Reactions to the U.N Vote And Is the E.U. About to Sanction Syria’s Central Bank? (By Ehsani)

The U.S. and the E.U. are still smarting from last night’s veto decision at the U.N.

The British Foreign Secretary had this to say at his party’s conference today:

“The decision of Russia and China to veto this resolution, and to side with a brutal regime rather than with the people of Syria, is deeply mistaken and regrettable. We will redouble our efforts to work with other nations to increase the pressure on the regime wherever we can, and we assure the people of Syria that they will not be forgotten”.

The German foreign minister issued this statement from Berlin:

“Germany will continue to push, both internationally and especially within the European Union, for a clear position and pressure on the Syrian regime.”

The Obama administration continued to admonish both Russia and China by saying that countries have to take responsibility for the votes on the council as well as any implications such votes may have on the ground.

Using his spokesman, the U.N. Secretary General also weighed in on the subject this way:

“The secretary general regrets that the UN Security Council has not been able to agree and he hopes that the council will overcome the division and find a collective way to address the situation,” UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

“He believes we have a moral obligation to prevent further bloodshed and help the people of Syria out of this crisis,” Nesirky said.

Countries that abstained from last night’s votes also had to hear this today:

“By abstaining, [Brazil, India, and South Africa] have not only failed the Syrian people, but [have] also failed to offer a credible alternative to end the bloodshed,” says Philippe Bolopion, UN director of Human Rights Watch in New York. “This vote erodes their credibility in the global arena and might come to define their tenure in the Security Council and undermine their claim to permanent membership.”

Predictably, the Syrian government “highly appreciated” the veto which “sent a message of trust from the Security Council to the people of the world in whose eyes international organizations have turned into tools of colonial hegemony for decades”.

Are new EU sanction on the way?

Having used and amended its sanctions against Syria seven times, it seems that the E.U. is preparing for number eight.

According to the Dow Jones newswires, EU diplomats said that there is a broad consensus among European Union member states in favor of adding Syria’s central bank to its sanctions list and the EU is also set to extend sanctions on close to 30 Iranians over human-rights abuses in that country.

The E.U. has already made the decision to ban the exporting of bank notes and Coins to Syria’s central bank. The new measure, if approved, would freeze any European-based Central-bank assets and could make it harder for Syria to get its hands on Foreign currency.

Back in August, the governor of the Syrian Central Bank said that US sanctions hаԁ “forced Syria to ѕtοр all transactions іn US dollars, аnԁ thе country hаԁ turned completely tο euro deals.” This came after аn executive order the week before ordered thе freezing οf аll Syrian state assets іn thе United States аnԁ forbade investment аnԁ exports tο thе country.

Since then, the Syrian commercial banks have held their mandatory reserves with the Central bank in Euros. If the E.U. sanctions the Syrian Central Bank, it would mean that the local commercial banks will not be able to hold their mandatory reserves in Euros either. Moreover, they will not be able to do any buying or selling of both Euros and Dollars from the Central Bank. It is worth noting that the Syrian Central Bank has not sold any foreign exchange to the local Banking system over the past few days. Following the lifting of the import suspension, importers can source foreign currency using their private accounts overseas or by going to the local black market. The current rate in this market is still stable at SYP 51.50 or so. It is unclear where the rate will settle in the weeks ahead once importers renew their appetite to stock up.

Bible Manuscripts From Damascus Go On Rare Display

JERUSALEM (AP) — Precious Bible manuscripts originating in the Jewish community of Damascus, Syria, went on display for several hours Wednesday, offering a rare glimpse at a collection that includes books spirited to Israel in clandestine operations before the ancient community disappeared at the end of the 20th century.

The books are held at Israel’s national library. Because of security and conservation concerns, most of the collection has been on display just once before, also for just a few hours, more than a decade ago.

The collection includes 11 volumes. Three, including the oldest and most important book in the collection, were brought out of the library’s vaults and displayed during a symposium Wednesday evening.

Ranging from 700 to 1,000 years old and written in the Middle East and Europe, the parchment manuscripts include meticulous Hebrew penmanship and illustrations in ink and gold leaf. Some boast intricate micrography — decorations made up of thousands of tiny Hebrew letters.

None were written in Damascus, but rather came to be held in synagogues in the city over the centuries. They are known collectively as the Damascus Crowns, “crown” being a Hebrew term sometimes used to describe particularly important and venerable biblical manuscripts.

The Jewish community in Syria’s capital had been there for more than 2,000 years before its members were driven out by government persecution and mob violence linked to the rise of Arab nationalism and the establishment of Israel in 1948. A second ancient community in the country’s business center, Aleppo, met the same fate, as did others across the Arab world.

Comments (493)


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451. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara,

What spices you use for the Ma7shi? Is it just kusa, or you use other veggies?
.

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October 7th, 2011, 6:32 pm

 

452. annie said:

Syria: Assad family ‘selling off overseas property empire’

A multimillion pound property empire that includes flats and houses in London is being sold off and turned into hard cash by members of Syria’s Assad family, it has been reported.

Why ? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/8811097/Syria-Assad-family-selling-off-overseas-property-empire.html

“The selling off of the property suggests the Assads are liquidating their assets in the chance the regime is forced from power in Syria. “

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October 7th, 2011, 6:33 pm

 

453. DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

@ Khalid Tlass

just like South Africa was from 1949 until 1994, i.e, it will a totally liberal democracy, albeit for only one section of the population.

You are either a troll or completely misguided.

It’s because of people like you that the protestors are labelled Islamists hell-bent on ethnic cleansing.

“but I’ll have to permit it to make our country look “liberal” to the western world, so they will turn a blind eye to our sectarian policies”

Again, I don’t even know where to begin. I feel that I am just wasting my time responding to you.

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October 7th, 2011, 6:35 pm

 

454. annie said:

http://fr.ria.ru/society/20111007/191393699.html
L’organisation caritative Reach All Women in War a décerné le prix Anna Politkovskaïa 2011 à une militante des droits de l’homme et juriste syrienne, Razan Zaitouneh, rapporte un communiqué de presse de l’association.

L’activité des journalistes et des défenseurs des droits de l’homme étrangers étant limitée en Syrie, le portail internet SHRIL créé par Razan Zaitouneh est devenu la source principale d’information sur la torture des détenus syriens.

Accusée par le pouvoir syrien de complicité, la militante est contrainte à la clandestinité.

Rendant hommage à la journaliste russe Anna Politkovskaïa, le prix est attribué pour la cinquième année consécutive.

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October 7th, 2011, 6:36 pm

 

455. sheila said:

Dear #370 Mundas,
You said: “But please change my name to protect my identity”. Don’t worry. According to the regime, there are 23 million Mundas in Syria. You will just melt in.

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October 7th, 2011, 6:36 pm

 

456. jad said:

Mr. Khaled has so many valuable and precious points, let him be, why to shut him up, let him talk, I thought that we all want to let everybody to speak their minds, isn’t it democracy what we all want.

Bosra asked him “Suppose you were President, what would your policies be” and Khaled with all honesty answered, why you guys/girls are so critical of what he wrote, he is speaking gems, you can help him do some tweaks her and there to few of his valuable and precious 13 points and Syria will be just fine especially with his liberal vision regarding homosexuality, the future of Syria with president Khaled Tlass is as colorful as the rainbow.

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October 7th, 2011, 6:37 pm

 

457. majedkhaldoun said:

Annie
Welcome back,I hope you convince True to come back, I missed Aboud,
Khaled Tlass
You are extreme, there will be problems in your Syria, but Thanks God it will never be like what you say.

There is escalation by this regime,now they are targeting highly educated people, Professors, engineers,Doctors,Mashaal Tammo is the last to be assasinated.it is time to work fast ,.

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October 7th, 2011, 6:38 pm

 

458. zoo said:

Syrian authorities must conduct reforms or leave – Medvedev
Published: 07 October, 2011, 17:16
President Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia is interested in the end of violence in Syria, but the authorities in that country must listen to the international community and commence reforms.

Speaking from his suburban residence of Gorky on Friday, Medvedev said that Russia will not allow any unilateral sanctions in the UN aimed at the authorities’ displacement in various countries of the world.

“Russia will continue to oppose the legitimization of unilateral sanctions aimed at the displacement of various regimes through the UN Security Council. The UN was not founded for this,” Medvedev told the Russian Security Council session.

The Russian leader said that the Security Council resolution on Syria blocked by Russia and China allowed for the implementation of the Libyan scenario in this country.

“We should accept with all certainty that the task of the permanent members of the Security Council have special responsibility for the fate of the peace on the planet and they must no longer give an excuse to create documents that allow to achieve one’s goals by military means through easy pseudo-law tricks,” Medvedev said. “This means only one thing: that our partners don’t rule out the repetition of the Libyan scenario, although in private conversations they have said ‘we understand that Syria is not Libya,’” he added.

The Russian President also recalled the UNSC resolution 1973 that was used by NATO countries to justify their involvement in the Libyan crisis.

At the same time, the Russian President stressed that the Syrian authorities must conduct changes in their country and if they fail to do so they must leave the top posts. He also said that Russia has always been repeating this to Syrian leaders since the start of the current Middle East crisis.

“We are using our channels and we actively work with the Syrian leadership, demand that they hold the necessary reforms,” Medvedev said. “If the Syrian authorities are incapable of making such reforms, they will have to go, but this decision must not be taken by the NATO or certain European Countries, but by the Syrian people and the Syrian leadership,” the Russian president said.

On Tuesday, Russia and China vetoed the UN Security Council resolution on Syria which was supported by nine other SC members with four abstentions. Russia’s envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that Russia did not support the resolution because it was based on a totally different philosophy, “a philosophy of confrontation,” and contained “an ultimatum of sanctions.”

“The Russian Federation could not agree with the accusatory tone against Damascus, nor to the ultimatum of sanctions against peaceful crisis settlement,” says the official press release of Vitaly Churkin’s speech on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website. “Russia’s proposals on the non-acceptability of military intervention, among others, had not been taken into account. There is no alternative to dialogue.”

The vote followed weeks of debate over whether to impose sanctions against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Many countries had been working on finding a text that could result in a compromise among the 15 Security Council members.
http://rt.com/politics/authorities-reforms-medvedev-russia-287/

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October 7th, 2011, 6:38 pm

 

459. Tara said:

Bronco,

Read below. What do you think?

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2011/Oct-08/150748-in-syria-a-us-diplomat-is-leading-not-a-soldier.ashx#axzz1a8hgzEdn

Ford’s mission has been to encourage the internal opposition to get its act together, politically. The two strongest groups of street protesters are known as the “Local Coordination Committees,” headed by a human rights lawyer named Razan Zeitouneh, and the “General Organization of the Syrian Revolution,” led by Suhair al-Atassi, the daughter of a prominent Syrian political family. The significant role of these women should help lessen Western worries that this movement is simply a creature of the Muslim Brotherhood.

more….

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October 7th, 2011, 6:40 pm

 

460. uzair8 said:

Khaled.

Your soft approach to homosexuality would go against your Islamist stance. If you legalized it you’d be bringing the curse and punishment of God onto Syria.

I think you’d be overthrown in a military coup by conservative Officers.

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October 7th, 2011, 6:45 pm

 

461. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

So what, your Al CIADA handlers ran out of names, nothing inspiring this Friday? Here is a nice catchy name for your next one, in remembrance for those paid to demonstrate and got arrested, pay them some tribute next Friday and call it
: جمعة حمار الديار

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October 7th, 2011, 6:47 pm

 

462. jad said:

Agatha,
I support Razan Zeytouneh, she was a civil activist many years before the uprising, she was always the first to speak out when nobody dared to say a word, besides, she is not the only one who is rejecting violence and promoting peaceful means, Louai Hasan, Hassan Abd Alazeem and almost all the local opposition figures called for that and they have my respect and support.

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October 7th, 2011, 6:47 pm

 

463. DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

@ KHALID TLASS

“But if the foreign “imported” Sunni soldiers decide to unilaterally clamp down on homsexuality on the streets of Damascus, then I’m afraid I’ll be helpless to stop it.”

So basically your vision for Syria is some vigilante free-for-all? Sounds great. Frankly, I don’t see the difference between what you are proposing and what already exists. You aren’t concerned with state-building; you seek only to exact revenge on a minority group. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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October 7th, 2011, 6:47 pm

 

464. zoo said:

Majedalkhaldoon

Ehsani wrote that Abboud is posting again. Haven’t you recognized him under one or more nicknames?

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October 7th, 2011, 6:51 pm

 

465. Norman said:

This is how it is in the US , are we going to behave the same way.one day,

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/07/8211096-pastor-backing-perry-romney-not-a-christian

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October 7th, 2011, 6:53 pm

 

466. Tara said:

Amir 

I made Mahshi grape leave today.  It has rice and minced meet inside.  You cook it over lamb ribs in a pressure cooker and add lemon, 20 whole garlic, and salt.  It must be compressed by heavy weight so it is pressed together.  My mahshi has an international reputation…  

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October 7th, 2011, 6:58 pm

 

467. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

No Pat on the Back

Khaled

Why should a rat like me pat you on the back, I have no problem with the “Others”, my problem is a rabid animal who thinks it is a genius leader and that the range is its own farm, and my problem is with the those endowed with thin intelligence, who believe this rabid animal and its mafia gang and are willing to murder others for the rabid animal’s blue eyes.

If the 2900 murdered souls mean anything to you, then honor them by not imitating their murderer. The current rabid pretender to the presidency of Syria will be punished along with his Mafia. Just not the way you want it, and the innocents will be spared. That off course does not mean that those who aided the rabid pretender, in their own subtle ways will be spared from accountability. In many cases, their shame will be enough and Aboud will be around to drink their tears.

I tell you, the Syrian revolution is unlike any in the region. The regime of the rabid pretender knows that, and that is why they are moving into a different assassination phase, which is direct assassination. Very much like the gangs they are. Don’t help confused people spread their confusion about this revolution for their confusion and their noise is an infectious and dangerous disease. It is as bad as the bullet of the rabid one they secretly love.

Taking your medication is a national duty

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October 7th, 2011, 7:00 pm

 

468. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara,

OMG this sounds Gooooooood..!!! I’m vegan for the last 3 years, so I use only seeds grains and beans for stuffing. With lamb wow.. this sounds delicious!
.

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October 7th, 2011, 7:13 pm

 

469. Tara said:

Turkey Moves to Directly Support Syrian Opposition

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Turkey-Moves-to-Directly-Support-Syrian-Opposition-131335164.html

October 07, 2011

With Ankara severing nearly all its ties with Damascus, it seems fully committed to the opposition, whatever consequences that will bring. 

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October 7th, 2011, 7:19 pm

 

470. bronco said:

Tara

Did Heckle Ford meet any of these two women in real ? Razan Zeitouneh is in hiding and Zouhair al-Atassi in Paris. I think they added these two names just to attract more sympathy of women towards such an understanding and a compassionate crow.

I have not seen Razan Zeitouneh on interview, so I have no opinion, but I saw Zouhair Al Atassi on a french interview.. Oh My God.. I wouldn’t want her as a neighbor or even in the same area where I live. Anyway she probably lives in the 16th. She is the “chic’ Parisian pseudo-intellectual with zero charisma and a lot of makeup.

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October 7th, 2011, 7:22 pm

 

471. Ghufran said:

BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/middleeast/2011/10/111007_syria_us_white_house_.shtml
It is people like Hamster that makes this blog worth visiting.
Bashar and the regime cannot survive much longer,time is not on their side,but the longer the regime stays the more Syrians we will lose,and the more violent the opposition may become.

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October 7th, 2011, 7:26 pm

 

472. zoo said:

Tara

Erdogan’s compassionate motives to protect militarily Turkey’ border:
No more refugees,please!

Read later on how Turkey treats refugees and compare it to Syria’s treatment of million of Iraqis, Palestinians, Armenians, Lebanese..

From the VOA news you posted:

“Protecting that border is important Idiz says, with the expectation in Ankara that an uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will continue to grow along with a risk of more refugees crossing the border. Already thousands have fled to Turkey.”

You want to know how refugees are treated in Turkey?

“Turkey’s legal obligation concerning refugees is applied only to persons who seek asylum “as a result of events in Europe,” but not from neighboring countries in the east, south and north. This means that non-Europeans are denied permanent refuge in Turkey.”

And what do we do if they come from a non-European country? We place them in detention centers and send them to their country of origin. The actual task of getting those people to third countries is left to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees. This tells us that it is international organizations, not Turkey, taking responsibility for the fate of these asylum seekers. This legal framework also covers migrant workers. Try employing a foreigner in Turkey and see how difficult it is.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=does-turkey-accept-refugees-from-somalia-now-2011-09-23

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October 7th, 2011, 7:38 pm

 

473. zoo said:

No Arab Spring, says US intelligence analyst
Friday, October 7, 2011

The Arab Spring did not happen, according to George Friedman, the head of global intelligence firm STRATFOR Institute, because there has been no regime change in the Middle East

A: No, because the Arab spring did not happen. No regime fell except Libya and that’s because of NATO. In Egypt, one general is replaced by four generals.

In Syria, Bashar al–Assad is still in power. There is tremendous excitement but there is very little action, very little outcome. Not every bit of unrest is a revolution. Every revolution does not succeed. Every revolution is not democratic, and the democratic ones can elect (rulers like) Ayatollah Khomeini. There is talk about massive democratic uprising; first of all it was not massive in Egypt – most of the country was not affected. Second, those who rose up did not have a common idea of what should come next. Third, they did not overthrow the regime. They got rid of Mubarak and that was what the army wanted, too.
{…}
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=no-arab-spring-says-us-intelligence-analyst-2011-10-07

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October 7th, 2011, 7:50 pm

 

474. Tara said:

US calls on Assad ‘to step down now’
(AFP) – 1 hour ago

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jAgdLhrHv3b8zsYtf3eJ6J0dHKHw?docId=CNG.2a861b3c15af9949dc28415ae6e0d331.c11
  
WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to “step down now,” warning he was taking his country down a “very dangerous path.”
In a statement, spokesman Jay Carney condemned the killing of Kurdish opposition leader Meshaal Tamo as well as the beating of a prominent Syrian activist, saying it showed “again that the Assad regime’s promises for dialogue and reform are hollow.”
“The United States strongly rejects violence directed against peaceful oppositionists wherever it occurs, and stands in solidarity with the courageous people of Syria who deserve their universal rights,” Carney said.
“Today’s attacks demonstrate the Syrian regime’s latest attempts to shut down peaceful opposition inside Syria. President Assad must step down now before taking his country further down this very dangerous path.”
Tamo, 53, a member of the newly formed Syrian National Council (SNC) opposition grouping, was killed when four masked gunmen stormed his house in Qamishli in the north and opened fire.
His son and another fellow activist in the Kurdish Future Party were wounded, activists said. Kurds are a minority ethnic group in Syria.
Former MP Riad Seif, meanwhile, was also attacked and beaten in the street.
The US State Department earlier charged that the Assad regime was escalating its tactics against the opposition with bold, daylight attacks on its leaders.
“This is a clear escalation of regime tactics,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters, referring to reports of Tamo’s murder.
In the past months, she said: “We’ve obviously had a number of opposition folks arrested. We have had reports of torture, beatings, etc, but not on the streets in broad daylight.
The tactic is “clearly designed to intimidate others,” Nuland said.
Nuland meanwhile welcomed reported remarks from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who told Assad on Friday to either reform or resign.
“That is very positive,” she said, adding that she had not seen the statement.
“But as we have said, we want to see more countries join us not only in increasing the political and rhetorical pressure on the regime, but also tightening the economic noose,” Nuland said.
“And there are more steps that can be taken by countries like Russia to up the pressure on Assad,” she said.
Medvedev said three days after Russia and China sparked global outrage by jointly vetoing a UN resolution on Syria that he wanted to see an end to the brutal crackdown on protesters as much as Europe and the United States.
But he quickly reasserted Russia’s earlier position by saying that the best the West could do was support talks and not meddle.

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October 7th, 2011, 8:00 pm

 

475. Ghufran said:

تستطيع البدء بحرب و لكن لن تستطيع ان تقرر كيف و في اي وقت تنتهي
تستطيع البدء بقرارات من مجلس الأمن و لكن لا تعرف كيف ستنفذ هذه القرارات
من يثق بالناتو و من يريد صب الزيت فوق النار لا يريد مصلحة البلد
لاحظوا تطور مواقف جيش سوريا الحر و كيف يريد الان ضرب الجيش كل الجيش أينما كان و لاحظوا ولع البعض بتدمير مقرات قيادة الجيش و الدفاع الجوي و كل المنشات العسكريه في سوريا لمجرد ان الجيش لا يزال مواليا للنظام
غليون الان تحت مطرقة رفاقه من الثورجيين الحمر لانه رفض تدمير سوريا بحجة تغيير النظام
قد يتخلص المعارضون الحمر من غليون و غيره و لن يتورعوا عن قتل غليون و غيره و خاصة ان معظم الناس سوف تتهم النظام عند حصول اي اعتداء ضد المعارضين
اغتيال مشعل تمو المعتدل ربما وراءه النظام و لكن ليس من المستبعد ان تيارا متطرفا من الأكراد قام بقتله
الحقيقه الوحيده في سوريا اليوم ان الكثير من السوريين يقتلون و ان النظام لم يعد ينفع هذا البلد الجريح و اي استنتاجات فوق ذلك هي محض تخمين

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October 7th, 2011, 8:04 pm

 

476. zoo said:

Obama abandoning interest in Syria
By Tony Badran
Saturday, October 8, 2011

With the Syrian revolution on the verge of formally calling for intervention against the Assad regime, the Obama administration’s refusal to lead will result in the US effectively taking itself out of the picture, and thereby ensuring an outcome detrimental to American regional interests.

Over the last week, the administration has emphasized its unwillingness to draft a serious Syria policy. In response to the Syrian protest movement converging on a demand for international protection and the creation of safe zones, the State Department reacted feebly. “The number one thing that we can do to help them is to get international monitors in there,” spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said last Wednesday. “We need witnesses so that we can hold Assad to account.”

This language, more befitting a human rights organization than a great power, has become increasingly prevalent in the administration’s public statements on Syria. For instance, consider how Washington has defined the mission of the recently confirmed Ambassador Robert Ford. His job, according to the White House and the State Department, is “to bear witness” to Assad’s brutality.

This passivity is consistent with the administration’s reluctance to lead and reflects its muddled thinking regarding Syria. In a flurry of recent interviews and in a note on his Facebook page, Ambassador Ford laid out the parameters of what could only be dubbed a posture of disinclination.
{…}

Tony Badran is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He tweets @AcrossTheBay.

To read more: http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=319001#ixzz1a8ylvCus
Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished.

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October 7th, 2011, 8:05 pm

 

477. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

I just did a bit of surfing for “Syria” at News.Google and I can’t resist asking a question that was already asked and answered here last week: “Was today Friday?”

Here’s how exciting it was:

7 Oct 2011, AFP: Canadian oil giant Suncor is working with Syria’s state-owned General Petroleum Corporation on a $1.2 billion gas project in central Syria. Suncor said 6 Oct 2011 that new sanctions announced on Syria this week by Canada would not affect its gas project. Suncor said: “The new Canadian sanctions are similar to those imposed by the European Union last week. They relate to our industry, but allow existing operations and agreements to continue, including the operations of the Ebla development, which primarily produces natural gas used within Syria…. We’d like to acknowledge and recognize the numerous governments around the world, including Canada’s, that are trying their best to signal concerns with ongoing events in Syria while also trying not to make life harder on the country’s citizens.” Human rights groups have said Suncor is indirectly supporting President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal crackdown on dissidents. Copyright © 2011 AFP.

Earlier in the week Lyse Doucet of the BBC got government permission to go to Douma in Rif Damascus. Here’s what she reports from Douma:

As crowds grew around us, so did the presence of men in shell suits shadowing us, talking on telephones, listening in. But unlike other neighbourhoods we had visited in Damascus, this did not stop people from speaking their mind…. We moved down the street toward the main mosque. Young men immediately surround us. Within minutes, they’re chanting: “Freedom! Freedom!” And: “Down with the regime!”… Our two trips to Douma with the government made it hard to establish what was really happening there…. Douma is a short drive on the highway heading south from the centre of Damascus. But it looks and feels like a world apart. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15196524

When Lyse Doucet was in Damascus the week before, everybody who was willing to speak to her and her cameras in Damascus was pro-regime. Lyse Doucet, in contemplating that fact, was clueless enough to suppose it could be due at least in part to people being afraid to speak their anti-regime minds on camera — even though everybody knows it is 100% legal to peacefully disagree with the regime’s policies. Now that she’s found anti-regime people unabashedly willing to speak to her cameras in Douma, she’s now got to stop being clueless, and see the clue that Damascus is overwhelmingly with the regime.

@ EIU #317: Thanks.

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October 7th, 2011, 8:10 pm

 
 

479. Tara said:

Zoo

It looks like the assassination of Tamo, a member of the newly formed SNC and the beating of Ryad Saif are going to shorten the time to Assad’s departure. Bashar is indeed ill-advised. These high profile cases are escalating the contempt the world is feel in regard to the Syrian regime which will only hasten its demise.

My prediction will come true. He will be long gone before 2014.

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October 7th, 2011, 8:19 pm

 

480. DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

@ Ya Mara Ghalba

“Lyse Doucet, in contemplating that fact, was clueless enough to suppose it could be due at least in part to people being afraid to speak their anti-regime minds on camera — even though everybody knows it is 100% legal to peacefully disagree with the regime’s policies. ”

If I called the President a dog and said that his cousin was corrupt, do you think I’d get away with it? Could I walk in front of his house with a poster denouncing his government without getting arrested?

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October 7th, 2011, 8:19 pm

 
 

482. Syria no kandahar said:

Free Syrian Army FSA فسا
فسا is in huge need of Tara’s Mehshi with 20 whole garlics.

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October 7th, 2011, 8:27 pm

 

483. zoo said:

Tara

From what I have been gathering, the hardline opposition is in a dead-end ( No NATO, no more sanctions, no military solution, no peaceful solution, dwindling of the demonstrations, UN Veto, the Ghaliounists are too slow to act, SNC vs BNC…)

If I was in their shoes, thank God I am not, I would certainly welcome any shocking event to boost again the moral of the troops and shake the human rights cord of the western audience.

There has been many killings recently reported by the media. All have been put on the Syrian government’s account even the one of the son of the Mufti Hassoun, supposedly close to the regime and the fake case of Zeinab al Hosni quickly blown apart.

It didn’t do much to boost the troops. This friday’s demonstrations were fairly meager, despite the words “thousands”, “across Syria” “shooting at protesters” injected in many articles trying to keep the heat on.
(The killing and starving of the Libyan civilians by NATO is Sirte is a much less popular headline)

I don’t know much about Tamo, I have never heard about him before, but in this period of open hatred and free violence where all is allowed if you have a gun, there are many possible explanations to this murder as they are for the son’s of the mutfi and the beheaded woman.
Pinning it on the regime momentarily serves well the die-hard but certainly not the truth.

Do you you mean Bashar will be allowed to conduct the reforms between now and 2014? I thought the White House said NOW!

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October 7th, 2011, 8:42 pm

 

484. zoo said:

SNK #482

FSA is in Turkey, so the word is ‘dolma’

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October 7th, 2011, 8:54 pm

 

485. sheila said:

To dear DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA,
You know how much I like you, but did you really have to ask? You got your answer @436. Wow. This is exactly what the regime wants all of us to fear. After reading Khalid Tlass’s plan, all we have left to say is: we would rather keep Bashar.

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October 7th, 2011, 9:01 pm

 

486. Tara said:

Bronco

Your description fits Bashar al Assad better, the so called western educated, pseudo-intellectual, charisma-less who giggles stupidly and…… dyes his hair.

What is up with these men who dye their hair? Do they just not get it?

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October 7th, 2011, 9:16 pm

 

487. bronco said:

Tara

Presidents are allowed for some incongruities in their appearance: The President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso wears a black-dyed wig. Sarkozy wears vests with larger shoulders than his. Catherine Ashton likes to wear plain tee-shirts to show better the wrinkles on her neck.
“Obama does not dye hair, Michelle Obama says but “If he knew he’d be president he would have started dying his hair ten years ago,” she added, laughing.”

When Zouzou Al Atasi will become the next syrian president, she would be allowed to wear a blond wig, if she prefers to look like Lady Gaga. She is already very close.

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October 7th, 2011, 9:58 pm

 

488. Mohamed Kanj said:

Golan Heights in support of Bashar Al Assad. With a total turnout this friday of nomore than maybe 10,000-20,000 ( out of 23million syrians ) that leaves them to a meager 1-3% of the total population. I cant wait till winter approaches.

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October 8th, 2011, 12:55 am

 

489. annie said:

467. SYRIAN HAMSTER

Your words are a balm on the wound inflicted by Tlass’s nonsense.

485. SHEILA “This is exactly what the regime wants all of us to fear. After reading Khalid Tlass’s plan, all we have left to say is: we would rather keep Bashar.” That was exactly my reaction.

He is an agent provocateur.

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October 8th, 2011, 2:42 am

 

490. Khalid Tlass said:

I’m not an Agent Provocteur, this is exactly how I feel. We MUST punish them SEVERELY for what they have done for the last 45 years. It is all nice for people like Hamster, Sheila, Annie, Tara, etc. tp preach peace while they themeselves have not suffered any indignity, any pain, any killing from the Syrian State. They have not witnessed first-hand its brutality. Its all right for them to preach peace, but pls ask any ordinary protester in Homs or Hama or Idleb ( not even rif Dimashq, they are way better-off) what he feels, I’ll bet he feels exactly like me.

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October 8th, 2011, 7:56 am

 

491. Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: ZOO

RE: “…everybody knows it is 100% legal to peacefully disagree with the regime’s policies…”

Are you always this stupid…or does it come and go with the phases of the moon?

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October 8th, 2011, 1:00 pm

 

492. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships (ASSAD) said:

I can’t believe how you guys have fallen for K. Tlass’ BS! The guy is pulling your leg, having you on, taking the piss…whatever you want to call it. And if he was for real, then hell no, we would most definitely NOT be better off with Assad & hia mafia in place; we WILL HAVE our change and democracy and will put LAWS in place to deal with nut cases like KT.

But this KT chatter has forced me to digress. I would like to discuss with the other liberals on this blog the differences between the so-called internal opposition and the SNC. Does anyone know when this newest internal opposition grouping هيئة التنسيق الوطني come into being? How come they went out of their way to insert the word ‘co-ordination’ in their name? It sure looks like an attempt to sow confusion in the minds of the public considering that the word تنسيق was used from the very start by the organizers of the protests from around April (لجان التنسيق المحلي).

I understand that the main sticking point that keeps this group from accepting/joining the SNC is the request for non-military intervention that the SNC has called for. But without international pressure I have not heard any details of how this “internal” opposition group is going to achieve change, given that they also reject dialog and “reform” of the existing regime.

http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=138250

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October 8th, 2011, 2:14 pm

 

493. William Scott Scherk said:

Just a note in passing. The comments at 408 and 413 are contemptuous and single out a nationality (Pakistani) for denigration in the context of Syria/Tlass/Muslim mores. I find that offensive and disquieting — even in the context of Tlass’s unacceptable racist invective.

Somebody should take a week off for those kinds of remarks, said the Canadian observer quietly. Exile certainly calmed and soothed The Man They Call Aboud, and made his tools sharper.

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October 8th, 2011, 7:45 pm

 

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