The US Looks for a More Muscular Response to Syria; Damascus Sells Gold in a Sign of Poverty

Syria seems to be trying to sell Gold from its reserves in Dubai. A sign that it’s money is running low due to sanctions and revolt.

The Obama administration insists that it is about to make some important changes to its Syria policy. Everyone expects that it will assume greater leadership by helping to arm the opposition. So far Washington has raised the rhetorical bar while refusing action. Sanctions have been the most it is willing to offer. The other countries — Turkey, Saudi and France – have refused to take the lead. They want to see an American commitment before taking their hands out of the pockets.  On the NSC, Steve Simon, who has not been keen on military involvement, seems to be making way for Derek Chollet, whose old boss was Anne-Marie Slaughter. She is for military intervention in Syria, as she made clear on the Charlie Rose Show that I appeared on with her, Fouad Ajami and Thomas Friedman. Ajami makes the most compelling argument for a more active US role in embracing the “future” in Syria. Here is what Josh Rogin has to say about Chollet’s appointment in Obama searches for a ‘Plan B’ in Syria:

The new push includes adjustments in personnel handling the portfolio. Before March, National Security Council Director Steve Simon headed up the internal interagency process. Now, multiple officials confirm that NSC Senior Director for Strategy Derek Chollet has been added to the leadership of the Syria policy team and has been coordinating the interagency process for several weeks. Simon, Assistant Secretary of State Jeff Feltman, and State Dept. Special Advisor Fred Hof are still active on the Syria portfolio.

Clinton says Syria is at a “crucial turning point”. She will be in Paris tomorrow to try to figure out what the Western states can do that won’t suck them into another Iraq, but that will show some teeth. Right now, Russia is calling the shots in Syria. Ironically, the last country we pushed Russia out of,  because we demanded greater control over its affairs, was Afghanistan. Most American policy makers today would probably agree that Russian controlled Afghanistan was much better than what came after. Ammar Abdulhamid suggests that Syria is more liberal and less Islamist than Afghanistan or even Egypt and Tunisia. He believes that US caution about the rise of Islamists in Syria is ill-founded. Amal al-Hanano hares Abdulhamid’s determination to promote secular and pacifist Syrian interests.  She is calling on secular Syrians to organize and counter-balance the Islamists.

News Round Up

Syria Said to be Seeking Gold Sales From Reserves: Reuters Link
By John Irish and Amena Bakr

PARIS/DUBAI, April 18 (Reuters) – Syria is trying to sell gold reserves to raise revenue as Western and Arab sanctions targeting its central bank and oil exports begin to bite, diplomats and traders said.

Western sanctions have halved Syria’s foreign exchange reserves from about $17 billion, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday after a meeting with about 60 nations aimed at coordinating measures against President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

“Syria is selling its gold at rock bottom prices,” said a Western diplomatic source, declining to say where it was being sold.

A second diplomatic source confirmed the information, adding that Damascus was looking to offload everything it could to raise cash, including currency reserves.

On Feb. 27, the European Union agreed more sanctions including prohibiting trade in gold and other precious metals with Syrian state institutions, including the central bank.

Two gold traders in the United Arab Emirates said the Syrian government had been offering gold at a discount, with one saying it was making offers at about 15 percent below the market price.

The trader said Damascus was selling small volumes of around 20-30 kilos which were easier to offload, with offers being made through private accounts set up with free email providers……

The World Gold Council estimates Syria had about 25.8 metric tonnes of gold as of February 2012, representing about 7.1 percent of its total reserves….The Syrian pound hit a record low on the black market in March of around 100 to the dollar, compared to 47 before the protests erupted, sharply raising the cost of imports…

At Wednesday’s spot prices, Syria’s total gold reserves are worth around $1.36 billion. …

“The most stunning, unsettling conclusion I drew from the leaders of the Free Syrian Army was that they have essentially got no help from anyone. They are literally running out of ammunition while Assad’s forces are being resupplied by Iran and Russia,” Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told The Cable in an interview.

Lieberman and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) spent their Senate recess on the Turkish side of the Turkey-Syria border, meeting with Turkish officials, FSA leaders, and refugees.

“What they want us to do is to lead. They want us to lead the Friends of Syria, who have given them increasingly sympathetic rhetoric but not the wherewithal to defend themselves,” he said

The Syrian internal opposition is buying weapons and ammunition on the black market at exorbitant prices and claims that large parts of the Syrian military are demoralized but are unwilling to break with the government until they see the opposition has real international support.

“They are all waiting for the U.S. to say ‘We’re in this,’” Lieberman said.

There was at least one State Department official inside the McCain-Lieberman meeting with leaders of the FSA, Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh and Col. Riad al-Asaad, two U.S. officials confirmed. The FSA leaders asked the United States to provide RPGs, anti-aircraft guns, and ammunition. The FSA leaders also said they have proof that the Assad regime is using helicopter gunships to attack civilians in the city of Idlib, as apparently shown in this YouTube video.

Turkish officials told McCain and Lieberman that they were willing to let weapons flow over their borders and consider other more aggressive steps to help the internal Syrian opposition, but that they won’t do so unless Washington leads the way…..

Obama administration searches for a ‘Plan B’ in Syria
Posted By Josh Rogin Wednesday, April 18, 2012 -Foreign Policy

The White House is unhappy with the options it’s been given on Syria and is searching for a new strategy for removing President Bashar al-Assad, The Cable has learned.

“There was a fundamental decision made at the highest level that we need a real Syria policy with more options for the president,” one administration official with knowledge of the internal deliberations said. “Our allies were coming back to us and saying ‘What’s your next move?,’ and we were forced to admit we didn’t have one.”

The new push includes adjustments in personnel handling the portfolio. Before March, National Security Council Director Steve Simon headed up the internal interagency process. Now, multiple officials confirm that NSC Senior Director for Strategy Derek Chollet has been added to the leadership of the Syria policy team and has been coordinating the interagency process for several weeks. Simon, Assistant Secretary of State Jeff Feltman, and State Dept. Special Advisor Fred Hof are still active on the Syria portfolio.

Chollet, the former deputy to Anne-Marie Slaughter at the State Department’s Policy Planning shop, has also been nominated to be the next assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, replacing Sandy Vershbow, who is now deputy secretary general of NATO. Chollet has taken on the day-to-day management of the interagency process while he awaits confirmation.

New options are now being considered internally, including another discussion of setting up buffer zones inside Syria, one administration official confirmed. The administration has also authorized direct contact with the internal Syrian opposition, including the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and at least one State Department official has met with the FSA’s nominal leaders in Turkey.

The rethink comes eight months after Obama explicitly demanded the Syrian leader’s removal, saying, “The time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

His administration is still struggling to come up with a way to make that call a reality…..

UN monitors flee Syrian protest after gunfire
By BEN HUBBARD,

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian security forces opened fire Wednesday on anti-regime demonstrators surrounding the cars of a U.N. team meant to monitor a shaky cease-fire, sending the observers speeding off and protesters dashing for cover, according to activists and amateur videos.

The fresh violence in a suburb of Damascus, the Syrian capital, provided the first public glimpse of the work of the small team struggling to reinforce the international community’s stumbling efforts to end 13 months of deadly conflict in Syria.

The shooting, which wounded at least eight people, could also complicate the deployment of a larger U.N. mission to help a cease-fire take hold between President Bashar Assad’s forces and opposition fighters.

The difficulties of the team’s mission was clear Wednesday during its visit to the suburb of Arbeen, just northeast of Damascus.

The team did not announce its plans to visit the area, but a local activist said residents guessed they were coming when tanks posted throughout the area withdrew early Wednesday.

People quickly drew up signs as well as a list of the 34 residents killed since the start of the uprising and information on the scores who have been detained, an Arbeen activist named Ahmed said via Skype. He declined to give his last name for fear of retribution.

Amateur videos posted online showed hundreds of demonstrators crowding around at least three U.N. Land Cruisers, waving Syrian flags and chanting against the regime. In one video, a man with a microphone and huge speakers on the back of a pickup truck led the crowd in singing “Bashar, Bashar, we will not kneel!”

A handwritten sign apparently taped by a demonstrator on one of the cars read, “The murderer keeps killing, the observers keep observing and the people keep up the revolution.”

In another video, the protesters were walking down a boulevard surrounding the cars when a boom rang out, sending demonstrators scattering. Smoke rose in front of the crowd and the cars sped off, sirens blaring. In yet another video, protesters sprinted down side streets while gunfire is heard nearby.

Ahmed, the local activist, said the group was marching toward a square where the government had posted plain clothes security offices called shabiha and government supporters holding a counter demonstration.

“We started walking with the observers thinking that they’d protect us, but then the shabiha started shooting at us, even when the observers’ cars were at the front of the march,” he said.

After the observers left, security cars drove through the area firing, injuring about 20 people, he said.

“Once the committee was gone, there was no one else to see what they were doing,” he said.

The team’s head, Col. Ahmed Himiche, declined to comment on the incident, saying the team would report only to the U.N.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said eight protesters were wounded in Arbeen.

The group, which relies on an activist network in Syria, also said government forces shelled opposition areas in the provinces of Homs in central Syria and Idlib in the north.

For its part, Syria’s state news agency said roadside bomb attacks in Idlib and Aleppo killed 10 security officers and one civilian. The incidents could not be independently verified. The Syrian government bars most media from working in the country…..

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Syrian opposition forces of provoking the government’s backlash in order to thwart the cease-fire. He urged nations that have leverage with the opposition to force it to abide by cease-fire….

“There must be a tough demand not to allow any provocations and respect the cease-fire,” Lavrov said….

Clinton Says Syria Measures to Be Discussed Tomorrow in Paris
2012-04-18 By Roxana Tiron

April 18 (Bloomberg) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she will attend a meeting in Paris tomorrow to dicuss with allies what further measures may be taken against the Syrian government and in support of the opposition movement. The “ad hoc group” meeting will be led by French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, Clinton said, speaking to reporters today in Brussels.

Syria is at a “crucial turning point” at which the government either will abide by the UN-backed peace plan or face further sanctions, she said.

Foreign Policy

The ceasefire appears to have broken down, as levels of violence remain high in several regions in Syria. Up to 70 people have been killed by heavy shelling in the Jourat al-Shayah, Qarabis, Bayada, and Khaldiya districts of Homs, areas that have remained out of government control. According to the Local Coordination Committees, clashes continued in Deraa and Aleppo, as well as in the Idlib province where government troops were accompanied by tanks and helicopters. The Syrian government has said it is willing to comply with Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan. However, the regime has only agreed to a small United Nations’ observer mission of 250 monitors, and it refuses independent air support despite recommendations of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said, “I think this is not enough, considering the current situation and considering the vastness of the country.” Meanwhile, the advance team of monitors has not yet been permitted to operate throughout the country as negotiations on a memorandum of understanding between the Syrian government and the U.N. team have stalled.

The leading voice of the opposition talks to PJ Media about the state of the conflict.: Syria’s Revolution: An Interview with Ammar Abdulhamid
by Barry Rubin, April 17, 2012

(Ammar Abdulhamid has been the most articulate and credible voice of the Syrian opposition and the movement to overthrow the current regime. Barry Rubin interviewed him to get a clearer view on what’s going on in Syria and on what the future prospects are for the bloody conflict.)

What should we know about the Syrian regime that we don’t already know?

That it is not reformable and that its key leaders can never be part of the solution.

What are the causes of the uprising?

Lack of developments when it comes to basic services and infrastructure along with increasing poverty, absence of any accountability on part of the leadership, the sense of impunity that corrupt officials on the local and national levels exhibit on a daily basis, the failure of President Bashar al-Assad to show himself as a true reformer, and his increasing involvement with the corrupt practices of his family and friends.

Can you describe for us the Syrian opposition, both within the country and outside?

We have two types of opposition: the traditional and the new. The traditional opposition is made of old parties and figures who have been around for decades, and the new one is made up of the activists who started and continue to lead the revolution.

The arrogance of the traditional opposition and their inability to provide effective representation and guidance to the revolutionaries created a problem of mistrust between the two, and does not augur well for the ability of such coalitions as the Syrian National Council (SNC) to provide effective leadership either now or during the transitional period. The new opposition is pragmatic, goal-oriented, and open to new possibilities as far as relations with the outside are concerned, or how the state should be administered in the future. The traditional remains ideological, dominated mostly by Leftist and Islamist elements, and unable to be proactive or to come up with actual strategies and programs for effective communication and representation.

So, the real dichotomy is between these two types of opposition groups, not between those inside the country and those outside.

You have often been critical about the organization and strategy of the leading opposition groups. Can you tell us more about your view, and also provide a description of the main opposition organizations?

Traditional opposition groups keep thinking along ideological lines, and they fail to listen to the protesters and their demands. They keep seeing leadership as a right rather than a responsibility. They keep confusing making policy with making pronouncements and confusing coming up with strategies with academic research. This is why they can never be effective leaders.

For this, the international community needs to conduct outreach efforts to identify leaders and forces on the ground. They need to work with existing traditional opposition in order to make them better at the task of communicating with grassroots protesters and enablers of the new emerging leadership. Many believe that the regime will never negotiate its way out of power, but it seems the same applies for traditional opposition figures and parties. They will never accept giving their positions to the new emerging figures; they seem incapable of coming to terms with the failure of their ideologies at inspiring this mass moment.

Many observers are concerned that the Syrian opposition might be dominated by Islamists who would institute an even worse government for Syria, at least in international terms. How would you respond to that view?

There are Islamists, that’s for sure. But Syria’s ethnic makeup is simply too diverse to allow for the kind of dominance we saw in Egypt or Tunisia. However, since winning elections is about organization and not just demographics, and since Islamists are better organized and funded, there is definitely a need for domestic and international players concerned about Islamist influence to begin preparing themselves with all seriousness for the transitional period ahead.

What is the strategy of the Assad regime in trying to survive?

Transforming the crisis into a sectarian conflict; play on minority fears about the Sunni Arab majority in order to bring these minorities to the side of the regime or at least to neutralize them. Use overwhelming force and foster the expansion of pro-Assad militias and death squads to terrorize and punish the population of restive communities. Play on the fears of Western powers toward Islamists by trying to cast the revolutionaries as Salafist. Rely on support from Iran, Hezbollah, the Maliki government in Iraq, and Russia to keep the international community at bay and incapable of adopting strong policies toward the situation….

Why should the world support the Syrian opposition’s struggle?

Besides the geopolitical gain of weakening Iran’s grip over the Middle East and containing its rise as a major source of instability there, there is the added humanitarian advantage of preventing a rapid balkanization of our troubled region. The Assads are driving the country and the region to the brink of implosion into warring ethnic enclaves. The world needs to stop them and to help the Syrians in their search for alternatives.

What do you think is likely to happen in Syria?

Irrespective of my wishes, the inability of the Obama administration to move quickly on this matter has allowed for the situation to turn into a proxy war involving all major regional players as well as Russia and China. This is going to be a longer-term struggle and the humanitarian cost will be too high. I will keep up my activities meant to support the local resistance and empower the more pragmatic and representative elements to emerge as the true leaders of Syria down the road, but this will not be an easy task.

We were let down by the leaders of the international community and the leaders of the traditional opposition, not to mention our intellectual elite, and it’s clear by now that we have no true friends. Still, we have no choice but to soldier on, as we transform from a protest movement into a more complex resistance and liberation movement.

(For more on Ammar Abdulhamid: he is a liberal Syrian pro-democracy activist whose anti-regime activities led to his exile in September 2005. He currently lives in the United States. He is the founder of the Tharwa Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to democracy promotion, and is a fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He writes Syrian Revolution Digest, a blog dedicated to following events and monitoring trends related to the Syrian Revolution.)

Any Given Friday
How a battle over a Facebook page became a war for the soul of the Syrian revolution.
BY AMAL HANANO | APRIL 18, 2012

….Last week, before the Facebook polling closed for the name of the April 13 protests — the day after the U.N. ceasefire deadline, the day in which solidarity was key — one name was in the lead: the Friday of the Armies of Islam. Yet another divisive (and completely off message) choice. This time, however, peaceful activists were ready to take action and fight back in a battle for the Friday name.

On Wednesday, April 11, media activists on Facebook and Twitter began a campaign to “rock the vote” for Friday’s name. They advocated the secular, inclusive choice, “A Revolution for all Syrians.” It was an intense campaign. Usually around 8,000 votes are cast each week, but last week there were more than 30,000. It was as much a battle between Islamic sentiment and secular inclusiveness as it was a struggle between those dedicated to solely an armed resistance, and those who still valued the power of nonviolent activism. ….
The gap between the two names slowly narrowed, and eventually the message of unity won by almost 2,000 votes. This small but significant victory unleashed palpable excitement among Syria’s online activists: There was a sense that they had been heard and gained control of the revolution’s message, at least for the moment. It was a needed boost of energy to a group of worn-out activists and, more importantly, it proved that a revolution within the revolution was not only possible but necessary.

ASSAD MUST BE FORCED TO ALLOW PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY
By Andrew J. Tabler
April 18, 2012

…Syrians are afraid to express their demands as part of the “Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, pluralist system” and have demonstrated in lesser numbers than expected over the past week. Even if a viable ceasefire can eventually be brokered, protests and other forms of civil resistance will be the key means to judge what the people want going forward….  severely limiting the people’s ability to use civil resistance to make Assad “step aside” — the stated goal of President Obama. The regime has had a far harder time dealing with civil resistance over the past year than armed resistance. Assad’s actions thus far indicate that he wants to use the Annan plan to grind down not only the armed opposition, but the overall protest movement as a whole….

WSJ RT Brussels: EU Goes Silent On Assad Departure
2012-04-18 By Laurence Norman

….Last August, to considerable fanfare, Washington and Brussels made a joint declaration on Syria. Enough was enough, they said. The rising death toll, continued repression and broken reform promises of President Bashar al-Assad …Officials note that Mr. Annan’s six-point plan is not just about stemming the violence. It also demands the Assad regime allows peaceful protests and accepts a Syrian-led political process to address what it calls “the aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.”

The hope in Brussels is that once the violence has ebbed, Mr. Annan will unleash a political reform and democratization process whose momentum will sweep away Mr. Assad, like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh before him.

Syria must be held to the law of war
By Laurie R. Blank and Geoffrey S. Corn, Special to CNN
April 4, 2012

Comments (634)


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551. Juergen said:

Samar Yazbek public reading of her book in Paris, in French and Arabic

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

A similar event took place yesterday in front of the syrian embassy in Berlin. The event was interfered by a handfull of activists of the so called Ostermarsch movement ( an pacifist movement, first created in the 70s to call for an end of nuclear arms) insulted the attending writers, journalists, citizens by calling them salafi-wahabi friends who would call for an NATO strike against peaceful Syria under Assad. It was quite pathetic,it seems to be the new tactic of the syrian embassy to recruit old activists of the Ostermarsch -movement for their nasty propaganda. To be called a fascist zionist on Berlin streets was even new to me.
Here is a video of that public reading in German:

http://www.3sat.de/mediathek/?display=1&mode=play&obj=30565

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April 24th, 2012, 4:41 am

 

552. Tara said:

DaleAndersen

Next time you feel prompted to use “vulgarity”, please do not address it to me. Ok?

I am sorry I asked the question if it prompts such a response.

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April 24th, 2012, 6:50 am

 

553. Mina said:

“What annoys Maliki most that Erdogan has embarked upon a course of robustly strengthening ties with Kurdish leader Barzani. Ankara promotes an alliance between Barzani and Iraqi Sunni leadership with a view to challenging Maliki’s leadership in Baghdad.” (…)
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND24Ak01.html

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April 24th, 2012, 8:14 am

 

554. bronco said:

Juergen #550

Thanks for posting it, the article describes well the dilemma and teh lost of illusions on both sides as well as the human aspects of the tragedy but it also dares to say something that would displease the opposition as it shows well that the revolution failed and brought the country to dead end.

“The rebels would have run. They no longer go to democracy and freedom, but only by hatred and revenge. Because they would have done differently than the Tunisian and Egyptian insurgents never to bring the whole nation behind him. Syria threatens to break up this increasingly sectarian revolution.

How many Syrians, he still dreams of democracy. But that is what Assad trying to impose now. Of course he would have had to do with its reforms much earlier. But better now than never! Syria is significant in terms of democracy, human and women’s rights further than Saudi Arabia.

At the beginning of the uprising, the government has made serious mistakes. However, the rebellion from the beginning had been armed. In just the first three months, over 200 soldiers and policemen were killed. He was at one of the funerals here. These soldiers are children of Syria.”

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April 24th, 2012, 9:18 am

 

555. zoo said:

Was the very nearby Iranian cultural center targeted to provoke Iran’s intervention or further sectarian hatred?

Car bomb hits Damascus as more die in ‘ceasefire’
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/car-bomb-hits-damascus-as-more-die-in-ceasefire-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=19135&NewsCatID=352

DAMASCUS – Agence France-Presse
A pool of blood is pictured next to a damaged car after a bomb exploded in Damascus in this handout released by Syria’s national news agency SANA April 24, 2012. REUTERS Photo

A car bomb rocked central Damascus today, a day after nearly 60 were killed across Syria despite a hard-won ceasefire and the upcoming deployment of 300 UN peace monitors.

Three people were wounded when the blast went off in the Marjeh district of the capital, Syrian state television reported, blaming “terrorists”, the government term for rebels.

“An armed terrorist group detonated the car bomb near the Yelbugha complex in Marjeh, wounding three people and causing damage to nearby buildings,” it said.

[ ... ]

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April 24th, 2012, 9:20 am

 

556. bronco said:

Tara

An opposing point of view

“Bhauna Singh from Dubai said the reason why Dubai’s people came to Turkey was the hospitality of Turkish people and their smiling faces.”

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/arab-tourists-interest-in-turkey-increases-say-tourism-officials.aspx?pageID=238&nID=19073&NewsCatID=379

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April 24th, 2012, 9:24 am

 

557. zoo said:

Assange Episode 2: Left & right in 21st century
http://rt.com/news/assange-world-tomorrow-zizek-horowitz-796/

Published: 23 April, 2012, 23:28

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April 24th, 2012, 9:26 am

 

558. Halabi said:

And here are some of the dead from Hama yesterday.

http://youtu.be/0-w872EV-fs

I thought peace and tranquility returned to Hama in early August according to SANA. Unless the regime investigates these murders, it’s safe to say that Assad’s soldiers and security forces are responsible, part of a plan to kill a few thousand more Hamwis so the country will fear Assad again.

يا بشار لا تتحدى هي حماة مانك قدى

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April 24th, 2012, 9:45 am

 

559. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Masks as thin as Air

Not a single word from “resistance” “secular” camp on the Criminal Assad and his goons’ arrest of the Palestinian-Syrian marxist thinker SALAMEH KILEH, who is also wanted by the Israeli Authorities since 1972.

Disclosure: Salameh Kileh may be a Persona non grata among fake secularists and SC sectarian bullies. Evidence against him may include his writing which demonstrate his recognition of the genuine “people” nature of the Syrian Revolution, while at the same time exposing the fascist nature of Assad supporters’ camp. Here is first evidence:

سلامة كيلة- اللافت في الثورة السورية هو البطولة التي يتسم بها هؤلاء الفقراء الذين يدافعون عن عيشهم، وطالبو الحرية الذين يريدون هدم الاستبداد، حين تبدأ الثورة يصبح الإصلاح متأخراً، ولا يمكن أن تقوم الثورة أصلاً ما دامت إمكانية الإصلاح متوافرة. ولا يمكن لشعب أن يثور، وهو يعرف أنّه يمكن حل مشكلاته من خلال الإصلاح، هذا هو الإحساس العفوي البسيط لدى الطبقات الشعبية التي لم تخرج إلا بعدما تيقّنت بأنّ هذه السلطة لا تُصلح، لهذا يجب أن تُزاح.

TRANSLATION

What draws the attention in the Syrian Revolution is the heroism of the poor who are defending their livelihood and demanding freedom, those who want to demolish tyranny. When the revolution starts, reform becomes too late. In fact, as long as the odds for reform are possible, the revolution would not happen and a peoples would not revolt knowing that it can resolve its problem through reform. This simple and spontaneous feeling among the popular classes, who did not go out demonstrating until they have ascertained that this regime can not be reformed, and thus must be removed.

Furthermore, Salameh is definitely hated by sectarian thugs who claim membership in 400 facebook pages, meaning that they must have known of his arrest, and yet decided to fail in protesting it or recognizing that the assad’s regime resistance and secularism are fake as theirs. If you ask why, here is why. He embarrassed their beloved regime media represented by Aldunia. Lucky syriatruth, they weren’t there.

I would like to reiterate what my friend Salameh said to aldunya mouthpiece fake journalist.

حلي عني … لما بتصيرو اوادم بحكي معكون ..

how accurate. I am sure some recently discovered “pseudo journalists” will see in Salameh’s words an anti-women stance.

I urge regimsists to Sleep well, for they are up for the rudest awakening of their pathetic lives

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April 24th, 2012, 10:32 am

 

560. DAWOUD said:

The Iranian GOVERNMENT is a sectarian wilyat al-faqih regime that supports the murderous dictator of Syria, Bashar, because he is killing mostly Sunni Muslims. The sectarian shia PARTY (it’s a fair game) Hizballah is doing the same thing.

Free Syria! Free Palestine!

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April 24th, 2012, 10:40 am

 

561. Tara said:

I would like to share a post I wrote on a previous thread with some of you who are not aware of the “drama” going on on the previous thread. My post is up for comments. Feel free.
——

Sex Workers Against..

“The fact is, though, that being a female writer/journalist is not easy, and attempts to undermine women by invoking their gender or sexuality are nefarious and all too common, particularly in this profession. Disagree on the merits. And if this was all a fluke, WSS, examine your own knee-jerk invocation of demeaning gendered insults. They reveal more than you may realize. There really is no excuse.”

This was a good argument., and the name too.   Although I feel no womanly sympathy whatsoever to Sharmine …for her betrayal of womanhood and motherhood assuming she is one. 

I can agree with your point in principal.  Sexuality should not be invoked in arguments.  Whether against men or women.  I am glad that you did not appeal on the woman in me to defend Sharmine against misogyny.  The very use of misogyny  concept in defending her is appalling.  It is lame for women or their defenders to use “misogyny” against opponents as a cover up for their own failure.  This is all too common.  In Sharmine’s case, it is the epitome of hypocrisy to use misogyny in her defense when she willfully turned a blind eye on the worst case of misogyny women can experience, the slaughtering of their children.  

I am personally aware of  a woman from Hama who Batta’ s thugs asked her to choose one of her three young adult male children to be slaughtered.  She asked the thugs to make that choice themselves  and they did.  They killed one  in front of her very own eyes.  They came a month later and killed the second…This is the regime supporters of Batta are defending.  How possibly can someone try to defend it.  It is just indefensible.. 

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April 24th, 2012, 10:43 am

 

562. Juergen said:

Bronco

Yes, i still believe that Todenhöfer has some credits, but since the beginning his writings often lack the knowledge of the country and very sadly show his vanity. I know that some activists have met with him here in Berlin to question him about his defense of this regime after the atrocities which were committed. He seems until now very proud about his meeting with Assad ( he seems to enjoy meeting with such despotes, in Germany we have not forgotten his meeting with Pinochet f.e) , and sadly he does not recognize the immense pressure which lasts over the activists in Syria. His claim that reforms and democracy can only be achieved by this regime and through dialogue has prooved to be an dead end for me, such a regime will not change its roots , it may fool many by some cosmetic actions.

Do you think todays bomb attack was aimed at the iranian cultural center in Merjeh?

Süddeutsche Zeitungs has written an article about syrian refugees treated in a Munich hospital:

http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sueddeutsche.de%2Fmuenchen%2Fhilfe-fuer-syrische-jugendliche-rettung-aus-der-hoelle-von-homs-1.1339879

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April 24th, 2012, 11:05 am

 

563. Dawoud said:

561. TARA

Tara, do you still remember my peace plan for Syria?

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April 24th, 2012, 11:07 am

 

564. Tara said:

Bronco

Come on now. Walking in Hamidieh, how many stranger women or men smiled at you, had an eye contact with you or said Hi? How many you smiled at?

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April 24th, 2012, 11:12 am

 

565. Tara said:

Dawoud

Yes Dawoud. I want to give Annan’s plan a chance..with a deadline. I know it will fail, but to have no regret..

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April 24th, 2012, 11:15 am

 

566. Karabennemsi said:

@Juergen

There is no other way to reform and change Syrian politics than by reforming the current regime. The view you’re portraying here saddens me deeply, it appears that you can not know about the suffering of the biggest part of the Syrian population, who is sitting on the fence in this whole conflict, since most of the people don’t actually care too much about party politics and similar stuff but rather how to afford enough food for the rest of the month, and how to educate their children when even they have to work these days to ensure a family’s survival.

I lived in Dimasq for quite some time, and most of my dear friends there are telling me, that the time for discussing political reforms has long gone by, and absolutely none of the rather oppositional activists i personally know throughout the country, who were organising rallies and demonstrations about a year ago, support the militant uprising in any way, instead they regularly condemn it publicly. It is seen by most people as the highway to hell, and in case you actually took part in that sad little gathering near (not even in front of) the embassy here in Berlin, i feel obliged to ask you to broaden your point of view, since it seems to be narrowed into a very violent vision of the current situation in Syria, and obviously this can not be in the interest of the people of Syria, of whom i suppose you care about.

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April 24th, 2012, 11:28 am

 

567. NASA said:

566. Karabennemsi
Good comment .. reflect majority of people living in Syria.

Thx

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April 24th, 2012, 11:56 am

 

568. Dawoud said:

565. Tara

I also want to to give Anan’s plan a chance with a DEADLINE, after which the Arab League should meet (against the objections of Iraq’s sectarian al-Maliki-who is a puppet of the Iranian wilayat al-faqih government) and authorize the purchase of anti-tanks/warplanes missiles for the Free Syrian Army. Bashar will not go until the FSA defeats him and his allies-Iran and Hizballah! In addition, we need a northern-southern “safe area,” which would likely cause 80% of Bashar’s army to defect. This would be the best/fastest way to topple Syria’s longtime hereditary dictatorship!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

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April 24th, 2012, 12:23 pm

 

569. Juergen said:

Karabenemsi

Thank you for your comment. Its upon the Syrians to make that decision if this regime has the capability to reform. I have my deepest doubts about this capability. This is a regime which has not only eraded the hopes and aspirations for a future, it has furthermore made every Syrian an enemy to each other. I wish that Todenhöfers approach of an nationwide dialogue would indeed be the solution, he is right in his assumption that war and violence have never brought any good, and its most likely the product of failures in politics and diplomacy. The current leadership has proven to be working only in their interest, and may be and this is a big may be there are reasonable persons in the second row who could end this tragedy from spreading more misery for more Syrians. We had those fencesitters in the country i grew up in, they were also calling for an reformed communism with democratic elections and no political prisoners. The point is that we have discovered that such a regime needs oppression to function, and no one would choose to live under an regime if he has the free will to choose.

I would like to ask you to share your views and your comments in the future. I was by the way at the public reading demonstration. Did you choose your name for some good reason?

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April 24th, 2012, 1:09 pm

 

570. admir said:

attempted coup in qatar?

http://www.forexcrunch.com/qatar-coup-attempt-report/

‘Initial reports are coming out of Qatar about an attempt by a military group to overthrow the current ruling elite led by Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

It currently seems that the coup d’etat failed, although other reports say that gunfights are still raging in the palace. Instability in one of the usually stable oil producing countries could send oil prices higher, and trigger fresh worries…’

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April 24th, 2012, 2:13 pm

 

571. Halabi said:

The virtual shabiha’s favorite tactic: to lie.

FT: Assad intensifies cyberwar against Qatar

The Qatari prime minister’s daughter is arrested in London. Qatar’s army chief stages a coup against the emir. Hamad bin Jassim, the prime minister, is sacked. None of these stories is true, but for a while Syria’s embattled regime tried to make them credible partly thanks to a group of loyal hackers.

Late on Monday, the so-called Syrian Electronic Army, the cyber activists who spam Facebook and Twitter with pro-government messages, hacked into the Twitter account of Saudi Arabia’s al-Arabiya news channel and planted the report of Mr bin Jassim’s removal. As al-Arabiya rushed to report that its social networks were infiltrated, the hackers posted news about an explosion at a Qatari natural gasfield.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1fa5d708-8e1c-11e1-bf8f-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1sz9bAvWv

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April 24th, 2012, 2:53 pm

 
 

573. Karabenemsi said:

@ Juergen

Well I believe the heavy militarisation of the conflict in the last six months and the firsthand experience of what kind of consequences are inevitably connected to a civil war, have led many Syrians to the realisation that they would rather live in oppression than in constant threat of being reported as civilian casualties on the news in yet another fierce battle between army personnel and self-declared freedom fighters, who both recklessly accept these dead civilians as collateral damage while competing for short-term tactical positions.

However I think that this fatalism is the worst possible thing that could happen to Syria.

It is of the outmost importance, that the regime stops shooting at protesters, i do think it should continue to persecute violent opposition members and islamists, who unfortunately keep gaining importance in the conflict.

Nethertheless should you maybe remember that in the case of the old DDR there was a neighbour, who actually helped stabilizing the situation and financed the future transformation.

In Syria’s case there is nothing comparable to the BRD, so the change has to come from within, to ensure stability.

I am really sick of all the warmongering from especially NATO, and it is very hard to understand why Qatar rather finances additional weapons in Syria instead of care packages.

Maybe people underestimate the amount of newly felt freedom in Damascus, and some international newspaper commentators are definetely far too impatient, but believe me, political change has already been implemented, and I am rather confident that Bashar will actually lead Syria to democracy.

Personally i was astonished to read this essay a couple of weeks ago:

http://www.syriatrust.org/news/articles/content/عشرة-مبادئ-من-أجل-الديموقراطية-بقلم-عمر-عبد-العزيز-الحلاج

I remember indirectly working for the author a couple of years ago back in the day, and i think this level of political discussion is absolutely extraordinary for Syrian means, and it clearly shows that a lot of discussions are going on right now in the intellectual and artist elite of Syria on how to proceed in the transformation process.

It is a shame that the headlinemakers still care more about body counts and possible interventions and UN-observers – btw, i often dealt with the UN personnel in Syria, and they barely ever dared to leave their jeeps, most of their communication with locals was done through phone and internet although their huge compound is located right in the middle of the really rich Mezzeh area, the Austrian guys from the Jolan were different though.

I am honoured by your request to participate more often in here, i will try to do it every now and then, but unfortunately i’m pretty busy these days.

About my name:
:) I did actually choose it for a good reason, when i first came to the middle east as a nineteen year old boy, barely being able to ask for directions in Arabic, i had a pretty clear vision (which turned, of course, out to be mostly wrong) on what was awaiting me, since i had read all of Karl May’s middle east stories multiple times. And although I eventually had to accept reality, i still love the idea about this passionate German man travelling through the whole islamic world in order to gain knowledge and bring the word of the Lord, not being a missionary but instead reminding all kind of people how beautiful and easy life can be if one loves the other.

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April 24th, 2012, 3:01 pm

 

574. Halabi said:

#573

“i do think it should continue to persecute violent opposition members and islamists, who unfortunately keep gaining importance in the conflict.”

No government should “persecute” its citizens. It’s abhorrent to suggest such a thing. But I understand the position give the poster is “rather confident that Bashar will actually lead Syria to democracy.”

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April 24th, 2012, 3:24 pm

 

575. Karabennemsi said:

#574

Every country should persecute it’s citizens if they have broken the law. Otherwise there is no legitimate reason for any state to exist, this is very very basic understanding of society.

Mill described very detailed how these things are supposed to happen, if you are interested in liberal theories of social order and government, “On Liberty” can be recommended in this context.

However the government of course shouldn’t, since it should be the executive authority of a country.

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April 24th, 2012, 3:41 pm

 

576. bronco said:

Owen Bennet BBC coming from Syria: Islamist extremists are now an integral part of the opposition. A young activist: Islamists have hijacked our revolution

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/04/24/owen-bennett-syria/player

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April 24th, 2012, 3:50 pm

 

577. bronco said:

#564 Tara

My comment was a response to the article you posted that Turks don’t smile. I still think they don’t. They are far from being cheerful people.
Despite living in an alleged ‘brutal dictatorship’, Syrians in the streets always looked much happier and cheerful than Turks living in a successful ‘democracy’. This may changed with the “freedom of expression” and “tolerance” to gender segregation that will come with the promising “Islamic democracy”
Just listen to the above post from a BBC journalist about women protesters being segregated in demonstrations, a glimpse of the future of Syria in the eventuality of the fall of the ‘regime’ and the certain defeat of the “young idealists’ in securing a secular state ( i.e Egypt) .
Example of “FOE” Adel Imam is in jail…

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April 24th, 2012, 4:00 pm

 

578. irritated said:

571. Halabi

Tit for tat. Qatar’s Al Jazeera lies vs Syria’s Al Dunya lies.

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April 24th, 2012, 4:12 pm

 

579. bronco said:

Juergen

“Do you think todays bomb attack was aimed at the iranian cultural center in Merjeh?”

Yes, I am almost sure it was. The cultural center is just on the other side of the street, less than 20m and it is not protected by any guards. The photo is clear.
It would be an extraordinary coincidence if it wasn’t the target. In my view the perpetrators are Iraqi Sunni terrorists, helped by some opposition sympathizers, who are bringing in Syria their hatred toward Iran’s role in Iraq. It is an act of defiance and provocation.
In the absence of a firm protection of the borders by the army, Syria has become an open country with all sorts of criminals, terrorists, account settlers easily finding collaborators in need of money among the ‘armed opposition’ in a wave of destruction.
Their aim is chaos, not reforms or democracy anymore.

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April 24th, 2012, 4:26 pm

 

580. Alan said:

below Russia gives a signal about that does concessions! it means that there are arrangements with the West and the Syrian problem goes on permission!

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/401281.html

Russia will not supply S-300 missile systems to Syria

MOSCOW, April 24 (Itar-Tass) — Russia will not supply to Syria S-300 missile systems, its arms supplies will be limited to defensive weapons, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday.
“We will continue cooperation in the military technical sphere, and we will fulfill all the existing contracts. S-300 systems are outside them,” he told journalists but did not elaborate on the types of weapons is supplied to Syria.

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April 24th, 2012, 4:27 pm

 

581. Son of Damascus said:

Its all lies, 13,000 Syrians did not die, 100,000 detained were actually sent to Happy Land to enjoy a swim in the wave pool, and all the displaced are just visiting family members…

In the meantime lets just attack western imperialism while giving Russian imperialism the thumbs up, cause the Russians only want whats best for the region and not their interests…

Apologists is too good of word to call them, I believe denialists is a much better term.

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April 24th, 2012, 4:31 pm

 

582. Afram said:

574. Halabi said:
#573
“i do think it should continue to persecute violent opposition members and islamists, who unfortunately keep gaining importance in the conflict.”

No government should “persecute” its citizens.
=========================
Note to Halabi:Islamists agenda is well known dictotership governing under islamic sharia law,citizens & citizenship is not part of their dictionary,they call the people under their rule Ru3att its literally means(colloquially Cattle)

I agree with Karabennemsi that the regime should keep on fighting the:villains,delinquents,evildoers,felons,jihadi hellhounds, hoodlums,lawbreakers,these are outcasts Not citizens

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April 24th, 2012, 4:33 pm

 

583. Son of Damascus said:

Branco,

“In the absence of a firm protection of the borders by the army, Syria has become an open country with all sorts of criminals, terrorists, account settlers easily finding collaborators in need of money among the ‘armed opposition’ in a wave of destruction.”

So let me get this straight, because the regime is FAILING to protect Syrian borders (because they are too busy pounding Syrian cities with shells), and as you say people from Iraq are infiltrating into Syria to get back at Iran with the use of car bombs through the very same boarders that the regime is failing to protect, and this is somehow the fault of the opposition?

Where is the accountability to the regime?

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April 24th, 2012, 4:37 pm

 

584. Alan said:

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/04/recolonization-of-syria-20-years-in.html

Recolonization of Syria 20 Years in the Making

Western corporate-financiers have plotted since at least 1991 to overturn not only Syria’s government, but to topple and co-opt the governments of every nation previously in the Soviet sphere of influence. US Army General Wesley Clark made it known during a 2007 speech given to the Commonwealth Club of California, that in 1991, then Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz said the US had 5-10 years to clean up the old Soviet “client regimes” before the next super power rose up and challenged western hegemony.

Clark would go on to say that shortly after September 11, 2001, while at the Pentagon, a document handed down from the Office of the Secretary of Defense indicated plans to attack and destroy the governments of 7 countries; Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Lebanon and Libya………….

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April 24th, 2012, 4:39 pm

 

585. Son of Damascus said:

Afram,

“the regime should keep on fighting the:villains,delinquents,evildoers,felons,jihadi hellhounds, hoodlums,lawbreakers,these are outcasts”

But what if the regime and their paramilitary units are guilty of the same crimes, who persecutes them exactly?

And wouldn’t the regime that is known to lie and manipulate repeatedly use such an excuse to keep going after innocent civilians that are only guilty of not supporting this brutal regime?

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April 24th, 2012, 4:41 pm

 

586. Juergen said:

Bronco

I remember the spot, though i never saw much activities going on there, i bought a book once there, the political testament of Khomeni, such things do exist… How do the locals call this most ugly half finished ruin building which is just across from the center? ( it makes the once wonderful Merjeh look small) I heard the story that since the crackdown of the ichuan rebellion the government didnt allow this construction of an major mosque and islamic center to be finished.

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April 24th, 2012, 5:04 pm

 

587. bronco said:

#579 Juergen

I checked with people who saw the explosion. The bomb was placed around 150 m from the Iranian cultural center, and not 50 m. Yet, it may have been a warning.

The mosque is being ‘finishing’ for the least 6 years while the building is still there, unfinished and ugly.

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April 24th, 2012, 5:31 pm

 

588. bronco said:

SOD

“Where is the accountability to the regime?”

What about the responsibility of the opposition supporting and applauding armed gangs killing army soldiers, thus leaving the borders unprotected?
Maybe the FSA should protect the borders, if they claim they want to protect the civilians?

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April 24th, 2012, 6:01 pm

 

589. zoo said:

Big brother Turkey continues lecturing and verbally threatening of ‘isolation’ its regional neighbors, first Israel, then Syria, now Iraq.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-denies-role-in-iraqs-political-crisis.aspx?pageID=238&nID=19210&NewsCatID=338

In the phone conversation, Davutoğlu underscored that al-Maliki’s confrontational attitude would isolate him in the region. Davutoğlu complained about the Iraqi leader’s statement against Ankara which said “Turkey was becoming a hostile country.” Even the Syrian leader has not made such a statement, the Turkish minister told his Iranian counterpart, Daily News learned.
(…)

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April 24th, 2012, 6:10 pm

 

590. Afram said:

@ Son of Damascus
HI
I,m over-whelmingly in favor of an end to this brutal cycle

foreign agents,jihadi hellhounds should be defeated first.

Mission Complete:when the outcasts are out of the picture,the Outcasts are given many opportunities to destroy syria by their khalijee zift sponsors.
I condemn syrian on syria violence..I like round tables dialogue,Burhan likes Chapter 7 of the UN.
The consequences of failure is“bad news”you can see what’s on the horizon…More Zift

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April 24th, 2012, 6:12 pm

 

591. zoo said:

Ataturk’s legacy now includes a “font”, the “Ataturk Typeface”.

http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/features/atatrk-font-becomes-sensation-in-turkey_6283


Turks’ reverence for Mustafa Kemal, who is widely viewed as the savior of the nation, appears to know no bounds. From the beginning, the Turkish state encouraged a personality cult around the leader, endowing him with a larger-than-life persona that remains omnipresent today: His picture hangs in every government office, his image is on every piece of currency, and his sayings and speeches are memorized by schoolchildren across the country. A law that has stood unchanged since 1951 makes “insulting the memory of Atatürk” a criminal offense punishable by up to several years in prison.

And what of the Fort Worth, Texas-based company, Signfonts.com, that designed the Atatürk typeface? Özbalci didn’t reveal to owner Steve Contreras that the handwriting was Atatürk’s until after the font was finished. Because Contreras doesn’t know Turkish and wasn’t aware of the identity of the writer, he was entirely unprepared for the attention it has drawn.

“After I designed the font, Murat Özbalci wrote me and told me that it was a Turkish hero. I really wasn’t even aware that it was a big deal,” he said.

Yet today, many Kemalists fear that the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP), which came to power in 2002, seeks to scale back Atatürk’s progressive legacy. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose wife wears a headscarf, is widely perceived to have an Islamist agenda at odds with a secular, pluralistic society.

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April 24th, 2012, 6:31 pm

 

592. Son of Damascus said:

Branco,

So it is the responsibility if the FSA to protect our borders, Then do you support in arming them so that they can better protect our borders, since the Syrian regime has been incapable of doing so?

If we believe the Syrian regimes rhetoric that armed rebels and terrorists are to blame for all the chaos in Syria, at what point do we hold them responsible for the obvious failure at “securing” Syria? Its been over a year and they have not yet been able to deal with these “infiltrators” that keep causing the carnage and damage we see?

In the beginning people were arguing that the regime was showing “restraint” (if the killing and mowing down of protestors can be considered restraint) against these “infiltrators”, and that is why the government has not succeeded in “finishing” this quagmire. Yet after the “unrestraint security operations” in Baba Amr, Idlib and else where the regime has yet to solve this. When can we hold them responsible for such lapses in the security of our homeland, they are obviously ill-equipped and ill-prepared to deal with the Zionist/Western/Salafi conspiracy that is facing Syria?

My point is which ever side of the fence one might stand on, this so called leadership we have in Syria needs to be changed from the top down. For if you are on the side of the opposition you will see this regime as a corrupt, brutal, and thuggish clan of killers, and if you side with the regime you must hold them accountable for their failures at protecting the national interests of Syria.

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April 24th, 2012, 6:32 pm

 

593. zoo said:

A surprise?

Israeli Foreign Minister: I Worry More About Egypt Than Iran
By: Ben Caspit posted on Monday, Apr 23, 2012
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/04/lieberman-egypt-worries-me-more.html

Israel is worried that the Egyptian revolution may turn against Israel. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sent a warning document to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recommending that three or four special divisions be designated to protect the southern border with Egypt. In his view, the situation in Egypt is worsening and may create pressure on the leadership to unite the nation around an external enemy
(..)

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April 24th, 2012, 6:37 pm

 

594. Son of Damascus said:

Afram,

First I would like to make it crystal clear, being with the opposition DOES NOT mean being a supporter of the SNC. Burhan Ghalioun has proven not to be the decisive leader that the opposition needs as its leader, there are many more qualified Syrians that should be considered over him. (Funny enough my two favourite candidates are Christians, thats why I always find it odd when I am accused of being a MB sympathizer or 3ar3ouri).

“foreign agents,jihadi hellhounds should be defeated first.”

What foreign agents are you talking about exactly, I have read a lot about foreigners infiltrating into Syria to cause chaos but as of yet have not seen credible enough evidence to back up these claims (This holds true for the opposition claims that HA and Iran has supplied fighters to suppress the protesters as well).

There are a lot of rumours, most of them are just that.

As for the Jihadi Hellhounds, I consider the shabeeha to be of the same level. Both are extremists groups that believe in a fundamentalist cause that is poisoning Syria, however you cannot simply eradicate them (for that does not make you any better than them) but persecute them in a real and uncorrupted judicial system with a government that is not guilty of at minimum complicity in the death of thousands of Syrians.

Also it is extremely biased and unrealistic to hold the opposition responsible for most of the destruction and atrocities being committed in Syria when the government has been documented to be using the overwhelming force.

Side note:

I am sure you saw the pictures yesterday of the UN monitoring teams visit to a pro-regime part of Homs, did it not strike you to see that non of the buildings in the pictures showed any scars of shelling and carnage, while anti regime parts of Homs the buildings showed visible scars of shelling?

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April 24th, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

595. bronco said:

#590 SOD

Frankly I am in admiration on the way the regime has been able to resist and protect the major cities from terrorist acts in view of the huge support the armed opposition is getting from Turkey, KSA, Qatar, Turkey, as well as the West extreme sanctions, the West threats, the AL sanctions, the biased media coverage and the terrorist attacks on pipelines, factories and public buildings.
It has intelligently defied the AL plan whose aim was to annihilate its sovereignty, and put Syria on its knees in front of Qatar, the USA and Israel as a failed state. It was able to use its alliance to oppose the conspiracy to humiliate it.
That there are only 2 or 3 hours electricity cuts in major cities is amazing, that Internet and mobile phones work without any interruption, that most of factories in Damascus and Aleppo are working normally, that Hamidieh is buzzing with activity, that there are no strikes, that most foreign embassies are open, these are extraordinary achievements that show that the government is not only protecting its citizens, but that it is supported by its citizens. While in restive areas, where armed gangs are trying to challenge the army, it is unfortunate that these armed gangs hide among the civilians, thus causing civilian casualties, despite the FSA who tend to prefer protecting itself by hiding in Turkey when its elements are cornered and abandon the civilians to bear the violence they have provoked.
The resilience of the Syrian government, its unity in the adversity is not to be ignored as it means that it has the support of the majority of its citizens in Damascus and Aleppo as well as Lattakia, Tartous and many other cities.

It is time to acknowledge that the revolution has failed and it is time for finding a compromise.

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April 24th, 2012, 7:01 pm

 

596. Nour said:

To all those claiming to be part of the “revolution,” I am wondering how you think you can attract fellow Syrians to your cause when you engage in such repulsive, vulgar sectarianism. I haven’t been posting here for a while because of the level that discussions here had reached, and I am quite saddened to see that certain people still insist on maintaining such levels of dialogue and such utterly backwards mentalities. How can you convince us that you want to change Syria for the better, when your writings and declarations are dripping with utter hatred and the most backwards of mentalities?

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April 24th, 2012, 7:02 pm

 

597. irritated said:

592. anwar

and you back in the gutter…

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April 24th, 2012, 7:06 pm

 

598. Tara said:

Bronco

You are admiring the killing of 11,000, the rape, the torture, the savagery, and the brutality? The death of children and mothers? Do you not care about the life of human beings? What can I say Bronco? ……………….Things sometimes better left unsaid.

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April 24th, 2012, 7:09 pm

 

599. Afram said:

593. Son of Damascus said:
Afram,

“foreign agents,jihadi hellhounds should be defeated first.”

What foreign agents are you talking about exactly
========================read>>
TIME:has learned that Abdel Ghani Jawhar, one of the leaders of the Sunni fundamentalist terror group Fatah al-Islam, died in the Syrian city of Qsair on Friday night. The founding cleric of Fatah al Islam, Sheikh Osama al Shihabi, confirmed Jawhar’s death to TIME with a quote from the Koran: “‘We are for allah and to him we return.’ We as Mujahideen are used to being killed

News of his death has been relayed by multiple—and unrelated—sources in both Syria and Lebanon.** According to a fellow fighter, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Ali, Jawhar had been preparing an explosive device to be used against the Syrian army, which had been attempting to enter the rebel-dominated town not far from Homs.
As Abu Ali narrated the tale over Skype, the sound of bombs and explosions could be heard in the background. Jawhar’s bomb went off prematurely, says Abu Ali. “He was killed directly. We wanted to send his body back to Lebanon but we couldn’t because it was torn into pieces.” Instead Jawhar’s fellow fighters were forced to bury what was left of him in a neighboring garden because it was impossible to reach the graveyard during heavy fighting.

According to Abu Ali and another fellow fighter, Jawhar arrived in Qsair two weeks ago with a (((group of 30 Lebanese fighters))).

While many were members of Fatah al-Islam, they were not traveling under the terror group’s banner. Instead they called themselves mujahideen, holy warriors seeking to help fellow Muslims under attack by the Syrian regime. Jawhar, an explosives expert and a charismatic commander, sought to train fellow fighters how make bombs. In the short time he had been in Qsair, says Abu Ali, he was able to set up dozens of improvised explosive devices destined for members of the Syrian security forces. “His aim was to make a tour in all the districts of Syria to teach the fighters on how to fight a guerrilla war.”

For his efforts, Abu Ali calls Jawhar a hero and a martyr. For Syrian rebels seeking international assistance in their battle to force Syrian President Bashar Assad out of office, it’s a public relations headache. The Free Syrian Army, as well as other Syrian resistance groups, has long sought to downplay regime accusations that the rebels are aligned with Islamic fundamentalists and pro-al-Qaeda groups. While Fatah al-Islam has denied any association with al-Qaeda, there are links between the group and individual members. The implication that an al-Qaeda affiliated group is helping Syrian rebels build bombs and foment a guerrilla war could radically alter perceptions in the West, bringing to a halt discussions of arming the rebels and establishing a no-fly zone. “The death of Jawhar on Syrian soil emphasizes the fears of the international community that if they gave weapons to the Syrian rebels they will end up in the hands of radical groups,” says Lebanese University professor and Fatah al-Islam expert Talal Atrissi. “The Syrian opposition will be embarrassed from the fact that such a man is fighting alongside the rebels.”

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April 24th, 2012, 7:58 pm

 

600. bronco said:

#597 Tara

“You are admiring the killing of 11,000, the rape, the torture, the savagery, and the brutality? ”

Did I say that?
No, I don’t as much as I don’t admire the killing of 3,000 of the Syrian army, the sons, husbands, fathers and brothers of Sunnis, Kurds, Druzes, Alawites, and doctors, teachers because of their support for their legitimate government. I don’t admire the tortures and slaughter of the security forces, proudly filmed and published on videos as “successes” and the brutality of so called ‘peaceful victims’ on the other side. The only difference is that these crimes are lauded by an opposition increasingly divided and corrupted by misplaced heroism, greed, dangerous sectarian ideologies and egotism. Facing it, there is an increasingly united government and citizens desillusionned by this messy and macabre “revolution” that brought only misery.

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April 24th, 2012, 8:34 pm

 

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