Saudi king prays with Rif’at al-Asad in Mecca

Posted by Alex

12 October 2007

BBC Monitoring Middle East

Source: Quds Press news agency, London, in Arabic 12 Oct 07

Images broadcast by Saudi and Arab satellite channels showing King Abdallah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz performing Id al-Fitr prayers in the holy mosque in Mecca today, Friday, with former Syrian Vice-President Rif'at al-Asad near him have angered the Syrians, elite and ordinary people. Writers and human right activists viewed this as a political use of a losing card against the Syrian regime "but with total disregard for all principles, norms, and values".

rifaat-saudis.jpg

(old photo of Rifaat Assad/ Source unofficial Rifaat Assad's site)

In Damascus, ranking political circles that spoke to Quds Press and requested that their identities remain undisclosed described this as "a bad and ill-timed message" and viewed it as interference in Syria's domestic affairs. "The Saudi monarch's appearance next to Rif'at al-Asad in the holy mosque in Mecca is a bad and ill-timed message from King Abdallah. It tries to torpedo what is left of Arab solidarity through a bad message and interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state," the circles said. The political circles warned the Saudi leaders against playing such cards. "This is not the first time the Saudis receive Syrian opposition figures. They know very well that if Syria opens its doors to the Saudi opposition, the gates of hell will open on the Saudis."

rifaat.jpg

The circles said the political message that the Saudi monarch's audience with Rif'at al-Asad in Mecca sends is very clear; namely, that "the Saudi policy lost its sensibility and associated itself with the plan of the neoconservatives, specifically (US Vice-President) Dick Cheney through (Saudi Crown Prince) Prince Sultan (Bin-Abd-al-Aziz)."

For his part, Haytham al-Malih, a Syrian lawyer and human rights activist, said he was very surprised at the reception that the Saudi leadership accorded Rif'at al-Asad.

In an exclusive statement to Quds Press, Al-Malih said: "Rif'at al-Asad is a criminal politician who must be brought to trial for perpetrating a massacre in Tadmur in which 913 prisoners were killed. He was the one who forcibly removed the veils of Muslim women in Damascus streets, stole Hamah antiquities, and violated the honour of the city's women. How could the custodian of the two holy mosques receive him and perform prayers next to him?"

Al-Malih said the political dimension of the reception is clear to everyone, but it is just a political dimension with no religious association. "I am really surprised at this matter, which proves that politics has no religion. But we, as Muslims, believe that politics has religion. This is why I strongly denounce this. I do not think Rif'at al-Asad should be received anywhere, certainly not in a place like Mecca."

In Paris, Haytham Manna, spokesman for the Arab Human Rights Committee, criticized the official Saudi reception of Rif'at al-Asad and said the Saudi leadership cannot stoop to the level of receiving "those who committed crimes against humanity."

He added: "As acknowledged by two courts in Europe, Rif'at al-Asad committed crimes against humanity, crimes that neither time nor pilgrimage can drop. One must pay the price of his sins so that he can meet his God while clean."

Manna said the hosting of Rif'at al-Asad is one of the sides of the Saudi-Syrian differences. "If there are Syrian-Saudi differences, this does not justify Saudi Arabia's attempt to use all means, including some criminals, and employ the media to harm others," he said.

He added: "I don't think that the wisdom of a person like King Abdallah allows him to use losing cards in political conflicts." He said the reception reflects Saudi Arabia's position towards a number of issues. This position, he added, "has become personalized. It is no longer a wise political position befitting the weight of the kingdom. Rif'at al-Asad does not represent Islam, and in Mecca specifically, the end does not justify the means."

Source: Quds Press news agency, London, in Arabic 12 Oct 07

Comments (52)


EHSANI2 said:

The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia has just sent a devastating symbolic statement to the Syrian leadership. This is a major escalation between the two leaders. Time to fasten those seat belts.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 9:24 pm

 

Nour said:

When people like Farid Ghadry, Abdel-Halim Khaddam, and Rif’at el-Assad are propped up as representatives of the opposition all it does in effect is discredit the genuine opposition groups and individuals.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 10:39 pm

 

idaf said:

It seems that Saudi has just shot itself in the foot with regards to its Syria policies. It just lost any remaining credibility among ordinary Syrians (pro and anti-Bashar alike). Rifaat is even less popular in Syria than Khaddam or Ghadry (if this is even possible!)

This can be read in one of two ways:
(1) It effectively means that the Saudi leadership had come to the conclusion that the Khaddam-Bayanouni (NSF) card had proven to be useless and that it’s time to try another one vis a vis Syria. Especially given that Rifaat is the incarnation of the devil among the Muslim brotherhood and Bayanouni personally.

(2) There’s a rumor that one of Rifaat’s wives is the sister of one of king Abdullah’s wives!! If this is true then this is simply a family visit (BUT showing this on TV when it comes to the well-controlled Saudi financed media is hard to read as an innocent mistake).

In either case, I can see the Syrian leadership now laughing with triumph while reading this news! Saudi has just lost more popularity points inside Syria and Lebanon.

PS. Ehsani,
If only I had a dime for every time you used the term “time to fasten those seatbelts” regarding Syria in the last 2 years 🙂

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:03 pm

 

Majhool said:

Alex,

I checked the Quds Al-Arabi and could not find the article as I doubted the “…near him have angered the Syrians, elite and ordinary people”

here is the achive for that date.

http://www.alquds.co.uk/archives/2007/10Oct/12OctFri/

Let me know.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:10 pm

 

Majhool said:

“They know very well that if Syria opens its doors to the Saudi opposition, the gates of hell will open on the Saudis.”

That sounds like something you would write Alex. do you write for Quds Press?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:13 pm

 

idaf said:

On a lighter note:

As is the case with Ramadan every year.. Once more, Syrian Soap Opera Captivates Arab World

You should be able to see this one live in the museum of Aleppo soon: 11,000 years old: World’s oldest wall painting unearthed in Syria

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:15 pm

 

Alex said:

IDAF,

The king is married to the sister of Rifaat’s wife.

And there is a similar relationship to the March 14th candidate for next president of Lebanon Nasib Lahoud.

But I’m sure that this is a complete coincidence : )

I’m sure the King is not trying to spread Saudi Influence to Bilad el-sham.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:16 pm

 

Majhool said:

It’s funny how they use what Maleh said to make the regime look better.

Aside from Rifaat, those involved in the Tadmor killings are still alive and well in Syria. if anything, they should round them up an trial them.

Up untill very recently 1999 Riffat was our VP…#an jad maskhara

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:16 pm

 

Nour said:

You’re in the wrong site, Majhool. The web address is http://www.qudspress.com .

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:19 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

I am surprised,there has to be an explanation by the Saudi king,soon,this is a major insult to Bashar,it means he expects him to be removed soon,I think Khaddam and Rifaat are cooperating through the Saudi,since they can not work togather publicly.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:19 pm

 

Majhool said:

Nour,

I am yet to see you critize any current regime figure. you only criticize those who defect!! How about some balance?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:21 pm

 

ausamaa said:

Saudi is shit scared of Syria for some unfathomable resason. Is it because they have discovered that Syria and its allies influence (Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and the Arab Street) can margenalise Saudi financial influence in the area? Or are Al Saud taking off the Mask to show their real face and role which most Arabs always suspected but always chose to to give it the benifit of the doubt.

But my guess; Saudi Arabia is taking a big gamble if it chooses to intimidate or antagonise Syria or to wash its hands of Syria in anticipation of an anticipated Israli/ US action against Iran and Syria. Bush did it and it is getting him no where, even Israel realised that it had to take Syria seriously. Jordan learnt the same lesson long before.

But with Saudi rulers, it seems that in the end it is the Saudi regiem’s saftey and self-determined interests that take precedent overall other things.

The recent actions of Saudi Arabia’s leaders towards Syria resemble the revenge, confusion and the actions of a dissapointed girlfriend discarded by her married partner who has informed her affair is wrong and that their and that he has decided return to his wife.

Is Paraying with Riffat the indirect Answer to what they heard from Nassralllah last week?

With a Shi”at state looming on its Eastern boared, and a possible Palestinian-Israli arrangement that affects Jordan in the North, and with Iran (syria’s ally for over four decades) What a smart Saudi policy is to antagonise Syria? Or should we say smart policy “Makers”?

Are they Smart enough or Stupid enough to play games beiiger than their earl size? They were stupid enough to set Sadam against Iran in the eighties, attempting to side line both Iraq and Iran, and in the end end they woke up to him knocking on their door in 1990 and with Iran getting the upper hand recently. I guess whoever controls Saudi policy is too young to remember such a blunder.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:25 pm

 

Majhool said:

Does “atharat hafizat” in arabic means caused anger? I prefer “troubled”.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:27 pm

 

Majhool said:

Asuma

You said: “Saudi is shit scared of Syria ”

Ya3ni, la twakhezna, if they were so scared then they would be making freinds with the syrians. KSA decided to escilate, I don’t see fear in that.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:31 pm

 

Nour said:

Majhool,

This is not an equal opportunity task, where for every “opposition” figure I criticize I have to criticize a regime figure. The fact is that I do criticize this regime for a lot of things and if you had read some of my posts yesterday you would realize that.

However, to me, the biggest crime and the most dishonorable act you can commit is to collaborate with foreigners against your country, knowing full well what the intention and agenda of those foreigners are. In fact, I do not believe people such as Rif3at Assad, Khaddam, Bayanouni, or Ghadry are opposition figures, as they are mere collaborators. I respect the true opposition in Syria and those who have truly struggled inside the country to bring about real change. I have no respect for individuals living in luxury in foreign capitals, planning how to bring themselves to power with the help of foreign armies.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:34 pm

 

Majhool said:

Nour,

I just don’t recall you criticizing Khaddam when he was in power? What about Tlas, his sons, Shihabi and his sons? or should we wait until they defect for you to find out that they were bad people?

So according to your moral standards, it’s Not OK to collaborate with foreigners against your country, but it’s OK for you heros in the regime to kill and jail inoocent people?? Is is only bad when it comes from outside? it’s bad to live in luxury in london as an opposition but it’s Ok to be a mafia-like “mas2ou;” living in luxury in Damascus??

I think people of Hama disagree with you greatly.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:36 pm

 

ausamaa said:

Majhool,

Wallaw, ya sayed el arfeen!

You can either Befriend the one who is scaring you, or you can try to Fight him. And Saudi seems to be, or is “acting” as if, it is chosing a confrontational path with Syria. Why?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:48 pm

 

ausamaa said:

Majhool,

And for God’s sake, Hama was years and years ago, and the people (hundreds and most of them innocent bystandars) who were killed by the actions or at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood have not forgotten their dead too. We keep talking about Hama as if it was a Karballa’a.

And the rich in Syria are not the regime-connected ones only. THere is an active and well-kicking Merchant and Money making society. It is not like only Baathies drive BMWs and Volvos in Syria. So does many many of the non-Bathist rich, and non-non-Bathists rich ones seem to all have big bellies and some sort of a Beard!

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 12th, 2007, 11:57 pm

 

Nour said:

Majhool,

Did you even know me when Khaddam was in power? How do you know I didn’t criticize him back then? I have always criticized the regime in Syria.

And where did I say that it was ok for the regime to kill and jail innocent people? Or that the people in the regime are my heroes? So I have to either be pro-regime or pro-khaddam/bayanouni/ghadry/ref3at? What kind of twisted logic is that?

But when someone collaborates with foreigners to bring them into his/her country, yes, to me, that is the lowest of the lows and the most disgraceful, dishonorable thing you can do. And when I mentioned those people living in luxury in foreign capitals, I wasn’t comparing them to people in the regime, but rather to ordinary opposition individuals inside Syria.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 1:00 am

 

offended said:

Majhool; ‘athart hafithat’ means ‘stirred the wrathe’…

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 1:12 am

 

offended said:

It is important to note that the Iftar party which King Abdullah of Saudi arabi have made the day before in honor(!) of his guest Refa’t Al Asad, was also attended by King Abdullah II of Jordan…
If the Saudis were planning on changing the regime in Syria through Ref’at (a far fetched plan with or without him) then their selection of the timing, place and personality has failed miserably…in fact, this will just boost the popularity of the regime even more…
However, it could have been simply a matter of entertaining a relative ( an in-law of some sort…) and in this case, it might have been meant to send a stealth message to the Syrian regime that the Saudis are capable of causing turbulences if they wanted to…

But for fu*k sake, why would the Saudis join hands with those (Khaddam, Refa’t) who have been contributors to the grievances of the same people the Saudis are purportedly trying to help?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 1:36 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

What is the difference between Khadam/Rifat and Bashar? It is like having twelve or a dozen. Same mafioso thug. But when Bashar is overthrown one can put Khadam or Rifat in place and make sure that the chaos that happened in Iraq won’t happen in Syria. That is the short term plan. I don’t like it very much but as a first step of getting Syria away from Iran I can live with it since it will stabilize the middle east. For the people of Syria it won’t make any difference.

Now all we need is to wait for Bashar to make a mistake. I think it will happen in Lebanon, and if not the tribunal will do the work.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 1:57 am

 

offended said:

another Israeli guy;

Don’t hold your breath, Bashar is not going to make the ‘mistake’ you’re looking for…

Besides, if you don’t realize what is the difference between Khaddam and Refa’t on the one hand and Bashar on the other, then you know nothing about the current belief system of the Syrian people….

Khaddam and stability, or even worse, Refat and stability don’t synchronize well in one sentence. We had a bitter experience with Refa’at as a thug and thief (see how well he is recived by the allies of the United States!?),,, Khaddam was a parasite, hypocrite and thief as well… there is not Syrian in his right mind who would accept a bad leader imposed form outside…

And please stop patronizing and talk with this tone like you’ve got the key of the game and you can pull the strings that you like… it is not gonna happen!

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 2:08 am

 

antika said:

i like the comment “hell will be opened”…please syrian off. stop these silly comments…you make people laugh and laugh and reveal you as a gang of street pirates….riffaat is a relative and there is nothing wrong…even among the readers’ comments i feel there is a sense of unreality

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 2:20 am

 

EHSANI2 said:

IDAF,

I will make sure that I don’t use the term again.

Please note that some of us may not possess your collective, calm and strategic thinking attributes. The rest of us seem to regrettably be of the emotional, impulsive and theatrical type.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 2:44 am

 

norman said:

It is time for Syria to support the opposition to the Saudi royal Family and there are many of these , the gloves should be removed , It is time for Syria to fight back these traitors.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 2:47 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Offended,

There is not one milimitter of difference between Bashar and Khadam. Both learned all they know from Hafez and have the same mafia values. Either in power, the Syrians won’t notice the difference.

And by the way, really, which leader cares about what the Syrian people think? They will follow Khaddam for the same reason that they follow Bashar, fear of personal harm and fear of chaos.

When Hafez replaced Atassi no one noticed and no one cared. Same when Khadam will replace Bashar. Yes, you will write on blogs but do nothing because you will be afraid.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 2:57 am

 

Nour said:

AIG,

Bashar is not going to be removed, and the International Tribunal is not going to show anything, you can mark my words. And as Offended said, spare us your patronizing tone and your insult of the Syrian people. Let us worry about our leaders, and you worry about yours. Most Syrians don’t like Rif’at or Khaddam, whether you accept that or not. Most Syrians may not love Bashar but do support him, especially in the current state where threats are coming from all sides. So relax, and don’t hold your breath, as what you wish to happen in Syria will never occur.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 3:48 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,

If there were real free elections in Syria would Bashar be elected? No. The Syrians do not support Bashar, they fear him. There is a big difference. And as I said, nothing will happen to Syria since Bashar and Khadam are the same. You won’t even notice the difference.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 4:05 am

 

Enlightened said:

Offended Said;

“Khaddam and stability, or even worse, Refat and stability don’t synchronize well in one sentence. We had a bitter experience with Refa’at as a thug and thief (see how well he is recived by the allies of the United States!?),,, Khaddam was a parasite, hypocrite and thief as well…”

Offended it is a major pre requisite on any mid east politician to have on his cv in bold print in bold letters, Thief, Thug, Hypocrite,parasite, Murderer etc etc etc etc

It is amazing on this site whenever Khaddam, The brotherhood, Rifaat etc etc are mentioned in the media, those that comment here whip themselves into a frenzy about those in opposition. Lets be realistic here those in power are no better than those in the opposition. Syrians and Syria need real politicians who respect the law and have the future well being of Syria’s citizens in mind.

It is safe to say that no one apart from Kilo or Riad Seif or Mamoun Homsi ( feel free to add any I have missed) are true patriots of the highest moral order, they should be the platform, not the clowns in power, nor those in opposition.

There is nothing in the King hosting Rifaat , they are brother in laws, I dont see this as a veiled threat to Syria, but I am sure the government will whip this up into a frenzy, paranoid that it is!

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 4:25 am

 

why-discuss said:

Bashar has played very astutely until now using his alliance with Iran, his connections in Iraq and the palestinian resistance against the pressure from the arab US allies into accepting US supremacy in the region. Even if Syria is not militarily strong, its geopolitic alliances with strong neighbors make it indispensable if a solution to the region should emerge. Bush is starting to realize that as he is preparing the november conference.
While syrians suffer from a poor economy, watching the iraqi refugees running away from the ‘democratic’ system in Iraq, they must feel so grateful to Bashar! The US , by its actions in the region have greatly and irreversibly reinforced Iran and Syria’s regimes.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 4:33 am

 

Nour said:

AIG,

How do you know Bashar wouldn’t win in a free election? You make such a categorical statement, as if you truly know what the outcome would be. You know nothing about Syria, have never been to Syria, and yet find yourself qualified to make hasty conclusions about the country. To tell you the truth, I don’t know exactly what the outcome would be if Khaddam was brought into power, but I guarantee you that the vast majority of Syrians do not like Khaddam, and to think that he can easily be installed into power without any ramifications in the country sounds a little unrealistic.

Besides, regardless of what the nature of Bashar or Khaddam are, or whether or not the Syrians would feel the difference, the US has no right to go around determining who should rule what country. And all the US is doing with its twisted, idiotic policy is ensuring the wrath of a great portion of the world. The US is going to pay dearly if it continues with this insane policy being pursued by this ridiculously depraved and morally bankrupt administration.

P.S. You wouldn’t happen to be “Forward Vision” from the FPM forum, would you?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 5:41 am

 

Youssef Hanna said:

Dear All,

As appears from the report posted by Alex, the spokesman of the Arab HR Committee regrets that the position of the King regarding relations with the Syrian Regime “has become personalized”.

Why “personalized”?

A surprising declaration by Minister Farouk el Sharaa, may serve as a reminder of the cause for “shakhssana”, not only from the King of SA, but also, and maybe more, from the part of the then French President, Chirac.

About the deterioration of relations in the wake of the killing of Hariri, Sharaa surprisingly declared, to Le Monde (March 3, 2007): “President Chirac dealt with the matter in a way that is tribal”.

I agree with Minister Sharaa: when his close friend is murdered, a modern Head of State shd not be blinded by his desire for revenge.

Yet the imperative of fighting the accusation of murder commands that Minister Sharaa be forbidden from giving interviews in a foreign language and to a foreign media.

Best regards

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 8:46 am

 

offended said:

Another Israeli Guy;
Let me put it to you this way:
As long as there is an outside pressure on Syria, Bashar is going to win any elections.
As long as the neocons wish for Bashar to be removed from power, we the Syrian people are going to wish otherwise.
In the neutral circumstances (namely when it is none of your business to suggest if Bashar is going to win elections or that Khaddam will be of no difference), Bashar may or may not win elections. But as long as you are throwing your suggestions according to your whims and to your agenda, he’s going to win the elections hands down…

I hope that helps!

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 9:37 am

 

offended said:

And you thought American politicians are better?

Retired Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez also labelled US political leaders as “incompetent” and “corrupted”.

He said they would have faced courts martial for dereliction of duty had they been in the military.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7042805.stm

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 9:41 am

 

ausamaa said:

Actually, Saudies have PERSONALIZED that relationship since the Harriri assasination. We can understand ceazy, opportunistic and impulsive Jumblat, JaJa, Hamadeh and the rest of this tribe in ACCUSING Syria of Murdering Harriri without having any evidence at all. And the evidence have still not been shown two years later. But how can a seemingly supportive or balanced leadership just like the Saudi one used to be called, jump on the wagon and join the accuse Syria crowd of the Harriri murder within days of its happening? Is that Calm, Realistic and Fair? You can accepts dummies doing voicing such accusation, and you can accept Bush and the neo-cons (being an enemy of Syria) jumping on the chance and accusing Syria alone, But Saudi? Egypt? and the rest of the Moderates? We are talking about GOVERNMENTS. What happened to their reasoning powers to commit such stupidities? What happened to beyound reasonable doubt? Did they recive a Vision from God that Syria killed al Harriri within ywo days of his assasnation?

If their behaviour proves any thing, now or before, is that they were part and Parcel of the neo-cons approach to the area, including Clean Break and Creative Instability. They were all along the servants of the neo-cons but in subtle, sly and unapparent manner. WE can fool ourselves by accepting that they are Moderats. In the battle of the survival of their own regimes, they will stop at nothing.
They lured Saddam to attack Iran in the eighties hoping to have Iran and Iraq destriy each other so that they ca become the strong power and lost, then, they Brought in US troops in 1990 to topple Saddam and to defend themselves, and when even that did not work, they brought in the Bush II troops to change the face of the area. To their dissapointment; nothing seemed to work. And they keep getting themselves from one dangerous position to another. And it is obvious that their Anger with Syria is a direct result and is proportional to the degree of Failure that it is facing the Bush and the neo-cons plane. Actually, they are more scared and upset than their Masters.

Moderates my Ass. What have they done with all their money and influence to help the Palestinan People. If not on the political front, then on the human level. The $100 mil or $50 mil they keep donating once in a while is a FRACTION of the extra money they have floating around. What have they done to help Lebanon? Be it with Lebanon’s $ 40 Billion debt or with rebulding the destroyed homes, roads and bridges. What have they done to the three million IRAQI refugees stranded in Syria and Jordan? How much have they donated to that human cause? Let alone what have they done to their own people where poverty and backwardness are still evident in thier backyard?

And I d not know who above who commented that Riffat’s visit is a family matter, for God’s sake. Rifatt has contacted the royal photographers, had them take the pictures, and then sent them through the Saudi “open” media!!!!

Of course it is a message. A message of HALF MEN stupidly playing with fire as they stupidly did and lost before. A message indicative of the growing frustration which thier Masters Project is facing in the area. They and their Masters have lost their gamble as they did in the eighties, nineties and they are desperate of the Fauilre that is looming in front of them. And the curtains of that failure are not fully down yet, which is having a heavy toll on their brains and nerves.

They can talk in public, do you expect they can think and strategize in private? They can only follow, and stupidly at that.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 10:09 am

 

ausamaa said:

BTW, how could an indebted Trurkey which is pulling by tooh and nail to joine the EU (and the US support is crucial) say NO to the US use of its airspace or land to invade Iraq because it thought that the step is Bad for Turkey, while the Saudies with all their clout, money and influense, could not say NO to the use of thier land or Air space by the US, or even to sway the US from attacking Iraq which the SAudies “claimed in public” that it was a bad move?

Either Saudi& Company have less influence with Bush than Turkey, or that they were saying something in Public and doing something else in Private? That is; either they are irrelevant, or they are lying (a wolf in a sheep’s skin as usual).

I opt for the second.

Exceuse me, but whoever had the “power” to fly the family of Bin Laden out of Saudi in the days immediately follwing Sept 11 (the biggest national blow in the History of the US) when even US airlines could not fly and Bush was in real Shock and Anger, is not someone who can “claim” that they have no sway with the Bush Admin.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 10:50 am

 

Ghassan said:

“viewed it as interference in Syria’s domestic affairs.” AND ” interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state,” The Syrian is getting what has been doing for the last 30 years: interfering in other Arab countries business. In Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq and years ago in Jordan!!! The Syrian regime is being treated the way is treating the others!!! Stop interfering in other countries business and no one will interfere in its business!

“It tries to torpedo what is left of Arab solidarity”. Are you kidding? What Arab solidarity you are talking about? Arab solidarity when the Syrian regime stops creating chaos and instability in Iraq, Gaza, and Lebanon!

“warned the Saudi leaders”. Again, “Asad fi Lubnan, kelb fi Golan!!!” The Syrian regime is now threatening the Saudis. What happened to the retaliation against the Israelis after Israel destroyed the “unused military under construction building” in Deir Zour?

One last thing, Hamma massacre is the responsibility of the whole Syrian regime and they will pay for sooner or later!

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 12:53 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,

Well then, if Bashar is so sure he will win real free elections, let him declare them. I promise to keep advocating for his removal and let us see if he really gets re-elected. The extent to which Bashar suppresses freedom of speech shows how afraid he is of the people.

You behaviour is childish. You determine what leaders you want based on external pressure and not on what is best for Syria. Bashar needs to go. You are never going to get rid of him yourself, therefore an external intervention is required.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 1:54 pm

 

Alex said:

Ghassan,

Your anger and call for revenge is what makes the Middle East the bloody place it is.

Revenge is criminal.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 5:27 pm

 

Alex said:

Asahrq al-Awsat confirms the story. Senior members of the royal family …. and Rifaat Assad (?) joined the Saudi king for the Eid prayer.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 5:31 pm

 

Nour said:

AIG,

We don’t need external interference to take care of our business. You are looking out for the interest of Israel, so I understand why you yourself are itching to have Syria attacked. But we know our country and our people, and we know that the problem is not confined in a single person. There has to be many changes on the social and political level before we can expect to have a modern, advanced state, and we all know that. So spare us your lectures and your lessons.

An external interference by the US, in service of Israel, is not going to be beneficial to Syria; it is only beneficial to Israel, much like the attack on Iraq was. We know where you are coming from and what interest you have in mind, so please don’t patronize us and pretend like you care in the least bit about the Syrian people. We will build our country and take care of our business without the need for any outside involvement that is aimed at subduing us.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 7:33 pm

 

ausamaa said:

The angrier some guys get here, the better things must be getting in and are for Syria.

But what I love most is Akbar Palace, Israeliguy and Another Israeliguy, when the worry about and make speaches about Democracy, Freedom of Speach and what is GOOD FOR THE SYRIAN PEOPLE!

They are so concerned, caring, and knowledgable about Syria and its people that they make me feel embarassed that we Syrians see them as Sly Opportunists, Murderers, Killers and Stealers of Land and Life in the Middle East.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 13th, 2007, 11:34 pm

 

sam said:

I keep writing theses same lines….. Bashar will be in power long after both King Abdullas, the whole Hariri family, the Mubareks, the Abu mazens, whoever the hell will be PM of the Isreali enemy. Please stop the speculations, Kaddam and Rifat would be strung up like Muselinni if they were put in power. QUIT DREAMING ANTI-SYRIANS, The Assad will be pres even after our own chidren have children.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 14th, 2007, 2:31 am

 

ausamaa said:

SAM,

I beleive so. It will also depend on how old your children are!

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 14th, 2007, 8:09 am

 

Ghassan said:

Alex,
I am talking about justice not revenge. I am talking about law and order not the language of the street and jungle!!

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 14th, 2007, 1:10 pm

 

Bakri said:

Sam and Aussamaa,if asad is your god this is your problem but who said that the israelis are working days and nights to overthrow the asads ?i’m sure that inspite all their hypocrit slogans , you are aware that the opposite is true.You are right to believe that the asads will stay long time in power,a weak,poor and oppressed people is not bad for the israelis but go understand why regime cronies are forcing their wives to give birth in western countries and are amassing billions of US dollars.Anyway ,change must be the less damageable possible and the alawites should not fear it because the culture of revenge is not ours ,this is what history has proven in Syria.And if prof Dalila is still alive ,the syrian people,sunnis before the alawites will be proud to see him president of Syria but we know that these people are not interested in power but they are suffering for the sake of justice and freedom.
Eid Mubarak

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 14th, 2007, 5:30 pm

 

Alex said:

But Ghassan, everyone calls it justice too… it sounds better than revenge. But in the middle east “justice” and “revenge” lead to the same endless chaos through future counter-revenge.

This reminds me of this Jordanian cartoon. on You Tube : )

Eid Mubarak Bakri.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 14th, 2007, 5:50 pm

 

ausamaa said:

Bakri Says,

“i’m sure that inspite all their hypocrit slogans , you are aware that the opposite is true.”

Man, we know, but we have a living to make and we have a “job” to do. Especially with the 50% salary bonous the President gave earlier this month. So please, bear with us, me, if I keep voicing things I do not believe in.

BTW, who is prof Dalila? First time I hear his name? Seriously. Even if he is a very good man, can you tell me how many Syrians know of him, what party he comanded, what grass root support he enjoys, and how many Armed Divisions would follow his orders. And, since he has passed away as you mention, would his presence as President of the Syrian Arab Republic had changed the Bush-necons plan or Clean Break or Creative Stability or having Iraq fractured by the US forces? My God as you call him, happens to be in power at such time, and I think he has done a great job in keeping Syria Safe, United, and True to its line. I would love it if my God whom you mentioned can make Syria much better, and I believe HE also love that to happen too.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 14th, 2007, 10:51 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Anotherisraeli

Israelis should clean up their messy, irresponsible and corrupted leaders, like Olmert, but maybe they need an external intervention?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 15th, 2007, 4:06 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Why-Discuss,

If you think Israelis cannot change their leaders themselves and are stuck, I given you permission to interfere and change the leaders for us. I am dead serious. So go for it. I certainly plan to do the same for you.

But let’s see, since the two thugs Hafez/Bashar have taken office how many leaders have been changed in Israel:
Meir, Rabin, Begin, Shamir, Peres, Shamir, Rabin, Netanyahu, Barak, Sharon, Olmert

And Olmert is being investigated for alleged crimes he has committed. Is Bashar being investigated for any of his corrupt practices or human rights violations?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 15th, 2007, 11:15 am

 

wizart said:

Pope visits Golan Heights
Pope John Paul visits Quneitra

The pope was greeted by cheering crowds in Quneitra
Pope John Paul II has wound up a politically sensitive three-day visit to Syria, after visiting a ruined town in the Golan Heights.

The pontiff led prayers at an abandoned church in the Syrian-held ghost town of Quneitra, calling upon the peoples of the Middle East to “tear down the walls of hostility and division”.

From this place, so disfigured by war, I wish to raise my heart and voice in prayer for peace in the Holy Land

Pope John Paul II
He also offered special prayers for the latest victims of the Israeli-Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip.

Syrian officials were eager to show the Pope the town, 65km (40 miles) south of Damascus, which was destroyed by the Israelis before being handed back to Syria in 1974.

Syria has deliberately left Quneitra in ruins as a memorial to what it calls Israel’s barbaric behaviour.

Thousands of former Quneitra residents were bussed in for the Pope’s visit, during which he also planted an olive tree as a symbol of peace.

Correspondents say the visit once again plunged the Pope into an explosive political arena, reviving memories of his visit to Israel last year, when he saw the situation from the other side of the Golan.

The BBC’s David Willey says that, while the pontiff is likely to be well aware of the propaganda value to Syria of the Quneitra visit, he believes the town to be a fitting place to underline his calls for Middle East peace.

Pope arrives in Quneitra

The pontiff has persisted with his calls for a renunciation of violence amidst a barrage of insults being hurled between Syria and Israel.

As the Pope arrived in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad made a impassioned speech labelling Israelis as “the betrayers of Jesus”.

The verbal onslaught continued on Monday, with Syria accusing the Israelis of a long history of crimes against Palestinians and against sites sacred to Muslims and Christians.

“The contemporary Zionists are the same as those Jews who were fought by Jesus Christ who in turn uncovered their hypocrisy and crimes,” read a front-page editorial in the government daily Tishreen newspaper.

On Sunday, Israel’s President Moshe Katsav called on the pope to reject such sentiments, calling them “racist” and “anti-semitic”.

Historic visit

The Pope made history on Sunday by becoming the first Roman Catholic pontiff to set foot in a mosque, where he prayed for peace in the Middle East.

Christian Syrians greet Pope John Paul II on his arrival in Damascus

The Pope has received an enthusiastic welcome in Syria
In an address at the Umayyad mosque, he said Muslims and Christians should “offer each other forgiveness” for all the times they “have offended one another”.

A plan to offer joint Muslim-Christian prayers was dropped, apparently for fear of wounding Muslim sensitivities.

But our correspondent says that at the end of his visit to Syria, the Pope can claim a considerable personal success in the warm welcome he received not only from the small Catholic community, but also from Christians of all the other various denominations present in the country.

The Pope travels on Tuesday to the Mediterranean island of Malta, where more than 90% of the population is Catholic.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

April 15th, 2008, 8:19 pm