In Mezzeh, Wealthy Sunnis Begin to Demonstrate; Washington Unlikely to Arm Syrians Soon; Friends of Syria to Meetin in Tunis

The demonstrations in Mezzeh, Damascus, as shown above, suggest that the revolt has spread to the heart of bourgeois Damascus, an area many said would not be affected. The Homs repression is spreading revolt to new areas. The opposition is not being cowed. In this video police shoot into the air in order to frighten the women of Mezzeh, Damascus. It does not seem that security shot into the crowd, but the fear and anger is all too clear. It will grow.

[Correction] (A Friend wrote to say: “the demonstration was in old mazzeh, not the wealthy part, the part near the old hospital, the poor part.)

The Syrian opposition is gaining strength and spreading to new areas of Syria with each passing weak. Government action makes it stronger, as does government inaction. Assad faces a catch 22. He has no way forward. The opposition, despite its multitude of jostling leaders is developing new communication and activist networks all the time. The destruction of Sunni neighborhoods in Homs has outraged Syrians across the country. Growing lawlessness has dispirited those who would support the government. Inflation and economic hardship is overtaking everyone in a constant reminder that things will get worse and that Assad is leading the country off a cliff.

The “Friends of Syria” conference will be held in Tunis on Friday. It is still unclear which countries will be represented. One can assume that the Gulf countries, Egypt, Turkey, Europeans, and the US will be there, as well as the SNC. Will the Free Syrian Army be invited to send representatives? Will other military leaders turn up?

US General Dempsey said that it was “premature” to arm the opposition. In all likelihood, Washington will want to go slow on supplying weapons to opposition leaders – after all, whom would it give them to? The SNC seems too divided and too weak. Also, Saudi, Turkey and the US are unlikely to agree on whom to arm. Most importantly, however, the US has been unable to control events in the Middle Easter countries that have gone through regime-change. Washington’s record of picking winners is dismal. Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress did not work out. Hamid Karzai? Few give him long odds of surviving US withdrawal. Bashir Gemayyel did not do well in Lebanon, if one goes back a few decades.

Washington may be well advised to hang back from supplying more than humanitarian and communications assistance for the time being. It will get a better sense of which leaders are able to speak for most Syrians in the future. If it backs one leader or party today, others may emerge tomorrow only to feel slighted or to turn for help from America’s competitors. Washington will not be able to change boats in mid-stream. What is more, the success and growing strength of the Syrian revolution suggests that Assad is unlikely to win. Support for the Syrian opposition is a humanitarian issue but not a strategic issue, if one calculates in a heartless fashion. The revolution will win on its own. Who knows, Syrians may even be the better for it?

العقوبات وحدها لن تُجدي by Nikolaos van Dam in All4Syria.

معظم الدول الغربية تفكّر من منظور العدالة وهي محقة في ذلك لأن هناك أشياء فظيعة تحدث في سوريا ولكن يجب عليهم أن يفكروا بطريقة للحل وهذا مالم يحدث على الأقل حتى الان.

– اختار الغرب العقوبات فهل ترى أن ذلك مجدٍ ؟
أنا أتفهم فرض العقوبات ولكنني أخشى أن تكون هذه العقوبات بدون النتائج المأمولة، إذا كنت ترغب بالسيطرة على الموقف فعليك أن لا تقطع التواصل المباشر لأنّ العقوبات بمفردها لن تكون مجدية.

– هل استخدمت روسيا الفيتو اذاً من أجل الحفاظ على القنوات مفتوحة مع النظام في سوريا ؟
يعتقد الروس أنه من المبكر اجراء التصويت على قرار في مجلس الأمن، وكانوا يعتزمون إجراء حوار مع الأسد في نفس الاسبوع كما كان لديهم مشاكل مع هذا القرار والذي يشير الى ضرورة تنحي الأسد لأن أي شيء يدعوا الى تغيير النظام هو قرارمشبوه بالنسبة لموسكو.

– هل للسيناريو الليبي حيث وافقت روسيا على التدخل تأثير عن موقف روسيا الحالي ؟
نعم بكل تأكيد ..فقد شاهدت روسيا كيف تم تحوير وتفسير قرار مجلس الأمن، فالقرار بدأ بمنطقة حظر طيران وانتهى بتغيير النظام من خلال الدعم العسكري لحلف الأطلسي، كما يعتقد الروس أنّ على الأمم المتحدة أن تدين العنف من قبل جميع الأطراف وليس من طرف النظام فقط…..

Ehsani on Aleppo:

Schools in Aleppo have been receiving bomb threats. Some have closed till march 6 (french school and Icarda). My sister pulled her kids out of the school on Thursday. Aleppo has lots of streets closed. Military and security everywhere. Ugly stuff. Just heart breaking.

Basma Qudmani speaks with 5 Israeli authors on French TV – this video has been circulating heavily on activist networks. Rumor is that it has been put out by Islamists within the SNC to delegitimize her and the liberals in the SNC.

She says approvingly that Egypt has an emerging civil society that has nothing to do with Islam. She says that Arabs need Israel’s existance.

This video is another expression of the tense battle being waged between the two wings of the SNC: Islamists and liberals. On Feb 15, Burhan Ghalioun’s term as leader of the SNC was extended by two months. He is a noted liberal, who like Qudmani has lived some three decades in Paris. It is noteworthy that the executive council of the SNC could agree to extend his term by only two months. Mechanisms for deciding on leadership are yet to be completely worked out. In the meantime, the liberals of the SNC seem to have the upper hand. Islamists put forward Haytham Maleh as their candidate. He is a human rights lawyer who has had a storied career defending activists in Syria. He has spend decades in prison himself and is fearless. He is in his 80s.

بسمة قضماني: العرب “بح اجة” لوجود “اسرائيل”!! ( فيديو)

Syrian opposition invited to Tunis conference

Syrian opposition groups will take part in an international conference on the crisis in Syria on Friday, Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem said, warning against an “Iraqi scenario”.

Abdessalem said participants at the Rome meeting of the so-called “5+5” states had agreed on the need to defend Syria’s territorial unity: “We don’t want an Iraqi scenario… We have to preserve the integrity of Syria.”

“I don’t think any Arab country is going to ask for military intervention (in Syria). European countries don’t want it either,” he said.

Referring to the “Friends of Syria” conference on Friday, he added: “We believe that on the 24th of this month, we shall send a strong message to the Syrian government.”

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said of the meeting: “It has to be inclusive. Of course the opposition has to be present.”

Abdessalem had said in Tunis on Friday that the SNC, the largest opposition group in strife-ridden Syria, would not be officially represented at the conference.

Trade with the US Falls 31 Percent over Sanctions – Syria Report

Syria’s Inflation Rate Doubled in December, 13-02-2012 Syria Report

Syria’s official inflation rate almost doubled in December, partially reflecting the steep increase in prices witnessed in the local market in recent weeks.

The Syrian Pound has remained stable since the beginning of February, trading at around 72 pounds per US Dollar in black market dealings.

Syria’s private banking sector saw a decline of some 13.5 percent in total assets last year although it managed to increase revenues and profits, largely on the back of foreign currency revaluations.

Poultry Farming Impacted by Revolution– Syria Report

…steep increase in the prices of eggs and chicken in the local market. Input prices, in particular for corn and soybean, which are used as feed for chicken, have risen. So has increased the cost of petroleum coke used for heating. One other factor that has impacted the industry is the current unrest. Indeed, most poultry farms are located in the Governorates of Homs, Hama and Rural Damascus, which are the hotbeds of the current popular revolt gripping Syria. …

According to some estimates, the number of people whose livelihood depends on the sector is around 1 million. The FCA estimates the average annual growth of the sector in the last decade at 15 percent. Last year, exports stood at around 1.24 billion eggs, or 35 percent of total production; Iraq is Syria’s main export market, the FCA report said.

2 judicial officials assassinated in Syria – LA Times

A judge and lawyer, along with their driver, are reportedly killed in Idlib. Across Syria, at least 20 are slain, including nine in Homs, the opposition says.

Syrian troops have massed around Homs as top US Officer says Arming Opposition Premature

The top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, said any intervention in Syria would be “very difficult” and that it was “premature” to arm the unrest-swept country’s opposition movement.

And China’s influential People’s Daily warned any Western support for Syria’s rebels would lead to a “large-scale civil war”.

Activists and Syrian state media reported at least 14 people were killed on Sunday, adding to the more than 6000 people who have died in President Bashar al-Assad’s 11-month crackdown on dissent.

“Infantry troops arrived yesterday (Sunday) in Homs,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said by phone on Monday.

A Homs-based activist voiced fears of an imminent attack on Baba Amr, the main rebel stronghold in the central city, speaking of “unprecedented military reinforcements coming from Damascus”….

Tribal bonds strengthen the Gulf’s hand in a new Syria – The National
by Hassan Hassan,

Will the “tribal crescent” that extends from northern Syria to western Iraq and Jordan down to the Gulf, replace the Shia crescent? Underlying all the other complexities of Syria, ancient tribal allegiances that pre-date national boundaries add an additional layer of motivations…

details about the protest movement in Al Jazira show that the hold of the tribes remains strong. In the early months of protests, there was friction among the tribes on how to react. Al Jarrah, one of the powerful clans in the city of Al Bukamal, and a part of the Egaidat confederation, is led by a government official, who even armed some of the clan’s members to quell protests. This pushed another prominent tribe in the confederation, Al Dandal, to mediate between the government and young protesters, in an effort that failed. By then, some protesters had begun arming themselves and shooting at security forces

The chief of the Egaidat, who has influence across the tribes in the confederation, asked the pro-government leader to disarm his people and stop working with the security forces. Finally, tribal leaders on all sides agreed to prevent clashes with the security forces and to not interfere in the protests.

Other leaders have refused to take part in the protest movement because they feel it is their responsibility to protect their clan. Abdullah Ghadawi, a political editor for the Saudi newspaper Okaz who is from Al Bukamal, told me one tribal leader had said that he was against the regime but he could not endanger his tribe by fighting. For the same reason, heads of families say they stand by President Bashar Al Assad only to discourage their children from taking part in protests. A similar scenario plays out in Suwaida and Raqqa, where there have been few protests.

This influence will remain strong for the foreseeable future. Politicians may be drawn from the ranks of the educated younger generation, unlike in the past when members of parliament were almost all tribal leaders, but the latter will still be respected

Another possible trend that favours Gulf influence in Syria is the growing prominence of Salafism (as opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has strong links to Turkey). Salafism is increasing especially in tribal areas, partly because of the return of Syrians who have worked in the Gulf.

How the Gulf states will use these levers of influence remains to be seen, however. “Saudi Arabia has a limited understanding of the nature and diversity of the Syrian opposition,” said Emile Hokayem, a Middle East analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “and risks espousing too closely the perspective of its tribal and Wahhabi interlocutors.” Riyadh risks overreliance on the tribes, which remain largely divided

But if these links are harnessed, the Gulf states’ influence will extend from the north of Syria to western Iraq and Jordan, creating a “tribal crescent” in place of Iran’s “Shia crescent” that today extends from Iran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Video: ‘No NATO military action in Syria’

Syria ‘disintegrating under crippling sanctions’
19 February 2012

Free Syrian Army members in Idlib, 18 FebOne of Syria’s leading businessmen says its economy is being crippled by foreign sanctions and that the government is slowly disintegrating.

Faisal al-Qudsi, the son of a former Syrian president, told the BBC the military action could only last six months and then there would be “millions of people on the streets”.

But he said President Bashar al-Assad’s government would fight to the end.

The 11-month uprising against Mr Assad has claimed thousands of lives.

Human rights groups have put the figure at more than 7,000, while the government says at least 2,000 members of the security forces have been killed combating “armed gangs and terrorists”.

The violence continued on Saturday, when Syrian troops fired on mourners during a funeral that turned into a mass demonstration in Damascus. Activists say at least one person was killed there and some 20 across the country.

‘Catch 22’:  Speaking to the BBC’s Weekend World Today programme, Mr Qudsi said the economy had been crippled by sanctions and that although Iran was sending money, it was not enough.

An Iraqi fighter in Syria’s civil war – Independent

In Syria, Opposition Struggles To Gain Foreign Support
February 20, 2012 – Stratfor

Despite several efforts to come together, Syria’s opposition groups remain fractured. There are two viable groups that the West could work with, the Syrian National Council and the National Coordination Committee, but they have incompatible views on how to oust the regime and neither has the clear support of Syria’s protesters. Unless they can overcome their differences, the opposition groups are unlikely to receive the international support they need to overthrow the regime in Damascus.


Since the beginning of the unrest in Syria, a propaganda war has raged between the regime of President Bashar al Assad and the various opposition groups. The Syrian regime has portrayed itself as united and strong and the opposition as radical terrorists. Meanwhile, the opposition has claimed that the regime is splintering and that the opposition is strong and capable of replacing it. Perception is important because the Syrian opposition cannot succeed in ousting the al Assad regime without the support of the Syrian people and foreign governments.

But the reality is that despite extensive efforts to unite, Syria’s opposition groups remain fractured. Of the 14 or more opposition groups in the country, only two, the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the National Coordination Committee (NCC), are being considered by the West as feasible groups to work with to bring about democratic change inside Syria.

Comments (379)

Pages: « 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 » Show All

51. zoo said:

I would not be surprised that there are Russians military advisors on site in Homs as there are hardly any condamnation from the Russian media about what the western media fed by the opposition are calling “a massacre”.
I think that the international community is expecting Bab Amr to fall just like Zabadani and they are preparing for humanitarian aid.

“Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Russia will put forward a proposal at the U.N. Security Council in the coming days regarding humanitarian aid to Syria, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

“Churkin was quoted by the agency as telling Vesti 24 television on Monday that the council “could undertake concrete steps aimed at solving humanitarian issues, relying, among other things, on the fact that Damascus allowed the Red Cross to bring humanitarian aid to some regions.”

Churkin gave no details about the proposal, his spokesman Anton Uspensky told AP. R”
The Baba Amr neighborhood on Homs’ southwest edge has become the centerpiece of the city’s opposition. Hundreds of army defectors are thought to be taking shelter there, clashing with troops in hit-and-run attacks each day.

Amateur videos posted online showed what activists said were shells falling into Baba Amr. Black smoke billowed from residential areas. Phone lines and Internet connections have been cut with the city, making it difficult to get firsthand accounts from Homs residents.

In Geneva, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross said the group has been in talks with Syrian authorities and opposition groups to negotiate a cease-fire in some of the most violence-torn areas.

“We are currently discussing several possibilities with all those concerned, and it includes a cessation of fighting in the most affected areas,” the spokeswoman, Carla Haddad, told the AP.

She said the talks weren’t aimed at resolving any of the entrenched political differences.

“The idea is to be able to facilitate swift access to people in need,” Haddad said


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February 20th, 2012, 9:43 pm


52. Tara said:

Defected Syria general vows return, fight
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

Turkmen-origin Syrian Air Force Gen Fayez Amro has defected to Turkey while another Syrian defector, Lt Abdulselam Abdulrezzak, claims chemical weapons were used in the Bab Amr neighborhood of Homs
…. .

Lt. Abdulselam Abdulrezzak, who used to work in the chemical weapons department in the Syrian army and defected to Turkey last week, said chemical weapons were used against civilians during the military offensive of the Syrian security forces in Bab Amr. “BZ-CS, Chlorine Benzilate, which damages people’s nerves and makes them fade away, is being used in Bab Amr. They wanted to also use it in Zabadani [on the Lebanese border] but they made an agreement with the Free Syrian Army forces at the last minute and they backtracked. I couldn’t stand all these and ran away,” Abdulrezzak told the Daily News on Feb. 19.


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February 20th, 2012, 9:57 pm


53. Anton said:


Thanks for your comments, however, without argumenting if you are right or wrong, I believe your definitions could apply to at least 135 countries world wide.

I am really interested to hear Dr Landis point of view

Thanks in advance

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February 20th, 2012, 9:59 pm


54. ann said:

Iraqi gunmen afoot to join Syrian insurgency (PHOTOS) – 20 February, 2012

The Syrian government has long claimed the opposition was being largely helped by foreigners, and the regime is fighting armed insurgents.

Last week the US spy chief told the Congress President Bashar Al-Assad is also fighting against Al-Qaeda of Iraq. James Clapper suggested that Syrian opposition groups, fighting against the existing regime may have been infiltrated by Al-Qaeda.

raqi officials and arms dealers say weapons and Sunni Muslim insurgents were seeping from Iraq into Syria, fuelling violence in the country.

Iraqi security officials confirmed there were signs Sunni insurgents have been crossing the border to join Al-Assad’s opponents. Gun smugglers are cashing in, as prices doubled for weapons they have brought across the border in commercial cargoes.

The Archbishop in the city of Aleppo points out that Christians in Syria currently fear for their safety, and those who are able to afford it, are leaving the country. Several dozen Christians were murdered in the Syrian city of Homs by insurgents “who are in the pay of NATO”, he said in an interview with the Catholic News Agency.

At least 2,000 Syrian civilians, soldiers and policemen became “victims because of the hatred” of radical Islamists, he said. The Archbishop also said that those victims often got “tortured, mutilated” before being murdered.

Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart added that “the [mainstream] media do not report about the fact that extremists and mercenaries from Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Libya and Pakistan or from Syria infiltrate the country.”


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February 20th, 2012, 10:10 pm


55. anton said:

Dear Mr. Dawoud

I wrote earlier today in response to an earlier comment, please see below. also I would like to add one more notice, in any future election in Syria , each person count as ONE VOTE , yours including. Then what you will do if the actual president , get elected with 51% or more of Syrians vote?

@198. Anton said:

Dear Mr. Dawoud

I believe that any radical view will not be appreciated in the future Syria unless radicals will govern Syria , which I believe 80% of all Syrians are refusing to accept and allowing it to happened.

I believe also that your view on the Syrian president and government is far from facts and one sided, in the actual crises there is no black and white instead there are a lot of gray areas.

I believe also unless you are living in Syria and engaged in a political party with known political program having enough people support and asked to represent them , you need to talk only on behalf of yourself and not of any other Syrian, otherwise you will be seen as another propagandist and losing your argument .

I believe also that Syrians Christians are not afraid but mostly concerned about Syria’s future, in my opinion Syrians Christian are always and will be pro-Syria, from my point of view as long as president Assad or “any other president in his place today” trying to protect the interest of Syria and Syrian people regardless their back ground, will have full support from the majority of Syrians Christian.

Please do not take my above comment as personal, it’s just my opinion


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February 20th, 2012, 10:11 pm


56. Shabbi7 said:

Remember Arwa Damon’s report about a regime mercenary admitting killing 60+ people? Here is her “report”:

It was originally shared with us by Ann (

So it turns out, yet again, it was another kidnapped person–in this case a policeman.

شرطي يروي قصة اختطافه وإجباره على الحديث تحت التهديد مع شبكة سي ان ان

إلى ذلك روى الشرطي ثائر المرجان قصة اختطافه على يد مجموعات إرهابية مسلحة فقال.. خلال عودتي من الدوام يوم السبت تعرضت مجموعة إرهابية للباص الذي ينقلني مع رفاقي في منطقة قارة بريف دمشق وبدؤوا يطلقون النار علينا, فأصبت وبعد عشرين دقيقة جاء أناس على الدراجات النارية وعددها بين 50 و60 دراجة نارية وأخذوني إلى منطقة مجهولة في قارة ليست بعيدة عن الطريق العام وبقيت فيها حتى الساعة 10 ليلاً.

وأضاف المرجان.. إن أفراد المجموعة الإرهابية غطوا عيني واقتادوني إلى منطقة فليطة حسب قولهم وبقيت فيها يومي الأحد والاثنين ويوم الثلاثاء ثم أخذوني إلى مكان ثالث وقالوا لي أنت الآن في بلدة عرسال اللبنانية وهناك جاؤوا بشبكة سي إن إن الأمريكية وكان يوجد رجل يتكلم الإنكليزية بطلاقة ومعه امرأة تترجم لي كلامه.

وقال المرجان لقنني الرجل ماذا أقول عن تهريب السلاح وأني كنت شبيحا وقمعت المظاهرات وذلك تحت الضرب والتعذيب والتنكيل والتهديد.

Scroll to the bottom for this specific reference. Feel free to read the rest to learn more about what the dabbi7a are doing.

Of all the stories on that page, only some western and Gulf media mentioned the killing of the two army officers, but all ignored everything else, including the massacre of 15 health care workers and wounding of 27 others.

EDIT: Although the shabbi7’s face is blurred in the CNN report, it appears consistent with SANA’s photo of the victim. His name is coincidentally also Tha’er.

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February 20th, 2012, 10:18 pm


57. MM said:

“It does not seem that security shot into the crowd”

See 1:02, Gov’t gunman firing horizontally in wanton fashion, subsequent to this, there are people on the ground. Since they were in the front, they were not trampled or injured in any other way.

The government hospitals in the city refused to treat these individuals. I don’t know what happened to them.

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February 20th, 2012, 10:37 pm


58. Ghufran said:

One of my biggest disappointment next to the horrific loss of lives is how this uprising failed to unite Syians and how it polarized syrians in ways I never thought possible.
What I always considered to be moderate and fair minded people were transformed into loyal defenders of one camp or the other. Uniting Syrians will be a daunting task,but there is no way for Syria to be rebuilt if its people stay divided and resentful.
The regime succeeded in scaring minorities,thanks in part to the violent turn events took and the obvious Islamization of this uprising,I am afraid that Basma’s famous video,which I posted before Joshua :),was an inside job,I expect more of that especially that some opposition voices,one at least was linked on this blog,were too quick to condemn her.
The violent attacks coupled with the infiltration of the opposition by terrorist elements is another problem,and one of its immediate results is making western leaders more hesitant about supporting the opposition,all calls about keeping this uprising peaceful and limiting the use of arms to self defense fell on deaf ears. When this is all and done,historians will blame the violent factions for the defeat of the uprising,if it fails,or the civil war that follows,if violence continues,in either way,the dream of a quick change to a civil secular and democratic government will remain as a dream for the near future.
كل ثوره و انتم بخير
غداً الثلاثاء البدينه و بعده الصيام

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February 20th, 2012, 10:42 pm


59. DAWOUD said:

# 51 ANN

With all due respect, can you check and see if Putin’s RT and China’s Xinhuanet have any articles on Moqtadah al-Sadr’s and Hasan Nasrallah’s shia militias entering Syria to aid Bashar’s murderous forces and Shabiha?
Neither this article nor Ms. Qadamani’s flirtation with Zionists would alter the fact that Syrians’ ongoing courageous revolution started spontaneously and is homegrown and domestically-led.

# 52 Mr. Anton
I admit that I did read your earlier reply to my comment, but I decided not to reply to you when I read that you asked Professor Landis to explain why he had labeled Bashar as a dicator. I avoided you because you seem to be a nice person and I didn’t want to be intellectually rude to you. I just couldn’t find words to make me not rude to you when you question if Bashar is a dictator. Asking whether Bashar is a dictator is like asking whether Rick Santorum is religious fundamentalist. It so so obvious that it does not deserve a reply.
Now, if %80 of Syrians wouldn’t accept radicals, then you are validly refuting the Syrian regime’s and its apologists’ argument that the MB and radicals would take over. Bashar has lost his chance to rule after almost 12 years of corruption (Rami Makhlouf is a “businessman”) and after killing thousand of Syrians. You likely agree with me that at least %80 of Syrians want real democracy and reforms. Let’s depose Damascus’ murderer and his thugs and have real free elections. Yes, % 51 is a majority in a parliamentary democracy that utilizes the proportional representation electoral system, as opposed to the “winner-take-all” system that prevails here in the United States.
I still suspect that a future Syrian democratic government would begin by basing itself on consensus, rather than majority, in order to include as much diversity as possible to assure secularists and minorities.
I understand that Syrian Christians have concerns, but they should understand that their interests would be undermined in the long-run if they stick with a murderous dictatorship, which would inevitable fall. Naming Rajha, a Christian, to be minister of defense was Bashar’s foxy way to attach minorities to his regime and take advantage of their anxieties. He may also please the Russian Orthodox church whose figures and frequently seen on Bashar’s media meeting with Damascus’ butcher. Syrian Christians are educated and sophisticated and they would abandon him at the right time and pursue their legitimate path.
In any case, there is no turning back! All Syrians should jump on the train before it leaves the station. Sticking with Bashar is like a deep sleep on the Titanic during its final minutes!

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February 20th, 2012, 10:46 pm


60. Leo Syriacus said:

I have to agree with the comment that “wealthy Damascenes” is inaccurate, wealthy Damascenes who are against the regime would be talking to their fellow wealthy friends in Arabia,Europe, or America about toppling the regime they will never risk their lives in demonstrations faced with the regime’s live bullets
Those who demonstrated in Mezzeh are Syrian middle class educated youth ( my four cousins were there ) ..they are Syria’s future, its brains and its economy, rich and poor, urban and rural, liberal and conservative, Kurd and Arab, Muslim and Christian..they are the ones who matter the most and the ones who will topple the regime and build the future

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February 20th, 2012, 10:51 pm


61. Norman said:


It is not the regime that scared the minorities, it is the oppositions that did that from what they said or did not say and from they did or did not do,

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February 20th, 2012, 10:58 pm


62. Shabbi7 said:

I did a quick scan of previous comments and it seems the following was not shared yet.

If you want a good laugh, here is 6ar6our’s reaction to the Qudmani “scandal”.

My source to the video, along with a well-written article, is from al-7aqiqa

PS: I don’t really think this story is a scandal because us shabbi7a knew from the start that the people in the SNC stink – all of them. On the other hand, the dabbi7a think that the west and Gulf want the best for the Syrian people.

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February 20th, 2012, 11:09 pm


63. ann said:


With all due respect:

– Moqtadah al-Sadr did not illegally invade and destroy Iraq on behalf of israel.

– Hasan Nasrallah is a hero who kicked the israeli occupation forces out of Lebanon.

– The only murderous killers in Syria are NATOs cold blooded islamist terrorist mercenaries.

– There’s nothing courageous or spontaneous or homegrown or domestically led. There’s only NATO paid blood thirsty killers.

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February 20th, 2012, 11:20 pm


64. Shabbi7 said:

In my previous post, I linked to the SANA reporting the assassination of Aleppine businessman Ma7moud Ramadhan by the peaceful dabbi7a (

Here are the dabbi7a announcing the time and location of his upcoming funeral. Expect a bunch of videos of “Aleppo joins the revolution” some time tomorrow and the day after. Either that, or a video of them being chased and beaten by shabbi7a like last time (along with the priceless reaction of Syria Comment’s dabbi7a activists) 😉

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February 20th, 2012, 11:26 pm


65. majedkhaldoun said:

Even Bashar himself admitted in one of the interviews that he is a dictator,yet you see people asking this question.

God bless the FSA

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February 20th, 2012, 11:28 pm


66. syria no kandahar said:

Deep analysis of Chess Geopolitics game in syria,syrians are the pieces of this game,playrs are enjoying drinking syrians blood while the game is going on.when it is time for kishmat,syria will be dead.
كان إسقاط الأسد مخرجاً مهماً لكسر هذا التحالف. الآن تتغير الصورة. يطل شبح السلفية برأسه فتقلق أميركا. يكثر الكلام عن محاولات تقارب جديدة مع الروس، ولا بأس أن يكون الإيرانيون والأتراك حاضرين ومساهمين في إيجاد مخارج.
المعلومات الموثوقة تشير إلى أن رفع منسوب الكلام الأميركي عن «القاعدة» يمهد لشيء آخر. يجري الحديث عن سيناريوهات متعددة، أبرزها أن يجري اتفاق على المرحلة الانتقالية في سوريا بحيث يبقى النظام كما هو ويسلم الرئيس السلطة إلى مسؤول آخر من قلب النظام. ترفض روسيا هذا الاقتراح حتى الآن. وثاني السيناريوهات أن يبقى الرئيس وتتغير طبيعة النظام وتتوسع. يرفض الأميركيون والفرنسيون هذا الاقتراح، ذلك انه بات من الصعب جدا التراجع عن مبدأ تنحي الرئيس. يثار احتمال ثالث يقضي بحوار بين السلطة الحالية بقيادة بشار الأسد والمعارضة يؤدي إلى تفاهم حول حكومة وحدة وطنية ومرحلة انتقالية تتضمن انتخابات وآلية لضمان نزاهة هذه الانتخابات. يعمل الروس والصينيون والإيرانيون على هذا الاحتمال، وتأمل طهران بضم أنقرة إلى هذا الاحتمال.

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February 20th, 2012, 11:32 pm


67. DAWOUD said:

# 61 ANN

Thanks for replying. This is the real Hasan Nasrallah:

Syria’s Sunnis opened their houses and donated their gold to Lebanon’s Shias who fled Israel’s war crimes in 2006. In return, Hasan sided with Bashar! Still, Syrian Sunnis are not sectarian like Hasan and they support Lebanon if it faces another Israeli attack.
[I apologize if you don’t speak Arabic]

I do agree with you that Iraq was invaded and destroyed on behalf of Israel. I mentioned Moqtadah because he is a master of sectarian warfare. He has already voiced his support for Damascus’ murderer.

Hamza al-Khateeb was not killed by NATO. Bashar’s thug mutilated his thugs.
The people in this video in Mezzeh are the most honorable and courageous people on the planet. They are not “Islamist terrorists.”

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February 20th, 2012, 11:32 pm


68. Paul said:

NATO or the U.S. doesn’t have to supply the FSA with anything. Weapons and Sunni fighters are already flooding into Syria from Lebanon, Turkey and the Sunni tribal areas of Iraq. Syria has become the new CAUSE-CELEB of Jihadists around the world. Assad will be swept aside by a tidal wave of Sunni anger.

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February 20th, 2012, 11:36 pm


69. DAWOUD said:

RE: # 65
I meant to say that Bashar’s thugs mutilated Hamza al-Khateeb’s genitals, which is a conduct beyond what super murderers in the Arab World could do.

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February 20th, 2012, 11:38 pm


70. Mezzeh Man said:

I am from Mezzeh and there are plenty of people from Mezzeh who are protesting. The problem is that these boards serve as places where liars can spew their lies, like there are no real protests, or that all the protesters are from the suburbs, ie, not true Damascenes (an ironic rehash of Sunni stereotypes against Alawites).

[Edited. Welcome to Syria Comment. Please don’t use needlessly provocative or discriminatory language]

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February 20th, 2012, 11:39 pm


71. Ghufran said:

Bilal Saab-CNN
You know that something has gone terribly wrong when highly respected, credible, and internationally recognized Syrian opposition figures such as Michel Kilo and Haytham Manna’ refuse to join (and even take issue with) the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council (SNC), an umbrella opposition body that claims to speak for the Syrian people. You also know that big mistakes were made when a year into the uprising, the majority of Syrian elites – the merchant and business class – and several ethnic minorities including the Christians are staying home and watching events from afar.
This is the full article:

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February 20th, 2012, 11:46 pm


72. Ghufran said:

Two of my posts never saw the light for mysterious reasons,this is a test,please excuse my curious aggravation.

[Ghufran, there is a filter on a few words. Will check to see what may have caused moderation.]

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February 20th, 2012, 11:48 pm


73. ann said:


Only blood thirsty cold blooded killers like the saudis who attacked us on 9/11 would mutilate and kill beyond super murderers.

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February 20th, 2012, 11:50 pm


74. ann said:

67. Mezzeh Man!

Whoever you are or are not. Real Syrians call it Mazze NOT Mezzeh.

Have a nice day 😀

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February 20th, 2012, 11:56 pm


75. DAWOUD said:

# 69 ANN

I still respect you, but I can’t engage in any more conversations with you if you engage in PREPOSTEROUS CONSPIRACY THEORIES by claiming that Hamza al-Khateeb was killed in Der’a [sic] by the Saudis!
I am not a fan of the dictatorial Saudi royal family, but I am a realist and I don’t engage in conspiracy theories to defend anybody.

Good Night ANN!

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February 20th, 2012, 11:56 pm


76. ann said:

71. DAWOUD said:

Good Night ANN!

Sweet dreams DAWOUD!

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February 21st, 2012, 12:02 am


77. Ghufran said:

I think you are going too far,mr moderator,there was no obscene words in the posts you deleted and no personal attacks on anybody unless the word “goat” is now similar to “scum” which I never used. Anyway,rules are rules,you just took the humor out of the post which was in my judgement a clean description of the cultural deprivation some middle eastern communities suffer from,too bad,I may now limit the use of goat to refer to my salad trimmings. Would you care to let our readers give their opinion about the posts you deleted? I guess not,I am now wondering if criticizing the Neocons who planned the destruction of Iraq or the Hariri class of politicians seem too “hot” for this blog.
Here is a PC version: tribal societies with little or no history of tolerance or freedom can now use their money to broadcast one sided versions of events that take place in other countries with oppressive regimes but a radically different society and culture !!
You have to admit,there is no “G” word in this version.

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February 21st, 2012, 12:10 am


78. Ghufran said:

I think you are going too far,mr moderator,there was no obscene words in the posts you deleted and no personal attacks on anybody unless the word “goat” is now similar to “scum” which I never used. Anyway,rules are rules,you just took the humor out of the post which was in my judgement a clean description of the cultural deprivation some middle eastern communities suffer from,too bad,I may now limit the use of goat to refer to my salad trimmings. Would you care to let our readers give their opinion about the posts you deleted? I guess not,I am now wondering if criticizing the Neocons who planned the destruction of Iraq or the Hariri class of politicians seem too “hot” for this blog. Here is a PC version: tribal societies with little or no history of tolerance or freedom can now use their money to broadcast one sided versions of events that take place in other countries with oppressive regimes but a radically different society and culture !!
You have to admit,there is no “G” word in this version.

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February 21st, 2012, 12:15 am


79. Ghufran said:

I absolutely resent the fact that our moderator is suggesting that I used inappropriate language in the two posts that he, or they, deleted.
Mr. moderator,let our readers judge if you went too far or not, I think you did.

[Note to Ghufran, this may have been some time ago. The only reason your posts would be held up is by a filter. You may have reposted an edited version in which case the two posts would be seen as duplicates and one deleted. Thanks for the note.]

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February 21st, 2012, 12:25 am


80. Syria no Kandahar said:

MB did not learn from the 80s .Terrorism runs in MB blood.

[Edited. Please do not personalize discussion] removing not only the genitalia but the whole body;

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February 21st, 2012, 12:58 am


81. jad said:

Dear SNK
Here is the right link of the article you are referring to

أميركا اعترفت بـ«القاعدة» في سوريا… هل يرتاح النظام؟
سامي كليب
لو أن وزير الداخلية السوري أراد توصيف السلاح والمسلحين في سوريا لما تحدث بأفضل مما قاله مدير الاستخبارات القومية الأميركية جيمس كلابر آخر الأسبوع الماضي. أكد جيمس كلابر أن «تفجيرات حلب ودمشق تحمل بصمات القاعدة، وان القاعدة اخترقت المعارضة السورية المنقسمة، وان النظام قادر على الاحتفاظ بالسلطة في الوقت الحالي».

Dear Shabbi7
Great catch in 53, thank you!

Dear Ann
I’m back!
It’s accepted to write Mazzeh, Mazze, Mezzeh or Mezeh all sound close to the real name, so it should be ok, don’t be too tough on the newbie 🙂

Talking of Mazzeh, couple very important points the summary didn’t mention and the clip showed clearly but everybody insist to ignore:
People went out in the streets with the support, encouragement and organization of Tanasiquiyat Dareya and Almazzeh, after getting a permission from the security itself the night before, the agreement between the two was very clear, activists who wanted to organize the ceremony shall not under any circumstances to come close to the Syrian Flag, the Syrian Army and Assad in any slogan and the Tansiqyat accepted that and told all their activists and supporters that only three things should never be out, the three stars flag, shouting down to the regime and the mention of the terrorist fsa.
Everything was going as planned, they let the youth to stop people in the streets and ask them to join in while the police and the security kept their distance away from them.
However, some idiots destroy it to all, they didn’t stick to the agreement and made after some sign they put out the three stars flag, saluting the terrorists fsa and cursing Bashar all three at the same time, which triggered the reaction of the security shooting up in the air with tear gas at the group in the middle who were standing next to the ’14th’ (bnayat alarbata3sh)
At that point people went in chaos and fear and they fall on each others, while some men started to help evacuate the women as we can see in the clip.
The victim who died is Samer Alkha6eeb, it said that he came from Alsal7yet and not from Almazzeh, and he was hit while he was at the cemetery after the group he was next too start shoouting slogans against Bashar and Hafez (the usual, ‘Bashar the dog’ and ‘Yel3an ro7ak ya 7afez’ there was other guys who were hit too but I didn’t read about any fatal case but Samer.

The same evening, couple activists from tansiquyet Daraya (not Almazzeh) went to ‘Alkha6eeb’ family asking them to let them organize their son’s funeral, but the family refused and they decided to make the funeral early in the morning 6am.
Few activists form The tansiqyat came to the ceremony anyway at 6:30am but they didn’t make any dramatic scenes at the request of the family and there wasn’t a single security or police anywhere near them..
Doing this funeral so early in the morning and the parents being understandable as well as populating the whole area with soldiers and amn saved the Sunday, otherwise, it was going to be bloody..

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February 21st, 2012, 1:21 am


82. Syria no kandahar said:

Aljazera:Israeli-Qatari invention,planted many years ago to be used now:

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February 21st, 2012, 1:40 am


83. Syria no kandahar said:

What kind of personal attack is to say: [Edited] friends.if someone supports revolutionists then they are his friends,right?why do you allow any word of evil description to any one who is pro-
Nonviolence and peace and you act to separate
Pro-revolutionists from the evil acts done by jihadists.

[Warning: please do not personalize discussion — this means attaching names of SC commentators to events or atrocities such as ‘_____’s friends removing not only the genitalia‘ as well as open insults. Please do not name other commentators in this manner. ]

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February 21st, 2012, 1:49 am


84. jad said:

Repeat of the 80s MB’s ‘6ali3a’ militia organisation on the terrorist fsa, nothing new!

قطر تستنسخ “الطليعة الإسلامية المقاتلة” في “الجيش السوري الحر” وتعين رجال دين في قيادته!؟

خالد هنداوي “مشرفا سياسيا وعقائديا وضابط ارتباط مع قطر”، و لؤي الزعبي “رئيسا لأركانه” و الشيخ زهير عمر عباسي “للإمداد والتموين” وأيمن الحريري “للعمليات” !؟

بيروت ، استانبول ـ الحقيقة ( خاص من : مازن ابراهيم): في تطور تنظيمي لافت يؤكد ما كانت ذهبت إليه “الحقيقة” قبل أشهر، لجهة أن “الجيش السوري الحر” ليس سوى اسم حركي للمنظمات السلفية والتكفيرية التي تحمل السلاح في سوريا ، عينت الجهات الوصائية المالية والأيديولوجية والسياسية على “الجيش” المذكور، وبشكل خاص قطر والسعودية وتركيا، عددا من مشايخ “الأخوان المسلمين” ورموز “القاعدة” في قيادته و / أو مشرفين على أنشطته المختلفة. فقد علمت”الحقيقة” من مصادر مقربة من قيادة”الجيش” في أنطاكيا بلواء اسكندرونة المحتل أن قطر عينت الشيخ خالد هنداوي “موجها سياسا وعقائديا” أعلى له و “ضابط الارتباط” بينه وبين الحكومة القطرية ، بينما عينت الشيخ زهير عمر عباسي مسؤولا عن”الإمداد والتموين”. وكشف ضابط مقرب من العقيد رياض الأسعد لـ”الحقيقة” أن الشيخ السلفي لؤي الزعبي ، وهو أحد أبرز رفاق أسامة بن لادن خلال حياته في السودان، أصبح بمثابة “رئيس لأركان الجيش” بينما أصبح الشيخ أيمن الحريري بمثابة “مسؤول العمليات” ، يساعده في ذلك ـ من بين آخرين ـ النصاب الدولي الشهير زهير الصديق!. وقال المصدر ” إن العقيد الأسعد أصبح مع هذه التعيينات مجرد صورة شكلية وطلاء خارجي للجيش السوري الحر ، الغاية منها إضفاء ملامح منظمة عسكرية وطنية على هذا الأخير والحيلولة دون ترك انطباع لدى الرأي العام بأنه مجرد ميليشيا إسلامية تكفيرية”، كاشفا عن أن هذه التعيينات جرت عمليا الشهر الماضي ، إلا أنه لم يجر الإعلان عنها رسميا ، ولن يجري ذلك على الأقل في المستقبل المنظور ، للسبب المذكور نفسه.

Mr. Moderator,
could you please release my previous comment, I think it went into the spam for some reason other than ‘cursing’, it’s important, Thank you!

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February 21st, 2012, 1:57 am


85. jad said:

How are you my friend SNK?

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February 21st, 2012, 2:06 am


86. Alan said:

79. JAD
hello Jad !
I am glad sees you again!

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February 21st, 2012, 2:24 am


87. jad said:

The coming Sunday is the referendum on the constitution for Syrians:

Here is a good legal analysis of the Constitution draft:

المحامي موسى خليل متري يفند الثغرات القانونية في الدستور السوري الجديد

“بعد أن مرَّر لي أحد المعارف من الصحفيين المسودّة الأوّلية للدستور، تبيَّن لي ضرورة الإسهام في المناقشة العامة، وإبداء بعض الملاحظات (أهمها وليس كلها)، وذلك كمواطن عربي سوري، وكرجل قانون. وأرجو أن تتمَّ دراسة هذه الملاحظات (التي أوردها بحسب تسلسل أرقام موادها وليس حسب أهميتها)، كما أرجو أن يعرض الدستور للنقاش العام قبل عرضه على الاستفتاء.”


An article in Alakhbar about it:

استفتاء الأحد في سوريا: أول مرة بلا 99.98%

حت مظلة حسم أمني متفاقم، دُعي السوريون إلى استفتاء عام على الدستور الجديد نهاية الأسبوع. أول امتحان مباشر يختبر به الرئيس بشّار الأسد شعبيته خارج التظاهرات المؤيدة له، كي يستلخص من اقتراع الناخبين: هل يريدونه على رأس الانتقال بسوريا من حقبة إلى أخرى؟

نقولا ناصيف
“.لا الحسم الأمني وحده يعيد إليه سوريا النظام والحزب التي فقدها نهائياً في 15 آذار الماضي، ولا الإصلاح وحده يكفل استعادته الاستقرار والأمن. وهو بذلك يعوّل على معطيات منها:”

Hi Alan,
Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

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February 21st, 2012, 2:28 am


88. jad said:

Al6ar6our attacks the MBs council and asks the terrorist militias to make up a ‘political’ council that he personally will support…
Man, this 6ar6our is loosing it!

هاااااام جدا الشيخ عدنان العرعور يطلب من الشعب السوري الترحم على المجلس الوطني ويدعو لدخول المجلس العسكري في السياسة

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February 21st, 2012, 2:45 am


89. jad said:

Not sure if anybody linked the latest ‘achievements’ of the Neocon’s Syrian slaves, ponytail, ponytail’s wife and Zibaleh along other warmonger trash signed a letter to their master Obama to bombard the hell out of Syria asap:

Conservatives call for Obama to intervene in Syria
‘”Unless the United States takes the lead and acts, either individually or in concert with like-minded nations, thousands of additional Syrian civilians will likely die, and the emerging civil war in Syria will likely ignite wider instability in the Middle East.”

The letter was organized jointly by the Foreign Policy Initiative and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, both conservative policy organizations in Washington, D.C. Signees included Max Boot, Paul Bremer, Elizabeth Cheney, Eric Edelman, Jamie Fly, John Hannah, William Inboden, William Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Clifford May, Robert McFarlane, Martin Peretz, Danielle Pletka, John Podhoretz, Stephen Rademaker, Karl Rove, Randy Scheunemann, Dan Senor, James Woolsey, Dov Zakheim, and Radwan Ziadeh, a member of the Syrian National Council.
The letter calls on Obama to immediately establish safe zones within Syrian territory, establish contacts with and provide assistance to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), give communications and logistical assistance to the Syrian opposition, and enact further sanctions on the Syrian regime and its leaders.’

One day before the mentioned ‘achievement’ the same Zibaleh wrote this ‘plea’ about the same ‘request’ I guess he doesn’t have anything else to call for, well, he is paid for that:

A Plea For U.S. Intervention From a Syrian Activist

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February 21st, 2012, 3:01 am


91. SANDRO LOEWE said:

74. ANN,

It is clear you have never been in ¨real Syria¨ and you ignore trasliteration rules. All around Damascus indications are written with ¨MEZZEH¨. Not MAZZE. You are not syrian, you live outside Syria and you probably do not speak even arabic. If all your argumentations are so mistaken ….

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February 21st, 2012, 3:41 am


92. annie said:

We owe the Syrian people an apology for every day that they were slaughtered before our eyes during the past eleven months. The Arab people have let them down and have watched on from the side-lines as if the “the heart of Arabism” has become surrounded by Arabs with no hearts.

and OTH the Homsi Rooster is still crowing

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February 21st, 2012, 4:51 am


93. Syria no Kandahar said:

Hi jad
Good to see you back
How was the experience ?i am trying to see how much short tempered is the moderator here. it looks like he really is.going to the banning prison is really simple.i am staying away completely from religious discussions because I have learned that you almost have to تنطق الشهادتين to make the moderator happy here,and it is very easy for me to stay away from religious or political discussions because that
Is what we were taught to do in Syria any way.
Banning prison doors are wide open….it reminds me with a story which happened with my brother when he was serving his military service:
A case of scabies (جرب)was found in his قطعه,so the عميد asked for any one who is itching to يرفع ايدو so half of the soldiers did that thinking that they will be sent home,they were all put in prison to be separated!!he spent 5 days in the prison playing chess .
So if the moderator here ask who is itching think twice…


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February 21st, 2012, 5:08 am


94. majedkhaldoun said:

Several members of NCB has abandoned Haytham Manna3 and joined the SNC

I challenge Haytham Manna3 to show the skin of his abdomen

I am Syrian and I write Mezzeh,not mazze

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February 21st, 2012, 5:26 am


95. Syria no Kandahar said:

القطر الروسي الشقيق يرفض المشاركه في مهزلة تونس
Dr Majeed
Why do want him to do that,are you going to take his kidney and blame the regime?

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February 21st, 2012, 5:31 am


96. VOLK said:

MOSCOW: Russia said Tuesday it will not attend an international conference in Tunis this week aimed at seeking political change in Syria because the meeting only supported the opposition’s cause.
The meeting was called “for the purpose of supporting one side against another in an internal conflict,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “We cannot accept the offer to attend this meeting.”
The Friends of Syria group will meet for the first time Friday after being created in a reponse to a joint veto by Russia and China of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning President Bashar Assad for the violence.
The group is backed by members of the European Union as well as some Arab nations and the United States.
Russia’s statement said the meeting would be unable to improve dialogue between Assad’s government and the opposition on ways of ending 11 months of violence that opposition sources say have killed more than 6,000 people.
“The invitations to attend the Tunis meeting were issued to some parts of the opposition, but representatives of the Syrian government were not invited,” the statement said.
“This means that the interests of the majority of the Syrian population, which supports the authorities, will not be represented.”

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February 21st, 2012, 5:38 am


97. bronco said:

95. VOLK

As expected, the Russia announced they were boycotting the meeting as soon as Tunis, under pressure from Qatar, changed its mind and invited the opposition and not any representative of 50% of the Syrians. By not allowing all Syrian voices to exert their right to express themselves, this meeting is flawed and will be another slap to Qatar. I think they won’t be able to come out with anything more than condemnations and nothing constructive.
If the Syrian local opposition will be present, the only positive issue that can come out is the highly demanded “unification” of the opposition. Yet I have serious doubt it will be happen as I have doubts the SNC will be recognized as the sole representative of the Syrian people
After announcing it was ready to “make concessions”, Russia and China are now even more convinced that that ‘the friends of Syria’ want nothing else than a ‘change of regime’ and they are more determined than ever to prevent it.
Unfortunately, the Syrians will be paying a dear price for this big power confrontation.

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February 21st, 2012, 7:43 am


98. Norman said:

I think that Syria has more freedom than SC these days, any thoughts?

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February 21st, 2012, 7:48 am


99. irritated said:

Sandro Loewe, Majedlalkhaldoon

“You are not syrian, you live outside Syria and you probably do not speak even arabic. If all your argumentations are so mistaken ….”

Now you can sleep in peace, you found the “alien”!
Syrians are dying in Syria but its’ Mezzeh, not ‘Mazze! “educated” expats dixit.

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February 21st, 2012, 7:50 am


100. bronco said:

#86 Jad

This referendum’s value is more in the turnout than the final result.

While the final result can be controversial and accused of being rigged, the turnout of the population cannot be hidden.
Of course there will accusations that people were obliged to vote or paid to vote, but if the turnout is large, despite the boycott ordered by the opposition, it will be a vote of confidence to the peaceful resolution through a democratic process under the present regime.
Thus, I expect more attacks and provocation from the opposition, worried that this referendum takes place as they know it may change the game against them. Therefore they will make an all out effort to create enough violence and threats in Damascus and Aleppo to frighten off the potential voters.
It is yet to see if the Syrians will defy these threats and go to the polling stations.
Now that the Russians won’t be present, the “friends’ meeting in Tunisia will attempt to ask for the deligitimization of the Syrian government by giving the recognition to the SNC as representing the Syrians so as to prevent the referendum to happen.
It is not obvious they would succeed either because some Arab and foreign countries will object or because the Syrian local opposition will object. Yet, with bullies like money dispenser machine Qatar, it is possible they can force it through the throats of the hesitant attendants.
If they succeed, there will be a full scale civil war as the pro-regime civilians will ultimately arm themselves and fight back for their rights to choose.

This week is the most crucial moment yet in the war between the two parties.

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February 21st, 2012, 8:15 am


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