News Round Up (Sept 12, 2012)

Syria Comment is working again. There was a problem with the server. Thanks to those who helped guide me through the fix, particularly to Camille.

Mounting calls in Israel for Western military intervention to topple the Assad regime are being sounded. Amos Yadlin, head of the country’s leading strategic affairs think tank, the National Institute for Security Studies, wrote an article in the Independent on Thursday urging a Western bombing campaign Libya style to stop the bloodshed. He also mentioned that toppling Assad would deal a blow to Iran. And now the Israeli foreign ministry spokesman is also going on record urging Western military intervention.

Foreign Policy

Turkey has shifted its policy on refugees, demanding they either enter camps or move deeper into the country away from the tense border region. According to the United Nations and Turkey, about 80,000 Syrian refugees are housed in camps along the Turkish border, and 40,000 others are living within Turkey’s cities. Turkish officials say the policy is meant to disperse the Syrians to separate them from possible antagonists. However, it will create added stress for Syrians injured in the conflict or those working from Turkey to aid the opposition. Turkey has criticized the United Nations, United States, and Europe for abandoning the country on the front line of Syria’s civil war. The United Nations’ Human Rights Council has convened in Geneva on Monday, where U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said both the Syrian government and opposition are responsible for human rights abuses. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for all war criminals in Syria to be “brought to justice.”

Effort to Bring Iraq’s Vice President to Justice for War Crimes Provokes Deadly Wave of Attacks

Iraq’s Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, tried in absentia while in Turkey, has been found guilty of orchestrating death squads. Hashemi has been charged with involvement in over 150 attacks on Iraqi officials and security forces between 2005 and 2011, and is accused of directly ordering several assassinations. US occupation forces had been protecting him, but the day after US troops left Iraq, a warrant was delivered for his arrest. Afterwards, he fled to Iraq’s northern autonomous Kurdish region. In Iraq, he was the most senior Sunni Muslim official and accused the government run by Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of “pushing for” increased sectarian strife. Sunni leaders have accused Maliki and the Shiite dominated government of attempting to sideline them from a power-sharing arrangement. The verdict coincided with a wave of over 20 attacks, mainly targeting Shiite neighborhoods across Iraq, during which an estimated 100 people were killed and more than 350 wounded, in one of the deadliest days since the U.S. departure.

Juan Cole has a good post on the difference between Syrian and Iraqi violence, but the question of how and when to prosecute Syrians for war crimes, will become an important issue in post-revolution Syria. Already the State Department is funding an important effort by Syrians to catalog the war crimes carried out by regime figures and members of the Syrian military.

Philip Giraldi’s article, copied below, is particularly important as it suggests that both Turkey and the US are growing increasingly concerned with al-Qaida penetration of the Syrian opposition militias. This is causing them to get cold feet about supporting the revolution with better weapons – something that the rebels need and are calling for.

The killing of four US diplomats in Libya is unlikely to make the US public enthusiastic about the Arab Spring in general and could have a negative effect on future aid.

Two New Wars for Us
By Philip Giraldi • September 6, 2012 – The New Conservative

Normally Washington bureaucracies shut down in August, but this year the intelligence community was working flat out to develop information on two crises in the Middle East. One official describes a deep sense of foreboding, recalling NSC Counter Terrorism Security Group chairman Richard Clarke’s description of walking around the West Wing in August 2001 with his “hair on fire.”

Syria is on the front-burner as a shooting war in which the U.S. is already clandestinely involved. The attempt to come up with a consensus National Intelligence Estimate on the crisis has been put on hold, both because the situation is too volatile and because new intelligence paints an increasingly dark picture of the insurgency. A number of atrocities against civilians previously attributed to the Assad government are now known to be the work of the rebels, who are becoming less reticent about their plans to eliminate all regime supporters, which would include most Alawites as well as many in the Christian community. U.S. intelligence has also come to the conclusion that rebel militias are heavily infiltrated and frequently commanded by jihadis linked to al-Qaeda. Attempts by CIA officers to discuss the issue with the rebels’ political representatives in Lebanon and Turkey have been blown off or deferred, suggesting that the movement’s leadership might be fully complicit. There is also increasing concern about a domino effect spreading unrest to Lebanon. Even the Turks are backing away from more direct involvement, worried that major refugee and Kurdish-based terrorism problems are developing…….

Video exclusive: Inside Syria’s rebel Farouk brigade

In an exclusive look inside Syria’s rebel military operations, French journalist Mani has been on the frontline with the elite Farouk brigade as they try to break President Assad’s stranglehold. [Good footage - Discussion of Salafism, sectarianism, and shows high-quality aerial photos supplied presumably by the CIA to the Farouk brigade.]

Samar Yazbek, Syrian journalist and author will speak at the National Press Club in DC on Monday, September 17, at 3:00 PM.

Keeping the Lid on Lebanon: Europe must not respond to Hezbollah’s newfound restraint by imposing sanctions. Excellent piece by Julian Barnes-Dacey on why Europe should resist US & Israeli pressure to place Hezbollah on its terrorism list.

POMED

Armed Opposition Groups Attempt Reform: Elements of the Free Syrian Army are being re-branded and reorganized as the Syrian National Army. The SNA currently includes a coalition of military councils, defected officers and brigades within Syria under the direction of Maj. Gen. Muhammed Hussein al-Haj Ali, but the head of the FSA has thus far rejected pressure to merge all forces with the SNA.

Dissent Among the Alawites: Syria’s Ruling Sect Does Not Speak with One Voice
Considered heretics by many mainstream Sunnis, the Alawites have long been perceived as a solid bloc of support for their co-religionists in the Assad dynasty. Not so now
By Steven Sotloff / Antakya, Turkey | September 10, 2012 – Time

….Sect members are increasingly breaking rank, as defections swell along with mounting uneasiness about the government’s crackdown against what started as a peaceful protest movement.

Captain Umar in Syria is a rebel fighter and an Alawite, and he considers Assad a “butcher.” The officer no longer believes the regime’s propaganda and says he abandoned his unit after the government began shelling civilian neighborhoods in his hometown. But Umar says it is Assad who is injecting the conflict with a sectarian hue. “Bashar is telling us the Sunnis will slaughter us,” he says via Skype from Syria. “He is scaring Alawis and pushing them to the edge. This is why the army is killing the people in the street. They are scared the Sunnis will massacre us.”

Umar says that it was the military’s daily shelling of civilian areas that pushed him to defect. “I just couldn’t see Syrians dying anymore.” He refuses to reveal how many Alawite officers have defected, but he does say the “number is significant.”

Others with ties to the security forces have also turned their back on the Alawite leadership. Luban Mrai’s father is a senior leader in the paramilitary organization known as the shabiha that targets civilians. She recently left the country after experiencing “serious moral and ethical dilemmas” stemming from the targeting of civilians. Today she resides in Istanbul, trying to mobilize support for the rebels. “The regime is using our religion for political ends,” she explains in a phone conversation. “Alawis are killing Syrians for no reason. This is wrong.

Leading Alawite intellectuals have abandoned the regime as well. Rasha Omran is one of Syria’s better-known poets and has been invited to read her poetry at literature festivals throughout Europe. Since the beginning of the uprising, she has lent her voice and pen to the cause. Omran announced her support of the revolution within days of its eruption on her Facebook page. She marched in protests and spoke out against Assad. “This is a dictatorial regime,” she said in a phone call from Egypt. “How can I support a government that kills its citizens?”

Omran sees herself as a Syrian rather than as an Alawite. She emphasizes that the country is composed of a number of minorities whose identity is shaped by the larger Syrian state. She believes Assad and his inner circle are destroying this delicate mosaic by stirring up ethnic hatreds. “We are all Syrians. But Assad is working to demolish our country.”

Omran wanted to support the revolution by remaining in Syria. But her vocal protests embarrassed a regime trying to project sectarian unity. Because she belongs to a respected Alawite family, the government risked an Alawite backlash if it arrested her. Instead, she says, intelligence agents pressured her to leave the country in a series of visits to her house. She finally left Syria at the beginning of the year.

This FAO WFP report on Syrian crops rotting in the fields and families who will starve in the villages deserves wider publicity. The Drought in US and Russia will restrict the amount of grain for sale on international markets. Sanctions are already making bank transactions in pursuit of grain purchaes by Syrian government fraught. (Thanks to Frank Domoney)

Zaman Interviews with Head of SNC and others are good. by Minhac Çelik in Zaman Gazetesi / Zaman Daily

Ankara in a prisoner’s dilemma over Syria by Mehmet Kalyoncu*

The Agony of Syria
By Max Rodenbeck
, September 27, 201, NYRB

Book Reviewed:

The Syrian Rebellion
by Fouad Ajami
Hoover Institution Press, 240 pp., $19.95

Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad
by David W. Lesch
Yale University Press, 262 pp., $28.00

A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution
by Samar Yazbek, translated from the Arabic by Max Weiss
Haus, 269 pp., $18.95 (paper)

rodenbeck_1-092712.jpgLaurent Van der Stockt/Reportage by Getty ImagesResidents of Tall Rifat, a small town north of Aleppo, after a Syrian army helicopter launched rockets at a local school, July 12, 2012

Postcolonial governments have often seemed condemned to repeat the sins of the imperialists they replaced, a sad irony that has been especially pronounced in the Middle East. The British in 1920, for instance, pioneered the use of poison gas against civilians in order to subdue a tribal revolt in Iraq. The last known deployment of chemical weapons for mass murder was again in Iraq, in 1988, when Saddam Hussein gassed his fellow citizens during the notorious Anfal campaign against the Kurds.

Syria, too, has experienced sinister symmetries. Soon after France grabbed the territory as a share of its spoils from World War I, an insurrection among the proud Druze of the Houran region in the south quickly spread elsewhere. The colonial government countered this challenge with a mix of sweet propaganda and extreme violence. Depicting their foes as sectarian fanatics, the French posed as patrons of progress and as the noble guarantors of peace between Syria’s diverse sects. Yet they also worked hard to sharpen the schism they warned of. Arming and empowering favored groups, they brutalized others with summary executions, the burning of crops, and the razing of villages.

The counterinsurgency culminated with a brazen demonstration of destructive power that effectively terrorized Syria’s propertied class into submission. In October 1925 French artillery and aircraft bombarded Damascus for two days, leaving 1,500 dead and much of the Syrian capital in ruins; the large, incongruously grid-patterned section of the Old City known simply as al-Hariqa—The Fire—today serves as a memorial to that conflagration. In May 1945, French forces again shelled Damascus indiscriminately, killing more than six hundred people in what proved a vain attempt to reassert control following the end of World War II.

The regime built under the Assad clan, whose godfather, Hafez Assad, Syria’s then minister of defense, seized power in 1970 and held it for three decades until his son Bashar’s succession, has followed these unfortunate examples. Like France’s colonial governors the Assads have posed as defenders of a modern secular state. They have called their opponents sectarian extremists, even as their favoritism toward some parts of Syria’s complex ethnic and religious mosaic—particularly their own minority Alawite sect—and punishment of others, such as the 10 percent Kurdish minority, have enflamed communal resentment. The striking viciousness and scale of state repression, enforced by seventeen competing intelligence agencies whose upper ranks are dominated by Alawites, have been excused as a necessary bulwark against threats to national unity.

Just like the French, too, the Assads have made a practice of training heavy artillery on densely populated areas. In 1982, responding to a budding Sunni Muslim insurgency that included terror attacks against Alawite soldiers, an army brigade commanded by Hafez Assad’s brother sealed off Syria’s then fourth-largest city, Hama. The two-week barrage of mortar and rocket fire that followed killed tens of thousands, erasing Hama’s large and well-preserved historic center….

“The Silent Strike: How Israel Bombed a Syrian Nuclear Installation and Kept It Secret” , David Makovsky speaks with some two dozen Israeli and American officials who knew about the 2007 Israeli operation and explores what the strike could mean for an Israeli attack on Iran. – In the New Yorker

Comments (598)


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151. ann said:

Yemeni protesters storm U.S. embassy in Sanaa: witnesses – 17 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/yemeni-protesters-storm-u-embassy-sanaa-witnesses-085414831.html

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September 13th, 2012, 11:17 am

 

152. jna said:

133. VISITOR said:
“The US government must do something about it other than just mere condemnation or invoking the mantra of free speech.”

Free speech in the US is not a mantra. It is the right of U.S. citizens guaranteed by the Constitution. It is about as sacred to many Americans as Mohammed is to many Muslims. Just as Muslims reject the notion that a crazy Muslim represents Islam, so Americans reject the notion that a crazy American represents the US. What’s so hard to understand about this?

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September 13th, 2012, 11:17 am

 

153. DAWOUD said:

Now, that President Morsi is demanding the departure of Syria’s war criminal “president,” Hizbillat and Hasan Nasrillat’s American apologists/translators are rejecting revolutionary Egypt. They seem to long for Mubarak’s years!
I like how President Morsi went to Tehran and told the ayatollahs what they did not want to hear. Yes, he lectured them on Syria and indirectly reminded them that they could not have any friendship with Egypt and the Arabs while they insult and curse Abu Bakr and Omar ibn-al-Khatab.

Free Syria, Free Palestine! Bahrain is Arab forever!

P.S., your anti-spam comment character is now assuming that we all know math. Those who claim that Bashar is not a war criminal and and a dictator may not realize that 2 plus 2 =4 :-)

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September 13th, 2012, 11:17 am

 

154. vigilante said:

visitor

“Islam is a one of the greatest civilizations of mankind.”

Yes, I agree, mostly due to the contributions of the Persians

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September 13th, 2012, 11:18 am

 

155. Mina said:

“Model Democratic Yemen” just had 100,000+ demos against Saleh’s immunity and his role in the instability of the country, and a bomb attack against the defense minister that claimed 12 lives, but of course, that didn’t get to the frontpage. Now, the attack on the US embassy does. And in the next days, just wait for the huge demos in Pakistan etc. Remind me of the demos agains the Prophet’s cartoons while the real scandal on the frontpage of Western newspapers was torture at Abu Ghraib.
http://www.yementimes.com/en/1606/news/1380/BREAKING-Bombings-Outside-Cabinet-Leave-12-Dead-Defense-Minister-Unharmed.htm

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September 13th, 2012, 11:21 am

 

156. VISITOR said:

149,

Who said we find it hard to understand?

But what makes so-called free speech sacred? it is not. It is just free speech. When it is abused it must be punished by law. What makes it so hard for you to understand.

Do you find it so hard to understand where your freedom ends?

Everyone knows the answer except you it seems!

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September 13th, 2012, 11:22 am

 

157. Uzair8 said:

If our leaders truely represented us there wouldn’t be such issues. For example Saudi could just cut of oil. The US wouldn’t give a damn about freedom of speech then.

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September 13th, 2012, 11:27 am

 

158. ann said:

Russia sees no role for U.N.’s Chapter VII on Syria – 2012-09-13

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-09/13/c_131849183.htm

MOSCOW, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) — Russia saw no reason for the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution on Syria based on a chapter of the U.N. Charter that allowed the use of force, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

“Some countries, which want to make external military interventions in Syria, are trying to foist a resolution with reference to Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which stipulates enforcement measures against breaching countries,” Lavrov told a local magazine, Foreign Affairs, here.

“But we are dealing with an internal conflict and there is no reason to intervene in favor of one side. It is necessary to make all confronting sides in Syria stop fighting immediately and sit at the negotiating table,” Lavrov said.

He said the U.N. Security Council had already passed two resolutions on Syria, as well as a communique adopted by an action group in Geneva on June 30, which envisaged a Syrian-led transition.

“We proposed to approve the Geneva communique at the U.N. Security Council, but the U.S. has refused because it didn’t contain threats, one-sided assessments and sanctions against the (Syrian) regime. It contained a balanced approach aimed at stopping violence in Syria,” the diplomat said.

Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter allows the U.N. Security Council to use force in the face of a threat to peace or aggression, taking “such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security,” including blockades and other operations by the forces of member states.

[...]

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-09/13/c_131849183.htm

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September 13th, 2012, 11:28 am

 

159. zoo said:

A new dictatorship for Egypt?

Arabic News Digest
Sep 14, 2012

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/a-new-dictatorship-for-egypt

The five factors that are creating a new type of dictatorship in Egypt after the revolution

Egyptian media reports of President Mohammed Morsi’s activities have been replete with hypocrisy, a sign that the process of “manufacturing a dictator” is in full swing, Egyptian novelist Alaa Aswani wrote in an opinion piece in the Cairo-based Al Masry Al Youm.

The writer listed five main factors of the coming dictatorship.

First, the machine of dictatorship. Mr Morsi has inherited the entire system of the former president, Hosni Mubarak. This includes devices to torture, arrest and murder as well as a corrupt media built on allegiance to the regime and government bodies to sing the president’s praises.

After Mr Morsi took office news editors, regional governors and a minister of information, all indebted to the Muslim Brotherhood, were appointed. Now a new emergency law is being prepared to serve the new president. Reliable sources assert that senior officials at the state security service are ingratiating themselves with the Brotherhood leadership and apologising for their crimes under the Mubarak regime.

Second, human weakness. No matter how modest a man might be, power can lead him to accept even hypocritical applause, and deem every compliment true. Mr Morsi’s ordinary visit to China was portrayed in the media as a world-changing feat. And an unknown association granted him an international peace award.

Third, the secret group. “President Morsi belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, a secret organisation shrouded in mystery,” Aswani wrote. “We do not know the borderlines between the presidency and the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau, nor those between the president and the Brotherhood leader.”

How many members are there in the Brotherhood? Do they have a military wing? Do they receive foreign funds? All these questions remain unanswered, the writer noted.

Fourth, religious legacy. “President Morsi is an Islamist, and so he evokes Islamic heritage in his speeches and views. This is understandable. But the problem is that the citizen-ruler relationship in the Islamic heritage involves two contradictory concepts.”

One concept is tantamount to democracy, and best exemplified in Caliphs Abu Bakr and Omar, who set an example of the ruler as an ordinary man at the service of citizens. But the other concept teaches people to obey even an unjust corrupt ruler.

Fifth, Stockholm syndrome. Egyptians who got along well under Mubarak still sympathise with him, but the eye-opener is that some who suffered still show sympathy. Recently however, some of them have turned towards Mr Morsi and justify all his actions, no matter what they are.

“The mission of the revolution now, in my eye,” the writer concluded, “is to prevent the creation of new a tyrant, so that we can build the democracy for which our martyrs

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September 13th, 2012, 11:33 am

 

160. erin said:

@145

Islamic civilization was great bc of the arab christians were involved in it! not because of the retards ideology. since the spread of Islam by sword and force world never had peace.
it is everywhere in the world there is a hot spot at the current time you find the unpeacefull religion involved.
OBL read Quran correctly and he is acting on killing everyone who is Kafir bc Islam should dominate the world.
you are more than retard if you still believe in the teaching of Quran, people in the 21st century, bypassed this ackward teaching and moved on into humanity and peace between all mankind.

beside, remember that there have been other great civilizations and all are gone now, stop crying over your past. in the real world the only thing you export is terrorism and retard ideology.
if Arabs didn’t have oil by luck, they would have been still eating manure off the sand.

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September 13th, 2012, 11:46 am

 

161. VISITOR said:

156,

Islamic civilization was and is still great on its own. And it will remain so on its own.

It did not need any Christian element to achieve its greatness. In fact, Christians of the ME and elsewhere benefited and still benefit from Islam.

If you do not like that then go and do what I told you to do in 145. The only one who is retraded here is YOU.

——————————

Mrs Clinton condemns the hate movie,

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/13/237825.html

That is not enough Mrs. Clinton. Get your Congress and Senate to do something about a recurring issue. Comply with International Law and Agreements.

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September 13th, 2012, 12:04 pm

 

162. Mina said:

For those who didn’t live the Iranian revolution, some glimpses (and matter for parallels with the Arab Spring and its aftermaths) can be found in the first half of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis (the film that Tunisian TV banned right after the revolution last year). It is available on Youtube.

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September 13th, 2012, 12:05 pm

 

163. Uzair8 said:

Prophet Film Aimed for Egyptian Disunity
12 September 2012

Abdel Bari Atwan

[...]

The film that some of those who watched it describe as weak and deliberately provocative, is a scheme to foment sedition by instigating sectarian conflict and spreading hatred among the sons of the same country, particularly at this critical juncture through which the Egyptian revolution is passing after succeeding in overthrowing the regime of corruption and dictatorship. The Egyptian people demonstrated a high degree of awareness regarding the motives of those who are behind this incitement, namely the desire to torpedo Egyptian national unity in the interest of the enemies of Egypt and, indeed, all Arab countries. That is why all the Egyptian churches and their spiritual leaders released statements condemning this suspect film which was produced by an Egyptian Coptic Christian, living in the US, and funded by Israeli businessmen. It is noteworthy that large numbers of Egyptian Copts stood alongside their Muslim brethren to demonstrate in front of the US Embassy yesterday to express their rejection of this vilification and those that stand behind it and to express their solidarity with their Muslim brethren.

[...]

http://www.abdelbariatwan.com/ProphetFilmAimedatEgyptianDisunity.htm

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September 13th, 2012, 12:15 pm

 

164. Tara said:

Hans AKA Erin

Why is the change in your name gender? I am curious..

I thought of changing my name too. Getting bored. I like new things but wil keep in the same gender.

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September 13th, 2012, 12:26 pm

 

165. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

Uzair @153
“If our leaders truely represented us there wouldn’t be such issues. For example Saudi could just cut off oil. The US wouldn’t give a damn about freedom of speech then.”

Conversely the US might stop giving a damn about International Law: the US aided by Britain and maybe even all of western Europe (and Israel, clandestinely) would promptly form another “coalition of the willing” and announce that the cutting off of oil amounted to an act of aggression, then go on to invade Saudi Arabia and put all the oil production facilities under an “International non-politicized non-aligned force for the security of the world economy”. It happened before: the US wanted to fight Japan in WW2, but did not want to be the one to declare war, so it cut off oil supplies and other industrial and natural resource exports to Japan and just waited. WHAM!…Pearl Harbor.

Now as to the attacks on the US consulate and the lynching of the poor ambassador and the other yanks, it’s probably been suggested by someone else here already (haven’t had time to read all the posts), but unfortunately we-Arabs- are really dumb! We (and the US admin.) just fell right into the trap set up by our old and dear friend Israel. You’ve heard about the Israeli/Amer. guy who made the film and how he got 5 million in donations to make it from other Zionists. The whole thing was planned from a to z, the timing of the release, the researched and possibly even the instigated reaction (not that our masses of dumb, ready-to-blow-their-top bunch of أغبياء idiots need any instigating) then agents were likely sent to pay those who would love to kill an American or two, show them the secret hiding location and just let them loose.

The Arabs and Muslims were set up, Obama was set up, and we delivered real big. The whole thing is mainly about embarrassing Obama and showing him to be weak and REALLY A CLOSET MUSLIM who is a wimp that won’t do anything even when American diplomats are lynched by fanatical Muslim mobs. And look how it’splaying out in the US now. And of course to show the world the nature of Muslims. Fell right into the trap.

People want to protest? Sure, by all means, but protest peacefully, find out who really is responsible and sue their ass. People want to fight, why don’t they go and attack Israel, because that’s what the film maker admitted he made the damn thing for: to make a political statement to defend his beloved country and the Zionist ideology.

Or as someone else said, they could go and get mad at Assad and his thugs who have been killing and maiming Muslims for 18 months, destroying mosques as well as churches and burning Qurans
and bibles and damaging irreplaceable cultural and religious heritage sites all over Syria…where was their rage?

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September 13th, 2012, 12:29 pm

 

166. ghufran said:

معهد دراسات استراتيجية بريطاني يرجح بقاء الأسد في الحكم فترة طويلة

2012-09-13 06:08:31

قال خبراء المعهد الدولي للدراسات الاستراتيجية في لندن ان الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد سيظل في الحكم فترة طويلة رغم الضغط الخارجي والداخلي.
وأصدر المعهد في 13 ايلول/سبتمبر 2012 تقريره السنوي بعنوان “الابحاث الاستراتيجية 2012: تقرير سنوي عن العلاقات الدولية”. وتضمن التقرير ملحقا كاملا عن الوضع في سورية حيث تستعر حرب اهلية حمل عنوان “التدخل الخارجي لا يزال موضوع النقاش لكنه يبدوا مستبعدا”.
وقال اميل هوكايم أحد خبراء المعهد في عرض التقرير ان الكثيرين لا يعطون امكانية الرئيس بشار الاسد على الصمود حقها.
وأشار الى ان هروب رئيس الوزراء السوري واغتيال عدد من القادة العسكريين الرئيسيين القربين للنظام لم يكسرا عزيمة الاسد.
كما قال هوكايم انه في ضوء استمرار الاشتباكات المسلحة بين القوات الموالية للرئيس السوري والمعارضة في المدن السورية الكبيرة “لا مجال لحل الازمة في القريب العاجل
I hope the predictions are all wrong, I find it very hard to believe that Assad can stay president after all of that destruction, it is unlikely also that his opponents will stop making attempts on his life. for the sake of Syria,I hope that he resigns and let somebody else manage the mess he helped to create.

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September 13th, 2012, 12:36 pm

 

167. VISITOR said:

# 161

Irrelevant and illogical.

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September 13th, 2012, 12:37 pm

 

168. Tara said:

A-S-S-A-D

I Do not know this was a yet another Zionist conspiracy. Aside than that, I agree with your evaluation of us being a mass of dumbs ready to be herded and to adopt a cause, fighting shadows and not confronting the real enemies within us. It is so pathetic..

I still insist that our pathetic state of affair is related to our long standing oppression where we as masses have never learned free thinking, instead always always being herded by our governments, patents, teachers, preachers etc. a unique individual identities are what we miss.

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September 13th, 2012, 12:49 pm

 

169. jna said:

“Do you find it so hard to understand where your freedom ends?”

Visitor, my freedom ends where American courts find it ends, under law. And not before. Too bad if it offends you.

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September 13th, 2012, 12:51 pm

 

170. Aldendeshe said:

Russia sees no role for U.N.’s Chapter VII on Syria – 2012-09-13
________________________________________________________________

Russians are smart and sticking to International law. Foreign backed invasion and occupation of another country is not how resolution of an internal conflict can be accomplished. Internal conflicts are not for the United Nations to resolve, it is for the people to do so. This beg the question, for all the media coverage, international support, hundredth of millions and weapon delivery, why all that failed to even force Assad to the conference table? The morons who plotted, failed miserably. NOW WHAT?

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 37 Thumb down 13

September 13th, 2012, 12:59 pm

 

171. zoo said:

The FSA and the SNC accuse the international community for the presence of Al Qaeda groups within their ranks and ask for the official recognition of the FSA to ensure the exclusivity of weapons

Syrian rebels condemn attacks on US embassies

13/09/2012
By Caroline Akoum and Layal Abu Rihal
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=31059

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Deputy Chief of Staff of the opposition Free Syrian Army [FSA], Colonel Aref Hamoud…
As for whether he fears the rise of Al Qaeda in Syria, the FSA Deputy Chief of Staff asserted that “anything is possible after the Syrian arena has become open due to the lack of action of the international community with regards to all the massacres that are being committed by the regime.” He added “there can be no doubt that it has become a fertile ground for various groups, including extremist Salafist groups.” Hamoud stressed that “so far, these groups are a minority and are not of the same level as the Al Qaeda organization, however if the international community continue to ignore the Syrian people’s cause, there can be no doubt that such groups will appear and spread [across Syria].”

He also said that the Syrian people’s belief that the international community has forgotten about them will push them towards religion, and therefore to groups that raise the banner of religion. Colonel Hamoud called on the international community to officially recognize the FSA and fund it to allow it to be the sole body authorized to carry weapons in Syria.

For his part, Syrian National Council member Samir Satouf confirmed that Al Qaeda is present on the ground in Syria, although under a variety of different names. He informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Bashar al-Assad had been funding these Al Qaeda affiliates – with the knowledge of the West – since before the revolution.

He said “the extremist Syrian groups that are present on the ground are no different than Al Qaeda; extremism is the brother of extremism. We have information that confirms that al-Assad funded the extremists who are cooperating with Al Qaeda, and that he previously and continues to provide them with arms, which are being smuggled into Syria under the protection of Syrian security.”

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September 13th, 2012, 1:05 pm

 

172. Syrian Natonalist Party said:

ان الاسلام افضل دين وإنما المسلمين اليوم لآحقر متدينين لعنكم الله يا واطين انكم مهزلة الشعوب

__________________________________________________________________

ياأهل العار والوطاوية والخذل ماعيب على المسلمين في ليبيا ومصر يقبضو قرش واحد من امريكا ليش ما السعودية تتكفل بكل حاجة المسلمين الملّحة على الأقل ان يقوم الحاكم الغير شرعي اليهودي ابن السعود يتبرع فقط البلغ اللذي نهبه من المسلمين الحجأج لمكّة على الأقلّ ليش يترك المسلمين بحاجة يشحدو ويتدينو بالفائضة المحرمة في الشريعة الاسلامية من بنوك اليهود والصهيونية والكافرين وغير المؤمنين مو هاذا حرام يامنحرفين اسلامييين ؟ العار عليكم وعلى امة الرسول محمد على هذه الوطاوية الحقيرة اللعنة عليكم اذا لايقوم هذا اليهودي اللذي يتحكم في الحرمين الشريفين في تكفل مساعدة كل مسلم والأمة الاسلامية كاملآ متكملآ يجب عليكم بأمر من النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وسلّم ان تجاهدو في الحرب لطرده من ديار الاسلام

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September 13th, 2012, 1:09 pm

 

173. Mina said:

#159 I still cannot understand what Abdel Bari Atwan makes of Al-Azhar’s Great Mufti statement about the film on the 9th September which basically called for lynching the Copts…

As for the FSA blaming everybody for the presence of al Qaeda, it seems their solution is that AQ stays in Iraq and Afghanistan solely, while Syrian borders should be sealed and protected?

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September 13th, 2012, 1:09 pm

 

174. VISITOR said:

165 said,

“Visitor, my freedom ends where American courts find it ends, under law. And not before. Too bad if it offends you.”

You can rest assured that your likes can never offend me.

————————–

168,

Because we do not like Antoun and those like him. Happily he was executed.
Ibn Saud, on the other hand, is great and we are happy with him.

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September 13th, 2012, 1:14 pm

 

175. Observer said:

In Germany you go to jail if you insult someone as “dirty Jew” and likewise in France you go to jail if you express “anti semitic” opinions or deny the holocaust.

In the US freedom of speech allows for distateful and hateful comments. The ACLU sued to allow the KKK to organize a march and a rally because they were exercising their freedom of expression.

Anyone is free to his/her opinion and is free to express those opinions.

In such situations, it would have been significantly better to point out the hate and the lies and to bring people together by actually showing excerpts of the life of many Muslims and Christians and Jews and Buddhists and Taosits and Hindus and even atheists that advocate peace and tolerance.

Alas there is something wrong with extremism these days and its propaganda machine including the Op-Ed by Liz Cheney today in the WSJ taking aim at the foreign policy of Obama by exploiting this tragedy.

Now let us get back to Syria:

Again watching Syrian TV and AL Manar and Press TV and RT and Addounia I do not see any significant news about the glorious achievements of the regime forces.

It is clear the regime has degenerated into a militia.
Juan Cole had a piece on the fact that the two sides are not yet capable of achieving total victory and the likelihood of a protracted conflict whereby only an exhaused protagonists will come to the table to compromise.

The problem is that any compromise on the side of the regime means its end unless some on this blog would disagree.

Dr. Landis if the regime is capable of compromise how and in which areas will be able to give way and where are its red lines.

How can you climb down from ASSAD or we BURN LBALD?

All of you remember that demonizing the other is the first step to its slaughter and oppression. All creeds religions and ideologies have done that with horrific consequences.

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September 13th, 2012, 1:26 pm

 

176. Aldendeshe said:

@VISITOR,

You can shove him and his unit up your butt, enjoy him, just leave him off Syria and let him give some honor and dignity to Moslems, after all he rob them once a year at hajj. For you visitor, how much do you charge for plane load of Lebanese whores to Riadh each trip?

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 44 Thumb down 10

September 13th, 2012, 1:29 pm

 
 

178. ghufran said:

ميليشيا الجيش الحر وجهت إتهامات مباشرة للجهادي السعودي عبد المجيد بن راشد بن غازي الرشيدي بالعمالة لمصلحة النظام السوري، وحملته مسؤولية مقتل الملازم المنشق براء البوشي الذي كان يظهر على شاشات التلفزة بصفة إعلامي، وقد تناقلت تنسيقيات الثورة على مواقعها بيانا وصفته بالسري والخطير، ذكرت فيه “أنه وبعد المتابعة والتدقيق من قبل مكتب استخبارات الجيش السوري الحر في دمشق وريفها في شخص المدعو عبد المجيد بن راشد بن غازي الرشيدي ” ومعروف بالإسماء التالية أبو راشد ، أبو براء ” سعودي الجنسية والذي ادعى أنه أحد المجاهدني من اخواننا السعويين المسلمين الذين جاءوا لنصرة ثورة الحق والحرية في سوريا ،ووضع أمامنا العديد من الوثائق تحاول اثبات ذلك ومنها وثيقة باسم ” مؤسسة الاغائة والمساعدة السورية وأمين عامها حسبما ذكرت الوثيقة هو المدعو أسامة مارديني .
فإننا بعد التفحص و الملاحقة الكثيفة لكل اتصالاته وعلاقاته تبين لنا بصورة جليّة عمالته الخسيسة لنظام الأسد واختراقه لصفوف ضباط الجيش السوري الحر وبعض الناشطين المتحدثين باسم كتائبه، وما استشهاد الملازم المنشق والصحفي براء البوشي إلا بسبب مكالمات السكايب المطولة التي كان يجريها معه ليحدد مكانه ومواقع الثوار عبر تقنيات متطورة جداً وذات تكلفة باهظة تكفلت إيران وروسيا والنظام البائد به”..
foreign Jihadists: short term gain,long term pain
any future regime will have a lot of problems finding those thugs and throwing them out of Syria, the FSA (or the NSA) must get rid of them now before it is too late, people also should report those foreigners to the police even if they do not like the police.

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September 13th, 2012, 2:06 pm

 

179. habib said:

Let’s have a little poll here.

Everyone who thinks the Benghazi attack was done by Salafists with NATO weapons, thumb up this comment.

Everyone who thinks it was done by Gadaffi’s ghost, worldwide Assadism or whatever, give it a thumb down!

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 42 Thumb down 12

September 13th, 2012, 2:29 pm

 

180. habib said:

167. zoo

Ok, let’s get this straight… The West is responsible for al Qaeda swarming into Syria because they have not attacked the country…

Yet Libya is swarming with al Qaeda even after (or because) the West helped them…

What am I missing?

Seems like the combined IQ of FSA’s members could get them into MENSA!

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September 13th, 2012, 2:33 pm

 

181. ann said:

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/09/islamists-drag-dead-body-of-us-ambassador-in-the-streets/

How differently is this news circulated (by the Western media) as compared to when exactly the same thing was done to Gaddafi’s body a few months ago…

The irony is that, under Gaddafi’s Libya, this horrific act would never have been committed or allowed to take place. This is the new and “liberated” Libya, one that the US and its Allies murdered for! You REAP what you SOW and NATO and its Allies, have done nothing but sow DEATH and DESTRUCTION!

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September 13th, 2012, 2:35 pm

 

182. Tara said:

Habib

Not trying to be mean here, but please if you did not yet pay attention that SNP/Aldendeshe manipulates the the thumb system, I would like for you to see a doctor.

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September 13th, 2012, 2:35 pm

 

183. habib said:

178. Tara

So what are you trying to say? That if the Gadaffi-supporter theory doesn’t get votes, it’s because someone manipulated the thumbs, not because the theory is incorrect?

Loool! You should simply had given the comment a thumb down instead if that’s what you really believed.

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September 13th, 2012, 2:40 pm

 

184. VISITOR said:

@Dendesh,

He is always welcome in Syria and with the highest honors.

Eat your heart out.

Muslims are not your concern.

So butt out.

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September 13th, 2012, 2:43 pm

 

185. Tara said:

Habib

I do not usually hide what I want to say.

Was not trying to say anything except that SNP has figured a way to manipulate the thumb system. So do not ask for a vote. Haven’t you seen the outrageous unreal thumb ups he gets. Just look at the pattern.

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September 13th, 2012, 2:50 pm

 

186. habib said:

181. Tara

Well, I really didn’t expect anyone to give it a thumb down (the alternative theory is too ridiculous), so it doesn’t really matter.

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September 13th, 2012, 2:56 pm

 

187. Aldendeshe said:

for the sake of Syria,I hope that he resigns and let somebody else manage the mess he helped to create.

_________________________________________________________________

@GHUFRAN
Do you want to roll your sleeves and go do it? I don’t think so, let him clean up his own Kaka, and his daddy ones as well.

@TARA.
Jewish girl working full time, day and night on this blog for a year, don’t you ever get paid vacation? Yeah I guess you can call it manipulation when 200+ Snpier’s comes here just to click green for me. But the site owner knows my IP and can see that it is not all on my end as they probably coming from various countries. Sorry to say because of people like you on this blog, many prefer to stay away, somehow they find people like you repulsive and depressing. I do get very saddned and depressed coming here, the ignorance and deception is appauling.

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September 13th, 2012, 3:03 pm

 

188. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

Yes, please do let’s get back to the Syrian situation. If may be pardoned for re-posting a comment I wrote in the last post, just before the server seized up. That one was addressed to Ghufran, but now it speaks to all of us/you here:

What should the Syrian people do? What is the suggested plan of action out of this madness? Is the regime a dictatorship run by a bunch of thugs? Or is it a benevolent tyranny? If the former then you surely have to admit that they never ever acted in good faith and never ever wished for the Annan plan to succeed and never extended a single minute act towards that end. And as Observer said: how can they climb down from “Assad or we burn l-balad”? But if the latter, why the harsh, over-the-top reaction? Where is the benevolence?

What do you want the people who have had enough of this present dictatorship to do, given its repressive response to their peaceful efforts? Where is GHIATH MATAR and the many many others who were (and still are) arrested, tortured and killed though they never lifted so much as a stick against anybody?

Let’s say we tell the extremist jihadis to bugger off out of Syria. Does that mean all religious and sectarian sentiments will immediately go out the window and we’re left with pure political and economic considerations? Will the regime learn some manners and decide to let go?

As you can imagine I HATE, I ABHOR religion, but I can’t force all Syrians to become atheists, nor do I expect them to. I want this uprising to be totally about rights, devoid of all religious links and influences, but as Maysaloon wrote, the regime WANTED it, FORCED it to become sectarian and extremist because that’s the only way it can fight it, by rallying the fears of Alawis and other minorities, who btw in a flash have become the recipients of its violence when they spoke out against it or stood in its way.

This blog is an excellent place to discuss solutions to the problem, OUR PROBLEM, but we have to agree on what the problem is first. Yes, the jihadis are one recent problem, but before that, was there no problem (back to the first question!!!)? This reminds me of something Haytham Mannaa said: “once the fighting starts (and the regime prefers a fight, because that’s where it has any chance of resisting maybe even winning) then all efforts would be directed towards stopping the violence, helping the devastated and homeless, and the whole original purpose of the uprising gets jettisoned and lost somewhere along the way”. I think he was right there. But to be fair, even if people could have controlled themselves, I think the regime would have invented an armed opposition and would never have given up on provoking the people to take up arms against it. You see, that way it can argue “why should we go if the MB and other extremists are going to stay and possibly take over later? If we go then they must go, too” This in effect translates to “since they won’t go, we won’t either!” = Eternal stalemate while the destruction and killing continue.

People, I’m sure I’m not the only one here sickened by the violence, the loss of life and wanton destruction of a whole country. So let’s all use this blog to find common ground and not to sow further divisions and find points of divergence. The biggest hurdle before us is this: WE MUST AGREE ON WHAT THE PROBLEM IS first. Unless we do that it’s just a place to exchange accusations and insults.

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September 13th, 2012, 3:06 pm

 

189. zoo said:

A Fight Between Islamists and Salafists ( Cold war between Qatar vs Saudi Arabia?)

Piercing the Fog of Revolution

By David Ignatius – September 13, 2012

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/09/13/piercing_the_fog_of_revolution_115422.html

….
An analyst who was in the midst of that crowd Tuesday told me he thinks the Salafist demonstrators were using the pretext of a supposedly anti-Islamic American film to send two messages: the first was obviously anti-Americanism, which is potent in today’s Egypt; the second and more interesting message was a challenge by the Salafists to their rivals in the Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohamed Morsi.
…..
The Salafists’ assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi at first appeared to be a “copycat” attack like the one in Cairo, but U.S. officials said it may have been planned by extremists linked to al-Qaeda. They were augmented by a well-armed Islamic militia. Their anger, again, is mixed between a baseline anti-Americanism (sadly, always a draw in the region) and a challenge to Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib and the secularist parties that are the backbone of the new Libyan government.

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September 13th, 2012, 3:26 pm

 

190. William Scott Scherk said:

NATO’s tireless bongo-player ANN seems unable to sort through and process reports from Benghazi; she repeatedly forks up citations of claims that the US Ambassador was dragged half-dead through the streets at the hands of a NATO terrorist Libyan Islamist mob.

ANN, please examine all the reports that confuse you. Please make an honest attempt to sort out the BS and the propaganda and deranged rumour. Try to construct a story that comforms with best evidence. Learn from your peers here how to examine conflicting stories for truth.

We do not know your motives, ANN, only the simple politics that seem to drive your actions here. The relentless demonizing of all actors against autocracy as terrorist Islamicists worthy only of death — this adds no intelligence to the mix. It only tells us that you see a hysterical cartoon world of Good and Evil. I tells us that a bad marriage was made between anti-Western hate and dread/repulsion felt toward Muslims.

It seems, most awfully, that you relish the deaths of Syrian soldiers who have abandoned the Syrian regime forces and act under the banner of the SNA or FSA. You show only contempt for the martyrs, the detained, the tortured, the bereft, the exiles, the suborned. No shades of innocence, no spark of humanity in those slaughtered by the SAA.

I do not see humane impulses behind your posts, ANN. A heartlessness in your occasional comments deepens as the crisis grows. Where you really stand in your heart is unknown, what you care for, who you care for, signs of your heart’s connection are absent, except for signs of excitement over violence and extremist incitement, except for your relish at destruction of opponents of the House of Assad, except for your expressed joy when the dictatorship crushes the life out of its dissidents.

What so excites you about all this, ANN? What makes you add ‘smiley’ symbols to your posts celebrating mayhem? What makes you repost all the feverish canards about the death of the Ambassador?

I know that we will not hear honest answers to such questions, ANN.

So here is more fun for you.

You can run this Tayyar.org rumour-mongering crap through Google Translate and get a real thrill, ANN. It says that the Ambassador was RAPED before being tortured to death by your savage boogeymen. The horror, ANN! The smileys! The breathless shoddy reportage!

http://www.tayyar.org/Tayyar/News/PoliticalNews/ar-LB/usa-killed-lybia-zek-970.htm

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 59

September 13th, 2012, 3:35 pm

 

191. zoo said:

“Arab Spring’ countries should fight islamists terrorists on their land or the US must do it for them.

No time for U.S. passivity
By Peter Brookes
Thursday, September 13, 2012
http://bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view.bg?articleid=1061159978
….
To Cairo and Tripoli, both in the formative stages of forming permanent governments, the warning (from the attackers) is twofold: Don’t get too close to Washington, and don’t think of veering too far from the Islamist hard line.
….
We’re going to have to take a good look at our relationships with these states. As host nations, Cairo and Tripoli are required by international treaty to protect diplomatic personnel and installations resident in their countries.

The first test will be whether Egypt and Tripoli come out with strong, unequivocal statements condemning the violence against our diplomatic facilities and Americans — and committing themselves to preventing further violence against U.S. interests.

The next test will be whether — and how quickly — Egypt and Libya move to apprehend the criminals and or terrorists responsible for these acts and hold them accountable for their heinous actions.

If they aren’t willing to bring the attackers to justice, we should be willing to do so to serve as a lesson to them and others. These outrageous acts can’t stand.

Setting the ongoing tragedy in Syria aside, the fact is the Arab Spring is far from settled, more trouble is likely from radicals and terrorists and we — both at home and abroad — may be the target. Now is no time for complacency about our security.

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September 13th, 2012, 3:36 pm

 

192. Humanist said:

Habib,

Are those “students” protesting outside the Swiss embassy in Tehran “Salafists with NATO weapons” too?

I’m afraid certain regimes, and former regimes too, have big interests in fueling this chaos and provocate a new conflict between the so called “islamic world” and the West.

It’s certainly not the first time…

You should know salafists aren’t the only agressive and intolerant islamists in this world. Their biggest opponents (i.e. some Shia Mullahs) aren’t much better.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 52

September 13th, 2012, 3:39 pm

 

193. zoo said:

How to send Egypt a message
The Morsi government is encouraging anti-U.S. unrest; the Obama administration must now send a clear signal back

By David Schenker AND Eric Trager / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

In Egypt and the U.S., the attack is widely being attributed to an obscure anti-Islamic movie. But in fact, Al Gamaa Al Islamiyya, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, announced weeks ago that it would protest in front of the U.S. Embassy on 9/11 to demand the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind cleric mastermind of the first World Trade Center Bombing in 1993.
….
But the attack on the Embassy went beyond the pale. For starters, it was preventable. A terrorist organization’s calls for protests outside the Embassy should have prompted the deployment of additional Egyptian security forces. Morsi’s abdication of responsibility and the Muslim Brotherhood’s defense of the assault should be the last straw.

Washington should present President Morsi with a choice: Either abide by international norms or preside over an Egypt increasingly threatened by economic collapse. At present, Egypt’s economy is tanking as instability and violence continue to scare away both tourists and investors.
..
To forestall a crisis, Washington committed to forgive that $1 billion in debt, and it has ardently supported a pending $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan. And just this week, the Embassy in Cairo sponsored a delegation of American businessmen in Cairo to encourage U.S. investment in an Egypt that was “open for business.”

All of this should be put on hold. Washington can tolerate a lot, but it cannot invest in an Egypt that refuses at a minimum to secure American diplomats. So long as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Morsi Administration insist on encouraging Salafists and soccer hooligans to target U.S. interests, the U.S. can and should impose costs for this choice.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/send-egypt-a-message-article-1.1157828?pgno=1#ixzz26Nf2i0M8

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September 13th, 2012, 3:44 pm

 

194. Citizen said:

Libya: Washington reaps what it sowed

Aleksei K. Pushkov, the head of Russia’s parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote via Twitter: “Under Qaddafi they didn’t kill diplomats. Obama and Clinton are in shock? What did they expect – ‘Democracy?’ Even bigger surprises await them in Syria.”

Yevgeny Y. Satanovsky, president of the Institute of the Middle East in Moscow, said American leaders should not expect “one word of sympathy” from their Russian counterparts.

“It is a tragedy to the family of the poor ambassador, but his blood is on the hands of Hillary Clinton personally and Barack Obama personally,” Mr. Satanovsky said.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlz3-OzcExI
http://tipggita32.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/libya-washington-reaps-what-it-sowed/

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September 13th, 2012, 4:04 pm

 

195. Uzair8 said:

A Libyan politician on Press Tv states that the Ambassador was a muslim.

Thumb up 17 Thumb down 24

September 13th, 2012, 4:16 pm

 

196. Mina said:

Zoo,
The “Gamaa Al Islamiyya” has been officially appointed by the Egyptian government to lead negotiations with the extremist groups in Sinai. It is now a respectable member of the political crew leading the country!
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/52021/Egypt/0/Egypts-Operation-Eagle-Sinai-campaign-draws-mixed-.aspx
(” Regarding ongoing dialogue with Sinai-based jihadist groups, launched two weeks ago as the operation’s ‘political arm,’ Nizar Ghorab, former MP for the Gamaa Al-Islamiya’s Construction and Development Party – who is currently spearheading the dialogue campaign – said that a series of meetings were taking place with jihadist and Islamist groups in the area.

Ghorab told Ahram Online that the first meeting, aimed at pre-empting an unnecessarily heavy-handed security response, took place last week. “This is why we quickly launched talks with the leaders of these movements – to prevent them from entering into a confrontation with state agencies,” he explained.

Ghorab added: “We spent time in prison with these men under the former regime, and thus we appreciate each other. This allows us to maintain dialogue with them, and we reiterate that these groups – including those that have taken up arms – no longer need to do this under the new regime, which we support.” (…)
The links between Hamas and the MB are well-known, and the role of al-Jazeera in creating the mayhem that led to the release of a bunch of MB jailed guys last year is also easy to document. Are we finally going to read something consistent about the “Arab Spring”?

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September 13th, 2012, 4:21 pm

 

197. Johannes de Silentio said:

186. William Scott Scherk

“NATO’s tireless bongo-player, ANN”

The problem with Ann, William, is she was once in love with a man beneath her station. She comes from a wealthy family. He father invented the limpet mine. Anyway, she fell in love with a simple soldier of the ranks and he used her and then dumped her for a Gypsy barmaid. After her brothers killed the girl, Ann went into hiding in a cave for forty days and forty nights. After she emerged, covered with soot and bat droppings, she vowed never again to touch a man. And to this day she has remained a bitter, hate-filled recluse.

I hope this helps.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 75

September 13th, 2012, 4:30 pm

 

198. Uzair8 said:

Why didn’t Syria and Isreal make peace while Sharon was in power?

Well, for one, Sharon and Muallem would have struggled to embrace on sealing any deal. [Assad rarely makes an appearance so Muallem would be sent.]
Btw they do look remarkably similar.

Mr Muallem. He doesn’t do many press conferences anymore. I guess they’ve suspended them since the last one at which Mr Muallem shifted a little to his left and the whole room tilted.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/5cols/leading_images/Syria_Muallem_pic_1.jpg

Syria’s membership of a dwindling number of organisations means Mr Muallem rarely gets leave his underground bunker. Then NAM came along and just see the excitement:

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00Qy4uX2pqdBm/766×575.jpg?fit=scale&background=000000

Little did he know His Excellency President Morsi would chase the smile away.

At this point, if I had a picture of Assad and Muallem standing together I’d make C3PO & R2D2 joke.

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September 13th, 2012, 5:09 pm

 

199. ghufran said:

from the Guardian:

Police in California are keeping a protective watch over the makers of the anti-Islamic video who fear for their safety amid surging violence across the Arab world.
Sheriff’s deputies were sent to the home of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in Cerritos, just outside Los Angeles, on Wednesday night because he feared retaliation after being identified as the producer of the Innocence of Muslims. Members of the FBI joint terrorism task force also visited his home amid growing evidence that Nakoula, 55, a Coptic Christian, was Sam Bacile, the pseudonym of the blasphemous video’s director and writer.
Police also visited a production company called Media for Christ, a Christian non-profit in Duarte, California, after it was identified as the one which obtained a film permit for the shoot.

comment: the easiest way to start a riot in the Middle East is to attack religious symbols, people who made the movie knew this very well. John Kerry was grilled for suggesting that poor and uneducated people cling to their religion and guns,he was right.
I am not sure if the DOJ will try to find a legal hole to prosecute the producers of that movie,I doubt that despite the pressure on Washington, freedom of speech does not have the same meaning in the US and the Middle East, things will change when Arabs become free to speak out,then a riot after a movie will be less likely.

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September 13th, 2012, 5:15 pm

 
 

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