Sanctions Bite; Do Not Attack Syria; The Harasta Attack; The Arab League Delays as Damascus Contemplates Observers

An Aleppine friend writes:

The mazout (fuel-oil) problem in Aleppo is coming from transportation risks. Trucks are being hit as they travel from Homs and Banias and their mazout is being either stolen or destroyed. Without safe transportation routes, Aleppo is finding it hard to get the needed mazout to be delivered.

Another Aleppine answers:

Yes I heard that the pipes serving Aleppo with fuel have also been sabotaged several times. If true, not sure if it’s act of revenge (for inaction by halabis) or terrorist act planned to pressure halabis economically to rise. The Syrian government has reportedly agreed to allow an Arab League monitoring mission in the country in principle.

Bad news for the Assad government came in droves this week as its isolation grew with the Arab League threat of suspension and growing numbers of dead, including soldiers due to ever bolder and larger attacks from rebels. The sanctions have begun to really bite. Upper class Syrians are beginning to feel the pain for the first time, as everyday commodities begin to go missing in the marketplace. It is not clear whether fuel-oil has dried up because the government is running out of money or because the roads are no longer safe, causing fuel trucks to be vandalized. Growing reports of lawlessness, suggest that the military’s grip is loosening and more and more Syrians are taking up arms. The Syrian National Council continues to advise against the militarization of the opposition, but increasingly Syrians are getting arms and fighting back. There does not seem to be much unity to the opposition or deference to the SNC on the part of local Syrian groups. There have been many whispered projections that the regime will fall within months and is near a tipping point of cascading failures, but one must take such predictions with a grain of salt.  Many people predicted the fall of the regime by the end of Ramadan. All the same, the pace of bad news for the government has certainly been quickening.

US policy makers seem to be at cross purposes and arguing against each other. When Russia claimed that Syria is slipping into civil war, State Department spokesman, Mark Toner denied it. Hilary Clinton then contradicted Toner to agreed with the Russian assessment. Why did Toner deny tsi vehemently that Syria is moving toward civil war? The US wants Russia to condemn Assad in the UN. Its narrative is that unarmed Syrian protesters are being killed by the bad regime – therefore, the bad regime must go. Russia seeks to contradict this narrative with the civil war argument. It insists that foreign powers should stay out of Syria’s civil war and refuses to go along with a UN condemnation in order to ensure this. Russia insists that foreign meddling and proxy fighting in Syria will only make matters worse. Clinton probably hadn’t been briefed on Toner’s policy statement. Most likely she was simply repeating what her analysts are telling her – Syria is slipping toward civil war.

DJ Clinton Says ‘There Could Be A Civil War’ In Syria
2011-11-18

WASHINGTON (AFP)–U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Friday of the possibility of a civil war in Syria that either is directed or influenced by Syrian army defectors. “I think there could be a civil war with a very determined and well-armed and eventually well-financed opposition that is, if not directed by, certainly influenced by defectors from the army,” Clinton told NBC.

DJ US Disagrees With Russia View Of Syrian Opposition
2011-11-17 19:49:15.600 GMT

WASHINGTON (AFP)–The U.S. on Thursday disagreed with Russia’s assessment that attacks by renegade Syrian troops risked plunging Syria into civil war, blaming the regime in Damascus for the violence. “We think that’s an incorrect assessment,” U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the assessment. “If it (Russia) characterizes it as a civil war, we view that it is very much the (President Bashar al-) Assad regime carrying out a campaign of violence, intimidation and repression against innocent protesters,” Toner said. “We don’t view it as a civil war,” he said when asked again if he disagreed with Lavrov, who was reacting to Wednesday’s attack by Syrian army defectors known as the Free Syrian Army on a military intelligence base outside Damascus…..

Clinton added bluntly, “Assad’s going to be gone, it’s just a question of time.” ..In an interview with CBS News chief White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell today,

Nour Malas investigates the conflicting stories about the reputed Harasta attack of the Free Syrian Army

Arab League Delays Discipline Against Syria
By MATT BRADLEY in Rabat, Morocco, and NOUR MALAS in Dubai for Wall Street Journal

…..Wednesday also saw mounting violence from opposition supporters, with the dissident Free Syrian Army launching what it appeared to be its closest operation to central Damascus, the capital, and announcing it was creating a transitional military council to oust Mr. Assad.

Though reports of the incident vary—as do activist accounts of the size and strength of the dissident army itself—the attack on an air-force intelligence headquarters in Harasta, a suburb just outside the capital, is a defiant strike against one of the fiercest of Syria’s many security arms.

“The air-force intelligence bears the largest part of resentment and anger that activists have for the regime,” said Omar Idlibi, a spokesperson for the Local Coordination Committees, and a member of the Syrian National Council, an opposition group. “It has led the way in quelling the uprising and also recently focused on trying to crush the Free Syrian Army.”

Mr. Idlibi said the intelligence agency had as many as 300 soldiers in detention, some of them defected officers and others who were suspected of sympathizing with the protest movement.

By the committees’ account, a battalion from the Free Syrian Army attacked the building at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, in three separate groups, with rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire, burning it to the ground.

A defected soldier who is part of the dissident army group—but wasn’t involved in the Harasta attack—said the operation was launched after 70 soldiers from that air-force unit had defected and started fighting security guards. Backed by the dissident batallion, they shot RPGs and fired heavy machine guns, killing soldiers and burning down the building, said the soldier. Syria’s government didn’t report the incident on state media.

Other activist groups, meanwhile, gave different accounts. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the building was attacked, but not burned down.

Louay Hussein, a dissident writer in Damascus, said diplomats in the capital “went to the area and didn’t see signs of a major battle.”

The varying reports from Syria, where information on the uprising provided largely by activist accounts and video footage can’t be verified independently, highlight a growing rift among activists, with some accusing others of playing up both the regime’s violence and their own dissident army’s capabilities.

“The desire for international intervention that some have is perhaps leading them to exaggerate some news sometimes to increase the sense of urgency and pressure,” Mr. Hussein said.

Twenty people were killed by security forces during protests on Wednesday, the Local Coordination Committees said.

Analysts said that even if the Free Syrian Army’s recent increase in operations was overstated, it is symbolically significant. With the dissident army’s growing boldness, and rising casualties among Syria’s military and security forces, “the situation is in serious danger of spiraling beyond the regime’s control,” IHS Global Insight said in a note on Wednesday.

The Free Syrian Army’s statement Wednesday that it would create a council appears to reflect a push to organize defected soldiers across provinces in Syria. “We will be uniting all the provinces and coordinating between batallions so we can finally overthrow this regime,” the defected soldier said by telephone from an area bordering Lebanon. The group was also working with the Syrian National Council, the opposition body, on a framework for logistical support.

“There are thousands more who will defect,” the dissident soldier said, “but there’s no support and no weapons.”

—Inti Landauro and Nadya Masidlover in Paris contributed to this article.

Do not attack Syria
BY AARON DAVID MILLER, 19 November 2011, The New York Times

The Arab League suspends Syrian membership; the king of Jordan calls for Bashar al-Assad’s departure; Turkey appears ready for more aggressive anti-Assad measures; defectors from the Syrian Army are attacking regime targets. And all the while the regime continues killing its people with impunity.

Now is the time for America to step up and lead a NATO military intervention to topple the Syrian regime?

No. It Isn’t. Military intervention now will not work. Do not look to Libya for lessons on how to overthrow this dictator. If anything, the Libyan model is a cautionary tale, and potentially a whole lot of trouble if the lesson is ignored.

As painful as it is to watch unarmed civilians killed, sometimes discretion – at least for America, and at least for now – really is the better part of valor.

Libya isn’t Syria. But it was low-hanging fruit – at least from the perspective of outside intervention. A big empty place roughly the size of Alaska with a long coastline, lacking sophisticated air assets or air defenses, and run by a regime of thugs and clowns, Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Libya offered a reasonable prospect for NATO military success.

It still took eight messy, bloody months to topple Qaddafi. Indeed, there were moments when even the champions of intervention in the Obama administration wondered whether it would work.

Intervention by committee, backed by unorganized rebels, was never going to be easy. But we Americans were wise to resist pressures to finish the job more quickly by taking the direct lead. It was important to involve the Europeans and the Arabs – it’s their neighborhood, after all – and to let the Libyans gain the legitimacy of their own liberation (albeit with a huge NATO assist).

The Assad regime is rotten fruit, but it’s not at all clear whether it’s ready to fall. Unlike Libya, where the opposition was divided, but at least held control of parts of the country, the Syrian opposition is inchoate, and lacks even a rudimentary armed component. It is stunningly vulnerable; it does not control parts of the country from which it can operate or where it can be assisted.

The opposition would like to create such sanctuaries, but there’s no sense that it can do this yet, and the regime is determined to stop it. In Rastan, a key town along a central road to the Syrian-Turkish border, the regime sent in hundreds of tanks to do precisely that.

Then there’s the problem of assembling an international coalition. Yes, the world is outraged and Syria is under sanctions and isolated. But the prospects of mobilizing the United Nations Security Council to sanction a NATO intervention are nill. The Russians and the Chinese are dead set against it; the French, British and Americans are squeamish, and for good reason.

Plus Syria still has friends in the region. None that can save it, to be sure, but some who would do what they can to complicate an allied intervention, including Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Turkey will support tougher rhetoric and sanctions against Assad, but Ankara will not get out in front on any military intervention. The Israelis might be able to help with intelligence, but keeping them at a distance would be critical to any successful intervention in Syria.

The battle for Syria would likely be a long one. The interveners would need a coalition of the truly willing prepared to stick to it, and probably to intercede with boots on the ground.

A coalition of the partially committed would not work. Once military actions began, there would be no turning back. Escalation would be inevitable against a regime that will use every instrument it possesses to survive. There’s no room for encouraging the opposition and then not being prepared to support it.

Last week, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq apologized to the Shia community for the failure of the United States to do more in 1991 after it encouraged Shia opposition to Saddam Hussein. We do not want that to be repeated.

The options on Syria are not happy ones. We can’t stick our heads in the sand, nor can we lose them.

For now, the measures that make sense include tightening sanctions; pushing the United Nations to dispatch human-rights monitors; monitoring the Syrian-Lebanese and Syrian-Turkish borders; and pushing the Arabs and the Turks to start supporting the Syrian opposition with money and clandestine military aid should they want it.

If the time comes to consider military action, politicians and military planners should think it through very carefully. Syria is not Libya; the potential for sectarian violence and even civil war, coupled with the possibility of outside intervention, makes the complexities and rivalries of post-Qaddafi Libya seem mild by comparison.

Inaction by the international community while a brutal regime kills its people has its costs, but so does big-footing by great powers. One thing we know about discretionary, poorly conceived military action is that getting into such conflicts is always a lot easier than getting out.

The devil we knew
BY ITAMAR RABINOVICH
19 November 2011, The New York Times

During the first 25 years of its existence, until Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970, the Syrian republic was a weak unstable state, an arena in which regional and international rivalries were played out. The first Assad reversed this state of affairs by turning Syria into a comparatively stable and powerful state, a player in regional and international politics.

This was part of the unwritten pact between the regime and Syria’s urban population. Stability, prestige and a leading role in Arab nationalist ‘‘resistance’’ (to the United States and Israel) made up for the regime’s authoritarianism and corruption, and the hegemony of the minority Alawite sect.

The outbreak of the revolt against the regime last March marked the end of this unwritten contract, and pushed Syria back to its pre-1970 state. It is once again an arena of regional and international rivalries, reflecting the changes that are transforming the region’s politics.

The Syrian revolt is, of course, primarily a struggle between the regime — now led by Assad’s son Bashar — and its domestic foes over the nature and character of the Syrian state. But it is equally significant as a war by proxy between Iran and its rivals…..

More recently, however, Saudi Arabia came to the conclusion that defeating Iran on the Syrian stage is the dominant consideration. This conclusion is shared by other Arab states, which explains the shift in the Arab League’s position and the extraordinary steps it has taken against the Assad regime.

It is also a prime example of how ‘‘soft power’’ can be used by countries, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, that may not be a military match for Tehran.

The roles played by Turkey and the Arab League are also a byproduct of the modest role played by the United States.

In the Libyan crisis, President Obama sought to ‘‘lead from behind.’’ In the Syrian crisis, Washington does not lead at all. Yes, the American ambassador, Robert Ford, played a courageous role; the administration imposed some sanctions, and has used strong words to denounce Assad. But Washington does not have a coherent policy, and seems content to have regional powers in the driver’s seat in this crisis.

Israel is passive as well. In 2005, when George W. Bush wanted to topple Bashar al-Assad, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon cautioned against doing so, using the ‘‘devil we know’’ argument. Assad was Iran’s close ally and Lebanon’s oppressor, a patron of Hamas and an anti-American actor in Iraq, but the alternative to his rule, according to the conventional wisdom at the time, was the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is not Israel’s policy now. After the discovery of Assad’s secret cooperation with North Korea, and given the threats to its national security by Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, Israel came to the conclusion that there is more potential damage in Assad’s survival than in his departure……

There seems to be no real prospect of external military intervention in Syria. But the policies of external actors will have a major impact on the position of the Syrian army and on the middle classes of Damascus and Aleppo that so far have been sitting on the fence.

The United States, France and other powers that traditionally played an important role in the Levant do not need to resort to military action. They have a full arsenal of diplomatic and economic assets that could tilt the current conflict in Syria, put an end to brutal suppression and bloodshed, and help the Arab Spring register another achievement.

From on “intelligence” outfit. I heard that their research came up with 79.51% but they rounded up to 80%

Exclusive Analysis Special Report: Syria Risk Outlook
2011-11-18  www.exclusive-analysis.com

In the three-to-six month outlook, there is an increased likelihood (80%probability) of collapse of Ba’athist rule and civil war. The probable slide into full-scale civil war would make a limited Turkish military intervention more likely, particularly if backed by an Arab League request and token participation. A civil war would likely become a prolonged proxy war, with Iran backing the Alawi sect while Saudi Arabia and Turkey back the Sunni. We assess that only a successful coup against President al-Assad, if followed by the removal of the Ba’ath from power, can prevent the slide into civil war.

EXTRA: Syria says it is studying Arab League ultimatum
2011-11-17 11:35:20.113 GMT

Beirut (dpa)- Syria’s ambassador to the United States, ImadMustafa, said Thursday that Damascus was looking into an Arab League proposal to send monitors to Syria to protect civilians. “We will positively address matters that serve Syria’s interests,” Mustafa told Lebanon-based Al Manar Television. Arab League foreign ministers on Wednesday gave Syria three days to accept Arab monitors and halt its violent crackdown on critics…..

DJ UPDATE: Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood Open To Turkish intervention
2011-11-17

ISTANBUL (AFP)–The leader of Syria’s exiled Muslim Brotherhood said Thursday that his compatriots would accept Turkish “intervention” in the country to resolve months of bloody unrest. “The Syrian people would accept intervention coming from Turkey, rather than from the West, if its goal was to protect the people,” Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Riad Shakfa told a press conference…..

Robert Fisk: Assad will only go if his own tanks turn against him by Robert Fisk

Predictions of Syrian leader’s imminent demise are hopelessly optimistic…..

Syria Runs Short of Cash on Assad Spending
By Massoud A. Derhally – Nov 16, 2011

President Bashar al-Assad is paying Syrians, via subsidies and higher government salaries, to stay loyal to his government as it clamps down on an eight-month uprising. He may not be able to afford that policy for long.

A month after the unrest began, Assad dismissed a Cabinet that had been tasked with curbing government outlays, raising taxes and making the economy more competitive. The new administration increased subsidies on energy and other products. Civil service pay was raised by 30 percent. Syria has spent $3 billion from a $5 billion rainy-day fund defending the pound this year, central bank Governor Adib Mayaleh says.

Opening the purse-strings hasn’t stopped the protests, and their suppression by security forces, at a cost of thousands of lives, has left Syria increasingly isolated. The Arab League has suspended Syria amid calls for Assad to step down, and Turkey — a neighbor and key trade partner — is threatening commercial sanctions to add to those already imposed by the U.S. and European Union. In that environment, Assad’s bid to buy support may backfire as the money runs out and the economy shrinks, alienating supporters among Syria’s business community.

“They’re spending more money and getting less income,” said Chris Phillips, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London. “All of this is exacerbated by sanctions, and allies like the Persian Gulf countries are not providing any financial assistance, as they would have in the past. This position is economically unsustainable.”

Shrinking Economy

Syria’s $60 billion economy, which expanded 5.5 percent in 2010, may shrink 2 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, or at least 5 percent according to the Institute of International Finance. The government expects growth of 1 percent, Finance Minister Mohammad Al-Jleilati said in September.

The Damascus Securities Exchange Index has slumped 52 percent in dollar terms this year, compared with drops of 20 percent and 15 percent on the benchmarks of neighboring Lebanon and Jordan. The pound has slid 6 percent to about 50 per dollar.

Assad’s government plans to spend 1.33 trillion Syrian pounds ($27 billion) in 2012, an increase of 59 percent, according to the official Syrian Arab News Agency. The budget includes 386 billion pounds for energy and other subsidies and for financing social and agricultural aid funds, SANA said.

Syria is already running a deficit of 6.7 percent of GDP this year, almost double the 2010 figure, according to the IIF.
‘Pressure on Pound’

A wider gap will “increase inflationary pressures and the pressure on the pound,” said Nabil Sukkar, a former World Bank official who now runs the independent Syrian Consulting Bureau for Development and Investment in Damascus. The government should “effect across-the-board cuts in current expenditures while increasing investment spending to boost the economy.”

That’s similar to the strategy Assad was pursuing before the start of the revolt, inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Syria was seeking external investment too.

Then-deputy premier Abdallah Dardari, visiting France in September last year, said he was seeking bids to build power plants and a new terminal at Damascus airport. A planned auction for a mobile phone license was abandoned this year after unrest spread and companies including Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat Telecommunications Corp. and Turkey’s Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS pulled out.

Turkey, which has turned against former ally Assad, may cut power supplies to Syria after its embassies and consulates were attacked by government supporters this week, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Nov. 15. Further trade sanctions from Turkey could tighten the squeeze on Syria. The northern neighbor bought about 16 percent of Syria’s $2.8 billion of exports last year and supplied 14 percent of its imports, according to data from Sukkar and Turkey’s official statistics agency.
Sunni Elites

Syria’s economy was strengthened by Assad’s moves toward liberalization before this year, and it’s “not about to collapse,” Sukkar said. Those measures also won support for Assad from business leaders among the Sunni Muslim community, who haven’t abandoned him yet, he said. Assad’s family and many key security officials come from the minority Alawite faith, affiliated to Shiite Islam, while Sunnis make up about two- thirds of the population.

Still, there’s a risk those Sunni elites could turn against Assad if the economy deteriorates, Sukkar and Phillips said. While such groups probably wouldn’t join street protests, they may “consider moves against the regime behind the scenes,” Phillips said.

At the central bank, Mayaleh said that the pound is stable and he hasn’t depleted the country’s $18 billion of foreign currency reserves. Instead, Mayaleh said in an interview last month, he spent money from a fund set aside for a “black day.” Contingencies included a potential yearlong war with Israel in 2012, one person familiar with the fund’s planning said on condition of anonymity.
Assad’s ‘Failure’

The government’s worsening finances, with the increase in subsidies and salaries coupled with a 40 percent drop in tax revenue, will make it hard to maintain the stability of the pound, according to two Syrian bankers, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisal.

That would amount to a vicious circle for Assad, said Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

“The failure of the Assad regime to provide for its people was a major spark for this revolution to begin with,” he said. “Now it’s only going to become worse.”

Globe Mail [Reg]: Only two powers can stop Syria’s brutality
2011-11-17

Syria is now at grave risk of descending into a prolonged civil war of attrition. The Arab League, most Arab states and Turkey have rightly denounced the violence against peaceful protests by many of the Syrian people, but their indignation may not …

Call for David Cameron to Lead Action Against Over Syria
2011-11-16 23:06:04.570 GMT

Nov. 16 (Telegraph) — David Cameron has been urged by at least one Arab state to lead a diplomatic offensive against Syria, after successfully cooperating with regional powers to oust Col Gaddafi, The Daily Telegraph has learned. Britain has been contacted directly and encouraged to act as a “team captain” to coordinate discussion of more robust actionagainst President Bashar al-Assad, and to plan for what isregarded as his inevitable departure.

“The West needs to lead and the international communityneeds to talk about what to do when the dam bursts in Syria,” said a senior Arab diplomatic source, adding that Syria’s neighbours held too many different views to coordinate effectively. “Leaving it all up to us you are going to get a lot of shenanigans. If you need a team captain on this you have got to go to the West,” the source added. The request to Downing Street came as Syrian military defectors attacked Damascus for the first time, striking an air force intelligence compound in a suburb of the capital with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. A spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army claimed an administrative building was damaged in the pre-dawn attack.

The 22-member Arab League meanwhile on Wednesday night confirmed a motion to suspend Syria, in what was a bitter rebuke for a nation that regards itself as a bastion of Arab nationalism. The organisation gave the Syrian regime three days to halt violence against its people or face economic sanctions, Qatar’s prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, said. “We cannot accept that people are being killed in the waythey are now,” said Sheikh Hamad. “We are moving to stop the flow of blood.”

Syrian Protesters Roll Out New iPhone Apps – Slashdot
2011-11-16

“Protesters in Syria, dealing with a strict media blackout, have rolled out new iPhone and iPad apps to share news, stories, and even jokes. Amid a brutal crackdown, rebels are fighting back on their iPhones. The Arab Spring’s newest weapon keeps …

Dr. ʿAbdulbasit Sayda, member of the Executive Committee of the Syrian National Council:

»There is no agreement between the Syrian National Council and the Turkish government«

KURDWATCH, November 18, 2011—Dr. ʿAbdulbasit Sayda (b. 1956, doctorate in philosophy, married, four children) has been living in exile in Sweden since 1994. In 2003 his book »The Kurdish Question in Syria« was published. In a conversation with KURDWATCH ʿAbdulbasit Sayda spoke about the work of the Syrian National Council, an oppositional coalition that was founded in Istanbul on October 2, 2011.

KurdWatch: Can you tell us about the beginnings of the Syrian National Council and Kurdish involvement in it?
Dr. ʿAbdulbasit Sayda: Before the founding of the Syrian National Council, there were several Syrian oppositional conferences abroad. Everyone hoped that these conferences would help the Syrian revolution succeed. Unfortunately this was not the case. On the plus side, however, Syrians got to know each other at these conferences. Prior to this, this was not the case. Thus, for example, the people from al-Qamishli did not know the people from Dar?a and vice versa. But we were not satisfied with this outcome. In order to achieve better results, we, twenty-five Syrian academics and experts from all over the world, met in August in Istanbul. We became convinced that we should establish a Syrian National Council. At the time this was still a dream. We decided to make contact with all oppositional groups in order to convince them of the idea of the Syrian National Council. I myself had the task of contacting the Kurds. My goal was to reach all Kurdish parties and groups. I spoke with some personally. Others I contacted via friends and email. The Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) and the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî) were the only Kurdish parties that responded positively. Other parties declined to become involved in the Syrian National Council, and still others didn’t respond at all. The Kurdish youth groups also responded positively. Then the Kurdish Future Movement, representing the parties outside of the Kurdish party bloc that later took part in the Kurdish Patriotic Conference, welcomed our plan as well; they became a member of the National Council.

KurdWatch: How strongly are the Kurds represented in the National Council?
Dr. ʿAbdulbasit Sayda: There are a total of 190 seats. The General Secretariat is composed of twenty-six members, seven of whom are members of the Executive Committee. Aside from me, there are three other Kurds in the General Secretariat. One of them is the common representative of the Azadî and Yekîtî. The Kurdish Future Movement also has a representative. An additional seat is not yet occupied. We are working so that the Kurdish revolutionary youth groups will also receive a seat in this body.

KurdWatch: That means that you sit on the National Council as a representative of the Kurds?
Dr. ʿAbdulbasit Sayda: Yes.

KurdWatch: There are claims from people affiliated with the Kurdish parties that you became part of the National Council by way of the Muslim Brotherhood…..

Enterprise Blog: AEI Elsewhere—Obama’s Syrian failure, it’s all your fault, and more, 2011-11-18
By John R. Bolton

The U.S. has the wrong president for a Syrian intervention. “Obama’s Syrian failure”

Comments (483)


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451. irritated said:

$448 Ann

Just when the presidential term of Bashar al Assad finishes.. Great timing..

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November 21st, 2011, 2:40 pm

 

452. Humanist said:

Re. 414 irritated:

Actually, most Kurds in Turkey voted for Erdogan. Ask them!

And PKK aren’t really “Moslem brothers”, they are communists and therefore atheists, who of course constitute only a very little part of the Kurdish population in Turkey.

You better don’t talk about things you obviously have no idea about….

BTW: those hadjis attacked in Syria could very probably be kurds themselves

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November 21st, 2011, 2:41 pm

 

453. ghufran said:

(the regime waited 11 years to do this and did it under pressure not by free choice)

كشف عضو لجنة إعداد الدستور الجديد في سورية، المحامي محمد خير العكّام أن أعضاء اللجنة اتفقوا على إلغاء المادة الثامنة من الدستور السوري، ما يعني إلغاء الدور الاحتكاري لحزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي في قيادة العمل السياسي، مشيرا إلى أن الدستور الجديد سينص على أن سورية دولة مدنية ديمقراطية، رافضا نظام المحاصصة الطائفية في توزيع المناصب الكبرى.

وقال العكّام في حديث لـ “أنباء موسكو” إن “أعضاء اللجنة المصغرة لإعداد مشروع الدستور، حسموا مسألة الحزب القائد في آخر جلسة عقدوها الخميس الماضي”.

وتنص المادة 8 على أن حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي هو الحزب القائد في المجتمع والدولة ويقود جبهة وطنية تقدمية تعمل على توحيد طاقات جماهير الشعب ووضعها في خدمة أهداف الأمة العربية.

وتعتبر هذه المادة من أبرز مواد الدستور التي تطالب المعارضة السورية بإلغائها، كي تنهي سيطرة حزب البعث على مفاصل السلطة في سورية.

وبين العكام “توصلنا إلى اتفاق على إلغاء المادة الثامنة كليا، وإيجاد صيغة جديدة، لاعلاقة لها بصيغة المادة الثامنة كليا، تلغي الدور الاحتكاري لحزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي في قيادة العمل السياسي في سورية، بمعنى أنه سيصبح حزبا شأنه شأن بقية الأحزاب الأخرى الموجودة حاليا، والتي ستظهر مستقبلا بموجب قانون الأحزاب”.

وفي سياق آخر، أشار إلى أن “منصب رئيس الحكومة السورية لن يبقى محصورا بحزب البعث، بل سينتقل إلى الحزب الفائز بنتيجة الانتخابات العامة”.

ولفت العكام إلى أن “اللجنة الدستورية لم تناقش بعد موضوع الولاية الدستورية لرئيس الجمهورية”، مؤكدا أن “اختيار رئيس الجمهورية سيتم عبر الانتخاب لا الاستفتاء، كما هو حاصل الآن”.

وقال إنه “طالما ستظهر في البلاد حياة حزبية متنوعة، فلا بد للأحزاب الأخرى أن تطرح مرشحيها للرئاسة ولا بد أن تكون هناك شروط للترشيح، ما يعني أن تنافسا سيظهر على منصب رئيس الجمهورية أي سنتحول بالتأكيد من نظام الاستفتاء إلى نظام الانتخاب، وهذا الأمر محسوم”.

وحول دين رئيس الدولة، بين العكام أنه “هناك توجهان في اللجنة، الأول يقضي بمنع حصر دين رئيس الجهورية العربية السورية بالإسلام، والثاني مع أن يبقى دينه هو دين الإسلام”.

وأشار إلى أنه “يؤيد التوجه الثاني احتراما للديمقراطية والأكثرية، نظرا لأن 80% من السوريين مسلمون، وبالتالي من الضروري بالمفهوم الديمقراطي أن نحترم هذه الأكثرية، لكن لا ضير أن يكون مسيحي رئيسا للجمهورية، لأن أي مسيحي في سورية ليس أقل وطنية من أية مسلم فيها”.

وأكد العكّام أن “الدستور الجديد سينص على أن سورية دولة مدنية ديمقراطية”، رافضا “نظام المحاصصة الطائفية في توزيع المناصب الكبرى في سورية” ولفت إلى أن “هذا يعني أننا أصبحنا دولة مبنية على أساس طائفي وهذا أمر لا نقبل به

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November 21st, 2011, 2:51 pm

 

454. zoo said:

Sarkozy involved in an explosive corruption investigation

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/18/sarkozy-kickbacks-pakistan-arms-sales

“Nicolas Sarkozy was today urged to break his silence over the most potentially damaging corruption scandal of his career: an inquiry into whether he authorised illegal kickbacks from arms sales to Pakistan to fund a political campaign.

L’affaire Karachi is the most explosive corruption investigation in recent French history and the biggest scandal to personally threaten Sarkozy.”

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November 21st, 2011, 2:57 pm

 

455. Mina said:

Ghufran

Great news!! Apart from agriculture policy they failed nearly everything else (especially education, and even as for secularism, the failed education paved the way for the Homsis and Idlebis to exist). Of course, I speak as a non-specialist, but it is nice to see in Syria the fields around Aleppo, buy the pomegranate juice in the north, read the prices of cotton, olives, etc in the newspapers… And you can find Syrian apples in Egypt almost all year long.
Let’s try to hope we’re going to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Now that Egypt’s government has resigned this evening, there is no way the fat cats of the AL are ever going to be able to reach any meeting!

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November 21st, 2011, 2:59 pm

 

456. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

I bet Putin is squeeeeeeeeeeeky clean

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November 21st, 2011, 3:03 pm

 

457. irritated said:

$51 humanist

Thanks for the information. PKK as not moslems, they constitute a little part of the Kurdish population, so why are they such a huge problem for Erdogan?
Why is the PKK getting such growing support in the Eastern cities than Erdogan felt he needed to lecture the young kurds about the evil of the PKK. Why is the PKK in Iraq so powerful than Turkey needed to use planes to crush them, who is financing them?

You seem to know more, so please enlighten us.

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November 21st, 2011, 3:07 pm

 

458. Uzair8 said:

A user called Alimohamad40 on Shiachat writing some sensible posts.

Read several posts of his on the following thread:

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/index.php?/topic/234996076-is-iran-for-or-against-the-syrian-government/page__view__findpost__p__2301050

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November 21st, 2011, 3:52 pm

 

459. Humanist said:

Irritated:

It is well known since long ago that Israel supports “PKK” (or at least similar Kurdish militant groups) in Iraq since Turkey turned against Israel.

Earlier Syria helped PKK and their leader because of the Hatay issue.

The truth is all countries in the middle east always used and use “the kurdish issue” (by supporting PKK and similar groups) to fight each others – of course NOT because they “love” kurds.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”, they think…

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November 21st, 2011, 3:56 pm

 

460. Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: MINA

RE: “…of course, I speak as a non-specialist…”

Of course…

http://playwrighter.blogspot.com/2011/04/arab-news-fox-news-style.html

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November 21st, 2011, 4:14 pm

 

461. Majed97 said:

Coordination with the Russians speaks volumes…

مصادر: السلطات السورية اعتبرت بعض فقرات بروتوكول إرسال مراقبين “مهينا” .. وسربت نسخة إلى روسيا

“روسيا ردت بالوقوف إلى جانب السلطات السورية، وسربت نبأ إرسال بوارج كنوع من التضامن الملموس”

نقلت وكالة الأنباء الألمانية ( د ب أ) عن مصادر سورية، لم تسمها، قولها إن “السلطات السورية اعتبرت بروتوكول جامعة الدول العربية الخاص بإرسال مراقبين مهينا في بعض فقراته”، مبينة أن “السلطات أرسلت نسخة منه إلى روسيا التي استغربت لهجته وردت بالوقوف إلى جانب السلطات السورية، وسربت نبأ إرسال ست بوارج إلى الساحل السوري كنوع من التضامن الملموس”.

وأوضحت المصادر أن “السلطات في دمشق مستاءة جدا من بروتوكول جامعة الدول العربية الخاص بإرسال 500 من المراقبين لتقصي الحقائق في كافة أنحاء البلاد لأنه كان مهينا في بعض فقراته”.

وأردفت أن “دمشق رأت أن البروتوكول حمل استعلاء وتجاهلا في لغته بشكل شبه كامل للسلطات السورية، لا بل إنه كان مهينا في بعض فقراته وماساّ بالسيادة الرسمية”.

وتأتي هذه التصريحات بعد يوم من رفض الجامعة العربية، التعديلات التي اقترحتها دمشق بشان مهمة المراقبين في سورية لأنها تمس جوهر المهمة على حد تعبيرها، داعية دمشق إلى وقف إراقة الدماء, فيما أعلن وزير الخارجية وليد المعلم أن برتوكول إرسال مراقبين إلى سورية يتجاهل بشكل تام دور الدولة السورية.

وكان وزراء الخارجية العرب أقروا يوم الأربعاء الماضي مشروع بروتوكول خاص بإرسال مراقبين إلى سوريا، تكون مهمتهم التحقق من تنفيذ بنود الخطة العربية لحل الأزمة السورية وتوفير الحماية للمدنيين السوريين، ومنحوا دمشق 3 أيام لوقف ما اسموه “العنف”, والتوقيع على البروتوكول.

إلى ذلك، أوضحت المصادر أن “دمشق سارعت إلى إرسال نسخة منه إلى روسيا، حليفتها الأبرز في هذه الأزمة، التي استغربت لهجة البروتوكول العربي وردت بالوقوف إلى جانب السلطات السورية، وسربت نبأ إرسال ست بوارج إلى الساحل السوري كنوع من التضامن الملموس والتشجيع لدمشق على أخذ موقف متصلب اتجاه ذلك البروتوكول”.

وكانت وسائل إعلام تناقلت نبأ وصول بوراج روسية إلى البحر المتوسط في طريقها إلى الساحل السوري، بيد أن السلطات الرسمية في سورية وروسيا لم تؤكد أو تنف الخبر، لا سيما أن لروسيا قاعدة بحرية في ميناء طرطوس تستخدم للإصلاح أو للتزود بالوقود.

وتعد روسيا من أكثر الدول المؤيدة والداعمة للمواقف السورية وللمشاريع الإصلاحية , رافضة أي تدخل خارجي في شؤون سورية أو أي مشروع قرار يؤدي إلى فرض مزيد من العقوبات عليها, كما شددت في أكثر مناسبة على أهمية التوصل لتسوية بين جماعات المعارضة والسلطة من اجل إنهاء الأزمة السورية.

وبينت المصادر أن “وجهتي نظر موسكو ودمشق رأتا أن البروتوكول حمل الكثير من الإهانة والتجاهل للسلطات السورية، وهذا ما أشار له وزير الخارجية السورية وليد المعلم في مؤتمره الصحفي الأخير”، وفق تقديراتها.

ولفتت إلى أن “السلطات السورية تراجعت عن نشر نصوص البروتوكول العربي في وسائل الإعلام، خشية ردات الفعل من مناصريها في الداخل أولا، ولاعتبارات خارجية ثانيا تتعلق بسلوك علاقات البلدان”.

وطلبت دمشق من الأمين العام للجامعة نبيل العربي تعديلات على مشروع البروتوكول المتعلق بمركز ومهام المراقبين الذين تنوي الجامعة إرسالهم إلى سوريا، مشترطة أن يكون المراقبون من جنسيات عربية فقط، وألا تتعدى مهمتهم سيادة الدولة السورية.

وأعلن الجانب السوري انه مستعد للتوقيع فورا على الورقة المعدلة التي تطالب بدرجة أكبر من التنسيق مع الحكومة السورية، بحسب تسريبات إعلامية.

ويعقد وزراء الخارجية العرب اجتماعا طارئا الخميس لبحث تطورات الوضع في سوريا في ضوء انتهاء المهلة التي حددها المجلس في الاجتماع الوزاري الأخير في الرباط وعدم توقيع الحكومة السورية على الوثيقة الخاصة ببروتوكول بعثة مراقبي الجامعة العربية إلى سوريا وعدم وقف العنف.

وتشهد عدة مدن سورية منذ 8 أشهر تظاهرات ترافقت بسقوط مئات الشهداء من المدنيين والجيش وقوى الأمن، حيث تقدر الأمم المتحدة عدد ضحايا الاحتجاجات في سورية بنحو 3500، شخصا، فيما تقول مصادر رسمية سورية أن عدد ضحايا الجيش والأمن تجاوز 1100 شخص، وتحمل “الجماعات المسلحة” مسؤولية ذلك.

http://syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=140296

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November 21st, 2011, 4:35 pm

 

462. Khalid Tlass said:

The Salafis will rule over you for the next 1000 years !! A new world order is awaiting us, a Salafi Order – and it will achieved under a horizon of blazing fire and a wave of blood. We will make you suck our boots.

Your time is uo Murtadeen of the Middle East. You will be hunted down, from Morocoo to UAE, from Syria to Yemen, Labbaik ya Ameer !!!

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November 21st, 2011, 4:46 pm

 

463. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“”Syria‘s main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said that in the event of Assad’s overthrow, it envisaged a transitional period lasting up to 18 months for a new constitution to be agreed and a parliamentary election to be held.””

How about this SNC small group comes down from planet Shangri-la, and start pressing for something more real, attainable in our life time, something we all can bank on, like focusing on getting Assad to scrap that worthless Party Law he decreed recently and push for one we all can be represented by it first. Once we are on the ground, then we can fairly compete under new constitution when it passes. It is not that Bashar is so adamant on being President for life, he did not want the job in the first place and none of SNP 287 members including me personally have an interest in it as well. It is no brainer why is the case, it is a lot, lot of work to hold that job. SNP believe that should a new constitution installed in Syria by referendum, one as being touted now, it will offer a solid base for political future in Syria and preserving whatever viable institutions needed, scrapping slowly those not needed as political life ensue in the country and make those decisions. All other theatrical performances are a waste of time and loss of serious opportunities that can actually materialize out of this mayhem in Syria. GET REAL PLEASE. STOP BEING PUPPETS.

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November 21st, 2011, 4:46 pm

 

464. Tara said:

U.S. says ambassador won’t return to Syria before Thanksgiving

English.news.cn 2011-11-22 04:34:03
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/22/c_122315021.htm

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — The U.S. State Department said on Monday that its ambassador to Syria will not be able to meet the original schedule of returning to Damascus before the Thanksgiving holiday, which is due on Thursday.

The statement came after U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton on Friday said publicly for the first time that a civil war in Syria is possible.

Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokesperson, cited the ongoing violence on the ground in Syria and other countries’ decisions to withdraw ambassadors from Damascus as reasons for delaying the return of Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria.

She also said Washington doubted if Ford can effectively carry out his mission if he returns under the current circumstance, pushing back his new possible return date to the end of this year.

Ford left Syria last month, and the State Department insisted that he was asked to go home for consultations but not withdrawn or recalled.

The envoy had paid controversial visits to many restive areas in Syria in a show of support to anti-government protesters, as the Arab nation has been plagued by unrest since mid-March when protests erupted against Assad’s government. He was hit several times with eggs and tomatoes.

The U.S., its European allies and the Arab countries have ratcheted up the pressure on Syria. At its meeting in Morocco’s capital of Rabat on Wednesday, the Arab League formally suspended Syria’s membership, and gave President Bashar Assad’s government three days to implement a peace plan brokered by the bloc to halt the violence and allow in observers from the organization, or face economic sanctions.

International community is divided on how to settle the crisis in Syria. During her visit to Moscow on Thursday, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called for pressure on the Syrian government to stop the violence in the country, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believed that external forces are seeking to deteriorate the situation in Syria in order to justify their interference in Syria’s internal political affairs.

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November 21st, 2011, 5:20 pm

 

465. irritated said:

Humanist #458

It does change the fact that Erdogan feels free to crush with violence his own Kurdish citizens because they resort to the military option through the PKK to obtain basic rights that the democracy of Erdogan keeps refusing them.

“Like the EU, the US lists the PKK as a terrorist organisation, a categorisation passionately disputed by the main Kurdish national party, the BDP, which describes it as a “resistance” group.

“the BDP’s woefully under-reported congress in Ankara earlier this month produced an eight-point protocol or “road map” for what it called a democratic resolution; and it proposed resumed talks as a matter of urgency. “All identities, cultures, languages and religions must be protected by the constitution. As a basic principle there must be a constitutional nationality that is not founded on ethnicity,” it said.

“The right to speak in the mother tongue – including in public – must be universally protected by the constitution. Education in the mother tongue language must be recognised as a fundamental right … There must be a transition to a decentralised administration. With regards to autonomy, local, provincial and regional councils must have more powers,” a BDP summary of the protocol said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/21/erdogan-palestinian-kurds-abbas

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November 21st, 2011, 5:20 pm

 

466. irritated said:

#461

“Your time is uo Murtadeen of the Middle East. You will be hunted down, from Morocoo to UAE, from Syria to Yemen, Labbaik ya Ameer !!!”

A prophet is born! Prophet Tlass

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November 21st, 2011, 5:21 pm

 

467. amal said:

does anyone know where our little islamist jihadist haytham khoury went?

maybe he can make some calls and stop the sheding of inoccent blood in Egypt

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November 21st, 2011, 5:31 pm

 

468. Tara said:

Khaled

This time I will not retract and I will offer no apology. I am certain that you are a shabeeh and an infiltrator. You can deny all you want..And no matter how much you deny, it will not change the fact apparent to every anti-regime in SC and on Heetan. Take my word for it. Nice try though..

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November 21st, 2011, 5:31 pm

 

469. Khalid Tlass said:

467. TARA said:

“Khaled

This time I will not retract and I will offer no apology. I am certain that you are a shabeeh and an infiltrator. You can deny all you want..And no matter how much you deny, it will not change the fact apparent to every anti-regime in SC and on Heetan. Take my word for it. Nice try though..”

TARA, I say Allah is my witness. He knows what I am and what I am not, Alhamdulillah. What some people think does not bother me, be free to make your own assumptions. But I assure you I am on the side of the revolution, and I am on the side of a new order for the Middle East, the same order which Prophet Muhammad (saw) wanted. But since you do not know much abt religion, you will not understand my rhetoric. I am getting angry at the events of Egypt where hidden powers are trying to prevent the Salafis from gaining an election victory, hecne my anger at secular Arabs.

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November 21st, 2011, 5:37 pm

 

470. amal said:

mon petit con kalid. la mome elle n’ait pas musulman, et elle n’ait meme pas arab conard :D

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November 21st, 2011, 5:41 pm

 

471. zoo said:

The FSA changes its mind: we did not attack the Baath headquarter in Damascus

“On Sunday, the commander of a group of Syrian army defectors retracted earlier claims that his followers launched an unprecedented attack inside the capital, Damascus, in an embarrassing turnaround for the armed movement.

Riad al-Asaad, a Turkey-based air force colonel who heads the Free Syrian Army, said in a video posted on the group’s Facebook page Sunday evening that Assad’s government was trying to tarnish the image of the revolution.

“We did not target the party building in Damascus and we will not target any civilian installation,” said al-Asaad, who was wearing his military uniform.”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5htsI6Sl3oiaguRsuluG4EwU5FxNg?docId=42af4ca3e5f14be1ae4339c15fb672cc

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November 21st, 2011, 5:46 pm

 

472. Humanist said:

464. irritated

But it is also a fact that Kurdish rights greatly improved under AKP rule .

Much left of course , but still Turkish Kurds have much more “freedom” than those living in neightbooring countries (except Northern Iraq for obvious reasons ).

Kurds in Turkey now have their own TV and radio-channels, even their own nationalist party as you can see.

Do Syrian Kurds have anything of these things?

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November 21st, 2011, 5:47 pm

 

473. Tara said:

Khaled

Sorry Khaled. You are not pro-revolution. Although I do not practice much, I do know what needs to be known about Islam. You forgot what I told you about my family? It is exactly why I think you are a shabbeeh….There is no point of argument. This is my opinion and I consider the conversation closed.

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November 21st, 2011, 5:50 pm

 

474. amal said:

FSA as fu@&!n stupid a$$h@ls :D

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November 21st, 2011, 5:50 pm

 

475. Tara said:

Khaled,

One last thing before closing this conversation Khaled, I wouldn’t be surprised if you and AMAL are the same person… And I must admit that you are very smart.

Now the conversation is closed for good!

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November 21st, 2011, 5:55 pm

 

476. irritated said:

Humanist

Don’t you think ithat if Syria, Turkey and Iran give the Kurds more autonomy, more rights there will be a risk that all Kurds would then want to secede and reunite in the great Kurdistan?
Therefore countries are cautious in giving them rights that could embold them as they don’t want to loose part of their national land.

Yet Syria never had military operation against the ‘secessionists’ while Iraq did it and Iran and Turkey have not stopped doing it.

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November 21st, 2011, 6:04 pm

 

477. zoo said:

Erdogan ask Bahsar to go to the polls and let the Syrian people decide.

Bashar al-Assad’s days are numbered: Erdoğan
Monday, November 21, 2011
ISTANBUL
Erdoğan warns Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad that he cannot continue oppressing people with ‘tanks and guns,’ saying that his days are numbered and calling on him to go to the polls and let the Syrian people decide.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad yesterday that his days as leader were numbered and he could not remain in power indefinitely through military force.

Erdoğan said his one-time ally’s defiant refusal to end a bloody crackdown on protesters had increased the prospects of foreign intervention.

“You can remain in power with tanks and cannons only up to a certain point. The day will come when you’ll also leave,” Erdoğan told a meeting in Istanbul.

“Someone shows up and says, ‘I’ll fight and die.’ Against whom will you fight? Will you fight against your Muslim brothers you rule in your country?” said Erdoğan.

“If you trust yourself, go to the polls and let your people decide. If the polls lead you to power, then you may rule. But otherwise your office is only temporary,” he said.

The prime minister was referring to an interview with Assad published in London’s Sunday Times in which the Syrian leader vowed to fight and die for his position if faced with foreign intervention.

“Why do you open the way for outside interference?” asked Erdoğan. “Why don’t you handle your own problems within yourself, without opening the way for any outside interference?” Erdoğan also denounced the use of military force “against those in Syria who demand a decent life.”

Turkey has become increasingly vocal in its criticism of Assad’s bloody crackdown on protests against his regime. “The day will come for you to leave. Because those chairs are not permanent, we have mentioned this many times before. But Syrian President Bashar did not understand this,” said Erdoğan. Erdoğan accused Assad of deluding the Muslims in Syria by taking pictures with Muslim clerics. Killing Muslims with tanks and guns does not comply with Islam, said Erdoğan. Erdoğan also accused foreign powers who have financial interests in Libya, saying that Turkey only wants Libya to develop and does not have any other interest.

Turkey’s diplomatic missions came under attack by pro-government demonstrators in several Syrian cities earlier this month after Ankara voiced support for the Arab League’s decisioc to suspend Syria from the group.

After the attacks, Turkey demanded a formal apology from Syria, warning its citizens not to travel there unless absolutely necessary. Turkey last week announced a halt in joint oil exploration and threatened to cut electricity exports.

It also joined the Arab League at a meeting in Morocco in calling on the Assad regime “to stop the bloodshed and to spare Syrian citizens from new acts of violence and killing.”

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November 21st, 2011, 6:35 pm

 

478. sheila said:

Dear OFF THE WALL @377
No one could have described the situation in Syria better than that. I hope each one of us who lived in Syria, can read your post and remember how it was, maybe it will help us understand why we are here today.

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November 21st, 2011, 7:09 pm

 

479. Tara said:

Zoo@476

See #407. Jealous?

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November 21st, 2011, 7:32 pm

 

480. sheila said:

Dear Revlon,
I absolutely am in awe of your very well organized and methodical thought process. However, I still have to disagree with you. Here is my reasoning:
Syria today is in a state of total chaos. Horrible things are happening and it is almost impossible to verify who is doing what. I disagree with the pack mentality. I would like to follow the prophet Mohammad on this one: help my brother when he is oppressed, but also help him when he is the oppressor, by stopping him from doing so.
As precise as your method of verification is, you have to admit that it is impossible to carry out in the current conditions on the ground, Ghalioun can not possibly verify anything on the ground in a scientific way. Yet, he has the moral obligation to remind us all to be patient and eschew vengeance. I disagree with your premise that the SNC are serving their client: the opposition and that “Every single statement or action by an advocate should serve the interests of the client. Under no condition, the advocate’s actions or statements should undermine the client’s interests or cause”. I would like to contend that the SNC’s client is Syria. They represent all the Syrian people and that includes the army, the pro-regime crowd and the bystanders. They have to defend the country from the regime Mafia. The day they start acting like puppets, following a set script, is the day that they should loose our respect.
Ghalioun’s statement was a voice of reason and prudent advocacy. He is acknowledging the difficulties that the people on the ground are encountering and allowing them to be human, while calling on them to exercise restraint. Even though we believe in “an eye for an eye“, but we also believe that forgiveness is at its most noble, when you have the ability to inflict pain on your enemy (borrowing from the Quran).
I hope you can see my point of view. I definitely, understand yours.

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November 21st, 2011, 9:23 pm

 

481. Khalid Tlass said:

74. Tara said:

“Khaled,

One last thing before closing this conversation Khaled, I wouldn’t be surprised if you and AMAL are the same person… And I must admit that you are very smart.

Now the conversation is closed for good!”

Good heavens !!! Some people think I’m Aboud, while some think I’m Amal. TARA, as I said, Allah knows who I really am.

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November 22nd, 2011, 4:25 am

 

482. Khalid Tlass said:

TARA, the problem is that I look upon this revolution, and in fact , on the whole Arab spring, from a religious viewppoint. It is a religious concern for me, and we have our own interests. Total weakening of the Syrian, Lebanese, Iraqi and other Iran-allied regimes, further strenghthening of the Saudi and allied regimes, if possible, total destruction of Iraqi regime and re-imposing Baathist rule in Iraq under followers of Saddam; strengthening of March 14 in Lebanon, TOTAL destruction of Syrian regime and large scale killing of all regime figures, sympathizers and officials; absolute mastery of Sunnis in Syria and Iraq. I have my own agenda, unfortuately you don;t understand that and think I;m a Shabbih.

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November 22nd, 2011, 4:32 am

 

483. Jason Rocklin said:

Dear President Obama or somone: Please do something about ending the bloodshed in Syria and ending the fightint in Caira and get the Syrians to have a cease-fire in Syria and get the U.N. Army to get U.N. Army planes to come to Syria and Egypt to get the poor Syrian and Egyptian civilions to flee from sectarianviolence and or bloodshed to safer refugee countries like Canada and all other safer countries.

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November 24th, 2011, 3:22 pm

 

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