More Economic Pressure. Assad Will be Ousted “Sooner or Later”? Sarkozy asks why the Region’s Christians Don’t Emigrate? The Six Killer Apps (By Ehsani)

This morning, the official journal of the EU announced the seventh set of sanctions imposed on Syria. Two individuals and six companies were added to a list of people and entities facing assets freeze and travel ban. In addition to the earlier sanctions on importing or exporting energy products, an important prohibition on investment in the crude oil sector was made official. The delivery of Syrian banknotes and coins to the Central Bank of Syria is now also officially prohibited.

Today’s sanctions continue to largely target Mr. Rami Makhlouf and the entities that he controls.  The other notable target this time was Syria’s official and non official media.  Both the Information Minister and Addounia TV were hit with sanctions. This means that the channel will stop broadcasting on the Hotbird satellite and may also be banned from both Arab sat and Nile sat. The response of the Addounia management was made available on the company’s website. The new E.U. sanctions were to be regarded as a medal of honor for being able to keep 27 European countries and its leaders busy enough to sanction a company that has believed that what is happening in Syria is a conspiracy and that these sanctions clearly illustrate that this is not just a media war but a global war targeting the basic existential needs of the Syrian people. The company promised its viewers that it will continue to expose the conspiracy and everything that harms the Syrian people.

As for Cham Holding which was also targeted today, the company is yet to make an official response. With a start-up capital of $360 millions, Cham Holding was launched in 2007 by the collaboration of 73 top Syrian investors.  The new sanctions will put further pressure on this company that was already reeling from the recent change in its Board of Directors whose earlier Chair (Mr. Nabil Kuzbari) and Vice Chair (Mr. Rami Makhlouf) were both personally sanctioned. The new Board of Directors saw its new Vice Chair (Mr. Fares Al Chihabi) also get slapped with sanctions just recently.

Set below is a more detailed list of who was added to the sanctions and the official reason why:

Tayseer Qala Awwad (Minister of Justice)

Associated with the Syrian regime, including by supporting its policies and practices of arbitrary arrest and detention.

Dr. Adnan Hassan Mahmoud (Minister of Information)

Associated with the Syrian regime, including by supporting and promoting its information policy.

Addounia TV

Has incited violence against the civilian population in Syria.

Cham Holding

Controlled by Rami Makhlouf; largest holding company in Syria, benefiting from and supporting the regime.

El-Tel Co.

Manufacturing and supplying telecommunication equipment for the Army.

Ramak Constructions Co.

Construction of military barracks, border post barracks and other buildings for Army needs.

Souruh Company

Investment in local military industrial projects, manufacturing weapons parts and related items. 100% of the company is owned by Rami Makhlouf.


Controlled by Rami Makhlouf; provides financial support to the regime: through its licensing contract it pays 50% of its profits to the Government.

Staying on economic issues, the country’s business community is in a state of confusion and anxiety over the recent decision to suspend the imports of cars and other items with 5 percent customs duties.  Besides cars, no one is sure what the import ban will include. Many products carry customs duties of over 5% percent. What will be banned and what will be deemed a “luxury” is still open to speculation. The consensus is that a detailed list of the banned items will be released over the next few days.  The business community cannot wait to find out. For now, an article by Reuters quotes businessmen reporting  no selling or buying amid fears that prices of existing foreign imports will now soar.

Syria: The revolution will be weaponised – Aljazeera

Journalist Nir Rosen spent seven weeks travelling throughout Syria with unique access to all sides. He visited Daraa, Damascus, Homs, Hama, Latakia and Aleppo to explore the uprising and growing internal conflict. In the first article of his series he meets with leaders of the armed opposition in Homs.

Turkey seizes Syrian ship with weapons – PM Erdogan – BBC

He did not say where or when the vessel was stopped, but vowed to confiscate any arms shipments for Syria coming through Turkish waters or airspace. Mr Erdogan has repeatedly criticised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his government’s violent crackdown on street protesters.

Arab leaders absent while Erdoğan talks to UN – Hurriyet

The Arab people like us. But today, the policies of current rulers of the Arab countries are based on competing with each other and hampering each other. We should not take those who are giving us a pat on the shoulder too serious. Our politics should reflect our interests. There should be no room for emotions.

Erdogan: Assad Will Be Ousted “Sooner or Later”

WASHINGTON – Syrian President Bashar Assad will be ousted “sooner or later” by his own people as the time of dictatorial rule fades around the world, Turkish Prime Minister RecepTayyip Erdogan said. Erdogan, in an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” to be aired on Sunday, maintained his stern tone towards Israel and warned relations may “never become normal again” but he had warm words for US President Barack Obama as Turkey rises as a diplomatic power in the Middle East. “You can never remain in power through cruelty. You can never stand before the will of the people,” Erdogan said in a transcript released by CNN on Saturday. “This process might be extended a little bit more but sooner or later in Syria, if people take a different decision, that decision is going to be catered to. Such as in Egypt, such as in Tunisia, such as in Libya. People want to be free.”

Malek Jandali’s parents had fled to the United States – CNN

The home of a Syrian musician’s family was ransacked this week, an act viewed as further intimidation by security forces angry at his views about the government. Malek Jandali, a renowned composer and pianist in Syria, told CNN Saturday that he learned from close sources that two armed security officers broke into his family’s Homs residence and looted and destroyed furniture. The house was empty because his parents had fled to the United States.

French envoy mobbed in Syria

(CNN) — France’s ambassador to Syria was attacked on Saturday morning in Damascus, the French Foreign Ministry said.
People threw stones and eggs at Eric Chevallier after he met with Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignace IV in the Christian quarter of Damascus’s old city.

Why don’t the Christians in both Lebanon and Syria migrate to Europe is allegedly what Sarkozy asked the Maronite religious leader on his recent visit to France.  According to the article, Christians had no place in the Middle East given the clash between Christianity and Islam.  The Maronite leader was shocked by what he heard which prompted the French leader to point to a document that cites how over three million Christians emigrated from Lebanon over the past 20 years and that the Middle East will face many problems in the future.

Niall Ferguson’s 6 Killer Apps of Prosperity – Worth Watching

  1. Competition
  2. The Scientific Revolution
  3. Property Rights
  4. Modern Medicine
  5. Consumer Society
  6. The Work Ethic

Comments (376)

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1. ann said:

Syria slaps ban on imports except raw materials – Sat Sep 24, 2011

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syria has banned imports of most foreign manufactured goods except raw materials and grains, local businessmen said on Saturday in a move to preserve foreign currency reserves under pressure from Western sanctions and ongoing political unrest.

The government decreed on Thursday that all imports that carry a tariff that exceeds five percent are banned, meaning that most foreign goods are affected, from electrical goods, to cars and luxury items, businessmen and traders in Damascus, who were contacted by Reuters said.

The decision however excludes raw materials needed for the country’s hard-hit industries, along with wheat and grain purchases by the state for local consumption.

The country has been rocked since March by pro-democracy protests aimed at overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad which have intensified and claimed hundreds of lives.

In the five year’s prior to the uprising, after the authorities lifted Syria’s Soviet-style ban on imports but imposed high tariffs. Nonetheless the moves did not dampen demand for foreign imports, especially cars that began to enter the country for the first time in decades.

Before 2000, Syrians bought private cars and many luxury items through state-run firms.

Traders said the import ban has already sent shock waves across the country’s business community and was bound to add to inflationary pressures and further damage business confidence, already hit by the impact of social unrest.

“There is no selling or buying, it’s so bad now that traders and businessmen are neither selling in cash or credit. Prices of existing foreign imports will now soar,” said one car dealer in Damascus’s Sabaa Bahrat commercial area, who preferred not to disclose his identity.

“This move will only worsen the situation and add to the uncertainty,” said another businessman in the Halabouni district in the capital, adding there was a wait-and-see mood among investors and traders.

“They are holding tight and not buying any goods and sitting and waiting but not panicking so far,” he added.

Businessmen said that the economy faces currency pressures as a result of the protests and could deplete foreign reserves that had stood at around $18 billion earlier this year.

But economists and bankers say reserves have been falling as the central bank pumps foreign currency to stop falls in the Syrian exchange rate on the black market.

The official exchange rate stands at 47.4 pounds to the dollar. But dollars are changing hands on the black market at 51 pounds to the dollar and above.

The Syrian economy has been hard hit by international sanctions aimed at pressuring Assad, including a ban on all Syrian oil imports to the European Union. Analysts in the country say that foreign investment has reduced considerably.

The unrest, has along with hurting productivity in crucial industries, dealt a big blow to the country’s once thriving tourism industry and hit imports, economists and businessmen alike said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted this week that Syria’s economy would contract 2 percent this year, dumping the 3 percent growth forecast it issued in April due to ongoing conflict and social unrest across the region.

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September 24th, 2011, 11:55 am


2. Ehsani said:


Thanks. I have included this in the body of the post.

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September 24th, 2011, 12:05 pm



let’s get the ball rolling..


“6 months later and Bashar is still here. 6 months later and the fundamentalist movement has achieved nothing. They are such sad, pathetic animals, those revs…its ok Arboud, im not excluding u from behind ur screen in that remark”

You always paint the picture that those opposed to dictatorship are fundamentalists. Undoubtedly there will be those who hold very strong religious convictions, but that does not make them extremists and besides, you can find similar people in the pro-Assad camp.

Also, you criticise the protestors for having achieved very little after 6 months. But by what metric are you judging their success (how many revolutions have you witnessed in your life time?)? What should they have achieved after six months?

Finally, you call the protestors animals. Ok, fine, you’ve chosen your side. But don’t expect any sympathy in a post-Assad era. Don’t come crying back pretending that you were really with the protestors. You will be an outcast, shunned by your fellow citizens. This is not going to end well, there will be bloody retribution, too many people have died in the most awful ways for this uprising to pass without acts of revenge being committed. What you do and say now has a cost. The protestors for their part are also aware that if they fail they will suffer similar acts of violence. I’m sure you are aware of this point. Do not think that you can simply hedge your bets, that people will forget, they won’t.

A lot of people on this board complain about other posts. They say that the message is offensive and that it should be moderated. I don’t think it should be. I think this board is a microcosm of what is going on in Syria right now. The hate filled attacks on other posters is directly analogous to what is taking place in cities across the country. Syria is about to enter a bloody and protracted civil war – my advice is to make sure you pick your side well.

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September 24th, 2011, 12:43 pm


4. ann said:

Sorry about that. Thank you.

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September 24th, 2011, 12:43 pm


5. Ghufran said:

Even without the help of Sarkozy and his friends,the Middle East is becoming less tolerant of minorities. What Sarkozy hopes to do is to replace Muslim immigrants from north Africa with Christian ones from Syria,Lebanon,Iraq,etc to reduce the impact of the increased Muslim population in his country.western embassies will do to the Christians what the US did to the Palestinians,they will accept visa applications quickly while thousands of potential Muslim immigrants will be denied entry.the goal is to help Israel in the case of the US policy toward the Palestinians ,and help European countries in their long struggle to put a break on what many Europeans call the Islamization of Europe.
The land where Jesus and christianity came from and spreaded will be almost empty from the followers of Jesus.this is Europe’s gift to Arab Christians.

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September 24th, 2011, 1:12 pm



Great piece by Niall Fergusion, thanks for putting it on the board.

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September 24th, 2011, 1:24 pm


7. majedkhaldoun said:

As we all expected,Ehsani you are doing great,great,great job,thank you.

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September 24th, 2011, 1:43 pm


8. 5 dancing shlomos said:

niall ferguson is worth watching to understand that he is a waste of time. lest the simpetons misunderstand, niall ferguson is a WASTE OF TIME.

“French envoy mobbed in Syria. People threw stones and eggs at Eric Chevallier.” – good. this is a small but needed response to acts of war against syria.

i recommend the use of flechettes and rotted eggs. some white phosphorus cant hurt.

a simple but honest grenade will suffice for erdogan

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September 24th, 2011, 1:44 pm



@ 5 dancing shlomos

You will know when an act of war is declared on Syria, be in no doubt about that.

You’re very keen to suggest the use of various weapons against protesters – have you ever thought about putting a tin hat on and going down to the front line? I’d like to see how you fair.

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September 24th, 2011, 1:52 pm


10. zoo said:


Can you elaborate on the key effects of these sanctions on the everyday life of the civilians and the army?

Would electricity, mazut and internet be rationned?
How autonomous Syria is for food, medicine and other needed items? Do you think many christian syrians will follow Sarkozy advice and leave?
What other impacts?

Also what are the alternatives Syria has to compensate for the sanctions on oil since insurance companies are refusing to insure boats carrying gazoline. Would Iran and Iraq be possible providers? Would Turkey allow crossing of trucks from Iran?

Obviously Syria will become empoverished and weaker. With a weak and exhausted army it is an easy prey for Israel. Do you think Israel may decide to withdraw from the West Bank and take some Syrian territory in exchange ‘to protect the civilians’.

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September 24th, 2011, 1:53 pm


11. Ehsani said:


Thank you very much. This is a time consuming effort. Now I understand why Dr. Landis could not finish writing that book.


I would like to see the details of the import ban when it is released before I answer your set of questions. Undoubtedly, the pressure on the economy is now in full swing.

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September 24th, 2011, 2:02 pm


12. 5 dancing shlomos said:

erdogan and chevallier are protestors?

clinton a protestor?

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September 24th, 2011, 2:05 pm


13. 5 dancing shlomos said:

sanctions and black ops and psy ops are acts of war be in no doubt about that.

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September 24th, 2011, 2:07 pm


14. ann said:

Mikdad: Syria Has Taken Measures to Meet Demands of Syrian People, but Still Exposed to Terrorist Campaign

Sep 24, 2011

NEW YORK, (SANA)-Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad underlined that the Syrian leadership has taken a number of measures to meet the demands of citizens, issuing several decrees and legislations, on top, the laws of political parties, elections, local administration and freedom of media.

Mikdad delivered a statement at the annual coordinative meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Organizations of Islamic Cooperation on Friday, saying that the first figure who called for reform in Syria is President Bashar al-Assad who has proposed, since assuming office in 2000, a comprehensive reform plan in the social, economic and political domains.

“The US invasion of Iraq and pressures imposed on Syria following al-Hariri assassination prevented Syria from carrying out President al-Assad’s reform plan,” Mikdad added.

“In spite of the latest measures to carry out reforms, Syria is still exposed to a terrorist campaign by extremist groups linked to foreign sides…. Syria is also exposed to a misleading media campaign that broadcast fabricated news, ignore facts and blackout martyrdom of more than 700 members of law-enforcement,” Mikdad said.

He went on to say that the current national dialogue process in Syria that covers all cities and towns proves the leadership’s will in brining together all Syria people to make Syria’s future.

Mikdad underlined Syria’s support to the Palestinian people’s demand to gain a full membership at the UN, calling on the Islamic states to confront war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Israel against the Syrian people in Golan and the Arab citizens in the occupied Arab lands.

At the conclusion of their meeting, the ministers adopted a statement in which they reiterated their strong condemnation of the Israeli policies that reject to bide by the UN Security Council’s resolution No. 497 related to the occupied Syrian Golan.

They also affirmed their countries’ rejection of the Israeli practices which are based on colonial settlement, confiscation of lands, diversion of water resources and imposition of the Israeli identity on the Syrian citizens in the Golan, calling upon Israel to completely withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan till the line of June 4th, 1967 in implementation of the Security Council’s resolutions No. /242/ and /338/.

The ministers asserted the necessity of obliging Israel to respect the Fourth Geneva Convention which is related to protecting the civilians, and to implement the convention on the Syrian detainees in the Syrian Golan and to release them immediately.

They also condemned the decisions of the American Administration on imposing unilateral sanctions on Syria, expressing rejection of the so-called “Syria’s accountability act”, and considering it as null and void and an outrageous intervention of the international law and the UN Charter and resolutions.

They voiced solidarity with Syria, appreciating its stance which calls for adopting dialogue and diplomacy in the international relations to solve the disputes, calling upon the US to reconsider its stances and to abolish the sanctions.

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September 24th, 2011, 2:24 pm


15. OFF THE WALL said:

Mr. Anti-Semitic name.

Comment 8 is a clear call for violent act against specific people. It could not be clearer than this. While we do expect that from deranged minds, there is not a rational reason to tolerate it.

I strongly conquer with your comment about EHSANI

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September 24th, 2011, 2:41 pm


16. 5 dancing shlomos said:

but mr 15 tolerates and encourages violent actions against syria.

you no doubt are expressing your feigned outrage from a cubicle in tel aviv.


the “deranged minds” would be all citizens of the thing called israel and those deranged syrians supporting external aggression against their country and countrymen.

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September 24th, 2011, 2:49 pm


17. hans said:

@ Gufran:
“this is Europe’s gift to Arab Christians”

No this is the result of the radical Muslims persecuting and killing the Christians all over the middle east from Sudan,Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and now Syria. The Christians in the middle east have been persecuted since the spread of Islam by force,( in opposite to the BS Muslims claim that they were treated well) forcing them to convert or die! As you may or not know many have been killed because of that! given at that time there were no planes or ships to flee to Europe or the USA.
In Egypt all people who work in picking trash are Christians because the Muslim Sunni force them to do so examples of persecution and killing Christians over the thousands of year are plenty!
FYI Saudi Arabia use to have large population of Christians with having many bishops at that time which indicates large population of Christians communities. Radical Islam brings destruction to every country it presents in regardless of the west is involved or not, here is the proof: China, India, Russia, etc… obviously you can’t blame the problem with Islam in these countries on the west or the Jews ( I am not saying they are innocent either). It is clear that Radical aggressive Islam doesn’t accept the others and it belongs to the stone age where people believed in empty words written by people in their holy books as much the old testament, bible has messages which doesn’t belong to the 21st century and most of Jews and Christians don’t agree or follow it, the Quran has many teaching doesn’t belong to a human being in the 21st century unless you dumb it and stop believing god wants Muslims to follow it. Having 72 virgin waiting for a Martyer as a concept ( and others concepts in the Quran) belongs the psychiatry ward patients not to a 21st human being believers.
Islam will never catch with the modern civilizations, unless it liberates itself from such teaching, many of the radicals Muslims who lives in the west are professionally educated ( many belongs to the Muslim brotherhood movement), but they have the conflict between thousands years old teaching and the world at the current time. Alzawahiri is one but there is thousands of them out there.

The birth of Jesus Christ lost all its Christians population including Gaza strip because of the radical Muslims and Hamas. Christians live in peace only in the Israeli occupied areas, and by a recent poll, the Arabs ( both muslims mostly druze and christians) living in Israeli occupied area they prefer to stay under Israeli than under the Palestinian authority.

Now you may understand little more why the Christians in Syria and the middle east will flee their homes and leave their lands empty hands to pursue a better live elsewhere. no one wants to leave their home land but because of fear which is built on a previous experience.

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September 24th, 2011, 3:00 pm


18. ann said:

INDIA’s PM slams West for using force to change regimes

Sep 25, 2011

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday strongly criticized Western powers for using force to change regimes in other countries, a reference to Libya amid calls for a similar intervention in Syria, cautioning that societies cannot be re-engineered by outsiders.

In a direct criticism of Western military operations in Libya and likely action in Syria, the PM asserted at the United Nations General Assembly that absence of democracy and rule of law cannot be a pretext to violate sovereignty and integrity of countries.

“The observance of the rule of law is as important in international affairs as it is within countries. Societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force. People in all countries have the right to choose their own destiny and decide their own future,” the prime minister said in a speech which also drew applause for a strong call for expanding the UN Security Council.

Significantly, Singh also used the occasion to make plain his desire to continue efforts to improve ties with Bangladesh, saying the upswing in bilateral ties was beneficial to the security of both: a possible pointer to a fresh effort at persuading West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to drop her resistance to the accord for sharing of Teesta waters.

The speech also saw the PM highlighting India’s new status as an emerging power as well as its willingness to play a bigger role on the international stage. “We wish to quicken the pace of India’s transformation in partnership with the international community. A fast growing India can expand the boundaries for the global economy. A democratic, plural and secular India can contribute to tolerance and peaceful co-existence among nations,” he said.

Although consistent with India’s historical insistence to respect sovereignty and integrity of nations, the blunt remark warning about the perils of the West succumbing to the temptation to impose democracy underlined a growing disconnect between India and the US. After the close relationship fostered by Singh, the criticism is jarring.

While acknowledging that the international community has a role to play to help with the process of transition and institution building, Singh said, “The idea that prescriptions have to be imposed from outside is fraught with danger.”

He continued, “Actions taken under the authority of the United Nations must respect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of individual states”: a remark which echoed the feeling in India that Western powers went beyond the mandate they secured from the Security Council to use force in Libya.

The PM stressed the need to abide by the foundational principles of the UN — internationalism and multilateralism — as he said, “We will succeed if our efforts have legitimacy and are pursued not just within the framework of law but also the spirit of law.”

The PM also repeated India’s strong support to Palestine’s demand for full membership of the United Nations as a state. “India is steadfast in its support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognizable borders side by side and at peace with Israel. We look forward to welcoming Palestine as an equal member of the United Nations,” he said.

Making a strong pitch for the expansion of the UN Security Council so that it can reflect the contemporary reality, the PM said, “Such an outcome will enhance the Council’s credibility and effectiveness in dealing with global issues. Early reform of the Security Council must be pursued with renewed vigour and urgently enacted.”

He also focused on the piracy in the Indian Ocean, terming it a new threat to international security, and called for a comprehensive and effective response. On terrorism, he called for an “unrelenting fight” cautioning yet again against “selective approaches”.

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September 24th, 2011, 3:02 pm


19. jad said:

It’s sad to come to SC without reading Dr. Landis profound analysis, at the same time it’s a pleasure to see Mr. Ehsani’s helping in keeping SC on.
Thank you Dr. Landis for creating this oasis of freedom exchange to all of us Syrians and “the rests”.
Thank you Ehsani for keeping SC alive during these dark times of our homeland. I’m sure it will be a difficult job for you dealing with all of us, good luck Ehsani 🙂

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September 24th, 2011, 3:03 pm



@ 5 dancing shlomos

ok, so on this particular occasion you are advocating the killing of democratically elected politicians rather than protestors as you usually do). The point still stands. Why don’t you go and do it if you’re so keen on it?


5 dancing shlomos is typical of those that belong to the little clique that is currently running this country, don’t be surprised by what he says. It’s because of people like him that this country will descend into civil war. If that is what he wants then I suggest he goes pick up a weapon.

I am of the opinion that Assad has now forfeited his right to any safe exit. He should be executed along with his fellow cronies.

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September 24th, 2011, 3:07 pm


21. OFF THE WALL said:

Mr. Anti-Semitic Name
Your hypernationalism is pathetic at best. If you have a shred of love for Syria, you would have joined those trying to get rid of the rotten regime that has sold Syria, in parts, and in bulk.

Any Syrian who glorifies an army and a regime head who orders the shooting at Syrian citizens demanding their rights, who condone, by action or inaction, the systematic mutilation of the bodies of children and young women and men murdered by their security apparatus, and who condones also by action and inaction to continuing assault on the intellect of Syria, does not deserve the Syrian citizenship. Connection to Syria is now an honorable thing. It was made honorable not by the pathetic army and their treasonous masters, nor by the shabeeha hyenas, or pontificating ignoramuses shouting empty slogans, it was made honorable by the sacrifices of the young and old who have risen after forty years of oppression and of stifling of their humanity. For years this regime gave the world an image of a cowardly country, and these heroes finally showed the world what real metal Syrians are made of. The four decades of Assad gang rule is now culminating by the regime forfeiting its connection not only to Syria, but to the human race. If that does not anger you, then you have no ground to teach us about nationalism.

You and many of those accusing us of collaborating against Syria and Syrians are part and parcel of the oppression machinery. You provide that vicious machinery with cover that they themselves have discredited over the forty years of gang rule in Syria. If you can not realize that the real potential of Syria is in the freedom of its citizens from this oppression, then you have no business teaching us about Citizenship. Go find yourself a couple of like minded Israelis and spend your hours arguing with them. We Syrians have a more urgent task that will get us closer to being able to confront any aggression. We are working on removing the rotten regime and regaining our freedom, dignity, and rights.

You go love the stones of Syria, the lofty slogans of fake nationalism, and let us worry about loving its people and their yearning to unleash their great potentials.

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September 24th, 2011, 3:16 pm


22. Tara said:

17 Hans or Afram

Let me remind you that the vast majority of killings in the 20th century occurred by Jesus-abiding Christians. 5 millions Jews vanished by Christian Germans and more than 200.000 muslim Bosnians by Christian Serbs. More people in history died for the name of Jesus than any other religion. Did you forget?

Stop spreading lies!. No Christian died in Syria because he/she is Christian, to the opposite many Christians in Syria unfortunately by staying silent are supporting the murders and torture of their fellow Syrians.

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September 24th, 2011, 3:44 pm


23. ann said:

Day After President Returns, More Than 40 Killed in Yemen

September 24, 2011

Sniper fire and mortar shells rained down on the square here where peaceful protesters have gathered for months to demand Mr. Saleh’s ouster, killing at least 17 and forcing hundreds to flee, according to doctors and witnesses.

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September 24th, 2011, 3:46 pm


24. Haytham Khoury said:

أحد مؤسسي الجيش السوري الحر: المنشقون تجاوزوا 10 آلاف ونقوم بعمليات نوعية

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September 24th, 2011, 3:47 pm


25. ann said:

Turkey’s Erdoğan: Israel “Shows No Mercy”

September 24, 2011

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Israel “shows no mercy” and is “cruel” in its treatment of Palestinians in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that airs on Sunday.

The Turkish leader also questioned the number of Israelis that have suffered under missile attacks launched from Gaza where the militant Islamist movement Hamas has been in government since 2007, before claiming that “hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were killed” as a result of military action by Israel.

Relations between the two Middle Eastern states have deteriorated since May of last year when Israel intercepted a small fleet of blockade runners that was bound for Gaza. The activists on board the ships claimed that they were carrying humanitarian aid for the people of the Gaza Strip but attacked Israeli soldiers when they boarded the lead vessel. Nine Turks were killed in the skirmish that ensued.

Ankara strongly condemned the incident. Erdoğan’s deputy prime minister likened the action to “piracy” and characterized it as “a dark stain on the history of humanity.” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, the architect of Turkey’s “zero problems with neighbors” policy, compared the Israeli raid to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Turkey demanded a formal apology from Israel for the loss of life as well as reparations for the families of the deceased. When its demands weren’t met this month, it barred Israeli military aircraft from Turkish air space and vowed legal action against the Israeli soldiers that were involved in the incident.

The Israeli embargo of Gaza continues but Egypt, where veteran president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in a popular uprising last February, unilaterally lifted the blockade this May.

Erdoğan received a hero’s welcome in Cairo nearly two weeks ago where he spoke passionately on behalf of the Palestinian cause. “Our Palestinian brothers should be able to have their own state,” he told a summit of Arab leaders, urging their support for full Palestinian membership of the United Nations.

The Palestinian Authority sought recognition of statehood at the General Assembly in New York on Friday despite American and Israeli opposition to the move. Western powers insist that a Palestinian state can only come about as a result of negotiations with Israel.

Although he risks alienating traditional allies of Turkey’s with his populist rhetoric, Erdoğan will likely continue to champion the Palestinian cause and frustrate his nation’s relations with Israel in the process.

The prime minister’s moral support of the Palestinians held his administration in good stead among Arabs who took to the streets to demand democracy in Egypt and Syria this year. Its “zero problems with neighbors” policy, by contrast, accomplished little in Damascus where President Bashar al-Assad hardly recognized Turkey’s plea to end the violence against demonstrators.

The emerging new political class in Egypt and possibly Syria might remember Turkey’s willingness to do business with the old, authoritarian guard in these countries and regards Ankara’s once close ties with the Jewish state warily. This threatens to derail the very aim of more than a decade of Turkish foreign policy—to establish trade relations across the region and position Turkey as the pivotal power broker of the Middle East.

So Turkey is changing its foreign policy again, this time in favor of not just its neighboring governments but its neighboring people.

Turkey, with its novel blend of moderate Islamism and secular administration, uniquely positioned between the Muslim world and Europe, should have been on the side of those to whom it appealed most all along—the very educated, cosmopolitan youngsters who agitated against the corrupted and oppressive enlightened despotisms of their time.

Erdoğan admitted as much when he avoided answering Fareed Zakaria’s question about Turkey’s realignment plainly. “We work on adopting the science of the West,” he said. “But let’s not forget, there are really beautiful things in the East, as well. Do not leave the eastern parts of the world aside.”

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September 24th, 2011, 3:56 pm


26. Abu Umar said:

17. hans said:

Cry me a river. You Christians are no slouches in this regard and many of the lands which the West occupied, were done in the name of Christ, and even many of the the so-called non-religious Westerners are still reaping the benefits of the conquests of their ancestors. Your criminal Nusayri regime will not be built on the back on tens of thousands of Sunnis.

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September 24th, 2011, 4:02 pm


27. Tara said:

Now that the regime started to feel the impact of the economic sanctions, If I was in the opposition leadership, I would secretly meet with the Iranians and assure them that when Assad is toppled, the Syrian people will continue to have good strong relationship with Iran as before. Iran has no special love relationship with Bashar as Assad. I do not buy a Shiaa-Alawi alliance thing. The Iranians are smart and pragmatic enough to withdraw their support of this murderous regime and hasten its fall if they were assured continuous strong relationship with the new government of Syria. A unified smart opposition is crucial element in establishing good diplomatic relationship with the east as well as the west to help the revolution succeeds.

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September 24th, 2011, 4:04 pm


28. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

How is the street looking today? hmmm, need clean up.

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September 24th, 2011, 4:15 pm


29. OFF THE WALL said:


While I agree that the regime upper echelon and some in the lower ranks (those who participate in murders) have forfeited any claim to safe exit. I remain anti-death penalty. In fact, I am of the opinion that the Syrian revolution should continue to give examples to the entire world and adopt a ban or at least a moratorium on death penalty. The upside of this would be much needed cooperation from those captured or from those who may defect but are afraid. I know it is too lofty of a request, I’d rather see those guys in jail for the reminder of their natural lives. Which would serve as a better deterrence of tyranny. You execute someone and there are bound to be some people who will consider them martyrs despite of how low they were. It is also possible that their abuses will be forgotten in short order after execution. You keep them in jail it would be much better.

In fact, I support trying those low life tyrants, their aids, and their enablers for every single life lost during their reign and for every infraction on the liberties of people, for every law they conspired to create that oppressed the people and gave them the power to commit the atrocities, fraud, and corruption they have been punishing Syria with. Drag them to court for as long as it takes, even if it costs money, and let the world learn. Execution will probably get people over it, and we should never get over crimes like that. Their life is not enough of a compensation.

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September 24th, 2011, 4:17 pm


30. Haytham Khoury said:

The Syrian regime according to Mamdouh ‘Odwan, a Syrian novelist

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September 24th, 2011, 4:18 pm


31. Aboud said:

“I strongly conquer with your comment about EHSANI ”

LOL! We are never going to let the menhebaks forget that one 🙂

5 Working Brain Cells is the typical bombastic-sitting-in-the-West-menhebak. All for outright war, as long as someone else is doing the dying.

Have you guys noticed how poorly attended the funerals for the shabihas are? When a demonstrator dies, thousands and tens of thousands come out to their funerals. It just goes to show you that to the X-Box president, even the Alawite thugs for hire as just so much expendable cannon fodder for his mafia family.

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September 24th, 2011, 4:20 pm


32. Aboud said:

#28 is the pearl of wisdom one gets after a life time spent in an “exclusive” party environment LOL!

The French ambassador has been to more funerals than the inept X-Box menhebak president. Not surprising he was one of the few leaders not to make his way to the UN this week. I doubt he can afford the plane ticket with all those sanctions 🙂

Wonder how he likes being an outcast, along with the leader of North Korea and Zimbabwe.

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September 24th, 2011, 4:24 pm


33. Tara said:

Abu Umar

“cry me a river”. Love the expression. I must add of crocodile tears.


It is so annoying that those islamophobe Christians are only a minority of the Arab Christians but the way they are vocal on SC makes it sound like they are the majority. I know more Arab Christians in the US including many many Lebanese and Egyptians than I know Syrian Sunnis. They are All very tolerant like Haytham ( and yes Norman). It is a disgrace that more tolerant Christians are not appropriately represented on SC.

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September 24th, 2011, 4:24 pm


34. Abu Umar said:

115. مندس said:

Don’t the majority of Syrian Shi’a(Twelvers) support the regime like Hisham al-Qutayt who mentioned in one of his books, that Umar ibn al-Khattab was responsible for the establishment of Israel?

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September 24th, 2011, 4:35 pm




How is the street looking today? hmmm, need clean up.

Off course the streets need cleaning, you just defecated a mental dump in the same curb you ate at and 3 like minded just threw up their likes to spice your mental dump.

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September 24th, 2011, 4:38 pm


37. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Plenty of looooooooooooooosers on this blog are under the impression that armed struggle and these silly economic sanctions are going to bring President Bashar Assad down. They will not have any major impact on Syria economy whatsoever. They will effects the traders for few weeks, but they can switch to local business quickly. Hafez Assad barely spent a dime on imports and he survived for decades. When women sell their ass for few hundred dollars, as the case with Western Countries, it is not hard to find willing business partner that will deliver anything you want to your door step at the right price. Experienced traders will tell you that even smuggling and contriving sanction is a competitive business, plenty of sources and offers. Iran sanction been going on for decades and all it account for, is one of the best economic balancing policy of any country. Even IMF praised it. Not only that, Iran gone underground with massive local production that made it the second most developed industrial country in the Middle East after Israel.

As to armed struggle, uhhhhh, that is a joke I will not even venture into it to deeply in details. But for shallow thoughts, where the hell the idiots going to amass 300,000+ foot soldiers, 5500 tanks and few hundred of thousands of heavy weapons. The idea that the army will split is great fiction for the wannabe revolutionaries, in reality, Syria army will swell to 2 millions on a week notice. The idiots who are pushing this are pair mercenaries who are paid to bark these worthless ideas, but they are too ignorant and childish to understand Syrian army and people. The master knows it will not go too far, even will fire back, but they will not let the idiots know that, in the hope they will just cause more pain for Assad to extract whatever they needed from him.

As to Civil war, it will never come even close to that. Because those paid mercenaries are too far in left field with Syrians masses and are too small in number to cause a civil war. They will just be hunted down like wild dogs, killed and imprisoned at the same rate they stick their head out. Rather than Assad pack 16,000 prisoners, he is already building facilities to pack 65,000 heads. That is what they estimate in the end the number of paid mercenaries is going to ends up.

The sad and rather telling part about this, is they will all be forgotten, just as fast as they 16,000 now forgotten. They will rot and dye in prison just like the MB or Lebanese captured in the 80’s and the reason for that, is that there exist not a National Syrian revolution but a Foreign Paid mercenaries who have the larger interests in the conflict and will work as long as the pay checks are coming in or they will all, 65k of them are jailed.

In fact these foreign sponsored terrorist events pretty much died down now, you only see action on syriacomment and few media outlet because the bloggers desperate for that pay check, understandably, they don’t want to be unemployed. I mean think about it, who in his right mind will hire ignorant people like that when jobs are so scarce. To be continued…..time for the beach and the breeze…..

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September 24th, 2011, 4:51 pm


38. Some guy no longer in damascus said:

Damn it!!! Addounia won’t boradcast any more, where will my daily dose of humor come from now??
After reading ehsani’s( great job btw) latest post im confident the regime is hitting a dead end. I just fear an iraq style scenario. Cut off from the world for a decade……

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September 24th, 2011, 4:54 pm


39. Khalid Tlass said:

SGID, why are you no longer in Damascus ?

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September 24th, 2011, 5:15 pm


40. Some guy no longer in damascus said:

I’m really sorry but i can’t say why, rest assured I am under no danger . It would have been bad for my credibilty if I kept the name.

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September 24th, 2011, 5:39 pm


41. hans said:

@ Tara 22

What I said and hope you read it well is that the Christians in Syria WILL be the next scapegoat as happened in Iraq and other places. I know the Christians in Syria enjoy peace for years, and that’s what they afraid to lose because of the act of the west at the current time, but they were killed and persecuted during the Ottman empire in the 19th century and throughout centuries during the years.
The fact that Bashar is a dictator as everyone claims is a western BS.
Bashar had the country under secular rules if you were not part of the regime, therefore, everyone was treated the same, fast majority of the Sunni made millions of $ during Bashar years which never happened in any previous time and that’s why many of the Sunni are in support of Bashar till the current time except the radical Muslim brotherhood. Bashar family and his Alwaite people are in control of everything but
that is absolutely true for every country in the middle east and you can’t tell me it is not the case in the current Iran because I think you are an Iranian or in Saudi Arabia or or or or rest of the middle east. example of the Libya operation is scaring everyone in Syria, which will bring only a civil war to Syria.
Bashar is married to a Sunni wife, who her family are well known Sunni from HOMS, well educated, and well respected in Homs. I spoke to people who returned from Syria and all what I hear is the Muslim brotherhood who are trying to take over the country and all operations are in well specified and well planned area of the country. The Muslim brotherhood are well known as a terrorist group to Syrians who kill civilians throughout decades of their existence and just to remind you that Alqaida is a prototype of the MB.
Syria is not a democracy but a royal republic and that how it is!
I am not part of the regime and never will be as you can imagine but to ask to topple Assad and Mubrak in opposite to the Dictator Sadam is another mistake of the west. May be it is all a CIA plan was drawn years ago to change the middle east map and being acted on at the current time.
To have Turkey as a upper hand over the middle east is a real problem for the Arabs they don’t need another 4 centuries domination by retarded Turks. it is like putting the Fox in charge of the Hens
you are well aware that Russia, China, Pakistan, and many other country all over the world are not ruled by the western democracy style. Atrocities are happening in all these countries, therefore the USA and the west should try to change the regime in every one of these countries! You know well it is a clear dirty game being played by the USA and the west to put syria back in the stone age as happened to democratic Gaza where Hamas was elected in a democratic fashion.
Probably Turkey is the one who is going to attack Assad not the NATO! time will tell if that’s what is going to happen after the meeting between Bama and the douchbag from turkey, because Turks are the ones want to take advantage of the situation of the middle east by implanting another radical regime in Damascus.

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September 24th, 2011, 5:41 pm


42. Aboud said:

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the result of the “exclusive” recruiting the regime’s lackey parties indulge in. I give you exhibit A, #36. Wishful thinking masquerading as “analysis”. This individual would like to follow the Iranian model of rampant inflation and crushing poverty despite some of the world’s largest oil reserves. This individual actually thinks that Iran’s “industrial” might is bigger than Turkey’s. Har har har 🙂

“When women sell their ass for few hundred dollars, as the case with Western Countries”

Didn’t this individual claim to be living in LA? I’ll take a wild guess here and say that Mr “Economics is for Donkeys” isn’t exactly a hit with the California bombshells.

“When women sell their ass for few hundred dollars, as the case with Western Countries”

Typical simplistic Qurdahan “analysis”. Did the insurgents who fought the Americans need to amass an army? Did your precious Hizboll-shaytan? Did the Afghans when they fought the Soviets? Etc etc etc and so on and so forth.

The rest of the post is the typical bombastic crap we have come to expect from the cookie cutter menhebaks, living in the West, and too soft to actually go back to Syria and join the rest of the paid shabiha ex-cons in trashing Malik Jandali’s house.

You know the menhebaks are desperate when their posts consist of little more than “WE WILL CRUSH YOU! Any month now! Just wait for it! Yeah, we will get around to it!”

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September 24th, 2011, 5:50 pm


43. Aboud said:

“I spoke to people who returned from Syria and all what I hear is the Muslim brotherhood who are trying to take over the country and all operations are in well specified and well planned area of the country”

Then the people you are talking to are idiots. And I don’t have any higher opinion of your own intellect if you can simultaneously believe that the MB are running the show, and yet still swallow the menhebak’s crap that the opposition is leaderless. Which is it, you can’t have it both ways.

Show me one demonstration where MB slogans were shouted, or the picture of MB leaders was raised.

“To have Turkey as a upper hand over the middle east is a real problem for the Arabs they don’t need another 4 centuries domination by retarded Turks.”

Dear God above, are you so simplistic that you honestly believe the BS about a resurgent Othaman empire? This is 2011, empires went out of fashion when Ghandi kicked the British out.

“Syria is not a democracy but a royal republic and that how it is!”

I am frankly disgusted by your statement. Maybe you are satisfied with a murderous thug bestowing power on his inept sons, but the Syrian people have clearly told the world they want something better. “That’s how it is”. How pathetically fatalistic. I’m glad the Syrian people aren’t as ready to give up their freedoms and accept the worst form of government ever created. Not a monarchy, and not a republic. An Athadian creation.

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September 24th, 2011, 5:58 pm




I would love to see Assad in prison. The trouble is I just don’t think it will happen. He’s no Saddam Hussein or Gaddaffi. No, Assad is more like Ben Ali, he doesn’t have the balls to see this one through. When push comes to shove he will find a safe exit. My guess is that he will try and live out a life in hiding somewhere, but given the numbers that have died, an irate relative will probably track him down and assassinate him – hopefully.

I don’t know what people like SYRIAN NATIONALIST PARTY will do when they are leaderless. They’ll probably crawl back under their rocks.

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September 24th, 2011, 6:05 pm




“Bashar is married to a Sunni wife, who her family are well known Sunni from HOMS, well educated, and well respected in Homs.”

Er, yeah, looks that way mate… How about laying off the bong for a while?

And please explain to me how it is you arrived at the conclusion that Assad is not a dictator?

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September 24th, 2011, 6:12 pm


46. Tara said:


With all due respect, almost all your statements are wrong.  You said ” Bashar being a dictator is a western BS”.  Not true.  Bashar defines what a dictatorship is.  This ain’t a western BS.  This is a fact.  He came to power because of his daddy with a staged 99.9 percent vote.  The west including Clinton and Obama have always hailed him as a reformer upuntil the Syrians decided they can’t continue with this misery anymore. His response was to murder, torture, and humiliate his own people.  It js then after all the atrocities that he comitted when the west declared him illegitimate.  Remember?

The fact there is other dictators in ME does not give Bashar legitimacy.  This is a very flawed logic.  Are you saying killing and torture is legitimate because it is practiced somewhere else?

A civil war is actually happening in Syria.  2000 mostly Sunnis have been killed.  It is a civil war where only one side is dying and no one else is feeling their pain.  Syrians tried non violent resistance for more than 6 months.  It did not work.  The regime knows no red line.  100 children were killed.  Pregnant women were shots.  Last atrocity was an 18  yo Zaynab who was kidnapped in front of her house, was mutilated and shot.  It is foolish to continue non-violent at this time.  The regime has proved beyond reasonable doubt that armed resistance is the only way out.

The Syrian revolution is not a MB initiative.  It started when the regime tortured school children after painting graffiti in Daraa.  They were bloodied and their nails were pulled out by an animal cousin of Bashar.      

His rule was not secular.  Yes many Sunnis benefited but he has “a point Alawi” in every institution possible.  There is an  ” Alawi head” implanted in every possible place.  You have Sunnis in the army but they are ineffective.  You have Sunnis as ministers but they are also ineffective.  A Sunni general can be slapped around by a alawi security thug easily.  This is anything but being secular.  It is not intended to spread Alawism.  It is intended to protect the family and keep Syria as their farm and Syrians as their slaves.

Hans,  I know you are either a Syrian or an Arabic minority even if you do not admit it.  It is just very clear.    

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September 24th, 2011, 6:35 pm


47. Louai said:

Dear JAD

its also sad to not reading comments from you and why-discuss and others

hope to hear from you more my friend but i wouldn’t blame you if i dont , i went to Syria and i stopped reading news including from SC , it did good to my mental attitude! that’s why i dont come here as often as before , but its always nice reading your comments .

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September 24th, 2011, 7:25 pm


48. Hans said:

@ Tara!
I agree with you on most statements you made! I am aware of what you said very well.
Then explain to me how Clinton and Obama calls him reformer and change their mind to Dictator few weeks later, same story with Sadam He was the beloved son in the 80’s to the USA but became dictator later, repeat the same story for Gadafi and Mubark do you see a pattern here! I never agreed that killing people is a good thing, human life should be cherished to the most.
probably you are very well right that MB is not the one started the revolution but the MB is Hijacking it and will take over, that’s what is happening in Egypt at the current time. what i am saying that i don’t want to see another one who is going to continue the royal republic pattern, handed to his kids etc…
what it is so difficult to ask for a secular democratic free Syria?. I have not seen the opposition mentioning the word secular ever, as I said many times democracy without secularism will never survive.
I am well in support for that where Syrian can live free with dignity, but i am in oppose to any theocracy may be implanted in Syria either Shia or Sunni.
BTW it doesn’t matter who or where i am! what matters that we agree to disagree and still be human being respect each other. that’s what missing in most of the Arabs countries.

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September 24th, 2011, 7:28 pm


49. uzair8 said:

Prophet’s (S) purported relic brought to Chechnya

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov broke into floods of tears as he unveiled a purported relic of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) at a ceremony, reports said on Thursday.

The government of the majority Muslim Russian Northern Caucasus region, raised the 1,400-year-old cup which believed to be belonged to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

The cup had earlier been flown into the Chechen capital Grozny from London where it was kept by unnamed descendants of Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) cousin and fourth Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib.

Kadyrov triumphantly carried the boxed relic straight off the plane at the airport to the ceremony on Wednesday.

The flag-waving delegation then arrived to Grozny’s central mosque greeted by a crowd of singing and clapping people.

The Chechen leader then proceeded to take the jade-coloured bowl out of bubble wrapping, and broke down in uncontrollable tears after kissing the object, covering his reddening face and shaking violently.

The Chechen government said in a statement on its website that “the cup was used by Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him), passing to his cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib.”

Anyone will be able to drink water from it on the day of Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) birthday, the Chechen government said.

Kadyrov, who has ruled the region since 2007 and was reappointed in earlier this year, has overseen several grandiose projects and events in Grozny.

He has also encouraged the revival of Islam in the region, inaugurating in 2008 the “Heart of Chechnya” mosque, said to be the biggest in Europe.


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September 24th, 2011, 7:51 pm


50. majedkhaldoun said:

I agree with Aboud that at thugs funeral very few people attend such thing, I suspect that those coffins are empty, there are no corpses inside them,this is no more than an acting funeral trying to get sympathy.

SNP said the syrian army is too large to be defeated by the revolution, and he said that 2 million soldier can be recruited quickly
you are wrong on both statements, The alawite can not recruit more than 300,000,there are many of them women children old men and some they will not join because of their social position, if sunni are recruited many will desert,and join the revolution , once there is resisting army,
As for the syrian army size,,may I remind you of the Algerian revolution who won over Large french army.

SNP is not SSNP, SNP is purely Alawite party,this party believe all syria belong to them and they disdain and look down at the rest of Syrian people,SNP is a racist sectarian party,however it is very small party count less than 20.

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September 24th, 2011, 7:52 pm


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