Syrian Rebels Become More Lethal

As Syria’s rebel militias become more lethal, foreign analysts are trying to determine how Islamic they are, how to unify them, and what role the West can play in guiding Syria toward an outcome favorable to its interests. The Syrian government is exploiting Western concerns that the Syrian militias could turn out to be harmful to Western and Israeli interests. Deborah Amos explains that Damascus is arresting most moderates in an evident attempt to create an “either-or” dilemma for Western governments and Syrians themselves: they must choose either between and Assad dictatorship or divided Islamists. This has been the Assad strategy for 40 years. Liz Sly explains that in fact the Muslim Brotherhood is gaining influence over the revolt. Sharmine Narwani, in contrast to Deborah Amos, highlights the brutal and Islamist characteristics of some of the rebel groups, suggesting that the stark choices Syrians face are not manufactured by the Assad regime, but real. She suggests that the Western press has tried to whitewashed the distasteful realities of Homs’ Farouq Battalion to fit its narrative of brutal regime versus good people.

News Roundup

Foreign Policy Round Up: 23 Syrian soldiers killed in Rastan as divides spark clashes in Lebanon

During overnight clashes in the Syrian city of Rastan, 120 miles north of Damascus in Homs province, at least 30 people were killed, including 23 Syrian soldiers, in what has possibly been one of the deadliest attacks on government troops in the 14-month revolt. The attacks came after a weekend of shelling by Syrian security forces on the opposition-held town during which dozens of people were injured. Additionally over the weekend, Syrian forces raided the Damascus suburb of Qaboun and a Sunni farming village in the province of Hama killing at least five people and torching homes. Meanwhile, in an online video, an obscure Islamist group claimed responsibility for Thursday’s car bombings in Damascus that killed over 55 people. Al-Nusra Front said it orchestrated previous attacks and the group is suspected to have ties to al Qaeda. However, the video has been met with suspicion as it was vague and did not come through the typical channels. The European Union has imposed new sanctions on Syria, in its 15th round of doing so. The Syrian regime claims to be conducting reforms, as it held parliamentary elections last week for which the results are expected to be released on Tuesday. The opposition condemned the elections as “a farce.” Violence appears to be spilling over into neighboring Lebanon in the city of Tripoli. The clashes were sparked by weekend protests demanding the release of a man detained on charges of terrorism. Approximately four people were killed including one soldier in violence believed to be fueled by sectarian tension.

Aron Lund, “Divided They Stand: An overview of Syria’s political opposition factions” FEPS think tank in Brussels just published this long piece by Sweden’s foremost Syrianist. Lund also wrote The Ghosts of Hama

Largely Unseen, Syria Carries Out Arrest Campaign
by Deborah Amos – NPR

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government has waged a two-pronged campaign against the opposition, critics say. His military continues to fight, while nonviolent activists are being detained in increasing numbers, according to monitoring groups.

President Bashar Assad’s regime has launched a new and sweeping arrest campaign of opposition activists and intellectuals in the past few weeks, according to Western analysts and diplomats.

The growing tally of arrests has gone largely unnoticed, overshadowed by the daily violence that threatens to jeopardize the U.N. peace plan. But in combination, both are undermining the already faint hopes of peace.

“It’s a political decapitation,” says Chris Doyle, director of the London-based Council for Arab-British Understanding. Doyle is monitoring the arrests and believes the regime aims to eliminate negotiating partners from what he calls “the rational opposition.”

An Accelerating Campaign

Most analysts say the campaign began with the arrest of Mazen Darwish, a prominent human rights worker and the director of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. Darwish was jailed in February after a raid on his offices in the capital. Arrests have accelerated in recent weeks in what a U.N. Security Council diplomat terms a new phase in Syria, as the regime winds down an intense military campaign.

According to Syrian activists, the most recent arrests include Mahmud Issa, an opposition lawyer and activist from the coastal city of Tartous. In Damascus, Ahmad Mouaz Al Khatib, a moderate religious leader, was jailed in early May along with Salameh Kaileh, a noted leftist and a political commentator.

Last week, the two sons of Fayez Sara, founder of the Association of Syrian Journalists, were arrested after a 6 a.m. raid on Sara’s house by security police, according to his lawyer. Sara had been part of a “national dialogue” sponsored by the regime last summer in an earlier attempt to open talks with the opposition.

“They are arresting left, right and center,” says a Damascus-based analyst who asked not to be named for his own safety.

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood is gaining influence over anti-Assad revolt – May 12, 2012
By Liz Sly, Washinton Post

As the Brotherhood starts distributing weapons inside the country, using donations from individual members and from Persian Gulf states including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, it is going to great lengths to ensure that they don’t fall into the hands of extremists, Drobi said.

ISTANBUL — After three decades of persecution that virtually eradicated its presence, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has resurrected itself to become the dominant group in the fragmented opposition movement pursuing a 14-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Exiled Brotherhood members and their supporters hold the biggest number of seats in the Syrian National Council, the main opposition umbrella group. They control its relief committee, which distributes aid and money to Syrians participating in the revolt.

The Brotherhood is also moving on its own to send funding and weapons to the rebels, who continued to skirmish Saturday with Syrian troops despite a month-old U.N.-brokered cease-fire.

The Brotherhood’s rise is stirring concerns in some neighboring countries and in the wider international community that the fall of the minority Alawite regime in Damascus would be followed by the ascent of a Sunni Islamist government, extending into a volatile region a trend set in Egypt and Tunisia. In those countries, Brotherhood-affiliated parties won the largest number of parliamentary seats in post-revolution elections.

“First, we are a really moderate Islamic movement compared to others worldwide. We are open-minded,” Drobi said. “And I personally do not believe we could dominate politics in Syria even if we wanted to. We don’t have the will, and we don’t have the means.” […]

From Jihad Yazigi – Syria Report

Electricity Price Hike Highlights Difficulties of Manufacturers: Syrian manufacturers, along with other business sectors, are increasingly suffering from the deterioration in the political, economic and security environments.

Syrian Pound Stable as Central Bank Devalues Official Rate step-by-step: The Syrian Pound is remaining stable in the local currency market as the Central Bank of Syria gradual pushes its official rate closer to the black market level.

Israel fears Assad fall may bring Al-Qaeda to Golan
2012-05-14

May 14 (PTI) — A senior Israeli military official said that Israel is closely tracking events in Syria, fearing the collapse of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime could see the

Syrian Golan Heights fall to groups like Al-Qaeda. The military official told AFP that such a situation could create a dangerous security vacuum similar to Sinai. “If the Assad regime will fall, the biggest threat is that the northern border, the no-man’s land, can be taken over by groups like Al-Qaeda,” the official in Israel’s northern command said on condition of anonymity.

The fear is that the strategic plateau could slide into a situation similar to that in Sinai, where a wave of lawlessness has left the Egyptian army struggling powerless to rein in militant activity.

Last year, gunmen snuck across the border from the Egyptian territory and carried out attacks in southern Israel that killed eight people. “This could happen if the Assad regime collapses,” the official warned.

From POMED

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) called on the U.S. to change the dynamic on the ground through the creation of safe zones and lethal aid. Kofi Annan asserted a violent civil war may be on the horizon and the U.S. has continued to prepare alternative measures if the Annan proposal proves ineffective. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said the U.S. should partner with its allies in order to establish safe zones on the borders of countries neighboring Syria and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) continued to call for the arming of the Syrian rebels. Andrew Exum wrote that military intervention would serve U.S. interests, but remains unlikely. Itamar Rabinovich argued that while inaction is understandable, it very well might lead to the outcome that opponents of intervention want to avoid, while Haitham Maleh wrote that the international community’s response has been at best “poor” and that the Syrians have “felt forgotten.” Salman Shaikh said that the failure of Annan’s plan was because it was produced under the belief that the Assad regime would adhere to it. The Arab World, said Jane Kinnimont, has had a long deficit of democracy, but ironically has had no shortage of elections. Regarding the elections, Shadi Hamid said they were “cosmetic,” Oraib al Rantawi said the elections “were a step in a void.” Bilal Y. Saab said, “Syria is slowly but surely turning into another Iraq.” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said al-Qaeda’s presence in Syria has increased. Ryan Spencer wrote in The Telegraph that the chances of international intervention in Syria are getting more and more remote. Yochi Dreazen wrote in the National Journal that the Obama administration will have to decide to stick to the current diplomatic or consider arming the rebels. David Ignatius wrote that Obama’s believes that part of the opposition “could be worse than Assad” and worries that “a protracted struggle is empowering precisely these people.”

“If the Syrian opposition’s failure to forge a truly inclusive national movement can be traced to one geographic area, then that failure shows up most clearly in Syria’s east. For it is here where the Syrian National Council has been unable to win over influential leaders. And without them, efforts to topple the regime will remain in jeopardy…In many ways, Syria’s east has been forgotten by all sides. An estimated 75 per cent of the region has no presence of regime forces as it mainly consists of agricultural lands and small towns or cities. Many areas had been declared “liberated”; the regime has launched assaults to reclaim areas only when it had a surplus of forces…In their minds, Syria’s east has been neglected by the Baathist regime for decades; the current opposition would do the same if it comes to power. To counter this perception, the SNC must coordinate with groups from the region inside and outside the country, especially in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where Al Jazira is well represented.”

Homs Opposition: Al Farouq Battalion is Killing Us
By Sharmine Narwani – Sun, 2012-05-13 19:17- The Sandbox

It is extremely rare to have a direct peephole into events on the ground in Syria. The hard-fought battle over narratives often leaves truth in the dust. But among the cache of recently leaked emails (exclusive to Al Akhbar) from Syrian National Council (SNC) President Burhan Ghalioun’s inbox, comes this gem – important information that further highlights the glaring loophole in UN Envoy Kofi Annan’s demilitarization plans for Syria: rogue fighters.

The email sent to Ghalioun on March 25 summarizes a meeting held by members of various armed opposition groups operating in Homs – chiefly to address the pressing problem of the rogue al-Farouq Battalion.

The email’s author “Abu Majd” claims that 24 different armed groups in Homs started to work together in part because of the behavior of the Farouq Battalion, some of whose members are shown in this video from a few days ago. The problem with al-Farouq, says the email, is:

“Its monopoly over decision-making in its areas, its attempts to subjugate whoever is outside its command by force, and adopting what they call a “big stick policy” in dealing with other fighters.”

Confirming occasional Arab media accounts of fighters turning on each other inside opposition-dominated neighborhoods, Abu Majd accuses the Farouq Battalion of:

Unjustified violence against their adversaries and other anti-regime groups that are not subsumed under the rubric of al-Farouq Battalion resulting in a heavy human toll. For example, al-Farouq’s mild punishment/warning to fighters in Bab al-Sibaa led to the death of five martyrs.

One wonders how these deaths were characterized in the daily “casualty counts” disseminated by Homs activists and reported widely by foreign media.

Painting a picture of a Homs opposition fraught with disputes that have “plagued the revolutionary movement there,” the email illustrates some fundamental differences in the armed groups. On one hand, you have the participants of the meeting recapped in this email, who clearly view themselves as sharing a distinct outlook, and who insist that:

Certain groups within the Syrian opposition and external/regional forces have pushed fighters in Homs to this divided state of affairs…they are aware of the difference between civilian regime loyalists and armed killers…they condemn the few armed men in Homs who have committed violence against civilians in neighborhoods loyal to the regime.

National Jrnl: Decision Time Coming on Syria, 2012-05-11

The Obama administration is nearing a potential decision point on Syria: stick to the current diplomatic approach, which shows no signs of persuading Bashar al-Assad to step aside, or offer assistance to the country’s rebels despite the risks of …

Syria exile opposition, world powers lack leverage
By Oliver Holmes,  ROME | Mon May 14, 2012

(Reuters) – When it comes to influencing Syria’s bloody struggle between President Bashar al-Assad and rebels trying to unseat him, the exile opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) seems as helpless an onlooker as world powers groping for a strategy.

The SNC tepidly backed the peace plan U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan agreed with Assad a month ago with the support of the West, China, Russia, the Arab League and almost everyone else.

But Annan’s ceasefire is in tatters and the rest of his six-point deal is mostly confined to the paper it was written on.

U.N. monitors are trickling in, but it is unclear how even the full 300-strong team can halt a budding civil war in Syria, where deadly car bombings present a murky new challenge for the Syrian opposition and its Arab and Western well-wishers alike.

Zuhair Sahloul – a large money-changer – has fled Syria (in Arabic)

هروب رجل الاعمال السوري زهير سحلول الملقب ( بالحجي والمعروف بالسحلول ) يعمل بالصرافة وتحويل العملات وله دور مؤثر في الاقتصاد السوري

السحلول يمتلك مطبعة اسلامية باسم( مطبعة غار حراء ) يستخدمها لطباعة المصاحف وبالكتب الدينية كغطاء لاعماله .. عرف عن السحلول مشاركته لرامي مخلوف ولعدد من المقربين من السلطة

السحلول غادر البلاد وحول ارقام كبيرة من امواله المنقولة وسندات وتحويلات مصرفية كبيرة الى الخارج في اشارة الى بدء تفكك الدائرة الاقتصادية المقربة من النظام وسيشهد الاقتصاد السوري مزيدا من الانهيار الاقتصادي سيتضح خلال الايام القليلة القادمة .

Circassians from Syria Return to Russian Homeland – 13/5/2012

A first group of 25 Circassians from Syria have arrived in the southern Russian republic of Adygea for permanent resettlement in their ancestral homeland, the head of Adygea’s committee on nationality affairs said.

“The Syrian Circassians are coming on the usual terms, the same used with all repatriates,” Asker Shkhalokhov said at the first meeting of the commission to support compatriots in Syria.

“Most of them are renting apartments. The issue of providing land for them to build homes is being examined,” he said.

Nasrallah: Hizbullah Can Hit Every Target In Tel Aviv – May 13, 2012

Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Friday his organization is capable of striking very specific targets in Tel Aviv and in every part of occupied Palestine as well.

“For every building in Dahiyeh, several buildings will be destroyed in Tel Aviv in return. The time when we were displaced and they don’t has gone. The time when our homes were destroyed and theirs remain has gone,” Nasrallah said, adding that the time when “we will stay and they disappear has definitely come.”

Nasrallah also condemned the terrorist attacks that hit Damascus on Thursday. “It’s funny that some accused the Syrian regime of being behind the terrorist attacks. How come a security system sends suicide bombers – if it has suicide bombers – and booby-trapped cars to destroy its intelligence and security centers. It’s illogical.” […]

Hamas official meets Iran diplomatic, security chiefs
12 May 2012 –

AFP – Hamas foreign minister Mohammed Awad was in Tehran on Saturday for meetings with senior officials including Iran’s top diplomat and a security chief, Iranian media reported.

During his visit, which had been unannounced, Awad met with Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Saeed Jalili, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, the reports said. “Palestine belongs to the Islamic world and must be freed. Thank God, victory is near,” Jalili said during their encounter.

Awad, for his part, thanked “the Islamic Republic of Iran for its practical support” for the Palestinian cause. “The liberation of Palestine has been promised by Allah, and we must make new initiatives and lead efforts to realise that promise,” he was quoted as saying. […]

Salehi hopes Hollande win will boost Iran-France ties
AFP

Iran’s foreign minister hailed Francois Hollande’s election as French president, voicing hope it can boost bilateral ties, as he met visiting former French socialist premier Michel Rocard.

Ali Akbar Salehi “welcomed the victory of Francois Hollande and hopes to see a new approach taken between Tehran and Paris in all areas based on mutual respect” during their meeting in Tehran late Friday, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Socialist leader Hollande, who will be inaugurated on Tuesday having defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in a run-off for president on May 6, has distanced himself from Rocard’s visit.

Rocard “is not carrying any message nor has he been vested with any mission” by the French president-elect, a member of his entourage told AFP on Saturday, adding it was a “private visit.”

“The position of Francois Hollande on the Iranian nuclear programme is known,” said the diplomat.

“Iran must comply with its international obligations and abide by the resolutions of the UN Security Council to cease nuclear activities without credible civilian purpose.”

Rocard arrived in Tehran early Saturday on an unofficial three-day visit first planned for April but postponed after the 81-year-old was hospitalised in Stockholm in late March. His visit comes as Iran is preparing for a new round of talks with world powers in Baghdad on May 23 that will focus on the disputed nuclear drive.

Syria Accuses US, Allies of Aiding ‘Terrorists’ on the Ground
by John Glaser, May 12, 2012

Syria accused the U.S. and its allies on Saturday of colluding with al Qaeda-linked militants to target the the government of Bashar al-Assad, as the aftermath of a string of bombings in Damascus and Aleppo by shadowy militant groups.

“Western countries and the United States, which made alliances to wage wars using the pretext of fighting terrorism, are now making alliances with the terrorists which Syria has been facing,” Information Minister Adnan Hasan Mahmoud said.

But the Syrian government’s accusations against the Wes

do have a kernel of truth to them. The U.S. and its allies are in fact sending aid to the opposition, which even they have admitted contains elements of Islamic extremists and militant groups tied to al-Qaeda.

“This terrorist escalation using booby-trapped cars with tons of explosives to target the Syrian people … is a continuation of the bloody terrorist tactic used between armed groups and al Qaeda, along with the international Western countries that support them with weapons and money,” the Assad regime spokesman added. […]

CBS Sets Purchase Price of USD at 62.92 and 66.75 for Intervention Purposes – May 13, 2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – The Central Bank of Syria (CBS) set the price of USD exchange rate against the SYP at 62.92 by purchasing and at SYP 63.30 by selling.

According to the bulletin of foreign currency exchange rate issued by the CBS, the purchase price of Euro reached SYP 81.23 while the selling rate reached SYP 81.80.

Israel to Search for Oil on the Golan Heights – 5/13/2012

Israel has decided to search for oil on the Golan Heights after 20 years of delay due to objections from Syria.

Comments (328)


Aldendeshe said:

“If the Assad regime will fall, the biggest threat is that the northern border, the no-man’s land, can be taken over by groups like Al-Qaeda,”

In fact Iran and Hezbollah has been making inroad into the Golan for 8 months now. Both in term of developing relation with the Golanis and setting up advanced monitoring locations. It could be the next front for Hezbollah and Iran as well as Islamic extremest. Who knows, skinheads and Neo-nazi may find this no-man land / front useful as well.

Millennia ago, the Hebrews found this no-man land a nice refuge from Egyptian, Babylonian and Aramaic Civilizations, as well others, it became a safe heaven for wanted criminals, gangs and road robbers. Every now and then, they assembled a rag tag army and tried unsuccessfully to attack the city states and nations nearby, only to be decimated in the end by real armies. More than 2000 years later, the dream comes true to them, having own state. Unfortunately, they still at it, attacking and making enemies of all their neighbors.

“….Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Friday his organization is capable of striking very specific targets in Tel Aviv and in every part of occupied Palestine as well….”

Just imagine this Shia group, sworn enemies of Israel stacking up the Syrian Golan heights with long range missiles and armament given to them by Assad and Iran. Not good timing, considering that the Sinai by that time is under Islamic extremists after liberating Palestine from Zionists. With unstable, British appointed rulers over Jordan Moslems, you can bet, this is the next country Arab Spring will flourish. All the sudden Israel will find itself surrounded with less rational enemies and more vicious fighters than the silly Nasserites and Baathist con-men. No wonder why in my discussion with couple of Palestinians this weekend they were optimistic that, for their case, the Arab spring in all these countries are heading their way, to their cause advantage. Needless to remind you what the Bible said about this next great conflict. I will spare you the quote, Landis likes to keep his blog secular and conspiracy free.

May 14th, 2012, 3:00 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

The Central Bank of Syria (CBS) set the price of USD exchange rate against the SYP at 62.92 by purchasing and at SYP 63.30 by selling.

___________________________________________________________________

Considering how many presses busy printing colored paper, the quantity of 50 years of running paper presses full time, the state of Syria’s Baathist, Socialist and totally monopolized and corrupted economy, anyone not getting 6500 LS for his one Dollar bill, will be better off trading in horse manure, it is worth more for Syrian peasants to bake bread.

By the way, SNP plans to scrap all paper currencies altogether. Each “real” Syrian Citizen who have valid Syrian civil rights that are not suspended or voided by State order” will have 90 days to bring in his cash with proper SEJJEL MADANI AND HAWIYA, in person, to the local MUHASSEB office to exchange it into plastic ATM card with credit given at the rate of $1=2.50 LS. But he has to prove that he/she legitimately earned the cash through proper and legal transactions. Otherwise, any cash not proven as such, will be ceased by the officials and be physically destroyed. There will be no cash or check transactions in Syria’s economy. The Central Bank will maintain Gold and needed foreign currencies reserves for citizens travel and International exchange and issue Debit and Credit cards only for use within the country. Likewise, each inbound traveling /visiting entity or incoming foreign transfers cash, will be exchanged immediately to an electronic payment system and the visitor will be issued a card to use the funds after “Fund Source Discovery” is successfully completed. The poor of Syria that were deceived by the Baathist Socialist scam artists will be winners.

May 14th, 2012, 3:35 pm

 

zoo said:

A article making the apology of the Moslem Brotherhood and Salafists: Oil and water.
Who are these ‘analysts’ referred to by the ‘obscure’ Rana Moussaoui?
It smells heavily Doha.

Obscure jihadists enter Syrian conflict
By Rana Moussaoui | AFP – 6 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/obscure-jihadists-enter-syrian-conflict-131604777.html
The Syrian conflict has bred the emergence of obscure jihadists carrying out bloody attacks, either acting independently or manipulated by the regime seeking to tarnish the image of its opposition, analysts say.

Despite the Islamist rhetoric adopted by many rebels and opposition figures, analysts point out that the agenda of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood bears no relation to the jihadist militancy of Al-Qaeda.

“We know the traditions of Islamists of Al-Qaeda. These guys are doing it out of ideology … The Muslim Brotherhood or even Salafists are very different,” said Shaikh. “It is like oil and water, the two don’t mix.”

May 14th, 2012, 3:47 pm

 

MICHEL said:

Do you have more info about SNP?

May 14th, 2012, 3:49 pm

 

irritated said:

1. Aldendeshe

Israel will have a choice on the Golan border: Hezbollah or Al Qaeeda.

May 14th, 2012, 3:50 pm

 

Antoine said:

ALDENDESHE said :

“With unstable, British appointed rulers over Jordan Moslems, you can bet, this is the next country Arab Spring will flourish.”

That should be great. I always maintained that Hashemite ethnic regime is a Capitalistic carbon-copy of Assad sectarian regime. Only problem is, Palestinians in Jordan do not work in the Army, so there are no chances of “defections”. And Jordan Bedouin Army is pretty tough and competent, like Assad’s. Does SNP realistically feel that it could happen ? If it does, will it be good or bad for Syria ?

May 14th, 2012, 4:12 pm

 

bronco said:

Reading J.L post, I can’t but realize that the Syrian government is showing an amazing resilience and infinite resources in outsmarting the international community while the opposition is gradually loosing its momentum and more importantly its legitimacy.

The SNC is scrambling to continue to exist, the FSA is in the defensive about the growing suspicion of its collusion with the Jihadists, there are no more defections and no sizeable demonstrations.
The game of the armed opposition now is to kill to survive at any cost, hoping for some ‘saviors’ will protect them from the humiliation of loosing their war. The only ‘saviors’ we see now are Al Qaeeda operatives.

The international community have exhausted the sanctions sticks whose only effect has been to punish the Syrians by increasing their hardships.
Yet, despite the daily multiple predictions of the demise of Annan’s peace plan, the UN is still recruiting more UN observers.

The responsibility of the mess of the Syria “revolution” is now on the shoulders of the international community who, despite its army of experts, has grossly underestimated the resilience and the resources of the Syrian regime and by its hesitation and wrong calculations has brought the country into a bloody quagmire.

May 14th, 2012, 4:12 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

@ANTOINE,

It will be good for Syria with or without Assad. With Assad, it will focus the terrorists effort who are now paid and trained by Syria’s enemies to blowing up cities away from Syria, sparing poor, innocent Syrian civilians the carnage. Jordan, for extremists is higher value front. Without Assad, it will as well keep the genocidal murderers toying with new toy front to play and show off their criminal minds and talents, liberate Palestine with Hamas help.

It is unlikely that once an Islamic emirate is founded by radical extremist in the Middle East, specially in ISLAMO-STRATEGIC place like Jordan, that any of the Persian Gulf regimes will survive for much longer. And I believe that once such an emirate is founded, Iran and Hezbollah will play huge role in mentoring and financing it. You will see the anti-Shia crappy slogans, evaporated quickly from the lingo, replaced by ISLAMIC UMMAH, just as much as the case will be with SNP slogans. Many countries and conspirators will support their Islamic Khalifa venture. You can bet I will be first in line, as long as they stay away from Syria and Lebanon boarders will back them up, free Syria will helps them too.

May 14th, 2012, 4:37 pm

 

Antoine said:

“. And I believe that once such an emirate is founded, Iran and Hezbollah will play huge role in mentoring and financing it. You will see the anti-Shia crappy slogans, evaporated quickly from the lingo, replaced by ISLAMIC UMMAH, just as much as the case will be with SNP slogans”
___________________________________________________________________

1) Does that mean SNP will go for good relations with Iran-Hezbollah ? I thought Free Syria will be radically anti-Iran, with Syrian Army Divisions facing Jordan border immediately moved to face Iraq border. I mean, the Iranians and Iraqis supporting Assad now must be made to pay, must be made to feel the heat, after Syria is liberated. What is SNP views on this ?

2) – Don’t SNP think that if FSA and other armed opposition groups lay down arms / surrender now, it will be Assad for another 40 years ? Why then still SNP badmouthing FSA and armed opposition and calling them foreign managed, when SNP knows most of the opposition fighters are actually pretty sincere in their efforts ?

May 14th, 2012, 5:06 pm

 

Antoine said:

الرستن حمص , عملية تحرير مفرزة الامن العسكري

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D00twsgoQ_0&feature=g-user-u

الرستن حمص , تحرير مفرزة الأمن العسكري مع تدمير عربات دفاعا عن المدينة

May 14th, 2012, 5:14 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco @108

Does that mean you agree to the goal but you oppose the method?

And in order not to “trick” you, I will proceed with the second question in case yes was the answer. If yes, you agree to the goal of the need to changing the regime by “natural evolution” so to speak, why do you keep admiring the regime?

It is one thing to ask people to “evolve” into regime change and a whole other thing to admire the unadmirable. Am I mistaken?

May 14th, 2012, 5:41 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Michael Young on long civil war awaiting Syria:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2012/May-10/172887-prepare-for-the-long-haul-in-syria.ashx#axzz1uslxz4XB

…Assad and the criminal enterprise he leads will not cease their repression, because that would spell their end. This was obvious a year ago when the Syrian uprising began, and yet the international community did nothing. Now we have a colossal mess to clean up.

May 14th, 2012, 5:45 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Once again, month after month, and for the fourteenth month in a row, my best congratulations to the Great President Assad of Syria for turning Syria into a hell of chaos and civil war. The end justifies the means, and keeping Assad in power as the all time best president in world history of Human Kind, justifies any disgrace and suffering the people of Syria must stand for keeping Assad in power.

Great, Assad, great. And thank you very much for your inheritance. Your sons will remember you as a criminal.

May 14th, 2012, 6:25 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

A post from elsewhere which may be of interest. The poster seems sure of his comments. It’s from a mainstream Salafi type forum.

I’m not Salafi but I do look for syria related news and comment from various places including mainstream Shia and Salafi forums (one of each).

The post is about the Damascus twin bombings and seems to shed further light on the situation in Syria.

http://forums.islamicawakening.com/f18/the-official-ia-syrian-uprising-thread-44883/index115.html#post620621

May 14th, 2012, 6:35 pm

 

Tara said:

The regime vs university students

Security forces have attacked students demonstrating at Aleppo University with teargas and batons, according to activists. At least four people were killed by the security forces in a raid at the university earlier this month.The deadly raid led to the university being temporarily closed. There has also been a protest today at Deir Ezzor University and a sit in at Damascus University, which was raided by the security forces who arrested a number of people, according to an opposition group.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/may/14/syria-middle-east-live-updates#block-12#block-19

May 14th, 2012, 6:49 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

“…manufactured by the Assad regime…”

Sometimes somebody elses words articulate what ones thoughts on a situation. The word ‘manufactured’ from the current SC post stood out for me and sums up what the regime has been doing. Manipulating, deceiving and manufacturing etc. It got me thinking as it reminded me of Noam Chomsky’s phrase ‘Manufacturing Consent’.

Working on this theme, after various variations I eventually came up with…

Manufacturing Narrative.

May 14th, 2012, 6:52 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

13 Tara.

I hope University students across the country show solidarity with each other. This wont be good news for Assad. Normally students are amongst the first to protest. Once they get going…..

May 14th, 2012, 6:57 pm

 

MICHEL said:

Once syria is freed from the assad monarchy, it will be time to pressure the deceiving sectarian wilayat-al-faqih party hezbullat to give their weapons to the lebanese national army, or face total destruction at the hands of the new syrian army, the FSA.

May 14th, 2012, 7:24 pm

 

bronco said:

#9 Tara

All governments need to move on with the time and the needs of its citizens. Unfortunately most countries keep postponing the changes by inertia or because they have more urgent priorities.
EU countries have not been at war for decades and they are rather stable. Yet they are in a huge economical crisis because many European countries kept postponing the changes needed for years, without any valid excuse, and now their citizens are paying a dear price.
Syria needed to make social and economical changes to move from a socialist type of system to a more market oriented economy.
Nevertheless, compared to European countries, Syria has very serious geopolitical problems.
It is a country under sanctions because of its position vis a vis Israel and still at war with Israel with a part of its land illegally occupied. Its neighbor Iraq under Saddam Hussein was an aggressive country and it invaded Kuwait in 1990. It could have also invaded Syria. After the liberation of Iraq, a million iraqi refugees, ignored by the US and the UN, find refuge in Syria. Imagine any country receiving 1/20 of its population as refugees. The country had to care for the refugess and protect Syria from Islamists extremists in neighboring Iraq. It also had to watch for the plots USA was setting up to squeeze Syria to stop supporting the enemies of Israel, i.e Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah.
You can guess that economical and political reforms were not the highest priority for the Syrian government. The highest priority was to ensure a stronger scheme for the security of the country by investing in the army and the intelligence.
Until 2006 Syria had to deal with the agressivity of Israel and helped push back the attacks in Lebanon. It is only in 2007 that the government started implementing the plans to open up the economy.

Unfortunately it was too fast and not a good plan. It benefited more the business people than the average Syrian. The gap with the poor increased, especially in the suburbs and the small towns.
In 2010,the government became increasingly aware that the reforms were not effective. They were discussing about reverting or slow down some of the reforms and make other changes to preserve the average citizen economical rights. Then the Arab Spring happened and we know the rest.

I think given enough time, the government could have implemented changes , maybe with trial and errors, and it may have taken some time to find the balance between a socialist system and an open market economy.
If European countries governments should be seriously blamed for delaying important reforms, I don’t think it is justified to blame the Syrian government for delaying reforms, in view of the very particular circumstances in the region.
I have no admiration for many European countries who have exploited indiscriminately the Middle East for centuries and who know feel they are have the right to blame and threat.
As for Syria, I think it could have changed for the better not only if it had more time but also if its rich citizens were less greedy and more concerned with the welfare of their less lucky brothers.

I still believe this government is deeply nationalistic. I have not seen signs that the government has another agenda than to save Syria from the chaos we have seen in Lebanon and Iraq.

May 14th, 2012, 7:42 pm

 

Observer said:

Syria is moving into a full fledged insurgency and civil war.
The regime has the heavy weapons, but unlike Iraq it does not have the US nor the majority to prevail. The only way to prevail is to commit massive repression and slaughter to subdue the population. It is attempting to do that with the destruction of whole villages but without the ability of people to flee the country we have an internal displacement and this is going to feed the insurgency.

Here is one item from Cham Press which for the first time seems to be moving a little but only a little away from pure regime propaganda.

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=ar/Article/view/71593

It is the lack of fuel and heating oil and cooking butane and its attribution to thiefs and armed elements who are running a racket to steel and sell on the black market and or an effort to starve the tanks of diesel fuel as well.

There were no shipments of grain or fuel from Russia or Venezuela or Iran lately.

May 14th, 2012, 8:13 pm

 

Ghufran said:

[Moderator Note Link Added: http://www.syriasteps.com/?d=137&id=86824&in_main_page=1 ]

Too much for sanctions:
حركة التصدير إلى الدول العربية وخاصةً العراق ودول الخليج والأردن ولبنان تضاعفت عدة مرات نتيجة تراجع قيمة الليرة السورية مقابل الدولار الأمريكي. الإقبال على المنتجات السورية وصل إلى أن أي منتج يخرج من سورية مرحب به من تجار هذه الدول. اللافت في الأمر أن نشاطاً وحركة بدأت باتجاه دمشق وحلب من قبل مستوردين عرب لعقد صفقات تبدو مربحة 100%..التصدير إلى السعودية من الألبسة ومختلف المنتجات الأخرى زاد ثلاثة أضعاف على الأقل
The stability of the Lira is one result of the relative failure of sanctions.
As the rebels advance and continue to ignore politicians from all sides,those politicians will have no choice but to lower their demands and try to save whatever is left of their leverage.
For the first time,the opposition has agreed to negotiate awaiting a change in the position of the NCB,a position I find puzzling.
The regime wasted a number of opportunities in the past,but the one on hand cries: take me or continue to be under the mercy of those who can only use guns to talk.

May 14th, 2012, 8:25 pm

 

Ghufran said:

One young blogger must be cracking a joke about a potential war between Hizbullah ,in Lebanon,and the FSA ,in Syria,and the threat of HA facing “total destruction” on the hands of the FSA. I will pretend that I did not read that post and continue to believe that it does not damage the reputation of this blog to allow one naive blogger to practice posting here.
Hizbullah,my friends,aside from its loyalty to Iran and its support of the regime,has built the best fighting force in the Arab World since 1973. Only an Israeli or a person with no knowledge about the Middle East would seriously consider writing such a silly post.

May 14th, 2012, 8:41 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Time on Alqaida in Syria:
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2114788,00.html
Observer,
An insurgency does not equal a civil war,such a war requires the active participation of a large section of the courtly,and that participation can only materialize if the regime does not back off from its brutal oppression and exclusionary policies,is the regime willing to change?

May 14th, 2012, 9:04 pm

 

Norman said:

Ghufran,

A day will come when the Syrian Arab army will not listen to it’s leaders and practice self restrain and at that time they are going to go full speed ahead and destroy the mutant army called the FSA.

May 14th, 2012, 9:10 pm

 

irritated said:

18. Observer said:

“Syria is moving into a full fledged insurgency and civil war ” …

and the Syrian government is launching a full fledged assault on the last armed gangs strongholds.
Soon these strongholds will be empty from the citizens and the armed gangs will make another ‘tactical’ move.
This time to Turkey with no return ticket.

May 14th, 2012, 9:16 pm

 

Norman said:

Ghufran,

The only way for Syria to end up in a civil war is if the government falter and stops fighting back leaving the Syrian people to fend for themselves, The Syrian Arab army that stopped the war in Lebanon will not back down in the pursuit to Save Syria, The point of no return has been passed for the Syrian army it is a win or die trying. and the Syrian army will win .

May 14th, 2012, 9:21 pm

 

zoo said:

Israel desperately trying to re-assure itself about the intentions of the Islamic democracies popping up around them.

Israel amid an Islamist Middle East
By STEFAN KIRSCHNER
05/13/2012 21:48
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=269795

An honest enemy is better than a false friend.

With the outcome of the ongoing Egyptian elections looking grim (to Westerners) due to the strength of the Muslim Brotherhood and the even more extreme Salafi parties, many are deeply concerned.
..
The Islamist may be ruthless, repressive and genocidal but they are at least honest about their intentions, which cannot be said about the previous Arab dictators in the region, who tried to play both sides in the Cold War and tried to become US allies after the Cold War by claiming to be “moderate.”

An honest enemy is better than a false friend. The US and the west will gradually come around and grudgingly establish relations with these regimes (like the Norwegians did with their recognition of Hamas) and US willingness to engage with “moderate” Taliban. That is, if the Islamists let them.

May 14th, 2012, 9:24 pm

 

zoo said:

No foreign fighters in Syria?

Thanks to propaganda from al Jazeera and other medias, “Syria could become a magnet for the kind of young Muslim men from around the world who once sought jihad and martyrdom in Iraq or Afghanistan”.

Tunisian Islamists join jihad against Syria’s Assad
By Lin Noueihed

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/14/us-syria-tunisia-fighters-idUSBRE84D0UN20120514

BEN GUERDANE, Tunisia (Reuters) – The first that Tunisian schoolteacher Mokhtar Mars heard of his brother fighting alongside rebels in Syria was a phone call from a foreign number, telling him Houssein was dead.

“We got an anonymous call telling us he had been martyred. Just three words. We tried to call back but there was no answer,” said Mars, 40, sitting on a mattress along a wall of what was his younger brother’s room, bereft of other belongings.

“The last call we got from him in February was from Libya. He said he was there to study … Then all contact was broken. We tried to call the number he used but there was no answer.”

Houssein Mars, 34, is one of at least five Tunisians, all from the southeastern town of Ben Guerdane on the border with Libya, who are believed to have been killed in Syria. Two of their families agreed to be interviewed, as did the family of a sixth man, from the same town, whose fate is not known.

The families either received calls from their sons in Syria or calls from strangers telling them their sons were dead.

Though the families have seen no corpses or proof of the deaths, a video carrying the black flag of al Qaeda has appeared on Facebook eulogizing the five men to a backdrop of Koranic verses and stating they had been killed in Homs, which has seen some of the worst bombardment by Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Syria’s envoy to the United Nations says 26 Arab fighters have been captured and “confessed” to al Qaeda sympathies. Another envoy to the U.N. said 19 of those 26 were Tunisians.

Foreign Islamist fighters appear to be a fringe element only in the conflict between assorted Syrian rebel groups and Assad’s armed forces. But the fate of this one band of Tunisian friends offers some of the hardest evidence yet that Syria could become a magnet for the kind of young Muslim men from around the world who once sought jihad and martyrdom in Iraq or Afghanistan.

One man, who would speak only if he were not named, already sported the long beard and Afghan-style dress that is common among jihadist guerrillas and said he was hoping to get to Syria, even though his wife had just given birth to a daughter.

Aged about 30, the man, who knew at least one of those killed in Syria well said he was ready to follow: “I would like to go to Syria,” he said. “God willing, if it works out.”

May 14th, 2012, 9:30 pm

 

AJ said:

Although Hassan Nasrallah has made it very clear that he fully supports the Syrian regime, I can’t help but wish and hope the great people of southern Lebanon will not fight Syrians. Our relation is too strong for such propaganda to destroy it.

I’ve heard many stories from my Lebanese relatives on their complete shock and surprise at the amazing hospitality given by the Syrian people (not the regime) during the 2006 war. A Lebanese relative once told me that if this had happened in Syria, the Lebanese would not have showed 1% of the same hospitality to Syrians (I disagreed)

Ordinary Syrians were sharing their homes with complete strangers so they can be protected during the Israeli invasion. These Syrians had no affiliation with the regime, nor did they do it for compensation.

I cannot imagine Hezbollah ever fighting Syrians, then again, I never imagined what Assad did in the past 14 months…

May 14th, 2012, 9:47 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco@17

I share most if not all of your sentiments.  How couldn’t I?  I was indoctrinated since birth into being very proud, deeply nationalistic, pro Arab, and pro Palestinian.  It has become part of my genetic composition and I can’t change it even if I try.  It is deeply interwind in our national psych and the “regime” collectively shares this psych with the ordinary Syrians.  The regime being deeply nationalistic is by “birth” and not by choice so to speak.  It is like being born into a certain religion.  It is just expected and ordinary.  No appreciation needed.         

The difference however is that history to you “ends” at the revolution, whereas history to me starts right there, just where it has ended for you.  The monstrous brutality the regime chose against it’s own people is what gives the regime it’s character not the regime’s deep nationalism.  This was an informed and deliberate choice to subdue dissent through torture, killing, and arbitrary arrest.     

The deep nationalism of the regime that is inherent into the psych of ALL ordinary Syrians citizens should not overwhelm one’s senses and render he or she with blurred perception of the big picture.       

May 14th, 2012, 10:13 pm

 

omen said:

28. zoo said:
No foreign fighters in Syria?

.

have you read looming towers? most of the “fierce foreign fighters” relaxed in ksa subsidized housing in pakistan (as if on holiday.) it was native afghans who fought the soviets.

May 14th, 2012, 11:38 pm

 

omen said:

disgusting.

The FP Survey: The Future of NATO
Does the 63-year-old alliance still matter today? We asked politicians, scholars, and other observers from both sides of the Atlantic to weigh in.

16. Should NATO intervene in Syria?

Yes: 11

“With the Arab League.”
“With a no-fly zone.”

No: 36

“It could have, weeks ago, with goals similar to Libya. The issue now goes well beyond the question of a Syrian civil war.”
“Are you kidding? NATO does not have the resources: no will, limited skill, no tools. Quite apart from the question of what our interests are.”

Maybe: 10

“If necessary and only with a U.N. mandate.”
“Only to protect Turkey.”

May 14th, 2012, 11:43 pm

 

bronco said:

Tara #30

You are optimistic about the aftermath of this failed revolution I wish I could be too.
The so-called “revolutionaries” have stirred up centuries old hatred and have promoted revenge and power greed instead of dialog. Doing that they are inflicting deep and soon irreparable wounds to the Syrian society.

The day I wish I will never see, when that country will be handed over to the SNC, the FSA and their likes, under the umbrella of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, it will be the end of the common identity and nationalistic feeling Syrians have shared all these years. Syrians will be irremediably divided. They will become sunnis, alawis, assyrian, armenians etc… before being Syrians.
It will become the reign of suspicions among ethnic and religious groups, desires of revenge and the slow desintegration of the social fabric of the country. The minorities will find more secure to live in ghettos and radicalize their religious beliefs.

With people like the SNC who refuses to unite to other oppositions leaders, it seems to me that the present government is far superior in its unity and commitment to its country than these power greedy and opportunist expats.
If Syrians had to choose between a future lead by SNC+FSA+Qatar+KSA+AL Qaeda or by the Syrian government, however excessive it has shown to be, do you know what you’ll choose?

May 15th, 2012, 12:19 am

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Syrian Nationalist Party
Metaz K M Aldendeshe
Chief Strategist

In response to ANTOINE, he asks:

“…..Does that mean SNP will go for good relations with Iran-Hezbollah ? I thought Free Syria will be radically anti-Iran, with Syrian Army Divisions facing Jordan border immediately moved to face Iraq border. I mean, the Iranians and Iraqis supporting Assad now must be made to pay, must be made to feel the heat, after Syria is liberated. What is SNP views on this ?……”

It all depends what do you mean by “Free Syria” in the end. Are we talking about returning the country back to the evening before March 8, 1963, with all its social, economic and political, as well as, its sovereignty, army and economy intact? A country where SNP can have freedoms and representation. Or as we see it now a most assured outcome, should miracle happen and Assad regime loses power, are we then talking about chopped up Syria, with Islamic terrorists running around chopping heads and slitting throats on orders issued by foreigners in the West, Israel and Arabia, a totally ruined country socially, morally, politically, militarily and economically? A rolled back Syria according to the Zionist Neocon faith plan and Hariri-Bandar promises to Israel ?. It is that outcome and its aftermath that will determine SNP alliances in the end and how we will deal with others.

“…..Don’t SNP think that if FSA and other armed opposition groups lay down arms / surrender now, it will be Assad for another 40 years ? Why then still SNP badmouthing FSA and armed opposition and calling them foreign managed, when SNP knows most of the opposition fighters are actually pretty sincere in their efforts ?…”

Sincerity and sacrifice, accomplishing goals that Syrians will all wants, and doing it in a way that all Syrians will participate in it, is one thing. Demolishing a country that claim its capital as the oldest continually inhabited city on earth, destroying its national fabric and pride, economy, reducing its people into refugees, committing rapes, murder and forced sectarian segregation is quite another, Syria never had a Civil War in its 9000 years of history. SNP appreciate the commitment, sincerity and sacrifices of the SFA men, but not the failed methods it uses. It is our believe that relaying on FSA and SNC current means and methods, will result in having Syria ruled by the Assad and Baathist for another 70 years. It has been now 14 months, the carnage and crimes are beyond the pale, the destruction is severe, yet, with all that, very little on the ground accomplished. Syria still run by the Baathists and most countries recognizes the regime and maintains embassies in Damascus.

For how long Syrians suppose to wait to see a beneficial result? Do you think we should give FSA another 40 years, while Assad spend the next four decades collecting billions of Dollars in hard currency from Iran and 4-6 Billions of remittance from Syrian expats, exchange it all to printed funny money for Syrians to use at home, ship by airplane the billions of real money to foreign banks.

Can FSA and SNC give us an annual State of Affair message, what they have in fact accomplished in each year, other than the number of dead and injured, missing and in prisons, tortured and maimed. We need to know how long we should wait. Because many in SNPiers see this whole shebang as nothing more than Rolling Syria back plan. Nothing advanced to convince them or the majority of Syrians what positive life is lying ahead, and how long it is going to take for that to materialize.

May 15th, 2012, 12:20 am

 

zoo said:

After Angelina Jolie, an exclusive visit to the refugees camps in Turkey:
.
Amin an FSA engineer: “Kurds are Satan worshippers”, “Shias are jewish talmudic”, Read Ibn Taymiyyaha”, “Israel is better than Assad”

http://rt.com/news/syria-rebels-turkey-camps-121/

There are officially no Syrian refugees in Turkey – only “visitors from Syria.” Well-accommodated and enjoying Turkey’s hospitality, they return home, contradicting the “evil Assad regime scares its own people away” narrative sold by Western media.

Before being admitted into the Kilis camp, a reporter is instructed to stay in the car once inside, and refrain from taking pictures or talking to camp dwellers. Our Syrian interpreter told us, dramatically, about nearly being assaulted by the camp’s people, merely for being a native of Aleppo – a Syrian city that has less than excelled in anti-Assad protests.

I happen to be the first foreign reporter to be invited to Kilis – that is, with the exception of the press people who flocked here for Angelina Jolie’s photo ops with refugees.
Syrian refugee camps in Turkey are protected by the local police and run by Turkish officials

There is a total of 23,343 Syrians currently accommodated in six camps in various locations across Turkey, including in Kilis. Another four humanitarian camps are standing idle. Some 16,500 refugees have gone back to Syria, 6,000 of them having stayed in Kilis.

There are no Christians among the Syrians currently harbored in Turkey.

Kilis’ inmates do not have to labor: all work around the camp is done by specially hired personnel. Camp dwellers are served three meals a day. Their container homes are fitted with toilets, water and heating systems, air conditioners, etc. There is a school providing classes for anyone aged between 5 and 18. The camp also has a mosque and a supermarket.

Credit cards are distributed among refugees to support their daily needs, each with some $300-400 provided by the Turkish government. The government has invested a total of $163 million in this and other humanitarian camps. Food for the camps is supplied by IHH.
Team Leader

Just as there are no Syrian refugees in Turkish humanitarian-speak, there are no wounded Syrians in Turkish hospitals, either: they are “recovering visitors” in IHH “guesthouses.”

Coordinator General Atan tells me some 500 Syrians have received surgical treatment in Turkey over the past year. Those I have personally met were minorly wounded, and they did not mind talking to a reporter. Only one of them asked me to have his face blurred if I chose to publish his picture.

This man introduced himself as Abu Amin. He is a 29-year-old native of Latakia, a Sunni. He is single, and his mother has emigrated to the United Arab Emirates. An engineer by occupation, Amin spent 15 months serving in the Syrian army. At some point, their unit was deployed to Baniyas. Local rebels were said to be in collusion with Israel. Once Amin realized this was not true, he deserted the ranks and joined the rebels.

He then spent three months leading a rebel group of 240 fighters. Fifteen of his men were killed in action in this period, while Amin himself was lightly wounded a week before we met.

Amin tells me a bit about the ways of the Syrian opposition.

“No one in the Free Syrian Army knows each other’s real names,” he says. “Civilians in Syria do have guns, most of which either come from family caches or are captured from troops. You can buy a cartridge for $13. I myself bought a rifle from Shiite villagers for $2,000.”

Abu Amin has his own perspective on who is friend or foe for the Syrian opposition.

“I am in favor of a NATO intervention,” he explains, “but I think no one will come to our rescue, so we will have to fight to the bitter end. The whole world is against us. I wish America would bomb Iran, and I wish America, Europe and Muslims would ally against the East and defeat it. There is a Hadith about this. Shiites are no Muslims – they are really kafir, they come from Jewish Talmudists. The Shiites do us more harm than the Masons and the Zionists combined. Just read what Ibn Taymiyyah wrote about the Shiites! The Americans are better than the Shiites, and the Christians are better, too.”

Team leader Amin does not agree with the official story told by Damascus and Tehran, who claim that the opposition is backed by Israel.

“Israel is still better than Assad,” he says. “We Syrians are under occupation, even more so than the Palestinians. Their occupation is overt, ours is ideological. We have no life in Syria, merely existence. If we manage to free ourselves from Assad, we will then liberate the Golan Heights and Al-Quds (Jerusalem) within a day.”
….
Amin goes on to explain that Syria’s Kurds are Satan worshippers, at which point a savvier inmate steps into our discussion. His name is Ali Billu, he is 30, and he comes from Aleppo. He says he is not a refugee: he “simply communicates with journalists.” Billu turns our conversation to a different perspective.
more..

May 15th, 2012, 12:53 am

 

Juergen said:

Havent laughed yet? Here is a videosupport of an young german syrian who is a devoted stalinist.
The other day he wrote the following on his facebook page:

“For the last few days I feel so …
I just want to go to Syria. I want to kill at least 20 terrorists, then die honorably and bravely. And buried with a GDR flag and the nationality of a Syria-flag to be. Under the Song of the International Brigades by Ernst Busch. Someone who can help me fulfill this desire please contact me”

Here is his soviet style news, hardtime communists may have a tear or two to share afterwards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uqHLvBIpNHY#!

Here is a very nice documentary from ARTE in french only, the pictures and the music are worthy to be watched…

http://videos.arte.tv/fr/videos/damas_au_peril_de_mon_souvenir-6648686.html

May 15th, 2012, 1:33 am

 

omen said:

Internal U.S. report: Syrian military violating ceasefire, attacking aid workers

Syrian government forces continue to attack opposition forces, civilians, and aid volunteers, preventing the international community from getting emergency aid to the Syrian people, USAID has detailed in a series of internal reports obtained by The Cable.

May 15th, 2012, 1:41 am

 

Juergen said:

DAMASCUS, THE RISK OF MY REMEMBRANCE
After a long exile, Marie Seurat returned to Syria, where she was born. She wants to buy a house and starts looking for the ideal residence in neighborhoods Christians, Muslims and Jews. She quickly realizes that his project is not viable and no shelter is intended for him in Syria. But the memories float to the surface and, his voice harsh and biting, the director talks about his personal history, combined with the great history. Marie Seurat – the widow of Michel Seurat, French hostage in Lebanon, died in captivity in 1985 – and leads us to the Christian roots of Syria, in the heart of the great upheavals that shook the country. An exciting journey, between intimate quest and historical inquiry.

in french only

http://videos.arte.tv/fr/videos/damas_au_peril_de_mon_souvenir-6648686.html

May 15th, 2012, 2:11 am

 

Aldendeshe said:

Moderator Note Fixed the link below

Posted comment by YYYY on Now Lebanon website:

What goes around comes around. What they did to us is now happening to them. Us being lebanon and them being the syrian regime. For years they gave us instability now they got instability. For years they played us against each other, now there all against each other. For years they filled our streets with terror now they got terror on there streets. For years they assasinated our leaders now there leaders are targets for assasination. But worst of all they gave us the cancer HA and now they got there own cancer the FSA. POWER to the FSA.

To read more: http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=253828

May 15th, 2012, 2:16 am

 

Mina said:

Voices in the desert
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2012/05/missing-saudis.html

Or how the junckie West in need of Gulf money went for complete chaos instead of policies.

May 15th, 2012, 5:12 am

 

Tara said:

Ghalioun clinging to power.  This is outrageous.  Ghalioun should lead by example.  He has failed to unite the opposition for whatever reasons and that failure should’ve prompted him to not run.  Poor Syria!  14 months of sacrifice not enough.   We still have long way to go….

https://mobile.twitter.com/#!/THE_47th/status/202337560691884033

Burhan Ghalioun won the SNC Presidency with 21 votes, George Sabra came in second with 11 votes – SNC Media Center
2 hours ago  via web

May 15th, 2012, 7:03 am

 

bronco said:

Tara #41

Do you start to you see what I mean? It is a preview of what is to come if they take over Syria.
The welfare of the Syrians is the least of SNC’s concerns.
The SNC is totally controlled by money, greed and fanaticism. Their rich allies, the revengeful and cynical US neo-cons, the ambitious Qatar, the naive Turkey and confused KSA will never put any pressure on them to change their doomed course.
They are now the ones bearing the responsibilities of all the heinous crimes in Syria, whether on young soldiers or on civilians.
Their hypocrisy inspire me not only contempt but repulsion.

May 15th, 2012, 8:06 am

 

zoo said:

Do we know if the Al Nusra is a “Syrian militant group” and which ‘errors’ are in the videos? A late and awkward attempt to pin the bombings on the Syrian government.

Al-Nusra Front denies Damascus bombings claim

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18070085

A Syrian Islamist militant group has denied saying it was behind Thursday’s bombings in the capital, Damascus.

The al-Nusra Front appeared to admit carrying out the attack – which killed 55 people – in a video which was posted on online on Saturday.

But on Tuesday, the group said it had not made the video, which it said was “fabricated”, and “full of errors”.
more…

May 15th, 2012, 8:19 am

 

zoo said:

Turnout in Syria elections more than 50 per cent – officials

Voter turnout in legislative elections in Syria stands at 51.26 per cent, an official said on Tuesday. Khalaf al-Azzawi, head of the electoral commission, added that 30 women had been elected to the 250-seat parliament in the May 7 vote, AFP reports. The official said 10,118,519 Syrians eligible to vote had cast ballots. The elections were boycotted by opposition groups.
http://rt.com/news/line/2012-05-15/#id30990

% Women in Parliament in Arab countries and others

Qatar 0.0%
Saudi Arabia 0.0%
Kuwait 0%
Oman 1.2 %
Bahrain 10%

Egypt 2%
Lebanon 3.1%
Algeria 8%
Jordan 10.8%
Syrian 12%
Morocco 17%
UAE 17.5 %
Iraq 25%
Tunisia 26.7%

Turkey 14.3%

Israel 20%

Cuba 45.2%

Source: http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm

May 15th, 2012, 8:46 am

 

zoo said:

Terrorist Group Assassinates Elder of Al-Okaidat Clan, His Son and Driver and Deir Ezzor DEIR EZZOR, (SANA) – 2012.05.14
http://www.fananews.com/en/?p=99693

An armed terrorist group on Monday assassinated sheikh Abdelaziz Rashid al-Hafal, one of the elders of al-Okaidat clan in Deir Ezzor, along with his son and his driver. A source at the province told SANA’s correspondent that the terrorists opened fire on sheikh al-Hafal, his son Ra’ad, and his driver Jalal Hasan al-Mohammad, on the road to Deir Ezzor near al-Sour area, killing them instantly. Another terrorist group murdered sheikh Mahmoud Hasan al-Ghannash, another elder of al-Okaidat clan, last week, injuring his daughter who was with him in the car at the time of the attack. H. Sabbagh
UN observers on the site of the attack.
http://static1.dot.jo/uploads/repository/be91cc1934605df1d66e9789a435e4885792355b.jpg
http://jordantimes.com/dozens-killed-in-syria-saudi-arabia-doubts-annan-peace-plan

May 15th, 2012, 9:04 am

 

Tara said:

Bronco

Neither the revolution should be tainted for the inadequacies of the SNC, nor the regime should be “holyfield” for that particular reason.. Power hunger and impotence of the SNC or some of its members do not make the regime less evil and that is exactly where we differ again. In my eyes, there is no more evil than killing and torture. Therefore, if I to assign an “evilness score”, no one would trump the regime.

You asked me to choose and I would choose neither. I am hoping for a solution, somewhat similar to Egypt, where a transitional body rules Syria until fair election.

May 15th, 2012, 9:19 am

 

MM said:

Sharmine is not a reliable source.

I’ll just leave it at that.

I see the weaving of reality above, very impressive I must say.

May 15th, 2012, 9:33 am

 

bronco said:

#47 Tara

“In my eyes, there is no more evil than killing and torture”

Then what about the USA? Syria’s record of alleged killing and torture pales in comparison. I didn’t hear anyone saying that the USA regime should be toppled and brought to the IC.
You know well that the argument “Yes, but they don’t kill their own people” doesn’t stand for me. Killing human beings is killing human beings. Invoking that they are ‘non-nationals’ as an excuse is racist, arrogant and hypocritical.

May 15th, 2012, 9:39 am

 

irritated said:

Ghalioun elected chief of Syria opposition group

http://news.yahoo.com/ghalioun-elected-chief-syria-opposition-group-130611004.html

Mabrook for a clean cut puppet as a leader of the SNC to convince the West of its dubious ‘secularism’.

May 15th, 2012, 9:45 am

 

bronco said:

#46 Tara

“I am hoping for a solution, somewhat similar to Egypt, where a transitional body rules Syria until fair election.”

After this farcical SNC elections, do you still hold hopes for such a body?
Would you, like in Egypt, give the reins of the country to the army that has sided unequivocally with the regime?

It is obvious that there are no alternatives than the present government who is now under strong pressures from its allies to deliver meaningful reforms, while the financially pampered SNC is under no pressure to unite or to compromise.

As Annam said: “Give me a better alternative and I’ll jump in”

May 15th, 2012, 10:08 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

Stuck in the middle – Syria’s moderate voices

By Lyse Doucet
BBC News, Damascus

Last month in Damascus, one young woman stood alone in the middle of a busy street outside parliament. Her banner, as big as her, declared “Stop the Killing.”

Passers-by stopped to applaud her message. The authorities detained her.

But this lone act of bravery by “the woman in the red dress” was captured on video and became something much bigger. Others copied her burst of defiance.

“It started as a personal scream of anger but it spread widely,” reflected the strikingly soft-voiced Rime Dali.

“It even gathered people who support the regime because we all want to stop the killing, and build a Syria for all Syrians.”

Shortly after our meeting, she was briefly detained again as she attended a vigil for victims of last week’s powerful blasts in the capital that left dozens dead and hundreds injured.

Dangerous divide
In Syria, moderate views are often drowned out by the louder harsher violence that captures the headlines. But other voices are there – on both sides of an increasingly dangerous divide.

In his gleaming new office with a panoramic view of the capital, journalist Ziad Haider is hopeful enough to open the Damascus bureau of a new TV Channel “Al Mayadeen” which has its headquarters in Beirut.

[…]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18070086

May 15th, 2012, 10:12 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Only in(Syrian Revolution ) the dead jump laughing :

May 15th, 2012, 10:24 am

 

Tara said:

Bronco

The government is under pseudo-pressure from its allies.  Had Russia been really interested in solving the stalemate, it could’ve convinced Bashar to step down into self-exile to set the stage up for negotiation between the regime and the opposition.  Russia and Iran have done absolutely nothing to the Syrians.  In the contrary, they emboldened Bashar with their unwavering support while leaking some cosmic rhetoric to sound like they want Bashar to undertake serious reforms.

You are asking for the impossible!  We  all were initially willing to support a dialogue between the regime, with Bashar on the helm, and the opposition UNDER one condition which was to stop the killing.  This offer is no longer on the table anymore.  Bashar carries all the responsibilities for 11,000 plus killing, 30,000 disappearance, and many many thousands tortured.  He is the commander-in-chief and fully accountable. 

The best we can offer ( grudgingly) is to not persecute him.  There is no other solution that I can see.  Meanwhile, the stalemate continues and the struggle will be a war of attrition while the country slowly but surely digress into a failed state.

May 15th, 2012, 11:46 am

 

Aldendeshe said:

The best we can offer ( grudgingly) is to not persecute him. There is no other solution that I can see. Meanwhile, the stalemate continues and the struggle will be a war of attrition while the country slowly but surely digress into a failed state.

__________________________________________________________________

See BRONCO, you and your DUCKY are not getting it man. This is why they did not get rid of Saddam during “Desert Storm” and kept him around for a decade to drag Iraq into a weak failed State position, so Zionists can take it over with one gulp, one easy drive to Baghdad with the help of a paid for conspiring defense minister.

They are repeating the same successful con-game in Syria, they don’t want to bring immediate resolution, they wanted your Ducky slowly roasting Syria to a failed State with the help of paid for SNC/Islamist front and SFA war of attrition. But they are miscalculating this time (IN VERY BIG WAY), Russia, to my understanding, under Putin, will never abandoned its position on Syria not now,not a decade from now, not a century from now. In the end, the war of attrition on Syria will turn into war of attrition on Turkey, Israel and Gulf States by well trained Islamist extremist. I can tell you this much, Islamists eying Jordan right now, watch the big screen near you for hot action. It is going to be the next hot release baby. GAME CHANGER.

May 15th, 2012, 12:31 pm

 

bronco said:

#54 Tara

I totally disagree with you about what the Russians should have done. There has been no convincing evidence that the Syrians want Assad out. In the contrary, one proof against is the inability after 14 months of the SNC to rally anyone in Syria or elsewhere to get a legitimacy. They even went further in denying the local opposition any role in their ‘grand plan’. The opposition is fractured and have different agendas.
Russia did exactly what logic dictates: No forced regime change unless there is an overwhelming evidence that at least 14 millions Syrians really want it. In doubt, they pushed Syria to accelerate the pace of reforms and to accept first the AL plan than the UN peace plan.
This plan was flatly rejected by the opposition still hoping for a ‘forced’ regime change by invoking the ‘humanitarian’ Trojan horse, as they know that a regime change will never happen with such low turnout of the Syrians: Calls for massive strikes fell short one after the other, demonstrations were limited to poor suburbs and villages. That doesn’t add up to 14 millions, rather to 14 thousands.

There is no “impossible” if you want to save a country for more death and hardship.
This doesn’t seem the concern of the enraged EOS: SNC+FSA+QATAR+KSA+TURKEY who now seem to favor an Al Qaeeda and an Islamist extremists rule or a failed state to Bashar Al Assad’s rule.
It should be your concern by just swallowing your pride and your disappointment in front of this aborted and sinister ‘revolution’.

May 15th, 2012, 12:40 pm

 

Badr said:

Obscure jihadists enter Syrian conflict
By Rana Moussaoui (AFP)

International Crises Group said the regime appeared to stand to gain the most from the mayhem.

“Some observers suspect a regime hand in events that served its interests: damaging its foes’ image; mobilising and radicalising its own popular base; frightening the many Syrian fence-sitters; and heightening Western reluctance to become involved in a muddled and messy conflict.

“The blasts almost certainly produced all those effects,” it said.

May 15th, 2012, 12:42 pm

 

bronco said:

Aldendshe #55

“I can tell you this much, Islamists eying Jordan right now,”

Of course they are and the FSA and Turkey will make it easy for them as they did for Syria.
Until naive Turkey starts to get it back on its face. Turkey has the most to loose in this dangerous game.

May 15th, 2012, 12:47 pm

 

zoo said:

Aleppo rocking?

10 may 2012

“The Rock Cave brings you Plugged Unplugged, a Rock concert where the local bands TWISTED THORN and CHASING THE STORM will be playing covers as well as some original songs. The concert will take place on Thursday 10th May at Kan Zaman Cafe in Aleppo, Syria. Ticket holders will receive a CD from Yasmin Music Shop for free!”

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/546108_342019722529498_100001644199999_873390_522102574_n.jpg

http://www.jorzine.com/default.aspx?page=news&id=1234&month=5&year=2012

May 15th, 2012, 1:00 pm

 

zoo said:

Foreign powers compete for spoils in Syria’s conflict
May 16, 2012

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/foreign-powers-compete-for-spoils-in-syrias-conflict
Unrest in Syria reveals international conflict of interests between the world’s superpowers

What is unfolding in Syria is no more than an international conflict between superpowers over a vital area, contended Dr Abdelilah Belqziz in an opinion piece carried by the Sharjah-based newspaper Al Khaleej.

A section of the Syrian opposition believes that Russian and China are standing in the way of the Syrian democratic change. These two countries, they believe, have been offering the regime the political cover in international bodies, and vetoed UN Security Council resolutions against the Assad regime.

Protests against the stand of Russia and China have gone so far as to burn their flags.

“To accuse Russia and China of hampering democratic change in Syria does imply that the US alongside its western allies are backing the Syrian people’s rights to democracy,” he noted.

But the truth, as the US history towards the Arab region shows, is that America is concerned with two and only two things: “Oil and Israel, and to hell with the rest, including the Arabs’ rights to democracy.”

Politics is by definition interest-driven. The nations’ foreign policies and strategies are governed essentially by interests.

So if the western countries are willing to topple the Syrian regime, it is because the latter opposes western policies in the region, not for the sake of democracy in Syria.

In the same vein, Russia and China are backing the Syrian regime only because it is an ally in their standoff with the Americans in this strategic region.

“Any outcome of the toppling of the Syrian regime, be it the rise of Islamists, chaos or civil war does not matter to the West. What does matter is the overthrow of a hostile regime.”

Similarly, Russia and China are playing politics. They do not care if their backing of the regime “is embarrassing them with the West and the Syrian opposition, for they are dealing with an official regime, not with locals as the West does. In addition, the Syrian regime staying in power is a loss to the West”.

Today, what is happening in Syria is no more than an international conflict over hegemony. This conflict may well end up in “a political settlement between the big three – the US, Russia and China, with their respective allies. The Syrians then, regime and opposition alike, would have to swallow that international settlement, whether they were pleased or vexed about it.”

The best solution, the writer asserts, is to reach an internal compromise between the regime and the opposition to pre-empt any compulsory foreign settlement.

But for this “internal historic settlement to take place, the hawks in the regime and the opposition – that is, advocates of the violent crackdown and supporters of military action and foreign involvement – must definitely be expelled”.

more…

May 15th, 2012, 1:27 pm

 

Badr said:

I should add to my quote above that although the regime may gain the most from the violent disorder, even if only in the short term, I’m not willing to conclude that it was behind the car bombings.

May 15th, 2012, 1:50 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

“… demonstrations were limited to poor suburbs and villages. That doesn’t add up to 14 millions, rather to 14 thousands.”

Very not true!  Allow me to say that this is where the logic is lost and bias becomes apparent.  The revolution is supported by almost all Syrians minus most Alawis, great proportion of Christisns, and corrupt Sunnis.  All of them constitute roughly about 20% of the population.  And if you ask me to prove it, I’d ask you to prove otherwise.  And if you chose to tell me that Youtube movies showed only few hundreds, I’d tell you that I can never prove the sky is blue to someone who looks at the same sky I am looking at but sees it otherwise….

“..sinister revolution”
Here, I ask you to reconsider.  At least in respect for the souls of the thousands and thousands of peaceful activists and innocent bystanders killed by al Assad in order for our freedom and dignity.

I just want to remind you of a historical precedent.  Hitler was super nationalistic but he committed crimes in the name of his nationalism and those crimes are not justifiable.  You may admire Bashar for being “deeply nationalistic”, and you may be repulsed by the opposition for it’s failure to unite, and for what you perceive as Qatar-KSA-Turkey-US-interference, but at the end of the days, Bashar’s crimes against Syrians remain not justifiable.

May 15th, 2012, 2:00 pm

 

AJ said:

I would greatly appreciate everyone (both pro and anti Assad) to share your comments on the following speech by Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University on the Arab “awakening”:

May 15th, 2012, 2:17 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo@59

If you follow the news of a Jordanian metal band, then you absolutely have no excuse whatsoever for not listening to Enigma’s songs Mea Culpa and Principle of Lust songs and tell me what you think. And I won’t take no for an answer… 😉

May 15th, 2012, 2:55 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

but at the end of the days, Bashar’s crimes against Syrians remain not justifiable.

___________________________________________________________________

Absolutely not warranted. needless and genocidal. We all agreed to sit down and talk to him from the beginning. SNP offered to help him launch reforms, we begged him to free Syria, no one fired a shot first. He and his regime are arrogant and tyrant psychos, IRHAL YAZALAMI IRHAL. Hand over powers to SNP, we will launch reforms and have a free and fair, U.N. supervised Election in a year. You have no future, and neither Syria under your regime, it is a dark tunnel ahead.

May 15th, 2012, 3:20 pm

 

Tara said:

Aldendeshe

How many members SNP have? Where is their physicals location? Do they have a webpage stating their mission and vision? And are their membership inclusive to Syrian nationals? Is it free to sign up ?

May 15th, 2012, 3:24 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

@TARA

In total of [4] groups right now under SNP umbrella [312] spread out in [23] countries, too old and lazy to make a webpage @ssnps.com, avg age [61+] we use syriacomment for webpage, Landis is good at keeping it updated for gratis, feel free to volunteer to make one, show me. Vision, UGGGH.. right now…we are looking at a dark tunnel ahead. For the Political committee [72] Syrians and Lebanese only. For Intelligence and GANO any ideological right winger can join. Free to join if your skills are really needed and you are very trusted. We are not looking for Mujahedeen to blow themselves and others up, we are looking for person with high technological expertise, intelligence collection, Urban developers, Archeologists, Automated food processing, advanced (California style) Agriculture, soil engineers, deep sea divers, satellite technology, space / aviation expertise, geologist / mining, someone with contact with aliens preferably. Otherwise, if you are millionaire and like to join, you can write a check to our fund manager and you are welcome abroad on need to know basis only.

May 15th, 2012, 4:13 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

***************************************************************************************
Syria Analysis: Insurgent Success in the Heart of An Occupied Country
***************************************************************************************

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 James Miller

For the first time in many months, the Free Syrian Army, the armed wing of the Syrian opposition, appears to be carrying out widespread offensive attacks. Yesterday, several operating bases outside Al Rastan, north of Homs, fell to the insurgent fighters. Those fighters were able to beat back several regime counter-attacks, as the Syrian military alternated between shelling the city and advancing with tanks. Perhaps 20 regime soldiers were killed. There were more firefights last night and more shelling today, and still the FSA has not lost ground.

The fighting had been renewed last week. Last Tuesday night, the towns north of Homs were rocked by heavy artillery shelling, and the next morning, the commander of the FSA announced that it would no longer abide by the ceasefire, as it had already been broken by regime troops. The BBC’s Lyse Doucet confirmed that an extremely well-organised opposition attack was launched the previous night. After three months of largely defensive action, the insurgents were once again taking the fight to the Assad military.

And the regime should not have been surprised. Its bombardment, nearly constant for four straight days, is likely a direct response to increased FSA attacks. But still the insurgents have a victory, though small in terms of the amount of territory controlled, right in the heart of occupied Syria. Every minute that Al Rastan’s forward bases are controlled by the insurgents extends that major success for the opposition.

The Syrian military was content in allowing the FSA to occupy Rastan. Attempts to retake the town, and similar FSA strongholds, have proved extremely bloody since February, and they also provide opportunity for the insurgents to capture soldiers and equipment, while restocking their ranks with defectors.So instead, the Syrian military has besieged Rastan for months, shelling it from the countryside and conducting raids down its main thoroughfares.

Read more:

http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2012/5/15/syria-analysis-insurgent-success-in-the-heart-of-an-occupied.html

May 15th, 2012, 5:13 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Commentators point out that there haven’t been any cracks in the regime.

Assad is at the wheel and the windscreen, his only protection from the elements, is full of chips. The road ahead is bumpy and uneven.

May 15th, 2012, 5:49 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Imported Arab Terrorists
FSA imports Alqaeda jihadists to kill Syrians. FSA
Is criminal organization can’t find enough Syrian terrorists so KSA is paying for Arab Alqaeda terrorists to be imported to Syria to keep the blood bath going:

May 15th, 2012, 6:21 pm

 

hamoud said:

The syrian military appears weaker by the day, as the armed opposition organisation, coordination and effisciency is skyrocketing.
If the regime doesnt inverse the trend very fastly, it will be the beginning of the end of the regime.

May 15th, 2012, 6:57 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Libya today,congratulations !!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/15/global-justice-nato-libya
More: loss of sovereignty, loss of control of over $ 130 billion in Libyan money,and exporting terrorists to Africa and Syria.

May 15th, 2012, 7:51 pm

 

zoo said:

#63 Tara

“If you follow the news of a Jordanian metal band”

I am amazed that after the “violent” demonstrations and the ‘crackdown’ at Aleppo University, the students just relax in a bar with a rock concert with a Jordanian group.

If we believe the western media painting the Syrian cities living in fear, this poster is surely a mistake, it must be Aleppo, Maryland.

May 15th, 2012, 7:51 pm

 

zoo said:

#70 Ghufran

The Guardian already warned back in October 2011, but who cares?
The oil contracts are signed

If the Libyan war was about saving lives, it was a catastrophic failure
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/26/libya-war-saving-lives-catastrophic-failure

Nato claimed it would protect civilians in Libya, but delivered far more killing. It’s a warning to the Arab world and Africa

May 15th, 2012, 7:56 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

“Conspiracy Free” Zone

Aldendeshe said in Post #1:

Just imagine this Shia group, sworn enemies of Israel stacking up the Syrian Golan heights with long range missiles and armament given to them by Assad and Iran….

All the sudden Israel will find itself surrounded with less rational enemies and more vicious fighters than the silly Nasserites and Baathist con-men….

I will spare you the quote, Landis likes to keep his blog secular and conspiracy free.

Aldendeshe,

Syria is falling apart under brutal dictator who has killed over 10,000 arabs this past year and all you can do is “imagine” a “Shia group…stacking up the Syrian Golan heights”?

No wonder the arab world is so F’d up.

Why don’t you do something to help prevent arabs being killed by arabs??

May 15th, 2012, 7:57 pm

 

zoo said:

Forecast for Tunisia

As hopes fade for an Arab Spring, the country where it all started remains sunny—but for how long?
By Michael J. Totten|May 15, 2012 7:00 AM

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/99595/forecast-for-tunisia?all=1

It’s no longer news that the Arab Spring has become unseasonably chilly. The Syrian revolution began as a nonviolent protest movement but is rapidly degenerating into a civil war. Libya is cracking up into a fragmented state controlled by hostile militias. And Egypt is ruled by the same Nasserist military dictatorship that seized power in 1952. (If the army there does step aside, don’t get excited: In last year’s election, two-thirds of Egyptians voted for Islamists—and a third of those chose the totalitarian Salafists, the ideological brethren of Osama Bin Laden.)

For a dash of optimism, though, one could do worse than to look to Libya’s North African neighbor to the west: Tunisia, the country actually responsible for kicking off this season of Arab revolutions. And if current trends in the region persist, it may be the only country of the Arab Spring that doesn’t slip back into winter.
more…

May 15th, 2012, 8:04 pm

 

MICHEL said:

#22 Ghufran,

Did you really think I was serious? You’ve taken my comments at face value it seems. What I wanted to show is how much the filthy sectarian wilayat-al-faqih hzbullat has become hated by syrians, and we used to hang their flags in our balconies. The hate for hzbullat has become so big that sometimes I start thinking about partnering up with Israel to destroy this low-life scum lying munafeq party.

May 15th, 2012, 8:09 pm

 

zoo said:

Another roadside attack on UN observer. Opposition accuses the government of ‘shelling’ the convoy.

Roadside Blast Hits UN Convoy; 20 Killed at Syrian Funeral
Margaret Besheer
May 15, 2012
http://www.voanews.com/content/activists_say_syrian_forces_kill_20_at_funeral/666586.html
UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations says a roadside blast hit a convoy carrying a group of its unarmed observers near the Syrian city of Hama on Tuesday, damaging their vehicles but not injuring the monitors.

The U.N. mission in Syria says a convoy of four of its vehicles was struck by a blast from an improvised explosive device as it drove through the town of Khan Sheikhoun, near the flashpoint city of Hama on Tuesday afternoon. U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said, “Three U.N. vehicles were damaged, but no U.N. personnel were hurt in this explosion. The mission has sent a patrol team to the area to help to extract those U.N. military observers.”

May 15th, 2012, 8:11 pm

 

zoo said:

More confusing information about the attack in Edlib

Some UN observers kidnapped and “forced to attend deadly funerals at Khan Sheikhoun”?

http://arabic.upi.com/News/2012/05/15/UPI-11011337095619/

“This is a real massacre and it took place in the presence of U.N. observers,” Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the Observatory, said of the attack on the funeral. He called for an international investigation and for the monitors to state publicly what they saw.

UN Observers Caught Up In Syrian Violence
Associated Press
BEIRUT May 15, 2012, 04:48 pm ET
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=152743180

BEIRUT (AP) — The U.N.’s observer mission in Syria was caught up in a burst of violence Tuesday captured on video, with a roadside bomb damaging its cars just minutes after witnesses said regime forces gunned down mourners at a funeral procession nearby.

The mission confirmed its vehicles were hit by a bomb shortly after they met with Syrian rebels, and said there were no injuries.

It was not clear how close the observers were to the funeral shootings, but if confirmed, a regime attack on a civilians directly in front of the observer mission could put pressure on them to describe publicly what they are seeing in Syria. They report back to the U.N. but have not publicized their findings.

The attack in the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun is at least the second time that U.N. observers have been caught up in Syria’s violence. Last week, a roadside bomb struck a Syrian military truck in the south of the country just seconds after the head of the U.N. observers team drove by in a convoy.

A video of the bomb attack was posted by activists online. “The front of a U.N. car took a direct hit,” activist Fadi al-Yassin, who witnessed the incident, told The Associated Press. “Everyone ran in panic but the observers stayed in the car. People tried to talk to them but they wouldn’t even open their windows.”

Just minutes earlier, Syrian forces fired on a funeral procession, activists said. Al-Yassin and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that as many as 20 people may have been killed and said many others were wounded, some of them in serious condition. It was impossible to independently confirm the toll.

“This is a real massacre and it took place in the presence of U.N. observers,” Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the Observatory, said of the attack on the funeral. He called for an international investigation and for the monitors to state publicly what they saw.

A video posted by activists online appeared to show the exact moment the U.N. vehicle was struck. The video shows two white vehicles clearly marked “U.N” with people milling around it, and two others parked a few meters behind. Slippers apparently left behind by the mourners running away from the shooting earlier are seen strewn about on the ground.

The blast blew off the front of the first vehicle and sent up a plume of smoke as people screamed and frantically ran for cover. The four cars are then seen slowly driving away.

Ahmad Fawzi, a spokesman for Syria’s special envoy Kofi Annan, confirmed the observers were caught up in the country’s violence as they met with the rebel Free Syrian Army.

“The U.N. Mission in Syria reports that shortly after 2 p.m. local time today, a (U.N.) convoy of four vehicles was struck by an explosion from an improvised explosive device,” Fawzi said in a statement. “Three U.N. vehicles were damaged. No U.N. personnel were injured.”

May 15th, 2012, 8:34 pm

 

Syria no kandahar said:

A CT Scan on Erdogan brain will show sever brain atrophy.After fueling the Syrian
Crisis and taking side with terrorists of FSA and using sectarian language many times…. He is now having a new invention:
Violence in Syria could spread: PM
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish PM Erdoğan says the violence in Syria should not be viewed as a sectarian or ethnic conflict, and warns the fire in Syria could easily spread to region

A man and a boy ride a scooter past Lebanese soldiers on their armored vehicle deployed at a street near the Bab al-Tebbaneh neighborhood in Tripoli. REUTERS photo
Turkey’s prime minister has urged regional countries and the international community not to see the violence in Syria as rooted in sectarian differences, but as a crisis of humanity. The fire in Syria could easily spread to regional countries, as it has in Lebanon, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also warned.

“Assessing issues from the ideological perspective of sectarian or ethnic roots would be a huge mistake. This sort of approach adds fuel to the flames and, God forbid, turns the spark in the region into a devastating fire,” Erdoğan said in his weekly address to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group yesterday. “It’s wrong to assess the crisis in Syria as a sectarian clash. This can lead those who make this evaluation in the wrong direction.”

Erdoğan’s warning came only a day after sectarian fights between Alawite supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Sunni Muslims in Lebanon’s Tripoli have intensified. Lebanon has long been the theater of such sectarian clashes, which have lead to deep instability over the years.

“Those who have humanity and mercy in their hearts should look at the Syrian issue from the angle of humanity, heart and conscience, rather than from the angle of sectarianism. I say this to all countries in the region,” he said, tacitly referring to Iran’s role in the Syrian turmoil. Turkey believes that Iran, the region’s Shiite heavyweight, has its hands in the Syrian crisis and is backing the al-Assad regime in order to protect its own interests in the region.

Issuing similar warnings to his political opponents in Turkey, Erdoğan said: “Those who look at Syria through the lens of being pro- or anti- a certain sect will fail the test of humanity.”

Criticism to CHP
Underlining that the violence had not ended in Syria, despite Damascus saying it would implement the peace plan outlined by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Erdoğan said it was impossible to approve the suicide bombing that had killed dozens in the country so far. “Whoever perpetrated it, it’s wrong. We have already stated that we have denounced it,” he said.

[…]

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/violence-in-syria-could-spread-pm.aspx?pageID=238&nID=20834&NewsCatID=338

May 15th, 2012, 8:38 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

@Akbar
Never get in the way of mentally crazies, leave them alone, build walls around you, like Israelis.

May 15th, 2012, 9:10 pm

 

Tara said:

The Regime’s report card: Reprisal attacks were carried against civilians met with U.N. observers.  The mission should distribute a disclaimer prior to meeting with civilians.  “Talk to us at your own risk.  Lethal consequences may follow.”   

Syrian government forces continue to attack opposition forces, civilians, and aid volunteers, preventing the international community from getting emergency aid to the Syrian people, USAID has detailed in a series of internal reports obtained by The Cable.

In its latest “humanitarian update,” written at the end of April, USAID reported in detail the extensive attacks perpetrated by Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) troops, despite an ongoing U.N. monitoring mission and in direct violation of the “cease-fire” there. The USAID report, marked “sensitive but unclassified,” sourced its findings to U.N. representatives in Syria as well as representatives of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), and other aid groups on the ground.

“U.N.-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan expressed concerns regarding reports of SARG reprisal attacks in areas where Syrian civilians met with U.N. observers, including in Hamah and Damascus governorates,” the report stated. “The observers report that SARG forces have not withdrawn heavy weapons from urban centers — a condition of the U.N. and Arab League supported ceasefire and peace plan that went into effect on April 12.”

More..
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/05/14/internal_us_report_syrian_military_violating_ceasefire_attacking_aid_workers

May 15th, 2012, 9:12 pm

 

zoo said:

Iran to start power exports to Syria, Lebanon next week
Source: Press TV
http://www.payvand.com/news/12/may/1147.html

An Iranian energy official says the Islamic Republic will start exporting 50 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Lebanon and Syria as of next week.

Iran is fully prepared to export electricity to Lebanon and Syria and power transfer to these countries will officially start as of next week, Abdolhamid Farzam, Iran Energy Ministry’s official in charge of foreign exchanges said on Sunday.

According to Farzam, electricity export to Lebanon and Syria is taking place as part of an agreement reached between energy ministers of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in February.

Power transfer to Lebanon and Syria will be carried out in two phases, 50 MW in the first phase and 200 MW in the second phase, Farzam added.

Namjou said Iran is capable of exporting 1,000 MW of power to Iraq, adding that Syria had also demanded 500 MW of electricity from Iran.

“Iran is also able to export 50-100 MW of electricity to Lebanon through Syria,” Namjou said.

Iran is currently exchanging electricity with Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, Nakhichevan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.

Iran’s total annual power generation capacity stands at 63,403 MW while the total length of the power grid exceeds 780,000 km.

According to the Iranian Energy Ministry statistics, the country will be exporting up to USD 1 billion worth of electricity by March 2012.

Iran seeks to become a major regional exporter of electricity and has attracted more than USD 1.1 billion in investments to build three new power plants.

May 15th, 2012, 9:21 pm

 

Tara said:

Activist describes the attack on the UN mission

May 15th, 2012, 9:25 pm

 

omen said:

40. Mina said:
Voices in the desert
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2012/05/missing-saudis.html

Or how the junckie West in need of Gulf money went for complete chaos instead of policies.
5:12 am

horrifying. the saudis aren’t stupid enough to actually kill him, are they? who knows, turning him into a martyr could wind up setting off the tinderbox that sets the place on fire.

here is khaled speaking english:

(i looked all over but couldn’t find the original interview these excerpts were taken from. did bbc arabic cut them out?)

video 1:20:

“if you will speak they will put you in jail after five minutes.”

“i will go into jail with a big smile!”

thank you as’ad for keeping this story alive. i also fault western reporters based in the middle east for not championing this story.

May 15th, 2012, 9:52 pm

 

Tara said:

Peter Harling -brilliant as usual.

All in all, the power structure is eroding slowly in a country that is crumbling fast all around it.  Towns and villages are shelled with no discernible military objectives..and set ablaze.  Refugees often chased around..by putting them on the run, the regime has brought danger closer to home.

Interviewee: Peter Harling, Director, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, International Crisis Group
Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, CFR.org
May 15, 2012

The regime is both well-entrenched and losing control. Much of the country is in a state of chaos. Despite plethoric security and military assets, the single most important road, running north to south from Aleppo to Damascus, is unsafe. Criminal activity is rampant even in the vicinity of the capital. For months, opposition armed groups have made it difficult for regime troops to maintain a sustainable presence in many parts of Syria. More often than not, loyalist forces are reduced to hit-and-run operations that cause tremendous damage, solve nothing, and rather make things worse.

At the same time, the regime’s core structures remain solid. A steady trickle of defections has continued, but the floodgates have not opened. This resilience has several causes. Some regime officials fear the future for the country, their community, or themselves, and believe this is a struggle for survival. Others have actually profited from the crisis, gaining in status or wealth in the booming economy of violence. Yet others are deeply disillusioned, tempted to defect, but disinclined to do so as long as the regime appears here to stay. All in all, the power structure is eroding slowly in a country that is crumbling fast all around it.

The governorates of Idlib, Hama, Homs, Dayr Zor, Damascus-Countryside, and Deraa have borne the brunt of the violence. First, demonstrations were repressed at great cost to human life. Soon, retaliations against the security services’ widespread abuse led the regime to take even tougher measures. The emergence of an insurgency fueled by this cycle is now met with forms of collective punishment. Towns and villages are shelled with no discernible military objective, or raided, looted thoroughly, and set ablaze. Ensuing refugees are not only left to their own devices, but often chased around as if they were expected to disappear [into] thin air.

….From day one the regime showed considerable restraint in dealing with dissent in the Kurdish northeast and in the Druze town of Sweida, in the south, eschewing the escalation and radicalization that has been witnessed elsewhere…

But this convergence on Damascus has also created new problems for the regime. It revealed the glaring gap between this bubble of artificial calm and consumerism, and the devastation of so many other parts of the country. Refugees were dumbfounded by what they saw of Damascenes, while the latter were shocked by what they heard of the former, [which were] first-hand witnesses and victims of what amounts to a scorched-earth policy. Moreover, opposition armed groups, initially rooted in their communities and holding their ground, have gone on the offensive as loyalist troops chased them in the areas they controlled. By putting them on the run, the regime has brought danger closer to home. 

Much more…
home.http://www.cfr.org/syria/syrias-bloody-stalemate/p28265

May 15th, 2012, 9:52 pm

 

Tara said:

Peter Harling interview, Part II:  the regime manufactured narrative.  Sounds very familiar.  Doesn’t it?

The conspiracy , coviniently, is both omnipotent and impotent.    it can control the world’s media, prompt demonstrations across Syria, support an armed insurgency and wreck the country’s economy, but what it cannot do is end the regime.

http://www.cfr.org/syria/syrias-bloody-stalemate/p28265   

The prevailing narrative in regime circles, to put it simply, is this: Syria is under attack and fighting back. In this view, its strategic posture is both the primary cause of the conflict and the reason why its current leadership will ultimately pull through….Officials point to biased Western and Arab media coverage, the influx of money and technology (such as satellite phones), and the double standards best illustrated by Bahrain, as exhibits one, two, and three, exposing the conspiracy. Without such meddling, the regime argues, unrest would have long toned down. In particular, the regime’s reform program, which on paper goes far beyond anything a country like Saudi Arabia would be willing to even envisage, would have fully satisfied popular demands.

Of course, missing from this narrative is the extraordinarily arrogant, brutal, and sectarian behavior of the security services in dealing both with peaceful protests and armed resistance, at the cost of damaging beyond repair the relationship between the regime and large swaths of society. Those who would like to weaken or topple Syria’s current leadership are doing little more than seizing the unexpected opportunity they were given.

For the regime, however, this narrative serves two seemingly paradoxical purposes. On one hand, it justifies all its shortcomings–from excessive use of force to lack of political initiative through to its mishandling of the economy…..On the other, the belief runs deep within Syria that the United States is not willing to go all the way to topple this regime, for fear of a regional conflagration, because the status quo serves Israel best, or due to domestic considerations, among various other conjectures. Thus the conspiracy, conveniently, is both omnipotent and impotent: it can control the world’s media, prompt demonstrations across Syria, support an armed insurgency and wreck the country’s economy, but what it cannot do is end the regime.

May 15th, 2012, 10:09 pm

 

zoo said:

In view of the confusing reports, this is what I think has really happened in Khan Sheikhoun. I gathered that by reading many reports about the events, most incomplete or biased and between the lines. It is my tentative interpretation and I am sure they are many others.

It is sure that some UN observers were kidnapped (lured or diverted) by armed gangs and brought to Khan Sheikhoun in order for them either to witness a pre-planned violent event or to be killed. In Khan Sheikhoun, an angry crowd was attending funerals and immediately surrounded the convoy.
The UN observers tried to escape the angry crowd by forcing their way out with their SUV, they hit the bombs setup by the armed gangs to trap them. There were probably casualties among the civilians. The crowd ran away in panic.
The FSA was alerted, intervened and took the UN observers under their protection.
The Syrian army that has the exclusive responsibility of the security of the UN observers arrived, intervened in force and entered in clashes with the FSA, armed gangs and the angry crowd.
The army’s aim was to free the UN observers from the hands of the FSA. They were casualties.

The FSA is now holding the UN observers and worried that they will report the circumstances of the killings. It is now probably trying to make a deal with the UN observers to remain silent on what they went through, at least for the media.

The FSA is scrambling to find a face saving to the event that may reflect badly on it.

“If they leave, the regime will terminate them because they have witnessed one of its crimes and it does not want them to tell the truth,”
Just change the word ‘regime’ by “the armed gangs who kidnapped them”

This is the text that seems to confirm that scenario.
http://news.yahoo.com/rebels-kill-23-syrian-soldiers-opposition-snubs-arab-100255688.html

BEIRUT (Reuters) – At least 21 people were killed on Tuesday in an attack in northern Syria, activists said, and members of a team of U.N. monitors caught in the incident said they were in rebel hands “for their own protection.”

When Reuters asked one of the four monitors by phone if they were being held prisoner, he said: “We are safe with the (rebel) Free Army.”

A spokesman for the rebel military council said the rebels were working on a safe exit for the monitors. An internal U.N. document obtained by Reuters said that a total of six monitors were under rebel “protection” in a “friendly environment.”

“They are now with the Free Army which is protecting them. If they leave, the regime will terminate them because they have witnessed one of its crimes and it does not want them to tell the truth,” rebel Major Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters.

“We will get them out tomorrow,” he said later. The internal U.N. document confirmed the U.N. team in Syria “will conduct a patrol to pick up the mentioned UNMOs (observers)” on Wednesday

May 15th, 2012, 10:18 pm

 

omen said:

51. Son of Damascus said:
Stuck in the middle – Syria’s moderate voices

if you get a chance, consider watching this documentary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hx-G1uhRqA

it raises the question as to why western corporate media chose to elevate gandhi at the expense of other revolutionaries. whose interest did it serve in doing so?

best line in the movie:

The smartest thing the Nazis did was they made it so that at every step of the way, it was in the Jews’ rational best interest to not resist.

Would you rather get an ID card, or do you want to resist
and possibly get killed?

Do you want to move to a ghetto,
or do you want to resist
and possibly get killed?

Do you want to get on a cattle car,
or do you want to resist
and possibly get killed?

You want to take a shower,
or do you want to resist
and possibly get killed?

At every step of the way,
it was in their rational self-interest to not resist.

But I’ll tell you
something very important,
which is:

the Jews who participated
in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
had a higher rate of survival
than those who went along.

– I think that if any of us were
alive in Nazi Germany right now,

we would know what a resistance
movement should be doing.

May 15th, 2012, 10:40 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Focus on Syria: ‘Assad’s attempt to crush the resistance has failed’

Tue 15 May 2012

Armed insurgency and civilian defiance are spreading to regions once thought loyal to Syria’s regime, writes Simon Assaf

The Syrian revolution is moving along several different tracks.

There is a guerrilla war in the major cities and along the international borders.

There is a militant street movement in the capital Damascus and the largest city Aleppo.

And there is a wave of strikes and demonstrations in towns and villages across the country.

President Bashar al-Assad gambled that if he crushed the central city of Homs, known as the “capital of the revolution”, resistance to his regime would crumble.

He used the run-up to the United Nations ceasefire to launch a deadly military offensive on rebel areas. This campaign was to be crowned by “local elections” that he hoped would lend some credibility to his “reforms”.

Far from cowing the revolution, the repression is creating a new wave of radicalisation that has spread to the Alawi Muslim heartlands. It is often triggered by the execution of Alawi conscripts who refused orders to fire on protests.

These protests undermine attempts by the regime to portray the rebellion as a sectarian rising by Syria’s majority Sunni population.

Read more:

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=28466

May 16th, 2012, 1:15 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Silent readers thinking of a SC username. Some suggestions.

Depending on which side your on:

Ambassador Dignity
Ambassador Peace
Ambassador Justice
Ambassador Freedom

Ambassador Destruction*
Ambassador Chaos
Ambassador We-scorch-the-earth

* http://english.alarabiya.net/views/2012/05/15/214237.html

May 16th, 2012, 1:32 am

 

Juergen said:

Interesting comment by Paul Hockenos on islamophobia on the rise in Europe

“The biggest mistake that Europeans could make while watching the ongoing trial of Anders Behring Breivik in Norway is to discount his rambling tirades against Islam and multiculturism as the ravings of a crackpot. Whether clinically sane or not — the Norwegian psychiatrists at the pretrial flip-flopped on this — Breivik’s thousand-page manifesto and his convictions in general are not the bizarre product of a “delusional thought universe,” as the first psychiatric report concluded. On the contrary, Breivik’s “thought universe” bears all the staples of a political ideology that accurately reflects a potent Islamophobic discourse that has taken hold across the continent and beyond since the 9/11 attacks. Breivik’s monstrous crimes must serve as a shrill wake-up call for Europeans — and not just Europeans — to acknowledge the very real potential for violence inherent in this movement and take action to stem it, at its source. ”

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/19/he_s_not_alone

May 16th, 2012, 1:33 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Post Assad Syriastan:

May 16th, 2012, 2:08 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

FSA terrorists chanting :people want kelafa:

May 16th, 2012, 2:11 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Terrorists complain about garbage not being collected stating that garbage can lead to cholera
And طاعون….how can garbage collectors go to rebels areas wher they will be killed or kidnapped or tortured or even taped as defectors from (government garbage)joining (opposition garbage):

May 16th, 2012, 2:23 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad with its stupid vision of Syria and the world will be the main responsible for letting Syria become an islamic country with stupid religious laws and crazy islamic militants who lose their brain when hear about religion. But Assad is not the solution but the cause of this problem. One of the main conclusions of the political process in Syria is that the stupid son of a dicatador has big chances of destroying his father´s work.

May 16th, 2012, 4:25 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Israel no longer wants to ‘preserve’ the Syrian regime: report

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Israel has changed its stance on the future of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an Israeli newspaper reported on Wednesday citing an Israeli military chief.

A report by Israel’s Haaretz daily quoted a European diplomat, close to the talks held by the Israeli military intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi’s in the United States, as saying that the Israeli intelligence community has changed its stance on Syria and now sees the Jewish state as “better off” if Assad’s regime was toppled.

Israel believes Assad’s fate is sealed, and the only question is how long his regime will last before it is eventually toppled, Kochavi said, according to the diplomat.

Read more:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/05/16/214419.html

May 16th, 2012, 7:47 am

 

Tara said:

Kandi

Hurriyet Daily News link?!

I am so impressed. But please do not get carried away here. Zoo will always be number one in the class.

May 16th, 2012, 8:06 am

 

Uzair8 said:

There is still a role for civil disobedience in the revolution. Early on the revolutionaries came up with memorably imaginative ideas.

Some suggestions. If you can think of any more please share:

– Those still paying Utility Bills can refuse.

– Boycott products from companies owned by key regime figures. Hit them where it hurts.

– Undermine the effectiveness of the recent Iran-Syria free trade agreement by identifying and boycotting any products in question. Perhaps purchase Turkish alternatives.

*******************************************************************

Just had a read thru an AJE In Depth article on civil disobedience from April:

Syria: The virtue of civil disobedience

06 Apr 2012

[Selected quotes]

“Placing radio speakers in Damascus’ central squares and playing revolutionary songs; painting the city’s fountain water red to remind the martyrs’ blood; distributing anti-regime leaflets that looked like Syrian currency notes – “everybody would stop to collect 1,000 Syrian Pounds on the floor!” – are some of the nuanced acts taken in defiance of regime.”

[…]

“Nevertheless, each week Ayyam al hurryia produces and posts videos, explaining the meaning of the non-violent struggle, its tactics and the patience to achieve results through peaceful resistance. Some videos address the pro-regime supporters too – the “mnhibbakjia” (“we love you”) crowd – dealing with the national unity issue and the necessity of reconciliation among Syrian people.”

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/20124283638298672.html

May 16th, 2012, 8:07 am

 

zoo said:

#97 Tara

“Zoo will always be number one in the class.”

I grant you the number one. I’ll be satisfied with any other.

May 16th, 2012, 8:29 am

 

irritated said:

#98 Uzair8

“There is still a role for civil disobedience in the revolution”

Its absence and failure, despite the “Revolution 101” teaching of al Jazeera is significant of the absence of a popular support of the ‘revolution’ in large cities and in the merchant communities.
A revolution is not just demonstrations and dramatic videos on Youtube. As such what is happening in Syria is just anarchic, immature and scattered uprisings with lethal consequence but no valid direction

May 16th, 2012, 8:35 am

 

Tara said:

Zoo

My compliment was genuine.

Syrians do not take compliments with ease…I “matured” over the years. I now take compliments with ease when genuine and just say thank you. You should do that too. yes?

May 16th, 2012, 8:42 am

 

zoo said:

Another large scale ‘strong message’ with a flattering code name الاسد المتأهب.

Goodspeed Analysis: U.S., allies sending a not-so-subtle message to Syria with Jordanian war games
Peter Goodspeed May 15, 2012 – 6:05 PM ET |

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/05/15/goodspeed-analysis-u-s-allies-sending-a-not-so-subtle-message-to-syria-with-jordanian-war-games/

More than 12,000 special forces troops from 19 countries, including many who saw combat last year in Libya, will be swarming all over Jordan for the next two weeks in the largest war games ever held in the Middle East, while their leaders adamantly deny it is a prelude to war in Syria.

The commandoes — from the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Saudi Arabia Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Australia and several other Arab countries that refuse to be identified — are practising guerrilla tactics, staging assaults on a fictitiously troubled nation, conducting counterterrorism operations and learning how to deal with refugees.

While the exercises will reportedly be confined to southern Jordan in a bid to allay Syrian fears, they send a not-so-subtle warning to Syria and Iran over the possibility for international intervention in the Middle East.
As a United Nations-brokered peace plan continues to unravel in Syria, Syrian newspapers were having conniptions last week over the fact the joint military manoeuvres are code-named Exercise Eager Lion 12 — the surname of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also means “lion.”
‘The exercise scenarios are designed to portray realistic, modern-day security challenges’

Jordanian officials insist the exercises are “not connected to any real world event” and are unrelated to the violence that has torn Syria apart, caused the deaths of at least 9,000 people and forced more than 11,000 refugees into Jordan.

“Training events such as Eager Lion provide our forces with an opportunity to practise their language skills, immerse themselves in the culture, learn different tactics, techniques and procedures,” Major General Ken Tovov of the U.S. Special Operations Forces said Tuesday.

The U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., which is responsible for the Middle East, called Eager Lion “part of a long history of multilateral military exercises in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.”

“The exercise scenarios are designed to portray realistic, modern-day security challenges,” U.S officials noted. “The scenarios are designed years in advance to fulfill collaborative training goals.”

Nevertheless, many in the Middle East see the military manoeuvres as just another step in the pressure Western and Arab states are applying to Syria.

more…

May 16th, 2012, 8:45 am

 

zoo said:

#101 Tara

I take compliment but when I really believe I deserve them.
The most important is to share enough information from many sources so any analysis of the situation goes beyond Youtube videos and insults.

May 16th, 2012, 8:50 am

 

zoo said:

The King scrambling to avoid power sharing with his people

Political climate in Jordan boiling
By: Samuel Segev
Posted: 05/15/2012 1:00 AM

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/political-climate-in-jordan-boiling-151493205.html#

What is going on in Jordan? For some time, the political climate in the kingdom has been boiling.

In the last six months, King Abdullah has been forced to change his government three times, but demonstrations against the monarch continue. Luckily for him, there is no immediate danger of his overthrow.

The reasons for the constant tension in the kingdom are abundant: unemployment, high cost of living, a rise in the power of the Islamists and the struggle between the Bedouins and the Palestinians, who constitute a majority in the country.

But the real, unspoken reason is the most important one: A demand that Jordan move to a system of government similar to that of Great Britain, where the government is answerable to the parliament and not to the monarch. Should Abdullah yield to such a demand, he would lose real power.

This demand is raised by the Islamists and the Palestinians, and less so by the Bedouins, who remain the strongest supporters of the king.

As expected, the peace with Israel is also among the subjects demonstrators in Jordan raise on every occasion.

The fact that Fayez Taraouneh, the incumbent prime minister, negotiated and signed the peace treaty with Israel is only adding to the tension.

Taraouneh’s wife is a Palestinian from Jaffa, but this does not diminish the opposition to his government.

In an effort to reduce tension, King Abdullah tried to revive the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. With U.S. blessings, King Abdullah invited delegates from Israel and the West Bank to discuss peace. He had hoped for high-level representation, but both sides sent low-level delegates with no real mandate to tackle the tough issues of peace. The effort failed.

more..

May 16th, 2012, 8:55 am

 

Uzair8 said:

@100 Irritated

The regime raised the stakes when it decided to brutally huntdown peaceful protestors threatening their very lives.

Facing constant danger and provocation the protestors adapted and improvised. They cannot be blamed for failing to live up to standards of revolution demanded by pro-regime.

May 16th, 2012, 8:57 am

 

zoo said:

Encouraging Annan’s “peace” plan or the FOS “civil war” plan?

Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination

By Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly, Published: May 15
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/syrian-rebels-get-influx-of-arms-with-gulf-neighbors-money-us-coordination/2012/05/15/gIQAds2TSU_story.html

Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials.

Obama administration officials emphasized that the United States is neither supplying nor funding the lethal material, which includes antitank weaponry. Instead, they said, the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.
more…

May 16th, 2012, 8:59 am

 

Antoine said:

” Islamists eying Jordan right now, watch the big screen near you for hot action”

__________________________________________________________________

I thought SNP had a positive opinion about Hashemites and other conservative Arab monarchies, so why the suden excitement ? And how will the “Islamists” overcome the Jordanian Army ?

May 16th, 2012, 9:03 am

 

irritated said:

#105 UZair8

From the beginning of the uprising, there has not be a single strike that was followed in large cities.
The organizers pushes instead for demonstrations, well aware they could easily turn bloody as the security forces, at that time, were ill equipped for crowd control, no water pipes, gas etc… and would use guns when they would feel threatened. This is one of the basics of ‘revolution 101’ : Have people killed so then revenge and hatred with direct the crowd in an escalation until the final victory.
The problem is that ‘final victory’ is not happening.

May 16th, 2012, 9:17 am

 

Ghufran said:

Fawwaz Tillo ,a member of the SNC who spent 5 years in prison for daring to speak,has resigned from the SNC. Fawwzz is considered a liberal,compared to other members.

May 16th, 2012, 9:19 am

 

zoo said:

[Moderator NoteLink Added: http://news.yahoo.com/bodyguard-testifies-iraqi-vp-terror-trial-134351155.html ]

Erdogan ‘guest’ in trouble.

Iraqi VP’s ex-guards say they had orders to kill
y SINAN SALAHEDDIN | Associated Press – 7 hrs ago

BAGHDAD (AP) — Former bodyguards for Iraq’s fugitive vice president have testified that they were ordered to kill security officials and plant roadside bombs as a politically charged terror trial against the Sunni leader got under way.
….
Al-Hashemi has been accused of playing a role in 150 bombings, assassinations and other attacks from 2005 to 2011, according to the judicial council. The Iraqi government alleges that Sunni death squads were largely composed of his bodyguards and other employees.

The charges against the vice president span the worst years of bloodshed that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq as retaliatory sectarian attacks between Sunni and Shiite militants pushed the country to the brink of civil war. He has been in office since 2006.

Tuesday’s testimony focused on more recent years, when violence ebbed but insurgents continued to attack security forces and other targets in a bid to undermine the Iraqi government in the run-up to the U.S. withdrawal in December.
more…

May 16th, 2012, 9:29 am

 

bronco said:

Ghufran #108

The SNC kept Ghaliun as the “public face” for the West in order to hide the overwhelming islamist and neo-con influence within their ranks.
Ghaliun has no dignity whatsoever to accept that role. He is a shame for the Syrians.

May 16th, 2012, 9:35 am

 

Antoine said:

ALDENDESHE,

For long SNP has claimed that majority of Syrians do not support this revolution. On what basis SNP makes this statement ? Do you mean that the thousands of people on the streets since 15 March 2011 throughout the length and breadth of Syria are not the majority of the Syrians people ?

( Only the commentator addressed in this post should reply to this comment)

May 16th, 2012, 9:36 am

 

Tara said:

Peter Harling on the SNC

It is hard to see in what way the Syrian National Council has made the situation better, not worse. Although it was conceptualized as a formation designed to represent society as a whole, it has played a very polarizing role. By mishandling personality issues, it has alienated more prominent opposition figures than necessary. It has failed to successfully reach out to minorities, notably the Kurds. More problematic, it has yet to take any serious initiative toward the Alawites, who form the bulk of the security services. Many Syrians who cherish the state’s relative secularism have been deeply disturbed by the Council’s choice of allies, which they read as selling out to an imperialist United States and reactionary Gulf monarchies.

All in all, the Council has championed an increasingly radicalized street, over-invested in an elusive international intervention, and eschewed more constructive politics. This has helped the regime harden the fault lines it plays upon. The situation is not static, however. The opposition is aware of its own shortcomings and may still make progress in overcoming them.

May 16th, 2012, 9:46 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Christians fleeing Syria….Iraq de ja vu
West could care less…

قال بطريرك الروم الملكيين غريغوريوس الثالث لحّام إن “البلاد في حالة من الفوضى التي يستغلها اللصوص والمجرمون، وكذلك الأجانب المتسللون إلى صفوف المعارضة”، وهناك “عمليات خطف واعتداء وسرقة وعنف متكررة ضد المسيحيين الذين يفرون من البلاد”، إنها “مشاهد اعتدنا للأسف رؤيتها في جارنا العراق”، تعليقا على الأوضاع في سوريا

وفي تصريحات لخدمة الإعلام الديني التابعة لمجلس الأساقفة الايطاليين أضاف بطريرك أنطاكية وسائر المشرق للروم الملكيين الكاثوليك، أن “تفجيري نهاية الأسبوع الماضي في دمشق، عمل عنف غير مسبوق أودى بحياة العديد من الأبرياء، ناجم عن عناصر أجنبية متسللة إلى بلادنا”، موضحا أن “السوريين عاشوا معا لقرون في هذه الأرض، بغض النظر عن دياناتهم، وبشكل خاص المسيحيين والمسلمين” وفق تأكيده

وأشار البطريرك لحّام إلى أن “حالة الفوضى التي نعيشها لن تؤدي سوى إلى تغذية التوتر والهلع، وبشكل خاص لدى الأقليات”، لافتا إلى أن “هذه العناصر العنيفة تجد ملاذا في المناطق المسيحية بعد أن دفعتها قوات الأمن السورية خارج مواقعها”، وبالتالي فإن “العديد من العائلات المسيحية تغادر منازلها الآن”، مستشهدها بما حدث في قرية قارة، التي تركتها متجهة نحو حمص حوالي ستمائة عائلة، في وقت قصير

[…]

http://www.kamishli.com/zowar_tfasil.php?tra_id=4267

May 16th, 2012, 9:57 am

 

omen said:

Syria’s television confessions fail to convince many

BEIRUT, May 16 (Reuters) – Syria’s state media is fighting hard to cast the country’s unrest as an Islamist terrorist conspiracy rather than a popular uprising against the dynastic rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

State television airs interviews with men confessing to acts of violence, sullying the image of Assad’s opponents. But the interviews are mocked by many Syrians and an ex-producer says that many confessions are bogus.

May 16th, 2012, 10:26 am

 

omen said:

what took so long?

Facing dissent, Syrian exile leader changes tack

Dropping his past reluctance to support the militarization of the movement to end four decades of Assad family rule – and breaking with the caution favored by Western powers – Ghalioun said he now supported arming the rebel Free Syrian Army and voiced impatience with some of the Council’s foreign backers.

“We do not deal weapons but we will make some agreements and some countries promised us that they would provide the Free Syrian Army with weapons,” he said.

A senior SNC member told Reuters on condition of anonymity that in the coming days the SNC would send a shipment of weapons into Syria via Turkey. While Western governments are wary of military involvement, Arab powers Qatar and Saudi Arabia favor arming the rebels – though few weapons appear to have arrived.
[…]
“It’s not about the U.S. anymore,” an SNC member close to Ghalioun said in Rome, arguing that President Barack Obama’s campaign for re-election was distracting Washington’s attention. “They are more concerned with elections and can’t help.

“It’s all Saudi and Qatar now.”

May 16th, 2012, 10:30 am

 

zoo said:

The event in Khan Sheikhoun: who do you believe?

The FSA version:

“They are now with the Free Army which is protecting them. If they leave, the regime will terminate them because they have witnessed one of its crimes and it does not want them to tell the truth,” rebel Major Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters.
http://news.yahoo.com/rebels-kill-23-syrian-soldiers-opposition-snubs-arab-100255688.html

General Mood Version:

“Mood said earlier Wednesday that the observers are safe and have stayed in Hama overnight.
He expressed gratitude to the Syrian government for facilitating the return of the observers, and renewed calls for halting violence in the country in order to make his mission a success.”

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-05/16/c_131592142.htm

May 16th, 2012, 10:34 am

 

kimju said:

UN and NATO on the scene. Isnt Al Qaeda the same who did 911???
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Uql98I1RdI&feature=youtu.be

In a photo from AFP a guy who is clearly not Syrian but travels with the UN Observers wears an Al QAEDA FLAG on his sleeve!! What is going on here? Hillary admitted US funded and created Qaeda- are they still doing so?

May 16th, 2012, 10:35 am

 

irritated said:

#116. omen

“It’s all Saudi and Qatar now.”

and in the future… Welcome to the Syrian Wahhabi islamocracy.

May 16th, 2012, 10:38 am

 

omen said:

117. zoo said:
The event in Khan Sheikhoun: who do you believe?

reuters got a hold of one of the monitors on the phone:

When Reuters asked one of the four monitors by phone if they were being held prisoner, he said: “We are safe with the (rebel) Free Army.”

A spokesman for the rebel military council said the rebels were working on a safe exit for the monitors. An internal U.N. document obtained by Reuters said that a total of six monitors were under rebel “protection” in a “friendly environment.”

May 16th, 2012, 10:43 am

 

omen said:

10:38 – irritated, the french helped the u.s. win its liberation from the british. do you see up speaking french?

i mean, really, your implication is an insult to the syrian people. they are not empty headed and prone to fall victim to brainwashing.

May 16th, 2012, 10:46 am

 

SANDROLOEWE said:

Syrian regime is trying to install war in Tripoli. Although the overwhelming majority of lebanese in Tripoli are against syrian regime crimes it is clear that alawites in Tripoli enjoy the support of the army and HA to create a balance in a place where naturally they have no chances.

This is the next step of Assad. Send problems to Lebanon and trying to create chaos and milicia war there.

I think there is an historical need for a shot in the brain of Assad the second the stupid the cool the reformer, even in Israel and US are interested in Assad remaining in power.

May 16th, 2012, 11:10 am

 

Ghufran said:

Washington Post on arming Syrian rebels:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/syrian-rebels-get-influx-of-arms-with-gulf-neighbors-money-us-coordination/2012/05/15/gIQAds2TSU_story.html
Accepting Annan plan was a PR gesture, fighting parties are not ready to put down arms yet.

May 16th, 2012, 11:13 am

 

bronco said:

113. Tara

Haven’t we be saying that a long time ago.
Harling seems to implicitly agree with the responsibility of the SNC in the bloodshed.

There is some hope. In my view the FSA seems to gain a momentum over the SNC and may become the other alternative.

Khan Sheykhoun: a turning point.

In my view the FSA is now changing its role by policing the bellicose and undisciplined rebels as we have seen in the event in Khan Sheykhoun.
By protecting the UN observers from the wrath of a crowd manipulated by extremists, not only the FSA has affirmed their relevance but they have clearly shown that they adhere fully to Annan’s peace initiative that aims for a ceasefire and a dialog.

The FSA has been heavily criticized for tolerating and using extremists in their ranks that have tarnished their reputation.
The Gulf countries and the US may have made their support and supply of weapons conditional with the FSA fighting Al Qaeeda’s presence in Syria, within their ranks or outside.
It seems that the FSA has now signed on to it. That explains the overt news of increased delivery of weapons to the FSA.

I predicted a long time ago that the FSA will be obliged to fight against the Islamists extremists infiltrated in their rank is they want to get some legitimacy.
Now if the FSA is able to achieve this goal of purification and creates an united and disciplined force made of local syrians, then they can become the only legitimate power able to stand face to face with the regime when time comes for the dialog phase.

For fear of being let down, suddenly the pathetic SNC is trying to jump on the band wagon by announcing they support arming the FSA.

That seems to be the strategy of Annan and supported by the international community: Ignore the SNC and use the FSA to create a reliable, powerful and controllable partner that would ensure the ceasefire and become ready for the planned dialog with the regime.

May 16th, 2012, 11:15 am

 

irritated said:

#119 omen

So why did General Mood thank the Syrian government for helping the UN observers out while the FSA claims they were protecting the UN observers ( from what?) and that otherwise they would be ‘eliminated’ by the Syrians government for knowing too much?
Don’t you see the contradiction? Someone is lying.

May 16th, 2012, 11:22 am

 

Ghufran said:

Lebanon was always a fighting ground for regional powers,as long as there is no political solution in Syria and no settlement with Iran,Lebanon will be a battle field. GCC countries are also likely to witness unrest if more weapons are sent to Syria and pressure on Iran continues,nobody should be surprised,violence will only bring more violence,there are no saints in Middle East politics.prior to March,2011 most syrians saw Lebanon as a natural extension to Syria,that view is not limited to regime supporters,islamists never accepted the separation of the two countries and the special status given by France to Christians in Lebanon. Toppling the regime in Syria will not increase the breathing room for advocates of an independent Lebanon for the long term,when things settle down,a new wave of Syrian influence will emerge but with different faces and slogans.

May 16th, 2012, 11:27 am

 

irritated said:

#121 Sandro Loewe

“I think there is an historical need for a shot in the brain of Assad the second”

You have been waiting too long. Don’t be a coward, go ahead, become the “historical” hero. The chance of your lifetime.

May 16th, 2012, 11:29 am

 

irritated said:

#120 Omen

“prone to fall victim to brainwashing.”

Who isn’t? Americans were all brainwashed to believe that the war in Iraq was to fight Al Qaeeda, weren’t they?

May 16th, 2012, 11:35 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

IRRITATED

Not only Assad needs a shot in the head. There are many more out there. Many dogs without values who have been reducing arab dignity to zero. Do not take it personally, I mean if somebody reading this identifies itself I am not responsible for their acts and feelings.

May 16th, 2012, 11:48 am

 

MICHEL said:

123 Bronco
“face with the regime when time comes for the dialog phase.”

dialogue phase? which dialogue phase are you talking about? the dialogue phase when we will dialogue on how the regime will step down?

May 16th, 2012, 12:06 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco#123

Ah….This may have been the first time where you and I share same “hope” so to speak. I too would have no problem with a united, powerful, independent, authentic Syrian front that does not allow and able to fight off foreign “jihadists” and be in a position equal to the regime to negotiate a solution out. I am opposed to pseudo-negotiations where there is no balance of power that leads to intimidation. If that means the demise of the SNC as it stands now and the rise of the FSA, so be it. SNC is a failure in it’s current status. It should disintegrate itself.

I am surprised that you see anything worth in an anti-regime entity…I thought you are repulsed by all of us without exception. What is in the air today? 😉

Please note, I am using the term “jihad” as it is used in the western media, not as I learned it growing up. It saddens me that this particular word is tainted forever…

May 16th, 2012, 1:43 pm

 

Halabi said:

The FSA is fighting Al Qaeda on behalf of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, and all three parties are responsible for planning and executing the large bombings in Damascus and Aleppo.

We were never at war with Eurasia…

Below is another great example of Al Jazeera journalism in Bahrain, which I am sure will be spun into a theory that Qatar is highlighting the problem to thwart Saudi Arabia’s plan for a GCC union. I’m sure Bandar has a hand in this conspiracy.

Autopsy finds torture behind Bahrain drowning

Police said they found Mowali’s body floating in the water on January 13 in the Amwaj area, not far from his family’s home in Muharraq. A state doctor reported the cause of death as drowning and ruled out signs of violence.

However, Al Jazeera has exclusively obtained a report from a second autopsy performed by an independent forensic pathologist that concludes Mowali was electrically tortured and unconscious when he drowned.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/05/2012515155335968439.html

May 16th, 2012, 1:56 pm

 

omen said:

saw b put this up:

Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination

Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials.

[…]

The U.S. contacts with the rebel military and the information-sharing with gulf nations mark a shift in Obama administration policy as hopes dim for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. Many officials now consider an expanding military confrontation to be inevitable.

Material is being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border. Opposition activists who two months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said this week that the flow of weapons — most still bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military — has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood also said it has opened its own supply channel to the rebels, using resources from wealthy private individuals and money from gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, said Mulham al-Drobi, a member of the Brotherhood’s executive committee.

The new supplies reversed months of setbacks for the rebels that forced them to withdraw from their stronghold in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs and many other areas in Idlib and elsewhere.

“Large shipments have got through,” another opposition figure said. “Some areas are loaded with weapons.”

[…]

Administration officials also held talks in Washington this week with a delegation of Kurds from sparsely populated eastern Syria, where little violence has occurred. The talks included discussion of what one U.S. official said remained the “theoretical” possibility of opening a second front against Assad’s forces that would compel him to move resources from the west.

May 16th, 2012, 2:01 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

The 2 latest updates on AJE Live Syria Blog:

*********************************************************************************

56 min 51 sec ago – United Nations

Syria boycotted a hearing by the United Nations’ main anti-torture body on Wednesday

Wednesday’s session at the Committee Against Torture went ahead without anyone in Syria’s chair and a second session scheduled for Friday, when Syria was supposed to respond to accusations, was cancelled.

Accusations against Syria, read out by the committee’s chairman Claudio Grossman, included the rape of boys, the use of snipers, electroshocks to the anus, forced oral sex, attacks on demonstrators being treated in hospitals, the use of heavy weapons in built-up areas and summary executions.

“We’ve rarely if ever had evidence of the scope and detail of this routine usage in prisons,” said one of the committee’s vice chairperson Felice Gaer during the session.

Read more:

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/united-nations-may-16-2012-1947

*********************************************************************************

2 hours 39 min ago – Syria

A former state Tv employee has told Reuters that many of the “confessions” by alleged terrorists aired by the channel are bogus.

Although an ardent supporter of Assad, the former producer said she is distressed by what she describes as a campaign of misinformation waged by the official “Suriya” television channel.

“I used to arrive at work and one of the editors would tell us that we have a person to confess,” she said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from her former employer.

“Some of the men are just normal people who were arrested in anti-government demonstrations and others were thieves and criminals who were nearing the end of their sentence,” said the producer, in her late twenties. “They were told they will be set free if they confess to the made-up crimes.”

One confession gained particular fame in Syria when the confessor, Ghassin Selawaya from the coastal city of Lattakia, appeared to be playing to the demands of the producer.

Read more:

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/syria-may-16-2012-1804

May 16th, 2012, 2:02 pm

 

omen said:

130. Tara said:
Please note, I am using the term “jihad” as it is used in the western media, not as I learned it growing up. It saddens me that this particular word is tainted forever…
1:43 pm

there is a counterinsurgency expert, david kilcullen, who urged the administration not to call militants “jihadists.” he said doing so elevates common thugs and criminals to a status of “holy warrior” they are not deserving of.

plus, it would be stupid to frame the u.s. as fighting islam.

May 16th, 2012, 2:19 pm

 

Alan said:

Dr Landis !
we regret that we leave on the new blog! to us there will be better! our interests there will be more kept! good-bye!

May 16th, 2012, 3:06 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Obviously,the FSA and the opposition have too much to lose if the label of terrorism gets attached to them,some believe it is already too late to change course and turn against islamists and foreign jihadists,and I certainly have my doubts that the FSA et al is willing to open a second front to clean their reputation,what they can do is be more receptive to calls of dialogue and stay away from random assassinations and unjustifiable ambushes that are done under their flag.

May 16th, 2012, 3:11 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

107. Antoine said:

” Islamists eying Jordan right now, watch the big screen near you for hot action”
__________________________________________________________________

I thought SNP had a positive opinion about Hashemites and other conservative Arab monarchies, so why the suden excitement ? And how will the “Islamists” overcome the Jordanian Army ?

————————————————RESPONSE—————————————

@ANTOINE

We have positive opinion about what they did to build their countries and how fairly they rule. The support, opportunities and quality of life, the living standards they provided their citizens, the relative dignity they treated both local and foreign people under an “inherently oppressive” Islamic laws and culture. if Dubai Sheikh would like to come and rule Syria they way he ruled his emirate, turn it to another Dubai, he is welcome, how can we be of help?. I worked in a Kuwaiti company back in 1970 “KPBC”and lived in Kuwait on the invitation of Sheikha Badrieh Salem Al-Sabah, who at age 17 met in Beirut once and asked her help for that. It is not the fact that they are “ARAB” that SNP is averse to them, it is what they did to Syria Sunni Moslems that repulse people like me.

Instead of helping Bilad Al-Sham (Levant), these rulers for decades spent hundredth of billions propping up Saddam Hussein and the Assad’s Baathist genocidal dictatorship. Why they did not come to Syria’s help during the Hama massacre? Why Saudi ruler Abdullah greets Riffat Assad and Khaddam who were at the helm of the massacres. Why these rulers found Bashar Assad worthy of all the support they provided to him for a decade. All the sudden, when the Zionists found out that rolling Syria back is next, they jump on the plans and help bring in this mayhem and genocide to Syria. Why they did not do it 50-40-30-20-10 years ago? Is not in just 14 months more than 12,000 Sunni Moslem Syrians dead, another 30,000 missing and could be tortured to death, two million Syrians internally displaced and refugees in other land, a good reason to change a failed strategy, or pick a winning team? Have the intention of these regimes been genuinely freeing Syria’s Moslems from Shia-Alawi clutches, it would be. But all reports points toward a sinister and malignant intentions, which I can assure you the boomerang effect of which will strike all evil doers.

HOW? UUHHH,,,, How the Islamists are going to defeat the Syrian army?, or are you suggesting that this bedouin rag-tag is much stronger?

May 16th, 2012, 3:36 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

12. Antoine said:
ALDENDESHE,
For long SNP has claimed that majority of Syrians do not support this revolution. On what basis SNP makes this statement ? Do you mean that the thousands of people on the streets since 15 March 2011 throughout the length and breadth of Syria are not the majority of the Syrians people ?
( Only the commentator addressed in this post should reply to this comment)
2  7
___________________________________________________________________

@ANTOINE,

98% of Syrians supported a revolution against Baathists before March 15, 2011, Less than 8% support your kind of revolution, and less more than 90% do not. But they will support the right one. Keep at it. Remember the Boomerang name is ISLAMISTS. Keep the play.

May 16th, 2012, 3:56 pm

 

Tara said:

Omen

Exactly. It is a double whammy. It gives terrorists a good status in the eyes of the naive and the uneducated and it makes it sound like it is the west against Islam which also breads Islamophobia and Xenophobia in the west especially among the right wing.

Also jihad as we were taught during childhood is a struggle with one’s self against it’s desires.

May 16th, 2012, 4:10 pm

 

Tara said:

Aldendeshe

How many female members SNP have? Why most members are 61yo plus? Did you also say that the membership fee is $1mil? Where do the assets go to? And who is the SNP president?

May 16th, 2012, 4:14 pm

 

hamoud said:

Proof of involvement of shia militia and other extremist shia groups against the civilians in syria.

Here one of a member of jaysh el mahdi who was killed in syria beeing buried in diwanya iraq

May 16th, 2012, 4:27 pm

 

Tara said:

How about exposing Bashar to all methods his peasants used in torture to give him a taste of what he inflicted on Syrians?  Wouldn’t justice be served that way…

The catalogue of accusations against Syria was so long that it took several minutes for the committee’s chairman Claudio Grossman to run through the list of categories of reported abuses.
They included the rape of boys, the use of snipers, electroshocks to the anus, forced oral sex, attacks on demonstrators being treated in hospitals, the use of heavy weapons in built up areas and summary executions….in total and absolute impunity.

Syria boycotts U.N. torture hearing, charges mount
By Tom Miles | Reuters – 5 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/syria-boycotts-u-n-torture-hearing-charges-mount-163939773.html

GENEVA (Reuters) – Syria boycotted a hearing by the United Nations’ main anti-torture body on Wednesday, avoiding a grilling over its crackdown on civilians during a year-old uprising.
Nobody from Syria’s mission in Geneva was available to explain the absence, but an exchange of letters showed Syria had earlier complained about being treated disrespectfully by the U.N. Committee Against Torture.

“While we wait for a political solution that is not forthcoming, we’re seeing denials of physical integrity and of human life,” said another vice chairperson Essadia Belmir. “People’s dignity depends on it, as does the credibility of the entire U.N. system.”

Grossman had asked Syria in November to report to the committee because of reports of “massive human rights violations (that) take place in a context of total and absolute impunity”, according to correspondence published by the committee.
Syria responded on February 20 by saying the committee’s information was “nothing more than allegations” and demanded “detailed clarification… in order to avoid wasting both our time and the committee’s”. Damascus said it would provide more information in a report in 2014.
On March 21, a letter from Syria’s mission in Geneva complained that Damascus had not been consulted about the date of the committee meeting and had been treated disrespectfully.
“This action is contrary to the most fundamental rules of diplomatic conduct, including in the context of the various human rights treaty bodies,” the letter said.
“The committee’s decision to impose a fait accompli on a sovereign state is unacceptable.”

…more

May 16th, 2012, 6:36 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Talking by phone with a friend in Damascus today he told me life is quiet and explained to me how he is going every day for a walk to Damascus city centre (29 Ayyar). He is confident Assad controls everything.

Last week talking in Lebanon with a syrian from Damascus countyside who is against the slavery regime he explained to me how much he is confident about the fall of the regime in the coming weeks.He is ready to share in the fall with its own blood.

Another syrian from Damascus exiled in Lebanon explained to me how he left the country and how bad economically he has become. He left women and sons in Damascus and left for Lebanon to work in service sector for maybe 300 $ a month.

Other lebanese I talk to do not dare to critize the Syrian Regime, maybe because they are Aounists or Shia maybe because they are afraid of my syrian accent.

Feelings, predictions, personal experiences are condtradictory and opposed in many cases. It shows how confussion has spread due to secretism, repression and political ignorance and lack of ideollogical party structures.

Assad could succeed but Syria will pay a very high and long term price for Assad´s victory over freedom voices.

May 16th, 2012, 6:53 pm

 

Dawoud said:

Do you remember when Prof. landis mentioned that the Batta (Bashar, the war criminal) would eventually fall because the opposition would receive outside help and gets stronger? Well, it is happening!

Thanks to the stupidity of the Iranian GOVERNMENT (the previous post was about the Palestinians, Hamas, abandonment of the wilyat al-faqih axis of evil) and the arrogance of Hasan Nasrallah (who lectures us on why we should support bata the tyrant), one day the FSA and the al-Farouk brigade will march to Damascus and to Beirut’s Dhayiyah!
An excellent article in Ha’aretz: “U.S. aid to Syrian rebels is a signal to Iran,” http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/the-axis/u-s-aid-to-syrian-rebels-is-a-signal-to-iran-1.430864

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

May 16th, 2012, 6:59 pm

 

Dawoud said:

142. hamoud

Brother Hamoud, we don’t need a proof! Hasan (the sectarian) Nasrallah, Ali Khameini, Ahmadinijad, Nuri (prime minister because of American invasion) al-Maliki, Muqtadah al-Sadr, Ali (give Bahrain to Iran) Salman, and Ammar al-Hakim ALL do not hide their support for the murderous dictator of Syria! How many fatwas did Khameini issue in support of Damascus hereditary and bloody killer? Take them at their words!

Arabs should make sure that the sectarian al-Wifaq does not succeed in establishing an Iranian base only a bridge away from Mecca and al-Madina. Furthermore, after the liberation of Syria, the Syrian army must march back to Lebanon to execute arrest warrants against Hasan (support al-Assad) —asallah!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

May 16th, 2012, 7:09 pm

 

Dawoud said:

Where is JAD, the friend of ANN?

Is he on vacation, or leading a “newbie” brigade of pro-Bahsar/Hasan Shabiha along the Syrian-Lebanese border? 🙂

This is just a joke! I don’t mean to offend anybody-old or “newbie!”

May 16th, 2012, 7:13 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

The Sadist criminal Abdel Razzak Tlass kills 30 Syrian soldiers:
http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/7378/Default.aspx

May 16th, 2012, 7:16 pm

 

Dawoud said:

This post and my previous comments on the influx of arms to the FSA is a confirmation of my peace plan (do you remember when I said that the best way to end violence in Syria is to destroy Bashar’s forces/shabiha with anti-tank/warplanes rockets?). It is happening! The stronger the FSA becomes, the more soldiers will defect!

Bashar is cabote!

Free Syria, free Palestine!

P.S., regarding Hamoud’s commment on the Shia militia helping Bahar, good riddance to them all! Not sorry to see a member of the sectarian terrorist al-mahdi army killed while committing war crimes against Syrians!

May 16th, 2012, 7:30 pm

 

omen said:

well, well, well…

Family wins $323 million against Iran, Syria over terrorist attack

A Weston, Fla., family has won a landmark $323 million court decision against Iran and Syria, six years after their son was killed by a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv. When they’ll see the money is another matter.

A U.S. federal judge awarded Tuly and Cheryl Wultz the judgment against Iran for financially supporting the Islamic Jihad movement and Syria for allowing the group to train in its territory. The lawsuit was filed by an Israeli advocacy group on behalf of the family. The award includes $300 million in punitive damages.

May 16th, 2012, 7:37 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

Aldendeshe
How many female members SNP have? Why most members are 61yo plus? Did you also say that the membership fee is $1mil? Where do the assets go to? And who is the SNP president?

________________________________________________________________

@TARA

To answer all your questions:

Only 4 specialists are females (wife of senior members). Personally, I like working with women more than men. But women are not into working in clandestine ways, eventually, should we ever get into Syria and go into public recruitment, women will be our top priority. I said averaging 61 (am 59). Why!!! what do ya mean, we aged, we started young in 81′ and joined other 2 groups that been operating as opposition since 71′ and 73′. There is no membership fee, said membership is free if you have skills we needed and stated most of them for you. Current assets of about 12.6.+- millions in investment fund that we live off and percentage of it’s revenue goes into retirement and insurance fund. About 5 millions can be used for operations if necessary, otherwise it will revert into the retirement fund.

We have no President for SNP (an umbrella), there are 4 group leaders, the “President Position” caused too many internal conflicts in the 80’s, we make decisions based on the committee consensus 2/3 majority of 72 votes 48/24. My position as Chief Strategist is kind of a central core in many critical decisions, but by no mean undemocratic. I was voted out last month in Henderson on many issues

May 16th, 2012, 7:44 pm

 

Dawoud said:

This post and my previous comments on the influx of arms to the FSA is a confirmation of my peace plan (do you remember when I said that the best way to end violence in Syria is to destroy Bashar’s forces/shabiha with anti-tank/warplanes rockets?). It is happening! The stronger the FSA becomes, the more soldiers will defect!

Bashar is cabote!

Free Syria, free Palestine!

P.S., regarding Hamoud’s commment on the Shia militia helping Bahar, good riddance to them all! Not sorry to see a member of the sectarian terrorist al-mahdi army killed while committing war crimes against Syrians!

P.S.2, before reading today’s articles on the arming of the FSA, I had thought that the Syrian hereditary/bloody dictator would last for another 2-3 years. Now, I think that he would lose control of large areas in Syria during 2012. 2013 would be the end of al-Assad’s bloody “dynasty!”

May 16th, 2012, 7:49 pm

 

Tara said:

Aldendeshe,

Thank you much. The picture is now clear.

May 16th, 2012, 7:51 pm

 

Dawoud said:

blue diamondDawoud, please do not make jokes at the expense of other commentators. Syria Comment is a place for all to share and comment on the different issues facing Syria today.

SC Moderator

Where is JAD, the friend of ANN?

Is he on vacation, or leading a “newbie” brigade of pro-Bahsar/Hasan Shabiha along the Syrian-Lebanese border? 🙂

This is just a joke! I don’t mean to offend anybody-old or “newbie!”

P.S., ANN herself is not writing comments as often as she did. Is she busy providing AMERICAN advice/consultation to JAD’s “newbie” brigade of pro-Bashar/Hasan Shabiha? 🙂 Again, this is just a joke 🙂

May 16th, 2012, 7:58 pm

 

Tara said:

I am so appreciative that Batta is not blessing us with historical speeches.  I think he is now due for dyeing his hair.

Syria’s Assad: Nations that sow chaos will suffer
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis | Reuters – 2 hrs 53 mins ago

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Wednesday that countries trying to “sow chaos” in Syria could be infected with it themselves, an apparent warning to Arab Gulf nations that back the insurgency aimed at forcing him from power.
Assad’s remarks, to a Russian TV channel, came after U.N. staff monitoring an increasingly shaky ceasefire were caught up in an attack that killed at least 21 people, and had to spend a night with rebel forces.

Assad said countries hostile to him and his government that may have believed he would follow in the footsteps of four Arab leaders ousted after popular protests now knew better.
“For the leaders of these countries, it’s becoming clear that this is not ‘Spring’ but chaos, and as I have said, if you sow chaos in Syria you may be infected by it yourself, and they understand this perfectly well,” he told Russia’s Rossiya-24 TV channel.

More?
http://news.yahoo.com/syria-attack-kills-21-rebels-protect-u-n-084803054.html

May 16th, 2012, 8:05 pm

 

omen said:

ah, new equipment. good to see!

145. Dawoud said:
An excellent article in Ha’aretz: “U.S. aid to Syrian rebels is a signal to Iran,” http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/the-axis/u-s-aid-to-syrian-rebels-is-a-signal-to-iran-1.430864

this news coupled with this:


WASHINGTON
—The Obama administration is moving to remove an Iranian opposition group from the State Department’s terrorism list, say officials briefed on the talks, in an action that could further poison Washington’s relations with Tehran at a time of renewed diplomatic efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear program.

i thought the probe into prominent people supporting mek was a sign of appeasement meant to win iran’s favor. now news comes out that mek is going to be delisted? guess i was wrong. looks like u.s. is playing hardball after all.

.

bye alan ~ it was nice meeting you even though we disagreed.

May 16th, 2012, 8:09 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Opposition sources claimed that 8 students in Aleppo university were killed
الطلاب الذين جرى الحديث عنهم هم : أحمد الخلف ، أحمد العرب، أحمد هنداوي ، ماجد عبد الهادي، مصطفى الأحمد ، محمد الحاوي، سامر قواس و يزن عبود.
Only one of those is proven dead (yazan abboud),local sources indicate that he is from Reef Hama and did not take part in the demonstrations.
There was a demonstration in the university,mostly in the dorms area,but again,Halabis have little to do with it,Aleppo by all standards is not becoming another Hama,Homs or Idleb,at least not yet. Do not wait for those who “made an honest mistake in reporting” to retract their story,the idea was to inflame,the truth is never essential in today’s social media frenzy.
I always felt uncomfortable accepting Internet stories and expats “eye witness” claims,it is clear after 14 months that there is a great deal of lying and exaggeration done by all sides.
It is time for both the regime and its opponents to admit that they can destroy Syria but they can not win,when this admission comes,this crisis will come to an end.

May 16th, 2012, 8:17 pm

 

bronco said:

Tara #131

I always thought that Syria needs an intelligent and honest opposition as it is in any democratic country.
A legitimate opposition would challenge the rulers decisions and these confrontations are what makes a country balanced.

The trouble is this “revolution” from the start, despite the claims of some, was aimed at changing the regime instead of promoting reforms that would allow such opposition to exist. It stirred the old hatred and feeling of revenge (Hama).
Its actors were the foreign powers after their regional plans, the SNC with its neo-con and islamist agenda and the local opposition infiltrated by islamist extremists. They used the early abuses of the security on citizens to start a campaign of diffamation, destruction and violence under the pretext of ‘defense’. They were/are convinced that the only ‘solution’ was to destroy the present system and start from scratch.
Of course that failed lamentably in front of the unity and the resilience of the pillars of the Syrian regime , the army and the mostly sunni business community as well as the refusal of the international community to redo Libya.

Until recently, I did not see where a serious opposition would come from, that could have the backing of more Syrians. Therefore, in my eyes, the present regime would certainly be a better choice than the void with these hopeless expats polluted by greed, personal ambitions and money.
With the Khan Sheikhoun event, it became clear to me that the FSA has indeed adhere to Annan peace plan so they are working on policing the rebels to reach a ceasefire. If further organized and re enforced it could become a valid ‘dissuasive’ force to bring peace to Syria. After all they are militaries brought up by the regime.
The most important is that they stick to Annan peace plan and not be tempted to do a military coup d’etat once they feel strong enough.
If they respect Annan plan and get rid of the polluters, they may win the heart and minds of many Syrians who abhore violence and Islamist extremism. Then they could be recognized by the Syrian regime as a legitimate opponent with which it can enter into a dialog.
If, in the contrary, the FSA continue to resort to violence and does not fight actively against the armed gangs and islamists extremists that could cause civilian casualties, they’ll loose that opportunity and the present regime will remain unchallenged.
The ball is now in the FSA court.

May 16th, 2012, 8:19 pm

 

Tara said:

I personally believe that women are created to be protected not to become worriers. 

Female ninjutsu practitioners showcase their skills in Iran

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/9084098/Female-ninjutsu-practitioners-showcase-their-skills-in-Iran.html

Iran trains female ninjas as potential assassins
Three thousand Iranian women being trained as ninja warriors say they will use their martial arts skills to defend the country if necessary.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9090658/Iran-trains-female-ninjas-as-potential-assassins.html

May 16th, 2012, 8:22 pm

 

Dawoud said:

159. TARA

Neither men nor women can protect dictatorial regimes. Did Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi’s female bodyguards prevent his dictatorial regime from falling?

On the other hand, females could sometimes be more trustworthy. You don’t have to worry about them going to strip clubs and inviting prostitutes to their hotels the way the US secret service agents behaved in Colombia. Unfortunately, men are stronger physically but they can easily be seduced/weakened/defeated/bankrupted by “the right women!” Not all of us are like Prophet Youssef, who resisted seduction and temptation!

May 16th, 2012, 8:29 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco@158

You are makingba distinction between armed gangs and Islamic extremists. Who are the armed gangs?

May 16th, 2012, 8:33 pm

 

zoo said:

Bitter Frenemies
The Not-Quite-Alliance Between Saudi Arabia and Turkey
Meliha Benli Altunisik
May 15, 2012
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137639/meliha-benli-altunisik/bitter-frenemies?page=2


Then the Arab Spring reached Syria. The uprising there seemed like it might put Turkish-Saudi rapprochement back on track. Riyadh believes that the toppling of the Bashar al-Assad regime would limit Iran’s influence in the Arab world, since Syria is the Islamic Republic’s only Arab ally. Thus, last summer, Abdullah became the first Arab leader to criticize the Syrian regime openly; since then, Saudi Arabia has been actively supporting the Syrian opposition, including by advocating that the world arm the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the main opposition military force.

At first, Turkey attempted to convince Assad to reform. Last summer, believing those efforts were at a dead end, Turkey adopted a more critical position. Ankara called for regime change in Syria, actively backed the opposition, criticized the UN Security Council for inaction, and supported creating buffer zones and humanitarian corridors between Turkey and Syria. Turkey also houses one of the biggest opposition groups, Syrian National Council, as well as the FSA.

Although Saudi Arabia and Turkey share a common goal in Syria, there are some tensions between their positions. First, for Turkey, managing the Syrian crisis is not a way to limit Iranian influence; instead, it is a means of protecting Turkey from chaos on its southern border. Refugees have already started flooding into Turkey — and the longer the conflict drags on, the larger the burden Ankara will have to shoulder. Further, the influence of the Turkish Kurdish party on some Syrian Kurds is worrisome for Ankara.

Moreover, the Saudi and Turkish visions for post-Assad Syria differ. Saudi Arabia advocates a Sunni Islamist regime and is establishing ties with the more radical elements in the country. Turkey, on the other hand, favors the participation of all actors. Ankara is engaging and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, while also pressuring the group to accept a more participatory and representative Syria to prevent civil war in the post-revolution era.

[…]

May 16th, 2012, 8:35 pm

 

Tara said:

Dawoud

I’d sent you a smily face but I don’t like any. They appeared once in my dreams. These smily faces look pretty sinister.

Is this a confession that female species are better than male species? And is that applicable to most men?

May 16th, 2012, 8:38 pm

 

bronco said:

#161 Tara

Criminals, thieves, thugs, opportunists…taking advantage of the confusion to perform criminals acts for their personal benefits

May 16th, 2012, 8:39 pm

 

omen said:

university terrorists the regime is so afraid of.

May 16th, 2012, 8:47 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

Shouldn’t we be a bit not at ease with military people with no experience in civil life to establish democracy? Wouldn’t the LCC backed by the FSA be the perfect opposition representative?

May 16th, 2012, 8:49 pm

 

Dawoud said:

163. Tara

I will reduce smiley faces to prevent any nightmares. I haven’t heard much about nightmares since I stopped watching with my sons, who are now older, “Spongebob Square Pants!”

Yes, women-are stereotyped to be more emotional-are less likely to fall to sexual/emotional temptaions (which can be costly). On the other hand, not all men fall easily. I like to think that I don’t. I hope that I am correct!

From the leaked emails, it looked that murderous dictator Bashar was falling for Luna al-Shibl and Hadeel the daughter of Bashar’s propagandist, Bashar Ja’afari! He needed somebody for affection while Athma (Asma) was on her computer (which is purchased from looted/embezzled money) doing online shipping with embezzled money!

P.s., are the pro-dictator commentators “defecting” from SC to another pro-dictator blog modeled after Tishrin and al-Ba’ath? No smiley faces!

May 16th, 2012, 9:11 pm

 

omen said:

44. zoo said:
% Women in Parliament in Arab countries and others

Syrian 12%

“islamic” tunisia is 27%

May 16th, 2012, 9:12 pm

 

Dawoud said:

Are the pro-dictator commentators “defecting” from SC to another pro-dictator blog modeled after Tishrin and al-Ba’ath?

May 16th, 2012, 9:34 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Any idea which external enemy the Jordanian army is getting trained to fight?
http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=today%5C16z999.htm&arc=data%5C2012%5C05%5C05-16%5C16z999.htm

May 16th, 2012, 9:58 pm

 

bronco said:

#166 Tara

The military are usually secular therefore they may offer some guarantee that Syria will remain secular, but you are right, they can’t rule alone, it would be another dictatorship.
I think if there is a dialog between the FSA, some figures of the local opposition and the regime, under Russia and the UN umbrella, they can come to some compromise, like a unity government. It is too early to tell.
Already the opposition is present for the first time in 40 years in the parliament, so after all, it is a progress however minor and the rest of the opposition should have jumped on the band wagon to offer a political arm to the FSA, instead of boycotting the elections.

May 16th, 2012, 10:00 pm

 

Ghufran said:

[Moderator Note Link Added: http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2240985&Language=ar%5D

Alarabi at the AL is upset:
اعتبر الامين العام لجامعة الدول العربية نبيل العربي في اطار تفنيده مبررات كل من المجلس الوطني السوري وهيئة التنسيق الوطنية للتغيير الديمقراطي بتأجيل مؤتمر المعارضة السورية الذي كان مقررا عقده اليوم تحت رعاية الجامعة ان “مصير سورية والمخاطر المحدقة بها وبشعبها أهم بكثير من التوقف عند شكل الدعوة أو صيغتها
The AL after being hijacked by the GCC is not trusted by many to play the role of a moderator,and that role was further damaged when the AL pulled its observers just because their report did not win Qatar’s approval.
This crisis is now much bigger than the AL.

May 16th, 2012, 10:08 pm

 

Dawoud said:

STOPDawoud, personal attacks and borderline sectarian language is not tolerated at Syria Comment. Please refrain from it or you will be placed on Moderation

SC Moderator

170. GHUFRAN

I hope that you also have read the following paragraph in the al-Quds al-Arabi article that you link to (it is critical of Syria’s murderous dictatorship):http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=data201255-1616z999.htm&arc=data201255-1616z999.htm

[…]

عارضنا النظام السوري وانتهاكاته لحقوق الانسان وسحقه لكرامة شعبه ومصادرة حرياته، وصودرت صحيفتنا وحُجب موقعنا منذ 15 عاما عندما كان معظم معارضيه يشيدون به ويتمسحون بأعتابه، ويسطّرون قصائد المديح في ممانعته وقوميته، وعانينا الكثير بسبب ذلك، وما زلنا، ونعيد التأكيد بأن مطالب الشعب السوري من اجل التغيير مشروعة وعادلة، ويجب ان تتحقق دون أي نقصان
[…]

As to the criticism of Israel in this article, I agree with it. However, no matter what is happening now Jordan, Syrians need to be freed from al-Assad. Iran is giving aid to Bashar, and the FSA cannot be “picky like a cat” at this stage when the Syrian people are being terrorized by a murderous regime!

P.s., it is sad-although predictable-than a person who names himself “Ghfran”-is pro-dictator? Are you afraid of a majority rule/democracy in Syria?

May 16th, 2012, 10:09 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Patrick Wells on the FSA in Idleb
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/may/15/free-syrian-army-fights-on-video
( typically,those who pay with their lives to buy freedom and bring a revolution up are the same ones who are let down and sold when the time comes to harvest the fruits of the revolution)

May 16th, 2012, 10:32 pm

 

ann said:

Syria fighting foreign mercenaries: Assad – 17 May 2012

Syria is fighting foreign mercenaries not democracy activists, says Syrian President Bashar Assad in rare interview.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1651094/Assad-Syria-fighting-foreign-mercenaries

In his first interview in nearly half a year, Syrian President Bashar Assad has claimed that his regime had captured foreign mercenaries who were fighting for the opposition in a bid to show his forces were fighting terrorists instead of pro-democracy activists.

He said the decision by the Syrian National Council to boycott parliamentary elections earlier this year discredited the opposition group.

“To call for boycotting the elections, that’s the equivalent of calling for a boycott of the people,” Assad said. “And how can you boycott the people of whom you consider yourself the representative?

“So I don’t think that they have any kind of weight or significance within Syria,” Assad said in remarks translated into Russian.

Assad said religious extremists and al-Qaeda members from abroad are among the forces fighting his government.

“There are foreign mercenaries, some of them still alive. They are being detained and we are preparing to show them to the world,” he said.

He pointed to recent parliamentary elections, saying Syrians “up to this time support the course of reform.”

[…]

May 16th, 2012, 10:58 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Mary Kahla and her father youssef killed by (revolutionists )terrorist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ-PKZdFotY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Whtch the real Syrian unity in this church with Moslems and Christians hugging each other and holding the Quran and Enjil…. 14 months of killings
,bombings,torturing ,kidnapping and lying and Syrians are still as beautiful as damascian red flower….living or dead.

May 16th, 2012, 11:13 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Assad’s interview with Russia 24 TV
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m0pWuNAA80
Ignore ,if you can,the pretty lady who conducted the interview,but she is the main reason why I was able to finish the video and swallow the analysis he gave about “elections”.

May 16th, 2012, 11:34 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Latest comment from Sheikh Yaqoubi. It’s in Arabic and I can’t make sense of the google translation so I’ll wait for the english translation.

Shaykh Muhammad: Removal of Syrian regime is compulsory:

https://www.facebook.com/ShaykhMuhammadAbulhudaAlYaqoubi/posts/154738644656893

May 16th, 2012, 11:38 pm

 

ann said:

We can’t win media war with West but it’s not battle that counts – Assad – 17 May, 2012

The media war with the West was lost the day the Syrian uprising began, but the authorities are ready to start another round by revealing the list of foreign mercenaries captured in Syria, President Assad told a Russian broadcaster.

http://rt.com/news/syria-media-battle-assad-429/

‘West outplayed Syria on media battlefield’

Assad admits that Syria is losing the media war against the West, but says “the reality is what really matters” and not “the illusions” created by the media.

He said that the media outplayed the Syrian government in the very beginning of the conflict by making up stories and spreading rumors. But in the long term the media cannot beat the reality, he added, and eventually the circumstances have changed because what is really happening is very much different from what the media reports.

Assad also said that the Syrian government repeatedly tried to express its point of view to numerous international journalists, but the agencies kept sending to Syria only those people who would stick with the same lies and false picture created in the first days of the conflict.
Not so Free Syrian Army

Assad says that the Syrian National Council, an “opposition” operating from abroad, has from little or no influence on what is happening in Syria and does not have any kind of significance within Syria. Though on the ground the Free Syrian Army is widely considered to be the core of the armed and organized opposition movement, Assad believes the FSA has not much to either with freedom or the organized army.

“First of all they are not free,” the head of state said, explaining that they will never be free while they are supplied with guns and funded from abroad.

He described the Free Syrian Army as a crowd of convicted criminals, comprised among other things of Al-Qaeda type religious fanatics, extremists and terrorists and to some extent of foreign mercenaries, predominantly from other Arab states.

Assad revealed that Syrian forces had captured a number of foreign mercenaries who were fighting for the opposition. He explained the authorities had not advertised the fact until now because they did not have enough evidence to prove the fighters were indeed mercenaries.

“Some [of the mercenaries] are still alive,” he said. “They are being detained and we are preparing to show them to the world. Many of them have been killed.”

Syrian rebels are also known to have gone to Kosovo to study partisan warfare tactics, Assad added. “There is information that a group of people who call themselves opposition went to Kosovo to train in organizing military intervention by NATO into Syria,” he told Rossiya-24.

Western sanctions and UN mission – both one-sided

The West keeps talking “about violence, but violence from the side of the government, not a word about the terrorists,” the Syrian leader said. “Mr. Annan will come to Syria this month, and I will ask him about this matter.”

Slapping Syria with all sorts of sanctions and embargoes is another one-sided decision by the West, Assad believes.

“Sanctions affect only ordinary people, not the government,” Assad explained.

He said that the world is wide enough not to focus only on the US and Europe.

“We are finding alternatives to overcome these difficulties,” he said. “We have wonderful relations with the greater part of the world, except for the West.”

[…]

May 16th, 2012, 11:48 pm

 

ann said:

Syrian President Assad warns against “sowing chaos” in Syria – 2012-05-17

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/video/2012-05/17/c_131593496.htm

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhuanet) — In an interview with a Russian television station, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has spoken out against nations he believes are “sowing chaos” in the country. In an apparent reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who back the rebel forces opposing Assad, the President said the leaders of some countries are only promoting terrorism and unrest in Syria.

[…]

May 16th, 2012, 11:55 pm

 

ann said:

US sees no peaceful solution in Syria? – 17 May, 2012

There are reports that Washington is coordinating material support to the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime. Anti-war activist Brian Becker believes the US has scripted it in a way that peace is impossible in Syria.

http://rt.com/news/syria-us-rebels-weapons-438/

The rebels confirm that they have begun receiving significantly more – and better – weapons in recent weeks. Officials and opposition activists say it is all paid for by states in the Persian Gulf and coordinated by the United States.
.
.
RT: What does Washington seek to gain by this? And what about the Gulf states? Why are they fueling a conflict in their own backyard?

BB: I think Saudi Arabia, Qatar have their own interest in terms of reorganizing the Middle East, principally weakening Syria, weakening Iran, changing the relationship of forces in Lebanon. But behind Qatar and Saudi Arabia and even Turkey which has its owner regional ambitions, is the United States and NATO countries, the former colonizers of Syria and the region, who are committed to overthrowing the Assad government. They have crossed the Rubicon now in terms of preparing for the all-out intervention, including military intervention by NATO forces. They will use, ultimately, military power to overthrow an independent government that they want to replace with a proxy regime in this important region.

RT:Damascus has been saying all along that it is fighting a foreign-funded insurgency – and these developments are certainly damning. How much of a boost is this for Assad?

BB: Of course it gives legitimacy to the Syrian government’s narrative that it is in fact facing a foreign intervention, but ultimately this will be a matter of military force. Ultimately this outcome will be arbitrated by those who amass the greatest number of weapons.

The United States scripted it in a way that peace is impossible. How can any sovereign government say ‘yes we’ll pull back’ while foreign forces are arming to the teeth those who are determined to overthrow them?

[…]

May 17th, 2012, 12:08 am

 

ann said:

As Syria Names 10 Dead Foreign Fighters, It’s Ladsous Plus 3 to Damascus

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, May 16 — Back on May 10 Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told Inner City Press that among 10 foreign fighters killed in his country were nationals of France and the UK. Now Inner City Press has obtained Syria’s list, in Arabic, and puts it online here.

The nationalities listed also include, as did the 26 “detained Arab nationals” previously published, mostly Tunisians, as well as a Saudi, an Egyptian and some dual citizens. One source mused that the Egyptian, from his named, “seems like a Christian, very strange.” We will see what the Security Council and its Counter Terrorism Committee do about these lists.

On May 16 in front of the Security Council UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the press that in the coming days Jean-Marie “Guehenno and DPKO,” the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, will go to Damascus, on the political track, with it was hoped Kofi Annan to follow.

Later on May 16, Inner City Press was informed that the request was made for DPKO chief Herve Ladsous “plus three,” unnamed, on the issue of the observers, not the political track. Ladsous, suggested by Nicolas Sarkozy as the fourth Frenchman in a row to head DPKO, has proposed the UN to use drones, but told Inner City Press not in Syria.

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1ladlist051612.html

[…]

May 17th, 2012, 12:18 am

 
 
 

omen said:

128. irritated said:
#120 Omen
“prone to fall victim to brainwashing.”

Who isn’t? Americans were all brainwashed to believe that the war in Iraq was to fight Al Qaeeda, weren’t they?
11:35 am

yes, that was unfortunate. sad to say, average americans aren’t very bright or knowledgeable about islam or the middle east or the politics that revolves around the two.

vested interests who run washington took advantage of that fact and exploited our ignorance about the region.

i don’t think it’s valid to compare the u.s. to syria. syrians are much more knowledgeable about the neighboring regions and the implication and the politics involved with developing alliances. you worry about wahhabism, but in articles i come across that interview average syrians, i keep hearing expressed a wariness against extremism.

May 17th, 2012, 1:57 am

 

Antoine said:

ALDENDESHE said :

“HOW? UUHHH,,,, How the Islamists are going to defeat the Syrian army?, or are you suggesting that this bedouin rag-tag is much stronger?”

____________________________________________________________________

Jordanian Army is not Bedouin rag-tag. It is highly disciplined with proud British traditions going back to 1920s, Bedouin-only membership ( No Palestinains) , operating procedures on the lines of British ARmy.

Since any challenge to JOrdan will come only from its own Palestinain population, they do not stand a chance –

1 – THey will not have the luxury of “defections”

2. Jordan isn’t going to be as stupid as Baathists and go all-out to massacre people, further enraging them.

3. Plaestinains , especially the diaspora, haven’t won a single war they fought in last 65 years. Nor have they shown resilience in the face of adversity.

However I respectfully disagree with SNP when he says only 8 % support this revolution.

7 Syrian Provinces out of 13 ( Homs, Reef Hama, Idleb, Halab, Deirezzor, Reef Dimashq, and Daraa 😉 are known to be totally engulfed in Revolution, this is attested by huge crowds since March 2011, huge casualties, notable FSA presence, reports of daily Army operations and regime tactics in these Provinces, regime losing control and breaking “Baathist Social Contract”, lack of any Pro-regime demonstrations or sentiments, in these Provinces.. Additionally, the revoltion is very widespread in these Provinces. These 7 Provinces account for at least 12 to 14 million Syrian citizens ( almost 55 % of the population), plus there is a sizable revolution presence in cities of Aleppo, Damascus, Latakia and Banyas.

Agian, I ask SNP on what basis, on what evidence, SNP concluded that 90 % do not support this revolution.

May 17th, 2012, 2:13 am

 

Halabi said:

Salameh Kaileh has been expelled from Syria and is now in Jordan. He spoke to Al Arabiya about his detention and the beatings administered in Assad’s dungeons.

http://youtu.be/DzBIymKtaoY

This regime never cared about Palestinians, Syrians or any humans, its only purpose is to remain in power. The police state that the Assad family created and controls have been kidnapping, killing and torturing people for decades. Kaileh’s descriptions match most prison stories and it’s shameful. The only way to reverse this kind of depravity is to remove those responsible.

I don’t think Bashar and his family will ever get to experience their dungeons, and I don’t wish it on them. Unlike Assad supporters who cheer the torturers, my hope is that a new government will not train and employ people to brutalize their fellow citizens.

Only the revolution has this kind of vision for a new Syria. Keeping Assad and his cronies in power means more of the same.

May 17th, 2012, 2:49 am

 

Juergen said:

Does anyone know why they dubbed both interviews with Assad? He obviously was speaking in English, so i understand that they dubbed it into Arabic,on the english programme they also dubbed the tone. What is the matter? Are they embarrassed nowadays about his lisp problem?
Reminds me a lot of the speeches the late Gnassingbe Eyadema (TOGO) gave, because his french was so bad they always dubbed him…

May 17th, 2012, 4:17 am

 

Antoine said:

HALABI,

But I am very disappointed in general with Jordan’s handling of the Syrian refugees. Despite cultural and tribal similarities between Daraa in Syria and northern Jordan, Syrian refugees did not get the sort of warm welcome which they got in Turkey. Living conditions are terrible and Jordanian Authorities treat anyone who crosses the border as a criminal rather than a refugee, they confiscate all their papers and force to live under 24 hr Police surveillance.

I guess the Jordanian Monarchy is afraid of their own internal opposition ( Muslim Brotherhood) becoming too powerful by using the Syrian refugee card.

Pity the Arab Nation.

May 17th, 2012, 6:49 am

 

Tara said:

The LCC denouncing the SNC in it’s current shape and hailing the FSA.  I am impressed with the below statement that I think reflects political maturity and awareness of the LCC.  I think after this, the SNC should disintegrate itself and regroup, adopt s new name, elect a new president, preferably 2 co-presidents, one of them an LCC member, sign the Kurds up even if it to agree to some “painful” Kurdish demands, issue a strong statement in regard to their vision of preserving minorities, governmental institution, the army, and even the Baath party (being one of multiple parties in the free Syria, denounce in the strongest unequivocal terms the Jihad ideology and it’s tactic of suicide bombing, then start doing business again. 
—-
The Local Coordination Committees’ Statement Regarding the Deteriorating Conditions of the Syrian National Council
by لجان التنسيق المحلية في سوريا on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 12:53am ·

The Local Coordination Committees in Syria deplores the situation of the Syrian National Council. The situation reflects the Council and the Opposition’s furthering from the spirit and demands of the Syrian Revolution. Furthermore, it reflects their distance from directions towards a civil state, democracy, transparency and the transfer of power desired in a New Syria.
  
In recent months, we have witnessed apparent political deficits in the Syrian National Council and a lack of consensus between the Council and the revolutionary movement. Furthermore, the council continues to marginalize a majority of the representatives of the revolutionary movement such as members of the Council’s General Assembly. This is accounted for by influential individuals on the Executive Board and the General Secretariat deciding on major factors, the most recent decision being the extension of Burhan Ghalioun’s presidency for a third consecutive term despite his political and organizational failure.

We at the Local Coordination Committees have refrained from engaging in Council work in the past two months, the most recent of which was the Secretariat General’s meeting in Rome. We find in the continued deterioration of the Council’s situation an impetus for further steps, the first of which may be a freeze in our activity and the final step, our withdrawal from the Council. These steps will be taken in the event that the Council’s errors are not reviewed and demands are not addressed. We consider these demands necessary for the reformation of the Council and have included them in a detailed letter to the Council that we presented over a month ago. In addition to lack of seriousness in dealing with dire issues, they have also marginalized the demands of the Revolutionaries in Syria.
 
Finally, the Local Coordination Committees in Syria confirms that the continuity of the Revolution, the committees, and the peaceful demonstrations on the ground are important inside Syria and are held to the high ethical standards of the great Revolution. We emphasize the sacrifices of our heroes in the Free Syrian Army, who defected to defend the cities being bombarded by the regime’s military and we admire their commitment to protect the peaceful demonstrators despite the difficulties they face.  We emphasize that the Revolution will go on, despite the harsh difficulties experienced by our people and activists, and despite the international and global conspiracies against our people’s aspirations, and despite the Syrian opposition’s incompetency for the blood and sacrifices of our people, not only in the sense of political representation, but in also in the sense of providing much needed relief

https://www.facebook.com/notes/لجان-التنسيق-المحلية-في-سوريا/the-local-coordination-committees-statement-regarding-the-deteriorating-conditio/460111127349362

May 17th, 2012, 7:13 am

 

hamoud said:

Guys, i’m truly disapointed of alawite community, they are mostly siding with the regime and even asking more bloodshed to subdue the people.
I juste read the doctorate of goldsmith titled “the rise and fall of assad” about the alawite insecurity, it seems all true alawite are paranoid despite sunni giving the insurance for their security int he future.
But one thing is sure, the sunni wont be govern by a minority who trust all the jobs and the money, this time is finished and for good and whatever the price will be paid to liberate from this mafia.
Syria will be a moderate country with true representation of this demographics and where everyone can succeed.

May 17th, 2012, 7:35 am

 

zoo said:

Tara #190
“We have seen nothing except political incompetence in the SNC”

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-opposition-faces-fractures-infighting-084245476.html

The SNC, whose members are largely Syrian exiles, has tried with little success to gather the opposition under its umbrella and has alienated minorities inside Syria, including the Kurds and Alawites. Other opposition groups accuse it of trying to monopolize power.

Several prominent dissidents, including Haitham al-Maleh and Kamal al-Labwani, have already quit the SNC, calling it an “autocratic” organization.

In Thursday’s statement, the LCC — a network of activists based both inside and outside of Syria — accused the SNC leadership of marginalizing council members and acting alone on major decisions. It threatened to suspend its membership in the council and later withdraw altogether if its concerns are not addressed.

“We have seen nothing except political incompetence in the SNC and a total lack of consensus between its vision and that of the revolutionaries,” the statement said.

The LCC said the council has “drifted away from the spirit of the Syrian revolution in its quest for a civil and democratic state based on the principles of transparency and transfer of power.”

Earlier this week, Burhan Ghalioun was re-elected to a third, 3-month term as head of the SNC. A Sunni Muslim professor at the Sorbonne in Paris who has led the council since its formation in September, he has been criticized by some opposition figures of being too close to the Muslim Brotherhood and of being out of touch with the reality on the ground in Syria.

Ghalioun ran against George Sabra, a Christian council member seen by many as a better choice to soothe concerns by Syria’s religious minorities, some of whom have remained loyal to Assad out of fear for their future in case his regime collapses.

May 17th, 2012, 8:25 am

 

irritated said:

#189 Antoine

Compare that also to how the “brutal Syrian dictator”‘ regime hosted 300+ thousand Palestinians, 1 million Iraqis to whom they offered the same services as his ‘own’ people.
How many refugees the ‘generous’ Qatar and Saudi Arabia received?

May 17th, 2012, 8:31 am

 

irritated said:

#179 Ann

The interview of Bashar al Assad: cool, proud, clear and direct to the point, very impressive for an ’embattled brutal dictator, a new Hitler, a repulsive butcher etc…’.

The only remark about the interview on SC was on the president’s lisp… It says it all

May 17th, 2012, 8:43 am

 

Tara said:

Zoo

I hope we watch a media frenzy against the SNC to pressure them into serious “reforms” .

Ghalioun should have known better. Quit when you fail…

May 17th, 2012, 8:59 am

 

zoo said:

#195 Tara

Erdogan proved again his naivety and his lack of understanding of the Arab world. His baby, the SNC, is in a coma and his Iraqi friend is hunted by Interpol.

May 17th, 2012, 9:15 am

 

zoo said:

Again…U.S. ambassador to Israel: talks preferred, but “ready to strike Iran”
English.news.cn 2012-05-17

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-05/17/c_131594707.htm

• The U.S. has completed necessary preparations to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
• The U.S. will do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
• The remarks are some of the harshest to date by a senior American official on Iran’s nuclear program.

JERUSALEM, May 17 (Xinhua) — U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said his nation’s military has completed the necessary preparations to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities in the event that international sanctions and diplomacy fail, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

more..

May 17th, 2012, 9:31 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Syrian Christians getting the Wahhabi freedom
And the islamocracy:

May 17th, 2012, 9:37 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

Tara,

I think Ghalioun must be reading your post, hopefully we will see George Sabra or Haytham Maleh in charge know:

Opposition Syrian National Council head Burhan Ghalioun ‘to resign’

The head of Syria’s main opposition alliance, the Syrian National Council, has said he will resign amid growing criticism and rifts within the group.

Burhan Ghalioun, who was re-elected as SNC leader on Tuesday, said he would step down once a replacement is found.

[…]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18106592

May 17th, 2012, 9:44 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

A very well written piece by Maysaloon:

What Can The Average Syrian Do

I really don’t know what game the Syrian oppositions are playing at. After much initial fanfare and hullaballoo, they are still unable to organise themselves. I don’t think Haitham Manaa or Burhan Ghalioun are the ones to fault, as much as those who deride the Syrian revolution at every opportunity would love to. Far from it, there is only so much that these men can do. I remember an agreement between the two men that was almost immediately howled down by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and that they both had to distance themselves from, last year. Whether with the regime or the decrepit political oppositions, a hero is clearly lacking for Syria. But at a time when there are no heroes, and with so many insurmountable obstacles, what can we do on an individual level?

I sometimes wonder in amazement at how difficult it is to hold a rational conversation with many of my countrymen and women. It is rare to find somebody who gives you their genuine opinion, based on their own evaluation of a situation, rather than the party, religious, or popular dogma that they might hide behind. Casual racism and anti-semitism can be rife, while sexism prevails at almost every level. In Syria the universities are awful and the teaching is sub-standard. Students at the baccalaureate level have to memorise vast swathes of text for their exams, during which the slightest deviation is heavily penalised. Even in mathematics, a simple response to a question is not enough. Instead there is an educational dogma and ritual that must surround the response to an exam question, and marks will be taken even if mathematically the response is sound.

We have still not dealt with institutional corruption in the educational system. It is not unheard of for students to spend years trying to graduate for university, if they have not greased the palms of the right university lecturer. That is, if the student is lucky to get into university. If a student has not managed to gain enough grades in the insanely difficult pantomime called the baccalaureate, they will be drafted into a military service during which they would be forced to become the foot servants of whichever officer they have the misfortune of serving under. For two years, and maybe more with penalties, a conscript is a slave labourer. Should he wish to obtain leave, he must pay a bribe. If he complains, he is given a penalty and his time as a conscript is increased.

[…]

http://www.maysaloon.org/2012/05/what-can-average-syrian-do.html

May 17th, 2012, 9:46 am

 

Aldendeshe said:

“….These 7 Provinces account for at least 12 to 14 million Syrian citizens ( almost 55 % of the population), plus there is a sizable revolution presence in cities of Aleppo, Damascus, Latakia and Banyas…..”

“….Agian, I ask SNP on what basis, on what evidence, SNP concluded that 90 % do not support this revolution….”

“…Dimashq, and Daraa are known to be totally engulfed in Revolution…”
____________________________________________________________________

@ANTOINE

On the basis that those numbers thrown are invalid. If you have one million Syrians in this revolution they would have overthrown Assad 300,000 by now. Further, you miss-understood. What I said is 90% of Syrians are not supporting this regressive kind of revolution, but 92% will support a progressive one against the Baathists. You could not even get Syrians to go on strike for an hour, that much they believe in this destructive-regressive revolutionary tactics. How many time a strike was called for by SNC now? That is far more accurate indicator of revolutionary progress for SNP than Alciada Moslem Terrorists blowing military vehicles and slitting Syrians throat so Al Jazeera can broadcast the revolutionary progress in Syria.

That is your assessment of the Jordanian army, they may win in pipe blowing contest, second after the Brits, but stand no chance in modern warfare based on SNP assessment. They don’t even own anything like the missiles and missile defense systems Syria’s army possess and are well trained to use it all.

May 17th, 2012, 9:53 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

SNK,

Where exactly does it say in the video that the woman that died was killed by Wahhabi Theocracy? (Do you really need to bring Islam into everything, are you that scared of Muslims?)

Should you not be angry at the regime for the dismal job they are doing in protecting Syrians? Don’t you think if they spent half the time to actually secure our country rather than to suppress our voices we would not be here?

May 17th, 2012, 9:54 am

 

MICHEL said:

176 Syria no kandahar

“Whtch the real Syrian unity in this church with Moslems and Christians hugging each other and holding the Quran and Enjil…”

this is a false show of unity staged by the regime and you know it, to play with our feelings of security. it reminds me of the joint muslim-christian easter celebration in a church they showed on adunnia a few weeks ago, with muslims and christians both reciting al-fatiha. who are they fooling? christians reciting “صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّين” ????

the exaggeration for propaganda purposes is crystal clear and makes me sick, because it exposes how the regime play with our fear of the future in order to incite us in supporting it. in reality, they are using us and alawites as human shields to protect itself, wake up.

May 17th, 2012, 10:24 am

 

Dawoud said:

Syria not Kandahar

Syria is also NOT Qom, Najaf, Tehran, Hasan’s Dhahiyah al-Jounobia, the Houthi land, etc.

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

May 17th, 2012, 10:35 am

 

zoo said:

Very subtle and diplomatic criticism of Turkey compared to the repeated threats and insults of Erdogan.

‘Some in Turkey think themselves very smart,’ al-Assad says
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/some-in-turkey-think-themselves-very-smart-al-assad-says-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=20955&NewsCatID=352

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad evaluated the Turkish government’s policy towards his country as “the dreams of some people who think they are very smart,” in an interview with Russian state broadcaster Russia 24.

Al-Assad said no good would come to Turkey from the policy the country was currently following.

“We have no contact with the Turkish government, but we did not cut dialogue with other political circles in the country,” al-Assad said, hinting at an ongoing dialogue with parties other than Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). “Our opinion about the realities in Syria coincides with these circles. These politicians are aware of the danger. They are aware of the risk that the negative incidents in Syria will manifest as chaos and terror in Turkey in the future.”

Al-Assad said some politicians in Turkey were “carried away by dreams.” He said “there are those among them who think themselves to be very smart. You may be very smart, you may be using a state-of-the-art computer, but your efforts will be in vain if you try to run an obsolete program on it.”

[…]

May/17/2012

May 17th, 2012, 10:50 am

 

Tara said:

Zoo

Bashar IQ is roughly about 105. I’d say 110 is a bit of a stretch. Real politicians IQ average 140 and above. I think Bashar would have made a great electrician or plumber had he not been born to Papa Hafiz. I bet he reads one thousandth fraction of what you read.

May 17th, 2012, 11:03 am

 

Tara said:

SOD

I ‘d vote for George Sabra.

May 17th, 2012, 11:15 am

 

zoo said:

Tara #207

“Real politicians IQ average 140 and above.”

You mean HBJ, Ghaliun and Basma have such IQ?? In view of their ‘successes’, it does not seem to be an indication of political smartness.

I think Bashar is among the smartest politicians in the Arab word, IQ or not.

May 17th, 2012, 11:16 am

 

bronco said:

@208 Tara

George Sabra = Automatic loss of bankrolling from KSA, Qatar and Turkey. Would the SNC survive?

May 17th, 2012, 11:21 am

 

Tara said:

Zoo..honey:

If we take Quadffi as a reference point, and given the king of the kings’ extreme eccentricity, I would give you that Batta is a bit smarter as he has managed to hide most of his eccentricities until recently. I must say I don’t like neither dictators’ taste in women. Quadffi fell for Condy and Batta for…. You fill the blank.

May 17th, 2012, 11:39 am

 

mjabali said:

Syria is going to see bigger military confrontations in the near future.

The attack in al-Rastan was big, around 400 men attacked the police/army station.

This next phase will also see the spilling of violence into the immediate surrounding: Tripoli/Trablus Lebanon is not stopping for the last week.

The SNC is a group of people with no real influence in Syria, except for the MB. Ghalioun and the group of professors with him are in it for the ride so far. An interesting view is this :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qq2kAPmaOk&feature=uploademail

Also this Fatwa regarding the Annan Dead Plan (in my opinion)

May 17th, 2012, 11:55 am

 

Halabi said:

I only watched the fake interview with Bashar.
http://youtu.be/P05wDrgjWgk

But I’m pretty sure that there was more truth in it than the real one. “The West only talks about violence, violence on the government side. There is not a word about the terrorists. We are still waiting,” Assad said, according to the AFP.

Here are some “words” as reported by Sana on May 10. Maybe he mith-thpoke…

“French Foreign Ministry Condemns Damascus Terrorist Bombings

Spokesman at the French Foreign Ministry said that France firmly condemns the twin terrorist attacks which hit Damascus and caused the death and injury of dozens, offering condolences to the families of the victims.

US State Department Strongly Denounces Twin Terrorist Bombings in Damascus

Spokeswoman for the US State Department Victoria Nuland said that “the US strongly condemns Damascus attacks,” adding that all forms of violence which result in arbitrary killing and injuring civilians should be condemned and cannot be justified.

Nuland added that “We continue our call to carry out the plan of the UN Special Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, to halt violence.”

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2012/05/10/418088.htm

May 17th, 2012, 12:46 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

I don’t believe Qatar and Turkey cares about the rebirth or the rise of Islam. Give me one plausible reason to why you think they like to support the MB?

May 17th, 2012, 1:02 pm

 

Juergen said:

Irritated

you seem to know the secret science of evaluating Kremlin propaganda, so why was the interview with the supreme leader dubbed?

May 17th, 2012, 2:36 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad – Hezballah – Israel axis suceeding in stopping the victory of democracy and sunni islam in Israel surrounding countries.

At this point of the contest it is clear for the last 20 years Israel has been supporting Assad – Hezballah conection as the best and weakest possible enemy to Israel.

For the times of Crusaders it has been clear that fragmentation in different islam shia sects against sunna hegemony has resulted in favour of foreign occupier. Crusader kept Jerusalem while Cairo was under shia fatimis and ismaili and alawi heresy fragmentated north Syria. But when Nuridin and Salahuddin unified Cairo, Damascus and Aleppo under the flag of Sunna Islam crusaders began a sharpe and endless fall.

Israel (and consequently the US) is trying to avoid the victory of a homogeneous majority in Syria. Sunna in Damascus means coordination with Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and would probably lead to enourmous problems to the Jewish state legitimacy in the long term.

History learn too much.

May 17th, 2012, 2:39 pm

 

irritated said:

#214 Juergen

Who cares. When people pick on such details, it often means that they were impressed and hate to admit it.

May 17th, 2012, 4:33 pm

 

annie said:

Says Rime Allaf (who was never published or quoted on SC) :

Don’t miss a word! Palestinian writer Salameh Kaileh describes his jailing, torture and abuse (of Palestinians in general) at the hands of the Syrian regime. Do please show to the “resistance” and the “conspiracy” crowd!

http://youtu.be/-oSTHATqRbA

May 17th, 2012, 4:44 pm

 

bronco said:

#213 Tara

Mabrook, one of your prediction, that I share, finally happened. After Sarkozy now Ghaliun. The end of the SNC is getting close and HBJ and Erdogan are scrambling to put it on ventilation.

Qatar and Turkey’s ideology is clearly pro-Moslem brotherhood. They believe that this group is the most ‘secular’ group of Sunnis that Islam can tolerate. It is yet to prove they are right in view of the gradual slip of Turkey into a more rigorous Islamic state under the AKP. ( no more drinks in public, jail for any critic of Islam, increased budget to build mosques etc…)

Saudi Arabia prefers Salafists, “pious” sunnis with a potential to propagate Sharia based emirates.
Which do you favor?

May 17th, 2012, 4:49 pm

 

zoo said:

For the ones who want to know how the USA is handling Al Qaeeda in Yemen post Saleh, a powerful and hair raising account of the dirty games played there by the USA, the Saudi and the Yemenis.
By investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill on NPR.

http://www.npr.org/2012/05/17/152854335/why-the-u-s-is-aggressively-targeting-yemen

May 17th, 2012, 4:57 pm

 

zoo said:

The PKK presence in Hatay, near the Syrian border may affect negatively the FSA moves in out Syria.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/pkk-raid-kills-three-officers-near-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=21017&NewsCatID=341

A suspected PKK attack kills three senior officers in the south while a soldier and the ruling party’s local official are killed in the southeast.
Three high ranking military officers were killed in an attack by suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) yesterday, on the outskirts of Mt. Amanos near the Syrian border in the southern province of Hatay.

May 17th, 2012, 5:38 pm

 

Juergen said:

Irritated

I am most far from being impressed by the Syrian President, the last time i was impressed was yesterday, the prices for lemons went up by 20 cent.

Here is a interesting article about the shady Al Nusra islamist group.

http://translate.google.at/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fpolitik%2Fausland%2Fdie-nusra-front-in-syrien-soll-hinter-den-terroranschlaegen-stecken-a-833531.html

May 17th, 2012, 5:45 pm

 

irritated said:

Juergen #221

The lemon price hike is a “gift” from countries who care about the welfare of the average Syrian and who think that by not been able to afford buying lemon, Syrians will call for toppling Bashar.
Is next friday called: The Lemon Friday?.
Fortunately the Syrians can live without lemon, they’ll use debs roman instead and they’ll keep the “unimpressive” Bashar.

Your “lemon story” is as striking as the memorable “telephone book” story of Observer. Congratulation

May 17th, 2012, 6:04 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Tara,

My vote would be George Sabra as well, did you ever hear his speech from last summer in Qatana (In a predominately conservative Sunni area BTW):

May 17th, 2012, 6:09 pm

 

Halabi said:

This clip from Aleppo University today shows the difference in the size of those with and against the Assad regime. As can be expected in civilized society, only a minority of the population supports criminals.

http://youtu.be/Pky3R_-BI00

May 17th, 2012, 6:10 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Annie,

Thank you for sharing Salameh Kaileh interview, what really grabbed my attention is when he says how much more beatings he got for writing (Min 3:07):

“من أجل تحرير فلسطين الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام”
(For the sake of freeing Palestine, the people need to overthrow the regime)

I guess it really pisses them off when someone questions their empty resistance rhetoric, as if resisting the will of their own people is justifiable because of the Palestinian cause.

May 17th, 2012, 6:23 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Halabi,

That was indeed a very dismal Muayyid rally.

Wait for the usual all the protesters were paid to be there, and that they are not actually Halabis but people from the villages.

May 17th, 2012, 6:32 pm

 

omen said:

47. MM said:
Sharmine is not a reliable source.
I’ll just leave it at that.
I see the weaving of reality above, very impressive I must say. 9:33 am

.

why just leave it at that?

can somebody tell me what her story is?

May 17th, 2012, 6:41 pm

 

omen said:

did we invade afghanistan in service to china?

@jenniematthew
#Afghanistan to pump oil in 5 mths. Upbeat prediction from mining ministry http://tinyurl.com/72hgj4l

Afghanistan will start pumping oil within months, an official said Wednesday, as part of the troubled nation’s efforts to tap its underground treasures estimated at billions.

China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and its Afghan partner the Watan Group will start extracting oil in five months, initially producing 5,000 barrels a day, mining ministry spokesman Jawad Omar told AFP.

isn’t this…oh, i don’t know…treason?

May 17th, 2012, 6:46 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Omen,

Re: Sharmine

Below is just my point of view of her, and what I really think of her “reporting”:

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=14373&cp=all#comment-307822
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=14403&cp=all#comment-307689

May 17th, 2012, 6:56 pm

 

Halabi said:

Two of my friends who aren’t even students at the university have been arrested at protests there in recent months. They were paid by Bandar of course, but still, they are from well known families in Aleppo, not that the prominence of their lineage matters. The revolution has made all free Syrians equal, while the Assad regime views the country as rich and poor, Christian and Kurd, rural and urban…

It doesn’t matter what “people” who support Assad or oppose the revolution (which is the same thing) say anymore, Son of Damascus. The true nature of this regime has been known to all for decades, and all those trying to whitewash have an agenda that doesn’t include freedom and equality for all Syrians.

The NYT did a pretty good roundup of events at the university today.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/student-protest-in-syria-unfolds-live-online

This video, from inside a UN vehicle, clearly shows how the peaceful protest was dispersed. A must see.

http://youtu.be/_zBPKUuj9K4

For fun, here is a Shabi7 on Addunya calling on the Syrian government to arm protesters in Bahrain and Saudi and to launch missile strikes on
Qatar. http://youtu.be/DVwwi8vrjvs

May 17th, 2012, 7:07 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

If that was a was a question, I want neither. Bringing religion into politics pollute the religion and brainwash the masses. You lose spirituality and religion becomes a burden.

Was not a prediction. Was a wishful thinking. I rarely ever have wishes. My “wishful thinking”on 11/11/2011 at 11:11 did not come true…Don’t know if there is a hope.

May 17th, 2012, 7:09 pm

 

Observer said:

Some new items
1. Occupy Moscow is ongoing with the protesters moving from one square to another.
2. The Russian currency and the Moscow stock exchange have lost 6% and 20% respectively since Putin took office according to the WSJ today
3. The plan of Putin to improve the economy by 5% a year was deemed fantasy by the Russian Institute of Economic Studies.
4. Likewise his plan to improve life expectancy was deemed unrealistic.
5. Russia is set to have a negative birth rate and will over the next 20 years like Italy have a population that is about 20% smaller than today.

So what does Russia want from supporting Syria? I am not sure what the issue is:
If it is the Naval base then it is indeed just for show as the Russian navy is a shadow of what it used to be. If it is a pretense of a superpower status, it clearly cannot hold off a Kosovo like intervention despite its veto power. The real prize is Iran and the bypass routes of gas and oil supplies that will be outside of the Russian territory and an end to any leverage it may have over Europe.

Moreover, with the political situation in Russia there has been and again according to the WSJ a significant capital flight out of the country indicating that the business community is weary of Putin’s strategy and intentions.

The world is intervening in Syria regional alliances and counter alliances going back and forth. The problem is that no one wants to inherit the destroyed Syria that the regime is slowly and surely pursuing. The plea by Fredo for the new French president to start anew is unbelievably stupid and telling of the regime’s desperation.

There is no new French foreign policy with regard to Syria. The brutality of the Syrian regime has made sure of that.

How long can Iran help is also a big question as the report in the NYT today shows a 12% decrease in oil exports and even India has agreed to slow the imports.

I am not optimistic about the attempt to turn Iran around and to have it at least move away from a confrontational stance. Iran has been right all along in asking and pursuing a policy of independence from the hegemony of Western business and financial and technological exclusions. Yet in its support for an oppressive regime has made a huge mistake and has been acting exactly like another cynical power pursuing its own interests regardless of moral considerations. This particular attitude is a prime reason why no one believes that the nuclear program is peaceful. Although I think it is meant also to leave ambiguity in place as a deterrent without having to actually detonate a bomb like Pakistan did.

Now to Somaria. It is clear that the repression method is not working.

Either the regime is incapable of protecting the people against “terror” or it is conducting “terror” on the people under the pretext of combating it. In either case it is a failed state.

So in conclusion, we are moving into a full fledged civil war that will plunge the country into a 10 year abyss and will require two generations or 50 years before it can come out of it.

I say break up the stupid country and let each sect leave alone in peace before they slaughter each other.

May 17th, 2012, 7:28 pm

 

MICHEL said:

Lebanese army takes order from the Hzblshetan dominated government and tries to arrest syrian activist in a tripoli hospital

May 17th, 2012, 8:02 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

“….Yet in its support for an oppressive regime has made a huge mistake and has been acting exactly like another cynical power pursuing its own interests regardless of moral considerations…”

Very immoral indeed.

“…The problem is that no one wants to inherit the destroyed Syria that the regime is slowly and surely pursuing….”

As long as the destruction is complete, then it is easy to re-build without having to use demolition ball. Otherwise, will just hire Israeli team, Silversteen Demolition Service do a good “Pull It” job.

“…I say break up the stupid country and let each sect leave alone in peace before they slaughter each other…”

I say rather better if they all kill each others off, why have a dozen stupid countries the size of a football field around rather than just one. The crazies will not stop anyway, will just move into cross boarder fighting, shelling and kidnapping ala east-west Beirut. One take the worng street corner and get killed, raped or kidnapped based on id.

May 17th, 2012, 8:27 pm

 

Tara said:

Juergen

“I am most far from being impressed by the Syrian President,…”

Juergen, you are wrong. You are very impressed with Bashar’s speech and perhaps madly in love with him. You are just unaware of the deep down love you harbor towards him.

It looks like that to some commentators on SC, people in general fall in one of two categories, those who love Bashar and know they do, and those who love Bashar but unaware they do…I mean how couldn’t you? Did you not hear that famous MP who wanted Bashar to rule the universe.. Come on Juergen, It is time to face reality.

May 17th, 2012, 9:19 pm

 

Tara said:

Ghalioun’s comment about resignation is nonsense. He said he would resign when a replacement is found by consensus or by election. I am skeptic. It doesn’t work that way. He resigned first and then the SNC moves to a new election.

May 17th, 2012, 9:46 pm

 

ann said:

Humpty Dumpty and his puppets show are history 😀

The slow disintegration of the Syrian National Council, which has become the international face of the uprising, could complicate Western efforts to bolster the opposition, just as President Bashar Assad’s regime gathers momentum in its crackdown on dissent.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i4N2Hja2pSOCr82HwdnUAn_MDAgg?docId=12bcf3f5b48745ed99510da33ea9d09f

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s main opposition council is crumbling under the weight of infighting and divisions over issues that cut to the heart of the revolution, including accusations that the movement is becoming as autocratic as the regime it wants to drive out.

The slow disintegration of the Syrian National Council, which has become the international face of the uprising, could complicate Western efforts to bolster the opposition, just as President Bashar Assad’s regime gathers momentum in its crackdown on dissent.

On Thursday, SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun said he was ready to step down once a replacement is found, amid mounting criticism of his leadership.

The decision came just days after he was re-elected for a third, three month term during a council vote held in Rome. The council has said it would rotate the presidency every three months, so Ghalioun’s repeated appointments rankled some who wanted a new face.

“I will not accept under any circumstances to be a divisive candidate, and I am not after any post,” said Ghalioun, an exiled Syrian and professor at the Sorbonne in Paris. “I will resign as soon as a new candidate is picked, either by consensus or new elections.”

“Although it (the SNC) was conceptualized as a formation designed to represent society as a whole, it has played a very polarizing role. By mishandling personality issues, it has alienated more prominent opposition figures than necessary,” said Peter Harling of the International Crisis Group think tank.

[…]

May 17th, 2012, 10:10 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

An interesting analysis by James Miller regarding the resignation of Burhan Ghalioun and the state of the Syrian opposition:

[…]

So it would appear that Ghalioun’s resignation is recognition that he has lost the public support of the Syrian opposition. However, let’s look more closely at the his statement:

I am announcing my resignation as head of the Council. I call on the Syrian opposition to break the cycle of conflicts and preserve unity. I declare my resignation as soon as a replacement is found through elections or consensus.

The resignation is not immediate, suggesting that perhaps Ghalioun will not stand down if the adequate “replacement” is not discovered. Indeed, The statement can also be read as Ghalioun’s belief that the Syrian opposition is too splintered to produce an appropriate replacement.

The Future of the Opposition Leadership

The following statements should sound familiar, so frequently appearing in news reports and blog posts that they are the unspoken laws of the Syrian crisis:

The opposition is splintered.
The opposition has no leadership.
Without leadership, the opposition will struggle to unify.
Without leadership, and unity, the international community cannot intervene in Syria.

The problem is that none of these statements are accurate. “Splintered” suggests that there are major ideological divisions within the opposition. There aren’t. Nationwide, the sentiment in the streets is clear: most people believe in the Free Syrian Army, they believe in foreign intervention, and they renounce sectarian divides.

There are, of course, elements that disagree with all of that sentiment, but the themes of the protests, the signs, the chants, and the statements from main-stream opposition mouthpieces suggest that there is not a lot of division inside Syria on these issues.

With most of the Syrian “leadership,” in the SNC and other groups, living outside Syria, here is an alternative explanation for the supposed splintering inside the “leadership”. It coes from expatriates who are second-guessing the irreversible pattern inside Syria, including the growth of calls for intervention and the growth of the armed insurgency against the Assad regime.

What’s more, the Syrian opposition seems to be progressing without leadership. The SNC is not organizing street protests, nor do they appear to have played a role in the arming of opposition fighters, nor are they coordinating attacks against the Assad military. Yet all of these occur daily.

The Syrian resistance to the Assad government, represented by the peaceful protests and the armed insurgency, are gradually eroding the pillars of the regime. All the metaphorical and literal guns are pointed in more or less the same direction — with or without foreign intervention, and with or without a unified political front, these elements will continue to work against the President. Even with poor leadership, as we saw in Libya, as long as the fighters are locally coordinated, they will continue to have and effect, and if they are given the appropriate equipment and logistical support, they will score victories.

[…]

http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2012/5/17/syria-snap-analysis-lessons-from-the-resignation-of-the-syri.html

May 17th, 2012, 10:23 pm

 

zoo said:

France’s Ayrault Creates Anatomical Challenge for Arab Press
By Gregory Viscusi and Nayla Razzouk – May 16, 2012 4:04 PM GMT+0300

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-16/france-s-ayrault-creates-anatomical-challenge-for-arab-press.html

France’s new prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who was chosen in part for his fluent German, is proving to be a headache in Arabic.
When spoken, his family name is colloquial Arabic in many countries for the third-person singular possessive form of the male sex organ.
The potential for embarrassment prompted France’s foreign ministry to put out a statement today as Ayrault took office with the recommended spelling in Arabic. The official solution would add the letters L and T to the transliteration. Arabic is a phonetic language where normally all letters are pronounced, unlike French where these two letters in “Ayrault” are silent.
An Nahar, a Beirut-based newspaper, chose that solution. Al Hayat, a London-based newspaper widely considered a reference across the Arab world, published a front-page headline chopping Ayrault’s name to “Aro,” when a more correct transcription would be “Ayro.”
A U.A.E.-based Arabic-language channel has sent an internal note to its journalists, asking them to write his name as “Aygho.”
The Dubai-based Al Bayan newspaper chose to use just his first name on its front-page headline: “Hollande Inaugurates his Mandate by Appointing Jean-Marc as Prime Minister.”

[…]

May 17th, 2012, 10:52 pm

 

Ghufran said:

I do not think the SNC will make it even if it elects or appoints a Christian, this uprising was started by Syrians inside Syria ,and those who will emerge as leaders are likely to come from within Syria,the expats are secondary and they can only compliment the internal opposition. There is plenty of leaders and figures within the opposition with different agendas and philosophies,you can say good bye to the unrealistic goal of unifying the opposition,Arabs have a tribal mentality and this is not likely to change any time soon,the most I hope for is agreeing on sharing power and rejecting violence,but this hope is more easily said than done,nations do not mature politically in 14 months,and the damage done by 49 years of corruption and oppression can not be undone overnight.

May 17th, 2012, 11:12 pm

 

Dawoud said:

No respect, No love for dictator-lovers/dictator-supporters!

Free Syria, Free Palestine! Syria is NOT Qom NOR Najaf NOR Hasan’s Dahiyah!

May 17th, 2012, 11:18 pm

 
 

bronco said:

#237 Ann

The failure and demise of the SNC will be one more humiliation for Erdogan. Will we get another logorrhea against Bashar Al Assad or wil we see the start of the U-turn, especially with the involvement of the PKK near the Syrian border and the FSA headquarters in Hatay?

May 17th, 2012, 11:30 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

230 Halabi

That Shabeeha in the video..lol.

He hopes for the establishment of the ‘Arab Republic of Saudi Arabia.’

Why keep the name Saudi? 😆

He calls on the Syrian people to finance ‘freedom fighters’ in Qatar/Saudi. Isn’t he aware of the economic circumstances in Syria? Predicted to be heading towards collapse.

This is reaching Comical Ali levels of craziness. The end must be near. 😆

May 17th, 2012, 11:37 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

7 Alqeda terrorists relocating to Syria for full time
Employment by (Syrian Revolution ). job description to kill Syrians :

May 17th, 2012, 11:37 pm

 

zoo said:

Turkey properties open for GCC buyers

Turks make buying land easier, sparking Arab interest
Rory Jones
May 18, 2012

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/industry-insights/property/turks-make-buying-land-easier-sparking-arab-interest

Turkey used to treat its property market rather like a playground squabble.
The law stated that if Turks were not allowed to buy property in another country, that particular country’s citizens were not allowed to buy property in Turkey.

This made it almost impossible for some foreigners to buy property and difficult for Turkey to attract foreign direct investment from the Gulf.

Because of this so-called reciprocity law, citizens of most Arab countries, including the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iraq and Kuwait, were not allowed to buy property in Turkey.

That was until a few weeks ago, when the reciprocity law was abolished, and estate agents in Turkey say they are now receiving floods of inquiries from Arab nationals keen to buy in the country.

“We have got more than 2,000 inquiries [so far] this year and we are expecting to have at least 10,000 inquiries this [full] year,” said Arda Obuz, the managing director of Turesta, a property sales, management and consulting firm in Istanbul.

“[Arab nationals] love Istanbul, and Turkey is a Muslim secular country, secure and democratic. Istanbul is a European city with Muslim motifs, and they feel very comfortable in Istanbul,” he said.

Mr Obuz said the process of buying a property in Turkey was “remarkably straightforward” and that the transaction could be completed within hours for domestic residents and two weeks for foreign buyers.
More..

May 17th, 2012, 11:42 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Who killed youssef and his daughter ?
Even Ban k Moon today admitted it was Alqaeda
Also called (Syrian Revolution ):

May 17th, 2012, 11:50 pm

 

Ghufran said:

مندس دفاعا عن هيئة التنسيق
http://the-syrian.com/archives/77706
The failure of the SNC is driven by its attempts to please everybody while the NCB has not changed course or tried to play catch up with the armed rebels nor it received tainted money from foreign players.
The FSA needs to clean its ranks and make it clear that it does not support assassinations and random ambushes,most of the victims of the armed rebels violence are ordinary Syrians who are doomed if they do and doomed if they do not. Discounting those victims as regime tools worthy of assassinations is an insult to their children and families. Give me the name of a single high ranking officer that the rebels captured or killed and prove me wrong,most of those who were “punished” by armed rebels are poor or unconnected Syrians who paid for the sins of the regime,their children ,and all Syrian children, did not deserve to become orphans while the fat cats are either immune or out of the country.

May 17th, 2012, 11:50 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Assad: No News is Good News
Thursday, 17 May, 2012

“President Assad’s other claim, that the “information war” is irrelevant, is probably true for the most part. Not, as he claims, because the Syrian people support his reform program and the situation on the ground is better than it is reported to be in the Western media, but because the real war is the one that is being fought in Syria itself. This is where the future of Syria will be decided. Assad still controls a sizeable military machine, and the opposition has proven to be resilient and unwilling to give up, despite being uncoordinated.”

http://www.majalla.com/eng/2012/05/article55231914

May 18th, 2012, 12:10 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

After killing their kidnaped hostages (revolutionary ) terrorists film them claiming like usual that the regime killed them….they are :
يقتلون الميت ويمشون بجنازته


May 18th, 2012, 12:18 am

 

Halabi said:

“Give me the name of a single high ranking officer that the rebels captured or killed and prove me wrong”

العميد الركن نعيم خليل عودة المعتقل من قبل الجيش الحر
http://youtu.be/viDxXKOy4Wc

جثة الكلب العميد عدنان ديب في المشفى مع مقطع وهو يكذب
http://youtu.be/6HZqf3-zPdU

Is General a high enough rank? Or does it have to be a close relative of Bashar to count…

“most of those who were “punished” by armed rebels are poor or unconnected Syrians who paid for the sins of the regime.”

How many people have the FSA captured and killed, and how many of those were innocent, unconnected Syrians? Two unknowns that will probably never be known. If the ratio is more than 50% than “most” is acceptable, anything else and it’s hyperbole.

I don’t think the tacit advice to the FSA to kidnap/assassinate high ranking officers should be followed. Striking officers who are commanding troops to shell our cities is a noble cause, but the costs are high as they are generally well protected.

The armed rebels have emerged to protect innocent people from the military, security forces, Assad militias and informants. These people may be “poor and unconnected” but they are also armed and dangerous. Stopping them from murdering, detaining and torturing Syrians is the main objective of the FSA – officers are much less of a threat when they don’t have the grunts to do the work.

A man who shoots his weapon into a crowd or has fun laying off rounds at a checkpoint in a residential neighborhood should be stopped, regardless if he wears a uniform or not, because eliminating his ability to continue to fire will save lives. The other option is to do nothing and go pick up your relatives from a government torture chamber (also known as hospital) and sign a document blaming the armed gangs for the death and bury them in silence.

We all know that “most” of the Syrian people have rejected the latter option.

May 18th, 2012, 12:53 am

 

Juergen said:

Irritated

The lemonm price story happend at our local turkish food market here in Berlin. So dont worry for the moment Syrians can still drink their favorite polo.

I came across this site today:
http://freesyriantranslators.net/category/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D8%BA%D8%A9/%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%AC%D9%85-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D8%BA%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%A9/%D8%A5%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%86%D9%83%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%B2%D9%8A%D8%A9/

May 18th, 2012, 1:51 am

 

omen said:

248. Ghufran said:
The failure of the SNC is driven by its attempts to please everybody while the NCB has not changed course or tried to play catch up with the armed rebels nor it received tainted money from foreign players.
The FSA needs to clean its ranks and make it clear that it does not support assassinations and random ambushes,most of the victims of the armed rebels violence are ordinary Syrians who are doomed if they do and doomed if they do not. Discounting those victims as regime tools worthy of assassinations is an insult to their children and families. Give me the name of a single high ranking officer that the rebels captured or killed and prove me wrong,most of those who were “punished” by armed rebels are poor or unconnected Syrians who paid for the sins of the regime,their children ,and all Syrian children, did not deserve to become orphans while the fat cats are either immune or out of the country.
11:50 pm

have you seen this video? footage taken from regime feed.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/F-wfOpPhLLc

notice how one victim gets up to leave once he thinks he’s off camera.

via

May 18th, 2012, 2:31 am

 
 

omen said:

maybe somebody already made this point and i didn’t see it but this is a late realization for me.

obviously, the regime is crying terrorism and invoking alqaeda in order to tar and discredit the opposition. and in attempt to discourage foreign support and intervention.

but the regime also has to bolster domestic support that is waning. even from its supporters.

so what it does it do? it stages a terror attack blaming it on the biggest boogeyman in the world.

people have a deep fear of the unknown. the regime is betting people would rather have the devil they know than the one they don’t know.

a saul alinsky rule: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

syrians have spent a lifetime watching this regime sow chaos and violence not only at home but abroad.

will syrians fall for it?

can the regime bomb its way back to popularity?

May 18th, 2012, 3:07 am

 

annie said:

http://youtu.be/FCFd0kGuL_s
Crowd gathers around army truck to impede arrest of Syrian activist from AlZaharaa Hospita

May 18th, 2012, 3:31 am

 

omen said:

the foiled suicide bombing in aleppo.

syrian officer describes the scene to un monitors in english.


people really blame fsa for this? come on.

May 18th, 2012, 3:58 am

 

omen said:

video above graphic.

May 18th, 2012, 4:09 am

 

Antoine said:

“the foiled suicide bombing in aleppo.

syrian officer describes the scene to un monitors in english”

___________________________________________________________________

Holy shyt !! I do hope those fat bastards do not sign up join the New Syrian Police during Bashar’s last hours.

Though I hope the FSA does short work on them before that.

Btw did you notice the mis-spelling in “Al-Shaar Police Station” ?

May 18th, 2012, 6:42 am

 

Antoine said:

“will syrians fall for it?”

“can the regime bomb its way back to popularity?”

__________________________________________________________________

Not the ones in Hama, Homs, Idleb, Reef Halab.

May 18th, 2012, 6:45 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Omen
No body blames FSA.Huh ???FSA declared responsibility on Alarabia immediately (one of
Terrorists commanders Alwawi).FSA removed that when they found how ugly that was.come on!

May 18th, 2012, 6:46 am

 

Antoine said:

201. ALDENDESHE said :

“On the basis that those numbers thrown are invalid.”

_______________________________________________________________

Can SNP inform me of the Province-by-province population break-ups ?

________________________________________________________________

201. ALDENDESHE said :

“If you have one million Syrians in this revolution they would have overthrown Assad 300,000 by now.”

__________________________________________________________________

Here SNP contradicting itself. A few days ago on SyriaComment, SNP mentioned that without Iran financial and logistical assistance, Assad regime would have fallen 6 months ago.

Now the question is, if indeed less than a million Syrians support this “regressive” Revolution, how on earth would Assad have fallen 6 months ago without Iranian support ?

Btw, Homs City alone has more than 1 million people.

May 18th, 2012, 6:52 am

 

Antoine said:

226. Son of Damascus said:

“Halabi,

That was indeed a very dismal Muayyid rally.

Wait for the usual all the protesters were paid to be there, and that they are not actually Halabis but people from the villages”

___________________________________________________________________

It shouldn’t matter if they are or they are not, there are always going to be losers who will not support the revolution, what matters is who are in a greater numbers.

There is a commentator on this blog who repeatedly claims that the protests in the Aleppo University are mainly provoked and carried out by outsiders from the Reef, he should also take into account, that the uniformed thugs and shabbiha sent to crush those protests are also mostly boorish peasants from Raqqah and Hasakeh, who don’t understand a thing about the sophisticated culture of Halab, unfortunately many “respectable” Halabis view these thugs as their protectors.

May 18th, 2012, 7:09 am

 
 

Antoine said:

Nisreen al Shamayleh of AJE reporting on the plight of Syrian refugees in Jordan :

http://www.aljazeera.com/video/middleeast/2012/03/20123103261649274.html

One thing I can’t understand, why the mighty Jordanian tribes, come to the rescue of the people in Daraa when they asked for it, and why donlt the people of Daraa even today not request the Jordanain Hashemite King and the Jordanian Army to provode them with weapons. I thought tribal ties and tribal values were the most precious thing for a Jordanian.

Are the Jordanian leaders too busy politicking and stuffing their faces with Mansaf, to even notice the plight of the people of Daraa ?

The Jordanian tribes should be asked to cross the border in large numbers, with weapons, to help their Syrian brethren. And tribal members of the Jordanian Army should be asked to provide weapons and training to the FSA. We are talking about human lives dammit !!!

May 18th, 2012, 7:54 am

 

zoo said:

After the failure of the SNC, more doubts haunt the opposition

“Syrian activist and journalist Kinan Ali said the use of religious slogans “shows that the opposition is bankrupt of political ideas.”

Syrian revolt’s Islamist slogans under criticism
By Khaled Soubeih | AFP – 51 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-revolts-islamist-slogans-under-criticism-111048965.html
The use of Islamist slogans by protesters during weekly Friday demonstrations against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has triggered criticism among an already-fractured opposition.

Activists have been organising online polls on “The Syrian Revolution 2011″ Facebook page since the beginning of the uprisings in March last year to pick slogans for demonstrations that usually take place after Friday prayers.

They have weakened the protests in some areas of Syria,” he said.

“The largest demonstrations took place when the focus was the slogan ‘revolt for all Syrians.”

The activists have also questioned the authenticity of the polls on Facebook, saying they are not scientific.
more…

May 18th, 2012, 8:13 am

 

zoo said:

Another call for massive demonstrations on Friday

http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=29666

Protests under the rallying cry, “heroes of Aleppo University”, have been called for Friday by activists in solidarity with students in the northern city who demonstrated there the day before despite brutal repression.
…..
In Damascus province, heavy gunfire was reported near the town of Harasta, while the army suffered casualties in an attack on a military checkpoint at the town of Dariya, said the Observatory.
And in the capital, dozens demonstrated in solidarity with Douma, Dariya and Aleppo University students.
….
Assad has shown no sign of willingness to start political talks, and the opposition is still too divided for negotiations, diplomats said.

Most diplomats and observers say a new UN Security Council battle over Syria is likely when the UN mission’s 90-day mandate ends at midnight on July 20.

May 18th, 2012, 8:33 am

 

irritated said:

#265

“Jordanain Hashemite King and the Jordanian Army to provode them with weapons:

It they do that, it would be accelerate the end of the fragile Jordanian regime.

May 18th, 2012, 8:37 am

 

zoo said:

The Saudi Arabia opinion of Annan peace plan: “dead on arrival”

When will Annan admit failure?
17/05/2012
By Tariq Alhomayed
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=29651

“The reality is that Annan’s mission was dead on arrival and unfeasible, and it is the Syrian people who are paying the price for its failure today; indeed everybody is paying the price with every day that passes. This is because it is impossible for political missions to achieve anything with a regime such as the al-Assad regime. This is well-known, and has been proven over time and by the facts on the ground: so when will Mr. Annan shoulder his moral responsibility and announce his mission’s failure? That is the question. “

May 18th, 2012, 8:40 am

 

zoo said:

Al-Qaeda urges Saudis to topple ruling dynasty
Published: 18 May, 2012, 05:59
http://www.rt.com/news/al-qaeda-saudi-arabia-538/

The chief of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network has called on the Saudi people to start an uprising against the ruling Al-Saud family following the ouster of four Arab rulers in the wake of the Arab Spring revolutions.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, who assumed leadership of the terror group after the killing of Osama Bin Laden last year, addressed the Saudis in a video posted on an Islamist website asking them “Why don’t you follow the example of your brothers in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and the Levant?”

The video starts with footage showing Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah meeting Pope Benedict XVI, former US President George W. Bush and current US President Barack Obama, according to the US-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terrorist activity.

“Muslim brothers in the land of the holy mosques! A year has passed since the uprising of the Arab people against their rulers…my dear brothers, why do you still accept to be ruled by the Al-Saud family. They are one of the worst corrupt governments who steal your money,” he said.

More…

May 18th, 2012, 8:46 am

 

Antoine said:

Moderator NoteAntoine, commentators are allowed to reply to any comment they wish to do so (As long as they follow the SC Rules), if you don’t want to converse with a specific commentator you can always choose to just ignore their post

SC Moderator

IRRITATED, please don’t mind ever replying to my comments. The same goes to BRONCO. This is the last time I’m going to communicate with you. I know you hate the Syrian revolution and you want the genocide of 10 million plus Syrians just to preserve your status quo.

May 18th, 2012, 8:55 am

 

Dawoud said:

271. ANTOINE

I can’t agree with you MORE! Good for you brother Antoine! The regime lovers/defenders/supporters have neither shame nor decency!

P.S., can any body confirm the presence of 100 Iranian Revolutionary Guards “guarding,” or more accurately occupying and terrorizing, the area around the post office at al-Thourah Street? Please confirm/refute?

Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is ARAB FOREVER!

May 18th, 2012, 9:50 am

 

irritated said:

Antoine #271

No need to ask for that. Your comments are never worth a serious reply.

May 18th, 2012, 9:52 am

 

irritated said:

#272 Dawwod

only 100 Iranian Revolutionary Guards ?

Thousands of IRG disguised in tourists visit Damascus regularly and fill Marjah hotels, ready for action.

May 18th, 2012, 9:54 am

 

zoo said:

For those who have doubts about Qatar-Moslem Brotherhood close and relation

Qatar’s ties with the Muslim Brotherhood affect entire region

Ahmed Azem
May 18, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/qatars-ties-with-the-muslim-brotherhood-affect-entire-region#full

The alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar is becoming a noticeable factor in the reshaping of the Middle East. There are several striking aspects to this evolving and deepening relationship.
First, note that the Brotherhood is barely involved in Qatari domestic affairs. The arrangement is akin to the one between Qatar and Al Jazeera, the biggest Arab television channel, which is based in Doha. The station covers news throughout the Arab world but refrains from covering controversial events in Qatar.

As a formal organisation, the Muslim Brotherhood in Qatar dissolved itself in 1999. Jasim Sultan – a former member of the Qatari Brotherhood – has explained in a television interview that this decision was justified because the state was carrying out its religious duties.

Mr Sultan supervises the Al Nahdah (Awakening) Project, which involves training, publishing and lecturing about public activism. Last August, he wrote an article asking Egyptian Islamists to change their discourse and move towards “partnership thought” instead of concentrating on “infiltrating the society to control it”. Mr Sultan is active in training Islamists in Egypt and other countries on how to function within the institutions of democracy.

The second point of interest about Qatar and the Brotherhood is that the relationship was formed and is maintained largely through personal ties, which play a vital role. Doha has hosted individual activists, providing them with refuge and employment.

Yusif Al Qaradawi, a Qatari national and resident of Egyptian origin, is a good example. He is the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and his television programme on Islamic laws and principles has made him a star on Al Jazeera. His current relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood is not clear, but he has been a leading member, and is highly respected by its members around the world.

One striking example of his influence is a recent photograph of him with Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minster of Hamas in Gaza. (Hamas is an arm of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood.) In the image, Mr Haniyeh, during a recent visit to Qatar, is bowing and kissing Mr Al Qaradawi’s hand in a show of respect.

To better understand the role of Qatari-Islamist harmony in the Arab revolutions, consider the Academy of Change, headed by Hisham Mursi, an Egyptian paediatrician and British national living in Doha. News reports identify him as the son-in-law of Mr Al Qaradawi.

Mr Mursi has been active in Egypt’s revolution from the very beginning.

Another example of personal ties involves Rafiq Abdulsalaam, Tunisia’s foreign minister. He is the son-in-law of Rashid Al Ghanouchi, the head of Ennahda, Tunisia’s Muslim Brotherhood party. Mr Abdulasalaam was formerly the head of the Research and Studies Division in the Al Jazeera Centre in Doha.

An example from Libya is Ali Sallabi, described last December by The Washington Post as the “chief architect of Libya’s most likely next government”. Mr Sallabi has lived in Qatar for several years.

A third point to understand is what Qatar provides for the Brotherhood. There are strong indications of media help, political training and financial support. The role of people like those named above offers circumstantial evidence of such support. Further, key staff members of Al Jazeera have had – and maintain – close connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. These include the previous general manager, Waddah Khanfar, the head of the Amman office, Yasser Abu Hillaleh, and the Egyptian TV presenter, Ahmad Mansur.

Last August, Nevin Mus’ad, a politics professor at Cairo University, told the Egyptian daily Al Shorouq that she was surprised to notice that the university was offering a training course on democracy and human rights, organised by the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar. She said bearded men wearing the jilbab (Islamist dress) were organising the entrance of participants, most of whom were wearing Islamist dress. The women were veiled.

In Libya, Mr Sallabi – who is known also for his connection to Mr Al Qaradawi – told reporters that he had asked the Qatari leadership for assistance during the early stages of the Libyan revolution.

Last year Al Akhbar, a Lebanese newspaper close to Hizbollah (Damascus’s strong ally), said the rift between Qatar and the Syrian regime occurred when Doha attempted to convince Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to form an interim ruling council including Muslim Brotherhood representation.

The fourth factor helpful in understanding the Qatar-Brotherhood alliance involves what Qatar stands to gain.

[…]

May 18th, 2012, 10:02 am

 

irritated said:

I guess the frustrated anti-peace plan individuals on SC don’t know how to deal with the ‘freedom of expression’ they are calling for.
They prefer to threat and insult.

May 18th, 2012, 10:18 am

 

MICHEL said:

What do you people think we should do with the mnhbbakjiyeh when the criminal dictator is ousted? You know, the kind of people who can’t admit that bathar is killing people, who blame everything on the mysterious cosmic conspiracy, etc?

I was thinking that we should revoke their citizenship and expel them out of the country. Why should they be allowed to reap the fruits of the thuwwar’s sacrifices? It’s unfair.

Support a mass murderer, accuse the opposition of being terrorists, chant we love you bathar…and then benefit from the thuwwar’s sacrifices in the new free syria? It’s not fair at all. If we don’t expel them out of the country, we should at least give them second-class citizen status that would prevent them from voting, for example.

May 18th, 2012, 10:19 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Aleppo seems to be stirring.

Largest protest in Aleppo since the start of the uprising, Annan to visit Syria ‘soon’

Friday, 18 May 2012

“Aleppo is experiencing a real uprising,” a local activist Mohammed Halabi told AFP in Beirut.

Read more:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/05/18/214886.html

May 18th, 2012, 10:39 am

 

Dawoud said:

276. MICHEL

Brother MICHE, we should have public/fair trials for these murders and propagandists. Human Rights Watch should be there to observe. In a new Syria, nobody would be denied fail trials. Maher Arar, who was renditioned by the CIA to be tortured by Bashar, would be able to go back to Syria and sue those who tortured him!

I hope that it would NOT turn out that mnhbbakjiyeh and others are covertly posting here on “Syria Comment!” It wouldn’t surprise me at all! I strongly suspect that Hasan Nasrellat of Hizbistan in Lebanon has a propaganda operations room staffed by English speakers, including brainwashed Americans!

May 18th, 2012, 10:40 am

 

Dawoud said:

276. UZAIR8

Thawra, Thawra, Hata al-Nasr! In-Sha’-Allah!

May 18th, 2012, 10:42 am

 

irritated said:

There are some great ideas popping up from some SC commenters that I am “forbidden” to name.
My preference: Revoke the citizenship of more than 14 millions Syrians and expel them.
There are others threats, more lethal, that show exactly the kind of neo-fascist regime they are after.

May 18th, 2012, 10:50 am

 

Uzair8 said:

BMP driver displaying his skills. A deterrant to protestors.

He gets moving at 2 min:

May 18th, 2012, 10:51 am

 

MICHEL said:

279 Irritated

It’s ironic to see a supporter of this regime accusing the opposition of fascism.

May 18th, 2012, 10:54 am

 

Uzair8 said:

From where I got the video from (#280) I have just seen the following post:

Maher Al-Asad (la’natullah ‘alaih) has been killed!

http://forums.islamicawakening.com/f18/the-official-ia-syrian-uprising-thread-44883/index117.html#post621387

?

May 18th, 2012, 10:54 am

 

Dawoud said:

282. UZAIR8

Good Riddance!

la’natullah ‘alaih

May 18th, 2012, 10:59 am

 

Dawoud said:

281. MICHEL

Again, brother Michel, I can’t agree with you MORE! Didn’t Bashar in one of his interviews accused his opposition of being killers! Murderous dictators and their supporters have NO SHAME!

May 18th, 2012, 11:02 am

 

Uzair8 said:

#283 Dawoud

I don’t know it’s veracity but even unconfirmed it seemed significant. It got me excited so I wanted to share. Forgive me.

I hope it’s true.

#278 Dawoud

I tried googling for it’s meaning. I think I know what it means…lol. InshaAllah. 🙂

May 18th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

irritated said:

#282

The irony is that the people calling the Syrian regime “fascist” are invoking even more fascistic methods to massively get rid of the Syrians who don’t agree with them.
Very promising indeed.

May 18th, 2012, 11:12 am

 

Dawoud said:

285. UZAIR8

You are always forgiven! I only don’t forgive regime supporters/defenders! You are NOT one of them, brother UZAIR8.

Yes, it is InshaAllah, “God Willing!”

May 18th, 2012, 11:12 am

 

Halabi said:

Assad supporters, mukhabarat, the army, everyone in Syria today should stay and treated equally under the law, with perhaps some high ranking officials in this criminal regime finding amnesty abroad to help the country move on. No new government should have the power to segregate citizens as it would be incompatible with the goals of the revolution, which is a continuation of a democratic wave that started in Tunisia. Qadhafi supporters are in Libya, Mubarak we-love-yous in Egypt…

I’m not sure what “atabat mokadasah” is (holy place?), but I’m sure there are places that religious Shiite Iranians would like to visit, and I welcome them. Iran is a country with millions of good people that’s ruled by an oppressive theocracy, hating on regular Iranians is no better than dissing Saudis.

As long as the Iranian government isn’t sending mercenaries disguised as pilgrims, why should Syrians be denied some business? Saudis are welcome as well, but not the Al Qaeda terrorist that Bashar allowed to flow through the country last decade and is still in alliance with as we know from the recent release of Abu Musab Al Souri.

(Of course our only visitors will be Israelis coming to see our new king Hamad bin Jassem and queen Bandar bin Sultan, who will have a gay union and create a paradise for pro-Western salafis from around the world).

I understand the sectarian tension, but freedom of religion supersedes the racist sentiments of some in the dominant group. Freedom of expression is even higher than that, because criticizing religion and fighting its destructive aspects is a major component for a modern democratic society.

May 18th, 2012, 11:18 am

 

zoo said:

Activist: 10,000 demonstrate in Aleppo, a city of 2 millions.
Is Aleppo finally entering the ring?

Largest protests yet in Syrian city of Aleppo
By ZEINA KARAM | Associated Press – 27 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/largest-protests-yet-syrian-city-aleppo-132651836.html

Even bigger numbers took to the streets Friday. Aleppo-based activist Mohammad Saeed said it was the largest demonstration there since the start of the uprising. He said more than 10,000 people protested in the Salaheddine and al-Shaar districts alone and thousands protested in other areas of the city.

“The number of protesters is increasing every day and today saw the biggest protests,” said Saeed, adding that several people were wounded when government forces tear gas and live ammunition to try and disperse the rally.

May 18th, 2012, 11:24 am

 

irritated said:

#290 Halabi

I am glad to see that there is still sanity within some Syrians, beyond hatred and revenge.

May 18th, 2012, 11:29 am

 

Shami said:

Zoo,you are wrong to underestimate the hatred of the aleppines towards assad.We are not at the end of the process ,you will see what the aleppines are ,be patient.
Let us say that the accurate picture will be taken in post Assad Syria ,you guess it ,i’m sure.

May 18th, 2012, 11:38 am

 

Shami said:

Many Thanks to our syrian brothers of christian religion who are showing that they are not an easy pray to assad propaganda.
Only the islamophob ,who are full of hatred towards their environment ,are supporting the regime of corruption,hypocrisy,terror,spies and torture.

May 18th, 2012, 11:42 am

 

zoo said:

Syrian activist sentenced to death: activists
May 18, 2012 12:23 PM
Agence France Presse

BEIRUT: Syrian authorities have sentenced to death for “treason” an activist who was arrested in April and “brutally tortured,” a Syrian human rights group said on Friday.

The death sentence is apparently the first to be reported since an uprising erupted last year against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, which has struck back by trying to crush dissent with deadly force.

Mohammed Abdelmawla al-Hariri handed the sentence by a military court where he faced charges of “high treason and contacts with foreign parties,” said the Syrian League of the Defence of Human Rights.

The League dismissed the charges as “null and void” and said that Hariri, an engineer in his late 30s arrested on April 16, was “brutally tortured” and forced to make confessions.

It said Hariri was awaiting his execution in the notorious Saydnaya prison — once identified by Amnesty International as “Syria’s black hole” as inmates have limited access to the outside world.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/May-18/173831-syrian-activist-sentenced-to-death-activists.ashx#ixzz1vEiqPOpF
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

May 18th, 2012, 11:43 am

 

zoo said:

Draft Law restricting students demonstrations in …. Canada

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/quebecs-anti-protest-legislation-tramples-basic-rights-legal-experts/article2436933/

Bill 78, which lawmakers debated during an all-night session after Premier Jean Charest’s government tabled it Thursday evening, sets multiple requirements on public demonstrations and threatens stiff penalties to people who disrupt college and university classes.

* Section 16, which says that police has to be informed eights hours ahead of the time, duration and route of any demonstration by 10 or more people or more. (Friday morning the government appeared ready to increase that number to 25.)

* Section 17, which says that organizers, or even a student association taking part in the march without being its organizer, must make sure that the event complies with the parameters handed to police.
..
* Section 13 and 14 say that no one can “directly or indirectly contribute” to delaying classes or denying access to them.

* Section 15 says student associations must employ “appropriate means” to induce their members to not directly or indirectly disrupt classes.

* Section 25 threatens fines of up to $125,000 to groups that contravene the bill.

more..

May 18th, 2012, 11:51 am

 

zoo said:

Besides Hollande, whose mother is Jewish,
New French Ministerial Appointees Rich in Jewish Heritage
May 17, 2012
Algemeiner Staff
http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/05/17/new-french-ministerial-posts-rich-in-jewish-heritage/
Pierre Moscovici has been named France’s new Finance Minister in President Francois Hollande’s newly formed government, and Laurent Fabius has been named the country’s new Foreign Minister, making two of the top ministerial posts in France rich in Jewish origins.

Moscovici studied economics under Dominque Strass-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, and is the son of French sociologist Serge Moscovici. He studied at Ecole Nationale d’Administration (National School of Administration) and was the French Minister for European Affairs from 1997-2002.

Fabius, whose parents were both Jewish but converted to Catholicism, is a former Prime Minister and Finance Minister of France.

“He [Fabius] an exceptionally good politician. He’s very smart, he has many many diplomas and as Alain Juppe is considered to be the most gifted French politician of his generation – Fabius is the same thing for the left,” Ron Agam, the French artist with close ties to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, told The Algemeiner.

“With Syria, Iran, there will not be a change of attitude. The relationship with the U.S. – I don’t forsee a difference, maybe some tactical or minor differences,” Agam said. “Especially coming from Fabius as he understands the dynamics of international politics very well.”

Both men are considered to be in favor of France’s close political ties to Israel, although Agam says “they should prove that they will be the friends that we want them to be.”

May 18th, 2012, 12:02 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Son of Damascus #229

Thanks for those comments on Sharmine Narwani.

I was disappointed to see Joshua giving her airspace.

She’s an aggressive say-anything-to-get-attention posturer, whose writing lacks authenticity. Concocting cheap comments and stories while perched on her comfortable armchair in the west.

Her political agenda makes no sense – other than to distract from criticism of the Assad regime.

May 18th, 2012, 12:15 pm

 

Dawoud said:

294. SHAMI

I join you in thanking pro-revolution Christians. Any way, it’s their country too!

May 18th, 2012, 1:03 pm

 

Tara said:

The Friday of the heroes of Aleppo University.

Protests under the rallying cry, “heroes of Aleppo University”, have been called for Friday by activists in solidarity with students in the northern city who demonstrated there the day before despite brutal repression.
“Thousands of students from various faculties came out of their classes when the UN observers arrived and shouted slogans calling for the fall of the regime,” activist Mohammed Halabi told AFP.
They “also called for the arming of the (rebel) Syrian Free Army,” he said.
The students were met with brutal repression by security forces, despite the presence of UN military observers, who now number more than 250 across the country out of the total of 300.
An activist video shows youths sitting in the back of a vehicle driven by a UN observer and filming security forces members beating students brutally with truncheons.
Having taken the observer to witness the scene, the youths implored him to leave when a man in civilian clothes approaches the vehicle and blocks the view of the student filming.
“Let’s go, let’s go. They’ll arrest us. We are under your protection,” screams a girl at the observer in the video.
more…

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-wide-protests-urged-qaeda-fears-grows-094640769.html

May 18th, 2012, 1:31 pm

 

omen said:

as reported earlier in washington post, rebels are now being helped in getting arms from qatar & saudi arabia. this indicates a shift in u.s. policy. previously obama was discouraging countries not to arm the rebels.

what caused the shift?

the failure of the annan plan?

people were being killed before. why would it matter that people were still being killed under the ceasefire?

May 18th, 2012, 2:00 pm

 

omen said:

ehud barak was on cnn.

MORGAN: Shouldn’t the international community now be driving as hard against Syria as they did in the Libyan situation?

BARAK: … I think that the ways should be found, while pushing harder to change the situation in Syria, preferably through the Yemenite example, namely to let the Assad and his group go out and try to keep, not to repeat the mistakes in Iraq, not to — not to dismantle their party, the intelligence, the armed forces, to find a way to keep a role for Russia, a living role around the table of nations.

Because if you try to do it in a way that will deprive them from their only asset down in the Middle East, they will resist it. And it’s — it could be extremely influential. But to mention Iran, it will be a major blow to Iran when Assad falls. And they are now supporting him very actively. It will be a weakening blow to the Hezbollah and probably Islamic Jihad.

So basically, it’s something — you know, sometimes people contemplate probably better that they will win out. I don’t believe it. It’s better to reach a conclusion there and try to keep civil society, the present organs of power, basically in place, without the elite which was kind of extremely intimate and close to Assad.

.

barak wants to keep the homicidal torturers in place!

May 18th, 2012, 2:06 pm

 

omen said:

not to dismantle their party, the intelligence, the armed forces,

why does barak want to keep the intelligence wing of the regime? are they working for bashar? or are they in service to israel?

May 18th, 2012, 2:24 pm

 

Dawoud said:

300. TARA said:

“The Friday of the heroes of Aleppo University.”

Yes, Tara, they were-and will always be-heroes!

Tara (pro-regime folks, whom I don’t respect, please don’t answer), is it true that 100 Iranian Revolutionary Guards are stationed at the post office in al-Thawra Street in Damascus in order to terrorize Syrians?

Thawra, thawra, hata al-Nars! Revolution, Revolution until VICTORY!

p.s., Syria is neither Qom, nor Najaf, nor Houthi land, nor Naserellat’s Dhayiyah al-Janoubia!

Free Syria, Free Palestine! Bahrain will ALWAYS remain ARAB!

May 18th, 2012, 2:27 pm

 

Tara said:

Dawoud

I don’t know. I am not in contact with anyone in Damascus. A Shiaa Iranian freind of ours told me there are IRGs in Syria and the Iranian people don’t want them back. Another Iranian freind, a doctor of Kurdish origin is supporting the revolution against Batta. People in middle eastern countries usually feel differently than their regime.

May 18th, 2012, 2:57 pm

 

Tara said:

There were 648 demonstrations in Syria today.

May 18th, 2012, 3:01 pm

 

Katamon said:

Omen, because Barak thinks that in Syria, like Iraq, the State and the Baath party are the same. When the party falls, the state crumbles, resulting in anarchy and sectarian warfare. There is probably going to be Islamist groups operating against Israel as well with no central government to rein them in. Barak doesn’t like that possibility very much.

May 18th, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

In a meeting with Qatari PM Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, PM Erdogan repeats his call for upto 3000 UN monitors. I think he has suggested a higher figure than one he will be satisfied with. I agree with him.

Turkish PM calls for up to 3000 observers for Syria
Friday, 18 May 2012

“My brother al-Thani and I, we have been enjoying mutual relations with (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad. … We were friendly,” Erdogan also noted.

“But if you become a tyrant upon your own people, we cannot keep on supporting you.”

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/05/18/214945.html

May 18th, 2012, 4:48 pm

 

Juergen said:

Ì´d like to share a funny comment which I read today in the Süddeutsche Zeitung magazine. They have made a story about what foreign citizens like to watch in tv. There was the obvious mixture between arab idol and turkish soap operas by those they asked. A syrian lady with the name of Zovina Awadis( age 62) said the following: “I always watch Al Jazeera, the news channel. Even though they lie often, especially concerning Syria! The channel is financed by Quatar and the Sheikhs there want to get rid of President Assad. I believe that Assad is a good men. My daughter does not think so, she says that Assad must go likewise Mubarak and Ghaddafi have done before. She always watches the german news, in which they critize Assad. Well everyone has his own opinion, but my opinion is right, because I am older.”

Uzair

Also on FB the rumour is spreading that Maher is dead, I read that in Saarmin near Bab al Hour the FSA surrounded a unit of the syrian army,and Maher was killed in it. An other report said that Maher was shot by own of his own bodyguards. Well, we will see if that turns out to be true. I am not sure if that would change anything for the better or not.

May 18th, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

Dawoud said:

305. TARA

Thanks Tara. I heard this on Aljazeera from an opposition leader. He seemed sure about that, and that’s why he mentioned the post office and al-Thawra Street. He also mentioned the presence of Hasan Nasrellat’s Hizbistan’s Shabiha in Syria and named the town, which I have forgotten. I was driving and listening on my Android phone (hands free through the car’s speakers in order to stay safe and keep advocating on behalf of the just causes of Syria and Palestine)!

May 18th, 2012, 4:56 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

#309 Jeurgen

Thanks for that info. I’ve been hoping for more word on this.

I guess the demise of M. Assad would at least be a morale boost for the opposition and the opposite for regime forces. They may go on a instinctive angry rampage.

Assads inner circle will become even smaller. For Bashar it will be a massive loss without his brother who had his back.

May 18th, 2012, 5:10 pm

 

zoo said:

Who is the “third’ element? Your guess.

http://news.yahoo.com/ban-no-proof-al-qaeda-role-syria-spokesman-181922140.html

Ban, UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and Major General Robert Mood, the head of the UN ceasefire observer mission in Syria, share a “genuine concern” that “terrorist groups are already taking advantage of the continued violence and insecurity in Syria,” the spokesman said.

Annan has said he believes there is a “third element” operating in Syria alongside government and opposition forces.

“We have not yet been able to ascertain who this element belongs to — who it is — and we are in the process of doing so,” Annan’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in Geneva earlier.

May 18th, 2012, 5:32 pm

 

zoo said:

Humiliated by the fiasco of his creation, the SNC, Erdogan chose to vent his anger by invectivating Bashar al Assad for the nth time in the presence of his ideological ally, Qatar.

Friday,May 18 2012, Your time is 5:38:06 PM
Al-Assad cannot stand against people’s will: Turkey’s PM

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/al-assad-cannot-stand-against-peoples-will-turkeys-pm.aspx?pageID=238&nID=21130&NewsCatID=338

VARNA / ANKARA
PM Erdoğan reiterates that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot last long if he stands against the will of the people, speaking at a meeting with his Qatari counterpart, also a staunch critic of the Syrian regime

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday that the Syrian regime could not last if it continued to disregard the “will of people,” responding to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s recent interview.

“More than 10,000 people have been killed. There are tanks in the streets. [In such a situation] we cannot say ‘Bashar: you are doing good,’” said Erdoğan yesterday at a press conference after meeting with his Bulgarian and Qatari counterparts in the Bulgarian city of Varna, Anatolia news agency reported.

“Today, I declare it clearly from Bulgaria that Bashar will not stand against the will of people. This is because what people want will come true sooner or later,” said Erdoğan.

more…

May 18th, 2012, 5:46 pm

 

bronco said:

Zoo #313

Note that there is a slight change of tone from Erdogan. He does not compare Bashar to Qaddafi or Hilter anymore and does not ask him to step down either. There is now an ‘IF’.

“the Syrian regime could not last IF it continued to disregard the “will of people,”

May 18th, 2012, 6:08 pm

 

William Scott Scherk said:

Growing out of some ignorant observations on Canada’s Vimy memorial in France, I wrote this piece for comment on Facebook. It seems appropriate to put it also at Syria Comment and at Walls. I mentioned Alex (Camille Otrakji) by name in a shameless attempt to get his reaction.

Yesterday he wrote that he found it remarkable. And the SC Moderation Team also told me it would get by the filters, so …

In my mind, no picture of war can be beautiful (in theory), for a poignant act of valour or dreadful sacrifice can too easily be dressed up on a stage with bunting and stirring Nationalist anthems and aggression and “heroes” (or what my compatriot/concitoyen Camille Alexandre Otrakji might mean by heroes) — because valour is almost always painted by innocent blood — no matter how stirring the anthem, no matter how emotive the theatrics, no matter how crazed with State pomp (Russia/France/Britain/USA/China).

Yet some images are still moving, emotively beautiful — as clarity of vision, as a strong dose of reality can be beautiful in effect, beautiful in outcome, even if painful and disturbing to experience.

This is why we cherish and protect and maintain our unifying myths. When Canada’s Quebecers were polled back in my Montreal days, in a year-end l’Actualité roundup of opinion, the cover line was Le Canada dans l’peau. The image was of a faceless male’s sleeveless t-shirt. The shirt featured the fleur-de-lysée flag of the nation. On the bicep however was the tattoo Je heart [Big Maple Leaf]. One of the inevitable set of political questions on sovereignty checked to see what circumstances might budge Quebec opinion on independence past 50%

The only scenario that got above 50 was if an independent Quebec got to keep the name (Canada) and the anthem (O Canada) and the symbols (Maple Leaf, beaver, etc). 75 percent of Quebecers would have been fine with that. I was struck by the power of Canada’s mythic culture in Quebec.

++++++++++++++++++++

As myths battle in Syria, with great valour, as shells hiss and thud, as blood flows and drains, as real folks become ‘ghosts,’ here is a striking image from 1931 – Ghosts of Vimy Ridge. No Royal Socialist Confederated Canuckistani can be totally ignorant of our war myth and our settling our national symbols … and here it is as X-File. Beautiful and horrible as Myth must be. It is a treasure from the collection of Parliament.

I shall repost this starkly beautiful painting again on November 11th, I hope at eleven minutes after the eleventh hour.

The universality of war and destruction tells me that what myths survive must unite in pain and in purpose. No current Syrian Myth can solve X in the horror-stricken daily equation, not without new work, not without time and trust, not without morality clarity and consensus.

I think a mythos must be generally agreeable for a nation to ascribe to it, any nation that has known great death. If Canada is a nation born at Vimy Ridge (but not in Charlottetown), where will the new Syrian myths be tabled and agreed? Is this uniting myth already fielded? Can someone solve the equations?

Here is the image, Ghosts of Vimy Ridge, from 1931:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/34/Ghosts_of_Vimy_Ridge.jpeg

May 18th, 2012, 6:10 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Syrian opposition buoyed by Aleppo rallies
Friday, May 18

“The opposition is much more divided than we think, the security apparatus is cohesive, and still the regime subscribes to the idea that this is a security situation,” Gerges said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/syrian-opposition-buoyed-by-aleppo-rallies/2012/05/18/gIQAwoB8YU_story.html

May 18th, 2012, 6:10 pm

 

zoo said:

SC is a good example
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syrian-media-personalities-dodge-cameras

The continuing violence has only intensified the polarization to the point that some media outlets have become platforms for settling scores between the opposing parties.

The same has happened on the internet, which has turned into a space where Syrian youth exchange accusations and insults, and where casual allegations of treason are common.

Some observers have even begun to mock the way Syrians debate, which often starts with political views and ends with sharp insults.
more…

May 18th, 2012, 6:22 pm

 

irritated said:

#316 Uzair8

When Aleppo, the city, not the towns and villages surrounding it, will go on serious strikes on weekdays, then we’re talking about a serious challenge to the regime.

Venting anger on “Fridays only” has shown to be ineffective.

May 18th, 2012, 6:32 pm

 

zoo said:

Lutfallah 2: Smugglers of The Mediterranean
By: Nasser Charara
Published Thursday, May 17, 2012
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/lutfallah-2-smugglers-mediterranean

The interception of the Lutfallah 2 ship laden with arms off the coast of Tripoli raised fears that northern Lebanon is becoming the main gateway for weapons smuggling to the Syrian opposition.

After the entry of the ship Lutfallah 2 into Lebanese waters and its discovery on April 28, two other warehouses full of imported weapons for the Syrian opposition were uncovered on the coast of Tripoli.

Two days later, the security forces began following and monitoring a third ship seen heading towards Lebanon’s northern coast.

A source in French intelligence blames the intensity of arms smuggling into Syria through Lebanon on the recently implemented procedures by Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq.

The three countries are making it more difficult to smuggle arms through their borders with Syria.
more…,

May 18th, 2012, 6:41 pm

 

Tara said:

Shame on the students loyalists to the regime.  I read such a report and feel that Observer is right.  Divide Syria and let them get a freaky independent Alawi state.  We have suffered long enough.  It is one thing when the regime oppress you and a whole other thing when you neighbor hateful monsters.  I could not care less about my past Syrian identity.  That whole concept was a blatant lie.  

Students Are Assailed at a Protest in Syria
By HWAIDA SAAD and RICK GLADSTONE
Published: May 17, 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon — In the presence of United Nations monitors, hundreds of students converged on the campus of the leading university in Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city, on Thursday for an antigovernment protest that was set upon by pro-government students and security forces.

The protest and the mayhem, conveyed by students who streamed live video to the Internet, was the first big demonstration at Aleppo University since security forces raided and emptied the dormitories two weeks ago in a crackdown that left at least four students dead. The university was then closed. It reopened Sunday.

The strife that has thrown other major Syrian cities into turmoil during the 15-month-old uprising had long been less visible in Aleppo, Syria’s commercial hub in the north and a residual bastion of support for President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Syrian political analysts have said that Mr. Assad’s intolerance for opposition demonstrations in Aleppo reflects his intention ultimately to subvert the peace plan brokered by the United Nations and the Arab League. Under that plan, 300 truce monitors are to be in the country by month’s end.

The streaming videos showed hundreds of students from different institutions protesting at Aleppo University while truce monitors were there. The students gathered inside and outside the campus square. Some students spoke with the monitors, showing them lists of students they said had been detained or killed, said Thaer al-Ahmad, a law student reached by phone.

“Student loyalists to the regime started throwing stones at their colleagues who are antiregime,” he said. “Later, a large number of security forces headed toward the campus, surrounding it from all sides using tear gas.”

Clouds of tear gas smoke could be seen in some video clips. The number of injuries or arrests was not clear.

The apparent inability of the United Nations monitors to avert the Aleppo confrontation was echoed elsewhere on Thursday, with activist groups reporting that Syrian military forces lobbed at least 30 shells into the central town of Rastan and skirmished with rebels in other cities. Random shelling also killed a family of five in the Damascus suburb of Douma, and activists posted graphic videos of the mangled victims.
more..

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/world/middleeast/protesters-set-upon-at-aleppo-university-despite-monitors.html?_r=1

May 18th, 2012, 6:52 pm

 

omen said:

307. Katamon said:
because Barak thinks that in Syria, like Iraq, the State and the Baath party are the same. When the party falls, the state crumbles, resulting in anarchy and sectarian warfare. There is probably going to be Islamist groups operating against Israel as well with no central government to rein them in. Barak doesn’t like that possibility very much. 4:02 pm

.

katamon, thank you for answering but syria is not iraq. the reason iraq crumbled was because a foreign occupier was in charge, ignorant in the ways and culture of the country. someone who did not have iraq’s best interests at heart.

that is not the case in syria.

syria is capable of continuing to stand absent a torture regime! syrians are not beasts who need to be tamed by a whip and a stick.

there are several accounts about the organizing capacity of the FSA and the LCC.

here is one:

The group had taken over security responsibilities in northern Qusayr, even bringing at least one former police officer back to work,

May 18th, 2012, 7:27 pm

 

omen said:

190. Tara said:

The LCC denouncing the SNC in it’s current shape and hailing the FSA. I am impressed with the below statement that I think reflects political maturity and awareness of the LCC. I think after this, the SNC should disintegrate itself and regroup, adopt s new name, elect a new president, preferably 2 co-presidents, one of them an LCC member, sign the Kurds up even if it to agree to some “painful” Kurdish demands, issue a strong statement in regard to their vision of preserving minorities, governmental institution, the army, and even the Baath party (being one of multiple parties in the free Syria, denounce in the strongest unequivocal terms the Jihad ideology and it’s tactic of suicide bombing, then start doing business again.
May 17, 2012 at 12:53am ·

.

hear hear! this belongs to the new thread.

May 18th, 2012, 7:37 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo,

No lobster for Syria.  No precious gems, jewelry, designer cloth, sexy perfumes, or furs for Asma, and no alcohol on top of that….  Ouch!  Now that sucks.  How can a girl lives without this?!  

Canada tightens Syria sanctions, targets luxury goods
AFP 

The additional measures prohibit the export of jewelry, gems, precious metals, watches, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, perfume, designer clothing and accessories, furs, sporting goods, private aircraft, gourmet foods, lobster, computers, televisions and other electronic devices to Syria.
As well, Ottawa imposed sanctions against Syria’s state-run radio and television, General Organization of Tobacco, petroleum exporter Altoun Group, and against three individuals associated with the Assad regime.
Under Canada’s eighth round of Syria sanctions, those cited will be subject to an asset freeze and a prohibition on economic dealings.

more…http://news.yahoo.com/canada-tightens-syria-sanctions-targets-luxury-goods-215714926.html

May 18th, 2012, 7:41 pm

 

omen said:

217. annie said:
Says Rime Allaf (who was never published or quoted on SC) :

Don’t miss a word! Palestinian writer Salameh Kaileh describes his jailing, torture and abuse (of Palestinians in general) at the hands of the Syrian regime. Do please show to the “resistance” and the “conspiracy” crowd!
http://youtu.be/-oSTHATqRbA 4:44 pm

.

i wish you’d post more to make up for the deficit!

May 18th, 2012, 7:46 pm

 

zoo said:

No US boots, Syrian, Turk or Qatari boots can do the job

Turn the tide against Bashar al-Assad
By Joseph I. Lieberman, Published: May 17
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/turn-the-tide-against-bashar-al-assad/2012/05/17/gIQAkW02WU_story.html

That is why stopping Syria’s slide into civil war and anarchy is not just a mission of mercy but also an imperative for U.S. national security.

First, we must dramatically step up efforts to provide the Syrian opposition with the means to defend themselves against Assad, so that it becomes clear he cannot win on the battlefield and must seek a negotiated exit.

As in Libya, no U.S. troops should be put in Syria, nor should the United States act there alone. Our partners in the region have the funding, weapons and territory necessary for a full-scale effort to train, equip and sustain a more capable, professionalized and inclusive resistance against Assad — and they seem ready to do so.

May 18th, 2012, 8:26 pm

 

Alex said:

William,

The findings of that poll are very relevant to Syria today. All the Symbols that united Syrians a year ago are now fading. From the two flags to the marginalized national anthem, Syria’s previously proud role as a resistance camp hub, Syria’s exceptional stability, its coexistence, its most famous actors (Doreid Lahham …), even the most popular songs by Fairouz …

This is not different from the civil war years in Lebanon … there was no symbol left to unite them… made it easier for them to fight each other … fight those who carried a different flag, surely they are an enemy if they carry a different flag.

l’Actualité roundup of opinion, the cover line was Le Canada dans l’peau. The image was of a faceless male’s sleeveless t-shirt. The shirt featured the fleur-de-lysée flag of the nation. On the bicep however was the tattoo Je heart [Big Maple Leaf]. One of the inevitable set of political questions on sovereignty checked to see what circumstances might budge Quebec opinion on independence past 50%

The only scenario that got above 50 was if an independent Quebec got to keep the name (Canada) and the anthem (O Canada) and the symbols (Maple Leaf, beaver, etc). 75 percent of Quebecers would have been fine with that. I was struck by the power of Canada’s mythic culture in Quebec.

May 19th, 2012, 3:27 am

 

omen said:

221. Juergen said:
Here is a interesting article about the shady Al Nusra islamist group.

http://translate.google.at/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fpolitik%2Fausland%2Fdie-nusra-front-in-syrien-soll-hinter-den-terroranschlaegen-stecken-a-833531.html 5:45 pm

.

you like to keep these treasures buried.

this merits more discussion.

But the films are circulating on the net apparently not always authentic. Thus, the Nusra Front has now denied being responsible for a video that the weekend has been published under her name . It had a speaker with a distorted voice over the responsibility for the double attack, which killed about 70 people last Thursday had been .

, The group said “The video and the accompanying statement full of errors” are now in a new letter. “We of the military branch neither an endorsement nor a denial, or any information received regarding the operation,” it says it on. “If we get more information, we will publish them on the official Dschihadistenforen.”

May 19th, 2012, 3:53 am

 

chb said:

So Erdogan says “But if you become a tyrant upon your own people, we cannot keep on supporting you.”
Swell. How many Kurds died all these yrs under Turkish bombs ? How many Kurds will wreck havoc all over Turkey (let alone Syria) if properly coaxed into it ?
Moreover, I would take Erdogan’s stance a little more seriously if his closest allies in this turmoil weren’t dictators too.

May 19th, 2012, 5:59 pm

 

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