“Syria’s Assad regime is doomed, but the battle will be long and bloody,” by Joshua Landis

Syria’s Assad regime is doomed, but the battle will be long and bloody
Joshua Landis
For Bitterlemons
January 26, 2012 Edition 4

The Syrian regime headed by Bashar Assad is doomed in the long run, but is likely to last longer than most believe. In December, the leader of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood stated that President Assad would fall “in the next few months”, the US State Department proclaimed Assad to be a “dead man walking”, and Israel’s defense minister insisted that Assad would fall in a matter of weeks. This has turned out to be wishful thinking.

The Assads stand atop the last minoritarian regime in the Levant and thus seem destined to fall in this age of popular revolt. When they do, the post-colonial era will draw to a final close. Following World War II, minorities took control in every Levant state thanks to colonial divide-and-rule tactics and the fragmented national community that bedeviled the states of the region. Unique in this was Palestine, for the Jewish minority was able to transform itself into the majority at the expense of Palestine’s Muslims and Christians. Neither the Christians of Lebanon nor the Sunnis of Iraq were so lucky or ambitious. Nevertheless, both clung to power at the price of dragging their countries into lengthy civil wars. The Alawis of Syria seem determined to repeat this violent plunge to the bottom. It is hard to determine whether this is due to the rapaciousness of a corrupt elite, to the bleak prospects that the Alawi community faces in a post-Assad Syria, or to the weak faith that many in the region place in democracy and power-sharing formulas. Whatever the reason, Syria’s transition away from minority rule is likely to be lengthy and violent. Levantine history suggests this as a rule.

There are three main reasons why the Assad regime is likely to last well into 2013–if not longer–despite Syria’s rapidly deteriorating economic and security conditions.

The first is the strength of the regime compared to the opposition. The military has not turned against Syria’s president. It is a professional army, which so far has a monopoly on heavy weapons in Syria. Important government officials have not defected in significant numbers. This loyalty is due in no small part to the fact that the Assad family has prepared for this moment of popular, Sunni revolt for 40 years. It has packed sensitive posts with loyal Alawis and Baathists. Some analysts estimate that 80 percent of Syria’s officer corps is Alawi. The main strike-forces, such as the Republican Guard led by Bashar’s brother, is Alawi to the man. An ambassador in Syria’s Foreign Ministry recently claimed that 60 percent of Syria’s Foreign Service officers are Alawi and only 10 percent Sunni. The sectarian nature of the elite elements of the security forces ensures a high degree of loyalty and willingness to fight. The broader Alawi community is also likely to remain loyal to the regime, even as the economy deteriorates. Almost all Alawi families have a least one member in the security forces as well as additional members working in civilian ministries, such as education or agriculture. Most fear collective punishment for the sins of the Baathist era, whether this means trials, the loss of jobs, or even worse (one irresponsible Sunni sheikh threatened that the Alawis will be ground into mince meat when defeated).

The second reason the Assad regime is likely to survive into 2013 is the disorganization and factionalism of the opposition. Through much of 2011, the Syrian opposition hoped that by remaining leaderless, as had revolutionaries in Egypt and Tunisia, the regime could be brought down largely by peaceful means: either because Bashar Assad would surrender power, a coup would dislodge him, sanctions would cause elite defections and collapse, or growing demonstrations would achieve a Tahrir square moment. By the end of 2012, these scenarios seemed ever more unlikely, and the opposition has been forced to think seriously about developing a trusted leadership, unifying its ranks, and coming up with a realistic military option to defeat the Syrian army. These objectives still seem far off

The Syrian National Council, Syria’s leading opposition coalition, remains highly factionalized and has found it difficult to unite with other opposition parties. The mere fact that the SNC membership has felt compelled to limit its leaders to a three-month term testifies to the high level of internal dissent. Burhan Ghalioun, the capable and savvy secular leader, is distrusted by many Islamists in the SNC as well as younger activists who are leading the struggle on Syria’s streets. Only recently was he denounced by members of his own party for being a traitor and dictatorial when he prematurely announce a unification plan with the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change, a coalition of leftist parties led by Haytham Manaa.

Just as important as the opposition’s political weaknesses, however, are its military limitations. The Free Syrian Army being assembled in Turkey under the leadership of Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad is no match for the Syrian army. Although armed opponents of the regime are an important development, their size, structural limitations, lack of heavy weapons, and limited command and control mean they do not yet present a real danger or alternative to the Syrian military. In fact, many analysts insist that most fighting is being done by small units organized on the local level that do not take orders from Col. Asaad or other leaders, even if they call themselves members of the Free Syrian Army. What is more, many Syrians still do not accept the notion that the regime should be brought down by military means.

The third reason that the Assad regime is unlikely to be deposed soon is that foreign powers are not eager to intervene militarily in Syria. US President Barack Obama and European authorities would find it difficult not to support military strikes on the Syrian army if they were led by Turkey or the Arab League, but neither has shown an inclination to undertake such a risky adventure.

So long as the Syrian military leadership remains united, the opposition remains fragmented, and foreign powers remain on the sidelines, the Assad regime is likely to survive, but all three of these elements are changing, even if gradually, in the favor of the opposition. The predominant role of minorities in the governments of the region, which was universal at the end of the colonial period, is being brought to a violent conclusion.

-Published 25/1/2012 © bitterlemons-international.org
Joshua Landis is associate professor and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

See the other three essays on Bitterlemons’ site

“The regime’s prospects are better than two months ago but remain dim,” Karim Emile Bitar

The Syrian revolution is now entering a new, more ominous phase. The regime has been considerably weakened and isolated. The Arab League’s mission has ended in a fiasco. The economy is in tatters. The opposition’s protests continue unabated. But the main pillars of President Bashar Assad’s support are still holding on. ….

A militarization of the revolution would empower the most radical elements, as it did in Libya, and render future democratization much more difficult. A foreign intervention would open Pandora’s box.

Those who would like Assad to fall are now confronted with the old Machiavelli vs. Kant philosophical dilemma: does the end justify the means or do the means determine the end? A comprehensive study, published by Columbia University Press and analyzing dozens of past cases, suggests that the latter is true. It indicates that if a dictator is overthrown through peaceful struggle, there is a 51 percent chance of a successful democratic transition after five years. In case of an armed struggle, the chances are only three percent.

The Syrian opposition is understandably impatient to bring Assad down and breathe freely. It should nonetheless meditate on these figures.

“Yes and no,” by Elias Samo

Can the Syrian regime survive? That is a question only a crystal ball can definitively answer. My analysis of the two primary components of the Syrian regime–a pyramidal political leadership under President Bashar Assad and a one-party political structure under the Baath party–leads me to believe the answer is “yes and no”. Yes, Assad will survive, and no, the political structure of one-party Baath rule will not….

“A sinking ship,” by Michel Nehme

Domestically, the mutiny in the Syrian army is slowly accelerating. It is beginning to pose a tangible threat to ! the military establishment, despite tight control by Baathist officers. The economy is gradually deteriorating–an indication of a long process that ultimately will topple the regime. The issue now is not whether the regime has been able to withstand or escape the storm, but rather the sense that the regime is slowly and daily getting weaker. Yet when it will finally collapse is not something that can be predicted, due to a variety of regional and international considerations….

Comments (724)


Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 10 1115 » Show All

251. ann said:

Stop The War Protests Against Iran And Syria Intervention – 28/01/2012

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/28/stop-the-war-protests-against-iran-and-syria-intervention_n_1239053.html?ref=uk

Hundreds of anti-war protesters gathered in central London today at a demonstration against Western intervention in Iran and Syria.

The rally, organised by the Stop the War Coalition, took place outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square with a number of speakers addressing the 200-strong crowd.

Protesters waved banners bearing the words “Don’t attack Iran” and “Hands off Iran and Syria”, while the crowd joined together in chanting: “One, two, three, four, we don’t want another war. Five, six, seven, eight, stop the killing, stop the hate.”

The coalition opposes all military intervention from the West in Iran as concern that the Middle Eastern country is developing nuclear weapons grows.

The group says there is “absolutely no justification” for Western countries to become involved.

Stop the War Coalition activist John Rees said the uprising that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak a year ago proved that oppressed people in the Middle East could fight for themselves.

He said: “Here is a people who without the bombers and the bullets, the tanks and the soldiers, or the United States, or Britain, or any of the Western powers, pulled down a dictatorship on their own.

“Even after a year’s still further struggle, there is not one single Egyptian revolutionary who will ask for support from the United States or military assistance from the United States, and it is because of this: they are still being shot down in the streets by Egyptian soldiers who are using American weapons and American bullets, so why would they ask for help from their killers?”

Rees said that history showed that foreign intervention led to the future of these countries not being controlled by their own people.

He told protesters: “After they are finished, the resources of these countries will not be in the hands of the country’s people, they will not be democratically controlled by the people of these countries, they will be controlled by the masters of the people who will be working in this building (the US embassy).”

He added: “Ordinary people have the capacity to deal with the dictatorships.

“They have the capacity to go on fighting week after week, month after month, to get democracy, to control their societies, to abolish poverty, and they will not stop fighting until they get it.

“Our business, the business of people who live in this country, is to make sure that they have the space and the freedom to do it.

“Our business is the business of keeping our Government off the back of people in the Middle East and giving them their chance to achieve freedom and democracy for themselves.”

Iranian activist Shirin Shafaie said the West had shown “double standards” in previous conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She said: “Double standards are the worst enemy of justice and injustice is the worst enemy of peace.

“We must make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.

“We are here to make sure there is not another war anywhere in the world, which is led by America or European countries.”

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

January 28th, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

252. irritated said:

#249

Saddam is a dictator responsible of the murder of hundred of thousands of Kurds and Shias, responsible of millions of death in the murderous 8 years war with Iran ( with the help of the USA and the GCC), and another hundred thousands in the Kuwait invasion.
His elimination was necessary. He was a threat to the other Arab countries after they pampered him for years.
No one regret his elimination, even if the way it was done is as debatable as the killing of Qaddafi.

In comparison with Saddam, Georges Bush and other, Bashar is only a misguided leader.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 17

January 28th, 2012, 1:27 pm

 

253. Alan said:

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/01/28/syria-looking-for-ways-to-make-agrression-legal.html
Syria: looking for ways to make agrression legal
Alexander MEZYAEV, 28.01.2012

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

January 28th, 2012, 1:30 pm

 

254. majedkhaldoun said:

Mjabali
whar do you mean syria will be divided? can you please elaborate more

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

January 28th, 2012, 1:34 pm

 

255. zoo said:

“cleansing the outlaws’ going on in the “FSA” stronholds.

The demoted Rami Abdul Rahman is still feeding news to the media? Death toll: 23 military or security and 11 civilians(?)

http://news.yahoo.com/least-15-killed-clashes-ambush-syria-155622932.html

At least 34 people died in violence across Syria on Saturday, as activists reported fierce clashes between soldiers and deserters and authorities warned the country would be “cleansed” of outlaws.

Twenty-three of those reported killed were military or security personnel.

Soldiers clashed with deserters in the restive central town of Rastan in Homs province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reported similar confrontations in Al-Ghuta, near the capital.

Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Britain-based watchdog, told AFP three deserters were killed in Rastan’s fighting, while at least five soldiers were killed in clashes in nearby Al-Hula.

{..}

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

January 28th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

256. mjabali said:

حج Revlon:

They are called Farmers and Not Peasants. A peasant works in the land of others, and these guys, thanks to you know who, own their own land and FARM it. They were peasants before in the eyes and practice of the landowners, you know who….I thought an Islamist like you would be sensitive to social justice issues…But, as I always thought, religious thinkers are always not really honest on social justice matters..

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 9

January 28th, 2012, 1:37 pm

 

257. Syrialover said:

Juergan #224.

That is a worthwhile article with fresh perspectives on the Arab League. I am glad I am able to read it thanks to you.

Can you contact the writer and see if there is a way it can be expertly translated from German into Arabic? I want to send it to Syrians who cannot follow it in English.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

January 28th, 2012, 2:20 pm

 

258. Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: MJABALI

RE: “…A peasant works in the land of others…”

WRONG, Petunia. Here are the definitions of “peasant.” As you can see, land ownership is not the point. The point is in the SIZE of property a peasant works or owns.

1. A member of the class constituted by small farmers and tenants, sharecroppers, and laborers on the land where they form the main labor force in agriculture.

2. A country person; a rustic.

3. An uncouth, crude, or ill-bred person; a boor.

Oh, and by the way, you could be a peasant, considering the uncouth and boorish manner in which you insulted my man, Revlon. You need somebody to bitch-slap you…

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

January 28th, 2012, 2:26 pm

 
 

260. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Can we define Assad as a peasant?

3. An uncouth, crude, or ill-bred person; a boor.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

January 28th, 2012, 2:44 pm

 

261. Revlon said:

252. Dear irritated
((His (Saddam) elimination was necessary. He was a threat to the other Arab countries after they pampered him for years.
No one regret his elimination, even if the way it was done is as debatable as the killing of Qaddafi.))

It is fair then that you should withdraw your condescending statement about Chalabi!
Moreover, you should give him the credit for playing a pivotal facilitating role in the invasion of Iraq.

((Saddam is a dictator responsible of the murder of hundred of thousands of Kurds and Shias, responsible of millions of death in the murderous 8 years war with Iran ( with the help of the USA and the GCC), and another hundred thousands in the Kuwait invasion.)).

In order to forcefully remove the savage tyrant, you find the war waged by George Bush and the western coalition to had been justified, although It:
- Was against a sovereign Arab country
- Lead to the destruction of the strongest Arab armies
- Lead to the death or wounding of tens of thousands of army members and bereavement of their families
- Lead to the death of thousands of civilians as collateral damage.
- Involved torture and humiliation of thousands of proud Iraqi people, in Abu Ghraib prison, and others.
- Lead to the vast destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure
- The looting of its museum treasures
- Was vehemently opposed to by B. Assad whom you could not compare with Saddam Hussein.

((In comparison with Saddam, Georges Bush and others, Bashar is only a misguided leader.))

Here you go again!
You are contradicting yourself.
You approve the liberation of Iraq but you disapprove of George Bush who did the job?!

Here is a reminder of Bashar’s legacy:
- He regards Hama massacre that lead to the death of tens of thousands, the imprisonment and torture of tens of thousands, and the displacements of tens of thousands of civilians as a bright example of fight against terrorism. He had 11 years on his hand to initiate a related national reconciliation; Alas he did not!.
- He has commanded the killing of over 7000 unarmed civilians, including women and children, the imprisonment and torture of tens of thousands of civilians, and the displacement of tens of thousands of civilians.

Yet you claim that he is “ONLY MISGUIDED”, implying that he is otherwise a good man!

Where is you proof, Irritated?
How do you know that Saddam Hussein was not misguided?
How do you know that Qiddafi was not misguided?
How do you know that George Bush was not misguided, and that he won the war by some misguided divine order?

So you know well how, and do approve using force to remove a tyrant president!

Could you please then provide me with your recipe for removing a misguided, henceforth an inept president who has been in office for 11 years and claim to be loved by all Syrians except a few trouble makers, including me!

In a court of law there is no such thing as “misguided” defence.
There is only insanity!

I get the sense that you could be close to B Assad!
Are you?

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

January 28th, 2012, 2:50 pm

 

262. irritated said:

Sandro Loewe #259

Already posted.
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=13243&cp=5#comment-293080

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

January 28th, 2012, 2:51 pm

 

263. Juergen said:

Syrialover

Great you liked it. I find ZEIT always revoking, they have assembled quite the elite of journalists, kind of like the Atlantic or NEW Yorker in the US.

I have contacted some of my friends, one is a doctor in arabic, so may be they have some time to translate, i will keep you updated.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

January 28th, 2012, 3:00 pm

 

264. Revlon said:

258. Dear Dale Andersen,
Thanks for the related info!

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

January 28th, 2012, 3:01 pm

 

265. irritated said:

Revlon #261

The history is full of example of countries getting rid of their dictator without external help. The closest to us is the Shah of Iran, the darling of the USA and western countries. The Iranians got rid of him alone despite the enormous help from the USA and most countries in the world. It is a country that can be proud of itself while Libya lost all their dignity and the Iraqis are now resentful to the USA for having ‘liberated’ them by killing hundred of thousand of people, displacing millions and destroying their country. Their hatred toward the USA will linger for a long time.

In my view, countries must free themselves by themselves otherwise they loose their dignity and self confidence that they often never recover.
It may take decades but it is their responsibility and only theirs.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

January 28th, 2012, 3:11 pm

 

266. jad said:

Bronoc,
You were right again, SNC statement about KSA to recognize them is FALSE:

سعود الفيصل: لا يمكننا الحديث عن الاعتراف بـ “المجلس الوطني السوري”

قال وزير الخارجية السعودي الأمير سعود الفيصل اليوم السبت أنه لا يمكننا الاعتراف بـ “المجلس الوطني السوري” المعارض في هذه الفترة، في حين دعا وزير الخارجية التركي أحمد داود أوغلو لـ “وقف الدم الهادر بسورية”.

وقال وزير الخارجية السعودي الأمير سعود الفيصل في مؤتمر صحفي مع نظيره التركي في اسطنبول, “نحن التقينا فعلاً في القاهرة مع “المجلس الوطني السوري” بعد اجتماعهم بأمين عام جامعة الدول العربي نبيل العربي”، مضيفاً “لكن مسألة الاعتراف تكون بين دول، وهذا لا يعني تجاهل المجلس ووجوده، إلا أن الاعتراف كلمة قانونية ولا يمكن أن أتكلّم عن اعتراف او عدم اعتراف في هذه الفترة”.
والتقى وزير الخارجية السعودي الأمير سعود الفيصل، يوم الأحد الماضي، بمقر إقامته بالقاهرة، وفدا من “المجلس الوطني السوري” المعارض برئاسة برهان غليون، وذلك لبحث آخر تطورات الأوضاع في سوريا في ضوء تقرير رئيس بعثة المراقبين العرب الفريق محمد أحمد الدابى.
من ناحيته, قال وزير الخارجية التركي أحمد داود أوغلو أن “بإمكانه التحدث عن تطابق في وجهة النظر بين تركيا ودول الخليج حول الأوضاع في تونس ومصر وليبيا واليمن وسورية”.

وأشار داود أوغلو أنه “في هذا الإطار نتابع كل التطورات وخاصة في سورية، ونحن في تركيا وفي مجلس التعاون الخليجي ندعم ما تقوم به جامعة الدول العربية”.

وأقر وزراء الخارجية العرب, خلال اجتماعهم بالقاهرة يوم الأحد الماضي, مبادرة عربية دعت إلى تشكيل حكومة وحدة وطنية سورية خلال شهرين، وتفويض الرئيس بشار الأسد نائبه الأول بصلاحيات كاملة, الأمر الذي رفضته الحكومة السورية بشدة, مشيرة إلى أن هذه القرارات تمس سيادة سورية وتعتبر تدخلا بشؤونها الداخلية.

ولفت داود أغلو إلى أنه “يجب وقف الدم الهادر في سورية، ونأمل أن نقوم ببعض الأعمال معاً في سورية، ونريد من القيادة السورية التجاوب مع المبادرات، والدخول في مسيرة إصلاحية بما يتناسب مع تطلعات الشعب السوري وتقدير الموقف بشكل جدي”.
http://syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=143279

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

January 28th, 2012, 3:21 pm

 

267. jad said:

It seems that Hammoudeh and Alarabi can’t take no as an answer to his crappy work, the AL is stopping immediately the observers mission, it’s obviously a retaliation to Russia decision and to escalate the situation even more than it is, The Syrian Government is sorry and surprised!:

الجامعة العربية تؤكد وقف عمل بعثة المراقبين العرب في سورية

أكدت جامعة الدول العربية قرار وقف عمل بعثة المراقبين العرب في سورية بشكل فوري، و إلى حين عرض الموضوع على مجلس الجامعة بسبب تصاعد العنف في البلاد.
أفاد بيان صادر عن جامعة الدول العربية نقلته وكالة (رويترز) اليوم السبت أنه “تقرر وقف عمل بعثة المراقبين العرب في سورية بسبب تصاعد العنف في البلاد”.
وكان رئيس بعثة مراقبي جامعة الدول العربية محمد الدابي قال الجمعة إن أعمال العنف في سورية تصاعدت بشكل خطير خلال الأيام الثلاثة الماضية, مطالبا بوقف العنف بشكل فوري حفاظا على أرواح أبناء الشعب السوري وإفساح المجال أمام الحلول السلمية.
و قال البيان أنه “أجرى الأمين العام لجامعة الدول العربية مشاورات مع عدد من وزراء خارجية الدول العربية وقرر على ضوئها وقف عمل بعثة الجامعة العربية في سورية، بشكل فوري والى حين عرض الموضوع على مجلس الجامعة”.

نقل التلفزيون السوري “أسف واستغراب سوريا قرار الأمين العام للجامعة العربية نبيل العربي وقف عمل بعثة المراقبين بعد أن وافقت على تمديد عملها شهرا آخر استجابة لطلب الأمانة العامة في ضوء تقرير رئيس البعثة محمد الدابي”.
واعتبر أن “قرار العربي جاء تمهيدا لإجتماع مجلس الأمن الثلثاء المقبل للتأثير السلبي وممارسة الضغوط في المداولات بهدف استدعاء التدخل الخارجي وتشجيع المجموعات المسلحة لزيادة العنف”، مشيراً إلى أنه “يتماهى مع قرار دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي بسحب مراقبيها كرد فعل على تقرير بعقة المراقبين وليس بسبب ادعائه استمرار العنف وتبادل القصف وإطلاق النار”.
وشدد البيان التي نشرته أيضاً وكالة أنباء “سانا” السورية، على أن “سوريا لا تزال ملتزمة بانجاح مهمة بعثة المراقبين العرب وبتأمين الحماية لهم وفق البروتوكول الموقع وخطة العمل العربية التي تنص على تعهد الحكومة الوسرية بوقف العنف من أي مصدر كان”.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

January 28th, 2012, 3:27 pm

 

268. Aldendeshe said:

256. mjabalisaid:

They are called Farmers and Not Peasants. A peasant works in the land of others, and these guys, thanks to you know who, own their own land and FARM it. They were peasants before in the eyes and practice of the landowners, you know who….I thought an Islamist like you would be sensitive to social justice issues…But, as I always thought, religious thinkers are always not really honest on social justice matters..

________________________________

They are not just peasants they are peasants and criminals who robed others of land. They did not acquire State owned land, which the Syrian State have plenty, they deliberately confiscated, and by force, took control of others properties that was owned by the FARMERS-LANDOWNERS for generations. These farmers-Landowners spend untold wealth on developing the land and making it suitable for cultivation. The bastards CIRIMINAL PEASANTS got it Scott-free without them, or the State that aided them, paying any compensation whatsoever. In fact not only confiscated land that was stolen by the Peasants, but the entire lot, even the ones, still to this day, in the legitimate owner name and title holder. RETURN OF CONFISCATED LAND AND APPROPRIATE COMPENSATION TO THIS DAY IS A MUST. WAIT AND SEE WHAT IS COMING. Peasant that is all they are just like the Bolshevik peasants of Russia.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

January 28th, 2012, 3:41 pm

 

269. Hans said:

I have not been writing here for a while, i will get back to this blog, but i think the following is interesting observation for anyone who claims that USA in support of Democracy in Syria or the ME, it is just a good propaganda for public consumption in the USA and outside.
the Arab spring is helping no one but Israel and the Radicals are going to be hunted sooner or later by the American drones all over the world.

New Obama law: right to murder Jean Aziz writes a lot these days about the impossibility of Gulf oil systems constitute a model of democracy, so that a malicious says: it is true that the President here came to power on a «sale paper after the death of his father’s constitutional». But also true that whoever wants to teach democracy is not an authority upend man arrived at his father before his death, then finish his father’s life in politics and life, perhaps.
These days also writes about the impossibility to be Turkey Professor of public freedoms and human rights, as they perceived us sufficient in itself, a movie «rapid» midnight train, with nearby country «» Syriana, big difference between the two mghazii, and amateur art VII …
But among the writings rarely pay attention to the development of Washington itself, is offering itself as a «reference» freedom and democracy for the world today.
Barack Obama, for example, earlier Saturday night at December 31 last year, a sign «black» white «national defence leave act» new crossing surpasses George Bush Jr. ten years ago, with «famous» USA Patriot Act. Thus became Master of the White House, unlike the US Constitution, contrary to all international covenants and Shara guarantors of human rights, contrary to all the terms of international humanitarian law and General … The absolute power to do the following: first, by the commissions to take the decision to kill any American citizen linked to terrorism or planned. Of course not new law separates the modalities and requirements must be met for President such a decision. Don’t even give him broad discretionary power, makes it the closest thing to the Sultan of life or death. Word construction? Of course not, researchers say the Americans themselves, act according to the effective exercise of the lkonnh, the most recent murder of US citizen-«baseband» Anwar aloulki in October last year.
Secondly, to extend the detention of a US citizen suspected of involvement in a terrorist act, “indefinitely”, without any time limits to arrest him. Note that such arrests have us military courts, jails, prisons in US courts.
Thirdly, to decide whether any detainee to be tried before the courts the charge normal federal or spend an exceptional, such as military courts with special laws and special procedures of the rules of evidence and the rights of the defence.
Fourthly, order checks, inspections and raids and listen to any citizen … Without obtaining any authorize legal or judicial warrants. With what it contains to give the President the power to bind any institution or corporation or association, any information owned by any citizen, whether on private or public life, including his movements and contacts of all financial files, and others.
Fifthly, invoking national security allows for failure to disclose any evidence or evidence against an accused in the trial, whether federal or military courts, so that any citizen may be prosecuted and convicted based on secret evidence.
Sixthly, that is all that is necessary to prevent that any member of the US Administration to any international accountability on war crimes. Which adds new us violation of the Nuremberg principles of international law. Note that Washington refuses to cooperate with the International Criminal Court, each State is bound by bilateral agreement, under which the extradition of any American citizen to that Court, punishable and hostility to America.
Seventh, the right to asylum to foreign secret intelligence courts. The topic raised several scandals about Bush-era, and now continues with mkonna Obama.
Eighth, the real or legal persons who give information about any citizen in violation of the freedoms and rights, full legal immunity for victims that information leaked to resort to the prosecution of violating the confidentiality of his private or public.
IX, may order the monitoring of the movement of any citizen to permanently via «» CBS JI is linked to the satellite without recourse to any judicial authorization.
Tenth, allowing the transfer or extradite a person, a US citizen or a non-citizen, to any other State, unlike any specific assets in accordance with international law.
10 «rights» semi divine, granting Obama himself on the final day of last year, the gift of the year, Hidayat for democratic General Sam all over the world. Thus became the holder of the Nobel Peace Prize two years ago, himself holder Saif murder without judgment and spend or authorize. Paradox will then long bones of Alfred Nobel, more of a paradox that is borne of invented dynamite

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

January 28th, 2012, 3:50 pm

 

270. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

SNP is considering offering Qualitative military support to FSA and any other military unit(s) opposed to the Baathist mafia regime and Shia control of Syria and Lebanon. And should we receive a formal invitation or request by March 15, 2012, will consider a cooperation arrangement with SNC. The terms of which will be debated during April-May business meetings.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

January 28th, 2012, 3:52 pm

 

271. irritated said:

#267 Jad

It seems HBJ’s political amateurism is no match for the Russians.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

January 28th, 2012, 4:06 pm

 

272. ann said:

Syria expresses regret over Arab decision to halt observer mission – 2012-01-29

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/29/c_131380119.htm

DAMASCUS, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — Syria expressed Saturday “regret and astonishment” over the Arab League (AL) decision to suspend its observer mission in Syria, according to state-run SANA news agency.

“It was clear that the observers’ report that affirmed the existence of armed groups in Syria… wasn’t satisfactory for some Arab countries,” SANA quoted an unnamed official source as saying.

The source pointed out that the decision is aimed at imposing more pressure on the United Nations Security Council’s meeting, which is due to convene on Tuesday, encouraging the armed groups to carry out with terrorism and calling for foreign intervention in Syria.

The source reaffirmed Syria’s commitment to making the observer mission a success according to the signed protocol between the AL and Syria and to provide protection to the observers.

The AL decided Saturday to suspend its observer mission in Syria, citing the deteriorating situation in the unrest-torn country and the continuous use of violence.

Head of AL’s monitoring operation room in Cairo, Adnan al- Khodair, told Xinhua that “The AL decided to temporarily suspend its observer mission in Syria to protect observers from increasing violence.”

In a statement issued later, AL chief Nabil al-Arabi asked observers to immediately halt their operation in Syria until the AL ministerial council makes their decision.

Moustafa al-Dabi, head of the AL observer mission in Syria, said in a statement Friday that the wave of violence in Syria had dramatically escalated in recent days, especially in Homs, Idlib and Hama.

The status quo could not create appropriate conditions for achieving the AL ministerial council’s decisions about pushing all parties to sit for negotiations, he added.

Damascus on Sunday rejected a new Arab initiative which urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to delegate power to his first vice president.

Syrian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Damascus accepted the AL’s request of extending the observer mission in Syria for another month.

The AL observers are currently monitoring the situation in Syria as part of an AL peace initiative to end the months-long turmoil there.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

January 28th, 2012, 4:27 pm

 

273. Ghat Al Bird said:

The events in Syria as seen by others…..interesting …

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syrian-observatory-inside-story

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

January 28th, 2012, 4:36 pm

 

274. Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: HANS

RE: “…I have not been writing here for a while…”

And here you return, like the proverbial bad penny. Has anyone ever told you what a drag it is to see you?

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

January 28th, 2012, 4:37 pm

 

275. ann said:

Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues despite Arab Spring – January 29, 2012

http://www.abc.net.au/correspondents/content/2012/s3417631.htm

Mitt Romney said, “It’s the Palestinians who don’t want a two-state solution; they want to eliminate the State of Israel”. He said the best way to Middle East peace was not to vacillate and appease. “We will not have an inch of difference between ourselves and our ally Israel,” he said

Not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich was happy to repeat his view that the Palestinians were an invented people, invented in the 1970′s. “Before that,” he said, “they were Arabs”.

He said that on the first day he was president he would move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to send a signal that the US was with Israel.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

January 28th, 2012, 4:40 pm

 

276. jna said:

Report of the Head of the League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria for the period from 24 December 2011 to 18 January 2012

http://www.innercitypress.com/LASomSyria.pdf

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria2las012812.html

Just posting the link, haven’t read it yet.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

January 28th, 2012, 4:41 pm

 

277. tarek said:

260. SANDRO LOEWEsaid:

Can we define Assad as a peasant?

3. An uncouth, crude, or ill-bred person; a boor.

Sandro,

He put his foot on your neck for 40 years, do you think he cares what you think,

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

January 28th, 2012, 4:47 pm

 

278. jad said:

إشكالية الملف السوري في مجلس الأمن الدولي
الجمل: سعى خصوم دمشق مراراً وتكراراً خلال العشرة أشهر الماضية لجهة تدويل ملف الحدث الاحتجاجي السياسي السوري عن طريق مجلس الأمن الدولي، والآن، وبرغم إخفاق المحاولات الماضية سعى هؤلاء الخصوم مجدداً إلى مجلس الأمن، وهذه المرة عبر نافذة جامعة الدول العربية، فما هي حسابات التحركات الجديدة، وما هو البديل الذي يحاول خبراء مراكز الدراسات السياسية والاستراتيجية الأمريكية الدفع باتجاهه إذا أخفقت هذه المحاولة؟

* مجلس الأمن الدولي: إشكالية الملف السوري
بدأت بعثة المراقبين العرب فعاليات عملها في سوريا، وأكملت شهراً كاملاً في عمليات الرصد والمراقبة، وتم تمديد فترة عملها لشهر إضافي، وذلك على أساس أن تكمل مهامها وترفع تقريرها النهائي لأمانة جامعة الدول العربية. وما كان مثيراً للاهتمام تمثل في قيام جامعة الدول العربية، وعلى عجل، وقبل أن تكمل بعثة المراقبين عملها وترفع تقريرها، بإصدار قرار إعلان مبادرة عربية جديدة، ثم رفعها فوراً إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي، وذلك قبل أن تكتمل المشاورات والتفاهمات بين الأطراف المعنية بالشأن السوري حول مدى جدوى هذه المبادرة ؟!
تقول المعلومات والتقارير بأن موسكو قد حددت بشكل قاطع موقفها لجهة وصف بنود المبادرة الجديدة، وذلك ضمن توصيفات تقول:
• إن المبادرة لا تنسجم مع المبادرة الروسية.
• إن المبادرة لا تصلح بشكلها الحالي لجهة حل أزمة الملف الاحتجاجي السوري.
• إن المبادرة تخاطب طرفاً واحداً هو سلطات دمشق، وليس المعارضة.
• إن المبادرة بشكلها الحالي يمكن أن يتم أخذها في الاعتبار لجهة المزيد من المناقشات والحوارات بما يتيح تعديلها وإعادة ضبط بنودها.
أضافت المعلومات والتقارير قائلة: بأن وضعية الإصطفاف والاستقطابات داخل مجلس الأمن الدولي سوف تظل كما هي: روسيا والصين تقفان ضد المبادرة العربية، وأمريكا وفرنسا وبريطانيا تقفان إلى جانب المبادرة، وبالنسبة لبقية الدول الأخرى غير الدائمة العضوية، فمواقفها: ألمانيا إلى جانب المبادرة، وبقية الدول الثمانية الأخرى لم تحدد موقفها بعد، وعلى الأغلب أن يتضح ذلك خلال المناقشات والتفاهمات الجارية حالياً، والتي بدأت منذ مساء أمس الأول الخميس 26 كانون الثاني (يناير) 2012.

* مخطط استهداف دمشق: ماذا بقي من بنك الأهداف؟
عندما اندلعت شرارة الحدث الاحتجاجي السياسي السوري ازدادت حيوية خصوم دمشق، وبدا واضحاً أن جعبتهم كانت مليئة بالسهام، وذلك على أساس اعتبارات أن مفاعيل دومينو الاحتجاجات السياسية العربية سوف تتيح وعلى وجه السرعة إنفاذ سيناريو انهيار دمشق، وفي هذا الخصوص يمكن استعراض الآتي:
• خيار فرض منطقة حظر الطيران: تم تحديد أربع مناطق مبدئياً لجهة فرض حظر الطيران ولكن هذا الخيار لم ينجح بسبب عدم قدرة المعارضة على السيطرة على أي واحدة من المناطق التي تم تحديدها.
• خيار المنطقة العازلة: تم تحديد منطقة شمال سوريا المتاخمة للحدود مع تركيا لجهة إقامة منطقة عازلة، ولكن هذا الخيار لم ينجح بسبب عدم قدرة المعارضة لجهة السيطرة عليها، إضافة إلى عدم وجود العدد الكافي من اللاجئين والنازحين الذي يوفر المبررات اللازمة إضافة إلى تردد تركيا.
• خيار الملاذات الآمنة: تم تحديد ثلاثة مناطق لجهة إقامة ملاذات آمنة للسكان المدنيين فيها، ولكن هذا الخيار لم ينجح أيضاً بسبب عدم قدرة المعارضة، إضافة إلى تردد دول الجوار الإقليمي، وعدم كفاية الأعداد المطلوبة من النازحين.
• خيارات الممرات الآمنة: تم تحديد أربعة مناطق لجهة إقامة ممرات آمنة لتوصيل المساعدات، ولكن هذا الخيار لم ينجح أيضاً لأنه يتطلب المزيد من التكاليف إضافة إلى إرسال القوات.
هذا، وإضافة لذلك، فقد ظلت أطراف مثلث واشنطن ـ باريس ـ لندن، إضافة إلى محور الرياض ـ الدوحة، إضافة إلى أنقرا، أكثر اهتماماً باستخدام:
ـ آلية العقوبات الاقتصادية لجهة رفع وتائر المعاناة والضغوط الاقتصادية.
ـ آلية العقوبات الدبلوماسة، لجهة القيام بإنفاذ مخطط عزل دمشق عن منظومة المعاملات والتفاعلات الدولية والإقليمية.
وبرغم زخم الضغوط الإعلامية والسياسية، فإن حجم الفعاليات الاحتجاجية السياسية السورية ظل محدوداً، مع ملاحظة وجود تصعيد رأسي لجهة التحول باتجاه التركيز على العمل المسلح كبديل للعمل السياسي، ومع ذلك، فإن التصعيد الأفقي الذي يؤدي إلى تزايد نطاق جغرافية الاحتجاجات لم يحقق النجاح المطلوب.
تشير المعطيات الجارية إلى أن بنك أهداف خصوم دمشق قد بدا بحلول مطلع هذا الشهر وهو في حالة استنفاد لمخزوناته، وفي هذا الخصوص نشير إلى الآتي:
• السيناريو المصري: لم يعد ممكناً بسبب عدم وجود الإجماع الداخلي المصري لدمشق، إضافة إلى حصول دمشق على المزيد من الدعم والسند الشعبي.
• السيناريو الليبي: لم يعد ممكناًَ، وذلك بسبب عدم قدرة المعارضة على احتلال أي منطقة والسيطرة عليها بحيث تصلح كقاعدة للانطلاق، على غرار ما حدث في منطقة بنغازي الليبية.
• السيناريو اليمني: لم يعد ممكناً، وبرغم أن محور الرياض ـ الدوحة قد سعى لتقديم مبادرة تسعى لإنفاذ سيناريو تغيير النظام بالوسائل السياسية على غرار ما حدث في اليمن، فإن العقبة الرئيسية تمثلت في أن المعارضة اليمنية ظلت موجودة وتمارس فعالياتها في الداخل بعكس المعارضة السورية التي ظلت منقسمة وتمارس فعالياتها من الخارج.
تقول المعلومات بأن مجلس الأمن الدولي سوف ينهمك خلال الأيام القادمة لجهة التفاهم حول ثلاثة معطيات، هي: ورقة مشروع القرار الفرنسي ـ البريطاني ـ ورقة المبادرة العربية ـ إضافة إلى ورقة المبادرة الروسية، وعلى الأغلب أن يصل المجلس إلى نقطة الانطلاق، أو أن يتم إقرار مشروع قرار ينسجم مع بنود ورقة المبادرة الروسية، وبكلمات أخرى فإن إقرار ورقة المبادرة العربية وورقة مشروع القرار الفرنسي ـ البريطاني هو غير ممكن وذلك بسبب معارضة روسيا والصين، وفي نفس الوقت نفسه فإن إقرار ورقة المبادرة الروسية هو أيضاً أمر غير ممكن، وذلك لأنها تؤكد حرفياً على ماسبق وظلت المعارضة السورية ترفضه، وظلت أيضاً أطراف خط الدوحة ـ الرياض ـ واشنطن ـ لندن ـ باريس أكثر رفضاً له.
وتأسيساً على ذلك، تقول المعلومات والتسريبات بأن مراكز الدراسات السياسية والاستراتيجية الأمريكية، تبذل قصارى جهدها لجهة إعداد مخطط لعملية تدخل دولية، تستند على مبررات المسؤولية عن حماية السكان المدنيين، وإذا كان وضع المخططات على الورق سهلاً، فإن من الصعوبة بمكان إنفاذها ميدانياً على الأرض، وذلك بسبب عدم القدرة على بناء إجماع دولي يضم الدول الخمسة دائمة العضوية في مجلس الأمن الدولي (أمريكا ـ فرنسا ـ بريطانيا ـ روسيا ـ الصين)، إضافة إلى عدم قابلية المسرح السوري لجهة الترحيب بأي عملية تدخل خارجي دولي..

الجمل ـ قسم الدراسات والترجمة
http://www.aljaml.com/node/80577

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

January 28th, 2012, 5:00 pm

 

279. Tara said:

Sandro,

By calling Besho the criminal a peasant, we are insulting real peasants. Knowing Besho’s family, I think a better term would be a slave. Reign of slaves it is. Some historians and philosophers did study slaves in power.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

January 28th, 2012, 5:01 pm

 

280. zoo said:

“We don’t accept an Islamic government or a Muslim Brotherhood-led government. We will refuse that very firmly.”
Syrian Kurd Leader: Revolution Won’t Succeed Without Minorities
By Michael Weiss
Jan 20 2012, 7:15 AM ET 4
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/01/syrian-kurd-leader-revolution-wont-succeed-without-minorities/251660/?single_page=true
..
If the revolution in Syria is to have any chance at success, the Syrian Kurds will mostly likely play a major role.

Dr. Abdulhakim Bashar is the Secretary-General of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Syria — the sister party to Massoud Barzani’s Iraqi counterpart — as well as the Chairman of the Kurdish National Council (KNC), a newly formed umbrella organisation representing ten Syrian-Kurdish parties.

What’s your relationship like with the Syrian National Council [the aspiring government-in-exile]?

All Syrian Kurdish groups decided in Irbil in October to freeze any participation of Kurdish groups in the SNC. This applies to all Kurdish parties, from the Damascus Declaration on, and will continue until and unless the SNC listen to our demands. My party, the Kurdish Democratic Party, had an SNC member: we actually froze his membership before the conference in Syria that formed the KNC.

Of course, we cannot stop individual Kurds from participating in the SNC, although I suspect that as time goes on and nothing changes, they too will freeze their membership or quit altogether.

If the SNC fully recognizes the Kurdish Bill of Rights, we will join the SNC fully. Because we are very concerned that the SNC is so much influenced by Turkey now, they may postpone guaranteeing our rights until after the regime falls. Therefore we ask for a recognition of these rights in order to become a draft for a new constitution.

So you want a written guarantee from the SNC?

We want a guarantee written and published internationally. The important thing to realize is that if we get our full rights, Turkey will be obliged to grant full rights to Turkey’s Kurdish population. If the Kurds were to get recognition in the Syrian constitution, Turkey will give similar if not more rights to the Kurds in Turkey. Syria is the key player.

The SNC has not been recognized by world governments, apart from Libya’s, as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. If it were, would you be more willing to join?

If the international community recognized the SNC at this stage, that would be a very quick decision. It still represents only one side of the Syrian opposition, it doesn’t include Kurds as Kurds. We are united and we have agreements. If we were to join the SNC fully, we’d do so from a unified political standpoint on this issue.

Is the KNC all in for regime change or are you entertaining a possible reconciliation with the Assad regime?

We are part of this revolution, we are not neutral. One of the main points in the KNC statement is that we don’t want the present dictatorship and we refuse to accept any future dictatorships. We don’t accept an Islamic government or a Muslim Brotherhood-led government. We will refuse that very firmly.

We have also decided not to have any dialog with the regime separately from the Syrian opposition. For example, if the international community decided all the opposition groups had to have a dialog with the regime, we’d support that, in case the current regime asks for negotiations for a transition of power, just like in Yemen. But that’s unlikely.

Yes. It’s not just about Kurds, however. Arabs, Druze, Ismailis, Alawites, Christians have been ignored by the SNC, which is responsible for these minorities failure to participate as united communities in the revolution. Also, if the SNC says that Local Coordination Committees are very active in the SNC, I’d like to add that the Committees have very little participation of Alawites and Druze; only the elites of these communities are involved in them.

In my opinion, Syrian Alawites would not accept working in a central government with Sunnis because the regime has succeeded in sowing fear amongst [Alawites].
This is why we ask for political de-centralization in Syria. The regime has succeeded in convincing minorities that any change would mean a new Islamic system coming to power and the rights of these minorities would be lost completely. In order for the SNC to convince minorities to take part in the revolution and hasten the fall of the regime, it must send a clear message to these minorities to participate. Transitioning to democracy in such a country is very difficult; it can’t happen in one day. You have to give guarantees and assurances to each minority as these fit their rights and benefits.
..
Are there enough liberal representatives in the SNC to alter its approach to the minorities question?

The liberals are not enough to influence the SNC. That’s also our responsibility as Kurds. It’s the international community’s responsibility to pressure the SNC, and the Muslim Brotherhood, to guarantee the rights of minorities. And also — most important — for the international community to pressure Turkey not to take one side of the opposition over all others.

The Kurds are Syria’s largest minority, larger even than the Alawites. Would it be fair to say that there is no Syrian revolution without their full and wholehearted participation?

We are more organized and recognized as a society within Syria and other Arab countries than other minorities. If we do participate more actively, other minorities will feel more assured and follow suit. The regime has tried to convince the world that the conflict is between them and the Arab Sunnis. We want to prove that wrong. The revolution is not sectarian but it is being threatened by sectarian interests.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

January 28th, 2012, 5:08 pm

 

281. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

277. tareksaid:

260. SANDRO LOEWEsaid:

Can we define Assad as a peasant?

3. An uncouth, crude, or ill-bred person; a boor.

Sandro,

He put his foot on your neck for 40 years, do you think he cares what you think,

————————————————-

No he does not, and his Alawites are proud of this fact, but when the FSA leader and other Syrian Revolution militant puts their feet on his face and those of his Alawites comrades and Shia supporters, Syrians will remember what he and the Shia thought of Syrians under his feet for 40 years. At that time he too will remember a buddy of his how he felt in his last hours, Kaddafi.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

January 28th, 2012, 5:10 pm

 

282. Aldendeshe said:

@TARA
They are in fact, and many who helped them are MAMLUK, an Arabic term means SLAVE. Whenever someone in the Middle East named MAMLUK for a family name (surname), it denotes decadency from the Egyptian MAMLUK rule that inherited control of the Levant.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

January 28th, 2012, 5:15 pm

 

283. Norman said:

Tara,
so you think that they Alawat were enslaved before they joined the Baath party that gave them equal opportunity and liberated them ,

Dandashy,

We are all created equal with the rights to pursue freedom and happiness,

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

January 28th, 2012, 5:21 pm

 

284. zoo said:

More on Syrian Kurds views
….
Dr Abdulhakim Bashar also favours a secular constitution which separates religion from the constitution and could see the election of a Christian as president as well as enshrining women’s rights. He is deeply concerned by the lack of clarity in the Sunni-dominated Syrian National Council’s plans which talks unconvincingly about what it calls a civil society option.
{..}
http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2012/01/27/turbulent-times-for-kurds-in-syria/

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

January 28th, 2012, 5:32 pm

 

285. Aldendeshe said:

“……..We are all created equal with the rights to pursue freedom and happiness,…”

And that is how the Baathists and Shia Alawites and Mamluks treated 22 million Syrians? Have they not denied the Syrians all that you mentioned, have they not treated Syrians with disdain and considered them way less that equal, have they not tortured and murdered anyone that thought he or she should be treated as equal with the Baathists or Alawites?. Have they allowed millions of Syrians to have freedom and peruse happiness? OK NORMAN, you are fair man, so I tell you what, will treat the bastards the way they treated Syrians, nothing more. How is that, fair enough? You do know that justice will prevail, inequity will be settled.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

January 28th, 2012, 5:39 pm

 

286. ann said:

‘US Bunker-Busters Can’t Destroy Some Iran Nuke Plants’ – 28 January 2012

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/130671/-39-us-bunker-busters-can-39-t-destroy-some-iran-nuke-plants-39-.html

Even the heaviest US bombs are not powerful enough to destroy some of Iran’s more fortified nuclear facilities, the Wall Street Journal quoted US officials as saying Friday. The Pentagon is taking steps to improve its “bunker-busting” capabilities, they added.

The US’s 30,000-pound (13,600 kilo) “Mass Ordnance Penetrator” (MOP) was specifically designed to be able to take out Iranian and North Korean nuclear facilities. According to the report, initial tests indicated that the bomb would be incapable of performing these tasks, either because of the depth of the facilities or their recent reinforcement.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

January 28th, 2012, 6:06 pm

 

287. ann said:

Report: Media Freedom Declines in Turkey – Saturday, 28 January 2012

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/130670/report-media-freedom-declines-in-turkey-.html

In October 2002, when it released its first global assessment of media freedom, Turkey tied with Jordan for 99th place.

Nine years later it sits at 148th out of 179 countries, falling between Malawi and Mexico, in a major backslide as Turkey follows a path towards democratization.

“At a time when it is portraying itself as a regional model, Turkey took a big step backwards and lost ten places,” the RWB noted. “Far from carrying out promised reforms, the judicial system launched a wave of arrests of journalists that was without precedent since the military dictatorship.”

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

January 28th, 2012, 6:13 pm

 

288. mjabali said:

Stale Andersen:

You have no clue as always. We are talking about the usage of the word “Peasant” in this Syrian context. Of course you can add nothing of historical value or relevance to the subject.

Above all of that you are talking about bitch slapping and so forth: dude get a life. You are watching too much Telemundo.

Being impolite while you are sitting on your big ass is an example of your petty life and logic.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

January 28th, 2012, 6:14 pm

 

289. mjabali said:

Mr: الاغا الدندشي

You belong to the stone ages and I wish for a time travel machine to send you back.

The way you talk about the Alawis and the Shia reflects deep troubles and I advise with medical help.

The travesty in the matter is that you claim to speak in the Name of the Syrian National Party, a party the Alawis were in way before you as a matter of fact. As a matter of fact also, the Alawis paid in blood for the SNP and were in it way more than they were in al-Baath. This a fact. Remember the 1950′s for example, there was more Alawis in the SNP than in al-Baath.

Go read the history of your party and come and talk to me about men like Ghassan Jadid for example.

As for the slaves, we all know that those who owned most of the land in Syria through the Ottomans were originally Slaves bought to become soldiers and horsemen in the Ottoman army and ended up owning land with all of its inhabitants. Go read the list of those who ruled Syria from the days of your uncle Ibn Taymiyah and see how all of them were mostly slaves and those who owned the large swath of lands in Syria were slaves to begin with.

So, if your grandfather was a slave then became a soldier in the Ottoman army then retired to become a landowner and an official in the land of the Syrians, we end up with you calling your self Agha like you did on few occasions.

PS: When I was mentioning the problem with the way mr. Revelon was using the word “Peasant” we both were referring to the country side Syrian farmers who were in the funeral of a Syrian killed. Those people are not Alawis, which mean if we cross this fact against your post we find that you have no clue mr. Agha.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

January 28th, 2012, 6:25 pm

 

290. jad said:

A strong speech by Aljafari, the Syrian Ambasador to the UN:

Jafari Syria Will Not Be Somalia
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=262313220506538

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

January 28th, 2012, 6:36 pm

 

291. jad said:

MBs council is sending its delegations to request international intervention and since they don’t have enough enemies, they add Russia to the list of Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Algeria, befor they curse Iran a bit more..all these in the same day they need Russia support, how smart! I bet it’s Zibaleh suggestion:

وفد من “المجلس الوطني السوري” فى نيويورك لطلب التدخل الخارجي

أعلن المجلس الوطنى السورى المعارض، السبت، أن وفدا برئاسة رئيسه برهان غليون سيكون الأحد فى نيويورك لمطالبة مجلس الأمن الدولى بتأمين “حماية دولية” للمدنيين السوريين، كما اتهم إيران بـ”المساهمة فى قتل” السوريين، ودعا إلى التظاهر أمام السفارات الروسية فى العالم.

وقال المجلس فى بيان تلاه سمير نشار، عضو المجلس الوطنى السورى، أمام الصحفيين إنه “قرر التوجه إلى مجلس الأمن الدولى غدا الأحد، من خلال وفد برئاسة برهان غليون لعرض قضية الشعب السورى على مجلس الأمن ومطالبته بتأمين الحماية الدولية للمدنيين”.

وفى أعنف موقف له ضد نظام الجمهورية الإسلامية فى إيران أعلن المجلس الوطنى أنه “يستنكر مساهمة النظام الإيرانى فى قتل المواطنين السوريين المطالبين بالحرية ويدعوه إلى التوقف عن المشاركة فى قمع الثورة السورية، حرصا على مستقبل العلاقات بين الشعبين”.

وفى موقف مرتبط برفض روسيا المتواصل للموافقة على مشروع قرار فى مجلس الأمن دعا المجلس الوطنى “جميع المواطنين السوريين فى جميع بلدان الاغتراب إلى التضامن مع شعبهم بالداخل احتجاجا على الموقف الروسى عبر الاعتصام أمام سفارات قنصليات روسيا الاتحادية وأمام مراكز الأمم المتحدة غدا، الأحد، الساعة الثانية بعد الظهر فى أماكن تواجدهم”.

ومقابل الهجوم على إيران وروسيا أعلن المجلس الوطنى أنه “يتوجه بجزيل الشكر إلى السعودية وقطر وسائر دول مجلس التعاون الخليجى والمغرب وباقى الدول العربية الشقيقة التى تسعى من خلال مواقفها إلى مساعدة الشعب السورى ووقف سفك الدماء”.

كما دعا المجلس الوطنى مؤسسات الأمم المتحدة إلى تقديم المساعدة إلى المدن السورية التى تشهد أعمال عنف دامية ارتفعت حدتها كثيرا خلال الأيام القليلة الماضية.

وتوجه البيان بالشكر “إلى كافة أطراف المجتمع الدولى التى تسعى إلى مناصرة قضايا الحرية والديموقرطية وحقوق الإنسان فى سوريا، مطالبين جميع مؤسسات الأمم المتحدة بالعمل على تقديم المساعدات الإنسانية والاغاثية للمدن السورية المنكوبة “حمص وحماه وإدلب وريف دمشق ودرعا ودير الزور”.

وكانت بلدان الخليج وتركيا حثت دمشق على قبول مبادرة الجامعة العربية لوقف إراقة الدماء “دون إرجاء”، وهى تنطوى على نقل للسلطة من الأسد إلى نائبه فى غضون شهرين. ورفضت سوريا الخطة معتبرة إياها تدخلا سافرا فى شئونها الداخلية.

ومن المقرر أن يعقد مجلس الأمن اجتماعا خاصا لمناقشة الوضع فى سوريا يوم الثلاثاء المقبل.

ويتوجه الأمين العام للجامعة العربية نبيل العربى الأحد إلى نيويورك مع رئيس الوزراء وزير الخارجية القطرى الشيخ حمد بن جاسم بتفويض من الجامعة العربية لإبلاغ الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بان كى مون بالمبادرة العربية الأخيرة لحل الأزمة فى سوريا وطلب دعمه لها.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

January 28th, 2012, 6:55 pm

 

292. Alan said:

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/01/pentagon-wants-commando-mothership-in.html
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Pentagon wants commando “mothership” in Middle East

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

January 28th, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

293. Pirouz said:

Regarding the five captured Iranian “Revolutionary Guards” in Syria (reposted from a comment elsewhere):

1- The pictures shown match the Iranian engineers abducted over a month ago in Syria, rather than “revolutionary guards.”

2- Reason for making them wear black clothes is to make them appear more like Hezbollah members or IRGC members.

3) A rifle is placed in between them to make them look like fighters; why they should be seating next to a rifle when confessing on their aged crimes.

4) The claims about a “lack of visas” and secretly entering Syria are funny, considering that Iran and Syria removed visas requirements for travel over a year ago.

5) Another funny part was showing the abductees passports, why should members of Hezbollah and IRGC if on a secret mission in Syria or anywhere else should or would carry passport and indemnification of any kind with them. Specially deploying forces that apparently can’t even speak the local language and need translators.

6- Is the claim that since their passports was signed by an police officer then they are members of military. All Iranian passports are signed and stamped by chief of police or his deputy.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

January 28th, 2012, 7:03 pm

 

294. Ghufran said:

Libya is now a failed state with dozens of local militias and no unified government or army.
The alliance that brought Libya to this stage is acting like this is a ” Libyan problem” while Libyan money is bing used to prop bankrupt western governments.
Every time western governments meddle in middle eastern affairs they change a bad situation into a disaster,that is what happened in Palestine,Iraq,Libya,Sudan, and now they are looking at Syria.
The blood shed must stop at any cost becuse the alterntive is a bloody civil war and a defacto partition of Syria. The coastal region in particular is at high risk of being the first to declare autonomy or separation. Reports from that region are very worrisome,people are buying food and gas in bulk,weapons are plentiful ,and thousands of Syria’s elite soldiers and officers are getting ready for a plan-B if the violence gets out of control.
This is the first time since March that I find myself unable to ignore ” rumors” about a doomsday scenario,time is actually running out now,this makes most of our posts irrelevant,this is not about the brutal regime that needs to change,it is about the country most of you love being ready to fall apart.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

January 28th, 2012, 7:05 pm

 

295. Alan said:

قطر تشتري أصول تونسية

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

January 28th, 2012, 7:12 pm

 

296. Tara said:

Syria regime ‘using’ PKK, dissident says
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

 
Syria’s former ambassador to Sweden, Mohammad Bassam Imadi gestures during a news conference in Istanbul December 15, 2011. REUTERS Photo
İpek Yezdaniipek.yezdani@hurriyet.com.tr
The Syrian wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is being used against Syrian protesters calling for an overthrow of the government and could soon be deployed against Turkey, according to several Syrian opposition figures.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD), the PKK’s Syrian branch, is currently acting in concert with the Syrian regime to suppress protesters, Mohammad Bassam Imadi, an opposition figure who was Damascus’ former envoy to Sweden, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

The claim was echoed by a high-ranking member of the opposition Syrian National Council, as well as the head of the likeminded Syrian National Alliance.

Imadi said Salih Muslim Muhammed, who has been PYD leader since 2010, was not allowed to enter Syria before but had now been allowed to return to the Arab republic.

“I told Salih Muslim that he had been enemies with the regime in the past and asked him how he was allowed to operate in Syria now. He told me that the PYD had never been enemies with the Syrian regime,” Imadi said, adding that he now understood Damascus was using the group against anti-government demonstrators.

“PYD leaders [also] told me that if Turkey intervenes in Syria, they would fight against Turkey,” Imadi said.

“The Syrian regime uses the PYD militants as part of the Shabiha forces, which act as the shadowy militia of the regime that assists in its brutal crackdown,” Imadi said. 

Salah Eldin Bilal, a Kurdish-Syrian opposition member who escaped from the Syrian regime 15 years ago and has since been living in Germany, corroborated Imadi’s claims, saying the Syrian regime had so many cards in his hands that it could use them against the other countries in the region. 

“They can use some parts of the Kurdish movement against Turkey as they have used them before. However, as Syrian Kurds, we shouldn’t be used against any other country, we want all Syrian people to be together,” he said. 

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international 
community.

{…}
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syria-regime-using-pkk-dissident-says.aspx?pageID=238&nID=12320&NewsCatID=338

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

January 28th, 2012, 7:23 pm

 

297. Alan said:

New U.N. draft resolution gives Syria 15 days to comply!
True Conservative
Collapse
This bullshit draft resolution will go directly into the waste basket as Russia and China will veto it. So that this time no fresh blood for our criminal Washington freaks which deliberately organized, armed and keep sponsoring so called Syrian “rebels” and purposely keep destabilizing their country.
http://www.blacklistednews.com/New_U.N._draft_resolution_gives_Syria_15_days_to_comply/17632/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

January 28th, 2012, 7:29 pm

 

298. Norman said:

Tara,
So it seems , not an Alawy/Sunni conflict, it seems like it is the Islamist and the Muslim brotherhood on one side and everybody else on the other side, now the Sunni Kurds joined the government ,

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

January 28th, 2012, 7:49 pm

 
 

300. Tara said:

The suspension of the AL’ mission is a slap on the face to Mr. Moualem who announced the grand finale of the security option and to his boss.

Syria Hits Out At Arab League Over Mission
1:04pm 28th January 2012.

Syria has hit out at the Arab League after it suspended its monitoring mission, saying it is an attempt to influence the United Nations Security Council.

The claim was made by Syrian state television, which added: “This will have a negative impact and put pressure on (Security Council) deliberations with the aim of calling for foreign intervention and encouraging armed groups to increase violence.”

The Arab League announced it was suspending its mission to Syria following its submission of a new draft resolution to the UN Security Council.

League Secretary-General Nabil el Araby said the move was made as a result of increasing violence, which activists claim has seen close to 200 deaths in the last few days alone.

Earlier, the Syrian government said it was “sorry and surprised” that the League had suspended its activities.

In an interview with Sky News, Syrian activist Danny Abdul Dayem said that Homs was “expecting a big attack” following the observer withdrawal from the city.

He said the army had already started shelling the Bab Amr district of Homs, claiming that “more than 70 rounds of bombings and shellings” had hit. 

“They were killing slowly when the observers were here, but now they are killing faster,” he said.

“The monitors have not been helping that much. Every single area the monitors visit, the Syrian army hides.”

He claimed that the monitors “gave the regime more time to kill” because regime operatives would return after observers had left to “kidnap, kill and shoot at protesters”.

“We don’t care who comes and helps us. We want anyone to come and help us,” he said.

“We will continue to the end. If this revolution is going to stop, they are going to have to kill all the civilians. It is something we started and we are going to have to finish it. We are not going to live under this criminal.”

In his harshest criticism yet, Mr el Araby said the regime has “resorted to escalating the military option in complete violation of (its) commitments” to end the crackdown. 

He said the victims of the violence have been “innocent citizens,” rejecting Syria’s claims that it is fighting “terrorists”.

The League’s deputy chief, Ahmed Ben Heli, said around 100 observers still in Syria have stopped their work and are staying in their Damascus hotel until the League’s council can meet to decide the operation’s fate.
The news comes as Gulf Arab states and Turkey were due to meet in Istanbul, where they hope to sway international actors into supporting further action through a new Security Council resolution.

The summit follows the Arab League’s announcement last week that Syrian President Bashar al Assad should allow his deputy to take the reins.

Britain, which crafted the resolution with France after consultation from Qatar, Morocco, Germany and the US, emphasised its commitment to the resolution.

The UK’s ambassador to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, said “the time has come” to support the Arab League.

The head of Istanbul-based opposition group the Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun, is to travel to New York to push UN officials into taking tougher action.

But Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the new Arab and European proposal, which was submitted officially by Morocco for a vote which its supporters hope will take place next week, said the new draft “crosses our red lines”.

{….)

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

January 28th, 2012, 7:50 pm

 

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 10 1115 » Show All

Post a comment


four × 5 =