Is Aleppo Slipping out of Government Control?

A friend from Aleppo wrote me over the weekend that he believes that the northern suburbs of Aleppo are falling out of government control. In particular, the poorer towns of Azaz, Hreitan, and Anadan, which are on the road to Turkey, have been taken over by opposition groups. On February 27, a number of local residents were killed by the military, setting off protests and violent confrontations with local security. He does not believe the regime’s end is imminent because the armed groups are not centrally organized. All the same, the migration of neighborhoods out of government control is unceasing. Although the government has retaken Homs, it is losing Aleppo and the broader North, an area that has long been fertile ground for Islamist currents.

He writes:

I just had a long conversation with friends and family in Aleppo. It may not be long before the city joins the revolution, I believe. My father could not travel by car to the border with Turkey. No driver dares take the roads north any longer. The drive to Turkey is only a half-hour. The working-class neighborhoods of Azaz, Hreitan and Anadan have largely fallen out of government control. Friends who own factories in the industrial regions outside of Aleppo complain that for a week now they have been unable to visit them. Lack of security, frequent anti-regime demonstrations and clashes between militants and the army make the excursion impossible.

I am a partner in one Aleppo factory that was attacked Sunday night (March 4). The attackers beat up the two night security guards and bound them. They then lifted the whole safe box and carried it out of the factory. Thankfully, the safe only contained syp 350,000 and not more. Also thankfully they did not burn the place down, as has happened to some Aleppo factory owners.

The fact that neighborhoods, such as Azaz, Hreitan and Anadan have fallen out of government control is significant because cars can no longer travel, even in daylight, to Turkey from Aleppo. The entire boarder area is becoming unsafe. This is much worse than Baba Amr or Khaldiye falling out of government control from the point of view of security because Turkey is the base for the Free Syrian Army, arms exports into Syria, and most opposition groups.

To make maters worse, the Syrian Pound has fallen to 83 to the dollar. This means that the net worth of every Syrian has fallen by over 70% since the beginning of the uprising. People do not have enough to eat. More than half the country is living on two dollars a day or less. Hunger and fear are spreading.

Even the middle and upper classes that live in the city centers are beginning to panic and look for a way out of the country. Plane flights to Lebanon from Aleppo are booked for the next month. The exodus has begun.

This is the first real breakdown of Aleppo control. My sister says law and order is deteriorating in the center of Aleppo as well. Armed elements are kidnapping folks for ransom, breaking into houses, and beating people up and stealing their jewelry and money. My wife’s relative, the Gharo family, was invaded in Aleppo today.  A guy rang the intercom and said he was from the security service. He was buzzed in and went upstairs to their apartment. When the Gharos opened the door, a group of thugs went in, grabbed their young son and held a knife to his neck and demanded every valuable in the apartment. When they got their loot, they fled!

Government forces are doing their share of damage. Michael Aswad, a patriach of a prominent Christian family, was killed by the security service last week, apparently by accident when he didn’t stop the taxi he was in as he entered the security zone around his apartment. A high-ranking official lives in his apartment. His death has mortified upper-class Aleppines because he was killed in the city center.

The ability of the government to supply basic goods and services has crumbled. Now security is evaporating. More and more Syrians realize that the state is losing control and are taking maters into their own hands.

On Feb 27, fighting in Aleppo’s northern suburbs resulted in this news

Aleppo Suburbs: The number of martyrs for today has reached 11 martyrs as a result of the continuous shelling by regime’s army on several areas of the suburb. Helicopters are being used to bomb some of the areas.

Aleppo: Andan: Mr. Adnan Abu Ghafour was martyred due to the shelling by the security forces in the city.

Aleppo: Aazaz: Alaa Shawki Al-Shash was martyred by helicopter bombing in the city.

News Round Up

Bearing Witness in Syria: A Correspondent’s Last Days
The armed opposition in Syria is led by the under-equipped Free Syrian Army.
By TYLER HICKS, March 04, 2012

….

Here are some recent videos of militant brigades that have announced their formation in Syria. They are taking shape with growing frequency.

حلب – صوران إعزاز – 23 / 2 / 20

قسم كتائب الفرقان ان تكون رايتنا لا إلة إلا الله ومحمد رسول الله وان نحكم القران في اعمالنا

تشكيل كتيبة الشيخ حمد بن جاسم في ريف معرة النعمان.‬

إدلب كللي || الجيش السوري الحر || تشكيل كتيبة الفرقان
الأعلان عن تشكيل كتيبة صقور العقيدات في حمص العدية و ريفها التابعة الى الجيش السوري الحر توجه نداء الى الشعب السوري و الى عشائر جزيرة الشام للإنضمام الى صفوف الثوا

ريف ادلب 28 02 2012 اعلان تشكيل كتيبة عمار بن ياسر

U.S. sees ‘no fracturing’ of al-Assad regime
2012-03-02

(CNN) — After weeks of collecting intelligence on Syria and watching the attacks by the forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad, the U.S. sees “no fracturing” of the Syrian regime and assesses al-Assad could remain in power for some time to come if the …

The European Union announced its recognition of the Syrian National Council as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and called for other opposition factions to unite and work with the Council.

Senator McCain

the Arizona Republican said in an impassioned speech in the U.S. Senate. “The only realistic way to do so is with foreign air power.”

The goal, added the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, should be to establish and defend safe havens, primarily in northern Syria, where opposition forces could organize their efforts. “These safe havens could also help the Free Syrian Army and other armed groups in Syria to train and organize themselves into more cohesive and effective military forces, likely with the assistance of foreign partners,” he said.

McCain, a Vietnam War veteran, said that any such effort would require taking out Syria’s air-defense systems. “We’re the only ones who can do that,” he said.

But he predicted that some kind of intervention will happen, even if the United States does not act. “So the real question for U.S. policy is whether we will participate in this next phase of the conflict in Syria, and thereby increase our ability to shape an outcome that is beneficial to the Syrian people, and to us. I believe we must.”

McCain said that any effort must include other nations. “We should seek the active involvement of key Arab partners,” such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar “and willing allies” in the European Union, NATO and Turkey, he said.

McCain acknowledged that his proposal is a risky one, that the opposition lacks cohesion and that the American public has wearied of war, but said that should not dissuade U.S. officials from moving forward. “There are no ideal options in Syria,” he said. “We need to deal with reality as it is, not as we wish it to be.”

He added, “The Syrian people deserve to succeed. Shame on us if we fail to help them.”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was non-committal. “The secretary is interested in exploring options that could help end the brutal violence in Syria, but he also recognizes that this is an extremely complex crisis,” a senior Pentagon official said. “Intervention at this time could very well exacerbate problems inside the country.”

WHY DELAYED INTERVENTION IN SYRIA COULD CAUSE RADICALIZATION
By Soner Cagaptay
CNN Global Public Square
March 2, 2012
To view this article on our website, go to:
******************************

A new argument against intervention in Syria is that since the opposition consists of radical Islamist elements, the United States and other countries should shy away from supporting the rebellion against the Bashar al-Assad regime for fear that they might empower Islamists.

I recently visited Turkey, stopping in cities near the Syrian border such as Antakya and Gaziantep. During this trip, I talked to people who are in daily contact with Syrians, including professors at Zirve University in Gaziantep, an international school that has Syrian students, and American journalists who had just returned from Syria. I did not find any evidence that Islamists run the uprising, yet I left Turkey thinking that delayed intervention against the al-Assad regime could surely lead to building Islamist resentment towards al-Assad to the point of empowering radicals in Syria.

In this regard, there is a lesson to be learned from the war in Bosnia in the 1990s. When the Yugoslav Army started its attack on Bosnia in 1992, Bosnian Muslims (also known as Bosniacs) held the distinction of being the world’s “most secular Muslims.” The Bosniacs’ embrace of Islam was non-political, and one’s level of religiosity was a personal matter. The Bosniacs even ate pork liberally, a violation of orthodox Islam that shocked even their fellow liberal Muslims in Turkey.

Only a couple of years after the onslaught against the Bosniacs began, though, Bosnia’s “pork-eating” Muslims were flirting with radical Islamists, including Iranian agents and jihadists. As the outside world watched Serbian forces slaughter Bosniacs, these people increasingly came to view their persecution through a religious lens. They started to believe that (Christian) Serbs were targeting them because of their (Muslim) faith and that the outside world turned a blind eye to their persecution because of their Islamic religion. This process led to a rapid politicization of the Bosniacs’ Muslim identity. Previously secular and even irreligious Bosniacs started to view the world through a religiously-guided Manichean perspective.

This persecution-driven metamorphosis — a historical phenomenon not uncommon among Muslim communities — transformed the Bosnian political landscape quickly and radically. Jihadists, previously considered alien and shunned by Bosniacs, could now find refugee in Bosnia. In fact, when the outside world, led by the United States, decided to intervene in Bosnia in 1995, it was justified by the fear of speedy Bosniac radicalization.

Even though the conflict in Syria lacks an inter-religious dimension, it has a sectarian overtone that could lead to Islamic politicization in Syria akin to that in Bosnia.

The al-Assad regime’s inner circle is composed of Alawites, an offshoot of Islam, while the opposition is mostly made up of Sunni Muslims. Even if the protestors’ demand for democracy is non-religious, the fact that the al-Assad regime and its (Alawite) supporters are brutally killing (Sunni) demonstrators is already giving the conflict in Syria a sectarian hue. Persecution-driven metamorphosis of Islamic identity can reshape the conflict as a religious one — one pitting Alawites against Sunnis, and Sunnis against Alawites.

As anecdotal evidence suggests, some protestors already view their persecution through a religious lens, believing that the regime is targeting them not because they demand democracy, but because it is an Alawite machine trying to massacre the Sunnis. And the more the outside world sits idly by as Syrians are slaughtered, the more the Sunnis in Syria will believe that the world turns a blind eye to such horrors because of their religion.

Add to this the fact that some orthodox Sunnis do not consider Alawites rightful Muslims, and it could be a matter of months before radical elements such as al Qaeda start a propaganda war to depict the Syrian conflict as one of “non-Muslim” Alawites killing Muslims. This perception would transform the fighting as well as send sectarian waves across the Middle East’s fragile landscape. At the same time, it could lead to the radicalization of Syria, turning the country into a fertile recruitment ground for radical groups.

The sooner the international community is able to help end the killing in Syria, the more likely it will be able to prevent the radicalization of the country’s population along sectarian and even religious lines. In Bosnia, after some soul searching, the international community concluded that intervention was the way to end the radicalization of Muslims. What was true in Bosnia appears to also be true in Syria.

Now, An Intervention Must Take Place in Syria
Bernard-Henri Lévy: 02/28/2012

On March 19th, it will be a year, day for day, since squadrons of French planes, later followed by British, American and Arab aircraft, saved Benghazi from what would have been its inevitable destruction.

Well, things being what they are and if the international community does not pull itself together, this anniversary may have the bitter taste of ashes and failure.
For today, there is a new Benghazi.

There is a city in the region that is in precisely the same situation as was Benghazi. To be exact, there is a city that finds itself in even more dire straits than Benghazi was, since the same type of tanks, stationed in the same manner, at the same distance from unarmed civilian populations have, this time, already gone into action, and this for the past several months.

This city is Homs. This is the Syrian capital of pain, where they target journalists and massacre civilians indiscriminately.

And the fact is: what we did there, we are not doing here; the same tanks our aviators nailed to the ground in Libya, just hours before they let loose their fire, are operating in Syrian with complete impunity. Of course, I am aware that the two situations are not identical…..

India refuses government guarantee on Syria oil imports: sources
NEW DELHI | Fri Mar 2, 2012 6:49am EST

(Reuters) – India has refused to provide its sovereign guarantee for oil imports from Syria, two government sources said, frustrating refiners looking for alternative sources of crude to hedge against possible supply disruptions from sanctions-hit Iran.

The Oil Ministry had hoped that the government would underwrite Syrian oil cargoes after Indian insurance firms failed to find re-insurers for shipments from the Middle East nation, which is also targeted by Western sanctions.

New Delhi’s stand on Syrian oil comes after it voted last month in favor of a U.N. resolution endorsing an Arab League plan calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

“This is true that the government has denied sovereign guarantee for import of Syrian oil. This was done because of India’s vote against Syria in the United Nations,” said one of the sources.

Both sources had direct knowledge of the decision and declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Indian refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp and explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp, which has a stake in Syrian fields, wanted to import oil from Syria but insurance problems halted their plans.

HPCL had even engaged the Shipping Corp of India to hire a vessel to import Syrian crude. The India government is now weighing options, including extending sovereign guarantees for its shipping lines and buying Iranian oil on a delivered basis to ensure cargoes from July.

Iran is India’s second-largest crude oil supplier, meeting about 11 percent of the South Asian country’s imports. Tehran is facing Western sanctions over its nuclear plans that many say is aimed at making a bomb. Iran says it wants to produce power.

The sanctions have made it difficult for its Asian customers to pay for oil imports. India currently pays Iran for its imports through a bank in Turkey but that conduit is vulnerable to Western sanctions. India currently does not buy any crude oil from Syria.

France announces it’s closing embassy in Syria

Nick Heras, “The Revolution Will Be Uploaded: Citizen Journalism in Homs.” It is published in Fair Observer and it explores how Syrian citizen journalists are taking the leading role in reporting the battle for control in Homs.

Greg Djerejian of Belgravia Dispatch discusses several recent op-eds recommending intervention in Syria, especially Nakleh’s op-ed in the FT

Economy

EU De-lists Ghreiwati, Names Seven Blacklisted Ministers: The seven new Syrian individuals on whom the European Union imposed sanctions on Monday have been named, while a prominent businessman has been taken off the blacklist.

Syria to Conduct Barter Deals for the Purchase of Key Food Commodities
: The Syrian Government has decided to carry barter deals to circumvent the impact of international sanctions on the Syrian economy, according to a local newspaper.

Russian Companies Stop Operations in Syria
: Russian companies have interrupted their operations in Syria because of the security situation in the country, according to Georgy Petrov, Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Libya Offers USD 100 million to Syrian Opposition: The Libyan Government has announced that it would give USD 100 million in humanitarian help to Syria’s opposition.

Comments (179)


1. Ghufran said:

The plan according to rebel forces is to try to keep the army busy in Homs area as long as possible to facilitate establishing another Bab Amr in the Idleb province and Aleppo country side.
A big battle,not reported well in the media,took place in algousie area,what is different here is the involvement of the Lebanese army which reportedly captured 8 armed men and is still chasing many others who hid among civilians in a Lebanese village near the borders.
Villagers on the Lebanese side appeared unhappy about the whole affair because they are afraid of being trapped in the middle of a battle zone.
The next confrontation area will be clearly Idleb and Aleppo Reif.

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March 6th, 2012, 12:17 am

 

2. Ghufran said:

Is this a true document or another fake?
http://mtv.com.lb/News/70959

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March 6th, 2012, 12:26 am

 

3. bronco said:

@1. Ghufran

And that will pour refugees into Turkey…
I guess that like in Egypt, the civilians in Aleppo will get weapons and get organized to protect their neigborhood as vigilantes. It is a taste of what will happens if the regime collapses.

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March 6th, 2012, 12:30 am

 

4. Ghufran said:

This is a strange video that mixes fact and fiction,it came from Malaysia:

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March 6th, 2012, 12:45 am

 

5. jad said:

Dear Dr. Landis

“Government forces are doing their share of damage. Michael Aswad, a patriach of a prominent Christian family, was killed by the security service last week, apparently by accident when he didn’t stop the taxi he was in as he entered the security zone around his apartment. A high-ranking official lives in his apartment. His death has mortified upper-class Aleppines because he was killed in the city center.”

Michael Aswad, is not a ‘Patriarch’ as this guy claims, he is a Prof. at the department of Civil Engineering in Aleppo University, besides, my friend’s family live in front of where he was killed they said that couple guys were running in the street shooting and the family had to hide and stay on the floor until everything stop, and afterward the whole neighbourhood was filled with the army, so I doubt that your friend’s account that the government killed him to be accurate, otherwise, why to even bother secure the whole area and close it off if the security themselves did the crime?

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March 6th, 2012, 12:57 am

 

6. jad said:

“WHY DELAYED INTERVENTION IN SYRIA COULD CAUSE RADICALIZATION”
Is there anything the ‘mighty’ WINEP doesn’t know or understand or preach about or give opinion on….Nope! they are GOD’s chosen ‘specialists’ on EVERYTHING….maybe they need to add BHL to their team of ‘specialists’ he will be between friends.

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March 6th, 2012, 1:01 am

 

7. Syria no Kandahar said:

USA is Engaged to MB now ,This guy can do the wedding:

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March 6th, 2012, 1:16 am

 

8. jad said:

Yesterday I linked a news about some trouble between Daraa and Sweeda. As usual of the fsa, they proudly commit and announce the crime, then when SHTF they deny it and blame the regime, how many times we saw the same scenario so far, it’s getting too stupid.

So now, according to this terrorist, fsa didn’t kill the soldier they themselves celebrate kidnapping him couple days ago!
It’s the regime! I so believe him.

http://youtu.be/9__Ycvp8exU
“بيان من الناطق الرسمي باسم المجلس العسكري الثوري في محافظة درعا النقيب قيس قطاعنه حول الاحداث المؤسفه التي شهدتها محافظة السويداء من اعتداء على ابناء محافظة درعا ومحاولة النظام زرع الفتنه الطائفيه بين ابناء الوطن الواحد”

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March 6th, 2012, 1:44 am

 

9. Tara said:

Irritated

Your comment from the previous thread is outrageous. Unless you retract it, I wish not to carry a conversation with you. Thank you

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March 6th, 2012, 1:46 am

 

10. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

Even the middle and upper classes that live in the city centers are beginning to panic and look for a way out of the country. Plane flights to Lebanon from Aleppo are booked for the next month. The exodus has begun.

Are these the middle and upper classes that have been ridiculing the uprising and throwing street dance parties idolising the boy-king while people were being arrested, tortured and sniped for going out to demonstrate for freedom, justice and dignity? If so then GOOD RIDDANCE! Let them take their filthy, ill gotten, amassed-though-corruption riches and bugger off to Beirut, to hell preferably. Had they had an ounce, nay, an atom of honor or love for the place that made them rich and for the people they have helped the corrupt criminal government oppress and exploit, they would have sided with RIGHT, with JUSTICE, with DIGNITY for all from the very start of this glorious uprising. But no, they sat on their hands and only worried about their fortunes and their pampered lives.

Serves them right, I say. And don’t bother coming back.

(I bet they don’t bother going to hospitals like these for treatment, either.) http://www.channel4.com/news/exclusive-syrian-doctors-torturing-patients

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March 6th, 2012, 2:00 am

 

11. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

…besides, my friend’s family live in front of where he was killed

Yeah, right. “my friend’s word against yours’…”

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March 6th, 2012, 2:11 am

 

12. jad said:

The wise Haytham Manna3:
If someone want to do ‘Jihad’ let them go do ‘Jihad’ in Qatar and KSA and keep this crazy ideas out of Syria.
قناة الـ BBC:الدكتور هيثم مناع
http://youtu.be/rcXIXPu_29o

About the EU decision to accept SNC:
بعد اعترافهم بـ”المجلس”..سيريا بوليتيك ينشر نص الإتصال بين منّاع والأوربيين
{…}
وقال الدكتور هيثم مناع ، رئيس هيئة التنسيق الوطنية السورية المعارضة في المهجر، في حديث مع “سيريا بوليتيك” إن “الموقف الأوربي كان بضغط من آلان جوبيه الذي يعتقد أننا ما زلنا في حقبة عصبة الأمم حيث تقرر دولة الإنتداب مصير الدولة المستعمرة. لحسن حظ الشعب الفرنسي أن اليسار أذكى من سماسرة يبحثون عن حريري يمول حملاتهم الإنتخابية”.

وأضاف ” اتصل بي ليكا أوسيتالو من الإتحاد الأوربي مطالبا أن نبقى بصلة جيدة وأن لا يغير هذا في علاقتنا”.

ليكا أوسيتالو هو رئيس قسم الشرق الأوسط بهيئة العمل الخارجي في الاتحاد الأوروبي التي تعد بمثابة وزارة خارجية الاتحاد الأوربي.

وأما رد هيثم مناع على المسؤول الأوربي فقد جاء في خمس نقاط رئيسية، كشفها لموقعنا:
أولا، قلت له نعتذر عن حضور ندوتكم لتوحيد المعارضة السورية لأنكم أصبحتم طرفا ولم تعودوا وسيطا مقبولا، ثانيا ستبقى العلاقات الثنائية بين هيئة التنسيق الوطنية والاتحاد الأوربي على سابق عهدها. ثالثا: أود تذكير سيادتكم بأن هيئة التنسيق كانت وراء إيصال أكبر كمية من المساعدات الإنسانية مؤخرا مباشرة أو عبر أصدقائها، أنتم كنتم تصرفون المال لفنادق الخمسة نجوم والأرصدة المصرفية في الخارج. لن ينسى أطفال المناطق المنكوبة أن ما سمعه آباءهم عن وعود أمريكية وأوربية وخليجية كانت للإعلام وإخوان الصفا. رابعا أود أن أذكركم أننا ندفع أجرة الطريق لكل مواعيدنا معكم من عرقنا وننام عند إخوتنا المناضلين في بروكسل ولم نأتكم يوما على نفقتكم. خامسا أتمنى أن نبقى بعلاقة شخصية طيبة حتى بعد مغادرتك مهامك لأنك كنت مثالا للإنسان الأمين والمخلص لقناعاته وعلاقاته.

http://syria-politic.com/ar/Default.aspx?subject=425#.T1W3aYePXlZ

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March 6th, 2012, 2:14 am

 

13. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:


WHY DELAYED INTERVENTION IN SYRIA COULD CAUSE RADICALIZATION

Open your eyes and minds people! The US and the West WANT radicalization! The delay also means the problem gets bigger and bigger and so the solution costs more and more. And who benefits? well, the military-industrial complex, of course (is the Carlyle group still around?). A radicalized, chaotic Syria would be just what the doctor ordered for the “WAR ON TERROR” groupies. PEACE is bad for business, conflict is SWEET, the arms merchants (Russian as well as American and Israeli and Lebanese) are laughing all the way to the bank. “We just told the suckers we’ll let them have democracy, ha ha ha, wink, wink”

Look at Libya, look how long they managed to drag it on. For every extra day they kept the fighting going, goodness knows how many millions were earned by the merchants of death. And who is aiding them with realizing this wonderful plan? Well, its Besho the Butcher, and buddies, who else? Like the middle and upper classes that are running away like rats from a ship on fire, had Besho and his mafia council had an ounce of love for the country he would have announced way back in March/April that he would hold a referendum, monitored by international observers, asking the people if they 1)wanted him to continue as president, and 2) if they wanted the Baath party and the security apparatuses replaced by a multi-party, civilian controlled republic. That’s it, sweet and simple.

But no, he had to show the people who was boss, to rub their noses in the idea that they will NEVER be ruled by anyone of their choice, but by who the Assadist Mafia and Associates deem suitable for ruling Syria, and of course no group of people will ever be more suitable to boss the country but they. They thought the people had been robbed of their backbones forever, that they’d been tamed and cowed and were always under the boots of the ASMAA.

Were they ever wrong! Now, we have a fight on our hands and as I had expected from the very start the ASMAA will fight to the end and will burn the country down before they will let out of their grip. The chaos the West wanted will eventuate, but we WILL be rid of the ASMAA and Syria will eventually rise from the ashes again and we we SHALL have our free and just and dignified AND democratic SYRIA غصباًعن أنف كل أسدي حقير!!!

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March 6th, 2012, 2:50 am

 

14. Juergen said:

Interesting photo collection by german phtographer Timo Voigt who was among the FSA in northern Syria/Idleb region.

I translate some of the captions:

photo 6-

7 men were found dead(shot in their head, handcuffed) in one house, all of them had been detained by the police 2 moths ago

photo 7
FSA passportcontrol in a bus

photo 8

a shopowner comes out of her destroyed shop

photo 13

a tank has damaged their house severely

photo 14

4 men and 1 women were killed in an attack, 2 more men from an other village, 2000 villagers pay their farewell

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-79373.html

( click through the images)

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March 6th, 2012, 4:17 am

 

15. annie said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=b5FgEyqUSaY

Jacques Bérès “On bombarde des gens qui ne peuvent pas se défendre” Syrie Révolution syrienne

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March 6th, 2012, 5:23 am

 

16. ann said:

Der Spiegel is a pro-israel publisher

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March 6th, 2012, 5:43 am

 

17. Juergen said:

Ann
you seem to enjoy your life labeling folks and magazines, never get bored from it?

DER SPIEGEL is the oldest german magazine which has an reputation to have an independant stand, if you wikipedia them youll find out that they have critized not only every german government but also have written many articles about israeli occupation and wars, but i assume only SANA journalism standards count for you right?

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March 6th, 2012, 5:53 am

 

18. Tara said:

Jad said:

In Damascus we have a say:
The mouse is not clean and her prayer wont be answered
La alfara (ra..ra..ra..) tahra w la douaha moustajab
—-

Jad. Who were you referring to? Your mother ? What a shame to refer to one’s own mother as a filthy mouse. Would JC forgive you for insulting one’s mom? I doubt it..

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 31

March 6th, 2012, 6:58 am

 

19. Syrialover said:

# 13. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships

I agree with a lot of what you say, and look for your posts. I strongly support your comments about things in Syria.

However, I mildly disagree on a couple of other things. I think you would have to search a very long time to find any policy makers and citizens in the USA and the west who are happy to see radicalization in the ME or anywhere else.

It’s very similar to how they used to see communism; any thought of it spreading brings anxiety and an urge to stop it.

They want others to have the same systems as them, so they can be comfortable with them, which is why they like to see “modernization” and “democracy” spread. Concepts that happen to be independently popular with the Arab Spring generation.

And I don’t think anybody wanted to drag Libya on – least of all the NATO countries involved. The military-industrial complex isn’t what it used to be, thanks to the current state of western economies and politics.

Keep your posts coming, please.

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March 6th, 2012, 7:03 am

 

20. Tara said:

ASSAD

“…besides, my friend’s family live in front of where he was killed

Yeah, right. “my friend’s word against yours’…”

That is called ” make things up up as you go”. A rather cheap strategy exposed to all except to the one making it up.

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March 6th, 2012, 7:17 am

 

21. mjabali said:

Moderation in this blog is showing double standards.

Example: compare between what Majedkhaldoun said to me in comment # 690 and passed with no moderation, and what I have said in comment #700 and was moderated.

Free my speech mr. Moderator. Please FREE MY WORDS from your jail….

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March 6th, 2012, 7:38 am

 

22. Shami said:

ANN in the syrian general opinion ,assad regime happened to be an israeli necessity.
Where would you going to play your false rejectionism in post assad Syria ?

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March 6th, 2012, 7:38 am

 

23. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad is losing patience. Too many witnesses have fled from Syria to Lebanon. Assad has decided to attack the bridge that unites the syrian side to the lebanese side which is being crossed by hundreds of syrian people injuried by the regime attacks on Bab Amr. We have also the witness of journalists in Homs (those who survived) and all video material sent from the begining of the revolution. But what can hurt more is the testimony of those who have been under siege in Homs and now are in Lebanon free to offer testimony.

Assad is day after day nearer to The Hague Tribunal.

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March 6th, 2012, 7:43 am

 

24. SANDRO LOEWE said:

10. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships

Great post. Thank you.

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March 6th, 2012, 8:26 am

 

25. Syrialover said:

The account from Aleppo makes stressful reading, but it matches what I’ve heard from there. Families are moving in together to pool resources, nobody goes out at night, and there is growing anxiety about shortages of basic necessities.

I am very frightened knowing there is worse to come. I know previously “neutral” people in Aleppo who are disillusioned that the government has failed in this crisis and has nothing to offer. They see a black future since things have gone so far, with the government fighting and killing so many Syrians.

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March 6th, 2012, 8:45 am

 

26. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

I recently met a fellow Syrian-American at my alma mater, UCLA, and she told (she is from Aleppo حلب) that during a recent visit to Aleppo she found the city vastly anti-Bashar M.D. (Murderous Dictator). She thought, and I strongly agree with her, that it was a matter of time before the city resembled the courageous city of Homs, whose citizens (particularly the Sunnis of Baba Amr) were subjected to SECTARIAN-CLEANSING on the hands of M.D., Nasrallah’s Shabiha, and Iran’s revolutionary gaurds/al-Quds brigade
P.S. Thanks moderator for allowing me to post as Dawoud from Holy Homs (Thanks JNA for correcting my spelling mistake of “holy :-) ). HOMS IS NOW OUR KARABALAH!

An Arabic summary of M.D. brutality and Syrian people’s courageous demonstrations from “the network of the free,” Aljazeera:

http://www.aljazeera.net/news/pages/715ce88d-99c3-4dd0-8011-cb820851b54f?GoogleStatID=1

بعد يوم من سقوط 21 قتيلا أغلبهم بحمص
قتلى واقتحام بدرعا واشتباكات بحماة

قال ناشطون سوريون اليوم إن شخصين قضيا تحت التعذيب في درعا وأضافوا أن القوات السورية اقتحمت بلدة الحراك بدرعا، وسط اشتباكات بين الجيش السوري والجيش الحر في أحياء حماة، يأتي هذا بعد يوم من مقتل 21 شخصا برصاص الأمن السوري بينهم طفلان وسيدة وأغلبهم في محافظة حمص.

فقد وثقت الشبكة السورية لحقوق الإنسان أن الشخصين عذبا حتى الموت بعد يوم من اعتقالهما في مدينة درعا البلد بمحافظة درعا التي شهدت حملة اعتقالات شملت العشرات.

من جهتها أفادت شبكة شام الإخبارية بأن الأمن اقتحم بلدة الحراك بدرعا من محاورها الأربعة وسط إطلاق نار عشوائي في البلدة، كما قام الجيش بقصف مئذنة جامع أبو بكر الصديق بقذيفة دبابة.
وقال متحدث باسم تنسيقيات حوران للجزيرة إن “هجوما بربريا” يشنه أكثر من أربعة آلاف عنصر من الجيش ومائة حافلة من الأمن يأتي بعد خطف رائد في الجيش السوري، وأضاف أن الجيش الحر انسحب من المنطقة “حفاظا على أرواح المدنيين، ولعدم تكرار ما جرى في حي بابا عمرو لأن النظام لا يفرق بين مدني وعسكري ولا حجر ولا بشر”.

كما اندلعت اشتباكات بين الجيش ومقاتلين من الجيش الحر في أحياء في حماة وريفها وقرب مطار حلب الدولي. وشنت قوات الأمن حملة اعتقالات في مدينة الباب بريف حلب.

بدوره قال عضو تنسيقية حمص عمر التلاوي للجزيرة إن القصف بالهاون والقذائف الصاروخية والمسمارية استهدف أحياء حمص ومدن الرستن وتلبيسة إضافة إلى حصارها بالدبابات.

وتحدث عن مجازر ارتكبت في الرستن وقال إن الأمن والشبيحة يقومون بإحراق المنازل والمحلات التجارية وسط انتشار القناصة على المراكز الحكومية، مشيرا إلى أن حمص مقطوعة عن العالم الخارجي بعد قطع الاتصالات عنها.

وكشف التلاوي أن الأمن يسيطر على المستشفى الحكومي في حمص التي انحصر العلاج فيه للشبيحة والأمن الذين يمنعون المرضى المدنيين من دخوله (حتى مرضى القلب والأمراض المستعصية) فيما يشبه العقاب الجماعي لأهالي المحافظة وفق وصفه.

21 قتيلا أغلبهم في حمص سقطوا برصاص الأمن الاثنين (الفرنسية)
قتلى الاثنين
وكانت حصيلة أمس من القتلى ارتفعت إلى 21 شخصا بينهم طفلان وسيدة وعسكري منشق وقتيل قضى تحت التعذيب بحسب الشبكة السورية لحقوق الإنسان.

وأوضحت الشبكة أن 11 قتيلا سقطوا بحمص، وقتيلين في كل من درعا وحماة وإدلب وريف دمشق، وقتيلا في كل من السويداء وحلب.

وتشهد مدينة إدلب حركة نزوح للأهالي، بعد تهديد الجيش باقتحامها في حال لم ينسحب منها الجيش الحر.

وشهدت أحياء الحارة الغربية والحارة الشمالية حركة نزوح خاصة من الأطفال والنساء وكبار السن خوفا من اقتحام قوات الأمن لتلك الأحياء أو قصفها.

في غضون ذلك، بث ناشطون صوراً على الإنترنت تظهر خروج مظاهرات مسائية في أحياء الشاغور وجوبر ومخيم اليرموك بدمشق. وهتف المتظاهرون بسقوط نظام الرئيس بشارالأسد.

كما بث ناشطون صوراً تظهر قيام المتظاهرين بقطع أحد الطرق الرئيسية في حي الميدان بدمشق، رداً على اعتقال عدد من المتظاهرين.

وبثوا أيضا صوراً تظهر خروج مظاهرة مسائية في حي الميسر بحلب، حيث أحرق المتظاهرون صوراً للأسد.

وفي اللاذقية خرجت مظاهرة مسائية في حي الطابيات، حيث ردد المتظاهرون هتافات تضامنا مع مدينة حمص والمدن السورية التي تتعرض لحملات أمنية.
[…]

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March 6th, 2012, 8:47 am

 

27. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

16. ann said:

“Der Spiegel is a pro-israel publisher”

I understand your hatred of Der Spiegel because it was the first publication to reveal the leak from the U.N. investigation into the M.D./Hasan assassination of PM Rafik al-Hariri! Now, Hasan-who should be personally charged with the killing since he is the decision-maker in Hizballah’s terrorist organization-3 Hizballah persons are facing arrest warrants while being shielded by the Dahiya’s pro-Bashar propagandist (how many طله did Hasan do on behalf of M.D. while his supporters are setting like schools pupils and watching a large TV screen?).

Ms. Ann didn’t complain about Der Spiegel when it interviewed Bashar’s Mufi Hassoun :-)

Having worked for UNRWA, I hate Zionism more than anybody. But, please, don’t blame the Zionist occupiers for al-Hariri’s murder!
Below is the first leak in 2009 from der Spiegel about Hasan’s role in al-Hariri’s assassination (how could Hasan murder Rafik without M.D.’s approval?):

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,626412,00.html
New Evidence Points to Hezbollah in Hariri Murder

By Erich Follath

The United Nations special tribunal investigating the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri has reached surprising new conclusions — and it is keeping them secret. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, investigators now believe Hezbollah was behind the Hariri murder.

It was an act of virtually Shakespearean dimensions, a family tragedy involving murder and suicide, contrived and real tears — and a good deal of big-time politics.

REUTERS
The terror attack in Beirut on Valentine’s Day, 2005: Intensive investigations in Lebanon are all pointing to Hezbollah and not Syria.
On February 14, 2005, Valentine’s Day, at 12:56 p.m., a massive bomb exploded in front of the Hotel St. Georges in Beirut, just as the motorcade of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri passed by. The explosives ripped a crater two meters deep into the street, and the blast destroyed the local branch of Britain’s HSBC Bank. Body parts were hurled as far as the roofs of surrounding buildings. Twenty-three people died in the explosion and ensuing inferno, including Hariri, his bodyguards and passersby.
The shock waves quickly spread across the Middle East. Why did Hariri have to die? Who carried out the attack and who was behind it? What did they hope to achieve politically?

The Hariri assassination has been the source of wild speculation ever since. Was it the work of terrorist organization al-Qaida, angered by Hariri’s close ties to the Saudi royal family? Or of the Israelis, as part of their constant efforts to weaken neighboring Lebanon? Or the Iranians, who hated secularist Hariri?

FROM THE MAGAZINE

Find out how you can reprint this DER SPIEGEL article in your publication.

At the time of the attack, it was known that Hariri, a billionaire construction magnate who was responsible for the reconstruction of the Lebanese capital after decades of civil war, wanted to reenter politics. It was also known that he had had a falling out with Syrian President Bashar Assad after demanding the withdrawal of Syrian occupation forces from his native Lebanon. As a result, the prime suspects in the murder were the powerful Syrian military and intelligence agency, as well as their Lebanese henchmen. The pressure on Damascus came at an opportune time for the US government. Then-President George W. Bush had placed Syria on his list of rogue states and wanted to isolate the regime internationally.
In late 2005, an investigation team approved by the United Nations and headed by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis found, after seven months of research, that Syrian security forces and high-ranking Lebanese officials were in fact responsible for the Hariri murder. Four suspects were arrested. But the smoking gun, the final piece of evidence, was not found. The pace of the investigation stalled under Mehlis’s Belgian successor, Serge Brammert
[…]

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March 6th, 2012, 9:00 am

 

28. zoo said:

It did not take long… I guess it suits the friends of Libya

Eastern Libya declares semiautonomous region
By RAMI AL-SHAHEIBI | Associated Press – 1 hr 48 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/eastern-libya-declares-semiautonomous-region-121457192.html

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Tribal leaders and militia commanders declared a semiautonomous region in oil-rich eastern Libya on Tuesday, a move opponents fear will be the first step toward outright dividing the country six months after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.
(..)

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March 6th, 2012, 9:06 am

 

29. SANDRO LOEWE said:

In my last visit to Syria this month I found a guy who has some bussiness with me. Before the 15.03.2011 I never talked about politics with him. From the beginning of the revoultion we had always talked by phone. Since nobody dares expressing political views on the line I did not know what his opinion was.

When I met him and had a coffee, for 1 hour, he explained some interesting things. It may serve as a portrait of one in 4 million syrians who are in their twenties.

– He belongs or sympathizes to one of the communist parties.

– He has been in the demostrations against the regime.

– He was catched in a street battle in a suburb in Damascus and army men tried to shoot him without reason. He was introduced in a home by neighbours.

– Day after day he and many other in his neighborhooD are taking a more active role in anti-Assad activities.

– He charges the regime for its ineptitude to deal with the people, for the violence it used against peacefull demonstrations and for the corruption that is leading not only the regime but the whole country to a disaster.

– He is thinking to travel abroad to be able to pay for his sister and mother.

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March 6th, 2012, 9:09 am

 

30. Mina said:

Moderator
How can comment 20 be considered not insulting?

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March 6th, 2012, 9:25 am

 

31. Mina said:

Wikileaks on Autumn planning for current civil war
http://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/1671459_insight-military-intervention-in-syria-post-withdrawal.html

(…) I kept pressing on the question of what these SOF teams would be working
toward, and whether this would lead to an eventual air camapign to give a
Syrian rebel group cover. They pretty quickly distanced themselves from
that idea, saying that the idea ‘hypothetically’ is to commit guerrilla
attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite
forces, elicit collapse from within. There wouldn’t be a need for air
cover, and they wouldn’t expect these Syrian rebels to be marching in
columns anyway. (…)

As Benghazi is now asking for autonomy with the eastern oil rich region, I guess you appreciate what is at stake. Welcome to oil rich Kurdistan. The Palestinians will be free to chose in which bantustan they wish to live: the Jordanian one, the Syrian one…

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March 6th, 2012, 9:33 am

 

32. irritated said:

#15. Juergen

In your thorough research for photos of martyrs did you ever find any photos of one of the 2,000 dead soldiers and tortured pro-regime civilians?
I guess professional journalists ( and you) prefer to do as they never existed..

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March 6th, 2012, 9:33 am

 

33. SANDRO LOEWE said:

I suggest a referendum is done to freely elect Bashar Al Assad and brother as moderators of this SC. He is so charming, reformer and he always knows what to do. So smart, so cute, so criminal.

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March 6th, 2012, 9:39 am

 

34. Tara said:

Mina

It is insulting indeed to call someone filthy mouse. Insults that come from someone like Jad do not bother me. This is what he is used to. What bothers me is the sense of entitlement and protection he thinks he has.

also Mina, you keep mentioning Islamic thugs. I would like you not to use that phrase any more. You can say fundamentalist if you would like. If your
term is acceptable on SC, I will start referring to lots of people as Christian thugs. Deal?

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March 6th, 2012, 9:45 am

 

35. bronco said:

34. Mina

If it is easy to split Iraq and Libya according to the oil fields,it won’t be as easy to divide Northern Syria where most of the minerals, gaz , oil are present ( Deir al Zor, Palmyra etc.)

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March 6th, 2012, 9:47 am

 

36. irritated said:

#34 Tara

You are right, it should be ‘islamist’ and not ‘islamic’
‘Islamists’ are referred to in the media as moslem extremists.

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March 6th, 2012, 9:52 am

 

37. Juergen said:

Mina

thank you for posting an interesting read

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March 6th, 2012, 9:55 am

 
 

39. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

This comment is addressed to Professor Joshua Landis and his colleagues in Middle Eastern Studies programs.

I have no idea if you pay attention to the comment section of Syria Comment. I can hardly blame you if you don’t, but I believe, that one or two of your grad students may be interested in analyzing the comments using logical, rhetorical, and moral theories. I believe that there are at least a couple of Ph.D. dissertations hidden in such analysis that would point to the moral, ethical, and intellectual failures and duplicity of the pro-regime stance and its trade tools. There may also be a couple of decent papers to be written on idealism, and its positive and negative impacts on the morally and intellectually superior pro-revolution stance.

Take for example one post in which the poster tried to use a pure propaganda piece to cast doubt on one video clip about torture in hospitals, and thereby on the entire moral narrative of the popular Syrian Revolution. The poster however, comically fails to recognize that the cut-paste article in fact casts light on the fundamental brutality and criminality of the regime. The article’s argument is based on what has become the hallmark of the propaganda site professional doubt caster “Friend” and London based journalist of a single phrase indicating “I can not ascertain whether the cable is used for torture” , and his questioning that (paraphrased), “wouldn’t it be logical to expect them to wait for the prisoners to recover, before they torture them in their own headquarters” Again, the poster fails so miserably in recognizing that the sloppily written cut and paste article, if read properly, is a clear condemnation of the regime he has been defending for a year now.

When regime apologists attempt to sanitize the regime and discredit the revolutionary narrative by arguing details of whether a cable is used in torture, or which caliber the regime has used to shell residents of Homs among countless other examples, they are merely using sophistry and hairsplitting, which is one of the defining characteristics of the corrupt counter intellectualism embodied and exemplified by the head of the Syrian regime. Using such inferior sophistry to cast doubt on the true narrative of this revolution fails in denying the underlying truth, which is the fascist, sectarian, corrupt, brutal, and criminal nature of the regime they are defending and parroting and succeed in shining the light on the corrupt demagoguery of the regime and its affiliates, which can easily be contrasted by the just, popular, moral, ethical, and intellectual foundation of the Syrian Revolution.

Commenter TARA captured some of this moral failure well recently when she pointed to a statement, also burped by another regime apologist attempting to cast a FSA negatively because it left the residents of Baba Amr to “their fate” . Once more, intellectual and moral failure in understanding the implication of such comment on the image of the regime’s murderous “un-national” army is as blinding as the mid day midsummer blazing sun in the Arabian desert.

A third example, is kindly furnished by a third pro-regime poster, who is arguing that one should not exercise one’s own intellectual faculties since others, who are mostly so incredibly detached from the reality, have decided to write pro-regime stories in gutter media. The poster simply calls the media as second hand, in order to call discussion and thinking a third hand narrating to justify their dismissal. Such arrogant idea (not poster) can only come from willful ignorance (poster). It is clear that the cut-paste strategy has dual use. First it allows the poster to pass the most vile, provocative collection of lies and innuendos as “respected” journalistic opinion through moderation, and second to shout back in fake and quire angry indignation “I did not say so, I merely presented opinion giving the other side of the story”. But more importantly, it demands the least effort, beyond burping sophomoric phrases and prepackaged childish classification and accusations from the side of the cut and paste artists. I have seen the same behavior on other blogs, and I think here and there, those who are getting paid to flood the blogsphere with regime propaganda are cheating their employers. The volunteers among the pro-regime crowd are escaping from the demands of honest discussion, which requires one to think rigorously and attempt to address the topic at hand, not to simply shoot the words of others packaged so cynically as ammunition. Fear of discovering one’s own intellectual and moral bankruptcy is perhaps an undercurrent in all of these attempts, which is a good thing because it indicates that there may be a microscopic shard of critical thinking remaining whose owners are working so hard to suppress.

It seems that the pro revolution crowd should probably settle for an arrangement where the propagandists keep presenting, unaided, one case after another of the brutality and criminality of the regime they are defending, and thus highlight their own moral and ethical failure as well as their incomprehension of the illegitimacy their own comments and cuts and pastes cast on the regime.

To conclude, I expect that some students in middle eastern studies are far more capable in analyzing comments than me, and I think that such is a legitimate academic and intellectual exercise in understanding the methods of intellectual brutality and vulgarity of the persistent assaults on intelligence being committed by the pro-regime crowd in the blogsphere and the idealism of their opponents including myself, and definitely with far more intellectual honesty pro regime Russian, Iranian, Lebanese media, and a few bitter failing, left and right wing nutty academics in the US and Canada.

I have avoided linking to the comments referenced in my note to avoid personalizing my harsh comment.

To the Moderator/s:
As much as I dislike the childish vulgarity and back-slaps, and as much as I admire your effort to clean up the language on this blog, it just downed on to me, haven’t Syrians been censored long enough under one name or another?

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March 6th, 2012, 10:01 am

 

40. zoo said:

“Fleeing”? Is Rastan the next Bab Amr?

“After fleeing Baba Amr, the rebels regrouped in nearby Rastan city, which according to the Observatory and activists came under artillery fire on Sunday and Monday.”

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-presses-assaults-ahead-annan-peace-bid-102036074.html

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March 6th, 2012, 10:02 am

 

41. irritated said:

#42 Syrian Hamster

OMG… a lecture again..

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March 6th, 2012, 10:04 am

 

42. majedkhaldoun said:

Mina
You read Jad comment, and it was an insult, I did not hear you complaining about that, Jad comment was personal insult,Tara was responding to personal insult, You and Jad should abstain from personal insult,
You support Assad and Assad is a thug, he, as all dictators, is criminal, how in the world people support this thug I do not know, please stop supporting Assad ,and if you believe in freedom you should denounce Assad not support him. Now if you do not believe in freedom ,then go on support Assad, as you have done.
The violence in Syria was initiated by Assad and his thugs,against peaceful demonstrators,your criticism of the revolution is supportive of criminal suppression by Assad.

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March 6th, 2012, 10:09 am

 

43. mjabali said:

Majedkhaldoun:

Dude: You should be the last one on this blog to lecture people about insults and morals.

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March 6th, 2012, 10:23 am

 

44. Mina said:

Majed
I told you before: you are too binary.
Not to support foreign sponsored terrorists has nothing to do with supporting Assad. I say that there is a local opposition that is made of intellectuals who have spent years in jail and have nothing to do with paid local thugs such as the Homs, Edled, Ma’rat al Nu’man, Daara and Deir al Zur small groups who have turned Syria into a battlefield. If you can trust people who send fake videos, you have no respect for truth.

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March 6th, 2012, 10:30 am

 
 

46. Mina said:

Tara,
An Islamist thug is not an “Islamist” that would be qualified as a “thug” to criticize hom.
It is a paid thug, i. e. a drug dealer, a mafia guy, doing thefts, attacks, extortion, for whoever pay him, but claims to be a pious Muslim on camera, using “Islamic” phrases.
When I use “Islamist thugs” (if I did, actually I don’t recall such a phrase in my comments), it means a paid thug who parades in Youtube videos as if he belonged to any serious batallion with the name of a hero of the Islamic conquests. Are you going to say there are no drug addicts and petty thugs in Syria? I am afraid you can’t see them at the Four Seasons but they are legions. It is a failed socialist country with many pockets of poverty as you know.

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March 6th, 2012, 10:39 am

 

47. Tara said:

Mina

When you use Islamic thugs, I will refer to the Christians supporting the regime killing Syrians to preserve their privileges as Christian thugs. Is that a difficult concept to comprehend?

You seem to forget what you write. This is now happening for the third time in 2 days. Zoo with calling for Revlon back, Ataturk’ picture , And now Islamic thugs. Read your last post on the previous thread to refresh your memory.

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March 6th, 2012, 10:49 am

 

48. Mina said:

Ref Wikileaks links above, I was wondering what SOF stand for, and a quick search with “Finderr” (forget Google who decides for you how to correct what you wanted to search) gives “Special Operations Forces”.

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March 6th, 2012, 10:55 am

 

49. bronco said:

41. abbas

How true is that Erdogan has only two more years? Many people with colon cancer live much longer.
I guess Turkey should hurry up in setting the ‘safe areas’ within Syria, otherwise their border cities may be overwhelmed by refugees.
The militias and the FSA fleeing Bab Amr and soon Rastan will probably be chased from city to city until they’d reach the Turkish borders. These cities will be submitted to intense army fire therefore civilians will gradually move out and ultimately reach the Turkish border.
In view of that development, I really wonder what Turkey has in mind.

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March 6th, 2012, 11:06 am

 

50. Tara said:

Mina

If English is not your first language, I can use Spanish or German. If that would help. Sorry, i don’t speak French and i don’t have Arabic keyboard. This was never about should Revlon come back or not. This was about you implicating someone saying something he never said and when you were alerted to it once by Zoo and on once by me, you never made an acknowledgement of your mistake. Same with Ataturk’s picture argument. The issue was not whether the argument is correct or incorrect. The issue was that you attributed the discussion to Zoo even though it was brought up by Irritated.. You were again alerted to your mistake and you made no acknowledgement.

Finally , to attach the word Islam to the word thug is a bigotry and in my book, it warrants a response.

Jesus Christ! How difficult is that to understand???

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March 6th, 2012, 11:10 am

 

51. ann said:

Egyptian Lawmaker Resigns After Nose-Job Scandal – March 6, 2012 :D

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/03/06/egyptian-lawmaker-resigns-after-nose-job-scandal/

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March 6th, 2012, 11:10 am

 

52. bronco said:

#44 Mina

You’re right. Most of anti-regime talk like Bush, binary: with me or with the evil.
What they fail to understand is that rejecting the pathetic SNC and the armed militias does not mean supporting the excesses of the regime.
I had wished right from the start to see an emerging opposition that could attract the trust of all the Syrians. Instead, the most vocal opposition’s, the SNC, proposal for a future for Syria and how to get there is far less appealing than what the current government is proposing. Despite its flaws, its excesses and its brutality, the current regime is at least united and still unites a large part of the Syrians, whether they are pro-regime or just hesitant. It has also made a tangible and important reform, the Constitution with multiparty and a limit to the president mandates.
What is worse, is that when the opposition was obliged by the ‘friends of Syria’ to face its failure , instead of taking corrective actions to get more popular support in Syria, it splitted and opted to use force funded by foreign countries. The effect has been exactly the opposite, the syrians who had doubts about the regime viability but who hate the idea of a ‘democracy’ over ruins and dead bodies are turning their back to the foreign lead opposition and supporting the local opposition, more concerned about keeping their country united.
I just hope that this electroshock will have the local opposition take a stronger stand and accept direct negotiations to save the country.

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March 6th, 2012, 11:51 am

 

53. jad said:

Tara
If you seriously think that the mouse idiom I wrote was an insult, I apologize, it wasn’t meant this way and I’m sorry for not being aware that you take my comments literally, I guess I’ve been on blogs, twitter, and social media way too long than you.
I know that both of us can behave better and respect each others when we want, can we try?

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March 6th, 2012, 11:56 am

 

54. bronco said:

45. Mina

Thanks, excellent and realistic Robert Fisk article indeed.

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March 6th, 2012, 12:07 pm

 

55. Tara said:

Jad

Thank you.

A fresh start it is!

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March 6th, 2012, 12:07 pm

 

56. jad said:

Bronco, Mina,
What you both wrote is the reality we are facing these days inside and outside Syria, and the irony I’m noticing is that the ‘regime’ now looks more rational than the oppositions and it looks that it wants to protect Syrians instead of wasting their lives in an ugly NATO attacks and giving away Syria independence as price for the opposition race to get to power using any means possible even ruling over a devastated country with warlords, terrorists, failed economy and sectarian society.
It seems that some Syrian delusions get to an unprecedented level and it’s beyond repair.

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March 6th, 2012, 12:11 pm

 

57. zoo said:

In the new Libya, two british journalists working for Iranian Press TV are accused of spying for …Israel?

Two British journalists accused of spying in Libya
By Christian Lowe and Ali Shuaib

TRIPOLI | Sun Mar 4, 2012 4:56pm EST

(Reuters) – Two British journalists working for Iran’s Press TV who were detained late last month in Libya are suspected of being spies, the head of the militia which is holding them said on Sunday.

Faraj al-Swehli, commander of the Swehli brigade, said his men had found among the journalists’ possessions official Libyan documents, equipment used by the Israeli military and footage of them firing weapons.

“We believe they are spies,” Swehli said in Tripoli. He said it was too early to say what country they were spying for, but that this would be established by their investigation.
(…)

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March 6th, 2012, 12:12 pm

 

58. jad said:

Tara,
Thank you!

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March 6th, 2012, 12:15 pm

 

59. jad said:

From النشرة المستمرّة of Assafir
http://www.assafir.com/

The Syrian Journalists’ union asking the international media not to send any journalist illegally to Syria:

عربي ودولي – اتحاد الصحافيين السوري يدعو الإعلام الأجنبي الى عدم إرسال صحافيين بـ”شكل غير شرعي” إلى سوريا

دعا الاتحاد العام للصحافيين في سوريا الثلاثاء، المؤسسات الإعلامية الأجنبية إلى عدم إرسال صحافييها بشكل “غير شرعي” إلى سوريا، وذلك بعد مقتل وإصابة صحافيين أجانب في حي بابا عمرو في حمص كانوا دخلوا إلى سوريا عبر معابر غير شرعية.
وطلب رئيس اتحاد الصحافيين في سوريا الياس مراد من رئيس الاتحاد الدولي للصحافيين جيم بوملحة في رسالة وجهها له، “نأمل منكم التعميم على المؤسسات الصحافية والإعلامية والنقابات بضرورة عدم إرسال أي صحافي بشكل غير شرعي”.
وأشار إلى أن هذا الأمر يأتي “التزاما بالقوانين التي تحكم علاقات الدول وبالمواثيق التي تحكم أخلاقيات المهنة وميثاق العمل الصحافي”.
وأكد مراد في رسالته أن الحكومة السورية “سمحت لأكثر من مئتي وفد إعلامي بالدخول والتواجد في سوريا وزيارة المناطق التي تعرضت للأحداث”، معربا عن أسفه “لإصرار بعض المؤسسات الصحافية على إرسال مراسليها إلى بعض المناطق تهريبا وتسللا”.
وأشار رئيس الاتحاد، إلى أن القانون الدولي “يعتبر دخول أي شخص أراضي دولة أخرى بطريقة غير مشروعة أمرا مخالفا وسلطات هذه الدولة غير مسؤولة عن أمنه وحمايته بل عليها توقيفه وإحالته إلى القضاء للتحقيق معه بسبب تسلله غير المشروع”.
وأوضح مراد في رسالته أن “الصحافيين اللذين قتلا (الأميركية ماري كولفن والمصور الفرنسي ريمي اوشليك) والصحافية الفرنسية (اديت بوفييه) وزميلها (المصور وليام دانييلز) دخلوا إلى سوريا تسللا مع المسلحين عبر ممرات غير شرعية ليتواجدوا في اخطر منطقة اشتباك في مدينة حمص”.
وأضاف أن بوفييه ودانيالز “أصرا على الخروج إلى لبنان تسللا” وذلك “رغم محاولات السلطات السورية المختصة والهلال الأحمر العربي السوري إخراجهما بعد إصابتهما”.
وأشار إلى أن “الجهات المختصة ومنظمة الهلال الأحمر ولجنة الصليب الأحمر قاموا بجهد كبير للبحث عن جثتي كولفن واوشليك، وتم بتاريخ 3 آذار نقل جثتيهما إلى دمشق وتسليمهما إلى سفارتيهما”.
(ا ف ب)

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March 6th, 2012, 12:30 pm

 

60. zoo said:

Fierce clashes rage in southern Syria, 5 soldiers and one civilian dead.

By BEN HUBBARD, Associated Press – 2 hours ago
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gm6PO1vqlH7l5krrOwIYbEGatIqg?docId=da0e7e16091e4f3595d002392cd9cc1b

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian troops shelled a southern village and clashed with army defectors holed up inside in violence that killed a 15-year-old boy and five government soldiers, activists said Tuesday.

The clashes in Hirak were some of the worst lately in Daraa province, birthplace of the uprising to oust authoritarian President Bashar Assad. Explosions shook the village as shells slammed into residential areas suspected of sheltering defectors. Even mosques were targeted, activists said.

“The clashes are very intense and have been going on since the morning,” said Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground.

(…)

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March 6th, 2012, 12:31 pm

 

61. Mina said:

Jad,
There were some posts here and on MoB about some satellite pictures showing that an Alawi neighborhood of Homs had also been bombed (before the so called Baba Amro siege). Does this mean that the army shoots at both sides of the gangs, i. e. the Sunni Salafi gangs AND the shabiha gangs, probably paid by local governors and/or mafiosis who have a lot to lose?
From what you wrote here about Homs in the last 8-10 months, sane people had left Baba Amro for a while.

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March 6th, 2012, 12:33 pm

 

62. zoo said:

The admirable work of the Syrian Red Cross and thousands of employees and volunteers

Syria Red Cross mission a delicate ‘balance’
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/03/05/f-red-cross-syria.html
..
The ICRC’s effort is bolstered by national Red Cross or, in the Middle East and North Africa, Red Crescent societies — in the Syrian case, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

The ICRC works with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent on a daily basis. The organization has 19 branches all over Syria staffed by thousands of local volunteers and employees.

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March 6th, 2012, 12:38 pm

 

63. jad said:

As if HBJ and the other tens of criminal militias along their Qaeda friends are not enough to commit crimes against Syrians to have another criminal militia to join the bloody party, this time, the Saudi king has his own gang, I thought they already have Alqaeda registered and the Saudi’s name, well add another one to the list…

تشكيل كتيبة الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود

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March 6th, 2012, 12:38 pm

 

64. zoo said:

After Putin’s victory, Russia remaining firm in support of Syria’s Assad
By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 9:07 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/spain-says-intends-closing-embassy-in-syria-to-protest-brutalities-by-assads-government/2012/03/06/gIQAT5rRuR_story.html

MOSCOW — Russia dampened hopes Tuesday that elections which returned Vladimir Putin to the presidency would soften Moscow’s stance on Syria, as a top diplomat urged the West to press the Syrian opposition to stop fighting Bashar Assad’s regime.

“We are deeply convinced that we are right,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters. “That is why we call on our partners not to adopt a hard-line stance, but to seek compromise, stimulate negotiations and a political process.”

Another official at the Foreign Ministry added that calls for a cease-fire should be directed not only at Assad’s forces, but also the opposition. The official declined to give his name in line with ministry policy.

The comments coming two days after Putin’s election triumph were a blow to speculation that Russia might change its position once the presidential campaign, in which Putin tried to stir support by standing up to the West, was over.

Germany’s foreign minister said Monday that he hoped Russia would recognize that it is on “the wrong side of history” and rethink its policy now that Putin was elected.
(…)

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March 6th, 2012, 12:41 pm

 

65. jad said:

Mina,
“Does this mean that the army shoots at both sides of the gangs,”

I don’t think so, what CNN showed in their report as a damaged area is actually Alzahra neighbourhood, the main regime supporter area and the damage done there is mostly by the terrorists, since Alzahra was daily under fire for more than three months prior to the CNN report, hence the damage we saw.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/sandbox/high-tech-trickery-homs

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/02/lying-with-pictures.html#more

Even Baba Amr, not all the damage there is done by the Syrian military campaign, it was done prior to that, you can check almost every foreign report about that neighbourhood to see the amount of damage the terrorist groups did to the buildings and streets of every area they moved to, they are a terrorist fighters, the only thing they do is to blow up buildings and plant explosives and attack every government building with all kind of weapons, just check couple of the youtube I posted to recognize the reality that many are denying and blaming the Army for every thing and damage happened, which in my opinion is FALSE and a LIE.

I know that the army did attack but the scale of the damage done is on a the street level not the higher level of the buildings which is a result of an urban guerrilla warfare attacks not an Army.

But nobody want reality or facts they are looking for fantasy and lies.

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March 6th, 2012, 12:53 pm

 

66. Mina said:

Jad
Indeed i have seen some of the videos where they stage the burning of a building just for CNN primetime, but I was wondering about the Alawi neighborhood since the satellite pictures discussed by b on MoA. Thanks for your answer.

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March 6th, 2012, 1:03 pm

 

67. Badr said:

Take the time to read this report if you want to make a judgement, otherwise don’t bother!

Pressure Not War
A Pragmatic and Principled Policy Towards Syria

By Marc Lynch

Forceful Diplomacy
Leverage the Growing International Consensus Against Syria
Promote a Negotiated Political Transition
Counter Regime Propaganda
Support and Encourage Unity Among Syrian Opposition Groups
Seek International Justice for Regime Officials

Conclusion
The ongoing slaughter in Syria poses a major challenge to the United States, both morally and strategically. The call for intervention in such a tragedy is understandable. But there are no realistic military options available that could improve the
situation, and those calling for military intervention must demonstrate not only that it is just, but that it can work. They have not. Diplomatic options are no more likely to produce immediate results. However, they still hold out the best hope of pushing Syria towards a negotiated political transition without either making the situation worse through a poorly conceived military intervention. The diplomatic strategy outlined here will not end the violence or bring about a transition overnight, but it
could help mitigate the worst of the current violence while laying the foundation for a transition to a stable, inclusive and peaceful Syria in the future.

http://www.cnas.org/files/documents/publications/CNAS_PressureNotWar_Lynch.pdf

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March 6th, 2012, 1:03 pm

 

68. zoo said:

Two headlines of the same news are one more proof of the media subtle distortion of the information to give a different impression.
Why does the media shie off saying that it’s the world who is ‘offering’ the resumption of the talk, not Iran. It is up to Iran to agree or disagree.

“World powers agree Iran nuclear talks can resume”

“World powers offer to resume nuke talks with Tehran ”
( this headline has been changed almost immediately after published to “Talks on Iran’s nuclear drive set to resume”)

http://news.yahoo.com/eus-ashton-offers-restart-talks-iran-141915827.html

The text:

“On behalf of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, I have offered to resume talks with Iran on the nuclear issue,” said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.”

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March 6th, 2012, 1:05 pm

 

69. jad said:

Mina,
Talking of the media lies, remember this ‘vintage’…nothing changed since then:

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March 6th, 2012, 1:06 pm

 

70. SC Moderation said:

Jad, thank you for the apology to Tara.

I want to again thank the many commentators who show wisdom and a measure of kindness. I cannot imagine the pain and horror that individuals suffer in Syria, nor the grief and fear that accompanies so much death, detention and mistreatment.

Thank you, Mina for wrapping up your disputes with Tara with a maximum of the spirit that Jad shows, and a minimum of personally-directed scorn. The passion and conviction in your commentary is notable, and your contributions add to the broad range of opinion that Syria Comment seeks.

I am asking all commentators to continue to self-moderate, not to badger each other, not to overdo the scorn and invective. There is no one barred from Syria Comment, and I do not wish to blot out strong language from any quarter. I do insist that we all observe rules and regulations established by our host

I much prefer to flag or dim commentary that edges close to and over the red lines of personal attack or discriminatory language.

Do not persist in provocations and insulting language delivered in the heat of anger. Self moderation is the goal.

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March 6th, 2012, 1:08 pm

 

71. zoo said:

UK ambassador in Syria: Assad will be gone in a year

­The British ambassador to Syria, Simon Collis, predicts Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will leave power within a year, reports Sky News. Collis was speaking on television for the first time since last week, when he and his team were recalled from Damascus because of the worsening security situation in Syria. Collins was echoing UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who earlier said that Assad’s leaving is the only option for Syria.

http://rt.com/news/line/2012-03-06/#id27563

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March 6th, 2012, 1:25 pm

 

72. jad said:

Fragmentation of Libya is underway, ‘congratulations’!
Out of this ‘great’ news and away from the delusional ‘separatists’ gangs we read from, I’m sure many Syrians will ‘support’ even more the ‘mighty’ ‘revolution’…It’s leading Syria to ‘heaven’…

A Call for Autonomy in Libya’s East

Thousands of eastern Libyan political and tribal leaders met March 6 near Benghazi. At the meeting, they declared their intent for autonomy in the country’s eastern region and appointed a leader of a new governing council to administer local affairs, moves in keeping with recent calls for federalism. Regardless of what plan is eventually adopted, it is increasingly likely that a strong central authority will not exist in the future Libyan governing system. A power struggle over the amount of authority possessed by the country’s respective autonomous regions will ensue.
{…}
Highlighting this risk, there have recently been several examples of fraying ties between armed groups across the country:

The western coastal city of Misurata, which has long existed as a de facto city-state of its own, recently completed local elections to replace a city council that was nominally loyal to the NTC.
Armed tribesmen in the central town of Bani Walid expelled a pro-NTC militia from local power in February and currently remain in control of the former pro-Gadhafi stronghold.
Tribesmen in the southeastern area of Kufra have been fighting for the past three weeks. The NTC has only been able to issue statements in attempts to resolve the matter.
The Nafusa Mountains lie beyond the control of anyone from the coast, and the region has experienced power struggles among its various armed militias.
While geographically part of the west, Tripoli itself remains under the control of several armed militias from different parts of the country, each of which maintains its own set of alliances — and each of which have repeatedly ignored the NTC’s calls to disarm. Were Libya to begin unraveling under the weight of a federalist movement, the city would experience its own internal struggle.
{…}
http://stratfor.com/analysis/call-autonomy-libyas-east?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=official&utm_campaign=link

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March 6th, 2012, 1:32 pm

 

73. Sheila said:

The reality of the matter is that nobody really knows who is killing whom in Aleppo. Professor Michel Asswad, a beloved teacher at the University of Aleppo, Civil Engineering department (as Jad correctly points out) was killed by a stray bullet. According to his wife, the cab that he was riding back to his home was driven by a person who seemed to be a member of Mukhabarat. Upon hearing the sound of gun fire, the cab driver parked on the side, brandished a gun and started shooting at the direction of the sound. The bullets that came in response killed the professor to result in yet another senseless death of a valuable Syrian mind and wonderful human being.

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March 6th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

74. irritated said:

#73 Sheila

“a person who seemed to be a member of Mukhabarat.”

Did the wife see the cab driver or it is just a speculation to justify he was armed?
An absurd and tragic death as all what is happening in Syria these days

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March 6th, 2012, 1:47 pm

 

75. jad said:

Son of Damascus, Mick,
Regarding Alrastan attack, reality started to come out, and you may not like it:
According to this report, the killed men are all from one family ‘Al FArzat’ and they were kidnapped by KIW militia because they are supporters of the regime and they were ‘bombed’ into pieces in the corner of that hangar to be used as a ‘propaganda’ for the media, and some people want us to believe everything we see without being suspicious:

هذه هي قصة المجزرة التي زعمت وسائل الإعلام أن السلطة ارتكبتها بعد قصف مظاهرة في الرستن

الجثث الستة التي جرى تفجيرها تعود إلى مواطنين ( من آل فرزات؟) جرت تصفيتهم على أيدي “كتيبة خالد بن الوليد” بسبب “ولائهم” للنظام، و”الهنغار” يعود إلى عائلة آل مطر
{…}
الشريط ( منشور جانبا) يشكل واحدا من أكثر الأشرطة المفبركة وضوحا منذ بدء الانتفاضة وحتى الآن ، إن لم يكن أوضحها على الإطلاق. وإليكم الأسباب :

ـ إن إي قذيفة مدفعية ، أو غير مدفعية ، لا يمكن على الإطلاق أن تسقط في هذه الزاوية القصية من”الهنغار” التي تكومت فيها الجثث إلا إذا جاءت من إحدى جهتين : إما من الباب الكبير المفتوح من فوق رؤوس المتظاهرين ، لأن للقذيفة أو القنبلة مسارا قوسيا ( منحنيا)، أو إذا سقطت من السقف. وغني عن البيان ، وكما نشاهد من الشريط ، لم تأت القذيفة من جهة الباب المفتوح. يبقى إذن احتمال السقف والجدارين اللذين يشكلان الزاوية .

وفيما يتعلق بالسقف والجدارين ، نلاحظ ببساطة أنها كلها بقيت سليمة تماما ، بما في ذلك الأبواب المغلقة ( أبوب التوتياء السحّاب) ، وليس فيها أي خرق مهما كان صغيرا لأي قذيفة أو طلقة. بل إنه حتى العلم الموضوع على الجدار واللافتة المعلقة لم يتعرضا لأي أذى ، رغم أنهما من القماش! وبإمكانكم أن تدققوا في الشريط ، فهو واضح جدا. يضاف إلى ذلك أن أي قذيفة لا يمكن أن تأتي من هذه الجهة، لأن “الهنغار” ، وكما نلاحظ ، تحيط به مبان ذات جدران عالية ، لا تبعد عنه أكثر مترين أو ثلاثة على أبعد تحديد.

ـ إن صوت الانفجار لا يمكن أن يكون ناجما حتى عن قذيفة مدفع هاون من عيار 80 مم ، وهو أصغر أنواع المدافع ، لاسيما وأن المكان مغلق ، ويفترض بأي انفجار أن يكون صوته مضاعفا في هذه الحالة (الأصوات تكون مضاعفة في الأماكن المغلقة بسبب انحصار الصوت وارتداد الصدى). والدليل على ذلك هو أننا لم نلحظ حتى ولو مقدارا بسيطا من الدخان أو الغبار ، كما لو أن الانفجار ناجم عن ألعاب نارية!

ـ لم نر أية شظايا لأية قذيفة بعد الانفجار. وقد تعودنا في مثل هذه الحالات على المتظاهرين وهم يسارعون إلى حمل بقايا القذيفة أمام الكاميرا للبرهان على “القصف”!
{…}

http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/6876/Default.aspx

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March 6th, 2012, 1:48 pm

 

76. Alan said:

McCain calls for US-led strikes on Syria without UN mandate
http://rt.com/news/mccain-syria-air-strike-911/
Who needs diplomacy, or international law? Not former presidential candidate (R-AZ) John McCain, who became the first senator to publicly call for a US-led military strike on Syria in order to halt the nearly year-long conflict there.

Taking the Senate floor, McCain said there will be no UN mandate for the air strikes he deems the only way to stop the violence – but that a mandate isn’t necessary. All the Arizona senator needs, apparently, is a somewhat dubious – and violent – precedent. “NATO took military action to save Kosovo in 1999 without formal U.N. authorization. There is no reason why the Arab League, or NATO, or a leading coalition within the Friends of Syria contact group, or all of them speaking in unison, could not provide a similar international mandate for military measures to save Syria today”, he said. ….

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March 6th, 2012, 1:49 pm

 

77. jad said:

If I may add one small point regarding the gun with a taxi driver:
In Syria every taxi driver is allowed bylaw to obtain a gun, they can get a licence and buy a gun, so it’s not necessary that the Taxi driver with a gun to be a moukhabarat.

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March 6th, 2012, 1:52 pm

 

78. Alan said:

http://rt.com/news/stratfor-syria-secret-wikileaks-989/
Stratfor leaks: NATO commandos in illegal special ops in Syria

Undercover NATO troops are already in Syria despite denials from their parent governments, according to a leaked brief from a highly-placed analyst.

The information comes from a hacked email from leading private US intelligence agency Stratfor, whose correspondence has been released by Wikileaks since February 27. The email appears to be written from the address of Reva Bhalla (bhalla@stratfor.com), the company’s director of analysis, for internal use, and details a confidential Pentagon meeting in December. The consultation is alleged to have been attended by senior analysts from the US Air Force, and representatives from its chief allies, France and the United Kingdom.

Western powers have categorically denied military involvement in Syria’s internal conflict, for which they have no international mandate. But if the information contained in the letter is reliable, a radically different picture of Western activity in Syria emerges …

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March 6th, 2012, 1:57 pm

 

79. irritated said:

77. jad

It seems to me that the alleged ‘mokhabarat’ by pulling his gun was trying to protect Dr Aswad from an attack he suspected.
Is the wife actually praising the ‘mokhabarat’ driver for his courageous attempt to defend her husband’s life?

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March 6th, 2012, 2:02 pm

 

80. Alan said:

اذا لم تمتنع الدول الجامحة في غرورها لضرب سورية بعدوان عسكري فان من حق سوريا عندها الاستعانة عسكريا من الدول التي تراها مناسبة و الرد على العدوان بالطرق التي تتناسب مع هذا العدوان ! كفا مغالاة و غرور! السوريون من يقرر شؤون بلدهم و العملية السياسية هي الطريق الوحيد !

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March 6th, 2012, 2:04 pm

 

81. VOLK said:

Russia Retains Stance on Syria After Presidential Elections

Russia’s stance on Syria has always been based on the principles of international law and it will be not changed after the recent presidential elections, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
A number of European and U.S. high-ranking diplomats called on Moscow to change its position on the Syrian conflict now that the March 4 presidential elections are over and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will assume the post of the Russian leader in May.
“In this regard we would like to call on our American and European partners not to indulge in wishful thinking,” the ministry said in a statement adding that Russia’s position is neither agenda-driven nor a subject for domestic election processes.
The ministry said that Russia’s approaches to all domestic conflicts in foreign countries are based on international regulations and the UN Charter.
“First of all, it is about the inadmissibility of interference from abroad, more particularly of a forceful one. In this regard, it would be suitable to stress again that the achievement of a stable Syrian settlement is possible only on the basis of a broad all-national dialogue within which only Syrians will decide on the future development of their government,” the statement said.
Putin earlier warned the West not to interfere in Syria in the run-up to the March 4 vote in Russia and accused the United States of “political engineering” in regions that are “traditionally important” to Russia.
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120306/171801209.html

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March 6th, 2012, 2:11 pm

 

82. Tara said:

Amir,

Where did you disappear? On reflection, I think I answered you the wrong way. I should’ve at least appreciated the honesty and explored your sentiment more, rather than coming off the way I did.

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March 6th, 2012, 2:15 pm

 

83. majedkhaldoun said:

I have been in several taxis in Damascus,the only taxi driver who is allowed to carry gun are the Mukhabarat.
There are 27000 taxi driver in Damascus,if all are allowed to carry gun, that means all syrian can carry guns.
That driver was mukhabarat,and enough of misinformations.

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March 6th, 2012, 2:23 pm

 

84. SANDRO LOEWE said:

83. majedkhaldoun

In Damascus we have the belief that 50 % of the taxi drivers are moukhabaraat. Of course although they bear arms it is strictly forbidden to show them or intimidate others and could be punished by superiors. Sometimes I have presenced quarrels in the middle of the streets or stopping in a traffic light. Only twice some one used the pistols. Once the shot to the other car.

I am a frequent user of taxis and more than 50 % of them use to ¨inform¨ you during the service that they come from Lattakia, Baniyas, Qardaha, Tartus, etc. Just for the case you did not think about giving tips, then you can be sure they will get the rest of the bill you pay. I believe from my experience that many taxi drivers work as moukhabaraat in Damascus headquarters.

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March 6th, 2012, 2:43 pm

 
 

86. jad said:

Alarming news:
The first ‘academic’ victim of the Syrian crisis in the world.
Because of his writings and political views, Pierre Piccinin, a political science professor at the European University of Brussels, expelled from his job on Monday March 5th for writing articles exposing what is happening in Syria.

Here is his last article on Counterpunch:

The Syrian Mirage
by PIERRE PICCININ
More than a year after civil unrest broke out and plunged part of Syria into the chaos of the ‘Arab Spring’, the Baath government remains firmly in control and the majority of the country is calm; almost untouched by an opposition which is scattered and confined to the cities of Homs and Hama, as well as a few towns on the Turkish and Lebanese border. The main reported cases of unrest are linked to regular attacks from Salafist bands which are of an extremely violent nature and more importantly, the Free Syrian Army. The latter counts amid its ranks numerous Qataris and Libyans, all whom have been trained in the art of urban guerilla warfare by the French army in refugee camps, which provide perfect bases from which to operate and orchestrate attacks.
{…}
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/06/the-syrian-mirage/

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March 6th, 2012, 2:59 pm

 

87. Alan said:

Jad ! has Mr PIERRE PICCININ contacts with Hizballa or Hammas ? :)

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March 6th, 2012, 3:21 pm

 

88. Jad said:

Alan
I don’t know, but I doubt it since I didn’t read in his articles about Syria any mention of HA or Hamas.
Which make Syria is the primary reason of his expelling decision.

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March 6th, 2012, 3:27 pm

 

89. Syrialover said:

# 39. SYRIAN HAMSTER

I once said Syrian Hamster for King. Now I say Syrian Hamster for Emperor!

The original thinking and intellectual energy in your post reminds us of the SyriaComment forum before it was hit hard by the virus you discuss.

I came to a similar realisation early on as you about the campaigns we are seeing, recognising the poorly executed trademark tactics. Recently some people I recommended SC to saw the same and asked why I bother with such a site. That hurt, and I explained how Joshua Landis’s tolerance and openness allows those comments, and it is not reflecting him.

It led us to discuss and analyse the phenomenon, covering similar ground to what you are saying. You may have seen my posts where I pointed to the block voting patterns and systematic distraction efforts being employed.

But it is hard to restrain my shock and anger that such stuff is manufactured and posted at a time and in a place where public awareness and support for Syrians has never mattered more.

And it also brings home to me that this is a war with the ugliness and dirty tactics war always brings out in those on the morally wrong side.

I agree there is textbook case material here, and also for media, psychology and history and other analysts, not just those you mention in Middle Eastern studies. And I also remind myself the stuff is tiny droplets in an ocean of truth and evidence and world awareness and concern out there.

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March 6th, 2012, 3:28 pm

 

90. Alan said:

Russia concerned over the West’s lack of political will on the Syrian issue
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/360175.html

Russia expressed concern over the West’s lack of political will on the Syrian issue, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will discuss the issue at the Arab League’s ministerial meeting in Cairo on March 10.
“We believe that any problems can be resolved if those who have influence in the country, in particular, those who exert influence on the opposition show their political will,” Ryabkov said. “It is necessary not to say, that it is too late, but to take actions, not to be too late.”

“It is necessary not to say, that it is too late, but to take actions, not to be too late.”

“We are concerned with the lack of political will,” he said.

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March 6th, 2012, 3:29 pm

 

91. Alan said:

Juergen ! this video For that sattelite pictures !
Terrorists target oil refinery in Homs

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March 6th, 2012, 3:55 pm

 

92. Syria no kandahar said:

وما رميت اذ رميت ولكن حمد رما

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March 6th, 2012, 3:55 pm

 

93. Alan said:

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/
TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2012

Syria: Game Over for Western Propaganda
Syrian Activists Caught Lying, Syrian Rebels Caught Committing Atrocities.
by Tony Cartalucci

March 6, 2012 – Why should the West intervene in Syria when it turns out “activists” giving daily body counts, the sole source of “evidence” for the UN’s ever climbing grand total, are caught not only lying, but staging entire interviews complete with fake gunfire directed “off stage?” Why should the US, UK, EU, or the West’s stable of Arab proxy-regimes be allowed to arm Syrian rebels admittedly carrying out their own horrific atrocities? Clearly Syria’s opposition have turned out, just as they have in Libya, to be craven, murderous, and ultimately deceitful extremists – making any further contact with them by the West a direct violation of their own national and international laws…….

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March 6th, 2012, 3:58 pm

 

94. jad said:

SNK
That is exactly what the Americans and the Europeans are supporting, TERRORISM.

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March 6th, 2012, 4:06 pm

 

95. Juergen said:

Here is the homepage of the german photographer( Timo Vogt ) whose pictures i shared today. He has 110 images uploaded which can be viewed.

http://randbild.photoshelter.com/gallery/Syria-Land-of-the-Living-Dead/G0000St9vgb5LP0g/

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March 6th, 2012, 4:20 pm

 

96. Syrialover said:

# 86. Jad

I don’t read French, but I am sure Mr Piccinin was expelled from his Belgium University for serving up intellectual slops, laziness, incompetence and all the other things Universities discipline academics for. They have a requirement to set quality standards for the products their employees produce, just like any other enterprise.

And what is he doing resorting to showcasing his findings in the marginal waters of Counterpunch? (Where I am suspect he is going to attract some good strong human rightists’ counter punches – I think he may have crossed a with readers there, too.)

Alarming news to you, diversionary entertainment for the rest of us.

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March 6th, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

97. Alan said:

95-
http://www.almhml.com/Gaza/
————————————————-
Palestinians invite UN Security Council to visit
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/02/28/palestinians-invite-un-security-council-to-visit/
UNITED NATIONS – The Palestinians have invited the U.N. Security Council to visit the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, a move Israel says is an attempt to try to divert attention from getting back to direct negotiations to settle the decades-old conflict.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. observer, told reporters after a council meeting on the Mideast on Tuesday that he sent a letter inviting the 15 council members “to see with their own eyes the reality of the Palestinian people in the occupied territory” including Israel’s “illegal” settlement building./……..

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March 6th, 2012, 4:49 pm

 

98. jad said:

Syrialover
I guess that you don’t work in the academia to understand the effect of such decision on the academic bodies all over the world, ‘IF’ the news is true and ‘IF’ the reason is Pro. Pierre political views.
I’ll give you an example so you can understand the issue better, do you know Dr. Norman Finkelstein?
He was expelled from his university not because he wasn’t a good professor as you may want to think, it was simply because of his political views and opinions regarding Palestine.
So before you dismay the issue as ‘not worthy’ you may need to think about ‘what’s next’ and if that decision of shutting up people who disagree with the mainstream media is the right decision, knowing that one day you maybe next.
Can you imagine Dr. Landis to be expelled from his university because of what he writes on his blog if the university doesn’t fully agree with his views? This is why I wrote that this news is ALARMING, maybe not to you but to the ACADEMIA FREEDOM.

“marginal waters of Counterpunch?”
I also think that you don’t know the influence of Counterpunch either.

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March 6th, 2012, 4:54 pm

 

99. Syrialover said:

# 73. Sheila

Son of Damascus said it all a couple of days ago on this forum:

“Assad’s biggest crime was turning Syrians against each other.”

The circle of victims of this crime is widening by the hour.

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March 6th, 2012, 4:54 pm

 

100. Alan said:

Some Thoughts on Syria and Iran
http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/some-thoughts-on-syria-and-iran.html
==========================
Palestine absent?
http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/palestine-occupies-aipac/

Iran, Iran, Iran. Tensions between Israel and Iran over Iranian nuclear energy is dominating this year’s AIPAC conference. President Barack Obama’s speech yesterday to the annual conference was mostly devoted to Iran, and “announced no new initiatives” on the Israel/Palestine front, as Inter Press Service‘s Mitchell Plitnick reports. Similarly, as we reported, Jeffrey Goldberg spent 45 minutes interviewing Obama, and not one of the questions were about Palestine.

AIPAC and Benjamin Netanyahu may want to push the pesky Palestinian issue off of the agenda, but Occupy AIPAC is fighting against that desire.

[…]

The centrality of Palestine was underscored by an impromptu speech given by a young woman from Palestine who was in D.C. for Occupy AIPAC. She held up a sign that read, “Stop stealing our land.” (I didn’t grab her name, but I believe it was the woman who tweets under the moniker @Tweet_Palestine and blogs here.) As hundreds massed outside the Washington Convention Center to protest AIPAC, she grabbed a microphone and explained how Mustafa Tamimi was killed in the village of Nabi Saleh.

“Do you want them to kill our children?” she yelled, and explained how Palestinian children are terrorized by night raids conducted by the Israeli army. “Look at the faces of children. Remember the children you have killed.” Her speech was greeted by cheers from the protesters and stares from AIPAC delegates. But at least they heard the word Palestine.

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March 6th, 2012, 5:01 pm

 

101. Alan said:

US Government budget

Schools CANCELED

Hospitals CANCELED

Roads CANCELED

Bridges CANCELED

Flood control CANCELED

Veteran’s benefits CANCELED

Bombs for Israel $1923648264729831

Warplanes for Israel $02347503247598043

Cruise Missiles for Israel $2340957230475

Harpoon Missiles for Israel $9864598236498752

Chemical weapons for Israel $2937452374805720

Radars for Israel $239475370458

Missile defense systems for Israel $2390845720375

Warships for Israel $203945238

Surveillance satellites for Israel $29348572964988

US will ensure Israel’s “military superiority”: Panetta
http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/us-will-ensure-israels-military-superiority-panetta/

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March 6th, 2012, 5:06 pm

 

102. Syrialover said:

# 98. Jad

I know all about Finklestein, and I don’t believe you would know more about the Israel lobby and be more opposed to it than I am. I heard Finklestein successfully sued the university in question.

But the Piccinin case is not on the same bus. After all, a couple of Gaddfi boosters and apologists are still holding down good posts in American Universities. Along with others whose careers are based on vigorously bashing America over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Piccinin’s problems with his employers would have to go far beyond the odd article calling for fairer treatment of Basher Assad.

If anyone wants to see the “power of Counterpunch”, just look at the headlines and you will picture the audience it resonates with. It has a place and I respect it, and I have read things there I agree with at times. But it dilutes the fuel in its tanks with poor quality, negative and extremist fuel too much to make it go far.

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March 6th, 2012, 5:41 pm

 

103. Alan said:

nice dreams ! here is too late.
Kyrie Eleison – Anti-War Music Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2R8R8xgZ88
Anti-war statement based on traditional prayer for mercy and forgiveness.
Newer version to fix mistakes

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March 6th, 2012, 5:42 pm

 

104. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara & Jad,

You are so sweet I’m getting a diabetes seizure.
.

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March 6th, 2012, 5:48 pm

 

105. irritated said:

#83 MajedAlkhladoon

“That driver was mukhabarat”

That means a “vile” mokhabarat tried to defend the life of Dr Michel Aswad against an attack or maybe a kidnapping?
I thought they were all heartless thugs.

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March 6th, 2012, 5:56 pm

 

106. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Dear Tara,

It was my full intention to shock you. And I was delighted by your genuine outrage :) Any way, and seriously. You mentioned the myth about the almighty Jewish lobby. We the Jews, are so used now to constantly apologize, and we always try to convince the rest of non-Jews that we are just the same. Our blood is as red as yours. That if you tickle us, we laugh as you do. Nothing helped and we will always be viewed as different, as a threat, and we’ll be hated.

So I’m trying a different approach. No apologizing any more.
.

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March 6th, 2012, 6:03 pm

 

107. jad said:

Good point irritated :)
————————

About the ‘trio’ warmonger in the US:

Three Blind Mice?
http://youtu.be/AsI9EaIIS_E
“Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham are just about as close as anyone in the U.S. Senate. They travel together, make joint media appearances and seem to sing the same song in their appeals to the American people. That song often revolves around the need for more war.”

Are pro-war and pro-democracy the same?
http://youtu.be/NJN9ZThXlk4
“The three amigos, Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham have been building up the rhetoric when it comes to the US going to war with Iran. But when you take a closer look, these same characters have a history of befriending dictators before the US overthrows them. It is easy to confuse pro-war with pro-democracy lately and Ben Barber, journalist and photographer for McClatchy Newspapers, helps take a closer looker at differentiating the two.”

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March 6th, 2012, 6:05 pm

 

108. zoo said:

Mobayed’s “high” esteeem for the Russians

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC07Ak01.html

….
Money of course would also likely change Russia’s position, clearly from all the courting currently underway between the Kremlin and heavyweight countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), who are planning to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Serge Lavrov this month. If politics doesn’t persuade the Russians to support regime change in Damascus, then money will.

The more the Russians distance themselves, either economically or politically, from Damascus, the more likely this will damage the Syrian economy, where the pound now stands at a historic 83 to the US dollar, threatening the state – and ordinary Syrians – with bankruptcy.

Nobody realizes that better than Putin himself, who needs a success story “the day after” he returns to power in Moscow. It needs to make him and his country feel relevant, strong, democratic, and accepted within the international community. That success story can be Syria.

On a separate track, US diplomats seem to have finally realized what it takes to strengthen cooperation with the Russians on Syria, and are doing it rather aggressively.

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March 6th, 2012, 6:05 pm

 

109. bronco said:

@106 Amir In Tel aviv

While Jews were mistreated in Christian Europe for centuries, they have never been a threat in the Middle east and they were treated just like other religious minorities in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Morroco, Syria etc…
They became a threat when, helped by the same Europe that persecuted them, they threatened and attack the Arabs in Palestine to take their lands and create a racist entity.
The day the Jews in Israel will regain the trust of the Arabs by showing that they believe in justice, then they will cease to be a threat.
Until them you’ll have to live with that well deserved feeling of being distrusted and rejected by the Arabs

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March 6th, 2012, 6:17 pm

 

110. zoo said:

AIPAC’s Victory
5 March 201
http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/aipacs-victory

Barack Obama delivered the most pro-Israel speech of his presidency to a bipartisan round of applause. I objected to one or two lines, but that was it. He seemed to relish picking public fights with the Jewish state and its prime minister early in his presidency, but he hasn’t been doing it lately. So there’s a case to be made that he really has changed, that his caustic relationship with Jerusalem is a thing of the past
..
For decades public opinion polls in the United States have shown that Americans sympathize with the Israelis more than the Palestinians by nearly four to one. Barack Obama may not have always sided with the majority on this question, but he appears to have been mainstreamed in the meantime.
(…)

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March 6th, 2012, 6:24 pm

 

111. zoo said:

The Salafists at work in Egyptian parliament: very promising.

http://transitions.foreignpolicy.com/files/salafis_0.jpg

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March 6th, 2012, 6:29 pm

 

112. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Bronco,

I have to admit that there’s a point in what you say. BUT:
“…they were treated just like other religious minorities in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria etc…”.

How are religious minorities being treated in the ME? as equal citizens?

If you ask me, I prefer to keep my independence and freedom, and be considered as a threat, rather than become an unprotected minority, and get threatened and bullied.
.

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March 6th, 2012, 6:29 pm

 

113. bronco said:

#112 Amir In Tel Aviv

Christians, Jews, Druzes and other minorities were treated very well in Arab countries, they were not bullied because of their religion. Many Jews made their fortunes in Arab countries and participated in all aspect of the society. In Egypt one of the most famous actress/singer Leyla Murad was jewish. The most elegant department stores in Cairo belong to Cicurel family, other famous egyptian actors were jews. Many journalist and governemnt officials were jews. There was no difference, and religion or ethnicity was never a problem.
Egyptians and in general Arab moslems are not naturally racists like the European christians are.
It all changed when the European Jews came to conquer Palestine and destroyed the whole friendly networks that existed between the jews and the arabs. The rest is history.

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March 6th, 2012, 6:42 pm

 

114. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

SYRIA LOVER
Thanks, but I am merely a hit and run commenter. It is you, TARA, MAJEDKHALDOUN, Son Of Damascus, and Sheila and few others who have been tolerating the useless cynical distractions and anyone of you is far more qualified than me for public office.

Numbers Theory 101
Let us take one of the numbers presented in 101 (how fitting), put a comma every three numbers as we Americans (including Arab Americans) are used to, and try to read that number

Harpoon Missiles for Israel $9864598236498752
$9,864,598,236,498,752

Let us read the number now and write it using the American system,

Nine quadrillions eight hundreds and sixty four trillions five hundreds and ninety eight billions two hundreds and thirty six millions four hundreds and ninety eight thousands seven hundreds and fifty two dollars. This is only in harpoon missiles

Now, according to Wikipedia article on Harpoon Missiles , the cost of each harpoon missile block unit is $1,200,000 and there were seven thousand units plus built with total cost at

$8,400,000,000

Let us read the number, Eight billions four hundred million dollars.

Now let us see the numbers that were handed to Israel according to comment 101. This is done by dividing the number provided by the cost of a unit block, try yous calculator, mine gives

8220498530.4156266666666666666667

Remove the fractions,
8220498530

Add the commas
8,220,498,530

Israel has Eight billions two hundreds and twenty millions four hundreds and ninety eight thousands and five hundreds and thirty harpoon missiles blocks, a thousand missiles for every human living in Israel (including Arabs).

And before I forget, the US total annual budget for 2012 was $2,627,000,000,000 requested and $2,469,000,000,000 approved which means that we have given our 2012 budget requests to Israel for 3755 years only in harpoon missiles.

This is incompetent nonsense being peddled here and trying to pass as pro-Palestinian and resistance argument. Such load of non sense only make anyone defending it look not only ridiculous, but a pusher of ignorant antisemitic junk.

Anyone with some sense of decency should have blasted comment 101, and we have quite few here who would argue numbers like sharks when such serves the defense of the boy king but non to show up.

Of course, soon, I will be accused once more by non other than the three letter named person here that I am a zionist sympathizer. Brace yourselves.

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March 6th, 2012, 6:46 pm

 

115. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Bronco 113,

You describe (rightly so) the Jews in Arabia as successful, wealthy, have influence over the culture, academic, civil servants in high positions etc. This depiction will be as accurate to describe the German Jews: They were well educated, influential, wealthy, made a huge contribution to the German culture (music, arts, literature, architecture, psychology). Non of those made them likable in the eyes of the German folk. They always lived in fear and insecurity. Just as the Arabian Jews.
.

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March 6th, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

116. Juergen said:

Amir

I tried to visit the only operating synagogue in Damascus, its not far from the Talisman hotel. The muhabarat is sitting on chairs and block the entry of the house, no signs no menora signs, just a plain door. The muhabarat guys told me no synagoque is here its an family house… Anyway i entered and as it was a saturday the worship already started although only four members of the community were present. As we were 4 people visiting they all let us inside and celebrate with them. Afterwards we had an good conversation, and one could feel the tension in the community. Throughout the service the muhabarat guys try to look through the windows to see what we for do inside, and the leader of the congration later told me that they received a call asking why they accepted visitors. Of all synagogues there once were in Damascus only one survived and is operating, there is one they told me which is 5000 years old and under the lock of the ministry of interriour, noone is allowed to go there. One can seee the collection of the old Thor’as in the synagogue. By chance we found an other fine synagogue which is closed in Aleppo.From the rooftop of an nearby officebuilding we were able to make some pictures, we saw an magnificant graveyard next to the synagogue. I have just created an flickr page so you could see the images i took.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mashalllah/

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March 6th, 2012, 7:21 pm

 

117. Equus said:

Warmongering AIPAC Delegates Attack Peace Activists for Opposing War with Iran at AIPAC Event

Take a look: http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/warmongering-aipac-delegates-attack-peace-activists-for-opposing-war-with-iran-at-aipac-event/

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March 6th, 2012, 7:23 pm

 

118. Observer said:

Moubayed’s article on atimes is flawed with one big assumption.
He posits that Russia has a bargaining chip that it holds in its support for the Syrian regime. The reality is that the West does not give a hoot regarding Syria and they do not think that it is worth any bargaining or intervention. The northern frontier of Israel is secure that is what counts for the West. Oil is so small that it does not matter.
It is the regional players that are concerned hence Lavrov is going to GCC to discuss the bargaining and here he may have a combination of bribes and coercion. Putin also needs legitimacy after his questionable elections.
So, I do not think that Syria is a positive ally for Russia it is just a burden. Putin is too smart to tie his fate to that of Fredo.

Hamster’s post was eloquent and the lack of response from the pro regime posters is quite telling.

Eastern Libya is declaring autonomy. Good news as the country was only being held together by coercion just like Iraq was and just like Sudan was and just like Pakistan was and just like Syria is.

The quicker and cleaner the breakup the better for the communities clearly cannot stand each other.

Do you know how I know? I read SC every now and then

Germs and Rats are coming
Cheers.

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March 6th, 2012, 7:24 pm

 

119. Juergen said:

كل شيء أو لاشيء – عن الثورة السورية – وثائقي قصير مترجم

german tv report now translated into arabic

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March 6th, 2012, 7:27 pm

 

120. Syrialover said:

#114 SYRIAN HAMSTER

That’s more like the old SyriaComment!

Go Syrian Hamster, go. You’re on fire.

And lifting the game and lifting the mood here.

[Note: I see so far you scored 17 thumbs down for your great comment #39. The usual is 14. For my #89 response to you I have 13 red thumbs votes. Must be one of the team is on a break, or collapsed exhausted at the keyboard from doing 36-hour shifts.]

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March 6th, 2012, 8:17 pm

 

121. sheila said:

To #115. Amir in Tel Aviv:
You said:
“You describe (rightly so) the Jews in Arabia as successful, wealthy, have influence over the culture, academic, civil servants in high positions etc. This depiction will be as accurate to describe the German Jews: They were well educated, influential, wealthy, made a huge contribution to the German culture (music, arts, literature, architecture, psychology). Non of those made them likable in the eyes of the German folk. They always lived in fear and insecurity. Just as the Arabian Jews”.
You are very wrong and misinformed. The Arab Jews only started living in fear and insecurity after the establishment of the state of Israel. Before 1948, they lived like everybody else in the Arab countries. They were considered Arabs ethnically, just like the majority of Christians and Muslims. Our parents had Jewish friends and colleagues that they loved and respected and up till the present day the merchants of the old city of Aleppo remember with nostalgia their Jewish mentors that they claim taught them the art of commerce.

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March 6th, 2012, 8:42 pm

 

122. Tara said:

Amir,

It did occur to me you were just kidding and looking for a reaction…

I’m also trying a different approach.  No apologies any more from Tara….  I am tired of the rest of the world’s hate to Muslims and of associating their religion to few terrorists and radicals.  Radical are present in all religions.  I am particularly “repulsed” by some Syrian minorities and their Arab brethren taking advantage of the myth of the Muslim bogeymen/ bogeywomem to cast the revolution in a negative light, in order to make the world unwilling to seriously act in the name of humanity, in fear of the Day After Besho….  The irony is, they are playing with fire and fire will not discriminate.  The longer the struggle and the more the suffering, the higher the chance this will indeed become a self-fulfilling prophecy that will burn all.

I therefore have declared today that I would give myself the same rights and respond with the same exact kindness.  

Any how, in regard to the Jewish issue, I basically agree with the points mentioned in # 109 and #113.

However  للكلام بقية

It is just not the time now.  

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March 6th, 2012, 8:42 pm

 

123. Syrialover said:

# 118. Observer

I think you are too negative about the west and claiming it is indifferent to Syrians’ suffering. There has been a huge amount of energy and airspace devoted to the issue. They genuinely do not know what to do.

Unlike you, I will not cheer on the Libyans (and Syrians) to break up into smaller units. They will not be economically and politically viable, and end up being foreign aid cases and failed states. The people of those countries need a future and organised development, not more failure.

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March 6th, 2012, 8:52 pm

 

124. Ghufran said:

The Guardian:
Can the Syrian regime crush the uprising? Yes, suggests history
Bashar al-Assad’s fall is far from inevitable: past Middle Eastern uprisings have failed more often than succeeded.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/06/can-syrian-regime-survive

Comment: any short term victory achieved by using overwhelming fire power will not lead to a long term victory over a large section of the Syrian society that wants to see an end to oppression and corruption.

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March 6th, 2012, 8:56 pm

 

125. Tara said:

#103 from previous thread,

Brute has in effect no loyalty to Caesar.  His genuine loyalty was to the Republic and it’s people.

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March 6th, 2012, 8:59 pm

 

126. Ghufran said:

بنغازي- (ا ف ب): أعلن زعماء قبائل وسياسيون ليبيون الثلاثاء في مدينة بنغازي منطقة برقة في شرق ليبيا “اقليما فدراليا اتحاديا” واختاروا الشيخ أحمد الزبير الشريف السنوسي رئيسا لمجلسه الاعلى.
http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=today%5C06z500.htm&arc=data%5C2012%5C03%5C03-06%5C06z500.htm

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March 6th, 2012, 9:06 pm

 

127. majedkhaldoun said:

Irritated

The mukhabarat driver was protecting himself

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March 6th, 2012, 9:08 pm

 

128. ann said:

At UN on Syria, US Says “Expect Nothing Specific,” Morocco Speaks of Promise, Amos on Way

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria3liP5mor030612.html

After China’s Permanent Representative Li Baodong twice told Inner City Press there would consultations on Syria by the Permanent Five members of the Security Council plus Morocco for the Arab League, this small meeting took place midday Tuesday.

While the meeting took place, other Council Ambassador left. Hardeep Sing Puri, the Permanent Representative of India — yes, “the world’s largest democracy” — told Inner City Press that maybe after Security Council reform his country would be in such meetings.

He again predicted no Council action until after the trips to Syria of envoy Kofi Annan and UN Humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, who it is now understood may brief the Council next Tuesday from Helsinki about her visit.

When the “P5 plus Morocco” meeting broken up, first out was US Ambassador Susan Rice. She was asked whether the press could expect a vote Monday on a draft resolution. “I don’t think you should expect anything specific,” she said and left.

China’s Permanent RepresentativeLi Baodong emerged and also stopped to speak, saying “We are still working on that.”

Morocco’s Permanent Representative Loulichki called it “promising,” but said that no date had been set for another meeting.

[…]

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March 6th, 2012, 9:15 pm

 

129. Son of Damascus said:

Tara,

A good song by a Syrian rapper named MC Revo.

The title is Neeyalak Ya Watan.

He wrote it about his friend Anas Al Tarsha whom recently died, his crime was filming the shabeeha.

http://soundcloud.com/mc-revo/neyalakyawatan

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March 6th, 2012, 9:47 pm

 

130. majedkhaldoun said:

Syrian hamster
You are wonderful,You are excellent speaker,and eloquent one,I hope for you the best.

As the revolution is gathering support from inside and outside
as Bashar is losing support from inside and outside,
I can not imagine someone saying that Bashar can crush the revolution

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March 6th, 2012, 9:54 pm

 

131. Alan said:

If You’re an American you should see THIS! for real
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWNMzMjXLJs

The Dirty Truth About Israel.

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March 6th, 2012, 9:56 pm

 

132. Syrialover said:

# 121. Sheila said:

“The Arab Jews only started living in fear and insecurity after the establishment of the state of Israel. Before 1948, they lived like everybody else in the Arab countries. They were considered Arabs ethnically, just like the majority of Christians and Muslims.”

I was going to write and say something similar. You will find plenty of accounts of ME Jewish people of that time saying they did not welcome the formation of Israel and saw it as a threat to how things were.

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March 6th, 2012, 9:59 pm

 

133. Observer said:

SyriaLover
The West cares about suffering but from the perspective of pure strategic interests Syria is not important to the West. It can stay a mafia state where the regime is a threat to its own people only and now weaker than ever. The point I am making is that it is not a good bargaining chip in the hands of Putin. He needs Western technology as the purchase of French frigates demonstrated and he needs Western investments as the trade between the US and Russia is a mere 1% of all of US trade with the world. He exports gas and energy and weapons and the latter is not doing well.
Syria if it emerges weaker will be a burden on Russia with an inability to rejoin the world economy anytime soon. With its internal unsustainable structure and with its own deep corruption it will collapse eventually and die of decay and bankruptcy.

As for the declaration of autonomy in the Brega I would say as it pertains to Syria the following:

The communities in Syria do nor like each other to say the least: the Alawi sect has a deep sense of historical injustice and persecution combined with a hatred of anything Sunni, the Sunnis for a long time had the haughty attitude of being in the right and disdained others as inferior, the Christians see the Muslims as Middle Age Barbarians and intrinsically incapable of progress, the Druze remain a mystery to me. There is a lack of national identity and a lack of an overriding idea of belonging to the same nation. Therefore forcing these communities to live together by force and to share in the fruits of the society according to pre conditions is a recipe for disaster. The entities that will emerge are not viable at all but as a group of federated states they will have to eventually put aside their old age hatred and cooperate in an economic free zone to solve their collective problems.

Take water and/or electricity. None of the current countries are capable of providing for the increasing demand of the modern style of life of their populations. Neither Jordan nor Lebanon nor Syria nor Iraq are capable of solving these problems and yet, if one puts aside stupid ethnic sectarian politics and allow the people to sit and discuss these issues directly there will be a forced unification of solutions and purpose by necessity and despite the political and sectarian and ethnic differences.

I have never recognized the artificial borders imposed by Sykes Picot and yet in our immaturity and narrow mindedness we continue to cling to these entities and try to make these systems and governments work for the people as best we can manage.

Now these entities have failed to provide for the basic necessities and hope has died a thousand times. One example of the tenacity of people relying of these archaic regimes is the preservation of the offices of identity during the Lebanese civil war by all the factions for each knew that some essential structures of the regime were needed by everybody to continue to work and survive and tender and barter and buy and sell.

Well now even such important basic building blocks of the regimes in place are not capable of this minimum guarantee as we see corrupt officials falsify property documents and sell them without the owner knowing, as we see bribes being paid for issuing passports and travel documents and even court ruling and building permits in a wild and unchecked manner.

Therefore in the face of the dissolution of the central authority it is only natural that we have a federation appear otherwise we will have factions establish states within states as we see HA emerge in lieu of an absent central authority and the Baath initially fulfilling that role when the previous regimes catered to the urban elite alone.

I do not wish misery or strife, but I challenge the common consensus to shock the reader into realizing that there is an alternative and that the road is painful and that the price is stiff and that an ideal and an ideology which liberates will always win over another that limits and stifles.

This is why it is so discouraging to see rot-learning comments in the worst of indoctrination schools around the world fill the pages of this SC blog. It is to stop the dialogue of the deaf; when the discourse is limited in its stupidity in trying to prove or disprove this or that information as fabricated or manipulated and in continuing to paint the world as a conspiracy of the East or the West.

I do not see any such discourse of a conspiracy happen even in small countries that enjoy true independence and sovereignty such as Switzerland or Belgium or Finland or Sweden or Norway. Yet they are much smaller and weaker than Russia or the US.
I also am not naive and abhor Western arrogance when they talk of this place or that country as being ” outside the international community” or ” not trustworthy to have a nuclear program ” or to ” seek economic and technological independence ” and to be free of the dictatorship of the international financial and banking system controlled by the West. I know that most commercial transactions happen either in NY or London and understand why Russia wants to have Moscow as an alternative. Yet, this does not mean that I do not recognize that the ills of the ME and Syria in particular are not made in space or in the US or France they are 95% made in Syria. And if it means federation or separation to solve them, I challenge anyone to come up with a better solution especially since there is no consensus whatsoever on the basic identity of Syria. Proof? The latest constitution.

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March 6th, 2012, 10:23 pm

 

134. Tara said:

Dear Syrian Hamster@39

Outstanding!  I too think a very interesting book can be written about the psychology behind  the regime supporters and their gross “moral, ethical, and intellectual failure”.  It has a potential to be a bestseller.   By referring to the “intellectual brutality and vulgarity of the persistent assault on intelligence being committed by the pro-regime crowd”, I think you defined rather a new term “the intellectual Tashbeeh”.   

I like to quote the following pertinent to the cut and paste artists.

“It is clear that the cut-paste strategy has dual use. First it allows the poster to pass the most vile, provocative collection of lies and innuendos as “respected” journalistic opinion through moderation, and second to shout back in fake and quire angry indignation “I did not say so, I merely presented opinion giving the other side of the story”. But more importantly, it demands the least effort, beyond burping sophomoric phrases and prepackaged childish classification and accusations from the side of the cut and paste artists…

I think …those who are getting paid to flood the blogsphere with regime propaganda are cheating their employers….”

Yes, Hamster for an emperor!

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March 6th, 2012, 10:27 pm

 

135. Ghufran said:

There are plenty of videos that exposed the brutality of the regime,this is a video about a child who was killed by a sniper and was used as a weapon in the PR war on you tube,but this time,it was not the regime who used the death of a child to win sympathy,it was the rebels ,watch if you care:

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March 6th, 2012, 10:29 pm

 

136. Tara said:

Assad is determined to fight until the last man and to rule over a burned Syria, Neron -style.  He burned Homs.  He is going to burn Daraa.  When is Damascus turn?  Is his crime, just like the father, will go unpunished ?    

http://news.yahoo.com/syrias-assad-says-determined-keep-fighting-foreign-backed-192032815.html

BEIRUT – Syria’s president defied mounting international pressure to end the year-old crackdown on an uprising against him and said Tuesday he was determined to go on fighting what he called “foreign-backed terrorism.”
… .
The military crackdown turned to southern Daraa province, where the uprising began a year ago. Troops shelled a village in Daraa and clashed with military defectors.

Activists said the military blasted a bridge and a tunnel near the border with Lebanon used as escape routes for the wounded and refugees fleeing central Homs province, an opposition stronghold which just endured a heavy, monthlong offensive.
Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, described video that has emerged of torture victims allegedly shot secretly in the Military Hospital in Homs as “truly shocking.”
… .

The top U.S. commander in the Middle East said the advanced air defence weapons Russia has provided to Syria would make it difficult to establish a no-fly zone there as part of an effort to help the rebellion. Marine Gen. James Mattis, head of U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee it would take a significant military commitment to create even safe havens in Syria where aid could be delivered, as McCain suggested.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Assad, unlike his father and predecessor, will not escape punishment for the violence he has inflicted. Turkey and Syria, which share a border, were allies before the uprising began.
“I would like to remind Bashar Assad: his father was not made to account for what he did in this world, but his son will sooner or later account for what he did, for the massacre and the oppression,” he said. “This time, the blood shed in Syrian cities will not go unpunished.”
… .

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March 6th, 2012, 10:39 pm

 

137. mick said:

Jad,

As soon as I saw that Ar Rastan video I knew it was fake.

A. The sound of the explosion

B. The location of the wounded in regard to the explosion.

But I guess it would be hard to have dead, mutilated bodies shown standing up prior to the flashbang bomb, then have them in pieces. So having a crowd hide both the explosion and the dead works to sell to CNN. They love this stuff. That’s why I quit watching them in 2002.

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March 6th, 2012, 10:40 pm

 

138. zoo said:

Imad Moustafa returns to blogging from China

http://imad_moustapha.blogs.com/

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March 6th, 2012, 10:55 pm

 

139. Ghufran said:

المندسه السوريه
تصحيح مسار الثورة : لا للتسليح
http://the-syrian.com/archives/70352

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March 6th, 2012, 10:57 pm

 

140. Tara said:

Sorry I much prefer to browse the new collection for shoes Spring 2012 than to read what Imad Mustafa has to say. The new collection is awsome. The trend is multicolor shoes with platform. Ah..Can’t wait when the weather permits.

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March 6th, 2012, 11:18 pm

 

141. Ghufran said:

Syria Danny,replayed
http://www.infowars.com/syria-danny-caught-staging-cnn-war-propaganda-stunt/
Any idea how those famous videos about Danny and other aljazeera ” super activists” were filmed?
A friend suggested that those videos proved that regime sympathizers / agents may have infiltrated the rebel forces in Homs.

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March 6th, 2012, 11:25 pm

 

142. son of Damascus said:

Jad and Mick,

We are back on this subject again. Ok please have a look at the two videos below and explain to me how a ‘sound bomb’ or a hand grenade, or a lone shooter on the roof with a rifle can do any of the damages you see in the videos (which was what the two different articles and one video tried to argue with no proof).

The first one shows you the front impact, and how the tank shell had gone through the buildings metal barring through the shop (where the deaths occurred) and through the wall. The second video shows you the back of said building were you see the shell had gone through the wall and embedded into the wall in the adjacent building.

Lets wait and see SyriaTruth try to explain these videos away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG95qPzgSR8&feature=youtu.be

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March 6th, 2012, 11:38 pm

 

143. jad said:

The government is meeting with the opposition in Aleppo suburbs in an attempt to calm down the situation, very good step I think:

وزير الداخلية يحاور وجهاء ريف حلب

زياد الرفاعي

حلب | ترقّب حذر يسود ريف حلب الشمالي، في انتظار ما ستسفر عنه لقاءات وزير الداخلية السوري، اللواء محمد إبراهيم الشعار، مع وجهاء وفعاليات المنطقة، ومن بينهم معارضون ومقربون من المجموعات التي حملت السلاح.
وينحصر جدول اعمال اللقاءات بإقناع المعنيين بإعادة الأمور في مناطقهم إلى ما كانت عليه قبل أشهر، والامتناع عن قطع الطرقات بقوة السلاح، مقابل تلبية مطالب لهم، منها وقف الاعتقال، ومطالب خدمية مختلفة . وقال مصدر مطلع لـ«الأخبار» إن لقاءً ضم الوزير مع العشرات من الوجهاء والفعاليات بهدف إنهاء مظاهر التسلح، والاخلال بالأمن، التي يشهدها ريف حلب الشمالي والغربي. وأضاف المصدر أنه «أبلغ الأهالي الحرص الشديد من قبل رئيس الجمهورية على كل قطرة دم سورية، وأن الاخلال بالامن خط أحمر، لن يتم التهاون فيه إطلاقاً».

المصدر أكد أن السلطات تعتبر أن السماح بالتظاهر لم يقابل باحترام التعهدات المقطوعة للحفاظ على الأمن، وعدم تخريب المنشآت العامة، حيث أحرقت مخافر واعتدي على مدارس ودوائر حكومية، وتعرض رجال أمن لرصاص كمائن، وعبوات ناسفة، ومنع الموظفون من أداء أعمالهم».
في المقابل، قال مصدر من تنسيقة تلرفعت إن السلطة ترفض الحوار مع الوجهاء الحقيقيين، الذين يمكنهم ضبط المتظاهرين، وعدم الاخلال بالأمن، وتصر على لقاء المقربين منها، غير القادرين على تنفيذ تعهداتهم. وأضاف أن رغبة المحتجين هي التفاوض وتحقيق مطالبهم بوقف الاعتقال واعادة العمال إلى أعمالهم وتأمين فرص عمل وغير ذلك من مطالب محقة، وأن السلاح استخدم فقط للدفاع عن النفس في مواجهة الأمن.
{…}
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/44915

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March 6th, 2012, 11:42 pm

 

144. Equus said:

Leaked Email: Pentagon Admits Plan To Direct Terror Attacks Inside Syria

the Pentagon, along with other NATO powers, have already directed Special Forces troops stationed inside Syria to carry out terrorist attacks and assassinations in an effort to topple President President Bashar al-Assad.

I guess Syrians should stop blaming each other…third hand is the culprit.

http://www.infowars.com/leaked-email-pentagon-plans-to-direct-terror-attacks-inside-syria/

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March 6th, 2012, 11:49 pm

 

145. Syria no Kandahar said:

You didn’t shoot,it is god shooting :

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March 7th, 2012, 12:09 am

 

146. jad said:

Son of Damascus
I’m not sure what you want to prove in the video you linked. The roof is broken at the entry of the market where nobody got hurt, the victims killed ‘together’ at the far end of it.
In anyway, what we know that some people were killed either by the army as you are trying your best to prove or by the usual terrorists of fsa, which isn’t that far fetch from the crimes they did already or from the logical evidence put out by many.
So what you need to do is to get the names of those victims and add them in the data base of the project you are planning to do, doing inspector gadget is neither your job nor mine so I’ll let it go since I’m not interested in an endless debate about this one story out of many.

What you think of the story Ghufran linked, killing a 12 years old kid just for media purposes by the mighty terrorists, it’s Sari Sa3oud all over again. Bunch of criminals

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March 7th, 2012, 12:11 am

 

147. jad said:

Stratfor leaks: NATO commandos in illegal special ops in Syria

Undercover NATO troops are already in Syria despite denials from their parent governments, according to a leaked brief from a highly-placed analyst.

The information comes from a hacked email from leading private US intelligence agency Stratfor, whose correspondence has been released by Wikileaks since February 27. The email appears to be written from the address of Reva Bhalla (bhalla@stratfor.com), the company’s director of analysis, for internal use, and details a confidential Pentagon meeting in December. The consultation is alleged to have been attended by senior analysts from the US Air Force, and representatives from its chief allies, France and the United Kingdom.

Western powers have categorically denied military involvement in Syria’s internal conflict, for which they have no international mandate. But if the information contained in the letter is reliable, a radically different picture of Western activity in Syria emerges.

The author of the letter claims that US officials “said without saying that SOF [special operation forces] teams (presumably from the US, UK, France, Jordan and Turkey) are already on the ground, focused on recce [reconnaissance] missions and training opposition forces.” A little later the US army experts expand on the role of the undercover commandos: “the idea ‘hypothetically’ is to commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within.”

Alawites are a minority Islamic sect, to which Syrian President Bashar Assad and his support base belong. For the past year he has battled an insurrection that has united a range of opponents, from pro-democracy activists to radical Sunni Muslims.

There have been previous allegations of a Western presence on the side of the rebels and on Monday 13 French officers were reportedly captured by the loyalist forces.

Despite the commandos’ already wide remit, the email states that the US experts “stress that this is all being done as contingency planning, not as a move toward escalation.”

If confirmed, the information will give ammunition to Russia and China, who have accused Western powers of paving the way for an invasion of Syria. These fears have already been cited as the reasons the two countries vetoed the US-backed UN resolution on Syria in February.

{…}

http://rt.com/news/stratfor-syria-secret-wikileaks-989/

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March 7th, 2012, 12:17 am

 

148. ann said:

China backs political solution to Syrian crisis: envoy – 2012-03-07

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-03/07/c_131451817.htm

Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, made the statement while speaking to the UN-based Chinese media.

“China follows closely the developments of the situation in Syria, supports the political settlement of the Syrian crisis, and has made unremitting efforts to this end,” Li said.

The Syrian affairs have to be determined by the Syrian people themselves, any foreign forces should not intervene in the internal affairs of Syria by force, or push through “regime change” in the Middle East country, Li said.

“Sanctions or threat of sanctions are not conducive to a proper settlement of the Syrian problem,” he said.

On China’s veto last month of a draft on Syria at the UN Security Council, Li said, “the Chinese veto was intended to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations, and safeguard the rights of the Syrian people to determine their own affairs.”

[…]

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March 7th, 2012, 12:21 am

 

149. ann said:

NATO behaving like a law unto itself – 2012-03-07

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2012-03/07/c_131451408.htm

BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhuanet) — Over the past decade, the overwhelming majority of NATO “kills” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have been unarmed civilians. A large number of Iraqi, Afghan and Libyan civilians have lost not just their limbs but also their lives, because of “mistakes” made by NATO personnel in the field.

A look at the diaries kept by alliance troops in the different theaters of war show the casual way in which human lives are taken, often on just the merest suspicion of hostile intent.

In both Iraq and Afghanistan, running was taken as evidence of hostile intent and troops would fire on the runner immediately, even in cases where the man shot and killed was unarmed.

The diaries and recollections of hundreds of soldiers, especially those of the US, but also those of other NATO countries, detail the “mistakes” made by NATO forces, all too often the “accidental” deaths of women and children furnish substantial evidence of war crimes and human rights violations.

However, so far there has been no serious effort to hold those responsible for deaths of innocent civilians accountable. Both the International Court of Justice and the UN Human Rights Council have yet to take action against a single NATO soldier. The lack of attention given by the UN to the growing number of innocents killed by NATO military action is a damning indictment of its ineffectiveness and subjugation to the will of the US.

The impunity with which NATO personnel have killed and injured civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya has resulted in a sense among its personnel that they are “superior” to the people of these countries, all three of which are outside the charmed circle of those countries NATO considers “civilized”.

As a result NATO soldiers have developed a casual disregard to the killing of civilians in combat zones. Aware that the chances of being punishment are so remote as to be non-existent, many are willing to act as both judge and executioner of “hostile” locals.

Since the Libyan operation, civilians also face a further threat, as a dangerous new policy has emerged, that of giving weapons to those disaffected with the government of a country that is a NATO target. In Libya, large numbers of civilians have been killed not only by the NATO bombardment but also by insurgents armed and funded by NATO. Indeed, to this day, people are being hunted down, tortured, arrested and killed in Libya in their hundreds, with no protest from Washington, London, Berlin or Paris.

So long as the companies of these Western countries can secure lucrative contracts from the medley of authorities that now rule Libya, it seems that these authorities are free to do whatever they want despite the UN resolution that specifically calls for the prevention of civilian casualties. Clearly such UN resolutions are interpreted by Western countries to suit themselves and thrown away once they have served NATO’s political and commercial objectives.

In Syria as well, armed gangs are being encouraged to kill not just security forces but elements of the population that favor the recognized regime in Damascus. Such a policy has the potential to wreak havoc throughout the Middle East. And while NATO may gain from such unethical actions, the rest of the world is the loser.

[…]

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March 7th, 2012, 12:26 am

 

150. jad said:

I lost tracks to what was linked or posted on SC, anyway, this is a Here is the latest report of the Crisis Group about Syria it repeats what many were calling for for almost a year now, NEGOTIATION and DIALOGUE is the best was out of this bloody mess, there will be no winner or loser, just Syrian VICTIMS with no Syria if we keep calling for violence and weapons, it’s suicidal:

Now or Never: A Negotiated Transition for Syria

One year into the Syrian uprising, the level of death and destruction is reaching new heights. Yet, outside actors – whether regime allies or opponents – remain wedded to behaviour that risks making an appalling situation worse. Growing international polarisation simultaneously gives the regime political space to maintain an approach – a mix of limited reforms and escalating repression – that in the longer run is doomed to fail; guarantees the opposition’s full militarisation, which could trigger all-out civil war; and heightens odds of a regional proxy war that might well precipitate a dangerous conflagration. Kofi Annan’s appointment as joint UN/Arab League Special Envoy arguably offers a chance to rescue fading prospects for a negotiated transition. It must not be squandered. For that, Russia and others must understand that, short of rapidly reviving a credible political track, only an intensifying military one will remain, with dire consequences for all.

Annan’s best hope lies in enlisting international and notably Russian support for a plan that:
{…}
http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/middle-east-north-africa/egypt-syria-lebanon/syria/B032-now-or-never-a-negotiated-transition-for-syria.aspx

The same in Arabic in Assafir

تقرير يحذر من «المراوحة القاتلة» في سوريا:
القوى الخارجية تُفاقمها.. ولا حلّ إلا بالتفاوض

اعتبر تقرير نشرته «مجموعة الأزمات الدولية» أن كل يوم يمر على الأزمة السورية يزيد من خطر إجهاض فرص التوصل لحلّ سياسي من خلال التفاوض، محملاً المسؤولية للقوى الخارجية التي تصبّ الزيت على النار «نتيجة اختيارها النظر إلى المشكلة السورية من خلال حصصها الإستراتيجية والإقليمية، أي من يفوز ومن يخسر في حال انهيار النظام، فيما لم تقدّم أي باب للتغيير عن طريق التفاوض».
وأكد التقرير أن «تمسك اللاعبين الخارجيين، سواء من أعداء النظام أو حلفائه بالنهج نفسه في سياساتهم، يهدّد بتأزيم الأمور، فتزايد الاستقطاب الدولي على سوريا يعطي النظام الحجة والمساحة للحفاظ على سلوكه نفسه، كما يترك الباب أمام المعارضة للتسلح، ثم جرّ البلاد إلى حرب أهلية، ويفتح المجال أمام الدول الأخرى لتقوم بحروبها بالوكالة على الساحة السورية».
وفيما يرى التقرير، الذي ينشر قبل أيام على زيارة مبعوث الأمم المتحدة والجامعة العربية إلى سوريا كوفي أنان، أن «زيارة أنان بمثابة فرصة لإنقاذ آخر احتمالات حلّ الأزمة بالتفاوض السلمي لنقل السلطة»، يؤكد على وجوب وضع خطة تحظى بإجماع دولي وتتضمن: النقل المبكر للسلطة مع ضمان الحفاظ على المفاصل الرئيسية في المؤسسات الرسمية، إجراء إصلاح تدريجي لكن شامل للخدمات الأمنية، وضمان عملية انتقال عادلة في ظل عملية مصالحة وطنية تطمئن الدوائر السورية الخائفة من تصفية الحسابات في المرحلة المقبلة.
{…}
http://assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionID=2094&ChannelID=49897&ArticleID=705

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March 7th, 2012, 12:28 am

 

151. ann said:

Obama calls unilateral military action against Syria “mistake” – 2012-03-07

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/07/c_131450769.htm

WASHINGTON, March 6 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that it is a “mistake” to think that the United States could take unilateral military action in Syria and that there is a simple solution to the crisis there.

[…]

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March 7th, 2012, 12:29 am

 

152. son of Damascus said:

Jad,

“I’m not sure what you want to prove in the video you linked. The roof is broken at the entry of the market where nobody got hurt, the victims killed ‘together’ at the far end of it.”

It shows the trajectory of the shell. The shell went through the roof,the metal bearing, the shop entrance, the shops back wall, and through adjacent buildings wall.

“In anyway, what we know that some people were killed either by the army as you are trying your best to prove or by the usual terrorists of fsa, which isn’t that far fetch from the crimes they did already or from the logical evidence put out by many.”

Actually you and Mick keep bringing it up, I am not going out of my way at all, it is actually the activists on the ground that are going out of their way to show what really happened.

Jad the Syrian government is commenting the atrocities then they are bringing in Al Dunnia to film it. 6 days and the Red Cross has not been in, yet every day the camera men are running around Bab Amr, that does not sound at the very least suspect to you, if not all out criminal? How can you keep blaming the gangs for everything?

“What you think of the story Ghufran linked, killing a 12 years old kid just for media purposes by the mighty terrorists, it’s Sari Sa3oud all over again. Bunch of criminals”

If this is true it is deplorable and down right barbaric, to kill a child for the sake of airtime is cheap and criminal at best. However you can excuse me if I don’t believe anything that comes out that garbage station (The Syrian TV Station, not Ghufran just to be clear), may I remind you that this was the same station that aired Hamza AlKhateeb’s father saying his son was not tortured and horribly murdered.

If any station is guilty of aflam moufabrakah thats exhibit A.

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March 7th, 2012, 2:22 am

 

153. Juergen said:

Syrian Revolution for dummies

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March 7th, 2012, 3:10 am

 

154. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Juergen,

Thank you for the Flicker collection. It’s lovely.
A 5000 years synagogue?? What an exaggeration… I’m sure the person who told you that wasn’t a Jew. And let me guess, he asked you for a donation (bakshish ) after this review of Jewish “history”.
.

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March 7th, 2012, 3:17 am

 

155. Juergen said:

Amir

yes he was jewish.:)

Forgot to mention about 100 jews are left in Damascus, and many are very old ladies and gentlemen. They keep some of the biggest and nicest old houses in the old city. I was invited by one old lady who lives in an 400 year old house, all her relatives are in Israel and they pay her to stay, they fear that the house will go otherwise to God knows who. You find easily those mezuzahs, many intact with the thora part in it, to me a sign that many fled the country in despair and in hurry.

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March 7th, 2012, 3:28 am

 

156. Areal said:

Terrorist Confesses to Assassinating Businessmen, Destroying Properties in Aleppo
http://sana.sy/eng/337/2012/03/07/404682.htm
Mar 07, 2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Terrorist Yasser Fouzi al-Abd on Tuesday confessed to assassinating businessmen Mahmoud Ramadan and Mahmoud al-Sourani, in addition to committing acts of killings, robbery and sabotage in Aleppo Province and its countryside.

In confessions broadcast by the Syrian TV, al-Abd said ” Mohannad Jafala and I were close friends, we had the same salafi ideas.”

He added that Jafala was a jihadist in Iraq, adding that he had stayed in Tikrit city for three months during the war.

“We made a group and named it ‘Abu Amara Battalion’, its members were Mohannad Jafala, Hassan Othman, Abdul-Fattah Abdu-Majid, Said Hajj Othman and I.” He confessed.

Al-Abd added that they set fire to many cars in several neighborhoods, the cars were for people who support the government.

He confessed to looting several shops and stores in order to buy weapons and to rent a house to be their center.

“We were stealing cars and sending them to ‘Abu Ali’ in Dabiq town, Abu Ali would paint the cars and change their panels. As for explosives, we got them from ‘Huzayfa Jandouri’, he was specialized in manufacturing home-made explosive devices.”

“One day, four persons visited us and said they want us to kill a businessman named ‘Mahmoud Ramadan’, they asked us to help them in planning the assassination because we had weapons and experience in this field.”

Terrorist al-Abd said that they had a ‘Facebook’ page and they were listing posts on all of their operations, adding that the name of the page was ‘Abu Amara Battalion’.

“After we killed Mahmoud, we were surprised that he was a brother of one of Istanbul Council’s members whose name is ‘Ahmad Ramadan’. Istanbul Council asked Ahmad to delete the post about the assassination from Abu Amara Battalion page because they had other plan.”

“At that time we had an account in Turkey opened and funded by two persons, Hassan Hashem Abu Omar and Yassin Abu Ahmad who had connections with Turkey. I told them that if they want to delete the post from the page, they must support the battalion financially through our account in Turkey and they agreed. We sent them the account number and deleted the post. After two hours, the Council issued a statement in which Ahmad Ramadan accused the Syrian security forces of killing his brother Mahmoud, but they didn’t send us any money.”

He added that he brought two pump-action shotguns to a person named ‘Jihad Albo Assi’, adding that he turned to be a member of al-Qaeda.

“I was told that they are preparing for something big in Aleppo, they gave me a list of materials to bring, they told me these materials are the recipe used by al-Qaeda to make explosives.”

“They had a leader in each town in Aleppo Countryside, they called the leader ‘The Hajji’ –religious rank-, the Hajji of Mari’a town was a jihadist in Afghanistan, The Hajji of Indan city ‘Abdul-Aziz Salama’ was the general leader of the countryside, they told me that he takes direct orders from al-Qaeda.” He concluded.

________
Obviously in English , the style of Syrian ANA article does not match Syrian HAMSTER’s comments
but only Syrian events really count.

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March 7th, 2012, 4:51 am

 

157. Mina said:

Yemen, another great exemple of French-US democratic steps toward total war
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/36151/World/Region/-Yemeni-troops-dead-in-weekend-attack.aspx
“According to Yemen’s Aden News Agency, the opposition accused Saleh of being behind recent armed clashes in Yemen.
Aden quoted Fakhr Al-Azab, spokesperson for the organisational committee of the Yemen Popular Youth Revolution, saying that there is no difference between Al-Qaeda on one side and the national security apparatus and the presidential guard on the other who control the militant organisation.
He added that Saleh is sending a message to the international community that without him and his sons, violence will soar.
Saleh still heads the ruling General People’s Congress party.”

The media has a total blackout on the Arab street… After Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen presidents have quit, no one has heard about their people anymore. Why no interviews? Isn’t it open for the medias? Even the Nobel Prize is not enough to draw attention when the journalists are asked not to write on a topic? Remarkable silent in France about Benghazi and the cemetary vandalisation. After all it was some sort of party to kick out a self-proclaimed “autonomy” yesterday (without consultation of the street… no referendum whatsoever).

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March 7th, 2012, 5:09 am

 

158. ann said:

Wonder how many of them are posting on this board

Mossad, CIA and Blackwater operate in Syria – report – 07 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/cia-blackwater-mossad-syria-037/

“The captured gunmen held Arab nationalities, including Gulf, Iraqi, and Lebanese. Among them were also Qatari intelligence agents and non-Arab fighters from Afghanistan, Turkey, and some European countries like France,” the agency quotes Syrian expert in strategic affairs Salim Harba as saying.

Harba also confirmed to the agency that “a coordination office was established in Qatar under American-Gulf sponsorship. The office includes American, French, and Gulf – specifically from Qatar and Saudi Arabia – intelligence agents, as well as CIA, Mossad, and Blackwater agents and members of the Syrian Transitional Council.”

“The Syrian army also uncovered tunnels and equipments there,” he told to the agency, “advanced Israeli, European, and American arms that have not yet been tested in the countries of manufacture, in addition to Israeli grenades, night binoculars, and communication systems were confiscated by the security forces.”

Salim Harba however said the Syrian authorities are not planning to reveal all the obtained information now, but assured all the evidence is of high value.

“The Syrian security forces have documents and confessions that could harm everyone who conspired against Syria, and could make a security and political change, not just on the internal Syrian level, but also on the regional level,” he said.

The recent Stratfor leak and hacked email of the company’s director of analysis also suggest undercover NATO troops are already on the ground in Syria.

[…]

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March 7th, 2012, 7:07 am

 

159. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

An Arabi/English news summary for today (March 7, 2012) on Syria from the truly “network of the free,” Aljazeera-where educated Palestinian journalists are over-represented (thank God) in the network’s staff:

(P.S., I apologize for the brainwashed followers of al-Manar, al-Dunia, Russia Today, Press TV, al-Alam, etc. because everything below may seem like a conspiracy against the so-called “resistance” that kills its own people who demand freedom :-) ).

http://www.aljazeera.net/news/pages/a82c0b64-6575-401e-94fc-e6201342cc4b?GoogleStatID=1
قتلى واقتحامات ومظاهرات بدمشق
الاقتحام والدهم والاعتقال، كما خرجت مظاهرات الليلة الماضية ضد نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد في عدة مناطق من العاصمة السورية أبرزها مظاهرة في ساحة العباسيين التي تعد ثاني أهم الساحات العامة وسط دمشق.

وكان 42 شخصا قتلوا أمس برصاص قوات الأمن والجيش معظمهم في مدينة حمص، في حين أعلن ضابط سوري كبير انشقاقه عن الجيش النظامي وانضمامه للجيش السوري الحر.

وقال المتحدث باسم تنسيقية القصير إن من بين القتلى شخصا قضى تحت التعذيب. وأضاف في حديث للجزيرة أن أكثر من نصف السكان البالغ عددهم خمسين ألفا نزحوا منها خوفا من تكرار تجربة بابا عمرو، مشيرا إلى الحالة الاقتصادية المزرية التي تعيشها المدينة مع نقص الوقود والمواد الغذائية والطبية.

بدورها قالت الشبكة السورية لحقوق الإنسان إن الأمن قتل عسكريا منشقا في منزله فجر اليوم ببلدة حاس بريف إدلب. وفي حمص أفادت لجان التنسيق المحلية بأن قوات النظام قتلت ثمانية أشخاص من عائلة واحدة بينهم طفل في منطقة البساتين في حي بابا عمرو.

وفي بابا عمرو أيضا قال عضو مجلس الثورة محمد الحمصي إن الأمن جمع النساء اللواتي لم يغادرن الحي في ملجأ ويقوم عناصر الأمن على التناوب على اغتصابهن وهذا ما تحدثت عنه أيضا نساء هربن من حي بابا عمر أمس.

وقد بث ناشطون على الإنترنت صورا لما قالوا إنها مجزرة ارتكبت بحق عائلة سورية في بلدة الحراك بدرعا، وأضافوا أن قوات الأمن قتلت أربعة أفراد, هم أب وثلاثة من أبنائه أمام النساء والأطفال, وذلك بسبب دعمهم للثورة.
القوات السورية تشن حملات اعتقال ودهم تشمل أغلب المناطق الثائرة (الجزيرة-أرشيف)

اقتحامات وجثة أجنبي
كما شيع أهالي مضايا في ريف دمشق ثمانية أشخاص قال ناشطو الثورة إن الأمن السوري اعتقلهم ثم قتلهم.

وفي جبل الزاوية في منطقة إدلب قالت الهيئة العامة للثورة إن الأمن السوري يهدد بقتل المدنيين إذا لم يستسلم المنشقون.

ميدانيا أيضا قالت لجان التنسيق المحلية إن قوات الجيش مدعومة بالدبابات والحافلات اقتحمت مدينة قارة في ريف دمشق. كما دوت أصوات انفجارات في يبرود في ثاني اقتحام للمدينة صباح اليوم.

وتحدث ناشطون عن اقتحام بلدة كفرنبل في إدلب وعمليات إطلاق نار عشوائي واعتقالات.
وتحدث الناشطون أيضا عن اقتحام بلدتي سلمى والمارونيات في ريف اللاذقية.

في المقابل ذكرت صحيفة سورية اليوم أن إحدى الجثث المكتشفة في بابا عمرو قد تعود إلى شخص أوروبي من “القياديين” في بابا عمرو.

وذكرت صحيفة “الوطن” شبه الرسمية أن “اللغز الأكثر غموضاً بالنسبة للمتابعين هو لغز الجثة التي أعلن أنها تعود للصحفي الإسباني خافيير سبينوزا الذي تبين لاحقاً أنه حي يرزق وموجود في لبنان”.

ونقلت الصحيفة المقربة من الحكومة السورية عن مصادر لم تسمها أن القتيل الذي اعتقد أنه الصحفي الإسباني كان بحوزته جواز سفر سبينوزا وبطاقته الصحفية.

ولكن الصحيفة نقلت عن “خبراء أمنيين” أن الجثة “تعود لشخص أوروبي كان من القياديين في بابا عمرو”، وأضاف الخبراء “أن الجثة تعود دون أدنى شك لشخصية قيادية ذات ملامح أوروبية جنوبية”.

وأضافوا “أن الجثة قد تكون إما لشخصية تتبع لجهاز أمني أو لإحدى الشركات الأمنية التي تنشط في لبنان وكان من مهامها في الأسابيع الأخيرة إخراج أكبر عدد ممكن من المقاتلين من بابا عمرو”.
[…]
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/03/201237102653391566.html
Senior UN official arrives in Damascus
Valerie Amos in Syria for talks aimed at securing access to deliver supplies and evacuate wounded from devastated areas.

The United Nations’ top humanitarian official has arrived in Damascus to urge the Syrian government to allow relief workers to access civilian areas devastated by Syrian security forces in weeks of artillery attacks.

Valerie Amos, the UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs whose request to visit Syria was rejected earlier this month as government forces bombarded an opposition stronghold in Homs, is due to hold talks with senior government officials from Wednesday until Friday.

The aim of her visit is “to urge all sides to allow unhindered access for humanitarian relief workers so they can evacuate the wounded and deliver essential supplies,” according to Amos.

Amos’ arrival comes days before Kofi Annan, a joint UN-Arab League envoy appointed to find a way to end the violence in Syria, is due in Damascus.

Li Huaxin, a Chinese diplomat, is also currently in the Syrian capital for talks with Walid al-Muallem, the country’s foreign minister, in which he was expected to outline Beijing’s six-point plan for halting the violence.

Her trip comes amid reports of growing numbers of Syrians fleeing the government’s crackdown into neighbouring Lebanon, with at least 2,000 people crossing the border in the past two days, according to the UN refugee agency.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad faces mounting international pressure over his government’s apparent refusal to allow medical aid into the devastated, largely anti-government Homs district of Bab Amr, in addition to alleged rights abuses by government forces.

Dozens of men, women and children have returned on foot to Baba Amr, passing buildings riddled with bullet holes and other damage.

The return comes days after opposition fighters pulled out of the neighbourhood following a sustained heavy military assault.

‘Smell of death’

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it is still awaiting approval to distribute aid in Baba Amr after the month-long siege.
[…]

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March 7th, 2012, 8:02 am

 

160. zoo said:


Rastan, which activists expect to be the next target of a drive by regime forces to expel rebels who have regrouped from Homs, 20 kilometres (12 miles) away, came under renewed shelling, the Observatory said.

“What’s happening in Rastan is exactly what happened in Baba Amr: a siege, artillery fire and rockets,” said Hadi Abdullah, an activist in Homs of the Syrian Revolution General Commission.

“Free Syrian Army fighters are still in Rastan. They will not give up because nobody wants another Baba Amr,” he said.

The violence in Homs province has sent more than 1,500 Syrian refugees, mainly women and children, fleeing across the border into Lebanon in the past few days, UN and Lebanese officials said on Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Mar-06/165700-smell-of-death-filled-syrias-baba-amr-residents.ashx#ixzz1oR6Hymly
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

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March 7th, 2012, 8:09 am

 

161. Tara said:

Bronco

Come on. Someonelse needs you. One of the poster does not feel well. She is up very early today. Not her usual. Show some solidarity. You know, holding hands, touching hair, acknowledging the good link she posted, profusely thanking her for it, agreeing with everything she has to say even when she says the sky is green.. Just like yesterday….

Common. Yallah…what are you waiting for?

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March 7th, 2012, 8:14 am

 

162. majedkhaldoun said:

Yabrood has been burglerized by Shabbiha, they are steeling everything, stores,cars ,a bunch of thieves are let free by the goverment to steel.
In Homs more murders are committed by the Assad regime,placing young men against the wall and shooting them.
More Assad troops are going to Idleb to kill people there.
This is what syrian army is getting to be, instead of protecting people of Syria,and they are paid by syrians, the army is killing syrians and robbing their properties, what a shame, and you still see people who consider this army as good,the assad army is getting to be a filthy army, and has to be cleaned and we must start all over .
In Damascus, people assembled in Abbaseen square, saying down with Assad, The dictaor, who lives in space, get angry, let him and his supporters go to hell.

More defection,Colonel Adnan ferzat,is joining the FSA.
God bless the FSA.

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March 7th, 2012, 8:14 am

 

163. zoo said:

Libya leader threatens ‘force’ over east’s autonomy bid
By Dominique Soguel | AFP – 11 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/eastern-libya-leaders-declare-autonomy-131731303.html

Does he mean the ‘friendly’ Qatar and KSA?

“On Tuesday, Abdel Jalil charged that some Arab nations were supporting and financing sedition in eastern Libya in a bid to prevent the so-called Arab Spring from reaching their doorsteps.”

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March 7th, 2012, 8:21 am

 

164. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

While Iran is busy jamming Aljazeera broadcasts (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/10/iran-jazeera-idUSL6E8CA2OQ20120110)to block the truth about Bashar M.D. (Murderous Dictator) and his war crimes, EVEN Hamas has abandoned the SECTARIAN Iranians (in Iran, Sunnis cannot build mosques!). Could it be that Arabs would do what Iran did in 2003 when Iraq was invaded: happily cheer and watch the destruction of Saddam, and then take control of Iraq through Iraqi SECTRIAN puppets (al-Maliki, al-Sadr, al-Hakim, et al.)?!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/06/hamas-no-military-aid-for-iran?newsfeed=true

Hamas rules out military support for Iran in any war with Israel

Senior figures say Gaza-based Islamic militants would not launch rockets into Israel at request of Tehran, a key sponsor

Hamas will not do Iran’s bidding in any war with Israel, according to senior figures within the militant Islamic group.

“If there is a war between two powers, Hamas will not be part of such a war,” Salah Bardawil, a member of the organisation’s political bureau in Gaza City, told the Guardian.

He denied the group would launch rockets into Israel at Tehran’s request in response to a strike on its nuclear sites. “Hamas is not part of military alliances in the region,” said Bardawil. “Our strategy is to defend our rights”

The stance underscores Hamas’s rift with its key financial sponsor and its realignment with the Muslim Brotherhood and popular protest movements in the Arab world.

Bardawil’s words were echoed by a second senior Hamas figure, who declined to be named. Hamas, he said, “would not get involved” in any war between Iran and Israel.

Speculation in Israel about the repercussions of a military strike on Iran has encompassed the likelihood of the Jewish state coming under sustained rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Both organisations are routinely described by Israeli officials as “proxies” for the Iranian regime.

However, Hamas has never given “complete loyalty” to Tehran, said Bardawil, pointing out that Iran’s population is overwhelmingly Shia, whereas Gaza is Sunni. “The relationship was based on common interests.”

Tehran has withdrawn its patronage of Hamas over the Palestinian group’s refusal to support the Syrian regime against a year-long uprising. According to a Gazan academic who specialises in Islamic movements, this has included the termination of financial support worth $23m (£14.5m) a month.
[…]

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March 7th, 2012, 8:25 am

 

165. zoo said:

Foreign jihadists fighting in Syria battlefields
By Marc Bastian | AFP – 2 hrs 41 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/foreign-jihadists-fighting-syria-battlefields-104126410.html

The proportion of foreigners “is probably very slim,” said Bitar, while warning that it was “likely to grow now that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have openly announced that they favour militarisation of the Syrian revolution.”

He said some foreign fighters were “members of Al-Qaeda, who responded to the call by Ayman Al-Zawahiri (the leader of the group), who has openly encouraged them to lead the fight in Syria.”

“Most of these previously fought in Iraq. Other jihadists are more or less independents, from Libya or elsewhere, who were mobilised by images from Syria,” he said.

One such fighter is a 29-year-old Lebanese, who goes by the name of Al-Baghdadi, and “enlisted” in the Free Syrian Army.

He said he was a sniper in Baghdad supporting former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the US-led invasion of the country and returned to Lebanon after Saddam was ousted.

Pointing to a Christian comrade, he said in the Syrian rebellion religion “does not matter” and explained that he is fighting “the unjust regime of Assad to protect Syrian children from death.”

Another jihadist who declined to give his nationality and wore a salwar kameez, a tunic common in Afghanistan, said he fought US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, gaining the nickname “The Taliban.”

He said France should establish a “no-fly zone” over Syria, and added jokingly “otherwise we will attack France after killing Bashar.”

Suddenly turning serious, he said: “We do not want anything from the Americans; they are our enemies.”

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March 7th, 2012, 8:26 am

 

166. zoo said:

Annan to offer Assad ‘honorable exit’ way
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/annan-to-offer-assad-honorable-exit-way.aspx?pageID=238&nID=15421&NewsCatID=338

ISTANBUL/ WASHINGTON/ANKARA
Offer may be ‘the last chance’ for Syria’s al-Assad as Turkish PM Erdoğan urges an aid corridor amid US call for diplomatic solution

Veteran diplomat Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, will offer “a last chance” to President Bashar al-Assad when he visits Damascus on March 10, a Turkish diplomatic source said yesterday.

The offer will give al-Assad the chance to “honorably exit the scene,” the source told the Daily News. Annan will go to Damascus on the same day Russia joins an Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo.

Suggesting that the turmoil in Syria was fast becoming a civil war, Kılıçdaroğlu said the situation was more complex than a simple government-opposition conflict. “The AKP did not exercise prudence to prevent the turmoil in Syria. They expected a similar international intervention in Syria as happened in Libya. But the Western powers ignored military intervention in Syria,” he said.

“The prime minister said ‘push has come to shove’ before,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “Now blood is being shed in Syria, and he is watching. Erdoğan is also responsible for this bloodshed […] He should take a lead to secure peace in Syria. Turkey, Russia and Iran should come together to secure peace in Syria. If Erdoğan can succeed in this, he would hold an important role in the region.”

Meanwhile, the prime minister met with Iraqiya leader Iyad Allawi and was scheduled to meet with Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch when the Daily News went to press yesterday.
(…)

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March 7th, 2012, 8:32 am

 

167. Tara said:

Robert Fisk: Is Homs an echo of what happened in Srebrenica?

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-is-homs-an-echo-of-what-happened-in-srebrenica-7542448.html 

No entry to the International Red Cross. Not yet. Maybe in a few days, when the area has been secured. Men and boys separated from the women and children. Streams of refugees. Women, children, the old, few males. Stories of men being loaded on to trucks and taken away. Destination unknown. Devastation. No journalists, no freedom of movement for the UN. The place was called Srebrenica.

Parallels are seductive, dangerous, frightening, often inaccurate. Nasser was the “Mussolini of the Nile” to Eden in 1956, Saddam the “Hitler of the Tigris” to Bush and Blair in 2003. Standing up to tyrants – unless they happen to be “our” tyrants – has been quite the thing. It’s only when we don’t stand up to them that we get a bit queasy and start asking awkward questions. Why did we “stand idly by”? Hafez el-Assad’s massacre of his Sunni Islamist opponents at Hama in 1982 comes to mind. Saddam’s massacre of his Shia and Kurdish opponents in 1991. Srebrenica, of course. And now Homs. In Libya, as Gaddafi advanced on Benghazi, it was “chocks away!” During Homs, our chaps lingered at dispersal and the “scramble” never sounded.

Yes, the phantoms of Srebrenica move across our planet faster than we realise, high-speed ghosts whose shadows darken the prisons of Libya and then the towns of Syria. Or maybe those ghosts of Hama – Hama of the nouriya water-wheels, still creaking away as the Syrian Defence Brigades battled their way through the city’s underground tunnels 30 years ago, fighting Islamist suicide girls with grenades strapped to their bodies – had visited Srebrenica before its fall in 1995. Mass killings, executions are a kind of revolving wheel. Now you see them. Now you don’t. And afterwards, we all ask “why?” How did we let it happen?

In Hama, perhaps 10,000. In Srebrenica, more than 8000. In Homs? Well, if all Syria has lost 8,000 souls in a year, Homs’s sacrifice must be far smaller. But then the UN statistics do not appear to include the thousands of Syrian army casualties. Government soldiers were also killed in Homs. As they were in Hama. Not many Serbs in Srebrenica. Of course, Benghazi could have been the next Srebrenica if Nato hadn’t bombed the Gaddafi tanks which were already nosing into the city last year. Even the Syrians made fun of Gaddafi’s “zenga, zenga” – “from alleyway to alleyway”, to be sure a loose translation – in Benghazi. Now the Syrian government forces are doing a little “zenga, zenga” of their own.

There are other parallels, of course, between Srebrenica and Homs. In Srebrenica, the local Muslim commander – Naser Oric, mysteriously rescued before the Serb onslaught – had been killing Serb civilians around the town since 1990. In Homs, the armed defenders had indulged in sectarian killings of their own. NGOs retreated from Baba Amr during the siege with terrible stories of “Free Syria Army” soldiers boasting of cutting their opponents’ throats. In Srebrenica, Serbs claimed they were fighting “Islamist terrorists” – a favourite claim of Messrs Karadzic and Mladic – and this is exactly whom the Syrian Baathists claimed to be fighting in Homs.

Then there are the terrifying mirrors of Srebrenica and Homs with which these reflections began; no Red Cross entry, no journalists, men and boys separated from women, the female refugees and their stories of slaughtered menfolk, men taken away in trucks. The failure of the “international community”.

In fact, there are a lot of differences, too, enough to take our foot off the indignation pedal for moment. In Srebrenica, Christians were killing Muslims – because they were Muslims. In Homs, Muslims are killing Muslims, albeit that one side is biased towards Shia Alawites, the other towards Sunnis. The UN had granted Srebrenica “safe haven” status. Indeed, the Dutch UN battalion (albeit one of the world’s more pathetic military units) was there at the time, watching the Serbs taking the men away. Neither the UN nor Nato had blessed Homs with such dodgy protection.

Indeed, quite the contrary. Our brave leaders have spent much time telling us how they absolutely, totally and completely refuse to interfere militarily in Syria. And odd, isn’t it, how we’re almost as keen to publicise our impotence over Syria as we are to threaten Iran over its real or mythical nuclear weapons programme, when Iran isn’t massacring anyone at all. The West’s R2P – “right to protect” – isn’t given out freely, especially if the victims are a little too near the fault-lines of the Middle East to be worthy of our guardianship.

Compassion we have for them in spades. Indignation. Homs the “martyr” city has a good ring about it, not least because it bears the merit of truth. But pity is cheap, commiseration easy, sorrow a pain-killer, at least for guilty consciences. The Syrians are going to be left to themselves – as were the Bosnian Muslims for so many years – while those all-purpose sanctions bite away with rubber teeth on the regimes we blame for these horrors. And heaven knows – let us ascend, briefly, to the halls of power and silence – what would happen if the Israelis and the Americans decided to attack Iran while we squandered our strength protecting the people of Homs, Idlib or Deraa.

Then there’s the all-purpose al-Qa’ida. The Syrian regime says it is being attacked by al-Qa’ida. The Americans suspect this is true, at least when it comes to the suicide bombings in Damascus and Aleppo and Deraa, and even al-Qa’ida says it is true. Just as the Serbs claimed they were fighting Islamic extremism “in the heart of Europe”. Bin Laden’s ghost appears to be working for everyone, except the victims.

We will eventually get to Homs, of course, broken and crushed and with its people only quietly admitting the horrors they have undergone. I briefly got into Hama during the 1982 battles and I went back afterwards and the most I could elicit from a frightened trader with a barrow of sweetcorn were three words: “God knows everything.” Ergo Homs, I suppose.

 (…)

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March 7th, 2012, 8:44 am

 

168. zoo said:

Profile: Nasser al-Kidwa
06/03/2012
By Asharq Al-Awsat
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=3&id=28750
London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Nasser al-Kidwa has been appointed as deputy to Kofi Annan, the joint UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria. For the first time since being entrusted with the post last month, Annan will visit Damascus on 10 March in an effort to promote a political solution to the Syrian crisis, with al-Kidwa expected to accompany him.

Nasser al-Kidwa is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Palestinian National Authority, and nephew of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. He currently serves as Chairman for the Yasser Arafat Foundation and is a member of the Central Committee of Fatah.

Al-Kidwa possesses extensive political and diplomatic experience accumulated over a period of 36 years, becoming involved in political and diplomatic work at a young age. He joined Fatah in 1969 whilst still a student, eventually graduating from Cairo University in the field of dentistry a decade later.
(..)

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March 7th, 2012, 8:47 am

 

169. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

A WAR CRIMINAL (see this on Qana Massacre of 1996: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3023.htm), SHIMON PERES, receives the American “Medal of Freedom” Award!!!! Could the Serial killer Ted Bundy (posthumously) be the next person to receive this award :-) ?!!!!!!!

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/04/news/la-pn-obama-peres-medal-of-freedom-20120304

Obama announces Medal of Freedom honor for Shimon Peres

Israeli President Shimon Peres meets with President Obama in Washington… (Moshe Milner / Israeli Government Press Office via Associated Press)
March 04, 2012|By Ian Duncan
Reporting from Washington — Israeli President Shimon Peres will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom this spring, President Obama announced at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington.

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March 7th, 2012, 8:48 am

 

170. Juergen said:

“Now the Syrian government forces are doing a little “zenga, zenga” of their own.” Fisk seems to get things right, we see that he is posted not only by anti Assadis alone.

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March 7th, 2012, 9:13 am

 

171. Juergen said:

The revolution is coming closer: Abbaseen square in Damascus

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March 7th, 2012, 9:43 am

 

172. son of Damascus said:

THE DOVES OF DAMASCUSAs Syria slides into civil war, moderate voices inside the country want to know: Why isn’t anyone listening to us?

By Jess Hill
POLITICS | March 7, 2012 | The Global Mail

Fresh from his gladhanding tour of the Middle East, United States Senator John McCain returned to the Senate this week and made the call for war. “Time is running out. Assad’s forces are on the march. Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives,” he implored from the Senate floor.

[…]

http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/the-doves-of-damascus/110/

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March 7th, 2012, 10:23 am

 

173. Mina said:

A so-called new Alawi pro-revo militia announces its formation, but half the guys burst out laughing when they hear repeatedly the word “Alawis”.

(spotted by Angry Arab)

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March 7th, 2012, 10:23 am

 

174. Alan said:

Mossad, CIA and Blackwater operate in Syria – report
http://rt.com/news/cia-blackwater-mossad-syria-037/
UN Syria draft: US attempts to get Russia and China aboard
http://rt.com/news/un-draft-us-syria-025/
Warmongers & Chickenhawks: ‘McCain ( moron ) still very dangerous’

Leading Senator John McCain has become the first U.S. politician to publicly call for airstrikes against the Syrian regime. He says Washington has a ‘moral and strategic obligation’ to force Assad out. California State University professor Paul Sheldon Foote told RT that John McCain is still very dangerous. Immediately candles of paracetamol to him.

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March 7th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

175. Juergen said:

Revolutionary matchboxes, and a new song. I love it.

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March 7th, 2012, 10:49 am

 

176. Alan said:

Syrian Red Crescent enters Baba Amr district in Homs( breaking news )
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/230448.html

The Syrian Red Crescent accompanied by UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has entered the Baba Amr district of the restive city of Homs, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

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March 7th, 2012, 10:52 am

 

177. Alan said:

U.S. Seeks to Provide Direct Aid to Syrian Opposition
http://en.rian.ru/world/20120307/171811382.html
The United States is preparing to provide direct humanitarian and communications assistance to the Syrian opposition in a move that would be a serious step towards the U.S. plan to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, the Foreign Policy journal reported on Wednesday.
“These moves are going to invest the U.S. in a much deeper sense with the opposition,” Foreign Policy quoted an unknown official in President Barack Obama’s administration as saying. “U.S. policy is now aligned with enabling the opposition to overthrow the Assad regime. This codifies a significant change in our Syria policy.”
The official told Foreign Policy that more serious options, including the introduction of a no-fly zone in Syria or close cooperation with the opposition Free Syrian Army, were not on the agenda so far. It echoes Obama’s statement yesterday, in which he said military action against Assad’s regime would be a “mistake.”
The U.S.-backed Syrian rebel assistance plan, which involves the State Department and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will, however, fail if government troops don’t grant access to affected areas, the U.S. official told Foreign Policy.
Last week the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was denied access to the besieged city of Homs, which has seen heavy shelling by Assad’s forces.
Syria has been the scene of continuous anti-government protests for nearly a year. According to the United Nations, more than 7,500 people have died in the unrest, which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad blames on “armed terrorist gangs.”

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March 7th, 2012, 11:01 am

 

178. Maher said:

I have been reading SC, among others, for over a year now. Here is my personal thought on the “Way out for Syria”. Please scroll down and take the poll at the end of the post.

http://onsyria.wordpress.com/

Mr moderator, I apologize for not embedding my thought as a comment here, but it is simply too long, so I setup a blog page to do so.

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March 9th, 2012, 12:43 am

 

179. Leo Syriacus said:

363 days of unrest
11,000 martyrs
35,000 detainees
85% devaluation of the Syrian pound
50% of Syrians living on $2 a day

How can any body with any intellectual ability defend Bashar and a government that incompetent??!
Even if you are a basharophile and believe in the Cosmic Conspiracy and the armed gangs theory.. your president has been having his rear end kicked by a few thugs for a year and you want him in power??
Oh, forgot to add crimes against humanity, children killing, gross corruption and embezzelment..but don’t you worry Basharophiles you are winning the earth battle and the space battle..Hail Grendizer!!!

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March 12th, 2012, 6:36 pm

 

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