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:

Joshua,

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.

News

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)


1. ghufran said:

في أول تصريح لوسائل الإعلام بعد تحريره من سجون الاحتلال الصهيوني بعد 27 عاما جدد عميد الأسرى السوريين “صدقي المقت” العزم على مواصلة درب النضال والمقاومة ، مؤكدا أن مقاومة الاحتلال ستتواصل بعد عودته إلى الأهل في الجولان المحتل ، وقال المقت “الآن وقبل عودتي حرا إلى أهلي في كل قرية جولانية عزيزة على قلبي أطلقها صرخة مدوية في وجه كل أصحاب المشروع التآمري الإجرامي.. إن وحدتنا الوطنية ونسجينا الاجتماعي وجيشنا العربي السوري الباسل خط أحمر وستخرج سورية منتصرة على أعدائها المتآمرين ”
According to Accidental Internet Revolutionarists, AIRs, every Syrian who does not speak ill of the army is a Shabeeh,and according to armed rebels,every Shabeeh must be killed.
Educated and level headed Syrians should not act like AIRs or Shabeehas,Syria does not need neither.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 39 Thumb down 18

August 22nd, 2012, 9:35 am

 

2. ghufran said:

we all know who messed up Iraq:
generations of abuse and oppression by the previous Iraqi regimes, Iran, KSA after Shia took over the government ,and the US invasion in 2003.
The same can happen to Syria,we had almost 50 years of Baathist rule,42 of which was under Assads, regional powers are meddling in Syrian affairs, and foreign governments are waiting to create a similar mess in Syria using force or other methods to assert their control and protect their step daughter,Israel.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 37 Thumb down 20

August 22nd, 2012, 9:40 am

 

3. VISITOR said:

FSA shot down helicopter near Idlib.

—————————

Latest mouthpiece Qadri Jamil’s so-called proposal dismissed, by both SNC (not that they really matter) and political ME experts as empty maneuvering by a falling regime trying to hang to phantom straws,

http://www.aljazeera.net/news/pages/6a34295f-9818-4c98-a6df-f03fe5d73cd9?GoogleStatID=1

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 39

August 22nd, 2012, 10:05 am

 

4. ghufran said:

A top FSA commander, Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, said the rebels now controlled 60 percent of Aleppo, the now battered manufacturing hub that was largely spared the fighting until a month ago.
“The people are with us,” he said. “How else do you think we could have lasted a month?”
But a security source in Damascus dismissed the claims as “completely false.”
“The terrorists are not advancing, it is the army that is making slow progress,” he said, but added: “Reinforcements from both sides are heading to Aleppo. It is a war that will last a long time.”
Comment: as long as Reef Halab is partially or mostly under rebels control,weapons and men will continue to come to Aleppo and this fight can take weeks or months before it is over,but even then,the damage to the city will be enormous,only evil minds will see this outcome as a victory to either side.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 19

August 22nd, 2012, 10:10 am

 

5. yacoub said:

just a note from a grateful reader to Dr Landis- it is wrong to call the PKK the Syrian Communist Party: the Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê (PKK) is not the same organisation as any faction of the Syrian Communist Party, whether that of Khalid Bakhdash, Qadri Jamil, or any other…

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August 22nd, 2012, 10:15 am

 
 

7. Son of Damascus said:

Yamamoto’s last moments:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9491546/Syria-last-footage-filmed-by-killed-Japanese-journalist-released.html

May she rest in peace.

Second video embedded in the link is of her Husband that was there with here, his account is very sad.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 36

August 22nd, 2012, 10:55 am

 

8. zoo said:

I fully agree with Joshua analysis.

The sunni ‘Islamists’ thrive to integrate Iraq and Syria under the Sunni dominance is a much worse threat to Maliki that a ‘secular’ Iraqi Kurds limited self governing
Maliki knows that the only ‘independence’ Irak-Kurdistan can aim for is an ‘economical’ independance. Any attempt of “separation” will immediately bring in Turkey and Iran to oppose it.

It is very clear that Maliki is doing the right thing in supporting the PKK in Syria that will create troubles to both Barzani and Erdogan, help Syria, all with very little future risks.

I believe that Iran thinks exactly the same and is working to help the PKK in defending Syria from the Turkish and Sunni menace.

Bashar is benefiting enormously from that in short term as it is relieving his army from controlling these areas and hampering Turkey support for the rebels.
A very smart concerted move from Bashar and Maliki

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August 22nd, 2012, 10:58 am

 

9. ghufran said:

لجيش السوري الحراعلن ما اسماه انسحاباً تكتيكياً من مدينة الحراك بمحافظة درعا جنوبي البلاد بسبب “نفاد الذخيرة”

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 40

August 22nd, 2012, 11:26 am

 

10. zoo said:

Teeth grinding in the USA

Iran to host 30 leaders at ‘historic’ NAM summit
AFPBy Marc Burleigh | AFP

http://news.yahoo.com/iran-host-30-leaders-historic-nam-summit-150630580.html?_esi=1

“So far, more than 100 countries have said they are ready to participate, and around 30 nations will be represented by presidents, prime ministers or vice-presidents, which is a very good number,” Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the ISNA news agency.

The Tehran summit, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “is the greatest political summit in Iran’s history.”

Thumb up 27 Thumb down 20

August 22nd, 2012, 11:29 am

 

11. Tara said:

Zoo

What is so historic about it? I thought those countries take turns in who leads and hosts the summit…

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August 22nd, 2012, 11:33 am

 

12. Azmeh said:

The discourse among Syrians regarding the crisis afflicting our country is depressing, and even more so because, due to its very nature (English language blog), it’s supposed to cater to the more educated amongst us, and presumably, those more exposed to democracy, dialogue, etc.

Scanning through the comments here on SC, but also in talking to friends and family, it seems 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. In the process, the country, and its social fabric is being systematically destroyed.

The two camps are: 1. Support the regime – either due to fear of the alternative or because of interests/ideology; or 2. Bring about the end of the regime – at any cost, with total disregard to the fact that the the vast majority of the opposition has proven itself no better the regime they despise.

While I have long been opposed to this regime, I’m more concerned with the long-term well-being of the country than I am about exacting retribution. In this highly consequential conflict, I think a more analytical, non-emotional and nuanced approach is needed.

First, our prognosis needs a little more depth. While it’s true that the Assad/Baath regime since 1963 has delivered Syria to this terrible predicament, there is much more going on here. Notwithstanding the truth that the regime’s brutal reaction to the early demonstrations virtually dragged the country to the current civil war, the Syrian conflict, as it now, has long ceased being about Syrians, freedom, democracy, opportunity, equality, etc. though these are the legitimate hooks needed to advance a much wider geostrategic agenda. The West never cared about Syrian human rights or democracy; this is a self-evident fact that should not require much elaboration. Even more laughable are the Gulf Tribedoms where people have far fewer rights and freedoms, and whose ‘states’ have even less institutions than Syria. So, the claims of the West or the Gulfies about protecting the Syrian people rings hypocritical, at best. It also shouldn’t require much analysis to understand that this conflict is a key element of a much larger, multi-phased political, economic and eventually military ‘war’ being waged on Iran to weaken its regional power and influence. And, finally, I believe that there is a considerable energy component that is at play in this conflict as well. It’s no secret that massive gas fields have been discovered off the Israeli coast (some contested by Lebanon) as well as around Cyprus. It is thought (check USGS website) that there is much more gas to be found in the waters off the Lebanese and Syrian coasts as well. This might explain why Russia, which is the world’s largest gas exporter with a monopoly on gas supplies to Europe, as well as China with a massive and growing energy-thirsty economy, are fighting to keep Syria within their orbit. Not unrelated, the energy pipelines from Iran, Egypt and elsewhere – whether to Banyas (Syria), Tripoli (Lebanon) or Ceyhan (Turkey) all must pass through Syria. The point here is that Syria has long turned into a battlefield for larger powers trying to project their influence and improve their negotiating leverage ahead of the grand bargain that is surely coming.

What this necessitates is an unemotional and sophisticated position/response by Syrians, which unfortunately has been sorely lacking. In my opinion, the regime of Bashar Assad has long fallen, in the way we’ve all known it. He’s virtually finished, and however this conflict ends, I simply cannot see a scenario in which he and his team/party survives. So, the responsibility now is to safeguard the state institutions, the cultural wealth and the fragile society, particularly because the Baath/Assads have left it so devoid of political infrastructure and, frankly, intellectual horsepower, to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. However one disagrees/detests the current (and previous) regime, any patriotic and responsible Syrian has to care about what is in store for Syria post-Assad. That a new Syria will emerge is not in question; what should be of concern is what this new Syria will look like. Unsavory and unbearable as this regime is, Syrians cannot afford to live with the outcome of bringing down the regime at any cost. Today, for the talk of a diverse opposition, the extremist Salafi fundamentalist, Wahhabi Islamists, funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are on the ascent. Numbers notwithstanding, they have the financing, the weapons, the support and media cover to act…and they are increasingly hijacking the agenda and the slogans. That said, their agenda, ideology, lexicon and even looks are alien to Syrian culture. While I supported the people who took to the streets chanting “واحد واحد واحد الشعب السوري واحد” and other similar peaceful slogans, I cannot today accept having armed Talibanish thugs with an agenda that, outside of deposing Assad, can be summarized by covering women and chopping limbs, hijack the legitimate demands of Syrians – especially knowing that these groups are doing the outsiders’ bidding, to advance a much larger agenda of ‘flipping’ Syria to a different camp, with no regard to the long-term interests of the Syrian people.

So, with much disgust, I think that the regime should not be brought down by this opposition. From my perspective, the best outcome would be for either: 1. The regime to put an end to this armed and bloody rebellion, knowing that it’s finished anyway, and must relinquish/transition power – willingly or otherwise; or 2. The regime to fight the rebels to a standstill. In both cases, a larger deal must be brokered that includes the US, Russia, Iran & Turkey (maybe even Saudi) that, among other (broader) deal terms, includes the political make-up and orientation of post-Assad Syria that, hopefully, ensures that the country is a client of neither the Saudis nor the Iranians, and whose wealth and future belongs to its people.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 44 Thumb down 20

August 22nd, 2012, 11:35 am

 

13. zoo said:

Tara

It is historical in many ways.

- This is the first time it is held in Iran since the creation of the NAM (1961)

- This is the first time in 33 years that an Egyptian president goes to Iran.

- This is first meeting after important political changes in the ME. The last one was in Sharm El Sheikh under Hosni Mobarak in the hay days of USA-Egypt love affair.

- Despite the USA claims that Iran is “isolated”, no NAM countries appear to boycott it.

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August 22nd, 2012, 12:06 pm

 

14. VISITOR said:

12 AZMEH,

While you present a long, sound and good analysis, you fail to present any workable alternatives.

Your first solution:

“1. The regime to put an end to this armed and bloody rebellion, knowing that it’s finished anyway, and must relinquish/transition power – willingly or otherwise;”

Plays right into the hands of the regime as its main objective of its scorched earth policy is the subjugation of the population for another 50 or may be 100 years. In other words, you want the regime to achieve once again a new-post-1983-7hama Syria albeit this time on a much larger scale.

Your second solution:

“2. The regime to fight the rebels to a standstill. In both cases, a larger deal must be brokered that includes the US, Russia, Iran & Turkey (maybe even Saudi) that, among other (broader) deal terms, includes the political make-up and orientation of post-Assad Syria that, hopefully, ensures that the country is a client of neither the Saudis nor the Iranians, and whose wealth and future belongs to its people.”

Is many steps backwards as it implies the Taefization of Syria. You just have to look over your left shoulder into Lebanon to know what that means.

I still maintain that this is a Syrian affair and it must remain so for the good of Syria. It is the regime, and particularly post 2000, that threw the country into this storm of regional politics and vendetta by surrendering the country to the will and designs of the Iranian mullahs, another reason for the Syrian people to get rid of it and not give it another chance no matter what it takes.

————————

11 TARA,

Nothing so historic about it. It is just one more item to posture about by menhebkji mentality which falls into the well known category of feel-good, see-no-evil, hear-no-evil the idol is winning and love-you-for-ever-die-for-you-always.

After the so-called conference which in effect lost its raison-d’etre since alignments have lost their meaning after the fall of communism every one will go home and it will be business as usual.

So, they had a meeting in Mecca just a week or so ago and Nejjad was there. Did anything change? Not a single shift in anyone’s policies. just kiss-kiss, get the hell out of my face afterwards. That’s all.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 41

August 22nd, 2012, 12:36 pm

 

15. jna said:

“Although the Syrian regime has said in the past that it is open to unconditional negotiations, Mr Jamil went further by explicitly saying everything could be discussed, including the resignation of President Assad.”

Adding fuel to the fire….”However, the US said there was nothing new in his remarks, and Washington wanted Mr Assad to go quickly. “Frankly, we didn’t see anything terribly new there,” said US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19329637

Of course the most vocal Syrian Revos would rather see tens of thousands more Syrians killed and Syria destroyed rather than lowering themselves to agreeing to anything less than complete capitulation by the regime.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 36 Thumb down 21

August 22nd, 2012, 1:07 pm

 

16. Azmeh said:

Visitor,

I don’t deny that both options are unpleasant and tough pills to swallow, but the alternative of a drawn-out civil war that further disintegrates the social fabric of the country, fragments it (by region) and sets up for a hardline-Islamic Saudi client state is even worse. My logic here is NOT (in any way) to rescue the existing regime. Rather, by not having it totally defeated (though it already lost), it will ensure a compromise that guards against the above scenario.

As for your point about the regime subjugating Syrians for another 50 years, I think this is no longer viable. As I noted, the regime is virtually finished already. The fight now if for what comes after.

Finally, regarding the Taefization of Syria, I believe that it’s the continuation of this conflict that will ensure a similar outcome to that of Lebanon (and I might say Iraq); a fragmented, sectarian society with a dsyfunctional government.

Finally, yes, there is no doubt that the regime placed Syria too much into the hands of the Iranians. We clearly want to fix that (along with numerous other things like human development, infrastructure, economic reforms, etc). But, that is not by taking the course that will switch Iran for Saudi Arabia. They’re both equally bad. A draw in this conflict will ensure a more balanced settlement.

Finally, blindly calling for the destruction of the regime with no alternative or thought of what replaces it is irresponsible, at best.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 46 Thumb down 22

August 22nd, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

17. VISITOR said:

“Of course the most vocal Syrian Revos would rather see tens of thousands more Syrians killed and Syria destroyed rather than lowering themselves to agreeing to anything less than complete capitulation by the regime.”

We all know and the world knows who started the killing and who is still doing the killing.

The revos do not have tanks or heavy artillery. the regime does and is using them against population centers. The revos only have some anti-armor weapons and they bare justified in using them against the regime’s killing machine.

The revos do not have fighter jets or helicopters. The regime does and is using them against population centers. The revos have some anti aircraft weapons and are justified in using them against the regime’s killing machine.

The revos do not have criminal shabi7ha. The regime does and is using them to terrorize the people and perpetuate massacres and crimes against humanity. The revos have the right to confront the criminals thugs and eliminate them by any means available.

There is only one killer and that is the regime and its henchmen. The regime must be eliminated.

—————————-

16 AZMEH,

“My logic here is NOT (in any way) to rescue the existing regime. Rather, by not having it totally defeated (though it already lost), it will ensure a compromise that guards against the above scenario.”

This is where I have a problem with your logic. Without totally defeating the regime, the only thing you achieve is the replication of the 1983 7Hama scenario. You play right into the hand of the regime.

The regime must be defeated. Further it must not be allowed an honorable exit and accountibility for its crimes must take precedence over anything else. There is no way to rebuild a New Syria unless Justice and the Rule of Law become paramount. We owe the martyrs who fell that debt and we must not fail them.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 43

August 22nd, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

18. Azmeh said:

Visitor,

Your comments bring me back to my very first point about the discourse, the extreme opinions, the polarization and the inability to think rationally and unemotionally.

The exact same slogans were been said about Iraq prior to the Iraqi invasion. So? The brutal regime was brought down, and justice was served to the dictator. Where is Iraq now? We can discuss the state of human rights and rule of law, economic development, etc. Iraq has gone back several generations as a result of the justice that you advocate.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 41 Thumb down 19

August 22nd, 2012, 1:34 pm

 

19. Ghufran said:

ذكرت تقارير صحفية في ألمانيا أن النظام السوري لا يمتلك فقط ترسانة شاملة من الأسلحة الكيماوية بل يمتلك كذلك العديد من المواد البيولوجية التي تستخدم في الحروب.
وفي مقال له نشرته صحيفة “دي فيلت” الألمانية الصادرة اليوم الأربعاء، كتب هانز روله خبير الأسلحة الألماني أن النظام السوري يعمل على إعداد مسببات أمراض يمكن استخدامها حربيا لإحداث أمراض منها الجمرة الخبيثة

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 43

August 22nd, 2012, 1:38 pm

 

20. SANDRO LOEWE said:

AZME

When you say that oppositors want:

2. Bring about the end of the regime – at any cost, with total disregard to the fact that the the vast majority of the opposition has proven itself no better the regime they despise.

It seems you forget we are talking about to ideas or concepts of state that are absolutely incompatible. It is not possible to reach an agreement on a democracy leaving those who beneffited from worst of corruptions while massacred civil and unarmed population. Or agreeing on democracy structures while leaving armed gangs in the security apparatus.

Or maybe you pretend that oppositors will accept a new dictatorship free of Assads.

This is not that simple. After massacres that could amount to 25.000 or even 50.000 people, people cannot accept by any mean any remembrance of the old regime.

Like it or not this is how it works. Blood once spread needs justice.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 40

August 22nd, 2012, 2:03 pm

 

21. VISITOR said:

18 AZMEH,

OK so you are advocating a pacifist approach and that’s where we differ.

I simply do not think you can achieve any of your objectives with your approach with this kind of regime.

The parallel with Iraq invasion is not relevant. No one is planning an invasion of Syria – at least with the current status quo as is.

So, I also go back to my original thesis exactly as you did. And here it is again,

“I still maintain that this is a Syrian affair and it must remain so for the good of Syria. It is the regime, and particularly post 2000, that threw the country into this storm of regional politics and vendetta by surrendering the country to the will and designs of the Iranian mullahs, another reason for the Syrian people to get rid of it and not give it another chance no matter what it takes.”

There is no room for the current regime. If you review further the pages of this same blog and go back in time, you will find endless discussions about why this current regime cannot be offered any compromises. Besides its criminal and corrupt nature, it is non-reformable and sectarian to the core.

You remind me of Mrs. Clinton’s first statement that she made when the uprising began a year and a half ago. She spoke of a regime that must initiate reforms thus giving the criminal thugs the first chance to get off the hook of the pressure it was facing from the peaceful demonstrators. Whether willingly or unwillingly she played right into the hand of the criminal thugs. And then the mantra continued with more buying time so-called diplomatic initiatives that were only used to commit more crimes. Does Mrs. Clinton still think this regime should be given more time to kill? Does she even feel sorry for letting down the innocent demonstrators by her irresponsible pronouncements? Does she at least feel that she should have kept her mouth shut and not say anything and let those poor people take care of their own revolution? Judging from her latest dance performance in SA, I doubt it.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 38

August 22nd, 2012, 2:07 pm

 

22. zoo said:

Tara

One more reason why it is “historic” : The UN defies boycott calls from the USA and Israel

U.N. chief defies U.S., Israel; plans trip to Iran
ReutersBy Louis Charbonneau | Reuters – 20 mins ago

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend a summit meeting of leaders of non-aligned developing nations in Iran next week, defying calls from the United States and Israel to boycott the event, a U.N. spokesman said on Wednesday.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters that Ban will be in Tehran August 29-31 for a meeting of some 120 non-aligned nations, and for bilateral talks with senior Iranian officials.

“With respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Secretary-General will use the opportunity to convey the clear concerns and expectations of the international community,” he said. “These include Iran’s nuclear program, terrorism, human rights and the crisis in Syria.”

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 20

August 22nd, 2012, 2:09 pm

 

23. zoo said:

Azmeh

A voice of wisdom amid calls for bloody vendettas.

Ignore the thumbs/down, they do not reflect the reality. They are known to be added artificially by an internet trick.
Get ready for a flow of negative thumbs.
It usually reflects the fact that your argument is disturbing many.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 41 Thumb down 21

August 22nd, 2012, 2:41 pm

 

24. ann said:

Azmeh

Those who are attacking you are NOT Syrians ;)

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 22

August 22nd, 2012, 2:48 pm

 

25. Ghufran said:

تركيا :مقتل 4 جنود في انفجار عبوة ناسفة في ولاية هكاري
- 22/08/2012 – 21:20:18

Thumb up 32 Thumb down 16

August 22nd, 2012, 2:51 pm

 

26. Tara said:

Zoo

And that would seal his future lack of renewal as the head of the UN for a next term. Would that be considered a loss?

Ah….I just saw your comment about the thumbs.. Since when men are into popularity contest? Are we now seeing the soft side of you?

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 31

August 22nd, 2012, 2:56 pm

 

27. VISITOR said:

“Azmeh

Those who are attacking you are NOT Syrians”

Yeah right Azmeh!!!

This same spammer, is an avowed racist, anti-Syria, anti-Arab, ant-Muslim advocator of the killing of Syrians and applauder of more killings.

You will not miss her terrorist applauses and remarks on this same blog.

And she’s probably American, and she could be in close association and collusion with the same racist scandalous Ann Coulter. That’s probably why she chose her monikor!! May be to express her affection.

And I am her arch-nemesis.

If you do not know who Ann Coulter is, then google the name.

Congratulations, you have just stumbled on the biggest gold mine of Syrian affairs ‘discussion’ boards, if there is any discussion left after you weed out the endless spams and the menhebkji propaganda.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 38

August 22nd, 2012, 3:03 pm

 

28. SANDRO LOEWE said:

24. ann said:

“Azmeh, Those who are attacking you are NOT Syrians”

Right, like those who are being massacred by Assad, who are not syrians, they are just dirty, ignorant and rude peasentry. They do not deserve being syrians. Syrian nationality should be given only to Damascus and Aleppo people supporting the regime. Very wise and fascist from your side. Vomiting.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 36

August 22nd, 2012, 3:08 pm

 

29. Syrialover said:

A realistic summary of Assad’s doomed stupid strategy:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/world/middleeast/Syria.html?pagewanted=all

Syria Using Fear Tactics in Damascus

….Analysts said the effort — in which the government invades but does not hold an area — underscores the challenge that Mr. Assad faces as he tries to defeat an insurgency that often slips away only to resurface. It is an effort that experts describe as the opposite of the “winning hearts and minds” model, based instead on the Arabic saying “rule is based on awe.”

“Terror is the basic approach,” said Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Center for the Middle East. “From the beginning of the uprising the logic was hit and hit hard, punish and scare, and that would be the way to do it.”

But he added, “It’s a crazy logic, and it has not served them well.” While the approach worked when the Syrian government suppressed a revolt in Hama in the 1980s, he said, the current effort to intimidate the country into calm is increasingly showing signs of failure.

The opposition throughout Syria has not broken; it has scattered and regrouped. In many areas, from north to south, the government has claimed that its mission has been accomplished, or would be quickly, only to have the rebels resurface to fight again with help from local residents.

In Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, the government has tried nearly everything, including missile strikes from fighter jets, but while rebel brigades have retreated temporarily from some areas, they have created what amounts to formal rotation schedules in others. They have also completed their own successful hit-and-run ambushes on the military airport that is the main base for government troops, and on the city center, while food and other supplies have been provided by wealthy residents.

In the region around the southern city of Dara’a, where the uprising began, the pattern has been similar. On Tuesday, rebel leaders said they were retreating from several areas because of an ammunition shortage, but on Wednesday, they reported reoccupying some of the locations they had fled.

There are also many areas, more distant from the most concentrated fighting, where the government’s forces have retreated as rebels make incremental gains.

Deir al-Zour is one example. An area deep into the east of the country, about 300 miles from Damascus, it has seen intense fighting at various times during the nearly 18-month-old conflict, but in recent weeks, the battle has taken on what rebels there described as a familiar pattern: government troops based outside the city, and with little knowledge of the area, use air power and shelling, but not much else….

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 35

August 22nd, 2012, 3:15 pm

 

30. Syrialover said:

VISITOR

“Ann” is American. Very American, as exposed by a preoccupation with pushing US election propaganda here. And also revealed in the pathetic lack of knowledge of Syrian and ME issues whenever making silly smartass comments.

“Ann” would not know what a Syrian was, never having even met one.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 36

August 22nd, 2012, 3:22 pm

 

31. Tara said:

Visitor

To your and my dismay, Ann is a Syrian product..

Who would thought, a Syrian can embody that much hatred!

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 39

August 22nd, 2012, 3:23 pm

 

32. ghufran said:

It tells you something about the nature of the conflict in Syria when some of the most enthusiastic fighters in the battle field and in cyberspace are not even Syrians,when I asked one of them how come he is so angry and involved he said he is a “humanist”.
hateful remarks and incitement of violence by non Syrians is a side effect of free speech,they have the right to talk,and we have the right to ignore them.

Thumb up 34 Thumb down 14

August 22nd, 2012, 3:31 pm

 

33. VISITOR said:

31 TARA,

“Visitor

To your and my dismay, Ann is a Syrian product..

Who would thought, a Syrian can embody that much hatred!

Not that I really care or would make me rush to her embrace, but what do you mean by Syrian product? And what is the basis of your information?

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 37

August 22nd, 2012, 3:33 pm

 

34. Richard said:

Azmeh said:
“Visitor, Your comments bring me back to my very first point about the discourse, the extreme opinions, the polarization and the inability to think rationally and unemotionally. ”

Azmeh, your posts are thoughtful, but your accusation that most other posters in this forum are less rational is wrong. “Rational” to you is simply your particular set of rationalizations.

Your solution that the rebellion be defeated (a stalemate amounts to a total defeat for the rebellion) followed by a negotiation, amounts to the regime’s position. The war came because of the immutable fact that a totalitarian regime can never negotiate away power.

You claim to stand above the polarization, yet offer no new thinking to draw anyone away from their pole.

I have to temper my criticism, since I myself have no creative ideas to offer. Assad has cynically and methodically created an ethnic war, a sort of zero-sum game, which serves his purposes.

I want to hear practical steps on how the opposition can find a more broad and representative leadership. It sounds daunting, but there is no other way forward. There is no point in dwelling on the Islamic facists among the opposition, a credible opposition body will have to be built despite the extreme elements.

Thumb up 18 Thumb down 28

August 22nd, 2012, 3:38 pm

 

35. Antoine said:

ANN is Reem Haddad, I can swear.

Why doesn’t Reem Haddad appear in public nowadays ? Can anyone dig out any vidoes of when she last appeared in English-language media ?

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 41

August 22nd, 2012, 3:39 pm

 

36. Antoine said:

Azmeh,

If the top 50 Generals/commanders in the Syrian Army had acted in the same way as their Egyptian counterparts, none of this would have happened and there would have been less than 500 casualties.

But then again 27 out of the top 50 Generals/commanders are heavily invested in the survival of the regime ( regime means Assad family and Hizb al Baath with Assad as Party President ).

Its all due to the Stalinist Party methods which have been firmly entrenched in State institutions since 1963 and especially since 1970.

Now there is no other option but to eradicate the “regime” ( Assad family and Hizb al Baath with Assad as Party President) in all its forms, root and branch, complete and total annihilation of the regime.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 35

August 22nd, 2012, 3:51 pm

 

37. Tara said:

Visitor,

It is an opinion. In order for a person to display that much of hatred, dehumanization and disregard to the life of civilians, women, and children, one must have been fed deep sectarianism and hatred since early childhood. Show an average ordinary American citizen an image of Hamza al Khateeb and see the pouring of emotions..Ann can not be anything but a Syrian product fed hatred at a very tender age. Unfortunately hatred deforms people and that what you get.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 32

August 22nd, 2012, 3:57 pm

 

38. Azmeh said:

ANTOINE,

I agree with what you said, except your last paragraph, and that’s my point from the beginning: You’re characterization is fine, but your proposed solution is extreme, vindictive and self-defeating. Like it or not, it’s not just the army that’s tied to this family; most of the state is similarly tied to the regime as it stands. Again, Iraq is a great example.

Is anyone thinking of the morning after?

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 34 Thumb down 17

August 22nd, 2012, 4:03 pm

 

39. Syrialover said:

TARA, What makes you think “Ann” is a Syrian product? You have made a wrong assumption.

We don’t see the authentic hatred you imagine – that asumes some knowledge of or stake in the subject. We just see shallow smartass propagandism.

“Ann” is a very American persona. Look and you’ll see.

Thumb up 18 Thumb down 30

August 22nd, 2012, 4:03 pm

 

40. Aldendeshe said:

@AZMEH

JUST IGNOR THE FAKE THUMB DOWNS, SYRIA’S ENEMIES LIVE HERE FOR FREE AND SAVE THE LITTLE PAYCHECK THEY RECEIVE FOR FOOD AND BUS FARE.

Thumb up 27 Thumb down 17

August 22nd, 2012, 4:09 pm

 

41. VISITOR said:

37 TARA,

Your theory may have merits, but I do not think that Syria can produce such level of hatred despite the fact that I can name quite few who comment often on this board and claim to be Syrians. They have displayed a lot of hatred but not the professional KKK type that she displayed. I would say that our Syrian racists are in fact learning from her. Would they achieve her level? Of course everything is possible.

However, if you study my theory about the origins of her hatred, you will find that it makes more sense,

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

Hers is the type of hatred that can only flourish in some quarters of the US.

Anyway, the Syrian regime which our concerned AZMEH would like to give more chances to kill, is in fact thinking of just doing that,

http://www.aljazeera.net/humanrights/pages/4f2ec575-7a30-4260-9e00-82c6b47eede1?GoogleStatID=9

This is the type of regime that AZMEH thinks can be made to reason. We’ve seen that same behaviour when the uprising began, the typical media blackouts by preventing outside reporters to independently cover the events. Now it is going to kill them altogether because some of them can now enter the country at least through the liberated areas and provide independent eyewitness reporting. Do you now wonder what the menhebkji are doing on this site? The regime thinks it can win the war just by fabricating fake stories and disseminating it through whatever means available including this site. So if you’re (Dear Azmeh) still thinking of getting anything close to a rational discussion on this board be prepared for an upcoming flood of such reports of Dunya and SANA cut and paste subsidiaries such as XINHUA, RT, Press, 3Alam, atasia, mayadeen, etc… all courtesy of Ann Coulters and associated right here on this SC board at no cost to you except the endless pain your fingers have to suffer in scrolling down the page to sift through to some meaningful post to read.

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 34

August 22nd, 2012, 4:18 pm

 

42. Aldendeshe said:

It appears something very big is about to happen on the world scene. Things are coming together at warp speed, and for those who are paying attention it is becoming quite clear it isn’t for our good. If you want to know what’s really going on, check the alternate news sites like Drudge Report, Prison Planet, Natural News, World Net Daily and Infowars. Another good site is Raiders News Update, a compilation of news stories related to Bible prophecy. You’ll get the real scoop on what’s happening on the world scene at these and similar sites, which you’ll never find on the mainline media like CNN, ABC, CBS, FOXI-lies, etc.

Thumb up 25 Thumb down 18

August 22nd, 2012, 4:21 pm

 

43. ghufran said:

رأى رئيس المجلس الوطني السوري السابق برهان غليون ان ملف الاسلحة الكيماوية في سوريا هو ملف جدي، والنظام قادر على ان يستخدم هذا السلاح ولكن لا ينبغي ان تتحول المسالة الى مسالة للدعاية.
واضاف في حديث تلفزيوني :”الولايات المتحدة الاميركية لم تقدم اي شيء للشعب السوري ولا يجب ان ينتظروا لان يستخدم النظام الاسلحة الكيماوية لكي يتدخلوا”.
وشدد غليون على ضرورة وضع الاسلحة الكيماوية في سوريا تحت اشراف الامم المتحدة واصدار قرار بهذا الشان.
I have not heard any Syrian before asking the UN to put weapons owned and paid for by Syrian people under UN control. Do not you wish that Ghalioun keeps his mouth shut?
Here is a statement by Sayda:
اكد رئيس المجلس الوطني السوري عبد الباسط سيدا في حديث لـ”فرانس 24″ أنه “لا مكان للعميد المنشق مناف طلاس ورئيس الحكومة المنشق رياض حجاب في أي حكومة انتقالية مقبلة”.
Only SNC dudes can ride those government-issued Mercedes Benz Limos.

Thumb up 32 Thumb down 14

August 22nd, 2012, 4:48 pm

 

44. AIG said:

Azmeh,

Your argument could have been used against the Assad regime. For 11 years the regime ignored requests for serious reforms. Were they not thinking about the morning after and where this may lead? For years Assad has made sure that the only alternative to him was the mosque. He nipped in its bud any liberal alternative to him such as the Damascus Spring. So now complaining about the nature of the opposition is disingenuous. You should have complained to Assad when he quashed other alternatives and did not reform enough. If you acted irrationally for 11 years by ignoring what Assad was doing, don’t wake up now and start preaching to others about being rational. You are paying the price of your bad judgment.

Your argument also suffers from the “local maximum” fallacy.
http://52weeksofux.com/post/694598769/the-local-maximum

Granted, leaving parts of the regime intact or subduing the opposition would bring a respite from the killing, but not for long. It would only doom Syria to be much less than its potential. To reach the global maximum one needs to leave the comfort of the local maximum.

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 36

August 22nd, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

45. Tara said:

Massacre in Kafr Suseh.

caution: extremely graphic. I took a quick glimpse but could not really look.  Yet I am providing the link because these martyrs should not be allowed to die in silence. 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.491227077556956.119053.213127335366933&type=1

Thumb up 16 Thumb down 29

August 22nd, 2012, 4:57 pm

 

46. Tara said:

Syrialover and Visitor,

For the sake of Syria, I really hope that you are right and I am wrong. Let’s leave it at that.

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 34

August 22nd, 2012, 5:02 pm

 

47. VISITOR said:

“I have not heard any Syrian before asking the UN to put weapons owned and paid for by Syrian people under UN control. Do not you wish that Ghalioun keeps his mouth shut?”

If you guys can’t see the hypocrisy of the above statement, then we’re in big trouble.

Here AZMEH, we have another non-Syrian who is so adept at pontification and telling the Syrians what is good and not good for them, yet he sometimes does not feel the need to be ashamd and slips some jewels such as the above.

Of course, the Syrians did not pay for the weapons that are used by the killing machine of the criminal regime in the slaughter of the Syrians throughout Syria!!!

We, Syrians are known gullibles and ignorants to the point that we are waiting for a non-Syrian (perhaps Palestinian) Ghufran to remind us that we should be concerned about losing control over weapons we paid for from our pockets that could be used to kill us!!!

In a way he’s right. We shouldn’t have paid for them in the first place.

Again AZMEH this is your lucky day. No better goldmine than this.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 37

August 22nd, 2012, 5:02 pm

 

48. Tara said:

Assad’s tactic: rule is based on awe.  Terror is the basic approach.  Hit and hit hard, punish and scare..And analysts say it is not working.  This regime with all it’s mighty military power is being defeated..come on Damascus…make me proud.. 

Rebels Say Syria Using Fear Tactics in Damascus

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Gunfire and shelling rocked Damascus, Syria, and its suburbs on Wednesday as opponents of President Bashar al-Assad reported a widening campaign by the military to sow fear and death in neighborhoods where the rebels are strong and the government is too weak to assert full control.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group in Britain that maintains a network of contacts in Syria, said the latest raid on Wednesday morning in Kafar Soussa — with tanks backed by infantry soldiers — left at least 24 people dead. In the Damascus neighborhood of Qaboun, activists said, Syrian forces executed dozens of others.

Opposition groups described both as “hit and run” assaults. Similar attacks have been reported in several areas ringing the capital in recent weeks, as troops and shelling intensify then fade, as the government kills and leaves. This week, activists reported finding 40 bodies in one suburb; last week, 60 others appeared in a landfill, many of them believed to be civilians.

Analysts said the effort — in which the government invades but does not hold an area — underscores the challenge that Mr. Assad faces as he tries to defeat an insurgency that often slips away only to resurface. It is an effort that experts describe as the opposite of the “winning hearts and minds” model, based instead on the Arabic saying “rule is based on awe.”

“Terror is the basic approach,” said Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Center for the Middle East. “From the beginning of the uprising the logic was hit and hit hard, punish and scare, and that would be the way to do it.”

But he added, “It’s a crazy logic, and it has not served them well.” While the approach worked when the Syrian government suppressed a revolt in Hama in the 1980s, he said, the current effort to intimidate the country into calm is increasingly showing signs of failure.

The opposition throughout Syria has not broken; it has scattered and regrouped. In many areas, from north to south, the government has claimed that its mission has been accomplished, or would be quickly, only to have the rebels resurface to fight again with help from local residents.

In Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, the government has tried nearly everything, including missile strikes from fighter jets, but while rebel brigades have retreated temporarily from some areas, they have created what amounts to formal rotation schedules in others. They have also completed their own successful hit-and-run ambushes on the military airport that is the main base for government troops, and on the city center, while food and other supplies have been provided by wealthy residents.

In the region around the southern city of Dara’a, where the uprising began, the pattern has been similar. On Tuesday, rebel leaders said they were retreating from several areas because of an ammunition shortage, but on Wednesday, they reported reoccupying some of the locations they had fled.

There are also many areas, more distant from the most concentrated fighting, where the government’s forces have retreated as rebels make incremental gains.
…..
Deir al-Zour is one example. An area deep into the east of the country, about 300 miles from Damascus, it has seen intense fighting at various times during the nearly 18-month-old conflict, but in recent weeks, the battle has taken on what rebels there described as a familiar pattern: government troops based outside the city, and with little knowledge of the area, use air power and shelling, but not much else.

“The Assad forces are afraid to enter the towns and villages so they started with this new strategy of bombardment from long distance and from helicopters,” said Abu Khalaf, 40, a fighter sitting at a rebel base inside Deir al-Zour. “We can succeed because we know the land, while the Assad forces are coming from outside the province.”
…………
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/world/middleeast/Syria.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

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August 22nd, 2012, 5:17 pm

 

49. ghufran said:

In a perfect world,no nation should be allowed to own WMDs but that is not the case today, since those weapons already exist, they should only serve one purpose: deterrence, any other use amounts to a criminal behavior,there are still people who support using WMDs,those people are sick. Saddam used them against the Kurds,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 and no other method can be used to stop the invasion, it is hypocritical for any nation to deny Syria,any Muslim or Arab nation the right for self defense and deterrence against a foreign invasion,all western and non western nations have those rights, if you are against WMDs,you must disarm all owners of those weapons not just the nations you do not like.
do not forget Israel’s nuclear weapons before you lecture us about WMDs, I strongly believe that those weapons should be banned and destroyed.

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August 22nd, 2012, 5:28 pm

 

50. Antoine said:

AZMEH,

The Iraq argument is full of holes. As far as I have met and talked to indiviudal Iraqis, most Iraqis -are very happy that they finally got a big and powerful state which they can completely control through their Parliament. Most Shia and Kurdish Iraqis I have met are actually very proud of what Iraq is today, they have their own Army which is recruited from every section of their society, they decide their own foreign policy ( pro-Iran and anti-GCC I should remind you ), they feel at last they have honour and dignity which is enshrined in the Constitution and Parliament.

Especially now that the Americans are totally kicked out of Iraq, if you visit Iraq you will find that most people are very proud and hopeful about the future and want to forget everything about the past. They are proud that Iraq has its own foreign policy, they are proud that Iraq stands up to GCC, Iran, and Turkey, they are proud that THEY CAN CHANGE WHOEVER RULES IRAQ EVERY 5 YEARS.

Yes the standard of living is very low and governance standards are very poor, but then agains most Iraqis outside of the 4-5 big cities have always lived in hardship. For most poor people in Iraq or Syria or anywhere else what matters more is social dignity, social justice.

Egypt is also on the road to social justice and social equality.

SYRIA will follow soon even if Syrians have to wade through rivers of blood, Syrians will carry our Robespierre style purges in order to bring Social Justice in Syria.

_______________________________________________________

( Don’t get me wrong I was one of the biggest opponents of the Iraq War and one of the biggest supporters of the Iraqi insurgency until 2008 , this is mainly because I felt a change of regime in Iraq would make Iran and Assad too powerful, with sad consequences for anti-regime Syrians )

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August 22nd, 2012, 5:30 pm

 

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:

http://beforeitsnews.com/strange/2012/08/ancient-atomic-bombs-2442710.html

http://beforeitsnews.com/2012/2012/05/doomsday-6000-bce-ancient-oddities-of-ireland-and-the-mid-east-2176563.html

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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:

Azmeh,

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:

Dendeshe,

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.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 34

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:

Antoin,

“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:

RevolutionSyria
An entire regime battalion has been captured by the #FSA in #Ariha #Idlib #Syria http://fb.me/2dfPAnYEe

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/revolutionsyria-an-entire-regime-battalion-has-been-captured/

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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.

————————-

62 AZMEH,

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.

———–

61 UZAIR8

Very good news!!!

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August 22nd, 2012, 6:57 pm

 

65. Azmeh said:

Visitor,

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:

Antoine,

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:

64 AZMEH,

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:

Zoo,

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

irritated,

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

http://rt.com/politics/chechens-fighting-syria-official-282/

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.

[...]

http://rt.com/politics/chechens-fighting-syria-official-282/

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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

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/hostage-taking-spiraling-into-a-complicated-crisis.aspx?pageID=238&nID=28386&NewsCatID=338

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:

Tara

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.

[...]

http://www.innercitypress.com/ban2iran082212.html

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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.  

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9493274/Syria-major-clashes-in-Damascus.html

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:

Irritated,

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.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/aug/23/cameron-obama-syria-chemical-weapons?newsfeed=true

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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:

88 AZMEH,

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,

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/08/23/233711.html

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.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=484271984935288&set=a.201716413190848.57037.201686009860555&type=1&theater

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August 23rd, 2012, 1:02 am

 
 

98. Juergen said:

Syrialover

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 :

https://www.facebook.com/AlawitesInTheSyrianRevolutionlwywnFyAlthwrtAlswryt

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August 23rd, 2012, 2:08 am

 

101. Hamoudeh al-Halabi said:

Shaykh Mahmoud al-Hout Has Had Enough!
http://freehalab.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/shaykh-mahmoud-al-hout-has-had-enough/

Memory Lane: Sufi Hadra with Shaykh Mahmoud Abul Huda al-Husayni at the Adiliyye Mosque in Aleppo
http://freehalab.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/memory-lane/

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August 23rd, 2012, 3:00 am

 

102. Uzair8 said:

‘Watch for 2 major defections that may be announced.
Also there was an unconfirmed post about Russia evacuating Tartus –which seems unlikely.’

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/time-to-go-watch-for-2-major-defections/

Probably linked to this earlier update:

‘Hassan Hassan‏@hhassan140

Al Ahram: two senior figures of #Syria regime will announce their defection within the next few hours. via Al Jazeera’

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/hassan-hassan%e2%80%8fhhassan140-al-ahram-two-senior-figures-of/

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:59 am

 

103. Uzair8 said:

I’m just reading through the article linked below. It’s one to spread far and wide to expose the lies of the regime.

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

Freedom‏@BeJohnboy70

@AnonymousSyria Assads Favorite Alawite State TV & Radio Host Defects for the Truth & Exposes Assads Lies #Syria http://m.spiegel.de/international/world/a-851387.html

Retweeted by AnonymousSyria

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/freedom%e2%80%8fbejohnboy70-anonymoussyria-assads-favorite-alawite-state-tv/

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August 23rd, 2012, 6:05 am

 

104. Uzair8 said:

So the tyrant has now resorted to bombing bread queues?

Recently I’ve seen a few updates on bread queues being attacked.

I hope regime supporters are proud.

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August 23rd, 2012, 7:46 am

 

105. Uzair8 said:

Syria: Assad’s massacre of a revolutionary town
Tue 21 Aug 2012

by Judith Orr

Azaz in northern Syria is a town under the control of the opposition. Everything from the baking of bread to the welfare of thousands of refugees from Aleppo is run by revolutionary committees.

That’s why the dictator Bashar al-Assad bombed it. He attacked with air strikes, as the regime doesn’t have the forces on the ground to take back such cities—all they had was the airport.

The result was devastation. The local hospital was so overwhelmed with casualties that it eventually had to lock its doors. It directed people to drive their injured to the nearby Turkish border for treatment on the other side.

The Azaz revolutionary committee reported the attack as it happened. They wrote, “Ten minutes ago, Azaz was attacked from the air by the Assadist air force. Three rockets have hit the city. The streets are under a shroud of dust and smoke. People are panicking.”

Read more:

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=29372

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August 23rd, 2012, 7:48 am

 

106. Observer said:

Here is a copy from my comment on a previous post

This is verbatim from Juan Cole blog and he is no fan of US interventions and imperial superpower politics and double standar BS from the West against the Rest.
He was rather circumspect about Syria for some time considering the length and enormity of the conflict and was much more interested in Libya and Tunisia and certainly Egypt and Iran
Here it is especially for those that want a dose of “realism”

“Admittedly, the Baathist government of Bashar al-Assad could go on faltering for a long time. And it is very hard to know what is going on inside Syria, since few journalists are allowed in and those who sneak in are operating under very diificult conditions and are sometimes killed by the regime, whether deliberately or not.

But there are some signs that the Baath is on its way out.

The deputy prime minister, Qadri Jamil, said Wednesday in Moscow that the regime is ready to talk to the opposition. That sort of talk is a sign of weakness, and that it comes in Moscow suggests panic in the Kremlin about the inability of its client to prevail by sheer brute force. Russia, the BBC says, will put forward a road map for resolution of the crisis that will end in presidential elections. The revolutionaries are demanding that al-Assad step down before they will join talks. Jamil says an al-Assad resignation could be discussed, but not as a prerequisite for talks. Unfortunately for Russia, President Vladimmir Putin’s own conduct of elections would not exactly give the Syrian revolutionaries hope.

When your main patron is suggesting you’ll have to compete for your own job and your deputy prime minister is saying your resignation can be discussed with revolutionaries, it just isn’t a good sign for any president for life.”

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August 23rd, 2012, 8:24 am

 

107. ann said:

Russia: West instigating ‘Syrian opposition’ – August 22, 2012

Russia accused Western powers Wednesday of “openly instigating” Syrian opposition groups to take up arms in their fight to unseat President Bashar Assad.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the West “has done nothing” to urge the Syrian opposition to start a dialogue with the government.

“Instead, they are engaged in openly instigating it to continue their armed struggle,” it said in a statement.

It claimed that the Western approach to the Syrian civil is “hypocritical” and is not helping to resolve the conflict that has killed an estimated 19,000 people.

Russia has said that its opposition to sanctions against Syria is driven not by support for Assad himself, but by a respect for international law that forbids foreign military intervention in internal conflicts without U.N. Security Council authorization.

Russia has called for talks between the Syrian regime and its foes. It staunchly opposes any plans that would demand Assad’s ouster, saying that only the Syrian people can decide the country’s fate.

[...]

http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20120822/API/1208220741?tc=ar

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August 23rd, 2012, 9:04 am

 

108. zoo said:

Lashes, beatings, amputation.. welcome to ‘liberated’ Syria

Syrian rebels seek strict form of Sharia

Hugh Naylor
Aug 23, 2012

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/syrian-rebels-seek-strict-form-of-sharia

TELL RIF’AT, SYRIA // More than 18 months into the uprising against the Syrian president, Bashar Al Assad, Islamist militants who favour a strict form of Sharia appear to be gaining a formidable sway in the ranks of the anti-regime forces.

In dozens of villages and towns across northern Syria, the Assad regime and local functionaries of the ruling Baath party no longer have day-to-day control.

Into the power vacuum have stepped those with guns or money, some whom are urging the establishment to adopt some form of Islamic law in a post-Assad Syria.

Already, some rebels and other opponents of Mr Assad have sought to implement their particularly harsh version of Sharia on a small scale, particularly using corporal punishment against suspected criminals and government supporters.

Rebel interrogators in this town, about 20 kilometres from the Turkish border, said they had beaten the legs of detainees with sticks.
Insurgents in nearby Mare’ threatened to amputate the hands of alleged thieves and paraded them through town in an effort to publicly shame them, residents said.

In Aleppo, where fierce fighting between insurgents and government forces has raged for weeks, one rebel leader said he had ordered lashings using rubber hoses and knotted ropes.

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August 23rd, 2012, 9:19 am

 

109. zoo said:

Al Jazeera fires its 10th journalist, Hassaneyn Heykal over his criticism of Qatar of financing the Arab Spring rebellions.

الجزيرة تنهي علاقتها بـ”هيكل” لإتهامه قطر بتمويل “مؤامرات” الربيع العربي

http://www.echoroukonline.com/ara/articles/139311.html

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August 23rd, 2012, 9:35 am

 

110. zoo said:

Interview with Qadri Jamil, an opposition member in the National Co-ordination Committee (NCC) led by the veteran opposition figure Hussein Abdul Azim. He is now part of the government.

“During a visit to Russia on August 21, 2012 Jamil said that President Bashar Assad’s resignation might be considered if the opposition agreed to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the Syrian revolution.”

http://rt.com/news/syria-crisis-nwo-jamil-391/

RT: How would you respond to people who say they won’t negotiate with a government whose military machine has been razing Syrian cities to the ground? How is that as a pre-condition for dialogue?

QJ: That’s beyond reason. Violence has been employed by each of the warring parties. If we start regarding such statements as a precondition, then dialogue will never take place. Civil wars in Lebanon and Algeria have shown that, sooner or later, warring parties do come to negotiate with each other. So the Syrian people do have a chance.

If only we get down to reconciliation without delay, we might avoid having to pay an immense price for our country’s war-torn economy. Common sense and wisdom call for sitting down at the negotiating table as soon as possible, without imposing any preconditions that will only impede the process.
….

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August 23rd, 2012, 9:45 am

 

111. zoo said:

Syria: Why al-Qaeda Is Winning
Unnoticed by the West, al-Qaeda is seizing a golden opportunity.

By Ed Husain
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/314685/syria-why-al-qaeda-winning-ed-husain
August 23, 2012 4:00 A.M

Our collective excitement at the possibility that the Assad regime will be destroyed, and the Iranian ayatollahs weakened in the process, is blurring our vision and preventing us from seeing the rise of al-Qaeda in Syria. In March of this year, jihadis mounted seven attacks against Assad. By June, they had led 66 “operations,” and over half of these were on Syria’s capital, Damascus. The Syrian opposition is benefiting hugely from the terrorist organization’s determination, discipline, combat experience, religious fervor, and ability to strike the Assad regime where it hurts most.

The territory in the Middle East that al-Qaeda covets most is of course Saudi Arabia, but Syria is next on the list. Now, Syria is not Syria to jihadis, but part of Bilaad al-Shaam, what the region was called when when borders did not divide the lands we now call Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and, crucially, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

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August 23rd, 2012, 10:16 am

 

112. ann said:

Son of late Chechen warlord reported killed in Syria – 23 Aug 2012

The son of a late Chechen rebel warlord had been killed in Syria by government forces; Chechen government officials could not be reached for immediate comment

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/51102/World/Region/Son-of-late-Chechen-warlord-reported-killed-in-Syr.aspx

The son of a late Chechen rebel warlord has been killed in Syria by government forces battling a rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad, Russian media and websites sympathetic to Islamist insurgents in Russia’s Caucasus region reported.

Rustam Gelayev was killed in the shelling of a mosque in Aleppo by forces loyal to Assad earlier this month, according to the website chechenews.com.

The report, which cited unidentified sources in Chechnya, said Gelayev, 24, had joined a unit of ethnic Chechen volunteers fighting alongside Syrian insurgents in a 17-month-old uprising against Assad, who has close ties with Moscow.

Another website sympathetic to the insurgents, kavkazcenter.com, said he had been killed when his unit “entered into a battle with superior forces of the Alawite regime … presumably between Aug. 11 and Aug. 13.”Syria’s conflict pits largely Sunni Muslim insurgents against Assad’s minority Alawite community that has long dominated the power structure. Chechens are Sunni Muslims.

The Russian newspaper Kommersant, however, cited a relative of Gelayev as saying he had been studying in Syria, had decided to leave because of the violence and was making his way to Turkey when he was killed.There is a large ethnic Chechen diaspora in Turkey, whose prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, was once an Assad ally but is now among his most vocal critics.

Russia, which has shielded Assad from concerted international pressure to end the bloodshed by vetoing three Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolutions, says some of those fighting the government are foreign “terrorists”.

A Russian diplomat said in March that there were at last 15,000 foreign fighters battling Assad’s government, though officials in Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed government have said nobody from the region is fighting in Syria. The body of Gelayev was brought to Chechnya and he was buried there in his ancestral village, the reports said.

[...]

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/51102/World/Region/Son-of-late-Chechen-warlord-reported-killed-in-Syr.aspx

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August 23rd, 2012, 10:40 am

 

113. ann said:

US sends ‘John Stennis’ to Persian Gulf area – Aug 23, 2012

The US is sending the aircraft carrier “John Stennis”, accompanied by an escort of ships and a submarine, to the Persian Gulf area.

At the request of the US Air Force Commander in the Middle East, the airborne group has been sent to the Middle East 4 months ahead of schedule.

The aircraft carriers “Eisenhower” and “Enterprise” whose terms of service are coming to an end are currently staying in the Persian Gulf area.

On August 23rd Pentagon head Leon Panetta visited the aircraft carrier “Eisenhower” on board of which he answered journalists’ questions.

He said that among the threats to the US’ interests in the region was Iran’s intention to block the Strait of Ormuz and the events in Syria.

[...]

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_08_23/US-sends-John-Stennis-to-Persian-Gulf-area/

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August 23rd, 2012, 10:44 am

 

114. zoo said:

Robert Fisk: ‘Rebel army? They’re a gang of foreigners’

Our writer hears the Syrian forces’ justification for a battle that is tearing apart one of the world’s oldest cities

Robert Fisk
Thursday, 23 August 2012

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-rebel-army-theyre-a-gang-of-foreigners-8073717.html

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August 23rd, 2012, 10:58 am

 

115. zoo said:

The highest level U.N. presence at the NAM meeting in Tehran is a Set Back for the US efforts to Isolate Iran

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/world/middleeast/ban-ki-moon-will-attend-iran-summit-over-american-and-israeli-objections.html?pagewanted=all

Efforts led by the United States and Israel to isolate Iran suffered a setback on Wednesday when the United Nations announced that Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general, would join officials from 120 countries in Tehran next week for a summit meeting that Iran has trumpeted as a vindication of its defiance and enduring importance in world affairs.

Mr. Ban’s decision to attend the meeting of the Nonaligned Movement, announced by his spokesman, Martin Nesirky, came despite objections from both the Americans and Israelis, including a phone call from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. It was announced a few days after the new president of Egypt, a country that has long been estranged from Iran, said he would attend the summit meeting as well, a decision that had already unsettled the Israelis.

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August 23rd, 2012, 11:26 am

 

116. SANDRO LOEWE said:

If there was a vote process to accept or refuse if names, adresses and real identities of all SC members should be made public, I would vote “Yes” right now. I have a lot to lose. But I have got to the point that I do not care anymore. Many people inside Syria is losing much more, many their lives, or families, manye their careers, their money, etc.

I would sacrifice myself just for being able who is hiding behind nicknames like ANN, BRONCO, ZOO, and all the rest of the criminal’s defense. Maybe someone is able to hack it.

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August 23rd, 2012, 11:41 am

 

117. zoo said:

Armenian Districts In Aleppo ‘Back Under Government Control
August 22, 2012 | 10:28

http://latest-armenian-news.blogspot.ca/2012/08/armenian-districts-in-aleppo-back-under.html

Syrian government troops have regained control of the main Armenian-populated districts in Syria’s largest city of Aleppo, a senior Armenian government official said late on Tuesday.

A diplomatic source in Yerevan monitoring developments in Syria claimed earlier in the day that Syrian rebels seized those districts late on Monday after weeks of heavy fighting with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

According to Armenia’s Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobian, the government forces recaptured them by Tuesday evening. Hakobian also said that the fighting in Aleppo has inflicted no serious material damage on the Armenian neighborhoods mostly located in the city center.

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August 23rd, 2012, 12:43 pm

 

118. Tara said:

Stating an opinion is not a crime. We should not add to the culture of fear and paranoia.

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August 23rd, 2012, 12:48 pm

 

119. Citizen said:

CIA spies ‘smuggle 14 Stinger missiles into Syria so rebels can take out regime warplanes’
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/cia-spies-smuggle-14-stinger-1266487
The ground-to-air weapons have been delivered across the Turkish border and were partly paid for by Saudi Arabia

AP
CIA spies have smuggled up to 14 Stinger missiles into Syria so rebels can defend themselves from air strikes.

The ground-to-air weapons have been delivered across the Turkish border to the Free Syrian Army and were partly paid for by Saudi Arabia, a security source claimed.

President Bashar al-Assad’s MIG-23 warplanes and helicopter gunships have killed more than 1,000 people.

The source said: “The West and the rest of the Middle East is not going to be able to secure a no-fly zone above Syria any time soon so the only way to stop the carnage is to take on Assad’s air force from the ground.

“Knowing that Stingers are in the hands of the opposition forces will hopefully mean Assad’s air power will be much diminished but this will be a slow process.”

Activists say more than 20,000 people have died in the 17 month civil war and the daily death toll has risen past 500 this week.

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August 23rd, 2012, 1:14 pm

 

120. Ghufran said:

Most of this article is about the MB. In my own view, the main reason for the surge of Islamists is the regime’s brutality and oppression, people are turning to Islamist parties because everything else failed: Baathism,nationalism, communism ,etc. Add poverty to this unhealthy mix and you will understand why all regimes in the Arab world are either falling or just struggling to stay alive. The regime always exaggerated the threat coming from Islamist groups until that threat became real and took violent shapes. Islamist armed groups have to be confronted and defeated but as long as the only force confronting them is the regime forces they will continue to win some sympathy from people who dislike Islamists but hate the regime.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/syrians-torn-despotic-regime-stagnant-opposition

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August 23rd, 2012, 1:18 pm

 

121. SANDRO LOEWE said:

118. TARA

Defending a crime against humanity is a crime if the law says it is a crime. In most countries of Europe defending publicly a crime or a criminal’s act is a crime. I am fed up of reading people defending a dictator’s acts. It seems now that the criminal are those who are trying to end with the real original cause of the state crimes, Assad criminal and his gang of state criminals.

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August 23rd, 2012, 1:30 pm

 

122. Citizen said:

96. JUERGEN
are you looking intensivly for vertual victory ?
if your alliance could win, he would have won! but apparently for unskilled dancer always interfere eggs

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August 23rd, 2012, 1:31 pm

 

123. jna said:

Re: 106. Observer: The deputy prime minister, Qadri Jamil, said Wednesday in Moscow that the regime is ready to talk to the opposition. That sort of talk is a sign of weakness…

Of course Assad has been weakened by civil war. But to seek to negotiate a cessation of violence and plans for a new government is a positive step if only it is reciprocated by more than lip service by the foreign enablers of the armed rebels and mercenaries. And also, Juan Cole supported US military intervention in Afganistan, Iraq, and Libya. Not surprising he supports the American imperialist line in Syria.

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August 23rd, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

124. Ghufran said:

The true nature of rebels according to Robert Fisk. This sentiment is now visible in most of the western press,it is sad that we have to get to this point to convince others that violence in Syria is evil, practiced by most, and often committed by foreigners.
Only good people especially those with Syrian blood will grief, the rest either do not care or are even celebrating:
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-rebel-army-theyre-a-gang-of-foreigners-8073717.html

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August 23rd, 2012, 1:41 pm

 

125. SANDRO LOEWE said:

114. zoosaid:

Robert Fisk: ‘Rebel army? They’re a gang of foreigners’

Well this is just the title and it is not Rob who says this. It is an Assad soldier. Anyway what a FXXX information is giving Fisk.

Let the army control Syria again. Let a dictatorship control the people. And let all syrians demostrate and being bulleted again and tortured until dead.

With the FXXX islamic fighters Assad has found enough arguments to destroy E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. Now all it’s over. Be ready for real terrorism.

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August 23rd, 2012, 1:51 pm

 

126. Johannes de Silentio said:

# 122

Citizen, sometimes winning takes a little bit longer and, as the saying goes, you have to break eggs to make an omelet. And to make a really big omelet, you have to break a lot of eggs.

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August 23rd, 2012, 2:04 pm

 

127. VISITOR said:

Robert Fisk has lost any credibility and of course noncredibility is appreciated by the athad love-you-for-ever gang on this board. A prominent US academic was asked not long ago who would you like to fight most for hypocricy? His reply was I would shoot Gallaway and Fisk.

Here is an objective study which shows who the HEROIC FSA are. There is a link to a PDF file that contains the full report.

http://www.understandingwar.org/report/syrias-armed-opposition

The FSA are heroes of the Syrian people. They are Syrians who refused to be part of the killing machine of the thugs of the criminal nazi delinquents occupying Damascus, falsely parrading as national army. Only thugs would attack the credibility of this great army of the people of Syria, the heroic FSA.

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August 23rd, 2012, 2:10 pm

 

128. Syrian Natonalist Party said:

people are turning to Islamist parties because everything else failed: Baathism,nationalism, communism ,etc
_________________________________________________________________

When Nationalism failed, or failed the nations that ruled by it? NEVER. Look at Israel, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan…USA… they all, in various forms a NATIONALIST ruled nations.

Are you saying that because Allied forces won over Germany’s Hitler rule so all NATIONALISM is failure? Allied won military victory over Japan and Germany, but the strong Nationalism kept them together in the aftermath. Let’s see you keep Syria together should Assad leaves. Let’s see if Islam can keep Syria or all Moslems united. What a fraud of a concocted System.

You see, Nationalism is hated by Re*ptil**Ian managed fronts such as religion, New World Order, or Jewish globalists etc. They are after destroying everything that helps human be an independent and not subservient to their dominance. Not only they are after destroying Nationalism and Nations, but even down to society structure and the family unit they managed to bring down to become under their total master control.

But the real god (the god mind) not crappy R*eptoi*d*** who claims to be one, will use Nationalism to destroy the Rep**til*es* and bring humanity as he planned it to be, not under communism enslavement or the like system such as Islam, but as he designed it on earth, to be that of Independent and Sovereign Nations, not a Planetary Slave Colony serving a subterranean class of rep*to*ids from the Dra*co Constellation, inhabiting the Inner Earth Cavity.

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August 23rd, 2012, 2:25 pm

 

129. VISITOR said:

Athad thugs are fighting patients inside hospitals,

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/08/23/233711.html

This is a crime against humanity. These thugs are the terrorists that need to be eliminated along with the nazis occupying Damascus.

However, the FSA heroes are fighting the thugs in a just war as we see in the embedded video which also shows the FSA is still in control of all the districts in Aleppo that the Nazi liars claim to have captured. There is also fighting throughout Damascus as can be easily verified

http://www.aljazeera.net/news/pages/66883b66-d076-4bc5-9f2a-e3fb7d5fa492?GoogleStatID=1

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August 23rd, 2012, 2:36 pm

 

130. Aldendeshe said:

Quotes from the Christian Bible:

ACT 17:26
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

Deuteronomy 32:8
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.

Job 12:23
He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them.

Psalm 74:17
It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.

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August 23rd, 2012, 2:40 pm

 

131. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Dear Dendeshe,

I like your last post. Are you passing through a mystical extasis? What’s the reason of you posting this kind of divine indictments and predictions? Any clue from your side ?

Are you preparing the public for the Judgement Day ?

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August 23rd, 2012, 3:15 pm

 

132. Aldendeshe said:

Quote from the Quran:

To every people (was sent) a messenger: when their messenger comes (before them), the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged. S. 10:47

Verily We have sent thee in truth, as a bearer of glad tidings, and as a warner: and there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them (in the past). S. 35:24

But (there were people) before them, who denied (the Signs),- the People of Noah, and the Confederates (of Evil) after them; and EVERY PEOPLE plotted against their prophet, to seize him, and disputed by means of vanities, therewith to condemn the Truth; but it was I that seized them! and how (terrible) was My Requital! Thus was the Decree of thy Lord proved true against the Unbelievers; that truly they are Companions of the Fire! S. 40:5-6

Notice the “Confederates of Evil”

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August 23rd, 2012, 3:18 pm

 

133. Ghufran said:

Smaha’s case has direct implications on Syria.
ذكرت مصادر لبنانية مطلعة أن عملية الدفاع عن النائب والوزير السابق ميشيل سماحة سوف تكون صعبة نظراً للاعترافات التي أقر بها إثر “انهياره السريع” في التحقيق الذي أجري معه في فرع الملعومات اللبناني. واشارت المصادر أن انهيار ميشال سماحة اضعف الدفاع عنه تحت ضغط نفسي و برعب الاعتقال انهار بعد عشر دقائق من توقيفه وقال كل شيء امام فرع المعلومات الذي قام بالتصوير و التسجيل و يقول محامو الدفاع ان لديهم نقطة قوة هي ان فيلم التصوير يمكن القول ان فرع المعلومات قد ركبه و انتجه لحين حضور الشاهد و العميل ميلاد كفوري لان لاقيمة لشريط التصوير دون حضور الشاهد.
It is believable that the regime may want to export its problem to Lebanon but to use Smaha to smuggle bombs is hard to understand,there are hundred of thugs who will gladly do the job for a fraction of the oost, this case will expose thugs in both countries not just Syria.

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August 23rd, 2012, 3:25 pm

 

134. zoo said:

Syrian army recaptures heart of Aleppo

Published Thursday, August 23, 2012
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syrian-army-recaptures-heart-aleppo

The Syrian army recaptured three Christian neighborhoods in the historic heart of Aleppo from rebels Thursday, but fierce clashes continued in other parts of the northern city, residents said.

Loyalist forces also battled rebels in Damascus after launching a ferocious assault to try to reinforce their hold on the capital, activists said.
….
Rebels had seized control of three Christian quarters of the Old City of Aleppo over the weekend, including Jdeide and Telal, once frequented by tourists for their restaurants and handicraft shops.

Rebels had also seized the nearby neighborhood of Sulamaniyeh, most of whose inhabitants are Armenian Christians.

The neighborhood is home to some ancient monasteries and a cathedral of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

“Battles on Monday and Tuesday were very violent, and they lasted for many long hours before the army managed to expel the rebels,” a resident of the neighborhood told AFP by telephone.

“After cleansing the area, hundreds of residents of the districts of Telal and Sulamaniyeh took to the streets to celebrate and express their support for the army,” he added.

After the rebels’ expulsion, residents set up “popular committees” to prevent their return, another resident told AFP.

Communities like those in the heart of Aleppo are among those in which support for Assad’s government and suspicion of the rebels runs highest.
….
An activist who gave his name as Omar told AFP from the Damascus district of Qaboon, which was the scene of heavy fighting on Wednesday, that the army and the rebels were playing a game of “cat and mouse.”

“The army’s attempts cannot succeed, because they cannot get into the neighborhoods where the Free Syrian Army are hiding,” he said.

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August 23rd, 2012, 3:54 pm

 

135. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Alawi and Hezballah members firing sunni neoghbours in Jamal Mohsen. According to internal reports chiia people has been renting buildings to use as a base for their snipers in order to create unrest.

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August 23rd, 2012, 3:58 pm

 

136. zoo said:

Recaptured districts of Aleppo celebrate the Syrian Army
23 August 2012

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August 23rd, 2012, 4:15 pm

 

137. amal said:

134. SANDRO LOEWE said:
Alawi and Hezballah members firing sunni neoghbours in Jamal Mohsen. According to internal reports chiia people has been renting buildings to use as a base for their snipers in order to create unrest.

You should mind your own business!

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August 23rd, 2012, 4:22 pm

 

138. ghufran said:

أفادت مصادر أمنية عراقية بأن طائرة حربية سورية اخترقت صباح اليوم الخميس الأجواء العراقية، وقامت بقصف منطقة البوكمال السورية عند الحدود مع العراق.
وقال ضابط برتبة مقدم في قوات حرس الحدود العراقية فضل عدم كشف اسمه لوكالة الصحافة الفرنسية إن “طائرة حربية سورية اخترقت الأجواء العراقية في منطقة حصيبة (الحدودية) عند الساعة الثامنة صباح اليوم بالتوقيت المحلي”.
وأضاف المصدر أن “الطائرة التي استمر وجودها نحو 15 دقيقة، قامت بقصف منطقة البوكمال السورية، عند الحدود مع العراق، لأكثر من مرة انطلاقا من الأجواء العراقية”.
I have not read about any protest from Iraq

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August 23rd, 2012, 4:23 pm

 

139. amal said:

128. VISITOR aka ABOUD aka HASSAN aka The Blog IDIOT …

Bravo! You managed to combine al arabia and al jazeera in one propaganda post!

A penny a post heyy!

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August 23rd, 2012, 4:29 pm

 

140. amal said:

126. VISITOR aka ABOUD aka HASSAN aka The Blog IDIOT …
Robert Fisk has lost any credibility

You don’t even measure up to the height of his shoes!

Who are you today? Napoleon! Timujin! Hulagu! Hitler!

Take your meds and go to sleep

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August 23rd, 2012, 4:40 pm

 

141. amal said:

125. SANDRO LOEWE said:

With the FXXX islamic fighters Assad has found enough arguments to destroy E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. Now all it’s over. Be ready for real terrorism.

You are threatening terrorism by Islamist terrorists on an open internet board!

The FBI will soon be knocking on your door!

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August 23rd, 2012, 4:47 pm

 

142. amal said:

116. SANDRO LOEWE said:

If there was a vote process to accept or refuse if names, adresses and real identities of all SC members should be made public, I would vote “Yes” right now.
I have a lot to lose.
But I have got to the point that I do not care anymore.

You have a lot to lose if you don’t start taking your meds ASAP!

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August 23rd, 2012, 4:55 pm

 

143. amal said:

116. SANDRO LOEWE said:

I would sacrifice myself just for being able who is hiding behind nicknames like ANN, BRONCO, ZOO, and all the rest of the criminal’s defense. Maybe someone is able to hack it.

You want to hack the blog for private information Moishe?!

Is anyone forcing to post on this blog Moishe?!

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:01 pm

 

144. amal said:

106. Observersaid:
Here is a copy from my comment on a previous post

Who do you think you are?!
A copy of your copy of your copy of a previous comment?!
A born loser!
hehehehehehe!

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:06 pm

 

145. Syrian Natonalist Party said:

حلب تعانق الجيش العربي السوري
_________________________________________________________________

عروبتكم مسخرة سخيفة وهذه هي السبب الرأيسي للفشل – عندما يتغير الى الجيش الوطني السوري سيتغير الموقف وعندما يتغير الى الجيش القومي السوري فلا تستطيع دولة عدد سكانها اقل من سكان حمص اللعب معه ان الجيش العربي لسوري ككل الجيوش العربية لهو جيش مخذول ولايرفع رآس المواطن السوري والجمهورية السورية الا الجيش الوطني السوري ولكن هذا ليتحقق يجب اولأ حزف الجمهورية العربية السورية من الخريطة والواقع وبنأ بدلأ الجمهورية السورية – اي محي كلمة الزفت من اسم الجمهورية وتصبح جمهورية مخصوصة لخدمة وحماية الشعب السوري بكامله

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:06 pm

 

146. amal said:

102. Uzair8said:
Watch for 2 major defections that may be announced.
Also there was an unconfirmed post about Russia evacuating Tartus

OOOH NOOO!

Another loser!

hehehehehehehehehe!

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:10 pm

 

147. amal said:

126. Johannes de Silentio said:
You have to break eggs to make an omelet. And to make a really big omelet, you have to break a lot of eggs.

come again?!

Folks, they don’t make up this stuff!

What a maroon!

hehehehehehehehehe!

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:15 pm

 

148. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Comradery and sacrifice under fire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9D_4AZFXCvg
.

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:17 pm

 

149. zoo said:

The West discussing sharing the Syrian cake among them in the aftermath of the fall of the Syrian government: the Iraqi model again but this time with a finance-crippled Europe: a revamped “Friends of Syria”

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/west-in-effort-to-unite-split-syrian-opposition.aspx?pageID=238&nID=28486&NewsCatID=359

Italy “has proposed informal talks in Rome in the next few days with a group of allies and partner countries to discuss international roles and responsibilities in Syria after al-Assad,” Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi wrote in La Repubblica daily, Agence France-Presse reported.

“The talks will concern aspects of security, institution building, economic reconstruction and humanitarian aspects,” the minister said. The Foreign Ministry said the meeting “will be held next week in Rome at a level of senior officials from like-minded countries.” Terzi said that the downfall of al-Assad was “inevitable” and the international community had “a moral duty” to support the democratic process.

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:25 pm

 

150. amal said:

96. Juergensaid:
Here is the picture of the russian naval base in Tartous

ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG!

OOOOOH NOOOOO!

jawohl mein dummkopf!

hehehehehehe!

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:26 pm

 

151. zoo said:

Turkish press to Erdogan:
Stop fooling the Turks, “this is no longer a secret, although Turkey continues to officially deny it: The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is headquartered at a Reyhanlı camp, provided by Turkey.”

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/iran-turkey-lebanon-and-beyond.aspx?pageID=449&nID=28472&NewsCatID=425

Irrespective of how much we bury our heads in the sand like ostriches, we fool only ourselves: Turkey’s foreign policy is a shambles, and stinks very badly.
What started as a “zero problems with neighbors” strategy has become a “no friends in the neighborhood” strategy. Such has been the outstanding success of the academic foreign minister since he was elevated from “chief advisor” to his cabinet position.

This is no longer a secret, although Turkey continues to officially deny it: The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is headquartered at a Reyhanlı camp, provided by Turkey.
The Turkish government wants Turks to act like ostriches, turn their heads in some other direction and not read the reports in the Turkish and international media, including statements from the Syrian former officers and generals who are now heading the Syrian rebel army that they are thankful for the assistance Turkey has been providing them with.
They are being trained at the Reyhanlı rebel headquarters by Turkish officers. The camp is under tight security; even foreign diplomats have no access. Somehow, rebel Syrian commanders are giving media interviews in the nearby town of Reyhanlı, however, and revealing all the details that the Turkish government has been trying to hide from Turks.

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:32 pm

 

152. amal said:

Where’s my whipping boy khalid tlass?!

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:33 pm

 

153. Tara said:

Amal

Are you Ann on a rampage? Or her significant other?

Don’t you think the best divine intervention is for literate Shabeeha men to be with literate shabeeha women? A match created in heaven, I think. Justice would be so served..

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:33 pm

 

154. zoo said:

BURAK BEKDİL: my translation of the song, targeting a purely Turkish audience:
Imagine (by John Lennon). Its original was used during the London Olympics

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/imagine-turkey-hosts-the-2020-olympic-games.aspx?pageID=449&nID=28475&NewsCatID=398

Imagine there is heaven
Where good Muslims enjoy 72 heavenly virgins everyday and wine flows through rivers
It’s easy if you try
Beware of the hell below us where drunks, infidels and Jews will taste the most punishing flames
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for jihad

Imagine there’s only one country
boasting the Crescent and Star
It isn’t hard to do
To kill the infidel or die for jihad
And no religion too
other than Islam
Imagine all the people living life in peace after having converted to Islam

You, you may say I am a jihadist
But I am not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

After this translation the presenter may lecture the Turkish audience about great musicians nonetheless like Lennon. To impress, I suggest that the presenter should mention some of the world’s most renowned musicians who were not born Muslim but converted to Islam at some point in their live; like Hector Berlioz, Georges Bizet, Marilyn Manson, Charlie Parker, Sergei Prokofiev, Maurice Ravel, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Dmitri Shostakovich, Giuseppe Verdi and Frank Zappa.

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:45 pm

 

155. VISITOR said:

153 TARA,

Even though she may have exhibited a remarkable resemblance to Spam Ann, but I personally think she is an affiliate of the Hizb Zbala of Hassan Zbala.

You could easily identify the obvious zbalish nature of her endless rubbish.

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:49 pm

 

156. Uzair8 said:

146. AMAL

Are you by any chance HASSAN?

Edit: LOL. I think Visitor beat me to it.

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August 23rd, 2012, 5:55 pm

 

157. Uzair8 said:

‘We are the Brigade of 1980′

I love this piece of FSA graffiti welcoming the regime forces, as mentioned in Robert Fisks article I read earlier today. It refers to the earlier MB uprising.

I loved it. Great name for a forum ‘Brigade of 1980′.
Must be a terrifying welcome for regime thugs conjuring up ghosts of yesteryear.

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August 23rd, 2012, 6:03 pm

 

158. Syrian Natonalist Party said:

قصة تحصل الآن في حي “التضامن” بدمشق تكشف عن مدى غباء الجيش العربي السوري وبلاهته: المسلحون عادوا مع النازحين ودمروا البلدية والبريد!؟

http://www.syriatruth.org/الأخبار/أخباروتقاريرأخرى/tabid/94/Article/8102/Default.aspx

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August 23rd, 2012, 6:16 pm

 

159. Aldendeshe said:

اللأبغاء من الجيش العربي السوري هو الجيش العربي الاسلامي ولكن حتى من ذلك هناك ابغى وهو الجيش الشيعي الاسلامي ياويل اهل الشرق الاسط العرب والمسلمين ولكن فهم مصدر البغأ اولأ

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August 23rd, 2012, 6:23 pm

 

160. SANDRO LOEWE said:

AMAL,

Take your medecine and go to sleep. Or Amal and Hezb Zbala just take drugs before sleeping ?

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August 23rd, 2012, 6:46 pm

 

161. Syrialover said:

116. SANDRO LOEWE said: “I would sacrifice myself just for being able who is hiding behind nicknames like ANN, BRONCO, ZOO, and all the rest of the criminal’s defense.”

I think you’ll find them sitting in their parents’ basements, knee deep in junk food wrappers and Red Bull cans, having given up on college or a job hunt.

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August 23rd, 2012, 6:57 pm

 

162. Tara said:

The US and its hollow meaningless rhetoric..Obama does not care if Bashar uses the chemical weapon against his people.  He only care that the chemical weapons do not fall into the wrong hands.  How come Hillary missed a travel opportunity?    

US military and intelligence officials met their Turkish counterparts in Ankara on Thursday to discuss ways to counter the threat of Syrian chemical weapons, as the impact of the civil war continued to spread across Syria’s borders.

The American delegation to the Ankara meeting was led by Elizabeth Jones, a high-ranking diplomat, most recently involved in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Turkish government did not name its representatives at the meeting, which was closed to the press, but they included senior security officials. Diplomats said the joint military and intelligence planning session was intended to reassure Turkey that the US would help prevent the conflict spilling across the border and destabilising its Nato ally.

The US has hitherto turned down Turkish appeals to help set up a safe haven inside Syria for regime opponents or to establish humanitarian corridors to besieged population centres, but in agreeing to hold the meeting 12 days ago, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, did not rule out such options if the violence continued to escalate.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Pentagon had contingency plans to protect or destroy chemical weapons stockpiles if they were left unguarded or in danger of falling into the hands of the armed opposition, or extremist groups linked to al-Qaida or Hezbollah.

The paper, quoting unnamed officials, says “securing the sites would probably involve stealthy raids by special operations teams trained to handle such weapons, and precision air strikes to incinerate the chemicals without dispersing them in the air”.

“US satellites and drone aircraft already maintain partial surveillance of the sites,” it adds.

An assessment by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London said Syria had manufactured mustard gas, a blistering agent, and a nerve gas called sarin. The report said Damascus was also alleged to have develop a more powerful and lingering nerve agent known as VX.

“I don’t think Assad will use them,” Dina Esfandiary, an IISS security analyst, said. “He is well aware it would be the end of his rule. What drives urgency, and what frightens bordering states, is the risk they will fall into the hands of non-state actors who would not be as deterrable as Assad.”
,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/23/us-turkey-syrian-chemical-weapons

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August 23rd, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

163. Darryl said:

“153. TARA said:

Amal

Are you Ann on a rampage? Or her significant other?

Don’t you think the best divine intervention is for literate Shabeeha men to be with literate shabeeha women? A match created in heaven, I think. Justice would be so served..”

Well Tara, the uprising has been on for 1.5 years and only resulted in the death of many of us Syrians. Last week, B. Assad has challenged an authentic Hadeeth that stood unchallenged for 1400 years and woulkd make the faithful shake in their socks, which states a Muslim will be turned into a donkey if he turns his head around during prayers.

Allah, the best of Deceivers, perhaps deceived the Muslims in the video as B Assad and his entourage still looked humans to the faithful but perhaps he was yelping “Shaaa Shaaa Shaaa” all the way to Asmaa’s kitchen as you put it.

Uzair8 can you tweet Sheikh Yacoubi to see if he can shed some light here?

Kofi Annan could not help stopping the violence, Brahimi will most likely fail, should we try a new approach?

I am wondering why don’t we invited the president, Baath party and FSA to a Mubahila? Perhaps we may have divine intervention at last to solve the crisis. What do you think?

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August 23rd, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

164. SANDRO LOEWE said:

AMAL is not a girl, AMAL is a lebanese shabbiha sympatizer of AMMAL Movement from Tripoli, he writes e-mails between shooting and shooting. It reminds me of FAWWAZ AL ASSAD.

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August 23rd, 2012, 7:04 pm

 

165. Tara said:

Darryl,

Hay..We are living in the 21st century and you are still dabbling with perceived fear from medieval time? I had to look up the Mubahila thing..

But seriously, just imagine the most unrefined vulgar shabeeh living with his matched girl shabeeha and the couple exchange intimate expressions of love in their tashbeeh vulgar style. Wouldn’t that be a divine justice? Me and my wild imagination…I can easily paint a mental image linking some shabeehas together and the mere idea of a shabeeha-style romantic love letter makes me unable to stop smiling. Justice would have been sooo served.

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August 23rd, 2012, 7:42 pm

 

166. Son of Damascus said:

Amnesty International on Aleppo and what they witnessed there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irxwVjytrbM&feature=player_embedded

It is very sad to see what has become of Syria’s largest city.

As of tonight Damascus is enduring another onslaught from the Assad forces, gunships, tanks, and artillery are attacking it.

I read a sign in one of the protests that happen daily across Syria that read:
“أقدم عاصمه في التاريخ تضرب من أقذر نظام في التارخ”
(The oldest capital in history is being attacked by the filthiest regime in history)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chroniclesyrianuprising/7792686516/

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August 23rd, 2012, 7:46 pm

 

167. zoo said:

Tara

“I don’t think Assad will use them,” Dina Esfandiary, an IISS security analyst, said. “He is well aware it would be the end of his rule.

I thought it was the “end of his regime” anyway, or the USA has second thoughts?

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August 23rd, 2012, 7:53 pm

 

168. Tara said:

Flashy news from the Telegraph.  The Turks and the Americans are meeting “to plan a mechanism to hasten the end of” Batta.  Said who?   Said the author, reflecting his own perception of the meeting?

Syria: US and Turkey meet to hasten Bashar al-Assad’s end
Turkish and US officials have begun their first “operational planning” meeting aimed at bringing about the demise of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime, as heavy fighting continued in Damascus and Aleppo.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9494109/Syria-US-and-Turkey-meet-to-hasten-Bashar-al-Assads-end.html

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced their plans for such a mechanism to hasten the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime on August 11.
(…)

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August 23rd, 2012, 7:53 pm

 

169. SYR.EXPAT said:

133. GHUFRAN said:

Smaha’s case has direct implications on Syria.
ذكرت مصادر لبنانية مطلعة أن عملية الدفاع عن النائب والوزير السابق ميشيل سماحة سوف تكون صعبة نظراً للاعترافات التي أقر بها إثر “انهياره السريع” في التحقيق الذي أجري معه في فرع الملعومات اللبناني. واشارت المصادر أن انهيار ميشال سماحة اضعف الدفاع عنه تحت ضغط نفسي و برعب الاعتقال انهار بعد عشر دقائق من توقيفه وقال كل شيء امام فرع المعلومات الذي قام بالتصوير و التسجيل و يقول محامو الدفاع ان لديهم نقطة قوة هي ان فيلم التصوير يمكن القول ان فرع المعلومات قد ركبه و انتجه لحين حضور الشاهد و العميل ميلاد كفوري لان لاقيمة لشريط التصوير دون حضور الشاهد.
It is believable that the regime may want to export its problem to Lebanon but to use Smaha to smuggle bombs is hard to understand,there are hundred of thugs who will gladly do the job for a fraction of the oost, this case will expose thugs in both countries not just Syria.

—————

Once it is established that Samaha was in the process of committing terrorism on behalf of Assad, questions about why using Samaha become irrelevant. Actually, there many good reasons for using Samaha. Just browse the Internet.

One other piece in this case is that someone in Lebanon seems to have given an order to let Samah in through al-Masna’ broder crossing without his car being searched. So there might be more to the story than just Samaha and the Syrian regime.

Here’s a news conference about this issue by Ja’ja’ (I am not a fan of him) for an anti-Syrian Lebanese perspective.

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August 23rd, 2012, 7:55 pm

 

170. Tara said:

Zoo

Exactly! They are not having a second thought..they were just pretending..Disney-style showing of benevolence. The US wants Batta to stay but just can’t admit it.

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August 23rd, 2012, 8:00 pm

 

171. Tara said:

• Two 19-year-old students of Syrian descent from west London are reported to have joined a rebel unit in al-Rab, just outside Aleppo, after telling their parents they were going on holiday.

The Guardian

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August 23rd, 2012, 8:13 pm

 

172. Ghufran said:

Expat,
Smaha’s case has the potential to get bigger,much bigger, unless competing factions choose to hide it under the rug due to “lack of evidence” (for a price), until there is a shift in the balance in power in the region, no conviction is likely in that case because Smaha is not the only thug in Lebanon, assuming that he is guilty, friends will make sure that those who want a conviction are given an idea of how expensive that conviction will be, this is the Middle East where matters of justice and guilt are relative, people with connection will always find a way out,however, if Smaha’s camp gets weaker, voices to convict Smaha will get louder, a lot of noise is created by the absence of the “king witness” in that case, Smaha also changed his testimony and said that he was tortured,I think that was after he was allowed to meet with his lawyer.
On a different subject, Morsi of Egypt, and the next Morsi in Syria, is now finding out what it means to be president in a poor middle east country:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/middleeast/2012/08/120823_egypt_fuel.shtml
Political changes will do very little to overcome the economic and demographic challenges that face middle eastern nations,Morsi’s biggest enemy will be fighting corruption and creating jobs,add water shortage and drout to the list and you will appreciate why the Middle East is not likely to see stability any time soon.
The press produced a similar piece on S. Africa where the end of apartheid did very little to end poverty and improve the quality of life of millions of south Africans.
Political reform is a small piece of the big picture,but that reform has to be pursued because without it,unrest and violence will only get worse.

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August 23rd, 2012, 8:28 pm

 

173. Darryl said:

“165. TARA said:

Darryl,

Hay..We are living in the 21st century and you are still dabbling with perceived fear from medieval time? I had to look up the Mubahila thing..”

Careful Tara, you may attract another reprimand from Visitor as he once thundered “You are treading on dangerous ground here”. I think Mubahalas may play a big role in serving justice in new Syria.

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August 23rd, 2012, 8:31 pm

 

174. zoo said:

Tara

Obama has two of the most “powerful women in the world” around him, he should get advices at least from one of them when she is not globetrotting or flirting with Lavrov or Davutoglu. Women always know better.

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August 23rd, 2012, 8:35 pm

 

175. Visitor said:

168 TARA,

I believe that you’re misreading the Telegraph article and we may have also misinterpreted Obama’s statement about Chemicals.

Here’s my 2 cents at this point in time.

The US is serious about some Turkish steps to be implemented in Northern Syria. It (the US) does not want to be directly involved but wants to provide the necessary backing for a NATO member in order to address its security and National concerns. Turkey has been making some noise for quite sometime about the limits of its patience. The US understandably may want to address those concerns and at the same time preserve NATO solidarity.

The purpose of this upcoming meeting is to make sure that Turkey will abide by agreed upon measures (i.e. operational coordination) with the US and other NATO countries. I am revising my interpretation of Mr. Obama’s threat regarding Chemicals as follows. The threat made by Obama and Europeans is meant to send the message to idiot prethident that in case Turkey makes any incursions into the North, then the possible use of such weapons against Turkey means direct NATO intervention with all hell set loose. Similar threats were made against Saddam by President Bush before he went to Iraq. Bush threatened the use of nukes against Saddam if he miscalculated.

I would not rule out the possibility that NFZ’s are in the works and could see the light in the not too distant future. The countries that may participate would be Turkey, France, Britain, Qatar and possibly KSA and Jordan. Turkey may also send troops to NE Syria.

————————–

It looks like we may have one of your Syrian Products lurking around in the background searching for a hunt.

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August 23rd, 2012, 9:11 pm

 

176. Tara said:

Visitor,

Your analysis is plausible.  Time will tell.  Here is another idiotic statement from the French:
“We won’t intervene without a UN mandate”.  They know the Russians will veto a UN mandate so why does the French defense chief ventures to say that France would consider a partial no-fly zone at the sane time when he essentially rules it out due to “lack of legal norms”

France says air exclusion zone in Syria possible
(AFP) – 1 hour ago
  
PARIS — France indicated that it would consider supporting a partial no-fly zone over Syria, turning the screws on President Bashar al-Assad’s regime as fighting rages in Damascus and second city Aleppo.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian however warned that shutting all of Syria’s air space would mean “going to war” and would require a willing international coalition that has not yet materialized.

The French defence chief also stressed that France would not get involved without a UN mandate.
“We would only be able to intervene in Syria… if there are international legal norms,” he said. “Without international legal norms, we can’t do anything.”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ij8CC7gVwQfKiLxGPMAWeTmvrCRA?docId=CNG.bf6e04b6089cdd538395d97aba337d68.ac

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August 23rd, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

177. ghufran said:

الجزائر (CNN) —
ضمت عدة منظمات حقوقية وإنسانية بالجزائر صوتها إلى عائلة رمز الحركة الوطنية، الأمير عبد القادر الجزائري، في مناشدة الرئيس عبد العزيز بوتفليقة، التدخل لدى السلطات السورية من أجل إنقاذ حياة أحد أحفاد الأمير، وهو محمد خلدون الجزائري الحسني، من الإعدام، بعد صدور حكم بحقه من محكمة عسكرية سورية قبل شهرين.
what are the charges against the guy?

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August 23rd, 2012, 9:51 pm

 

178. ghufran said:

This is from aljazeera comment section:
waleed belal – australia
حلب لم تشهد حراكا او اي فعاليه يمكن ان نطلق عليه مسمى ثورة. مجموعه من المقاتلين يسمون نفسهم جيش حر، يتلقون دعم مادي واعلامي من الغرب ودول الخليج معظمهم قرويين وبدو لم يكملوا تعليمهم وفهمهم للجهاد منقوص وسطحي. اما اهل حلب لم يخرجوا بنصف مظاهرة. والجزيره بعدما كانت تخاطب النخبه اصبحت تخاطب العوام. هؤلاء ليسوا بثوار وهذه ليست بثوره احترمي عقول مشاهديك يا جزيره
opposition sources are yet to produce any evidence that the rebels in Aleppo are home-grown.

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August 23rd, 2012, 9:59 pm

 

179. Ghufran said:

لقد ثبت لنا نحن في المجلس الأعلى لقيادة الثورة قيام مجموعات من أبناء الطائفة الأرمنية بالوقوف إلى جانب النظام السوري عسكرياً بمواجهة الثوار وأبطال الجيش الحر في بعض مناطق محافظة اللاذقية وحلب. نخصُ من تلك المناطق منطقة كسب بريف اللاذقية وذلك من خلال نصبهم للحواجز العسكرية المسلحة في الطرق العامة لمنطقة كسب لصالح العصابات الأسدية وإيوائهم للشبيحة في منازلهم إضافةً للسماح للعصابات الأسدية باستخدام منازلهم كمستودعات للأسلحة و أيضا مشاركتهم في عمليات التشبيح في منطقة الجديدة بحلب.
بناءً على ذلك كله فإن المجلس الأعلى لقيادة الثورة السورية يحذر تلك العناصر من تبعات هذه الممارسات الخطيرة وهذا الإصطفاف العسكري خلف جيش النظام وذلك لتنفيذ أجندة رموز النظام بإقحام الأقليات في هذه المعركة لصالحه ولصالح مخططاته في إشعال الفتنة الطائفية وتمزيق البلاد.
وإننا نهيب بالمرجعيات الدينية للطائفة الأرمنية أن تبادر لفضح هذه العناصر وفضح من يقف خلفها والتبرؤ من هذه الأفعال ومن صانعيها إفشالاً لأجندة النظام وحفاظاً على العقد الاجتماعي للشعب السوري”.

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August 23rd, 2012, 10:18 pm

 

180. Aldendeshe said:

@GHUFRAN

You are taking this fake bedouin/Turkmen sponsored opposition too seriously. They are in it for the money they get from Bedouins, crimes against humanity and theft in Syria. The goal is to help the Jews destroy Syria, that is all to it. That is why they not only failed to get the Syrians attention, but they will never get to any goal other than helping Mossad kill Syrian scientists and helping the Jews destroy Syrian museums, just as they did in Iraq, out of jealousy, nothing more. Jews could not present the world with ONE UNO single evidence or artifact of their fraudulent past kingdoms and if they could, they would wipe out every artifact of others in the Middle East so they can claim their fraud as real one according to the Babylonian Torah. That is really is all about, bottom line.

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August 24th, 2012, 12:33 am

 

181. ann said:

France preparing for no-fly zone in Syria? – 24 August, 2012

http://rt.com/news/france-syria-no-fly-435/

Paris said it is considering helping to enact a partial no-fly zone over Syria, proposed earlier by the US, the move adds yet more pressure on Damascus as the fiery rhetoric increases.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian signaled that the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone in the area, between the Turkish border and the flashpoint city of Aleppo, should be considered.

“The idea of a no-fly zone over a particular part of Syria, as suggested by Hillary Clinton, should be examined,” he said in an interview with France24.

Le Drian stressed that the Syrian crisis would never be resolved unless President Bashar Assad steps down.

Noting that the Syrian opposition is “is not yet entirely solidified”, the Defense Minister reasserted France’s support of anti-government forces.

“We are increasing our efforts to support a robust Syrian opposition that is capable of taking the reins of the country, and, above all, of respecting all Syrian communities,” he said.

He however, pointed out that France would not enter into a war without a UN mandate.

The statement comes after the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, indicated earlier this month that a no-fly zone was an option in resolving the ongoing crisis.

Meanwhile, Russia continues to oppose any military action against Syria and calls for a peaceful solution and further dialogue

On Thursday, Moscow said it was working closely with Damascus to ensure that its arsenal of chemical weapons remains under firm control and has won promises that the weapons of mass destruction will not be used or relocated, AP reports, citing Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov.

Last week, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that military action in Syria will end in catastrophe and stressed that the solution to the ongoing conflict is the Geneva accord peace plan.

“Statements, saying the document [Geneva accord] is as good as dead imply that someone seeks a pretext for military intervention. This is worrying as it can only lead to catastrophe in the region,” Lavrov said in an interview with Sky News Arabic.

[...]

http://rt.com/news/france-syria-no-fly-435/

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August 24th, 2012, 1:16 am

 

182. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad The Last The Criminal is being given more time by the US-NATO-Israel to kill the insurgency. They are beneffiting from the month of August holidays and Ramadan and Aid to avoid more international meetings and pressure on themselves.

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August 24th, 2012, 3:03 am

 

183. annie said:

Unthinkable, unspeakable !
Torture in hospitals

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August 24th, 2012, 3:22 am

 

184. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

This morning

Your daily Amids and Akids

.

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August 24th, 2012, 6:11 am

 

185. Tara said:

Shame!..

Film-maker disappears at airport
Award-winning Syrian film maker Orwa Nyrabia is believed to have been arrested yesterday as he was about to leave Syria on a flight to Egypt.

According to his family, he disappeared at Damascus airport, a note on the Local Co-ordinating Committees’ Facebook page says.

He was heading to Cairo at 5:00 pm, on August 23, 2012, but his family lost contact with him shortly after his arrival at the airport.

According to Egyptian Airlines, he did not board the plane, which indicates that he had been arrested by the Syrian authorities.

Nyrabia, born in 1977, is a documentary maker who works with Diana el-Jeiroudi. The Sarajevo film festival website describes their background:

In 2002, Diana and Orwa started Proaction Film, which is today the only independent documentary film outfit operating in Syria. Most of the films they produce and make tackle human rights, gender and social justice issues.

Their debut feature documentary, “Dolls – A Woman from Damascus” premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2007 and was screened in over 30 international festivals worldwide.

In early 2008, they launched DOX BOX in Syria, the Independent Documentary Film Festival, which quickly grew to become the largest and most significant documentary film festival in the Arab region, also developing 30 Arab regional documentary films at the DOX BOX CAMPUS every year.

Last year, in protest against the killings in Syria and as a clear stand against the Syrian ruling regime, they decided not to hold the fifth edition of the Festival and instead initiated a Global Day for Syria, screening Syrian documentaries in 38 cities around the world on 15 March, the very first anniversary of the Syrian revolution.

The Guardian

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August 24th, 2012, 7:26 am

 
 

187. Citizen said:

BBC News HD – Syrian rebels try to use prisoner for suicide bombing 2012

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August 24th, 2012, 8:38 am

 

188. goran9 said:

Maliki reminds me of the trapped monkey with his hand grabbing Kurdish lands inside a jar. Once it let go, and free his hand, he can focus on a more stable Iraq, or even help Syria by exchanging Kurdish lands in Iraq with Halab/Deyr zoor provinces in Syria.

Will he swap Kurdish Halabja with Arab Halab and save Assad?

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August 24th, 2012, 8:24 pm

 

189. Picobee said:

In the article and the comments above, I am surprised that there is no substantive discussions on the role AND degree of real influence US and European countries (NATO) have in trying to mitigate tensions among the varying factions around the massive amount of oil in Iraqi Kurdistan. In June FM’s from Sweden, Poland, and Bulgaria were in Erbil: “Three EU foreign ministers in the Middle East … Kurds in Iraq want a free and democratic Syria” http://www.mfa.bg/en/news/view/33029

What has been pointed out is that the Kurdish region is landlocked. The Kurdish people need positive, practical and constructive relationships with their neighbors in both Turkey and Iraq for export of its oil and gas reserves. Further, Turkey stands to benefit materially from a Constructive relationship with the Kurdish people, i.e. increased oil flow via their pipeline connection with Iraq.

The factionalism is short-sighted and counterproductive for all parties. I hope, if everything I’ve read so far about the PKK is accurate (i.e. their leadership has no interest in constructive dialogue and supports chronic terrorists attacks against civilians) that Barzani and Sieda of the SNC have the wisdom of distancing themselves from them.

That Maliki sees Kurdish autonomy as a threat is also short-sighted. Chronic conflict only saps the life out of any community and undermines statehood, and it deprives the people of Iraq from reaping the benefits of increased regional stability. Clearly, the Kurds have to export their oil and gas via both Iraq to the East and Syria & Turkey to the West. IMHO, the idea that constructive dialogue and increased regional stability would lead to substantive economic prosperity is a no-brainer. (I point, for example, to the long history of US-UK relations. We thrive when we work together.) Here’s hoping the Iraqi, Kurdish, and Turkish leaders choose the wise path and take the long view for the benefit of their respective citizens.

Kind regards.

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August 26th, 2012, 4:23 am

 

190. drougos.gr - CONTENTS/MIDDLE EASTERN BULLETIN/AUGUST 2012 said:

[...] 117) Nuri al-Maliki’s Strategy toward Syria and Syrian Kurds [...]

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September 8th, 2012, 2:47 pm

 

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