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’

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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551. Tara said:


The justice in this case is going to be a divine one. I have no doubt about it. The leaked emails tarnished the family’s reputation and that is enough.

Joshua posted an article that Alarabys deleted thousands of intimate inappropriate emails.
Why? I just don’t believe that they would delete them..perhaps they want to trickle them one after the other? I would do the same. Prolonged humiliation that is well-deserved.

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March 21st, 2012, 10:04 pm


552. ss said:

This is our first lady.
This is the first lady of Syria.
Her speech on mothers’ day

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March 21st, 2012, 10:07 pm


553. irritated said:

I guess that some Asma-bashing commenters should open a new blog
Asmacomment.com where they can dump all the rumors, shopping addresses and tabloid reports about the titillating details of Asma’s and her family private life.
That would be a big relief for the fingers of the Syriacomment commenters.

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March 21st, 2012, 10:09 pm


554. Tara said:

Photo of the Camel Bondage Cartoon is provided.  What is exactly the psychology behind an image like this?

Syria: Bashar Al-Assad’s Leaked Emails Reveal Camel Bondage Cartoons
The Huffington Post  |  By Charlie Lindlar 
Posted: 21/03/2012 10:54 Updated: 21/03/2012 11:01


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March 21st, 2012, 10:13 pm


555. majedkhaldoun said:

If Assad wants to have his Nusayri state, let him go to Israel, Natanyaho loves him and he is the one supporting him, Latakia and the syrian coast is for Syria and for real syrians not the Nusayri

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March 21st, 2012, 10:13 pm


557. ss said:

Dear Moderator I noticed that you are not posting my comments????
Did I write anything offensive. Am I baned??
Have a look at comment 552. by majedkhaldounsaid????

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March 21st, 2012, 10:16 pm


558. ann said:

Islamists seek influence in Syria uprising – March 21, 2012


BEIRUT—The gunmen in eastern Syria, wielding grenade launchers and assault rifles, announced on the Internet they were forming the “God is Great” Brigade and joining the country’s rebellion. They swore allegiance to the Free Syrian Army and vowed to topple President Bashar Assad.

But unlike many other rebel bands, they wrapped their proclamation in hard-line Islamic language, declaring their fight to be a “jihad,” or holy war, and urging others to do the same.

“To our fellow revolutionaries, don’t be afraid to declare jihad in the path of God. Seek victory from the One God. God is the greatest champion,” the brigade’s spokesman said in the January video. “Instead of fighting for a faction, fight for your nation, and instead of fighting for your nation, fight for God.”

As Syria’s uprising evolves into an armed insurgency, parts of the movement are taking on overt religious overtones. Islamic movements in and out of the country are vying to gain influence over the revolt in hopes of gathering power if Assad falls.

The Islamists’ role complicates choices for the United States and other nations who say they want to help the opposition without empowering radicals; a string of anti-regime suicide bombings have raised fears of al-Qaida involvement.

The groups diverge from violent jihadi movements to political moderates like the Muslim Brotherhood, which has already used the Arab Spring revolutions to vault to power in Tunisia and Egypt elections.

Their growing influence is seeding divisions within an already fractured opposition. A week ago, several prominent figures quit the Syrian National Council, the body of exiles that has tried to emerge as the opposition’s political leadership. They complained the fundamentalist Brotherhood dominates the group.

The council is “a liberal front for the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Kamal Labwani, a veteran secular dissident, who broke away. He said the Brotherhood was trying to build allegiances on the ground in Syria.

“One day we will wake up to find an armed militia … controlling the country through their weapons,” Labwani said.


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March 21st, 2012, 10:24 pm


559. Ghufran said:

The verdict is out,many will finally be able to breathe after receiving the brilliant assessment from top “thought leaders” on this blog who concluded that millions of Syrians are not real Muslims or even real Syrians. My Nusairi half could not be happier today,I also finally managed to “relieve” myself after being fearful of using Bayt Al-Raha بيت الراحة since it may be a trap and not the real “thing”.
SC is reaching a new low,our moderator needs to look at this garbage and clean the site again,this is rather disgusting.

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March 21st, 2012, 10:25 pm


560. Son of Damascus said:


“Evidence of emails will not stand any trial. No handwriting, no signatures, just allegations and possible fabrications.”

According to the BBC, email can be used as evidence in a court of law in the UK as far back as 1998.


Even those laws have been updated since in the UK, I would recommend checking out UK ACPO guidelines.


Although in the case of Asma the crown prosecutor might have a hard time building a case for the origin of the email was not in the UK, they would need both the UAE (where the email server is hosted I am presuming) and Syrian ISP to cooperate.

They would also need the originating hard drives to be able to prosecute.

A tall order on all accounts.

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March 21st, 2012, 10:30 pm


561. Tara said:


No. I like it here. If your fingers are getting tired, remember this is an at-will blog. No one is holding a gun at some one’s head to cleanse or disinfect him/her if interested in defecting. Please feel free to defect if that is what you want to do.

It strikes me that you like using same vocabularies Bronco uses. Why? Even you refer to Istanbul as Istambul just like him. What is the reason for that. The last words you borrowed were titillating and Tabloids. Any explanation for that? I am just curious. Btw, I am not insinuating that you are one person. I know you are not. Sorry for the direct question.

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March 21st, 2012, 10:43 pm


562. ann said:

An Islamic militant group, the Al-Nusra Front, on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a double suicide bombing that killed 27 people in Damascus over the weekend. The group appears to be a front for al-Qaida’s Iraq branch, said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence.

Opposition activists are reluctant to talk about any Islamist role because Assad’s regime depicts their movement as solely a campaign by terrorists and Islamic radicals. Such rhetoric is highly effective in scaring religious minorities and moderate Sunnis away from supporting the uprising.

Ultraconservative Islamists known as Salafis are gaining ground among some factions. Salafis preach a strict doctrine similar to that in Saudi Arabia and contend that no law but Islamic Shariah law is permissible.

Sheikh Adnan al-Arour, a Syrian Salafi cleric based in the Gulf, regularly appears in fiery monologues on Saudi TV channels calling for jihad against the “infidel” Assad regime.

His influence is shown by the open allegiance declared by several rebel brigades. One, called the “Supporters of God Brigade” in Hama, praised him as “the leader of the revolution” in February.

— Finally, there is the Syrian National Council, the 270-member group made up mainly of exiles headed by secular dissident Burhan Ghalioun. It has tried with little success to gather the opposition under its umbrella.

A video posted on YouTube last week showed a former Syrian Brotherhood leader, Ali Sadr el-Din Bayanouni, admitting the Brotherhood nominated Ghalioun as council leader merely as a “front” more easily accepted by the West.

“We did not want the Syrian regime to take advantage of the fact that Islamists are leading the SNC,” Bayanouni says in the video.

The Brotherhood has had no organization on the ground since the 1980s, when it waged a violent campaign, assassinating regime figures. Assad’s father Hafez Assad retaliated by almost destroying their main stronghold, the city of Hama, killing thousands and sending members fleeing abroad. Since then, mere Brotherhood membership has been punishable by death.

Ex-council member Labwani and others in the opposition say the Brotherhood is using the council to rebuild by distributing money and weapons, key levers for influence. The Brotherhood has a powerful donor network among members in exile and supporters in oil-rich Gulf countries.

Khalaf Dahowd, from the opposition group the National Coordination Body, said Brotherhood domination of the council “has led to doubts and suspicions among the more secular factions in Syria about the post-Assad period.”



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March 21st, 2012, 11:24 pm


563. Ghufran said:

This is a letter from Bashar’s instructor when he was studying ophthalmology

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March 21st, 2012, 11:26 pm


564. majedkhaldoun said:

I thought you are half Alawi, Nusayri are persians Alawis are Arab
Mjabali thinks that we, Arab Syrian, are not the real people of the land, I hope you disagree with him

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March 21st, 2012, 11:30 pm


565. Observer said:

First the UNSC statement. It is a slap to the regime but with enough mild language to allow for a face saving out mainly for Russia and second for the regime leader.

The language has just enough of a hint of further action if the plan is not implemented. The regime if it abides by the points of removing the army and the security services while the resistance stop attacks and recruitment and organizational efforts will be followed by allowing demonstrations without hindrance.
This will mean millions of people that will pour into the streets not on Fridays as organized by the regime but rather spontaneously. The reason I believe it will be in huge numbers is two fold the first is the fact that when allowed to do so in Hama huge numbers came out likewise in Homs. I also think that more people that used to be sitting on the fence and were watching how the wind blows are now truly disgusted by the terrible performance of the regime: the veneer of modernity has fallen, the crass self preservation has shown its ugly face, the utter disregard for the basic demands of human and humane treatment have gone out the window, the similarity with Ghadaffi shocking. Moreover, the fall of the purchasing power of the people by more than half is devastating while the latest e mail leaks paint a picture of Marie Antoinette to the general public.

If the regime refuses then I do think that it will be left with Iran only as the supporter because as I predicted the status of Russia as a remaining superpower despite its significant decline will not be sacrificed by Putin for the blue eyes of Fredo the Duck. Also, Russia would like to be able to host the dialogue so as to preserve its interests in Syria, preserve the role of Iran as a semi ally and a thorn in the side of the West, and most importantly to preserve its monopoly on the gas and oil routes through Russia and not Iran or Turkey for European energy needs.

Now let me say this again and again: there is a very weak sense of a true national identity as being Syrian. I would argue that there is a stronger sense of being an Arab than being a Syrian especially since Vito Corleone used to be alive. He made sure that the rule is concentrated in the hands of key figures from the Alawite community. The alliance with Iran in the Iran Iraq war had one element based on denying the aggressor the right to invade, another element was based on pure power calculations as the Iraqi Baath party was a rival to the Syrian and the claim to Arab leadership by Saddam would have eclipsed the claim of Assad. However, after the invasion of Iraq and the marginalization of the Sunnis it appears in our days to have been all along a sectarian move. Whether it is true or not is beside the point. In the effort of Syria to find patrons to protect it against a US led effort to subjugate the region, the reliance on Iran has further exacerbated this view. What did not help the regime was the overt support it got from both Iran and HA who at the same time as they were defending the brutality of the regime have voiced support for the Shia led revolt in Bahrain and in KSA. The regime being an expert pyromaniacal arsonist threatened the region with a sectarian spill over to cow its opponents into leaving it in power. This however backfired with the determination of KSA and others not to let that happen and to fight back. Hence, Russia coming to the rescue as they and the regime are deathly afraid of an armed rebellion. The Russian change of heart came about when the fiasco of BA happened with the regime not able to enter until it destroyed the quarter and was held at bay by a mere 180 fighters for about four weeks.

I posted this before and will do again and again; once the regime starts a single genuine meaningful dismantling of one element of the security house of cards it will collapse either slowly or suddenly. Already there is internal dissent as to the running of the single non flexible strategy adopted by the regime. So much so that some are touting the UNSC as a victory for the regime as it insists on dialogue and does not mention the removal of the leader. This I read as a sing of some to want to get out of this mess with some face saving.
Be that as it may, it is a rope with which the regime can do two things, either hang itself with it if it continues to use violence, or a rescue to get out of the hole it keeps digging itself into.

If the regime thinks that it is of such vital importance to the West or to Russia it is sorely mistaken. Russia used the card and is now finding it difficult to keep playing with it as the West and the Arabs did not think it had any bargaining power.

Finally, let me say again and again, the following: I do believe that the majority of the people in the ME, the Arab world, and the wider Muslim world have much more in common and that their current corrupt inept brutal regimes have left them without any institutions or recourse to advance their lot along national identity lines and has caused the natural instinct to go back to the clan, sect, ethnicity to take precedence. Therefore, until and unless we can come together along the great common denominators of what constitutes our culture, history, tradition, philosophical outlook, our sense of right and wrong, of justice and equity, in short our Muslim Arab heritage we should accept to live apart on the political level.
Let me remind the audience that the Turks and the Kurds had no written language when living a nomadic life and that their conversion to Islam created the great Ayoubid dynasty that liberated Jerusalem and the Ottoman empire. The same Ottoman empire that was described by the Austrians as ” their way is that of success, of confidence, of a belief of the righteous glory that their way of life is the right one, of their confidence in effective rule etc…..” One has to read and listen to Persian and Kurdish and Turkish to find not only the dominance of Arab language but of Arab notions and concepts.

So when I advocate separation of the people of Syria I do this with full realism. At this time of our history we are finding common ground in differing amongst ourselves. So let us be divided into stupid and non viable entities and let us come to realize that we have gone into a dead end. For all those who on this blog are calling for Syrians to live together they are talking into the wind as there is clearly not a single idea of what is Syria and how it should come about. Look no further than at the new joke of a constitution. Fredo thought like his dad that he can throw the Sunnis a bone in the form of the religion of the President being a muslim and by the same token slapped the Christians in the face for supporting him.

Therefore we should separate as entities that are finding ever more difficult to live together. If we are forced to live together by a brutal Vito it will explode down the line with ever more violence. Trust is broken, the Sunnis will arm and bid their time, the Alawis will entrench further into their sect, the Christians to our great loss will leave, and the Kurds will learn never to trust an Arab again. If we continue along the path of civil war, it will result in huge killings and one of two outcomes will occur, one side will win and massacre the other, or both will be utterly exhausted and the country will be in ruin.

When people ask me where are you from I reply from Damascus for I do not recognize the artificial borders of Syria Iraq Lebanon Jordan etc… all the way to Marakesh and to Kabul and New Delhi.

Glory to the days when a muslim used a “SakK aka Check an English word derived from the Arabic” to travel from Sind to Morocco and do business without carrying any money and without having to have any passports or border controls or tarifs and where he could stay in hostels and mosques and know that what he is eating and where he is praying and how he is dealing and wheeling is part and parcel of a single unifying liberating civilization of faith brotherhood equity and justice and prosperity with social responsibility.
This is the same civilization that called on Umar to give a Christian beggar food and clothing and a home for he felt it unjust to tax the community and leave one member of it to beg, the same civilization that called on Khalid Ibn Walid to return the Jezziah to the people of Homs when the Romans took back for he failed to protect them from an invasion.
Our civilization and our sense of justice and of equity and of social duty is rooted in our very essence. Granted we are not perfect and like all other civilizations have committed crimes and used fallacious and superiority arguments to justify our actions but again even amongst the most determined supporters of the regime there is ever more a call for equity and justice despite our difference in how we see it and interpret it.

I am certain that this regime is finished it is on the wrong side of history on the wrong side of our basic belieft and our basic outlook on the very idea of equity and justice and prosperity.

I used to be a pessimist but today I am an optimist as the youth of Syria have broken my very own fear that Vito has instilled in me during my years of growing up under this brutal degrading corrupting regime. The determination of the people to force their will on the regime is absolutely breath taking.

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March 21st, 2012, 11:33 pm


566. Ghufran said:

I am sorry,majed,I tried real hard over the last few months to find common grounds with you only to discover that there is none. You are entitled to your own opinion and have the right to speak,but I am not obligated to have a conversation with you,good luck.

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March 21st, 2012, 11:36 pm


567. Halabi said:

Bashar Al Assad wasn’t in London in 1980s, it was the 1990s. How much credibility should I give someone who doesn’t even remember when he tutored a future president? As for Syria and Bahrain, I agree that Shiites in Bahrain are being oppressed and more than 30 people have been killed in the past year. I follow the news there closely – here’s the latest from a great reporter who is on the ground and is free to move around as he wishes.


Al Jazeera English produced an award winning documentary on Bahrain last year that is fantastic. http://youtu.be/xaTKDMYOBOU

I didn’t see much coverage by Addunia or Syria Truth on the plight of the Shiites in Bahrain or Iraq, or the endless strikes on Gaza. I do recall that Addunia aired fake reports on the Qatari revolution and spends countless hours working on conspiracy theories.

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March 21st, 2012, 11:58 pm


568. majedkhaldoun said:

i do not want to have coversation with you either, but dont you ever provoke me, do you understand, do you understand. I am Syrian I am Arabic I am musslem and whether you agree or not I don’t care.

Dividing Syria is not possible, we are a country of different sects and we will stay united
Unjustice will never last, and the majority can not tolerate being controled by small minority for ever,in a democracy and freedom we will survive togather.

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March 22nd, 2012, 12:05 am


569. Son of Damascus said:


Regarding your accusations about Nir Rosen

Did you omit the rest of the article on purpose that explains not only his political views (which would put him at odds with Mossad) but as well he explains the fact that he is not able to join the army:

“Now I was returning as a man, having swallowed years ago from the painful chalice of truth and realized that my whole conception of good guy and bad guy, of victim and victimizer, was backwards, and I belonged to the onerous Goliath asphyxiating the Palestinian David. I was also returning with the knowledge that whereas once I had dreamed of joining Israel’s elite special forces, now, even if I wanted to I could not. An Israeli foreign service officer had informed me of a file possessed by the Israeli government identifying me as pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist and an “enemy of the state.” ”


How about the fact he has defended Hizballah and called them a resistance group:

“Hizballah is not a terrorist organization. It is a widely popular and legitimate political and resistance movement. It has protected Lebanon’s sovereignty and resisted American and Israeli plans for a New Middle East.”


Does that not seem odd to you, that he is on the record defending an organization that is considered an enemy of Israel, yet you claim he is an agent of that very same state?

On another note would you not think that Hizballah in Lebanon, Saderists in Iraq, or even the Syrian government were not fully aware of Nir Rosen’s background of Jewish/Israeli/Persian decent, if they doubted him and mistrusted him, how come he was able to get so close to them? Don’t you think these two organizations and the Syrian government would at the very least google him, as you did?

As for the call sheet that you claim is an absolute proof of his guilt, what are the chances of more than one Nir Rosen in this world, hmmmmm a quick Facebook search produced 3 different Nir Rosen’s, and that is in English only, I am sure you would get more results in Farsi or Hebrew.

If you don’t agree with the man, no need to endanger his life. You and I might be anonymous and safe behind our keyboards, the same can’t be said about him as he is using his real name and risking his life with his style of trench reporting.

Perhaps you should try to contact him directly and bring up your concerns to him, rather than trashing him on a public forum and potentially risking his life by labelling him a Mossad agent (or even ‘out’ him if your accusations were even remotely true). He is definitely not hiding behind anonymity, all his contact info is available on his blog.


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March 22nd, 2012, 12:08 am


570. chris` said:

now i know why i never visit SC! I looked into it a while ago and realised its a one wsay street. today i am enlightened again.
DONT WASTE YOUR TIME HERE. this is either a site pocketed money from KSA or the likes.

amazing how rediculous and pathetic comments like 564 get published


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March 22nd, 2012, 12:10 am


571. jad said:

Dear brother Son of Damascus

I’m the one that should apologize for not being clear in my use of ‘you’ in my comments.

I should’ve been more careful in choosing my words about your respected friend.

I just felt that this particular terrorist attack to my neighbourhood, my family, my friends, and the trees that decorated this street, is a personal matter.

My …. called me 3min after it happens it was unbelievable and extremely emotional, and I could hear the shooting in the background (probably the security) on the phone, the gun shot was mixed with fear, anger, disbelieve and venerability of the person on the phone and through them of I felt the whole community of that neighbourhood, I was hearing first hand what’s going on for almost an hour and I called just an hour later after they went to hospital for another hour.

I felt that I was there, and for the first time nobody told me this terrorist attack or I saw it on tv, it was real and very very very sad experience, it took me back to Alazbakiyeh, the sad and ugly memories of that explosion, horrific memories.

What happened last Saturday in Damascus and on Sunday in Aleppo is devastating not to the buildings only but to the whole community and I was posting nonstop for three days without a word of sympathy from anybody that belongs to the other side on SC, they were busy with the shoes of Asma and the spam viagra emails of Bashar.

Even JL failed miserably in his cold, careless and ‘bad’ post we are writing under.

So when you wrote that comment 4 days later with some information that didn’t reflect the reality I went through, I really felt disappointed and I couldn’t stop myself from writing my comment directed to someone I believed to be somehow reasonable compared to all others.

I shouldn’t write you anything and I should’ve let it go, but I couldn’t, which obviously provoked you to reply the first time.

Son of Damascus, I’m not in anyway mad or offended or anything from your comment, not at all, and I appreciate if our beloved moderator don’t delete what you wrote, it doesn’t matter, we all get mad and angry sometimes and it’s fine with me as long as I know that Son of Damascus doesn’t hold any ill feelings toward me or toward any other Syrian.

Thank you!

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March 22nd, 2012, 12:24 am


572. jad said:

I guess we all already know who got the slap in the face of the UN statement today, obviously not the regime as some like to believe:

سوريا | البيان الرئاسي «يحفظ ماء وجه الخصوم ويمنحهم فرصة التراجع عن مواقفهم»

قراءة دمشق: إقرار ببرنامجنا للحل
مع صدور بيان مجلس الأمن الداعم لمقترحات المبعوث الدولي كوفي أنان، كيف قرأت دمشق التوافق الدولي على النص الجديد؟ الإجابة الأوليّة تأتي من مصادر رسمية تشي بارتياح، وتشير إلى أن البيان إقرار ببرنامج دمشق للحل

إيلي شلهوب
«كفة الإيجابيات راجحة». لعلها الجملة الأكثر تعبيراً عن موقف دمشق من البيان الدولي، الذي صدر أمس بشأن «مقترح أنان»، الذي لا يزال من وجهة نظرها «كلاماً في الهواء»، وإن كان البيان يمكن أن يمثّل مخرجاً يحفظ ماء الوجه لكل من يريد أن يتراجع عن مواقف سابقة متطرفة ضد الحكم في سوريا، الذي يبدو أنه يثمّن بشدّة الجهود الروسية في مجلس الأمن، وخصوصاً تأكيد موسكو لكل من يعنيه الأمر أن قبولها هذه التسوية الدولية غير الملزمة لا يعني أي تغيير في موقفها المبدئي من الأزمة في نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد.
وترى مصادر رسمية سورية أن «الاتجاه بات واضحاً نحو حل سياسي بقيادة سوريا وبرعاية المجتمع الدولي»، مضيفة إن «موضوع تنحي الرئيس بشار الأسد قد رمي في سلّة المهملات. البديل الوحيد، الذي نص عليه القرار الدولي، هو حوار في إطار عملية سياسية تقودها دمشق». وأوضحت المصادر أن «الإجماع الذي ناله البيان، الذي نص على حل بقيادة سورية لا خارجية، هو الدليل الأبرز على أن المجتمع الدولي كله مع هذا الرأي»، مشيرة إلى أنه «لم يعد هناك اختيار مسبق لنتائج الحوار، على ما نصت عليه القرارت العربية السابقة، عندما كانت قطر والسعودية ومعهما الغرب يريدون حواراً محددة سقوفه ونتائجه سلفاً بخروج الرئيس من الحكم».
وتشدد هذه المصادر على أنه بالنسبة إلى دمشق فإن «آليات الحل باتت واضحة للجميع. البداية بالتهدئة والمساعدات الإنسانية الطارئة، على أن يليها حوار يشارك فيه كل من له تمثيل على الأرض، وذلك بعد أن ترمي المجموعات المسلحة سلاحها، علماً بأن الإشارة الأخيرة لافتة، إذ للمرة الأولى يعترف مجلس الأمن بوجود مجموعات مسلحة داخل سوريا»، مؤكدة أن «سوريا ملتزمة الانخراط الإيجابي. الآن على المعارضة، ومعها قطر والسعودية والغرب، أن يفعلوا الشيء نفسه. إذا حصل هذا، نكون أمام بداية النهاية للأزمة».
أما بالنسبة إلى فريق المبعوث الأممي والعربي، كوفي أنان، الموجود في سوريا، فتقول المصادر إنه يعمل على مناقشة التفاصيل مع السلطات السورية، سواء بالنسبة إلى التهدئة وكيفية وقف النار، أو بالنسبة إلى المساعدات الطارئة، إن من ناحية نوعيتها وحجمها، أو بالنسبة إلى آليات إيصالها إلى المناطق التي تحتاج إليها»، مشيرة إلى أن هذا الفريق زار حماه واللاذقية وإدلب.
ونوهت مصادر قريبة من النظام في سوريا بـ «الجهد الجبار» الذي بذله الروس للوصول إلى هذا البيان، مشيرة إلى أن «موسكو ضغطت على نحو مخيف. وفي الوقت نفسه، كانت حريصة على إبلاغ جميع المعنيين، من أميركيين وأتراك وسعوديين وقطريين، أن موافقتها على هذا البيان لا تعني أبداً حصول أيّ تغيير في مواقفها المبدئية من الأزمة السورية».
وتوضح هذه المصادر أن البيان الأممي «أتى بتحوّل في الكثير من المواقف السابقة. هو يشير للمرة الأولى إلى أن الطرفين المتنازعين في سوريا يملكان السلاح ويستخدمانه، ومن هنا كانت إشارته إلى وقف العنف بكافة أشكاله من جميع الأطراف». وتضيف «وهناك أيضاً التأكيد على أن الحكومة السورية هي التي ستعمل من أجل تحقيق وقف مستدام لهذا العنف بالتعاون مع أنان، مع ما يعنيه ذلك من اعتراف بأن الحكومة السورية هي وحدها من يحق له احتكار حمل السلاح في البلاد، وبالتالي قدرتها على استخدامه».

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March 22nd, 2012, 12:27 am


573. jad said:

Thank you for linking the speech of the first lady.
You are not banned, but the site seems to have some minor technical issue, it should be solved soon by the moderator.

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March 22nd, 2012, 12:42 am


574. jad said:

The real terrorist dogs are hungry for more Syrian blood and they are running out of tricks:
The neo-ottoman sultan is pushing to do something in the enemies of Syria meeting while the khalayjeh want to force Jordan to help giving the inside terrorists weapons to kill more Syrians:

الدوحة لا تريد الابتعاد والإمارات مترددة وإغراءات للأردن لفتح معسكرات وتمرير أسلحة
تركيا تحاول استباق انتقال رئاسة اللجنة العربية من قطر إلى العراق نحو جعل مقررات اسطنبول مرجعية وإضفاء «شرعية» على «المجلس الوطني»

محمد بلوط
تتجه تركيا إلى إعادة ترتيب أوضاع المعارضة السورية، ولا سيما «المجلس الوطني السوري»، واستباق أي تغييرات قد تطرأ على مواقف الجامعة العربية، بعد حلول العراق محل قطر في رئاسة اللجنة الوزارية العربية.
وقال مصدر عربي في باريس، أمس، إن دبلوماسيين عرباً على أعلى المستويات التقوا في الأيام الماضية وزير الخارجية التركي أحمد داود أوغلو، نقلوا تصميماً تركياً على إعادة ترتيب أوضاع «المجلس الوطني» الذي بدأ يعاني من انسحابات واستقالات، تعقد مهمة مؤتمر «أصدقاء سوريا» في الأول من نيسان المقبل في اسطنبول، ودعوتهم إلى توحيد المعارضة ضد النظام السوري.
وقال المصدر العربي إن داود اوغلو قد ابلغ الدبلوماسيين العرب إن أعضاء وقيادات في «المجلس الوطني» قد دعوا إلى اجتماع تمهيدي يعقد في اسطنبول السبت المقبل، يتبعه اجتماع آخر، بدعوة من الحكومة التركية، في 26 آذار الحالي للغاية ذاتها.
وقال داود أوغلو للدبلوماسيين إن تركيا هي الطرف الأول الذي بادر إلى بناء «المجلس الوطني»، ولن تقبل بأي تغيير جذري فيه، وأنها لا تثق بالعناصر التي تغادر المجلس أو التي رفضت الانضمام إليه. وتنوي الدبلوماسية التركية الطلب إلى من غادروا المجلس إعلان موقف واضح أنهم، وعلى الرغم من انسحابهم منه، إلا أنهم يدعمونه من دون أدنى تحفظ، وأن شرعيته فوق أي شكوك، وأن يقبلوا به، سواء انتسبوا إليه أو عملوا من خارجه. وتعتبر الدبلوماسية التركية أنه لا وقت راهناً لإعادة تجميع المعارضة، كما تطالب الجامعة العربية في ظل مؤتمر جامع في القاهرة يحترم التناسب الحقيقي بين أطرافها والاختلاف في تياراتها، وبعد أن أقر بأن ذلك غير ديموقراطي، «لكنه لا توجد خيارات أخرى بسبب تسارع الأحداث في الداخل السوري وضرورة فرض تصوراتنا الأقرب للتطبيق».
ولوح الوزير التركي، بحسب المصدر العربي، بتهديد المعارضين المنسحبين والمستقيلين، بحجب الدعم اللوجستي الذي تقدمه أنقرة لهم، إذا لم يوافقوا على شروطها. وكان هيثم المالح، عضو المكتب التنفيذي، آخر المنسحبين من «المجلس الوطني» مع «مجموعة العمل من اجل تحرير سوريا»، ونشأ تكتل معارض جديد يضم التيار الوطني السوري برئاسة عماد الدين رشيد وتيار التغيير الوطني برئاسة عمار القربي والكتلة الوطنية التركمانية السورية برئاسة يوسف الملا وكتلة التحرير والبناء برئاسة نواف البشير، من دون أن يغادر بعض أعضائه «المجلس الوطني».
وقال معارض سوري بارز لـ«السفير» إن الضغط التركي على أطراف المعارضة قد يدفع بعض أجنحتها إلى مغادرة اسطنبول إلى القاهرة، خاصة ان جماعة الإخوان المسلمين في مصر توفر تسهيلات كبيرة، بل وتغطي عمليات مكشوفة لجمع المال من أجل السلاح في القاهرة.

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March 22nd, 2012, 12:50 am


575. ann said:

The Tao of Warmongering – Mar 22nd, 2012


A day after Barack Hussein Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, he gave a press conference and responded to a question of what would happen if sanctions on Iran fail (more than they have already) by denouncing “those who are suggesting, or proposing, or beating the drums of war.”

When asked whether his “window of diplomatic opportunity” and serious-face remarks about the “costs of war” applied to Syria as well as Iran, the peacemonger suddenly became the warmonger, asserting, “What’s happening in Syria is heartbreaking and outrageous, and what you’ve seen is the international community mobilize against the Assad regime. And it’s not a question of when Assad leaves — or if Assad leaves — it’s a question of when.”


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March 22nd, 2012, 1:12 am


576. Son of Damascus said:

Dear Jad,

I am glad we are able to put this small matter to rest and behind us, we are all angry and saddened about what is transpiring in Syria.

I hope your …. is safe and sound, and if they need any help or medical attention my family and I would be more than obliged to help with absolute pleasure, just say the word.


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March 22nd, 2012, 1:14 am


577. jad said:

Zoo #548

Thank you for posting this


I think I was correct that the obvious connection between fsa and alqaeda is a bad news to reach the media after long time of hiding the truth.

I’m glad that it’s finally out, that Alqaeda is infiltrating fsa big time.

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March 22nd, 2012, 1:15 am


578. jad said:

Dear Son of Damascus

Your offer means a lot to me, I appreciate your kind words.

Thank you very much!

Inshallah boukra Sourya a7san.

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March 22nd, 2012, 1:25 am


579. ann said:

Peaceful ANGELS flying Al-qaeda flag

[ green arrow Edited link to photo.

In this Sunday, March 4, 2012 file photo, Lebanese anti-Syrian regime Salafi protesters carry the Syrian revolutionary flag during a demonstration held by a Salafi group at Martyrs’ Square in Beirut, Lebanon. Islamic movements inside and outside Syria are also vying to gain influence through the uprising and their growing power is seeding divisions within an already fractious opposition. The groups run the spectrum from violent, jihadi movements that are not far in ideology to al-Qaida, to hard-line Salafis, to political moderates like the Muslim Brotherhood. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File) ]

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March 22nd, 2012, 1:26 am


580. Son of Damascus said:


I am not sure you are aware of this but Frontpagemag is owned and operated by a bigot named David Horrowitz that leads a so called ‘freedom centre’ that the Southern Poverty Law Center (nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society) has characterized David Horrowitz as following:

“Although he makes much of his past working for civil rights for blacks and others, he more recently has blamed slavery on”black Africans … abetted by dark-skinned Arabs” — a selective rewriting of history. He also claims that “there never was an anti-slavery movement until white Christians — Englishmen and Americans — created one.” That, of course, is false. Critics note that Horowitz is ignoring everything from the slave revolt led by Spartacus against the Romans and Moses’ rebellion against the Pharaoh to the role of American blacks in the abolition movement.”


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March 22nd, 2012, 1:32 am


581. SC Moderation said:

alert I was feeling under the weather today, and have not attended to Syria Comment till now. I note much self-moderation in the meantime, especially by Jad and SOD. Thanks for that.

Technical moderation is a bit of a puzzle. Sometimes a number of posts are in spam, some in moderation when I look. SS, Omen, there is no pattern that I can see, just momentary deflections perhaps caused by traffic issues.

Please address specific concerns as they arise, if you can, to the direct email of SCModeration@mail.com. I will remove present non-offenders from unfair detention.

Whoever may try to push provocative “Alawi” or other sectarian buttons, please be mindful of other commentators’ humanity. Follow Jad and SOD’s model in working through sharp disagreements in discussion, if possible.

SOD, thank you for pressing 873 for a retraction of his unwise remarks on Nir Rosen. It is clear now that Rosen was never a member of IDF, and that 873 erred in his claim.

Ann, thanks for that link to the Syrian archaeology story. See also images at Past Horizons, Scientific American, and Atlantic Cities.

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March 22nd, 2012, 1:40 am


582. Son of Damascus said:


“Inshallah boukra Sourya a7san.”

Min temak la adaneen Allah

What are your thoughts of the UNSC resolution, do you believe if the regime and the FSA respect the terms we can potentially see a catalyst for Syrians to go out in numbers and protest safely without the fear of death?

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March 22nd, 2012, 1:45 am


585. ann said:

579. SC Moderation said:

Ann, thanks for that link to the Syrian archaeology story. See also images at Past Horizons, Scientific American, and Atlantic Cities.

Thanks for the links

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March 22nd, 2012, 2:22 am


586. Khalid Tlass said:

“509. ALDENDESHE said:

Ask Tlass about the Talmud, he will reply right away, Sunni Islam, he would have to Google first. How could a Sunni Moslem from Syria beg for Independent Alawites State or separation of Syria along sectarian lines as he does.”

Hahaha Dandashi, with this comment we know all your previous ones were utter balderdash. Take your nationalism to Iraq and Lebanon and other non-Sunni countries, tell the Iraqi Shia about Syrian Nationalism, last time I heard, Saadeh said Iraq and Lebanon are integral parts of Syrian Nation, so why should Syrian Sunnis be under the burden to be the vanguards and forerunners of Syrian Nationalism while the Shia can cling to the robes of their Ayatollahs. I say try your nationalist experiment in Iraq, snatch the Shia masses away from the grip of their clergy, tell them about Assyria, Babylonia, anything other than the Husseiniye trash emanating from Tehran, it will do the world a good turn. Sunnis are no longer fools, go elsewhere with your little laboratory.

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March 22nd, 2012, 2:25 am


587. jad said:


Thank you for using the right name for the annoying dude, I think ‘Zibaleh’ suits him very well.
Check out this article:

New Phase in Syria Crisis: Dealmaking Toward An Exit
By: Sharmine Narwani
And so the external players are shifting gears – the more outspoken ones, quietly seeking alternative options. There are two de facto groups that have formed. Group A is looking for a face-saving exit from the promised escalation in Syria. It consists of the United States, European Union and Turkey. Group B, on the other hand, is heavily invested in regime-change at any cost, and includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some elements of the French, US, British, and Libyan establishments.

Before Baba Amr, these two groups were unified in maximizing their every resource to force regime change in Syria. When the UN Security Council option was blocked by Russia and China, they coalesced around the General Assembly and ad-hoc “Friends of Syria” to build coalitions, tried unsuccessfully to bring a disparate opposition fighting force (Free Syrian Army) under central leadership, pushed to recognize the disunited Syrian National Council (SNC), and eked out weekly “events” like embassy closures and political condemnations to maintain a “perception momentum.”

But those efforts have largely come to a standstill after Baba Amr. A reliable source close to the Syrian regime said to me recently: “The regime eliminated the biggest and most difficult obstacle – Baba Amr. Elsewhere, it [eliminating armed militias] is easier and less costly at all levels. Now both political and military steps can continue.”
Dealmaking Begins in Earnest

The first clear-cut public sign of this new phase was the appointment of Kofi Annan as UN envoy to Syria. Annan is an American “concession” that will draw out this dealmaking phase between the Syrian government, opposition figures and foreign governments potentially until the May 2012 parliamentary elections.

This phase is what the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and other BRIC countries have sought from the start: the creation of a protective bubble around Syria so that it has the time and space necessary to implement domestic reforms that will not harm its geopolitical priorities.
The European Union (EU) kicked things off in March in a joint foreign ministerial communique rejecting military intervention in Syria. This was swiftly followed by Kofi Annan’s strong warning against external efforts to arm the Syrian opposition, with various Americans making similar soundings in his wake.
The game has changed along Syria’s borders too. Turkey, a ferocious critic of the Assad government this past year, is reconsidering its priorities. A participant in a recent closed meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reveals the emptiness of Turkish threats to form a “humanitarian corridor” or security zone on their Syrian border. Davutoglu, says my source, insisted in private that “Turkey will not do anything to harm Syria’s territorial integrity and unity because that will transfer the conflict into Turkish territory.”
A Hard Dose of Realpolitik
In Washington in particular, alarm bells have been ringing since militant Islamists infiltrated the Syrian opposition militias, some pouring in from Iraq where they were only recently targeting American interests. The US has spent the better part of a decade focusing its national security apparatus on the threat from Al Qaeda and militant Islam. The execution of Osama Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda-related figures was meant to put a seal on this problem – at least in the sense that the organization has shriveled in size and influence.

But Syria threatens to blast open a Pandora’s Box of newly-motivated “soldiers of God.” And while sectarian anger may be the fuse, the conflagration will take place on a major geopolitical fault line in the Mideast, at a delicate time, on one of Israel’s borders – and changing winds could fan those flames right back in the direction of the United States and its allies.
As Group A moves toward a face-saving exit from the crisis, we are going to witness a re-telling of events in Syria. The Western “mainstream media” and major international NGOs, which have served as little more than propaganda tools for various governments seeking to escalate the Syrian crisis and vilify the Assad government, are suddenly “discovering” dangerous elements in the Syrian opposition. This scene-setting is just as deliberate as the false narratives we have witnessed from Group A since the start of the crisis.

Group B, on the other hand, remains unable to take its eye off the Syrian brass ring and may continue to employ increasingly brazen and foolhardy tactics to stimulate chaos inside the country. Syria may be Group B’s graveyard unless they are brought into these deals and promised some protection. I suspect, however, that they will instead be utilized as a valuable negotiating tool for Group A – brought into play if dealmaking is not working to their advantage.
Meanwhile, the West and its regional allies will happily draw out a low-boil War of Attrition in Syria to keep the Syrian regime busy, weakened and defensive, while further seeking to cement their hold on the direction of the “Arab Spring.” They will pull levers to create flare-ups when distractions or punishments are warranted, with nary a care to the lives and livelihoods of the most disenfranchised Syrians whose blood is this conflict’s main currency.

It will never be certain if there was a revolution in Syria in 2011. The country became a geopolitical battleground less than a month after the first small protests broke out in various pockets inside Syria. And it is not over by a long stretch. Syria will continue to be the scene of conflict between two regional blocs until one side wins. This may be a new phase in Syria today where players are converging to “cut some losses,” but be assured that they are merely replenishing and repositioning their reserves for a broader regional fight.


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March 22nd, 2012, 2:27 am


588. Khalid Tlass said:


I think many non-Muslims are better than so-called Sunnis when it comes to Syria. Paul Conroy or Marie Colvin or Fadwa Suleiman are WAY better than Walid Muallem or the entire al-Akhras clan or Mustafa Tlass for that matter.

Btw how can you call ASMA a conservative Muslim “praying five times a day” , if she was she would have dressed in Hijab ( like 70 % of Syrian women), anyway I don’t think she would take the trouble of praying Fajr.

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March 22nd, 2012, 2:29 am


589. Khalid Tlass said:

580. SC MODERATION said :
“Whoever may try to push provocative “Alawi” or other sectarian buttons, please be mindful of other commentators’ humanity. ”

I think the same should go for anyone using the word “Sunni” or “Islamic” or “Islamists”, be fair to both sides, check out comments by ANN or MJABALI about Sunnis and Muslims in general.

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March 22nd, 2012, 2:31 am


590. jad said:

The Homsis who smuggled Rosen in and out of Syria are now on a ‘holy’ mission to defend him:

بيان يوضح ماهية الإشاعات حول الصحفي الامريكي نير روزن
by مجلس الثورة في محافظة حمص

” Fellow revolutionaries and media activists:
in the last few days, some rumors circulated regarding US journalist Nir Rosen, accusing him of being an agent for the Assad regime, because of his relationship with one of the regime’s agencies, which is due to the nature of his work. We believe that this matter should have not been dealt with before looking into the history of this journalist and checking with those who have dealt with him directly, as they would best know the details and necessities associated with the work of journalists. Therefore, we encourage all activists to avoid spreading unconfirmed rumors, especially those that may include accusations of treason. We refuse the mistreatment of Mr. Rosen, and we welcome him and any other independent journalists and invite them to Syria in any way possible to show the world the truth of what is going on, as long as they work professionally and with the highest degree of morals associated with their profession. Revolutionary Council of Homs – Media Bureau”

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March 22nd, 2012, 2:57 am


591. Mina said:

Thank you Jad for the article by Narwani. It is excellent and I hope it will open the eyes to many.

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March 22nd, 2012, 3:01 am


592. ann said:

UN Security Council backs Annan peace plan – 22 March, 2012


US-based journalist and author Susan Lindauer believes that the United States, far from helping to resolve the Syria crisis, is actually fueling it by training the armed opposition.

“One of the reasons the violence has continued is that the United States is covertly financing the opposition to Bashar Assad’s government,” she told RT. “The United States is providing tactical assistance for training military operations. It’s being done outside of the country, just across the border.”

Lindauer added that as long as Washington continues to feed this conflict, it will go on.

“What’s good for Bashar Assad is also good for Hillary Clinton. The United States must announce that it will stop supporting the rebels in Syria,” she said.


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March 22nd, 2012, 3:05 am


593. jad said:

A Muslim-Christian joint prayers for the victims of Damascus terrorist attack last Saturday:

صلاة مشتركة إسلامية مسيحية على أرواح ضحايا تفجيري دمشق

أقام رجال دين مسلمون ومسيحيون في كنيسة كيرلس في دمشق الاربعاء 21 مارس/ آذار، صلاة مشتركة على أرواح ضحايا التفجيرين الإرهابيين اللذين استهدفا دمشق السبت. وبعد ذلك نظم المشاركون مسيرة شموع من الكنيسة إلى موقع التفجير حيث وضعوا الزهور تكريما لأرواح الشهداء.

وتشابكت أيادي المسلمين والمسيحيين في لفتة تدل على تآخي الأديان في سورية، مرددين الصلوات على أرواح الضحايا، ومن أجل إحلال المحبة والسلام في سورية.


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March 22nd, 2012, 3:05 am


594. Son of Damascus said:


I think the moderator covered all faiths and sects when he/she said: “or other sectarian buttons”, you would be wrong to assume that did not include Sunni, or Islam.

And for the record as a Sunni that opposes the Assad tyranny, I strongly and utterly disagree with your views regarding our Alawi, Christian, Druze, and Shia Syrian brothers and sisters.

I urge you to learn more about your fellow Syrians, and learn to judge them by their actions and not their faith. You can choose your religion (or lack thereof) but you can’t choose where you are born and raised, and that is what makes a Syrian.

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March 22nd, 2012, 3:05 am


595. Khalid Tlass said:

594. SON OF DAMASCUS said :

“And for the record as a Sunni that opposes the Assad tyranny, I strongly and utterly disagree with your views regarding our Alawi, Christian, Druze, and Shia Syrian brothers and sisters.”

I only said a few things about the Alawi and Shia and their political quest for world domination ( the first step being the “Shia crescent”).

I do not have anything against Syrian Christians or Druze, I have not posted a single comment about them. Infact DRuze can be good partners in the future building of the Syrian Nation, bcz they are flexible and do not hold a grudge for “700 years”. Look at Walid Jumblatt, during the dictatorship of Adeeb Shishakli (1949-55) he attacked and shelled Suweida and killed a lot of Druze, yet Jumblatt covered his father’s grave with the OLd Syrian Flag ( which was used during Shishakli’s regime)

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March 22nd, 2012, 3:13 am


596. Khalid Tlass said:


Iraqi Kurdistan threatens to declare independence

The President of the autonomous Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq, Massoud Barzani has threatened to declare independence from the central government in Baghdad.

Speaking in the region’s capital of Arbil on Tuesday, the president of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said the partnership that had built the national unity government in the country was now “completely non-existent and has become meaningless,” AFP reported.

He also said that the oil-rich Kirkuk had to be incorporated into a future independent Kurdistan.

Diplomats regard the dispute as one of the greatest threats to Iraq’s long-term stability.

Barzani’s threat comes amid strained relations between him and the central government since he gave sanctuary to the fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi in December.

Hashemi is wanted in Baghdad for alleged involvement in terror activities. The Kurdistan region has defied calls to hand him over to Baghdad for trial.


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March 22nd, 2012, 3:15 am


597. annie said:

Fresh off the press : http://7ee6an.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/a-year-on-by-syrian-hamster/

The Hamster’s assessment of where we are one year later starts :
What has been accomplished in a year?

I would say a miracle on the civilian front, mild successes on the political and diplomatic front, and a setback on the military front if viewed. In all cases, successes and failures were the results of choices and decisions made by members of a fragmented society that has internalized a set of intersecting complex layers of myths and faulty images of itself and its surrounding after fifty years of intense propaganda and suppression by a most murderous regime equipped with the most evil instruments of murder, oppression, and propaganda. It is now difficult to call the people who participate in regime activities human, for they have displayed levels of physical and mental brutalities unknown in recent human history.

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March 22nd, 2012, 3:19 am


598. jad said:

Thousands of Syrians killed
Thousands become refugees
Sectarianism and a break of a civil war
Destroyed economy
Alqaeda allover the country
Nonstop terrorist attacks
And shorty NATO occupation of Syria followed by cutting it into pieces.
What a lovely year of accomplishments that we need to celebrate for with every enemy of Syria.
As Arabtimes once wrote: #### 3leko w 3la heek thawra!

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March 22nd, 2012, 3:35 am


599. jad said:

Ghadi Francis latest report about the Syrian-Lebanese border
الحدود بين الأزرق والأصفر – غدي فرنسيس

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March 22nd, 2012, 3:52 am


600. Khalid Tlass said:

One thing I agree with Dandashi/SNP assessment, Al Qaida is totally fake and fictitious, but not AL-CIADA but AYATOLLA-QAIDA, c’mon it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess who they’re working for, from Yemen to Iraq to Syria. Nice fake beards from the bazaars of Tehran.

The A…Qaida even have Tanks and Artillery in Yemen, we all know that is not possible without active and qualitative IRGC / Hezbollah assistance. Not even insiders can do it.

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March 22nd, 2012, 3:56 am


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