Ambassador Ford Goes to Hama

Reader Comment by Abughassan:

This Friday was not very satisfying for the demonstration organizers. Most demos were small and almost none reported in Aleppo and Damascus proper. Reports about large demos in cities other than Hama and Homs were largely untrue and some were totally fake. My cousin denied seeing or hearing any demos in Latakia; another cousin in Aleppo confirmed that Friday was quiet. Security forces kept a low profile but that did not help increase the number of demos. We may be seeing some demonstration fatigue.

Ambassador Ford escorted into Hama by demonstrators demanding the fall of the regime. Youtube

Guardian (GB): US calls Syrian charge of incitement ‘rubbish’, 2011-07-08

Associated Press= WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has fired back at President Bashar Assad’s regime for accusing an American ambassador of attempting to destabilize Syria by visiting anti-government protesters in a besieged city. State … “The presence of U.S. ambassador in Hama without previous permission is obvious proof of the implication of the United States in the ongoing events, and of their attempts to increase
tensions there, which damage Syria’s security and stability,” the foreign ministry statement said….

Hama after the demonstrations. Youtube video of many burning cars and buses in the downtown region. Youtube

A Bab Touma, Damascus, Pro-Bashar Demonstration help in July 8

The person who sent me this photo writes: “They lost the plot in Hama it seems. Throwing flowers on the convoy?! Syrians sitting on the sidelines object to this. I was just passing by a huge pro demo in Bab Touma and took this photo. Thousands of people called to move the demo in front of the US embassy. They started car pooling and moving in masses. Anti-Americanism is on the rise in Syria thanks to the ambassador!”

FP Passport: Is this the anthem for the Syrian revolution? “Yalla Erhal Ya Bashar” (It’s time to leave, Bashar), seems to be the standout song of the Syrian uprising so …

Syrian Christians concerned about instability at home
July 07, 2011, By Brooke Anderson, The Daily Star

Saydnaya church, 27 kilometers north of Damascus, is second only to Jerusalem for Christian pilgrimage.

BEIRUT: As an increasing number of Syrians take to the streets to demand sweeping government reforms, many Syrian Christians are still hesitant to do so – afraid of an uncertain future as a minority that has until now been safe under the current secular government.

“To be honest, everybody’s worried,” Yohana Ibrahim, archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Aleppo told The Daily Star on a recent visit to Beirut. While he supports the demands for reform being made by the protesters, he emphasizes that he would not want the instability that potentially could come with a change in government and he hopes a national dialogue can soon be reached.

He says: “We don’t want what happened in Iraq to happen in Syria. We don’t want the country to be divided. And we don’t want Christians to leave Syria.”

This is perhaps why many of Syria’s Christians have remained largely silent since the popular uprising began just over three months ago. Most of the protests have taken place after Friday prayers in rural areas, with only minimal turnout in Damascus and Aleppo, the two largest, majority Sunni cities, where also the majority of Syria’s Christians reside.

Syria’s Christians comprise about 10 percent of the country’s population of 20 million. Most are concentrated in the country’s large cities, while there are also sizable communities on the coast and in the Hauran region, where the uprising began in March. So far, very few have been prominent in the uprising, which activists say has caused the deaths of more than 1,400 civilians as a result of a violent government crackdown.

Many people believe the community’s relative absence from protests is due to the stability they enjoy under the Alawite-run secular government, which has shown favoritism toward the country’s urban business elite – including secular Muslims and Christians – while taking a hard line against Islamist movements over the past 40 years.

“I’ve met Syrian Christians who’ve defended the regime because it’s not Islamic, but I think this could backfire on them,” says Imad Salamey, associate professor of political science at the Lebanese American University. “If they link themselves to a dictatorial regime that is largely disliked by the Syrian people, then some might think this will justify reprisals against them.”

Others are sympathetic to the idea that Syrian Christians are simply scared of chaos and persecution if the ongoing protests lead to Islamist overthrowing the secular Baath party government, similar to events in Iraq.

“It is the devil we know better than the devil we don’t know, I don’t blame them,” says Hind Aboud Kabawat, a Syrian Christian who divides her time between Toronto and Damascus, and who won the 2007 Women’s Peace Initiative award.

“It is not pleasant to see the Iraqi Christian refugees leaving Iraq after thousands of years of living in Iraq, or seeing Iran after the toppling of the Shah to have the Mullah.”

Historically, in a region of unrest, Syria has been a place of stability and sanctuary for Christians. Tens of thousands fled there to safety following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. And Christian holidays are nationally recognized in Syria.

Still, Kabawat seems to see it as being in Syrian Christians’ long-term interest to support the protesters. “Remember, if you are a real good Christian you have to side with the oppressed and not with the oppressors,” she says….

صحيفة السفير اللبنانية داخل مطبخ قانون الإعلام الجديد … معركة سوريا لفك الحصار عن الكلام
نشرت صحيفة السفير في عددها الصادر اليوم الجمعة للزميلة غدي فرنسيس التقرير الآتي ..
بينما تنشر هذه الكلمات عن الحرية المقبلة، ثمة رقيب إعلامي يقرر ما إذا كانت ” السفير “، او غيرها من الصحف، ستدخل اليوم دمشق أم لا…سيقرأ ويحكم، وقد يحجبها عن “السوق”. بموجب “اللاقانون “، له أن يمنع ما يشاء ويسمح بما يشاء. ثمة إعلامي سوري من حاشية النظام، يحاول أن يفكك المؤامرة في المقال ليكتشف: أهذا قلم ” لنا ”  أم ” علينا “؟. تستمر الأجهزة الأمنية والإعلامية السورية بمؤامراتها المزدوجة على حرية التعبير… ويحكى في كفرسوسة عن التغيير! بينما يعيش جهاز الاستخبارات داخل عقل الصحافي السوري، تصرخ له لجنة إعداد قانون الإعلام: أنا سأنتزعه من عقلك… وها قد جهزت المسودة الأولى من القانون… للعبور إلى الحرية، فيجيب الصحافي: حين يعتقلني الأمن، أين ستكون أنت؟

Syrian Businessman Is Moving Wealth To Evade Sanctions, Treasury Says
2011-07-08 WSJ

The U.S. Treasury on Friday warned financial institutions to monitor for suspicious transactions involving Syrian officials–in particular, President Bashar al-Assad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf, who is allegedly trying to hide his businesses ties and …

Zionists Chair Syrian Opposition Meeting in France
Local Editor, Manar (Thanks to The Passionate Attachment)

Key Zionist philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy; former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and major advocate of the war against Iraq Bernard Kouchner; member of the youth movement in the Israeli right wing Likud party Frederick Ansel; and former Knesset member and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s advisor Alex Goldfarb who was not questioned by anyone for claiming to be a Syrian opposition member and spokesman of “Democratic change in Syria” assembly; were basic participants in the Syrian opposition conference in Saint-Germain in France.

This “Zionist” atmosphere did not bother the attendees, which Muslim brotherhood representative in Paris, Moulhem Droubi, was among. One young Syrian girl “Souraya” interposed saying: “In this hall there is not one Syrian. In this hall, I only see Zionists.” However, she was immediately interrupted and dragged out by the French security under the eyes of the police.

According to the Lebanese daily As-Safir reporter in France Mohammad Ballout, Frederick Ansel responded to the young girl saying: “Unfortunately, some Arabs still regard Zionism as an insult, although it is a source of pride and honor.”

The Syrian opposition conference on Monday included speeches that called for toppling down the regime, and attacked Iran and Hezbollah, while completely ignoring occupied Palestine and the occupied Golan Heights.

Some speakers condemned “Iran and Hezbollah’s interference in Syria.”

Abughassan writes in the comment section:

The nature of political Islam and the history of MB added to the fact that Syria is a third world country with a diverse population all make it critical that a collapse of law and order is not permitted. The lesser of two evils is accepting a peaceful and gradual change of regime. Those who want another Iraq in Syria will be the first to blame “others” if things deteriorate into a status of total chaos and bloodshed. Cool heads,not hot blood,is what Syria needs today.

Samara writes

“Jr, the destroyer”. I like that. Hopefully he will destroy all the criminals who call themselves the MB, and the so called peaceful protesters who are killing and destroying our country.

Revlon Writes:

Lieutenant; Amjad Mohammad Al hameed, recent defector, provides account of war crimes commited in Rastan, last months:

– He is a tribe member
– Water, power and telephone lines disconnected.- Shelling of civilian neighbourhoods for three days.
– House searches, looting, and killing of civilians, including a baby girl.
– Piling up bodies and seriously wounded in containers.

This is the real dialogue that junior is conducting on the ground with Syrians people.

From the Turkish Press:

Iran’s role in Syria? Zaman

Turkey-Syria-Iran Triangle being redrawn?

Ron Paul condemns U.S. regime change promotion in Belarus or in “any other sovereign nation”
Statement on H.R. 515, the Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act of 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the “Belarus Democracy Act” reauthorization. This title of this bill would have amused George Orwell, as it is in fact a US regime-change bill. Where does the United States Congress derive the moral or legal authority to determine which political parties or organizations in Belarus — or anywhere else — are to be US-funded and which are to be destabilized? How can anyone argue that US support for regime-change in Belarus is somehow “promoting democracy”? We pick the parties who are to be supported and funded and somehow this is supposed to reflect the will of the Belarusian people? How would Americans feel if the tables were turned and a powerful foreign country demanded that only a political party it selected and funded could legitimately reflect the will of the American people?

However, representative of the so called “Salvation Front” headed by former Syrian vice-president Abdul Halim Khaddam, Ashraf Al-Moqdad called for “urgent assistance of Western countries,” and defended the participation of racist Zionist figures saying: “We are ready to meet with anyone in order to stop the bloodshed in Syria. The Syrian regime had conducted negotiations with Israel directly and indirectly. Then why can’t we meet with French officials who want to help the Syrian people? ”

For his part, Zionist Journalist Bernard Henri-Levy called in a statement the Security Council to refer the Syrian regime to the international tribunal. While Bernard Kouchner went further by saying that the international community should intervene militarily in Syria.

“We went to Libya, and we feel great injustice for leaving the Syrians alone,” he said, calling on “Arab spring” countries to end diplomatic relations with Syria.

Iran grooms Iraq to replace Syria? The National

Why Iraq may become Iran’s new best friend. There is a debate at the highest levels about how far Iran may go to spare its ally, Syria, from a free fall, Tareq Alhomayed, of the , wrote in a leader article. “I asked an analystwell-versed in Syrian issues about the Iranian role and he said that there are indications that Tehran is preparing Iraq to replace Syria as its closest ally in the region, in case the regime in Damascus falls.” This is seen in an increase in violent operations undertaken by militias backed by Iran in Iraq, especially in Sunni areas, with the approach of the US withdrawal.

Syria’s angel of death gives insight into terror
Jonathan Jones, 9 Juli 2011, Guardian

Jonathan Jones: Framing the debate: The footage showing a lone gunman shooting randomly before turning his fire on the cameraman is too raw not to be real

The angel of death has been caught on camera. That is what a gunman randomly shooting from a dark doorway looks like in raw and terrifying video footage that has surfaced this week on YouTube. Wearing military-looking khaki and firing quite randomly at people in a Syrian city, “without any reason and no demonstrations”, the figure embodies the stories of ruthless state violence emerging from a country where conventional reporting is all but impossible.

You look at death, and death looks at you. The cameraman – apparently using a mobile phone to grab these images in the heat of the moment – nervously and jerkily photographs a vertiginous collage of building facades, balconies and a fleeing crowd on the street below before homing in on the sinister military figure who is shooting from a doorway on a balcony just below his elevated viewpoint. But no sooner does the camera see the assassin than the assassin sees the photographer: and shoots. The last part of the video is a brown abstract mist as we hear moans against continuing shots and yells.

Comments (497)


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451. SANDRO LOEWE said:

SYRIA DEFECTORS DESCRIBE IN DETAIL ORDERS TO SHOOT UNARMED PROTESTERS

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/07/09/syria-defectors-describe-orders-shoot-unarmed-protesters

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July 10th, 2011, 4:55 pm

 

452. Akbar Palace said:

Please explain your statement # 431. Thanks.

Tara,

There isn’t much to explain. I have always been against totalitarian regimes like the one that has stifled Syria for the past 40+ years.

The Syrians and the region deserves better: democracy. It is a WIN/WIN for everybody.

I am glad that those on this forum who feel the same as I do are not “caving in” to the loud voices of stagnation (the Baathist camp), and are continuing to let their voices for freedom be heard.

I also would like to congratulate AIG for his well-thought-out responses.

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July 10th, 2011, 5:05 pm

 

453. SANDRO LOEWE said:

When it all began all people in Damascus city used to say: it will take 2 or 3 weeks maximum. Now we are 5 days away to be in a 4 months long insurrection. I think in 4 months the whole security apparatus should have been able to turn the TERRORISTS AND GANGS OF THUGS to ashes.

If they are not able to do so, then I think there is a clear sign that there is something else than TERRORISTS AND GANGS OF THUGS. There is unarmed people asking for something else. There are some 2.000 deaths. And there are tens of thousands of people than have jailed and eventually tortured. And there is the need of changing a regime that cannot control nor satisfy its people demands.

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July 10th, 2011, 5:21 pm

 

454. Tara said:

Louai,

Pride for me is not an empty hollow concept.  It is a trait that you acquire and not born with.  National pride for me is a profound positive emotion that requires the development of a high opinion of one’s nation.

I will admit that despite our history as the cradle of civilization and the rise and glory of the Islamic empire, I was never able to feel genuinely proud.   History was not enough for me given our current state of affairs.  The first time I ever felt proud was made available by HA and the withdrawal of Israel from south Lebanon.  (It is therefore up until this second, I could not condemn HA despite evidence suggesting it’s participation in our current oppression)… Syrian have lived humiliating life over the last 40 years at least in my view and accepted that life without dissent, up until the start of the Syrian revolution with its early slogan of        الشعب السوري ما بينذل .  A humiliation that was epitomized by the most shocking scene I was ever exposed to brought to us in Bayda, Banias where Assad mercenaries literally walked on our fellow Syrians.  The prior lack of dissent made me feel extremely humiliated.

The west has never had any respect to our national pride.  Perhaps we were not worthy of that respect as we have almost never done anything to deserve it ( collectively as a nation).  We were views as backward Arabs, oppressed by their authoritarian regimes and not even worth of democracy.  Did you not hear the derogatory western comment that ” democracy is not suitable for the Muslim world “.  Our weakness provoked aggression and aggression made us weaker.   I  symbolized  the visit as an event where the west has finally acknowledged our right for the same universal values westerners have, a first active step to break that cycle of weakness and aggression.                   

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July 10th, 2011, 5:40 pm

 

455. Tara said:

Akbar Palace,

The wall of fear has been shattered.

And it feels good… pretty good.

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July 10th, 2011, 5:46 pm

 

456. 873 said:

450. Tara said:
“But for now, I changed my mind regarding roses. I am actually sending him white Magnolia flowers.”

Fitna Ford would certainly hire you for the CIA (or has he already?) Or you could get a job with Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority? Some of the stuff you say sounds right out of the mouth of a couple of security officers I once met in Ramallah. I bet they take women, now that reform has been enacted.

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July 10th, 2011, 6:03 pm

 

457. Aboud said:

@453

“Now we are 5 days away to be in a 4 months long insurrection. I think in 4 months the whole security apparatus should have been able to turn the TERRORISTS AND GANGS OF THUGS to ashes. ”

“If they are not able to do so, then I think there is a clear sign that there is something else than TERRORISTS AND GANGS OF THUGS”

Well put. As time goes on, the regime’s very weak narrative becomes even weaker. Right now, you could beat it up with wet spaghetti.

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July 10th, 2011, 6:04 pm

 

458. Tara said:

873,

you said you are American. How do you know the word “Fitna”?

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July 10th, 2011, 6:06 pm

 

459. Syria no kandahar said:

Ok..ok..no one is saying they are armed..we believe you Sandro bek..MB dos’t believe in armed resistance..wallahe alazem we believe you..they don’t even believe in fire crackers..they believe in throwing roses and olive branches on every one…did’t you read Hassn Albna:he said whoever hits you on your left cheek,turn your right cheek for him.There was just simple errors,you know,Nidal janood was working in meat grounding Sunni MB machine,and by mistake he fell into it…that machine is actually now used by MB to throw roses on foriegn ambassadors .And as far as jisr alshoghor ,MB was trying to launch a new project to develop BB guns for Syrian kids,so they imported the guns from turkey and the kids by mistake gave the BB guns to there parents who used them to play with Baathist mean ugly infidel soldiers who by mistake fell in the same meat grounding MB machine…those kids are now in turkey still playing with there BB guns..I swear god.. If you dont believe me even ask angilina Julie …
Sandroe Afandi…we believe you..even Alaaroor believes in peace..if you are Sunni…if not he will just have to put you in the MB grounding Sunni machine..peacefully.

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July 10th, 2011, 6:08 pm

 

460. why-discuss said:

Tara, Louai

I think the ambassador note is a fake.

It is certainly not written by an ambassador and why would he put it on Facebook page and not in an interview or a declaration.
The style is childish and his reference to tomatoes and eggs as well as “menhabak” are not what you expect from a serious diplomat.
I challenge anyone to prove he wrote it.
If he did, it would be in all newspapers, not on Facebook only and anyway everybody would have said that he writes like a schoolboy

The opposition gave the Gay Girl in Damascus, now they offer us The Uncle Sam Ambassador in Hama, the freedom fight continues…..

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July 10th, 2011, 6:19 pm

 

461. 873 said:

458. Tara

I have been to Syria many times. Studied, worked and lived there. Fantastic country. Dont be so quick to give it away.
(No that is not an endorsement for the Assads).

460. why-discuss said:
“I think the ambassador note is a fake.”

WD,
His hypocritical condescending style were just the reasons it struck me as real!?!? Consistent w/ the Axis of Evil mentality and all that. Maybe he twitters too?

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July 10th, 2011, 6:19 pm

 

462. Tara said:

Why,

I Hope it is not. I liked the use of ” menhebak” . It gave me an impression that he knows what is happening well.

I already bought the flowers. I will hold off sending them until we know for sure.

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July 10th, 2011, 6:26 pm

 

463. 873 said:

Remind Ford to send you your first paycheck too, or better yet have him pay you in cash- euro.

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July 10th, 2011, 6:37 pm

 

464. why-discuss said:

Tara

You hope it is not a fake… Why? Because he was so much in line with your views and he sounded so cool?

Send the flowers to the writer of this fake note instead. He would be happy to see that how easily he has fooled you and others.
Please don’t forget to send him and the Ambassador a fresh bunch of rotten tomatoes and eggs for me.

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July 10th, 2011, 6:40 pm

 

465. N.Z. said:

What dialogue?
There are pleading with Syrians to return! What about Anas Maarawi?????????

Syrian blogger and web developer Anas Maarawi is the latest online activist to have been detained in a series of arrests sweeping Syria.

Detained on July 1 in Damascus, news of Maarawi’s arrest did not emerge until later in the week, and since then, a Facebook page has been created, campaigning for his release. The page has already attracted over 1,800 members.

Maarawi is well known in the Middle Eastern open source community, particularly for his efforts in founding Ardroid, the first Arabic blog dedicated to the Android operating system. Some of the blog’s latest posts are now dedicated to spreading the word about Maarawi’s arrest.

Since his disappearance, aside from the Facebook campaign, several online efforts have been put in place in the hopes of pressuring the Syrian government to release Maarawi. A blog has been created, while on Twitter, the hashtag, #FreeAnas is being used to spread the word, and even Reddit and Hacker News have become a tool to spread political awareness.

Anas’ reputation precedes him, and his Twitter bio bears the short but foreboding words, “He who is brave is free.” For tips on how you can help spread the word about Anas, take a look at this list.

http://freeanas.pen.io/

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July 10th, 2011, 6:40 pm

 

466. why-discuss said:

873

I agree with the convincing condescending style but the ‘mnhebak’; and ridiculous outrage over the tomatoes and eggs was just too much! If this is true, this ambassador is just a moron.

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July 10th, 2011, 6:44 pm

 

467. Tara said:

873,

I ask you to stop the accusation. Can you?

Don’t worry. I am well paid. I do not need an added paycheck.

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July 10th, 2011, 6:47 pm

 

468. why-discuss said:

Le Monde reports that eggs, tomatoes and other food were thrown for 31 hours on the US and French embassy in Damascus. French flag was burned. The Syrian ambassador in Paris was called, as french were outraged by this demonstration against their embassy. Aren’t they sympathetic to peaceful demonstrations when they happen in Hama?

They asked the security to crackdown on these protesters.

I am surprised by the contradiction. This is freedom of expression at its best. Any one said that throwing food is not allowed in a peaceful demonstration.

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July 10th, 2011, 6:56 pm

 

469. MNA said:

Tara,

Amb Ford did not act on his own in this very delicate manner. He is the US ambassador to Syria and as such he is representing US interest in Syria. Now the last time I checked, the US does nothing humanitarian when it comes to the Middle East, it 100% follows its interests and we all know where its interests lie. This has nothing to do with conspiracies and has a lot to do with interests. Why didn’t the US intervene humanitarly in Bahrain if humanitarian intervention is its policy. We should be very careful about cheering up for humanitarian support b/c under this cover the whole military intervention in Libya started. Dignity/ karameh is very important and noble concept, but we can’t be selective about it. There is no dignity in allowing and cheering up for foreign interference in our internal affairs. Once you allow countries to interfere in your affairs you won’t be able to stop them if they decide to translate their interference to different forms. I still insist that Mr. Ford has done a favor to the regime, after all, people forgot about Hama and instead are taking about his visit.

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July 10th, 2011, 7:01 pm

 

470. Tara said:

Why,

Someone should email the embassy to ask for verification.

But You got that right. He deserves the flowers because “he was so much in line with my views and he sounded pretty cool”. And I just like cool people who agree with me. After all, It is MY flowers and I can send it to whoever I want. Just a reminder, in the future Syria, we will all have the right for freedom of speech and freedom of sending flowers. Have you heard of that?

And just for you, Why, I promise to ask the new Syrian govenment to grant us the freedom of throwing eggs and tomatoes as long as no hunger left behind. Deal?

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July 10th, 2011, 7:02 pm

 

471. Tara said:

MNA,

Why did the US support the Egyptian revolution despite having their puppet Mubarak there?

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July 10th, 2011, 7:17 pm

 

472. Syria no kandahar said:

I think we should cast votes about if Tara should send flowers or not?we are new democracy remember.she also should send eggplants to Bashar.

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July 10th, 2011, 7:20 pm

 

473. 873 said:

467. Tara said:
873,
“I ask you to stop the accusation. Can you?”

I said that to make you THINK. Do you realize what sending flowers to a foreign govt official who is trying to attack your country means? Even in the US, such an act could get one in alot of trouble under the circumstances.

You have the BEST resource you could want right inside Syria (if you are in Syria). USE IT. Get off this blog where we all have our own highly charged views and everybody makes good convincing arguments for their position.

Take a calm, free day and go visit and talk to some of those refugees from Iraq that are in Syria. Ask them what happened, why they left, why they havent returned, what is going on in Iraq? Ask about the war.
Ask if the US brought freedom as it marketed. Ask them for their opinion and advice. Just let them talk. They can give you much deeper, more valuable insights on all this than SC. It would be an invaluable investment to you and worth every minute. And it may brighten up somebody else’s day too. Talk to the refugees, starting with Iraqi women.

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July 10th, 2011, 7:32 pm

 

474. Tara said:

Kandahar

On a serious note, I think democracy is probably a learned process. If I dared to declare my desire to send flowers to the American Ambassador the first time I posted in Syria Comments, the commentators would have wanted me to be tried for great treason. Now, we are discussing getting a vote and having a reasonable exchange with MNA in regard to my rationale for saying such a horrible comment. When I first started here, I thought every one is Mukhabarat and you thought I am a terrorist. After a while, we learned you all are not Mukhabarat and I am not a terrorist.

Why

Still waiting to hear a “smart” response about my hunger line. Did you like it?

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July 10th, 2011, 7:32 pm

 

475. Friend in America said:

873 @ 434:
I disagree with the suggestion the Arab Spring in Egypt was instigated by the US. A reading of the newspapers at that time will show otherwise.
After the disturbances erupted many urged pro-active support for the students but disagreement within the US government was so strong that a decision on whether to take a position was not possible. Many in the state department, and others who had dealt with the government in Cairo, strongly argued in favor of supporting Mubarek’s government or at the very least standing aside. During the time of indecision some will remember Secretary of State Clinton made contradictory statements, not that she did not understand (she did) but because policy “signals” shifted almost daily. The Israeli government was backing the Mubarek government at that time and was making its opinion known behind the scenes. Various foreign policy think tanks held discussion after discussion to trying to develop a consensus among policy advisors. None was achieved.
President Obama finally stated publicly his support for peaceful transition and castigated those who used brutality. An impasse occurred in Egypt. Finally an agreement was made in Cairo between the protesters and military leaders for Mubarak to resign. Even then Mubarak was not required to leave the country.
My opinion at that time was the President should stand up for the values he annunciated in his 2009 Cairo speech. Sometimes I wondered if contents of that speech had been forgotten in the White House.

The statements and activities of individuals and think tanks in 2005 had no bearing. They never became the policy of the Bush administration and certainly not of the Obama administration. In 2011 nobody even remembered them.
Thank you for reading my reply and best regards,

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July 10th, 2011, 7:44 pm

 

476. why-discuss said:

Tara

I know, Tara, that you like cool people who agrees with you. Asma is cool but she prefers Chanel and you like Prada.. so no chance you send her flowers.

Do send Ford flowers with a copy of his note, then you would get the confirmation it was him who wrote it or Uncle Sam Goes to Hama facebook impersonator

Besides this ( fake?) note, he and the french ambassador have remained rather silent about their escapade in Hama, don’t you think it is strange if they had such a great time there ?

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July 10th, 2011, 7:45 pm

 

477. ss said:

US is not that stupid to bring Islamic charged radical regime to sit instead of Assad. We have to admit that Assad father and now son built a secular goverment by all means. US wants secular goverments all over the middle east. Mr. Ford and the previous consulates know that fact well. Mr./ Fords’ visit to Hama might have helped him gain some personal political points or some fame. I think it helped the Syrian goverment as well. The videos on youtube showing people throwing flowers on Mr. Fords’ car might not be a welcoming signal by the majority of Syrians who fear Iraq example in Syria. At the end of the day US wants moderate govermenets and will not attempt to bring AlQaeda MB to lead instead of Assad rather it will do the best “under the table” to help Assad pass this tough time.

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July 10th, 2011, 7:48 pm

 

478. MNA said:

Tara,

Let’s clarify few things:

1- The US did not support the Egyptian, Tunisian, Libyan revolutions at the beginning. Tunisia took it by surprise, Egypt was a done deal and the US had no choice but to support the revolution if it were to preserve any of what was left of its interests, and its support of the Libyan revolution was motivated by the desire to control another important oil source.
2- Geopolitically, Egypt under Mubarak became so marginalized that could not even affect events happening in its own backyard. It became so marginalized and ineffective that it could not even protect or carry on with US interests in the region. It was simply a depleted card and needed to be changed.
3- The outcome of post Mubarak Egypt was pretty much clear. The Egyptian army is very close to the US and the army will dictate the future of Egypt.

Now I ask you to answer my questions:
1- Why hasn’t the US supported the revolution in Bahrain?
2- Why hasn’t the US supported the revolution in Yemen?
2- Why hasn’t the US supported the revolution in Syria the same way it supported the revolutions in Egypt or Libya?

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July 10th, 2011, 7:49 pm

 

479. syau said:

873 #434,

Thanks for the clarification.

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July 10th, 2011, 7:59 pm

 

480. why-discuss said:

476

I agree fully with you on the US wanted to help Bashar as much as possible through this time.
If only we knew what information Ford and Chevallier gathered in Hama.
I thought that for once we would get a serious report on the real situation there. Instead we get a (fake?)note on facebook, attributed to Ford, enthusiastically cheered by the opposition, that says exactly what the opposition wants to hear about Hama’s people. It also make Ford appear like Robin Hood supporting these peaceful, cheerful and hungry protesters in Hama.

Ford may have seen the exact opposite: a religiously charged crowd, indicating without any doubt what sort of government they want.
When and how would we know? Were is wikileaks??

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July 10th, 2011, 8:03 pm

 

481. louai said:

Tara , i like most what you wrote but completely disagree with you regarding the nature of the visit and i will write to you later

WD

i hope it’s a fake but its too late , he spoiled my evening already, however the visit was not a fake unfortunately.

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July 10th, 2011, 8:08 pm

 

482. Tara said:

Dear Why,

I am not understanding you well here. What do you mean with the “Ambassadors have remained rather silent about their escapade in Hama”. I thought the “schoolboy style” letter reflects his findings during the excursion.

I was hoping you come back with a smart response to my hunger line. Did you like it? 31 hours of throwing tomatoes and eggs can help combating hunger. May be they should offer it to the Syrians first then send it to Africa if no interest?

I hope you celebrate Eid. I do. It is coming at the end of Ramadan as you know. We like to exchange gifts during Eid in my family so I will be asking some family members of mine who are close to the regime to find me a one of a kind digital picture of Asma..and Bashar. It would be my gift to you for Eid, only if you promise to find a super elegant frame for it. I think that might lessen your desire for throwing eggs and tomatoes on people.

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July 10th, 2011, 8:15 pm

 

483. 873 said:

“At the end of the day US wants moderate govermenets and will not attempt to bring AlQaeda MB to lead instead of Assad rather it will do the best “under the table” to help Assad pass this tough time.”

Moderate like Saudi Arabia who gets their FULL support? or the Taliban/Al Qaeda which they themselves created? Or Hamas which Israel created? They brought in the Ayatollah when the Shah was no longer useful. They even made offers to Hezbollah shortly after 911, if they’d play their game. Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Egypt regimes were all very secular and they’re history. I dont think they care one way or the other- just so long as it serves their ends. They’ll take whoever agrees to serve them. Hegelian methods.

Both Wayne Madsen (former NSA) and a top oil co CEO said they were bringing in MB governance all over the middle east. These 2 guys are usually reliable.

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July 10th, 2011, 8:24 pm

 

484. syau said:

SS,

The Taliban was an Islamic charged radical organisation, that didn’t stop the US from funding and supporting them. What’s to stop them from saying to any country they succeed in destabilising, that they can remove them too if they veer off course.

There’s a bigger game at play here, and I think that any opportunity they have at preventing Syria from being a powerful player in the world wide chess game, they will use it no matter who is used in the process. Weakening Syria would weaken other regional players…..The ends justifies the means.

873, Just saw you post, I totally agree.

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July 10th, 2011, 8:27 pm

 

485. daleandersen said:

Memo To: SS & MNA

“…we have to admit that Assad father and now son built a secular goverment by all means…”

Because the Assads are afraid of religion. While their torturers were beating a teenage protestor to death, they screamed at the poor kid to admit that Bashar Assad is “God.”

“…Mr. Ford has done a favor to the regime…”

Absolutely. No question. He reminded Junior that if he wants flowers and olive branches, he has to rule with justice and compassion. Bashar could start by getting rid of his mafia. But that would be hard. Mafioso don’t like it when you fire them.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Dale_Andersen/syrians-flee-opposition-town-hama-government-crackdown-_n_891980_95983081.html

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July 10th, 2011, 8:29 pm

 

486. MNA said:

Amb Ford’s visit was a win /win situation for both the US and the Syrian government.
1- The US administration scored some points with a small majority of the Syrian people and positioned itself in a better situation should events go favorably in the direction of the protestors.
2- The US administration favorably positioned itself in the upcoming congress confirmation hearing of Amb Ford
3- The Syrian government got a confirmation to its story of conspiracy and foreign intervention by none other than the US.
4- The Syrian government will most surely get support from many Syrians as a result of this perceived foreign intervention in local affairs.
But regardless of the true motive behind this visit and who lost or gained as a result, we should all condemn it with the strongest terms. For the Anti-regime, super powers or non don’t do things for humanitarian reasons, they do things that serve their interests and sooner or later they will demand a payback and you better be able to afford the price. And for the pro-regime, if the US is doing the regime a favor and helping it thru this difficult time, we should ask our self what is that they want in return and whether or not you will be able to afford it.

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July 10th, 2011, 8:35 pm

 

487. 873 said:

474. Friend in America said:
873 @ 434:
“I disagree with the suggestion the Arab Spring in Egypt was instigated by the US. A reading of the newspapers at that time will show otherwise.”

This is not a matter of opinion or interpretation, its fact. If you’re not willing to do the research into the think tanks, funding documents etc that spanned Bush and Obama years and who were behind the uprisings? No problem.
but alot of proof is out there that these were not ‘spontaneous’ uprisings any more than a bunch of guys in a cave pulled off 911. (Despite fact that OBL was an admitted CIA asset. Logistically, it just wasnt possible.) George Soros even discussed some of the pre-planning – maybe at Davos- dont recall offhand.

Again, that doesnt mean the masses are working for CIA or anything like that, or that they arent fighting for legit reasons. But their frustrations were ignited and harnessed by the syndicate. It also doesnt mean that the countries cant use it to their own advantage and really change.

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July 10th, 2011, 8:37 pm

 

488. syau said:

Why is ‘democratic’ Isreal barring pro Palestinian activists from entering the country?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4PbZuQe74A

Aboud, What’s happening in Homs at the moment, anything interesting?

Also, according to Hama news, the peaceful riotors, sorry protesters are occuiping the streets and imposing a curfew and threatening to burn any car they see after 10:00pm.

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July 10th, 2011, 8:42 pm

 

489. 873 said:

“And for the pro-regime, if the US is doing the regime a favor and helping it thru this difficult time, we should ask our self what is that they want in return and whether or not you will be able to afford it.”

I agree with most of what you said, except the above sentence. Syria wouldnt BE in this mayhem to start with if it werent for the US meddling. They want to bring Assad down so they can cut off Hezbollah, to then maybe attack Iran. The tripartite of Syria, Hez, and Iran has got to be ruptured- from which ever side is willing to cave or play ball so US can weaken and isolate the other. What if they turned the tables and they ALL decided simultaneously to become slaves and play ball? It could get interesting!?!! (Iran announced that they have been invited to sit in on NATO meetings and Ahmedinejad is always calling for a NWO.)
This whole saga could turn out to be the Mother of all Rabbit Holes!

In that case what would Israel do?? Since it wont want to stop attacking until the Nile-Efrat property is theirs’.

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July 10th, 2011, 8:48 pm

 

490. MNA said:

873,

I was just making the point that once we agree that countries and especially super powers don’t make policy decisions out of humanitarian concerns, no one should welcome such a visit regardless of once perception. It is simply up to no good.

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July 10th, 2011, 8:57 pm

 

491. syau said:

Tara,

Take a look at this, and please let me know what you think.

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=en/Article/view/95399

Reports emerging that the leader of the terrorist group in Homs has been apprehended by the Syrian army. Hopefully the area will be cleared of all armed gangs asap.

May God protect the Syrian army and hasten their efforts in eradicating all armed gangs in Syria.

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July 10th, 2011, 9:13 pm

 

492. Norman said:

SYAU,

I would not be surprised as the US needed a card it can use against Syria and Hezbollah, 1959 was the excuse that they need to implicate Syria , Hariri fell in the trap as he thought they really wanted to help Lebanon get rid of Syria.

They just wanted to have a reason for Syria and Hezbollah to be accused.

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July 10th, 2011, 9:24 pm

 

493. Tara said:

Syau

I think WHY-DISCUSSED posted a link last Saturday from qiffa nabki in that regard. Nasrallah evidence of STL lack of objectivity sounded very credible.

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July 10th, 2011, 9:35 pm

 

494. syau said:

Norman,

Yes, Hariri Sr fell into the trap, and I don’t think he knew Hariri Jr was one of those setting the trap.

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July 10th, 2011, 9:40 pm

 

495. Norman said:

SYAU,

I thought about junior being involved , but felt that he is too stupid to plan anything and too clumsy to be trusted with a complex plan like this,

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July 10th, 2011, 9:48 pm

 

496. Norman said:

WD,
this is not the Embassy face book page as the Embassy will not quot the AL Quds Al Arabi,

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July 10th, 2011, 10:43 pm

 

497. 5 dancing shlomos said:

not sure why anyone would be impresssed with anything the american ambassador says or does.

he is the ambassador of zionized america: a jewish controlled white house, state dept, and congress,propaganda tanks, and media (jsm).

any thing he says, no matter how pleasing, has to be taken with a grain of salt then spat out – back into his face.

zionized america(and the shitty one) is the starter, stirrer, agitator behind the violence in syria.

zionized amurderka wants a servile, degraded, dependent syria.

he is no friend. nothing from america, the west, is from friendship.

it is war. his actions are a tactic.

treat him for what he is: the representative of the enemies’ dog. israel is the enemy and america is israel’s servile dog.

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July 11th, 2011, 11:44 am

 

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