Levant States Coming Unglued as Iraq teeters on Edge of Civil War and Syria Beset by over 1000 militias

The Levant States seem to be coming unglued as the fighting in Fallujah pushes Iraq toward civil war. The Arab Spring may not be so much about democracy as reworking the states, borders, and national identities laid down by WWI colonial powers. The ungluing of state structures may eventually lead to democracy, but only after decades of turmoil and suffering. The peoples of the region are going through a great sorting out – perhaps not unlike the sorting out that Eastern Europe peoples went through during the first half of the last century. The ethnic groups and religious communities trapped within the Sykes-Picot borders must refashion national allegiances and identities into something workable. Today, they mostly seem dysfunctional. The economic and political failure of most Middle Eastern states seems linked to the broader social failure to find a common identity. Hopefully the North African states can pull through this without such collapse.

Robert Springborg writes:

Manifestations of centrifugal forces from Libya to Iraq raise the question of whether the Arab postcolonial states can, as presently configured geographically and structurally, transit to post-postcolonial, at least quasi-democratic, states. Or will they be federalized, Lebanized or altogether dismembered, with all of the political turbulence and violence associated with these scenarios of reconfiguration and dismemberment? Secondly, the rise of Islamism — most especially in Tunisia and Egypt but essentially everywhere as Arab authoritarian leaders begin to teeter — raises a question: will the Arab world become part of global political processes or depart yet further from them? After all, Iran’s choice of a vilayat-e faqih [an Islamic jurist] to lead the nation hardly brought it back into the global mainstream.

Iraq Moves Toward Civil War
By Marisa Sullivan, January 26, 2013 – ISW

Thousands of Iraqis gathered in Fallujah on Saturday, 26 January, to bury the protesters killed the day before by Iraqi Army fire. At a protest following the funerals, demonstrators denounced the government in language reminiscent of the early stages of the uprising in Syria, chanting “Listen Maliki, we are free people” and “Take your lesson from Bashar.” Many protesters displayed Saddam-era flags, signaling their sympathy with the former Ba’ath regime.  Photos from the funeral also show demonstrators waving the black flag of al-Qaeda.

Fallujah Protests Turn Violent
January 25, 2013
By Marisa Sullivan, Stephen Wicken, and Sam Wyer – ISW

Anti-government demonstrations turned violent today as Iraqi security forces fired on protesters in Fallujah. The confrontation began when protesters in eastern Fallujah attempted to join Friday’s demonstration and were blocked by security forces deployed from Baghdad. The demonstrators began to throw rocks and water bottles at the security forces at the checkpoint.  In videos from the scene, the protesters appear to be unarmed, though Prime Minister Maliki later accused the demonstrators of firing on security forces. Iraqi army forces escalated by firing warning shots into the air, but soon they began to fire directly at the crowd. Protesters also escalated by torching several army vehicles and two cars, including one belonging to an Iraqiyya politician and another to a local politician. Initial reports indicate as many as seven protesters were killed and more than 60 were wounded in the incident.

Several hours later, clashes between gunmen and security forces occurred…The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), a group linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq, is claiming responsibility for the attacks and calling for people to join the “jihad” in Fallujah on Twitter. On Friday evening, they declared that “gunmen [were] deployed in the streets of Fallujah to protect the protesters.”…

1000 Militias in Syria

International Committee of the Red Cross index of armed groups in Syria with which they have to deal is 15 pages; about 1,000 in total.

Alawite Wedding Video attended by General Ali Khouzam, a high ranking general in the Republican Guard and right hand man to Mr Maher Al Assad.

The language is difficult but Ali Khouzam explains to the young men attending the wedding who hang on his words that only three of the original 50 soldiers of his unit remain alive. He says that he was dragged to the wedding by his wife who wanted to go out and have some fun.

The primary context of the video is the singing of a zajal, a  semi-improvised and semi-sung form of poetry. In this instance it is constructed around the repetition of variations of the word “Ali” to mean “Ali” the cousin of Prophet Muhammad, “aali” the highest, and the preposition “on”. There is nothing unusual about such a zajal, but what is unusual is the distinctly Alawite religious incantations that are added by Khouzam, something that has shocked many non-Alawite listeners and caused it to go viral. Most Syrians know little about the Alawite religion. Even though Alawites and Sunnis have lived side by side for centuries, the Alawite deification of Ali remains a shocking realization to many. Alawites conceal their religion and have been frequently condemned for exaggerating their worship of Ali.

Ali Khouzam calls Ali the creator and the Prince of the Bees, a title frequently used in Alawite prayers. Khousam tells the young men that God will forgive the Alawites for their sins and that they have no choice but to continue fighting.

Apparently 10 days after he attended this wedding Khouzam was killed in the ongoing battles with the revolutionary forces.

Even in Assad’s coastal retreat, the war has come and the bombs are dropping
Martin Chulov, The Observer, Saturday 26 January 2013

Bands of rebels, pursued by Syrian air power, are consolidating their position in mountains above the wealthy playground of Latakia – which may become the regime’s last redoubt….jihadist groups, first among them the al-Qaida-aligned Jabhat al-Nusra, who are now congregating around 20km north of Latakia and making plans to advance. “There are around 300-400 of them,” said a rebel commander in the hills not far away. “They have their eyes on the gold and jewellery stores. They are more interested in here than in Idlib, or Aleppo.”

Not all those under fire are seeking refuge in Latakia. Some families, the few that remain in the battleground villages of Jebel al-Krud, are trying to make their way north to Turkey. In one such village, the custodian of the town’s Orthodox church offered the Observer a tour of the ancient stone building that she so clearly cherished….

“It won’t be fast and it won’t be easy,” said a leader of the rebels’ military council, who not long ago owned large and lucrative quarries in the Idlib hinterland. His business interests have since been confiscated and he claimed to be as penniless as the defector sitting cross-legged on the barren floor next to him, a private in the Syrian army who fled his post in Jisr al-Shughour last month. “I don’t care what it takes,” the officer said. “As long as we beat al-Qaida to Latakia.”

In this room, a former Syrian army outpost, and in others like it in the northern countryside of Syria, the working theory is that Assad and his senior officials are keeping a corridor open to Latakia from the south-east – a line that traces the Alawite heartland of the country, past Hama, then Homs, and ending in Damascus.

“They are preparing for a worst-case scenario,” one rebel offered as an explanation. “If it goes badly for the Alawites, they will want a country of their own.”

“Do you think it’s going badly for them?” another man asked. “This is going to continue for another year. They will wear us down.”

Another man joined in, struggling to be heard above a now increasing din of voices. “Another year, we’ll all be dead. That is too much. May God punish Bashar and all his family.”

The conversation was now drowned by shouting. Goals and realities seemed almost irreconcilable at this point in the group’s battle planning. There seems little way forward except more of the same grinding, miserable suffering that has come to characterise the war in the north.

“But we must get it together. We just must,” the rebel leader finally piped up. “You in the west ask us why it is going like this and then you refuse to help us. Latakia is a price worth paying. There is no way Bashar can win the war if he loses there.”

We spoke by phone to a merchant in Latakia on Saturday. He runs restaurants on the coastline and an import business through the nearby port. “Jet skis are on the ocean and people are smoking [water pipes],” he said. “Yes, there are planes and bombs in the distance. But for now it’s our new reality. We are getting used to it. If they get any closer, we’ll leave.”

The Battle for Latakia Part One
by Karen Leigh – January 21, 2013 – Syria Deeply

“The [rest of the] fighting will be in Latakia, because the regime’s power is all in Latakia,” says Major Abu Suheil, head of the provincial military council. “If we finish them there, we win. Latakia’s fighting will stretch on longer than anywhere else in Syria.”…

The creation of an unbridgeable divide
Ammar Abdulhamid 24 January 2013, Open Democracy

Syria’s civil war is now strongly characterised by militias identifying along sectarian lines. The growing divide between Sunnis and Alawites has profound implications for Syria, and the Middle East…. The revolution has indeed challenged this state of affairs, constituting an existential threat in the political as well as the socio-economic sense, not only to the Assad family but to the Alawite community as a whole….

For the Sunni Arab population of Syria, it’s the overt sectarian and violent nature of the crackdown, underscored by the willingness to kill unarmed protesters, including women and children, and to defile mosques and Sunni religious symbols, that have in time posed an existential threat. While in terms of the demographics involved, the Sunnis are under no real threat of being physically wiped out by Alawites, in reality, over the last 20 months, the very structure of their existence has been severely undermined. With millions of Sunni refugees now on the run inside and outside the country, and entire Sunni towns, villages and neighborhoods laid to waste, entire ways of life and a worldview that used to be more encompassing and tolerant have been, perhaps irrevocably, shattered.

The Syrian Sunni identity is changing. Sunnis see that they are being treated as if they were all extremist Salafists, as indicated by the pejorative term “Ar’ouris” (after the Salafi Sheikh Adnan Ar’our) concocted by Alawite militias. They see that the majority of members of other confessional minority groups seem to remain sympathetic to Assad,…

Jihadism and national pride

The fact that the Sunni community has for years harbored within its fold movements that were ideologically and psychologically primed to embrace such a development, namely the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb Al-Tahrir, the Salafi community and other Jihadi elements, made this transformation somewhat inevitable.

There are two forms of Jihadism clashing in Syria today….. al-Nusra…

The other form of Jihadism on the scene is of course Alawite. In fact, in the context of the Syrian Revolution, Alawite Jihadism seems to have emerged first, before actively encouraging the emergence of a Sunni counterpart within the ranks of the revolutionary movement by providing a justification for its existence and tactics….

But there is something unique about Alawite Jihadism. Rather than developing as a strictly religious phenomenon, as is the case with other Shia Jihadi movements such as Hezbollah and the Mahdi Army, Alawite Jihadism is more of a national Alawite pride movement. Indeed, by taking part in Assad’s bloody crackdown, Alawite youths, irrespective of their level of education, seem to be expressing pride in who they are. In their leaked videos, Facebook pages and twitter accounts, young Alawite men in particular seem to feel quite empowered, liberated even, by the acts of brutality being perpetrated in their name by their “patriotic” militias, or which they themselves are directly perpetrating. The leaked video of the Alawite soldier who called his mother and had her listen in as he executed a “terrorist” is a grisly and poignant example. For the first time, young Alawite men are now able to celebrate their identity and declare the superiority of their ways and beliefs, while expressing publicly what they must have felt for so long vis-à-vis their Sunni compatriots. Young Alawite men are now telling the world that they are followers of Amir Al-Mu’mineen Haydarah Ali Bin Abi Talib and believers in the Divine Wisdom of one Bashar Al-Assad for whose sake they are willing to set the entire country on fire, and have in fact been doing so.

In a sense, Alawite youths have awoken and are leading their own revolution (or counter-revolution) in a manner commensurate with their own vision and understanding of where their interests lie. Far from the limelight, they are leading their own Jihad against history, the very history that has always conspired against them, so they believe, and continues to do so. The fact that their suffering is not as well-publicized as that of their Sunni “enemies” makes it seem even more authentic. After all, their suffering and sacrifices have always taken place far from the limelight, and the history books, and are alive only in their collective memory, their oral traditions, and their imagination.

The civil struggle

Far from the limelight as well, other communities in Syria feel equally threatened. There are Arab Christian communities of different denominations, there are Christians of Armenian and Assyrian descent, there are Druzes and Ismailites, and there are Cherkessians and Kurds. All are looking on with horror as the two main protagonists in the current conflagration become more and more radical and out-of-control….

So it seems that the glue that used to keep these communities together through thick and thin, that element of trust, that live-and-let-live ethos stemming from centuries of relatively peaceful coexistence under the millet system, has dried up under the Assad regime’s continuous and vindictive assault on civil society. But there is nothing to replace it today: neither a covenant nor an accord, nor even a respected elite that can put something together then sell it to the people…..

Syria consensus coalesces in Davos, by Gideon Rachman in Davos – FT

West’s fears over Syria Islamists mount as coalition flounders
John Irish and Mohammed Abbas Reuters, January 25, 2013

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – Western concern over the growing strength of jihadist rebels in Syria is mounting, hindering aid to the moderate Syrian National Coalition opposition and possibly pushing it into the arms of religiously conservative backers, diplomatic sources said.

The widely recognized coalition has failed to gain traction on the ground in Syria since being formed in November, its credibility undermined by its failure to secure arms and cash in the battle to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, the coalition’s lack of cohesion – it this week failed to form a transitional government – has deterred the West from boosting aid to the group, in particular the guns and ammunition coalition fighters are crying out for.

That has left the door open to Islamist groups, funded and armed by wealthy Gulf states and individuals, to become the strongest fighting factions in Syria. They command local respect for their effectiveness, but alarm some in the West.

On Monday, Western and Syrian coalition officials hope to break the deadlock at a meeting in Paris, amid coalition accusations of broken promises of aid and splits in the West on how to address the Islamist presence in the Syrian rebel ranks.

“This meeting is to ring the alarm bell. We have to assure the coalition of our support and the support of the international community,” said a French diplomatic source.

“We must avoid a government in exile. The objective is to have a direct impact on the ground. Bring value to the Syrians on the ground,” the source added.

Syrian coalition officials say the best way to make an impact is to provide its poorly equipped fighters with weapons. But Western diplomats are wary of the coalition’s disunity, and are mindful of the spread of weapons to Islamists in Syria and across the volatile region.

French forces are currently battling Islamists in Mali, the insurgents armed with weapons thought to have come from Libya after the Western-backed 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.

“We have also learnt from experience and we’re seeing it in Mali with weapons that came from Libya to the armed groups there now. What we don’t want is weapons falling into the hands of the wrong people,” the French source said….

First women’s unit established for Syrian Army

Today’s events suggest a significant escalation in Iraq’s ongoing crisis after weeks of anti-government protests. Sunni protesters and tribal leaders in Anbar are now threatening to abandon politics and return to violence as the primary means for addressing their grievances. A violent response by Sunni groups or security forces could prompt security and stability in Iraq to unravel.

Understanding the Supreme Military Council: The Military Branch of Syria’s Future Opposition Council-led Transitional Government, January 5, 2013 by Syrian Support Group Policy Blog – it gives a battle plan which can be compared to that of its rival, the Islamic Front, here.

Henry Kissinger against the US sending troops to Syria

At Davos, he said, “I urge that the administration not intervene militarily. If it does, it will find itself in the middle of a bitter ethnic conflict”…. world cannot ignore the huge unfolding humanitarian tragedy with more than 60,000 people killed and four million displaced. “Even if outside forces do not intervene militarily, the administration will be caught up in the humanitarian tragedy that has started”.

Jordan’s King Abdullah: “The New Taliban Are In Syria” – The Daily Beast – said at Davos

Rebel court fills void amid Syrian civil war
By Ivan Watson and Raja Razek, CNN, January 25, 2013

…This self-appointed council of judges, lawyers and clerics started working four months ago. Judging by the line of supplicants waiting in the halls, residents appear to have granted this court some degree of popular legitimacy.

….”Up until now we can control the situation,” Gayed warned. “But later on, we may not be able to contain it.”

Gayed argued his council’s experiment in rebel justice is a more tolerant alternative to the Islamic courts that Nusra Front has reportedly been establishing in Aleppo and in other rebel controlled towns.

The United Courts Council is working to expand its law-and-order model to other communities in the largely rebel-held north. It is a desperate strategy, council members admitted, aimed at preventing Syria from descending further into chaos.

Sultan Al Qassemi analyzes how Qatar’s relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood is affecting its ties with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the region. al-Monitor

Comments (137)

MarigoldRan said:

Into Lattakia… and the war continues.

EDIT: Look at the women in the new militia video. Some of them have grey hair.

January 27th, 2013, 1:28 am


Syrialover said:

Why the shyness and unease by Bashar-lovers here about the regime’s responsibility for the recent bombing massacre at Aleppo University during student exams?

They have been so smugly proud and triumphant about so many other atrocities inflicted by regime forces. So why are they denying this one?

The deniers and distracters are making it hard for themselves – or rather, many others are making it hard for them to keep bleating about “al qaeda car bombs” or “rebel ground missiles” when the evidence of an airstrike by one of Assad’s pilots is becoming irrefutable.

Here’s an amazing analysis of video footage of the incident – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_4d5BOZcXg

And here’s the Aleppo University project. A crowd-sourced investigation into a crime: -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_4d5BOZcXg

And this report from Syria Deeply. Excerpt:

“Residents of Aleppo, some who live only a few hundred meters away from the scene and are vocal opponents of the revolution, were quick to point out in Facebook and Twitter posts (below) that a fighter jet fired two rockets at the University, then circled back a few minutes later to drop the third bomb.

“People living in government-controlled areas of Syria can’t inspect the aftermath of such violent explosions and aren’t allowed to film in public, which explains the dearth of photo and video evidence from the scene.”


January 27th, 2013, 1:28 am


MarigoldRan said:

The regime fights, fights, fights. And loses, loses, loses. The regime has recaptured Midan… for the third time in 8 months! The regime can take territory, but they can’t hold it. And the regime’s enemies aren’t going to negotiate with it, which means that while the regime can bomb and destroy, it can’t end the war!

Iran’s pumping billions of dollars into Syria. For what gain? The regime’s slowly getting swamped. It’s turning to middle-aged women with greying hair to fight!

January 27th, 2013, 1:42 am


Ghufran said:

I read Chulov article before Joshua posted it, I still think that many rebel groups are not interested in a new adventure now but there is no doubt that some rebels,especially Islamists, have their eyes on Latakia for obvious reasons, however,an incursion into Latakia will lead to a blood bath that will affect everybody but mostly Sunni population, such an attack will be a grave mistake and a free gift to advocates of sectarian cleansing and the partition of Syria. It makes more sense for those who claim they are protecting the people not to give militias supportive of Assad another reason to ” purify” the coastal area. The population of Latakia and Tartous almost doubled and a lot of the new comers are not alawites but residents of other cities who ran away for safety only to be chased again by their ” protectors”. I have a strange feeling that an attack on Latakia is exactly what hardcore Assadists want.
طز فيكم و بهالثوره تبعكن

January 27th, 2013, 1:44 am


MarigoldRan said:

Every refugee the regime drives into Turkey or N. Syria is another potential recruit for the FSA or Al Nusra.

If the Alawites are stupid enough to try ethnic cleansing in Lattakia, then so be it. It will turn Lattakia into a giant inferno, similar to Aleppo. The Sunnis have guns and numbers, and they have support from Aleppo and Idlib province. They can defend themselves.

And that is NOT good for the Alawites or the regime. If Lattakia is not safe, where is?

January 27th, 2013, 1:46 am


Ghufran said:

Marigold, I do not know if you are Syrian, most probably you are not. Sunnis and alawites have lived in peace in coastal areas for centuries, an attack on Latakia will leave residents with two choices either running away and giving armed thugs the keys to their houses or fighting,even if they are likely to lose. Syrians know very well that most residents will opt to die defending their families and villages, that is what other Syrians did, the end result was tens of thousands of victims and three million refugees, this is why violence is never a solution, it is a problem, especially when that violence is random and does not spare innocent people, I find your argument vain and repulsive, Syrians need peace not more blood shed.

January 27th, 2013, 2:05 am


MarigoldRan said:

This regime has proven that it cannot be negotiated with. Peace and negotiations are nice, but with this regime they are empty words.

What comes around, goes around. It’s time to bring the war to the regime’s families. They need to be taught a lesson. They need to learn that if they inflict violence on others, others will inflict violence on them.

January 27th, 2013, 2:08 am


Ghufran said:

a rare call for dialogue:
باريس – من نادية علي
أعلن حزب سوري معارض مقره باريس الجمعة أنه لا يمانع من المشاركة في “الحوار الوطني” الذي دعت له دمشق، إذا توفرت الضمانات اللازمة، وجرى الاعداد له بصورة تكفل حصول حوار جدي صريح وشفاف لصالح الشعب السوري.
وقال متحدث باسم حزب “سوريا للجميع” الذي يعلن مراراً وقوف الحزب في المنتصف بين الثورة التي تستخدم السلاح والنظام الذي يلجأ الى الحل الأمني، ويدعو الى التغيير السياسي السلمي من بوابة الاقتصاد، إن حزب “سوريا للجميع يرحب بأي خطوة من شأنها جمع السوريين حول طاولة واحدة لبحث الخروج من الأزمة الراهنة بالحوار الجدي بعيداً عَنْ إستخدام لغة العنف من كافة الأطراف، والاستقواء بالخارج”.
Assad knows he can not govern but he also knows he can not leave, his opponents know that too, the question is, and has been for a while, is how to save what can be saved, keeping this war going is a national suicide.

January 27th, 2013, 2:36 am


omen said:

8. marigoldran, unarmed civilians are innocent.

for the opposition to engage in wanton slaughter, that makes them no better than the regime. surely you don’t advocate the killing of children.

i do not believe the majority of fsa will stoop so low. one signal that marks the difference between opposition & regime: wounded assad soldiers have been treated alongside rebels in underground clinics.

do you really want to see rebels turn into shabiha?

January 27th, 2013, 2:40 am


MarigoldRan said:

The opposition should not engage in wanton slaughter. Nor will they. But if they invade Lattakia, and the city is destroyed in the fighting, I’m not going to shed too many tears about it. It will be no different than elsewhere in Syria, except that it would be on Alawite home ground.

Also, the opposition in Paris has no say on the affairs on the ground. They have as much chance of starting a dialogue as you or I. This war will be settled militarily, though it will take a long time. The hatred is too strong.

EDIT: The basic problem for the regime is that is has destroyed TOO MUCH of Syria. Having lost their homes, there is no reason for the FSA or Al Nusra to negotiate. What have they to lose now? They may as well fight to the end, for their children’s sake.

As I’ve said, every time the regime shells and bombs a village, the regime loses more.

January 27th, 2013, 2:51 am


annie said:

Who will not compare the desperate attempt of recruiting women with this scene of Hitler recruiting children as his regime went down to hell ?


January 27th, 2013, 2:55 am


omen said:

latakia is majority sunni.

January 27th, 2013, 3:06 am


MarigoldRan said:

Yes, but most Alawites live there. Along with many Sunni regime supporters and their families.

If these families are forced to flee, this will cause havoc psychologically on the regime defenders in Damascus.

What better way of liberating Damascus then by invading Lattakia?

Strategically, Lattakia is an excellent place for the rebels to fight.

January 27th, 2013, 3:10 am


omen said:

what i want to know is who came up with the concept first? obama speech endorsed women in combat. were regime women militias formed before then? odd convergence.

January 27th, 2013, 3:12 am


Juergen said:

I was surprised from early on Lattakia has seen protest, I also thought its a rather stronghold of the Alawites.

January 27th, 2013, 3:37 am


omen said:

chulov: The frontline of the war for the cultural plain, and regime’s heart, is several kilometres below them. Warplanes swarm here like mosquitoes. After dark, it is the helicopters’ turn to roam above the ink-black plateau, the distant whump of their rotor blades a harbinger of the spine-chilling terror that inevitably follows, in the form of large barrels of explosives pushed from their open doors.

marigold, rebels don’t need to slaughter anyone. just occupy the city. and when the regime starts shelling its own stronghold, that will kill loyalist support for the regime.

January 27th, 2013, 3:42 am


omen said:

good point. there was a recent one, too, juergen, a couple of days ago. an alawite demonstration against the regime. (is there video?) it would be awful for rebels to unknowingly kill someone who also supported the overthrow of the regime.

January 27th, 2013, 3:53 am


apple_mini said:

There are just much wishful and misleading analysis about the fighting in Lattakia governance. The north and the east are both mountain areas: easy to hide but it restrains meaningful deployment unless those key roads are under control. The rebels do not have supports in Lattakia. How could they operate their supply line?

Unlike the SAA with air power and heavy artillery, they don’t have advanced weapons; Unlike Aleppo close to Turkey border, they can’t establish useful supply line; Unlike in Daraya or Douma, they don’t enjoy supports from the locals. How could it be possible for the rebels to launch any serious attack in Lattakia?

The locals in Lattakia are very adamant to protect their communities. And there are large number of them.

January 27th, 2013, 4:37 am


Citizen said:

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin suspects US Was Running Guns To Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi

January 27th, 2013, 5:10 am


Citizen said:

Israel’s elections to have no effect on relations with Arab states – expert
Israel’s just-held parliamentary elections will have no effect on Israel’s relations with the Arab states, the President of the Middle East Institute, Yevgeny Satanovsky, told Itar-Tass in an interview on Friday.
“These relations are rather stable – Israel has no relations with the Arab states that might be discussed as some sort of relations. They ended with the ‘Arab Spring’,” Satanovsky said.
“From the juridical point of view the Camp David agreements have not been severed yet, but they will be severed. The Egyptian leadership states that quite clearly,” the analyst said. “Jordan is shaking. If the Syrian regime falls, there will be no Jordan, and there will be no relations with Jordan, either. Creation of a new Caliphate according to Qatar’s and Saudi Arabia’s templates leaves no chance of saying that Israel’s relations with the Arab world will be something else but a prolonged and harsh confrontation for any predictable period of time.”
“Speculating about some shifts in Palestinian-Israeli relations would be very much like asking what progress has been achieved in implementing the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact the USSR and the Third Reich signed at a certain point. The answer is clear.”
As for Russian-Israeli cooperation, Satanovsky said, ‘these relations keep expanding, and their economic and political components are on the ascent.” However, the analyst believes that the two countries have major disagreements, for instance, those over relations with Iran.

January 27th, 2013, 5:14 am


Juergen said:

Is this not Ali Deek singing in this video Josh has posted?

This fellah sings on any wedding, its a family business now, his brothers sing too.
Well, I understand now why Damascus people refer to this kind of singing as taxidriver music.

January 27th, 2013, 6:02 am


Juergen said:

looks like somebody had a piece of chalk to eat

Nasrallah tells cadres Hezbollah “has changed”

“We want Lebanon to be sovereign, free, independent, strong and capable … it should be mentioned that one of the most important conditions for the establishment of a home of this type is having a fair state, a state which is capable and strong, as well as a political system that truly represents the will of the people and their aspirations for justice, freedom and security, stability and well-being and dignity,” the charter went on to say.”


January 27th, 2013, 6:09 am


Citizen said:

“جبهة النصرة” تتبنى تفجير مدينة السلمية وتلمح إلى أن الإرهابي الذي نفذ العملية سعودي الجنسية

January 27th, 2013, 6:49 am


mjabali said:

Hajji Jeurgen Allahu Akbar:

Your sectarian rants against the Shia are laughable coming from a German.

Go learn about Syrian culture before you stick your huge nose in Syrian types of singing.

In Syria we say: What do jackasses know about fruit juice.

شو فهم الحمير بشرب العصير

January 27th, 2013, 7:00 am


mjabali said:

Hajji Allau Akbar Jeurgen:

Your sectarian rants about the Shia and Alawis are really laughable coming from a German convert to Islam like you.

You have no clue about any type of Syrian singing. What this singer, in the video you linked, did was a Syrian TRADITIONAL type of singing. Christians, Druze, Alawis and Sunnis sing it.

Go learn about Syrian culture before you stick your huge nose in our business.

Ask any Syrian here to translate this for you:

شو فهم الحمير بشرب العصير

January 27th, 2013, 7:03 am


mjabali said:

Professor Landis:

The type of singing in the video you linked to is not Zajal, but ‘Ataba. عتابا

January 27th, 2013, 7:34 am


mjabali said:

Funny when two guys like Omen and Marigoldran are discussing Lattakia, something they have never seen or know.

Omen said : Lattakia is Sunni.

MarigoldRan tells him that they are pro regime Sunnis….

Dudes: two small facts for you..

Lattakia is not a Sunni town, plus the Sunnis of Lattakia were amongst the first in Syria to raise against al-Assad. The Sunnis of Lattakia are probably %95 against al-Assad.

Reading the childish/violent analysis of Marigoldran regarding the Lattakia situation is sad.

January 27th, 2013, 7:42 am


Uzair8 said:

Prehistoric regime facing extinction…

January 27th, 2013, 8:03 am


Uzair8 said:

at the hands of al-qaeda cavemen.

January 27th, 2013, 8:04 am


Uzair8 said:

Now that the regime has got it’s hands on UN humanitarian aid ($1/2billion), can the online distraction faction expect regular, rather than the suspected intermittent or none payment of recent months?

January 27th, 2013, 8:08 am



The article looks like it is critical of President Obama, but in reality, it just shows that Russia-Al-Putin is being suckered by the real super powers, that is The US and China.

تطورات الشرق الأوسط قد تجر أوباما إلى التورط
راغدة درغام
الجمعة ٢٥ يناير ٢٠١٣

الخيط الأساسي الممتد من الولايات المتحدة إلى الصين وإلى روسيا وأوروبا والمنطقة العربية والشرق الأوسط إلى أفريقيا وإلى أميركا الجنوبية وكافة أنحاء العالم يبقى واحداً، وهو: أن الفرد يبحث عن لقمة العيش والوظيفة، يبحث عن الحياة الآمنة وبعض الاستقرار. يبحث عن يومٍ ما يخف به الفساد الذي يطوّقه وتنحسر فيه تلك النزعة المتجذرة إلى السلطوية واحتكار السلطة والاستفراد بالقرار. أحاديث المنتدى الاقتصادي العالمي قل ما تركز على هذه البديهيات لأن التحديات التي يُفترض أن يدقق فيها قادة النخبوية في شتى القطاعات تدخل عامة في خانة الاستراتيجيات الكبرى وصنع القرارات العالمية. هذه السنة، اقتحم أجواء دافوس نوع من الحاجة إلى ضخ التفاؤل والثقة بالديناميكية التي أراد لها رئيس المنتدى البروفسور كلاوس شواب أن تتسم بالمثابرة والقدرة على التحمل والتأقلم والتغلب على الصعوبات والتشاؤم. لذلك لربما حاول منظمو المنتدى توجيه الأنظار بعيداً عن مآسي ما يحدث في سورية أو مالي، للتركيز على التحديات الكبرى التي تحدق على المدى البعيد في مستقبل الدول، من روسيا إلى الصين، إلى الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا ومنطقة الشرق الأوسط والعالم. كان ذلك تمريناً مفيداً في جلسات وحوارات المنتدى على جبال الألب، لكن واقع المآسي بقي مرادفاً، والتشاؤم بقي مسيطراً بالذات عند بحث المنطقة العربية. على رغم ذلك، دفع النقاش في دافوس اللاعبين السياسيين كما كبار المفكرين إلى مرتبة أخرى من النقاش تعدّت الحدث اليوم ودخلت إلى معنى الأحداث على المدى البعيد إقليمياً ودولياً. وهذا أدى إلى طرح أفكار خرجت عن نمط الاجترار وفتحت آفاقاً على تناول مختلف لما حدث منذ أتى التغيير إلى المنطقة العربية، وماذا قد يحدث في عهد الانزواء عن القيادة بالذات داخل أهم دولتين مؤهلتين للقيادة العالمية – الولايات المتحدة والصين.

روسيا التي أراد لها المنتدى الاقتصادي العالمي في دافوس 2013 أن تكون النجم وتلقت صفعة استهلت مخاطبة رئيس الوزراء للمنتدى ديمتري ميدفيديف. فلقد وضع المنتدى دراسة عن السيناريوات السلبية التي قد تحدق في مستقبل روسيا وتم إجراء استفتاء في الجلسة الافتتاحية حول ما هو الخطر الأساسي والأول الذي يحول دون تقدّم روسيا في السنوات المقبلة. أتت النتيجة لتسجل أن ما يقارب 80 في المئة أكدوا أن ما تفتقده روسيا هو الحكم الرشيد وأن الأولوية القصوى في سياساتها يجب أن تكون لمحاربة الفساد والحكم الرشيد وإدخال الإصلاحات الجذرية.

ميدفيديف تصرّف على الطريقة الروسية – البوتينية بامتياز. ضرب بعرض الحائط تلك النتيجة التي حذرت من أن حكومته ستواجهه ثورة من الطبقة الوسطى إذا استمر هو ورئيسه فلاديمير بوتين بتجاهل الحاجة الماسة إلى إصلاح اقتصادي وسياسي على السواء.

هذا النمط من الإنكار مرض متفش في كثير من الدول النامية التي ترفض الاعتراف بما يعرقل مسيرتها إلى النمو والتقدم.روسيا بوتين لا تعتبر نفسها دولة كبرى فحسب وإنما دولة عظمى. إنها تتصرف على هذا الأساس بقفز ونكران وتجاهل للحاجة الماسة إلى الإصلاح والديموقراطية اللذين يقفان عثرة أساسية أمام مستقبلها.

ما يراهن عليه فلاديمير بوتين وتلميذه ديمتري ميدفيديف هو انحسار الرغبة أو القدرة على القيادة لدى الآخرين بالذات الدولتين الكبريين – الولايات المتحدة والصين. الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما أوضح في ولايته الأولى أنه ليس راغباً بمحاربة دور القيادة للولايات المتحدة لا سيما في أماكن النزاع بالذات في الشرق الأوسط – وأنه ليس معارضاً لفكرة الشراكة في القيادة.

وجد بوتين فرصة مضاعفة له في المنطقة العربية حيث امتدت نزعة باراك أوباما بالانسحاب والانعزالية لتجنب التورط في ما قد يؤدي بالأميركيين إلى دفع كلفة التورط بالقوات والمال. ورافق تلك «الأوبامية» استعداد من قِبَل القيادة الصينية لإيلاء القيادة في مسائل الشرق الأوسط – بالذات سورية وإيران – إلى روسيا بصورة تشابه التكليف بالنيابة للقيادة إلى روسيا.

أخطاء روسيا في تفسيرها لهذه الوقائع لا تنحصر باستدعائها العداء من المنطقة العربية وكذلك من الجهاديين المتطرفين وإنما هي أيضاً أخطاء قراءة استراتيجية لما يحدث في العلاقة الأميركية – الصينية أو في التنافس المبطن على القيادة العالمية بين العملاقين.

أحد المفكرين المخضرمين في هذه الأمور قال في إحدى الجلسات المغلقة إن
Pivot to Asia ما يسمى بـ
أي التحول في الاهتمام إلى آسيا مفاده أن الولايات المتحدة قررتمواجهة الصين في عقر دارها. هذه المواجهة قد تبدو، سطحياً، مقتصرة على المنافسة لاقتصادية وحشد الدعم والولاء لأميركا في الدول المجاورة للصين. إنما في العمق، بحسب هذا المخضرم، أن مثل هذه المواجهة الاستراتيجية والمنافسة على العظمة ستتطلب في نهاية الأمر عكس ما هو حجر الأساس في السياسة الأوبامية – أي حشد الإمكانيات العسكرية الأميركية الكبرى والاستعداد لاستخدامها إذا برزت الحاجة.

في هذه المعادلة بين العملاقين الحقيقيين، تبدو روسيا عملاقاً قزماً وتبدو موضع استخفاف في نهاية المطاف، أميركياً وصينياً، وهي تورط نفسها في الشرق الأوسط متوهمة أنها تصنع التاريخ فيما التاريخ يحذفها من معادلة الكبار الذين يفوضونها بالقيادة أو يوحون لها بانعزالية وتخلّ عن القيادة.

ساحة هذه التطورات المهمة في العلاقة الأميركية – الصينية – الروسية هي سورية بشكل خاص حيث تخوض الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية معركة بقاء وتعتقد بدورها أنها هي وحدها تمتلك سلم الهبوط أو «سلم التسلق هبوطاً» ليس فقط للقيادة السورية وإنما أيضاً للقيادة الروسية.

على الصعيد الآني، تُبذّل الجهود حالياً في الأمم المتحدة – وفي بعض اللقاءات وأحاديث دافوس – للعمل على صيغة إخراج من الوضع الراهن في سورية توفر صيغة «إنقاذ ماء الوجه» لكل من القيادة الروسية والقيادة السورية كي يكون في الإمكان إنقاذ القيادة الأميركية من التورط ومن المحاسبة على التلكؤ واعتماد التآكل والاستنزاف سياسة.

إدارة أوباما الثانية تود الكف عن اعتماد «تعييب» السياسات الروسية Shaming كسياسة وتبحث عن وسائل للكف عن إحراج روسيا واستبدال ذلك بنوع من الشراكة. عقدة موسكو تبقى في رغبتها بعدم الظهور بأنها تتخلى عن صديقها في دمشق، الرئيس بشار الأسد، وهي راغبة في التعاون إذا ما تمت معالجة تلك العقدة. والكلام يدور في حلقة إمكانية ووسائل تحييد «عقدة الأسد» في الجولة الأولى من الحلول السياسية.

البعض يقترح وضع مسألة الأسد على جنب بمعنى عدم الانطلاق من الاشتراط بأن لا دور له في العملية الانتقالية السياسية أو بأن عليه التنحي. يقول هذا البعض إن أسلوب «الافتراضيات» قد يكون مفيداً للخروج من الحلقة المفرغة في البحث عن حل سياسي وكي يتم التركيز على التحول الديموقراطي الحقيقي بما يحافظ على وحدة سورية بدلاً من تدهورها إلى التفكك والتفتت. جزء أساسي من أسلوب الافتراض هو أن بشار الأسد لن يبقى رئيساً في نهاية المطاف بعد أن تبدأ حكومة انتقالية أعمالها ويتم التوصل إلى دستور جديد يحدد مدة الرئاسة وبعدما يتم إجراء انتخابات بمراقبة حقيقية. هذا رأي يشق طريقه إلى الجهود الدولية التي تُبذَل في الأمم المتحدة ولربما يكون جزءاً مما يسمى «جنيف +» في إشارة إلى الاتفاق الذي تم بين الولايات المتحدة وروسيا والصين وبريطانيا وفرنسا الصيف الماضي – ثم وقع في الحلقة المفرغة بسبب اختلاف تفسيره بالذات بين روسيا والدول الغربية.

مصير هذا الرأي يتوقف ليس فقط على ما تقبل به المعارضة السورية وإنما أيضاً على ما إذا كانت إدارة أوباما الثانية جاهزة له. روسيا تحاول التملّص من المأزق والنفق الذي أدخلت نفسها فيه وهي تتمنى أن تمد لها إدارة أوباما الثانية السلم للتسلق هبوطاً.

الرئيس أوباما لا يمانع الابتعاد عن التورط وهو يبدو عازماً على تجنب الانجرار إلى صنع السياسة الخارجية بالذات في الشرق الأوسط. تحوّله إلى آسيا يشكل الرد الأميركي على صعود الصين وهذا سيفرض عليه الانخراط في السياسة الخارجية. تطورات منطقة الشرق الأوسط قد تجره «مرغماً» إلى الانخراط مهما حاول تجنب الانزلاق في متاهات المنطقة.

كثير من الأميركيين المعنيين بصنع السياسة الأميركية لا يريدون أن يتورط في فشل آخر ولذلك ينصحونه بتجنب تناول الملف الفلسطيني – الإسرائيلي، أقله مطلع إدارته الثانية. وزير خارجية بريطانيا وليام هايغ يريد العكس وهو يدفع بأوباما إلى الإقدام على البحث الجدي عن حل جذري للنزاع الفلسطيني – الإسرائيلي. الانقسام كبير حول خيارات الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس بعد حصول فلسطين على مقعد دولة غير عضو في الأمم المتحدة بين من يشجعه على التوجه إلى المحكمة الجنائية الدولية للشكوى على إسرائيل لا سيما ضد سياسة الاستيطان واستمرار الاحتلال كجريمة حرب، وبين من يهدده بالعقاب المرير وقطع عنق السلطة الفلسطينية أو خنقها عبر حجب كامل المعونات الأميركية إذا تجرأ عباس على تلك الخطوة.

النزاع الفلسطيني – الإسرائيلي والموضوع السوري ليسا وحدهما في طليعة الأحداث التي قد تجر إدارة أوباما الثانية إلى التورط. دول «الربيع العربي» كما تسمى – أيضاً قد تستدعي إدارة أوباما الثانية إلى الانزلاق في متاهاتها من مصر إلى تونس مروراً بليبيا واليمن.

رئيس البنك المركزي السابق في تونس مصطفى نبلي الذي عاد إلى دافوس من دون تلك الحقيبة علماً بأنه أتى إلى دافوس قبل سنتين بنشوة التغيير. قال هذه المرة: «كنا نحلم وأقدامنا في الهواء. ما زلنا نحلم إنما أقدامنا الآن في الأرض الوحلة». قال إن المعركة مستمرة بين الواقع والتوقعات والخلاف مستمر على الأسس الجذرية مثل نوعية الدستور وكيفية التوجهات. لفت إلى أن «العنف في السياسة» يستعر كرفيق لفرض الأيديولوجيات الدينية منها والمدنية.

هذه المعارك مصيرية والمرحلة الانتقالية في المنطقة العربية معقدة في بعدها المحلي وفي استدعاء الآخرين إليها.

ضخ التفاؤل في مثل هذه المرحلة صعب جداً. لكن عنوان دافوس ليس مجرد بدعة. إنه دعوة جدية إلى الكف عن التشاؤم واستبداله بديناميكية تدعمها المثابرة والقدرة على المضي إلى التغيير الحقيقي بتواصل مع المستقبل.

January 27th, 2013, 8:08 am


Uzair8 said:

‘…Syria beset by 1000 militias.’

Death by a thousand cuts indeed.

January 27th, 2013, 8:13 am


Juergen said:

The Syrians have surprised the world with their steadfastness!
The Arabs have surprised the world with them doing nothing!
The Americans have surprised the world with their lies!
The Russians have surprised the world with their villainy!


January 27th, 2013, 8:19 am


zoo said:

Empire Project Failing in Syria Says French Foreign Minister

By Michael Collins – Posted on 27 January 2013


The survival of the Syrian government represents a major failure of the empire project to recolonize and dominate energy rich Middle Eastern and North African states.

In an abrupt change from months of anticipatory triumphalism, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius admitted that Syrian President Bashar Assad will not be leaving power any time soon. This is a radical departure from the NATO script and that of their stenographers in the corporate media. We’ve been fed a mix of articles over the past months predicting Assad’s imminent demise, filled with speculation on how post-Assad Syria will look after he’s gone. (Image)

Reuters reported the Fabius remarks on January 24:

“Things are not moving. The solution that we had hoped for, and by that I mean the fall of Bashar and the arrival of the [opposition] coalition to power, has not happened.”

How quickly “things” have changed. In a July 2012 fit of grandiosity, Fabius announced that “Bashar Assad does not deserve to be on the face of the planet.”

While not as bombastic as her French counterpart, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been demanding for months that the Syrian president step down . When she pledged $12 million in U.S. support for the rebel cause in April 2012, Clinton said: “We think Assad must go. The sooner the better for everyone concerned.”

After the successful take over in Libya, it looked like NATO’s plan would work its horrific magic once again. I outlined the Libyan formula that seemed destined for Syria on August 8, 2012 (What if the Empire Project Fails in Syria):

1. Take advantage of a political clash between a used up/undesirable leader and some internal faction (the rebels);
2. Covertly arm and otherwise assist the rebels;
3. Get a UN resolution decrying human rights violations based on evidence from an NGO aligned with the rebels;
4. Overtly arm and otherwise assist the rebels; and,
5. Win the battle for the rebels.

The NATO and Gulf states failed on points 3 and 5. There was no United Nations resolution for humanitarian intervention including the essential no-fly zone. Russia and China made sure that didn’t happen with UN Security Council vetoes. Without UN cover, a coordinated NATO-rebel air and ground attack on the Syrian military remained just out of reach.

While the rebels did well for a period, they faced the reality of a well-armed opponent able to adjust to the ebb and flow of battle. After losing several key bases in the summer, Assad and his commanders reformulated their decision making, tactics, and personnel, according to Hassan Illeik writing in Alakhbar-English on January 8. According to Illeik, the changes worked well enough for both the Assad camp and an opposition insider to predict an endgame in which the rebels control only a portion of northern Syria and remain in continued conflict with the Syrian government.

Brian Downing outlined the very real possibility that the Syrian government could survive in early summer 2012 at a time when the mainstream media wouldn’t even consider the idea. In previous articles, Downing anticipated the economic from Russia and China that provided staying power for Assad.

Now, we have the French admitting what apparently the Syrian government and rebels seem to believe and what the United States broadly hinted at when it declared the Syrian rebels most effective fighting unit, the Al Nusra Front, a terrorist organization (which it truly seems to be). The Empire Project in Syria is failing with no recovery in sight.

We have an intellectually and emotionally mature Secretary of State in place, John Kerry. He is not pounding the table demanding that any foreign leader leave office. Chuck Hagel will join the cabinet soon as Secretary of Defense, another public figure with a firsthand understanding of the costs and risks of war.

Soon, Syria may fade from public awareness in the United States, Great Britain, and France, the new colonialists. This forgetting is very much in the interests of those in charge since both the Libyan and Syrian interventions were opposed by large majorities in each country. But for those Syrians and Libyans who survive with injuries, who lost loved ones, or who experienced the unprovoked aggression of the NATO countries, attitudes have changed and memories will endure.

January 27th, 2013, 8:26 am


zoo said:

Militants ‘flocking’ from Lebanon

Sunnis whether militant or not strongly support the Syrian uprising
By Babak Dehghanpisheh and Suzan Haidamous
Published: 13:16 January 27, 2013
Gulf News

Beirut: Sunni militants have been flocking from Lebanon to Syria in greater numbers in recent months to join forces with Islamist extremists battling the Syrian government, according to senior Lebanese security officials.

The escalating role that the Lebanese fighters are playing in the conflict is a direct result of expanding ties between Sunni religious extremists on both sides of the border and has raised concerns in Lebanon about a renewal of sectarian tensions

January 27th, 2013, 8:28 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Probably the battle for Latakia or Damascus have to wait, the good point about the corridor ,we need to interrupt it first.this will weaken the regime tremendously,most likely the regime will try to defend its position in Damascus ,and losing Damascus means the end of the regime ,what will be left is a weak militia with no international recognition, at that point Iran has to change its support, what Iran cares about is HA and losing Damascus will cut Iran aid to HA,for the rebels to take over Hama and Homs is essential then Iran aid to HA will be in jeopardy and Russian military aid to the regime in Damascus will be iterrupted too,By the time the rebels take over Damascus, there will be over 70,000 Alawi soldier dead, and there will not be enough Alawi soldiers.
to defend Latakia, and Alawi state.

We either live in a state with multiple ethnicities co-exist peacefully, or divide into two states, Sunni dominating state,and Alawi state, where Alawi state will be very weak it can not survive in the long run, this means Alawis will be force to leave Syria forever, and or convert or get killed.
The Alawis don’t seem to think rationally,fighting is not to their interst, and co-existing will be their best chance to survive in Syria,they opted to fight till death.

Expectations by the US,and Russia, and by local regional goverments such as King of Jordan,these expectations say that Assad will collapse by july,Mr. Landis expectations ,Assad will survive till 2014,it may all come to the economy,and to the level of destructions that the regime is working on ,all over Syria,the continued loss of aircrafts will balance the power, and work in favor of the rebels.

January 27th, 2013, 8:34 am


Citizen said:

راغدة درغام ، ها ها ها
لتبحث عن الفساد في عقر دارها هناك في نيويورك و اذا كانت تريد النقد والتحليل والتعليق السياسي فيما يتعلق بروسيا ! فعليها على الأقل القدوم الى هنا لتكوين الرؤية من الواقع و انا على ثقة بأنه تنقصها الشجاعة لفعل ذلك انها مخملية تعيش فوق الأساطيح المتقادمة للواشنطن بوست و النيويورك تايمز و الهيرالد تريبيون ! عمل تحريري سخيف يدفعون عليه في أمريكا دولارات بلا رصيد، على كل لابأس بالاسترسال في زيادة الوسخ الصحافي الغربي !

January 27th, 2013, 8:34 am


zoo said:

After Arab Spring no-show, jihadists make comeback

Two years after the so called ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions, a significant new geopolitical landscape is developing in the Arab world and North Africa with the emergence of radical and Islamist movements

AFP , Sunday 27 Jan 2013

The flow of foreign fighters into Syria, flood of arms across North Africa, war in Mali and terror attacks highlight the jihadists’ return in a region rocked by the Arab Spring, diplomats and analysts say.

The combination of factors, following the absence of Al-Qaeda and affiliates from the Arab Spring revolts, has led to France’s military intervention against Islamists in Mali and the deadly hostage-taking at a desert gas plant in Algeria.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, appearing before Congress on Wednesday over September’s attack on the American consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi, warned of the new geopolitical landscape in the Arab world and North Africa.

“We cannot afford to retreat now. When America is absent, especially from unstable environments, there are consequences. Extremism takes root, our interests suffer, and our security at home is threatened,” she said.

Clinton also highlighted “instability in Mali,” saying it “has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to extend their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw just last week in Algeria.”

Russia went further, charging the Western military intervention in Libya was the root cause of the insecurity.

“Acts of terrorism have become almost daily events, the proliferation of arms is out of control, (foreign) fighters are infiltrating,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this week.

“The impression is that Mali was a consequence of Libya and the hostage-taking in Algeria is a very worrying signal,” he said.

Despite their support for rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Western powers have also started to voice growing concern over the influx of hundreds if not thousands of foreign jihadists onto the battlefields of Syria.

January 27th, 2013, 8:37 am


Citizen said:

Speech is the description of the speaker!

January 27th, 2013, 8:44 am


Citizen said:

New Phase of Military and Diplomatic Stand-Off
* * *
Now, when President Vladimir Putin is back to reign supreme in the Russia’s foreign policy, the Russian Federation rejects the referral of Syria to the International Criminal Court. Today it stands to defend the Syrian people and global legal norms as one of the most important values of the contemporary civilization.
* * *
The diplomatic provocations are accompanied by new military preparations… On January 10, 2013 British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the European Union must start arms deliveries to the Syrian «opposition». According to him, such deliveries would not violate neither internal legislations of the European Union members, nor international law. Actually it is not true. Today a ban on arms deliveries to Syria is valid in Europe. That is, the actions Mr. Hague is calling for constitute a blatant violation of the European Union members’ home rules. Though there is a proposal made that envisages the way to get rid of the impediment: it suggests that the established embargo be reconsidered not in 12 months (as conditioned previously) but in 3 months – that is this March. Dealing with international law is a more complicated task. It’s not as easy to change as the countries’ home legislations. Arms deliveries are forbidden by a number of the United Nations General Assembly’s resolutions, for instance: the resolution # 2625 (1970), which states that, «Every State has the duty to refrain from organizing, instigating, assisting or participating in acts of civil strife or terrorist acts in another State or acquiescing in organized activities within its territory directed towards the commission of such acts, when the acts referred to in the present paragraph involve a threat or use of force». In 1986 the International Court of Justice ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States. The Court held that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the Contras. It unambiguously ruled that the fact of arms deliveries to rebel groups by another state was an act of violation. The ruling said there was no global norm allowing an armed intervention of a state pursuing the goal of supporting opposition forces in another country. It’s not without a reason the «theories» like «the concept of humanitarian intervention» or «the concept of responsibility to protect» started to appear and multiply. All these speculative concoctions have no legal ground whatsoever – this view is supported by the majority of the countries in the world expressed in the Joint Declaration of the 130 member strong Group of 77 adopted in 2000, that says, «We reject the so-called «right» of humanitarian intervention, which has no legal basis in the United Nations Charter or in the general principles of international law».
* * *
Reading the foreign publications devoted to international law one can see the intensive search for getting around the global norms is already underway. For instance, it is suggested that the civil war in Syria be considered as «a struggle of the Syrian people for self-determination». A weak argument if you take into account the international definition of self-determination. It would be more correct to talk about the Arab people, who have realized their right for self-determination a long time ago. Talking about the Syrian people, no way can they fight for self-determination possessing their own state. There is one more proposal on how to go around the rules. It calls for enhancing the level of Syrian opposition recognition by the European Union from the «the legitimate representative of the Syrian people» to «legitimate government of Syria». It’s obvious, these «exercises» are amoral, and they call for illegitimate actions. But is it the first time they try to use international law for justification of their nefarious actions?

* * *

Syria is to continue its fight against foreign aggression, as well as Russia is to stand up to the new provocation in the United Nations Security Council. Russia’s stance is supported by international law. It has everything it needs to prove it in case another draft resolution, though doomed in advance to get adopted, is submitted to the United Nations Security Council.

January 27th, 2013, 9:00 am


Tara said:

The resistance is coming to Lattakia? It is about time. Let us “cleanse” Lattakia from the regime and go enjoy the beach.

January 27th, 2013, 9:05 am



The retard @ 37 provides no substance, whatsoever. Like all loyalists, can’t provide counter-analyses, so goes on blather spree.

As for the dumb hyper-propaganda oozing from 40, it has less substance even than the blather in 37.

And Syrians are for sure seeking self determination. The goal is to get rid of the agent of the Joint Iran-Russia occupation and end, once and for all, the delusional wet-dreams of two dwarfs who think they are super-powers.

January 27th, 2013, 9:26 am


Visitor said:

The blog was on hyperdrive yesterday debunking con-monikering. Today it seems we have more serious topics to talk about. Luckily it is still a weekend.

Now here’s food for thoughts that will keep the spinning machines of those endowed with multifaceted forms of mutations, who also happen to be exceptionally gifted in story-telling, oops spinning, running in full gear.

Well, OK spin this for me,


Is Medvedev telling us that Russia has sold out on girrafe-neck?

I tried to spin it on my own right, then left, then up, then down, then clockwise, then counterclockwise and I always came to the same conclusion. But, then I am no expert. That’ s why I’m seeking ‘expert’ advice.

January 27th, 2013, 9:27 am


Observer said:

Finally some serious strategic thinking in this post.
1. The Sykes PIco borders are coming undone. Every country in the ME is facing a clear cut identity crisis. Even the monarchies lush with money using it and the perverted religiously based justification for their pseudo legitimacy are coming undone as well.
2. Within these inherently unstable countries the patchwork of communities having failed to coalesce into an overriding National Identity in Arabism which was mortally wounded in 67 and received its coup de grace in Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 91 has led to an explosion of local identities and of course to a return to Islam as an identification source. In this the fact that the Shah’s regime was toppled and then dismantled was also a wake up call to the people of the ME.
3. The Ostrich policies of the regimes in the ME starting with the KSA in refusing to see the enormous tectonic shifts happening in front of their eyes and the policy of buying short term gain for long term loss came to a complete head after 9/11.
They found themselves stuck between GWB intent on destroying Saddam and Iran relishing its two enemies fighting each other.
4. Sudan is the first to go, as this artificial country has come undone. Great for the South Sudan to be free of the clutches of the North with its corrupt regime.
Lebanon is in death grip of sectarian warlordism without guns yet. Iraq was never glued around any overriding idea and the Maliki regime has managed to waste an opportunity to bring people in and the horse has left the barn. Egypt is a mess no doubt but will eventually regain its footing as it, and Iran and Turkey being the three most important nation states will fill the void of a destabilized ME. Jordan is an Israeli protectorate and will be late in changing.
KSA and the GCC will be forced to spend their wealth around the ME, otherwise they will be invaded by none other than 80 million Egyptians wanting to live, 23 million Syrians wanting a piece of the sun, and many millions of Yemenis desperate for a better life.
5. In the meantime, the Arab woman’s fertility rate will continue to fuel the revolution and the Russian woman’s fertility rate will make Russia a pygmy with nuclear arsenal.

Check this from Medvedev today: Assad have made a grave and fatal error.

Last but not least Ghufran writes : I have a strange feeling that an attack on Latakia is exactly what hardcore Assadists want.

Are you already preparing us for a justification of atrocities that the regime has shown itself not only to be capable of doing but of encouraging and relishing?

Justice for Hamza

January 27th, 2013, 10:01 am


Visitor said:

When I finished th spins my comment 44, I had to scream,

لاك وليي….ي على آآمتي!

January 27th, 2013, 10:06 am


Citizen said:


can camel see own hump?

US are in Tatters!

There is no question that US are in tatters. But, one question does remain: Is the sun setting or rising on our society?
CNN recently reported that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that his department would lift the ban on women serving in combat, marking another significant milestone for equality in American nation.
Equality to be equally degraded along with men?
US media propaganda these days has gotten so poor as it almost embarrasses.
Still, there are those who are buying the stilted stuff as if it were opiates they cannot possibly do without.

January 27th, 2013, 10:09 am


Hanzala said:

Assad soldier shot in the head by the expert marksmen of FSA.


I hope Jabhat al Nusra make their base of operations in Qurdaha.

January 27th, 2013, 10:35 am


majedkhaldoun said:

“I have personally called Assad several times and said: conduct reforms, hold negotiations,”Medvedev said.

Medvedev, you are wasting your time, Assad and his Alawi supporters are stupid.

January 27th, 2013, 10:40 am


MarigoldRan said:

The regime, Iran, and Russia are starting to realize that they have no one to negotiate with and that the refugees are an abundant source of support for the revolution. What’s the point of freeing cherry-picked opposition members from prison? They have no influence with the fighters on the ground.

And so the war continues and the regime is increasingly seen as a puppet for foreign powers like Russia and Iran.


The recent reports of Syria planning to bomb Mecca is going to increase Islamic support for the war in Syria and provide legitimacy for more Saudi involvement. Along with recent announcements from the Saudi prince, there’s a good chance the Saudis are planning to take a more active role now in the war.

January 27th, 2013, 10:42 am


Juergen said:

Leaked Video: Eastern Ghouta Assad thugs execute, curse and laugh at 15 men in this town:


January 27th, 2013, 11:06 am


AIG said:

Medvedev says it straight:
“He should have done everything much faster, attracting part of the moderate opposition, which was ready to sit at the table with him, to his side,” Medvedev was quoted as saying. “This was his significant mistake, and possibly a fatal one.”


This is what I have been saying on this blog for years. Assad had 11 years to reform while firmly in power. His supporters always found reasons why Assad should not make any significant reforms and continue and support Islamists. Assad is a complete failure and brought about the destruction of Syria.

January 27th, 2013, 11:19 am


Visitor said:

This comment is a ‘tribute’ to Hilly Billy Ms. Piggy on the occasion of her departure,


And that’s what the poet had to say,

الحزين القلب (مهجة قلبي)             القصيدة هى للشاعرالاموى المعروف جرير بن عطية التميمى وهى قصيدة هجائية هجى بها الاخطل وبدأها بهذا الشعر الغزلى(القصيدة طويلة وهذا ماعثرت عليه)وهو يقول فيها
ياأم عمـرو جـزاك الله مغفـرة
                                              ردي علي فؤادي كالـذي كحانـا
ألست أملح من يمشي علـى قـدم
                                             يا أملح الناس كل النـاس انسانـا
يلقى غريمكم من غير عسرتكـم
                                             بالبذل بخلا وبالاحسـان حرمانـا
قد خنت من لم يكن يخشى خيانتكم
                                               ماكنت أول موثـوق بـه خانـا
لقد كتمت الهوى حتـى تهيجنـي
                                              لاأستطيـع لهـذا الحـب كتمانـا
كاد الهوى يوم سلمانيـن يقتلنـي
                                              وكـاد يقتلنـي يومـا ببيـدانـا
لابارك الله في من كان يحسبكـم
                                              الا على العهد حتى كانـا ماكانـا
لابارك الله في الدنيا اذا انقطعـت
                                                أسباب دنياك من اسبـاب دنيانـا
مااحدث الدهـر مماتعلميـن لكـم
                                               للحبل صرما ولا للعهـد نسيانـا
ان العيون التي في طرفها حـور
                                               قتلتنـا ثـم لـم يحيـن قتـلانـا
يصرعن ذا اللب حتى لاحراك به
                                               وهن اضعـف خلـق الله اركانـا
ياحبذا جبل الريـان مـن جبـل
                                                وحبذا ساكن الريـان مـن كانـا
وحبـذا نفحـات مـن يمانـيـه
                                               تأتيك من قبـل الريـان احيانـا

January 27th, 2013, 11:20 am


Tara said:

I am almost certain that Russia will retract Medvedev’s comments one way or another. This has been their gameplan all along and they apear to be having fun with it. Wasn’t it one big shot in Russia who predicted Assad’s “sad fate” to only get retracted in few days. I wouldn’t put too much weight on what the Russians say. It is all noise to ferl self- importance. It is the Arab’s fault that they did not “buy” the Russian support to unseat the boy president.

January 27th, 2013, 11:29 am


Citizen said:

عجب العجب ! اليوم الكل يتكلم عن ميدفيديف و كأنه مرجعهم الموثوق !
53. AIG هل لك أن تخبرنا هل سيكون أفيغدور ليبرمان معارضا محببا أم معارضا منبوذا لديكم ؟
Dmitry Medvedev was terry Jew

January 27th, 2013, 11:45 am


Juergen said:

I am sure either the Russian will say that he was wrongly quoted or the regime will find enough apologists to state that only Putin is in charge.

January 27th, 2013, 11:51 am


revenire said:

Syria under Al Qaeda attack – King Abdullah

Jordan believes Syria is under attack by Al Qaeda, which, if successful, would destroy the unity of the Syrian nation, triggering a regionwide conflagration.

Speaking in Davos Sunday, King Abdullah II also said he can’t see a replacement to Bashar Assad any time soon.

According to the United Nations, the Syrian conflict has already claimed more than 60,000 lives. Almost half a million people have fled Syria.

Voice of Russia, RIA

January 27th, 2013, 12:18 pm


zoo said:

Buzz Bomb
Why everyone’s wrong about Assad’s zombie gas.



But the allegation that Syria has used a chemical weapon isn’t really about the dangers of BZ or incapacitating agents. It is really an argument about the Syrian government violating a norm that places them outside the family of nations and compels us to intervene. Sure you can torture people or shell their villages, but poison gas?

January 27th, 2013, 12:18 pm


Tara said:

We are doing all we can for Syrian student

We are concerned at the media reports alleging Syrian students are being expelled by their UK universities to face imminent deportation and death, because they can no longer pay their fees (Syrian students in UK ‘facing deportation’ as funds dry up, 21 January). It’s true that many of the approximately 650 Syrian students and academics studying in the UK are facing great difficulty because their funding from Syrian sources has been cut off, in addition to the daily anguish with regard to the safety of their families and friends.

January 27th, 2013, 12:28 pm


Ghufran said:

This may signal an admission by Iran of bombing Jewish targets in Argentina:
اعلنت رئيسة الارجنتين كريستينا كيرشنير ان حكومتها عقدت اتفاقا مع ايران بشأن الاعتداء الذي استهدف مقر جمعية يهودية في بوينس ايرس في العام 1994 موقعا 85 قتيلا وتطالب الارجنتين بتسليمها ثمانية ايرانيين متهمين بتنفيذه.
وقالت كيرشنير في سلسة تغريدات على حسابها في موقع “تويتر”: “انه حدث تاريخي: بعد 19 عاما من الاعتداء على آميا اتخذ اجراء قانوني بين الارجنتين وايران”.
Eventually, history will be written by victors, Israeli founding fathers, mostly terrorists wanted by the Interpol, are now seen as heroes who established a state that survived in the brutal environment of the middle east. Jewish terrorists in a way or the other rallied Jewish residents behind them even after those terrorists attacked a number of Jewish installations for political reasons, nobody today talks about Israel’s bloody founding fathers as terrorists. On the other hand, alqa’eda and Jabhat Alnusra have weakened their host countries, divided nations and inflicted terror on Muslims more than they did on foreigners, even when it comes to terrorism,our terrorists ” suck” !!
يا أمة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

January 27th, 2013, 12:35 pm


Akbar Palace said:

“…our terrorists ‘suck’…”


That’s probably because YOUR terrorists kill so many of the wrong people. They should have an instruction booklet or at least a manual. No?

January 27th, 2013, 12:48 pm


zoo said:

Medvedev: Negotiation, not regime change, is the only solution


While Medvedev’s remarks were the most vocal Russian statement that al-Assad’s days could be numbered made so far, the prime minister reiterated calls for talks between the government and its foes. Medvedev also repeated Moscow’s position that al-Assad must not be pushed out by external forces. “I repeat again, this must be decided by the Syrian people. Not Russia, not the United States, not any other country.”

“The task for the United States, the Europeans and regional powers … is to sit the parties down for negotiations, and not just demand that al-Assad go and then be executed like (the late former Libyan leader Moammar) Gadhafi or be carried to court sessions on a stretcher like (Egypt’s) Hosni Mubarak.”

January 27th, 2013, 12:53 pm


zoo said:

UAE charges 94 in alleged Islamist coup plot


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates says 94 people face charges for allegedly trying to overthrow the state as part of widening crackdowns on Islamist groups with suspected links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

January 27th, 2013, 12:56 pm


zoo said:

Is this guy a SC commenter, its sounds very familiar, no?

By Hussein Shobokshi


“Bashar Assad, with all his depravity and insanity, has surpassed each of Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi. The latter three eventually assumed their rightful place in dark history, and they are now waiting for Assad in the fire.”

January 27th, 2013, 1:00 pm


Tara said:


You are wrong. Burning religious shrines is not an opposition’ s thing. It is rather a regime’s speciality. You are using scare mongeing tactic, old and tired and already exposed.

I always visited churches in Syria.

January 27th, 2013, 1:01 pm


mjabali said:

Visitor the king of thumbs up and down المزور

While you are “debunking con-monikering” fighting the spinning machines of those endowed with multifaceted forms of mutations,” I will take a nap.

January 27th, 2013, 1:02 pm


zoo said:

Asharq Al-Awsat Interview: The Other Zawahiri
Political situation in Egypt contradicts God


By Waleed Abdul Rahman

Therefore the proposed solution to return stability to the Egyptian street once more is via the full implementation of Islamic Sharia law. Here I would like to stress that my intention is to restore security, not tyranny, which the people may view as being comfortable. Therefore the only way to restore security is to implement Islamic Sharia law. These unequivocal texts (of law), which deter all those who contravene them and does not favor one party over another, are the only solution.

January 27th, 2013, 1:03 pm


Tara said:

Israel threatens Syria strike if rebels get chemical arms
By Dan Williams | Reuters –

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Any sign that Syria’s grip on its chemical weapons is slipping as it battles an armed uprising could trigger Israeli military strikes, Israel’s vice premier said on Sunday.
Should Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas or rebels battling forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad obtain Syria’s chemical weapons, Shalom told Israel’s Army Radio: “It would dramatically change the capabilities of those organizations.”
Such a development would be “a crossing of all red lines that would require a different approach, including even preventive operations,” he said, alluding to military intervention for which Israeli generals have said plans have been readied.

January 27th, 2013, 1:09 pm



المجلس العسكري السرياني السوري

January 27th, 2013, 1:45 pm


revenire said:

Tara please stop lying from your East Coast penthouse while Syrian Christians cower in fear of the al-Nusra terrorists you support.

All minorities fear the terrorists. They’ve already beheaded Christians and fed them to the dogs. The FSA has burned many churches.

HRW has documented these war crimes.

“(New York) – Armed opposition groups appeared to have deliberately destroyed religious sites in mixed areas of Northern Syria, in November and December 2012, Human Rights Watch said following investigations in Latakia and Idlib governorates. An armed opposition group destroyed a Shia place of worship in Idlib governorate, and two Christian churches in Latakia governorate were looted. In all three cases evidence examined by Human Rights Watch suggests, and witnesses stated, that the attacks took place after the area fell to opposition control and government forces had left the area.”

It goes on.

Sorry Tara but you would tell any lie to carry out your obsession with Batta. I saw you earlier call for the terrorists to murder people on the coast.


January 27th, 2013, 1:54 pm


Uzair8 said:

It’s very disappointing that the regime will get to distribute the half-a-billion dollar UN Aid. It eases some of the pressure being applied on the regime. Infuriating actually but one reminds oneself it won’t ultimately help the regime.

Many will suspect the regime will divert aid to feeding it’s troops and loyal regions.

One potential upside is that pro-Assad populations and in particular fence-sitter areas facing shortages will more likely direct their complaints/blame at the regime, rather than at rebels.

January 27th, 2013, 2:07 pm


Uzair8 said:

1000 militias

Let’s assume most of these if not all are rebels.

Imagine if each of these militias was to eliminate 1 thug soldier or shabeeha a day… ok make it over a week, then Assad would lose 1000 thugs a week.

Over a year (52 weeks) that would be 52,000 eliminated.

We haven’t even factored in injured/wounded thugs which would be 4 times as much.

What are these militias doing?
Are all of them serious and active?
How difficult would it be to achieve the above target (1thug/week)?
Could Assad survive such losses?

January 27th, 2013, 2:19 pm


Tara said:

Stupidity is so repulsive. No wonder one poster said his wife needs to look at someone else’s picture.

January 27th, 2013, 2:31 pm


Observer said:

Well the post also talks about the Alawi generation feeling superior and I think why not feel superior in this day and age.

They look around and see some religious Sunnis in utter depravity. Hassoun today says that we will forgive and forget. A shameless unprincipled lackey of the Prethident.
The Al Azhar religious retards are discussing the so called dress code for women and the Salafists would like to obliterate the pyramids.

In Lebanon they see stupid Hariri as the only leader that the retards have chosen. In Tripoli they are divided and in KSA they have religious police that prevent girls from leaving a burning school because they are uncovered committing them to death.

While Sunnis discuss the Niqab and consider Iranians as Majous, the Alawis have equality with women. When they look at the support that the revolution is getting they see a disorganized bickering Saudis and Qataris and a money laundry and prostitution hub called Dubai as an example to the young generations.

While they see solid and persistent support from the Iranian revolutionary guards and the HA fighters the MB in their utter stupidity are preventing any voice from participating in the discussion and have essentially excluded the Alawis from ever separating from the regime.

While we have HA defeating Israel repeatedly we had Mubarak making sure Gaza remains a prison and and with sanctions notwithstanding you have Iran able to do cyber warfare, to develop an arms industry, to have a capable military deterrent, and to have increased literacy to 80%.

While the Sunnis are willing to go on demonstrating for some stupid fourth rate movie made about the prophet with some of them dying in riots and with their supporters burning KFC franchises ( depriving their own of income and work ) we see the Shia continue to have ongoing services provided to their faithful.

While there is 1000 militia that cannot even coordinate their work we have a single command and control structure with redundancy built in to prevent a decapitation being used by the regime.

Now it is organizing the community into a “defense” force and using women at that.

Yet this very sense of superiority has become its undoing for the idea of being superior has led to the drunken power hungry and utter depravity of the so called ” security solution” .

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Any regime or community that deprives the “other” of his/her humanity will always finish on the wrong side of history.

What a shame that so many intelligent productive open minded progressive Alawis became intoxicated with power and corrupted by the mafia.

Justice for Hamza

January 27th, 2013, 2:31 pm


Observer said:

Here what was posted before:”HRW has documented these war crimes.” referring to the crimes committed by the FSA and the rebels.

Well why is it then that J’amuse Jaafari is against going to the ICC? Bring them on if you do not have anything to fear from the truth and justice of the ICC.

January 27th, 2013, 2:36 pm


ann said:

Any new letters from Assma’s cousin? 8)

Who is the PROPAGANDA SLACKER in charge of posting fabricated mossad letters from Assma’s cousin on this blog?!

January 27th, 2013, 2:42 pm


Uzair8 said:

Assad’s female motley crew reminded me of a childhood cartoon series:

January 27th, 2013, 2:43 pm


revenire said:

“Who is the PROPAGANDA SLACKER in charge of posting fabricated mossad letters from Assma’s cousin on this blog?!”

That would be Tara.

January 27th, 2013, 2:47 pm


Uzair8 said:

Yes Olive Oyl and Seargeant Bertha Blast.

Wait… that would make Assad…pop…oh no!

Let’s pray Iran doesn’t supply Assad with personalised tins of spinach or else the rev. is doomed.


PS: So Asma is Olive Oyl? Has she signed up for military service?

January 27th, 2013, 2:49 pm


Tara said:


Unfortunately all you said about the current state of affair in regard to Sunnism is true. But this seems to be conclusive to Arab Sunnis not to the Turks. Is there a hope for religious figures to be concerned with how to advance the society rather than what women should or should not wear?

January 27th, 2013, 2:51 pm


ann said:

More from Syria Girl 🙂

January 27th, 2013, 2:55 pm


revenire said:

Syrian Girl is so smart and so brave. I watched her take on that filthy Australian Salafist. He looked as if he wanted to chop her head off.

Thanks Ann!

January 27th, 2013, 3:26 pm


Uzair8 said:

Popeye the Sailor man

I’m Popeye the Sailor Man,
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.
I’m strong to the finich
Cause I eats me spinach.
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.




Can the eye doctor really be Popeye?

First there were the reports of him staying on a ship.
Then the female military unit (the trainer resembles much Sgt. Blast).

Here the couple on board the ship:


– @ 29sec Asma beating up a rebel (Moaza Khatib?)
– From 1min 22sec Fisk? Has he been given exclusive access to the ship + interview?

January 27th, 2013, 4:05 pm


abc said:

If you’re in London, you might be interested in Syria Speaks next Tuesday evening.

It’s Robin Yassin-Kassab (blogs as Qunfuz), Syrian writer Nihad Sirees and poet Golan Haji.

“An evening of cutting-edge discussion, where 3 Syrian writers offer their responses to the current crisis in their country and explore how literature can contribute to and shift our understanding of political instability”

(Southbank Centre 29 January 7.45 pm)


And there’s a panel debate and Q &A on Syrian writing on Wednesday with Nihad Sirees, Ghalia Kabbani and Malu Halasa.

(Waterstones in Piccadilly 30 January 7 pm)


January 27th, 2013, 4:24 pm


revenire said:

Robin Yassin-Kassab is British. This should be a completely useless exercise. Have fun.

January 27th, 2013, 4:34 pm


AIG said:

I love it, everyone is a friend of the Zionists now in the middle east. I never realized we had so many friends, especially in Syria.

Seriously though, this is really weird, each side saying the other is Zionist because most probably both are at least reluctant Zionists. A Zionists is a person who who thinks a Jewish state in the middle east should exist.

We know that Assad was willing to make peace with Israel, so he is a Zionist of sorts. And the opposition are not talking about removing Israel, so they are also Zionists of sorts. Reluctant, yes, But Zionists nonetheless.

January 27th, 2013, 4:43 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Observer said
While we have HA defeating Israel repeatedly
When did HA defeated Israel? I don’t remember that
Israel support Assad regime, and because of that, they did limited war they did not attack Assad forces,that war was not supported by France and England and US ,Syrian forces did not participate in that war,the results of that war,2006, was HA is pushed back 20 Km,and could not anymore attack Israel.
As for having discussion with Assad, I fully support the idea that no Dialogue with Assad at all, he is criminal and must face justice, and should never be allowed to escape justice.
I always support equality between men and women,and that is what Islam supports, those who don’t support this idea is due to misinterpretations of Islam.they have in Islam equal rights in pay,reach any position, equal voting rights,and any punishments are equal.while in inheritance there are differences it is some time half of men,sometimes twice as men and sometimes equal.

January 27th, 2013, 4:44 pm


revenire said:

Yes of course Assad is a Zionist. I knew it all along. They kept this from us in school. We were told he was part of the resistance but then again he hasn’t fired a bullet at Israel in a long time (just thousands of rockets).

January 27th, 2013, 4:45 pm


Uzair8 said:

Medvedev’s analysis is probably as reliable as you can get.
If Russians don’t know the reality on the ground (Assad’s chances of survival) then nobody does.

January 27th, 2013, 4:56 pm


AIG said:

Assad has emerged as a great Zionist. Not only is he shooting at his own people and weakening Syria completely, he is also fighting the jihadists that he and his supporters on this blog claim are the greatest enemies of Israel! Who could ask for more?

But wait there is more! By making Hezbollah take his side, Assad has inflamed hatred against them in the region thus weakening them significantly. There is even a chance that the jihadists will take on Hezbollah after they are done with Assad. All this while Israel is just sitting and watching. If this continues, we will have to give Assad the TZA (Top Zionist Award). He will be the first retard to win it.

And since Assad is a Zionist because he is clearly working for Israeli interests, so are his supporters.

January 27th, 2013, 5:03 pm


Uzair8 said:

If I can borrow Zoo’s spin hat for a minute, I’d say Medvedev is blaming Assad for ALL that has unfolded after he chose the security solution.

Blame for everything lies with Assad, be it the emergence of JN, foreign interference, shortages of essentials, sectarianism or whatever.


“He should have done everything much faster, attracting part of the moderate opposition, which was ready to sit at the table with him, to his side,” the Russian premier said. “This was his significant mistake, and possibly a fatal one.”


January 27th, 2013, 5:15 pm


Akbar Palace said:


All excellent observations. But it isn’t funny. It’s actually sad, because if arabs could simply work with Israel, instead of condemning her at every instance, good plans like “Clean Break” could have been implemented and lives could been saved. Something to think about.

January 27th, 2013, 5:18 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Please make correction, it is not top zionist award, it is top award of zionism, taoz, and that is what Ghufran keeps saying in Arabic,طز

January 27th, 2013, 5:20 pm


Syrialover said:

ABC (#86)

Thanks for that information about Syria Speaks in London.

Nihad Sirees is a popular and highly rspected writer in Syria, who only recently left. He’ll be worth hearing.

Robin Yassin-Kassab is Syrian-British and an influential commentator, journalist and reviewer on Syrian affairs. Again worth hearing.

Golan Haji is a well known figure in Syrian literary circles.

So REVENIRE (#87) is either 1) pig-ignorant about Syrian cultural and intellectual matters or 2) doesn’t want anybody to hear them. Most likely both.

January 27th, 2013, 5:28 pm


Syrian said:

القصة الكاملة لـ’انشقاق’ جهاد المقدسي ومكان اقامته حاليا
وسيط تهريبه أعتقل وربما أعدم.. ويقيم في دولة عربية وليس أمريكا أو بريطانيا


January 27th, 2013, 5:37 pm


revenire said:

“There is even a chance that the jihadists will take on Hezbollah after they are done with Assad.”

Ha ha ha ha.

January 27th, 2013, 5:44 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

January 27th, 2013, 5:59 pm


zoo said:

“In short, the Syrian crisis is yet another Arab curse.”
Khaled Al-Dakheel

Monday 28 January 2013

What of the US position? It seems that the next Sectetary of State John Kerry is aware of Russia’s position. In a hearing to consolidate his nomination in the Senate, he said: “Bashar Assad believes that he will not lose and the opposition believes they will win.”
Ironically, the US position is not as troubled as other positions. Washington does not seem to be in a hurry whereas the Russians and the Iranians are pouring themselves into the Syrian crisis and this does not cost Washington anything.
Americans are afraid of the collapse of the state in Syria, as it will cost them dearly because Syria lies on Israel’s borders.
Thus, they cannot choose noninterference in this case. All this entails financial, military and political costs, and they therefore cannot do anything that might push things in the direction of the collapse of the Syrian state.
What is strange is that the Arabs have played a major role in the arrival of the Syrian crisis to where it has reached today. Before Syria, the Arabs also failed in Palestine and Iraq. In short, the Syrian crisis is yet another Arab curse.

January 27th, 2013, 6:08 pm


zoo said:

Obama finds good excuses not to get involved in Syria.

January 27, 2013 6:01 pm
By ANNE BARNARD / The New York Times

Syrian rebels have pleaded with foreign nations to supply heavy weapons and antiaircraft missiles that they say could turn the tide of the conflict. Some rebel leaders have expressed anger in recent days that Western countries have contemplated aiding France in its attacks on fighters linked to Al Qaeda in the West African nation of Mali while continuing to hesitate on Syria, despite the nearly two years of carnage.

President Obama, in an interview with the magazine The New Republic, signaled his continuing doubts about getting involved in Syria, suggesting no dramatic change would be forthcoming at Monday’s meeting.

“In a situation like Syria, I have to ask, can we make a difference in that situation?” Mr. Obama said. “Would a military intervention have an impact? How would it affect our ability to support troops who are still in Afghanistan? What would be the aftermath of our involvement on the ground? Could it trigger even worse violence or the use of chemical weapons? What offers the best prospect of a stable post-Assad regime?

“And how do I weigh tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo? Those are not simple questions.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/world/refugee-crisis-grows-as-violence-flares-across-syria-672249/#ixzz2JDiksJG4

January 27th, 2013, 6:11 pm


Visitor said:

Who said that Assad is Zionist?

Assad is not a Zionist and I can prove it!

I recently read that Assad made his will known to his band of thugs which he calls generals.

The story appeared in a Debkafile equivalent news source, Addiyar in Arabic, run by Assad lackey Charles Ayyoub. Unfortunately, the story is no longer on the front page of the news source but was there for almost a month. I believe it can still be found, if you have the time to search.

Assad’s will to his thugs will not only disprove the claim that Assad is a Zionist, but will also make ranters such as Observer even more of a so-called ‘resistance’ bum than he currently is. Because, Assad made sure that his thugs will take care of all the problems that keep Observer so grumpy and unhappy about all those Sunni ‘retards’ so that Observer can live ever happily with his atheist comrades, and women can go out naked on Arab streets. But we don’t know what will Observer accomplish besides getting everyone to become atheist!

Now back to Assad’s will and to the proof. The story about the will goes like this. If I (Assad) get killed, then you my obedient servants will immediately deploy all of Syria’s ballistic missiles, arm them with the appropriate warheads (Chems), divide them equally into three equal lots, aim one lot towards Israel, one lot towards Saudi Arabia, one lot towards Qatar, then fire them all in one shot.

There you go! The proof is in front of you. And there you go Observer. That even beats the firecrackers of Nasrillat bum. You should now be chuckling all the way back to your ears…giggle, giggle giggle!

January 27th, 2013, 6:14 pm


zoo said:

After two years, a new constitution and the ‘democratic’ election of a president, state of emergency is back again in Egypt.

Morsi declares state of emergency


Sunday, January 27, 2013 – 12:00 AM
Egypt’s president tonight declared a 30-day state of emergency and night curfew in the three Suez Canal provinces hit hardest by the wave of violence that has left more than 50 dead in three days.

Angry and almost screaming, Mohammed Morsi vowed in a televised address that he would not hesitate to take even more action to stem the latest eruption of violence across much of the country.

January 27th, 2013, 6:16 pm


revenire said:

Al-Nusra Front raped a 17 year old Christian girl in front of her Dad, she arrived at the hospital on 15/1/13 almost dead.

Nice aren’t they?

January 27th, 2013, 6:19 pm


Ghufran said:

ميدل ايست أونلاين
واشنطن ـ رأى الخبيران دومينيك توما وبروس ريدل ان تنظيم القاعدة الذي تشعب وانتشر منذ اعتداءات 11 ايلول/سبتمبر 2001 لا يمكن ان يهزم بالوسائل العسكرية وحدها بدون ايجاد حلول سياسية.
ويؤكد الخبيران أن “الجيل الثالث” من التنظيم الجهادي العالمي نجح في اغتنام فرصة الثورات العربية ليستوطن في مناطق جديدة لم تكن في الحسبان قدرته على الوصول إليها، بعد أن هيأت له تلك الثورات الحواضن الشعبية الملائمة.
ويقول بروس ريدل المحلل المتخصص في مسائل الارهاب والقاعدة في معهد بروكينغز في واشنطن “اننا نشهد ظهور الجيل الثالث، ما اطلق عليه اسم القاعدة 3.0؛ فالجيل الاول هو الذي انشأ القاعدة وقادها الى اعتداءات 11 ايلول/سبتمبر. والجيل الثاني هو الذي بدأ مع سقوط نظام طالبان وانتهى بمقتل اسامة بن لادن والربيع العربي”.
ويضيف “اما الجيل الثالث فهو الجيل الذي نواجهه حالياً. وهو يطرح خطراً اكبر من اي وقت مضى لان القاعدة استفادت من الربيع العربي الذي لم تحرض عليه ولم تتوقعه. وهي ازدهرت تحديداً في المناطق التي يغيب عنها القانون مثل شرق ليبيا وشمال مالي وشبه جزيرة سيناء واجزاء متزايدة من سوريا، ووجدت فيها ملاذات. ولديها بالتالي المزيد من المساحة لتنفيذ عملياتها والتدرب وتدبير الخطط منها منذ سقوط نظام طالبان عام 2001”.
The hope was that Arabs will manage to get rid of secular dictatorships without installing Talibani style governments, that hope is elusive at best as people watch countries that went through a Spring quickly developing a harsh winter with no chance of seeing those democracy flowers bloom.

January 27th, 2013, 6:24 pm


Tara said:

Majed @100

يالطيف شي بيخوّف. بنات المعارضة أحلى بكتير

January 27th, 2013, 6:30 pm


Ghufran said:

From SOHR:
هل المبالغة بأعداد الشهداء يخدم الثورة السورية
نعم – 60.7%
لا – 39.3%

January 27th, 2013, 6:48 pm


Tara said:


I feel closer to you than to most regime supporters on this blog.  As the matter of fact you are the only one I use a nick name for.   When I started here, I had a mental image of you as a mukhabarat peasant with protruding belly and a thick useless mustache killing and torturing.  I learned throughout the years that you ain’t a mukhabarat and that you are an ordinary person with honest and raw albeit misguided emotions.  It is those raw emotions that made me not dislike you and accept you for who you are.  It was clear to me you are a a doctor and you admitted that last post.  So here is my “present” to you.    

Al Kassem is a doctor and you are a doctor.  Contrast yourself to him.  He is risking a comfortable life in Canada to save the lives that you cheer their killing and what is your excuse?  Your primitive fear that they are Muslims and you are not.  Didn’t Christ teach that we are all the same or did you miss that class?   


Al Kassem, 39, is a trauma surgeon and part of a secret network of dozens of doctors working in 50 underground clinics run mostly out of private homes across Aleppo and Idlib provinces in the northwest which treat civilians and fighters wounded in the civil war.

Security precautions they take are extraordinary. Doctors use false names, even with each other. Carrying medical equipment is a risk and getting caught with a stethoscope at a checkpoint could mean death or detention.

Read more..

And by the way, two men yesterday said they love you.  Should I congratulate you for that?

January 27th, 2013, 6:54 pm


Visitor said:

Qom-Stan in Syria did not claim yesterday that he is a Doctor. Qom-Stan in Syria was ridiculing, among others, the real Doctor MajedKhaldoun:

“Abo jahal(Majie):yeh bro, we will burn Batta and 100000 koffar Shia ..they tought
Me in medical school and residency that amputation is first line of treatment .”

So he got the appropriately deserved ridicule in return.

If he is a Doctor, I would advise patients not to come anywhere near him.

I too sometime misread posts! But that is not as big a deal as deceiving contributors with multiple monikers.

January 27th, 2013, 7:28 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Thanks Tara
We are all educated Syrians on this blog and we really don’t represent the syrian
Street in any way.In my opinion-and I think you agree but don’t have the courage
To admit that-Syria on the 14th of march 2011 was thousand times better than
Syria today.Yes it is and it was a corrupt regime but was it worth it to burn the
Country to burn the regime? There was no specific (Sunni repression ) per see
To justify a (Sunni revolution ),was there? The corruption and repression was
Across the board (I know a Christian who was in jail for 25 years for stupid reason).This (Revolution )is worse than the regime and you know that but again
You don’t want to admit it.FSA and JN are terrorist organizations and 90%of Syrians feels much safer with the SAA than with these thugs.My nephew was
On Ezla bus going from Aleppo to kamishli 3 weeks ago.All the Christians in the
Bus were taken of the bus and while kneeling on the floor they were forced to
Say Alshahada,after interrogating them they let some of them go (including my
Nephew who was a student at Aleppo University and has nothing to do with
Politics or any thing) since he came back to Qamishli he has been hospitalized
For not eating from being so terrified.The Christian girl who is mentioned above
Died after being raped by revolution thugs and is from a very well known family.
As you can see we both look at JN and FSA differently…I and many others who
Belong to the silent majorities have no problem pointing out the evils inside the regime but you and most of this Islamic revolution supporters don’t have the courage of seeing the evil inside your product and you only see one evil..
So we can disagree and watch our country turn into ruins because we are not
Open minded.

January 27th, 2013, 7:42 pm


Tara said:


Before you joined us, kandi wanted the regime to dump Iran to ingratiate itself in the eyes of the Western world. He can’t be a Qumstanist. And thanks for the correction that he was referring to MK in regard to med school. I did misreead his post but still think he is a doctor. May be an eye doctor?

January 27th, 2013, 7:45 pm


zoo said:


Well said, thanks.

January 27th, 2013, 7:51 pm


Visitor said:

Well, he can be whatever he is. But dumping Mullah-stan for that purpose does not gain him any sympathies from my end. I see him as a thug supporter who still looks at the revolution wanting to burn his idol and not idol deliberately wanting to burn Syria as one can see easily from his recent blurps above.

He is totallyand utterly misguided, and can go to hell as far as I am concerned. Syria is much better off without his ilk.

January 27th, 2013, 7:59 pm


Tara said:


One of those days we both may be able to see eye to eye.

The revolution started Selmiah and was not a Sunni revolution. It later turned into armed struggle and a mostly Sunni revolution. We had no alternative other than to become an armed struggle. The regime kept shooting peaceful demonstrators and sniping little girls in the eyes to induce terror. We were cornered and had to defend ourselves. And I and others can absolutely see the evil not only in the regime but also in those elements forcing christians to say Alshahada and this is not the Syria that I envision. A syria that will force its citizen to say ” no God except Bashar” or force Christians to say Alshahada should be indeed put to death and be reborn. The problem is that the fear suffered by the minority implanted and cultivated by the regime is beyond phobia. To them every one who opposes the regime becomes an Islamists and with this fixation we really can’t move anywhere.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading your post and I can feel the sincere raw emotions

January 27th, 2013, 8:10 pm


habib said:

Wow. Is Landis now actively trying to alienate, or even disown, his extended family just because they’re Alawites?

Who in this day and age would think theological issues were relevant on such a forum, unless it was run by Salafist fanatics?

Disgusting. What will he do, forcibly convert his wife and kids to Christianity (or Sunnism), just so the insurgent cheerleaders will accept them?

A new low.

January 27th, 2013, 8:10 pm


mjabali said:


The video you posted thinking you are mocking Alawi women is actually the opposite.

That video shows you that Alawi women are ready to enter modern times.

Alawi women are entering and participating in the 21st Century while most of the women from your sect are going back to the 7th Century to take a long nap under heavy covers.

January 27th, 2013, 8:15 pm


MarigoldRan said:

The regime went and burned down the country.

But what comes around, goes around. So they will burn as well.

In the meantime, something is happening inside Syria with regards to chemical weapons. Israel’s preparations and Iran’s comment out of the blue about “attacking Syria” are signals that something dastardly is afoot.

January 27th, 2013, 8:27 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

January 27th, 2013, 8:34 pm


revenire said:

“The Syrian Air Force has just targeted and struck a large Terrorist gathering on a Hill between the Village of Aqrab and the Town of Hula in rural Homs, inflicting many casualties with direct deadly strikes.”

24/7 bombing Mr. President. We await your orders.

January 27th, 2013, 8:40 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Ah, the dumb white American speaks again.

Sorry, that was a guess. But we do know that you’re retarded.

January 27th, 2013, 8:42 pm


zoo said:

“No drama” Obama should get advices from Bush and Cheney

Obama says struggling over whether to intervene in Syria

Mon, 28 Jan 2013 01:25 GMT

Source: reuters // Reuters
By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said he has been wrestling with the question whether a U.S. military intervention in Syria’s 22-month-old civil war would help resolve the bloody conflict or make things worse.
But in Syria, his administration wants to make sure U.S. action would not backfire, he said.

“We do nobody a service when we leap before we look, where we … take on things without having thought through all the consequences of it,” Obama told CBS.

“We are not going to be able to control every aspect of every transition and transformation” in conflicts around the world, he said. “Sometimes they’re going to go sideways.” (Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

January 27th, 2013, 8:55 pm


Syrian said:

For SNK. It Is ok to be oppressed by another minority because the majority is also oppressed.
What SNK do not understand is a majority can not be oppressed by a minority. it has a whole different feeling, you as a minority have already set up your life as a minority. A majority can not do that or accept it and eventually it will revolt.
I will not go into your feeling of anger that the majority is finally rising up. Witch is really a disappointing stand from some one who admitted to have been oppressed by the same corrupt regime

January 27th, 2013, 9:31 pm


zoo said:

UAE and KSA media bashing Egypt’s Moslem Botherhood


Going by the recent developments in Egypt, there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. The opposition is thriving despite all attempts to weaken it, Tariq Al Homayed wrote in the London-based newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.

The events of last Friday and the subsequent incidents do not augur well for a stable Egypt in the foreseeable future, the writer noted.

The chaos that the country has been experiencing, even as it marked the second anniversary of the uprising, indicates a deep-rooted crisis that requires urgent solutions. There is a party still “lying in wait like an eagle: the army”, Al Homayed wrote.

The Muslim Brotherhood can neither muzzle critics, nor can it impose a fait accompli in the presence of a powerful army.

With their greed for power and their desire to monopolise everything, the Brotherhood has antagonised people across the Arab region.

Attempts at seizing state institutions are preposterous; even “a novice in politics would not commit them, let alone an organisation that practised politics for as long as 80 years”, he said.

The Brotherhood is losing power remarkably fast, especially after protesters were killed.

They are unable to perceive how serious the situation is in Egypt and how they have led the people to unite against them.

If the administration of President Mohammed Morsi had exercised any political wisdom since taking office on July 1, we would not have reached this stage. We would have celebrated it as a day of joy, and not of sadness.

If the interior ministry changed the security policy and actually trained officers and soldiers on how to deal with the protesters, as the new minister, Mohammed Ibrahim has claimed, these martyrs would not have died in Suez.

If the state had fought the militias, we would not have seen underground groups wearing masks and carrying weapons roaming the streets in daylight.

“We all are guilty: the state, the government, the political parties, media, the judiciary and the elite. But the major responsibility belongs to the president, who is in charge of the country.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/the-international-response-to-syrias-crisis-has-been-lacking#ixzz2JEbpTMOg
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook

January 27th, 2013, 9:49 pm


Majed97 said:

SNK (110),
Well said.

January 27th, 2013, 10:22 pm


Syrian said:

Read about the 1st of many to come of dead women shabiha
“مقتل 6 ضباط في حلب بينهم الملازم اول ” لينا

January 27th, 2013, 10:26 pm


revenire said:

Yes, women who love their country and its president are evil. Of course. They’re really Zionists.

January 27th, 2013, 10:53 pm


Syrian said:

حال شما خوبه؟

January 27th, 2013, 10:55 pm


Syrian said:

Revenire. So you don’t speak Arabic or Farsi, what is your deal?

January 27th, 2013, 11:04 pm


apple_mini said:

The decision of pro-opposition foreign military intervention is up to US. Especially, after France got caught up in Mali. All those Saudi princes can say whatever they want, but they just have to submit their work sheets to US first. More aggressive turmoil in Libya really scares the west a lot, thanks to Saudi, Qatar’s proliferation of weapons to the Islamist. US intelligent cannot get deep inside Jihads’ mind, but they are fully aware of all their puppets’ moves. Those puppets gotta behave now.

When Islamic fighters suffer loss, they call on Hamad and Abdullah. Repeatedly, Qatar asks US to set up a military base and promises to pay all the cost. The irony is alqa’eda during Bin Laden era began their attacks after infidels’ military presence in Saudi. Those new Jihadists in Syria have sunk to new low. They are paid and fed to kill. As illegitimate fighters on foreign country, do they have any legal protection against war crimes from the other side?

The moderates of opposition are truly in dilemma. On the one hand, they need Islamic fighters for military gains yet they do not have shared ideology with them except an unity to oust Assad; On the other hand, they demand any dialogue with regime must come after the oust of Assad, basically, they are asking for a victory without military advantage.

Any outcome is no good for the moderates: If the regime stays in power, they fail without any achievement by refusing direct dialogue; If the rebels take over power, the Islamic will dominate the victory since they have guns and they have bleed much to win and they won’t hand over the country just to the moderates. Most likely, the ideology conflict will quickly lead to purge and cleanse of moderates.

So what is in those moderates’ mind right now? Do they have any concrete plans or still sit on emotions and passion. After two years of brutal civil war, do they still have yearning for euphoria like those Egyptians and Tunisians had right after their victory?

January 27th, 2013, 11:31 pm


omen said:

11. MarigoldRan said: The opposition should not engage in wanton slaughter. Nor will they.

sorry to have misconstrued you.

January 28th, 2013, 3:04 am


omen said:

131. apple, even though i disagree with your point of view, i like how you analyze things. here is an article that discusses the issues you raise. the battle between secularists & jihadists.

probably a too idealistic a notion but i can’t help but wonder what are the chances after the regime is toppled, that former regime supporters join forces with moderates to put extremists in check? for once, it would be nice if the two sides can unite out of shared self interest. or will the hatred remaining still be too great?

Any outcome is no good for the moderates: If the regime stays in power, they fail without any achievement by refusing direct dialogue; If the rebels take over power, the Islamic will dominate the victory since they have guns and they have bleed much to win and they won’t hand over the country just to the moderates.

while they get all the media hype, islamists are still a minority. they cannot hold territory if they lack local support to host them.

Most likely, the ideology conflict will quickly lead to purge and cleanse of moderates.

if that happens and the country falls to islamic extremists, it would be the regime to blame for having spent decades undermining, tormenting, jailing, torturing, and slaughtering said moderates.

So what is in those moderates’ mind right now? Do they have any concrete plans

this town gives a glimpse of what syria could look like post-assad:

Despite the occasional outburst or argument, residents with opposing views on the conflict mostly live in peace in Salkeen, buying from each others’ shops and paying visits to one another.

“It’s a difference of opinion, and we are okay with that,” Abu Ahmad said.

“As long as they support Assad verbally and not militarily, they are welcome here,” he said about those siding with the regime. “Most of the Alawite families remained in the town because nobody disturbed them.”

Instead of being preoccupied with disagreements, residents are focusing on rebuilding state institutions.

The rebels established courts and police centres after the withdrawal of the regime forces to maintain law and order. Most state employees remain in their positions, managing services such as electricity, water, telephone and the post office. They try to stay neutral so that they can receive their salaries from the government while helping their hometown.

January 28th, 2013, 3:31 am


omen said:

116. Tara said: And I and others can absolutely see the evil not only in the regime but also in those elements forcing christians to say Alshahada and this is not the Syria that I envision. A syria that will force its citizen to say ”no God except Bashar” or force Christians to say Alshahada should be indeed put to death and be reborn. The problem is that the fear suffered by the minority implanted and cultivated by the regime is beyond phobia. To them every one who opposes the regime becomes an Islamists and with this fixation we really can’t move anywhere.

while i don’t diminish or belittle anybody’s fear – it is real for them whether i disagree with it or not – your aptly worded phrase “primitive fear” made me wonder something that hadn’t occurred to me before. just how much of this fear loyalists hold for the opposition, is magnified and compounded by their own subconscious guilt for having knowingly supported such an evil regime?

is this fear partly recognition they deserve to be punished for having helped to prop up such an awful system and for having personally benefited from it?

if loyalists acknowledge blame and admit to having been wrong, will that help bring peace to the psyche?

January 28th, 2013, 3:55 am


Hopeful said:

#134 Omen

Of course. This is the same reason the Jews of Israel are much more fearful about their safety and existence than the rest of the Jews around the world. They know they have helped establish a system built on unfairness and illegitimate means. Nevertheless, the fear is real, and must be addressed, by both sides, if a true compromise is to be found for a future of coexistence and peace. This is true in Syria, and it is true for Israel and Palestine.

January 28th, 2013, 10:23 am


Visitor said:

Execuse me! But isn’t the lie of the so-called resistance camp soooooooo obvious?

When a so-called resistance supporter claims that the rebels are worse for Israel, isn’t he saying that he is good for Israel?

Also, aren’t Assad and his camp of mullah apes more concerned about their designs for a mullah-dominated Middle East, while the Arabs at large are those who are genuinely concerned about the Palestinian problem?

And finally, weren’t the Syrians who believed this obvious lie about resistance fools and are now simply paying back for the cost of gullibility?

February 2nd, 2013, 1:34 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Can one of the opposition supporters here explain why the Turkish government is so upset that Israel destroyed sophisticated Syrian weapons?

The Turkish government is more vocal against the usual suspect than the Syrian mass murderer. When will this change I wonder?

February 3rd, 2013, 12:05 pm


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