“Russia’s Intervention in Syria – A View From the Past,” by Meir Zamir

Meir Zamir

Russia’s Intervention in Syria – A View From the Past
by Meir Zamir
Oct 27, 2015 for Syria Comment

Russia’s current military intervention in Syria marks a major turning point in the civil war there and in the regional and international balance of power in the Middle East. The many attempts to decode Putin’s motives are therefore understandable. Various explanations have been put forward, including: Putin’s attempts to prop up President Bashar Assad, his faltering ally in Damascus; to protect Russia’s naval base on the Syrian coast, its only connection to the Mediterranean Sea; to challenge the United States and NATO in Syria in particular and the Middle East in general; and to reassert Russia’s position as a super power. Some have pointed to domestic considerations, including Russia’s faltering economy following the economic boycott led by the United States after its intervention in the Ukraine.

While these and other explanations are plausible, the historical perspective is lacking, which might give a better understanding of Russia’s objectives. Indeed, the Russian president illustrated that in his address to the General Assembly on September 28, when he praised the collaboration between the three powers at the end of World War II, implying that it should be re-adopted now to resolve the Syrian and other crises in the Middle East and elsewhere, rather than the American policy of “exclusivity”.

The 13 documents included in this post aim to provide the missing historical dimension. These are secret Syrian and British documents obtained by the French intelligence in Damascus and Beirut between 1944 and 1948 and uncovered by the author in archives in France. (They have been selected from 400 such documents recently published in a book examining the secret Anglo-French war in the Middle East during and after World War II*). These documents, together with many others that are not given here, reveal that questions regarding Syria, which greatly preoccupied the Soviet Union in the 1940s, continue to preoccupy Russia today despite the years that have passed and the different circumstances. The similarity between the issues then and now results, to a large extent, from Syria’s unique geostrategic position coupled with its enduring internal divisions.

The first document (June 1944) is one of many relating to the Soviet Union’s recognition of Syria as an independent state. It has emerged that Soviet diplomats conditioned that recognition on the Syrian government’s assurances that the country would maintain its independence and national sovereignty. But after learning of attempts by British secret agents to expel France from Syria and incorporate it in a Hashemite Greater Syria and a union with Iraq, with the tacit support of Jamil Mardam, the acting Syrian Prime Minister, Daniel Solod, the Russian Minister in Syria and Lebanon, warned Mardam that his government would actively oppose any attempt to undermine Syria’s independence. (doc. 2) Solod repeated this warning at a meeting with President Quwatli, in the presence of Mardam and Sa’adallah al-Jabiri, the head of the Syrian parliament.(doc. 3) Details of the meeting are revealed in a report given by Muhsin al-Barazi, President Quwatli’s secretary, who was at that time operating as a British agent, to his controller, Colonel Walter Stirling from the MI6. (Barazi was to serve later as a minister in various Syrian cabinets and as Prime Minister under Husni al- Za’im. He was excuted in August 1949 after Sami al-Hinawi’s coup d’état.) It is obvious that the Russians were fully aware of Mardam’s tacit involvement in the Anglo-Iraqi plot.

Despite the Soviet warnings, on May 29, 1945, President Quwatli signed a secret agreement with Britain recognizing its dominance over Syria in return for its expulsion of France.  Shortly after learning of the agreement, Russian diplomats in Damascus and Moscow began to openly criticize and even threaten the Syrians.(docs. 4, 5) The Russians’ concern intensified after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Sa’id was seen to be collaborating with British agents with the aim of incorporating Syria in an anti-Russian regional defense bloc and solving the problem of Alexandretta, which had been an obstacle to improving Syro-Turkish relations. (docs. 7,8)

Aside from direct diplomatic pressure, Russian secret agents fomented opposition to the Syrian government, especially among the Kurds in the Jazira and the Armenians in northern Syria. The Syrian Communist Party under Khalid Bakdash was also involved. In fact, the Russian consulate in Damascus became a center for covert activities led by a Russian intelligence officer whom the French called “the Red Lawrence”. And then, like now, all the powers involved attached great importance to the role of the Kurds. (doc. 6)

After learning of the British and American attempts to persuade the Syrian government to accept military and economic aid, the Soviet Union in January 1946 offered to provide its own such aid to Syria to ensure its independence. (doc. 9) The Soviet proposal was rejected by Sda’allah al-Jabiri, then Syrian Prime Minister. But following renewed Anglo-Iraqi pressure on the Syrian government to acquiese to a Syro-Iraqi union, Jabiri changed his stand and at the end of 1946 agreed to negotiate a secret agreement with Russia. As a result, the British secret agents pressed President Quwatli to replace Jabiri with Jamil Mardam. (docs. 10, 11, 12) In June 1947, after King Abdallah threatened to compel the Syrian government to join a Greater Syria monarchy under his rule, the Soviet government once again offered to protect Syria’s independence. (doc.13)

This short analysis, basd on Syrian diplomatic documents from the 1940s, demonstrates that Russia, now, like before, is determined to ensure that Syria remain an independent and united state and to prevent another superpower, namely the United States, or any regional power for that matter, from taking control over Syria, as it had undermined Britain’s attempts in the past. In the Syro-Soviet defense treaty of 1970, the Soviet Union realized its long-standing ambitions and became the dominant power in Syria. From that perspective, Putin’s current military intervention, intended to secure Russia’s strategic role in Syria, is to a certain extent a continuation of Stalin’s policy in the Middle East in general, and in Syria in particular.

*Meir Zamir is the author of The Secret Anglo-French War in the Middle East: Intelligence and Decolonization, 1940-1948, (Routledge, London, 2015), 502 pp. He is Professor of Middle Eastern History at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and was the founder of its Department of Middle East Studies. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science and has taught at universities in Canada and the US. 

Secret British and Syrian Documents on Syro-Soviet Relations

  1.    Jamil Mardam’s report on the establishment of diplomatic relations with the  Soviet Union

Top secret

Report by Jamil Mardam Bey on the negotiations

which resulted in the establishment of diplomatic relations

between the USSR and Syria

Summary for the Council of Ministers

The conversations that took place between the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Members of the Political Mission, representing the Government of the Soviet Union, ended today.

I have the honor of communicating the summary of these conversations to your esteemed Council.

Above all, we kept secret the question of the Commission’s presence for fear that negotiations would fail, and that disappointment would be bitter, with unfortunate consequences.

I think it important that the esteemed Council of Ministers should know that Mr Khalid Bakdash, President of the Syrian Communist Party, has made praiseworthy efforts to bring these negotiations to a conclusion. He has shown, in all his actions, a praiseworthy patriotism which deserves thanks and appreciation.

The Soviet Political Commission has asked, above all, for the following:

  • information on the history of Syrian independence
  • details on the situation of parliamentary representation in Syria
  • a summary of Franco-Syrian relations, and the conditions in which General Catroux proclaimed Syrian independence
  • precise details on England’s degree of participation in consolidating this independence as well as the strength of political relations linking us to Great Britain

The Commission has tried to find out if a second public or secret agreement exists between us and a foreign power.

It asks for information on:

  • the economic and financial situation of Syria with regard to the laws concerning production, taxes and the state of agricultural, industrial and commercial property.

It is informing itself on ethnic and religious minorities and on their origins.

It is enquiring into the government apparatus, its shape and the degree of religious representation at its center.

It asks for information:

  • on the teaching and educational system of the nation
  • on mining, and on industrial, agricultural or mineral monopolies
  • on the Syrian oil company and its agreements
  • on the reasons for the non-development of Syrian oil and on the attitude of the Syrian Government towards this. Is the Government determined to maintain the status quo or not?

The Commission discussed the financial situation and the Issuing Bank with us. We showed it the Bank of Syria’s agreement and concession.

Lastly, it asked us for guarantees, which we have provided in the name of the Syrian Republic, and a copy has been sent to your esteemed Council.

In reviewing the information that the Commission tried to obtain, it has emerged that this Ministry has had a praiseworthy success in clearly setting out the Syrian position in all its respects, allowing the Commission to pronounce itself satisfied and to recognize, in the name of the Government of the Soviet Union, our independence unconditionally and without reservation.

It is my pleasure to announce this happy news to the esteemed Council of Ministers.

June 25, 1944                                                              s/ Jamil Mardam Bey

Registered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

No 15 – Diplomatic correspondence – the Soviet Union

  1. From Daniel Solod, Minister of the Soviet Union in Syria

To the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Top secret

I have the honor of informing you that my Government has charged me with the task of notifying you of the following:

The plan for Greater Syria, about which H.E. the President of the Council issued a denial and which he has recently repudiated publicly in the Syrian Chamber, continues to be, as far as we are aware, a reality. Certain authorities, which the Government of the Syrian Republic considers its friends and advisors, work for and lead a campaign in favor of its realization.

The Government of the Soviet Union, which has unconditionally recognized Syrian independence, does not believe that it would be in independent Syria’s interest to throw itself – thoughtlessly or after determined efforts – into an unknown and obscure future.

My Government has asked me to warn you of this. I convey this view to you above all as a friend.

Unsigned

Memorandum presented by Mr Solod on April 25, 1945

Registered in the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Diplomatic correspondence from the Soviet Legation

No 3517/177

 

  1. Report by Muhsin al-Barazi, Secretary General of the Presidency of the

             Republic to his controller Colonel Walter Stirling           

British agent no 325

Top secret

Handwritten: 7 May 1945

—-

Today the President saw Mr Solod in my presence and that of Messrs Sa’adallah Jabiri and Jamil Mardam Bey.

After the usual polite words, the President said:

“Syria wants to know how far the government of the Soviet Union will back Syrian independence.”

The conversation was long, but the reply finally made by Mr Solod is that the Soviet Union will support Syrian independence in any case, on condition that it exerts itself in favor of Syria and its people and not in favor of Anglo-American imperialism.

Mr Solod in his turn asked questions about certain correspondence exchanged between the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the British Minister Plenipotentiary about the Liwa of Alexandretta. Jamil Bey denied the existence of such correspondence. He said he had not discussed this matter with the English and had not been asked to by them.

Then Mr Solod asked:

“What is the current situation between you and the French?”

The President replied:

“We await the arrival of General Beynet. Be assured, Minister, that Syrian opinion generally can no longer bear the French, who make fun of us.”

“I do not believe,” said the Minister, “that the French make fun of you. Although we do not support any colonizing ambitions or attempts at exploitation, I believe that the French are correct from one point of view, because they do not want to give their place up to others.”

“And who are these others?” Jamil Bey asked.

“You know that better than me,” replied Mr Solod, “those to whom you grant privileges and with whom you reach agreements which no one knows anything about. Completely secret things.”

President Quwatli then showed his surprise about these secret things, saying that he knew nothing about them.

Mr Solod said:

“The agreement over oil for example, the agreement over the pipeline installation, the agreement on monetary unification using the standard of the pound sterling, and the civil and commercial aviation project. All these things are more dangerous and more threatening to your independence than the Mandate Charter itself.”

The banquet of honor was thus transformed into a battlefield between the two parties. The Soviet Minister tried to convince the President and his companions that they were setting little store by the rights of the country, and that just at the moment they were trying to emancipate themselves from the French yoke, it was to throw themselves into the arms of the English; that if his government did not want the French colonizers to stay in Syria, neither did he, categorically, want the English to stay here to replace them.

The meeting ended on a not very cordial note. The two parties have bitterness in their hearts.

After the Minister’s departure, the President reproached Jamil Mardam Bey and said to him,

“All the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ secrets are known to these resourceful Russians.”

From all this, Sa’adallah Bey concluded that duty demanded that all parties now in existence be suppressed and that all their members be arrested.

I believe that the Russians will quite soon make a show of a lot of activity and that this activity will cause us a lot of trouble.

Monday, May 7, 1945                                                                                   s/ Muhsin

Report addressed to Colonel Stirling.

Copy filed in the Political Bureau of the British Legation in Beirut, No. S 1754

 

After meeting with Solod, Quwatli reprimanded Mardam, telling him: “All the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ secrets are known to these resourceful Russians.”

  1. From Fa’iz al-Khuri, the Syrian Minister in Moscow

                       To H.E. the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Damascus

Secret

I was summoned to the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs where I was told, with great friendliness, that, for the following reasons, the current conduct of the Syrian Government was not encouraging for the establishment of a sincere collaboration profitable to our country:

First: They believe that we are ousting the French to replace them with the English.

Second: That we are delivering our country’s resources to the English (an allusion to the ‘Mira’ agreement).”

My interlocutor added:

“The Soviet Union will heartily support the Arabs’ position against the Zionist movement, which aims to take Palestine and chase them out of it. It is up to the Arabs to adopt a suitable position in defense of their threatened country.”

I am sending you a summary of what was said to me.

Yours sincerely,

July 28, 1945                                                                        s/ Fa’iz al-Khuri

No 443/7 – Diplomatic correspondence

 

  1. From the Minister of the USSR in Syria

                 To H.E. the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Secret

Note

My Government has asked me to enquire of your Ministry about the efforts Nuri al-Sa’id is making and which, in addition to defense of the Palestinian question, have, I believe, a bearing on other plans which threaten security in the Middle East, and which are related to high politics.

My information regarding Mr Sa’id’s plans in Syria – which are of course not on his own initiative, but for which he is authorized to act – consist of the abolition of the Syrian Republic and the establishment of a Hashemite monarchy. Does the Syrian Government know this?

As far as the formation of an Eastern Islamic bloc goes, it seems that he wants, or is asked, to work towards the creation of a cordon sanitaire around the Soviet Union. Does Syria wish to take part in that?

As for Palestine, Mr Sa’id wants to give, or is asked to give, the Jews a state at the expense of Palestine, the Arabs, the Lebanese and the Syrians. Does the Syrian Government know that?

In placing these truths before the Syrian Government, I would like to know if it is wholly aware of them and what its inclinations are with regard to accepting or rejecting these plans.

October 5, 1945                                                                                              s/ D. Solod

Registered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

No 815/42 – Diplomatic correspondence

  

  1. From the President of the Council, the Foreign Minister

                        To H.E. the British Minister Plenipotentiary, Damascus

 

Top secret

The information I have and which is based on official reports proves that the Soviet Legation has so far made contact with a large number of Kurdish leaders in the various regions of the Syrian Republic.

In drawing Your Excellency’s attention to this I know that you are perfectly aware of what is happening and that your specialised departments are not unaware of the maneuvers that are being prepared despite our willingness and yours.

However, the duty that I have towards you brings me to remind you that the Syrian Government, rightly concerned about the consequences of this Soviet activity, can only continue to reject all these activities and inform you of the inability in which we find ourselves of taking any measures whatsoever against this Legation. It invites you, in your capacity as the official responsible for maintaining security and peace in this country, to take the measures you judge fitting.

The Syrian Government agrees in advance to whatever you decide.

November 12, 1945                                  The President of the Council ofMinisters

s/ Sa’adallah al-Jabiri

Registered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, no 935/427

  1. From the Minister of the USSR in Syria

                 To the President of the Council of Ministers, the Syrian Minister    

                                 of Foreign Affairs, Damascus

Secret

Your Excellency,

My Government wishes to know if the Government of the Syrian Republic has entered into discussion or agreements of a political or economic nature with the British Government.

Great Britain, in adopting the line it has adopted since the Franco-British agreement, whose appendices are still unknown, has arrogated to itself rights determined with regard to Syria and Lebanon. It goes without saying that it only attributed these rights to itself because the two Syrian and Lebanese Governments have granted it privileges allowing it to act in this way.

I refer in particular to the exchange of letters which took place between you and the British Government following the events of last May.

I am notifying you in the name of my Government that we will not intervene in favor of Syria unless we know that our intervention is opportune and that it will not be regarded as undesirable at a time when you have granted the British Government rights which allow it to adopt the line that it has adopted towards you.

Yours respectfully,

December 22, 1945                                                  The Minister Plenipotentiary                                                                                                         s/ D. Solod

Registered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

No 991 – Political reports

 

 

  1. From the Chargé d’affaires of the Soviet Legation in Damascus

                        To H.E. the Syrian Foreign Minister, Damascus

Secret

Your Excellency,

Following on from the verbal note I gave you about the future of the Liwa of Alexandretta, its current situation and the future that the Government of the Soviet Union wants for it, I draw your attention to the activities of nationalist Kurdish elements on the future they want for themselves and on the desire for unity, progress and emancipation that the Soviet Union is formulating for them.

Right now I can give the Syrian Government the assurance that these elements, which are dispersed among a number of states and which enjoy the Soviet Union’s sympathy, will never adopt a position unsatisfactory to the government and people of Syria.

Thus, I will have unequivocally expressed to you, from now, the reality of our intentions.

December 30, 1945                                                                             Yours sincerely,

The Chargé d’affaires of the Soviet Legation

s/ Cherniaguin

Registered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, no. 10a

  1. 9.     From the Chargé d’affaires of the Soviet Legation in Damascus

                             To H.E. the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Damascus                                                                                                 

Secret                                                                                                        

Verbal memorandum

In the name of its Government, this legation had told the Syrian Government of the strong sympathy it had towards its demands for independence and the desire it had to support it and to give it complete support in everything to do with its development and its social progress.

My Government would be happy to see the Syrian Government officially requesting help, not only politically but also militarily and economically.

This is why my Government has asked me to indicate to it the wishes of the Syrian Government, its desire for this help and the conditions it puts on it.

January 3, 1946                                                                      For the Soviet Legation                                                                                                                  s/ Cherniaguin

Registered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

No 926 – Documents

  1. Sa’adallah al-Jabiri to Mr Fares al-Khuri

          Through the intermediary of the Syrian Minister Plenipotentiary

                                         in Washington

Top secret

The Syrian Government is wholly in agreement with opening negotiations on an agreement with the Soviets.

It is important that these negotiations take place without the English being informed of them. It would also be good to know what our interlocutors are inclined to grant us and what they want.

November 2, 1946

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sa’adallah al-Jabiri

Registered in the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

No 3,311/381 – Diplomatic correspondence

 

  1. Fares al-Khuri to the Syrian Foreign Minister, Damascus

Top secret

Novikof, ex-Minister Plenipotentiary in Cairo has had a conversation with me. They want the following:

that we do not support Turkey;

that the Arab League does not become a defensive tool in the hands of British imperialism;

that we reject the division of Palestine;

that we inform them of the terms of our agreement with the English. In exchange, they will grant us all the help we can ask of them without conditions.

November 9, 1946

Signed: Fares-al Khuri

Registered in the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

No 1,311 – Diplomatic documents

  1. The Minister Plenipotentiary in Turkey

                       To the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Damascus

Top secret

The atmosphere here is becoming more and more sombre, and although Russia is not openly applying pressure, the pressure on the Turks continues and with some force. The English encourage the Turks each day in a new way and the latter refuse to concede anything to Russia.

On the other hand, what is certain is that they refuse to recognise that we have any claims on Alexandretta.

I am convinced that our interest now forces us to reach an understanding, even if it were with the Russians, to preserve our rights, as long as our friends the English refuse to help us, for in fact they would leave Alexandretta with the lion’s share.

The Soviet ambassador here has, in conversations with me, expressed the desire of the Soviet Government to persuade the Arabs that no danger threatens them from their side and that the Moscow Government is inclined and even wants to help us take back from Turkey the rights it has snatched from us with the help of France and England.

I am convinced that an intention from this side will never be detrimental and that if it cannot be used to persuade the English of our importance, it can, however, not do us any harm.

November 26, 1946                                                   The Minister Plenipotentiary

in Turkey

Registered in the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

No 1325 – Political reports

  1. The Soviet Legation to President Quwatli

Top secret

Memorandum

My Government asks the Syrian Government to take note of the fact that it does not give its agreement to the maneuvers that King Abdullah is carrying out for avowed colonialist principles.

At this time when the threat of these maneuvers has become a constant, my Government feels itself inclined to provide the necessary aid to protect and safeguard Syrian independence.

My Government considers that the current situation as a whole in Syria, which is the basis of security in the Middle East, is a fact that must be respected and guaranteed.

The information I have allows me to confirm the existence of a continuing plot directed by British military officials under the command of King Abdullah and in complete agreement with the Iraqi and Turkish governments.

A complaint lodged with the Security Council by the Syrian Government would be viewed favorably and this would then win the complete support of my government. We are also disposed to provide material aid as well as military experts should the Syrian Government so wish.

June 2, 1947                                                                Seal of the Soviet Legation

Damascus

Oral memorandum given by the Soviet Minister to the President of the Syrian Republic

Registered in the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

No 1734 – Political documents

Comments (96)


Pages: « 1 [2] Show All

51. ALAN said:

US finally approves crucial ‘smart bomb’ sale to Turkey
Sub Categories: » HOMEPAGE / WORLD/ MIDEASTSunday,November 1 2015, Your time is 17:52:24

US finally approves crucial ‘smart bomb’ sale to Turkey

The U.S. has decided to sell Turkey $70 million worth of “smart bombs,” a key item in a set of crucial weapon systems that Washington had been refusing to send to Ankara.

The Pentagon announced on Oct. 29 that the U.S. State Department approved the sale after the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense, told Congress late on Oct. 28 that Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) systems would be sold to Turkey, granting lawmakers 15 days for any block. …….
http://linkis.com/com/lk8xz

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November 1st, 2015, 10:54 am

 

52. Badr said:

“Syrian Hamster”

I am more interested in your comments on my view of ass-ads

No argument on my part against the crux of it, but I wonder whether the use of expletives; albeit deserved, make you feel any better.

than of your view about my potential-yet-impossible candidacy for POTUS…

I did not mean to express such a view either way.

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November 1st, 2015, 1:38 pm

 

53. Majedkhaldoun said:

I am very pleased to find out today that Erdogan party has won almost fivty% of the Turkish vote, CONGRATULATION ERDOGAN, and CONGRTULATION SYRIANS, I know some may feel bad, but I could not help it?

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November 1st, 2015, 3:12 pm

 

54. Akbar Palace said:

I am very pleased to find out today that Erdogan party has won almost fivty% of the Turkish vote, CONGRATULATION ERDOGAN, and CONGRTULATION SYRIANS, I know some may feel bad, but I could not help it?

Dr. Majedkhaldoun,

Glad you are happy with Erdogan winning “almost fifty percent”. What about the other 50+%? What did those people vote for? Is power shared by the political parties in Turkey, or does the political party with the highest percentage control eveything? Does Erdogan want Islamic law in Turkey? Are you a supporter of Islamic law in Turkey or do you prefer separation of religion and state?

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November 1st, 2015, 5:33 pm

 

55. Majedkhaldoun said:

Akbar Palace
Yes I like to separate state and religion, ,that is why I am against consider Israel a Jewish state, the other minorities have full right of citizenship, religion is personal and society concern it is not state ,or political concerns, there are Christians and others live in Syria, no one should suffer because his religion if he is peaceful,
Again I am against sets of laws for one group and different laws for the other group like Israel is doing, Israel is treating palastineans different from Jews Israel IS racist country.
Mr. Erdogan is anti Assad, as you know the enemy of my enemy is not my enemy now,
My criticism of Mursi was that he did not share power with other Egyptian groups, I felt he should have, but I like Mursi

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November 1st, 2015, 9:18 pm

 

56. Syrialover said:

“While Iranian and Russian diplomats strut like peacocks in Vienna, play-acting diplomacy, Assad carries on killing” (Maysaloon ‏@Maysaloon Oct 30)

That’s one part of the sick joke.

The other is Russia and Iran’s disastrous failure in Syria, costing them plenty but achieving … what?

All Russia’s aerial strikes and barrel bombing of Syrians didn’t stop ISIS cutting a vital supply route into the regime-held section of Aleppo. Now threatening to cause panicked mass departure by hundreds of thousands of civilians who have held out these last 4 years.

And while Russia carries out futile brutality by air, Iran on the ground – excuse me, it’s hard not to laugh in disbelief – is losing not just large packs of young militia and conscripted Afghan refugees but GENERALS.

One after the other, up to 8 Iranian generals and dozens of senior commanders have now been killed by gunshot in battles on various rebel fronts – Aleppo, Homs, Quneitra, and even not far from Damascus. (See http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/irans-generals-are-dying-in-syria)

Professional, seasoned and well-equipped high up Iranian military personnel, dying like flies at the hands of amateur forces. With new reports of these losses every week.

Why? What’s going on? This is the best Russia and Iran can do?

Both are pointlessly pouring $ billions they can’t afford into preserving a decayed, hollow Assad regime, for reasons that come out as lies and bluster.

Imagine if Russians and Iranians had the systems of the west, where their “leadership” had to justify decisions and reveal performance and expenditure to the media, public hearings and inquiries.

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November 1st, 2015, 10:18 pm

 

57. Syrialover said:

ALAN #41 you love to confuse us.

You say: “The US invasion of Syria is illegal under both the UN Charter and international law.”

If only the US WOULD invade Syria!

Instead of those other loser criminal clowns, Putin and the Mullahs, so hated and uninvited by the Syrian population.

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November 1st, 2015, 11:00 pm

 

58. Ghufran said:

Erdogan used elections in Turkey to stay in power which is what politicians do but he wants to appoint the next president in Syria?
If a new regime in Syria is erected by appointment and not by consensus and elections it will be considered illegitimate regardless if it has gcc and Turkish support. Assad should not stay president because he is a divisive figure and he did not handle the crisis in 2011 as a president should but nobody other than the Syrians has the right to decide what government Syria should have.
Erdogan has bloody hands but he said he was standing for Turkish national interests and was defending Syrians, yet it was his regime that facilitated the influx of terrorists into Syria and protected terrorist groups, that means he should not complain if his neighbors did the same using similar excuses. Arabs have a funny way of beating themselves up and supporting foreign powers while fighting among each other, this is why Arabic melodies should end by:
يا أمة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

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November 2nd, 2015, 1:18 am

 

59. Badr said:

“GHUFRAN: the Russian civilian plane was probably shot using one of those weapons

It seems to me that your “probably” will probably turn out to be false.

Sinai plane crash: What caused it?

The jet was cruising well above the maximum range of any surface-to-air missile that the jihadists are thought to possess. These are far less powerful than the vehicle-borne Buk system that shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine last year.

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November 2nd, 2015, 1:41 am

 

60. Majedkhaldoun said:

Compare election in Egypt where people boycotted the election with the election in Turkey where people participated very heavily, it is amazing,
Also
In the Middle East nationalists are losing where freedom and justice supporters are winning

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November 2nd, 2015, 4:48 am

 

61. SimoHurtta said:

60. Majedkhaldoun said:

Compare election in Egypt where people boycotted the election with the election in Turkey where people participated very heavily, it is amazing,
Also
In the Middle East nationalists are losing where freedom and justice supporters are winning

M. do you really describe Erdogan as a freedom and justice supporter instead of describing his “movement” as nationalistic Islamist? Well a lot of Turks, especially Kurds seem to have a different opinion of that. Not to mention most Europeans, who are less convinced of Turkey’s justice and freedom.

Some years ago Turkey had a real economical and international political “boost” in growth and influence. What is left of that “boost”? The party ended in 2011. And in 2011 begun …

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November 2nd, 2015, 6:43 am

 

62. Akbar Palace said:

Majedkhaldoun,

Ref: Post 55

Thanks for the response. You know I respect your opinion and I appreciate your more tolerant views on Islam.

At the time of this response, you have 1 “likes” and 5 “dislikes”. I wonder why participants here did not like your post. Is it because you support separation of religion from law? Your anti-Assad stance? Your pro-democracy stance? You are “against” Israel, you would think that would be enough!

I agree with your statement about Mursi. It seems arabs/muslims have difficulty sharing power. It is not an easy thing. Laws have to be upheld by impartial judges, etc. Mursi should have found a way to share power as well as the Egyptian military. No one wants to do it.

…that is why I am against consider Israel a Jewish state…

Dr. Majedkhaldoun,

Israel is a “Jewish State” meaning a State of the Jewish People. No different from the Irish, Italian or Japanese people. It is a similar culture, language and customs and no one is forced to believe in G-d. Many jews are secular and do NOT believe in G-d.

As far as racism is concerned, you can believe all you want. If the rest of the Middle East were as “racist” as Israel, it would be a good thing. Go visit and report back!

http://www.israellycool.com/search/apartheid/page/4/

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November 2nd, 2015, 8:53 am

 

63. ALAN said:

Instead of sending Barack Obama to resign, American elites continue to repair the outrage around the world, to watch that there are no forces of not only the international community but also among ordinary Americans.
The latest statement of the US President that he sends to Syria 50 Special Forces soldiers also caused surprise experts. Typically, make such statement publically after their completion, but then secret operation officially announced. This is to ensure that if someone from the US military will be lost during the operation, Washington could all be attributed to the fact that he announced the beginning of the operation in advance and there is nothing surprising.
With regard to the above operation, it will be much easier than calling the Nazi villains from Germany that the United States carried out shortly before the end of the Second World War. After all this time, I have to ask about whether the insurgents fell in camera lenses without a mask on his face.
However, even this is not the limit of cynicism of the American leadership. Once a year the US Air Force bombed the nests, paying millions of dollars like the whim of the state treasury, effective actions of the Russian aircraft cause many senators inadequate reaction, which is expressed in calls for war with Russia, for its fight against international terrorism.
At least someone else in the world is fighting terrorism, because the predatory actions of the United States nothing to do with the stated objectives do not have.

Good Morning Damascus: Damascus Vietnam!
http://journal-neo.org/2015/11/02/good-morning-damascus-damascus-vietnam/

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November 2nd, 2015, 3:28 pm

 

64. ALAN said:

SIMOHURTTA !
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the 30th October 2015 modifies the Geneva Communiqué of the 30th June 2012. There will be no « transition phase » in Syria because the Syrian Arab Republic has won the war, but there will be a « political process » which will be determined by the people’s vote.
The war in Syria should end within the next few months, except for the North, where the United States and Israël are attempting to create an independent colonial state dominated by the KURDS.
New wars are in preparation? first of all around a pseudo-KURDISTAN imposed on colonised non-Kurdish populations, then in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, in order to divide these large states into several smaller states, in conformity with the 2001 plan for the « remodelling of the Wider Middle East ». Washington will not hesitate to destroy her own disobedient allies, while Moscow wants to finish with the Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabism.
The opposition in France, and all of the ruling class in Germany, have taken note of the rise of Russian and Iranian power and the coming fall of Turkey and Saudi Arabia. As a result, they are seeking to modify their politics.

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November 2nd, 2015, 5:10 pm

 

65. Juergen said:

The great speech Navid Kermani held last month as the winner of the Peace price of the German book association has been translated into Arabic now:

“ما وراء الحدود: جاك مراد والمحبة في سورية”

في اليوم الذي بلغني فيه نبأ حصولي على جائزة السلام المقدمة من اتحاد الناشرين الألمان، في اليوم نفسه، خُطِف جاك مراد في سورية. دخل رجلان مسلحان دير مار إليان الكائن على أطراف بلدة القريتين، وطلبوا الأب جاك بالاسم. لا بد أنهم وجدوه في مكتبه الصغير البسيط، الذي هو في الوقت ذاته غرفة معيشته ونومه، فقبضوا عليه واقتادوه معهم. في الحادي والعشرين من شهر أيار صار جاك مراد رهينة لدى ما يُسمى بـ “الدولة الإسلامية”.

تعرفت على الأب جاك في خريف 2012، حينما كنت أجوب ربوع سورية، التي أنهكتها الحرب، من أجل كتابة ريبورتاج صحفي. كان يرعى دائرة الكنيسة الكاثوليكية في القريتين ويتبع في الوقت ذاته رهبانية دير مار موسى، التي تأسست في أوائل الثمانينيات في دير متهالك من عصور المسيحية الأولى. هذه الجماعة المسيحية تتمتع بقدر من الخصوصية والتفرد، لأنها ألزمت نفسها بالتعايش والحوار مع الإسلام ومحبة المسلمين. فعلى قدر ما يتبع الرهبان والراهبات تعاليم وطقوس كنيستهم الكاثوليكية بعناية ودقة، بقدر ما يشغلون أنفسهم بالإسلام بجدية وصدق، ويشاركون المسلمين تقاليدهم حتى صيام رمضان. يبدو ذلك ضربًا من الجنون، بل الخبل: مسيحيون وقعوا في حب الإسلام، على حد تعبيرهم. ورغم ذلك، فإن قصة الحب المسيحية الإسلامية هذه كانت حتى وقت قريب واقعًا مُعَاشًا في سورية، ولا تزال كذلك في قلوب سوريين كُثر. خَلَق رهبان وراهبات مار موسى بكد سواعدهم وطيبة قلوبهم وابتهالات أرواحهم فضاءً بدا لي شخصيًّا أشبه بالمدينة الفاضلة، ولم يكن لهم بأقل من تجسيد للمصالحة الأخروية، لن يقولوا إنه استَبَقها، بل استشعرها وصار من مقوماتها: دير حجري من القرن السابع الميلادي في قلب الوحدة الموحشة لجبال الصحراء السورية، يرتاده مسيحيون من شتى بقاع العالم، ويطرق أبوابه يوميًّا مسلمون أكثر. العشرات، بل المئات من المسلمين العرب يطرقون أبوابه، كي يلتقوا إخوانهم المسيحيين ويتحدثوا معهم ويغنوا ويصمتوا سويًّا، بل وكي يصلوا في ركن خالٍ من الصور في الكنيسة وفقًا للشعائر الإسلامية.

http://www.friedenspreis-des-deutschen-buchhandels.de/1042760/

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November 2nd, 2015, 6:14 pm

 

66. Majedkhaldoun said:

Simo
Turkish election is representive of the Turkish people, it is free, it is not false,, it is not manipulated,it is similar to the American election,contrary to the Egyptian election run by Sisi, instead of unfairly accuse Mr. Erdogan show me evidence ,credible, that this election was not fair
Participation of people is the results of trust, if they trust that it will be honest and credible they will go and vote, while if they know it is not to be trusted,people will not go, in Egypt only 10% went to vote, how is it that you can say it represents the whole Egyptian people, democracy is people choice, not 10% of the people

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November 2nd, 2015, 8:54 pm

 

67. Ghufran said:

More likely now that the Russian plane was brought down dileberately and not by accident.

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November 3rd, 2015, 1:33 am

 

68. SimoHurtta said:

M. I did not claim that the Turkish election were not “free”. What I was wondering was your claim how nationalism is been beaten by freedom and justice supporters. Erdogan has nowadays not a very strong image as a “freedom and justice” leader despite of his party’s name, more that of Islamist and nationalism “person”. Many people in Turkey and abroad would say that in these elections Islamist Turkish nationalism did beat freedom and justice.

Surely Turks have all the rights in choosing leaders like Erdogan and parties like his “Justice and Development”. Exactly in the same way as Israeli Jews have all the rights to elect Netanyahu and Likud. The bad thing for Turks and Israelis is that they all have to pay the costs of the “development” which these “freedom and justice” guys create. Even those who did not vote for them.

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November 3rd, 2015, 4:06 am

 

69. Hopeful said:

#68 Simo

I do not often agree with you, but in this case I do. Turkey’s Erdogan phenomenon is bad for Turkey, bad for the region and bad for the world. It is exactly like Russia’s Putin case. Populist nationalism was bad for Nazi Germany, and it is bad today for Turkey, Israel and Russia.

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November 3rd, 2015, 11:00 am

 

70. Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL, it’s worse than that.

The world now recognizes three clear conditions for the outcome of an election to be taken seriously:

1. Strong and well-organized opposition parties

2. A free press

3. Integrity in the voting and counting process

Turkey gets a shocking zero for 2. and we can’t be sure about no. 3.

With no.3 the standard – and future norm – rose dramatically this year for “doubtful democracies”, thanks to the Nigerian elections.

In a massive pioneering project to overcome electoral fraud and disputes, the Nigerians registered 62 million voters with biometric identity cards (fingerprints and photo) and recorded their votes electronically.

The results stunned and delighted Nigerians and observers worldwide.

For the first time in an African election, the incumbent party lost. And, just as significant, the losers didn’t fight the outcome.

Elections in countries that fail to tick 1. 2. and now 3. should be regarded as inauthentic, and doomed to lead to instability and discontent. And the process and “winners” are going to be regarded with suspicion and resentment by a significant part of the population.

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November 3rd, 2015, 1:12 pm

 

71. Syrialover said:

AKBAR PALACE #62 the “votes” on this forum have been corrupted and aren’t taken seriously. Scroll through and spot the pattern and you’ll see those gaming the system aren’t smart or subtle.

For example, look at posts #5 and #7 above where there was an instant symmetrical 20 “thumbs down” for MAJEDKHALDOUN and 20 “thumbs up” for SIMOHURRTA.

I watched in amusement as I got a quick 10 “thumbs down” for my post #56 about the embarrassing failures of Russia and Iran in Syria (the former failing to keep a vital supply line open to regime-held Aleppo and the latter losing 8 of its generals on Syrian soil).

Now who do you think rushed to give the thumbs down to that information?

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November 3rd, 2015, 1:38 pm

 

72. Passerby said:

Well, of those at the table, seems Iran and Saudi Arabia are the ones not eager to cut a deal. Everyone forgets Russia is the only main player that isn’t in a blood feud. Not to mention they are the only adults in the room.

————-

They keep saying Al-Qaeda and their fellow travelers, currently sticking women in cages as human shields, will take orders from Saudi Arabia if they cut a deal. (You know, like they took orders from Qatar about releasing hostages.)

It’ll sure be interesting to see how that turns out. The US is on the side of Al-Qaeda, as they strive to subjugate/exterminate the Christians, and Al-Qaeda taking orders from Saudi Arabia. That’s where we are at. That’s what America has been reduced to by our incompetent, corrupt leadership.

Nice.

————

Well, will the Sunnis be grateful for the United States of America being on the side of the sons of bitches that knocked down those buildings? That we went that far to stand by their sides?

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

How about Bosnia? Europeans were supposed to be handling it, seems they should be able to at least deal with Europe. But Nooooo… The fascists slaughtered entire cities of Muslim men, and handcuffed the Europeans to flagpoles. Remember that? Who showed up to rescue all of them? The United States Air Force.

And Somalia? The most worthless place on earth. Mass starvation, and who showed up to help those poor suffering Muslims? The United States of America. And even after the warlord killed some US kids, did we blow them to hell, oh so easily done? No, we walked away, we came to help and did the best we could.

And Kosovo? Those poor Muslims, driven from their homes, squatting in their own excrement in cattle pens like animals. They begged all decent people on the planet to come to their rescue, based on the basic decency of the human race. So, who came to help them? Did Saudi Arabia come and help them? Turkey? Egypt? Pakistan? Indonesia? No, it was the United States of America that came to the rescue.

And the first Gulf War? it was Muslims begging us to do that again. And did those Bosnians and Kosovars we saved from squatting in shit in cattle pens, and saved from being exterminated, did they show up to fight by our side? Hell no.

I have a question, is there a work for “Gratitude” in Arabic, or does it translate to “Sucker”.

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November 3rd, 2015, 2:54 pm

 

73. Passerby said:

And the irony, Pakistan, and Egypt taking Russia’s side, after Saudi Arabia drenching them in money. Seems the only ones taking orders from the Gulf States is Al-Qaeda and their ilk. And of course, the United States, it seems. They say they are trying to modernize and so on, but it takes time. Might be best to up the pace.

———–

You know, in their Sunni-Shiite Rivalry, either side could win in a heartbeat by just acting civilized towards the rest of the world. If Iran, for instance, quit the Death to America/Israel, and just decided to become a great country, respected in the world, they’d win hands down.

———–

I had Iranian friends when I was in school. I usually sat with the Iranians at lunch. The Muslims and the long haired leftist mean-mouthing Shah, and the Military Industrial Complex. They say the CIA had no idea Shah was in trouble, but it was sure clear to me. He was financing their education, and their parents usually worked for him, but after they were sure I wasn’t Savak, they spit hatred at Shah. The mantra was that Iran was trading valuable oil for worthless American state of the art weapons from the Military Industrial Complex. And always the refrain, the stories of the long row after row of brand new shiny US weapons lined up out in the desert never to be used.

The US justification for all those weapons etc. was that if we weren’t there, the Soviet Client State, Saddam Hussein would invade Iran. Obvious propaganda…

Well, time files, I graduated and my Iranian friends went back to Persia. And the Cold War came to an end, and the Military Industrial Complex was cut to a fraction of it’s former size. Turns out the drug or oil or diamond or insurance or dozens of other cartels have far more power.

And Iran tossed out Shah, of course, and some gangsters took over, and be damned, Saddam Hussein invaded.

Sometimes I wonder if my Persian friends, in those trenches, coughing up blood from Saddam’s WMD, still complained about all those brand new, shiny, state of the art US weapons lined up in long rows in the desert.

I have no problem apologizing to Persia for meddling in their affairs, and it’s sincere. You guys need to lose the Death to America thing.

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November 3rd, 2015, 3:39 pm

 

74. ALAN said:

Now, in a brazen and panicky shouts NATO, in Syria they essentially ended.
However, they were no one expects them there, they are not wanted.
Blinded radars, disrupted the electronic guidance systems, and also set a hindrance satellite imagery in a “bubble” with a diameter of 600 kilometers, according to one of NATO generals
From the combat zone in northern Syria came news about the deployment of the new Russian system of electronic interference that can, reportedly, blind radar, disrupt the electronic guidance system, and to prevent the satellite imagery.
This latest revelation follows an earlier report on the Russian cruiser with the established missile defense system S-300, deployed off the coast of Latakia. Both of these systems constitute what is NATO’s supreme commander, General Philip Breedlove describes as “Russian bubble, » A2 / AD (anti-access / exclusion zone) in Syria, as a result, NATO has effectively blinded inside the bubble diameter of 600 km.
tsk tsk tsk…

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November 3rd, 2015, 3:45 pm

 

75. SimoHurtta said:

69 —>

Hopeful I can comfort you, I never agree with you, not even in this case. Who are we outsiders to decide who is the right choise as a leader for different countries and nations in their more or less free elections. We as individuals like some and hate many others. Depends of our general weltanschauung. If Americans would elect such a person like D. Trump as their president and S. Palin as his vice president the only thing left for us outsiders is to wonder the taste of Americans and wait what will follow. Same thing with Netanyahu, Hamas, Putin, Porošenko, Erdogan, Cameron, Merkel etc. Elections, even free, do not produce a outcome everybody likes.

If the world adapts the role of judge in US administration’s style it leads to hilarious examples which we see in the US “who we like logic”. They consider for Israeli Jews the nationalist Netanyahu is the rightful choise in free election. For Palestinians the wrong choise is Hamas in their free elections and no more elections are allowed. For Russians Putin is the wrong choise, for Egypt the right choise is al-Sisi. For Syria Assad is the wrong choise their in one-canditate elections. For Saudi Arabia the right choise is no elections. ETC.

American regime would love if Russians would elect some weak alcoholic like Jeltsin as their president, who then would sell the national assets to American companies – cheaply naturally. USA has always loved dictators who give bananas, free workforce and oil with bargain prices. And hated popular elected leaders who protect their own national interests and demand proper prices. It is not about elections and who WE like. WE like those who obey and have same opinions WE have.

What I “protested” in this Turkey case “discussion”, was how M. “sells” the Turkish elections as the triumph of freedom and justice against nationalism. Nothing else. Naturally M. has the right to his opinion, I only expressed my opinion, that in my eyes Erdogan is not a very wise choise if freedom and justice are the goals. But I am a Finn, not a Turk so my opinion is only one irrelevant foreign opinion. In Finnish news is that today in Turkey tens of opposition people and journalists were arrested.

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November 3rd, 2015, 4:38 pm

 

76. Juergen said:

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November 3rd, 2015, 6:43 pm

 

77. Majedkhaldoun said:

I was comparing the election in Egypt and the election in Turkey, in Egypt only ten per cent voted while in Turkey the majority voted, the Turkish felt that freedom to vote was because they trust their votes will be counted correctly , the vote will not be discounted, in Turkey there was sense of democracy , in Egypt the people did not sense it was democratic election, inTurkey they enjoyed the freedom election has provided, ,that was not the case in Egypt.
Democracy as I said before is the dictatorship of majority, , it is in no way the perfect system , but it is the preferred way to the people who believe in participating in politics, this is the freedom I was talking about
I do not know about Finland, but if there is election ,then there is winner and loser, there is different ideas, but the loser will not resort to violence, as I assume, ,in several countries the loser is disgruntled so he expresses his anger in destructive methods that will require arrest, the losers do not respect other people ideas they do not agree with the democratic process so what they do as in Egypt they lie, they stage coup, military coup, ,it. Is unheard of, in Finland
Nationalism is dividing ,we are Kurds you are Arab you are Shiites he is Sunnis, nationalism is divisive ,it paves the way for future war, while freedom ,justice , democracy paves the way for civilized society, and intelligent people are only intelligent if they choose human dignity, and human principles that unite people rather than ideas that divide people
Lack of human dignity is what caused people to stay away from going to the election booths in Egypt , while feeling free and dignified,is what caused people in Turkey to go and vote, freedom and justice make people feel dignity, oppression. And tyranny make people feel undignified, nationalism is associated with tyranny, that is why freedom and justice. Is better than nationalism
I am against nationalism, I am for freedom and justice, no human is better than other, if he respects the freedom of others, nationalism is the opposite.
Prejudice blinds. Ideas, that is why I disagree with Simo

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November 3rd, 2015, 8:01 pm

 

78. Hopeful said:

#75 Simo

The US elected president Obama. Twice. A black man in a country where blacks are only 13% of the population. Where blacks were slaves just over a century ago. Where blacks could not vote just a few decades ago. Where racial tension is still an ongoing matter in many parts of the country. Oh, and did I mention he was the son of an imigrant and the son of a Muslim man?

Americans did not elect Palin and will not elect Trump.

The rise of populist nationalism is dangerous in any country, but especially powerful ones. 9/11 gave rise to American nationalism and led the country to two wars with disasterous consequences- for America first, and the rest of the world second. George W. would have happily spent the rest of his presidency hanging out in his ranch had 9/11 not happened; instead he became one of the most controversial figures in American politics. And despite what all of you conspiracy theorists say and believe, he was not driven by greed and power, but rather by a sense of purpose fueled by the stong American nationalism and patriotism all over the country during those months after 9/11.

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November 3rd, 2015, 11:27 pm

 

79. Hopeful said:

#77 Majedkhaldoun

“No human is better than other….”

God bless you my friend. I agree with you.

Now … if only I can convince you to feel the same about gay people, and respect their choices and freedom as well.

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November 3rd, 2015, 11:32 pm

 

80. Majedkhaldoun said:

Hopeful
The point of. Contention and difference between you and me is that I do not believe that rectal sex , is natural, rectal sex is not natural you support rectal sex, I do not,
the word marriage is a natural relation between man and woman, this term must never be used to binding relation between man and man that involve rectal sex, call it gay contract, but do not use the term marriage, it will confuse and deceive , that is the intention of calling it marriage, in Arabic it is called لواط ،و ليس زواج
Calling marriage equal to gay binding is not acceptable, this has nothing to do with both having right to vote or work and earn living

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November 4th, 2015, 3:48 am

 

81. Hopeful said:

#80 Majedkhaldoun

This is not about sex. What people do sexually to each other is their own decision, whether you and I like it or not, whether you and I believe is “natural” or not (Anal is not natural but oral is??)

Gays are not asking the church to recognize their “marriage”. They are not asking the mosque’s imam to condon their marriage (We know they won’t because their God tells them so). But they are asking the government and civil administrations to give them the same rights as others and enjoy the same benefits as other couples enjoy when they decide to share the rest of their lives together. Is that too much to ask?

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November 4th, 2015, 11:54 am

 

82. Syrialover said:

Press restriction and intimidation in Turkey is casting a deepening and dangerous shadow over the political process there. And this at a time when the world most needs Turkey to be rational and stable.

For an explanation and awareness-raiser of how fast Turkey is sliding downhill towards dictatorship and serious instability under Erdogan, read this. The details are alarming:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/01/the-guardian-view-on-the-turkish-elections-a-victory-with-a-price

Conclusion: “President Erdoğan has got his majority back, but Turkey has been damaged in the process. Its independent institutions have been undermined, its constitutional rules have been disregarded, the relations between ethnic Turks and Kurds have deteriorated, and it is back in a war it thought was over. It is typical of him that he has not for one moment since he assumed office as president acted as the ceremonial figure, standing above politics, the constitution lays down he should be. He will continue to seek the changes he wants, and if he does not get them, he will act as if they have already happened…”

PS MAJEDKHALDOUN, I share your approval and relief at Turkey’s intractable opposition to Assad, but if Turkey is internally shaky and internationally distrusted, the value of this diminishes.

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November 4th, 2015, 12:02 pm

 

83. Syrialover said:

Dear HOPEFUL and MAJEDKHALDOUN, two of my favourite and most respected commentators here,

My biggest objection to the gay marriage debate is the outrageous amount of airspace it is occupying, distracting and stealing energy and attention from serious and urgent issues in the parliaments and media of the west.

Compared to health, education, employment, aged care and other crucial things that genuinely affect the lives of the vast majority of citizens this issue is a silly fleabite, with a tiny minority grabbing a megaphone and elbowing itself to centre stage, using political correctness and, to be honest, hysteria, to keep the noise level up.

I DON’T CARE about gays and marriage. Most people in the community don’t see the need to devote headspace to it – they have real lives to live and more significant issues to be concerned about.

I don’t want to see this tiny minority confected issue creep in and occupy even SyriaComment.

And no, I am not anti-gay – I even have some in my extended family and today nobody thinks much about it. I just want the gay lobby and western public opinion and policy brokers to get the issue into perspective.

Back to Syria, what matters.

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November 4th, 2015, 12:47 pm

 

84. Syrialover said:

This explains a lot – real reasons they don’t quit or flee, no matter how bad the situation:

Assad’s Officer Ghetto: Why the Syrian Army Remains Loyal

http://carnegie-mec.org/publications/?fa=61449&postCommentStatus=1

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November 4th, 2015, 2:43 pm

 

85. Ghufran said:

List of passengers and a detailed investigation is surely underway after it is almost certain that the Russian plane was downed by a terrorist act. Look for those who want to punish Russia for its position on Syria. Putin will act, no doubt.

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November 5th, 2015, 12:50 am

 

86. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Badr
Thanks for the answer. If deserved, then why argue about it.
BTW, check the research on swearing, very interesting stuff.

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November 5th, 2015, 2:57 am

 

87. SimoHurtta said:

78. Hopeful said:

#75 Simo

The US elected president Obama. Twice. A black man in a country where blacks are only 13% of the population. Where blacks were slaves just over a century ago. Where blacks could not vote just a few decades ago. Where racial tension is still an ongoing matter in many parts of the country. Oh, and did I mention he was the son of an imigrant and the son of a Muslim man?

Americans did not elect Palin and will not elect Trump.

Well Hopeful I did write IF AMERICANS WOULD ELECT. Trump is the leading republican candidate, so my hypothesis is not totally unjustified. It was an example of that liking a elected person is relevant to those who elect the leader. If we outsiders like the candidate before or after the elections is irrelevant. If you or I do not like Putin, Merkel, Erdogan or Netanyahu so what?

You despise Putin, not because how he was elected, but because you simply do not like Russia’s actions. Russians like Putin, that is an undeniable fact. I have read here many comments where American and other readers write more or less harsh insults towards Obama especially after the international Iran treaty. Do these people support slavery and hate blacks, especially a black person whose father is a Muslim? Or do they disagree with the decisions of Obama’s regime and personify their frustration to that individual on the top?

77. Majedkhaldoun said:

WOW M. from where comes that your incoherent democracy lecture? I did not write anything the elections in Egypt, which were a joke of “democracy” or compare those election to Turkey’s. I simply wondered how you lifted the Turkish elections on the throne as an example of freedom and justice against nationalism. Many people, Turks and outsiders, had criticized the circumstances which lead to this Turkey election (massive unclear bombings, violence, arrests, refusing to make a majority coalition government etc). So selling this election as freedom and justice against nationalism is rather extraordinary. Even if the voting percent was high.

This discussion begins to have hilarious consequences. If somebody dares to say that in his opinion in Turkey conservative, nationalist Islamists did win, he is suddenly portrayed by here well-known very religious Islamist to be totally against democracy. As said Erdogan and Netanuahy were elected in democratic elections. But do not demand people to like what their movements represent and their regimes policies simply because they did win clearly in democratic elections. A.Hitler achieved power in democratic elections and then ….

M. Finland, like other Nordic countries, is on the top of all democracy, media freedom, education, technology, economy, least corruption etc rankings. Finnish women got voting rights in 1906 as the third nation in the world and first in Europe. M. this might surprise you that in Finland women have always been allowed to drive cars and we have had women as a president and PM. In your beloved Saudi Arabia the situation is … what?

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November 5th, 2015, 5:51 am

 

88. Majedkhaldoun said:

Simo
You assumed that I love the regime in Saudia Arabia, where did you read that I support this regime , .you know what assume means, I said I like the money and support KSA toward Syrian Rebels , I always say inheritance of rule is not Islamic and said Kings are not accepted, , for a son of the king to inherit his father in ruling the people , is wrong, and that is another reason why I am against Bashar Assad who you clearly support , even that he got the power To rule Syria from. His father , that also, and the fact that Assad is mass murderer, and playing sectarians sedition , a criminal who invited foreign power ,like criminal Putin to use his jets to kill Syrians , like calling Iran. To kill Syrians , he is the worst president the world has ever had, he is like a king inherited his father and will give power To his son ,so he will become king after him
Simo please do not assume, ,this would be un intelligent discussion if you continue to assume.

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November 5th, 2015, 8:06 pm

 

89. Syrialover said:

Article: “Russian and Egyptian officials are not to be trusted over airline crash”

Excerpt:

While Western governments worried about protecting their citizens, the Sissi and Putin regimes were focused on defending themselves. Both rulers have sold themselves as warriors courageously taking on the Islamic State and its affiliates; both are using that fight as a pretext to accomplish other ends, such as repressing peaceful domestic opponents and distracting attention from declining living standards. On the actual battlefield, both are failing: Mr. Sissi has been unable to pacify the Sinai in two years of scorched-earth operations, while Mr. Putin’s offensive against rebels fighting the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria has quickly bogged down.

As U.S. officials underlined, there are strong indications but so far no conclusive evidence that the plane was bombed. Yet to concede that the Islamic State might have penetrated Egyptian security at the Sharm el-Sheikh airport, and that Mr. Putin’s Syrian ad­ven­ture could have prompted the worst civil air attack in Russia’s history, would be not just an embarrassment but a potentially grievous political wound. So the two regimes are turning to familiar tactics: bluster and obfuscation.

Mr. Sissi told the BBC that suggestions of terrorism must be intended “to damage the stability and security of Egypt and the image of Egypt.” Russian officials, who still deny the overwhelming evidence that a Russian anti-aircraft missile downed a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine last year, are insisting that it will take months to draw any conclusions.

The state media controlled by Messrs. Putin and Sissi have a nasty habit of blaming all disasters on the United States, no matter how far-fetched the theory required. So we won’t be surprised if Russians and Egyptians are told the CIA is somehow responsible for the tragedy in the Sinai. Those seeking a more rational conclusion must consider this somber point: The Egyptian and Russian regimes are far less adept at fighting terrorism than they are at lying.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obfuscation-in-the-sinai-valley/2015/11/06/a7e5aa74-84ab-11e5-9afb-0c971f713d0c_story.html

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November 7th, 2015, 7:57 am

 

90. Akbar Palace said:

Majedkhaldoun,

No sense playing games with our friend Sim. He supports Bashar Assad to “lead” Syria, but certainly not to lead Finland. Yes, you brown people don’t deserve the rights and freedoms we white people have.

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November 7th, 2015, 2:44 pm

 

91. Ghufran said:

Opposition politicians are saying something and hoping for something else when the issue is Russian intervention in Syria. Those people have no choice but to publically condemn Russia, however they all know that rebels have no plans to accommodate any of them now or in the future, that is why you do not see any office for the SNC in the “liberated” areas, you only see Nusra flags and religious courts run by Wahhabi sheikhs. The SNC is unable to do anything but to talk tough while pray that Russia and its allies win over islamist rebels, if that is not a Taqiyya I do not know what else is.

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November 7th, 2015, 4:24 pm

 

92. Majedkhaldoun said:

Targeting Russian planes is not difficult in any middle Esat countries, terrorism is succeeding there, now we hear that the Alawi regime in Syria is sending many Shabiha to join the refugees going to Europe, where those will be sleeping cels ,the Alawi terrorist regime will use in the future, some will be caught , the majority will hide
That is how Europe will suffer from instability in Syria, this Alawi regime is the mastermind of terrorism, the sooner the world get rid of Assad the better it is for the whole world, Obama did not realize that, that is one of his many mistakes, Assad like cancer if we do not remove it early , he will metastasize with his terrorist supporters all over the world, they will spread evil wherever they live , it is important to expose those Shabbiha to keep the world peaceful
We now know as Toyota company just said that Nouri AlMaliki, ex prime minister of Iraq and supporter of Assad, was the one who bought thousand Toyota four wheel drive SUVs and send them to ISIS, the terrorist network includes Iran and Putin goverment

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November 7th, 2015, 7:07 pm

 

93. ALAN said:

Malware attacks using a blog Syria Comment! Ugly

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November 8th, 2015, 3:55 am

 

94. SimoHurtta said:

These frequent support demands are simply astonishing. Who or what in Syria in present situation should a Finn like me support? Sorry but I really do not see any person or movement which I could support and on the other hand I am not Syrian so my support has no relevance, not to Assad’s side or the imaginary “democratic” opposition.

If I would write those insane “dog excrement Assad” comments, which these “opposition activists” here seem to like so much, would it make me in the eyes of Jews and extreme Sunnis commenting here a real, a respected democrat.

One could also ask what and who exactly do Akbar and Majedkhaldou support in Syria’s case? The only thing they can say is their repeated blurry non-sense propaganda about democracy and fictional free elections. Anybody can write such irrelevant propaganda. Of course democracy is the preferred goal, but it is in present conditions less likely as Israeli Jews giving citizenship to all Palestinians.

Before decent elections can be arranged, there must be order and some kind of peace. There are not clear two sides fighting in Syria like in most civil wars. There is the “old Syria” (Assad) and ultra fragmented Sunni side (no more Syria side), where the militarily relevant forces are ISIS and Al Qaida. If “we” reduce the “support” to the sides which could win the war, the options are present regime and the extreme international Sunni lunatics. THERE IS NO REAL SECULAR DEMOCRATIC OPTION to choose and to support and if ISIS and Al Qaida type people do win, Syrians and we others will miss the times of Assads. Not even Akbar or M. can be so naive, that they would believe that Al Qaida and ISIS arrange fair and equal elections if they win. So demanding somebody especially a non Syrian to support somebody in Syria in the present chaos is amusing. The “problem” is not so much Assad going, it is who and what is coming as the replacement.

PS
Apartheid Akbar from where did you get the notion (comment no 90), that you belong to the white people? Aren’t Jews as you and your tribe always claim from Middle East, which makes you and them at least as brown as the neighbors there in Middle East are. By the way Akbar do you know which “democratic” government did give in secret birth control drugs to their black sisters in religion, without them knowing naturally, so that there will be less black J..s in the New Reich? You obviously have some troubles with “color” and democracy. Especially with Arabs, Palestinians and brown Jews.

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November 8th, 2015, 7:24 am

 

95. Majedkhaldoun said:

He said there is no real secular democratic option
I do not know if you are referring to one person or to a system, you are deliberately unclear, you are saying the option is ISIS or Nusra or Assad and so you are supporting Assad
I understand the complexity of the situation, but I say the people choice democratically can not be honest and true as long as Asad is in control Assad will never run honest and fair election, this is proven over and over again, further there will not be fair election till we get rid of ISIS control over the area ISIS is present now, , and I say there will not be. Free election, as long as fighting is going on,
Here we go to your statement Secular democratic option, this is not what Syrians revolted for, They revolted for democratic option, in the 1955 election it was democratic election, the result was secular, in Tunisia the current election was secular in. iTs results in Egypt the results of honest election was Islamic but it was not terrorist leaning, Mursi was not ISIS nor Nusra
So democratic election free and honest and fair , just like the Turkish election is the solution, to do that Assad must go, Daesh must go , ceasefire must be established, so get rid of Assad establish strong government , central government that share power with all minorities, this is a transitional government where they will fight ISIS and eliminate it then they can run a fair election, that is the option that you are missing
The problem up till now is Russian support to Assad regime which is the main obstacle and yes the option is democratic election in peaceful Syria, and that what you are missing Simo

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November 8th, 2015, 8:41 am

 

96. Akbar Palace said:

Yes Sim,

The “liberals” who want arabs to be ruled by despots while labeling Israel’s democracy as “apartheid” should be ashamed of themselves.

The fact is, Israeli – arabs are the freest arabs in the ME.

http://mida.org.il/2015/10/29/i-believe-in-partnership-an-israeli-arab-leader-dissents/

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November 8th, 2015, 1:44 pm

 

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