Truce Shaky but neither Arab League nor West have Better Idea as Opposition Militias Fight Among Themselves

The Annan truce is shaky but neither the Arab League nor the West has a better Idea about what to do in Syria. They opposition militias in the Idlib region are fight among themselves. The growing violence has scared or repulsed many educated and middle-class Syrians, who had been hoping for greater help from outside powers.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the sanctions had depleted Syrian government financial reserves by half.  Egypt’s reserves have also been depleted by half, oddly enough. Juppe said the regime of President Bashar Assad was trying to maneuver around the sanctions and that “we must respond to these maneuvers.” Syrian reserves were reported at 18 billion before the revolt began. The sanctions have been unpopular with most Syrians because of the inflation, scarcity, and monetary collapse that has made the average Syrian much poorer than he was.

 The following article describes how the free Syrian Army militias in Idlib province have taken a beating by the Syrian army and in public opinion because many of them turned to kidnapping, robbery, and fighting among themselves.

نشقاقات واسعة في صفوف ” الجيش الحر” بإدلب وأنباء عن تصفيات قريبة

خاص عربي برس

هل بدأت حروب التصفيات بين ثوار إدلب مع اشتداد تضييق الخناق عليهم من قبل الجيش السوري، وانحسار الغطاء الشعبي عنهم بعد تراكم الأخطاء، ومع قلة الذخائر والأسلحة التي ترشح من الحدود التي بات يطبق عليها حرس الحدود بشكل لافت ؟ وبعد تسليم المئات منهم أسلحتهم والتعهد للسلطات بعدم حمل السلاح والمشاركة في الشغب أو التخريب ؟

أريحا التي تشتهر بأطيب أنواع الكرز السوري، ذاقت الأمرين على يد المسلحين الذين سيطروا عليها ،موسم الكرز الذي كان يصدر إلى الخليج لم يجد من يقطفه العام الماضي ، و مصايف جبل الأربعين حيل بين أهل حلب وبينها، بل إن بيوت الحلبيين تم نهب الكثير منها ، ولم يبق موسر من أصحاب مطاعمها لم يدفع “خوة ” أو يخطف له ابن بهدف الفدية، دخول أبنائها تراجعت كثيراً بسبب الأحداث وقطع طريق اللاذقية حلب الحيوي الذي يمر بالقرب منها عوامل أدت إلى انقلاب المزاج العام، بعد انتشار قصص التعذيب و ” التشبيح ” التي مارسها هؤلاء بحق مؤيدي النظام وحتى الحياديين الذين لم يتحمسوا للثورة.

ومع تسرب اليأس إلى صفوف المسلحين نتيجة صمود النظام وسيطرته العسكرية على معظم الأرض في المحافظة بدأت الأصوات تتعالى في أريحا منتقدة الجيش الحر و مسلحيه وممارساتهم .

أستاذ جامعي طلب عدم نشر اسمه قال: ” حارتنا ضيقة ونعرف بعضنا ، أي جيش حر هم ؟ هل بيت العدل عائلة الجاسوس الإسرائيلي بسام العدل ، أم مسلحي بيت الحرصوني وبيت البخورة ؟ هم عصابات سرقت ونهبت وقتلت ،والناس تريد من الجيش سحقهم ، لكنهم يخافون من الإعدام و التعليق على أعمدة الكهرباء بعد محاكم خنفشارية لمشايخ نصف وهابيين ونصف جهلة… ” .

Addendum (7 hours later) : Thomas Pierret writes in an email

Dear Joshua, I’m writing to warn you against the article you put on your blog today, on Idlib militias fighting among themselves. I’ve read several articles of that kind over the last weeks, always on websites that are strongly pro-regime (Arabi Press is one of them). It might well be pure propaganda, and in any case I wouldn’t take these articles at face value. Best, Thomas

Addendum: Landis replies to Pierret.

Dear Thomas. Many thanks for this cautionary advice. You are absolutely correct to warn against taking pro-government news at face value. There is so much bad, half-truth, and false news coming out of Syria that it is very hard to know what to trust and how to report on it or summarize it. I have been erring on the side of linking to as much as I can, and try to publish contradictory reports next to each other when I can in order to underscore the confusion.  I must confess that this report seemed possible to me as I have reliable reports from friends and relatives who travel through the Idlib region being robbed. Two different co-workers of my brother-in-law stopped by gangs on the Aleppo-Idlib road. Both were Sunnis. They were beaten and robbed. None of them take the highway anymore or travel between the two cities because the roads are considered unsafe. Firas, my brother-in-law, who kept a small apartment in Aleppo and traveled there every week in order to oversee a small clothing factory had to find other work based in Latakia, give up his apartment, and stop traveling to Aleppo. The stories of highwaymen attaching people for money are legion. These stories are at the heart of the article I quote above. This was the reason I went with it and quoted from it. All the same, I do not have independent verification of the militias attacking each other, although I have heard many accounts of people who support the revolution during its firs – and largely peaceful phase – losing confidence in it for the reasons reported in this story and because they fear growing lawlessness the emergence of armed groups who are using revolutionary activities as cover for less savory activities. Of course, this is exactly what the government and security forces who have provoked this violence are hoping for in order to discredit the revolution. One does not want to play into their cynical plans, but equally one does not want to whitewash reality. You warning is important. Government papers have incentive to paint the opposition is criminals and must be read with caution and skepticism.

A FRIEND WRITES:

Recent developments in Aleppo Province. The so called FSA has abandoned its checkpoints in the northern countryside of Aleppo, but these checkpoints remain intact (not demolished). It is not clear yet whether the FSA has abandoned its checkpoints in compliance with Anan’s plan or because it cann’t confront regime’s superior air force and army or both.

Foreign Policy: Who Broke Syria?
Bashar al-Assad did. But the international community and the media made things worse.
BY JAMES HARKIN | APRIL 17, 2012, Foreign Policy

In December, the Syrian National Council seems to have made an orchestrated effort to turn Homs into a Syrian Benghazi…. The council spread stories in the international media, for example, suggesting that the Syrian Army had moved up reinforcements with which to strike the city, and that it had given the rebellious Homsies 72 hours to lay down their weapons or be killed. When I phoned a respected veteran activist in Homs, he told me that the charge simply wasn’t true. Things were bad enough, he said, without having to make up scary stories….

The United Nations bought it. Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that “many voices are warning that a major assault” on Homs is about to begin, that a further military buildup had already begun. ……

If there was a strategy to internationalize the conflict, however, it failed. The United Nations could do nothing, but the promise that it might may have put ordinary activists and Free Syrian Army rebels in the city at even greater risk. Many were led to believe that help was coming, when it most definitely wasn’t….

….Nor is it lost on them that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are so democratically backward as to make the Syrian government look like a hippie commune. The SNC’s apparent decision to accept money from the Gulf States to pay salaries to Free Syrian Army guerrillas sounded breathtakingly arrogant, and makes for shockingly bad politics. Not only does lend credence to the conspiracy theories peddled by the government that the uprising is the handiwork of foreign agitators; it risks splitting the indigenous opposition movement and empowering exactly the kind of Sunni extremist groups who are most likely to stoke sectarian tensions.

Whatever the Syrian government now says, the influence of these extremist Sunni factions is currently marginal, even inside the Free Syrian Army. Most of the military defectors are simply conservative Sunnis from farming communities. But Syria is currently exhibiting a brand new irony of our post-war-on-terror era. The secular Syrian liberals and leftist groups that have most in common in Western values don’t want NATO intervention, while it’s exactly the kind of people who don’t much like us — the aging remains of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the newer, more radical Sunni salafists — who are begging for our help.

Who knows: If the unthinking drift toward creating neo-mujahideen in Syria and Iran (a strategy advocated by Foreign Policy’s own James Traub) continues, following a decade in which radical Sunnis became America’s Public Enemy No. 1, Osama bin Laden might have to be posthumously converted back into the freedom fighter America saw him as in the 1980s, marching into battle to drive out one of the last vestiges of godlessness in the Middle East.

Fox News: Syria regime’s finances cut in half by sanctions
2012-04-17

PARIS – France’s foreign minister says an array of international sanctions targeting Syria’s repressive regime have depleted its financial reserves by half — and Damascus is actively trying to evade them. Alain Juppe called Tuesday for a solid …

France24 (EN): Al-Assad’s ‘modest and sensitive’ cousin publishes romantic thriller
2012-04-16

Al-Assad’s ‘modest and sensitive’ cousin publishes romantic thriller By Tony Todd the 16/04/2012 – 18:30 While President Bashar al-Assad suppresses an uprising in Syria, his first cousin has written a romantic thriller warmly praised by Paris …

SYRIA’S 31 PERCENTERS: HOW BASHAR AL-ASAD BUILT MINORITY ALLIANCES AND COUNTERED MINORITY FOES
By Phillip Smyth April 15, 2012, MERIA

As the Syrian revolution against Bashar al-Asad’s rule enters its first year, Asad appears to have a good command over Syria’s large and fractious minority community. Three of the most prominent minority groups include the Christians, Druze, and Kurds. Asad’s control of these groups was not happenstance but the result of a number of hard- and soft-power moves executed by the regime. These calculations did not simply involve direct internal dealings with said minorities, but also outreach to their populations living in neighboring states and abroad. Due to the regime’s many policies, minority support may continue for some time.

Foreign Affairs: Alawites for Assad
2012-04-16

Since the start of the revolt in Syria, the country’s Alawites have been instrumental in maintaining President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power. A sect of Shia …

The Alawites’ loyalty to Assad today is hardly assured, however. Despite popular notions of a rich, privileged Alawite class dominating Syria, the country’s current regime provides little tangible benefit to most Alawite citizens. Rural Alawites have struggled as a result of cuts in fuel subsidies and new laws restricting the sale of tobacco — their primary crop for centuries. Indeed, since the provision of basic services by the first Assad in the 1970s and 1980s, most Alawite villages — with the exception of Qardaha, the home of Assad’s tribe, the Kalbiyya — have developed little. Donkeys remain a common form of transport for many, and motor vehicles are scarce, with dilapidated minibuses offering the only way to commute to the cities for work.

Some Alawites are explicitly breaking ranks. Last September, for example, three prominent Alawite sheikhs, Mohib Nisafi, Yassin Hussein, and Mussa Mansour, issued a joint statement declaring their “innocence from these atrocities carried out by Bashar al-Assad and his aides, who belong to all religious sects.” According to Monzer Makhouz, an Alawite member of the Syrian National Council, a leading opposition group, Alawites are joining protests in the coastal cities of the Alawite territory. And in recent weeks, evidence has emerged of defections of Alawite soldiers and intelligence officers, seemingly from less privileged Alawite tribes, who have described themselves as “Free Alawites” and called for other Alawites to join them. …

Two Car bombs exploded in Aleppo on Tuesday killing 5 and wounding 16.

Salon: Syrian rebels’ man in D.C.
2012-04-17

Radwan Ziadeh fled Syria with his wife via the Jordanian border in October 2007. He had come to Washington many times before that, for conferences dealing with his work on Syrian politics. But upon returning to his homeland after one Washington …

ASSAD CONTINUES ATTACKS ON THE OPPOSITION
By Jeffrey White – WINEP
April 17, 2012

Data from one of the key Syrian opposition groups, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), shows a persistent pattern of violent, armed regime actions against the people despite the ceasefire that supposedly went into force last week:

The regime has effectively continued its struggle against the armed and unarmed opposition, even using heavy weapons at times, though less frequently than before. Around twenty people are dying each day since the beginning of the ceasefire.

From Friday through mid-Sunday, the LCC reported some sixty-eight violent regime actions across the country. All major centers of opposition were targeted: Aleppo, Deraa, Homs, the Damascus countryside, Idlib, Deir al-Zour, and Hama. Regime tactics included shelling of cities with heavy weapons (artillery, tanks, and BMP armored vehicles), shooting at demonstrators and other individuals, raids with armored vehicles on opposition towns and neighborhoods, breaking up demonstrations with gunfire, physical assaults on demonstrators, and arrests.

The widespread use of violent tactics will be a challenge for the UN monitoring mission, even if it reaches its projected strength of 250. The regime’s actions also suggest that it has no intention of negotiating anything but the opposition’s surrender.

A FRIEND WRITES:

Recent developments in Aleppo Province. The so called FSA has abandoned its checkpoints in the northern countryside of Aleppo, but these checkpoints remain intact (not demolished). It is not clear yet whether the FSA has abandoned its checkpoints in compliance with Anan’s plan or because it cann’t confront regime’s superior air force and army or both.

COULD THE GULF STATES INTERVENE IN SYRIA?
By Michael Knights – winep

If the Gulf states decide to aid the Syrian armed opposition, they have considerable equipment and expertise they could bring to bear.
******************************
The participation of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the Libyan conflict demonstrated the Gulf Cooperation Council’s activism and capability. In recent months, therefore, speculation has focused on possible GCC intervention in the Syrian civil war. On February 27, Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told the Friends of Syria conference in Tunis that “we should do whatever is necessary to help [Syrian oppositionists], including giving them weapons to defend themselves.” On March 31, Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal echoed this statement: “The arming of the [Syrian] opposition is a duty.” What capabilities, then, would the Gulf states bring in terms of support to armed proxies? And what would be the risks related to their intervention?

BACKGROUND
External security assistance to states and substate groups can be divided into two broad categories: foreign internal defense (FID) and unconventional warfare. FID support comprises security assistance provided to a government for the purpose of overcoming insurgent or terrorist groups, while unconventional warfare refers to support provided by external actors to the insurgents. In either case, foreign support may include provision of training, equipment, or operations, in some cases via direct involvement of foreign combat forces.
GCC states have a significant track record in FID and are quickly gaining experience in unconventional warfare missions. Both FID and unconventional warfare accentuate funding, technology, airpower, and special forces — attributes possessed by the Gulf Arab monarchies. Likewise, factors that have traditionally hindered GCC military effectiveness — limited manpower, inability to field large numbers of high-quality units — are deemphasized. The partial deniability afforded by the use of militant proxies is also attractive to the cautious Gulf monarchies.

PRECEDENTS FOR SYRIA INTERVENTION
Saudi Arabia offers a significant pedigree in terms of unconventional warfare campaigns: ..

Why Turks don’t smile

A Turkish friend of mine who has lived in the United States for many years once told me an amusing experience of hers. After more than a decade in the land of freedom, she came back to Istanbul for a few weeks. While strolling the streets, she inadvertently smiled at people with whom she came face to face. In return, though, she did not get the polite response that she was used to. Instead, the women she smiled at looked surprised, and worse, the men she smiled at looked aroused.

“I realized that those men took my smile as a sexual hint,” my friend told me. “One of them even began to follow me in a very excited mood!”

Soon, my friend wisely adapted to the Turkish manners: In this country, you don’t smile at strangers. You simply look the other way, and, if you come eye to eye, you try to look tough.

For a while, and as a sociologist-wannabe, I have been wondering why this is the case. Gradually, I have become convinced that this no-smile attitude tells us a lot about the nature of Turkish society: As surveys also prove, this is one of the places on earth in which people trust each other the least. Hence, they can easily see other members of society as potential threats or even enemies.
But why? Are Turks inherently rude, antisocial or nasty people?

Not really. Quite the contrary, Turks are famous for their hospitality and generosity, and they are also known to be very loyal to their friends.

But there is a catch here: Turks are very good to people that they know well, such as their family and kin. Yet, for the people with whom they are less familiar, their attitude dramatically changes. In other words, if they see a familiar face on the street, they go out of their way to show affection. For unfamiliar faces, however, they have nothing but suspicion.

This social reality of Turkey seems to tell us a lot about the nature of its politics as well: Here, every political camp is filled with contempt and paranoia for the other camps. (In the 1970s, this led the country to near civil war; …..

Burhan Ghalioun’s email hacked. Published by al-akhbar. No real surprises

http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/62452

■ رياض الأسعد مغرور ويجب إيجاد قيادة جماعية
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/62451
■ الخارجية الأميركية تقدم الاستشارات لغليون وقضماني
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/62449
■ هكذا يخاطب «رئيس المجلس» سعود الفيصل

http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/62450

Fred Hof email … Saud Alfaisal …

عرض الإخوة الطريقة التي تعامل بها العقيد رياض مع اللجنة وأظهروا الجانب الفوقي في العلاقة التي أظهرت غروره وأنه يجب علينا إيجاد قيادة جماعية لضمان حسن سير العمل، حيث تصرفات العقيد لا توحي بالأريحية بالتعامل معه

2- محاولة اغتيال د. سمير جعجع

قرار: إصدار المكتب الإعلامي بيان إدانة وأن هذا العمل اعتاد النظام القمعي في دمشق القيام به، وأن هذه الأعمال للنظام القمعي بسوريا لن تمر بدون عقاب وإرسال رسالة الى د. سمير (للتهنئة) بسلامته (د. بسمة)

8- فواتير بسام كويفاتي ومطالبة الأستاذ هيثم المالح بها تم حلها مع صاحب العلاقة مباشرة وصرف له مبلغ 10 آلاف دولار وانتهت القضية

Comments (171)


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1. Jad said:

From the previous post:

Very good interview with Jihad Makdissi, however, CBS only showed 20sec out of almost 20min interview, yet they keep whining that there are no press in Syria….
Isn’t it obvious that the mainstream media reporters are not interested in hearing the answers of their questions or to know anything about the truth:

CBS Part 1
http://youtu.be/N-odkP1FYDY

CBS Part 2

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April 18th, 2012, 1:49 am

 

2. Jad said:

blue beret This is for our SC Moderator who is doing a magnificent work for all of us, I stole it from a friend of mine but I won’t link his page.

Sorry Mr. Moderator you have to accept it without a link.

Thank you for your hard work :)

قالت الممحاة للقلم: كيف حالك يا صديقي..؟
رد القلم بغضب: انا لست صديقكي….
قالت بدهشه….لماذا…
…رد القلم :لانني اكرهك قالت بحزن…..و لما..؟
قال لانك تمحين ما اكتب ……….
… … قالت :انا لا امحو الا الاخطاء
قال لها…..و ما شأنك انتي ……
قالت :انا ممحاة هذا عملي
قال: هذا ليس عملا قالت :عملي نافع مثل عملك
قال القلم:انتي مخطئه و مغروره
قالت :لماذ ا قال : لان من يكتب افضل ممن يمحو…
قالت: إزالةُ الخطأ تعادلُ كتابةَالصواب….
رفع القلم رأسه وقال: ولكنني أراكِ تصغرين يوماً بعد يوم… قالت: لأنني أضحّي بشيءٍ من جسمي كلّما محوْتُ خطأ .. قال القلم محزوناً: وأنا أحسُّ أنني أقصرُ مم كنت…
قالت الممحاة تواسيه: لا نستطيع إفادةَ الآخرين، إلا إذا قدّمنا تضحية من أجلهم… ثم نظرت الممحاة إلي القلم بعطف بالغ قائلة: أما زلت تكرهني؟…
ابتسم القلم وقال: كيف أكرهك وقد جمعتنا التضحيات………

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April 18th, 2012, 2:12 am

 

3. Son of Damascus said:

blue beret Moderator,

How dare you be fair in your moderation?

Do I need to get a wasta (special permission) from the Doctor, to make you less fair and more biased?
Or do I need to slip you some money so you look the other way?

You must understand we Syrians despise being treated equally, we must be treated differently and always made to feel special. We are always right, even when we know we are wrong, actually especially when we are wrong.

Which route will you take to quell this little “uprising” you got on your hands, will you continue to be the moderate moderator, or will you turn into the terminator and strike us with the mighty Banhammer?

Until then you will keep hearing both sides saying: ” El Shaab of SC ureed isqat el moderation!!!”

(This is a tongue in cheek post, I really do appreciate the time you VOLUNTEER to make this space a civil place for Syrians to discuss. THANK YOU!!)

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April 18th, 2012, 2:19 am

 

4. William Scott Scherk said:

Son of Damascus! Stay and say more, please …

I read more at Syria Comment these months. I liked when the site went down from some spy attack and there appeared a flood of pictures from Alex (whom I miss) and Juergen (beautiful black and white photos of Syria).

I wish the moderator could allow pictures from us more often, and I wish I heard more from the Walls blog.

I also have more: a wish that peace takes hold after a ceasefire and elections are postponed and a real National Dialogue takes place and pardons start flying out of the Palace and the prisons are inspected by the Red Crescent and charges are filed against people for atrocities, detainees go home and food comes in and deeply traumatized get help and truths get told … and I hope somehow, some way, by some fortune, that Syria can get from here to there with no more blood.

But there are demons abroad right now, demons prowl, demons mask and demons snarl, whether instigators or stooges or currents of hate and exclusion, and after forty years, the authoritarian machine will not easily be dismantled. Imagine when North Korea’s regime totters into the ditch, when Belarus finally cracks, when reformists take control of the Douma, when China is free and Cuba comes home to the world.

Then maybe I could understand Syria giving up forty years of devotion to the Baathi playbook.

I was most heartened by a start of honest discussion of Alawites — and their needs for protection after abuses at the hands of the Baathis and the Assads.

I was encouraged my Mawal95’s first stab at explaining Alawis, and how the pie of opinion actually stands in Syria, how the round table will be populated, how accomodations will be made, who will be let in and so on. There is goodwill and good sense on the nuts and bolts of a new constitutional state in Syria, I think.

I see and I wish for, in my minds eye, the Syria border and customs controls, sometime soon, where The List is given up, the detainess meet the exiles at the airport, where the old Walls fall as it did in other countries, when people at long last have one tangible sense that a page has been turned and that justice is closer at hand. When apologies and trials are announced and televised. When Syrian television dares tell the whole Syrian truth. When the bloggers come out of torture, when the disappeared walk free and the unidentified dead in mass burials are identified by forensic investigation.

Wishes, Son of Damascus, wishes.

Do I foresee peace in the near future in Syria?

Sadly, no, at least not from reading here. There is too much hatred and disinformation and abuse and denial of atrocities by Assad security and military forces and irregulars (the so-called Shaheeba). The old order is firmly in control and intends to keep it so. By any means. With or without a ceasefire, it intends to endure and manage everything forever.

My favourite picture of Syria, haunting and beautiful. I demand that this useless moderator publish it.

If this ceasefire holds, if it really holds, if the destruction is laid bare, the need for truth and reconciliation becomes urgent in Syrian breasts, I see hope for Syria.

Otherwise, I am silent. Only Syrian will can solve Syrian problems. And the game of shelling, arrests, torture, propaganda, civilian casualties and terror seems the only game in town. From the regime side above all, all is power, gunnery, arrest and control.

All for Syria.

Then, elections. :)

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April 18th, 2012, 2:52 am

 

5. Antoine said:

If these type of posts continue to appear by Dr. Landis, especially the misleading title and ill-informed paragraph in Arabic ( a first-hand account, at that), Syria-Comment is fast on the way of becoming Tartous-Comment or Jabal-Comment.

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April 18th, 2012, 3:19 am

 

6. Antoine said:

MAWAL 95,

I am counting on you to post links to videos of pro-regime rallies in the following towns in Syria :

Manbij, Al-Baab, Safirah, Deir Hafir, and Khanasir in Aleppo Province.

Salamiyah, Kubaybat, al-Saan, Mhradeh, and Kafr Buhum, in Hama Province

Al-Boukamal, al-Qouriyah, and al-Mayadin, in Deirezzor Province

al-Qaryatayn in Homs Province.

I am counting on you, bcomz my knowledge of the Arabic alphabet is deficient.

I should add that should you fail to post videos of pro-regime rallies in above-mentioned towns, I would conclude that there is no significant pro-regime sentiment in those towns.

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April 18th, 2012, 3:24 am

 

7. Alan said:

كل عام وسورية غنية بأبنائها، مطمئنة بإخلاصهم، فخورة بحبهم، عامرة بعملهم، سالمة بوعيهم

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April 18th, 2012, 3:52 am

 

8. Alan said:

“Imagine when North Korea’s regime totters into the ditch, when Belarus finally cracks, when reformists take control of the Douma, when China is free and Cuba comes home to the world.”

Сasually didn’t forget couple of tens countries to add such as Iran, Venezuela and all her allies in Latin America, Pakistan, India, Russia, etc.

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April 18th, 2012, 4:04 am

 

9. Antoine said:

MAWAL 95

Please refer to my comment # 6 on this page….I shld add that ou should especially try to post videos of pro-regime rallies in the towns of Mhradeh and Kafr Buhum in Hama….both these towns are 95 % Christian…..and should you fail to do so, I would asume most Christians in Syria are not pro-regime.

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April 18th, 2012, 4:56 am

 

10. Alan said:

8. ALAN
ثمانية نقاط لعالم التمنيات و الأحلام و نقطة واحدة من معارض
هذا مؤشر على بعدنا عن العالم الحقيقي و خضوعنا لتأثير الدعاية الوردية !
يجب أن نتعامل مع العالم بوضعه و حاله الراهن و لا نحاول أن نحوله لطاحونة دون كيشوت !
من المتوقع بعد اجراء الانتخابات الأمريكية زيارة الرئيس الروسي بوتين الى الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية سيعقبها مرحلة انفراج في العلاقات الدولية لننتظر و نرى !

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April 18th, 2012, 5:20 am

 

11. Mina said:

From the beginning of the post above: “They opposition militias in the Idlib region are fight among themselves.”

Alan, get out of hiding! Nice to see it’s not only me who is making too many mistakes when I write too fast.

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April 18th, 2012, 5:41 am

 

12. Juergen said:

William

I have an flickr album where i collected some picture which I took during the years, i do love the so called dead cities nearby Aleppo, the sandstone used in the buildings is amazing,one could alone spent two weeks to visit this area.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/79175621@N05/sets/72157629844472159/

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April 18th, 2012, 5:53 am

 

13. Juergen said:

Salafists threaten Egypt with an Islamic revolution

As three candidates were rejected by the election council, the election seems to be endangered

http://translate.google.at/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fpolitik%2Fausland%2F0%2C1518%2C828197%2C00.html

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April 18th, 2012, 6:08 am

 

14. Juergen said:

Batta video

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April 18th, 2012, 6:29 am

 

15. Alan said:

أليس بسام كويفاتي هو واحد من جماعة جان و كميل كويفاتي للألبسة الجاهزة جامعو الأموال الذين فروا الى خارج القطر ؟

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April 18th, 2012, 7:28 am

 

16. SyrianPatriot said:

More on the Syrian E-Mail wars on the english al-akhbar website:

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syria%E2%80%99s-email-wars-opposition-leaks

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April 18th, 2012, 7:39 am

 

17. Alan said:

Boris Dolgov, a Senior Researcher with the Center for Arabic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, talks about the Syrian opposition, which has arrived in Moscow to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_04_18/72143556/
Syrian opposition in Moscow Audio report

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April 18th, 2012, 8:14 am

 

18. Alan said:

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_04_18/72135008/
‘Friends of Syria’ are not to assess implementation of Annan plan – Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, is concerned about attempts by the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ group to assess the implementation of the Kofi Annan plan for a settlement in Syria.

When addressing a press conference in Moscow earlier today, Lavrov pointed out that the plan was approved by the UN Security Council, and it is therefore for the Security Council to assess its implementation on the basis of reports by the UN monitors in Syria.

In this context, Sergei Lavrov urged the UN Secretary-General not to postpone the submission to the Security Council of proposals for the format that the mission of monitors should operate in when supervising the observance of the ceasefire in Syria.

The Russian Foreign Minister called attention to recent news reports to the effect that the fighters of the so-called Free Syrian Army are using refugee camps in Turkey to prepare attacks on Syrian checkpoints.

“Friends of Syria” ministers to discuss tougher sanctions against Assad

Foreign ministers of France, US, Turkey and several Arab Gulf states are due to discuss tougher sanctions against Syria at the upcoming Paris meeting, US state department acting spokesperson Mark Toner said, adding that the US hoped to mount more political and economic pressure on Syria’s strongman Bashar al-Assad.

Mark Toner also stressed that the ministers would do their best to ensure that harsher actions are imposed on the Islamic Republic.

On Thursday, France will be holding a foreign ministers meeting, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to increase the pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s regime and urge it to adhere to Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

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April 18th, 2012, 8:39 am

 

19. Tara said:

Bronco

If you have not read the email sent by the moderator to some of us, please do.  It is heart-lightening.

For the record, I have very frequently if not always addressed you as “YOU”.  I have on many time cross questioning you, have personalized the discussion, and have asked you the very same question in many shapes and forms.  This was my way to establish “trust”…. that your indignation is not fake and that your views and support are genuine, regardless whether I agree or not, and you have always been polite and gracious.  So yes, I take full responsibility…        

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April 18th, 2012, 8:58 am

 

20. Alan said:

DIFFERENT OPINIONS
The Syrian conflict as a school of diplomacy
http://rusemb.org.uk/opinion/11

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April 18th, 2012, 9:03 am

 

21. Alan said:

also
An article by V.Naumkin “Eternal “Spring”
http://rusemb.org.uk/opinion/4

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April 18th, 2012, 9:08 am

 

22. bronco said:

#19 Tara

Reading the email, I understand the moderator point of view and I know it is not often easy to detect bitter and destructive exchanges from just direct and genuine exchanges. In written messages, the lack of the tone of voice makes a big difference.

blue beret I hold no one responsible for my been scolded, not even myself. It is part of the risk of being in a public blog and to show openly one’s cards.

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April 18th, 2012, 9:08 am

 

23. zoo said:

Let Turkey and Arab money do the job?

Assad: An Arab Problem
The U.S. doesn’t have a big role to play in Syria.
By Buck Sexton
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/296200/assad-arab-problem-buck-sexton

As Bashar Assad toys with the ill-fated United Nations peace plan for Syria, some have called for a U.S.-led intervention in yet another Arab conflict. Some support American action as a strategic opportunity to deal a deathblow to Iran’s favorite proxy; others push on purely humanitarian grounds. But all of them ignore a fundamental reality: Assad is an Arab problem. This is their fight, not ours.

… And those who believe America has a moral obligation to act largely assume that an effort intended to be a replay of NATO in Kosovo, 1999, won’t turn into America in Beirut, 1982. By getting too involved, we could very make well make things worse — in a country with chemical weapons, no less.

In addition, our historical culpability for the Syrian mess is markedly different from other Arab Spring states. Unlike Egypt, where it was Uncle Sam’s dollars and friendship that helped keep a pro-Western despot in power for decades, Syria has long been the junior-varsity member of the Axis of Evil. The Alawite kleptocrats running the show in Damascus have kept their country on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1979. Assad is not a U.S. puppet, but a hobgoblin.

… But America shouldn’t do the heavy lifting for largely Islamist insurgents in Homs or Hama.

In a region that generally soaked itself in post-colonial pity until the Arab Spring, a unique opportunity presents itself for Muslims to take the reins and free an oppressed Sunni population.

Geography will probably determine a lot for the fate of Syria. With the exception of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria’s neighbors are turning against Assad, and apart from Israel, all happen to be Muslim-majority states. Assad is a Ba’athist dictator surrounded by Muslim militaries and seasoned insurgents with more than enough resources to hasten his departure, if they throw themselves into the task.

With that in mind, Turkey also has to play a leading role. As a NATO member, it has the capability to protect refugees and work effectively through diplomatic channels, though actively arming anti-Assad fighters will probably be left to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
….
… We want freedom for all peoples, but we can’t ensure it through force of arms, and shouldn’t try. It’s time for Washington to establish a bright line between protecting Americans’ liberties and assisting Muslims and other oppressed peoples in fighting for their own.

— Buck Sexton is a former Central Intelligence Agency officer with the Counterterrorism Center and the Office of Iraq Analysis. Currently, he is national-security editor at theblaze.com.

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April 18th, 2012, 9:17 am

 

24. zoo said:

No fans of Assad, Syria’s Kurds distrust uprising (and the opposition)
By ZEINA KARAM | Associated Press – 6 hrs ago
http://news.yahoo.com/no-fans-assad-syrias-kurds-distrust-uprising-062508466.html
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s Kurds, who have long complained of discrimination under President Bashar Assad, would seem a natural fit to join the revolt against his rule. Instead, they are growing increasingly distrustful of an opposition they see as no more likely to grant them their rights.

Kurdish parties angrily pulled out of a recent conference aimed at unifying the opposition ranks after participants ignored their demands for more rights and recognition in a post-Assad Syria.
(…)
(..)

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April 18th, 2012, 9:20 am

 

25. zoo said:

Syria’s Political Opposition: a report

http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Syrias_Political_Opposition.pdf

Executive Summary

Policymakers must identify and understand Syria’s political opposition, both in exile and on the ground, in order to develop a clear vision of their aims and a better strategy for support. Any successful U.S. policy in Syria should focus on constructing a viable alternative to Assad’s government.

This report provides detailed information on the diverse groupings of the Syrian political opposition in order to inform the international community’s response to the conflict. It distinguishes between the expatriate political opposition and the grassroots protest movement operating on the ground in Syria.

Policymakers must come to the understanding that they may not get the chance to sit across the table from a single opposition party, but rather will have to work directly with the nascent political-military structures that have formed at a local level.
The key to creating an effective national opposition lies in connecting the established national coalitions with the grassroots political movement.

The most well-known and widely recognized established political opposition coalition is the Syrian National Council (SNC). The SNC is based in Istanbul and functions as a loosely-aligned umbrella organization comprised of seven different blocs: the Muslim Brotherhood, the Damascus Declaration, the National Bloc, the Local Coordination Committee (as representatives of the grassroots movement), the Kurdish Bloc, the Assyrian Bloc, and Independents.

The SNC has not meaningfully engaged with local opposition forces, and is losing credibility and influence within Syria as the conflict grows more militarized.
(…)

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April 18th, 2012, 9:25 am

 

26. MM said:

Joshua builds up “journalistic capital” by reporting the truth, then publishes this kind of blatantly false stuff not reported anywhere else.

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April 18th, 2012, 9:34 am

 

27. zoo said:

Libya turning against its saviors

UK minister sued for sending Libyan back to torture
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=29303
..
Lawyers acting for Abdel Hakim Belhadj, once a Libyan rebel fighter on the run who went on to help topple Gaddafi in 2011, say recent evidence indicates that Straw authorized British spies to allow Belhadj to be sent back to Libya without due legal process, something known as rendition.

Now a powerful man in Tripoli, Belhadj says the United States was acting on a tip off from Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, and that the CIA used the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to refuel during the flight.

Belhadj is already suing the British government, the intelligence services and Sir Mark Allen, the former MI6 head of counter terrorism operations.

A report in the Sunday Times quoted sources as claiming Straw, who as foreign minister is formally in charge of the foreign spy service, had personally authorized Belhadj’s rendition to Libya.

Blair said this month he had no recollection of the Belhadj case but the legal action has tested even the steely nerves of Britain’s spy chiefs who now have to ponder whether their decisions will one day be the subject of legal action.
(..))

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April 18th, 2012, 9:45 am

 

28. Antoine said:

27. MM said:

“Joshua builds up “journalistic capital” by reporting the truth, then publishes this kind of blatantly false stuff not reported anywhere else.”

Couldn’t have said it better.

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April 18th, 2012, 9:52 am

 

29. Antoine said:

JAMES HARKIN said :

“….Nor is it lost on them that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are so democratically backward as to make the Syrian government look like a hippie commune.”

Let me correct the typo …” nor is it lost on him that Syria is so dehumanizing as to make Qatar and Saudi Arabia look like a hippie commune”.

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April 18th, 2012, 9:59 am

 

30. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……..The U.S. doesn’t have a big role to play in Syria…”

Sure not…Middle East peace and security, progress and devolepment is nightmare for Israel and U.S. Why would they play any effective role in bringing that to fruition.

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April 18th, 2012, 10:02 am

 

31. Aldendeshe said:

What a bucnh of dimm witted losers…..Where is my MANDO SODA you promised me REVLON?

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April 18th, 2012, 10:32 am

 

32. Afram said:

The fact is Russia’s Lavrov literally saved Syria from spiraling out of control.
the master diplomat care less about if the syrians name a street or their first born after him.history books would do him Justice

the fact is,syria is not arab problem but syrians,to many cooks crooks and Liars in the kitchen,somehow Lavrov left them(3%ZIft+Burhan)looking embarrassed and foolish.

The corrupt three Percenter can go buy Obamas Nobel peace prize

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April 18th, 2012, 10:37 am

 

33. Alan said:

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_04_18/72158389/
UN condemns Syria opposition of human rights abuses

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April 18th, 2012, 11:00 am

 

34. zoo said:

After the failed meeting in Istanbul on 1th april, and an even worse meeting in Paris on the 17th april, the next FOS meeting is planned in Washington.

The very low key meeting in Paris renamed “Sanctions meeting” on 17th April produced nothing worth mentioning. It is not even clear who attended it as no participants list was published. They were qualified as ‘junior officials’. Neither Clinton not Davutoglu were present. The popularity of the FOS is in deep decline.

“At the end of today’s meeting, the group said it would convene again next month in Washington. The final statement offered to lift sanctions on Syrian businesspeople who can show they have broken links with the government. ”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-17/france-says-tougher-sanctions-needed-to-keep-syria-pressure-1-.html

Juppe is trying to gather 14 foreign ministries ‘passing by’ to send one more “strong message” to Bashar al Assad
http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/37211-juppe-says-paris-fms-meeting-to-send-strong-message-to-assad

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April 18th, 2012, 11:40 am

 

35. Afram said:

31. Syrian Nationalist Party said:
“……..The U.S. doesn’t have a big role to play in Syria…”

Sure not…Middle East peace and security, progress and devolepment is nightmare for Israel and U.S. Why would they play any effective role in bringing that to fruition.
===============
Hi.
After israel succeeded in knocking the arab financial capital Beirut in the 80,s out of commission and made Tal-Abib/Aviv in it place,the zionists been living a dream and the arabs in a coma!

Israeli nightmare!? is a joke

some 63 Israeli companies were listed on the NASDAQ..MR.SNP

The arabs are buying their praying rugs and Fawanees Ramadan from China..Time to say alfatiha on arabism and burry their useless 60,s fiery speeches
here is a slogan for you:
‘drop the gun….its time for fun’

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April 18th, 2012, 11:45 am

 

36. zoo said:

Report: Lebanon Refused Opening Qulaiat Airport for Syria Observers
by Naharnet Newsdesk 11 hours ago
http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/37155-report-lebanon-refused-opening-qulaiat-airport-for-syria-observers

Lebanese authorities have refused to allow U.N. observers to land in the defunct Qulaiat airport in the North to give them quick access to the Syrian province of Homs, An Nahar daily reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said the U.N. made the request given that the airport is at close proximity to Homs and could be used for the possible evacuation of casualties.

An advance team of six members already arrived in Syria and is preparing for the deployment of a 30-person mission in accordance with a U.N. Security Council resolution which also calls upon the Syrian government to “implement visibly” all commitments under special envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan — including the withdrawal of all troops and heavy guns from Syrian cities.

A new resolution with a full mandate will be required for the full monitoring mission of more than 200 observers.

The Lebanese decision to refuse the international request came over fears that the Qulaiat airport could be used as a “humanitarian corridor” to aid those in need in Syria, which Lebanon had rejected as part of its policy in distancing itself from the Syrian crisis, An Nahar said.
(..)

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April 18th, 2012, 11:51 am

 

37. DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

syria’s ambassador to the UK poised to defect.

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April 18th, 2012, 11:51 am

 

38. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Syrian Nationalist Party
Metaz K M Aldendeshe
Chief Strategist

@AFRAM – You got it right and wrong, you misunderstood. You are right, Israelis been living a dream, and in fact have a hand in Syria today to complete this big dream, they need no nightmare now like peace, they are happy dreaming.

The Israeli companies NASDAQ listing is not so impressive, most, in not all the technologies or services these companies produces are either stolen or obtained/contract secured through unlawful, or purely unfair practices, or criminal means with shady capital, where is the 2.7 Trillion missing Pentagon cash?. Anyone care to investigate.

Anyway, world economy is heading to the bottomless pit, the next QE3 is coming and nearly 17 trillion some sources reporting, Israeli secured themselves by taking large percentage of sectors that will be suiting the coming decade of economic and social mayhem. Arabs, unless they wake up today, not tomorrow, will bite the desert dust.

If I was the Emir of Qatar, Dubai, UAE or Kuwait, I will be on my knees begging SNP to secure Syria, which means in fact securing and shielding the whole Middle East and Gulf Countries from serious all sorts of troubles coming ahead. The window of opportunity to act is in days not months. These GCC needs to expand it’s cooperation and even security and military with countries like Lebanon and Syria. This is essential to their economy and state survival. When the KAKA hit the fan, it will be too late to act. Israelis knows what is coming and have prepared themselves for that day. If Gulf countries act swiftly now, they can make it and be safe as well.

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April 18th, 2012, 12:24 pm

 

39. ghufran said:

the writer is right,but that goes both ways,regimes should not be allowed to pick and choose their opposition too. the rule of the law,especially when it comes to the use of violence, should dictate who can run and who can not. Iraq tried an exclusionary policy and paid a heavy price,those who advocates exclusion are ” revengists” and do not have a balanced vision for the future.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/18/arab-elections-dangerous-precedent

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April 18th, 2012, 12:29 pm

 

40. Uzair8 said:

@38 DFGIB

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/18/syria-bashar-al-assad?newsfeed=true#block-22

Whatever the case, at least he may have to break his ‘silence’ and reveal his position thus denying him the opportunity to later claim otherwise and gain the benefit of the doubt.

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April 18th, 2012, 12:34 pm

 

41. jna said:

1. Jadsaid:

Very good interview with Jihad Makdissi, however, CBS only showed 20sec out of almost 20min interview, yet they keep whining that there are no press in Syria….
Isn’t it obvious that the mainstream media reporters are not interested in hearing the answers of their questions or to know anything about the truth:

CBS Part 1
http://youtu.be/N-odkP1FYDY

CBS Part 2
http://youtu.be/Tc0uqNQFirA

Jad, I watched all the two part interview. Jihad Makdissi did an excellent job explaining the governments position especially regarding the ceasefire.

But I think he faltered when the interviewer asked him how could there be successful parliamentary election as soon as May 7? It is unrealistic to think these elections could be considered a serious reform with so little time in this chaotic period and with much opposition seemingly not even engaged in elections yet.

The UN team very much needs to develop a (government/opposition) dialogue over this issue and hopefully reach an election agreement which will be strictly UN monitored. But I don’t see how this can happen without the election being postponed or, at the least, a repeat election at a later date. All this assumes that the opposition will engage in either a direct or indirect dialogue.

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April 18th, 2012, 12:59 pm

 

42. Mawal95 said:

@ Antoine: In general, one can only find pro-regime rallies in the capital city of each province, and not elsewhere. For example, Manbij in Aleppo, with a population of well over 100,000 hasn’t had any pro-regime rally that I can find at Youtube, except one smallish event last summer where people drove through the city in cars with flags waving. Salamiya city, with a population of over 100,000, had one large rally on 2 Nov 2011 but it is the only rally that was held in Salamiya this past year I believe judging from a quick look through Youtube search results for حماة سلمية‎ مسيرة . Meanwhile the great majority of the provincial capital cities have had nearly a dozen rallies each over the last year, with high turnout in most cases.

More important than turnout at rallies is turnout at elections: 57% of the population voted in the referendum on 26 Feb 2012; and 41% voted in the Local Council Elections on 12 Dec 2011. Looking forward to the turnout in the Parliamentary Election 7 May 2012 it’s worth having as a reference point that 56% turned out in the Parliamentary Elections in 2007.

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April 18th, 2012, 1:04 pm

 

43. Alan said:

يوم 11 تشرين الثاني 2011، بعث فريديريك هوف، المنسق الخاص للشؤون الإقليمية في مكتب المبعوث الخاص للسلام في الشرق الأوسط التابع لوزارة الخارجية الاميركية، برسالة إلى رئيس «المجلس الوطني السوري» برهان غليون والمتحدثة باسم المجلس بسمة قضماني، يقترح عليهما فيها الآتي: «يجب عليكما أن تلتقيا ميخائيل مرغيلوف»، المبعوث الرئاسي الروسي. في هذه الرسالة، يقدم هوف نصيحة إلى غليون وقضماني، بشأن رجل روسيا الأقرب إلى السياسة الأميركية في الشرق الأوسط، والأقرب كذلك إلى قوى المعارضة السورية وفريق 14 آذار في لبنان.

وفي ما يأتي، نص الرسالة:
العزيزان برهان وبسمة،
اعذراني على دفق الرسائل. علمت انكما ربما ستلتقيان المبعوث الروسي الخاص ميخائيل مرغيلوف. لم ألتق به في السابق، ولذلك تواصلت مع عدد من زملائي الذين يعرفونه طالباً توصيتهم. قيل لي إن اللقاء به امر مجدٍ.
مرغيلوف يجيد اللغة العربية بطلاقة، وهو امضى جزءاً كبيراً من طفولته في المغرب وتونس. لديه صلات جيدة بالرئيس ميدفيديف، ولديه اهتمام قوي بالمصالح التجارية لبلاده في سوريا. يُقال إن شخصيته جذابة، وملتزم، وحريص جداً على أن يظهر منطقياً في ما يقوم به. وهو مطلع إلى حد بعيد. ربما على من يلتقيه ألا يثق بالضمانات التي يقدمها حول قدرته على تنفيذ الوعود. بين من ستلتقيانهما في موسكو، ربما سيكون المبعوث الخاص مرغيلوف الأكثر إرضاءً لكما من خلال ردود فعله على ما ستقولانه. ورغم كونه خبيراً حقيقياً ويتمتع بقدر كبير من الصدقية، إلا انه ليس بالضرورة في صلب عملية اتخاذ القرارات.
بناءً على ذلك: التوصية تقضي بأنه يجب عليكما أن تلتقياه إذا كان ذلك متاحاً. يُقال إن لديه اهتماماً كبيراً بمبادرة الجامعة العربية، ويمكن أن يشكل ذلك عنواناً مناسباً للمحادثات.
أرجو أن تكون هذه المعلومات مفيدة.
أطيب التحيات،
===============================================
لديه صلات جيدة بالرئيس ميدفيديف، ولديه اهتمام قوي بالمصالح التجارية لبلاده في سوريا
كالعادة الأمريكان يتناسو ان الرئيس الروسي بوتين فلاديمير فلاديميروفيتش و رسالة البزنس بالمصالح و الكلام الفاضي لاتزال متعفنة في ذهنية التفكير الغربي !
لا ليس مرغلوف الا مانيجر سابق و بامكانكم رشوته لكن حدودكم ستبقى عند حجمه

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April 18th, 2012, 1:10 pm

 

44. Tara said:

They should start with selling Asma’s fine jewelry first.

Syria selling gold reserves as sanctions bite: sources
By John Irish and Amena Bakr | Reuters – 2 hrs 43 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-selling-gold-reserves-sanctions-bite-sources-143541051–business.html

PARIS/DUBAI (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.
….
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.
Another trader said deals as of yet had not gone through in Dubai because the Emirati authorities were blocking unauthorized trades and few potential buyers were willing to take the risk of these deals.
“We have been getting offers for gold purchases from Syria and North African countries at 15 percent discount, but there are tough restrictions in Dubai that don’t allow any unauthorized trades,” said the trader.

The meeting on Tuesday was aimed in part at tightening up existing sanctions and trying to pinpoint countries that were offering Damascus ways to sidestep them.
The World Gold Council estimates Syria had about 25.8 metric tones of gold as of February 2012, representing about 7.1 percent of its total reserves.
(..))

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April 18th, 2012, 1:23 pm

 

45. Tara said:

Mina,

187. MINA said:
 “I always wondered about the no smile attitude in Syria”
I guess we didn’t visit the same country. Some should try to put a foot out of the Shraton, Hilton and Four Seasons.
Sorry to affirm it again but this is cheap PR propaganda to depict Syria as another North Korea.
——

Mina, I doubt you even visited Syria.  You are self proclaimed tourist.  I am from a deeply rooted Damascene family that has had significant cultural impact on the society.  I am not saying this to “show off” or to sound rude, but it becomes pretty annoying when a “tourist” suddenly becomes a cultural expert and start challenging natives.
   
Also, had the plain went to the wrong address?  There is no Hilton in Damascus…  Can you please familiarize yourself with the issue at hand before commenting.  It would sound better if you do.  Finally, if it was not a typo, it is spelled Sheraton. 

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April 18th, 2012, 1:37 pm

 

46. jad said:

I’m thinking of Pinocchio…

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April 18th, 2012, 1:47 pm

 

47. Tara said:

A Canadian friend of mine who I have never met sent me an email few days ago to tell me his heart aches for Syria…I contrast his email to some misanthropic people who continue to show no respect for the life or dignity of the humans life, and feel very appreciative. Thanks my anonymous friend. Thanks for your empathy. Thanks for reassuring me that the world is still a good place.

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April 18th, 2012, 1:48 pm

 

48. Afram said:

46. Tara said:

Also, had the(plain) went to the wrong address? There is no Hilton in Damascus… Can you please familiarize yourself with the issue at hand before commenting. It would sound better if you do. Finally, if it was not a typo, it is spelled Sheraton
=============
Hi.
are you on a typo Hunt?
relax,(plain)
is spelled plane

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April 18th, 2012, 1:54 pm

 

49. Tara said:

Thanks Afram

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April 18th, 2012, 1:56 pm

 

50. jad said:

Is that for real or his site is ‘hacked’ as usual for these cases, (I think the site is hacked)…however, it’s funny to read:

Anwar Malek, the previous Arab observer apologize for lying in his statement because the emirate of barrels offered him ‘lots’ of money that he couldn’t refuse and he signed his letter with.

Vive Syria Alassad!!! (LOL)

رسالة إعتذار من المراقب السابق أنور مالك إلى سيادة رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية بشار الأسد

سيادة الرئيس بشار الأسد رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية

اعتذر اليكم ومن خلالكم للشعب العربي السوري على ما إقترفته في حقه وحق الجمهورية العربية السورية حيث حنثت بقسمي وخنت الضيافة التي اكرمتموني بها ولفقت لكم تلفيقات لما كنت احد المراقبين ضمن بعثة الجامعة العربية.

فقد أغوتني تلك الاغراءات التي قدمتها لي دولة قطر وسقطت في لعبتها القذرة ضد بلد عربي أحبه وأقدره وأسأت للجزائر والجزائريين قبل أن أسيء للشعب السوري المضياف.

عندما جرى تعييني ضمن البعثة إتصل بي فيصل القاسم وأنا في القاهرة ليعرض علي مكافأة نصف مليون دولار في حال قيامي بتدمير بعثة الجامعة العربية من الداخل لأجل التدويل.

ضعفت في تلك اللحظة لأن المبلغ مغري وقررت أن استجيب لأوامرهم وبقيت على اتصال بفيصل القاسم أمدّه بكل أخبار البعثة حتى جاءني الأمر بعدم مغادرة الفندق وإدعاء المرض لأنه يوجد من يريد قتلي.

ثم أمروني بعدها بستة ايام أن أغادر بعد إقناع الجنرال محمد أحمد مصطفى الدابي بالسماح لي بالذهاب لفرنسا من أجل العلاج فوافق بكل طيبة وصدق يشهد الله أنني ظلمته أيضا. وعندما وصلت الى الدوحة أعطوني ورقة فيها كل ما يجب أن أقوله في البرنامج على المباشر.

الآن صار ضميري يؤنبني كثيرا على ما إقترفت في حق الجمهورية العربية السورية وخاصة بعدما رزأني الله في أقرب الناس عقابا من الله تعالى على ما فبركت من الكذب والبهتان في حق سورية والبعثة العربية.

لذلك اتقدم اليكم سيادة الرئيس بهذه الرسالة أرجو فيها قبول إعتذاري قبل ان تستغل مواقفي السابقة الملفقة ضد بعثة المراقبين الدوليين.

في الأخير أجدد طلب الإعتذار من الشعب السوري على ما وقعت فيه بسبب المال والاغراءات القطرية التي اكتشفت مؤخرا مدى خساسة الدور الذي قمت به. وأتمنى أن يلقى عندكم وعند الشعب السوري كل القبول والعفو.

عاشت سورية الأسد
المراقب المستقيل سابقا أنور مالك
باريس في 18/04/2012

http://www.anouarmalek.com/?p=5829

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April 18th, 2012, 1:58 pm

 

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