Qaddafi’s Death, Mazoot Prices, Opposition

Posted by Joshua Landis

The Syrian opposition has been given renewed vigor following the killing of Qaddafi. Senator John McCain said Sunday that military action to protect civilians in Syria might be considered now that NATO’s air campaign in Libya is ending.

Mohammad Habash, a member of Syria’s outgoing parliament, said such military action “will only bring catastrophes, wars and blood and this is what we don’t wish at all.”  “We believe that the best way to protect civilians is diplomatic pressure and pushing the regime to sit and talk with the opposition and pushing the opposition to sit with the regime,” said Habash, who has been linked to the regime but has recently tried to position himself between the government and the opposition.

President al-Assad has named new governors for the province of Idlib and the Damascus governorate. Assad forces shelled civilian houses in Baba Amr, Homs At least thirty civilians were killed in Homs, Hama, Daraa and Idlib in the last few days.

Qaddafi’s downfall can only be cheered even as one is horrified by his brutal end and the unruly vengeance and looting that has overtaken several towns and parts of Libya. Unfortunately, it is easy to envisage similar destruction and violence being visited on Syria as so many now predict civil war. The government’s primary tactic for regaining control — inducing fear — increases the desire for retribution. Those of us with family in Syria are plotting ways to get them out as the situation becomes ever more violent.

Lest anyone think that revenge is a specialty of the Arab World, it is worth remembering that after the fall of the Vichy government in 1945, the French killed over 10,000 collaborators during the first phase (the épuration sauvage) of retribution. Once France’s provisional government got control of the process many fewer were killed. The commissions d’épuration sentenced approximately 120,000 persons but only 6,763 people were condemned to death (3,910 in absentia) and only 791 executions were actually carried out. Many were given prison terms. More common was “national degradation,” a loss of face and civil rights, which was meted out to 49,723 people.


Inflation has hit Syria. Nowhere more brutally than the energy sector – the main target of European sanctions. Ehsani writes:

The topic in Syria is mazot (kerosene oil, used for heating) as we enter winter. The official price is syp 15 but no one sells at that price. Families who want to stock up for the winter and who have mazot tanks on their roofs or basements need to pay syp 32-33 to get them delivered. An average house (my sister) consumes 2000 liters a year. Others (like my dad) consume as much as 8000 liters a year. With a price difference of syp 17-18 from official prices, filling up 2000 liter tanks is a hit of syp 35,000. Most don’t want to bite the bullet and pay it for they still hope to avoid the hit and pay the official price of SYP 15. This is the recent major calculation of households. Many cars use mazot too (taxis and service). Those are essentially stranded at gas stations. They wait for hours hoping to fill in at SYP 15 with little luck.

National Budget did not increase by 58% and the missing oil revenue

As many of us were unable to account for the oil revenues, the government is finally trying to explain the discrepancy. In a nutshell, the subsidies of close to $7 billion were never part of the budget. Instead, they were accounted for by lowering the revenues from oil. The budget this year did the right thing. It counted oil revenue correctly and then hit the subsidies as expenditures (rather than lower revenues). This is why the whole budget went up by 58% (both sides went up). If you exclude this accounting change, they claim that the budget is up 15%. This is a significant move in the right direction. The total subsidies now of syp 386 billion of which over SYP 300 are on energy are now fully accounted for. They make up 1/3 of every dollar that the government spends/invests. The subsidies go largely to the rich.

Opposition News

As the situation deteriorates, ever more importance must be placed on the Syrian opposition to see that something good comes out of this struggle and that it proceeds with as much central and rational direction as possible. See this invaluable website on the Syrian parties and currents:

Samer Araabi explains how the Syrian National Council Seeks Legitimacy At Home and Abroad. Western governments seem to be keeping the Syrian National Council are arms length for the time being, fearing that it is heavily tilted toward the Islamic currents.

Here is what Anthony Shadid writes in NYTimes on the National Council:

Unlike with Libya, Western officials have called the council’s formation a positive step but offered little more. “I think we will have to find out a bit more yet,” said Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief. (So far, only Libya’s new government has recognized the council as the representative of Syria’s people.)

An Obama administration official was especially critical, saying the council had lobbied the international community more than Syrians themselves, particularly the Christian and Alawite minorities. The official declined to refer to the council as the opposition, but rather as “oppositionists,” in reflection of the body’s embryonic nature.

“It’s a right step, but we’re still skeptical basically,” the official in Washington said. “We’re far from a real body that fully represents the Syrian people.”

Within the opposition, some worry about the disproportionate power of Islamists, namely the Muslim Brotherhood, especially given its lack of any organizational presence inside Syria. Others suggest Turkey may seek to corral the opposition, and some activists were opposed to holding the meeting in Istanbul. Though Turkish officials have sought to place themselves broadly on the side of change in the Arab world, they have deep relations with Islamist movements in Egypt, Tunisia and the Palestinian territories.

While Mr. Ghalioun has said the council opposes the intervention of NATO, even if it is not on the table, others have endorsed what they call international protection of protesters, an admittedly ambiguous position, or no-fly zones or havens along Syria’s borders. Inside Syria, some dissidents still caution against the overthrow of Mr. Assad — fearing civil war — and instead endorse gradual reform.

And though this month has witnessed one of the biggest Kurdish demonstrations, the community has yet to forcefully enter the fray on the opposition’s side.

“Things are still very blurred,” said Abdel-Basit Hammo, a Kurdish activist.

Some analysts say the opposition’s biggest challenge in the coming months is to elaborate precisely its vision for a future Syria, beyond a set of principles. Mr. Assad’s government is remarkable for its lack of any ideology; fear of chaos drives much of its support. Most slogans at last week’s pro-government protest paid tribute to the remnants of Mr. Assad’s personality cult, itself diminished by the viciousness of the crackdown.

“The key is whether they can offer a real alternative,” said Nadim Houry, senior researcher with Human Rights Watch in Beirut. “If they do, they would be setting the agenda, regardless of whether they are in Damascus or not. This is where their true power lies today, if they can set the agenda and define what tomorrow’s Syria will look like.”

Many Syrians are perturbed that not one of the opposition groups in Syria has proposed any economic plan or a new constitution. Indeed, the parties have been very slow to outline the answers they propose to Syria’s main problems other than overturning the regime. The press has been slow to ask such questions to the new leaders that are emerging.

1- what will you do about population growth?
2- what are your plans on subsidies and the public sector?
3- what is your vision of a new education system. How will you change it?
4- women in the region have the lowest labor participation in the world. Do you plan to change this for syria and how (highest correlation with fertility)?
5- what are your plans regarding the Golan?

Barry Rubin is pulling his hair out over the Islamists and blames the Obama administration for trusting the Turks with this.
Largely Islamist Leadership for Syrian Revolution, October 22, 2011 – 12:13 am – by Barry Rubin

The leadership of the Syrian revolution, or at least those recognized as such by the United States and the European Union, has released the names of 19 of the 29 members of the General Secretariat and five members of the Presidential Council. A lot of research should be done on the individuals, but let’s do a quick ethnic and political analysis based on this information.

But first let me give you my analysis: I believe that the Turkish Islamist regime deliberately helped produce a Syrian leadership that is more Islamist and more Muslim Brotherhood controlled than was necessary. Since Turkey’s government was empowered to do this by the Obama administration, the White House is responsible for this extremely dangerous situation. It is a blunder or a betrayal — in effect, the motive and cause don’t matter — of the greatest dimensions. The Obama administration may “only” have paved the way for the triumph of Islamist regimes in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia — we don’t yet know the final result — but it has been actively involved in helping promote an (avoidable) Islamist revolution in Syria.

Of the 19 members of the committee whose names have been published, 4 are identified as Muslim Brotherhood and 6 more as independent Islamists. That means 10 of the 19 — a majority — and hence 10 of the 15 Sunni Muslim Arabs (two-thirds) are Islamists!

Of the non-Islamist Sunni Arabs, two are leftists, two are liberals, and one represents the tribes. Some of the non-Islamists are really good people, as are some of those who have not yet been named publicly (and whose names aren’t going to be made public by me).

Still, thanks, Obama Administration, for putting Islamist Turkey in charge of the negotiations!

There are also two Christians (one a representative of the small Assyrian community), one Druze, and one Kurd. So that 40 percent of the non-Sunni Arab population (there are no Alawites listed) has only 20 percent representation. This might partly be due to the walk-out of many Kurds to protest the Turkish bias favoring the Islamists. But the over-representation of Sunni Arabs sends a signal to the minority groups as well as helps empower Islamists.

Of course, it is true that 10 members remain anonymous because they are inside Syria, but there’s no particular reason to believe they are of a different composition.

To my knowledge, not a single journalist or expert in the entire world has yet used this publicly available information and done the simple math involved. Yet this is the body that’s going to be receiving Western help and money, if any is offered to help bring a new government to Syria.

Name Political Affiliation Sectarian Background
1 Burhane Ghalioun Independent Left Sunni Arab / Homs
2 Samir Nashar Damascus Declaration Council Sunni Arab / Aleppo
3 Muhammad Taifur Muslim Brotherhood Sunni Arab / Hama
4 Basma Kodmani Independent Left Sunni Arab (spikesperson)
5 Abdelbasit Sida Independent Kurdish Activist Kurdish
6 Abdel Ahad Steifo Christian: Assyrian Democratic Movement Christian / Hassakeh
7 Ahmad Ramdan Old SNC, Islamist (Syrian Hamas Adviser) Sunni Arab
8 Ahmad Sayyid Youssef Muslim Brotherhood Sunni Arab / Homs
9 Abdel Hamid Atassy Damascus Declaration Council Sunni Arab / Homs
10 Abdel Ilah Milhem Tribal Coalition Sunni Arab / Homs
11 Emadiddine Rasheed Old SNC, Islamist (Religion Instructor) Sunni Arab / Damascus
12 Jabr Al-Shoufi Damascus Declaration Arab / Druze
13 Wa’el Mirza Old SNC, Islamist Sunni Arab
14 Muhammad Bassam Youssef Muslim Brotherhood Sunni Arab / Homs
15 Anas Al-Abdeh Damascus Declaration Council, Islamist Sunni Arab / Damascus
16 Kathryn Al-Talli Local Coordination Committees, Christian Christian
17 Motei Bateen LCCs, Islamist (Imam) Sunni Arab /Deraa (Hauran)
18 Najib Ghadbian Old SNC, Independent Islamist Sunni Arab / Damascus
19 Nazeer Hakeem Muslim Brotherhood Sunni Arab

The Presidential Council:

1 Burhane Ghalioun Independent Left Sunni Arab / Homs
2 Samir Nashar Damascus Declaration Council Sunni Arab / Aleppo
3 Muhammad Taifur Muslim Brotherhood Sunni Arab / Hama
4 Abdelbasit Sida Independent Kurdish Activist Kurdish
5 Abdel Ahad Steifo Christian: Assyrian Democratic Movement Christian / Hassakeh

Note that the Presidential Council is much more balanced with only one Islamist, and the remaining names include a leftist, a liberal, a Christian, and a Kurd. This seems, however, to be more for show to conceal the imbalance in the overall leadership.

Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean the actual leadership is highly Islamist, but it does indicate that the official leadership, chosen with U.S. participation, is far more balanced with only one Islamist…..

Islamists are increasingly gaining attention in Syrian affairs and organizing themselves. Not only are Israelis and US diplomats wringing their hands over this new phenomenon, but some Syrians and Lebanese are clearly interested in this constituency that is stepping out of the shadows for the first time in decades. The Jizel Khoury interview with one of Syria’s leading Salafis drew notice.

Interview: Loai Zou’bi by Jizel Khouri:(Youtube)

Loai Zou’bi is the leader of Syria’s Salafi movement called “Haraket al-Moumineen.” He claims that over 60 percent of Syria’s Muslims are Salafis. He refuses to quibble over whether they are Muslim Brothers or Salafis, preferring to group Syria’s Islamists in one camp.

Khoury asks Zou’bi if he would be willing to choose a Christian as president. He said, “Yes, if he is just (`aadil and not “zaalim”) He refuses to look at Jizel during the interview. He says that rather than veiling Jizel, he chooses not to look at her. Her blond hair is uncovered and her dress reveals the beginning of her cleavage, which he must find provocative. He keeps his eyes trained on a distant point on the floor throughout, in an attitude of humility and self-discipline.

On Syrian frontier, Turks bemoan soured ties

ANTAKYA, Turkey — Until recently, Hamdi Esen would make the short trip across to Syria several times a month, fill his father’s car up with gas, maybe buy a few bags of sugar and some cigarettes and then return home to Turkey.

But after Turkey stepped up criticism of Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, Esen stopped going because of long waits at the border and the hostility he faced from Syrian security officials and even some regular citizens.

“I used to drive over to Syria every week and fill up my tank. Gasoline is so much cheaper there. But now I don’t go,” said 31-year-old Esen as he sat chatting with friends at a roadside tea house.

“They treat us differently. It’s as if they don’t like us anymore.”

Esen is from Antakya, the ancient city of Antioch, in Turkey’s southern Hatay province, a panhandle that juts down into Syria and was once part of it.

Syria May Switch From Euro to Ruble Banking
21 October 2011

Syria may start using the Russian ruble for banking transactions if the European Union bans it from operations in euros, central bank governor Adib Mayaleh said Thursday.

As a first step, the Syrian central bank has begun posting the exchange rate for the ruble as well as the Chinese yuan on its daily bulletin, Mayaleh said in an interview with the Arabic-language Russia Today channel.

“Don’t forget that we can carry out operations in rubles,” Mayaleh said, according to an e-mailed transcript of the interview. “In the nearest future we will agree on parameters for switching to close cooperation with Russian banks and using the ruble for international settlements.”

The EU last week expanded sanctions against Syria in a bid to end a violent crackdown on demonstrators, freezing assets of organizations affiliated with the government. At least 3,000 people have been killed in the seven-month uprising against President Bashar Assad, according to the United Nations.

Syrian Arab Airlines, the country’s biggest carrier, agreed Wednesday to buy three new planes from Tupolev as Western sanctions block the state-owned company’s access to maintenance and renewal services for its fleet. Syrianair, as the company is known, signed a letter of intent to take delivery of the Tu-204SMs from Tupolev, part of state-owned United Aircraft Corporation, starting in 2013. The airline will later set up a maintenance center for the jets at its headquarters in Damascus, it said on its web site.

An Alawite girl, Abeer Safi, was killed today by the regime during an anti-government protest. The growing presence of young Alawites in protests and on Facebook opposing the regime must be a troubling sign for the government.

Comments (453)

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251. Tara said:

Ah…exciting news

A demonstration in the “romantic” Hamidieh in downtown Damascus today. Of course quickly dispersed by the Shabeehas.

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October 25th, 2011, 4:09 pm


252. ann said:

CIA’s Covert Iraq Mission – 15 hrs ago

As the U.S. military departs Iraq, the CIA is looking at how it can absorb and continue secret counterterrorism and intelligence programs run inside that country for years by the Joint Special Operations Command and other military organizations, officials tell The Daily Beast.

The programs involve everything from the deployment of remote sensors that scan the wireless spectrum of terrorist safe havens to stealth U.S.-Iraqi counterterrorism commando teams, and their status is uncertain as a U.S. diplomatic team negotiates with Iraqi leaders, according to officials, who made clear the CIA intends to keep a footprint inside the country even as troops leave by Dec. 31.

“There are of course parts of the counterterrorism mission that the intelligence community, including CIA, will be able to take on from other organizations—and there are parts of that mission that it won’t,” said one U.S. counterterrorism official who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of secret negotiations with the Iraqis.

But the official added: “This idea that the U.S. military and CIA are somehow interchangeable is misinformed—they work together closely on some counterterrorism issues, but their missions, expertise, and authorities are fundamentally different. When the U.S. military leaves Iraq, some things just won’t happen anymore.”

In the last months of the Bush administration, the United States negotiated a plan to leave Iraq by the end of 2011. While the Pentagon pressed to keep between 5,000 and 15,000 troops in Iraq past that date, U.S.-Iraq negotiations broke down this month when Iraqi leaders refused to grant soldiers and military contractors immunity from Iraqi domestic law.

On Friday, many in the U.S. national-security bureaucracy were shocked when President Obama announced the end of the military mission in Iraq by Jan. 1. U.S. military planners had assumed that some intelligence missions would still be run from U.S. bases in Iraq into 2012. The new White House policy throws that plan into jeopardy.

Nonetheless, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said Monday that the United States was negotiating over the future elements of the U.S.-Iraqi military relationship. “As we complete the drawdown, we will continue to have discussions with Iraqi leaders about how best to meet their security needs in a manner that meets our mutual interests,” he said. “Possibilities could include training, exchange programs, tactical exercises, and regular coordination. But they will not include U.S. forces being permanently based in Iraq.”

Other U.S. officials say the CIA is examining how it can continue many of these secret programs once the U.S. military leaves. Many of these programs were developed in 2007 and 2008, when CIA Director David Petraeus, then a four-star Army general, assumed command of the multinational forces in Iraq.

The CIA, with its drones and paramilitary forces, has a far smaller, more stealth footprint than brigades of soldiers, meaning most Americans won’t see much of its continuing activity.

“My sense is that there will be some discussions about what can be given the CIA and whether some of the counterterrorism arrangements that exist today can be negotiated through a separate and secret channel,” said Marisa Cochrane Sullivan, managing director of the Institute for the Study of War, a think tank with close ties to Petraeus and the military’s new generation of counterinsurgency specialists.

While the CIA can pick up some of the slack for the departing military, another possibility is U.S. allies in the region. The United States is in talks with Kuwait about moving some equipment and troops there, said U.S. diplomats who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Jasem al-Budaiwi, the deputy chief of mission for Kuwait’s embassy in Washington, declined to comment directly on the substance of the negotiations. “There is always continuous cooperation from both the Kuwaiti and U.S. side on military, political, and economic issues,” he said. “We have a great bilateral relationship. All issues are always discussed through many channels.”

The United States is also in discussions with Turkey about pre-positioning sensitive sensors, drones, and other equipment used in Iraq at the Incirlik airbase, which hosted a U.S. Air Force mission in the 1990s to monitor northern Iraq.

A Turkish Embassy spokesman in Washington said the United States would continue to assist Turkey in targeting Kurdish radical separatists, known as the PKK. “Moreover, the intelligence support provided by the United States will be continued on a bilateral basis,” he added. “We attach importance to this support. That said, we are not able to provide details on the content, equipment, or the methods of the cooperation between the two sides in this area.”

For now, a major issue for the military and U.S. intelligence community is retaining some of the capabilities of the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) programs run out of Iraq when these cannot be launched from bases inside the country. These programs, in combination with a population-centric counterinsurgency strategy, are widely credited within the military with stopping al Qaeda’s efforts to turn Iraq into a Sunni Islamic republic. The programs included detailed full-motion video monitoring of known terrorist enclaves as well as the lightning-quick interception of temporary cellphone calls and text messages from suspected terrorists.

“We could run ISR collection activities out of Turkey and Kuwait, but the real problem is we have a lot of collection targets in Iraq,” said a senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the details of negotiations over the programs. “We need to know what is going on all over Iraq, or at least in critical nodes.”

Such areas, the official said, include Anbar, the western Iraqi desert that produced al Qaeda in Iraq; Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city, which remains a hub for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard corps and other Shiite militias; and Najaf, the Muslim holy city that hosts the most prestigious seminary for Shiite theologians, known as the Hawza.

“We especially need to establish deep collection on the Najaf Hawza if and when [Grand Ayatollah Ali] Sistani goes belly up. We need to know who is going to replace him,” the official said.

Often through military channels to local militias and other groups, U.S. forces in Iraq also ran intelligence programs against Iran and Syria. In some cases, U.S. operations in those countries went beyond intelligence collection. In October 2008, U.S. special forces raided a compound in Sukkariyeh, Syria, a town just over the border from Iraq, to target an al Qaeda in Iraq planner named Badran Turki Hishan al-Mazidih, also known as Abu Ghadiya.

The United States also provides the Iraqi military with key capabilities, such as maintenance of its aircraft, logistics for the military’s supply lines, and “intelligence fusion.” One House staffer who follows the U.S.-Iraqi negotiations closely explained the latter term as “putting everyone on the same network,” or creating a system for intelligence sharing for Iraq’s national-security agencies.

At the moment, many of the programs for counterterrorism and intelligence collection are “in jeopardy,” the staffer said. “But they are saying they are still in ongoing negotiations on the training and security missions. It is entirely possible that this is touch and go. Everyone gets a political win on Jan. 1, but personnel will trickle in after the new year starts.”

Vietor said Monday that the post-2011 diplomatic presence in Iraq would include “a robust Office of Security Cooperation, which will serve as the primary mechanism for our continued security support to Iraq.” He added, “Among other training and support functions, it will manage the Foreign Military Sales program, through which Iraq has already committed billions of dollars.” Iraq has spent $7.5 billion on U.S. equipment since 2005 and committed another $4.8 billion for pending sales, including an agreement earlier this year to buy U.S.-made F-16 aircraft, according to Vietor.

The United States will need to find a way to remain in Iraq in 2012 just to keep the Iraqi military functional, said Cochrane Sullivan. “Right now we still provide important capabilities—for example, medical evacuation; we provide intelligence; we provide logistical support,” she said. “The Iraqis have some helicopters, but they are still reliant on the United States there as well.”

One possibility would be to “rotate forces in and out of Iraq for a set of exercises,” she said. “You bring them in to do an exercise or a training course, and then you pull them out. That’s the not the same as stationing troops in Iraq past 2011.”

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October 25th, 2011, 4:37 pm


253. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

When Al-Jazeera TV airs news of events in Syria from testimonies of anti-regime eyewitnesses, Al-Jazeera says that these eyewitnesses are the ones responsible for the credibility of the news, while the channel itself not responsible. However, when pro-regime eyewitnesses contact Al-Jazeera with testimonies that contradict the anti-regime eyewitnesses, Al-Jazeera chooses to not air them. For example, according to Al-Jazeera news — citing residents in Homs City as the news source — the Syrian airforce dropped bombs on Homs City. When other residents in Homs City phoned Al-Jazeera to report that this story was completely fictitious, Al-Jazeera ignored those other reports. Thus because Al-Jazeera is picking and choosing its Syrian sources, with systematic bias against pro-regime sources, Al-Jazeera is in fact responsible itself for the credibility of its news. Besides hurting its own credibility, Al-Jazeera is hurting the anti-regime cause when it airs completely fictitious stories from anti-regime eyewitnesses when the stories are easy to refute, such as the story that the airforce bombed Homs.

The same can be said about the rubbish that Joshua Landis posts, such as Joshua’s link to “Assad forces shelled civilian houses in Baba Amr, Homs” (PS re time 0:50 in the video: Is it legal to keep chickens in apartments Homs City?). Besides hurting his own integrity he’s hurting the integrity of the anti-regime cause. The fake revolution has failed, thank God.

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October 25th, 2011, 5:26 pm


254. zoo said:

#239 Tara

“Now I agree that some individuals can be very conservative by nature but it is rather the oppression that usually drives masses into becoming more religious”

After the fall of Qaddafi, one woman interviewed said: “At least now I can wear the hejab at the University!

Dictators in the region ( Ataturk, Shah of Iran, Ben Ali, Ghaddafi, Mobarak) have tried to “force” on their people western values sometime clashing with the traditional form of Islam. They were usually supported by Western countries eager to propagate the judeo-christian style of life. Islam conservatives people perceived it as “oppression”.
In Iran under the Shah, the style of life had become gradually more westernized, despite the political oppression, yet the revolution showed that there was a rejection of the western values as a whole and a desire to return to traditional Islam. Old countries usually rejects any values imposed brutally on them from outside. They prefer to have their own ones evolve within their culture.

The fall of a western oriented dictatorship is often followed either by a military or a religious regime. ( Turkey, Iran). It takes decades for it to transform into a democracy.

Libya is a conservative moslem country and Ghaddafi has fought against radical Islam to give rights to women and minorities. Shah of Iran, Ben Ali and Mobarak did the same.
Now that they are gone, depending on the education level of the citizens, there could be a return to a form a authoritarism, either military or religious.
While in Tunisia it may be a moderate religious authoritarian regime, I think Libya may turn out to be a much more rigid Islamic republic.

Democracy is far far at the horizon…

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October 25th, 2011, 5:31 pm


255. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem says in an interview with Russia Today TV: “In the course of our consultations [with Russia] it became clear that Russia is even more demanding than other countries in urging Syria to complete reforms.” Many Russians, Chinese, and other non-Syrians with goodwill for Syria are feeling impatient: they think the pace Syria’s reforms is too slow. Here’s something to reflect on. has a ranking of 183 countries worldwide on the criterion of “enforcing business contracts”. This criterion is mostly a measure of how long it takes for a commercial legal case to move through the courts plus how long it takes to enforce the court’s judgment when the plaintiff wins the case. According to’s data, all Arabic-speaking countries rank low internationally on that criterion, and Syria ranks the lowest. Syria’s rank is 175 out of the 183 countries. Meanwhile Russia ranked 13th worldwide and China ranked 16th. So, apparently, bureaucracy moves a lot slower in Syria than in Russia or China.

An English-language transcript of Walid Al-Moallem’s interview with Russia Today TV was posted yesterday at In the interview Al-Moallem says the pace of the reforms program is not unduly slow. I disagree with him.

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October 25th, 2011, 5:32 pm


256. Khalid Tlass said:

Tara, did you check out the book I recommended ? ( Al raheeq al makhtoum).

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October 25th, 2011, 5:36 pm


257. majedkhaldoun said:

Watch for tsunami

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October 25th, 2011, 5:36 pm


258. jad said:

Lately, every time I appear on Aljazeera I think it is my last time, and yet they surprise me with another invitation. But today, I really feel it was the last time. I will post a link once I receive it.
Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil at 8:49 AM
ممنوع تحكي على الجزيرة إلا كما يريد حمد !!فضيحة جديدة

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October 25th, 2011, 6:00 pm


259. Tara said:


Thank you for your response.  In my views, the libyans revolted not because Quaddafi tried to impose western values but actually to the contrary, they revolted because of their genuine desire to have the real so called “western values” of democracy, freedom of expression, emotion, religion, expression, fair election and what have you.

There is a big difference between western lifestyle that Arabs might reject and western values of freedom, democracy etc..  The western lifestyle of sexual freedom (sexual relationship without marriage) for instance would never appeal to the Arabs no matter what their religion is.  And while sexual freedom is a way of life in the west and might be arguably considered by westerner to be a “value”‘, it is not the value the Arab society is looking for.  

Those dictator you mentioned did not rule by western values.  They imported or allowed the western lifestyle but not the values I am referring to.

We should not have problem if the new government in Libya allows girls to wear the hijab in the universities and even legalize polygamy as long as that same government does not impose wearing hijab on all women and as long as it protects the right of the seculars to wear a bikini at the beach if they desire to do so.

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October 25th, 2011, 6:18 pm


260. jad said:

مزرعة الحيوانات في سوريا

“مزرعة الحيوانات” هي رواية شهيرة للكاتب جورج اورويل وتعد هذه الرواية التي انتقدت ستالين وهتلر مثالا على الأدب التحذيري على الحركات السياسية والثورات الاجتماعية التي تطيح بالحكومات و المؤسسات التي تعتبرها فاسدة و غير ديمقراطية إلا أنها في الحقيقة ثورات مشوهة مليئة بالسوء والرداءة والقبح وتنتهي إلى الفساد و القهر بسقوطها في كبوات السلطة و تستخدم أساليب عنيفة و ديكتاتورية للاحتفاظ بها..
أورويل وهو صاحب رواية الأخ الأكبر (العالم عام 1984) .. لم يكن يعتقد أن عبقرية مواطن سوري قد ترجمتها الى الأرض هذه الأيام بعدما رأى الثورات العربية التي أكلت كبده ..بفسادها ونشرها للكراهية والحقد والبذاءة والكذب

.. “مزرعة الحيوانات” لم تعد مجرد خيال روائي انكليزي بل هي موجودة على الأرض فعلا وفي احدى قرى سوريا بفعل عبقرية مواطن سوري عبر عن مشاعره المحترقة بصدق ومرارة .. ولو عاش جورج أورويل ليرى عبقرية هذا المواطن السوري في ترجمته لرواية “مزرعة الحيوانات” لتنازل عن حقوقه الفكرية لصالح هذا المواطن السوري الأصيل

هذا السوري الحر الذي رغم مؤهله الجامعي لم يتخل عن الريف بدأت صداقتي معه منذ سنوات طويلة هو من أولئك الأشخاص الظرفاء في الحياة الذين نلتقيهم فنحبهم .. يحولون الدنيا بعبقرية الى مسرح للابتسامات في زمن البكاء والصراخ والعذاب..وهؤلاء لديهم موهبة فريدة في جعل الآلام أقل ألما ويستطيعون أن يجعلوا الابتسام في ظروف جدية صارمة عابسة فعلا نبيلا ..لايناله الا الرضا والاستحسان ..

هذا الصديق يحب المرح والنكتة لكنه بارع في اطلاق الكوميديا السوداء اللاذعة .. وهو لايوفر شيئا في الدنيا من تعليقاته حتى أنا الذي نجوت من تعليقاته لفترة لم أتمكن من البقاء خارج حدود صواريخ لسانه .. كان هذا الصديق قد قرأ يوما أن أحد العراقيين الناقمين على مجلس الحكم الذي عينه بريمر في المنطقة الخضراء قد قرر تسمية دورة المياه في بيته (المنطقة الخضراء) كنوع من الثأر والنضال بأدنى الحدود على رأي (من رأى باطلا فليغيره بيده ..الخ ..فان لم يستطع فبلسانه وهو أضعف الايمان) ..وقد أعجبت صديقي الفكرة لأنه لم يكن معجبا بالثوار العراقيين وقائدهم أحمد الجلبي ..ولذلك وتضامنا مع الفكرة كتب على باب دورة المياه في بيته (المنطقة الخضراء) .. وكان كلما استأذن لقضاء حاجة قال : عذرا لدي زيارة للمنطقة الخضراء..وقد طور صديقي الموضوع بأن حذف حرف الضاد من الخضراء !! وأطلق على هذا التعديل “حركة تعريب” على اعتبار أن العربية تسمى لغة الضاد فيما المنطقة الخضراء غير عربية ..فسقطت منها الضاد
لم أزره في بيته الريفي الجميل منذ فترة طويلة وطالما عاتبني على عدم زيارته فيه .. ولذلك كانت فرصة جميلة أن نلتقي ونرتاح من عناء الأيام ونتحدث بالشأن السوري الذي يتحدث فيه كل الناس هذه الأيام حتى الاسكيمو بفضل الجزيرة..

وقد أصر صديقي على تناول الغداء في حديقة بيته الريفي الجميل في احدى القرى السورية التي زرعها بنفسه بأشجار الفاكهة .. وعندما هممنا بالخروج من البيت نحو فضاء المزرعة الصغيرة، توقف لحظة ثم صار يتلفت حوله كمن يبحث عن شيء فسألته: عم تبحث؟ …فلم يرد ..وبدا منشغلا في تقليب عينيه بين الأشياء ورأسه يتلفت في كل اتجاه وهو ينحني تحت الكراسي والطاولات ..لكنني سمعته يتمتم: ..وين عزمي؟!! فاستغربت .. ولكنه صاح مناديا ولده الكبير قائلا: ياولد وين عزمي بشارة؟؟ فقال الولد الكبيرمجيبا من على الباب: عزمي بشارة عند برهان غليون !! وعلى الفور اتجه صديقي نحو الدرج المفضي الى الفناء ثم قال مسرورا: نعم انه هنا؟ ثم تناول حذاء ضخما ثقيلا متسخا بالوحل ونظر لي مبتسما وقال: لاشك انك استغربت..لكني أطلق على أفضل أحذيتي التي أخوض فيها في الأوحال والأوساخ (عزمي بشارة) .. لافرق بينهما ..كلاهما حذاء متين مخلص يخاض به في الأوحال والقاذورات ..ثم تساءل بجدية: لماذا لايصمم الحذاؤون حذاء باسم ماركة (عزمي بشارة)..ستكون فكرة ممتازة ورابحة تجاريا..ثم ضحك وقال: ثق تماما أن أهل الخليج سيتركون الشباشيب وينتعلون عزمي بشارة ..ومن يدري ربما تصبح ماركة عالمية مثل ماركات بينيتون أو كريستيان ديور !! فابتسمت وقلت: ولكن من هو برهان غليون؟ فأشار عابسا الى قفص فيه ببغاء أبيض ..وقال: ومن غيره يكون؟؟!! ..يتحدث في السياسة ولايعرف ماذا يقول..

فضحكت وقلت له: ألن تكف عن هذه الخربطات؟؟!! ..منذ اكتشافك للمنطقة الخضراء وأنت تضيف المزيد .. فقال: ولماذا أكفّ وهم لم يكفّوا عن حياتنا؟ واستأنف قائلا : اذا عليك أن تعرف ماذا فعلت وأطفالي مستفيدين من الفكرة ..ثم نادى أبناءه وهم ثلاث أولاد وبنت صغيرة ..وقال لهم: هلا أريتموني ماذا حضّرنا للعيد ..عيد الأضحى؟ فوثب الصغار الى قن الدجاج في نهاية الفناء وبعد دقيقة سمعت فيها عراكا وصياح ديكة ثم عاد الأولاد وبيد كل منهم ديك..تقدم الأول وقال هذا اسمه: أردوغان ..فعلق صديقي شارحا وقال: وقد سميناه أردوغان لأنه كثير الصياح وأول من يصيح في الصباح ..دائما صبره نافد لكن عند الجد ليس ديكا .. وتقدم الثاني بديكه الذي بدا هرما وعرفه يتدلى منهارا على رأسه كالعقال الأحمر وبدا ريشه متساقطا وقال: وهذا أبو متعب لأنه أعتق ديك في البيت.. وهو قلما يتحرك وكثيرا اعتقدنا أنه ميت .. وأخيرا تقدم أكبر الأولاد وهو يحمل ديكا ضخما بليدا بدينا أبيض اللون وقال: وهذا حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني!! وان شاء الله انت معزوم عليه بالعيد الكبير

وكانت الطفلة الصغيرة تحاول الامساك بدجاجة في القن وهي تقول: أنا عندي “موذة” .. وهنا أطل صوص صغير من القن ثم “زمق” بسرعة الى السياج ..فالتفت الأولاد بسرعة ثم تركوا ديكتهم وركضوا خلفه بحماس وهم يصيحون: هرب سعدو ..هرب سعدو ..أمسكوه..أمسكوه

بالطبع كان المشهد مضحكا خاصة ان صديقي قال ان لديه في القن صدر الدين البيانوني وهو دجاجة نحيلة شمطاء .. ولديه رياض الشقفة وهو دجاجة مشاكسة جدا وهناك دجاجات كثيرة أشار الى واحدة سوداء على أنها سمير جعجع .. وأضاف: هناك جقل (ثعلب) يحوم دوما حول المزرعة أسميه وليد جنبلاط..لو رأيته ياأخي لعرفت كم أنا على حق ولربما غيرت رأيك في نظرية دارون بان أصل الانسان قرد وصارت اصل الانسان “جقل” للشبه الكبير بينه وبين جقل الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي !!

ولكن صديقي الذي اكتفى بالابتسام أمسكني من يدي وأخذني نحو نهاية المزرعة وقال هذه المزرعة صارت هي سوريا والعالم ..تعال وسترى .. سرنا قليلا حتى حافة المزرعة حيث نهر صغير انعزلت منه بركة ماء وفيها ضفادع وسرطانات ..ثم ضجك وقال: هذا هو “المجلس الوطني الانتقالي السوري” ..أعضاؤه النقاقون لايجرؤون على مغادرة مياه النعيم في الغرب ولكنهم في الليل ينقون حتى نصاب بالصداع ..هنا ستجد الضفدع بسام جعارة، والضفدعة رزان زيتونة، وستجد الشرغوف (أي الضفدع الذي لم يكتمل نموه بعد) رضوان زيادة والضفدعة بسمة قضماني وو ..وكل من يخطر على بالك..

وعلى البعد خارج المزرعة بدت منطقة تجمع فيها النفايات والفضلات الحيوانية ..وكنت قادرا على رؤية بعض الجرذان التي تتجول على ضفاف تلك البقعة النتنة ..وسمعت صوت صديقي يقول من خلفي: أعتقد أنك تتوقع ماهي تلك البقعة وجرذانها؟ فبدت عليّ امارات الحيرة..فضحك وقال: يارجل انها ……..الجزيرة……..لايعيش عليها الا الجرذان ولايأتي منها الا الشر وروائحه ..هناك ستجد مذيعي الجزيرة وكتابها من القطسور فيصل القاسم الى فهمي هويدي الى ياسر الزعاترة الى عماد الدين حجاج ..

فبادرته الى السؤال: ولكن أين هو القرضاوي؟ فأجاب على الفور: انه “بوم” يعشش على شجرة الدلب هناك ..وأشار الى شجرة الدلب الضخمة وقال: ونسمع صوته المشؤوم كل يوم .. وأبنائي صاروا يعلقون كلما سمعوا صوته ويقولون لي: بابا بدأت الشريعة والحياة ..وفي الحقيقة صار يسبب لنا مشكلة .. والصغيرة صارت تخاف من صوته في الليل الدامس .. لكن أقسمت على أن أصيده يوما ببندقيتي
ثم بدا جديا وقال : ألا تعتقد أن هذا القرضاوي يجب أن يدير برنامجا اسمه “الشريعة والموت” أو مثلا “الشريعة في الغاب” !! .. كانت أسئلته صادمة لأنها صادقة ولأنه قال مافي نفسي !! .. فسألته متحديا: اذا من هو العرعور؟؟ فقال على الفور: انه في البيت ..أنه أكبر ساطور في المطبخ ..اذا ماأردنا تقطيع العظم واللحم استعملنا العرعور ..لم نعد نقول مثلا أعطني الساطور، بل أعطني العرعور ..على وزن الساطور

بالطبع الى جانب الكلب السلاقي الذي سماه صديقي “ساركوزي”، والقط البري الذي يمر بالمزرعة كل يوم محاولا السطو على أي شيء ويسميه صديقي “أبو عطوان” فالمزرعة الريفية لصديقي غنية .. فيها حمار رمادي سماه صديقي (عبد الحليم خدام) وقال هذا الحمار اشتغل 20 عاما دون شكوى لكنه الآن يرفسنا جميعا ..كل قادة الثوار هذه الأيام مثله .. مثل عبد الحليم خدام الذي اشتغل كالحمار 40 سنة ثم رفسنا وصار ثائرا ..ثوار المجلس الانتقالي الليبي كلهم عملوا 40 سنة كالحمير ثم صاروا ثوارا يرفسون سيدهم..كالحمير المجنونة ..أو كالأبقار المصابة بجنون البقر ..وعلى سيرة الأبقار أرشدني صديقي الى بقرتين سمى واحدة منهما وهي هولندية ملونة بالابيض والأسود “سعودية” والثانية بنية اللون ” كويت” لأنهما تدران حليبا كثيرا (يسميه الذهب الأبيض) تصادره زوجته كله ..التي اسمها هالة ولكنه يناديها “هيلاري” هذه الأيام

كنت مذهولا من قدرته على ترجمة أحاسيسه الى فعل احتجاج عارم بتسميته للحيوانات في مزرعته ..وعندما رأى دهشتي بدا مزهوا وأخذني الى شجرة منحنية تكاد تكون واقعة، لكنه رفعها بدعمها بالأخشاب والعوارض وربطها في عدة أماكن بأشرطة القماش ليثبتها حتى بدت كالجريح المريض المتعب وقال: هذا حزب البعث !! …وأضاف مبتسما منتشيا بانجازه: وهذه الأخشاب والأربطة هي “اصلاحات” ثم التفت الى قطين سمينين يتفيآن نائمين في ظل الشجرة وقال: لن تصدق ان هذين القطين الكسولين اللذين يقضيان جل يومهما تحت هذه الشجرة قد وجدنا لهما اسما ووظيفة.. انهما الرفيق سليمان قداح، والرفيق عبدالله الأحمر ..لاأنكر أني لم اتمالك نفسي من الضحك وخاصة عندما اشار الى ثقب في أعالي البيت وقال: وهناك يعيش عقاب صقر ..وعرفت أنه أحد الخفافيش التي تؤرق ليل صديقي الذي كان يضحك ويقول ..كل تيار المستقبل عندي في الشقوق وثقوب الجدران ..
وفي وسط المزرعة وصلنا الى شجرة سنديان عملاقة ..تأملها صديقي وقال وهو يربت بيده على السنديانة: هذا الخشب العتيق الصلد هو حافظ الأسد.. وهنا سنتناول الغداء اليوم بجانب تلك الصخرة الكبيرة (المستندة الى السنديانة) التي سميتها منذ عام 2006 “حسن نصرالله”..

ثم سار قليلا نحو ضفاف السور ووقف الى جانب نخلة فتية منتصبة وقال: هذه الشجرة التي زرعتها منذ 3 سنوات هي “صدام حسين” .. ثم أشار الى حفرة صغيرة وقال منقبضا بتأثر: وهنا ستكون نخلة أخرى .. سأسميها “معمر القذافي” ..

وقد تعجبت لما عرفته عنه من كره لصدام حسين .. فلمح في عيني الاستغراب فأضاف: لاتلمني ياصاحبي .. فمهما قيل عن الطغاة الا أنني أحترم الطاغية الذي لايكذب على نفسه وعلى شعبه ..ويموت بطلا .. كان بامكان صدام حسين أن يكون مثل حمد وأبو متعب لكنه فضل أن يرتدي حبل المشنقة كربطة عنق قبل حفل تكريم .. ولذلك استحق أن تكون له نخلته في نفسي .. واستحق القذافي الذي لم نفهمه يوما أن تكون له نخلته في نفوسنا .. كل من يسقط بسيف العدو هو نخلة سامقة مهما قلتم عنه وثرثرتم .. الأمم تحب الأبطال حتى لو كانوا طغاة ..انظر هل من طاغية يفوق نابليون ..الذي حوكم ونفي الى جزيرة ولم يهن (وليس مثل محاكمات ثوارنا المراهقين الذين يمارسون الدعارة الثورية) ..ان نابوليون الآن فخر فرنسا قبل أن تفخر فرنسا بثورتها الفرنسية وبثوارها..رغم انه قاد الفرنسيين الى أحلك هزائمهم وقضى على خيرة شبابهم في حروبه ..

ثم أضاف: خذ عني نبوءتي ياصديقي ..سيأتي جيل من العراقيين عندما ينتهي التشفي والغليل ويعود العقل والصواب وينتهي هذا الجيل المعاق يوما بعد عقود أو قرن من الزمن ليعيدوا تمثال صدام في وسط ساحة الفردوس كما كان ..سيكتبون كل الحقيقة من أنه كان حاكما قاسيا ومصدر جدل وخلاف لكنه بطل ووطني ..ووطنيته لن تكون مصدر نقاش .. وكذلك سيكتب جيل قادم من الليبيين أن لديهم قائدا حكمهم 40 عاما لكنه مات بطلا ..وسيرفع له تمثال في وسط طرابلس ..
سألته في نهاية ذلك اليوم الطويل السؤال الذي أبقيته حتى النهاية:
.. ولكن أين هو الرئيس بشار الأسد؟؟
فتوقف وقال:
لم أجد شيئا يناسبه سوى أن يكون ذلك السيف العربي المعلق في صدر غرفة الضيوف …لأنه مقاوم وأصيل وسيف عربي خالص .. ربما سميته .. بشار.!! لايهمني ماستقول عني أو مايقال عنه .. المهم أنه من يحمي هذا البيت .. أتمنى ألا ينكسر ..مارأيك؟؟
وقال مختتما بحسم: أؤكد لك لن ينكسر .. عندما تنكسر السيوف الشرقية .. يغضب منا التاريخ ويصفعنا ..لأن الأفاعي التي تلتف حول اعناق الشرق لاتجد من يقطعها .. التاريخ يحب السيوف عندما تكون شرقية أصيلة .. وأكثر سيوف الدنيا مهابة عندما تكون دمشقية ..

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October 25th, 2011, 6:24 pm


261. Tara said:


I have not had a chance yet.

Do you think the Syrian street will respond to the SNC call for general strike tomorrow?

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October 25th, 2011, 6:29 pm


262. Khalid Tlass said:

Tara, you ignore my post again.

Do you think I’m the one bothering you now ?

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October 25th, 2011, 6:31 pm


263. Tara said:


See 261. I am not ignoring you and you are not bothering me.

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October 25th, 2011, 6:35 pm


264. Khalid Tlass said:

^ Personally, I’m against the concept of “general strike”, it is usually bad for the people who do not have fat government jobs, so I’m not in favour of this strike, strikes are Leftist/Communist nonsense, strikes will only affect the poor people, not the tyrants. That being said, I think there will be a HUGE response throughout the areas that have come out proetsting, things may be a bit different in Halab and Deirezzor though, I think it was unfair that not one representaive from Deirezzor ( or al Jazira region in general) was included in the SNC. ( they do have 1 Kurd and 1 Assyrian from Al Jazira, but no Arab rep from Jazira). But I will be praying for the strike becoz that will establish the status of SNC as the most major opposition allaince.

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October 25th, 2011, 6:37 pm


265. Haytham Khoury said:

Internationally renowned film-maker Sean McAllister describes what he saw and heard while detained in a Syrian cell by the authorities.

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October 25th, 2011, 6:41 pm


266. Khalid Tlass said:

Sorry Tara, I didn’t see your post.

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October 25th, 2011, 6:43 pm


268. jad said:

وفد الجامعة العربية في سوريا اليوم
واشنطن تؤكد عدم استدعاء سفيرها… ومبعوث صيني في دمشق

تستعد العاصمة السورية دمشق اليوم لاستقبال وفد من الجامعة العربية، في الوقت الذي حرصت فيه وزارة الخارجية الأميركية أمس على التأكيد أنها لم تستدع سفيرها لدى دمشق روبرت فورد، وطلبت منه فقط «القدوم إلى واشنطن لإجراء مشاورات»
بانتظار زيارة وفد الجامعة العربية المفترضة إلى سوريا اليوم، كانت التسريبات التي توالت أمس كفيلة بإيضاح جزء من الصورة المرتبطة بالمنحى الذي ستأخذه الزيارة. ففي موازاة تأكيد مندوب سوريا لدى الجامعة، يوسف أحمد، أن نائب رئيس الوزراء وزير الخارجية القطري الشيخ حمد بن جاسم مرحّب به في سوريا باعتباره رئيساً لوفد اللجنة، كشفت مصادر دبلوماسية عربية أن ترؤس بن جاسم للوفد «أمر تقدّره القيادة القطرية» وجدول أعمال رئيس الوزراء القطري، فيما تحدثت مصادر أخرى عن أن الزيارة ستقتصر على القصر الجمهوري السوري.
ونقلت صحيفة «الرأي» الكويتية عن مندوب سوريا لدى الجامعة العربية تأكيده أن بن جاسم مرحّب به في سوريا، وأن «دمشق تفتح أبوابها لأي مسؤول أو قيادة عربية»، فيما كان مصدر مسؤول في الجامعة العربية يوضح أن سوريا وجهت الدعوة إلى اللجنة الوزارية العربية المعنية بحل الأزمة السورية بكامل هيئتها، بما فيها الرئاسة القطرية، لزيارة دمشق.
وعن ترؤس بن جاسم للجنة قال المصدر «إن الأصل في الأمر أن يترأس الشيخ حمد الوفد العربي، وهو أمر مرحّب به عربياً وكذلك سورياً، وفقاً للرد السوري على المبادرة العربية. أما إذا كان الشيخ حمد سوف يسافر إلى سوريا أو لا في ظل توتر العلاقة بين البلدين والتحفّظ السوري السابق على الرئاسة القطرية، فهذا أمر تقدره القيادة القطرية». وأضاف «لا يمكن في النهاية حسم مثل هذه الأمور، فقد يطرأ جديد بالنسبة إلى جدول أعمال الشيخ حمد يضطره إلى إرسال ممثل له، إلا أن الجامعة العربية لم تبلغ أي شيء حتى الآن».
في هذه الأثناء، أوضح مصدر عربي لوكالة «آكي» الإيطالية أن الوزراء العرب لن يلتقوا في الغالب بأي من أطراف المعارضة السورية خلال الزيارة القصيرة لدمشق، وستقتصر زيارتهم على القصر الجمهوري فقط، بهدف الاطلاع من القيادة السورية على ما أُنجز من المبادرة العربية التي صدرت منتصف الشهر الجاري، بعد الاجتماع الاستثنائي لوزراء الخارجية العرب.
في هذا الوقت، تواصلت التسريبات عن مضمون الاجتماع العربي الذي أخرج المبادرة، إذ ذكرت مصادر عربية لـ«الأخبار» أنه «خلال البحث في ما يمكن القيام به إذا رفضت السلطات السورية اقتراح الحوار (في الجامعة العربية)، اقترح وزير الخارجية السعودي سعود الفيصل أن يتبنّى مجلس الجامعة قراراً بسحب سفراء كافة الدول العربية». وأضافت: «تلقّف وزير الخارجية القطري حمد بن جاسم آل ثاني الاقتراح السعودي، وأراد إضافته إلى البيان الخاتمي للاجتماع، إلا ان عدداً من الوزراء اعترضوا على تضمين البيان هذه الفقرة، فما كان من سعود الفيصل إلا أن طلب من حمد بن جاسم عدم تضمين البيان الختامي الفقرة التهديدية». وأكدت المصادر أن التوجه الخليجي يهدف إلى أن تكون قضية سحب السفراء خطوة جماعية، علماً بأن معظم الدول الخليجية سبق لها أن سحبت سفراءها. ورجّحت المصادر أن تمهّد هذه الخطوة للاعتراف بالمجلس الوطني السوري المعارض ممثلاً للشعب السوري.
وتزامنت هذه التسريبات عن طبيعة زيارة الوفد العربي مع دعوة أطلقها تيار بناء الدولة السورية المعارض إلى «ضرورة إيجاد مكتب دائم لوفد المبادرة العربية لمتابعة تنفيذ ما يُتّفق عليه، وأن تكون لهذا المكتب حرية التنقل والحضور في كافة المناطق السورية، وخصوصاً مناطق الاحتجاج».
في هذه الأثناء، سعت الولايات المتحدة أمس إلى التأكيد أن عودة سفيرها لدى دمشق حتمية، نافيةً أن تكون قد استدعته، في إشارة إضافية إلى عدم رغبتها في خلق أزمة دبلوماسية مع دمشق. وقالت المتحدثة باسم الخارجية الأميركية فيكتوريا نولاند إن «واشنطن لم تسحب أو تستدعي سفيرها في دمشق روبرت فورد وفقاً لما أوردته خطأً بعض وسائل الإعلام»، وأضافت «إننا نريد فرصة للتشاور معه، والتحدث معه عن كيفية رؤيته للوضع في دمشق. الوضع هناك متوتر جداً، ونريد أن نقدم له قليلاً من الوقت للراحة، وأؤكد من جديد أنه طُلب منه العودة إلى الوطن لإجراء مشاورات، ولم يُسحب».
وأضافت «أودّ أن أقول إننا نتوقع عودة السفير فورد إلى دمشق بعد استكمال المشاورات التي يجريها، وسيكون لزاماً على الحكومة السورية توفير الأمن له عند عودته، والوفاء بالتزاماتها وفقاً لاتفاقية فيينا، تماماً كما نفعل في حماية السفير السوري عماد مصطفى هنا»، وذلك بعدما أكدت أن الأخير لم يبلّغها أنه استُدعي أو أعيد إلى دمشق.
وفي موازاة التهدئة الأميركية، جدّدت الصين أمس دعوتها السلطات السورية إلى تلبية مطالب شعبها وتنفيذ وعودها بالإصلاح. وأشارت المتحدثة باسم الخارجية، جيانغ يو، إلى أن مبعوث الصين الخاص للشرق الأوسط وو سيكه، سيزور سوريا ومصر ابتداءً من اليوم حتى الثلاثين من الشهر الحالي، فيما ذكرت مصادر في دمشق أن نائب وزير الخارجية والمغتربين فيصل المقداد سيصل إلى العاصمة الروسية موسكو غداً.
(أ ف ب، أ ب، رويترز، يو بي آي)

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October 25th, 2011, 7:01 pm


269. Tara said:


I am hoping for massive strike too so critiques stop arguing that the SNC does not represent the Syrian street. Not that I am against the internals opposition but at this point I can’t possibly know who is genuine and who is fake. The third way for instance is nothing but pseudo- opposition created by the regime who want to carry a dialogue with itself.

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October 25th, 2011, 7:21 pm


270. jad said:

Finally Bassam Alkadi joined a political movement:

الإعلان عن تأسيس حركة “سورية الوطن”.. ونيازي: انتصار الدولة على شعبها لا يعتبر انتصاراً والعكس صحيح

(دي برس-أحمد محمود)
أطلقت مجموعة من الشخصيات السورية المستقلة الثلاثاء 25/10/2011 حركة “سورية الوطن” والتي تهدف إلى العمل بكافة الوسائل المدنية والديمقراطية إلى الخروج من الأزمة الراهنة، وترفض كل أشكال العنف المجتمعي والسياسي وتطالب بتفعيل القوانين والمراسيم الإصلاحية التي صدرت خلال الفترة الماضي.

وقالت رئيسة الحركة “مجد نيازي” في مؤتمر صحافي عقدته الثلاثاء في دمشق للإعلان عن حركتها “إن التنوع العرقي والديني والفكري شكل ثروة سورية ليست لسورية حياة من دونها، ولا يمكن أن تبقى هذه الثروة وتتطور في ظل أي شكل من أشكال العنف والتمييز مهما كانت مبرراته”، مشيرة إلى أنه “من هنا نقول دم السوري على السوري حرام”.

وأكدت نيازي “أن جزءاً مهماً من الأزمة يرجع إلى سوء إدارة الأزمة في بدايتها وتغليب الحل الأمني على الحل السياسي”، مضيفة “ما زالت أياد سورية تعمل للعبث بالأمن، كما لا يمكن نفي وجود الأخطاء التي غلبت على حركة الاحتجاجات”، وشددت على أن شباب حركة سوريا الوطن “يريدون ثورة إصلاح وتغيير لا ثورة أحقاد وانتقام.. فانتصار الدولة على شعبها لا يعتبر انتصاراً والعكس صحيح.. سورية تتسع للجميع، لا إقصاء ولا تخوين، كلنا نريد سورية وان اختلفنا في الأسلوب”، وقالت نيازي “إنها تستكمل حاليا الإجراءات الحكومية لأجل إن تتحول حركة سورية الوطن إلى حزب سياسي”.

وأضافت نيازي أن أهداف الحركة، تتلخص على النحو التالي: “وحدة التراب السوري ووحدة الشعب السوري والسلم الأهلي هي خطوط حمراء لا يجوز المساس بها، الحل الجذري والحقيقي والطويل الأمد للأزمة الراهنة، هو حل سياسي واقتصادي واجتماعي، ورفض أي شكل من أشكال التدخل الخارجي،مهما كانت تسميته أو مبرراته.

وتابعت “رفض عسكرة المجتمع ، والعمل على دعم كل مبادرة مدنية تنبذ العنف والتمييز، العمل لضمان تعديل الدستور مدنياً وديمقراطياً بحيث يخلو من أي تعسف وتمييز أو تهميش لأي مواطن أو مواطنة بسبب دين أو جنس أو قومية أو اعتقاد، وتشكيل حكومة وطنية ديمقراطية لا تستثني تياراً وطنياً موالاة كان أم معارضة”.

وأشارت إلى من أهدافها أيضاً “العمل الفوري للإعداد لعقد مؤتمر وطني على الأرض السورية، يشارك فيه كل من يرغب ممن يعيشون داخل سورية أو خارجها، وممثلين عن التنسيقيات، وأن تتعهد الحكومة السورية بضمان أمن المؤتمر والمشاركين فيه، وضمان دخول وخروج المشاركين من السوريين خارج سورية دون اعتقال أو ملاحقة”.

وأكدت على “ضرورة الإفراج الفوري عن كافة المعتقلين ممن لم يثبت تورطهم باستخدام السلاح أو تهريبه أو التشجيع على استخدامه، والعمل على تقديم كل من تورط في إهدار الدم السوري، مهما كانت صفته الوظيفية في الدولة أو أجهزتها، أو في الشارع السوري أو خارج سورية إلى محاكمة مدنية علنية عادلة، الدعوة لانتخابات تشريعية ديمقراطية نزيهة، وإطلاق ودعم أي مبادرة مدينة لبلسمة الجراح وتعزيز السلم الأهلي وتمكين المواطنة”.

وعرف بيان صحافي حركة سورية الوطن بأنها حركة اجتماعية، سياسية، شبابية ومدنية مستقلة تهدف إلى العمل بكل الوسائل المدينة والديمقراطية والسلمية للخروج من الأزمة الراهنة والتفعيل الجدي لسلسلة الإصلاحات التي أعلنت عنها الحكومة السورية”.

ودعا البيان إلى رفض كل “أشكال العنف والتدخل الخارجي”، واعتبر أن “سورية مدنية ديمقراطية وحرة هو الخيار الوحيد لوطن لا يميز بين أي من مواطنيه”.

وعلى هامش المؤتمر التقى “دي برس” قالت رئيسة الحركة “مجد نيازي” :”إن الحركة تضم في صفوفها شخصيات فلسطينية ولبنانية، وترحب بأي شخص يخاف على سورية لينضم إلى الحركة”.

من جهة أخرى، قالت “إنها ضد سحب الجيش والأمن من المدن السورية لأن هناك عنف في الشارع”، مشيرة إلى “أن هناك عدد كبير المتظاهرين ممثلين في الحركة”.

لا لعسكرة المجتمع
بدوره، قال بسام القاضي أحد مؤسسي الحركة: “إننا كحركة نرفض عسكرة المجتمع السوري بما في ذلك الاستخدام المفرط وغير المقنون وغير الخاضع لاعتبارات حقوق الإنسان وقواعد الاشتباك مع المسلحين أثناء تواجد المدنيين، بشكل كامل وندين استخدام العنف من الجيش والأمن”، مشيراً إلى “أن الحركة المسلحة المتواجدة في سورية تحتاج إلى مواجهة جدية عسكرية بالتالي نحن ندعم الجيش والدولة في مواجهة هؤلاء المسلحين، مشدداً على ضرورة حماية المدنيين والتركيز على أهداف المعنية”.

وأضاف لـ”دي برس”، “أن الحل الأمني ليس هو الحل الأفضل للأزمة، مشيراً إلى أن هناك خطوات جدية من النظام السوري هو الحل السياسي والاجتماعي”.

وفي سؤال حول وجود أي اتصالات مع المعارضة بالخارج أو بالداخل، قال لـ”دي برس”: “إننا كحركة على اتصال مع كل من يرفض التدخل الخارجي وينبذ العنف”، مشيراً إلى “أنه على جدول أعمالنا الاتصال مع بعض المعارضة التي ترفض تلك الأمور”.

وعن المبادرة العربية، أكد القاضي أن الحركة ترحب بكل ما يخدم مصلحة سورية للخروج من الأزمة بعيداً عن أي وصاية أو تدخل في شؤونها، مشيراً إلى أنه في حال وجود أي مساس في السيادة الوطنية أو فرض شروط أي إملاءات فإننا نرفض ذلك”.


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October 25th, 2011, 7:21 pm


271. jad said:

The kidnapping, torturing and killing of Syrians now reached those who are active in the virtual world too:

From FB

“torturing and murdering one of the Admins of Syrian Electronic Army “Mohammad Ahmad Kabbani” today in Idleb
تعذيب وحشي و قتل أحد مدراء الجيش السوري الالكتروني “الشاب محمد أحمد قباني” اليوم في إدلب”

“تم اليوم العثور على جثة الشاب محمد احمد قباني احد كوادر الجيش السوري الإلكتروني اليوم بأدلب و عليها اثار تعذيب و صعك كهربائي مخيف..
وقد قال والد الشاب محمد : ”
اليوم انتم عذبتم محمد بالدنيا ولكن عذاب ربي اكبر و اعظم و انا سلمت أمري لربي.” .”

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October 25th, 2011, 7:41 pm


272. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

#127. HABIB asked: “Anyone know what NATO can possibly do if Russia and China keep vetoing?”

Here’s an indirect answer:

(1) France has a fundamental and firm policy that the UN Security Council is the only authority that can authorize a military attack against a sovereign country. That policy is self-serving for France; see France’s status on the Security Council. But France also has the influence to keep Germany and other European countries going along with the same policy.
(2) As reported by Today’s Zaman newspaper in Turkey, the foreign ministry of Turkey is advising the Syrian National Council in Turkey to “to work in a peaceful manner for democratic transformation in Syria”. Turkey’s foreign ministry is also saying that it will not recognize the Syrian National Council as representative of anything, at least not any time soon.
(3) The USA position was summarized as follows by USA Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford in an interview with “Time Magazine” published on 28 Sep 2011: “One of the things we’ve told the opposition is that they should not think we are going to treat Syria the same way we treated Libya. The main thing for the opposition to do is figure out how to win away support from the regime, and not look to outsiders to try and solve the problem. This is a Syrian problem and it needs Syrian solutions….” Ford is strongly advising the opposition against a turn to arms. “It would be a mistake,” he says, not least because “you want to be sure that if you’re even contemplating this, you have a way to know that whatever you’re going to do militarily is going to be effective … I very frankly say to people, you don’t have enough force to fight the Syrian army, you’re not even close. We have to be realistic.” Other USA officials have said much the same thing during the past few weeks. (US foreign ministry spokesman Jeffrey Feltman said on Al-Arabiya TV yesterday “We are looking for better ways to protect Syrian civilians, but we do not look here to apply the Libyan model in Syria” — )
(4) The Arab League has said repeatedly recently that it is opposed to foreign intervention in Syria. At the Arab League meeting in Cairo on 16 Oct, as reported later by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, three measures against Syria were considered and rejected: foreign military intervention, the imposition of trade sanctions, and freezing Syria’s membership in the Arab League. Arab League countries who rejected those measures included Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Oman, Lebanon, Yemen, Sudan, and Syria.
(5) Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in interview on Al-Manar (#156) said the Syrian people support President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, but if the people start opposing the regime, we [Hezbollah] will support the people. Think about that.

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October 25th, 2011, 7:41 pm


273. Tara said:

Why did Turkish economy prosper while the Middle East fell behind?
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The special meeting on “Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Arab World” of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Dead Sea, Jordan that I attended over the weekend showed me once more how Turkey was shining like a “star” in the region.

The focus was on the Arab Spring that affected such countries as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and the probability of the phenomenon to spring to other countries in the Middle East and the Gulf starting from Syria. However, the giant economic troubles of the region are thus standing there.

I am counting some of them: Unemployment among the youth rising up to 40 percent, the minimal share of the private sector, bribery and corruption, lack of accountability and transparency, no presence of women in business life and, most importantly, powerlessness of institutions.

Coca Cola’s CEO Muhtar Kent, co-chair and speaker at the WEF meeting, gave truly striking figures for the rich Gulf countries. The volume of the private sector in Gulf countries is 15 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) because everything is under the control of the ruling families, just like the Libya of Gadhafi.

There is no atmosphere for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurship, in short the private sector, to flourish. As Kent says, jobs should be created for 85 million people in the region in coming years.

Let us leave aside this picture I summarized in a nutshell and move on to the evaluation of Professor Timur Kuran from Duke University, whom I met at the WEF meeting at the Dead Sea. Economist Kuran, the author of books “The Economic Predicaments of Islamism” and “The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East,” said: “If Turkey has an economic power in the region, the roots of this were planted in the 19th century. The Middle East lagged behind because it did not change its Islamic Law system. I am always saying that. Turkey is one to three generations ahead of Arab countries because it has achieved the modernization of its legal system.”

The first secular commercial courts were formed in the 1850s in the Ottoman Empire. Professor Kuran said: “If the achievements of the Anatolian Tigers of the conservative segment are being spoken, this is because they have been using modern tools from accounting system to competition laws.”

Doesn’t it show how correct Kuran’s evaluations are when you compare the dynamism of the Turkish economy with countries of the region?

I will not go very far. I will give two examples again from the weekend’s forum. While talking with members of the Libya National Transitional Council, names of Turkish companies that have undertaken contracts worth billions of dollars came up.

The airport runway that was heavily damaged during clashes at the capital Tripoli will be repaired by TAV which, as a consortium, had also undertaken the building of its terminal. TAV construction work had stopped because of clashes, but it is highly probable that the construction will restart in the first quarter of 2012.

The second example is from Dubai. A young Turkish businessman, Arda Tokbaş, attended the WEF meeting. He has been heading a company named HDF in Dubai for 10 years. HDF, which has one of the most well-known brands in Turkey, Pınar, under its umbrella, belongs to the Yaşar Group and is growing at a rate of 20 percent each year by exporting dairy products to neighboring countries. Tokbaş said some cheese products such as labne (mild cream cheese) were market leaders.

Who can stand against the Turkish entrepreneur in the region?

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October 25th, 2011, 7:55 pm


274. Tara said:

How can any decent human being not support the revolutionize.?  Where is your humanity people?

“You hear a sound that you’ve never heard before. I’ve never heard before.
“And I’ve seen people dead. And I’ve seen people dying. And I’ve seen people decapitated, but this sound hearing a man cry, is just like, awful, there’s nothing to compare it with.”

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October 25th, 2011, 8:15 pm


275. Tara said:


I do not see stigmata of personality disorder in need for treatment.  I think the retarded giggles are much more indicative of mental disorder.  

Terra Incognita: Robert Ford’s heroic diplomacy
10/25/2011 23:09 

US envoy to Syria’s personal investigation of abuses and his shows of support for protestors is a welcome sign.

The American decision to withdraw Ambassador Robert Stephen Ford from Syria should raise eyebrows, not only because it represents a fundamental fear for his safety, but also because of what he has come to represent.

Through Ford’s courageous use of personal diplomacy, travelling to the most dangerous areas of Syria to show support for the protestors, he has carved out a niche for himself in the region, defying stereotypes about what diplomats can and should do.

On the face of it the ambassador’s position and biography don’t necessarily lend themselves to this type of action. A career diplomat , Mr. Ford, born in Denver, Colorado in 1958, is considered one of the foremost Arabists in the State Department.

He served in the Peace Corps and obtained a BA and MA from Johns Hopkins University before entering the US foreign service in 1985.

Since 1985 he has been posted throughout the Middle East, most notably in Iraq after the American invasion and in Algeria from 2006 to 2008.

His posting to Syria in late 2010 was considered important because the US had withdrawn its ambassador to Syria in 2005 after the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese prime minister.

Ford’s work in Syria has almost all taken place against the backdrop of the “Arab Spring.” During his confirmation hearings with the US Senate, before being posted to Damascus, Ford had promised that “unfiltered straight talk with the Syrian government will be my mission priority.”

It is interesting that through June of 2011 he was in fact criticized for doing little to show support for the protestors that Bashar Assad’s regime was gunning down in the streets. Richard Grenell, writing at the, asked, “Shouldn’t Ford be calling attention to and showing the violence coming from Assad’s government?” He also thought the US should withdraw its ambassador to protest the crackdown.

In early July, however, Ford made an important and visible statement against the actions of the Syrian regime when he visited Hama with the French ambassador, Eric Chevallier. After his factfinding trip, which brought temporary respite to the besieged protestors in the city, he told media that “the violence that the Syrian government is inflicting on Syrian protesters, from our point of view, is grotesque. It’s abhorrent.”

He also articulated a new type of “muscular” diplomacy: “I don’t particularly care [if Syria is angry], because we have to show our solidarity with peaceful protesters. I’d do it again tomorrow if I had to… I’m going keep moving around the country. I can’t stop.”

Since July, Ford has been active in articulating opposition to the Syrian regime’s methods and showing support for those who oppose Assad. In September he travelled to meet with Hasan Abdel-Azim, an opposition figure. Pro-Assad protestors surrounded the ambassador’s vehicle, pelted him with tomatoes and eggs and temporarily interdicted his motorcade.

Stephen Ford is not the first US diplomat to find himself in harm’s way. One hundred and eleven US diplomats have been murdered or come to a bad end since 1780. Many died in Pakistan as a result of terrorism and most were not of ambassadorial rank.

One of the most famous cases of an American diplomat being murdered while at his post was that of Vice-Consul Robert Imbrie. Imbrie was beaten to death by a mob in Teheran in 1924 after being mistaken for a member of the Bahai faith. Local Islamists had whipped themselves into a rage, convinced that Bahais had poisoned a well .

Cleo Noel, US ambassador to the Sudan, was killed by Palestinian members of Black September in 1973. The US ambassador to Beirut, Frances Meloy, was murdered in 1977. Adolph Dubs, the US ambassador to Afghanistan was killed in 1979 when terrorists tried to kidnap him.

Ford’s departure from Syria is apparently based on credible intelligence that certain elements wanted him to meet a similar end.

The kind of blunt, heroic diplomacy that Ford has come to represent is a departure from the long-standing practice of US State Department functionaries, especially those considered Arabists, of toeing the line when it comes to dictators and human rights abuses.

Especially in the Middle East, US diplomats have been stricken with what is often termed “clientitis”; staying in a country too long and becoming too attached to it, rather than representing US interests.

US ambassadors in Saudi Arabia have been loathe to condemn killings in the Qatif region, in the Gulf states the US representatives do little to speak out on the mass human rights abuses, which amount to slavery, against foreign workers.

In Iraq, where it has just been announced that Iran and Turkey are both cooperating to suppress the Kurds, including incursions into Iraq, the US has remained silent.

There is obviously a question as to what constitutes going beyond the diplomatic mission’s purview, such as meeting with illegal opposition figures. But Mr. Ford’s personal investigation of abuses and his shows of support for protestors is a welcome sign, one that the US State Department might consider repeating in the future.

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October 25th, 2011, 8:37 pm


276. Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: HABIB

RE: From the EU/al-Qaeda/Salafist/Jew/CIA/Saudi Press

A memo from China to Besho:

China, which blocked a U.N. resolution earlier this month that threatened sanctions on Syria, said Tuesday it was also sending an envoy to Syria. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Beijing wants all parties in Syria to resolve the crisis peacefully.

“We believe the Syrian government should deliver on its reform pledges, respond to the people’s appeals and that all parties should, in a constructive manner, actively participate in the political process,” Jiang told reporters.

Must be a real bummer to see the Chinese waffling on their support for President Pencilneck. Obviously, they see him maybe losing control, like Qaddafi, and they’re hedging their bets. Can the Russians be very far behind?

Stay tuned…

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October 25th, 2011, 8:37 pm


277. Revlon said:

Imad Mustapha fled to Damascus as evidence mounts on his connection with the Spy Sweid!
Mustapha was apparently assigned the task of facilitating Sweid’s mission that was mandated by Jr himself.

السلطات الأميركية تؤكد علاقة الجاسوس السوري المقبوض عليه في واشنطن مع السفير عماد مصطفى وهو ما يفسر مغادرة الأخير أميركا


قال ممثلو ادعاء أمريكيون ان رجلا سوري المولد متهما بالتجسس على المحتجين المناهضين للحكومة السورية في الولايات المتحدة كان على صلة بسفير دمشق لدى واشنطن ، وتزايدت التوترات بالفعل بين واشنطن ودمشق مع استدعاء السفير الامريكي لدى سوريا بسبب ما قالت عنه ادارة الرئيس الامريكي باراك أوباما امس الاثنين انها تهديدات ضده بتحريض من الحكومة

……………. More

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October 25th, 2011, 8:44 pm


278. majedkhaldoun said:

I very much wanted the US to arrest Imad Mustfa,because he was spying,but I guess since he has immunity they can not,he is evil man ,I had arguments with him twice,he is obnoxious person, I have good friends who know him well.He will be one of the pro regime that I support in the post Assad era, to be arrested and tried, I went to the embassy one day and found that he has each syrian name on the computor,and their addresses and his comments,this was not there before he arrived to the embassy.
Imad never helped us ,syrian who oppose the regime,

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October 25th, 2011, 9:01 pm


279. jad said:

“How can any decent human being not support the revolutionize.?”
People can support any revolution/uprising without the need to lose their humanity and become violence, hate machines or preacher of death and destruction.
Nonviolence is the only answer, there is no need for anybody to die, and there is no need to see blood or support blood to be a revolutionary.
‘Revolution’ doesn’t need to be always violence and painted with blood and fire, every person can be a rebel in anything he/she does without the need to become a killer or a victim.
Ideas, Creativity, Words, Stories, Dialogue, Colours, kindness, Humility are few of the means that people should work on instead of blood, violence and hatred to get support.
In my humble, non-experience, non-political, somehow naive opinion, Logic and Passion are the only two things you need to use to communicate with the majority of people in your mission to get the support for any cause you are calling for and those two things are essentials to win any struggle.
Manipulation, lies, using ideology and propaganda may get you some support but it won’t build anybody a better society, it only spread anger, hate and revenge that doesn’t last long and blind everybody from the ultimate goal, to become a better HUMAN.

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October 25th, 2011, 9:21 pm


280. Revlon said:

A video of a Regime army tank shelling civilian house in Talkalakh; The tank crew celebrated their artillary hit and destruction with joy!
Notice the lack of any firing back!

Talkalakh, Homs أوغاريت تلكلخ حمص , مقطع مسرب , الجيش السوري يتمركز على تلة ويقصف الناس

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October 25th, 2011, 9:23 pm


281. Revlon said:

Horan in defiance; Demonstratroes challaenge Asad army and security forces.
Notice that the Asad forces do not feel threatened and are not taking defensive positions; No challenging armed terrorists.

25 10 As Sanamyen, Daraa أوغاريت الصنمين حوران , عصابة الأسد
المسلحة في مواجهة مع أبطال المدينة ج1!

25 10 As Sanamyen, Daraa أوغاريت الصنمين حوران , عصابة الأسد المسلحة في مواجهة مع أبطال المدينة ج2

25 10 As Sanamyen, Daraa أوغاريت الصنمين حوران , عصابة الأسد المسلحة في مواجهة مع أبطال المدينة ج3

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October 25th, 2011, 9:52 pm


282. Revlon said:

Day 7 of Horan Strike
Video of business districts of Dar3a, Al7arra, and KafrShams

25 10 Daraa أوغاريت درعا , اليوم السابع للاضراب العام

25 10 Al Harra, Daraa أوغاريت الحارة حوران , إضراب عام

25 10 Kafar Shams, Daraa أوغاريت كفر شمس حوران , اضراب عام

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October 25th, 2011, 10:02 pm


283. N.Z. said:

Haitham Khouri,Tara,

Those who ignore facts and call it fabrications, had lost their humanity. The moment they aligned themselves with a thuggish mafia.

Every single Syrian knows what takes place in these dungeons. We do not need film-maker Sean McAllister detailed account of what he saw and heard during his brief detention. There was not one family in Syria who did not have a relative or a distance relative, or a friend that did not pass through these dungeons. Many perished, those who survived, have either fled, all are living with distress.

Those who allow such kind of injustices to take place under their watchful eyes, will not go quietly.

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October 25th, 2011, 10:11 pm


284. zoo said:

Accelerating inevitable Israeli-Libyan relations
10/25/2011 06:07

Libya and Qatar could serve as Israel’s real entry point into the Middle East.

The death of Muammar Gadaffi is yet another sign that Libya and Israel could establish diplomatic relations. Last summer, Bernard Henry Levi accidentally leaked the National Transitional Council’s desire to establish ties. Then Raphael Luzon, the leader of the exiled Libyan Jewish community (and an Israeli citizen) was invited by NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil to run for office. Most recently, Haaretz quoted an NTC spokesperson, Ahmad Shabani, as speaking favorably about Israel- Libyan relations.

Shabani’s decision to speak to Haaretz was most likely a calculated move by the NTC to gauge Arab public opinion, as that newspaper is widely read throughout the region. There was no protest in the Arab world.


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October 25th, 2011, 10:32 pm


285. zoo said:

Sound of silence over Syria

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Serkan Demirtaş –

In addition to these points, there is growing concern among some Turkish officials that either Syria or a third party that wants to create further tension between Ankara and Damascus might have been behind the recent attack. The growing influence of Syrian nationals within the PKK and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s statements are the factors that most clearly point to this connection. Ankara’s silence on such claims is expected to be broken in the coming days when the prime minister makes his much-expected statement on Syria, most probably before U.S. top diplomat Hillary Clinton arrives in Turkey on Nov. 1.

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October 25th, 2011, 10:44 pm


286. majedkhaldoun said:

I agree with you,those who call this revolution as violent ,they do not tell the truth, they are despicable criminals supporting criminal regime, worst is the fact that they acknoledged that the regime is brutal yet they still support the regime.and call themselves educated, what a waste.

Election in Tunis proved
1) the people paricipated close to 80%, they are eager to prsctice freedom and democracy.
2) the Ben ALi previous election where the president get99% is false, and it is false that Bashar got 99% of the people support.
3)the revolution was correct,and the lies that scared the people before the revolution are just lies,to scare the people.

I salute Tunis for their great election

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October 25th, 2011, 11:23 pm


287. Khalid Tlass said:

By the way, I forgot to thank Dr. Landis for this article, it was like a breath of fresh air after the 3 months of un-objective and biased articles from him. If Dr. Landis continues to be objective like this, this blog will see a lot of sane and clamer voices. Landis should not let his Sunni-phobia get the better of him.

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October 26th, 2011, 1:45 am


288. Khalid Tlass said:

Has anyone heard from Syrian Commando lately ? What is the bastard upto nowadays ?

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October 26th, 2011, 1:55 am


289. jad said:

I wonder what Oglu is planning for the coming days that he is doing a tour in Qatar and Jordan…nothing good can come out of that, Turkey-Qatar-Jordan.

مصادر دبلوماسية : أمير قطر يبحث مع داود اوغلو الوضع السوري

بحث أمير قطر الشيخ حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني مع وزير الخارجية التركي احمد داود اوغلو، في الدوحة بحضور رئيس الحكومة القطرية، العلاقات الثنائية بين البلدين والقضايا ذات الاهتمام المشترك. وكانت مصادر دبلوماسية تركية قالت لقناة “ان تي في” إن داود اوغلو سيناقش خلال زيارته قطر والأردن التطورات في ليبيا ووما أسموه ” انتفاضة الشعب السوري” من بعد الربيع العربي، إضافة إلى المرحلة الانتقالية التي تشهدها تونس عقب الانتخابات.

شام برس

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October 26th, 2011, 2:19 am


290. Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: JAD

RE: “…In my humble, non-experience, non-political, somehow naive opinion, Logic and Passion are the only two things you need to use to communicate with the majority of people…”

Sweet Baby Jesus, Jaddy, you have got to be the sorriest excuse for a revolutionary in the known universe. Someone should turn you upside down and shake the Besho Bribe Money out of your pockets…

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October 26th, 2011, 2:28 am


291. jad said:

Robert Fisk: Assad’s army remains defiant as it buries its dead
Syrian officers told me 1,150 soldiers have been killed in Syria in the past seven months – an extraordinary death toll

Robert Fisk
Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Sergeant Jassem Abdul-Raheem Shehadi and Private Ahmed Khalaf Adalli of the Syrian Army were sent to their graves yesterday with the send-off their families would have wished for; coffins draped with the Syrian flag, trumpets and drums and wreaths held by their comrades, and the presence of their commanding officer. There was a Last Post, Chopin’s funeral march – mixed with ululating staff at the Tishreen Hospital to which their remains had been transferred – and then the nine-hour journey by ambulance to their hometown, Raka. Shehadi was 19, Adalli was 20. And their uncles swore they had died for President Bashar al-Assad.

They were shot dead in Deraa – by snipers, according to their commanding officer, Major Walid Hatim. “By terrorists,” he said several times. Assad’s opponents might have no sympathy with these dead soldiers – nor Amnesty, nor Human Rights Watch, nor the United Nations, who say 3,000 civilians have been killed by Syrian security forces, nor the Americans, nor the British et al – but those two coffins suggested that there is more than one story to the Syrian Revolution. Syrian officers told me yesterday that 1,150 soldiers have been killed in Syria in the past seven months, an extraordinary death toll for regular Syrian troops if correct. On Zawi mountain near Idlib, Major Hatim said, 30 Syrian soldiers had been killed in an ambush. Mazjera was the word he used. A massacre.

Shehadi and Adalli were based in Deraa, where the opposition to Assad began. Shehadi was there for six months, Adalli for four. It was a sign of the times that Major Hatim arrived at the Damascus funeral in civilian clothes. Why was he not wearing his uniform, I asked? “It is easier,” he replied. Because of the dangers driving from Deraa? “Maybe,” he replied. That, too, told its own story. Both the dead soldiers had lost their fathers years ago and their two uncles had travelled here from Raka to escort the bodies home. They were from poor families, they said. The boys and their uncles had been looking after their mothers.

Shehadi’s uncle, Salim Abdullah, in a brown abaya and drawing heavily on a cigarette, was on the edge of tears. “My nephew had three brothers and two sisters, and they are very poor,” he said. “His mother Arash will now have to be looked after by us. Those killers have killed the hope of our family. He was the youngest boy.”

Behind Salim Shehadi, Syrian troops stood in full battledress as the coffins were brought from the hospital mortuary. All Syria’s military dead leave from the gloomy portals of the Tishreen Hospital, a vast concrete building in the suburbs of Damascus. Even the ambulance driver prostrated himself in tears over his vehicle.

Syrian television had a crew at the hospital, along with the ever loyal Syrian Arab News Agency, but it was highly unusual for a foreign reporter to be invited to this ceremony, let alone to speak to Syrian officers. Major Hatim explained to me that the two soldiers were killed in a planned ambush; the sniper was firing from between two houses. There was a strange confluence in this description. Opponents of Assad often claim that it is they that are fired on by snipers using the cover of buildings.

But few people in Syria now doubt that, however peaceful – and yet bloody – the anti-government demonstrations in Homs and Hama are, the Syrian Army has become a major target. Needless to say, Major Hatim, a 25-year army veteran, was also a supporter of the President.

Hatim talked of Syria’s “resistance” on the part of the Palestinians, that soldiers sometimes had to die for their country, that their enemy is Israel. There is much talk in Damascus of a “foreign hand” behind the killings in Syria, although the Major admitted that, in this case, “unfortunately the killers are Syrian”.

But Salim Shehadi wanted to say more. “I hope you will be honest and tell the truth,” he said. “Tell the truth about the killing of Syrian people. The hand of terrorists took my nephew. We are all ready to be martyred for Syria and for our President Assad.” It sounded too pat, this little speech from a grieving man, and a reporter must ask if this was a set-up. Yet the military had only four minutes before I arrived for the funeral, and I doubt if they could have coaxed this poor man to say these words.

Perhaps, up in distant Raka, they believe these words of loyalty – Abdullah Hilmi, Adalli’s uncle, an older man in a brown robe, said much the same – and certainly Major Hatim believed what he said. But what of those YouTube pictures, of the shooting of demonstrators and mourners at funerals – no danger of that at this funeral yesterday – and the 3,000 civilian dead of which the UN now talks?

I suppose that, until we Western journalists can investigate without government restrictions, it’s a YouTube picture against the word of two poor men in peasants’ clothes.

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October 26th, 2011, 2:43 am


292. Khalid Tlass said:

Syrian student from Banias has something to say :

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October 26th, 2011, 2:52 am


293. Khalid Tlass said:

The FSA is killing the soldoers, YES, Syrian Army IS a major target, and it should be.

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October 26th, 2011, 3:05 am


294. Khalid Tlass said:

Syrian student from Banias has something to say, :-

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October 26th, 2011, 3:11 am


295. Mina said:

Every now and then on SC, some people are trying to depict Turkey as a success story.
Everybody who know a little Turkey knows that businessmen and mafiosis are often hard to distinguish. It’s all in their films too.
Of course, there has been a tourism boom, thanks to the cheap package tours, but with the crisis this is not going to survive because European workers have to cancel their holidays and raising prices do not allow any to offer the same cheap prices.
Also, without the Turks emigrated in the EU (and especially Germany) who had been sending millions and investing, this miracle would not have occured.
I believe many in Turkey are afraid Erdogan will turn down Ataturk’s laws on laicity and bring Turkey closer to the Gulf standards of backwardness.

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October 26th, 2011, 3:39 am


296. Khalid Tlass said:

The Islamsists won the election in Tunisia, lest just hope the authoroties don;t act stupid and launch a coup or delacre the results null and void, the way Algerian authorities did in 1991 and Turkish autorities did in 1998. The Arab secular middle and professional classes must get rid of their absurd fear of Islamists and stop using the Army to keep them out of power.

Also, expect Islamists to win hands-down in Libya and Egypt ( in Egypt the authorities are colluding with Salaffis). Also Shia Islamists will win IF the revolution succeeds in Bahrain, and so will Syria.

The credibility of Islamists is quite high among the general Arab populace ( this is what Ghalioun repeatedly says as well), and that of Leftists/Communists is quite low.

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October 26th, 2011, 3:41 am


297. Dale Andersen said:

Good News for the Besho Boys (and girls) on SC:

In a wide-ranging television interview that stretched late into Monday night, Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah’s secretary general, said that the regime of President Bashar al Assad had weathered the worst of the crisis.

“Is Syria out of danger? We can say, to a very large extent, yes,” Mr Nasrallah said…

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October 26th, 2011, 3:48 am


298. Revlon said:

Having failed to lend support to or rescue his buddy Qiddafi, Jr is desparately trying to save his last; Saleh.

Pro-Yemeni Revolution Army: Eight Syrian mercenry pilots were killed and three were wounded as their Antonove air plan crashed in AlSbai7a, Yemen.

الثورة السورية,منطقة :جاسم-نمر-الحارة-انخل-نوى
عملية فدائية نفذها ظابط لقتل طيارين سوريين استقدمهم الرئيس صالح لضرب اليمنيين
نشوان نيوز الأربعاء 26-10-2011الساعة 2:29 صباحا

استقدم الرئيس صالح
11مرتزقا من سوريا نظرا لامتناع الطيارين اليمنيين من تنفيذ مهام قتالية ضد أبناء شعبهم والمناطق المؤيدة للثورة وذلك في إطار التنسيق بين علي صالح وبشار سوريا

وفور وصول الطيارين المرتزقة السوريين إلى مطار صنعاء التاسعة مساء أمس الأثنين 2011/10/24 وبعد رفض عدد من الطيارين اليمنيين لنقل هؤلاء إلى قاعدة العند الجويه لقيادة طائرات ميج 29 تطوع الثائر البطل الشهيد الطيار عبدالعزيز الشامي بنقلهم على طائرة الأنتي نوف لكنه أخبر سرا بعض زملائه قبل إقلاعه أن هؤلاء المرتزقة لن يصلوا قاعدة العند ولن يتحقق لهم مراد الأعتداء على أبناء الشعب اليمني

وبالفعل اقلع بهم من مطار صنعاء متجها إلى قاعدة العند الجويه ومعه مساعدة الطيار محمود العرمزة وقبل وصوله إلى قاعدة العند في تمام الساعة 11و55 دقيقه من مساء نفس الليله وفي عملية إستشهادية بطوليه أسقط الشهيد البطل الطيار عبدالعزيز الشامي الطائرة بمن فيها في منطقة الصبيحة
لتنفجر الطائرة ويقتل الشبيحة في منطقة الصبيحة

ونجم عن ذلك إستشهاد الطيار الحر الثائر وجرح مساعدة فيما قتل ثمانية من المرتزقة الطيارين السوريين تم التعرف على جثث بعض منهم مثل المرتزق ديمو حاج قاسم والمرتزق عبدالحميد حلبوب وجرح الثلاثة الباقون

وتم نقلهم إلى مستشفى إبن خلدون في محافظة لحج في حالة حرجة وهم المرتزق محمود محمد العربد والمرتزق محمد محسن الحميد والمرتزق رمزي غفاري

هذا من بيان الجيش اليمني الموالي للثورة الشبابية

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October 26th, 2011, 3:50 am


299. Revlon said:

The Syrian independance flag is increasingly replacing he Baath era one in demonstrations; Interestingly, its colors resemble those of the recently liberated Libya’s.

(Ya Ahel Tartous,
Ni7na bi7omos,
3alAsd mindoos.)

Video of a nightly demonstration in Wa3r neighbourhood,in support of the ongoing city-wide civil strike.
حمص الوعر مسائية الاضراب العام 25 اكتوبر 2011 ج 6 – سوريا – أموي

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October 26th, 2011, 4:01 am


300. Revlon said:

Martyr Luay AlAmer was arrested by Asad forces, tortured and his body returned to his family.

The video shows the victim being sticked and stamped on by Asad forces and later as a body with marks of torture all over his body.

AlFatiha upon his soul,
May God bless his family with solace and empower them with patience.

خطير فيديو تعذيب لؤي العامر حتى استشهاده

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October 26th, 2011, 5:44 am


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