Libya and Syria – Looking Over Our Shoulder

The fall of Qaddafi yesterday at the very time that President Assad was addressing his country about the uprising at home created much comment.  Here are a few comments collected from the comment section and emails.

Looking over our shoulder
Aug 22, 2011, By Sami Moubayed

The dramatic developments in Libya have raised eyebrows throughout the Arab world and within the international community. In the early hours of August 21, Libyan rebels finally entered the capital, Tripoli, with the aim of arresting – or killing – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Common sense dictates that Gaddafi’s days are numbered; he will be gone, one way or another, within days.

Gaddafi has lasted five months of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) strikes. Had he not shot at his own people when young Libyans rebelled on February 17, then perhaps his fortunes would have played out better. He might have been allowed a dignified exit, for example, and offered an exile in Italy. He is now either going to be dragged in chains to the International Criminal Court or might commit suicide before angry Libyans get hold of him, and tear him apart.

In typical fashion, Gaddafi spoke to what remains of his supporters on Sunday, accusing his enemies of being “traitors” who want to “give” Libya to the French. He shouted, “March forward! March forward! March forward! They have lost. Now is [their ending].” His bravado echoed those of Saddam Hussein on the eve of Iraq’s 1991 war with the United States, when he said, “We and the Americans are at the tip of the pyramid – and we will see who falls off first!” History remembers only too well who fell first, with the dictator meeting his end in a hangman’s noose.

Many would have expected Gaddafi’s collapse to spark happiness in the angry Syrian street, where rebels have been trying to topple the Damascus regime since mid-March. On the contrary, many Syrians were clearly worried as news of the march into Tripoli reached Damascus.

True, they hate Gaddafi and long to see his end – but as of Sunday morning it was no longer Gaddafi that mattered to Libya-observers inside Syria. Rather, it was Syria itself. Having succeeded in Libya, NATO might now rethink its options on Syria, where pressure has been growing from the international community for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

Internationalizing the Syrian crisis militarily has to date not been on many minds in Syria – until now. Few on the Syrian street and within the opposition have contemplated any kind of foreign intervention, claiming that political escalation and sanctions headed by the Barack Obama White House is one thing, an armed attack by NATO quite another.

For weeks, people have been saying: “No matter what happens, NATO will never strike Syria.” That made sense as long as the mess in Libya dragged on – Western taxpayers were fed up with fighting a war that did not concern them and that was failing to achieve its end objective: getting rid of Colonel Gaddafi……

….Its territory has not been under attack since 1945, when the French army bombarded its capital during the colonial era. Simply put, its people are not used to war, unlike the Libyans – and more importantly – they don’t want it to happen.

The Syrians feel that they can solve their problems on their own, whether by democratizing the regime, keeping it as it is, or bringing it down completely.

Off the Wall writes:

Just heard the following on Aljazeera

عاد الوطن المخطوف الى اهله٠ عاد الوطن المقهور المظلوم بعد اربعة عقود الى اهله٠

I can’t stop crying.

Syr. Expat writes:

The official Syrian media is mum about Libya. Can anyone guess why?

A Syrian writes

The president had a wonderful balanced speech!!! I loved it. He was calm and confident. But sadly sounding hurt and wounded! What a decent man!! And what a vicious crime being committed against the Syria and Syrian people!!!! Advocating civil war between Syrians, implementing measures that leads to starving Syrians and trying to replace this young educated reformer with extremists and morons, in order to serve Israel and the needs of the US. I am praying for Bashar and for the Syrian people, to be strong in facing this crime and conspiracy!!! Peace for Syria!!!!

EHSANI2 writes:

By March 13 1973, the late Hafez Assad was able to put the finishing touches on one of the most intricate houses of cards ever assembled. That was the day of course when the current Syrian constitution was adopted. This essentially helped codify his master plan and legally shield his house of cards from any attempts to bring it down. Those who have read all the 156 articles that make the construction cannot help but be impressed by the air-tight quality of its construction. Article 8 of course is the linchpin that ties the entire system together. The constitution even foresaw the need for what is currently is referred to as the “shabihha”. It refers to them more officially as popular organizations or

“lijan Shaabiye”. Set below is the relevant article:

Article 49 [Organizational Functions]

The popular organizations by law effectively participate in the various sectors and councils to realize the following:

(1) Building the socialist Arab society and defending the system.

Defending the system is, therefore, the “constitutional” right and duty of these organizations.

When Bashar came to power, he may have had all the right intentions. By his own admission, he was not particularly into politics growing up. Presumably, he was not appreciative of how tightly and intricately his father constructed his house of cards. His first instinct was to allow some free speech. The Atassi forum quickly followed. Too quickly and successfully for the “system” it turns out. Those in the security services, in particular, had to sit the young President down and show him the full master plan that his father used to construct this system that he was now in charge of.

It did not take long for Bashar to realize that this was a house of cards. Many of us built those during our childhoods. No matter how impressive the structure is, pulling out one card inevitably results in a speedy crash.

One does not need an advanced engineering degree to realize that a house of cards can come down with the slightest of tinkering (reforms).

Prior to the fourth appearance today, many were hopeful that some reforms were soon on the way. Some even speculated that article 8 was going to be deleted, modified, frozen, suspended, something. 10 minutes into the interview all such hope were dashed, yet again.

Deleting article 8 from the constitution is akin to telling the Baath party that your 48-year monopoly on power is history. That all its 2-3 million members are just like the rest of their country fellowmen. No privileges. No access to power. No monetary or social benefits. Most importantly, that its head will not have the luxury of an uncontested referendum that quickly lands him at the highest office in the land unopposed. Indeed, we were told today that changing article 8 was thought to make no sense (gheir mantiki) as it is “jawhar al nizam al siyassi”. To be sure, during the interview we were told that the reason for keeping it was because it is interlinked with other articles and that unless the whole constitution is rewritten it would be hard to cancel it alone.

Today’s interview helped clarify beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Syrian system will not be tinkered with. It is built on resisting America and the west. It is built on giving the appearance of strength regardless of the external and internal realities. It is built on giving the security services a carte-blanch to promote – well security. It is also built on steadfastness and sacrifice (accept poverty) to achieve the nation’s lofty and noble goal.

Why did I think that this interview was rather scripted?

1- My wife thought that the answers were given too fast after the question was asked. Surely a short pause to think and calibrate the answers during such a crucial period would have made more sense unless the questions were prepared in advance.

2- Surely, the Saudi decision last week required an explicit question. It seems that the two sad interviewers were not allowed to go there.

A Young Syrian Writes:

I attended the national dialogue and I’m working very hard with everybody including many dissidents to finish the unrest in a peaceful way. But the solution is not a national one, it is now in the hands of the int. community.

The protesters can’t topple Assad without direct foreign assistance from the West, as in Libya. But also the situation in Syria is much more complex than in Libya. Syria is part of a regional order and any military intervention will lead to large scale destruction in many countries. I agree with one of the Syrian dissidents who told me “only a strong and firm Russian objection can make things better” because foreign interference would be much worse than the current regime. Believe me Joshua no one in Syria want the current security regime, but many of them believe in Assad because he was a good president and he did a lot of improvements for Syria. The majority of Syrians are silent now because they are afraid of Nato intervention and another Iraq.

The next stop on the Arab freedom train is Damascus
A critical mass of deposed Arab leaders is starting to form, but phase two of the Libyan revolution will prove to be harder than just ousting Gadhafi.
By Zvi Bar’el in haaretz

“The world would be a better place without Gadhafi, and our region is beginning to rid itself of those leaders who brought their citizens nothing but destruction,” Tariq Alhomayed, the editor of the pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat, wrote on Monday.

Alhomayed, whose boss is one of the princes of the Saudi royal family, surely does not mean to get rid of the Saudi king, whose regime symbolizes the exemplary model of autocratic rule in the Middle East.

But today, when Gadhafi is slowly losing its grip on the Libyan capital, and the Arab revolution movement has checked off a third victory after Tunisia and Egypt, a “critical mass” of ousted leaders is accumulating, which may pave the steep slope for more leaders. King Abdullah, whose streets are absent of riots and protests, could also afford to have a look at Alhomayed’s op-ed.

The following two leaders are already waiting in line: Syria’s Bashar Assad and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh. Like their ousted predecessors, each of them is still certain that his own fate and luck are more successful than that of his colleagues.

Arrogant Assad has shrugged off with contempt demands made by the United States and European states that he relinquish power. He does not see any problems with continuing the crackdown on protesters, such as Saddam Hussein in his time, or like Iran under sanctions, and he continues to call the protesters “armed gangs.”

Yemen’s Saleh is convinced that his deviousness and his street smarts, which have held him in power for 21 years, will continue to serve him well in the future.

However, the toppling of rulers, which turned into the ultimate symbol of the revolutions, is not a sure recipe for a lifetime of happiness. Whoever is impressed by the coordinated operation of Western states and local resistance movements, cannot ignore the Western abandonment which characterized the revolutions that the West initiated in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American foot-dragging on all that relates to aiding Egypt, and the panic that struck the West in light of the protests that arose in Bahrain. There are “convenient” revolutions for the West and there are “dangerous” ones.

Libya is a “convenient” revolution. After the West received a green light from the Arab League, and after it turned out there is an impressive military force in Libya that can carry out a violent offensive against the regime, and especially after the apathetic response toward the Tunisia revolution, the right circumstances have led to a Western intervention.

Here ends the role of outside intervention, and Libya, who got to topple its dictator after his 42-year rule, must now decide what to do with this tremendous victory. There are many options.

….

Chapter Two of the revolution is likely to be even more critical than Gadhafi’s ouster. Its impact will not only affect Libya, but will also determine the Western and Arab countries’ stances towards similar interventions in Syria or Yemen.

Syria opposition may announce council names this week: – Dunya Times

Senior Syrian opposition figures expect to finish talks this week on nominating a broad-based council to support the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, organisers said on Tuesday.

They say one main purpose of forming such a council would be to allay concerns of a power vacuum if Assad should be toppled by the ongoing unrest in the country.

“The discussions are focusing on moving away from quotas toward a more merit-based council,” Professor Wael Merza, a political scientist based in the Gulf, told Reuters after a second day of talks ended early in the Turkish capital

“We expect to reach consensus on the list of names by the end of this week,” he said.

Another delegate, who declined to be named, said participants are dealing with the delicate issue of the safety of would-be council members from inside Syria….

Western governments, which have stepped up sanctions on Assad in reaction to his crackdown on protesters, privately have expressed frustration with opposition’s lack of unity. At a meeting with anti-Assad Syrian activists in Washington this month, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton encouraged them to work toward a “unified vision” for Syria.

The Syrian opposition strongly criticized the idea of ​​establishing an interim council, which was taking place in Istanbul. Activists said that the rush to form these councils was precipitated by participants who were eager to share the cake and to get positions only…..

معارضون يهاجمون فكرة المجالس الانتقالية في سوريا Elaph

بهية مارديني GMT 22:00:00 2011 السبت 20 أغسطس

انتقد معارضون سوريون بشدة فكرة تأسيس مجالس انتقالة في سوريا من قبل بعض المعارضين لنظام الرئيس بشار الأسد، وقال ناشطون إن الهرولة نحو هذه المجالس هو لاقتسام الكعكة فقط وأن المشاركين فيها يريدون الحصول على المناصب فقط.

الهيئة العليا للثورة لاسورية تدعو إلى تأجيل كل أشكال المؤتمرات الداعية إلى تمثيل الشعب السوري وتشدد على ضرروة دعم الثورة

2011/08/21

لندن ـ سوريون نت:

دعت الهيئة العليا للثورة السورية على صفحتها على الفيس بوكتماع و التوحد ، و أن يكونوا على مستوى التضحيات التي قدّمها ويقدّمها أبناء شعبناالسوري، والتي استطاعت وحدها أن تصنع الإنجاز الذي نعيشه

وسوريون نت تنشر البيان الكامل لأهميته:” .. تشهد الساحة السياسية السورية في الداخل والخارج انعقاد

عدد من المؤتمرات، ودعوات لمؤتمرات أخرى … وإنّ الهيئة العامةللثورة السورية تؤيّد أيّ مسعى حقيقي لتوحيد جهود المعارضة السورية في الداخل والخارج بما يدعم الثورة السورية، إلا أننا نؤكد – للمصلحة الوطنية والثورة السورية- على رغبتنا تأجيل أي مشروع\ تمثيلي للشعب السوري؛ وذلك من أجل العمل على التوافقية الكاملة لكافة أطياف و مكونات الشعب السوري في الداخل والخارج؛ مما يمكّن الثورة السورية من تحقيق أهدافها وتطلعات شعبنا بإسقاط النظام وبناء الدولة المدنية الديمقراطية لكل السوريين. ونودّ أن نستفيد من هذه الفرصة لدعوة كل السياسيين السوريين المعا!

ضين في الداخل والخارج إلى أن يكونوا على قدر المسؤولية بالاجتماع و التوحد ، و أن يكونوا على مستوى التضحيات التي قدّمها ويقدّمها أبناء شعبناالسوري، والتي استطاعت وحدها أن تصنع الإنجاز الذي نعيشه اليوم. الخلود لشهدائنا والنصر لشعبنا العظيم

U.S., Britain, France Said to Seek UN Sanctions Against Assad
2011-08-22, By Bill Varner

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) — The U.S., Britain and France are preparing to ask the United Nations Security Council this week to freeze the foreign financial assets of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, a Western diplomat said. The measure would also bar foreign travel by the Syrian leader and call for an arms embargo on Syria, the diplomat said. The three nations are planning to introduce the draft resolution that targets Assad and about five other government and military leaders, according to the diplomat, who spoke on condition of not being identified because the text hasn’t been made public.

After the Jamahiriya: TNC Draft Constitution

Brian Whitaker notes that the draft interim constitution released by Libya’s Transitional National Council (TNC) includes no reference to Libya as an “Arab state”. Article 1 of the document reads as follows:

Libya is an independent democratic state wherein the people are the source of authorities. The city of Tripoli shall be the capital of the State. Islam is the Religion of the State and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia). Arabic is its official language while preserving the linguistic and cultural rights of all components of the Libyan society. The State shall guarantee for non-Moslems the freedom of practising [sic] religious rights and shall guarantee respect for their systems of personal status.

The omission of any form of ethnic or racial identity is notable; Arab, Berber or African identities receive no specific mention. It has been reported that Berber strugglers in the west of the country had drawn up a list of demands on this issue, in hopes of gaining protections for Berber culture and communities (which simply did not exist under the Qadhafi regime).

More….

Time: Why the Arab Spring’s success depends on jobs, not guns
2011-08-22

Euphoria erupted in Tripoli as rebel forces rolled into the Libyan capital, likely bringing an end to the brutal 42-year reign of Muammar Gaddafi. Libya now joins Egypt and Tunisia on the list of Arab states where opposition movements toppled long …

Free Republic: Iran replaces ambassador in Syria who quit his post

2011-08-22

Iran has appointed a new ambassador to Syria to replace Ahmad Mousavi, who decided to quit his post amid growing popular protests against President Bashar Al Assad and his rule. Iranian Foreign …

Ankara should confront Tehran Zaman

A few days ago the US and the EU finally did what they had been expected to do for some time: In a coordinated action they called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

According to Washington and Brussels the Syrian leader has lost all legitimacy after his government’s recent brutal attacks against his own people.

Before the US and EU issued their call, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had made clear that the American and European demands would only be effective if they were joined by countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, regional powers that, according to Clinton, have more influence on Syria. White House officials told the press that President Obama had held back from issuing his ultimatum to give Turkey’s diplomatic attempts of the last two weeks more time to work. Unfortunately, Ankara’s pressure on Assad was not effective, so now we are moving to the next phase. The question is whether Turkey will join the US and Europe in their call for Assad to go.

I think Turkey should and probably will do so, preferably together with Saudi Arabia. This last connection is a significant indicator of the fact that the Syrian crisis is having a profound impact on the region’s political balance. Saudi King Abdullah has decided to come out against the Syrian regime because, with good reason, he has made the analysis that getting rid of Assad would seriously weaken Iran, which currently uses its closeness with Damascus to play a role in Lebanon (Hezbollah) and the Palestinian territories (Hamas). For years now, Riyadh has considered Tehran its arch enemy and main rival for control of the Gulf. The Saudi interest in undermining Iran’s influence in the region is clear, but what about Turkey and Iran?

We know how closely Ankara aligned itself with Tehran on the issue of the peaceful use of nuclear energy, voting against sanctions on Iran in the UN Security Council. Turkey’s support for the Syrian opposition has caused some cracks in its relations with Iran, but still the Turkish government claims that because of its past alignment it has the potential to influence Iran’s policy. The problem for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is that a growing number of international observers wonder whether this will really prove true when push comes to shove. Assad did not listen to Turkey’s repeated requests to implement reforms, despite similar claims from Ankara to strong ties with Syria. Why would Iranian President Ahmadinejad pay any attention to Turkey’s concerns about Syria when Iran’s future role in the region is at stake?

In my opinion there are three good reasons why Turkey should join the growing crowd of those who are convinced that there is no future for Assad as president of Syria, thereby knowingly confronting Iran. One is, as Suat Kınıklıoğlu put it in his column in this paper this week, “If Turkey is going to become a leading player and an inspiration for the people of the Middle East, it needs to come out of the Syrian crisis on the right side.” It is now clear that this means joining the US and Europe, not Iran. A second good reason is the new round of Turkish attacks on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq. It is true that Iran has the potential to make life difficult on Turkey if it wants to, as Tehran skillfully demonstrated with the well-orchestrated rumors of the arrest of PKK leader Murat Karayılan. But in the end, in fighting the PKK, Turkey has more to gain from good intelligence cooperation, non-transparent though it might be, with the US, because both have a clear interest in diminishing the presence and influence of terrorists in Iraq.

Finally, my guess is that Turkey and the rest of the world will be confronted with a new wave of protests in Iran in the foreseeable future. In 2009, Turkey sided with the Iranian regime in its violent suppression of the demands for more democracy during and after the rigged presidential elections. After Turkey’s support for the Arab Spring, Ankara should realize that it cannot remain silent when the Persian Spring arrives. Better to be on the right side then as well. For all these reasons, I believe Turkey has a unique chance to use the Syrian revolt to recalibrate its regional alliances and put some more distance between Ankara and Tehran.

SYRIA: Troops caught on camera behaving very badly [Video] LA Times, August 20, 2011 | 8:01 AM

All is calm in Damascus Russia
In an interview to the Voice of Russia, a member of the Russian delegation, the President of the Society of Friendship and Business Cooperation with Arab Countries Vyacheslav Mutuzov shared his impressions.:

“Streets are calm in Damascus. Even if some people are not satisfied with the government, they do not set demonstrations, to say nothing of armed clashes. The real picture is very different from the one that some Western media are trying to present.”

Bashar must go: No No Legitimacy for the Illegitimate

One of the most popular expressions of the Lockian idea of “natural rights” can be seen in the preamble to the US declaration of independence written by Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The above simply means that it is not up to government to offer its populace personal rights since these are among the bundle of rights that cannot be alienated from the individual. No government can take away that which is embedded into citizens by virtue of birth and to act otherwise is a gross act of hubris and egregious exploitation. When the state adopts policies to take away from people part or all of their natural rights then the state is acting against the will of the governed whose welfare it is supposed to enhance. Such acts of diminution of the rights of citizens are best described as immoral, unethical, exploitative and constitute justifiable uprisings against the ruler whose acts have violated all accepted responsibilities of a governor.

Unfortunately, history is replete with states that have acted as authoritarian rulers, absolute monarchs, brutal dictators and autocrats. Yet the movement towards more democracy and responsible government got its biggest boost with the American and French revolutions of over 235 years ago. Many philosophers and political scientists have argued that the spread of democracy is probably the single best achievement of the 20th century. Alas this glorious trend appears not to have found even a toe hold in the Arab world until the onset of the Arab Spring that started in Tunis, spread to Egypt, Libya and Yemen then Bahrain and Syria not to mention the defensive moves in Morocco, Jordan and possibly Iraq and Palestine…..

China and Syria The Diplomat.com

In the first of a series of interviews, Dean Cheng discusses the likely motivations behind China’s actions over Syria.

This week, The Diplomat has been providing coverage of the Syrian crisis from an Asia-Pacific perspective. China has featured prominently, as any escalation against the Assad regime could threaten Chinese national interests. Given the country’s powerful voice within the United Nations, and its ability to undermine the effectiveness of US-led energy sanctions, The Diplomat’s Eddie Walsh will be conducting a series of interviews with thought leaders from US and regional think tanks looking at how recent events affect China’s position on Syria. The first interview is with Dean Cheng, Research Fellow at the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation……..

Robert Fisk: It’s his fast-disappearing billions that will worry Assad, not words from Washington

Nearly 10 per cent of Syria’s deposits went in the first four months of 2011, some ending up in Lebanese banks

Obama roars. World trembles. If only.

Obama says Assad must “step aside”. Do we really think Damascus trembles? Or is going to? Indeed, the titan of the White House only dared to go this far after condemnation of Bashar al-Assad by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, the EU and Uncle Tom Cobley and all (except, of course, Israel – another story). The terrible triplets – Cameron, Sarkozy and Merkel – did their mimicking act a few minutes later.
But truly, are new sanctions against Assad “and his cronies” – I enjoyed the “cronies” bit, a good old 1665 word as I’m sure Madame Clinton realised, although she was principally referring to Bashar’s businessman cousin Rami Makhlouf – anything more than the usual Obama hogwash? If “strong economic sanctions” mean a mere freeze on petroleum products of Syrian origin, the fact remains that Syria can scarcely produce enough oil for itself, let alone for export. A Swedish government agency recently concluded that Syria was largely unaffected by the world economic crisis – because it didn’t really have an economy.

Of course, in the fantasy of Damascus – where Bashar appears to live in the same “sea of quietness” in which the Egyptian writer Mohamed Heikel believes all dictators breathe – the world goes on as usual. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon – another earth-trembler if ever there was one – no sooner demands an “immediate” end to “all military operations and mass arrests”, than dear old Bashar tells him that “military and police action” has stopped…..

Basil Hakki, “Syria’s New Leaders,” Middle East Forum

Finally, political pundits will debate how the struggle for political power will play out in the post Assad Syria between the Baathists, the Islamic fundamentalists, the secularists, etc. etc. All such prognostications are to a large extent beside the point. The emerging free Syria will be a populist country that will chart its own course based on the consensus of its own citizens. And the most important attribute of the future Syria is that it will be a country based on freedom, justice, inclusiveness and respect for human rights. And it will be led by young nationalists who will bring much needed fresh political thinking. Future Syrian leaders will come from the young generation who fought tyranny and paid the price of freedom with their blood. They will be the vanguard of a new Syrian awakening.

المعضلة السورية ومآلاتها المحتملة

Hayat, الأحد, 21 أغسطس 2011

ياسين الحاج صالح

مع دخول الأزمة الوطنية السورية شهرها السادس، تقف جميع الأطراف المحلية والدولية المعنية بها أمام معضلات عسيرة. الانتفاضة تواجه معضلة. إذا ثابرت على الاعتماد على التظاهرات السلمية أداة احتجاج أساسية لها في مواجهة نظام لا يمتنع عن القتل، تحفظ تفوقها الأخلاقي والوطني، لكنها تدفع ثمناً إنسانياً باهظاً. وهي في الوقت نفسه لا تستطيع مواجهة العنف بالعنف لأسباب مبدئية وعملية معاً، ولا التعويل على التدخل الخارجي لأن من شأنه أن يدرج الانتفاضة في «لعبة الأمم»، فتخسر روحها. فهل يسعها، من دون سند داخلي أو خارجي، تحقيق هدفها الأولي المتمثل في إسقاط ال�! �ظام؟

Escape From Syria
By Michael Weiss, Jul 26 2011, Atlantic
The story of a young opposition activist who says he had to flee for his life

Farid, a 25 year-old Damascene journalist, was sitting with Bashar smoking argileh, Syria’s version of the hookah, when his friend told him, “You should seriously consider leaving the country. It’s not safe for you anymore.”

One of Farid’s many contacts within Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Bashar was a “freelance” IT consultant who helped the regime track down cyber-dissidents. Farid, who asked that his real name not be used for fear of retribution, had heard this warning from him before, usually before Bashar ended up crying in his beer about his complicity with a criminal dictatorship. Farid’s stock response was usually to cajole Bashar to quit the losing side and join the revolution. “You’ll get your own weed farm and a brewery in the middle of Damascus. I won’t let them crucify you for catching demonstrations when Assad falls,” he’d promised. But this time was different; there was a more menacing tone to Bashar’s instruction…..

“Now I feel useless,” Farid says. “Like I can’t do anything. But that won’t stop me from trying. It’s personal, my war against the regime is personal. Each Syrian’s war against the regime is personal. The regime deprived us of many things, whether it’s economic, social, cultural, political, religious, or whatever. We want justice. And personally, I want revenge, as that’s what justice would be for me.”

“Get out now.”

“If you are ever to see your girlfriend again, leave the country. Do you still have people who owe you money?” he asked.

“No,” said Farid. “I’ve got some money laying around.”

Statement by Ms. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Human Rights Council 17th Special Session on“Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic” in Geneva
22 August 2011

…… OHCHR fact-finding mission found a pattern of widespread or systematic human rights violations by Syrian security and military forces, including murder, enforced disappearances, torture, deprivation of liberty, and persecution. Although the report covered the period of 15 March to 15 July 2011, there are indications that the pattern of violations continues to this day. It is our assessment that the scale and nature of these acts may amount to crimes against humanity.

It is regrettable that the Government of Syria did not give access to the Mission, despite my repeated requests. Nonetheless, the Mission gathered credible, corroborated, and consistent accounts of violations from victims and witnesses, including military defectors, and Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.

The Mission concluded that while demonstrations have been largely peaceful, the military and security forces have resorted to an apparent “shoot-to-kill” policy. Snipers on rooftops have targeted protestors, bystanders who were trying to help the wounded, and ambulances. The Mission also documented incidents of summary execution outside the context of the demonstrations, and during house-to-house searches and in hospitals. Victims and witnesses reported widespread attempts to cover up killings by the security forces, including through the use of mass graves…..

Amal Hananu – Final Journal Entry – Jadiliyya

Aide Signals That Coburn Will Again Oppose Robert Ford’s Confirmation As U.S. Ambassador To Syria
Ben Armbruster on Aug 11, 2011

Last year, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), “acting on his party’s behalf,” blocked Robert Ford’s confirmation as the next U.S. ambassador to Syria. While President Obama ended up using his power to recess appoint Ford to the position, in a May 14, 2010 letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, twelve Senate Republicans complained that sending an envoy rewarded Syria for its support for terrorism.

The Senate still must confirm Ford if he is to remain at his post. His visit last month to the Syrian city of Hama — which has recently been under assault by the Syrian military — drew wide praise. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who opposed Ford’s confirmation last year, now says he supports it and he is urging his colleagues to follow suit. And as The Cable reported yesterday, “Congress is warming to the idea of confirming” Ford. Or is it?

Change In Libya A Lesson For Everyone-Turkish Foreign Minister, 2011-08-22

ANKARA (AFP)–Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Monday hailed the developments in Libya as a “significant achievement,” and said the change in the north African country was a lesson for everyone. His comments came after Libyan rebels entered the heart of Tripoli in a final drive to oust the country’s leader Moammar Gadhafi. ” The change taking place in Libya in compliance with people’s demands, following the one in Egypt and Tunisia, should teach a lesson to everyone,” Davutoglu told a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during a visit, according to the Anatolia news agency. “Leaders of other countries must also be aware of the fact that they will be in power as long as they satisfy the demands of the people,” he said. His remarks were interpreted as an implicit warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Comments (244)


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201. Aboud said:

@199

So, you’ve given up on the idiotic notion that the Syrian Army has up to date weapons that can match what Turkey or Israel has.

So, you recanted your previous statement when you said I threatened to cut your life short.

So, you’ve climbed down from your absurd statement that studying German WW2 tactics and doctrines makes one a Nazi.

So, you looked on the Internet, and found that what I said about the French having better and more tanks than the Germans to be true.

And you ask how I won this discussion? LOL!

“As for the French Ghost Tank I am still waiting for your answer about why they did not mass produce it instead of the other models to match the German Tanks?”

Do I have to draw a cartoon for you? I answered that twice, but you seem incapable of comprehending a simple statement. They had more and better tanks than the Germans, but they used them in *piecemeal* fashion ie they used out of date tactics that were useless against German mass armored divisions.

Seriously, what part of the following don’t you understand? Despite having better and more tanks than the Germans, the French in WW 2 used them in piecemeal fashion

Everyone else on this form has taken away an important historic lesson, and you’re still banging your head against a wall, trying to prove you can take me down. My Persian Pussy Cat, you can’t 🙂

“Haven’t you heard of democracy, demonstrating and removing presidents through peaceful means”

Yes, we tried that in Hama, Homs, Dar’a, Deir el Zour, Telkelakh, Idlib, Aleppo, Damascus, Latakia, Houran, Baniyas, Rastan. In every single case, the barbaric regime responded with tanks and your turd Iranian snipers.

The menhebaks, like this Iranian, denounce violence, except when they are using it.

They plead Martin Luther King, except when it comes time for them to apply his lessons.

They want unarmed struggle, but are quick to use tanks when they can’t muster an orchestrated demonstration.

“You seem to see that some German Soldiers may not be Nazis but still you would shoot your cousin or brother if he invaded Hama or Homs how can you explain this contradiction”

How can anyone except a menhebak connect these two statements;

1) Not all Germans were Nazis.

2) I will kill my own relative if he committed atrocities on the Syrian people.

The fact that you assume that every single German was a Nazi just shows, one more weary time, how ignorant you are about the very things you are failing to argue about. Many high ranking German generals were not part of the Nazi party, and yet committed atrocities in the name of the Fuhrer. The fact that they were not Nazis did not save them at Nuremberg.

“Nazi” is not shorthand for “bad Germans”. Many very bad Germans did not need to belong to the Nazi party to commit war crimes. Only someone intellectually lazy would make that mistake.

“You are a violent person”

Stick around, you’ve only seen me online. If Cro Magnum Maher was on fire, I wouldn’t waste spit on that turd.

“Did MLK, jr. or Sr. call to kill soldiers and spit on them while boiling them in urine. ”

Obviously, you did not understand the MLK quote. Read it again. MLK condemned the silence of the silent majority. What he said was that it wasn’t enough for someone not to belong to the KKK, one had to actively condemn them and their activities. I agree completely. Evil must be condemned and fought, and its agents buried in a mass grave in Iran.

Has anyone else noticed how it takes five of the menhebaks to deal with just me? LOL! I wish the Israeli forums were this easy back then 🙂

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:18 pm

 

202. Aboud said:

“It was no surprise to me the Nazis has a Muslim Waffen SS division. ”

And it’s no surprise to me that you single out Muslims, racist that you are, and ignore the fact that the Germans had Croat divisions, Ukrainian divisions, French collaborators. In fact, everywhere they went, they found willing collaborators.

Generalize much, Persian Pussy Cat? And please teach Ahmadinejad some culture, in the shaving department perhaps 🙂

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:22 pm

 

203. Khalid Tlass said:

@Mr. 5 Dancing Shlomos,

Fils de pute, les hérétiques Shabbiha seront abattus.

Venez à ma maison. Je vais vous montrer une pièce de 2 kg de la statue en bronze de Kadhafi, avec un trou de 7.62 mm balle.

Come to my house. I will show you a 2-kg peice of Gaddafi’s bronze statue, with a 7.62 mm bullet hole in it.

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:26 pm

 

204. Tara said:

Akbar Palace

I did feel an earthquake. Was it one?

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:32 pm

 

205. Khalid Tlass said:

Aboudi, you are great, we should make you a General in the new Syrian Army with a permanent commission ( I’m serious). Its bcoz of people like you that the revolution has been sustained for this long. No use arguing with these Majoosi grave-worshippers, the Syrian people are digging a huge grave for them.

And if I had some more money, I would have tailor-made a bullet-proof vest, helmet and combat boots for you. I would have given you 2 assault rifles with load of ammo, and paid for your training with the SAS or SBS. Please don’t think I’m joking, I’m getting emotional nowadays and I simply love dedicated Mamenhebaks like you, Tara, etc.

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:32 pm

 

206. SYR.EXPAT said:

Bad news for the menhibak crowd.

“Rebels have entered the fortified compound of Muammar Gaddafi in Bab al-Azizya in Tripoli, following intense fighting with forces loyal to the Libyan leader.

The rebels “broke through the gates of Bab al-Aiziya [and] some opposition fighters managed to enter the government’s stronghold in the Libyan capital,” Al Jazeera’s correspondent Zeina Khodr said, reporting from the compound on Tuesday.”

There is visual confirmation that the rebels reached the building from where Gaddafi issued his zanga zanga warning.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2011/08/20118234144136279.html

However, it’s not over until the Qaddafi and family are captured.

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:32 pm

 

207. Aboud said:

“I wish the best for my Iranian friends, who are all against this regime”

Let me make something very clear to you and your Iranian friends. I don’t give a rat’s ass if some Iranians are against the Syrian regime. I want them to be against the Iranian regime. It took only five weeks for the Iranian revolution to fall flat on its face, and yet the Ayatollahs did not use even a quarter of the suppression the Syrian people have proven resilient against.

The Iranians failed to win their freedoms because not enough of them wanted to be free, and those who did, did not want it badly enough. As a result, we have the Ayatollah donkeys around to apply the same methods in Syria.

The Syrian people have proven braver and more resilient than any other on the face of the Earth. Besho was right about one thing; Syria will give lessons to the rest of the world on democracy, freedom, and what it takes to be free. After we pack junior off with his X-Box.

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:34 pm

 

208. Akbar Palace said:

5.8 earthquake hit VA/DC area.

The world is coming to an end.

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:35 pm

 

209. Aboud said:

“I would have given you 2 assault rifles with load of ammo, and paid for your training with the SAS or SBS”

Ramboud

🙂

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:37 pm

 

210. Khalid Tlass said:

These Iranians whenever they’ve tried a revolution, have failed miserably. In Iran they were crushed within 6 weeks. they tried it in Bahrain but they got crushed by a 100-odd sleepy soldiers from KSA. In 1991 they tried it in Iraq and Saddam crushed them and gave them a good lesson. Looks like Imam Mahdi and Aba Abdillahil Hussein don’t help them.

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:47 pm

 

211. Badr said:

“It did not take long for Bashar to realize that this was a house of cards…the Syrian system will not be tinkered with.”

Ehsani

If Bashar is powerless, does it make him blameless?

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:49 pm

 

212. Khalid Tlass said:

Its all over BBC, visual evidence. Rebels have entered Gaddafi compound and are trashing it. They found 100-odd RPGs, a Tank and guess what, 5 Iranian passports. They are at this moment in the process of destroying what remains of the “Golden Fist”.

Hard luck Menhebaks.

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:51 pm

 

213. abughassan said:

did some of you guys suggest that soldiers who got shot at checkpoints do not deserve to be mourned?
(you guys know very well that manning a checkpoint is not a crime and those soldiers do not have a choice and most did not fire a bullet,they are just standing there,and I am not referring here to combat units).
So,did we move from justifying shooting back when the army shoots at people,armed or unarmed,to actually endorsing shooting at the army,period?
I hope I misunderstood the statements,because if I did not,I would like “leaders” of this new opinion to stand up and explain to this forum how they managed to get to that point.

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:53 pm

 

214. jad said:

‘شبكة أخبار حمص H.N.N
حمص- الان-إنفجار سيارة سياحية بالقرب من المركز الثقافي بجانب حلويات ابو اللبن ولكن دون وقوع اي إصابات ولا نعلم تفاصيل التفجير حتى الان سنوافيكم بالتفاصيل حال ورودها’

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August 23rd, 2011, 2:54 pm

 

215. Khalid Tlass said:

Pourquoi ne pas vous perdre Abu Ghassan? Personne n’a besoin de votre propagande Mukhabarat catimini ici.

We are tired of your views Abu Ghassan. And you want us all to believe that none of your Alawi relatives have/were been in the Army ?

After the revolution, we should reserve 80 % of the vacancies at Homs Military Academy for Sunnis, 15 % for Druze and 5 % for Christians. The rest can go back to the mountains.

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:00 pm

 

216. Aboud said:

Abughassan obviously has never had to pass through a checkpoint. What do you think those checkpoints are set up for?

They are there to strangle roads leading to areas and cities the regime doesn’t like.

They are there to arrest people who have to pass through those roads.

They are there to shoot at demonstrators who try to go out on the main road.

Seriously Abughassan, since when did you get so naive that you started to think that checkpoints in Syria were innocent affairs? I can understand checkpoints at military bases, or those gaudy Baathist Party HQs.

But the regime has set up checkpoints at areas to oppress, intimidate, arrest and shoot people. I say its about time they got shot back at. Let’s see how long it takes for those checkpoints to become deserted.

“hose soldiers do not have a choice and most did not fire a bullet”

No more God damn bloody excuses! After five months, any Syrian soldier still in uniform had better be trying to find a way out, or defending the people he had taken an oath to defend. Otherwise, they are complicit in these atrocities. A soldier cannot take a passive stance while his people are getting murdered.

Or would you have soldiers stationed in Aleppo taking a passive role while Damascus was being overrun in a war?

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:00 pm

 

217. Ales said:

We will see in a maybe decade, what good will change of system bring to Libyans. But no one can convince me foreign countries were not behind it.
That’s how it started:
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/libyan-islamists-seize-arms-take-hostages-20110221-1b19c.html

There’s a certain correlation in comments from some bloggers here and article.

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:01 pm

 

218. jad said:

Abughassan,
Don’t dare to point out the calling of violence and killing advertisement on SC by Doude and the two criminal friends Abu Umar and TlAss who is actually promoting of arming people ‘PUBLICLY’ online, otherwise you are Ayatoullah, Majoosi and irony enough ‘Violence’ supporter…
I wonder if Dr. Landis is reading all this sectarian/violence/killing calling and trash thoughts on his website?

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:02 pm

 

219. jad said:

HNN| شـبكة أخـبار حمص
خاص شبكة أخبار حمص
https://www.facebook.com/HNN.SYRIA

انفجار سيارة مفخخة في حمص
بالقرب من المركز الثقافي
وعند الاستعلام عن التفاصيل

تبين أن السيارة كانت مفخخة بعبوة ناسفة
مجهزة بحشوة تفجير خفيفة

والأمر الذي أدى إلى اصابة مواطن

خاص شبكة أخبار حمص
https://www.facebook.com/HNN.SYRIA

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:06 pm

 

220. Syrialover said:

This is interesting. Here are some of the US PR and lobby firms on Gaddafi’s payroll exposed.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/as-qaddafi-falls-k-street-rises-20110823

Let’s find out which firms in the US and Europe have been employed by Bashar and co (eg to engineer the infamous Vogue whitewash, to advise and coach him and regime apologists and propagandists).

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:13 pm

 

221. Aboud said:

“I wonder if Dr. Landis is reading all this sectarian/violence/killing calling and trash thoughts on his website?”

God I hope so. I hope Landis is telling his friends, that this country is moving towards a civil war that will make the Iraq mess look like a company picnic. Well done Besho, very well done. Or what did you menhebaks expect people to do, after so many cities got invaded?

Once junior has to start counting dead republican guards in the thousands, then he’ll be more flexible when it comes to a national dialogue.

Oh and Jad, it wasn’t a booby trapped car. Just ask the people who live in Damascus road. More on this very soon.

I mean, use your head, who the heck would want to blow up Abu Laban?

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:19 pm

 

222. Khalid Tlass said:

Aboud, have any significant number of Republican Guards.Cowards been killed in Homs or Rastan recently by the freedom fighters ? Just say yes or no.

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:25 pm

 

223. Jasmine said:

Dear Prof Landis
So far this forum has been a rich source for the news,and decent discussions,I must congratulate you on the objectivity of your articles.
I have few concern regarding certain posts recently,I am not worry too much about the occasional bad language,some unintended personal insult or swear words.
The real worry is transferring this forum to a base for the Syrian uprising by using inflammatory language,posting names,a call for aggression and killing.
I don’t think this type of language has been used in a war zone,let alone an academic forum.
I describe these people who are doing this as a pure coward,because they are contributing to the killing of more Syrian,by only sitting at their desk behind their PC,and they are claiming that they are revolutionary ,while sacrificing the blood of their fellow Syrians.
Is there any way that you could help?

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:30 pm

 

224. mjabali said:

General Aboud:

1- How do you know what do the Syrian army has in its arsenal? A Video Game General like you can not know that. You have no resources. Only idiots deny the fact that Russia gives, and been giving al-Assads good weapons from what they make. If that matches what Israel and Turkey has that is another story you are trying to bring us to.

2- I did not take back anything. I was quoting your words and mode of thinking. Your words fail you mr. Shakespeare. You threaten to kill right and left, so what I said about your attitude is very possible.

3- General Aboud where is this French Ghost Tank and why they did not mass produce it? Still waiting for this answer. I am waiting for the list of the battle this tank proved it is better.

4- General Aboud: did you go to the Army?

did you study that the Blitzkrieg the German applied was not only based on concentrated German Armored Division, but, on the coordination of a fast paced attack where the massive and effective AIR RAIDS pave the way for the armored divisions.

This little important information passed you. The French did not fight the German tanks first, they had to go through hell and back from the German air raids before they set their sites on any tank. In your video game you do not have the option of having a real blitz, German Nazi style: Air raids and tanks.

Learn this lesson, take notes and stop your patronizing annoying tone. You are making a fool out of your self.

Where did you mention the role of the German air force? You still think that the Blitzkrieg is only based on tanks. It is not General. It happens like that in video games and not when Nazi Germany blitzed France.

You have no clue as obvious Mr. Shakespeare.

AS for the Muslim Waffen SS, I am not talking to a Croat or anyone else. I am talking to you and want to show a parallel attitude with the Nazis. Both of you like to torture. Both of you have the same disregard for human lives. Both of you think that some “Other” deserve to die.

AS for the non-Nazi German officers, their numbers are so minute they are close to a zero. Where were they during the war years, why didn’t they do anything to stop the war. You are going to tell me that they put a suite case bomb that almost killed Hitler. Is that it? This is what they were able to do during the insanity years from 1933 to 1945. They had 12 years and did nothing but “Honestly” perfecting the Blitzkrieg, that you Video Game Supreme General Aboud could not understand obviously.

I remind you again Aboud: The Blitzkrieg is not about Tanks only. Remember this lesson and write this note. I do not know how much it would help you in your Video Game analysis at your West Point Tank Warfare classes.

5- The Iranians I know are against the Mullahs and Najad and co. and surely they are more cultured than you. They have better attitudes and morality than you any day. You are a prophet of hate. It is the end of the world when someone from Hums dismisses the Iranians as a whole. Your Sunni take on things is nothing but a road to hell.

I am a secular person and do not want any relation for Syria with any religious Mullah or Sheikh. Syria should be independent from all of these warring factions. Syria should distance itself from the Sunni/Shia conflict. Iran became friends with al-Assad because of the Sunni hatred for the Alawis. These are the real facts from history as I lived it.

6- How many times I have to explain to you that I am not pro Assad? I want change but I like change to be done while saving Syrian lives.

Idiots like you lose people like me from the fight to save Syria.

idiots like you can not distinguish who is with change and who is not and who is with Syria and who is not.

You want violence. you incite violence. You throw accusations. You label people. you smear people. You accuse people. You think you know more than everyone. You patronize people.

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:33 pm

 

225. EHSANI2 said:

BADR,

In comment 211, you ask me to elaborate on my point and explain whether I feel Bashar was both blameless and powerless.

In my opinion, Bashar was very well aware of what he inherited. It was a dysfunctional system. The best analogy here is Gorbachev when he inherited his own stagnant Soviet system. He first proposed a vague programme of reform. He soon realized that this will not work and that deeper reforms were needed. Initially, he still wanted to stick to the idea that he can prop up his centrally planned economy. He soon decided otherwise. More radical reforms in the shape of perestroika soon followed. Three years into his leadership, he decided to introduce Glasnost which brought the Soviet people radically increased freedoms of speech. Soon thereafter, he launched even more radical reforms that were meant to reduce party control of the government apparatus. He then introduced a congress of people’s deputies for which free elections throughout the Soviet Union were held. By 1989, his reforms were largely complete as he assumed the office of the head of state (Chairman of the Supreme Soviet).

For all the reforms that Gorbachev introduced, he still later lost to Boris Yelstin who wanted faster and deeper reforms.

I guess Bashar could have been Syria’s Gorbachev but he clearly did not. The status quo ruled in the end.

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:37 pm

 

226. mjabali said:

Aboud:

Also, i forgot, some violent person like you is not allowed to bring MLK into the discussion.

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:47 pm

 

227. Aboud said:

“Idiots like you lose people like me from the fight to save Syria.”

I think we can live with the loss of a Muslim hater, and someone who dismisses the legitimate demands of a large segment of Syrian society because they are “poor and conservative”

“General Aboud where is this French Ghost Tank and why they did not mass produce it?”

Here you go;

“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanks_in_World_War_II”

And I quote

“French tanks generally outclassed German tanks in firepower and armour in the 1940 campaign, but their poor command and control doctrine made these advantages irrelevant to the final outcome.”

Need me to do your research for you as well? Or do you need this paragraph explained to you?

Seriously, from the way this guy is going on about French tanks, you’d think the very survival of Besho depended on who had the better tank in WW2 hehehehe 🙂

“The French did not fight the German tanks first, they had to go through hell and back from the German air raids before they set their sites on any tank. ”

Go back, and read where I mentioned that the Blitzkrieg depended on close coordination between the different branches of the armed forces. You just admitted my point that the German focus on lightning warfare was far superior to the French’s reliance on the Maginot Line. And all to prove you aren’t ignorant on WW2 matters as you’ve already proven to be.

Are you that desperate to score points against me that you are so willing to be lead this deep into a debate that has nothing to do with Syria? LOL! 🙂 Damn I’m good.

“Both of you like to torture. Both of you have the same disregard for human lives. Both of you think that some “Other” deserve to die. ”

Said the menhebak whose regime has killed 2,200 people, imprisoned over 15,000 and made refugees out of tens of thousands. I am calling for retribution against the thugs who do Besho’s work for him, the shabiha turds and the army soldiers still on the side of the regime, and who would piss their pants if faced with anything other than unarmed civilians.

Would I mind if they died horrible deaths? Not in the least bit.

“AS for the non-Nazi German officers, their numbers are so minute they are close to a zero. ”

*facepalm* Have you ever heard of Erwin Rommel? Look him up. Montgomery and Patton did not consider him insignificant.

“I am a secular person and do not want any relation for Syria with any religious Mullah or Sheikh”

Don’t shove your secular racism down our throats and whine about how the Saudis shove their wahabism down other people’s throats.

“They had 12 years and did nothing but “Honestly” perfecting the Blitzkrieg”

In your desperation to prove you are anything but an amateur debater, you nit pick on points that have nothing to do with Syria or even the discussion. What exactly is your point here, because damned if I can make heads or tails of it. Take a deep breath, think before you write, and lie down on a Persian rug with the Ayatollah’s face embodied on it 🙂

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:52 pm

 

228. mjabali said:

Mr. Akbar Palace Comment # 200

You said:

“Are you saying the demonstators should stop demonstrating?”

Mr. Akbar Palace, I think it is time now to organize real parties. Demonstrating should be planned more and as we see al-Assad is using this as a pretext to show his might, buy more time while more blood is being spilled. This game is easy to figure out but one has to look at things rationally.

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:54 pm

 

229. Aboud said:

Some nice quotes from MLK

“A lie cannot live.” Indeed, Dunya TV has no life after Besho is gone.

“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live” Correct. So called soldiers of the Syrian army are supposed to put their lives on the line for their people.

“A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan. ”

Wow, that’s a good one. I’ll be using soft-minded men alot to describe certain posters. Hey, it can’t be an insult, MLK used that phrase 🙂

My favorite:

“A right delayed is a right denied. ” Yes Besho, step out of the way and give people their rights, you only delay the inevitable.

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August 23rd, 2011, 3:56 pm

 

230. abughassan said:

I respect individual differences between people in terms of their mental abilities,emotional IQ,etc, and I can not underestimate the influence of personal experiences and family teachings on one’s political views,I am obviously not a good example of a Syrian who had to suffer from checkpoints,because I never did,and I have little respect for sectarian feelings because I never had any.I was simply asking a basic question about the army and I got an answer.
This forum is now anemic when it comes to substance and obese when it comes to blabs,the funny part is that many obese people are anemic too. I am as guilty as everybody else of this “blabitis”…

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August 23rd, 2011, 4:18 pm

 

231. Khalid Tlass said:

Aboud, have you done your military service ? Do you have any basic training as regards handling firearms, etc. ?

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August 23rd, 2011, 4:19 pm

 

232. mjabali said:

General Aboud:

1- Aboud, you are denying me an entry to an uprising just because I hate Islam. See your true colors. I do not like religions across the board and have the right to participate in anything related to my country. You are showing your Salafi colors here. So it is a Salafi movement with a Salafi agenda. You were denying this all along and here you are “exposing” your real Salafi mind with your own words. How smart of you mr. Shakespeare?

2- you did not answer why they did not MASS PRODUCE this French Ghost tank of yours. I have heard the same rumor you are trying to spread as a fact that it did outmatch the German Panzer. If Wikipedia is your source, I say this world is coming to an end. Why they did not MASS PRODUCE this GHOST TANK?

3- You failed to mention the role of the German Air force and while you were ranting about the Blitzkrieg you were only talking about “concentrated German armor” as the ONLY reason for the success of the Germans over the French.

4- So Rommel was against Hitler, we all probably have seen a tv. show about that or read about it here and there, but who proved that? You or National Geographic or the Military Channel? AS far we we know he was given a state funeral. The number of the German officers against Hitler is so little you could consider it non-existent.

5- You call for retribution and street justice, I speak of law and proving that people are guilty. This is how you prove if you are civil or not. It is obvious.

6- As for prayer, I do not own a prayer rug. You do and it probably has the face of al-Arur on it.

You hate me because I “exposed” (to use your Baathi term) Islam. So keep on bringing Iranian references, and remember that I told you it is the end of the world if a Humsi is making fun of Iranians across the board. Get some culture General Aboud it may help you. The Iranians that I know are a light year ahead of you in every field.

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August 23rd, 2011, 4:20 pm

 

233. Aboud said:

Abughassan, I apologize for calling you naive, it was uncalled for.

Since it is clear that the regime is willing to murder tens of thousands of Syrians, aren’t we already in a war situation? More Syrians have been killed in six months than in 29 years of Syria’s involvement in Lebanon.

“So Rommel was against Hitler, we all probably have seen a tv. show about that or read about it here and there”

Um, no, that Tom Cruise movie was about von Stauffenberg, a different person altogether. Seriously dude, you are MASS PRODUCING a head ache for everyone on this forum.

Again, why you are so hell bent on defending the French in WW2 when even they gave up and surrendered, is beyond me. Are you of Franco-Persian extract? I quoted a source for my statements, you have not come up with a single one for yours 🙂

MLK Quote;

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent. ”

Exactly. Syrian backs are not bent anymore (except the shabiha when they kneel to kiss Besho’s picture). Continuous struggle is what junior can expect until him and his X-Box are gone.

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August 23rd, 2011, 4:22 pm

 

234. mjabali said:

Some quotes of Aboud:

– I will cut your life short

– I am going to shoot these turds and spit on their dead bodies.

– I am going to boil them in their urine.

– I want retribution and street justice and I have a list of those going to be dealt with.

– My friend likes to take the Alawi women as a spoil of war and I like that.

– No one who does not respect Islam is allowed to participate in this uprising against this infidel al-Assad.

MLK sends you his regards and tells you: Aboud the blitzkrieg’s lover you are not allowed to mention his name or his words.

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August 23rd, 2011, 4:31 pm

 

235. Fred said:

@ Aboud:
“No more God damn bloody excuses! After five months, any Syrian soldier still in uniform had better be trying to find a way out, or defending the people he had taken an oath to defend. Otherwise, they are complicit in these atrocities. A soldier cannot take a passive stance while his people are getting murdered.”

I think this is a bit naive – have you served in the army? Soldiers follow orders. Those who have defected are the exception, not the norm.

As for the sectarian checkpoints, I take your point. I know of a checkpoint outside Aleppo where a Hamwi family with children was turned back, at night, and forced to return to Hama, even though there were military operations occurring in Hama at that time. I’m sure that if the family were Alawi Hamwis they would have been allowed to pass.

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August 24th, 2011, 4:41 am

 

236. Samara said:

“I’m sure that if the family were Alawi Hamwis they would have been allowed to pass”

At least now that family know how it felt to be Alawi. I oppose what happened, but I don’t see you or anyone else shedding tears for the Alawi people that, back in the day, were afraid to walk in the streets. And I don’t see you shedding tears on the Alawis that were murdered and mutilated at the hands of the revolutionaries. Or who cares right? They are only Alawi. Pft

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August 24th, 2011, 5:51 am

 

237. Fred said:

@236. Samara

Cool down – I’m certainly against any sectarian nonsense perpetrated on anyone. I definitely care about ALL Syrians and I don’t want Syria to resemble either Lebanon or Iraq.

Also, there will inevitably be mistakes committed by overzealous revolutionaries. I know of an elderly Sunni man, from Aleppo and definitely anti-regime, stopped by mourners at a Hamwi funeral procession and beaten up so severely (because he’s from Aleppo) that he spent a long time in hospital. They refused to believe he was anti-regime. He is still anti-regime even though he tasted first hand some of the chaos that will ensue when the regime falls.

Are you saying that we should respond to the people’s sectarian violence with more government sectarian violence?

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August 24th, 2011, 6:20 am

 

238. Aboud said:

@234 Anyone else notice that this menhebak seems to be a tad bit obsessed about me lately? LOL! 🙂

“- No one who does not respect Islam is allowed to participate in this uprising against this infidel al-Assad.”

A lie, point to where I said that.

“- My friend likes to take the Alawi women as a spoil of war and I like that.”

Another lie, again point to where I said that. But if you have certain fantasies, this isn’t the place to share them 🙂

“- I want retribution and street justice and I have a list of those going to be dealt with.”

Yet another lie. Point to where I said I have a list of people. But I have absolutely no problem in selectively retribution against the turds who torture prisoners, snipers who kill kids in the streets, or the shabiha tants whose only heroism is driving up in ambulances to shoot up funerals.

But then, I’m sure none of these things will earn your condemnation, since they were all done in the name of your X-Box president.

“- I will cut your life short”

And yet another lie. Point to where I said I would cut your life (such that it is, all you seem to have time for is to be obsessed with me LOL!) short.

“- I am going to shoot these turds and spit on their dead bodies.

– I am going to boil them in their urine.”

Yes, the turds who shelled mosques and killed civilians deserve much worse than my poor, uncreative mind can come up with.

MLK quote;

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”

Very true, and an excellent response to those who claimed that Besho kept Syria stable for 11 years. He didn’t keep anything stable, the tension was always there ready to explode. What kind of fragile, weak “stability” did junior build if according to him, it could all be undone by a demonstration in Dar’a.

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August 24th, 2011, 6:38 am

 

239. hsyrian said:

Dear Joshua,

My little academic question :

How many INNOCENT people have been killed by terrorists from the Muslim Brotherhood between 1976 and 1982 in SYRIA ?

Including the massacre of cadets at Aleppo Academia . ( > 80 ) ?

Sorry , I don’t have time ( and envy ) to browse through one week of lies and propaganda by the Muslim Brothers crowd to find your answer.
(Furthermore , it has to be done manually because the comments are not properly referenced by Google )

Disclaimer
My citation on ” History repeats itself ” is from Marx ;
Karl albeit Groucho would be often more suitable for some full time commentators here !

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August 24th, 2011, 7:29 am

 

240. 5 dancing shlomos said:

131. Chris W said:

“Either way, I’m wondering if any of the anti-government posters on this forum are Syrians. It’s surprising, one would expect at least one or two.”

all are israeli. their fellow travelers in u.s. are also israeli. so commenting from tel aviv or DC same crowd

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August 24th, 2011, 1:24 pm

 

241. riad said:

It looks from your english that most of you live abroad . Well , I live in Homs and I can tell lot of stories of the on going situation in Homs and thus in Syria .
What we are all witnessing is not a revolution , it is a revenge from the Sunni against Sheaa and Alawai . It is not about democracy , nor about corruption or human rights etc…., it is about Sunni not wanting to be governed by an Alawai . I asked many Sunnis , friends of mine , if Assad was a Sunni , would you have acted as the way you are acting now ? All of them had the same answer : NO.
The west , have a broader agenda for the middle east . They have taken advantage of all the government mistakes that have pilled over the decades to enhance the uprising .
When talking corruption , Nekka has a high corruption rate .
When talking democracy , Saudi is the bottom of the line .
Social democracy in most of the Arab world , a phrase no has heard about . Social democracy in Syria is among the best in the Arab world . Who wants to give up social democracy for political policy ?
The Assad family controlling most of Syrian economy and politics . Yes they are and its deadly wrong . But what about the Gulf states ? 25% OF Saudi oil income goes directly to the royal family .Hamad of Qatar , took over Qatar illegally and this small forgettable island is striving to control the middle east in partner ship with US . Well its to big a fish to have in one swallow .Hamad will certainly choke out his guts shortly.

President Assad is still very popular in Syria . Proof : Nothing is happening in Damascus , ( don’t listen to khanzeera ) go and see for yourselves how damascusians are living . Aleppo is still secure , Homs , were I live , is mostly secure . Are you astonished , well you should be . Aren’t shops , offices , banks , factories etc … open on daily bases . Restaurants and cafes are open daily . Traffic , shoppers and government offices are open daily . During day hours , business is almost as usual .
During night time , Homs turns to be a diferent city. Well it is mostly due to armed gangs occupying the streets .These are facts no one can deny .
Where do you feel the weight and fear of the uprising ?
Answer : Where the Sunni live .
Try going to the mountainous area next to Homs like Mashta Helou , Hawash , Safita , Mermerita , Nasra up to the Lattakia . Nothing is happening there . This is a huge chunk of Syria .
Why is area has been quiet since the uprising ?
Answer : only a very tiny Sunni population live in this area . Mostly Christian and Alawai .
On the 14th of August , St. Mary’s day is widely celebrated in the mountainous are . Celebrations carried all night through with most of restaurants have singers . I was there . I was told the next morning that every one during celebration sang for President Assad and even there were night marches pro Assad . No one can say they were paid to do so . They did what they did because simply they love the President .
Are you astonished ….again ?
Well don’t be . This is what happened .

Why are everyone disregarding the feeling of these people ?
Adding . there is over 100000 armed Alawai in that Area . Armed and trained and on top , rich and some are filthy rich and willing to fight back and start an armed up rest in Syria in case the government is taken by force .
Question : What are the new regeime plans to control this huge chunk of Syria ? and how to control all these well armed ,well trained population that are willing to stand up and fight any new government who takes power by force and especially if this act was done with Nato aid ?
Answer : New armed revolt similar to the on going armed revolt happening now .
If a neoconsevative reading this article , surely he will be pleased .
If a Syrian patriotic , he would start thinking .
If a Sunni he would say , I do not care what happens next , will deal later with all post Assad government problems .
Before signing off , would like to remind all of you of the kidnapping of the Christians , Alawai and cutting them to pieces before dumping their bodies in the garbish .

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August 24th, 2011, 9:42 pm

 

242. Aboud said:

@241 Uh, OK. And how do you define as “secure”? No protests? Why don’t all the APCs and checkpoints leave for a week and then we will see how “secure” Homs is.

And what did it take to make Hama “secure”? Deir el Zour “secure”? Dar’a “secure” Latakia “secure”? What is it taking to make Aleppo “secure”? When your entire army is deployed to crush demonstrations, that isn’t called security, that’s called a recipe for a civil war.

“Aren’t shops , offices , banks , factories etc … open on daily bases . Restaurants and cafes are open daily . Traffic , shoppers and government offices are open daily . During day hours , business is almost as usual .”

This line alone is enough to prove you aren’t in Homs. How many strikes have we had in the past months alone? And so what if shops are open, why would they ever be closed? Why would the revolution need shops to be closed unless it was a general strike for a particularly heinous act by the government?

“Well it is mostly due to armed gangs occupying the streets .These are facts no one can deny .”

I deny it, and I call you a liar. Go out and show me one video shot of these armed gangs.

“there is over 100000 armed Alawai in that Area”

Your pathetic 100,000 armed shabiha thugs never go anywhere without a tank brigade infront of them. 100,000 turds and you meti snorters still can’t subdue this so called armed insurrection? Pathetic.

One of my favorite videos, an over emotional menhebak who screams like a little girl;

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August 24th, 2011, 10:01 pm

 

243. atassi said:

I hear you brother Riad, and I am taking your threats seriously, but, you should think of your 100k fighters to be able to integrate into a new national civil society governed by the law, and harmony revitalizing and spreading between all sects and religions. If your aim is to breed fears and sectarian feeling between Syrians, you will be let down by most Syrian. I think Assad MUST start to sense outside the box and beyond his limited self interest zone, maybe he should sense at the level of his own family and the needs to raise his kids and see them grow, he needs to think of practical way to get the county out of this chaos and stop the bloodshed, again, I think your 100k fighters should be part of a constructive force and not a distractive element. I agree that Assad still have support among some groups, so does Saddam, Mubarak, and other defeated tyrants… no matter how you spin it Assad and his regime cannot be rehabilitated. We need a new Syria for all.

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August 24th, 2011, 10:36 pm

 

244. beaware said:

‘Emir of Qatar to visit Iran’
Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:28AM GMT
presstv
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, will arrive in Tehran on an official visit on Thursday, an Iranian offcial says.

Abdollah Sohrabi, Iran’s ambassador to Qatar, told IRNA on Wednesday that the visit is part of Qatar’s “Ramadan diplomacy” which aims to further expand relations between Tehran and Doha.

“This is the sixth Iran visit by the Qatari Emir under the ninth and tenth Iranian governments,” he said.

Sohrabi noted that President Ahmadinejad also went to Qatar last year heading a high-ranking delegation.

Iran’s envoy to Qatar opined that relations between Tehran and Doha have turned into a model for other Islamic countries.

“Cordial ties between Iran and Qatar have been effective in solving various problems facing the Islamic and regional countries and can serve as a role model for other Islamic states,” he said.

Appreciating active diplomacy of Qatar and its cooperation with Iran in Lebanon and Gaza, the Iranian diplomat expressed hope that the cooperation will continue in the future.

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August 24th, 2011, 11:03 pm

 

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