“The hunt for ‘plan B’, by Labott; Syria Needs a George Washington; Syria could become like North Korea; “The Burial Brigade of Homs,” by Putz

The hunt for ‘plan B’ – planning for ‘the day after’ in Syria
By Elise Labott, CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter

Expectations are low for Sunday’s Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul, where representatives from more than 70 nations and international organizations will gather to discuss ways to hasten the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.

The reason is simple. The most critical piece is missing: Plan B.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made no secret of her frustration with the opposition Syrian National Council’s inability to offer a vision for a post-al-Assad Syria that all Syrians can sign on to. This week, Clinton said the United States would be “pushing them very hard” to present such a vision in Istanbul.

She’s not alone. Many a senior administration official has summed up the SNC in two words: “A mess.”

The characterization from European and Arab diplomats may be more diplomatic, but no less critical of the SNC’s lack of leadership, organizational skills and ideas.

“They are all over the map, depending on whom you talk to on any given day,” one senior U.S. official said. “It’s hard to think of what we can do going forward when there is no credible alternative.”

Lessons learned from Iraq

More importantly the SNC, made up of mostly Syrian exiles, has not demonstrated it has support inside Syria. U.S. officials are seeing parallels to the war in Iraq, where the United States relied too heavily upon the Iraqi National Congress – a group of exiles run by businessmen Ahmed Chalabi – which was ultimately found to be corrupt and unreliable. When Baghdad fell and the Baath party disbanded, it became quickly apparent the group had no base inside Iraq from which to draw, and the United States was left to run the country.

“The U.S. is hoping these expats can deliver. They are telling you they can, but their actions and infighting are telling you they can’t,” said the University of Oklahoma’s Joshua Landis, who writes Syria Comment, a daily newsletter on Syrian politics. “The Obama administration fears they will implode or be overtaken by actors within Syria who are better connected to forces on the ground. The Obama administration doesn’t want to be caught going down the same yellow brick trail as the Bush administration did when it backed the Iraqi National Council only to discover that it didn’t have much purchase with Iraqi society.”

Radwan Ziadeh, a member of the SNC and the executive director of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Washington, said the criticism of the group’s lack of vision is unfair given the uncertainty of the crisis. “We can come with a general plan, but how can we come up with a detailed plan?” he asked. “That will depend on the key players who emerge from this and we don’t’ know that yet. We don’t know how the regime will fall.”….

Last year the State Department gave modest funding to an initiative run by the U.S. Institute for Peace, aptly titled “The Day After.” The project centers around developing a set of recommendations for key sectors, like how to jump-start the economy, establish security and rule of law and write a new constitution. The participants, who include both Syrian exiles and Western technical experts, have met several times in Europe. Although the Syrian National Council is not officially affiliated with the USIP project, because the leadership was wary of participating in an enterprise funded by the United Sates, several of the group’s members are involved – including Ziadeh, who called it an “important tool” in transition planning.

But the State Department quickly became disenchanted with the project. Officials including U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, who previously served in Iraq, felt it bore an uncanny resemblance to the Future of Iraq project,….

“You can get the same people to do the same project for Congo or Zimbabwe,” said Ayman Abdel Nour, who served as al-Assad’s adviser from 1997 to 2004….

Ausama Monajed, a member of the SNC who has taken part in the USIP project, said while it’s important to reach Syrians inside the country, it is unrealistic to expect those under deadly siege by the government to be thinking about the day-after. “The majority of the people can’t talk about tomorrow, they are worried about today,” he said. “They are in the middle of it and cannot see the bigger picture at this stage. There is no stomach for anyone in the inside to look at a health policy when they are being shot.”…

Trying to learn the lessons of Iraq, Ambassador Ford and others have concluded the exiles they are currently working with will not be able to get the economy running, turn on the electricity, or fix a pothole “the day after.”

While not abandoning the SNC entirely, senior officials say the Obama administration in recent months has begun to cast a much wider net for Syrians who can run Syria the day after al-Assad falls. The United States could no longer put all of its eggs in the SNC’s basket.

President Obama himself suggested the shift earlier this week in South Korea when, after a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, he said the U.S. would start aiding opposition groups inside Syria. Officials said non-lethal aid will include secure communications equipment to help opposition leaders on the ground communicate better with each other and with the outside world.

While in Syria, Ford amassed a network of opposition contacts on the ground that has been hard to tap into since the embassy closed and he left the country in February. Now he relies on Skype and other communications technologies to reach those inside…..

Syrian activist Ammar Abdulhamid, a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, is trying to bridge the gap between the exiles and those Syrians on the ground. He’s bringing together small groups of Syrian experts to brainstorm ideas for a transition, which he is feeding to opposition groups on the ground in Syria who the United States is now trying to reach. “We don’t have a political agenda and aren’t tabling a plan,” Abdulhamid said. “This is to raise public awareness and highlight the issues we are going to be facing once Assad falls. There needs to be a public debate and we want to empower Syrians to do that.”

Molham Aldrobi, a member of the SNC who serves on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Executive Council and has taken part in both the USIP and Abdulhamid’s projects, believes the opposition on the ground will eventually produce the “alternative” the U.S. and others are calling for. But he said more support for the opposition is needed, and that will determine who follows Assad and how much influence the international community will have on that person.

“Bashar al-Assad needs to know the world means business and so do the Syrian people,” he said. “The longer it takes, the more unstable this region will be and the worse the situation will be in the future. Or else the international community may find they won’t like who gets in. Because that person is going to say, ‘hands off, this is mine.’”

Video — Syria opposition: Don’t prolong catastrophe
by on Apr 1, 2012


Burhan Ghalioun, the head of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), said at the opening of the so-called “Friends of Syria” in Istanbul: “We demand serious action. The Syrian regime will inevitably fall. Don’t prolong the catastrophe. The opposition is united; now it is time for you to unite and support the Syrian opposition.”

Mideast expert: Syria faces Iraq-style insurgency
Michael Hughes, Geopolitics Examiner

Syria is descending into a factional civil war which has taken on some of the contours of the insurgency the U.S. fought in Iraq for ten years, “at least in the methods of fighting and growing sectarian divide,” according to Professor Joshua Landis, Director of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. (See Upheaval within the Opposition: Defections, Terrorism, and Preparing for a Phase II Insurgency)

Landis is also author of the blog Syria Comment, a treasure-trove of intelligence that provides more sophisticated analysis on the situation than most Western sources.

Within an email to me on Saturday Professor Landis also stated that Syria could turn into “a North Korea of sorts”, plagued by misery, starvation and displacement, isolated from the international community but with a government that refuses to quit.”

Although Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is unlikely to cease employing violence to quell dissent anytime soon, Landis does not believe the Syrian despot will succeed in the long run:

I doubt he [Assad] will have a lot more success than the US has had in Iraq, although, his army probably understands Syrians a lot better than US troops and commanders did Iraqis. But they [Assad and his security forces] will probably still be provoked into over-reacting to terrorism and road-side bombs and lose the battle for hearts and minds.

Landis, often quoted as an expert in news outlets such as The New York Times and Reuters, explained in a recent post how the Arab Spring hit Syria in a much different way than it did other countries in the region. Syrian expats, as well as U.S. leaders, assumed Assad would fall within months, underestimating the intensity of the sectarian divide:

Syrian opposition members incorrectly believed a “Tahrir Square moment” would arrive within months of the uprising’s start, “eliminating the need for a coherent military strategy, a defined leadership, or how to parry government counter-insurgency operations.”

The reality is elite Westernized Syrian intellectuals living abroad, who want to see a purely secular and peaceful anti-government protest movement, are not the ones doing the bulk of the fighting. Jobless lower-class Muslim youth have been doing the heavy-lifting on the street with funds and arms from the Saudis and other Sunni benefactors.

In a recent discussion with Robert Wright on Bloggingheads.tv, Landis said the militarization and Islamization of the rebel movement was inevitable but, in some ways, perhaps necessary.

No secular nationalist ideology exists in Syria that can rally Syrian fighters. Hence, opposition military leaders have been inspiring their soldiers by relying upon the doctrine that is most readily available: jihad. This same doctrine has worked for Hezbollah and Hamas as well as insurgents in both Iraq and Afghanistan for years.

Syrian rebel leaders have been portraying the struggle as a holy war against a heathen dictator. And because of the Syrian government’s superior firepower, the Syrian rebels have had to resort to asymmetric warfare which includes “martyrdom operations” – so the Islamist ideology is well-aligned with the tactics now required to defeat the infidel.

Despite the humanitarian situation Landis does not believe the international community should intervene militarily because toppling Assad without having a viable alternative will lead to chaos and civil war.

The Syrian people must go through the process of building a nation on their own, Landis asserted, as opposed to having some regime dropped in by foreign powers. The Syrians should look at places like Turkey for examples of how to erect a stable country from the ground up. The Syrians need a George Washington-type who can win long hard-fought battles and unify disparate interests while forging a genuine national identity. As Landis said during the Wright interview:

“Syria needs a George Washington, but Americans cannot invent one for them.”

In the long run, nonintervention will result in less killing, as the Syrians themselves build and establish a legitimate government, as opposed to outsiders intervening and attempting to do it for them.

The Burial Brigade of Homs
An Executioner for Syria’s Rebels Tells His Story
By Ulrike Putz in Beirut,  SPIEGEL ONLINE

Human Rights Watch has condemned abuses committed by Syrian rebels in their stronghold of Homs. But one member of a rebel “burial brigade” who has executed four men by slitting their throats defended his work in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE. “If we don’t do it, nobody will hold these perpetrators to account,” he said.

Hussein can barely remember the first time he executed someone. It was probably in a cemetery in the evening, or at night; he can’t recall exactly. It was definitely mid-October of last year, and the man was Shiite, for sure. He had confessed to killing women — decent women, whose husbands and sons had protested against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. So the rebels had decided that the man, a soldier in the Syrian army, deserved to die, too.

Hussein didn’t care if the man had been beaten into a confession, or that he was terrified of death and had begun to stammer prayers. It was his tough luck that the rebels had caught him. Hussein took out his army knife and sliced the kneeling man’s neck. His comrades from the so-called “burial brigade” quickly interred the blood-stained corpse in the sand of the graveyard west of the Baba Amr area of the rebel stronghold of Homs. At the time, the neighborhood was in the hands of the insurgents.
That first execution was a rite of passage for Hussein. He now became a member of the Homs burial brigade. The men, of which there are only a handful, kill in the name of the Syrian revolution. They leave torture to others; that’s what the so-called interrogation brigade is for. “They do the ugly work,” says Hussein, who is currently being treated in a hospital in the Lebanese city of Tripoli. He was injured when a piece of shrapnel became lodged in his back during the army’s ground invasion of Baba Amr in early March.

He is recovering in relatively safe Lebanon until he can return to Syria and “get back to work.” It’s a job he considers relatively clean. “Most men can torture, but they’re not able to kill from close range,” he explains. “I don’t know why, but it doesn’t bother me. That’s why they gave me the job of executioner. It’s something for a madman like me.”

Before he joined the Farouk Brigade, as the Baba Amr militia is known, last August, the 24-year-old had worked as a salesman. “I can sell everything, from porcelain to yogurt,” he says.

How the Rebels Lost Their Innocence

The bloody uprising against the Assad regime has now lasted for a year. And Hussein’s story illustrates that, in this time, the rebels have also lost their innocence.

There are probably many reasons for that development. Hussein can rattle off several of them. “There are no longer any laws in Syria,” he says. “Soldiers or thugs hired by the regime kill men, maim children and rape our women. If we don’t do it, nobody will hold these perpetrators to account.”

Another reason, he explains, is the desire for vengeance. “I have been arrested twice. I was tortured for 72 hours. They hung me by the hands, until the joints in my shoulders cracked. They burnt me with hot irons. Of course I want revenge.”….

So far, Hussein has cut the throats of four men. Among the group of executioners in Homs, he is the least experienced — something that he almost seems apologetic about. “I was wounded four times in the last seven months,” he says. “I was out of action for a long time.” On top of that, he also has other commitments. “I operate our heavy machine gun, a Russian BKC. Naturally I have killed a lot more men with that. But only four with the blade.” That will change soon, he says. “I hope I will be released from the hospital next week and can return to Homs. Then those dogs will be in for it.”….

House Intel Leaders: Arming Syria a Bad Idea – April 1, 2012

House intelligence leaders said on Sunday that arming Syrian rebels remains unwise because they are unknown actors and Syria’s regime continues to be backed by Iran and Russia.

“I think we both agree that’s probably a bad idea,” said Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union.

Appearing with Ranking Member C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, D-Md., he argued for greater international diplomatic pressure rather than “sending in arms and hoping for the best.”

“We think that there are other things that we can do that we haven’t quite engaged in yet, and that probably need to happen,” Rogers said, including engaging the Arab League so the United States could take a “support role.”

Rogers said President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime appears unmoved by Washington’s pleading, but cautioned against weapons falling into the hands of “bad actors there.”

“We don’t really see Assad’s inner-circle crumbling,” Rogers said. “They believe that they’re winning.”

He added: “Iran and Russia both have stepped up to the plate and can’t afford, in their minds, can’t afford to lose Syria as their toehold.” Said Ruppersberger: “The United States can’t be sheriff for the whole world.” [...]

China rejects Obama’s Iran oil import sanctions
by News Sources on April 1, 2012 (Thanks War in Context)

The Associated Press reports: China rejected President Barack Obama’s decision to move forward with plans for sanctions on countries buying oil from Iran, saying Saturday that Washington had no right to unilaterally punish other nations.

South Korean officials said they will continue working with the U.S. to reduce oil imports from Iran, as other U.S. allies who depend on Iranian oil worked to find alternative energy supplies.

Obama announced Friday that he is plowing ahead with the potential sanctions, which could affect U.S. allies in Asia and Europe, as part of a deepening campaign to starve Iran of money for its disputed nuclear program. The U.S. and allies believe that Iran is pursuing a nuclear bomb; Iran denies that.

China is one of the biggest importers of Iranian oil, and its Foreign Ministry reiterated its opposition to the U.S. moves.

Syria eyewitness dispatch: ‘I watched as Assad’s tanks rolled in to destroy a rebel town’,
by News Sources 03.31.2012

John Cantlie, an independent photojournalist, reports from the Syrian town of Saraqeb: The sound of the caterpillar tracks could be felt as much as heard, a deep rumble that sent a rattle through windows and a tremble of fear through the guts. Then we saw them. Huge Soviet-made T72s, accompanied by troop carriers driving slowly [...]

Comments (1,242)


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701. majedkhaldoun said:

Jad
Iran and Turkey can be our Ally on the base that the enemy of my enemy is someone I can work with.

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April 5th, 2012, 10:56 am

 

702. jad said:

Let`s see how the UN will deal with those terrorists when they wont stop their attacks:
ارهابيون بخان شيخون يطلقون الرصاص بشكل عشوائي

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April 5th, 2012, 10:57 am

 

703. mjabali said:

Majedkhaldoun:

The name of the city you are talking about is al-Muhamara and not alHamra. المحمرة وليس الحمرا

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April 5th, 2012, 11:00 am

 

704. Afram said:

Safawi wars..Iran is the enemy Israel is NOT!!!!!

What causes people to be preoccupied with themselves and ignores others?

it reminds me with the catchphrase delivered by Robert De Niro in the movie Taxi Driver “You talkin’to me?”

The syrians are waiting for Godot.Ah! wait a second Afram,I see him,I see him,coffee Annan to the rescue,to stop us from commiting suicide(A Tragicomedy)The point is …

Godot is anything people give meaning to. Anything that gives them a direction in this absurd world. Without Godot the only thing to do is suicide,however,even that isn’t a good option because then we’d be alone.The implication is that Godot/Annan never get the job done,then what?

continue to wait,Godot isn’t going to save anyone;he isn’t really there.Godot is what people invent to give meaning to their own existence.syrians,and only syrians can and should stop the madness combat

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April 5th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

705. jad said:

Khaldoun,
Both Turkey and Iran want what`s best for them not us, regardless of what they both say.

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April 5th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

706. Syria no Kandahar said:

Khed Taja’s house robbed yesterday while his family at bed side.Befor democracy
Imported to us from SA no one could dare to rob even ياسين بقوش house.one more
Achievement of (Honorable burial Brigade,FSA revolution ).

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April 5th, 2012, 11:08 am

 

707. Tara said:

SNK

You are right. Petty thefts were not common before. Only massive scale robberies, robbing the nation resources that is.

I heard through the grape vine few years ago that a VIP thief was robbing Syrian antiquity artifacts to sell it in the black market. Nice Bushbush had to intervene personally to “clear” the robber, a family member, you know. What else could Bashar have done? Your beloved leader has a kind heart when it comes to family…he just can’t help it.

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April 5th, 2012, 11:28 am

 

708. Son of Damascus said:

Tara,

Thieving runs in the family:

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April 5th, 2012, 11:48 am

 

709. irritated said:

#701

“Today we have evidence that Iran tried to assassinate the ambassador of KSA to the USA.”

What a pity it did not succeed… What’s your source of evidence?

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April 5th, 2012, 12:50 pm

 

710. Ghufran said:

Mina

Zuhair alsaddiq is a tool, he was paid and now he is looking for a new source of income, it is a travesty of justice that he is not in prison.

Almaleh was wise enough to refuse to take him seriously.

Rafiq alhariri’s assassination was a crime against Lebanon and advocates of dialogue and compromise, the man was not an extremist but was a deal maker.

Syrian regime, and Syria in general,l ost a lot because of his assassination, that loss does not completely rule out an involvement of the Syrian intelligence in the killing but makes that involvement unlikely, if a Syrian agent, or agents, had anything to do with the killing, that agent was probably a paid double agent, I still think Israel or another foreign power was behind the killing, he was a threat only to those who do not want a stable Lebanon, the regime committed a lot of mistakes in Lebanon and supervised a large network of thugs and smugglers but the stability of Lebanon, with a strong regime influence, was always in the regime’s best interest.

The guy who filmed the exchange was not probably a journalist, both men, especially Zuhair, were looking for fame and recognition.

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April 5th, 2012, 12:50 pm

 

711. irritated said:

#700 DAWOOD

“terrorized Syrian refugees”

Oh! oh! don’t use this word! Erdogan will not be happy. It is not applicable as none of the Syrians are recognized as ‘refugees’ in Turkey by law.
If they were UN recognized refugees they could ask for asylum. In Turkey, they are temporary ‘guests’ and are refused asylum.

The generosity of Turkey is just out of pure necessity.

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April 5th, 2012, 12:57 pm

 

712. irritated said:

#713 Dawood

No guests, no refugees.
“We call them ‘Syrians under temporary protection’,”

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2012/March/middleeast_March661.xml&section=middleeast

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April 5th, 2012, 1:01 pm

 

713. zoo said:

Boosted by the popular Islamist sympathy waves in North Africa and in the Arab world, Al Qaeeda is creeping into Africa to establish new bases, another threat for France over its african ex-colonies.

France urges talks with Mali rebels, unity against al Qaeda
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/05/us-france-tuareg-idUSBRE8340JT20120405
For long one of the most stable democracies in West Africa, Mali has plunged into turmoil since a widely condemned coup on March 22 that emboldened Tuareg rebels to seize half the country in their quest for a northern homeland.

The rebels, battling alongside Islamist militants who want to impose sharia, or Islamic law, swept through northern Mali last week, pushing government forces from Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu, the three northern regions of Mali that the MNLA says will form the new state.
Juppe said Paris was in contact with the various players in Mali, including the MNLA, which he said was a credible interlocutor. He said there was clear distinction between that group which was seeking independence and the Ansar Dine Islamists, who had been “infiltrated” by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

“They have another objective which is to establish an Islamist regime in Mali and the Sahel as a whole,” Juppe said. “I don’t see how we could have dialogue with AQIM whose objective is to kill our citizens.”
(..)

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April 5th, 2012, 1:16 pm

 

714. zoo said:

Defiant Erdogan antagonizes further Iran by accusing them of being liars the same way he accused Israel last year.
Is the Iran-Turkey honeymoon turning really sour?

“It is necessary to act honestly. They continue to lose prestige in the world because of a lack of honesty,” Erdogan told a televised press conference in the latest salvo in the war of words between the two countries.

http://news.yahoo.com/turkey-pm-tells-iran-act-honestly-164451769.html

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April 5th, 2012, 1:23 pm

 

715. zoo said:

In line with the media trend to criticize the foreign opposition (SNC), another tough article from no other than anti-regime Khaled Oweiss.

Is the outside opposition incompetent and/or corrupted?

Syria revolt hampered by disunity, supply failures
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis | Reuters – 2 hrs 13 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/syria-revolt-hampered-disunity-supply-failures-151131359.html

“It has been all in vain,” he said. “Communications in most of Idlib have been cut for three months and we cannot get a Thuraya (satellite) phone because of the incompetence, or corruption, of the opposition on the outside.”
..
Ali was told that the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) had sent $17,000 to an operative in the Turkish city of Antakya to buy him cameras, satellite phones and internet video broadcasting equipment, but when he contacted the operative he was given a run-around and returned empty-handed to Syria.

INTERNAL SQUABBLING

“The SNC are squabbling and drafting plans for a post-Assad Syria while not getting simple logistical requirements right,” Ali fumed. “The regime cannot annihilate the revolt, but the revolt will not be able to topple it without outside support.”
(..)

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April 5th, 2012, 1:31 pm

 

716. Tara said:

Zoo

I started to like Erdogan more and more. I like direct people who call things by their names. Iran is making a mockery of itself lately. Their foreign minister trying to distance “the official position of the republic of Iran” from what the parlimentarian proclaimed was pretty pathetic, their “support of the underdogs in the world” did not stand their sectarian support of the Alawi regime in Syria, etc..

Iran was a “pride” story that went astray. Agree with Erdo’s assessment. They have lost lot of prestige in my views.

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April 5th, 2012, 1:38 pm

 

717. jad said:

Since Ann is not around here is what’s happening in the UN behind doors:

UN Blacks Out Syria’s Speech, Ban’s Amateur Hour & Minute of Silence?

UNITED NATIONS, April 5 — When Kofi Annan gave a briefing by video to the UN General Assembly Thursday morning, though the press was not allowed in the conference room, the speech was broadcast on UN Television. So too the speeches by the Qatari President of the GA Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

But just as Syria’s Permanent Representative Bashar Ja’afari took the floor to respond, UN TV went dark. To some it seemed, especially with regard to the speeches of Ban and the PGA, like hearing the prosecution but blacking out the defense — and thereby even giving the defense an issue. Welcome to amateur hour.

Inner City Press asked the spokeswoman for the PGA why UN TV had stopped broadcasting. It was agreed, she said. Inner City Press asked, “Agreed by whom?”

Through the windows of the ECOSOC chamber, the Press could see the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia speaking, then another country which “raised its flag” or asked to speak but was not permitted.

Meanwhile, despite the argument that it was a closed meeting, the French Mission to the UN was tweeting from inside, decrying the “rant” of the Syrian Ambassador. When French Permanent Representive Gerard Araud left mid-speech, Inner City Press asked him about the curtailed UNTV coverage but he did not answer. Cradle of media freedom?
{…}
Once the noon briefing was over, Nesirky’s office announced that Syria’s Ja’afari would now hold a press conference at 3 pm. Watch this site.

http://innercitypress.com/syria1blackout040512.html

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April 5th, 2012, 1:54 pm

 

718. Alan said:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/world/middleeast/clashes-in-syria-as-russia-seeks-more-influence-over-conflict.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

Violence Worsening in Syria in Spite of Pledge, U.N. Says

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Spasms of fierce new fighting, some just miles from Syria’s capital, were reported on Thursday, and the leader of the United Nations said the conflict was getting worse — contradicting assurances by the Syrian government to a special diplomatic envoy that it was complying with his cease-fire plan.

The violence came as the Security Council issued a statement requesting Syria’s compliance with the plan, particularly its April 10 deadline for a military pullback from major population centers. The statement itself reflected the deep doubts harbored among many nations that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria intends to keep his word.

Mr. Assad, who regards the opposition as terrorist gangs financed by Syria’s enemies, has habitually reneged on previous commitments aimed at halting the 13-month-old uprising against him, now the most chaotic of the Arab Spring democracy revolts.

The Security Council issued the statement as the special diplomatic envoy, Kofi Annan, appointed by the United Nations and Arab League to broker a halt to the Syrian conflict, briefed the General Assembly by videoconference from Geneva on his latest diplomatic entreaties to Mr. Assad and the opposition forces aligned against him. Mr. Annan also announced he would travel to Iran — the Syrian government’s only remaining significant supporter in the Middle East — on April 11.

But the grimness of Mr. Annan’s mission was underscored by Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, who spoke to the General Assembly ahead of the briefing. “Despite the Syrian government’s acceptance of the joint special envoy’s plan of initial proposals to resolve the crisis, the violence and assaults in civilian areas have not stopped,” Mr. Ban said. “The situation on the ground continues to deteriorate.”

The latest outbreaks of violence came a day after Russia, the Syrian government’s most powerful defender, invited both the Syrian foreign minister and representatives of the opposition to Moscow for talks this month and warned foreign sympathizers of armed rebels not to supply them with more weapons.

Activist groups on Thursday reported clashes in the north and south of the country, as Turkish officials spoke of a surge in the number of Syrian refugees fleeing across the border into their country. News reports put the number arriving in Turkey on Wednesday at between 800 and 1,000, adding to the 20,000-plus Syrians who have already taken refuge there.

Under the terms of Mr. Annan’s plan, the Syrian forces committed to an April 10 deadline to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from major population centers, to be followed by a 48-hour period in which all combatants from both sides would cease all violence.

Mr. Annan’s spokesman said in Geneva on Thursday that Syria was claiming to have s already begun troop withdrawals in some areas. The spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi, said Syrian officials “have told us they have begun withdrawing troops from certain areas,” including Dara’a, Idlib and Zabadani.

“We expect them to continue and to abide by he pledges they have made,” Mr. Fawzi told reporters in Geneva.

[...]

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April 5th, 2012, 1:56 pm

 

719. jad said:

The first reaction from the Syrian government against the suspicion role of Pillay being a tool for political decisions:

وزارة الخارجية والمغتربين: تصريحات مفوضة حقوق الإنسان حول سورية أكاذيب وادعاءات وهي تعمل كمدعٍ عام ضد دول يختار الغرب استهدافها
دمشق-سانا

أكدت وزارة الخارجية والمغتربين في رسالة وجهتها إلى المفوضة السامية لحقوق الإنسان التابعة للامم المتحدة في جنيف ردا على تصريحاتها الصحفية بتاريخ 28-3-2012 رفض سورية وبشكل كامل تصريحات المفوضة نافي بيلاي التي يبدو من خلالها أن المفوضة نسيت عملها كمفوضة لحقوق الانسان وانتقلت لتولي مهمة المدعي العام ضد الدول التي تختار استهدافها الدول الغربية.

وقالت الوزارة في رسالتها في الوقت الذي كان من المفترض فيه إن تتحمل المفوضة مسؤولية المنصب الذي تتولاه والحديث بصدق عما يجري في سورية من انتهاكات لحقوق الإنسان تقوم بها المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة اختارت المفوضة جمع الأكاذيب والادعاءات وترويجها على أنها حقائق دون التأكد من مصداقيتها وإنه لأمر مثير للتعجب استخدامها لموارد الأمم المتحدة المالية والبشرية للتحرك ضد سورية مستندة إلى أكاذيب ومطالبة بمسائل تقع خارج نطاق ولايتها بالكامل.

وبينت الوزارة أن انحياز المفوضة ضد سورية لم يعد خافيا فهي ماتزال تغمض عينيها عن الإرهاب الذي يتعرض له الشعب السوري على يد المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة المدعومة والممولة من الخارج كما أنها تتجاهل الأدلة الكثيرة التي ترد اليها كل يوم حول ارتكاب المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة لجرائم ضد الإنسانية لافتة إلى أن المفوضة لم تقل أي كلمة بحق 6143 مواطنا سوريا مدنيا وعسكريا ونساء وأطفالا قتلوا على يد المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة وفي تعرض 1590 مواطنا للخطف مايزال مصير ما يزيد على ثلثيهم مجهولا.
{…}
http://www.sana.sy/ara/2/2012/04/05/410870.htm

Which totally fits in the ‘humanitarian’ war agenda:

From the Cold War to NATO’s “Humanitarian Wars” – The Complicity of the United Nations

Humanitarian wars, especially under the guise of the “Responsibility to Protect (R2P),” are a modern form of imperialism. The standard pattern that the United States and its allies use to execute them is one where genocide and ethnic cleansing are vociferously alleged by a coalition of governments, media organizations, and non-governmental front organizations. The allegations – often lurid and unfounded – then provide moral and diplomatic cover for a variety of sanctions that undermine and isolate the target country in question, and thereby pave the way for military intervention. This is the post-Cold War modus operandi of the US and NATO.

In facilitating this neo-imperialism, the United Nations has been complicit in the hijacking of its own posts and offices by Washington.

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has been appointed a “special peace envoy” with a mediating role in Syria. Yet, how can Annan be evaluated as an “honest broker” considering his past instrumental role in developing the doctrine of R2P – the very pretext that has served to facilitate several US/NATO criminal wars of aggression? Furthermore, the evidence attests that the US and its allies – despite mouthing support for Annan’s supposed peace plan – are not interested in a mediated, peaceful solution in Syria.
{…}
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30114

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April 5th, 2012, 1:58 pm

 

720. Alan said:

http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/04/02/stratfor-emails-pentagon-hired-mercenaries-intervening-in-syria-since-december/

Stratfor Emails: Pentagon-Hired Mercenaries Intervening in Syria Since December

Via Jeremy Scahill, this news from Alakhbar English (Lebanese paper) on the WikiLeaks Stratfor emails:

US government officials requested that an American private security firm contact Syrian opposition figures in Turkey to see “how they can help in regime change,” the CEO of one of these firms told Stratfor in a company email obtained by WikiLeaks and Al-Akhbar.

James F. Smith, former director of Blackwater, is currently the Chief Executive of SCG International, a private security firm with experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. In what appears to be his first email to Stratfor, Smith stated that his “background is CIA” and his company is comprised of “former DOD [Department of Defense], CIA and former law enforcement personnel.”

“We provide services for those same groups in the form of training, security and information collection,” he explained to Stratfor. (doc-id5441475)

In a 13 December 2011 email to Stratfor’s VP for counter-terrorism Fred Burton, which Burton shared with Stratfor’s briefers, Smith claimed that “[he] and Walid Phares were getting air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick to engage Syrian opposition in Turkey (non-MB and non-Qatari) on a fact finding mission for Congress.”

James Smith told Scahill “he’s been operating in both Syria & Libya the past year” but that “Stratfor’s internal description of his work was ‘inaccurate.’” The December date of the emails coincides with previous Stratfor revelations about covert operations inside Syria.

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April 5th, 2012, 1:59 pm

 

721. jad said:

تسجيل كامل لتقرير كوفي عنان بشأن سورية

مداخله بشار الجعفري في مجلس الامن 6-4-2012 :)

“أعلنت الدائرة الصحفية التابعة للجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة أن كوفي عنان المبعوث الخاص المشترك للأمم المتحدة وجامعة الدول العربية سيطلع الجمعية العامة عبر الفيديو كونفرنس يوم الخميس 5 أبريل/نيسان على آخر التطورات في سورية.

وقالت نهال سعد المتحدثة باسم رئيس الجمعية العامة ناصر عبد العزيز الناصر انه “سيدعو إلى اجتماع غير رسمي للجمعية العامة يوم الخميس في الساعة الـ10 صباحا بتوقيت شرق الولايات المتحدة”، بعد أن اتفق مع عنان على التوقيت خلال مكالمة هاتفية.

وقالت سعد إن عنان سيطلع الجمعية العامة التى تضم 193عضوا “على الوضع في سورية والتقدم في مهمته”، مضيفة إنه سيتم نقل تقرير عنان عبر الفيديو كونفرنس.

ويأتي تقرير عنان قبيل يوم 10 أبريل/نيسان وهو الموعد الأخير الذي حدده لإنهاء أعمال العنف التي تستمر في سورية منذ عام ، والذي وافقت عليه الحكومة السورية. ولكن لا توجد إشارة حتى هذه اللحظة بأن المعارضة السورية جاهزة للتقيد بالموعد النهائي.”

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April 5th, 2012, 2:00 pm

 

722. Alan said:

http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/04/04/as-washington-aids-the-syrian-opposition/

As Washington Aids the Syrian Opposition…

Ed Husain, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations:

In the Syrian opposition, it’s no exaggeration to say that there are Saudi Salafis, as well as al-Qaeda elements, and others who are included toward more extreme versions of religiosity present in that conflict. Given that we don’t really know who the Syrian opposition is composed of in detail, how wise is it to then bring down another regime and put in its place yet another Muslim Brotherhood-led government?

Priest from the Syrian district of Hamidiya:

“Some Christians who tried to escape a week ago were stopped from leaving by the rebels and were instead forced to go to a mosque to act as shields,” he said. “They thought that, because Christians support Assad, the government would not attack them.”

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April 5th, 2012, 2:01 pm

 

723. Alan said:

الأمين العام السابق للأمم المتحدة (1997 – 2006 ) الحائز على جائزة نوبل للسلام عام (2001)، كوفي عنان

[ diamond ألم تكن شريكاً في «محرقة» بلاد الرافدين؟ ]

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April 5th, 2012, 2:09 pm

 

724. jad said:

الفبركة و التضليل الإعلامي .. بعيون الإعلام الألماني

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April 5th, 2012, 2:14 pm

 

725. Juergen said:

Majed

come on, do you really believe this Saddam propaganda? After what has happend to the US in Tehran, you think that they let them get away with that? The war was provoked by the Iraqis in order to destabilize and to establish at the long run an US friendly regime.

Saddam was armed and did the dirty work, what was unexpected was the sense of matyrdom the Iranians portrayed. I visited the graveyard in Tehran, filled with graves. The most gruesome is the part where the keyholder children are buried. In 1987 Khomeni ordered young children, some as young as 10 to the warzone, with a keynecklace around their neck, and they told those kids, if they die they will get into paradise with this key.

There is a section for the thousands who have died with teddybears and comicpaintings at their graves. Following your logic Germany would be still the bitter enemy of France, for centuries Germans were taught that the French are so and so and therefore our enemies.

Thats the rule of violence, and we all should know better. In an ideal world I would propose that arabic states should offer student exchange programmes, that always works to reduce hate on both sides.

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April 5th, 2012, 2:17 pm

 

726. Alan said:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17607547
Russian warns against arming Syrian opposition

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April 5th, 2012, 2:26 pm

 

727. jad said:

LOLOL, So after snubbing anything comes out of the Syrian media, the ‘holly’ Jadaliyya is ‘lowering’ its ‘heavenly’ ‘rebellious’ level and is trying to show what the ‘horrible’ ‘other side’ is writing…of course, with a formal apologies in the intro…what a stupid page and stupid owners:

Syria Media Roundup (April-4)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week]

http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/4946/syria-media-roundup-(april-4)

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April 5th, 2012, 2:30 pm

 

728. Alan said:

UN looks for ‘broader mandate’ to monitor Syrian ceasefire
http://rt.com/news/un-observers-syria-ceasefire-annan-389/
VIDEO

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April 5th, 2012, 2:35 pm

 

729. Syria no Kandahar said:

الجيش السوري الحر
كتيبة شاكيرا

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April 5th, 2012, 2:40 pm

 

730. Alan said:

From the Cold War to NATO’s “Humanitarian Wars” – The Complicity of the United Nations

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30114

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April 5th, 2012, 2:45 pm

 

731. Uzair8 said:

[Comment stuck in moderation since 1st April]

There are reports coming out of Syria that President Bashar Assad and his Foreign Minister Walid Muallem have defected. Alongside these reports unverified internet footage apparantly captured on a nomads mobile phone shows the pair fleeing on foot across the desert in the direction of Jordan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz1fATnm7j0&t=4s

The regime has played down the defections accusing the pair of being part of the revolution. It claimed the pair had been in communication with the opposition for some time going all the way back to the initial Qatari attempt to bribe Muallem. It is said Muallem was asked by the Qataris to approach Assad with a view to encourage him to also defect.

Damascus has released what it says is an image secretly taken showing a secret meeting held between the pair and Qatari PM Hamad bin Jassem in a cafe at an undisclosed location on the Lebanonese side of the border in recent months.

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT0eYy9HN6DOCWlfpNndPEvvx6WlYqRjBjjMZpJGJuvecjYu5Ph0L1Q_XSNiQ

The Qatari government has declined to comment.

Unconfirmed reports say Asma Assad has condemned the defection of her husband and has vowed to stand by the Syrian regime till the end.

On pro-regime online social networks there is increasing chatter of the possibility that Bushra Assad will be asked to step into the presidential post.

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April 5th, 2012, 2:46 pm

 

732. Mawal95 said:

The following half a dozen videos are brief interviews with Syrians citizens on the streets (آراء الشارع السوري). They were broadcast nationwide in Syria in recent days. Most of them are from http://www.youtube.com/user/alikhbariasyria/videos

2 apr 2012. Brief interviews with Syrians on the street in Aleppo on the question of what they want in candidates for parliament in the upcoming election: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5cXZ3zod3o . Please notice that in this video, again and again, while someone is being interviewed on camera on the street, many passers-by are stopping and standing around in the background, hoping that they will be asked for their own view — hoping they will have the honour of proclaiming on national TV that they adhere to the spirit of national unity and support the civil political process.

2 apr 2012. Brief interviews with Syrians on the street in Homs City on the question of what they want in candidates for parliament in the upcoming election: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXjTN_bzMOU . Again notice the same behaviour as in the previous video (to a lesser degree) — i.e. people are lining up for an opportunity to talk into the camera.

2 apr 2012. Brief interviews with Syrians on the Street on their view of the “Enemies of Syria” conference in Istanbul: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMTXcqmL10g . This video shows the same behaviour I’m talking about. At time 3:18 the TV camera has shown up at a place on a street, and is interviewing one passer-by, who stands alone. Later, the same place on the street is thronged with people wanting the opportunity to say their say, as seen at time 3:32. I’ve seen this behaviour many, many times before. I take it as an indicator that the Syrian Street positively supports the regime. In other words, I take it as one piece of evidence for my view that the idea of a uncommitted silent majority is an idea without a solid factual basis and is a false idea.

4 apr 2012. The same behaviour is in the video that JAD linked to at #656 above, where citizens are denouncing the violence of the rebels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SMQGXck6ww . JAD comments: “Bashar and the regime has no say in why the majority of Syrians are against this disgusting pathetic terrorist strategy that is targeting the average Syrian before anything else.” I don’t fully agree with that comment by JAD because I believe the majority of Syrians are positively with the regime. JAD himself is not positively with the regime (whereas I am). Apparently JAD would like an election where any alternative secular political party was elected, and the regime’s party was voted out of office. I believe JAD’s attitude is not supported by even a large minority of Syrians, never mind the majority. If JAD’s attitude were supported by a large minority — which is to say, if a considerable market demand for such a political party existed — we’d see the market demand being supplied. Whereas we see on the ground today that nine new political parties have been fully registered since the new parties law came into effect in August 2011 and NONE of these parties is generating any interest among the public.

3 apr 2012. Brief interviews with Syrian citizens arriving at the airport from overseas. They know the foreign news media is riddled with falsehoods about what’s happening in their country: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA_OuOO3lTw

4 apr 2012. The Governor of Outer Damascus visits Zabadani. The video has some words from the Governor followed by some brief interviews with citizens in Zabadani: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE33KxA_nyQ

4 apr 2012. Brief interviews with citizens who attended a candle-light evening ceremony honouring killed security men, Latakia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IGWWGVUEDE

SANA.SY at the moment is carrying a news story that the Regional Leadership of the Baath Party has issued a statement that in Syria there is strong national unity on the ground. http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/04/05/410692.htm My comment: that is not spurious boosterism. It’s based on observable facts, and if you haven’t observed those facts yourself, I think you haven’t been paying enough attention to what is and isn’t happening on the ground.

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April 5th, 2012, 2:55 pm

 

733. Alan said:

Myth of “Syrian rebels”…they’re mostly for posing for video cameras while foreign mercenaries hired by foreign powers do the heavy lifting:

“…Leaked emails show an American private security company, SCG International has been helping the Syrian opposition in its efforts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad at the request of US officials.

The whistleblower website, Wikileaks, released the emails sent by SCG Chief Executive James F. Smith, the former director of the notorious company Blackwater, which is blamed for the killing of many civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In one of the emails, Smith says his company was contracted to engage the Turkey-based Syrian opposition in a so-called “fact finding mission,” but “the true mission is how they can help in regime change.”

US Mercenaries Intervening In Syria – Leaked Emails
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/04/04/mercenaries-intervening-syria-leaked-emails-113101/

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April 5th, 2012, 2:59 pm

 

734. Uzair8 said:

536. mjabali said:

“As for how many times did Umar ibn al-Khattab run away from battles”

Sayyidina Umar ibn al Khattab (RA) never left the side of the Prophet (S) either in life or death. :)

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April 5th, 2012, 3:37 pm

 

735. Alan said:

19.03.2012 Satanovsky: Syria will bog down in civil war

In the capital of Syria now very restlessly. Governmental security forces liquidated group of extremists which grasped the house in the west of Damascus. At building storm in a quarter el-Mezze were killed three fighters. There are victims and among military. Shots in different parts of the city were audible also last night. Whether get events in Syria especially dangerous character? Or they pass to any new phase after which it is necessary to wait for an outcome? The situation in Syria at interview to the channel “Russia 24″ was estimated by the president of Institute of the Middle East Evgenia Satanovsky. “When there is no the base where it is possible to establish the government, it is necessary to pass to guerrilla and terrorist work.

Today in Syria such bases are smoothed out. Therefore further in the region will go slow, but long civil war” — considers the expert. Evgeny Satanovsky confirmed information that in Syria really there are serious fights.” The Syrian army conducts difficult fights in spite of the fact that it is extremely well prepared and not bad armed. The matter is that mobilization of radicals goes across all Middle East. Therefore to say that a situation in Syria — easy walk isn’t necessary” in any way — the president of Institute of the Middle East ascertained.

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April 5th, 2012, 3:46 pm

 

736. Juergen said:

Mawal

do you honestly expect Syrians would say the truth in front of an cameramen on the street?
Have you ever talked to an unknown Syrian over such issues out in the public?

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April 5th, 2012, 3:52 pm

 

737. Juergen said:

Christian Activist Hadeel Kouki on Syria

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April 5th, 2012, 4:01 pm

 

738. omen said:

i get madder every time i read the above posting. people are dying and all critics can think to do is to chastise the snc. people are dying!

doesn’t the professor realize acting to drive the focus into nitpicking the opposition only serves to prop up the regime? surely, that can’t be his intention.

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April 5th, 2012, 4:06 pm

 

739. Mina said:

738 Jürgen

Interesting that you bring this topic now but did not answer to me 2 days ago when I asked about a link posted by Jad if the people interviewed in the street in Damascus (about 15) looked coerced or braiwashed…

A very good example of how Syrians feel free to talk on camera is the SBS tv documentary on Haytham al Maleh when he meets Zuhayr Siddiq, don’t you think so?

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April 5th, 2012, 4:07 pm

 

740. Juergen said:

Mina

I do know that people under despotism tend to develop what i call an survival mode.They will say what is expected of them to be said. Critical thinking is undevoloped, or at least thats not what you learn in syrian public schools.

Therefore i see no reason in believing that queued up “bypassers” take their chance to talk freely from their heart to an offical cameremen who has guards of the muhabarat for his safetey with him.

I have only twice had an open and honest conversation with Syrians, and that is not because i had no chance, being a highly interested person in politics i tried many times, but thats the first lesson a Syrian is learning, dont talk about politics.Those times i talked to one who has been imprisoned before and to one who was in exile for 20 years and just came back to bury his mother.

I think we are far from having trustworthy opinion polls from Syria, and yet journalism in Syria doesnt deserve to be called Journalism, a more workable term would be mouthpiece of the regime.

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April 5th, 2012, 4:18 pm

 

741. jad said:

[alert Jad, do NOT personalize discussion in this way, please. ]

Mina


Juergen knows everything anywhere in the world. He knows how Syrians think and feel even when they are sleeping.

I think that he has ‘friends’ in the djin who helps him…Allah A3lam!

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April 5th, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

742. Alan said:

At first we will learn to jump – and then to us water will pour

Remember such joke? The person comes to a madhouse and sees — loonies rise by a tower and jump to the empty concrete pool. Break. «That you do?» — the person asks. «And to us told — at first we will learn to jump, and then to us water will pour».

Such impression that today this joke became reality – Syrian Revolution. :)

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April 5th, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

743. Juergen said:

JAD

I have not been to Latin America, Australia and the Antarctica, so i wont comment on those regions…
And for the knowledge, thats quite an assumption, i go for what Montaigne has said : Que sais-je?

I have a voodoo puppet in my house does that make me a master of the jiin?

Come on mnhbaks, can you let the eydoctor down, he will loose if you dont queue up for his support… some hours are left…

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2107952_2107953_2109564,00.html

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April 5th, 2012, 4:34 pm

 

744. jad said:

Juergen the great,
“I have not been to Latin America, Australia and the Antarctica, so i wont comment on those regions…’
Thank God!
“mnhbaks” You may need to learn how to write it correct before you even use it ;)

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April 5th, 2012, 4:43 pm

 

745. Uzair8 said:

#745 Alan

It’s an interesting scenario (joke). It is easy to criticize but what other realistic option did the syrian people have? Any suggestions?

They saw a limited window of opportunity* and went for broke. A desperate situation.

*Taking advantage of the arab spring. While the winds were strong and favorable.

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April 5th, 2012, 4:44 pm

 

746. jad said:

Nizar Jafari Interview 5April12

In English for those who doesn’t know how to write ‘mnhbaks’, yet keep preaching Syrians of how to think, how typical!
Qatar Manipulating UN General Assembly

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April 5th, 2012, 4:46 pm

 

747. Khalid Tlass said:

JUERGEN,

That guy Khomeini has been a tool of anti-Islamic, Zionist, and fascist forces from day 1. The very objective of the CIA to allow him to take over was to portray a “respectable” figure of Shi’ism who will lend some ounce of credibilty to the fake fictitious propaganda you are hearing about our Sunni Caliphs from the mouths of some kids on SyriaComment.

From Day 1 Khomeini’s plan was to conquer the whole of the Middle East and then the whole of the Muslim World, Iran-Iraq War, or as we call it “Qadisiyah 2″ was just one piece of the puzzle. But soldiers of the Sahaba are standing firmly in the way of this grand plan, and the fight at this moment is taking place in Syria.

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April 5th, 2012, 4:48 pm

 

748. Khalid Tlass said:

For ALDENDESHE –

If there was one Army Israelis tried to destroy it was the Iraqi Army, look up about 1981 Osirak raid, Iraq was on the verge of exterminating the Majoosi cancer once and for all when Israel came to save their ancient friends.

And I would like to ask YOU who was behind the 1981 bombing of the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut, which killed 200 innoccent civilans, 60 of the top trained Palestinian fedayeen who were about to destroy Israel and their Phoenician stooges in Lebanon, and Balqis al-Rawi, the wife of Nizar Qabbani.

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April 5th, 2012, 4:52 pm

 

749. Mina said:

Jürgen
Open your eyes: in these street interviews, it is not the camera which is moving to chase people. It is mainly passerbys and who wants to talk stay and wait and talk.

Of course I will not claim that they don’t cut whoever made critics. But stop seeing dictatorship victims everywhere.

Dictatorship starts in the household, and it is for countries and cultures to evolve to the absolute individualism you are enjoying and want the rest of the world to enjoy. That does not mean that all of these people are coerced. What about jumping in Gulf type of religious coercion, would it make a change?

Or just admit that you are a new Don Quichotte, ride your horse, and go save the Japanese, Koreans, Chinese (famously subdued to their heavy working system), the Russians, the Albanians, the Zimbabweans, etc…

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April 5th, 2012, 4:57 pm

 

750. Khalid Tlass said:

TARA, you asked me about my vision for a Salafism in the Syrian State,

here it is :

In our version of Salafi Govt, Islamization will be very gradual. No, we will not force anyone to cover their hair in public, but we will teach little girls in school that it is always better to cover your hair. Basically we will Islamise the population starting with the younger generation. We will not force adult people who are already used to their lifestyle to change it.

Ours is a long-term plan.

During the Ottomans’ time, all the women of Syria used to cover themselves, unveiling as a practice was introduced by the French and later spread by the Nasserists and Baathists.

So veiling is natural for Syria. Even during pre-Islamic times women used to veil themsleves in Syria and Iraq.

WE are like the new army of the Sahaba, bringing a new Caliphate unto Syria, we are the descendtants of Khalid bin Walid and Umar ibn al Khattab

Please respond if you have read this comment, bcz you asked me a question, and I feel obligatted to answer. So far I have posted this comment twice but did not get any confirmation from you.

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April 5th, 2012, 4:59 pm

 

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9 − = five