“Stay Out of Syria,” by Joshua Landis in Foreign Policy

Stay Out of Syria
Foreign intervention to topple Bashar al-Assad’s bloody regime risks a fiasco on par with Iraq and Afghanistan.
BY JOSHUA LANDIS | JUNE 5, 2012 | Foreign Policy

Let’s be clear: Washington is pursuing regime change by civil war in Syria. The United States, Europe, and the Gulf states want regime change, so they are starving the regime in Damascus and feeding the opposition. They have sanctioned Syria to a fare-thee-well and are busy shoveling money and helping arms supplied by the Gulf get to the rebels. This will change the balance of power in favor of the revolution. It is also the most the United States can and should do.

President Barack Obama does not want to intervene directly in Syria for obvious reasons, and he is right to be cautious. The United States has failed at nation-building twice before in the Middle East. The Libyan example of limited intervention by using air power alone could suck the United States into a protracted and open-ended engagement. One cannot compare Libya to Syria. The former is a relatively small, homogeneous, and wealthy society. Syria has a population four times larger, which is poor and wracked by an increasingly violent civil war across religious lines. Moreover, the chance that the United States can end the killing in Syria by airpower alone is small.

The argument that the United States could have avoided radicalization and civil war in Iraq by toppling Saddam Hussein in 1991 is unconvincing. Similar arguments are now being offered to talk Americans into jumping into Syria. Iraq was not a mature nation-state and was likely to fall apart. The fact that it imploded into civil war when the United States roto-rootered Saddam’s regime should have been expected.

U.S. intervention in Syria will likely lead to something similar: civil war and radicalization. Syrians have never agreed on basic questions of identity and policy, and it is unlikely that they will decide these issues peacefully today.

With America’s economy in the dumps, its military badly bruised, its reputation among Muslims in tatters, and its people fatigued by foreign wars, this is no time to intervene in Syria. Washington has no staying power if things go wrong. It wants regime-change on the cheap — to bomb and withdraw. And if things go wrong, will we leave the Syrians in the lurch or get sucked into another complicated quagmire? The administration can ill afford to leave a failed state behind in Syria or to have it unfurl into civil war.

Even more pressing will be the need for post-conflict reconstruction. Syria is a nation the size of Iraq whose population has outstripped its water and economic resources. Unlike Iraq, it has insufficient sources of revenue to quickly rebuild its infrastructure. What if there is massive looting and chaos? Syria produces little the world wants to buy. It hardly produces enough electricity for three hours of power a day. The school system is in a shambles. Do Americans want to pay for putting Syria back together? More to the point, should they let Washington start what it would not finish?

If anyone tells you they are going to build democracy in Syria, don’t buy it. Democracy is unlikely to succeed there anytime soon. The two social indicators that predict the success of democratization with any accuracy are median population age and per capita gross domestic product. According to a recent study, autocracies with a median population age of over 30 years old are most likely to transition to liberal democracies — Syria has a median age of 21. This is the same as Iraq’s and just slightly older than Gaza’s and Yemen’s. Because of its poverty and youth, political scientists give it small chances of becoming democratic and stable any time soon. Beware of drinking the democratization Kool-Aid.

Anyone who believes that Syria will avoid the excesses of Iraq — where the military, government ministries, and Baath Party were dissolved and criminalized — is dreaming. Syrian government institutions and the security forces will fall apart once the revolution prevails. They are overwhelmingly staffed by Baathists, Alawites, and other minorities, recruited for loyalty to President Bashar al-Assad — no revolutionary government will keep them on. Their dismissal will provide fodder for a counterinsurgency, promoting greater chaos across the country.

Syria’s new rulers will also face a daunting set of challenges upon taking power. They will be obliged to employ the hundreds of thousands of jobless Syrians who have sacrificed for the revolution, lost family, and struggled in the face of tyranny.

If the United States becomes militarily involved — destroying the presidential palace in Damascus and military installations — it will own Syria. Will it discipline the dozens of militias that have sprung up to represent the revolutionary forces? If the death toll rises after the Assad regime is taken out, will the United States continue to dedicate itself to stopping the killing?

Syrian opposition figures have estimated that running the government for the first six months after the fall of Assad will cost $12 billion, and have made it clear that they will ask international donors for financial support. This is chicken feed. Anyone who knows anything about Syria knows that it will take a lot more than $12 billion to stabilize and rebuild the country. The United States currently spends $12 billion dollars every three months in Afghanistan. In 2010, the United States was spending $6.7 billion in Afghanistan every month, as well as $5.5 billion in Iraq. Few Americans believe this money was well spent. It is rash to expect Syria to cost less.

If the United States has learned anything, it is that it cannot sort out issues of power-sharing and national identity for Middle Eastern countries. The road to national unity does not go through Washington. In the end, Syrians must find their own way and choose their own national leaders. Ahmad Chalabi and Hamid Karzai turned out to be bad choices for Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively.

There is no indication that the United States could do a better job of picking winners in Syria. Burhan Ghalioun, the original leader of the Syrian National Council (SNC), seemed to have all the qualities of a future Syrian president, but his own party members attacked him for treason within months of confirming him as leader. He was forced to resign on May 17, setting the stage for a showdown between the powerful Muslim Brotherhood and its political rivals over who will be the SNC’s new leader. Militias, the names of which we don’t even know and with ideologies that could turn out to be closer to Osama bin Laden’s than George Washington’s, are competing on the ground for cash and Kalashnikovs.

Syrians are divided because they have no tradition of unity and the Baathists have destroyed politics for a half-century. Nothing the United States can do will erase that legacy of political underdevelopment.

It seems heartless to stand by and do so little as massacres, such as the atrocity carried out at Houla, continue. More than 13,000 Syrians have been killed in the last 14 months of revolution. But there is no reason to believe U.S. intervention can staunch the violence. American troops killed over 10,000 Iraqis in the first month of invasion in 2003. A further 100,000 Iraqis were killed by the time they left — and even now, Iraq remains in turmoil and a new dictatorship seems to be taking shape. Car bombs are a regular occurrence in Baghdad, and the government cleaves to Iran rather than the United States.

The cost in Iraq was high. The chances that the United States would end the killing by destroying Syria’s Baathist regime is not good.

In all likelihood, the Syrian revolution will be less bloody if Syrians carry it out for themselves. A new generation of national leaders will emerge from the struggle. They will not emerge with any legitimacy if America hands them Syria on a golden platter. How will they claim that they won the struggle for dignity, freedom, and democracy? America cannot give these things. Syrians must take them.

The United States can play a role with aid, arms, and intelligence — but it cannot and should not try to decide Syria’s future and determine the victors of this conflict. If Syrians want to own Syria in the future, they must take charge of their revolution and figure out how to win it. It is better for Syria, and it is better for America.

Why US Intervention in Syria Could Spell Deep Trouble

By Joyce Hackel ⋅ June 6, 2012 ⋅ PRI-BBC Radio

Joshua Landis, director of the Middle Eastern Studies program at the University of Oklahoma, tells host Marco Werman that more assertive US intervention in Syria is unlikely to quell the violence there.

“About 13,000 Syrians have been killed in the last 14 months, according to UN statistics. And in invading Iraq, a country the same size and the same population, we killed that many in one month,” he says. “If this is about saving lives, we have to think about what is likely to happen if we destroy this regime.”

Landis has limited expectations for a new plan former UN secretary general Kofi Annan is expected to present to the Security Council this week. The new “road map” would reportedly chart a plan for political transition that would be negotiated through a “contact group” — including Russia and Iran.

“The Americans are trying to float this idea now that the Russians will abandon [Syria], but I’m not sure they’re ready to do that, which means Syria would be in for a much longer civil war,” Landis says.

Landis is steeped in all things Syrian as a scholar, and because he is married to a Syrian. His wife is of the same minority group as President Bashar al-Assad. Landis says Assad’s Alawite supporters are likely to remain loyal.

“There are many cousins who go on Facebook, 14 or 15 [year-olds], in Syria and they’re wearing t-shirts that say: ‘Assad Special Forces.’ And they’re carrying guns on their Facebook page and they’re totally mobilized for this fight,” says Landis. “That’s what’s scary.”

Comments (348)

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151. majedkhaldoun said:

Abdulbari Atwan ,he is not supportive of the revolution,he is embarrassed by Assad,however.He sees the regime is losing ground, and he is surprised as most palastineans, how strong and enduring the Syrians are, and Professor Landis is surprised ,too.

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June 8th, 2012, 8:19 am


152. Observer said:

Do I sense desperation? Do I sense complete confidence?

I am not sure what is the strategy of the regime. Some say it is confidence that Russia will protect the regime. Others say it is a desperate attempt to regain ground.

I do think that Russia is climbing down slowly in a face saving way to abandon Fredo. China is also doing the same.

I am amazed at some pro regime that used to hide behind a discourse of dialogue to allow for ordered reforms to be conducted by Fredo abandon this tack and move full speed ahead with the “armed terrorist gangs with a world wide conspiracy” to topple the “resistance regime” story. It is really a bankrupt discourse that cannot allow for any defense of the regime. It is a FAILURE for it failed to protect and it is responsible for the violence.

I think some are inside the very circle of Fredo.

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June 8th, 2012, 8:26 am


153. Dawoud said:

Does anybody have any information on Bashar (War Criminal) al-Assad’s usage of chemical bombs against peaceful demonstrators?

Salute to Syrians’/Palestinians’ “stones vs. firearms” resistance!

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June 8th, 2012, 8:46 am


154. Halabi said:

If there is nothing to hide, if the terrorist opposition is committing massacres, then why aren’t the U.N. observers, who were all approved by the Syrian government, allowed access the crime scene?

From CBS: “A contingent of U.N. staff was blocked from the village on Thursday by Syrian military personnel at checkpoints, and by mobs of angry locals chanting pro-Assad slogans and warning the observers that they would be met with violence if they entered Qubeir.”

I know why. Rafiq Lutf is setting the stage and putting together a narrative for his next four hour confession show, which is really the only legal system left in Assad’s Syria…

U.N. observers mass outside alleged Syria massacre site

(CBS News) Three teams of observers from the United Nations monitoring mission in Syria traveled to the outskirts of the village of Qubeir, where the opposition says regime forces massacred scores of people on Wednesday.

CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer, traveling with the U.N. observers, says that in total three teams – from Damascus, Hama and Homs – were expected to try and get into the village in 11 vehicles, traveling in “waves”. One vehicle entered the village, which Palmer described as little more than a collection of houses, to assess safety conditions. Other vehicles remained outside awaiting the green light to enter.

Until the U.N. monitors can get into the village, the vastly different accounts of what happened in Qubeir coming from the regime and the opposition cannot be reconciled.

Even when the observers do get in, questions will be asked about what may have taken place in the village between the incident and the arrival of those first impartial eyes.

For two days now, only the Syrian government has had access to Qubeir. The worry is there might not be much left for the observers to observe when they finally make it into the village.


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June 8th, 2012, 9:23 am


155. Alan said:

Your heads in America sent State Department representative on Syria Fred Hoff and agreed with Russian about below written:

Russia: Annan’s peace plan for Syria could be adjusted
Moscow believes that Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria can be adjusted, Russia’s Middle East envoy Mikhail Bogdanov stated after talks with a US delegation in Moscow. The mission was headed by the State Department representative on Syria Fred Hoff.

According to Mr Bogdanov, the strategy will not be revised but it could be adjusted to ensure that it is complied with by all the parties to the conflict.

The situation in Syria deteriorated recently after the Houla massacre.

Bogdanov added that Russia still supports Syria’s sovereignty and is against external interference in its domestic affairs. Russia believes that the current priority is to coordinate efforts to implement Annan’s strategy in the country.


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June 8th, 2012, 10:08 am


156. majedkhaldoun said:

The ship Lutfallah,which was captured close to Tripoli,was carrying weapons belong Jabal Muhsen

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June 8th, 2012, 10:09 am


157. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Just came back from the TLV Gay Parade. It was the hugest I’ve witnessed in Tel Aviv so far, with some estimated 20,000 tourists who came especially for the occasion.

A good friend of mine whispered in my ear (it was quite noisy there): look at what is going here, and some 200 km to the north, people are butchering each other for stupid religion and ridiculous sectarianism.

I really wish Syria some gayer, more happy times in the future, Insha’alla.

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June 8th, 2012, 10:15 am


158. Viva Syria said:

Is Syria’s UN Ambassador peddling influence to the west and betraying his country? For Syria’s sake, he has got to go.


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June 8th, 2012, 10:16 am


159. Alan said:

what is going here, and some 200 km to the north, people are butchering each other for stupid religion and ridiculous sectarianism

stupid religion : Respect and keep yourself !

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June 8th, 2012, 10:23 am


160. Tara said:


Please correct your freind. This has not started because we want a Sunni president. It started because we wanted our god -given rights, to not be enslaved and to have Karamah(dignity). Hailing this as people killing each other for stupid religion is incorrect and not fair.

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June 8th, 2012, 10:24 am


161. majedkhaldoun said:

President Obama is at least 20 minutes late for his conference, he was talking to Putin

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June 8th, 2012, 10:38 am


162. Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I respect your opinion.

With this said, tell me: If Syria was secular and/or free from sectarian issues, would the massacres took place as they are?

Can you agree with this statement: the ones who are being butchered in Syria these days are (mostly) Sunni civilians and Alawi army-men ?

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June 8th, 2012, 10:40 am


163. zoo said:

Not obvious US enthusiasm for the Qatar-Turkey candidate: a 9/11 denier.

Brother Number One
Meet the man who might be Egypt’s president: the Muslim Brotherhood’s second choice, and 9/11-denier, Mohamed Morsi.



Egypt is on the cusp of its first real experiment in Islamist governance. If the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi comes out on top in the upcoming presidential runoff election, scheduled for June 16 and 17, the venerable Islamist movement will have won control of both Egypt’s presidency and its parliament, and it will have a very real chance to implement its agenda of market-driven economic recovery, gradual Islamization, and the reassertion of Egypt’s regional role.

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June 8th, 2012, 10:50 am


164. Tara said:


I most definitely agree. The revolution that started for freedom, dignity, and social justice unmasked severe sectarianism, hatered, and savegry. Syria appears to have been a fake country all along. Had their been no religious hatred taught since childhood, shabeehat al Assad would not have been able to kill children, and some Christians could not have been able to believe in the regime’s narrative only. The brainwashing did not just happen. It must have been since early childhood. We, the naives, just discovering it now.

Fake people, fake country, and even fake emotions.. Fake love, and fake indignation.

And I genuinely thoughts that Syrians were different.

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June 8th, 2012, 10:52 am


165. Alan said:

keep your opinion, away from religious humiliation !

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June 8th, 2012, 10:53 am


166. Jad said:

How come?

Syrian rebels tried to get me killed, says Channel 4 correspondent
Alex Thomson says crew was led to ‘free-fire zone’ as deaths would discredit Bashar al-Assad’s regime

Channel 4 News chief correspondent Alex Thomson has claimed Syrian rebels deliberately tried to get him and his crew killed by gunfire from government forces in a bid to discredit the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Thompson alleged a small group from the Free Syrian Army deliberately guided the vehicle in which he and his Channel 4 News colleagues were travelling into what he described as a “free-fire zone” on a blocked road in “no man’s land” in the vicinity of the city of al-Qusayr, because “dead journos are bad for Damascus”.

He also claimed UN vehicles the Channel 4 News team were travelling with later abandoned them when they were surrounded by “shouting militia”.

Thomson said after being led into no man’s land between Syrian army and rebel forces by four men in a black car, his team were fired upon and forced to take evasive action, eventually managing to “floor it back to the road we’d been led in on”. The incident took place last weekend and Thomson is now back in the UK.

“Suddenly four men in a black car beckon us to follow. We move out behind,” Thomson wrote in a Channel 4 News website blog published on Friday morning.

“We are led another route. Led in fact, straight into a free-fire zone. Told by the Free Syrian Army to follow a road that was blocked off in the middle of no-man’s land,” he added.

“At that point there was the crack of a bullet and one of the slower three-point turns I’ve experienced. We screamed off into the nearest side-street for cover. Another dead-end.

“There was no option but to drive back out on to the sniping ground and floor it back to the road we’d been led in on. Predictably the black car was there which had led us to the trap. They roared off as soon as we re-appeared.

“I’m quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian army. Dead journos are bad for Damascus.”

Thompson said this conviction was only strengthened half an hour later when “our four friends in the same beaten-up black car suddenly pulled out of a side-street, blocking us from the UN vehicles ahead”.

“The UN duly drove back past us, witnessed us surrounded by shouting militia, and left town. Eventually we got out too and on the right route, back to Damascus,” he added.

“In a war where they slit the throats of toddlers back to the spine, what’s the big deal in sending a van full of journalists into the killing zone? It was nothing personal.”

A spokeswoman for ITN-produced Channel 4 News said: “The safety of our journalists is of paramount importance and we only ever send experienced teams into these hostile environments.



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June 8th, 2012, 10:54 am


167. zoo said:

Post revolution Egypt: political chaos

Egypt’s political future tangled in legal web

CAIRO, (AP) — Egypt’s newly elected parliament could be dissolved, the presidential election may have to be abandoned and the country’s new constitution has yet to be drafted.

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June 8th, 2012, 10:56 am


168. Jad said:

NATO Special Forces in Syria now Official.

SAS and other NATO Special Forces Reported in Syria. The Daily Star is reporting that SAS Special Operations Forces as well as agents of the United Kingdom´s Foreign Intelligence Service MI6 are operating in Syria. That makes it official, what nsnbc and other not state or corporate sponsored media have reported for months. The Daily Star also reports that other countries, including Turkey, France, and “possibly” the USA are operating in Syria.

SAS archive image

A whistle-blower and high-ranking officer of the U.S. Special Operations Forces stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, disclosed already in late August 2011 that the USA had deployed Special Forces along with other NATO-Member States special forces in Syria.(1) The high-ranking officer had become disillusioned about the USA and the US and NATO´s increasingly aggressive expansionism, stating that Special Forces increasingly were deployed to support terrorist organizations and terrorists who are officially on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations and the list of wanted terrorists.

The officer stated already in August 2011 that the USA was actively preparing for at war on Syria, Lebanon and Iran, that US-Special Forces were on the ground in Syria, supervising and cooperating with among other armed fighters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Al-Qaeda associated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and a cohort of other terrorist organizations.The officer further stated, that the training of foreign fighters, and the entire “operation” is planned and executed along the guidelines of a Special Forces Training Circular for Foreign Fighters and agents, called TC 18-01. The confidential Training Circular has been published in it´s entirety in a previous article on nsnbc. (2) When comparing the evolution of the crisis in Syria with the training manual in unconventional warfare it becomes evident that the development in Syria is cynically planned and executed by foreign powers.(ibid.)

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June 8th, 2012, 11:03 am


169. bronco said:

#166 Jad

Thanks for posting the article from a journalist in Syria.

The technique used by the rebels is to isolate the victims in areas where they are exposed to be killed without witnesses and the killing blamed on the government. It was time the journalists and the UN observers realize that the rebels are using vicious plots to kill them and arrange to blame the death on the government. Truth will emerge.

Alex Thomson:

“I’m quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian army. Dead journos are bad for Damascus.”

Thompson said this conviction was only strengthened half an hour later when “our four friends in the same beaten-up black car suddenly pulled out of a side-street, blocking us from the UN vehicles ahead”.

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June 8th, 2012, 11:08 am


170. Amir in Tel Aviv said:


You are being too harsh on Syrians and on yourself. “Fake” is too strong word to describe this.

It is a result of suppression of natural developments in a nation’s life. The junta suppressed all inter sects dialog, and forced unnatural Baathi “secularism” on the Syrians. Just as it happened in the former communist and “secular” Yugoslavia, it blew in every bodies’ faces.

If not the Baathi suppression, It is possible that over the 40 or so years, the Syrians could have developed ways to live together, while respecting each other’s faith. I blame the Baathi ideology.

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June 8th, 2012, 11:11 am


171. zoo said:

Rift within the FSA about the Annan plan.
Al Sheikh rejects it, Rashid Al Hamoud accepts it.

The FSA fear Al-Assad may us WMD
As for the FSA’s resumption of operations on the ground, chairman of the FSA Military Council, Brigadier General Mustafa al-Sheikh, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that that Annan’s initiative was dead on arrival and that killing in Syria is on-going.
… He also laid the blame on “the international community’s delay in taking a decisive resolution” adding “this is something that will lead to civil war.

However FSA Colonel Arafat Rashid al-Hammoud informed Asharq Al-Awsat that it was not in the FSA’s interest to abandon the ceasefire stipulated in the Annan initiative. …
He added “Annan’s initiative has failed to stop the violence but we cannot say that we will be moving to offensive operations because we do not have the means to carry out such operations, and it is in our interest to win international trust and legitimacy, not incite the international community against us.”

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June 8th, 2012, 11:21 am


172. Amir in Tel Aviv said:


Speaking on sanctity, I’m going now to take my holy Friday afternoon nap. See ya later.

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June 8th, 2012, 11:23 am


173. Jad said:

The daily terrorist attack by the criminals of fsa that innocent civilian Syrians have to face because some of the so called “Syrians” with their israeli supporters are calling for and promote.
Enjoy the scene!

التفجير الإرهابي في منطقة قدسيا بريف دمشق 8-6-2012

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June 8th, 2012, 11:24 am


174. Uzair8 said:

Prof Landis was on the BBC World Service in the early hours. I intended to post this earlier this morning but it hadn’t been put up yet although a later news broadcast had been put up.

It’s a good listen. It’s about syria from the beginning. Prof Landis is on after 2 min 30 sec.

If your interested a defector living in Canada speaks about the Shabeeha straight after. A good listen. The guest said how academics from Damascus University advised the regime to use a third party, deniables, to do the dirty work in order to avoid facing international legal consequences.

He also says that Shabeeha names and addresses are being collected and some are being eliminated.


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June 8th, 2012, 11:34 am


175. Jad said:

Hi Bronco,
You are welcome.
I’m surprised of how delusional some comments are, at least the sheikh majnoun is still leading the way to heaven for some, wow!
How about the “chemical” attack? Some on here are even believing it, lololol…I can’t wait to hear what that crazy sheikh Jacob have to say…oh mighty sheikh, take your medication!

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June 8th, 2012, 11:35 am


176. zoo said:

‘Foreign-funded terrorists to blame for Syria atrocities’


Political analyst Christoph Hoerstel, who’s been covering events in the Arab region, says there are strong indications the Hama massacre was carried out by terrorists.

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June 8th, 2012, 11:44 am


177. *** feekum said:

Please use a different user name, and address commentators by their chosen handle.

SC Moderator

Ya AhmadinaJAD JAD,

The only delusion is what is going on inside your head

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June 8th, 2012, 11:53 am


178. *** Feekum said:

Please check your email

SC Moderator

Only sick barbarians would enjoy seeing Syrians slaughtered. Which explains apologists still blindly supporting the Junta and their deep seated hate for dignity.

While you are at the guardian Jaddie boy JAD why not check out all the other Articles that Thompson and other journos had to say about your precious criminal batta forces, or do you suffer from selective reading, there is a great eye doctor in Damascus that might help you with that

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June 8th, 2012, 11:53 am


179. bronco said:


You know well that WMD has been the eftah ya semsem for foreign intervention.
As all the attempts to get the Western countries to move militarily have failed, the opposition strategists have said why not, let’s bring in the chemical weapons in, maybe that would make them move their ….. and that would also be a great distraction from the unraveling of the lies about the Qubeir massacre where from 100 death, the toll is now 9 and from the same family, in addition to the foreign journalists and the UN observers who are starting to doubt about the ‘honesty’ of the FSA.

Let’s see if the media will pick the WMD up… It usually sells as well as massacres.

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June 8th, 2012, 11:56 am


180. irritated said:

We have a new hyper on board who can’t make up his mind about choosing the right nickname.

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June 8th, 2012, 11:58 am


181. majedkhaldoun said:

Things can not last like this for long, Ban Ki Moon said, How many times we will denounce Assad massacres, while Syrian blood is spilled.
I think Syria is very close to big explosion,more demonstrations will spread to the inside of Damascus, they will be hard to control.

I find it impossible that USA and UK has troops inside Syria, these are false rumors, by pro regime.
I think the pro regime should stack up on nervousness medications,and antidepressants, many will commit suicide once Assad is gone.I wish there is medicine to stop lying, or to stop accusations, the regime is desperately needing them, what a shame.
The real reason that Israel is helping Assad and preventing USA from actively remove Assad, is that the Syrian revolution is genuine revolution, it has the potential to spread to Iraq, infact if and when this revolution succeed,Maliki days will be numbered .

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June 8th, 2012, 12:08 pm


182. Uzair8 said:

158. Alan said:

I gave Alan a thumbs up and don’t feel bad about it. 🙂

Quickly moving on. I’m prepared to trust Alex Thompson. The FSA leadership must investigate. All freedom fighters should be reminded of the noble and honorable cause they are defending.

Did someone mention Webster Tarpley? Nah! I must have imagined it. Lol.

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June 8th, 2012, 12:19 pm


183. Hans said:

SC moderator!
where is my comment? i just submitted, is the site still eating up anti west comments because it doesn’t fit with the american/israeli propaganada.

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June 8th, 2012, 12:37 pm


184. jad said:

Welcome back Khaled Tlass, nice name you come up with, I’ll call you *** FEEK? You’ve been banned 4 times already, I wonder when SC will become no place for sectarian thugs like you…*** FEEK!

Moderator, if you want to hide what I wrote about Sheikh Yakoub, you may need to hide Sheikh Yakoub’s writings too.
I’m also happy that you colour the insults in red without deleting them…

“All freedom fighters should be reminded of the noble LOLOLOL and honorable LOLOLOL cause they are defending.”
I thought mercenaries are paid in $ and Riyal for the ‘Noble’ and ‘Honorable’ ‘JOB’ they do, which is slaughtering innocent Syrians for TV shows and bombing civilians in the cities, arming children and abuse them and spread the sectarian hatred feeling allover the country…Noble&Honorable indeed!

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June 8th, 2012, 12:39 pm


185. USone said:

Although one could easily agree with letting the Syrians do their own revolution the US has a lot greater role to play without necessarily putting boots on the ground in Syria.
Those who express fears emanating from the Iraqi experience do omit the fact that the main cause of the protraction of the war in Iraq and the losses suffered by the US armed forces and the Iraqi civilians were caused mostly by insurgents harbored, trained and armed in Syria in collaboration with Iran. The strategic mistake committed in Iraq was in leaving the Syrian regime intact. In Syria after Assad there will not be any bordering nation that could stir trouble there. A big advantage that policy maker should consider when deciding the size of their interference in Syria.
It is better for the US to be as active as possible in the support of the Revolution because whatever the outcome a Middle East without Assad will be a lot better place.

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June 8th, 2012, 12:41 pm


186. jad said:

Using mosques as places to launch terrorist attacks.
So if we see some footage of many men killed in one place we should know by now, who are they and what were they doing and that they are not ‘civilian’
ما يسمى بلواء صقور الشام مستخدماً المجسد مركز عمليات في محاولة فاشلة للسيطرة على حاجز الأربعين في ادلب

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June 8th, 2012, 12:50 pm


187. Badr said:

Syria Qubair: Bloody traces of massacre seen in village

Paul Danahar, BBC News:

“The only clue as to where the bodies of the dead people had gone was etched into the tarmac of the road nearby. The tracks were made by military vehicles, said a UN observer.”

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June 8th, 2012, 12:54 pm


188. Tara said:


Below is a full image of the brilliant, beautiful, and sensational (as Barb described her) .  Note the artificial eyelashes, the sparky eyeshadow,  the heavy makeup, and the sparky dress…understated elegance indeed,  I again congratulate you for your taste.  Very impressive.


Messages leaked by Syrian rebels in March show her asking another of Mr Assad’s advisers to tell him: ‘I love him so so so much and that I miss him.’

The leak revealed flirtatious and suggestive emails from three admirers, including a provocative photograph of an unknown woman in white lingerie.

Mrs Walters first met Ms Jaafari when the young woman’s father hosted a cocktail party in his New York apartment in March 2011.

‘(Ms Jaafari) was bragging that they had a great relationship after she came to her house for a cocktail party,’ a diplomatic source told the newspaper. 

The New York Post reports that the two women bonded that evening, and an unidentified diplomatic source said that the then-21-year-old ‘was bragging that they had a great relationship after she came to her house for a cocktail party’.

That connection came in handy when the veteran reporter began dealing with Ms Jaafari on a regular basis leading up the ABC News’ exclusive televised interview with the Syrian leader. 
The pair appear extremely close, with Ms Walters signing her emails with ‘hugs’ and ‘love’ and Ms Jaafari promising to bring back jewellery from Syria for her so-called adoptive mother.

Mr Wald responded that while his position at the Journalism School is unconnected to the School of International and Public Affairs, he would do his best to help, saying that ‘through the Admissions Office network, I will get them to give her special attention. I am sure they will take her.’

Now Columbia is saying that while she was accepted, Mr Wald’s intervention- if any- had nothing to do with it.


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June 8th, 2012, 1:14 pm


189. Alan said:

with not patience if the meeting will be on 33 parallels as the man to the man are chosen the representative!

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June 8th, 2012, 1:21 pm


191. jad said:

They’ve been trying that for a while now, here is one of those gems, so some ‘journalist’ are saying that nuclear Iran is NOTHING compared to the WMD in Syria!

Fearful of a nuclear Iran? The real WMD nightmare is Syria
Article Highlights
Syria has one of the largest and most sophisticated chemical weapons programs in the world and may also possess offensive biological weapons.
Longstanding terrorist groups and newly arrived Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters from Iraq have been active in Syria during that country’s recent insurgency.
The United States and regional powers — including Saudi Arabia and Iran — need to start planning now to keep Syria’s WMD out of terrorist hands if the Assad regime falls.


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June 8th, 2012, 1:21 pm


193. jad said:

The Germans are now trying to capitalize on the crises and on the expense of the Syrian blood, no wonder the government there is committed that much!

Vulture “Friends of Syria” plan the “Rebuilding of Syria”, from Berlin Office financed by Germany and the U.A.E.

By Christof Lehmann – NATO Special Forces and NATO-Allied Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brothers, also called “The Free Syrian Army” intensify their campaign of terror and declare the Anan Six Point Peace Plan for dead. Yesterday it became official, SAS and other NATO Special Forces operate in Syria. (1) Today we learn that the governments of Germany and the United Arab Emirates, (UAE) are sponsoring a Secretariat of the “Friends of Syria” in Berlin. A Secretariat to plan the war and the rebuilding of the Syria they are about to destroy.

A disgusting symbiosis of Hawks and Vultures is going for the kill, planning how to dissect the carcass and spoils before it´s dead. There can´t be any doubt about that the beaks and claws of State-Sponsored Terrorism and NATO-Terrorism are inflicting deep and painful scars on the people of Syria and the country. The question is if they will be breaking their feathers and beaks when they have gored themselves on the soft tissue and hit the bone. Massacres on unarmed civilians, like the recent one in Al-Houla are relatively easy objectives, but confronting the Syrian military forces, Iran, Hezbollah and in the final equation Russia are an entirely different meal to chew on.

Even the unarmed civilian population of Syria is not as easy a dinner as the Vulture Friends of Syria would like them to be, and thus the Arab League needed to demand from Arabsat and Nilesat to cease carrying Syrian TV signals so Syrians could be sufficiently brain-wahshed by Al Jazeera and colleagues. (2) The German State-Sponsored TV-Stations ARD and ZDF, and their corporate financed pendants rigorously continue on the path of war propaganda.

The people of Syria are resilient against attempts to divide on the basis of sectarianism. The charade of “fighting for freedom and democracy” of the Gulf Kings who themselves behead women for “sorcery” like not to long ago in Saudi Arabia (3) are not credible among Syrians. The Hollywood Arabism of the GCC Dress-Up clowns, which would make the Palestinian scholar Edward Said, who coined the term “orientalism” turn in his grave, is understood too well by Syrians to let themselves be impressed. What or whom should they be impressed by to teach them about freedom and democracy ? Impressed by Gulf Dictators who seem to try to live up to all and any of the stereotypes about corrupt Arabs that are perpetuated by Hollywood, or the witch-hunt beheading mania of the Saudi Royalty ? Or the Jordanian Hashemite Royals who called on the Israeli Airforce when Syria sent a column of tanks in response to the Jordanian Military´s slaughter of PLO fighters in Amman during the Black September ?

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June 8th, 2012, 1:25 pm


194. jad said:

سوريا | تحشيد دبلوماسي يمهّد لتصعيد ميداني تطال شظاياه شمال لبنان
سوريا تودّع أنان: استعدادات لمواجهة دامية

بينما يغسل مجلس الأمن يديه من مبادرة المبعوث الخاص كوفي أنان، تشهد سوريا وحدودها مع لبنان وتركيا استعدادات غير مسبوقة، تشارك فيها عواصم إقليمية ودولية، وسط استنفار استخباري غير مسبوق يمهّد لجولة من المواجهات على الأراضي السورية قد تمثّل مفصلاً حاسماً في وجهة الأزمة

تؤكّد مصادر موثوقة أن الأزمة في السورية في طريقها إلى وجهة من التصعيد، وأن الانقسام الدولي بشأن الموقف من الأزمة السورية انتهى إلى تشدد الفريقين، وأن كل الرسائل الدبلوماسية والمبادرات التي ترمى في الهواء هدفها إعلان كل طرف أنه غير مسؤول عن الفشل في التوصل إلى حل للأزمة، بينما يشعر المحور الذي تقوده الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا وتركيا ودول الخليج العربي أن المرحلة تتطلب تعديل الواقع الميداني على الأرض. وعلى هذا الأساس تقررت مجموعة خطوات عملانية، أبرزها العمل على دفع قوى المعارضة السورية في الخارج إلى إعلان الانتقال إلى مرحلة «الثورة المسلحة» والشروع في خطوات نوعية على صعيد تسليح المجموعات المعارضة وتوحيدها بالقدر الممكن.

وتذكر المصادر أن المعلومات والتقارير الواردة من عواصم عدة تشير إلى أن المحادثات الجارية بين المحافل الدبلوماسية لا علاقة لها بما يجري على الأرض من استعدادات عملانية، ومن أهمها إدخال أسلحة نوعية إلى المجموعات المعارضة تستهدف توجيه ضربات إلى فرق المدرعات في الجيش السوري، وإلى الطائرات المروحية، إضافة إلى مدفعية ثقيلة مهمتها مواجهة تجمعات وثكن للجيش السوري، إلى جانب تدريب مجموعات كبيرة على القيام بعمليات على طريقة حرب العصابات تستهدف السيطرة على مناطق على طول الشريط الحدودي مع لبنان وتركيا، وخلق مناطق «محررة» بالقرب من المدن الرئيسية، ولا سيما في ريفي دمشق وحلب.

وتتوقع المصادر أن تقرر القيادة السورية سريعاً ما إذا كانت ستبادر إلى عملية هجومية استباقية تحبط مساعي معارضيها وخصومها في الخارج، أم هناك آليات أخرى للعمل. لكن المصادر تلفت إلى أن الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد تقصّد في خطابه أمام مجلس الشعب الجديد التشديد على الفصل بين العملية السياسية الداخلية وبين مواجهة المجموعات المسلحة، وأنه أراد توجيه رسالة إلى الداخل وإلى الخارج مفادها أن دمشق لن تنتظر طويلاً قبل أن تبادر من جديد إلى القيام بكل ما يلزم من عمل عسكري وأمني لتحقيق هدفها بضرب خصومها المسلحين.
وتقول المصادر إن من بين الأسباب التي تعجل في هذه الأمور، نجاح خصوم سوريا في لبنان، وبدعم مباشر من جانب دول خليجية ودولية، في السيطرة على مناطق حساسة من شمال لبنان، بالتزامن مع قرار السلطات التركية إفساح المجال أكثر لمجموعات المعارضة المسلحة بالعمل على طول الحدود مع سوريا، إضافة إلى ما تجمّع مع معطيات استخبارية لدى الجانب السوري عن الاستعدادات التي تقوم بها الجهات المعادية لها داخل سوريا وخارجها.

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June 8th, 2012, 1:36 pm


195. omen said:

Suddenly four men in a black car beckon us to follow.

there are cultural differences to hand signals. they had this problem in iraq. u.s. soldiers would signal cars to stop. iraqis thought it meant come forward.

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June 8th, 2012, 1:39 pm


196. Juergen said:

Russia is shifting away from its overall support of the Assad regime

“We have never said that Assad will remain in power,” let it be known, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilow. Munzer Hallum, an opposition from the Democratic Forum of Syria, described the shift in Moscow’s attitude this way: “Russia can now imagine a future without Syria’s Assad Initially there was something like a wall..”

Hallum is only since August in Moscow, he had been involved in the uprising against Syria and Assad, a group called “Together for a democratic and free Syria,” directed. After his family was threatened, he fled to Russia to friends. He now links the Syrian insurgents with the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The fact that the Russian side also now gives more attention to the Syrian opposition, confirmed Mahmud al-Hamza. As a member of the Syrian National Council, he has attended three talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.”


an other interesting article on the alawites/ sunni relationships in Tripoli

“On top of the hill they worship Bashar al-Assad: His name adorns the walls of buildings as graffiti, his poster the local cafes. Scrawled “King of Hell” has someone on a poster. It is meant as a compliment.

Down in the valley they hate Assad and his followers from the mountain to the death: “When the rebel war in Syria have won, we will wipe out up there,” say the men who sit in the district of Bab al-Tabbane in the shadow of the houses . You wait for the evening, the next battle in a decades-old guerrilla war, which could soon make headlines worldwide.
The mountain, called Dschabel Mohsen, dominated the Lebanese port city of Tripoli. On it lies about 50,000 people: Alawites, followers of the Islamic Faith Community, a member of the Syrian ruler Assad family. Down in the city itself between mountain and sea life, half a million Sunnis. Most of them are avowed opponents of the Syrian regime.”


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June 8th, 2012, 1:44 pm


197. Alan said:

logically brag of own traditions instead of strangers
Unisex Marriage

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June 8th, 2012, 1:46 pm


198. jad said:

Probably the Tunisians just woke up on the fact that they are losing many of their brainwashed youths begin killed in Syria while doing their ‘holy’ ‘war’:

Tunisian spokesman calls on preachers to stop pushing jihad in Syria among the youth

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June 8th, 2012, 1:48 pm


199. Alan said:

182. UZAIR8
the same thump up for you !

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June 8th, 2012, 1:53 pm


200. Juergen said:

I dont see any connection to what i have posted, does Assadist love go together with political redneck macho airs?

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June 8th, 2012, 1:55 pm


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