News Round Up (September 20th, 2011) – By Ehsani

This is the first News Round Up of the new regime. Dr. Landis is irreplaceable and we all owe him a debt of gratitude and appreciation for taking interest in Syrian politics, history and religion. Readers are encouraged to make recommendations. They are also encouraged to write opinion pieces that we will attempt to publish regularly.
Ehsani

The Arab Parliament has asked the League to suspend Syria’s Membership.

U.S. Is Quietly Getting Ready for Syria Without Assad

WASHINGTON — Increasingly convinced that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria will not be able to remain in power, the Obama administration has begun to make plans for American policy in the region after he exits. In coordination with Turkey, the United States has been exploring how to deal with the possibility of a civil war among Syria’s Alawite, Druse, Christian and Sunni sects, a conflict that could quickly ignite other tensions in an already volatile region.

Will foreigners get involved?

Further measures are being floated in Washington and Brussels. Private banks that deal with Syria’s regime, most of them Lebanese subsidiaries, may be targeted if the killing persists. Byblos Bank, in whose Syrian subsidiary Rami Makhlouf, the president’s cousin, has a big share, may be hit.

Damned if we do impose sanctions on Syria. And damned if we don’t

But no one with an interest in human rights can be unaware of what happened when western nations applied sanctions to Syria’s neighbour, Iraq. No one who has seen it can forget the CBS interview in 1996 with Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton’s secretary of state. The interviewer pointed out that half a million children had died in Iraq as a result of sanctions. “We think the price is worth it,” Albright replied.

And if not sanctions, then what? So far the only alternatives on offer are vacuous condemnation and demands from the likes of Nick Clegg that “it’s time for Assad to go”, which, in terms of efficacy, is like being mauled by a giant sock.

The most widespread objection to the sanctions was that the governments imposing them are selective in their concerns and lacking in moral credentials. This is true on both counts. This column is discussing sanctions on Syria only because they are being imposed there, rather than on Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, which are also run by violently repressive regimes. Far from restraining them, the UK and other European nations continue to supply them with a hideous array of weapons. Though both the UK and the US committed the crime of aggression in Iraq, there is no prospect of sanctions against them. This is the justice of the powerful.

While the black-gold rush is on in Kurdistan, it’s a different story in Syria

The changing oilscape of the Middle East was mapped out yesterday, with prospering Kurdistan-focused Gulf Keystone preparing a $200m (£128m) rights issue to fund its rapid growth while Syria-focused Gulfsands Petroleum warned of a 40 per cent cut in production.

In the months before the Arab Spring uprisings, Syria looked to offer a more attractive, stable environment for oil exploration than Kurdistan, analysts said. With persistent uncertainty over whether contracts signed by Kurdistan regional government would be recognised by Baghdad, the so-called super-majors were putting off going into Kurdish Iraq. This paved the way for smaller operators such as Gulf Keystone to make their mark.

Then, in May, the Kurds reached an interim agreement with Baghdad, which safeguarded revenues generated in Kurdistan and fuelled increasing optimism that a federal oil law will be passed by the end of the year, formalising contracts signed with the regional government. As a result, big oil companies such as Repsol from Spain and Marathon Oil and Hess from the US have piled into the region.

In neighbouring Syria, prospects were moving in the opposite direction. Mr Malcolm of Gulfsands warned yesterday that “some considerable uncertainty now exists in Syria as to how events will unfold over the coming weeks and months”.

Perhaps due to the Arab Spring, Facebook users in the region has doubled

Women make up only a third of the users. Fadi Salem (a bright Syrian) is quoted in the article.

The Finance Minister takes issue with “Syrian Exceptionalism”

“If the question is whether Syria will follow the principals of market economy, then I say yes. But it will have to include a human dimension that addresses the personal needs in a society. I never studied the social market economy. All I have heard is that its an expirement that  took place in Western Europe and it ended with the people that called for it”

واليوم إذا كان السؤال هل ستعمل سورية على مبادئ اقتصاد السوق؟ أقول نعم، أما تحديد نوع الاقتصاد فأنا لا أملك جواباً ولكنه مرتكز على مبادئ اقتصاد السوق وله بعد إنساني يراعي الحاجات الإنسانية في المجتمع، كالحفاظ على صحة المواطن وكبار السن، ومعرفتي في اقتصاد السوق الاجتماعي ليس بمستوى المعرفة التي يتمتع بها مختصون غيري في سورية.

أنا لم أدرس هذا النمط من التفكير وكل ما سمعته عنه أنه تجربة حصلت بأوروبا الغربية وانتهت مع الأشخاص الذين نادوا بها

ويرى أن أغلب التشنجات الاقتصادية الموجودة في سورية يمكن حلّها في قرارات بسيطة تقترب من التفاهة، لكننا لم يكن لدينا في الماضي قدرة على ملامسة الآلام والأوجاع

The IMF’s latest forecast for the Syrian economy is to shrink by 2% this year as protests persist.

Rivals—Iran vs. Saudi Arabia

There are fears that the upheaval in the Middle East will exacerbate the deep rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The region’s geopolitical powers have long been locked in a so-called Cold War, but the Arab awakening is changing fronts in their proxy battles and both are vying for greater influence in a new Middle East.

International rivalry over Syria means conflict likely to intensify

Beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received a boost yesterday with the visit of a Russian delegation led by Federation Council Deputy Speaker Ilyas Umkhanov. Upon arriving in Damascus, Umkhanov declared that any Syrian reforms ‘should be carried in conditions when no outside pressure is exerted on Syria, and with no foreign interference.’

Umkhanov’s announcement consolidated Moscow’s position on the Syrian protests, which has included a rejection of any U.N. council resolution, and the advocating of a ‘political, non-violent’ resolution to the Syrian question.

Russia’s moves counteract a western push in favour of regime change, which two weeks ago featured an oil embargo and expanded sanctions in an attempt to ratchet up the pressure on powerful business elites in Damascus and Aleppo that largely remain supportive of Assad. But while painful, these sanctions – and indeed, arguably any other that the west can bring to bear – are not lethal to the regime.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, immediately condemned the sanctions, illustrating the difficulty in putting together a robust sanction regime that can be universally implemented.

Yesterday’s Russian visit came just three days after Ghiyath Matar, a Syrian youth leader dubbed ‘little Ghandi’ for championing non-violence, was killed, his brutalised body returned to his family by the authorities with the claim that ‘gangs’ had been responsible. Matar’s killing sparked outrage and dismay, and the fear that protesters’ momentum was now ‘dying’.

The openSecurity verdict: As Assad’s Baath regime continues its crackdown against ongoing protests in Syria, the fate of the Syrian people may increasingly rely on the outcome of a tug of war between states who support regime change in Damascus and others who oppose it.

The outcome is unlikely to be pretty. More probably, the result of the clashing international agendas, a determined elite fighting to maintain power, and an increasingly desperate protest movement, is a Syria that is broken.

The question being asked is no longer whether there will be civil strife, sectarian violence, and economic hardship, but rather for how long and at what cost will Syria suffer under such conditions.

Comments (159)


1. Afram said:

GOOD NEWZ

BOMB ROCKS TURKISH CAPITOL
time for erdogan to drink orphan tears….go PKK go

Burhan Ghalioun is filled with frustration!

حول وحدة المعارضة في الدوحة واستنبول

برهان غليون
الحوار المتمدن / 2011 / 9 / 20

يعرف الجميع أنني بدأت أدعو منذ الشهر الأول للانتفاضة إلى تكوين جبهة عريضة للمعارضة تقف إلى جانب شباب الثورة وتقدم لهم الغطاء أو المظلة السياسية التي يحتاجونها لاتقاء ضربات الداخل السياسية من جميع الأطراف خاصة تلك التي تتهمهم بالسلفية أو بانهم لا يمثلون إلا شرائح فقيرة جاهلة، وتلك الصامتة التي لم تفهم ماذا يجري، وبشكل خاص نصال شبيحة الاعلام والسياسة الذين عبأهم النظام. ومن جهة أخرى كان من الضروري أيضا ايجاد مظلة موحدة للدفاع عن الثورة في الخارج وتأكيد طابعها الديمقراطي والوطني التحرري أمام المتشككين من الدول والأحزاب والقوى الأجنبية التي كونت خلال السنوات الماضية صورة شبه ايجابية عن نظام البعث “العلماني” الذي يقف في وجه المد الاسلامي كما يقولون.

وقد ساهمت في أكثر من مبادرة لدفع الأطراف السياسية السورية المختلفة إلى الاتفاق في مابينها على العمل داخل إطار جامع، مع علمي بالخلافات والاختلافات العميقة التي تفرقها. لكن كنت أعتقد أن من الأفضل أن تواجه هذه الخلافات داخل إطار واحد وتحت مظلة الوحدة لعدم ترك أحد يفرط بالمباديء الأساسية وكي نحد من قدرة السلطة على التلاعب داخل صفوف المعارضة أو اختراقها والتشويش عليها.

وأنا لا أشك بأن أحد الأسباب الرئيسية لعرقلة جهودنا نحو التوافق هو ما تقوم به الأجهزة الأمنية من تشويش وتشويه لصورة الأطراف المختلفة بهدف وضعها واحدتها ضد الأخرى. وهذا ما أضعف جميع المبادرات أو أحبطها. ومع تعثر العمل في الداخل من أجل تكوين قوة معارضة قادرة على التأثير والفعل السياسي والدولي لمساعدة الثوار، زاد الاتجاه نحو توحيد القوى في الخارج على أمل أن يساعد ذلك على توحيد الداخل وربطه بحركة التوافق الوطني في ما بعد. وهكذا تم الاتفاق مع مجموعة استنبول على العمل المشترك من أجل تشكيل مجلس وطني يقوم بالمهام التي كان من المنتظر من جبهة المعارضة الموحدة أن تقوم بها، أي أن يدافع عن الثورة في الداخل والخارج ويعرض قضية تحرر الشعب السوري من وباء الطغيان على الساحة الدولية ويطمئن قطاعات الرأي المترددة في الانخراط في حركة التحرر العظيمة الجارية. وقد نشرت في هذا السياق خريطة الطريق لتشكيل المجلس الوطني التي كان من المفروض أن توجه عملنا للأيام التالية وشكلنا فرق العمل للاتصال بالمجموعات الثلاث التي سيضمها المجلس وهي ممثلي الأحزاب وممثلي قوى الثورة الميدانية والشخصيات المستقلة السياسية أو العاملة في حقل المجتمع المدني.

وبعد أيام قليلة وقبل أن تجتمع فرق العمل وجهت لي كما وجهت لبعض الشخصيات السياسية من المعارضة والثورة معا دعوة للمشاركة في لقاء تشاوري في المركز العربي للدراسات الذي يرأسه عزمي بشارة. وذهبت إلى الدوحة وفي ذهني توسيع دائرة المشاورات لتشكيل المجلس الوطني واللقاء مع القادمين من سورية. لكن النقاش سرعان ما تفتح على آفاق جديدة وبرزت نية من جميع المشاركين في تكوين إئتلاف وطني يجمع قوى المعارضة الكبرى المعروفة. وانتهى النقاش في اليوم الأول بتشكيل لجنة لتحرير بيان الإئتلاف النهائي وكان من بين أعضائها اثنان أو ثلاثة مما سيسمى في ما بعد بجماعة استنبول.

في اليوم الثاني الذي كان من المفروض أن نناقش النص النهائي للبيان ونوقع عليه، طرح الأخوة في جماعة استنبول ملاحظات حول الاسم وكان التحالف الوطني السوري وقالوا إنه يذكر بالتحالف الوطني لتحرير سورية الذي ارتبط بنظام صدام، فاقترحنا تغييره إلى الإئتلاف. لكن طرحت بعد ذلك أفكار أخرى وقال بعضهم إنهم لم يأتوا للتوقيع على ائتلاف وإنما لانتاج مجلس وطني. وقلت إن تكوين الإئتلاف لا ينبغي أن يكون عائقا أمام تشكيل مجلس وطني بل بالعكس إنه يسهل ذلك بمقدار ما يدفع المعارضة إلى التوافق. واعتبرنا في البيان أن الإئتلاف هو أحد مكونات المجلس الذي ينبغي أن يستكمل مع توحيد قوى الثورة من الهيئة العامة ولجان التنسيق المحلية والمجلس الأعلى. واستمر النقاش في الموضوع حتى اليوم الثالث. وانتهينا في الأخير على أن نتوقف ونترك الجميع يفكر في موقفه النهائي. وقال لي الأخوة في جماعة استنبول رجاءا لا تذع أننا رفضنا التوقيع على بيان الإئتلاف. ونحن لم نرفض لكننا نريد فرصة للتفكير وربما سنوقع غدا.

هكذا انتهى الاجتماع. وفي اليوم التالي جاء الأخوان المسلمون الذين لم تتم دعوتهم من قبل. وخلال ساعات تم الاتفاق معهم على التوقيع. وشكلت لجنة للمتابعة واتفق علي أن يتم الاعلان الرسمي عن ولادة الائتلاف يوم الأحد في 11 ايلول وتعلن أسماء الهيئة القيادية بعد أسبوع. لم تناقش أي مبادرة عربية ولم يكن هناك أي خلاف على هدف آسقاط النظام أبدا. لا قبل قدوم الأخوان ولا بعده. كان الخلاف على تكوين مجلس وطني قبل الائتلاف أم نكون إئتلافا أصبح جاهزا قبل المجلس الوطني أو مقدمة له.

يوم الاثنين، وكان موعد الإعلان عن ولادة الإئتلاف قد تأخر لأن الأطراف أرادت أن تطرح الموضوع على الهيئات القيادية في منظماتها، أعلنت جماعة استنبول دون أي إعلام مسبق لي أو لأي طرف آخر عن ولادة المجلس الوطني على أن يتم الاعلان عن أسماء أعضائه بعد يومين في الوقت الذي لم نكن قد قمنا بعد بتشكيل أي قائمة أسماء ولا استشارة أي شخص.

لم يتقدم وضع الإئتلاف بعد العودة إلى الداخل وبالمقابل اتصل شباب التنسيقيات مستفسرين عن مشكلة المجلس الوطني، وقلت لهم إنني مستعد للمشاركة لكن في مجلس متوازن. وجاءني وفد من استنبول يطلب مني الحضور إلى المجلس فقلت لهم إن المسألة لا تتعلق بموقعي في المجلس أو غيره وإنما بايجاد مجلس متوازن يمثل جميع أو معظم الأطياف السياسية ولا يقتصر على لون واحد. وينبغي أن يشارك فيه ممثلو الأحزاب والتنسيقيات والشخصيات الوطنية.

وافق أعضاء الوفد على اقتراحي الذي ينص على أن نعلن المجلس يوم الخميس، لكن نؤجل قائمة الأعضاء لاسبوع تال نقوم خلاله بالمشاورات والاتصالات الضرورية لاستكمال قائمة المشاركين في المجلس . ثم ندعو لعقد مؤتمر المجلس الأول بكامل أعضائه في القاهرة حتى نضع أنفسنا في مناخ الثورة العربية الديمقراطية وإطارها، وسيكون مؤتمر القاهرة أيضا مناسبة لانتخاب مكتب المجلس التنفيذي.

وتركت الوفد المكون من ملهم الدروبي ووائل ميرزا الذين قبلا الاقتراح وراؤ فيه مخرجا للازمة يفاوض هو نفسه استنبول عني، وانتظرت جواب جماعة استنبول وكان الجواب أن قائمة الأسماء لا بد أن تعلن أو على الأقل قسما كبيرا منها لأنهم وعدوا بذلك. وأمام هذا المأزق وتحت ضغط الوفد الذي وقف معي في المفاوضات وإعلانا عن حسن النية قبلت بالذهاب إلي استطنبول لمتابعة الحوار. واتصلت في مطار اسطنبول من هاتف ملهم الدروبي نفسه، بمسؤول في الأخوان خبرته عما حصل، ثم بأعضاء في جماعة استنبول لأعرف الموقف النهائي. وعندما علمت أنه ليس هناك تغيير ولن يكون هناك تغيير وأن جماعة استنبول مصرة على رفض أي اقتراح لإعطاء فرصة لإعادة النظر في القوائم أو التفكير في توسيع الاستشارات والاتصالات، اعتذرت من أعضاء الوفد وأخبرتهم بأنني عائد إلى باريس حتى لاازيد في تشويش الموقف.

في اليوم التالي لعودتي من استطنبول اتصلت بشباب الثورة وهيئاتها وشرحت الموقف ووضعت الأمر بين يديهم واقترحت عليهم أن يقودوا هم مبادرة لإعادة هيكلة المجلس إذا كانت هناك إمكانية. وإذا توصلوا إلى نتيجة مرضية فأنا سأظل في خدمة الثورة وتحت تصرفها.

ولا يزال الأمر في يد التشكيلات الرئيسية لقوى الثورة من هيئة عامة ومجلس أعلى ولجان. والمشاروات ما تزال مستمرة معها من أجل التوصل إلى صيغة تسمح بإعادة هيكلة المجلس بما يجعله معبرا بشكل أكبر عن اهداف الشعب وأطيافه وقواه الحية معا، وفي مقدمها ممثلي الثوار في المدن السورية الثائرة.

وقد اقترحت من طرفي تشكيل لجنة متابعة تضم ممثلين للقوى الشبابية والتشكيلات السياسية وبعض الشخصيات المستقلة ذات المصداقية الوطنية لتقود عملية إعادة هيكلة المجلس، بما يضمن أمرين أساسيين: التزام القوى السياسية بالعمل الجاد داخل المجلس وبناء مجلس متوازن من حيث التوجهات والأطياف الفكرية والسياسية.

وأنا متمسك بموقفي من ضرورة أن يكون المجلس الوطني السوري مجلسا وطنيا بالفعل، يمثل معظم القوى والأطياف السياسية والاجتماعية السورية ولا يقصي أحدا منها، مادام الجميع يتفق على الهدف الأكبر والأول وهو إسقاط النظام القائم بكل أركانه وإقامة نظام ديمقراطي تعددي. وأن يستثنى أعضاء قيادة المجلس من حق الترشيح لأول دورة انتخابات دستورية، وأن ينص المجلس على حله التلقائي فور بدء المرحلة الانتقالية وانتخاب الهيئة التمثيلية الجديدة التي ستصبح مصدر السلطة في البلاد بعد التحرير.

ومهما كان الحال لن يغير تشكيل المجلس من التزامي بالعمل الي جانب الثوار حتي سقوط النظام. وسأستمر كما بدأت في خدمة الثورة وتحت تصرف هيئاتها متحدثا بقضيتها من دون أن أدعي أي لقب أو منصب.

BLAH BLAH BLAH…………………

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

September 20th, 2011, 11:11 am

 

2. Revlon said:

Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد في امريكا

A Statement by Syrian Revolution Coordinators Union regarding the murder of Zainab Al-Hosni

Homs in 26/7/2011, a group of security forces and Shabiha kidnapped the young girl Zainab Al Hosni, born in 1992, from the front door of her house in Bab Siba when they were monitoring the house looking for her brother in a treacherous and dirty operation to keep track of… young people, harm them and hurt their families. Despite the exhausting search, the parents did not get any information about the fate of their daughter or her whereabouts.

And by accident, when the family of the martyr Mohammad Al-Hosni were doing a procedure to get his body out of the military hospital, one of the labours working in the hospital told them that there is a young woman from Al-Hosni family in a refrigerator in the hospital.

When the news spread in the family, they rushed to the military hospital on 15/9/2011 to make sure and identify the body of their daughter. They found the catastrophe, their daughter Zainab lying on the refrigerator, her face was distorted and her hands were cut off . Her body was brought to the military hospital in this condition by the elements belonging to a branch of Homs Security.

The hospital administration did not accept to hand over the body to her family till Saturday 09/17/2011. Her funeral has been held from Abdul-Rahman Bin Aouf mosque in Bab Siba to the Martyrs grave where she has been buried. The parents of Zainab are in a case of shock to the severity of the crime and the street is tense significantly and people pledged to move forward until victory and to sue these criminals.

Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد في امريكا
قصة الشهيدة زينب الحصني

بتاريخ 27-7 -2011 قامت مجموعة من عناصر الأمن والشبيحة باختطاف الشابة زينب الحصني من مواليد 1992 من على باب بيتها في حي باب السباع عندما كانوا يراقبون البيت بحثا عن اخيها في عملية غادرة وقذرة لتتبع الشباب وايذائهم وايذاء ذويهم
… ورغم البحث المضني لكن الأهل لم يحصلوا على اي معلومة عن مصير ابنتهم أو عن مكان وجودها
و عن طريق المصادفة عندما كان اهل الشهيد محمد الحصني يقومون ب…معاملة تخريجة من المشفى العسكري بحمص ذكر لهم احد العاملين في المشفى انه توجد شابة في ثلاجة المشفى من آل الحصني
وعندما شاع الخبر في العائلة سارع اهل الفتاة المفقودة الى المشفى العسكري بتاريخ 15-9-2011 للتأكد والتعرف على جثة ابنتهم فوجدوا الفاجعة الكبرى … زينب ملقاه في الثلاجة مشوهة الوجه ومقطوعة اليدين قد أحضرت الى المشفى العسكري بهذه الحالة من قبل عناصر تابعة لاحد فروع الأمن بحمص ..
لم تقبل ادارة المشفى تسليم الجثة للأهل حتى يوم السبت بتاريخ 17-9-2011

و بأسلوب خبيث قام النظام بتسليم جثتي الشهيد حكم دراق السباعي و جثة الشهيدة زينب الحصني في وقت واحد ويوم واحد حتى يقوم بتشتيت الجنازتين ومنعنا من إخراجهما وحتى دفنهما بنفس المقبرة.

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September 20th, 2011, 11:22 am

 

3. Revlon said:

Khaled Abu Salah, Member of the General Assembly for the Syrian revolution in Homs for AlJazeera:

A recently arrested Shabbeh has confessed to the kidnapping of 18 girls from different parts of the city. They are being detained in a farm near Homs and have been subjected to daily rape and execution at the rate of one per day.
12 have been murdered so far.

19/09/2011

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September 20th, 2011, 11:44 am

 

4. ziadsoury said:

Afram,

You call that good news? I can not believe you are cheering the killing of innocent Turkish civilians. Why?

Second let’s look at your logic here:
You believe the PKK is behind this operation
You also believe that Master Bashar is supporting the PKK now
Turkey is Part of NATO
Any attack on NATO is an attack on NATO and all NATO countries are allowed to defend the attacked country
IF NATO decided to attack Syria then the country will be completely destroyed and your master and with the rest of his gang will run away like weasels

I hope you will be cheering then.

I want this thug and his gang gone yesterday and I want it done at the hands of Syrians only and in a peaceful manner. If this man has any self respect at all he would have walked away and let the people be free.

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September 20th, 2011, 11:49 am

 

5. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“…………Upon arriving in Damascus, Umkhanov declared that any Syrian reforms ‘should be carried in conditions when no outside pressure is exerted on Syria, and with no foreign interference.’…”

One can read this statement off the lips of President Assad and his Baathist minions’. By doing so, the President is sealing his fate and that of Syria by surrendering it to the conspirators who are after a bunch of strategic and resource interests in Syria.

As long as Assad keeps on making no reform or شكلية the conspirators will have all the reasons to keep foot soldiers on the grounds, weakening him and Syria slowly.

This is the same strategy they used with Saddam, giving him safe haven, when they knew he will not depart, and slowly driving Iraq and its people to a point they just stood on the sidewalk, dimly silent, while liberators (occupiers) moved in.

By making serious reforms and allowing people political, social and economic freedoms Assad can guarantee his leadership. Assad angrily passed a decree for Political Party Law (bypassing Majlis) and made sure that SSNPS will never have ability to set shop in Syria. It is his and Syria loss. Just like Saddam did, he is helping the conspirators, Don’t Assad see how they consider banning doing business or allowing travel to Syria is considered deprivation tools, so why is he doing the same.

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September 20th, 2011, 11:49 am

 

6. Mina said:

Indeed, I forgot Afghanistan and Somalia,
http://www.lemonde.fr/asie-pacifique/article/2011/09/20/l-ancien-president-rabbani-tue-dans-un-attentat-suicide-a-kaboul_1575036_3216.html#ens_id=1191850

It seems the West knows how to start wars but rarely how to stop them. Is it the new containment doctrine?

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September 20th, 2011, 11:58 am

 

7. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“………..A recently arrested Shabbeh has confessed to the kidnapping of 18 girls from different parts of the city. They are being detained in a farm near Homs and have been subjected to daily rape and execution at the rate of one per day.
12 have been murdered so far……”

It pure made up propoganda from desperate loosers …but they must learned raping young women in Syria watching Americans in Iraq on Al Arabiya, Al Jazira and CNN

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September 20th, 2011, 12:06 pm

 

8. Tara said:

Afram is an islamophobe.

Afram in his last post is celebrating the murders of innocent people in Turkey.

Bin laden celebrated the murders of innocent people anywhere.

Afram, do you see a link between your mentality and Bin Laden’s? I do.

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September 20th, 2011, 12:08 pm

 

9. Some guy in damascus said:

Fresh news!
Damascus’s shopping districts were full of unlicensed stalls manned by people thought to be hired by the states authorities, but today all these stalls were gone. I think they upset the business community with their unwarranted competition. Theyre trying to grab onto the Sunni elite.

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September 20th, 2011, 1:01 pm

 

10. majedkhaldoun said:

The Arab Parliment froze Syria membership,next is to freeze Syria membership in the Arab League.

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September 20th, 2011, 1:35 pm

 

11. jna said:

A tragedy of errors for which the Syrian people pay the price

By Jihad el-Khazen

Monday, 19 September 2011

I fear that the relationship between the Syrian regime and the protesters is now like broken glass that cannot possibly be put back together. Then I remember Shakespeare’s comic play ‘The Comedy of Errors’, as I find myself witnessing a tragedy of errors in Syria that no one has been spared of, since the confrontations broke out six months ago.

Read on: http://english.alarabiya.net/views/2011/09/19/167567.html

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September 20th, 2011, 2:15 pm

 

12. uzair8 said:

You read daily one horror after another from Syria.
Reading about Zainab Al-Hosni one cannot imagine what she or her family went through. I havent the words. Speechless. Terrifying.

When we lose a UK £10 note we go all introspective and have a million-and-one thoughts. We ask our selves whether we did anything wrong here or there as the reason behind losing a £10 note.

The nightmare state the Syrian (and the wider Ummah) find oursleves in do we ask ourselves ‘why’? What have we done wrong? Is this Divine punishment? Why has God Almighty taken away from us progress, peace, security, justice etc?
May Allah Subhanu Wata Ala guide and protect us all.

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September 20th, 2011, 2:18 pm

 

13. uzair8 said:

@10 JNA.

The author is critical of both the regime and the protestors. I dont agree with the criticism of the oppositon and the charge of ‘treason’. Good article.

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September 20th, 2011, 2:22 pm

 

14. some guy in damascus said:

malek jandali just uploaded photos of his parents after their beating.
i have nothing nice to say……
https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.10150304851320000.355268.22623079999&type=1

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September 20th, 2011, 3:10 pm

 

15. some guy in damascus said:

malek jandali’s parents got a beating after he perfomed his new song near the syrian embassy in DC.
this is the song he played
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjqR7H6YumE
where is this freedom of speech you speak of samara!?

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September 20th, 2011, 3:18 pm

 

16. amal said:

Armed group kill a mother in north Syria

DAMASCUS, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — An armed terrorist group killed a woman in the northern town of Maaret al-Numan when she tried to prevent them from kidnapping her son, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported Monday.

The gunmen wanted to kidnap the son, a conscript of the Syrian army, in order to film him as a defector, leaving the woman killed in front of her house and her husband and son lightly wounded, SANA said.

Gunmen broke into the house of Abssya al-Jadi, 50, to kidnap her son, said SANA, quoting sources at Idlib province, adding that she was shot in the chest when she stood in front of her son to protect him from the gunmen’s shots.

Meanwhile, SANA said other armed terrorist groups attacked a number of schools in Idlib’s suburbs “to force students to leave” and terrorized teachers in order to hinder the educational process in the city.

In a related development, deputy director of the education department in the central province of Homs strongly denied as ” absolutely baseless”what some “provocative” TV channels broadcasted that five students were killed in a school in Homs’ suburb.

In a separate incident, SANA said that four law enforcement- members were killed and 18 others injured in an ambush set up Monday by an armed terrorist group on the way back to their unit at el-Dahiriyeh crossroads in the central province of Hama.

Quoting an official source, the report said that gunmen opened fire at two buses carrying law-enforcement forces near the crossroads, totally smashing a bus.

All injured, who have gunshots in different parts of their bodies, were rushed to nearby hospitals, SANA added.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/20/c_131147751.htm

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September 20th, 2011, 3:20 pm

 

17. amal said:

Syria-led political process needed to solve crisis

BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) — China reiterated Tuesday its stance that an inclusive political process led by Syria should be initiated to solve the ongoing crisis in the Middle East country.

China has long called on all the sides in Syria to end the violence and start an inclusive political process led by the country to resolve the crisis appropriately, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing in response to a question on the Syrian situation.

“Any move by the international community should be conducive to the realization of the goal,” said the spokesman amid reports that France is urging the United Nations to take action on the Syrian situation.

“China is deeply concerned about the continuing unrest in Syria,” he added.

Unrest erupted mid-March in Syria when anti-government protests broke out in the southern province of Daraa and spread to other cities.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-09/20/c_131149748.htm

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September 20th, 2011, 3:23 pm

 

18. amal said:

Specialized agents dismantle explosives in southern Syria

DAMASCUS, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — Specialized agents have dismantled a 6-kilogram explosive device planted at the commercial center in the southern province of Daraa, Syria’s official news agency (SANA) reported Sunday.

Quoting police sources at the city, SANA said the explosive device is comprised of two hand-made metal pieces packed with explosives.

An explosive device exploded late Saturday in Daraa, leaving no casualties and damaging only a minibus, SANA added.

Daraa, some 101 km south of the Syrian capital of Damascus, has spearheaded rallies against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has been in unrest since mid-March amid a wave of protests in the Arab world that toppled regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

The Syrian authorities blamed the unrest on “armed groups and foreign conspiracy,” and stressed that it would track down gunmen who have intimidated people and damaged public and private properties.

The Syrian government said hundreds of its security agents and military personnel have been killed.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/18/c_131145666.htm

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September 20th, 2011, 3:26 pm

 

19. amal said:

Syria Official reports Ambushes & Killings by Armed Groups

SYRIA- The Syrian army Tuesday dismantled an explosive device planted under a pipeline transporting crude oil to the Homs refinery in northern Syria, the state-run Syrian news agency SANA said.

The agency, citing a military source, said the device contained 25 kilograms of TNT and was set to explode by a remote device. The device was carefully prepared, camouflaged and placed in a manner to cause maximum damage to the pipeline, the report said.

“The people behind such an act were ‘saboteurs trying to destabilize the country,” the official report stated. On July 29, a similar bomb exploded in the oil pipeline in Telkalakh area, causing a 15-metre crater and oil spill in the area.

Also on Tuesday, SANA reported “Four law enforcement members were martyred and 18 others injured in an ambush set up by armed terrorist group while on their way back to their unit at el-Dahiriyeh crossroads in Hama.”

An official source at the governorate told SANA correspondent that gunmen opened fire at two buses carrying law-enforcement forces near the crossroads, causing one bus to crash.

Another Armed terrorist group killed Mrs. Absiyeh al-Jadi, 50-year old, from Deir al-Gharbi, east to Maarat al-Nu’man city, with a gunshot.

The mother was trying to prevent gunmen from abducting her son, a conscript at the Syrian Army, and filming him as a defected army member which caused her immediate death.

A source at the governorate police command told SANA correspondent that the armed group members stormed Mrs. Absiyeh’s home and opened fire at the family members, causing the martyrdom of the mother.

Medical sources at Maarat al-Nu’man National Hospital said the woman died because of a gunshot to the chest while the injury of the father and his son is mild.

SANA correspondent in Idleb said that armed terrorist groups attacked a number of schools and teachers in Idleb countryside with the aim of forcing students to leave and hinder the educational process in the city.

In the same context, Assistant Director of Homs Education Department Ma’ayouf al-Diyab refuted news broadcast by some instigating satellite channels on the killing of 5 students at a school in Homs countryside today, describing it as “untrue and baseless”.

Seven martyrs of the army, security forces and police were escorted on Tuesday too from Tishreen Military Hospital and Homs Military Hospital to their final resting place after they were targeted by armed terrorist groups in Homs, Hama, Daraa and Damascus Countryside.

Solemn processions were held for the martyrs as they were covered with the Syrian flag and the flowers, and the mourners were chanting slogans greeting the martyr and the motherland while the Military Band was playing the Music of the “Martyr” and the “Farewell”.

Late on Tuesday, SANA reported “A law-enforcement member was martyred on Tuesday and three others were wounded after they were shot by armed terrorist groups near Khadija al-Kubra School in al-Qosour neighborhood in Homs.

SANA Correspondent mentioned that gunmen also opened fire on a patrol of the law-enforcement forces near Homs National Hospital and no human causalities were reported.”

Reports and news abroad at foreign media agencies said that “Syrian security forces stormed the area of Bab Amro in the Homs region, killing four people,’ Rami Abdel Rahman of the spokesman of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told the German press agency dpa.

He added that a number of people were wounded in Homs.

‘One policeman was shot and killed in Homs by unknown assailants in Homs as well,’ he said adding that the Syrian regime is still carrying out a wave of ‘random arrests’ in the provinces of Daraa and Homs.

http://www.dp-news.com/en/detail.aspx?articleid=97259

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September 20th, 2011, 3:31 pm

 

20. ziadsoury said:

SGID,

His family is all class. I do not know him personaly but I know his uncle from my days in Miami and knew his grandmother (RIP). We even went to Disney together. My mother tells me we are a distant relatives.

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September 20th, 2011, 3:32 pm

 

21. Majhool said:

So now more than ever, Syria comment will represent minority view.

Alex, from a christian point view. ” The regime protects personal freedoms and protects minorities from Islamic fundamentalism”

Ehsani, represents the point of view of the “business elite”. where stability is paramount.

It was already the case that Joshua was influenced by their views. and hence was misguided in his outlook and understanding of Syria’s current affair.

One only needs to go browse the archive and will come to the conclusion that syria comment has been wrong on gauging the sentiments of Syrians.

Do you guys remember the “I spoke to a Taxi driver” accounts on how people are happy and in support of the regime?

This regime is held together by brute force. plain and simple.

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September 20th, 2011, 3:49 pm

 

22. amal said:

Using Shadow Internet
Information war

Hama causes raised eyebrows because of the harshness with which Hafez al Assad suppressed an Islamist uprising in 1982. But all recent reports of protests being put down by tanks and rockets are concoctions, in most instances, as a group of six Indian journalists recently found out. Damascus seemed more at peace than New Delhi is before or after the recent high court blast. Yes there was tension in Hama, a certain restiveness, nasty graffiti painted over in black. But no trace of a ‘massacre.’

The negative images on Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya channels are being flashed by the Islamic rebels who have been equipped with technology provided by the US keen to weaken Syria’s links with Iran and Hezbollah.

James Glanz and John Markoff of the New York Times revealed: “The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy ‘shadow’ internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.

“The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cell phone networks inside foreign countries, as well one operation out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype ‘Internet in a suitcase’ – all part of what is being called ‘Liberation technology movement.’

The suitcase can be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the global Internet. “The state Department is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya.”

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/192394/information-war.html

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September 20th, 2011, 3:50 pm

 

23. some guy in damascus said:

ziad,
the jandalis are a highly esteemed syrian family from homs. i personally know some. one of his relatives gave me a CD of his as a gift. i would remember how proud i was while listening to Echoes of Ugarit from a world class syrian pianist.
i would like to take your attention to how incompetent this regime is,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjqR7H6YumE
click on the show video statistics button which is located below the bottom right corner of the video screen. you will notice this video’s viewership increased after the attack on his parents(08/July).
the same thing happened to ali ferzat, the search for his name increased after the attack.
as one Palestinian put it to me: “the difference between the Syrian and Palestinian is, the Palestinian’s Foe is smart and cunning while the Syrians foe is dumb and self-harming.”

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September 20th, 2011, 3:51 pm

 

24. amal said:

Carbon unit MAHBOOL stands for the blood thirthty islamist terrorists and their cesspool neocon masters agenda.

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September 20th, 2011, 3:56 pm

 

25. uzair8 said:

@20

‘This regime is held together by brute force. plain and simple.’

1000%

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September 20th, 2011, 4:00 pm

 

26. William Scott Scherk said:

Phil Sands reports for The National. In this report, details on the recent opposition meeting inside Syria:

Hundreds of Syrian dissidents come together for summit

Young protesters and veteran dissidents have held their first large-scale meeting inside Syria, bringing divided opposition groups a step closer to unification.

About 300 anti-regime figures took part in the closed meeting at a farmhouse in Dreesh, 15 kilometres north of Damascus, on Saturday, with a follow-up news conference in the capital yesterday morning.

It was the largest anti-regime gathering inside Syria since the Baath party seized power in a military coup in the 1960s.

Even more significant than the size of the gathering was the bringing together of experienced pro-democracy activists, many of whom have campaigned for civil rights in Syria for decades, and the new generation of young revolutionaries who have shaken the autocratic regime with unprecedented street protests.

Until now, the old-guard dissidents and youth demonstrators had been largely distinct from one another. Those taking part in protests have also had to shield their identities, with tens of thousands of suspected demonstrators arrested.

A previous effort by experienced activists and protesters to meet in Damascus in July collapsed when security forces killed at least 16 people outside the proposed venue the day before the conference was scheduled to happen, forcing the organisers to abandon their plans.

“We had people from across the country, from all provinces, age groups and demographics, taking part,” said Saleh Mohammad, a veteran Kurdish opposition politician involved in Saturday’s gathering. “Among them were about 100 young activists representing the street; young activists who are in the street protesting every day, young protesters who have been arrested for taking part in demonstrations.”

Billed as the “general conference” of National Coordination Committees (NCC), the meeting brought together nine Arab and liberal Islamic opposition parties, four Kurdish parties, four human-rights groups and seven civil-rights campaign organisations, in addition to young protesters and leading dissidents such as the writer Michel Kilo and economist Aref Dalila.

Some of those involved were signatories to the 2005 Damascus Declaration, a call for peaceful, gradual democratic reforms that landed many dissidents in jail.

The meeting elected an 80-member central council, with young protesters filling more than 25 per cent of the positions t. The council will seek to establish more contacts with other anti-regime groups and activists, both inside and outside Syria, and will work to expand the uprising. It committed to using only peaceful methods in pursuit of democracy.

Complete article: http://goo.gl/1Z3cs

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September 20th, 2011, 4:00 pm

 

27. amal said:

U.S. in tough spot with Palestinian statehood bid

(CNN) — In 2009, a freshly elected U.S. president who campaigned on the themes of hope and change appointed a veteran negotiator to take a crack at the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Now, 32 months after President Barack Obama named former Sen. George Mitchell as his chief Middle East envoy, the peace process is stalled and the United States faces the diplomatically dangerous possibility of having to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution on Palestinian statehood.

How did it get to this point? The answers are in the intractable nature of the conflict, political pressures faced by the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships, and a steady waning of U.S. influence in the region, exacerbated by the Arab Spring protests that erupted last December.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday he intends to submit an application for statehood to the Security Council, according to U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky, setting up a possible vote as soon as Friday.

U.S. officials have made clear they will veto it, affirming the longstanding backing for Israel, the nation’s strongest Middle East ally.

Meanwhile, behind-the-scenes negotiations are seeking to avoid a move certain to evoke Arab protests of American bias and even hypocrisy.

A U.S. veto would amount to Washington blocking an outcome it has publicly supported — the creation of a Palestinian state next to Israel. However, the Obama administration insists that result must occur through a negotiated deal with Israel.

“We continue to believe and are pressing the point that the only way to a two-state solution, which is what we support and want to see happen, is through negotiations,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said late Monday.

Addressing the possible Palestinian statehood bid, she added that “no matter what does or doesn’t happen, this will not produce the kind of outcome that everyone is hoping for, so we are going to stay very much engaged and focused.”

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/20/politics/us-palestinians-israel/

Hillary Clinton what a DEMAGOGUE

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September 20th, 2011, 4:10 pm

 

28. Khalid Tlass said:

AFRAM at comment no. 1 is openly supporting terrorism and a proscribed terrorist organisation (PKK).

So now I have the freedom to say, we should use mustard gas and sarin on the mountains, and rip out the larynxes of the shabbiha, and make neckalces with them, and take their women as our possessions. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was very forgiving with Abu Sufyan and co. but we won;t be so forgiving, bcozx these guys are not even the standard of Abu Sufyan (ra).

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September 20th, 2011, 4:16 pm

 

29. some guy in damascus said:

there used to be so many unlicensed stalls largely manned by the shabeeha in damascus’s main shopping districts. today they all disappeared. i guess the stalls took their toll on the merchant elite, which upset what remains of besho’s wavering support.

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September 20th, 2011, 4:19 pm

 

30. amal said:

some guy in damascus when NATOs DEPLETED URANIUM BOMBS start falling on your head, your family, friends and loved ones. Your RASH will be the last thing you’ll have to worry about my boy.

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September 20th, 2011, 4:19 pm

 

31. Abu Umar said:

1. Afram said:

Chickenhawk Neocon, Afram praising the people who massacred his people decades ago in Iraq. Enjoy your permanent exile in the West and Fashar will fall, whether you like it or not.

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September 20th, 2011, 4:24 pm

 

32. some guy in damascus said:

amal,
im glad you admitted im in damascus.
now repeat after me : besho is bad, he must go. we are sick of oppression.
with enough effort, maybe you will realize that this is as authentic as it gets, the oppressive regime has to go. im not ready to give another قرش to حرامي مخلوف . what do you want me to do? tell people to stop demonstrating and that besho will compensate us for all of his corrupt regime’s misgivings? you do know that means he will have to imprison alot of his relatives.
btw are you syrian?

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September 20th, 2011, 4:29 pm

 

33. amal said:

Talks way forward for Syria – Lavrov

Moscow believes peaceful negotiations are the way forward in the Syria conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated on Tuesday.

“Russia has its own project for a resolution on Syria…it is aimed at stopping the violence there, both by government forces and armed groups,” Lavrov said.

The minister also said another goal of Russia’s draft resolution is to bring the opposing sides to the negotiating table for a discussion of the reforms proposed by President Bashar al Assad.

“We think it is wrong to get stuck on the sanctions issue,” Lavrov also said.

The Syrian government has used force to crush opposition protests, which followed a wave of uprisings in other Arab countries. The UN says over 2,000 people have died since the start of the protests in March.

http://en.ria.ru/world/20110920/166988081.html

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September 20th, 2011, 4:31 pm

 

34. amal said:

some guy in damascus my boy repeat after me NATO is coming to reward you hadsomely with death and destruction. They will leave no stone unturned. You’ll have no place to hide my boy. They will take you, your people and your country that you claim you love so much back to the stone age.

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September 20th, 2011, 4:42 pm

 

35. Halabi said:

Iraq changes its view on Syria according to The New York Times.

Iraq Joins Calls for Assad to Step Down in Syria

BAGHDAD — After months of striking a far friendlier tone toward the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the Iraqi government has joined a chorus of other nations calling on him to step down.

An adviser to the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, said in an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday that the Iraqi government had sent messages to Mr. Assad that said he should step down.

“We believe that the Syrian people should have more freedom and have the right to experience democracy,” said the adviser, Ali al-Moussawi. “We are against the one-party rule and the dictatorship that hasn’t allowed for the freedom of expression.”

The statements from Mr. Moussawi mark a significant change for Iraq. When the United States and several of its major allies called in August for Mr. Assad to cede power, the Iraqi government appeared to be more in line with Iran, which has supported Mr. Assad. The same day as the American statement, Mr. Maliki gave a speech warning Arab leaders that Israel would benefit the most from the Arab Spring.

“There is no doubt that there is a country that is waiting for the Arab countries to be ripped and is waiting for internal corrosion,” Mr. Maliki said in that speech. “Zionists and Israel are the first and biggest beneficiaries of this whole process.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/world/middleeast/iraq-tells-bashar-al-assad-of-syria-to-step-down.html?_r=1&hp

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September 20th, 2011, 4:42 pm

 

36. ziadsoury said:

Dear Majhool,
There is nothing wrong with that as long as their political views are known. It would have been better if there was a third person with a different point of view. Both Ehsani and Alex stepped up to keep the site going and they need to be aknowledged for that. Our job is to keep them honest. I have no concerns regarding Ehsani but I do as far as Alex is concerned. He is very close and connected to the thugs in Damascus and might be under pressure to present their agenda and provide information on the readers.

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September 20th, 2011, 4:43 pm

 

37. some guy in damascus said:

the pro-regime representative falls off his seat during al-jazeeras “الإتجاه المعاكس”

and i quote again:“the difference between the Syrian and Palestinian is, the Palestinian’s Foe is smart and cunning while the Syrians foe is dumb and self-harming.”
amal if that be the case i have one thing to say:
الموت ولا المذلة

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September 20th, 2011, 4:43 pm

 

38. William Scott Scherk said:

Looks like Iraq has figured out which way the wind is blowing. The New York Times reports that Assad has received ‘Time to depart’ message from Iraqi leaders.

Iraq Joins Calls for Assad to Step Down in Syria

BAGHDAD — After months of striking a far friendlier tone toward the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the Iraqi government has joined a chorus of other nations calling on him to step down.

An adviser to the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, said in an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday that the Iraqi government had sent messages to Mr. Assad that said he should step down.

“We believe that the Syrian people should have more freedom and have the right to experience democracy,” said the adviser, Ali al-Moussawi. “We are against the one-party rule and the dictatorship that hasn’t allowed for the freedom of expression.”

[Article by Michael S Schmidt and Yasir Ghazi continues here:
http://goo.gl/PbQDO ]

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September 20th, 2011, 4:45 pm

 

39. amal said:

‘Anti-Israeli sentiments on rise in Jordan’

Jordanians have staged a protest rally in front of the Israeli embassy, forcing its staff to evacuate.

Press TV has interviewed with Ruba Zeidan, Lecturer and Journalist to share her opinion on this issue.

Press TV: Can I just ask you how the protest were met by the police and the army in Jordan?

Zeidan: Well from what I saw and from what I heard and on the Internet, they were not treated violently but Jordanian forces surrounded the embassy from early morning . There were huge numbers of police cars and lieutenants from here and there but they were not treated violently. They were not welcomed. They were asked to leave home. Some of them were tough with the protestors but nothing major happened.

Press TV: Can I ask you as well how much aid does Jordan get from the US and is the anger on the streets against the Jordanian Royal Family as well as for making pacts and deals with Israel and America?

Zeidan: Of course we get lots of income and lots of money from the US. I do not know the exact number now because the financial budget keeps changing every year and is not announced. What is announced is not actually the truth but of course many US organizations are working here and there in Jordan and this prove things. So yes, we have a lot of aids from the US.

But the Royal Family, to be honest, most of the Jordanians, about 90 percent of them, are with the king and the Royal Family. Our problem is not with the Royal Family as much as with some of the policies and the treaties. Like the protestors yesterday they were talking about Wadi Araba and the effect it has done. None of them mentioned the government, I mean the king and they were general terms but I feel the king is really loved here from Jordanians and Jordanians from Palestinian origins.

Press TV: The anger is at Israel. Why is it bubbling up in Jordan now? Is Jordan or the people there including those from the refugee camps mimicking the tactics they see in Egypt?

Zeidan: Yes, of course you cannot deny the effect. What happened in 2011 was abnormal. People have changed, views have been changed. We learned from Egypt experience, of course. I mean what happened yesterday on the embassy it was organized by some organizations in Beirut who published a page on the Facebook trying to copy what happened in Egypt. And of course what happened in Syria and in Libya. I mean the atmosphere is changing but why now because all Jordanians are fed up with the continuing criticism of Israel to Jordanian policies and their intervention in our internal policies.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/200263.html

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September 20th, 2011, 4:46 pm

 

40. amal said:

The Land of Liberty Says No to Palestine

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has arrived in New York to ask the UN Security Council to turn his territory into a real nation. Considering that Abbas is called a US/Israeli cat’s paw or Quisling by many Palestinians, it’s a bold gesture indeed.

One that has rightly shaken Washington and left it isolated and the target of the Muslim world’s wrath. Now, comes the moment of truth for the western powers.

A majority of the world’s nations are fed up by the endless suffering of the stateless Palestinians and support creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza. In fact, the United States appears almost alone, save Israel, Canada, and Micronesia.

Turkey’s increasingly influential premier, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, went to Cairo last week and spoke for the world: “Let’s raise the Palestinian flag and let that flag be the symbol of peace and justice in the Middle East.”

The United States is desperately scrambling to head off a favorable vote at the UN. Washington threatens to veto any pro-Palestine vote in the Security Council — that alone can grant statehood status to a new state. The US is exerting huge pressure on allies and dependent states to vote against any Palestinian statehood resolution in the General Assembly. If Palestine gets full or even upgraded status at the UN, Washington fears Israel might face war crimes charges at the International Court in The Hague.

Israel is in a panic and is using all its mighty influence to sidetrack a UN vote. Its hard right-wing government is threatening the Palestinian territory with unspecified “grave consequences.” The United States is doing the same, on a larger scale.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading the anti-Palestinian diplomatic drive. She clearly has future political ambitions and is buttering up Israel’s supporters. Her goal is to arm-twist the feeble Palestinian leadership to accept some sort of diluted compromise that does not upset Israel. Abbas’ Palestinian Authority totally depends on the US and, to a much lesser degree, the EU and Saudi Arabia, for money, arms, intelligence support, and tepid diplomatic assistance.

It’s no secret that Israel’s right- wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu clearly controls Washington’s Middle East policy through its well-organized and funded US supporters. This has poisoned US interests in the Muslim world at a time that American domination of the turbulent region is weakening. But everyone also knows the political law: “don’t cross Israel in or near an election year.” George H.W. Bush paid the prices for trying to block illegal Israeli settlements. So did the very able former Senator Charles Percy, who died last week.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-margolis/the-land-of-liberty-says-_b_970271.html

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September 20th, 2011, 4:53 pm

 

41. Khalid Tlass said:

@ # 30, Abu Umar,

what do you mean ? I don;t think the PKK/ Kurdish separatists ever targetted Shias of Iraq. Or are you suggesting that Afram is Christian ?, since the Kurds have targetted the Christians of Iraq in the past ?

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September 20th, 2011, 5:05 pm

 

42. uzair8 said:

@36 SGID.

lol

That video was hilarious.

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September 20th, 2011, 5:09 pm

 

43. sheila said:

Dear #639. Norman,
First of all, I want you to take notice of how many people actually responded to your posting. The reason is that most people on this blog have a certain respect for you.
I share your fright of what is going on. I know that what is next is not going to be pretty, however, I am fed up with our regime and firmly believe that if we keep going their route, Syria is going to be completely destroyed. You have to understand that we do not have a government, we have a Mafia. This Mafia will do anything for its own interest. As honest and decent human beings, we have to take a stand.
About spies: they collect information and they also stir sectarian was.

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September 20th, 2011, 5:27 pm

 

44. Syrialover said:

Mahjool #20

You can’t have followed SyriaComment properly if you can say that about its new web masters. They would never dispute your comment: “The regime is held together by brute force. Pure and simple.” That’s an easy observation and I thank Ehsani and Alex for being among those who dial down the emotions and dial up the intellect when they comment here.

Ehsani has been expressing strong and eloquent anti-Assad views for 5 years here and his economic commentary has provided some of the sharpest and most damning criticism of the regime I have ever read. Read him and learn – you’ll then find real reasons to be angry about the poverty and injustice and economic disasters inflicted on Syrian people.

And Alex, while I may not always agree with him (though sometimes wonder if he might be right, even if I don’t like it), is an energetic, intelligent and competent presence on this site and has contributed a lot behind the scenes to making the site work IT-wise.

You’ll find Alex also shares with Dr Josh the ability to stand back and encourage and showcase the views of others. He is a tireless, and often lonely, campaigner for debate – check him out elsewhere and his other sites. You’ll see his love and pride and interest in Syria and willingness to invest his time and skills in promoting it.

I don’t know these guys or anything about their offline lives. I only know them through SyriaComment where they have played a clear, fair game above the ruckus. And Dr Josh, because of his personality, has appreciated their talents and been keen to bring them on board without feeling threatened by them.

Let’s not trash SyriaComment and those who sacrifice their time to provide it unless you have a better abd different forum to offer. It’s a civilized living room with decent hosts and its own character, where all sorts of guests are welcome to join in. I and others I know, some with very different views to mine, are glad it’s here to visit. Check the web statistics if you need convincing.

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September 20th, 2011, 5:33 pm

 

45. Tara said:

Aboud

Where are you?

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September 20th, 2011, 6:28 pm

 

46. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

SGID,

I’m glad you admit that the foe of the Palestinians (the “smart and cunning” one), isn’t your enemy :)
The photos you linked to, make the blood boil. This junta will pay for every bruise those proud parents have.
.

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September 20th, 2011, 7:35 pm

 

47. uzair8 said:

‘First Jewish global 24 hour news channel set to launch’
09/18/2011

Jewish News One unaffiliated with political movements, will be broadcast in Europe, America and Middle East, according to EJP report.

(Read more:)

http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=238405

Starting broadcast today (Wednesday 21st September)

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September 20th, 2011, 7:44 pm

 

48. Some guy in damascus said:

Slow down Amir, we syrians have bigger fish to fry now. Israel doesn’t get a free pass. What the ” IDF” did in 2006 and 2009 was horrific and not humanitarian at all. I reaffirm the Palestinians words : the syrians oppressors are stupid and can’t hide their atrocities, while the Israelis are masters deceivers. Maybe your government treats the Arabs in Israel better than the Arab governments themselves but I know countless palestinians whose ancestors were kicked out by the haganah and the stern gang. You should be more thankful to the autocratic Arabs governments than to Moshe Dayan. Practice what you preach, humanity starts at home.

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September 20th, 2011, 8:03 pm

 

49. uzair8 said:

Laura de Jong: Notes from Damascus
Tuesday, 06 September 2011

By Laura de Jong
Al Arabiya

Last week my colleague and I defied the travel advice of the Dutch embassy and the Syrian consulate and traveled to Damascus. I was curious to see what I would see on the streets, how tight the security really was, how objective the Western press is in reporting the events, and most importantly, what do Syrians think of the situation.

….First Lady Asma al-Assad, who was giving a speech at the Harvard Arab World conference, told the crowd that events in Tunisia and Libya would never reach Syria. One day later, unrest in Syria broke, marking the beginning of the uprising that continues to date.

(Read more:)

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/09/06/165636.html

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September 20th, 2011, 8:24 pm

 

50. sheila said:

Dear #20. Majhool,
You said: “now more than ever, Syria comment will represent minority view”. I take issue with your stereotyping. I take Camille’s opinion on the Syrian regime as a representative of Camille and only Camille. Who appointed him a spokesperson for Syria’s Christians?. I have many Christian friends who are vehemently against the regime. As for Ihsani, he is an expert in his field and again does not represent anyone but himself. The business community in Syria is also divided, like all other communities.
I can not wait for the day, when we are valued based on our opinions and character and not on our religious, class or business affiliations.

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September 20th, 2011, 8:39 pm

 

51. Tara said:

Why did the Iraqi government change it stand from supporting Bashar to supporting the Syrian people? Was it paid the right price or has its conscious just woke up?

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September 20th, 2011, 8:57 pm

 

52. sheila said:

To #33. Amal :
Syria is already in the stone age, if you have not noticed. The Assads can write the book in how to destroy a nation in every meaning of the word destroy. It is impressive how people like you look but never see. Just ask your mother and father how Syria was when they were growing up and then sit in the corner and cry. India, communist China and even war torn Vietnam have left us behind eating their dust and now our beloved country Syria is competing with Sub-Saharan Africa for the bottom of the pack. But wait, I forgot that our women wear the latest in fashion, carry the most advanced cell phones and spend their “valuable time” in the best cafes. Alas, this is what we think progress means.

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September 20th, 2011, 9:08 pm

 

53. MM said:

I have been grappling with the following question, which I can’t bring myself to answer:

Would you be willing to offer Bashar Al-Assad amnesty in exchange for immediately stepping down from power?

I think this calls for a Poll:

Would you prefer:
-Assad immediate relinquish power in exchange for personal amnesty
-No amnesty, hold out until he’s captured/killed
-’President Assad for Life’ (so as not to taint the other two choices)

Hobson’s Choice.

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September 20th, 2011, 9:17 pm

 

54. ann said:

testing …..

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September 20th, 2011, 9:17 pm

 

55. ann said:

Syrian Anti-Regime Cleric: “Tear Christians Into Pieces And Feed Them To The Dog

http://weaselzippers.us/2011/09/17/syrian-anti-regime-cleric-tear-christians-into-pieces-and-feed-them-to-the-dogs/

Syria’s another country destined to become an Islamist-ruled hellhole once Assad falls.

ROME, SEPTEMBER 16 — A Syrian sheikh who has been exiled to Saudi Arabia and has become one of the voices of the uprising against Assad, urges his followers, in television sermons that have been broadcast in Syria as well, to ”tear apart, chop up and feed” the meat of all supporters of the current regime ”to the dogs,” including all Christians. The fundamentalist turn part of the Syrian opposition is taking is denounced on the website Terrasanta.net, of the Franciscan Custody.

Many Syrian Christians, the website reads, are terrorised; in some cities, like Homs, they are even afraid to leave their houses. Some churches have already been burned down. These appeals to hate were made in this context by sheikh Adnan al Aroor, who is described in a profile of television network Al Arabia as a ‘moderate Sunni’, a ‘symbolic figure’ for the anti-Assad activists, a man who invites people to ‘peaceful and non-violent’ rebellion.

The sheikh broadcasts on the Islamic satellite channel al Safa, which has its headquarters in Saudi Arabia. The channel is very popular in Syria. In one of the sheik’s sermons that have been examined by the editorial staff of ‘Terrasanta’, al Aroor explains that Syrians can be divided into three groups: ”the first includes people who are for the revolution and against Assad. When the President falls, the winners will look with favour on this group.

The second group consists of people who are not for nor against the revolution. They can expect no privileges from the new regime.

The third group opposes the revolution and backs Assad. The meat of these people — in the words of Al Aroor — will be ”torn apart, chopped up and fed to the dogs.” This is an explicit threat to Christians, who have always been considered to be protected by the current regime.

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September 20th, 2011, 9:20 pm

 

56. Haytham Khoury said:

@ Afram #1

This is the message that I sent yesterday on one of the forums that is followed by both Ghalioun and Ziadeh.

بالرغم من الإنتقادات التي وجهت لمبادرة الأستاذ برهان غليون الأخيرة و بالرغم من احساسه الشخصي بالخيبة، فإنني أعتقد أن مبادرته حققت الكثير.
أولاً إننا بمادرته عرفنا بعض هواجس الداخل، والحقيقة أن هواجسهم هي الأهم لأنهم هم الذين يعانون من الرعب والموت.
ثانياً كانت هذه هي أول مبادرة للحوار و تبادل الآراء والهواجس بين المعارضة في الداخل و المعارضة في الخارج. مرة بعثت لرضوان زيادة لأحثه على ضرورة البدء بالحوار بين مختلف أطراف المعارضة لتوحيد الرؤى، فكان جواب رضوان “إن لهم توقيتاً مختلفاً في الداخل”. أدركت يومها هوة الخلاف بين أطراف المعارضة. لذلك أعتقد أن مبادرة الأستاذ برهان جاءت لتوحد “التواقيت” و لتقارب الأفكار التي باعدها تباعد الأمكنة. إنني أعتقد أن ما لاقه الأستاذ برهان كان عثرة و ليس فشلاً لذلك أدعوه لمتابعة مبادرته و أ قول له إننا معك من كل قلوبنا وعقولنا أيضاً.

أيضاً أريد أن أقول لصديقي العزيز رضوان زيادة: إننا لانشكك بنواياكم فنحن نعرف أنها حسنة، ونعرف مقدار ماجاهدتم للخلاص من هذا النظام البائد، ولكننا نريد منكم أن تتذكروا أيضاً جهادات الذين سبقوكم في هذا الطريق. إن قسوة الحكم الذي لاقته مبادرتكم كانت قسوة محبة. أردنا أن نقول لكم من خلالها أن الآخرين لهم هواجسهم و أفكارهم، خصوصاً هؤلاء الذين يعيشون في الداخل. أردنا أن نقول لكم مقولة الأستاذ أيمن عبد انور “كلنا شركاء”. ربما جاء تكرار بعثكم برسائل لنا عبر هذا “التجمع الإفتراضي” لتقلوا لنا أنكم لا تنكرون علينا هذا الحق. هكذا نقول لكم وفقكم الله في مبادرتكم، فأي جهد يسرع باسقاط النظام هو محمود و مشكور. أيضاً لربما كانت مبادرتكم متوافقة مع بقية المبادرات وهي يوماً ستلتقي معها، و لربما كان دورنا في هذا “الملتقى الإفتراضي” أن نجعل كل المبادرات تتعاضد للتخلص بسرعة من النظام المهترئ.

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September 20th, 2011, 9:22 pm

 

57. Haytham Khoury said:

@ Ann # 52.

This is a worthless propaganda.

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September 20th, 2011, 9:26 pm

 

58. majedkhaldoun said:

The success of the syrian revolution depends totally on american policy and conviction as far as Syria, so far US prefers the devil they know over the devil they do not know,they keep saying we want the regime to modify its behaviour,this explains Turkey hesitancy, and the Arab weak push for involvement,US reluctance is due to Israel demands, US knows the stratigic location of Syria,and recognizes that they have to leave Iraq soon,Arming syrians is possible and easy,KSA and Turkey can send arms through tunnels,but arms can embolden the regime to unleash the loyal army,to commit severe brutality,who can imagine that the west ,Turkey,or Arab can stand idle,doing nothing then?
The regime recognize that the syrian coast could be used to arm Syrians with heavy weapons, and that is why they did what they did in Latakia,and Banias,the regime established in Latakia a military base,not because there were gunmen , but because they have in their mind plan B, they are afraid of military action they want to have a capital of their own country if they have to seperate.
If there is to be a civil war in Syria, it will be a sectarian war, even that we deny sectarianism,because the regime is sectarian,sectarian will leads to religious conflict,and this will leads to regional fight,,that is why Turkey is trying to neutralize Iran.
While many in the army want to defect, they do not know where to go,defection means loose power,they have to wait till the time is ripe.
Sanction may have caused nuisence,non violent protest,caused pain but no gain,the only alternative is civil war, the timing of which is going to be very very critical.Six months passed and the opposition is not united, it will take six more months to become civil war.

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September 20th, 2011, 9:40 pm

 

59. ann said:

haytham (UNCLE TOM) khoury

Once a UNCLE TOM always a UNCLE TOM.

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September 20th, 2011, 9:43 pm

 

60. Tara said:

Ann

Your posts remind me with Rosalinda Celentano in “the Passion of the Christ”. Sorry.

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September 20th, 2011, 9:55 pm

 

61. sheila said:

To #52. Ann,
I am truly amazed at your analytical skills or rather lack there of. How did you get from here to there?. Do you work for Aldunya or SANA?.
You said: ”The third group opposes the revolution and backs Assad. The meat of these people — in the words of Al Aroor — will be ”torn apart, chopped up and fed to the dogs”. From here you conclude that this is a threat to the Christians, making the assumption that all Christians support the regime. This is a big jump in your thought process. First, the man said nothing about Christians, second, not all Christians support the regime, third the regime does not protect the Christians. So where is the “logic”?. I have quite a few Christian friend who would be very offended by you calling them supporters of the regime.

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September 20th, 2011, 10:02 pm

 

62. sheila said:

To dear #53. Haytham:
I really like the message that you sent. We need more people working on bringing the opposition together. I thing that I would have been very alarmed, had they agreed on everything. This is democracy at work.

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September 20th, 2011, 10:06 pm

 

63. Akbar Palace said:

Depends on Syrians

The success of the syrian revolution depends totally on american policy and conviction as far as Syria, so far US prefers the devil they know over the devil they do not know…

majedkhaldoun,

If it was up to me, I’d have the US involved in Syria exactly in the same way they were involved with ousting Gad-fly (which was in the back seat this time with respect to Britain and France).

But please don’t put the onus solely on the US. Moreover, it doesn’t seem the Syrian opposition is asking so strongly for help. How can the US help a people who doesn’t want our help? Even Aboud has said this fight has to be exclusively Syrian.

The zionists have started the anti-Turkey campaign

Don’t get too disappointed. The Turkish anti-Israel campaign was a much better success!

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September 20th, 2011, 10:08 pm

 

64. SYR.EXPAT said:

54. HAYTHAM KHOURY
@ Ann # 52.

This is a worthless propaganda.

Dear Dr. KHOURY,

Thank you!

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September 20th, 2011, 10:16 pm

 

65. sheila said:

To #56. Ann:
I am dismayed at your continuous denigration of Haytham Khoury. Unlike you and me, Haytham has enough courage to post in his own name. Unlike you, Haytham is proud to be Syrian. Unlike you, Haytham is an independent thinker and not a lamb. And finally, unlike you Haytham values people for who they are, not for what God they worship.

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September 20th, 2011, 10:17 pm

 

66. Norman said:

With the West having no intention of intervening in Syria, it seems that the best option is for multiparty parliamentary elections and presidential election in 2014 that president Assad will not run in as he fulfilled his two terms as set by the constitution,

all Syrians should work for that goal, as with force there is no chance that the opposition will win , in addition having a clear intention by the opposition might save Syria from being divided.

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September 20th, 2011, 10:31 pm

 

67. zoo said:

Obama, Erdogan: Surprise! No step down calls for Bashar Al Assad!

Obama’s administration seems to change its mind everyday. What about the “After Bashar preparations” reported by the NYT?

Erdogan has probably enough problems back home ( PKK, Israel, Cyprus) so he does not want another headache with Syria!

Turkish newspaper Todays Zaman reports:

President Barack Obama spoke with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday about the situation in Syria, the White House said.

“The leaders agreed that the Syrian government must end the use of violence now and promptly enact meaningful reforms that respect the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people,” the White House said in a statement.
The two leaders’ talk came hours after Syrian President Bashar Assad pledged what he called “national dialogue” in his third address after the three-month uprising against his 11-year rule has started and unveiled a vague set of reforms regarding political parties and media law that he said might be implemented by September.
Turkish Prime Ministry said late on Monday that Erdoğan and Obama agreed to monitor the developments in Syria closely.

http://www.globalrights.info/world/middle-east/1649-obama-erdoan-discuss-syria-agree-meaningful-reforms-must-be-enacted.html

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September 20th, 2011, 10:33 pm

 

68. ann said:

London Philharmonic Suspends Musicians for anti-Israel Remarks

“According to The Guardian, musicians sanctioned after they signed a letter condemning the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as an instrument of Israeli propaganda.”

19. Sep, 2011

http://www.opinion-maker.org/2011/09/london-philharmonic-suspends-musicians-for-anti-israel-remarks/#

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September 20th, 2011, 10:43 pm

 

69. ann said:

29 years after the Massacre at Sabra Shatila

How much longer until we find the missing and grant civil rights to the rest?

19. Sep, 2011

http://www.opinion-maker.org/2011/09/29-years-after-the-massacre-at-sabra-shatila/

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September 20th, 2011, 10:51 pm

 

70. ann said:

Nexus of Islamphobia

Report Identifies Organizational Nexus Of Islamophobia

14. Sep, 2011

http://www.opinion-maker.org/2011/09/nexus-of-islamphobia/

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September 20th, 2011, 10:55 pm

 

71. Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Ann @56:

Please, I did not mean to insult you personally @54. My comment was at the conclusion of the article.

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September 20th, 2011, 11:02 pm

 

72. Akbar Palace said:

Ann,

If Sabra & Shatilla was a massacre (and it was), what do call what is going on in Syria, where already 3 times as many people have been killed?

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September 20th, 2011, 11:07 pm

 

73. ghufran said:

So,it is up to the US to decide the future of the Syrian revolution if you believe mr majedkhaldoun,and he is also giving us 6 months to enjoy before we are all engaged in a civil war,I should eat as much sweets as I can then.

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September 20th, 2011, 11:10 pm

 

74. 5 dancing shlomos said:

67. ann ” Nexus of Islamphobia”

cont

Meet An Islamophobia Network Funder: The Varet And Rosenwald Family

http://www.lobelog.com/meet-an-islamophobia-network-funder-the-varet-and-rosenwald-family/

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September 20th, 2011, 11:13 pm

 

75. ann said:

Aoun: Assad will not fall, Hariri at fault on maritime debacle

September 21, 2011

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2011/Sep-21/149292-aoun-assad-will-not-fall-hariri-at-fault-on-maritime-debacle.ashx

BEIRUT: Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun ruled out Tuesday the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

“There is no [country] in the world that wants regime change in Syria,” Aoun told the reporters.

Speaking after the weekly meeting of the Change and Reform bloc in Rabieh, Aoun praised recent statements from Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai on Christians in the Middle East, adding that they reflect the true fears of minorities in the region.

“Rai’s statements express the concerns of the minorities because he is entrusted with the Synod for the Middle East,” said Aoun.

Aoun also called for peaceful change in Syria to avoid further bloodshed in the country. “Gradual changes doesn’t harm stability and wouldn’t get Syria into the [same] troubles as Palestine, Iraq, Libya and Yemen,” the FPM leader said.

As pro-democracy demonstrations in Syria enter their seventh month, the Syrian regime has continued its brutal crackdown, describing protesters as religious extremists and terrorists.

However, demonstrators across Syria have not backed down from their demands, escalating their calls from political reforms to bringing down the Syrian regime.

According to Aoun, some of the Syrian demonstrators are armed and they are bringing destruction to the country. “The Syrian government cannot but bring order to the country,” said Aoun, adding that the majority of Syrians have accepted the government’s reforms.

Aoun also called for putting former Prime Minister Saad Hariri on trial for not approving the demarcation of Lebanon’s maritime borders.

“Had he sent the approval of the demarcation to his Cabinet, we would have been done with this maritime story by now,” he said, calling Hariri a “refugee” in Europe.

The Lebanese government agreed on the demarcation of Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone Monday, three months after the Israeli government approved their own version of the borders.

The Lebanese government had described the Israeli move as an “aggression” against its natural gas and oil rights in the Mediterranean Sea, as both countries make future plans to drill for oil and gas in the maritime area between them.

Lebanon shares maritime borders with Turkey, Cyprus, Palestine and Israel. The dispute with Israel over a maritime area that spans some 860 square kilometers is an obstacle to developing oil and gas projects.

Several offshore drilling companies have reportedly expressed fears that it would be difficult to carry out projects in the disputed area.

President Michel Sleiman, who flew to New York Tuesday, is set to press Lebanon’s demarcation of its EEZ in the Mediterranean during his meetings on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly this week.

Commenting on Palestine’s bid for full U.N. membership this week, Aoun said that Friday’s meeting at the U.N. is “very important.”

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September 20th, 2011, 11:15 pm

 

76. ann said:

Background Briefing on Secretary Clinton’s Meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal

September 20, 2011

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/09/172859.htm

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September 20th, 2011, 11:31 pm

 

77. SYR.EXPAT said:

This article has photos of the parents of the salafi/mundass Syrian pianist from Homs. They were attacked few months ago, but this is the first time I see their photos after the attack. You can extrapolate and get an idea about what the arrested demonstrators are going through. I just spoke to a friend who heard from another friend what his son went through while in detention. It’s beyond horrific. However, what surprised the father is that the youth were not deterred and went back to demonstrating.

http://www.watan.com/flash/شبيحة-النظام-يعتدون-بوحشية-على-عائلة-الموسيقار-مالك-جندلي-بمنزلهم-في-حمص-فيديو.html

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September 20th, 2011, 11:34 pm

 

78. SYR.EXPAT said:

64. ZOO said:

Quoting an article from June does not necessarily reflect the current stances of both countries. Maybe you should try quoting articles published today.

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September 20th, 2011, 11:48 pm

 

79. AIG said:

Let me summarize Alex’ article so you will not have to read it. He promised it will be long and I believe him.

Summary: While Assad’s right side of the brain is bad, his left side is good. It is only the right side that is killing and torturing protesters, the left side is more democratic and gentle than Mother Theresa. We must not criticize Assad for not being able to control his left side of the brain because there is an Israeli, Saudi, American plan to divide Syria and enfeeble it. Plus, the Americans killed more people in Iraq. The moment that the threat is gone, the left side of Assad’s brain will take control and in no more than 7 years will bring democracy to Syria. All that is needed is patience and to give the left side of Assad’s brain a chance.

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September 20th, 2011, 11:49 pm

 

80. NK said:

http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=137548

“وحسب الإحصائيات فإن “نسبة الجامعيين في حلب هو 3.4% من مجموع السكان، وخريجي المعاهد 2.9%، حاملي الشهادة الثانوية 9.2%، حاملي الشهادة الإعدادية 13.9%، وحاملي الشهادة الابتدائية 29.2%، في حين بلغت نسبة غير المتعلمين 41.6%”.”

SYR.EXPAT

From Jandali’s FB page

http://on.fb.me/pGW1ne

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September 21st, 2011, 12:03 am

 

81. Aboud said:

Good luck with your book professor.

Hey Norman, if I use American slang you amalless menhebaks say I’m American. If I use British slang your feeble analytical powers leads you to conclude I’m in london. Maybe I should write at the level of a seventh grader so people will think I’m from Qurdaha LOL

And to the disgraceful terrorist supporter at #1 you get what you sow, you and that bitch Besho

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September 21st, 2011, 12:06 am

 

82. ann said:

haytham (UNCLE TOM) khoury

I was not insulted. I was complimenting you!

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September 21st, 2011, 12:29 am

 

83. ann said:

*** I wonder if peace loving sheikh adnan al aroor and his saudi handlers care about Syria’s history and heritage ***

Earliest Known Images of Christ on Display at NYU

Exhibition highlights religious coexistence and multiculturalism

http://www.observer.com/2011/09/earliest-known-images-of-christ-on-display-at-nyu/

“Edge of Empires: Pagans, Jews, and Christians at Roman Dura-Europos” does so with a vengeance, in presenting 77 objects from an excavation in Syria that fundamentally altered the understanding of art, culture and religion in the ancient world.

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September 21st, 2011, 1:28 am

 

84. ann said:

Al-Jazeera Top Officials Resign for fabricating news on Syria

Sep 20, 2011

http://www.sana.sy/eng/22/2011/09/20/370553.htm

DOHA, (SANA) – Director-General of al-Jazeera Satellite Channel, Waddah Khanfar, resigned on Tuesday after he was found directly in contact with the US intelligence as well as fabricating news on the events in Syria, Yemen and Libya.

Moreover, Director of al-Jazeera Mubasher Channel, Aiman Jaballah, was fired because he took part in escalating the situation in Egypt, and the Channel’s office in Cairo was closed.

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September 21st, 2011, 1:38 am

 

85. ann said:

Turkish premier says halted talks with Syria

21.09.2011

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1934548.html

erdogan said that Libya has some $170 BILLION in different countries.
“Under a decision, a part of those assets can be released. Because Libya will have to invest in its rebuilding process. Turkey will continue working together with Libya in this process.

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September 21st, 2011, 2:01 am

 

86. uzair8 said:

Wiki: Siege of Homs:

‘On 12 May, it was reported that security forces arrested a veteran human rights campaigner, Naji Tayara. An unidentified source, quoted on the Syria Comment website, stated that the wast majority of Homs was against the protests and that the unrest was led by two or three tribes. This was partially confirmed with the fact that Bedouin villages in the area were also targeted by the military operation.’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Homs

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September 21st, 2011, 2:12 am

 

87. uzair8 said:

The people of Golan will be watching the brutality of the Assad regime and thinking to themselves they would prefer remaining under Isreali occupation than live under the regimes’s rule.

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September 21st, 2011, 2:21 am

 

88. Aboud said:

I still have two comments are are in the que for moderation. I don’t like whatever new system you guys seem to have implemented.

The New York Times

September 20, 2011
Iraq Calls for Assad to Resign in Syria
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and YASIR GHAZI

BAGHDAD — After months of striking a far friendlier tone toward the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the Iraqi government has joined a chorus of other nations calling on him to step down.

An adviser to the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, said in an interview on Tuesday that the Iraqi government had sent messages to Mr. Assad that said he should resign.

“We believe that the Syrian people should have more freedom and have the right to experience democracy,” said the adviser, Ali al-Moussawi. “We are against the one-party rule and the dictatorship that hasn’t allowed for the freedom of expression.”

The statements from Mr. Moussawi mark a significant change for Iraq. When the United States and several of its major allies called in August for Mr. Assad to cede power, the Iraqi government appeared to be more in line with Iran, which has supported Mr. Assad. The same day as the American statement, Mr. Maliki gave a speech warning Arab leaders that Israel would benefit the most from the Arab Spring.

“There is no doubt that there is a country that is waiting for the Arab countries to be ripped and is waiting for internal corrosion,” Mr. Maliki said in that speech. “Zionists and Israel are the first and biggest beneficiaries of this whole process.”

As violence began to spread across Syria in June, Mr. Maliki received a delegation of visiting Syrian businesspeople and government officials, including the foreign minister, to discuss closer economic ties between the two countries. At the time, Mr. Maliki called on Syrians to stick to peaceful protests and rely on the government to enact reforms.

Mr. Moussawi said that the Iraqi government had long wanted Mr. Assad to step down, but he declined to say why the government had not expressed its position publicly until Tuesday. Iraq and Syria have been adversaries in the past, particularly at the height of sectarian conflict here, when many Iraqi leaders, including Mr. Maliki, said the Syrians were allowing foreign fighters and suicide bombers to cross its border into Iraq.

But last year, analysts said, Iran pressed Mr. Assad to support Mr. Maliki for another term as prime minister, and since then Iraq and Syria have strengthened their economic and diplomatic relations.

Mr. Moussawi said Tuesday that the Iraqi government was concerned that if Mr. Assad’s government collapses, violence will spill over the border and further destabilize Iraq, which is still dealing with violent attacks nearly every day. On Tuesday, suicide bombers attacked a government compound in Anbar Province, which borders Syria, killed three policemen and wounded several civilians.

The Iraqi government has asked American officials about the United States’ plans should Mr. Assad resign, Mr. Moussawi said.

“Our goals are the same as the United States has in changing the regime,” he said. “The only difference is the way to achieve these goals. I don’t know how you can guarantee what will happen in Syria if there is a sudden change. I’m sure there will be a civil war and lots of chaos.”

Mr. Moussawi said there was a danger that Syria would plunge into a sectarian conflict similar to the one that engulfed Iraq after the United States-led invasion overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003.

“The sudden change will create lots of chaos, because they have a divided army and a divided people in Syria, and this is going to create a civil war,” he said. An estimated 2,600 people have been killed in Syria as security forces have cracked down on antigovernment protests over the past six months. Leaders of other Arab nations said little about the violence at first, but many have since condemned the killings.

In recent weeks, there has been an apparent recalibration by the Iranian government toward Syria.

Throughout the Arab Spring, the Iranians have remained Syria’s closest ally. But two weeks ago, Iranian leaders called on Mr. Assad to institute some reforms, in part, analysts said, to try to stabilize his presidency and to improve Iran’s image in the Arab world.

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September 21st, 2011, 2:31 am

 

89. News from the World said:

The New York Times

September 20, 2011
Iraq Calls for Assad to Resign in Syria
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and YASIR GHAZI

BAGHDAD — After months of striking a far friendlier tone toward the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the Iraqi government has joined a chorus of other nations calling on him to step down.

An adviser to the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, said in an interview on Tuesday that the Iraqi government had sent messages to Mr. Assad that said he should resign.

“We believe that the Syrian people should have more freedom and have the right to experience democracy,” said the adviser, Ali al-Moussawi. “We are against the one-party rule and the dictatorship that hasn’t allowed for the freedom of expression.”

The statements from Mr. Moussawi mark a significant change for Iraq. When the United States and several of its major allies called in August for Mr. Assad to cede power, the Iraqi government appeared to be more in line with Iran, which has supported Mr. Assad. The same day as the American statement, Mr. Maliki gave a speech warning Arab leaders that Israel would benefit the most from the Arab Spring.

“There is no doubt that there is a country that is waiting for the Arab countries to be ripped and is waiting for internal corrosion,” Mr. Maliki said in that speech. “Zionists and Israel are the first and biggest beneficiaries of this whole process.”

As violence began to spread across Syria in June, Mr. Maliki received a delegation of visiting Syrian businesspeople and government officials, including the foreign minister, to discuss closer economic ties between the two countries. At the time, Mr. Maliki called on Syrians to stick to peaceful protests and rely on the government to enact reforms.

Mr. Moussawi said that the Iraqi government had long wanted Mr. Assad to step down, but he declined to say why the government had not expressed its position publicly until Tuesday. Iraq and Syria have been adversaries in the past, particularly at the height of sectarian conflict here, when many Iraqi leaders, including Mr. Maliki, said the Syrians were allowing foreign fighters and suicide bombers to cross its border into Iraq.

But last year, analysts said, Iran pressed Mr. Assad to support Mr. Maliki for another term as prime minister, and since then Iraq and Syria have strengthened their economic and diplomatic relations.

Mr. Moussawi said Tuesday that the Iraqi government was concerned that if Mr. Assad’s government collapses, violence will spill over the border and further destabilize Iraq, which is still dealing with violent attacks nearly every day. On Tuesday, suicide bombers attacked a government compound in Anbar Province, which borders Syria, killed three policemen and wounded several civilians.

The Iraqi government has asked American officials about the United States’ plans should Mr. Assad resign, Mr. Moussawi said.

“Our goals are the same as the United States has in changing the regime,” he said. “The only difference is the way to achieve these goals. I don’t know how you can guarantee what will happen in Syria if there is a sudden change. I’m sure there will be a civil war and lots of chaos.”

Mr. Moussawi said there was a danger that Syria would plunge into a sectarian conflict similar to the one that engulfed Iraq after the United States-led invasion overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003.

“The sudden change will create lots of chaos, because they have a divided army and a divided people in Syria, and this is going to create a civil war,” he said. An estimated 2,600 people have been killed in Syria as security forces have cracked down on antigovernment protests over the past six months. Leaders of other Arab nations said little about the violence at first, but many have since condemned the killings.

In recent weeks, there has been an apparent recalibration by the Iranian government toward Syria.

Throughout the Arab Spring, the Iranians have remained Syria’s closest ally. But two weeks ago, Iranian leaders called on Mr. Assad to institute some reforms, in part, analysts said, to try to stabilize his presidency and to improve Iran’s image in the Arab world.

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September 21st, 2011, 2:33 am

 

90. Aboud said:

Hello all. Moderators, I have three witty and clever comments in the queue. What kind of system do you guys have now?

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September 21st, 2011, 2:38 am

 

91. Aboud said:

And how stupid are SANA and #79 gonna look when Al jazeera’s coverage or tone doesn’t change one bit LOL!

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September 21st, 2011, 2:55 am

 

92. annie said:

83. Aboud said:

Hello all. Moderators, I have three witty and clever comments in the queue. What kind of system do you guys have now?

Ouf !(means sigh of relief in French) I was worried. We were getting mostly cuts and pastes and anyone could have done this in your name.

For instructions look up Akbar; seems he is in the steering committee now.

Malek Jandali : Had not heard of him until the regime thugs beat up his parents. I was missing some beautiful music and a beautiful person too. And he is Homsi !

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September 21st, 2011, 2:58 am

 

93. uzair8 said:

Robert Fisk: Why the Middle East will never be the same again

The Palestinians won’t achieve statehood, but they will consign the ‘peace process’ to history.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Palestinians won’t get a state this week. But they will prove – if they get enough votes in the General Assembly and if Mahmoud Abbas does not succumb to his characteristic grovelling in the face of US-Israeli power – that they are worthy of statehood. And they will establish for the Arabs what Israel likes to call – when it is enlarging its colonies on stolen land – “facts on the ground”: never again can the United States and Israel snap their fingers and expect the Arabs to click their heels. The US has lost its purchase on the Middle East. It’s over: the “peace process”, the “road map”, the “Oslo agreement”; the whole fandango is history.

(Read more:)

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-why-the-middle-east-will-never-be-the-same-again-2357514.html

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September 21st, 2011, 3:04 am

 

94. Aboud said:

Menhebaks fall off their chairs, and then blame Al Jazeera. LOL that was hilarious to see.

Hey Annie, now that professor Landis is gone, some of the fun seems to have gone from posting on the website. So don’t worry if I don’t post for a day or two sometimes.

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September 21st, 2011, 3:10 am

 

95. MNA said:

MM @ 50

Your options for the survey are all extreme and would lead Syria into a disaster. Most Syrians who are really for change and reforms and not for a revenge would not choose any of the options you mentioned.

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September 21st, 2011, 3:40 am

 

96. Aboud said:

Just an observation. If I use colloquial American phrases, the menhebaks whine that I must be American. If I use British phrases, their less than impressive detective skills leads them to conclude I must be in London.

How about I start to write at the level of a seventh grader, so people will think I’m from Qurdaha.

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September 21st, 2011, 3:41 am

 

97. some guy in damascus said:

“DOHA, (SANA) – Director-General of al-Jazeera Satellite Channel, Waddah Khanfar, resigned on Tuesday after he was found directly in contact with the US intelligence as well as fabricating news on the events in Syria, Yemen and Libya.” Buuuuuuuuuullllllllllllllll sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttt

heres the real story :http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14995566
the head of Arab broadcaster al-Jazeera, Wadah Khanfar, has stepped down after eight years in the post.

In a farewell message to staff, Mr Khanfar gave no reasons for leaving other than saying he had “decided to move on”.

Mr Khanfar was appointed managing director in 2003 and was later promoted to director general.

His successor has so far not been announced. Al-Jazeera is owned by the Qatari government and based in Doha.

Al-Jazeera rose to prominence during US air strikes on Afghanistan in 2001 when it became the only network allowed to report from the country and the first to air recorded statements by Osama Bin Laden.

Its English network was launched in 2006.

more….
don’t insult my intelligence ann.

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September 21st, 2011, 4:34 am

 

98. majedkhaldoun said:

Iraq PM Nouri AlMaliki,is still strong supporter of Bashar, Mawsawi is not telling the truth,Corrupt leaders in the Arab world,will support Bashar,because he represent the same type of leadership,corrupt,and dictator,they believe they are god Images,they do not respect the people,and they all are afraid about their positions.Afraid of revolutions in their countries.
As I said before,the way to change Bashar,is by getting rid of Maliki.

The Christians in Syria are afraid of revenge in the post Assad era,Ra’i statement surprised me,while Alawite are afraid of massacre, the syrian Elite are afraid of chaos,and of changes that may marginalize them, the majority in Syria are not really quiet,but they are waiting,they are still afraid,,they are in a state of shock,they never expect to see the courage of the youth, if massive demonstrations erupt,the regime will shake,since it will invite foreign interventions,
Look at Erdogan to lead the change in Syria.

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September 21st, 2011, 6:03 am

 

99. Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Majedkhaldoon @91

Indeed, Christians are not afraid of revenge. They are afraid of chaos that is mixed with any armed activity.

(However, I put like on your comment)

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September 21st, 2011, 6:10 am

 

100. annie said:

90 SGID here is Waddah Khanfar’s speech

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/09/201192012481969884.html

Aboud, I could not care less about where you are, your golden words can come from the moon for all it matters. This being said, I believe you are in Homs … no doubt.

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September 21st, 2011, 6:12 am

 

101. majedkhaldoun said:

Haytham
I apologize for using the word of revenge, it is strong word, I think reprisal is a better word,they are afraid of sunni rise in power,some Christians benefited from this regime,the rise of Sunni will reduce a lot of benefits.
One christian high officer was head of military intelligence ,he told me how brutal the regime was, and he disliked them,but worried about the future.

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September 21st, 2011, 6:47 am

 

102. Akbar Palace said:

Hypocrisy in Motion

Ann,

I’m a bit perplexed. In Post #52, you wrote the following words:

Syria’s another country destined to become an Islamist-ruled hellhole once Assad falls.

Then in Post #67 you wrote the following:

Report Identifies Organizational Nexus Of Islamophobia

Why are you reporting about Islamophobes, when it is clear you’re an Islamophobe yourself?

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September 21st, 2011, 7:54 am

 

103. some guy in damascus said:

you know, something beautiful about the syrian revolution is we can vote for the next friday’s slogan. i wonder how the menhebaks feel when they see us voting?

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September 21st, 2011, 7:59 am

 

104. Akbar Palace said:

Good Left Brain NewZ

All that is needed is patience and to give the left side of Assad’s brain a chance.

AIG,

Thank you for summerizing Alex’s article before it was even posted. I understand Zionist technology is pretty good, but I didn’t know they got into ESP.

I think Bashar Assad’s left brain is more than admirable, and I hope like-minded Syrians will come together to give Assad’s left brain the time required to repair the damage the Zionists and Americans have caused.

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September 21st, 2011, 8:04 am

 

105. homsi said:

‘ i wonder how the menhebaks feel when they see us voting?’

disgusted!! specially when you use names such as Friday of tribes, Friday saleh el ali friday the international protection the great Friday and so on .

I wonder how you feel when you see your country men and women kidnapped mutilated and put on bags in Fridays and in the name of democracy. aroused?

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September 21st, 2011, 8:16 am

 

106. Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Majed:

Indeed, the Christians did not benefit from the regime.
The regime destroyed them economically and politically.
Politically, we used to have many Christian ministers and members of the parliaments. They used to solve many problems to the Christian community. I am not talking about that from sectarian point of view. I am talking just, how the Assad regime destroyed the natural representation of the people.
Second economically, if you go to the Kassa’ neighborhood, you can see how many Christians sold their houses there and bought houses in Jaramana. All that is sign of economical deterioration for the Christians.
The Christians feel the malaise. The real sentiment of the Christians is almost none of them likes the regime, but they are afraid of the change (because they see wrongly that the change is of uncertain results).

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September 21st, 2011, 8:18 am

 

107. Syria no kandahar said:

Majed
Who gave Erdogan the right to lead change in Syria ?500years were not enough?

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September 21st, 2011, 8:18 am

 

108. Mina said:

Moderators,
Why did you throw to the dust bin one hour of work on the wikileaks cables? I simply refered to some of the cables on Syria (the one on the MB and Hama, the one on Beirut in 1985, the one on prostitution from Iraq and enslavement of South Asian maids) plus other cables refering to countries which have a stake in the Syrian events.
15,000 cables to read about Damascus, it needs a collective effort, no? Or is it forbidden to give these links on a US website?
http://wikileaks.org/origin/145_0.html

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September 21st, 2011, 8:19 am

 

109. Akbar Palace said:

Abu Abbas to the Rescue

A short primer on becoming a member state of the UN:

CHAPTER II: MEMBERSHIP
Article 3
The original Members of the United Nations shall be the states which, having participated in the United Nations Conference on International Organization at San Francisco, or having previously signed the Declaration by United Nations of 1 January 1942, sign the present Charter and ratify it in accordance with Article 110.

Article 4
Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.
The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.
Article 5
A Member of the United Nations against which preventive or enforcement action has been taken by the Security Council may be suspended from the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. The exercise of these rights and privileges may be restored by the Security Council.

Article 6
A Member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.

http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter2.shtml

Strike 1: Hamas

Strike 2: No defined borders

Strike 3: The Zionists control the US

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September 21st, 2011, 8:20 am

 
 

111. majedkhaldoun said:

Dear Haytham,
There are four christian ministers in this cabinet
Dawood Rajha,george Soumi.Joseph sweid.and Radwan Habib.
I am looking for a change of alliance in the future,as I know Christians are smart and open minded, and like freedom, Democracy will not serve christians unless there is a law to protect minorities,and that is what we need.

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September 21st, 2011, 8:34 am

 

112. syau said:

Some guy in Damascus,

“you know, something beautiful about the syrian revolution is we can vote for the next friday’s slogan.”

Whether you get your kicks by voting for slogans or not, there is nothing beautiful about the Syrian ‘revolution’.

Mamdouh Al Aakra was murdered by the peaceful terrorists in Douma for refusing to be part of their destruction and terror network. Peaceful terrorists stabbed him numerous times before they dragged his body into the street and kicked his corpse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uJLuIT0vmg&feature=player_embedded

Would the supporters of this revolution of terror care to explain why?

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September 21st, 2011, 8:36 am

 

113. sheila said:

To dear #102. Akbar Palace,
You go into all those details about who can and can’t be a member of the United Nations. Anyone can go through your logic and show you that it is flawed, but this is not the point, the point is that by doing so, you are denying that the Palestinians are human beings who, like all others, want to be free. Going into: Palestinians did this and Israelis did that is semantics. You have to weed all detail out and get to the bottom of the story. I am not going to go there, but I would like you to reflect on how you are supporting Israel unconditionally. Doing so makes you exactly like the people who are supporting Alassad unconditionally. As an independent thinker, I would hope that you can see that Israel has its problems too and that dehumanizing the other side does not bode well for Israel at all.

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September 21st, 2011, 8:56 am

 

114. Aboud said:

#105 This from the same propaganda machine that tried to pass off a beating in Lebanon as proof of revolution violence. Nothing in that video proves he was a pro besho killed for being so. When will you people start to learn to use the critical thinking faculties God gave to a lizard?

Besho has every advantage a tin pot dictator should dream of. A security apparatus all too willing to murder its own people. An Iranian theocracy to bankroll said security apparatus. And a veto protection in the UN, without which he’d have been sanctioned so far up the wazoo he’d need special international waivers to have carnal knowledge with his wife.

And STILL the idiot can’t subdue the revolution after six month. My God, the incompetence of this man is astounding. Does he need help holding it when he goes to the bathroom too? LOL!

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September 21st, 2011, 9:09 am

 

115. real said:

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/10/05DOHA1765.html

DIA: Defence Intelligence Agency
AJ: al Jazeera
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

10/19/2010

¶1. (C) Summary: PAO met 10/19 with Al Jazeera Managing
Director Wadah Khanfar to discuss the latest DIA report on Al
Jazeera and disturbing Al Jazeera website content. Khanfar is
preparing a written response to the DIA points from July,
August and September which should be available during the
coming week. Khanfar said the most recent website piece of
concern to the USG has been toned down and that he would have
it removed over the subsequent two or three days. End
summary.

¶2. (C) Per Ref A, PAO gave Khanfar a hard copy of DIA’s
unclassified snippets from July, August and September.

SIPDIS
Khanfar said he had recently received hard copies of the July
and August snippets via the MFA and was in the process of
preparing a written response to them. He said he would
include September’s points in the report and pass it to PAO
during the course of the coming week. “We need to fix the
method of how we receive these reports,” said Khanfar, noting
that he had found one of them (presumably sent from the MFA)
“on the fax machine.”

DIA’s unclassified snippets for September
—————————————–

¶3. (C) PAO told Khanfar that despite an overall decrease in
negative coverage since February, the month of September
showed a worrying increase in such programming over the
previous month. She summarized the latest USG reporting on Al
Jazeera by noting that problems still remain with
double-sourcing in Iraq; identifying sources; use of
inflammatory language; a failure to balance of extremist
views; and the use of terrorist tapes.

¶4. (C) Having had an opportunity to review the July and
August reports, Khanfar said he had several observations to
make. On a semantic level, he objected to the use of the word
“agreement” as used in the August report on the first page,
under the heading “Violence in Iraq”, where a sentence reads:
“In violation of the station’s agreement several months ago
with US officials etc”. “The agreement was that it was a
non-paper,” said Khanfar. “As a news organization, we cannot
sign agreements of this nature, and to have it here like this
in writing is of concern to us.”

¶5. (C) He then said that broadly, the reports’ points fell
into three categories. “Some are simple mistakes which we
accept and address,” he said. In the second category, he
said, are points that are taken in isolation and out of
context by the USG report. “This report takes bits and pieces
from a whole thing and does not give the context,” he said,
noting that in some instances during the AJ broadcasting day,
a comment made or position taken by one person may be
balanced with a different comment or position later in the
same show or later on during the same day. Since Al Jazeera
is live 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it is not always
possible to provide needed balance at the moment itself, he
said. The report, he said, fails to note where balance was
achieved in the following news hour, for example, or later on
the same day. Thirdly, said Khanfar, there are points on
which resolution does not seem possible, such as the use of
terrorist tapes. “We have always said that we are going to
use these tapes and we will continue to use them. The
question is how. None of the tapes are used just like that,”
he said, meaning that they are reviewed for newsworthiness
and are edited. Concerning the use of inflammatory language,
Khanfar said the station’s concern is with the language used
by its own reporters and anchors. No station staff member is
permitted to use loaded vocabulary. The reports’ focus on
inflammatory language is on that used by non-Al Jazeera
interviewees, he pointed out. “How can I control what these
people say? I can only control Al Jazeera staff. All we can
do is try to balance what these people say in other parts of
the program,” he said.

¶6. (C) Commenting on the reports overall, he said they lacked
balance in that they only focus on the negative. “A report
like this should have both sides,” he said. “It does not
report the voice we have given to American spokespeople over
the recent past,” he said. “We do not always find a military
spokesman, for example, but we are trying our best, and we
have some success. This is not mentioned.” Speaking of Al
Jazeera’s coverage of the Iraqi referendum, he said the
station provided 12 hours of continuous coverage, which
featured voices from all those vested in the process —
Kurds, Shia, Sunni, Americans, Britons and others. “I would
really like to see that in next month’s report,” he said.
Khanfar repeated that he would respond in more detail to all
three reports over the coming days and pass the response to
PAO.

Troublesome website material
—————————-

¶7. (C) PAO raised the question of an Al Jazeera website piece
published in the last week, listed under the heading “Special
Coverage”, and containing “Live Testimony Concerning Tal
Afar”. The site opens to an image of bloody sheets of paper
riddled with bullet holes. Viewers click on the bullet holes
to access testimony from ten alleged “eye witnesses” who
described recent military operations in Tal Afar.

¶8. (C) Khanfar said that, in accordance with an earlier
promise to PAO (Ref B), he had taken a look at the piece and
had two images removed (two injured children in hospital
beds, and a woman with serious facial injury). PAO pointed
out that the testimony of a “doctor” in the piece also
implied that poison gas had been used on residents of Tal
Afar and that the appearance of the piece, in particular the
bloody bullet hole icons, came across as inflammatory and
journalistically questionable. Khanfar appeared to repress a
sigh but said he would have the piece removed. “Not
immediately, because that would be talked about, but over two
or three days,” he said.

¶9. (C) He said he had told the website staff that in future,
when they want to add an item to the “Special Coverage”
section of the website, they should send a draft of the idea
over to his office. (Note: The AJ website is located in a
separate building across town. End note.) He noted that until
two or three months ago, the website staff had enjoyed much
more autonomy. Now, however, website director Abdel Aziz Al
Mahmoud attends the weekly editorial meetings at the TV
channel offices, and the website staff is being pulled under
the umbrella of the same editorial standards as the TV
channel. “I don’t say that such things are not going to be
repeated on the website, but it is a learning process,” said
Khanfar.

REALLY

Khanfar resigned !!

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

September 21st, 2011, 9:14 am

 

116. Aboud said:

So, apparently in Athadstan, a world famous cartoonist gets kidnapped in the middle of what should be the most protected area in Damascus, beaten up, his fingers broken….and after a month, the inept miteh snorting security apparatus can’t find the people who did it. But hey, they can jail a human rights activist two hours after he speaks to the BBC.

Observation; not once did one of Betho’s lackies even pay a visit to Ali Farzat. Disgusting. But the kind of barbarity we expect from the Qurdaha/Persian peasants.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 15

September 21st, 2011, 9:21 am

 

117. AKbar Palace said:

You go into all those details about who can and can’t be a member of the United Nations. Anyone can go through your logic and show you that it is flawed, but this is not the point, the point is that by doing so, you are denying that the Palestinians are human beings who, like all others, want to be free.

Sheila,

The details and logic were drawn up by the UN. I can’t take credit for how the UN decides on accepting new members. I am just bringing it to the attention of the forum here.

I would also like the Palestinians to become a member state of the UN just like you. However, I don’t think the Palestinians are ready.

Going into: Palestinians did this and Israelis did that is semantics. You have to weed all detail out and get to the bottom of the story. I am not going to go there, but I would like you to reflect on how you are supporting Israel unconditionally.

I am willing to see both sides of the story. From my vantage point, both parties are not interested in going further with regard to a final settlement. They are most comfortable with
the status quo.

Doing so makes you exactly like the people who are supporting Alassad unconditionally. As an independent thinker, I would hope that you can see that Israel has its problems too and that dehumanizing the other side does not bode well for Israel at all.

Sheila, frankly, I no of NO Israeli who dehumanizes Palestinians. And I know many Israelis who work and live with Arabs and Palestinians every day.

As I’ve said many times before, although the Arab-Israeli issue is a problem, there are even bigger problems in the ME. I wish we could solve them all.

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

September 21st, 2011, 9:25 am

 

118. Aboud said:

I really enjoyed watching Mohamad Abdullah, spokesperson for the LCC, completely demolish the regime’s trumpet on Al-Jazeera. Abdullah was once jailed by Besho for making a comment to Al-Jazeera. And now, years later, as a result of his imprisonment, Abdullah gets a first class platform from which to do his part to bring down the regime. It can’t have been the result Besho had in mind when he jailed Abdullah, but it’s the typical Qurdahan bungling we have come to expect from these peasants.

I tip my hat to Mohamad Abdullah’s skills, and the thoroughness with which he prepared. His opponent couldn’t answer one question directly, and had to keep running to that refuge of all Arab dictators; “The Unnamed, Unfathomable World Conspiracy Against His Excellency”.

Well done Mr Abdullah. His time in prison has served to make him a competent, intelligent activist, a potent spokesman against the regime and all it stands for. While, in contrast, those regime apologists who have never been robbed of their physical freedom, choose to spend all their lives in the intellectual prison of Besho Worship and Conspiracies from Mars. Such prisons are very, very cramped.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

September 21st, 2011, 9:45 am

 

119. zoo said:

Syr-Expat

Ref Erdogan-Obama, sorry my error on the date.

You’re right, another tone here..
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4125461,00.html
Erdogan: Turkey to join sanctions against Syria

Turkish PM says Ankara on verge of severing ties with Damascus; considering joining international sanctions against Syrian regime over crackdown on protesters…..

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

September 21st, 2011, 10:02 am

 

120. 5 dancing shlomos said:

U.S. Is Quietly Getting Ready for Syria Without Assad

Will foreigners get involved?

Damned if we do impose sanctions on Syria. And damned if we don’t

While the black-gold rush is on in Kurdistan, it’s a different story in Syria

International rivalry over Syria means conflict likely to intensify

above typical selection of headlines reflecting the interference by and savagery of the diseased, zionized west re syria. even worse re palestine.

evil is as evil does. the zionized west is pure evil.

the corrupt, lying, and violent west led by amurderka will pass into the toilet of history like a smelly shit.

the legitimate govt of syria will remain.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

September 21st, 2011, 10:30 am

 

121. real said:

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/10/05DOHA1765.html

DIA: Defence Intelligence Agency
AJ: al Jazeera

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

10/19/2010

¶1. (C) Summary: PAO met 10/19 with Al Jazeera Managing
Director Wadah Khanfar to discuss the latest DIA report on Al
Jazeera and disturbing Al Jazeera website content. Khanfar is
preparing a written response to the DIA points from July,
August and September which should be available during the
coming week. Khanfar said the most recent website piece of
concern to the USG has been toned down and that he would have
it removed over the subsequent two or three days. End
summary.

¶2. (C) Per Ref A, PAO gave Khanfar a hard copy of DIA’s
unclassified snippets from July, August and September.

SIPDIS
Khanfar said he had recently received hard copies of the July
and August snippets via the MFA and was in the process of
preparing a written response to them. He said he would
include September’s points in the report and pass it to PAO
during the course of the coming week. “We need to fix the
method of how we receive these reports,” said Khanfar, noting
that he had found one of them (presumably sent from the MFA)
“on the fax machine.”

DIA’s unclassified snippets for September
—————————————–

¶3. (C) PAO told Khanfar that despite an overall decrease in
negative coverage since February, the month of September
showed a worrying increase in such programming over the
previous month. She summarized the latest USG reporting on Al
Jazeera by noting that problems still remain with
double-sourcing in Iraq; identifying sources; use of
inflammatory language; a failure to balance of extremist
views; and the use of terrorist tapes.

¶4. (C) Having had an opportunity to review the July and
August reports, Khanfar said he had several observations to
make. On a semantic level, he objected to the use of the word
“agreement” as used in the August report on the first page,
under the heading “Violence in Iraq”, where a sentence reads:
“In violation of the station’s agreement several months ago
with US officials etc”. “The agreement was that it was a
non-paper,” said Khanfar. “As a news organization, we cannot
sign agreements of this nature, and to have it here like this
in writing is of concern to us.”

¶5. (C) He then said that broadly, the reports’ points fell
into three categories. “Some are simple mistakes which we
accept and address,” he said. In the second category, he
said, are points that are taken in isolation and out of
context by the USG report. “This report takes bits and pieces
from a whole thing and does not give the context,” he said,
noting that in some instances during the AJ broadcasting day,
a comment made or position taken by one person may be
balanced with a different comment or position later in the
same show or later on during the same day. Since Al Jazeera
is live 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it is not always
possible to provide needed balance at the moment itself, he
said. The report, he said, fails to note where balance was
achieved in the following news hour, for example, or later on
the same day. Thirdly, said Khanfar, there are points on
which resolution does not seem possible, such as the use of
terrorist tapes. “We have always said that we are going to
use these tapes and we will continue to use them. The
question is how. None of the tapes are used just like that,”
he said, meaning that they are reviewed for newsworthiness
and are edited. Concerning the use of inflammatory language,
Khanfar said the station’s concern is with the language used
by its own reporters and anchors. No station staff member is
permitted to use loaded vocabulary. The reports’ focus on
inflammatory language is on that used by non-Al Jazeera
interviewees, he pointed out. “How can I control what these
people say? I can only control Al Jazeera staff. All we can
do is try to balance what these people say in other parts of
the program,” he said.

¶6. (C) Commenting on the reports overall, he said they lacked
balance in that they only focus on the negative. “A report
like this should have both sides,” he said. “It does not
report the voice we have given to American spokespeople over
the recent past,” he said. “We do not always find a military
spokesman, for example, but we are trying our best, and we
have some success. This is not mentioned.” Speaking of Al
Jazeera’s coverage of the Iraqi referendum, he said the
station provided 12 hours of continuous coverage, which
featured voices from all those vested in the process —
Kurds, Shia, Sunni, Americans, Britons and others. “I would
really like to see that in next month’s report,” he said.
Khanfar repeated that he would respond in more detail to all
three reports over the coming days and pass the response to
PAO.

Troublesome website material
—————————-

¶7. (C) PAO raised the question of an Al Jazeera website piece
published in the last week, listed under the heading “Special
Coverage”, and containing “Live Testimony Concerning Tal
Afar”. The site opens to an image of bloody sheets of paper
riddled with bullet holes. Viewers click on the bullet holes
to access testimony from ten alleged “eye witnesses” who
described recent military operations in Tal Afar.

¶8. (C) Khanfar said that, in accordance with an earlier
promise to PAO (Ref B), he had taken a look at the piece and
had two images removed (two injured children in hospital
beds, and a woman with serious facial injury). PAO pointed
out that the testimony of a “doctor” in the piece also
implied that poison gas had been used on residents of Tal
Afar and that the appearance of the piece, in particular the
bloody bullet hole icons, came across as inflammatory and
journalistically questionable. Khanfar appeared to repress a
sigh but said he would have the piece removed. “Not
immediately, because that would be talked about, but over two
or three days,” he said.

¶9. (C) He said he had told the website staff that in future,
when they want to add an item to the “Special Coverage”
section of the website, they should send a draft of the idea
over to his office. (Note: The AJ website is located in a
separate building across town. End note.) He noted that until
two or three months ago, the website staff had enjoyed much
more autonomy. Now, however, website director Abdel Aziz Al
Mahmoud attends the weekly editorial meetings at the TV
channel offices, and the website staff is being pulled under
the umbrella of the same editorial standards as the TV
channel. “I don’t say that such things are not going to be
repeated on the website, but it is a learning process,” said
Khanfar.

REALLY

Al Jazeera’s Khanfar resigned !!

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

September 21st, 2011, 10:32 am

 
 

123. homsi said:

دعوة صريحة لتدخل عسكري في سوريا

طه يوسف حسن-جنيف

دعا المعارض والحقوقي السوري هيثم المالح إلى تدخل المجتمع الدولي عسكريا لحماية الشعب السوري من النظام الحاكم في دمشق، وذلك في شهادته أمام مجلس حقوق الإنسان التابع للأمم المتحدة.

ولم يتمالك المالح نفسه عن البكاء أثناء كلمته في مجلس حقوق الإنسان وهو يذكر عدد الضحايا الذين سقطوا منذ بداية الأحداث في سوريا قائلا، “كم من القتلى يجب أن يسقط حتى يتحرك العالم لإيقاف مجازر النظام السوري ضد شعبه؟”.

وجاءت كلمة المالح استجابة لاستدعائه اليوم أمام المجلس في جنيف بسويسرا باعتباره شاهد عيان ضمن عدد من الناشطين والحقوقيين جاؤوا من الميدان لتسليط الضوء على الأحداث في سوريا.

http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4F844C1A-FDA8-4848-9449-25F807239777.htm?GoogleStatID=9

as if they didnt ask the NATO already to intervene , pathetic opposition , i cant believe i used to admire Haytham Al-Malaeh before , tfoh 3leek ya wati

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 14

September 21st, 2011, 10:35 am

 

124. Akbar Palace said:

Zionized West NewZ Update

evil is as evil does. the zionized west is pure evil.

5 Dancing Ahmads,

When are you going to share with us the name of the non-evil country you choose to live?

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

September 21st, 2011, 10:36 am

 

125. real said:

Mina @101
You are right !!!

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

September 21st, 2011, 10:42 am

 

126. Abu Umar said:

” 39. Khalid Tlass said:

@ # 30, Abu Umar,

what do you mean ? I don;t think the PKK/ Kurdish separatists ever targetted Shias of Iraq. Or are you suggesting that Afram is Christian ?, since the Kurds have targetted the Christians of Iraq in the past ?”

Someone mentioned he is of Assyrian background.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

September 21st, 2011, 10:46 am

 

127. Akbar Palace said:

the legitimate govt of syria will remain

5 Dancing Ahmads,

I forgot to ask, what makes the Government of Syria “legitimate”? We “evil” Americans accomplish this by an election every 4 years. Does Syria have a better method?

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

September 21st, 2011, 10:51 am

 

128. Aboud said:

#113 I dare Besho to tell Russia to keep its veto in the drawer.

I dare Besho to withdraw the army and put the shabihas back in jail where they were serving sentences for drug smuggling.

Athad cannot survive without Iranian and Russian support. He’s been begging and pleading for foreign intervention since day one. Ibn haram bi kel ma3na el kelmi.

Violence is the only language the Qurdahans understand, and they will start to pay more attention when 10,000 of them are all scrambling to run up to the Turkish border.

The only question that remains, is how many urinals will we install over Hafez’s grave; 10 or 11?

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12

September 21st, 2011, 10:56 am

 

129. majedkhaldoun said:

I think Haytham Al Maleh is right,this regime brutality has no limit,and syrians have paid too much seeking freedom., Imad Mustafa must be expelled from USA,he is not a decent person.he lies,Sorry Alex.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 15

September 21st, 2011, 10:56 am

 

130. Aboud said:

AP #116 To the menhebaks, a “legitimate” ruler of Syria is anyone from the discredited and ostracized Athad family.

It could be Hafez’s pet donkey for all they care; if there was no other heir, they would wave pictures of Ehmar Al-Athad and put up statues in its honor, and “elect” it for a lifetime term of murder and pillage.

Only in Athadstan could anyone claim with a straight face that Al-Jazeera’s demonstration footage all comes from fake cities built in Qatar *facepalm*

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

September 21st, 2011, 11:00 am

 

131. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“…………erdogan said that Libya has some $170 BILLION in different countries.
“Under a decision, a part of those assets can be released. Because Libya will have to invest in its rebuilding process. Turkey will continue working together with Libya in this process…….”

Sure will be released, as fast as Iran’s and Egypt huuh. I tell you KerdOragotan why not work hard this decade and the next on getting 40 billion back to Libya that is all, no more, can you do that? Try 10 billion within this decade. You are obviously too ignorant to know why they gone to war against Kaddafy when the evening before they were partying with him.

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

September 21st, 2011, 11:08 am

 

132. Akbar Palace said:

Athad Family Values

AP #116 To the menhebaks, a “legitimate” ruler of Syria is anyone from the discredited and ostracized Athad family.

Aboud,

Thanks for the explaination. How do we re-educate the menhebaks? Is it fear? Why do so many Arabs fear democracy? I guess countries coming out of several decades of autocracy have difficulty with the unknown. Voting makes it legitimate.

Anyway, I enjoy your sense of humor; did you misspell the Besho’s name or do you have a lisp?;)

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

September 21st, 2011, 11:31 am

 

133. zoo said:

#37. William Scott Scherk said:

Looks like Iraq has figured out which way the wind is blowing. The New York Times reports that Assad has received ‘Time to depart’ message from Iraqi leaders.

NYT continues to spread its lies and misinformation.

Iraqi Official “absolutely” didn`t call on al-Assad to Step Down
(DP-News – agencies)

The media advisor to Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki “absolutely” denied statements reported by The New York Times this week that the Iraqi government urged the Syrian president to step down.

Ali al-Moussawi said these statements, which are allegedly made by him, are incorrect, and added that “it is neither the nature nor the followed-discourse of the Iraqi government to intervene in internal affairs of other countries,” AFP reported.
Moussawi said he “absolutely” denied these statements and added that the Iraqi government did not request Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

September 21st, 2011, 11:36 am

 
 

135. 5 dancing shlomos said:

a belated thank you to professor landis.

syria comment is a necessary forum to capture the propaganda of the likud yahuds

and

syria’s diasporatic, educated elite whose minds slaver with fantasies of a star bucks and a krispy creme on every corner of damascus; and screwing in the public parks.

colonized minds who cant wait for american tv programming and american style news (all really free peoples should have easy access to western lies) and american free market texts (what is mine is mine; what is yours is mine) to infiltrate the minds of the un brainwashed – the un colonized syrians.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

September 21st, 2011, 11:54 am

 

136. Areal said:

REALLY

Why Al Jazeera’s Khanfar resigned !!

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/10/05DOHA1765.html

DIA: Defence Intelligence Agency
AJ: al Jazeera

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

10/19/2010

¶1. (C) Summary: PAO met 10/19 with Al Jazeera Managing
Director Wadah Khanfar to discuss the latest DIA report on Al
Jazeera and disturbing Al Jazeera website content. Khanfar is
preparing a written response to the DIA points from July,
August and September which should be available during the
coming week. Khanfar said the most recent website piece of
concern to the USG has been toned down and that he would have
it removed over the subsequent two or three days. End
summary.

¶2. (C) Per Ref A, PAO gave Khanfar a hard copy of DIA’s
unclassified snippets from July, August and September.

SIPDIS
Khanfar said he had recently received hard copies of the July
and August snippets via the MFA and was in the process of
preparing a written response to them. He said he would
include September’s points in the report and pass it to PAO
during the course of the coming week. “We need to fix the
method of how we receive these reports,” said Khanfar, noting
that he had found one of them (presumably sent from the MFA)
“on the fax machine.”

DIA’s unclassified snippets for September
—————————————–

¶3. (C) PAO told Khanfar that despite an overall decrease in
negative coverage since February, the month of September
showed a worrying increase in such programming over the
previous month. She summarized the latest USG reporting on Al
Jazeera by noting that problems still remain with
double-sourcing in Iraq; identifying sources; use of
inflammatory language; a failure to balance of extremist
views; and the use of terrorist tapes.

¶4. (C) Having had an opportunity to review the July and
August reports, Khanfar said he had several observations to
make. On a semantic level, he objected to the use of the word
“agreement” as used in the August report on the first page,
under the heading “Violence in Iraq”, where a sentence reads:
“In violation of the station’s agreement several months ago
with US officials etc”. “The agreement was that it was a
non-paper,” said Khanfar. “As a news organization, we cannot
sign agreements of this nature, and to have it here like this
in writing is of concern to us.”

¶5. (C) He then said that broadly, the reports’ points fell
into three categories. “Some are simple mistakes which we
accept and address,” he said. In the second category, he
said, are points that are taken in isolation and out of
context by the USG report. “This report takes bits and pieces
from a whole thing and does not give the context,” he said,
noting that in some instances during the AJ broadcasting day,
a comment made or position taken by one person may be
balanced with a different comment or position later in the
same show or later on during the same day. Since Al Jazeera
is live 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it is not always
possible to provide needed balance at the moment itself, he
said. The report, he said, fails to note where balance was
achieved in the following news hour, for example, or later on
the same day. Thirdly, said Khanfar, there are points on
which resolution does not seem possible, such as the use of
terrorist tapes. “We have always said that we are going to
use these tapes and we will continue to use them. The
question is how. None of the tapes are used just like that,”
he said, meaning that they are reviewed for newsworthiness
and are edited. Concerning the use of inflammatory language,
Khanfar said the station’s concern is with the language used
by its own reporters and anchors. No station staff member is
permitted to use loaded vocabulary. The reports’ focus on
inflammatory language is on that used by non-Al Jazeera
interviewees, he pointed out. “How can I control what these
people say? I can only control Al Jazeera staff. All we can
do is try to balance what these people say in other parts of
the program,” he said.

¶6. (C) Commenting on the reports overall, he said they lacked
balance in that they only focus on the negative. “A report
like this should have both sides,” he said. “It does not
report the voice we have given to American spokespeople over
the recent past,” he said. “We do not always find a military
spokesman, for example, but we are trying our best, and we
have some success. This is not mentioned.” Speaking of Al
Jazeera’s coverage of the Iraqi referendum, he said the
station provided 12 hours of continuous coverage, which
featured voices from all those vested in the process —
Kurds, Shia, Sunni, Americans, Britons and others. “I would
really like to see that in next month’s report,” he said.
Khanfar repeated that he would respond in more detail to all
three reports over the coming days and pass the response to
PAO.

Troublesome website material
—————————-

¶7. (C) PAO raised the question of an Al Jazeera website piece
published in the last week, listed under the heading “Special
Coverage”, and containing “Live Testimony Concerning Tal
Afar”. The site opens to an image of bloody sheets of paper
riddled with bullet holes. Viewers click on the bullet holes
to access testimony from ten alleged “eye witnesses” who
described recent military operations in Tal Afar.

¶8. (C) Khanfar said that, in accordance with an earlier
promise to PAO (Ref B), he had taken a look at the piece and
had two images removed (two injured children in hospital
beds, and a woman with serious facial injury). PAO pointed
out that the testimony of a “doctor” in the piece also
implied that poison gas had been used on residents of Tal
Afar and that the appearance of the piece, in particular the
bloody bullet hole icons, came across as inflammatory and
journalistically questionable. Khanfar appeared to repress a
sigh but said he would have the piece removed. “Not
immediately, because that would be talked about, but over two
or three days,” he said.

¶9. (C) He said he had told the website staff that in future,
when they want to add an item to the “Special Coverage”
section of the website, they should send a draft of the idea
over to his office. (Note: The AJ website is located in a
separate building across town. End note.) He noted that until
two or three months ago, the website staff had enjoyed much
more autonomy. Now, however, website director Abdel Aziz Al
Mahmoud attends the weekly editorial meetings at the TV
channel offices, and the website staff is being pulled under
the umbrella of the same editorial standards as the TV
channel. “I don’t say that such things are not going to be
repeated on the website, but it is a learning process,” said
Khanfar.

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September 21st, 2011, 11:58 am

 

137. ziadsoury said:

It really does not matter which country is calling for Master bashar and his thugs to go. The only people that matter and count are the Syrians themselves. Based on 6+ months of hate fest, the Syrians want him gone. Very simple. If there are free elections in Syria today, Bashar will get that missing .01% of the vote (Norman, Alex, SS, SNK, Commando, Mustapha, Maher and few other people).

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September 21st, 2011, 12:00 pm

 

138. Abu Umar said:

131. zoo said:

One of Nouri al-Maliki’s cronies on Al-Jazeera: “We reject foreign conspiracy”! These are the same people who rode in on American tanks in Iraq which was handed over to them by the Jewish Neocons.

134. ziadsoury said:

Bashar will get that missing .01% of the vote (Norman, Alex, SS, SNK, Commando, Mustapha, Maher and few other people).

You forgot the arch-hypocrite, Mjabali.

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September 21st, 2011, 12:02 pm

 

139. Areal said:

@101
no Comment

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September 21st, 2011, 12:10 pm

 

140. Areal said:

Moderators:
You have a problem

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September 21st, 2011, 12:14 pm

 

141. Areal said:

Moderators

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September 21st, 2011, 12:16 pm

 

142. SYR.EXPAT said:

78. NK said:

From Jandali’s FB page

http://on.fb.me/pGW1ne

Dear NK,

Thank you for the link. The photos of the bruised parents of Malik Jandali is just another example of how evil this regime is. No one is spared.

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September 21st, 2011, 1:17 pm

 

143. Badr said:

A spokeswoman for the recently formed national council said that while members opposed foreign military intervention they supported international protection for civilians. How exactly is that supposed to be worked out?

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September 21st, 2011, 1:45 pm

 

144. Humanist said:

Seems like Britain (well tories to be fair) wants to change Assad…

…for another Assad:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/why-are-tories-having-dinner-tonight-with-son-of-syrian-war-criminal-2350420.html

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September 21st, 2011, 1:58 pm

 

145. NK said:

Poor menhebakites

http://plot.vsyria.com/

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September 21st, 2011, 2:01 pm

 

146. N.Z. said:

The real villains, are the apologists, as Aboud brilliantly describes them,”those regime apologists who have never been robbed of their physical freedom, choose to spend all their lives in the intellectual prison of Besho Worship and Conspiracies from Mars. Such prisons are very, very cramped.”

These apologists are no different from pro-Gaddafi Anchor, she waves a gun during televised rant. Proclaims her willingness to become a martyr! A first class hypocrite, he fell, she switched.

Apologists, do you remember her?

On the other hand the death of Mohamed Bouazizi sparked a wave of massive protests throughout the Arab world. Mohammed Bouazizi was humiliated in front of his friends, he grew up in a little village, where respect is more valued than money, this is true in every corner of the Arab world…

He valued his dignity, while apologists will drop their pants for an extra buck. Some are envious of these brave, agents of change. Their courage highlights their cowardice. These brave men and women wants, either, support or silence.

It is time for all, to put their feet together, and take a strong and solid stance in supporting our men and women, the most honourable. In awe I salute their courage, dignity and sense of selflessness.

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September 21st, 2011, 2:18 pm

 

147. atassi said:

A new effort to organize new type of Shabiha “ legalizations of the Shabiha “…

http://www.syriasteps.com/?d=110&id=75170&in_main_page=1
Please notice: the editor and this Website report to the Air force intelligent branch …

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September 21st, 2011, 2:26 pm

 

148. mjabali said:

Abu Umar:

You are boring. You curse me with the same adjectives over and over. Be original.

Your limited accusatory conspiratorial mind can not take you far from the Jewish/Neocon/Zionist/Persian/Alawi/Nusayri/Shia circle.

I hope, for real, there is a Jewish/Alawi/Persian alliance, when is that going to happen?

This could be good for the Middle East to counter the BACKWARD Sunni trends that are dominating now, and which does not put any place for Others in its calculations.

The Christians and the rest of the minorities (religious and ethnic, like the Kurds) of the Middle East should join in that alliance too.

All minorities of the Middle East should plan together and look for a secular/liberal/modern way out.

Progressive Sunnis (religious minded or not) should participate in this too, their presence is important.

Together these elements could lead the way out of this chaos, war and blood shed to a democratic future that equals all and preserve their rights. These elements can write the real and practical theories for coexistence.

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September 21st, 2011, 3:05 pm

 

149. Observer said:

I just returned from the ME. I can say the following:
There is an increase in the number and frequency of army desertions not all of which is to join the rebellion but many because they are fed up and the ability to control them is slowly slipping away.
There is potential for the regime to stop paying salaries if they do not get an infusion from some friendly country and so far now only Iran has given them money.
There is a change in the wind as the Russians have learned from Libya and want to be at the forefront in Syria to guarantee some outcome. It comes as welcome news to the regime as it is trying to get out of the dead end that it put itself in.
There is disenchantment with the regime from Teheran and from HA and the news that Iraq is joining the critique circle is an indication that even Iran is quietly hedging its bets against the regime.
The Turks have played the best role coming into Libya to pick the ripe fruit at the expense of France and Italy and Britain and they are letting the regime in Syria to have enough rope to hang itself nicely or to bring it under its tutelage fully and peel it away from Iran. Either way they win.
I watched several pro regime commentators and they are clearly running out of options and stories to tell.
As for the so called building boom; it is due to the total failure of the regime to control the situation. In the past there used to be building codes to protect agriculture; then it became a tool for the regime to suck the blood of the average citizen as bribes flowed through for any activity from getting a passport to getting your kid in school. Now there is total chaos with the effort going in one direction only that of a security apparatus that is getting exhausted.
I know for a fact that the great boom in buying steel bars for windows and steel doors is thriving as people have become afraid of petty and not so petty increase in crime and robbery.
I would say that if the news of trafficking in organs from detained and killed protesters is true and it does seem that the scars are surgical; one needs only to get an x ray of the corps to see if organs are missing and surgical clips are present, then there is a desperate need for the regime to have money to pay the thugs doing its dirty work.
Finally, both BRIC and EU/US have now concluded that the country is likely to move into a civil war and this will be disastrous for the regime as eventually after a decade of strife the regime and its supporters will suffer terribly.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts and blinds absolutely.
The rats have triumphed and the germs are multiplying
Cheers

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September 21st, 2011, 3:21 pm

 

150. William Scott Scherk said:

Syria’s state news agency SANA published a few murky details of the programme of the “Constructing the Syrian State” political movement. This is the Louay Hussein/Michel Kilo association, the one that managed to gather without security, without detentions, without arrests (so far). I do hope that the Ehsani and Camille will keep an eye open for news from this formation.

Full story at http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2011/09/13/369228.htm

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – “Building the Syrian State” Movement was announced on Tuesday formed by a number of Syrian individuals. The movement has offices in several provinces and some countries of the world.

Louai Hussain, a founder of the movement, said the movement’s vision is building a democratic civil state and achieving social justice in consultation with all social spectrums.

Hussain added that the movement will be involved publicly in the political life and will contribute through its programs to empowering the Syrian people, particularly the young people to get involved in the public life to help shift to a democratic civil state.

Hussain pointed out that during the coming days a plan will be presented on the suggestions and mechanisms of achieving democracy and contributing to creating political life through working on constructing the state of law and civil society based on citizenship.

He said that the movement will also work on achieving its objectives through achieving sustainable development and focusing on democratic economy that takes into consideration the policy of social justice.

Mona Ghanem, a founder of the movement, said the current crisis in Syria showed the desire of the Syrian people to take part in building a political life that expresses their aspirations, pointing out to the importance of investing the desire to build a pluralist political life governed by the constitution and protected by law.

[I must say that SANA could use some help from those fluent in International English. The story above seems written to obscure rather than enlighten. No link to the movement's website, no names besides Hussein and Mona Ghanem]

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September 21st, 2011, 3:47 pm

 

151. Khalid Tlass said:

101. SOME GUY IN DAMASCUS said:

you know, something beautiful about the syrian revolution is we can vote for the next friday’s slogan. i wonder how the menhebaks feel when they see us voting?

I am voting for “Friday of NO More Shiaa”..

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September 21st, 2011, 4:18 pm

 

152. Observer said:

So this is how I see the overall situation in the ME;

Clearly the defeat of 67 awakened the Arab Muslim world and resulted in two responses; the first was the Faisal Assad Sadat pact to re establish Arab parity with Israel and the second the Iranian revolution against this defeat and the stupid policies of the Shah of Iran who had megalomaniac ideas about his role in history.

The Iranian revolution successed better than the 73 war as the US came to the rescue but then again; things moved in such a way that Egypt was taken out of the confrontation status and now it was Israel that had a megalomaniacal idea of destroying the Palestinians once and for all and they invaded Lebanon to their bitter fruits.

91-2003 marked the slow destruction of the Arab unity as the Arabs fought amongst themselves and the Islamists gained steadily both inside and outside with failure after failure of both states and coalitions. The 9/11 attacks accelerated things with Bush falling into the trap of confronting the Muslim world. Now the defeat in Iraq and the stalemate in Afghanistan has exhaused the US and the feeble NATO work in Libya has clearly demonstrated the limits of hard power in this new multi polar and financially fragile world.

The regimes bought themselves a decade of increased repression without correpsonding economic prosperity in contrast to China which understood that without better life there is little incentive for people to be quiescent. Hence the explosion and Mubarak and others are surprised and astonished that it did happen. Oh my how come my citizens do not love me????

So we have an end to the Arab Socialist experiment no less dramatic than the end of the cold war and the collapse of the Soviet Union. We have a collection of failed states and of a Western failed policy that did not take any windfall from the collapse of the cold war. The West bares equal share in stupidity and in short sightedness.

The superpowers came to the end of their force; both the US and Russian and even the EU have now been severely weakened by the adventures and travails of the ME in the last decade.

The stupid Israelis have opted for a fortress mentality with the idea of continuing to rely on one generation of Arabs after another blundering. This is not going to continue any longer. If Turkey successeds in trashing the spoiled brat called Israel that has flaunted international law and opinion then it will essentially finish off the role of the US in the region and no matter how much AIPAC can flex its muscles, the real muscles need to be on the ground in the ME and I can assure you that the US public in private in sick to the core of the special relationship with the chosen ones.

Now they will face millions of people that are fed up with the inside rulers and with the conflict and they see the repression of the Palestinians as another aspect of the collusion of regimes and powers to subjugate them.

The ones that are positioning themselves to effect change and have a say in the future of the region are Turkey primarily and secondarily KSA. Iran has been marginilazed with its theocracy and its bizarre Shia mythology that despite HA does not appeal to the majority Muslims. Likewise the Wahabi brand of KSA is only skin deep as the people are not truly believing in such extreme rubbish and insistence on ritualistic pretzel making. So Turkey is best positioned to take advantage of the situation. The question will it revive a Caliphate style leadership without the name or the title? Or will the region naturally integrate into an economic unity before a political one.

In the meantime the losers are by far
#1 Israel as it continues to think that the US influence will continue to save it from a region in extreme hatred of its presence and poilices
#2 Iran by virtue of its being Persian and Shia especially since it continues to support a semi heretic sect in Damascus controled by a family Mafia and especially since HA leader showed that he is sectarian in his outlook coming in favor or liberty in Bahrain and regpression in Syria
#3 The current Arab regimes in their entirety. The monarchs seem and only on the surface to have been spared. But it is only a matter of time. Neither the military junta in Egypt nor the Secret Service of Jordan are goint to be able to survive the current situatiuon intact.

If Syria goes the way of Iraq, then the entire region may be in turmoil and again if Israel and the US think that it will buy them a few years they are mistaken.

The new fanatics if there is no solution to the ME problem will make the current ones look like kinder garden children.

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September 21st, 2011, 4:18 pm

 

153. Khalid Tlass said:

124. Abu Umar said:

“Someone mentioned he is of Assyrian background”

I don;t think AFRAM is Assyrian, he’s probably Melkite or Greek Orthodox (if at all he’s a Christian). The Assyrian Church has been the only Church to have supported the revolution, and the Assyrians are known to have friendly relations with Sunni Arabs.

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September 21st, 2011, 4:21 pm

 

154. Khalid Tlass said:

NORMAN, if Bashar is so protective and good with Christians, and the revolutionaries are evil bloodsucking Islamists; then WHY are people like Samir Geagea and Mr. Gemayel supporting the revolution and opposing Bashar ?

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September 21st, 2011, 4:23 pm

 

155. Revlon said:

50. Dear MM, You said:
“I have been grappling with the following question, which I can’t bring myself to answer:
Would you be willing to offer Bashar Al-Assad amnesty in exchange for immediately stepping down from power?”

To pardon Thug one would also mean pardoning the thousands of thugs who dutifully tortured and murdered thousands of fellow countrymen in compliance with his orders.

Would I pardon those who tortured and brutally murdered the child Hamza AlKhateeb and who were carrying Thug One’s orders?

Would I pardon those who tortured and brutally murdered Alqashoush and who were carrying Thug One’s orders?

Would I pardon those who tortured and brutally murdered Ghiyath Matar and who were carrying Thug One’s orders?

Would I pardon those who tortured and brutally murdered The Girl Zainab AlHusni and who were carrying Thug One’s orders?

Need I utter my vote?

The question, fortunately or unfortunately shall prove to be academic.
Thug One shall never step down in return for amnesty. Time and again his paranoid personality and self righteousness have proven to be anathema to mature reasoning.

He will shortly find himself compelled to flee the scene leaving his followers in the abyss, where they belong.

He will go on the run for a while, yelping delusions of a come back, like Quidaffi.
Eventually, one of his Shabbeeha will turn him in for nothing more than a puff of a stale cigarette butt.

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September 21st, 2011, 4:28 pm

 

156. Khalid Tlass said:

NORMAN, if Bashar is so protective and good with Christians, and the revolutionaries are evil bloodsucking Islamists; then WHY are people like Samir Geagea and Mr. Gemayel and the others supporting the revolution and opposing Bashar ?

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September 21st, 2011, 4:30 pm

 

157. Akbar Palace said:

The stupid Israelis have opted for a fortress mentality…

Observer,

Nice article. Of the many things I disagree about your mini-dissertation are the words Israelis have “opted” for a “fortress mentality”.

The data shows Israel was not recognized before or after the 67 war. Therefore Israel had no “option”. Israel’s crime is defending herself just like any other nation. I wouldn’t refer to it as some sort of “fortress mentality” because Israel has a large minority that is free and mobile just like Israeli Jews, and because so much of the successful Israeli economy is international.

But if these terms make you feel better, please continue with usual (distorted) paint brush.

Most Israelis welcome the arab spring because a free ME will eventually opt (speaking of “options”) for peace and not war.

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September 21st, 2011, 4:33 pm

 

158. Khalid Tlass said:

Don’t worry Zionists, you ewill all be exiled to Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuiania, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, etc. Yoi are at the root cause of the problem, without yopu, the Assads would still be driving donkeys in Qqqqurdaha.

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September 21st, 2011, 4:48 pm

 

159. 5 dancing shlomos said:

“I would say that if the news of trafficking in organs from detained and killed protesters is true and it does seem that the scars are surgical” 147 observer, i would say.

taking organs is an israeli/jewry specialty. this info/disinfo comes from israel. deserters story also BS

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September 21st, 2011, 7:37 pm

 

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