New Round Up (Feb. 18 2009)

On Thursday Feb 19th I will be speaking at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs on “Syria and its Neighbors: What Lies Ahead” which is co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is asking the same Question that Bashar al-Asad asked yesterday in his interview with the Guardian. He said his country is waiting for the U.S. to show “signs of real change” under the Obama administration, calling it “a necessity” for improving relations between the two countries.“Is the outlook of the U.S. renewed?” Ahmadinejad said in an interview with Iranian state television broadcast late today. “Is it willing to respect the nation? Is bullying going to disappear?”

Jeffrey Feltman is likely to become Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, sources say. Feltman, a former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon said to be well liked by colleagues in the bureau, declined to comment. This appointment will be cheered by the March 14 coalition of Saad Hariri and booed by the March 8 coalition and Syria. Feltman was a vociferous and hard working supporter of Hariri’s and Bush’s Lebanon policy.  Although George Mitchell has been appointed as the president’s special envoy to the Middle East gave Syria considerable reason for optimism about a changed Obama policy, the appointments of Feltman, Levey suggest there will be no smooth sailing for Syria.

Dennis Ross’ Chairmanship of an Israeli Government funded think tank seems to have torpedoed his appointment to the Iran Envoy Job, because it raised questions about his being a foreign agent. All the same, the State Department and White House wanted him on the job, which suggests that there are not many people within the White House who are actually pushing for change in the way the US does business in the region. Perhaps this is why both Iran and Syria are complaining about the lack of “real change?”

Qifa Nabki on Nasrallah’s speech and what Hizbullah’s leader had to say about Lebanon’s upcoming parliamentary elections:

One of the most interesting parts of the speech, from my perspective, came toward the end, when Nasrallah discussed the upcoming elections. He said (and I paraphrase): Lebanon is not Switzerland. We are not a nation of political parties. We are a nation of sects, and even those parties established on the basis of a political identity are de facto sectarian parties because their constituents come primarily from one sect (i.e. like the PSP and the FPM). Perhaps, one day, Lebanon will have evolved to the point where its parties are purely political; in that scenario, it would be possible for a party or coalition to rule in a dominant manner after winning an election in a decisive fashion. However, we are not at that stage yet, and therefore, a ruling coalition must govern through a process of consensus, respecting the concerns of its opposition.

He continued: This is why we are telling you from now, that should our coalition win a majority in the upcoming elections, we will be prepared to form a national unity government with the other side, granting them a blocking veto. We do this in the spirit of consensus, and in the spirit of confronting together the many economic, political, and security-related challenges that face our nation.

Nasrallah then threw down the gauntlet, saying: If the other side rejects our offer and chooses to boycott the new government, our coalition will not hesitate to rule on its own (while respecting the interests of the nation.) In making this point, Nasrallah was sending a very clear message to those on the March 14th side who had been publicly contemplating boycotting the government in the event of a March 8th win. In all cases, Nasrallah mused, Hizbullah is not even that interested in getting involved in the cabinet, and would be happy if its allies in the opposition were to occupy its share of seats, leaving the Hizb to manage the resistance.

Translation? Hizbullah would like to avoid a Hamas-style coming out party at all costs, in the event of a March 8th win. They would like, more than anything else, to go back to the old arrangement: we’ll mind our business if you mind yours.

Project on Middle East Democracy’s Weekly Wire writes:

Congressional Hearings
On Thursday (2/12), the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia of the House Foreign Affairs Committee met for a hearing titled Michele Dunne, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Danielle Pletka, Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

After the witnesses presented testimony, members of the committee asked questions. In one exchange, Rep. Burton (R-IN) asked whether the U.S. should consider influencing Hamas through engagement with Syria. Makovsky and Pletka disagreed on this front, with Makovsky arguing for it’s worth and Pletka stating that we should not “engage in this fantasy.” Another question also focused on Syria’s potential role. Rep. Ellison (D-MN) mentioned potential Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s opposition to two states. Makovsky expressed that Netanyahu may provide for some surprises, citing the fact that he met with Arafat and that meeting with Syria is not out of the realm of possibility.

… Some argued that getting off to a good start with Saudi Arabia should be a first priority for the new administration, while others claimed “the key to the future of the Middle East” is improved relations with Syria.

Claims Of Anti-Kurd Employment Discrimination In Syria: Memri blog

Ismail ‘Amr, chairman of the Syrian Kurdish party Social Democratic Unionists, has revealed that thousands of Kurds have found themselves out of work after the Syrian security apparatuses ordered owners of companies and commercial enterprises not to employ anyone without Syrian citizenship unless they have given permission. (Source: qudspress.com, February 17, 2009)

Syria reportedly stepping up production of chemical weapons
By Yossi Melman, Haaretz

Syria has stepped up production of its chemical weapons recently, according to a lengthy article featured in the latest edition of Jane’s defense news Web site.

Photos shown on the Web site of a DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-1 satellite between 2005-2008 illustrate defining features of a chemical weapons facility.

According to the article, the Al Safir facility in northwest Syria shows “significant levels of construction,” including a production plant and an adjacent missile base.

Comments (150)


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101. jad said:

I was checking an opposition website and they wrote this note:

“Many of the Syria reports in particular are based on videos and images smuggled from the country; activists have taken them at great risk to their lives and freedom, despite their seemingly apolitical nature.”

It sounded as Syria is North Korea?

One of the articles was talking about a tragic suicide of a 19yo university student and link it to the regime, however, the shocking thing I wanted to share was for that site to show the picture of that poor girl laying dead on the concrete floor where she jumped.
My question is:
Do we as human and professional have the right to show such picture forgetting that this is a human being who has parents, sibling and friends? didn’t they think of the feeling any one of her relative to see that and what is his reaction might be of using that picture in an unrelated subject?
what is the point of putting that pic when you are talking about the accident and you are trying really hard to portray it as a result of political faults and corruption while all the evidence and the story line take us somewhere else?
How ethical is that and how can someone do such terrible thing just to make me support him?
Pathetic!

Lots of the article also talking about the poor of Syria and how miserable they are with some clips and photos, the interesting thing I notice was that the streets of those places were unexpectedly CLEAN, and I really mean it, CLEAN public street, I also didn’t get the point of showing and video taping poor kids and poor men in the street, what is wrong being poor?

I also noticed lots and lots of supporting articles for the Syrian Kurds which I have no problem with until I notice that in all the pictures none of the people not even one person of them hold one Syrian flag, they were only holding Kurdistan and PKK flags.
Lots and lots of issue there.

My time is up for today, I have to go!

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February 21st, 2009, 8:15 am

 

102. Alex said:

No AIG … I did not give up on Obama yet .. I might, like I always said I might, but I am still relieved that McCain and Palin did not win, regardless of what President Obama changes in America’s policies in the Middle East.

If I clarify that comment of mine above “I don’t want to discuss Obama now, I’m still looking at those beautiful photos”

You are reading too much into it.

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February 21st, 2009, 8:32 am

 

103. Chris said:

Jad,

While not meaning to criticise the Syrian regime and in an effort to stay on topic:

You wrote:
“I also noticed lots and lots of supporting articles for the Syrian Kurds which I have no problem with until I notice that in all the pictures none of the people not even one person of them hold one Syrian flag”

One might ask in response to your observation how could the Kurds of Syria be expected to wave Syrian flags when they have been stripped of their citizenship? Many of them are not Syrian citizens. If they aren’t Syrians why would we expect them to wave the Syrian flag? In stripping them of their citizenship the state has disowned them, saying we no longer want you. I for one couldn’t expect them to be loyal after such an act.
———-

Some observations from the recently published 2009 World Report by Human Rights watch ( http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/wr2009_web.pdf page 515 ) :

“Kurds, Syria’s largest non-Arab ethnic minority, comprise about 10 percent of the population of 19 million. They remain subject to systematic discrimination, including the arbitrary denial of citizenship to an estimated 300,000 Syria-born
Kurds.

Authorities suppress expressions of Kurdish identity, including the teaching of Kurdish in schools. On March 20, 2008, Syrian internal security forces opened fire on Kurds celebrating the Kurdish New Year in the town of Qamishli, leaving three dead.

On September 14 a military court sentenced 50 Kurds to six months in jail for demonstrating against the 2005 assassination of Kurdish leader Sheikh Ma`shuq al-Khaznawi. Security officials detained a number of Kurdish political activists, including Muhammad Musa, secretary of the Syrian Kurdish Left Party, and Mash`al al-Temmo and Omran al-Sayyid, leaders in the Kurdish Future Current in Syria. At this writing, all three face trial.”

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February 21st, 2009, 2:02 pm

 

104. Alia said:

Nafdik,

It is all white noise.

I do not mind Little Chris (and the people like him) because he disagrees with my views, I mind:

1. The obvious dissonance between his stated intentions (what is good for Syria that “we all care about”) and his actual discourse. Notice that he is always hiding behind : This blog is about Syria.

2. The position of the Western person ( so by definition: civilized) who is going to tell us what is wrong with us, just by the virtue of him being born somewhere else. His statements : ” I worry about HK about your such and such view…”
I don’t think that this blog is about another opportunity for a colonial dialogue. Especially in view of the fact that some of us have already spent quite a few years mopping up the messes of the Colonial supremacy dialogue.

3. Most of us here are educated and experienced in the ways of the East and West, most of us are far more so than little Chris. The medium of the internet allows only for so much expansion on dialogues unless you have unlimited time …so we end up being flooded with exasperating twisted information that most of us do not have the time or energy to respond to in depth.

A.P.

Yes, I support Hamas. It is up to them to decide how they are going to run their liberation movement. ( so do not come back to me with the question of whether I support their missile strikes in view of my own distancing from war that I stated in post number such and such .+++link, just figure it out for yourself Einstein)

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February 21st, 2009, 2:05 pm

 

105. nafdik said:

Thanks Jad for pointing me to the Tharwa Foundation web site http://foundation.tharwa.ws. Great site with lots of footage from Syria today.

You said you have an issue with the depiction of the Kurds:

“I also noticed lots and lots of supporting articles for the Syrian Kurds which I have no problem with until I notice that in all the pictures none of the people not even one person of them hold one Syrian flag, they were only holding Kurdistan and PKK flags.

Lots and lots of issue there.”

Is your issue that the pictures misrepresent reality, or is your issue with the reality itself?

Are you concerned, like myself, that the state has failed to create a home for all Syrians that they can be happy and proud to be part of?

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February 21st, 2009, 2:18 pm

 

106. Chris said:

Alia,

You wrote:
“1. The obvious dissonance between his stated intentions (what is good for Syria that “we all care about”) and his actual discourse. Notice that he is always hiding behind : This blog is about Syria.”

Yes, I am interested in Syria and its relations with the region. I’m also interested in the economic situation, and minorities in Syria. In pointing out that I prefer to talk about Syria on Syria Comment you wrote, “he is always hiding behind : This blog is about Syria.” This is apparently a reference to our recent discussion of Israeli media. So, discussions of Israeli media do not really seem pertinent to the topic of the blog “Syria Comment.” When Israeli media is used to counter claims that there is anti-semitism in Syrian media I become particularly perplexed, as, needless to say, what is produced in Israel tells us very little about the extent of anti-semitism in Syrian media.

I worry that by pointing out the flaws in other countries people will be distracted from trying to talk about Syrian issues. After all, the fact that other countries have flaws too only indirectly helps us get at solutions to the issues of this blog, primarily Syria. Often critiquing other countries comes from an effort to say something along the lines of, “you see things aren’t so bad here, things are bad over there too. They do bad things too.” This is a defensive strategy that undermines efforts to improve things. It is an effort to convince ourselves that things aren’t so bad. If they aren’t so bad then why improve. National pride impedes progress.

You wrote:
“2. The position of the Western person ( so by definition: civilized) who is going to tell us what is wrong with us, just by the virtue of him being born somewhere else. His statements : ” I worry about HK about your such and such view…”
I don’t think that this blog is about another opportunity for a colonial dialogue. Especially in view of the fact that some of us have already spent quite a few years mopping up the messes of the Colonial supremacy dialogue.”

First of all, nearly all of my criticisms, if not all, have been of the regime… I have never said or implied that the West is civilized and Syria is not. As far as our discussion of honor killing, or HK or as you put it, is concerned in an effort to put some balance into the discussion I made clear that I view a practice in the United States to be barbaric and primitive, namely the death penalty. So, there is no need to be defensive. In my view civilization comes about when there is a bureaucracy, something which happened in the Middle East thousands of years ago.

“3. Most of us here are educated and experienced in the ways of the East and West, most of us are far more so than little Chris. ”

Regarding to your reference to me as “little Chris” (for the 3rd time) and your post overall:
(from the SC Rules)
” As such, commentators should maintain a respectful tone with others and be tolerant of opinions that may differ from their own.”

, I don’t believe that referring to eachother as “little Chris” or “little x” is conducive to having a respectful discussion of politics on Syria Comment.

Also, while I may not be as “educated and experienced in the ways of the East and West” as you are. I am here to learn. To exchange views with those who have differing opinions. Rather than insult my intelligence or my lack of education it might help to engage in constructive criticism. If I agreed with your political views would you not be questioning my level of education?

I am a graduate student at one of top 5, in terms of ranking, schools of international affairs in the United States. I have been to Nepal, Thailand, Cuba, Kenya, and a number of other places. I have lived in the United States, Syria, and Europe. While this may not meant that I am as “educated and experienced in the ways of the East and West” as you, I hope it is acceptable.

Feel free to respond, however, I really would like to return to a discussion of Syria, as we are on Syria Comment.

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February 21st, 2009, 2:41 pm

 

107. Alia said:

Chris,

“The wilderness of mirrors”- you should be familiar with the quote.

You made many false claims above, a couple here for lack of time and interest:

In criticizing HK and claiming this was a common practice- you were not criticizing the regime.

In stating that Syria was a civilized country until the Arabs conquered it you were not praising the Syrian people.

I wonder why you failed to mention Israel among the countries you visited…

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February 21st, 2009, 3:08 pm

 

108. Nour said:

Chris,

You are confusing between nationalism, which is the awareness of one’s national identity, and relations between nations, which is based on mutual interests and cooperation. Syria has relations with Iran because they have common interests on which they cooperate and collaborate with mutual respect. It is the case with normal relations between any two nations. Therefore, Syria’s relation with Iran does not negate or diminish its national identity. As long as Syria is furthering its own national interests in its relations with Iran, then there should be no problem. It is only rational and normal for Iran to attempt to advance and strengthen itself, and we should be doing the same ourselves. The strengthening of Iran is not a justification to treat it as an enemy, unless it takes action against our interests.

In any case, the only true enemy of Syria is “Israel.” Zionist propagandists, with their wahhabi allies, have been trying desperately to detract from the enmity of “Israel” by attempting to make Iran the new “enemy” of the Arabs. This is exactly what you are doing here and it simply is not going to work because the majority of people in the Arab World are not stupid. They know that there is nothing wrong with Iran advancing and strengthening itself and that the real threat and danger comes from “Israel” and its racist, genocidal policies.

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February 21st, 2009, 3:39 pm

 

109. Jad said:

Dear Alia,
What do you think about the secular opposition TV plan?
How do you think that we and any average Syrian can understand the differences between a real opposition who is looking for the good of syria and it’s people not out of a political gains but out of concern and willingness for their real needs.
(could you please ignore any comment or question you might get from little you know who, thank you)

Tharwa for me is a one of the bad example where they don’t have any direction it’s another example of how low a politician go to support his case.

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February 21st, 2009, 3:57 pm

 

110. Jad said:

واشنطن تعلن عودة الحوار الدبلوماسي مع دمشق عبر لقاء بين فيلتمان ومصطفى
متحدث أمريكي: اللقاء سوف يتناول القضايا الخلافية بين الجانبين
قال الناطق باسم الخارجية الأمريكية غوردون دوغيد إن مساعد وزيرة الخارجية لشؤون الشرق الأدنى جيفري فيلتمان طلب موعدا للقاء السفير السوري في واشنطن عماد مصطفى لمناقشة القضايا الخلافية بين سورية والولايات المتحدة.

وأضاف دوغيد في مؤتمر صحفي أن هذا اللقاء الذي سيتم الأسبوع المقبل يمثل “عودة للحوار الدبلوماسي مع دمشق, وأن اللقاء سيكون فرصة للحوار ومناقشة الملفات التي تهمنا مع السوريين”.
وأشار المتحدث إلى أن فيلتمان سوف يتناول مع مصطفى قلق واشنطن حيال دعم سورية لحزب الله وحركة “حماس” إضافة إلى ملفات لبنان وحقوق الإنسان والاتهامات حول موقع الكبر الذي دمرته إسرائيل عام 2007 قالت الولايات المتحدة إنه كان مفاعلا نوويا قيد البناء فيما تقول سورية إنه كان مبنى عسكريا تقليديا.
وتأتي هذه الخطوة بعد عدة زيارات لوفود نيابية أمريكية إلى دمشق, وبالتزامن مع استقبال الرئيس بشار الأسد لوفدين أمريكيين في يوم واحد يرأس أحدهما رئيس لجنة العلاقات الخارجية في الكونغرس جون كيري.
وكانت تقارير صحفية قالت إن واشنطن تدرس إرسال سفير أمريكي إلى دمشق بعد أربع سنوات من سحب سفيرها, فيما أبدى البيت الأبيض تهاونا نسبيا في تطبيق قانون محاسبة سورية, الأمر الذي اعتبر مؤشرا على رغبة جدية من الرئيس باراك أوباما للحوار مع دمشق.
وكان الرئيس بشار الاسد قال قبل أيام إن تحسن العلاقات السورية الأمريكية لا يزال في مرحلة الإيماءات والإشارات ولا يوجد شيء على أرض الواقع بعد

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February 21st, 2009, 4:03 pm

 

111. Chris said:

Alia,

You wrote:
“In criticizing HK and claiming this was a common practice- you were not criticizing the regime.”

That was in response to the following by me:
“First of all, nearly all of my criticisms, if not all, have been of the regime”

You are correct, my mention of HK (your sanitized abbreviation for honor killings) was not a criticism of the regime. So good point! However, my mention of the regime’s protection of honor killers was a criticism of the regime (descriptions of those laws from the NYTimes are in post 53 above). More importantly though, my comment, “nearly all of my criticisms, if not all, have been of the regime” does not exclude the possibility that I may have criticised Syria and not the regime, it only says that “nearly all of the criticisms” have been of the regime. One example does not refute that.

“In stating that Syria was a civilized country until the Arabs conquered it you were not praising the Syrian people. ”

In a prior discussion you had referred to Syria as being an old civilization. I then said that that is correct, and added that the old civilization to which you were referring was wiped out by Arab invaders. I did not mean to say that at that point civilization ended in Syria, only that the historic Syrian civilization to which you were referring ended and was replaced with a new one (Arab or Islamic). You then countered that “The Arab Muslims added another layer of a spiritual civilization that you have no access to.” That may be true, however, this is debatable. I mean, outside of the ruins do you see the influence of Roman culture in Syria today?

You wrote:
“I wonder why you failed to mention Israel among the countries you visited…”

(that was written in response to the following by me)
“I am a graduate student at one of the top 5, in terms of ranking, schools of international affairs in the United States. I have been to Nepal, Thailand, Cuba, Kenya, and a number of other places. I have lived in the United States, Syria, and Europe. While this may not mean that I am as “educated and experienced in the ways of the East and West” as you, I hope it is acceptable.”
———————–

The reason why I failed to list Israel as being among the countries I have been to is for two reasons. First, and most importantly, I was aiming for geographic diversity, Latin America (Cuba), Africa (Kenya), Asia (Thailand), and I mentioned Nepal only because it is absolutely marvelous. Saying I’ve been to Canada as an American wouldn’t be very interesting. The second reason, why I failed to list Israel is because many of the people on this blog are aware of the fact that I have been to Israel.

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February 21st, 2009, 4:07 pm

 

112. jad said:

وكالة الطاقة الذرية: لا يوجد أي دليل على وجود عناصر غرافيت في موقع الكبر بدير الزور
http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=90951

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February 21st, 2009, 4:17 pm

 

113. jad said:

Dear Offended,
Related to your story about Dubai refusing to entry of the greatest tennis player the world have ever seen! Just because she is another Israeli murderer.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/arabic/sport/newsid_7902000/7902999.stm

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February 21st, 2009, 4:27 pm

 

114. jad said:

Exposed: University of Toronto suppresses pro-Palestinian activism

‘What follows is the documentation of a deliberate attempt by the UofT administration to prevent a Palestine solidarity conference from being held, the direct involvement of pro-Israel organizations in determining the use of student space and collusion between a number of Ontario universities to prevent the annual Israeli Apartheid Week — a student led week of events about Israeli Apartheid — from taking place. All of the emails referred to in the article are available online.’

http://www.rabble.ca/news/exposed-university-toronto-suppressed-pro-palestinian-activism

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February 21st, 2009, 4:37 pm

 

115. Alia said:

Dear Jad,

before I make any comment about the upcoming satellite program, I would like to see who they actually are, who is financing them, who is supporting them, what their ultimate aim is…

AS for Tharwa, the first thing to look at is the self-definition of the founder- Ammar Abdulhamid states that he was a fellow at the Saban center on the Middle East: This is the Saban center:

[In 2002, the Brookings Institution established the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in order "to promote a better understanding of the policy choices facing American decision makers in the Middle East". The Center is named after Haim Saban, an Israeli-American media proprietor, who donated $13 million toward its establishment and directed by Martin Indyk, a former US diplomat and a former director of research at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The Center’s political slant has been described as “pro-Israel” by US foreign policy scholars John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. A U.S. government indictment alleges that the Center’s Director of Research, Kenneth Pollack, provided information to former AIPAC employees Steve J. Rosen and Keith Weissman during the AIPAC espionage scandal.]

—————–

What I would really appreciate at this juncture is investigative Journalism without political agenda, we do not need another would-be Karzai or Chalabi hoping to catch the ball when foreign forces are ready to drop it.

My own interest is presently in the sanitization of the corrupt system- work from inside to serve. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a group of doctors ( some expats and some French) in France who are interested in building 2 private but not-for- profit hospitals – they have the financing worked-out from a major not for profit international humanitarian organization- they would like to get the approval of the government and see what resources on my side they could count on. They have support from Universities and hospitals in France to send staff to do training…All of that to give and they are terrified that they may not get the approval- That is bad!!!

I am not interested in opposition for the sake of opposition, rather for the sake of improvement of the situation. People who are hoping to get something for themselves with Israeli and other support should stand back.

Some of us are interested in the issue of the Kurds-and need to really understand the background and ramifications of the issue then come up with offers- others, have something else to offer-it is not even easy to be able to give there but that is all we have.

When the time is ripe and things are different we will have other plans. Insha’Allah.

Just overall opposition is not going to be helpful.

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February 21st, 2009, 4:37 pm

 

116. jad said:

Dear Alia,
I appreciate your excellent comment as always.
I agree on every word you wrote, I have the similar attitude toward the opposition issue.

The fact that the French group may not get approved to build hospitals is very concerning; How and Who is taking the final decision that is my concern, why giving authorities to people they don’t even deserve to be a janitor. isn’t there any special body that can help directing when we get into such situations? why to reject a great opportunity like this?

Do you know who is the figure that can help in that regard so we can at least try to approach?

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February 21st, 2009, 4:54 pm

 

117. Alia said:

Dear Jad,

The problems are:

1. Everything is centralized- in order to have something like that work you have to have the highest level of approval- you cannot just go and apply to the Ministry of health and get certificates and whatever you need of documentation.

2. The fact that foreign agencies are going to give Aid is always a delicate matter.

3. Concerns in Syria are either private or public. When they are no profit organizations, the government/or relevant ministries will appoint their own employees in the mix -that is not always a helpful presence to say the least- : )

4. The physician who is spearheading the project told me they will be contacting the usual top person who has supported similar projects hoping for her support of the project…

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February 21st, 2009, 5:12 pm

 

118. jad said:

Dear Alia,
Thank you for explaining.
It’s always going to the top person, it has never been a standards procedure and that is the biggest and worse glitch for us.
Why don’t they just put clear rules and steps for everybody interested in doing such pioneer project.
Juts treat it as an investment projects. Stupidity, mismanagement, and throwing politics in our daily life is our own biggest enemy.
nevertheless, we shouldn’t stop trying.
I know that I might be wrong, but they could try Masar (the first lady project) since they day and night promot that they are supporting kids, education and a better quality of life for the country side, it might be a real test for that ‘slogan’.
Or the ministry through Mr. Dardari links.

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February 21st, 2009, 5:40 pm

 

119. Alex said:

Alia, Jad, Nafdik

Tharwa is Ammar Abdelhamid … a very smart a good person… way smarter than the other Washington favorite Syrian opposition (Farid Ghadry)

But unfortunately Ammar’s good intentions are not preventing him from doing damage to Syria.

He is my former classmate (at age ten). Here is the last time I engaged in a disussion with him after Eliot Abrams took him to meet President Bush to convince him not to speak to Syria and, I assume, not to allow Israel to give the Golan back to Syria until there is democracy.

http://tharwacommunity.typepad.com/amarji/2007/12/the-heretical-a.html

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February 21st, 2009, 6:02 pm

 

120. Alia said:

Jad,

I am a little bit hopeful for this project this time which I have not been for too many years, I think it is Alex who is rubbing on me. We will see I will keep you posted.

Alex,

I will trust you on this. But what was Ammar AbdulHamid doing at the Saban center? what kind of fellowship is that ? You cannot get rid of that track record easily, yes, you are right he is very smart.

As for his answer that change requires agitation and leadership….It is something to think about if you are thinking of an old-fashioned revolution. Do we want, need a revolution? or a civil war like in Iraq and Afghanistan ? Are these even conceivable scenarios for us? Of course, you are not the person to answer that : )

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February 21st, 2009, 6:34 pm

 

121. Akbar Palace said:

Can Islamic Resistance Fighters ever be held Accountable?

Yes, I support Hamas. It is up to them to decide how they are going to run their liberation movement.

Alia,

Thanks for answering my question. Really, this is no surprise to me since I’ve been participating on this forum.

However, it seems to me you will support Hamas no matter what methods they use. IOW, is there anything Hamas can do that would change your mind and make you NOT want to support them?

In the same vein, how would you grade Hamas in terms of what they have achieved from their “liberation movement”? Say on a scale of 0 to 100 (0 = no achievement at all and 100 = excellent achievement, 100% met their liberation goals).

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February 21st, 2009, 6:37 pm

 

122. nafdik said:

Alex,

Thx for the info.

“meet President Bush to convince him not to speak to Syria and, I assume, not to allow Israel to give the Golan back to Syria until there is democracy.”

You slipped in an ‘I assume’. If you are only assuming, how did you come to this assumption? Has Ammar promoted this view in any of his public writings or speeches?

I find it disconcerting as well that Ammar is working with the likes of Joshua Muravchik, but at least he is open about it. But this is a far cry from assuming that he is pressuring US president to keep Syrian land under foreign occupation.

Ammar if you are reading this please provide your side of the story.

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February 21st, 2009, 6:37 pm

 

123. nafdik said:

Akbar,

Alia will of course give you her take, but here is mine:

I basically support Hamas because they are the choice of the Palestinian people. I am 100% in disagreement with their political views but again this is not my concern as long as the Palestinian people have chosen them.

Palestenians are under occupation and have the right to resist using the weapons of their choice. I do not like civilian deaths, but the Israelis have killed far more civilians and are holding the whole civilian population hostage under the threat of violence, so basically I do not see this as a factor.

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February 21st, 2009, 6:48 pm

 

124. majedkhaldoun said:

The sanction against Syria,is wrong,the people suffer,not the officials. dialogue must resume, USA did talk to soviet union,even that SU assisted terrorism.
The kurds who were denied syrian citizenship,they are not citizen of Syria, here, in USA many mexican has no american citizenship.
Israel committed criminal and terrorist actions against Gaza people, and continue the blockade,hurting civilians ,better condemn Israel,rather than defend it,otherwise you are accomplice, you have to be fair.
Spies by deinition are liers.

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February 21st, 2009, 7:10 pm

 

125. Akbar Palace said:

Alia will of course give you her take, but here is mine:

OK, great.

I basically support Hamas because they are the choice of the Palestinian people. I am 100% in disagreement with their political views but again this is not my concern as long as the Palestinian people have chosen them.

Nafdik,

That is interesting to me. You “support” Hamas but you disagree with their political views.

Although you disagree (and perhaps others on this forum) with their political views, I really haven’t read much detailed criticism of Hamas here on SC.

In contrast, we have SHAI, who probably DOESN’T “support” the GOI and, of course, disagrees with the GOI political views, even when the Israeli people have “chosen them”.

Conclusion: Shai is much more vocally critical of the Israeli government then Arabs are of the Palestinian government.

Palestenians are under occupation and have the right to resist using the weapons of their choice. I do not like civilian deaths, but the Israelis have killed far more civilians and are holding the whole civilian population hostage under the threat of violence, so basically I do not see this as a factor.

OK. So let’s see we have

Hamas: 4 (Alia, Nafdik, Alex and Shai)

and

GOI: 2 (AIG, AP)

Hamas is winning!

Palestenians are under occupation and have the right to resist using the weapons of their choice.

Nafdik,

Just FYI, Israel is not going to end any occupation or array of checkpoints without a negotiated settlement. So there are other avenues available.

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February 21st, 2009, 7:33 pm

 

126. Alex said:

Nafdik,

I had hours and hours of phone discussions with Ammar, and tens of hours of discussion on his blog.

I wrote “I assume” because I don’t want to make a claim I am 100% sure I can back with something Online.

Can I ask you something though? … how can the Golan go back to Syria under “Assad’s dictatorship” if Ammar does not want the Americans to talk to Assad?

Again, I am not completely against Ammar and what he stands for … he has a lot of good in him, but as I wrote on his blog so many times, I think he is an extremists and a dangerous one… if he cut down by 50% his enthusiasm, I think he could have been just right.

Of course he thinks I am also completely wrong in “supporting” Bashar so consistently.

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February 21st, 2009, 7:52 pm

 

127. nafdik said:

Alex,

I just want to be clear on this.

You assume:

a) Ammar asked Bush not to talk to Syrian regime and by simple deduction you conclude that means Golan will stay with Israel

b) Ammar asked Bush EXPLICITLY to pressure Israel not to return the Golan heights

Even if A is equivalent to B in your opinion we have to be very careful in this kind of comment.

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February 21st, 2009, 8:32 pm

 

128. nafdik said:

Akbar,

I support the Palestinian people because they are under occupation. If they choose Hamas then I will support them.

There is no contradiction with this and the fact that I disagree with the philosophy, politics, and methods of Hamas. If this was a blog about Palestinian politics and I was invited by Palestinians to give my opinion I would have explained why I think Hamas is wrong. Since it is not, I do not want to white noise this space ;)

At the risk of sounding snotty:

“Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end. ”

Emanuel Kant

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February 21st, 2009, 8:42 pm

 

129. Shai said:

Akbar Palace,

“In contrast, we have SHAI, who … disagrees with the GOI political views, even when the Israeli people have “chosen them”.

I wonder, do you suddenly agree with the Democrats, simply because the American people have “chosen them”? If the majority of the people in Israel elect a prime minister who will bring a fascist pig into his government, you think I should “agree with the GOI”? Perhaps you should first explain to this forum whether YOU agree with “the GOI” once Lieberman is part of it…?!?

“Just FYI, Israel is not going to end any occupation or array of checkpoints without a negotiated settlement.”

How do you know that? Record shows quite the opposite. Barak ended Israeli occupation in Lebanon (18 years of it) without negotiation, and Sharon did the same in Gaza (almost 40 years). To remind you, Netanyahu also withdrew from a few key cities in the West Bank.

Does AIPAC teach you guys a different history back there? Or are you now investing in “Wishful Thinking Funds”?

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February 21st, 2009, 9:38 pm

 

130. Alia said:

A.P.,

Your highlighted subject title is misleading.

My support of Hamas has nothing to do with their Islamic identity. I support the struggle of the Palestinian people in whatever shape and form they choose to do it. I supported the ANC that had nothing to do with Islam or Arabic identity in the same way.

The second part of your statement: No I do not hold them accountable..The most basic principle of dynamics is that where there is force there is counter force. The Palestinians did not choose to be locked up in Gaza and the Hamas youth did not choose to become freedom fighters. Those roles were forced on them historically, their other choices are nil.

I have always noticed how quick the Zionists are to calling people terrorist. Today in Haaretz Col. Liebman head of the IDF prosecution team called attempts at suing members of the IDF, legal terrorism…When the Zionists use “terrorism” it comes in all flavors but when they are accused of state terrorism, they say such a thing does not exist. Additionally the article cited “international law expert Yoram Dinstein who said at a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv late last month that a ratio of three or four civilian deaths per combatant death was the norm in most wars.”

I would love to know where he got his statistics- the only place I know of such horror scenario would be the Congo..

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1065338.html

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February 21st, 2009, 10:00 pm

 

131. Chris said:

“If they choose Hamas then I will support them.”

This assumes that they chose Hamas. It is true that Hamas did win a plurality, although significantly not a majority, of the vote in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections of January 2006. They received %44.45% of the vote( http://www.elections.ps/pdf/Final_Results_PLC_Summary_Lists_Seats_2_En.pdf ) . In other words most Palestinians who voted did not vote for Hamas in that last election.

The Palestinians also chose Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen), the leader of Fatah, for the presidency in an election that was held in 2005. He won a majority of the vote in that election with %62.52 of the vote. In clear contrast to Hamas’ performance in 2006, most Palestinians who voted in that election did vote for Mahmoud Abas.

So we have a situation in which Hamas wins the legislature by obtaining a plurality of the vote and Fatah wins the presidency by obataining a majority of the vote. Who did the Palestinians choose? Is this clear?

This would be analogous to a situation in which the Democrats control the legislature in the U.S. and the Republicans control the White House.

Then in July of 2007, Hamas opens fire and launches a violent coup against the government it was elected into, the Palestinian Authority. It is certainly not clear that the Palestinians chose this.

According to the Jerusalem Media and Communication Service,
“When asked if PLC elections were held today, the percentage of those who would vote for Hamas rose to 28.6% in this poll compared with 19.3% last April. On the other hand, the popularity of Fatah Movement declined from 34% last April to 27.9% in this poll…It is clear from the poll that the rise in Hamas’ popularity is due to an increase in its popularity in the West Bank – it rose from
12.8% last November to 26.5% in this poll.”
*The margin of error is ±3 percent, with a confidence level of 95%.
( http://www.jmcc.org/publicpoll/results/2009/67_jan_english.pdf )

Since the margin of error is 3% and Hamas supporters number 28.6% and Fatah supporters number 27.9%, it is not clear that Palestinians who would win an election today. It is important to note that these polls were takenduring the period of January 29-31, 2009. Immediately, after the war in Gaza. So, Hamas is benefitting from a spike in support in the aftermath of the conflict. Given that this is a response to a very recent emotinal event I imagine that people’s views might begin to return to where they were prior to the war.During November 20-23, 2008, “When asked if legislative elections were held today, a ratio of 36.8% said they vote for Fatah while 19.5% said they would vote for Hamas and a ratio of 3.7% said they would vote for the PFLP.”
( http://www.jmcc.org/publicpoll/results/2008/no66-eng.pdf )

So Nafdik, I don’t think it is clear that the Palestinians chose Hamas or would choose them in any upcoming elections. I am certain that they didn’t choose the one-party rule that now exists in Gaza.

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February 21st, 2009, 10:10 pm

 

132. jad said:

Mark your calendars – the 5th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week will take place across the globe from March 1-8, 2009!
http://apartheidweek.org/
Check out your city!

Canadian photo journalist, Jon Elmer!
“Jon Elmer is a Canadian freelance writer and photojournalist specializing in the Middle East. He has researched and reported from the West Bank and Gaza Strip – based in Jenin and Gaza City – during the al-Aqsa intifada (2003), following Israel’s “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip (2005), and during the sanctions regime and factional strife (2007).”
http://jonelmer.ca/

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February 21st, 2009, 10:41 pm

 

133. Akbar Palace said:

My support of Hamas has nothing to do with their Islamic identity. I support the struggle of the Palestinian people in whatever shape and form they choose to do it…No I do not hold them accountable..

Alia,

Thanks again for the answers. For the first time, I have a clear answer stating that because of the position the Palestinians are in, they can to “whatever they want” to attain their goals.

If I have misinterpreted anything, please let me know.

Shai responds:

I wonder, do you suddenly agree with the Democrats, simply because the American people have “chosen them”?

I have disagreements with the current administration, but I think I can objectively say that Obama is doing his best and has our best interest in mind. But I am always “pro-American”.

Anyway Shai, I’m trying draw a comparison and perhaps I’m not articulating it well. I’ll try again.

Nafdik said:

I basically support Hamas because they are the choice of the Palestinian people. I am 100% in disagreement with their political views…

I take this statement to mean that Nafdik supports “the Palestinian People” but that he doesn’t at all agree with their actions and goals.

Also, it is my observation that the Arab participants here keep their “disagreements” to themselves whereas their “support” is quite loud and emotional.

Alia’s response was even more straight-forward as she has offered no criticism of Hamas at all.

Shai, I put you down as a Hamas supporter also. Let me know if I made a bad assumption.

If the majority of the people in Israel elect a prime minister who will bring a fascist pig into his government, you think I should “agree with the GOI”?

Shai,

Well, as we have seen from the previous comments, one can be pro-Israel or be in “disagreement” with the government, etc. Also, in Israel’s case, the government is a coalition of many political parties.

From the comments you’ve made over the years about the “Israeli people” and all the Israeli politcal parties, you have surpassed Alia and Nafdik in terms of not supporting the People you identify the most with.

I wonder why that is?

Perhaps you should first explain to this forum whether YOU agree with “the GOI” once Lieberman is part of it…?!?

Shai,

I feel I am nuanced enough to genrally support my people and the State of Israel. Israel’s right to self defense transcends whoever is leading Israel. My support of Israel is a given. I don’t get that from you.

I critcize Israel, but I know it is very infrequent and certainly not forceful enough for most of the participant here. I dislike Israel’s parlimentary system of coalition building. I dislike how the small parties carry so much weight in the election process. I dislike how the religious and the Arabs do no national service.

Do the Palestinian’s goal of cementing their rights transcend whatever actions they deem necessary to secure these rights?

What do you think?

What are the rights they are seeking? Self-determination? Freedom of movement? Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I’d like to know. The right to kill a Jew without fearing retaliation?

“Just FYI, Israel is not going to end any occupation or array of checkpoints without a negotiated settlement.”

How do you know that? Record shows quite the opposite. Barak ended Israeli occupation in Lebanon (18 years of it) without negotiation, and Sharon did the same in Gaza (almost 40 years). To remind you, Netanyahu also withdrew from a few key cities in the West Bank.

I don’t know this for a certainty, but where Israel withdrew from these occupations, peace for Israelis has not transpired and wars have resulted. I heard today more missiles flew in from Lebanon.

OK. How many missiles does Israel have to absorb before the “Boss gets Mad” again? Israel leaving Lebanon and Gaza is akin to striping of clothing. Now Israel is down to her underwear. She won’t be naked unless she knows she’s protected. Again, MHO.

Does AIPAC teach you guys a different history back there? Or are you now investing in “Wishful Thinking Funds”?

History doesn’t change, it is just a matter of how we interpret history. You perceive Israel leaving territory without any agreement (which is true), and I see Israel still not at all living in peace.

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February 22nd, 2009, 12:02 am

 

134. jad said:

Alex,
I trust your words about Ammar as a person, but as he state in his reply to you that when you get professional you drop the personal touch.
From what I read so far I’m not impressed and I lost any interest in hearing or even reading more of his so called professionalism.

(الرقص على أنغام الشارع
الكاتب/ عمار عبد الحميد
Friday, 13 February 2009
في: 12 شباط، 2009
تتكاثر الأخبار والإشاعات والتقارير حوال نشاطات الحكومات والأنظمة والأحزاب والحركات، لكن التطورات الحقيقة التي ستغير الأوضاع في سورية والمنطقة ستجري في الشارع عما قريب، وسيقودها الناس. طوبى لـ “الرعاع”، إنهم قادمون.)

What does that one line statement suppose to mean? am I suppose to buy these cheap goods? what did his professionalism build for Syrians? what is his greatest achievement so far? meeting with Bush..wohoo..big deal!
What is the gain for any one of those poor people his foundation interviewed, video taping the laughing kids playing in the dirt or the unethical picture of that poor young girl dead in the street?

In the far east they have a say;
One time one meeting.
That short sentence means; you only have one chance to impress people and gain their hearts and make them believe you, and I think Ammar’s professionalism lost this chance big time.

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February 22nd, 2009, 12:07 am

 

135. Akbar Palace said:

Yvette Goes to South America?

Argentina’s government announced on Thursday it had ordered Bishop Richard Williamson to leave within 10 days or be expelled from the country where he has lived for years.

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February 22nd, 2009, 12:13 am

 
 

137. nafdik said:

“I take this statement to mean that Nafdik supports “the Palestinian People” but that he doesn’t at all agree with their actions and goals.”

Your interpretation is correct. I do not judge their goals, and as long as their actions are not extremely damaging I am fine with it.

There is nothing complicated here, I am sure you have the same attitude towards all your neighbors (I mean those who live in the house next to you).

“Also, it is my observation that the Arab participants here keep their “disagreements” to themselves whereas their “support” is quite loud and emotional.”

Because our support is based on hundreds of children who were dying as we watched, and some of us can not help but be emotional in these cases. My disagreements are about tactics and internal policy and this not the appropriate forum to discuss. You have to go to Palestinian forums and you will find a lot of debate about the disagreements.

I am sure you have found scathing comments about Syria and its handling of its occupied territories. If you have anything to discuss about this I am very happy to go into details about my disagreements :)

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February 22nd, 2009, 1:45 am

 

138. Akbar Palace said:

My disagreements are about tactics and internal policy and this not the appropriate forum to discuss.

Nafdik,

Thanks for the feedback. Well, with regard to your statement above, you and Shai are quite different!

As far as Hamas is concerned, I’m giving up trying to convince anyone here that Hamas’s actions did not buy them any more world sympathy, more rights, more land, more peace, or more prosperity.
Hamas’s actions had only a negative effect.

But I am not Arab or Palestinian, so what I think doesn’t matter.

However, Arab and European countries are starting to wonder why they are giving Hamas millions and billions of dollars only to invest it on weapons, tunnel networks, and Green-Flag jihadist rallies.

AP

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February 22nd, 2009, 2:08 am

 

139. nafdik said:

Akbar,

“But I am not Arab or Palestinian, so what I think doesn’t matter.”

You are very wrong there. In your hand you hold 50% of the solution.

What is your opinion?

If Israel is given credible security guarantees, would you support the full withdrawal from all the occupied territories?

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February 22nd, 2009, 3:14 am

 

140. nafdik said:

Jad,

“What is the gain for any one of those poor people his foundation interviewed, video taping the laughing kids playing in the dirt or the unethical picture of that poor young girl dead in the street?”

I am surprised you did not appreciate this clip.

http://syrianelector.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3014&Itemid=124

I found it a very poignant reminder of the realities of the poorest in our country and as well of the resilience of the Syrian people and their ability to cope with difficulty.

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February 22nd, 2009, 3:26 am

 

141. Akbar Palace said:

What is your opinion?

If Israel is given credible security guarantees, would you support the full withdrawal from all the occupied territories?

Nafdik,

“Given credible security guarantees”, I think Israel would have already left the Golan and most of the West Bank per the Camp David Accords.

Back in ’67, if the Arabs were willing to negotiate then, instead of the “3 Nos”, Israel would have just claimed parts of the Old City of Jerusalem and nothing else.

Now, 30 years later, I think parts of Israel are being offered instead of evacuating the larger settlement blocks.

I think most Israelis would vote for such a deal.

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February 22nd, 2009, 3:53 am

 

142. jad said:

Nafdik, Isn’t India a democratic country? do they tend to show their poor on TV for political gain? Don’t they have people in worst condition than the poor of Syria?
What the point of showing those video as an evidence that we have poor people? You go visit some American an Canadian cities and you will see it full of homeless and poor too.
You don’t have to be an opposition living in the states and meeting the American president to point out those problems.
We had “Saleb wa mowjed” (positive and Negative) program on the Syrian national TV during Hafez Assad times do you remember that program? even today you go through the national newspaper and you will read worst than what Tharwa had on their website.
You don’t have to state on your website that those videos smuggled out of Syria as if it is a crime to video tape locals, are we in North Korea where you get executed talking to a foreigner?
Nobody check your handbags or luggage at the airport or watch what you have on your video camera do they? did you ever had any person asked to check your camera or your computer or even your cellphone when you are leaving Syria? No they don’t.

I prefer when people are clear and to the point, If you have a problem as an opposition, point it out and give me a solution don’t give me a lecture promising me with ‘Nirvana world’ (as Ehsani once wrote)
Get me one article from that website giving a solution, any kind of solution for any of the issues they are talking about. Other than Democracy is the answers to everything.
What we really need is work not just empty words we learned living in the west and repeat them as parrots.
Why didn’t you link the meaning less article about the 19yo girl, or the article titled “السوريون يأكلون الفطائس” or the tens of Kurds issue articles written not by a Kurd who want to live in Syria as a Syrian where they whine about but by a Kurd who want to take part of Syria and call it home.
Those are just few issues that I can’t and will not accept and I absolutely refuse, regardless of how right and honest the point was, even to read.
Nafdik, don’t galvanize the real goal most of those oppositions are looking for by humanity and caring, it’s not, it’s just to get the power nothing more nothing less, frankly, I don’t trust any of them.

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February 22nd, 2009, 4:45 am

 

143. nafdik said:

Jad,

You seem to be upset at the motives for posting the video and not the video itself.

I will not debate all the points but I think that given the lack of information available about Syria all contributions are welcome and I trust the Syrians to be able to filter the propaganda out of the messages they see.

Hopefully somebody will be able to find Syria loving kurds who will present their point of view, and so on, so we get the full picture.

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February 22nd, 2009, 6:03 am

 

144. jad said:

What lack of information? to whom?
Don’t you already know our country’s problem?
Well, I sum it all up for you:
-Lack of justice system
-Corruption
-Lack of freedom
-lack of education
-lack of health care
-lack of experts
-lack of management

Nafdik, Syrian Kurds are 10% of the population that means 2.1M not all of them have the citizenship problem and the majority of them already melted in the Syrian society and they are as Syrian as all of us, while in Tharwa they portray the kurd’s situation as if they are under the Syrian occupation or something, didn’t you read what is out there?!
Doesn’t Syria have the right to protect it’s national interest?
I’m sorry to say that but it seems that you have a problem being straightforward and putting aside your politeness when it comes to major issues, you will end up giving up what is yours easily for the sake of understanding and being politically correct.

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February 22nd, 2009, 6:35 am

 

145. nafdik said:

Jad,

“… while in Tharwa they portray the kurd’s situation as if they are under the Syrian occupation or something, didn’t you read what is out there?!”

All Syrians are under occupation. The Kurds seem to be organizing lately so our rulers have decided to pay some attention to them.

You should stop conflating attacks on the regime as attacks on Syria.

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February 22nd, 2009, 3:27 pm

 

146. Shai said:

Akbar Palace,

“I have disagreements with the current administration, but I think I can objectively say that Obama is doing his best and has our best interest in mind. But I am always “pro-American”.”

I’m sure Lieberman is also “doing his best” and has Israel’s “best interest” in mind, in his own twisted brain’s way of thinking. But unlike you, I certainly am NOT always “pro-Israel” if that Israel puts a fascist pig in power, smack in the middle of its government.

Btw, you never answered in clear terms whether you support a government of Israel with Lieberman, or not. Please inform this audience – we are curious.

“Shai, I put you down as a Hamas supporter also. Let me know if I made a bad assumption.”

You must be kidding. Because I understand their motives, and even claim that I would do the same (or more), means I support them? I know you’d like to see all liberal Israelis as members of Hamas, but we’re not. If you’re a bad parent, you might understand why your child is doing drugs, but that doesn’t mean you support her, does it?

“My support of Israel is a given. I don’t get that from you.”

That’s a VERY dangerous thing for Israel – to have you, or anyone else, automatically, blindly, support Israel. That gives us a carte blanche to do anything we want, because we know we have your powerful (lobbying) support in Washington. So we can continue our Apartheid rule, we can continue our belligerence, our suffocation and subjugation of million of people, and know that your support of Israel “… is a given”. Well, I’d like to think that your support of the U.S. government isn’t always a given. What if your nation is doing terrible things, you’ll still support it? So who will change it, if not you? Martians from outer-space, who support of the U.S. isn’t “a given”?

Your Conservative Republican upbringing, with it’s “loyalty to America” mantras has blinded you to the point of innate herd mentality. You’ve stopped thinking – you just follow, blindly. To you, a criticizer is a non-supporter. And a non-supporter, is unpatriotic or disloyal. And those not loyal, find themselves supporting the enemy. Right? What do you know about loyalty, or patriotism? When was the last time you sacrificed anything in your life to “serve your country”? What do you know about moral dilemmas? What do you know about living in a country that you know is racist (not everyone, but many), is dangerous, is belligerent, is a bully, is criminal, is electing fascists into power? And YOU dare lecture me about being pro-Israel? Where are you, and where am I?

“What are the rights they are seeking? Self-determination? Freedom of movement? Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I’d like to know. The right to kill a Jew without fearing retaliation?”

Freedom of movement???? What on earth are you talking about? You think that’s what they’re fighting for? Yes, they’re fighting for their basic right to life, to dignity, to self-determination. To not being a slave, whose fate is determined by another people and their 19 year-old soldiers. Why is that SO difficult for you to understand? Is it, in fact, difficult, or are you continuing to pretend you don’t understand? Do you think Palestinian children are born with a genetic predisposition to killing Jews? Maybe you do think it.

“How many missiles does Israel have to absorb before the “Boss gets Mad” again?… Now Israel is down to her underwear. She won’t be naked unless she knows she’s protected.”

Akbar, you need a psychologist real bad. Israel is in her underwear? We’re the fricken “Boss”, we control the lives of millions without freedom, without rights, and WE’RE demanding protection???!!! We have nukes (according to foreign sources) that can turn the Middle East into barren land, and WE need protection from $10 rockets that barely kill a bug in an empty field? What planet do you reside on? Ours?

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February 22nd, 2009, 3:40 pm

 

147. jad said:

“All Syrians are under occupation”
I agree, the spaceship that brought Assad to Syria came from Mars!

“You should stop conflating attacks on the regime as attacks on Syria.”
I agree, I’m brainwashed and too naive to know the differences between the regime and the country, I promise you Nafdik, I’ll stop!

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February 22nd, 2009, 4:14 pm

 

148. Joe M. said:

Chris,
After reading you post #131, I am convinced that you are either 1) the stupidest human being on the planet, or 2) purposely trying to lie and distort reality for some larger political purpose. just to point out one obvious sign of your stupidity:
you said:
“I am certain that they didn’t choose the one-party rule that now exists in Gaza.”
Chris, do you think they chose one party rule in the west bank? or does your anger at the palestinians only come out when we disagree with you?

and that is aside from the fact that your pathetic argument ignores how the political system works. By your empty logic, we could say that the government of every european “democracy” is illegitimate because no single party in any european country has an absolute majority. (though, their presidential elections tend to have run-offs)…

Alex,
Even though the nonsense Chris writes on this forum is completely useless and does harm the quality of the discussion, as a general matter, i do not think you should ban his participation. (assuming you can confirm that he is a single person, and not some conglomerate of zionist idiots…) I wish I had more time and energy to point out his utter stupidity, but lucky for us, he is so ignorant that he does the job without our help.

Even the other zionist fanatics like AIG and Akhbar are more valuable to discussion than chris, because at least they have no illusions. Chris doesn’t even understand reality, or is blatantly lying to disrupt genuine discussion…

nafdik,
I would just point out that i think very few Palestinians support the “two-state solution” today. The official circles do, and that’s about all.

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February 23rd, 2009, 12:36 am

 

149. Akbar Palace said:

Israeli Liberals & the Yafeh Nefesh: Politically Irrelevant as Ever

I’m sure Lieberman is also “doing his best” and has Israel’s “best interest” in mind, in his own twisted brain’s way of thinking. But unlike you, I certainly am NOT always “pro-Israel” if that Israel puts a fascist pig in power, smack in the middle of its government.

Shai,

I’m thinking you will be living in Israel while the “fascist pig” takes his seat in the cabinet. I’m guessing you were living in Israel while the Stern Gang leader Begin was in power, and I’m guessing you were living in Israel while the Sabra/Shatilla “mastermind” was in power too.

It must be difficult for you.

Btw, you never answered in clear terms whether you support a government of Israel with Lieberman, or not. Please inform this audience – we are curious.

Yup, I sure do.

“Shai, I put you down as a Hamas supporter also. Let me know if I made a bad assumption.”

You must be kidding. Because I understand their motives, and even claim that I would do the same (or more), means I support them?

Seems like it to me. Tell me what you would do “more” than Hamas. Try to be as speicific as possible.;)

I know you’d like to see all liberal Israelis as members of Hamas, but we’re not.

Spare me detail.

If you’re a bad parent, you might understand why your child is doing drugs, but that doesn’t mean you support her, does it?

Your “kids” got off easy this time.

“My support of Israel is a given. I don’t get that from you.”

That’s a VERY dangerous thing for Israel – to have you, or anyone else, automatically, blindly, support Israel.

My support for Israel isn’t “blind”. I read the news.

That gives us a carte blanche to do anything we want, because we know we have your powerful (lobbying) support in Washington.

Shai, if Israel could do “anything we want”, they would have spent more time in Lebanon and Gaza during the last 2 wars.

So we can continue our Apartheid rule, we can continue our belligerence, our suffocation and subjugation of million of people, and know that your support of Israel “… is a given”.

Israel’s rule has nothing to do with Apartheid. Only Arabs and a handful of Israeli “Yafeh Nefesh” use this terminology.

Well, I’d like to think that your support of the U.S. government isn’t always a given.

It sure is a given. Just like the SC participant’s support of Hamas is a given. Talk to them.

What if your nation is doing terrible things, you’ll still support it?

I find the “Yafeh Nefesh” do more terrible things. They don’t allow Israel to defend herself and thus hold her back politically.

So who will change it, if not you?

You mean “Tikkun Olam”? The change GWB brought to the ME was the best change in 40 years.

Your Conservative Republican upbringing, with it’s “loyalty to America” mantras has blinded you to the point of innate herd mentality.

The “herd” mentality were the supporters of Barack Obama. Remember, he won. 78% of the liberally herded Jews voted for him.

You’ve stopped thinking – you just follow, blindly.

Right, I stopped thinking. That’s why all my friends and family talk to me about foreign relations, because I stopped thinking. I would be willing to guess that I am in the top 5% of Jews in my community who understand the nuances of ME politics.

To you, a criticizer is a non-supporter.

You have surpassed being a casual “criticizer”, frankly Shai, you’re an anti-Israel Israeli. Let’s finally admit it. But you sure do a great job living off the “fat of the land” while your being led by one racist government after the other. How do you live with yourself under these strange circumstances?

And a non-supporter, is unpatriotic or disloyal. And those not loyal, find themselves supporting the enemy. Right? What do you know about loyalty, or patriotism? When was the last time you sacrificed anything in your life to “serve your country”?

I support the US a great deal in my line of work. And I’m very proud of it.

What do you know about moral dilemmas? What do you know about living in a country that you know is racist (not everyone, but many), is dangerous, is belligerent, is a bully, is criminal, is electing fascists into power?

Not a lot. I saw the American black community fight for their rights while the US experienced an “intifada” in the 60s. I’ve seen how our nation has come to terms with their racist beginnings and has now elected our first black president.

Protecting a nation from annihilation is not a moral dilemma to me.

And that is exactly what Israel did in ’48, ’67, and ’73.

And YOU dare lecture me about being pro-Israel? Where are you, and where am I?

Freedom of speech, the last time I heard, in a universal human right. Although it doesn’t exist in many Arab and muslim countries including Hamastan.

Yes, they’re fighting for their basic right to life, to dignity, to self-determination.

All the rights of Palestinians are coded in law if they live in Israel and hold Israeli citizenship. Palestinians living under the PA, are subject to PA laws. Syrians living in Syria are subject to Syrian law. And so forth…

However, countries like Israel have a RIGHT of self defence. What this means is that if a certain Palestinian can only attain “dignity” or “self determination” by launching missiles and mortars toward Israel, rest assured, he will most likely lose his “basic right to life” as he would no matter where he lives on this Earth.

Do you think Palestinian children are born with a genetic predisposition to killing Jews? Maybe you do think it.

No. I do not think Palestinian children are born with a genetic predisposition to killing Jews. I think it is taught and indoctrinated in them from a very early age as shown in this slide-show:

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/pictures/PalestinianChildAbuse/

What do you think?

“How many missiles does Israel have to absorb before the “Boss gets Mad” again?”

You conveniently didn’t answer the question. No wonder Israel has turned toward the Right, especially the residents of the South.

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February 23rd, 2009, 2:35 am

 

150. Shai said:

Akbar Palace,

“The change GWB brought to the ME was the best change in 40 years.”

Akbar, you’re pathetic.

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February 23rd, 2009, 6:55 am

 

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