“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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1101. omen said:

Syrian government is about to resign?

is this a belated april fool’s?

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April 7th, 2012, 11:50 pm


1102. omen said:

from the earlier aljazeera report:

the new rebel funds, reported to be a hundred million dollars per month for three months of pay, without accurate tracking, could wind up being used for arms.

maybe the money could also be going to bribe regime members to entice them to resign and leave the country. with the promise that the west wont pursue them to prosecute for war crimes.

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April 7th, 2012, 11:56 pm


1103. ann said:

335 wanted people surrender in North of Syria – 2012-04-08


DAMASCUS – As many as 335 wanted people turned themselves in to authorities in the northern province of Idlib Saturday amid renewed violence reported in other parts of Syria, state-run SANA news agency reported.

The Idlib province has emerged as one of the main battlegrounds between rebel forces and government troops. The clashes in Idlib, which is on the borders with Turkey, have sent thousands of people fleeing for their lives to neighboring Turkey.

Government troops have managed to dislodge most of the rebels in Idlib but are still quashing remnants of those fighters in the northern area, a well informed source told Xinhua recently.

Meanwhile, SANA said that competent authorities raided Saturday many armed groups’ hideouts in the Douma suburb of the capital Damascus, adding that the raid resulted in confiscating large amounts of weapons and ammunition in addition to communication devices.

Unidentified number of gunmen were killed during the raid, SANA said, adding that government forces also arrested a number of the most dangerous wanted people.

In central Homs province, engineering units dismantled Saturday five explosive devices weighing between 10 to 40 kilograms that were planted in different areas at the Deir Baalabeh neighborhood.

Opposition activists said that Deir Baalabeh district and the Douma suburb were under a large-scale military operation over the past days.


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April 8th, 2012, 12:21 am


1104. abbas said:


May be I didn’t convey my thinking clearly, I did not mean the emails were damaging, I was thinking of the fact that every time things tend to quite down a bit something happen to pour oil on the flames again, I was not interested at all in the emails, If it’s true or not does not concern me a bit, if that’s all what Asmaa spent then I should be president because my wife spends more than her in a day, I am just upset that some new grad from an ivy league school working for one of the alphabet agencies is laughing his heart out because of our stupidity

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April 8th, 2012, 12:32 am


1105. ann said:

Journalist exposes CNN behind explosions in Syria – 2012/04/08


A Syrian journalist has revealed indications of an international media campaign aimed at distorting the facts on the ground in Syria to blame the Syrian Army for bloodshed.

Rafik Lutf, member of Arab Journalists Union in the United States, told on Saturday that the CNN, Qatar-based broadcaster, Al Jazeera, and other Western and Arabic satellite news channels were forwarding the cause with the help of armed groups.

He said, through fabricating and falsifying events, the campaign was seeking to accuse the Army of violating the rights of and terrorizing civilians.

Lutf had felt suspicious about live streaming of a camera in the city of Homs in western Syria and thus started to follow the coverage.

After 12 hours, a plume of smoke rose from the area where the camera was directed to. CNN and Al Jazeera crew were the first to arrive at the scene.

When CNN correspondent, Arwa Damon, went live to talk about the explosion, which had struck a pipeline in the city, the news channel broadcast some images that had been shot by the camera before the blast.

The coincidence lead Lutf to the conclusion that the CNN crew had known about the explosion before it even happened.

“I was able to figure out the live streaming of a camera, which showed that the CNN is involved in the explosions of oil pipelines in Homs. At first, I did not know who’s filming it, but, later on, I discovered that the fixed camera was for the CNN. And Al Jazeera was also involved in this matter…,” he said.

Through this, our correspondent concluded, the CNN was trying to make believe that the Syrian government was shelling Homs.

Our reporter said Al Jazeera, with the help of some correspondents in Homs, also faked gunshots during live calls with its reporters to falsely show that the Army is shelling the city.


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April 8th, 2012, 12:48 am


1106. Ghufran said:

Some said he is dead,others, including the CIA, said he is in Syria.
9 years after the fall of Baghdad,he is back:
عزت الدوري

[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zofQzvONEWI ]

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April 8th, 2012, 12:51 am


1107. Halabi said:

This what Syrians in a village in Hama had to deal with today.

Ann, here’s another Rafiq Lutf theory from the world’s most credible source. First he exposed Paltalk and now CNN. I can’t wait until he exposes how Twitter is behind the shelling of Homs.

“Lutf Divulges Paltalk Rooms’ Fabricated Lies and Instigation against Syria

Apr 27, 2011

Damascus, (SANA)-Blogger and Member of Arab Journalists Union in America, Rafiq Lutf, has divulged the black rooms on the American Paltalk Website which fabricates lies and instigates against Syria through giving instructions and plans for the people, and contacting media bodies.

Lutf said that the black rooms also fabricate films and add voices to them, adding that the films are originally taken from support rallies and later fabricated as the support slogans are changed into opposition slogans.

In an interview with the Syrian Satellite Channel, Lutf said “A strange room called’ Freedom and Justice’ suddenly appeared on the Paltalk Website as it encompassed about 20 members at the beginning, and then the number increased to 30 and later it reached 1,000 and then 2,000.”

Lutf lived in the USA since he was 16 years old and he has recently returned to Syria. He is one of the witnesses who have been able to disclose the conspiring group against Syria through the Paltalk rooms as he has a room on the website, and he is experienced in the work of this room on the internet.”


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April 8th, 2012, 1:05 am


1108. Mina said:

Thanks for admitting with me that what the Saudis are trying to promote as real Islam is just a one way destruction of the religion and a new fitna.

About Libya, how come the free-roaming journalists are not telling us more about the opinions of the “liberated” Libyan people? Too dangerous? It doesn’t pay well enough?

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April 8th, 2012, 4:15 am


1109. Mina said:

The series of shooting in France and in the US lately (after the Toulouse guy, there is a new one in Essonne committing blind shootings), remembers me of Michael Moore movie Bowling for Columbine.

[ blue diamond Re Essone deaths: Meurtres en série dans l’Essonne : ce que l’on sait | Essonne : 4 meurtres et un même tueur ? ]

He was making a parallel between the fact people in this region were for many of them working for weapon manufacturer Lockheed Martin, and gave images of the Bosnian war and Clinton’s policy towards it.

Just like today we are fed with fightings and bodies everyday but when the narrative does not make sense anymore (hello BKM?) these random shootings by disoriented people is what it leads to.

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April 8th, 2012, 4:33 am


1110. Alan said:

Syria threatens pullout from ceasefire deal unless given ‘written guarantees’


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April 8th, 2012, 7:04 am


1111. Alan said:

Bahrain crackdown: ‘Opposition in dire need of media spotlight’


ستذهب هذه الظاهرة الى باقي دول الخليج وفق مبدأ الدومينو (فيزياء)

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April 8th, 2012, 7:08 am


1112. Alan said:

Pope urges end to Syria bloodshed


Pope Benedict XVI called on Sunday for an end to bloodshed in Syria and a commitment to dialogue to end the violence there, as part of a wider appeal to give hope to the entire Middle East.
“May the risen Christ grant hope to the Middle East and enable all the ethnic, cultural and religious groups in that region to work together to advance the common good and respect for human rights,” he said in his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” message to mark Easter Sunday.

“Particularly in Syria, may there be an end to bloodshed and an immediate commitment to the path of respect, dialogue and reconciliation, as called for by the international community,” he said.
The pontiff also voiced hope that refugees fleeing the crisis in Syria who are in need of humanitarian assistance are given help to relieve “their dreadful sufferings”.

Turning to Iraq, he encouraged the people to “spare no effort in pursuing the path of stability and development”.

He added: “In the Holy Land, may Israelis and Palestinians courageously take up anew the peace process,” with direct talks between the two sides frozen since September 2010.

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April 8th, 2012, 8:17 am


1113. Alan said:

الصحفي الفرنسي تيري ميسان على قناة الدنيا 2012/4/6

[ Google Translate TRANS French journalist Thierry Meyssan on the channel floor 06/04/2012 ]

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April 8th, 2012, 8:23 am


1114. Tara said:

Bushbush wants written guarantee from the “armed gangs”, Turkey, Qatar, And KSA before stopping the butchery?  How a out from us on SC, does he want any written anything?

We all knew from day one he was playing games buying time hoping to kill the revolution.  Well, he was wrong.  Every time Bashar killed one Syrian, 10 Syrians join in.  He will never win this Wack-A-Mole game.  This is the end of the game for him.  Not that the world is not convinced from the beginning that he is a liar butcher, but that the world has now exhausted all maneuvers to end the bloodshed peacefully.  It is time he is forcefully removed.     


Syria rejects army pullback without guarantees
AFP – 1 hr 56 mins ago

Syria said on Sunday, ahead of a UN deadline, that its forces will not withdraw from protest hubs without written guarantees, as the main opposition group urged UN intervention after one of the deadliest days in a year.

As Tuesday’s deadline loomed for regime forces to cease fire and pull back from rebel cities, the foreign ministry said it had not been given assurances that “armed terrorist groups” would also put down their guns.

“To say that Syria will pull back its forces from towns on April 10 is inaccurate, Kofi Annan having not yet presented written guarantees on the acceptance by armed terrorist groups of a halt to all violence,” it said.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council formally endorsed the deadline for Syrian troops and big guns to be withdrawn from cities, but Damascus said a day later the number of “terrorist acts” has risen since the deal was agreed with UN and Arab League envoy Annan.

“Mr Annan has not submitted written guarantees from the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey on stopping their funding to terrorist groups,” the ministry added of its northern neighbour and strongest critics in the Arab world.

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April 8th, 2012, 8:40 am


1115. jna said:

Tara, from what I’ve seen of your writing here you’ve never liked the idea of ceasefire, monitors, negotiations, and elections in Syria.

It’s quite true that a ceasefire requires both opposing forces to cease fire or an approximation of that. I haven’t seen any declaration of intent to ceasefire by the opposition, unlike the government. I still support the government pulling back it’s forces this week if only to test the intent of the opposition which may not have the courage to voice ceasefire support while becoming aware that this is it’s best option. If the opposition continues the insurgency then the government would be forced to reinsert the army.

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April 8th, 2012, 8:56 am


1116. Mawal95 said:

Syria no Kandahar has been one of the better contributors to this board over the past year. Once or twice last summer he got chided by the moderator for being too angry, and one of those instances the moderator was probably right.

But he has been very well behaved throughout year 2012 in everything I’ve seen. At #1091 he says he wants to leave due to bad moderating. I agree with him that the moderator has misunderstood him, and I say the moderator for no good reason is not letting him speak with his own voice.

I too would quit the board as an expression of protest at the annoying moderating, if this moderating keeps up.

In fact at this stage in my experience this moderating is as bad has having no moderating.

There is so much rubbish on the board with or without formal moderation that the positive difference formal moderation makes is small, and this is fully counterbalanced by the negative aspects of the moderation, including the regular distraction the moderator is regularly causing.

I know it’s against the rules to “badger” the moderator.

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April 8th, 2012, 9:04 am


1117. Tara said:


It is just that I am not stupid nor am I trying to play stupid. Bashar is not going to stop the killing because his survival is contingent upon continuing the killing. He will fight until the last man and he is just pitting out a show to buy time. He has maneuvered his way around for a whole year. Now he wants written guarantees? Why did he not say that to Annan on the first day? Why did he wait until one day prior to the deadline. Did he demand that from Annan and Annan hid it from the world? Doesn’t that tell you anything?

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April 8th, 2012, 9:08 am


1118. Mina said:

It took 2 weeks for the Turkish religious establishment to react to the Saudi Grand Mufti fatwa against churches. From who did he have to ask for authorization?


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April 8th, 2012, 10:27 am


1119. Hans said:

Obama’s White House having Easter Egg hunt today for the holy day like today.

The Eggs though this time are the heads of the Arabs. every egg hunted is put in the basket for the wolves to sacrifice latter.

A Jewish Rabbi had blessed the game and now it is on.

The chocolate only for the infidels and every traitors who his hand soaked in the Syrian blood.
all of the MB shouting Allah Akbar in the White House, They visit the White House more often than they visit Palestine.

Syrians are been wrapped in their tears, blood with a broken heart on a day like this where the nation is hanged on a cross of traitors, wimps, jealous of Syrian nation.

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April 8th, 2012, 10:31 am


1120. jna said:

Tara, I disagree because the best bet for the survival of Assad, the Baath party, and their circle of interests is a transition to elections. Either an outright win or a share in an elected government would buffer them more than this trajectory toward civil war which is eventually a losing situation. And I think that the regime, The Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians are smart enough to grasp this.

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April 8th, 2012, 10:35 am


1121. Uzair8 said:

AJE Inside Syria:

Will Annan’s Syria peace plan succeed?
08 Apr 2012

As fighting continues, we discuss if Syria’s government is pulling back from the United Nations peace plan.


Fawaz Gerges, the director of the Middle East Centre and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Professor of International Relations.

Michael Weis, the communications director for the Henry Jackson Society which is a foreign policy think-tank based in London.

Haitham al-Sibahie, a member of the Syrian Social Club based in London who supports regime change through peaceful means.


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April 8th, 2012, 10:46 am


1122. Alan said:

هل لدى المعارضة المرتبطة بالدول الغربية روحا و قالباأية مضامين غير اللجوء للسلاح ؟ اذا كان الجواب لا فهي مفلسة و اذا كان نعم فهي لم تلبي مناداتها لعدة مرات ! يمكن التمعن بكلام مسؤول الخارجية الروسية بأن المعارضة لودججت بالسلاح حتى الأسنان فلن تستطيع التغلب على الجيش العربي السوري ؟

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April 8th, 2012, 10:54 am


1123. Alan said:

Syrian opposition refuses to give authorities guarantees on ceasefire


BEIRUT, April 8 (Itar-Tass) — The Syrian opposition will not give written guarantees on a ceasefire to the country’s authorities, said on Sunday commander of the so-called Syrian Liberation Army (SLA), Colonel Riad al-Asaad, hiding in Turkey.

According to the colonel, the SLA “does not recognize the Bashar Assad regime and will not give any guarantees”. Al-Asaad emphasized that if the Syrian authorities abide by the plan of settling the conflict, submitted by special envoy of the UN and the Arab League Kofi Annan, and withdraw their troops from cities, SLA fighters will also lay down arms.

Earlier in the day, spokesman of the Syrian Foreign Ministry Jihad Makdessi said that the Syrian authorities would pull out government troops from cities if the opposition gives “written guarantees” on a ceasefire.

The UN Security Council adopted a statement on Syria on Thursday where it called on Damascus to fulfill urgently obligations on the settlement plan, submitted by Kofi Annan, under which the Syrian government should halt advance of troops to populated centres by April 10, stop any use of military hardware in such centres as well as start withdrawing troops, massed inside and outside cities in the country.

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April 8th, 2012, 11:05 am


1124. Ghufran said:

I spoke last week about the army’s decision, backed by Russia, not to allow armed rebels to remain in the streets or occupy villages and small towns in Syria.

Yes, Bashar is buying time and his forces have not stopped firing on rebels, but those rebels have continued their attacks and refused to withdraw to their houses and villages, what Ghalioun said about the cease fire does not mean anything after we have seen that nobody listens to the guy in Syria.

You can not have a cease fire that is one sided and we will never reach a peaceful solution to this crisis if armed men are left free to attack and destroy, those rebels are actually helping the regime and inflicting pain and suffering on the very same people they are trying to protect, if you actually believe that theory.

The objective for many from day one was a violent regime change and not the cessation of violence, this violence, being called holy by some Sheikhs, is as bad as the brutal attacks launched by security forces, it is a monster that feeds itself.

As of now, Annan plan is in the intensive care, there is a definite need to provide guarantees that the army, and the rebels, keep the right of self defense, and that no armed forces except police are permitted to roam the streets in Syria.

Both sides are using loop holes in Annan plan to keep fighting. We have the responsibility to be factual and fair even with our adversaries if the objective is peace, but have we reached that stage where peace is actually our objective?

One thing in common between the two fighting factions: they want to eliminate the other side.

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April 8th, 2012, 11:13 am


1125. Halabi said:

The writing on the wall, with the blood of martyrs. This is truly the work of the deranged. http://youtu.be/RjwUW25JmXk

Are these the rights guaranteed in the new constitution that the we-love-you crowd supports? Is dipping into the blood of even a terrorist to write sectarian and hateful slogans part of the legitimate actions of state security forces?

After decades of oppression, this brutality no longer surprises or scares the Syrian people. It just provides more proof that Assad and his police state must fall.

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April 8th, 2012, 11:24 am


1126. Ghufran said:

47% of readers on alarabiya.net think that the Arab Spring either did not change anything or has led to the domination of Islamists:
ديمقراطية الربيع العربي:
تاريخ الاستفتاء 04-04-2012 | مجموع الأصوات 3,859
تحتاج إلى وقت للحكم عليها
53% | 2,063 صوت
خضعت لسيطرة التيار الديني
32% | 1,224 صوت
لا تختلف عن السابق
15% | 572 صوت

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April 8th, 2012, 11:33 am


1127. Alan said:

1127. HALABI

imagine that I same as you Halabi and it is a pity for your naivety in your calculation to trust your children’s treatments

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April 8th, 2012, 11:37 am


1128. Halabi said:

Ghufran #1126

“this violence,being called holy by some Sheikhs,is as bad as the brutal attacks launched by security forces”

Not quite as bad. Maybe a small percentage. The violence of the FSA and other armed opposition groups, excluding the bombings in Aleppo and Damascus which weren’t investigated, haven’t leveled entire city blocks. To be charitable, lets say the bombings were FSA, the total destruction by the revolution is much less than that inflicted on Baba Amr, just one neighborhood in Homs.

“One thing in common between the two fighting factions: they want to eliminate the other side.”

This might be true, but I don’t presume to know what people want. The revolution’s main slogan is the overthrow of the regime and the creation of democratic state with dignity for all citizens. The regime’s slogan is Assad or we burn the country.

Even if both sides want to eliminate the other, there’s only one side that has the capability to do so, and, as we have seen over the past year and also previous decades, the will to do so.

I understand the desire to show the brutality of both sides in an effort to reach a solution, but I don’t see how this argument can win over the victims of decades of oppression because it’s based on a falsehood that the violence is equal. It isn’t.

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April 8th, 2012, 11:47 am


1129. jad said:

Easter/Palm Sunday in Syria
قداديس وصلوات ترجو السلام والخير لسورية
المصلون يرجون من الله المحبة والسلام والأمان للوطن

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April 8th, 2012, 11:56 am


1130. Antoine said:

Even I have to agree that Ghufran’s assessment is lopsided and maybe have to do with his background, the same with Landis, lets call spade a spade ; according to Post-Modernism no person is free from the biases of his surroundings and his upbringings.

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April 8th, 2012, 12:03 pm


1131. Antoine said:

939. Ghufran said:

“There is more than 4,000 displaced families in Tartous who were forced to leave their homes in Homs”

Actually, there are credible rumors that the regime is planning to resetlle them in Baba Amr.

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April 8th, 2012, 12:06 pm


1132. Alan said:

مكيافيلي “الغاية تبرر الوسيلة”

Foreign Terrorist Organization № 29 take traning in US


April 6, 2012


Posted by Seymour M. Hersh

From the air, the terrain of the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site, with its arid high plains and remote mountain peaks, has the look of northwest Iran. The site, some sixty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas, was once used for nuclear testing, and now includes a counterintelligence training facility and a private airport capable of handling Boeing 737 aircraft. It’s a restricted area, and inhospitable—in certain sections, the curious are warned that the site’s security personnel are authorized to use deadly force, if necessary, against intruders.

It was here that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted training, beginning in 2005, for members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K. The M.E.K. had its beginnings as a Marxist-Islamist student-led group and, in the nineteen-seventies, it was linked to the assassination of six American citizens. It was initially part of the broad-based revolution that led to the 1979 overthrow of the Shah of Iran. But, within a few years, the group was waging a bloody internal war with the ruling clerics, and, in 1997, it was listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department.

In 2002, the M.E.K. earned some international credibility by publicly revealing—accurately—that Iran had begun enriching uranium at a secret underground location. Mohamed ElBaradei, who at the time was the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear monitoring agency, told me later that he had been informed that the information was supplied by the Mossad. The M.E.K.’s ties with Western intelligence deepened after the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003, and JSOC began operating inside Iran in an effort to substantiate the Bush Administration’s fears that Iran was building the bomb at one or more secret underground locations.

Funds were covertly passed to a number of dissident organizations, for intelligence collection and, ultimately, for anti-regime terrorist activities. Directly, or indirectly, the M.E.K. ended up with resources like arms and intelligence. Some American-supported covert operations continue in Iran today, according to past and present intelligence officials and military consultants…/../…

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April 8th, 2012, 12:17 pm


1133. Alan said:

though call any war where ideally all observe laws! again naivety!

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April 8th, 2012, 12:27 pm


1135. Tara said:

Links should be allowed.

The regime should be exposed.

It is the least we can do to those slaughtered and degraded by the butcher of Syria.

People who support atrocious acts directly or indirectly by supporting the regime should be encouraged to stop sheltering themselves to stop living in their self-made bubble and to realize what they are supporting. They should pause and watch everything to be watched. They are eventually responsible in front of themselves.

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April 8th, 2012, 12:31 pm


1136. Badr said:

What else could one really expect!

Syria wants ‘written guarantees’ from opposition

Damascus also wanted “guarantees of commitment by the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to stop financing the armed terrorist groups”, it said.

The BBC’s Jim Muir, reporting from neighbouring Lebanon, says it is clear that Damascus is seeking complete surrender from the opposition rather than accepting a balanced truce arrangement and then talks.

That leaves both the timeline and the whole structure of the Annan peace plan under severe doubt, he adds.

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April 8th, 2012, 12:34 pm


1137. Alan said:

1138. MINA

Obama quickly reacted. the expert in revolutions, the professor of university Mike McFaul sent the ambassador of the USA to Moscow!!

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April 8th, 2012, 12:44 pm


1138. Antoine said:

I have limited inside knowledge of Syria and most of it is gleaned through second-hand sources and the Internet,

I know the Baath revolution in 1961-63 was started by Akram al-Hawrani from the villages of Hama, now the regime is attacking these very villages, and we are yet to see any significant pro-regime demonstration from rural Hama

So my question is,

is it possible that the people who voted Baath in 1961 and who were enthusistic Baathists in the 1960s and benefited from Akram al-Hawrani’s Land Reforms, are now firmly on the side of the opposition ?

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April 8th, 2012, 1:04 pm


1139. Mawal95 said:

#1132 by “Halabi” is a good post:

More videos of Assad’s soldiers, part of the so-called professional army, celebrating their victories.



These men might have been FSA, and were willing to die in their fight against Assad. Or not. Either way, there is no justification for this treatment after they were killed. It’s a violation of basic rules of war and of the Syrian constitution.

Me and “Halabi” agree about almost nothing, but I concede he’s right that there is no justification for the treatment of the dead body in the first of those videos.

Did you hear the soldiers chanting in that video? The sound is mis-synchronized with the audio by about half a second, by the way. I am going to repeat what I said at #862 earlier in this thread and I invite you to argue against it:

In almost any other country in similar circumstances the soldiers would generally not take a partisan political position like that, because it can potentially be divisive within the ranks. Every soldier wants to be a force for law and order, but not every soldier wants to be a force for the ruling political party. The fact that these soldiers are cheering for Bashar indicates to me that cheering for Bashar is not divisive within the ranks. Thus, the fact that these soldiers are cheering for Bashar indicates that support for the regime as such is broad and deep in the Syrian society.

I assume of course that the Syrian army is the army of the people by the people for the people.

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April 8th, 2012, 1:08 pm


1140. Alan said:

mey be they need Valerya ! she has a good origin place ? 🙂

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April 8th, 2012, 1:17 pm


1141. jad said:

Meaningful message to both the Government and the Oppositions:

إلى السلطة الرابعة وحركة حقوق الإنسان.. لكي لا تتحول سوريا إلى “جمهورية مانيكان”!

عندما خرج شباب سوري إلى الشوارع في مارس/آذار 2011 لم تكن غايته إقامة دولة دينية، أو استيراد أجندات إقليمية لبعض الدول.

هناك من خرج لأنه يعيش حالة فقدان العدالة الإجتماعية والحق في العمل، وبسبب انتشار الفساد والرشاوى والتوظيف بناء على معايير المحسوبية، ولذلك سنجد الكثير من الكفاءات السورية تحقق نجاحات مذهلة في دول عربية وأجنبية، في مختلف المجالات، ولكن إذا عاد أحدهم إلى وطنه فقد لا يعثر على وظيفة مستخدم في مدرسة!

هناك من خرج لأنه يعتقد أن سوريا، الدولة التي كانت سباقة إلى منح المرأة حق المشاركة في الحياة السياسية، وخوض تجارب برلمانية ديمقراطية منذ الاستقلال، تستحق الآن أن تعيش تجربة ديمقراطية، وانتخابات حرة.

هناك من خرج ليصرخ ويجرّب متعة الصراخ والنقد والتنديد العلني في الشوارع بسياسات نظام بلده، وحكومته، ومن ثم يعود إلى بيته، خاصة أن هذا الأمر كان مختفيا عن البلد منذ أربعين سنة، لذلك سوف تبدو ممارسته بنظر السوريين متعة رائعة تشعرهم بانتماء أعمق إلى وطنهم.

لكن، لم يخرج الشباب السوري، مثل غياث مطر ومعن العودات، من أجل المطالبة بأن يأتيهم مثل “أبو قتادة” و”أبو مصعب”، وغيرهم، من قادة تنظيمات أصولية من العراق ولبنان والمغرب العربي ودول أخرى لحكم سوريا وتنفيذ أجندتهم.

فيما يلي رسالة تحد للسلطة الرابعة، وحركة حقوق الإنسان، وعلى رأسها السورية، لأنهم من المفترض أن يمثلوا السلطة الأخلاقية والرقابية المستقلة عن النظام، وعن المعارضة، وتريد في النهاية ما يهم الإنسان السوري فقط.
فهل تتجرأ السلطة الرابعة، وحركة حقوق الإنسان، على فتح الملفات التالية:

أولا: المقاتلون غير السوريين: من يدخل المنتديات الأصولية على الإنترنت ويقرأ أجندتهم بخصوص سوريا وشعاراتهم، وتشجيعهم للمقاتلين القادمين من المغرب العربي والعراق ولبنان ودول أخرى لما يسمى الجهاد في سوريا، سوف يدرك أن هؤلاء يغنون موالهم في واد، وموال الشعب السوري في واد آخر، فهم على الأقل يريدون رمي ملايين السوريين من أبناء الأقليات الدينية في البحر، فهل الأغلبية الدينية في سوريا ترضى ذلك ؟ بالتأكيد لا. ولذلك أجندة هؤلاء المقاتلين هي ضد طموحات ورغبات الأكثرية الدينية في سوريا.

ثانيا: “الجنود الأطفال”: تحدثت الأمم المتحدة عن تجنيد الأطفال من قبل جماعات مقاتلة في سوريا، فهل رياض الترك أو معن العودات وغياث مطر وغيرهم في أجندتهم استغلال الأطفال ؟ بالتأكيد لا. إن من يقوم بتجنيد الأطفال للقتال هو عمليا يسئ بشكل مباشر- لا بل يبتر- أخلاق أي انتفاضة شعبية. سوف يقول أحدهم إن النظام استغل الأطفال، والرد هو “إذا كانت الانتفاضة باسم الحرية والكرامة فكيف نقلّد أفعال النظام ؟”.

ثالثا: النازحون لأسباب طائفية ودينية: لا نريد هنا الحديث عن طائفة بعينها، لكي لا نُتهم بالطائفية، ولكن يجب إثارة هذا الملف لأن النازحين لأسباب طائفية ومذهبية هم أناس دفعوا الثمن غاليا من خلال الانتقام منهم بسبب الانتماء الجغرافي أو الطائفي إلى منطقة ينحدر منها مسؤولون في النظام. سيتحدث البعض عن اللاجئين السوريين أيضا في دول مجاورة، وهذا صحيح تماما، ولكن نعود لنقول إن كل أطياف المعارضة ترفع شعار عدم الانتقام في المرحلة القادمة في البلاد، فلماذا لا يتم الحديث بصراحة وشفافية عن النازحين لأسباب مذهبية؟ أليس من يقوم بالتهجير يسئ لأهداف المحتجين وشعارات المعارضة التي تؤكد ليلا نهارا أن المستقبل سيكون خيرا لكل السوريين بمن فيهم الأقليات ؟ لذا وجب على الجميع فضح من يسئ للمطالب المحقة بالديمقراطية.

رابعا: الخطف والقتل خارج القضاء: الصحافة العالمية، ومنظمات الأمم المتحدة، وكذلك منظمة هيومن رايتس ووتش التي كانت أكثر المنظمات انتقادا للنظام السوري، تحدثت عن محاكم ميدانية تابعة للجماعات المقاتلة، مهما اختلفت تسمياتها، تصدر الأحكام بالإعدام خلال وقت سريع. فضلا عن عمليات الخطف التي باتت تعترف بها الجماعات المقاتلة لأسباب عديدة. سيقول أحدهم إن النظام السوري يقوم بذلك أيضا، ولكن الرد السريع عليه هو إذا كان النظام يقوم بكل هذا فلماذا قامت الانتفاضة أصلا ؟ هل قامت لتكرر وتنتج نفس أفعال النظام ؟ أم قامت لتنقل سوريا إلى مرحلة جديدة خالية من كل هذه الانتهاكات ؟ وأليس من يقوم بالخطف والقتل خارج القضاء يسئ للأهداف التي انتفض من أجلها جيل معن العودات، وجيل غياث مطر ؟!

خامسا: السلفية الجهادية العربية والتغيير الديمقراطي في سورية: بالتأكيد من حق أن حركة سياسية، ودينية، سورية، أن تطرح رؤيتها ورأيها إزاء ما يجري في سوريا، ومستقبلها، وسوريا المستقبل يجب أن تتسع لجميع الآراء. لكن السؤال المهم هو ما علاقة الجماعات الأصولية في بعض البلدان العربية بقضية الديمقراطية ومستقبل الدولة المدنية في سوريا ؟ هؤلاء أقل ما يقولونه هو الدعوة لرمي ملايين السوريين في البحر بحجة أنهم أبناء أقليات، ويدعون للقتل والذبح وفق فتاوى قديمة. هذه الجماعات لا يهمها أبدا أن تعرف شيئا عن: استقلال سوريا، أول تجربة برلمانية ديمقراطية في المنطقة في البرلمان السوري منذ عقود طويلة، مشاركة المرأة في الحياة السياسية منذ عقود طويلة أيضا، غنى وتنوع المجتمع السوري سياسيا واجتماعيا وثقافيا وإثنيا ودينيا، وجود معارضين سوريين بذلوا وضحوا ودخلوا السجون واستمروا بنضالهم عبر الورقة والقلم والآن عبر “الكيبورد” دون تهديد من قبلهم إلى أي جهة.

سادسا: التسليح وتجار السلاح: إن أكبر المنتفعين من الأزمة السورية الحالية هم تجار السلاح. هل قرأ أحدكم يوما رواية في الأدب العالمي تقول إن تاجر السلاح يسعى لإقامة الديمقراطية والحرية والعدالة ؟ بالتأكيد لا. تجار السلاح يعيشون على الأزمات، وهؤلاء من واجب حركة حقوق الإنسان تسليط الضوء عليهم، مهما كانوا، ومن كانوا.

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April 8th, 2012, 1:21 pm


1142. Alan said:

هندسة دينية، هندسة مذهبية ! عرقية جهنمية around the world !!! Bernardo ben Luiso !

Almost 40 die in Nigeria church bombing


A powerful car bomb exploding outside a packed Easter congregation in the central Nigerian city of Kaduna is known to have left 38 people dead and many more injured.

In the past, all attacks of this kind have been the work of the Islamist group Boko Haram.

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April 8th, 2012, 1:24 pm


1143. DAWOUD said:

1048. DAWOUD said:

[Dawoud – you have been warned against sectarian language.]

A message to Hizballah’s/Bashar’s commentators: سوريا ستتحرر رغم انف بشار وحسن وعلي خاميني

ارهابي من حزب الله وايران غير العربيه في سوريا العربيه ذات الاغلبيه السنيه! لا ايران, لا حزب الله, سوريا عربيه اسلاميه

Reports are everywhere about non-Arab Iranians and Shia Shabiha from the TERRORIST Hizballah killing our brothers and sisters in Syria.

Anybody from the terrorist “Hizballah Foundation,” which is mentioned in this article http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/world/middleeast/hezbollahs-syria-policy-puts-it-at-risk.html?_r=1 (a Hizballah woman is talking about posting pro-Hizballah propaganda on Facebook), is posting here on Syria Comment to spread pro-dictator, pro-Majous, pro-Hizballah propaganda?

Below is a story on the Persians المجوس الفرس, non-Arabs, killing our Syrian brothers/sisters:

Iranian Fighters Are Killing Syrian Troops Who Refuse to Fire On Protesters

Michael Kelley|March 08, 2012|

Thousands of members of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and Lebanon’s Hezbollah were fighting in Syria as of July and killing Syrian troops who refused to open fire on protestors, according to internal Stratfor emails leaked by WikiLeaks.

Dear Moderator:

I disagree with your characterization of my comment as “sectarian” for the following reasons:

1) describing Syria as “Islamiyah” أسلاميه or Islamic does NOT deny the EQUAL rights of non-Muslims in the country. Strangely, even al-Assad’s constitution describes Syria as an Arab/Muslsim nation. In fact, Bashar’s latest constitution-which he passed a few weeks in a fraudulent referendum while his tanks were shedding Syrian blood-makes it a REQUIREMENT for the Syrian president to be “Muslim.”
Interestingly, the Muslim Brotherhood’s latest covenant supports non-Muslims to be president of Syria! Enough with the CODE WORDS (MB, Salafist, Wahabi, etc.) that Bashar and his supporters/apologists here and elsewhere use to de-legitimize Syria’s legitimate revolution against Bashar’s tyranny!

2) Maybe I should not used “majous” to describe Persians, although many Iranians who don’t believe in the “Islamic Republic” would be proud to be called so. Does it Iran use the pre-Islamic Persian calendar? What about the campaign that the Shah led in the mid-1970s to celebrate Iran’s pre-Islamic history, and return Iran’s cultural/social perspectives to that era? Probably, he didn’t have time to shift the Persian alphabet from Arabic to Latin, which was what Kamal Atatuk did to completely secularize Turkey and deny its Islamic identity!!!!!!!

3) Saying that Iran is “non-Arab” is NOT sectarian. It is factual! Most Iranians are Persian not Arab. Surely, there are Kurds, Azeris, and others. I support the right of all Iranian minorities to celebrate their languages and culture. In fact, I support the right of Azeri Iranians to break up from Iran and unite with Azerbaijan. That’s why the Azeri parliament now calls Azerbaijan “North Azerbaijan” because they want to free the 16-20 million Azeris who are under Iranian occupation!

4) Isn’t it not sectarianism for Iran to prohibit Sunnis from building their mosques in Iran. Also, is not sectarianism for the terrorist Hizballah and Iran to send their Shabiha to advise Bashar on killing Sunni Syrians? Please see the post below, including the VIDEO:


إيران تدرب جنود النظام السوري على قتال الشوارع
عميد متقاعد: “هناك انهيار واضح للمعنويات في الجيش”


أكد العميد الركن عقيل هاشم، (متقاعد من الجيش السوري) أن هناك مدربين أجانب، وتحديداً من إيران، لتدريب الجيش السوري على أعمال قتالية، لما للحرس الثوري الإيراني من خبرة في قمع الاضطرابات والمظاهرات في إيران.

وجاءت تصريحات هاشم لبرنامج “حدث اليوم” على شاشة قناة “العربية الحدث”، اليوم السبت، تعليقا على فيديو مسرب، بثته “العربية الحدث” حصريا، للواء سوري، اسمه بديع، يتحدث لقوات من الحرس الجمهوري عن خفايا عمليات القمع التي يشنها النظام السوري ضد المتظاهرين.

وظهر اللواء السوري بديع وهو يثني على جنود قوات الحرس الجمهوري السوري ويعدهم بمكافآت وسيارات. وتحدث عن تدريب قوات إضافية ستتولى مساعدتهم في المستقبل بعد الانتهاء من التدريب داخل البلاد وخارجها، مشيرا إلى تغيير نظام إجازات الجنود؛ خشية تعرضهم للخطف. ويُعتقد أن المعسكر الذي شهد تسريب المقطع يوجد في دمشق أو محيطها.
انهيار في معنويات الجيش السوري

وقال العميد هاشم، المقيم في باريس، إن هناك انهيارا واضحا للمعنويات والثقة في الجيش السوري، موضحاً أن تأخر حسم معركة “بابا عمرو” من قبل النظام هو بسبب المقاومة البطولية للجيش الحر، بالتعاون مع كافة المقاتلين المسلحين الذين تطوعوا في صفوف كتائب المقاومة لقتال النظام المجرم، رغم أن الجيش السوري يفوق الجيش الحر عدداً وعتاداً.

وكان القائد السوري قد أشاد في المقطع بـ “قوة وشدة” هؤلاء الرجال الذين واجهوا المسلحين في حي بابا عمرو في حمص، و”الذي كان العالم كله يراهن عليه”.

وقال إن “البطولات التي قام بها الجنود في حي بابا عمرو ستُكتب بماء الذهب والنور”، على حد تعبيره. وأكد أن “الموقف السي


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April 8th, 2012, 1:25 pm


1144. Hopeful said:

Re: Halabi #1132

We know that fighters and soldiers, no matter who they are, are capable of doing horrible things in wars. We all have seen images of US and Israeli soldiers committing crimes and despicable acts.

The difference is in how the leadership deals with them. Speak up against these acts, call for real investigations, and bring people to justice! Or stick your head in the sand, claim that nothing like this is happening, or even worst, reward the perpetrators!

I have heard many in the Syrian opposition distancing themselves from the violent criminal acts that some rebels/fighters are committing (on many anti-regime TV channels like Al-Jazeera).

But I have not heard any regime supporter speak up against the acts that some soldiers and security forces are committing; and certainly not on pro-regime TV channels. This is how you lose credibility with the silent majority sitting on the sidelines!

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April 8th, 2012, 1:26 pm


1145. Alan said:

Annan renews ceasefire call


International envoy Kofi Annan has renewed his call for a truce in Syria. In a statement issued Sunday, he said he had been shocked by the latest wave of violence in this Middle East country.

Under his peace plan, the government must start withdrawing forces from population centres on Tuesday, and the armed opposition must observe a complete ceasefire beginning with Thursday.

The government, however, says it cannot withdraw forces as long as it hasn’t received written guarantees that the opposition will hold fire. The opposition refuses to extend any such guarantees.

Syrian opposition declines ceasefire

The armed Syrian opposition group calling itself ‘The Free Syrian Army’ has refused to submit written guarantees that it will hold fire, in accordance with Kofi Annan’s settlement plan which calls for a truce and a pullback of government forces from population centres.

The Syrian government says it cannot withdraw troops as long as it hasn’t received ceasefire guarantees.

‘Syria prepared to rebuff aggression‘– Ambassador

Syria possesses convincing evidence that the Syrian opposition is receiving Israeli arms which is being smuggled across Lebanon and Turkey.

Speaking in Moscow Sunday, Ambassador Riyadh Haddad also said that his country is determined to offer a strong response to a military aggression against it.

He dismissed reports of Iranian commandoes operating in Syria as a hostile propaganda ploy.

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April 8th, 2012, 1:26 pm


1146. Mina said:

Antoine 1143

Ever heard of “rural exodus” in Syria? You think the families of the people leaving around Hama are the same people who were there 50 years ago?

Apart from the peaceful demos of the leftist elite FB users in Damascus who had called for the first mini demos in February and March, and that from the Hamidiyye merchants who thought they should make more money no matter the fact there was less tourism because of the EU/US economic crisis, most of the violent uprising started in places famous for their extremist minorities (Homs, Edleb, Daraa).

Even in Aleppo, the only area which saw an important demo last Spring was one of the poorest district, Salah al-Din.

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April 8th, 2012, 1:33 pm


1147. DAWOUD said:

1047. Tara said:


Long gone the days when Syrians adored Hassan Nasrallah. Ironically, we loved our future killer. Who would know then that he will actively participate in butchering Syrians..HA dug its own grave by killing Syrians.

Dear Sister Tara:

I can’t agree with you more! Free Syria, Free Palestine!

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April 8th, 2012, 1:34 pm


1148. Tara said:


Why do you always think you are entitled to your opinion while others who disagree with you aren’t? You expressed an opinion that graphic links should not be allowed and I expressed the opposite opinion. What is wrong with that other than it doesn’t fit a specific agenda. Stop your attempt to bully me. It is not working.

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April 8th, 2012, 1:35 pm


1149. Alan said:

1151. DAWOUD

you consider SC a suitable place for carrying out war of nerves against the SAR brave army ?

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April 8th, 2012, 1:39 pm


1150. DAWOUD said:

1157. Alan

With all due respect (I actually don’t have any respect for anybody like you who apologizes and defends a 43-year-old murderous/hereditary dictatorship), NO respect for those who defend a butcher who is has killed thousands of Syrian!

Is SC a appropriate platform for expressing pro-dictator/pro-butcher perspectives? Wake up!

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April 8th, 2012, 1:55 pm


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