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:

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

….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)

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251. Tara said:

Sen. Hugh Segal calls for Libya-like operation in Syria

OTTAWA — A high-profile Conservative senator says Canada must be prepared to be part of a military operation with a “coalition of the willing” to end the bloodshed in Syria.

Sen. Hugh Segal told the Senate this week Canada should work with the Arab League to help the beleaguered city of Homs, and create independent plans “to use air assets to contain and restrain the Syrian military.”

A military option should be considered along with ongoing diplomatic pressure to have the United Nations get further involved in Syria, Segal said.

By doing nothing, Canada and its allies are sending a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s administration and “to all the other monsters in the world” that there is no price to pay for killing civilians, Segal said in an interview Friday.

“They will continue to rag the puck, trying to kill more and more of those people who are opposed to the administration . . . and it will get way worse before it gets better,” Segal said.
… .
Segal said the same setup, with the Arab League in the lead, should be planned for Syria. If planning isn’t going on, he said, it should be.

“What you need to have is a coalition of the willing, preferably led by our friends in the Arab League,” Segal said.
… .

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March 10th, 2012, 6:28 pm


252. Tara said:


In case you missed my last post to you, let me repeat what I have said:

I wish to carry no conversation with you until you retract your statement about “cleansing and disinfecting” Homs. While I feel helpless in regared to the war crimes committed in Homs and now Idlib, I at least can express my indignation towards your comment and my refusal to have a dialogue with you. You hurt the humanity in me and that is my way of responding.

Please reflect, and until then if you like to comment on what I post, refer to me as a number.

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March 10th, 2012, 6:41 pm


253. irritated said:

The cacophonia about the military intervention is growing.
Curiously the French, British and Turks have stopped invoking it because ultimately they are the ones who should do it.
Now some republican in the US are raising their voice just to annoy Obama.
And good old BigBird in Qatar, cornered after a succession of failures, is now talking about a virtual Arab army that will save the Syrians from the Evil. He’s seen too many high tech war games where the number of soldiers is function of the amount of dollars you insert in the slot.
When there is so many talks, it usually means that nothing will happen. Next miletstone: Istanbul end march meeting and Iraq AL meeting.

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March 10th, 2012, 6:42 pm


254. jad said:

Lavrov ignored BigBird* at the end of the press conference and he only thanked Alarabi:

تجاهل وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرجي لافروف مصافحة نظيره القطري -عقب انتهاء المؤتمر الصحفي الذي عقد اليوم السبت، بمقر جامعة الدول العربية لمناقشة آخر تطورات الأزمة السورية- واكتفى لافروف بتوجيه الشكر بالاسم للدكتور نبيل العربي ووزراء الخارجية العرب بصفة عامة، وهو ما أثار انتباه جميع الحاضرين.

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March 10th, 2012, 7:00 pm


255. zoo said:

“This emerging movement of believers known as Salafis has seemingly appeared out of thin air”

Tunisian Islamists spark fear of culture war
By PAUL SCHEMM | Associated Press – Fri, Mar 9, 2012
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Every Friday, bearded men in shin-length robes demonstrate in Tunisia’s capital against perceived insults to Islam in a country once known for its aggressive secularism. They have occasionally turned violent, attacking secular intellectuals and harassing women for their style of dress.

This emerging movement of believers known as Salafis has seemingly appeared out of thin air — and prompted fears of a culture war in this North African country of 10 million.

Since the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 unleashed a string of Arab uprisings, Islam has blossomed in Tunisia in a way it wasn’t allowed to do for half a century.

New religious freedoms have also opened the way for the Salafis, who are now in a daily battle for hearts and minds with equally hardline secular elements entrenched in the media and the elite. Television stations, Western embassies and government offices have all felt the conservatives’ wrath.

On Friday, hundreds of bearded men and veiled women converged on the public television building accusing it of “sanitizing figures of the old regime” and calling for a purging of staff members who still promote the ideas of the old ruling party.

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March 10th, 2012, 7:00 pm


256. irritated said:

260. jad said:

“Lavrov ignored BigBird* at the end of the press conference and he only thanked Alarabi:”

Another slap… Anyway by end of the month, BigBird will have plenty of time to help the Talibans settle in Doha.

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March 10th, 2012, 7:04 pm


257. jad said:

Kofi in Syria: Mission Doomed?

“The UN and Arab League envoy to Syria has launched his make or break diplomatic mission, meeting with President Assad in Damascus. Ahead of the trip, Kofi Annan called for an immediate cease-fire involving both rebels and government forces, so talks could be opened. That was immediately rejected by Syria’s exiled opposition. It enjoys the support of some Western and Arab states, including Qatar, which has called for international military forces to be deployed to help end the conflict. However, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov stressed again ANY interference in Syria’s internal affairs is unacceptable. RT’s Maria Finoshina has more from Damascus.”

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March 10th, 2012, 7:06 pm


258. zoo said:

It looks that the EU is abandoning the FSA, the armed militias and the SNC.

No military solution in Syria: EU ministers
By Claire Rosemberg | AFP – 7 hrs ago

European Union foreign ministers Saturday rejected all recourse to a military solution in Syria while reiterating that President Bashar al-Assad must unilaterally call a halt to the killing.
“We must be patient,” said Luxembourg’s Jean Asselborn. “We will unfortunately have to accept to see enormously more victims, but military intervention would be worse.”

“It wouldn’t be thousands but tens of thousands of dead.”

Echoing a continued refusal in EU capitals to officially recognise the Syrian National Council as the sole rebel group, Ashton urged Syria’s opposition to unite. “One of the most important things is for the opposition groups to come together,” Ashton told reporters.

“The opposition must federate, unite and strengthen,” said Juppe.

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March 10th, 2012, 7:12 pm


259. Son of Damascus said:


“Can I please make that decision?”

It seems this child has a good idea of what to do with the butcher.

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March 10th, 2012, 7:12 pm


260. Tara said:

Factbox – U.N. says at least 25,000 refugees fled Syria
Reuters – Fri, Mar 9, 2012

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations estimates at least 25,000 refugees have fled the fighting in Syria since the start of the conflict a year ago, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency, Adrian Edwards, told Reuters on Friday.
Significant numbers of Syrians are also thought to be displaced within their own country, he said, without giving a precise estimate.

Some 12,000 Syrians are registered at several camps set up in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay, including about 800 who crossed during the past week, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Two Syrian generals, a colonel and a sergeant were among 234 people who arrived in Hatay’s Reyhanli district on Friday, a Foreign Ministry official told Reuters. Similar numbers were now crossing over on a daily basis, he said.
The previous U.N. estimate of the camp population in Turkey was 10,800, which Edwards said had been fairly steady over the past year.

In Lebanon, there are 4,000-5,000 Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley, up from about 3,000 a few weeks ago.
On March 5, residents in the hillside town of Arsal in the Bekaa Valley told Reuters that up to 150 families had arrived from Syria the previous day, one of the biggest influxes so far. Those families trekked on foot through snow-capped hills to safety, but many others were caught, one refugee told Reuters.
In northern Lebanon, the UNHCR and the Lebanon High Relief Commission have jointly registered 7,000 refugees, including a few thousand in the city of Tripoli.
There are thought to be about 1,000 Syrian refugees in other parts of Lebanon.

About 4,500 Syrians have been registered over the last year, about 500 of them recent arrivals.


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March 10th, 2012, 7:55 pm


261. jad said:

“For the Saudis, Syria is a prize too valuable to be left to the Syrians.”


As Syria slides into civil war, moderate voices inside the country want to know: Why isn’t anyone listening to us? For the Saudis, Syria is a prize too valuable to be left to the Syrians.

“ You know, maybe it’s out of desperation. But it’s not a patriotic attitude to ask foreign forces to ruin your country and get rid of your regime.”

“ Bashar is the strongman on the ground right now. Nobody is comprehending this fact.” “ Nobody can ignore that the regime has supporters, and they are a considerable part of the Syrian population,” he says. “They are not being highlighted by the media, but in fact they exist. And we just cannot eliminate them by violence.”

Fresh from his gladhanding tour of the Middle East, United States Senator John McCain returned to the Senate this week and made the call for war. “Time is running out. Assad’s forces are on the march. Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives,” he implored from the Senate floor.

The solution? ‘The United States should lead an international effort to protect key population centres in Syria,” said McCain. “To be clear: This will require the United States to suppress enemy air defences in at least part of the country.”

In other words: Bomb Syria.
The Global Mail tracked down three moderate voices living in Damascus: an activist wanted by the regime, a politician pushing for dialogue, and a lawyer working for an influential nongovernmental organisation. They each say that while conferences are

being held outside the country to decide Syria’s fate, nobody – not the international community, the Syrian regime, nor the world’s media – is listening to them.
But even if Assad clings to power to the

very last man, the conflict in Syria will end. And when it does, the moderate voices of Damascus will be vital for creating a new system of governance for the country.

That is, if there are any moderate voices left.

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March 10th, 2012, 7:58 pm


262. jad said:


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March 10th, 2012, 8:02 pm


263. Tara said:

Casualties of Bashar and Asma al Assad:

7,500 killed, children and women included.
25,000 refugees
30,000, disappeared
Many many thousands tortured
And finally the Syrian soul in us

And the killing machine is still going, now with a new target called Idlib

Where is God?

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March 10th, 2012, 8:08 pm



As soon as the northern Shabiha, the terrorist Kurdish PKK, attacks the Turkish military from Syria (or flees back to Syria) PM Erdogan will be able to hit “two birds with one stone:” send troops to Syria to chase the PKK terrorists (Most Turks would approve such an operation), AND hit Bashar’s Shabiha (which is something that Erdogan wants to do, although he is looking for a strong justification for his folks back at home). Good luck, Mr. Erdogan!
Free Syria!
Free Palestine

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March 10th, 2012, 8:13 pm



269. TARA said: “Where is God?”

Tara, don’t be hopeless because:

الله يمهل ولا يهمل

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March 10th, 2012, 8:15 pm


266. jad said:

Another catch of the endless terrorists tricks, this time falsifying IDs and using the same person one time as a hostage the second as a defector:

“الحقيقة” تضع يدها على المزيد من فضائح النصب والاحتيال في فبركة “انشقاقات” الضباط المزيفين

مسلحون نصابون يقدمون أنفسهم على أنهم من “الفرقة 18″ المدرعة ويظهرون هويات لضباط شرطة ، أما النقيب المخطوف واصل أيوب … فحكاية أخرى جديدة!!؟
وبالعودة إلى الشريط الجديد الذي نشر يوم أمس ، نلاحظ أن المخطوف نفسه ظهر بين ضابطين مفترضين(؟) أحدهما يقدم نفسه على أنه ” الملازم الأول أنس حيمود من كتيبة محمد بن عبد الله في مدينة حمص”، فيما يقدم الآخر نفسه ، وهو بملابس مدنية (!!؟)على أنه “الملازم عمر حسن العلي” من الكتيبة نفسها. المفارقة المذهلة في الأمر أن ضباطا لا يعرفون التراتبية العسكرية!! فبعد أن يقدم واصل أيوب نفسه ، يتحدث الملازم عمر الحسن العلي ، ثم الملازم الأول أنس حيمود ، وهذا غير جائز عسكريا ، فأنس حيمود يجب أن يكون هو المتحدث الثاني وليس الأخير! أكثر من ذلك : يبدو واصل أيوب وكأنه ” مغلوب على أمره” فهو يتحدث ” بدون نفس” كما نقول في التعبير الدارج، وعلامات القلق على وجهه وفي طريقة حديثه واضحة.

مع هذا ليس هذا كل ما في الأمر. فالأنكى من هذا كله هو أن النصاب الذي يقدم نفسه في هذا الشريط على أنه ” الملازم الأول أنس حيمود” ، والنصاب الآخر الذي قدم نفسه باسم “الملازم عمر حسن العلي” شخصان دجالان ومنتحلا صفة . ولدينا دليل قاطع على ذلك . فقد عثرنا على شريط نشر للتو ( وهو منشور جانبا) يقدما فيهما نفسيهما على أنهما من “الفرقة 18 ـ اللواء 120 م /ك” ، إلا أنهما يظهران بطاقتين عليهما ترويسة في الأعلى تشيران إلى أنهما صادرتان عن وزارة الداخلية ( يعني ضباط شرطة ، بافتراض صحة الهويتين ، علما بأن الهويتين أيضا مزورتان . فهويات ضباط الشرطة شبيهة تقريبا بهويات ضباط الجيش من حيث تقنية التصنيع من البلاستيك المقوى الحساس للضوء، أي الصورة من أصل البطاقة ، وليس عليها ختم)!!!!؟؟؟

الأدهى والأعهر من هذا كله أن هذا النصاب ابن العاهرة المدعو” الملازم أول أنس حيمود” كان ظهر في 7 شباط / فبراير الماضي في شريط لـ” كتيبة الفاروق” التي يسطير عليها عناصر “القاعدة” والوهابيون الآخرون على أنه “ضابط أسرته كتيبة الفاروق خلال إغارتها على أحد الحواجز العسكرية في حمص”!!
في الشريط الأول “أسير” ، وفي الشريط الثاني يشكل سرية من ” المنشقين” ، ويستخدم هوية ضابط شرطة في الوقت الذي يقدم نفسه على أنه ضابط من اللواء 120 مشاة في الفرقة المدرعة 18 !!!؟ ( اضغط هنــا وتوقف عند الدقيقة 1.26 ).
مع هذا فإن الأكثر إجراما في القضية هو أن هؤلاء القتلة يقومون باختطاف العسكريين وعناصر الشرطة ( حفظ النظام) من السيارات العامة أو من الطريق وهم ذاهبون إلى أعمالهم ، ثم يصفونهم جسديا ويأخذون ملابسهم وهوياتهم وينتحلون صفاتهم وأسماءهم لاحقا. ومعظم الهويات الشخصية السليمة ، العسكرية والشرطية ، التي استخدمت من قبل ” المنشقين” إنما كانت في الحقيقة هويات عسكريين أو عناصر شرطة جرت تصفيتهم بعد اختطافهم!

هكذا تشكل ” الجيش السوري الحر” ، وهكذا يجري تشكيل كتائبه من الإسلاميين والمجرمين وقطاع الطرق الذين ينتحلون صفات ضباط وعسكريين “منشقين”!! ومع ذلك يخرج علينا العميل رياض الأسعد ، و العملاء في “المجلس الوطني السوري” من الدجالين والنصابين ليقولوا لنا أصبح تعداد ” الجيش الحر” عشرات الألوف من الضباط والعسكريين “المنشقين” ، ثم تتولى “الجزيرة” وأخواتها لاحقا تسويق هذا العلف الإعلامي لقطعان الطرش والبقر والبهائم من جمهورها الذي يمشي على أربع لكي … يصنع ثورة!!؟

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March 10th, 2012, 8:29 pm


267. majedkhaldoun said:

[MJK, please avoid communal accusations of criminality. This is needlessly provocative.]

Do you see difference between Salafist,and Crusaders, Crusaders means Pro Assad Christians)
The crusaders in Syria are committing crimes
as they support the most criminal Bashar

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March 10th, 2012, 8:37 pm


268. jad said:

I thought that you might be interested in this news:

لا آثار سلبية لاعادة طباعة فئات من 500 1000ليرة سورية 5 3 2012

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March 10th, 2012, 8:49 pm


269. jad said:

Sometimes, it’s good to go away from this madness:
يا ريت منن – جوزف حرب

يا ريت منن مديتن ايداي وسرقتك أيه أيه
لأنك إلن رجعتن ايداي و تركتك حبيبي
ندهتك خلصنى من الليل و يا ريت
نرجع إلنا أشياء نحبا و عنا بيت
صدقني لو بقدر أتحمل عذاب الأشياء كلا ما كنت فليت
و لا كنت حرقتا حياتي و حرقتك
إذا رجعت بجن و إن تركتك بشقى
لا قدرانة فل و لا قدرانة أبقى
شو بكره يا حياتي لما بشوفا عندك
يا بتحرمني منها يا بسرقها سرقا
و شو قالوا يا عمر حلو و ما دقتك

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March 10th, 2012, 8:59 pm


270. jna said:

Stopping Syria’s Descent Into Hell
James Zogby


With scenario #4 nowhere on the horizon, an uneasy truce leading to negotiations that will produce a new governing arrangement may be the best that can be hoped for. It may also be the only available alternative to a long and deadly civil war, with destabilizing regional consequences.

How to get there?

Both sides will need to be pushed, and pushed hard. A cease-fire and commitment to negotiations leading to the formation of a new transitional government are essential. At this point, neither the regime nor elements of the opposition will easily accept such an approach. Emboldened by external support, harboring deep grievances and fears, and believing that victory can still be theirs, they appear eager to fight on. This is where intervention is in order.

Peeling away the layers of the onion, beginning with the U.S., Russians, et al, it must be made clear to the combatants that a continuation of hostilities is not just a “no win proposition” but a danger to regional peace. Acceptance may require incentives, or threats of withholding support. But acceptance is a must. It will not be easy, but neither will the continued descent into civil war.

A good place to start would be when Arab leaders meet with the Russians this week. Their agreement, whatever it costs, to push and prod both sides to give up their unachievable ambitions, would be a first step toward unwinding this conflict, before it is too late. Getting to first base will be hard, and the steps that follow will be no easier. The situation will require peace-keepers, dealing with rogue elements, and tough negotiations with an ideological regime that will not easily surrender its power. But facing the abyss, what choice is there?


Joshua Landis, who is head of the Middle East Studies program at the University of Oklahoma, says the Assad regime thinks it is winning the battle against the opposition, and that both sides’ unwillingness to compromise paves the way for a bleak future in Syria.

“This is a zero-sum game. There isn’t a compromise that can come out of this that I can see. Once Assad steps aside, the entire edifice of the regime is going to crumble. … There’s very little that can take the place of the Syrian Army or the Syrian government, and that has people wringing their hands in Syria. They don’t see a way out of going down a very dark tunnel, which is in the direction of what happened in Iraq or what happened in Lebanon during the darkest period of the civil war,” he said.

Landis foresees a growing cascade of defections from the upper echelons of the Syrian regime, but argues that President Assad’s Alawite allies are not likely to desert him. “They understand,” Landis says, “that they need to hang together or be hanged apart.” He also paints a somber picture of an increasingly sectarian conflict: “It takes a long time for people who’ve lived together in relative harmony for decades to stop associating with each other and put hate in their hearts, but that’s what we’re going to see.”

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March 10th, 2012, 9:29 pm


271. ann said:

Former UN chief Kofi Annan, Syrian president meet on crisis – 2012-03-11

Assad said his country is ready to make honest efforts to solve the recent domestic unrest, according to the state-run SANA news agency.

“Any political dialogue can’t succeed as long as there are armed groups, which foment anarchy and destabilize the country through targeting civilians, military personnel and smashing public and private properties,” he told Annan, joint special envoy for Syria of the United Nations and Arab League (AL), in the meeting.

For his part, Annan said he rejected “foreign interference in Syrian affairs” and is committed “to working in a just, evenhanded and independent way” to achieve a peaceful solution.

According to a UN statement after the meeting, Annan also put forward several proposals regarding ending the violence, allowing humanitarian aid, releasing detainee and starting an inclusive political dialogue.

The former UN chief “expressed grave concern at the situation in Syria and urged the president to take concrete steps to end the current crisis,” the statement said.

Annan said his first meeting with the president was “candid and comprehensive.”


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March 10th, 2012, 9:34 pm


272. jad said:

Syria begins pulling envoys out of EU: diplomats
(Reuters) – Syria has begun pre-emptively withdrawing ambassadors from Europe because it fears EU members will expel them in response to President Bashar al-Assad’s ruthless crackdown on an uprising, Arab diplomats said.

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March 10th, 2012, 9:38 pm


273. Son of Damascus said:

عام من الثورة المستحيلة
الأحد, 11 مارس 2012
ياسين الحاج صالح

الثورة السورية مستحيلة. انطلقت قبل عام، واستمرارها محقق، لكنها مستحيلة. هنا عظمتها، ولكن هنا أيضاً منبع مأسويتها. مصارعة المستحيل مكلفة جداً.

ولكن، لماذا هي مستحيلة؟

طوال أربعين سنة جرى تنظيم المجتمع السوري بحيث ينفجر على نفسه إذا خرج على تنظيمه المتمركز حول سمو حاكميه عليه، سياسياً وإنسانياً. إنه نموذج «المجتمع المفخخ». وهو تفخيخ مزدوج بعدُ: أمني من طريق عدد كبير من الأجهزة، ومن المخبرين «النائمين»، الذين «يصحون» عند الطلب؛ ثم من طريق أزمة ثقة وطنية عميقة، متعوب عليها، تباعد بين السوريين على أسس أهلية، وتنذر بتحويل «الثورة» على النظام إلى «فتنة» أهلية. ومن أوجه أزمة الثقة هذه انقسام مزمن ومُعنِّد للمعارضة السورية، لا يفهم هو ذاته إلا بدلالة استبطان النظام سياسياً ونفسياً وأخلاقياً، ويبدو حائزاً من الصلابة المقدار الذي تحوزه الانقسامات الأهلية ذاتها.


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March 10th, 2012, 9:45 pm


274. zoo said:

Female Members of Hizb Ettahrir Meet in Tunisia Calling for an Islamic Caliphate
Sana Ajmi | 10 March 2012 | 4 Comments

International conference of Hizb Ettahrir in Tunis
Promo trailer

Hundreds of women gathered at the first international conference of Hizb Ettahrir in Tunis today. Entitled “Caliphate: A shining model for women’s rights and political role,” the summit addressed the shortcomings of liberal democracies with regard to women’s rights. According to Hizb Ettahrir, only an Islamic Caliphate state and the institution of Sharia law can ensure women’s rights and safeguard the rights and security of women within the family-unit and society.

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March 10th, 2012, 9:52 pm


275. zoo said:

Qatar welcomes 5 top Talibans from Guantanamo

Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo agree to transfer

KABUL, Afghanistan – The Associated Press
Five top Taliban leaders held by the U.S. in the Guantanamo Bay military prison told a visiting Afghan delegation they agree to a proposed transfer to the tiny Gulf state of Qatar, opening the door for a possible move aimed at bringing the Taliban into peace talks, Afghan officials said today.

The U.S. is considering transferring the five from the prison in Cuba to a presumably less restrictive custody in Qatar as an incentive for the Taliban to enter negotiations, though Washington has not yet outright agreed to the step, and some in Congress oppose it.

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March 10th, 2012, 9:57 pm


276. ss said:

Casualties of Bashar and Asma al Assad:

“7,500 killed, children and women included.
25,000 refugees
30,000, disappeared
Many many thousands tortured
And finally the Syrian soul in us

And the killing machine is still going, now with a new target called Idlib

Where is God?”

I believe God is helping the armed men to dig holes under the ground so they can move freely and terrorize people in Baba Amr for example

I believe God is giving hand to the bearded men in many authentic Syrian revolution made video to behead people for his name

God has been the best allies of the bearded men who never stop saying ALAH WA AKBAR while killing people

for a whole year the only thing I hear on the revolution videos is the word God “Alah wa Akbar”

Is God missing now???
Which God are we talking about??
Is your God the same as the rest of us??

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March 10th, 2012, 9:58 pm


277. zoo said:

Another defection from…Al Jazeera

Managing Director of al-Jazeera Office in Beirut Resigns in Protest Against Biased Coverage of Events in Syria, Arab Region

Mar 10, 2012
BEIRUT, (SANA)- In protest against its performance in covering the events in Syria and the Arab region, Managing Director of al-Jazeera Office in Beirut, Hassan Shaaban has forwarded his resignation to al-Jazeera Channel, according to Lebanese al-Akhbar Newspaper.

In this context, the newspaper said that Shaaban resigned in protest against the biased and provocative policy adopted by the channel in covering the events in the Arab region, particularly in Syria and Bahrain.

The resignation comes a week after the producer of the Channel’s office in Beirut, Mousa Ahmad and the correspondent Ali Hashem resigned for the same reasons.

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March 10th, 2012, 10:00 pm



274. ZOO
275. ZOO

Both of your comments above are NOT related to Syria. Syrians want freedom from a 42-year-old family tyranny. YOU can talk about the Taliban and Islamists as you wish, but Syrians will NEVER give up until they depose Bashar, the murderous dictator & son of murderous dictator. Your hate of Sunni Muslims should not blind you from seeing that Syrians, who are % 88 Sunnis, want FREEDOM, PERIOD!!!!!
Those who suffer from SunniPHObia (many here seem to be so), they can go to SHIA Iran, where Sunnis are persecuted and prohibited from building mosques.

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March 10th, 2012, 10:03 pm


279. majedkhaldoun said:

The meeting today between AL and Lavrov,is meant to cause Russia to agree to Security council resolution condemning use of force by the regime,and agrees to international observers, Syria has to accept and pull the army out, The FSA is more than willing to stop the violence since their primary goal is to protect the civilians, I expect the security council to meet soon If Russia veto the resolution, then all out war.
meanwhile arming the FSA must continue.

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March 10th, 2012, 10:03 pm




What is the percentage of Sunnis is Syria? Sunniphobes may not like it. WE, SUNNI SYRIANS, ARE AT LEAT %80 OF SYRIANS. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

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March 10th, 2012, 10:06 pm


281. jad said:

Taken from FB, it lists the ‘great’ achievement of the ‘mighty’ ‘uprising’ in one year:

يصادف في هذه الايام ذكرى مرور عام كامل على انطلاق ما سمي بالثورة السورية المجيدة وقد وجدت من اللائق إيفاء هذه الثورة المجيدة حقها وذلك بذكر إنجازاتها الميمونة خلال العام المنصرم
تحولت سوريا من المرتبة الرابعة اكثر الدول أمناً في العالم إلى المرتبة الحادية عشر … بعد المئة
ثانياً :
سقوط أكثر من ثلاثة آلاف وخمسماية شهيد في صفوف جيشنا العربي السوري الباسل وقوى أمننا
ثالثاً :
سقوط أكثر من أربعة آلاف مدني برصاص المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة الجناح العسكري لثورتكم
رابعاً :
خسائر قطاع السياحة في سوريا خلال العام الفائت بحدود ملياري ليرةسورية حسب التقارير السياحية
خامساً :
إغلاق أكثر من خمسة ألاف معمل وورشةعمل صغيرة في سوريا وتسريح عشرات الآلاف من العمال
سادساً :
ارتفع الدولار مقابل الليرة السورية من 47 ل س إلى ما يقارب 95 ليرة أي أكثر من الضعف
سابعاً :
مناطق كاملة توقفت فيها عمليات التدريس في الجامعات والمدارس بسبب الوضع الأمني أيها الجهلة
ثامناً :
خسائر قطاع النفط في سوريا بلغت أكثر من ملياري ليرة سوريا و اصبح المازوت بالسوق السوداء ب40 ل س
تاسعاً :
خسائر بالملايين تعرضت لها شركات النقل وقد أدت لإفلاس الكثير منها عدا عن خسائر شركات التأمين
عاشراً :
وبفضلكم اصبحت سوريا من الدول التي تتلقى مساعدات إنسانية بعد أن كانت توزع هذه المساعدات على العالم
حادي عشر :
اصبحنا وبفضلكم نسمع كلمة سني وعلوي ودرزي ومسيحي ويزيدي و صابئي بعد ان كنا قد شطبناها من قواميسنا
ثاني عشر :
صرفتم أنظار العالم بأسره عن الجرائم التي يرتكبها الصهاينة بحق فلسطين وشعبها أيها الصهاينة
ثالث عشر :
تمزقت السودان وستلحق بها ليبيا واليمن ومصر أيها الرعاع
رابع عشر :
حاولتم تشويه صورة جيشنا الباسل الذي وقف سداً لعشرات السنين في وجه مشروعكم الصهيوني أيها الجواسيس
خامس عشر :
ارتفع مصروف الأسرة في سورية إلى الضعف .. سوريا أم الفقير أيها الأغبياء
سادس عشر :
قطعتم اوصال المناطق في سوريا فقطعتم التواصل الاجتماعي ومودة القربى
سابع عشر :
امتلات المشافي والمستوصفات بآلاف حالات الإعاقة الجسدية والنفسية بسبب نيرانكم الغبية أيها البلهاء
ثامن عشر :
سفهتم قيمنا ورموزنا الوطنية والدينية ولكنكم في الحقيقة كنتم تسفهون انفسكم أيها السفهاء
تاسع عشر :
سرقتم منا ومن اطفالنا فرحة الأعياد التي لم يكن لها من مثيل في سوريا

امام كل هذه الإنجازات العظيمة وغيرها التي لم تسعفني ذاكرتي لوضعها لابد لي أن أنتصب بقامتي مقابلكم لاقول لكم البند رقم عشرين

نعدكم بأننا لن ننسى وستدفعون ثمن ما فعلتم بحبيبتنا سوريا يا من لا تكفيكم كل النعوت السيئة والقذرة في قواميس اللغة العربية لتفيكم حقكم ونعدكم ستعود سوريتنا لتقف كالمارد

وبالنهاية بقلكم فشرتوووووو سوريا لنا وليست لكم….

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March 10th, 2012, 10:06 pm


282. irritated said:

#276 SS

So it seems that that “God” is ignoring the ‘killing machine’ that has also killed around 3,000 young soldiers that gave their life for their country.

No one has the presumption to decide on which side God is.

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March 10th, 2012, 10:08 pm


283. irritated said:

#281. jad

I wonder what more disasters this once hopeful and now polluted revolution will bring to the Syrians living in Syria.

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March 10th, 2012, 10:13 pm


284. irritated said:

#280 Dawoo HH


No, prove it.

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March 10th, 2012, 10:14 pm



Having been a regular visitor of this blog and reading its comment section, I now have noticed a regular narrative from the pro-murderous dictator commenters: it is an anti-sunni muslim narrative. You cannot be pro-syria and anti-sunni because sunnis are %80 of syria’s population.

I call this racism/bigotry against sunnis, which is intended to beautify bashar’s ugly/murderous dictatorship: sunniphobia, and those who engage in it are sunniphobes. Many of those sunniphobes are either busy posting here and defending bashar, or posting the english version of hasan nasrallah’s cult of personality speeches on their blog!

Stop sunniphobia!

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March 10th, 2012, 10:16 pm


286. Syrialover said:

I am glad if journalist Nir Rosen is abandoning his template of the Iraqi sectarian civil war scenario which he has been trying to push Syria to fit since he started writing about the crisis.

Everyone seems to forget there were huge cracks and battle lines drawn up in Iraq long before Saddam was pushed off his pedestal. The violent internal wars against the Shia and Kurds in Iraq had created a very different landscape to Syria when the time came to fight for control.

Foreign intervention in Iraq was never going to paper over those cracks, and it proved unable to stop them exploding when many American actions after Saddam, driven by certain factions in the US establishment, proved to be so stupid and conterproductive.

People also forget, or maybe never paid attention to, the massive anger and dissension high in US military and State Department ranks at that time over decisions on post-Saddam Iraq made by Donald Rumsfeld and co. This was played out in top level resignations and tell-all books for many years afterwards.

These things mean many of the assertions being made about sectarian wars being inevitable in Syria, and America having a sinister master plan for Syria are over-simplified and distorted by short-term memory

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March 10th, 2012, 10:16 pm


287. irritated said:

Majedalkhadoon #279

“The FSA is more than willing to stop the violence since their primary goal is to protect the civilians,:

What about the uncontrolled militias roaming freely in Syria kidnapping, stealing and killings. Are the ‘angels’ FSA ready to stop them by force?
In Bab Amr who were they protecting? There were no more civilians left in the city. I guess they were protecting their stock of weapons and when it ran out they left.
Next is their stock of weapons in Edlib.

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March 10th, 2012, 10:20 pm




IN A RESPONSE TO ONE OF MY COMMENTS PROFESSOR LANDIS agreed with Majed Khaldoun that Sunnis are at least %80 of Syria’s population.
Please go back to this comment from Professor Landis, which was a response to my comment (its from Ehsani’s post on the declining number of Aleppo’s Christians):

181. Joshua said:
(Joshua responds) Dear Dawoud, Ehsani is anything but a supporter of Assad’s dictatorship. In fact, a number of Syrian Christians asked him not to publish the real population statistics for Christians because they feared that they would legitimize the revolution. After all, if minorities have been shrinking as a percentage of the population, Assad’s justification that he must maintain secularism is weakened. Minorities have kept the upper hand in Syria through dictatorship for half a century. If Sunni Arabs are 65% of the population, this is unjust. If they are 70%, it is even worse. Sunni Syrians are probably closer to 80% of the population than the 75% that is commonly given, as Majedkhaldoun suggests.

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March 10th, 2012, 10:25 pm


289. Tara said:

Following Egypt foot steps, Syrians will try the dictator in the court of law and build their democracy.  I always liked The Egyptians and always liked to watch their old black and white movies.  There was one movie I am fond of I can’t remember the name.  Was about a young feminin Souaad Hosni running away from something into an isolated house of an older attractive artist (painter).   She ringing the bell, was heavily raining and he kept her outside while drawing a portray of her.  He cared much about her but always pretended otherwise.  Something to that effect.  Don’t remember it well.  Does anyone know the name?  Sadly enough, I have no expectation.  People here don’t smile, never play, hate love, and passion for them is the mother of all conspiracies, and on top of that dare you be smart, the plot would even be much thicker.

Despite the Army’s Obstruction, Egyptians Work to Build a Democracy
Published: March 9, 2012

On most days, there’s a deceptive normalcy to Tahrir Square, center stage of Egypt’s 2011 revolution. Traffic, not protesters, paralyze the streets. But politics are still roiling.

This is a crucial period for Egypt. Between now and July 1, Parliament is supposed to select a committee to rewrite the Constitution and Egyptians will vote whether to adopt it. They will elect a president and learn what verdict and sentence their deeply flawed court system gives Hosni Mubarak, the former autocrat charged with complicity in the killing of 800 protesters during the uprising that forced his ouster.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which won a majority in the new Parliament, is proving more pragmatic than expected. Emad Gad, a lawmaker from the opposition liberal bloc, says “we can cooperate with” them. The Brotherhood is also working with the military council that has failed at running the country and is supposed to cede power to the new president in June.

This is prudent politics and may give the army the confidence to return to barracks. But many Egyptians fear the army will never allow a full transfer of power to a civilian government. That would be a disaster for Egypt and a dishonor to all those who battled to overthrow Mubarak’s dictatorship.

There is talk that the Brotherhood has already compromised on a critical army demand for the new constitution by limiting civilian oversight of the military budget. There’s also no word on whether anyone in the army will be held accountable for the deaths during the uprising. Meanwhile, the military council and its allies are busy punishing their critics for specious offenses.

Ziad el-Elaimy, a member of Parliament from the Social Democratic Party, is facing an ethics review after criticizing Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the council chief, and calling for his resignation. Mr. Elaimy expects the council will force Parliament to remove him from his seat. Egypt’s military prosecutors are investigating 12 top activists — another attempt to intimidate the opposition.

The military council wasted a year not making decisions about the economy. Foreign reserves are down; unemployment is up. Amr Zaki, an influential member of Parliament from the Muslim Brotherhood, said his party would soon replace the military-appointed central bank governor and cabinet, whom he accused of preparing to sign bad business deals. Those changes also have to be approved by the military council and it’s unclear whether they will agree.


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March 10th, 2012, 10:37 pm


290. irritated said:

#289 Dawood

Sunnis Syrians are maybe 80%, even though it is just rough suppositions and no scientific confirmation, so what’s your point?

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March 10th, 2012, 10:41 pm



289. TARA


WAS THE MOVIE: فيلم صغيرة على الحب (TOO YOUNG FOR LOVE):

p.s. I am not a “Salist” because I love movies, music, and seeing anything beautiful 🙂

“Salafist” is a code name that pro-Bashar use to justify the dictator’s murderous tyranny. “either Bashar, or ‘Salafists,'” is their main pro-Bashar argument! Qadhafi and Ali Saleh used the same argument 🙂

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March 10th, 2012, 10:46 pm


292. ann said:

Pentagon Prepares War Plans For Syria – Saturday, 10 March 2012

In testimony before a Senate committee Wednesday, the Pentagon’s civilian and uniformed chiefs confirmed that they are drawing up war plans against Syria at the request of the Obama White House.

The statements by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey came amid mounting evidence that Washington and its key European allies, working in conjunction with the right-wing monarchical regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are escalating a covert intervention aimed at bringing about Syrian regime-change.

Much of the media coverage of Wednesday’s hearing focused on the jingoistic intervention of Arizona’s Senator John McCain, the former Republican presidential candidate. He is demanding US air strikes against Syria to carve out “safe havens” in which Western-backed armed groups can prepare military strikes against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“How many additional civilian lives would have to be lost in order to convince you that the military measures of the kind we are proposing necessary to end the killing and force Assad to leave power?” McCain demanded of Panetta.

The defense secretary responded by asserting, “We are not divided here.” He insisted that the Pentagon is “reviewing all possible additional steps that can be taken” to hasten the downfall of the Assad regime, “including potential military options if necessary.”

General Dempsey cautioned that a US intervention in Syria would be more difficult than the NATO war in Libya given the country’s “far different demographic, ethnic, religious mix.” However, he assured the Senate panel, “Should we be called upon to defend US interests, we will be ready.” The Joint Chiefs chairman added that military operations under consideration included the imposition of a “no-fly zone,” the opening up of a “humanitarian corridor,” a naval blockade of the Syrian coastline and air strikes.

Panetta and Dempsey both echoed statements made the day before at a White House press briefing by President Obama that it would be a “mistake” to “to take military action unilaterally.”

None of them, however, raised a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing use of military force as a pre-condition for US military intervention in Syria.

An unnamed senior Defense Department official made it clear to CNN that the administration does not see a UN resolution—which has so far been blocked by Russia and China, which both wield veto power on the Security Council—as indispensable. “Some kind of mandate from a regional organization” would suffice, the official indicated, or any multi-lateral cover for US intervention, such as the “coalition of the willing” the Bush administration cobbled together before the Iraq war.


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March 10th, 2012, 10:53 pm


293. jad said:

Their ultimate goal is to make Syria the new Afghanistan and if they couldn’t then Somalia is their second choice.
They have a very high standards!

Check out this first class actor, he should work in Bollywood.
سعد البريك في سوريا حلال وفي السعودية سحق الجماجم من يهدد الامن !!!

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March 10th, 2012, 11:02 pm


294. Tara said:

There are many deities that are worshiped in this world. I am not interested in anyone’s God. You all can have your own, and worship him/her/it the way you like. I really couldn’t care less.

Gods are usually faceless. Not to some…We saw the image of some people’s God. Shabeeha write his name on walls in Syria claiming there is no God except him. Now “Bashar” is an “inventive” name of a God. No? One would expect a more profound name in general. Am I wrong? I remember I once posted a FP page that belong to the faithfuls devoted literally to worshiping one of Bashar’s toe. I don’t know which toe of them exactly? The big toe or the little one? I am not really sure. The right foot or the left foot was not specified either. See, I was never good in world religions… Missed that class..should not have. Would’ve sounded much more…sophisticated.

Anyhow, the God I was looking for is the God of the downtrodden and yes he has 99 names and one of them is God the Great.

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March 10th, 2012, 11:06 pm


295. Tara said:


No. It wasn’t that one. It took place in an isolated villa on the beach. Thanks for trying.

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March 10th, 2012, 11:12 pm


296. jad said:

It’s in the news now, Lavrov ignored BigBird*

لافروف يهين رئيس وزراء قطر بعدم مصافحته له
تجاهل وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرجي لافروف مصافحة نظيره القطري -عقب انتهاء المؤتمر الصحفي الذي عقد أمس السبت، بمقر جامعة الدول العربية لمناقشة آخر تطورات الأزمة السورية- واكتفى لافروف بتوجيه الشكر بالاسم للدكتور نبيل العربي ووزراء الخارجية العرب بصفة عامة، وهو ما أثار انتباه جميع الحاضرين.
كان وزير الخارجية الروسي قد صرح -خلال المؤتمر- أن نجاح أي قرار أممي بشأن سوريا منوط بعدم سماحه للمتمردين بالتفوق على الأرض.
ولخص لافروف -في كلمته أمام اجتماع الجامعة العربية على مستوى وزراء الخارجية العرب التي تترأسها الكويت، حل الأزمة السورية في عدة نقاط، وهى: وقف العنف في سوريا بشكل كامل وإنشاء آلية محايدة لمراقبة الأوضاع، وإتاحة وصول كافة المساعدات الإنسانية للسوريين.
ورفض الوزير التدخل الخارجي في الشؤون السورية، مشدداً على ضرورة الدعم القومي لكوفي عنان لإطلاق حوار سياسي بين النظام السوري والمعارضة المسلحة، وفقا للأعراف والقوانين الدولية.
وأوضح أن روسيا تسعى للمصلحة العامة في سوريا واستقرار الأوضاع، قائلا : نأمل أن تؤدي مهمة كوفي عنان إلى بوابة للحوار الوطني بين الأطراف السورية.
تجدر الإشارة إلى أن الظروف التي تمر بها العلاقات الروسية القطرية انعكست على وزيري خارجية البلدين حمد بن جاسم وسيرجي لافروف -خلال المؤتمر الصحفي المشترك- الذي عقداه بحضور الأمين العام الدكتور للجامعة الدكتور نبيل العربي عقب الجلسة المشتركة للجنة الوزارية العربية المعنية بسوريا ووزير الخارجية الروسي.
الجدير بالذكر أن روسيا خفضت تمثيلها الدبلوماسي في قطر قبل عدة أيام بعد أن كانت طلبت من الدوحة الاعتذار على ما وصفته بسوء معاملة السلطات القطرية للسفير الروسي لدى قطر خلال وجوده بمطار الدوحة.
وكالات….عربي برس

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March 10th, 2012, 11:13 pm


297. Son of Damascus said:


“I am glad if journalist Nir Rosen is abandoning his template of the Iraqi sectarian civil war scenario which he has been trying to push Syria to fit since he started writing about the crisis.”

It is not just him, many experts were calling and continue to call this a sectarian uprising, I don’t agree.

I believe what had happened in Syria was a shock to many of these experts, Syria was seen as relatively ‘stable’, with a strong security presence that can stifle any opposition. To them the only venue for Syrians to oppose was the mosque, so therefore any sustained and organized protest should come from there (or at least that was the narrative).

What I think they failed to see is how the death and torture of those boys in Dera’a almost a year ago galvanized the Syrian public. The initial outcry in Dera’a and the subsequent heavy approach of the regime further galvanized the public.

The ideology that is pushing the protesters has religious undertones but is not lead by a religious ideology. The fact that religious undertones are there is an indication of the piousness of the Syrian public rather than an indication that this is a Mosque led uprising.

And I disagree with Dr Landis when he says the regime is an Alawi based regime, because for many years some of the biggest opponents to the regime were Alawi. The regime is built upon family hierarchy were sons inherit their fathers ‘position’, and this is true from the President down to local officials. Many of the top positions (and defiantly most important) were people related to Havez, as these old guard aged their children started to carve their own piece of the pie and many times inherited their father office directly (or were able to get top positions because of their father’s wasta).

Many people are worried about the rise of Islam in Syria, what they fail to see is that Islam is part of Syria, something which cannot be ignored. It is as if someone said they are worried about the rise of Christianity in the US, thats an oxymoron of a statement because the US was built upon Christian principles but yet freedom of religion is a constitutional right. The Christian right is a powerful body in the US that without its support many politicians would have not been elected, yet non Christians are elected.

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March 10th, 2012, 11:17 pm



290. IRRITATED said:

#289 Dawood

Sunnis Syrians are maybe 80%, even though it is just rough suppositions and no scientific confirmation, so what’s your point?

Dear Mr./Ms. Irritated:

you asked me a question, and I replied to it. Now, you are asking me another one, “what’s my point?” Well, I have too points:

1) Sunnis are at least 80% of Syria’s population.
2) Sunniphobes are anti-Syrias!!!

Funny, talking about “Salafist” and, as JAD posted above in Arabic, that Syrians are now knowing “Sunni,” “Alawi,” etc. . Who started all this?
Bashar did. Bouthayna Sha’aban’s first press conference last March was warning minorities against Sunnis. In his first speech to his fake parliament Bashar blamed “Salafists.” He was the same tactics that Mubarak, et al. used. Now, his supporters are using the same strategy: Blame the Salafists! Bashar’s supporters here are doing the same thing!
[…]التوزع الديني

وحسب الإحصاء الرسمي عام 1985: 76.1% مسلمون سنة، و 11.5% علويون، و 3% دروز، و 1% إسماعيليون، و 4.5% مسيحيون، و 0.4% شيعة اثني عشرية[1]. ويرى بعض الباحثين أن نسبة المسلمين السنة في سوريا لا تقل عن 80%[2]. ويرى عبد الحليم خدام (نائب الرئيس السابق) أن السنة مع الأكراد يمثلون نسبة 85% إلى جانب 9% من العلويين و 5% من المسيحيين (بعد أن هاجر كثير منهم)[3].
أما في التقديرات الأميركية: 77 % من السكان مسلمون سنة، و 10 % علويون ومرشدون، 3% دروز وإسماعيليون وشيعة اثني عشرية، و 8% من السكان مسيحيون من طوائف مختلفة، وتوجد أيضا أقلية يزيدية في منطقة جبل سنجار على الحدود مع العراق. [4][5].
عند الاستقلال كان كل الدروز يعيشون في محافظة السويداء وبعض القرى في شمال الجولان. ويعيش الإسماعيليون منذ الحروب الصليبية في جبال محافظة طرطوس إلى أن أذن لهم السلطان عبد الحميد الثاني باستيطان السلمية في محافظة حماة. وكان العلويون يعيشون في أعالي جبال محافظتي اللاذقية وطرطوس، في حين يعيش معظم المسيحيون في سفوح الجبال، ويعيش السنة في المدن الساحلية. لكن نتيجة الهجرة من الريف إلى المدينة تغيرت التركيبة الاجتماعية.

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March 10th, 2012, 11:25 pm


299. Ghufran said:

The price of failing to understand that the world is changing is high,ask the regime who never thought that Syrians will rise up and demand a regime change,or the GCC leaders who are still discovering that 2012 is not 2003,or Israeli politicians who still think they can enslave 4 million Palestinians and get away with it.
ما يجب ان يدركه وزراء الخارجية العرب انهم خسروا روسيا والصين دون ان يكسبوا امريكا والغرب كليا، لان هذه الدول تنطلق من مصالح وليس من عواطف او مبادئ، وعندما تختار الامم المتحدة كوفي عنان كمبعوث الى سورية، ويصر الرجل على الحل السياسي، فان على العرب ان يدركوا ان قواعد اللعبة تغيرت، فكوفي عنان هو رجل امريكا، ويعكس وجهة نظرها، واختياره لم يكن صدفة في جميع الاحوال

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March 10th, 2012, 11:31 pm



# 292.

Posting from HAMSAYEH.NET is as reliable, free, and honest as posting from Putin’s “RT,” dictatorial China’s “Xinan-whatever,” Iran’s propaganda “Press TV,” Iran’s al-Alam, and now Iran’s Hamsayeh 🙂

Here is how defines itself:
Hamsayeh is a word in the Persian language meaning Neighbour

I think that usage of “independent” is both funny and misleading in a country that does not truly have free press and does not respect human rights.

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March 10th, 2012, 11:34 pm


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