“The Real Opposition in Syria is Not the Syrian National Council or Free Syrian Army,” by Idaf

The Real Opposition in Syria is Not the Syrian National Council or Free Syrian Army
By Idaf (who recently left Syria and has been working with opposition activists)
12 February 2012 for Syria Comment

It’s a grave mistake to put all opposition in one group. Some are worse than the regime, some as bad, others are smart, savvy with a plan. Of course you only hear in the news (and sometimes though selective attention as Alex calls it) about those pushed by the different powers (Qatar, France, Saudi, etc.) like the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), because they best fit the agenda of the sensationalist media. Everybody (including Ehsani in his previous article) willingly ignore the large activist networks on the ground and those independent and rational political opposition groups inside who are not proxies for other powers, who have a plan and working for a state after the regime is gone, not for revenge like the opposition you hear about in the media.

Simplifying things by using the “Regime vs. SNC/FSA” shallow lens only helps the regime. Media, policy makers and think tanks should be educated about the richness of the opposition and how they should focus more on the real opposition, not the one shoved by the Aljazeera down the throat of Syrians (SNC) or the FSA myth that perfectly fits the agenda of regime, the Islamists, and the media, all at the same time. As someone who is in touch with all key opposition groups and the activists on the ground, I can tell you that I’m fed up with the simplified, naive views and the manipulative perception management tactics that aim to draw unrealistic picture about the conflict by conveniently framing it simply as idiot proxies and armed elements (SNC/FSA) vs. the brutal mass-murderer autocratic regime (the regime). While both description of the two groups are accurate, but there is much more to the opposition than the SNC and FSA.

The amount of political opportunism, corruption, lack of vision and lack of independence in the SNC is staggering and identical to the Iraqi National Congress. The SNC is becoming less relevant by the day. The FSA is a myth, as there is no coordinated group of militants across the country, only hundreds of small militias that have nothing in common in terms of ideology, arms, political awareness or anything else for that matter. Pushing the “FSA” in the media is just a media phenomenon that fits some agendas and gives false hope to the people inside. It also fits nicely with the regime’s line.

The real opposition is maturing and growing in influence inside and on the ground away from the influence of Qatar, Turkey, Saudi, France or the US. It is a matter of time before the regime gives way. Soon the SNC will be simply remembered as something like one of the many Iraqi opportunistic opposition groups that mushroomed just before the war on Iraq. The FSA myth will be debunked but the militias will continue to exist. The regime maybe able to crush or maneuver its way for a while with a combination of “Souria Allah 7amiha” strikes of luck coupled with idiotic strategic mistakes from the SNC/FSA, but new more realistic, mature, civic and political powers are taking shape on the ground and will be emerging as powerful players soon. Even if the regime survives this round, there will be new rounds between an exhausted regime and new re-envigorated opposition groups. Forget the SNC and the FSA if you want to talk about the future. The simplistic media and analysts can continue to focus on them as they are sensational enough for media consumption for Syrians abroad, for Arabs and for westerners who are entertaining themselves with watching another Syrian TV series. This time it’s not باب الحارة [“The Door of the Neighborhood,” a famous TV series] featuring macho conflicts of good vs. bad on MBC, but باب الخرا [“The door of Shit,”] perception manipulations on Aljazeera and other media. The reality is happening on the ground inside (and online on closed social media networks) with brave and thoughtful groups of Syrians who are working on interim solutions for the conflict, for long term ones for a sustainable state and for justice rather than revenge.

Syrians who want a solution should focus on channeling their energy towards reducing the impact of the fall of the regime rather than supporting the SNC/FSA or supporting the regime out of fear of the “FSA”, the Islamists or the militants. Everyone should stop simply forcing the Syrians to chose between the Regime or SNC/FSA/Islamists. These are not the only options. Far from it.

They are multiple movements shaping and reshaping on weekly basis. Most activists are learning and maturing with time. They change their views and jump from one group to another according to events and developments. When one’s friend or family gets detained or killed they move from peaceful to supporting violence. When you argue with those supporting violence they change their mind, etc. The movements are in constant change but you can notice the fast organic maturity.

Why don’t you hear about them?

1- The international media is lazy and sloppy and has settled for simplifying things. They like a good vs. bad story and don’t want to lose their audience by explaining the complex reality.
2- The movements themselves are secretive in nature as the only survival tactic.
3- Most of these movements bring together people with different political and ideological points of view. They work on unified broad lines. As such they focus more on 3amal maydani [work on the ground] and not political action.
4- In most of these movements, politics is frowned upon and activism is glorified. Doing politics publicly (even as opposition to the regime) is still viewed as opportunism and “riding the revolution”. It’ a matter of time till some of these groups get enough legitimacy to lead politically. In other words, doing politics is still suicide within the revolution. Only those groups or individuals that have some sort of earlier political legitimacy can work publicly in politics (and very few have survived or remain in the country due to the brutality of the regime).

These are some of the reasons.

Comments (243)

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101. ann said:

Russia’s concern for besieged Syrian Christians – February 13, 2012


The recent Russian and Chinese vetos of a UN Security Council resolution on Syria have been condemned in the strongest terms by Western diplomats — Hillary Clinton called it a ‘travesty’ and the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, tweeted her ‘disgust’ at the way events had proceeded.

At first glance, the reasons for the Russian veto seem obvious. Russia has important material interests in Assad’s Syria: it continues to make major arms sales to the Assad regime — mainly high-end weaponry such as anti-air defence systems — and Syria hosts the only Russian naval base outside the former Soviet Union, at Tartus.

Furthermore, the Medvedev/Putin administration, itself beset by domestic political protest, has little interest in promoting norms of international censure and intervention into contested — even violent — political situations.

So it is easy to view the Russian veto as merely the outcome of a cynically realist assessment of its interests by the Russian regime. And, of course, it is in part.


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February 13th, 2012, 2:38 pm


102. majedkhaldoun said:

The Friends of Syria meeting, there will not be supporters of Assad there,over 70 country responded and will attend, It will be great if Colonel Ryad Al As3ad attends.it will announce the begining of assad departure.

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February 13th, 2012, 2:44 pm


103. Tara said:

Who did Bashar Jaafari quote today? Not Um Kalthum I hope.

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February 13th, 2012, 2:45 pm


104. Michelle said:

My name is Michelle Fuchs, editor at LaRouchePAC.com. I am greatly concerned for the situation in Syria. We do NOT believe this is a homegrown confrontation between Assad’s government and the people of Syria. We know- and have documented the evidence in various widely-distributed videos- that this is an operation run from the outside, as part of a broader operation of chaos which is ultimately aimed at Russia and China.
I invite you to view the following videos, and please get back to me with any feedback you might have.
Thank you,
Michelle Fuchs

Morning Overview · Obama’s Alliance With Al-Qaeda?

LPACTV Feature: 9/11 · 10 Years Later
Eight months before the September 11, 2001 attacks, Lyndon LaRouche forecast that the United States was at high risk for a Reichstag Fire event, an event that would allow those in power to manage through dictatorial means an economic and social crisis that they were otherwise incompetent to handle. We are presently living in the unbroken wake of that history.

Lyndon LaRouche The Great Threat We Must Conquer Feb. 7th Webcast.
Take special note of question 5: “Consequences of the Fall of Assad”

Helga Zepp-LaRouche International Webcast Feb. 11th

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February 13th, 2012, 3:02 pm


105. Equus said:

The global mainstream media is feverishly creating a poster child for the planned invasion of Syria, by affording a British citizen who claims to be a Syrian “activist” endless air time during which he constantly begs for a U.S., Israeli or NATO-backed bombing campaign to depose President Bashar Assad.


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February 13th, 2012, 3:16 pm


106. ann said:

UN action on Syria should comply with UN Charter: China – 2012-02-14


UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — China on Monday called for “positive and constructive role” of the international community on Syria, saying that the UN action on Syria “should comply with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter” and the basic norms guiding the international relations.

Wang Min, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, made the statement as he was addressing the UN General Assembly, which met on Monday to discuss the human rights situation in Syria.

“The international community should play a positive and constructive role,” Wang said. “The actions of the United Nations on the Syrian issue should comply with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations, help ease the tensions, help promote political dialogue and defuse disputes, and help maintain peace and stability in the Middle East region, rather than complicate the issue,” he said.

“China has always maintained that constructive dialogue and cooperation is the only right way to promote the protection of human rights,” Wang said, adding that China has been all along following the developments in Syria.

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February 13th, 2012, 3:18 pm


107. zoo said:

Turkey improves its relation with Israel

Obama’s Opportunity in Syria
Dov S. Zakheim
February 13, 2012

The Syrian crisis may be prompting a more positive development that is of great importance to Washington: a slow, but steady, improvement of relations between Israel and Turkey. Having been misled by Bashar al-Assad once too often, and concerned about an even greater influx of Syrian refugees, particularly Alawites and Christians, Ankara is now the most forceful proponent of regime change in Damascus. But this development represents a major volte-face for Turkish diplomacy and an acknowledgement that its “neighborhood policy,” so highly touted by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, is now in tatters. With the outcome of the Syrian civil war highly uncertain, and the possibility that the war will result in a government that is less friendly to Turkey, relations at some level with Israel offer an attractive alternative.

The events in Syria are, of course, highly unpredictable. At one extreme, Assad could miraculously remain in power, though few observers anywhere think he will. At the other extreme, the Islamists may seize the reins of government, though Syria’s various minorities will mightily resist such an outcome and bloodshed could continue for some time. There are a host of other scenarios that could also materialize.

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February 13th, 2012, 3:28 pm


108. irritated said:

#102 MajedAlkhaldoon

“it will announce the begining of assad departure.”

Keep predicting as the opposite always happenned!

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February 13th, 2012, 3:30 pm


109. Tara said:


Can we not change the number of dots on a particular day. Day to day variability is ok. I have a burning desire to copy everything you do, but also like to have an opinion too. And also fyi, it annoys me when some pro regime copy what we do. They lack originality.

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February 13th, 2012, 3:36 pm


110. Equus said:

Over the weekend, police in Britain launched a spate of headline-grabbing arrests of senior reporters and editors from The Sun, Murdoch’s flagship daily tabloid, as part of an ongoing investigation into the bribing of police and other public officials.

So let’s see if these complicit media reporters (FOX, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, al Jazeera) follow soon.


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February 13th, 2012, 3:37 pm


111. Syria no kandahar said:

اغتيال ويتني هيوستن
ومابين السياسة والفن كتب @asadabukhalil ساخرا: “الجزيرة تؤكّد أن شبيحة النظام السوري هم الذين قتلوا ويتني هيوستن.”
ورد عليه @aledrisy: “العربية تنفي ما ورد، وتؤكد أن طهران وراء اغتيال ويتني هيوستن، رداّ على حزمة العقوبات التي فرضتها الولايات المتحدة على إيران!”
وكتب صاحب @5orm: “ويتني هيوستن ماتت .. سبب آخر للاستمرار في الإضراب وإسقاط النظام الذي منعها من إقامة حفلات في مصر.”
أما @modyabdelhaleem فقد غرد قائلا: “قناة العربية 8 دقائق تقرير مصور عن ويتني هيوستن؟! طيب ليش؟! إحنا مالنا؟ أعتقد أنه في مصايب أهم نحكي عنها؟! ولا خلصت الموضوعات؟”
وكتبت @tounsiahourra : “الرجاء من المرحومة ويتني هيوستن أن تؤكد خبر وفاتها، إحنا مش مستحملين إشاعتين في يوم واحد، لكن هي بنت حلال ماتت في الوقت المناسب حتى تنسوا شوية.”
وعلق @KareemLailah: “تقبل التعازي بالمغنية الراحلة ويتني بنت عبد الشكور هيوستن في منزل الشهيد حمزة الخطيب بدرعا، شكر الله سعيكم.”

[WARNING – Please include links to quoted material ]

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February 13th, 2012, 3:48 pm


112. Mawal95 said:

Via JAD #86:

Non-violent protesters have a menu of actions: mass demonstrations, strikes, sit-ins, stay-at-homes and much more. A strict policy by the protesters to never use violence against the regime and its servants produces better results for protest movements than violence can. It makes it almost impossible for the regime to unleash the formidable physical force it commands. The regime’s troops and police are psychologically deterred from mass violence themselves when the protesters pose no direct threat to them. Whereas if the protesters do attack the regime’s security forces, the soldiers and police are released from this inhibition and will use their powers to “protect” themselves. If physical force is what decides the confrontation, the regime almost automatically wins, because the force it can deploy is so much greater. As soon as protesters turn violent, the balance of power shifts in favour of the regime.

The resort to violence by the protesters moves the daily news cycles inside the country away from the demands for political change and onto the violent mayhem and the fatalities of the State’s security personnel. This strengthens the support for the forces of law and order among the mainstream public opinion, which strengthens the established government’s political position. It weakens the political attractiveness of every anti-regime faction including the factions who disavow violence.

I say repeatedly, violence committed against the forces of law and order is a losing strategy for the dissidents because it alienates mainstream public opinion and because the power to overthrow the regime by physical force is one of the powers that the dissidents don’t have. But non-violent methods were and are also a losing strategy for the dissidents. E.g. the dissidents designated a day for a General Strike several times but the observance of each of those General Strikes was paltry. The last would-be “General Strike” was on 11 Dec 2011 and they haven’t ventured to try one since.

The Syrian government stands strong because the uprising does not have the support of the people of Syria — it’s as simple as that. What’s much harder for me to comprehend is why most of the outside world has gross bigotry against this government. Bigotry to such a degree that the foreign minister of Germany pretends (or perhaps believes in all sincerity) that armed rebellion isn’t now an integral part of the protest movement.

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February 13th, 2012, 3:52 pm


113. Pirouz said:

Seven months ago, former MI6 officer Alastair Crooke penned this piece:

Unfolding the Syrian Paradox


Many among the Syrian diaspora rejected his perspective, out of hand.

Read it again and see how right he was and still is.

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February 13th, 2012, 3:58 pm


114. zoo said:

The Rev Dr Peter Mullen is a priest of the Church of England and former Rector of St Michael, Cornhill and St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in the City of London. He has written for many publications including the Wall Street Journal.

Our foreign policy on Syria is the same as al-Qaeda’s – something isn’t right here
By Peter Mullen
February 13th, 2012
Al-Zawahiri, chief of al-Qaeda, has pledged his terrorist organisation’s support for the rebels in Syria. How reassuring to see therefore, that our very own Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and al-Qaeda are on the same side. Quite a triumph for foreign policy that: discovering that we share one of the main aims of the international jihadist gang we have been trying to exterminate for the last decade.

Naturally, the bien pensants, the neocons and the obsessive democrats in the West – notably in the BBC and whole sections of the press – are all on the side of the Syrian rebels. They always salivate juicily at the prospect of a dictator being brought down. It’s a pity that these wishful thinkers don’t have a little more foresight – or even better memories.

For they imagined the downfall of Saddam would restore the fertile crescent to conditions resembling the prelapsarian Garden of Eden. But after nine years in which hundreds of thousands have been killed, Iraq is a worse hell hole than it was when Saddam was running the show. The West’s no fly zone, designed to help the Libyan revolution, was a military success. The only trouble is that the triumphant revolutionaries have turned out not to be tweeting democrats, arranging utopia on their mobile phones, but quite as savage as the regime which they displaced.

The protesters are back in Egypt’s Tahrir Square a year after the uprising that was supposed to have got rid of the tyrant Mubarak has managed to leave the corrupt generals still firmly in charge. Unrest continues – largely unreported – in Bahrain and Yemen.


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February 13th, 2012, 4:05 pm


115. Halabi said:

Street names are just one example that Google is part of the universal conspiracy against Bashar. Type in يلعن and see what the first search suggestion is. يلعن روحك يا حافظ

In addition to scraping the bottom for news sources to validate their racist, genocidal views, menhebaks will also have to find search engines that don’t offend. I am sure geniuses from Iran and Hezbollah are working on that right now.

Here’s the CNN report on Danny Abdul Dayem, a heroic, peaceful activist with a British mother who grew up in Homs. Is he any less of a Syrian than Asma, who spent all her life abroad, returning only to participate in the theft of our resources?


Danny is our hero. Here are yours

شام اللاذقية مسرب عصابات الأسد تتسلى على المدنيين طريق الحرش

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February 13th, 2012, 4:06 pm


116. zoo said:

Should Turkey stop talking and intervene militarily to deserve a great-power status?

Turkey’s Test
Anne-Marie Slaughter

Yet Turkey is in the best position by far to demonstrate to Assad that the international community is serious about stopping the killing. Working closely with local coordinating committees, it should provide logistical, intelligence, weapons, training, communications, and even air support to help the Free Syrian Army establish no-kill zones along Syria’s northwest border.

In particular, Turkey could help the FSA to cut the Syrian army’s lines of communication, and deny government forces access to entire areas through the coordinated use of early-warning intelligence and anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. The FSA might then be able to isolate local Syrian army commanders and try to negotiate truces and defections, ultimately building a defensible chain of population centers. If that strategy fails, Turkey and Arab League states would have to contemplate sending in ground troops, with extensive logistical and intelligence support from NATO.

States that are eager to enjoy the trappings of great-power status – the deference accorded their diplomats, high-level global parlays abroad and important diplomatic conferences at home, and the assumption that they must be consulted on major events or crises in their regions – must accept the burdens that go with it. They must be prepared not just to talk, but to act

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February 13th, 2012, 4:14 pm


117. Tara said:

The fall of the Assad’s dynasty is inevitable.  I wish and pray that somehow Assad doesn’t take Syria to the Abyss with him…I am against infiltration of Arab fighters into Syria to help us.   

Fallujah, Iraq — Not so long ago, Syrians worked to send weapons and fighters into Iraq to help Sunnis fighting a sectarian conflict; suddenly, it is the other way around.

The New York Times

A belated celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on the outskirts of this western Iraqi city on Saturday quickly took on the trappings of a rally for Syria’s rebels. Young boys waved the old green, black and white flag Syria adopted in the 1930s after declaring independence from the French. Others collected money to send aid and weapons to the fighters opposing President Bashar al-Assad’s government across the border.

“I wish I could go there with my gun and fight,” said Sheik Hamid al-Hais, a tribal leader interviewed at his compound in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province.

Like Iraq and Afghanistan before it, analysts say, Syria is likely to become the training ground for a new era of international conflict, and jihadists are already signing up. This weekend, Al Qaeda’s ideological leadership and, more troublingly, the more mainstream Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, called for jihadists around the world to fight Mr. Assad’s government.

Nowhere is the cross-border nature of sectarian hostilities more clear than in Iraq’s western desert, where Sunni Arabs are beginning to rally to the cause of the Syrian opposition and, in the process, perhaps strengthen their hand in dealings with an antagonistic Shiite-led national government in Baghdad.

A weapons dealer who operates in Anbar, who said he goes by the alias Ahmed al-Masri, said, “Five months ago I was told that the Syrian brothers are in need of weapons. I started to buy the weapons from the same guys that I previously sold to — the fighters of Anbar and Mosul. I used to bring them from Syria; now it’s the other way around.”

The man said he was selling mortars, grenades and rifles, and that his contact in Syria was also an Iraqi. In some instances, he said Iraqis were giving away weapons, and in those cases he charged money only to transport them across the border.

“It’s a good business, but it’s not easy money,” he said. “It’s risky, but this is life.”

Abdul Rahim al-Shammari, the head of the provincial council’s security committee in Mosul, said explosives and weapons were being smuggled through the border village of Rabia. A weapons trader in the area, who spoke anonymously because of the nature of his work, described smuggling weapons parts in empty cigarette cartons and said he recently made a $4,000 profit selling a PKC rifle. Across the border, he said, some Syrians were trading sheep and cows for weapons.

The sympathies for the Syrian rebels here in Anbar are borne from centuries-old tribal connections and, as a region dominated by Sunni Arabs, a shared sect.



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February 13th, 2012, 4:15 pm


118. irritated said:

103. Tara

Bashar Jaafari doesn’t need to quote anyone to make outstanding and powerful speeches.
Maybe HBJ should learn one of two verses of Adonis to make his boring speech a bit more lively, but he probably doesn’t have any clue who is Adonis.

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February 13th, 2012, 4:21 pm


119. ann said:

Russia may consider joining peacekeeping mission to Syria: diplomat – 2012-02-14


MOSCOW, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — Russia does not rule out its participation in a possible Arab-UN peacekeeping mission in Syria, if the operation complies with the UN Charter and is agreed by the Syrian government, said Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov Monday.

“The deployment of such a mission should be negotiated with the Syrian government. This raises the question of its composition, tasks and mandate,” Bogdanov told Echo Moscow radio station.

“If we agree to the terms of its deployment, if the principles based on the UN Charter and international relations are observed, we will see no problem there,” the diplomat said.

He added Moscow is holding consultations on the Syrian issue with all its partners, but Russia is not ready to attend a meeting of “Friends of Syria” set for next week in Tunis.


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February 13th, 2012, 4:28 pm


120. bronco said:

#116 Tara

Don’t you think it is maybe better to deal with a lesser devil than with the Iraqi Islamists extremists?

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February 13th, 2012, 4:31 pm


121. Humanist said:

Dear MAVAL95,

I‘m sure you are the same person as YaMaraGhalba. I recognize your style!

So why did you change your identity? (Just want to be 17 again?)

You seem to be a “professional” commentator.

Well, how much…?

[WARNING – please do not bait or taunt other commentators with speculation about their IDs or with claims of impersonation or double-accounts]

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February 13th, 2012, 4:39 pm


122. Halabi said:

Tara #116

Turning Syria into a failed state filled with militias and terrorists was Assad’s plan from the beginning. He knew he couldn’t contain the Arab Spring when it reached Syria, so from the first day he talked about the Islamist terrorists boogeyman and kept pounding Sunnis until it became a reality. He also released some Al Qaeda members from jail during the amnesty.

Why go through all this trouble? He looks at Afghanistan and sees the hated Karzai chugging along in a U.S.-backed dictatorship, and saw how Ali Abdullah Saleh was handled with care because of Yemen’s Al Qaeda problem. Syria didn’t have terrorists before, so Assad is doing all he can to bring them in so he can legitimately argue that the chaos after his fall would be worse than the massacre of thousands of civilians here and there.

After spending billions on the tourism sector, it looks like we are getting some unwanted visitors. I don’t understand how menhebaks can warn about this for months, and then focus all their efforts on conspiracy theories and media wars rather than avoiding this path. They should demand more border patrols instead of the futile, criminal shelling of Homs and Zabadani.

The destruction of Syria is Bashar’s reform plan. As the president with ultimate control of the country and the head of the one-party system in place since 1963, who else is there to blame? The non-existence FSA? The weak, disorganized SNC? The tiny minority of people who came out in protest? Or is it the people patrolling the borders and running the intelligence services who lost track of terrorism and instead focused on who is singing a Kashoush song in the street.

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February 13th, 2012, 4:40 pm


123. 873 said:

NATO newest client state speaks:

Libya expels Syrian ambassador


[NOTE and WARNING – please provide links to quoted material]

Source: Trend (Azerbaijan), 10 Feb 2012

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February 13th, 2012, 4:41 pm


124. ann said:

United States weighing Syria peacekeeping mission 8)

Monday, February 13, 2012


The United States is considering how an international peacekeeping force might operate in Syria.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says the U.S. has begun looking at options for a peacekeeping force, perhaps administered by the United Nations or Arab nations. The Syrian military rejects calls for peacekeepers, calling such as move unjustified interference in internal affairs.

Carney said nothing about U.S. involvement in such a force, although the U.S. has contributed peacekeepers to some U.N. missions.

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February 13th, 2012, 4:47 pm


125. bronco said:

#118 Ann

AL will never be able get a ceasefire on the ground unless it in in communication with both the Syrian government and the armed opposition groups.
As a result of the AL constant attack on the Syrian government all communication is cut therefore making it absolutely impossible for the AL to get a ceasefire and therefore calling for ‘peacekeepers’ without a peace is irrelevant.

The Syrian government is the only one who can reach a “ceasefire” with the armed rebels like the one they reached in Zabadani.
For now, the armed rebels are not ready to compromise because they are boosted by some Arab and western countries who are providing funds, weapons and promises for more.
It is only when the armed rebels will be in a dire and desperate situation, that they will be encline to negotiate a surrender. That is what the Syrian army is attempting to do, making their life so miserable by pounding relentlessly their strongholds hoping that ultimately they’ll call for a stop.
Then the ‘peacekeepers” ( Arab, western, Russians) can get in, not before. There is a long way to go and many civilians collateral casualties before this happens.
It is a war of attrition.

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February 13th, 2012, 5:08 pm


126. irritated said:


“Turning Syria into a failed state filled with militias and terrorists was Assad’s plan from the beginning.”

Brilliant assessment! I wonder why he did not welcome all the Iraqis extremists a few years ago, it would have a been a shortcut.

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February 13th, 2012, 5:13 pm


127. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Bashar Al Assad´s Regime (not Bashar who seems to be no one but the regime that puppets him) has been given too many chances to stop the killing and massive repression. Many countries tried to help save Assad´s position but the regime did not accept. The regime is composed by many people who would lose their beneffits. And the worse thing is that we know who they are, from the first to the last, because we know all those people we had to pay bribes and comissions. Consequently in the event of a regime´s fall they will be accounted properly.

Assad´s Regime seems to believe that they can play many cards before it is too late. They can change alliances in a flexible way. They showed how they managed to play with all actors inside Syria, in the regional scene and also at a global level.

But they seem to ignore that when the UN, the AL, US, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and many others have taken some steps to end the regime it is a process that is not flexible and that has no turning back possible. There are two different languages here being talked and all translators have been killed.

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February 13th, 2012, 5:17 pm


128. Humanist said:

This may be interesting to you (about the armed uprising in Syria).


Unlike what the regime likes to claim, Nir Rosen says many sunni sheikhs he met who were involved in (or even leading) the armed uprising were actually sufis, and only few salafi fighters.

He also tells about the role of Palestinians, especially in Homs and Latakia.

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February 13th, 2012, 5:26 pm


129. jad said:

I guess that you didn’t know, FSA, Alqaeda, SNC and this thing called ‘Syria Danny’ are all regime’s followers!!

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February 13th, 2012, 5:30 pm


130. irritated said:

Humanist #127

Thanks for the post. Nir Rosen confirms that armed opposition has started late April 22, contrary to what AlJazera itself claimed to be a regime invention.

“AJ: When did the armed struggle begin?

NR: The first acts of armed self-defence or opposition in Syria took place by late April, especially after April 22 when Friday demonstrations throughout the country were met with live fire, causing many deaths.

By the end of April, individuals in Homs’ Bab Amr and Bab Sbaa neighbourhoods took up arms to defend themselves. At first they used shotguns and hunting rifles, along with rocks and improvised weapons. In Homs, the first armed group was established in Bab Sbaa in May. Likewise, the first accounts of armed resistance in Idlib, Deraa, Damascus and its suburbs date from late April.

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February 13th, 2012, 5:34 pm


131. Observer said:

A local conflict rendered regional and hostage to “cold war mentality” that is the tragedy of the Syrian people as they try to evolve out of the dark ages imposed by the security house of cards built by the late President for life.
Fouad Ajami describes the regime as the arsonist par excellence and I believe it did exactly that by branding the protests as armed gangs and a conspiracy and then resorting to creating a sectarian conflict in which it wants to appear to be bringing stability back. It did also threaten and on this blog echoes of it were pronounced about exporting the mess to Turkey and Lebanon and Iraq.
As the efforts to limit its freedom to create more fires and its cards slip away from its hands with the departure of Hamas and the defensive tone of HA leader in his latest speech it seems it has less options.
China is distancing its foreign policy from that of Russia and they do not want to tie their fate to that of Putin let alone Fredo Corleone.

There is no going back and each week I expect the revolution to peter out and fizzle and each week I am amazed at the bravery of people going out and demonstrating.

Russia is being limited in its ability to thwart action and we are moving to a Kosovo like scenario where the resolution at the UN even though non binding will allow individual members to act.

A little every day the playing field is being evened out with the forces of the regime and with time there will be final and lasting change with or without the Corleone Casino

Here is a lighter side to enjoy

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February 13th, 2012, 5:39 pm


132. jad said:

For those who missed Al Ja3fari speech, especially to fan #103, here it is in full, enjoy!
الكلمة الكاملة للدكتور بشار الجعفري 13 2 2012

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February 13th, 2012, 5:42 pm


133. Aldendeshe said:

80. Aldendeshe said:


You call my unwavering support to Israel and my encouragement to the Likud bravery in calling for storming the Temple Mount a “Provocation”. I really want to donate money for this cause. Do you know of any Israeli organization that campaign for the legitimate Jewish National right to build the Temple?

0 14

This is looking good, on percentage level 1-100 we have 14% against building the temple and 84% for it. Not bad.

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February 13th, 2012, 5:50 pm


134. zoo said:

The absurdity of the “peacekeeping plan” exposed…
” In the end a diplomatic resolution that includes talks with the Assad regime may be the only option.”

Arabs set to fail with latest Syria plan: analysts

By Jocelyne Zablit | AFP – 6 hrs ago


An initiative calling for a joint UN-Arab League peacekeeping mission to Syria is likely to fail but raises the stakes and further isolates the embattled regime in Damascus, analysts said on Monday.
Analysts said that a new Arab League resolution was likely to meet the same fate as previous texts put before the UN Security Council and rejected by Russia and China, both staunch allies of the Assad regime.

They also pointed out that any decision to send peacekeeping troops to Syria requires approval by Damascus as well as a ceasefire, both of them unlikely scenarios.

“It’s contradictory for the Arab League to call for the UN peacekeeping force, which requires the approval of the host government, while at the same time calling for an end to diplomatic cooperation with Syria,” said Yezid Sayigh, an analyst with the Carnegie Middle East Centre in Beirut.

“This call sadly raises the political pressure but it may have a counter-productive effect of underlining even more that the league of Arab states has run out of real options that are game changers,” he added.


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February 13th, 2012, 5:50 pm


135. Khalid Tlass said:

101. ANN said :

“Russia’s concern for besieged Syrian Christians –”

Russia and the Orthodox Chruch must stop picking fights with Muslims – in Cyprus, in Nagorno-Karabakh, in Bosnia.

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February 13th, 2012, 6:00 pm


136. zoo said:

In Yemen, a religious fatwa to influence a ‘democratic’ process

Voting for Hadi is a religious duty, say Yemeni clerics
Mohammed Al Qadhi
Feb 14, 2012

SANAA // There is only one candidate in Yemen’s upcoming presidential election, but more than 200 clerics yesterday made it a ‘religious duty’ to vote for the sole candidate.

Sheikh Mohammed Al Hazmi, one of the clerics who signed the statement, said the call is a “religious fatwa that means voting is a religious duty in order to get the country off its crisis”.

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February 13th, 2012, 6:10 pm


137. Tara said:


“Don’t you think it is maybe better to deal with a lesser devil than with the Iraqi Islamists extremists?”

Read this

“I checked with an officer. While soldiers were released, he said, members of the Shabiha were executed after a hearing before a panel of Free Syrian Army military judges. To explain, they showed me film taken from the mobile phone of a captured Shabiha. Prisoners lay face down on the ground, hands tied behind their backs. One by one, their heads were cut off. The man wielding the knife said, tauntingly, to the first: “This for freedom.” As his victim’s neck opened, he went on: “This is for our martyrs. And this is for collaborating with Israel.”


Who is more evil than who?  Beheading people in the name of god or beheading people in the name of Bashar?   

And Bronco, Was it not the Syrian regime who exported Islamic fighters to Iraq?  Have you noticed that you always exonerated the Syrian regime from any evildoing it has committed?  Why? Can you please give me one reason for seeing no evil when it comes to Bashar?      

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February 13th, 2012, 6:15 pm


138. Tara said:


” Jaafari doesn’t need to quote anyone to make outstanding and powerful speeches.”

Irritated, nope..not my taste.. Pseudointellect and un-refined as opposed to brilliance, charm, sophistication. I know fine quality (even in pro-regime, a difficult task, I know) when I see it. Not appealing at all….

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February 13th, 2012, 6:24 pm


139. Tara said:


3 dots today it is. 😉

I am sadder today than usual. May be because it is Valentine day tomorrow?

Hatred is prevailing and it is becoming etched in the psyche of a nation.

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February 13th, 2012, 6:29 pm


140. Tara said:


You have a great sense of humor… I am afraid I wake up some day and find that I too secretely adore Bashar. After all, Ann said so.

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February 13th, 2012, 6:32 pm


141. jad said:

tsk tsk tsk……

الخطيب يعتذر عن تعيينه مبعوثا لـ «الجامعة العربية» الى سوريا
عمان – الدستور

اعتذر وزير الخارجية الاسبق عبدالاله الخطيب عن مقترح جامعة الدول العربية تعيينه مبعوثا للجامعة الى سوريا. وقال الخطيب لـ”الدستور” إنه لم يوافق على المقترح كون الامور غير واضحة تماما، رافضا الخوض في التفاصيل. وكان امين عام جامعة الدول العربية نبيل العربي قد اقترح تعيين الخطيب مبعوثا للجامعة الى سوريا تنفيذا لقرار وزراء الخارجية الاخير. وكان العربي قد التقى الخطيب امس الاول في القاهرة للتباحث في المقترح.


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February 13th, 2012, 7:25 pm


142. jad said:

Pentagon plans attack on Syria despite the UN

[Uploaded by RTAmerica on Feb 13, 2012]

“Nearly a week ago, China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to oust the Bashar al-Assad’s government. The remaining members of the UN Security Council criticized the two countries for the veto, but Russia and China fear Syria will share the same fate as Libya. Russia took matters into their own hands by offering to host peace talks between the Rebels and the Syrian government but the rebels have refused the offer. But despite the UN Security Council’s failed resolution the US prepares for military actions against Syria ignoring the UN. Here is our report.”

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February 13th, 2012, 7:39 pm


143. Tara said:

The policy of terror unleashed in Syrians hospitals is truly unthinkable.. Hospital staffers became the torturers.  Injured kidnapped from the operating rooms.  Doctors and nurses persecuted for their helping hands…  It takes great amount of savagery not to sympathize with the ill and the wounded.

In Syria, the regime is making hospitals and health staff part of its system of repression. This is exactly what happened in Bahrain a few months ago, where it was publicly denounced by Médecins Sans Frontières.

Even in the worst of circumstances the most basic respect for humanity demands that hospitals are protected and health staff are authorised to carry out their work. But in Syria today, a policy of terror is seeing injured demonstrators persecuted within hospital walls, and reprisals made against any doctors who attempt to treat them.


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February 13th, 2012, 8:02 pm


144. Ghufran said:

Let us not forget that the miserable state of affairs in Syria was only possible with a regime that transformed Syria into a primitive political kingdom.this is from Assafir today:

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February 13th, 2012, 8:10 pm


145. Tara said:

Feb 12, 2012
Samira, the military and feminism!

On Wednesday February 8th, Egypt’s head of military court has made a statement urging media outlet to halt the coverage on the “Virginity Tests” case. This decision came at the backdrop of the unraveling court case filed by Samira Ibhrahim.  But who is Samira Ibrahim and why does the Military Forces want to ban publication on the matter?

Samira was arrested in Tahrir Square during a protest on 9 March and was subjected to virginity testing alongside other six women in military prison.  Initially, the military generals adamantly tried to deny the facts. It wasn’t until a CNN interview where an anonymous general admitted it. Later, in a meeting with Amnesty International, the Head of the Military Intelligence Department explained that those tests are performed to “protect the army against possible allegations of rape”. The statement reveals that not only such tests already occur, but it was a routine procedure by prison officials to avoid female prisoners’ claims of sexual violence. This statement is of much concern because we don’t know the extent of abuse female detainees is exposed to while perpetrators are easily getting away with it.

Human rights groups in Egypt filed a case in front of the administrative court on behalf of Samira Ibrahim, the only detainee who decided to defy the authority, speak up and take it to court despite the threats she was receiving.  Late December, the court made its historic rule to ban “Virginity Tests” and deemed it a violation of both Egyptian constitution & legislation and the International Agreements that Egypt is party to. The court rule is considered an official acknowledgement that those tests actually took place and that those responsible must be brought to justice. However further legal developments were not as promising, as only one military doctor has been brought to justice in front of military court, notorious for its lack of independence and fair trial procedures. The charges against that doctor were changed from sexual assault to public indecency which amounts to much less punitive action. Moreover, the case has been postponed several times and the fate of her case is still unclear.



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February 13th, 2012, 8:16 pm


146. Ghufran said:

British citizens writing to the Guardian:

Arms trade fuels violence in Syria

• What was the UN going to do if the Syrian vote went through? US, UK and French forces undertake months of “humanitarian bombing” like in Libya and then walk away? All the international bodies can do is encourage talks. Don’t be hypocritical about Russia arming the Syrians, when Obama has sold $50m of arms to Bahrain that will be used to attack its citizens. And let’s not forget the $60bn’s worth of arms to Saudi Arabia.
Janet Salmon
Richmond, Surrey

• Simon Tisdall laughs off President Assad’s claim that the US has been involved in trying to destabilise his regime (9 February), but WikiLeaks evidence reported in the Washington Post on 17 April 2011 shows that the US has indeed had a hand in supporting anti-Assad elements. It started under President Bush and leaked emails suggest it continued at least into 2010.
Colin Burke

[Link added by Moderator]

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February 13th, 2012, 8:31 pm


147. majedkhaldoun said:

To defeat Bashar It may take long, however external factors will shorten the course,More and more we hear about peace keeping force,(pkf), the west will not fight because they are going through financial crisis, someone has to pay for the cost of war,so how much the war will cost?who will pay for it?and would Jordan agree to help?It will be much cheaper to finance the FSA and supply them with weapons,they can cause war of attrition,(WOA)it alaways win.Tunis meeting must support such policy.

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February 13th, 2012, 8:46 pm


148. zoo said:

#139. Tara

To cheer you up for St Valentine

UAE Islamic love guru urges women to enjoy sex
AFPBy Lara Sukhtian | AFP – 8 hrs ago


“On the eve of Valentine’s day, Lootah is calling on Muslim and Arab women everywhere to “embrace love and love making.”

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February 13th, 2012, 8:52 pm


149. bronco said:


“Can you please give me one reason for seeing no evil when it comes to Bashar? ”

Didn’t I say “lesser evil” ?

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February 13th, 2012, 8:56 pm


150. Darryl said:

148. ZOO said:

#139. Tara

Just hold on ZOO, you are making things worse here. She should watch this video to see what the sheikh has to say first.

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February 13th, 2012, 9:03 pm


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