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

51. Aldendeshe said:

Cyprus is moving forward with a venture to lay a natural gas pipeline from Israel and Cyprus to Europe. The Cypriot Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism has submitted the plan, called the Trans-Med Pipeline, to the European Commission. Cyprus has asked for the plan to receive projects of common interest (PCI) status, which would make it eligible for EU funding.
However, Cyprus’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis believes that gas exports will ultimately be carried out through the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, rather than by an undersea pipeline.
_________________________________________________________________

They scrapped the Med-pipeline, for cheap land based Syria ones. They could not fund the undersea pipe, and found out that Qatari-Israeli land base pipe through Syria is far cheaper. It will never happen. EVER. But funny how they got a Jew hidding behind Islam, the way the House of Saadeen in Arabia hid to be next leader of Syria. It is funnier that this disrespected dude is Geologist who worked at Syria oil company. 40,000 Syrians and Syria is in ruine today, all because they Qatar-Israel-Turkey-Jordan wants the land based gas pipeline to Europe either through puppet state or Lebanon-Alawi Sate route to Cayan, Turkey. The money spent on the fake mercenaries to act up as ligit Syria opposition is infatisemal compare the cost of undersea pipeline.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:46 pm

 

52. Albo said:

“However, Assad must go. The longer he stays in power, the more likely warlords and anarchy will take over.”

So if he goes, and the regime forces and state apparatus stay, suddenly all the rebel factions will accept to talk with them and stop the fight? This is very dubious.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:47 pm

 

53. ALI said:

This revolution claims “Freedom” of all sorts, I respect and support that unconditionally. However, why are you stripping minorities of their right of expression?!! Minorities decided to either stay on the side or support Assad, it’s their decision and you MUST respect that and stop blaming them for not taking the side of Sunnis, otherwise the least we could describe this revolution with is “confusion” and “double standards”.

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November 12th, 2012, 4:54 pm

 

54. Syrialover said:

“Syrian President Bashar Al Assad said his future could only be decided through the ballot box” *

I agree! When he’s stepped down and a transitional government has started stabilizing and rebuilding Syria to the stage where free and fair elections can be held.

Then let Bashar stand as a candidate against other candidates on a level playing field. With election funding transparency, governance rules for political parties, national TV debates, close monitoring of voting results – the works.

If he’s to stand a chance of even making first base for party nomination, he’ll have to first get acquittal on war crimes charges, grow a proper mustache and get voice therapy to stop the squeaking.

Yeah, I like it – the ballot box is definitely the fairest and soundest way to decide Bashar Assad’s future.

* from story posted by Joshua in lead section.

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November 12th, 2012, 5:05 pm

 

55. Visitor said:

Ali Baba 48,

Keep your pat to yourself and those who need it.

First, you have to speak low key, no patronizing and no lecturing here in order to be given any consideration. If you understand this and follow it, we can proceed.

Now, I will answer your questions so you may behave yoursel next time. But this is only a one time grace pending the outcome of your behaviour in this probationary period.

Why do I hate the Qurdahans, you said? And why do I not sympathize with their alleged plight under the Sunni elite, according to you?

First, I do not hate the Qurdahans. But I want to make room for the so-called salafists and jihadists, and Qurdaha is the best place for me to put them in.

Second. I am the elite. And these allegations that you are alluding to are pure fiction of your imagination. Full stop.

I hope again the above would satisfy your curiosity.

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November 12th, 2012, 5:08 pm

 

56. Tara said:

It is surreal.

Syrian exile: ‘My mother is dead. And it was my father who killed her’
When Loubna Mrie joined the revolution, she incurred the wrath of her father, an Assad loyalist
,,,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/11/syria-shabiha-alawite-peace

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November 12th, 2012, 5:19 pm

 

57. Visitor said:

Syrialover 54,

This time I have to give you a BIG NO and thumbs down for this comment.

It is your choice to say what you said, however. But it will not fly.

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November 12th, 2012, 5:19 pm

 

58. MarigoldRan said:

To Albo:

Some of the rebels may begin to talk. Others will not. It will be a messy process. And even after Assad goes, the war will probably continue for another five years.

But as long as Assad stays in power, no one on the rebel side will talk peace. His departure may not guarantee peace. But his presence will always guarantee war.

To Ali:

What’s the point of respecting the rights of the minority if you do not respect the rights of the majority?

To Syrialover: The ballot box idea might have worked 1.5 years ago. Now it is impossible. Assad has proven to be a liar and a murderer. No one on the rebels’ side trust him to do anything anymore.

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November 12th, 2012, 5:24 pm

 

59. Syrialover said:

VISITOR #57

Didn’t you recognize satire and sarcasm? Bashar as an election candidate?

Apart from all else, he’d never be able to walk down a street in Syria or address a public meeting without getting mob lynched.

And he’d be permanently disqualified from candidacy in anything for reasons of probity, character and electoral legal requirements.

MARIGOLDRAN: No the ballot box idea would NEVER have worked in the present system because the Assadists could not comply with the basic processes for normal elections I listed above.

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November 12th, 2012, 5:25 pm

 

60. Ahmad said:

You should all shut up, most of you are not even from Syria and have never been there. You are supporting barbarian terrorists FSA. These Salafis cut off the heads of babies and put them on spikes.

That is the sort of people you defend and support! Let Syria alone goddamnit, and workout your own countries problems!

Proud to be Syrian forever with Syrian people against foreign backed terrorists. Support Bashar Al Assad! Humans last hope to prevent world war 3!

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November 12th, 2012, 5:38 pm

 

61. Visitor said:

Good to know.

But even in sarcasm the guy cannot stand as one. He may believe it. Consider the dumb factor.

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November 12th, 2012, 5:38 pm

 

62. MarigoldRan said:

To SyriaLover:

Missed the sarcasm. I get it now. Sarcasm is difficult to transmit over the internet.

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November 12th, 2012, 5:41 pm

 

63. Syrialover said:

ALBO #52 said:

“So if he [Assad] goes, and the regime forces and state apparatus stay, suddenly all the rebel factions will accept to talk with them and stop the fight?”

There is an excellent chance the new opposition leadership would. And I’d be surprised if the groundwork for this is not being laid as fast as possible behind the scenes, in consultation with the FSA.

But if he doesn’t step down the fight, which is fuelled by him, will continue until he is knocked down.

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November 12th, 2012, 5:42 pm

 

64. ALI said:

Visitor,

Thanks for your answers, quite comprehensive indeed.

Apologies for making you uncomfy, I’ll try my best to change my tone so nobody would feel that that I’m lecturing or patronizing around here.

I hope this is a good ground to proceed. If so, could you please tell me your opinion of the new opposition entity? do you have some faith in its leaders? Do you think it’ll open the gates of heavens and weapons to fighters on ground? finally, do you think it’ll cut the supply on Jihadists fighting groups in Syria?

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November 12th, 2012, 5:46 pm

 

65. Syrialover said:

ALDENDESHE #51

I know better than to try to interrupt your flow or respond, but wouldn’t the “LNG” facility” be an export facility so the gas can be shipped instead of put through an undersea pipeline? Overland pipelines don’t come into it for Cyprus.

Please, no need to respond.

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November 12th, 2012, 5:49 pm

 

66. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Battle in Syria – is NOT about Syria or for Syrians!! It is a classic oil and Gas interests war in the Middle East, all with fake oppositions, fake conflict, fake media and all to legitimize and sanitize the death and destruction, war crimes and genocides committed in pursuit of those oil and gas interests where fortunes can be made. For decades Israel was the obstacle for Middle East oil & gas transport. Today, Israel is gas producer in need of delivery route; Syria is the obstacle in the way when it was in the 50′s the secure pipelines route to many countries.

__________________________________________________________________

http://www.iranian.com/main/blog/ayatoilet1/battle-syria-not-about-syria-or-syrians

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November 12th, 2012, 5:49 pm

 

67. Syrialover said:

MARIGOLDRAN, VISITOR

Apology is mine for being over-subtle.

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November 12th, 2012, 5:50 pm

 

68. ALI said:

MarigoldRan:

Thanks for conversing with me.

The mere understanding of democracy is to respect everybody’s opinion. Undoubtedly Assad didn’t respect this fact, sadly speaking, the Isalimsts don’t seem keen to guarantee this right.

For example, Jihadists and other fighting groups keep attacking villages and towns which decided not to take a side and force them to be allies with them. I find this act quite similar to Assad’s herds of Shabeeha trying to force the nation to chant “Assad for ever”

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November 12th, 2012, 5:54 pm

 

69. Visitor said:

Ali Baba 63,

Well, since you are under probation, you need to become aware of certain mishaps you may fall into either knowingly (which is very bad) or unknowingly (bad enough to deprive you of credits eventually causing your failure).

The use of the term ‘entity’ to describe the newly formed coalition is derogatory. You will lose credit for that mishap as a grace of a first time mishap.

Secondly your continued use of the term jihadists will cost you a warning and a correction as usual. These are our brothers in faith and are always welcome before the revolution took place, during its progression, and after its eventual triumph.

Now, I will answer your questions with all sincerity and with no sarcasm whatsoever

Yes I have faith in the new body formed in our brotherly country of Qatar. But most importantly I like the platform which they declared will be their guide. At this point it is only appropriate that we must send greetings to our great friend of Syria, Sheikh Hamad.

الله محيي الشيخ حمد

Secondly, yes weapons will start flowing at a faster rate than they already have been which means the quantity and the quality will be both multiplied.

I think I already answered your last inquiry about our brothers in faith as well as in the revolution.

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November 12th, 2012, 6:02 pm

 

70. Albo said:

62 SL

That supposes that the opposition leadership effectively controls what’s happening on the ground, which has been very far from being the case.

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November 12th, 2012, 6:03 pm

 

71. ALI said:

Thanks Visitor, I appreciate your answers. You do sound like you’re quite comfy with your fundamentalist skin and brain, I respect that while I totally disagree with the concept of fanatics and fundamentalists.

Thanks for your feedback but I guess I’ll stick to my stand against Jihadists and deformed opposition entities for now.

Will you drop your weapon and engage in a dialog if you were guaranteed a solid positive outcome to your cause?

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November 12th, 2012, 6:23 pm

 

72. Syrialover said:

For all those who have been howling “dialogue! dialogue!”, stand by.

If the current new opposition leadership prevails and becomes part of a transitional government, Syrians could be in for the best and most constructive dialogue of their lives.

Khatib and his team would recognize that a substantial number of Syrians are neither with Bashar or the rebellion, just shocked and in stunned fear of the future.

Those are the people who need to be addressed, consulted and reassured.

And I think those guys have a better chance of doing that than anyone to date, based on what is known about them, their personal attributes and their vision for a non-sectarian Syria.

They are all also very good at public speaking and saying real things that get through to people.

Plus all of them have real-life experience and normal backgrounds, and would not have succeeded in getting where they are now without patiently earning the consent, respect and support of others, without using a gun.

It will be a dialogue 45 years in the making.

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November 12th, 2012, 6:25 pm

 

73. Visitor said:

Ali 70,

Despite your lack of reasoning as well as your obvious need to rational thinking, and despite the fact that your presumptuous negotiating stunt reflects your own personal initiative and nothing more, here is a counter proposal, for argument sake:

Would you accept putting thug Assad and his entourage of thugs on trial in Syria, dismantle all the security apparati, dissolve the Ba’ath party, and merge the regular Syrian Arab Army with the FSA under FSA command?

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November 12th, 2012, 6:34 pm

 

74. Syrialover said:

ALBO #69 said:

“That supposes that the opposition leadership effectively controls what’s happening on the ground, which has been very far from being the case”

You correctly use the past tense.

Remember everybody said there was zero hope of getting a Syrian opposition that was unified and able to earn both internal and external and recognition and support?

Now that’s happened, there’s an equal chance that things on the ground could change.

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November 12th, 2012, 6:36 pm

 

75. Tara said:

Zoo

From JL’s post above. The speech linked too

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.”
—–
What say you?

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November 12th, 2012, 6:56 pm

 

76. ALI said:

Visitor:

You didn’t answer my direct simple question, alternatively you decided to adopt Tala’s skills of countering back with another series of questions shifting the balance of the conversations and taking the topic somewhere else.

I take your behavior as you don’t have the guts to disturb your online brothers in faith by accepting to sit around the table to negotiate with an open mind possible solutions, although you do have solid guarantees of what you want. Why the hesitance Visitor?

However, I’ll answer your questions because I find them quite well cherry picked.

Would you accept:
1. putting thug Assad and his entourage of thugs on trial in Syria?
Yes/No, Assad should be put to international justice instead to opposition/Jihadists justice. I’m happy to refer his case to ICC

2. dismantle all the security apparatus?
This not not practical and a stark sign of the prematurity of opposition’s mind. How will you run a state with no security in place? unless you’re expecting your Jihadi brothers to play the judge and executioner in post Syria. I’d say the solution is by reforming and restructuring security apparatus.

3. dissolve the Ba’ath party?
No, this fall under the right of expression and I’m an advocate of everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, Ba’ath members should not be treated with any special privileges.

4. merge the regular Syrian Arab Army with the FSA under FSA?
command?
If you mean the defectors by FSA then the answer is YES, I agree these army personals should be reunited with their mother organization but with no special privileges or upper hand, an amnesty decree will be needed to sort out their situation. However, if you mean all fighters and Jihasists by FSA then the answer is No.

Now let’s try again, Will you drop your weapon and engage in a dialog if you were guaranteed a solid positive outcome to your cause?

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November 12th, 2012, 6:59 pm

 

77. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

The Problem with Pipelines

One option is for Israel to export natural gas via a new overland pipeline traversing Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and/or Iraq before passing through Turkey to access the European pipeline in Bulgaria and Greece. It is unlikely however that Israel will accept the political risk of transporting its natural gas through those Middle Eastern neighbors.

Another possibility being considered is an undersea pipeline. In August the Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, visited Athens and reportedly suggested building a pipeline between Israel’s offshore fields and the Greek mainland. Such a pipeline would be the most challenging project of its type ever attempted. It would be the world’s deepest undersea natural gas pipeline with long stretches at depths of 2,000 meters over rugged terrain and the Eastern Mediterranean Ridge. Covering 1,040 kms from Leviathan to the access point near Athens, the pipeline would match the length of the world’s longest undersea pipeline (or exceed it by 200 kms if the pipeline is routed to the access point in northern Greece).

_________________________________________________________________

Read More here: (SHOVE THAT FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY UP YOUR ASSES-THIS ARAB SPRING IS A WORSE HOAX THAN 9/11.)

http://www.coselle.com/resources/news/israel%E2%80%99s-options-monetizing-its-vast-reserves-offshore-natural-gas-mediterranean-predicament

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November 12th, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

78. Warren said:

US Intel believes some Benghazi attackers tied to al Qaeda in Iraq

U.S. intelligence believes that assailants connected to al Qaeda in Iraq were among the core group that attacked the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, a U.S. government official told CNN.

That would represent the second al Qaeda affiliate associated with the deadly September 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Previously, intelligence officials said there were signs of connections to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the North African wing of the terror group.

The revelation that members of al Qaeda in Iraq are suspected of involvement in the Libya attack comes at a time when there is a growing number of fighters from that group also taking part in the Syrian civil war.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/24/world/benghazi-al-qaeda-in-iraq/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

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November 12th, 2012, 7:14 pm

 

79. Visitor said:

Ali 75,

You really disappoint me and I am serious. This time there is no sarcasm whatsoever. Every word that follows is sincere.

First you are a bad negotiator. I.would not put you in charge of any negotiations.

The answer to your direct question has already been answered since you first showed yourself here. Remember this?

“This conflict must be resolved in the field.”

That was my first interaction with you. Nothing changed since then, except of course the developments in Qatar. The battle will go on till all of Syria is liberated from you Alawite thugs. You can decide to join the battle or stay out of the revolution.

Second, My counter proposal was simply for the sake of argument and to test your sincerity. You have failed in both. But have no doubt that the war will go on. The security apparati will be dismantled. Assad thug and his entourage of thugs will be tried by the victims themselves right in the middle of Damascus. The Ba’ath party will be dissolved and banned forever just like nazism was banned after WWII. And the FSA will unify the overall command of all armed forces under its command. What kind of presumptuous pompous entity you think you are to present so-called guarantees to a useless outcome as your proposal. I didn’t even ask you about that. You should know now why, unless you’re absolutely dumb.

Hey, consider this. Syria has already been destroyed. We are not going to destroy it again ten twenty years from now by fooling ourselves of trying to rebuild it on false foundations. Nothing will go forward from now until all of the above are achieved. You can go to sleep on that.

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November 12th, 2012, 7:24 pm

 

80. Philippe Magnan said:

What about the FSA? Is it included?

Why is there no effort to recognize the shadow state the FSA leadership is building from the ground, by uniting armed groups and defected military units into a unified structure of command and coordination?

Why not work with the FSA to find an alternative to the MB?

Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh, head of the Higher Military Council of the FSA has published a manifesto, according to the Daily Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9668169/Syria-leader-of-rebels-warns-they-might-turn-into-terrorists.html

He wants all rebel leaders to sign it.

He wishes this Manifesto could provide the framework for the next Constitution, “demanding respect for Syria’s unity and for human rights, especially the rights of prisoners.”

Rather than build a new state apparatus from Istanbul and Qatar, why not build it from the infrastructure emerging on the ground?

It looks to me — again, I’m new to this, I don’t know much — as if the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to finance and weaponize alternative gangs, in an effort to give them military parity with the FSA.

This creates rivalry among fighters, rather than unity. And resentment among the FSA leadership and the heads of its various councils. Even warlords such as Abu Issa and Jamal Maarouf spoke against that. And many defected military men.

The FSA has done the bulk of the fighting on the ground so far, but it has remained largely outside the Syrian National Council, and from I gather of Facebook, it does not plan to integrate into the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces.

My question is not rhetorical. I genuinely don’t know and am interested in your views here.

Am I wrong in thinking that the Syrian National Initiative wants to impose from above an alternative structure of command to the one that is being installed by the FSA from the ground?

Why are they doing it if it is to sponsor the MB rather than the FSA?

And yes, I know FSA units made pragmatic alliances with evil outfits such al-nusra. But I don’t recognize this as damning. They’re doing it where they are massively out-gunned and the prey of massive aerial bombings.

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November 12th, 2012, 7:27 pm

 

81. Syrialover said:

VISITOR, ALI

Ali did better than I was expecting. Visitor is a ferocious test giver with very high benchmarks. It takes some guts to sit the test.

Visitor, what tests should the new opposition leaders set?

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November 12th, 2012, 7:30 pm

 

82. zoo said:

Tara

Sorry, Georges Sabra’s melodramatic speech left me indifferent and unease.
He is certainly a better actor and writer than Ghaliun or his unbearable sister in law, but words and lyricism do not stop the bloodshed.
We need to see a practical plan other than the single plan the opposition has: “We are unifying only because we expect you to give us billions of dollars and better weapons. Otherwise we cannot topple Bashar Al Assad and we’ll loose the revolution.”
Will the West deliver? I have my doubts.

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November 12th, 2012, 7:32 pm

 

83. ALI said:

Oh dear you still believe that conflict will be resolved in filed!! maybe in the corn and wheat fields of Sydnaya prison when your brothers in faith end up there for good.

I’ll celebrate when Assad goes away but surely I’ll be over joyed when i see your Jihadi rats running and hiding away in caves and sewage pipes.

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November 12th, 2012, 7:45 pm

 

84. zoo said:

Qatar keeps hammering and repeating to the media that the AL has recognized the CNSROF as the ‘sole’ representative of the Syrian opposition. Yet, the AL league only said that the CNSROF is, like the SNC previously, a legitimate opposition group and a major representative of the Syrian opposition, but NOT the sole. It is certainly not the representative of the Syrian people.

Without the AL recognition, the chances it will be recognized as the sole representative of the Syrians internationally are null.

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=291557

CAIRO – The Arab League welcomed on Monday the formation of a new Syrian opposition group, but stopped short of giving it full recognition as the representative of the Syrian people.

With some Arab states still reluctant to completely abandon Syrian President Bashar Assad, Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo were unable to state clearly that the new Syrian National Coalition was the sole legitimate Syrian voice.

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November 12th, 2012, 7:51 pm

 

85. Tara said:

Zoo,

Ah, your response disappointed me..

His speech should be taught as an example of Muslim-Christian coexistence. An antidote for all the hatred spewed by some Christians on SC. I was very close to feel hopeless about the positions of the Christians in the ME toward the Muslims (and I know I should not generalize). One can feel the sincerity, honesty, and love in his tone of vice and every muscle contraction in his face. No wonder why JL’ friend said the speech made him feel proud to be a Syrian Christian for the first time in a long time.

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November 12th, 2012, 7:51 pm

 

86. Warren said:

Why Is It Always Just About Justice For Arabs Only?

The widely-published AP report by Mohammed Daraghmeh on October 29th announced that Arabs were preparing to once again push for creating their 22nd state in the United Nations. It cannot be stated too often that this would be their second, not first, created in the original April 25, 1920 Mandate of Palestine. What is now Jordan sits on almost 80% of that territory since its creation in 1922. That Arabs claim that Jews were given all or most of the land is nothing short of a blatant lie.

Arabs are firm believers that everywhere their own prior (and continuing) imperial, colonial conquests took them after they burst out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E. entitles Arabs to create states solely for themselves on all of those forcibly Arabized lands. In order to further this goal, the very languages and cultures of scores of millions of native, non-Arab, subjugated peoples in the region (those who were not slaughtered in the process, that is) have been suppressed and outlawed.

Coincidentally, on that very same date, a report by Shirzad Shikhani in Saudi Arabia’s Asharq al-Awsat stated that Iraq’s KRG president, Massoud Barzani, was informed that “alongside Turkey, the US will not support the proclamation of a Kurdish state.” The report made clear that this was the position–whether the Kurds wanted to come to the negotiating table over specific terms for independence or not. Mere mention of the Turks on this subject would be funny if not so tragic.

Ankara’s notorious subjugation of some twenty million of its own Kurds (renamed “Mountain Turks” to deny their distinct Kurdish identity)–who predate the invading Central Asian Turks in what’s now “Turkey” by millennia–matches the worst that Arabs have put into practice themselves, with the possible exception of Saddam’s genocidal Anfal Campaign. The latter took the lives of some 200,000 Kurds in Iraq in the 1980s–not to mention many others slaughtered by Arabs earlier in both Syria and Iraq or those dispatched by the Iranians as well.

It’s worth recalling that Iraq, which others now insist Kurds must remain a part of (no matter what the additional cost), is where Kurds were promised independence after World War I, when it was still known as the Mandate of Mesopotamia after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. They were subsequently shafted, however, after Great Britain received a favorable decision over the fate of the predominantly northern Kurdish area’s oil in the Mosul Decision handed down by the League of Nations in 1925. “Arab” Iraq was created in its place–a direct collusion between British petroleum politics and Arab nationalism. While one of the Hashemite Arab princes was being handed the lion’s share of Palestine renamed the Emirate of Transjordan, the other was being gifted all of Mesopotamia.

http://www.teapartytribune.com/2012/11/10/why-is-it-always-just-about-justice-for-arabs-only/

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November 12th, 2012, 7:52 pm

 

87. zoo said:

This is Qatar putting words in the mouth of the AL.

CAIRO, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) — The Arab League (AL) on Monday recognized the newly-formed Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces as the “representative of the aspirations of Syrian people,” said Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-11/13/c_131969170.htm

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November 12th, 2012, 7:54 pm

 

88. zoo said:

Tara

Words are just a temporary anesthesia to give the illusion that we all love each other. What counts are deeds.

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November 12th, 2012, 7:57 pm

 

89. Warren said:

IAF Targets Three Gaza Terror Sites

IAF aircraft strike two rocket launching sites in northern Gaza and a weapons storage site in central Gaza.

IAF aircraft conducted several airstrikes in Gaza on Monday night, hitting at least three targets.

According to a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the aircraft struck two rocket launching sites in northern Gaza and a weapons storage site in central Gaza. The attack, noted the statement, is a response to the continued rocket fire by Gaza-based terrorists into Israeli territory.

Direct hits were identified and all Israeli aircraft returned safely to their bases.

“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers and will continue to operate against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel,” said the IDF statement, laying the blame for any Gaza terrorist attacks on its Hamas rulers.

Southern Israel’s residents continued to be targeted by rockets and missiles on Monday, as thousands of children had to spend the day in shelters and protected spaces.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/162023

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November 12th, 2012, 8:02 pm

 

90. sheila said:

Dear Habib,
It is astounding to read your take on the current situation in Syria. Some people look, but they definitely cannot see. It is even more amazing that you are connecting the Syrian regime to the Alawi community so strongly. There is no question that the Alawi community is an element of the Syrian regime, but most definitely is not its entirety. The Syrian regime has been described by many as a Mafia to the point where the Economist called the system in Syria a Thugocracy a few years ago. Why you would want to smear the entire Alawi community so terribly, is beyond me. For you to claim that the Alawi community does not really know the truth of what is going on, is even more amazing. Your argument stems from arrogance and detachment from reality and is almost identical to the regime’s position. This attitude is exactly what got us where we are today. It serves us all well to have some dose of humility.

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November 12th, 2012, 8:04 pm

 

91. Tara said:

Zoo

You do not like words?

Words are good too. They are treats to the soul as long as the deeds that follow do not contradict the words. No?

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November 12th, 2012, 8:24 pm

 

92. Observer said:

What I notice and what I think are not always put in my posts.

From the previous thread I noticed a lot of new developments and ideas about the potential for a worse situation.

When I follow Ghufran’s noting that a worse outcome can happen, I do not endorse his apologetic stance with regard to the complete responsibility of the regime for this situation in my opinion.

Notice today that Malikiah has fallen fully in the hands of the Kurds and they stormed the local intelligence and army posts and in a new twist it was army officers who had to undergo searches by Kurdish fighters. The statutes of the father and the son were defaced to the cheers of the population and the tears of the women from this joyful event. The news was on the Daily Star web site today.

The new opposition coalition will give a working base for the creation of a new Syria.

It seems also that the responses from the previous thread clarified one point: the Alawi community has decided to fight to the death and they do not have a plan B and therefore they will suffer terribly in the new Syria.

This is why I do wish for them and for their safety to create a new state BUT they will have to fight to keep it and we may end up having another 100 year struggle.

Whether the international community will intervene on their behalf is another matter.

As to my opinion, I do not believe that ANY dialogue IS POSSIBLE WITH THIS REGIME.

I also do not believe that there is ANY POLITICAL SOLUTION TO THE CRISIS WHILE THE REGIME HOLDS THE HEAVY WEAPONS CARD.

YOU AND I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE THIS APPLE, I HAVE THE APPLE AND YOU HAVE THE KNIFE, YOU CAN CUT THE APPLE BUT I HAVE TO CHOOSE THE FIRST PIECE.

UNLESS there is such a balance of power and a minimum of trust then there can be no dialogue and if dialogue is to be had it will only be ON HOW TO DISMANTLE THE REGIME AND BRING THE CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE.

Just another finding I noted: the insult YA WALAD it is a typical Alawi insult but I am not sure what it means; can someone tell me: is it nigger? or boy as they did in the South to denote the slave status of niggers? Does it mean emotional and immature and innocent and therefore worthy of being abused and manipulated? Does it mean not capable of using force and soft and therefore not of the ilk of the superior Alawis?

Again, I am not insulting anyone here, just wondering

My observations of the recent developments:

1. The new coalition will give a nice cover for those that want to give more aid to the revolution notwithstanding the vetoes of the UN
2. The MB have been weakened and therefore there will be better distribution of military aid that used to favor the islamists.
3. This is the window through which the minority can join without losing face
4. This is the best way to force the pro regime allies to be put to their lie of wanting the best for the Syrian people while secretly trying to destroy the revolution like Iraq and ALgeria and HA.
5. Russia finds itself on the defensive asking for dialogue.
6. There is one dialogue now, that of force to fight the ferocity of this regime. Wow to those hardliners that want the regime to crush the opposition.
7. The regime will be uprooted from its most minute pieces and branches and for generations minorities may never have access to security or army positions.

Cheers

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November 12th, 2012, 8:59 pm

 

93. Warren said:

الكويت بعد تحريرها و اعادة الفرع الى الاصل عام 1990

مقطع لمحافظة الكويت العراقية المسلوبة بالقوة في عام 1990 المقطع يصور عودة الحياة الطبيعية في المحافظة بعد دخول الجيش العراقي الباسل و تحريرها من زمرة ال صباح العميلة
و سوف يعود الفرع الى الاصل ان شاء الله مهما طال الزمن لكن الكويت سوف تعود

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November 12th, 2012, 9:10 pm

 

94. mjabali said:

Observer, old money syndicate:

Walad in Syrian means immature.

Your weak attempt trying to stick that term to the Alawis is laughable. It shows a very RACIST side in you.

You are going crazy these days.

Your posts are حشو وتشطيح مع القليل من الردح, without real punch or meaning, except for the racist remarks here and there, which entertain me. Keep on trying dude. You make a fool of yourself, like your last post.

Contrary to your “observation” the only solution is political and it is possible.

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November 12th, 2012, 9:36 pm

 

95. Sheila said:

Dear Observer,
It is very interesting to watch how in the beginning of the revolution when the balance of power was in favor of the regime by miles, regime supporters were imploring the regime to “sterilize” and “disinfect” the country from those who dared to raise their heads to face their “masters”. Today, however, that same group is begging for dialogue. As they watch the ship sinking their cries for dialogue get louder and louder.

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November 12th, 2012, 9:39 pm

 

96. MarigoldRan said:

To Ali and Others:

1. Assad must go. Then negotiations.

2. The Sunnis must get power in any future government proportionate to their majority status. They make up about 70% of the country, so they should control at a minimum of half of the future government.

3. The president must be Sunni. The prime minister must be Alawite. The minister of defense must be Christian (similar to Lebanon).

4. Officers in the future Syrian army are to be 50% Sunni, 50% non-Sunni.

5. Russia keeps their naval base.

6. The Kurds will be an autonomous region, similar to the situation in North Iraq.

7. Weak central government, like Lebanon. It’ll be a mess, but it’s better than a dictatorship.

However, none of this is negotiable as long as Assad and his family is in power.

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November 12th, 2012, 9:42 pm

 

97. MarigoldRan said:

Keep in mind that this is a VERY generous offer, perhaps too generous. I suspect most FSA would not agree to the terms above.

Still, to continue fighting forever is not a good option. Also, the Kurds are going to get their autonomy, no matter what anyone does.

****************************

8. Each side is allowed to keep militias, similar to Lebanon.

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November 12th, 2012, 9:45 pm

 

98. Visitor said:

Syrialover 79 said,

“Visitor, what tests should the new opposition leaders set?”

Well, the platform which they declared will abide by should remain their guide. That’s why I have faith in them not just because I liked Khatib.

As for this Ali Baba entity, he may have survived little longer this time but I did tell him right up front how and why he will succeed or fail. He chose to fail because he is fake and doesn’t belong in this revolution.

That’s score 2 to zero so far. I’m sure he’ll come back and ask you and me not to address him anymore blah blah blah trying to seek some greener pastures.

But nothing to worry about. All the revolution supporters here have become seasoned and understand well the deceptions of the likes of Ali Baba, Johny come latelies. Besides you should remember this which I’m sure Khatib is fully aware of:

لا يلدغ المومن من جحر مرتين

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November 12th, 2012, 9:48 pm

 

99. Visitor said:

Marigoldran 94,

I just noticed your comment.

A non-starter!

Syria is NOT Lebanon. See my earlier comment under this thread on this.

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November 12th, 2012, 9:54 pm

 

100. MarigoldRan said:

To Visitor: and what is your counter-proposal?

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November 12th, 2012, 9:57 pm

 

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