Syria’s Opposition Develops into a Real Insurgency as Assad Uses More Force. Obama Refuses to Jump In

The Candidates for Parliamentary Elections in Syria have been published – They reveal that Bashar al-Assad’s supposed reforms are the ruse that most thought they would be. The candidates from Latakia are sprinkled liberally with the names of well known crooks and Baathists of the region as well as their sons. There does not seem to be any potential reform going on in Latakia. The Baath may have been disestablished, but its members insist that they will win the upcoming elections to parliament.

Syrian military forces subjected the Arba’in district of Hama to intensive machine gun fire on Monday,

A car bomb in Damascus outside the Iranian cultural center killed and wounded several Syrians. Rebels launched three separate attacks on security forces around Damascus on Tuesday, killing two ranking officers activists and state media said. Satellite images show that the roads going into Idlib are all manned by tanks and road blocks

Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council Thursday that the situation in Syria is “bleak” and expressed alarm at reports that government troops are still carrying out military operations in towns where U.N. observers are not present.

“If confirmed, this is totally unacceptable and reprehensible,” he said.

Annan told the  U.N. Security Council that the situation in Syria remains “unacceptable” and is expressed particular alarm at reports that government troops entered the central city of Hama firing …

President Obama’s Speech on Syria at the Holocaust museum provoked an uproar from the neoconservatives who insist that the US should bomb Syria and do a Libya on it. Obama imposed some new sanctions on Syria but refused to give the green light to arming the opposition or taking military action. Tamara Cofman Wittes, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs until January 2012, argued at Brookings that the Obama should not try to discourage the growing militarization of the Syrian opposition, but rather to step in a try to direct it toward the opposition members most likely to further US interests in the region.

This is precisely what the US seems to be doing. The model for its actions is Afghanistan of the 1980s, when Washington and Riyadh armed the Mujahedin to take down the pro-Soviet regime. Everyone in the Obama administration is acutely aware of the outcome of that successful campaign: the creation of al-Qaida.  No one wants to repeat that. Hence, Clinton’s insistence that all foreign aid to the Syrian opposition go to Burhan Ghalioun. He looks to the ideals of the French Revolution rather than those of an Islamic revolution as did Bin Laden. Clinton even got the Saudis to publicly sign on to this strategy in Istanbul. where the last “Friends of Syria” meeting was assembled.

Recent reports on the Syrian opposition suggest that it is beginning to score some military successes. They also suggest that the regular pious youth who are doing the fighting are looking to Jihadists who fought in Iraq for their expertise. They will also likely look to the motivational power of radical Islamism, something they are going to need if they hope to defeat the Syrian Army.

News Round Up

Rare inside view of Syria’s rebels finds a force vowing to fight on
By David Enders | McClatchy Newspapers[photo: Mohamed Idris, shown in Qusayr, Syria, was the leader in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs of the Katiba Farouq, the largest group operating under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army. ]

QUSAYR, Syria — After more than six months of fighting, Syria’s largest rebel group appears to have developed into a resilient guerrilla force, unable perhaps to hold large swaths of territory for very long but still capable of inflicting heavy casualties on the Syrian military and operating fluidly within supportive populations….

What the Farouq fighters have found is that the Syrian army, as a force built for a potential conflict with Israel, is poorly equipped for the type of asymmetrical combat the guerillas engage in. That allows the guerillas to inflict heavy casualties on the military when the two sides engage in close combat. It is one reason the Syrian military prefers launching artillery attacks on rebel-held cities from long distances.

The rebels also have suffered heavy losses. Idris said he had 250 soldiers under his command during the fighting in Baba Amr, and that 114 of those had been killed in the fighting…..

“If the international community really wants peace in Syria, they will help us with weapons,” Idris said, making it clear the group was planning to step up attacks against the Syrian military. He said his fighters would continue to plant roadside bombs to destroy military vehicles outside of populated areas.

“We will attack the Syrian army in their bases and their checkpoints and try to capture their weapons,” he said. “We are also training fighters. We have many new volunteers without military experience.”….

More than a half-dozen fighters, when a reporter told them he had spent time reporting in Iraq, offered that they also had fought there during the U.S. invasion and occupation. Often, their first question was whether the reporter had visited Fallujah,…

Last week, Farouq’s commanders were making preparations to expand their reach into the suburbs of Damascus, which are presently the domain of other rebel groups….

In Syria, Lebanon’s Most Wanted Sunni Terrorist Blows Himself Up
By Aryn Baker

 Lebanese terror leader Abdel Ghani Jawhar detonated himself accidentally in Syria, raising questions about the kind of company the rebels are keeping…

According to Abu Ali and another fellow fighter, Jawhar arrived in Qsair two weeks ago with a group of 30 Lebanese fighters. While many were members of Fatah al-Islam, they were not traveling under the terror group’s banner. Instead they called themselves mujahideen, holy warriors seeking to help fellow Muslims under attack by the Syrian regime. Jawhar, an explosives expert and a charismatic commander, sought to train fellow fighters how make bombs. In the short time he had been in Qsair, says Abu Ali, he was able to set up dozens of improvised explosive devices destined for members of the Syrian security forces. “His aim was to make a tour in all the districts of Syria to teach the fighters on how to fight a guerrilla war.”….

A 30-year-old biochemist from northern Lebanon, Jawhar came of age during the country’s brutal civil war.  First he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, but left over doctrinal disputes—he felt that the group was not strict enough in its interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. He then joined, and left, the extremely conservative Salafis for the same reasons, and finally became a member of Fatah al-Islam in 2008. He was promoted to leader after his predecessor was killed in a 2010 shootout with Lebanese security forces. According to the Lebanese intelligence official, he was a master recruiter, and even managed to induct Lebanese soldiers to his cause. His terror efforts spanned Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, where he is thought to be responsible for several of the devastating explosions that killed international troops.  “He was a network by himself,” says the official. “He had relations all over the region; he was a ruthless killer.”…

Pierret: This is an interesting follow-up to our recent exchange on the FSA and crime. The people on the video present themselves as a kind of “Free Syrian Police” in the region of Idlib:

It’ll be a cakewalk, says Ba’ath Party
2012-04-22 The Hindu:

Even though it is yet to announce candidates for the coming elections to the Syrian Parliament, the ruling Ba’ath Party predicts that it will return to power. “It is mathematically impossible for any other party to win,” claims Speaker Mahmoud …

VOA – Europe and US extend sanctions to include caviar and other luxury products

Luxury goods ban

Meanwhile, the European Union banned the sale to Syria of luxury goods and dual-use items that could be used for repression. The restrictions were adopted at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg Monday. The extent of the luxury ban has yet to be defined but the aim is to deliver a symbolic blow against the posh lifestyle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his British-born wife, Asma The dual-use goods could include anything from vehicles to fertilizers and other chemicals.

Technology sanctions

The United States announced Monday plans to impose technology sanctions on Syria and its ally, Iran. Meanwhile, Lynn Pascoe, the U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs, told the 15-nation Security Council during an open debate on the Middle East that “the cessation of armed violence remains incomplete” in Syria.

Daily Caller: Krauthammer castigates Obama on ‘embarrassing’ Syria policy: ‘Be quiet’
2012-04-24

On Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer attacked President Barack Obama’s Monday speech at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., where he announced the first meeting of …

I have an effective response: Deployment of the U.S. military to, at the very least, provide, as Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute urged:

  • Safe corridors for Syrians to leave their country.
  • Safe cities for civilians in which they can shelter.
  • Arms for the Free Syrian Army, which is far better organized than many wish to admit.
  • Overt support for the Syrian National Council, including
  • assistance with a transition plan, reconciliation among parties, a new constitution and more.
  • NATO air support.

That would approach doing “everything we can.”

Weekly Standard: Will Obama Help Syria?
2012-04-23

Robert Zarate, writing in an FPI bulletin: In a high-profile speech today at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, President Obama highlighted new efforts to “prevent and respond to mass atrocities,” including a new Executive Order imposing …

From POMED

Committee Hearings – The House Armed Service Committee and Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discussed the situation in Syria
From Washington – The Obama Administration explored new options in Syria after the ceasefire failed

On Thursday (4-19), the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the situation in Syria. The speakers were Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and General Martin Dempsey. Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) chaired.
On Thursday (4/19), the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing on U.S. policy options for Syria. The speakers were Murhaf Jouejati, Jon B. Alterman and Tamara Wittes. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) chaired.
U.N. observers arrived in Damascus. Syrian forces shelled Homs. SANAreported two separate roadside bombs killing ten members of the security forces and a civilian.A German-owned ship, suspected of carrying weapons and ammunition heading to Syria, was towed for inspection to Turkey. Der Spiegel reported that the Atlantic Cruiser had been stopped with Iranian weapons on board. Violence ensued in a town outside of Damascus where opposition members reported two activists dead due to indiscriminate shelling. Syrian state-run media reported that the government was fully cooperating with Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

Bend Bulletin: In Syria, signs of Islamist influence
2012-04-23, By Liz Sly / The Washington Post

Activists and rebel soldiers based inside Syria say a small but growing number of Islamist radicals affiliated with global jihadi movements have been arriving in opposition strongholds in recent weeks and attempting to rally support among disaffected residents.

Western diplomats say they have tracked a steady trickle of jihadists flowing into Syria from Iraq, and Jordan’s government last week detained at least four alleged Jordanian militants accused of trying to sneak into Syria to join the revolutionaries.

A previously unknown group calling itself the al-Nusra Front has asserted responsibility for bombings in the cities of Damascus and Aleppo using language and imagery reminiscent of the statements and videos put out by al-Qaida-affiliated organizations in Iraq.

Foreign Policy

According to the BBC’s Ian Pannell reporting from northern Syria, helicopters have been firing at villages in Jabel al-Zawiya,

At a “Friends of Security” meeting, French President Nicolas Sarkozy accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of lying, while U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for “stronger measures” to bolster the ceasefire, such as an arms embargo and the Chapter 7 Security Council Resolution allowing for the use of military force. Meanwhile the U.N. Security Council negotiated terms for the U.N. observer mission with Syria. The mission is permitted to travel to any location in the country by foot or car, but is not allowed control over a private aircraft. While there are currently seven monitors in Syria, the United Nations hopes to have 30 by Monday, and wishes to expand the mission to 300, which must be approved by the U.N. Security Council and Syria.

The Militarization of the Syrian Uprising
Samer Araabi | April 18, 2012 – Right Web

As pressure mounts to arm rebels in Syria, there is need for a sober assessment of the costs and consequences of the increasing militarization of the conflict there. If history is any guide, a foreign-backed armed rebellion will likely not produce the kind of victory—or engender the kind of support—that the anti-Assad fighters will require to usher in a new Syria. Additionally, there is the very real possibility that many of the rebels—as we’ve seen in Libya—will turn out to be little better than the regime they seek to replace….

Tamara Cofman Wittes .US. Policy Options in Syria:

… The United States cannot halt or reverse the militarization of the Syrian uprising, and should not try. What the United States can usefully do is manage this militarization by working with other governments, especially Syria’s neighbors in the region, to try to shape the activities of armed elements on the ground in a manner that will most effectively increase pressure on the regime – to drain the Syrian military’s ability and will to fight, to help induce a political transition, and thereby to bring an end to the violence as quickly as possible. Without a strong lead driven by the strategic logic of weakening the regime’s pillars, disparate actors both inside and outside the region could provide lethal support in ways that would exacerbate spillover effects and increase the damage militarization will cause to the goal of restoring order in a post-Assad Syria. To do this, the United States should drive the international planning and engagement necessary to identify key armed leaders and elements, improve coordination and communication, build effective fighting units, and shape an effective insurgent strategy.

Kurds: Salih Gado, member of the politburo of the Kurdish Left Party in Syria: »Some Kurdish parties are coming up with lots of excuses to avoid joining the Syrian National Council. The truth is they are still afraid of the regime.«

The Kurdish Issue and Syria’s Democracy
by Hassan Saleh [Hassan Saleh is the deputy secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria and a member of the Kurdish National Council and former political prisoner.]

At a moment of uncertainty surrounding the relationship between the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Syrian National Council (SNC), this week’s article by KNC member Hassan Saleh affirms the Kurdish desire for a decentralized federal democracy and their critical role in the future success of the Syrian revolution.

I believe that the federal system is the best way for internal peaceful coexistence. This allows for all peoples and minorities to enjoy their rights and preserve their identities and existence. Federalism is considered a guarantor system for the unity of the state and a way to boost the state’s development and stability….

In Syria, there are contiguous Kurdish areas that the Kurdish community can manage as their own federal region by managing their own legislative, judicial, and executive affairs, but participating in federal authorities, institutions, and councils according to the proportion of their population. If other communities choose to select federalism, it is possible to establish other provinces as well. The Druze reside in al-Sweida province, surrounding the capital city and Jabal al-Sheikh. The Alawites are particularly concentrated in the coastal areas, though there are a number of Sunnis living among them in cities such as Latakia, Banias, and Tartous. The (Christian) Assyrians and Syriacs are spread throughout most of the regions and do not form large contiguous areas. Accordingly, the adoption of a federal system will achieve the wishes of the Syrian people in getting rid of the dominance of the central authoritarian regime and providing real opportunities for the territories to develop their lives and enjoy their share of power and wealth.

It must be noted that due to their bitter experience, the Kurds are determined to manage their own affairs as their interest is in maintaining Syria’s unity. Kurdish nationalism should be respected and the resolution of this issue is considered to be the key to democracy and a guarantee of stability. The Kurdish regions are rich in oil, gas, and agricultural crops, particularly grains and olives, and it is unfair that the central government has taken hold of them while the Kurdish people live poor, deprived, and homeless….

NPR: Journalist: ‘I Should Never Have Gone Near The Assads’
2012-04-20

A video appeal to the wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad asks her to persuade her husband to stop the killing. The campaign for Asma al Assad to “stand up for peace” was started by the wives of British and German ambassadors to the United …

Counter-revolution — the next deadly chapter in the Arab Spring. (h/t War in Context)
by News Sources on April 21, 2012

Robert Fisk writes: It was my old Jordanian-Palestinian chum Rami Khouri who first spotted what is going on in the Middle East right now: it’s the counter-revolution. Bahrain is crushing dissent. Syria is crushing dissent. Mubarak’s former head of intelligence, the sinister Omar Suleiman, is standing for president in Egypt – the cancellation of his candidacy last week by a dodgy “electoral committee” may well be overturned. Libya is at war with itself. Yemen has got its former dictator’s sidekick back. Sixty-one dead in a battle between soldiers and al-Qa’ida last week – in a single day. All in all, a pretty mess.

But let me quote Khouri. “In Washington-speak, a ‘crisis’ is like love: you can define it any way you want, but you know when it happens to you. So a popular revolt in Bahrain for full civil rights is a crisis that must be crushed by force. But a revolt in Syria is a blessed event that deserves support. Similarly, this peculiar mindset warns against Iranian support to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, while accepting as perfectly logical and legitimate for the US and its allies to send arms and money to their favourite rebel groups around the region – not to mention attacking entire countries…”

And there you have it. As Khouri notes, there’s now a new group called the “Security Cooperation Forum” linking the US with the Gulf Cooperation Council. La Clinton turned up to assure the oil states of Washington’s “rock solid and unwavering commitment” to the GCC. Now where have we heard that before? Why, isn’t that what Obama is always saying to the Israelis? And weren’t Bibi Netanyahu of Israel and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia the two guys who called Obama to ask him to save Mubarak.

And in Syria – where the Qataris and the Saudis are all too keen to send weapons for the rebels – things are not going very well for the revolution. After claiming for weeks a year ago that “armed bands” were attacking government forces, the bands now exist and are well and truly attacking Assad’s legions. For many tens of thousands who were prepared to demonstrate peacefully – albeit at the cost of their lives – this has become a disaster. Syrian friends of mine call it a “tragedy”. They blame the Gulf states for encouraging the armed uprising. “Our revolution was pure and clean and now it’s a war,” one of them said to me last week. I believe them.

The Hill: Gen. Dempsey: US in for ‘wild ride’ in the Middle East over the next decade
2012-04-22

Tweet America is heading into an increasingly tumultuous decade in the Middle East, punctuated by repeated popular uprisings that will continue to dismantle long-standing power structures in the region, according to the Pentagon’s top uniformed …

Films on Syria – reviewed by Rana Khoury

Rana writes: I recently reviewed two Syrian films that were screened at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown. I can’t speak highly enough about the films. Revolving around prisoners of conscience, they are an important window for understanding the unfortunate circumstances the country now finds itself in. Here’s the link:

Brookings: Turkey: The New Model?
2012-04-24

The following is a chapter written by Ömer Taşpınar from the book, The Islamists Are Coming: Who They Really Are, co-published by the Wilson Center and the U.S. Institute of Peace. In the twenty-first century, Turkey is arguably …

Comments (132)


1. Ghufran said:

The next 6 months are unlikely to include a major shift on Syria unless the opposition scores a significant military defeat against the regime. This period will be used by both parties to strengthen their position on the ground. The lack of any serious political proposal that adresses the grievances and concerns of the sizable pro regime Syrian forces mean that the only option on the table is to fight and preserve as much as possible of the gains made in the last 2 months. If Syrians themselves are not willing to compromise nobody will do that job on their bahalf.

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 6

April 24th, 2012, 11:45 pm

 

2. zoo said:

Rice: The “friends of Syria” have been ironically promoted to the “Friends of Democratic Syria” when the most influent members, Qatar and KSA are non democratic countries preaching democracy to others…

U.N. says Syria refusing observers by nationality: Rice
Reuters – 3 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/u-n-says-syria-refusing-observers-nationality-rice-235702610.html
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Syria has refused at least one U.N. military observer because of his nationality and has made clear it will not allow in U.N. staff from any country in the “Friends of Syria” group, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Speaking after U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous briefed the Security council, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Ladsous told the 15-nation panel that Damascus was putting restrictions on the deployment of truce monitors.

“Mr. Ladsous reported that the Syrian government has refused at least one observer based on his nationality, and that Syrian authorities have stated they will not accept UNSMIS staff members from any nations that are members of the ‘Friends of Democratic Syria’,” Rice told reporters.

“He underscored that from the U.N.’s point of view, this is entirely unacceptable,” she said.

http://news.yahoo.com/u-n-says-syria-refusing-observers-nationality-rice-235702610.html

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

April 25th, 2012, 12:03 am

 

3. bronco said:

#1 Ghufran

Contrary to you, I hope and expect a major shift of the opposition in the next 2 months as the observers are settling in.
The Syrian government and the secular opposition have now a common enemy whose aim is the take over Syria to make it a military stronghold for Sunni extremists, fighting both the Syrian and the Iraqi government. These extremists are supported by most of the GCC opposed to Iran and to Shia’s influence in the region.
I think Iraq and Syria will soon join military and intelligence forces to counter the Sunni extremists and the USA will be torn between its alliance with Iraq and its alliance with the GCC.
They will be hesitant to participate because they fear that Islamists, if successful, will ultimately target neighboring Israel and they also want peace in Iraq to get the supply of oil they need.

I believe the secular opposition helped by Russia will take a more prominent role. They will realize that Syria could be lost to a third group whose agenda is destructive if they persist seeing the Syrian government as the sole enemy. They can see that it could easily become like Algeria in 1990. Unless they urgently re-establish a communication and trust with the Syrian government, the internal war could last many years as it did in Algeria with hundred thousands death.

Thumb up 19 Thumb down 12

April 25th, 2012, 12:43 am

 

4. syria no kandahar said:

Alfaarook criminals attacking enemies civilian territories to blame the syrian army with that…klab[?]:

http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/7215/Default.aspx

Thumb up 21 Thumb down 13

April 25th, 2012, 12:54 am

 

5. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Rami Khouri: “…For many tens of thousands who were prepared to demonstrate peacefully – albeit at the cost of their lives – this has become a disaster. Syrian friends of mine call it a “tragedy”. They blame the Gulf states for encouraging the armed uprising. “Our revolution was pure and clean and now it’s a war,” one of them said to me last week. I believe them”.

I utterly agree with Khouri and his friend. The irreversible mistake of resorting to arms will be fully revealed in the coming years, if not decades.
.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 20

April 25th, 2012, 1:04 am

 

6. Nour said:

The blog entry seems to be inciting against the Annan plan and hoping it would fail so that a subsequent phase of possible military intervention may take place. Moreover, the report on the electoral list is misleading and disingenuous.

It links to an article listing the candidates of the Baath Party only, implying that those are the only candidates running in Lattakia, which is not true. Members of other parties as well as independents are running both in Lattakia and across the rest of the country. The Popular Front for Change and Liberation, for example, which includes the opposition SSNP and Qadri Jamil’s The Will of the People Party, has 45 candidates across Syria. Other new parties have also listed their candidates and the ballot boxes will determine who wins the majority of the seats in the People’s Assembly.

Thumb up 19 Thumb down 10

April 25th, 2012, 1:16 am

 

7. amnesia said:

In comments above I read that the secular opposition will join the Assad government, and that the opposition arming was a mistake. Please make some sense guys for a change. The soldiers who defected did so rightfully, and their willingness to risk their lives to create a challenge for Assad’s remaining forces is applaudable. Anyone who thinks otherwise, and anyone who thinks the opposition they like should split and join the mafia, is being completely disrespectful to millions who have suffered through this past year only standing up for what is right. Your comments are inexcusable. You have been on this forum since the beginning, and you are now effectively defending the atrocities. Shameful

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 20

April 25th, 2012, 3:55 am

 

8. Antoine said:

Reef Deirezzor, especially parts inhabited by al Dulaimi tribe, have been liberated and the Police Staions are all empty.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 19

April 25th, 2012, 5:14 am

 

9. Observer said:

I have been in the ME for some time now.

The regime is losing grip on significant part of the countryside including around Damascus.

Only 15% of new conscripts showed up to be recruited this year.

The number of defectors has reached 100 000

Cham Press announces that the dollar is trading below 70 pounds in a so called sign of improvement therefore countering the official rate of 60

Very little support is available to the FSA from the outside and this will await the US elections before any real policy to emerge

Russia is proposing 300 families leave the country while leaving the military structure intact to allow for continued alliance with it. This is a non starter from two points of view

The first is the refusal of the people to permit it

The second is hard line second tier commanders who will feel abandoned and are fearful of being massacred and therefore would actually physically attack these 300 families directly

Russia was dealt a terrible card to play with.

The rats of Libya salute the germs of Syria

Thumb up 16 Thumb down 17

April 25th, 2012, 7:46 am

 

10. Alan said:

Kurds will be with syrian brothers against US plan to dominate the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea, and the Persian Gulf !!!!!

Kurds, Syria, and the Chessboard
http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/04/22/kurds-syria-and-the-chessboard.html
../…./…………
The Arab Spring made the Kurds a group central to the US plan to dominate the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea, and the Persian Gulf. The Kurds who never dropped their centuries-old independence goal out of sight are eager to seize the arising opportunities and to capitalize on the strategic alliance with the US.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

April 25th, 2012, 8:01 am

 

11. DAWOUD said:

The Syria Revolution against Bashar’s, and his father’s before him, oppression began as completely peaceful. I has become militarized because of the regime and its allies (Hasan Nasrallah, Iran,…) began to use violence and murder innocent unarmed demonstrators. People have the right to defend their lives, property, dignity, and honor! When the Sebs were raping Muslim Bosnian women in the 1990s, it was rightly an outrage. Now, to see Arab Syrian soldiers and Shabiha rape Syrian women (most of whom are Sunni Muslim women) is a much greater outrage! Don’t Syrians have the right to defend their honor?

Prof. Landis once mentioned (I am paraphrasing his views) that he though the regime would eventually fall because the opposition (with outside help/supplies) would get stronger militarily. I agree. Wait until the anti-tank/warplane missiles begin to flow to the Free Syrian Army. It will be a game-changer!

Free Syria, Free Palestine! Down with ALL Arab dictatorships and Israeli occupation/colonization!

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 16

April 25th, 2012, 8:07 am

 

12. irritated said:

8. Antoine

You mean Reif Derezzor has become a safe haven for criminals?

Thumb up 17 Thumb down 16

April 25th, 2012, 8:32 am

 

13. irritated said:

Observer

You mean in 2013 or 2014?

“Very little support is available to the FSA from the outside and this will await the US elections before any real policy to emerge”

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 14

April 25th, 2012, 8:34 am

 

14. DAWOUD said:

Two points regarding the story about the Free Syrian Army:

1) I disagree with the story that the Syrian army was built primarily to “fight Israel.” The Syrian Army, like all dictatorial Arab armies, was built to fight the population and protect the regime.

2) I agree that the Free Syrian Army is fighting in areas “SUPPORTIVE” of it and opposed to Bashar’s murderous army. Why? Because the overwhelming majority of Syrians are opposed to the murderous Bashar and his shabiha.

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

Thumb up 18 Thumb down 16

April 25th, 2012, 8:42 am

 

15. zoo said:

Is it what will happen in Syria whether Bashar stays or not?

http://news.yahoo.com/us-yemen-pledge-united-front-against-al-qaida-203754806.html

“The terror network has taken advantage of the country’s political turmoil of the past year to capture several southern areas, and the Americans are eager to coordinate efforts with the Yemenis to push them back.

An al-Qaida settled and safe in the remote interior of southern Yemen would allow its militants to plan and execute more attacks on Western interests, taking advantage of proximity to strategic shipping lanes in the Red and Arabian seas through which much of the West’s energy needs to pass.
(…)

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 13

April 25th, 2012, 8:46 am

 

16. irritated said:

#13 Dawood

What proof do you have? If it was true how happen nobody goes on strike when asked to? That’s the least the ‘overwhelming majority’ could do.

“Because the overwhelming majority of Syrians are opposed to the murderous Bashar and his shabiha.”

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 11

April 25th, 2012, 8:49 am

 

17. irritated said:

Dawood #10

Most anti-Syrian government keep repeating “It started peacefully’ trying to elude the issue that ‘it continued violently’ and that it is now made of death squads infiltrated by islamist extremists and criminals.

Shedding tears on what “it could have been if…” is of no use anymore. It’s time to a admit it that the ‘peaceful’ revolution’ failed and that the ‘violent revolution’ is a dead end.

Thumb up 18 Thumb down 13

April 25th, 2012, 8:55 am

 

18. Juergen said:

News on the german vessel which was secured at Iskanderun harbour.
The turkish officals have not found weapons on board the vessel.

here is the translated article:

http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fpolitik%2Fdeutschland%2F0%2C1518%2C829579%2C00.html

dont get confused the translation got mixed up in the headline, it should read: German vessel was not carrying weapons

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

April 25th, 2012, 9:10 am

 

19. Syria no Kandahar said:

Hanging of a Syrian girl by opposition criminals(gross):

http://syria-politic.com/ar/Default.aspx?subject=591#.T5f8LIl5mc0

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 9

April 25th, 2012, 9:34 am

 

20. Afram said:

the neocons are maimed and orphaned.Lots of Bark,but DON’T Bite!!!

The American public is fatigued ya obama,they need jobs & bread and not change & hope!!they careless now about a world that is both safe and free.

Obama is very weak In a match of foreign Policy chess game, players seek to win period,not cooperate or negotiate;but to checkmate and defeat one another,Russia moved its pawns permanently into syria,clinton is negotiating Russia about syria,a sign of weakness..Assad knows this so he is safe.

Not:I emailed to White House-State Department-Kerry,s congress this video/Libyan islamists destroy NATO ally war cemetery

http://youtu.be/PnFThZlhPY4

Hell of Truth,Obama is insincere about his call for democracy and freedom in the Middle East.
End note:free muslim women NOW

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/04/24/troubling-correlation-between-dialogue-and-dictatorship/#more-791938

The American public is fatigued and needs to be persuaded that the United States is still the only country that can ensure a world that is both safe and free

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-jigsaw-the-chessboard/

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

April 25th, 2012, 9:49 am

 

21. Juergen said:

Syrian writer Rafik Schami on Assad and Jürgen Todenhöfer

“Syria was made ruled like a farm by the Assad clan. The chicken here, the horses there, they could not imagine that their slaves make a rebellion.” The protest is directed against Assad, but also against their own parents’ generation who have come to terms with the circumstances. “You only read about the new fashion of women’s Assad , and that the doctor has studied in London. As if this were an identity for the love of freedom and sophistication. Goebbels had also made his doctor.”

About Todenhöfer he has rendered his verdict: “I can not believe any man who drinks tea with Assad and speaks of the revolutionaries as terrorists, and certainly not when he calls a Syrian National Socialist called Ali Haidar as a moderate opposition figure..”

http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abendblatt.de%2Fpolitik%2Fausland%2Farticle2256998%2FAssad-schickt-Killer-gegen-das-Volk.html

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 15

April 25th, 2012, 10:09 am

 

22. Syria no Kandahar said:

FSA criminals and the liar Khaled Abosalah staging another (observers protection show):

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

April 25th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

23. Halabi said:

Karabennemsi said:

“Every country should persecute it’s citizens if they have broken the law. Otherwise there is no legitimate reason for any state to exist, this is very very basic understanding of society.

Mill described very detailed how these things are supposed to happen, if you are interested in liberal theories of social order and government, “On Liberty” can be recommended in this context.”

I think the problem here is that you don’t know the meaning of persecute, which is to “subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of their race or political or religious beliefs.”

I don’t think governments should persecute their citizens. Assad supporters do. Syrians demand their freedom from this oppression.

Thanks for bringing up Mill, that was wonderfully pedantic…

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 16

April 25th, 2012, 11:05 am

 

24. Mina said:

Where is Ann, denn??

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1unslow042412.html
Delay of UN Observers to Syria Called Ridiculous, Unorthodox Ways Sought

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 24 — After UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the Security Council he would take a full month get only 100 observers to Syria, he was told by at least two Permanent members that that was far too slow.

Inner City Press spoke exclusively with Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong after the briefing by Kofi Annan and Ladsous. Li Baodong told Inner City Press, “I think we should deploy observers as soon as possible. Kofi needs that, the people in Syria need that. Let people go to Syria to monitor the situation.”

Having been told the “one hundred in one month” figure by another delegation, Inner City Press asked Li Baodong what China thought of that pace.

“We believe too slow, ridiculous,” replied Li Baodong, adding that this pace “undermines the mission.”

So what excuses did Ladsous give?

Li Baodong said, “he said they don’t have enough people, troop contributing countries, and also they need training.”

Responding to another question from Inner City Press, Li Baodong concluded, “China would like to send some [observers, to] join that mission.”

Moments later, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the press that, “we need to try to see what can be done in order to deploy the monitors quicker than currently anticipated… So far there are just twelve monitors and I think a number of colleagues including myself simply urged them to look for some unorthodox ways to expedite the process.”

The UN should be able to handle this. Some say that if the observers are deployed it might have the effect of making Assad staying in power more likely. Watch this site.

Plus Annan’s briefing is available here in 5 parts:
http://www.innercitypress.com/annan1scbrief042412.html

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

April 25th, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

25. Antoine said:

Several villages in Deir Ezzor have fallen under the control of local armed revolutionaries.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=JYKwfmXTtLQ&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq4Wy-GfYRI&feature=youtu.be

I would like SNK, who is from North-East Syria, to do an anaylsis.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 18

April 25th, 2012, 12:55 pm

 

26. Nour said:

http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=147272

صحيفة: قوى من معارضة الداخل تحضر لإطلاق “ائتلاف قوى التغيير السلمي”

الاخبار المحلية

شارك

كشفت صحيفة “الوطن” المحلية، نقلا عن مصادر مقربة من أطياف المعارضة الداخلية أن قوى معارضة بصدد إطلاق تيار سياسي تحت مسمى “ائتلاف قوى التغيير السلمي”، في حين دعت مجموعة من الأحزاب وشخصيات سورية مستقلة، إلى عقد مؤتمر “الوفاق الأول لقوى التغيير السلمي” في الأسابيع القادمة.

وقالت الصحيفة إن “الائتلاف المزمع إطلاقه يستند في طروحاته إلى البحث عن مخرج آمن من الأزمة التي تشهدها سورية يراعي مصالح الجميع ويرفض التدخل الخارجي مع الاستعداد لمقاومته بالإضافة إلى إجراء مصالحة وطنية”.

وكانت قوى المعارضة في سورية، شكلت منذ بداية الأحداث في آذار من العام الماضي، العديد من التيارات والتنظيمات، لم تستطع حتى الآن توحيد رؤيتها تجاه الأوضاع في سوريا، ما انعكس سلبا على وضعها كمكون واحد.

وأعلن شباب سوري ، مطلع الشهر الجاري في دمشق، تشكيل ائتلاف سياسي مدني تحت اسم “شباب التغيير السلمي” يهدف إلى خلق قوة ضغط سياسية باتجاه إيجاد حل سلمي ومخرج آمن يحافظ على مكتسبات البلاد ومؤسساتها ويرفض الانجرار إلى كافة دعوات التسليح التي يرى أنها مقبرة “ثورة الحرية والكرامة” ويدخل البلاد إلى أماكن مجهولة تضر بمصلحة السوريين سواء كانوا موالاة أو معارضة.

وترفض تيارات المعارضة في الداخل دعوات التسليح والتدخل الخارجي في الشؤون السورية.

ورجحت مصادر في “الجبهة الشعبية للتغيير والتحرير” أن “تكون الجبهة, التي تضم شخصيات مستقلة إلى جانب حزبي الإرادة الشعبية ويرأسه قدري جميل والحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي جناح علي حيدر جزءاً من هذا الائتلاف المزمع الإعلان عن تشكيله مطلع الشهر المقبل”.

وكان تم إطلاق الجبهة الشعبية للتغيير والتحرير في سورية بدمشق، في تموز الماضي، وتضم الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي واللجنة الوطنية لوحدة الشيوعيين السوريين, إضافة إلى شخصيات عامة.

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

April 25th, 2012, 1:29 pm

 

27. Uzair8 said:

17. Irritated

It is strange how Assad supporters have been silent about the regime death-squads but are claiming opposition is made up of death squads.

We see selective vision frequently on SC and in general. I wonder if Optometrist-in-chief temporarily hands out and then withdraws spectacles from his patients? Perhaps this explains it? They see what he wants them to see.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 15

April 25th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

28. Mina said:

If you keep telling people who have been warning since the beginning of the uprising of the probable development into guerilla battles and death squads folllowing the Iraqi model, that they are pro-Assad, I suggest you see an ophtalmologist.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

April 25th, 2012, 1:48 pm

 

29. Uzair8 said:

Notice the word ‘fatigue’ pop up on SC at least a couple of times this week?

‘Syria Fatigue’ #220

‘The American public is fatigued ya obama…’ #20

It seems the criminal regime is relying on news and international ‘fatigue’ to survive?

Has it lost hope in other strategies?

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 12

April 25th, 2012, 1:55 pm

 

30. Tara said:

Bronco

Then admire no one.   Admiring the regime means approval of the way it handled the revolution via brutality and savagery.

I told you I get jealous.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 17

April 25th, 2012, 2:05 pm

 

31. irritated said:

#28 Uzair8

Of course the ‘fatigue’ is the best chance for the hardline opposition to start to admit it lost the momentum and that the window of maneuver has narrowed seriously. Syria hardly make news headlines and Youtube has not be updated with gory slaughters and “massive” demonstrations.

If someone has to look for another strategy, it is the opposition. If they keep rejecting the proposed UN plan and continue provocations and terrorist acts instead of a ceasefire, a dialog with the regime and political participation, then it may loose even the narrow window left and find itself discarded from the dialog and made irrelevant.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

April 25th, 2012, 2:16 pm

 

32. zoo said:

Islamist demonstrations to protest capitalism and abuses in the center of Istanbul 1th May.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-revolutionary-islamists-to-hit-streets-on-may-1-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=19235&NewsCatID=338
Turkey’s ‘Revolutionary Islamists’ to hit streets on May 1

Islamist youth in Turkey are organizing via social media to make an unprecedented appearance at this year’s May 1 rally in Istanbul to protest capitalism.

A group calling themselves the “Revolutionary Islamists” has been making calls on social media and elsewhere with banners and videos containing verses and hadiths from the Quran that can be interpreted as anti-capitalist, İlker Akgüngör of daily Vatan reported today.

The group has rallied around the slogan “Fekku Ragabe” (Freedom to Slaves) which is mentioned in the 13th verse of the Balad Surah of the Quran. They called on people to join them on May 1 with verses and hadiths on hunger, toil, poverty and freedom. The group plans to join May 1 demonstrations with a cortege called the “Fight Against Capitalism.”

“We will be at Taksim Square on May 1 to be the screams of workers burned to death at mall construction sites, drowned in dam lakes and children raped in prisons; to ask why Hrant [Dink], the villagers in Uludere/Roboski, Ceylan [Önkol] and many others were killed.”
(…)

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

April 25th, 2012, 2:27 pm

 

33. Afram said:

28. Uzair8 said:
Notice the word ‘fatigue’ pop up on SC at least a couple of times this week?

‘Syria Fatigue’ #220

‘The American public is fatigued ya obama…’ #20

It seems the criminal regime is relying on news and international ‘fatigue’ to survive?

Has it lost hope in other ((strategies?))
========================
Uzair8/U R confusing reality with imagination

you say((strategies?))I say facts on the ground

charity begins at home,Obama has to create jobs Not bombs
there is in America right now 2 million unemployed graduates

How should obama begin to deliver this year’s commencement address to College graduates…Allahu akbarrrrr,lets carpet bomb syria
OR
Hello all…vote 4 me,Im the guy who can find you jobs?

The American public is fatigued for real.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

April 25th, 2012, 2:56 pm

 

34. zoo said:

UAE cracking down on Islamists

http://news.yahoo.com/islamist-uae-sheikh-held-without-charge-005530736.html

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A member of the ruling family in the northern United Arab Emirates was under palace guard Wednesday in an apparent crackdown on Islamist groups and others viewed as challenging the UAE’s political system, a rights group said.

The London-based Emirates Center for Human Rights said Sheik Sultan al-Qasimi, a cousin of the ruler of the emirate Ras al-Khaimah, was being held after being detained by armed men late last week.
….
In the opinion piece, Sheik Sultan linked online activism among Emirati youth to the mass protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, which led to the resignation of Egypt’s longtime ruler, Hosni Mubarak. It suggested, at least indirectly, that ripples from the Arab Spring were spreading the Gulf federation, whose leaders have been spared the street protests seen elsewhere in the region.
(…)

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

April 25th, 2012, 3:12 pm

 

35. Juergen said:

here is an blog about the question if Atatürk was a islamophobic…

War Atatürk ein Islamhasser?

there is an old US video on the site in english about Mustafa Kemals live, its an nice piece, very old and in the typical late 50s style, nice watch indeed.

here is an DER SPIEGEL article about the UN observer misson, they raised the question what happens to those who spoke to UN observers, there are serious allegations that people who have adressed the UN observers have received “hard debriefings” and detention, in some cases the ones who talked where killed.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,829757,00.html

UN mission Blue Helmets  in Homs, Syria

REUTERS
UN observers in Homs, “They have brought death with it.”

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

April 25th, 2012, 3:16 pm

 

36. Mina said:

From the Angry Arab:

http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2012/04/suspected.html
“In Damascus, an intelligence officer was shot dead in Barzeh, a northern suburb, according to a statement from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain. The man was suspected of identifying local protesters for arrest.”

http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2012/04/neil-macfarquhar.html
“Three members of the Syrian security services used to suppress antigovernment dissent were killed in and around Damascus on Tuesday, according to the official media and activists”.

http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2012/04/bahrain-update_25.html

No comment.

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

April 25th, 2012, 3:18 pm

 

37. Mina said:

Europe fatigue is real

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17836624
Economy in double-dip recession

but the French are still barking, although this government has only ten days left.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17847584
“France raises Syria use of force”

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

April 25th, 2012, 3:35 pm

 

38. Tara said:

54 were killed by the regime in Hama today including 13 children. Most of those 54 are women.. Alfatiha upon their souls.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 14

April 25th, 2012, 3:39 pm

 

39. mjabali said:

Syria now is becoming like Iraq in 2007. Violence is getting out of control from all parties. They can not control it anymore. Moore battles are on the way with more foreign fighters slipping in for sure. al-Assad is still holding and of course he is getting outside help too.

Parts of the country are under the control of the armed opposition that is mostly Salafi Islamists and no one else. al-Assad forces had left lots of little Sunni towns that saw the disintegration of anything related to the central government of al-Assad that, if they want to assert their control, would come back in force here and there and smash these towns in their battles with the armed opposition. Services are cut from these towns. These towns are becoming on their own more and more. Here is a video to show what I am talking about:

Also: now it is the time for assassinations, IED’s and car bombs…the worst video is this one that I saw today for a dead pro Assad man killed and dragged behind a car into traffic and in between civilians close to Damascus.

Warning: very violent and disturbing video:

WARNING: Violent and disturbing images http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80rA4i43UT8

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

April 25th, 2012, 3:53 pm

 

40. Syria no Kandahar said:

Any opposition supporters has any comment about the girl hanged by their friends in the link I posted

Today ?

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9

April 25th, 2012, 3:54 pm

 

41. Tara said:

Kandi

I have not opened any link you posted. I do not believe the regime fabrications, therefore I do not open any link.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 17

April 25th, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

42. Antoine said:

SNK, pls see my comment for you above # 25, regarding Deirezzor.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

April 25th, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

43. Antoine said:

Thick bearded Salafist terrorists are working within regular Syrian Army units :

Videographic evidence (undeniable) –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ggqZuchmJ8&feature=relmfu

I never knew soldiers are allowed to grow full, thick Wahhabi beards in the Syrian Army. It is clear these thugs will be used to launch false flag attacks.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 12

April 25th, 2012, 4:27 pm

 

44. Alan said:

[ ARROW Alan, you are now free from moderation. Please observe fair-use and provocation rules that were explained to you. ]

Russian invisible laser bomb detector makes molecular scan at 50 meters
http://rt.com/news/russia-laser-bomb-detector-947/

Not even the tiniest of particles will be able to escape the new super-sensitive explosive detecting device created by Russian scientists. Its laser sensor can pick up on a single molecule in a million from up to 50 meters away.

The device was developed over a period of five years by the Siberian branch of the country’s Academy of Sciences. It will undergo full testing this summer and is expected to be put to use by Russian intelligence later this year.

Molecular scanner image

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

April 25th, 2012, 4:29 pm

 

45. Antoine said:

Eh, MJABALI, Huh ??? what sort of a man are you? you have been on this blog for more than 1 year and never linked a video showing the more than 12,000 deaths of anti-regime ppl ( there are thousands of videos) and never expressed your horror, all of a sudden you link a video of a pro-Assad death (no evidence)…..you are biased.

I am not saying you are pro-Assad, but you are definitely biased in favor of the people who are pro-Assad, that maybe because STOP your origins are in a certain Syrian province known to be pro-Assad.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 20

April 25th, 2012, 4:31 pm

 

46. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

40. Syria no Kandahar said:
Any opposition supporters has any comment about
The girl hanged by their friends in the link I posted
Today ?

___________________________________________________________________

@SNK…Why are you calling them “opposition” we are one of the opposition groups, none of them we know did any damage or killing. These are Saudi/Qatari paid mercenaries paid to ruin the way ahead for real Syrian opposition, hijack the revolution. By mixing the two together, you are deliberately and knowingly out to ruin genuine Syrian opposition to the oppressive STOP Shia dictatorship in Syria. You are against any reform or progress to Syria and Syrians. Why is that?

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

April 25th, 2012, 4:56 pm

 

47. mjabali said:

Antoine:

I posted videos related to what I was talking about. Also, if you want to direct things into personal insult fest, you should know that I am not into these type of irrelevant talk. But, since you addressed me here is my 2 cents:

First, I was talking about how some little towns are under the total control or the anti Assad forces. The video I linked showed a man behind a desk talking, where he put his black flag behind him. This video is really symbolic and deep, and there is nothing offensive in it, unless you want to hide the existence of these type of elements?

Care to let me know what is wrong with this video?

As for the video with the dead man being dragged by the anti Assad forces it is also to show how these little towns are getting out of control.

AS for my origin please leave that aside

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

April 25th, 2012, 5:02 pm

 

48. Alan said:

:) moderator thank you !
Obey The Moderator! – Optimus Rhyme

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

April 25th, 2012, 5:05 pm

 

49. Afram said:

Saudi Grand Mufti authorizes marriage to 10-yr-old girls

syrians…saudis are coming to town to democratize you
where is the UNICEF?kick ksa out of the UN NOW!!!

Examiner.com 24 April 2012

By Timothy Whiteman

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, or on formal occasions, Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Lateef Aal ash-Shaikh, has given the official thumbs-up for Muslim men to marry girls as young as 10.

According to the Australian news portal The World Observer, the Grand Mufti also criticized those who desire to raise the minimum age of marriage to 25.

While lecturing at Imam Mohamed bin Saud Islamic University in the Saudi capitol of Riyadh, the Sheikh stated:

“Those who call for raising the age of marriage to 25 are absolutely mistaken.

“Our mothers and grandmothers got married when they were barely 12.

Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age”

As reported, the above response was from a question asked by a female attendee about marrying minor girls without their consent.

The World Observer also cites:

(…)
http://europenews.dk/en/node/54062

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

April 25th, 2012, 5:11 pm

 

50. Antoine said:

MJABALI,

First the way you titled the second video was incorrect : It was in Yabroud, which is quite a distance from Damascus, high up on the Qalamoun mountains. It is a mixed city of Sunnis and Christians and close to the Lebanese border. It receives lots of tourists in summer (obviousdly not this year) and is comparatively liberal town compared to rural areas of Homs and Idlib.

Dragging dead people with cars shows how much they hate pro-Assad elements.

That is a good message to any Syrian soldier, whatever his sect, who is loyal to the regime and willing to fight for Assad.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

April 25th, 2012, 5:23 pm

 

51. mjabali said:

Antoine:

How come dragging people dead and naked down the street in a “liberal” town is a “good message?”

You can not have this type of lynching take place: things will get very messy fast.

Street justice is not good for anyone in this conflict except for the vindictive elements which can not control their deeds. This is scary for all.

How long Yabrud would stay liberal with people being dragged in the street like that?

As for why Yabrud is considered “liberal?”

Yabrud originally is a Syrian Christian town, Muslims became a majority of late. Christians from Yabrud emigrated in large number over a long span of time.

As for how liberal Homs’ countryside? the Alawi, Christians, Murshidi, Shia, Ismaili areas are ok I think.

As for Idlib: that area is a big conservative block.

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

April 25th, 2012, 6:07 pm

 

52. Antoine said:

MJABALI,

Zabadani, Madaya, Rankous, etc. have also rebelled, and all of them are in the Qalamoun mountains ( last stronghold of Aramaic language in Syria).

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 15

April 25th, 2012, 6:11 pm

 

53. Uzair8 said:

Latest tweet from Sh. Yaqoubi:

The History of Syria is being rewritten by the martyrs’ blood; how much can you contribute to it to make the change and deserve victory?

21h

http://twitter.com/#!/Shaykhabulhuda

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

April 25th, 2012, 6:34 pm

 

54. Halabi said:

I don’t know if this is real, because it hasn’t been confirmed by Bandar and Hamad yet, but it falls within Assad supporters’ call to “persecute” the opposition.

No blood here, but it’s still a difficult scene for people with souls. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=130261973773817

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12

April 25th, 2012, 7:14 pm

 

55. omen said:

halabi:

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 12

April 25th, 2012, 7:42 pm

 

56. zoo said:

Syria faces neo-mujahideen struggle
By Victor Kotsev
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND26Ak02.html

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may have won a battle earlier this year (as the retreat of the Free Syrian Army from the ruined city of Homs testifies), but he is nowhere near winning the war. The uprising is quickly turning into a full-scale insurgency – a foreign-sponsored insurgency, to be more precise, which some analysts term a “neo-mujahideen strategy”.

After Saturday’s unanimous vote, the lines at the United Nations Security Council have blurred somewhat: Resolution 2043, introduced by Russia, authorized the sending of 300 unarmed military observers to supervise the implementation of the latest peace plan spearheaded by United Nations peace envoy and former secretary general Kofi Annan.

By most accounts, however, this is no more than a token gesture, which will not stop the bloodshed, but may win some time for all
sides to regroup and to shore up their strategy. The status quo is clearly unsustainable, but an ominous silence, at least as concerns the next big moves, has set in.

On the ground, state lines have blurred as well – although not officially, at least not yet. The powers with the greatest stakes in the Syrian conflict look at the map and increasingly appear to see networks of ethnic and religious groups scattered across a number of countries, rather than the traditional state borders that nominally define the space.

If a regime is too strong militarily to be defeated from the outside, it can be torn apart from the inside – yet this is a game that requires great skill and caution, as well as the micromanagement of an enormously complicated web of regional relationships and rivalries.
Neighboring countries, whose populations have participated in these networks for many years, typically have an edge in this game over distant superpowers, but they also have a lot more at stake in it. A mistake can cost them dearly and can set the fire of identity conflict to their own proverbial houses.

This logic fits the situation Turkey finds itself in with respect to Syria. The two countries were bitter rivals for decades, though in the past years – until last year’s uprising – Ankara sought to reassert itself on the Middle Eastern political scene, and seemingly perceived Assad’s regime as its prized instrument for channeling influence into the Arab world.

The Arab Spring put paid to that, but Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan adjusted quickly and tried to champion the cause of Syrian freedom, ostensibly in hopes of winning even greater clout among the Arabs in this way than his relationship with Assad could ever have afforded him.
(..)

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

April 25th, 2012, 7:54 pm

 

57. Tara said:

Final body counts for Wednesday. 100 killed by the regime today including dozen women and dozen children.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 13

April 25th, 2012, 8:02 pm

 

58. Syria no Kandahar said:

April 25th, 2012, 8:02 pm

 

59. Afram said:

55. omen said:
halabi:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkpJsAh5HC8
===========
omen:VIDEO IS FAKE…TRY AGAIN
Nov 17, 2009 – Recruits being ‘hardened’ by Jordanian army sergeants

http://www.military.com/video/forces/army-training/jordanian-army-recruit-hardening/662909243001/

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

April 25th, 2012, 8:05 pm

 

60. Tara said:

This is a magnificent explanation of the Armenian genocide.  The ethnic cleansing of Armenians was part of of secular Turkish nationalism’s onslaught against Islam.  Islam was the very reason why Armenians had lived safely under Ottoman rule.

Armenian ethnic cleansing as ‘de-Islamization’

Yesterday was the 97th anniversary of what Armenians call the “Great Catastrophe,” or the ethnic cleansing of Ottoman Armenians from Anatolia, their historical homeland, in 1915. Those who commemorated the tragedy included some Turks, such as the group that gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. 

With the slogan, “Let’s meet with the common hope that comes out of common sorrow,” these were a group of liberal activists who defy both the anti-Armenian enmity of Turkish nationalists, and the anti-Turkish bias of the Armenian Diaspora. And, most notably, they included not only secular liberals, who have always been at the forefront of “revisionism” on “the Armenian issue,” but also some Islamic figures. 

One such figure was Hilal Kaplan, a young veiled lady who has degrees in sociology and writes an influential column in Yeni Şafak, a mainstream Islamist daily. She not only joined the Taksim commemoration, but also called on fellow Muslims to do the same in a significant piece she wrote the day before. 

Titled “1915 as a move of de-Islamization,” Kaplan’s piece defined the ethnic cleansing of Ottoman Armenians as a part of secular Turkish nationalism’s onslaught against Islam. Islam, she reminded, was the very reason why Armenians had lived safely under Ottoman rule for centuries, for Islamic law had defined Christians as “People of the Book” with inalienable rights. That is why in 1915, when the nationalist Young Turk government decided to expel almost all Armenians to Syria, some Islamic opinion leaders, such as the famous mufti of Boğazlıyan, Abdullahzade Efendi, defied Istanbul’s orders and tried to protect the Armenians.

Read more..
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/armenian-ethnic-cleansing-as-de-islamization.aspx?pageID=449&nID=19180&NewsCatID=411 

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 16

April 25th, 2012, 8:20 pm

 

61. Bronco said:

#57 Tara

The killed syrian army officials, the red crescent employee, the security officers and the anonymous civilians killed by terrorists attacks do not deserve a prayer?

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 8

April 25th, 2012, 8:39 pm

 

62. Bronco said:

Tara #360

What a weird theory: Christians were slaughtered to prevent Islamism to take over Turkey?

With the AKP in power, it could very well repeat itself soon.

Thank God, Armenians are in safety in Syria under a secular regime that protect them from Turkish weird adventurism.

Thumb up 16 Thumb down 12

April 25th, 2012, 8:46 pm

 

63. Tara said:

Bronco

With the exclusion of the red crescent employees and the anonymous civilians, do terrorists deserve a prayer upon their death?

In Islam and Christianity, yes.

I told you I am not religious.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 17

April 25th, 2012, 8:48 pm

 

64. omen said:

ty afram, now we know where the regime picked up the idea.

here is something to soothe your soul:

http://www.flickr.com//photos/drawingfreedom/show/

oh, i forgot. afram, you are probably opposed to terrorist children.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 15

April 25th, 2012, 8:53 pm

 

65. Tara said:

Bronco

My family has a strong favorable history with an Armenian family. I met once my “would be brothers” in Montreal many years ago. All what in their mind was ice hockey and nothing but. I was forced to watch the game for 2 hours and to smile too.

In any case, the writer made an excellent point. Armenians were protected under the Islamic Ottoman empire. They were the people of the book. The genocide occurred as the Turkish nationalism took over. The Islamic mufti then defied the government trying to protect the Armenians. Can you deny it?

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 15

April 25th, 2012, 8:56 pm

 

66. Tara said:

The regime wants to play Salwa ya Salwa choosing * Helweh* from Russia, China, and the Brics, and labeling * Beshaa* all observers from the western and Arab countries.  Is Bashar going to prevail in this one too?

France warned on Wednesday that Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria was “seriously compromised” and said it wanted UN monitors deployed within a fortnight and not in three months.

UN-Arab League envoy Koffi Annan had urged a rapid deployment of the full, 300-strong observer team agreed by the UN Security Council, and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said they should be on the ground in a fortnight, not three months.


“We need eyes and ears on the ground, able to move freely and quickly, and to engage all parties — something which must be guaranteed by the Syrian authorities,” he said.

But UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said it would take at least one month to get the first 100 into Syria.

He told the Security Council Damascus was refusing to accept monitors from the Western and Arab coalition of countries in the so-called Friends of Syria group that has backed the Syrian opposition.

Addressing the UN Security Council via teleconference, Annan said he was “concerned” about the violence surging after observers visit individual cities.

The former UN chief said Assad has still not fulfilled a promise to end violence and said the situation was “bleak” and “unacceptable.”

Annan said he was “particularly alarmed” at reports that government forces had entered the city of Hama after a visit by UN monitors and killed “a significant” number of people.

“If confirmed this is totally unacceptable and reprehensible,” he told the council.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said “things are not going well; the Annan plan is strongly compromised but there is still a chance for this mediation, on the condition of the rapid deployment of the 300 monitors.”
….
http://news.yahoo.com/syria-peace-plan-seriously-compromised-france-154918941.html

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 14

April 25th, 2012, 9:14 pm

 

67. Afram said:

64. omen said:
oh, i forgot. afram, you are probably opposed to terrorist children
=====================
I oppose,pedophilia!!!

Saudi Grand Mufti authorizes marriage to 10-yr-old girls

http://europenews.dk/en/node/54062

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

April 25th, 2012, 9:22 pm

 

68. Ghufran said:

I have to admit that I knew very little about Hamadyn Sabahi of Egypt until today,he looks like a serious contender in Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections.
Here is a short bio of the man:

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%86_%D8%B5%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AD%D9%8A

My Egyptian friends, and I have a number of them, still think that Amr Mousa and Abu Alfutouh have a better chance than Hamadyn, I would love to see him win and would love more to see a genuine secular Syrian running for office in Syria, we should not be expected to choose between an Assadist and an Islamist, a third option is crucial, and is good for Syria.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

April 25th, 2012, 9:30 pm

 

69. Ghufran said:

The FSA denied report about Dayr Azzour

[ blue diamond http://www.shamlife.com/?page=show_det&select_page=9&id=22519 ]

نفت مصادر قيادية في “الجيش السوري الحر” المعلومات التي تناقلتها وسائل الإعلام وتحدثت فيها عن سيطرة “الجيش الحر” على 70% من محافظة دير الزور، وقالت المصادر لـ”الشرق الأوسط”: “هذه المعلومات غير دقيقة ولم تصدر عنا كما أنها قد تصب في مصلحة النظام الذي قد يخترع ذريعة لاقتحام مناطق في دير الزور”.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

April 25th, 2012, 9:37 pm

 

70. bronco said:

Tara

In any case Armenians hate Turks and they have no problem with ‘moderate’ moslems

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

April 25th, 2012, 9:50 pm

 

71. zoo said:

Ahmad Shafik is the “USA-EU-Israel” candidate

http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-poll-body-reverses-ban-last-mubarak-era-000140272.html

Egypt’s electoral commission on Wednesday went back on a decision to bar ousted leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister from running in the May 23 presidential election.

“The electoral commission… has decided to give its green light for Ahmed Shafiq’s candidacy in the presidential election, having accepted his appeal,” the official MENA news agency reported.

The election panel on Tuesday had barred him from running to comply with a bill adopted by the Islamist-dominated parliament earlier this month banning the candidacies of all senior Mubarak-era officials.

Shafiq, a general and former civil aviation minister, had been named premier in the final days of Mubarak’s three-decade rule last year as he battled an 18-day popular uprising.
(…)

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

April 25th, 2012, 9:53 pm

 

72. bronco said:

Tara

I am ignoring the last minute gesticulations of Juppe hopefully on his way to the garage.

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

April 25th, 2012, 9:55 pm

 

73. Darryl said:

Dear Tara,

That post in 60 made me laugh so much that I now have tears in my eyes and I thank you for the joy.

Having said, now I am wondering what would be the explanation for when the Messenger of Allah was on his death bed, he cursed the Jews and Christians which lead Khalifah Omar ibn Al=Khattab to expel all Jews and Christians from Arabia and now the Grand Mufti of KSA wants all churches destroyed?

Any thoughts, were they attempting to have a secular system too?

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 8

April 25th, 2012, 10:14 pm

 

74. Syria no Kandahar said:

Welcome to the new Syria’s body parts: Wester Kurdistan, capital: Efrin. Thank you so much killerutions for liberating Syria from Syria:

http://en.ria.ru/international_affairs/20120425/173044108.html

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

April 25th, 2012, 10:16 pm

 

75. Tara said:

Darryl

Prophet Muhammad did not curse the Jews pan the Christians in his death bed. I never heard of that before. I do not know why a demented Sheikh want churches destroyed. May be he needs Aricept?

Bronco,

I am writing a comment to you and it keeps going into spam. Hopefully we will not wake up tomorrow with 4 same comments released from spam. It is about the Turkish series Harem al Sultan. Did you watch it?

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 20

April 25th, 2012, 10:25 pm

 

76. omen said:

Vive la Liberté!

BEIRUT (AP) — France raised the prospect of military intervention in Syria on Wednesday, saying the U.N. should consider harsher measures if an international peace plan that has been shaken by violence ultimately collapses.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 14

April 25th, 2012, 10:33 pm

 

77. Syria no Kandahar said:

For Syria news sources haters, this article goes beyond SANA’s position in accurately diagnosing
The conspiracy against Syria: “Activists” cited are stooges for power. Throughout the conflict, Times articles, op-eds, and editorials shamelessly blamed Assad for Western generated crimes. Ban Ki-moon does the same thing. Kofi Annan did it before him. 

Both have shameless records of failure and betrayal. Assurance it would turn out that way got them their jobs. Only imperial loyalists qualify. Only media scoundrels claim otherwise or say nothing about their support for lawless wars and inaction to stop them.

Although Western generated violence displaced thousands of Syrians, no one has precise counts how many. ICRC officials report Assad cooperates delivering aid. Only areas plagued by insurgent violence makes it hard. When security forces quell it, residents thank Assad. They’d be helpless without him.

http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1/11509-syria-war-and-media-scoundrels.html

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

April 25th, 2012, 10:33 pm

 

78. Ghufran said:

May be the abuse of women in the Middle East is done to liberate women the same way as killing Armenians was supposed to fight Islamists.

Here is a serious article from a western perspective about sexism in the Middle East:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/the-real-roots-of-sexism-in-the-middle-east-its-not-islam-race-or-hate/256362/

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

April 25th, 2012, 10:33 pm

 

79. omen said:

ghufran, there is no excuse for it.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11

April 25th, 2012, 11:02 pm

 

80. Tara said:

Ghufran

Thank you for the link.

Now we know why Middle easterners don’t smile and why they beat their wives.  It is lack of democracy.  The Arab men, being humiliated by the Mukhabarat day in and day out, take it out on their wives.  Sound plausible?  We also now know why Asma said to wear the pants in the Assad family… There was no mukhabarat to harass Bashar growing up so he did not have that specific psychological complex and hence…Interesting! 

“Arabs have endured centuries of brutal, authoritarian rule, and this could also play a role. A Western female journalist who spent years in the region, where she endured some of the region’s infamous street harassment, told me that she sensed her harassers may have been acting in part out of misery, anger, and their own emasculation. Enduring the daily torments and humiliations of life under the Egyptian or Syrian or Algerian secret police, she suggested, might make an Arab man more likely to reassert his lost manhood by taking it out on women.

The intersection of race and gender is tough to discuss candidly. If we want to understand why an Egyptian man beats his wife, it’s right and good to condemn him for doing it, but it’s not enough. We also have to discuss the bigger forces that are guiding him, even if that makes us uncomfortable because it feels like we’re excusing him. For decades, that conversation has gotten tripped up by issues of race and post-colonial relations that are always present but often too sensitive to address directly. ” 

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

April 25th, 2012, 11:03 pm

 

81. bronco said:

#75 Tara

I read about it on Turkish news it but I have not seen it.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

April 25th, 2012, 11:27 pm

 

82. zoo said:

No string attached?

Qatar offers $1bn loan to tide over battered Tunisian economy, says govt spokesman

By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2:33 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/qatar-offers-1bn-loan-to-tide-over-battered-tunisian-economy-says-govt-spokesman/2012/04/25/gIQAtkpFhT_story.html
TUNIS, Tunisia — Qatar has offered Tunisia a $1 billion low interest loan to bolster the North African country’s battered economy, Tunisia’s presidential spokesman announced Wednesday.

The tiny gas-rich Gulf monarchy has also offered 20,000 job openings to Tunisia’s myriad unemployed university graduates, added spokesman Adnan Mancer in remarks to journalists.
(…)

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

April 25th, 2012, 11:31 pm

 

83. zoo said:

Mood is back

Norwegian general Robert Mood to lead UN Syria mission

Agence France-Presse Apr 25, 2012 – 2:49 PM ET
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/25/norwegian-general-robert-mood-to-lead-un-syria-mission/

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations on Friday will name Major General Robert Mood to head the Syria ceasefire observer mission that is struggling to get monitors into the country, diplomats said.

UN member states have so far offered only 100 military officers for the unarmed force given the risky mission of checking a cessation of hostilities that has barely held in Syria since April 12. A total of 300 observers has been proposed, accompanied by about 90 civilian support staff and experts.

Mood is expected to be in Damascus as early as this weekend. Diplomats said no objections were expected before a formal announcement on Friday after UN leader Ban Ki-moon told the UN Security Council he plans to name the Norwegian general.

The 54-year-old general negotiated sending of the advanced party of monitors with the Damascus government.
(…)

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

April 25th, 2012, 11:34 pm

 

84. zoo said:

The yoyos again…

Iran will not build a nuclear bomb, says Israel military chief

Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz offers rare optimism by a top Israeli official, saying sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Tehran were bearing fruit.
http://www.thenational.ae/

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

April 25th, 2012, 11:37 pm

 

85. zoo said:

Jordan is the place for macho men to live as 91% of the women feel that wife-beating is justified. Maybe it seriously lacks democracy.

UNICEF: 50 per cent of female in developing countries accept wife-beating
Posted on 26 April 2012 – 05:36am

“In India, 57 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women felt that wife-beating was justified.

Among the 74 countries surveyed, women from Jordan had the highest percentage of sharing similar views, at 91 per cent, while the highest percentage of men who held these views was reported from the Solomon Islands, at 73 per cent.”

http://www.thesundaily.my/news/360265

The UAE is another candidate for softer machos

Men ALLOWED to beat their wives and young children (as long as they don’t leave any marks), rules UAE court

By Dan Newling
18 October 2010
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1321504/UAEs-highest-court-rules-men-beat-wives-long-leave-marks.html#ixzz1t7DtGrS9

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

April 25th, 2012, 11:57 pm

 

86. omen said:

zoo: Iran will not build a nuclear bomb, says Israel military chief

maybe it doesn’t need to.

does this sound plausible?:

having breakout capability (ie ability to quickly build nukes if required) is sufficient to achieve the effect of deterrence, no actual building required.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

April 26th, 2012, 12:10 am

 

87. omen said:

what happens to syria if iran is bombed?

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 13

April 26th, 2012, 12:13 am

 

88. Syria no Kandahar said:

Aljazera wil put nails in the tires of any thing which
Might make Syria stable:

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 12:34 am

 

89. Syria no Kandahar said:

Today’s demonstration in Homs demanding applying Alsharia law and Alkelafa. Any one having any hope that this craplution is going to produce any good outcome is a traitor or day dreamer:

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 12:53 am

 

90. Aldendeshe said:

89. Syria no Kandahar said:
Today’s demonstration in Homs demanding applying Alsharia law and Alkelafa. Any one having any hope that this craplution is going to produce any good outcome is a traitor or day dreamer:

—————————————————————–

Who else to blame other than the bizarre love triangle dictator.

He should’ve handed power to the Syrian Nationalist Party boss and the Syrian Social Nationalist Parti(es) of Syria’s and Lebanon a year ago. None of this will have transpired. It is too late now. It is his mess, clean it up. But if he will hand over his conventional and unconventional weapon to SNP control, that and a billion dollar, will take over security of Syria with the rest of the snpiers in Syria and Lebanon and soft land the country into quick complete reforms.

Otherwise, keep on it until the inevitable end as Saddam and Gaddafi.

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

April 26th, 2012, 1:13 am

 

91. Syria no Kandahar said:

Edlib, Benash
Islam is the solution
Alkelafa is our demand

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

April 26th, 2012, 1:21 am

 

92. omen said:

(Reuters) – When the aspirin and alcohol swabs fell from under her clothes at a Syrian army checkpoint, Rania stood petrified, looking first down at her fallen contraband and then up at the soldier who stared straight back at her.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

April 26th, 2012, 1:36 am

 

93. Syria no Kandahar said:

These are Islam deformers and destructors:

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

April 26th, 2012, 1:37 am

 

94. Darryl said:

80. TARA said:

Dear Tara, according to Sheikh Arafat in the linked video, wife beating is a privilege and honor that Islam provides for the exclusive benefit for women.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChnpaMK1oLQ

Lastly per comment 75 above, if a person has not heard of September 11 incident, that does not mean it did not occur.

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 1:37 am

 

95. Syria no Kandahar said:

Revolution Autopsy:

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 2:02 am

 

96. Syria no Kandahar said:

Alqaeda declares responsibility for Aleppo’s suicide bombing. Any one supporting this insurgency is a friend of Alqaeda :

http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/7230/Default.aspx

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

April 26th, 2012, 2:33 am

 

97. Juergen said:

Halabi, Omen

thank you for sharing, the videos are most disturbing and after watching such atrocities one wonders why there are still people on this earth, may be because of women?

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

April 26th, 2012, 2:34 am

 

98. Shami said:

Exactly Tara,

The sad events that erased the armenian presence in anatolia is a repercussion of the war of nationalities that were driven by western nationalist ideologies.

Prior to this, the muslim populations of the northern caucase have been anhilitated by the russian empire forces.

Many people ignore that Moscow and a large part of eastern Europe had been ruled for centuries by the islamized mongols of the golden horde with a great sense of religious tolerance.

The religious tolerance of the muslims (in general) had no equivalent in the world prior to our modern era.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 11

April 26th, 2012, 2:40 am

 

99. Uzair8 said:

Syria’s economy and currency are sinking

April 25, 2012

Syria’s remaining cash reserves are quickly dwindling as the country’s anti-government uprising marks its 13th month, according to intelligence officials and financial analysts who describe a steady hollowing-out of the country’s economy in the face of sanctions.

The financial hemorrhaging has forced Syrian officials to stop providing education, health care and other essential services in some parts of the country, and has prompted the government to seek more help from Iran to prop up the country’s sagging currency, the analysts said. Revenue from Syrian oil, meanwhile, has almost dried up, with even China and India declining to accept the nation’s crude, they said.

At the same time, President Bashar al-Assad appears to have shielded himself and his inner circle from much of the pain of the sanctions and trade embargoes, which are driving up food and fuel prices for many of the country’s 20 million residents, U.S. and Middle Eastern analysts and financial experts say.

Read more:

http://www.yalibnan.com/2012/04/25/syrias-economy-and-currency-are-sinking/

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

April 26th, 2012, 3:04 am

 
 

101. Juergen said:

Whats going on in Syria?

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13

April 26th, 2012, 3:45 am

 

102. Mina said:

Antoine #50

Yabroud is not a liberal town anymore in the last 3-4 years. A friend was telling me that in the past Christians would fast a few days for ramadan and Muslims would join them for Easter prayer, but in the recent years these practices are now memories and some girls have started to wear full-black (mainly those who lived with their parents in the Gulf since many in Yabroud worked there?). Same poison as what happened to the Yemenis.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

April 26th, 2012, 4:19 am

 

103. Mina said:

Zoo #82,

It is Sarkozy’s version of Euromediterranean integration. Pronounced coca cola flavor.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 4:28 am

 

104. Juergen said:

Not a joke: Adel Imam sentenced to prison for 3 months and for payment of 170 Dollar…

Alaa Al-Aswani ( author of the bestseller “The Yacoubian Building”:
“I am horrified by this move back to the middle ages.”

http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sueddeutsche.de%2Fkultur%2Faegyptischer-militaerrat-verurteilt-komiker-rueckkehr-ins-mittelalter-1.1341990

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

April 26th, 2012, 4:36 am

 

105. Mina said:

Huge explosion in Hama:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17851122

The author seems to doubt the video of the man buried alive.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 5:05 am

 

106. zoo said:

What does the UN observer says?
Syria says militants behind Hama blast

BEIRUT | Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:25am EDT
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/26/us-syria-blast-idUSBRE83P0E220120426

(Reuters) – A blast that killed at least 16 people in the central Syrian city of Hama on Wednesday was the work of militants who botched a bomb-making attempt, the state news agency said on Thursday.

The statement, citing an unnamed government official, contradicts activist reports that security forces fired a rocket at the building in violation of the country’s shaky truce, killing dozens of people, possibly as many as 68 according to some counts.

Hama, a hotbed of rebellion in the year-long revolt against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, is hosting two United Nations observers. They are preparing for a wider U.N. mission that will monitor a shaky ceasefire brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan.

State news agency SANA said the blast was accidentally set off by militants preparing explosives in a building they had used to make bombs. The building collapsed and residents had to dig several victims out from beneath the rubble.
(..)

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

April 26th, 2012, 7:51 am

 

107. zoo said:

The yoyos again, empty talks

Israel military chief says other nations also could also strike Iran sites over nuke weapons

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israel-military-chief-says-other-nations-also-could-also-strike-iran-sites-over-nuke-weapons/2012/04/26/gIQAhQUhiT_story.html

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

April 26th, 2012, 7:53 am

 

108. Syria no Kandahar said:

http://www.shukumaku.com/PDA/Content.php?id=45661

Terrorists Commit Massacre against a Family.. Assassination of Basketball Player

Terrorists continue targeting national expertise and civilians in Syria, and in the latest incidents of this sort, an armed terrorist group committed a horrible massacre against four citizens from one family in Erbin region in Damascus Countryside.

A source at the Police Command in the province said that masked terrorists opened fire on the family members, causing their immediate death due to gunshot in the head.

The source added that the armed terrorist group filmed the bodies with the aim of sending the footage to the instigative satellite channels to blame the security forces.

The bodies, which were thrown on the road near Erbin graveyard, belong to citizen Mousa al-Othman, his Wife Moushira Abdel Qader al-Sheikh, his brother Issa al-Othman from Aleppo Countryside and retired Warrant Officer Emir Othman from Deir Ezzor.

[ … ]

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 7:54 am

 
 

110. zoo said:

‘Game of nations’ reaches a dead end

Observers will stay indoors on protest day, proving how worthless the ceasefire is

By Joseph A. Kechichian Senior Writer

http://gulfnews.com/news/region/syria/game-of-nations-reaches-a-dead-end-1.1013759

Beirut The handful of UN observers who are currently in Syria apparently agreed to stay in their hotel rooms on Fridays — the mandatory day of protest during the past year — which clearly highlighted what many feared when Kofi Annan, the affable former UN secretary-general, negotiated a toothless ceasefire.

Over 300 Syrian civilians have been mowed down since the six-point truce, ironically approved by Damascus, came into effect on April 12.

Regrettably, despite these violations, Annan has voiced few objections, while Nabeel Al Arabi, the League of Arab States (LAS) Secretary-General, has called for a political process to resolve the crisis.

In yet another typical declaration that uttered words but said little, Al Arabi sought “a political solution [which] cannot be considered separately from the goal of achieving a ceasefire”.

For its part, the European Union has imposed an across-the-board ban on the sale of luxury goods, ostensibly to force Syria’s hand and make it comply with the Annan Plan.

Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for Catherine Ashton, European Union foreign policy chief, innocently claimed that the EU was “really trying to make sure the sanctions target the regime”, unaware that luxury goods are freely available in nearby Lebanon.

US at its wits’ end

Even the Obama administration, whose search for a more effective response to the killings in Syria was etched in the American president’s oft-repeated declarations on President Bashar Al Assad to step down, proved to be oblivious on what to do next.

An alleged focus on technology transfers to Syriatel, the Syrian communications company, was ostensibly meant to stop the killings, although this is optimistic at best. Ironically, rumours have circulated that Washington and, perhaps, several GCC states are opening up channels of communication with Al Assad, realising he is not going anywhere.

Under the circumstances, and now that the Annan ceasefire has proved its inefficacy, is Syria poised on a military solution?

In the ‘Game of Nations’, back-channel communications seldom end, even among parties engaged in open hostilities. Still, it was difficult to see how Western powers can reconcile themselves with Al Assad, for doing so will significantly erode their already tainted records.

[ … ]

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

April 26th, 2012, 8:00 am

 

111. Syria no kandahar said:

Ceasefire the terrorists way:

تعرض ضابط برتبة رائد ومعه سبعة عناصر ،ظهر اليوم ، إلى الخطف من قبل مسلحين مجهولين أثناء توجههم من مركز شرطة باب الهوى الحدودي إلى حلب .

وكان أكثر من 35 تلميذا من مدرسة الشرطة بحلب تعرضوا للخطف على يد مسلحين خلال ذهابهم في إجازة إلى اهاليهم وذلك بالقرب من منطقة خان العسل وقرية خناصر بريف حلب .

وتأتي عملية الخطف هذه في سياق عمليات منظمة تشهدها اماكن متفرقة من سوريا لاسيما في محافظتي دمشق وحلب .

http://www.aksalser.com/?page=view_news&id=3d55f8effcfc5d252db190137f8c335c&ar=185891739

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 8:04 am

 

112. bronco said:

#105 Juergen

ref: Adel Imam

A glimpse of what may come from the blooming of the Arab Spring poisonous flowers:

The defeat of the young idealists and westernized Arab ‘facebook-twitter’ generation in front of the dark forces of money, power greed and religion calling themselves ‘democracy’.

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

April 26th, 2012, 8:16 am

 

113. zoo said:

Struggle looming in Libya for the Moslem brotherhood

http://rt.com/news/libya-bans-religious-parties-975/

“Parties are not allowed to be based on religion or ethnicity or tribe,” NTC spokesman Mohammed al-Harizy told Reuters after the meeting.

A new political party formed in March by Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists has urged the NTC to clarify the decision.

The head of the Islamist party claimed the law would cause controversy, because the country’s relatively conservative population is made up almost entirely of Sunni Muslims.

“This kind of clause is only useful in countries where there exist many religions, not in Libya where most people are religious Muslims,” Mohammed Sawan said.

If the NTC does not change the law, the party will have to protest, he added.
(…)

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

April 26th, 2012, 8:21 am

 

114. Tara said:

Bronco,

So in fear of the defeat, people should not fight for their rights and should remained “accomplice” in their own degradation.? All what it means that struggle should and need to continue.

Also, you did not watch the Turkish series I recommended. You refused to watch the Iranian movie I asked you to. You don’t know who Pino is. You don’t share my profound “love” of the French doctor. You hate Lailac blue color. You unconsciously hate my name and often forget it. You on purpose missed Bushnsk song the other day. You keep admiring the regime and…..others. Can you once respond to one request?

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

April 26th, 2012, 8:38 am

 

115. Alan said:

http://aliqtisadi.com/index.php?mode=article&id=22213&utm_source=Weekly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=709d6c0c00-19_4_19_2012&utm_medium=email

لعقوبات الأميركية: 65 حالة حصار في العالم وأكثر من 220 قانون عقوبات خلال قرن
تاريخ المقال: 2012-04-26

تعتبر الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، الدولة الوحيدة في العالم، الأكثر استخداماً لسلاح العقوبات التجارية والاقتصادية لتحقيق مصالحها وإجبار الدول المستهدفة بالعقوبات على انتهاج سلوك يتوافق مع أهدافها.

ويشير الخبراء إلى أن العقوبات الاقتصادية هي المعادل الاقتصادي لما يسمى في الحروب بالقصف الشامل، بل إن نتائجها تعادل الحروب وقد تزيد عنها، كما هو الحال في العراق حيث تسببت في وفاة أكثر من مليون ونصف مليون طفل عراقي.‏‏

وتهدف العقوبات الأميركية سواء تلك التي فرضتها واشنطن منفردة أم بالاشتراك مع الدول الغربية الاستعمارية أو التي فرضت برغبة أميركية من خلال مجلس الأمن، تهدف إلى منع أي دولة في العالم وبجميع الوسائل بما فيها القوة الغاشمة من امتلاك القوة اللازمة لحماية نفسها من العدوان وكذلك تهدف إلى حماية الكيان الإسرائيلي وإبقائه متفوقاً لكي يواصل احتلاله وعدوانه، كما ترمي إلى استنزاف ونهب الخيرات الاقتصادية للدول المعاقبة، وإبقاء الدول الحليفة لواشنطن تحت سيطرتها وجرها باستمرار لتأييد المواقف الأميركية، وأخيراً تهدف إلى السيطرة على منابع النفط ومصادر الطاقة الأخرى واستخدامه كوسيلة ابتزاز ضد الدول المنافسة لها.‏‏

[ … ]

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

April 26th, 2012, 8:39 am

 

116. bronco said:

#116 Tara

A realistic assessment of a looming and humiliating defeat has stopped blood spilling and wars all over history.

Only fools refuse to make that assessment.

Rule of life: One can’t change others to suit oneself, one adapts or quit.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

April 26th, 2012, 8:58 am

 

117. zoo said:

Ghalioun calls in the desert

April 26, 2012
Syrian National Council head urges Arab League to be harsher on Assad
http://eg4.me/en/?p=6827

The head of the Syrian National Council has called on the Arab League to at the very least direct a warning toward the government of President Bashar al-Assad, rather than continuing to offer the regime more deadlines.

Council head Burhan Ghalioun told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper Thursday that 14 days have passed since an official UN-brokered ceasefire took effect, but that the regime has not implemented the agreement. On the contrary, the regime assassinated some of the youths who met with the UN monitoring mission in the country, he added.

“The Arab League has been hesitant toward the Syrian revolution and it should know that silence toward the [violence] the Syrian regime is committing against the people is a participation and collusion in the crime,” Ghalioun said.

Ghalioun urged the league to make “serious, bold and collective decisions to send a strong message to the Syrian regime,” and to prepare these decisions within the league and the UN to put an end to the crimes.

He also slammed the announcement of a transitional government-in-exile on Thursday by some Syrian activists, saying that the right strategy is for the opposition to continue supporting the revolution by all means.

[ … ]

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

April 26th, 2012, 9:19 am

 

118. zoo said:

More trouble for the moribund SNC

Son of former Syrian PM wants to form government in exile

Father imprisoned by Baath party when it came to power in 1963
April 26, 2012, 2:42 pm

http://www.timesofisrael.com/son-of-former-syrian-pm-wants-to-form-government-in-exile/

PARIS (AP) — The son of a former Syrian prime minister says he wants to form a government in exile aimed at bolstering Syrian rebels and encouraging international military intervention.

Nofal al-Dawalibi’s attempt at forming a government of those who oppose Syrian President Bashar Assad only highlights divisions among those trying to oust his regime from outside the country.

Al-Dawalibi said Thursday the opposition Syrian National Council, which has enjoyed support from several countries, has failed to accomplish anything and is an “artificial” body.

French diplomats say anti-regime activists in Syria appear to operate on their own and don’t take orders from opposition groups abroad.

Al-Dawalibi’s father, Maarouf, was elected prime minister in 1961, but was later jailed and fled to Saudi Arabia in 1963.

[ … ]

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 9:23 am

 

119. jna said:

German ship wasn’t carrying weapons to Syria, Turkey says

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online
http://en.europeonline-magazine.eu/german-ship-wasnt-carrying-weapons-to-syria-turkey-says_205802.html

Istanbul (dpa) – Turkey has cleared a German-owned ship of suspicion that it was carrying weapons and military equipment from Iran to the Syrian government, customs officials said on Wednesday.

A statement by Turkish customs officials said that a search of the Atlantic Cruiser, which docked at the Turkish port of Iskenderun in April, found no “weapons, munitions or military equipment.”

It added that the ship‘s operators had been given permission to reload the cargo bound for the Syrian port of Tartus. No details were given on the content of the cargo although the owner has said that it included parts to build a Syrian power plant.

(…)

Another instance of not credible opposition stories.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 10:18 am

 

120. Aldendeshe said:

All the blames on the BATTA. SQWEEK, SQWEEK…. Here goes Syria.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

April 26th, 2012, 11:29 am

 

121. Tara said:

Bronco

Are you trying to tell me not to recommend any movie, song, artist, or even color to you?   Do you not appreciate art?  Well, that is sad.  It gets very boring like that.  In any case blue is not really my color and being nice does not kill anyone. I am a bit annoyed.

Yet can’t agree more…. Assad should adapt or quit in response to the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people who want him dead or vanished.   

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

April 26th, 2012, 11:46 am

 

122. bronco said:

#121 Tara

There is hope, I like blue…

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

April 26th, 2012, 1:07 pm

 

123. Nour said:

The official state version of what took place in Hama seems more plausible to me, as there is no reason (either militarily or politically) for the army to shell a building with a scud missile, an event that appears quite farfetched. It is not as if there have not been terrorists manufacturing explosives and setting them off all over Syria.

The problem we have now is that people wanted to undermine and ensure the failure of the Annan plan before it even started, because they have no intent but to see a military intervention that leads to the destruction of the Syrian state. The same scenario of the Arab League monitors is being replayed here, where certain sides agreed to the Annan plan only with the hope of using its “inevitable failure” as a pathway toward justifying a next phase of foreign military attacks.

In any case, this continued exchange of accusations and verbal attacks on both sides is not helpful to anyone and can only lead to further worsening the crisis. It is time that we all set our personal hatreds aside and looked to serving the interest of Syria as a whole.

Anyone more interested in vindictive satisfaction more than they are in bringing a peaceful end to the crisis does not have Syria’s interest in mind, but is merely looking to satisfy a primitive desire for vengeance.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

April 26th, 2012, 1:24 pm

 

124. zoo said:

How Russia, Iran keep fuel flowing to Syria

Thursday, 26 April 2012 16:18

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18587:how-russia-iran-keep-fuel-flowing-to-syria&catid=81:news&Itemid=625

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) – Russia and Iran are helping Syria import fuel which it needs for heavy vehicles including army tanks, allowing Damascus to avoid the full impact of tightening Western sanctions imposed over its violent suppression of dissent.

Syria received regular shipments of Russian gasoil and diesel over the winter and, despite Moscow’s diplomatic support for demands that the government stop its attacks and pull back its forces, Russia sent another delivery this month.

The shipments appear to be legal, as neither Russia nor Iran has signed up to Western sanctions barring such trade, and Moscow has blocked U.N. Security Council sanctions that would apply to all countries.

But following the convoluted paper trail of the shipments shows how difficult it is for the West to enforce sanctions designed to restrict Syria’s military capability, as long as Moscow prevents U.N. action.

The fuel sent by Russia, known as gasoil, can be marketed as diesel used for Syrian army tanks and heavy commercial vehicles, or as heating oil.

Oil producer Syria has two refineries, but also needs to import large amounts of gasoil to meet domestic demand, both for heating and for transport.

Western sanctions prohibit EU and U.S. firms from buying Syrian oil or doing business with Syrian companies handling imports of crude and refined products.

Most former suppliers have dropped out for fear of violating measures designed to punish President Bashar al-Assad for his crackdown on opponents.

(…)

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

April 26th, 2012, 1:28 pm

 

125. bronco said:

#121 Tara

“Yet can’t agree more…. Assad should adapt or quit in response to the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people who want him dead or vanished.”

Please avoid using ‘overwhelming majority’ until you can prove it.

I can say the same for the other side.

Despite concerted and fierce assaults, the opposition and the EOS have not been able to ‘change’ the regime, therefore they have no other choice than to adapt to the regime staying in power until there are elections where the ‘real ‘majority of the Syrians will decide of Syria’s future.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

April 26th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

126. zoo said:

Syria Grand Mufti says Arab Spring western plot

26/04/2012
By Yousef Diab
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=29405
Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – The Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, described the battle that is currently taking place in Syria as a “battle against our roots

Sheikh Hassoun also expressed his confidence that “Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is prepared to step down from power in the event that the opposition is prepared to enter dialogue and present a convincing [political] program to the Syrian people.” He stressed that “we are not against the Syrian opposition…I have contacted the Syrian opposition abroad and, more than four years ago, called on them to return to Syrian and conduct dialogue [with the regime].”

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

April 26th, 2012, 1:51 pm

 

127. zoo said:

Corruption scandals in the UK.

Will Rupert and James Murdoch topple David Cameron?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/leveson-inquiry/9226292/Will-Rupert-and-James-Murdoch-topple-David-Cameron.html
….
At this stage the evidence is only circumstantial, but the charge that the Cameron government has done commercial favours for the Murdochs in return for political support is very serious. This, if true, would amount to corruption. Certainly, if proven, it would force the resignation of Mr Hunt. But it is not impossible that the Government would fall. Mr Hunt is one of Mr Cameron’s closest friends in the Cabinet, and would never have set out on the course he did without the agreement of the Prime Minister.

The investigation into the Murdoch organisation has slowly exposed a network of suspected influence peddling, bribery and general criminality stretching way beyond the News International HQ in Wapping. The police are investigating evidence that Mr Murdoch’s reporters corrupted members of the Armed Forces and the civil service, and above all the Metropolitan Police.

(..)

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

April 26th, 2012, 2:31 pm

 

128. Amnesia said:

Moderator, Syria no Kandahar is bad enough without the following disgusting comment:

“Alqaeda declares responsibility for Aleppo’s suicide bombing. Any one supporting this insurgency is a friend of Alqaeda”

The troll is justifying the killing of opposition members. It is inexcusable. Thank you.

[greenlight Amnesia, commentators have been adequately warned against directly assigning criminal responsibility to other commentators by virtue of presumed membership in a group (Sunni/Wahabi killers, Opposition/Terrorists, FSA ‘pigs’/SC ‘pigs’, revolution/traitor killers).

SNK knows where this kind of rhetoric can lead. If it escalates to direct accusation, moderation again.]

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

April 26th, 2012, 2:43 pm

 

129. Mina said:

Syria ‘s Silent majority (the one ignored until now by the French media)
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syria-silent-majority-expands

Economic side of 9/11
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/ND27Dj02.html

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

April 26th, 2012, 2:49 pm

 

130. Alan said:

War Under Table: Ex-Blackwater mercs in Syria ‘backed by US’

The opposition fighters in Syria might be getting help from a different source – in the form of training from the US private security firm, formerly known as the notorious Blackwater group. Security circles reportedly confirmed the information which was released earlier by Wikileaks – that the company is sending mercenaries from Iraq into Syria.

RT discusses this with Christoph R. Horstel – who’s a government and business consultant.

[ … ]

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

April 26th, 2012, 2:54 pm

 

131. Syrialover said:

Assad’s best buddy – a vicious moron also busy destroying his own country. Incredible! Iran had the chance to become a rich, advanced and influential-by-respect nation with its big oil assets and human resources. Do we smell a coup coming on?

Subsidy Dispute Adds To Iran’s Woes (Financial Times, April 25, 2012)

A subsidy reform battle in Iran shows that the government of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the president, is being squeezed by domestic challenges while international powers place unprecedented pressure on the country.

Tehran shocked politicians and economists last month by announcing that, despite rapid consumer price inflation, it would increase monthly cash payments to citizens that were introduced as compensation for subsidy cuts.

The country’s parliament has tried to prevent the inflationary move as Iranians struggle with skyrocketing prices, particularly for food. Domestic producers are being hit by rising bills for unsubsidised energy, without receiving any extra government support.

In an effort to reduce wasteful consumption and save state money, Iran’s government announced in December 2010 a plan to cut about $100bn in subsidies on energy and other basic commodities.
………
To compensate for rising prices and counter the risk of social unrest, parliament obliged the government to give half the anticipated income from subsidy cuts back to the poor in the form of monthly cash payments. The rest of the income was to be used to support domestic producers.

Instead, Mr Ahmadi-Nejad chose to pay 455,000 Iranian rials ($37) every month – almost double the figure approved by parliament – to most citizens, including children. The commitment to support domestic producers was dropped entirely.

When the government said last month it was going to increase the compensation payments nearly 40 per cent, Ali Larijani, parliament’s speaker, was quick to write to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, urging him to intervene and block the rise.

Ahmad Tavakkoli, a parliamentarian, accused the government on Sunday of “violating the law” and “mis-implementing” the plan because it earned 290,000bn rials ($23.6bn) from the cut in subsidies in the first 14 months of its implementation but paid people $36.7bn of compensation in return.

Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moqaddam, another MP, alleged last month that the government had forced the central bank to use $7.3bn of consumer bank deposits to make the monthly cash payments. “This is unprecedented in the world for the central bank to withdraw people’s money overnight,” he said.

The storm over subsidy policy is a new domestic problem for the Islamic regime, as it faces unprecedented international pressure over its nuclear programme and increasingly open threats of a foreign military attack.

Political analysts accuse Mr Ahmadi-Nejad of caring more about his political base among the poor, who have so far benefited from the monthly payments and remain grateful to the populist president, than he does about Iran’s economic health.
……………
The latest official data comparing prices of foodstuffs in the second week of April to the corresponding period last year showed dairy products rose about 42 per cent, red meat 47.5 per cent, rice about 29 per cent, beans 45.7 per cent, vegetables 92 per cent, sugar 33 per cent and vegetable oil 30 per cent.

Ahmad Karimi-Isfahani, secretary of the Society of Bazaar Associations, told the semi-official ILNA news agency: “It had never happened before that the prices of basic commodities rise by about 50 per cent over one year.”

The employment crisis was highlighted by another recent central bank report which said that in 22.5 per cent of Iranian families, all family members were unemployed.

Hossein Raghfar, an economist, said: “This figure means about a quarter of the population are probably suffering from severe poverty.” A rise in monthly cash payments to people, he added, would triple inflation and “destroy” many domestic industries.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a6ac4438-8ebe-11e1-ac13-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1tOYb6kKd

Iranians, like Syrians, now have nothing to lose and everything to gain by fighting to get rid of someone who is happy to trash the country to keep his claws sunk into illegitimate power.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

April 29th, 2012, 4:13 pm

 

132. Syrialover said:

124. # Zoo

I’m sure the Iranian people with their rapidly dissolving economy will be infuriated to know their “leader” is giving away fuel to another embattled dictator.

(Intriguing how little interest some commentators here have in Iran’s catastrophic domestic and foreign problems – they’re much more excited about James Murdoch and David Cameron. Yawn.)

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

April 29th, 2012, 4:35 pm

 

Post a comment


4 × six =