From the Comment Section (26 April 2012)

From Foreign PolicyViolence continues in Hama

An explosion in the Masha at-Tayyar district in the city of Hama killed up to 70 people. The Syrian government and opposition activists have offered conflicting accounts of the blast. According to Syrian state media, 16 people were killed in an accidental explosion in a house that was used as a bomb factory by “armed terrorist groups.” However, activists have reported several houses have been destroyed by what they claim could have been a Scud missile attack, killing up to 13 children and 16 women. The BBC’s Jim Muir reported that the magnitude of devastation could not likely have been achieved by conventional shelling. The opposition Syrian National Council called for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting “so that it can issue a resolution to protect civilians in Syria.” France has recommended stronger action by the United Nations, calling for a Chapter 7 mandate that would allow for the use of force if President Bashar al-Assad’s forces do not pull back according to Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

Members of the UN monitoring team in Syria, with opposition activists in Homs. Photograph: Handout/Reuters

Nour said:

The previous blog entry seems to be inciting against the Annan plan and hoping it would fail so that a subsequent phase of possible military intervention may take place. Moreover, the report on the electoral list is misleading and disingenuous. It links to an article listing the candidates of the Baath Party only, implying that those are the only candidates running in Lattakia, which is not true. Members of other parties as well as independents are running both in Lattakia and across the rest of the country. The Popular Front for Change and Liberation, for example, which includes the opposition SSNP and Qadri Jamil’s The Will of the People Party, has 45 candidates across Syria. Other new parties have also listed their candidates and the ballot boxes will determine who wins the majority of the seats in the People’s Assembly.

[Landis adds: thanks for this correction, Nour]

Ghufran said:

The next 6 months are unlikely to include a major shift on Syria unless the opposition scores a significant military defeat against the regime. This period will be used by both parties to strengthen their position on the ground. The lack of any serious political proposal that adresses the grievances and concerns of the sizable pro regime Syrian forces mean that the only option on the table is to fight and preserve as much as possible of the gains made in the last 2 months. If Syrians themselves are not willing to compromise nobody will do that job on their bahalf.

Observer said:

I have been in the ME for some time now. The regime is losing grip on significant part of the countryside including around Damascus. Only 15% of new conscripts showed up to be recruited this year. The number of defectors has reached 100 000.

Cham Press announces that the dollar is trading below 70 pounds in a so called sign of improvement therefore countering the official rate of 60.

Very little support is available to the FSA from the outside and this will await the US elections before any real policy to emerge

zoo said:

Rice: The “friends of Syria” have been ironically promoted to the “Friends of Democratic Syria” when the most influent members, Qatar and KSA are non democratic countries preaching democracy to others…

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Rami Khouri: “…For many tens of thousands who were prepared to demonstrate peacefully – albeit at the cost of their lives – this has become a disaster. Syrian friends of mine call it a “tragedy”. They blame the Gulf states for encouraging the armed uprising. “Our revolution was pure and clean and now it’s a war,” one of them said to me last week. I believe them”.

I utterly agree with Khouri and his friend. The irreversible mistake of resorting to arms will be fully revealed in the coming years, if not decades.

amnesia said:

In comments above I read that the secular opposition will join the Assad government, and that the opposition arming was a mistake. Please make some sense guys for a change. The soldiers who defected did so rightfully, and their willingness to risk their lives to create a challenge for Assad’s remaining forces is laudable.

DAWOUD said:

The Syria Revolution against Bashar’s, and his father’s before him,oppression began as completely peaceful. I has become militarized because of the regime and its allies (Hasan Nasrallah, Iran,…) began to use violence and murder innocent unarmed demonstrators. People have the right to defend their lives, property, dignity, and honor!.. The overwhelming majority of Syrians are opposed to the murderous Bashar and his shabiha. Free Syria, Free Palestine!

irritated said:

Dawood, What proof do you have that the “overwhelming majority of Syrians are opposed to Bashar?” If it was true how come nobody goes on strike when asked to? That’s the least the ‘overwhelming majority’ could do. … Most anti-Syrian government types keep repeating “It started peacefully’ trying to justify the issue that ‘it continued violently’ and that it is now made of death squads infiltrated by islamist extremists and criminals.

ZOO said:

This is what will happen in Syria whether Bashar stays or not?

“The terror network has taken advantage of the country’s political turmoil of the past year to capture several southern areas, and the Americans are eager to coordinate efforts with the Yemenis to push them back.

An al-Qaida settled and safe in the remote interior of southern Yemen would allow its militants to plan and execute more attacks on Western interests, taking advantage of proximity to strategic shipping lanes in the Red and Arabian seas through which much of the West’s energy needs to pass.
(…)

Comments (728)


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701. Tara said:

Zoo

Why did Syria kept a shrine for an ottoman founder guarded by Turks. Where is the Ba’ath pride?

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May 4th, 2012, 10:03 am

 

702. irritated said:

#697 Juergen

“Syria imported weapons worth $168m in 2010,”

That’s peanuts compared to the billions of dollars weapons the USA and Germany are selling to Saudi Arabia to “protect themselves” from the non-bellicose and non neighbor Iran while Syria has to deal with the high tech multi-billions dollars weapons that Israel threatens their neighbors and Iran with.

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May 4th, 2012, 10:09 am

 

703. Mawal95 said:

As already mentioned by William Scott Scherk at #156 there’s relatively extensive coverage of the parliamentary election in the Arabic edition at http://www.dp-news.com/aswatsouria/ (but the English edition of that site has essentially no coverage of the election). I regard the outcome of this parliamentary election as historic and fundamental.

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May 4th, 2012, 10:15 am

 

704. zoo said:

#704 Tara

This is irrelevant, it is just to fill newspaper columns and try to create controversy, a shot in the dark.

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May 4th, 2012, 10:15 am

 

705. norman said:

Can somebody tell me why the US is still in Guantanamo Cuba all these years without even a diplomatic relation with Cuba, where is the Cuban pride,

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May 4th, 2012, 10:17 am

 

706. zoo said:

Is the ‘failing’ and ‘doomed’ plan really on track?

Annan plan for Syria is ‘on track’, spokesman says

GENEVA – Agence France-Presse
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/annan-plan-for-syria-is-on-track-spokesman-says.aspx?pageID=238&nID=19956&NewsCatID=352

“The Annan plan is on track and a crisis that has been going on for over a year is not going to be resolved in a day or a week,” Ahmad Fawzi, the United Nations and Arab League envoy’s spokesman, told journalists in Geneva.

“There are signs on the ground of movement, albeit slow and small,” he added.
More…

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May 4th, 2012, 10:19 am

 

707. Juergen said:

Mina

See the difference between us may just be that you see the glass half empty when i see it half full.

Norman

Cuba signed a treaty the Cuban-American treaty in 1903 which led the US have control over its naval base in Cuba. There was a unlimited renewal in the 30s, which Castro-Cuba never accepted. Its an ongoing argument between the two countries, but I think the least to worry about, the sanctions play a much bigger role.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantanamo_Bay_Naval_Base

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May 4th, 2012, 10:31 am

 

708. Tara said:

Dear Zoo

Ok. Thank you for your answer. I agree with you in regard to the timing but how is the Ottoman occupation different than the French occupation? Honestly, politics aside, they should move the shrine to Turkey. It is so much inconsistent with The Ba’ath teaching.

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May 4th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

709. Tara said:

Norman

I always wonders about that. Why is Cuba allowing it? They should move it to the US…Montana for instance.

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May 4th, 2012, 10:51 am

 

710. Friend in America said:

OBSERVER @589
I do not share your view that Americans are disinterested. The unfortunate fact is we have become so accustomed to formulating opinions from the news media that ‘out of sight becomes out of mind’ and Syria no longer is front page news. Increase the atrocities and the attention of 330 million Americans will revive. There is no doubt Americans will never turn a blind eye to another Ruwanda wherever those atrocities may occur. As bloody and dreadful as the fighting has been, Syria is not yet a Ruwanda.

The Syrian expats in America (and Canada and Europe) are very concerned about their friends and relatives in Syria. They too differ in their views, but all are very concerned and many are aiding as another commentator has suggested all can do.

I disagree Syria is headed toward 10 years of civil unrest. The government cannot survive that long. The night is dark now and we cannot see the dawn, but consider the three pivots:
•Russia advocated international teams of overseers torestore order but the Assad government’s behavour is prompting a reconsideration in many circles in Russia of its past policy, both for humanitarian and self interest reasons. Self interest: if Russia is not on the side of the victors, repayment of the loans to Assad will be at risk and the navy base also. • Iran has reduced its financial assistance and military leadership in Syria because of political turmoil and economic suffering at home. The situtaion may change after the 2013 elections. •Turkey is in a pause because of the prime minister’s health. That should change before the year is out.

The question today is the same as in 2010, how long can the Assad regime survive. Fighting the insurgency is very expensive and once the insurgents acquire anti tank weapons there will be distress, possibly panic, in Damascus. Do not rule out Russia providing those weapons. Russian arms dealers are waiting for the green light and SA will foot the bill.

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May 4th, 2012, 10:57 am

 

711. zoo said:

Hizb ut-Tahrir in Syria: The Regime Will Cede to the Islamic Caliphate
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/hizb-ut-tahrir-syria-regime-will-cede-islamic-caliphate

In Hizb ut-Tahrir’s (Party of Liberation) opinion, the Syrian regime is certainly going to fall and the opposition is an agent of the West, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. They assert that an Islamic state should be established in Syria while foreign military intervention only serves the enemies of Islam.

“The Islamic Caliphate state can not be conceived of without [Greater] Syria. It has what no other spot on earth has in terms of honor, esteem, and status after Mecca and Medina.” This is the Syria of the Hizb ut-Tahrir.

“Its revolution is distinctly Islamic. It is the cornerstone and the center of gravity in every equation,” said Hisham al-Baba, a member of the Central Media Committee in Hizb ut-Tahrir, in his Damascene accent in Tripoli.

Baba came to give a speech at the conference organized by the party Tuesday entitled “The Ummah’s Revolution: the Project to Abort it and the Inevitability of the Islamic Project.”
More…

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May 4th, 2012, 11:03 am

 

712. Alan said:

697. JUERGEN said:
Syria imported weapons worth $168m in 2010, says Oxfam

you are following the movement of the weapons to Syria and the ships which deliver them! as the person has 2 eyes!please give please the delivery chronicle of the weapon to Israel on 2011 and 2012! It is for attention.

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May 4th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

713. zoo said:

711. Tara

These are historical relics. No one really cared about them 2 weeks ago and no would in 2 weeks, and Syria is not ready to antagonize Turkey for such a futile issue.

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May 4th, 2012, 11:07 am

 

714. Friend in America said:

NORMAN @ 708
The U.S. is operating the base at Guatanamo under a treaty with Cuba. One of the terms of settlement of the Cuban missle crisis is the continuation of the provisions of the treaty. Cuba also has an economic interest in the continuation of the base. Cubans employed at the base are paid very, very well, especially when compared to the average income of Cubans of about US $20 a month.
The reason why the detention center has not been closed is no country is willing to accept any of those remaining in detention (about 80% have been sent to their home countries) and the Obmama government has not found a way under U.S. law to hold them in the U.S. with or without a trial. Congress has authorized military court trials at Guantanamo but the Attorney General has stalled on that also.

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May 4th, 2012, 11:11 am

 

715. zoo said:

Any ‘mass protests’ reported yet?

Protests planned in Syria after university raid
By ZEINA KARAM | Associated Press – 4 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/protests-planned-syria-university-raid-081729455.html

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian opposition groups planned mass protests Friday, a day after a raid by security forces on dormitories at Aleppo University killed four students and forced the closure of the state-run school.
more…

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May 4th, 2012, 11:24 am

 

716. Juergen said:

Zoo

Who cares about Hisb ul Tahrir? Their influence on Muslims tends toward zero.They are just an obnoxious group which fancy the caliphate. I never met anyone from them capable of explaining me the urgent need of an caliphate. They usually can be found disturbing the social landscape by their totally unislamic behaviour.

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May 4th, 2012, 11:43 am

 

717. zoo said:

Is Kosovo the “model” for the Syrian opposition?

http://rt.com/news/syrian-opposition-studies-terror-tactics-in-kosovo-585/

A delegation of Syrian rebels has made a deal with Pristina authorities to exchange experience of partisan warfare. Syrian opposition is sending militants to Kosovo for adopting tactics and being trained to oust President Bashar Assad’s regime.

­On April 26, a delegation of Syrian opposition members made a stop in Pristina on their way from the US to hold talks on how to make use of the experience of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in Syria, reports Associated Press.

So far, a poorly-organized Syrian opposition has proven unable to self-organize and form a steady front against the forces of President Assad. Terror tactics used by militants allow them to kill military and governmental officials, but do not help to hold positions against a regular army.

“We come here to learn. Kosovo has walked this path and has an experience that would be very useful for us,” says the head of the Syrian delegation Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian-born human rights activist and dissident. “In particular, we’d like to know how scattered armed groups were finally organized into KLA.”

Syrian opposition leaders have promised to immediately recognize Kosovo once they seize power in the country.
more…

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May 4th, 2012, 11:45 am

 

718. Afram said:

Friend in America

Fighting the insurgency is very expensive and once the insurgents {acquire anti tank weapons} there will be distress, possibly panic, in Damascus. Do not rule out Russia providing those weapons. Russian arms dealers are waiting for the green light and SA will foot the bill
===================
syrian airforce would deploy attack helicopters if the FSA[fake syrian armadillos]acquire anti tank weapons.

escalation = More deaths,More ALFATIHA…!!!

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May 4th, 2012, 11:47 am

 

719. zoo said:

#719 Juergen

You can read more about their goals and ideologies as they are spread in 40 countries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hizb_ut-Tahrir

Hizb ut-Tahrir (Arabic: حزب التحرير‎ Ḥizb at-Taḥrīr; English: Party of Liberation) is an international Sunni[1][2][3] pan-Islamic political organisation.

Since then Hizb ut-Tahrir has spread to more than 40 countries, and by one estimate has about one million members.[6] Hizb ut-Tahrir is very active in the west, particularly in the United Kingdom, and is also active in several Arab and Central Asian countries, despite being banned by some governments. The group also has a growing presence in North America, known as Hizb ut-tahrir America, or HTA.
more…

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May 4th, 2012, 11:51 am

 

720. Tara said:

zoo

Muslims read Alfatiha for the dead. Is their special prayer for the dead in Christianity. I would like to know. Thx.

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May 4th, 2012, 11:53 am

 

721. Juergen said:

Swiss Tv in Damascus
SF correspondent in Syria: “People want stability”

“On Monday, election. Can this be done given the unrest in other parts of the country?
The regime is determined to conduct the elections. I guess they will probably take place. But it is clear that these are no elections, our understanding of the parliamentary elections will be fair. It was originally approved nine parties. Four of them have made me an unknown reason yesterday withdrawn. The fact is that within a few months, hardly able to form supporting parties. It run but about 3,000 independent and can be seen everywhere hang posters.
Is there opposition parties?
There are those who describe themselves as an opposition. But you can not view this as opposition parties, as we understand it. These parties say that they are against corruption and to revive the economy. But they are more than advisory powers.”

http://translate.google.at/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tagesschau.sf.tv%2FNachrichten%2FArchiv%2F2012%2F05%2F04%2FInternational%2FSF-Korrespondent-in-Syrien-Menschen-wuenschen-sich-Stabilitaet

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May 4th, 2012, 11:54 am

 

722. zoo said:

#720 Tara

There is no specific prayer for the dead that I know of. There is a ceremonial in the presence of a priest when the person is about to die.

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May 4th, 2012, 12:04 pm

 

723. Juergen said:

Zoo

I met them when they were still allowed here in Germany. You couldnt avoid them anyway, they would come uninvited and spread their ideology. I remember well one panel discussion about the role of religion in our modern world, many christians, jewish people where present and then there were 3 young men ( i never met old Hisb al Tahrir members) who raised one question after the other to the present imam and took over the discussion by their crude ideology. To me its an relief that they were banned here, it has given some social peace back to the muslim community, through their publications they created mischief and tensions. Last week when Tariq Ramadan was at a panel discussion here in Berlin, I got an reminiscence of the 90s, a young bearded men asked Ramadan when the caliphate will come… no question about it, they are still around here. Ramadan made an smart answer, he said that he never saw the need to seek refuge in the creation of the caliphate.

I think you are right, their influence on young academic men in the west is much bigger, their influence on muslim societies in the arab world is marginal.

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May 4th, 2012, 12:05 pm

 

724. Syria no Kandahar said:

Bassel Ria,Basketball champion ….killed by Syria’s
Haters:

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May 4th, 2012, 12:17 pm

 

725. Tara said:

Zoo

Thank you Zoo. I wish you live healthy and happy life till you are 95 at least.

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May 4th, 2012, 12:29 pm

 

726. Alan said:

Syrian opposition studies terror tactics in Kosovo
http://rt.com/news/syrian-opposition-studies-terror-tactics-in-kosovo-585/
A delegation of Syrian rebels has made a deal with Pristina authorities to exchange experience of partisan warfare. Syrian opposition is sending militants to Kosovo for adopting tactics and being trained to oust President Bashar Assad’s regime.
On April 26, a delegation of Syrian opposition members made a stop in Pristina on their way from the US to hold talks on how to make use of the experience of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in Syria, reports Associated Press.
So far, a poorly-organized Syrian opposition has proven unable to self-organize and form a steady front against the forces of President Assad. Terror tactics used by militants allow them to kill military and governmental officials, but do not help to hold positions against a regular army.
“We come here to learn. Kosovo has walked this path and has an experience that would be very useful for us,” says the head of the Syrian delegation Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian-born human rights activist and dissident. “In particular, we’d like to know how scattered armed groups were finally organized into KLA.”
Syrian opposition leaders have promised to immediately recognize Kosovo once they seize power in the country.
“We’re in vital need of joint actions as a coalition opposition,” stressed Ammar Abdulhamid, a long-time opponent of the Syria’s President Bashar Assad. In 2005, he left Syria to settle in the US.
The training camp on the Albanian-Kosovo border that has welcomed Syrian attendees was originally organized by the US to help the KLA train its fighters. ……………

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May 4th, 2012, 12:38 pm

 

727. norman said:

Tara, FIA,

The point is like Cuba that has American troops on it’s soil because of a treaty, Syria has Turkish troops on it’s because of a treaty, there are foreign troops in all the embassies.all that does not make Syria less whole.

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May 4th, 2012, 2:56 pm

 

728. omen said:

moderator, sorry for being snippy. thank you for the deletion.

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May 4th, 2012, 8:20 pm

 

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