The SNC in Trouble as Ghalioun Offers to Resign

deaths on Syria map Total deaths, by governorates, March 2011 through April 14, 2012

The SNC is in deep trouble. Burhan Ghalioun has offered to resign as soon as another leader can be chosen, even though he was recently reelected to a new three-month term. The SNC is ripping itself apart. From the beginning, the SNC leadership has been troubled by deep divisions within the Council and accusations that its leaders were not following procedure and were not transparent about money matters. But perhaps most telling is that the SNC established a three month term for its leader at the outset.

Now that the real center of the opposition has shifted from western capitals organizing the international community to impose economic sanctions on Syria to the militias battling the Syrian Army within Syria, the SNC’s role has become more tangential to the elements of the opposition that are doing the heavy lifting.

The SNC played a crucial role in getting sanctions imposed on Damascus. It is unlikely to play such a central role in getting Gulf money and weapons to the fighters in Syria. The uprising entered a new phase after the Russian veto at the UN Security Council.

The Syrian National Council has reelected Burhan Ghalioun of the opposition group in exile.
By Oliver Holmes, Reuters

Ghalioun has the backing of the Gulf States and France, but has been criticized for his inability to unify the opposition. … “It is true that we had a weak performance and we admit that, and that is why we are restructuring now and we hope by this we will have a better performance,” Ghalioun told Reuters shortly before delegates re-elected him….

“It is true that we had a weak performance and we admit that, and that is why we are restructuring now and we hope by this we will have a better performance,” Ghalioun told Reuters shortly before delegates re-elected him…

Even within the SNC, Ghalioun appears to struggle to impose himself as a leader. Inexpressive and somber in contrast to his more gregarious colleagues, he tended to potter about alone, lost in thought, during coffee breaks in Rome while clusters of fellow SNC members chatted animatedly among themselves….

Since emerging at the head of the SNC at its formation last August under the sponsorship of Assad’s Western, Arab and Turkish adversaries, Ghalioun’s image as a secular, liberal leader who could rally support in Western capitals has been dented by accusations from liberal rivals within the opposition who say he is too close to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood….

In particular, those close to Ghalioun feel that the United States and Western powers are less valuable allies than Arab states like Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These would welcome a victory for Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority over Assad’s dominant Alawite minority, which has long been supported by Shi’ite Iran.

“It’s not about the U.S. anymore,” an SNC member close to Ghalioun said in Rome, arguing that President Barack Obama’s campaign for re-election was distracting Washington’s attention. “They are more concerned with elections and can’t help.

“It’s all Saudi and Qatar now.”

Syrian opposition group leader says he’ll resign to stem rifts
May 17, 2012 – LA Times – Alexandra Sandels.

Burhan Ghalioun, the head of Syria’s main government-opposition alliance, announced that he would resign after members accused him of “political and organizational failure”

BEIRUT — The head of Syria’s main government-opposition alliance announced Thursday that he would resign after members accused him of “political and organizational failure” and threatened to withdraw from the group.

Burhan Ghalioun, who was reelected as head of the Syrian National Council on Tuesday despite rifts within the group, said he did not want to be divisive and would step down as soon as a successor was named either through elections or consensus.

“I am announcing my resignation as head of the council,” Ghalioun told the pan-Arab TV station Al-Arabiya.”I call on the Syrian opposition to break the cycle of conflicts and preserve unity.”

The announcement came after the activist group Local Coordination Committees threatened to withdraw from the alliance in a statement accusing Ghalioun of failure and saying the council was drifting away from “the spirit and demands of the Syrian Revolution.”

The council, a group mainly made up of Syrians living in exile, was established as an umbrella group of several organizations with the aim of presenting a united front for Syria’s opposition and an alternative to Syrian President Bashar Assad. But infighting and divisions appear to have left some members disillusioned, and some have left the alliance while citing undemocratic processes.

Rafif Jouejati, a spokeswoman for the Local Coordination Committees, said the group was frustrated with the council’s inability “to move forward” and to effectively represent the people on the ground.

She said that the council needs to undergo some major restructuring, including how key decisions are reached within the bloc. Ghalioun, a secular 67-year-old Sunni Muslim professor at the Sorbonne in Paris, has been accused by some opposition members of trying to monopolize power and having too close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some activists inside Syria expressed disappointment when his reelection was announced Tuesday. “There is a feeling of frustration regarding Ghalioun’s reelection,” said Talhat, an activist from Tal Kalakh in the province of Homs, over Skype. “There is also a sense that the Muslim Brotherhood is controlling the council, and I have nothing against them but they are acting on their political interests — not in the interest of the country.”

Ghalioun ran against George Sabra, a Christian member of the council viewed by some as a better candidate to calm worries among Syria’s religious minorities, some of which have stood by Assad out of concerns for what the future holds for them if the regime is overthrown

“If you ask me, George Sabra should be elected, ” said an activist reached in the town of Rastan in Homs.”There are accusations that Islamists are controlling the SNC, and George Sabra is a Christian, so it would solve the problem.”

Arab League Refuses to Accept that the SNC Knows What is Best for the Syrian Opposition: http://www.mideastwire.com/

On May 17, the Saudi-owned London-based Al-Hayat daily carried in its paper edition the following report by its correspondent in Cairo Mohammad al-Shazeli: “Arab League Secretary General Doctor Nabil al-Arabi said that the decision that was taken to postpone the Syrian opposition conference in Cairo was not due to any positions taken by the Arab League. Al-Arabi added: “We did not take any sides in favor of a specific Syrian opposition party at the expense of another. The position that is supported by the League is known to all and we have never tried to conceal it…” For his part, Jaber ash-Shoufi, i.e. a member in the Syrian National Council’s secretariat, told Al-Hayat that the Arab League did not cooperate with the council in regard to the meeting that was supposed to be held in Cairo.

“He added: “We had previously reached an agreement with Al-Arabi and his aides, but they have failed to comply by this agreement. Al-Arabi must understand that the Syrian National Council is the main opposition body and if they wish to organize any meeting for the opposition forces, they should firstly cooperate with us. Since this was not the case, we were forced to reject this conference. The Arab League refused to cooperate with us and this drove us to take that position.” He continued: “They did not treat us as the main opposition force and they refused to cooperate with us while insisting on inviting a number of SNC members and not the entire body. They failed to understand that we do not represent ourselves, rather the Syrian people. We are the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people and they cannot treat us the way they did.”

“[He assured:] “They invited a few members, but who said that they have the right to determine who will represent the council? We will determine who must take part in this meeting and we are not saying this because we want to exclude anyone from the conference. Quite the contrary. We are just saying that we know what is best for the opposition. Besides, the meeting was called for in order to form a committee to engage in dialogue with the regime and this is something we reject. Dialogue can start after Bashar al-Assad leaves power and not before that. Only when he leaves and delegates his powers to his deputy, and after his security regime is dismantled will we agree to engage in dialogue…”” – Al-Hayat, United Kingdom

Why Does the Syrian Opposition Remain Fractured? Shane Farell provides a list of major political opposition parties inside and outside of Syria.

SYRIA CONSUMER PRICES RISE 31% IN MARCH YR/YR — SYRIA CONSUMER PRICES RISE 6.7% IN MARCH FROM FEBRUARY
2012-05-16 –INAL ERSAN

Prepare for the Long Haul in Syria Michael Young argues that it is too late for a diplomatic movement.

Syrian Rebels Get Influx of Arms with Gulf Neighbor’s Money, U.S. Coordination
Wash Post – By Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly,

The West and its allies operate outside the Annan Plan…. Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials…. Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood also said it has opened its own supply channel to the rebels, using resources from wealthy private individuals and money from gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, said Mulham al-Drobi, a member of the Brotherhood’s executive committee….

The new supplies reversed months of setbacks for the rebels that forced them to withdraw from their stronghold in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs and many other areas in Idlib and elsewhere.

“Large shipments have got through,” another opposition figure said. “Some areas are loaded with weapons.”

The effect of the new arms appeared evident in Monday’s clash between opposition and government forces over control of the rebel-held city of Rastan, near Homs. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebel forces who overran a government base had killed 23 Syrian soldiers….

Opposition figures said they have been in direct contact with State Department officials to designate worthy rebel recipients of arms and pinpoint locations for stockpiles, but U.S. officials said that there currently are no military or intelligence personnel on the ground in Syria.

The Pentagon has prepared options for Syria extending all the way to air assaults to destroy the nation’s air defenses. U.S. officials, however, have said that such involvement remains very unlikely. Instead, they said, the United States and others are moving forward toward increased coordination of intelligence and arming for the rebel forces…..

“Various people are hoping that the U.S. will step up its efforts to undermine or confront the Syrian regime,” the gulf official said. “We want them to get rid” of Assad.

New Scientist: Egypt: Arab Spring could be wasted in youthful nations
2012-05-17

Oppressive autocracies with a median population age of 25 to 35 are likeliest to become democracies A YEAR after ousting Hosni Mubarak, Egypt appears poised this week to elect his former minister of foreign affairs, Amr Moussa, as its next …

Posted: 15 May 2012

The Independent reports: In the rolling blue hills and lush olive groves of the north Syrian countryside, a fledgling rebel state is forming, as opponents of Bashar al-Assad’s regime attempt to take control. …Plain-clothes FSA men co-ordinate with short-wave radios, checking the roads ahead are clear and searching passing vehicles for weapons and regime forces.

“The army can’t come to here,” said Abu Mari, an FSA commander, recently returned from 30 years in exile. Driving through the streets of these villages, he receives salutes of recognition. He openly carries a gun, its butt taped with the colours of the new Syrian flag.

At the secret headquarters of the al-Haq brigade, hidden in a cave complex in the mountains, he outlined the plans for a future free zone here, modelled on the area around Benghazi in last year’s Libyan war. “First thing, we make checkpoints,” he explained. “Anyone who is working with the government, we capture him.”

“Idlib is our Benghazi,” agreed the dozen or so men slouched on the Persian carpets and cushions that lined the rocky walls and floor of the cave. A mix of army defectors and local volunteers, they’re part of a brigade of armed men. Their headquarters is equipped with a satellite dish powered by a stolen generator and routed through neighbouring Turkey. There’s satellite television and high-speed wireless internet. But it’s a long way from the Libyan safe haven protected by Nato air strikes, which was the springboard to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

WSJ [Reg]: Iran Ships Oil On Behalf Of Syria -FT,
2012-05-17

An oil tanker belonging to Iran’s state-owned shipping line has been switching flags and using multiple companies to transport crude from Syria to Iran, illustrating how Tehran is helping to sidestep international efforts to choke the finances of Bashar al-Assad, Syrian president….

U.S. in waiting game on Syria
By Elise Labott CNN, 16 May 2012

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Fifteen months into the crisis in Syria, and the Obama administration is, as one U.S. official describes it, in “a holding pattern,” waiting for Russia to abandon its support for President Bashar al-Assad, waiting for sanctions to topple the economy and waiting for an organized Syrian opposition to present a coherent vision for a post-Assad Syria.

As the U.S. waits for what many believe is the inevitable failure of a United Nations-backed plan, American officials say they would rather U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan to pronounce his diplomatic efforts a failure himself.

Senior officials say the international monitors provided for in the current agreement with the Syrian government, however small in number, offer a small buffer against Assad’s forces. Additionally, the U.S. and its allies on the U.N. Security Council want Russia to come to its own conclusion that Assad is not living up to his end of the agreement in ceasing the violence, and the plan is a failure. The concern is should the U.S. push for the next step, it would further alienate Moscow, which is skeptical about efforts to push out Syria’s president. How the plan fails is as important as when it does, Western diplomats said this week.

“You have the politics part of this plan, and you have what is really happening on the ground,” one U.S. official said. “We are going to be in a bit of a holding pattern for a while, debating on whether this has succeeded or failed, and whether it was designed to fail.”

But the U.S. is looking for ways it can further aid the opposition. U.S. officials and congressional sources say the Obama administration has realized that nonlethal communication, currently the bulk of U.S. support for the opposition, is not enough. In recent weeks, the U.S. has broadened its outreach to include Syria’s rebel groups, including the Free Syrian Army.

Sources say the administration is already increasing coordination with Gulf nations working to arm the opposition and is actively debating providing additional military support.

“These guys need space, training and greater capabilities,” one congressional source said. “What is that, where would it be done, who would it be for? Those are the questions the administration is trying to answer, and they need to be moving a lot faster.”

So far, representatives of the rebel groups say the weapons are not coming in any significant numbers.

“The problem is we want weapons but have received nothing so far,” said Free Syrian Army Capt. Riad Ahmed, currently in Istanbbul.

Sen. John McCain R-Arizona, one of the administration’s harshest critics on Syria policy who recently returned from a trip to the Turkish border with Syria, has openly called for arming the opposition and supporting havens for opposition members.

“What they need, first of all, is weapons to defend themselves,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “Then we need to talk with our allies about a sanctuary, a place where the government can organize, where we can train and equip these forces so that we can have a fair fight.”

The State Department has also stepped up its efforts to unite Syria’s fractured political opposition. Last week, the State Department invited leaders of the Kurdish National Council, from the relatively quiet eastern part of Syria, to Washington. In meetings with U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford other senior US officials, sources said the possibility was raised of opening another front against al-Assad’s forces to force him to divert resources from the western part of the country.

Sanctions have left Syria’s main revenue sources, tourism and oil exports, “almost completely dried up,” according to David Cohen, the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. “They’re not earning, and on the expenditure side, they’re spending money to try and keep inflation down by subsidizing food and fuel, and they’re spending a lot of money, frankly, pursuing the violence against their own people,” he said last week at an event in Washington. “The combined effect of this is that the economic situation in Syria today is quite perilous.”

In the coming weeks, a working group made up of representatives from various countries will meet in Washington to consider how to increase financial pressure on Damascus, Cohen said.

Earlier this year, the administration concluded that the Syrian National Council, the primary opposition group dealing with the international community, will not be running the country after al-Assad falls. Since then, Ambassador Ford, who has combed the globe to meet with Syrians from all walks of life, has tried to identify Syrians inside the country whom the U.S. can do business with. Members of the country’s various revolutionary councils — the grassroots movements that are coordinating on the ground with the armed opposition — are viewed as more organized and potentially able to help Syria through a transition period.

There is still little coordination between Syrians on the ground and the Syrian National Council, which is still the international face of the opposition. In the coming days, Ford is hoping to convene a meeting of a diverse group of Syrians, including some from inside the country, with the goal of creating a more cohesive opposition that can inspire more confidence from the international community.

“It is preposterous that we are only at this point after 15 months,” another U.S. official lamented.

Once the opposition is sufficiently united, the ball will be in the U.S. court to actively support it. Until now, the Obama administration has been loath to support militarization of the conflict in Syria, fearing it would spark the kind of civil war that sprang out of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Yet last week’s bombing of a Syrian intelligence facility, presumed to be the work of al Qaeda in Iraq, proves those fears have already been realized. Some U.S. officials and diplomats worry how long members of the opposition will be willing to fight a losing battle with the regime without sufficient international support until they turn to al Qaeda, which is more than willing to help them wage jihad.

“By not doing anything,” warns Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “we are contributing to the fact that this is tipping from a civil resistance into a civil insurgency and into a civil war.”

The international community is looking toward the United States for the elusive plan B. But as the presidential election in the United States approaches, diplomats in the region voice frustration about what they perceive as a lack of political will from the Obama administration to orchestrate the next move in Syria.

“In order to say the Annan plan doesn’t have any hope, you have to have a plan to deploy immediately,” one senior Western diplomat said. “If you say it’s dead, people are going to say, ‘What is next?’ There is nothing.”

Nowhere is that sentiment felt more strongly than in Turkey. While the Obama administration has been actively considering support for havens inside Syria, Washington is looking to Ankara to lead the way. Turkish officials, however, say they are looking for the U.S. to provide the leadership first, which they say starts with Washington working more actively to secure Russian support for a U.N. Security Council resolution under Chapter 7, which would provide a legal basis for any military intervention.

Turkish officials say they want international legitimacy for any further action, which only such a U.N. mandate can provide.

“We are prepared to do everything possible in our power to help the Syrian people,” one senior Turkish official said. “But if you are waiting for us to come and say we will do it, we won’t go it alone.”

The U.S. also wants Turkey to make a political decision to allow training and equipping of Syrian opposition on its soil. Ankara has told the U.S. it is prepared to allow weapons to flow across its borders and more actively help the internal Syrian opposition, but only if Washington, too, exercises leadership.

“The Turks are prepared to deliver if the U.S. is with them,” one U.S. official said. “They don’t want to do something and be left holding the bag. They want to be assured of success, and that means American leadership.”

Syria is likely to be a topic of discussion at this weekend’s NATO summit in Chicago. Although the alliance has repeatedly said it has no plans to wade into the Syrian conflict, Turkey has suggested it could invoke Article IV of the NATO Charter, which allows NATO to begin consultations on threats to Turkey, which would pave the way for consultations on how Syria may pose a threat to Turkish security.

Nat Law Jr [Reg]: Judge Orders Syria and Iran to Pay $332M in State-Sponsored Terrorism Case, 2012-05-17

In what one attorney calls the first judgment of its kind, U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth recently ordered Iran and Syria to pay $332 million for their role in a 2006 suicide attack in Israel that killed eleven people.bThe family of Daniel …

Abu Basir Al-Tartousi Joins Mujahideen in Syria MEMRI
4730.jpg

Prominent Salafi-jihadi cleric Abu Basir Al-Tartousi, who in recent years resided in London, has joined the ranks of the mujahideen in Syria. In a 1:33-minute video posted on his Facebook page, he is seen speaking with a group of men in a forest. The accompanying message, by the page’s administrator, states that the video documents a meeting between Al-Tartousi and “free” jihad fighters inside Syria, but does not specify which jihad group Al-Tartousi has joined. However, in the past the sheikh has expressed support for the Free Syrian Army and criticized Jabhat Al-Nusra. The term “free” could therefore imply that the sheikh has joined the former organization; alternatively, it might imply that his comrades are not affiliated with any group.

In another posting on his Facebook page, Al-Tartousi praises the sound theological doctrine of the mujahideen in Syria. He says:

Opinion – “For whom is this lion eager?”

On May 17, the Palestinian-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following opinion piece by Chief Editor Abdel-Beri Atwan:

“Yesterday, the Eager Lion drill was launched in the Jordanian desert with the participation of more than 11,000 soldiers representing 19 Arab and foreign states. It is considered to be the largest of its kind in at least ten years… A quick look at the nature of this maneuver, the scenario for which it prepares, its timing and location near the Syrian border with Jordan, makes one come out with a quasi-certain impression that it is preparation for military intervention against Syria or Iran, or even both, just as it happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and recently in Libya. What is confirmed is that these military drills do not fall in the context of the preparations to invade Israel and change its regime, in order to sanction it for its violation of the Palestinians’ human rights, its undermining of their dignity, occupation of their lands and pillaging of their wealth, or for its construction of racist walls to suffocate them and their occupied capital Jerusalem with settlements, in order to eliminate its Arab identity.

“It was natural for General Awni al-Adwan, the head of the operations and training commission in the Jordanian armed forces, to deny that these drills carried any message of warning to Syria or any other state. However, General Al-Adwan did not reveal to us why it was staged near the Syrian southern border and not the Jordanian-Palestinian or Jordanian-Saudi border for example?… The Americans want military intervention to change oppressive dictatorial regimes and destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities. For that purpose, they have started forming an Arab military alliance to carry out this task with them and cover its expenses. So, did the Arab states earn guarantees that the alternative will be stability, security, wellbeing, real democratic regimes, an end to the Israeli arrogant practices and the elimination of the restraints imposed on the sanctities?

“The answer is definitely no. The Arab countries are now offering services to America for free, and are paying the price for that later on. Did Saudi Arabia – via Prince Turki al-Faisal – not express regrets over the occupation of Iraq, the toppling of the regime in it, its fall under Iranian influence and the flaw affecting the strategic balance in the region in favor of the Iranian regime? I hope that in twenty years, we will not have remorse when we see a situation we never expected in Libya, and maybe even Syria, although this does not mean that we oppose democratic change in the latter or wish to see the disregarding of its regime’s crimes against the people.” – Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom

Tunisian Islamists join jihad against Syria’s Assad
By Lin Noueihed

BEN GUERDANE, Tunisia (Reuters) – The first that Tunisian schoolteacher Mokhtar Mars heard of his brother fighting alongside rebels in Syria was a phone call from a foreign number, telling him Houssein was dead.

“We got an anonymous call telling us he had been martyred. Just three words. We tried to call back but there was no answer,” said Mars, 40, sitting on a mattress along a wall of what was his younger brother’s room, bereft of other belongings.

“The last call we got from him in February was from Libya. He said he was there to study … Then all contact was broken. We tried to call the number he used but there was no answer.”

Houssein Mars, 34, is one of at least five Tunisians, all from the southeastern town of Ben Guerdane on the border with Libya, who are believed to have been killed in Syria. Two of their families agreed to be interviewed, as did the family of a sixth man, from the same town, whose fate is not known.

The families either received calls from their sons in Syria or calls from strangers telling them their sons were dead.

Though the families have seen no corpses or proof of the deaths, a video carrying the black flag of al Qaeda has appeared on Facebook eulogizing the five men to a backdrop of Koranic verses and stating they had been killed in Homs, which has seen some of the worst bombardment by Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Syria’s envoy to the United Nations says 26 Arab fighters have been captured and “confessed” to al Qaeda sympathies. Another envoy to the U.N. said 19 of those 26 were Tunisians.

Foreign Islamist fighters appear to be a fringe element only in the conflict between assorted Syrian rebel groups and Assad’s armed forces. But the fate of this one band of Tunisian friends offers some of the hardest evidence yet that Syria could become a magnet for the kind of young Muslim men from around the world who once sought jihad and martyrdom in Iraq or Afghanistan.

One man, who would speak only if he were not named, already sported the long beard and Afghan-style dress that is common among jihadist guerrillas and said he was hoping to get to Syria, even though his wife had just given birth to a daughter.

Aged about 30, the man, who knew at least one of those killed in Syria well said he was ready to follow: “I would like to go to Syria,” he said. “God willing, if it works out.”

Correction: In my last post I copied an article that claimed that Zuhair Sahloul, a large money changer, had left Syria. A relative of Sahloul’s writes:

With reference to the above headline: “Zuhair Sahloul – a large money-changer – has fled Syria”, I would like to draw your kind attention to the fact the Mr. Zuhair Sahloul mentioned here is still in Syria, Damascus. He did not flee the country.
The original piece of news was reported by a Facebook page named “Association of free journalists”; and later published in Ayman Abdulnour’s All4syria.com
To tell the whole truth; who left Syria was Zuhair’s brother; Ammar due to some reasons… links that might be linked to the ongoing unrest; but this remains uncertain for the moment.

Ya Libnan: The ‘secretive sect’ in charge of Syria
2012-05-17

Considered by some Muslims a heretic sect, this small Levantine minority have survived persecution and the Crusades to rise to the top and take over the Syrian establishment. Alawite practices, which are said to include celebrating Christmas and the …

Christian Minorities in the Eye of the Storm in Syriaby Rudy Sassine for Fikra and Brookings

The string of popular uprisings sweeping the Arab world has been described as social protest movements. The people, who took to the street to protest the dismal economic conditions…

Zagros Osmanand Brookings
by Zagros Osman who is a Kurdish Syrian activist, writing from within Syria.
 The way the U.S. administration has dealt with the Syrian crisis has been shocking to the Syrian people as well as major democratic powers. All were surprised by the negligent U.S. attitude toward the Syrian regime, which has committed crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity, and the fact that Washington has offered only meager moral support for the Syrian revolution in opposition. This is both contrary to interests of the Syrian people in their democratic transition, and to American strategic and oil interests in the Middle East. …

Comments (159)


1. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Total number of registered deaths: 13.477
Total number of disappeared : unknown
Total number of tortured : unknown
Total number of detainees : unknown
Total number of disidents in mass graves : unknown
Total number of HA and Iranian dead : unknown

Assad regime is a criminal one supported by China, Russia, Iran and Israel.

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 18

May 18th, 2012, 5:55 pm

 

2. Observer said:

General Maud says observers cannot stop the violence.

More arms are coming through

FSA is conducting offensive operations

The economy is in tatters

Not even Russia can salvage Syria any more

The attack on Rastan is because the regime went bseszerk with the offensive operation by FSA

I hate the guy but his op ed today is a must read

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304192704577406612351805018.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

May 18th, 2012, 6:17 pm

 

3. Hans said:

SNC is failing because It is not and was never a representative of the Syrian people.
It is a coalition of individuals divided between ones who want to be the next dictators of Syria, others, who are still living in the twilight zone hoping the communists will take over this are the Christians within the SNC, they never represented the Syrian Christians ever, similar to the MB members who never represented the majority of the Muslim Syrians. Add to that the Kurds who are biting the dust dreaming of a carving a piece of Syria to join the Kurdish Iraqi area and create a new country like what was done in Sudan.
It is clear as long as everyone is dividing the country based on religious affiliation, Syria is better off without any of those.
If we give the West and specifically USA the benefit of doubt that they didn’t know that the Arabic spring is hijacked by extremists and MB per se. I think it is becoming more clear than the sky in July.
The other option is the admit that the USA is in agreement to have all the radicals take over the middle east and turn this countries to be ruled by backward theocracy.
Assad was not the best democratic regime in the world but it is the best suited for a country where democracy meant that Mosques and Imams is the alternative.
The Syrian army is/has attacked population but it is well known that the Army was defending the Syrian population from the terrorists, foreign mercenaries who are heaving the country with death, kidnapping, torturing regular people.
Alqaida has moved from Iraq to Syria financed by the KSA, GCC Wahabies, the victims are the innocent Syrians.
Syria will not rise against Assad as long as the internal picture is connected to such countries, groups. Assad will stay in power through 2013 or beyond, you can mark my word and with the agreement of both Russia and USA.
Europe, USA are busy with their affairs it is only weeks before Romney start attacking Obama foreign policy.
France went down and next could be Obama.
the GCC can BARK for ever even with all their money.

Thumb up 18 Thumb down 11

May 18th, 2012, 7:39 pm

 

4. SANDRO LOEWE said:

#2 Thanks for the link

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304192704577406612351805018.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

I did not like him too. But I guess that if he was president of US right now then Assad would not be in power today.

Sometimes I think about the past strategy of Bush/es in the Middle East. Many of us claimed against Irak invasion but at the end the Bush/es brokered the Middle East Oslo Peace Deal and opened the change process by ousting Saddam. Sometimes I get the conclusion that Bush was advaced to its times and misunderstood most of the time. He looked like a silly but probably he was, in certain ways, prophetic.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 16

May 18th, 2012, 7:40 pm

 

5. Syria no Kandahar said:

If Halab decides to go Homs way Syria will become a history.Aleppo is about 5 millions and the results of civil war in Aleppo will be hundreds
Of thousands of deaths.
Look at this (Hero Supporter$$) attacking civilians with RBG inside Aleppo:

Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

May 18th, 2012, 7:47 pm

 

6. omen said:

SNC’s role has become more tangential to the elements of the opposition that are doing the heavy lifting.

The SNC played a crucial role in getting sanctions imposed on Damascus. It is unlikely to play such a central role in getting Gulf money and weapons to the fighters in Syria.

.

if it doesn’t do anything, why is its lack of unity consequential? why is the snc soap opera even worth noting?

why is the LCC who does most of the work on the ground – even to the effect of ensuring law and order and by mediating to resolve petty disputes – given such short shrift?

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

May 18th, 2012, 7:57 pm

 

7. Hans said:

Mr Landis;
I think you should mentioned this below piece as well.

http://fikraforum.org/?p=2178

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

May 18th, 2012, 7:58 pm

 

8. Hans said:

And here is another reason why the Syrian Christians will not JOIN the so called revolution in Syria, because it is hijacked/financed by the same people who are killing them in EGYPT, IRAQ, LEBANON, SUNDAN and else where, do you remember how they were attacked by the Muslims, and then USA destroyed Serbia for the side of the muslims Bosnian.
In the west it is not about religion, but it is still in most of the world.

http://fikraforum.org/?p=1000

Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7

May 18th, 2012, 8:08 pm

 

9. omen said:

there are christians who support the revolution, hans. the assad regime has oppressed and killed christians as well.

and hans, what kind of christian tolerates a homicidial dictator because the regime reserves the bulk of its rage for muslims?

supporting brutal regimes guilty of war crimes is not a christian value!

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 15

May 18th, 2012, 8:21 pm

 

10. omen said:

The Syrian army is/has attacked population but it is well known that the Army was defending the Syrian population from the terrorists, foreign mercenaries who are heaving the country with death, kidnapping, torturing regular people.

a regime that tortures and kills in cold blood its own citizens (unarmed men, women, children and babies) doesn’t know the meaning of the word “defend.”

Alqaida has moved from Iraq to Syria financed by the KSA, GCC Wahabies, the victims are the innocent Syrians.
7:39 pm

who is charge of security for the state of iraq? a shia led government. one that has voiced sympathy for bashar. terrorists from iraq coming to syria are doing so to support the assad regime.

Promised Day Brigades

On July 21, 2010 General Ray Odierno said Iran is supporting three Shiite groups in Iraq that have been attempting to attack US bases. One of the groups were Promised Day Brigades, the others were Ketaib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous).[9] US officials believe that of these three groups, the Promised Day Brigades poses the greatest threat to Iraq’s long-term security.[2]

In 2011, the group was accused of sending fighters to Syria to support the government of Bashar al-Assad fight Sunni insurgents and protesters during the 2011 Syrian uprising.[10]

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 15

May 18th, 2012, 8:47 pm

 

11. Ghufran said:

most articles in Arab news sites belong to the nearest trash basket,here is a writer in the Guardian,Patrick Galey,who in half a page made more sense about Trablos-Lebanon than all of the “articles” written in the GCC-sponsored media outlets:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/18/lebanon-leaders-fuelling-tripoli-fighting.

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

May 18th, 2012, 8:57 pm

 

12. Ghufran said:

Human rights activist and blogger Yacine Zaid says Algeria’s moment may have passed. “We already tried our revolution, and it has cost more than 200,000 lives, and thousands missing”
الكلام لايلك يا كنه اسمعي يا جارا
Only time and few more thousands killed may convince some that internal violence can not bring Syria up.
Pro regime people plans a rally tomorrow in Aleppo,let us wait and see how that event goes,my own opinion is that neither the regime ,nor the opposition is ready to admit the obvious: Syria can not be ruled by one party or one ideology,the country is too diverse and complicated to accept one victor,,hot heads on all sides need to lower their tone and accept the “other”. The truth is stubborn and it may not always pop its head early,but that head is not full of hot air like much of what we read today.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

May 18th, 2012, 9:19 pm

 

13. Mawal95 said:

That was a superb analysis of Syria’s parliamentary elections results by Joshua Landis. The following are some minor footnotes to add to it.

16 May 2012 @ ASNAmed.info:

The Baath party has won an even larger victory in the 7 May 2012 parliamentary elections than it did in previous elections. Syria’s electoral commission on 15 May 2012 released the names of the 250 winning candidates in the elections, but did not specify the political affiliation of the 250 winners. Instead, it was the Lebanese paper As Safir that provided more detailed analysis on 16 May. “The Ba’ath party has won a majority of around 60%,” the Beirut paper said. According to previous electoral law — repealed before these elections — the Baath had a majority of just over 50% of the seats in parliament. In the new parliament the great majority of the members who are not Baath Party members are independents who support national unity under the leadership of the Assad government. In addition three representatives of longstanding opposition parties have been elected to Parliament: Qadri Jamil and Ali Haydar from the Front for Change and Liberation, and Amro Osi from the Initiative of Syrian Kurds. http://ansamed.ansa.it/ansamed/en/news/nations/syria/2012/05/16/Syria-Press-elections-Ba-ath-victory-bigger-in-past_6877751.html

16 May 2012 @ Al-Akhbar.com:

Judge Khalaf al-Azzawi held a press conference on 15 May to announce the final outcome of the elections. But while he listed the names of the winning candidates, he gave no breakdown of how many votes the various political parties won. The omission puzzled even members of the official media. “This information always used to be announced and provided to the media in a clear and detailed manner,” said Adnan Abdul-Razzaq, an editor at the daily newspaper al-Baath. But Abdul-Razzaq added that it was “only natural and to be expected” for the Baath party and its allies to gain a landslide win, given the party’s broad popular base and membership of millions. The outcome of the contest was indeed a landslide victory for the ruling party together with the parties and independent MPs aligned with the Baath, who together will have over 90% of the seats in new parliament. http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syria%E2%80%99s-new-parliament-baath-baath

16 May 2012 @ Moqawama.org:

The National Unity List, which is dominated by the Syrian Baath Party, won more than 150 seats in the 250 member parliament. Independent individuals won more than 90 seats. The bulk of the winning independents are on record supporting national unity under the leadership of the Assad government. The political composition of the new parliament is very similar to that of the previous parliament. Opposition parties won five seats in the elections. Among the newly established opposition parties (established since August 2011), only one single seat was won, namely a seat in Aleppo won by the Syrian Democratic Party. The head of the Syrian Democratic Party, Ahmad Koussa, conceded that the wins by the National Unity List are proof that the people of Syria support the current government to lead them through the current crisis.
http://www.english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=19931&cid=269

Relatedly, 17 May 2012 @ Moqawama.org:

President Assad said that the Syrian opposition had shown itself to be insignificant by calling for a boycott of the recent parliamentary elections: “How can you boycott the people of whom you consider yourself the representative? I don’t think that they [the opposition] have any kind of weight or significance within Syria…. The polling stations show the opinion of the people. The results show that the Syrian people support the course toward the reforms which were announced about a year ago. It is a serious message for everyone both inside the country and beyond its borders,” said the president. http://www.english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=19935&cid=274

منحبك يا أسدنا

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

May 18th, 2012, 9:39 pm

 
 

15. Aldendeshe said:

I hate the guy but his op ed today is a must read.
__________________________________________________________________

I don’t hate him, just what he did do, and did not do.

What is must read about it? hollow slogans, the usual Bushy speeches you heard since his first campaign speech. Mostly borrowed words, motto’s, slogans and phrases from his daddy and Cheney.

He could have provided support to Syrian opposition, including SNP back in 2003-2005. Instead, he sent whats his name, the general that lied to the U.N. About mobile WMD labs to Damascus to tell Bashar Assad “What do you care about them [Syrians] and their opinion, you are a dictator and all you need to care about is our American support”. That is how much Americans and Bush measure of sincerity about the crappy, boring slogans that they shove down the throats of all Middle Eastern people.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

May 18th, 2012, 10:17 pm

 

16. ann said:

What’s my bid? One suicide bomber (explosives sold separately) – 18 May, 2012

In these financially tough times, US$400,000 can go a long way. You could buy a house, a luxury sports car, even Ivy League tuition. Or, if you’re a fanatic in Saudi Arabia, you can buy a suicide bomber.

http://www.rt.com/news/suicide-bomber-for-sale-589/

This video, posted on Live Leak, shows exactly that: an auction, held by a father selling his own son. In a hotel conference room in Jeddah, people mingle and kids play before the gruesome bidding begins. The father, named only as Abu-Saleh, grows more and more excited as the bids roll in.

Eventually, he got $400,000 for his son Khaled’s future sacrifice which, according to the website, will take place somewhere in Syria.

Of course, the video MAY be a hoax. But even if that’s the case, the idea of auctioning off your child – or buying yourself a suicide bomber, for that matter – is beyond macabre.

Sadly, this is not the first time the world has heard of such auctions. In 2008, the then-Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik revealed that similar “buy your own bomber” sales were happening in his country – and unlike in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, the going rate for a life in Pakistan was as low as US$5,000.

More recently, a similar statement was made by Afghan intelligence officials. There, suicide bombers were sold from one terrorist group to another, for nearly $100,000.

The business of suicide bombers seems to be prospering. And it certainly alters the world’s perspective on how terrorist groups recruit their members. Ideology, psychological manipulation and fanaticism are just a part of it.

[...]

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

May 18th, 2012, 11:08 pm

 

17. ann said:

Russia slashes attempts to derail Annan’s plan – 2012-05-18

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-05/18/c_131597184.htm

MOSCOW, May 18 (Xinhua) — Russia accused Friday that “certain elements” in Syria are trying to derail UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

“Certain elements are provoking the country’s authorities….to undermine the plan of the special envoy of the UN and the Arab League to Syria, Kofi Annan, and launch the spiral of violence once again,” spokesman of the Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said.

He admitted that the situation in Syria remained “highly complicated”, despite the deployment of the UN observers.

“The direct armed clashes between the army and illegal armed groups have been replaced by growing terror activities,” Lukashevich warned.

“The ultimate goal of the plan is to stop the confrontation and launch a political process led by the Syrians themselves,” he said.

“High on the agenda is an acute issue of the observers’ mobility, and the creation of a certain helicopter group to provide UN observers with their own transport for free movement on the Syrian territory,” Lukashevich said.

[...]

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

May 18th, 2012, 11:20 pm

 

18. ann said:

Top UN officials arrive in Syria to assess observers’ progress on ground – 2012-05-19

• Three senior UN officials arrived in Damascus Friday to assess the observers’ mission.
• Annan has said that a maximum number of 300 observers will be deployed in Syria by end of May.
• The ongoing violence has undermined the work of the UN observers.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-05/19/c_131597329.htm

The officials are Herve Ladsous, UN under-secretary-general for peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guehenno, deputy to Annan, and Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, assistant secretary-general and military adviser to the United Nations.

Upon arrival, Herve Ladsous told Xinhua, “I have come here to look at the way things are going.”

Ladsous said the UN mission aims at achieving a cessation of violence in Syria and working towards the cooperation of all those involved in order to create space for political dialogues.

For his side, Guehenno said he came to Syria to see “how the deployment of the UN observers is going to help in moving forward the political process,” adding that he will meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem to prepare the upcoming visit of Kofi Annan.

He said he wants to make sure that “this mission serves a purpose that really brings back peace to the Syrian people.”

[...]

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

May 18th, 2012, 11:34 pm

 

19. omen said:

photo.

this was once thought impossible.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

May 18th, 2012, 11:47 pm

 

20. Mawal95 said:

The following is a video from an ordinary dancehall playing live dabke music in year 2010, but we see photos of Bashar and Hafez Assad overhead on the stage. (The singer’s name is صادق اسبر ). It’s a two-hour video with a lot of footage of the people in the dancehall dancing. Studying the people in the crowd, we see many social classes and age groups, who have gathered to dance. It’s not a political event. The Assad photos overhead on the stage can be seen at time 00:02:50, time 01:19:20, and other times. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_zSHVtgljU

The following is a song with pro-Assad lyrics in a concert in front of a general audience as part of the Damascus International Fair in year 2004, although I did once before link to the same singer singing the same song in the same city in year 2010 (the magic word “Assad” is at time 2:30): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUms57yQgcM .

The following is one from a different singer in front of a general audience at the Damascus International Fair in year 2008 (“Assad” at time 2:40): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ-oYOHQkuM .

Over the last year on this board I’ve linked to a dozen or more miscellaneous videos like that involving general, non-political music audiences, in which the Assads are publicly endorsed. E.g. here are three that I linked to on this board back on 9 Jul 2011 (at http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=10626&cp=7#comment-261112 ):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCA7OTRw8Vk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmrIx7GpGxY

The many videos like these, all dating from before 2011, totally convince me that the support for the Assads runs deep and broad, and that’s why I am linking to them. If you from your prior knowledge can’t be convinced that such videos are representative of the Syrian state of mind, you should at least be prepared to allow that they MAY be representative, since you don’t have the evidence they’re not representative.

والله محيي سوريا الاسد

Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

May 18th, 2012, 11:47 pm

 

21. bronco said:

Why didn’t the UN observers accused the Syrian army for the shootout in Khan Sheykhoun?

It seems that they are told to avoid to be present during demonstrations and funerals. When they are forced to be there (like in Khan Sheykhoun) they remained silent about what they saw, despite the usual claims of the Opposition that it was a ‘massacre’ perpetrated by the army.
Their presence is becoming more and more disturbing for the armed gangs who were hoping for some condemnation of the regime that should have normally resulted from the elaborate scenarios of violence they keep organizing ( like bringing the UN observers in the middle of funerals hoping for a shootout)
Since they don’t follow this agenda, the observers are declared ‘useless’ as they cannot be declared bias or incompetent like the AL observers. They are becoming a serious embarrassment for Qatar and for anyone who are after an escalation of violence.
Now that the observers are eager to find out who is behind the bombings, they are even more dangerous for the above countries. Their life is certainly in serious danger.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

May 18th, 2012, 11:52 pm

 

22. DAWOUD said:

Although I think that the revolution is about the courageous majority of Syrians opposing Bashar’s hereditary/murderous rule and not about the SNC, I think that Ghalioun would eventually be replaced by a stronger leader.

Syria is NOT Qom, nor Najaf, nor Hasan Nasrellat’s Dahiyah al-Janoubia, nor Houthi land! (P.S., Free Syria will free Lebanon from Nasrellat’s Hizbistan).

Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is ARAB FOREVER!

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13

May 18th, 2012, 11:55 pm

 

23. Dawoud said:

Those who love Dictator/killer Bashar may one day cheer him in court in the same way that today a group of Serbian zealots cheered for General Mladic, the murderous war criminal of the Bosinian war, when he entered his war crimes trial at the Hague. It would be nice to see Bashar and Ehud Olmert/Barak in the same war crimes court. Otherwise, a public trial for the al-Assad killers in Damascus!

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 14

May 19th, 2012, 12:01 am

 

24. Dawoud said:

What time is it now in Beirut and Nasellat’s Hizbistan?

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 15

May 19th, 2012, 12:05 am

 

25. ann said:

Syria\’s Assad – Nations that sow chaos will suffer – May 19, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/5/19/worldupdates/2012-05-18T165535Z_3_BRE84H0QM_RTROPTT_0_UK-SYRIA&sec=worldupdates

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Wednesday that countries trying to \”sow chaos\” in Syria could be infected with it themselves, an apparent warning to Arab Gulf nations that back the insurgency aimed at forcing him from power.

Assad said countries hostile to him and his government that may have believed he would follow in the footsteps of four Arab leaders ousted after popular protests now knew better.

\”For the leaders of these countries, it\’s becoming clear that this is not \’Spring\’ but chaos, and as I have said, if you sow chaos in Syria you may be infected by it yourself, and they understand this perfectly well,\” he told Russia\’s Rossiya-24 TV channel.

[...]

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 12:09 am

 

26. ann said:

Venezuela says third diesel shipment sent to Syria – Fri May 18, 2012

* Energy minister confirms shipment of third [ FREE ] cargo

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/18/venezuela-syria-idUSL1E8GIJW720120518

May 18 (Reuters) – Venezuela has sent a third shipment of diesel to Syria, the energy minister said on Friday, underscoring President Hugo Chavez’s support of the Middle East country.

A lawmaker from Chavez’s socialist party said in March that another shipment was being prepared and Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez confirmed that it had been sent.

“We’ve provided some supplies to Syria. We’re willing to help,” Ramirez told reporters. “We’ve sent three shipments (and) they haven’t needed any more than that.”

[...]

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

May 19th, 2012, 12:45 am

 

27. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“………..Another man, who was serving in the destroyed intelligence headquarters known as the Palestinian branch, and who was injured in the 10 May blast, gave an account of regime compliance to his family and friends. The man, a guard at the headquarters’ prison, had returned to his village two days earlier after receiving treatment.

“He told us that three days before the bomb the Alawite officers started disappearing and so too did all of the important prisoners,” the man’s brother said. “The cameras were also taken down and the important files were removed. The only people left in the building when the explosion happened were Sunni officers and guards or some prisoners.”

The injured guard initially agreed to discuss with the Guardian his version of what took place, but promptly left the interview trembling and weeping.

“He knows the price we will all pay if he speaks out,” the brother said.

A non-commissioned officer who fled the feared air force intelligence on Tuesday said he had been responsible for the removal of cameras from the street outside the Palestinian branch a week before the explosion………..”

http://www.newsxs.com/en/go/7948508/21/

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

May 19th, 2012, 1:10 am

 

28. Ghufran said:

Aleppo will now be a testing field for the regime and its opponents while conflicting stories keep coming at a time when it is clear that the verdict about Aleppo is not out yet,this impending confrontation will be cemented tomorrow when regime supporters take the streets at noon,if the planned rally fails to impress,outsiders will see that as a sign of weakening support for the regime. Almuwalaat social media is expecting a large crowd that will be much bigger than the anti regime demonstrations seen yesterday.
Western media did not report any fatalities in Aleppo yesterday. In reality,only clean and verifiable elections can tell where syrians,and especially Aleppines,stand. The regime insists that real political reform can not be achieved as long as guns are talking,but how come that 11 years of calm from 2000-2011 were not enough to introduce such reform?
Totalitarian regimes only respond to pressure,the problem is that the type of pressure many are advocating,violence,is counterproductive and has only helped the regime and weakened political opposition,denying this fact does not make it disappear.

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

May 19th, 2012, 1:14 am

 

29. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad’s words and facts are more proper to a thug or a mafia cappo that those of a President of a respectable state.

I feel ashamed day after day of Assad being president of Syria. When I see comments of rational people abroad analyzing Assad acts and words I feel deep sorrow and shame.

All those who defend Assad in public will be seen in the future as a piece of sh…

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 10

May 19th, 2012, 5:07 am

 

30. Juergen said:

Just watched a video in which Ayyan Hirsi Ali was given a the Axel Pringer Price 2012 in which she defended the killing of innocent young students by Anders Breivik.

Watch from minute 32:00 onwards

“He (Breivik, editor’s note) says, because all the possibilities to express his views publicly were censored, he had no choice but to resort to violence,” Hirsi Ali argues.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

May 19th, 2012, 5:43 am

 

31. Antoine said:

28. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“………..Another man, who was serving in the destroyed intelligence headquarters known as the Palestinian branch, and who was injured in the 10 May blast, gave an account of regime compliance to his family and friends. The man, a guard at the headquarters’ prison, had returned to his village two days earlier after receiving treatment.

“He told us that three days before the bomb the Alawite officers started disappearing and so too did all of the important prisoners,” the man’s brother said. “The cameras were also taken down and the important files were removed. The only people left in the building when the explosion happened were Sunni officers and guards or some prisoners.”

The injured guard initially agreed to discuss with the Guardian his version of what took place, but promptly left the interview trembling and weeping.

___________________________________________________________________

Does SNP believe all that ?

And what are the results of the investigations launched by SNP on the Damascus Car Bombings ?

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 6:04 am

 

32. Antoine said:

201. ALDENDESHE said :

“On the basis that those numbers thrown are invalid.”

_______________________________________________________________

Can SNP inform me of the Province-by-province population break-ups ?

________________________________________________________________

201. ALDENDESHE said :

“If you have one million Syrians in this revolution they would have overthrown Assad 300,000 by now.”

__________________________________________________________________

Here SNP contradicting itself. A few days ago on SyriaComment, SNP mentioned that without Iran financial and logistical assistance, Assad regime would have fallen 6 months ago.

Now the question is, if indeed less than a million Syrians support this “regressive” Revolution, how on earth would Assad have fallen 6 months ago without Iranian support ?

Btw, Homs City alone has more than 1 million people.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 6:21 am

 

33. Antoine said:

SYRIAN NATIONALIST PARTY / ALDENDESHE :

I was going through Landis archives from March, April, and May 2011. I couldn’t help notice some of the opinions of SNP.

If you don’t mind, I will post some of SNP comments and analyses from last year. My intention is not to embarass you, only to show how opinions and realities have changed within 14 months. Pls don’t be offended. Maybe even SNP will have chance to self-reflect :

__________________________________________________________________
42. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

UGGGHH, The Langley, VA Sunni Moslems Sectarians still around. 100k from American Taxpayers/ or Afghani opium sale does a lot of Shia-Alawi bashing.

Anyway, Kaddafi & Sons, take our advice, move your tons of hoarded, undeclared gold bars to Syrian safe keeping, we promise to hold it for you and Libya no matter what pressure Assad comes under to handed to RA-KA-Phere-Ra-Shield. Start smuggle it now before the ground invasion comes soon. Move it or lose it.

Landis, should President Assad sign on Political party Law, will credit you and your blog site for that, you will deserve an award for the means you provided Syrians to freely express their dreams and communicate casually online. PROMISE.

March 23rd, 2011, 9:18 pm
___________________________________________________________________

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 6:39 am

 

34. omen said:

12. Ghufran said:
Human rights activist and blogger Yacine Zaid says Algeria’s moment may have passed. “We already tried our revolution, and it has cost more than 200,000 lives, and thousands missing”

.

@tomgara

At least 50 Algerians have set themselves on fire since last January:

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 6:53 am

 

35. Antoine said:

Another SNP interesting comment from 1 year ago :

58. ALDENDESHE said:

“……If you ever wondered why the Assad’s rule Syria the way they do (and should keep ruling that way with little change to accommodate sane people), just read all their comments in the last six posts and see what their brain is all about.

That is why I grew up with such respect to the Alawites in Syria. When you with Sunni’s kids, all you hear is sectarianism, when you with Alawites kids, all you heard is impressive National awareness, serious talks about important issues and positive outlook to progress and excel. Never once you hear them mention sectarian language and I admire Alawite for that. And that is why they successfully Ruled Syria for 42 years, and thank someone for that.

You can bark your life away, learn this, will make sure Assad Jr. is next President. Hezbollah is triple more powerful and Iran Shia build Hussenieh on each corner street. And there is not a damm things you can do about it.

March 23rd, 2011, 10:41 pm

__________________________________________________________________

Would like explanation of last paragraph, if you don’t mind, especially the part about making sure Hafez the Second is the next President.

Also I would want to know why SNP thinks Assad ruled Syria “successfully” for last 42 years.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 6:57 am

 

36. Antoine said:

Another interesting SNP comments from 1 year ago –

___________________________________________________________________

62. ALDENDESHE said:

...”…. We have a fine President in Syria, trust me, you will not find in Syria better educated, mannered and reasonable person than Bashar Al Assad, I doubt he ever said an F word in his life. I never said this before because we supposed to be in “the opposition”, we hate his Baathist regime but WE LOVE HIM.

Listen, once he takes the little steps needed to modernize Syria, and SNP gave him the list already, will work on convincing Iran and Israel to sit together along with Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey and iron out a peace deal. The region will explode with Investment and work opportunities; it is going to be incredible period of time for the Levant region, finally, in thousands of years waiting….”

.March 23rd, 2011, 11:03 pm

__________________________________

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 7:27 am

 

37. Antoine said:

ALDENDESHE,

Please realize that my intention is not to embarass you or SNP. I am only showing how much opinions can change in 14 months. So don’t take it personally.

But I will ask you, do SNP still LOVE BASHAR ?

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 7:34 am

 

38. Antoine said:

Another one…

17. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“We credit Landis effort on Syria comment platform more than Daraa for this hopefully serious upcoming change. It has been almost Seven years now that we are using this platform daily to hammer out freely, our ideas and oppositions to the Baath party. This blog platform is well read in Syria by high officials and we noticed appreciable Syrian response to item mentioned here many time in the past. But the effect of this blog was not just one way, we too learned a lot from it and altered many of our outmoded concepts about what form of opposition to take from it. We connected with other Syrians, on the opposite side, who we read their stand on things and that galvanized our Nationalist agenda and widened its concepts.

The outburst of sectarianism that was very frequent here, gave us a better idea of the mind and concerns of minorities in Syria so that we can further accommodate and secure their interests and positions in the society. We hope that after all the troubles Syria gone thru that it will have a compodium of domestic policies that matches those foreign one that safeguarded Syria in the past decades. We could have easily drifted from National cause and separated into statelets. Someone here said “Syria is saved”, that is very true expression, because the outcome in couple of years would have been a Civil War that will leave Syria destitute, but it was the only option left. We are happy that President Assad had the courage to move forward and promises to play fairly, within the rules, to secure the safety and political and economic and social interests of the Syrian Nation.

We shall begin fresh next week and starts promoting ideas about the changes in Syria, we can send this directly, but prefer to post here, and encourages all to do so, even non-Syrians. But please leave sectarianism at minimum, let refer to it as minority and majority rights. This syriacommnet is in effect our temporarily Syrian Parliament and free press media, so let’s use it effectively and constructively.

So thank you Dr. Landis for everything, I know we have some hateful periods in the past, but you showed incredible patient and professionalism. Appreciate.”

Metaz K M Aldendeshe
Syrian Nationalist Party
Chief Strategist

.March 24th, 2011, 2:03 pm

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 7:48 am

 

39. Tara said:

“The Queen should apologize to all those fighting for freedom and to the families of those who have died doing so.”….I like that.  
—–

Bahrain/Britain: The Queen has been accused of making a catastrophic error of judgment by dining with King Hamad of Bahrain at Windsor Castle, the Press Association reports.

The head of state and her family sat down to lunch with the Middle East ruler and other controversial foreign royals as they celebrated her diamond jubilee.

Guests from controversial regimes include Swaziland’s King Mswati III, the former prime minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Sabah, who stepped down over a corruption row, and Prince Mohammed Bin Nawaf Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Britain.

When King Hamad arrived at the castle he was personally greeted by the Queen, who smiled as she shook his hand and the pair laughed as they shared a joke, the Press Association says.

It quotes Graham Smith, chief executive of the anti-monarchy group Republic:

The Queen cannot hide behind protocol and precedent, this is a crisis of her own making.

The British people strongly support the struggle for democracy in the Middle East and around the world – this is a catastrophic error of judgment that has already prompted a fierce backlash.

The Queen owes a personal apology to all those fighting for freedom in those countries and to the families of those who have died doing so.

The Queen’s decision to personally invite these tyrants to lunch sends an appalling message to the world, and seriously damages Britain’s reputation. Thanks to the Queen’s misjudgement, her jubilee will forever be associated with some of the most repressive regimes in the world.

more…,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/may/18/syria-aleppo-university-protests-live#block-19#block-19

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

May 19th, 2012, 7:53 am

 

40. Shami said:

أغنية ياأيراني كلبك ودع ساقط ساقط يابشار جرجناز

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

May 19th, 2012, 8:35 am

 

41. Syria no Kandahar said:

Shami
Since you are so much into fine music can you look for these songs:
يا قطري كلابك ودع
يا سعودي كلابك ودع
يا أردغان كلابك ودع
يا اسرائيل كلابك ودعي
يا حريري كلابك ودع
يا تونس كلابك ودعي
يا ليبيا كلابك ودعي
يا قاعده كلابك ودعي

Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

May 19th, 2012, 9:29 am

 

42. MICHEL said:

Mawal95, Im not sure what your point is.

Some people really buy the government propaganda. Some people really do think that the regime is “protecting them” from the “zionist and western conspirators” and that anyone who opposes the regime is funded by Israel. They don’t think too long about the fact that a single family has ruled Syria for 40 years without elections or that Makhlouf owns 60% of its economy. This regime has harmed syrians more than Israel ever has, and stolen more money from Syria than Israel ever could.

Many people, including me, were once brainwashed by all the arabism/nationalism/anti-imperialism/anti-israel stances and empty rhetoric of the regime. That’s why I supported the regime.

However, when he went on a killing spree in an attempt to beat his father’s high score….

I have a conscience, how about you?

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 11

May 19th, 2012, 9:41 am

 

43. Syria no Kandahar said:

May 19th, 2012, 9:55 am

 

44. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@ANTOINE

We let The dummies have their ways in Syria, we let them do it to burn their bridges. In most cases we lead them on to do it.

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 10:03 am

 

45. Syria no kandahar said:

Read the sign these women are holding:
واحمداه اعراضنا تنتهك اين خيلك البلق؟
So Hamad is going to come on his white horse to save Syrian women? He should really come on an elephant .The sign should be :
اين فيلك البلق؟

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 10:09 am

 

46. Juergen said:

Syrian security forces set off Damascus bombs blamed on al-Qaida – defectors

“A few days ago there was a huge, serious, massive terrorist attack. I believe that there must be al-Qaida behind it,” Ban said at the UN headquarters in New York. “This has created again very serious problems.”

The defectors, interviewed by the Guardian in villages in the Jisr al-Shughour and Jabal al-Zawiya areas this week, alleged that Syrian security forces had caused many of the blasts.

Nine defectors, some of them officers who had fled recently, relayed first-hand accounts of plots they had witnessed being planned or executed that were later blamed on “armed gangs” or al-Qaida.

All have provided details of the plots they say took place and are willing to provide testimonies to international investigators. They say they are reluctant to put their names to their allegations, fearing reprisals against their families.

Another man, who was serving in the destroyed intelligence headquarters known as the Palestinian branch, and who was injured in the 10 May blast, gave an account of regime compliance to his family and friends. The man, a guard at the headquarters’ prison, had returned to his village two days earlier after receiving treatment.

“He told us that three days before the bomb the Alawite officers started disappearing and so too did all of the important prisoners,” the man’s brother said. “The cameras were also taken down and the important files were removed. The only people left in the building when the explosion happened were Sunni officers and guards or some prisoners.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/18/syrian-military-defectors-damascus-blasts?newsfeed=true

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

May 19th, 2012, 10:10 am

 

47. Syria no Kandahar said:

MB lying:

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

May 19th, 2012, 10:26 am

 

48. MICHEL said:

Syria no kandahar, blame the regime for this. that’s expected when you shoot on defenceless innocent people for months, and have your shabiha burn their houses. There was none of this on day 1 of the uprising for freedom and dignity. The regime has itself created the problem it claims to protect us from by going on a ruthless barbaric killing spree. I hold the regime entirely responsible for that kind of things. Notice that everything the regime claims to protect us from is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Day 1 of the uprising for freedom and dignity ==> start killing people, claim they’re extremist terrorists, continue killing innocent sunnis………..well, that’s exactly what will make the regime’s lies come true

Again:
Pro-Assad logic:
1. Commit acts bordering on genocide against peaceful political dissenters (the majority of them being sunnis) for the first few months of the uprising
2. As a result of #1, some jihadists enter syria to fight for the oppressed sunnis, rise of extremism and sectarianism, some people start doing terrorist acts
3. Discredit the opposition and the revolution because of #2, legitimize Assad

#2 is a direct consequence of #1 so it makes no sense to support a regime because it supposedly protects us from a problem they have created themselves.

That’s a nice way of creating support for your regime isn’t it? Create problems that weren’t there in the first place, just so you can claim to protect your people from these problems, so people support you.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 10:47 am

 

49. bronco said:

As a new suicide bomber kills 9 in Deir Ezzor, the opposition reiterates that the Syrian government is following its new strategy of weakening itself by bombing its own security headquarters just to convince the international community that Al Qaeeda is an integral part of the opposition troops.

The reason is obvious. By admitting that Al Qaeeda or its likes share the same goal with the opposition would be terrible blow because, like in Yemen, the fights against Al Qaeeda by the international community may soon take precedence over the calls for ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘reforms’.
The international community will boost whoever is able to fight against the propagation of terrorists in the region. As the FSA is still far too weak to take over that task and it is located in Turkey, the Syrian army and the Syrian security apparatus under the present government are the only candidates.

I expect a gradual shift by most of the enemies of Syria to strongly call for a political settlement and accepting that Bashar Al Assad will stay in power until Al Qaeeda is eradicated from Syria.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

May 19th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

50. irritated said:

#45 SNK

“So Hamad is going to come on his white horse ”

We never saw, even in a circus, an elephant riding a horse. That would be a premiere.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 11:08 am

 

51. Dawoud said:

MICHEL

You are making excellent points.

Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is Arab FOREVER!

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 11:13 am

 

52. Aldendeshe said:

@ANTOINE

Do SNP believe the Guardian article! it could be false insert to cover for what the (non Moslem / non Arab) did. But why the regime will not show us footage of security/ surveillance cams from the compound???.

We don’t really know who mastermind it, we know it was not a suicide bomber for sure, but already have some ideas about what happen from our own web cams, over 5000 web cams installed by SNP all over Syria transmitting real time videos to our security hub outside Amsterdam using regular internet connection through Lebanon. We even piggy-backed 2 cams on couple of missiles Iran launched to space. Unfortunately, they got to orbit in space but failed thereafter. If you have satellite/ space expertise, stop yabbing and come join SNP membership rank man, if you are Syrian or Lebanese of trusted background that is.

Why not the “SOLE” representative of Syrians, the what you call it, SNC, demand the UN/SC launch an investigation into the Damascus bombings, or are their men the guilty ones? I don’t know, just asking, we need a U.N. investigation into these heinous bombing crimes that innocent Syrians died genocidally from.

@Antoine, do you really think we are embarrassed from all those quotes you wasting your time pulling from a year ago. Why not go back to 2005-2009 and pull quotes from that time? Or are those quotes embarrassing to those that failed to provide support to a descent Syrian opposition. We are not embarrassed of anything. When Bush neocons spied on me, pornography was what they got inundated with, and before, when Israelis spied, they got obnoxiously loud loop of Hitler most famous speech and SS anthem played 8 hours a day, same loop of 2 wave files. Stop wasting your time, I don’t giva a damn.

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 11:17 am

 

53. bronco said:

#Ghufran

“11 years of calm from 2000-2011″?

Are you serious? I wonder if you have amnesia or what?

There has been no war in Iraq, there has been no war in Lebanon, there has been no Iraqi refugees in Syria, no war in Gaza, all was calm on all the fronts and Syria was never threatened…

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 11

May 19th, 2012, 11:20 am

 

54. Mawal95 said:

Here’s a video of a pro-government gathering of students at Aleppo University today Saturday. This gathering has been motivated as a reply to an anti-government gathering at the university on Thursday. The video shows today’s turnout is not very big but it’s about as big as the anti-government gathering on Thursday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j5MkasL1BU

On 4 May 2012 Joshua Landis made the assertion and forecast: “Universities have now slipped over the edge. They have become part of the boiling ocean of Syrian discontent. Next fall, they will probably not open.” Again on 11 May 2012 he made the assertion and forecast: “Most [univesities] are trying to limp to the end of the academic year, but they will probably not be able to open in the fall.” His assertion about what’s on the ground today is wrong. Once you observe that — and it’s easy to observe! — it’s then easy to appreciate that his forecast for the autumn will turn out to be wrong. If I remember it, I’ll requote his forecast on this board next October.

Footnote: Here’s a video of an anti-government (pro-rebel) demonstration outside Aleppo University Faculty of Science on Thursday 23 Feb 2012. The organizers haven’t been able to get a major increase in their numbers in the three months since then, and I forecast that it is impossible for the numbers to increase substantially at any time for next years and years, no matter whether the smallish number of protesters keep up their protests or not. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0tkF1qEW6g

Another footnote: I remember when I was a university student (not in Syria) I marched in an anti-goverment march that had a far bigger student turnout than anything that’s happened at any Syrian university this year, but it had no effect on the government’s policies that the students were protesting.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 11:21 am

 

55. Hopeful said:

The framework for a political settlement is obvious: a transitional period led by a national unity government supported by a neutrally-led army and the international community, with a safe and face-saving exit for the regime. The opposition will never trust and agree to a transition led by the regime, and the regime will never agree to a disgraceful exit.

The problem is, like in the Palestinian-Israel conflict, while the framework of the settlement is obvious to all, it is hard to figure out how to get there, without strong courageous leaders on both sides, who agree to save their people and country from the unnecessary death and destruction for the purpose of making small gains in the final settlement.

Frankly, while leaders like the shah of Iran and Zin al-abidin were corrupt and ruthless, they deserve some credit for rising above their egos, and saving their countries from from more pain, even if they did that with the intention of saving their skin rather than their countries.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 11:27 am

 

56. Ghufran said:

Bronco,
If reform has to wait until the Middle East is free of wars and unrest,then there will be no reform,the period of 2000-2011 did not witness any violence inside Syria,your support for Bashar’s failure to move on promised reform is a position that you may want to explain.
The regime did not act prior to 2011 because they had no intention to do so,all of those wars and events are factual but they are excuses the regime used to hide its refusal to respond to the legitimate demands of most Syrians.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 11:39 am

 

57. Ghufran said:

11.52am: Britain: From the official guest list, these are the Middle Eastern royals who will be dining with the Queen today:

HM The King of Bahrain
HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa (Bahrain)
HM The King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
HM Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
HH Sheikh Nasser Mohamed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait
HRH Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco
HH The Emir of The State of Qatar
HH Sheika Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned (Qatar)
HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Nawaf Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia
HH The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 11:40 am

 

58. Aldendeshe said:

@56 GHUFRAN

These Royal highness’s kingdoms 50 years ago were nothing but desert sand and few huts kingdoms and emirates. One can only be amazed at their love for their countrymen and country to have spent every effort to build it into what it looks like today. Compare that to the Assad Shia Kingdom, they took a descent upstart country and spent 50 years sending it backward into ranking so low, just a notch above Somalia, how impressive HUUUHHH.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

May 19th, 2012, 11:58 am

 

59. bronco said:

#55 Ghufran

Please explain to me why the EU countries did not implemented any reform on the economical system for decades and they are making the citizens pay the price now. There was no war, no conflicts…

Don’t you wonder why Jordan and the GCC made no political reforms for decades. Were they involved in a war? Did they get refugees? was their economy suffering from sanctions?

I think Syria’s Bashar had plenty on its hands to protect the Syria from the USA-Israel plots by supporting the resistance in Lebanon until the 2006 war as well as protecting the Syrians from what happened in Iraq and dealing with millions of refugees, some of them dangerous. In addition to being under economical sanctions for its alliance with the Resistance, hampering even further their development.

In such a dangerous neighborhood and caught in regional conflicts and ambitions, 11 years are totally insignificant to make important political and economical reforms.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

60. zoo said:

Powerful car bomb hits Syrian city of Deir al-Zour
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18128171

The BBC’s Jonathan Head says the opposition do not believe this was the work of al-Qaeda, blaming the government instead

At least nine people have been killed and dozens injured after a car bomb exploded in eastern Syria, reports say.

State television said that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber in the city of Deir al-Zour.

The blast took place near military intelligence offices, according to a Syrian opposition group.

It is just the latest in a series of blasts near Syrian security agency buildings, which appear to bear the hallmarks of al-Qaeda operations.

No group has said it carried out the attack. A Syrian foreign ministry spokesman said that the bomb contained 500kg of explosives.
More..

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

May 19th, 2012, 12:28 pm

 

61. zoo said:

The FSA spokesman also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “when we overthrow the Syrian regime, Hezbollah will return to its natural size and strength, especially after we prevent this group from receiving weapons from Iran.”

FSA denies Lebanese buffer-zone reports

19/05/2012
By Paula Astatih
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=29679

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Senior sources within the Free Syrian Army [FSA] denied claims made by Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations [UN] Bashar al-Jaafari that FSA commander Colonel Riad al-Asaad had “recently arrived in Lebanon to prepare for the creation of a Syrian buffer zone within Lebanese territory”, stressing that the FSA commander is currently present in Istanbul where he is meeting with Turkish officials.

FSA spokesman Colonel Khalid al-Hammoud strongly denied claims that al-Asaad was in Lebanon preparing for the establishment of a buffer zone, informing Asharq Al-Awsat that “it is not in the FSA’s interests to establish such a zone in Lebanon, because then we would be trapped between two enemies, namely Hezbollah and the Syrian regime.”

He added “we are not stupid enough to undertake such an adventure, whilst we also do not want to drag Lebanon into events that will have dire consequences.”

The FSA spokesman also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “when we overthrow the Syrian regime, Hezbollah will return to its natural size and strength, especially after we prevent this group from receiving weapons from Iran.”

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Security Council, Bashar al-Jaafari, issued a statement claiming that some areas in Lebanon close to the Lebanese – Syrian border “have become a breeding ground for Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood terrorists who are tampering with the security of Syria and its citizens.”

He claimed that these terrorist elements “are seeking to undermine the six-point plan of UN Special Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan” adding “the headquarters of charity organizations in Lebanese regions close to the Syrian border sponsored by Saalfist groups and the Future Movement…have been transformed into special areas to receive and provide assistance to Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood terrorist elements.”

Also responding to al-Jaafari’s statement, Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel stressed that there is no Al Qaeda presence in Lebanon. Speaking to Lebanon’s Al-Mustaqbal newspaper he said “as an Interior Ministry, we have searched everywhere and we have not found any presence of Al Qaeda, whether at the organizational level, in terms of armament or training…and there is no expansion or plotting.”

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

May 19th, 2012, 12:33 pm

 

62. zoo said:

More incidents between Saudi Arabi and the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt: KSA and Qatar continue their competition for influence on Egypt’s future governement.
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=29678


I say that we have yet to emerge from these successive incidents, because in recent days we have been surprised to learn of a statement from the Saudi Embassy in Egypt, in which the Saudi Ambassador Ahmed Kattan denied the allegations made against him by Khairat al-Shatar, deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Shatar claimed that Saudi Arabia had offered 4 billion Egyptian pounds in return for former President Hosni Mubarak being released and handed over to Riyadh.

Ambassador Kattan requested that the Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shatar provide evidence to validate his accusations, without merely repeating the claims of some in the Egyptian media.
more..

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

May 19th, 2012, 12:43 pm

 

63. zoo said:

No wreath laying for Ataturk on 19 May 2012

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/images/news/201205/n_21107_4.jpg

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

May 19th, 2012, 12:48 pm

 

64. irritated said:

#64 Sandro Loewe

Your comments and intelligent questions on Alawites denote an amazingly big brain for someone like you.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

May 19th, 2012, 1:07 pm

 

65. irritated said:

#62 Sando Loewe

“If Assad had killed 20 jewish instead of 20.000 syrians he would be already under trial or already dead?”

I thought you offered to kill him several times. Have you finally made up your mind?

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

May 19th, 2012, 1:09 pm

 

66. SANDRO LOEWE said:

IRRITATED,

You and the rest of Assad lovers are absolutely derailed. Out of this world logics. Time is running out. I would like to end with this nightmare but unfortunately I do not have the material capabilities to end Assad´s life. But finally after the great chaos created by the Crazy Assad and his final implosion everything will settle down and peace will reign in a new Syria. In sha Allah.

You do not even imagine how much hatred you have created. Repression and fear hid the hate sensation at apparently unexistent levels but reality will finally emerge to execute those who deserve it.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 1:25 pm

 

67. Syria no Kandahar said:

blue diamondSyria No Kanadahar I am not on my computer all the time my apologies for not catching those offensive material earlier. It is not acceptable and I will deal with them immediately. You entered a wrong email address in the MB BBC interview that is why it was under moderation.

SC Moderator

Moderator
You moderated my statement MB lying! Would you moderate the regime is lying ?
Michel in the comment next to that is using a comment address to me :your shabiha!! That doesn’t need moderation ?Tara is using very sectarian language
(Alawi believe women have no spirit!!) that is ok ? .Saying MB is lying is against
SC rules??
You are just moderating some commenters here in a (moody way) in my opinion .

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 1:32 pm

 

68. Ghufran said:

blue diamondGhufran My sincere apologies I did not edit that offensive material sooner.

SC Moderator

I was privileged to know and live with Sunni and alawi friends and relatives, Sandro’s claim about alawi women is a reflection of inner filth and ignorance,not intellectual curiosity.
SC moderator must be taking a well deserved nap,there is no place on this site for this type of garbage.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

May 19th, 2012, 1:35 pm

 

69. SANDRO LOEWE said:

blue diamondSandro Loewe, I am the one that censored what you wrote and not Ghufran. What you wrote can and was perceived negatively and that is why it was censored. I ask all commentators to respect each other faiths, and tread carefully when it comes to other peoples belief system.

SC Moderator

Ghufran,

Because you do not have knowledge enough about a question you should not interfere and censor my words.

I was privileged of living, working, sleeping and most you can imagine with all kind of sects, social status and provinicial origins and I know what I am talking about.

This is a question of sociological interest. Maybe it hurts but it is has been happening in many homes inside Syria. The worse way to confront a problem is denying its existence. I have heard some fellows explaining to me how this kind of exchanges happen and how it is considered normal and morally acceptable.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 1:45 pm

 

70. Tara said:

Ghufran

Are you saying it is not true? This was brought up on SC before. I have heard it before and since it is now brought up again someone who really knows should tell us if it is true or not.

I do not find it sectarian discussing belief system. People’s beliefs are people beliefs whether we discuss it or not. I find discussing it no different than Kandi bringing up some redicilous Fatwas by some Sunni sheiks. What is the difference?

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 1:46 pm

 

71. Uzair8 said:

Just caught Inside Syria on AJE (TV) with Pr. JL as a guest alongside Basma Kodmani (SNC). Interesting discussion.

Hopefully soon they will put it on their website.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 2:03 pm

 

72. Ghufran said:

The more a guilty person speaks the more trouble he gets in,opposing the regime is something but degrading millions of women in the name of free speech is something else.
I never thought I would read a post on this site that includes bragging about sleeping with different women from different sects and calling that “knowledge” .
Knowledge,my friend,is not an STD.

As for Tara’s request,I will be glad to respond as soon as I finish watering my ” spiritless” garden,her question is worthy of a detailed answer.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

May 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm

 

73. Tara said:

I still would like to know why is it permissible to discuss a Fatwa that is embarrassing and degrading to Sunni Islam and it is not permissible to discuss an embarrassing core belief pertinent to another sect or another religion? Is sunniphobia so institutionalized now that highlighting the negatives is allowed and customary yet the same is never allowed in regard to other religions?

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

May 19th, 2012, 2:05 pm

 

74. Tara said:

Ghufran

Thank you. I read your response after I submitted my last post.

Do you have Lemon trees in your garden?

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 2:07 pm

 

75. Ghufran said:

I am in no position to tell the moderator what to do,my own personal opinion is that sandro desreves more than a slap on the wrist,he should publically apologize on this site if he actually did not intend to insult millions of women and their families. Comparing sandro’s post to a public fatwa is like comparing a lizard to a dinasour,size does matter,a fatwa from a sheikh is far more damaging than an ugly post by an unknown person,both are certainly wrong,there will be no future for this nation,or any nation,if women remain oppressed or maltreated.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

May 19th, 2012, 2:16 pm

 

76. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Sorry, I do not know what fatwa are you talking about, nor I understand why you bring the obvious question women oppressed as being an obstacle to social evolution.

Maybe I deserve more than one slap in the face for defying social hypocrisy but other deserve more than two bullets in their brains for committing genocide.

Habibi,Huh ??? I just was talking about the worldwide known alawite belief of
women without soul.

We can talk, if you want, about the real nature of Jesus Christ too (human or not) or even if Mohammad received Quran from Heavens or not.

I am open minded and open to rational analysis and this why I never use brutal and primitive violence.

The only exception would be the execution of a criminal leader of a gang. As Voltaire said, when freedom and tolerance are danger we should use all means to guarantee them.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

May 19th, 2012, 2:25 pm

 

77. Ghufran said:

Tara,
I do not have lemon trees,they do not do well where I live and they may have a spirit or even worse,they might be a reincarnation of some people I may be related to.
I lost my Syrian jasmine tree few years ago,and now I have to get used to inferior aromas.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

May 19th, 2012, 2:32 pm

 

78. irritated said:

71. SANDRO LOEWE

The anti-regime should be proud to have you in their ranks.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

May 19th, 2012, 3:36 pm

 

79. bronco said:

blue diamond Bronco I am but one person Moderating, if and when unacceptable language is used please send me an email and I will get to it soonest. Thank you for your cooperation.

SC Moderator

To the moderator

The comments of some members are so outrageously prejudiced and sectarian that, if you don’t want to see more than dishes flying soon on SC, you should stop them now and for good.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

May 19th, 2012, 3:40 pm

 

80. bronco said:

#72 Tara

Did someone hacked your id and is writing unbelievable and disrespectful nonsense about Alawites?

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

May 19th, 2012, 3:45 pm

 

81. zoo said:

The “well deserved” fate of falling into the hands of the opposition

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb33vk2ArMA&feature=youtu.be

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

May 19th, 2012, 3:50 pm

 

82. Tara said:

Bronco,

What was wrong with #72?

Look, a subject is brought up about women being spiritless.  I wanted to know for sure if that was true or not.  

Nevertheless, I understand there was some sort of discussion about “sleeping with or offering women for sex whatever”  so I can understand how you may misinterpret the inquiry.  I simply want a verification or denial.  Religious beliefs are religious beliefs..they are ancient and people are not to be held responsible for them but I find no problem discussing them.  Sorry if that hurt your feelings.
—–
In our Sunni culture, it is a widespread belief that a women is created from a man’s rib.   That is the explanation forمودة ورحمة between 2 married couple (that of course if the man married the woman that was created from his *rib*).  You may find that silly.  I simply like the notion as it explain the non-explainable.      

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 4:12 pm

 

83. bronco said:

Obama calls for regime transition, Russia says no force transition
http://news.yahoo.com/car-bomb-explodes-syrias-deir-ezzor-073821354.html

Choose of one or more of the possible scenarios ( add others if available)

a) Tunis scenario: The people peacefully force Bashar to leave
b) Egypt scenario: The Syrian army takes over the country through a coup
c) Yemen Scenario: Bashar Al Assad accepts to pass on the command to his VP but keeps the rest of his allies in the army and security in their present position
d) The international community forces the now weakened SNC to accept negotiations with the regime for a ceasefire and dialog.
e) The international community massively arms the FSA so they become the new Syrian army whatever time that would take.
f) Libya-Yemen scenario: The UNSC reaches an agreement to attack and invade Syria to fight both the Syrian government and Al Qaeeda operatives

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

May 19th, 2012, 4:13 pm

 

84. Syria no Kandahar said:

Pediatric surgeon killed by (revolutionists) in Aleppo:
اغتال مسلحون اليوم السبت الطبيب “شادي زيدو” بحي المعصرانية بمنطقة السكن الشبابي بحلب.

وعلم عكس السير أن مجموعة اقتحمت عيادة الطبيب “زيدو” وفتحت عليه النار مما أدى إلى استشهاده.

يذكر ان حلب شهدت مؤخراً أكثر من عملية اغتيال لضباط ومهندسين وأطباء ورجال أعمال.
http://www.aksalser.com/?page=view_articles&id=16b8a4129e6160cce6b5b0b3beaebb14&ar=214146240

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

May 19th, 2012, 4:17 pm

 

85. bronco said:

#85 Tara

Beliefs and traditions in religions cannot be discussed lightly.
I can make ALL religions look ridiculous and absurd if I want.

There is no point in going to such discussions. Beliefs are beliefs and no one has the right to ridicule them.
They should be respected and not judged unless they contravene basic human rights.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

May 19th, 2012, 4:19 pm

 

86. Tara said:

Bronco@87

Great reply!

Except it begs a simple question.

How come you never ever showed any indignation in regard to past multiple nonsensical attacks on Islam (ie Sunni Islam)?

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 4:26 pm

 

87. Norman said:

We can see why Syria is so poor and backward, we are discussing religion instead of the direction of the country on the economy and the political system, it is really amazing how some people think that their religion gives them and advantage,

Please discuss the issues at hand , economy , political system , which one you like and why , health care, how to have election and produce mature leaders with experiences in managing and leading, there are many problems in Syria but until recently religion was not one of them, so concentrate on the issues.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

May 19th, 2012, 4:58 pm

 

88. bronco said:

Tara #87

I would certainly condone in silence any criticism of issues pertinent to traditions or religions that go against basic human rights, such as marriage of girls at 8 years old, or female circumcision or death sentence on people who leave Islam, or the claimed supremacy on other sects, or calls for death to perceived “heretics”, or the absence of basic freedom for women, or the condemnation of visual arts, theatre, cinema, dance whether they belong to Islam or not.
While many of them appear in many Islam brands and in Jewish conservatives too, Sunni Wahhabi Islam is much more prone to have lots of these human rights abuses included and maintained on large scale.

What I also oppose vehemently is making judgment on superficial interpretations of rituals. If someone does not understand the spiritual meaning of a ritual, it does not mean that the ritual is absurd. Many rituals in many religions may appear ridiculous and exagerated viewed from outside.

If you don’t belong to that religion, you just shouldn’t judge its rituals, just accept as part as the richness of the human experience, as long as they don’t contravene basic human rights.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

May 19th, 2012, 5:04 pm

 

89. William Scott Scherk said:

Growing out of some ignorant observations on Canada’s Vimy memorial in France, I wrote this piece for comment on Facebook. It seems appropriate to put it also at Syria Comment and at Walls. I mentioned Alex (Camille Otrakji) by name in a shameless attempt to get his reaction.

Yesterday he wrote that he found it remarkable. And the SC Moderation Team also told me it would get by the filters, so …

In my mind, no picture of war can be beautiful (in theory), for a poignant act of valour or dreadful sacrifice can too easily be dressed up on a stage with bunting and stirring Nationalist anthems and aggression and “heroes” (or what my compatriot/concitoyen Camille Alexandre Otrakji might mean by heroes) — because valour is almost always painted by innocent blood — no matter how stirring the anthem, no matter how emotive the theatrics, no matter how crazed with State pomp (Russia/France/Britain/USA/China).

Yet some images are still moving, emotively beautiful — as clarity of vision, as a strong dose of reality can be beautiful in effect, beautiful in outcome, even if painful and disturbing to experience.

This is why we cherish and protect and maintain our unifying myths. When Canada’s Quebecers were polled back in my Montreal days, in a year-end l’Actualité roundup of opinion, the cover line was Le Canada dans l’peau. The image was of a faceless male’s sleeveless t-shirt. The shirt featured the fleur-de-lysée flag of the nation. On the bicep however was the tattoo Je heart [Big Maple Leaf]. One of the inevitable set of political questions on sovereignty checked to see what circumstances might budge Quebec opinion on independence past 50%

The only scenario that got above 50 was if an independent Quebec got to keep the name (Canada) and the anthem (O Canada) and the symbols (Maple Leaf, beaver, etc). 75 percent of Quebecers would have been fine with that. I was struck by the power of Canada’s mythic culture in Quebec.

++++++++++++++++++++

As myths battle in Syria, with great valour, as shells hiss and thud, as blood flows and drains, as real folks become ‘ghosts,’ here is a striking image from 1931 – Ghosts of Vimy Ridge. No Royal Socialist Confederated Canuckistani can be totally ignorant of our war myth and our settling our national symbols … and here it is as X-File. Beautiful and horrible as Myth must be. It is a treasure from the collection of Parliament.

I shall repost this starkly beautiful painting again on November 11th, I hope at eleven minutes after the eleventh hour.

The universality of war and destruction tells me that what myths survive must unite in pain and in purpose. No current Syrian Myth can solve X in the horror-stricken daily equation, not without new work, not without time and trust, not without morality clarity and consensus.

I think a mythos must be generally agreeable for a nation to ascribe to it, any nation that has known great death. If Canada is a nation born at Vimy Ridge (but not in Charlottetown), where will the new Syrian myths be tabled and agreed? Is this uniting myth already fielded? Can someone solve the equations?

Here is the image, Ghosts of Vimy Ridge, from 1931:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/34/Ghosts_of_Vimy_Ridge.jpeg

blue diamondComment reposted by moderator from previous thread

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

May 19th, 2012, 5:17 pm

 

90. Alex said:

William,

The findings of that poll are very relevant to Syria today. All the Symbols that united Syrians a year ago are now fading. From the two flags to the marginalized national anthem, Syria’s previously proud role as a resistance camp hub, Syria’s exceptional stability, its coexistence, its most famous actors (Doreid Lahham …), even the most popular songs by Fairouz …

This is not different from the civil war years in Lebanon … there was no symbol left to unite them… made it easier for them to fight each other … fight those who carried a different flag, surely they are an enemy if they carry a different flag.

l’Actualité roundup of opinion, the cover line was Le Canada dans l’peau. The image was of a faceless male’s sleeveless t-shirt. The shirt featured the fleur-de-lysée flag of the nation. On the bicep however was the tattoo Je heart [Big Maple Leaf]. One of the inevitable set of political questions on sovereignty checked to see what circumstances might budge Quebec opinion on independence past 50%

The only scenario that got above 50 was if an independent Quebec got to keep the name (Canada) and the anthem (O Canada) and the symbols (Maple Leaf, beaver, etc). 75 percent of Quebecers would have been fine with that. I was struck by the power of Canada’s mythic culture in Quebec.

blue diamondcomment reposted by Moderator from previous thread

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

May 19th, 2012, 5:21 pm

 

91. Son of Damascus said:

For anyone arguing about religion and what defines a belief system to be muslim or not, or how some religions are inherently more aggressive I would suggest to them to take a very hard and long look at their history books.

As Jesus said ” He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone” and that is true not only to the human race but to all religions.

We can ultimately choose our faith and belief system, but we cannot choose where we are born. Instead of just respecting each others faiths and sects we should celebrate them for without them the very essence of being Syrian is nothing.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

May 19th, 2012, 5:43 pm

 

92. Tara said:

Bronco @88

How about mocking the 7 or the 72 virgins promised to martyrs in Islam. Dose “promising virgins” (whatever what that really mean, sexual or spirituals ecstasy) abuses human rights too? Do you also condone this mockery in silence? How about stereotyping billions and billions of people based on the behavior of few? Do you also condone tin silence?

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

May 19th, 2012, 5:45 pm

 

93. Son of Damascus said:

Dear Alex,

The symbols that unite Syria are still strong and held dearly to the hearts of most Syrians. Most in the opposition just want one symbol destroyed that is “سوريا الأسد” (Assad’s Syria) and all the bastardization of our history that that arrogant symbol carries with it.

For awhile our National Anthem rung empty in my heart, for the حماة الديار were the ones killing, maiming and destroying our country. How can I salute the ones guilty of killing my countrymen and women all for the fallacy that is سوريا الأسد, but what I failed to see back then but do so clearly now is that the true حماة الديار are the brave soldiers that defected in the face of such barbarity, the brave doctors risking their lives treating the wounded in some of the most dire field hospitals, the brave heroes that turned their cameras into portals for the world to see the horrors that they are witnessing, and most importantly the ordinary citizens that turned their voices into our biggest weapon against this treacherous monster and realized that our silence will only enable them longer. Those are the true Guardians of Our Homeland and I will forever salute them, along with all the dead that spilled their blood for our future.

As for the flag that many in the opposition hold dear to them, it should be held dear to every Syrian for it is not only our first flag that our forefathers swore allegiance to, but it is the flag that united Syrians for their independence from tyranny back then and is the flag that is uniting us against tyranny now. It is a flag that has not been tainted red by callous murder of Syrians by the Assad clan, but a flag that carries a pure message of Freedom.

Personally I can’t wait to see us Syrians celebrating our national identity not through our popular culture, for as important the likes of Laham, Fairouz… are they do not define our Syrianhood, just as how the likes of Jim Carey, Neil Young, Rocket Richard might define Canadian culture they don’t define what it means to be Canadian. What define us is our history, and our accomplishments and that is what we should celebrate, just as Canadians celebrate Vimy Ridge, Flanders Field, the Railroad, the Canada Arm, multiculturalism, and most importantly their Democratic principles.

As a nation Syria is a young nation that has as deep of a history as the oldest civilization, empires conquered and crumbled in front of its gates yet its land and its people exist to this day. The Assads are nothing but a mere speck of dust in our country’s history, the audacity of a mortal to lay claim to an immortal land, or to even pretend that without him and his callous entourage our country is doomed.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

May 19th, 2012, 5:54 pm

 

94. Son of Damascus said:

Hopeful,

“Frankly, while leaders like the shah of Iran and Zin al-abidin were corrupt and ruthless, they deserve some credit for rising above their egos, and saving their countries from more pain, even if they did that with the intention of saving their skin rather than their countries.”

That is exactly the inherit conundrum facing Syria, and what Bashar does not realize is that the longer he continues the more likely the demise not only of his regime but of our State.

I truly believe that he thinks that there is actually a face saving way out for him, as if completely unaware of the horrors and destructions that he has inflicted upon the Syrian people. There is no turning back the clock for him, but there is still hope for our country, or at least I continue to believe so.

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 6:28 pm

 

95. SANDRO LOEWE said:

In my message #69 (nice irony, maybe this number disturbed the twisted mind of more than one) I said:

¨I was privileged of living, working, sleeping and most you can imagine with all kind of sects, social status and provinicial origins and I know what I am talking about.¨

I was missunderstood by twisted and perverted minds of typical syrians which has a lot to be with religious and sexual repressive education. Sleeping means sleeping. Nothing else. I meant I have a lot of living experiences and been to homes of each and every of the syrian existing sects. And I know what is prejudice and what is real.

Regarding comment #91

I do not share the retrograde idea that Syria without religion would not be Syria. Is like saying Syria will not exist without religious tensions. If this is true then Assad is your sollution.
In my view the only way to go forward is reducing the importance of religious and tribal thinking to the personal scene. Forbidding all religious authorities talking about politics would be the first step. Turkey is the first phase.

European christian countries did so. Are arabs uncapabable of such a progression?

Religion should not be discussed in politics but forbiden. And belonging to a religion is basically something we did not chose. So I find stupid to try to defend one religion over another.

But it does not forbid us from analazying what every religion is based on.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 6:35 pm

 

96. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Moderator NotePlease check your email, thank you.

SC Moderator

SC Moderator

Religious tensions has become the main discussed issue in the Syrian Revolution although freedom and dignity is really the base of the contest.

By trying to avoid discussion about religions you are hiding an important question and not helping to progress. Syrians will have to face it intellectually sooner or later in a way that can avoid the present bloodshed.

I think censoring an article which talks about the beliefs of alawites about the inexistant soul of women, or about reincarnation of Druzes and Imaelites, or about the belief of Sunna that Qouran desceded from heavens or that Jesus is the son of God is basically useless, vain and unnecessary.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 6:47 pm

 

97. omen said:

@DailyTolkien

We all long for Eden and are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature is soaked with the sense of exile.

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 6:48 pm

 

98. Son of Damascus said:

Sandro,

I did not say that without religion Syria would not exists, but argued without the different faiths, sects, traditions and cultures that our proud country has we would not have a country.

How many ancient languages and cultures call home our country, as a Syrian I have visited El Sit Zainab, lit a candle in Sidnaya, and visited the shrine of John the Baptist in Ummayad Mosque I came out of all them with a sense of pride, for what other nation can host such a history?

I completely believe in the separation of State and Church/Mosque, I have never argued for it and frankly outrage at your conclusions about me. It takes more than just being Arab or Sunni to be Syrian, and for your info Assad is not my solution he is the very poison that is infecting Syria with his hatred and callousness.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 6:50 pm

 

99. SANDRO LOEWE said:

99. SON OF DAMASCUS

I agree with your post but I am simply afraid of most syrians getting confussed between respect for personal religion of every syrian (which I never discussed) and respect for the religious authority or institution which is by definition decaying and anti-religious. The prejudice, or call it spiritual tradition, of religion can beneffit the human being if it learns to accept others but religious institutions are a mistake in itself which drives to confessional conflict and war from time to time.

Assad has been playing the sects game to get political proffit. I think by deactivating the confessional conflict explosive device we can more easily destroy Assad and the political tainted system in Lebanon.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 7:01 pm

 

100. Tara said:

Sandro

I can’t agree more. Religious institutions need to be dismantled and completely and utterly prohibited from talking politics. We should start with Hassoun passing by Bouti then the Syrian and Lebanese orthodox and catholic priests who confessed love towards Batta. We should enroll all of them in an intense rehab detox program. Will make the Italian priest supervise their detox.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 7:08 pm

 

101. omen said:

Saudi king sacks cleric who attacked social reform

The government started trying to rein in what it saw as extremist viewpoints in the clergy after Islamist militant attacks inside the kingdom began in 2003, pushing hardline clerics to renounce al Qaeda and violent tactics. In 2010, King Abdullah also restricted the ability to pass fatwas, or religious edicts, to a small group of senior clerics, an important step in a country ruled by sharia, or Islamic law. However, the government and the ruling Al Saud family have to tread carefully to avoid angering religious conservatives.

“Abdullah has to reckon with the political and social weight these guys carry. Although it is the very opposite of their image outside the country, inside the country the Al Saud are seen by conservatives as dangerous modernists who are undermining the traditional values of Saudi society,” said Robert Lacey, author of “Inside the Kingdom”.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

May 19th, 2012, 7:16 pm

 

102. Hopeful said:

# 94 son of Damascus

Unfortunatelly, I actually believe it is even worst than that. I think Bashar actually believes that he is the savior of Syria from the “world-wide” conspiracy against it, and he is surrounded by people who have either the incentive or the ideology to reinforce his beliefs. He believes it is his duty and “call” to do what he is doing against this conspiracy. The combination of ideology, ego, money and power is a deadly combination.

The only way out of this mess is for Russia to convince him that he will go down in history as a hero if he gives up power to a transitional government. Otherwise, we are in for a long bloody mess for months and years to come.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 7:17 pm

 

103. omen said:

Saudi King Abdullah has sacked one of his most hardline advisers, Sheikh Abdelmohsen al-Obeikan.

King Abdullah has promised women the right to vote in future elections, has opened the country’s first co-educational university and introduced measures against domestic violence.

The head of Saudi Arabia’s religious police, the “mutawa”, was also replaced in January, with the new head widely seen as more moderate than his predecessor.

Sheikh Obeikan achieved a degree of notoriety several years ago with a decree suggesting that unrelated Saudi men and women could mix so long as the man drank the woman’s breast milk, thus creating a maternal bond between them.

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

May 19th, 2012, 7:20 pm

 

104. Son of Damascus said:

Sandro,

I agree Assad has been playing the sectarian card from the beginning, proclaiming himself the “protector” of the minorities, while enabling sectarian hatred.

It is our duty not only to call him out on his empty and arrogant rhetoric but to prove it wrong, and I would never agree on the Lebanon solution for Syria because voting based on your religious sect will only enhance hatred and mistrust not guarantee any sects safety.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

May 19th, 2012, 7:25 pm

 

105. Tara said:

More rhetoric means less action.  

British military personnel could be deployed to Syria to increase pressure on the Assad regime over human rights abuses, David Cameron has 

Civilians are still being killed at a rate of more than 30 a day in Syria, he added.
“We need to make the regime feel that their every action is being closely scrutinised and that means observers up and down the country with their eyes and ears to the ground,” said a Downing Street source.
….
The Government has also appointed Jon Wilks, the former British ambassador to Yemen, as “Special Envoy to the Syrian opposition”.
UK assistance to Assad’s opponents includes providing communications equipment which the Government says will allow human rights workers to document and communicate abuses taking place in Syria.
……
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the protest showed “a real uprising happening in Aleppo” .

more…
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9275744/British-officers-could-be-deployed-to-Syria-to-increase-pressure-on-Assad-regime.html

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

May 19th, 2012, 7:31 pm

 

106. Son of Damascus said:

Hopeful,

You are most likely correct, the magic question is what does Russia want in return?

They most likely want to preserve the army and elements of the security services, but what I don’t understand is that their continuance to ignore the real problem will result in the disintegration of the very system they are trying to preserve. Where must the line in the sand be drawn to get Russia more involved in the transition than preserving the status quo?

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

May 19th, 2012, 7:37 pm

 

107. Tara said:

Omen@104

The steps taken by the Saudi king are welcomed. I wonder to the percentage of radical islamists among the Saudi nationals? Supposedly, the king fires all the hardliners, what pull do they have on the Saudis? What is the extent of their power?

I envision all Islamic institutions all over the Muslim world to be dismantled including Al Azhar etc. All to be replaced by some kind of moderate Muslim council situated in Mecca or Medina where Fatwas can NOT be put together right and left by qualified and non-qualified individuals but rather through a system of justices similar to the Supreme Court in the US. The council can be multi nationalities not necessarily Saudi. Scholars must have impressive C.V. and perhaps voted not appointed.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13

May 19th, 2012, 7:44 pm

 

108. Tara said:

Moderator Note[ Link Added:http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/syria?before=1337445334

No one in Syria believes al Queda is behind the suicide bombing.  This is their way of mocking the regime- manufactured narrative:

أيمن الظواهري خليفة زعيم تنظيم القاعدة المحترم ..
1- تعطل الجهات الرسمية في سورية يومي الجمعة والسبت, فإذا أردت أن تقتل أكثر من الأمن والشبيحة ضمن الفروع التي تفجر بها, نتمنى أن تقوم بتجنب العطل الرسمية.
2- عندما تفجر في منطقة سكنية, فأنت تفجر في أهل السنة والجماعة, ونعلم أن أدبياتكم في التنظيم تهدف إلى العكس, وعندنا في سورية (شي خمسين طايفة وملة) ما لقيت غير السنة يا أيمن.
3- عندما تشاهد أشخاصاً يعتمرون قبعات زرق, فهؤلاء هم المراقبون الدوليون الذين يحيط بهم أفراد من الشعب السوري ليشرحوا لهم الظلم الواقع عليهم, استهدافك لمواكب المراقبين يشعرنا أن النظام اشترالك كام فدان بأفغانستان وعزبة والذي منو, مشان تقتل المراقبين اللي عم يفضحوه بين الأمم.
4- من المعروف عنكم في تنظيم القاعدة, أنكم تخرجون على الإعلام لتبني كل عملية تقومون بها لخدمة الإسلام والمسلمين, ماذا تنتظرون وقد أصبح بجعبتكم عدة تفجيرات في دمشق وحلب ودير الزور, لو على قناة الدنيا ظهرت ماعنا مشكلة, بس اتبنى هالعمليات مشان الله, لا تكون أخذت بفتوى هالة المصراتي بأن التبني في الإسلام حرام شرعاً!!!
5- ماشاء الله حولكون, إذا وصلت القدرات العسكرية الفائقة لتنظيمكم الموقر, باختراق كل الحواجز الأمنية والعسكرية للفروع الأمنية في سورية, وبسيارات مفخخة تحمل مئات الكليوغرامات من المتفجرات, هل نمون عليكم, بشي تفجير في أحد القصور الرئاسية, وإذا تعذر الأمر, فهناك قصور كثيرة للعائلة الحاكمة, من أسد ومخلوف وشاليش والذي منو, طلبناكون بشي تفجير على حب النبي, لا تردونا.

في النهاية عزيزي أيمن الظواهري, نرجو منكم التكرم بسرعة الإجابة, وسلملي عالملاعمر كتير السلام..

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

May 19th, 2012, 8:52 pm

 

109. Haytham Khoury said:

ميشيل كيلو – «المنبر الديموقراطي السوري».. إما إضافة حاسمة أو دكان جديد

لا يستقيم أي عمل ديموقراطي في سوريا الحالية والمستقبلية من دون الاستناد إلى مسلمات، لا قيام لـ«المنبر الديموقراطي السوري» من دونها:

أ – استمرار التظاهر من أجل الحرية كمبدأ جامع لتنتهي أزمة سوريا القائمة إذا لم ينعم به جميع المواطنين، مع تأكيد طابعه السلمي، والعمل بدأب وإصرار لتوسيعه ونشره في جميع مناطق البلاد، ليكون تعبيرا عن وحدة المجتمع السوري ورفضه للنظام الحالي، وعن التفافه حول هدفه المنشود: إقامة نظام ديموقراطي بديل.

ب – زيادة أعداد المتظاهرين عبر استعادة من تركوا الشارع، وإقناع المترددين والمحايدين والمخوفين بحتمية انضمامهم إلى النضال في سبيل الحرية، إن كانوا يريدون نيل حريتهم الخاصة، والحفاظ على حياة المواطنين السوريين وصيانة دمائهم وممتلكاتهم، وإنهاء نظام لا يرى غير العنف المتصاعد وسيلة للتعامل مع مواطنات ومواطنين عزل ومسالمين، يتظاهرون في معظم قرى وبلدات ومدن سورية من أجل أن يعاملوا كبشر، ويعيشوا في نظام ركيزته الحرية والكرامة، وتحقيق العدالة لجميع السوريين والمساواة بينهم من دون تمييز أو استثناء، علما بان السوريين لا يريدون ولا ينوون التوقف عن المطالبة بما هو حق لهم، بعد ما قدموه من تضحيات جسيمة، وما عانوه من قتل وجراح وملاحقة واعتقال وإخفاء واختفاء، لاقتناعهم أنه ليس فقط حقا يكفله لهم دستور بلادهم، وإنما كذلك لأن حياتهم لن تكون جديرة بالبشر، بل حياة حيوانية، إن استمر حرمانهم منه.

ج- إضعاف النظام وتفكيكه من خلال الضغط بجميع السبل والوسائل الممكنة والمطلوبة، لكسر الاستعصاء القائم اليوم، الذي يعبر عن نفسه في عجز قواته وأمنه وشبيحته عن إخراج الشعب من الشارع، وعجز الحراك الشعبي عن إسقاطه طيلة اربعة شهرا إلى الآن. سيفعل المنبر الديموقراطي السوري كل ما يلزمه واجبه الوطني بفعله من أجل ترجيح كفة الشعب على كفة النظام، عبر الخطوات التالية:

1- بلورة أسس ومشتركات وطنية جامعة تتصل بوحدة الدولة وسيادتها على كامل أراضيها، وبوحدة الشعب والمجتمع السوري، وبالحرية كمبدأ ترتكز عليه الدولة وترعاه في علاقاتها مع مواطنيها، وبالمواطنة كحامل وحاضنة للنظام العام، وبحقوق الإنسان والمواطن كأساس للنظام القانوني وللعدالة الاجتماعية والمساواة العامة في الحقوق والواجبات، على أن تقدم لجميع أطراف السياسة السورية، لمناقشتها والوصول منها إلى أسس تعتمدها في مواقفها من مختلف المسائل الراهنة والمستقبلية، سواء كانت على صلة بالنظام القائم أم النظام البديل، على أن ينتج توافقها عليها الوحدة المطلوبة بين فصائلها، التي ستكون وحدة موقف ونظر، أكثر مما ستكون وحدة تنظيم وقيادة. لتحقيق هذا الهدف، يجب أن يشكل المنبر لجنتي تشاور وتعاون: واحدة في الداخل وأخرى في الخارج، يكلفهما بتطوير الحوار والتنسيق مع مختلف أطياف المعارضة بغض النظر عن الإطار الذي اختارت لنفسها العمل فيه، فضلا عن تقريب وجهات نظرها وتقديم مقترحات ملموسة وعملية تقلص أو تزيل خلافاتها، وتقديم بدائل في حالة وقوع استعصاء ما بينها، واقتراح سياسات وحلول تتيح تجاوز تناقضات المواقف والرؤى، ضمن نشاط تفاعلي مع الجميع يقيم بينهم جسورا للتوافق والتكامل. لن يتهاون المنبر في مقاومة أي سعي لتفتيت المعارضة أو لتمزيق ما هو قائم من مكوناتها، ولن يقبل أية خطة تعتمدها أية جهة منها لا تجعل التناقض مع النظام دليل عملها وواجبها الذي لا تحيد عنه، لأي سبب أو هدف كان، ولن تقبل المعارك الجانبية والخطط الخاصة التي تحيد عن هذا المبدأ، كما سترفض بتصميم أية محاولة يقوم بها أي طرف معارض لتطييف النضال الوطني، ولن يوقف جهوده لتوحيد صفوف الشعب من خلال حوار التنسيقيات، الذي يجب أن يقود إلى وحدة مواقفها ونضالاتها، ووحدة مواقف ونضالات المعارضة على أرضية وحدتها، التي يجب أن تكون راسخة في الوعي والواقع الشعبيين. وسيقاوم محاولات النظام لجر الشعب إلى ما يخالف هدف الحرية والعدالة والمساواة، مهما كانت الصورة التي تأخذها، وسيفعل وسعه لإقامة «لجان عمل وطني» متنوعة بتنوع مشكلات البلاد والعباد، تنتشر في كل مكان، وتضم مواطنين من مختلف الانتماءات السياسية والعقائد الدينية والأيديولوجية وشتى مناطق البلاد، من مهامها حماية الوحدة الوطنية من العبث الرسمي، وتأسيس نمط جديد من وحدة الشعب والمجتمع يقوم على تقويض العصبيات والنزعات التفريقية والتمزيقية، التي دأب النظام على رعايتها وتغذيتها خلال العام الماضي بصورة خاصة. ستغطي «لجان العمل الوطني» سائر الأنشطة العامة في كافة تجلياتها القانونية والإنسانية والمجتمعية والاقتصادية والثقافية، وستركز على مواكبة هموم المواطنين وإيجاد حلول لها، من دون أن تتجاهل القضايا التي تتصل بإعادة ترميم ما مزقه الحل الأمني من لحمة وطنية ونسيج اجتماعي/ إنساني في المناطق التي استهدفها بعنفه الأعمى، على أن يتم ذلك بالتعاون مع كل من يريد التصدي، أو يتصدى بالفعل، لسياسات النظام في هذه المجالات، ومن يكرس نفسه لهذه المهام، بغض النظر عن هويته السياسية.

لقد مزق الحل الأمني بلادنا إنسانيا، وهو يكاد يمزقها جغرافيا، ولا بد ان يولي المنبر هذه النتائج المأساوية بالنسبة لمجتمعنا ودولتنا ما تستحقه من اهتمام عملي وتوعية عامة، سواء في عمله أم بالنسبة إلى علاقاته .

[...]

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionId=2154&articleId=1847&ChannelId=51525&Author=ميشيل%20كيلو

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 8:53 pm

 

110. Dawoud said:

108. TARA

I agree with you. Today’s terrorist attack in Syria carries all the hallmarks of Bahar al-Assad and Hasan Nasrillat of Hizbistan! These two are experts in car bombings? Who, for example, killed Rafiq al-Hariri?

Syria is NOT Qom, nor Najaf, nor Nasrillat’s Dhayiha al-Janoubia, nor the Houthi provicne!

Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is Arab FOREVER!

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

May 19th, 2012, 10:32 pm

 

111. mjabali said:

blue diamondMJABALI, Please do not over simplify any group of people and their belief system in defence of another. I ask all commentators to please respect and tread carefully when it comes to other people religions.

SC Moderator

Tara:

All these “world wide known facts” (as Sandro Low claimed) about the Alawis, are made up stories by their enemies: namely the Sunnis.

The Sunnis and for hundreds of years brain washed the millions about the Alawis.They spread slanders and more slanders and no real facts for sure. Today, the “knowledge” of almost anyone about the Alawis is close to Zero for real.

As for women status among the Alawis I assure you it is a light year ahead of that of 99 percent of the Sunni women in the whole Arab world. Alawi women in one generation did something remarkable. Numbers and facts speak for this.

Huh ???There is no comparison between the Alawi women of today and the Sunni women of today in Syria:Huh ???they belong to different worlds with two different futures. An Alawi college girl in Syria told me the other day that she never went to the Sunni parts in her city except for the one time she passed in a car.

In Syria, Sunni women were learning how to fly in the 1940′s and 1950′s. Now forget about that. They went back in time and they are going back more thanks to the religious conservatism that is taking over Syria and the Middle East.

If you want to know more and in details, I advise reading this article. It shows how women and men are equal among the Alawis. I personally never saw any say or deed by any Alawi negating women their full rights. I know many Alawis and among them men and women are equals in theory and practice.

http://alawi12.tripod.com/dakoki.htm

It is sad that someone like you, who claim that she comes from a family that “produced culture” does not know that much about people from her “country” and falls an easy prey to an obvious misinformation about the Alawi women.

Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

May 19th, 2012, 10:41 pm

 

112. bronco said:

92. Tara

People are free to believe in what they want, however absurd it may look to others ( resurrection, angels, reincarnation, virgins in paradise etc…).

Yet, religious people should not look on the other side when prominent religious leader preach to abuse the basic rights of people using their own interpretation of religion. They should condemn openly such abuses. By not doing so that they would be perceived as accomplices and would have to bear the blame.

Christians have gone through such transformation and many Christians have criticized the abuses of church very openly.
All these religious institutions and people are earthy institutions prone to mistakes and abuses. It is not because they hide under the banner of religion that they infallible.

Islam is still on the defensive and most Moslems prefer to remain silent on the abuses of some of their religious leaders, therefore they inevitably appear to condone such preachings. There is no room for contestation in present Islam, as it has been at the beginning. It is monolithic and intouchable. Any critic is perceived as a sin.
With time, Islam, like most religions will free itself from these paralyzing and anachronical tabus. Until then, it will be used and misused for political and personal ambitions, exactly like the Christian religion was for centuries.

Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

May 19th, 2012, 11:03 pm

 

113. sheila said:

To #112. bronco:
You are absolutely right. Islam is going through its “Middle Ages”. Hopefully, this will change as people gain their freedoms back, especially those of thought and expression.
It is interesting how every religion finds all other religions somehow “absurd”, when in fact they are all the same.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 11:09 pm

 

114. bronco said:

On Al jazeera discussion 19 may with Joshua Landis, Basma Kodmani and Kamal al-Labwani

Kamal Al Labwani said: Ghaliun should not resign, he should commit suicide.

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

May 19th, 2012, 11:14 pm

 

115. omen said:

prof. cole:

In Saudi Arabia there were some demonstrations last year, and there have been rallies in the Shiite Eastern Province, but the Kingdom increased social welfare benefits and pumped more oil, and seems to have bribed the population to stay quiet.

.

isn’t this the smart way to handle unrest? instead of going berserk over little kids scribbling on a wall, why didn’t syria respond in this manner?

is it because bashar is such a cheapskate? or is it because the regime is irredeemably corrupt and greedy?

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 11:23 pm

 

116. zoo said:

Erdogan and Qatar have to decide what to do with the ‘corpse’ of their creation.

“The SNC is a corpse, which the entire international community is desperately trying to resuscitate,” said Fawaz Tello, a veteran opposition figure who left Syria to work with the Istanbul- and Paris-based group:

http://www.demdigest.net/blog/2012/05/syria-can-snc-corpse-turn-it-around/

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

May 19th, 2012, 11:25 pm

 

117. annie said:

Moderator Note[ Arabic Link and French links added: http://www.ayyam.org/arabic/?p=11182

http://contresubversion.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/revendication-du-conseil-militaire-de-la-province-de-damas-revendique-lattaque-contre-les-officiers-superieurs-du-regime/

المجلس العسكري في دمشق وريفها
المجلس العسكري في دمشق وريفها ::
بيــــــان
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[ واقتلوهم حيث ثقفتموهم.... ]

إن المجلس العسكري في دمشق وريفها يعلن عن تبني عملية إغتيال عدد من قادة وضباط ومسؤولين لدى النظام القاتل ، والتي قام بها أحد أبطال ( سرية المهام الخاصة ) التابعة لكتائب الصحابة وإليكم الأسماء المؤكدة التي تم إستهدافها في مكان العملية وهم : آصف شوكت / محمد الشعار / داوود راجحة / حسن تركماني / هشام بختيار / محمد سعيد بخيتان / وقد تم التأكد من موت معظم هذه الأسماء في مشفى الشامي ونتحدى النظام أن يُظهر الأشخاص التي ذكرناها في بياننا على إحدى القنوات التابعة له .

عاشت سوريا حرة أبية والنصر لشعبنا العظيم ،،،

Revendication de l’ASL: Le Conseil militaire de la province de Damas revendique l’attaque contre les officiers supérieurs du régime
mai 20, 2012

L’Armée Syrienne Libre revendique l’attaque des officiers supérieurs du régime. Asef Shawkat, le beau frêre de Bachar al-Assad et Hassan Turkmani font parti des plus fidèles officiers du régime. Ce dernier est directeur du Comité de crise, il assure la supervision directe de toutes les opérations militaro-sécuritaires.

Le Conseil militaire de la province de Damas [...] annonce l’assassinat d’un certain nombre de commandants, officiers et fonctionnaires du régime meurtrier, et d’avoir réalisée l’action avec le bataillon al-Sahaba. Les noms confirmés de ceux qui ont été ciblés sont les suivants: Asef Shawkat / Mohammed logo / David Rajha / Hassan Turkmani / Hisham Bakhtiar / Mohammed Saeed Bekheitan / ont été confirmée la mort de la plupart de ces noms à l’hôpital Shami. La Syrie a vécu une victoire libre et fière de notre grand peuple,,,

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

May 19th, 2012, 11:28 pm

 

118. zoo said:

Syria fights back on sanctions at the UNHR: It is a collective punishment on Syrians.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-05/20/c_131598869.htm

DAMASCUS, May 19 (Xinhua) — Syria said Saturday that the EU sanctions imposed on Syria over the past year are “economic terrorism” against Syrian people.

In a report addressed to the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Secretary General, Syrian Foreign Ministry said the stances of countries that have imposed sanctions are characterized by ” hypocrisy” as they use human rights as a cover to interfere in other countries’ affairs and exert their control over them.
….
It said that collective sanctions against the Syrian people are illegal and aimed at punishing the Syrian people for rejecting to implement foreign agendas on the Syrian ground.

The report added that those countries’ practices against the Syrian people are quite similar to those of the armed terrorist groups which are killing and terrorizing the Syrians to prevent them from expressing their views on protecting their country against chaos and terrorism.

Syria called on the international community to condemn these other sanctions against the developing countries, and called for complete and unconditional implementation of the UN General Assembly resolutions which consider sanctions imposed by countries without authorization from the UN as violations of human rights.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

May 19th, 2012, 11:29 pm

 

119. omen said:

if anybody knows terrorism, it’s this regime.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

May 19th, 2012, 11:33 pm

 
 

121. annie said:

http://youtu.be/1CKraipzL9w

This looks like the beyan

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 11:46 pm

 

122. annie said:

Moderator Note[ Link Added: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=462147280479080&set=a.221856221174855.74557.217848338242310&type=1

A number of leaders from the Al-Sahabeh Battalion confirmed, in a telephone interview with the Local Coordination Committees in Syria, the validity of the news about an operation that targeted the regime’s crisis management cell during its meeting at the Conference Palace. The Battalion indicated that additional details would be forthcoming, and could be broadcast live by Commander Khaled Al-Habous. The LCC has not confirmed this news with any other source.
لجان التنسيق المحلية في سوريا لم تعد كلمة المجازر تكفي للحديث عما يحدث في سوريا ما شاهده العالم من ذبح لأطفال ونساء على يد مرتزقة النظام من الشبيحة يكاد يخرجنا عن ادميتنا ,ويثبت مرة اخرى مدى امعان النظام في اجرامه ان لجان التنسيق المحلية في سوريا تحمل النظام السوري المسؤولية عن كل الفظائع التي ارتكبت وترتكب في كل لحظة على الاراضي السورية والشعب الثائر في سوريا , وتدعو المنضوين تحت امرة الجيش السوري من جنود وصف ضباط وضباط الى الانحياز الى الشعب بالتحاقهم الفوري بالجيش الحر . كما تدعو الى تكثيف المظاهرات على كل الاراضي السورية واعتبار يوم غد الثلاثاء 13/03/2012 هو يوم حداد رسمي في كل انحاء سوريا عبر اغلاق المحال التجارية والامتناع عن الذهاب الى العمل والمدارس والجامعات وإغلاق الطرقات وندعو الجميع للمشاركة ولو بشكل رمزي عبر دلالة اللون الاسود من شرائط وأعلام او حتى ملابس . كما تدعوا بالتوازي المجلس الوطني السوري إلى التوجه فورا الى مجلس الامن بطلب المساعدة وبكل الوسائل المتاحة لوقف هذه المجازر وعدم الاكتفاء بالبيانات. عاشت سوريا حرة والمجد للشهداء .

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

May 19th, 2012, 11:50 pm

 

123. omen said:

An Alawi college girl in Syria told me the other day that she never went to the Sunni parts in her city except for the one time she passed in a car.

.

this is not an accomplishment.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

May 20th, 2012, 12:09 am

 

124. omen said:

aljazeera last week interviewed a fsa soldier who hadn’t yet defected and was still serving in the regime army.

there could be more than one case like this. could it be that this opposition infiltration has seeped into other wings of the regime as well?

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

May 20th, 2012, 12:24 am

 

125. annie said:

True ?

https://twitter.com/#!/eman_cipation_/status/204064793609515008/photo/1

Pictures of the 6 government officials confirmed dead.

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

May 20th, 2012, 12:39 am

 
 

127. habib said:

125. annie

Lol, only source is some raving retard on Youtube. http://youtu.be/1CKraipzL9w

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

May 20th, 2012, 1:45 am

 
 

129. habib said:

Lol: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4160194,00.html

Whoops, that was last year!?

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

May 20th, 2012, 1:49 am

 

130. annie said:

Habib, the news is confirmed by three different sources
and here is a tweet (sarcasm)
“@iyad_elbaghdadi: You know how we’d know if the news are real? If #Assad goes medieval on prisoners and detainees. #Syria

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

May 20th, 2012, 1:54 am

 

131. habib said:

130. annie

What sources? Twitter, Facebook and Youtube? You guys are just embarrassing yourselves.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

May 20th, 2012, 1:57 am

 

132. annie said:

131 habib Let’s wait …

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

May 20th, 2012, 2:00 am

 

133. annie said:

BREAKING NEWS! Mosques all over #Damascus are turning on the microphones and stating PRAYERS WITH ALLAHU AKBAR! ALLAHU AKBAR! ALLAHU AKBAR!! IT FEEL LIKE THE CELEBRATION OF EID THERE RIGHT NOW! THIS IS AMAZING!!! God Bless them and the #FSA!

I know, this is only on fb !

Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

May 20th, 2012, 2:21 am

 

134. omen said:

annie, tell them to storm regime media and take over broadcasts!

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

May 20th, 2012, 2:35 am

 

135. omen said:

fsa takes credit for assassination of regime members.(english subtitle)

https://twitter.com/#!/AbuBakrSaleh92/status/204095473257164802

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

May 20th, 2012, 2:44 am

 

136. Uzair8 said:

The Opposition should set up mobile pirate radio stations broadcasting from a vehicle. They can get their message across to the syrian population and undermine the authority of the regime.

Btw AJE has picked up on what Annie mentioned. It says the reports seem to be false:

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/damascus-may-20-2012-0458

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

May 20th, 2012, 3:04 am

 

137. Uzair8 said:

People contest the size of the population supporting either side.

People should give more weight to the voice of the oppressed, not to mention that the indifference of regime supporters to the plight of the oppressed counts against them.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

May 20th, 2012, 3:09 am

 

138. Alex said:

Dear SON OF DAMASCUS,

If we step away from the poetic portrayal and evaluation of the authenticity of either set of symbols, your Symbols, or their symbols, we will realize that:

- You, and many other Syrians love a green flag, other Syrians love the Red flag

- You and many other Syrians love Qashoosh (or Omar Offendum) … other Syrians prefer Fairuz and Doraid Lahham (his 60′s and 70′s work only).

- Your army is the “free Syria army”, their army is still the regular Syrian army.

- Your slogans includes “freedom” .. their slogan includes “resistance”

If you don’t want to talk to them, then you want to defeat them, just like the Lebanese tried for 13 years to defeat each other.

And “them” are not “the Assads” … they are not “the regime” .. just like you are more than just “the 3ara3eer” and “the traitors”

A division this deep and this extensive does not bode well for any nation, even if we do a Nizar-Qabbani-like post expressing our appreciation of its ancient history.

Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

May 20th, 2012, 3:12 am

 

139. Juergen said:

Well Rafik Schami said it right, Damascus is a place full of rumors, the latest is that Bashar has left Damascus with an helicopter heading to Quardaha…

If proven that those assasinations took place, it will be hard for the regime to cover that up…

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

May 20th, 2012, 3:15 am

 

140. Alex said:

Annie, the rumors are false.

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

May 20th, 2012, 3:17 am

 

141. omen said:

that’s right, alex. blame the opposition for the regime’s intransigence.

it’s the regime who is holding all the cards and wields all the power. therefore it holds the most responsibility.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

May 20th, 2012, 3:23 am

 

142. Syria no Kandahar said:

This is the kind of political maturity and human development we have in so many
Places in the middle east….Democracy and freedom are a disease for such people:

حصلت مذبحة قبلية في منطقة “أب” على خلفية إقدام حمار على اغتصاب حمارة تعود ملكيتهما إلى عشيرتين مختلفتين.

وأشارت وسائل إعلام يمنية وعربية الى أن حماراً تملكه عشيرة “مكابس” أقدم على اغتصاب حمارة “أتان” تملكها عشيرة “بني عباس” في الهواء الطللق، الأمر الذي دفع صاحب الحمارة إلى ضرب الحمار، وهو ما أجج غضب بني “مكابس” ودعاهم إلى التجمع والاعتداء على الرجل صاحب الحمارة.

وتطور الأمر في ما بعد بين العشيرتين إلى حد استخدام الأسلحة النارية والقنابل اليدوية، ما أدى في النتيجة إلى سقوط 15 شخصاً من الطرفين بين قتيل وجريح.

[...]

http://www.aksalser.com/?page=view_news&id=3aac2a1996da78fe77b08498496ed853&ar=867547950

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

May 20th, 2012, 3:27 am

 

143. omen said:

syria special on aje now.

http://www.aljazeera.com/watch_now/

round table discussion.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

May 20th, 2012, 3:42 am

 

144. annie said:

I cannot believe that the FSA people would broadcast such false news; it must be a ploy from the government, surely
Well, the champaign won’t be popped;to day. Another time, because there will be the real thing next time.

Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

May 20th, 2012, 5:16 am

 
 

146. Shami said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfF8g8GDrGc

In his deny Sha3ar does not seem well ,why?

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

May 20th, 2012, 6:56 am

 

147. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Al Shaar is clearly showing signs of breath difficulties. Maybe because of excessive pressure (a heart collapse could come soon) or probably due to stress from being in a meeting last night, then suffer an FSA attack, then being visiting some superiors in Shami Hospital and later move fastly from place to place to arrange the situation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23fKcb4NHqs&feature=youtu.be

I would not be confident in the regime after hearing an Interior Minister talking with anxiety as he did.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

May 20th, 2012, 7:11 am

 

148. mjabali said:

Please check your email
SC Moderator

SC moderation is getting into deciding what is the true information and what is not in matters the moderator himself/herself has little knowledge about.

When I wrote that the Sunnis produced almost all of the hate literature against the Alawis the moderator objected as if he has another piece of information and keeping it away from us!

As for “oversimplification” please mr. moderator come and discuss what I wrote sentence by sentence. This is a very important subject and you by dismissing my argument outright are not helping people learn something about the Alawis.

Didn’t you (and of course ever other moderator) claim that this blog is for serious conversations: is there a conversation more important that the one you are trying to shut now about the Alawis? Some people here border on lunacy in their comments and still you never found any fault in their writings where mine is red taped here and there. You want me to bring you these examples?

The Alawis, under your watch and the watch of all of the previous moderators had been subjected to a slew of slanders by many different people who blog here.

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

May 20th, 2012, 8:02 am

 

149. Rancher said:

Are the Kurds still sitting on the sidelines? Turkey won’t allow the rebels to grant the Kurds anything they are asking for last I heard.

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

May 20th, 2012, 8:16 am

 

150. Hans said:

The more the SNC fight each other, the better off Syria is.
it is clear that Syria is not SNC and the Syria SNC proclaiming is not the Syria we know for decades, I think the SYRIA NO KHANDAHAR is the best answer to this SNC members, that Syria is not Afghanistan and hopefully i won’t become like Somali.
it is Syria where its people are ahead of the rest of the middle east.
Bringing syria down means taking Syria into the dark ages of backward religious zealous like the GCC people, who don’t belong to the 21st.
USA is too busy with its own affair. Putin draw a red light on Syria and when Russia acts, the USA takes a notice especially in a radical Muslim administration like the one we have in the USA at the current time. Obama did help the Radicals more than killing OBL. He is spreading their destructive religion all over the ME.
Russia continues with its projects in Syria ( this is related to me from inside Syria) therefore, the agreement with the USA is there that the latter stay out of interfering with Syria, in spite of all the TV drama we are seeing, especially, half or more off it is a fabrication.
I would like to ask Mr. Landis give us here on SC his analysis why the regime has not fallen yet, given that many predicted he will fall last year, is it an american miscalculation, or it is an american tactic to keep the regime in power but weakened.
Barking on TV channels is for public consumption the real policy is reading between the lines.
I am sure helping the opposition with money arm, helps the american economy to sell more weapon.
Libya revolutionists still killing each other as well the Iraqi, Lebanese that’s what Syria is heading to only a failed state.
The SNC members should not resign but should commit suicide as one member called Ghalioun to do ( it is not my words SC moderator).

Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

May 20th, 2012, 8:45 am

 

151. Tara said:

Bronco

I like the politeness….It does strike a…politeness tendon in my brain.

On the other hand , I agree with your last few posts. Brilliantly written, but ….I still can’t rule out that you deep down hold some “biases” (if you will) in regard to Sunnis. Sorry for being direct. Past bad exposure or perhaps may be lack of exposure? It is lack of exposure if I to bet…

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

May 20th, 2012, 9:18 am

 

152. Tara said:

4 out of the 6 figures did not appear as per the time of writing this report.  Something for sure has happened.  It says they were poisoned.  It is clear that Shaar was short of breath during his statement but did not really look sick otherwise.  The shortness of breath could be due to anxiety over the ordeal?    

1.15pm: Lena, from the Revolutionary Council for Damascus told guardian.co.uk that they are still trying to establish the facts of who was killed/injured as a result of a Free Syrian Army operation in the capital last night but she said she suspects at least one or two on the list were killed and the state’s claims that they are all alive should be treated with caution. She said the figures in question were poisoned but that she could not give more information.

We have confirmation from the Free Syrian Army, from the battalion itself that an operation took place yesterday. It was carried out and it just went well but we still have no confirmation of those who were hurt or those who died because of it. So now we are still waiting for the news to see who really died and who really didn’t but we have confirmation that something happened ….

Asked about the denials by state media of the deaths and reports that two of those on the list of those purportedly killed had given interview to Syria TV, Lena said:

We still have other four figures who did not appear so far and perhaps they may not appear. Some of them might be recovering from what happened last night. We were told that they were poisoned but we do not know who died last night, as I told you, so maybe the regime is taking some time now to try to solve what is happening, trying to cover up for what happened. Maybe they’re waiting for those who are still recovering and they will appear on TV after they are well. But we think that at least one or two figures died yesterday.

The following quotes do not appear on the audio recording as there was a problem. Asked the significance of some or all of these people being killed, Lena said:

This would mean that the situation would be very different because these people stand behind Assad and support him. If one of them or two or three of them die it would make a huge difference but we believe security forces would carry out more brutal violence against the people …We are a bit afraid …We are waiting for more violence to happen here …But the more violence there is we know that the end is growing nearer for us.

We know that when Hafez al-Assad died the regime waited fro a few days to confirm the news of the death. We know that maybe they are holding the information of these deaths so they can organise the news …In the next few days we will know for sure.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/may/20/syria-damascus-clashes-assassinations?newsfeed=true#block-5

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

May 20th, 2012, 9:20 am

 

153. Syria no Kandahar said:

Torkumani is fine:

The operation which FSA terrorists tried looks like
It was an attempt to poison the officers.Are these
Their war manners?is this part of أخلاق الدين they claim to represent ?what is the difference between them and mafia?what is the difference between them doing this and the army using chemical weapons against their terrorists FSA friends?
Poisoning is a criminal way of criminal people supported by criminal forign supporters. Even
If it is successful ….even if they kill bashar himself
They will remain criminals….
Clean honest Syrians don’t use this dirty ways against each other.if any Syrian today has a political agenda they have ways to try to reach it.
These ways of jihad are against all religions rules
And regulations including Islam .poisoning and killing ministers is not a political gain ….it is actually the other way around ,you poison your (revolution )by these dirty tactics.

Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

May 20th, 2012, 9:31 am

 

154. omen said:

it’s amazing how loyalists hold other people to high ethical standards except for the regime.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

May 20th, 2012, 10:01 am

 

155. zoo said:

The rebels spread lies to “demoralize’ the resilient army as direct attacks on the UN observers continue.

http://news.yahoo.com/bomb-explodes-near-un-observers-chief-syria-122831551.html

Syrian rebels claimed in an Internet statement that they carried out a sophisticated attack that killed top political and security officials meeting in the capital. The posting claimed those killed included Maj. Gen. Assef Shawkat, the deputy chief of staff for security affairs; Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha; Interior Minister Mohammad al-Shaar and former defense minister, Hassan Turkmani.

Al-Shaar denied the rebel claims at a press conference. Turkmani was interviewed by state-run Syrian TV in his office, saying the claims were “blatant lies.”
More…

Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

May 20th, 2012, 10:17 am

 

156. bronco said:

#151 Tara

I hold no ‘bias’ against any religion of sects.
Rewarding connections with others depends on many factors, some take their roots in common life experiences, some are related to common cultural interests and common worldview and some are mysterious.
None is actually controllable. They just are.

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

May 20th, 2012, 10:32 am

 

157. zoo said:

This is the second ‘unconfirmed’ report of Asef Shawkat’s death, the last one was on November 2011

Report: Assad’s brother-in-law shot to death

Opposition sources say General Assef Shawkat killed during heated argument with his aide; report not confirmed

Roee Nahmias
Published: 12.11.11, 22:07 /

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4160194,00.html

Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

May 20th, 2012, 10:38 am

 

158. MICHEL said:

Syria no kandahar, your last comment is a little bizare and filled with glaring double standards. You said it yourself:

“Clean honest Syrians don’t use this dirty ways against each other.”

you are right

what does this statement tell you about the regime then?

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

May 20th, 2012, 10:56 am

 

159. irritated said:

#44 Annie

Any thing happening that is discrediting the opposition further is
received by the anti-regime with:

“it must be a ploy from the government, surely”

Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

May 20th, 2012, 11:42 am

 

Post a comment


nine + = 15