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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401. omen said:

330. Syria no Kandahar said:
I am not saying that the regime is angels.What I am saying is that having such a dirty (revolution )is not justifiable.

how many years are people supposed to tolerate being slaughtered without complaining? wouldn’t want to commit a faux pas.

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March 31st, 2012, 1:55 pm

 

402. irritated said:

#294 Antoine

“Anyway, I did not compile the list, the list was compiled by officers of the Free Syrian Army.”

You mean [ARROW you are a propagandist for the FSA ] who appointed you to publish their “lists’ where there are not a single christian?

Since when the Ministry of Defense is conveniently a figure head?

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March 31st, 2012, 1:57 pm

 

403. omen said:

hey, is anything burning in damascus?

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March 31st, 2012, 1:59 pm

 

404. Syrialover said:

Irritated #403 said: “Since when the Ministry of Defense is conveniently a figure head?”

Please, share some more of your inside knowledge with us.

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March 31st, 2012, 2:09 pm

 

405. jad said:

[ARROW Jad, this post had its personally-directed insults deleted.

I ask you again to please NOT personalize debate in this way. It tends to poison the ground of discussion and can provoke escalation. ]

It’s not my problem that people don’t like khaldoun’s comments.

Have you noticed that not even one of your comments have any substance or any information or an idea or a point to be discussed or even to stop at, all of them are either whining or supporting freakish comments, nothing else.

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March 31st, 2012, 2:16 pm

 

406. Jad said:

I wonder how would you react when we celebrate if something get burned and people get killed in your city.

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March 31st, 2012, 2:28 pm

 

407. Jad said:

[ARROW Jad, please do not address other commentators by ugly allusion or direct insult. Use other commentators screen names if in doubt. Personal insults are not welcome at Syria Comment. ]

They are only sensetive when you write the word ‘whiner’ then they are quick to delete other than that it’s ok to be sectarian, calling for killing others and burning banks, and celebrate ‘fires’
Welcome to SC!

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March 31st, 2012, 2:36 pm

 

408. Shami said:

[ARROW Shami, your post was held up in a spam filter for scum ]

Thanks Antoine,you are making crazy the assadist criminal scum.

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March 31st, 2012, 2:40 pm

 

409. omen said:

i still smell freedom.

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March 31st, 2012, 2:41 pm

 

410. Psychonaut said:

[ARROW Psychonaut, this comment appears to be posted using the same SC identity as the permanently-banned Syrian Commando. There are no restrictions on posting under the original name, and no need to alter your screen name; I caution Psychonaut/Commando to observe the rules against personal attack and discriminatory language. If comments are not reasonably civil, then comments will be edited or preserved in the Trash file. ]

Very classy Dr. Landis, allowing users to publish a death list on your website.

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March 31st, 2012, 2:42 pm

 

411. Syria no Kandahar said:

Kurds will never put their eggs in a Turkish or MB baskets.Turkey is losing its teeth and woul have
To have bridges in its mouth after being boxed on their face by Iran,Russia,china,Iraq ,Kurds and Syria .GCC billions had created a disaster foreign
Policy to Turkey which is difficult to fix.
ونقلت صحيفة “حرييت” التركية عن ممثل الحزب الكردي سعيد الدين مولا إسماعيل قوله “إن أنقرة سمحت لنا بالاشتراك ضمن المجلس الوطني السوري رافضة تدخل أي وساطة بالموضوع”.
 
وأضاف: “نعتقد بأن الشأن السوري من أولويات الأهداف السياسية الإقليمية التركية لأن منطقة الشرق الأوسط يبقى فيها النفوذ الآن لتركيا وإيران بعد غياب الدور المصري في المنطقة ونحن الأكراد وبقية الأقليات الأخرى في سوريا طلبنا الاعتراف بنا بالبيان الختامي للمؤتمر والدستور ولكن رفضوا ذلك”.

و أكد مولا سعيد ” أن حل المشكلة الكردية هو المفتاح الرئيسي لحل المشكلة السورية “، مضيفاً “هناك ضرورة لتحديد جذور المشكلة وعلى ضوئها يتم تحديد خارطة الطريق وإذا لم يتم التوصل لحلها من الآن قد تتجه سوريا لحرب أهلية محتملة”.
http://www.aksalser.com/?page=view_news&id=d1e223313ee2b96dbf07e09a3e0dd23a&ar=528224483

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March 31st, 2012, 2:46 pm

 

412. Afram said:

393. irritated said:

390. Afram

The two only borders for heavy weapon transit to help the armed gangs are Turkey and Jordan. Iraq and Lebanon are no players.
Turkey will surely refuse to do it.
If Jordan would yield to KSA pressure, Syria will either mine the border or the Syrian Air Force will enter into action to destroy any heavy weapon entering the country and that will provoke a military escalation with Jordan: a recipe for a regional disaster.
============
Good reply..thanx
irritated/I was thinking by boat to Tripoli-east of the Mediterranean then into syria by land,you know

Tripoli is considered as the traditional bastion of conservative Sunnis in Lebanon.
irritated/ give me a billion $,I assure you african elephante in a 40 foot container at your front door,tough but doable

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March 31st, 2012, 2:48 pm

 

413. Syria no Kandahar said:

The current freedom smell in Syria is actually due to Alaaroor having شوربة عدس

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March 31st, 2012, 2:49 pm

 

414. Jad said:

[ARROW Jad, please do not make personal attacks on other commentators. This is expressly against the Syria Comment Rules and Regulations. I caution Omen also to understand the margins of provocation and escalation.

Several comments are in the Trash file, and several have had to be edited. I urge all of the commentators here to self-moderate. Calling commentators scum, jackasses, idiots, terrorists, menhebek or worse does not contribute to discussion.

SCModeration@mail.com ]

Jackass
because of people like you some did celebrate 9/11 attack, did you smell that?

Moderator
Keep deleting the word Jackass won’t help.

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March 31st, 2012, 2:50 pm

 

415. Tara said:

و أكد مولا سعيد ” أن حل المشكلة الكردية هو المفتاح الرئيسي لحل المشكلة السورية “، مضيفاً “هناك ضرورة لتحديد “جذور المشكلة وعلى ضوئها يتم تحديد خارطة الطريق وإذا لم يتم التوصل لحلها من الآن قد تتجه سوريا لحرب أهلية محتملة”.

No offense. But are the kurds are ovrrestimsting their influence? Can someone tell me how is solving the Kurdish issue would solve the Syrian crisis? Bashar will be so impressed and just resign?

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March 31st, 2012, 2:53 pm

 

416. omen said:

this piece went over the issue, tara

a couple of good points in comment section too.

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March 31st, 2012, 3:01 pm

 

417. Syria no Kandahar said:

Tara

Kurds hate Turkey and MB.The demonstrations in Alhassaka has been just cosmetic and artificial and رفع عتب.Turkey has killed around 50000 Kurds .SNC and MB are stupid by attaching themselves to Turkey . Kurds will be بيضة القبان

And president makers in Syria like they are in Iraq. Having a Kurdish pres in the future will not be surprising. Kurds in Syria are very pro-PKK and Turkey will regret Assad’s days in the future.

In a democratic Syrian parliament in the near future the 50/50 equation will be like this:

Alawis+Christians+Druz+Kurds +20-30%of Sunnis (at least)//Against MB and Salafis.
Who do think is going to Winn then?

The answer is very clear that is why SNC don’t want to play the democracy game
They want to hijack or have it as Monopoly.

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March 31st, 2012, 3:08 pm

 

418. Jad said:

Shami

No body is crazy about the kill list, it’s simply wrong to put a hitlist on a respected site, I guess you’ve been on 3ar3ouri sites too long ARROW you have no clue how to differentiate between right and wrong.

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March 31st, 2012, 3:13 pm

 

419. jna said:

Jad, re:

396. jadsaid:
Zoo, Ref. Clinton sectarian remarks: (…)

“In a speech to the forum, Clinton stressed Washington’s “rock solid and unwavering” commitment to the security of the Sunni Muslim-led Gulf Arab monarchies, which are wary of non-Arab Shiite Muslim Iran.”

That is ‘disgusting’! is Clinton a sectarian thug now? How could an American official speaks such horrific sectarian language?

Look more closely and the sectarian language appears to be on the part of the AFP reporter or editor. I haven’t seen the full text of the speech by Mrs. Clinton but I strongly doubt a sober Secretary of State would speak in such a way even if she had such thoughts, which I don’t know.

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March 31st, 2012, 3:13 pm

 

420. Alan said:

Peace first, then troop withdrawal – Syrian govt
http://rt.com/news/assad-withdrawal-ceasefire-annan-928/

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March 31st, 2012, 3:13 pm

 

421. omen said:

moderator, it’s not my habit to call fellow posters names. a review of my remarks would demonstrate that. i know that doesn’t help to advance my argument. i called bashar assad a jackass ONCE but i didn’t intend on making a habit of it. as far as im concerned that term is reserved for him.

who knew jad would be so unraveled by it? that’s his problem, not mine.

any namecalling he directs towards me, i wear as a badge of honor. it’s good to know when i’ve hit a nerve.

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March 31st, 2012, 3:20 pm

 

422. Tara said:

Jad

Can you please stop name calling and vulgar insults. It sounds bad in English and worse in Arabic. It is not decent.

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March 31st, 2012, 3:30 pm

 

423. Hopeful said:

Jad – you have valid points. Thank you!

It takes so much to build, and so little to destroy. The silent majority should not stay silent anymore, and watch the country dive into the abyss.

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March 31st, 2012, 3:33 pm

 

424. Alan said:

391. AFRAM
the Russian naval forces are monitoring the Lebanese coastal zone as preventive measures

The Russian Naval Base In Tartus Syria,is there to help the host country,they are not there as a Good Luck charm but a careful thoughtful(strategery)by the regime according to:George W.Bush

tell me please! you slept from 1970 and now woke up? The Russian Federation as the super country is the guarantor of stability of different regions including the East of the Mediterranean Sea! often the USA addresses to Russia for to help with mediation whether North Korea whether with Iran whether with Syria! Russia not when didn’t lag behind in assistance in an outcome of difficult questions of flashpoints! can read about a positive role of Russia in documents of the United Nations! that is necessary to you? to look for guilty in the failure?

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March 31st, 2012, 3:37 pm

 

425. omen said:

3:33 – hopeful, what should the silent majority do?

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March 31st, 2012, 3:38 pm

 

426. omen said:

supposedly, it is argued that…

Constituting about 10 percent of the population, Syria’s Kurds have long opposed the ruling Baath Party, but have largely stayed out of the latest demonstrations.

If the Kurds fully joined attempts to overthrow Assad, it could prove decisive, a recent report by the Henry Jackson Society, a Britain-based think-tank, said.

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March 31st, 2012, 3:50 pm

 

427. Alan said:

US and Saudis step-up regime change rhetoric in Syria
http://rt.com/news/clinton-syria-riyadh-intervention-910/
US secretary of State Hilary Clinton was in Saudi Arabia to discuss the hitherto unresolved conflict in Syria. The long-term allies both advocate the removal of President Assad and seek a united strategy ahead of Sunday’s ‘Friends of Syria’ summit.
The US wants to unify the rebels and lobby for humanitarian aid, but Saudi Arabia’s more aggressive stance calls for military action.
Clinton met with King Abdullah and a number of other high-ranking Saudi officials behind closed doors on Friday with a view to “stopping the bloodbath in Syria”./…./…

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March 31st, 2012, 3:50 pm

 

428. omen said:

the saudis have promised arms for how many months now? where are they?

i think they fear the precedent of rebels overturning a regime more.

they talk a good game to placate their own people, i think, who would be upset to see saudi rulers do nothing in the face of sunnis being slaughtered.

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March 31st, 2012, 3:58 pm

 

429. Alan said:

What if Syrians decided to arm the Saudi insurgents? the Turkish? Jordanian? etc.
Why the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs decided (good) to do to Syrians adding gasoline in fire? that Syrians more among themselves were at war? and another’s hands to transfer the weapon то inside Syria !if this mercy tell please!

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March 31st, 2012, 4:04 pm

 

430. Jad said:

From a professor to a befger, Ghalyiun is Begging for weapons and fore the surrounding countries to let weapons in to kill more Syrians, how sad!

دعا رئيس المجلس الوطني السوري برهان غليون مؤتمر “أصدقاء سوريا” المقرر عقده غداً في إسطنبول الى دعم تسليح “الجيش السوري الحر”.

وأوضح غليون في مؤتمر صحافي أن “ما يعبر عنه المجلس الوطني هو طلبات الشعب السوري”، لافتا الى أن “المجلس دعا أكثر من مرة الى ضرورة تسليح الجيش الحر”، متمنياً أن يتبنى مؤتمر “أصدقاء سوريا” هذا الطلب.

وشدد غليون على أن “تسليح الجيش الحر هو طلب للشعب السوري الذي يعاني الأمرين من سياسة القتل المتعمد والمنظم والمستمر منذ عام كامل”، مؤكداً ضرورة “أن يكون لديه السلاح النوعي الكفيل بوقف آلة القتل التي طورها النظام”.

كما دعا غليون أيضاً الى إتفاق مع الدول المجاورة لسوريا لإرسال هذا السلاح، لافتا الى أنه “يجب تغيير ميزان القوى وهذا يحتاج الى تفاهمات مع الدول خصوصاً القريبة لتأمين الوسائل التي تغير ميزان القوى”.

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March 31st, 2012, 4:10 pm

 

431. omen said:

did hopeful turn into the silent majority himself??

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March 31st, 2012, 4:15 pm

 

432. Ghufran said:

This is the second time that I remember seeing assassination lists published on SC. In every case of regime change in third world countries a lot of army/security and political leaders from the previous regime get arrested , killed or forced to leave the country. Allowing those lists to be posted on SC is a mistake, the moderator was wrong when he let that happen. We need to hold people accountable in courts with fair trials and not pick and choose our next targets, that is what thugs do.

Another low point for some bloggers and this site.

Vengeance and justice are not the same thing except in the minds of vindictive and hateful people, no country will advance with this mentality especially when the rights of the accused are largely ignored, we all agree on the rights of the victims to see justice, but street justice is a form of terrorism, and incitement of violence is a crime in most countries, stay away from this behavior, guys, the Internet is not as safe as you think.

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March 31st, 2012, 4:18 pm

 

433. omen said:

ok, moderator, you were calling me out for being provocative. i’ll cop to that. sorry for making extra work for you.

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March 31st, 2012, 4:21 pm

 

434. omen said:

ghufran, video after video has been posted demonstrating syrians mercilessly slaughtered by the regime – only merits a yawn from you. but merely list the people responsible and it’s “oh, my god that’s going over the line!”

antoine wasn’t calling for them to be killed, he was calling for accountability. who hasn’t called for the regime to be tried at the international criminal court?

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March 31st, 2012, 4:31 pm

 

435. SC Moderation said:

Ghufran, thank you for the wide-view of ‘kill lists’ or ‘assassination lists’ in the context of civil strife.

The list(s) re-posted by Antoine included this caveat (emphasis added):

List of Syrian Officers those involved in Massacres in Syria –

The list below shows the names of those who contributed to the killing of innocents and these people should face international criminal courts and be brought to justice

I can censure and block a List or Lists, but it will do nothing to extinguish the original list, nor will it allow discussion of the motives or intent of the original (FSA) lists.

I ask Antoine to please include a reference or link to any such lists he publishes here.

Please address concerns directly to either Joshua Landis or me: SCModeration@mail.com

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March 31st, 2012, 4:31 pm

 

436. Juergen said:

Bassam Al Kadi appeared in an Radio show of Sham FM. I reckon that he calls the regime what it is : criminal. Unfortunately he is drawing the wrong conclusions, in an ideal world you can take your stand in between both sides, but in the face of murder, torture and nationwide crimes against humanity, i do not know where my fellow is taking his idealism to call the regime to implement real change.

http://bassam-alkadi.com/index.php/meetings-a-dialogues/699-bassam-alkadi-shaam-fm

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March 31st, 2012, 4:33 pm

 

437. Afram said:

426. Alan said:

391. AFRAM
the Russian naval forces are monitoring the Lebanese coastal zone as preventive measures

The Russian Naval Base In Tartus Syria,is there to help the host country,they are not there as a Good Luck charm but a careful thoughtful(strategery)by the regime according to:George W.Bush

tell me please! you slept from 1970 and now woke up? The Russian Federation
============
You took my comment out of context,where’s the rest of it?

آلن فعلت مثل الجماعة ما غيرهم لقد كتبت« ولا تقربوا الصلاة» ولم تكمل بقية الآية[لا تقربوا الصلاة وأنتم سكارى حتى تعلموا ما تقولون

you slept from 1970 and now woke up?
yes I went to sleep during Soviet Union,darn the vodka,then woke up next to the best Russian Federation babushkas.

here,I,M ready to set you straight

all I just said that the russian navy are watching for weapon smugglers on the labanese/ Lebanon Beaches..now I like to go back to my hibernation!!
relax

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March 31st, 2012, 4:40 pm

 

438. Tara said:

Jeurgen

I am sorry but I think Basam al Kaddi is nothing but a shabeeh umber disguise, the worst kind of shabeeha. This is not to say that all anti-revolution are shabeeha in my views. I hold deep respect and sometimes affection to some genuine few. Basam al Kaddi however deserves nothing but contempt for his views.

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March 31st, 2012, 4:41 pm

 

439. Ghufran said:

I certainly disagree with the excuses given for posting those lists, it will ,and always was, be used to justify violence and assassinations,.
كلمة حق اريد بها باطل
both the regime and certain elements in the opposition have little respect for the rule of law, and most Syrians who lost their lives did so without a legal justification. The A list is another chapter in that dirty game of killing and counter killing, SC should stay above that.

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March 31st, 2012, 4:42 pm

 

440. Tara said:

The list should be exposed as long as it does not call for street justice. It is one way of deterrence. What I see worse is some bloggers here calling for cleansing and disinfecting the revolutionists or the FSA. Let’s not use the justice of the powerful please.

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March 31st, 2012, 4:47 pm

 

441. Juergen said:

Tara

I know him a bit, and its too easy to label someone. I admired him for some true and honest words back when others not dared to speak out. I dont know why he calls Al Dunja and state tv liars but some of his texts sounds like written by them and not by the independant thinker i know. You know rumors spread always faster than good deeds, especially in Damascus.

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March 31st, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

442. Alan said:

Jihadists Declare Holy War Against Assad Regime
By Ulrike Putz in Beirut
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,824875,00.html
Abu Rami hails from Lebanon, but his heart is in Syria these days. The 40-year-old is one of hundreds of Arabs who are fighting against the Assad regime at the side of Syrian insurgents. Many of these volunteer fighters are veterans of the Iraq war, who have now brought their holy war to Syria./…/..

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March 31st, 2012, 4:54 pm

 

443. Juergen said:

Smuggled into Syria: the siege of Saraqeb
In this exclusive dispatch from Syria, independent photojournalist John Cantlie witnesses a terrifying assault on the small town of Saraqeb.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9178095/Smuggled-into-Syria-the-siege-of-Saraqeb.html

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March 31st, 2012, 5:03 pm

 

444. Alan said:

439. AFRAM Sorry missunderstanding ! Thump up !

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March 31st, 2012, 5:05 pm

 

445. Juergen said:

Two new articles of Robert Fisk on Syria:

“Syria’s bloodbath is carving further divisions in Lebanon as President Bashar al-Assad’s Lebanese allies and enemies shout more and more insults at each other. The Christians have even divided among themselves, the old Phalangist leadership calling for Assad’s overthrow while the Catholic Maronite church performs its old role of fence-sitting on behalf of Syria’s minority Christians.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-living-on-the-edge-of-syrias-bloody-war-7594922.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-on-lebanons-border-silent-syrians-are-flocking-to-an-unknown-future-7601133.html

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March 31st, 2012, 5:08 pm

 

446. Tara said:

Juergen

You are right. It is easy to label someone. I am only judging his writings. Never heard of him before “being on staff” at SC. His “true and honest words when no one dared to speak” just reminds me with Duraid Laham’s ” honest and daring” words during his theatrical plays. Dictatorship allows a certain level of harmless “honest and daring” words for venting purpose. It is called selective “controlled” freedom of speech.

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March 31st, 2012, 5:09 pm

 

447. Norman said:

Ghufran,

Can you give a list of foreign and Syrian people you feel responsible for the violence and the massacres in Syria and that you think should be tried for genocide against the Syrian people, i would like to see such list.

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March 31st, 2012, 5:09 pm

 

448. Juergen said:

Tara

Sure they let him speak, may be to release some pressure.In the summer last year he even was on state tv, even the announcer was astonished by that.

I had an discussion today with a guy from Hama. He did not know the word shirinhe. Do you know it?

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March 31st, 2012, 5:17 pm

 

449. Mawal95 said:

Here’s a defective but positive and noteworthy shift in the public spiel of Erdogan. In an interview in Tehran on Iranian State TV on 29 Mar 2012 Erdogan said: “The Syrian regime should be receptive to the will of its people, who want elections and democracy…. If Bashar al-Assad is not afraid, and is confident about his regime, he should allow the formation of new [political] parties…. If Assad wins the elections, Turkey will not have any problems with him.” Those words by Erdogan are not being widely reported but they were reported by Agence France Presse yesterday 30 Mar 2012 at:
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/38079/World/Region/Turkey-urges-political-reform-in-Syria.aspx
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Mar-30/168508-turkey-urges-political-reform-in-syria.ashx#axzz1qjGj1Czt
http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/35107-erdogan-urges-political-reform-in-syria
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2012/March/middleeast_March646.xml&section=middleeast&col=

Erdogan’s position, “if Assad wins the elections, Turkey will not have any problems with him”, is contrary to the position of the Syrian opposition elements who seek unconstitutional overthrow and who refuse to compete in elections against Assad’s party, you know.

Erdogan’s statement that “if Bashar al-Assad is confident about his regime, he should allow the formation of new political parties” is an absurdity. If you don’t know why it’s an absurdity, say so and I’ll copy-and-paste the details. The summary of why it’s absurd is that Syrian law allows the formation of new political parties with no restrictions, except for truly trivial restrictions, and except for the restriction that religious and tribal parties are banned — but the bans on religious and tribal parties are endorsed by the generality of the whole population. The Sunni clerical leadership plus the generality of Sunni clerics in Syria, plus the clerical leadership of all the minority sects, as well as the generality of the whole population, endorses the ban on religious parties. And the tribal organizations have not gone on record objecting to the ban on tribal political parties.

“If Assad’s party wins the parliamentary elections on 7 May 2012, Erdogan’s government will have no problems with him” once Erdogan’s government gets educated on the fact that the 7 May elections will be free and fair elections.

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March 31st, 2012, 5:22 pm

 

450. Tara said:

Juergen

Can you write it in Arabic. If you don’t have an Arabic keyboard, Just google “Arabic key board”. Write it there. Then cut it and paste it.

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March 31st, 2012, 5:25 pm

 

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