Turkey’s Syria Problem

Turkey’s Syria conundrum
Sinan Ulgen, 25 Aug 2012, National Interest

Syria used to be the poster child for Ankara’s “zero problems with neighbors” policy. At the peak of their rapprochement, Turkey and Syria were holding joint cabinet meetings and talking about spearheading a common market in the Middle East. Then the Arab wave of reforms reached Damascus. The relationship turned hostile as […]

With the support of Prime Minister Erdogan, Turkey’s foreign minister Davutoglu positioned Ankara in the vanguard of the community of nations seeking regime change in Syria. Thus Ankara gave support to the Syrian National Council and harbored the Free Syrian Army. Even when former UN secretary-general Annan’s plan for a political settlement was announced, the Turkish leadership made it clear that there could be no solution with Assad in power.

With this policy of direct confrontation, Ankara not only strove to obtain the moral high ground. It also sought to precipitate the fall of Assad while building a relationship with the future leadership of Syria by heavily investing in the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council.

Today, this policy of forcefully pushing the regime change agenda in Syria is under criticism domestically as some of the risks of a post-Assad world are becoming clearer.

The fear in Turkey is of Syria’s disintegration into ethnically and religiously purer ministates, with a Kurdish entity in the north, an Alawite entity in the west and a Sunni entity in the rest. The Kurdish opposition’s recent unilateral power grab in northeastern Syria rekindled Turkish concerns about the emergence of an independent Kurdish entity linking the north of Iraq to the north of Syria.

The right policy response to this threat would certainly have been for the Turkish body politic to finally and permanently address Turkey’s own Kurdish problem. But the Justice and Development Party (AKP) leadership’s prevailing populist tendencies seem to preclude this option despite a well-intentioned effort undertaken before the 2011 elections. The fact that even the highly popular AKP, facing no imminent threat to its rule, backed away from tackling this complex issue does not bode well for the prospects of a lasting settlement.

The failure to solve its own Kurdish problem therefore raises the stakes for Turkey should Syria implode along sectarian lines. As a result (and somewhat paradoxically because it has failed to do so sufficiently at home), Turkey will almost inevitably be pulled in to invest in the future stability and territorial integrity of Syria.

With its long-standing support to the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army, Ankara hopes to have gained the leverage to influence the behavior of the future leadership in the post-Assad era. But now harder choices await Turkish policy makers.

To create the right conditions for the emergence of a political process of reconciliation and reconstruction in Syria, Turkey must shift its position. With Assad on his way out, Ankara should start the practice of conditionality. Its continued support to the Sunni opposition should be conditional on the Sunni leadership taking the lead on midwifing an inclusive, nonhegemonic, multipartite process of political dialogue on the future order in Syria. Also Ankara should seek to reengage with the Alawite minority and support efforts to nurture a new political leadership within this once-powerful minority.

The success of this engagement is critical for a country faced with allegations of exclusively supporting the Sunni camp in Syria alongside Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Only a Turkey that acts in harmony with its secular roots can play the crucial role of helping to build a better future for all Syrians and, by extension, ensuring its own safety and security in this volatile region.

Sinan Ulgen is the chairman of the Istanbul-based think tank EDAM and a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe.

Deserted Syrian town of Anadan

“Edipoglu says the recent big clashes are taking place around the Turkish border with Syria and he says every day, what he calls al-Qaida militants are picked up from their homes and put on the buses in Antakya. He says every day and night, 40 or 50 mini buses leave for Syria and they fight there and come back and this happens every day and he says state authorities are providing the buses, even escorting them.But the Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal denies that any such support is being given to any of the Syrian rebel groups.”

The Syrian ghost town that shows the future of Aleppo
For a foretaste of the future of Aleppo, you need venture only as far as the nondescript, silent town of Anadan just eight miles to the north-west.
By Richard Spencer, Anadan – Telegraph, 22 Aug 2012

The sound of war is absent, but so is the sound of everything else. When the light breeze drops, not even the shutters covering the shopfronts rattle.

There is no call to prayer from the central mosque, still open for the vanished faithful but deserted, its floor lined with broken glass. The market is empty, stalls cleared of everything up to the stone walls.

There are blasts marks and shell-holes from the battles that sent the women and children and finally men too into flight. But the effect is more ghostly than that suggests, long streets of homes that are mostly intact but seem never to expect anyone to live there again.

Anadan was one of the wellsprings of the uprising in Aleppo province that culminated in the capture of half the ancient city itself. It was the scene of a vicious battle in June between the rebels of the Free Syrian Army, mostly local men, and government troops, before the regime’s tanks were driven out.

Since then it has been shelled from bases in the northern half of the city, and bombed from the air. Earlier this month Amnesty International released satellite imagery of 600 shell craters in and around the town.

Though many seem to have missed their targets, the effect was to drive tens of thousands of people to the refugee centres on the border with Turkey, where 70,000 Syrian have already fled, or to other villages and towns. ….
Anadan is home to the political leader of the lead rebel unit fighting in Aleppo, the Liwa al-Tawhid or “Unity Brigade” – the term has both a religious meaning, referring to the Oneness of Allah, and a secular one.

Abdulaziz al-Salameh “Abu Juma’a” was a honey trader before launching his rebellion.

“He’s strong, he’s fighting for us, he’s part of us,” said Mustafa Qassem, 20, an FSA man guarding, from no one, a junction in town. “Abu Juma’a was famous for his honey, and we respect him. He is very pious.”

Another Anadan native is Abu Juma’a’s cousin, Abdulrahman al-Salameh, who heads a battalion of the Jubhat al-Nusra, a much more radical Islamist brigade which denies frequent reports that it is allied to al-Qaeda.

The regime’s tactics may be intended to scare the province into submission, the tactic which worked for Hafez al-Assad for so long. But it may just have engendered a reckless, religious, do-or-die bravery.

Out of Anadan’s silence, there came a sudden clanking and roaring. There were no regime tanks for miles, but a gun-turret suddenly poked its nose into the square. Bouncing down the road was a captured Russian T55, belching black smoke out of one corner and lurching forwards with difficulty on its half-repaired tracks.

Four young FSA men cheered from its top as it disappeared into the distance, an appropriately Mad Max-style breaking of the silence.

That tank was never going to liberate Damascus, but the MiGs won’t tame Aleppo on their own either. The betting must be on more attrition, more flight, more emptied towns before this is over.

With war, Syrians in constant flight
By BEN HUBBARD | Associated Press

KAFAR HAMRA, Syria (AP) — Civil war has chased Fatima Ghorab and her brood of some two dozen women and children across Syria in search of safe havens that keep disappearing in the booms of artillery shells. They now shelter in an unfinished apartment in this Aleppo suburb, crowded into two rooms with a few plastic chairs and some thin mattresses. If their neighbors didn’t bring them bread, they’d have none.

As her daughters and daughters-in-law and their kids tuck into a simple lunch of tomatoes and cucumbers, canned meat and apricot jam, the 56-year-old housewife from Damascus struggles to comprehend what has become of her life.

“Before all this we were living well,” said Ghorab, whose family ran a supermarket in the capital until it and their home were torched during a government attack on rebels.

“Our house was full and our shop was full. Now we’re 100 degrees below zero.”

CBS News: Assad’s Aleppo backers abandon him, some shift support, cash to rebels in risky gamble
2012-08-23, By Tucker Reals, Khaled Wassef(CBS News)

(CBS News) LONDON – Eighteen months after anti-Assad street protests spiraled into all-out civil war, sources inside Aleppo tell CBS News that many of the business leaders, scholars and other prominent figures in Syria’s largest city, who have backed President Bashar Assad and his family for decades, no longer see a future under his rule.

CBS News has learned that at least 48 of Aleppo’s elite, calling themselves the “Front of Aleppo Islamic Scholars” (FAIS) – which has a Facebook page established just last year – have hand-picked a provisional city council to take over Aleppo when Assad loses his grip on the country – and they are gambling on one of the many rebel groups fighting in the city to become its eventual protectors.

Turkey Discusses Syria Buffer Zone With U.S., Vatan Reports
2012-08-23, By Mark Bentley
Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) — Turkish officials will discuss with the U.S. the possibility of establishing a buffer zone inside Syria to enhance security for Turkey, Vatan reported.

The proposal will be raised at a meeting in Turkey’s capital Ankara today after an agreement between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to establish an “operational mechanism” with regard to Syria, the Istanbul-based newspaper said.

Gruesome killings mark escalation of violence in Syrian capital
by Liz Sly – Wash Post

ANTAKYA, Turkey — Scores of mutilated, bloodied bodies have been found dumped on the streets and on waste ground on the outskirts of Damascus in recent days, apparently the victims of a surge of extrajudicial killings by Syrian security forces seeking to drive rebel fighters out of the capital and its suburbs.

Safe Havens in Syria: Missions and Requirements for an Air Campaign
Brian T. Haggerty, July 2012, MIT

Capture the Flag: What the rebel banner says about Syria’s civil war.
BY SAMI MOUBAYED | AUGUST 6, 2012 – Foreign Policy

The next boat people; Syria’s Alawites may take to the sea, like the Vietnamese
By Lawrence Solomon, 2012-08-25

Aug. 25 (Financial Post) — If President Bashar al-Assad and his Alawite minority lose Syria’s civil war to the Sunni majority, as Western governments have predicted for more than a year now, the real bloodbath begins. The Sunnis, in revenge for four decades of often-murderous Assad family rule, are sure to seek retribution for the 20,000 brutally killed by Assad in the last 18 months; for the 10,000 wiped out by Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father, in a chemical-weapons massacre that put down a 1982 rebellion; and for the countless indignities and injustices throughout the period when the Alawite minority ruled over the Sunni majority.

Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists
So the rebels aren’t secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn’t much matter.

…. While there is sure to be regional spillover, it will cut mainly against Tehran. There will be tough times ahead for Lebanon, but ultimately the Assad regime’s death throes can only work against the Shiite Hezbollah movement. Iraq’s ruling Shiite leadership, hitherto sycophantic where Iranian interests are concerned, may find it necessary to distance itself from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s more unpopular Arab clients. With its own restive Sunni minority, Iran itself could be severely rattled by sectarian blowback. ….

Our revolution was civil and pluralistic
25 Aug 2012 Rami G. Khouri

Mass demonstrations in Tahrir Square and street battles in Syria form the dramatic heart of the uprisings and revolutions that define many Arab lands these days, but the soul and the brain of the Arab world to come are being shaped in the epic battles now taking place to write new […]

Austin Tice: ‘It’s nice and all, but please quit telling me to be safe.’
– Journalist Austin Tice, who contributed articles to The Washington Post, is currently missing in Syria.
August 23 – Wash Post

The following was posted by Austin Tice on his Facebook page on July 25. It is republished here with the permission of his parents.

Syrian ex-radio star Honey al Sayed struggles with exile, her country’s fate
Radio host flees Syrian uprising
By Hannah Allam | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Never, ever say the word “revolution.”…

Amateur jihad tests Syrian rebel resources
ReutersBy Suleiman Al-Khalidi | Reuters

ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – Talal Mohammad is a long way from Tennessee, and he’s out of his depth.

In an olive grove a few miles from the frontlines of Aleppo, he’s at a loss to explain to a battle-hardened bunch of Syrian rebels what exactly this prosperous, U.S.-trained Saudi dentist is doing there – and what he can offer to their cause.

“Why have you come?” asked one of his new comrades, sharply, as they shared a traditional evening meal, the iftar to break the Ramadan fast, in the twilight of a makeshift training camp.

“Don’t get us wrong,” the man adds quickly, anxious to show due respect to a guest at this solemn ritual of shared faith in Islam. “We appreciate your solidarity. But if you’d brought us money and weapons, that would have been much better.”

Syrians’ war to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad seems to be drawing ever greater numbers of fellow Arabs and other Muslims to the battlefield, many driven by a sense of religious duty to perform jihad, a readiness to suffer for Islam

Writing, Revolution, and Change in Syria: An Interview with Nihad Sirees
Aug 23 2012 by Yusuf Akkawi (trans. by Max Weiss) – Jadilyya

Syrie: rempart de Bachar el-Assad, les Alaouites sont aussi ses otages – par Catherine Goueset
23 août 2012, By

Comments (172)

Citizen said:

Syrian Envoy: Syria Capable of Destroying Israeli Nuclear Sites With 20 Missiles
Says Action Would Be Taken Only if Attacked First
Syrian Ambassador to Jordan Bahjat Suleiman has warned in an interview earlier this week that Syria is prepared to attack Israel’s nuclear weapons facilities in retaliation for any Israeli attack, and that he believes the sites could be destroyed with just 20 missiles.
“What the Zionists have, nuclear weapons-wise, could cause us major casualties should they attack Syria. In contrast, we could cause massive losses to their nuclear facilities and we wouldn’t need more than 20 missiles,” Suleiman told a press delegation.

Suleiman reportedly went on to say that Syria would never be the one to start a war with Israel, but that they would “not stand idly by” if attacked. Israeli officials raised the possibility of attacking Syria and trying to capture their chemical weapons and most advanced conventional weapons last month.

Though it does not publicly acknowledge them, Israel is known to have a significant arsenal of nuclear weapons. The exact size of this arsenal is not known, but is estimated to include a few hundred warheads.

August 25th, 2012, 2:36 pm


Aldendeshe said:


August 25th, 2012, 3:45 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Class Struggle

What we have to give them now? Syria is dry bone, there is nothing to give anymore. The Baathists confiscated our land our real estate’s our farms and agri-business without any compensation and gave it to them for free, confiscated out businesses and industries and used it for 5 decades to keep prices low for the s*cu^m class, the lower class stole our homes and the rest of our livelihood and we were thrown out of the country after spending years listening to their incessant socialist Baathist chants about the Glorious Baathism, Land ownership is only for those that dig it, schools are for the working class and farmers.

Hope their suffering is compounded and lengthened by their greed’s and ignorance. After doing all that to us Syrians Nobilities, they made a bloody revolution and partnered with the same Baathists that robbed them and Syria.

August 25th, 2012, 3:47 pm


Syrian Natonalist Party said:

Banks owned or controlled by the Rothschilds.

This will surprise you, but it is in fact related to what is happening in the Islamic World, so called “Arab Spring” this is really what is all about, the missing country names on the list:

Bank For International Settlements (BIS)
Afghanistan: Bank of Afghanistan
Albania: Bank of Albania
Algeria: Bank of Algeria
Argentina: Central Bank of Argentina
Armenia: Central Bank of Armenia
Aruba: Central Bank of Aruba
Australia: Reserve Bank of Australia
Austria: Austrian National Bank
Azerbaijan: Central Bank of Azerbaijan Republic
Bahamas: Central Bank of The Bahamas
Bahrain: Central Bank of Bahrain
Bangladesh: Bangladesh Bank
Barbados: Central Bank of Barbados
Belarus: National Bank of the Republic of Belarus
Belgium: National Bank of Belgium
Belize: Central Bank of Belize
Benin: Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)
Bermuda: Bermuda Monetary Authority
Bhutan: Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan
Bolivia: Central Bank of Bolivia
Bosnia: Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana: Bank of Botswana
Brazil: Central Bank of Brazil
Bulgaria: Bulgarian National Bank
Burkina Faso: Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)
Burundi: Bank of the Republic of Burundi
Cambodia: National Bank of Cambodia
Cameroon: Bank of Central African States
Canada: Bank of Canada – Banque du Canada
Cayman Islands: Cayman Islands Monetary Authority
Central African Republic: Bank of Central African States
Chad: Bank of Central African States
Chile: Central Bank of Chile
China: The People’s Bank of China
Colombia: Bank of the Republic
Comoros: Central Bank of Comoros
Congo: Bank of Central African States
Costa Rica: Central Bank of Costa Rica
Côte d’Ivoire: Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)
Croatia: Croatian National Bank
Cuba: Central Bank of Cuba
Cyprus: Central Bank of Cyprus
Czech Republic: Czech National Bank
Denmark: National Bank of Denmark
Dominican Republic: Central Bank of the Dominican Republic
East Caribbean area: Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
Ecuador: Central Bank of Ecuador
Egypt: Central Bank of Egypt
El Salvador: Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea: Bank of Central African States
Estonia: Bank of Estonia
Ethiopia: National Bank of Ethiopia
European Union: European Central Bank
Fiji: Reserve Bank of Fiji
Finland: Bank of Finland
France: Bank of France
Gabon: Bank of Central African States
The Gambia: Central Bank of The Gambia
Georgia: National Bank of Georgia
Germany: Deutsche Bundesbank
Ghana: Bank of Ghana
Greece: Bank of Greece
Guatemala: Bank of Guatemala
Guinea Bissau: Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)
Guyana: Bank of Guyana
Haiti: Central Bank of Haiti
Honduras: Central Bank of Honduras
Hong Kong: Hong Kong Monetary Authority
Hungary: Magyar Nemzeti Bank
Iceland: Central Bank of Iceland
India: Reserve Bank of India
Indonesia: Bank Indonesia
Iran: The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Iraq: Central Bank of Iraq
Ireland: Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland
Israel: Bank of Israel
Italy: Bank of Italy
Jamaica: Bank of Jamaica
Japan: Bank of Japan
Jordan: Central Bank of Jordan
Kazakhstan: National Bank of Kazakhstan
Kenya: Central Bank of Kenya
Korea: Bank of Korea
Kuwait: Central Bank of Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan: National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic
Latvia: Bank of Latvia
Lebanon: Central Bank of Lebanon
Lesotho: Central Bank of Lesotho
Libya: Central Bank of Libya
Lithuania: Bank of Lithuania
Luxembourg: Central Bank of Luxembourg
Macao: Monetary Authority of Macao
Macedonia: National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia
Madagascar: Central Bank of Madagascar
Malawi: Reserve Bank of Malawi
Malaysia: Central Bank of Malaysia
Mali: Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)
Malta: Central Bank of Malta
Mauritius: Bank of Mauritius
Mexico: Bank of Mexico
Moldova: National Bank of Moldova
Mongolia: Bank of Mongolia
Montenegro: Central Bank of Montenegro
Morocco: Bank of Morocco
Mozambique: Bank of Mozambique
Namibia: Bank of Namibia
Nepal: Central Bank of Nepal
Netherlands: Netherlands Bank
Netherlands Antilles: Bank of the Netherlands Antilles
New Zealand: Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Nicaragua: Central Bank of Nicaragua
Niger: Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)
Nigeria: Central Bank of Nigeria
Norway: Central Bank of Norway
Oman: Central Bank of Oman
Pakistan: State Bank of Pakistan
Papua New Guinea: Bank of Papua New Guinea
Paraguay: Central Bank of Paraguay
Peru: Central Reserve Bank of Peru
Philippines: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Poland: National Bank of Poland
Portugal: Bank of Portugal
Qatar: Qatar Central Bank
Romania: National Bank of Romania
Russia: Central Bank of Russia
Rwanda: National Bank of Rwanda
San Marino: Central Bank of the Republic of San Marino
Samoa: Central Bank of Samoa
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency
Senegal: Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)
Serbia: National Bank of Serbia
Seychelles: Central Bank of Seychelles
Sierra Leone: Bank of Sierra Leone
Singapore: Monetary Authority of Singapore
Slovakia: National Bank of Slovakia
Slovenia: Bank of Slovenia
Solomon Islands: Central Bank of Solomon Islands
South Africa: South African Reserve Bank
Spain: Bank of Spain
Sri Lanka: Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Sudan: Bank of Sudan
Surinam: Central Bank of Suriname
Swaziland: The Central Bank of Swaziland
Sweden: Sveriges Riksbank
Switzerland: Swiss National Bank
Tajikistan: National Bank of Tajikistan
Tanzania: Bank of Tanzania
Thailand: Bank of Thailand
Togo: Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO)
Tonga: National Reserve Bank of Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago: Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia: Central Bank of Tunisia
Turkey: Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey
Uganda: Bank of Uganda
Ukraine: National Bank of Ukraine
United Arab Emirates: Central Bank of United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom: Bank of England
United States: Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Uruguay: Central Bank of Uruguay
Vanuatu: Reserve Bank of Vanuatu
Venezuela: Central Bank of Venezuela
Vietnam: The State Bank of Vietnam
Yemen: Central Bank of Yemen
Zambia: Bank of Zambia
Zimbabwe: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

August 25th, 2012, 4:10 pm


Tara said:

What was the price?  The freed hostage wore a tie bearing an image of the Turkish flag.  What was that about religious shiaa do not wear ties as ties are the work of evil?  Was that mentioned on SC somewhere?    

Syrian rebels release Lebanese hostage
HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press
Updated 12:31 p.m., Saturday, August 25, 2012

BEIRUT (AP) — Turkey on Saturday secured the release of one of 11 Shiite Lebanese hostages held for three months by Syrian rebels, a move that underlined Ankara’s growing influence in the Arab world. In Syria itself, activists reported the discovery of up to 50 bodies in a Damascus suburb stormed by government forces after heavy clashes this week.

Hussein Ali Omar, 60, crossed into Turkey after his release and later arrived in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, aboard a private Turkish jet.

“Our treatment (by the Syrian captors) was excellent and the Lebanese (hostages) are well,” said Omar.

He was dressed in a white shirt and a red tie bearing an image of the Turkish flag that he said he was wearing “in recognition of Turkey’s efforts to free me.”


August 25th, 2012, 5:15 pm


Tara said:

Syria: Cutting out the Middle Man
What hope for democracy after Assad?

It is especially difficult, when some like the late Prof. Elie Kedourie, believe that the Middle East do not have a genuinely Democratic tradition as understood by the West. Arguably, that is not the problem; with education, social media and advertising campaigns it can be learnt quickly. The problem that Syria faces and indeed the region, is the culture of Wasta.

Often Wasta is loosely translated as “cronyism” but it is more than that. One thing Wasta is not; is the corruption you might see in Damascus’ passport office, where a mustachioed officer blatantly accepts bribes for his services.  Rather, it is a way of behaving. For instance, if a man wants to marry, the last thing he should do is to approach the family directly and ask for the girl’s hand. Respect requires that he employs a Wasta or a Wasit, usually a family friend of standing, to go and have an informal ahwe, coffee, to sound the family out.  It protects both sides; it shows the suitor to be earnest, honourable and chivalric whilst deflecting any doubt about the girl’s virtue.
In the Syrian context the culture of Wasta has been employed masterfully. The regime has favoured its own and not just Alawites.  The Tlass, a Sunni family from Rastan with strong links to the Assad family, grew rich owning Syria’s largest publishing house, agri-business and swathes of real estate. The Assad regime deliberately promotes families loyal to them to keep power. It has created an inefficient bureaucracy designed to keep large number of Syrians in employment and beholden to the state as well as promoting party loyalists. In such a system, one has no choice but to resort to kinship ties and informal channels to achieve one’s ends. Moreover, the absence of a free press that cannot scrutinize appointments and the fact that the economy is closed means that Wasta in Syria flourishes. The consequences of Wasta then, reinforce patron-client relationships inimical to the democratic process.

In Lebanon which is ostensibly a democracy, Wasta has evolved into such sophisticated heights that it has become part of the political landscape. The Zu’ama system as it is known circumvents democracy. Leading patron families treat their local powerbase like little Medici landlords, they mobilize the support of their communities to further their political and thereby, their communal interests. Walid Jumblatt, inheritor of his father’s “socialist” PSP party, serves the interests of the Druze community. Saad Hariri, from a prominent Sunni family inherited his role following his father’s assassination. Fouad Siniora, the former Prime Minister owes his position partly to being chairman of Hariri’s holding company Group Mediterrané.
Any post-Assad government can, if the political will is there, change attitudes. Education, public broadcasting campaigns must continue. The provinces must be given a real stake in the country. There has to be a genuinely free press where transparency is demanded. At government level, the bureaucracy must be more streamlined. Employees must be qualified with hefty penalties for corruption. This combined with economic liberalization where companies inculcate corporate values, transparency and professionalism rather than the old boy network will certainly go a long way.
Overall though, not combating Wasta in the political sphere could result in Syria becoming another Lebanon or worse; where another leading family comes to power and governs for decades promoting their supporters followed by another cycle of violence and instability.


August 25th, 2012, 5:29 pm


Syrian Natonalist Party said:

A months-long CBC investigation, relying on interviews with multiple sources from inside the UN inquiry and some of the commission’s own records, found examples of timidity, bureaucratic inertia and incompetence bordering on gross negligence.

Among other things, CBC News has learned that:

Evidence gathered by Lebanese police and, much later, the UN, points overwhelmingly to the fact that the assassins were from Hezbollah, the militant Party of God that is largely sponsored by Syria and Iran. CBC News has obtained cellphone and other telecommunications evidence that is at the core of the case.

UN investigators came to believe their inquiry was penetrated early by Hezbollah and that that the commission’s lax security likely led to the murder of a young, dedicated Lebanese policeman who had largely cracked the case on his own and was co-operating with the international inquiry.

UN commission insiders also suspected Hariri’s own chief of protocol at the time, a man who now heads Lebanon’s intelligence service, of colluding with Hezbollah. But those suspicions, laid out in an extensive internal memo, were not pursued, basically for diplomatic reasons.

Read more by author:


August 25th, 2012, 5:37 pm



Everyday 1.800 new syrians are born. Assad’s provoked chaos is generating a death toll of 100 to 150 slaughtered people per day.

Since one of the essences of the Arab Spring is the demographic factor everyday we pass through the cause of the problem is bigger than the day before. Therefore Assad is going to leave anyway.

The fact that 50 % of the population is under 23 years old, explains, as Ehsani clearly exposed in a SC post, how this regime cannot by any mean guarantee social stability.

Everyday 1.800 syrians celebrate their 18 years. Most of them without a job, without money to marry and without any future expectations, specially now that the country is in war.

If 1.800 are born, and 150 die. The increase per day is 1.650 and the average age is fastly going down to 22 years old.

The disaster we are going to achieve will have monstruous dimensions and Assad will finally be ousted in one week or in one year. The demographic situation speaks clear.

August 25th, 2012, 5:49 pm


zoo said:

For the Syrian army, the towns and villages held by the rebels and abandoned by the civilians are easier preys to recapture.
For Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon the refugees are becoming a costly and potentially explosive crisis.
Therefore the international community, having hoped that the political opposition will grab the power away from the regime, then having hoped that the FSA will grab the power is now under a very heavy pressure to do something, thus the agitation in France, Turkey and the USA.
This maybe a turning point in the crisis as they may have to get involved directly and militarily.

Torrent of Syrian Refugees Strains Aid Effort and Region

International relief agencies reported an alarming increase in Syrian refugees on Friday, shattering calculations made by the United Nations and spreading fears that the violence in Syria is creating a broader humanitarian crisis that could further destabilize the Middle East.
But those forces also have dropped leaflets encouraging people to flee, especially from Aleppo, suggesting that Mr. Assad may be trying to use refugees to punish Syria’s neighbors, especially Turkey, a former Assad ally that turned on him as the repression in Syria worsened.

“It is a way for Assad to put pressure on Turkey,” said Ayman, a Syrian activist working with refugees at the Turkish border, who used only one name for security reasons. “He is seeking to destabilize Turkey.”

August 25th, 2012, 5:54 pm



Turkey must abandon Davutuglo’s zero problem policy with its neighbors and follow a more realistic one. There is no such world with zero problems and you should always be prepared to deal with problems.

In order to do so Turkish Government can study its own not too-distant past policies to find out how the Abdullah Ocalan’s affair was handled efficiently and resolved swiftly,


It is simply not befitting a country with the military power such as Turkey to be intimidated by such menial regime as that of the thugs of Damascus. The more Turkey seems hesitant to act the more the thugs of Damascus will behave belligerently.

August 25th, 2012, 6:04 pm


zoo said:

Libya Islamists let loose in their frenzy of destruction

Libya Islamists destroy Sufi shrines, library: military

ZLITAN, (Reuters) – Conservative Islamists blew up the tomb of a 15th century Sufi scholar and burned down a library in the Libyan city of Zlitan, a military official said on Saturday, the latest attacks on sites in the region branded idolatrous by some sects.

The attackers used bombs and a bulldozer to destroy a complex of shrines that included the tomb of Abdel Salam al-Asmar on Friday and ruined thousands of books at the Asmari Mosque library, said witnesses and Zlitan military council official Omar Ali.

Hardliners, many of them emboldened by the Arab Spring revolts, have targeted a number of sites belonging to Islam’s mystical Sufi tradition in Libya, Egypt and Mali over the past year.

August 25th, 2012, 6:06 pm


Tara said:

Some people are born without a conscience.  The images of childhood in Syria… 2 premature infants were killed when Hafiz stole their incubator in order for his monstrous son to survive and thousands of Syrian children are killed or wounded for the same monstrous son to hold on the chair and listen to iTunes. I do not hate Bashar. I just hold extreme deep contempt of this being that is indeed defines what a subhuman is.


August 25th, 2012, 6:08 pm


Tara said:

I think Turkey wants to act but is being restrained by the US. I think booting Obama after the election may change the current equation. More killing will be endured by the Syrian people until November. I just hope the FSA takes wise steps and does not commit suicidal acts until then. We need them after November..

August 25th, 2012, 6:13 pm



10 / 12. ZOO

You look proud of Assad achievements when you talk about villages deserted and people leaving massively to Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. This is Assad’s Syria. At the end it can be true because Assad will remain alone riding his chemical missiles.

Everytime I see one potential shabbiha It reminds me of the FUCXXXX images of Assad Disaster Junior in the rear windows of syrians cars. It used to say: Ouyoun Assad under an image of the melancholic vomitive leader.

Assad go to Qardaha and do it soon. Wait for us in Qardaha. All the political excrements inside of you will explosion and give fertlity to all lands from Lattakia to Tartous.

August 25th, 2012, 6:14 pm


zoo said:

Syrian Christians in 2-week blockade by rebel fighters, residents desperate
Published: 25 August, 2012, 17:01

An estimated 12,000 people have spent two weeks blockaded in the Christian town of Rableh, Syria, near Homs in the south. Experiencing a shortage of food and medical supplies, residents could not leave as rebel snipers were shooting at them.

­The town, close to the border with Lebanon, was liberated by Syrian government forces on Friday, according to Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen satellite channel. These reports are yet to be verified. Sixty militants were reportedly eliminated.

For about two weeks Syrian rebels maintained blockade of the mostly-Christian town, refusing entry to food and medical supplies, according to the Aid to the Church in Need Catholic charity, which tried to deliver supplies to the city.

“We have organized ourselves so we can stand by each other and we are sharing everything so we can survive. We need all the help we can get. Please help us,” a local priest told the Caritas, a Lebanon-based Catholic humanitarian organization, during a phone call from Rableh.

After a two-week blockade the basic necessities were reportedly running out in the town because the bridges around the settlement had been blown up and roads were made impassable.

Snipers were waiting for those who thought about leaving the town in search for food. Those who dared to leave in search for food were shot at. Three men who made attempts to leave the disaster zone were shot dead, informed the charity’s representative Father Waldemar Cislo from Beirut.

August 25th, 2012, 6:16 pm



16. zoo

Do not tell me you care too much about christians. They are syrians and consequently they aren’t worth a penny for the regime. And do not forget that 22.000.000 syrians are in a prison since 42 years. Not to mention millions of peasants who are being bombed right now in the region of Idlib, Daraa, Deir, Hama, Homs, etc.

August 25th, 2012, 6:22 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Everyday 1.800 syrians celebrate their 18 years. Most of them without a job, without money to marry and without any future expectations, specially now that the country is in war.

Syria’s education System is free up to PHD degree at Universities. So you have 1800 18/y.o high school grads every day. Who is stopping 1800 / 18 years old from getting to higher education, getting a job or starting a business daily? Is it the State job to create work, or is that the entrepreneurs and business person job to do so. Does the U.S. Government create Jobs or the corporate and business enterprises’?

Decide do you want a communist system or free enterprise. There are 2 problems here. Communism creates pencil shoving jobs, which Syria managed doing so up to the last possible day under Baathist Socialism. The other problem is that the very same class of people that supported Baathism and now failed hem, cannot rely on corporate or business venture in Syria to helps them get employment.

For one, the one capable of such ventures, lacking compensation and apologies for 50 years of transgression form the demanding class, will not invest in Syria or Syrians. For Second, rather than asking the government and presenting the issue to it to provide this remedies, they gone and supported a bloody, destructive revolution that will leave Syria and Syrians in much worse shape than they started with, and will further alienate and hinder any possible investment to create jobs in Syria. It is a strategy that you can call shouting yourself in the foot. But for the revolutionaries and the demanding class, it is more like shooting yourself in the heart in fact. They are dead; no one will come to help now.

August 25th, 2012, 6:25 pm


alexno said:

A lot of different reports, tending in different directions.

The Turkish report is quite clear that the Kurds are the most important for them, and not, for example, the Syrians of Antakya.

I used to think that the Syrians of Antakya were happy with their lot in Turkey (according to the Antakyan waiter in my local Turkish restaurant, who reported the views of his relatives), but now I’m beginning to wonder. With the confusion everywhere, the economic prosperity of Turkey may count less.

With regard to the Kurds, the nationalists have the clear aim of a super-Kurdish state. In Iraq they were advised by the Israelis, who had the intention of separating Kurdistan from Iraq. The nationalist aim has only been supported by the willingness of Asad to withdraw Syrian government controls from the Kurds.

So Erdogan is in a fix. His strong attitude against the Asad government is now matched with greater revolt in the Kurdish areas of Turkey.

Frankly he would have done better, from his own point of view, to have supported Asad.

August 25th, 2012, 6:28 pm


zoo said:


I think it is the other way around. Turkey is very hesitant as entering in a war may cause an internal political crisis. The turkish media show daily that Turks are not convinced at all about the necessity of a war that will have economic and social impact. In addition, the PKK will take advantage of that to hit even more Turkey. Nevertheless the influx of refugees is reaching dangerous levels and threatening both the economy and the social balance. Overall Turkey is in a serious mess.

For that reasons Turkey wants a Western coalition and NATO to participate in the invasion. It is clear that the USA will never start a new adventure in the region after Iraq, whether before or after the elections. They prefer that Europe takes the lead with the financial resources of Qatar and KSA since EU is bankrupt and Syria presents no future economical advantages like Libya did.
Therefore, with the lack of enthusiasm of the EU, it may take months before they agree on a unilateral coalition and build it.

In the meantime, the refugee crisis is growing, the Syrian army did not collapse, the economy seems to hold, the defections are scarce and the rebels are loosing ground.
Ironically the pressure on the “Friend of Syria” is growing at a faster rate than on the Syrian government.
Ibrahimi may soon appear as the savior…

August 25th, 2012, 6:37 pm



18. Aldendeshe

Was it not for the corruption in the syrian administration and for the closure to all foreign investments Syria would be a much more developed country today, with a lot of cheap young labour hands.

In 1996 Riad Seif tried to open a 4.000 workers company in Daraa. Administration denied the permission alegedly for being too near to Israel. The real cause was that officials asked too much money for giving any permission to any bussinessmen. Specially when Seif was an independent brand new elected memebr of Parliament and got the largest number of votes in Rif Dimashq and showed reformist tendencies. At the end of the story Seif lost his son killed by the moukhabaraat at Cote s’ Azur Cham Hotel in Lattakia.

After him hundreds of bussinessmen tried to make bussiness and found denial of permissions for hundreds of new enterprises. Not to mention all foreign companies that were invited to Damascus for investment but always failed because of the lack of legal guarantees.

August 25th, 2012, 6:44 pm


alexno said:

re 20

“Turkey is very hesitant as entering in a war may cause an internal political crisis. The turkish media show daily that Turks are not convinced at all about the necessity of a war that will have economic and social impact.”

It is not only that. Even the current events are having their effect in Turkey. A new offensive by the PKK in Eastern Turkey. The declaration of independence by the region of Semdinli (? on the form of the name)

August 25th, 2012, 6:58 pm



Kurds should take care and take sides with Assad. They always chose the wrong side.

August 25th, 2012, 7:00 pm


Norman said:

The tide is too high in Syria to save the minorities from the wrath of the Sunni and Turkey will not be able to do that, I do not see mature figures, except Manaa that can be trusted by the minorities to keep Syria as whole, and with hid moderate stands, i do not think he has a chance, Syria will end up divided, for self preservation of it’s people, as i see no sense of Nationhood in Syria .

August 25th, 2012, 7:04 pm


Tara said:


I disagree.  I think it would not take much to topple the regime.  All what it would take is to provide quality weapons and a partial no fly zone along with loosening the borders for more arms and perhaps targeting the regime mode of communication.  

The regime is handful of murderers who are
controlling the country.  Once the masses see that the balance of powers tips towards the revolution, the whole non-Alawi officers and conscripts will defect.  The army will disintegrate except for the Republican Guards and the Forth Brigade.  Additionally the Sunni business class will swiftly defect and cry Bilroh Bildam instantaneously but this time for the revolution.  They know no loyalty except to their pockets.  The economy will not last additional year without complete collapse.  The regime will not be able to pay the public servants in a year from now unless by a miracle.   The
reserve went down from 17 bill to 8 in a year and half and will be down to nothing in a year from now.
In reality, it can not look any more grimmer for

August 25th, 2012, 7:09 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Specially when Seif was an independent brand new elected memebr of Parliament and got the largest number of votes in Rif Dimashq and showed reformist tendencies. At the end of the story Seif lost his son killed by the moukhabaraat at Cote s’ Azur Cham Hotel in Lattakia.

I know more about Seif than you do, in fact one of my menswear textile company did business with one of his. So are you asking me to have sympathy for a Mafia insider who built his enterprices from Baathist State support during Syria’s economic rush, the (weapons for goods) barter deal signed with the Soviet Union.

Serving in the Parliament. That is an illegal front. He should be tried and cnovicted for being an accessory front, aiding and abetting a Baathist Mafia. I have no sympathy for this criminal and I regret sending monthly payments for goods imported to his Beirut Bank account for couple of years.

August 25th, 2012, 7:09 pm


Visitor said:

Turkey will soon come up with its own security policy that is not dependent on the dictates of a distant and sometimes uninterested US administration. The AKP is the most popular political party in Turkey and it can easily win another mandate. Most of the Turkish people support Erdogan’s policy regarding the Syrian Revolution and they would be happy to go to war if their government made the decision to do so. The Turkish people feel they have a lot in common, ethnically, culturally and religously with the Syrian people and they would like to see them rid of this abominal regime of murderers. The handful of noisy Turkish leftist radicals who often voice criticism of the Erdogan’s government have no real popular following and their criticism does not take into consideration Turkey’s higher interests. It is mere politicking in a desperate attempt to erode the popular support of the AKP.

Those who criticize the Turkish government based on the ill-perceived notion that the government is seeking to impose a neo-Ottoman order do not understand the transformations that have been taking place in the area since the onset of the retrogression unleashed by the ill-conceived Khomeinist designs by his so-called revolution that are still carried out by his pupils in Qom. Khomeini made it clear he wants to rule the Muslim world and his Qom henchmen are actively seeking that goal, even though it is obvious to the novice that it is not realizable.

Hence, the zero problem policies of mr. Davutuglo were I’ll-conceived to begin with. Any cursory reading of the last 700-800 years of Turkish/Iranian history would immediately recognize the conflicting nature of their relationship. The arena where this conflict expressed itself was in the fertile crescent. Up till the present time the Iraqis always identify themselves as either of Persian or Turkic belonging depending on the area of jurisdiction they belonged to. Syria, Lebanon and Palestine were always under exclusive Turkish jurisdiction. But the evil Designs of the Khomeinists is seeking to encroach upon that and extend their reach to the Mediterranean shores. No Turkish government, secular or otherwise can sit idle and allow that to happen. In fact the Secularists are the least equipped to deal with this threat coming from the east since a secularists do not usually have the ideological resolve to deal with an ideologically motivated regime as the that of the mullahs.

What Erdogan needs to do is to roll out a Turkish division and take over the Syrian coast all the way to the Lebanese border. This will cut off any retreat lines that the thugs are planning for their eventual defeat and hole them up in Damascus, dispelling any dreams of establishing a midget statelet. That will allow the Damascenes to deal with them and route them up completely. Erdogan can then secure the central cities and the Eastern region by rolling out two or three more Turkish divisions.

Once the coast is secured the Kurds and the thugs occupying Damascus will cower down like chicken as they know then that their days are numbered.

Iranian mullahs can then go to hell and lick their wounds and realize once and for all that their Khomeini dreams are not realizable.

August 25th, 2012, 7:53 pm


Visitor said:

FSA planning daring operations in the coming days and confirms possession of advanced weapons. It is in control of 80% of Syrian territory.


The regime is on its way to the dustbin of history. Have no doubts about it.

August 25th, 2012, 7:59 pm


Ghufran said:

Regardless of who ends up occupying the presidential palace in Damascus, rebuilding Syria and reuniting the country,assuming that it was united, will be a daunting task, that task can not be achieved if the armed opposition stays in the lead, we need moderate and wise patriots who put syria’s national interests above revenge, Syria does not have oil or hundred of billions of dollars in foreign banks, those of you who think that the GCC and the international community will be rushing in to provide help and loans are daydreaming, what is wanted now is a fractured country with a weak government that can not govern, insisting on excluding a large chunk of the Syrian society from taking parts in Syria’s future after Assad will lead to a new and bloody insurgency that can take decades to control, I am amazed at how simple and weak some of the arguments I see here are,suddenly all Syrians have become experts in military affairs and nation building, I guess that living in the west and owning a nice computer with a fast DSL is enough to make AIRs ( accidental Internet revolutionists) feel qualified to pass a judgement on the critical issues that face Syria now and in the future.

August 25th, 2012, 8:08 pm


Tara said:


أكد قائد الجيش السوري الحر العقيد رياض الأسعد ان النظام في سورية ما كان ليلجأ إلى الإغارة بسلاح الجو على “المدن والمناطق الآهلة بالمدنيين والعزل، لولا فقدانه السيطرة على الأرض ويقينه ان دباباته ومدافعه الثقيلة وكل آلته العسكرية أضعف من أن تُركّع الشعب وتغتال فيه إرادة الخروج الى الحرية، مشيرا الى انه وبالرغم من شراسة وضراوة ووحشية القصف الجوي للحارات في حلب ودمشق ومعظم المدن والمناطق السورية فإن «الجيش السوري الحر» سينفذ خلال الأيام القادمة عمليات عسكرية نوعية تلهب الأرض تحت أقدام من تبقى من أركان النظام الذي فاق بوحشيته وسفكه لدماء الأبرياء والأحرار الخيال البشري.”

Visitor, have Ryad Asaad forecast come through? Did he elude in the past to the bombing of the inner circle in Damascus? I do not remember. If he did, then we may be up to another qualitative operations to get rid of the rest of the inner circle.

August 25th, 2012, 8:17 pm


zoo said:


Easy said than done.
To do “a partial no fly zone” Turkey needs to invade militarily part of Syria, bomb Syrian army air defense system and then protect its troops with its aviation.
Turkey has already tested the capability of the Syrian air defense and its plane was shot down in a matter of seconds after violating the air space. Turkey would take serious risks if it confronts Syria’s air defence that will retaliate immediately on any plane entering its territory. Without NATO, Turkey can’t do much and exposes itself to being bombed: Turkey does not have a modern Air Defense System, they are in the process of acquiring one.
Secondly Turkish public opinion will create internal problems if a war is declared,a s the booming Turkish economy will immediately be affected. The PKK will take advantage of the situation to make more attacks on the North-East
In addition the UN security council will not be able to condone such action as it did in Libya, therefore any country attacking Syria will be in breach of international laws.

The only solution is to provoke Syria into attacking Turkey, then Turkey will act in self defense and NATO will be obliged to intervene.
Otherwise, it will be like Iraq… a unilateral Bush-like “coalition of the willing” with not much spoils to share. Who are the candidates ready to get involved militarily except France and Turkey?
Now your points:
Why would the Syrian army desintegrate when it is winning?
Russia will help financially Syria as long it needs, now that Syria can sell its oil.
The prediction of the collapse of the economy is a recurrent argument but it does not seem to happen, the Syrian Pound has stabilized and overall there are less electricity cut than in Lebanon. Factories in Damascus and part of Aleppo work normally, I have not heard of salaries not paid, have you?

I am waiting to see the result of both the NAM meeting and the opposition meeting in Cairo if anything will come out as a hope for a solution other than the elusive ‘ no fly zone’

August 25th, 2012, 8:24 pm



30 TARA,

I recall that he did claim responsibility for the Damascus bombing. I also recall posting that claim here on SC.

August 25th, 2012, 8:26 pm


zoo said:

We have a real war strategist on board.
I hope Erdogan and his staff reads avidly SC so they can get the inspiration from these brilliant ideas.
Let’s see if this Turkish division coming to picnic in the Syrian coast will be able to get back home safe when they will showered by Syria aviation.

I am keeping that prediction among the ‘pearls’ of SC. It may win the contest.

August 25th, 2012, 8:35 pm



We have a zoo grad here on SC who thinks he is dealing with a banana republic.

Turkish air force is one of the largest in the world and can operate on any continent on this planet,


The bulk of Syrian air defenses consist mostly of soviet era SAM missiles that are useless against modern aircraft. The few modern SAMs are the only threat that can be easily neutralized.

Downing a 1960 era Phantom is hardly an achievement, but is enough to make a zoo-dweller feel the elation of an idiot. Where were you at al-Kabir?

Let’s wait and see what your anti aircraft toys can accomplish against the F-15s,16s and the 35s.

August 25th, 2012, 8:52 pm


Tara said:


I agree that Turkey will not do anything alone and I do not see Batta’s regime overtly instigating any defensive response by the NATO-backed Turkey. Additionally, I am not interested in foreign boots on Syrian land. I do hope for a NFZ similar to what was imposed on Saddam to protect the Kurds before the American invasion of Iraq. Did that require military invasion?

In regard to my other points, for a whole year and particularly every Thursday night, I would lose sleep worried the revolution is not sustainable in the face of the regime savagery. The revolution defies all predictions of failure. It had been 18 month and still going.. Defections are happening in masses. Most of those fighting the regime in the FSA are defected army conscripts and officers, civil servants, and ordinary citizen who have extraordinary courage not possessed by ordinary people. I might be mistaken but in my opinion it would take a little push in favor of the revolution for those of us who lack exceptional heroism to change course. Remember Tripoli? Tripoli was seemingly with Saddam until the day of his demise then the whole Tripoli was dancing on the streets..

August 25th, 2012, 8:54 pm


zoo said:

No Decision Yet on Turkish Air Defense Systems
Jul. 17, 2012 – 01:07PM |


ANKARA — Turkey’s highest defense procurement decision-makers failed July 17 to select a winner in the contest to provide the country’s Long Range Air and Missile Defense Systems, worth up to $4 billion.

Turkey has no long-range air defense systems.

August 25th, 2012, 9:07 pm


Tara said:

Zoo and Visitor,

A girl does not like to read insults and accusations

I know for a fact that both of you are very good people and both of you love Syria to intoxication. I am asking both of you please to avoid personalizing the discussion and to refrain from insults. It bother me tremendously to read your exchange. Please continue to debate each other but with a different tone.

August 25th, 2012, 9:12 pm


Visitor said:

35 TARA,

At this point in time I do not mind foreign boots in Syria particularly if they were to come from Turkey or Jordan. By the way did you notice comment #1? Do you know the objective of such empty boastful posturing of Syria being able to destroy Israel’s nukes with 20 missiles? This is typical menhebekji propaganda and the threat is meant for Jordan and not Israel. Are you familiar with the Arabic saying?الحكي الك يا جارة يا كنة اسمعي.
It cannot be more pathetic.

In my opinion such foreign boots could be useful and necessary for keeping Syria whole and not subject to the foolish designs of an idiotic regime of criminals that will not hesitate to create fragmentation and divisions.

August 25th, 2012, 9:14 pm


Visitor said:

37 TARA,

I do appreciate your concerns and those concerns are always my preferences,

But, I am a non- pacifist and wil always respond in measure of the same kind or higher depending on the situation.

There is zero-tolerance on my part for any slurs initiated by this bunch of menhebeks. I may show some tolerance to others of not this kind. But the zoo-likes will not benefit from any good will on my part. They have to retreat first or else it is open battle free for all.

August 25th, 2012, 9:21 pm


zoo said:

#35 Tara

The Kurdistan NFZ was created by France, the UK and the USA after the Gulf war and operation Desert Storm where Kuwait was liberated under a UNSC resolution. Saddam Hossein had lost the war and has no way of preventing these NFZ.
The UNSC resolution that did not explicitly authorize it. It was ‘interpreted’ by the coalition, the same way the UNSC resolution on Libya was ‘abused’.
You guess that this time neither Russia nor China will allow any such resolution to pass.
In addition Syrian air defense is still powerful enough to resist any attempt to control its air space unless Israel uses some methods to cripple the system.

Therefore the NFZ is far from imminent.

August 25th, 2012, 9:28 pm


Tara said:


Smart analysis in regard to #1. You’re right. It is meant to Jordan and other countries not to Israel. After all the rabbit of Golan would only sacrifice palestinians and Lebanese in his “resistance”.

Foreign physical intervention divided Iraq and did not unite it. I wish us a peaceful transition after the demise of Batta accomplished by our people without foreign boots. We won’t reach a meaningful democracy unless we ourselves effected the changes and footed the bill. Foreign physical help will come at a price and certain agenda.

August 25th, 2012, 9:29 pm


Visitor said:

41 TARA,

I hate to boast, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. I can read these menhebkjis like an open book even if I don’t see them face to face. I wish I have the time.

Reading what is not written on purpose in a text is my favorite hobby. Some call it reading between the lines. I call it reading the words that have been purposefully erased from the text.


The Iraq parallel does not apply to Syria. Syria is far more homogeneous than Iraq. In Syria all the minorities put together do not exceed 25% at best.

Iraq and Lebanon are evenly divided into three different groups. Hence they can be easily divided. Actually, everyone is afraid of the Syrian aftermath and how it will affect these countries and not the other way around.

August 25th, 2012, 9:40 pm


zoo said:

Intervention, no way.

By Jean Fleury, General, former Chief of Staff of the French Air Force
LE MONDE | 23.08.2012
But for aviation to destroy tanks or artillery threatening civilians, it must have the prior control of the sky, that is to say, knocked out air and ground batteries as well as enemy fighter planes.

In the case of Libya, it was not too difficult because the dictator’s Air Force had little operational and terrestrial means of defense and his airplanes were quickly destroyed.

For Syria, the song is not the same. Its Air force totals approximately 500 combat aircrafts, more than twice ours although some of them only are modern, yet the number and quality of a training directed to a possible war against Israel are a serious contender. We are not big enough to cope.

In June, when the Turks wanted to test the Syrian air defense (for any expert, this is evident in the review of published trajectories), the reaction was not long in coming, and the airplane was shot down. To overcome Bashar al-Assad today’s aviation, the whole American war machine must be used as well as the airports of Greece and Cyprus, or the Middle East. For Libya, it is our airforce who led the first raid of liberation of Benghazi. If U.S. assistance was essential for the continuation of the war, we have done no less than a quarter of the protection missions of the population threatened by Gaddafi, placing us at the forefront of the coalition.

Against Syria, we would be just a little extra strength under the orders from Washington, it would not be very glorious.

As for the no-fly zone demanded by others, it raises exactly the same problem as for destroying Syria’s plane it would require a mastery of the sky even more perfect!

It seemed surprising that this view has not been discussed further in France. But there is a good reason for this: it would recognize the weakness of our military aviation.


August 25th, 2012, 9:47 pm


Tara said:

CNN) — At least 330 people were reported dead Saturday in Syria, marking the highest single-day death toll since the start of the uprising, according to opposition activists. With one week left to go, August is already the deadliest month. Here are some of the other key developments on the crisis that is spiraling out of


Saturday’s death toll includes the bodies of more than 200 people that were found in and around Damascus, namely Daraya, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists. It was unclear when those victims

Prior to Saturday, the single bloodiest day was reported on July 12. At least 287 people were killed then, including 220 in Hama province, according to the LCC.
Davutoglu added, “No regime fighting its own people can survive long. (The al-Assad regime) has months, and maybe even weeks — not years.”

August 25th, 2012, 9:59 pm


Ghufran said:

Can anybody tell me what is a “pacifist” ?
I was skimming through the comments and I found this on # 39
Turkey will only intervene with the blessing of NATO, that blessing requires silent approval from Russia or a timid opposition, the key is Russia, I still think an attack by Turkey is very unlikely but the Turks may be able to justify some retaliatory measures if they lose more soldiers on the hands of PKK, however,keeping boots on the ground or imposing a no fly zone is a different story. Without a decisive move by the US, towards a deal or a war, things will not change much even if Bashar is out of the picture because armed anti regime forces will not stop at Bashar, they want to uproot the regime and install a new government that meets GCC demands and wins anti Iran western approval. Without engaging all elements of Syrian society in any future government ,that government will not survive and can not rule. The childish talk about 75% of Syrians dominating the remaining 25% is not just foolish,it is indicative of a dangerous mind set that is only suitable for groups like the Talibans, this political filth will be flushed by most Syrians,especially Sunnis.

August 25th, 2012, 10:34 pm



“this political filth will be flushed by most Syrians”

You’re absolutely right!!!

Syrians will flush out the filth shoveled upon them by non-Syrians like the author of the above who is always eager to pontificate to Syrians what they should and should not do.

How stupid you think Syrians are?

August 25th, 2012, 10:50 pm



Every time I mention Jordan I hit an extremely sensitive nerve with our resident pontificator on this blog and get ‘graced’ by one of his extremely thoughtful sermons.

Anyone can extrapolate on this observation?

August 25th, 2012, 11:02 pm


Observer said:

Here what ZOO wrote

For the Syrian army, the towns and villages held by the rebels and abandoned by the civilians are easier preys to recapture.
For Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon the refugees are becoming a costly and potentially explosive crisis.
Therefore the international community, having hoped that the political opposition will grab the power away from the regime, then having hoped that the FSA will grab the power is now under a very heavy pressure to do something, thus the agitation in France, Turkey and the USA.
This maybe a turning point in the crisis as they may have to get involved directly and militarily.

Now is this the work of a legitimate regime and government. It is clear that ZOO has no concern for the life of a human being unless it is from within the inner circle of the regime. It is clear he is willing to kill in the millions to preserve this regime.

Pray tell me in what name and for what ideology?

Yet we see he is concerned about Christians reported being surrounded and yet this army of his that he claims will defeat the largest NATO army the Turkish one cannot liberate these surrounded Christians.

I said before I start by reading RT and Press tv and Al manar and Al mayaddeen and the Syrian TV and then to the rest of the news for I can tell when there is delusion and denial and panic and fear.

LEt us see what the NAM meeting will deliver.

August 25th, 2012, 11:04 pm


Observer said:

ZOO how many pilots do you really think that the regime can trust to fly and not defect?

The use of training planes is because it has two pilots one from the security services to insure that the pilot does not defect and the others are exclusively from the Alawi sect unfortunately.

Also, less than 100 cruise missiles will make mince meat of the entire Syrian Air Force defenses and radar sites.

If a military intervention is in the offing, Russia cannot do a damn thing.

Now go read Iranian press because Syria has disappeared entirely from the Russian Press and therefore the only lifeline left is the one with Iran. Russia has acquiesced to the demise of Freddo and is trying to preserve some elements of the regime, the IRGC on the other hand are more adamant about salvaging the regime from the brink but even that will not do.

This the tragedy for Iran and Russia as I said before are not inherently against the Arab cause and the Palestinian’s right of return and it did not have to be that way. But alas the two are run by autocrats.

Now look at Morsi as he is moving ahead with a clear independent policy with a trip to China with 75 Business people and is going to Tehran as fully equal member that can tell Tehran what it does not want to hear, and he has moved Egyptian troops to the Sinai and is not even bothering to tell Bibi about it and is opening Rafah crossing once and for all without a by your leave from the US.

Is this the ” Western American Zionist” conspiracy that the Arab Spring has been labeled with?

August 25th, 2012, 11:29 pm


zoo said:

I guess Observer is waging a war against anybody who does not agree that Syria should be divided according to religious and ethnic groups in order to spare the killing.
A typical defeatist and arrogant attitude

His despise and low esteem for Syrians is such that he thinks they’ll can’t live together because they are primitive people and they’ll be happier when divided and weaker so they can become the puppets for the richer and powerful.

I am humbled when I realize his noble concerns about the Syrians.

August 25th, 2012, 11:39 pm


zoo said:

The Syria WMD obsession is hitting the USA, not the humanitarian concern

Romney ready to attack Assad

Published: 25 August, 2012, 09:15

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney is echoing Obama’s earlier statements, saying he is ready for a military intervention in Syria if chemical weapons are used by the Assad government.

­”I think we have to also be ready to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that we do not have any kind of weapon of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists and whether that requires troops, or whether that requires other actions by our friends and allies,” Romney said in an interview with CBS News. He added that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are already active in the region.

August 25th, 2012, 11:44 pm


Ghufran said:

قال الصحفي التركي يدعى آدم أوزكوسة، الذي تعرض للخطف قبل أشهر في سوريا، إن هناك 50 مقاتلاً تركياً في ضواحي مدينة حلب السورية يقاتلون ضد قوات نظام بشار الأسد.
وأضاف أوزكوسة، لصحيفة «حريت» التركية، السبت، أنه قتل أربعة مقاتلين أتراك في سوريا بعد دخولهم في اشتباكات عنيفة ضد قوات الأسد»، مشيرا إلى أن «هناك مقاتلين في سوريا من جنسيات مختلفة منهم أردنيون، شيشانيون، لبنانيون، سودانيون مع عدد آخر من الدول المسلمة.
As far as we can see, a military option against Syria is still an idea with very few backers, it is hard to see this idea goes beyond press conferences ,at least for the time being.
Iran is reportedly trying to circulate a ” solution” that does not include the resignation of Bashar, if that is true,Iran’s solution will be dead on arrival,even the least agressive among opposition groups wants Assad to depart,not to mention many loyalists who see him as a liability.

August 25th, 2012, 11:51 pm


zoo said:

On its last day of chairing the UNSC…

France to chair UN Security Council meeting on Syria


France will chair a ministerial meeting of UN Security Council members on Aug. 30 that will focus mainly on the humanitarian situation in Syria and in neighbouring countries, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

“By bringing together its Security Council partners, France wants to demonstrate its support for the Syrian people, its growing worries about regional stability and its attachment to a transition toward a democratic, pluralistic system,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

France holds the month-long rotating chairmanship of the UN Security Council.

August 25th, 2012, 11:57 pm


Aldendeshe said:

The sign of block thumb downs will only brings pleasure to me to see the level of desperation and anger you feel, even better I made you feel. I don’t know who you are, but it is irrelevant, you are the vile enemy of mine and I am happy you are so dissatisfied. The larger the thumb down block the more pleasures bring to my heart. I only wish I can say things on this blog, expressing my utmost repulsion of you and your feelings multitude more than each and every thumb down you agonized with, I know you can’t read, that is the sad part, I wish you did, it will hurt you more. Wish I am allowed to say true words of my heart that will force you to leave a block or 10k thumb down. Only then will I may feel satisfied. But for now, I will prey that you looooooooooooooooooooooosers just face the pre-determined end that is coming to you from the foundation of god’s plan to end evil once and for all. NO SHALOM, WAR TILL END OF TIME. THAT IS YOUR DESTINY. THAT IS GOD PLAN FOR YOU.

August 26th, 2012, 12:01 am



Record number of refugees flooded neighboring countries in the last week.


I am more inclined now to believe that some kind of incursion into Syria is imminent. I also believe it will be a two-pronged incursion one from the north and another one from the south.

I am bracing myself for another sermon from our resident pontificator now that I once again mentioned the J word.

Again, there is a good embedded video to watch in the above link

August 26th, 2012, 12:12 am


zoo said:

#52 Ghufran

I doubt Iran will be black and white about Bashar’s fate. They know it would be a dead deal.
Yet, they appear to have some contacts within the Syrian opposition, possibly the Syrian Moslem Brotherhood through their friendship with Hamas or through Turkey and possibly with the Kurds.
Iran could become closer to the MB if Egypt reestablishes diplomatic relation, then Bashar would become irrelevant to them.

Maybe they will re-introduce the US idea of Bashar “stepping aside” if the principle of a ceasefire is accepted by both side, as they seem optimist about its possibility.
This would allow the creation of a working group under Qadri’s leadership and start the process of the dialog. This may take months, but it would be a first step.
We’ll know soon if there are reasons to hope.

August 26th, 2012, 12:17 am


Ghufran said:

أكد المفكّر السوري الرئيس السابق للمجلس الوطني برهان غليون في دراسة خاصة أعدها لمعهد العربية للدراسات والتدريب أن سورية ستواجه أزمة في مرحلة ما بعد سقوط الرئيس بشار الأسد، نظراً لغياب قيادة سياسة فعالة بين صفوف المقاومة، ما يؤشر على احتمال سقوط البلاد في الفوضى.
ويناقش غليون في هذه الدراسة حزمة الإجراءات التي يقترحها لمواجهة مرحلة ما بعد الأسد.
I read the study, do not waste your time.

August 26th, 2012, 12:26 am


zoo said:

#57 Gufran

Is Ghaliun posing the SNC as the unique savior?

August 26th, 2012, 12:30 am


zoo said:

Iran: NAM Meeting to Commence on Sunday


The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting in Tehran will be commenced in expert-level on Sunday.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast announced on Saturday that more than eighty countries will attend the NAM gathering in the foreign minister and higher level in the 16th NAM summit. The Nam summit agenda includes political, international, social and economic topics. Almost 50 countries will participate in the senior level including the presidents, kings and prime ministers and thirty countries in foreign minister level.

The NAM is the second greatest international body after the UN General Assembly that can have remarkable influence in international decision-making, he said.

Iran is to assume the three-year rotating presidency of NAM in Tehran’s summit, he said and expressed hope that the international movement will do the best of its ability by the innovations and measures during this time.

The security of the summit is the highest priority of the country and Iran is completely prepared to establish security, he said.

Mehmanparast also referred to the final document of the summit comprised of 3 chapters and 688 articles saying it includes different political topics in regional and international domains including Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also announced that Tehran will raise a comprehensive proposal over the Syrian conflict on the sidelines of the summit to discuss it with the countries that are committed to the peaceful resolve of the issue.

When asked about Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s presence in the summit, he explained,” as the host of the meeting we are required to invite all of the members and the acting Palestinian Authority (PA) chief, Mahmoud Abbas has been invited as the official representative of Palestinians.”

Iran has also invited special guests and will inform the media about their presence after it is finally affirmed whether they will attend the meeting, he said.

Meanwhile, about Turkish President Abdullah Gul he noted, Turkey as a NATO member can not hold NAM membership and was invited as a special gust but Gul will not participate in the summit because the Turkish Army Day will coincide with the event.

August 26th, 2012, 12:34 am


Son of Damascus said:

Leaked video of Shabi7a torturing civilians (which include young children) in Daraya.

(Graphic content)

Massacre committed with over 150 victims, also in Daraya.

(Graphic content)

August 26th, 2012, 12:41 am


Citizen said:

Remember this is only one small part of the New World Order’s Master Plan to take out at least 7 Islamic countries. This plan was first raised by that evil satanic Zionist – Paul Wolfwitz almost 20 years ago and clearly shows their intention to protect Israel by attempting to divide and conquer adjacent countries……..unfortunately for them things are not now going so well and their empire is about to lose its stranglehold of world dominance………there is a new power emerging and I know who they are…..time will tell.

Why Syria will not fall

August 26th, 2012, 2:17 am


Visitor said:

“Why Syria will not fall”

Who said Syria will fall?


It is the criminal Nazi thugs occupying Syria that will fall.

August 26th, 2012, 2:29 am


Visitor said:

I hope that these locally made systems will meet Zoo’s specifications in terms of range and accuracy,

I particularly like this also locally made hell raising machine that could be put to excellent use in chasing your thugs up in the mountains,

How many MI 24’s your thug still has? Quite few were shot down already. You know?

August 26th, 2012, 3:02 am



Head of Air force Intelligence General Jamil Hassan is liquidated by FSA,


Jamil Hassan is famous for his request from criminal thug Athad to allow him to kill 1000000 Syrians and then he would be willing to go to Lahai instead of his boss.

August 26th, 2012, 4:24 am


Altair said:

In response to the article about “the next boat people”, I would like to reiterate that the further partition of Syria (the first partition being the one in 1919-1920 into the 4 or 5 states we have today) should be absolutely opposed. I don’t know who Lawrence Solomon is, but I suspect his motives are not humanitarian. Rather he or his backers probably seek to permanently weaken and disable Syria.

So, for the sake of “saving” the Alawis from being a burden to the West, and costing huge amounts of money to resettle them, the West should carve out a new state. Does anyone remember the last two experiments in carving out new states?

Let’s take Israel. How’s that working out? Is there any prospect for peace on the horizon between Israel and its neighbors? It’s been 64 years of disaster. In this case the boats came from the opposite direction too, from the Western countries carrying Jewish refugees. Ironic, isn’t it? It then created new refugees, the Palestinians, to be accommodated in another new state, Transjordan.

Let’s take Lebanon. Is that working out any better? 2 civil wars and a precarious existence.

Another point, does anyone seriously think a Sunni rump state will remain quiet to the loss of the entire Syrian coastline? No ports, just a landlocked state? Either this fellow foolishly did not think his premise through, or his intention is precisely the instability the partition would create.

No, the solution for Syria is reconciliation. It might take a while, but I can guarantee that further partition is a formula for unremitting and continual disaster and conflict.

Dialogue, coexistence, trials for the guilty, mercy for the bystanders. That’s the way out. Syrians, like the quarreling family they are, must sort it out as a family. It will be difficult. But it is absolutely necess

It requires a little more patience than the facile “solution” proposed by Solomon, but it is a real solution, not a recipe for further violence and weak, ineffective states that are permanently dependent on outsiders.

I’d like to propose this motto instead:

“All for one Syria, one Syria for all”

August 26th, 2012, 5:33 am


Tara said:

Sharaa alive, kicking, and plotting to kill Syrians…

Syria Vice President makes public appearance, ending defection rumors

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Syria’s vice president Farouq al-Sharaa met an Iranian delegation on Sunday, Syria’s state news agency said, marking the official’s first appearance in weeks and ending rumors by opposition activists that he had defected from President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
SANA news agency said the vice president would meet with a parliamentary delegation from Assad’s main regional ally Iran, led by senior legislator Aleddin Borougerdi.


August 26th, 2012, 8:52 am


zoo said:

#66 Tara

Long lies to Al Arabya and Al Jazeera and their obedient and gullible agents!

August 26th, 2012, 9:06 am


ann said:

Syrian TV airs haunting images of casualties in Damascus’ suburb – 2012-08-26

• Local TV aired Sunday haunting images of casualties, who had been reportedly killed in Darayia.
• The footage showed killed people lying amid rubles and debris.
• The area is a bastion for armed groups who have been stationing in the area.


DAMASCUS, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) — Syria’s al Ekhbaria TV aired Sunday haunting images of casualties, who had been reportedly killed by armed terrorist groups in the Damascus’ suburb of Darayia.

Darayia has recently witnessed sever clashes between the so called “Free Syrian Army” and government troops, who have peppered the area with mortars and artillery.

The state media said the army had taken control over Darayia and dislodged armed terrorist groups.

Meanwhile, the footage showed killed people lying amid rubles and debris. The dead include women, children and young men.

One footage showed a dead mother clasping her two dead sons as if she was trying to protect them.

The TV report also aired footage of a five-year boy crying and repeatedly asking about his father and mother, who were killed by the armed groups.



August 26th, 2012, 9:09 am


zoo said:

ALERT: Is the Blog being hacked?

On my post and others there is an append I did not write

“Hot debate. What do you think?”

and the thumbs look suddenly very abnormal

August 26th, 2012, 9:12 am


zoo said:


Isn’t sick to persist refusing a dialog that would save lives and persist in wanting the skin of the president at any cost?

August 26th, 2012, 9:16 am


Tara said:


It seems that this has been happening for few weeks now. Syria lover was questioning the same thing a week ago. It is also highlighted in pink. JL may know what that means. It us affecting random selective posts.

August 26th, 2012, 9:17 am


zoo said:

The Syrian uprising is an opportunity for the Israeli Air Force

By Allan Mallinson

PUBLISHED: 15:13 GMT, 24 August 2012 | UPDATED: 10:24 GMT, 26 August 2012

It is an ill wind that blows no good, and the mounting storm in Syria may well be providential to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) in their planning for the strike on Iranian nuclear sites.

For let us be in no doubt: the IAF will be planning. Planning is what armed forces do – and never more so when there’s a tangible threat.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2193098/The-Syrian-uprising-opportunity-Israeli-Air-Force.html#ixzz24erAKtdX

August 26th, 2012, 9:19 am


zoo said:

Farouk Al Sharaa appearance is a slap to Hollande and anyone who ‘predicted’ important defections.
It is also another blow to the credibility of the Opposition who has reached such a point of desperation that they invent just anything.
The flow of false news they have propagated through the gullible westerm media in the last weeks is a measure of their despair.
Time to call for a truce and a dialog.

Will Al Arabya and the likes apologize for carrying false news all the time..

August 26th, 2012, 9:30 am


Tara said:

The regime’s account of Daraya massacre of the 220 people including the “terrorists to be” mother and her 2 daughters.”.   

State television said Daraya, a mainly Sunni Muslim town of some 200,000 people, was being “purified of terrorist remnants.”
“Our valiant armed forces cleared the town of Daraya of the remnants of armed terrorist groups which committed crimes that traumatised the citizens of the town and destroyed public and private property,” the government newspaper Ath-Thawra said.

Activists described the Daraya offensive as a bid to crush “once and for all” the insurgency in Damascus after rebel fighters regrouped to the southern outskirts following an army offensive in the heart of the city last month.
“The criminal regime imposed a blockade and cut off necessary supplies to the town, then subjected it to indiscriminate shelling with heavy weapons and warplanes,” the LCC said.
“Afterwards the gangs of killers entered the town and carried out summary executions, before dismembering and setting fire to the bodies.”

August 26th, 2012, 9:30 am


Ghufran said:

You guys need to email Dr Landis to notify him that somebody has either hacked this site or adding a line at the end of many posts.

August 26th, 2012, 9:34 am


zoo said:

Still persisting in lies and ridicule from Al Arabya ….

Defected Syrian VP Farouk al-Sharaa is in Jordan, sources tell Al Arabiya

Saturday, 25 August 2012

“Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa has defected from Bashar al-Assad’s regime and been in Jordan for days, sources told Al Arabiya Saturday.

Sharaa defected from the Syrian government in mid-August, according to statements by the Free Syrian Army. However, the Syrian state news agency, SANA, has denied the defection reports, citing statements by a spokesman for Sharaa “

August 26th, 2012, 9:37 am


Visitor said:

When the zoo suddenly became popular, he complains that the site is hacked.

This is an automatically appended note indicating that you received the number of votes to indicate that you said something worth debating. It also automatically turns the background to pink to draw attention.

Frankly, I doubt these votes because I do not see anything worth debating in that comment Of the zoo which is affected.

Since aldendeshee received the ridiculously highest thumbs up, he is probably behind it and he keeps blaming the CIA.


Al- Sharaa has not defected.

But I think the Daraya massacre is more important news than his inconsequential whereabouts.

Actually al-alrabiya was the first to report al-Sharaa appearance,

August 26th, 2012, 9:44 am


Visitor said:

Here’s the link,


But the zoo insists on his ridiculous bashing.

August 26th, 2012, 9:48 am


Ghufran said:

There is a civil war now, I stopped counting the dead and pointing fingers, neither the rebels nor the regime can save the country, after there is no army to fight an invader and no functioning state,foreign troops will invade the country to “save” Syrians from themselves and install a government that can not govern but will do what it is told.
The rebels are now making plans to attack the few areas that are still relatively safe,it is an equal opportunity destruction,welcome to the new Syria: Syriastan.

August 26th, 2012, 9:51 am


zoo said:

#79 Visitor

The only ridicule is your persistence to build your narratives exclusively on sources that have proven over the months to be increasingly unreliable.

August 26th, 2012, 9:53 am


zoo said:

Syria VP Al-Sharaa appears in public, ending defection rumor

Syrian Vice President Farouk Al-Sharaa has made his first public appearance in several weeks, ending rumors that he defected.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene said Al-Sharaa looked serious and steered away from reporters covering the meeting. He did not make a statement.

August 26th, 2012, 9:58 am


Visitor said:

81 The Zoo


The only ridicule is your inconsequential opinion about a source recognized worldwide as the most trustworthy source of Arab affairs.

It does not follow, of course, the pathetic techniques of your preferred sources which we know what they are: SANA and subsidiaries.


Alarabiya has the most professional team Of reporters and editors ever assembled in the Arab world. So take proper notice everyone.

August 26th, 2012, 10:00 am


Ghufran said:

تسود حالة من الاستنكار والرفض المؤسسات المعنية بالفكر الصوفي بمصر بعد تفجير مقامات عدد من الأولياء الصالحين في ليبيا، لكن اللافت في بيانات الاستنكار ما قام به مفتي مصر الدكتور علي جمعة، الذي أصدر بيان استنكارا باسم دار الإفتاء رغم أنها هيئة حكومية لا تنتمي إلى أي جهة صوفية أو سلفية أو إخوانية.
وجاء بيان مفتي مصر شديد اللهجة، حيث وصف المعتدين على أضرحة عبد السلام الأسمر في بلدة زليتن بليبيا، وضريح العارف بالله أحمد زروق، وهو من كبار علماء المسلمين وأولياء الله الصالحين، بـ”أنهم خوارج العصر وكلاب النار، يسعون في الأرض فساداً، وتهديمًا لبيوت الله ومقدسات المسلمين، وانتهاكًا لحُرُمَات أولياء الله، وتحريقًا للتراث الإسلامي ومخطوطاته، ومحاولة لإسقاط أهل ليبيا في الفتن الطائفية والحروب الأهلية”.
Islamists from Tunisia to Syria have to be confronted, they have no plan for the future except forcing a Taliban-type regime in every country they are allowed to capture, it is like replacing one dictatorship with another except that the new dictatorship will be bloodier and more intolerant,Sunnis will be the first group of Muslims to fight this new Jahilliyah.

August 26th, 2012, 10:08 am


Ghufran said:

أقرّ وزير الخارجية التركي أحمد داود اوغلو بعدم وجود صلة بين سوريا وموجة الهجمات المتصاعدة من قبل حزب العمال الكردستاني في تركيا، معترفاً أن سوريا لا علاقة لها بالتوتر الحاصل الذي تشهده تركيا.
وفي مقابلة مع التلفزيون التركي قال داود اوغلو: “الإضطرابات في تركيا لم تظهر نتيجة للتطورات في سوريا، إنها مشكلة استمرت 30 عاماً، ومرد هذه التوترات إلى سوريا سيكون نهجاً قاصراً”.
This position will change if Turkey gets the OK to attack northern Syria, this OK has not come yet, Turkish leaders will have to follow any accusations with a military response, what Oglo said means that there are no immediate plans for an attack, at least for now.

August 26th, 2012, 10:18 am


Son of Damascus said:

I don’t think the site was hacked, the pink highlight and “Hot debate…” come up after any combination of 50 thumbs and over.

August 26th, 2012, 10:34 am


ann said:

71. zoo said:


Isn’t sick to persist refusing a dialog that would save lives and persist in wanting the skin of the president at any cost?

Dialog is not mentioned in Saudi fatwas absolving the killing of Syrian women and children. These animals are determined to die for Allah to go to Paradise. The Syrian army is just making it faster and easier for them to get there.

August 26th, 2012, 10:34 am


Ghufran said:

أعلن وزير الداخلية الليبي فوزي عبد العال أنه قدم اليوم الأحد رسميا استقالته من منصبه إلى مجلس الوزراء.
وقال -في اتصال مع الجزيرة- إن تقديم الاستقالة يأتي احتجاجا على العبارات التي قالها أعضاء في المؤتمر الوطني بحق الثوار في اللجنة الأمنية العليا،
وكانت جلسة الاستماع التي عقدها المؤتمر الوطني العام الليبي -بحضور رئيس الوزراء ورئيس جهاز المخابرات ووزير الدفاع ورئيس أركان الجيش- قد شهدت نقاشات حادة، تركزت حول تدهور الأوضاع الأمنية في البلاد، وغياب سلطة وهيبة الدولة في كثير من الأحداث.
I keep bringing news from Arab spring countries because they are test tubes for upcoming challenges for any new government in Syria, the claim that it is “Alfoloul” in those countries that are stirring troubles do not hold water, there is a definite need for a strong government and an able security force in every developing,and even developed, country.
Tara, do you really believe that Al-Sharaa is “plotting” to kill more Syrians?
The guy has little influence on the army and security forces, he is irrelevant now.

August 26th, 2012, 10:35 am


Son of Damascus said:


You should read this article by Austin, it does not follow your simplistic narratives (opposition is a bunch of 3ar3ouris) so you might not enjoy it…


August 26th, 2012, 10:37 am


Son of Damascus said:

A reminder to the callous, inhuman, filthy Assad supporters on this blog.

Daraya was the home of Gaiyath Matar that was last seen alive giving candy and handing out cold bottles of water to the same shabi7a dirt bags that killed him!!!!

August 26th, 2012, 10:41 am


Tara said:


Those “animals” that are martyred by your prethident are going to end up in the same place where Jesus Christ is.

August 26th, 2012, 10:44 am


Ghufran said:

أفادت تقارير اعلامية أن شابين من الجالية الأرمينية قتلا في مدينة حلب صباح الأحد ، فيما أصيب ثالث بجروح .
و قتل الشابان (فيكين كايلاجيان، و جان طباش) اثناء الدفاع عن الأحياء ذات الغالبية الأرمنية من السكان ، بحسب ما ذكرت صحيفة تهتم بشؤون الأرمن في سوريا.

August 26th, 2012, 10:52 am


ann said:

Report: Egypt turns down U.S. request to inspect Iranian arms ship on way to Syria – Aug. 26, 2012

Suez Canal Authority chairman tells Al-Ahram newspaper Egyptian navy refuses to inspect ship’s cargo; President Morsi to attend Tehran summit later this month.


Egypt has recently turned down a U.S. request to stop an Iranian ship carrying weapons to Syria, according to a report in Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper.

According to the report, quoted in Israel Radio on Sunday, Lieutenant General Mohab Mamish, Suez Canal Authority chairman, said Egypt’s navy refused to stop the ship and inspect its cargo as it was passing through the canal.

Last week, an Egyptian official said President Mohammed Morsi will attend a summit in Iran later this month, the first such trip for an Egyptian leader since relations with Tehran deteriorated decades ago.

The visit could mark a thaw between the two countries after years of enmity, especially since Egypt signed its 1979 peace treaty with Israel and Iran underwent its Islamic revolution.



August 26th, 2012, 10:56 am


Tara said:


The Arman in Syria has proven they were not worth the human treatment given to them by the Syrian people. They are overtly against the people of Syria. They should go back to where they came from. We won’t shed a tear.

August 26th, 2012, 11:09 am



Once again, an Al-Jazeera reporter answers the call of duty and head straight to the front lines in the heart of the battle, despite the fact that several of his colleagues achieved martyrdom in order to bring to us the truth from the field,


The FATAH Brigade is a formidable force of some 2500 local Aleppine fighters holding fast against the forces of evil, thuggery, and Nazism. They continually inflict heavy losses on the thugs and beat them back.


But with due sombre and dismay, we should be discussing the despicable horrors perpetrated by the forces of evil and debauchery of the despicable Nazi regime occupying Damascus on the innocent men, women and children of Daraya,



By all measures this is a despicable crime against humanity.

Yet, we still see our resident non-Syrian pontificator (# 80) on this blog shovelling the filth and dirt of callousness and crime-sensitization on us.

Have no doubt in your minds, that our non-Syrian resident pontificator will not hesitate when the right moment arrives to pop up with his head and recite a long sermon for us if perchance some rogue element decides to take the law into his own hands and inflict a much deserved punishment on a regime criminal. The above is based on observations that many can verify by reviewing previous pontifications that graced this board not long ago.


94 TARA,

AGREE. And why didn’t you say something about the hypocrisy of the commenter compared to his total disregard to human life as in his #80?

You’re too polite for this blog. But I do see your point.

August 26th, 2012, 11:12 am


Ghufran said:

أعلن “تجمع أنصار الإسلام” مسؤوليته عن قصف محيط ملعب العباسيين في دمشق ، .
و تحدث البيان عن اندلاع حرائق، و فرض طوق أمني على المنطقة ، بالتزامن مع وصول سيارات إسعاف و إطفاء ، مع تواجد الطيران المروحي.
و قال التجمع أن الهجوم جاء ردا على مجزرة داريا و الغوطتين الشرقية و الغربية و باقي “المحافظات الثائرة”.
و قالت مصادر شبه رسمية أن الهجوم أسفر عن ضحايا في صفوف المدنيين و قوات الجيش ،و عدد من الجرحى.
و أشارت المصادر إلى أن القوات النظامية تعمل على الرد على مصادر القذائف في أحياء جوبر.
So, how is shelling that area is a response to the shelling in Darya?


August 26th, 2012, 11:20 am


Ghufran said:

Do I see that an anti Armenian block is being formed here? What happened to the theory that this revolution is by all and for all?
Claiming that most of Alfateh fighters are local Akeppines is laughable, the vast majority of those who fight on behalf of the FSA are not from Aleppo, many are not even Syrian, a sizable percentage of the dead armed rebels are foreigners too,I will not let false claims go unchallenged here, this is not Alarabiya..

August 26th, 2012, 11:31 am


Antoine said:

Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Ekaidi, the overall commander of all FSA forces in Aleppo, is from al-Shaar in Aleppo city, though I guess his family is originally from Reef Halab.

August 26th, 2012, 11:37 am


Ghufran said:

طالب العالم الأزهري الشهير الدكتور عبدالله النجار، عضو مجمع البحوث الإسلامية وهو أعلى هيئة فقهية في الأزهر، بتطبيق حد القذف على الداعية السلفي الدكتور عبدالله بدر لتعريضه بسمعة الفنانة إلهام شاهين على الهواء.
I have faith in Alazhar and in Egyptians in general, militant Islam will not dominate in Egypt.
Alarabiya moved the news about the assassination of Jamil Hassan to the buttom of their page.

August 26th, 2012, 11:38 am


Tara said:


I am sickened by the fact that most Alawis and good chunk of Christians are applauding the mass killing of people including woman and children just because they are Sunnis. I have never imagined in my life that people are that ugly. I am dismayed by commenters running to post articles talking about a perceived threat to Christians or the isolated death of one or two non-Sunnis and cry us a river when at the same time cheer the cleansing of Sunni children. Are these people human mutations?

Armenians being non-Arabs hosted for generations on Syrian lands should shut up and go away. They among all the regime supporters are the most repulsive. They have stabbed in the back the very same people who offer them shelter. I am so disappointed with their ugliness.

August 26th, 2012, 11:43 am


Visitor said:

” I will not let false claims go unchallenged here, this is not Alarabiya..”

And who do you think will believe the filth of the sermons that you keep shoveling on us?

The hypocrisy of your pontificating has been irreparably exposed.

Now, tell me the truth. Are you a Palestinian?

August 26th, 2012, 12:17 pm


Antoine said:

FSA re-entered parts of Salaheddin.

August 26th, 2012, 12:48 pm


Visitor said:

# 102


FSA never left Salaheddin.

August 26th, 2012, 12:52 pm


Antoine said:

Turkey and France have a moral responsibility for Syria, and they MUST fulfill it, since both of them beneiftted from Syrian assets and Syrian revenues for many many years illegally and by force.

Also both of them (Turkey and France) played the dirty sectarian game when they were ruling Syria, pitting sect against sect.

August 26th, 2012, 12:59 pm


Aldendeshe said:

14:21 Syria’s regime will only look at negotiating with the opposition after “purging” terrorists from the country, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Sunday, according to talks with a visiting Iranian official reported by Iran’s IRNA news agency.


That is very disturbing, but it was expected. They will only “LOOK AT NEGOTIATING” not “NEGOTIATING”. That is basically a Baathist lingo for take a hike, never. Maybe not the regime intent to just look, it is Walid choice of words. It always been our main concern that the regime will beat the genocidal foreign terrorists, wipe them out, then tell the Syrian opposition to kiss it, and go to hell.

Anyway, that is all irrelevant, will wait to get the communication security investigator final report in the next 10 days to see if someone placed any “Exception rules” on Nuestar servers to block or divert calls. Israelis have back door to these servers but ALCIDA girl here Miss Thumbdumberg makes me concerned.

And for the thumbdown twenkie, SNP members are now hooked via Russian satellite and safe secure Russian servers all together and now they can securely acecess that green and red dil*do*s you love so much. Don’t bother collecting the members IP addresses, they are from at least 27 countries and all IP’s are (spoofed) fakes. Nod bad for a $16,000 investment.

August 26th, 2012, 1:02 pm


Ghufran said:

This is a first:
 بدأت تركيا في حجز آلاف السوريين على الجانب السوري من الحدود بشكل مؤقت في الوقت الذي تبذل فيه جهودا مضنية لاستيعاب موجة متزايدة من اللاجئين.
وقال مسؤول تركي وشهود إن ما لا يقل عن ألفي شخص فارين من العنف في سوريا منعوا من دخول تركيا ليل السبت عند احد المعابر الحدودية غير الرسمية في إقليم هاتاي بجنوب تركيا.

August 26th, 2012, 1:13 pm


Antoine said:

Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Ekaidi, commander of all FSA forces in Aleppo, visited a number of Aleppo neighborhoods today inclduing the frontline in Salaheddin and Seif al-Dowla,







August 26th, 2012, 1:13 pm


Ghufran said:

Ya, most of Liwaa Alfateh is from Aleppo
أعلنت كتيبة “تركمان بارح” الأحد انضمامها إلى “لواء الفتح” و”لواء التوحيد
This time the source is none other than aljazeera
denying the truth does not make it go away.

August 26th, 2012, 1:21 pm


Antoine said:


Do you think Baath Party and Baathist Army will be able to stand against FSA ?

Don’t you think most Syrian soldiers are scared and tired of the fighting ?

August 26th, 2012, 1:21 pm


jna said:

It’s a remarkable sign of how far the opposition has degenerated when its supporters here seek to drive Syrian citizens out of Syria based on their ethnicity.

August 26th, 2012, 1:22 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Make yourselves a habit: believe nothing that comes out of Syria.
Most of it is sheer propaganda and disinformation, designed to demoralize the other side. Don’t believe the loyalists; don’t believe the revolutionaries.

Don’t be surprised if one day soon we’ll see Maher walking on his both healthy legs.

August 26th, 2012, 1:36 pm


Citizen said:

Globalists and Neocons: Two potent forces opposing the Assad government in Syria
Centered mainly on pro-Israel advocacy, the neocons mentioned by Skelton are an influential contingent in the opposition to the Syrian government. The most obvious motivation is that Syria is allied with Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy…………

August 26th, 2012, 1:54 pm



Colonel Abd el-Jabbar el-3ekidi infuses confidence, courage, honesty and integrity.

May Allah bless him and bless all his men.

August 26th, 2012, 2:07 pm


Tara said:


It is very possible that al Sharaa alleged defection was leaked as a set up fabricated by the regime to discredit the revolution. I do not see how his defection rumor helped anyone except the regime. And that is why the regime held off any public appearance by him until now. Why would the FSA fabricate any thing that is easily discredited.

August 26th, 2012, 2:20 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Where we were, and where we are now!

Perhaps the first documented banner of the revolution (Photo was taken in Homs March 23rd, 2011):

The sign reads: نعم للحرية لا للفساد (Yes to Freedom, no to corruption)

This revolution was not “hijacked” by the FSA as some here try to portray it, because the FSA grew as a direct result from the heinous crimes being committed by Assad’s forces. Assad and his henchmen slaughtered and massacred Syrians into fighting back, and these massacres are ethnic cleansing make no mistake about it.

While some worry for the fate of the minorities while completely disregarding the fate of the majority are the missing the point. This disregard will turn uglier by the day, and each massacre, each Sheikh killed, each mosque attacked will only drive the majority to show the same kind of callous disregard to the minority. And overall that has not happened yet (and thank god for that, thank god for general goodness of most Syrians of all creeds), not a single massacre has been committed against an Alawi, Druze, Christian, Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian, or any minority town in Syria, while repeatedly Sunni towns, and Sunni suburbs are being pummelled by tanks/gunships/artillery/fighter jets and then “cleansed” by Shabi7a.

Here are the pictures of the latest cleansing massacre, where over 300 Syrian civilians lost their lives:
(Graphic content)

There can be no negotiations with sick barbaric monsters that keep committing these crimes, they do not deserve “a way out”. All the injustices committed by the opposition do not amount to a single iota in front of the systematic horrendous evilly being unleashed by this rotten regime.

August 26th, 2012, 2:26 pm


Uzair8 said:

Alternatively Sharaa has had to commit himself and thereby by lose any useful ambiguity. If he remained silent then once the regime fell he could have made some excuses.

It’ll be difficult for him now unless he is being forced to appear in public.

August 26th, 2012, 2:28 pm


Uzair8 said:

In recent days I was going to comment on here saying how the FSA should locate major regime fuel depots and sabotage them. Even one. The regime is trying hard to replenish it’s fuel for the military machine and is importing from Iran, Russia etc.

A short time ago this update (with video) was posted. This is gonna hurt the regime:

Alexblx ‏@Alexblx

TODAY #Aleppo UNITY BRIGADE of #FSA DESTROY 17 #Assad oil tankers and SIEZE 6 of them: http://youtu.be/ulsJWP0Rir4 @AlaaSarraj #Syria


August 26th, 2012, 2:34 pm


ghufran said:

Sarwar Kashmeri-The Guardian:
there is a race among western officials to find out who is more ignorant about the Middle East after Sarkozi lost re-election and with it the title of Hypocrite in chief.

August 26th, 2012, 2:50 pm


Aleppo said:

100. Tara

Interesting, I never saw you making such a virulent attack on a minority as you did to the Armenians. I think most are thankful for the hospitality offered to them over the centuries but today they are as Syrian as anybody else, or not?

Also I think you ignore the pressures that happen in time of war. I am told they have been threatened by the Assad thugs in Aleppo in a very serious way. I have many Armenian friends, some have left Syria already but I am not sure that telling them to “go back wherever they came from” is a reasonable or acceptable stance.

August 26th, 2012, 2:51 pm


Ghufran said:

Coming to a town near you if those thugs win.
Welcome to the middle ages:
أفادت تقارير إخبارية اليوم الأحد بأن هيئة الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر السعودية (الشرطة الدينية) شددت على مدن الألعاب بضرورة عدم السماح للفتيات البالغات من العمر أكثر من 12 عاما باللعب.
وذكرت صحيفة “الحياة” “أن الهيئة شددت على ضرورة الالتزام بتلافي هذه المخالفة، ملوحة بأنها ستكون “الفرصة الأخيرة لهذه المدن، وإلا سيتم إغلاقها، أو فرض غرامات مالية لمخالفة التعليمات والاشتراطات التي تم وضعها أخيرا”.
وفي المقابل، اعترضت عائلات على منع بناتهم من اللعب، واعتبروه “تقييداً للحرية”.
وقالت أم سارة: “لوحظ قبل نحو شهرين ، أن بعض المدن الترفيهية ترفض السماح للفتيات اللاتي تتجاوز أعمارهن 12 سنة باللعب. وكان الرفض قاطعاً من قبل العاملين فيها”.
وتعد المملكة العربية السعودية البلد الوحيد في العالم الذي يمنع الفتيات من ممارسة الرياضة في المدارس الحكومية. ولا توجد بنية تحتية رياضية ترعاها الدولة للنساء، حيث تقتصر الأبنية المخصصة والنوادي الرياضية والمضمارات والمدربون الخبراء والحكام على الرجال.
ولا تقيم الهيئات الرياضية الرسمية أية فعاليات تنافسية للاعبات السعوديات في المملكة ولا تدعم الرياضيات السعوديات في المنافسات الإقليمية أو الدولية.

August 26th, 2012, 3:05 pm


Elysium said:

I just want to correct the information posted by Ghufran on 92, as I happen to know these guys.
Viken, Jean and Mgo were unfortunately shot while recklessly speed-driving in front of the Kurdish checkpoint in the Sheikh Maqsoud (northern part of Aleppo) entrance on 7th of August. Kurdish militia men had mistakenly perceived their speedy car as a source of threat and had opened fire on their car.

Tara – maybe you could follow his suit?

119 – Aleppo:
there is indeed a lot of pressure on the Armenian community from both sides, possibly because of the strategic position of the town of Kesab. If there happens to be any safe buffer zone in the North of Syria, Kesab will be essential to serve as a sea access.

August 26th, 2012, 3:14 pm


Ghufran said:

و اللبيب من الاشارة يفهم

تجاوزت قيمة إحتياطات النقد الأجنبي في الدول الأعضاء في حركة عدم الإنحياز 2850 مليار دولار بينما إجمالي قيمة إحتياطات أمريكا والإتحاد الأوروبي تقل عن 2350 ملياردولار.
وأفادت وكالة أنباء حركة عدم الإنحياز بأنه يعد حجم الإحتياطات من الذهب والنقد الأجنبي من أهم المؤشرات الإقتصادية وتمتلك الدول الآسيوية أضخم الإحتياطات النقدية في العالم كما تتصدر الصين لائحة الدول التي تمتلك أضخم الإحتياطات من الذهب والعملة الأجنبية والتي تصل قيمتها إلی 3236 مليار دولار.
كما تفيد التقارير الرسمية بأنه يتجاوز حجم إحتياطات الدول الأعضاء في حركة عدم الإنحياز 2850 مليار دولار والتي تضم أكثر من 25 بالمائة من إحتياطات النقد الأجنبي العالمية وإن نضع الصين التي تبلغ قيمة إحتياطاتها 3236 مليار دولار جانبا تتجاوز حصة إحتياطات النقد الأجنبي لدول عدم الإنحياز 35 بالمائة من الإحتياطات العالمية.
وذلك بينما تشتمل إحتياطات أمريكا وكافة الدول الأوروبية علی2350 مليار دولار فقط والتي تقل 500 مليار دولار عن إحتياطات دول عدم الإنحياز.
كما أفادت التقارير بأن إحتياطات النقد الأجنبي لأمريكا والإتحاد الأوروبي تصل إلی 1800 مليار دولار والتي تقل أكثر من 1000 مليار دولار عن إحتياطات الدول الأعضاء في حركة عدم الإنحياز.

August 26th, 2012, 3:19 pm


Observer said:

Please stop the scare tactics of posting you and ZOO about the upcoming Islamist dictatorship. The time of dictatorships is over and even Morsi cannot stop people from contesting his rule.

Second, the Arab Spring will reach Jordan and from there will reach KSA and the GCC.

Third, any regime that is going to cuddle up to Israel will be overthrown

Fourthly if you are afraid of the Islamist genie perhaps you should take it up with the Ayatollahs and how they force people to dress this or that way. Even today their dress code is a reaction to the West and has nothing positive in of itself.

Grow up please

August 26th, 2012, 3:24 pm


Ghufran said:

Exposing the filth of Arab Talibans is not a scare tactic,it is a duty,I hope all of us can agree on rejecting extreme elements from all sides,
I agree that it will be difficult for islamist thugs to dominate Syria unless the country is physically destroyed,then people will do anything to eat and stay alive.
Do not take the threat of militant Islam lightly,those people do not know when to stop.

August 26th, 2012, 3:34 pm


syrian said:

Hello to all, this is my 1st time commenting,I’m the type who rather read than comment, but Guffran just annoyed me so much that i had to sit and vent
for a guy who is not even a Syrian ,that with all the time he puts in here to just act as if he care it just did not compute, what is different about him from others is he act as if he cares , except that he insert hidden insult inside his comments
like in 96 he says
(So, how is shelling that area is a response to the shelling in Darya?) I mean do u think they could have done better and they did not, what is the right response in your opinion
Then in 97 he is all worried about Armenian but when it came the turkman (#108) Who are more Syrian than them (for they at least have learned to speak Arabic) they become foreigners because they have supported the revolution
….. just venting g2g
sorry for the bad grammer
and sorry my 1st comment had to be an attack on and old veteran
but if he made the all wise Syrian Hamster annoyed, then you’ll have to forgive me

August 26th, 2012, 3:39 pm


Ghufran said:

“من يقرأ التاريخ لا يدخل اليأس إلى قلبه أبداً وسوف يرى الدنيا أياماً يداولها الله بين الناس. الأغنياء يصبحون فقراء, والفقراء ينقلبون أغنياء, وضعفاء الأمس أقوياء اليوم, وحكام الأمس مشردوا اليوم,والقضاه متهمون, والغالبون مغلبون والفلك دوار والحياة لا تقف.”
― مصطفى محمود, من أمريكا إلى الشاطئ الآخر

August 26th, 2012, 3:50 pm



“Grow up please”


Ghufran is grown up. He grew up in al-Yarmouk camp and was always treated very nicely by al-Mukhabarat.

August 26th, 2012, 4:24 pm


Ghufran said:

As usual,the poor pays the price and the rich finds a way out if they are not already out
قالت اللبنانية فوزية عرفات، وهي زوجة مهندس النفط الكويتي عصام الحوطي، المخطوف منذ أمس السبت في لبنان، إن خاطفيه “ظنوه ثرياً على ما يبدو فطمعوا بفدية، لكنهم لا يعلمون بأننا بسطاء ونعيش على الراتب
وروت من الشقة المستأجرة منذ 4 سنوات في مدينة رياق البعيدة 100 كيلومتر عن بيروت، أن أحد خاطفيه ترك عمامة كانت على رأسه في موقع الحادث كما ترك زميله بصمته على سيارة زوجها، وهي ماركة “كيا سول” كورية الصنع، لذلك فهي تأمل بأن تكشف أجهزة الأمن عن خاطفيه وتعتقلهم وتحرره.
وذكرت أنها ليست من أقرباء الرئيس الفلسطيني الراحل ياسر عرفات “فنحن لبنانيون وهو فلسطيني” كما قالت إنها تزوجت في 2007 من عصام الحوطي، وهو مهندس يعمل في شركة نفط الكويت وعمره 52 سنة، وهي أم منه لابنة وحيدة اسمها حنان وعمرها عامين ونصف العام.
وشرحت فوزية أن البيت الذي تقيم فيه مع زوجها وابنتها في منطقة الفيحاء بالكويت “هو بالإيجار أيضا، فراتب عصام لا يزيد عن 1500 دينار، أي تقريبا 5800 دولار، مع ذلك فبالكاد يكفينا، ولا يمكن أن يصبح صاحبه ثريا، لكن يبدو أن الخاطفين لاحظوا أن لوحة سيارته، كويتية، فظنوه من أثرياء الكويت. مع ذلك لم يطلبوا فدية إلى الآن”
Source: alarabiya. I wish all of alarabiya’s articles were as factual and decent as the one above.

August 26th, 2012, 5:07 pm


Son of Damascus said:

After the latest gruesome massacre committed by the Assadi thugs, even the NCB is demanding the UN to intervene to stop the massacres committed by the Assad Shabiha thugs:

The Syrian regime has been committing the most violent of crimes against its own people in all parts of our country. The most recent manifestations of such actions can be seen in Daraya and al-Mou’adamiya in Reef Dimashq, al-Hirak in Reef Dera’a, and in the city of A’zaz in Reef Aleppo; these acts of violence are so heinous, systematic, and indiscriminate they should be classified as crimes against humanity.

We at the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria demand that the UN security council intervene urgently to stop the massacres being committed by the regime, we urge all human rights NGOs and international agencies to pressure the security council to refer the case of the murderous Syrian regime to the International Criminal Court.

Moral people of the world, the Syrian people require your solidarity and support now more than ever! We need you all to shout in unison: Enough death! Enough destruction!

Peace for our dead and their families..
Freedom for our detainees in the prisons of the regime!
Freedom for Syria and its people!

Press office, National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria


August 26th, 2012, 5:29 pm


Tara said:


A freind of mine called me an hour ago and asked me what *the hell* has happened to me?  How dare I? How could I ?  To demonize a whole group of people with out even knowing where they stand is not something he could ever believe I could post or even think of.  He demanded a retract.  

I ask myself if Tara has become the pro-revolution “Irritated”?  Bitter and cynical? Does Tara not have the right to hate?  Isn’t their certain level of tolerance above which people can  cease of becoming tolerant?  Why is everyone allowed to hate based on primitive medieval fear and I am supposed to “love” and tolerate no matter how many child cadavers I see every day..

How is Tara different from any psychologically wounded American  in the wake of Sep 11, 2001 lashing out against the Muslims in the US just because their voice was not instantaneously loud enough in condemnation.  

I am angry,  very very angry.  During circumstances  like these, hate becomes much easier than love.  It just becomes natural,  and I often feel I hate everyone.  The Sunni business community, the Alawi shabeeha, the Christians cheering the demise of their countrymen, the Armenians who are stabbing us in the back, my own family members, etc etc .

I ask myself how on earth we can trust and live together any more.  I do not know how South Africa did it.   The forgiveness in me has been slowly depleted.  Justice must be served.  Communities who cheered our killing must first offer an apology and regret..  And then I will be searching in me for forgiveness.  

My comment was directed towards the Armenian supporting the regime, not to the community at large.  It was rather an emotional meltdown more than a policy I would like implemented.  I am afraid this is the best retract I can offer at this time.

August 26th, 2012, 5:36 pm


Ghufran said:

I agree, I expressed my opinion about a peace force months ago,the violence needs to stop and there has to be a credible and natural force that separates fighting factions.
There are no winners in this dirty war.
The use of force by the rebels will also be remembered as a monumental strategic mistake after it deviated from its original goal: protecting civilians. There is no sense denying the fact that the presence of armed rebels in a given town or village is associated with the largest loss of lives and properties,anybody who is unable to see this simple fact is blind by choice.

August 26th, 2012, 5:43 pm


Ghufran said:

I was surprised at your rant after I posted the news of Armenians in Aleppo getting involved in this dirty conflict, the post was not intended to portray Armenians as special or more valuable than other victims of this war. I welcome your retraction, and I understand your anger, I grew up knowing a number of Armenians as a child,then met more of them as an adult, they are decent hard working people who historically suffered a lot especially on the hands of Turks, they are proud and somewhat unwilling to mix with others but that never bothered me, I never met an Armenian who was violent,dishonest, or rude, I may be biased because my own experience with this ethnic group was positive but I can say the same about many other ethnic and religious groups in Syria, the rule for people is to be good,being bad is the exception.

August 26th, 2012, 5:57 pm



128 TARA,

If a friend of mine calls me and speaks to me in the manner you described I would react in one of two possible scenarios:

1) If he/she is open for discussion I would demand a proof of his/her claims regarding the presumed neutrality or objectivity of the Armenian community in the current debacle. You probably did that but is not clear from your comment. For all indications point out to the exact opposite of that claim,


2) If he/she is not open to discussion and is simply making demands, then knowing how polite you are I would ask him/her to call back at a more appropriate time. However, since I am not as polite as you are I would simply hang up and would not bother to call again. Let him/her make the next move.

I think a line has to be drawn somewhere where people should not expect a carte blanche just because the Sunnis are the majority and have the responsibility to tolerate the excesses of others no matter what. Of course everyone would be bitter at Armenians knowing the recent 100 year history that we all know about.

August 26th, 2012, 6:08 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

{I have a commentary drowing inside WordPress’s spam gully that addresses Tara more completely, but wanted to respond to her latest).

Tara, I believe that any of us here (longtime readers/commentators) can understand anger and bitterness and cynicism — we bathe in it because of the heightened madness of war and because of the bellicose lies and inhuman brutality of the regime — but we should never excuse hateful and discriminatory language used against a group.

We cannot excuse this wherever it comes from, however it was engendered.

I say this because each instance (whether from you or the nutters in re JOO-Saudi-Goat-Reptilian-IslamJOOIran-blah) degrades discussion and dehumanizes individuals.

You do recognize this kind of needless ‘blame/deport/destroy ethnic group X’ rhetoric when it comes from the other sides. I argue that we must recognize and extirpate it from our own discourse, because (I believe) it is the same ugly thing, it is the same ugly thing that led to the Armenian/Syria genocide post-WWI. It is the same thing that led to pogroms, population transfers, suffering and mass death.

Your friend likely reacts to something she finds unacceptable and that you also find unacceptable (to your best and most loving heart).

Lashing out in rage against this or that minority is not the right thing to do in any circumstance. Whether someone who conflates most reactive opposition to Assadism as ‘thug’ or terrorist, each time we forget individual humanity we contribute to marking someone for a kind of death: removing them from the universal field of humanity. It is always to be condemned.

This is why a stern pro-revolution figure like Rafif Jouejati condemns suspected atrocities (such as FSA-or-other-group executions) in no uncertain terms. She stands by universal values that cannot be set aside under certain conditions.

Regimist/SANA-tized discourse declares everyone not onside as a ‘terrorist’ and dehumanizes them to the point of death, disregarding any distinctions.

Please pull back from the fuller implications of your remarks, Tara. Please do disavow the ‘collective guilt’ trap … your integrity demands it. Do not make excuses for unacceptable behaviour whether it springs from another mind or from your own tormented heart.

The perception that you would damn an entire ethno-cultural (and religious) group is what remains. Reject that. Reject any comment divvying up into ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ classes that cannot expect humanity.

August 26th, 2012, 6:08 pm



“و اللبيب من الاشارة يفهم”

Some people need to do their homework. Here’s an idea about who owns the most Gold.

Chine 1054.0 European Union 15,784.1
Russia 883.2 United States 8,133.5
India 557.7 Japan 765.2
2494.9 tonnes 24,682.8 tonnes

This is to give people an idea of where “real” wealth is concentrated. This does not include privately held Gold. Holding paper banknotes that can become worthless overnight is not a good indicator of wealth.


More comparisons, this time GDP (millions of US Dollars):

China 7,298,147 United States 17,577,691
Russia 1,850,401 European Union 15,094,025
India 1,676,143 Japan 5,869,471
10,824,691 38,541,187


August 26th, 2012, 6:11 pm


Aleppo said:

Dear Tara,

I have posted about this before. The New Syria will not be geographically fragmented as some think or want. It will be a Syria where the Sunnis rule, the Alawi will be lucky if they are able to keep quiet, the Kurds play their games at their own expense and the rest is the rest. Unfortunately it will most likely be a Syria with continued brain drain. Nothing new or unexpected. It will be a more religious Syria, not because of foreign jihadists, wahabbis or anything of the sort but because under something that is a bit more open than under the Assad dictatorship, religion will play a larger role. Dictators are against anything that challenges their rule hence “divide and rule”, jailing any and all opponents, etc. In the past years there has been more tolerance of religiosity in Syria, this will continue, no choice.

Coming back to the Armenians: I think they have learned from Lebanon, it is better not to get involved. Of course you have people from all sides as in any large group, and in some cases even smaller ones, like divided families. There are still quite a few wealthy Sunnis in Aleppo and Damascus that believe that Syria will be pacified by the dictator! But I find it symptomatic that you directed your anger to Armenians…saying they are not Syrians because they are not Arab. So you are not American because you were not in the Mayflower? You sounded worse than a jihadist and this is a reality we’ll have to face in the New Syria. People that are apparently reasonable and liberal acting like thugs. This is why so many people are scared of what is before them.

August 26th, 2012, 6:14 pm


Aleppo said:

This is the same as using the most Zionist anti-Arab newspaper to give an opinion on Palestinians.

“Of course everyone would be bitter at Armenians knowing the recent 100 year history that we all know about.”

This is a phrase that can only come from a Turk.

August 26th, 2012, 6:19 pm




“This is a phrase that can only come from a Turk.”

In fact, it can only come from someone who is bitter at the stab-in the-back from giving shelter to those in need and 100 years later you get paid back with the stab. I mean, hell, even the Europeans and the Americans under Wilson did not offer them as much as the Syrians and the Arabs offered them back then.

So who gave the shelter to these people 100 years ago? Was it the Turks?

Sorry for exposing your inadequate comprehension of simple English.

Try to understand better next time before you rush to your keyboard. I only forgive once.

August 26th, 2012, 6:34 pm


Ales said:

Pink posts are those that have inflated thumbs up or down.

You should admit it, posts never before had so many thumbs. Propaganda effort, by both sides.

August 26th, 2012, 6:45 pm


Aleppo said:


You only forgive once? Who are you? God?

Forgive what?

I will not bother with your ad hominem attacks, faulty knowledge of history and much less with cheap bravado.

August 26th, 2012, 6:46 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“There is no sense denying the fact that the presence of armed rebels in a given town or village is associated with the largest loss of lives and properties,anybody who is unable to see this simple fact is blind by choice.”

There is no sense in also denying that even if the people remained unarmed these types of massacres would remain occurring. This regime has one play in their playbook, and that is thuggish murder.

For some on here it is treasonous to criticize the FSA, while for me no one is above criticism. But my criticism is not a bias towards them, but rather because I expect more of them.

To criticize their tactics is constructive, but to vilify them for the regimes response is blurring the reality to say the least.

August 26th, 2012, 6:48 pm





You only forgive once? Who are you? God?

Forgive what?

I will not bother with your ad hominem attacks, faulty knowledge of history and much less with cheap bravado.”

What is the reason for this?

You made an an unjustified error and I pointed that out to you. The error concerns me personally. Of course, I have the right to either forgive or not forgive your error at all. What does God have to do with this?

Instead of correcting your error you compound it by the above rubbish.

Obviously you are a hot blooded person who cannot hold his breath before jumping to his keyboard. As such, I have no desire to correspond with your likes. So put an end to it and refrain from addressing me. And you really think you can come here and lecture us?

The right question you should ask is this:


August 26th, 2012, 7:02 pm


Shami said:

I’m an aleppine whose ancestors are aleppines for centuries.
And i confirm that the accent of most of the fighters of the FSA in Aleppo is aleppine ,many of them could come from the close reef ,but it must be known that the large majority of today inhabitants of Aleppo city came from the reef and they have relative in Idleb province ,Azaz,Bab,Hreitan,Anadan,Manbej,Sfireh,Afrin,Kubani…also it’s today usual that aleppines move to Bab ,Azaz,Manbej because the homes are cheaper.
Also the parts that are controlled by the FSA in Aleppo are the most populated.If we add sheikh maqsoud and ashrafiyeh ,it represents 80% of the city inhabitants.

Ghufran ,reef/city divide game is wrong.

Also ,be patient and do not attack the armenians ,the armenians are among the best people in Syria ,and many of them support the revolution ,as those who swallowed the islamophobia of the regime ,it’s not their fault.

August 26th, 2012, 7:06 pm


Aleppo said:

Dear visitor,

You seem to be a bit irritated for no reason. Don’t worry it will pass.

August 26th, 2012, 7:13 pm


Tara said:

Dear freind,

Ref: Syrian Armenians

I apologize unreservedly. My remarks condemned an entire community to deportation. This was wrong.

Good enough now? 

August 26th, 2012, 7:15 pm


Shami said:

Unlike the arab clerics ,muslim or christian ,the armenian clerics have well resisted to the pressure of the regime ,they avoided to repeat regime wanted islamophobic narrative in the media and instead they remained neutral.

August 26th, 2012, 7:25 pm


Ales said:

Massacre in Daraya?

More likely many of killed are these guys seen in video below. They did not look to be civilians.

August 26th, 2012, 7:29 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:

Well, Ales,

Since you’re the expert, tell us what a civilian looks like…

August 26th, 2012, 7:31 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Take a look at the photos I posted before you callously and disgustingly throw doubt on this massacre.

Were these toddlers armed insurgents as well?

Most of the pictures show innocent civilians EXECUTED at close range!

August 26th, 2012, 7:34 pm


Visitor said:

144 Aleppo,

“Dear visitor,

You seem to be a bit irritated for no reason. Don’t worry it will pass.”

You seem to have changed your tone and that’s good start. But you did not acknowledge your error and that’s not good. As you seem to think I am a bit irritated for no reason.

You need to know that I have never been irritated the least by your rashness. But I do have a reason for you to acknowledge your error. Then I chose to forgive or not without you resorting to invoking God into it. So, here’s your chance to act like a responsible sober person. Take it or leave it.

August 26th, 2012, 7:37 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Absolutely humbling, after enduring the most horrific massacre committed so far by the Assadi forces Darayans go out and protest.

Below is a picture of one of the signs:

It says:
“Whatever you do, we will not seek revenge or deviate from our target. You will be taken to court in free Syria”

Allah ye7ayi ahl Daraya, you humble me.

August 26th, 2012, 7:48 pm


Aleppo said:


These events bring tears to my eyes. It is shocking how supporters of the butcher of Damascus dare dehumanize the people.

Assad senior may not have been a genius but he had some intuition, Besho is plain dumb.

August 26th, 2012, 8:05 pm


Visitor said:

“A detailed report on the armed opposition by Washington-based think tank Institute for the Study of War suggests so. It states that “the majority of evidence through early march 2012 indicated that while Syria’s insurgents may be inspired by Islam, they are not radical jihadists.” According to numerous journalists who visited Syria in the past month, as well as experts who spoke with NOW Lebanon, the above statement holds true.”

To read more: http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=430734#ixzz24hTcqi7J
Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished. For information on republishing rights from NOW Lebanon: http://www.nowlebanon.com/Sub.aspx?ID=125478

August 26th, 2012, 8:06 pm


Uzair8 said:

An interesting angle from Sky News’ Tim Marshall.

The Tribal Undercurrent In Syria’s Civil War

Little attention is being paid to the tribal factors helping fuel public opinion in Syria, says Sky’s Tim Marshall.

Saturday 25 August 2012

The tribal link between communities in Syria and Arab countries across the region is an under-reported factor in the civil war.

Many people are now familiar with the regional strategy of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to weaken Iran by overthrowing its ally, the Assad regime in Damascus.

But there is little attention paid to the tribal factors helping fuel public opinion in those countries and others.

Large numbers of Syrians are descended from tribes in the Arabian peninsula. They moved north during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century, but kept in contact with their tribal confederations.

Despite the artificial lines drawn by French and British colonialists in 1916, creating nation states, the tribal links remain.

Read more:


August 26th, 2012, 8:17 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Whomever is doubting the general goodness of the Syrian people is letting fiction blind them of the truth. Whomever thinks that this revolution is only about the FSA now is also letting fiction blind them of reality.

Another powerfully humbling banner was from this past Friday called:
جمعة لاتحزني درعا إنا الله معنا (Do not be sad Deraa, for God is with us)

This is what the people of Deraa had to say:

كيف أحزن وأطفال سوريا رجال (How can I be sad when the Children of Syria are Men)

August 26th, 2012, 8:27 pm


ann said:

Tehran hosts Non-Aligned Movement summit with focus on Syria – 26 August, 2012

Leaders of 120 countries have gathered in Tehran to attend 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. Summit host Iran is expected to draw up a new peace resolution to solve the crisis in Syria. Nuclear disarmament issues are also on the table.

­The Non-Aligned Movement represents practically two-thirds of UN member states. The movement was founded in 1961 and has become a significant discussion platform for developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Among many global topics to be discussed at this summit are human rights and nuclear disarmament issues that have been specified in advance.

At the Tehran summit Iran will take over the leadership role in the Non-Aligned Movement from Egypt for the next three years, meaning Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is definitely heading to Tehran this week.

A number of controversies surround the start of the gathering. The first is that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to attend the six-day summit, despite protests from the US and Israel, which both called on to the UN head to stay away from the event.

Another relates to Palestine as two leaders, President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, have both declared they received and accepted the Iranian invitation.

President Abbas, leader of the secular Fatah Palestinian organization, has threatened to boycott the summit if Hamas attends.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki proclaimed that “President Abbas will not take part in the Non-Aligned summit if Haniyeh is present, no matter what form his attendance takes.”

Prime Minister of Palestine Salam Fayyad called the Iranian move a “stab in the back of the Palestinian national project.”

Hamas announced earlier that Haniyeh would attend the August 30-31 conference in Tehran “in accordance with the invitation from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” a Hamas spokesperson said.

However, on Sunday Iran made a statement that the Hamas premier in Gaza was never issued an invitation.

“Up to now, no official invitation from the Islamic Republic of Iran and the person of (President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad has been sent to Hamas’ popular prime minister [Ismail Haniya],” said the Iranian spokesman for the summit.

“Only [Palestinian president] Mahmud Abbas has been invited to the NAM summit,” the spokesman for the organizing committee of the summit Mohammad Reza Forqani told the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) and Mehr (MNA) Iranian news agencies



August 26th, 2012, 8:30 pm


Uzair8 said:

Without mentioning any name, I must mention a certain Armenian who has been tireless in her efforts on online social networks in the service of the revolution. I’m sure she is Armenian. I’m full of admiration for her devotion, determination and stamina. I don’t know how she does it.

Just a heartfelt tribute.

August 26th, 2012, 8:32 pm


Aleppo said:


Before I had children (well, technically my wife had them) I could not understand what it meant. I always liked children but it is different. How can we feel about shabeeha? How can we tolerate anyone that dismisses the legitimacy of the revolution? or accept what is happening to children in the hands of inhumane assassins and torturers? There is nothing that justifies that!

August 26th, 2012, 8:45 pm


ann said:

News Analysis: Three issues to be highlighted in NAM summit – 2012-08-27


Iran’s Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Chief Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Sunday that Iran stands against any foreign intervention in Syria, stressing that the NAM summit in Tehran aims at creating a chance to help resolve the 18-month-old crisis in Syria.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran would present a “comprehensive” proposal to solve the Syrian crisis and it would be discussed on the sidelines of the 16th NAM meeting.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Thursday that Tehran would present an “acceptable and rational” proposal on the Syria crisis at the upcoming NAM summit.

Iran maintains everybody should refrain, avoid violence and try to work out some kind of solution between various political parties in Syria, Dr. Sadeq Zibakalam, a professor of political science with Tehran University, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.



August 26th, 2012, 8:49 pm


Ghufran said:

Thanks for the comment, you were respectful at least despite the few barbs.
I managed to get on the nerves of a number of people here, but I stand by my comments and have no problem with people disagreeing with me.
My Syrian half is as dear to me as my Palestinian half,I do not see Lebanon, Syria and Palestine as three separate nations.
It has to be annoying to some to have two posters on this board,one is irritated and the other is irritating.
Bashar is a burnt card even for his supporters, his presence helps his opponents more than his supporters,the challenge today,and always was, is to change the regime without destroying Syria, as of now, the only plan that is on schedule is the second part.

August 26th, 2012, 9:00 pm


ann said:

The case against intervening in Syria – August 25, 2012

One thing unlikely to come of American involvement: Goodwill


Calls for a U.S. military intervention in Syria have dominated the conversation in conventional and social media. Two simple and effective arguments are being advanced. The first, and most compelling, is that the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe befalling the Syrian people mandates international action. The second is based on realpolitik: Supporting the just and winning cause of the Syrian rebels will put the United States in good standing with the regime that emerges from the conflict.

Both arguments are wrong.

Any U.S. military engagement in Syria would have two important ramifications.

First, it would cause casualties, including civilian ones. One should not underestimate how much bombing would be required just to suppress anti-aircraft installations so that the U.S. Air Force could operate in support of the rebels. Furthermore, suppression is not a one-off campaign. It has to be continuous, and the regime is likely to hide many of its air defenses in populated areas, provoking more civilian casualties.

Second, U.S. participation in another war in a Muslim country will serve to only deepen the perception that Washington is trigger-happy about dropping bombs on Muslim populations and regimes. Two years after the conclusion of any U.S. intervention in Syria, what people will remember is that women and children died under American bombardments.

Taking sides and delivering power to one group does not always induce the winners to be magnanimous. Iraq is the perfect example of this. It’s sad to say, but civil wars have to be fought and won by locals — and it is generally only after experiencing the horrors of war that the participants learn to compromise.

U.S. foreign policy has always been more preoccupied with America’s place and role in the world than with the countries we engage. Our foreign-policy professionals care deeply about the rest of the world but often for the wrong reasons; they operate as if they alone can reshape outcomes and be the agents of change. Inaction is not in their lexicon.

The longstanding truth underlying this situation is that, for decades, Arabs have been exposed to, even under friendly regimes, daily diatribes of anti-Americanism by their governments, media and academics. This will neither end nor change because we decide to help the Syrian opposition.



August 26th, 2012, 9:09 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Nothing at all justifies that. The physical tashbeeh and online tashbeeh are the product of the filthiest regime in history.

August 26th, 2012, 9:10 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Hey ANN you are back working with longer version, even that, one miss your sanity, I know it is boring having to pass over 300 comments at light speed to get to something readable. You feel like an idiot having to shake your head at the Shrek’s in here typing something not even remotely close to Syrian and yet they brag about the Damascus Shawerma and use SYRIAN for names. LOL, this by itself tell you who they are, this is the same people that phoned Mark’s mother and said HI MOM, THIS IS MARK BINGHAM, I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU I LOVE YOU

One way to tell poster is not Syrian in fact, is when the (I) not capitalized (i) in the post, this is how and Israeli armature or someone actng as foreigner will writes (cliché). There are SIX Syrians on this board. The other surprisingly still kicking, even though as it appears Assad has routed the Islamic Terrorists they sent and financed out of Syria. Losers and dead ender’s, you cannot pass Syria, you stuck in you mess.

August 26th, 2012, 9:15 pm


Son of Damascus said:


While I might not agree with you on somethings, I would never question your Syrianhood. Neither would I ever call you a regimist either, those that do are selectively reading your posts.

August 26th, 2012, 9:17 pm


Ghufran said:

أشار عضو المكتب التنفيذي في المجلس الوطني السوري سمير نشار الى أنّ “الجيش السوري الحر يقاتل ببسالة وشجاعة، وقوات الأسد لم تتوقف لمدة 6 أيام عن القصف الجوي والمدفعي لمدينة حلب”.
ولفت في حديث تلفزيوني الى أنّ “المجتمع الدولي لا يزال يتحدث وهو لا يتخذ أي إجراء على الرغم من سقوط عشرات آلاف القتلى”، مضيفاً “قررنا أن نبقى على تواصل وإستمرار التواجد في سوريا الى جانب الشعب السوري والجيش السوري الحر وخروجنا من سوريا فقط لأجل أهداف تخدم الثورة السورية”.
I was able to understand this statement until I got to the part about:
خروجنا من سوريا الخ
May be one of the SNC supporters can explain this to me.
As for the FSA (SOD) comment,how is criticizing or disagreeing with the FSA is an act of treason? The rebels changed their mission and their tactics in a way that hurt the revolution and the Syrian people as a whole by resorting to assasinations and senseless acts of violence and brutality,they also left their positions and used civilian areas as their new headquarters and allowed Islamist thugs to infiltrate their ranks, do not tell me that we are supposed to support those actions.
Denouncing the regime and supporting a regime change does not mean being mute when you see the opposition committing grave mistakes.

August 26th, 2012, 9:24 pm


Son of Damascus said:


I don’t think it is treasonous to criticize the FSA, nobody is above criticism. bil3aks to me it is more important to criticize them and point out what they are doing wrong, that when they use senseless tactics they should not repeat them.

By the outrage and condemnation the FSA received during the Berri executions the code of conduct for the FSA was born.

I have said this before the FSA needs more civilian leadership, and I believe they are working on that. As for the foreign Jihadists I worry about them as well, but they are just a mere sideshow to the killing machine facing Syrians today.

August 26th, 2012, 9:37 pm


ann said:

Egypt defends Syria contact group that includes Iran – 10 hours ago


Egypt defends Syria contact group that includes Iran

(AFP) – 10 hours ago

CAIRO — Egypt on Sunday defended its idea of forming a regional contact group on Syria which would include Iran, a staunch Damascus ally, insisting that Tehran could “be part of the solution” to the Syrian crisis.

President Mohamed Morsi proposed at this month’s Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in Mecca creating such a group made up of Egypt and Iran, as well as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, two countries supporting the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“If this group succeeds, Iran would be part of the solution and not the problem,” Morsi’s spokesman Yassir Ali told reporters.

“Solving the problem demands inviting all parties active in the region,” he said, noting that Tehran was an “influential partner” of Damascus.

Morsi will attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran on August 30 when he will pass the movement’s presidency from Egypt to Iran.

It will be the first visit by an Egyptian head of state since the two countries severed diplomatic relations more than 30 years ago.

Ali said that Morsi’s visit of “a few hours” would be dedicated solely to the summit.

“No other subject is expected,” he said when asked if the issue of resumption of diplomatic relations between Cairo and Tehran could be addressed.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, in comments reported in Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram newspaper on Tuesday, said that Tehran was keen on establishing relations of “friendship and brotherhood” with Cairo.

“Egypt is the cornerstone of the region and has a special stature in the Arab and Muslim countries… and we want relations of friendship and brotherhood with it,” Salehi said, adding that Tehran hoped to restore “normal” ties with Cairo.

“We will pursue this path and restoration of relations depends only on protocol measures,” he said.



August 26th, 2012, 10:08 pm


Richard said:

165. Ghufran said:
“… allowed Islamist thugs to infiltrate their ranks, do not tell me that we are supposed to support those actions.”

The Islamists have the best weapons. If you want to marginalize the Islamists, you have two choices:
1) Hope that Assad crushes the revolution and holds power.
2) accept much better arming of the FSA by Turkey and/or the West.

The third way, the argument that a decent resolution can be negotiated with the Assad clan clinging to power is a fantasy.

August 26th, 2012, 10:19 pm


ann said:

Beirut Patriarch: EU Doesn’t Care About the Fate of Christians in the Middle East – 8-27-2012


The west’s attitude to the Syrian conflict was described as “hypocrisy” and sharply criticised by the Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church in Beirut, Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III. “For many governments it’s merely a matter of economic interests. They don’t really care about the fate of the Christians in the Middle East. Otherwise they would advocate equality before the law and the observance of human rights for all, including in those countries where the so-called Arab Spring has not taken place”, the Beirut Patriarch claims in an interview with the international Catholic charity “Aid to the Church in Need”. It’s primarily a matter of safeguarding freedom of conscience and religion for all. But this equality before the law does not exist. “It is this that seriously threatens our survival throughout the region”, the head of the Syriac Catholic Church stressed.

Below we publish the interview with His Beatitude Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III., Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church in the Middle East and one of the seven Patriarchs in this region.

Interview with His Beatitude Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III., Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church in the Middle East and one of the seven Patriarchs in this region. The Syriac Catholic Church is one of the 18 faith communities in Lebanon recognised in the Lebanese constitution. The interview was conducted by Jürgen Liminski.

Q) Your Beatitude, we hear a lot about the situation of the Christian refugees and the tensions in Lebanon. That’s one side of the picture. The other is the political aspect of the Christian presence in Lebanon and in the Middle East. Is this presence at risk?

A) Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III.: “The situation of the Christians in Lebanon differs fundamentally from that of the Christians in the other countries of the Middle East. The constitution recognises 18 official religious communities, eleven of which are Christian. But the main concern everywhere is that of human rights. There’s no lack of money and also no lack of vocations. We are being put under pressure by those who wish to recognise only one single religion. We Christians do not demand any special rights; we only want the same rights as everybody else. We want freedom of conscience, we want freedom of religious worship, and we also want freedom for those who don’t believe anything. This equality before the law does not exist. It is this that seriously threatens our survival throughout the region.”

Q) If only it were merely a matter of legal questions, that would be tolerable. But what is the practical situation?

A) Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III.: “No. The legal questions determine our practical life. They are the framework for human dignity. Our young people don’t want to beg for the right to work and live in their own country. In Iraq they ask me: What should we do? Where are we still safe? And it terms of practical living it’s like this: When a young man, a Christian, falls in love with a Muslim woman and she loves him, he has to become a Muslim in order to marry her. Where is the freedom of faith there? Another example: We now have a family from Iran here and they want to be baptised. But in doing this they are risking their lives. Where is the freedom of religion there? Islam does not tolerate a change of faith. There is a similar situation in Turkey. There you can see what follows when freedom only exists on paper. The goods of Christians have been confiscated and many churches have been destroyed. But the Christians were in Asia Minor before the Muslims. Rights are also officially recognised in Iraq, but nobody protects them, nobody does anything against the persecution of Christians. And now Syria. Our presence is also under threat there.”

Q) Are you on Assad’s side?

A) Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III.: “We’re on nobody’s side. I repeat: We only want the same rights as everybody else. If anything, we’re on the side of the Syrian people. But if one doesn’t speak out against Assad nowadays it’s taken to mean that one’s on his side. Do you know who they all are on the other side and whether these forces will recognise civil rights and the Charter of the United Nations?”

Q) Is the European Union wrong in supporting the rebels?

A) Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III.: “Permit me to speak quite frankly. There’s a lot of hypocrisy in all this. For many governments it’s merely a matter of economic interests. They don’t really care about the fate of the Christians in the Middle East. Otherwise they would advocate equality before the law and the observance of human rights for all, including in those countries where the so-called Arab Spring has not taken place. More than a year ago we said that the Arab Spring would result in chaos and civil war. This is not a matter of taking sides for or against Assad or some other potentate in the region. It’s a matter of equal rights for all. It’s a matter of the primacy of human rights and not the primacy of one religion. Integration and living side-by-side are only possible if this primacy is respected. I said it to the government in Paris and I’ll say it to you: Fundamental Islam does not want a dialogue on equal terms in the long run. If the EU were serious about its human rights principles they would openly take up the cause of the future of younger generations in the region. Let’s put it like this: there’s a lot of economic opportunism around.”



August 27th, 2012, 12:08 am


ann said:

Meanwhile, through the US, Israel is pursuing a two-pronged strategy: regime change in Syria intended to weaken Iran and the Lebanese resistance on the one hand, while destroying Syria by dismantling it along ethnic and religious lines.

Israel’s obsession with maintaining a domineering, unchallenged regional position has long envisaged the breaking up of neighbouring states across religious lines as indispensable for its survival as a theocratic state.

The invasion of Iraq was the Zion-cons’ first successful Israeli proxy war using American forces to invade and occupy another country based on proven fabricated tales.

In 1982, almost 20 years prior to the invasion of Iraq, former Israeli Foreign Ministry official Oded Yinon wrote in Kivunim (Directions), the journal of the department of information of the World Zionist Organization, that Israel’s future priority should be “The dissolution of Syria and Iraq … into ethnically or religiously unique areas…”

On Iraq he wrote: “Its dissolution is even more important than Syria. Iraq is stronger… Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to … breaking up Iraq into … provinces along ethnic/religious lines…”
“Israel’s obsession with maintaining a domineering, unchallenged regional position has long envisaged the breaking up of neighbouring states across religious lines as indispensable for its survival as a theocratic state.”

On Syria, the Zionist strategist called for dividing the country into an “Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus … and the Durzes … in the Hauran and in northern Jordan…”

Obama’s recently-revealed approval of an intelligence “finding” authorizing a CIA role in the Syrian conflict may signify now a new liberal Zionist Israeli proxy war in Syria. Israel’s dominion obsession is a menace endangering the stability of the region and world peace.


August 27th, 2012, 12:25 am


ann said:

Syrian TV Denies Intelligence Chief Murder – 26/08/2012


A pro-government Syrian TV channel, al-Dunya, on Sunday denied media reports that Jamil Hassan, head of Syria’s air force intelligence, had been assassinated.

Al-Arabiya TV reported earlier in the day, citing Syrian opposition sources, that the air force intelligence chief had been shot dead in his Damascus office by one of his aides, a secret supporter of the opposition. Hassan is considered one of President Bashar al-Assad’s closest advisors.

“The information about the assassination of Syria’s air force intelligence chief Jamil Hassan… is absolutely false,” the channel said.

The information war between the government and rebels has been an ongoing element of the Syrian crisis since it began in March 2011.



August 27th, 2012, 1:08 am


Ales said:

I agree that civilians were also killed in Daraya.
But let’s admit it, many rebel claims about massacre have proved to be full of holes or outright lies. For example, “Thamsieh massacre” has been confirmed as armed fight by UN observers.
There was a fight in Daraya too. Any claims of massacre, truthful as they may be, has been hurt by lies and exaggerations of rebels before.

August 27th, 2012, 10:01 am


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