The Annan Peace Proposal

President Assad walked around Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs in this video. He promises to make it “better than it was previously” and demands a timeline for the completion of repair work. Al-Jazeera reports that his motorcade was sniped at during the trip.

The Syrian military is carrying out “mopping up” operations in the A’zaz, Hamadan, and Khraytan area, the poor industrial suburbs and towns north of Aleppo. Here is a video of an Mi-2 helicopter that fires a rocket, reportedly over A’zaz (Aleppo) (Thanks Thomas Pierret). Since Monday morning I have been receiving calls about the fact that the roads to the north are closed because of military action. Turkey has shuttered its embassy  and Turkish airlines is pulling its flights to and from Syria, which is causing panic in Aleppo, where no open access to Turkey remains open. Businessmen are despondent about being able to keep business going between the two neighboring countries.

Annan says Syria accepts his UN peace plan which Annan insists is an “important initial step”.

Annan said the plan deals with “political discussions, withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, humanitarian assistance being allowed in unimpeded, release of prisoners, freedom of movement and access for journalists to go in and out.”

“So we will need to see how we move ahead and implement this agreement that they have accepted,” said Annan.

Annan’s six point plan and its likelihood of success:

President Assad is looking for a way to end the uprising against his regime without stepping down or turning over power to the revolutionary forces. He believes that the Annan plan can be a step towards regaining international acceptance of his government.

Both sides believe that time is on their side. The Syrian government believes it has the revolutionaries on the run and is carrying out “mopping up” exercises in all the main centers of revolutionary action: Homs, Idlib, and the suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo.

The opposition equally believes that time and the world is on its side. It has refused to negotiate with the regime, believing that it will prevail because of international support, international sanctions against the regime, which have pushed the economy into a tailspin, and because both the Arab World and West have stated repeatedly that the Assad regime is finished and is a pariah to the international order. They await arms shipments, money and widespread defections to tip the balance of power against the Syrian Army. The opposition believes, correctly, that President Assad will not carry out reforms that will lead to his ouster. The new UN peace plan does not insist on Assad handing over power to the revolutionary leadership, which is why Assad finds it acceptable and why the opposition has denounced it.

Prohibiting Males of Military age to leave the Country

The Syrian government is prohibiting males aged between 18-42 from leaving the country before receiving clearance by the Military Conscription department. Many upper-class Syrians are leaving the country. Most with children have made arrangements to leave when the school year finishes in order not to disrupt the education of their young. Anyone with a child over 18 will now be stuck.

Economy

One Christian industrialist from Aleppo whom I know is telling his friends that he is leaving Syria. His factory in the northern suburbs has been shut down by the opposition and he is unable to travel there any longer because of military operations. He will abandon his property and has already informed his workers that he cannot keep the factory open and that they must fend for themselves.

Another factory owner, whom I know, organized a meeting with opposition leaders in A’zaz, where his factory is located. He could not travel there himself, but delegated a factory administrator who knows the opposition leaders of the town to carry out the talks on his behalf. The factor has already had 300,000 Syrian pounds requisitioned. The opposition agreed to allowing him to keep the factory open. I do not know what further arrangements were made in order to keep its doors open.

Landis and Bassma Kodmani, spokesperson for the Syrian National Council, discuss the state of the Syrian opposition and the Istanbul meeting with Sophie Claudet
Reporter for Al-Monitor

Also see this discussion of Syria with Robert Wright

Robert Wright and Joshua Landis (University of Oklahoma, Syria Comment) Discuss the situation in Syria

Alawites: the Mormons of Syria 7:23
The byzantine ideological backdrop to the revolts 9:57
Joshua: Mistrust could lead to a failed state 7:16
The available ideology for young rebels is jihad 8:20
For the West, another multibillion-dollar swamp? 10:52
Joshua: Intervention could make the chaos worse 3:03

News Round Up

Homs: A request for information about why it became a center of the Syrian revolution

My name is Jordan Cannon and I am a student at Oklahoma University putting together a research paper on the topic of why Homs became the capital of the Syrian Revolution. I am trying to gather a history of the city and insight from native Syrians to write the real story.  Anyone willing to provide me assistance would be contributing to getting the word out as I plan on publishing this paper. Thank you.

Jordan Cannon
(580) 262-0112

“L’islam dans la révolution syrienne : 3 questions à Thomas Pierret,” La revue Politique étrangère.

Eating Cinnabon in Damascus
Why are foreign brands like KFC, the Four Seasons, and Cinnabon still trying to make a buck in Syria?
BY KATIE PAUL | MARCH 26, 2012

With insurance rates soaring, logistics risky, and the plummeting Syrian pound making import purchases increasingly expensive, the cost of doing business in Syria has skyrocketed. As business owners raise prices to compensate, middle-class customers with shrinking purchasing power are increasingly staying away, even from previously insulated retail spots like the Cham City Center, a mall that brought in foreign brands like Cinnabon and United Colors of Benetton when it opened in 2007. “It was very puzzling to me, but until the last week of December, Cham City Center mall was packed whenever I went, even during the middle of the week,” said one foreign banker based in Damascus until last month, when his bank closed up its Syria office.

The strain has not gone without notice in the Assad regime’s propaganda department, which has tried to convince consumers they can do just fine without the rest of the world. All over downtown Damascus, added the banker, billboards are preaching self-sustainability as part of a governmental public awareness campaign to put a euphemistic spin on things: “Let us wear what we weave,” the billboards tell Damascenes. “Let us drink what we squeeze.” “Let us eat what we grow.”…

Costa has been putting into storage the equipment and furniture for its seven shuttered shops, hoping for a brighter day, according to a franchise manager. He added that KFC, which the franchise runs as well, closed two locations in Aleppo and two in Damascus, after members of its management staff came under a hail of bullets while driving on the country’s main north-south highway past Homs last April. Employees from both brands have been re-assigned to office work or to one of the safer KFCs in Damascus. One KFC remains in Aleppo, since, unlike Costa’s coffee, chicken can be sourced locally, thus avoiding the now-treacherous highway route.

All Syrian businesses are being forced to scrimp, save, or close up shop, not just those with foreign goods. Though the government has not provided any economic indicators for months, some estimate that after years of 5 percent yearly growth, gross domestic product may have shrunk by up to 15 percent over the past year — a downturn that affects all types of businesses, most severely, of course, in restive areas like Homs. The closure that probably had the biggest impact on the population was the recent announcement by major foreign airliners like Air France that they were stopping flights to Syria, a move that has increased the sense of isolation, says Yazigi of The Syria Report. And with the 12-hour power cuts and fuel shortages now common in Damascus, even for the well-off, the idea of hopping a flight to Paris seems like a world away….

NOT SUPPORTING THE OPPOSITION “WITHIN SYRIA” IS SUPPORTING ASSAD
By Andrew J. Tabler and David Pollock

Failure to support the opposition “within Syria” — armed and unarmed — would allow Assad to stay in power for much longer.
******************************
During their March 25 meeting, President Obama and Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed that part of the agenda of the April 1 “Friends of Syria” summit in Istanbul will concern “nonlethal assistance” to the opposition “within Syria.” This indicates that the administration is beginning to accept a “tragic truth”: without much greater U.S. support for the opposition on the ground, Bashar al-Assad’s regime will certainly massacre many more civilians all over Syria, and Assad himself will almost certainly remain in power for the foreseeable future.

Egyptian liberal bloc walks out of Islamist-dominated parliament

Lawmakers from the liberal bloc walked out of an Egyptian parliamentary vote deciding on the composition of a 100-person panel tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution. The bloc, which includes three liberal parties that hold nine percent of seats in Egypt’s lower house of parliament, cited differences with the Islamist parties, which hold a majority in both houses of the legislature. The constituent assembly will be comprised of 50 sitting politicians and 50 members of trade unions and civil society. Forty of the 50 parliamentarians are expected to come from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party or Salifist al-Nour party. Naguib Sawiris, founder of the liberal Free Egyptians Party, said: “It’s ridiculous: A constitution being written by one force and one force alone.”

Comments (268)


Observer said:

Do you think that if Fredo accepts the plan and allows for peaceful demonstrations to go through that he will be able to stay in power? People on this blog have clearly said that millions will be in the streets demanding change.
Follow the liar to the doorstep as we say in Damascus.

March 27th, 2012, 12:43 pm

 

Afram said:

Sons of Guns:listen to the peace makers&have some coffee Annan

March 27th, 2012, 12:46 pm

 

Alan said:

http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/u-n-gets-reports-of-child-soldiers-with-syria-rebels/
U.N. gets reports of child soldiers with Syria rebels
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Syrian rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad have been accused of using children as fighters in violation of international conventions banning the recruitment of child soldiers, a senior U.N. official said on Monday.

The U.N. concern about the possibility that Syria’s opposition may be using child soldiers follows last week’s report from the New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch that armed Syrian opposition groups have kidnapped, tortured and executed members of supporters of Assad and members of his security forces.

“We are receiving allegations of children with the Free Syrian Army,” Radhika Coomaraswamy, U.N. special representative for children and armed conflict, said in response to a question about Syria’s rebels. She gave no details.

“We haven’t been able to verify or check” the veracity of those allegations, Coomaraswamy added.

Earlier this month the International Criminal Court in The Hague convicted Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of using child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Coomaraswamy said on Monday that she welcomed that guilty verdict.

The main focus of her news conference was South Sudan, Africa’s youngest country and a region that has long been a concern for those opposed to the use of child soldiers.

Coomaraswamy said was encouraging that the South Sudanese army, the SPLA, has released some 3,000 children from its ranks and expects to free another 2,000 in the near future.

March 27th, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Dear Dr. Landis,

According to the AlIqtisadi the under 42 yrs of age law was rescinded the next day it was made official.

I can also confirm that from a family member that just left Damascus today.

علم موقع الاقتصادي من مصدر رسمي في وزارة الداخلية السورية أنه تم إلغاء قرار منع السفر للسوريين من الذكور بين 18 و42 عاماً والذي صدر أمس واشترط عليهم مراجعة شعبة التجنيد للحصول على موافقة من أجل السفر.

http://aliqtisadi.com/index.php?mode=article&id=21391

March 27th, 2012, 1:01 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Continuing the topic of activities of UK charities fund raising for the people of Syria.

Co-incidentally (I didn’t post there in the comment section) over half an hour ago the latest update on AJE Live Syria Blog was about the work of Islamic Relief (IR) in Homs. IR is probably the largest and most well known muslim charity organisation in UK (wiki- revenue: £58,105,797 (2009)).

Walking past their local charity shop we have seen in recent weeks posters on their window about their Syrtia campaign. I’m sure they and others will be contributing much more funds.

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/Syria

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/syria-mar-27-2012-1900

March 27th, 2012, 1:05 pm

 

zoo said:

Annan’s 6-point proposal to end Syria conflict
http://news.yahoo.com/annans-6-point-proposal-end-syria-conflict-144951773.html

The six points of U.N. envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria, which have been accepted by the Syrian government.

— Syria commits to work with Annan “in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.”

— Syria commits to stop fighting and immediately stop troop movements and use of heavy weapons in populated areas. As these actions are being taken, Syria should work with Annan to end all violence, under U.N. supervision. Annan will seek similar commitments from the opposition to stop all fighting.

— Syria accepts and implements a daily two hour “humanitarian pause” to deliver aid and evacuate the injured.

— Syria commits to intensify “the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons” and provide a list of all places where such people are being held.

— Syria commits to ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists “and a nondiscriminatory visa policy for them.”

— Syria commits to “respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.”

March 27th, 2012, 1:08 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

2. Afram said:

“Sons of Guns:listen to the peace makers&have some coffee Annan”

Yes, Bashar al Assad should and should have listened to the peaceful protestors.

March 27th, 2012, 1:09 pm

 

Alan said:

FSB intends to counteract foreign secret services in blogosphere

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/376605.html

TASHKENT, March 27 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s security agencies intend to work out adequate measures to counteract foreign secret services’ activity in the worldwide web, the first deputy director of the federal security service (FSB), General of the Army Sergey Smirnov, said on Tuesday.

According to Smirnov, the events of the Arab Spring and other revolutions on Africa’s Mediterranean cost showed that all these countries had encountered that phenomenon and the use of the resources available in the blogosphere.

“The situation shows that this problem is crucial not only to us, but to all member-countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. They experience similar pressures,” Smirnov said.

“It is very important to devise countermeasures against such activities by various Western secret services,” Smirnov said.

——————————————————-
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c154/376349.html

Conflict in Syria unlikely to be over after Assad’s resignation – Russian president

SEOUL, March 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The conflict in Syria is unlikely to be over even after Bashar Assad steps down, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told a news conference here on Tuesday.

“It is a very short-sighted position to believe that Assad’s resignation will put an end to all problems. Everybody understands that the conflict in this case is likely to be in place,” Medvedev said.

He stressed that he would like “all decisions on Syria’s future to be passed by the Syrian people rather than by esteemed heads of other countries.”

The Russian president said that the mission of envoy for Syria of the United Nations and the League of Arab States Kofi Annan “is the last chance to avoid a civil war in Syria.”

================================================================
http://rt.com/news/syria-accept-annan-peace-plan-545/

Syrian govt accepts Annan’s 6-point peace plan

March 27th, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

Alan said:

Yes to Annan: Syria to try Kofi recipe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKKOX04t1BQ
Peace envoy Kofi Annan says the Syrian government has accepted his plan to halt the country’s bloodshed. His proposals include a mutual ceasefire and political dialogue. RT’s Middle East Correspondent Paula Slier has more

March 27th, 2012, 1:22 pm

 
 

Alan said:

Troublemaking Turn: ‘Turkey may scupper Annan’s peace plan’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYgZLRiryZg
UN-Arab League envoy on Syria says it’s up to the people to decide if President Assad should step down. Kofi Annan is trying to promote a ceasefire and political dialogue to end the year-long crisis there. His latest comments come amid widespread calls from the US and its allies for regime-change in Syria. RT talks to Camille Otrakji, an editor at ‘Syria Comment’ online magazine.

March 27th, 2012, 1:27 pm

 

bronco said:

After the media criticizing the SNC, it is now the turn of the armed rebels to be criticized and accused of human rights abuses.

It is intended pressure on the reluctant opposition to accept the UN peace plan and yield to the UN demands for negotiation with regime?

– Human Rights Watch study details torture and executions by Syrian rebels

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9156307/Human-Rights-Watch-study-details-torture-and-executions-by-Syrian-rebels.html

– The Der Spiegel article about the lynching of soldiers in Bab Amr as translated and posted by Juergen

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=14110&cp=all#comment-303718

– U.N. gets reports of child soldiers with Syria rebels

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/26/us-syria-un-idUSBRE82P0W220120326

March 27th, 2012, 1:27 pm

 

sf94123 said:

Bassma Kodmani is out of touch with the lived reality of the Syrian people since March 2011. Her ambiguous explanations were self-serving and a reflection of her ego. SNC is an obstacle to peace and security in Syria and should be banned from attending negotiation and dialogue.

March 27th, 2012, 1:34 pm

 

omen said:

middle eastern news translated into english

3/26/2012 video

fast forward on timer.

9:30 – regime using human shields

10:45 – bombing of homs

11:14 – walking wounded & martyrs

11:30 – multi-story building nearly leveled

March 27th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

ann said:

Syrian Opposition Recruits Child Soldiers, UN Warns

United Nations, Mar 26 (Prensa Latina) United Nations confirmed on Monday that has reports of child recruitment by armed opposition groups in Syria, but it has been unable to “verify their accuracy.”

We are receiving information about the presence of children in the ranks of the Syrian Army of Liberation, said on Monday the UN Special Rapporteur on Children in Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy.

[…]

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=491562&Itemid=1

March 27th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco @12

I hope you are not trying to grasp at any straws you can to discredit the opposition as a whole…. No such luck.

A few instances of abuses in the face of the regime’s brutality is not unexpected and does not justify any branding of the entire movement.
 
 

March 27th, 2012, 1:41 pm

 

ann said:

israel is leaving before it gets kicked out of UN Human Rights Commission

‘Israel leaving UNHRC would be regrettable’ – 03/26/2012

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=263516

March 27th, 2012, 1:41 pm

 

omen said:

has kofi annan seen this?

butcher regime is cutting the face off children.

March 27th, 2012, 1:42 pm

 
 

omen said:

bronco, HRW faulted the regime for placing civilians in front of their tanks.

March 27th, 2012, 1:44 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Ann,

So does that still make UNHRC an agent of Israel, or are their reports about Syria ‘fabrications’ because they don’t happen to follow the Assadist propaganda lies?

March 27th, 2012, 1:45 pm

 
 

Tara said:

Omen@ 18

OMG!

Those animals know no limit! We shall never forgive. They should be haunted and tried. And if Bashar does not get killed, he should be tried and convicted.

The link should be emailed to Andersen Cooper and to all media outlets.

Bashar does not deserve a better fate than Mouamar.

March 27th, 2012, 1:51 pm

 

omen said:

Syria refugee recalls family’s harrowing escape to Jordan

For weeks, the family had been on the run. Trying to keep one step ahead of police, she and her children moved from house to house, through blood-spattered streets, seeking shelter from the intensified government shelling in the southern city of Dara, where Syria’s popular unrest movement was born. The last straw came when a neighbor’s son was beheaded by police as a warning, she said.

loyalists continue to defend regime butchery.

March 27th, 2012, 1:53 pm

 

ann said:

21. Son of Damascus said:

Ann,

So does that still make UNHRC an agent of Israel
.
.
Is israel good or bad?
.

March 27th, 2012, 1:55 pm

 

ann said:

Syrian opposition uses child-soldiers – report – 27 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/syria-children-soldiers-un-549/

The opposition Free Syrian Army forces are reportedly using child soldiers in their battle against the government, the UN said.

­The reported allegations were voiced by Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN special representative for children in armed conflict.

She did not provide any detail, but said the UN has not “been able to verify or check” the accusations so far.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is the armed branch of the Syrian opposition waging a guerilla war on against the government. Its leaders claim to have 70,000 people under their command.

The composition of the opposition is hotly debated. Opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad say the FSA is made up of army deserters and their fellow citizens who have taken up arms against the government. Damascus says many of those troops are foreign militants with links to Al-Qaeda.

Last week Human Rights Watch said the FSA and other oppositional forces were engaged in kidnappings, torture and unlawful executions of prisoners.

[…]

March 27th, 2012, 1:58 pm

 

Afram said:

7. Uzair8 said:

2. Afram said:

“Sons of Guns:listen to the peace makers&have some coffee Annan”

Yes, Bashar al Assad should and should have listened to the peaceful protestors
=========
I leave that to the historians to decide who did what

NOW, it’s the time to sieze this window of Opportunity, OR else, the MECHANISMS of the slippery slope would kick in soon and then syria slides into the abyss of bloody civil war. Let us not allow the rogues to have the upper hand, peace man

March 27th, 2012, 1:59 pm

 

omen said:

23. Tara 1:51 pm

The link should be emailed to Andersen Cooper and to all media outlets.

good idea. forgot to do so. done.

March 27th, 2012, 2:06 pm

 

bronco said:

16. Tara

I am just reporting that in a matter of a week, the media have published several reports about abuses by the rebels, while until now they were saying that the abusers were only the Syrian army and the security elements.

March 27th, 2012, 2:08 pm

 

Makahil said:

What I don’t get about the proposed peace plan is why is there a need for a daily two hour pause of fighting, if the plan calls for a complete end to fighting.

March 27th, 2012, 2:09 pm

 

irritated said:

#19. ann

Jeffrey Feltman is as lunatic as Ford..

March 27th, 2012, 2:11 pm

 

ann said:

Judging Syria: Saudi Arabia’s double standards – 27 March, 2012

When it comes to cutting loose abroad, some of the Saudi establishment does not exactly present a picture of religious piety. In neighboring Lebanon, the most liberal country in the Arab world, Saudi princes have been seen raining hundreds of thousands of dollars on women in night clubs

http://rt.com/news/saudi-arabia-protests-piety-514/

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is bound for Riyadh this week to mull over the Syrian crisis with Saudi King Abdullah. But while the Arab Kingdom rules with an iron fist at home, double standards abound in every way imaginable abroad.

­This week Hillary Clinton sets off on a Middle East journey where she will attend two international conferences focused on stopping bloodshed in Syria. On Friday and Saturday, she will visit Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh to talk to King Abdullah and join an event dedicated to strategic co-operation between the US and Persian Gulf states Syria’s transition to democracy likely top their agenda.

Clinton will then move on to Turkey, where she will take part in Sunday’s 60-nation “Friends of the Syrian People” conference in Istanbul.

Washington and Riyadh concur that that a year of violence has stripped Syrian President Bashar Assad of all legitimacy.

Human rights movements, however, point out the irony of Saudi Arabia weighing in on human rights issues. After all, it’s a country where protesting can be considered an act punishable by death.

In March, the Kingdom’s religious council issued a fatwa directly condemning social unrest.
Four protesters have been killed in Riyadh this year alone, with up to 50 arrested.

“Demonstrations in Saudi Arabia are simply illegal,” Dr Ibrahim Alloush, a professor at Zaytouneh University in Jordan, told RT.

Yet, despite harshly cracking down on its own protesters, Saudi Arabia has been very supportive of revolt elsewhere.

Riyadh was among the first to push for international intervention in Libya.

Likewise, Syrians have regularly accuse the Saudi’s of financing rebels in the conflict-torn country. Saudi Arabia has reportedly sent military equipment to the Free Syrian Army via Jordan.

For all its rough tactics at home and abroad, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is never scolded by the USA. Riyadh and Washington are currently negotiating a $60 billion sale of advanced American weapons. Albeit brothers in arms, they are conveniently not each other’s keepers.

Saudi Arabia is a country where women’s rights are strictly curtailed. To get a job, Saudi women need permission from their male guardians. They can also forget about driving, as it is banned.

[…]

March 27th, 2012, 2:13 pm

 

Mina said:

Alan #9
Good! hope they come out with a Googlsky or an Alexagle quickly! A Rmail also may be necessary. For Roorlemaps I wonder if they will get authorizations (and fail to understand how G got them).
As for Rlebooks, please don’t forget to scan the Arabic and Persian books, and not only the ones read by some Islaprotestants.

March 27th, 2012, 2:17 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Ann,

Answering a question with another question, does not answer the first one.

But I’ll bite, as long as Israel occupies and expands its colonies it is most definitely bad. If they are willing to return occupied lands and sit down at the table with their neighbours and hammer out a deal with them which is fair and comprehensive then not so bad.

History has shown us that when it comes to Israel there is no negotiating partner that is willing to see and understand that its arrogance and colonial ambitions is a primary cause for the hate it suffers from in the region, add to that the frequent heavy handed response to secure its national interests and complete disregard for any international laws when they do so puts them on the bad side in my books. Also at the same time I support the Palestinian cause and their right for self defence as long as they don’t inflict harm onto innocent civilians, terrorism and indiscriminate targeting of civilians is wrong no matter who it is caused to harm, and no cause can justify it.

Also as history has shown us just like Israel but worse is the Assad regime, for they are willing to kill, maim, rape, and drain the life of their own country and countrymen and women for the sake of their tyrant masters the Assad clan.

So now that I answered your dubious question, care to answer mine.

Is the UNHRC still an agent of Israel in your eyes, or can you Ann trust what they have said and written about the heinous crimes Assad has inflicted on his own country for the sake of his throne?

March 27th, 2012, 2:20 pm

 

bronco said:

#10 Tara

Each month there is a “massive” defection in Idlib. Just google “Idlib defection youtube”

(14 Mar 2012) Idlib | Defection and formation of AL-Haqq battalion of Free Syria Army
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lnloRAJWPc

(21 Feb-2012) Idlib | Defection of 500 soldiers & formation of Dere’ Al .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXBgskupISE

(04 Jan-2012)- Idlib – Defecting battalion say Assad hiding tanks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InANyX6J8PY

28-jan-2012 Idlib: Khan Shaykhun: Defection of forces

03-feb-2012 Mass defection in Idlib and formation of a new squad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_37kraq70TY&feature=player_embedded

14 dec 2011 Idlib, Syria. Defection of Syrian soldiers.

etc..

March 27th, 2012, 2:29 pm

 

ann said:

UNHRC in Syria’s case is like the west, qatar and saudi arabia one sided. Therefore it is naive and irrelevant.

March 27th, 2012, 2:45 pm

 

ann said:

Russia snubs 2nd Friends of Syria meeting – 2012-03-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/28/c_122889732.htm

MOSCOW, March 27 (Xinhua) — Russia had refused to attend the second “Friends of Syria” meeting because the group was paving the way for foreign intervention, the Foreign Ministry said here Tuesday.

Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Russia’s reason for turning down the latest invitation had not changed from when it boycotted the group’s first meeting in February.

“Such events, unfortunately, have a unilateral political bias,” Lukashevich said, adding attendees were more likely to set the stage for foreign intervention than seek an inter-Syrian dialogue to end the conflict

Moscow was convinced the upcoming meeting would do nothing to encourage the Syrian opposition to pursue a dialogue with the government, he said.

[…]

March 27th, 2012, 2:56 pm

 

omen said:

sex & murder

Just two days after the U.N. published a damning report alleging that government forces committed crimes against humanity and killed more than 250 children, [hadeel] al-Ali wrote, “let the world see that we all are your shabeeha even the tiny little generation believes in you and is ready to fight from now.” The shabeeha are pro-regime militias or thugs accused of the worst atrocities and killings by the opposition.

March 27th, 2012, 3:01 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Ann,

For your info, they are not naive…

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country/4562d8cf2/SAU.html
(600+ reports on Saudi Arabia)

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country/4562d8cf2/QAT.html
(190 reports on Qatar)

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country/4562d8cf2/SYR.html
(1400+ reports on Syria)

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country/4562d8cf2/ISR.html
(1600+ reports on Israel)

March 27th, 2012, 3:01 pm

 

sf94123 said:

To post # 28:
I doubt it that Anderson Cooper will make your video available to his audience after he failed to mitigate the damage from Danny propaganda video. On the other hand, keep those heartbreaking videos coming. We all saw what really happened in Karam Alzaitoun. One day and soon all those video will be used in the court of law as evidence to convict individuals inside and outside Syria that were responsible directly or indirectly for this kind of brutal and heartless acts.

March 27th, 2012, 3:07 pm

 

omen said:

sf94123 are you in syria?

March 27th, 2012, 3:16 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco #29

I know what you are saying. Human rights abuse is deplorable from whatever source. I was just trying to make you upset… Intentionally this time. I like it when I upset you sometimes. You didn’t. Am I losing my touch?

Any way, have you noticed how regime supporters rushing to link these reports when they have discredited human right organizations all along as part of the cosmic conspiracy against our “stud”.

Also, we called Bashar all along different names. The most descriptive though was JL’s one. Bashar has a psych of a teenager. Coming to think about it…Very true Indeed.

Imagine Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, Obama, or Erdogan ordering music from iTunes. Laughable! Isn’t it?

March 27th, 2012, 3:45 pm

 

Tara said:

Omen

Thank you. They should be exposed for the animal they are.

March 27th, 2012, 3:48 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Assadist arrest two men, dress them up in female clothing and subject them to humiliation.

March 27th, 2012, 4:18 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Irritated
You are very very funny, You said the opposition rejected Annan plan, would you please show me a link that say that Ghalioun rejected Annan plan, and yes show me that Basma Qudmani rejected Annan plan.

Is there any link that shows Annan plan?

Alex said that turkey will do everything to scupper Annan plan,
Alex we will see.

March 27th, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

A blast from the past: A comment by me on this board on Friday 29 April 2011 regarding the number of protesters who turned up for anti-regime demonstrations on that particular Friday eleven months ago:

Syrian State TV this past week has been full of funerals for security personnel, and confessions by wild hooligan killers. I suggest it put off ordinary decent citizens from protesting today, and that’s why the numbers were lower (or no larger) than last Friday. In the few online videos of protests today that I saw, the crowds were unafraid: they looked confident that they weren’t going to be harmed. From that nugget of observation, I don’t think that fear of violence was the main thing that put most people off from joining them. It was those TV stories.

A so-called “liberal wing of the Syrian Opposition” has published an “initiative for change” that states: “The safe transition period in Syria must be based on a firm conviction that the Syrian population completely lost faith in the executive authority….” Such a “firm conviction” is a firm delusion. The low turnout at today’s Friday demonstrations is sufficient proof that it is delusionary.

If you can agree with me that toppling the regime cannot be done, it follows that the so-called “liberal wing of the Syrian Opposition” should tear up the declaration they made above, and start talking about the kind of legislation they’d want this regime to enact. From the pure politics and popularity point of view, it’s still strictly necessary for the regime to deliver more freedoms. Most ordinary decent citizens still want reform, a fact everybody everywhere knows. http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=9450

Eleven months later we see that (1) the regime successfully enacted a slew of serious changes to basic political institutions, and the changes were accepted by mainstream Syrian society without any controversy or dispute over any of the particulars, and (2) the dissidents degenerated as a whole body into wild hooligan killers that wrought nothing but destruction and grief on Syria.

March 27th, 2012, 4:29 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

The faces of five women who have resigned as newsreaders from Al-Jazeera TV because of Al-Jazeera’s editorial policies on Syria: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oihF6MEzdYE . Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX66qzd2bEk

PS: A nice edition of “lies in the foreign news media” from Addounia TV, to which someone has added English subtitles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwwNNwa9PcU .

March 27th, 2012, 4:32 pm

 

zoo said:

Failure of the opposition to unite after 2 days of meeting:
Frustrated Turkey rushes to ‘restructure’ the SNC

Walkouts spoil Syrian opposition’s bid for unity
Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Ayla Yackley, Reuters
Updated March 28, 2012, 6:45 am

http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/13281249/walkouts-spoil-syrian-oppositions-bid-for-unity/

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A meeting of Syrian opposition groups on Tuesday that aimed to show they can unite to form an alternative to President Bashar al-Assad was marred when a veteran dissident and Kurdish delegates walked out, saying their views were not being heard.

Leading opposition figures met in Istanbul on the invitation of Turkey and Qatar, current chair of the Arab League, to seek a common front in their year-old uprising against Assad.

Criticism of both the way the Syrian National Council, the main opposition umbrella group, was being run and the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood was rife among the more than 300 dissidents gathered at a seaside hotel in Pendik, a suburb on the Asian side of the Turkish city.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting dominated by the internal divisions, SNC spokeswoman Basma Kodmani voiced support for a peace and ceasefire plan drawn up by U.N. and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, so long as it led to Assad’s removal.

“This is for us a position that cannot change because thousands of Syrians have died for it, Kodmani said.

The Syrian government said on Tuesday that it had accepted Annan’s plan, but other SNC members dismissed Assad’s word.

“He is buying time. It means more killing. He is playing games,” said Adib Shishakly. “Every hour we are losing five people. So really, time is life.”

In an opening address to the meeting, Turkish foreign ministry official Halit Cevik said there was no alternative to Assad’s regime going, and he extended support to the SNC as a platform for different strands of the opposition.

Shortly afterwards, however, Haitham al-Maleh, a venerable opposition figure who was jailed by both Assad and his father, walked out of the hall after SNC President Burhan Ghalioun set out an action plan that called for greater unity.

“I want to see the council act democratically. Until now, they are acting like the (ruling) Baath Party,” Maleh, who withdrew from the SNC last month, told Reuters.

INTERNAL WAR

Representatives of Syria’s Kurds followed suit, saying the SNC had failed to explicitly address Kurdish hopes of having an autonomous federal region within a post-Assad Syria.

“If we don’t reach an agreement now, these issues will be more complicated after the regime,” Abdulhakim Basar, of the Kurdish National Council, told Reuters.

“Maybe we are afraid of an internal war between the Syrian factions, so we prefer to reach an agreement now to avoid this. Syria has to be for all Syrians without discrimination.”
..
Fearful that the meeting could collapse, the Turkish hosts persuaded the SNC’s executive to accept calls for change, according to signatories of an agreement approving the restructuring of the SNC and changes in its key personnel.

SNC chief Ghalioun, a Paris-based academic, said he would meet with all opposition blocs on Wednesday, after the official one-day conference is over.
(..)

March 27th, 2012, 4:38 pm

 

irritated said:

Majedsalkhaldoon

Do you read the posts on SC?

Annan’s 6-point proposal to end Syria conflict
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=14114&cpage=1#comment-303749

While the Syrian governemnt has made an official acceptance of the Annan plan reported by all the media, the SNC has made NO official statement. Only Basma Qodmani:

“Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting dominated by the internal divisions, SNC spokeswoman Basma Kodmani voiced support for a peace and ceasefire plan drawn up by U.N. and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, so long as it led to Assad’s removal.”

March 27th, 2012, 4:44 pm

 

Equus said:

In attempt of engaging in peaceful demonstration in France : La police empêche une manif pour Merah
La police a dissuadé cet après-midi une trentaine de personnes de manifester en souvenir de Mohamed Merah

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2012/03/24/97001-20120324FILWWW00423-la-police-empeche-une-manif-pour-merah.php

Peaceful protestors are banned in France somebody tell Killary.
——
Sarko anything to win elections, he withdrew his approval of visa to Qaradawi…let’s see how Qatar likes it…

Sarkozy contre la venue de Youssef al-Qaradawi

http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2012/03/26/01003-20120326ARTFIG00427-sarkozy-contre-la-venue-de-youssef-al-qaradawi.php
————–

Everything is calm in Libya according to US news…

Libye/affrontements tribaux : 10 morts
Plus de dix personnes ont été tuées aujourd’hui dans des affrontements entre des membres de la tribu des Toubous et les habitants de la ville de Sebha, dans le sud de la Libye, a-t-on appris auprès de responsables locaux.
http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2012/03/26/97001-20120326FILWWW00586-libyeaffrontements-tribaux-10-morts.php
——
La justice norvégienne a condamné aujourd’hui à cinq ans de prison le mollah Krekar, fondateur du groupe islamiste kurde irakien Ansar al-Islam,

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2012/03/26/97001-20120326FILWWW00542-norvege-un-mollah-islamiste-condamne.php

Was Ansar group involved in Syria? I cannot recall. I believe I have read it on this blog that the group is a fabrication of Syrian State TV. If it’s the case, then Norway is fabricating news too?

March 27th, 2012, 4:48 pm

 

Jerusalem said:

تنظيم القاعدة في العراق يفرض الجزية على المسيحيين

قالت ام قاسم لرويترز وهي تحاول التقاط انفاسها بينما تحمل حقيبتين كبيرتين من المواد الغذائية التي اشترتها من السوق “قتلوا جاري منذ ثلاثة ايام ثم ارسلوا لأسرته رسالة تقول: نعتذر.. لم يكن ابنكم مستهدفا وإنما قتل بالخطأ.

[…]
وقال علي رعد حسن وهو متزوج وأب لثلاثة ابناء ومحبوس في سجن الغزلاني بالموصل لتوزيعه تسجيلات فيديو لتنظيم القاعدة إنه عمل لحساب المتشددين بعد أن يئس من العثور على وظيفة ملائمة على الرغم من حصوله على شهادة في التجارة من جامعة الموصل.وقال حسن باكيا “لدي ابناء وحفاظات وحليب ومصروفاتي الشهرية تتجاوز 300 الف دينار “نحو 250 دولارا”.”وأضاف “تقدمت للعمل بوظائف كثيرة. تقدمت للعمل في التعليم والصحة والبلدية. ولم يصلني اي رد.”وعن عمله لحساب القاعدة قال “أقسم بالله أنني نادم عليه لكنني لم أستطع أن أترك العمل أردت أن أتركه لكنني لم أستطع

http://www.arabtimes.com/portal/news_display.cfm?Action=&Preview=No&nid=10886

March 27th, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Wacthing pres Assad in Bab Omer today,pro-wahabi Syria cooked Mehshi with
Aspirin instead of Garlic.

March 27th, 2012, 5:01 pm

 

habib said:

3. Alan

Riad al-Kony!

March 27th, 2012, 5:19 pm

 

DAWOUD said:

I was pleased to see the Syrian murderous dictator, Bashar, walking in Baba Amr. Why? Because he was present at the scene of his war crimes. The pictures showing him walking in Baba Amr are very incriminating and make him completely responsible for the massacres there.
Now, Bashar cannot say-as he did to Barba Walters-that he didn’t know that innocents’ lives and properties were being attacked. These pictures are valuable to a future Syrian war crimes tribunal!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

March 27th, 2012, 5:58 pm

 

Juergen said:

Land of Symphony vs Land of Jazz

If all wars would end like this…
from Disneys Musicland 1935

Good night folks!

March 27th, 2012, 6:02 pm

 

Dawoud said:

P.S., Bashar’s walk of shame on the debris of Syria’s Baba Amr neighborhood- which was destroyed by this evil forces-was NOT a sign of resistance. It was a sign of cowardice! Did he think that Homs was the occupied Golan or Palestine? Or, is this Bashar’s and Hasan’s deceptive “resistance?” Killing your own people. Where is the shame?!!

March 27th, 2012, 6:06 pm

 

Juergen said:

A jewish friend told me today this joke: Why did God give Moses the ten commendments on two boards? Because he tried to give it first to the Romans and they asked him whats in it? God told them that they should not kill anyone. They refused by saying, but its our custom. He then went to Ismael and tried to give it to him but Ismael asked him whats in it, and God said thou shall not steal. Ismael refused because he said its our custom. When he offered it to Moses he did not ask whats in it he asked only how much he wants for it. God said its free. Moses replied: Then I’ll take 2!

March 27th, 2012, 6:16 pm

 

Alan said:

Syrian Victims: When Truth Is the First Casualty of War
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29995
by Ross Ruthenberg
The Western mainstream media continuously beat the war drums for Libya-like treatment of Syria, using body count statistics to attempt to paint the year-old Syrian conflict as a humanitarian disaster crying out for NATO and its allies to bomb the government’s military forces into submission. Ironically, under the guise of “responsibility to protect”, the NATO powers and their Gulf Arab proxies are supplying weapons, training and logistical support to the armed “opposition” forces.

And the United Nations obliges by publishing estimated body counts, as forwarded from various shadowy opposition organizations, which of course raises suspicions that the counts are being manipulated (generally increased) to support the humanitarian disaster portrait…………………..

March 27th, 2012, 6:21 pm

 

Juergen said:

Bed has to wait a bit…

just found this interessting interview with Mgr. Mario Zenari, nuncio of the Vatican to Syria

” “It is urgent”, he said, “to go out into the open, on the attack, and not to sit back and watch.” Mgr. Zenari, 66, tells stories of ordinary heroism of some priests who have remained in Homs during this months’ bombing and violence. While sharing in the mourning for the tragedy of the Belgian children killed in a car accident in Switzerland, he reminds us that in Syria 800-900 children have already been killed, mostly shot “in the head and the heart” by strangers: “Their murder is an atrocity” and it is necessary that the international community ensure “justice for these children.”

http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=24257&size=A

March 27th, 2012, 6:21 pm

 

habib said:

“Free Palestine!”

Not with western/Gulf puppets in charge of the region. When Iran, Hezbollah and Syria are neutralized, Palestine will become a theme-park or a parking lot.

March 27th, 2012, 6:31 pm

 

ann said:

Camille Otrakji, an editor for the Syria Comment online magazine, believes it is difficult to foresee the outcome of Annan’s mission.

‘Turkey will do everything possible for Annan’s Syrian mission to fail’ – 27 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/annan-syria-mission-turkey-507/print/

“There are too many players to predict,” he told RT “I don’t think there is any plan that can meet the needs of all the people. It can meet the needs of the people in the center of the political spectrum.”

Otrakji believes those on the extremes, on the one hand those in favor of making Assad president for life, and on the other those in favor of putting him on trial, would not be satisfied with the plan.

“However, most of the Syrian people have demands that are easier to accommodate,” he said

Otrakji pointed out that the opposition was extremely fractured.

“They vary from the Communists to the Islamists and everything in between,” he said “Most of the opposition leaders are still afraid to sign onto this plan because they’re afraid they will lose the respect of what they call the street, which is the extremists in the opposition. But they would have to be a bit more courageous a show up for the dialog process.”

Otrakji recalled that there was already a precedent for this roadmap.

“We have the Arab League’s initiative,” he said. “And the Syrian government surprised the Arab League by being very accommodating and motivated to help the plan work. It was a failure because Qatar and Saudi Arabia did not want to continue because they expected the Syrian government to fail to respect it.”

He also said the report issued by the Arab League also failed Qatar’s and Saudi Arabia’s expectations as it mostly blamed the opposition for initiating the violence in Homs.

Otrakji also noted that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may try to derail Annan’s mission.

“I think the real troublemaker is going to be Prime Minister Erdogan,” he said “He already attacked Kofi Annan because he did not consult everyone before he proceeded with his plan.”

He expressed his view that Erdogan had his own plan and that Annan’s success would mean that the Turkish leader would have no role to play in the conflict.

“I’m afraid he will do all he can to make it fail through his proxies in Syria, which is mainly the Muslim Brotherhood,” Otrakji stated.

Daoud Khairallah, professor of international law at Georgetown University, noted that Kofi Annan’s plan was within the framework of international law.

“As a general principle of international law, intervention in other countries’ affairs is not allowed and this is well stated in article two of the United Nation’s charter,” he told RT “Mr Kofi Annan is in the right position.”

[…]

March 27th, 2012, 6:37 pm

 

Alan said:

when the world politician calls opposition for dialogue it means that recognizes opposition and respects and invites to dialogue in a legal framework! if the opposition refuses and solves to itself further the choice that chance misses also itself will is guilty in chance losses. Russia and Annan want to help! oppositionists do you hear?

Moscow expects Syrian opposition to accept Annan’s settlement plan
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/376753.html
MOSCOW, March 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Moscow expects the Syrian opposition to accept the settlement plan of UN/LAS Special Envoy Kofi Annan, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov microblogged on Tuesday.

“The Syrian authorities have accepted the Annan plan, and the special envoy has expressed his tentative optimism. That is a step forward. The ball is in the opposition’s court,” he wrote.

Another Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, said the other day that a Syrian opposition delegation would come to Moscow soon and might have a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“The delegation will present the National Coordination Committee,” he said. “One of its leaders, Hassan Abdel Azim, will visit us. Our minister has received the head of the Syrian National Council Burhan Ghalioun. The National Coordination Committee is a no less influential organization, and we would like to receive it on an equally high level,” Bogdanov said.

March 27th, 2012, 6:43 pm

 

Juergen said:

MC Roco
Gardenia

March 27th, 2012, 6:47 pm

 

Tara said:

Kandi@52

Read Dawoud @55. Bushbush touring Bab Amr is an incriminating evidence for war crime. I think you sent the second brain cell on vacation?
————

By the way, the Mehshi I cook is to die for…

March 27th, 2012, 6:48 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

كتيبة المهام الخاصة
Any one interested in their services?
Call Hamad:

March 27th, 2012, 7:02 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo @48

I must admit that the SNC and Ghalioun are not smart enough or perhaps lack experience. The differences between all opposition factions should have been all worked out prior to Istanbul meeting NOT AT the meeting. The concluding statement should’ve been drafted and agreed upon in advance. The meeting should have been a photo-op only. Meetings do not resolve differences. The work that precede the meeting does.

March 27th, 2012, 7:07 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

This rat is claiming that the army is attacking people in their houses in Alhamedia,The fact which every one who have any Homsi friend
Knows that the Wahhabi Terrorists kicked out
All Alhamedia inhabitants from their houses and
Didn’t let them take any of their valuables with them.they stole,raped and tortured them,now they are crying:Allah Akbar alik ya Bashat.gues what
Allah Akbat alik you piece of Wahhabi terrorist trash:

March 27th, 2012, 7:11 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Allah Akbar sometimes does not work,especially
When god is not in agreement :

March 27th, 2012, 7:17 pm

 

zoo said:

#68 Tara

“to Istanbul meeting NOT AT the meeting.”

It is worse than that, Read well the article, Ghalioun is supposed to discuss about restructuring the SNC, AFTER the meeting.
Hopeless…

March 27th, 2012, 7:23 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo @71

“After the meeting”..funny!

I don’t know if I should laugh or cry…

At least we have the LCC, the real heroes…

March 27th, 2012, 7:31 pm

 

zoo said:

The AL League may endorse the Annan 6-point plan, leaving the SNC and Turkey in the cold.

Arab draft calls for Syria talks, end to violence
By Wissam Keyrouz and Ammar Karim | AFP – 4 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/arab-economy-ministers-meet-baghdad-summit-102916017.html

A draft resolution on Syria to be submitted to the Arab summit in Baghdad this week urges “serious national dialogue” and calls on Syria to end violence, according to a copy obtained by AFP on Tuesday.

The summit will be the first such meeting held in Iraq in over 20 years.

The draft resolution urges the “Syrian government and all opposition factions to deal positively with the (UN-Arab League) envoy (Kofi Annan) by starting serious national dialogue.”

It also calls on the Syrian opposition “to unify its ranks and prepare … to enter into serious dialogue (with the regime) to achieve the democratic life which is demanded by the Syrian people.”

And “the Syrian government should immediately stop all actions of violence and killing, protect Syrian civilians and guarantee the freedom of peaceful demonstrations for achieving demands of the Syrian people,” the text says.

But the agenda was overshadowed by the crisis in neighbouring Syria.

Arab foreign ministers are to meet on Wednesday, the eve of the summit, with Syria at the heart of the agenda.

“The Syrian subject will have a significant place in discussions” between foreign ministers, Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi told reporters on Tuesday.

“I think that the ministers’ meeting tomorrow and the Arab summit will support” a six-point plan put forward by ex-UN chief Annan and accepted by Syrian authorities on Tuesday.
(…)

March 27th, 2012, 7:33 pm

 

zoo said:

Dear MODERATOR

It is possible to fix the EDIT facility, as it is not working?
Thanks

March 27th, 2012, 7:35 pm

 

ann said:

Sen. Paul clashes with ML Reid over denied war amendment to Iran sanctions bill – 03/27/12

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/218601-sen-paul-clashes-with-ml-reid-over-denied-war-amendment-to-iran-sanctions-bill

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday objected to the expedited passage of a bill that would level further sanctions on Iran, demanding in exchange for his consent that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) allow a one-sentence amendment that would ensure the bill could not later be construed as congressional permission for a war in Syria or Iran.

Paul’s amendment reads: “To clarify that nothing in the Act shall be construed as a declaration of war or an authorization of the use of force against Iran or Syria.”

In justifying his demand for the addition, Paul recalled the war drums beat by senators including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in the lead-up to President Obama’s unilateral decision to participate in NATO’s war on Libya, and suggested there are several members of the Senate who are now itching to begin a new conflict abroad.

“Many in this body cannot get boots on ground fast enough in a variety of places, from Syria to Libya to Iran,” said Paul. “[I] urge that we not begin a new war without a full debate, without a vote, without careful consideration of the ramifications of a third or even a fourth war in this past decade.”

Reid did not agree to Paul’s request for the amendment saying the underlying bill did not even touch the subject of war and to the contrary would provide key diplomatic tools that could prevent a conflict by “preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, threatening Israel and further terrorizing other parts of the world.”

“I really am terribly disappointed,” said Reid. “There is nothing in the resolution that talks about war, in fact it’s to the contrary. This is not a declaration of war or anything in the neighborhood of that.”

[…]

March 27th, 2012, 7:36 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

See what FSA(ie : MB) did with Alhamedia inhabitants.MB swetzirland style declaration stating that they don’t care if the president is a woman,Christian,gay,transsexual or mentally retarded…as long as they have the power…
See their actions…by the time they have the power
مفارم اللحمه would have removed all those options
Except one:Wahabi pure president:

March 27th, 2012, 7:42 pm

 

Tara said:

Realistic and smart analysis 

EDITORIALS
Syria Cease-Fire Deal Is Flawed, but U.S. Should Back It
By the Editors Mar 27, 2012 7:00 PM ET

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday accepted a United Nations-backed plan to end the bloodshed he is inflicting on his country.
The plan is a lowest common denominator, repugnant to Syria’s opposition and one of several proposals Assad has accepted over the past year, only to ignore them. It’s also the best option available.
A good vantage point from which to gauge Syria’s options Tuesday was a hotel in a suburb of Istanbul, where Turkey and Qatar had corralled more than 300 members of Syria’s fractious opposition. The message they received was clear: Unite, because if you don’t, it’s hard to see how the outside world can do much to help you on April 1 when the Friends of Syria group meets to discuss next steps.

Uniting turned out to be tough. The delegates tried to agree on a National Covenant, it took hours longer than expected, and ethnic Kurdish delegates walked out, unwilling to sign a document that didn’t offer more explicit recognition, equality and protections to Kurds. Their message was clear: Yes, more than 8,000 people have been killed over the past year, but unless clear guarantees are in place for minorities, things could get a whole lot worse after the regime falls.

First, unlike in Libya there is no United Nations Security Council resolution to support intervention. Second, Syria has a large stockpile of chemical and biological weapons that could disappear in a likely breakdown of order — Dempsey assessed that risk at 100 times greater than in Libya. Third, Syria’s air defenses are five times more sophisticated than Libya’s and are concentrated in densely populated areas, making civilian casualties inevitable. Fourth, Syria’s military is better trained, better equipped and more disciplined than Muammar Qaddafi’s loyalists were. And fifth, Syria’s opposition — an archipelago of 100 armed groups, with no central command — is even less united than was Libya’s.

Success remains a long shot, given Assad’s appalling record and the gulf of mistrust that separates him from his opponents. The opposition members in Istanbul on Tuesday were deeply skeptical and disgusted by Assad’s tour of a sanitized Baba Amr, the suburb of Homs that Syria’s military cleared after a sustained shelling that caused as many as 100 civilian casualties a day.
The U.S. and its allies should do everything they can to support the Annan plan. But they should also prepare for the possibility of failure. President Barack Obama should quietly order up the detailed, exhaustive preparations for deployments that Panetta and Dempsey said would be the next step in making intervention an option. Those preparations could help focus Assad’s mind, and those of his supporters in Moscow, on the consequences of diplomatic failure.

(…)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-27/syria-cease-fire-deal-is-flawed-but-u-s-should-back-it.html

March 27th, 2012, 7:44 pm

 

Tara said:

I think if Qatar wants to help, it should hire a strategic adviser Kissinger-style to the SNC and Ghalioun. It is a low cost investment.

March 27th, 2012, 7:51 pm

 

Tara said:

What is happening with the Syrian lira? Any update?

March 27th, 2012, 7:55 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

The opposition must not fall in the trick, If the regime stop the killing withdraw The assad army, release the prisoners, allow for peacefull demonstrators then the opposition will agree to Annan plan, but;
1-There has to be enough observers to verify the regime compliance.
2-There has to be a statement declare that incase the regime does not comply,Russia must guarantee action against the regime.
3-UN must declare that they will consider incompliance as a declaration of war.
4-Arming the FSA must continue,outside Syria, so they will be ready,if the regime did not comply.

No one trust this regime, the regime is not going to comply, rather the regime will use this period to procrastinate.

March 27th, 2012, 8:39 pm

 

Tara said:

Another damning leak.  This one should be sent to basher’s masters in Iran and their respective wives. 

Fawaz al Akhrass disgusts me more so than Bashar.  Did Fawaz forget where he came from and what many members of his family wear?  …A repulsive character.  

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9169803/Syria-Bashar-al-Assad-joked-about-religion-of-most-of-population-emails-show.html

By Ruth Sherlock 8:30PM BST 27 Mar 2012

Above: The leaked emails from Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma, seen by the Daily Telegraph, are mapped out here using social network analyis tool Gephi. 

The ream of messages and derogatory cartoons allegedly sent among his ‘inner circle’ of female aides and family members poke fun at conservative Muslims.
Most of the messages ridicule the burka, the full body cloak worn by some Muslim women.

One e-mail from a female adviser depicts an image of a crying child in a shopping mall who has lost his mother. Trying to reunite them the shop assistant asks the boy for a description of his mother. The little boy replies ‘I don’t know sir I have never seen her!!’ and the joke jumps to an image of a woman fully shrouded in black pushing a shopping cart.

On January 22 the President’s father-in-law Fawaz Akhras allegedly forwarded a ‘British wedding photograph’ showing 24 newly wed Muslim couples, the women all wearing white burkas, their faces covered. “I just hope, for their sake, that each husband goes home with the right table cloth” the joke reads. Another email entitled ‘Why God sends rain to Mexico and not to the Middle East’ lists photographs of scantily clad weather women, and ends with an image of a covered Muslim woman standing by a weather map holding an umbrella.

The jokes, which might be viewed as humorous by a liberal Western audience, will be deeply insulting to many in Syria’s largely conservative society.

The messages apparently convey little respect by the President and his aides for the population they lead. One message appears denigrate Arab men as being unclean or untrained; the email opens with a picture of a kitten peeing in a squat toilet, and leads on to an image of a man donning a red Kuffiyeh, the traditional Arab headers, urinating against a wall.

March 27th, 2012, 8:39 pm

 

jna said:

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1monvidopp032712.html

On Syria, Annan to Brief SC on April 2, Resolution on Monitors, Contact with Opposition?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 27 — Things are moving fast on Syria at the UN, at least apparently. Hours after Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan announced that the Syrian government had agreed to his Six Point Plan, Security Council president for March Mark Lyall Grant of the UK told the press that Annan himself will brief the Council Monday at 10 am.

Inner City Press asked Lyall Grant if the Council expected the Syrian opposition to agree to Annan’s plan. Lyall Grant replied that members of Annan’s team are in touch with the opposition and might have something to say before Monday at 10 am, or at that time. Inner City Press has inquired with Annan’s team.

Sources in the Council told Inner City Press that already there was discussion of a resolution for sending UN monitors to Syria. The source was skeptical: would they be peacekeepers from UNMIL or UNDOF or civilian monitors?

A well placed European source said Assad can’t use lack of opposition agreement to “stop shelling villages.” But can he? Or might a single car bomb derail Tuesday’s good mood?

On the way into the Council Tuesday morning, German Ambassador Peter Wittig told the press to be cautious, citing the Syrian government’s “credibility gap.” (…) read more

March 27th, 2012, 8:39 pm

 

zoo said:

Prescribed time for al-Assad now up to two years
MEHMET ALİ BİRAND
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/prescribed-time-for-al-assad-now-up-to-two-years–.aspx?pageID=449&nID=17025&NewsCatID=405

You all must be asking the same question… Well, Bashar al-Assad was to be toppled in a few months. What happened? Why has this taken so long?

Quite right, I had heard it from the prime minister. Last year, he had said, “He won’t last more than a few months.” But it didn’t work out as thought.

The main reason for this is the fact that the Syrian opponents have been fractioned into very small groups because they do not have proper communication with each other. They continued on their way with the mentality, “It may be small but let it be mine.”

Political opponents are another world apart. Each one of them has a different Syria in mind. Of course, this situation scares some large domestic groups. For example, the Kurds and, especially, the Christians do not know what kind of a regime will be formed after al-Assad. In this case, they do not want to fully support the opposition. What will happen if a radical religionist Syria is formed? What will happen if they lose the advantages they have had with the present secular system?

When you look at the military opposition, they do not differ from the political one. They are constantly complaining about Turkey, the United States and Europe. They are grumbling that they are not receiving enough arms and aid. The Ankara-Washington-Paris triangle, justifiably, responds, “As long as this segmentation of yours continues, we don’t know who to deliver arms to…”

The “Syrian Opponents Meeting” in Istanbul’s Pendik district nowadays is trying to solve this essential problem.

Almost all opponent groups’ representatives of 200 people are trying to reach a decision to unite under one umbrella. More importantly, they are negotiating what kind of a Syria they will form after this.

If they can achieve this, then they will be able to obtain more concrete support on April 1 at the Istanbul meeting of the Friends of Syria from representatives of 60 to 70 countries.
Well, how long will this take?

Experts say exactly this: There is no option of al-Assad staying in power. “Our estimate is if the opposition unites and organizes well, then he will have to leave power in one to two years…”

I guess we have started talking over a more realistic platform for the first time.

Number of refugees

Turkey is acting very carefully beyond expectations.

It is not as enthusiastic as it was at the beginning of the crisis. Moreover, it has not been left alone. However, despite that, each day al-Assad stays in power causes more losses for Turkey. But there is nothing to do on this.

The only matter that Ankara would consider the most and would annoy it the most is, in the event of a massacre, the flow of more than 100,000 refugees over the Turkish border from Syria. In that case, there is only one scenario – the forming of the renowned “buffer zone.”

Plans are being made. They know where to enter and how far to advance into Syrian territory. They see no inconvenience from the point of international law either.

The only expectation in Ankara is that the Syrian opponents will finally agree and find a joint stance. Unless this happens, it has no intention of providing aid.

The arms the opponents could buy up to now, even though they were in small quantities, were coming from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Gulf countries via Jordan. But they were extremely insufficient. If the outcome of the Istanbul meeting is satisfactory, then contributions will increase.

The Istanbul meeting is extremely important for this reason as well.

March 27th, 2012, 8:39 pm

 

sheila said:

Dear Dr. Landis,

As an academic who is level headed and to a certain degree impartial, evidenced by the fact that you have angered all sides at certain points in time with your opinions. I beg of you to explain to me why there are still Syrians who support the regime. There are certain things that I understand because one of my brothers and one of my friends are regime supporters. I have spent hours talking to them and trying to understand their point of view. Please keep in mind that these two are Sunnis.

Here is my list of excuses for those who are still supporting the regime:

1- They have business dealings with the regime. The fall of the regime means their financial ruin.
2- They work for the regime and have no other choice.
3- They are well to do and their life has been disrupted.
4- They watch Syrian TV and believe the regime propaganda.
5- They are Alawis worried that if the regime falls, they will be massacred for revenge.
6- They are Christians worried that if the regime falls, the Islamists will take over and force them to adhere to certain Islamic rules.
7- They are pessimists or for that matter realists who believe that what is to come in terms of rulers will not be any better than what we currently have.

All this is understandable and excusable to a certain degree if you live in Syria. What I need your help with is the position of those who live outside Syria, have access to the truth but are still supporting the regime. They are smart, educated and even without knowing them personally I would venture to say, otherwise, very decent people. Why on earth would they sell their soul to the devil? What on earth would blind them so badly? How can these otherwise smart individuals who at one point made fun of SANA, believe anything SANA says today? Where did they park their humanity and decency to be able to support this unspeakable brutality? How did they loose their basic common sense?

Many of us have tried very hard to understand this phenomenon to no avail. I thought maybe as an outsider you might be able to see it better. Maybe as vested as we are in this conflict, we have been unable to see the woods for the trees.

Please help.

March 27th, 2012, 8:48 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Very soon the UN must meet and support Annan plan, which must be considered one unit not six parts, violating one part is violating the whole plan, I expect Damascus and Allepo and Hama to show huge demonstartions, Assad may not last a month aftyer that.The opposition must accept Annan plan, Dialogue issue must not be a reason to not approve Annan plan, since it may never happen.

March 27th, 2012, 9:05 pm

 

Tara said:

JNA@82

I couldn’t help not to notice.

March 27th, 2012, 9:19 pm

 

Norman said:

Sheila,

Did it come to your mind that these people who are out of Syria, do not have dealing with the regime and do not benefit from it are selfless and worry about the people of Syria and the anarchy that are put in for the sake and the benefit of the opposition, your friends who are out of Syria thinking of themselves only,

It is not that difficult to see that we do not want Syria to end up like Iraq, and if that makes me and others immoral, then be it i am at peace with GOD.

So yes your brother and friend are not looking after themselvs, as you think, when supporting the regime, they are looking after Syria.

March 27th, 2012, 9:20 pm

 

sheila said:

Norman,

I find it quite interesting that you support and love Syria by condoning barbaric acts against its people committed by the regime. So in your opinion, to save Syria from anarchy we have to stay under the foot of Bashar Alassad? Why is it that you believe that we have only two choices: either keep this horrible mafia regime or become like Iraq?

If you truly loved Syria you would want it to improve and prosper. Two things that would never happen if we keep this regime.

March 27th, 2012, 9:49 pm

 

Ghufran said:

It looks like Kuwait and The UAE are ready to defect from the GCC on Syria, Turkey on the other hand is as usual unsure and unable while KSA is being passive aggressive.

The Syrian file is now in the hands of Putin and Obama, the rest are just waiting for instructions.

Annan plan is good for Syria regardless if it leads to Assad’s departure, this departure is needed for the country’s sake, but what is different now is that most big players want the process of regime change to be gradual and less bloody.

After the multiple defections from the SNC and the walkout of Kurdish parties, the main opposition body is barely able to pay the bills of its members travel and fancy hotels stays.

Another blow was the unilateral MB declaration of their political program which was done under the MB flag not the SNC’s, a movement that confirms the MB’s plan to do it alone as a political party. I told you that a unified opposition is a fantasy, I am not even sure that the Syrian opposition itself tried to unite. Let all parties compete at the ballot box and may the most popular win.

March 27th, 2012, 9:52 pm

 

Norman said:

Sheila,
The opposition is giving us these two choices, Iraq or the corrupt regime, i want my choice, security and a chance at the ballet box for leadership, i will be willing to take what the voters want but will not accept your corrupt leaders to replace another corrupt leaders, i want the chance for people to serve and be willing to leave when they fail and the voters want them out, i do not violent transfer of power no matter what, a violent transfer of power will replace a dictatorship with another, we waited tool long to have to wait another forty years.

March 27th, 2012, 10:09 pm

 

sheila said:

Norman,

That is exactly what the opposition is seeking: security and a chance at the ballet box for leadership, the end of corruption, the chance for people to serve and be willing to leave when they fail and the voters want them out. (using your own words)

Please remember that when the people of Daraa went out to the streets to demonstrate, they did not ask for the fall of the regime, rather for reforms. The answer from the regime came in the hails of bullets and resulted in many deaths. So the “violent transfer of power” that you are talking about was perpetrator by no one other than the Assad regime. If you have another way to get him out of his seat that he is attached to with crazy glue, you will be a candidate for the Nobel peace prize.

March 27th, 2012, 10:23 pm

 

Norman said:

He will not run for 2014, until then join the political process and prepare to show the people what you want to do for them, can i have my Nobel prize now.

By the way what policies of his you did not like before March 2011, i liked his foreign policy, economic reform, education reform, i did not like his Tax policy, but i could have kept at it until he changed it, what we see now is just total destruction of Syria, as i told you before, the revolution won what they want the reform that the seek, they need to declare victory and join the process,

Ask not what you country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your country(( J F Kennedy.))

March 27th, 2012, 10:55 pm

 

Jerusalem said:

It looks like Kuwait and The UAE are ready to defect from the GCC on Syria
——-
This piece of news might explain why and might give Sheila (if you read Arabic some answers)

ضاحي خلفان مجددا : الامريكان هم وكيل الربيع العربي

March 26 2012 07:45

اتهم الفريق ضاحي خلفان قائد شرطة دبي جماعة الاخوان المسلمين بالتآمر على دول الخليج لاستلام الحكم متوقعا ان تكون البداية من الكويت عام 2013.وقال ضاحي خلفان لصحيفة ‘القبس’ الكويتية امس الاحد ان ‘الاخوان يتجهون نحو تغيير الانظمة في الخليج. عندي مصادر تقول ان القادم هو جعل حكومات الخليج تملك ولا تحكم، وان البداية ستكون من الكويت عام 2013 وفي بقية الخليج عام 2016’.واضاف ردا على سؤال ان ‘الكويت مهيأة اكثر من غيرها’.واكد ان معلوماته ‘ليست مسربة من الاخوان لكن من اجهزة غربية استخباراتية، وهذا نحن نعرفه

وقال خلفان ‘الآن الامريكان هم وكيل الانتفاضات التي فعلوها، انا لا اسميها ثورات آل الحكم الى الاخوان و(الرئيس الامريكي باراك) اوباما حينما اعلن انه على استعداد للتعامل مع الاخوان كان هذا مؤشرا وتابع انا احذر دول الخليج من هذه المجموعات ويشن خلفان منذ مدة حملة عبر تويتر على اتباع تيار الاخوان المسلمين معتبرا انهم لا يقلون ‘خطرا’ على الخليج من ايران، حسب ما اكد في كلمة القاها امام مؤتمر امني في المنامة الشهر الماضي وتسرب مضمونها عبر وسائل الاعلام

http://www.arabtimes.com/portal/news_display.cfm?Action=&Preview=No&nid=10876

Sheila, if it was a genuine revolution you would have seen all Syrians on the streets. Qatar imposed the president of Tunis, Qatar imposed Abu Tarbush in Libya, all moderate candidates for presidency in Egypt have withdrawn and Qatar is promoting its own puppet. There is NOT one example that went from bad to better including Afghanistan-after 10 years of NATO- where the puppet Hamid Karzai cannot stop Americans from killing his OWN people. Yemen with ONE candidate election and half the country is now under the control of Al-Qaeda. The majority of Syrians prefer Assad over Al-Qaeda or Assad over imposed president. All examples went from bad to worse so might as well stick to bad. N.B.: I don’t fit any of your seven above category.

March 27th, 2012, 11:13 pm

 

ann said:

Humpty Dumpty sate on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
Threescore men and threescore more,
Cannot place Humpty dumpty as he was before 😀

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2012-03/28/c_131493873.htm

March 27th, 2012, 11:25 pm

 

ann said:

Wen Jiabao: China fully supports Annan’s mediation efforts – 2012-03-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/video/2012-03/28/c_131493998.htm

BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhuanet) — The UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan is in Beijing to discuss a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria. After meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao, Annan said his diplomacy in Syria will take time and he needs support. And in response, Premier Wen Jiabao said China fully supports Annan’s mediation efforts.

Reaching consensus on a peaceful resolution, Premier Wen Jiabao said the Syrian issue is now at a critical stage and is gaining even closer attention from the international community.

But the Chinese Premier told Kofi Annan that, with his mediation efforts in Syria, the crisis will be settled in a fair, peaceful and appropriate manner.

Wen said, “We have full conviction in your mediation efforts, and we do believe that your mediation efforts will lead to progress and to a resolution of the Syrian issue, which will finally and ultimately lead to a proper and impartial solution to the situation.”

Kofi Annan, as the joint UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, is on a mission to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis. He acknowledged that his efforts will be arduous and he will need assistance.

After the meeting with Wen Jiabao, Annan spoke highly of China’s stance. He said China will “do whatever it can” to work with him to ensure a peaceful solution.

Annan said, “On the Chinese level, they realize like other nations the importance of the crisis and the need to resolve it peacefully before it becomes too radicalized.”

[…]

March 27th, 2012, 11:30 pm

 

Jerusalem said:

Please remember that when the people of Daraa went out to the streets to demonstrate, they did not ask for the fall of the regime, rather for reforms.

———-
This is how it started also in Egypt, at first they didn’t call for Mubarak to step down then, afterward, they have started chanting down down. If you read Foreign Policy on how schemers of ”peaceful demonstrations” received their training in Belgrade you’ll understand what I mean (the link was posted by SC). It tells you in details how they teach them to provoke, to gain attention then put ONE and only demand, like oust Mubark but no further agenda…then mayhem. Even the woman who was pulled by her hair in Tahrir square by the Egyptian Army and Anderson Cooper shed tears over her, admitted on Egyptian TV that she received training by the mossad on how to provoke with no arms. I have the link somewhere in my archive, I’ll look for it.

March 27th, 2012, 11:31 pm

 

Ghufran said:

According to Alwawi from the FSA, Turkey arrested an officer from the FSA, Muhammad Baziko,shortly after he crossed the borders with Turkey.

Alwawi accused Turkey and the US of being “responsible” for the ” massacres” against the Syrian people by refusing to arm the FSA.

March 27th, 2012, 11:40 pm

 

ann said:

Standing disunited? Syrian opposition held up by differences – 28 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/syria-opposition-istanbul-meeting-614/

Syrian opposition activists have met in Istanbul to join forces and conjure up a common declaration on Syria’s future. But the meeting was marred with walkouts, proving it was difficult for the groups to overcome their differences.

Although several hundred Syrian opponents of the Assad government attended the event, it was largely dominated by the Syrian National Council.

As SNC Chairman Burhan Ghalioun read out an action plan calling for greater unity, Haitham al-Maleh, an 80-year old veteran of the Syrian opposition walked out of the gathering. Maleh argued that the SNC had assumed too much dominance and failed to allow other dissidents to have their say.

In the meantime, Ghalioun went on with his action plan, which called for raising international backing, supporting peaceful protests and helping to organize and arm the Syrian Free Army.

But this appeared too far from the truth when a group of delegates from the Kurdish National Council also walked out of the hall, saying they needed a specific solution to the Kurdish problem on paper.

A diplomat observing the conference also remarked that the executive council of the SNC had to do more to show that it was listening to the people, as there is a feeling it is not transparent or democratic enough.

[…]

March 27th, 2012, 11:41 pm

 

zoo said:

[ARROWZoo, thank you for bringing this up. I alerted the technical crew and sent a note to your SC-registration email. Expect a fix for this sometime today.

SCModeration@mail.com]

#83

Sorry I wanted to cut it down, but neither the CANCEL or EDIT function works.. Moderator please help!

March 27th, 2012, 11:43 pm

 

Ghufran said:

This is the SNC official statement about Kofi Annan’s plan:

The subject of negotiations is the transition of the Syrian people to a pluralistic, democratic government and a civil, democratic state.

The plan of action states that any negotiations concerning a transition phase cannot begin until the death and destruction machine stops, army and security forces withdraw to their barracks, and all political prisoners are released.

The legitimate right of the people to demonstrate peacefully must be recognized.

Arab and international media and humanitarian organizations must be allowed to enter and move freely on all Syrian territory.

Negotiations can never take place between the victim and torturer: Assad and his entourage must step down as a condition before starting any serious negotiations.

Comment: Haytham Almaleh also insisted that the only item on future negotiation with the regime will be on how to dismantle the regime. To me, this position is effectively a refusal of Annan’s plan which stayed way from the touchy item of Assad’s resignation. I wonder how the man can overcome this obstacle. The regime will use this point and the issue of leaderless armed groups to score politically, they will say: we agreed with Annan but the SNC did not, we stopped the shelling but the other side did not. The SNC is taking another step in the wrong direction and the armed rebels will actually help the regime politically.

March 28th, 2012, 12:02 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Norman
You asked what policy of Assad that we do not like
We do not like the severe brutal oppression jailing people because they ask for freedom, we dont like the corruption of the regime, we dont like lack of freedom,and the preferential treatment of people.

Chris
The regime will not comply.

March 28th, 2012, 12:10 am

 

Ghufran said:

It looks like the SNC did not share its “vision” with anybody else from the opposition
بهيه المارديني
http://www.france24.com/ar/20120327-syria-turkey-opposition-syrian-conference-istanbul-friends-expectations

March 28th, 2012, 12:25 am

 

ann said:

Syrian Rebels Caught Embellishing on Tape – Mar 27, 2012

A new documentary provides an intimate look at Syria’s video activists—and reveals how they staged a report to appear more dramatic. Mike Giglio gets an exclusive preview.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/27/syrian-rebels-caught-embellishing-on-tape.html

It’s through people like Omar Tellawi that scenes of the bloodshed in Syria have reached the rest of the world.

Tellawi is part of a small, tightly knit group of Syrian video activists who have embedded themselves inside Homs, the center of a brutal crackdown by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Foreign journalists are barred from the city—and if they manage to sneak in, they can become targets, as happened when photographer Rémi Ochlik and legendary war correspondent Marie Colvin were killed recently.

Tellawi and his fellow activists document the regime’s atrocities with low-tech video dispatches, often reporting via Anderson Cooper–like stand-up reports. They post their work on YouTube, and it spreads globally via social media and the international press. Some of the so-called vee-jays—such as 23-year-old Danny Abdul Dayem, whom the Western press has dubbed the “voice of Homs”— feature regularly on networks such as Al-Jazeera and CNN and have become unlikely media stars in the course of the conflict.

A new report, airing tonight on Britain’s Channel 4 News, shows the video activists in a new and intimate light. In it, Tellawi and his colleagues scramble to confirm death tolls, brave bomb blasts, and duck sniper fire.

They also, it turns out, embellish.

Channel 4 News gave The Daily Beast an exclusive look at the upcoming documentary, shot by an up-and-coming photojournalist named Mani, who goes by only one name, in order to avoid compromising future trips to Syria.

Over the course of several weeks in January and February, Mani embedded himself with Tellawi and his colleagues to witness some of the toughest days of Syria’s ongoing conflict. Mani, 40, hails from France but once studied in Damascus and is fluent in Arabic. A primary-school teacher less than two years ago, he left his job to pursue a passion for photography and gained worldwide attention with his inaugural video report last month, a gripping account of the fighting in Homs. Nevine Mabro, Mani’s editor at Channel 4, called it “the best combat footage I’ve ever seen in 12 years of looking at this stuff.”

[…]

March 28th, 2012, 12:26 am

 

Ghufran said:

This is a web poll from the SNC official site:
Do you think the international community should:
Select Poll

Do you think the international community should:
Arm the Free Syrian Army immediately before organizing it because the situation on the ground is very dire.
110  41.7%
Organize the units and ranks of FSA then arm it. Otherwise it is a waste of resources without a plan.
77  29.2%
Never arm the FSA as this will create chaos in the country after Assad.
77  29.2%

Number of Voters  :  264
First Vote  :  Monday, 27 February 2012 16:11
Last Vote  :  Wednesday, 28 March 2012 06:28

March 28th, 2012, 12:31 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Islamist trying to apply Sharia in Brussels !
What are they going to do in Syria ?شواطئ عراة?

March 28th, 2012, 12:43 am

 

chris said:

103. majedkhaldoun

syria is one of a few MID EAST countries where majority and minority live in peace. the only thing missing is sharia law.

why dont people realise they will not get the freedom they ask for they will only get what the rest of the mid east has and what the arab league wants. that is to be 100%muslim and if not under sharia law.

this is what the revolution in syria will bring. again christians will be on the run.

How can we allow qatar and ksa to dictate what should happen in syria yet they still stone people for anything that is against their belief. where women driving is punishable!

this is what we want for syria?

if anyone loves syria they would want both parties to run for a party and people to vote.

it seems the oppostion wants to win by their own terms, how democratic!
http://youtu.be/vOIbgd5qcrg

March 28th, 2012, 12:43 am

 

ann said:

104. Ghufran said:

Number of Voters : 264
.
.
Wonder how many times sheik Humpty Dumpty (ruler of qatar) voted 😀
.

March 28th, 2012, 12:47 am

 

CHRIS said:

[Red alert Edited to sentence-case from ALL-CAPS.]

80. majedkhaldoun

So do you think the opposition going to comply?

Another time waster on sc with thumbs down!

March 28th, 2012, 12:48 am

 

chris said:

[Red alert Edited to sentence-case from ALL-CAPS.]

TARA @81

Those leaked emails just show how freedom roams in Syria!

So what if he mocks people, we all do. pick up any paper, magazine or watch any tv show. we thrive on this information.

I guarantee you if we search anyone’s email we will find something to laugh about.

Why are you wasting time on SC? U have the most thumbs down!
Do you not get the message.

March 28th, 2012, 12:48 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Chris
This is your prejudice opinion, this is not true, None of the foreign country can decide things for Syria, what you want is equality, christians and Muslem, what you are supporting, is one sect, Minority, 6-7% to subjugate 80% of the people, it is a big prison, this can not last, people do not get used to injustice.

March 28th, 2012, 12:55 am

 

ann said:

UN Leaves Child Soldiers in Syria & Jonglei Unaddressed, In Myanmar Counts on Ban

http://www.innercitypress.com/caac1mysyss032612.html

Likewise earlier in March Inner City Press sent to Coomaraswamy at her Office a picture from the March 3 New York Times, of an obviously under-aged fighter with the Free Syrian Army.

Coomaraswamy finally commented on it, when asked again by Inner City Press on March 26, and said that she, the UN has “received allegations” of the recruitment of child soldiers by the Free Syrian Army.

But what is being done about it? For example, Paulo Pinheiro of the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria has not mentioned it. Pinheiro told Inner City Press it is “not useful” to compare, even on number of dead, Syria to Myanmar, which he previously studied.

[…]

March 28th, 2012, 1:15 am

 

ann said:

Annan and Syria need time – 2012-03-28

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2012-03/28/c_131493679.htm

BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhuanet) — Premier Wen Jiabao met Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Arab League envoy to Syria, in Beijing on Tuesday, and pledged China’s full support to Annan’s six-point plan to end the bloodshed in the Middle East country.

Wen said the Syria issue has now entered a critical stage and Annan’s mediation efforts “will lead to progress”. These remarks bear emblem to China’s consistent efforts to promote peace.

One day earlier, in his meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, President Hu Jintao emphasized that China takes a responsible approach toward peace in Syria.

[…]

March 28th, 2012, 1:19 am

 

chris said:

110. majedkhaldoun

thats right no country can help syria!

this we can agree upon. for and against any country will only get involved because it will be of some benefit to them!

i want equality but i cannot foresee it with the opposition.

they have killed more than the army !

we need real politicians, real laws, real democracy! but i want the world to know the MB AND FSA dont stand for democracy. they are just as the regime and if we have no choice then let bashar stay because no one else can do better. until some party steps in and gets the peoples vote

March 28th, 2012, 1:32 am

 

Mina said:

Ghufran #97
And this is indeed the biggest victory of Syria’s enemies: that a few extremist Homsis were convinced someone was going to come to their help. Now they will blame the Turks, the Iraqis, whoever. But at least they’ll stay divided and easy to be monitored.

While in Egypt, epidemics and no political agreement on the constitution.
http://www.egyptindependent.com/node/734916
http://www.egyptindependent.com/node/734551

But the good news is that the Salafis+MB (Muslim Bro) and JB (Jewish Bro) have now a common platform of discussions:
http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/anglo-file/ultra-orthodox-jews-increasingly-refuse-to-sit-near-women-on-el-al-flights-1.420298

March 28th, 2012, 1:59 am

 

Juergen said:

Chris
It looks like that folks like you run from one workstation to the other to thumb comments, have fun. But let me tell you, most of us dont care at all about what the approval rating says.

Sheila

Its an important subject you raised. I have dear friends who were in prison, who still support the idea that only with regime there can be reforms.
I think all of us have lost other good friends, some may even have disputes within their families. I have this dear friend in Qatar who is from Damascus. He has a brilliant job there and is quite an intelligent guy. I know the family, they are christians. The other day i saw that he posted on a regular basis comments on proregime FB sites, and especially one comment in which he called Bashar to come and clean up the mess and get rid of some unworthy creatures outraged me deeply. I called him up and asked him about it. He told me basically that he does not like the regime, but as a Syrian working in Qatar he is suspicious to the regime, and because he wants to go back now and then, he tries to write his way back by such comments. He added that many of his friends who are on FB have similar somments and he is afraid that they would think he is an oppositioner. Isnt that strange that the typical syrian order of conduct is evident even on FB?

I think noone can say that he or she does not know about the abuses and the crimes against humanity. I was lucky when the communist regime collapsed i was still a young person. So i could adapt to the new order easily, many older folks ( 40+) had difficult times, most got unemployed and many i suppose would have agreed when you say it was better in the regime than after for them. You know its hard for people when others tell them the way they lived, the system they backed was wrong or criminal, in that sense their life became senseless. I always asked myself what would I have done when i was older in this regime, would I talk openly against the brutality and the crimes or would I be among those who adapted to the regime. I found the other day an essay I wrote when I was 9 years old. It was about the love of the children for the communist party and its officials. I wrote a pathetic piece, and i know that i could have written a much less adulant text, the idea that i was misguided does not count for me. I do believe that not everyone is a rebel, not everyone is brave enough to bear the consequences of opposing evil. But you can be sure when the tide is gone, no one was ever for the regime, thats also a truth, most people want to in the winning team afterall.

March 28th, 2012, 2:18 am

 

NASA said:

84. SHEILA
With all due respect, your list is short & for the minority of supporters, from our inside Syria friends and relatives, the following can be added to your list:

1. No trust for majority leaders at SC or opposition since they depend on outside countries whom have spl benefits using Syrian people as excuse.

2. Bad examples around us: Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan …etc.

3. Democracy will not fall over-night & you can’t change things 360 degrees. At our case; step by step peacefully is the way. Syrian Gov. can’t deny changes anymore like before; the whole world is watching.

4. Without blindly following conspiracy theory, it is thru that other agenda are valid, so mine, yours and Syrian peoples goal is different that others.

5. How can you follow the advice of whom don’t have it? (Saudi & Qatar!!?)

6. and many other reason …. I encourage watching our great Adonis over spl interview program with Ziena at Dubai Channel last week. (I regret not having the like)

Finally, and for all opposition supporters pls … Listen to Syrian young people at diff. Colleges and Universities in Syria.

Thx …

March 28th, 2012, 2:30 am

 

jad said:

What really happened at the Syrian-Lebanese borders today:
قصة القصف السوري في القاع – غدي فرنسي
http://youtu.be/dX48i-ZA8sY

March 28th, 2012, 2:41 am

 

jad said:

The ‘revolution’ singer I linked his ‘amazing’ song couple days ago is also an ‘outstanding’ actress….sorry, actor playing as a woman, have a laugh!
حمصية علويه تشكي همها للعالم عن طريق حمصي وشايف حالي
http://youtu.be/c62qb3VHeGM

March 28th, 2012, 2:47 am

 

Syrialover said:

#84. SHEILA

Thank you, thankyou. And thank you again.

A good question.

You’ve covered most of the reasons some inside Syria are not opposing Assad.

But the expats – that’s a different story!

I know Syrians living comfortably in the west who are stubbornly defending Assad while they are personally enjoying a life with rule of law, economic and educational opportunity, freedom of speech and information, welfare systems, public accountability, protection from corruption, first-rate infrastructure, absence of fear, endless choices, rights and freedoms – and so on and so on.

It doesn’t matter what these expats are doing – whether they are in business, academia, the professions, the civil service or anywhere, they and their families are in PARADISE compared with their Syrian counterparts.

Which is why they have left.

They have lives which an overwhelming majority of Syrians would give anything to experience. But bizarrely, not only do these privileged expats take for granted what surrounds them, and are oblivious to how it works, they are often furiously indignant and critical of the west.

You see this syndrome demonstrated daily on SC.

It shocks me that they apparently do not feel that the 20+ million people in Syria with no hope of a new life elsewhere are WORTHY OR ENTITLED to have the same things they themselves have pursued and are nesting comfortably with.

Worse, I see callousness and contempt for the Syrian people in these expat Syrians’ shallow thinking and self-protective fantasies.

What’s good enough for them is far too good to want for people living in Syria, who should not be ranked with the rest of humanity in their needs, rights, dreams and expectations.

March 28th, 2012, 2:53 am

 

jad said:

Addounia, Syrian TV and Alikhbarya viewers are up while Aljazeera, and CNN are loosing theirs, it must be the Syrian Electronic Army!

Aljazeera R.I.Hell
http://www.al-akhbar.com/media
“ما همّ؟ صار للعرب محطّة تضاهي
الـ CNN، وتنظر إلى الأحداث من زاوية أخرى. من الحرب الأميركيّة ـــ البريطانيّة على العراق إلى العدوان الاسرائيلي على لبنان ثم غزّة… وصولاً إلى الانتفاضتين التونسيّة والمصريّة، كان التاريخ يتشكّل مباشرة على «الجزيرة». ثم اكتشف النظام القطري هواية جديدة، وقرّر أن يصبح سبونسور «الثورة» العربيّة. مرّت المحطّة فوق ربيع المنامة مثل الدبابات السعوديّة، لـ«تقود» حركة التغيير في سوريا. بسرعة بدأت الزلات المهنيّة التي تحوّلت انحرافات متعمّدة، فتزييفاً منهجيّاً للحدث كما تثبت الوثائق والتصريحات التي تسرّبت في الأسابيع الأخيرة. ليس أن النظام السوري بمنأى عن الاستبداد والقمع، لكن «فجور» الخطاب الاعلامي جاء يسرق من الشعب انتفاضته. على صخرة المأساة السوريّة تكسّرت مملكة الوهم، وعادت المحطّة إلى حجمها الطبيعي. فجأة انتبه المشاهدون إلى أنّهم أمام اعلام رسمي يشبه ما نراه في سائر الأنظمة الشموليّة، بل يفوقها خطورة بحكم التجربة والصيت وادعاءات الاستقلاليّة والموضوعيّة. اليوم تتواصل الفضائح والاستقالات، ليبقى في ذاكرة الاعلام العربي المعاصر، جرح غائر اسمه «الجزيرة».”

CNN R.I.Limbo
Wait, Did CNN Just Lose HALF Of Its Viewers?
“As TVNewser’s Chris Ariens reported today: “CNN bore the brunt of the downward trend the news networks experienced this month and for much of the first quarter, when compared to the busy first few months of 2011. For the month of March, CNN was down -50% in total viewers and down -60% in A25-54 viewers (Total Day). The net was down -21% in Total Viewers and down -26% in A25-54 viewers (Primetime) compared to March 2011.”
http://www.businessinsider.com/wait-did-cnn-just-lose-half-of-its-viewers-2012-3?utm_source=twbutton&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=main-contributor

March 28th, 2012, 2:57 am

 

NASA said:

I have no doubts that most if not all participants on this blog love Syria and wish for the best. It is not a matter of diff. views anymore, IT IS WAR & KILLING yes we should listen to each other, but now Syrians inside Syria are looking for peace, they want to stop killing and the way the what so called revolution turned wrong!
Therefore, once again our young educated and academic Syrians are our assets & our future; not OIL … not Western Gov.[not Mr. Zibala at SC] but young Syrians the future Syria … try to reach them and listen to them.
Thx

March 28th, 2012, 3:06 am

 

jad said:

I like the ‘virtual’ rebels’ high moral charade, let me put it to them in a very simple equation so they stop this fruitless mission:

When a ‘revolution’ like ‘this’ made the majority of Syrians defend a regime like ‘that’ you should know how bloody, ugly, sectarian, bankrupt, radical, criminal, corrupted and disgusting that ‘revolution’ has become.

Cheers!

March 28th, 2012, 3:09 am

 

jad said:

Bronco, Zoo, Irritated,
I guess throwing eggs and tomato on Ford made him wake up, it only took him a year to tell us about what is really happening:
‘Even you Fordy’

السفير الامريكي يقول ان لديه تقارير عن انتهاكات للمعارضة السورية
{…}
وسئل فورد في جلسة في الكونجرس عن بيانات صدرت مؤخرا عن منظمة هيومن رايتس ووتش المعنية بحقوق الانسان ومقرها الولايات المتحدة أفادت بأن جماعات المعارضة المسلحة في سوريا ارتكبت انتهاكات خطيرة لحقوق الانسان. وقالت ان من بين هذه الانتهاكات الخطف والاحتجاز والتعذيب لافراد من قوات الامن ومؤيدي الحكومة.
وقال “كان لدينا تقارير مثل هذه العام الماضي عندما اضحى بعض القتال في حمص خطيرا حقا.”
وأضاف قائلا “أثرنا (هذه التقارير) حتى في سوريا عندما كانت السفارة مازالت مفتوحة. بحثناها مع بعض ممثلي مجلس الثورة المحليين -وهم انفسهم ليسوا اعضاء في المجموعات المسلحة لكنهم بالتأكيد على اتصال بها- وأكدت لهم انهم سيحاسبون وفقا لنفس المعايير اذا كانوا يرغبون في الحصول على دعم من الدول الغربية.”
وقال فورد ان الولايات المتحدة أثارت الموضوع مع المجلس الوطني السوري واشار الى انه في الاسبوع الماضي أصدر المجلس بيانا جاء فيه ان مثل هذه الانتهاكات تتناقض مع ما يناضلون من اجله.
ولم يذكر فورد تفاصيل التقارير التي تلقاها بشأن انتهاكات حقوق الانسان التي ارتكبتها قوات المعارضة.
وقال “لكن يتعين علي أن أقول … كلما استمر العنف لفترة أطول في سوريا كلما أصبح أسوأ وكلما شاهدنا عددا أكبر من المتشددين في الجانبين الذين هم ليسوا بالضرورة من المدافعين عن حقوق الانسان .. يكسبون نفوذا وهذا يمثل مشكلة حقيقية وهذا هو السبب في اننا نحتاج الى التحرك بسرعة أكبر.”
وفي تعليقاته الافتتاحية امام لجنة توم لانتوس لحقوق الانسان اتهم فورد الرئيس السوري بارتكاب انتهاكات “ضخمة” لحقوق الانسان. وقال انه أثار القضية باستمرار مع الاسد عندما كان سفيرا في سوريا بدءا من أول اجتماع معه قبل 13 شهرا.
وقال “في تلك المناقشات لم يبد الاسد اهتماما يذكر بحقوق الانسان بل في الحقيقة غضب من أنني أثرت هذا الموضوع. وتدهور تجاهله القاسي على مدى العام المنصرم الى انتهاكات ضخمة لحقوق الانسان يمكن ان ترقى الى جرائم ضد الانسانية.”
{…}
http://www.swissinfo.ch/ara/detail/content.html?cid=32373020

March 28th, 2012, 3:24 am

 

Syrialover said:

Syria authorities target children, say UN rights chief

The Syrian authorities are deliberately and systematically targeting children, the United Nations’ human rights chief, Navi Pillay, has told the BBC.

She said she was deeply concerned about the fate of hundreds of children being held in detention.

Ms Pillay said President Bashar al-Assad could end the detentions and stop the killing of civilians immediately, simply by issuing an order.
—-
Navi Pillay told the BBC that the Syrian leader would face justice for the abuses carried out by his security forces.

Asked if President Assad bore command responsibility for the abuses, she said:

“That is the legal situation. Factually there’s enough evidence pointing to the fact that many of these acts are committed by the security forces must have received the approval or the complicity at the highest level.

“Because President Assad could simply issue an order to stop the killings and the killings would stop.”

She listed what she called “horrendous” treatment of children during the unrest.

“Children shot in the knees, held together with adults in really inhumane conditions, denied medical treatment for their injuries, either held as hostages or as sources of information.”

She added that people like President Assad “can go on for a very long time but one day they will have to face justice.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17532966

March 28th, 2012, 3:32 am

 

Adam said:

\”Another factory owner, whom I know, organized a meeting with opposition leaders in A’zaz, where his factory is located. He could not travel there himself, but delegated a factory administrator who knows the opposition leaders of the town to carry out the talks on his behalf. The factor has already had 300,000 Syrian pounds requisitioned. The opposition agreed to allowing him to keep the factory open. I do not know what further arrangements were made in order to keep its doors open.\”

So, am I to believe that the opposition will respect the property rights of general population if Assad falls? If the opposition doesn\’t respect the basic right of a factory owner to keeps his doors open (and people employed), what does this show us? To me, I have to wonder if they are simply another group of opportunists, just like the Assads, that will take what they want by force. What\’s the difference? Except that minority groups can\’t be sure their rights will be protected, despite the (possibly) new found respect for freedom of the brotherhood. Confusing.

March 28th, 2012, 3:32 am

 

jad said:

Is 6ar6our going to fulfill his promise?
قسم العرعور قبل زيارة الرئيس الأسد لحمص بابا عمرو
http://youtu.be/H-rfdWJoEH8

March 28th, 2012, 3:57 am

 

Syrialover said:

#96. JERUSALEM

Your point?

Are you telling us that the rural poor in Syria who protested were cleverly manipulated as part of an external master plan to bring down Assad?

I guess these master string-pullers also arranged for the violence against the children in Daraa and the escalation of the situation by the regime’s attacks on unarmed demonstrators.

What next? I am tired of the people of Syria being depicted as confused, easily pushed around pawns who can’t think or do anything on their own account.

March 28th, 2012, 3:57 am

 

Badr said:

Clinton to Assad: Prove peace commitment

Clinton told reporters in Washington, “Given Assad’s history of over-promising and under-delivering, that commitment must now be matched by immediate action.

“We will judge Assad’s sincerity and seriousness by what he does, not by what he says,” she said. “If he is ready to bring this dark chapter in Syria’s history to a close, he can prove it by immediately ordering regime forces to stop firing and begin withdrawing from populated areas.”

March 28th, 2012, 4:37 am

 

Antoine said:

Do not take seriously the assessment of a man whose three brothers-in-law are serving officers in the Syrian Arab Army and whose father-in-law is a retired Admiral in the Syrian Arab Navy.

March 28th, 2012, 6:13 am

 

Juergen said:

shocking video of a burning pipeline in Homs

March 28th, 2012, 6:20 am

 

Juergen said:

Destruction at Qualaat Al Madeeq/ Hama province
english:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BCKvVx7wkDE

arabic:

March 28th, 2012, 6:26 am

 

Uzair8 said:

#81 TARA

Omen, I think you may be right about the internal colonialism.

March 28th, 2012, 7:12 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Heard some Syria news on BBC RADIO 4 last night and I was reminded of the declaration/celebration of ‘victory’ I was witnessing yesterday on a former SC users twitter.

The World Tonight is a 45 minute news round up broadcast at 10 pm every weekday night.

Listen from 32 min. Fawaz Gerges from a little before 35 min 30 sec.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dtvlv

At first I felt this Annan plan could be a good thing if it allows the people to come out and protest. However, yesterday evening fear descended on me as a thought crossed my mind. As Fawaz Gerges said, the regime may not have changed its position but only agreed to the Annan plan due to pressure from Russia and China. About Assads visit to Bab Amr, Gerges said this was a declaration of victory and a message to his supporters that the worst is behind them.

My fear: Assad may pull his troops from the cities and towns then cue the oh so conveniant ‘armed gangs’ attacking minority areas as well as peaceful protests. Add some car bombs. The regime will then be able to turn to Russia and China and justify redeploying its thugs in the cities and towns. Remind yourself of Algeria.

March 28th, 2012, 7:30 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Correction:

– Fawaz Gerges didn’t say the Bab Amr visit was a declaration of victory. He said the regime had gained the upper hand and weathered the storm….

– Listen to him from 35 min 30 sec.

Moving on.

Was it in the leaked emails that someone advised the Assad regime to talk ‘big’ and use violent language as well as to play up their military capabilities? Something along those lines.

Isn’t that exactly what Assad did when he previously declared how Syria would be strong in space and yesterday declared that he would rebuild Bab Amr and it will be better than before?

They say the bigger the lie the more chance it is believed. Perhaps this is because due to the enormity of a lie it simply doesn’t compute hence isn’t immediately dismissed as a lie which it is. I don’t know.

Put the space project to one side, how is he going to rebuild Bab Amr better than before. Where are the funds?

March 28th, 2012, 7:47 am

 

Tara said:

Zoo

Regardless of the bickering that may nave happened, it seems that the international media is going to hail  the SNC as the formal representative of the Syrian people.  The opposition is now united.  The Kurds may have alienated themselves by walking out.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/mar/28/syria-crisis-live-updates#block-13

11.40am: All but one of Syria’s disparate opposition groups have agreed to unite behind the Syrian National Council, the BBC reports.

A statement issued after a two-day meeting in Istanbul said the SNC would be the “formal interlocutor and formal representative of the Syrian people”.

SNC spokeswoman Basma Kodmani told the BBC: “We needed to build the confidence of countries around the world who want to support the Syrian revolution that this is the organisation that can channel support to the population inside.

“I think this now has been achieved.”

March 28th, 2012, 8:14 am

 

DAWOUD said:

Ahmadinijad, as the Arabic news story below discusses, is “pleased” with al-Assad’s handling of the Syrian Revolt!

I guess it’s not very painful for Iranians to see an Alawi dictator kill Sunni Muslim Syrians!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/03/28/203723.html

أحمدي نجاد “سعيد” بتعامل الأسد مع الثورة السورية
اتهم الغرب بالتآمر مع دول عربية للإطاحة بالنظام السوري لتعزيز وضع إسرائيل

العربية.نت

أشاد الرئيس الإيراني محمود أحمدي نجاد بالطريقة التي اتبعتها القيادة السورية في التعامل مع الانتفاضة التي بدأت قبل عام وقتل فيها الآلاف، معربا أثناء محادثات مع فيصل المقداد مبعوث الأسد عن سعادته البالغة بتعامل المسؤولين السوريين مع الأوضاع في بلادهم .

وأضاف نجاد- حسب وكالة “رويترز”- لوسائل إعلام إيرانية أن طهران ستبذل كل ما في وسعها لدعم أوثق حليف عربي لها. واتهم الرئيس الايراني الغرب بالتآمر مع دول عربية للإطاحة بالقيادة السورية وتعزيز وضع إسرائيل في المنطقة.

وساندت إيران انتفاضات شعبية أطاحت بزعماء تونس ومصر وليبيا واليمن لكنها حافظت بثبات على دعمها للرئيس السوري بشار الأسد الذي ينتمي للطائفة العلوية، وهي إحدى الطوائف الشيعية.
إن الامريكيين يريدون السيطرة على سوريا ولبنان وايران
أحمدي نجاد

وقالت الأمم المتحدة إن أكثر من 9000 شخص قتلوا في الحملة التي تشنها الحكومة السورية لقمع المحتجين والمسلحين المعارضين للأسد، بينما ألقت السلطات السورية بالمسؤولية على إرهابيين يتلقون دعما من الخارج في العنف، وقالت إن 3000 من أفراد الجيش وقوات الأمن قتلوا.

وقال أحمدي نجاد إنه لا توجد حدود لتوسيع الروابط مع سوريا، وإن إيران ستفعل كل ما في طاقتها لمساندة هذا البلد.

واتهم الرئيس الإيراني الغرب بالتآمر مع دول عربية للإطاحة بالقيادة السورية وتعزيز وضع إسرائيل في المنطقة.

وأثارت الحملة التي شنها الأسد على معارضيه غضب دول عربية من بينها قطر، وهي حليفة سابقة لدمشق، والسعودية اللتان طالبتا بدعم المعارضة السورية.

وقال أحمدي نجاد إن الامريكيين يريدون السيطرة على سوريا ولبنان وإيران ودول أخرى ويجب علينا أن نكون على وعي بمخططاتهم، وأن نتصدى لهم بقوة.

ولم يشر الرئيس الإيراني إلى خطة السلام التي ترعاها الأمم المتحدة والتي تدعو إلى حوار وطني دون تنحي الأسد. وقال المبعوث الدولي كوفي عنان يوم أمس الثلاثاء إن سوريا قبلت الخطة.

واتهمت الولايات المتحدة وبريطانيا الأسبوع الماضي إيران بإرسال أسلحة إلى سوريا لدعم حملتها لإخماد الانتفاضة، في
[…]

March 28th, 2012, 8:17 am

 

DAWOUD said:

#62

I disagree with Mr. Camille Otrakji’s view, which he expressed in his interview with Putin’s “Russia Today,” that Anan’s efforts will fail because of Mr. Erdogan. These peace efforts will fail because of Bashar’s and his supporters’ attitudes and slogan: “Bashar or NO one!” بشار أو ولا حد!

Blaming Erdogan, Saudia Arabi, and Qatar because of sectarian/religious/historical motivations will not distract from the fact that the root cause of Syria’s ongoing and legitimate revolution is Bashar’s illegitimate and brutal dictatorship!

Unlike Mubarak’s Egypt during the Gaza war of 2008-09 (which was complicit with Israel and closed its borders to fleeing Palestinians), Erdogan’s Turkey has opened its borders and heart to terrorized and fleeing Syrians. This is a fact, regardless of what pro-regime editors, bloggers, scholars, fellows, Hizballah supporters/researchers, et al. say!!

March 28th, 2012, 8:31 am

 

Tara said:

Chris@109

I sure get it.

It is so retarded to assume that anti regime commenters care about the number of thumbs down they get from the pro regime. The regime’s retardation is rubbing off. I now actually bestow on you the award of the least intelligent comment of the month. Sorry Mina, you lost your award.

You should continue though writing your first grade – level arguments. The more you read and write, the better you get.

March 28th, 2012, 8:34 am

 

zoo said:

Syria to reject any Arab League initiative to end crisis
AFP – 13 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/syria-reject-arab-league-initiative-end-crisis-003234743.html

Damascus will reject any initiative stemming from this week’s Arab League summit to end the year-long crisis in Syria, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

“Syria will not cooperate with any Arab League initiative at any level,” spokesman Jihad Makdissi said in a statement to AFP.

“Since its suspension from the Arab League, Syria has been dealing with member states on a bilateral level,” he added.
(..)

March 28th, 2012, 9:48 am

 

zoo said:

Iran hopeful?

Peace envoy Annan to visit Tehran next week
http://news.yahoo.com/peace-envoy-annan-visit-tehran-next-week-001425029.html

The UN and Arab League’s envoy to mediate the Syria conflict, Kofi Annan, will visit Tehran next week, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday.

“Kofi Annan is probably coming to Tehran on Monday,” Salehi told reporters on the sideline of a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The foreign minister also said “there are some differences between Iran and Turkey vis a vis the issue of Syria.”

“But we are nearing to closing the gap of differences with the mission of Mr Kofi Annan and with the support of Turkey, Arab nations and the UN we hope there will be a way out for the Syrian issue,” he said, speaking to reporters in English.
(..)

March 28th, 2012, 9:51 am

 

zoo said:

A wakeup of the media headlines: reporting Syrian army soldiers death

3 Syrian soldiers die in clashes with rebels

BEN HUBBARD | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/3-syrian-soldiers-die-clashes-rebels-101632935.html
…..
The body (SNC) has limited control over opposition activities inside Syria or over the various armed groups fighting the government across Syria under the banner of the Free Syrian Army.

March 28th, 2012, 9:56 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

An elderly lady is targeted in the face by a regime sniper in Homs.
(Graphic Content)

March 28th, 2012, 10:00 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

SOD

Were you there? or did Alarabia or Khaled Abo Salah tell you that? Or may be the Pilot which Alarabia stated that he defected have seen the sniper as he was defecting?

March 28th, 2012, 10:27 am

 

Jad said:

It’s seems that arming kids and using them in the bloody conflict by the terrorists is widespread

تقرير هولندي عن استغلال إرهابيي مجلس استنبول للأطفال

March 28th, 2012, 10:29 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

SNK,

I got it from SHAMSNN who has uploaded over 82000+ videos of Assadist crimes.

Have a look at them, see what Bashar and his cronies like to do to their own people, just for the sake of his bloody throne.

http://www.youtube.com/user/SHAMSNN?feature=watch

March 28th, 2012, 10:38 am

 

Jad said:

Son of Damascus

That is horrible, why they don’t take her to hospital instead of stopping her for a freaking video while every second counts to save her life?

That is heartbreaking, may god save her life.

Here is a terrorist sniper at work in Homs in a residential area while many civilians are standing just meters away from him, so in any retaliation by the Syrian Army an innocent victim will be hurt, that is terrorism:

Homs أوغاريت حمص , أبو حمزه قناص حمص عزرائيل الخالديه

March 28th, 2012, 10:46 am

 

Jad said:

I guess some people still didn’t get the news of who was involved in the terrorist attack on the gas pipelines, here you go again:

Syria Breaking News 23/3/2012 – CNN Crew Linked With Homs Bombings.

March 28th, 2012, 10:48 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

Syria refugee recalls family’s harrowing escape to Jordan

A woman who fled with her four children this month is among a growing number of
Syrians who brave snipers to reach Jordan. About 80,000 Syrians have fled there.

Reporting from Amman, Jordan — Um Eddine shudders as she describes the icy night she and her four children reached the barbed-wire fence that marks the border between her native Syria and Jordan.

She pushed her two youngest children through and continued to run, hoping that the ordeal of leaving her troubled homeland, where her husband had been jailed for protesting against President Bashar Assad, was almost over.

But she soon noticed that her eldest two children, ages 6 and 7, were no longer behind her.

She suppressed a mother’s urge to call out for them in the dark, remembering the family had been warned against making noise during their escape, lest they alert government snipers hiding in the hills who would open fire at any cracking branch. With no choice, she headed back toward the fence, back toward Syria.

She quickly found them, entangled in the barbed wire and too terrified to cry out.

“I’m stuck,” one whispered. “I wanted to call out, ‘Where are you, Mother?’ but was afraid.”

After freeing the children, the family continued. Um Eddine, carrying her two youngest, 4 and 5, was so anxious to reach safety she fought her way up a hill until her hands bled.

[…]

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/26/world/la-fg-syria-jordan-refugees-20120327

March 28th, 2012, 10:50 am

 

Afram said:

Truth alone triumphs:

Last August,I wrote this eloquent Statement on this blog to DR.Haytham Khoury on the Most Urgent Crisis&The State of Siege among the opposition.

I said:

Silly Little opposition couldn’t find their own aRss with both hands and a roadmap.becAuse they are so poisoned by hatred they can’t even think.

He then-Haytham strongly disagreed

Today Doc. Khoury Agrees big time with me?!

he wrote this today….

عجيبة هي المعارضة السورية

http://www.ahewar.org/debat/show.art.asp?aid=301034

March 28th, 2012, 10:56 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

Jad,

I guess you missed the report by Channel 4 news that showed us people being tortured and killed at State Hospitals…

http://www.channel4.com/news/exclusive-syrian-doctors-torturing-patients

I sent a message to SHAMSNN asking about her fate and well being, will post the reply and any corresponding video that SHAMSNN will provide.

March 28th, 2012, 10:58 am

 

jad said:

Dear Son of Damascus,
When in that report you saw a woman get hurt or tortured? She is a victim not a ‘sniper’ or an armed man to believe that they will torture her, that doesn’t make sense, it’s obvious that they stopped her to do this clip.

March 28th, 2012, 11:06 am

 

jad said:

بيان الكتلة الكوردية في المجلس الوطني السوري و لجنة العلاقات الخارجية للمجلس الوطني الكوردي في سوريا

كنا نأمل من مؤتمر المعارضة المنعقد في اسطنبول في 26/27 نيسان الجاري أن يكون خطوة في الاتجاه الصحيح من اجل توحيد جهود المعارضة السورية للسير الى اسقاط النظام الذي يقمع السوريين على مدى 42 عاماً ومن اجل بناء نظام ديمقراطي مدني يساوي بين جميع مكونات المجتمع السوري.

لكن اجندت البعض الخاصة المخالفة للمصلحة الوطنية واصرار البعض الاخر على اقصاء المكون الكوردي وعدم التعامل معه كشريك حقيقي سواء في صياغة ميثاق العهد الوطني لسوريا المستقبل او في اعداد وثائقه والتي لم تتضمن حقوق الشعب الكوردي في سوريا ولكل ذلك قرر وفد المجلس الوطني الكوردي في سوريا و اعضاء الكتلة الكوردية (اتحاد القوى الديمقراطية الكوردية و ائتلاف شباب سوا وائتلاف آفاهي للثورة و منظمات حقوقية كوردية و شخصيات مستقلة – اتحاد تنسيقيات شباب الكورد في سوريا )…. عدم قبولنا على وثيقة العهد الوطني. ونؤكد أننا جزء من الثورة السورية ونتبنى جميع مطالب الثوار و في مقدمتها اسقاط النظام.

لجنة العلاقات الخارجية للمجلس الوطني الكوردي في سوريا

الكتلة الكوردية في المجلس الوطني السوري

[ greenlight http://syrianncb.org/2012/03/28/بيان-الكتلة-الكوردية-في-المجلس-الوطني/ ]

March 28th, 2012, 11:08 am

 

jad said:

The armed terrorists attacking people:
الجيش الكر واغتيالات ينفذها على الطرق بحق الابرياء
http://youtu.be/rHhWW-nbrFo

March 28th, 2012, 11:12 am

 

Son of Damascus said:

Jad,

Children were tortured and had their privates cut off, if they can do it to children they will do it to women. These people have concept of good and bad or what makes sense or not, all they know is kill, torture, rape all done with impunity for Assad gave them and their likes the green light to commit horrible heinous crimes.

Was Hamza a sniper, was Syrian Pioneer a sniper, is Tal Al-Malouhi a sniper?

The only thing that does not make sense is this regime, and people that continue to support it.

March 28th, 2012, 11:13 am

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“…… للسير الى اسقاط النظام الذي يقمع السوريين على مدى 42 عاماً ومن اجل بناء نظام …”

The Baathist regime illegally seized power on March 8, 1963. It was far worse than Assad corrective movement within the illegal regime in the 70’s, so count back correctly.

March 28th, 2012, 11:19 am

 

jad said:

Son of Damascus,

We are back to the black and white narrative that will take us nowhere. I’ll pass on this one now.

March 28th, 2012, 11:21 am

 
 

jad said:

ظاهرة الخطف..تنتشر في المناطق الساخنة للتعذيب والقتل وتمارس في الهادئة للابتزاز المادي
خاص- سيرياستيبس:

في كثير من المناطق السورية لا حديث يتقدم على حوادث الخطف وطلب الفدية سواء تلك التي تشهد أحداثاً أمنية أو تلك الهادئة، فسورية التي ما عانت يوماً من مثل هذه الظاهرة تعيش اليوم على مخاوفها، والتي يخشى أن تمتد وتتوسع لتصل إلى العاصمة كما حدث في حلب لتزيد معاناة السوريين وخوفهم على عائلاتهم ومستقبل حياتهم، التي يتمنوا أن تعود إلى ما قبل عام…

اليوم..ثمة روايات محزنة عن عمليات خطف لأطفال ونساء وشباب طلباً لفدية والأخطر أن بعض العصابات بدأت تمارس سياسة المتاجرة بالمخطوفين تماماً كما تتاجر الدول بديونها أحياناً، فتبيع هذه العصابة لتلك طفل بنصف مليون ليرة فتطلب الثانية من عائلة الطفل المخطوف مليون أو ما يزيد على ما دفعته أي أن تضمن الربح…. وهكذا.
{…}
http://syriasteps.com/?d=110&id=84381&in_main_page=1

March 28th, 2012, 11:29 am

 
 

William Scott Scherk said:

[ greenlight Edited and updated.. For those irked by the broken editing and deletion options, I sent the two detailed error messages to the technical crew. That should help pinpoint the problem and solution. Thanks for patience and for any postings of errors and messages – it speeds up the solution.

SCModeration@mail.com]

March 28th, 2012, 11:33 am

 

Juergen said:

I have a question, i wonder if this statement i have received bears truth in it:

“The Syrian SSNP party was founded in 1932 in Beirut. In 1957 there was a split. Since then, both groups operate under the same party name and the same logo. The party also has a branch in Syria, which has also splitted. Dr Ali Haidar, leader of the SSNP which is illegal in Syria. The other SSNP is legal and part of the official party alliance.”

I never have heard that there are two rival SSNP parties in Syria. Is thaat true, or is Dr Haidar the leader of the legal SSNP? ( sorry cant help it but i have a Life of Brian moment here, anyone knows what i mean?)

March 28th, 2012, 11:34 am

 

jad said:

Al Jazeera in Syria: A Case of Tunnel Vision

With the onset of the crisis in Syria, Al Jazeera dropped any pretense of balanced coverage. Those who tried to buck the trend failed and eventually had to toe the line of the Qatari government.

For some time, Al Jazeera has been inundated with media leaks about its inner workings, most notably when the Syrian Electronic Army hacked the main server and leaked some of its contents.

Al-Akhbar obtained a copy of the “order of the day” sent on the first anniversary of the Syrian uprising. The channel’s head of news Ibrahim Helal sent out a memo dated 15 March 2012 with the title “Our Coverage of Syrian Affairs.”

Compared to other communications obtained by Al-Akhbar, this document shows he has clearly changed his tone since his appointment in November 2011.

The latest message needs to be understood within the framework of the channel’s new policies. Al Jazeera’s mask of representing “the other viewpoint” has fallen since the beginning of the Arab uprisings, especially in Syria.
{…}
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/al-jazeera-syria-case-tunnel-vision

March 28th, 2012, 11:36 am

 

jad said:

عرب الاعتدال وقمة بغداد: إنه يوم الحساب

مفارقة تاريخية أن تنعقد قمة بغداد في الذكرى التاسعة لغزو العراق (من 20 آذار إلى 9 نيسان)، وأن تكون المناسبة التي تدفع فيها أميركا وحلفاؤها العرب ثمن فشل سياستهم الإقليمية التي بدأت بإطاحة صدام حسين

إيلي شلهوب

لعل الأبرز في انعقاد قمة بغداد، إلى جانب مكانها، ينحصر في توقيتها الذي يتزامن مع نقطة تحول إقليمية، تجاوزت المراكمة الكميّة التي ميّزت العام الماضي، إلى تغيير نوعي حسم الجدل في
مجموعة من الأمور، لعل أهمها الهزيمة الأميركية في المنطقة، والنتائج الظاهرة للربيع العربي التي جاءت بعيدة عن الأحلام بولادة حكومات ليبرالية ديموقراطية تبشر بقيام دولة القانون والمؤسسات والعدالة الاجتماعية.

وهناك الصعود الكبير للتيار الاخواني والسلفي، والحال التي انتهت إليها الأزمات ـــ الثورات في الأماكن المضطربة (تونس ومصر وليبيا واليمن) والذي يبدو واضحاً أنه لا يرضي الولايات المتحدة لكنه في الوقت نفسه لا يخيفها في ظل وجود صمّامات أمان في كل من هذه البقاع (الجيش على سبيل المثال في مصر)، وجهود لا تهدأ لتكريس النسخة الإخوانية القريبة من النموذج التركي الذي لا يتعارض مع مصالح العم سام في المنطقة.

ولا يمكن في هذا السياق تجاهل سقوط الرهانات على أي تغيير في الموقف الروسي الجديد من وضع المنطقة. موقف بات واضحاً أنه يقوم على أسس مبدئية تأخذ في الاعتبار في المقام الأول مصالح الأمن القومي الروسي. يضاف إلى ذلك سقوط الرهانات على إمكانية إخراج الرئيس بشار الأسد من السلطة، في أعقاب فشل كل الخيارات السابقة من هجوم دعائي وحراك ميداني سلمي ومسلّح فعقوبات اقتصادية ومالية، والحسم في استبعاد خياري تسليح المعارضة وتوجيه ضربة عسكرية. وجاءت جولة الرئيس الاسد في بابا عمرو أمس كأفضل مؤشر على فشل معركة اطاحته عن السلطة.

بل بات واضحاً، من خلال التوافق الروسي الأميركي على مقترحات المبعوث الأممي العربي كوفي أنان، أن هذه الأخيرة باتت تشكل الإطار المقبول دولياً لحل في سوريا، في أوضح إشارة إلى البدء بالبحث عن مخرج يحفظ ماء الوجه للأطراف المعنية. مخرج، بحسب مقترحات أنان، لا يلحظ تنحّي الأسد، ويتضمن تكليف الحكومة السورية بقيادة الحل السياسي وفرض التهدئة ميدانياً. صحيح أن بيان مجلس الأمن الداعم لمقترحات أنان وما تلاه من حراك على أكثر من مستوى إنما يعبّر عن التوجه الأميركي الحالي حيال الأزمة السورية، التي يبدو جلياً أنها انتقلت من إطارها الميداني إلى الإطار السياسي الذي لن يخلو من الضغوط، مع التأكيد على أن افق هذا الحراك السياسي يقود الى تسوية لا الى انقلاب. وهناك أيضاً لغة جديدة من جانب الكويت والامارات العربية المتحدة تضاف إلى الانفتاح العماني التقليدي. ويمكن ادراج تصريحات حاكم امارة الشارقة وقائد شرطة دبي ضد تيار الاخوان المسلمين في هذا السياق. بينما يفسر كثيرون الحراك الكويتي بأنه رسالة اميركية.
{…}
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/61094

March 28th, 2012, 11:39 am

 

Ghufran said:

This is happening in a country that was supposed to be the south Korea of the Middle East.

Oil money goes mostly towards building palaces,mosques and making the already rich royal family richer.

KSA is a poster child for a much needed Spring.

More than a million Saudis are now receiving unemployment benefit – a 40% increase on the previous month, the labour ministry said today.

The kingdom, which holds more than 20% of the world’s known oil reserves, started paying benefits to the jobless last December – 2,000 riyals ($533) a month for up to one year – amid fears that high unemployment could lead to political unrest.

March 28th, 2012, 11:41 am

 

Alan said:

to stop the war to begin the war, to stop the war to begin the war, to stop the war to begin the war war war war! and except the wars in this world are they anything better?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29894

US war game foreshadows Israeli attack on Iran

by Peter Symonds

Details of a recent Pentagon war game, leaked yesterday in the New York Times, underscore the advanced character and recklessness of the Obama administration’s preparations for war against Iran. Nominally premised on an attack by Israel on Iran, the conclusion from the exercise was that “the strike would lead to a wider regional war which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead.”

The two-week war game was carried out by US Central Command to test communication and coordination between its headquarters in Tampa, Florida and US forces in the Persian Gulf…………….

March 28th, 2012, 11:47 am

 

Juergen said:

Islamic Bogeyman

I think this is a must see. Jürgen Todenhöfer explains ten thesis on islam.

March 28th, 2012, 11:53 am

 

Mina said:

How things go in the Middle East:

New faces around the Arab table

By Sami Moubayed

DAMASCUS – Baghdad is preparing to host an Arab League summit for the first time since May 1990, shortly before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Before that, a high-profile summit took place in the Iraqi capital in November 1978, aimed at discussing Egypt’s separate peace deal with Israel; the Camp David Accords.

In preparing for that event, Iraqi vice president Saddam Hussein made sure that several things were done before Arab leaders arrived in the Iraqi capital. He temporarily silenced, arrested or expelled Baghdad-based Syrian dissidents, so as to attract then-Syrian president Hafez al-Assad.

Syria was vital to the summit’s success, Saddam argued, in light of Iraq’s disagreements with Egypt after Camp David. It was at this summit that Egypt was expelled from the Arab League. Saddam ordered that the Hashemite cemetery in Baghdad be cleaned up and its shrubs trimmed, anticipating a visit by the then-king of Jordan Hussein Ibn Talal, who was bound to visit the grave of his cousin, ex-Iraqi king Faisal II.

Faisal had been captured and killed along with his entire family during the revolution of 1958, and ever since Iraqi authorities had purposely neglected the cemetery, transforming it into a trash dump. (…)
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC28Ak02.html

March 28th, 2012, 11:55 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Juergen

SSNP has split,

Nour believes that Ali Hayder is the better side, I agree with her.

March 28th, 2012, 12:03 pm

 

Mina said:

Juicy!

Muslim Brotherhood Takeover of Syria Desk

The Syria Desk was created last November when Ibrahim Helal took his post. The desk was the exclusive source for the Al Jazeera’s coverage of Syria and the only interlocutor with activists and coordinating committees.

Syrian-born Ahmad al-Abda was appointed to run the desk. He is the brother of Anas al-Abda, a member of the Syrian National Council and a theorist for the Muslim Brotherhood.

To avoid being discovered, he is known as Ahmad Ibrahim by the channel’s employees.

The team included Elaph Yassine, who had previously worked as a VIP flight attendant on Saudi Airways until the beginning of 2011.

The head of Al Jazeera’s office in Pakistan and Muslim Brotherhood member Ahmad Zaidan assists in the desk’s work. In the 1980s, he used to be member of the Fighting Vanguard, an Islamist militia associated with the Syrian Brotherhood.

The desk’s main work revolved around developing stories and choosing activists and eyewitnesses to interview. (…)
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/al-jazeera-syria-case-tunnel-vision

March 28th, 2012, 12:12 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Majed,

Is this the same Ali Haidar that was involved in Hama in 82, and dismissed back in the 90’s because he did not believe Bashar should inherit his power?

March 28th, 2012, 12:24 pm

 

Alan said:

Standing disunited? Syrian opposition held up by differences
http://rt.com/news/syria-opposition-istanbul-meeting-614/

Moscow hopes Syrian opposition will support Kofi Annan’s plan
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/377607.html

Kofi Annan to visit Iran for consultations on Syria

TEHRAN, March 28 (Itar-Tass) — U.N./LAS Special Envoy Kofi Annan will visit Tehran on April 2 to hold consultations with the Iranian leadership on the situation in Syria, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday.

“Kofi Annan is likely to arrive in Tehran on Monday,” the Iranian foreign minister added.
http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c154/377414.html

March 28th, 2012, 12:28 pm

 

Alan said:

Romney ‘No.1 Geopolitical Enemy’ Remark Prompts Duma Anger
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120327/172411482.html

March 28th, 2012, 12:37 pm

 

Alan said:

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120328/172449334.html

Brigadier General Killed in Syria
Topic: Protests in Syria

20:25 28/03/2012 MOSCOW, March 28 (RIA Novosti)

Militants killed a Syrian brigadier general on his way to work on Wednesday near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.

Air Force General Khleif al-Abdullah was targeted by four militants in a car, who shot him dead near the al-Bassel Mosque in the al-Hamadaniyeh neighborhood.

The general had three children, two sons and a daughter.

More than 9,000 people have died in a year-long conflict between President Bashar Assad’s government and the opposition, according to the latest UN estimates. Western powers have called on Assad to step down but the demand was not included in UN envoy Kofi Annan’s plan for negotiating an end to a bloody standoff in the country.

The plan was supported by Assad’s government and Moscow, Assad’s main international backer.
Annan’s plan includes implementing UN-supervised ceasefire, ensuring nationwide access to humanitarian aid in Syria, releasing political prisoners, upholding freedom of movement and association and advancing political process in the country.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged Syrian opposition groups to accept Annan’s plan but the opposition has not commented on the proposal yet.

March 28th, 2012, 12:39 pm

 

Mina said:

Florilège from Moubayed’s article on the coming AL summit in Baghdad in the Atimes

“The Arab League’s conference will include 10 points, namely (…) regaining calm in Yemen and Egypt” OMG?? And neither Fisk or Doucet have reported on that??

“Iraq has reportedly spent $1 billion to prepare itself for the summit, wanting the world to see that it has indeed recovered nearly 10 years after the US invasion. (…) None of the Arab leaders attending will be spending the night in the Iraqi capital, for obvious security reasons.”

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC28Ak02.html

March 28th, 2012, 12:43 pm

 

Afram said:

166. Juergen said:
“Islamic Bogeyman

I think this is a must see. Jürgen Todenhöfer explains ten thesis on islam.”
========
Juergen/I think this is a must read

*Japanese kamikaze killed in the name of their emperor.

*Stalinist killed in the name of communism.

*the Western world killed in the name of capitalism.

**al-Qaeda hijacked planes and crashed them into buildings in the Name of ALLAH&AKBAR.

none of the above used religion…Except the islamic terrorists

March 28th, 2012, 12:47 pm

 

Mina said:

Afram
In a way, Japanese kamikazes did use religion, because the Emperor is a holy person in their tradition. It looks a bit like the Iranian version of the divine ruler.

March 28th, 2012, 12:54 pm

 

zoo said:

Turkey meeting fails to reunite opposition SNC
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/turkey-meeting-fails-reunite-opposition-snc

Istanbul-based opposition group, the Syrian National Council, remains fractured despite intense Turkish efforts to reunite splintered factions during unity talks on Tuesday, with Kurdish delegates storming out of the meeting.

The SNC have regularly refused negotiations with the the regime, but Annan’s peace plan – with backing from Russia and the United States – insists on a political solution to the crisis.

March 28th, 2012, 12:55 pm

 

Alan said:

‘Syrian opposition head torn from fractured body’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a4GvGE8g-M&list=UUpwvZwUam-URkxB7g4USKpg&index=6&feature=plcp
Peace envoy Kofi Annan says the Syrian government has accepted his plan to halt the country’s bloodshed. His proposals include a mutual ceasefire and political dialogue. To talk more about Syria RT is joined by Patrick Hayes, reporter for the online magazine Spiked, who’s written extensively on the Middle East.

March 28th, 2012, 12:56 pm

 

zoo said:

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and Political Opportunism
By As’ad AbuKhalil – Wed, 2012-03-28 15:27- Angry Corner

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/angry-corner/yusuf-al-qaradawi-and-political-opportunism
….
Qaradawi is but one case of a phenomenon in the Arab world: a cleric for hire. There are different clerics who are for hire, at different prices depending on the standing. Qaradawi is now a member of the ruling elite in Qatar, although he does not make policy, but faithfully implements it. The subordination of religion to the interests of the ruler is as old as Islam (after Muhammad) itself.

March 28th, 2012, 1:03 pm

 

zoo said:

Russia urges Syrian opposition to support Annan’s proposal
2012-03-28
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/28/c_122901382.htm
MOSCOW, March 28 (Xinhua) — Russia urged the Syrian opposition Wednesday to support a proposal tabled by U.N.-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan to end the crisis in the country.

“It is extremely important that the Syrian opposition groups should follow the Damascus example and clearly voice their consent to the U.N.-supported proposal… tabled by the U.N. and AL special envoy,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.
(..)

March 28th, 2012, 1:04 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Are you keeping tabs on Tlass and kid in Europe, did they go back to Assad in Syria or still laundering millions in cash in Europe?

March 28th, 2012, 1:06 pm

 

Tara said:

“The success of such a plan, in other words, depends on persuading both sides that it will allow them to set a trap for the other. It also depends on the outside powers continuing to feel that their purposes are served by such a process.”

Syria: a devious diplomacy
Assad’s side believe that if they give quarter it will be the end of them, while the opposition groups differ on many matters but not at all on the imperative of revenge

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/27/syria-devious-diplomacy-editorial
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 March 2012 18.57 EDT

If government and opposition in Syria can be brought to accept the plan urged on them by Kofi Annan, the special envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League, there is one thing that can be stated with complete certainty. Both sides would be doing so in bad faith, the one with the intention of relinquishing not a shred of real control, the other in the hope of manipulating a post-ceasefire situation in such a way as to soon bring down Bashar al-Assad, his family and his associates.

Assad’s side believe that if they give quarter it will be the end of them, while the opposition groups differ on many matters but not at all on the imperative of revenge. That revenge might conceivably be postponed, but it will not be renounced. The question, then, is whether such a patently artificial solution is worth pursuing. The answer is yes, for a number of reasons. First, the diplomacy for which Annan is the point man is an agreed diplomacy, to which all the major powers, as well as the Arab League and Syria’s neighbours, are committed. Since they have never managed to agree before, this fragile unity is in itself worth something. Second, if the conflict could be even partially and imperfectly demilitarised, that would be, given the terrible and continuing level of violence, a gain. That violence yesterday spilled over into Lebanon, and might do so into Turkey, so there is a regional danger as well. Third, if large-scale humanitarian assistance were to be provided under United Nations and Arab League auspices, that would both assuage the sufferings of many Syrians and, with its apparatus of expediters and monitors, introduce an informal third party, able to act as a relatively impartial witness, into the conflict.
(..)

March 28th, 2012, 1:09 pm

 

zoo said:

US does not call anymore for Bashar to ‘step aside’ or ‘step down’ and press the opposition to come up with a ‘united’ vision’ in Istanbul.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/28/c_122889950.htm

“We will judge Assad’s sincerity and seriousness by what he does, not by what he says. If he is ready to bring this dark chapter in Syria’s history to a close, he could prove it by immediately ordering regime forces to stop firing and begin withdrawing from populated areas,” said Clinton.

Meanwhile, Clinton pressed the Syrian opposition to come up with a “united vision” at the second meeting of Friends of Syria due to be held in Istanbul of Turkey over the weekend.

“They must come forward with a unified position, a vision if you will, of the kind of Syria that they are working to build,” she said, urging the opposition to demonstrate a commitment to be inclusive and protect the rights of all Syrians.

“We are going to be pushing them very hard to present such a vision at Istanbul. So we have a lot of work to do between now and Sunday,” Clinton said.
(…)

March 28th, 2012, 1:09 pm

 

Tara said:

The animals have gone for children.

“They’ve gone for the children – for whatever purposes – in large numbers. Hundreds detained and tortured … it’s just horrendous.

“Children shot in the knees, held together with adults in really inhumane conditions, denied medical treatment for their injuries, either held as hostages or as sources of information,” she said.

Mr Assad bore ultimate responsibility and could stop the killings with a single order, Ms Pillay said, adding that there was no doubt that both he and all those committing for human rights violations would be held to account.

Syrian forces targeting children, says UN’s human rights chief

Syrian forces are deliberately targeting children in “horrendous” tactics by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Navi Pillay the UN human rights chief has claimed.

By Barney Henderson, and agencies9:40AM BST 28 Mar 2012
….
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9170828/Syrian-forces-targeting-children-says-UNs-human-rights-chief.html

March 28th, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

zoo said:

On Syria, Turkey is increasingly isolated with 17,000 refugees on its territory and Bashar Al Assad as a unwanted neighbor.

Impatient Turkey wants Syrian crisis solved soon
Thomas Seibert
Mar 29, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/impatient-turkey-wants-syrian-crisis-solved-soon

ISTANBUL // With only days to go before a major conference on Syria in Istanbul, host Turkey is showing signs of frustration and impatience with international peace efforts, but observers warn unilateral steps by Ankara could steer Turkey into isolation.

But Turkey has failed to persuade Russia and China, two veto powers at the United Nations that have thwarted efforts to isolate Mr Al Assad further, to send delegates to Istanbul.

Turkey’s immediate concern is the refugee situation.

…But there are no details about the way such a zone would be secured militarily, and government officials underline that while military preparations for a zone may have begun, no decision has been taken.

Semih Idiz, a columnist with the Milliyet newspaper, said Ankara’s exposed position on Syria was one of the reasons for the growing irritation of the Erdogan government.

“Turkey planned on Assad to have disappeared by now, and this has not happened,” Mr Idiz told The National. At the same time, Ankara is unhappy with the direction of Mr Annan’s peace mission because the former UN secretary-general’s plan include a demand for negotiations between the government in Damascus and the opposition.

This is at odds with Ankara’s demand that Mr Al Assad step down and make way for a new government.

“Turkey is concerned that Assad may survive this,” Mr Idiz said.

Another headache for Ankara is the divided Syrian opposition.
(…)

March 28th, 2012, 1:31 pm

 

Afram said:

176. Mina said:

Afram

In a way, Japanese kamikazes did use religion, because the Emperor is a holy person in their tradition. It looks a bit like the Iranian version of the divine ruler.

============

HI/You’re mixing religion with cultism

I’m talking about abrahamic space fairy tales dogmas and NOT about the Emperor as a cult figure

I’ll skip AL-MAHDI right now

thanks

March 28th, 2012, 1:35 pm

 

Ghufran said:

When anti regime seculars spoke against militarization of the uprising they were ridiculed and called regime agents, now we see why using violence, especially random violence, was a shot in the foot for the cause of regime change. Proponents of a violent revolution have done more harm to the cause of democracy than anybody else, even the average American citizen has a change of heart including people who previously supported the invasion of Iraq, saying otherwise is a lie, the west is genuinely afraid of Islamist thugs playing democracy agents, this is why the MB is launching a charm campaign to win support, but it is too little too late.

Fool me once you are a pig, fool me twice I am the pig.

Egypt will show us all if the middle east will be lost to salafis and MBs, my own opinion is that support for the SMB is weakening and that is good for this part of the world.

You know that something is seriously wrong when decent patriots who were imprisoned by the regime are being sidelined and replaced with hateful kukus with long beards.

I had enough of this garbage, and so should most of you who believe in the common good of the society and the principle of a peaceful, progressive and free Syria.

March 28th, 2012, 1:39 pm

 

jad said:

Tunnels in Homs:
جولة حقيقة داخل نفق تهريب الارهاب في باب عمرو
http://youtu.be/T547QE0s_F4

March 28th, 2012, 1:47 pm

 

Ghufran said:

SOD,
There is a lot of Ali Haidars in Syria .
The guy you are referring to is not the one at SSNP.
I just reduced your waiting time by answering when I was not being asked.

March 28th, 2012, 1:53 pm

 

Alan said:

http://presstv.com/detail/233536.html
Iran warns against foreign intervention, hasty measurers in Syria
Iran’s Foreign Minister warns against intervention in Syria, voicing Tehran’s readiness to help with the political process initiated by the Syrian government and UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
Speaking with Faisal Meqdad, the special envoy of the Syrian President and the country’s deputy foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday that international and regional parties should avoid hasty, interventionist and unilateral measures in Syria.

According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Salehi emphasized Iran’s all-out support for Damascus, saying Syria should pass through the existing security situation, push ahead with reforms, and pay attention to popular demands as a prelude to national dialogue.

The Iranian foreign minister voiced readiness to help the Syrian government and nation especially with the reconstruction of areas damaged in the unrest.

Meqdad, for his part, presented a comprehensive report on the latest political, security and economic situation in Syria, adding that Damascus is serious about proposed reforms and initiating the national dialogue.

Earlier on Wednesday, Salehi told reporters after a meeting with visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Annan would visit Tehran next week.

“We are optimistic about Kofi Annan’s mission in Syria and we think that support from Arabs, Turkey, and the UN for Kofi Annan’s mission will help solving the crisis in Syria,” he added.

Salehi also warned that any hasty unilateral action that would lead to a power vacuum in Syria could have serious consequences for the region.

Syria has been the scene of unrest since mid-March, 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Bashar Assad’s government.

The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters. But Damascus blames ”outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

March 28th, 2012, 1:59 pm

 

Observer said:

Observations
1. The regime continues to try to buy time and to use force as the only means to gain a position that would insure its staying power.
2. Russia has inherited a problem just as China has a problem with North Korea where complete control of the regime is not present.
3. Russia may decide to ignore the facts on the ground and continue to support the regime come what may. Without the opposition coming to sit and talk it has no significant role to play.
4. The opposition outside is always behind the curve as the facts on the ground have moved ahead of their slowness. Some have as we say in the ME “wore the bear’s skin before killing it” as some bicker about after Fredo instead of focusing on removing Fredo.
5. Fredo and his group/clan does not care one bit what kind of Syria they have as long as they have it as their little hobby farm to play with. They believe that they will be reintegrated as if nothing happened.
So where are we going:
1. Syria as we know it and in recent and long memory is finished.
2. The sects cannot trust or live with each other.
3. Everything will need to be rebuilt from scratch for the recent e mails and the events on the ground indicate a complete dissolution of the institutions of the current and passed and possibly future regimes.
4. The Spring will be followed by a long Winter for the entire region without a doubt.

Meanwhile the germs and rats will continue to multipy and increase and will overtake Syria.

March 28th, 2012, 2:01 pm

 

Tara said:

Now that the opposition is united ( minus the kurds and Mr. maleh) have signed one document, are they going to be recognized by the FOS as the SOLE legit representative of the Syrian people?

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/go-syrian-opposition-go-.aspx?pageID=449&nID=17027&NewsCatID=411
MUSTAFA AKYOL
akyol@mustafaakyol.org

Go Syrian opposition, go!

The timing of the meeting is of course significant: The second international “Friends of Syria” meeting will be held in Istanbul on April 1, this very Sunday. If the Syrian opposition can put an end to its internal disunity before this meeting, then the free world can embrace them in full.

The other day, a very senior Turkish official spoke to a group of journalists, including me, about this issue and raised hopes about the potential at stake. “If the Syrian opposition agrees on a document that puts forth a constitutional vision that endorses everybody,” he said, “then the Syrian National Council can be recognized as the sole legitimate representative of Syrian people.”

If that happens, all the “Friends of Syria” would withdraw their diplomats from Damascus (as Turkey already has done), expel the Syrian ambassadors in their countries and expose the Baath regime as it is: a genocidal rogue state that nobody, except its fellow murderers, respects. 

Moreover, if the heroic but disordered Free Syrian Army can be organized under the command of this enhanced Syrian National Council, more international support can come. The “non-lethal aid” that U.S. President Obama announced after his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan last weekend can be an important catalyst here, by giving rebel forces communication technologies they can use to get more organized.

As I understood from the words of the Turkish official, Ankara is doing its best to help the Syrian opposition, giving them not only diplomatic and logistical support but also some friendly advice. “We insist that there should be no urge for revenge,” he said, recalling the bad results of “de-Baathification” in Iraq. “Of course, in free Syria, individual criminals should be brought to justice, but this should not turn into collective vengeance.”

(…) 

March 28th, 2012, 2:07 pm

 

Observer said:

One more thing, the regime supporters on this blog are deaf/blind to any other narrative than that of the regime. I do not know how someone can continue self delusion to such an extent. I guess it reflects an extreme form of self absorption but then again Fredo seems to be the prime example of that.

March 28th, 2012, 2:11 pm

 

Tara said:

Observer

Self delusion? I doubt it. I think it is a selfish intentional attempt of deception of the others. At least, that is my own impression of most of them.

March 28th, 2012, 2:14 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Time magazine on the ” Sins of the opposition”
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2109637,00.html

March 28th, 2012, 2:15 pm

 

Tara said:

Aljazeera reporting that the AL consider Baba Amr massacre is a crime against humanity…a testosterone surge? Good for them.

The AL should unanimously decide to disintegrate itself. Qatar and kSA to unilaterally supplies weapons to the FSA so the FSA can defend our children.

March 28th, 2012, 2:23 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Thanx Ghufran. I am aware that there are different Ali Haidar’s in Syria, just not sure the Ali of SSNP was the same as the old guard Ali, thanks again for the clarification.

March 28th, 2012, 2:23 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Leaked footage from Baba Amr.

After the Assadist army killed the civilians, they film them and cuss at their bodies.
(Graphic content)

March 28th, 2012, 2:41 pm

 

Mina said:

#198
Al Jazeera has its own version of what the AL does, thinks, states, votes…
If the AL members start teaching in their schools the massacres their states are build upon, it might be a good therapy for all.

March 28th, 2012, 2:48 pm

 

Mina said:

Afram,
it is not just cultism:
“Imperial Household Shinto (皇室神道 Kōshitsu-shintō?) are the religious rites performed exclusively by the Imperial Family at the three shrines on the Imperial grounds, including the Ancestral Spirits Sanctuary (Kōrei-den) and the Sanctuary of the Kami (Shin-den).[4]”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Shinto

March 28th, 2012, 2:50 pm

 

Mina said:

Hmmm it looks like my post went to moderation for Japanese characters.

Here it is: Afram, it is not just cultism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto
“Imperial Household Shinto are the religious rites performed exclusively by the Imperial Family at the three shrines on the Imperial grounds, including the Ancestral Spirits Sanctuary (Kōrei-den) and the Sanctuary of the Kami (Shin-den)”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Shinto

March 28th, 2012, 2:53 pm

 

son of Damascus said:

Is Annan’s Syria cease-fire worth the paper it’s printed on?
Posted By Colum Lynch Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kofi Annan today announced a rare breakthrough in his efforts to halt the bloodshed in Syria, saying that President Bashar al-Assad had endorsed his six-point diplomatic plan calling for an immediate cease-fire, access for international aid workers, and the start of political talks leading to a multiparty democracy.

But there was a sense among observers that we’ve been here before.

Last November, the Syrian government signed a deal with the Arab League to withdraw its military forces from besieged towns and to accept a “road map” for political reform. But Assad never implemented the pact. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, has become so weary of Assad’s promises to rein in his security forces that he hasn’t even bothered to call him in several months. “He made all these promises,” Ban told reporters last September, “but these promises have become now broken promises.”

[…]

http://turtlebay.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/03/27/is_annans_syria_cease_fire_worth_the_paper_its_printed_on

March 28th, 2012, 3:17 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Viva la Revolucion!
.

March 28th, 2012, 3:19 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The “edit” button does not work.
.

March 28th, 2012, 3:26 pm

 

omen said:

81. Tara 8:39 pm

Another damning leak. This one should be sent to basher’s masters in Iran and their respective wives.
By Ruth Sherlock
Above: The leaked emails from Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma, seen by the Daily Telegraph
The ream of messages and derogatory cartoons allegedly sent among his ‘inner circle’ of female aides and family members poke fun at conservative Muslims.
Most of the messages ridicule the burka, the full body cloak worn by some Muslim women.

jad has posted derogatory/bigoted cartoons like this. does he know members of the regime?

March 28th, 2012, 3:42 pm

 

William Scott Scherk said:

The editorial at Al-Quds was worth reading. It argued that the Annan plan can embarrass the the opposition (SNC) and the government side. True enough, I think. The opposition and the FSA would, I imagine, observe a cease-fire initiated by irregular and regular forces.

If Assad decides to implement all of the six understandings, he is bound to unveil the extent of the damage to community relations and infrastructure — at the same time as forces from the loyalist army pull away from urban areas, and at the same time that military actions with heavy firepower end from teh government side.

One point says allow access to media (both Syrian and expat/international). Another point accelerates and opens up documentation and inspection of detention facilities.

Another points to the organization of an inclusive Syrian dialogue.

IF the Syrian president decides to implement his understanding of the Annan principles or points, then he is indeed in the position that Hillary Clinton pointed out: he will be judged by his actions in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, in Syrian (semi-official online) media, there is no discussion of the details and possible implementation of the Syrian understanding of the Annan plan.

I do not see a way out for Syria — a peaceful way out — unless the actual provisions are implemented, by Assad’s ‘side’ …

If they are serious, the border controls will be eased, the application of the Penal Code that would mandate jailing a Ghalioun at the airport will be waived, other expatriates will be allowed, perhaps perhaps, humanitarian attention will flow, and the allowance (under law) of orderly, unarmed civilian protest under a liberal application of the demonstration law … if the government side is serious about implementation, they can claim success.

If their agreement is a cynical ploy to maintain control and authoritarian structures in place, then any escalation in Syria’s violent showdown will be blamed on … the forces that raise the first baton or Shabeeha prod or menace and the first shooter who fires into an unarmed crowd.

I support a ceasefire, a rational assembly of the progressive/reform/opposition forces, and a restructuring of Syria’s governance and civil liberties.

It seems to me that most Syrians inside and out want the same kind of endgame, they want a civilized, civil, tolerant, free, modern, open and strong nation state that its people can be proud of. They want, I bet, for all exiles to be let back in to speak freely in a free press, to contest fully free elections in a modern manner, to redress grievances with security, Hasaka, human rights, corruption, cruelty, torture and state terror via Shabeeha excesses.

Nobody wants to turn the clock back to oppression or ahead to Islamic terror.

I fear for Syria only when its arguments turn deadly and hateful. If a “dialogue” cannot be accomplished between opponents here in this forum, where and when can it possibly be accomplished in Syria, even discounting shells, rockets, machine guns, shotguns, rifles, snipers, torture, detention and exile.

How do the anti-revolutionary voices here see the immediate transition to a freer Syria? And if the system continues its assaults according to the 1983 playbook, then what transition is possible under current management?

March 28th, 2012, 3:48 pm

 

Mina said:

Qardawi and the MB: as the wind goes
(…) Qaradawi fled Egypt when Nasser figured out that he could not allow the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to remain as a fifth column inside Egypt. It was no secret that while Nasser was aligned with the socialist camp, the MB served as a tool of the US and Gulf regime during the Cold War. There is no question that the MB did in fact try to assassinate Nasser, and there is no question that the Brotherhood was aligned against the forces that were working on a plan for the liberation of Palestine. (…)
http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/angry-corner/yusuf-al-qaradawi-and-political-opportunism

March 28th, 2012, 3:57 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

The Annan plan will be accepted by the opposition, the regime will not abide by the plan ,the regime proved in the past that he does not respect his words, we have seen him before, he will not do what agreed in the plan, this will lead to the UN will send troops to Syria, to oppose and arrest the snipers that the regime will send so he will say the opposition did not comply. The way to do it is to send large, large number of observers, in case there was any attempt to attack those observers, there is enough reason to protect them and troops will be sent there, whether the regime approves or not, since the UN will refuse to leave

March 28th, 2012, 3:58 pm

 

Juergen said:

Majed

Thank you very much for your answer. In the meantime i got an answer of an friend in Damascus, he wrote me that those two parties did seperate but both dont differ much in their dogmas and programmes. The difference my friend sees is that the regime likes one party more than the other. Ali Haidars party is the one which the regime does not officially back, but as long as they dont cross the red they wont face any problems, this may be caused by an actual blind eye strategy or the inconveniences of the regime.

I was uterly shocked today reading about this party ( the two parts of it) which hold up to 90.000 members, after the Baath party the second largest party in Syria.

Here is part of the wikipedia article:

“According to Reeva S. Johnson, Saadeh, the party’s ‘leader for life’, was an admirer of Adolf Hitler influenced by Nazi and fascist ideology.[30][34] The party adopted a reversed swastika as the party’s symbol, sang the party’s anthem to Deutschland über alles, and included developing the cult of a leader, advocating totalitarian government, and glorifying an ancient pre-Christian past and the organic whole of the Syrian Volk or nation.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Social_Nationalist_Party

March 28th, 2012, 4:00 pm

 

Alan said:

Jad !
your opinion please ?
Fa,b= -Fb,a
where
Fa,b are the forces from B acting on A, and
Fb,a are the forces from A acting on B.
http://www.nourislamna.com/up/images/bw4j65t2m04wqvtk38hr.jpg

March 28th, 2012, 4:04 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

62% of Israelis reject any intervention in Syria.
26% are for giving humanitarian support and a political asylum to the rebels.
6% want to support the opposition with weapons,
and only 3% want a direct IDF involvement.
http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/351/149.html?hp=1&cat=875&loc=3
.

March 28th, 2012, 4:17 pm

 

omen said:

the sunnis who continue to support the jackass aren’t going to like these cartoons.

March 28th, 2012, 4:23 pm

 

Alan said:

العراق يدعو لالزام اسرائيل بالتوقيع على اتفاقية حظر اسلحة الدمار الشامل
28/03/2012 13:37
http://www.aknews.com/ar/aknews/4/298349/

بغداد28اذار/مارس(آكانيوز)- دعا وزير الخارجية العراقي هوشيار زيباري الى الزام اسرائيل بالتوقيع على اتفاقية حظر اسلحة الدمار الشامل.

وقال زيباري الذي يرأس اجتماع وزراء الخارجية العرب المنعقد في بغداد “نؤيد خلو منطقة الشرق الاوسط من اسلحة الدمار الشامل والزام اسرائيل بالتوقيع على اتفاقية حظر اسلحة الدمار الشامل”.

وكان رئيس الوزراء نوري المالكي قد وصل الى قاعة انعقاد الاجتماع الوزاري وسط العاصمة بغداد.

وقال المالكي بعد ثنائه على قدوم وزراء الخارجية العرب الى بغداد خلال كلمة له إن “الشعوب العربية لم تكن راضية عن الحكومات والمؤسسات”، داعيا “الدول العربية الى ضرورة استمرار عقد الاجتماعات خصوصا في المرحلة الحالية التي تعتبر الاكثر ايجابية”.

وأوضح المالكي أن “يجب ان نحترم ارادة الشعوب ولها ما تقرر وما تفكر، لدينا تحديات اقتصادية وسياسية وامنية”.

وتابع أن “العراق عانى من الارهاب وهو يضرب اي منطقة من المناطق يجب ان نتعاون ونشكل منظمات للتعاون للحد من الارهاب”.

ولفت المالكي ان “العالم كله مقترب على الانفتاح وهناك ضرورة للسيطرة على ثرواتنا الطبيعية بالشكل الذي يحقق طموحات شعوبنا”.

ويعقد اجتماع وزراء الخارجية العرب في القصر الحكومي بالمنطقة الخضراء المحصنة امنيا وسط بغداد، في وقت اغلقت العديد من الطرق الرئيسة ببغداد ومنعت حركة العجلات تحسبا لاي طارئ.

وكان الأمين العام المساعد لجامعة الدول العربية قد اعلن الاثنين الماضي عن مشاركة نحو 12 رئيس دولة عربية في مؤتمر قمة بغداد الذي سيناقش جملة من القضايا العربية وعلى رأسها الأزمة السورية وتطورات “الربيع العربي” القضية الفلسطينية فضلا عن إعادة هيكلة جامعة الدول العربية.

وكان وزراء المال والاقتصاد العرب قد عقدوا امس اجتماع المجلس الاقتصادي والاجتماعي التحضيري لمجلس جامعة الدول العربية على مستوى القمة العربية.

March 28th, 2012, 4:29 pm

 

Alan said:

Bernard Luis effective thinker !

March 28th, 2012, 4:33 pm

 

Nour said:

Hi,

I had stopped participating in this blog a while back, as I was disappointed with the level of discussion at the time and the continuous infighting between Syrians which appeared to know no bounds. In the last few days I decided to come back and read some of the content on the site as well as the ensuing discussions just to see if anything has changed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that much at all has changed, although I still hold hope that we will come out of this difficult phase of Syrian history.

In any case, my reason for writing here is that while perusing through the comments, I came across a question about the SSNP and its different factions in Syria. Just to clarify, there indeed are two different institutions operating under the name “The Syrian Social Nationalist Party.” As to which one represents the true SSNP, this cannot be answered unless one has a full grasp of the Party’s ideology and history. To make a long story short, though, the reason for the existence of these two institutions goes back to a series of ideological deviations that were taking place throughout the 1950’s, after the martyrdom of the founder and Leader of the SSNP, Antoun Saadeh, which culminated in the “intifada” of 1957. A group of SSNP members and officials declared their “intifada” at the time, announcing that the leadership of what was regarded as the SSNP at the time no longer represented the Party as it had deviated from its ideology and was pursuing agendas contrary to the Party’s aim.

Following the “intifada” the deviating institution continued to sink further into destructive actions that were of questionable ethics, such as its participation in the 1958 and 1975 Lebanese Civil Wars and its engagement in petty Lebanese politics in order to serve narrow political interests rather than the larger national interest. On the other hand, the “intifada” SSNP maintained its independent position, focusing on teaching and spreading its thoughts, while refusing at all times to participate in narrow politics or partake in infighting within the nation.

Today, the “intifada” SSNP is headed by Dr. Ali Haidar, and is considered officially an “opposition” party in Syria. This SSNP is not licensed in Syria because it refused to join the National Progressive Front in 2005, as it rejected said Front as a basis of a healthy political life in Syria, while the other SSNP, currently headed by As’ad Herdan, happily joined the Front in order to gain political favors and was thus licensed.

Since the latest events broke out in Syria, the SSNP headed by Dr. Ali Haidar has maintained a solid position, which demanded that there be a deliberate, careful disassembling of the ruling system through a series of measures, while rejecting the sudden toppling of the regime, which would lead to the collapse of the state. This SSNP has continually and consistently called for a national dialogue that would include all sectors of Syrian society in order to determine Syria’s future. It of course rejected the resort to violence by any side and warned that outside of this proposed solution the only alternative would be civil war.

The other SSNP, on the other hand, has not given any position different from that expressed by the regime.

March 28th, 2012, 4:40 pm

 

Juergen said:

Nour

Alf shukran for your insights.

March 28th, 2012, 4:45 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Welcome back Nour, somehow I always thought that you read SC

March 28th, 2012, 5:01 pm

 

Humanist said:

61. habib said:

“Free Palestine!”

Not with western/Gulf puppets in charge of the region. When Iran, Hezbollah and Syria are neutralized, Palestine will become a theme-park or a parking lot.

You mean “neutralized” = democratic and secular?

You mean Iranians (l can’t speak for Syrians or Shia lebanese) have to live under dictatorship because of the “poor Palestinians”?

Then I understand why many (if not most) Iranians would rather prefer their country become a western/Israeli puppet and let, if what you say is true, Palestine “become a theme-park or a parking lot”.

I’m sorry.
I used to be very pro-palestinian, but I think I changed recently because of comments like yours and those of other “anti-imperialist leftists” (who by the way mostly live in the “imperialist” west).
———————————————

–> FREE IRAN!

Let’s leave Assad, Hezbollah and Hamas on their own!

———————————————

I predict 15-40 thumbs down for this great comment from the “anti Western imperialism” people
( all living in the West of course…)

March 28th, 2012, 5:03 pm

 

omen said:

chris 1:32am
you have no choice but to support this?

Syrian forces are deliberately targeting children in “horrendous” tactics by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Navi Pillay the UN human rights chief has claimed.

She told the BBC that hundreds of children were being held in detention, without medical care.

“They’ve gone for the children – for whatever purposes – in large numbers. Hundreds detained and tortured … it’s just horrendous.

“Children shot in the knees, held together with adults in really inhumane conditions, denied medical treatment for their injuries, either held as hostages or as sources of information,” she said.

Mr Assad bore ultimate responsibility and could stop the killings with a single order, Ms Pillay said, adding that there was no doubt that both he and all those committing for human rights violations would be held to account.

March 28th, 2012, 5:03 pm

 

jad said:

Jakass Omen:
What ‘derogatory/bigoted cartoons’ you are referring to?

March 28th, 2012, 5:24 pm

 

omen said:

i must have hit a nerve, jad. 🙂

March 28th, 2012, 5:42 pm

 

Test said:

This should be the last test — if this edit works.

And this edit works, so this is Success! Thanks to Tech Master. One more test of the request to delete function and on that success, this note will disappear into the Trash.

March 28th, 2012, 5:43 pm

 

Humanist said:

Hafez Al Assad look-alike (!) defects:

March 28th, 2012, 5:45 pm

 

Juergen said:

Humanist

This is really something else. i always wondered why so many of the security forces look like their masters, is there an Hafez gene?

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=271323539615968&set=a.166495443432112.42082.100002149710471&type=1&theater

March 28th, 2012, 5:53 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

The reports in the foreign news media that Syrian security forces committed atrocities of disproportionate force against unarmed protesters are denied by the Assad government. The alleged atrocities are contrary to well-defined government policy, and the government says as well that the security forces have been conducting their operations with good discipline in practice with rare exceptions. Anybody who believes those foreign news reports is necessarily also believing that the Assad government is full of liars. The government had no motive or rational reason to commit atrocities or use disproportionate force. Inflicting atrocities on the protesters would be an illogical thing to do from a tactical or strategic point of view from within the regime, because for one thing it would be contrary to the values of the great majority of the ordinary people of Syria. In order for the regime to rationally decide to risk that particular of loss of support, the regime would have to have a clear and compelling motive. As you can see at Youtube, most anti-regime demonstrations over the past year have been allowed to fully proceed without any interference at all, week after week after week. When a demonstration is to be dispersed or restricted to a delimited area, the rational way to do it is to use ordinary minimal force and of course that’s what the official policy is. There is no rational strategic gounds for allowing demonstrations in many places and times, while supposedly using horrendous violence to disperse certain others. Thus anybody who believes the reports of authorized security forces atrocities has to believe also that the Assad government is mindlessly depraved. It is the foreign mass media that is mindlessly depraved in my judgment.

PS as a footnote: I said the above before on this board on 10 Jun 2011 at http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10173&cp=6#comment-255551 .

What I said on 10 Jun 2011 contained the bad information that “the regime has not granted the protesters the legal permission to demonstrate on Fridays.” The law about regulating demonstrations states that an application for a license to demonstrate on a religious holiday shall not be approved. I had erroneously interpreted that with an unwarranted presumption that Friday is a religious holiday. In fact the regime does grant licenses to protest on Fridays, and has done so many, many times for pro-regime demonstrations on Fridays in the months since last June.

I have said the following before more than once.

The great majority of the people of Syria get the great majority of their political news and information about their country from information outlets that are based in their country. All of the widely circulating information outlets based in Syria are pro-regime. There isn’t a single not-pro-regime information outlet based in Syria that gets even moderately wide circulation. Not-pro-regime and anti-regime information outlets are not illegal. Such outlets have to comply with certain rules which they dislike, especially the rule that defamatory stories have to be supported by high-quality verifiable evidence. The fact that rules-compliant not-pro-regime or anti-regime media outlets don’t have significant market share is an indicator of the strength of the regime’s support. The track record in the Arabic countries of the Middle East over the past 15 years shows that barriers to new entrants are not high in Arabic media markets (including Syria). If a biggish market window for opposition media hypothetically existed for Syria, we would’ve seen it being filled by now, and we would’ve seen it being filled before this past year. During this past year, as part of the comprehensive reform program, the government enacted additional liberalization of the legal framework regulating the information media. The text of the new law in Arabic is at http://www.moi.gov.sy/ar/aid19879.html . The law is basically the same as in any Western country in principles and in implementation. But it is worth mentioning that (a) Allegations of illegal and immoral behaviour of government officers (or of anyone) cannot be aired in the news media unless supported by very high quality evidence. Instead, such allegations must be brought to the public prosecutors. (b) Advocacy of violent rebellion is illegal. Advocacy of peaceful protest is legal. (c) All issues of public policy can be freely and openly debated in all media and all forums, by law. To repeat, there is no widely circulating not-pro-regime media outlet operating under these rules in Syria today. Practically everybody in Syria knows that the anti-regime crowd has been lying about security forces atrocities against protesters; and that the regime has been telling the truth. The Syrian State-controlled TV news puts out good quality products, which enjoy good credibility with the Syrian public, and have good market penetration. Syrians have every reason to believe, and do believe, that the message of the dissidents has been riddled with deceit during this past year. The dissidents lost the media war in Syria!!! But throughout the past year the dissidents won the media war in most foreign media markets. The people in Syria have uncensored access to the entire Internet. (A small number of websites are nominally banned but it’s easy for anyone to get around the ban if they want to). The percentage of Syrian households with an Internet connection is still rather low (20 percent), but the majority of households have satellite TV access to innumerable Arabic-language TV stations based outside Syria. All those foreign media outlets have been reporting week after week that the Syrian security forces have been committing atrocities against protesters. The Syrian government has been denying it. The alleged atrocities are contrary to well-defined government policy, and the government says as well that the security forces have been conducting their operations with good discipline in practice with rare exceptions. Now, the people of Syria have been having to make a decision throughout the past year, and every week, about who is telling the truth about this. And they’ve decided overwhelmingly that the government is telling the truth. Until the foreign news media will cut out their bigotry — until they will decide to commit themselves to objectivity and verifiability — anyone who believes their reports is a fool. The people of Syria, who know their country and their government better than the foreigners do, have proved themselves to be not fools. This is one of the reasons why the Assad government is invincible.

March 28th, 2012, 5:58 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

As already linked to by JAD #162 and MINA #169, a policy memo at Al-Jazeera news dated 15 Mar 2012 written by the channel’s head of news Ibrahim Helal states that as a matter of editorial policy at Al-Jazeera there shall be (a) no criticism of foreign intervention proposals for Syria, and (b) no criticism of the Free Syrian Army. The impetus for those editorial policies is believed to be coming from the government of Qatar and not from within Al-Jazeera.

March 28th, 2012, 6:03 pm

 

Mawal95 said:

Homs is still in a state of low-grade rebellion as detailed at http://www.syrianyouth.com/506_homs-update-26-march.html and at http://www.documents.sy/news.php?lang=en . Yesterday Bashar visited Homs Bab Amr neighborhood along with the governor of Homs but it would’ve been quite risky for them to visit a number of other neighborhoods in Homs city.

March 28th, 2012, 6:12 pm

 

Juergen said:

two documentaries about the syrian revolution with an interview of Noam Chomsky

1st part


2nd part

March 28th, 2012, 6:14 pm

 

Juergen said:

Mawal

such self limitations are common.BILD Zeitung, the biggest newspaper in Germany ( not the best though…) has in their contracts with their journalists that Israel is never to be critized. The german journalism board has critized their conduct many times. Ahmedinejad fe is always referred to as the Crazy men of Tehran, kind of as an substitute for President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

March 28th, 2012, 6:20 pm

 

Tara said:

http://m.yahoo.com/w/news_america/arab-summit-appears-divided-over-approach-syria-210243337.html?orig_host_hdr=news.yahoo.com&.intl=us&.lang=en-us

In a snub to Baghdad, most — if not all — of the rulers of the six Gulf nations were staying away from the summit, sending lower-level figures instead. League officials said the level of representation was aimed at showing their frustration over the lack of more assertive action on Syria.

Instead of its king, Saudi Arabia was sending its ambassador to the Arab League — a worse slap because the post is even lower than the foreign minister level. The League officials said Saudi Arabia and Qatar had wanted Iraq to invite representatives of the Syrian opposition to the summit. Baghdad declined, much to their dismay, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Offering a glimpse of Qatar’s thinking on the Syrian crisis, the prime minister of the tiny, energy-rich nation told Al-Jazeera television that it would be a “disgrace to all of us if the sacrifices of the Syrian people go to waste.”

“We are faced with a difficult choice — either we stand by the Syrian people or stand by him (Assad),” said Sheik Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani.

The Gulf nations, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been pushing behind the scenes for more assertive action to end the conflict. Privately, they see little benefit in the Arab League’s efforts to reach a peaceful settlement and prefer instead to see a small core of nations joining together to act on their own.
….,

March 28th, 2012, 6:24 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Humanist,

That was my first reaction as well, he eerily reminds me of a young Havez…

March 28th, 2012, 6:44 pm

 

Tara said:

Jeurgen

“never to criticize Israel”. Why?

March 28th, 2012, 6:47 pm

 

jad said:

Because you are lying Jakass!

March 28th, 2012, 6:47 pm

 

Juergen said:

Tara

the owner of the publishing company was jewish and when he opened the company he did a lot for bringing the two governments together. But his credo that the state shall never be subject of criticism has outlived him.

The settling of his approach in the contracts of each journalist is unique nonevertheless, i dont know of any other newspaper who does so in Germany.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axel_Springer

March 28th, 2012, 6:55 pm

 

Tara said:

http://m.yahoo.com/w/news_america/senators-unveil-resolution-syria-191434168–abc-news-politics.html?orig_host_hdr=news.yahoo.com&.intl=us&.lang=en-us

A small group of senators today unveiled a resolution on Syria that condemns the government of Syria and “supports the right of the people of Syria to defend themselves.”

“How many more people have to die,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asked as the U.N. reported Tuesday the death toll in Syria has climbed to more than 9,000 people. “How many have to die before the United States will take a leadership role in trying to end the mass slaughter that is taking place in Syria?”

The resolution supports calls by Arab leaders to provide the Syrian people with weapons and other material support and calls on President Obama to work closely with regional partners to “implement these efforts effectively.”

“We in the United States have both a moral and strategic reason to support their efforts by at least giving them the means with which to defend themselves,” Sen.  Joe Lieberman, the independent from Connecticut, said.  “Based on the disproportionate availability of weapons and the willingness of the Assad regime to use it against the Syrian people, Assad will go of natural causes before he is eliminated from office because of the massacres he has perpetrated on his own people.”

The resolution does not call for putting U.S. boots on the ground or air strikes against Syria. It does not endorse any kind of unilateral action by the United States. And it is not an authorization for the use of U.S. military troops.

But it does call on the Obama administration to take more of a leadership role in the situation.

McCain says the Obama administration is doing “nothing,” except saying that the departure of  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is inevitable.

“Not even speeches by the president or members of the administration condemning the violence and massacres taking place, even though that is a key national security issue according to the president of the United States’ policies,” McCain said today.

In introducing the resolution today, senators were critical of the U.N.-backed peace plan for Syria, saying it fell short in not calling for Assad to step down.

“The U.N. is fiddling while Syria is burning,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said, “there is nothing to negotiate but this guy leaving.

“Everything we know about Bashar suggests that he accepted this peace plan because he is playing for time,” Graham added, “he is exploiting the good -faith desire by many in the international community to find a diplomatic solution to end the bloodshed so that he can continue his killing and creating more bloodshed.”

Senators hope that their resolution will be brought to the Senate floor quickly, but there is no time estimate on when that could happen.

March 28th, 2012, 6:56 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Cities bombarded, unarmed men killed, women raped, children burnt alive. Assad is a criminal and their supporters too. No more questions. Anyone with a minimum common sense and a gun in his hands should kill the killer. Assad is a disgrace for Syria.

March 28th, 2012, 6:57 pm

 

ghufran said:

the $ is down to 70-71 lira,a lot of people sold it at high levels and will only buy it again after seeing what comes next politically. the fair price of the $ even with sanctions and economic hardship should not be more than 60-65 lira.
as the diff between the black market and official price shrinks,more $ will come from overseas which may reduce the $ even further,this means lower prices.
there was no investigation of SCB and a number of connected bankers who made millions by playing the currency exchange game while syrians were running in circles to make ends meet.

March 28th, 2012, 6:58 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Junblat asking the druzes to revolt against the criminal mafia of Syria. The druze Sheikh Salman killed in a strange car accident. Where are the druzes? They always keep on talking about how brave they are and about their important role in times of Sultan Al Atrash. But today they are uncapable of doing nothing. They are a dead community if they do not move forward.

Some years ago there were riots inside Sweida between druzes and arab bedouins because of the killing of one druze near Sweida in the hands of a bedouin shepherd. Druzes got to the streets, killed some bedouins who where in the market shopping and through them into the garbage. Is this all they are able to do?

March 28th, 2012, 7:03 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

A tribute to the children of Syria. They are the future not the gang of criminals, corrupt and assassins that conform the structure of the state today.

March 28th, 2012, 7:10 pm

 

Observer said:

In response to Sheila, I think answers as to why pro or anti regime who live in the West continue their support of one or the other can be due to one or more of the following:

1. Since Syria is not a nation-state some may have remained tribal/clannish/sect-based in their outlook. I see this in colleagues who are Christian and who define their political positions based on a certain view of the situation in Syria. Some are true Arabists and some are not at all and see only Islamists. They are mostly for dialogue and a secular outlook

2. Some who are of an Islamist bend have not truly understood the working of Democracy; and do not believe that rule by popular consent is adequate and this is because they have a concept of democracy as a dictatorship of the majority while in reality it is rule by a majority that does crush the minority. This leads to a back and forth and a healthy exchange of power.

3. Some live in the West while retaining the extreme self centered view of the world that is often combined with a complete lack of a sense of civic duty. To them, it is the smart and witty and fast thinker that has been able to “get ahead in the West” taking full benefit while having contempt for the system. These are the ones who have a confusion between the price of everything and the value of nothing.

4. Some like the father in law can be corrupted with power and we know that this is universal and there is a great ability of power to blind one’s view of the world. This usually comes from a background of a very weak moral character such that their humanity is destroyed.

5. Some are still pure sectarian and see the world as a struggle to destroy this or that religion or system of thought. I believe the majority are of this last category for the vehemence with which they attack and distord and lie and accuse and dehumanize and degrade and depict the other is clearly obvious.

This is fake country with a fake president and with a fake government and with a fake ideology and with a fake present and a dim and dark future destroyed by a pure mafiosi family

Here are some news, some worthy and some doubtful but worth reading still

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/28/gaddafi-assets-seized-italy

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=149559986&ft=1&f=
http://all4syria.info/web/archives/58742

March 28th, 2012, 8:04 pm

 

omen said:

224. Mawal95 5:58 pm

Not-pro-regime and anti-regime information outlets are not illegal. Such outlets have to comply with certain rules which they dislike, especially the rule that defamatory stories have to be supported by high-quality verifiable evidence.

seriously? are you arguing syria has free speech? you’re saying this with a straight face?

Syria is one of the countries on the “Enemies of the Internet” list that Reporters Without Borders released yesterday. The Media Centres created by the Local Coordination Committees in Syria were awarded the 2012 Netizen Prize. Syria is ranked 176th out of 179 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

syria is 4th from the bottom of the list, ranked on a scale for one of the worst when it comes to press freedom!

Already poorly ranked in 2010, Syria fell further in the index, to 176th position, because total censorship, widespread surveillance, indiscriminate violence and government manipulation made it impossible for journalists to work.

March 28th, 2012, 8:15 pm

 

sheila said:

As I get more frustrated with those who have totally lost their moral compass and continue to support this murderous Syrian regime, I keep reminding myself that Hitler and the Nazis also had supporters till the bitter end.

March 28th, 2012, 8:18 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Also it may help you that Alaaroor ,Alzoahri and Israel …support you.

March 28th, 2012, 8:27 pm

 

omen said:

this pretense from loyalists that all is well in syria, that the regime isn’t slaughtering people, and the country enjoys a free press — are people clinging to delusions because they fear what will come after the regime is ousted?

one’s comfort in life shouldn’t be dependent upon the oppression of others.

People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both. ~ benjamin franklin

March 28th, 2012, 8:29 pm

 

sheila said:

Dear Omen,
I see your frustration. I was actually rendered speechless when an educated, smart and I would venture to say, decent person named Norman asked me what policies of Bashar I did not like. How can you answer this question? I wanted to ask: what policies? Does Syria really have even a semblance of policies? Isn’t policy in Syria based on what is more profitable for the regime cronies? Isn’t it all about money: like you open the country to cell phones because you end up making millions out of operating the empire?

I think we have gotten to a point where people (and that includes my own brother) are so afraid of what is to come that they are willing to lie to themselves and actually believe their own lies. All of us who lived under this regime know exactly what this regime is all about. We never believed a word on Syrian TV, yet now suddenly it is Gospel to some. They are blaming the victim. It is now the revolutions fault that Syria is ruined. If only the people kept their mouths shut, life would have stayed good. They ruined the country by asking for their basic rights in freedom and dignity. How could they?

March 28th, 2012, 8:33 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

SYRIA NO KANDAHAR

You could write a book, with all your messages from the beginning of the Tunisian Revolution until today. This would be an historical record of how a police dictatorial regime loses all logics, reasons and rational. Publish it before it is banned to support a criminal because it would be very educative for future generations to read thoughts and ideas that lead the country to a revolution and regime change.

March 28th, 2012, 8:38 pm

 

sheila said:

SNK,
We also have the US, the UK, France, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Turkey….. and most the rest of the world on our side. I do not think this will actually make any difference to someone like you.

March 28th, 2012, 8:40 pm

 

jad said:

سوريا :: حلب:: المسلحين يستخدمون المتظاهرين دروع بشرية
http://youtu.be/MUpwjkY2nZk

More of the peaceful activities
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/524840_10151432954105015_820255014_23368249_863735009_n.jpg

March 28th, 2012, 8:42 pm

 

jad said:

أحلام الثورة السورية والأمل الأخير : أحذية جنود الحلف الأطسي تدوس تراب سورية
كتب سامي زرقة – عربي برس – اللاذقية

” لم يعد من أمل في الإنتصار سوى إنتظار تحقق الأقاويل والتصريحات حول إمكانية إقامة مناطق عازلة في سوريا تمهيداً لتدخل خارجي بحجة أن الأزمة السورية وصلت إلى مفترق خطير و أصبح التدخل الدولي لأسباب إنسانية حاجة ماسة ”
هذا ما يقوله ناشطون تلقوا تدريباتهم على الثورة في مراكز تمولها أميركا ومخابراتها خارج وداخل سورية (منذ عقد وأكثر يذهب سوريون بدعوات رسمية إلى جامعة القاهرة الاميركية وإلى تركيا وإلى لبنان وكثيرون سافروا إلى واشنطن بحجة التبادل الصحافي)
ولكن كيف يمكن التمهيد لتدخل أجنبي خارجي والإستعانة به لإسقاط النظام؟؟…
المعارض عدي رجب خرج منذ الساعات الأولى في الأزمة ضد النظام بحجة أنه نظام قمعي يمتهن كرامة الإنسان لذا يرى عدي أن الوسيلة الوحيدة لاستجرار تدخل خارجي في سوريا هي عن طريق دفع النشطاء الشباب إلى الساحات لتشجيع الناس على التظاهر، أو استخدام ما تعلموه في كيفية حشد الرأي العام حول نقطة معينة عبر المدونات والفيسبوك وتويتر، وبمجرد إنزال الناس إلى الشوارع ستبدأ عملية الحشد والتجييش الإعلامي، عبر عرض كل انتهاكات النظام في السنوات السابقة، لزيادة نقمة الناس ولدفعهم إلى الشارع دفعاً وطبعاً هذا الموضع (بنظر عدي) لن يتم خلال يوم أو يومين بل لا بد من استمرار الاعتصامات في الشوارع والساحات وحتى ضمن الأزقة لإقناع الرأي العام العالمي بصدق رسالة هؤلاء وبالتالي يضغط على حكوماته في التدخل الإنساني في سوريا…
{…}
بينما ترى أميرة أن أفضل حل لجعل الشارع السوري ينقلب على نظامه هي تسخير الإعلام بشكل مكثف لتصوير النظام كما لو أنه هو من خلق العصابات الإجرامية المنتشرة في سوريا وهو من يمولها لتخويف الشعب السوري ومنعه من الخروج في تظاهرات ضده.
ثوار سورية ملو والإحباط ينهشهم وأخشى ما يخشونه زيارة ثانية يقوم الرئيس السوري إلى منطقة درعا مثلا أو إلى جبل الزاوية ولذا لم يعد لديهم من أمل سوى التعلق بأقدام وأحذية رجال البحرية الفرنسية والبريطانية الذين قد يشاركون في غزو سورية .
http://arabi-press.com/?page=article&id=29651

March 28th, 2012, 8:44 pm

 

jad said:

Iran-Turkish relations from bad to worse:

زيارة فاشلة لأردوغان إلى طهران ومعلومات عن إحتمال رفض خامنئي إستقباله
خاص عربي برس – طهران

مصادر ايرانية اكدت لعربي برس بان طهران تفضل بغداد على اسطنبول مكانا لعقد الجولة الجديدة من محادثات الخمسة زائد واحد مع ايران حول الملف النووي الايراني

واضافت المصادر بان احد اسباب التوجه الايراني الجديد هذا هو الخلاف الحاد الذي ظهر بين اردوغان والقيادة الايرانية حول الملف السوري

وكانت طهران قد ردت طلبا لاردوغان للقاء مع مرشد الثورة الاسلامية الايرانية الامام السيد علي الخامنئي

كما اعربت عن استيائها باستمرار الموقف التركي السيئ وغر المتوازن مع الملف السوري

تجدر الاشارة بان احمدي نجاد ابلغ الموفد السوري الخاص الذي زار طهران قبل ساعات من وصول اردوغان اليها بان ما يجري على الارض السورية ليس سوى مخطط استعماري ضد سوريا المقاومة والممانعة وان الشعب السوري استطاع بصموده وصبره العظيمين اسقاط هذا المخطط
وهكذا يكون الحزب التركي الحاكم قد تلقى صفعة قوية اضافية من جانب طهران بعد سقوط رهاناته على الاطلسي وامريكا والرجعية الخليجية ووصوله الى طهران محبطا من اوباما

الامر الذي دعا المحللين السياسيين الايرانين يفسرون استمرار اسطنبول في سياسة احتضان المجلس الانتقالي والتلويح بالمنطقة العازلة ليس سوى اللعب في الوقت الضائع

واذا ما صدقت التوقعات بشان استبدال اسطنبول ببغداد فعلا فان حكومة اردوغان تكون قد تلقت عقابا صارما من طهران على تخبطها بخصوص القضية السورية كما يؤكد مقربون من مطبخ صناعة القرار الايراني
http://arabi-press.com/?page=article&id=29743

March 28th, 2012, 8:46 pm

 

sheila said:

What I find most interesting is that all those people who are scared silly from Islamists have no problem accepting Iran and Hizbolla’s support. Go figure.

March 28th, 2012, 8:49 pm

 

jad said:

Jumbla6:

رئيس «التقدمي» يعترف بأن رياح سوريا تجري بعكس ما يشتهي لكنه لن يتراجع
جنبلاط: «لحظة التخلي» كانت عندما زرت الأسد.. ولن تتكرر

نبيل هيثم
تجري الرياح في سوريا بما لا يشتهي وليد جنبلاط، فلا سقوط أو إسقاط لنظام الرئيس بشار الاسد، ولا امل في حل سياسي على أساس المبادرة العربية (تفويض الصلاحيات لنائب الرئيس مقدمة للتنحي على الطريقة اليمنية)، بل ان سفن الازمة السورية تجري في الاتجاه الآخر الذي تبلغه الزعيم الدرزي شخصياً في العاصمة الروسية، من وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف بأن لا حل في سوريا الا تحت سقف نظام الاسد.
تلك هي الخلاصة التي تنتهي إليها مقاربة جنبلاط للحدث السوري، والتي تنطوي على استياء واضح من مآل الامور في سوريا، بعد سنة على اندلاع الأزمة، واصطدام ما يسميها «الثورة» (يرفض تعبير «الربيع العربي» نهائياً) بما هو أكبر منها، إن على صعيد المعارضات وتناقضاتها البنيوية، ومدى قدرتها على القول والفعل، وأمامه مثلان لفشلها، يتجلى الاول في مؤتمر المعارضة السورية في تونس، والذي ينظر اليه جنبلاط بأنه كان «مؤتمراً فاشلاً ولم يقدم المرجو منه»، ويتجلى الثاني في مؤتمر المعارضة السورية في تركيا الذي ينظر اليه جنبلاط أيضاً بوصفه «مؤتمراً فاشلاً».
ولعل العامل الابرز الذي كبح جماح «الثورة السورية»، «ليس قوة النظام وقدرته على الامساك بالارض السورية في وجه المجموعات المسلحة، بل ـ يضيف جنبلاط ـ يتمثل في عدم وجود قرار دولي باسقاط بشار الاسد»، فهذا النظام، كما يقول رئيس «التقدمي»، «هو حاجة للاتحاد الروسي، كما كان في القديم حاجة لـ«الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق»، كما هو حاجة للاميركيين». يسأل جنبلاط: «من سيحمي الحدود الشمالية لـ«الجيران» في الجولان ولبنان»، ويستطرد «المعارضة السورية ذهبت في مراهناتها مسافات بعيدة بعدما سمعت من الاميركيين والاوروبيين كلاما كبيرا تارة عن سقوط النظام خلال أيام وتارة اخرى ان الأسد فقد شرعيته، والى آخر ما هنالك، حتى ظنّ البعض ان المسألة انتهت، ولكن الحقيقة خلاف ذلك، اذ ان النظام لم يسقط… الا يعني لكم شيئا ان كل العالم لم يستطع ان يدخل سيارة اسعاف الى بابا عمرو في حمص؟».
تبدو صورة الاحداث في سوريا بعد سنة، عكس ما تمناها جنبلاط، لا الصورة الراهنة ولا مسار الاحداث على الارض، ولا الصورة المستقبلية في ظل الحراك الدولي الذي يقوده الامين العام السابق للأمم المتحدة كوفي انان «فها هو بشار الاسد في بابا عمرو يقول للعالم انا هنا، وسيقوم في القريب العاجل بتأجيل الانتخابات التشريعية، وسيجري الانتخابات على اساس الدستور الجديد الذي وضعه ويتيح له الترشح لولايتين، وطالما بقي بشار، لا امكانية لأي تغيير او اصلاح في سوريا، وطالما بقي النظام فمعنى ذلك يجب أن تتوقع منه أي شيء سواء في سوريا ام في لبنان».
وعلى الرغم من هذه الصورة السوداوية، لا يبدو أن جنبلاط في وارد القيام بخطوة تراجعية الى الوراء، بل يذهب أبعد من ذلك بالقول لـ«السفير»، إنه قرّر أن ينتقل بصورة نهائية الى موقع القطيعة النهائية مع النظام السوري ومهما كانت الأكلاف سواء بقي النظام ام لم يبق، ولن يكون من الآن فصاعداً أي كلام عن لحظات تخلٍّ او ما شابه. هناك لحظة تخلٍّ واحدة مررت بها متصلة بتلك الواقعة وليس بأي شيء غيرها»، ويقصد هنا انعطافته في اتجاه دمشق وزيارته الرئيس بشار الاسد بعد أحداث 7 و11 ايار 2008.
حسم جنبلاط امره بعدم حفظ خطوط الرجعة، ويبرر ذلك بقوله: «افضل لي ان اختم حياتي بخلاف مع النظام السوري.. وفي كل الاحوال انا مرتاح بقراري وأجد نفسي منسجما مع قناعاتي ومشاعري. انا اعرف انني قد اخسر سياسيا، لكنني في النهاية رابح مع نفسي».
على ان هدفا آخر يسعى جنبلاط الى تحقيقه من وراء موقفه الهجومي ويتعلق بدروز سوريا وحثهم على الالتحاق بـ«الثورة»، وبالتالي يعلن رفضه «تحويل دروز سوريا حرس حدود عند النظام كما هي حال بعض دروز فلسطين ممن تحولوا حرس حدود عند الاسرائيليين»، ويضيف «نحن نعيش في بحر العرب السنة، ما هي بيئة دروز سوريا ولبنان والمنطقة، هل تعلمون لماذا رفضت تلبية الدعوة لزيارة ايران؟ تصوروا لو قمت بالزيارة، ما هي عواقبها، خاصة على الدروز في الخليج وماذا لو قمت بالزيارة وجاء في الخليج من يتخذ قراراً بتسفير الدروز، ماذا نفعل حينها ومن اين نطعمهم؟».
{…}

March 28th, 2012, 8:54 pm

 

jad said:

Kofi Anna mission, the full story:
مساعي كوفي أنان: الحكاية الكاملة

اطّلعت «الأخبار» على تفاصيل المباحثات التي أجراها المبعوث الأممي _ العربي كوفي أنان إلى سوريا، بين دمشق وموسكو والعواصم ذات الصلة، من أجل الحصول على الموافقة على النقاط الست التي اقترحها لحلّ الأزمة السورية. ومن خلال هذه التفاصيل، تتبين ملامح وساطته، الهدف منها، العقبات التي تعترضها، والخطوات التالية. وفي ما يأتي عرضٌ لبعض ما جرى في الغرف المغلقة
ناصر شرارة
{…}
«الأخبار» اطّلعت على مجموعة تقارير دبلوماسية تتعلق بعمل أنان وفريقه، ابتداءً من تفاصيل المباحثات بين موفده السرّي إلى دمشق قبل أيام، مروراً ببرنامج التفاوض ما بعد الموافقة السورية على النقاط الست، إلى تفاصيل محادثات أنان في روسيا وما يجري دولياً بحثاً عن قواسم تُنتج التسوية الصعبة.
{…}
لكن أنان يركز جهوده في هذه اللحظات على تحقيق هدفين اثنين. الأول يتعلق بالجولة الثانية من مباحثاته مع السلطات السورية ومع معارضي الداخل في دمشق. والثاني يتعلق بسعيه إلى إحراز تقدّم للمعارضة السورية على مستوى إرساء وحدتها. ويرى أنان، بحسب ما يقوله القدوة في لقاء مغلق مع سفراء عرب في جنيف قبل ثلاثة أيام، أن انعدام الوحدة في صفوف المعارضة السورية هو أحد أهم العوامل التي قد تعوق مهمة الموفد الدولي _ العربي.
{…}
ثلاث عقبات

يقول القدوة إن العقبات الحالية المعوّقة لمهمة أنان تتوزع على عدة أنواع، منها ما يتصل بالمناخ الدولي الراهن، وعدم وجود توافق دولي على رؤية موحدة للحل في سوريا، الأمر الذي يعكسه عمل مجلس الأمن، وخصوصاً أنه جرى استدعاء المندوبين الكبار قبل أسبوعين للقاء أنان واستيضاحه عن أهداف مهمته وآلياتها والمطلوب دولياً لدعمها.
العقبة الثانية تكمن في صعوبة الجولة الثانية من المفاوضات الحافلة بمئات التفاصيل التي تحتاج إلى إيجاد صيغ تُلائم بينها وبين توزانات دولية وإقليمية متناقضة، وأيضاً بينها وبين شروط متباينة يطرحها النظام السوري من ناحية والمعارضة من ناحية ثانية. أما العقبة الثالثة، فتتركز على واقع المعارضة السورية المفكّكة. ويحدّد القدوة في اللقاء الدبلوماسي نفسه عنوان الخطوة الثانية في مهمة أنان في سوريا، وتتمثل في «التباحث بتنظيم آلية مراقبة، وإقرار بروتوكول ذي صلة لتنظيم عمل المراقبين».
{…}
في موسكو، عرض وزير خارجية روسيا سيرغي لافروف أمام أنان موقف بلاده من مهمته، المدعومة روسياً، وشروط استمرار هذا الدعم، وذلك على الشكل الآتي: أولاً، أبدت موسكو ارتياحها الكبير لمهمة أنان، وامتدحت شخصيته لتمتعه بصدقية عالية وسيرة عمل حافلة بالجدية. ثانياً، قدّمت روسيا وصفاً لمهمة أنان في هذه المرحلة بعد موافقة سوريا على اقتراحه، وهي أنها تقع في «المرحلة التحضيرية الحذرة، وهي مهمة صعبة». ثالثاً، توافقت روسيا مع أنان على نقطتين، الأولى أن يُصار إلى سحب موضوع تنحّي الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد من أي بحث، وهو ما جعل الموفد الدولي يلتقط الإشارة إلى أن مهمته ستفشل في حال غلّفها بهذا الشرط، والثانية تتعلق بالموقف الروسي الحاسم برفض ومنع أي تدخل عسكري خارجي.
وأوضح لافروف، في هذا المجال، لأنان أن روسيا قامت بكل ما عليها بعدما أقنعت النظام السوري بالقبول بخطته، وبالتالي يبقى عليه أن يبقى ضمن إطار مهمته ونقاطها المعلنة. وكان هذا الكلام تعبيراً واضحاً عن شروط موسكو للإبقاء على دعمها لمهمته، وهي مطالب لم يعتبرها أنان شروطاً، لأنها تمثّل مسلّمات في تفكيره بخصوص مهمته.
رابعاً، برزت تباينات خلال النقاش بين أنان ولافروف، حرص الطرفان على التقليل من أهميتها، على اعتبارها «تباينات تقنية»، وهي على صلة بتفسيرهما لآلية «مراقبة وقف العنف». وهي مادة نقاش بعثة أنان المقبلة في سوريا. وقد عبّر الجانب الروسي عن ذلك على شكل استفسارات من بينها: استفسر الروس عن الترابط ما بين «انسحاب القوات الأمنية النظامية السورية من المراكز السكنية وحولها، كما يرد في النقاط الست، وبين «من هي» الجهة التي ستكون مؤتمنة على الحفاظ على الأمن بعد الانسحاب، وسألوا: هل الشرطة مثلاً ستتولى هذه الأمور؟».
{…}
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/61181

March 28th, 2012, 8:58 pm

 

irritated said:

#250 Sheila

9/11 and all recent terrorists killing have been executed by Sunni Islamists ( including the last killing in Paris). No Shia (Iran, Hezbollah) have been involved in any terrorists acts in the last 15 years.

March 28th, 2012, 9:26 pm

 

irritated said:

#233 Juergen

“the owner of the publishing company was jewish ”

I thought you said that Germans do not know who is Jewish or not, and that don’t care.
Obviously when it matters, you do know…

March 28th, 2012, 9:36 pm

 

zoo said:

Analysis: Arab revolts bring Islamist regional vision closer
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-egypt-islamists-idUSBRE82R0OB20120328

(Reuters) – The Muslim Brotherhood has quietly spread its influence far beyond Egypt in its 84-year history, but Arab revolts have opened broad new political horizons the group hopes will reflect its founder’s vision for the Arab and Islamic world.

“There is no doubt that Hassan al-Banna believed in Islamic unity and not just Arab unity. But with such a vision we must consider reality and what is possible,” said Mahmoud Ghozlan, a member of the Brotherhood’s executive bureau.

Interviewed at the group’s new headquarters in Cairo, he called such unity a “long-term objective”, but seemed alive to the possibilities thrown up by a ferment in which Islamists are driving mainstream politics across North Africa and beyond.

“This region is in a period of deep-rooted change,” the 64-year-old said. “Starting from Tunisia and ending with Syria, the nature of the region and alliances will change.”
(..)

March 28th, 2012, 9:39 pm

 

zoo said:

Squeezed by Turkey and Qatar in a last ditch before the FOS,
Syrian opposition hastily claims unity under SNC.
How credible it is as many very important opposition groups are not present?

By Thaer Abbas
http://asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=29036
Istanbul, Asharq Al-Awsat – Syria’s splintered opposition yesterday reached an agreement to unite under the umbrella of the Syrian National Council [SNC], in an effort to show the world that they are a genuine alternative to the Bashar al-Assad regime.

In addition to this, the National Co-ordination Committee [NCC] refused to attend the meeting.
….
In addition to al-Maleh, Syrian opposition figure Walid al-Bani also withdrew from the meeting, claiming that he had not been consulted.
The Kurdish National Council also walked out due to the absence of any reference to a settlement for Kurdish Syrians. They had called for constitutional recognition of the Kurdish people, and guarantees for a democratic and just solution to the Kurdish issue in Syria, based on international covenants and agreements and within the framework of the United Nations.
(…)

March 28th, 2012, 9:57 pm

 

zoo said:

Turkey is left in the cold from the meeting in Baghdad

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/arab-league-shuns-turkey-iran-on-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=17154&NewsCatID=338

There are three main reasons for Turkey’s exclusion from the meeting.
The first is the current chilly relationship between Ankara and Baghdad over the latter’s accusations that the Turkish government is seeking to increase its influence in its southern neighbor. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki objected to Turkey’s participation, the Hürriyet Daily News has learned.

The second reason for Turkey’s exclusion from the meeting seems to stem from the Arab League’s intention to distance itself from the policies of Turkey and some Western powers, which are focused on toppling al-Assad.

Divided over the future of al-Assad, the members of the Arab League will likely endorse Kofi Annan’s mission, which has received a positive response from Damascus. The Annan Plan is perceived as being much more realistic than other competing plans in many Arab countries, who are growing increasingly suspicious of the Friends of Syria initiative. Some Arab countries believe the league moved too quickly in demanding that al-Assad leave office – losing some political maneuvering room by doing so. They have also laid part of the blame on al-Arabi for remaining under the influence of Davutoğlu, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Related to these differing positions over Syria, the third reason for Turkey’s exclusion reflects growing concerns about rising Turkish interference in the Arab world’s internal affairs. A good majority of Arab politicians, scholars and journalists suspect that increasing Turkish influence carries with it the motive of glorifying the Ottoman past, something the Turkish diplomatic establishment strongly denies.

March/29/2012

March 28th, 2012, 10:17 pm

 

zoo said:

More criticism of the rebels abuses popping up…

U.S. ambassador got reports on Syrian opposition abuses
Susan Cornwell Reuters
2:36 p.m. CDT, March 27, 2012
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-syria-annan-fordbre82q0ty-20120327,0,5430320.story

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, said on Tuesday he had received reports that armed Syrian opposition groups had engaged in human rights abuses as well as Syrian government forces, and had warned both sides against committing such acts.

Ford also expressed skepticism about reports that Syria had accepted the peace plan of U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, saying it would be best to look for action, not words from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“I have to tell you that my own experience with him (Assad) is you want to see steps on the ground and not just take his word at face value,” Ford said.

The United States announced on February 6 it was closing its embassy in Syria because of the worsening security situation there but Ford remains ambassador, working from Washington.

At a Capitol Hill hearing, Ford was asked about recent statements by the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch that armed opposition groups in Syria had committed serious human rights abuses. It said these abuses included kidnapping, detention and torture of security force members and government supporters.

“We had reports like that last year, when some of the fighting in Homs became really serious,” Ford said.

“We raised it even in Syria when my embassy was still open. We discussed it with some of the local revolution council representatives – who are themselves not members of armed groups, but certainly are in contact with them – and emphasized that they would be held to a standard on this if they wanted support from western countries,” he said.

Ford said the United States had also raised the matter with the Syrian National Council, a Syrian opposition coalition, and he noted that last week the council issued a statement saying such abuses were against what they stood for.

Ford gave no details of reports he had received about human rights violations committed by opposition forces.

“But I have to say … the longer the violence continues in Syria, the worse it gets, the more we are going to see hard-liners on both sides, who probably are not particular defenders of human rights, gain influence and that is a real problem, and that’s why we need the transition to move more quickly,” Ford said.
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March 28th, 2012, 10:30 pm

 

omen said:

225. Mawal95 6:03 pm

a policy memo at Al-Jazeera news dated 15 Mar 2012 written by the channel’s head of news Ibrahim Helal states that as a matter of editorial policy at Al-Jazeera there shall be (a) no criticism of foreign intervention proposals for Syria, and (b) no criticism of the Free Syrian Army.

well, aljazeera english violated this memo then. the outlet has given space to voices airing skepticism about arming the rebels and posted reports about militia groups exacting revenge upon captured members of assad’s security forces. this even before the HRW report came out.

March 28th, 2012, 10:55 pm

 

omen said:

hey, just noticed the andrew tabler article above. he was on pbs newhour last night. what an interesting bio he has.

March 28th, 2012, 11:00 pm

 

Juergen said:

Irritated

it matters because he was an important man to establish reconcilation between Germans and Iraelis. He himself made it public that his faith is jewish, thats why i brought it up.

Sheila

I am afraid that some of those who support Assad may position themselves to a point of no return. My grandmother told me once the story that after Hitler committed suicide the river near my hometown was filled with dead women and men who killed themselves. They thought a Germany without Hitler is unthinkable and the propaganda of the Third Reich did its most damage. But as a famous writer wrote after coming back to Germany in 1945, he wrote that he was not able to find one single nazi, all had been in opposition to this brutal regime.

March 29th, 2012, 4:06 am

 

ghufran said:

$ is down to 69 Lira with the potential for further decline in the $ as long as there is no major outbreak of violence and there is hope politically, this process will be easily reversed if events turned more bloody and Annan fails,many think Annan does not have a chance.

any comments on the fact that the sign behind nabil alarabi and Iraq’s FM is written in English at the AL summit?

i find it amusing that the summit is headed by a Kurd, not that I have anything against Kurdish brothers, but the AL needs to die in peace, enough lies and acting, the so-called Al-Ummah Alarabiah exist mostly in books that are written when Arabs have little or no oil and many of their countries were occupied by western powers, today the AL is a pathetic group of dictators and corrupt chiefs, with few exceptions, that is irrelevant and regressive (one of my favorite words).

March 29th, 2012, 3:43 pm

 

Amnesia said:

Dr. Landis said, “The opposition believes, correctly, that President Assad will not carry out reforms that will lead to his ouster.”

Ain’t that the truth. Can’t be said enough, and must be kept in mind when “negotiating” with the regime.

The leaked emails confirm that Bashar thinks he is playing a game, and that the “reforms” are a joke.

March 30th, 2012, 7:02 am

 

chris said:

AMNESIA how can u say “correctly”
bashar has reformed this country more than what any other leader of an arab country has done in the last 5 years.

the AL hates what he has done because it steers away from sharia but believe me my muslim friends had no trouble accepting the burqa ban infact on the first day we all had a laugh and said what could he allow next?

March 30th, 2012, 7:49 am

 

Amnesia said:

It was not me that said it. I repeated it, and am glad to do so again. Bashar wil not implement reforms that will see him and his people lose power.

There are so many other things a million times more important than the banning of the veil. Have you been “laughing” with your friends also while corruption and severe human rights abuses were taking place around you? Some might forgive you for ignoring them before, but it is despicable to ignore the problems now.

March 30th, 2012, 8:17 am

 

chris said:

human rights abuses are everywhere i condone them and will not participate but u have to understand what survival means. there are worse attrocities that no one ever hears about all over the world. syria was never even on a list for persecution on human rights lists. syrians were not trying to escape by boats or illegally in the last 20years were they!

what i am saying is we all felt this way all sects. atleast with bashar we were feeling like we were living in europe! generally those who got in trouble probably were causing trouble. and most people in power subject some form of abuse, not that its right but they do.

look at poor alfie in the uk! when i hear anyone has been stoned or beheaded no matter what religion i cry. i often show my kids videos from memri tv so they can see we have some freedom compared to other mid east countries

March 30th, 2012, 8:28 am

 

Amnesia said:

You are right to speak against injustice, but direct your attacks where they are deserved. It is not right to focus on some while absolving others of the responsibility for others. A state has a responsibility to protect, and work toward justice and the good of its citizens.

You said above, “syria was never even on a list for persecution on human rights lists.” This is dead wrong. Many countries appear on human rights lists of violating countries, and Syria was one of the worst. It is a police state for God’s sake!

“generally those who got in trouble probably were causing trouble.” Generally, those who got into trouble made someone in power unhappy.

“atleast with bashar we were feeling like we were living in europe!” That’s a stretch most would disagree with. Europe is light years ahead of Syria. I am hopeful, but must be realistic that with the regime in control the future is bleak.

March 30th, 2012, 8:45 am

 

norman said:

251. sheila said:

What I find most interesting is that all those people who are scared silly from Islamists have no problem accepting Iran and Hizbolla’s support. Go figure.

Sheila,

Doesn’t that make you think that it is not Islam what these people fear but the way your people as you call them understand Islam , as you can see they are not Islamophobe as you and others call them, you should think about the reason and correct it ,

March 30th, 2012, 10:13 am

 

Sunny said:

Dr. Landis, as Syrian American I need your help understanding Mrs. Kudmani’s objectives of this interview as I was lost!
Also, how your objectives of this blog are collaborating with her objectives?

Today, the number of people who supported her last year in my area went down tremendously, as many came to find out that the ones who are supporting her move in the area condone 9/11?

Furthermore, majority of the Syrians never heard of her and her partner till last year! How do you think this fact influenced her short and long term objectives and unclear motives?!

April 2nd, 2012, 12:35 pm

 

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