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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251. bronco said:

#243 Tara

The independent eyes are certainly not the ones of the western journalists. These are all dependent on the owners of their newspaper to keep their threatened jobs. Just look at the Murdoch scandals in the UK to judge about the honesty of the journalists.

What is needed and what is rejected vigorously by the LCC and the rest of the opposition are UN observers, especially if they come from neutral or friendly countries and have not been brainwashed by the prejudices of their government and the media.

This is why Annan is so adamant to hurry the 300 observers to Syria while the enemies of Syria are trying to delay it by invoking all sorts of reasons and putting the condition that there should be a ceasefire first. Yet they bully the Syria government to respect the ceasefire and they shy off of asking the same from the armed rebels. It looks that Annan is not the kind to cede so easily and he will continue to hammer the necessity for BOTH parties to stop the violence.

This is also why some opposition demonstrators insulted the UN observers and told them that they don’t need them, just like they did to the AL observers because they were trying to be impartial. For the opposition, fairness and impartiality are crimes, they only want the observers to demonize further the regime. If they don’t they should be kicked out like the AL observers after they submitted their impartial report. But this time Qatar is powerless to stop ostensibly the UN process, they would try indirect way to sabotage it.

Let’s wait and see that mission of the observers happen, I am sure we could be surprised.

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April 28th, 2012, 7:55 pm


252. omen said:

Aldendeshe said:
Neither do I know much about him, heard of him from our European/ Netherlands SNP group, but never seen his CV. But if he is the son of Maaruf Dawalibi, he got the “Brand Name” we trust. Who cares about his Saudi references, we needs it to get cash to rebuild Syria, we need billions and it is chump-change for them. The way we look at it, he is a good starting point to pick up from that abrupt coup by Bolshevik Proletariat Louai Atassi and his cousin that overthrown Dwalibi legitimate Syrian Government, plucked Syria from the age of renaissance and Syrian glory back to the age of demonically Satanic Bolshevik Socialism run dictatorially by sectarian regime in its lowest and evil form: BAATHISM. Since that fateful day March 8, 1963, Syria never had a legitimately elected Government or legitimate leaders, just crooks and thieves that robbed the nation, looted its treasuries and natural resources and made it destitute. It is about time Arabs, will step in and pay back for supporting Baathist rule over Syria for more than 40 years.


of course any help (money/weapons) from saudis is welcome – but i fear the royals are playing a double game. they say one thing while doing another. rhetoric condemning syria regime is probably done more to appease their own discontented populace.

saudis were upset with regime change in egypt and libya. they fear more than anything the continuing tsunami of the arab spring. i doubt they’ll do anything to help sustain it.

but then again, saudi royals might not be monolithic. the younger ones might be more supportive of reform. who the hell knows?

upon hearing of this new group, a couple of activists were suspicious and wondered if a competitive group was set up just to undermine and fracture the snc. the regime wouldn’t be above setting up a faux “opposition” group. i’m wary about batta regime’s own ties to the saudis.

however dawalibi’s saudi ties would be less suspicious if they are long in the making. if they were recently made ones, that would suggest opportunism.

i’m going to be glad when the regime falls. all of the smoke and mirrors subterfuge and betrayal from the world community is beyond disgusting. i used to wonder how people could have turned a blind eye to jews burning in the ovens. now i see how oblivious the world can be. “never again” is a broken promise.

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April 28th, 2012, 7:56 pm


253. bronco said:

#234 Norman

The article does not say anything about a preparation for an invasion. It is simply annoyed that Syria is seen as manipulating the UN while in my view the critics toward Annan’s silence about the opposition violence is totally justified. Annan should declare more openly that the opposition is breaching the UN ceasefire and provoking retaliation. The Russians are repeating it everyday.

The UN have hard times finding 300 observers, you think they can gather sufficient soldiers to invade Syria.

Any military threat toward Syria sounds as empty rhetoric to me as the Israeli threats to attack Iran

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April 28th, 2012, 8:07 pm


254. Syria no Kandahar said:

Ban and Anan don’t see this? does not bother them?

What would Mahamata Ghandi and Macolm X say about these peaceful self defenders? if they knew Arabic they would say:

تفو عل هيك ثوره

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April 28th, 2012, 8:34 pm


255. Tara said:


“UN observers from neutral or feindly countries..”

Friendly towards whom exactly? The regime? I think observers from “friendly countries” such as Russia or China should be banned. Those friendly observers can’t help not to be “friendly” and biased in favor of the Syrian regime. Moreover, observers should be hand-selected by Annan who shoud chose them very carefully in a manner similar to how jurors are selected in the US for a high profile trial. Observers should report directly to Annan or his designee and not to their own government. Contact with authority in their respective countries of origin should be discouraged during the mission.

Where did you get that other countries trying to block or delay sending 300 observers to Syria, and if you were genuinely interested in a fair reporting why did you oppose letting the observers having their own helicopters for freedom of movement? Why does it scare the regime too much for the observers to roam freely?

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April 28th, 2012, 8:38 pm


256. bronco said:

Tara #255

While EOS say that they want the observers, parallelly they are trying to show, using any pretext, that there are useless. Their aim is to bypass the mission, cancel Annan’s plan and call the UN security Council emergency for a new resolution to use force. Until now they keep failing.

“Ghalioun, whose group is the main opposition organization in the country, said increasing the number of monitors isn’t enough. “We have to go to the Security Council and extract a resolution that will enable us to use force,” he said. ”


Juppe said that May 5, when Annan is to present his next report on the peace process, would be “a moment of truth.”

If the UN mission “is not working, we cannot continue to accept the defiance of the regime” and the international community will have “to move on to other things to stop the tragedy.”

About the helicopters, the UN observers safety is the entire and exclusive responsibility of the Syrian government because the UN cannot count on the opposition or no one else to ensure their safety. Therefore it is obvious that the Syrian government must be present in all the movements of the UN observers in order to protect them.

The UN observers could very well make use of the Syrian helicopters to roam under protection of the Syrian army.

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April 28th, 2012, 9:14 pm


257. zoo said:

Rebels trying to infiltrate from Turkey or Lebanon by sea maybe because the land borders are mined or watched.

Syria rebels ‘launch sea raid’ as Lebanon seizes weapons

Syrian rebel gunmen in inflatable dinghies have attacked a military unit on the Mediterranean coast, with deaths on both sides, state media report.

It is thought to be the first rebel assault from the sea. Separately, Lebanon says its navy has seized weapons destined for the rebels.

The dinghy attack reportedly took place further north, about 30km (19 miles) from the border with Turkey.

Syria’s official news agency Sana said a military unit had foiled a “terrorist attempt” to infiltrate the country overnight by boat in Latakia province.
“An official source told a Sana reporter that members of the military unit clashed with the terrorists who were boarding inflatable boats, forcing them to flee,” the agency said.

“The source stated that the clash led to the martyrdom and injuries of a number of [members of the] military unit.” Sana said it was not clear how many rebels had been killed “as they attacked the military unit at night”.


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April 28th, 2012, 9:25 pm


258. Aldendeshe said:


The points you stated are valid, all your concerns are in place. The SNC is proven to be terroristic and uninspiring bunch that have alienate large segment of Syrian Society, they are done and over. This is how we see it:

Just like 9/11 demolition plot, there were several sets of conspirators, each not aware that the other knows what is being plotted and having own plan to ride on the main action conspired, so there were a multiple of independently plotted conspiracies operating (based on obtained clandestine Intel) to benefits from the main set of plotters action.

In Syria now, it appears that the same pattern of action is conspired. The plotters and hopeful beneficiaries here are many as well, each operating independently to skew the endgame to his own advantage. None of these pretending to act now having the country or people interest at heart. The facades (fronts) created are staffed with men that are too gullible and naive to see through it all, but as one facade fails to deliver another one created.

We know that Dawalibi backers are not just Saudis but Cheney team and Israelis as well. This point is irrelevant to us at this time, because Dawalibi can never raise an army strong enough to equate with Assad’s. Without SNP, he has no chance whatsoever, much like SNC. SNP can equate the balance and have all the strategies and plans, the15 years long strategic planning. Dawalibi only chance to make it in Syria without SNP is to use foreign armies. Terrorism will fail in Syria and is plotted out by Syria’s enemies to achieve specific goals. So at this moment, we just play along as one of the actors who all ignore, yet we have the keys and are holding on to them.

In Syria, the main conspiracy is oil and gas ( that is all I want to say about this)

There are those who feel the need to split the Alawites away from main land Syria and cut the inland from the sea so they can strike a GAS deal of sort with the Alawite State, leaving Syria out.

There are those who just like to “break Syria on top of Assad Head”. that is all, getting even and revenge.

There are those that like to divide Syria into separate areas, such as Aleppo and Sahl Al Ghab (minerals and pipeline transport interests) in the Northwest of Syria, create a Kurdistan State out of the Northeast part to be united with Iraqi Kurdistan (oil interests), there are those that are interested in setting up an Islamic Emirates in the Southeast (oil&gas interests).

There are those that are interested in rolling Syria back and expanding Israel boarder beyond the Golan, all the way to Greater HAARETZ ( encompassing Homs and Akkar region).

There are those that are interested in creating a no man land ( an Afghanistan or Somalia) in Syria, to be a launching ground to destabilize Turkey and the Caucasus region. Remember, Lebanon Civil war was instigated when Lebanon became the Switzerland of the Middle East, it had to be cut down. Israel is just as antsy on Turkey rise as Iran rise.

There are those who are interested in Syria oil and Gas transport region from East to west from South to north and from North to Southwest.

There are those that wants Syria to be used as launching ground for literally a slow take over of Russian Republics west of the Ural. Afghanistan is to insure success of that takeover. Using the same faked out revolutions in Arab World. The same means, the same methods, we know the plans.

There are those that are interested in using Syria for underground highways tunnels to link up with the network of tunnels dug up all over the world connecting the nearly 1870 underground cities and bases built worldwide by (SOMEONE). Rumors is that oil is being siphoned all over the Middle East oilfields through slant-horizontal drilling and are piped through the subterranean highway size tunnels without the knowledge of any government. We seen maps and diagrams of such, but will not discuss this any further.

Each of these conspiring interests are working with and against each others, each aware of the other party and are competing to win inroad to own plot and interests grab.

And then there are those dummies that are being used by this and that who are really after liberating Syria, yet they are such an amateurish bunch, they have no clue about what they are being led to. Most importantly, they have no army and are fighting terroristically one of the best army in the world, they have no chance, they just being used to bring in the plotters closer to the intended goals.

This is a long story, this is about quarter of it. The real story is much, much longer.

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April 28th, 2012, 9:48 pm


259. omen said:

8:34 – Syria no Kandahar said: Ban and Anan don’t see this?does not bother them? What would Mahamata Ghandi and Macolm X say about these peaceful self defenders?

other videos regime supporters have posted condemning actions purported being committed by fsa has later been debunked before.

though i couldn’t see it (ytube blocked it from playing) the hanging one needs to be followed upon.

did you forward it to the UN or the ICC and demand it be investigated?


did you try to forward it to media? if not, why not?

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April 28th, 2012, 9:56 pm


260. Norman said:


I hope that you are right and i am wrong.

Please remind when Annan or moon blame the opposition,

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April 28th, 2012, 10:59 pm


261. zoo said:

Moslem Brotherhood loosing ground in Egypt elections
Public support for the Brotherhood appears to be waning, with 40.9 per cent of respondents in a poll this month by the Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies supporting Amr Moussa, the liberal former foreign minister of Egypt, for president. This figure was followed by 25.2 per cent choosing Mr Aboul Fotouh. Just 0.9 per cent of the 1,200 polled supported Mr Morsy.

The situation represents the rapidly shifting political landscape in Egypt just 14 months after the former president, Hosni Mubarak, was forced to resign. In March, the Muslim Brotherhood political arc appeared to be just taking off when the group’s political arm – the Freedom and Justice Party – emerged from the country’s fairest parliamentary elections in decades with nearly half the seats.

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April 28th, 2012, 11:37 pm


262. Ghufran said:

Micael Kilo spent 3 years in prison for trying to use his brain,he and many like him are the main reason why somebody like me will not forgive the corrupt and brutal regime in Syria and will never deal or support the thugs who treated decent Syrians like disposable pieces of furniture. It was the policy of the regime that weakened seculars and empties Syria from much of its brain wealth and replaced it with uneducated thugs who formed an alliance with corrupt Syrians from different sects who never liked their mother country but loved bloody money and ungodly power. The regime is directly responsible for the emergence of violent Islamist and the bleak future that awaits minorities if this regime is not sent to where it belongs:
The Book of Thugs- Syrian section

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April 28th, 2012, 11:39 pm


263. Ghufran said:

This is for you,Michael Kilo,I am ashamed that your country never gave you the recognition and respect you deserve:

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April 28th, 2012, 11:50 pm


264. Ghufran said:

[blue diamondبالغار-كللت-سعيد-عقل/ Link added]

بالغار كللت- سعيد عقل
بالغار كللت أم بالنار يا شام أنت الأميرة تعلو بإسمك الهام
أواهٍ بضع غمامات مشردة في الأفق بعض روئاً و البعض أحلام
سألتهن أظللتنها صبحاً شام التي وحدها للعود أنغام
ما ألهمتني من صوت خلدت به كذا يخلد شك السيف مقدام
و طالعتني ليال من بطولتها حمر تغاوت لها في الريح أعلام
كأنما نضجت خضر المواسم من هوى أغاني و الأشعار أيام
ختام تشرين هل ناس أوائله إذ هب يعتصر العنقود كرام
يا شام سكبك مجد ما يكون إذا بملئ كفك دفقاً أفرغ الجام
أقول خالد شج الشعر مندفعاً و خط طارق فوق البحر رسام
يا شام لبنان حبي غير أني لو توجع الشام تغدو حبي الشام

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April 28th, 2012, 11:55 pm


265. ann said:

An Imperialist Springtime? Libya, Syria, and Beyond – 28.04.12

Samir Amin: You see, the US establishment — and behind the US establishment its allies, the Europeans and others, Turkey as a member of NATO — derived their lesson from their having been surprised in Tunisia and Egypt: prevent similar movements elsewhere in the Arab countries, preempt them by taking the initiative of, initiating, the movements. They have tested their experience in Libya, and they have tested it in Libya with success, in the sense that, in Libya, at the start we had no [broad popular] movement . . . against Gaddafi. We had small armed groups, and one has to question immediately . . . where those arms were coming from. They were — we know it — from the beginning, from the Gulf, with the support of Western powers, and the US. And attacking the army, police, and so on. And the same day, not even the next day, those very people who qualified themselves as “liberation forces,” “democratic liberation forces,” called upon NATO — the French and then NATO — to come to the rescue, and that allowed for the intervention. That intervention has succeeded in the sense that it destroyed the regime of Gaddafi. But what is the result of the success? Is it democratic Libya? Well, one should laugh at that when one knows that the president of the new regime is nobody else than the very judge who condemned to death the Bulgarian nurses. What a curious democracy it is! But it has also led to the dislocation of the country on a Somalian pattern: that is, local powers — all of them in the name of so-called “Islam,” but local warlords — with the destruction of the country. One can raise the question: was this the target of the intervention — that is, the destruction of the country?

I’ll come back to this main question, because they tried to implement the same strategy immediately afterward on Syria — that is, introducing armed groups from the very beginning. From the north through Turkey, Hatay particularly. The so-called “refugee camps” in Hatay are not refugee camps — there are very few refugees — they are camps for training mercenaries to intervene in Syria. This is well documented by our Turkish friends. And Turkey as a NATO power is part of the conspiracy in that case. And similarly with Jordan, introducing from the south, with the support — not only neutrality but, I think, active support — of Israel, through Daraa, armed groups in the south.


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April 29th, 2012, 12:58 am


266. ann said:

US ‘world leader’ in color revolution engineering – April 28, 2012

The US is the foremost power when it comes to creating and applying “color revolutions”: America invented the know-how and has the best experts in this area, political scientist Mateusz Piskorski told RT.

RT: What are the key ingredients to start a color revolution?

Mateusz Piskorsky: There has to be a real political and social crisis, which may be an inspiration for those groups who protest. There is no color revolution without a social basis. Common consciousness of a real economic or social problem is needed to easily manipulate the protesting groups.

RT: What is the infrastructure behind a protest?

MP: Really professional coordination centers… secret from ordinary protesters, but functioning very effectively.

RT: What is the share of people power versus the power of the people who actually pull the strings?

MP: Every protester has his own interests to participate in the protest, but it is really very easy for him to lose his rationality and become a subject of “emotional engineering”.

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April 29th, 2012, 1:07 am


267. Halabi said:

Ghufran, I’m with you on Kilo. You probably saw this, but here’s some great analysis from him in Al Safir. A sharp mind and, from what I’m told, a decent man, a combination that isn’t welcome in Assad’s Syria.

حدود الصراع على سوريا
ميشيل كيلو

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April 29th, 2012, 1:10 am


268. ann said:

The otoman empire is abandoning ship 8)

Babacan: None of The Countries Should Aim to Arm Opposition in Syria – 28 April 2012

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said that none of the countries should aim to arm the opposition in Syria.

Turkey does not have such an aim, added Babacan who spoke at a conference in Boston on Friday.

Turkey fully supports political efforts and is against an external intervention in Syria, said Babacan.

An opposition should only be shaped as a political effort in Syria, said Babacan, adding that a legitimate opposition would be important as it would present an alternative to the existing regime.

Noting that Annan plan opened a a window of opportunity, Babacan said that the plan should immediately be implemented, and international community should support the plan.


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April 29th, 2012, 1:42 am


269. Son of Damascus said:


Where are you? Hope you are fine!

😉 إذا زعلان، زرعها في ذقني. نحن العرعوريه عندنا اللحى طوووووووويلة

[Sorry Mod if I translate this it won’t make sense at all in english, nothing bad is written]

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April 29th, 2012, 1:55 am


270. omen said:

i stand corrected. the saudis did support the ousting of gaddafi. prof. cole reminds us that [saudis] supported the revolution against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya

i had forgotten the hostile words shared between the two at some conference. probably didn’t help that gaddafi once plotted to assassinate the saudi king. i don’t know what that man was smoking. did he think he could just swoop in and take over the kingdom?

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April 29th, 2012, 2:32 am


271. Alan said:

[blue diamondميشيل+كيلو Link added]

ميشيل كيلو

« لا أعرف إن كان الروس سيصرون إلى النهاية على موقفهم الراهن، وأشك كثيرا في أنهم قادرون على مجاراة أميركا في لعبة القوة النهائية »

هذا شأن ميشيل ان يشك و من شأنه أن يدغدغ مشاعره السياسية كما يشاء ! الا ان الايمان افضل من الشكوك ! ان أومن بأن الروس , و الصينيون سيخوضون بشراسة معركتهم في سورية و ايران و لعبة القوة التي سميتها النهائية لصالحهم ! عفوا سيد ميشيل !

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April 29th, 2012, 3:31 am


272. ann said:

RT: I want to ask you about Syria. The Obama administration has kind of ruled out a military intervention saying it’s too complicated. What in your opinion keeps the US from attacking Syria?

D.M.: There are several things. First of all, there is a quiet recognition behind closed doors, that if Assad is removed – however much people don’t like Assad – that the government that would succeed him would be a radical Islamist Sunni Muslim government. Hostile to Israel, hostile to the West, hostile to Shia Islam. In other words – not a good development from the standpoint of the United States or Europe. I think that is understood.

Secondly, there is an understanding that Syria actually has – despite the fact that it’s much smaller than Iran; they have 22 to 23 million people, I think – very good armed forces. It does have an integrated air defense structure that would take some time to dismantle. But its ground forces are actually very good. Of the Arab forces I would describe the Syrian forces as probably among the best, if not the best. Best disciplined, best officered.


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April 29th, 2012, 5:23 am


273. ann said:

Norwegian General Robert Mood to lead UN observers – 2012-04-29

BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhuanet) — Major General Robert Mood of Norway will arrive in Syria on Sunday to head the UN cease-fire observer mission. The mission is aimed at bringing an end to the 13-month crisis in the Middle Eastern country.

Mood’s appointment was announced by the UN on Friday. Mood has held senior military posts in Norway and internationally, including in UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon. The spokesman of the UN observers Neeraj Singh said that the advance team’s operation continued on the ground Saturday. 15 observers are now in Syria.


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April 29th, 2012, 5:29 am


274. ann said:

Report: Lebanon seizes 150 tons of weapons from Syria-bound ship – 29 April 2012

About 150 tons of weapons were seized by Lebanese authorities from a ship bound for Syria, the pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat reported Sunday.

The cache included Kalashnikov rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition as well as telescopes and military uniforms, dpa quoted the report as saying.

Al Hayat quoted judicial sources as saying that the 11-member crew, including eight Syrians, were being questioned over the suspected arms smuggling attempt.


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April 29th, 2012, 5:40 am


276. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad killing its own population and Europe attacks with embargo on caviar. How much stupidity will we have to stand from both sides and how longer? Obama looking to another side… Criminals, gangsters and stupids share world power to the beneffit of mafias and large corporations. Assad is nothing else than a fool in a world of global greed and criminality.

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April 29th, 2012, 5:51 am


277. Mina said:

#276 Sandro
For once, I agree. Maybe it would have been useful to explain that to Daraa, Hims, and Edleb “angry young men” before?

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April 29th, 2012, 7:16 am


278. Tara said:

FSA denying involvement in arranging for the arms shipment?  Is it a hoax orchestrated by the regime?

Syrian opposition: We can only retrieve civilians’ bodies when U.N. observers come

By the CNN Wire Staff

Sun April 29, 2012

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported Saturday that Lebanese military forces seized weapons bound for Syrian rebels from Libya.

The army intercepted a ship in the Mediterranean Sea on Friday and found heavy and light weapons aboard Saturday, Lebanon’s National News Agency said. Ten crew members and the vessel’s agent were arrested after the inspection in Salaata port, north of Beirut, the NNA said.

“The Free Syrian Army is unaware of the arms shipment, and we deny any involvement in arranging such a deal,” Free Syrian Army Lt. Riad Ahmed said Sunday.

“For over a year, we heard that the Libyan rebels were planning to send us a shipment of weapons for our fight against the daily slaughter and the massacres committed against our people, but it was all rumors. We have been asking for weapons to protect our civilians, over and over, but we haven’t received any support, whatsoever.”

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April 29th, 2012, 8:24 am


279. Mina said:

It is called the Qatar-Saudi 1 million dollar hoax? Why are the authorities in Libya so much interested in the fate of Syria? Wasn’t the GCC anwer to Annan plan a statement that they were going to pay salaries to the rebels and send them weapons?

Here is the place for the next EU caviar embargo: Bahrain
From Angry Arab chief Bahrain correspondent: “Situation in Bahrain is like how it was last year in March and April when emergency law was instituted. Media is back to identifying protesters and using hate speech. There are house raids, mass arrests, excessive use of force, and checkpoints everywhere. This all existed throughout the year but it seems like we are almost back to the level it was last year. Round two? Zainab AlKhawaja is still in prison. No news about her father.”

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April 29th, 2012, 9:09 am


280. zoo said:

A significant flip in Egypt: Dissident and moderate Moslem Brotherhood Abdoul Foutouh is poised to become the next Egyptian president as he is now the favorite of the the MB, the Salafists and liberals

Support From Islamists for Liberal Upends Race in Egypt
Published: April 28, 2012

ABU HOMOS, Egypt — Egypt’s most conservative Islamists endorsed a liberal Islamist for president late Saturday night, upending the political landscape and confounding expectations about the internal dynamics of the Islamist movement.

The main missionary and political groups of the ultraconservatives, known as Salafis, threw their support behind Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a dissident former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood known for his tolerant and inclusive view of Islamic law.

The endorsement goes a long way toward making Mr. Aboul Fotouh the front-runner in a campaign that could shape the ultimate outcome of the revolt that ousted the former strongman, Hosni Mubarak.

Mr. Aboul Fotouh’s liberal understanding of Islamic law on matters of individual freedom and economic equality had already made him the preferred candidate of many Egyptian liberals.

His endorsement on Saturday by the Salafis now makes him the candidate of Egypt’s most determined conservatives, too. Known for their strict focus on Islamic law, the Salafis often talk of reviving medieval Islamic corporal punishments, restricting women’s dress and the sale of alcohol, and cracking down on heretical culture.

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April 29th, 2012, 9:13 am


281. Francesca Merlan said:

When the Russians go on, as they are now doing, about terrorists
and how they should be put in their place — and by that they mean
regime opponents — why is it that the shabiha are not discussed
by them in this light, as terrorists?

The shabiha have been a government-sponsored, completely illegitimate terrorist force right from the start, with more freed by Bashar’s alleged `amnesty’ (which didn’t free political prisoners). They kill, fire on protests, torture, steal and rape. Why are they not `terrorists’? and why do the Russians and others similarlyminded not recognize them as such?

This may be a rhetorical question but it’s an important one. It
comes down to a question of whether one thinks the regime
remains in power by legitimate means. If you factor in the secret
services and the shabiha, it’s hard to say yes to that.

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April 29th, 2012, 9:15 am


282. bronco said:

#278 Tara

Since the Gay Girl in Damascus, Syria have become Hoaxyland.
Do you seriously think the FSA will acknowledge officially that they are receiving weapons from Libya?
They’ll be criticized and discredited from all sides, from the UN and from the Syrians who dissaprove the military involvement of other arab countries.

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April 29th, 2012, 9:17 am


283. Mina said:

Bombings are in Lebanon too, but the Western media do not care. Neither do they care about the new emirate of Tumbuctu (Mali’s afghanisation). The Tuaregs were able to take it 2 days ago but withdrew after “al Qaeda in Maghreb” asked them too. Al-Qaeda? The organisation after which the West has supposedly spent billions of dollars that we are today blamed for in the so-called “debt crisis”? Do you have any debt except that made from silly army investments?

“When Samir Ja`ja` (Ga`ga` in Egyptian accent) claimed that he was saved by a rose from a sniper’s fire, US officials rushed to condemn the “assassination attempt”. Yet, when people from the other side of the spectrum face real assassination attempt, US officials are silent. Yesterday, the head of the Tawhid Party (a small pro-Syrian regime Druze group) survived what was possibly an assassination attempt when a massive bomb exploded in the party’s new headquarter.”

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April 29th, 2012, 9:23 am


284. Tara said:


Yes. The gay girl in Damascus story was fascinating. What was the final conclusion in regard to that story? I had not followed the fine details of the story as I was angry, very very angry then and was not in a mood for distractions. Was he just bored and wanted to have some Internet fun? Some people on SC thought I was the gay girl in Damascus.

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April 29th, 2012, 9:24 am


285. bronco said:

#283 Tara

Not only some SC commenters but the whole international press was praising that ‘courageous’ girl, facing the horrible Syrian mokhabarat.
It contributed to depict Syrian moslems as ‘tolerant’ but victims of a primitive police state that harassed them.
Yes, the guy behind it was having a trip writing all that, then he realized he went too far and revealed the hoax. I thought it would have been a humbling experience for newspapers but while they had praised in length the “Girl” they were very discreet about the “Boy” behind the hoax. And the story was closed and forgotten.

After that, I became very suspicious of newspapers using ‘personal experiences’ in Syria to set the stage on the events in Syria as a ‘reality’, and I am still.

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April 29th, 2012, 9:43 am


286. zoo said:

Does the Western media support Annan’s plan or hoping it derails?

Example of the disparaging tone of the media toward Annan’s peace plan:
“The observers in Homs are part of an advance team of 15 U.N. monitors in Syria trying to SALVAGE a peace plan”
( why not IMPLEMENT?)

“Most analysts say the plan has LITTLE chance of succeeding, though it could temporarily bring down the level of daily violence.”
( why not SOME chances?)

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April 29th, 2012, 9:56 am


287. Alan said:

Russian, Chinese, and other countries Briks urge to stop violence from two parties!
Clinton declared that it is not necessary to hand over the weapon and the Saudi minister told that it is necessary to arm insurgents! in difference from players under a table Russia insists on respect of the sovereignty and integrity of the countries and not to turn the world in the field for worry! about authority of Russia on the world community ask at To Mr Anan and the Mr Pan Ki Moon! stop to float in not a deep water

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April 29th, 2012, 10:22 am


288. ann said:

Syrian opposition stresses the importance of closing ranks – 2012-04-29

DAMASCUS, April 29 (Xinhua) — An opposition faction at home on Sunday stressed the impotence of the opposition unity but stressed that it should be based on rejection of foreign intervention in Syria.

“We are the first opposition forces on ground that sought to unite the Syrian opposition,” said Ali Haidar, a member in the Popular Front for Change and Liberation (PFCL).

In a press conference held in Damascus, Haidar stressed that the unity among the opposition should be ostensible and that it shouldn’t be a cover to call in foreign intervention in the unrest- battered country.

“We won’t be a cover for such intervention, we want the unity to be based on a vision and a project,” Haider said.

The Syrian opposition is known of its fractured nature, as the exiled opponents, who have assembled under the title Syrian National Council, have been calling since the first days of unrest last year for foreign military intervention to help toppling the 40-year-old ruling regime in Syria.

However, their approach was met with discontent from the Syria- based opponents, who have totally rejected any foreign intervention out of fear that such move would devastate the country and drag it into an all-out civil conflict due to the diversity of sects in the Syrian society.

The Libyan scenario has also raised intimidation and panic among the opposition at home after the great deal of human losses and chaos in Libya, following the NATO operation that helped the downfall of Moammar Gaddafi last year.

Meanwhile, Haidar made it clear that dialogue is the only way out to Syria’s 13-month unrest but said that it should be under the title of preserving the Syrian sovereignty as well as its stability and its strategic options.

Leading members of the PFCL went to Russia lately to discuss the Syrian crisis.

The head of the PFCL, Qadri Jamil, said that “we have asked our Russian friends for their mediation, not only between the government and the opposition, but to be a mediator between the opposition factions too and they have promised us to do so.”

Jamil said that his faction would run for the upcoming parliamentarian elections but stressed that the decision would be reversed had the guarantees for the integrity of elections were not implemented.

Asked about unity opposition with the broad-based opposition, Jamil said “there would be no unity with the Syrian National Council had they persisted on calling for foreign intervention in Syria.”

Moreover, he accused the Arab League of excluding the opposition at home “because we don’t go along with their schemes.”

“We have been always excluded by the Arab League because we don ‘t go along with its schemes and we call on that league to be evenhanded and impartial when dealing with the Syrian opposition.


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April 29th, 2012, 10:36 am


289. son of Damascus said:


Last I checked it was the international press that debunked the GGiD story, if memory serves me right was it not Andy Carvin of NPR that broke the story about her (Him)?

As bad or corrupt the international press might be, it is still a lot more trustworthy than any pro-regime news outlet.

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April 29th, 2012, 10:38 am


290. Uzair8 said:

BBC Radio 4’s latest episode of ‘Unreliable Evidence’ (43 minutes). Last broadcast yesterday, 22:15:

Transitional Justice

Clive Anderson and top legal experts discuss the best way to achieve justice in the wake of massive human rights violations in the Arab Spring countries. What role should the international community play in the process?
Libyan lawyer Elham Saudi and US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, Stephen Rapp, reflect on how successfully transitional justice was achieved in the past, in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Iraq, South Africa and Yugoslavia, and argue about the best way forward in Libya as well as in Egypt and Tunisia.

Should prominent members of the former Libyan regime, such as Saif Gadaffi, be tried in Libya, where they would face the death penalty, or dealt with in the International Criminal Court in The Hague?

Other guests on the programme are Claudio Cordone of the International Centre for Transitional Justice and Geoffrey Robertson QC who served as the first President of the Special Court in Sierra Leone.

Are criminal trials the best way to address the horrors of a long and brutal regime? Or are truth and reconciliation commissions better placed to allow a society to move forward? And if there are to be trials, should members of revolutionary forces also be prosecuted for human rights violations?

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April 29th, 2012, 10:43 am


291. Mina said:

No it is certainly not Andy Carvin which debunked the story, it is independent people such as Sophia who was commenting here, as well as Moon of Alabama, and especially Liz Henry, an expert in “sock puppets”. Many people on SC had been doubting her writings from the beginning, including me, especially because of the literary style and the contradictions in what he/she wrote.

Sorry I failed to mention the Electronic Intifada, which started the heavy investigating (IP numbers etc).
Carvin, as one would expect, simply had to go into it after it became all over the blogs and twitter.

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April 29th, 2012, 11:15 am


292. Mina said:

The more we have Western journalists in Syria and the less we have news.
France media did not report the kidnapping of 2 Hungarians yesterday nor the sea-attack.

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April 29th, 2012, 11:17 am


293. Dawoud said:

تفو على هيك نزام مجرم. بشار القاتل بن القاتل

الحريه لسوريا ولفلسطين

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April 29th, 2012, 11:23 am


294. Alan said:

292. MINA
they are driving the car with one included headlight only 🙂

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April 29th, 2012, 11:25 am


295. bronco said:

#289 SOD

You are right about the GGID’s uncovered by NPR.
Western media have the aura of names like “NY Times” or “Newsweek’, “le Monde’. “Reuters”,”AFP”. They have a high visibility internationally. Therefore, any false story they publish is believed without hesitation and parotted in all the other newspapers worldwide and may have a devastating influence on the political affairs. Just remember Judith Miller in the NY times whose ‘false’ articles contributed greatly to manipulate the public opinion and to lead the US to the war against Iraq.

This is why they are much more dangerous that local papers like Al Watan ,Al Safir etc… and this is why I don’t trust them blindly.
The other thing is that when they make a false announcement in the first page, the later correction, if any, is lost somewhere in the third or fourth page. Therefore the first impression stays in the reader mind, despite the correction. That’s is pure abuse and manipulation and they all do that.

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April 29th, 2012, 11:26 am


297. bronco said:

292. Mina

This is called ‘selective’ reporting according to the mood of the day. Now the mood is to derail the UN mission and Peace Plan by demonizing the Syrian government. The trouble is that the last violent events are pointing to the Opposition failing to restrain their angry ill-armed troops, so the press prefers to remain silence or make predictions that “it won’t work, it’s too little too late” etc..

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April 29th, 2012, 11:31 am


298. Son of Damascus said:


Moon of Alabama published June 13th two days after Carvin and NYT’s.

Book Maniac quotes Andy Carvin in her blog post:

“Andy Carvin has been twittering all afternoon trying to find someone who has met Amina in person and has not succeeded.

If this is a hoax, I feel for everyone involved whose emotions were brought to a pitch and who stepped up to try and support Amina Araf. It also must be really infuriating for the LGBT people actually in Syria and for many other activists and bloggers who have been detained for their online writing.”!/acarvin/status/78130192538808321

Many other news sources mentioned the kidnapped Hungarians, why would the inaction of a few French papers overshadow their work?

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April 29th, 2012, 11:33 am


299. Tara said:

Where is Syrian Hamster? I miss his writings..


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April 29th, 2012, 11:36 am


300. Alan said:

Jad !
it is a call for you from 269.Prepare please the razor!

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April 29th, 2012, 11:43 am


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