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

451. irritated said:

#432

“I believe Hamad Bin Jassem should be the ruler of Syria.”

Oh yes! Long live to HBJ and the Queen.

http://blog.thaeger.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/muppet-look-alikes-Big-Bird-Queen-Elizabeth-II.jpg

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March 11th, 2012, 8:22 pm

 

452. Tara said:

Oh My God! The link in 449 is horrific. This is a Syrian Sabra and Shatila.
And we are supposed to live with the animals who committed such crimes? And we are asked to negotiate with them? We shall not be reconcile ourselves to animals. They belong to underground and the FSA will get the job done.

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March 11th, 2012, 8:30 pm

 

453. zoo said:

A new Gaza war?
The first “Iron Dome” real life test.

Iron Dome intercepts 8 rockets ( out of 14); IDF strikes Gaza
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND REUTERS
Last updated: 03/11/2012 14:32
http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=261327
Over 130 rockets and mortar shells fall on Israel since Friday; Palestinian medical sources says 12-year-old boy killed in northern Gaza; over 200,000 children stay at home from school. nce drew appeals for a cease-fire from the European Union, the West Bankbased Palestinian Authority and Egypt. IDF sources said that Israel was in constant touch with Egypt.

In the Gaza Strip, thousands attended funerals for the dead gunmen on Saturday, listening to speeches calling for revenge.
Gaza officials said Israeli troops opened fire on mourners at a burial for an Islamic Jihad gunman attended by hundreds at a cemetery near the Israeli frontier fence, wounding four. The IDF did not have an immediate comment on the incident.

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March 11th, 2012, 8:34 pm

 

454. Son of Damascus said:

Tara,

It really is horrific and beastly. The animals that did this just can’t be human, it is just despicable.

There are more videos but I can’t stomach to watch them let alone share them.

Allah yer7amon, oh yel3an ro7 el ataloun.

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March 11th, 2012, 8:47 pm

 

455. Tara said:

The world must intervene. 47 women and children slaughtered in their houses by Sabeehas. Some were burned. Time has come for no fly zone and safe haven. This is enough. The footage are horrific and nauseating. The footage is on Aljazeera. Shelling was paused for few hours to allow shabeehas to enter Karm al Zeitoun to commit the massacre.

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March 11th, 2012, 8:52 pm

 

456. zoo said:

Explosive crisis involving Syria opposition, UAE police chief, Yusuf Al Qaradawi and Egypt Moslem Brotherhood

Thamer Subaihi
Mar 12, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/syria-bid-to-resolve-yusuf-dispute
Syrian opposition leaders moved yesterday to defuse a verbal spat involving the UAE, Dubai’s police chief and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Syrian National Council denied asking the controversial Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi to intervene in the dispute, the state news agency Wam reported.

“We do not need a mediator between us and the UAE, with which we have strong ties,” the council said. The dispute began when a group of Syrians had their residence permits revoked after a demonstration outside their country’s consulate in Dubai on February 10.

The move was criticised by Sheikh Yusuf, who has strong links to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and features in his own programme on Al Jazeera.

In response, the Dubai police chief, Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, threatened to issue a warrant for Sheikh Yusuf’s arrest if he repeated his criticism of the UAE.

A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, Mahmud Ghazlan, said the “entire Muslim world” would act against the UAE if it issued an arrest warrant for the Egyptian imam.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, met the Egyptian foreign minister, Mohammed Amr, to demand an explanation for Mr Ghazlan’s comments.

They also drew condemnation from the Gulf Cooperation Council. The secretary general of the GCC, Dr Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, said the threat was “irresponsible”.

“What affects the UAE affects all GCC member states,” said Mr Al Zayani. The remarks were “inconsistent” with unifying the Arab world, he added.
(..)

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March 11th, 2012, 8:59 pm

 

457. Tara said:

Sod

I am going crazy. This is horrible. I can’t stop vomiting. It was aired on aljazeera. Please post all links. It is the least you can do to expose Assad. These are people manually slaughtered by the shabeeha who entered after the shelling paused. What is the world waiting for? I was against Arab fighters helping out. Arab volunteers should pour in. We need them. It is time. This can’t go on. These are children. How can anyone slaughter a child. I just can’t imagine the look on a face of a child being slaughtered or watching his brother/siste, or mother slaughtered before him while his turn is coming… Oh my God.

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March 11th, 2012, 9:04 pm

 

458. Jad said:

What are you people talking about?

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March 11th, 2012, 9:08 pm

 

459. Son of Damascus said:

Tara,

“It is the least you can do to expose Assad.”

You are right, I am just in complete and utter shock.

Live link to Karam El Zeitouneh

http://bambuser.com/v/2462754

Photo posted of this little angel that was savagely murdered.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=361820753858423&set=a.195329237174243.43855.194916343882199&type=1&theater

Photo of another child

https://twitter.com/#!/MoZoSo/status/179002675042598912/photo/1

Another video

May they rest in peace, their story will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

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March 11th, 2012, 9:17 pm

 

460. ann said:

Syria: A risky bet for Obama – Sunday,March 11 2012

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syria-a-risky-bet-for-obama-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=15768&NewsCatID=396

More than all other arguments, a particular focus on domestic dynamics is vital in grasping Obama’s position on Syria. This is an election year and Obama does not want any huge problem to pop up and put him in a difficult position as the incumbent. Possible turmoil in the Middle East or the collapse of a stable Iraq would boost Republican criticisms on troop withdrawal.

Thus, Obama would not bet on Syria as that could escalate tension and instability in the region, which would hurt his campaign.
In addition, while focusing on the economic crisis, the American public would interpret an intervention as “wasting limited resources” for an “unnecessary adventure.” It is useful to recall the criticisms of Obama in the Libyan case even though the U.S. was “leading from behind” then.

The possibility of a humanitarian cause for military intervention and public pressure seem low because the al-Assad administration is abstaining from mass murders, thus preventing the formation of a remarkable reaction in American people. Even in cases of blatant atrocities such as Homs, the American public’s attention to Syria has been pretty low.

According to the Pew Research Center, only 9 percent of media coverage is allocated for Syria and the public interest in Syria comes after the elections, economy, and even after the cancer drug shortage at only 4 percent. Unless a serious intervention takes place, the al-Assad administration is expected to continue the present course and there will not be huge public pressure under such circumstances.

In short, the Obama administration regards a military intervention as a huge risk for its campaign and sees that the status quo better serves its interests, at least during an election period. Thus, the U.S. will publicly shun providing arms out of concerns of an escalation. There is no political will to go there for a solely humanitarian cause either. Thus, the rhetoric about an al-Qaeda risk in Syria or an uncoordinated and unknown Syrian opposition does not seem to be the real reason behind the U.S. hesitation.

[...]

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March 11th, 2012, 9:36 pm

 

461. Syrialover said:

458. Jad said: What are you people talking about?

Nothing, Jad, don’t you worry about it. It is done in a film lot in Qatar or the work of some day tripping al qaeda types.

To Son Of Damascus – those shocking images in the links you just posted show a small fragment of the devastating reality of what is happening in Syria to ordinary Syrians. And who the hell do those disgusting animals report to? The links of command can be laid out right though into the luxury offices in Damascus.

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March 11th, 2012, 9:43 pm

 

462. majedkhaldoun said:

حزب الله اذا نجح السنه فى سوريا سنتحالف مع اسرائيل hizbal

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March 11th, 2012, 9:43 pm

 

463. ann said:

Syrian army starts operation in northern province – March 12, 2012

http://www.china.org.cn/video/2012-03/12/content_24872365.htm

Syria’s army units have reportedly begun a wide-scale “qualitative” operation in the northern province of Idlib, targeting hideouts of “armed terrorist groups”.

Fierce clashes erupted on Saturday between the two sides. Local state media said the crackdown is moving to restore normalcy to the city, assuring no casualties were caused among the army. The Syrian government has launched similar crackdowns in surrounding areas.

Another state media source said the army troops killed 14 of the gunmen during the operation in Idlib.

[...]

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March 11th, 2012, 9:44 pm

 

464. jad said:

Son of Damascus,
That is horrific! I couldn’t watch more than the first minute.
Whoever commit this crime doesn’t belong to humans, only pure evil things can commit such crimes on purpose.
May God rest their souls in peace.

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March 11th, 2012, 10:04 pm

 

465. Son of Damascus said:

SyriaLover,

Genocide is happening in our country, and the world is just watching it happen.
We deserve better, those people and the 10000 others deserved better.

And the worst part is this nightmare is not over…

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March 11th, 2012, 10:06 pm

 

466. ann said:

Dirty War in Sweden: Trial by Media for Assange – Sun 11 Mar, 2012

The War On WikiLeaks Is Now Trial By Media In Sweden

http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1-/11180-dirty-war-in-sweden-trial-by-media-for-assange.html

War by media, says current military doctrine, is as important as the battlefield. This is because the real enemy is the public at home, whose manipulation and deception are essential for starting an unpopular colonial war. Like the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, attacks on Iran and Syria require a steady drip-effect on readers’ and viewers’ consciousness. This is the essence of a propaganda that rarely speaks its name.

[...]

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March 11th, 2012, 10:07 pm

 

467. ann said:

464. jad said:

Whoever commit this crime doesn’t belong to humans, only pure evil things can commit such crimes on purpose.
.
.
These angels are famous of committing such crimes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9WkrEo1O6k&feature=youtu.be

They have a proven history record of committing such crimes in Iraq

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March 11th, 2012, 10:23 pm

 

468. jad said:

Ann
I strongly disagree with you on this.
Breaking headstones is not comparable in anyway I look at it to killing a human beings, nothing is, the first is vandalism, the second is a crime against all of us, don’t you agree?

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March 11th, 2012, 10:32 pm

 

469. ann said:

468. jad said:

Ann
I strongly disagree with you on this.
Breaking headstones is not comparable in anyway I look at it to killing a human beings, nothing is, the first is vandalism, the second is a crime against all of us, don’t you agree?

They are paid cold blooded murderers doing their masters biding

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March 11th, 2012, 10:38 pm

 

470. Tara said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuxADIxkl-Q

I can’t even look at the face . I take my eyes off. 

Enjoy your life.

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March 11th, 2012, 10:47 pm

 

471. Syrialover said:

Every single Syrian who is killed and tortured, on all sides, in the struggle to protect Basher Assad is the victim of Basher Assad’s choice. His deliberate and conscious CHOICE.

He had the CHOICE of responding reasonably to peaceful demonstrations by the rural poor, or viciously blasting them with guns and rounding them up for torture.

From the first shocking fatal gunfire and mass arrests there was no turning back. Now we are seeing how far it has gone. How he CHOOSES to escalate the savagery daily and keep it going as long as he can.

Well, after all, he has his family’s 60% control of Syria’s collapsing economy to defend and his security chiefs’ feral hatreds and sadism to indulge.

And the devastation to millions of wonderful Syrian people, an entire country? Nothing, those people are all expendable and no use to the regime, especially the poor ones.

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March 11th, 2012, 10:50 pm

 

472. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

Dear Moderator:

I don’t know why you wasted your time editing my comments. Why do I think so? You did only three un-necessary correctons (please correct me if I am wrong):

1) You edited capital letters because you thought that I was trying to shout and be rude. Sorry if I scared any grown men and women because I didn’t mean so :-) I capitalized for emphasis because I couldn’t find the bold button the comment writing section. Sorry if I hurt anybody’s feeling!

2) I wasn’t aware that Prof. Landis was corrected with 80% Alawi military officers. What’s important to me, and I believe that Professor Landis hasn’t changed his mind on this, is that Sunni Syrians are 80% of the population. They are marginalized. It is like having a Mormon dictator (sorry Mormons! I am just giving an example) here in America oppressing Baptists/Evangelists/Catholics for 42 years!

3)You seemed too protective of Irritated who accused me of being Shiaphobe (his comments are still posted un-edited) by removing my belief that his comments are anti-Sunni.

Mr. Moderator, I will find you more neutral when you begin to edit Irritated and Ann. The latter’s comments are full of hate against Sunni Muslims!
Best,
Dawoud

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March 11th, 2012, 10:51 pm

 

473. jad said:

Ann,
Whoever did this crime, be it the regime or the terrorists, should pay.
The Syrian government should take responsibility and do an investigation to tell us what really happened, if they can’t, then call for some independent organization that could do the job for them, letting all these crimes to be committed everyday and to go unnoticed or simply deny it without any further investigation, explanations or an effort to talk to Syrians is like killing those innocent victims one more time and it’s actually destroying Syria.

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March 11th, 2012, 10:55 pm

 

474. Syrialover said:

Ann, you constantly reveal you know nothing about anything about the Middle East and Arab people.

Your silly comments about what is happening in Syria are obscene.

I suggest you stop neglecting your high school homework instead of playing around and insulting and offending others who actually care and have a stake in what is happening in Syria.

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March 11th, 2012, 10:58 pm

 

475. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

P.S., for those who accuse me of being anti-Shia I say that I only hate Shia hypocrisy that justifies Bashar al-Assad’s brutal tyranny and murder. I am very much saddened and disgusted by Hasan Nasrallah’s speeches that lectures people as if they were little kids in order to defend his speeches.
Just read his disgusting and arrogant speeches and you may excuse me for being too upset with him. As I earlier promised, below are the Websites and blogs that translate Nasrallah’s speeches in case many of you don’t know Arabic. I obtained this list from a Google search.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hassan_Nasrallah

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Br4hmdgaiE

amiddleeastblog.blogspot.com/…/english-translation-of-sayyed-hassa…

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March 11th, 2012, 11:06 pm

 

476. ann said:

473. jad said:

Ann,
Whoever did this crime, be it the regime or the terrorists, should pay.

Like all cold blooded murderers, they will pay for their crimes until the very last one of them. Including their masters who issue fatwas from god to absolve their crimes

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March 11th, 2012, 11:12 pm

 

477. Hans said:

@ DHH
you said to the moderator;

“You did only three un-necessary correctons (please correct me if I am wrong)”

it is a funny post.
Correction not correctons therefore i am correcting you not the moderator correctons you.

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March 11th, 2012, 11:13 pm

 

478. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

477. HANS

Mr. HANSs:

Thanks for you crorrectios (sorry, I mean corrections). I will vote for you as the king of spelll check (I mean spell check). Can you also provide me with grammarll check (I mean grammar check)? :-)

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March 11th, 2012, 11:15 pm

 

479. jad said:

Dawood
فهمنا بقى، كل تعليق بدك تكتبوا بدك تقلنا أديش بتكره الشيعة و العلوية عيب بقى لسا الشيعة مجرمين و أهل السنة ملائكة، خلصنا من هلحكي الطائفي المقرف حاج…

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March 11th, 2012, 11:15 pm

 

480. ann said:

474. Syrialover said:

We will never forget the massacre that happened to us here on 9/11.

NEVER

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March 11th, 2012, 11:20 pm

 

481. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

479. JAD

ولله يا أخ جاد, وأقول لك أخ مع أني اعتقد أنك شيعي أو علوي لاني لا أكرهم. ما كنت أفول هذا الكلام الا من بعد ما سمعت بشار وبثينه شعبان بخوفوا الاقليات من السنه. وخطابات حسن نصر الله زادت الطين بله! لو كن تعرفني شخصيا لما قلت هذا الكلام. الم يكن حسن محبوبا في العالم السني قبل ما بدا يدافع عن بشار؟ والسلام

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March 11th, 2012, 11:21 pm

 

482. Observer said:

I did go on SANA and they have a breaking news that the images posted are those of armed terrorist gangs that have kidnapped the victims; slaughtered them; and in a conspiracy with satellite TV stations are posting them as the work of Syria’s armed forces.
I guess SANA relies on AJ to know what is happening in Homs. I do not think they dare to go there and investigate independently like any professional news organisation.

Well, if this version of events is true it is the worst failure on the part of the famed armed services and the 17 security branches and the popular army and the police to protect the people. Therefore, in view of this ongoing chaos that the regime is incapable of stopping or preventing or punishing, I say please send peace keeping troops into Homs, Idlib, Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa, Zabadani, etc…. etc….. to help the forces of Syria. I say this tongue in cheek as everyone on this blog knows the answer: Fredo declared we are strong with the strength of support of our population.

I would also say that more than 40 years of a state of emergency to defend the country against imperialist zionist aggression has left us with a pitiful inept corrupt and incapable security force structure. Therefore, the structure has to go.

With these pictures coming out today and the day before Lavrov goes to NY for the UNSC meeting, I would say that this is disastrous for the regime and for Russia and for Putin personally.

The other news talk about the defection of the Tlas brothers high ranking officers in the RG of the regime.

If this is correct, then I would say the rats are leaving the sinking ship.

The recalling of ambassadors from the EU is supposedly to pre empt them being expelled, I would say it is a pre emption against massive defections.

Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war. This is what Fredo and his family thought they could do riding this tiger home.

I honestly humbly sincerely believe that the corruption of power in this and other families ruling the Arab world is mind boggling and leaves me speechless and revolted at the same time.

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March 11th, 2012, 11:25 pm

 

483. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

9/11 was a brutal terrorist attack, and as an American, I will never forget. I condemn all terrorism, including the terrorism that Bashar al-Assad’s is now committing against Syrians. I also condemn Israeli terrorism.

I will also not forget the 1983 terrorist attack on the Marines in Beirut, which was carried out by Shia terrorists. Do the Americans who love Hasan Nasrallah and post his speeches on their blogs also condemn the the Shia terrorist attacks on Amerians, like the the attack on the Marines and the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia?

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March 11th, 2012, 11:27 pm

 

484. Son of Damascus said:

These criminals have raped our land, raped our women, and raped our children.
These animals are killing our people, savagely beating them, and mercilessly trying to kill the humanity in our country.

These are Assad’s dogs. Shabihat Al Assad

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March 11th, 2012, 11:28 pm

 

485. jad said:

أخ داوود،
أنا بناديلك أخ لأنو ما بهمني شو دينك، بيهمني تكون سوري وبس.
رح تضيع البلد من ورى هلحكي الطائفي يلي منسمعو كل يوم إن كان من السعوديين أو القطريين يلي حياتون كلها طائفية وتخلف، كل هاد ما بيهم.يلي بيهم لما نسمع هالحكي من السوريين، هون المصيبة، وإنت بكتاباتك عم تكون عنصر مساعد لحتى تزيد الطين بله. رجاءً حاول تكون من السوريين يلي بدون يمشو بالبلد لمستقبل أحسن مو لنكون متل الخلايجية لا دماغ ولا مستقبل بس كره وتعصب وإنحراف.

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March 11th, 2012, 11:34 pm

 

486. Syrialover said:

480. Ann said: “474. Syrialover said: We will never forget the massacre that happened to us here on 9/11.NEVER”

You ARE spaced out and losing it! That comment is not mine. Hilarious.

My comment was that you should get back to your high school homework and stop entertaining yourself here in an ugly way.

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March 11th, 2012, 11:39 pm

 

487. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

485. JAD

للاسف البلد, سوريا, خربت لانه في رئيس وعائلته يعتقدوا ان كرسي الحكم لشخص معين اهم من الوطن. المصريون يقولون: “نموت وتحيا مصر” لو قال بشار هذا لما سمعنا عن سني ولا علوي ولا كردي ولا مسيحي. البلد بتدمر. اي يا بشار اعلن انك ستتنحي بعد ما يصير انتخابات تعدديه انت غير مرشح فيها. اي 42 من حكم عائله, سواء كانت سنيه او علويه او من كوكب المريخ, كفايه. والسلام يا أخ جاد

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March 11th, 2012, 11:44 pm

 

488. ann said:

Why U.S. shouldn’t rush to war in Syria

http://articles.cnn.com/2012-03-08/opinion/opinion_clark-syria-intervention_1_syrian-regime-syrian-opposition-arab-spring?_s=PM:OPINION

We have just exited Iraq after 8½ years, a cost of more than $1 trillion and a loss of some 5,000 U.S. service members. And Iraq is still a cockpit for sectarian struggle and violence.

In Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, strong Islamic sentiments have inevitably surfaced despite the democratic and Western-oriented facade of the initial Arab Spring uprisings. The future orientation of these states is likely to be less helpful to U.S. aims and policies in the region than their predecessors. And overshadowing Syria is the worry of Iran’s nuclear ambition, and the fact that “all” options must be kept available in case diplomacy fails there.

So, in the case of Syria, we must ask, first, what are the U.S. national interests at stake? What is our objective? Then, how would the use of force attain that objective? How much force, how applied, at what cost? What is the end state we seek? What basis in international law is there for action? Which allies will help us? And, when all is said and done, have we actually achieved what we set out to do, and at a cost and risk proportionate to U.S. interests?

[...]

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March 11th, 2012, 11:47 pm

 

489. irritated said:

Observer #482

“the worst failure on the part of the famed armed services and the 17 security branches and the popular army and the police to protect the people.”

If it is true that these poor people were kidnapped by armed gangs and murdered in cold blood, it is a disastrous failure for the FSA who is supposedly protecting the civilians and in fact has been serving as a convenient screen to armed gangs of criminals.

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March 11th, 2012, 11:48 pm

 

490. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

486. SYRIALOVER

Hasan Narallah’s speeches blind the eyes and darken the souls!

الله يخليك لسوريا يا حبيب سوريا

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March 11th, 2012, 11:48 pm

 

491. zoo said:

Hezbollah: US Embassy “anti-Assad spy nest”
Published Sunday, March 11, 2012
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/hezbollah-us-embassy-anti-assad-spy-nest

A leading Hezbollah official said on Sunday that the US Embassy in Lebanon was being used by anti-Assad forces.

Nabil Qaouq, deputy head of the party’s executive committee, described the US Embassy in Awkar, north of the capital Beirut, as an anti-Assad spy-nest and a launching pad of anti-regime military operations, the National News Agency reported.

“The American ambassador to Lebanon is working on raising sedition and incitement. What is even worse is that U.S. officers at the embassy are running smuggling operations and arming [groups] against Syria,” Qaouk said during a ceremony in the town of Babliyeh in the southern coastal city of Sidon.

The senior Hezbollah figure told supporters that the anti-Assad conspirators had failed in their attempts to overthrow the Syrian regime from outside.

Foreign powers were beginning to abandon their aims of intervention, he added.

Hezbollah supports the Syrian government’s claims that those calling for the fall of the Assad regime are “terrorists” backed by Western powers
(…)

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March 11th, 2012, 11:54 pm

 

492. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

Attn.: JAD, Syria Lover, Tara, Majed, ….

When we liberate Syria I intend to go back to Damascus to hold a big party in my grandparents old house. It’s a big house. You are ALL invited! (Sorry moderator I didn’t mean to scare anybody by capitalizing “all”). I know that Irritated said that it’s enough for him/her that he/sh reads my comments and didn’t want to know me. But I promise you that Damascus’ food الاكل الشامي would be yammy!

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March 11th, 2012, 11:57 pm

 

493. ann said:

486. Syrialover said:

My comment was that you should get back to your high school homework and stop entertaining yourself here in an ugly way.
.
.
Who do you think you are to stop me from posting here?!

Oh! I forgot, it must be that freedom and democracy you post about every day.

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March 11th, 2012, 11:59 pm

 

494. Syrialover said:

Observer #482.

Good points. Thanks.

In dictatorships like the Assads and Gaddafi and North Korea the main enemy of the country’s army is the people.

The large armed forces are there to protect the regime aginist its citizens.

We are seeing this textbook rule being demonstrated in Syria.

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March 12th, 2012, 12:03 am

 

495. irritated said:

#493 Ann

I am amazed by the repetitive pattern and lack of imagination of some thugs on SC who use curse and threat to express their view of democracy, freedom of speech and dignity. Very promising indeed.
Thank God there is a moderator otherwise it would have gotten very low.

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March 12th, 2012, 12:07 am

 

496. Son of Damascus said:

March 12th, 2012, 12:08 am

 

497. ann said:

492. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

When we liberate Syria I intend to go back to Damascus to hold a big party in my grandparents old house.
.
.
What makes you so sure your grand parents old house will still be standing after NATO finish carpet bombing Damascus
.

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March 12th, 2012, 12:09 am

 

498. Syrialover said:

#493 Ann

You were receiving some kind advice. You are troubled and saying nonesense.

And there you go again, mixing me up in your imagination. I do not “post about freedom and democracy every day.”

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March 12th, 2012, 12:10 am

 

499. DAWOUD HOLY HOMS said:

496. SON OF DAMASCUS

Thanks for the link. I will visit it as soon as I leave here (which is now). Unfortunately, I missed watching tonight because my wife took me to the movies (I watched a horror movie, but it was much less scary than Bashar al-Assad’s horrors)!

P.S., you are also invited to my grandparents house in Damascus for the post-Bashar party!

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March 12th, 2012, 12:12 am

 

500. Son of Damascus said:

These hyenas are going from one part of Homs to another.

Another massacre uncovered in Jobar, three generations of the same family killed.
Their bodies scared stiff before they died.

Assad you are a criminal.

Allah yer7amon,

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March 12th, 2012, 12:13 am

 

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