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)

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101. majedkhaldoun said:

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January 27th, 2013, 5:59 pm


102. 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.

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January 27th, 2013, 6:08 pm


103. 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

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January 27th, 2013, 6:11 pm


104. 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!

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January 27th, 2013, 6:14 pm


105. 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.

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January 27th, 2013, 6:16 pm


106. 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?

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January 27th, 2013, 6:19 pm


107. 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.

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January 27th, 2013, 6:24 pm


108. Tara said:

Majed @100

يالطيف شي بيخوّف. بنات المعارضة أحلى بكتير

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January 27th, 2013, 6:30 pm


109. Ghufran said:

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

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January 27th, 2013, 6:48 pm


110. 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?

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January 27th, 2013, 6:54 pm


111. 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.

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January 27th, 2013, 7:28 pm


112. 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.

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January 27th, 2013, 7:42 pm


113. 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?

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January 27th, 2013, 7:45 pm


114. zoo said:


Well said, thanks.

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January 27th, 2013, 7:51 pm


115. 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.

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January 27th, 2013, 7:59 pm


116. 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

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January 27th, 2013, 8:10 pm


117. 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.

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January 27th, 2013, 8:10 pm


118. 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.

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January 27th, 2013, 8:15 pm


119. 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.

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January 27th, 2013, 8:27 pm


120. majedkhaldoun said:

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January 27th, 2013, 8:34 pm


121. 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.

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January 27th, 2013, 8:40 pm


122. MarigoldRan said:

Ah, the dumb white American speaks again.

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

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January 27th, 2013, 8:42 pm


123. 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)

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January 27th, 2013, 8:55 pm


124. 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

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January 27th, 2013, 9:31 pm


125. 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

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January 27th, 2013, 9:49 pm


126. Majed97 said:

SNK (110),
Well said.

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January 27th, 2013, 10:22 pm


127. Syrian said:

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

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January 27th, 2013, 10:26 pm


128. revenire said:

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

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January 27th, 2013, 10:53 pm


129. Syrian said:

حال شما خوبه؟

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January 27th, 2013, 10:55 pm


130. Syrian said:

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

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January 27th, 2013, 11:04 pm


131. 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?

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January 27th, 2013, 11:31 pm


132. omen said:

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

sorry to have misconstrued you.

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January 28th, 2013, 3:04 am


133. 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.

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January 28th, 2013, 3:31 am


134. 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?

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January 28th, 2013, 3:55 am


135. 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.

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January 28th, 2013, 10:23 am


136. 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?

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February 2nd, 2013, 1:34 pm


137. 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?

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February 3rd, 2013, 12:05 pm


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