New Syrian Leadership Electrifies Opposition: Ten Countries Promise Recognition

Ten countries promised recognition of the new “National Coalition for Revolutionary Forces and the Syrian Opposition”, including Saudi, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, US, German, Italy, France.

Mouaz al-Khatib, a former imam at the famous Umayyad mosque in Damascus, was voted as president. Riad Seif, who proposed the initiative to form the new group, and female activist Suhair al-Atassi were chosen as deputies. All three have served time in Syrian prisons and left the country recently. (See BBC’s Excellent profile of Khatib)

It is a big day for the Syrian opposition. Defying naysayers and skeptics, the opposition came together in Doha to follow the outlines of the Riad Seif plan. Opposition members the world over are electrified by the outcome and moving speeches given by the opposition’s new leadership. Assad regime must be worried, as it has survived for 42 years thanks to Syria’s fragmentation.

Now the challenge will be to unite the militias on the ground in Syria behind the new civilian leadership. The role of Qatar, the US, France and Britain have been central in encouraging unity.

Ahmad Moaz Al Khatib Al Hassani – official webpage with speeches given in the past

Video of Ahmad al-Khatib

George Sabra’s Speech on Youtube Very moving. One Syrian friend writes: “This speech made me feel proud to be a Syrian Christian for the first time in a long time.”

Names of the members of the ‘itilaf al-watani

معاذ الخطيب، رياض سيف،سهير الأتاسي، جورج صبرا كلهم معتقلين سابقين بسجون النظام،ورياض خسر ابنه ثمنا لانتقاده رامي مخلوف

Gulf States Recognize New Syrian Opposition Group,  2012-11-12

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council says it has recognized the new broad-based Syrian opposition group as the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people. Monday’s statement is the first formal recognition for the newly united opposition group that seeks to topple President Bashar Assad. It also could be another step toward opening up greater military aid to the rebels from the Gulf states such as Qatar, which hosted the Syrian opposition meeting.

Reuters – Syria opposition seeks support

His assembly was recognized by the six Sunni Muslim-ruled kingdoms of the Gulf Cooperation Council as “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people”. Washington said it would back it “as it charts a course toward the end of Assad’s bloody rule and the start of the peaceful, just, democratic future”.

The Arab League welcomed the formation of the new body, called on other opposition groups to join it and described it as “a legitimate representative and a primary negotiator”, but fell short of calling it the new authority in Syria.

Syrian opposition agrees deal, chooses preacher as leader
By RANIA EL GAMAL, REUTERS November 12, 2012

DOHA – Syrian opposition leaders struck a hard-won deal on Sunday under intense international pressure to form a broad, new coalition to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad and chose a popular Islamist activist to head the body.

Mouaz al-Khatib, a former imam at the famous Umayyad mosque in Damascus, was voted as president. Riad Seif, who proposed the initiative to form the new group, and female activist Suhair al-Atassi were chosen as deputies.

Delegates, who had struggled for days in the Qatari capital Doha to find the unity their Western and Arab backers have long urged, said the coalition would ensure a voice for religious and ethnic minorities and for the rebels fighting on the ground, who have complained of being overlooked by exiled dissident groups.

U.S. hails creation of new Syrian exile opposition group
By Roy Gutman | McClatchy Newspapers – November 11, 2012

Riad Seif, a Syrian businessman who served in the Syrian Parliament and then spent several terms in jail as a political dissident, was the principal organizer of the new initiative and was elected a deputy president of the new group. Suhair al Atassi, a female anti-Assad activist, was elected as a second vice president.

Jones, the U.S. official, urged the new organization, whose full name is the Syrian National Coalition for the Forces of the Opposition and the Revolution, to set up a technical group with which the international community can “work quickly.” She said she was sending a top level official to London to attend an emergency aid meeting that the British government has called for Friday.

In late October, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly called for the new group to supplant the Syrian National Council, which had been the biggest exile umbrella group. Founded little over a year ago, the SNC has been widely criticized for infighting, lackluster leadership, and a failure to raise sufficient funds or to establish close links with fighting groups inside Syria.

But the new coalition may face some of the same organizational problems that the Syrian National Council did. Syrian emigres do not have well-formed political parties, no surprise after four decades of a police state dictatorship, and the only group that appears able to develop a political strategy is the Muslim Brotherhood.

A second problem is the political constellation under which the new coalition was formed – public pressure from the United States, which is widely criticized by Syrians in and out of the country for giving plenty of advice but having done little to arm the rebels.

The new group also must determine how to incorporate the original Syrian National Council into its operation. The council this past week restructured itself and elected a Christian, George Sabra, as its president. Sabra immediately called for the international community to arm the rebels. “We need arms. We need arms. We need arms,” Sabra said, a distinctly more vigorous presentation than Khatib’s on Sunday night.

The government of Qatar, which hosted both the council’s organizational talks and the discussions that led to the creation of the Syrian National Coalition, invited both groups to stay in Doha until Nov. 25 in order to figure out how to meld their organizations.

Additionally, U.S. officials also may face difficulty rationalizing Khatib’s positions with U.S. policy. Western diplomats said Khatib has been a critic of twin accords agreed to in Cairo last July that Riad Seif was instrumental in drafting that specify that a post-Assad Syria should be secular in nature. Khatib has been critical of the documents because they make no reference to Islamic Shariah law.

Jones’ statement made clear that the U.S. government will not accept changes in the Cairo documents. “The basis of our cooperation remains the National Compact and the Transition plan announced in Cairo last July, as well as respect for human rights protections and equal treatment for all Syrian citizens,” the statement said.

Asked by e-mail whether she had made the statement out of concern for Khatib’s previous positions, Jones’ spokesman said he had no comment.

Syrian opposition groups strike reorganization deal -
By Babak Dehghanpisheh, Wash Post

DOHA, Qatar — Fractious Syrian opposition groups finally struck a deal Sunday to form a new umbrella organization after a week of heated negotiations that were nearly derailed on several occasions.

The new organization, called the National Coalition for Revolutionary Forces and the Syrian Opposition, is intended to act as the single entity that manages the political and military affairs of the opposition and as the conduit for humanitarian and military aid.

At the end of October, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the Syrian National Council, the opposition group formed in August 2011, could no longer claim to be the credible leader of the opposition.

In recent months, the SNC has been criticized as an ineffectual organization out of touch with events on the ground in Syria.

Although many details of the structure of the new coalition and the timeline for achieving its political goals remained largely undefined Sunday, international supporters of the opposition praised the agreement and highlighted what appeared to be a new willingness of activists to work together.

A Syrian opposition conference held in Cairo in July led to fistfights between some activists.

“The regime fears most that the opposition unifies,” said Riyad Hijab, the former Syrian prime minister who defected in August and attended the opposition conference last week. “I know that. I was part of that regime.”

International backers of the opposition hope that a credible leadership for the group could win the support of ordinary Syrians and reduce the influence of extremist groups that are on the rise in the country….

Moaz Khatib, former imam of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, was named president of the new coalition. Khatib, who appeared at the signing ceremony Sunday night wearing a gray suit rather than clerical robes, is viewed as a religious moderate and is widely respected by opposition members inside and outside Syria. Riad Seif, a longtime activist who led the initiative to start a new coalition, and Suhair Atassi, a prominent female activist, were named vice presidents.

“After long suffering, the multiple national forces have reached a coalition of one front to help our people who are being slaughtered every day on the watch of the world,” Khatib said at the signing ceremony, which was attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davatoglu and Qatar’s prime minister, Hamad Bin Jasim al-Thani.

The leaders of the coalition said that gaining international recognition was a top priority and that Khatib may head to Cairo as soon as Monday to pursue recognition from the Arab League.

That would be followed by a push to get recognition from the Friends of Syria group, which includes the United States, followed by a pitch to the United Nations. Many prominent activists said they had received repeated assurances from their foreign backers that they would receive recognition quickly.

By Faisal Baatout (AFP) –

DOHA — …. After four days of marathon talks in Qatar, the Syrian National Council finally signed up to a wider, more representative bloc centred on a government-in-waiting, as demanded by Arab and Western states.

… Reservations in SNC ranks about what many members saw as a move to sideline it had prompted repeated delays in the Doha talks and mounting frustration among other dissident groups and the opposition’s Arab and Western supporters. But after negotiations ran into the early hours of Sunday and resumed in the afternoon, the anti-Assad factions agreed to form a “National Coalition of Forces of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition.”

“We signed a 12-point agreement to establish a coalition,” said leading dissident Riad Seif, who drew up the US-backed reform proposals on which Sunday’s agreement was based. In a copy of the document obtained by AFP, the parties “agree to work for the fall of the regime and of all its symbols and pillars,” and rule out any dialogue with the regime….

They agreed to unify the fighting forces under a supreme military council and to set up a national judicial commission for rebel-held areas….A provisional government would be formed after the coalition gains international recognition, and a transitional government formed after the regime has fallen.

The deal came after the SNC, which had formerly been seen as the main opposition group, heeded Arab and Western pressure to agree to a new structure embracing groups that had been unwilling to join its ranks.

Former prime minister Riad Hijab, who fled to neighbouring Jordan in August in the highest-ranking defection from Assad’s government, hailed the agreement as “an advanced step towards toppling the regime.”

Anti-Assad Syria National Council picks a Christian to be its new leader
By Roy Gutman
McClatchy Newspapers

DOHA, Qatar — Syria’s biggest political opposition bloc Friday elected a Christian, George Sabra, as president, a move Sabra said showed that the Muslim-majority nation will not allow its national uprising to descend into sectarian war.

Sabra, a geography teacher who once wrote for the Arabic version of “Sesame Street,” immediately demanded that the international community provide arms to the rebels so that they can protect Syrian civilians from regime attack.

Western nations, he told reporters after the vote by the Syrian National Council, should “support our right to survival.” He added, “To protect ourselves, we need weapons.”

Tens of thousands of Syrians have died in the uprising, which began as peaceful demonstrations against the government of President Bashar Assad. But it has become a bloody civil war pitting the Syrian army and air force against rebels who despite a lack of heavy weapons have seized large swaths of Syrian countryside and have fought loyalist forces to a standstill in Aleppo, the country’s largest city.

Sabra seemed stunned by his sudden elevation to the council’s top post. “It is an unbelievable moment in my life,” he told reporters. “I promise to become a representative for all the Syrian people.”

It was uncertain whether Sabra’s selection would rehabilitate the Syrian National Council in the eyes of the United States. Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the U.S. no longer would recognize the council as the primary anti-Assad organization, saying too many of its members had lived in exile for decades and that a new opposition group should include more representation from people fighting inside Syria.

Sabra may help fit that requirement. A longtime member of Syria’s communist party, which renamed itself the Syrian Democratic People’s Party in 2005, Sabra went into exile only in October after serving two months in prison for inciting dissent. Previously, he had served eight years in prison during the regime of Bashar Assad’s father, Hafez Assad.

Sabra credited his election to the intervention of a conservative Islamist from Homs, a Sunni Muslim city that has been the scene of brutal fighting between rebels and pro-Assad forces for most of this year.

Until the Islamist, Wasal al Shamali, who was here representing the Supreme Council for Revolutionary Commands, a collection of rebel-held cities in Syria, spoke on Sabra’s behalf, Sabra wasn’t even a member of the group’s top governing committee, the general secretariat. The Syrian National Council has been criticized because its 41-member secretariat includes no women or Alawites, the religious offshoot of Shiite Islam to which Assad belongs.

Shamali, however, said that Sabra should have his place on the general secretariat.

“I didn’t even know his name,” Sabra told McClatchy. “He was in tears.”

Added Sabra: “After that, who can talk about sectarianism when a Muslim sacrifices his place for a Christian?”

The group later elected Sabra its president, 28-13, over Hisham Marwah, an Islamic legal scholar.

Sabra said his selection should signal to the international community: “Look at Syria. There is no sectarianism inside Syria. All the people here, Muslims, voted for Christians.”

He said the Syria that he and others are fighting for “doesn’t have minorities and majorities. We have citizenship. And as I am a citizen, my colleagues elected me.”

Whether that sentiment translates inside Syria is less clear. In recent weeks, fighting has broken out between Arab rebels and Kurdish militias in Aleppo, and some Sunni Muslims have vowed revenge on Alawites for their support of Assad. The country’s organized Christian religious groups have to date remained firmly allied with the Assad government, saying they fear that the mostly Sunni Muslim rebels won’t protect their rights once Assad is gone. There are also concerns that Islamist militants are playing a growing role in the rebellion.

Concerns of the growing influence of Islamists among the rebels are often cited by U.S. officials for their hesitancy to provide weapons, though many in the opposition argue that the U.S. failure to provide weapons is strengthening the Islamists.

Still to be determined is how Sabra’s election might affect plans, backed by the United States, the Arab League and Qatar, to restructure the opposition.

Under the U.S-backed move, dissident Riad Seif, a successful industrialist from Damascus and former member of the Syrian Parliament, had proposed setting up a new organization, the Syrian National Initiative, with a majority of members not from the Syrian National Council. The Syrian National Initiativewould set up a smaller body of technocrats, who would deal directly with the international community and help funnel humanitarian aid into the country.

Sabra said the SNC would discuss under what conditions it would participate in the new group on Saturday. Sabra said the SNC also would consider an alternative plan that would set up a 300-member assembly primarily of fighters and officials inside Syria to elect a transitional government.

“Our main goal is to unite the opposition to bring down the regime,” Sabra said.

One surprise aspect of the Syrian National Council’s vote Friday was that it was conducted in the open, following a more or less democratic process under which its membership base of 425 voted first for a general secretariat of 41, which then selected the executive committee and the president.

When it came time to vote for the president, the council allowed reporters to witness the process.

Syria’s main opposition bloc elects Christian former teacher as new president
By Associated Press, Published: November 9

DOHA, Qatar — Syria’s main opposition group in exile elected a left-wing veteran dissident born into a Christian family as its new president on Friday, a choice that could help counter Western concerns about possible Islamist influence over the group.

George Sabra, a Communist-turned-social-democrat and former high school teacher who once wrote for the Arabic version of Sesame Street, said his election as head of the Syrian National Council is proof that Syrians are not beholden to sectarianism.

“This day is a victory of the Syrian people to prove all over the world the reality of the Syrians … as young people shouted in the streets, ‘Syrian people are one, one, one,’” he said moments after his victory was announced at a conference in Doha, Qatar. Sabra’s election came on the eve of a crucial decision for the SNC.

Jordan Said to Help Arm Syria Rebels
Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2012
Shipments Are Routed Through Border as Kingdom Steps Up Aid, Opposition Members Say; Amman Denies Connection
By NOUR MALAS And MARGARET COKER

AMMAN, Jordan—Jordan has stepped up its support for neighboring Syria’s political and military opposition, including allowing some light arms to flow across the border, according to Syrian rebels and an Arab official familiar with the operation.

Several shipments of arms—including assault rifles, Russian-designed antitank missiles and ammunition—have been delivered to the border in Jordanian military trucks and then taken into Syria by rebel brigades, according to Syrian rebel fighters. Dozens of other shipments have been smuggled to Syria with the covert support of Jordanian border officials, these people say. Saudi Arabia and Qatar pay for these arms and transport them to Jordan, say rebel fighters based along the Syria-Jordan border and a person involved in arms procurement for the rebels….

The Syrian groups receiving arms from the Jordanian border are now connected to the military councils that have been vetted by Washington and others, say people involved in the transaction.
Some of the light weapons said to be entering Syria through Jordan are destined for the southern Syrian border town of Dera’a, where the popular uprising kicked off last year. Most of the arms, though, were pushed north to the suburbs of Damascus, 60 miles north, in possible preparation for a push on the capital, according to rebel leaders.

I was born here and I will die here

Mr Assad also rejected calls that he seek a safe exit, vowing he would “live and die in Syria”. “I am not a puppet…. I am Syrian and I must live and die in Syria,” Assad, who is facing a nearly 20-month revolt against his rule, told Russian Arabic-language channel Rusiya Al-Yaum.

Prime Minister David Cameron this week floated the idea of granting Mr Assad safe passage from the country, saying it “could be arranged” though he wanted the Syrian leader to face international justice. Mr Assad also warned against a foreign intervention to deal with Syria’s escalating conflict, saying such a move would have “global consequences” and shake regional stability.

Missteps by Rebels Erode Their Support Among Syrians
By Anne Barnard | The New York Times

The Syrian public is increasingly disgusted with the actions of some rebels, including poorly planned missions, senseless destruction, criminal behavior and the coldblooded killing of prisoners.

Post Election, Obama Gambles on Syrian Rebels
Nov 10, 2012- DailyBeast, Michael G

The U.S. has made its boldest move yet on Syria to date, pushing to create a new and better opposition that it can trust—and that it hopes Syrians will too.

In the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection, the United States has decided to take what seasoned observers call its boldest move yet in the conflict in Syria. In Doha this week—the elegant seaside capital of Qatar, the tiny Persian Gulf nation ranked as the world’s wealthiest by Forbes—America, in collaboration with its Qatari ally, is trying to shape a better and more credible opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, following more than a year of infighting between Syria’s notoriously fractious and ineffective resistance.

Wading so directly into Syria’s bloody conflict is fraught with pitfalls for the U.S. government. “It’s a gamble by the State Department to stake such a strong claim in efforts to restructure the opposition,” says Steven Heydemann of the United States Institute for Peace, who has tracked the conflict from the start and who has been part of transition talks with Syrian opposition members. “I think it was a dramatic and risky move. If it works, it will be seen as having been a stroke of diplomatic genius.”

In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said talks with rebel military leaders would not involve advice on military tactics or support for their operations. Hague also insisted that Britain would not consider offering weapons to Assad’s opponents.

Syria: leader of rebels warns they might ‘turn into terrorists’
The leader of the Free Syrian Army has called on the outside world to back the rebels before they all “turn into terrorists”.
Syria: leader of rebels warns they might ‘turn into terrorists’
By Richard Spencer, Idlib Province, Syria, and Ruth Sherlock in Doha, 09 Nov 2012

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph in his base in rebel-occupied Syria, Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh unveiled a new leadership of the Higher Military Council of the FSA, which he heads.

He also said he welcomed David Cameron’s decision to engage with the rebels and even consider organising arms supplies, but he added that war was spreading to surrounding countries, the rebels were fractured and speed was of the essence.

“If there’s no quick decision to support us, we will all turn into terrorists,” he said. “If you apply the pressure that’s been applied to Syria, it will explode in all directions. Terrorism will grow quickly.”

Gen Sheikh was the first of a number of regime army generals to defect to the rebels, joining Col Riad al-Assad at the head of the FSA. The rebels fighting the battles on the ground though are not only divided among themselves but often refuse to recognise his leadership.

Aware that this is a major reason for the reluctance of Western powers to arm them or encourage their Middle Eastern allies to supply rebel forces, on Friday announced a new unified command structure, dividing Syria into five commands each with a defected general at its head.

Assad says only ‘ballot box’ can decide his future
Khaleej Times – 10 November, 2012

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad said his future could only be decided through the ballot box, in an interview with Russian television where he warned the country could face a protracted war.

Assad told Russia Today that whether the president can “stay or leave” is a “popular issue” and “the only way (it) can be done (is) through the ballot boxes”. He denied Syria was in “civil war” but said the conflict with rebels could be “a long-term war” if they continued to receive support from abroad.

Syria in Ruins
Nov 8, 2012 |

While much recent media attention has been focused on Hurricane Sandy and America’s presidential election, Syria’s horrific civil war continues. In some places, it has worsened. Aerial bombardment of civilian neighborhoods, deadly sniper fire, brutal street fighting, assassinations, and summary executions have become the norm in Syria. Cease-fire agreements have collapsed, rebel forces remain disorganized, foreign intervention is still hamstrung, and no path to peace appears to be forming yet. Britain is now reportedly looking for options to circumvent an arms embargo in order to supply rebels with weaponry. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains defiant, stating in an interview with Russia Today that he planned “live and die in Syria,” adding, “I am tougher than Gaddafi.” Collected here are images of this bloody conflict from just the past few weeks. [48 photos]

Beware of the Islamist Trap
By Monte Palmer

Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.

Islamists, judging by the use of the term in the global press, is a simplified way of referring to all Muslim groups seeking some form of Islamic rule in the Middle East.

Like most simplistic expressions, “Islamist,” is laden with hidden traps. The first Islamist trap is believing that all Muslim groups seeking some form of Islamic rule in the Middle East are of one mind and body. They are not. The second Islamist trap is assuming that all groups seeking some form of Islamist rule are inherently hostile to the interests of the United States and its allies. Some are, and some are not. The third Islamist trap is thinking that the US and its allies can stop the Islamist surge now sweeping the Middle East by diplomacy, sanctions, and covert action. The verdict on this supposition has yet to be rendered, but the outlook is not promising. The fourth and most lethal Islamist trap is the belief that force alone can stop the Islamists. Iraq and Afghanistan suggest otherwise.

The dangers of assuming that all Islamists are the same is easily illustrated by a brief review of the four main Sunni Islamist currents competing for control of the Middle East.

Islam lite
The most liberal of the four main Islamist currents is Islam Lite, the sarcastic Turkish nickname for the Justice and Development Party that has ruled Turkey within a secular framework for more than a decade. Islam Lite, the most forward looking of the four Islamic currents, has built Turkey into the world’s seventeenth largest economy, consolidated Turkish democracy, brought Turkey to the doorstep of membership in the European Union, reaffirmed Turkey membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and established Turkey as the dominant Muslim power in the Middle East and beyond.

This is not to deny that the Justice and Development Party does have an Islamic agenda that seeks to create a more Islamic state in Turkey and the Arab world. At the domestic level, the Justice and Development Party has implemented sweeping Islamic reforms that promote veiling (head scarfs), prayer in schools, and other Islamic practices outlawed by Turkey’s revolutionary leaders in the aftermath of World War I. While these Islamic reforms are hardly earth shaking, seculars worry that they are but the first step in the Party’s much deeper Islamic agenda.

At the regional and international levels, the Justice and Development Party’s Islamic agenda includes support for Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt, Tunisia, and the Gaza Strip. It also calls for an independent Palestinian state in the Occupied Territories. All have soured Turkey’s relations with Israel, but war between the two former allies is not in the picture.

Partnership with the US and EU is an essential component of Islam Lite. Subservience is not. Some observers accuse Turkey of using Islam to extend its regional influence. The Israelis, by contrast, worry that Turkey will use its military power to extend its Islamic reach.

While neither thought can be discounted, the Islamic Lite model practiced in Turkey does demonstrate that moderate Islamic rule is compatible with democracy and development. Much like Turkey itself, the Justice and Development Party provides an avenue for cooperation and dialogue between the West and Muslim currents throughout the Middle East.

Things, however, may not be as simple as they seem. The Turkish model is deeply rooted in Turkish history and culture and may not be exportable to either the Arab world or the Islamic regions of Central Asia. Also problematic is the weakness of Islamic Lite currents in other areas of the Middle East, All, with rare exceptions lack a firm organizational network and their popular support base pales in comparison to those of the Muslim Brotherhood and even the more extremist Salafis.

The Muslim Brotherhood
Next in the hierarchy of religious extremism comes the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s largest and most powerful Islamic organization. The Brotherhood now rules in Egypt and Tunisia and exercises profound influence throughout the region. The name may differ from place to place, but they are all Brotherhood offshoots…..

Syria border fighting sends 8,000 fleeing to Turkey
The total of 11,000 who fled the country in 24 hours is one of the largest since the Syrian conflict began, underscoring the crisis for civilians.

Video of TNT bomb being dumped of the back of a helicopter in Syria.

New Jihadi Group, Liwa Al-Mujahideen, Established In Syria
Three video clips pertaining to a new jihadi group in Syria, Liwa Al-Mujahideen, were circulated on YouTube during October 2012. The first was an announcement of the group’s establishment; in the second, the group’s commander explained its raison d’etre; and in the third, the group announced that it had formed the Al-Sahaba Battalion, which would operate in the rural region around Damascus.

L’inversement des rôles entre Damas et Téhéran
BY wassim NASR in (L’Express)  shift of roles between Damascus and Tehran :

 

 

Comments (238)


Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 » Show All

1. Ghufran said:

I am torn between a Tozz and a long yawn as the response to this Qatari inspired stunt, call me when those dinasours start to matter.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 31

November 12th, 2012, 9:36 am

 

2. Visitor said:

Assad says only ‘ballot box’ will decide his future

Of course!

Assad: your future is signed and sealed. You will be lucky if you get a funerary box.

Thumb up 35 Thumb down 14

November 12th, 2012, 9:41 am

 

3. Warren said:

UK Terrorist Shajul Islam Charged Over Kidnappings of UK, Dutch Photographers in Syria

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 24

November 12th, 2012, 9:44 am

 

4. Dolly Buster said:

Warren, the evildoers of commie persuasion – Russia and China – believe they are fighting against the West. And Syria is one of their fronts.

So, by you refusing to side with the Syrian Opposition, you are working against the United States, or whichever Western nation you hail from.

Thumb up 25 Thumb down 9

November 12th, 2012, 9:53 am

 

5. Warren said:

Al-Qaida leader Zawahiri urges Muslim support for Syrian uprising

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida, has called on Muslims around the world to support rebels in Syria who are seeking to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.

The statement is the most explicit attempt yet by the terrorist group to intervene in the ongoing Syrian conflict.

In the eight-minute video titled Onwards, Lions of Syria, posted on extremist websites on Saturday, Zawahiri calls on Muslims in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to join the uprising against Assad’s “pernicious, cancerous regime”, and warned Syrian rebels not to rely on the west for help.

“Wounded Syria still bleeds day after day while the butcher, son of the butcher Bashar bin Hafiz [Hafez al-Assad], is not deterred to stop,” Zawahiri said. “But the resistance of our people in Syria despite all the pain, sacrifice and bloodshed escalates and grows.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/12/alqaida-zawahiri-support-syrian-uprising

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 24

November 12th, 2012, 10:14 am

 

6. Warren said:

Panetta: ‘There Is an Al Qaeda Presence in Syria’

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta confirmed on Friday that al Qaeda has a “presence in Syria.”

At a briefing at the Pentagon with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Panetta was asked by a reporter, “Secretary Panetta, if I may, on al Qaeda in Syria, you’ve said that we don’t have any indication of al Qaeda in that — those double explosions that took place in Damascus. But what kind of assessment do you have on al Qaeda activity in Syria? Because the Syrian government confirms that al-Qaida is active in Syria. Do you have an indication to say that al Qaeda is actually active, how big it is, and is it a concern for you?”

Panetta responded by confirming the terrorist group’s presence, but provided few details.

Al Qaeda anywhere is a concern for us,” said Panetta. “And we do — we do have intelligence that indicates that there is an al Qaeda presence in Syria. But frankly, we don’t have very good intelligence as to just exactly what their activities are. And that’s the reason we can’t really indicate specifically what they are or are not doing. But they are a concern. And frankly, we need to continue to do everything we can to determine what kind of influence they are trying to exert there.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/panetta-there-al-qaeda-presence-syria_644450.html

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 20

November 12th, 2012, 10:16 am

 

7. Aldendeshe said:

Electrifying, I am electrically shocked. The Civil War has not yet started in Syria, just so you know, don’t spend too much energy and money on that Israeli-Qatari gas pipeline, it is a pipedream, it will take decades for the idiots to get it: It will never happen that way. Landis writes here with such a vigor, just as if he got off from that xxx rated website.

Thumb up 24 Thumb down 13

November 12th, 2012, 11:03 am

 

8. HANZALA said:

Israel fires into Syria for second day, scores ‘direct hits’

Israel’s army fired tank shells into Syria on Monday and scored “direct hits” on “Syrian mobile artillery” in response to a Syrian mortar shell that struck the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, the Israeli military said in a statement.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/12/15109944-israel-fires-into-syria-for-second-day-scores-direct-hits?lite

Thumb up 19 Thumb down 6

November 12th, 2012, 11:05 am

 

9. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Al Khatib, Atassi, Seif, Sabra, coming from mosques minarets, christian families, from political activism, from entrepreneur background. It sounds so good. For the first time in more than 60 years Syria has created a union with those who can create real chage inside.

Riad Seif, also called by friends Abu Jawad, has created succesfully the biggest enterprise in his life. Once he had a huge company in Sahnaya. The regime ruined his bussiness for trying to promote change in the regime. Today Abu Jawad has created a new company:

- 22 millions of workers
- 22 millions of shareholders
- Beneffits:freedom, dignity in a new Syria for coming generations
- Name of the company: Syrian Arab Republic and co.

Thank you Abou Jawad, you were always a moral heroe.

Thumb up 28 Thumb down 12

November 12th, 2012, 12:05 pm

 

10. habib said:

474. Tara in the former post

“Their remains some, albeit small minorities, of Alawis who are against the killing”

That is utter bollocks, and you know it. No Alawites even believe the army is massacring civilians, so accusing them of this just because YOU believe they do is completely disingenuous.

Either you quit demonising the other side and actually try to understand their beliefs and grievances, or you spread misinformation and become part of the problem.

Persuasion is key, not force. You will have to fight for 30 years if you try to conquer the Alawites and their anti-Salafist allies by force.

You need to rid your own side of extremists before the regular Alawite will listen to reason. As long as you are dominated by the MB and by the Turks/Gulf, they will not trust you. The recent developments in the SNC might be a step in the right direction, if they had expelled all MBers and Salafists, they’d have my vote.

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November 12th, 2012, 12:22 pm

 

11. jna said:

A lasting unified opposition could help build the groundwork for a diplomatic/negotiated transition to democracy.

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November 12th, 2012, 12:23 pm

 

12. Aldendeshe said:

Mouaz al-Khatib is Jewish, his real surname was changed according to “Sijjil Kattab” Syrian family lineage records. Adoption of Islam as “Taqiyye” for deception, is not a way to lead Syrians the way Iraqi Jews did in Arabia.

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November 12th, 2012, 12:50 pm

 

13. Tara said:

Habib

“That is utter bollocks, and you know it. No Alawites even believe the army is massacring civilians”

The fact that the supporters do not admit the killing of 30,000 Syrians, the vast majority of them are civilians does not mean they do not believe it happened. It only means that they are purposefully denying it hoping to maintain their elite privileges. Denying it is supporting it period.

One can’t see all the destruction inflicted upon the cities and towns in Syria as the result of air bombardment and come and argue that the regime is not killing civilians. One can’t watch the brutality and the killings of the peaceful demonstrators when it first started and come and argue that the regime is not killing civilians and if you do, you won’t be taken seriously.

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November 12th, 2012, 12:53 pm

 

14. habib said:

13. Tara

First: You know very well that the 30.000 number includes fighters and civilians on BOTH sides. By most account, a third are government fighters!

Second: Can you name a single war were cities haven’t been bombarded if an enemy occupied them? I’m not saying it’s ok, I’m simply saying this is the norm in all wars conducted by the benevolent West, and anyone else for that matter.

Three: To them, it is not about “privilege”, but about mere survival.

Again, attempts at understanding is key, not projection of your own invalid interpretations.

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November 12th, 2012, 1:02 pm

 

15. Tara said:

Habib

“Second: Can you name a single war were cities haven’t been bombarded if an enemy occupied them? ”

Habib, this is the most incriminating statement anyone can utter. You implicitly approved that a regime can bombard its own people. Name a leader in the history of the human race who massacred his own people and burned his own country…Neron may be..

I tell you again. Denying the crime ever happened despite a glaring evidence to the contrary is supporting the crime. There is no other interpretation. One can’t forge a YouTube of the shabeeha bludgeoning people to death or burning them alive, etc. I find it tiresome to list the atrocities already committed. Insisting that it did not happen would sure dismiss you as a non-valid partner to have a discussion with.

And you know what, there must be an acknowledgement and an apology from the Alawi community for the Syrian people to start thinking about forgiveness and that of course after justice getting served to those who have blood on their hands.

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November 12th, 2012, 1:18 pm

 

16. Albo said:

Of course it’s about survival, not privilege. The Alawis never forgot about all these centuries of discrimination and crimes committed by the Sunnis. Minorities reason like that, and never forget about their precarious status.

Especially not when a very large part of the rebellion is intent on restoring the “good old days”.

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November 12th, 2012, 1:19 pm

 

17. Visitor said:

Habib,

Stop your empty posturing. The coastal mountains will be conquered even before Damascus is liberated no later than next spring. I am planning to spend next summer on the coast with all the MB’s and so-called salafists. Like it or dislike it, you can do squat about it.

——————-

I am going to make every one of you here love-u-4ever retards regret the moment you started using the labels of salafist, jihadists, MBers and other such derogatory cheap labels.

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November 12th, 2012, 1:24 pm

 

18. Albo said:

We’re all very impressed *yawn*

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November 12th, 2012, 1:28 pm

 

19. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Jajajajaja,

12. Al Dendeshe,

Maybe Al Khateeb is a jewish, maybe Mohammad was too, or even a christian as Jesus was a jewish, who knows. And you are probably a worshipper of Assad and you do not know.

What is your problem about takyyeh? this is a result of imposing religion on others. Let’s hope future Syria is a tolerant state with no official religion.

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November 12th, 2012, 1:28 pm

 

20. habib said:

15. Tara

I propose you read up on the Spanish and American civil wars. Or any other civil wars for that matter.

People kill their own in civil wars, that’s the very definition of it. It’s a mere fact, stating this has nothing to do with supporting it.

You can’t forget a video of a Shabiha bludgeoning someone, a regular Alawi can’t forget a video of a Salafist beheading someone. You see what I’m getting at? This victimisation on both sides doesn’t help a damn thing.

And “forgiveness” isn’t a criterion for anything, but a natural outcome of rapprochement.

17. Visitor

Nice. I hope you don’t smoke, because you’ll be about a hundred years old before that happens.

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November 12th, 2012, 1:43 pm

 

21. SANDRO LOEWE said:

HABIB,

The great difference here is that american and spanish people did not enter a war of liberation against any eternal dictatorship designed to protect mafias in power and represent 10 %.

What we are living in Syria is a war of liberation, is a miracle as the people of Syria is going to show the world how to get rid of a criminal iron dictatorship.

“Syria should belong to the Syrians not to the Assad family.”

“We were humiliated for 40 years. When the time came, and the Syrians could get rid of their fear, they made their miracle. Syrians are not going back to being humiliated by this (regime) again.”

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November 12th, 2012, 1:53 pm

 

22. habib said:

21. SANDRO LOEWE

The Spanish civil war was a “war of liberation” against communists. We got Franco’s rule from it. I’m sure he thought he represented the “real” Spaniards against the evil, godless communists.

Please respect history a little.

“We were humiliated for 40 years.”

Alawites would claim they were humiliated for hundreds of years. So again, quit the pathetic self-pity. It won’t get you nowhere. We need realist pragmatists to solve this conflict, not emotional zealots.

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November 12th, 2012, 1:58 pm

 

23. Uzair8 said:

About the New Coalition of the Syrian Opposition

A statement by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi

{And Hold fast to the rope of Allah and stay together}.

Since this phase of our revolution demands joining our efforts and sticking together to reach our goal in removing this regime; and since we believe in the integrity of the new team selected to lead this coalition; and since we trust their sincerity to …our people’s cause, we declare our support and the support of the people with us and the support of the sufi stream to this new body though we are not represented in it we were not invited to join it. We encourage our brothers in the uprising as well as in the media to give the support it needs to sail the ship of our revolution to the safe shores.

We hope that the leaders of this coalition bear up the responsibility with trustworthiness and truthfulness and show prove to be up to this great task both inside Syria and on an international level.

We pray that Allah almighty guide so that they they distinguish right from wrong; and we pray that Allah show mercy to our martyrs.

http://www.facebook.com/shaykhabulhuda/posts/10151237450977580

Posted 15 hrs ago.

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November 12th, 2012, 2:01 pm

 

24. Syrialover said:

ZOO write of Mouaz al-Khatib in the previous thread:

“This guy sounds like an honest and soft speaking intellectual but without any political or leadership background.”

Comment: UNLIKE BASHAR ASSAD

Heheheheheh

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November 12th, 2012, 2:03 pm

 

25. SANDRO LOEWE said:

HABIB,

You do not know a shet about Spain’s history. Read about it.

Spain was a democracy and then came Franco Coup d’ Etat with his moorish guard, the church and the right wing to avoid the rule of socialist, communsits and anarchists who were the overwhelming majority of the population in Spain.

I am afraid I know what I am talking about.

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November 12th, 2012, 2:05 pm

 

26. Albo said:

“What we are living in Syria is a war of liberation, is a miracle as the people of Syria is going to show the world how to get rid of a criminal iron dictatorship.”

A war of “liberation”, with ‘Ar’our as an icon and *ss-backward absolute monarchies as sponsors, no kidding.

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November 12th, 2012, 2:06 pm

 

27. Syrialover said:

GHUFRAN #1 said:

“I am torn between a Tozz and a long yawn as the response to this Qatari inspired stunt, call me when those dinasours start to matter.”

Wake up! Wake up Ghufran they’ve started to matter.

And dinosaurs? Please, go through each of the new opposition leadership and explain your labelling.

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November 12th, 2012, 2:10 pm

 

28. habib said:

25. SANDRO LOEWE

Uh, that doesn’t contradict a single thing I said.

Anyway, anyone who deludes himself by thinking the insurgents will win in months, and that the fall of the regime, or even the expulsion of the Alawites, is imminent, has completely lost touch with reality as well as history.

The nationalist Maronite factions in Lebanon fought leftist Lebanese, Shia Lebanese, Sunni Lebanese, Palestinians, Syrians, other Christian groups, etc., and the fighting lasted for fiteen years, and those factions are still there. They’re weaker, for sure, but they sure as hell haven’t apologised, and they sure as hell aren’t going anywhere soon.

Take that into account and look at Syria. The Maronites were mainly weakened by their exodus and internal divisions, they had plenty of countries to escape to, and they did. The Alawites don’t have anywhere else to go, they’re not internally divided, so they will never stop fighting. Syria is basically their Israel.

This war will take 30 years minimum, and the outcome will not be a win to either side.

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November 12th, 2012, 2:24 pm

 

29. SANDRO LOEWE said:

22. HABIB,

Your vision of history is sectarian.

When we say “We were humiliated for 40 years” … you read
“We the sunna and christians were humiliated for 40 years by the alawites” but what we really mean is:

“We, the people of Syria (all religions, all origins) were humiliated by the regime in power for 40 years”.

Forget your religion, stop acting like an alawite, and think as a syrian, then you will find easier to understand the world you live in. At the end the sectarian satanic vision through which the alawites built the nation will come back to them as a boomerang.

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November 12th, 2012, 2:40 pm

 

30. Visitor said:

Keep dreaming Habib. Your Alawites do not even compare to a subset of the Christians in terms of numbers when you compare the two countries – Syria & Lebanon – populations.

What are you? 3 maximum 5%. Christians in Lebanon were and still are close to 40-50% despite their immigration. And here’s another fantasy of yours which is begging for demolishing. The Maronite diaspora is a source of strength and immense support financially, politically and morally that ensures the survival of those Maronites residing in Lebanon..

Your Alawites will crawl down on their knees not only begging for forgiveness but will accept any bone thrown at them once your grand thug gets hunted down.

No change to my plans for a long summer stay next summer On the coast with all the MB’s, so-called jihadists and salafists.

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November 12th, 2012, 2:44 pm

 

31. Syrian Natonalist Party said:

مهزلة شرشحة هيك اليهود بعينو سلطة غير شرعية لتحكم فوق الشعب السوري شوهل السخافة الوطاوية الحقيرة هذه ليش السوريين متل العرب الجرب الواطين الحقيرين انه يقبله انو الصهيونية العالمية الشيطانية تحتقرهم وتهينهم بهيك فصل وصفحة من كتاب الاستعمار اليهودي الفرنسي شو هل الشرشحة خيو قللهم للي وراها يدحشوها ان الشعب ولامة السورية لا تقبل هزه الاهانة القومية

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November 12th, 2012, 2:47 pm

 

32. SANDRO LOEWE said:

31. SYRIAN NATONALIST PARTY

What in hell is this party ? I have never heard about it. Are you supporters of SYRIA and NATO altogether?

Do you have any relationship with SNP, Syrian NATIONalist Party?

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November 12th, 2012, 2:53 pm

 

33. habib said:

29. SANDRO LOEWE

Lol, Syria had barely 20 years of independence until the Ba’ath took power, and I dare you to point out any major differences between Syria after 1970 and before which weren’t improvements.

If we go back to Ottoman times, I’m sure you know the story. As for sectarianism, “the people of Syria” in your quote certainly doesn’t even account for half of the population. So try again.

30. Visitor

Some numbers for you. Even at the time of the Lebanese civil war, Christians overall were less than 40%. Maronites were maybe 30%.

Most non-Maronite Christians remained either neutral or actually fought against the Maronites in secular groups (pan Arabist, communist, pan Syrian). Then there were also even Maronites who joined secular groups.

And more importantly, you had inter-Maronite massacres, which lead to Maronite groups leaving the nationalist alliance.

So what did you have? Maybe 10% of Christians fighting the rest? By coincidence, that would be very close to the number of Alawites in Syria. And there you should also add all the Sunnis and Christians who are pro-government.

You don’t stand a chance, negotiate or die. That’s reality. Yes, you can import as many foreign fighters as you want to replace the few actual Syrians you have fighting for your, but that will only protract the war.

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November 12th, 2012, 2:57 pm

 

34. SYRIALOVER said:

SANDRO LEOWE #32,

Don’t ask…just don’t ask.

If you’re curious about the party’s manifesto and driving force, start with ALDENDESHE’S post above (#12), and if you want really want to get into it, go back to the last thread and look at his posts #441-446.

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November 12th, 2012, 3:12 pm

 

35. Uzair8 said:

Just an observation. Thinking aloud. [At the risk of a backlash] LOL.

Who came up with that ‘eye’ logo for the background at the Doha meeting?

Some will pick up on it and claim masonic involvement and suspect the opposition. The last time I saw a similar logo was from the Russia-EU Summit in 2010.

http://david30o.persiangig.com/68720203-russias-president.jpg

It can be frustrating. All the hard work it takes to inform people of the reality of the situation and all it may take is a little detail like this to undo it amongst certain circles or forums (Conspiracy theory types and others ready to to allow their suspicions to be reinforced.)

At the end of Star Wars episode 5 Count Dooku’s ship transforms into the shape of eye briefly too.

LOL.

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November 12th, 2012, 3:20 pm

 

36. Syrian Natonalist Party said:

لايها الانبال اللذين رفعو الراية السوداء وحدو قواتكم وجهدكم في تلكلخ لحماية سوريا من العدو الشرس اليهودي لا تصدق الزعبرة اليهودية فليس هناك في الفيديو الكلمات السرية اللتي تعرفنا ان المصدر اصلي فهو مزور ومتلاعب به انكم امراء العرب الحقيقيين امراء القدس ومكة والمدينة والرياض ونجد الحقيقيين تهيؤ لرفع الراية السوداء فوق اماراتكم فوق ملككم وورثتكم اللتي احتال اليهود الخبيثيين عليكم عندما تقمصو بالاسلام ونهبو ثرواتكم وديار الاسلام جاهدو ضد المنافقين وعملاءهم اللذين يعدونهم لمحاولة حكم سورية لصالح اليهود ان امة الاسلام لقلبها سورية

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November 12th, 2012, 3:23 pm

 

37. Visitor said:

Habib 33,

Where did you get those numbers?

You just made them up to suit your fantasies.  Right?

I can easily dig the proper statistics and show you that you are way off by factor of four at least on all counts.

But that’s besides the point.  We know for sure that when Lebanon was formed it was designed by its creators to give the Christian population slight edge in terms of numbers.

We also know or sure from not very far away history that the Christians and not just the Maronites were in the same psych as your Alawites thinking they were fighting an existential war.  You know Zahle, of course?  Then you should know it is not Maronite.  Zahle never fought with its surrounding muslim population.  So, that demolishes your made up theory about Christians joining the Muslims against their fellow Christians, not to mention the well known facts that Christian and Muslim areas were squarely and clearly delineated throughout the war.  I am not going to bother digging corroborating sources.  They are well documented for you to find them if you are interested.

And pray tell me.  What Sunni support does your thug enjoy in Syria?  It is nothing but a mirage that will disappear the moment your grand thug is hunted down.  You really think the Sunnis who you think now support your Alawite sectarian state will beg you to continue the last 50 years of despotism?

You must be out of your mind.

And now let’s have a look at the Syrian Christians.  Hopefully they will see the light, and I am sure they will.  But worse come to worse.  You and them how much you account for?

It is not the Christians of Lebanon that were in exodus mode since you know when?  Let’s put a date, say 1963.  Does that mean anything to you?

Here is the point.  The Christian population of Lebanon was more or less stable during this period.  It is the Christians of Syria that were in exodus mode since your thugs took over.  To the bad fortunes of the Christians, they were intimidated to believe in your false narrative of a despotic regime protecting them but in fact causing their demise and expulsion from their ancestoral homeland.  Where are they now and how much is left of them, thanks to your protection?

You go again and dig up the statistics and we will verify it for it.  But do not try to inflate them as is your habit of cooking up numbers to suite your purpose.  Because you will be busted immediately.

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November 12th, 2012, 3:28 pm

 

38. Albo said:

Habib, don’t bother. In his radical dreams of violent retribution, genocide, ethnic cleansing for Syria he forgets other kinds of calamities that he would surely unleash on himself, beyond immensely higher casualties, large clouds of nerve gas for example.

You know that practicality and realism rarely get in the way of religious fanaticism like that.

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November 12th, 2012, 3:28 pm

 

39. zoo said:

Turkey, Egypt and Qatar should get soon ready to intervene and protect their new Moslem Brotherhood allies in Gaza as no Western country or even Iran will move a finger against Israel.

Israel’s next war may be with Gaza, but not Syria
By Douglas Hamilton

JERUSALEM | Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:14am EST
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/12/us-israel-war-idUSBRE8AB0TD20121112

(Reuters) – If Israel goes to war with any of its neighbors before this year ends it will be with Gaza not Syria, despite appearances.

The Israeli army fired into Syria on Monday for the second day in a row, after a Syrian mortar round from fighting across the disengagement line hit the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

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November 12th, 2012, 3:54 pm

 

40. ALI said:

Where’s the Jihadists leader “Ajrab of Arabia”?

Is it true in Saudi Arabia you need a permission from your guarantor “kafeel” to travel from your residence to another city within Saudi?!! I know this sounds insane. Is this the sort of reform and freedom that MB and Jihadists are planning to implement in Syria?

Now let’s see how your followers “brothers in faith” will jump to support you, you funny online Jihadists.

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November 12th, 2012, 3:57 pm

 

41. Visitor said:

Hey guys, Albo the neo-nazi skin head has nerve gas!!

Why are not screaming and crawling on your knees to negotiate before he/she gets nervous?

———————–

Johny come lately @40, or Ali Baba,

Neener neener. Make sure you pronounce it from your nose for maximum effect.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:09 pm

 

42. Albo said:

I’m perfectly calm, Visitor. You’re the one who is very close to a Nazi, by the way “The coastal mountains will be conquered even before Damascus is liberated no later than next spring. I am planning to spend next summer on the coast with all the MB’s and so-called salafists. Like it or dislike it, you can do squat about it.”

Ethnic cleansing, glorification of violence, very Nazi of you.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:15 pm

 

43. MarigoldRan said:

The regime and its supporters are in denial. Habib is a good example of it. All indications over the last 12 months show that the regime is losing militarily. They may yet last a long time, but the trend is unmistakable.

Consider:

1. In March/April, the regime launched a major offensive in Idlib that pushed the rebels to the Turkish border. Today, 90% of Idlib is under rebel control. Regime soldiers are fleeing into the Turkish border to surrender to the Turks (they don’t want to surrender to the FSA for good reason).

2. In March/April, the regime controlled all of its border crossings. Today, the regime has lost almost all of its border crossings with Turkey, and lost several on its border with Iraq.

3. In March/April the regime had full control of Aleppo and Damascus. Today, both cities are in the middle of the war.

4. In March/April the Jordanians were still neutral. Now they have firmly thrown in their lot with the rebels. What this means for the FSA is that they have a supply line in the South. Militarily this means they can maintain their offensive onto Damascus, with the effects that we’re seeing now.

5. With each passing month, the regime is losing more and more money. The currency is becoming more and more devalued. More and more businesses are closing, and more people are losing their jobs. Besides a military crisis, the regime is also facing an economic crisis.

It may be a while before it falls, but the regime is most definitely losing.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:16 pm

 

44. MarigoldRan said:

The rebels are winning. Look at the progress they’ve made over the last 8 months. Anyone who says otherwise is in denial, like Assad.

Why would they negotiate, Habib? Thoughts of negotiation are pipe dreams by regime apologists.

Assad must go. Then perhaps the rebels will talk.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:19 pm

 

45. Albo said:

Money isn’t the problem. What you’re describing, is the fragmentation of the country and the loss of central power, if the trend continues. Turkey, with assistance from others, is responsible for most rebel advances.

When the situation lasts, I don’t think you’ll find that it is a good outcome for you or anyone else.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:21 pm

 

46. MarigoldRan said:

No, Albo, you are right. It will probably not be a good outcome.

But it is a BETTER outcome than before. And it’s a BETTER outcome than if the regime wins.

And that’s why the regime will lose. It’s impossible for anyone to imagine how the future could be any worse than the present. The regime has nothing to offer for the future. So the rebels will continue to fight.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

47. Albo said:

44

He’ll leave office one day, but that’s not the equivalent of removing the regime.
Most western countries have expressed their will to keep the state, actually. What’s your take on that, MG?

46

When the state disappears, we risk anarchy. Soaring criminality, warlords. This isn’t an improvement, even to you. In fact I’m sure that under your scenario some foreign power would step in, or a force sent by the UN. No one can afford a completely chaotic Syria.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:31 pm

 

48. ALI said:

Hehehhe, Visitor you’re such a loyal lackey to your master and you do deserve a pat on your back, but don’t roll left and right.

Why do you hate Qurdahans? Did you hate them while your Sunni elites used to abuse and vituperate them for long years?

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November 12th, 2012, 4:32 pm

 

49. MarigoldRan said:

We need to keep the parts of the state intact.

For the purposes of vengeance, more people should be punished than Assad. BUT never-ending vengeance is stupid and leads to needless destruction. Besides, the FSA has committed atrocities too. If everyone got justice for what they’ve done, I think a quarter the population of Syria would die.

However, Assad must go. The longer he stays in power, the more likely warlords and anarchy will take over. There will be no national reconciliation with him. There will be no dialogue with the regime as long as Assad is in power. Even after he leaves, it will be a long time before Syria will be at peace.

BUT he must first leave to start the process to peace. As long as he stays in power, the war continues.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:36 pm

 

50. ALI said:

So finally another deformed creature has come to life, “National Coalition for Revolutionary Forces and the Syrian Opposition”!! honestly do they think this is a catchy name? with all $$ spent on hotels and rubbish couldn’t they spare some to a decent marketing firm to come up with something more practical with good impression?!!

There’s only one way dialog, dialog, and only dialog.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:38 pm

 

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