Syrians demonstrate against Qaddafi; Kerry Pushes Peace; SLT sputters

Video of yesterday’s demonstration in front of the Libyan Embassy in Damascus – About 100-150 Syrians demonstrated in solidarity with Libya’s struggle against Qaddafi in front of the Libyan embassy in Damascus. They called for Qaddafi’s downfall.

The demonstrators were chanting “peacefully, peacefully”. One demonstrator wrote to say that a number of the participants were kept from the protest and abused by police in riot gear. “7 young people were captured and violently questioned for a few hours. A girl was beaten badly by the riot police among dozens of young men and women who were only trying to reach the embassy in solidarity with Libyan people. We were chanting peacefully, peacefully but still the police punished us and prevented us from reaching the embassy. ”

Reporters Without Borders has published an article condemning the arrest of a number of young Syrians who keep blogs over the last year: “Wave of arrests of Syrian bloggers.” Arab twitterers are heavily circulating a tweet that claims that the Syrian president has sent “3,500 Palestinians to help Qaddafi against his people.” This has not been reported in the main stream press and does not seem credible, but suggests the volatile mood of the activists.

Meanwhile, al-Watan, a Syrian paper, is reporting an interview with عماد نسب, one of the people involved in the altercation between civilians and police in the Hariqa district that let to a demonstration and the minister of the interior going to calm people down. He claims that the police were impolite but did not hit people.

Sen. Kerry, Syria’s Assad working to renew talks with Israel
Haaretz, 24.02.11
U.S. Senator John Kerry and Syrian President Bashar Assad reportedly began drafting an unofficial position paper that would define the principles of negotiations with Israel.
By Barak Ravid

…The first item dealt with a key Syrian demand – that Israel withdraw from the Golan Heights. The wording of this clause was similar to that used during the Israeli-Syrian talks conducted by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: It stated that the basis for the talks would be the principle of land for peace, in accordance with the 1991 Madrid Conference and UN resolutions on the subject.

Kerry also tried to draft a clause to satisfy one of Israel’s key demands – that any peace agreement lead to Syria severing its ties with Iran and Hezbollah.

A European diplomat briefed on the Kerry-Assad talks said that Assad had expressed willingness to discuss “Syria’s strategic positioning and regional security issues” in negotiations with Israel. That formulation is vague, but can be interpreted as reflecting Syrian willingness to discuss its relationship with Iran and Hezbollah. …

The losing fight to prosecute Rafik Hariri’s assassins
By Neil Macdonald CBC News, Feb 22, 2011

…..Former UN investigators have told CBC News the evidence is mostly circumstantial — intricate telecommunications charts that show which phones called which other phones, but fail to actually put the phones in the hands of Hezbollah operatives.

Further, the tribunal, which still operates a small office in Lebanon, concedes that the Lebanese government, meaning Hezbollah, basically knows every move its investigators make before they make it.

Sounds like Hezbollah is winning, in other words. In fact, it’s beginning to sound as if the whole UN effort might have been a waste of time….

Syria on Thursday announced it will cut taxes on basic foodstuffs

and imports in a bid to offset rising food prices and help low-income households, the official press reported. The government slashed the tax on cooking oil by 53.3 percent. It also reduced the tax on animal fats and sugar by 20 and 25 percent respectively. “This decree will certainly bring about a decrease in food prices that will benefit low-income earners,” the official Al-Thawra newspaper said in an article titled “Special attention granted to the basic needs of citizens.”

Import taxes fell from two to one percent. “We expect merchants to reflect its effects on the retail price of food” after a rise in foodstuff prices on global markets, said an official from the chamber of industry quoted in the newspaper. Last week Syria’s national social aid fund started distributing $250 million (184.5 million euros) of financial aid to 420,000 poor families. The UN Development Programme says 14 percent of Syria’s 22 million people live in extreme poverty. DAMASCUS (AFP) – Monday, February 21, 2011 7:10 AM

WSJ [Reg]: Second Suspected Syria Nuclear Site Is Found 2011-02-24

WASHINGTON—A second suspected nuclear installation has been identified in Syria, according to commercial satellite photos, providing new evidence that Damascus may have been pursuing atomic weapons before a 2007 Israeli military strike. The …

Unblocking Syria’s social media
Some wonder if Syria’s decision to allow access to facebook and blog sites is just a new way to track activists.
Jillian York Last Modified: 12 Feb 2011

Christian Science Monitor
Bilal Y. Saab is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland

College Park, Md. – The resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the ensuing political transition in Cairo has created a wave of uncertainty over the strategic politics of the Middle East, carrying both risks and opportunities for US interests and allies in the region. One potential and less-than-obvious opportunity is to relaunch peace talks between Syria and Israel.

Syria’s poor receive cash aid from government
Phil Sands
Feb 20, 2011

Damascus // Thousands of impoverished Syrians began receiving cash payments from a multimillion-dollar aid fund this week, as part of a government effort to tackle persistent high levels of poverty.

The step comes less than a month after heating fuel subsidies for two million public sector employees were unexpectedly raised by 72 per cent. The government had previously been in the process of cutting back subsidies, which it can ill afford to pay because of dwindling oil reserves.

Import duties on various staple foods, including rice, tea, coffee and powdered milk, were also cut this week in a move designed to lessen the impact of rising food prices that have hit ordinary Syrians hard.

Although the social aid fund has been in the pipeline for years, and the cabinet approved an outline of the programme in December, analysts in Syria say its implementation was accelerated after the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, when entrenched rulers were toppled in protests fired, at least in part, by widespread public outrage at growing economic hardship…..

Another economic analyst said that government programmes currently in place would not prevent deepening poverty.

“This year will see the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer,” he said. “We have 10 different socioeconomic classes in this country. One of them is rich, the rest are poor, and the poor are slipping down, down, down.”

Khalid Aboud, the secretary of the Syrian parliament, said, “There’s a gap between the citizens’ needs and the government’s ability to help them,” he said. “The government hopes to increase the salaries of its employees but the big question is how to pay for that. The government doesn’t have enough money to help the poor as much as it would like.”….

Selucid: A wonderful young Syrian doctor blogger:
Being Green, Syrian style: Water
Posted December 24, 2010 by seleucid

….The facts:

Syria has enough renewable water to provide 800 cubic meters for each person annually (A country is considered water scarce once it goes under 1000 cubic meters, which we did five years ago). Of course that is not only water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, showering and such, but also water to irrigate your carbs and veggies. Actually, that’s where 90% of our water quota goes, with 2% to industrialization and 8% to personal use. Right now, Syria uses 25% more than what renewable water can provide, which means ground level water is being depleted at an alarming rate, a blunder that will cost lives in the upcoming decades…..

But read what he has to say about his first month as an intern in a public Syrian hospital. This is good stuff by a talented new voice.

What does the Arab world do when its water runs out?
2011-02-20 Guardian (GB):

Poverty, repression, decades of injustice and mass unemployment have all been cited as causes of the political convulsions in the Middle East and north Africa these last weeks. But a less recognised reason for the turmoil in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, …

“In the future the main geopolitical resource in the Middle East will be water rather than oil. The situation is alarming,” said Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey last week, as she launched a Swiss and Swedish government-funded report for the EU.

The Blue Peace report examined long-term prospects for seven countries, including Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel. Five already suffer major structural shortages, it said, and the amount of water being taken from dwindling sources across the region cannot continue much longer.

“Unless there is a technological breakthrough or a miraculous discovery, the Middle East will not escape a serious [water] shortage,” ….

Is the Food Crisis Real?
Written by John Berthelsen
Monday, 21 February 2011
Or is it another bout of government panic and market manipulation?

What is going on with global food prices? Last week the World Bank, in its Food Price Watch, warned that they have hit dangerous levels that could contribute to “macro vulnerabilities” including political instability.

Some 44 million people in the developing world, where typically half of family budgets go into food purchases, have been pushed into extreme poverty, according to the World Bank’s report. As governments raise interest rates in the effort to keep food price inflation in check, they face the problem of choking off economic growth in the wider economy at a time when the world and the region are still recovering from the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

But how much of this is real and how much is panic and market manipulation? Two weeks ago, for instance, Indonesia announced it would increase its stockpiles to 2 million tonnes, with Hatta Rajasa, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, telling reporters that because the rest of the world is increasing its stocks, Indonesia must as well. That calls up images of 2007, when rice-exporting governments locked up their warehouses to the outside world and drove rice prices from US$300 per tonne to US$1,100 in six months before prices collapsed back to about US$550 per tonne when the world came to the realization that there was no rice crisis at all.

There are signs that it might be happening again. Wheat prices are up 74 percent over the last year, corn up 92 percent…..

Comments (35)


1. Majhool said:

Much better

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February 24th, 2011, 1:04 am

 

2. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……..Kerry also tried to draft a clause to satisfy one of Israel’s key demands – which any peace agreement lead to Syria severing its ties with Iran and Hezbollah….”

That is kind of Oxy-Moron clause by itself, it is the underlying that needs to be spelled out. If there is Syrian-Israeli peace, naturally, Syria will have to abide by it, it is common sense that need not be spelled out. If Israel hands over the full Golan back to Syria and remove settlers, demolish settlements, and Syrians get to build Chalet on Lake Tabrias, why would they need to supply weapons to Hezbollah, what is the logic. We get to visit Tel Aviv, and drive to Cairo by car in a day or so, there will be no needs for belligerence and hostile acts anymore. Even Iranians can drive to Damascus and head south to Cairo thru Israel, a hell of nice plan. Woops.. Unfortunately, Nop, not too fast, Zionists did not repent and became Saints overnight, don’t fool yourselves. There is a hidden agenda, and this fervelous clause Kerry is asking Damascus pretty much gives it away. So spell the underlying like this: When USA , NATO and Israel launches a war on Iran and Hezbollah, Syria promises in advance, to Kerry, that it will not enter the conflict, will not supply Hezbollah with arms or provides any logistic supports, Intel or anything, it must sit and watch the destruction of Lebanon and Iran. It also states that Syria must provide Intel on the whereabouts Hezbollah arms are hidden and Iran’s secret installations, or any leads about Iran’s Nuclear weapons program, especially some morsel that U.S. can go to U.N. and get a resolution under Chapter 7. That is really what is meant by severing of ties.

And that is why it will not work, Iran can have own regime in Syria in a day if needed. Guess what, Syrians will not be saddened by the change one bit, LOL. Iran is not going to sit and watch Assad sign on that clause. They may support peace for Golan, if they going to benefit as well. But the greedy dummies are selliving so much over Iran oil, gas and gold that all they see is looting another country after chaotic attack and street riots. How about inviting Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Lebanon to one peace table huh… No one is Washington is bright enough to think of that. So much for Hershey, damn it is the most awful chocolate you can ever eat.

“……….Sounds like Hezbollah is winning, in other words. In fact, it’s beginning to sound as if the whole UN effort might have been a waste of time….”

It was a royal multi-million scam to arm twist Assad into giving in, that is all, and those living in Asfourieh (formerly Lebanon) going to have the worst of disappointment, but not as bad as Khaddam.

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February 24th, 2011, 2:53 am

 

3. Tweets that mention Syria Comment » Archives » Syrians demonstrate against Qaddafi; Kerry Pushes Peace; SLT sputters -- Topsy.com said:

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Majd AlShihabi, Syria Tweets. Syria Tweets said: RT @majdal: @seleucid I just noticed that some good things were said about you in Syria Comment! http://t.co/E0uKGUO [...]

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February 24th, 2011, 5:19 am

 

4. Shai said:

I don’t understand President Assad. Why can’t he come out and say: “Israel is not the only country in the world that can continuously develop its strategic capabilities while claiming to seek peace…”

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-satellite-images-expose-covert-syria-nuclear-facility-1.345400

If Israel developed nuclear capabilities so that other nations give up their dream of destroying Israel, and instead seek to make peace with her, why can’t Syria be expected to do the same?

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February 24th, 2011, 5:31 am

 

5. Alex said:

Shai

Because unfortunately, Syria, unlike Israel, signed the NPT.

Here is how Syria can leave that treaty:

Article X allows a state to leave the treaty if “extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country”, giving three months’ (ninety days’) notice. The state is required to give reasons for leaving the NPT in this notice.

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February 24th, 2011, 5:40 am

 

6. nafdik said:

Falafel! Alex you actually came through with your promise. Thank you.

This is a great way for the youth to test the limits of system.

They are experimenting with Libya as it is not a fatal affront to the regime.

The regime is trying to make them pay through interrogations and low level roughing up.

I think these flashes will slowly increase in frequency and will end in a full confrontation very quickly.

The regime will have to play a very difficult balancing act between repression and keeping any semblance of good-will it has. But I predict that it will pick one event and create a ‘teachable-moment’ for the Syrians.

If the people of Syria then lay down and accept the lesson taught, we will have to brace for another decade of mafia rule.

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February 24th, 2011, 11:35 am

 

7. GHat Albird said:

Speaking of mafia rules and falafel that used to be called “taameya” before the creation of Israel and how to take care of “flashes” according to Former Israeli cabinet minister Shulamit Aloni (born 1928), during her August 14, 2002 interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

She said: “Well, it’s a trick, we always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel then we bring up the holocaust. When in this country (US) people are criticizing Israel then they are antisemitic. And the organization (Israel Lobby) is very strong and has lot of money. And the ties between Israel and American Jewish establishment are very strong – and they are strong in this country as you know. And they have power ( to rule !) which is ok”.

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February 24th, 2011, 11:48 am

 

8. MONTAGNARD said:

Shai, Alex
Syria should lobby all the Arab League members together with Turkey, Cyprus, Greece and Iran for all to exit the NPT, as it does not make any sense for them to belong to an organization that is looking the other way, when the only country in the ME with nuclear weapons (WMD) and a clandestine nuclear program is Israel, a nonmember country which refuses to open its activities and arsenal for inspections, even for the purpose of making sure that safeguards are in place.
If a nuclear accident were to happen in Israel, the fallout will not be limited to the relatively small geographical area of Israel/Palestine. The people of all the countries of the region will be subject to any nuclear fallout.
The United States government and Israel should be held responsible and liable for this major deficiency in failing to open the Israeli program for serious inspections.
For many years Egypt, Syria and the rest of the ME countries have tried to push for the declaration and implementation of a nuclear weapons free ME, with a strict inspection protocol that will insure high safety standards on civilian nuclear programs, but their efforts were thwarted by the US delegations and the refusal of Israel to join any such efforts.
Also Syria would be well advised to scatter its research and development facilities and transfer them to deep, fortified underground installations that will make it difficult for Israel to target them by air raids and use the highest safety standards with a strict inspection protocol, to insure the safety of its people and the region.

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February 24th, 2011, 12:11 pm

 

9. Akbar Palace said:

Those “so-called” Israelis

Ghat,

Here’s a anti-zionist clip that should take your mind off the disturbing news coming from Libya. I just wish there was a way we could replace Qaddafi with a great Arab leader like Assad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahVhpiMHm7s&feature=player_embedded

Also, I’m not sure what your age is, but I would highly recommend the following. It would be a good learning experience…

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=118&x_article=1648

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February 24th, 2011, 12:38 pm

 

10. GHat Albird said:

9. AKBAR PALACE said:

Those “so-called” Israelis

Ghat,

Here’s a anti-zionist clip that should take your mind off the disturbing news coming from Libya. I just wish there was a way we could replace Qaddafi with a great Arab leader like Assad.

AP. Why not a great leader like the ex-furniture salesman from Philadelphia or his ex- Israeli girlie bar bouncer FM from Moldavia?

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February 24th, 2011, 12:49 pm

 

11. MONTAGNARD said:

Senator Kerry’s position paper.

Any future agreement leading to the signing of a peace treaty between Syria and Israel, should take in consideration the return of the Syrian refugees that left the Golan in 1967 and how to provide them with material help to rebuild their homes, farms, businesses, schools and infrastructure.
The settlers that will be evacuated should also be provided with help to relocate.
No peace treaty can be meaningful without the inclusion of the fate of Palestinian refugees in Syria.
The Palestinian refugees in Syria will have no other course for restitution if they are left out of the agreement. Syria has a moral responsibility to make sure that any closure shall include their status as refugees per all the UN resolutions and humanitarian laws. Syria should put this responsibility on the front of its conditions for a final agreement.
The Syrian government has a responsibility to restore Syrian land to its rightful owners, the Syrian refugees, but also has the same responsibility if not more, to restore the rights of Palestinians under its custody in Syria and not make the same mistake as Egypt and Jordan when they signed their agreements, ignoring the rights of Palestinians under their custody.
Under the same agreement a fair and equitable closure should be provided the Syrian Jewish community that left Syria due to the conflict with Israel and anyone of them who would like to go back to their homeland should be provided with the help to do so.
Such a treaty will be a milestone in the ME to be followed by Lebanon an the PA and modify the Jordanian and Egyptian treaties to be fair to all the people involved.

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February 24th, 2011, 1:20 pm

 

12. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……Syria has a moral responsibility to make sure that any closure shall include their status as refugees per all the UN resolutions and humanitarian laws…..”

That is not Syria’s responsibility, Jews and western backers are the ones morally responsible for the reprehensible treatment and its resolution. Syrian cared, fed and housed them for decades and they have raised guns in our faces and that of Lebanese as well. It is Israel and U.N. responsibility to find solution for them and take them off our back, take their guns out of our faces as well. Back to their homes in Palestine or have’em relocate to Northern Sinai or Jordan. They are NOT STAYING IN SYRIA AND NEITHER IRAQIS.

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February 24th, 2011, 2:02 pm

 

13. Shai said:

Montagnard,

I agree with your comment #8, but you also said: “… when the only country in the ME with nuclear weapons (WMD) and a clandestine nuclear program is Israel…” You don’t really believe that do you? First, WMD programs include also biological and chemical weapons, and it is well known that a number of nations in our region have these, and more than plenty. Second, there’s every reason to believe that Libya was not the only nation to come close to nuclear capabilities. Iraq almost got there, and I would guess Iran, Syria, Egypt, and KSA were/are well on their way. It simply doesn’t make sense that they’re NOT!

I agree however that if the NPT makes some nations, such as Syria, seem “less Kosher” than Israel, then a general withdrawal could send the message of hypocrisy rather well.

Not that I respect the man much anymore, but Barak was once quoted saying “If I was a Palestinian, I too would be a combatant…” You don’t have to be a genius to understand that if (we) were Syria, we would also seek strategic nuclear capabilities.

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February 24th, 2011, 2:35 pm

 

14. Nour said:

Syrian Nationalist Party said:
“Syrian cared, fed and housed them for decades and they have raised guns in our faces and that of Lebanese as well.”

When did Palestinians raise guns in the faces of Syrians?

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February 24th, 2011, 2:44 pm

 

15. MONTAGNARD said:

SNP
The Palestinian refugees in Syria did not raise their guns in our faces. They behave. Although some of the factions had battles with the Syrian army in Lebanon at times, they are not the refugees I am talking about.
You are right in placing the responsibility for their becoming refugees on the “Jews and western backers”. But if the conflict with Israel is to be resolved and the final peace agreement between Syria and Israel does not include the resolution of the status of the Palestinian refugees in Syria, then Syria will have to deal with their fate without being able to include Israel in the solution when Israel was responsible for their becoming refugees in the first place. And in that sense Syria does have a moral responsibility to make sure that Israel does not ignore their rights again.

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February 24th, 2011, 2:48 pm

 

16. MONTAGNARD said:

Shai
My reference to (WMD) was in the context that nuclear weapons are (WMD). Of course they are not the only (WMD). Chemical and biological weapons are (WMD). We can discuss those further if you wish. But my comment was about the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the fact that Israel is the only country in the region that the intelligence points to having an arsenal of nuclear weapons (bombs) that can be delivered by missiles, from land, sea or air.
Also Israel has the only clandestine nuclear program in operation since the 1950′s in Demona that is off limits to any third party inspections.
The NPT’s importance is to make sure that the technology is safe and no proliferation takes place.
It does not make any sense for other countries in the region to belong to the treaty and abide by it, when another has a program that is off limits to any inspections by a third party to assure that the safeguards are within the highest standards. The arsenal that Israel possess some of it dates back to fifty years, with probably obsolete safety protocols.
Do you feel safe as a citizen living under such an opaque program?
The problem with a nuclear accidents is that you can’t stop their consequences at the border.
A chemical or biological accident can be contained by quarantine and other measures such as vaccines and antidotes. But when that mushroom cloud or any contaminated air blows across the borders, the whole region can be affected without regards to your address of residence.

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February 24th, 2011, 4:14 pm

 

17. Alex said:

I totally agree Montagnard although there aren’t many Arab leaders left to talk to and convince to leave the NPT along with Syria. Turkey is NATO … Erdogan is already misbehaving according to his fellow NATO leaders.

I think we are witnessing the return of the “keep the pressure on Syria” strategy of 2004-2008

This will include legitimate as well as Mehlis-style pressure tactics.

Every day we will read something somewhere and ask ourselves: could this be true?! .. are the Syrians THAT stupid to behave that way?! … at this time??!

Others will not even ask … they will believe any dirt PRed by anyone. They are the ones who used to believe that Assad sold Nasrallah to the Bush admin in exchange of a promise he got (after begging hard and repeatedly) to be forgiven for his killing of Hariri which he ordered his evil brother and brother in law to execute but they were also so stupid and got caught …

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February 24th, 2011, 4:22 pm

 

18. Ziadsoury said:

I agree that Israel and the UN bear the responsibility for the refugees. The best way to solve this problem is to allow the refugees from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and everywhere else to mass peacefully at the borders demanding their return. They have the right to go back under every law so why do we keep them from doing so.

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February 24th, 2011, 4:25 pm

 

19. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

In Syria, Al-Saiqa and PFLP, couple more Palestinian armed group of thugs, raised no arm against Israel whatsoever, but raised it against Syrian Officers in the army, where they became the main military enforcer arm of the Baath Party against even regular Syrian Military officers and Political opponent of the Baath Party. When Assad came to power, he relegated them in favor of own Republican Guards units headed by his Brother Riffat, now lead by President Assad brother Maher.

In Lebanon, Al Saiqa and other Palestinian group of drug /prostitution thugs, never raised a finger against Israel, It was Hezbollah that did all the fighting against Israel, while they were fighting against Lebanese. To this day, they are armed and are a source of most of the crimes in Lebanon. The largest network of Mossad espionage rackets, some are caught came from these groups of thugs. They are the favorite target for recruiting by Mossad for espionage and terrorist attacks in Lebanon and Syria. It was the Palestinians that started the Lebanon second Civil war when they gone to the mountain armed in busses to intimidate the Lebanese leader gathering.

In Jordan, they were dealt a deadly blow as well, in which Hafez attempted to rescue. None of these groups did carry any attack on Israel, despite the fact that they outnumbered Hezbollah in numbers 3:1 and at that time they were better armed than the units of the Syrian army. The few terroristic activities, 3 or 4 major ones, were in fact carried out by groups lead by a thug that was on Mossad Payroll, as it was discovered after the fall of Saddam.

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February 24th, 2011, 4:59 pm

 

20. MONTAGNARD said:

SNP
The majority of the leadership of the factions that make up the PLO are corrupt and incompetent. That is why they were replaced by Hamas in the Palestinian elections. They also were never able to mount a serious resistance to Israel like Hizballah did.
I am talking about the Palestinian refugees living in Syria now under the control of Syrian authorities and laws. Their number is substantial and they need to be part of any final agreement between Syria and Israel and Senator Kerry needs to be made aware of this issue to include it in his position paper.

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February 24th, 2011, 7:18 pm

 

21. majedkhaldoon said:

The Arab League action is very weak, no Arab country can influence the Libyan crisis,Obama called Cameron and Sarkosi, he is as usual very slow,we need him to declare no fly zone, so Gaddafi fighters will not be able to attack the people,paralysing his airforce,,I expect him to send ships to Libyan coast to give the impression that humilliating the people is not acceptable, and I think the Nato should convene to discuss and come up with plan ,to be used in emergency.
American strategy toward the mideast has to be reevaluated completely, a lot of things can happen in the middle east in the next few weeks,demonstrations in Iraq, yemen, Manamah,the whole Arab world is convulsing.
Algeria did well in stopping the Emergency rule, this must be done in all the Arab world,The people are ahead of their leaders, and the leaders must catch up quickly,no one will be spared,if you think this way ,you are sure to loose,the answer is not giving the people few dollars, the people are asking for freedom and dignity, in Syria we hear people shouting ,Syrian people will not be humilliated, Traitor who imprison his people,these are serious demands,political prisoners must be freed, emergency rule must be abolished, opposition parties must be allowed, new election must be planned and it should be done with no pressure from the goverment to rig it.
Democracy in the Arab world will lead to unity, that is what the people want.It is not Iran ,it is not the West or East,it is the Arab world.

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February 24th, 2011, 8:01 pm

 

22. Ziadsoury said:

I watched the clip few times and can’t imagine why any of these people should be bothered. People can’t express themselves in a peaceful against another tyrant. Give me a break. They are expecting a million (1,000,000) tomorrow in London to walk from the Bahraini embassy to the Libyan one and then on to Downing Street. I bet most of these people are not Arabs. Yet we don’t allow a couple of hundred people to gather.

As we all know, the pen is mightier than the sword. That is why they are arresting the bloggers.

The Assad regime is falling in the same trap as others. Instead of riding the tsunami wave of change they will be swept by it. I bet they will destroy the country just like Qaddafi is doing. What a shame? They believe they own the country (Souria Al Assad) and everyone is a slave.

I could care less who is elected president. I am agnostic to gender and religion. It could be Bashar. But the president needs be chosen by the people.

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February 24th, 2011, 8:09 pm

 

23. Akbar Palace said:

And Obama was a Community Organizer NewZ

Why not a great leader like the ex-furniture salesman from Philadelphia…

Ghat,

Did you purposely leave out the fact that Netanyahu was born in Israel and that he has multiple degrees from some pretty prestigious universities?

After his army service Netanyahu returned to the United States, studied and eventually earned a B.S. degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 1975, a M.S. degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1977, and studied political science at Harvard University and MIT.

You know, at least BB was VOTED into office;)

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February 24th, 2011, 8:31 pm

 

24. Alex said:

Sorry Nafdik, I did not notice your comment.

You can thank Joshua for the falafel. I’m currently preparing next week’s cold soup ;)

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February 24th, 2011, 10:10 pm

 

25. Syria1 said:

Syria is in Vogue these days. The March Vogue has an article about Asma Assad. Can’t find the link or I would have reposted.

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February 24th, 2011, 10:44 pm

 

26. NK said:

majedkhaldoon

The last thing Libyans need is for American or EU forces to enter Libya. Actually an American army interference in Libya will create a perfect ground for extremists to take root and will most likely result in a full fledged civil war. Iraq was quite enough don’t you think ?.

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February 24th, 2011, 11:49 pm

 

27. Majhool said:

ZiadSoury

Very well said. thank you

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February 25th, 2011, 12:25 am

 

28. LeoLeoni said:

Security officers first insulted and attacked demonstrators in Damascus protesting against Mubarak. Activist Suheir al-Attasi was one of the victims.
http://www.wifaq-syria.net/news.php?action=view&id=1236

Yesterday we hear that Syrian demonstrators against Gaddafi were also abused by the Security forces
http://www.bangawelat.com/news/file-today/2047-2011-02-23-21-52-23.html

What message is the regime trying to convey to the people?

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February 25th, 2011, 12:48 am

 

29. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“…The last thing Libyans need is for American or EU forces to enter Libya….”
People did not get it yet, they are so slow. It is all part of the plan that was pulled off the shelf in a hurry. All the Billions upon Billions that are frozen now, will remain frozen for as long as Iran’s billions still to this day, in effect, the property of Chase Bank. Colonials call this: “Fleecing the puppets”. They did the same with all the Russian Mafia Business, they let them steal and pilferage Russia for a decade, then all the sudden, a problem, Russian mafia stopped sending billions to the Bank of New York and started investing in Russia, well that is not acceptable to thieve of nations, so suddenly they discovered a case of money laundering and then confiscated all the billions on Money Laundering Charges.

American forces will occupy the Sinai to protect Sudan’s and Saudi oil supply route. When Iran is attacked and it start retaliating by shutting down Hermouz Strait, restricting the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf, crude will be transported to the other side of Arabia from Dhahran to Yenbu on the Red Sea, the pipelines are completed now. Saudi and other Arab exporting countries will not need to ship oil through the gulf. Syria, is being pampered so that it allows for Iraqi oil to be transported to the Mediterranean and possibly Haifa rather than Basra Terminals, That is why Assad said this week that he want’s economic integration with Iraq. Libya is part and parcel of the long drawn up plan for North Africa oil and Gas resource control. The plan deployed with incredible efficiency, under the motto, don’t let a bad crises goes to waste. No one has the efficiency and planning, the will to pull it through like Americans can and will. All other actors are, well.. BORATS. EURO BORATS and SHIA BORATS, but the Russians figured the plan out and are sitting grumpy and mumbling quite sputters, watching it unfolding.

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February 25th, 2011, 12:51 am

 

30. majedkhaldoon said:

NK
I do not like forgein interference ,just like you do not.
Neither Egypt nor Algeria or Tunis will be able to do anything in Libya.Bloodshed is horrible and NATO just call for a meeting,US called for all american to leave immidiately,Gaddafi is determined to fight even that there will be a big massacre,UN has to do something,and they can bring an end to this crisis,It is not a previously planned move , it is taking advantage of unexpected events.and Gaddafi caused this plan.
further more if another Arabic country revolted and the goverment crack down on the people in the same way as Gaddafi is doing, they will take note,and they will refrain from doing the same thing

In the past UN had to do something in Bosnia,and they did.

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February 25th, 2011, 9:22 am

 

31. brian said:

questions on Libya:

So question one is: Why didn’t the Libyan “uprising” start in the capital city, Tripoli, and why didn’t the “mainstream (bought) media” report the fact that this is not the first or second or third time that Benghazi has been the epicentre of ethnic tensions and separatism?

Question two is why has there been an absence of reporting on colonel Gadhafi’s social welfare schemes, which if anything have made Libyans lazy and not destitute?
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Colonel Muammar Gathafi’s social and welfare programmes in Libya are far greater than those implemented in neighbouring countries. Modern infrastructures have sprung up in recent years which aim to attract investment and bring added wealth and sustainable development to the citizens of Libya; Gathafi’s literacy programme has seen universal education become reality and since he took power in 1969, the life expectancy of Libyan citizens has risen by twenty years while infant mortality has decreased sharply.

Gathafi represents the control of Libya’s resources by Libyans and for Libyans; literacy reached ten per cent of the population when he came to power. Today it is around 90 per cent. Women, today, have rights and can go to school and get a job. The standard of living is around 100 times greater than it was under the rule of King Idris I. The conclusion, therefore, is that Gathafi’s Libya is a different ball game from Tunisia and Egypt.

Question three is where the EnoughGaddafi.com posters and signs are coming from and why the webmaster from this “organization” is listed on Movements.org as the “Twitter” to be followed and question four is what the role of the US State Department is behind Movements.org. The answer to this question is that it helped launch the movement in 2008.

Question five is what have the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) and the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO) been doing behind and scenes. The answer is a great deal and question six is where they are based. The answer is, respectively, in Washington and London. These organizations are coordinating teams of “information providers” operating deep within Libya. At another time, they would have been called saboteurs, terrorists and agents provocateurs.

Question seven is what is NATO doing concentrated off the Libyan coast and is there any veracity in the allegations that this organization is illegally enforcing no-fly zones? If yes, this is an act of terrorism. And connected to this, do NATO personnel have any hand in the acts of sabotage and terrorism taking place within the country? Are the “mercenaries” all brought in by the Gathafi government or are they brought in from outside by elements wishing to destabilise Libya and to seize its oil? Are they perpetrating acts of sabotage and murder, just to blame events on the Gathafi administration? Are some of them special forces sent by the backers of NFSL and NCLO member groups?

Question eight is why the Libyan Government news agency site, JANA, has been offline for three days: http://www.jananews.ly and who or what is behind this apparent act of cyber terrorism. This is a deliberate attempt to manipulate the news by those who attempt to try mass information and shape public opinion. Those who try to forge an independent path, like Al Jazeera, are soon assimilated as it is clear to see.

Question nine is why the mainstream media announced loud and clear that Colonel Gathafi had fled the country, while he was all the time in Tripoli, and a lot of it in the streets among crowds of cheering supporters.

Question ten is why the same media did not report on Gathafi’s direct appeal to the parents and elders to make sure their children were not caught up in a wave of vandalism, taking them off the streets and warning that the country has a penal code which includes the death penalty for acts of treason and terrorism against the State.

Question eleven is what happened to the Libyan Ambassador in Washington, apparently blocked from attending the UN building while a carefully prepared aide took his place and gave a version of events which the Ambassador later denied.
http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/24-02-2011/117000-libya_surface-0/

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February 25th, 2011, 11:48 pm

 

32. why-discuss said:

Landmark Decision by Lebanon Tribunal ( DER SPIEGEL 22 feb 2011)
Court Ruling Opens Up Terrorism to International Prosecution

The UN tribunal investigating the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has ruled that acts of terrorism can be prosecuted under international law. The decision will have far-reaching legal implications, but could also increase political turmoil in Lebanon and cause the Hariri case to collapse….

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,746835,00.html

Who is a terrorist? A resistant? a state?

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February 27th, 2011, 11:23 am

 

33. Akbar Palace said:

Those deafening Pin Drop Noises

Brian,

You have a lot of questions. I just have one.

Where is all the outrage and venom on this website against “Colonel” Gaddafi?

The thread above mentions a demonstration of 100 people against Gaddafi. Big deal. The reporting is talking about more people getting killed by Gaddafi than both the recent battles by Israel against Hamas and Hezbollah.

Where is Erdogan and Goldstone?

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March 5th, 2011, 2:13 am

 

34. Ziad said:

AP #33
You seem to say that what Israel does to the Palestinians is equally evil to what Arab lieders do to their people, but we complain much more about Israel than about the others. You are right on the first point, but dead wrong on the second. If you could read Arabic, you can surf the Arabic blogosphere and find out that is all they do. It seems less obvious on SC because comments are contextual. For the Syrian community Israel/Palestine/Jolan are very important. We also discuss Lebanon disproportionately more than any other Arab country. An interesting fact: About 50% of Israel related negative comments are initiated by you making some outrageous remarks. Thank to you we all detest Zionism a little more (if that is possible). While being on the subject Shai is a much better advocate for Israel than you are.
You wonder why Erdogan and Goldstone are silent. Normally head of states avoid comments that look like an interference in other state’s affairs. Only American politicians are convinced that they are responsible for the world and must express their opinion and give advice on every little thing that happens anywhere on earth. Obama, Clinton, McCain, Lieberman and Kerry can’t keep their mouth shut. They are now ranting against Gadhafi, because they thought they can gain points with the Arabs on the cheap. They are all silent on Yemen, Qatar and Jordan. Have you noticed how dull and stupid Clinton sounds when she pontificates? She does not know, May be you should tell her. About Goldstone: He was asked to report on Gaza. He did the honorable thing by being objective against his affiliation. Why do you expect him comment now?

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March 5th, 2011, 9:43 am

 

35. Akbar Palace said:

Ziad,

Thank you for the post, your reasoning and your civility. We have a few posters here that can’t offer an opinion so they try to score points by telling us about a rich Jew or that Jews control everything including the traffic signals near your home;)

Another thing Jews DON’T control is what is going on in the ME.

You seem to say that what Israel does to the Palestinians is equally evil to what Arab lieders do to their people, but we complain much more about Israel than about the others. You are right on the first point, but dead wrong on the second.

First of all, I DON’T even believe “what Israel does to the Palestinians is equally evil to what Arab leaders do to their people”.

To my mind, and I think to most Israelis, there are two types of Palestinians: those that live under the PA and those that live in Israel. It is true that many Arabs that live in Israel are looked upon with suspicion. As long as Israel is at war with a large part of the Arab neighborhood, I suppose this will continue. OTOH, there is good opportunity in Israel for Arab-Israelis. There is freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom to travel, work and jobs. Israel is not a bad place for arabs to live. All signs and most government documents incuding currency is in hebrew, english and arabic. Arabs have many Israeli organizations available to help them in terms of law and justice.

What the arab despots are doing to their people doesn’t compare to the relative hardships of the Israeli-Arabs. It’s much worse.

Then there are the Palestinians under Hamas and the PA. In this case, Israel is not responsible for their well-being. Hamas and the PA are. Apparently, the people in Gaza are starting to complain about their Hamas overlords. Apparently Hamas feels it can use Palestinian banks as an ATM for whatever cash they need.

Perhaps the blogosphere is full of angry arabs at their own government. What matters is the perception in the US and the West. Let’s get Arab-americans crying against the intolerant imams and the intolerant arab despots. Wafa Sultan is one of a handful of such people. Let’s get arab-americans who aren’t afraid to reach out to the jewish community.

Shai may be a better advocate than I am. There are lots of Shai’s in Israel and in the West. They reside in goverment political parties like meretz, labor, and kadima. They reside in jewish organizations like J-street, the reform movement, and the New Israel Fund.

I disagree with these organizations. I believe the PA, like the Arab rejectionist block, is not interested in a final peace treaty because that will force the peole to look inward like what is going on around the arab world now. Arab governments need an external boogeyman.

http://www.jewishpressads.com/pageroute.do/47254

Clinton is out of her element. She’s not a Condi Rice, and she’s not a John Bolton.

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March 5th, 2011, 1:20 pm

 

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