Sanctions and Their Impact; The Opposition Forms Transitional Parliament

Syria economy: Sanctions loom
2011-08-19, Aug. 19 (Economist Intelligence Unit) —

The US administration has taken the lead in imposing trade sanctions on Syria, with the explicit aim of hastening the demise of the Assad regime. Owing to the limited size of US-Syrian trade, these measures on their own will have little direct impact. However, they could pave the way for similar measures from the EU and, conceivably, from the UN Security Council.

The regime would still have the resources to survive, but would face a growing risk of being brought down by interest groups within Syria that are unwilling to continue to tie their fortunes to those of the Assad family. The US president, Barack Obama, declared on August 18th that the time has come for the Syrian president to step aside. As part of the efforts being made by the international community to support the aspirations of the Syrian people for democratic government and an end to repression, Mr Obama said that he had approved measures to deepen the regime’s financial isolation. They include barring US persons from having any transactions with the Syrian government a ban on US imports of Syrian crude oil or  petroleum products and outlawing any dealings by US individuals or companies with the Syrian oil sector. All US investment in Syria will be prohibited.

Canadian concerns

The US sanctions are largely symbolic, but no less significant for all that. According to the most recent Syrian official trade figures, the US exported goods worth US$46m to Syria in 2009  (0.3% of Syria’s total imports) and purchased Syrian goods worth US$22m (0.2% of the total). US companies are not heavily involved in Syria. In the oil sector, Gulfsands Petroleum, founded in Houston, is a significant player, but it shifted its corporate base to the UK three years ago. The only other US-connected player in Syria is IPR, which, in partnership with ONGC of India started production from its Rashid field last year.

The US sanctions may have more of any impact on Canadian firms, which have more substantial investments in Syria, particularly if the Canadian government follows Mr Obama’s lead. Suncor (by virtue of its merger with Petro-Canada in 2009) has a stake in the Ebla Petroleum Company, which produces about 900m cu metres/year of natural gas from fields originally discovered in central Syria by Marathon of the US (in the early 1980s). These fields have started up relatively recently, in 2010, and Suncor clearly has a major concern to recoup its estimated US$1.2bn investment. The natural gas is entirely consumed within Syria. Suncor also has exploration blocks in Syria. A Suncor official said that the company is not violating any sanctions at present, but that the situation was under review. Another Canada-based firm, Tanganyika Petroleum, also produces oil from the Oudeh field, but has been owned by China’s Sinopec since 2008.

Syria currently produces 387,000 barrels/day of crude oil, according to the oil ministry. Just over 50% is produced by the state-owned Syrian Petroleum Company (SPC), with the remainder coming from nine joint-venture firms in which SPC has 50% stakes. The largest producer among these is Al-Furat Petroleum Company, with output of about 90,000 b/d; its foreign partners are Shell, ONGC and China national Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). CNPC has a separate joint venture (Kawkab) with CNPC; the other foreign players include Tatneft of Russia, Total of  France, INA Naftaplin of Croatia, IPR, Suncor and Gulfsands (with Sinochem as an equity partner).

Destination Europe

Syria exports about 145,000 b/d of crude via its state oil marketing firm, Sytrol. Most of these sales are of heavy crude produced by SPC, and their main destinations are refineries in Germany, Italy and France. In 2009 Syria’s oil exports totalled US$2.8bn (just over one-quarter of total exports); exports to the three European countries totalled US$2.2bn. The remainder of Syria’s oil production is processed in the Homs and Banias refineries to produce fuel oil, diesel and gasoline. According to the official trade statistics, Syria in 2009 was self-sufficient in fuel oil and diesel (both of which are subsidised), but imported gasoline worth US$1.5bn, although it also exported US$712m worth of gasoline.

The IMF has a slightly different picture, putting total oil and petroleum product exports at US$3.5bn petroleum imports at US$3.3bn. The overall oil balance of payments was negative, according to the IMF, owing to the US$1.2bn paid in 2009 to oil companies as royalties. If the EU were to impose an embargo on purchases of Syrian crude, the government would probably be able to find buyers in Asia, albeit at a discount. It would also have options to secure alternative supplies of gasoline, should the EU impose a ban on sales of petroleum products to Syria. Gasoline imports totalled 3.6m tonnes in 2009, a relatively modest amount, which could be secured from Russia or Iran (which is now a net exporter, having cut consumption through scrapping subsidies and boosted refinery output).

The bulk of Syria’s imports come from countries that do not appear to be inclined to impose sanctions: the top four suppliers are Ukraine, China, Turkey and Russia, of which only Turkey is showing any real interest in pressurising the Assad regime. Syria’s largest export market by far is Iraq, which seems happy to maintain cordial relations with Mr Assad.

Syria: main trade categories; 2009 US$m Imports Exports

Food, beverages and tobacco 2,822 2,550

Crude oil 0 2,850

Gasoline 1,496 712

Plastics 832 320

Pharmaceuticals 175 240

Manufactured goods 4,399 1,180

Machinery and vehicles 2,562 392

Total 15,359 10,502

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics.

Syria, main trading partners; 2009

US$m

Imports Exports

Ukraine 1,618 Iraq 2,703

China 1,303 Germany 945

Turkey 1,167 France 670

Russia 912 Italy 585

Egypt 860 Saudi Arabia 583

South Korea 785 Egypt 360

Saudi Arabia 615 Lebanon 340

Italy 547 Spain 338

Germany 447 Turkey 312

France 223 UK 151

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics.

Ehsani on Sanctions:

As expected, the EU’s foreign policy committee has proposed adding 15 more Syrian officials and the five different Syrian oil companies to the existing sanctions lit. This would match the EU’s oil embargo to that announced by the U.S. yesterday. The formal vote will take place early next week.

What is critical is that the EU would broaden the definition of people covered by the sanctions from those “involved in the repression” to those “benefitting from the regime’s actions”. This is a much broader definition that the present time.

In addition to the ban on oil imports, technical assistance through the EIB will also be withdrawn.

In the past Europe was not in favor of restricting oil and gas exports for fear that energy shortages will place a heavy burden on the average Syrian citizen. This changed after the U.S. imposed its own sanctions on the sector. It is reported that the EU may soon add both the telecommunication as well as the banking industries to the list.

Incidentally, one recent source of refined petroleum imports to Syria has been the Ukraine. Early last year, a senior Syrian delegation led by Mohammed Hussein (ex Finance Minister) signed a free trade agreement with that country. It will be interesting to see how this relationship survives and prospers following the recent sanctions by the US and the EU.

Wisam Tarif on why the Syrian Opposition is so Divided

Activist: It’s Time For Syrian Opposition To Unify
by Kelly McEvers, NPR, August 19, 2011

President Obama has now called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to quit. But if he did, or if he is toppled, who would replace Assad?

There’s no clear answer. Assad and his late father, Hafez Assad, have ruled Syria for four decades and have not tolerated anything that resembles a genuine opposition inside the country’s borders.

“There is no opposition in Syria. There are opposition groups,” said Lebanon’s Wissam Tarif, who has been a prominent campaigner for democracy and human rights in the Middle East.

Divided Opposition

The problem, Tarif says, is that the emerging opposition groups are deeply divided, with no real plan of how the country would be run in a post-Assad era.

Tarif is currently in Beirut and has been documenting the deaths, injuries and detentions in Syria during Assad’s harsh crackdown on protesters over the past five months.

Tarif has been in touch with those leading the protests, and he used to work with anti-government groups inside Syria. Those groups made no real progress until the Arab Spring turned much of the region upside-down. And they still lack unity and direction.

By some counts, there are at least seven Syrian exile groups, each with its own leaders and its own ideas about how the country should go forward.

Then there’s the internal opposition, which has been criticized by some activists for being too close to the Assad regime.

And finally there are the young protesters who have taken to the streets. But Tarif says even they are divided and ill-equipped to provide real leadership.

“There’s millions of people taking to the streets, willing to die for freedom. And it’s a hell of a very difficult job. But it’s not enough,” he says, adding that the demonstrators “do not know how to do politics.”

Call For Unified Council

Tarif says all of these groups need to work together on a transitional council. It would be something of a shadow government, similar to what the rebels have created in Libya. However, that Libyan council has been filled with friction recently.

Still, Tarif says the important thing is to create a council and start working on how to get rid of Assad, maintain stability and run a new country.

“They have a lot of political differences, they have a lot of different political visions, and they have to overcome it,” he said.

Up to now, anti-government groups in Syria have preferred to remain decentralized. This made it more difficult for the Syrian security forces to track them down.

The Obama administration criticized the Assad regime for months, and on Thursday called for him to step down. Assad has given no indication that he’ll comply. But Tarif says it’s time for the opposition to step up, stop arguing and unify.

“Such leadership has to emerge. And it has to emerge yesterday. They don’t have time,” he says.

Syrian Opposition Names New 55 Person Transitional Parliament in Effort to Meet US Demands for a Unified Leadership. [It isn not clear how such a diverse body will be able to make decisions or hammer out decisions without an elected leader or two, but it is a beginning.

It is composed of 16 technocrats, 10 from the Antalya meeting, 7 from the Bruxselles meeting, 8 from the Salvation Meeting in Istanbul, 4 seculars, 12 Ulema, 8 youth, and an effort has been made to include members from all the religious communities.

سوريون نت تكشف تفاصيل خطة المجلس الانتقالي الموحد الذي سيضم كل مؤتمرات المعارضة الأخيرة وبمشاركة العلويين والدروز والاسماعيليين والتكنوقراط لإدارة المرحلة الانتقالية

الانتقالي الموحد والذي من المقرر بحسب مصادر سوريون نت أن يتشكل من خمسة وخمسين شخصية ستتوزع على الشكل التالي ستة عشر من التكنوقراط، وعشرة شخصيات من مؤتمر أنطاليا، وسبعة شخصيات من مؤتمر بروكسل،وثمانية شخصيات من مؤتمر الانقاذ، وأربعة شخصيات علمانية، واثنان من العلماء وثمانية من الشباب وبحسب الوثيقة التي حصل عليها سوريون نت فإن كل جهة من هذه الجهات ستفرز شخصا مثل يمثل النساء واليسار والعلمانية والدروز الاسماعيلية والعلوية وغيرها من الشرائح الطائفية والمجتمعية، وهو الذي سيقود العملية الانتقالية..

لكن سوريون علم أن بعض طوائف المعارضة السورية لم توافق على هذا بعد، ولا تزال المشاورات مستمرة، ويتوقع أن يتولى المجلس مهمة الانتقال بسورية في المرحلة الانتقالية المؤقتة إلى مرحلة الديمقراطية والتحول السلمي الديمقراطي، وبمثابة الحكومة الانتقالية ..

U.S. sanctions on Syrian gov’t not sufficient to bring down al-Assad
2011-08-19 11:35:43
by Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — The latest U.S. call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster and its new sanctions imposed on Damascus may not be sufficient to bring down Assad, U.S. experts said on Thursday.
….
Obama issued a new executive order that immediately froze all assets of the Syrian government under U.S. jurisdiction, and prohibited all U.S. citizens from engaging in any transactions involving the Syrian government.

It also “bans U.S. imports of Syrian-origin petroleum or petroleum products; prohibits U.S. persons from having any dealings in or related to Syria’s petroleum or petroleum products; and prohibits U.S. persons from operating or investing in Syria.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury announced that it barred trade with five Syrian oil and gas companies, including General Petroleum Corporation, Syrian Company For Oil Transport, Syrian Gas Company, Syrian Petroleum Company and Sytrol. Speaking on a White House conference call on Thursday, senior U.S. officials said the new sanctions, along with other measures the administration has taken against Assad, will “disrupt the Syrian regime’ s ability to finance its campaign of violence against the Syrian people.”

But there remains some questions as to whether the sanctions will have any impact at all, as the United States is no major importer of Syrian oil.

“The U.S. response alone probably will not have a substantial impact on the question of Assad stepping down,” said Wayne White, a scholar at the Middle East Institute who for decades served in various U.S. government positions in the Arab world.

David Pollock, senior fellow at the Washington Institute, echoed those thoughts.” The sanctions themselves are relatively minor,” he said. “But what’ s much more important is (U.S. President Barack Obama’s) very explicit statements that Assad should step aside.”

“So it’ s really this support (which is important for) the demonstrators in Syria, as well as other countries that are looking to see which way the wind is blowing,” he said.

U.S. Officials said they would continue to build on those actions as well as work with the international community to force Assad to step down, while insisting that the U.S. would not intervene in the domestic affairs of Syria.

Three leading European powers, Germany, Britain and France, have also called for the Syrian leader to step down, and U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Thursday said the Obama administration is now looking to more countries to take similar steps.

Markets prepared to handle Syrian oil loss, August 19, 2011
By David Sheppard, Ikuko Kurahone, Reuters

LONDON: Oil markets will quietly swallow the loss of Syrian supplies if Europe joins Washington in slapping new sanctions on the country, but prices would spike if Syria’s ally, and major oil producer Iran, becomes involved in a confrontation with the West.

Analysts and traders said it would take several weeks before the Syrian oil trade could grind to a halt, even if traders such as Vitol or Trafigura are forced to stop sending refined products for President Bashar Assad’s government and companies such as Shell are forced to stop producing and exporting oil from Syria…..

Russia opposed to call for Syria’s Assad to step down
Aug 19, 2011 13:47 Moscow Time

Russia does not see eye-to-eye with the United States and the European Union on their call for the Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.

Moscow believes that Assad should be given time to carry out the reforms that Damascus has recently spoken of.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Syria has already made impressive progress to that end. – Relevant laws have been adopted, an amnesty has been declared for political prisoners, and Syria said it was prepared to hold general elections by the end of the year and receive an international humanitarian mission.

But the main thing is Bashar Assad’s statement that all military operations against the opposition have been brought to a halt.

The Russian Foreign Ministry feels that Syria’s problems can be settled only through dialogue between the government and the opposition.

Suncor weighs effects of Syria sanctions,  Market can absorb loss of oil supply,  By David Sheppard and Ikuko Kurahone, Reuters

EGYPT: Liberals approve cleric’s suggestion for new constitution
August 18, 2011 | 11:20 am

A document drafted by the leading cleric at Al Azhar institution, the highest seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world, to guide the writing of a new constitution for a “modern democratic state” has been widely endorsed by Egypt’s liberal and secular politicians.

The consensus was announced during a meeting that was held under the auspices of Azhar’s top cleric Ahmed el Tayeb on Wednesday and attended by nine potential presidential candidates, representatives of 22 political parties and a number of intellectuals and religious leaders.

“Those who attended the meeting at Al Azhar, agreed that Azhar’s document is a general guiding frame for the constitutional committee,” said presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei. Presidential aspirant Ayman Nour described the document as seeking to unite “political forces over the values and principles of a modern democratic and constitutional state.”

Initially brought to light by Tayeb in June, the document consists of 11 principles, proposing that Egypt has an Islamic identity but is committed to a “civil and democratic state governed by law and the constitution.” The principles include articles calling for respect of freedom of opinion, faith and for human rights.

Azhar’s document comes in the middle of a fierce split between Islamists and liberals over the introduction of supra-constitutional principles that would be binding on the new parliament in its writing of a constitution after November elections. Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Freedom party, are expected to win a sizable percent of Parliament, raising fears among liberals that without guiding principles the constitution would lean heavily toward a religious state.

Tayeb said that the Azhar’s draft, which is more moderate that many Islamists would support, is a code of honor that all parties should commit to voluntarily: “Some people view the [draft] as an attempt to undermine parliament’s freedom in writing the new constitution,” said Tayeb. “But the need for us to overcome our differences and reach common ground on this constitution can’t be more urgent.”

The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice representative, Mohamed Morsi, said that no one disagreed over the content or the meanings of the Azhar document. But a more extreme sect of Islamists, Salafis, have previously rejected the idea of any constitutional suggestions or recommendations before electing the new parliament.

An Azhar spokesman has said that the Ministries’ Cabinet and the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces, which previously expressed willingness to adopt constitutional principles if agreed on by all national powers, have received drafts of the document. –Amro Hassan in Cairo

Gulfsands Runs Risk in Syria of Extra EU Sanctions: Reuters Link, 2011-08-19

LONDON (Reuters) – British oil firm Gulfsands Petroleum could face difficulties with future projects if the European Union follows the United States in toughening sanctions against Syria.

Hariri Tribunal Broadens Probe to 3 Other Attacks
2011-08-19 14:40:15.736 GMT

By MIKE CORDER
Leidschendam, Netherlands (AP) — The U.N.-backed court investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has widened its probe to cover three
other attacks they believe could be linked, the court announced Friday. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon said it has established jurisdiction over the June 2005 assassination of anti-Syria politician George Hawi. It also will investigate unsuccessful attempts to kill Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Elias Murr a month later and lawmaker  Marwan Hamadeh in October 2004. The court released few details of the decisions to widen the scope of its investigation, saying it did not want to compromise its work. It did not release details on why prosecutors believe the
three other attacks may be related to Hariri’s assassination.
The expansion of the case, however, represents a
significant escalation in the work of the court that has so far
focussed solely on the Feb. 14, 2005, suicide bombing that
killed Hariri.

Comments (184)


Pages: « 1 2 3 [4] Show All

151. ann said:

‘Israel grabbing any chance to sabotage Palestinian UN vote’

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August 20th, 2011, 11:58 pm

 

152. Shami said:

SS,we will inshallah erase extremism through democracy and education ,there is no other ways.
The smart people when they visit Syria ,they like our cultural heritage,the right things in our culture ,not menhebak,shabiha,lies,corruption and hypocrisy ,you can not build secularism on such weak foundation,we as people,we have strong cultural foundations.

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August 21st, 2011, 12:01 am

 

153. N.Z. said:

Hans,

“Sunni in syria and many of them made millions of $ during Bashar period and that’s why many Sunni merchants in damascus and Aleppo ( the biggest two cities) are aopposing the fall of the regime”

Believe me, it is in spite of bashar, the little leeway the regime gave in the past ten years, many businessmen seized the opportunity, and this development is a major cause for the unrest. It is not only “Sunni merchants”, more accurately will be, including Sunnis.

The West has a vested interest in the Arab world. Obviously. They installed all the dictators in our region at the same time. Democratic countries are harder to control. Dictatorships are far easier to control, they go off the mark, they will be toppled either by a coup, invasion or coerced to execute an order.

I detest anyone who will call an Arab Christian/ Alawite/ Kurd/ Sunni/ Shiite a minority. They are Arabs before anything else. Fares Khoury is an Arab national, Youssef alAzmeh, Sultan al-Atrash, and of course Salah eldeen al-Ayoubi, I make sure to visit his grave every time I am in Damascus. Just to name a few. Malaysia is as ethnically diverse as Syria, look where they are today and where we are!

Read Haitham Khouri post, fundamentalism is not exclusive to Islam.
This regime has one concern, its survival. It is not concern about any group. They are neither sectarian, nor secular, nor ideological. They are a family who ruled Syria with an iron fist through nepotism and corruption. Treason on their part, complacency and fear on our part. They ruled for over forty years.

Sectarianism is not in our genes.

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August 21st, 2011, 12:04 am

 

154. ss said:

“SS,we will inshallah erase extremism through democracy and education ,there is no other ways”.

This sentence is exactly the opposite of you educated us in your previous 4-5 posts. Let me correct this sentence according to what I got from your posts.

I think you meant to say: SS, we will INSHALLAH erase secularism and freedom of women, freedom of religious, through islamic education and shariaa education, there is no other ways.

The one who cheers Islam to be the dominant religion is indeed extremist. So before you eradicate extremist like myself I think you should review your own extremist agenda

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August 21st, 2011, 12:05 am

 

155. Shami said:

SS,let buti and hassoun builds for you sharia schools,clerical community and asad his menhebak culture which can integrate pictures of nasrallah and khamainei.

it’s not the right culture for the syrian people.

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August 21st, 2011, 12:12 am

 

156. ann said:

Only Russia able to prevent Libya-style repeat in Syria

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August 21st, 2011, 12:12 am

 

157. ann said:

Families bid farewell to Sinai dead

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/488042

The families of the security personnel who were killed in Sinai this week received the bodies of their loved ones at the Almaza airport on Friday and draped their coffins with the Egyptian flag.

In Helwan, hundreds of residents gathered in front of the spartan two-room apartment rented by the family of Taha Mohamed Ibrahim, who was killed at the border with Israel.

His father says he has five daughters and three sons. His youngest son died last year. “I am 66 years old and I have no source of livelihood. My martyred son used to help me and his youngest sister cover living expenses.”

His mother said they have not yet come to terms with his death. “We find solace in the fact that he died in the holy month of Ramadan,” she said. “Taha used to take a 15-day vacation every now and then and fill our home with happiness.”

She called on authorities to extend a helping hand to the family, especially as their sole breadwinner died while on duty.

In a small village in Qalyubia, meanwhile, residents tried to comfort Osama Galal Imam’s parents by telling them their son died as a martyr in the holy month. He was the seventh son in a family that has eight children.

Residents lined up to receive the coffin. His eldest sibling and father had flown to Almaza to accompany it to the village. His father kept a photo of his son in his hand. “Thank God my son has died a martyr,” he repeated.

Osama’s mother fainted when she received the news about her son, who had been with his family only on Monday. The family said he spent a one-week vacation with them and bade his mother and sisters farewell as though he felt he would not see them again. “I love you a lot,” he told them.

Osama al-Sayyed, a friend, said, “He was more like a brother to me than a friend. We had the same name, too.”

Sayyed said Osama, his friend since primary school, used to say that he wanted to complete his military service in order to find a job, help his father, and help his sisters marry.

Finally, Ahmed Galal, the policeman who died at the border, leaves a wife and an infant. He was born in Suhag but resided in Assiut. There, he married and embarked on his career.

Israel fired on Egyptian security forces at the 79 border sign – 20 km north of Taba – on Thursday.

The Interior Ministry said the incident took place while security forces were combing the borders with Israel in search of people who attacked a police station in Arish.

The statement said Israel fired randomly at an Egyptian security patrol around sunset. Security sources said the unknown armed group which attacked Israeli soldiers in Eilat managed to sneak into Egypt and hide in a mountainous area. An Israeli air raid killed the three Egyptian security personnel. Israel said the killings happened “by mistake”.

Other sources said an Israeli Apache jet mistook them for the Eilat assailants.

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August 21st, 2011, 12:30 am

 

158. Revlon said:

ALSha3b Yureed I3dam AlRa23ees
The people want to hang Jr
Rastan, Homs, last night

A message to Ms Luna AlShible, ahead of her interview with jr!
What he may have to say has long become irrelevent to his dismal fate.
He can run, but he can not hide!

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August 21st, 2011, 12:41 am

 
 

160. sf94123 said:

153. N.Z.

“I detest anyone who will call an Arab Christian/ Alawite/ Kurd/ Sunni/ Shiite a minority. They are Arabs before anything else”

What are you talking about? PLEASE!!

A Christian or any other minority in Syria can not be president or a prime minister! Both must be a Sunni Muslim.

That’s why Sunni Muslims in Syria never accepted an Alwaite president. They resented that fact the Alawites are in charge since 1968.

The west and SA took advantage of their hatred and desire of revenge and found a golden opportunity to curb the Iranian expansion in the Levant and to contain HA in S. Lebanon… No body cares about the poor Syrians, democracy and freedom in the Middle East. You don’t have to go far, Look at the democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is so sad that ordinary people will suffer and die in one country to advance the agenda of another one. Syria is no different. Hypocrisy at it’s best.

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August 21st, 2011, 12:46 am

 

161. ann said:

As armed conflict erupts, Erdogan demonstrates his actual priority

http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2011/08/20/as-armed-conflicts-erupts-erdogan-demonstrates-his-actual-priority/

If you don’t believe Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan has regional ambitions, consider where he is this weekend, as neighboring Syria sinks into chaos and the Turkish military wages a campaign against PKK-related targets in northern Iraq.

Erdogan’s in Somalia. He arrived on Friday. Officially, he is representing Turkey and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in recognizing the plight of Somalia’s starving people and arranging for aid. But that’s not as straightforward as it might seem. The UN, many individual nations like the US, and various global charities are providing enormous amounts of aid to Somalia – and so is Iran. It’s in part because of the latter connection that Erdogan has had this sudden fit of humanitarianism.

Iran has been cultivating links in the Horn of Africa for some years now, and regional reporting indicates that Tehran’s support for the Al-Shabaab insurgency in Somalia, brokered through the Afewerki regime in Eritrea, was intensifying through the summer. Al-Shabaab, meanwhile, has been blocking the distribution of aid from the World Food Program and other non-Muslim sources, while being picky about which Muslim aid it allows through. Al-Shabaab controls only part of Somalia, but the impact is still significant (especially when combined with the endemic theft and resale of donated goods).

Erdogan’s oddly timed trip comes in the wake of an OIC meeting at which he reportedly addressed his fellow Islamic leaders on the topic of Western arrogance and the failures of capitalism in relation to the Somali famine (this in spite of the literal billions in aid provided by Western governments and private organizations).

But it also comes at the end of a crucial two-week period that started with Al-Shabaab announcing a withdrawal from Mogadishu, and continued with an unprecedented level of success against the insurgency by African Union troops deployed in the AMISOM mission. It is too soon to say that Al-Shabaab is “defeated,” but the momentum has turned against it – and hence against a strategic line of effort being prosecuted by Iran.

The timing of Erdogan’s visit comes off as doing a victory lap for the success of third parties (the African Union and the US), as well as putting down a stake where Iran has just suffered a reversal. The location is geographically significant, as it splits the area of the Great Crossroads in which Iran has been diligently pursuing influence. Eritrea and Sudan lie to the northwest, and Yemen, where Iran supports the Houthi rebels, to the northeast across the Gulf of Aden. (The Horn of Africa is also, of course, a geostrategic hinge point in its own right.)

As indicated in the last link (and in an earlier one from my 15 August post), regional observers are calling Iran’s Horn of Africa/Yemen strategy her “back-up plan” for when the Assad regime falls in Syria. Erdogan showing up right smack dab in the middle of it, just in time to associate himself with the glory of the US-AMISOM surge against Al-Shabaab – and perhaps seek to demonstrate that he can get aid delivered where others couldn’t – has all the air of exploiting an opportunity.

Consider what else is going on. Erdogan’s own troops have mounted an assault in northern Iraq after the killing of dozens of Turkish soldiers by the Kurdish PKK insurgency. The Turkish national security council decided on Friday to turn surveillance outposts in northern Iraq into support bases, in order to sustain continuous operations there – a move Iraq is likely to object to. The internal situation in Syria becomes more precarious by the hour; thousands of refugees have flooded Turkey, and although Ankara denies imposing a “buffer zone” along the border, reports that precautionary planning is underway are undoubtedly true.

To the south, meanwhile, a guerrilla invasion of Israel has been mounted through Egypt, and Hamas has launched a deadly rocket assault. An Israeli force pursuing the terrorist raiders killed five Egyptian soldiers, prompting the Egyptian government to announce – and then deny – that it had recalled its ambassador to Israel.

With all these shooting matches going on right in his neighborhood, Erdogan’s heart and vision are with the regional power situation: the larger rivalry with Iran. The significance of position in this rivalry is evident in his rush to parade past cheering crowds in Somalia when the opportunity suddenly presented itself (not to mention prompting sycophantic opinion pieces in Turkey, with of course, the obligatory Ottoman historical references). Erdogan is driving down the center of Iran’s once-secondary axis of regional projection.

Michael Ledeen speculates at Pajamas today that if it looks like war – walks and talks like war – we might want to sit up and think about what’s going on. His instincts are in the right place, I think. The “next war” isn’t going to start and end like World War II, or even like the Cold War. But regimes will change, along with alliances and alignments, and schemes of regional order and balances of regional power.

The US at the moment is perilously close to being used for the purposes of others, like a dying and dithering empire. In spite of the significance of the setback for Al-Shabaab in Somalia, to everything from the piracy problem to dominance in the Middle East, the US is nowhere to be seen in the strategic aftermath of this tactical victory. We have no idea what to do with it. But Erdogan does.

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August 21st, 2011, 12:52 am

 

162. Revlon said:

Confessions of a masked officer in the Presidential palace of a Asad’s plan to execute Shabbeeha!!!

– What is happening in the palace is terrifying
– Asad’s are using every soul to serve their interest in staying in power
– To the brave soldiers: the nation is bigger than Bashar
– To the Syrian people: I assure you that Bashar is falling
– To Shabbeeha: Bashar is using your need for subsistence to further his interests. Be careful! They have decided on a plan to execute all of you in due course. The mercents who used to pay you, have already moved with their money out of the country.
– Soon, I will join the people in demonstrations.

خطة لقتل الشبيحة
ضابط من القصر الجمهوري

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August 21st, 2011, 1:17 am

 

163. Ali said:

The Plan To Destabilize Syria

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August 21st, 2011, 1:43 am

 

164. Revlon said:

Rebuttal statement by “Union of Homs Neighbourhoods” of the Syrian TV video claims that captured the assassination of policeman Raed 3ashoor.
1. We promptly reported the incident at the time.
2. The young policeman was assassinated by security agents, in an open place, less than 700 meters of the Command of City Police and 100 meters from the nearby Security checkpoint of Bab Tudmor. The timing, Friday night means no cars could enter city centre without being stopped and inspected at security check points.
3. The incident took place in a central, open and well trafficked area, conveniently covered by a fixed camera, and at a time when scores of people were emerging from Taraweeh prayers.
4. The white Kea sedan with license plate 40441 is well known to people of Homs.
5. It has been used in shooting at people many times before. It always comes from security guarded checkpoints!
6. Having failed to produce a single credible video of armed resistance in the city, the regime has sought to stage this assassination to blame it on city people, in order to justify its invasion of city neighbourhoods.
7. The people of Homs city condemn the killing of people and the invasion of the city.
إتحاد أحياء مدينة حمص – الثورة السورية 2011
رد أهالي حمص على الفيدو الذي عرضه تلفزيون النظام الموصوف بالسورية

عرض تلفزيون النظام فيديو لرجل شرطة يدعى رائد عاشور وسيارة كيا ريو بيضاء فيها شخصين قاما بإطلاق النار عليه مما أدى إلى وفاته من ساعتها:

أولاً: لقد نوهنا في تقرير يوم السبت الماضي عن ملخص أحداث حمص أن رجال الأمن قاموا بقتل الشاب المذكرو في مكان مكشوف يبعد عن قيادة شرطة حمص أقل من 700متر وعن حاجز باب تدمر أقل من 200 متر, وفي وسط المدينة… التي لايدخلها يوم الجمعة في وقت الليل سيارة إلا ويتم تفتيشها.

ثانياً: لقد تمت عملية القتل في وسط شارع الحميدية وفي منطقة مكشوفة لخلق كثير في وسط حمص, الساعة العاشرة والنصف, في وقت خروج الناس من صلاة التراويح, وتم تصويرها من مكان يكشف العملية تماماً وبكاميرا ثابتة, فإما أن الأمن هو من قام بالعملية أو أنه أراد من كل الناس أن ترى وتسمع بالقصة وعرف قبل وقت بوقوعها فوضع تلك الكاميرت لفرط ذكائه!!.

ثالثاً: إن سيارة الكيا ريو البيضاء التي تحمل الرقم (40441) هي سيارة معروفة من قبل أهل حمص وقد نفذت أكثر من مرة عمليات إطلاق نار على الناس وكانت نقطة إنطلاقها وعودتها هي الحواجز الأمنية الموجودة في الأحياء.

رابعاً: بعد أن فشل النظام بتطبيق أو تركيب فيديو واحد لمسلحين في مدينة حمص كعادتها قبل اجتياح مدينة أو منطقة, عمد عشية اجتياحه للمدينة بتنفيذ هذه العملية وتصويرها لتبرير إجرامه وأعماله.

خامساً: إن أهل حمص يرفضون عمليات القتل التي يقوم بها النظام و ترفض اجتياحه للمدينة تحت حجج واهية ومكشوفة.

4 hours ago •

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August 21st, 2011, 1:53 am

 

165. annie said:

160. sf94123 said:

153. N.Z.

says “I detest anyone who will call an Arab Christian/ Alawite/ Kurd/ Sunni/ Shiite a minority. They are Arabs before anything else”

To the best of my knowledge, Kurds are not Arabs. This is why some object to the Syrian national anthem.([our] den of arabism is a sacred sanctuary)

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August 21st, 2011, 1:56 am

 

166. Syria no kandahar said:

Revlon and احتقار العقل
Any one who respects others brain will not bring an evidence consisting of someone talking from his behind as an evidence of any thing.you and your revolutionists terrorists friends are the biggest manipulators in history.when Jad connected the vidio of killing the soldier Ashour by your terrorist criminal friends
You lied and stated it was done by Shabaha,and now you want people to believe
Someone talking from his behind.what will be you response when you are presented with your criminal friends in a vidio similar to this.you are a perfect fit for the say:ان لم تستح فقل ما تشأ

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August 21st, 2011, 1:59 am

 

167. Ali said:

@163 Revlon.

These claims are laughable! “The young policeman was assassinated by security agents”. How is this in any means the work of security forces. Why would they kill one of their own? Do you think before posting? The Syrian army doesn’t only protect civilians, but each other too. This man was killed by none other that those barbaric, brutal,criminal assassins that have the job of kissing Americas ass.

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August 21st, 2011, 2:27 am

 

168. N.Z. said:

164. annie, 160. sf94123

Annie, Sorry, they are Kurdish. I forgot to mention Armenians, both ethnicity are part of the Syrian fabric.

My point is simple. All these groups should not be called a “minority”. They are Syrians. Point finale.

160, They have to follow the constitution, the president Sunni, as well it stipulates that the president must be 40 years or older. They changed the latter and denounced their sect to become presidents, senior and junior. Equal rights to all citizens, regardless of their affiliation/ethnicity. A country were the rule of law comes before the family last name and association. Were we build institutions free from corruption.

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August 21st, 2011, 2:37 am

 

169. N.Z. said:

Do you agree?

جلود وخدام شاركا لعقود في سياسات القمع والتنكيل والآن يسعيان لإمتطاء صهوة الثورة، عيب والله

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August 21st, 2011, 3:29 am

 

170. ss said:

Tara#116

“Based on above statistics and if you live in the US or Russia, you should plan from now where you want your kids to immigrate. That is called long term planning… The problem is, we Muslims are ubiquitous. We are everywhere and we bite.”
“We are everywhere and we bite”

“We are everywhere and we bite”

“We are everywhere and we bite”

“We are everywhere and we bite”

“We are everywhere and we bite”

“We are everywhere and we bite”

No comment!

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August 21st, 2011, 6:59 am

 

171. OFF THE WALL said:


المعضلة السورية ومآلاتها المحتملة

الأحد, 21 أغسطس 2011
ياسين الحاج صالح


مع دخول الأزمة الوطنية السورية شهرها السادس، تقف جميع الأطراف المحلية والدولية المعنية بها أمام معضلات عسيرة. الانتفاضة تواجه معضلة. إذا ثابرت على الاعتماد على التظاهرات السلمية أداة احتجاج أساسية لها في مواجهة نظام لا يمتنع عن القتل، تحفظ تفوقها الأخلاقي والوطني، لكنها تدفع ثمناً إنسانياً باهظاً. وهي في الوقت نفسه لا تستطيع مواجهة العنف بالعنف لأسباب مبدئية وعملية معاً، ولا التعويل على التدخل الخارجي لأن من شأنه أن يدرج الانتفاضة في «لعبة الأمم»، فتخسر روحها. فهل يسعها، من دون سند داخلي أو خارجي، تحقيق هدفها الأولي المتمثل في إسقاط النظام؟

الانتفاضة تعالج معضلتها عبر استيعاب ضربات النظام، والاستمرار من جديد. وعبر محاصرة النظام أخلاقياً وإعلامياً، واستنزافه مادياً ومعنوياً، تعمل الانتفاضة على أن يكون الزمن حليفاً لكسب المعركة ضد النظام.

النظام أيضاً أمام معضلة. ما لم يتمكن من تحقيقه بالعنف (الأمني)، لم يتمكن من تحقيقه بمزيد من العنف أيضاً. فهل يمكن لمزيد على المزيد من العنف أن يثمر؟ قصف المدن بالطيران الحربي مثلاً؟ ربما. لكن هذا سيعني تدمير البلد. وماذا يستفيد حكام الغصب من تدمير البلد؟ وماذا سيحكمون أصلاً إن دمروا البلد؟ هذا فوق أن من شأن نهج مجنون كهذا أن يجر تدخلاً دولياً، يتسبب بمزيد من الضرر على سورية، من دون أن يستفيدوا هم منه.

في الوقت نفسه لا يبدو أن من شأن الاكتفاء بمستوى المزيد من العنف (أمني وميلشياوي وعسكري) أن يطفئ الانتفاضة أو يحد من انتشارها. بل يبدو أن المجتمع السوري يستوعب موجات التصعيد العنفي المتتابعة، ويستأنف احتجاجاته بعزم متجدد. قد يستطيع النظام أن يحجّم لبعض الوقت بعض بؤر الاحتجاج الكثيرة، على نحو ما فعل بدرعا والرستن وتلبيسة وحمص، لكنها عادت بنشاط إلى ميادين الاحتجاج ما إن خف عنها الضغط الأمني والعسكري. والأكيد أنه لا يستطيع إخماد جميع البؤر طوال الوقت. هذا يتجاوز قواه وموارده المادية.

في الوقت نفسه لم يعد ثمة مخرج من دائرة العنف التي أسر النظام نفسه والبلاد فيها. فات أوان مبادرات سياسية أكثر جدية من طرفه، بما في ذلك وقف العنف والإفراج عن معتقلي الانتفاضة. ولم يعد أحد يثق به، ومن شأن تراجعه أن يلهب الاحتجاجات الشعبية أكثر. لقد أحرق النظام ورقته «السياسية»، ولا يبدو أن ورقته العسكرية تجديه نفعاً ما لم تبلغ حد الجنون. فإن بلغته، لا يبقى هناك بلد يحكمه.

ومن وجوه معضلة النظام أن رهانه منصبّ على سحق الانتفاضة بغرض إعادة الأمور لما كانت عليه قبل تفجرها، لكن إذا نجح في مسعاه، فسيدين الحكم للساحقين، أي للشبيحة ومن في حكمهم، وسنعود ثلاثين عاماً إلى الوراء، وليس نصف عام فقط.

وإلى الانتفاضة والنظام، يبدو أن القوى الدولية المعنية بالشأن السوري تواجه معضلة تخصها. فوراء التعارض الظاهر بين غضب القوى الغربية وتركيا الشديد من النظام وبين تواضع مواقفها العملية منه وتعويلها حتى اليوم على أن يتصرف بطريقة مسؤولة، ثمة تضارب في الخيارات: فإذا سكتت هذه القوى على النظام تصرف بطريقة طائشة، تحرجها أمام شعوبها أو قطاعات منها وأمام «المجتمع المدني العالمي»، من دون ضمان أن تبقى مفاعيل طيش النظام النازعة للاستقرار قيد الداخل السوري. وفي الوقت نفسه لا يبدو أن من شأن التصعيد ضده في صورة عقوبات محددة وضغوط سياسية أن يثمر شيئاً بالنظر إلى الطابع العصبوي المغلق وغير العقلاني للنظام. هذا بينما ليس لهذه القوى مصلحة في تدخل عسكري لا يريده السوريون أيضاً.

الدول العربية المعنية، دول الخليج ومصر والأردن أيضاً في مأزق. فهي لا تستطيع أن تداوم على الصمت بينما يتشكل ما يقارب إجماعاً دولياً على إدانة النظام، وبينما تعلو فيها أصوات داخلية غاضبة ضد سلوكه المتجاوز لكل حد. وهي أيضاً لا تستطيع أن تفعل شيئاً ضده، بمفردها، ولا يبدو واضحاً لأحد إن كان هناك جهد دولي منظم ضد النظام في وقت قريب أو في أي وقت.

وروسيا في الوضع نفسه. فالنظام لا يوفر لها ما تقنع به نفسها والعالم من مبررات الدفاع عنه ما دام مستمراً في قتل محكوميه، وهي في الوقت نفسه لا تريد أن تساند القوى الغربية وحلف الناتو في عزل النظام وربما ضربه، ما من شأنه أن يعزز الهيمنة الدولية لهذه القوى، ويضعفها هي. وحتى حلفاء النظام الممانعون يبدون مرتبكين. حماس نأت بنفسها مبكراً لأنها لا تستطيع تحمل أكلاف التماهي مع سياسة النظام. وحزب الله توقف عن إطلاق التصريحات المؤيدة له بعد أن رأى ما أثارته من غضب في الشارع السوري، وإن مضت قناة «المنار» في ترداد الرواية الرسمية الكاذبة. وحدها إيران تبدو حاسمة في الوقـوف إلـى جانب النظام حتى النهاية.

وهكذا، تبدو سورية عنواناً لمعضلة جامعة. ففي أي اتجاه يمكن أن تنحل؟

الأمر تابع لتطورات الوضع السوري.

لا ريب أن الاحتمال الأعدل والأوفق للمصلحة الوطنية السورية هو أن تنجح الانتفاضة في إزالة النظام بقواها الذاتية. ستواجه سورية بعد التغيير كل أنواع المشكلات، بدرجة تفوق ما تواجهه مصر وتونس اليوم، لكن لعلها ستكون في وضع أفضل لمعالجة مشكلاتها بالنظر لاتساع قاعدة الانشغال العام، ولتوافق نمط التغيير هذا مع النازع الاستقلالي الذي طبع سورية منذ ما قبل تكون كيانها الحديث قبل أقل من قرن.

الاحتمال الثاني هو «حكم الشبيحة»: أن يحل النظام معضلته بحل سورية، دولة ومجتمعاً وكياناً ومعنى. سيكون هذا أسوأ ما يمكن أن يحصل للبلد، وسيسجل الانحلال الاجتماعي والأخلاقي مستويات غير مسبوقة، وستسود القسوة ويعم الفساد ويرتفع منسوب الكراهية العام، وستكون سورية معزولة وتعاني من أزمات اقتصادية خانقة، وسنشهد موجة هائلة من هجرة الشباب والأدمغة والكفاءات من البلد.

الاحتمال الثالث هو «لعبة الأمم»، أي تحكم القوى الخارجية، الغربية والعربية، بالداخل السوري. قد تنشأ أوضاع سياسية توفر قدراً أكبر من الحرية، لكنها ستكون أوضاعاً غير مستقرة، وستفقد سورية استقلالها وسيطرتها على مصيرها لسنوات. وهذا لن يتأخر في أن يضع الحرية المكتسبة بمشقة في مواجهة الاستقلال، فيقلل من شأنها.

فرص التسوية الداخلية فاتت. النظام لم يظهر أي استعداد لدفع الثمن (نهاية الحكم الأبدي وحاكمية الاستخبارات)، والانتفاضة لم تعد تقبل بما هو أقل من ذلك.

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August 21st, 2011, 7:04 am

 

172. OFF THE WALL said:


مجتمع أهلي/ مدني! بقلم: ميشيل كيلو

ميشيل كيلو – صحيفة السفير

الأصل في المجتمع المدني أنه مجتمع يعطي الأولوية في منظوراته ونظمه ومصالحه للفرد باعتباره مواطنا حرا في الدولة، يرى الجماعات من خلاله وبدلالته باعتبارها جماعات تتكون من مواطنين أحرارا ينظم القانون علاقاتها معهم، سواء انضووا في هيئات وأحزاب ومؤسسات أم لم يفعلوا. والأصل في المجتمع الأهلي أنه مجتمع يعطي الأولوية للجماعة ويرى الفرد من خلالها، باعتباره منتميا ثانويا أو تابعا إليها، ينضوي فيها ويلتزم بقيمها ومصالحها، فلا تعريف له إلا بواسطتها، ولا دور له إلا بدلالتها أو من خلالها، مع أن هذا المجتمع غالبا ما يكون تقليديا ومغلقا، بصورة كلية أو جزئية .

وفي حين يحمل المجتمع المدني القيم التي تتصل بحرية المواطن كفرد ويقوم عليها، ومنها قبل كل شيء المواطنة والفردية والحرية الشخصية والعامة والاستنارة والانفتاح والحزبية المرتبطة بالفردية كنزعة والمصالح العامة المعرفة من خلال مصالح المواطنين الأفراد … الخ، يرتبط المجتمع الأهلي بقيم تبدو معاكسة لها : من أولوية الجماعات، التي تعتبر الدولة أعلى أشكالها وتنظيماتها، إلى تغليب قيم التضامن والوحدة والتماسك والتقليد والهوية والخصوصية، وترجيح الطابع العضوي لأبنية وأدوار المؤسسات السياسية، بما في ذلك مؤسسة الدولة، التي لا تكون مهمتها الرئيسة عندئذ تنمية الحرية، كما هو حالها في المجتمع المدني، بل تنمية كل ما هو جمعي مثل ذلك الضرب من “النزعة الوطنية “، الذي يربط الوطن بالسلطة أو ببعض الجماعات الاجتماعية، ويعلي ما يسميه “المصلحة العامة”، بما هي مصلحة سلطوية أساسيا، على مصالح المواطنين الفردية. والدولة هنا كيان يحتوي المجتمع، وهي تعبيره السياسي الذي يخرجه من المجال العام، بينما هي في المجتمع المدني هذا المجتمع نفسه، الذي له حاملا مشتركا معها هو المواطن الحر، الذي يجب أن يتيحا له التجسد الحر والتعاقدي داخلهما.

ومع أن المجتمع المدني يعتبر مرحلة في التطور تالية للمجتمع الأهلي، السابق في وجود الدول لسيادة المواطنة والحرية الفردية، فإن هذان كثيرا ما يوجدان معا، خاصة في البلدان التي تنتقل من حالة التقليد إلى حالة الحداثة، ومن الجماعية كإطار للهوية السياسية إلى الفردية التي تعبر عن المواطنة. ولعله من المفارق أن تكون نظم الاستبداد، التي تؤله الدولة كسلطة، هي التي دفعت بالمجتمع الأهلي إلى حركتين متعاكستين هما : التقوقع على الذات اتقاء لخطر اختراقه والتلاعب بأقداره بواسطة أجهزتها، التي تمارس سياسات تفتيتية / تحكمية حياله من جهة، والبقاء خارج منظومتها، كي لا تنجح في كسر آليات حمايته الذاتية التقليدية وتجلبه إلى حيث يصير خادما لها من جهة أخرى، يعيد إنتاج نفسه انطلاقا من رؤاها ومصالحها وبدلالتها، فيفقد خصوصيته وتماسكه، ويتفكك أو يتعطل ويضيع ضوابط وحدته وأدوات تسييره.

في الحالة الثانية، يتبنى المجتمع الأهلي قيم المجتمع التقليدي، وفي مقدمها قيمة الحرية بما هي أداة فاعلة لمقاومة السلطة، ووسيلة عملية وحيدة للمحافظة على الذات. وإذن، فإن الاستبداد هو الذي يخير المجتمع الأهلي بين أن يصير مجتمع سلطة بلا هوية وتماسك، وبين تبني أفكار وقيم تنتمي إلى المرحلة التالية من تطوره، هي أفكار وقيم المجتمع المدني، التي تمكنه من الدفاع عن نفسه في الحاضر، وحمل بذور مستقبله في أحشائه وتسريع تحوله وانتقاله الروحي إليه، مع أن هذه العملية المعقدة والمؤلمة كثيرا ما تعرضه لمخاطر التصدع، وتحمل مخاطر على كيانه ذاته وعلى المنتمين إليه. ولعل تبني أفكار وقيم المجتمع المدني كان من المفاجآت السارة التي أعدها لنا المجتمع الأهلي وهو يبدأ تمرده التاريخي، ويستخدمها في صراعه من أجل حرية تتخطى تكويناته الجزئية إلى المجتمع بكامله، الذي يحدث وعيه قبل أن تتحدث بناه الاجتماعية والاقتصادية والسياسية، ويتبنى مواقف تقيّد طابعه كمجتمع أهلي، تقليدي، ركودي الطابع عموما، وتفقده هويته كمجتمع أهلي أو تقليدي صرف، وتدخله في حالة انتقالية تحركها وتعمقها قيمة الحرية كرابط جديد ومتزايد الأهمية والفاعلية بين أفراده، الذي يرون أنفسهم أكثر فأكثر بدلالتها، ويعملون بالتالي على ترقيته ونقله إلى حال مدنية أو شبه مدنية، يفسر توطنها فيه مطالبة قوى كثيرة تنتمي إليه بدولة مكافئة لها: نسميها اليوم الدولة المدنية / الديموقراطية، التي كثيرا ما أثار استغرابنا – واستهجان بعضنا – أن بنات وأبناء لقرى والبلدان الصغيرة والمتوسطة والمدن الموزعة على أحياء تتعايش فيها جماعات متنوعة هم الذين يطالبون بتحقيقها ويموتون تحت رايتها، ويعلنون أنها الإطار الذي سينظم مستقبلا علاقتهم بالمجال العام، وبمصالحهم وأدوارهم، في إطار المواطنة: المفهوم الجديد الذي يتبنونه ويجعلونه هدفهم ومطلبهم، ويناضلون تحت لوائه. لئن كان المجتمع الأهلي قد حافظ على شيء من تقليديته على صعيد أبنيته وعلاقاته الضيقة، فإنه تحول إلى مجتمع مدني على صعيد خطابه السياسي، الذي انطبع بطابع حديث، ما بعد سلطوي/ ما بعد استبدادي، هو حقل الشأن العام البديل، الذي يفسر وجوده في الوعي الحاجة إلى إقامته في الواقع، من خلال تعاظم الحراك المدني، الذي لطالما كان ضعيفا إلى الأمس القريب في بلداننا، وشرع يلعب دورا حاسما في إعادة إنتاج الواقع انطلاقا من فكرته المستقبلية البديلة، لذلك نراه يحد اليوم ونعتقد أنه سيحد أكثر فأكثر في الزمن الآتي من تأثير أيديولوجيات المجتمع الأهلي التقليدية والغيبية السائدة عليه، ويجعلنا نستبشر بإمكانية انتقاله حقا إلى مجتمع مدني ديموقراطي متطور وحديث، حامله مواطن يريد استعادة حريته ليعيد بمعونتها بناء حلمه: المجتمع البديل ودولته.

هذه واحدة من أهم النتائج المباشرة للاستبداد، فهل ستزول بزواله؟ هل يتخلى المجتمع الأهلي عن إيمانه بالحرية، بعد زوال الاستبداد، أو في حال استمر ضمن أشكال معدلة؟ أعتقد أن هناك عوامل متعددة يتوقف عليها جواب هذا السؤال، منها : ما إذا كان إيمانه بالحرية موجها ضد النظام القائم وحده، وليس إيمانا بالحرية كمبدأ يصلح لكل زمان ومكان، ويصعب أو يستحيل التخلي عنه. وما إذا كان سينجح في تحرير نفسه من خلاله، وسيواصل تحويل وعيه إلى واقع مادي، ومكوناته إلى جماعات أفراد/ مواطنين يرى ذاته ومصالحه بدلالتهم وليس العكس، على غرار ما هو حادث اليوم. وما إذا كان نمط التضامن الوطني/ السياسي الجديد، الأفقي والواسع جدا، الذي ينشأ الآن في المجتمع الأهلي بفضل وحدة كفاحه ومطالبه ووعيه للحرية، سيترجم نفسه بنجاح حقيقي من قبل النخب السياسية، القديمة والجديدة، إلى نظام سياسي حديث وضارب، يقنع مواطن المجتمع الأهلي أن المدنية لا تنفي بالضرورة علاقاته وارتباطاته المحلية وحتى الفئوية وخصوصياته وحتى هويته، وإن أعادت تعريفها وشحنتها بمضامين إضافية وجديدة، وأن تمسكه بها وتطويرها مصلحة حقيقية له وللشعب عموما، فلا بد إذن من إعادة بناء حياته بما يتفق معها وينميها ويحميها، لتكون أساس وجوده السياسي والمجتمعي البديل، الذي يلبي حاجته إلى التقدم والقانون والكرامة والمشاركة في تقرير مصيره الشخصي.

ثمة اليوم جديد على صعيد الوعي والواقع، السياسة والمجتمع، تجسده فدائية وسلمية ومدنية مواطن المجتمع لأهلي أساسا في وجه سلطات محدثة أمنيا ومسلحة حتى الأنياب وعدوانية، مثلما يجسده التبني العام لقيم وأفكار المجتمع المدني، مع أنه لم يكن إلى الأمس القريب يعلق كبير أهمية على الحرية كقيمة حياتية، وكان يرى حريته في التضامن مع مجتمعه الخاص، الذي فقد قدرته على حمايته من الاستبداد، ووجد نفسه مكرها على القيام بنقلة في وعيه وواقعه، أعادته إلى السياسة كطرف مقابل للسلطة، بعد أن كان الاستبداد قد زوده بكم من لغضب يكفي لخوض أصعب المعارك وأكثرها تطلبا للتضحية، معركة حريته الشخصية كمعركة تمثل جوهر الشأن العام، يخوضها اليوم ويضحي بحياته فيها، رغم عدم وجود قوى سياسية تمسك بيده وتقوده، يدفعه إليها إيمانه بأنها قضيته الشخصية، التي قد لا يملك الكثير مما يستطيع يقوله عنها، لكنه يملكها هي ذاتها في ذاته، بما هي حاجة يتوقف عليه مجمل مصيره. ينتقل المجتمع الأهلي العربي إلى واقع مغاير، بينما ينتقل معه المجتمع العربي الكبير من حال إلى أخرى، وينتقل مواطنه إلى وضع يكون فيه عقله في المجتمع المدني وقدماه في مجتمعه الأهلي، يكتسب بفضله سمات جديدة تؤهله لأن يصير الحامل الحقيقي للحرية، وكان يظن ويقال بالأمس فقط إنه بعيد عنها بعد الأرض عن السماء. هذه مرحلة انتقال أقل ما يقال فيها إن النظام القائم اليوم، الذي صار يستحق لقب النظام القديم، لن ينجح في تخطيها او التغلب عليها، ما دام تحول وعي المجتمع الأهلي إلى وعي مدني يلعب دورا خطيرا في تجفيف منابع قبوله الشعبي، ويحوله إلى عبء يجب التخلص منه، بفضل هذه الظاهرة الجديدة، عندنا وعند غيرنا، التي تجعل المجتمع الأهلي يقاتل في سبيل حرية المواطن الفرد، ودولة المجتمع المدني الديموقراطية، بكل تصميم.

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August 21st, 2011, 7:12 am

 

173. Revlon said:

Asad Army unit fighting conspiracy, by looting a shop!
Baba-Amr, Homs
أموي – حمص – بابا عمرو – كلاب بشار الأسد سفاحين وحرامية 20-8-2011
http://www.facebook.com/Youth.Syria.Freedom

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August 21st, 2011, 8:47 am

 

174. Darryl said:

95. HAYTHAM KHOURY said:

I am sorry to comment on such an old story as I was away for a few days, but mate are you referring to sermons in Battle Star Galactica Church” in your post. What church has political sermons during Christmas and Easter? Churches never engage in political sermons, not even in the west where there is freedom for every flavour of the hour.

Are you a convert to Christianity or because you hate the Assads so much that you are making things up? If you hate the Assads, that is fine but do not fabricate stuff.

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August 21st, 2011, 8:39 pm

 

175. peaceforSyria said:

The president had a wonderful balanced speech!!! I loved it. He was calm and confident. But sadly sounding hurt and wounded!!!!! What a decent man!!! And what a vicious crime being committed against the Syria and Syrian people!!!! Advocating civil war between Syrians, implementing measures that leads to starving Syrians and trying to replace this young educated reformer with extremists and morons, in order to serve Israel and the needs of the US. I am praying for Bashar and for the Syrian people, to be strong in facing this crime and conspiracy!!! Peace for Syria!!!!

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August 22nd, 2011, 1:10 pm

 

176. peaceforSyria said:

//مصادر : سورية تنشر دفاعات جوية متطورة بالقرب من الحدود التركية
08/22/2011 | التصنيف : : اخبار | الكاتب : : admin

دمشق ..
علمت صحيفة “القدس العربي” من مصادر موثوقة أن القوات المسلحة السورية نشرت يوم الخميس الماضي مجموعة من مضادات الطيران ضمن منظومة دفاع جوي متطورة على الحدود الشمالية المجاورة لتركيا، ووفق ما رشح بهذا الخصوص فإن دمشق نشرت مضاداتها من جهة منطقة كسب الساحلية باتجاه الداخل السوري شرقاً، وتقول المعلومات أن دمشق نشرت أكثر من 25 عربة إطلاق مضادة للطيران متطورة للغاية يُعتقد أنها روسية الصنع وتحمل كل عربة أربع منصات إطلاق بحيث يمكنها المناورة والتصدي لأربعة أهداف جوية متحركة.
وجاء نشر مضادات الطيران السورية غداة تصاعد “اللهجة التحذيرية” التي أبدتها أنقرة تجاه دمشق الأسبوع الماضي والحديث عن إمكانية تنفيذ ضربة عسكرية من قبل حلف الناتو ضد سورية، تكون القوات التركية رأس حربة هذه الضربة، ثم ما لبثت أنقرة أن جزمت على لسان أرشد هرمزلو مستشار الرئيس التركي ان تركيا لن تتدخل عسكريا في سورية ولن تكون معبرا لأي قوات أجنبية إليها.
وسبق للقوات السورية ان نشرت مئات القواعد لمضادات الدبابات بمحاذاة الحدود التركية في رسالة كان مفادها وفق بعض المراقبين أن على تركيا عدم التفكير نهائياً بفكرة إقامة منطقة عازلة لحماية حدود الأمن القومي التركية الذي قد يتهدد بسبب العمليات العسكرية التي نفذها الجيش السوري في مناطق إدلب وجبل الزاوية وجسر الشغور بالقرب من تركيا.
كما شكّلت القوات السورية لواء عسكريا جديدا ليكون مقراً ومنطلقاً لقيادة العمليات العسكرية التي نُفِّذت في كل من جسر الشغور وجبل الزاوية في مواجهة المجموعات المسلحة.
//

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August 22nd, 2011, 1:19 pm

 

177. peaceforSyria said:

نحنا سوريا We Are Syria
الناتو الذي قتل الالاف في ليبيا سيبقى فيها لحماية المدنيين !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! وليس النفط وليس لاثارة الفتنى لتغرق كما حدث للعراق .. هنيئا ليبيا

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August 22nd, 2011, 1:22 pm

 

178. peaceforSyria said:

EmailPrint
Home>Middle East>More From The Middle East

NATO plans to arm Syria criminal gangs
Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:15PM GMT

Weapons seized from Syrian criminal armed gangs (file photo)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Turkey are preparing the ground for military intervention in Syria especially through providing criminal Syrian armed gangs with weaponry.

Large caches of weapons including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, mortar bombs and heavy machine guns will be sent via ground to major Syrian cities witnessing unrest, according to a report by Debka.

Turkey’s military will protect the arms caches on their passage to Syrian rebels.

Syrian rebels have been receiving training inside Turkey to use the weapons for two weeks.

Turkey has warned that it will join any possible military action against neighboring Syria.

On Saturday, Ankara recalled its retired officers to be deployed to cities along the border with Syria. Ankara is a NATO member seeking an EU membership.

More than 1600 people have lost their lives since a wave of unrest gripped Syria five months ago.

Syrian authorities blame foreign-backed armed gangs for the killings. Damascus says as many as 500 soldiers and police officers have been killed by armed groups.

AO/JR/HJL
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August 22nd, 2011, 1:25 pm

 

179. peaceforSyria said:

شـــــــممتُ تربكِ لا زُلفى ولا مَلـــقا ***وســـــرتُ قصدكِ لا خِبّاً ولا مَذِقا

وما وجدتُ إلى لقــــياكِ منعطــــــفاً ***إلا إليـــــــكِ وما ألفيـتُ مُفتــــرقا

كنتِ الطــــــــــريقَ إلى هاوٍ تنازعهُ ***نفسٌ تســـــــدُ عليه دونها الطرقا

وكان قلبي إلى رؤيـــــــاكِ باصرتي ***حتى اتهمت عليكِ العينَ والحــدقا

شممت تربك أســــتافُ الصِّبا مَرِحاً ***والشــــــملَ مؤتلفاً والعقدَ مؤتلقـا

وسرتُ قصدك لا كالمشـــتهي بلداً ***لكن كمن يشتهي وجهَ من عشقا

قالوا “دمشق” و”بغداد” فقلتُ هما ***فجرٌ على الغدِ من أمسيهما انبثقا

دمشــــقُ عشــــتكِ ريعاناً وخافقةً ***ولمـــةَ العيـــونِ الســــودِ والأرقـا

تموجينَ ظــــــلال الذكـــريات هوىً***وتســـــعدين الأسى والهمَّ والقلقا//

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August 22nd, 2011, 1:31 pm

 

180. peaceforSyria said:

من مغترب لو حرقو كل الكنائس فسنزهب ونصلي عند اهلنا واخوتنا في الجوامع ونقول الله اكبر الصلات والسلام على سيدنا و حبيبنا الرسول محمد صله الله عليه و سلم ونقول السلام على سيدنا يسوع المسيح لائن الشعب السوري طائفته سوريا الله حاميها فموتو بغيزكم ايها الخونه المئجورين ما رح يطلعلكون مع شعب واحد ورب واحد وسنتهون الى مزبلة التاريخ وجيشنا الباسل سيتكفل بتنظيفكم و رميكم في مزبلة التاريخ الله وبسابع سماه حاميكي يا شام وحامي شعبك الائبي.
//

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August 22nd, 2011, 1:36 pm

 

181. peaceforSyria said:

the crimes of the armed gangs in Syria!!!!
إجرام العصابات الإرهابية المسلحة
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9kwzsZCaDM

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August 22nd, 2011, 1:44 pm

 

182. peaceforSyria said:

Syria: This is Not a Peaceful Protest Movement, it is an Armed Insurrection.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JweO1KUkWtQ
“This is not a peaceful protest movement, it is an armed insurrection. It is an intelligence operation. We are dealing with a big lie as far as the media is …

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August 22nd, 2011, 1:50 pm

 

183. peaceforSyria said:

GOD PLEASE SAVE SYRIA!!!!!!!!!!!

The plan to destabilize syria..! (original)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA9-E6MpcAc
شبكات أخبار سوريا المتحدة / F.S.N.N http://www.facebook.com/page.F.S.N.N Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made …

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August 22nd, 2011, 4:38 pm

 
 

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