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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151. Tara said:

Dear SOD

It was a unilateral tolerance. Sunnis coexisted with “minorities” while a great majority of those minorities harbored hatred, غل وحقد. No human is capable of what those called shabeehas (our neighbors next door) did. Literally cutting the face of children is not something a human can do unless he harbors an extraordinary amount of hatred. A direct product of lack of genuine coexistence, peace, and harmony on their part.

It is like Cinderella living in fake peace and harmony with her two step sisters to be subtle…

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March 29th, 2012, 10:15 pm

 

152. Tara said:

Jad@142

Is their any lower?

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March 29th, 2012, 10:19 pm

 

153. jad said:

Iran stands firm with Syria:

أنقرة تؤكّد دعم موقف إيران نووياً
خامنـئـي لأردوغـان: سـندافع عـن دمشـق

اختتم رئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب اردوغان زيارته الايرانية أمس، مستمعا إلى موقف «حازم» من المرشد الاعلى للثورة الإسلامية آية الله علي خامنئي الذي أكد ان ايران «ستدافع عن سوريا بسبب دعمها مقاومة الكيان الصهيوني»، مشددا على معارضة ايران أي مبادرة تقودها أميركا لحل الازمة السورية، فيما أكد اردوغان دعم بلاده «بدون لبس وعلى الدوام» لموقف ايران في الملف النووي معلنا عدم التوصل بعد إلى اتفاق على مكان استئناف المفاوضات بين طهران ودول الـ«5+1».
وقال خامنئي بعد لقاء دام ساعتين مع اردوغان في مدينة مشهد إن «الجمهورية الاسلامية ستدافع دوما عن سوريا بسبب دعمها خط المقاومة ضد الكيان الصهيوني، وتعارض بحزم أي تدخل عبر قوات أجنبية في الشؤون السورية الداخلية». وأضاف «ندعم دوما الإصلاحات في سوريا، ويجب على الإصلاحات التي أطلقتها سوريا ان تتواصل». وحذر خامنئي من جهة اخرى من اي مبادرة تقودها الولايات المتحدة لحل الازمة في سوريا، مؤكدا ان بلاده «ستعارض بحزم» اي مشروع مماثل.
وحول الاحتجاجات التي تشهدها المنطقة قال خامنئي «بحمد الله، التطورات الإقليمية كانت إلى الآن وستبقى في مصلحة الإسلام والمسلمين»، مضيفا «عند هذا المفصل الحساس في المنطقة، القضية الأهم هي أن تتخذ الدول المستقلة قرارات صائبة». وعن حكم الإسلاميين في تركيا قال خامنئي «حالة كهذه لا تصب في مصلحة اميركا والغرب. لكن ايران مسرورة بأن إخوة مسلمين يتبوأون مواقع سلطة في تركيا».
من جانبه، قال اردوغان بعد لقائه الرئيس الايراني محمود احمدي نجاد، إن «تركيا حكومة وشعبا دعمت بدون لبس على الدوام موقف جمهورية ايران الاسلامية حول النووي وستواصل اعتماد هذه السياسة مستقبلا»، وصرّح بانه ليس من الواضح بعد إذا كانت المفاوضات حول البرنامج النووي الايراني المتوقعة في 13 نيسان المقبل، ستنعقد في اسطنبول أو في مكان آخر. وبحسب الموقع الرئاسي الايراني «رحب نجاد بموقف تركيا الواضح والصريح من ملف ايران النووي». وأكد اردوغان أنه «لا ينبغي افساح المجال أمام الذين يريدون ضرب المسيرة المتنامية للتعاون الاخوي بين ايران وتركيا».
وأفادت وكالة «مهر» للانباء بان نجاد وصف خلال استقباله رئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب اردوغان، العلاقات بين الجمهورية الاسلامية الايرانية وتركيا بأنها «تاريخية وراسخة وعميقة»، مضيفا: «ان التعاون الاقتصادي والتبادل التجاري يحظيان الآن بمستوى عال بين البلدين في مختلف المجالات خاصة في مجال الطاقة». وصرح «علينا في ظل الطاقات المتاحة في البلدين بذل الجهود في مسار رفع حجم التبادل وتعزيز مستوى العلاقات الثنائية والاقليمية والدولية، ذلك لان تطوير ورقي العلاقات السياسية والاقتصادية والثقافية الشاملة يخدمان تقدم وازدهار وأمن الشعبين».
وقال نجاد «ان ايران وتركيا تقفان الى جانب بعضهما بعضا في الكثير من الساحات الدولية وواجهتا على الدوام هيمنة الغربيين والمستكبرين باستقلالية وجدية».
من جانبه، اكد رئيس مجلس الشورى الاسلامي علي لاريجاني خلال استقباله رئيس الوزراء التركي انه «لا ينبغي السماح في الظروف الراهنة بالمساس بخط المقاومة ضد الكيان الصهيوني». وافادت وكالة «مهر» بأن لاريجاني اشار خلال استقباله اردوغان الى «آفاق تطورات المنطقة»، وقال: «ان ايران وتركيا بامكانهما من خلال التعاون الثنائي الوثيق بينهما حل الكثير من المعضلات والمشاكل المعقدة في المنطقة». واشار لاريجاني في جانب آخر من حديثه الى موضوع نشر منظومة الدرع الصاروخية للناتو في الاراضي التركية، معربا عن «ثقته بحل هذا الموضوع من خلال التشاور الوثيق بين البلدين».
(«السفير»، أ ف ب، رويترز، أ ب)
http://assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionId=2113&ChannelId=50404&ArticleId=3118&Author=

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March 29th, 2012, 10:22 pm

 

154. jad said:

Tara
Yes, this:
“It was a unilateral tolerance. Sunnis coexisted with “minorities” while a great majority of those minorities harbored hatred, غل وحقد.”

Khaldoun
Oh please, coming from you who called others sons of prostitutes…go preach yourself.

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March 29th, 2012, 10:25 pm

 

155. Syria no Kandahar said:

Jad
Syrians has been the smartests in the Arab world.The education system in Syria has produced many many quality smart professionals all over
The world.
What the current Islamic movement in Syria is doing is total destruction of many students life and education at all levels.when the fire is off,and Syria
Is turned into ashes,If Bashat or Ammar or Hassan
Is in the presidential palace it doesn’t matter.when
Your child education and future is destroyed you could care less about freedom or democracy.
Syrian MB revolution is teaching kids to say :
لا دراسه ولا دوام لحين إسقاط النظام
Gues what by then you dont have to study my son
You will be graduate as حمار حر ديمقراطي

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March 29th, 2012, 10:25 pm

 

156. jad said:

“حمار حر ديمقراطي”
LOLOL Good one SNK :)

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March 29th, 2012, 10:36 pm

 

157. jad said:

The armed terrorists using civilians’ houses as base for their attacks against other residential areas:

Armed terrorists and snipers based in the homes of civilians

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March 29th, 2012, 10:57 pm

 

158. majedkhaldoun said:

Ghalioun said he will support Kofi Annan plan, This disappoint the Assad mafia regime, they thought the opposition will refuse,

Lavrov comment is very strange , no one would expect foreign minister of Russia to say such statement,the majority of Syrian has the right in a democratic system to choose what they want, however the minority rights has to be respected, The Arab countries has to respond,Lavrov should apologize.

The Arab League, is headed by Iraq, whose president is Kurd and Foreign minister is Kurd, I say Arab is another name for middle East people, The Kurds and Arab are one people.

Other than this I believe that Arab League meeting has failed, The leader of KSA Egypt Syria were not there, they did not talk about Arab unity, and the best thing is that Qatar HBJ is now the spirit and heart of the Arab, He stands tall, while Bashar now is half man, or much shorter, He proved to be a murderer and a lier, he said today Syria is cooperating with Annan, he is a pathological lier, Erdogan sent a warning to Tehran.

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March 29th, 2012, 11:14 pm

 

159. jad said:

katibet alansar (home grown alqaeda), they didn’t mention fsa AT ALL in this clip and they are using civilian apartments and Mosques for their attacks:

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March 29th, 2012, 11:16 pm

 

160. Son of Damascus said:

Dear Tara,

Hate and distrust is evident on both sides, and its main cause is ignorance.

Living in the west I developed a thick skin when it comes to my religion, but one thing I never realized is how much more it hurts when a fellow Syrian calls me a terrorist sympathizer, 3ar3ouri, Israeli agent, mundass… all because I want Bashar gone. They evoke the extremist ideology of certain sects of Islam and how bad it is, while hypocritically endorse another extremist ideology and fail to see its damages.

Or the excuses to allow the slaughtering and constant annihilation of Syrians for fear of the Salafi boogyman with his beard who dares to say Allah u Akbar, while praising a bearded militia that has the arrogance to call itself the Party of God, and is led by a maniac that is willing to hold all of Lebanon hostage for the sake of his version of the resistance (Christians and Sunni Lebanese be damned).

If as you say the majority of the minorities hate us and carry غل وحقد against us, then we should embrace the minority of the minority rather than shun them away. Most of the minorities I know personally are on the pro revolution side, writing in their real names, in Syria what they think of the regime, that is a lot more than what I dare to do.

It is Syrians killing Syrians, Sunni killing Sunni, Alawi killing Alawi… this regime is not made of one sect, and not all the Shabeha are Alawi (I know a halabi Sunni that is a proud shabeeh).

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March 29th, 2012, 11:40 pm

 

161. omen said:

regime snipers idea of fun.

hanging is too good for assad.

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March 30th, 2012, 12:15 am

 

162. omen said:

Lavrov comment is very strange

wait! what did lavrov say?

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March 30th, 2012, 12:26 am

 

163. Syria no Kandahar said:

The Army of liars:

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March 30th, 2012, 12:33 am

 

164. omen said:

SNK, to borrow khaldoun’s descriptive, the army of liars is the media shabbiha.

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March 30th, 2012, 12:41 am

 

165. Syria no Kandahar said:

This nice,beautiful seen is destroyed by the terrorists.Again we didn’t do this,god did it.So god
Is destroying Syrian tanks ? Why doesn’t he destroy Israeli once?

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March 30th, 2012, 12:46 am

 

166. Syria no Kandahar said:

Omen
I much rather have stroke and never wright again
Than borrowing Majed words.

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March 30th, 2012, 12:49 am

 

167. jad said:

b3eed alshr 3n albak SNK :)

“شبكة مراسلون كذابون بلا حدود ”

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March 30th, 2012, 12:55 am

 

168. majedkhaldoun said:

Omen
I was refering to Lavrov statement, when he said he is worried that Sunni will control Syria

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March 30th, 2012, 1:01 am

 

169. Syria no Kandahar said:

الجزيره وجمعة الكلب الاخضر عضني

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March 30th, 2012, 1:09 am

 

170. Syria no Kandahar said:

Jad
Omer Altalawi,Khaled Abosalah ,Abo jaafar and Danny are all exposed as criminal,terrorists liars.
They have killed so many kidnapped innocent
Civilians.Dany was welcomed at the European
Parliament!!

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March 30th, 2012, 1:18 am

 

171. jad said:

I guess this news won’t make it to HRW any time soon:

حصار بلدة “الفوعة” في إدلب يدخل شهر الرابع ، ومسلحو “الجيش الحر” يقطعون عنها الغذاء والماء بهدف تهجير سكانها لأسباب مذهبية

إدلب ، الحقيقة ( خاص) : دخل حصار بلدة “الفوعة” في ريف محافظة إدلب شهره الرابع ، في وقت بات معه واضحا أن مسلحي “الجيش الحر” لن يرفعوا الحصار إلا بالقوة المسلحة أو بعد تهجير أهلها من المنطقة لأسباب مذهبية (ينتمي أهالي البلدة ، إلى المذهب الشيعي ويبلغ عددهم نحو 25 ألفا). وكان مسلحو “الجيش” المذكور ، المؤلفة أعدادهم في تلك المنطقة في معظمهما من عناصر”القاعدة” والتنظيمات السلفية والأصولية (قسم كبير منهم عائد من العراق)، بدأوا حصار البلدة نهاية العام الماضي ، حيث منعوا أهلها من الخروج منها لمتابعة أعمالهم وأشغالهم ، كما منعوا دخول المواد الغذائية إليها ، وقطعوا المياه عنها لأوقات طويلة ، ما اضطرهم للاعتماد على المياه الجوفية المحلية. وقال أهالي المنطقة إن وضعهم المعيشي والصحي بات على شفا الكارثة ، لاسيما وأن عددا كبيرا منهم يعاني من أوضاع صحية مزمنة تقتضي متابعة العلاج في مركز المحافظة أو في حلب . وأفادت مصادر محلية بأن جميع الطرق المؤدية إلى البلدة ، والتي تربطها بإدلب والمناطق المجاورة ، جرى قطعها منذ ذلك التاريخ ، في حين انتشر المسلحون في باقي محيطها من الكروم والبساتين للحيلولة دون خرج أحد من أبنائها إلا جماعيا (الرحيل عن المنطقة) باعتبارهم “مجوسا وصفويين وعملاء إيران والسلطة” ، وفق التعابير الدارجة . كما أن أكثر من خمسين من أبناء البلدة جرى اختطافهم من قبل المسلحين قبل اقتيادهم إلى جهة مجهولة . وبحسب هذه المصادر، فإن معظم المسلحين هم من بلدة “بنش” المجاورة التي باتت تعتبر أحد أهم حصون مسلحي”القاعدة” في المنطقة، فضلا عن القرى الأخرى. وقال أحد أبناء المنطقة إن 25 من أهالي البلدة قتلوا حتى الآن بعد اختطافهم ، بينما دفعت مبالغ وصلت إلى عشرة ملايين ليرة إلى “الجيش الحر” لقاء تحرير عدد من المخطوفين!

يشار إلى أن هناك عددا من القرى في المنطقة يغلب على أهلها الانتماء المذهبي الشيعي ، فضلا عن بعض أبناء الطائفة الدرزية . وجميع هذه القرى تعيش وضعا مشابها ، إلا أن الوضع الذي تعيشه ” الفوعة” يبقى الأكثر خطورة.

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March 30th, 2012, 1:19 am

 

172. Mina said:

Alan,
Sorry, economics is Chinese to me. After reading more, I understood that Australia has not dropped the Commonwealth to become a Brics member. It simple have bilateral trade with the Brics country in the requested currency.

Jad,
UK “non-lethal” help, that means satellite phones, web cameras and computers, no? So we’ll see thousands more videos, some of them shot at night, of new militias. Luckily some of them sound really phoney, just about making 5 bucks for the show and going back to sleep (cf the Deir al Zur clip). It helps the West to list all these guys who don’t use FB Google and Twitter.

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March 30th, 2012, 1:44 am

 

173. Syrialover said:

Majed, you are breaking further records!

Your commment (#8) on media shabbiha among those who live outside Syria, has now scored a staggering 45 red thumbs down!

Wow, what a bullseye hit you scored with that one. They are block voting in a frenzy, enraged by your perceptive comments about themselves.

I hope you reach 50.

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March 30th, 2012, 1:47 am

 

174. Jerusalem said:

What resistance exactly, please remind me the last time this administration or the one before it shot a single bullet to free the Golan?

———
This is a common question on most opposition facebooks and it’s rather very lame and cheap argument.
Last administration went to battle with Israel and regretful consequences were due to Sadatte and Hussein of Jordan betrayal and those are facts in history. If you wish to rewrite or deviate history, it’s possible but references are in International Libraries worldwide.
The current administration didn’t go to war because Israel advanced technology and equipment capabilities are known. For any battle be it commercial or military SWOT analysis are done and if the outcome is not feasible then NO go. For instance, if Hardee’s decides to go on market share and price war with McDonalds, we all know McDonald’s capabilities so both are going to exhaust their resources to no end until both go back to their old positions. Thus, why begin in the first place. Not all wars are winnable, even Prophet Muhamad lost certain battles. Going to battle just for the sake of it sounds like Saddam invading Kuwait ..needless to elaborate..how smart was that?? Current administration chose to spare soldiers lives in unknown outcomes with war against Israel (e.g.: Saddam was in battle with Iran for many years I don’t even know who won at the end). Jonathan Kozol says : “Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win” . Meanings if it’s might for right then fight your battle but make sure you win. Finally, for those who believe that the Golan would be back be it old, current, new administration are dreaming in colors. There are serious joint ventures with multinational corporations in Golan no peace plan will bring it back in form of land, only financial compensation. Thus, the subject is clos.

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March 30th, 2012, 2:07 am

 

175. omen said:

51. son of Damascus 10:37 am

Abandoning Syria
by Elliott Abrams
March 29, 2012

With 9,000 Syrians dead and the Assad regime increasingly isolated and under political, moral, military assault, it appears that the Obama Administration has made its choice: it is abandoning efforts to force the end of that regime.

The plan developed by Kofi Annan is a life-saving development for Assad,

hate to say it but even neocons can be eloquent.

but, really, if you look back, activists have been saying the same thing: kofi has been acting to prop up the regime.

looks like obama is more interested in getting a deal out of iran. he’s more interested in self aggrandizing legacy-making rather than preventing wholesale slaughter. makes me effing sick.

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March 30th, 2012, 3:08 am

 

176. Khalid Tlass said:

2. Tara said:

Dear SOD

“It was a unilateral tolerance. Sunnis coexisted with “minorities” while a great majority of those minorities harbored hatred, غل وحقد. No human is capable of what those called shabeehas (our neighbors next door) did. Literally cutting the face of children is not something a human can do unless he harbors an extraordinary amount of hatred. A direct product of lack of genuine coexistence, peace, and harmony on their part”

Absolutely correct, TARA. They hate us becz we are Muslims, becz we believe in Allah, MUahmmad, and the Caliphs. WE will fight them physically and crush them physically. WE will keep on fighting . They will have to accept There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is His Messenger. and Abu Bakr is the First Caliph.

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March 30th, 2012, 5:05 am

 

177. Khalid Tlass said:

WE are the sons of Omar and Khalid bin Walid, go back to Byzantine bloody Ropmans and Pheonicians, we are descendants of proud Umayyad Arabs and Ottomans, **** your culture and your nation. WE are Arabs and Turkmen, we are your nemesis, bloody Byzantines.

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March 30th, 2012, 5:07 am

 

178. Ales said:

James Baker…

In the 90′, he told us we will never be independent and USA will never allow Yugoslavia to split. It was an ultimatum, but we did it anyway. Not even USA can stop you, if you want something.

Were we right or wrong, were we foolish or not, it’s harder to say now than before. Nationalism and religion can destroy any country…foolish nationalistic Serbians politicians started it all in Yugoslavia.

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March 30th, 2012, 6:15 am

 

179. Tara said:

Khaled@177

No. No. And no. You are absolutely wrong. Allah should not be injected in the middle. It has nothing to do with Allah and “we are not going to fight them to believe in .. Abu Bakr”. The vast majority of us, and I personally, couldn’t care less of believing in a dead man.

Sorry, I mean no disrespect. You keep jumping in to spoil any meaningful discussion. You’re jumping in trying to portray this as a holly war (again to discredit the revolution) is a blatant attempt to prevent me from expressing my thoughts by derailing the discussion. Pointing to past “fake coexistence” and other society-ills is important If we are looking to have a future real non-fake country.

I have asked you many times to stop. Please stop.

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March 30th, 2012, 6:59 am

 

180. chris said:

TARA
re:”khalid tlass
see what supporting these thugs does! we give them aid we give them weapons. they only want the nation to believe in their allah!
the west does not know what it is doing is allowing islam to grow. our grandkids will look back at history and say how could mr obama have let this happen!
and please dont beleive everything u see. those who demonstrate in peace dont waste time distorting videos and making them something else. thanks to technology we have a way to fake anything. even cover magazines have been caught our!
yes syrians have lived in peace with the asaads in power. we may noy like certain ways but it has been the most peaceful for the people why else would over 2million refugees seek refuge in syria? because it had peace!

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March 30th, 2012, 7:37 am

 

181. Syria no Kandahar said:

(We will crush them physically )
Can you explain yourself and back yourself with ayat or Hadith.

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March 30th, 2012, 7:47 am

 

182. Alan said:

173. MINA
I will tell you more! who has more alternative economic options, that and will appear on the right track! Americans for certain understand inevitability of an exit of other Currencies (type North American Amero)! everything is natural!

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March 30th, 2012, 7:51 am

 

183. Uzair8 said:

This is exactly the type of army that will get swallowed up by the desert in the future. Those aware of the end time prophecy about the army coming out of Shaam (Syria) will know what I’m talking about.

If this regime survives. Expect it to send an army to attack Imam Mahdi (as) in Mecca sometime in the future. Some predict this is 20+ years away.

Whatever the matter, one day they will get their cummuppance. The sooner the better.

Edit: I hadn’t read the recent comments (before this one) when writing this.

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March 30th, 2012, 8:18 am

 

184. DAWOUD said:

Asking for advice!!

I will very shortly be paying a $ 50,000/year college tuition/room&board for my son’s college education. Suppose that my son takes a class on Syria and the Middle East, and the professor propagates that Hamza al-Khateeb, who was tortured by Bashar’s security/shabiha, was “actually” killed by “Saudi terrorists!” Do you think that I should ask the university for a refund? I believe in professor’s freedom of speech, but that does not mean that I should pay for conspiracy theories!! If this hypothetical situation materialized, my lawyer would be suing the university for a refund!
I truly feel so sorry for students who would be in the class of the person who claim that Hamza al-Khateeb was killed by Saudi terrorists!

Hating Erdogan becasue of the Armenian issue, and despising Saudi Arabia/Qatar for any reason are irrelevant to why Anan’s peace plan will fail. Erdogan isn’t the reason why Anan’s plan will fail. It’s because Bashar is stalling and thinking, as Professor Landis told the NYT yesterday, that he is “in the mopping up stage.” He isn’t and the courageous Syrian revolution will not be “mopped up” until Bashar is really mopped up! I know that Professor Landis does not believe that that the revolution is over. He was just explaining what the dictator actually thinks.

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March 30th, 2012, 8:34 am

 

185. Son of Damascus said:

Actress icon of Syrian revolt warns of sectarian warfare
March 30, 2012 01:29 PM
By Deborah Pasmantier

PARIS: Fadwa Suleiman, an actress who became an icon of Syria’s revolution, is furious that her country’s peaceful protest movement has been drawn into armed conflict with the regime.

She said she is saddened to see that “the revolution is not going in the right direction, that it is becoming armed, that the opposition which wanted to resist peacefully is playing the game of the regime and that the country is heading for sectarian war”.

Her bitter assessment comes as she sits in a cafe in Paris, where she fled to last week after escaping from Syria.

“I didn’t want to leave Syria but I didn’t have the choice. I was being threatened and I was becoming a threat for the activists who were helping me,” she said wearily.

Suleiman became a high-profile member of the opposition movement last November when she appeared in footage from the rebel city of Homs that was broadcast on the Al-Jazeera television news network.

[...]

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Mar-30/168528-actress-icon-of-syrian-revolt-warns-of-sectarian-warfare.ashx#axzz1qaZPGqCb

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March 30th, 2012, 9:36 am

 

186. Son of Damascus said:

Exclusive – Iran helps Syria ship oil to China – sources

(Reuters) – Iran is helping its ally Syria defy Western sanctions by providing a vessel to ship Syrian oil to a state-run company in China, potentially giving the government of President Bashar al-Assad a financial boost worth an estimated $80 million.

Iran, itself a target of Western sanctions, is among Syria’s closest allies and has promised to do all it can to support Assad, recently praising his handling of the year-long uprising against Assad in which thousands have been killed.

China has also shielded Assad from foreign intervention, vetoing two Western-backed resolutions at the United Nations over the bloodshed, and is not bound by Western sanctions against Syria, its oil sector and state oil firm Sytrol.

[...]

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/03/30/uk-china-iran-syria-idUKBRE82T0D120120330

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March 30th, 2012, 9:42 am

 

187. irritated said:

#137 SOD

That’s even more to the credit of Bashar al Assad. He consistently refused a peace deal that would give him back the Golan and leave the rest of the Palestinian land occupied. Sadat just did that with the Sinai, Bashar did not.
You are just selfishly focusing on the Golan. The Resistance is much larger than that and Bashar has shown more solidarity with the Palestinians than any Arab country.

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March 30th, 2012, 9:42 am

 

188. Son of Damascus said:

Omen,

“hate to say it but even neocons can be eloquent.”

That was my point exactly, I don’t usually agree with Abrams but this time what he wrote makes sense.

Kafranbel made a great sign that shows Anann’s peace plan at work:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/306609_258042204289227_169122569847858_531187_1251334778_n.jpg

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March 30th, 2012, 9:48 am

 
 

190. Son of Damascus said:

Irritated,

Is Bashar the president of Syria or Palestine?

“You are just selfishly focusing on the Golan”

Yes I am because I am Syrian, before I am anything else. And in his 11 years at the helm he has DONE NOTHING to bring back our occupied lands, or even to help the Palestinians bring back their lands.

Not one bullet fired to free our land, WHAT RESISTANCE you keep writing about?

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March 30th, 2012, 9:55 am

 

191. Afram said:

To avoid the’clash of civilisations’.

Arabs should add Amendments to their Constitution:

that inbreeding causes violence,deformation&brain damage,NO more cousin marriage.so the sons of omar,khalid and abu bakr join humanity&modernity…it worked for the western world.

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March 30th, 2012, 10:04 am

 

192. irritated said:

#186 SOD

ref: Fadwa Suleiman, an actress who became an icon of Syria’s revolution,

We will soon see a lot of U-turns soon among the anti-regime ‘icons’. They are realizing that, with the regime strongly in place, they made up end up in exile for the rest of their lives.

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March 30th, 2012, 10:09 am

 

193. Son of Damascus said:

Syria’s Assad Targets Children for Detention and Torture
Posted by: The Editors, March 29, 2012

It’s almost unbelievable, a government targeting children in an attempt to repress popular uprisings.

The latest reports from the BBC that Syrian children are being targeted for detention and torture are shocking but coincide with evidence Amnesty researchers uncovered in a recent mission to the region.

According to UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay, these actions against children seem “systematic and targeted” and are being carried out by Assad’s security forces:

“They’ve gone for the children, for whatever purpose, in large numbers – hundreds detained and tortured.

I’ve seen some of the evidence…It’s just horrendous: children shot in the knees, held together with adults in really inhumane conditions – denied medical treatment for their injuries, either held as hostages or held as sources of information – or just the sheer brutality of this whole clampdown.”

Amnesty researchers documented torture of children in Syria in “‘I wanted to die’: Syria’s torture survivors speak out,” published earlier this month, and “Deadly Detention,” an August 2011 report that documented 10 victims under the age of 18 who had died in custody in Syria (out of 88 total cases).

[...]

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/syrias-assad-targets-children-for-detention-and-torture/

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March 30th, 2012, 10:12 am

 

194. Alan said:

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/378782.html

Medvedev calls on LAS to promote dialogue in Syria

MOSCOW, March 30 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged the summit of the League of Arab States (LAS) in Baghdad to promote a dialogue between the government and opposition in Syria and to prevent any outside interference.

“We call on summit participants to join efforts and promote an early end to the bloodshed in Syria. It is important to find a settlement option which is acceptable for all and launch a dialogue between Syrian authorities and the opposition with unconditional compliance with the norms of the international law and without foreign interference,” Medvedev said in a message of greetings to the summit on Thursday.

The holding of the summit in Baghdad “is a clear confirmation that the Republic of Iraq has regained its place and worthy status of one of the founders of the League and again plays an important role in Arab affairs.”

LAS has been traditionally working to enhance collective and legal efforts and form a just world order. The current summit is taking place on the background of “ongoing difficult and dramatic developments in the region which call for an increased role of the League in the search for political and diplomatic ways to settle crisis situations,” Medvedev said.

The president said ‘relations between Russia and Arab countries are based on deep historic traditions of friendship and mutual understanding.” The latest changes in the region call for closer cooperation. We have numerously stated that Russia supports the drive of Arab countries towards better life and wider social and economic rights,” he stressed.

“We are convinced the tasks faced by the countries of the Middle East and North Africa shall be accomplished in the constitutional field and through national dialogue. It is specifically important to prevent violence in the region,” Medvedev added.

The latest developments in the Middle East and North Africa should not distract attention from the acutest problem of the region – comprehensive and just settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. “Russia resolutely stands for an early resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations on all issues of the final status on a solid international legal basis,” the Russian president said.

He reiterated the Russian intention to join efforts with Arab countries in promoting the Russian concept of collective security in the Gulf. “Increased all-round cooperation with LAS countries remains our foreign policy priority. I am convinced that strengthened Russian-Arab relations meet common interests and serve the cause of peace and sustainable development of our countries and peoples,” Medvedev said.

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March 30th, 2012, 10:13 am

 

195. Son of Damascus said:

Irritated,

Did you even read the article, or do I have to break it down for you like last time…

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March 30th, 2012, 10:13 am

 

196. omen said:

interesting quote

from Hafez Al-Assad: Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian People, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people.”

the regime can’t claim to be an advocate for palestinians when they don’t even recognize the people, their land or their right to exist.

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March 30th, 2012, 10:15 am

 

197. irritated said:

#191 SOD

You speak like many Christians in Lebanon who claim they are Phoenicians and reject any belonging to the Arab world.

I understand that point of view but I do not share it.

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March 30th, 2012, 10:15 am

 

198. irritated said:

SOD 196

Don’t bother, I have stopped reading the article you posts…

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March 30th, 2012, 10:17 am

 

199. Syria no Kandahar said:

Any of the pro-aroor gangs here planning to take
His kids a vacation to Syria any time soon?How
Safe your kids will feel?are you going to ask for the protection of الفاروق or المعتز بالله or كتيبة حمد بن جاسم….What about if you are one of the 1/100000
Minorities who are pro-revolution ?make sure you take enough cash with you to give for the kidnappers of your kids.
You know what just don’t go and say :
I was stupid for supporting terrorists .Take your kids to Spain and tell them this was arabic country
Built by Tariq bin Ziad.

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March 30th, 2012, 10:18 am

 

200. Son of Damascus said:

Irritated,

Ok so now I speak like the Christians of Lebanon…

A Salafi, Maroni, Zionist, Neocon, non arab Phoenician out to destroy Syria. You got me..

Your sectarian hatred for anyone that is not like yourself is rather disgusting and utterly bigoted, your inhuman and extremely nasty remarks about dead Syrians needing to be “cleanup and disinfected” show the level of morality that you have (or lack thereof).

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March 30th, 2012, 10:22 am

 

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