Upheaval within the Opposition: Defections, Terrorism, and Preparing for a Phase II Insurgency

The Syrian opposition is reshaping itself following its defeat in Homs. A new leadership seems bound to emerge. In all likelihood, in the new phase of the battle the is shaping up to combat the Assad regime, opposition leaders are likely to champion new tactics of militancy and Islamization.

The opposition will have to rebuild itself to be more Islamic, militant and sectarian in order to take on the Assad regime. Opposition leaders on the ground, those who are actually fighting the regime, have already become more militant and Islamized. If the SNC doesn’t scramble to catch up, it will become irrelevant. I suspect that the upcoming opposition meeting in Turkey this Thursday and Friday (March 22-23) will reflect some of that shift. The recent high level defections within the the Syrian National Council suggest the opposition is responding to these pressures and new demands. The SNC is going through a period of soul searching and transformation in response to the government’s classic “clear and hold” operations carried out in Sednaya, Homs and Idlib.

The future strategy of the Syrian opposition will have to follow the outlines of a classic “phase two” insurgency predicated on guerrilla warfare. This phase is reached when the insurgent movement initiates organized continuous guerrilla warfare in an attempt to push government forces into a defensive role. “Phase three” insurgency is a war of movement. In this phase the insurgent can directly engage government forces and hold territory. The Syrian opposition prematurely tried to hold territory and take on the Syrian Army. This was a bad and costly mistake. In the first year of the Syrian uprising the opposition naively believed that the entire Syrian population would embrace it and abandon the regime or that Bashar al-Assad would hand over power. Based on the example of the North African uprisings, Syrian opposition members incorrectly believed a “Tahrir Square  moment” would arrive within months of the uprising’s start, eliminating the need for a coherent military strategy, a defined leadership, or how to parry government counter-insurgency operations. The passions of Syrians who have tasted little but contempt from their own government led them to rise up in an act of incredible courage. Now, however, the reality of just how difficult attaining victory will be is setting in.

The Assad regime remains vigorous and will last longer than many thought. The reason that mass defections have not destroyed the regime are twofold: sectarian anxieties prevent Alawite defections, and the regime turns out to be more sectarian than many thought; and class anxieties are more important as well.

Members of the Sunni middle and upper classes are not defecting in the numbers the opposition hoped that they would. The reason that neither Damascus or Aleppo have become centers of the revolution is usually attributed to their privileged position in Syrian society. Wealthy Sunnis living in the West have joined the revolution, but that may be because they do not fear the disorder and incompetence of the opposition in the same way as those living in Syria. They have also experienced the freedom and dignity afforded by the rule of law. They look at the brutality of the Assad regime and wonder, “how come we  have this?”

The Syrian revolutionaries are largely rural and young, just as were the Baathists in the 1960s. Wealthy and educated Sunnis fear the results of the present revolution could be the same for them as the results of the last revolution, when Syria’s rural poor took power. They will lose money, status and their quality of life, at least temporarily. If the Lebanon and Iraq revolutions are a guide, that decline could last a long time.

The coming “phase II” insurgency will be characterized by:

  1. the creation of cell-networks that maintain secrecy
  2. Terrorism: these techniques include bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, threats, mutilation, murder, torture, and blackmail. These actions will be used to provoke the government into overreactions that discredit the regime, alienate the populace, and demonstrate its inability to protect them.
  3. multifaceted attempts to cultivate support in the general population, by undermining the regime, proving that the opposition must be feared and will eventually win, and by winning gratitude and trust by providing food and shelter to those in need.
  4. attacks against the government and security forces, such as car bombings in Damascus and Aleppo and the planting of IEDs as in Iraq and Afghanistan will undermine military moral and its ability to move around the country.

In order for the opposition to organize an effective phase II insurgency, it will have to embrace guerrilla warfare and greater Islamization of the resistance. This means  Sunni sectarian recruitment, Islamic martyrdom operations, and all the aspects of Middle Eastern insurgency that we have seen used so effectively against occupation forces in the recent past, whether used by Palestinians, Afghans or Iraqis. Elements of the SNC who are unhappy with the way the Ghalioun has

The role of Burhan Ghalioun and members of the Syrian National Council closest to him, such as Ausama Monajed and Bassma Kodmadi, is bound to diminish or change in the coming phase of the struggle. They must be prepared to embrace a much more stridently Sunni insurgency. The regime has proven its viciousness.  The secular leaders of the SNC have been very successful at mobilizing the West against Assad. They have gotten sanctions put in place and the regime has been isolated internationally. But they look down on religion and warfare.

Kamal Labwani, a leader of the Syrian opposition who quit the Syrian National Council last week, accused the SNC of being an “autocratic” organization that has sidelined most of its members. “There is no council, it’s an illusion,” he said. Furthermore he accused council chief Burhan Ghalioun of being like Bashar and “running the organization …. [like] Assad’s ruling Baath party.” Haytham Mallah slammed Ghalioun for being reluctant to support the military effort of the Free Syrian Army. Anwar al-Bunni is worried that the Muslim Brotherhood has become too powerful within the SNC. These are all growing pains as the opposition struggles to keep up with the changes on the ground brought on by the Homs crisis and opposition defeat.

In keeping with the Islamization necessary to recruit financial and military assistance for the revolution, opposition organizers in the West are rallying support from the broader Islamic community by presenting the Syrian struggle in clear religious terms. Quoting from the Koran is key to this. Here are selected quotes from a recent Syrian opposition rally held in Australia. Notice the use of Islamic concepts of martydom, khalifa, the umma, rejection of nationalism, angles coming to the aid of Islamic fighters, blood nourishing the roots of Jihad, etc.

Sunni Shaykhs of Australia Speak at Rally to Gather Support against the Assad Regime

This is a video of the Muslim community protest for Syria held on Jan 21, 2012 at Paul Keating Park, Bankstown, Sydney, Australia. This video is of the entire protest, including all talks, chanting and videos. The following are snippets of the talks:

“We Stand United for the Sake of Allah and for our Brothers and Sisters who are Getting Slaughtered – We are all Muslims who are Worshiping Allah.” “We Ask Allah to Destroy the Assad Regime and his army.” The Muslim Umma stands as one. For one hundred years these dictatorships and these animals have reigned. … The Umma is one step closer to realizing the reality… the reality of the Khilafa to come. Put your trust in Allah. Allah ordains that our brothers and sisters in Syria stand firm, brave and courageous in standing against those who have been oppressing them for the past decades. We can see the wings of angles above Damascus. They will destroy Assad and his regime. Allah insists that his life will continue to exist and the light of his martyrs will continue and the only thing that will be destroy is the life of tyrants and the Assad regime and his army and to revive truth as he promised. God has made us one Umma. It is the Umma of God who is one.”

Remember that the blood of the Martyrs will never be wasted. It will continue to feed the roots of the tree. The prophet said that their will remain a group of my Umma who will fight on the command of Allah to suppress evil and uphold the unity of God.  Brothers in Islam, to remember that the outcome is for the beliefs. The outcome is for the beliefs. to remember the stance of the people of tawhiid. We had our Umma and our scholars stand up for belief against these regimes. When the likes of al-Buti and the likes of al-Hassoun, this dog wearing a turban, stood on the side of the tyrants. Remember that victory will only come with adhering to the book of Allah and his Sunna. Victory will NOTcome with the name of nationalism. Lift your fingers in the direction of God and say there is only one God. Oh Muslims of Syria Victory is near.

 

Al Arabiya: Al Arabiya declined to publish Assad’s ‘very personal emails’
2012-03-16

None of the “very personal emails” of President Bashar al-Assad or his wife Asmaa al-Akhras were aired or published, Al Arabiya said on Friday. The pan-Arab news channel said that many “private” messages were in their inbox among thousands … Al Arabiya said that none of the emails were exchanged with senior military or government officials in the country. There weren’t any exchange of emails with members of the Assad family as well, but most of emails were exchanged with members of his wife’s family and his close friends who belonged to his inner circle….Hundreds of “scandalous” emails were accordingly deleted by Al Arabiya.

Bashar Al Assad’s Wife ‘Could Face Two Year Prison Term’ for Sanctions Busting After Shopping Spree – March 16 (Telegraph)

Syria: Bashar Al-Assad Email Reveals Mystery Near Naked Woman
by Raf Sanchez, March 16 (Telegraph) –

Mystery surrounds a photograph of an near-naked woman posing provocatively that was sent to Bashar al-Assad by a young female political aide. The undated picture shows the woman, clad only in white lingerie, pressing herself against a wall as her clothes lie discarded in a heap at her feet. It was discovered among thousands of emails from the personal accounts of the Syrian president and his wife after their passwords were smuggled out of Damascus by opposition groups. The photograph was sent to Mr Assad on December 11 last year by Hadeel al-Ali,

John Stewart: Homs Despot: Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad’s hacked emails reveal he’ll taunt NATO in the world community, but he won’t f**k with Apple.

Syria: Songs of Defiance – Al Jazeera.Net

An undercover Al Jazeera correspondent takes us inside the lives of Syria’s anti-government demonstrators.

Syria Puts On Mass Rally in Support of Assad
By ANNE BARNARD in the New York Times

“What happened in Homs is betrayal,” Mr. Labwani said in an interview. “There is a sense of irresponsibility on the part of the council.”

The council, he added, was in danger of causing splits in Syrian society by failing to create a single rebel military command under its control, leaving individual militias to seek their own sources of help. He accused Muslim Brotherhood members within the exile opposition of “monopolizing funding and military support.”

The 270-member council has been plagued by internal disagreements. A member of its executive committee, Samir Nachar, played down the latest frictions, saying the members had not submitted formal resignations. One, he said, was simply frustrated at his exclusion from a meeting with the United Nations special envoy, Kofi Annan. Mr. Nachar said Mr. Labwani had attended few meetings.

Mr. Nachar acknowledged the council needed to improve but said disagreements were inevitable, noting that many members had never met before the uprising and had widely varying backgrounds and opinions.

But this time the departing members include some well-known figures with deep credibility among Syrians both inside and outside the country, including Mr. Labwani and Haitham Maleh, an executive committee member and lawyer in his 80s who served many years in prison after defending Syrian dissidents, including Muslim Brotherhood members.

Mr. Maleh could not be reached for comment, but told Al Jazeera that he had resigned because of chaos within the group and doubt over what it could accomplish, adding, “We have not gotten very far in working to arm the rebels.”

Still, the way forward for the opposition seemed unclear. On Tuesday, the Syrian National Council had taken steps to bring the Free Syrian Army under its umbrella. But Mr. Labwani, the council member who is resigning, said the exiles had few ties to the fighters inside. “The Free Syrian Army is the people who are inside Syria,” he said.

He called the council’s head, Burhan Ghalioun, an autocrat who makes decisions “under our names without getting back to us.” Mr. Ghalioun could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Labwani said he had argued that the rebels should be armed only under a single command with the council controlling the finances, but Muslim Brotherhood members had objected.

“It will lead to disaster, especially if the revolution is turned into militias,” Mr. Labwani said.

The other two resigning members are Walid al-Bunni and Catherine Altalli. “The Brotherhood took the whole council,” Mr. Bunni said in an interview. “We became like extras.”

In a kind of warning, Mr. Labwani and Mr. Maleh last month formed a new group under the council’s umbrella.

Tony Karon in Time

…. Looking at the balance of forces on the ground, it’s not hard to see why [Assad] may be feeling lucky, at least in the near term. In recent weeks, he has sent armored units to recapture rebel-held neighborhoods first in Homs and then in Idlib. Having successfully driven opposition fighters outside of those areas they had held for months, he has turned his forces’ attention back to Deraa in the south, cradle of the rebellion. Of course, these operations have exacted a terrible toll in civilian life and suffering, not sufficient to prompt foreign powers capable of intervening to throw off the restraints they have imposed on themselves out of fear of the consequences of plunging into a messy civil war…..

Syrian rebels lack guns, money after key defeats
By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY | Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) — Two significant defeats at the hands of Syrian government troops have exposed the limitations of the country’s rebel forces: They are low on cash, running out of weapons and facing a fiercely loyal military that will fight to the death.

Insisting that their drive to oust President Bashar Assad by force remains strong, the Free Syrian Army says the arms shortage is the main obstacle.

“Send us money, we’re desperate. Send us weapons,” Ahmad Kassem, who coordinates military operations for the FSA, told The Associated Press in an interview. “We don’t need fighters. We have excess men who can fight, but we need weapons to protect our land and honor.”(..)

Saudi Arabia shut down its embassy in Damascus, the Saudi foreign ministry announced Wednesday. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies withdrew their ambassadors in February.

Assad Tells Annan he has three conditions for Cease Fire,”  Shamlife, Thursday, March 15, 2012

  • Armed groups must promise to cease fire
  • Neighboring countries must promise to stop the smuggling of weapons into Syria
  • Countries must promise to stop financing the opposition

علمت صحيفة “النهار” ان “رد الرئيس بشار الاسد على المبعوث المشترك للامم المتحدة وجامعة الدول العربية كوفي أنان في سوريا، تضمن ثلاثة شروط هي، تعهد المجموعات المسلحة وقف النار، تعهد دول الجوار وقف تهريب الرجال والسلاح، وتعهد الدول الممولة للمعارضة وقف تمويلها”. وعندما تتحقق هذه الشروط يوقف الرئيس الأسد العمليات العسكرية ضد المسلحين.

A Chrisian friend from Homs writes of how refugee families are occupying empty apartments.

My family left Homs because of their fear for their lives, some went to Damascus and some to Lebanon and few families went to Marmarita and Amar AL Huson,

My cousin who went to her Daughter in AL Raga, went back to Homs and found people in her house, it is 2 bedroom house so she told them that she needs the house as it is too small for more than her and her family, so they left, another relative of mine in Hameedia, they left first then when they came back they found people in their home so they asked them to leave, they refused and asked the owners my relative to talk to the office in one of the Hameedia restaurant that is occupied , so they went there and asked for their house back, they complied and the office of the armed militia ( i think) asked the people who were staying in the house to leave and give the house back, apparently they occupied the houses of the people who left, I am not sure if they forced the people out, that is what i heard from my family.

Google Ideas Director Involved in ‘Regime Change’

Explosive news: Ex-State Department employee tuned Google director pushes programs supporting regime change in the Middle East. This comes on the back of news that Avaaz’s campaign manager is also ex-State Dept. This really begs the question whether there is a policy decision to infiltrate social media at the top as well. Disturbing stuff…..

Syria’s rebels will have to deal with Assad
By Julien Barnes-Dacey
Senior Policy Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, European Council on Foreign Relations, www.ecfr.eu

No one wants to deal with dictators. But one year after the Syrian uprising began, the harsh truth is that Bashar al-Assad maintains the upper hand and the opposition – with its international backers – may have little choice but to cut a deal with him if they want to ease the Syrian people’s suffering.

Through brutal suppression, cynical sectarian mobilisation and continued support from Russia and Iran, the regime has maintained its grip on power. Mr Assad has lost most of his legitimacy and Syria’s economy is crumbling but, so long as the regime has internal cohesion and external support, it is unlikely to collapse soon. The headlines accorded the recent defection of a powerless deputy minister have only served to highlight the struggle facing the opposition.

Short of unlikely direct foreign intervention, the worst scenario Mr Assad faces is prolonged civil war, particularly if foreign powers arm the opposition as demanded by the Syrian National Council and Free Syrian Army. But without artillery and air support, the balance of power is unlikely to change quickly. Moreover, while this route could eventually help the rebels to a military victory, it may further empower Mr Assad among his internal and external backers, by providing a justification for regime violence. The one certainty is that an already horrific toll will increase exponentially, as it did in civil wars in Iraq and Lebanon.

From a humanitarian perspective, then, it is urgent to find a political solution….

For Russia – as well as China and even Iran – to change tack and to press Mr Assad to implement a ceasefire, the opposition will have to consent to direct talks with the regime, not preconditioned on Mr Assad’s immediate departure or on that of regime forces from urban centres. In effect, the initial price will be an outcome that favours the regime’s position on the ground. Distasteful as this will be, there is no other way to end the bloodshed. However, if Mr Assad was to agree a ceasefire, even if he remains in power, he will be far more marginalised internationally and under severe pressure to comply. Such an outcome could ease the entry of humanitarian aid and of a new, enhanced team of monitors.

More positively, such a deal could prepare the ground for a political process, however difficult, that could swing the balance in the opposition’s favour. After four decades of repression, a vibrant, politically mobilised population is now intent on seizing its own future. The state of fear has been broken. This is a force Mr Assad is unable to resist except by violence. A political track may therefore be a surer way of ultimately ending the regime.

The regime could of course renew its violence, but commitments by Syria’s protectors – principally Russia and China – to the process, as well as continuing western economic and political pressure, would make it harder for Mr Assad to extricate himself. A political process could also help erode internal support by persuading senior Alawites to support the Arab League transition plan, under which Mr Assad would step down. It should be remembered that Yemen’s transition plan only succeeded on the basis of talks with President Abdullah Saleh.

While the SNC and FSA reject talks with the regime, many Syrians – including activists – already think political dialogue is the best means of averting a devastating civil war. It should be the west’s preference too.

Date: 19 February 2012 07:41:51 GMT
From: CF2R Secrétariat <info@cf2r.org>
You’ll find here attached our latest report, THE LEBANONIZATION OF SYRIA. Report on the actors of the Syrian crisis, Paris, January 2012.

Organised at the instigation of the Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement (French Center for Intelligence Studies – CF2R) and the Centre international de recherche et d’études sur le terrorisme et d’aide aux victimes du terrorisme (International Center for Research and Study on Terrorism and Aid to Victims of Terrorism – CIRET-AVT), an international delegation of experts travelled to Syria from December 3rd to December 10th, 2011, in order to assess the situation in Syria in an independent and impartial manner and to meet with the actors of this nine-month-long crisis. It completed its assessment mission with meetings with various representatives of the Syrian opposition abroad, as well as with a panel of Middle East experts from Europe.
The aim of the present report is to provide objective information on a crisis which is being substantially deformed by the control that Syria’s adversaries have over international media networks.
The media networks of the Gulf states, with support from major Anglo-American press agencies and their European and French counterparts, have become frontline players in this crisis, with « global » coverage aimed primarily at the overthrow of the Damascus regime, similar to what occurred in Libya.
This falsification of the facts seeks to hide from global public opinion the support – often reluctant – that the majority of the Syrian population have for the current regime and the fact that the external opposition is not the most legitimate stakeholder (as opposed to longstanding domestic opposition groups), neither do they espouse democratic ideals that they pretend to promote (given their strongly Islamist character).
By Robert D. Kaplan | March 14, 2012
…The Arab Spring has periodically been compared to the stirrings of 1848. But with the exception of the toppling of the Orleans monarchy in France, the 1848 revolutions ultimately failed. Dynastic governments reasserted themselves. They did so for a reason that has troubling implications for the Middle East: Conservative regimes in mid-19th century Europe had not only the institutional advantage over their liberal and socialist adversaries but also the moral advantage….

 If conservative — even reactionary — orders are necessary for inter-communal peace, then they may survive in one form or another, or at least resurface in places such as Egypt and Iraq. Iraq in 2006 and 2007 proved that chaos is in some respects worse than tyranny. Thus, a system is simply not moral if it cannot preserve domestic peace. “Progress includes Order,” John Stuart Mill wrote in Considerations on Representative Government (1861), “but Order does not include Progress.” In other words, nobody is saying that conservative-reactionary orders will lead to social betterment. Nonetheless, because order is necessary before progress can take hold, reactionary regimes could be the beneficiary of chaos in some Middle Eastern states, in a similar way that the Habsburgs were after 1848. For it is conservative regimes of one type or another that are more likely to be called upon to restore order…..

While Syria’s al Assad is seen as illegitimate, that does not mean that the future in Syria automatically means either democracy or sectarian chaos. It may mean eventually a new form of authoritarianism that alleviates or better manages such instability in the first place. Remember that a system is not defined by the name it gives itself, but by how the power relationships actually work behind the scenes. Thus, Iraq may call itself a democracy, but in truth it is a sectarian “thugocracy” that barely keeps order, and if it continues to falter in that regard, it may eventually be replaced by a full-fledged authoritarian regime (hopefully one far less brutal than Saddam Hussein’s).

Indeed, democratic uprisings in 1848 did not secure democracy, they merely served notice that society had become too restive and too complex for the existent monarchical regimes to insure both order and progress. In Political Order in Changing Societies (1968), Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington wrote that the more complex a society becomes, the greater the number of institutions that are required to govern it.

So one should not confuse the formation of new regimes in the Middle East with their actual consolidation. This will require coercive power in the form of new police forces and intelligence agencies, notes Antonio Giustozzi of the London School of Economics in his provocative new book, The Art of Coercion (2011). And such extreme forms of compulsion are only alleviated by the building of civilian institutions of the kind Huntington talks about, which can then maintain order in a more benign manner. If new bureaucratic institutions do not emerge in a more socially complex Middle East, the Arab Spring will be a false one, and it will be remembered like 1848.

Meanwhile, the authoritarianism of the al-Saud family lingers on in Saudi Arabia, the strategic linchpin of the Arabian Peninsula. And lesser monarchs from Kuwait south to Oman appear not to be in danger. With the exception of the oppressed Shia in Bahrain and in eastern Saudi Arabia, the peoples of the Persian Gulf still broadly associate stability and progress with conservative orders. Thus, the emirs and sultans have the loyalty of their populations and hence the moral advantage.

Syria is at this very moment a bellwether. It is afflicted by ethnic and sectarian splits — Sunnis versus Shia-trending Alawites versus Druze and Kurds. But Syria also can claim historical coherence as an age-old cluster of cosmopolitanism at the crossroads of the desert and the Mediterranean, a place littered with the ruins of Byzantine and medieval Arab civilizations. The Western intelligentsia now equate a moral outcome in Syria with the toppling of the present dictator, who requires those sectarian splits to survive. But soon enough, following the expected end of al Assad’s regime, a moral outcome will be associated with the re-establishment of domestic order and the building of institutions coercive or not. Because only with that can progress be initiated.

1848 had tragic repercussions: While democracy in Europe flowered briefly following World War I, it was snuffed out by fascism and then communism. Thus, 1848 had to wait until 1989 to truly renew itself. Because of technology’s quickened advance, political change is faster in the Middle East. But for 2011 to truly be remembered as the year of democracy in the Arab world, new forms of non-oppressive order will first have to be established. And with the likely exception of Tunisia — a country close to Europe with no ethnic or sectarian splits — that appears for the moment to be problematic.

Five myths about Syria,” by Roger Owen in Wash Post

5. The international community has to do something to stop the violence…. As the recent history of such interventions demonstrates, the desire to put an end to what are regarded as the evil policies of an evil regime can easily cause politicians to neglect the other side of the balance sheet: the number of civilian lives that will undoubtedly be lost in the attempt to save them. Think, for example, of the hundreds of thousands of Afghans who’ve been widowed since the Russian invasion some 30 years ago.

Hands On Syria, Hands Off Iran
Martin van Creveld, Jason Pack, 14 Mar 12

CommentsCAMBRIDGE – Israel is daily ratcheting up its threats to attack Iran over its nuclear program. Unfortunately, these threats have come to overshadow more pressing events in Syria, which is the epicenter of a regional crisis that will determine the future of the Arab Spring, as well as Iran’s role in the Middle East….. The Israeli government has vastly exaggerated the threat that a nuclear Iran poses to its security, …. The ascendant powers in the Middle East are Turkey and Qatar. These Sunni countries, along with Saudi Arabia, should join with their international allies and initiate a regional solution to Syria’s crisis. …..Now is not the time to provoke Iran, but rather to tend to Syria’s troubles before it is too late – for example, by publicly offering Assad a way out of the country that will safeguard the minority Alawite community if he is toppled or forced to flee. If the Syria situation is ignored, its spillover may inadvertently provoke Israeli or Iranian action, inciting a regional war and a global depression.

Amnesty International’s latest report ‘I wanted to die’: Syria’s torture survivors speak out

Iraq Lets Iran Fly Arms to Syria Despite U.S. Protests
By: Kristina Wong | The Washington Times

The Iraqi government has refused U.S. requests to stop Iranian cargo flights to Syria, despite being aware of credible intelligence that the planes are transporting up to 30 tons of weapons, according to a U.S. official.

Syria Marks Anniversary of Uprising Against Assad
By: Patrick J. McDonnell and Paul Richter | Los Angeles Times

A year after the revolt began, President Bashar Assad shows no sign of easing his grip on power. Rebels have no plans to back down, leaving Syria at an impasse.

Comments (900)


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451. irritated said:

#444 Khalif Tlass

Show me the money.

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March 21st, 2012, 2:23 pm

 

452. jad said:

Ann, Thank you.

Zoo,
Yes, they are the same group of criminals who left Baba Amr, along the same liars of the ‘media’ gangs.
After their defeat in Baba Amr, they occupied Al7amidiyeh, using residential houses and churches to launch their attack after cleansing the whole neighborhood from its residents, and now they are doing the same thing to Khaldiye and Bab Sba3.
They are a group of paid criminals who are moving from one neighbourhood to the other bringing death and distraction wherever they go, the exact same strategy they did before in every neighborhoods they go into first they attack the army, then the army retaliate, then they took footage and clips and sometimes they even make the fire themselves, then they commit a massacre by killing some innocent family to use it as a cover for their dirty works and after they destroy the whole neighbourhood they move to the next one to continue their ‘Holly’ attacks against others.

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March 21st, 2012, 2:25 pm

 

453. zoo said:

Assad and His Army
By: Nicolas Nassif

Published Wednesday, March 21, 2012
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/assad-and-his-army

Syria’s Western and Arab adversaries were hoping the Syrian army would split or mount a coup. Instead it has been spearheading the campaign against rebel strongholds.

The role of the Syrian army in the crisis besetting the Syrian regime that began last year seems simple enough to describe. It is the army that has prevented the regime from collapsing and its president from being toppled or forced to step down. Yet this role has raised some perplexing questions too.
(..)

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March 21st, 2012, 2:29 pm

 

454. omen said:

mina @ 1:59

as’ad’s “sam” claim was debunked.

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March 21st, 2012, 2:30 pm

 

455. ann said:

WikiLeaked: Ex-Blackwater ‘helps regime change’ in Syria – 21 March, 2012

http://rt.com/news/stratfor-syria-regime-change-063/

A US government-contracted private security firm is helping the Syrian opposition to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime, leaked Stratfor emails indicate. The same firm earlier operated extensively in Libya.

The private military company SCG International had been contracted to engage the Turkey-based Syrian opposition, according to correspondence released by WikiLeaks.

Their assignment was called a “fact finding mission”, but “the true mission is how they can help in regime change,”an email addressed to Stratfor VP for counter-terrorism Fred Burton says.

The source reporting the info is most reliable – it is SCG Chief Executive James F. Smith, who used to be director of notorious company Blackwater, now known as Academi. In a separate message Smith introduces himself to Stratfor as having background in CIA and heading a company “comprised of former DOD, CIA and former law enforcement personnel.”

SCG’s mission with the Syrian opposition is said to have “air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick,” a Republican lawmaker from North Carolina, who is a member of the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The body is charged with overseeing the American intelligence community.

The email adds that Smith “intends to offer his services to help protect the opposition members, like he had underway in Libya.”

Smith has an extensive record of sharing intelligence with Stratfor, according the Al-Akhbar, the Lebanese daily newspaper, which is one of the media outlets chosen by WikiLeaks as an information partner for disclosure of private Stratfor emails.

The security contractor provided insider data on services he provided to members of the Libyan National Transitional Council during the 2011 uprising, the search for the portable surface-to-air missiles that went missing during the civil war there, and the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi, among other things.

[...]

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March 21st, 2012, 2:33 pm

 

456. Uzair8 said:

Remember my comment about the length of the revolution and the ‘incrimination’ of those involved?

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=13964&cp=all#comment-300978

Throughout the revolution people have speculated about the position of Asma al Assad and her family on the unfolding events.

The length of the revolution has exposed Asma (via leaked emails) and we finally have Fawas Akhras come on record thus leaving little doubt about his position.

While there was still the shroud of speculation regarding their true position there was the remotest possibility they could have come out of this situation with some excuse or the benefit of the doubt.

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March 21st, 2012, 2:38 pm

 

457. jad said:

More claims that alqaeda is infiltrating fsa in Syria:

تنظيم القاعدة يعلن ان الجيش الحراحد فصائلها في سوريا
http://youtu.be/3H9ovvS_0wY

Syria# هام جدا عندما نقول ان القاعدة موجودة منذ بداية الازمة في سوريا فنحن لا نتحدث ونجلب كلاما من محض الخيال كما يصفنا بعض الاغبياء من جماعة الفورة الاجرامية بل نوثق كلامنا بالادلة والبراهين القاطعة
اليوم وبعد ان اصبح موضوع تورط تنظيم القاعدة فيما يحدث في سوريا واضحا وجليا لدى الجميع اصبح الان الارهابيون المنتمون لهذا التنظيم والذين كانوا يتسترون تحت غطاء ما يسمى بالجحيش الكر والانشقاقات الوهمية يتبجحون ويطلقون الفيدوهات علانية انهم تابعون بكل فصائلهم الى هذا التنظيم الاجرامي الكافر والذي لا يعرف من الله سوى كلمة التكبير
هذا الفيديو نشر في الشهر الماضي قبل دخول الجيش العربي السوري الى حمص وهو الدليل على ماهية الجماعات التي كان جيشنا الباسل يتصدى لها في حمص ومازال وكل من يحاول ان يكذب هذا الفيديو انصحة ان يضع راسه في سطل البرسيم خاصته ويتابع النهيق بعيدا عن مسامعنا فلا ماكان لتلك الفصيلة من البشر بيننا”

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March 21st, 2012, 2:39 pm

 

458. Leo Syriacus said:

Why separation projects are defeated in the parliaments in Texas, Quebec, Scotland, Bavaria, Corsica, Flemish land, Catalunya and Basque and these people stay within the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Belgium and Spain whereas in former Yugoslavia, Sudan, Iraq, and now Syria the ‘projects’ escalate to anything from civil war to NATO bombardments??!!

In the advanced countries countries unite to creat bigger and more integrated markets and in the Thirld World we strive to create more failed states

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March 21st, 2012, 2:41 pm

 

459. omen said:

if that’s true about blackwater, ann, they’re doing a s***y job of it. FSA aren’t even adequately armed!

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March 21st, 2012, 2:47 pm

 

460. Uzair8 said:

410. omen said:

“is there a word to describe the tyranny of the minority over the majority? a sort of internal colonialism?”

That’s a good one…lol.

Funny too. Made me laugh. One to share elsewhere. Thanks Omen.

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March 21st, 2012, 2:49 pm

 

461. Mina said:

#453
“Debunked”? alertSorry but the arguments alined on this website do not make sense to me. But As’ad Abu Khalil’s arguments do.

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March 21st, 2012, 2:51 pm

 

462. omen said:

uzair8, you’re never at loss for a word?

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March 21st, 2012, 2:54 pm

 

463. Antoine said:

376. JUERGEN said:

“Not enough that 1982 the old city of Hama was left in ruins including the old castle, whats left is now subject to shelling.”

Indeed, but this is not the Hama Fort, it is Qalaat al-Mdeeq, an ancient Roman fortress in the Governorate of Hama, but some distance from Hama City, infact closer to Edleb. The Army has been shelling the Roman columns for some days, infact a few days ago there was a video in which a Tank was shelling the fortress and trying to climb the hill and was was attacked by the FSA with RPGs.

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March 21st, 2012, 2:56 pm

 

464. omen said:

ann + jad = blackwater working with alqaeda in FSA??

o.O

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March 21st, 2012, 2:59 pm

 

465. omen said:

leo, it’s assad whose reducing the country to piles of rubble.

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March 21st, 2012, 3:07 pm

 

466. Uzair8 said:

461. omen said:

“uzair8, you’re never at loss for a word?”

Well you may be right in more than one way. The ‘internal colonialism’ (miniority rule) is said to have been deliberately left behind by the former colonialists. A legacy of colonialism.

I’m reminded of a previous main post on SC:

“The Assads stand atop the last minoritarian regime in the Levant and thus seem destined to fall in this age of popular revolt. When they do, the post-colonial era will draw to a final close. Following World War II, minorities took control in every Levant state thanks to colonial divide-and-rule tactics and the fragmented national community that bedeviled the states of the region. ”

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=13243

If you’re asking me for a ‘word’… I can’t think of one at the moment. Perhaps later.

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March 21st, 2012, 3:14 pm

 

467. Mawal95 said:

On or about 18 Mar 2012 Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Maqdisi, whose fluency in English is first rate, did an interview in the English language. The person asking the questions was deeply ignorant and deeply disgusting to my mind. But clear and patient statements of the government’s position were given by Maqdisi, and the 15-minute interview video is worth watching for that reason: http://nieuwsuur.nl/video/353158-volledig-interview-met-syrische-regeringswoordvoerder.html . Maqdisi says and I believe he’s right, “Syria is not heading toward civil war. Syria is a tolerant society.” It does not have the cultural potential for a civil war of the type Joshua Landis dreams about. “What you have been seeing is a bad side of some Syrians because they are angry.” An anger arising from failure of the unconstitutional agenda of their street protests, and incited by foreign mass media. “Starting one year ago the Syrian Street has awakened and we welcome this. But we make a very big distinction between legitimate demands and those who are trying to militarize the situation,” said Maqdisi speaking on behalf of the government.

Thanks to http://www.facebook.com/lists/247693938657345 and http://www.facebook.com/SyDFuture for the link.

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March 21st, 2012, 3:25 pm

 

468. ss said:

403. majedkhaldounsaid:
“Mjabali
Not only Sunni say Nusayris are not Musslems, everyone who studied Nusayri religion came to the conclusion that they are not Musslems”

Nusayris are not Muslims
Isma3ilia are not Muslims
Drooz are not Muslims
Chrsitians are Crusades
Jewish are the enemys
Chinese and Indians have no God.
Shia are Rawafed

Only Muslim, Sunnis have the keys to the heaven. They are the right religion and all should follow their steps, if not then enjoy the hell. I wish they leave it to God to decide who is good and who is not, no not at all, they must judge us on earth and we, the free minded people, had to suffer on earth before we meet our creator. We need to get killed, beheadedm, chopped into peices because MB, qaeda alike want to make sure that religion is applied to their delusional rules

and the list goes on and on, this is just to reflect to you how narrow minded some might be in their thinking especially when they cannot acept the others and everything is around religion and only religion. I am amazed how these people got intigrated in the American society. It is indeed unfortunate.

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March 21st, 2012, 3:27 pm

 

469. Mawal95 said:

Earlier I gave a link to a video of a HUGE Kurdish protest rally in Diyarbakır in Turkey on 18 Mar 2012. Here are seven more videos from that event in Diyarbakır, plus the one I originally linked to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3-ZBKZWJWQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoA4cQghXh8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT_ohPQpG-4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lRJXLJ0_Xx8#t=462s

Repeating what I said earlier, that Kurdish protest rally in Diyarbakir on 18 Mar 2012 is VASTLY bigger than any anti-regime protest anywhere in Syria anytime over the past year. Watching all of the above videos has strongly reaffirmed to me the weak state of the anti-regimers on the ground in Syria all this past year.

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March 21st, 2012, 3:41 pm

 

470. Son of Damascus said:

Jad,

I had asked you once before to stop your baseless accusations about me. Whether it is in your book or not frankly I don’t care, nor does it matter to me.

I will not bother to waste my time with your convoluted and twisted arguments. You don’t like what I post fine skip it, or even skip every post I write.

I have nothing to hide, and I am not ashamed of a single thing I ever posted. What I wrote is not a lie, nor is it a fabrication.

And in the future before you go and claim anyone is an apologist take a hard look at yourself in the mirror, because I am definitely not the wolf parading in sheep clothing around here.

With all due respect of course…

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March 21st, 2012, 3:49 pm

 

471. Khalid Tlass said:

MJABALI,

I think that massacre is a fake one, there isn;t any Alawi village within a 50 km radius of Qseir. However, all the dead bodies were those of adult males, which probably points to the fact most of them were Shabbeeh, killed by the FSA in Homs or Idlib and shown by the regime to have been “massacred” , all fake.

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March 21st, 2012, 3:55 pm

 

472. omen said:

mina 1:59

You are mixing two things.

thanks for the correction.

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March 21st, 2012, 4:30 pm

 

473. omen said:

obama to meet with erdogan on the 25th of march.

the two will discuss Iran, Syria, and the broader upheaval in the Arab world.

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March 21st, 2012, 4:36 pm

 

474. majedkhaldoun said:

Mjabali
Ibn Taymiyeh was not Qalawoon sheikh like your Hassoon and Bouti, who they clearly sheikhs who do everything Assad tell them to do, Ibn Taymyeh was independent sheikh honest and courageous, he was famous for saying that the best JIHAD is to say a word of truth infront of unjust ruler, you know or should have known the story about him he did not say or do what the king wants, he was not afraid of being killed by the ruler, he was admired by everyone who read his story, your attempt to taint him as Imam for the sultan is wrong and you know it.it only reflect your hatred for sunni.

As for the Nusayri area ,I know for sure that the Sunni developed areas in Nusayri mountain improve agriculture, as far as irrigation projects and soil analysis, I know that for sure since my brother was agronomist and worked there, and I visited him for a month there, please dont ever deny it, and I know of a teacher in the year 1954 who was Sunni and worked as a teacher in that area..
As for M Nasser, look at the circumstances about his assassination, they found him without his pants and without his underware, and with a woman who was married and she was not his wife..

As for your arabic writing where you insulted me, I ask the moderator to delete those words you wrote in Arabic, it only indicates that you deserve every words I said to you in the past.

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March 21st, 2012, 4:47 pm

 

475. kHALID tLASS said:

Majedkhaldoun, how are you doing ? Do you agree about helping the Free Syrian Army with money and weapons ? I think it is time for all Sunnis to take back Syria.

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March 21st, 2012, 4:52 pm

 

476. majedkhaldoun said:

Khaled
I am glad you are back, I am going in May to work in Antakya area.,We want freedom and democracy not sectarian ruler by Assad mafia, we will be much better than them.

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March 21st, 2012, 5:02 pm

 

477. omen said:

ann @ 12:55 pm

They [US/france] were grooming him ["al qaeda," french shooter] to send him to Syria, instead he turned on his own handlers

while tempted, i’ll resist inquiring about your theories re 9/11.

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March 21st, 2012, 5:07 pm

 

478. Antoine said:

JAD, enjoy this, for you with love :

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March 21st, 2012, 5:15 pm

 

479. Antoine said:

Dr. Kahldoun, I have also thought many times of visiting Antakya, and refugee camps for Syrians in Turkey to help with field work. I am especially concerned about setting up temporary schools for the children, as Syrian children cannot attend Turkish schools. I wonder what will be better destination, Turkey or Lebanon, I have heard Lebanon is no longer safe for anti-regime activists due to thuggish activities by Hezbollah, Amal, and SSNP.

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March 21st, 2012, 5:19 pm

 

480. Mawal95 said:

@ Antoine #476: JAD was the very one who originally posted that video on this board back on 12 Feb 2012. JAD expressed his disgust at the time. I expect and hope that the brute in that video is dead by now. Can you not link to something more up-to-date and something more interesting, Antoine? By the way, Antoine on this board linked to the following video on or about 5 Feb 2012. Can anyone give any update about what happened to the prisoners in the video? If they were all killed I would’ve heard about it, I think. So I suppose they were probably rescued. Unless it’s a fake. — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVBw1qIAybM .

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March 21st, 2012, 5:38 pm

 

481. mjabali said:

Khaled Tlass:

I think you are joking when you say there is no Alawi villages in a 50 km radius from al-Qusair.

The bottom line is that 14 Syrians got killed at the hands of other Syrians for sectarian reasons.

As for your call for the Alawis to establish a state and separate themselves from the Sunnis, I say that I am Syrian and love Syria as a whole and would never be for anything like that. But, if things get bad why the hell not save bloodshed and future pain and have people live in a place they feel comfortable.

If this hatred coupled with the increasing violence continue there will be separation and Syria we know today may become a number of entities.

The Alawis should live with the other minorities in one state if ,as I said, this hatred can not be controlled. The minorities of Syria should think together and find a way out of this chaos. The Sunnis should take this into consideration and help.

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March 21st, 2012, 5:42 pm

 

482. irritated said:

#477 Antoine

Qatar could be a good safe place where anti-regime will be warmly welcomed.

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March 21st, 2012, 5:52 pm

 

483. Khalid Tlass said:

MJABALI,

I did not say Alawis should establish a “separate state”, they should have their own semi-autonomous entity like Iraqi Kurdistan, and no Alawi shouls be employed in the Army or security forces in Syria proper, and no Sunnis should be sent to Tartous ; Christians can be given a choice to live in any territory and free to work anywhere. If Alawis from autonomous province want to visit Syria they should get a permit , similarly if a Sunni want to go to tartous he can get a permit from Alawi authorities. However Syria should have unhindered access to the commercial ports in Latakia. If the Sunni population of Latkia-tartous-Banyas-Jableh-and a few Sunni villages are expelled by the Alawis (as I;m sure they will) they can be accomodated in the vacated houses of Alawis in Alawi neighborhoods and villages of Sunni Syria.

That way every body can be sure there will be no oppression and attacks against the other sect.

Sorry mate I know its painful but that is the only way to stop the chaos, we Sunnis will not be humiliated and killed by non-Sunnis and will not live under Baath rule any longer, while I know Alawis do not want to live under Sunni majority rule. This arrangement has been suggested by many ppl before, Alawis never wanted to join Syria anyway in 1945, they were forced to, they deserve to live under their own, and Sunnis deserve to love under a Muslim pro-islamic government.

Infact majority of Alawis will be happy with this arrangement, the problem is the power-hungry regime elites ( of all sects) who still think they can hold on to power and keep on with the good life at the expense of the lives of ordinary Syrians of all sects.

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March 21st, 2012, 5:57 pm

 

484. Tara said:

Khalid @444

They are with the regime because they were given the riches, the power, and the social status through various relationships with the regime whether it is through marriage, freindship, joint venture, etc.. Some of them are part of the regime, the Sunni part that is…They are all opportunistic.

I don’t know what is your definition of practicing Sunni. But yes, they fast Ramadan and some of them do pray. And just FYI, Tara has had much more “liberal” upbringing than most of her Sunni relatives who support or are part of the regime..this is why I always insisted, this isn’t an “Islamic” movement. This is a revolution for freedom, dignity, and equal opportunity.

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March 21st, 2012, 5:59 pm

 

485. zoo said:

A flashy headline for an article that says nothing new.
Just count the number of “should.. must…might .. but.. if.. and although”

Preparing for Failure in Syria
How to Stave Off Catastophe
Daniel Byman
March 20, 2012

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137339/daniel-byman/preparing-for-failure-in-syria?page=3

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March 21st, 2012, 6:11 pm

 

486. Son of Damascus said:

Jad,

I am sorry for attacking you in my last post, I will send the MOD a note asking him to take down what I wrote.

I wrote out of anger, but that is not an excuse for me to personalize my post.

I am sorry again, difference of opinion should not result into mud slinging, and I was guilty of that in my last post.

I sincerely hope we can continue to keep our lines of communication open and civil.

Regards,

Son of Damascus

To the rest of SyriaComment commentariat,

My sincere apologies for drifting from the real issue and turning this forum momentarily about me.

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March 21st, 2012, 6:14 pm

 

487. Khalid Tlass said:

SOD, you are too polite and soft.

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March 21st, 2012, 6:19 pm

 

488. irritated said:

#481 Khaled Tlass

Great idea indeed..
Maybe you should move all the Alawites to Iraq and in exchange you bring in the oppressed Sunni Iraqi minority. Then Syria will be all Sunni and live happily ever after, with Saudi Arabia as the angel to protect it.
Christians, invited by Sarkozy, will go to France or Lebanon, Circassians will return to Russia, Turkomans to Turkey, Armenians to Armenia and everybody will be happy and safe.
Maybe you should suggest that to Kofi Annan

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March 21st, 2012, 6:21 pm

 

489. mjabali said:

Majedkhaldoun:

Ibn Taymiyah and al-Buti and Hassoun are the sheikhs of the ruler. There is no doubt. Respect yourself and this conversation I am having with you and stop referring to them as “my” sheikhs. I am not a Sunni so I have nothing to do with Hassoun and al-Buti, and I have nothing to do with al-Assad and his crew. I have said this before many times and you insist onto using this type of language neglecting the facts.

Nevertheless, I will gladly respond to your “argument” for the sake of letting people know different sides of the story. This mean I will bypass your insults here and there and will introduce my argument.

Ibn Taymiyah worked for the Rulers of Damascus like his father. He was from that establishment which was all non-Syrians or Arabs. Ibn Taymiyah himself was not a Syrian or an Arab, which explain the ease in which he deemed the real population of the land unworthy of living.

The Mongols who invaded Damascus during Ibn Taymiyah’s days were Muslims also. They were fighting over Syria and the loser was the real population (Druze, Alawis, Christians, Ismailis..) These Mongols established the Sunni creed as you know. So it was Mongols vs Mongols and Ibn Taymiyah was caught in the middle of all of that.

The militancy within Ibn Taymiyah’s teachings can overcome any good quality this man has. Yes, some people said that Ibn Taymiyah said that the best Jihad is a word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler, but wasn’t the same Ibn Taymiyah forgot about all of that when Ghazan surrounded Damascus.

Ibn Taymiyah did not say the truth when he went outside Damascus to welcome Ghazan. He kissed ass the same way al-Buti and Hassoun do now to al-Assad. There is no bravery in front of ruthless fighting ideology.

Ghazan was busy so he left Damascus and went to fight somewhere else. Ibn Taymiyah worked with the old rulers to fight the deputy of Ghazan. He was around when the mongols of Ghazan were defeated and the Mongols coming from Egypt (yes Egypt) under Mohammad Ibn Qalawuun came to rule both places.

Here at this stage, the Mongol Mohammad Ibn Qalawuun wanted land and who was around: Ibn Taymiyah to issue his decrees. Which means Ibn Taymiyah was like al-Buti and Hassoun. No difference.

If you read the works of Ibn Taymiyah please count how many times he uses the word “to be killed.” Also please make a list of the people that Ibn Taymiyah said they could and should be killed.

Ibn Taymiyah was deemed dangerous by the Sheikhs of his age. His danger is felt from his days till now.

PS: will continue with the other points later…

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March 21st, 2012, 6:21 pm

 

490. Tara said:

I like polite. I don’t like soft when it is not reciprocated.. It becomes then Not indicated

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March 21st, 2012, 6:24 pm

 

491. Khalid Tlass said:

TARA,

Do they say La ilaha ill’Allah Muhammad Rasoul Allah ?

If they do, have they or have they not seen the video of the Mosque minaret being shelled and toppled in Deirezzor ? the countless numbers of Mosques being shelled, destroyed and desecrated all across Syria by the Assad Army. Have they not seen the blaspemous things written on walls of Mosques by the shabbiha ? Do they not know of the Hama Massacre ? Have they heard about the massacres in Karm el zeitoun ? I am not even talking about Baba Amr. 100 ppl have died in Karm el Zeytoun, mostly women and children, all slaughtered at the hands of Alawi militias.

If they know all this, how can a Sunni Muslim worth his salt still stay with this regime ?!? Infact how can they not fight against this regine !! I am not just talking about your relatives, Tara, I’m talking of all Sunni collaborators and Menhebaks starting from Dr. al-Akhras (though we know he’s an unbeliever).

Show them what sectarian Alawi militias have done to Sunni religious beliefs and life and property of Sunnis, then ask them, are you a Muslim, if yes, how can you stay with a regime that does this ? many non-Muslims are fighting against the regime, many non-Muslims have been martyred by the regime, how can they as a Sunni Muslim stay with this ? Are they not afraid of the afterlife ?

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March 21st, 2012, 6:27 pm

 

492. irritated said:

Khaled Tlass #489

As you seem to be a practising moslem, can you enlight me on what is the minimum that a moslem should do, believe and fear during his life to be considered as a moslem in faith not just by birth?

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March 21st, 2012, 6:28 pm

 

493. Khalid Tlass said:

MJABALI,

You are saying that all the minorities are the “real peoples of the land”, so why are all Syrian Sunnis “foreigners” ? Can you explain why ?

Also you said before that ppl from western Syria are descended from Turks, ppl from al-Jazira are descended from Arabs, so what is the origin of the ppl of Horan and Daraa eh ?

Do any DNA tests back up your claim ?

( Btw there are Turkmen settlements in Syria and Iraq, like Houla, Tal Afar, Kirkuk, Telkalakh, but how can you say the whole Sunni population of Western Syria is Turkish in origin ? )

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March 21st, 2012, 6:33 pm

 

494. Syrialover said:

Ordinary Alawites are also now entering hell as innocent victims of the Assads.

This article “Alawites trapped in existential struggle” by Roula Khalaf shows the Assad regime’s own policies and propaganda are making it impossible for ordinary Alawi to reach out to fellow Syrians, and it’s increasinbgly putting peaceful low-key Alawi at risk

Points include:

- The perceived power of the Alawites masks a growing sentiment of isolation and fright

- The deliberate regime strategy has depicted the uprising as a radical Sunni insurgency that Alawites must mobilise against

- The Assads’ system has weakened the Alawi’s cultural identity – so lack of religious and community leadership is a complicating factor in attempts to win over Alawites to opposition

- Alawis who support peaceful protests etc take a higher risk than most of being pursued by the regime. It is hunting down Alawite actress Fadwa Suleiman who made an anti-sectarian video calling for “brothers in blood” to band together in Homs

- Current regime propaganda is now deliberately fannning the flames of sectarianism. Assads Snr’s earlier crushing of the MB also consolidated, rather than weakened sectarianism.

- The Assad regime’s placement of Alawis at the head of army and security and at the heart of cronyism aned corruption has fanned political resentment against the community, hardening sectarian lines

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/416b2786-734a-11e1-9014-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1pmrBbmDa

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March 21st, 2012, 6:34 pm

 

495. Khalid Tlass said:

@ Irritated 490.

There is no such thing as “Muslim by birth” it is a fictitious thing, we become Muslim by our beliefs and our actions.

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March 21st, 2012, 6:34 pm

 

496. mjabali said:

Khaled Tlass

Syria now is a very strange mix of people. You have to start with this point in any argument. The Sunnis became a majority because of the Ottomans, I wonder what was the percentage of Christians in Syria in 19 C, 15 C, …etc

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March 21st, 2012, 6:35 pm

 

497. Khalid Tlass said:

492. Syrialover said:

“Ordinary Alawites are also now entering hell”

IF ONLY !!! I feel all the massacres of the last 40 years cannot go unpunished.

But still we should give them a chance to make a graceful exit, keep their life and property intact. Thats why we should propose the Coastal Autonomous Region. We are still giving them a chance,if they do not see the light a time will come when they will be begging to accept this solution.

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March 21st, 2012, 6:39 pm

 

498. irritated said:

Khaled

I agree, but what are the minimum actions and beliefs expected from a moslem?

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March 21st, 2012, 6:41 pm

 

499. Khalid Tlass said:

Okay Jabali,

What do you think is the percentage of Sunni Syrians having a high amount of Turkish genes ?

And why have they remained separate from the Syrian Turkmen community ?

And do you consider Kurds to be part of the original Syrians ?

And what about the Sunnis of Iraq and Palestine ?

Btw Sunnis were atleast 50 % even in the 10th century AD. Conversion occurred very fast and usuaslly the lower class, poor Syrians convered first. Islam is a salvation for the poor, it is a religion of Mustadafeen.

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March 21st, 2012, 6:44 pm

 

500. Khalid Tlass said:

IRRITATED,

The Sunnis of Iraq deserve their own autnomous region in Anbar, Mosul, Salahediine, Diyala, infact they have already applied for it.

Sunnis will not live under Shia or Alawi IN THEIR OWN LAND.

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March 21st, 2012, 6:46 pm

 

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