Nuri al-Maliki’s Strategy toward Syria and Syrian Kurds

Kurdistan Region’s President Massoud Barzani and Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki

An Iraq intelligence specialist, who cannot use his name, wrote to disagree with my analysis of  “Assad’s Kurdish Strategy,” published two days ago. He writes:


I was reading your post on Syrian Kurdistan and noted that you judged that the regional Shia will probably support Syrian Kurdish aspirations.  I think this will not be the case for the Iraqi Shia parties.  Maliki and his allies are locked in a struggle with Barzani and will be very wary of any development that would improve Barzani’s leverage.  They undoubtedly already see the risk that Barzani and the KDP could, at some point, extend the KRG (de facto) into Syrian Kurdistan (or at least extend its influence).  They are already finding it extremely difficult to contain the KRG and keep it within the bounds of a Baghdad-dominated constitutional framework; if Barzani and the KRG were able to jump Iraq’s borders and become part of a broader regional Kurdish alliance, it would be a disaster for the Malikiyoun.  So Baghdad is going to have to walk a very fine line where Syria’s Kurds are concerned:  they can’t denounce Bashar’s strategy of giving the PYD control of Kurdish areas, but neither can they countenance an autonomous, free-floating Syrian Kurdistan that could someday join up with Barzanistan…

My response:

You have presented a compelling argument for why Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, is likely to oppose Assad’s strategy of promoting the PKK (the Syrian Communist Party) as the dominant power in the predominantly Kurdish parts of Eastern Syria. But let me explain the thinking that ultimately persuaded me to conclude that Maliki will go along with Assad’s strategy in the Jazeera, even if doing so causes him to finger through his worry-beads with greater anxiety.

Massoud Barzani, the current President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, has come out against the PKK taking power in Syria. Barzani said last month that he was helping to arm and train fighters from the Kurdish National Council (KNC), which is the PKK’s rival. One must note that the PKK has renamed itself the PYD in Syria. Thus, Barzani has come out squarely on the side of the Kurdish coalition in Syria that sides with the Turks, Americans and Free Syrian Army. He has decided that the PKK is trouble. I presume Barzani is doing this in part because he must maintain good relations with Turkey, his major guarantor against Maliki as well as his major economic partner. He is also correctly leery of the PKK, who are a bunch of hot-head nationalist extremists and who are defined as terrorists by most of his allies. (Turkey blames them for the deaths of 40,000 in Turkey over the last 30 years.) Barzani certainly does not want Kurdish foreign policy being made by the thuggish PKK. Having his own state to worry about, Barzani can no longer afford to be the nationalist militia leader he once was. He cannot gamble away his own state in order to promote Kurdish independence in Syria or even Greater Kurdistan. He will go soft on independence for Syrian Kurdistan in order to promote the interests of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The PKK as Poison Chalise

You are absolutely right about Maliki’s caution when it comes to the possibility of a greater Kurdistan. He does not want it. But, as you underline, he is trying to contain Barzani, behind whom are the Turks. If he can hurt Barzani by forcing him to link up with the PKK, he will ruin Barzani’s delicate understanding with the Turks. Should the PKK come out the winner in Eastern Syria, rather than the more moderate KNC, Barzani will be forced into a very difficult and embarrassing position. He will have to chose between his fellow Kurds in Syria, led by the PKK , and Turkey. For this reason, I suspect that Prime Minister Maliki will devilishly refuse to stand in the way of the PKK in Syrian Kurdistan in order to scuttle Iraqi Kurdistan’s pro-Turkish gambit and saddle Barzani with a “terrorist” partner.

Perhaps, I am being too Machiavellian, but what choice does Maliki have? He must go along with his fellow Shiites in Syria and Iran in their goal to spoil Sunni Arab chances of consolidating their rule in Syria. The best way to do this is to prop up Assad as a key player in Syria, even as he loses control of national government, and to promote minorities, such as the Kurds. This will keep Syria destabilized. Maliki must balance his fear of Kurds against his fear of Sunni Arabs.

In Maliki’s domestic power-struggles, the Kurds are his main competitor today. But in his larger regional struggle, the Sunnis are his nemesis in the longer-run — that is, if they can ever get their act together and emerge from the Arab Spring as unified and productive nations. Were I Maliki, I would promote the PKK in Syria as a poison chalice for Barzani. Even if the Kurds negotiate this crisis successfully to emerge as a larger nation, will a larger Kurdistan stand as a greater threat than the Sunni Arabs? I doubt it. Why? Iraq has already lost Kurdistan. (of course there is the complicating factor of Kirkuk) Kurdistan is land-locked and must depend on its neighbors for trade, transport, overflight permission and so much more. Maliki will always be able to contain Kurdistan because of its dependency on Iraq. He can manage its potential dangers. Afterall, who likes the Kurds among Iraq’s neighbors? Not Iran, not Turkey, not Syrian Arabs, and not Saudi Arabia. Only Israel and the US defend Kurdish interests, largely because the Kurds can be used to counter Arab states and Iran when needed. Turkey has emerged as Kurdistan’s protector of sorts, but that is contingent on Kurdistan keeping its expansionist ambitions in check.

Sunni Arabs are Nuri al-Maliki’s Long-term Danger

The Sunnis are the long-term danger for Iraq’s Prime Minister. Sunni Arab Nationalism is the BIG threat. Saudi Arabia has the money and America on its side, which enables it to fund the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, potentially empower a future Sunni Syria to counter-balance Shiite Iraq, squeeze Iraq diplomatically and perhaps economically (Should the US ever decide to sanction Iraq due to its alliance with Iran and sanction busting financial transactions with the nasty Persians). The recrudescence of al-Qaida in Iraq, Salafist bombings in Baghdad, and general revanchist Sunni agitation is preventing Maliki from bringing stability and security to Iraq more than the Kurds are. They are not giving up. A consolidated Sunni Syria will breathe new life  into Iraq’s angry Sunnis. They have not come to terms with the notion of a Shiite dominated Iraq. For this reason, Maliki may choose to stoke the flames of Kurdish expansionism in order to douse Sunni expansionism? Keeping the Syrians off balance will help neutralize Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the real neighborhood bullies from Maliki’s perspective. What is more, the chances of the Kurds actually pulling off Greater Kurdistan must look very small compared to the chances that the Sunni Arabs, backed by the US and Israel, will launch a major counter-offensive against the feared “Shiite Crescent”. They are looking to destabilize Iran, overturn Shiite authority in Damascus, roll back Shiite power in Baghdad, and ding Hizbullah’s writ in Lebanon.

You write that “Baghdad is going to have to walk a very fine line where Syria’s Kurds are concerned:  they can’t denounce Bashar’s strategy of giving the PYD control of Kurdish areas, but neither can they countenance an autonomous, free-floating Syrian Kurdistan that could someday join up with Barzanistan…”

This is very well stated. We agree that Maliki faces a dilemma in Syria in balancing Kurds against Sunni Arabs. His balance-of-power calculations will require a delicate dance in which he will likely be compelled to do-si-do his partners, sometimes leaning toward the Kurds and at others toward the Sunni Arabs in order to advance Baghdad’s interests and keep both of his adversaries from growing stronger.


Global Insights: Interests Aligned, Iraq’s Maliki Sticks By Syria
By: Richard Weitz | World Politics Review

Amid Syria’s widespread civil disorder, ongoing since March 2011, the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pressed on with its policy of rapprochement with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime….

Turkish Leaders Appeal for Unity After Deadly Car Bomb
By: Daren Butler | Reuters

Turkey’s leaders called for unity on Wednesday following a car bomb attack which heightened fears that Kurdish militants are exploiting chaos in neighboring Syria and stepping up their decades-old insurgency.

Syria’s Sectarian Echoes in Turkey
By Giorgio Cafiero, August 22, 2012

Not all Turks support their government’s position on Syria. Many Alawite Turks have expressed solidarity with the Assad regime, as have Turkish Alevis (who belong to another often-persecuted sub-sect of Shiite Islam). These Turks highlight an important lesson about the Middle East. In a region with deep sectarian divisions, national unity sometimes proves weaker than transnational religious, ethnic, and linguistic ties….

Turkish public opinion about Syria’s turmoil is most divided in Hatay province, situated on the Mediterranean coast along the Syrian border. Most of the half-million Arab Alawites living in Turkey reside in Hatay, where Alawites and Sunnis live in equal number alongside a sizeable Christian minority.

Since the violence erupted in Syria, a number of Alawite-led pro-Assad demonstrations have erupted in Hatay, while Sunni groups elsewhere in the province have aided and abetted the Free Syrian Army. In March 2012, NPR’s Istanbul-based foreign correspondent, Peter Kenyon, reported that “a large demonstration featured the classic pro-Assad chant: ‘Allah, Syria, Bashar, that’s all.’” According to Al Jazeera, many in Turkey’s Alawite community believe “President Bashar al-Assad is trying to hold a tolerant, pluralist Syria together, and many of them are concerned about how minorities are being treated by the Syrian rebels.” ….

By contrast, religious minorities in Turkey have not received similar protection from their government. During the Turkish Republic’s early years, many Alevis supported Kemal Atatürk because secularism was a key pillar of his ideology. As non-Sunnis, they believed that they could only fare well under a secular political system. However, throughout the last nine decades, Alevi Turks have been persistently marginalized, persecuted, and discriminated against. Right-wing Turkish forces, along with vigilantes and police, committed massacres against Alevi communities in 1978, 1993, and 1995. Moreover, cemevis (Alevi gathering places) are not granted legal status as a place of worship. Even today, numerous NGOs, including the Association for Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples and the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, have documented “mysterious marks drawn by individuals on dozens of homes belonging to members of Turkey’s Alevi minority in … Adiyaman.”

Prime Minister Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) is not popular within Alevi circles, and the crisis in Syria has not facilitated an improvement in relations between Turkey’s ruling party and the country’s largest religious minority. Selahattin Ozel, the chairman of the federation of Alevi associations in Turkey, told The Wall Street Journal, “As Turkish Alevis, we do not support an anti-democratic, an anti-humanist regime [in Syria], but we cannot understand why the [Turkish] prime minister so suddenly became an enemy of the Syrian administration.” The Alevis have remained overwhelming supportive of the AKP’s main opposition, the Kemalist-oriented Republican People’s Party (CHP), and many in the community fear that Erdogan is attempting to create a Sunni Islamist state in Turkey….

As Soner Cagaptay reports, “Should Ankara intervene in Syria against the ‘Alawite’ al-Assad regime and militarily support the ‘Sunni’ uprising, some in the Turkish Alevi community might be inclined to view this as a ‘Sunni attack’ against ‘fellow Alevis.’” Ali Yilmaz Cecim, a Turkish Alevi with a negative view of his government’s relationship with the armed Syrian opposition, echoed this view. “They [the Turkish Sunnis] are taking sides with foreigners against fellow Turkish citizens,” he told the Independent. “We know that many of these Syrians coming in have extremist views, that is why they are fighting their government, despite what they say. The people who want to bring them in are doing so because they will help to push their own extremist religious views here, they want to build up numbers.”

The Future of Turkey’s Religious Minorities

According to the Financial Times, “Reports of the black flag of al-Qaeda flying in parts of Syria, along with the kidnap of two western journalists near the Turkish border by an Islamist gang which seems to have included many foreigners, have led to fears that Syria is becoming a magnet for global jihadis.” Earlier this month, Alex Marquardt of ABC reported on Al Qaeda’s growing influence in Syria and stated that “foreign fighters, mostly religious fundamentalists, [are] streaming in – taking up the fight. They want Assad to go and Syria to become an Islamic state.” Unfortunately, the radicalization and internationalization of Syria’s armed opposition only exacerbate the fears of Turkey’s minority communities that Assad’s ouster could undermine their security.

Some Islamist members of Syria’s armed opposition have brought their anti-Alawite prejudices with them into the refugee camps in southern Turkey, thus exacerbating Turkey’s sectarian tensions. Mehmed Aziz, a 28-year-old Syrian refugee at a camp in Ceylanpinar, Turkey — which receives hundreds of refugees on a daily basis — threatened that any Alawites arriving at the camp will be murdered. On August 4, an Alawite family in Surgu was targeted by a Sunni mob at the beginning of Ramadan, which Alawites do not observe. The mob threw stones at the family’s house and chanted “Death to Alawites. We’re going to burn you all down.” The angry mob only dispersed after police officers announced that the Alawite family was moving, which the targeted family never told the police.

Although Bashar Al-Assad’s regime has carried out grave atrocities against his own people and provided many Syrians with reasons to support the armed opposition, Turkey’s Alawite and Alevi communities across the border have legitimate concerns about the regime’s demise….

Comments (190)

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51. Aldendeshe said:

I hope the regime does not repeat Saddam mistake,my best guess is that those weapons will not be used on Syrians, but I am not sure how the army will respond if Syria is invaded by a foreign power

Any country invaded by foreign power should use whatever WMD’s it can get its hands on for National self defense. It is a treason and crime otherwise for an act that can be considered Noble. Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki, well that was not the first time and for sure it is not going to be the last time.
It was used in Alalakh in northern Syria and the Dead Sea cities before, when NINURTA attacked them with NERGAL help:

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August 22nd, 2012, 6:01 pm


52. Tara said:

Hillary was voted by the Forbes magazine as the second most powerful woman in the world..

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 33

August 22nd, 2012, 6:02 pm


53. Azmeh said:

Wow. Your in-depth perspective on Iraq is impressive. I didn’t realize Iraq was doing so well. I was under the impression that Iraq suffered from a break-down in authority where the federal government can’t enforce the law in break-away Kurdistan, provinces with their own armies not subject to the Iraqi leadership, on-going constitutional crises, extra-judicial torture and killings in prisons controlled by officials, massive human rights violations in state detention centers, corruption on a scale similar to previous regime, a complete drain of the educated & skilled, and political institutions completely beholden to Iran.

Great example!

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 42 Thumb down 16

August 22nd, 2012, 6:09 pm


54. Antoine said:


Most Iraqis support the torture and detentions that are going on, because it is targetted against particular social and political groups.

I can assure you most Syrians will approve of all sorts of persecution against certain kinds of Syrians after the regime has fallen.

In fact it has already started in Egypt. Leftists, Nasserists and Mubarakists are already being rounded up and their newspapers are being silenced.

I support proportional retribution.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 35

August 22nd, 2012, 6:19 pm


55. Antoine said:


Don’t worry, we only need few thousands of Anti-Tank missiles, nothing more, to give some sobering defeats to Assad’s men to convince more and more to give up. All sorts of anti-Tank missiles will do, if SNP can promise these, FSA can promise to end this conflict within 2 months and get democratic process started, including SNP setting up shop in Syria.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 32

August 22nd, 2012, 6:22 pm


56. Syrialover said:

ANTOINE #50 said about Iraqis today:

“…they decide their own foreign policy pro-Iran and anti-GCC I should remind you), they feel at last they have honour and dignity”

Comment: Yes, and when Iran tells them to slam their borders shut against desperate Syrian refugees, they go along with that cruel disgrace.

Two million Iraqis poured into Syria to escape the murderous chaos in their own country a few years ago. They found the door open and tolerance and sympathy from Syrians.

Expatriate Iraqis I know have told me they are uncomfortable and ashamed of their country for refusing to return this humane assistance.

Honour and dignity? Iraqis are showing neither by being a blunt tool to punish innocent Syrians because the Mullahs told their “independent rulers” to do it.

I also gather that few expatriate Iraqi communities are offering a cent of assistance to help Syrian refugees. (I’d be thrilled to hear of any exceptions).

One Iraqi told me, “Syrians are very nice people. Iraqis are not like that. They are different”

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August 22nd, 2012, 6:23 pm


57. Antoine said:

Eye for an Eye, Tooth for a Tooth.

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August 22nd, 2012, 6:24 pm


58. Antoine said:

Syrialover most Iraqis, do not want Syrian refugees in their country this is a fact. They see them as nothing more than a bunch of “nawaseb” *whatever that means). Most Iraqis support Assad, thats also a fact, bacuse of their deep hatred of the social group that is leading this revolution.

Similarly I can assure you that if Syrians had democratic control over their own country in 2003, they would never have allowed 1 million Iraqis to enter,( especially not the sort of Iraqis crowding Sitti Zeinab and Jaramana, I hope you catch my drift)

Its all about social groups baby, I think you understand my euphemism. I mean SECTS stupid. The SECTS. The people of the Fertile Crescent are so deeply divided that they NEVER be able to lve with each other decently.

And you only have the Ottomans and the French and British to blame for that

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 30

August 22nd, 2012, 6:31 pm


59. Johannes de Silentio said:

Ann is not a native-born American. When she writes something (not cut and paste), she makes all the spelling and grammatical mistakes an Arab with limited English knowledge makes.

She hates American foreign policy, so she’s probably not living in the USA.

My guess is she’s a Syrian Christian living somewhere in Europe…

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August 22nd, 2012, 6:32 pm


60. Syrialover said:

On the use of chemical weapons against Syrians by their “rulers”, there is a body of research out there indicating that chemical weapons could have been used as part of the Hama massacre in 1982.

This was discussed in the comments section of SyriaComment a couple of months ago.

The truth will come out. And Rifaat Assad and his hypocrite sons will have to sell all they own to pay for his legal defence in a war crimes court.

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August 22nd, 2012, 6:32 pm


61. Tara said:


“Similarly I can assure you that if Syrians had democratic control over their own country in 2003, they would never have allowed 1 million Iraqis to enter,( especially not the sort of Iraqis crowding Sitti Zeinab and Jaramana, I hope you catch my drift)”

Sorry but I hope you are wrong on this one…Since when Syrian Sunnis thought this way?

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 25

August 22nd, 2012, 6:41 pm


62. Uzair8 said:

An entire regime battalion has been captured by the #FSA in #Ariha #Idlib #Syria

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August 22nd, 2012, 6:54 pm


63. Azmeh said:

Tara #60,

To answer your question, it doesn’t matter. Go back to my first point: “all critical thinking and analytical reasoning has been lost. People are polarized; most seem to have committed themselves to a position, and find whatever logic or piece together whatever facts to support it. The positions are juxtaposed and are mutually exclusive with virtually no room for reason or compromise.”

So, it makes no difference that Antoine (and the like) don’t have ANY supporting data, facts or even weak news reports to support their claims, they make these ridiculous assertions anyway because they’re expedient to support their position. Same with Iraq, it’s useful at the moment to claim that bringing down Saddam made everything better, so Iraq turns into a shining example with democracy, human rights, independent foreign policy, etc. Facts be damned.

Sadly, THAT (reason-resistant mindset) is what you have to fight first.

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August 22nd, 2012, 6:56 pm


64. VISITOR said:

I must agree with 60 TARA on this Antoine.

You’re way off in your assertions.

Syrian Sunnis are the most non-sectarian anywhere in the Arab and the Muslim world.

I mentioned previously that sectarianism is being imposed upon the Syrians and perhaps other Sunnis in the region by the sectarian forces unleashed by Khomeinism. This is a topic that may take volumes to explain. Unfortunately, the Syrian regime also did its best to fuel this monster and it continues to do so.

Any sectarianism exhibited by Syrian Sunnis due to recent events is not more than a reaction and is not a an innate character of Syrian Sunnis.



We all know that we’re polarized. However depolarization cannot be achieved by your approach.

If you have other suggestions, we are willing to consider them. But do not count the menhebkji on this site to go along with other than the capitulation approach that you initially proposed.

I can assure you such approach will not fly.



Very good news!!!

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August 22nd, 2012, 6:57 pm


65. Azmeh said:


I’m not advocating any approach, per se. All I’m saying is that, in the absence of a reasonably decent opposition, blindly calling for the fall of the regime is myopic and self-defeating. I suspect the solution may lie somewhere between those who want to bring the regime down no matter the cost, and those who support the regime no matter what. Let’s resist the instincts for revenge and think about the long-term interests of the country.

بدنا ناكل عنب، مو نقتل الناطور

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 30 Thumb down 22

August 22nd, 2012, 7:07 pm


66. zoo said:

26. Tara

Not a ‘popularity’ contest. The thumbs are supposed to provide a general idea of the reader reaction to the content of post.

Unfortunately, there is no way to reach a valid evaluation because the “multiple thumbs” internet trick seems to be systematically used by some competitive and paranoiac commenters.
The abusers are known, they fool nobody.

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August 22nd, 2012, 7:08 pm


67. Ghufran said:

Why Kunafah and not Baklava?
أعلن محامي الجماعات الإسلامية في الأردن موسى العبداللات اليوم، عن مقتل 3 أردنيين في مواجهات مع الجيش السوري النظامي خلال اليومين الماضيين.
وقال العبداللات لوكالة “يونايتد برس إنترناشونال” أن “الأردنيين الثلاثة من مدينة معان جنوب ينتمون لكتائب “التوحيد” قتلوا في مواجهات مع الجيش السوري النظامي في مدينتي حلب ودرعا”.
وأوضح أن “بيوت العزاء أقيمت في مدينة معان لتلقي التهاني في مقتل الثلاثة وتم توزيع أطباق الكنافة على المهنيئن”.

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August 22nd, 2012, 7:12 pm


68. Syrialover said:


The mass influx of Iraqis created problems in Syria’s job and housing markets (as well for traffic in Damascus, schools and hospitals). Like every crisis, nobody knew how large the flow was going to be when it first started.

But I met many Iraqis inside Syria at the time who were very moved by the tolerance and hospitality shown to them by ordinary Syrians (including Shia and Kurdish Iraqis talking about Sunnis).

And as for your sect theory – what is stopping expatriate Iraqi Sunni and Christian communities reaching out to Syrians in distress?

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August 22nd, 2012, 7:18 pm


69. Norman said:

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,

Syria is going to have a lot of toothless blind people,

Way to go Syria, way to go.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 24

August 22nd, 2012, 7:57 pm


70. VISITOR said:


Unless you’re retracting your first comment, you are advocating an approach. You wanted a despicable regime to win the battle against the FSA. Your reasoning for that is that the FSA is infiltrated by Islamists. Sorry, to say it out loud that you did not provide any valid reasons as to why the regime should stay other than the fear of tomorrow other than this worn out argument of scarecrow slo-called Islamists. Tomorrow that you are afraid of is already here and the one responsible for it is the regime you want to give a chance to survive, which would only bring more killing. You said بدنا ناكل عنب، مو نقتل الناطور.

Well let me retort by saying من جرّب المجرب كان عقلو عقل مخرب٠

To many of us on this board and elsewhere, the FSA are heroes of the Syrian people and revolution. They represent the best of the best Syria has produced for the simple fact that they answered the call of their consciousness and refused to be part of the killing machine falsely parading as a National Army. They deserve the highest honors and support they can get from us.

A National Army duty is first and foremost to the people. Therefore, our True National Army are those brave defectors who refused to fire on their fellow Syrian and commit the ultimate crime against the homeland.

If you want to live in fear of tomorrow then you’re not ready to share the opportunities that tomorrow may bring. You may as well continue to live in yesterday. There is nothing to fear except fear itself. We are a nation of more 7000 years of history behind it. The last 50 years have been nothing but an ugly black dot in our illustrious past. Our duty is to stamp out this dot from this history and leave it only as a memory for future generations to remember so as not to ever fall into its pitfalls.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 26

August 22nd, 2012, 8:01 pm


71. zoo said:

A war crime documented.
Syrian rebels try to use prisoner for suicide bombing
22 August 2012 Last updated at 10:20 ET Help

The New York Times has released a video which shows Free Syrian Army rebels trying to use a prisoner as an unwitting suicide bomber, as the BBC’s Gordon Corera reports.

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August 22nd, 2012, 8:19 pm


72. Ghufran said:

 قتل اربعة لبنانيين اليوم الاربعاء في غارة شنها الطيران السوري على تجمع لمقاتلين من المعارضة في قرية جوسيه السورية الحدودية مع لبنان .
وقالت مصادر امنية ان اللبنانيين الاربعة هم من وادي البقاع شرق لبنان ثلاثة منهم من بلدة عرسال والرابع من مدينة الهرمل في البقاع الشمالي .
ولم تشر المصادر الى اي تفاصيل اخرى عن سبب وجود اللبنانيين الاربعة مع المعارضين السوريين .

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August 22nd, 2012, 8:21 pm


73. zoo said:

#71 Ghufran

Most probably the arms smugglers..

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August 22nd, 2012, 8:29 pm


74. Tara said:


Why is it important to know the readers’ reaction to one’s post? Opinions are stated and argued and that is that. Would genuine 500 thumbs-
down make you change your mind? If you calculated the accumulative dislikes I have gotten since day one, you would stop worrying about the “popular” opinion. It never worried me. It must be my “manly” side


Waiting to hear your opinion about Mrs. piggy rating by Forbes magazine. Where are you?

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August 22nd, 2012, 8:31 pm


75. ann said:

No Chechens fighting in Syria! – official – 22 August, 2012

There are no people from the Chechen Republic among the armed opposition in Syria, the press secretary of the leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has said.

“The so-called armed opposition in Syria is generously supported by the Western countries that send weapons and funds, bribe politicians and generals and single volunteers do not affect the situation in Syria,” press secretary Alvi Karimov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

At the same time the official strongly denied the possibility of Chechen residents fighting on either side in the Syrian conflict.

The comment came after several media reported that Rustam Gelayev, the son of notorious Chechen warlord Ruslan Gelayev, was killed in Syria. The reports said that Rustam Gelayev’s body was delivered to Chechnya for burial, which was done on August 17. There were also earlier reports claiming that Chechens were fighting in Syria on the opposition side, but they never mentioned particular names.

At the same time, several Russian and international media sources have reported that a lot of Circassians were fleeing the Syrian fighting and returning to Russia.


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August 22nd, 2012, 8:32 pm


76. Ghufran said:

Azmeh will now be added to the target list by those who are unable to engage in any discussion that deviates from pre-packaged slogans and empty rhetoric. If Azmeh is a new comer,I think he is, he should expect a wave of name calling and angry shallow responses just because he dared to ask essential questions about where we are and where we are going.

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August 22nd, 2012, 8:43 pm


77. zoo said:

Turkey has no leverage on the armed rebels?Hard to believe.

Hostage-taking spiraling into a complicated crisis

The case of 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria, which was set to be solved in its very early stages, has become further complicated by the kidnapping of two Turkish citizens in Lebanon, increasing concern among Turkish diplomatic sources that the issue is gaining a political dimension with deeper implications.

Turkey’s government is having a hard time convincing the Lebanese that it has made every effort to secure the release of the pilgrims, who are believed to be in the hands of an opposition group that is not controlled by the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).

In view of Turkey’s close relationship with opposition groups in Syria, especially the Shiite groups, Lebanon is finding it hard to believe that the Turkish government has been incapable of securing the release of the pilgrims after three months. The case continues to be a mystery, as the motivations of the captors remain unclear.

The pilgrims were on the verge of release in the early days after their capture, but the involvement of countries like Qatar has negatively affected the process. “Seeing the involvement of different players, the captors probably concluded that they are holding something more valuable than they thought at the beginning,” said a Turkish source familiar with the issue.

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August 22nd, 2012, 8:47 pm


78. Tara said:

Visitor# 69

I can’t agree more. Thank you for explaining our sentiment.

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August 22nd, 2012, 8:52 pm


79. irritated said:


Miss Piggy beats Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey. That’s the only achievement she can be proud of after 4 years as a secretary of state.

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August 22nd, 2012, 8:57 pm


80. ann said:

As UN Confirms Ban to Iran for NAM, Questions of Feltman & Qatar on Syria, UNSC Echoes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 22 — After bristling at an online read-out by Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu, and after being spoken to more quietly by the US’ Susan Rice, Ban Ki-moon’s office Wednesday at noon announced that Ban will in fact be going to Iran for the Non-Aligned Movement meeting at the end of August.

Inner City Press, which had twice before Wednesday asking about the trip, questioned its link to Ban’s top political adviser Jeffrey Feltman’s briefing that morning to the Security Council.

Feltman said Ban is concerned about arms flows to all parties in Syria, but cited only Resolution 1747, which covers Iran’s exports. Are Ban and Feltman equally concerned about exports by Saudi Arabia and Qatar?

Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky, as regards the trip, said that this issue will come up. (At about the same time in closed door Security Council consultations, Inner City Press has learned, Russia was asking Feltman why he hadn’t mentioned Qatar, telling him to read the newspapers more often.)

When Inner City Press asked if Feltman had advised Ban against the trip to Iran, if there was any response, Nesirky said the response is that Ban “is going.”

Israel is “all in” in urging non-attendance in Tehran. And in Australia, Shadow Minister Foreign for Foreign Affairs and Trade Julie Bishop is urging Permanent Representative to the UN Gary Quinlan not to go.


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August 22nd, 2012, 9:00 pm


81. Tara said:

Bashar thought he has regained control of Damascus when the FSA declared a tactical withdrawal back in July?  Well, he thought wrong.  What is he really in control of?   Damascus?  Aleppo?  Homs? Hama? Horan? Deir al Zor?  
His kitchen may be.  I don’t know for how long though.

By Richard Spencer, and Damien McElroy7:26PM BST 22 Aug 2012

The regime regained control of areas of southern Damascus that rose up against it in July in sustained and sometimes bloody fighting. But on Wednesday it was forced once again to move against some of the same suburbs, bombarding them with tanks from the southern ring road and then sending in ground troops.

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August 22nd, 2012, 9:09 pm


82. Tara said:


I do not know if her performance reflects her own abilities and attributes or those of her boss, Mr. Obama. Nevertheless, one must be fair. She is more charming than lady Gaga..

I recently came across a picture of Medea Daghestani whispering in Miss Piggy’s ears when she met the SNC in Turkey..

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August 22nd, 2012, 9:15 pm


83. zoo said:

The Syrian opposition to meet again in Cairo? When? Any information? A secret meeting?

Cameron and Obama, Both said that they wanted to see a credible opposition and hoped that the opposition would use their upcoming meeting in Cairo to show real unity of purpose and coherence in working towards transition.”

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August 22nd, 2012, 9:18 pm


84. VISITOR said:

80 TARA,

Remember what I told you not long ago?

It was something like this:

The FSA will continue to chase this army of thugs from city to city and town to town across Syria until the thugs’ army runs out of fuel, ammunition, food, equipment, the will to fight or all of the above.

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August 22nd, 2012, 9:28 pm


85. VISITOR said:

Dear Dr. Landis/Administrator,

Why do I have a comment that says at the top “YOUR COMMENT IS AWAITING MODERATION”? It is supposed to be comment 84.

——————— May be I typoed the wrong e-mail address. So I will write the comment in here. It was addressed to 82 TARA.

Remember what I told you not long ago?

The FSA will continue to chase this army of thugs from city to city and town to town across Syria until the thugs’ army runs out of fuel, ammunition, food, equipment, the will to fight or all of the above.

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August 22nd, 2012, 9:31 pm


86. Ghufran said:

16 questions for Hadeel Coki
(I apologize for the long post)
1.بعد عام، ونيف على بدء الثورة هل حافظت الثورة على هويتها والمطالب التي إنطلقت لأجلها أم أنها بدأت تأخذ طابعا إسلاميا متشدداً؟
        – انا لا اؤمن بان للثورة السورية هوية ايديولوجية حتى تحافظ عليها بل هي ثورة حق ضد باطل بعيدا عن اللفظ الشعاراتي للكلمة. فبكل بساطة نظام سيطر على الحكم عن طريق العسكر وفرض قوانينه وسلطاته وورث الجمهورية وعامل سوريا على انها مزرعة شخصية هو نظام وجب ازالته . منذ بداية  الثورة  كان فيها اسلاميين و علمانيين و مسيحيين . قد يكون الصوت الاسلامي مرتفع في هذه المرحلة من الثورة، ولكن هذا امر طبيعي وليس إلا ردة فعل على بطش النظام واهانته للمقدسات الإسلامية والسنية على وجه الخصوص وانا اتفهم هذا. بكلتا الأحوال لاتزال الثورة محافظة على مطالبها الأساسية التي قامت من اجلها وبروز بعض الاصوات المتطرفة من هنا وهناك لا يعني ان للثورة طابعا متشدداً.
2.لماذا تُستهدف الكنائس في سورية، خصوصا تلك التي تقع في مناطق يتواجد فيها المسلحون بكثرة؟
– حقيقة الكنائس القديمة في سوريا وصمودها حتى الان تكذب فكرة استهدافها من قبل المسلمين.  فمرت على سوريا الكثير من الفتوحات الإسلامية وكنائسنا بقيت كما هي. طبعاً يوجد بعض الإستثناءات .. كنيسة ام الزنار في حمص على سبيل المثال تم قصفها من قبل قوات النظام وتمت حمايتها من قبل الثوار. سأعطيك مثال، الحالة الوحيدة التي تم التعرض فيها لمقدسات مسيحية في سوريا هي في عصر الأسد الاب، حينما قام المجرم رفعت الاسد بتفويض من اخيه انذاك بنبش دير الشروبيم في صيدنايا ونهب المحفوظات الذهبية في الكنيسة وهذه حقيقة يدركها كل مسيحيي سوريا. الكنائس الموجودة في الاماكن المتوترة والتي يوجد فيها اشتباكات دائمة بين الجيشين الحر والاسدي تعرضت لأذى كما تعرضت المساجد في غالبية المدن السورية لإعتداءات مقصودة وغير مقصودة من قبل قوات الأسد.
3.صدرت نداءات عديدة من الفاتيكان وعبر وكالة فيديس البابوية تحديدا تطالب فيها المجموعات المسلحة بتجنب التعرض للمسيحيين، سؤالي :لماذا يتعرض المسيحيون للإضطهاد في سورية؟، لأن المعلومات تفيد بتعرضهم للإبادة في مناطق واسعة في حمص، وتحديدا على يد كتائب الفاروق؟

ج- المعلومات التي اعطيت للوكالة الفاتيكانية كانت مدسوسة كما اخبرني الاب باولو الذي طرد من سوريا مؤخرا من قبل النظام لمساعدته للثوار،  وبعد ان زار الاماكن المتوترة في سوريا ولاحظ بل وتحدث عن عدم وجود اي استهداف ممنهج للمسيحيين في سوريا من قبل كتائب الفاروق او غيرها من الكتائب. ثم اين هي الابادات والمجازر ضد المسيحيين، لم نسمع ولم نرى اي مجزرة ضد المسيحيين في سوريا بل سمعنا عن مجازر ارتكبها النظام في الحولة وكرم الزيتون وحماة وغيرها، كما سمعنا عن عشرات المعتقلين المسيحيين الذين عذبوا في سجون الاسد واضطهدوا لانهم قالوا كلمة حق خلال الثورة وقبلها.

4.هناك دعوات صريحة صدرت من قبل صفحات مواقع التواصل الإجتماعي المؤيدة للمعارضين السوريين بتكفير المسيحيين، والدروز، والعلويين، هل يستهدف المسيحيون لأن قسم كبير منهم فضل الصمت، وقياداتهم الدينية تظهر بشكل أو بآخر دعمها للنظام السوري؟
ج-لم نسمع من اي مرجع سوري معارض او حتى ديني سوري بانه كفر المسيحيين او غيرهم من ابناء الأقليات في سوريا. صفحات التواصل الإجتماعي ليست معياراً، فبالنهاية الصفحة تدار من قبل فرد او فردين مجهولين ولاتمثل الرأي العام السوري. هناك متطرفين في كل المجتمعات وهم في سوريا لا يمثلون الأغلبية بل هم اقلية متطرفة كما النظام.  ثم ان وجود بعض ” القيادات” المسيحية التي تدلوا باراء مؤيدة للنظام بطرق متطرفة لايعني ان المسيحيين مؤيدين، فهناك قيادات دينية اسلامية مؤيدة للنظام وتشكل احد دعائمه الاساسية مثل البوطي وحسون وغيرهم.
5.هل ساهمت خلافات المعارضين بإطالة أمد الثورة؟
– الثورة وانا بشكل شخصي اريدها ان تبقى حتى بعد سقوط النظام كي تطهر الوطن من كل الاشنيات وكل رموز النظام، من اصغر موظف فاسد حتى بشار الأسد.  وكي تقضي ايضا على كل المعارضين الفاسدين المتسلقين الذين يشبهون النظام. لذلك فانا اقول اطال الله عمر الثورة.
6.تشتكون دوما من قلة الإهتمام الدولي بالثورة السورية على عكس ما حصل في ليبيا، الا تعتقدين أن التشرذم الحاصل بين قيادات المعارضة هو السبب الرئيسي في عدم اكتراث المجتمع الدولي لمطالبكم؟
لا ارى تشرذما في صفوف المعارضة السورية كما تصوره بعض وسائل الإعلام. الإختلاف بالرأي لا يعني تشرذما. حتى في امريكا هناك جمهوريين وديمقراطيين هم يختلفون في كل شيء لكنهم في النهاية متفقين على وحدة بلادهم وعلى ابقائها حرة ، كذلك في المعارضة السورية هناك اراء مختلفة لكن الهدف الاساس هو واحد وهو بناء دولة ديمقراطية واسقاط حكم ال الاسد. ارى ان سبب التخاذل في دعم الثورة بشكل فعلي هو عدم وجود مصلحة للغرب كما الحال في ليبيا من اجل مساندة الشعب السوري .
7.الناتو قالها منذ اليوم الأول ان التدخل العسكري في سورية صعب جدا، لماذا ما زلتم تطالبون حتى اليوم بتدخل عسكري، هل بسبب ضعف الثوار، أم السبب يعود إلى سطوة وقوة النظام؟
      – النظام ليس قوياً، الذي يخافي من صحافي مثل مازن درويش فيعتقله ويعذبه ويخفية لا اشهر طويلة ليس بنظام قوي بل يدل على انه نظام مرتعب وخائف وضعيف .بالمناسبة مازن درويش ليس اسلامي بل هو علوي. المطالبة بالتدخل العسكري جاءت في الاشهر الاخيرة بعد وقوع العشرات من المجازر وايضا جاءت كردة فعل على التدخل الروسي والايراني في سوريا والذي يطيل من عمر النظام.  لا اعتقد ان الحال ستبقى كما هي، واعتقد  ان قوة الجيش الحر على الارض وازديادها بشكل ملحوظ ستجبر الدول الغربية على التدخل.
8. رياض حجاب قال أن النظام لم يعد يسيطر على اكثر من ثلاثين بالمئة من الأراضي السورية، إذا كان هذا الكلام صحيح لماذا لا تأت معارضة الخارج وتقود المعارك من الأراضي المحررة؟، ولماذا إختار حجاب الذهاب إلى الأردن بعيد إنشقاقه؟
الاماكن المحررة مليئة بالثوار وبمقاتلي الجيش الحر، نرى كل يوم العشرات من الصحافيين الاجانب والعرب يدخلون إلى هذه المناطق ويصورنها. وبالمناسبة هناك الكثير من النشطاء الذي دخلوا لسوريا مؤخرا. لكن بالنسبة لرياض حجاب فخروجه لخارج سوريا قد يكون لاسباب سياسية بحتة بغية لقائه ببعض المعارضين. لكن هذا لاينفي ان كل الاماكن المحررة في سوريا هي معرضة لخطر القصف الجوي حيث كما راينا بسبب ضعف النظام على الارض وبسبب غياب الحظر الجوي النظام بدأ يلجأ لإستخدام الطائرات الحربية
9.صحف عالمية بدأت تحذر من تغلغل القاعدة في الجيش الحر، وتحرير باب الهوى ابسط مثال، برأيك هل هذا الكلام مقدمة لسحب الدول الغربية يدها من الأحداث السورية، وإيقاف الدعم الذي تقدمه للثوار؟، وكيف ستواجه هذه الدول وخاصة أميركا، وفرنسا مواطنيها، وهي التي شنت حروبا مطلع هذا القرن لمكافحة الإسلام المتشدد المتمثل في الفكر القاعدي، والطالباني؟
على العكس لو كان هناك فعلاً تواجد لمنظمات ارهابية مثل القاعدة وغيرها بشكل ملحوظ وواضح، فإن ذلك سيكون دافعاً اساسيا لهذه الدول كي تتدخل. فهذه الدول تدرك بان القاعدة وغيرها لاتحظى بأي تأييد شعبي في سوريا لكن هذه المنظمات قد تستغل الوضع الحالي كي تروج لأفكارها وتقاتل بشكل مستقل عن الجيش الحر.
10.ما تعليقك على الكلام الذي يقال أنه لو إستمرت الثورة على سلميتها لحققت إنجازات أكثر؟ وهل الجيش الحر قادر على هزيمة الجيش النظامي؟
كلنا اراد للثورة ان تكون سلمية، فكل من خرج في البداية خرج سلميا والنظام هو من بدأ بإطلاق النار على المتظاهرين. التسليح جاء كردة فعل متوقعة وكغريزة للبقاء على قيد الحياة. لايمكن ان تمنع شخص دمر بيته، او قتل اطفاله، او اغتصبت زوجته من ان يحمل السلاح للدفاع على ماتبقى له.
لا اعتقد ان هناك جيش نظامي في سوريا، الجيش السوري هو جيش اغلبه غير راض عما يجري، ومن يقوم بعمليات القتل هم بعض من قوات النخبة وبعض عصابات الشبيحة الطائفيين، لذلك اعتقد بان الجيش الحر سينتصر لأنه يحظى بإحتضان شعبي في اماكن القتال والتوتر
11.كيف تفسرين مشهد إلقاء الجثث من أسطح الأبنية في مدينة الباب، وهل هذا العمل يخدم الثورة، أم أن العالم سينظر إليها بصورة وحشية لا تقل عن النظام؟
لو كان هذا فعلا من فعل الثوار فهو عمل مدان ولقد ادانته كل مؤسسات المعارضة. احرار سوريا هم ضحايا عنف همجي اطلقه النظام ضد شعب ينشد الحرية والعدالة وسنحافظ على قيم الثورة في الحرية والعدالة مهما جرى . قد يخرج بعض الموتورين هنا وهناك المحسوبين على الثورة ، لكن علينا ادارك ان هناك فرق كبير بين نظام يدعي احتكاره للدولة، وبين ثورة شعبية ليس لها جسد مؤسساتي. الاخطاء تحدث احيانا من قبل الثوار، ونحن ننقدها لان لا احد فوق المحاسبة، بينما اخطاء النظام هي اخطاء ممنهجة بل هو نظام مبني على الخطأ.
12-في لبنان إستمرت الحرب الأهلية زهاء عشرين عاما، ولم ينتصر أحد وإضطر المحاربون بعدها إلى الجلوس على طاولة واحدة، لماذا لا تأخذون العبرة من لبنان، وتبادرون إلى الجلوس على طاولة حوار تجمعكم مع الموالين؟
ماجرى في لبنان لا يقارن في مايجري في سوريا. في سوريا لدينا ثورة ضد نظام مستبد جاثم على الحكم منذ حوالي نصف قرن. هو بطبيعته رافض لأي حوار او منطق. فنحن على سبيل المثال كنا مجموعة من الشباب كلنا في العشرينات من العمر،قمنا قبل بداية الثورة في الاول من اذار بتوزيع مناشير تطالب بالحوار وبالحرية فتم اعتقالنا وتعذيبنا بشكل وحشي. اي حوار او محاكمة منطقية سيكون النظام خاسر فيها ستكون النتيجة الوحيدة لها هو رحيل النظام لذلك فهو يرفض الحوار بطبيعته.
13-كما للمعارضة أنصارها، فللنظام كذلك، عندما تطالبون برحيل جميع رموز النظام الا تعتقدون ان الموالين سوف يتشبثون أكثر بالقتال إلى جنب النظام لأن معركتهم أصبحب تمثل معركة حياة او موت؟
وجود انصار للنظام لا يبرئه من الجرائم التي ارتكبها. بالنهاية كلنا سوريين ولانسعى للإنتقام، عائلة الاسد هي عائلة مارقة لاتمثل احد وعلى مؤيدي النظام ان يدركوا جيداً ان المعركة بيننا وبينهم ليست معركة حياة او موت بل ثورة تسعى للوصل لسوريا حرة كريمة نعيش فيها كلنا بكرامة واخوة.
14-لماذا عجزت الثورة عن إختراق الأقليات؟
لا ارى اي معايير  تستند عليها في هذا السؤال. كثير من ابناء الأقليات في سوريا كانوا معارضين اشداء لنظام حافظ الاسد، بل جزء كبير منهم كانوا رموزا للنضال ضد النظام. وحاليا، يشارك الجيل الجديد من ابناء الاقليات في مقارعة النظام. وانا في المعتقل التقيت بالكثير من المعتقلين المسيحيين والعلويين والدورز وحينما كنت اشارك في المظاهرات كان ابناء الاقليات يشكلون جزء اكبر من نسبتهم حتى في سوريا . طبعا هناك بعض الخوف من قبل الأقليات في سوريا، وهذا طبيعي لاننا لم نشعر بالمواطنية في سوريا تحت حكم الاسد والذي لطالما عاملنا كمواطني درجة ثانية.
15-بعض المعارضين نظروا إليك على أنك تعملين مع النظام وتستفيدين من شخصيتك الجذابة، والقوية في نخر صفوف المعارضة، هل هذا الكلام هو بدافع الحسد من الدور الذي تقوم به هديل كوكي؟
دوري مثل دور عشرات الالاف من النشطاء في سوريا، ولا اقوم باي دور خاص. كل مافي الامر اني ارفض الظلم واريد لوطني الحرية والكرامة . جزء كثير من النشطاء السوريين الذين ينتمون للأقليات تمت مهاجمتهم من قبل مواقع مشبوهة واشخاص مختبئة خلف اسماء وهمية وانا اشك بان من يقف وراء هذا هو النظام لانه يريد تصوير الصراع في سوريا على انه صراع بين نظام ” علماني” وبين اسلاميين فوجود ابناء اقليات في الصفوف الأولى ليس في صالح النظام
16-في حال سقوط النظام كيف سيكون شكل العلاقة بين علمانيي الثورة، ومشايخ الدين الذين يظهرون نزعة تطرفية كالشيخ عدنان العرعور، هل سيغلب رأيكم في النهاية ان أنكم ستسلمون للأمر الواقع بفعل التركيبة الطائفية المعقدة في سورية؟
لن يغلب راي على اخر في سوريا المستقبل، سيكون الحكم هي صناديق الاقتراع وانا اعتبر ان سورية تختلف عن عدة دول عربية انتصرت فيها الثورات كما مصر بسبب التنوع الثقافي الكبير. لذلك لن يستبد راي على اخر في سوريا.. واعتقد ان الثورة التي ستنصر على نظام من اكثر النظم الإجرامية في العالم لن تتوقف عند اي راي مستبد اخر. انا سورية مسيحية اؤمن بان المسيح هو مخلصي والهي وعقيدتي هي عقيدة عدالة وحرية سادافع عنها في وجه كل مستبد سواء كان الأسد او غيره.

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August 22nd, 2012, 9:32 pm


87. Ghufran said:

أعلن “حزب العمال الكردستاني”، “مقتل وإصابة عشرة جنود أتراك بينهم خمسة ضباط خلال اشتباكات مسلحة وقعت قرب الحدود العراقية”.
ولفت الجناح المسلح للحزب في بيان له إلى أن “اشتباكات مسلحة اندلعت في الأيام الثلاثة الماضية بين مسلحي الكردستاني والجيش التركي قرب الحدود العراقية”، مؤكدا أن “حصيلة المعارك أسفرت عن مقتل سبعة جنود أتراك بينهم خمسة برتبة ضباط وإصابة ثلاثة جنود آخرين فضلا عن تدمير عربة عسكرية من نوع “هامر”.
ونفى الحزب “الأنباء التي نشرتها الصحافة التركية عن مقتل ستة من مسلحي العمال الكردستاني على أيدي القوات التركية”.

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August 22nd, 2012, 9:42 pm


88. Syrialover said:

59. Johannes de Silentio

Hate to bother giving any more airspace to the spammer “Ann” (who must be thrilled at the biggest highlight of their empty life getting any attention) but your comments aren’t accurate. The language used is not that of someone with English as a second language. It is more like an American who is not particualarly articulate or grown up.

And “Ann” is not Syrian, that is powerfully clear from the dumb comments posted. Please do not insult Syrians.

The mask has slipped a couple of times by references to “we” , such as “we want jobs, Mrs Clinton”, ie Americans.

What we DO know is that “Ann” is creepy and bored and not posting here out of genuine interest in the issue.

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August 22nd, 2012, 10:26 pm


89. Azmeh said:

Visitor #69,

They say the only thing worse than someone who doesn’t know is someone who doesn’t WANT to know. Your comment in #69 is yet another testament of the inability or unwillingness to listen and comprehend. You, willingly or not, mischaracterized everything I’ve said:

1. I expressed my sentiment, but never advocated or proposed an approach.
2. I never mentioned the FSA in any way, but did speak of well-funded fundamentalist elements within the various rebel groups (which is a fact) who are taking over the fight against the regime.
3. I never advocated or intimated that the regime should stay. Rather, in every post, I said the regime is already done, and has no chance of political survival.
4. In case you also don’t understand colloquial Syrian, the expression بدنا ناكل عنب، مو نقتل الناطور refers to our interest in the well-being of the country, rather than retribution. The intent here is that that the long-term interest of Syria (unity, stability, etc) should trump revenge against regime, however appealing it may be.

The rest of the post, frankly, is a bandaid-ed patchwork of disjointed slogans and ill-fitting quotes that make as little sense as they sound profound. Again, what is needed here is mature dialogue based on critical thinking and sound reasoning, which clearly is lacking here.

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August 22nd, 2012, 10:49 pm


90. Syrialover said:

I don’t know why all this energy is being expended criticizing “Miss Piggy” Hillary Clinton. I am not a personal fan of her and US foreign policy, but I think there is a lot of petty comment here.

Hillary Clinton comes across as a very high form of life and a top class act if compared with Putin or the “leaders” of Iran.

She has at least repeatedly condemned Bashar Assad’s actions and brought them to attention around the world. For which we can be grateful. In contrast, those others identify with Assad, support him and have refused to say anything against what he is doing.

And by the way, she is 65 years old. So the silly sexist comments about her appearance are rubbish. Many of her male counterparts who are actually younger look far more worn out and haggard.

Mrs C. is also infinitely superior in appearance and character to Bashar Assad’s representative Dr Bouthaina Shabaan, the ugliest woman in the world, both inside and out.

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August 22nd, 2012, 10:52 pm


91. Ghufran said:

لعبة الشطرنج
يموت الجميع ليحيا الملك

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August 22nd, 2012, 11:04 pm


92. VISITOR said:


We have to disagree and leave at that.

1. You do not have a monopoly over the interests or the well-being of the country.

2. I do not believe you’re qualified to be judgemental regarding anyone else’s abilities.

3. I and others understood your arguments quite well. And we did reply accordingly.

4 My Syrian colloquialism is quite sound, I can assure you. Your colloquial expression was well understood. Frankly it doesn’t belong in here. Did you understand mine, however?

5. I and many others maintain that the so-called Islamists infiltration of the FSA is no more than an exaggerated scarecrow. Their presence or lack thereof alongside the FSA will not make much difference now or in the future. I can assure you that no one on this site, including those so-called love-you-forever (menhebkji bunch) who know full well this is no more than a propaganda ploy, really think that these so-called Islamists would have any effect on Syria’s future.

6. You did advocate an approach or two actually. And I’m not interested in an English 101 duel to prove that out of your own words.

7. I and many others who participate in commenting here do not have the time to check our spellings or grammatical accuracies as we have other occupations. This blogging activity is a mere sideshow. Otherwise, if we have the time we can dazzle you with eloquence. So please do not play this naive condescending attitude on us because it would not work. As long as you understood what we meant that’s all that matters. We’re way past proving anything to anyone.

8. Again your approach does not result in depolarization. When you have newer ideas we would be quite eager to look at them.

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August 22nd, 2012, 11:22 pm


93. Ghufran said:

مأمون خليفة: لا امكانية لحكم الاخوان المسلمين في سوريا وكان على اميركا ان تستدرك ما قامت به في وقت سابق
بدوره، يعلّق المعارض السوري مأمون خليفة على ما يُحكى عن خلافات بين واشنطن والمجلس الوطني السوري قد تصل لحد قطع العلاقات لاحتجاج الادارة الاميركية على كيفية ادارة المجلس للأمور، قائلا: “أميركا ودول الغرب واكبت نشأة هذا المجلس وسارت معه خطوة بخطوة خلال الاشهر الماضية وبالتالي كان الحري بهم أن يلاحظوا ويستدركوا ما شاركوا به بوقت سابق”.
ويشير خليفة الى ان الاميركيين يدركون تماما ان الاخوان المسلمين هم من يديرون دفة المجلس الوطني ويبرزون أسماء هنا وهناك كديكور فيما هم يقررون بكل شاردة وواردة فيه، ويضيف: “الاخوان تعاطوا مع الثورة منذ تاريخ انطلاقها وهم وبعكس الكثير من المعارضين السوريين لم يشاركوا بالاعداد لها، لكن بحكم علاقاتهم وتأييد بعض الدول الغربية لهم كانوا السبّاقين في تشكيل هذاالمجلس”.
ويؤكد خليفة الا امكانية لان يحكم الاخوان بعد سقوط النظام الحالي باعتبار ان التكوين الاجتماعي السوري مختلف كليا عن المجتمعين التونسي والمصري، ويردف: “كما ان الاخوان ارتكبوا أخطاء لن تساعدهم في المرحلة الانتقالية لعل ابرزها محاولتهم صبغ الثورة بلون ديني معيّن ما قد يفرض التقسيم”.
وفيما ينتقد خليفة محاولات البعض تضخيم أعداد التكفيريين المتواجدين في سوريا، يؤكد ان عدد هؤلاء لا يتخطى الـ300، ويضيف: “النظام السوري يعمل على تضخيم الامور للقول انّه يحمي المنطقة من القاعدة والتكفيريين محاولا اظهارهم انّهم البديل المرعب، علما ان 95% من القوى المدنية هي التي تحمل السلاح مقابل اعداد قليلة من التكفيريين”.
ويرى خليفة أن عدم اتخاذ المجتمع الدولي قرارا باسقاط النظام حتى الساعة، ينطلق اولا من عامل أميركي داخلي يحول دون التعاطي مباشرة مع الشأن السوري………….”.

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August 22nd, 2012, 11:29 pm


94. VISITOR said:

Heavy fighting along the Syrian- Jordanian border, while the FSA conducts military parade in Aleppo,

So now, All Syrian borders are on fire. Which one will burst first and escalate to an all-out war?

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August 23rd, 2012, 12:30 am


95. SYR.EXPAT said:

Lebanon’s president is expecting Assad to call him and offer clarifications regarding Syria’s alleged role in the Samaha case. Who would have expected that?

سليمان بانتظار توضيحات من الأسد بشأن سماحة

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August 23rd, 2012, 12:47 am


96. Juergen said:

Here is the picture of the russian naval base in Tartous

There are reports that Russia is evacuating from its base, that may be the best sign that Russia does not see any future in the Assad regime. Given this support of Assad, its very unlikely that the Russians will keep this base for much longer.

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August 23rd, 2012, 1:02 am


98. Juergen said:


I think the best thing one could say about Clinton is that she got elected, and there is an gurantee that she will leave office. What we see with Putin is the path to a total dictatorship, democracy has lost once more in Russia. I even tend to think it has never reached Russia.

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August 23rd, 2012, 1:34 am


99. Shami said:

This is very true ,but it’s not only khomainism ,assad’s kind of sectarian 3asabiya began on the ground prior to the khomainist iran.I would say that it’s the dominant mindset in the alawite community unfortunately.

Syrian Sunnis are the most non-sectarian anywhere in the Arab and the Muslim world.

I mentioned previously that sectarianism is being imposed upon the Syrians and perhaps other Sunnis in the region by the sectarian forces unleashed by Khomeinism. This is a topic that may take volumes to explain. Unfortunately, the Syrian regime also did its best to fuel this monster and it continues to do so.

Any sectarianism exhibited by Syrian Sunnis due to recent events is not more than a reaction and is not a an innate character of Syrian Sunnis.

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August 23rd, 2012, 2:03 am


100. Shami said:

The alawites who are not falling in this suicidal followism must be encouraged :

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August 23rd, 2012, 2:08 am


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