Main Pillars of the Syrian Regime Collapsing

The main pillars of the Syrian regime are collapsing one after the other. The closing of the University of Aleppo signifies the beginning of the end for public education. It will only be the first of the universities to close. Most are trying to limp to the end of the academic year, but they will probably not be able to open in the fall. Students are becoming mobilized and radicalized.

The stories coming out about the government’s inability to import wheat and fuel-oil suggest that authorities can no longer provide the basic commodities that have long been the central job of the government. Electricity is already limited and will likely be cut further as fuel-oil scarcities become more acute. Bread scarcities will mean starvation for many. Refugees fleeing Syria have been reached 60,00 according to some sources, but those numbers include middle class Syrians who are re-locating as well as those driven into Turkey from Idlib, for example. But these numbers will seem small as the year wears on. Many Syrians of means that I know have left the country or are seeking employment outside the country. Most of my good friends in Damascus have already abandoned ship and moved to Amman. The car bombs at the Palestinian Intelligence Branch drove home the point that the insurgency is getting more lethal and capable all the time. Damascus must worry about becoming more like Baghdad and Kabul.

The government will shift tactics and learn to find wheat and possibly fuel, but it will become ever more expensive and difficult. Reports from some friends in Syria suggest that Iran is pumping a fair amount of money into the Syrian regime to keep it solvent and hold the pound steady. This suggests that collapse is not imminent and that the government will be able to continue to provide basic food and necessities if it can find new short-cuts around sanctions. All the same, the pillars of the regime are wobbly and the opposition, despite taking a pounding, seems poised to continue growing in strength and organization.

Haytham Manaa makes the case for dialog and peaceful change. He almost makes it sound possible.

Assad Still Standing, By Stuart Draper
An excellent short documentary and overview of the struggle in Syria by Draper

Assad still Standing from Stuart Draper on Vimeo.

Lebanon Star: Sanctions block Syria’s vital grain trade,

LONDON: Syria is finding it increasingly hard to buy grain on international markets because sanctions have blocked its access to trade finance, while growing numbers of its citizens are struggling to obtain food after more than a year of conflict. …

Syria is finding it increasingly hard to buy grain on international markets because sanctions have blocked its access to trade finance, while growing numbers of its citizens are struggling to obtain food after more than a year of conflict.

… Syria relies on food imports for almost half of its total needs, with wheat used for food, while maize and barley are used mainly for animal feed. “Syria has deep problems at the moment finding companies willing to offer grain such as barley. You can’t open a letter of credit and the risks associated with any deal seem to be rising all the time,” one trade source said.”The Commercial Bank of Syria (the country’s largest state-owned bank) is not accepted any more and there are currency related difficulties, so they are going to find it hard to meet their grain needs.”

….Last month the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation forecast that Syria’s cereal import needs in the marketing year 2011/12 would rise to 4 million tonnes, 1 million tonnes higher than the previous year.Separately, the International Grains Council has forecast Syria will need to import 900,000 tonnes of wheat in 2011/12, up from 500,000 tonnes in 2010/11.

“Syria is facing trade problems and based on anecdotal reports what seems to be happening now is that companies are pulling out of the country due to the security and operating risks, so that is a challenge for the government in terms of imports,” “In Syria bread is subsidised, so controlling bread prices will be an important strategy for the government.”

A confidential United Nations aid document obtained by Reuters showed at least 1 million Syrians need humanitarian aid. “Access to food has become an increasing issue in Syria,” the U.N. aid document said.

“Over the past 12 months, there have been sharp increases in food prices in many locations, unemployment has risen, the Syrian pound has depreciated in value; and many of those who have relocated no longer have access to subsidised food.”

….While western sanctions are not meant to target food imports, the complexity of trade, including extensive due diligence, is expected to weigh on deals. Legal specialists say for companies operating in the EU, dealing with Syrian state entities involved in food or receiving payments over a certain amount require authorisation from national authorities.”No big player would want to burn their fingers on Syria at the moment and when it comes to selling on your own name or account, forget it – there are just too many hurdles,” another trade source said….The World Food Programme said the number of people to whom it was supplying aid in Syria was expected to rise to half a million in coming weeks from the 250,000 assisted during April.”Informal observations and field monitoring have shown that vulnerability to food insecurity has increased dramatically in areas affected by the unrest,” WFP spokeswoman Abeer Etefa said.”Overall poverty levels are also increasing, access to basic supplies and services is deteriorating; since May 2011, prices of most items, notably food and fuel, have risen by approximately 50 percent and the Syrian pound has devalued by approximately 50 percent against international currencies.”

Red Cross: 1.5 Million in Syria Lack Basics
By AP / JOHN HEILPRIN Tuesday, May 08, 2012

(GENEVA) Fighting in parts of Syria has morphed into local guerrilla wars, the Red Cross said Tuesday, where the number of prisoners remains unknown and 1.5 million people need help getting food, water, shelter, power and sanitation.

Syria Central Bank Chief Says Reserves Steady as War Hits Growth
By Donna Abu-Nasr, 2012-05-10

May 10 (Bloomberg) — Syria’s foreign currency reserves are intact and the currency is holding steady even after more than a year of conflict that is weakening the economy, central bank Governor Adib Mayaleh said.

The Syrian pound is “steadfast” at about 68 per dollar after weakening from about 47 before the unrest began in March last year, Mayaleh said in an interview at the bank in Damascus today. “The proof is that there have been no shortages of any products in the market,” though the economy will suffer “a big weakness in growth” this year, he said.

Mayaleh said foreign currency reserves “haven’t retreated by one dollar or euro” since his term began in 2005. The bank said last year that reserves were about $18 billion. Syria’s inflation rate was 15 percent in January, Mayaleh said….. “We are facing a fierce and existential war on Syria,” Mayaleh said. He said attacks such as the bombing in Damascus today, which killed at least 40 people according to state media, are “aimed at shaking the stability of the regime and harming the unity of the people.”

The Economist Intelligence Unit estimates that Syria’s foreign reserves will drop to $10 billion this year while its economy shrinks 5.9 percent. Syria is under international sanctions including an oil embargo imposed by the European Union that has cost $3 billion in revenue according to Syrian government estimates.

Twin explosions rock Syrian capital,CNN International

Syrian troops say cease-fire hasn’t stopped rebel attacks
By David Enders | McClatchy Newspapers

IDLIB, Syria — With a United Nations-sponsored peace plan nearly one month old, Syrian soldiers in the country’s north say rebel forces trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad are continuing to launch attacks on their positions daily in apparent violation of a cease-fire and are strong enough that government troops cannot enter several towns and villages near this city.

The soldiers, who were interviewed by a McClatchy correspondent traveling with U.N. monitors, described attacks that had taken place every day this week. Gunfire and explosions could be heard after dark on Tuesday in Idlib and into early Wednesday morning, testimony to ongoing fighting. On Wednesday, soldiers manning a checkpoint outside the town of Ariha, south of Idlib, showed reporters damage to an armored personnel carrier that they said was caused by a bomb planted on a nearby road last week.

“I know 17 soldiers who have died in the last two or three months,” said Ahmed, who asked that he be identified by a single name only because he was not authorized to talk to reporters. “We can’t leave the city unless we are in armored vehicles.”

“For six months we have not been able to enter Ariha,” said another soldier, who asked that he be identified only as Mazen because he, too, had not been given permission to talk to visiting journalists. “Today there was an attack on every checkpoint here. Last night they attacked a checkpoint and detonated a bomb.”….

Ahmed and other soldiers in Idlib said there had been explosions in the city on Monday, when Syrians voted for a new Parliament.

“Many people didn’t vote because they were afraid,” Ahmed said.

Supporters of the anti-Assad uprising called for a boycott of the vote and said it was observed in many areas. In some places, polls didn’t open at all. Both sides have accused each other of threatening people who refused to go to the polls or supported the boycott.

Mazen listed nine towns and villages in the area around Idlib where soldiers were unable to go. He said the pace of attacks had remained steady for months as the army continued its campaign against the rebels.

Idlib itself, a city of about 150,000, was out of government control for months before the Syrian military retook it in March. Despite a heavy military presence here, attacks have continued, including a car bombing that destroyed a six-story building in late April.

Ahmed said the violence in Syria amounted to a civil war. Asked about the motivations of the men they were fighting, Ahmed said that the rebels wanted to destabilize Syria. He did not repeat government claims, however, that many of the rebels are foreigners, and most of the soldiers agree that the opponents they face are Syrian.

The Syrian government news agency, SANA, reported that three members of the military killed by rebels were buried on Wednesday. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said that more than 11,000 people have been killed in the past 14 months, the majority of them civilians…..

The logic of the opposition: the right to kill

BEIRUT, Lebanon — More than a year into the Syrian uprising, protesters and fighters say, disparate opposition cells inside the country still scramble on their own for money and weapons, creating a risk that different factions will form conflicting loyalties to whoever ends up financing or arming them.

…The fighters and activists knew they were talking to journalists and have an interest in appearing neither sectarian nor extremist. But many spoke candidly of the uprising’s flaws and challenges, and one — a former interior decorator — volunteered that he had executed three men.

Abu Moayed said the battalion had captured about 35 government soldiers and militiamen and executed 10 after the authorities refused a prisoner exchange. He said he shot three, two Sunnis and an Alawite, who were implicated in killing hundreds. “Don’t ask the reason,” he said. “It’s not vengeance — it’s our right.”

…While many invoke God, expected in a religious country, seven identify explicitly as Islamist, for instance waving black flags with Koranic script, said Mr. White, who advocates military aid to rebels. There have been separate reports of fundamentalist groups operating in the north.

One fighter from Abu Omar’s group, the Golan Liberation Gathering, said he and friends sold their cars, rented an apartment, posed as laborers and staked out a government official. When they attacked, security forces overwhelmed them, killing his friends. “We knew we would die,” he said. “I’m not religious, I’m leftist — but all Syrians became suicidal.”…

But he admitted he acted from anger after the government killed two of his uncles, Khalid and Jamil al-Khatib. His father is missing and his wife and children are in hiding, he said, after a defecting soldier showed him a picture of his 5-year-old with words scrawled on the back: “To be executed.”

Recently, he said, he bought weapons on the Iraqi border with $35,000 from wealthy Syrians abroad — but does not take orders from anyone outside. …

Obama Hits Syria With Brutal Blast of Adverbs, By Jeffrey Goldberg

…. The administration’s unprecedented verbal and written sorties against the Assad regime have included some of the most powerful adjectives, adjectival intensifiers and adverbs ever aimed at an American foe. This campaign has helped Syrians understand, among other things, that the English language contains many synonyms for “repulsive.”….

Syria is holding parliamentary elections, which the government has characterized as a sign of its commitment to reform.

Syria holds parliament vote; opposition boycotts
Published May 07, 2012,Associated Press

DAMASCUS, Syria – Syrians cast ballots Monday in parliamentary elections billed by the regime as key to President Bashar Assad’s political reforms, but the opposition dismissed the vote as a sham meant to preserve his autocratic rule.

There were scattered reports of violence, including accounts from activists and witnesses that security forces launched deadly attacks on villages in central Syria where opposition supporters were refusing to vote. The reports could not be indepedently confirmed.

The voting for Syria’s 250-member parliament is unlikely to affect the course of Syria’s popular uprising, which began 14 months ago with largely peaceful protests…

Syrians questioning whether armed revolt works
By ZEINA KARAM | Associated Press – 2 hrs 38 mins ago

BEIRUT (AP) — The woman wearing a blood-red dress stood in the middle of a busy intersection outside Syria’s parliament holding up a red banner: “Stop the killing, we want to build a homeland for all Syrians.” Drivers tooted their horns and supporters clapped.

Rima Dali’s act of defiance last month — which landed the 33-year-old in prison for several days — was a call for the opposition to focus again on peaceful protests to bring down President Bashar Assad. It has inspired other activists who worry that their cause is going astray as more Syrians take up arms in the face of the regime’s withering crackdown.

They say armed resistance costs the opposition the moral high ground and boosts the regime line that it is battling terrorists, not a popular uprising. The spiraling violence has also taken on fearsome sectarian overtones, threatening to push the country into full-blown civil war. Al-Qaida-style suicide bombings have become increasingly common……

The parliamentary elections planned for May 7 become the first serious check for observers who have already arrived to Syria.
They will pass on the basis of the new constitution of the country accepted by the vast majority of voices on a referendum on February 26. The opposition already declared non-recognition of the new constitution and all decisions accepted on its basis that automatically means non-recognition of elections and a possible new round of opposition.

Syria cease-fire gives nonviolent activists a new beginning
Bloodshed alienates the silent majority, activists say. The truce, while not perfect, has eased violence and provided peaceful protesters a chance to be heard.
By Alexandra Sandels, Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2012

BEIRUT — More than a year after the uprising began, only 50 people were still around to protest in a Syrian town of burned buildings and pockmarked storefronts.

But for the residents of Anadan who came together to call for freedom and dignity on the morningSyria’scease-fire began last month, it was as though the revolution had begun again.

“We were willing to come out like it was our first day,” said Abu Ghaith, an activist in the town near Aleppo that rebels seized and lost again to government forces. “Our strength is in being peaceful.”

For months, activists who helped spark the uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad by nonviolent means had seen it slip away as others in the opposition took up arms and the conflict began to resemble a civil war….

The conflict over the course of the revolution is not only about who speaks for the opposition but also about the consequences of toppling the regime.

“Our purpose is to build Syria more than to destroy Syria; we don’t want to destroy the country as we try to oust the regime,” said Yusuf Ashami, an activist using a nom de guerre who fled Syria months ago because he was wanted by the security forces for organizing protests.

Last month, he joined about 200 other activists in Cairo to found the Syrian Democratic Platform, a coalition of activists who feel that the revolution has been overtaken by armed factions.

Like others in this camp, Ashami doesn’t oppose armed rebels defending protesters, but doesn’t believe they should be on the offensive. History, he said, proves that armed revolutions take a long time to unseat regimes and often result in another form of oppression and dictatorship….

UN convoy attacked in Syria; 7 killed
Arab News – 10 May, 2012

Syrian rebels killed at least seven pro-government militiamen in a Damascus suburb yesterday, activists said, and an explosion wounded eight soldiers escorting UN cease-fire observers in the southern province of Daraa.

The Damascus attack with rocket-propelled grenades on a bus carrying the fighters through the suburb of Irbin prompted the army to seal off the area and respond with shelling, activist Mohammad Saeed said.

Post-Assad Syria
By Neil MacFarquhar

“…A broad spectrum of political organizations outside the country are jockeying for position, anticipating a new, democratic government in Syria for the first time since a 1963 military coup established the supremacy of the Baath Party and emasculated the rest… The jockeying has alienated many Syrians, particularly those inside, who complain that members of the fractious opposition exile group, the Syrian National Council, are fixated more on grabbing appointments that they can leverage into domestic influence later than on forging the unity needed to defeat the government. The wrestling continues nonetheless. It remains unclear which group, if any, will emerge the dominant player…All the Islamist groups agree this is not the time for pushing divisive social issues like banning alcohol or veiling women, and they acknowledge that internal squabbling only serves Mr. Assad’s interests. The longer and more militarized the fight, they and others worry, the greater chance that radical jihadists will become the face and power of the resistance…The Brotherhood’s supporters argue that Syria’s diversity, with large minorities of Alawites, Christians and Druze, will defeat any effort to impose Islamic law. They argue as well that democracy is a natural fit because Syria has long adhered to the Sufi school of Islam, …Ultimately, the battle for Syria’s future boils down to identity, whether Syrian society is by nature religious or secular, and how either identity might be represented by whatever replaces the stifling Baath Party. Will Syria’s diversity tear it apart, or can a pluralistic, democratic nation that respects equal rights emerge from its jumble of rival religious sects, ethnic groups and age-old tribes?”

Apr 27, 2012. By Erica Solomon

ANTAKYA, Turkey (Reuters) – Rebel fighter Mustafa and his trio of burly men look out of place at a trendy Turkish cafe near the Syrian border, dressed in tattered jeans and silently puffing on cigarettes as they scoop into tall ice-cream sundaes.

Their battleground is across the frontier in Syria, where they are fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad. But like many rebels in northern Syria, they are so desperate for weapons and money, they are searching for new donors in Turkey.

“When it comes to getting weapons, every group knows they are on their own,” says the 25-year-old with a patchy beard. “It’s a fight for resources.”

Nominally Mustafa’s rebels fight for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), but the FSA, lacking international recognition or direct state funding, is a often just a convenient label for a host of local armed groups competing fiercely for scarce financing.

So fiercely, they sometimes turn their guns on each other.

“Everyone needs weapons. There is tension. There is anger and yes, sometimes there is fighting if rebels in one town seem to have an unfair share of weapons,” said Mustafa, who comes from Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, which borders Turkey and has been a hotbed of resistance to Assad.

Such mistrust is compounded by the competing agendas of outside parties who are further fragmenting the rebel movement….

Syrian activists: Explosion in Aleppo kills 5
By BEN HUBBARD, Associated Press – 5 minutes ago

BEIRUT (AP) — An explosion in a car wash in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo killed at least five people on Saturday, activists said, while another blast in the capital destroyed nine cars.

Bomb attacks have grown more common in Syria’s two largest cities as the uprising against President Bashar Assad grows increasingly militarized. Many in the opposition have taken up arms since protesters first took to the street in March 2011 and now regularly clash with government forces around the country.

But Aleppo and Damascus have remained largely in Assad’s grip, shaken only by bomb blasts that often appear to target buildings associated with the military and security services.

The U.N. says more than 9,000 people have been killed since the uprising’s start.

Saturday’s blast in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, hit a car wash and killed six people, Aleppo activist Mohammed Saeed said via Skype. He said the business in the city’s southern Sukari neighborhood is owned by a man who serves in pro-government militias known as the shabiha.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on activists inside Syria, said five people were killed in the attack.

The blast follows increasing unrest in the city with university students taking to the streets and being violently dispersed by security forces.

A 16-year-old was shot dead during a protest Friday, one day after four students were killed during arrest raids in university dorms.

Also Saturday, an explosive planted under an army vehicle in Damascus blew up, damaging nine cars.

The blast shook a downtown neighborhood near a military food cooperative, and left a crater in the street, according to a reporter from The Associated Press who visited the scene.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the explosions.

UN mission chief says Syrian army must cease fire first
May 4, 2012

UN Observer Mission in Syria chief Robert Mood (C-R) on Thursday called on regime forces to make the first move to ensure a ceasefire in the strife stricken country. (AFP/Joseph Eid)

The head of the UN mission in Syria said on Thursday that government forces must make the first move to end nearly 14-months of bloodshed after a watchdog said a security force raid on a university campus left four students dead.

The Syrian Opposition, Non-state Players, and the Peace Process
Sami Moubayed in Huff Post

The Syrian opposition today has to sit back and come up with answers to the following questions: What to do with the military, governmental, and security institutions if they come to power? How to manage the Syrian economy? How to handle Syria’s relationship with people like Muqtada al-Sadr and Hasan Nasrallah? More importantly, what to do with the Syrian-Israeli peace process, which is now on hold? This is something that is extremely important to both Israel and the U.S., and which is being completely overlooked in all rhetoric and strategy since March 2011. Israel has not changed its conditions for peace, after all, since the famous Assad-Clinton meeting in Geneva in March 2000. Back then, it explicitly asked for full sovereignty over the Jordan River and Lake Tiberias, which is their major freshwater reservoir. Israel wanted a sovereign corridor of ten meters on both sides of the creek from the springs of Banias in the northern Golan down to Lake Tiberias. Hafez al-Assad said no, refusing to accept the 1923 international borders, abiding by the June 4 borders, while turning down all suggestions for territorial swaps. At one point, if the regime is changed in Syria, new rulers will have to answer these very thorny questions, and U.S. officials are doubtful that neither they nor the current regime can deliver anymore when it comes to peace. And if they do, it is doubtful that their peace can last.

These are challenges that are yet to be addressed properly. If the opposition does have answers, then they have not yet been articulated properly to those who matter in Washington circles, which might explain why the U.S. is seemingly so reluctant to push for real change in Syria.

Op-Ed Contributor
Syria’s Threatened Minorities
Published: May 4, 2012

The longer the struggle for power in Syria drags on, the greater the danger for its minorities and, equally ominously, for those in neighboring states. This is the human dimension of the stalemated Syrian violence that is often obscured by overarching geostrategic considerations….
the region’s minorities increasingly risk becoming expendable collateral damage in the open-ended civil war in Syria. Many of Syria’s ruling Alawites — and their Kurd, Assyrian, Maronite Christian, Greek Catholic and Orthodox fellow minorities, indeed even the prudent Druze — feel caught in a vicious zero-sum game.

Like many another dominant minority throughout Middle Eastern history, President Bashar al-Assad’s beleaguered Alawites both protect and manipulate Syria’s other minorities. Assad relentlessly insists they are all under growing threat from the still disorganized and disparate opposition drawn from the Sunni Muslim community which accounts for 70 percent of Syria’s population.

That way, the longer the strife goes on, the less isolated his Alawites (perhaps 12 percent of Syrians) feel and the more they justify their backs-to-the-wall defense of privileges accumulated over more than 40 years in power. The counterexample is Iraq, where America’s war put the majority Shiites in power and minorities paid a heavy price. …

“To counter that fate and prevent further turmoil spreading throughout the region, the United States and allies would do well to work with — rather than against — Russia to prod all Syrian parties to the negotiating table and have them eschew escalating violence. That again involves swallowing hard and somehow persuading Assad and the insurgents to talk. That’s a tall order and the hour is late.

Halabi writes in the comment section May 5th, 2012, 1:24 am :

This is why minorities support Assad? The fear of retribution for crimes committed against innocent civilians? The New York Times op/ed mentions Hama and Sabra and Shatila in 1982. We also have thousands of people murdered in this era, all to prevent the possible bloodbath against minorities in the future.

This kind of thinking, as well as believing that the Baath party is popular or the upcoming elections are anything but a farce, will never, ever solve the crisis in Syria nor bring democracy to the country. By supporting a regime that kills its own citizens while its enemy occupies its territory, that has oppressed people from every class and sect, the we-love-you gang has made it clear what they want: to rule over Syrians by force, forever.

I think the revolution will succeed in the long term. Along the way there will be a lot of pain, mostly suffered by the opposition, but there will be no peace for Assad and his supporters. I wake up in the morning hoping for a better future; we-love-you wake up hoping that Assad’s soldiers continue to raze towns and villages they don’t like, worrying about summer vacations, the value of their dubious fortunes and how to spin the latest conspiracy theory while enjoying freedom in the West.

Perhaps the solution is for Assad’s soldiers to kill and expel enough Sunnis so the minorities become the majority. Of course, according to we-love-you logic, the new minority would feel threatened so it should then be allowed to massacre as many minorities as they want. Or we could get rid of the criminal police state that has destroyed our country for two generations and try to establish a just government for all…

Two bombs explode on Damascus highway: residents
By Mariam Karouny | Reuters

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Two bombs detonated on a central Damascus highway on Saturday, destroying nine cars, residents said, in a further sign that rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad are shifting tactics towards homemade explosives.

An Islamist group calling itself the Support Front for the People of the Levant claimed responsibility for that bombing and for an April 24 attack on the Iranian cultural consulate in Damascus. Iran is one of Syria’s closest allies.

Pentagon Defends Buying Copters From Russia Trader Aiding Assad
2012-05-08, By Tony Capaccio

May 8 (Bloomberg) — The Pentagon must pay Russia’s state- run arms trader to provide helicopters for Afghanistan’s air force even though the company also been has supplying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with weapons to kill his own people, according to the Defense Department’s top policy official. The U.S. Army has taken delivery of nine Russian-made MI-17 helicopters for the Afghans from Rosoboronexport under a $375 million contract issued in May 2011, with six more awaiting shipment and another six to be delivered by May 31, Acting Undersecretary for Policy James Miller said in a previously undisclosed March 30 letter to lawmakers. The U.S. has an option to buy an additional 12 Russian helicopters for the Afghans, who have been flying them for 30 years…..

The Syrian Democratic Forum/Platform
Haytham Khoury []

Dear Joshua,

I am writing to express my unhappiness with Syria Comment. Since we established our group the Syrian Democratic Forum/Platform last February, the only news that was published on SC regarding our group was under the title “Two different Syrian Opposition organizations expressed their own formulations of the Kurdish question in Syria”. Although our vision of Syria, as a multi-national state and from which our group’s view for the question Kurd arises, is an original one, I believe this is not the most significant contribution of our group for the political and civil life in Syria.

First, the idea of our group is a creative one. Indeed, our group is not a political organization per se. It is “a political, civil and democratic forum. It is a platform for critical appraisal, knowledge exchange and field activities”, as it has been defined in its identity statement released on Feb 18, 2012. Our group’s mission is the advancement of the Syrian society and public life at all levels, including political, intellectual and social.

Second, the plan of actions that we have set for our group is an audacious one. One of the major goals that we have set for our group is to unify the infamously fragmented Syrian opposition, as it has been stated in The Declaration of the Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Syrian Democratic Forum, released on April 17th, 2012. In this declaration, our goal to unify the opposition has been expressed as follows: “Indeed, the SDF perceives that one of its tasks is to launch a plan to unite the Syrian opposition of all spectra, accompanied by mechanisms and timetable for its implementation, through the formation of internal and external committees for cooperation and consultation. These plan and mechanisms are to be put into effect as soon as possible; with the reaffirmation that what is meant by unity of the opposition is to have a common vision, program, and political will; and taking into account that the basis for the indispensable unity of the opposition is the unity of purpose. By this purpose, we mean bringing the regime down; building a democratic civil state based on equal citizenship; clearly specifying the path leading to the future of Syria after the fall of the regime; and providing a clear vision for the new Syria. In this regard, it is the responsibility of the committee elected by the General Assembly to put this into practice.”

Here is a link for a video an interview that I did with the Egyptian satellite TV channel, Nile TV, in which I explained our plans for unifying the opposition.

Best regards, Haytham

The Syrian Uprising Special Report on the Jamestown Foundation website for $20.00.
Militant Leadership Monitor subscribers will receive a free PDF copy of this and all future QSRs in their email. Content:

Measuring The Temperature Of Revolt In Syria: A One-Year Assessment, By Chris Zambelis Sheikh

Adnan Al-Arour: The Salafist “Godfather Of The Syrian Revolution”, By Jacob Zenn

Who’s Who In The Syrian Opposition: An Overview Of 15 Key Opposition Leaders, By Sami Moubayed

The Right Hand Of Bashar Al-Assad: A Profile of Maher Al-Assad, By Wladimir van Wilgenberg

The Free Syrian Army: An In-Depth Profile Of Colonel Riad Al-Asaad By Francesco F. Milan

Salih Muslim Muhammed: Leader of PKK Syrian-Affiliate PYD, By Michael Gunter

Syria beats back its rivals
Samuel Segev,  05/8/2012

TEL AVIV — Syrian President Bashar Assad proved Monday once again that with the support of Russia and Iran, he is still able to politically defeat the United States, Turkey and the Persian Gulf countries.

Based on a new “constitution” that was unilaterally approved last February, the Syrian people were asked Monday to elect 250 new members of parliament, from among 7,195 candidates in 15 electoral districts. The Syrian opposition boycotted the elections. So did the Western powers. But it really didn’t matter.

For Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies, the purpose of the elections was to demonstrate that the country is moving towards normalcy, even when the elections were held under the threat of a gun. The opposition argued that the presence of 60 United Nations observers, who came to Syria at the request of former UN secretary general Koffi Annan, was not sufficient to assure “real free elections.

On the eve of Monday’s elections, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey that “your power is increasing by the day and your victory is near.”

This sounded like an empty promise. The day Erdogan made his statement, Dennis MacDonough, the U.S. deputy national security adviser, told an academic gathering in Washington that a military solution in Syria is not now under consideration and that the U.S. is working with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to find other solutions for Syria.

But what are these other solutions? A quick look on the ground reveals that little is under control, whether in political or security terms. Despite the regime’s announced acceptance of Koffi Annan’s ceasefire plan, violence continues, with the depressingly familiar daily toll of casualties.

American officials are well aware of this situation. They acknowledge that Syria is not Libya and Homs is not Benghazi. The air defence of Syria is thicker than that of Libya. The Syrian army, in general, is stronger. Thus, there is in Damascus a strong feeling that the introduction of outside weapons would deepen the internal conflict.

This is not a serious argument. The regime and its vigilantes are fully armed. The helicopter gunships thrown into battle are a reminder of the disparity in firepower between the regime and its opponents

There are suspicions that the Obama administration does not want to see the Assad regime fall. Some even believe that Obama’s Syrian policy is hostage to his electoral ambitions in November. The president has no real interest in fully taking on the Iranian regime, so Syria continues to twist in the wind.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Iran are engaged in a process of pressuring Lebanon to maintain its neutrality…..

Comments (201)

DAWOUD said:

I strongly agree that the Syrian conflict has entered the Lebanese phase. Since the Lebanese Civil war until the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri (and after), al-Assad dictatorship has been the most active/professional in killing innocents/opponents in car bombings. Now, Hasan Nasrallah and Bashar are partners in orchestrating suicidal and car bombing attacks. They plan and carry out these attacks, and then they pretend to be victims and innocents!!! They even walk in their victims’ funerals and offer condolences!!! Do you remember when Hasan Nasrallah offered condolences to the family of Rafiq al-Hariri?
There is an Arab saying: “kill a person, and walk in his funeral!”

God bless the souls of the innocents who died today in Damascus in Bashar al-Assad’s latest terrorist bombing. Amin!

P.S. dictatorial states rely on repressive state institutions, whose goal is to preserve tyranny!

May 10th, 2012, 5:48 pm


Antoine said:

Unfortunately, the main pillar ( pillar – NOT pillars ) of the Syrian regime, is still not collapsing.

Assad can happily lead Syria as a failed State like Zimbabwe or Somailia with no functioning Universities, public services, skyrocketing prices, as long as he keeps his Tanks, Artillery, and Intelligcne intact.

May 10th, 2012, 6:40 pm


Antoine said:

Haytham Mannaa is not sufficiently dedicated to the downfall of the regime, nor can he provide an alibi by claiming he wants to preserve the country. If he really loved Syria he wouldn;t be in France in the first place. He is just an amateur, this is just a hobby for him. He is a hopeless case, he will remain confoned to TV screens , perhpas not even that, in the foreseeable future. hr is only insulting himself, in front of millions of Syrians.

In the event if he is ever politically rleevant in Syria, the level of popular support for him will be very less, he will be completelty detached from the people, and have to depend on Assad for survival.

May 10th, 2012, 6:45 pm



I do not think the syrian conflict can be defined as entering the lebanese case. The Lebanon war was mainly due to Israel and specially Syria interference. Lebanese war was a war of milicias and changing coallitions manipulated by foreign actors.

While in Syria we are facing a revolution lead by unarmed people that has finally been pushed by the regime to become an armed for obvious reasons. The existence of explosions in Damascus is just another tool used by the syrian regime. Assad learnt the power of this tool in Lebanon. But in this case the regime is using this tool in its own field and against its own people to justify more represion. There are no alliances here, just a cheating and failing regime against good will people.

Lebanon war was almost impossible to understand even to expert analysts while the syrian conflict is water clear.

People in Syria should begin accepting that the addagio ¨With Assad or chaos¨ has become ¨Assad dead or chaos¨

May 10th, 2012, 7:06 pm


Syrialover said:

We are all shocked, desperate, distressed at the news of 55 killed in Damascus, 400 injured, many of the permanently disabled.

But remember, those numbers are NOTHING to the Assad regime. They routinely do that much harm to that many people in a morning’s work with their tanks, snipers and torture centres.

The Syrian people have no value for the regime. For Assad, 80% of the population is a burden and a nuisance. Syria as a country means nothing. Let it burn, is the motto.

The criminal gang is taking brutal revenge against the Syrian people for “disrespecting” and inconveniencing and embarrassing it.

This terrorist bombing is just the latest outcome of the terrorist regime of Bashhar Assad.

May 10th, 2012, 7:39 pm


Tara said:


And that what the regime supporters are doing. They applauded Bashar killing Syria and today they are attending Syria’s funeral offering condolences. Bashar is out of touch with reality but what about those 2 millions supporters? Out of touch with reality too? Have they not thought that sooner or later this is going go happen. One is surprised it did not happen sooner in this time and age. Whether the bombing is orchestrated by the regime( and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if so) or whether it is by “jihadists”, they are fully responsible. This was inevitable natural evolution. You monstrously kill 11,000 somewhere and will sure get “jihadists” legitimizing Jihad against you.

What Bashar and his followers did not know that suicide bombing is a disease that can’t be easily eradicated no matter how much brutality they are willing to unleash. Syria is lot for years to come…and our small children will never know the country we once knew..

May 10th, 2012, 8:05 pm


Dawoud said:

6. Tara

They were singing “bou Hafez” as if they were at a wedding. Shame on this murderous regime and its shabiha. Did you see the microphones at the U.N. commander’s press conference at the scene of Bashar’s terrorist bombing. They were: al-Dunian, al-Manar, al-Jadidah, etc.

May 10th, 2012, 8:09 pm


MICHEL said:

The true protectors of the syrian people

May 10th, 2012, 8:16 pm


MICHEL said:

This cult-like hereditary dictatorship is an insult to the syrian history and society. I can’t believe some people still think this familial mafious regime cares about anything else other than staying in power. Indeed, menhebakjiyeh have an IQ hovering around 80.

May 10th, 2012, 8:21 pm


jmu said:

please can someone translate the Haythem AlManna interview, I really want to know what he’s saying

May 10th, 2012, 8:33 pm


Aldendeshe said:


“SNP ? They should have gotten the picture after the first 4 blasts. Did they never…”

Well, absence of any camera footage, which by itself an oddity, that the regime have no surveillance cams to show us footage, specially the areas of the security compounds is not just absurd, but bit telling. Add this tidbit to the M.O. And you can point the finger for these bombing 95% on the regime. The 5% is for the benefit of doubt. I mean, someone (not opposition for sure) of Syria’s enemy agents, Bandar Terror Conglomerates, which include western operatives, could drive these bomb laden vehicles to a point near a compound, as was the case in all the bombings, then get out and hop in the front accomplice car and speed away before pressing the remote, or timers out. Suicides accomplice is ruled out in all these bombings. Suicide bombers attack target, not drive to a safe far away point and detonate.

On the other hand, it could be that it is the regime bombing itself, by having Jihadi drive the car, thinking he is delivering vegetable or guns to a location or his buddies, then, unknowingly to the Jihadi driver, using remote control, the regime agent detonate the vehicle at proximate point. Of course Bandar International Terror Inc could order that X Mossad agent working for the conglomerate to detonate by remote as well. All the bombings occurred in one of these two ways, NO SUICIDE BOMBER.

Noted the glee of some posters here pushing for Lebanon style civil war, and they are not Syrians. But, need to take note of what are they saying. Syria’s enemies are at loss now, because there will be no civil war in Syria at this point. In three months of this, by next school year, Syrians will be all convinced of the hopelessness of the baathist-Alawi regime and be relived of its ouster. Of course, the enemies will try their best then, after the regime collapse to instigate mayhem, but will be stunned silly by the flash back they will get and coward to their dens.

May 10th, 2012, 8:37 pm


zoo said:

Dr Bachar Al Jaafari at the UNSC accuses.. and will provide the names of the foreign terrorists caught in Syria

May 10th, 2012, 8:49 pm


Tara said:


Bu hafiz? I can’t stomach this love anymore. I feel nothing but profound contempt towards them. I stopped watching long time ago.

They should enjoy Batta as long as they have him. It ain’t gonna last long.

I am sorry, I feel very very hopeless and angry in regard to what is happening. Neron will continue to enjoy if he rules over a burned charred land and giggling-ly so. At least in Lebanon, the fighting factions were home grown. Now Syria are open to whoever, whenever, and for whatever price.

May 10th, 2012, 9:02 pm


Tara said:

The Arab world has long had a deficit of democracy, but has had no shortage of election.

Syria’s election charade could trigger yet more unrest

Monday’s election in Syria was part of cosmetic reform familiar to many Arab countries that will only inflame the opposition

The ever-friendly Tehran Times described the “environment of democracy” and quoted the interior minister saying there were “no problems, except some minor things that usually occur in elections”. The Syrian government will be hoping that the election will help it to regain legitimacy and marginalise an opposition it continues to brand as terrorists and thugs. It follows a February referendum on constitutional amendments..
A comparison can be drawn with Hosni Mubarak’s constitutional reforms in 2006, which permitted more than one candidate to run for the presidency – but in practice led to no real contest.
Regimes have become experts in manipulating the appearance of reform. This has sometimes placated western critics (for whom democracy is never the number one factor in foreign policymaking, but is nonetheless a consideration in terms of domestic public opinion). But focusing on legalistic reforms is misleading in political contexts dominated by the executive branch, where the rule of law is usually selective and politicised.
Many people would prefer peaceful, evolutionary reforms rather than risking instability and violence. But the Arab revolutions have come about partly because of the failure of regimes to build credible processes of evolutionary reform. Other rulers should learn from Syria that postponing reform will only increase its eventual costs.


May 10th, 2012, 9:03 pm


bronco said:

I am amazed that J.L considers Aleppo University ‘ a pillar of the Syrian regime’. It is temporarily closed, it doesn’t mean it is lost for good.
There are pillars of much greater importance that J.L fails to observe that are still holding well.
One important pillar is the Sunni business community. Any news about these people leaving in mass?
The other pillar is the army. We haven’t heard about new defections for a while. In fact we read about some ‘refections’.
Another pillar is the diplomatic community: no a single defection.

The country is under a violent assail from a hypocritical international community simultaneously calling for peace and inciting violence.
It is also under an economical assail that has taken long to make a real impact and may never bring the country on its knees as suggested by J.L.
Syrians are more resilient to hardship than spoiled gulf countries .

In summary the main pillars of the regime seem as strong as they have been for over a year, gaining more of the ‘silent’ majority now opposed to the arbitrary and chaotic violence proposed by a polluted opposition running out of steam.
Damascus will not be neither Baghdad, nor Kabul despite all the efforts that the “friendly” neighbors are putting. It will backlash on their capitals sooner than they imagine.

Where and When is the next “Friends of Syria” meeting?

May 10th, 2012, 9:14 pm


Tara said:


Please remember that Tripoli was seemingly pro-Quaddafi until… His last day. You need to read more in between the lines.

May 10th, 2012, 9:20 pm


Observer said:

The post today confirms what I heard from reliable sources while on a visit to the ME recently.

Whole sections of the north are no longer under the control of the armed forces and this despite the destruction en masse of about three hundred villages between Idlib and the Turkish border. ( I am not going to assign blame about the destruction it is besides the point ).

Some sections around Damascus are no go to the troops and hence the use of bombings and destruction en masse to subdue the population.

On a different note, like the SNC, Mr, Manaa has no credibility in the interior of the country.

His points of fighting the regime without fighting the state are mute and caduque by the very fact that the mafia has mobilized the state to its exclusive use. So it is not only the MB that have been excluded for such a long time from even being considered as citizens but whole swaths of the population that feel totally disenfranchised and marginalized and without recourse to any redress or hope of a better life.

His point of regionalization of the conflict is to be placed directly at the foot of the regime who from the outset characterized the uprising as one fomented and aiming and working towards destroying Syria’s role in its resistance.

His point about initiating a dialogue about a civil society and about a Syrian identity that is above and beyond the particularities of the various components of this society is also caduque and mute as the regime has worked from the outset at dividing the people according to their particularities and differences while at the same time weakening the role of the state in solving people’s problems, hence a return to the sect clan family locality ethnicity as the way to advance one’s lot. Therefore dialogue with the initiator of destruction is going to be only about how to leave Syria so it can be rebuilt.

One question I have to Mr. Manaa. Is he willing to go to Damascus today and dialogue with Fredo’s brother? If he is willing to do that and gets something concrete he has my support.

The security house of cards is crumbling.

May 10th, 2012, 9:20 pm


Observer said:

He hit and cried and he ran ahead and complained. This is the old saying from Damascus in my evaluation of the report by J’amuse Jaffaari at the UN today.

This bombing today reminds me of the huge blast that killed Hariri. The huge crater the burned cars the peeled off building structure.

If the reforms as touted by the regime are the way forward then let us have the minister of the interior come before the majlis and explain the operation, the failure to detect them, the diverting of the traffic into that area for the construction project as explained by pro regime Haj Ali this morning, and why the construction could not be done with some traffic and how long did the project last and why has it been more than a year that a road has not been finished.

Also, if it the case and Syria is asking for the UNSC to intervene to combat terror I believe then that they should work hand in hand with British US and Saudi intelligence as the recent cooperation among the three services has foiled the plot to use a new underwear device to blow up an airliner. They should also allow for the drones to target those militants as the internal security services are not capable of doing it and current allies of Syria do not have drones capable of delivering hellfire missiles into the bedrooms of those militants as we are seeing in Yemen.

I challenge any of the pro regime commentators to argue against the above points.

May 10th, 2012, 9:22 pm


Ghufran said:

Unlike some,I am not an expert on explosives and suicide bombers,I do not buy any of the theories about the regime bombing its own security and military installations,I do not also buy the loyalists suggestion that the political opposition is responsible for those attacks.
It is very unlikely that a Syrian with Syrian blood will detonate a bomb in crowded areas with the goal of killing as many people as possible,I am just hoping that Syrians will realize that it is time to abandon violence which did not and will not give one party an advantage over the other,Syrians pro and anti regime have too much to lose if they allow thugs,war mongers and jihadists to draw their future.
The anger and despair over the senseless loss of lives are natural emotions,but when the list of victims is published,bloggers will discover again that those bombs did not distinguish between civilians and army officers, or pro regime or anti regime Syrians .
Terrorists are punishing Damascus and Aleppo,in particular,for not participating in their fatal dance. If the goal is toppling the regime,the explosions will not achieve that goal,and if the goal is terrorizing the opposition,this has not been achieved either,the only thing terrorists managed to do is kill more Syrians and unite most of those who are still alive against the use of violence. A civil war is a monster that is still alive but the lack of compromise among Syrians will give that dying monster a second life.

May 10th, 2012, 9:37 pm


bronco said:

15. Tara

I avoid making any comparisons as they all turn out wrong.

Anyway Libya has been and is such a murderous disaster that we better renounce to even mention it in regards to Syria.

Comparing Libyans to Syrians is also an insults to Syrians

May 10th, 2012, 9:40 pm


irritated said:

#17 Observer

“I believe then that they should work hand in hand with British US and Saudi intelligence”

What a great suggestion! Syrians would love to welcome these friendly countries in their bossom.

I think the latest bombing is rippling in some people’s heads

May 10th, 2012, 9:44 pm


Tara said:


Politics aside, your profound affection towards Syria is undeniable and is very attractive, but don’t you think you’ve just got carried away a little bit? “comparing Libyans…to Syrians is an insult”. This isn’t really you, or is that you? Syrians are just like any other people..not less, not better.

May 10th, 2012, 9:53 pm


sheila said:

To #20. Bronco,
I am shocked that you made this statement: “ Comparing Libyans to Syrians is also an insult to Syrians”. This statement reflects immaturity, arrogance and pure ignorance of the facts. The times when Syrians were the most civilized and educated in the Arab World are long gone. After years of the Assads, a result that is only natural. The Libyans that are not measuring up to your high standards have actually a higher literacy rate than your beloved Syria. 82.6% Libya versus 79.6% Syria. And this is a country that was ruled by a certifiably crazy man called Qaddafi. What excuses do the Assads have?
To make it more interesting to you, Qatar’s literacy rate is 89%. Oh no. Did I burst your bubble?
Please stop insulting others. You do not need to put other people down to feel good about yourself especially when it is pure fiction.
Dear Libyans who read this, I apologize on behalf of this poor uninformed guy called Bronco. Please forgive him for comparing Syrians to Libyans. I hope you are more mature than him and do not consider this an insult.

May 10th, 2012, 10:53 pm


sheila said:

To all who can read Arabic, especially Ghufran,
I copied this from Facebook. It was written by a man from Aleppo responding to a friend’s comment about what happened at the university. I found it quite profound and to the point. I hope it will make you think about what is going on in Syria from a different perspective:

الجامعة هي مكان للدراسة و الجامع هو ماكن للعبادة و الملاعب هي أماكن للرياضة ؟ طيب كيف ومتى و أين ستجتمع الناس للتظاهر ؟؟
اذا دعوت الناس للتظاهر فأنت محرض … و اذا شاركت بالتظاهر فأنت مخرب … و اذا جاهرت برأيك ضد النظام فأنت توهن من عزيمة الأمة ….؟
هل يوجد انسان راشد يمكن أن يصدق أن هذا النظام يمكن أن يسقط عن طريق صناديق الأقتراع ؟ أم هذه نكتة ؟
كل الناس ترغب بالسلمية و لا تريد القتل و الموت ؟ و السؤال هل هذا النظام يؤمن بالسلمية و يحترمها؟
اذا انت سلمي سيأتي الأمن لعتقلك و يعذبك و ستختفي و ما حدا يعرف وينك و كل واحد هو و واسطته …
و اذا دافعت عن نفسك فانت ارهابي و يحق للنظام قتلك و تهديم بيتك و تهجير أهلك …..
أليس الأولى قبل أن نطالب بمعارضة وطنية تحترم القانون أن نطالب بنظام وطني يحترم القوانين …
كم بريء و كم طفل و كم امرأة قتلوا …؟!
كم من معتقل قتل تحت التعذيب …؟!
كم عدد المفقودين و المعتقلين اللذين لا يعرف مصيرهم ..؟!
كم من عائلة تهجرت …؟!
كم من بيوت هدمت …؟!
باسم أمن الوطن ….
من الذي يعبث بأمن المواطنين و يرهبهم كي يقايضهم بالأمن مقابل الحرية ….؟!
من الذي احتكر مقدرات البلاد …؟!
من الذي زرع الخوف و الرعب في النفوس والعباد ..؟!
من الذي يستغبي و يستحمر البشر باعلامه القذر …؟!
أليس هو نفسه الذي تريدون أن أثق به و باصلاحاته و ادعاءاته و مسرحياته ….
هذه ثورة شعب عانى الخوف و القمع و القهر طوال سنيين و عندما رفع صوته تمت مواجهته بعنف شديد فكيف نلومه على عنفه و أخطاءه و تخبطه ….
هذه ثورة شعب تضم الكبير و الصغير , الرجل و الامرأة , الغني و الفقير , المثقف و الجاهل , المتعلم و الأمي , العلماني و المتدين , فيها من يؤمن بالسلمية و فيها من يرى بالقوة الحل , ليس لها قيادة و ليس لها قوانين تنظمها و لا سلطة تفرض الأنظمة عليها و تعاقب من يخرج عنها …. كيف نقارنها بنظام يملك الدولة و مؤسساتها و لا يتحرك شخص فيها الا ضمن ما يمليه عليه هذا النظام وفق تسلسل ادراي من الأعلى للأسفل …
كيف نلوم الثورة كلها على خطأ شخص أو قسم منها و لا نلوم أخطاء السياسة الممنهجة للنظام ….
حاج ندافع عن النظام باسم الوطن … هادا النظام ركب على الوطن لسنوات و الآن يقود الوطن نحو الهاوية

May 10th, 2012, 11:05 pm


Ghufran said:

Libya has a higher literacy rate than Syria,but it also surpassed Lebanon and most of the rich gulf states. The LR among the top 50 nations has tiny variations which makes it mostly useful to describe how poor and uneducated certain nations,especially in Africa,are.
A number of countries,like Cuba,ruled by dictatorships have a higher LR than other countries with elected governments,,this makes LR less reliable when the issue is how democracy affects LR,the parameters of how advanced and healthy a population is are too broad to be limited to political freedom,however,with oil-less dictatorships like the one in Syria,people suffer more because poverty is still a more powerful indicator than LR when it comes to how prosperous a nation is,add corruption to the picture and you will start to see why political freedom is essential for a country like Syria.

May 10th, 2012, 11:14 pm


Halabi said:

USA Today gets duped by the “Christians under attack” propaganda. Landis has a very reasonable quote at the end.

Christians in Syria live with an uneasy sense of security

DAMASCUS, Syria – Hani Sarhan is a Christian who says none of his relatives works with the regime of Bashar Assad or has anything to do with it.

“But what we heard from (the protesters) at the beginning of this revolution saying, ‘Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin,’ started us thinking about the real aim of this revolution,” he said. “So from this point of view, fearing for my life, I declared my support for President Assad.”

Muslims dominate this nation of 22 million people, but Christians can be found at all levels of Syria’s government, business community and military. The 2 million Christians here trace their roots to ancient communities and have survived under many rulers as Christian enclaves in other Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia, have withered.

If this revolution was about wiping out the Alawites and Christians, why are the slogans against and Assad and for democracy and most of the attacks on military targets? Wouldn’t it be much easier to randomly fire into minority neighborhoods and villages and bomb churches (and whatever religious symbols Alawites have, other than statues of Lord Hafez) rather than take on a well equipped military and heavily fortified intelligence targets?

The reason why this hasn’t happened is because most of the revolutionaries are in a noble struggle. There is no denying that there are extremist elements and unwelcome jihadis who want an Islamic state, but this isn’t the agenda of the vast majority of the opposition, including the SNC, FSA, Muslim Brotherhood and other groups.

May 10th, 2012, 11:22 pm


Ghufran said:

Why me,Sheila?
I am not from Halab but I have relatives and friends from Halab,the city,not the Reef,is as opposed to the regime’s brutality and corruption as every other city but Halabis remain less likely to use violence,that was true in the 80s and is still true today.
I find that to be commendable. I stand by my observation that much of the violence in Halab is perpetrated by the regime thugs and anti regime rebels from outside Halab.

May 10th, 2012, 11:23 pm


bronco said:

Bronco, Please use the handle chosen by commentators to address them.
SC Moderator

@22 Tara, Outraged Sheila

I have no admiration whatsoever for Libyans who had to cowardly beg for external help from ex-colonizers to save them from their own abusing brothers.
For me their “revolution” is polluted by the hands of the NATO, USA and France that they call to help them kill their own brothers. It has been a shameful revolution, the same way it is a shame that some desperate Syrians beg for help from countries who have shown throughout history, and until now, their greed and despise for Arabs and Moslems.
This is why I only have contempt for the SNC and these westernized expats who want to bring Syria to its knees so they and their patrons can come as victorious colonizers.
Syrians are proud and resilient. They will bear the burden of the uprising and never crawl in front of the rich countries as we see poor Arab country do.
That’s why Syria is unique in the Arab world and Syrians should acknowledge it.

May 10th, 2012, 11:54 pm


Syrialover said:

The Washington Post is slamming Obama hard for his useless strategy of “militant passivity” on Syria. Worth reading.

A shameful impasse on Syria

By Washington Post Editorial Board, Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11th, 2012, 12:19 am


bronco said:

#30 Syria Lover

“it’s one of the reasons why I said our policy is to try to accelerate the arrival of that tipping point” at which Mr. Assad falls. “The longer this goes on, the higher the risks of long-term sectarian conflict, the higher the risk of extremism. So we want to see this happen earlier,”

The US has been waiting for 13 months for the ‘tipping point’ to happen with a ‘hidden stick’ only policy toward Syria.

How long should it wait more before it realized that it just won’t happen and that they should change their ‘passive’ militarism in a compromise with the regime in Syria, the Russian and the Chinese?

The real “tipping point” is the risk of extremism becoming a direct threat to Israel if part of Syria close to the borders falls into the hands of islamists related to Al Qaeda. Then the USA will have a to finally make a decisive move.

May 11th, 2012, 12:39 am


Juergen said:

Seems like that Joshua has an opinion who is behind the explosions:

“America is not going to want to have its fingerprints on car bombs in Damascus,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Middle East program at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. “America is very careful about this because they don’t want to end up supporting terrorism, but that’s where we are headed. Insurgencies carry out terrorist acts. You can call it something different, but ultimately you’re blowing things up and trying to kill as many soldiers as you can.”

May 11th, 2012, 1:20 am


Syrialover said:

Bronco #31 said the US should strike a compromise with the regime in Syria, the Russians and the Chinese.

Compromise how? With who in Syria? To produce what outcome?

Things have gone too far – there is no comeback or precedent in history for a violent dictatorship to go “back to normal business” after trashing the country and killing citizens on an industrial scale like the Assads have done.

Aldendeshe #11

I agree, the bombing does not add up to the claims made about it. The likelihood of Syrian opponents of the regime wanting to massacre fellow Syrians is unlikely, given that would not be any loss for the regime. Massacre of Syrians and smashing neighbourhoods is a casual routine for Assad and his clan.

And organised suicide bombing is usually directed against the Shiites, the west and its allies, or Israelis, not captive citizens of a rogue regime. What would be the purpose and statement made by that latest bombing in Damascus? No obvious cause that would attract the symbolism and sacrifice of a suicide bombing.

No, it doesn’t add up. Except possibly as another crazy, pointless act of violence to go with all Assad’s other crazy, pointless acts of violence. Most of what the regime is doing makes zero sense except to them.

May 11th, 2012, 1:34 am


Syrialover said:


Haytham Khoury of The Syrian Democratic Forum/Platform (in your latest main post here) is correct to call attention to the lack of acknowledgement on SC of that group.

They deserve far more air space and respect for their contribution than many others out there jamming the airwaves with biased and under-informed comment.

That group is doing some constructive thinking and is a model of inclusiveness of different elements, seniors and youth.

I respect them for working rationally to find a way forward that remains true to the spirit of Syrians who have paid with their lives for a future for others.

Check out his blogs (English, French, Arabic) –

May 11th, 2012, 2:07 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I want to thank the Security Council over it’s brave inaction in Syria. You can always do less.


May 11th, 2012, 4:50 am


VOLK said:

Russia: no UN support for military action in Syria

The UN Security Council will not sanction military action in Syria –Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on May 10.
He added that some countries are inciting Syria’s opposition to provoke military interference in Syria’s affairs instead of resolving the conflict.
Lavrov stated that last November, the Arab League deployed its mission in Syria but suspended its work when it began to bear fruit. Now, some countries are trying to do the same with UN observers in the volatile country.
Russia won’t change its stand on Syria – Lavrov
Russia’s acting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has announced Russia won’t succumb to any foreign pressure and change its stance on Syria.
“There are people who are trying to push us to change our position. We won’t give in to this pressure,” Lavrov said at today’s press conference in Beijing.

May 11th, 2012, 5:50 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

You forgot to thank the security counsel about their inaction against Isreal and About the 60 Vitos Isreal enjoyed….no one can beat that.

May 11th, 2012, 6:42 am


Tara said:

SNC ‘s official statement in regard to Damascus bombing.

SNC Condemns Damascus Explosions and Holds the Regime Responsible

Friday, 11 May 2012
The Syrian National Council (SNC) accused the Assad regime of orchestrating the explosions that took place in Damascus Thursday morning resulting in dozens killed and hundreds wounded. The SNC said, “In orchestrating such acts, the regime seeks to prove its claims of the existence of ‘armed terrorist gangs’ in the country that are hindering its so-called ‘efforts of political reform.'”

According to news agencies, 55 people were killed and 372 were injured in the near-simultaneous car bombs that went off in the al-Qazaz district of Damascus at around 8 a.m. Thursday near the Palestine branch military intelligence center. The larger of the two explosions created a three-meter-deep crater in the city’s southern ring road. Images from the site of the explosions showed corpses and body parts strewn on the road. Other images showed destruction to buildings, roads and cars in the vicinity as stacks of smoke filled the sky.

As has been the case with other previous explosions that took place in Syria, the regime was quick to blame al-Qaeda for the attacks without providing evidence to back up its claim. Activists noted that there are several indications proving the regime was responsible for these attacks:
At first, only a small explosion went off. As soon as civilians gathered in the area, the second and larger explosion occurred, indicating that the goal was to kill as many civilians as possible.
The larger explosion took place on the other side of the road and away from the Military Intelligence Center, which refutes the claim that the security branch was being targeted.
The security branch is heavily guarded and surrounded with cement barriers at a distance from the exterior fence. It would be reckless to carry out such an attack, because it would in no way impact the security building.
One of the cars was loaded with a large amount of explosive materials. How is it possible that these explosives made it past hundreds of security checkpoints surrounding the entrance to the capital?
Moayad Hussain al-Sebai, who was killed during the explosion today, had been detained by the regime and appeared among the victims after the blasts. The regime is using its prisoners as victims of its attacks to avoid investigations into their deaths while at the same time claiming the involvement of armed terrorist groups.
One of the victims appeared to be tied up inside a car in the footage that was released after the attack.
In one of the images of the explosion site showing the destruction to buildings that occurred, a picture of Hafez al-Assad hangs unscathed.

The SNC said that the regime staged these explosions “to spur chaos, disrupt the work of the international observers, and divert attention away from other crimes being committed by its forces elsewhere.” The SNC pointed out that while people were occupied by the explosions, the regime carried out arbitrary arrests across the country, most notable in the Damascus suburb of Damir.

The SNC concluded by extending its condolences to the families of the victims of the attacks, and prayed that those who were injured are granted a speedy recovery. The SNC affirmed that it would ensure the prosecution of the Syrian regime to the full extent of international law for the heinous crimes it has committed in Syria.

May 11th, 2012, 6:47 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I can’t understand this.

Why does JL being allowed to say that the Alawites are hanging in together, because if not, they will be hanged separately.

This sounds extremely sectarian. If JL can speak his mind freely, why shouldn’t the commentators on his blog be allowed the same?

May 11th, 2012, 6:59 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


Because Israel, during it’s short history, never massacred 12,000 Arabs in 14 months.

May 11th, 2012, 7:02 am


Dawoud said:

Amir, who lives in the Tel Aviv colony, is thanking the UN for its uselessness! Had it been useful it would have returned the Israeli stolen/c olonized land to their Palestinian owners.

May 11th, 2012, 8:16 am


Dawoud said:

If Anan accepts the syrian murderous dictator’s invitation to visit Syria, the bloody Syrian tyrant will orchestrate another terrorist bombing on the mediator’s arrival!

May 11th, 2012, 8:32 am


sheila said:

To #29 Bronco,
You said: “I have no admiration whatsoever for Libyans who had to cowardly beg for external help from ex-colonizers to save them from their own abusing brothers”
I would like to remind about the circumstances: Qaddafi was marching his troops to Benghazi. These troops were the well equipped army of a state going against some lightly armed disorganized rebels. Seif AlIslam was taunting the UN telling them that by the time they came up with any decision, Benghazi would be wiped off the map. Yet, you have the guts to accuse the Libyans of being cowards for begging for external help. I want to see you in that position and see the “noble” Syrian preferring to die with his honor intact than beg for protection.
It is interesting that you have contempt for the revolution and the SNC for seeking help, while you are fin with our own regime kissing Russia’s behind for help. By the way, Bronco, if you think the west is our enemy, what do you think about Russia?. did you know that we, the Arabs, are considered by Russians to be at the bottom of humanity? Do you have any idea how much they despise Muslims and Islam? You are fine with Russia asking for payback from Syria after this revolution, but very upset if Europe does? Do you see how flawed your logic is?
Every country has to have alliances, except we Syrians have been told for years that the US and Europe are no good. Yet, Syrians line up in front of the US Embassy everyday starting at 3:00AM to be able to go to the US. I never saw long lines in front of the Russian Embassy? Quite an interesting phenomenon.
I may have to burst your bubble again: Syrians are not unique as you claim. They are, like Tara said, just like everybody else. They want to live in freedom and have the opportunity to seek a better life.
Wake up Bronco. What they taught us in school in Syria was mostly a big lie.

May 11th, 2012, 8:46 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Abi Ali Alansari,Alqaeda Amir,Died in Homs.How long opposition supporters will keep living in denial
About the fact that most of the violence in Syria now is caused by Alqaeda and that without Alqaeda Syria will be very quiete now which is something against opposition interests;

May 11th, 2012, 9:05 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Opposition militia after killing three teachers in Derazor(from Latakia and Tartous)
Are threatening teachers in Aleppp (from the coast) to leave or will be killed:

May 11th, 2012, 9:11 am


zoo said:

Doesn’t sound familiar ” Saddam Hussein is the ally of Al Qaeda”?
Another stupid statement from the brilliant Ghaliun:
“The relationship between the Syrian regime and al-Qaida is very strong,” he said.

Syria opposition chief blames al-Qaida for Damascus suicide blasts, says peace plan in crisis

May 11th, 2012, 9:12 am


bronco said:

#44 Sheila

Libyan have no excuses to have called mercenaries to bomb their countries. It is the ultimate gesture of cowardice. They should have fought and died proud, instead of becoming forever in debt to oil thirsty hyenas.
The SNC is of the same brand, weak and loud.
People are also queuing in front of the Saudi Embassy , the great beacon of democracy and tolerance.
Where is hejab forbidden? in Russia?
Who is supporting and cajoling the sectarian Gulf countries who do not allow freedom of religious practice, Russia?
Who is financing Israel’s occupation and killings of Palestinians , Russia?

Your blind trust and admiration for the USA foreign policy is childish but understandable.

May 11th, 2012, 9:29 am


irritated said:



If Annan accepts the Syrian invitation to visit Syria, the bloody Syrian OPPOSITION in association with Al QAEDA will orchestrate another terrorist bombing on the mediator’s arrival!

May 11th, 2012, 9:34 am


zoo said:

Some are still brainwashed to believe in it.

“Protesters denounced the failure of the international community to protect the Syrian people and renewed calls for immediate military intervention,” Halabi added.

May 11th, 2012, 9:51 am


zoo said:

For the ones who doubt: The US Army loves Islam

US army suspends class that suggests nuclear destruction of Islamic sites

WASHINGTON – The Associated Press

A course for U.S. military officers has been teaching that America’s enemy is Islam in general, not just terrorists, and suggesting that the country might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths, following World War II precedents of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima or the allied firebombing of Dresden.

May 11th, 2012, 9:54 am


bronco said:

#44 Sheila

you said: “It is interesting that you have contempt for the revolution and the SNC ”

I never said that I have contempt for the revolution, but I have contempt for the SNC who appoint themselves as “leaders” and who brought this revolution to a stalemate and bloody confrontations because of their inability to dialog with the local opposition in Syria and build a coherent political block.
They still hang on Ghaliun because of their internal and egomaniac bickering when Ghaliun should have stepped down months ago.
He is now ranting about the regime cozyness with Al Qaeeda. How far in stupidity can he go?
Furthermore, because of their mismanagement and misleading of the forces in presence, I do consider the SNC as accomplice in all the crimes perpetrated in Syria.

May 11th, 2012, 10:14 am


AIG said:


If you and the other regime supporters are so brave, why was the Golan border so quiet for decades? You talk a big game, but your actions show your cowardice. You didn’t want to die honorably for Syria when you had a chance and now you are preaching to others.

May 11th, 2012, 10:16 am


bronco said:

AIG #53

The occupation of the Golan is illegal according to UNSC resolutions. It is up to the international community to take its responsibilities and return it to Syria.

May 11th, 2012, 10:22 am


AIG said:

By the way, Russia is responsible for the Six Day War, the Arab’s most humiliating loss. They lied to Nasser about Israel amassing troops near the Syrian border and caused him to miscalculate:
” In May 1967, Nasser received false reports from the Soviet Union that Israel was massing on the Syrian border. Nasser began massing his troops in the Sinai Peninsula on Israel’s border (May 16), expelled the UNEF force from Gaza and Sinai (May 19) and took up UNEF positions at Sharm el-Sheikh, overlooking the Straits of Tiran.”

Read it here:

May 11th, 2012, 10:22 am


AIG said:


“The occupation of the Golan is illegal according to UNSC resolutions. It is up to the international community to take its responsibilities and return it to Syria.”

Are you joking? It is up to Syria to get back the Golan but you and the regime are too much of cowards to do so. What happened to “dying honorably”? Or is that something that you only recommend to others?

Your position is that when Assad slaughters thousands of Syrians, it is not ok for the international community to interfere but in the case of the Golan it should. How crazy is that? Is killing thousands of people not against international law?

May 11th, 2012, 10:26 am


AIG said:

AIG, Please do not over personalize your discussions, or make other commentators feel not welcome here to post.

I see Bronco is on his way to liberate the Golan and will not be posting more today.

May 11th, 2012, 10:48 am


jna said:

Syrian troops kill suspected suicide bomber, report says

ALEPPO, Syria — Syrian troops foiled an attempted suicide bombing Friday and killed the would-be attacker in the northern city of Aleppo, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

The suspected bomber’s car was laden with 2,640 pounds (1,198kg) of explosives.

“Syrian authorities have foiled an attempted suicide attack in al Shaar area of Aleppo and killed the would-be attacker,” the state-run TV channel said.

Anti-regime activists claimed the report was “a lie.”

“It is not in the interests of the [rebel] Free Syrian Army to stage attacks on a Friday,” which is the day of weekly anti-regime protests, Aleppo-based activist Mohammad al Halabi told AFP.
… more

May 11th, 2012, 11:27 am


DAWOUD said:

Urgent OPen Letter to Mr. Kofi Anan

Dear Mr. Kofi Anan:

The murderous hereditary dictator of Syria, who has so far killed thousands of innocent Syrians, has invited you to visit Damascus. Please do not accept his invition because, given the past experience of UN/Arab visits to Syria, the regime will orchestrate another terrorist bombing in order to blame the opposition. Bashar is receiving help and advice from the sectarian Lebanese Hasan Nasrallh, who organization is strongly believed to have carried out the 2005 terrorist bombing in Beirut that killed Rafiq al-Hariri.
Since the Lebanese Civil War until the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri (and after), al-Assad dictatorship has been the most active professional in killing innocents and opponents in car bombings. Now, Hasan Nasrallah and Bashar are partners in orchestrating suicidal and car bombing attacks. They plan and carry out these attacks, and then they pretend to be victims and innocents!!! They even walk in their victims’ funerals and offer condolences!!! Do you remember when Hasan Nasrallah offered condolences to the family of Rafiq al-Hariri?
There is an Arab saying: “kill a person, and walk in his funeral!”
I am confident that a skilled UN diplomat like you, Mr. Anan, will not be fooled by the sleazy and bloody tactics of Bashar al-Assad, Hasan Nasrallah, and their Iranian masters!

P.S., please notice that the terrorist bombing yesterday in Damascus was not much different and as bloody as the February of 2005 Hizballah terrorist bombing that killed Rafiq al-Hariri.



May 11th, 2012, 11:50 am


jna said:

41. Amir in Tel Aviv said:Kandahar,Because Israel, during it’s short history, never massacred 12,000 Arabs in 14 months.

Please rethink:

Samuel Katz and Lee E Russell in their book Armies in Lebanon 1982–84[69] puts the casualties as follows:
Israel – 368 dead and 2,383 wounded
PLO – 1,500 dead and an unknown amount wounded plus around 8,000 captured
Syria – 1,200 dead and around 3,000 wounded plus 296 captured
Lebanon – 17,825 dead and around 30,000 wounded.
Foreigners – 1800 foreigners from 26 countries on five continents, allegedly training in the Ein el Hilweh refugee camp near Sidon, were captured.

Lebanese estimates, compiled from International Red Cross sources and police and hospital surveys, calculated that 17,825 Lebanese had died and over 30,000 had been wounded.[70]

May 11th, 2012, 12:11 pm


AJ said:


BRONCO said:

The occupation of the Golan is illegal according to UNSC resolutions. It is up to the international community to take its responsibilities and return it to Syria.


We thought you were against outside interference?

May 11th, 2012, 12:31 pm


Juergen said:

There was an tv debate with the two most prominent egyptian president candidates: Amr Mussa and Abd al-Munim Abu al-Futuh

“The main positions of the two candidates in TV debate:

Role of Islam: Both want to Egyptian law is based on Islamic principles of Sharia. Moussa stressed that he is here only refers to the principles and the lyrics do not want to interpret literally. Futuh has not distanced himself from a literal interpretation. When asked Mussa, as Futuh would deal with Muslims who converted to Christianity, dodged Futuh.
Israel: Futuh drives a harder line than Moussa. He referred to Israel as an “enemy” and with its nuclear weapons to be destabilizing for the whole region. Moussa warns Israel as an issue in the campaign to exploit. A President must make a less hot-headed policy toward the country, as if to court the people. He argues, however, for the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as capital.
Women: In this respect both candidates disappointed. They were vague and pointed to appreciate the importance of women in society. Women’s dignity must be respected. Both were in favor of that sexual harassment as “virginity testing”, which allowed the military to carry on demonstrators, must be pursued. It could be from both, that long ago one of the women had filed a lawsuit in court – the defendant was acquitted.
Military: Neither candidate wanted to invest directly with the Supreme Military Council. Here Mussa was still cautious: he emphasized that the military must remain financially independent. He signaled that he would not want to touch the spoils of the army. Egypt’s military is an important economic factor, and has for example hotel chains.”

May 11th, 2012, 1:31 pm


Halabi said:

The Assad regime has supported international terrorism for decades and has allowed thousands of fighters to pass through it’s territory to kill innocent Iraqi civilians and American soldiers in Iraq for years. The regime recently released a high-ranking Al Qaeda terrorist, Abu Musab Alsuri, and he’s apparently based in Iran now, which has hosted Osama Bin Ladin’s family.

This doesn’t mean that Al Qaeda and other terrorist jihadis answer only to Syria, Iran, Pakistan or other handlers, it’s just a fact that these governments have assets and contacts in extremist groups. The Assad regime used its influence to aid in the massacre of Iraqis rather than disrupt operations in Damascus.

After the shelling of Homs, Idleb and dozens of towns and villages all over Syria, the Assad regime has failed to quell a disorganized and poorly armed opposition that only numbers in the thousands according to government estimates. It can’t protect the capital or Aleppo, and can’t control a city of ghosts like Homs. And its continued existence increases the isolation of Syria.

The future for Assad’s Syria is bleak and bloody. The alternative will not be utopia, but at least there is a chance for a better future.

May 11th, 2012, 1:52 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

All Syrians (with or against regime )should thank authorities for aborting the would be suicide bomber in Aleppo today,this has nothing to do with politics, it only has to do with innocent lives saved.Having different political views and being against
The regime is something very normal and slowly being accepted by most Syrians
But supporting suicide bombers ( which even Qater condemned) and keep coming up constantly with conspiracy theories by Mr Ghalion,SNC and their followers and fans is something most of Syrians ,wanting to walk in streets with their kids without suicide bombers fear , is something they disrespect:

May 11th, 2012, 1:58 pm


AJ said:

AJ, Please refrain from overly personalizing you posts. The language crossed out below is not acceptable.

SC Moderator.


“The regime is something very normal and slowly being accepted by most Syrians”


It’s one thing to worship Assad, but you are clearly hallucinating if you believe this regime is being accepted by more Syrians.

Do yourself and the rest of the Pro-Regimes a favour and lay off the Addounia and Syrian State TV for a few days and come back with some sense.

May 11th, 2012, 2:16 pm


Tara said:


Unless the Syrian regime framed someone innocent to fault the opposition or the “jihadist” to delegitimize the revolution. Hyena can ‘t be trusted. After all, we have not seen a single public trial despite the regime claims of having captured conspirators and perpetrators. Doesn’t that make you suspicious?

May 11th, 2012, 2:18 pm


AJ said:

Interesting commentary from Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky and others on the situation in Syria and the downfall of the Arab support for HezbAllah and Hassan Nasrallah

Part 1
(Skip to 7:57 for Finkelstein)

Part 2

May 11th, 2012, 2:23 pm


Nour said:

Interesting and important interview with Dr. Ali Haidar, president of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.

May 11th, 2012, 2:48 pm


Syrialover said:

Click! Now we see the regime’s next step in its lunatic charade:

“Syrian troops foiled an attempted suicide bombing Friday and killed the would-be attacker in the northern city of Aleppo, the state-run SANA news agency reported.”

Assad’s way to show the people of Aleppo that he is ‘protecting’ them from those mean ‘externally-backed terrorists’ who bombed Damascus.

The regime’s actions and thinking are that stupid and transparent.

(The microscopic drop of truth in the ocean of Big Lies: those Damascus bombings probably were assisted by Iran, which would make them externally backed)

May 11th, 2012, 2:48 pm



It is clear that all demonstrators that began the peacefull revolution 14 months ago were unarmed terrorists, and consequently they had to be bulleted and shelled, tortured and raped. This is normal since we are not talking about human beings but about terrorists. After 14 months of repression from the regime on the would be terrorists finally we can see those who are not still dead have become large scale Al Qaeda terrorists.

Assad is the world leader against terrorism. He is the defendor of legality and democracy. He should be voted as General Secretary of the United Nations and given the Nobel Prize of Peace. In this way he could leave power and open and free elections take place in Syria all for once. Maher Al Assad is the best option for new president of Syria since he indeed is a defender of peace and democracy.

Assad lil abad, Assad kalb kabir, shakhsh, wahsh, mujrim, khayawan, kalb ibn kalb.

May 11th, 2012, 3:02 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

You didn’t read my comment and you reversed it
I said being against the regime is normal. As far
As your insults about worshipping and halucinations it is reflection of how much open minded you are.
Thanks for confirming my point.

May 11th, 2012, 3:06 pm


AJ said:

Syrians risking their lives just to show the world yet another clear violation by the Assadist regime against the UN peace plan.

PS: Syrian No Kandahar: I stand corrected, but can you try not to use a different line and a cap letter in a middle of a sentence? Thank You 🙂

May 11th, 2012, 3:21 pm


jna said:

Blast hits Syrian city of Aleppo near ruling party HQ

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A powerful explosion hit Syria’s northern city of Aleppo on Friday, close to the ruling party headquarters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Initial details indicate that the Aleppo blast was targeting the local branch of the ruling Baath party and there is no information until now on the number of victims that fell in the explosion,” the Britain-based group said in an email.

Let’s see how opposition will now spin this. Because the opposition exposed as a lie the earlier prevention of a bombing in Aleppo, Assad had to tack in a different direction and set off a real bomb???

May 11th, 2012, 3:22 pm


AJ said:

Thank you, I missed that.

Moderator, out of curiosity, why did you cross off my line about SNK hallucinating but not the one about being an Assad worshipper??!

May 11th, 2012, 3:25 pm


Syrialover said:

Sheila #44

Great post! I’m circulating it. A series of powerful truths.

I agree, there is a lot of strange reasoning displayed by those who abuse anyone joining a resistance movement in Syria. Instead, they apparently expect them to passively wait to be rounded up, tortured or killed by the regime or forced to take part in army actions against civilians.

Sorry Bronco, Syrians are normal human beings who make rational choices like everyone else.

Syrians can be proud of those who are fighting back. You see a million times more dignity, strength and courage in 5 of those young lions than in 5,000 of Assad’s “finest fighters”.

There’s a powerful similarity between them and those we saw in the front lines against Mubarak and racing to defend their country against Gaddafi’s foreign mercenaries.

They are all part of the one tribe – intelligent, brave and determined young people who are saying enough is enough, we will risk our lives to have a future in our own country.

May 11th, 2012, 3:27 pm


Syrialover said:

Anyone who is outraged at Libyans receiving and accepting outside help must be totally ignorant of Gaddafi’s curriculum vitae.

It would take up all the space on SC to summarize the decades of crazy, vicious mischief and destruction he indulged himself in against the west and the continent of Africa and the wider world.

If you put it all together it is hard to believe the extent of it and the problems he created beyond his home camp in Libya, where he lived out sick fantasies fuelled by stolen oil wealth.

The world was waiting for years for an OK from the Libyan people to come and get him.

And now we know that Libya, like the rest of the Arab world, is full of normal human beings.

May 11th, 2012, 3:54 pm


Tara said:



I am amazed how much you matured over the past year. Sadly, you have lost your funny spirit in the interim. I am ready for Tara and Arour second episode.

May 11th, 2012, 4:12 pm



If Assad plans succeed then the Assad regime will survive for at least 20 years more. No democracy and no peace in the Middle East for the next 20 years. No freedom and no dignity in Syria for the next 20 years. No tourism and no simpathy for Syria for the next 20 years. No free market and no competence in Syria for the next 20 years. No stability in Lebanon and Irak for the next 20 years. Tortures and rapes in overcrowded prisons for the next 20 years.

May 11th, 2012, 4:33 pm



Assad could last for years before the regime collapses. I am warning from the first months of the contest. Assad regime is an iron security regime like that of Saddam. Irak was sited for 12 years before the final assault took place and even so the complications were extreme in the post invasion before the regime collpased.

If Assad is excluded from international community Syria will live long and sad years under embargo before Assad collapses. If Assad is once again readmitted in the international scene then real terrorism or insurgency will long for many years to come. This is my forecast. Nothing good.

May 11th, 2012, 4:45 pm


sooriyahurra said:

Can the syrian army sustain long attrition war ? I have seen on the pro bashar facebook countless numbers of deads army soldiers and officers.
It seems the army is not able to stop the opposition of mounting attacks, despite invading, arresting and recoppuying territory.

May 11th, 2012, 4:57 pm


bronco said:

#56 AIG

“Assad slaughters thousands of Syrians, it is not ok for the international community to interfere”

Did the international community interfered militarily when Israel was slaughtering Lebanese or Palestinians? Shouldn’t they have?

Syria is a sovereign country part of the UN. Its government is recognized by the international community, while the Golan is occupied illegally and this fact is recognized by the UN.

If the UN decides that Syria is a failed state and there is a UNSC resolution to that effect then it would be legal to attack Syria dn dislodge Bashar al Assad. Otherwise any military intervention in Syria is illegal.
Your comparison with the Golan is ludicrous to say the least.
End of discussion.

May 11th, 2012, 5:05 pm


irritated said:

79. SANDRO LOEWE said:

“Assad could last for years before the regime collapses. I am warning from the first months of the contest.”

Have you? In the contrary you have been claiming loud and clear that Assad’s time was over soon. I am glad to see you are becoming more realistic.
In view of the catastrophic situation of the opposition, your new predictions sound more plausible.

May 11th, 2012, 5:12 pm


zoo said:

For the ones who still prefer to doubt: the armed opposition is offering Syria to Al Qaeda on a golden plate.

While world powers and U.N. observers in Syria can pressure the government and the opposition to stick to special envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan, they have no means of influencing shadowy Islamic militants who often don’t claim their own attacks.

Western officials say there is little doubt that al-Qaida-affiliated extremists have made inroads in Syria since the popular uprising against President Bashar Assad began 14 months ago. But much remains unclear about their numbers, influence and activities inside Syria.

Most experts don’t expect Annan’s plan to fully succeed, and many say large attacks are likely to become more common.
“I think increasingly we’ll see less directed bombings and more arbitrary ones that seek to create chaos more than anything else,” said Bassam Haddad, director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University.

May 11th, 2012, 5:16 pm



As far as I know people inside Syria who supports the regime are out reality. Right, Syria does not belong to this world until now, thus to the global reality. Many of them, even if they studied abroad or own high studies are reluctant to accept the idea of a Syria without Assad. The syrian regime, as soviets and rumanians before or until now North Lorea, has developed the idea of the Great Father Leader. Many syrians (today much less than before 15 march 2012) feel the drama of not accepting reality without the Father of the Godfather or the Big brother however you wanna call him.

But this problem of living in an ideal irrealistic world will cause too much damage to the syrian population in terms of lives and suffering. How can they come back to that reality they left in the 50´s all of a sudden without suffering?

May 11th, 2012, 5:19 pm


bronco said:

#76 Syria Lover

“The world was waiting for years for an OK from the Libyan people to come and get him.”

Were they? the US and France were very cozy with Qaddafi less that 1 month before of the uprising, signing oil contracts. I wish you avoid rewriting the history to convince yourself.
It’s NATO ( with France) who came and got him, not the Libyans.

May 11th, 2012, 5:23 pm



81. Irritated

Maybe sometimes I thought the end of the drama was near but in general terms I have not been optimistic about the soon end of Assad Dinasty. First I thought about one year. Last Christmas I calculated one year or two more. The reality is that I never expected that Assad was going to bomb full cities. But the thing The last thing I could expect was the use of the ¨terrorist card¨ inside Damascus. This complicates the issue and will let Assad long time in power. He is a professional terrorist. This is the main thing he learnt. Of course at the end he will pay for his crimes but many many people will die before him.

May 11th, 2012, 5:24 pm


zoo said:

Erdogan’s next move: Become the first Turkey powerful president in 2014?
This week, Erdogan said that Turks should begin debating a move from the current parliamentary system, in which most of the governing power rests with the prime minister, toward a presidential system with a more powerful executive, along the lines of the United States or France. Everyone knows what his push for a stronger president means: Erdogan would jump ship before his term as prime minister ends in 2015 and stand as president himself when the job becomes vacant in 2014. He would continue leading the country, with more power than ever.
At the moment Erdogan resembles a Moses wandering in the desert: having led his people from one sort of bondage, he is unable to lead them to the promised land. If he believes so strongly that Turkey should have a presidential system, then he first needs to declare that he is not a candidate.

May 11th, 2012, 5:28 pm


Tara said:

Zoo @82

Qaeda infiltration is more reason for Assad to step down so the country can be united to deal with and eradicate the Islamists. I see it the other way around. It is Bashar who gave the country to al Qaeda on a golden plate. It is clear that he is only successful in killing civilians, women, children, and the innocents, he is failing miserably dealing with al Qaeda. He must step down if not for his brutality and corrpted rule, for his failure against al Qaeda.

May 11th, 2012, 5:36 pm


irritated said:

#85 Sandi Loewe

Less people will die before him if the armed opposition accepts that they have not only failed to protect the Syrians but that they have helped bringing in the country Al Qaeda’s extremists from Iraq or elsewhere who do not care about any Syrian life.
It’s time the armed opposition join the regime’s army to save Syria from the ruthless scourge of Al Qaeda.

May 11th, 2012, 5:37 pm


Juergen said:

Very nice story and a hommage to Kafranbel, a village unknown even to most Syrians before the revolution…

“Since the beginning of the uprising against the Assad regime 14 months ago Kafranbel has made headlines with his imaginative, witty, sometimes poetic, sometimes anarchic protest banners and slogans are pretty much by itself: More new images from Kafranbel spread through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter Internet.”

“”Kafranbel is a city full of jokers. Why is this so, I do not know,” says Raed al-Fares. “The ongoing violence has become normal for us.”

“A few weeks ago, al-Fares reformulated the “Ballad of the Ancient Mariner,” a poem from the 19th Century by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

In Coleridge’s text reads: “Alone, alone, / quite, quite alone, bare, / alone on the sea, / and none of holy pity on.” In contrast, the ballad of contemporary Syrian says: “Alone, alone, / all, all alone, / pity alone on a sea of ​​blood, / and not a single human being.”

May 11th, 2012, 5:40 pm


zoo said:

#87. Tara

If Bashar goes, the army goes with him. Who will fight al Qaeeda? The FSA? The Saudis? The French?

Like Iraq or Yemen, to fight Al Qaeda you need a strong government and a strong army. The forced departure of Bashar and the regime will reduce Syria to Yemen, Somalia or Afghanistan.
By weakening the army, the FSA is contributing to the success of Al Qaeeda. There is no more choices.

May 11th, 2012, 5:42 pm




The outcome of Assad series of mistakes is one of two:

1) Al Qaeda introduced in Syria after the peacefull revolution was repressed from the first day under bullets.

2) Assad introduces the syrian baath branch of Al Qaeda to destroy the spirit of the remaining revolution.

In both cases Assad is responsible 100 % by the first blood shed. He has caused the chaos and he has sent troops and thugs to kill its own people. No more questions.

May 11th, 2012, 5:46 pm


Norman said:

The lack of political progress is what brought AL Qaeda to Syria, both parties should take the blame in addition to the international community that preferred a no solution and a Syria in anarchy to a peaceful settlement, what Syria need is for the government to move on political reform with international monitering and the opposition to drop their arms and join the process and give the clear way for the Syrian army to restore peace. and most of all stop the instigation to seek military solution .

May 11th, 2012, 5:51 pm


zoo said:

Algerians rejects Islamists, despite predictions

Algerian Islamists fall to govt party in election
By PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press – 1 hour ago

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Islamists suffered a surprising defeat in Algeria’s parliamentary elections, bucking a trend that saw them gain power across North Africa after Arab Spring uprisings.

The three party Islamist “Green Alliance” claimed Friday the results were rigged to keep them out of power in a country that has experienced decades of violence between radical Islamist groups and security forces.

The Green Alliance was widely expected to do well, but instead it was the pro-government National Liberation Front that has ruled the country for much of its history since independence from France that dominated the election.

The FLN, as it is known by its French initials, took 220 seats out of 462, while a sister party, also packed with government figures, took another 68 seats, giving the two a comfortable majority.

The Islamist alliance, which took just 48 seats, less than in the last election, said the results differed dramatically what their election observers had witnessed in polling stations.

May 11th, 2012, 5:56 pm


omen said:

92. Norman

“blame both sides” types of arguments wind up rebounding in bashar’s favor.

(amazing how analysis of dem v rep arguments apply to dictators as well.)

you can’t assign blame equally when the regime holds so much more power. therefore carries more responsibility.

May 11th, 2012, 6:05 pm


Uzair8 said:

– The FSA should secure the borders and prevent any Al Qaeda infiltration.

– It should also make it a top priority to close down border drug smuggling routes in the hope of bringing about, in the following weeks, a nationwide Shabeeha cold turkey epidemic.

– We have a grassroots movement however the tree in the centre, however rotten internally, remains the strongest structure.

– Btw congratulations on the election of a new rubber stamp.

– Whatever happened to Buthaina Shaaban? Perhaps spends more time with family? Maybe decorating? Papering over the cracks?

May 11th, 2012, 6:06 pm


AIG said:


When do you plan to free the Golan and “die honorably”? Or is that something you only preach to people who are against the Syrian regime? Don’t you think you are the poster child of what it means to be a coward? You want the international community to free the Golan for you (even though there is no resolution that allows to do so) but are against people wanting help to get rid of Assad.

And really, do you want us to believe you that if the UNSC passes a resolution that allows intervention in Syria, that you will support it? Go try fool some other people.

May 11th, 2012, 6:08 pm


Tara said:


I disagree. The current government in Syria can’t be weaker. It is standing against majority Syrians wanting a change. It is this weakness that allowed al Qaeda to infiltrate. And why would the army goes with Bashar? People who have Syrian blood on their hands should go but the rest of the army shall remain intact. The forth brigade and the republic guards will have to be dismantled due to it’s sectarian composition, mission, and vision. The rest of the army composed of the usual conscripts and officers who have no blood on their hands shall remain intact and will protect the country and fight the fight against al Qaeda. Syria will become Somali if Assad to stay. It is sad that pre-regime can’t see it that way.

May 11th, 2012, 6:09 pm


AIG said:


You preached for many years for a “long” war against Israel saying that such a war was good for Syria and it won’t suffer form it. When will you admit how wrong you were? Syria is fighting a long war and falling apart. And it is fighting a much weaker foe than Israel.

May 11th, 2012, 6:10 pm


Syrialover said:

Bronco #84 Said:

“I wish you avoid rewriting the history to convince yourself.”

That is what you are doing by making 1cm deep comments about Libya.

It would be extremely worthwhile and interesting for anyone who wants to say anything about Libya to go beyond a few headlines and get an understanding of the context and leadup to the west’s intervention.

Knowing a bit of history is crucial for any sensible discussion. Unfortunately it is a serious gap in a lot of the commentary about Syria.

One of the reasons I have valued SC for so many years is that Joshua Landis and some of the commentators here share their knowledge and awareness of the past and an understanding of the wider picture.

Unfortunately, there are many others grandstanding about the Syrian situation who talk as if their information and experience doesn’t stretch beyond the past year.

May 11th, 2012, 6:21 pm


Norman said:

I still think that the only way for Syria to get the Golan back and force Israel to give the Palestinians their rights is a long term war that will destroy the Israeli economy, i do not count on the UN or other countries, after what Syria is going through the Syrian people will be able tolerate a lot more and will cause the destruction of the Israeli economy as i can see many Israeli leaving to the West when they can not work because they are in the army, i never said it will be easy for Syria but i said that is the only way to push Israel otherwise Israel has no reason to give the Golan and any Israeli PM who does that will be considered traitor giving some land without being forced to do so.

Tara, if you think that the majority of the Syrians want Assad to leave then call for election under international monitering, that will make the opposition look sincere about freedom and Democracy.

May 11th, 2012, 6:27 pm


AIG said:


“after what Syria is going through the Syrian people will be able tolerate a lot more and will cause the destruction of the Israeli economy as i can see many Israeli leaving to the West when they can not work because they are in the army”

The irony is just too much. After Landis writes that many Syrians of means are leaving Syria, you go ahead and write this. You are blind about this, just as you were blind about the Assad regime for years. Syria will be able to “tolerate” a long war? There will be nothing left of Syria if this continues very much longer. And then the next step according to Norman is to start another such war with Israel. Your strategies are genius.

May 11th, 2012, 6:34 pm


Tara said:


I am all for election under international monitor. As long as cousin Atef Najeeb not lurking behind not so closed door for intimidation and coercion purposes.

May 11th, 2012, 6:44 pm


omen said:

re damascus bombing discussion on cnn. quote from nyt:

the attack puts a spotlight on the growing involvement of islamic jihadists in the fight against the [regime] …particularly those from the iraqi branch of alqaeda that has been openly agitating to join the fray. ~ neil macfarquhar, nyt


fouad ajami: … and if, indeed, there are elements of jihadists who are coming to syria from iraq, then this is the chickens come home to roost! because we know ONE thing. the syrian regime sent MANY many jihadists to iraq when these jihadists were killing shia and killing americans. so, yes, there is a kind of, there may be an involvement of the jihadists but dont foreclose the possiblity that this is the syrian regime doing this particular deed in order to make SURE that no foreign calvary, no foreign help, can come to the rescue because once you have jihadists, once you have these car bombs, then you discourage others from coming to the help of the syrian people.

any expert who has studied syria knows this fact and yet it wasn’t being put out into the public square.

this revelation will help create pressure to force obama to make bashar answer for killing americans.

dropping a daisy cutter atop bashar’s head should suffice.

May 11th, 2012, 6:45 pm


Tara said:


I am more and more interested in Fouad. Please provide the link.

May 11th, 2012, 6:57 pm


omen said:

transcript not up yet, tara. will check again in a few.

May 11th, 2012, 7:14 pm


omen said:

the ajami cnn interview.

the wsj oped referenced that faulted obama for being too cold, too complacent.

May 11th, 2012, 7:30 pm


MICHEL said:

From Rami Jarah:
IMPORTANT: reports of regime forces possibly planting bombs in the sewage systems in the christian areas of Arbeen

May 11th, 2012, 7:35 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

SNK, I know in Arabic Ajami translates to foreigner but it also happens to be a widely used last name in Syria. Please use another term to call foreigners that is not associated with Syrian families.

SC Moderator

26 Alqeda terrorists arrested mostly came from Turkey to fight The Syrian Army..
ThoseAjaami terrorist African chickens are coming to Syria from Africa sent by Turkey:

May 11th, 2012, 8:29 pm


Tara said:


Thank you.

May 11th, 2012, 8:30 pm


omen said:

aje reporting there were wiretaps on gaddafi.

They’re the conversations Muammar Gaddafi didn’t want the world to hear: Al Jazeera’s Hoda Hamid obtained more than 12,000 recordings of Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and other high-ranking Libyan officials.

i am not seeing an explanation where the wiretaps came from.

there must be wiretaps on bashar as well.

p.s. wow….

Other conversations caught Gaddafi’s government staging funerals for the international media. One phone call, from gravedigger Faraj Al Ghyriani, recalled instructions from El Safi to bury the bodies of civilians and dead mercenaries in ceremonies that would make them appear to be NATO soldiers killed by Libyan loyalist troops. Another call Al Jazeera obtained appears to implicate numerous members of the National Transitional Council (NTC), the de facto interim government, as informers for Gaddafi.

May 11th, 2012, 8:38 pm


Dawoud said:

110. omen

al-Qadhafi was “staging funerals for the foreign media,” but Bashar and Hasan are committing acutal terrorist bombings for the foreign media!

Wow, Bashar al-Assad, the dictator, and Hasan Nasrallah, the Iranain sectarian agent, are MUCH worse than al-Qadhafi!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

May 11th, 2012, 8:52 pm


zoo said:

After the calls by the SNC for ‘mass protests’ across Syria, there has been protests across some villages of Syria with a few thousands protesters.

Syria ‘foils’ Aleppo suicide attack as thousands protest
AFPAFP – 4 hrs ago

“Demonstrators also condemned the United Nations for failing to stop the violence in Syria, calling for “immediate international military intervention,” he added.”

May 11th, 2012, 9:05 pm


bronco said:


Fouad Ajami? beurk!

May 11th, 2012, 9:08 pm


Halabi said:

War with Israel, free and fair elections, Assad fighting terrorism, these are all part of an alternate reality that the we-love-you crowd living in comfort in the West are trying to will into existence.

I just read a bunch of gibberish from Sana on why its taking so long to tally the votes – it looks like the government will alert us when and where the results will be revealed one day before the announcement will be made.

وبشأن الموعد المتوقع لإعلان النتائج النهائية لانتخاب أعضاء مجلس الشعب أكد المستشار العزاوي أنه عند اكتمال تلقيها كافة النتائج من الدوائر الانتخابية فإن اللجنة العليا للانتخابات ستعلن قبل يوم واحد عن موعد ومكان إعلان النتائج.

Not even the mukhabarati media can get a straight answer from their bosses, yet the opposition is supposed to trust this criminal gang to bring justice and democracy to Syria after spending decades pillaging the country.

We are supposed to believe that Burhan Ghalioun, from his post in the Sorbonne, is cultivating Al Qaeda while the criminal government that facilitated the movement of thousands of terrorists to Iraq has clean hands.

But as one we-love-you said here, even Qatar denounced the terrorist bombings in Damascus. So it wasn’t Hamad who financed it? Maybe this was Bandar’s project. And Al Jazeera destroyed Baba Amr with their cameras…

May 11th, 2012, 9:12 pm


Tara said:

Bronco @114

What does that mean?

May 11th, 2012, 9:14 pm


zoo said:

A journalist in Edlib ( video)
11 May 2012

May 11th, 2012, 9:28 pm


bronco said:

Tara #116

It means strong repulsion.

May 11th, 2012, 9:29 pm


Tara said:


Of course I know the literal meaning. I meant why?

May 11th, 2012, 9:31 pm


sheila said:

To Bronco # 48,
It is sad to see how you have soaked up the Assad’s propaganda to the hilt. Have you heard of the concept of free thinking? Of being able to challenge ideas and explore new ones? I do not think that I can truly debate with you. Your thinking is so shallow and indoctrinated that it is truly a waste of your time and mine.

May 11th, 2012, 9:34 pm


sheila said:

It turns out that we should be thankful that the authorities aborted a suicide bomber’s mission to detonate himself in Aleppo. We have to be thankful because the government did its job, as it usually doesn’t. We have to be thankful because Bashar Al Assad gave us the Internet and we are not worthy. We have to be thankful that we are allowed to breath and live on our land and in our homes. It is all by the grace of Bashar Al Assad that we came to be human and by his orders we shall disappear into the depth of a dungeon.
In normal countries, governments fall when they do not do their job right. In Syria we have to be grateful if they do their job at all.

May 11th, 2012, 9:42 pm


bronco said:


I see no point in arguing anymore on SC. It has been taken over by neo-cons saber-rattling sympathizers and I just don’t want to waste my time with this species.
Enjoy the sounds of the bombs that will bring freedom to Syrians.

May 11th, 2012, 9:43 pm


omen said:

bronco, i didn’t ask you to date the man.

May 11th, 2012, 9:43 pm


omen said:

115. Halabi said:
War with Israel, free and fair elections, Assad fighting terrorism, these are all part of an alternate reality that the we-love-you crowd living in comfort in the West are trying to will into existence.

do you think the regime felt it had to ratchet it up with the damascus bombing because of the level of ridicule their stage managed election was receiving?

bullies hate being laughed at.

May 11th, 2012, 9:51 pm


Tara said:


I think it has always been like that. Parallel discussions with no real exchange except rarely..It is difficult for people in general to be influenced and people often come with preconceived ideas refusing to see how the others see things.

Yet, during this traumatic time, it gives a person some comfort to talk with familiar strangers. I can’t explain it but it is more comforting to discuss what is happening in Syria on SC compared to discussing it with family members or friends.

This seemingly endless Syrian nightmare have brought in many of us who have really never cared to express a single opinion… And I am sure many of us would just vanish when this nightmare comes to an end… This is my opinion for what it is worth… and don’t be too sensitive.

May 11th, 2012, 10:12 pm


Ghufran said:

Ajami who is being referenced by some and cheered by others is a political prostitute who was almost always wrong and the only reason anybody listens to him because he exactly what some western media outlets want: a political prostitute from the Middle East.
People should be free to use whatever sources they feel fit at the risk of degrading their posts to a junk status when the source is garbage quality,I assure all that I am not claiming moral or intellectual superiority,but I could not let the referencing of a little clown like Ajami pass,sorry.

May 11th, 2012, 10:15 pm


bronco said:

Ghufran #126

Thanks for bringing some rare sanity to this blog

May 11th, 2012, 10:22 pm


Tara said:

Ghufran and Bronco

Elaborate more in regard to Ajami, please.

May 11th, 2012, 10:27 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

@#35. Syrialover

Dear Syrialover: Thank you very much. Our group is open to all Syrians, no matter is their political affiliations. Please come join us to think how to build Syria, a nation for all Syrians.

May 11th, 2012, 10:41 pm


Ghufran said:

This is what Ewrad Saeed ,one of my heros,said about Ajami:
المفكر الجاهز لتلبية طلب أية وسيلة اعلام ترغب في شتم الأمة العربية على لسان عربي
Ajami,a Shia by birth and a supporter of Maliki and the US invasion of Iraq is a staunch anti Sunni and anti Arab neocon mouthpiece,he is Iranian whose family emigrated to S.Lebanon. Ajami emigrated to the US in 1963,he does not lack intelligence,but he lacks integrity and honesty,he accused Syria of sending jihadists to Iraq to kill “Shia and Americans” and could not hide his “shamatah” at seeing jihadists from other countries killing Syrians: ” the regime’s chicken came back to roost” .
I do not consider myself a Sunni but make no mistake about it,Sunni Arabs are the heart and soul of the Arab Orient,and anybody who targets this group is an enemy of the state and the people.

May 11th, 2012, 10:46 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Joshua:

Thank you very much. We share one important thing, the love for Syria.

May 11th, 2012, 10:47 pm


omen said:

ghufran, you know as well as i do that name calling doesn’t counter or refute another’s argument.

you may be correct. he very well may be a prostitute. but he’s offered assertions that, so far, are going unchallenged.

May 11th, 2012, 10:52 pm


omen said:


May 11th, 2012, 10:59 pm


omen said:

he accused Syria of sending jihadists to Iraq to kill “Shia and Americans” and could not hide his “shamatah” at seeing jihadists from other countries killing Syrians: ” the regime’s chicken came back to roost”.

ajami, more than any other pundit, has been incensed at bashar’s continuing wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians.

other pundits offer lame excuses as to why we are too impotent to do anything. and are too helpless to stop an ongoing genocide. a blatant lie.

could not hide his “shamatah” at seeing jihadists from other countries killing Syrians

he’s objecting to bashar sending cold blooded mass murderering killers back and forth across borders. are you suggesting bashar lacks the power to do so? or that he hasn’t done so in the past?

this begs another question. why are more upset about “foreigners” killing syrians more so than bashar killing fellow syrians?

I do not consider myself a Sunni but make no mistake about it,Sunni Arabs are the heart and soul of the Arab Orient,and anybody who targets this group is an enemy of the state and the people.

ghufran? so you acknowledge bashar assad is an enemy of the state and an enemy of the people?

May 11th, 2012, 11:16 pm


Syrialover said:

A ‘Stop the Killing’ grassroots campaign is emerging that is part of a shift back toward nonviolence.

Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2012

In Syria, Some Protests Come Full Circle

By Nour Malas

“The language of the street didn’t bring us any results,” said Mr. Ayo, a 30-year-old graduate student at Damascus University. “It was getting too angry and violent.”

He is one of only a couple of hundred members in a new Damascus-based political movement, Building the Syrian State. Though small, it is the highest-profile example of a handful of alliances drawing young activists away from larger opposition groups. Mr. Ayo has helped organize workshops on social justice and state-building in a political transition.

The organizations, which include groups that teach methods of nonviolent resistance, share a goal of finding a bloodless way out of Syria’s crisis—an aim that has so far eluded protesters on the ground, the political opposition in exile, and world leaders alike. Their founders and members say they are seeking a “third way” that isn’t asking for foreign help or seeking to bring down President Assad in fighting.


May 11th, 2012, 11:20 pm


omen said:

US defence secretary Leon Panetta says intelligence indicates an al-Qaida presence in Syria, but admits the US does not know what activities the group is engaged in.

who is panetta getting “intelligence” from?

probably from the syrian regime.

May 11th, 2012, 11:56 pm


Halabi said:

Omen – I don’t think there is evidence that the regime is ordering the bombings, and I definitely don’t know what Assad and his mafia pals are thinking. It would be great if we could have a real investigation of these crimes but it doesn’t seem possible especially because the government allows its shabiha to pollute the crime scene so they can get their sick photo op for Addunya.

Thanks for posting the WSJ article SyriaLover. Here are a couple more paragraphs that clearly demonstrate this regime’s reaction to completely peaceful and secular opposition.

“On May 3, security forces arrested the two sons of Fayez Sara, another prominent opposition figure advocating civil resistance, after storming their adjacent apartments in Damascus.

“They dragged them away in front of their wives and children,” Mr. Sara said in an interview.

“Some people see this kind of work as nonsense,” said Adnan, a resident of the southern city of Deraa, who turned away from protests and now publishes a monthly newsletter about nonviolent movements in the uprising. “But we think it haunts the regime even more than weapons.”

The armed opposition helped Mr. Assad gain the upper hand, he says, by justifying the government’s battle against so-called terrorists. “But there is no justification for the arrest and torture of peaceful activists,” he said. “This will expose just how un-genuine the regime is.”

May 12th, 2012, 1:01 am


Halabi said:

I don’t think Fouad Ajami is a “political prostitute.” The man has been pretty consistently anti-Arab and pro-West for as long as I can remember, and he probably shares the same negative view of Gulf Arabs (lazy, uneducated, etc.) that the pro-Assad crowd has.

He sees the fall of Assad as a great strategic win for the U.S., which it is, and unlike Iraq where WMDs took precedent over the humanitarian argument, he is able to use human rights and democracy to build the case for intervention in Syria. More of a political opportunist.

His writing and academic background is far superior to the garbage coming out from the regime’s supporters (who is Bassam Alkadi hating on these days?) and it’s much less painful to read him than Assad worshipers who quote Hitler with admiration.

If Edward Said were alive today and he held a debate with Ajami in Damascus, both would probably wind up in Assad’s dungeons…

May 12th, 2012, 1:18 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Alqaeda,FSA and international terrorists teaming up together :

May 12th, 2012, 2:08 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

While the blood of 70 Syrians was still hot in Damascus …these opposition terrorists are having fun and dancing in Homs:

May 12th, 2012, 2:26 am


Syrialover said:

“The stories coming out about the government’s inability to import wheat and fuel-oil suggest that authorities can no longer provide the basic commodities that have long been the central job of the government. Electricity is already limited and will likely be cut further as fuel-oil scarcities become more acute. Bread scarcities will mean starvation for many.”(Joshua Landis – lead comment above)

It’s impossible to grasp how anyone who is not connected in some way to the regime is not wishing Assad and co to hell for what they have inflicted on 20 million ordinary people through corruption, incompetence, violence, hostile indifference and theft.

Assad is CHOOSING to turn Syria into another North Korea. “…starvation for many”. Chilling and devastating.

Can his apologists and allies please explain WHY the regime has determinedly pursued this policy?

Can the world please explain HOW he has been able to do this?

May 12th, 2012, 4:11 am


b said:

@143 – classic blame the victim. It isn’t Assad who has pushed for sanctions.

For those here who believe that Assad is working with AlQaeda or bombing his country take note that no serious analyst believes in your thesis.
Terrorism and the evolution of Syria’s uprising

However, we should be wary of the idea that these bombings are ‘false flag’ operations by the government.

American officials – who are hardly sympathetic to the Syrian government – have agreed that they see AQI-linked fighters as responsible for earlier bombings in Damascus and Aleppo, something reinforced by the method and targets of these attacks.[4] From January onwards, a previously unknown group, the ‘al-Nusra Battlefront’, has claimed responsibility for various attacks (though not all).

In fact, Al Qa’ida and affiliated groups have both the motive and opportunity to exploit Syria’s fraught sectarian balance, just as they did in Iraq in 2006. That year, the bombing of a Shia mosque in the city of Samarra sparked off a horrific civil war between (majority) Shia and (minority) Sunni.

Al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) used both Syrian manpower and supply lines.[5] Today, those resources are almost certainly being turned back into Syria. AQI made itself enormously unpopular in Iraq by unleashing untrammelled violence against Iraqi civilians. Now, it may see a fresh chance to gain credibility and support in a fight against President Assad’s self-declared ‘secular’ government.

Militant video claims responsibility for deadly Syria blasts
A video posted online in the name of a shadowy militant group late Friday claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings in the Syrian capital this week that killed 55 people.

In the video, a group calling itself the Al-Nusra Front says the bombing was in response to attacks on residential areas by the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Western officials say there is little doubt that Islamist extremists, some associated with al-Qaida, have made inroads in Syria as instability has spread since the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad 14 months ago.

May 12th, 2012, 5:49 am


Antoine said:

Massive anti-regime rally in Al-Bab, Reef Halab, on Friday –

( At least 10,000 strong)

May 12th, 2012, 7:11 am


Antoine said:

79. SANDRO LOEWE said:

” Assad regime is an iron security regime like that of Saddam. Irak was sited for 12 years before the final assault took place and even so the complications were extreme in the post invasion before the regime collpased. ”


And it turned out after the invasion, that most of the Shia Conscripts and Policemen who used to do the killing for Saddam, amd most of the Shia and Kurdish “intellectuals” and tribal leaders who used to line up to kiss his hands, actually hated him quite a lot. And Bush-Allawi-Maliki was able to use these same people reliably to crush the insurgency afterwards.

Even the Sunni Arabs of Iraq have pretty much forgotten him, and are now knee-deep into parliamentary politics to safeguard their rights from Maliki’s vengeance.

May 12th, 2012, 8:04 am


Antoine said:

“Sunni Arabs are the heart and soul of the Arab Orient,and anybody who targets this group is an enemy of the state and the people.”


That would mean a pretty large chunk of the regime’s supporters, and most of the Iraqi and Iranian establishments.

May 12th, 2012, 8:10 am


Antoine said:

Massive funeral for martyr in al-Bab, Reef Halab –

( At least 5,000 strong).

See comment # 146 about the 10,000 strong anti-regime rally in al-Bab, Reef Halab, yesterday.

May 12th, 2012, 8:12 am


Antoine said:

Huge and boisterous anti-regime rally Friday in the progressive town of Yabroud in Reef Dimashq :

( At least 3000 strong)

May 12th, 2012, 8:20 am


Antoine said:

Massive anti-regime rally of respectable citizens in the hero-city of al-Zabadani, Reef Dimashq :

May 12th, 2012, 8:26 am


Antoine said:

Massive anti-regime rally of free peasants and labourers in Al-Bab, Reef Halab, on Friday –

( At least 10,000 strong)

May 12th, 2012, 8:28 am


Antoine said:

Soldier in the Syrian Army defects openly in full view of his checkpoint and his slavish comrades, under cover of the UN Monitors – Armanaz, Idleb Governorate –

May 12th, 2012, 8:46 am


Antoine said:

Live defection of 4 soldiers from Special Forces in Homs, 1/5/2012 –

May 12th, 2012, 9:04 am


irritated said:

The long waited “corridors” are here, but they are not humanitarian they are deadly.

Turkey has diligently setup ‘corridors’ managed by the FSA to allow Al Qaeeda operatives to enter Syria and inflict as much damage at it could on the pillars of the regime, the army and the intelligence.

Syrians should be forever be grateful to the courage and claimed ‘humanity’ of Erdogan that helped destroy Syria, and wish him the same very soon.

May 12th, 2012, 9:23 am


zoo said:

Germans need to come out of their white ghettos: Yurdakul

Hürriyet Daily News
German people should take more responsibility to tackle the racism problem in the country, according to a Turkish professor based in Berlin. ‘The problem is some Germans are living in white ghettos. They never go to Turkish neighborhoods. It should not be only Turks doing their share. Many Germans hold prejudices toward Turks,’ says Gökçe Yurdakul, who adds that those not accepting German middle-class values do not fit in social life, ‘but we don’t even know what these values really are’

May 12th, 2012, 9:25 am


Antoine said:

Huge 1000-strong anti-regime rallies ysterday in hero-city of Deir al-Zour (Deirezzor) –

May 12th, 2012, 9:29 am


irritated said:

Antoine #150 etc….

Dancing, clapping and singing on blood.
Sad days for Syria

May 12th, 2012, 9:53 am


Antoine said:

Massive 10,000 strong bositerous rally yesterday in the one and only Kafranbel, Idleb –

May 12th, 2012, 9:57 am


MICHEL said:

[Moderator Note Comment was stuck in spam filter.]

Only armed struggle can bring this evil regime down. Anyone who thinks this filthy regime can be brought down by dialogue is in delusion. This regime is a cancer to syria, and it is often the case that a cancer tumor can’t be removed without damaging what’s around it. So be it. It is the only way to remove this criminal regime. Violence is the only language it will understand.

Anyone still wilfully working for the regime is committing high treason towards syria, and is a legitimate target.

(apparently for menhebakjis, violence is only wrong if its done by the opposition. When its the regime or the shabiha, they turn a blind eye.)

Live by the sword, die by the sword.
Sorry, this is the reality.

May 12th, 2012, 10:00 am


omen said:

144. b said: @143 – classic blame the victim. It isn’t Assad who has pushed for sanctions.

it was the regime who put cities under seige and blocked food and medical aide from going in and out. so yes, he’s responsible for starving the people.

but i do i agree with your sentiment in this sense.

it is unconscionable to punish average syrians for bashar’s crimes. this is no different from the regime tactic of collective punishment.

sanctions are there just for show, for appearance sake. makes the west look like they’re doing something when, in actually, they’re helping the regime to stay in power.

the un handing down sanctions sends a signal to bashar that we are not serious about removing him. (asma denied shopping privileges? really?) and gives him a green light to kill more people.

May 12th, 2012, 10:27 am


Tara said:

Did the regime foil any attack today?

Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding.

I can imagine the #syria regime wil be ‘foiling’ daily suicide bombing attacks from now on.

May 12th, 2012, 10:33 am


Tara said:

Dear Moderator, in regard to #160

Is the use of ” Mnhebaks” prohibited now???

Please remember this is what the supporters chose willfully to call themselves. You could see banners with ” mnhebaks” written on in every Damascense street not too long ago. Supportes are very proud of calling themselves mnhebaks. And in my opinion, they deserve it… Wish they invent a tattoo that has the word “mnhebak”. Don’t lovers like to do that? We can give them the choice of what body part they liked tattoo…not my tast, but I am sure it may look very attractive to some.

Please reconsider.

May 12th, 2012, 10:43 am


Ghufran said:

A video from jabhat alnusra on the bombing in Damascus:

May 12th, 2012, 10:54 am


Tara said:

The French daily Liberation has interviewed Peter Harling, the Damascus-based Syria specialist at the International Crisis Group, about the deteriorating situation and the survival prospects for the Annan plan. Harling says:

The UN mission would have collapsed already if there was a credible alternative. But the Annan plan was born precisely out of the inability of the international community to agree on a clear policy on the Syrian issue.

This, ironically, is what should give it some resilience: in the absence of plan B, stick to plan A without necessarily believing in it. Thus, those who apparently defend the mission do little to help it in practice: the Russians exert only weak pressure on the regime, while some Arab and western states gradually increase their support for the opposition.

Harling also suggests that military intervention could in the end become unavoidable:

Military intervention in Syria would undoubtedly have happened already if the consequences were not to to be feared … Because of this, the regime tends to conclude that the decision to “do something” is too difficult for westerners to take. What it misunderstands is that the decision to “do nothing” is at least as difficult.

Beyond the political denunciations and economic sanctions, it is likely that the west will let itself be sucked into this conflict little by little, gradually increasing its support for the opposition up to the point where an intervention will appear inevitable.

Above from the Guardian blog


May 12th, 2012, 11:04 am


omen said:

i want to know what kind of world people are living in that sets up bashar as the victim. was hitler a victim too?

May 12th, 2012, 11:09 am


Ghufran said:

Sky news reporter with FSA officers:

May 12th, 2012, 11:22 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Based on Claim of Responsibility analysis issued for the twin bombing in Damascus, we concluded that it is more likely the attacks have foreign (non Arabic / non Moslem) hands behind it.

Again, there are issues that point finger on the regime such as lack of surveillance cams footage from the security compound, and how a truck laden with explosive can mange through security check points, the point of detonation from the target. But these only cast a doubt on the regime claim. One can add that the regime could have deliberately fabricated the responsibility claim video in a smart way to point finger on foreign involvement, but it could be foreign (Non-Moslem / Non Arabic) issued as well. We will keep studying the anomalies of this bombing further.

May 12th, 2012, 11:26 am


irritated said:

#168 SNP

Russian, US, France hands?
“We will keep studying the anomalies of this bombing further.”

Sure but please don’t ask the Turk, CIA or Saudi intelligence for help.

May 12th, 2012, 11:32 am


irritated said:

#167 Ghufran

The FSA urgently need a PR agent.

May 12th, 2012, 11:36 am


irritated said:

#166 Omen

I wonder too. It is not anymore the FSA protecting the “Sunni” protesters, it is Al Qaeeda.

The protesters want to kick out the UN observers to ensure a warm welcome to the new liberators/ protectors who will bring freedom to Syria, like they did in Afghanistan.

May 12th, 2012, 11:43 am


Aldendeshe said:

These governments have no clue or responsibility, they run their government and that is all. For the past 50 years, someone worked hard on setting up a worldwide network of independently operating secret group in each country. It is these secret groups that even the Presidents of the United States admitted they have no control over, that are masterminding what is transpiring all over the world.

To be frank, based on similar claims of responsibility, made in Iraq for decade, it points to Israelis more than anyone else. Again, not necessarily the entire Israeli government knows and approved it, but the secret operating group within, that are in cahoot with the rest of the worldwide network which could include Turkmen and Saudi persons. However, the “COR” video appears to be composed by someone not native, or even understanding of Arabs and Moslems, a totally foreign to these two cultures, and it could be smartly composed by the regime to cast the shadow of culpricity on foreigners.

May 12th, 2012, 11:56 am


Juergen said:

Very funny Al Dunia video, the caller from Hama says everything is quiet, all is good, then May God take Bashar and his people. Of course then the line is cut, what an coincidance…the announcer then informs the syrian intellectuals about a famous writer in Dagestan…!

For three months the We love you activists have prepared todays demonstration in Berlin. A massive turnout was predicted, german style Lizy Phelan-Christopher Hoerstel was to give a speech. We saw the same people like always,60-70 people and what really shocked me was that they played Fayrouz. First they hijacked Quabbani, now Fayrouz, is nothing sanctious to them?

May 12th, 2012, 12:47 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

مقبره جماعيه في مضايا
ديمقراطية وحرية القتل
Gross and disturbing

May 12th, 2012, 12:49 pm


Uzair8 said:

Apparantly a Shabeeha has made at least 11 appearances on media at one place or another:

May 12th, 2012, 12:52 pm


Uzair8 said:

“…for if the Assad regime regrets the deaths of the 55 Syrians killed in the Damascus twin blasts, then the question that must be asked here is: What about the nearly 12,000 Syrians who were killed in one year at the hands of the regime? Throughout the Syrian revolution, the world has witnessed the deaths of an average of 50 Syrians per day, so why is the regime now rushing to claim that it cares about the Syrian blood, and why have some people been confused by a regime that only understands the language of assassinations, explosions and murders?”

May 12th, 2012, 1:17 pm


MICHEL said:

Uzair, his latest appearance was in damascus bombings a few days ago:

May 12th, 2012, 1:26 pm


Halabi said:

N.Z. posted this 2003 article on 7ee6an.

Assad doubts existence of al-Qaeda

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview published Sunday that he doubts the existence of al-Qaeda, the terror group blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks and recent strikes in Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

“Is there really an entity called al-Qaeda? Was it in Afghanistan? Does it exist now?” Assad asked, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anba.

Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born Islamic extremist who heads al-Qaeda, “cannot talk on the phone or use the Internet, but he can direct communications to the four corners of the world?” Assad said. “This is illogical.”

Assad also told Al-Anba that Syrian forces will remain in Lebanon until a comprehensive peace settlement with Israel is reached, rebuffing recent U.S. calls for a Syrian troop withdrawal from the country.

Assad said Syria viewed Lebanon as an independent state and that Syrian troops were needed to confront potential Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Syria.

May 12th, 2012, 1:55 pm


irritated said:

#178 Halabi

Assad doubts existence of al-Qaeda… in 2003

We are in 2012, how time has passed.

May 12th, 2012, 2:54 pm


irritated said:

#175 Uzair8

“Apparantly a Shabeeha has made at least 11 appearances on media at one place or another:”

It guess he won’t reach the celebrity of activist Khaled abu Salah who appeared in various high impact videos at the time of Bab Amr mini-caliphate.
This is most theatrically orchestrated of his appearance

May 12th, 2012, 3:01 pm



179. Irritated

2.012 – 2.003 = 9 years exactly.

Considering that Assad is border line and lineal thinking as well as uncapable of adapting to changes, 9 years are like 9 seconds to him.

Anyway Assad knew that Al Qaeda did not really exist. It was a weapon in the hands of US and Israel strategy. Now Assad is using the same excuse to create unity in its field. He is even worse than US because he is using Al Qaeda against his own people.

May 12th, 2012, 3:05 pm


Juergen said:

Kafarnabel the world is hearing you!

May 12th, 2012, 3:05 pm


zoo said:

Are the Nazis are back in Europe?

Peter Goodspeed: Flirting with fascism, why Europe can’t shake its weakness for Nazism

May 11, 2012 – 11:39 PM ET
Like vermin in a time of pestilence, neo-Nazi groups appear to be enjoying a resurgence in a Europe plagued by increasing financial chaos and uncertainty. As Europe celebrated the 67th anniversary of V.E. Day and the defeat of Hitler’s Nazis this week, it also reeled in disbelief as an angry Greek electorate gave 7% of their votes to the neo-Nazi, anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party.

May 12th, 2012, 3:07 pm


irritated said:

Sandro Loewe #181

“He is even worse than US because he is using Al Qaeda against his own people”

Just like Al Malaki in Iraq, Abdullah in Yemen and Karzai in Afghanistan are doing. It seems to be a fashion in the moslem countries to hire Al Qaeda to do the dirty job. I think I know who pays their salaries.

May 12th, 2012, 3:15 pm



184. irritated

This is the difference my dear. Al Malaki, Abdullah or Karzai can be considered US agents or slaves who simply execute US orders. While in the case of Syria Assad is killing its own population not in behalf of the CIA but on behalf of the Assad Mafia.

And by doing this Assad is killing the potential of a syrian revolution that could have extended to Lebanon, Irak and changed the Middle East, consequently putting Israel in a very dangerous situation. This is why Assad is being allowed to crush the syrian people will for freedom.

May 12th, 2012, 3:57 pm


irritated said:

#185 Sandro Loewe

“While in the case of Syria Assad is killing its own population not in behalf of the CIA but on behalf of the Assad Mafia.”

Who told you? Do you have an insider in the CIA or the Mossad?

May 12th, 2012, 4:19 pm


zoo said:

Analysts: Al Qaeda offshoots aiming for civil war in Syria

Hugh Naylor
May 13, 2012

BEIRUT // A little-known militant group says it carried out a double-suicide bombing in Damascus on Thursday that killed 55 people and injured hundreds.
In an online video, Al Nusra Front says the attack “fulfilled our promise to respond” to the brutal suppression of protesters by the regime of Syria’s president, Bashar Al Assad.

The declaration is the latest sign that Syria’s 14-month-old uprising could be veering towards civil war.

“We promised the regime in our last declaration to respond to its killing of families, women, children and old men in a number of Syrian provinces, and here we kept our promise,” says a garbled voice to a background of Islamist chants.

Al Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for several other recent attacks, including another twin bombing in the capital this month that killed 20 security personnel, according to a report on Thursday by the US-based SITE Monitoring Service, which tracks terrorism incidents.

Intelligence officials believe it could be another sign that radical Islamists have gained influence in battles between government forces, defecting soldiers and other regime opponents.

They say Al Nusra could be a front for an Al Qaeda branch operating in Iraq.

The Thursday bombings in Damascus were the largest suicide attacks ever in the capital, shearing off the face of a nine-storey building used by military intelligence.

The attack’s alleged plotters in Al Nusra Front directed their ire at both the government of Mr Al Assad and the religion of his family.

“We tell this regime: stop your massacres against the Sunni people. If not, you will bear the sin of the Alawites,” a voice says in the video. The Alawites are the minority religious sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, of the ruling Al Assad family.

Syria’s state-run media have accused Qatar and Saudi Arabia of playing a role in the attack.

May 12th, 2012, 4:23 pm


zoo said:

In view of his successive failures to get the SNC any legitimacy, now that he lost France’s support, would Ghaliun finally “step down”, “resign”, “move on the side” or stay on?

Syrian opposition council discusses its leadership

The Syrian National Council (SNC) gathered in Rome on Saturday for a three-day meeting to decide on its leadership. The SNC is an umbrella group of factions opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. The council is discussing whether to reelect Burhan Ghalioun, president since the group was set up in exile in August. Executive committee member Samir Nashar said his faction was “against an extension or a renewal of Burhan Ghalioun’s term,” Reuters reports. Many criticize Ghalioun, a Paris-based academic, for being out of touch with the opposition inside Syria.

May 12th, 2012, 4:37 pm


zoo said:

The Saudi Arabia talks to merge with Bahrain appears as a first move to dominate the Gulf countries

“Qatar sees this all as Saudi’s way of undermining the Gulf states’ bilateral relations and forcing its own agenda, ” said a source close to the Qatari government.

RIYADH, May 11 (Reuters) – Gulf Arab leaders meeting on Monday will discuss closer union between their six states because of what they see as growing threats from Iran and al Qaeda after the Arab uprisings, but significant political obstacles loom.

Some members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, worry that convergence might spell dominance by the group’s largest member, Saudi Arabia.

They also view dimly reports that Saudi Arabia will merge initially with Bahrain, where majority Shi’ite Muslims have rebelled against a monarchy that like the other GCC dynasties is Sunni Muslim and is allied with the United States against Iran.

“Qatar sees this all as Saudi’s way of undermining the Gulf states’ bilateral relations and forcing its own agenda, ” said a source close to the Qatari government.

Smaller Gulf Arab states fear losing economic and political influence to Saudi Arabia, which has a population five times greater than the next largest member, Oman, and dominates the region’s all-important oil and gas sector.

May 12th, 2012, 5:18 pm


Tara said:

Ok. I do not care for Fouad Ajami anymore.

May I have my read more now?

May 12th, 2012, 5:26 pm


Norman said:


I wonder if now Qatar is going to run and make up with Syria, Iraq, and Iran so it will not be swallowed by Saudi Arabia,

One time Majed called for the unity between Iraq and Syria, I am warming up to that solution to stand up to Syria’s enemies .

May 12th, 2012, 5:59 pm


irritated said:

#191 Norman

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are at odds on other issues. KSA has never condoned the “Arab Spring” and it rejects totally the Moslem Brotherhood intervention in the Arab countries as well as Turkey’s growing interferences. In the contrary Qatar, together with Turkey, is actively involved in regime changes in the region and finances the Moslem Brotherhood in Turkey, Egypt and Syria.

It is not impossible that Saudi Arabia would want to strike a deal with Syria’s leadership to push Qatar and Turkey on the side and gain Iran’s cooperation.
Syria-Iraq unity would displease the USA who would worry for Israel security.

May 12th, 2012, 6:29 pm



I have the feeling that Assad supporters enjoy counting the ¨Al Qaeda¨ attacks and counting the number of dead people, almost all of then civilians, of course. The more innocents get killed by reported ¨Al Qaeda¨ attacks, the more increases the chances of Assad to gain momentum. Please be true to yourselves, do not deny it. If you did not care about thousands being killed under Assad bombs, and you even counted dead as a hunter trophee for the survival of your hero, how in hell are you going to care about more innocent civilians being targeted for the sake of your President Prophet Leader?

May 12th, 2012, 6:37 pm


Syrialover said:

My comments on Assad being responsible for Syrians facing starvation set off an automatic thinking shutdown by some. They click into the circular default “everything’s due to sanctions”.

Think. Every form of misery faced by Syrians today is because of CHOICES by Assad. Negative foreign policy choices, inferior “economic policy” choices, corruption and theft choices, neglect and non-development choices, violence and chaos choices, and so on and so on.

Substandard, dangerous and destructive choices, over and over. Building on and accelerating the negative and backward choices made by Assad senior, grinding down Syrians and their country until we have the inevitable crash-burn and collapse today.

It was never going to able to be fixed by “system repair and renewal” only by complete replacement.

And only those who are in some way tied to the current regime will CHOOSE to deny that.

May 12th, 2012, 7:13 pm


omen said:

i want to open this up for discussion:

assad still standing
video: stuart draper
prof. landis:

iran is the white elephant here. if syria goes, it will weaken iran and iran might go too. and china and russia have invested, particularly china, tons of money, in the oil and gas fields of iran.

they would..they do not want that destabilized. it’s going to send oil prices screaming through the roof. it could destabilize the chinese economic miracle. they don’t want it. they would see it as america snatching away an ally of theirs. an important interest of theirs.

syria is at the heart of a much larger struggle. it is a centerpiece of what is often referred to as the shiite crescent. that runs from iran, to the mother ship of the shiite crescent, to iraq now which shiittes run and are..they look to iran and syria and have defended syria.

the shiites are, in a sense, backed by russia and china. the sunnis – by israel and the united states.

they have a port, a port [..?] a naval port in tartus which is their only port in the mediterranean. for their new russian fleet where they can refit ships and a lot of things. it’s’s crucial to them.

[news clip: russia]

to change the balance of power, the west is going to have to give lots of money to the opposition as it starves syria in general. it’s going to have to try pump money into the opposition which will change the balance of power. pump arms in, get them trained so they can kill military effectively. and that’s the only way – is by superior firepower and by killing more syrian soldiers than the soldiers can withstand.

i mean that’s just classic military stuff. they’re going to have to crush this military. and that’s very hard. it hasn’t been done in the middle east recently. you know, libya, afghanistan, iraq. those states were all destroyed by u.s. and european air power.

syria – the u.s. and nato has said they’re not going to use their air power. that means the heavy lifting is on the side of this insurgency. they’re going to have to become professional. and much better than they are today. that is going to be a hard task.

May 12th, 2012, 7:15 pm


zoo said:

The SNC “political jockeying”

Opposition leaders abroad flew to Rome to try to strengthen their fractured Syrian National Council (SNC), which is seeking international help in the struggle against Assad.

Political jockeying within the SNC has prevented it from gaining full international endorsement. Executive members told Reuters they may choose a new president or restructure the council in a bid to garner broader support.

May 12th, 2012, 7:31 pm


omen said:

130. Ghufran said:
This is what Ewrad Saeed ,one of my heros,said about Ajami:
المفكر الجاهز لتلبية طلب أية وسيلة اعلام ترغب في شتم الأمة العربية على لسان عربي
10:46 pm

syria isn’t iraq.

what would the dead find more insulting? that fellow arabs refuse to denounce a murderous arabic regime out of some misguided ethnic loyalty? is bashar’s pride more important than the dead?

setting this up as a west vs arab conflict is no different from the regime seeking to divide and conquer by playing up and exasperating sectarian tensions.

what does it serve the dead to blame the west when it’s this regime who has killed thousands of people and has rendered at least a million people homeless.

your loyalty should belong to the martyrs. the innocent who were killed without cause or reason. the dead would be insulted with anybody not working to seek justice on their behalf.

May 12th, 2012, 8:22 pm


Syrialover said:

Libya – so why not Syria?

When it comes to outside military assistance for those opposing Gaddafi, Libya’s internal geography made it very easy.

Here’s why:

“Once the tinder-box of revolt had been sparked in Benghazi, Gaddafi was confounded by a combination of circumstances that left him perhaps uniquely vulnerable among Arab world dictators trying to contain uprisings. Unlike Syria, his country was thinly populated enough, the battle-lines clear enough and the terrain straightforward enough – scattered urban centres separated by large tracts of desert – for international powers to consider an air campaign feasible. He had few friends in the Arab world, for reasons ranging from his regional swagger to his alleged involvement in an assassination plot against the now King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.”

From The Colonel’s last Stand (review of 3 new books on Libya)
Financial Times, 12 May 2012

May 12th, 2012, 10:57 pm


annie said:

Today in Brussels, for the first time Pro Palestinians joined

May 13th, 2012, 5:23 pm


arab said:

an very interesting video shows how normal people can turn ton tyranic one in only 5 steps

December 20th, 2012, 1:34 pm


Post a comment