mjabali said:


Why are you lecturing me about what had happened and give me your point of view how things started? Do you really think I do not have my own opinion about how things happened in my country Syria?

This blame game is of no use. We need solutions, and if we follow what you say we have more bloodshed with no end in sight.

Now, we have ten thousands dead and counting. You are calling for more violent solutions. This is not working. Can’t you see?

As for the poll you linked to, from the option offered I voted for the last one which meant the peaceful transfer of powers and elections. Elections and political parties are what Syria needs and not arming some lunatics.

AS for the rape issue: I see no connection with me writing about how the Sunni sheikhs declared al-Assad a non-Muslim with your questioning me about my opinion about rape. how can you connect both?

I see more of a connection between declaring al-Assad as an infidel with the brutal killing of the three Syrian teachers in Deir al-Zur in the last week. Can you mr. Omen give me your thoughts about why after killing these three teachers the killers from Allah Akbar Brigade cut the arms, heads and legs of the victims?

Law and order should be restored into Syria ASAP.

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April 1st, 2012, 6:16 am


535. Shami said:

Majbali ,considering the nusayris as infidel is not an excuse for your shabiha ,Assad, and the nusayri gangs nd may be your relative to kill our people in such hysterical way.

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April 1st, 2012, 6:29 am


536. mjabali said:


Wrong again mr. Shami. I have no minority syndrome, you have no room for minorities in your “Umma,” and when a person like me raise real questions about what is the real future: you have no answer but to accuse me with this and that.

Shoving the minority problem under the rug is not going to solve the situation. You have to give the minorities their space.

Also, when someone critiques certain brands of Islam please come with real answer and not only labels and accusations.

Remember the minorities are the ones who made the real achievements in “your civilization” and not the Arabs.

Do you want me to list them for you? Respect the space of the minorities especially when they are from the land they live on way before any Islamic or Arabic invasion. You are calling to eradicate these minorities. Respect their space mr. Shami that is better.

Mr. Shami, Sunnis are going to stay or go is not my problem: all going to depend on how strong the foundation of that faith. Ibn Taymiayah and Abd al-Wahhab are going to stick around for many years to come, I have no doubt, and for sure they are going to be more popular with the oil money.

In my opinion: if we have real free speech in the Arab and Muslim world half of the population are going to leave religion.

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April 1st, 2012, 6:32 am


537. Alan said:

439. AFRAM :
then woke up next to the best Russian Federation babushkas.
Did you know :
Grandma will be introduce to Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku
Buranovskiye Babushki – Party For Everybody (Russia) 2012 Eurovision Song Contest

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April 1st, 2012, 6:36 am


538. Shami said:

The nusayri beliefs will remain considered as heretical this is not going change as ours are considered heretical by them, what is important is the existence of a social contract that guarantee them their civil rights and those are the same than the other Syrians. The alawite mountains must also be more heterogenous ,the alawites who today live in the Syrian cities must take it as their definitive place, there should be no go back to the mountains.

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April 1st, 2012, 6:37 am


539. mjabali said:

Shami again:

There is no excuse for any Syrian to kill any other Syrian. Independent investigations and courts should look into who killed who and what really happened.

I am in no position to tell what really happened, and I think neither do you. I see numbers of dead people from both sides. They are all Syrians to me.

You and I as Syrians should call for peace and end of this violence by all: government and rebels. I am not here to blame, I look for solutions and results.

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April 1st, 2012, 6:45 am


540. Alan said:

Call of duty: Saudi Arabia bent on arming Syrian rebels
Calls to arm the Syrian rebels are growing louder, with Saudi Arabia saying that supplying weapons is a “duty.” The desire to tool up rebels comes as major Syrian opposition groups have appealed to neighboring states to allow the transit of arms.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Sunday that top ranking Arab and Western officials will be discussing further ways to apply pressure on President Bashar al-Assad. The promise of more humanitarian aid to the rebels was also high on the agenda.
But as her Saudi Arabian counterpart has revealed, this help might not be limited to medicine and blankets. During a joint news conference with Clinton, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said “the arming of the [Syrian] opposition is a duty, I think, because it cannot defend itself except with weapons.”…./…/…

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April 1st, 2012, 7:03 am


541. Alan said:

I think that the Saud AlFaysal provacate debt against himselfe ! a tooth for tooth! life shall show!

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April 1st, 2012, 7:11 am


542. Alan said:
Western partners in UN try to downplay NATO’s victims in Libya – Churkin

UNITED NATIONS, March 31 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia continues to ‘closely address’ the issue of civilian casualties in Libya as a result of NATO bombardments, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin confirmed on Friday.

“Regrettably, our Western partners in the UN Security Council have been trying to play down and hush up the affair in every way they can,” Churkin told Itar-Tass. “Last time the issue was brought up in the UN Security Council they put forward an amazing excuse to the effect it would be far better to look into the future.” The Russian diplomat said this attitude “does not hold water.” He pointed out that for the Security Council the question of civilian victims of NATO’s bombardments in Libya “is important, because the death of civilian population was a result of operations approved in this building, and the whole operation was conceived as a means to protect civilians.”

Churkin recalled that as he addressed the UN Security Council on March 12, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded investigation into reports of civilian victims of bombardments in Libya and urged the UN Secretary-General to shed light on that issue, using the Declaration on UN/NATO Secretriat Cooperation, signed in 2008.

In the meantime, as UN officials have said, the UN Secretary-General has no plans for taking any steps along these lines. On Friday journalists asked the UN Secretary General’s deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey about Ban Ki-moon’s response to the North Atlantic Alliance’s refusal to cooperate with the international commission for the investigation of human rights abuse in Libya the UN Human Rights Council had created. The deputy spokesman looked confused and then said that it depended entirely on the Human Rights Council how to achieve cooperation with NATO.
NATO’s massive air campaign, launched in March 2011 against the Muamar Gaddafi regime, saw 26,000 sorties, including 10,000 attack sorties. According to official reports, the alliance’s planes destroyed 5,900 military targets. The operation ended only after Gaddafi’s physical elimination by Libyan rebels last October.

In its report published on March 2 the UN Human Rights Commission presented evidence of the death of at least 50 civilians as a result of NATO’s air raids. The international human rights organization Amnesty International gathered documentary evidence of the death of at least 55 civilians, including 16 women and 14 children, that NATO’s air strikes had led to. Such cases occurred after air raids on Tripoli, Sirt, Marsa-el Brega, Zliten and Majer.

“Implausibly, NATO insists it knows of no “confirmed” civilian casualties during its entire seven-month Libya bombing campaign,” says an editorial in Friday’s New York Times. “Confirmed” means confirmed by NATO, which has shown little interest in investigating credible independent claims of civilian fatalities, including a 27-page memo submitted by The Times last year documenting nine separate attacks where the evidence pointed to unintended victims.”


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April 1st, 2012, 7:14 am


543. Juergen said:

Happy palm sunday to all of those who celebrate. I remember well the artistic efforts the christians in Damascus put into their candles for the visit of the church.

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April 1st, 2012, 7:15 am


544. Alan said:

“Friends of Syria”: Outsiders decide country’s fate

The 70-nation “Friends of Syria” gathering in Turkey is reconsidering comprehensive support for the armed Syrian opposition after Damascus agreed on Kofi Annan’s internationally backed peace plan.

The second meeting of the states calling themselves the “Friends of Syria” is set to pledge humanitarian and financial aid to the opposition and victims of the conflict.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave an opening address, saying Ankara has no intention of interfering in any other country’s internal policy. However, he claims that the Syrian government continues to repress the legitimate demands of the Syrian people.

A anti-Syrian government demonstration has been staged just outside the venue for the “Friends of Syria” meeting.

Erdogan stated that 20,000 Syrian people were forced to flee to Turkey because of the violence.
Those attending the Istanbul-hosted meeting are primarily concerned with making the Syrian opposition more effective. At the same time, there are concerns that arming the Free Syrian Army could spark sectarian violence in the country.

The timeline for implementing Kofi Annan’s peace plan and how exactly it is going to be carried out also tops the meeting’s agenda.

It is quite possible that the “Friends of Syria” will recognize the Syrian National Council (SNC) as the sole representative of the Syrian people. At the same time, the SNC has a myriad of internal problems to overcome. So far, beyond pledges for humanitarian and financial aid, there is not much that the Friends of Syria meeting can really offer.

Saudi Arabia together with Qatar have advocated arming the Syrian opposition for quite a long time, but the international community fears it will heat up sectarian violence in a country riven with division.


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April 1st, 2012, 7:17 am


545. Uzair8 said:

25 min 28 sec ago – Iraq. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime will not fall and attempts to overthrow it by force will aggravate the crisis in the region, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Sunday.

“It has been one year and the regime did not fall, and it will not fall, and why should it fall?” Maliki told a news conference in Baghdad.


Don’t be fooled. The regime its supporters and allies are trying to impose a psychological victory. This is all spin.

One can easily put an opposite spin on the situation.

For over a year the regime hasn’t, with all it’s brutality, been able to suppress the revolution. The revolution was up against all the odds.

The heart and foundation of the revolution are the Local Coordination Committees (LCC). A very determined bunch. The regime has to deal with the FSA and SNC before it can even get at the LCC.


There is still a lot that can happen. The regime is human and imperfect. It has its limits. Only God is perfect, Unlimited and invincible.

– How long will the religious scholars stand by the regime? Have they got a breaking point? Will they stand with Assad all the way come what may? I doubt it.

– Diplomatic/ambassadorial defections.

– Business class dumping the regime and taking their money abroad.

– Damascus and Aleppo seem to be a dry woodland just waiting for a spark (a misstep/error from the regime?) to set off a forest fire.

– Further sanctions piling up. One of which may be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’.

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April 1st, 2012, 7:22 am


546. Mina said:

Alan #545
“Regrettably, our Western partners in the UN Security Council have been trying to play down and hush up the affair in every way they can,” Churkin told Itar-Tass.””

“On Friday journalists asked the UN Secretary General’s deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey about Ban Ki-moon’s response to the North Atlantic Alliance’s refusal to cooperate with the international commission for the investigation of human rights abuse in Libya the UN Human Rights Council had created. The deputy spokesman looked confused and then said that it depended entirely on the Human Rights Council how to achieve cooperation with NATO.”
Of course, it would be harsh for NATO to let people investigate who took the decision to let some boats of migrants drift and sink when all their military vessels were in the sector. Just an example of their “humanitarian behaviour”.

And the BBC is more interested in the pet-market and the garbage piles in Tripoli. Orient exoticism…

The coup in Mali is directly related to the availability of weapons from Qaddafi’s arsenals, as the ousted president adverted already one month ago.

So for you, to make a linkage between the Palestinian bid at the UN and the forecast of a violent reaction of the Neocons belongs to conspiracy theories?

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April 1st, 2012, 7:27 am


547. Alan said:

Obama exposes the Emir of Qatar

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April 1st, 2012, 7:38 am


548. majedkhaldoun said:


Law and order, does this mean to you law of Assad that says Assad must continue to rule Syria? you still do not come with solution, clear enough, for us to understand, vague statement has no value.

The law of Assad is not acceptable to the syrians, I hope it is not acceptable to you.
We are trying to do is to get a law in Syria that is acceptable to all syrians, not the fake one we have now, which means domination of minority representing less than 7 % over majority represent over 80 %

I am sorry you lost family member, can you tell us more about this incident, did this family member die in certain circumstances?

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April 1st, 2012, 7:38 am


549. Tara said:

Assad running out of time, warn leaders at Syria crisis summit
‘We cannot sit back and wait any longer,’ says Hillary Clinton, as Assad regime remains idle on UN-backed peace plan
Sam Jones and agencies
Sunday 1 April 2012 07.47 EDT

Britain, the US and Turkey have warned Bashar al-Assad that he is running out of time and that the international community is rapidly losing patience with his regime’s failure to end the violence in Syria.
The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the Syrian regime should not be allowed to “manipulate” the plan to win time, indicating that military options might have to be considered if Syria does not co-operate with Annan’s plan and the UN security council fails to unite in opposition to Assad. Russia and China vetoed a UN censure of Assad, fearing the measures could lead to foreign military intervention.

“If the UN security council fails once again to bring about its historic responsibility, there will be no other choice than to support the Syrian people’s right to self-defence,” Erdogan said.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, also expressed scepticism that the Syrian government would observe Annan’s plans, which call for an immediate ceasefire and a Syrian-led negotiation process.

“Nearly a week has gone by, and we have to conclude that the regime is adding to its long list of broken promises,” Clinton said. “The world must judge Assad by what he does, not by what he says. And we cannot sit back and wait any longer.”

Clinton urged unity behind a plan that includes more sanctions, humanitarian aid, support for the opposition and the promise of justice one day for regime figures involved in atrocities. She said the US is providing communications equipment to help opposition members in Syria organise, remain in contact with the outside world and evade regime attacks.

Foreign secretary William Hague said the issue could return to the security council if current efforts to resolve the crisis fail. “There isn’t an unlimited period of time for this, for the Kofi Annan process to work before many of the nations here want us to go back to the UN security council – some of them will call for arming the opposition if there isn’t progress made,” he told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show.
Burhan Ghalioun, leader of the opposition Syrian National Council, called for additional measures, including the strengthening of Syrian rebel forces as well as “security corridors” inside Syria, an apparent reference to the foreign military intervention that the nations meeting in Istanbul have so far been reluctant to support.

“No one should allow this regime to feel at ease or to feel stronger by giving them a longer manoeuvring area,” he said, reflecting fears that Assad would try to use the Annan plan to prolong his rule. “It’s enough that the international community has flirted with the regime in Syria. Something has to change.”

The Syrian government launched a pre-emptive attack on the conference, with a front-page editorial in the official al-Baath newspaper calling it a “regional and international scramble to search for ways to kill more Syrians, sabotage their society and state and move toward the broad objective of weakening Syria.” The regime has consistently dismissed the country’s year-long uprising as a foreign-engineered conspiracy.

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April 1st, 2012, 8:07 am


550. Alan said:

Military voodoo. Revival of “the African Bin Laden” as a way of the USA to select oil at China
translator needed
On March 09 2012
Evgeny Super
In a popular video hosting of Youtube last week there was a new leader of viewings – the half-hour roller of Kony 2012 which has been let out by the American NPO of Invisible Children Inc. For the first four days of hire the simple roller gained 46 million viewings and more than 1 million «лайков». Extraordinary popularity of the film having very doubtful art advantages, forced us to look narrowly more attentively at a situation that in turn helped to open background of promotion of campaign «against the African terrorist No. 1»…../…./…

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April 1st, 2012, 8:11 am


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