Syrian Pound at 90 per Dollar as Government Intervenes

The Central Bank has managed to bring the Syrian pound back down into a manageable trading range. It had plunged to an exchange rate over 100 pounds to a dollar. It is now below 100 to a dollar. How did it do this?

Reports are that the central bank sold only 2 million dollars. Yes, only 2 million dollars in order to calm the market. One friend reported paying 113 pounds for a dollar in Aleppo on Wednesday 7 March. On Thursday morning, the pound had risen to a range between 89 and 91 per pound. Six hours later it hit 103. The rate was bouncing all over the place between 85 to 113 per dollar; there was no real price.

If the Central Bank can hold the price of the pound below 90 per dollar, it will be doing very well. That is where it really belonged before the revolution. Syria had been pursuing a suicidal strong-pound policy for years. The artificially high rate of 47 pounds to a dollar ignored imbalances in the economy. It undercut Syrian exports and inflated the cost of doing business in Syria, which has too many impediments and too few attractions for foreign investment.

Most important, however, was that the strong currency encouraged Syrians to buy foreign goods well beyond their means. In effect, the government was giving Syrians free foreign currency to buy cars and other goods that the country could ill afford. This made Syrians feel good, but it ignored the real costs. The strong currency ignored the decline of oil revenues. The government was ignoring its costs which were rising. The government needed to down size and let go of workers, but it refused to do so, preserving the bloated and inefficient public sector industries.

Government costs of expanding subsidies were also draining the treasury. Fuel and food subsidies were sky-rocketing with the growing population and rising commodity prices.

The government has cut its expenses by half in allowing the currency to fall to 89 pounds to a dollar.

Traditionally economic bubbles are followed by a fall of asset prices by roughly 45%.  The Syria currency has fallen by 45%, should it stay at 89 pounds to a dollar. Of course, Syria is not going through a tradition economic bubble because it has a broad-based social revolution on its hands, but one should not ignore the economic causes of the Arab Spring. Economic failure underpinned this revolution.

If the Syrian revolution succeeds, it will be important for the revolutionary government not to repeat the bad economic choices of the Assad regime. Of course opposition parties have been almost silent on their economic prescriptions and plans, if they in fact have any. The cause of this silence is because most Syrians know precious little about economics, but more importantly opposition parities do not want to tell Syrians the bad news. They will have to cut government jobs and expenses.

If the Assad regime is forced to cut government jobs, stop subsidies, and allow the currency to trade at a more manageable rate, it will be blamed for the collapse. The new government will escape much of the blame for the terrible shape of the Syrian economy and will escape the necessity of imposing an austerity plan, which must be done by someone.

The new Egyptian parliament faces a gargantuan task in dealing with the economic troubles bequeathed it by Husni Mubarak. Few believe that it will be able to swiftly guide Egypt down the road of significant belt tightening and the rationalization of a public sector and monopoly industries that are not competitive.

The Syrian uprising is being driven largely by political factors, but one should not ignore the numbers. Ehasani, who has been writing for Syria Comment for over five years, has consistently warned us that Syria’s economic numbers do not add up. Eventually, reality would mug Syrians.

News Round Up below

Private sector’s hands tied as Syria sinks to its knees,  by Michael Karam, Mar 8, 2012

Syria Opposition Leader Rejects Dialogue
By AP / ZEINA KARAM Friday, Mar. 09, 2012

(BEIRUT) — The leader of Syria’s main opposition group rejected calls Friday by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan for dialogue with President Bashar Assad’s government, saying they were pointless and unrealistic as the regime massacres its own people.

As the prospects for diplomacy faltered, Turkey’s state-run television TRT said two Syrian generals and a colonel defected to Turkey on Thursday.

If confirmed, the military defections would be significant as most army defectors so far have been low-level conscripts. On Thursday, Syria’s deputy oil minister announced his defection, making him the highest-ranking civilian official to join the opposition.

In a telephone interview from Paris, Burhan Ghalioun, who heads the opposition Syrian National Council, told The Associated Press that Annan already has disappointed the Syrian people…..

Burhan Ghalioun of the Syrian National Council dismissed such talk as naive. “My fear is that, like other international envoys before him, the aim is to waste a month or two of pointless mediation efforts,” he said. He added: “Any political solution will not succeed if it is not accompanied by military pressure on the regime.” Ghalioun also criticized Annan for not putting the blame for the violence squarely on the regime.

Following yesterday’s defection of a senior oil ministry official, Turkish television today reported that two Syrian generals and a colonel had defected to Turkey.

Islamism and the Syrian uprising
Posted By Nir Rosen
Thursday, March 8, 2012

James Clapper, the United States Director of National Intelligence, warned last month of al Qaeda taking advantage of the growing conflict in Syria. The Syrian regime and its supporters frequently claim that the opposition is dominated by al Qaeda-linked extremists. Opposition supporters often counter that the uprising is completely secular. But months of reporting on the ground in Syria revealed that the truth is more complex.

Syria’s uprising is not a secular one. Most participants are devout Muslims inspired by Islam. By virtue of Syria’s demography most of the opposition is Sunni Muslim and often come from conservative areas. The death of the Arab left means religion has assumed a greater role in daily life throughout the Middle East. A minority is secular and another minority is comprised of ideological Islamists. The majority is made of religious-minded people with little ideology, like most Syrians. They are not fighting to defend secularism (nor is the regime) but they are also not fighting to establish a theocracy. But as the conflict grinds on, Islam is playing an increasing role in the uprising.

Mosques became central to Syria’s demonstrations as early as March 2011 and influenced the uprising’s trajectory, with religion becoming increasingly more important. Often activists described how they had “corrected themselves” after the uprising started. Martyrs became important to a generation that had only seen martyrs on television from Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon. “People got more religious,” one activist in Damascus’s Barzeh neighborhood explained, “they got closer to death, you could be a martyr so people who drank or went out at night corrected themselves.” Some Arab satellite news stations have also contributed to the dominance of Islamists by interviewing more of them and focusing on them as opposed to more secular opposition figures or intellectuals. In Daraa activists complained that satellite networks were marginalizing prominent leftists….

Rosen’s other articles can be found found here:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/insidesyria/

Syria’s Alawite activists stuck in the middle – By Nir Rosen
Despite fears of sectarianism if the regime falls, some in the Alawite minority are speaking out against Assad.

Journalist Nir Rosen recently spent two months in Syria. As well as meeting members of various communities across the country – supporters of the country’s rulers and of the opposition alike – he spent time with armed resistance groups in Homs, Idlib, Deraa, and Damascus suburbs. He also travelled extensively around the country last year, documenting his experiences for Al Jazeera – including articles about the Alawite community.

The Syrian opposition has been stepping up efforts to get religious minorities involved in the year-old uprising. The exiled opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) recently issued a statement announcing that it “extends [a] hand to the Alawite community”, the sect which President Bashar al-Assad belongs to.

Although a minority, Alawites dominate Syria’s various security agencies, its army’s officer corps and key positions in the government. Western backers of the SNC and opponents of the regime often say the Damascus leadership will only fall when the Alawite community is persuaded to abandon it.

An older Sunni opposition intellectual who spent time in prison before and during the current uprising agreed with this analysis when I spoke to him in Damascus. “The system will fall only when Alawites believe they are headed in the wrong direction,” he said, adding that “Alawite intellectuals must realise that if they want to live in this country, they must be against the regime and with the revolution.”

Historically, Alawites have played a prominent role in the opposition. But in the ongoing uprising, there are few prominent Alawite voices. Many members of the community fear they will be marginalised if the Sunni majority gains power. Given their experiences of oppression before the Baath party took over in 1963, some statements by the opposition have only encouraged their fears.

When Maamun Homsi, a prominent exiled opposition figure, gave a rant threatening to exterminate all Alawites, he was not condemned by the SNC. Homsi urged the “despicable Alawites” to either renounce Assad, “or Syria will become your graveyard”. Shortly after his remarks, I spoke to a senior Western diplomat with influence over the SNC. He was outraged and urged SNC President Burhan Ghalioun to condemn the statement.

A recent SNC statement, urging communal tolerance, seems to be a response to pressure from American and European backers of the SNC.

“The regime has tried, since the beginning of the revolution, to fragment Syrian society and drive a wedge within mixed communities by dividing cities along military and security lines,” the February 26 statement said. “The Alawites remain an important component of Syria, and will continue to enjoy the same rights as other citizens as we build one nation of Christians, Muslims, and other sects. The regime will not be successful in pitting us against one another.”….

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR: The Perils of Piecemeal Intervention
The New York Times: By JONATHAN TEPPERMAN, March 8, 2012

In Syria, we should go in big or stay home….

let’s not pretend that half-measures are preferable. Choosing policies just because they are cheap, gratifying and politically palatable is rarely a good idea, especially when they could well make matters worse. Those of us unwilling to tolerate more slaughter in Syria must confront the true nature of the military choices facing us.

We must now accept the hard facts and make an honest decision about what standing up for our interests and values will entail. If that means a major armed intervention, we should do it, but with no illusions.

Jonathan Tepperman is the managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine.

Out of Syria’s Carnage: A Survivor’s Testimony of Bab Amr’s Last Stand
Time.comBy VIVIENNE WALT | Time.com

….At that instant, a rocket exploded at the front of the building, killing Colvin and Ochlik instantly. The space was filled with dust. In the chaos, Daniels heard Bouvier scream, “William, William! I can’t move!” Her left leg was crooked. He pulled her out by the shoulders. She was bleeding heavily. Carrying his colleague, Daniels staggered to the doorway. As he glanced down, he saw his friend Ochlik, just 28, lifeless on the floor. “Edith,” he gasped to Bouvier, “Rémi is not with us anymore.”

6 civilians killed by armed groups in Syria’s Hama – 2012-03-08

DAMASCUS, March 8 (Xinhua) — Armed groups fired Rocket- Propelled grenades (RPGs) at a civilian bus in central Hama province Wednesday, killing six people instantly, state-run SANA news agency reported Thursday….

Opposition to the Syrian Opposition: Against the Syrian National Council
As`ad Abukhalil

The opposition to the Syrian National Council (SNC) can be predicated on several factors, primarily relating to matters of credibility, consistency, and honesty.

The Syrian National Council has already lied to the Syrian people repeatedly. There are many examples that can be summarized below.

a. It started as a movement that strictly adhered to non-violent struggle and now it has a military council to coordinate the violent overthrow of the regime by force (and this without in any way detracting from the right of the Syrian people—and all other Arab people—to overthrow by any means necessary the regime under which they live and suffer). Worse, the SNC now wants violence to be done by Syrians and by whoever else (Israelis too?) interested in overthrowing the regime.

b. The SNC first categorically rejected any political preferences in the Lebanese political conflict. Burhan Ghalyun famously said: keep us out of your conflicts in Lebanon. Now, the SNC is a close ally of the March 14 movement and it has issued political statements in support of this Hariri movement.

c. The SNC said it strictly opposed foreign intervention while it now begs for foreign intervention from any side—preferably allies of the US and Israel.

d. The SNC leadership said on a few occasions that the percentage of the Ikhwan in the SNC is no more than twenty percent. Yet, Ghalyun in several private meetings (including an off-the-record session with an Arab journalist) complained about Ikhwan domination of the SNC and said that he would not agree to serve as another Mahmud Jibril…..

Head of Israeli intelligence has a message for Syrians – see video

The NeoCon Propaganda Machine Pushing “Regime Change” in Syria – Counterpunch – by AISLING BYRNE

“War with Iran is already here,” wrote a leading Israeli commentator recently, describing “the combination of covert warfare and international pressure” being applied to Iran.

Although not mentioned, the “strategic prize” of the first stage of this war on Iran is Syria; the first campaign in a much wider sectarian power-bid. “Other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself,” Saudi King Abdullah was reported to have said last summer, “nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”

By December, senior United States officials were explicit about their regime change agenda for Syria: Tom Donilon, the US National Security Adviser, explained that the “end of the [President Bashar al-] Assad regime would constitute Iran’s greatest setback in the region yet – a strategic blow that will further shift the balance of power in the region against Iran.”

Shortly before, a key official in terms of operationalizing this policy, Under Secretary of State for the Near East Jeffrey Feltman, had stated at a congressional hearing that the US would “relentlessly pursue our two-track strategy of supporting the opposition and diplomatically and financially strangling the [Syrian] regime until that outcome is achieved”.

What we are seeing in Syria is a deliberate and calculated campaign to bring down the Assad government so as to replace it with a regime “more compatible” with US interests in the region…..

Syrian Kurds Flee Into Iraqi Refugee Limbo – By: Jack Healy | The New York Times

Syria’s Armed Opposition by Institute for the Study of War
Download the PDF

Executive Summary

  • This report provides detailed information on Syria’s armed opposition movement, highlighting where structure exists within the movement and where Syria’s rebels lack organization.  This report does not advocate for or against the policy of arming the Syrian opposition.
  • Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 7, 2012 about issues that were restraining the United States from supporting the armed opposition in Syria.  “It is not clear what constitutes the Syrian armed opposition – there has been no single unifying military alternative that can be recognized, appointed, or contacted,” he said.
  • The armed Syrian opposition is identifiable, organized, and capable, even if it is not unified.  The Free Syrian Army (FSA), nominally headquartered in Turkey, thus functions more as an umbrella organization than a traditional military chain of command.
  • Three of Syria’s most effective militias maintain direct ties to the Free Syrian Army.  They include The Khalid bin Walid Brigade near Homs; the Harmoush Battalion in the northern Jebel al-Zawiya mountains; and the Omari Battalion in the southern Hawran plain, the name used by locals for the agricultural plateau that comprises Syria’s Dera’a province. Appendix 1 lists biographical details of the insurgent leaders affiliated with many effective fighting units. Appendix 2 provides an order of battle for the armed opposition groups by province.
  • Other large and capable rebel groups do not maintain such a close relationship with the FSA headquarters in Turkey, but nevertheless refer to themselves as members of the Free Syrian Army.
  • Despite the regime’s assault on Homs in February 2012, the insurgency remains capable. The rebels who withdrew from the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs at the beginning of March 2012 have demonstrated the tactical wherewithal to retreat in order to preserve combat power.
  • The Assad regime escalated attacks against the rebels after they defended Zabadani against the Army’s offensive.   The affront was probably significant in itself, and the Assad regime could not allow the rebels to hold terrain against the Army.  But Zabadani is also vitally important to the regime and to Iran because the city serves as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force logistical hub for supplying Lebanese Hezbollah.
  • The Assad regime is likely to continue its strategy of disproportionate force in an attempt to end the uprising as quickly as possible. Indiscriminate artillery fire allows the regime to raise cost of dissent while preserving its increasingly stretched maneuver force.
  • The rebels’ resiliency will make the Assad regime’s endurance difficult, but the external support to his regime makes predictions of his imminent fall premature.  The Syrian regime has not yet demonstrated the capacity to conduct enough large, simultaneous, or successive operations in multiple urban areas to suppress the insurgency.   But it is possible that the technical and material support that Iran and Russia are providing will enable the regime to increase its span of control and its ability to fight insurgents in multiple locales without culminating.
  • The rebels will have to rely on external lines of supply to replenish their arms and ammunition if they are to continue eroding the regime’s control.
  • The emergence of al-Qaeda-linked terrorist cells working against the regime poses risks to the United States and a challenge to those calling for material support of the armed opposition.
  • As the militias continue to face overwhelming regime firepower the likelihood of their radicalization may increase.  Moreover, the indigenous rebels may turn to al-Qaeda for high-end weaponry and spectacular tactics as the regime’s escalation leaves the rebels with no proportionate response, as occurred in Iraq in 2005-2006.  Developing relations with armed opposition leaders and recognizing specific rebel organizations may help to deter this dangerous trend.
  • It is imperative that the United States distinguish between the expatriate political opposition and the armed opposition against the Assad regime on the ground in Syria.
  • American objectives in Syria are to hasten the fall of the Assad regime; to contain the regional spillover generated by the ongoing conflict; and to gain influence over the state and armed forces that emerge in Assad’s wake.
  • Therefore, the United States must consider developing relations with critical elements of Syria’s armed opposition movement in order to achieve shared objectives, and to manage the consequences should the Assad regime fall or the conflict protract.

Read The Struggle for Syria in 2011.

Comments (683)


Pages: « 14 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 [14] Show All

651. irritated said:

#Jad

If we believe #636, Joshua Landis should be proud.
Among the regular readers of SC are Miss Piggy, BigBird, the FBI, the DGSE and there are traces of the Mossad, MI5, and the KCG.
What a company!

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March 12th, 2012, 6:03 pm

 

652. jad said:

Irritated,
Check out #646, didn’t I tell you that Alqaeda, Afghanistan Taliband and Alshabab of Somalia (Pirates) are the ‘standards’.

Alan
#650 that was funny!

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March 12th, 2012, 6:07 pm

 

653. SANDRO LOEWE said:

601. MAJEDKHALDOUN

I think best thing Asma Al Assad could do if she really wants to help orphan children, widows, disabled people due to the effect of bombs, etc. is taking Assad pistol and shooting him in the middle of the head. When Hitler was alive many dreamt about his death, now we have reached the same no return point with Assad. His death would be a gift from heaven´s Divinity for most syrians, lebanese, irakis, etc.

It comes a time when killing a criminal can become an act of mercy and compassion for him and for the rest.

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March 12th, 2012, 6:09 pm

 

654. Uzair8 said:

@651 Irritated

Remember the good old days when Hillary and Assad got on a lot better?

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March 12th, 2012, 6:13 pm

 

655. mjabali said:

بلا تعليق

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March 12th, 2012, 6:15 pm

 
 

657. Alan said:

200 Palestinian Rockets Fired, no Israeli deaths–What’s wrong with this picture?
http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/37044/

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March 12th, 2012, 6:22 pm

 

658. irritated said:

655. Uzair8

That’ really good..
Now Hillary gets along much better with HBJ

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1356951/the_muppet_show_big_bird_miss_piggy/

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March 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

 

659. jad said:

Away from the NCB voice of reason, the warmongers of MBs council barking, ‘we love terrorism’ ‘we want more violence’, ‘the bloodier, the better’, ‘Occupy Syria’….etc…

المجلس الوطني السوري يقرر تسليح الجيش الحر
طالب بحظر جوي على كافة أراضي سوريا لمنع عصابات الأسد من ارتكاب المزيد من المجازر

العربية.نت
قال جوج صبرا، المتحدث باسم المجلس الوطني السوري المعارض اليوم الاثنين إنه تم إقرار تسليح الجيش السوري الحر من قبل المجلس.
ودعا المجلس الوطني السوري المعارض إلى تدخل غربي وعربي لحماية المدنيين من قوات الرئيس بشار الأسد.
وأوضح جورج صبرا المتحدث باسم المجلس أن المعارضة تطالب بفتح ممرات إنسانية وإقامة مناطق آمنة ومنطقة حظر طيران لوقف هجمات قوات الأسد.
وقال صبرا في مؤتمر صحافي في اسطنبول: “نطالب بتدخل عسكري عربى ودولي عاجل من أجل إنقاذ المدنيين. نطالب بممرات ومناطق آمنة توفر الحماية من خطر الإبادة للمواطنين المهددة حياتهم ووجودهم”.
وأضاف أنهم يطالبون بحظر جوي على كافة الأراضي السورية لمنع عصابات الأسد من ارتكاب المزيد من المجازر والمذابح.
وكان رئيس المجلس الوطني السوري المعارض، برهان غليون، قد أكد لقناة “العربية”، الجمعة، أن “المجلس بدأ يحصل على موارد مالية، عبارة عن هبات من بعض الدول العربية والأجنبية، وأنه يحاول الآن الحصول على سلاح نوعي لكسر الذراع القاتلة للنظام السوري”.
وقال إن “الأولوية الآن هي كسر هذه الذراع القاتلة وتنحية بشار الأسد والميليشيات التي تحكم سوريا الآن”، على حد تعبيره.
ووصف عمليات قصف الأحياء السكنية بأنها “إبادة جماعية”، موضحاً أن الموقف في سوريا يوصف بأنه عنف متبادل “يحمل الكثير من التجني، فلا يمكن مقارنة بعض الأفراد الذين يحملون أسلحة خفيفة للدفاع عن أنفسهم وأعراضهم بآلة حرب ثقيلة تستخدم الصواريخ والمدفعية والطائرات”.

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/03/12/200273.html

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March 12th, 2012, 6:27 pm

 

660. SANDRO LOEWE said:

ALAN,

Your big mistake is associating Assad with the palestinian struggle. If someone is suffering as palestinians do and did in the past it is the syrian people demanding their fundamental rights under bombs and torutres. Try to renew your ideas as reality changes or you will find yourself defending the same crimes Israel is commiting.

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March 12th, 2012, 6:28 pm

 

661. majedkhaldoun said:

One day Bashar is going to be captured, and will be sentenced to death, which way he should be killed by.

1 Hanging
2 Shoot him by a gun
3 Inject deadly poison in his vein
4 Use a knife.to stab him
5 Burn him
6 starve him to death
7 keep him in jail with loud noise,till he commit suicide.

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March 12th, 2012, 6:32 pm

 

662. zoo said:

US and Russia clash in UN over Syria
Joe Lauria
Mar 13, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/us-and-russia-clash-in-un-over-syria

Mr Lavrov told the UN Security Council: “Interference from outside using raw military force increases the illicit spread of arms, thus jeopardising stability in the region.

“Making hasty demands for regime change, imposing unilateral sanctions designed to trigger economic difficulties and social tensions, inducing the opposition to continue its confrontation with the authorities instead of promoting dialogue, making calls in support of armed confrontation and even for foreign military intervention, all of the above are risky recipes of geopolitical engineering that clearly result in the spread of conflict.”

Mr Lavrov said the Syrian authorities “bear a huge share of responsibility for the current situation”, he it should not be ignored that “for a long time now they have not been fighting unarmed men but combat units”.

These included the Free Syrian army and “extremist groups, including Al Qaeda, which has lately committed a series of murderous terrorist acts”.

“At this stage we shouldn’t talk about who started it, but instead about realistic and feasible approaches to allow us to achieve a ceasefire.”

The Russian foreign minister also singled out the rights of Christians in Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world in an apparent reference to Moscow’s own struggles against Islamists in the north Caucus region and fear that Islamists could replace the Syrian president, Bashar Al Assad.
(…)

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March 12th, 2012, 6:34 pm

 

663. irritated said:

#662

All of the above

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March 12th, 2012, 6:35 pm

 

664. Uzair8 said:

@659 Irritated

I was wondering who earlier comments were referring to as ‘Big Bird’. Later I suspected it may be the amir of Qatar. So it’s actually the Foreign Minister.

Btw I meant Hillary Clinton is Miss Piggy according to Ann and Irritated.

That’s enough off-topic sesame street related talk. We’ll get into trouble for lowering the standards of the blog..lol.

Btw everyone, in 3 days time the popular mass revolution will be one year old.

@662 Majed.

Glad you didn’t list the flamethrower. Oh..actually there is option 5 so it is.

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March 12th, 2012, 6:39 pm

 

665. irritated said:

Uzair8 #665

BigBird is HBJ, the ministry of Foreign affairs that we have been seen a bit too much in the last few months.

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March 12th, 2012, 6:44 pm

 

666. Tara said:

Looking for beauty and the truth.   

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9139453/Syria-Marie-Colvin-laid-to-rest-in-New-York.html

Syria: Marie Colvin laid to rest in New York

Malek Jandali, a Syrian-American musician whose family is from Homs, travelled from Atlanta for the funeral service. He said: “She was looking for beauty and truth, and she was telling the world about the vicious crimes.”

Prayers were heard for the people of Syria, before her best friend from Yale University, Katrina Heron, told the congregation that as well of being “full of passion, full of belief,” Colvin was great fun to be around, and that her visits home were filled with “pandemonium” and “mirth”.
She read an email the correspondent had sent while covering the Iraq war, which said: “I’m in Baghdad. You’d love it here. It’s just like New York, except without cars, restaurants, shops, telephones, electricity or taxis.”
… .
A group of Sri Lanka immigrants held up a placard outside the church describing Colvin as the “uncrowned queen of intrepid journalists.”
Seetharam Sivam said he came to pay his respects because the reporter had alerted the world to the horrors of the Sri Lankan civil war, losing an eye in 2001 after being hit by shrapnel.
“She took the risks and went into war zones. She brought the truth of the Tamil plight to the world,” he said.
… .
In her last broadcast from Homs, Colvin told CNN how she had watched a baby die in the rubble, and condemned the Syrian government for attacking civilians.
“It’s a complete and utter lie that they are only going after terrorists,” she said. “There are no military targets here.”
… .

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March 12th, 2012, 6:52 pm

 

667. Uzair8 said:

@666 Irritated.

666 the bearer of confusing news…lol.

You confused me there. I edited previous post. Trying to google Qatars PM and FM gave the same result. Turns out he is both PM and FM of Qatar.

Anyway. I better slip into the shadows (over posting). Unless anything significant comes up.

Btw. . Did I really see the word ‘squeal’ in #617 ?

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March 12th, 2012, 6:55 pm

 

668. SANDRO LOEWE said:

662. MAJEDKHALDOUN

I think the best option would be:

First: Issuing a decree that allows torture penalty for Presidents and their brothers who are above 44 years and have spent at least 11 years in power.

Second: Celebrating a trial in military court respecting all laws as well as presumption of innocence

Third: Being sentenced to life tortures.

Fourth: Execution of judgement in public. The torture camera would be installed for life in Marje Square (Martyr´s Square) so all citizens could hear the names of all corrupted syrians while drinking coffe or hubble bubbling.

Fifth: When Assad expresses its desire to die because he cannot stand more tortures proceed to following step.

Sixth: issuing a decree stating that any President aged 44 or above who asks to die be sentenced to life tortures.

Seventh: celebrating another trial and sentence him to life tortures once again so he has the chance to reveal all crimes commited.

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March 12th, 2012, 7:16 pm

 

669. Tara said:

Firas Tlass should be banned from travel to the EU and the US and his assets should be frozen. It is stolen money. I am speculating the rumors in regard to his “alleged” altercation with Asif Shawkat are self-fabricated to give the family an opportunity to reverse course after the revolution emerges victorious.

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March 12th, 2012, 7:19 pm

 

670. Syrialover said:

# 669. SANDRO LOEWE

So you will let 41-year old super-mafia operator and regime financier Rami Makhlouf be too young for punishment?

# 667. TARA

Yes, Marie Colvin is the person some here approved of having a violent death and said she deserved it. In their creepy twisted world she was just a nuisance.

Assad’s operatives would have had their bonuses cut (or whatever they do to reward them) because they didn’t manage to kill ALL the media who reported from Homs.

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March 12th, 2012, 7:28 pm

 

671. Observer said:

So who did the massacre?
Regular army, security forces, uncontrolled paid elements, FSA fighters, foreign armed mercenaries, local armed terrorist gangs, criminal elements, Alqadea, CIA, Blackwater, Mossad, combination of the armed terrorist gangs?

It is high crimes and crimes against humanity; therefore every effort should be done to bring the perpetrators to justice.

If it is army, the commander in chief should be brought for questioning. If it is the security services the minister of interior, if it is on the other hand any of the anti-regime groups as described by SANA then the security services have failed in their duties.

We were shown families returning to BA after it was restored to law and order and therefore the security services have not been able to secure areas of Homs.

If they are not capable of protecting the people then they require all of the support to restore order right?

Therefore, they should ask for help, for not asking for help is actually abating and helping the criminals escape and do more of the same and therefore the commander in chief and the ministers of defense and the interior should be questioned and removed from their offices.

At least I thought that this is what the new constitution has stipulated.

So here we have it now; let appropriate forces enter and help restore order.

I suggest troops from Algeria, Brazil, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Jordan, Nepal, Indonesia, and I suggester monitors from HRW, Amnesty International, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Oxfam, ICRC, and a few others to help ensure that no abuse is taking place.

I challenge every one on this blog to present me with a counterargument or a different proposal or a genuine attempt at a solution to this particular massacre and previous and I hope not subsequent ones.

If the regime is fighting armed terrorist infiltrating foreign elements of whatever stripe color and denomination and it is incapable of protecting life and property then what is the problem in asking for help.

We would certainly ask for help and we in the US did receive help from the Cubans after the hurricane that destroyed New Orleans. What problem does this have.

So go ahead and let us a genuine response to this challenge.

One final note, keep the debate on Syria not AJ, Qatar, Russia, China, US soldiers raping fellow female recruits, OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson, or any other distraction that we keep getting bombarded with from A…..fill in the blank News Network, or J……..Just A…………..adoring…………….D………dude or the like.

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March 12th, 2012, 7:28 pm

 

672. SANDRO LOEWE said:

672. JAD,

My dear I am not killing anyone. I am defending the right of the President to live. As he is a righteous person most surely he followed the Kant maxima of treating the others as you would like to be treated. So in this case I am sure he will find tortures he used against the ¨others¨ a very kind way of enjoying his life in prison.

So, do you think after the sadistic show Assadism is giving to the world nobody can desire a punishment for the responsible?
It would hypocritical and false to deny this feeling. This guy has become one of the most infamous personalities in world history.

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March 12th, 2012, 7:33 pm

 

673. SANDRO LOEWE said:

673. SYRIALOVER

Rami Makhlouf would enjoy life prison and would be in charge of calculating all the money stolen for 40 years. As a salary he would get a SIM card (without credit unities and no coverage) every month. To talk to his beloved ones he could hire a mobile paying 10.000.000 sp per minut.

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March 12th, 2012, 7:42 pm

 

674. irritated said:

#672 Jad

This Blog is having pernicious effects on many people. We are seeing increases symptoms of mental disturbances: Paranoia (i.e we’re being watched by the FBI), Sadism (repetitive call for elaborated tortures on opponents), the religious persecution syndrome (the phobias attributed to some commenters ), the George Orwell syndrome (calling people names of animals: pigs, dogs, hyenas… ) etc..

For a quick relief, some were practising the Cursing therapy (as described below) but now that cursing has been banned on SC, I think we need an SC therapist to prevent more serious fits and cool down the tension.

“Bad language could be good for you, a new study shows. For the first time, psychologists have found that swearing may serve an important function in relieving pain.”
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-we-swear

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March 12th, 2012, 7:47 pm

 

675. jad said:

Dear SL
Everybody have the desire to wish whatever they want, but when you start sharing a very detailed torture and killing methods and how to do it and what to do, it becomes disturbing.

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March 12th, 2012, 7:47 pm

 

676. SANDRO LOEWE said:

678. JAD

My message is not serious but even if you take it seriously it is a joke compared to daily news we receive from all cities, specially when it comes to raped women in front of their children and their collective slaughtering (same things that happened in Lebanon). I thnik you use double standars. You feel disturbed by a joke but accept the wild assasination politics os Assadism?
There is something wrong.

A president that drives his country to this nightmare does not deserve any respect.

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March 12th, 2012, 7:54 pm

 

677. mjabali said:

Mjabali, thank you for the note about censorship. Syrian Hamster made a similar objection to censorship on Syrians. It is a good point

We still are guests of Joshua Landis. He asks us all to understand the purpose of Syria Comment, and to abide by posted rules. I volunteer to monitor the comments, apply the rules fairly, with help from the community of commentators. We want the widest possible range of opinion, with the widest possible freedom of expression.

Personal attacks, discriminatory or hateful language — these are the main concerns of most people here, and these Dr Landis says are ‘not tolerated.’

I will make errors, so I appreciate correctives, alerts, notes. SCModeration@mail.com

Majedkhaldoun:

Many Sunnis are trying to say that according to Islam al-Assad is eligible for al-Haraba.
حكم الحرابة

So far in this conflict al-Assad has been portrayed and considered as a non-Muslim who is fighting Allah and the Muslims.

For those who do not know: al-Haraba is a rule regarding those captured when fighting “Muslims.”

Some Sunni religious “scholars” said that al-Assad is eligible for this treatment. According to the rule: the captive should have receive what Surat al-Maida said.

Here is a link to what some “Sunni Scholars” had came up with in January 2012, the link is from Ikhwanonline.com

http://www.ikhwanonline.com/Article.aspx?artid=100423&secid=341

As for what al-Quran said:

إِنَّمَا جَزَاءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الَأرْضِ فَسَادًا أَنْ يُقَتَّلُوا أَوْ يُصَلَّبُوا أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُمْ

المائدة، ٣٣

This rule was applied in Syria during this civil war we are witnessing.

There are many You Tube videos showing this. I have seen few and it is hard to erase them from your memory.

As for FBI watching people: don’t you think that the FBI should be watching those who classify people to infidel or non-infidel?

Don’t you think that the FBI should be watching those who have zero respect to other religions, sects and minorities and deep down want to apply al-Haraba on most of them?

PS: Neither the moderator or anyone else to this effect has the right to censor my words. I am a polite person and my comments here always showed this. So please have respect to our struggle against censorship that been the story of our lives and let us say what is on our minds with no FEAR of censorship.

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March 12th, 2012, 9:38 pm

 

678. 873 said:

547. SANDRO LOEWE said:
Dear 873,
Regarding your comment 539, I suposse it will be cancelled by the moderator if there is any.

Yes your whining got you your way. I was censored and You are free to wish others dead and call them apes, swine pigs etc as per SC, while #601 can call for the American Mukhabarat FBI to to surveil those on the forum he disagrees with:

“Assad must be a target he and his family must be targeted, US can trace him easily. The SC members supporting Assad, They do not believe in freedom and democracy, thus they pose serious danger to the saftey and security of the USA ,if they live in the USA, and must be watched carefully by the FBI,they can not hide behind fake names, my political friends agree.”

Its people with your mindset who are already in the regime and have the power in Syria. With such a similiar mindset, why dont you join them where you belong instead of “protesting”? Are You really for freedom, or just for your faction to be put in power?

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March 13th, 2012, 6:49 am

 

679. omen said:

Alan, you cited webster tarpley as a source? the man traffics in conspiracy theories. he’s a global warming denialist and a lyndon larouche follower.

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March 14th, 2012, 8:51 pm

 

680. omen said:

873, you faulted me citing nir rosen assertion that salafism isn’t important in syria. you called him a mossad agent.

first of all, it’s not in israel’s interest to foster support for arab democracies. israel prefers to deal with dictators. they’re still mourning the loss of mubarak.

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March 14th, 2012, 9:01 pm

 

681. omen said:

671. Observer said: So who did the massacre?

the man who banned journalists from entering syria so they couldn’t document evidence of his military and security forces committing war crimes.

if assad had nothing to hide, he wouldn’t ban journalists.

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March 14th, 2012, 9:08 pm

 

682. omen said:

somebody had a problem with my assessment of israel? give me the counter argument.

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March 14th, 2012, 9:12 pm

 

683. omen said:

mjabali, in the amnesty international report released documenting torture committed by the regime, it includes accounts where male prisoners were raped by male security officers.

how does islam regard that? what kind of judgement/treatment would assad render for that?

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March 14th, 2012, 9:20 pm

 

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