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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701. Mina said:

Tonight on SC, the PR is full boost…
And they keep repeating exactly the same phrases we heard about Ben Ali and Mubarak. “Is he dying his hair?” etc. What a pity that taqlid ruined any possibility of creation.

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

702. Alan said:

http://articles.boston.com/2012-03-21/news/31221105_1_president-bashar-assad-damascus-islamistIslamists seek influence in Syria uprising

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.’’

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

703. irritated said:

#700 SOD

I agree so this is why I am against anyone pointing to alawites or sunnis or shias or christians for crimes, there are just Syrians pro or anti regime.

As for the animal farm, I make an exception for Hillary and Hamad Ben Jassem: Miss Piggy and Bigbird.

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

704. Aldendeshe said:

I will vote Bashar Assad for 3 more decades so Khaddam has no chance of setting a foot in Syria. Few million Syrians will do the same, get it? not yet? Oh Yeah, did not Tlass said to Lebanese station that he will be back in Syria last Saturday!!!

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:29 pm

 

705. omen said:

opposition responds to HRW report.

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:30 pm

 

706. irritated said:

#702 Mina

These are called desperate attempts of diversion via futility.

We had Asma’s shoes for a dozen of posts, now Bashar’s hair color is the latest hot subject of the highly intellectual debate about the future of Syria.
No wonder its going nowhere.

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:31 pm

 

707. Uzair8 said:

I can’t help but be reminded of something recently while watching the recent developments in Syria.

The regime moves on to the next area after ‘recapturing’ a rebel area only to have a previously ‘recaptured’ area stir up again. We have also seen previously ‘loyal’ Ar Raqqah surprise everyone and come to the fore with recent significant protests.

If that wasn’t enough to worry an already nervous regime now we hear about increased FSA activities in and around Damascus aswell as reports of the sound of gunfire and explosions being heard by most if not all of Damascus.

Don’t forget Prof Landis’ comments on Aleppo.

One area goes quiet another takes up the baton. It is only a matter of time before the regime realises the futility of its attempt to crush the ever-growing revolution.

It is in this context that someones words have been coming to my mind more and more in recent days. More and more I can see this happening. It is only a matter of time:

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=13333&cp=all#comment-294822

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:34 pm

 

708. irritated said:

699. Uzair8 said:

“Btw the AJE Live Syria Blog comment section is up and running again after being closed in recent weeks.”

With the flow of twisted and unreliable information it is carrying, it might as well stay closed

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:34 pm

 

709. irritated said:

#708 Uzair8

Do you expect immediate silence so fast? The armed gangs have still some amunitions left….

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:37 pm

 

710. Son of Damascus said:

Irritated,

“this is why I am against anyone pointing to alawites or sunnis or shias or christians for crimes, there are just Syrians pro or anti regime.”

I am glad we agree on this point.

I like the Miss Piggy nickname, does that make Bill Kermit? I don’t really see him as a frog, I by no means am trying to be culturally insensitive to the French but see Sarkozy fitting the role much better than Bill of Kermit the Frog.

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:43 pm

 

711. Tara said:

Mina

Fyi, I really really do not like men who dye their hair. I find white hair to be very attractive on some people. Trust me, no women likes a man who dyes his hair.

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:45 pm

 

712. Uzair8 said:

702. Mina

I honestly wasn’t aware of the Ben Ali and Mubarak hair dye reports.

I was of course being a little light-hearted but it did cross my mind some weeks ago about Assad being under enormous pressure yet appearing unaffected in recent pictures (with dignatories, peace envoys etc). He still looks healthy and happy. Keeping up appearances.

I guess it is part of his job to disguise any signs of weakness, worry or nervousness.

Like I said. It was something I have wondered. I’m sure my comments will have amused some. Especially linking them with the ‘emails’.

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March 22nd, 2012, 4:46 pm

 

713. Son of Damascus said:

US policy on Syria: A bad joke told at the Syrian people’s expense
By Michael Weiss

One of my favourite anecdotes from the Syrian revolution is this. On June 15 of last year, the Assad regime staged one of its many expensive loyalist rallies in Damascus. Demonstrators unfurled a three-mile-long Syrian flag on which was written, “God, Syria, Bashar”, a slightly contradictory troika since Syrian security forces routinely torture anti-Assad protestors by telling them that there is no god but Bashar. Two days later, in Hama, an even larger anti-regime rally of about 100,000 people was held featuring an even longer banner – this one the “Independence” flag of Syria. On it was written: “Hama will not kneel.”
Nor has it, which is why the regime is now pounding the hell out of Hama. Despite the lamest attempts by so-called international community to argue otherwise, the Syrian revolution has not resigned itself to the notion that Assad’s downfall is “inevitable”. Weeks after the fall of Baba Amr, the New York Times still finds itself running headlines like this: “Fighting Returns to Areas Syria Had Declared Secure.” Homs will not kneel either, apparently. Street-to-street fighting persists in Deir Ba’albeh, and tanks are being blown up in al-Khadiyeh. And the Independence flag has just been unfurled in Damascus.

[...]

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/michaelweiss/100146210/us-policy-on-syria-a-bad-joke-told-at-the-syrian-peoples-expense/

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March 22nd, 2012, 5:06 pm

 

714. Uzair8 said:

I’ve noticed in recent months how increasingly Press Tv website features ‘quotes’ as top headline titles. It isn’t immediately obvious. It is only when one clicks on the story one finds that it is a quote from some analyst (favourable) or left wing western commentator.

I suspect in the absence of any real positive pro Assad news they instead use quotes which can decieve those readers who tend to glance at headlines without clicking on the stories. This still creates the illusion of the Press Tv narrative regarding the Syrian issue.

In the UK Press Tv was removed from the Sky Digital Tv platform not long ago.

Unfortunately we still have Russia Today (RT). The other week I switched to watch RT and saw some reports from Syria. Watching these reports I honestly felt nauseous. I just could not recognise their interpretation of events. As I write I can clearly remember (and feel) my reaction. Speechless.

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March 22nd, 2012, 5:10 pm

 

715. Son of Damascus said:

Bashar’s pyrrhic triumphs
The Syrian regime is winning battles, but losing the war for its survival
Mar 24th 2012

PRESIDENT Bashar Assad has enjoyed certain comforts during the year-long uprising against his rule. His enemies, both in the Syrian opposition and in foreign chanceries, have been in perpetual disarray, never able to gather critical force. His allies have proven loyal, shipping in arms and fending off action from the UN Security Council. Violence has largely spared Syria’s two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, which together hold nearly half the country’s population, allowing the regime to maintain a veneer of normality.

Mr Assad’s brutal tactics against more rebellious parts of the country have also brought pyrrhic relief. Government troops showed no qualms about killing hundreds of civilians last month to crush armed rebels in Baba Amr, a poor Sunni district of Syria’s third-largest city, Homs. Since then the loosely organised rebel force that calls itself the Free Syrian Army has repeatedly withdrawn from other restless towns to spare them devastation. The rebels have yet to prove they can hold out against government troops long enough to secure any territory.

[...]

http://www.economist.com/node/21551085

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March 22nd, 2012, 5:15 pm

 

716. Uzair8 said:

#716 SOD

This is an interesting battle. A clash of 2 opposite strategies.

‘Cracking a nut with a sledgehammer’ V ‘Death by a thousand cuts’

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March 22nd, 2012, 5:21 pm

 

717. Alan said:

FSA launch military council to attack Damascus
http://www.rt.com/news/fsa-military-council-syria-232/

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March 22nd, 2012, 5:28 pm

 

718. Alan said:

good Job Mr Landis !

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March 22nd, 2012, 5:31 pm

 

719. Tara said:

I do not believe peace is possible while Bashar is in power.

Why a U.N. Syria Peace Plan Poses a Challenge to Rebels
By TONY KARON | @tonykaron | March 21, 2012 | 

http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/03/21/why-a-u-n-syria-peace-plan-poses-a-challenge-to-rebels/

But the demand that the opposition negotiate with the regime on the terms laid down by Annan poses a dilemma for the fractured Syrian rebellion, some of whose leaders are set to convene in Turkey on Thursday and Friday: What is won at the negotiating table typically reflects the balance of power on the ground. And the reality, there, is that the Assad regime has proven far more resilient than its domestic and foreign opponents had assumed it would be.
….

The reality reflected in the revised U.N. peace plan is that the regime is far from beaten, and a negotiated settlement is likely to offer the rebels less than Assad’s surrender. But it may be the only alternative foreign powers are willing to offer. Pressing on with an armed rebellion would likely require a protracted Iraq-style insurgency with uncertain results. To be sure, the rebellion is on a stronger footing if matters are settled politically than it if they’re to be settled by force of arms — that may be why the Assad regime unleashed such ruthless repression against peaceful protests at the onset of the rebellion to provoke it onto terrain more favorable to those in power.
…. .
One year into the rebellion, its architects stand at a crossroads, facing a choice between less than satisfactory political process that gives more assurance to Assad than they’d prefer, and a protracted and even bloodier war with less certain outcome. Given the language used by Assad in his private emails to rubbish the kinds of political changes  advocated by Annan with Russian and Chinese backing, it’s clear which option he’d prefer his opponents to take. He may well believe that if he signals acceptance of U.N. terms and the opposition fights on, he’ll have won license to do the same. And it’s a safe bet he’ll interpret cooperation in a way that least impedes his ongoing repression. Less clear is whether the opposition is willing, or able, to turn from the path of a fight to the finish, or even to speak with one voice as they reach a strategic crossroads.

The history of the past year, of course, suggests there’s little reason for optimism. Indeed, Assad’s Russian backers might be chiding him for his “very many mistakes” in his violent response to the initial protest movement, but he may instead be following the advice of his Iranian allies who have urged him to follow the example of their own suppression of opposition protest. Nobody should be betting right now on peace breaking out in the post-Arab Spring spring. (…)

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March 22nd, 2012, 5:37 pm

 

720. jad said:

Alan
Why don’t fsa make it simple to all and call themselves Alqaeda or Taliban or Alshabab or something more suitable to what they are, bunch of radical armed terrorists, nothing more nothing less.

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March 22nd, 2012, 5:42 pm

 

721. Alan said:

720
there will come time soon when a military wing will be cheap sold and made answerable in the court! time shall put points on the correct places!

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March 22nd, 2012, 5:55 pm

 

722. admir said:

@ MAJED # 555

‘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’

the only ones who should go to israel are the filty radical sunnis who started this mess. they started this revolution with israeli support (no wonder israel calls for toppling of assad regime – they and revolutionaries have same goal!) and revolutionaries like danny are calling for israel to help them overthrow assad, Surprise! surprise! (sarcasm)

latakia, tartus, and the coastal region are for ‘nusayris’ (they are called alawis by the way) because they form a majority there – if sunnis try to invade and ‘sunnify’ it the alawis will resist with all the heavy weapons assad gave them (not to mention that the mountainous regions give them the upper hand against sunni invaders). You guys tried centuries before to take coastal region and make it sunni (unde the mamelukes and ottomans) and you failed, not only that – but the result you got was that the alawis ended up taking all of syria out of revenge for the attempted takeover of latakia & tartus. be careful what you wish for! in the end it might end up being against you (what is often called blowback).

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:02 pm

 

723. Alan said:

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120322/172335443.html

UN Syria Envoy Annan to Visit Moscow This Week

UN and Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan will come to Moscow for an official visit by the end of this week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Thursday.

When asked about Annan’s planned visit to Russia, Bogdanov told journalists that “it will be in next few days,” but before the end of this week.

The diplomat said that in “the next few days” Moscow also expects a visit of representatives from the Syrian opposition National Coordination Committee (NCC).

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Annan’s visit to Russia is designed to signal “consolidation and support” for international efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday adopted Annan’s six-point plan to end the bloody conflict in Syria, threatening unspecified “further steps” if it failed to comply. The plan calls for a ceasefire and demands swift access for aid agencies.

More than 8,000 people have been killed in Syria since protests against President Bashar al-Assad began a year ago.

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:09 pm

 

724. Son of Damascus said:

Response to Human Rights Watch “Open Letter To The Leaders of The Syrian Opposition”

We are a group of Syrian bloggers, writers, activists, and independent citizens. We would like to commend your efforts to bring to light violations of human rights whatever their nature or source may be. We have read your letter to the leaders of the Syrian opposition highlighting “increasing evidence…of kidnappings, the use of torture, and executions by armed Syrian opposition members”, and we would like to respond with the following:

All efforts to expose criminal actions and violations of human rights are commendable. The Syrian uprising began with human rights at the forefront of its values. “Freedom” was one of the first words uttered in the chants of this uprising. It was also accompanied, at least in the beginning, with the chants of “Selmiya, Selmiya” (peaceful, peaceful). In one of the most memorable scenes of this revolution captured on video, Mohamed Abd Al Wahab from the town of Baidah (near to Banias) exclaims: “I’m a human being, not an animal!”, referring to the dehumanizing treatment of citizens by the security forces. The essence of the Syrian uprising is the people’s struggle for their human rights: the right of every Syrian citizen to freedom and dignity. The Assad regime has denied and suppressed these basic human rights for decades, employing every fear tactic imaginable: systematic murder (including but not limited to the massacre of Hama, 1982); mass imprisonment; and torture. These tactics of brutality have paralyzed the Syrian people in silence and fear, until March 2011.

Hence, we believe that the violations outlined by this report do not, and cannot, represent the entire opposition movement. We reject any implication that taints the entire opposition with these actions. This report has already been put to political use by mouthpieces and propagandists of the Syrian regime in order to bolster the notion that there are two equal sides to this crisis and that violence is more or less equal. This proposition is a gross exaggeration and utterly untrue. Criminal actions by armed opposition members, while appalling, are minuscule compared to the systematic criminal repression of the regime.

[...]

http://www.ayyam.org/english/?p=294

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:13 pm

 

725. Alan said:

Kofi Annan soon again will visit Damascus
http://www.armtoday.info/default.asp?Lang=_Ru&NewsID=62709&SectionID=0&RegionID=0&Date=03/22/2012&PagePosition=1
The secretary general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon confirmed that the special envoy of the United Nations and League of Arab States Kofi Annan is going to visit Damascus once again. The Secretary general of the United Nations made such statement at press conference in the Indonesian capital – Jakarta.

On Tuesday head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov already reported that, except visit to Moscow, which terms are coordinated, Annan intends to go to Damascus once again.

Ban Ki-moon confirmed that the special envoy of the United Nations and League of Arab States Kofi Annan actively works over searches of ways of permission of the Syrian crisis. The secretary general of the United Nations also specified that Syria endures deep and extremely dangerous crisis which can have serious regional and global consequences.

“We don’t know, how events will develop. But we know that all of us bear responsibility for work on decision-making concerning this deep and extremely dangerous crisis”, – Ban Ki-moon noted during performance.

Ban Ki-moon is in Indonesia within a trip on the countries of Asia. During tour the secretary general of the United Nations also will visit Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea and will take part in the summit on nuclear safety in Seoul on March 26-27.

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:18 pm

 

726. omen said:

tom malinowski (HRW) said assad’s bombing of homs was worse than grozny!

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:18 pm

 

727. jad said:

Admir

Could you please please please tone down the sectarian language> It’s really sad to read this kind of sectarian debate between Syrians, not to mention that it’s provocative and nothing good comes out of it, right?

Spreading hate and destroying social fabrics on sectarian bases is much easier than building a homeland.

Please be part of the Syrians who want to build a better homeland big enough to have all of us in, this way we can all move forward. We can debate all of our differences without the need to discriminate against each other and hate each other.

I know that you can help, please help us not to destroy Syria the way our enemies want us to do.

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:22 pm

 

728. ann said:

bibi the other paper tiger 8)

Israeli PM terms UNHRC settlement fact-finding mission as ‘ hypocritical’ – 2012-03-23

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/23/c_131483720.htm

JERUSALEM, March 22 (Xinhua) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed at United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday after it approved a fact-finding mission to Israel to probe into the effects of settlements on Palestinians.

UNHRC on Thursday voted in favor of sending a dispatch to the West Bank and East Jerusalem in order to evaluate Jewish settlements repercussions on Palestinian human rights.

Upon learning UNHRC’s vote, Netanyahu had harsh words for the international body, which he said was a “hypocritical council with an automatic majority against Israel,” according to an official statement released on Thursday evening.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also criticized the decision in a letter to the press.

“(The resolution) is yet another surrealistic decision from the workshop of a council that is used as a tool to push for one-sided politicized moves instead of promoting human rights,” the press release read.

UNHRC’s resolution was passed with 63 votes in favor, 10 abstaining and one, the United States, opposing it.

Netanyahu complained about the council’s “complete detachment from reality” after overseeing human rights in Syria and Iran.

[...]

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:25 pm

 

729. Tara said:

Russia might agree to ICC referral if the regime does not comply?  Wishful thinking?

Russia’s support for this presidential statement indicates that they are not doubling down on Assad. In fact, they are willing to countenance a post-Assad Syria …

At the Security Council, Russia (Kind of) Endorses Regime Change in Syria

March 21, 2012
Mark Leon Goldberg

http://www.undispatch.com/at-the-security-council-russia-kind-of-endorses-regime-change-in-syria

If Syria blatantly violates these very explicit wishes of the Council the next logical step is to threaten the regime with sanctions or an ICC referral. That requires a Security Council resolution. We are not at this stage yet, but Russia may loosen its objections to punitive measures against Assad if the instructions set forth in this Presidential Statement are ignored.
….
Three quick reactions:
1) Russia Backs Down.  I added emphasis to the graph because the clause signals a very sharp departure from Russia’s prior position on the question of whether or not Bashar al Assad should be replaced. A few weeks ago, a Russia blocked a resolution that endorsed an Arab League plan that called for a democratic transition to take place. (The key difference is that the previous resolution also called for Assad to immediately step aside and appoint a deputy. This presidential statement does not.)  Still, Russia’s support for this presidential statement indicates that they are not doubling down on Assad. In fact, they are willing to countenance a post-Assad Syria.

2) Kofi Annan #FTW. Russia never wanted a special envoy for Syria. But the General Assembly overwhelmingly voted for it, and Ban Ki Moon made the wise choice of appointing his very high profile and very competent predecessor. Annan did what Annan does best. His meeting with the Security Council last Friday was behind closed doors, but whatever he said must have done the trick because he was able to secure the backing of Russia. Without that backing, Annan’s job as special envoy would be impossible; Syria could just reject his entreaties without much consequence. Now that Annan is backed in his efforts by Moscow, his mission has a chance of success.

3) What’s next? As mentioned earlier, this is only a presidential resolution. But if Syria blatantly violates these very explicit wishes of the Council the next logical step is to threaten the regime with sanctions or an ICC referral. That requires a Security Council resolution. We are not at this stage yet, but Russia may loosen its objections to punitive measures against Assad if the instructions set forth in this Presidential Statement are ignored.

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:35 pm

 

730. Alan said:

730.
At the Security Council, Russia (Kind of) Endorses Regime Change in Syria

It is absolutely contradicts principles of Russian foreign policy!
this term not the lawful it is pure from the American black practice!
Women’s Bazaar!

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:47 pm

 

731. Alan said:

sweet dreams

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:49 pm

 

732. jad said:

Dubai Tv 18 03 2012 قناة دبي الفضائية لقاء مع الشاعر أدونيس عن الثورة السورية 2

أدونيس على قناة «دبي»: إشكالية التغيير خارج الأديان»

لا للثورة التي تخرج من المساجد… ولا للثورة المسلحة… ولا للثورة التي تطلب التدخل الأجنبي. لاءات ثلاث شدد عليها المفكر السوري أدونيس، في حواره مع الزميلة زينة يازجي من باريس، عبر قناة «دبي». وهي لا تعجب طبعا الإسلاميين، ولا قسما كبيرا من المعارضة السورية، وفي جزء منها، لم تعجب أيضا يازجي، فقالت له: «إن التعليقات التي وردت إلى البرنامج، تشير إلى خيبة أمل من مواقفك».

وفي مقابل تلك اللاءات، شدد على ضرورة سلمية الثورة، وعدم التدخل الأجنــبي فيها، وشمولها مدن دمشق وحـلب واللاذقــية وبقية المدن، وليس فقط مناطق محددة… وإلا فإنها لن تكون ثورة. لذلك رد قائلا: «فليشتموني ولكن هذه هي الحقيقة. الفريقان يمارسان القتل في سوريا حاليا، النظام والمعارضة، ولكن لا أعرف أي منهما بنسبة أعلى».

وقد توقفت يازجي مطـولا عند قــول أدونيس بأن ما يحصل في سوريا، يعطي انطباعا، بوجود مخطط استراتيجي دولي لتغــيير النــظام في سوريا، ووجـهت إليـه ما يشبه التهمة بقولـها له: ذلك كلام النــظام، فرد بــدوره سائلا: هل سمــعت أنــه حـصل في الـتاريخ الحـديث مــثل ذلك الإجماع العربي والغربي على إسقاط نظام… حتى فلسطين لم تلق مثل ذلك الإجماع؟

كما توقفت عند تسميته المجلس الوطني «بالمجلـس الاسطنــبولي» وقــالت له: إن تلك التسمية هي أيضا تسمية النــظام، فأوضح أن رئيس المجلس الوطني برهان غليون صديقه، لكـنه لا يتحـدث معـه بسـبب معارضته لموقف المجلس المطالب بالتسلح.
وتناول الحوار مسألة تثير جدلا كبيرا في الانتفاضات الحالية، وهي علاقة المثقف بالثورة، ولم يتم الوصول فيها إلى أجوبة واضحة لدى أي من المثقفين لأنها مشكلة موجودة قبل الانتــفاضات، وسوف تستمر بعدها. مع ذلك طرحت يازجي الســؤال نفسـه على أدونـيس: «إنك تقـيم في باريس، وتتحدث عن الثورة»، فرد بدوره أن «المثقف ليس موظفا، بل صاحب أفكار يطرحها».

وبحسب الخبر الذي وزعته قناة «دبي» عن الحوار، فإن أدونيس تراجع عن إعجابه بالربيع العربي، لكي يتحول إلى انتقاده، بسبب وصول الإسلاميين إلى الحكم في تونس ومصر، ولجوء المعارضة المتصدرة للمشهد السياسي في ليبيا وسوريا إلى الاستنجاد بدعم الغرب لإسقاط الأنظمة القائمة في بلدانها.

لكن التراجع أو عدمه، ليس هو الفكرة التي يجب أن تكون محور النقاش الفعلي، بل أفكار أدونيس نفسها التي يلتقي فيها مع معارضة حالمة بالحرية والديموقراطية وبنظام علماني، وهي الفئة القليلة نفسها التي تريد أن تكون، ومنذ زمن طويل، خارج الطوائف والأديان: هل تستطيع مجتمعاتنا قبول أفكارها والسير فيها؟

زينب ياغي

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionId=2106&ChannelId=50227&ArticleId=2142

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:57 pm

 

733. Tara said:

94 killed by Bashar and Asma al Assad in Syria today. Alfatiha upon their souls.

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:03 pm

 

734. zoo said:

#714 SOD

Since a year,Michael Weiss has compared Syria to the Balkans, to Rwanda, the Assad family to the Sopranos, Bashar to Staline, the regime as ‘rotting’ from inside, used Aavaz reporting about the 5,000 Palestinians who “dissapeared” from Latakia camps, compared the middle East to a “surreal Alice in the Wonderlands”, Hezbollah ‘secret war against the rebels”, the Varenne flight of the Assad family etc…

A flamboyant and entertaining writer with a great imagination but a very poor and dishonest analyst.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/michaelweiss/page/2/

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:05 pm

 

735. Tara said:

“Damn this regime for occupying towns and cities..”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/mar/22/syria-crisis-live-updates#block-11#block-12

In his defection video Muhammed Abdullah Sheikh, secretary of Idlib branch of the Ba’ath party, urges more officials to back the uprising:

I declare that I am defecting from the [Ba'ath] party and joining the revolution. This regime does not have a future any more. Ba’athists do not have a history of cowardice except during the time of the Assads. Now they have to prove that they are genuine Syrians. They have bet on a criminal regime that has failed. Regrets will be useless afterwards.

Damn this regime for occupying towns and cities, killing civilians including women and children. It is a tragedy beyond any imagination. This regime is killing itself to try to show portray the revolution as violent. But that is a big lie, it is the revolution of the entire people against injustice and repression

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:10 pm

 

736. bronco said:

#730 Tara

Syria has accepted the UN agreement and has declared it will cooperate. The opposition which, according to the same agreement, is required to stop military operations, unite and proceed into a dialog with the regime, has criticized and rejected the UN agreement.

As long as the opposition does not accept the agreement and does not execute their part of the deal, which is a enormous and complicated task, they bear the responsibility of the stalemate in front of the UNSC and they will be blamed. If Bashar al Assad does his part of the deal, he wouldn’t be blamed.

I expect enormous pressure on the SNC and the AL to accept the deal.

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:14 pm

 

737. Halabi said:

It would be great if Syria had a government that would destroy Al-Nusra Front to Protect the Levant rather than shell half of Homs and arrest my friends who are peacefully protesting at Aleppo University. But Assad’s army and security services have no interest in capturing the militants – it is much easier to justify the relentless crackdown on peaceful demonstrations if there are armed rebels and terrorists in the mix.

An activist from Daraa (the city) who has since become a friend told me last year that Assad’s army were leaving Kalashnikovs on the street so protesters would pick them up and fight back during the siege in April. They didn’t and were crushed. Other cities didn’t follow that example and many armed groups even bought guns and ammo from shabbiha and corrupt officers, giving the regime the excuse to use as much violence as it wants.

Assad’s soldiers don’t want to crush the FSA, they are more than happy to let armed rebels slip away from Homs, Idleb, Rastan, etc., and exact a heavy cost on the civilian protesters who are protected by the FSA. Lightly armed militias and suicide bombers aren’t an existential threat to the regime – large scale protests like Hama in July are.

This is why Al-Nusra Front will never be captured or eradicated. Now that the regime figured out that terrorist groups announce their crimes on jihadi message boards we can look forward to many more bombings attributed to this group, even if there is no evidence of its existence. (The electronic army figured out the message boards after Emile Kas Nasrallah’s attempt to pin the Damascus bombing on the Muslim Brotherhood was exposed as fraud. What happened to him? Is he in jail for disseminating false information?)

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:16 pm

 

738. jad said:

Zoo
Michael Weiss is a Zionist who was using the SNC as his own company. He is working with the ‘fake Brit’ Mounajed and Zibaleh on plans of how to destroy Syria, he is the ‘planner’ of the infamous black book of ‘how to destroy Syria and make it another Iraq in 5 steps’:

British Writing Obama’s Script for Syrian Trigger for World War III
{…}
The brief for a military attack on Syria was written by Michael Weiss, communications director of the Society. But don’t let the relative obscurity of Weiss fool you. The HJS has enlisted such foaming-at-the-mouth American neo-cons as James Woolsey, Richard Perle, William Kristol, and Josh Muravchik, with Obama’s choice as Moscow Ambassador, Michael McFaul — all under the direction of such British heavyweights as Rt. Hon. Michael Ancram, 13th Marquess of Lothian, grandson of Round Table Leader Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian — and Sir Richard Dearlove, Tony Blair’s choice for head of British SIS, 1999-2004.

The blueprint was supposedly edited by British puppet Syrian dissident Ausama Monajed, the same who provides all the purported daily death-totals of demonstrators killed by Assad which are featured in the international press and given further credibility by the United Nations. The options-paper, titled “Safe Area for Syria,” was given the imprimatur of Monajed’s London-based “Strategic Research and Communication Centre.” We recap:

The first part of the document is an open search for some “pretext” (their word) for foreign military intervention. If the Security Council will not call for intervention, any mere condemnation of the Assad government might serve as such a “pretext,” the British author says. If not the Security Council, then try the UN General Assembly — a UNGA resolution provided such a pretext for the Korean War in 1950, he writes.

Weiss then proceeds to today’s version of the Iraq “cakewalk” argument. Syria is militarily weak and can offer no effective resistance. Iran will complain but not intervene. Hizbullah can do nothing. Russia will not act, no matter what they say. It is from such insane denial of reality, that holocausts are made.
{…}
http://www.larouchepub.com/pr_lar/2011/lar_pac/111229brit_obama_script.html

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:20 pm

 

739. zoo said:

#741 Jad

I can see that Michael Weiss is another Neo-Con poison.

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:24 pm

 

740. bronco said:

#737 Tara

Do you know what happened to other ‘officials’ defectors, Bakkour and the others?

After their youtube goodbye to the Baath party, they seem to disappear into thin air.

Werent’ they supposed to further “reveal” inside information about the regime?

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:30 pm

 

741. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“….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…..”

“…..Victory will NOT come 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….”

—————————————————————-

Syrian Nationalist Party
Metaz K M Aldendeshe
Chief Strategist

Don’t listen to Amen-Ra servant and be deceived. Allah is on Nationalists side. Look how many Million Iraqi and Afghani Moslems died on hand of “Kuffar Freemasons” and Allah never answered their prayer. Do you know why, because they listened to the deceivers and failed to help the Nationalist to protect them, Allah thought they are not worthy of his grace and help. So you can join the Nationalists and bring a Syria that is close to Allah or join Islam and be closer to the deceiving devil Amen-Ra / Marduk.

Take my advise, 20 million white Russian Christians lost their lives on the hand of the Freemason that are supporting your Islam now, so they can destroy you using it as weapon against you. Before them Jews were taken out of the land and thrown in all four corners of this planet because they trusted the very same devilish deceiver. Only when they abandoned him, when they discovered that “Nationalism” is what they needed, they became invincible. They rule the world bounded in one Jewish nation, Ultra Nationalist Zionism and Israel. They work hard through Socialism, Communism and now Islam on destroying Christianity and other nations.

Until the Syrian join the Nationalist, Allah will keep helping Assad do more Baba Omar massacres, because you work for the devil, you do the devil work, Allah will not help you. Allah never helped the Moslem Brotherhood, never, look at them, miserable losers it has been 5 decades and never helped them. Allah made Bashar Assad invincible. Do you want to join the losers or join the nationalist that Allah is backing?

Fellow Syrians, learn from Israel and its successful Zionism nationalist Movement, Nationalism is the savior, not a lying deceiving Mullah getting paid from Freemasons and the Shadow Global Organization he is managing to bring about the demise of all nations.

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:34 pm

 

742. jad said:

Irritated,

You are right in your note about the fsa terrorist groups using civilians as human shields and when civilians get hurt they can use them as means for propaganda, not only that but their latest achievement is using kids as soldiers in this bloody struggle, no conscience whatsoever:

استغلال براءة الاطفال من قبل فوار عندان

Firing at the army between civilians:
ديربرس- قائد كتيبة محمد (ص) في مدينة ديرالزور

اذاعة ديرالزور الحرة كتائب النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم شارع التكايا

Killing soldiers walking in the streets without any provocation, they are not protecting anything but their ‘criminality’
سوريا : هكذا يغتالون حماة الديار

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:34 pm

 

743. Halabi said:

It is the job of the Syrian army and security forces, who receive their salaries and weapons from all Syrians, to protect civilians. Menhebaks think these government institutions should be used to oppress and rob the people, and should never be used to protect Syria or Lebanon (under Syrian occupation) from Israeli aggression.

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:39 pm

 

744. jad said:

Zoo

He is a proud Zionist and the best friend of Zibaleh and Mounajed, the ‘fake Brit’.

Just go and read his plan to realize that his goals have nothing to do with dignity, freedom or Social justice and lots about the safety of Israel and how to eliminate Syria from the map.

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:40 pm

 

745. omen said:

new Q&A w/ professor landis.

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:42 pm

 

746. Tara said:

#738 BRONCO  

Actions are louder than words.  The regime turned heavy guns today against civilians in Qusaeer, Sanameen, Hama, Homs, Idlib, Daraa, and Damascus suburbs.  More than 90 people were killed today. So what part of the deal Bashar did exactly?  

I expect that sooner than later Russia’s patience with Bashar to be exhausted and then serious actions take.

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:45 pm

 

747. omen said:

in addition to the thumbs up/thumbs down sign, we need a button for “crazy.” how about a nice little cuckoo bird button?

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:51 pm

 

748. Tara said:

More on the new and improved Russian attitude towards Syria

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/22/syria-idUSL6E8EMA1420120322

Referring to Moscow’s support for the U.N. statement, he said: “Assad cannot depend on the protective hand of Russia in the violence against his own people and that could accelerate the process of erosion of the regime.”

Although Russia has stuck to its demand that Assad must not be deposed by foreign powers, it has taken a sterner line this week, accusing the Syrian leadership of mishandling the crisis.

Analysts say this shows Russia is hedging its bets about Assad’s fate and is positioning itself for his possible fall.

“Russia will not be focused on keeping Assad in power for the sake of keeping Assad in power,” said Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre think tank.

Envoy Kofi Annan plans to go to Russia soon for talks on Syria, his spokesman said in Geneva on Thursday, but declined to be more specific.

Hague welcomed Chinese and Russian support for the U.N. statement, but added: “This does not mean it is immediately possible to agree on a Security Council resolution.” (…)

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:52 pm

 

749. Son of Damascus said:

Jad,

Sorry I don’t really care what any radical movement has to say, whether be it a radical religious group, or radical left wing movements like LaRouche.

Zoo,

I find Weiss to be a better writer and his pieces have more credibility than anything Sharmine Nawari or Asa’ad Abu Khalil have produced so far about Syria.

To each his own…

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March 22nd, 2012, 7:56 pm

 

750. bronco said:

#749 Tara

As you seem to be regularly reporting the death toll, could you be more precise in providing the details: number of civilians, soldiers, armed rebels, armed gangs and the source of the information.

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March 22nd, 2012, 8:00 pm

 

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