Was Insufficient Economic Growth A Critical Factor? – A SyriaComment Article From 2006 By Ehsani

This morning, Mitt Romney picked Representative Paul Ryan as his running-mate as the Republican party attempts to win back the White House from President Obama.

This choice is noteworthy because it will make the economy and the country’s fiscal challenges the focal point of this election. Mr Ryan is the current Budget Committee Chairman. The upcoming election is unlikely to be about Mr. Obama’s color or Mr. Romney’s religious beliefs.

Why is this important or relevant?

As many readers know, I have been highlighting the importance of economics for years when it comes to Syria. Following the previous note entitled “Could Syria’s Current Predicament Have Been Avoided Over A Decade Ago?”, a number of readers thought that the post was too simplistic. Surely, one cannot blame the current crisis on the failure to allow the Damascus Spring to flourish during 2001.

It is extremely difficult to agree on the main factor that led to the Syrian crisis. Over the past 17 months, several reasons have been offered. The list includes:

-Sunni-Shia (Alawi) sectarian divide
-Syria’s position with respect to Iran.
-Breaking the resistance.
-Domestic Corruption.
-The heavy handedness of the security apparatus.
-Lack of economic opportunities for vast majority of the populace.

The above list is by no means complete of course. As the regular readers of this forum recall however, I have long maintained that issues relating to the lack of economic growth constitute the dominant factors behind not only the Syrian uprising but those in the region as a whole.

Insufficient economic growth coupled with widespread corruption (I consider both related) is a lethal combination. In such an environment, the cake that is made up of yearly income/production is too small to be shared by the majority of the population.  Without expanding the size of the cake, the ranks of the unemployed will swell and incomes will stagnate and fall in real terms. Incomes will not be able to keep up with both inflation and a fast growing population.  This important topic was addressed in a post six years ago this month.

Back in August of 2006, I wrote a “Personal Memo” :

The key points discussed in the note are:

“Syria is made up of two separate countries: Syria 1 which contains close to one million people and Syria 2 which contains the remaining 19 million.

Syria 1 is made up of the affluent, highly connected industrialists, merchants and very high Government officials. Given the high standard of living of this group, one would expect them to support the regime and the current status quo. While most may admit that that progress has been slow, they are quick to point that given the circumstances, the country is on the right track. They highlight their latest cell phones, home and office Internet connections as well as their brand new cars as irrefutable signs of the economic and social advances that the country has been experiencing as of late. Seen from their prism, the Syrian economy seems prosperous judging by the superb outdoor dinners, number of servants, lovely homes, fancy cars, latest cell phones, rising land values, and monopolistic businesses.

Life could not be more different for the 19 million people of Syria 2.    It is clear that this silent majority has suffered the brunt of this grave economic mismanagement. This is evident in this group’s salary levels. If they were lucky enough to have jobs, salaries of this group is likely to be around Syp 10,000 ($200) per month. Their average family size is 6-7 (four to five children).

The vast majority of the population is likely to suffer even further going forward. Though inconceivable, their children may fare even worse than their horrific $6 payday. The population explosion has resulted in scores of unemployed men walking its major cities. Those residing in the rural part of the country have fared even worse. Their decision to locate to the big cities has made things even worse. It is my conviction that this regime cannot reform fast enough to arrest the decline in its economy and the standards of living of its citizens.”

To be fair, the above challenges are not unique to Syria. The demographic challenge covers the whole region.   The oil producing region of the Middle East is blessed with staggering earnings from energy production and exports. This is likely to delay their day of reckoning. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reportedly spent an extra $65 billion last year to fend off any hints of domestic discontent. The none-oil producing countries of the region simply don’t have anywhere near such financial resources to do the same. For countries like Egypt, Yemen and Syria to have a chance, they need to engineer China-like economic growth rates in order to survive.  Without such growth, their young populations will keep revolting for years to come.

I will conclude with a another short article that I wrote back in the fall of 2010 following the events of Tahrir Square and prior to the start of the Syrian uprising:

“In the twenty-five years between 1980 and 2005, Yemen’s total fertility (children per women) averaged 7.49. Iraq’s was 5.67. Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt averaged 5.42, 5.19, and 4.25 respectively. In contrast, the United States and Western Europe averaged 1.96 and 1.56. Over the same period, real economic growth in the Arab world was largely stagnant. When populations double every twenty-five years and real incomes stay constant, future revolutions are baked in the cake.

Economic reforms like those offered by the political establishment lack the speed or vigor to match the droves of young men waiting to enter the region’s labor force. The region’s official unemployment rates mask the severity of the problem. Close to 40 percent of the population is under the age of fourteen and they will soon join the labor force. Furthermore, women’s labor participation rates are in the teens, the lowest in the world. This is also likely to increase. Consequently, real economic growth in the region must match Chinese levels—and fast. With no vibrant industrial policy, insufficient energy and renewable water resources, an outmoded education system, and median house price-to-income ratios close to ten (the United States is at three), Arab countries are riding their Titanics straight into their respective icebergs. Tunisia and Egypt are only the beginning. Yes, the Arab world could do with less corruption and more democracy and freedom, but none of this is likely to matter. The region needs to create between eighty and ninety million jobs over the next twenty years. This is 12,500 jobs a day.

Expect the Tahrir Square of every Arab capital to occupy our evening news for years to come.”

Comments (483)


1. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Brilliant post reminder from Ehsani,

“Insufficient economic growth coupled with widespread corruption (I consider both related) is a lethal combination. In such an environment, the cake that is made up of yearly income/production is too small to be shared by the majority of the population.”

I totally agree with this idea and can confirm personally since I have seen it in hundreds of cases.

“Close to 40 percent of the population is under the age of fourteen and they will soon join the labor force. ”

Today, after 2 years, we can say that 50 % of syrian population is under 18 years. It seems good that the revolution exploded before it was even later to find a solution.

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August 11th, 2012, 1:25 pm

 

2. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Regarding the detention of Michel Samaha, I think this is the best news we have received since the syrian occupation of Lebanon.

Now it is crystal clear the role of Assads security apparatus during at least 35 years in Lebanon, but specially during last 7 years since the death of Rafik Al Hariri.

Hariri, Tueini, Kassir, Gemayel, Hawi, etc. Finding Samaha responsible for trying to create unrest and civil war (probably pretended even to kill the Maronite Patriarch during next week’s scheduled visit to Akkar) is the best news for syrian and lebanese populations and for clearifying the role of lebanese traitors dogs in Lebanon.

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August 11th, 2012, 1:30 pm

 

3. AIG said:

Ehsani,

The additional point that is important to understand is that “resistance” is not compatible with Chinese like economic growth. I dare say that this is the point that was hard for you to accept. Assad’s foreign policy doomed his economic policy. While you indeed were right about the economic policies, you were not willing, and neither were Landis or Alex, to make this connection.

In a globalized world, foreign policy and economic policy are intertwined. And that is a lesson also for Syria in the future. You cannot have “resistance” and significant economic growth at the same time.

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August 11th, 2012, 1:38 pm

 

4. Ehsani said:

AIG,

We need to agree on what you mean by “resistance”. Do you mean that Syria needs to drop all her legitimate rights in order to achieve economic growth? I hope that this is not what you mean.

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August 11th, 2012, 1:46 pm

 

5. Syrian Soul said:

This peace of analysis fails to address the covert role by the U.S and its allies in destablizing the country. The so called “Arab Spring” seems like hell to the MENA region. The super powers seem to understand the weaknesses of this part of the world very well and make use of it for the global interests of the U.S.

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August 11th, 2012, 1:48 pm

 

6. SANDRO LOEWE said:

AIG,

Of course this foreign politics is uncompatible with global economics relations and mecanichs. But I find “Resistence” was just a way to justify the sustained status quo for Big Hands to keep on corruption stelaing on behalf of syrian population. So we can simply ingore “Resistence” as a simple formal facade.

At the end “Resistance” was just a stupid’s game to keep themselves in power, and then to mantain corruption. So, in this case “Resistence” can be equaled to “Corruption”. And both, or let’s say Corruption justified by Resistence, led to Economical Collapse. But in economical terms it was not Resistence but Corruption and personal ambitions (united to stupid responsibles) what led to this economical enourmous failure.

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August 11th, 2012, 1:53 pm

 

7. omen said:

there needed to be a political reordering before economic reforms can be put into place.

what are ehsani’s recommendations to produce growth?

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August 11th, 2012, 2:02 pm

 

8. Ehsani said:

Omen,

I have written on this subject for years. The question you ask cannot be answered in a brief format that can do it justice.

In a nutshell, the public sector has to be significantly reduced in size. The private sector needs to pick up. The cuts in public sector liabilities allows for smaller wage bills. The existing civil servants must see their salaries trebled. This will then make it possible to fight corruption afterwards.

Taxation and red tape have to be streamlined. Huge tax breaks for foreign companies must be given. Those that decide to invest in more labor-intensive industries will get even more breaks.

The Turkish coast was developed by giving the land for free and loan subsidies from the government to international investors.

Industrial policy that target job creation at the expense of all else is the answer.

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August 11th, 2012, 2:17 pm

 

9. AIG said:

Ehsani,

Come on, there is a huge difference between standing for your rights and “resistance” as manifested by the policies of the Assad regime. Using terrorism to advance foreign policy goals is not the same as standing for your rights.

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August 11th, 2012, 2:28 pm

 

10. ghufran said:

A good story at the Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/11/syria-rebel-regime-sunni-alawite
on the subject of economy, many of us knew that Syria was a time bomb due to corruption,oppression and poverty. Albaath and the Assads planted the seeds and now is the harvest,what is troubling though is the foreigners and islamists manipulation of events and public resentment,the behavior of the regime and rouge elements in the opposition transformed the uprising into an armed rebellion and a sectarian fight.

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August 11th, 2012, 2:31 pm

 

11. omen said:

that’s what i was afraid of. tax breaks for the wealthy haven’t produced growth. austerity doesn’t produce growth.

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August 11th, 2012, 2:31 pm

 

12. omen said:

this, if followed through, would produce jobs:

In July 2011 Iranian officials announced a $10 billion gas pipeline deal between Syria, Iraq and Iran that would transport gas from Iran’s South Pars gas field, the world’s biggest, through Iraq to Syria. Also planned was an extension of the AGP from Aleppo, in Syria, to the southern Turkish city of Kilis that could later link to the proposed Nabucco pipeline linking Turkey to Europe, if that pipeline ever materializes.

but parasitic vultures are doing their damndest to hoard the proceeds for themselves.

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August 11th, 2012, 2:39 pm

 

13. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Syria’s economic failure has nothing to do with the so called “resistance”.

There are many (economically speaking) failed states, that have peace with all their neighbors. And there are other states that are being constantly threatened (S. Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Israel), which are relatively successful.

Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and Sudan. None involved in muqawama. All failed.
.

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August 11th, 2012, 3:00 pm

 

14. ann said:

Western powers are ‘antithetical to peace’ in Syria – 11 August, 2012

Hillary Clinton’s discussion of a no-fly zone over Syria is a violation of the UN charter of the Geneva Accords, journalist and activist Don DeBar told RT.

The US Secretary of State discussed plans to undermine the Syrian government, during a meeting with Turkey’s Foreign Minister on Saturday.

Clinton and her Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, indicated they are exploring a number of measures to aid the Syrian opposition, Reuters reported.

RT: Hillary Clinton’s visit comes as Ankara is stepping up threats to use force in the Syrian conflict. Meanwhile, the US and Turkey are also saying they’re preparing for the ‘worst-case scenario’ of a chemical attack. Is that scenario a real possibility?

Don DeBar: There’s been some discussion of the possibility of a so-called “black ops” chemical attack, where some of the US agent forces that are on the ground in Syria fighting the government would launch a chemical attack and attempt to lay the blame for that on the Syrian government. I think that’s a real possibility. The discussion of a no fly zone and aerial support for the insurgency is a violation of the UN charter of the Geneva Accords and just about all international law that bears on this. It’s a frightening continuation of the policy the US has conducted around the world in the past.

RT: Western powers have long said their actions are all for the sake of the Syrian people. But with more cash and arms being given to the rebels, how’s that going to help bring peace?

DeBar: It’s actually antithetical peace. The conduct of war against the government on soil where the Syrian people live obviously cannot bring peace for Syrian people. It’s intended to provoke a response from the government. The government has the choice of either not responding and allowing armed terrorists to blow up their troops and to execute civilians, or to fight back – which of course means there are parts of the cities that get bombed and there are people that are displaced. These two choices are what are being presented by American policy in Syria.

RT: Turkey’s allegedly funneling weapons to the Syrian rebels through a secret base near the border. Has the country and its allies properly weighed up the dangers of supporting forces with links to al-Qaeda, and particularly on their own borders?

DeBar: You might ask the same question of the US alliance with Al Qaeda on and off since its creation in Afghanistan in the early 80s. We know the answer to that. The answer is it’s a very dangerous game to play. You are, on the one hand, creating an enemy that has no state ties, really isn’t domiciled anywhere, and is highly weaponized, very angry, and extremely religious. So they go around and kill whoever they decide to kill. Sometimes it’s people in New York City. Sometimes it’s people in Afghanistan. Sometimes it’s people in Russia. Sometimes it’s people in Lebanon and Syria. Right now, the focal point is Syria.

[…]

http://www.rt.com/news/clinton-turkey-syria-chemical-weapons-446/

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August 11th, 2012, 3:25 pm

 

15. Jasmine said:

I totally agree with Ehsani’s analysis but shouldn’t be mentioned the size of Syrian military budget and it’s impact on national spending,in my opinion Syria was in a war for the last 64 years with Israel and the resources could be easily diverted on developing the country instead of buying arms ,if the Palestinian problem didn’t exist.
Having tough neighbourhood like Iraq and its problems for the last 20 years wasn’t helpfull either.
Strained relation with Turkey (apart from last few years) didn’t help either.
The continuous aggravation from the Kurds towards Turks wasn’t contributing to the peace.
Relation with Jordan wasn’t exemplary .
Lebanon and its prolonged civil war and it’s impact on Syria couldn’t be ignored either,practically Lebanon was having a ride on Syria’s back for the last 30 years.
Syria was used as a canon towards Israel for too long,as the heart of Bloody Arabism.
Can’t we just be Syrian?

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August 11th, 2012, 3:43 pm

 

16. Citizen said:

12 AITA
Report: German officials confirm submarines sold to Israel can fire nuclear-tipped cruise missiles
Remarks cited by German weekly Der Spiegel regarding Dolphin-class submarines contradict past remarks by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that the vessels do not have nuclear weapons capabilities.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-german-officials-confirm-submarines-sold-to-israel-can-fire-nuclear-tipped-cruise-missiles-1.434080

It should be noted that the cost of torpedoes and high-speed boats for Syria will be much easier than the cost of luxury submarines!

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August 11th, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

17. bronco said:

About Samaha’s case, a setup by opposition dissidents?

The case seems sewn with white thread. There is something fishy.

If we look at the current version carried by Lebanese media, the whole operation looks amateurish. It is not believable that the Syrian intelligence services would organize such an extensive operation using two agents without making sure of their reliability and taking enough precautions that they would not be directly implicated.
It may be sound like a spy movie, so was the killing of the Hamas official in Dubai by the Mossad.

For my part, I think Samaha was used in a trap set by Syrian dissidents helped by foreign intelligence services.

Indeed someone posing as Ali Mamlouk or Adnan convinced Samaha to transport explosives in Lebanon. Samaha, perhaps lured by financial gain or the idea of ​​serving Bashar al-Assad that he worships accepted to smuggle the explosives in Lebanon in his car, driven by his driver and accomplice Mr Kfoury.
Samaha’s arrest was part of plan as his driver, a strawman, gave him up to the ISF ( the internal security forces, that we know are close to Hariri).
With this arrest the Syrian opposition succeeded in giving two blows, one by implicating Bashar Al Assad and the Syrian intelligence in a terrorist attack, second in discrediting Hezbollah.
Now it is quite possible that the only witness “Mr Kfoury” will disappear and the whole trial will rely on a video and allegations…
Are we going to see another manipulation of justice we got used to in Lebanon with false witnesses and shady characters?

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August 11th, 2012, 4:10 pm

 

18. ghufran said:

when we said that rebels do not have enough support in Aleppo, althawrajiyeh did not like that,now we can see how the lack of public support can break any rebellion. Most Syrians from what I see are against the regime and its brutal and corrupt heads,but they do not want to destroy and divide Syria to achieve a regime change,this regime was doomed even without all of that bloodshed.
much of the violence committed by the rebels was not necessary and it was not in self defense,it did more harm than good,this violence will only continue because of the financial support from GCC and the evil dedication of foreign fighters to death and bloodshed. Syrians in general are not extremists and are willing to adapt and negotiate,but we need a cease fire before we can start talking about a political solution,that solution must include a change in leadership but not the eradication of every Syrian who worked for the government,as for the expat opposition,they are as good as Jalabi of Iraq,worthless without foreign tanks,the real opposition is in Syria,that includes people who had to take up arms to DEFEND their families and their villages,but not thugs who get paid to kill or thieves who burn,destroy and loot in the name of fighting the regime.

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August 11th, 2012, 4:13 pm

 

19. Citizen said:

14. JASMINE
who do not want to feed own army he would have to feed the foreign one !

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August 11th, 2012, 4:18 pm

 

20. Norman said:

I want to add that the well to do Syrians did nothing to impact and improve the lives of the poor in Syria, they left everything for the government to do and paid minimum taxes to help, they are the major losers, as i said previously in Homs with a city of more one million people there is no open heart surgery, the well to do Syrians prefer to go to Lebanon for care than organizing an open heart surgery program in Homs so all the people of Homs can use. lack of patriotism and the care for other Syrians is the problem in Syria.

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August 11th, 2012, 4:23 pm

 

21. omen said:

norman, what is syria’s level of taxation for the well off? personal and corporate?

22%?
10% corporate?

and ehsani wants to lower it more??

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August 11th, 2012, 4:27 pm

 

22. Syrialover said:

Wow, Ehsahni.

Just yesterday I started to write a post asking you to please post something on Syria’s economic issues. I then got distracted going back over some of your great posts over the years.

But then, voila! you posted the above.

Thank you. Fantastic.

(Er, are you remotely monitoring my computer or what?)

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August 11th, 2012, 4:29 pm

 

23. Jasmine said:

Citizen @ 18
My point is that Syria is a developed country and can’t and shouldn’t afford this huge military apparatus .
I didn’t understand what do you mean.

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August 11th, 2012, 4:32 pm

 

24. Citizen said:

22. JASMINE
I do not mean anything !!!
Napoleon Bonaparte said that !

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August 11th, 2012, 4:54 pm

 

25. Syrialover said:

Jasmine (#14),

You are onto something there.

There are some very revealing studies around comparing the staggeringly high % of their budget that many underdeveloped countries spend on their military compared with the low % invested in education, health, infrastucture development and other things their country desperately needs.

The massively high proportion of their meagre budgets poured pointlessly into military spending, and the disporportionately low spend on other essentials is in sharp contrast to that of developed countries.

Analysts examining this phenomena can cite no reason other than misrule, primitive incompetence and vanity, paranoia and corruption at the centre.

The Assad regime would tick, tick, tick all those boxes.

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August 11th, 2012, 4:56 pm

 

26. bronco said:

Ehsani

After 18 months, it is finally clear that this revolution was strictly about the poor loosing their safety and the rich collecting more Mercedes and telling the state to help the poor.

The Dardari economical program of free economy that made the rich richer and the poor poorer was a disaster.

It was said from day one.

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August 11th, 2012, 4:57 pm

 

27. ann said:

Armed men assassinate reporter of Syria’s official SANA news agency – 2012-08-12

DAMASCUS, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — An armed group assassinated Saturday a Syrian journalist who worked for the state-run SANA news agency, the state TV said.

Ali Abbas was shot dead Saturday at his house in Damascus’ suburb of Jdaidet Artos, said the TV.

The assassination of Abbas is the latest in a string of assaults that have been targeting journalists and staffers of Syria’s official and pro-government media.

In mid-July, Mohammad Saeed, a news presenter in the state TV, was kidnapped from his house in Jdaidet Artos and later declared killed by an al-Qaida-linked group.

On Friday, four staffers of the pro-government al-Ekhbaria TV were kidnapped while covering unrest in the Damascus countryside of Tal Mneen.

Last week, a blast rocked the state TV headquarters in the capital Damascus, leaving injuries only.

Last month, a group of armed insurgents stormed the al-Ekhbaria TV headquarters in Drosha suburb near Damascus, leaving scenes of carnage and destruction.

[…]

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/12/c_131778732.htm

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August 11th, 2012, 5:24 pm

 

28. ann said:

Syrians eye clashes in Aleppo as decisive in drawing next stage’s features – 2012-08-12

DAMASCUS, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — Syrian people are monitoring latest developments across the unrest-torn country with skepticism, amid mounting conviction that fierce battles between armed insurgents and government troops in Aleppo would be decisive in drawing next stage’s features.

Last month, Syrian forces have succeeded in driving rebels out of the capital Damascus, and security measures have been reinforced around the capital to prevent the rebels from getting back in.

Following their failure to establish a firm foothold in Damascus, rebels have moved to the northern city of Aleppo, the second largest city in Syria and its economic hub, in order to create a foothold, only 40 kilometers away from the Turkish frontier. The rebels aim to take control of Aleppo, and if happened, they will control the flow of weapons, fighters and other support from Turkey, which hosts the leadership of the rebel Free Syrian Army.

However, the government launched, three weeks ago, a wide-scale military offensive against the rebels’ strongholds in Aleppo and reportedly “inflicted heavy losses upon them.” The government says it has regained control over some districts claimed by the rebels, who have run low on weapons.

The opposition activists, however, said the rebels are still fighting government forces and taking control of some districts in Aleppo and elsewhere.

Despite the gains the government claimed to have achieved in Aleppo, residents of Damascus keep close eye on the developments of the events, believing that Aleppo’s fate would determine the fate of the entire country.

“I have already packed my bags but I’m still waiting to see what will happen in Aleppo,” said Ahmed, a 45-year-old engineer.

He contended that chaos would be the title of the next stage had Aleppo fallen in the hands of rebels.

“They (the rebels) are scattered and most of them have nerve- wracking fundamental views that are incompatible with the way the Syrians have used to live,” he said.

The Syrians believe that the Libya scenario or other drastic changes that swept some Arab countries over the past two years, are not the optimal model for the Syrians to follow suit due to their failure to bring in the hoped-for change, and also because the different nature of Syria as a multi-confessional state that embraces a remarkable melange of beliefs and sects like no other Arab and Muslim states.

Observers in Syria believe that although the uprising in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt succeeded in toppling the regimes, they have so far stopped short of bringing in a radical change or meeting the peoples’ expectations of a better future.

Following the heavy losses in Aleppo, Syrian rebels appear to adopt hit-and-run guerrilla style attacks on military targets in Damascus and other Syrian cities.

Fears further stoked on Saturday when gunmen detonated an explosive device in the heart of Damascus, an area that is usually crowded at such time.

“We freaked out when we heard the blast… We were so happy when we felt safety has come back to Damascus following last month ‘s clashes,” said Mona Awad, 29, a mother of two kids. “Those who did it just want to spread anarchy, fear and anxiety in Syria.”

Mona was on her way to al-Hamidya market to buy clothes for her kids when the explosive device planted under a tree at al-Marja area in Damascus went off.

“Look at my kids… they are trembling of fear,” she said.

The Syrian media said the authorities have arrested the bombers after tracking them down, while Qatari and Saudi-funded TVs were quick to splash red news bars saying the clashes have overwhelmed many districts in the capital.

The rebels have recently resorted to hit-and-run tactics reportedly to alleviate the government offensive on Aleppo and to confuse the Syrian forces.

Their attacks have focused on some of Damascus’ suburbs without abandoning their goal of reaching the capital, which they said would be their final and decisive battlefield.

Residents of Damascus, feeling the heat of attacks and shelling that targeted some areas in the capital, don’t look much enthusiastic to the rebels, in part because large groups of the rebels seem to be motivated by an extremist ideology.

Some rebel fighters have even announced lately that they have united under the banner of the Salafism – a term often used to describe fundamentalist Islamic thought.

World media outlets have lately highlighted the religious approach espoused by most of Syria’s rebels, a matter that has raised the concerns of Syria’s Sunni-majority moderate residents and those of other minorities.

[…]

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/12/c_131778767.htm

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August 11th, 2012, 5:30 pm

 

29. Syrialover said:

It’s deeply and alarmingly informative to re-read his post from 6 years ago that Ehsani has linked above.

In fact, this hits you over and over when re-reading any part of SyriaComment over the past 7 or so years.

Its straight chronicling of events and accompanying commentary is a rich goldmine, bursting with hidden alerts and clear and profound explanations and insights into what is unfolding now.

It’s mesmerizing reading, as I’ve recntly remarked on this forum more than once.

It shows the unbelievable amnesia of most now out there self-importantly pronouncing on Syria and the Arab world – or worse, exposes how little they have ever bothered to know.

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August 11th, 2012, 5:32 pm

 

30. Jasmine said:

SL@ 25
Morally the arm sellers hold equal responsibility with the buyers when knowingly the arms are going to be used for unjustified offense,they are both abusing the human right and values.
In the Syrian case,arms were used to deter numerous attempt of invasion by Israel.
your answer has some truth in it but it is part of a bigger reasons which I have already explained earlier.

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August 11th, 2012, 5:34 pm

 

31. ann said:

Is Iran turning up the temperature in Afghanistan?

Six U.S. soldiers killed in 24 hours in Afghanistan – 3 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/three-u-soldiers-killed-afghan-nato-074923940.html

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August 11th, 2012, 5:42 pm

 

32. Johannes de Silentio said:

Exactly!

Even Bashar saw the impending crisis. Once he asked a visiting American diplomat, “Where am I going to find jobs for all the young Syrians?”

Well Bashar, there’s always the Army. Put ‘em in the Army!

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August 11th, 2012, 5:47 pm

 

33. Syrialover said:

Another thing Ehsahi has always pointed out is the significant absence of real data on Syria’s social and economic indicators.

Stuff the Assads and their collaborators had no interest in collecting or use for in their style of economic “management”.

I keep re-reading Ehsahni’s brilliant description above:

“They highlight their latest cell phones, home and office Internet connections as well as their brand new cars as irrefutable signs of the economic and social advances that the country has been experiencing as of late. Seen from their prism, the Syrian economy seems prosperous judging by the superb outdoor dinners, number of servants, lovely homes, fancy cars, latest cell phones, rising land values, and monopolistic businesses.”

Yeah, as well as those grandiose military and nuclear weaponry schemes.

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August 11th, 2012, 5:49 pm

 

34. Johannes de Silentio said:

I THOUGHT MODERATION WAS SUSPENDED! IF THERE’S NO MODERATOR, WHY ARE MY POSTS “awaiting moderation?”

AND WHO’S MODERATING THE MODERATORS….???

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August 11th, 2012, 5:51 pm

 

35. ann said:

Who will stand up for this poor little girl?!

Syrian hurdler disqualified for doping! – August 12, 2012

A FEMALE Syrian hurdler has been kicked out of the London Olympics for doping, the International Olympic Committee says.

The IOC this morning said 400m hurdler Ghfran Almouhamad tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine on August 3.

The backup “B” sample confirmed the positive finding, it said.

The 23-year-old athlete finished eighth and last in her first-round heat on August 5.

The IOC said she has been disqualified and stripped of her Olympic accreditation.

[…]

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/london-olympics/syrian-hurdler-disqualified-for-doping/story-fncv3p7m-1226448390201

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August 11th, 2012, 5:51 pm

 

36. omen said:

from april 19th, earlier on this blog:

who has the long history of robbery?

The oppositionmilitias in the Idlib region are fight among themselves.
[…]
i must confess that this report seemed possible to me as I have reliable reports from friends and relatives who travel through the Idlib region being robbed. Two different co-workers of my brother-in-law stopped by gangs on the Aleppo-Idlib road. Both were Sunnis. They were beaten and robbed. None of them take the highway anymore or travel between the two cities because the roads are considered unsafe.

vs.

by ammar abdulhamid


The three
victims of yesterday’s execution, as reported by local activists, were high ranking members of the Berri Clan, including its leader Zeino Berri. The Clan is Sunni and is known for its involvement in drug-trafficking and gun-running, among other illicit activities. The Clan is known as well for its affiliation with Maher Al-Assad and, before him, with his late brother, Bassil. This connection has served to guarantee Berri elders at least one spot in the parliament, and has allowed them to make a mockery out of the legal system in Syria for decades.
[…]
Early in the revolution, members of the Berri Clan went to Damascus where they met Bashar Al-Assad and pledged their loyalty. Almost every member of the delegation had at least one sentence of one type or another hanging over his head. That didn’t seem to bother Assad who is said to have given a carte blanche to the Berris in Aleppo. On their return, the Berri Clan became more vicious than ever and served as the de facto pro-Assad militia in the city, spreading terror by jailing, torturing and killing activists, as well as extorting local businessmen and merchants. By the time the rebels entered Aleppo City and clashed with the Berris, the level of popular animosity against the Clan was simply too high.

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August 11th, 2012, 6:00 pm

 

37. Johannes de Silentio said:

Thank you!

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August 11th, 2012, 6:02 pm

 

38. omen said:

ehsani, is there someone who can clear the spam filter, por favor? half the board has been caught in the net.

:(

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August 11th, 2012, 6:06 pm

 

39. ann said:

Here’s another Syria Comment blow from the past!

It’s Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

“To Check Syria, U.S. Explores Bond With Muslim Brothers,” by Jay Solomon – The Wall Street Journal

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=326#comments

Fabricating a Revolution!

Must read!

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August 11th, 2012, 6:08 pm

 

40. ann said:

Prof. Landis, I have a post locked in SPAM. Help!

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August 11th, 2012, 6:10 pm

 

41. Syrialover said:

Jasmine,

The military expenditure is not even used for “unjustified defense”. The only real enemy of those governments is the people they are supposedly “ruling”.

As we are now seeing vividly illustrated in Syria.

A legitimate government in Syria would not have been bothering with the primitive war dance and cheap propaganda fest about Israel the Assad regime has fuelled itself with.

It would have been smart enough to protect Syria diplomatically, not endangering and restricting it with stupid alliances.

And you think all that stuff the Assads were doing in Lebanon all those years was all about an anti-Israeli defence?

No way. Reading back over SyriaComment is one quick (but not only) way to see the real picture unfold and crystallize.

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August 11th, 2012, 6:13 pm

 

42. Syrialover said:

If certain posters weren’t cut-pasting and loading so much junk onto this forum it would be infinitely easier to manage.

If the endless long cutpastes by “Ann” for example were filtered out the logjam would probably become unclogged.

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August 11th, 2012, 6:19 pm

 

43. Norman said:

OMEN,

With people who work in government making about 10000.00 SP it is not enough to live on, I saw a VAT tax which from my understanding hits the poor, the rates are 22% income tax, 28% corporate tax and 10% VAT , they should have the income tax to start after the first 10000.00 SP and cancel VAT Tax on food and clothes and school supplies, have some kind of real estate tax so people will invest their money instead of parking that money in real estate waiting for the prices to go up and if they want to put money in real estate they will try to rent to others so they can pay for the real estate taxes and in the same time share in solving the housing crises that Syria has.

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August 11th, 2012, 6:26 pm

 

44. ghufran said:

قامت مجموعة مسلحة باغتيال الصحفي علي عباس رئيس دائرة الأخبار الداخلية في الوكالة العربية السورية للأنباء “سانا”.
وقامت المجموعة المسلحة بعملية الإغتيال في مكان إقامة عباس، حيث أقتحمت منزله الواقع في جديدة عرطوز بريف دمشق.

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August 11th, 2012, 6:26 pm

 

45. ghufran said:

قال مصدر داخل مطار النيرب العسكري بحلب إن وحدات من الفوج 44 في الجيش السوري وصلت مع أولى ساعات صباح اليوم السبت إلى المدينة جوّاً
ويتوقع أن يكون دور الوحدات التي وصلت إلى المطار هو لمحاولة تطويق مجموعات الجيش الحر من الجهة الشرقية للمدينة حيث ماتزال الوحدات التي وصلت سابقاً لحلب تتمركز في منطقة الحمدانية والراموسة حيث تقع المدرسة الفنية الجوية ومدرسة المدفعية، وقامت خلال يومين باشتباكات عنيفة أجبرت عناصر الجيش الحر على الانسحاب من حي صلاح الدين المتاخم لأوتستراد الحمدانية، والانسحاب إلى “المشهد، والسكري” جنوب المدينة.
وقلل مصدر عسكري من احتمال تلك الفرضية حيث أكد أن تلك التعزيزات التي وصلت للمطار هي فقط لحمايته مع مطار النيرب العسكري والذي يحاول المسلحون يومياً استهدافه والسيطرة عليه.
يشار إلى أن المناطق الشرقية والتي تشمل الصالحين، المرجة، الشعار،الميسر، طريق الباب، مسكن هنانو، الصاخور، ما تزال حتى اللحظة تحت القصف المروحي والحربي

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August 11th, 2012, 6:31 pm

 

46. Syrialover said:

I see “Ann” is now suddenly posting something from early SyriaComment.

Hmm. Not smart. I think once again we’re glimpsing the team at work behind that pseudonym.

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August 11th, 2012, 6:45 pm

 

47. Tara said:

A no fly zone in Syria will terrify Batta to the bones and will sure make him flee.  He can subdue the revolution with air power, but if air power is neutralized,  he sure knows that they, the rebels, are going to corm for him.  He is too coward to fight then.  He will just escape to Tehran.  

U.S., Turkey to study Syria no-fly zone
By Hadeel Al Shalchi | Reuters – 1 hr 44 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-jordanian-forces-clash-border-area-103530256.html

ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – The United States and Turkey indicated they were studying a range of possible measures over Syria, including a no-fly zone, as battles between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces shook Aleppo and the heart of Damascus.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after meeting her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on Saturday that Washington and Ankara should develop detailed operational planning on ways to assist the rebels fighting to topple Assad.
“Our intelligence services, our military have very important responsibilities and roles to play so we are going to be setting up a working group to do exactly that,” she said.
Asked about options such as imposing a no-fly zone over rebel-held territory, Clinton said these were possibilities she and Davutoglu had agreed “need greater in-depth analysis”, while indicating that no decisions were necessarily imminent.
“It is one thing to talk about all kinds of potential actions, but you cannot make reasoned decisions without doing intense analysis and operational planning,” she said.
Though any intervention appears to be a distant prospect, her remarks were nevertheless the closest Washington has come to suggesting direct military action in Syria.

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August 11th, 2012, 6:57 pm

 

48. erin said:

If the USA has people protesting against the government, killing civilians, importing drug cartel gangs to kill american people and the FBI, police and Army try to protect the civilian population. Russia starts meddling in the internal affairs of the USA.
Would the USA government allows the Russian to have their say and participate in the destruction of the USA!!!
is it fair that a country like the USA has poverty, homelessness, welfare people with all the natural resources, wealth available in the country.
does that mean democracy doesn’t eliminate the poverty issue?
or it means corruption can coexist with democracy.
the large banks and other large companies are equally responsible for the USA social problem as much as the thugs of the Syrian regime for a country its budget equals to a small american city.
The USA is interfering in the Syrian policy for a CENTURY, since the ottoman empire collapse ( read the reason why the USA has the biggest embassy and best location of all the foreign embassies in Damascus)
Bashar was serving the need of the USA and now the policy has changed and time for him to go, he would have been much smarter if left and stepped down but the result is not different than now that Syria has a plan written for its future with what fit the need of Israel.
There is no doubt about that, I have talked about the corruption of the regime ( no difference than other regional regimes) and the future for Syria is a grim one regardless because the direction this guagmire, dividing Syria into small pieces would serve only the goal of Israel which was talked about in the last few decades.
Syria is a country and should not be divided, it is clear that the middle east heading toward dividing every country neighboring Israel.

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August 11th, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

49. Erin said:

SC moderator!
I am not sure why my comments are always moderated.

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August 11th, 2012, 7:01 pm

 

50. SYR.EXPAT said:

I have noticed that some minhibak outlets have been mum about the Samaha case. There worst fear is the alleged presence of video evidence. It’s going to be very hard to spin that because he was held in so much reverence by Assad supporters.

What’s more interesting is the brilliant commentary and analysis by the supporters of this murderous regime. One such commentator suggests that “Indeed someone posing as Ali Mamlouk or Adnan convinced Samaha to transport explosives in Lebanon.” It’s like telling you that someone posing as your best friend fooled you! Somehow, a alien from outer space managed to appear in the form of Mamluk, invited Samaha to Mamluk’s office in Damascus, and handed him the explosives (according to the leaked information) without Samaha or the Syrian security thugs noticing anything wrong.

Yes indeed, Samaha was fooled by someone posing as his good friend Mamluk!

Anyway, for now at least, we’ll accept that Samaha, the ardent Assad supporter, was fooled by a Mamluk look-alike and was engaging in terrorism on behalf of the Syrian government as he was made to believe. That alone speaks volumes about the nature of the Assad supporters.

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August 11th, 2012, 7:12 pm

 

51. omen said:

thank you, ehsani! for releasing trapped notes.

.

correction: made a mistake on 21.
font was set too small and things got smushed up.

corporate tax rate is 28%
sales tax is 10%

.

ann posted lovely photos from damascus earlier and she took pains to keep 39. succinct. let’s reinforce positive behavior.

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August 11th, 2012, 7:15 pm

 

52. Observer said:

The regime is built as a house of cards around one concept: security of the state
Removal of any one card will lead to the collapse of the entire edifice.
Liberal economy that benefits everyone needs an INCLUSIVE set of policies instead of the EXTRACTIVE policies used by the elite to enrich themselves to no end.
So the economic disaster is a direct consequence of the security apparatus and the lack of reform is due to the fact that a liberal economy leads to liberal politics for you cannot invest in a state without transparency and the fair and impartial judiciary with its supremacy over all.

So I do fully agree that the economic woes of Syria are the fuel that the revolutionary spark ignited but the real culprit is TYRANNY.

The news today are a disaster for Fredo, his plot is out to kill Christians in Lebanon and his agent confessed and we have BRONCO going into Pretzels to tell us that this is all a fabrication. Even HA is silent.

AIG do not think for one second that the people of the ME and especially in Syria are going to forget the Golan and the right of return of the Palestinians to their homeland. You are dreaming if you think that this upheaval will leave Israel intact, this should be your worst nightmare.

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August 11th, 2012, 7:32 pm

 

53. omen said:

41. SYRIALOVER said:
And you think all that stuff the Assads were doing in Lebanon all those years was all about an anti-Israeli defence?

No way.

what was it about? looting of more resources? territory grab to lock in access to ports? extortion? fostering a sectarian base?

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August 11th, 2012, 7:33 pm

 

54. ann said:

Battles continue in Syria, UN observers mission concerned over ongoing violence – 2012-08-12

DAMASCUS, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — Urban battles and violence continued Saturday in different parts across Syria at a time the UN Supervision Mission in Syria said it’s deeply concerned about the ongoing violence and considering the situation as “volatile and unpredictable.”

Syria’s state-run SANA news agency said the authorities on Saturday pursued armed “terrorist” groups in a number of areas in northern Aleppo province, such as in al-Fayd, al-Jamiliyeh, al- Khaldiyeh and Kafr Hamra, killing several terrorists, including four Libyans who were heading to Aleppo city to support the armed groups, according to SANA.

Also in Aleppo, SANA said army unit repelled an armed ” terrorist” group that attempted to attack the Radio and TV center in al-Iza’a neighborhood, inflicting heavy losses on the assailants, some of whom were killed or injured while the rest fled the area.

SANA said that another army unit confronted an armed group that attempted to attack Aleppo’s Central Prison, killing and injuring many of the attackers. It is the third attempt by the armed groups targeting the Central Prison.

On a relevant note, Aleppo governorate and civil defense began to clean up the rubble and aftermath of the destruction caused by the clashes in Salahudien neighborhood in preparation for restoring the neighborhood’s infrastructure and utilities, said SANA.

In Homs, the authorities clashed with armed groups driving two vehicles equipped with Dushka machineguns as the latter tried to attack the law-enforcement forces in al-Ghasaniyeh town in al- Qseir countryside.

SANA said the two cars were destroyed and the armed men inside were killed.

In the capital Damascus, an armed group detonated on Saturday an explosive device in al-Marjeh neighborhood near Victoria Bridge and shot randomly to terrify civilians, said SANA.

The explosion caused no injuries or damages, while the security forces pursued the assailants and arrested them.

The state news agency reported clashes also in the southern province of Daraa and eastern Deir al-Zour province.

Meanwhile, an armed group on Saturday evening assassinated journalist Ali Abbas, head of the Internal News Department at SANA, in his home in Jdaidet Artouz, Damascus countryside, SANA reported.

The assassination of Abbas is the latest in a series of attacks that have been targeting Journalists and staffers of Syria’s official and pro-government media men.

[…]

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/12/c_131778811.htm

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August 11th, 2012, 7:35 pm

 

55. irritated said:

Qatar foreign diplomacy: Show them the money II

Qatar helps Egypt with $2bn central bank deposit

http://news.yahoo.com/qatar-helps-egypt-2bn-central-bank-deposit-205502316.html

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August 11th, 2012, 7:44 pm

 

56. Hopeful said:

I have lost hope :-(

Yesterday I saw a video posted on Facebook about villagers in Syria executing whom they say was a “shabeeh”. They dragged him out of the trunk of a car, beat him up, shot him, stepped on his head, and shot him even more. The video clearly shows how regime supporters are being executed without trial. This is wrong and should be condemned, no matter how people feel about the regime.

Today, surprisingly, the video was removed. Why it was removed, and by whom, is unknown.

It just goes to show how hard it is to get the truth about what is happening in Syria, and all sides are to blame. But the biggest blame still goes to the regime – this is all happening under their watch and they failed miserably in managing the crisis. What a tragedy – Syria is lost. Bashar will be remembered as the leader who led Syria into its worst period/crisis in modern times. He could have gone down in history as the leader who transferred Syria from a dark dictatorship to a modern democracy, but he chose to hang on to his chair instead.

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August 11th, 2012, 7:47 pm

 

57. Tara said:

Omen,

“what was it about? looting of more resources? territory grab to lock in access to ports? extortion? fostering a sectarian base?”

The answer is none of the above. Those were his tools to reach his goal. The goal was for Al Assad to become the master power broker in the region. And he did it.

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August 11th, 2012, 7:50 pm

 

58. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Finally

40. ann said:

Prof. Landis, I have a post locked in SPAM. Help!

Congrats Prof. Your filter seems to be working, now at the rate 1/10000.

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August 11th, 2012, 7:51 pm

 

59. ann said:

Meet the blood thirsty mercenary killers, American Matthew Van Dyke and Libyan Masood Bwisir!

In September, 2012 two famous [freedom fighters] from the Libyan revolution, American Matthew Van Dyke and Libyan Masood Bwisir, will travel together to Syria and join the rebels on the front line.

The mission? Make a groundbreaking and unique documentary film about the Syrian revolution and the Arab Spring that will be released on the internet for free to a potential audience of millions (similar to the method used to distribute the film Kony 2012).

The film will be coupled with a massive public relations campaign to promote the film, and by doing so also focus the world’s attention on the struggle for freedom in Syria.

The film will be released on the internet in both English and English with Arabic subtitles. It will also be distributed on the streets in several Arab countries. The message of the film is to inspire and motivate people to protest for freedom in their own countries, propelling the Arab Spring forward into the next phase.

[…]

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/matthewvandyke/this-is-your-chance-to-become-part-of-the-arab-spr?ref=card

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August 11th, 2012, 7:51 pm

 

60. Syrialover said:

Syrian Hamster #56

But that anti-AnnSpam filter’s still not strong enough, nowhere near strong enough

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August 11th, 2012, 7:56 pm

 

61. Tara said:

Hopeful,

“I lost hope”.

Don’t. Individual act of revenge is part of the expected humans behavior in response to
extreme atrocities. But, this is not a national sentiment of the majority Sunnis in Syris. We are not vengeful people. We do not hold grudges, and we do not live on hatred or thrive on historical grievances like other groups. Had we been like that, we wouldn’t have allowed the reign of terror to enslave us for more than 40 years…

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August 11th, 2012, 7:59 pm

 

62. Syrialover said:

Now, where were we on the Alawite enclave discussion?

Let’s add some excerpts from this article:

Do the Assads fear Alawite anger?

There are large numbers of Sunnis living along the coast, and an Alawite statelet would have to forcibly expel them to properly protect itself. This would represent a crime of indescribable proportions, tainting all those aligned with the Alawites. And if that were to occur, how would a rump, communally unmixed Alawite entity survive economically, even socially? The imperatives of self-preservation, buttressed by paranoia, could destroy everything invigorating in Syria’s northwest.

The Assads will continue to be masters of the Alawites for as long as they remain in Damascus. However, once they flee the capital their ability to govern their community will very likely fray severely, or even collapse.

The contract between Alawites and the Assads is not one bound by devotion; it is defined by interests, minority solidarity, and frequent Assad intimidation, even assassination.

If Bashar were to abandon Damascus and move to the Alawite area, all bets would be off. Having brought only ruin to their community, the Assads could expect a harsh backlash. And if they use military power to silence their coreligionists, we could begin seeing a crucial split within the Alawite community that might, ultimately, spell the end of an Alawite state project.

What better way for the uneasy Alawites to preserve their stake in a future Syria, than to turn on the family and its acolytes who brought them to the abyss?

The carving out of an Alawite statelet is a sincere probability, but the obstacles hindering the success of such a mission are immense. The Assads are trapped. By pursuing their repression from Damascus, they are unable to concentrate their forces; by implementing an Alawite-first scheme, they could sign their own death warrant. Sooner rather than later they will have to decide which is their priority.

Full article:
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2012/Aug-09/183917-do-the-assads-fear-alawite-anger.ashx#ixzz23HfEMGB0

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August 11th, 2012, 8:03 pm

 

63. omen said:

59. tara, yes! individual acts. this wasn’t fsa.

hopeful, do you remember which village?

60. wouldn’t southern lebanon make more sense as an escape plan for assad regime?

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August 11th, 2012, 8:08 pm

 

64. Syrialover said:

Also, Tara

Ordinary people in wars do bad things and make wrong judgements when they are afraid and need to boost their own courage and collective solidarity with those who are with them.

That’s why they need to be reminded “Don’t dirty the revolution”.

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August 11th, 2012, 8:09 pm

 

65. bronco said:

#48 Syr.expat

Samaha is certainly guilty, no doubt, but it is yet to prove who gave him the explosives in Syria.
According to the media, Samaha said the explosives were given to him by the Intelligence Chief Ali Mamlouk. This mysterious figure is rarely visible publicly. Did Samaha actually see the guy? Who put the explosives in his car? Any witness? How could a 66 old man alone takes out of his trunk 10 gas bottles of explosives and boxes of explosives?

The story as presented by the media is far too sketchy and the conclusions too hasty. There is certainly more to it that we may learn and the next few days or weeks.
In the meantime, I have seen no reaction in Syria on the indictment of such an important person in the government.

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August 11th, 2012, 8:16 pm

 

66. Syrialover said:

Tara (#44) on Assad’s motives in Lebanon said: “The goal was for Al Assad to become the master power broker in the region. And he did it.”

May I requote, adding a key bit in brackets:

” The goal was for Al Assad to [help Lebanon and Hezbollah] become the master power broker in the region. And he did it.”

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August 11th, 2012, 8:20 pm

 

67. Tara said:

Omen, Hopeful,

Please read:

Anger, tears, and forgiveness as Syrian rebel and his prisoner share their fears
As evidence mounts of abuse and summary execution of prisoners , The Observer witnesses an extraordinary meeting between a Sunni rebel leader and his Alawite captive in al-Bab, near Aleppo

Saturday 11 August 2012 11.40 EDT

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/11/syria-rebel-regime-sunni-alawite

Lieutenant Darid Barakat is an Alawi officer captured by the Sunni rebells.

The sheikh and his captive – the Sunni rebel leader and the Alawite officer – were getting deeper into conversation. Barakat agreed to let The Observer listen in and asked that his name be used.

“I didn’t expect you to treat us this way,” said Barakat. “You give us food three times a day, Qu’rans, and even cigarettes.”

“You would not have done the same for us,” Omar replied.

“That’s true,” said Barakat. “There was a culture there.”

“It was more than a culture,” Omar replied. “It had become a way of life. Cruelty and oppression were what you guys did by instinct.”

“It wasn’t me,” said Barakat. “It was the system. All I did is order guys to go out and beat people with sticks whenever there was a demonstration. I am not so connected to the regime, it was just a job to me.”

Omar lifted his dishdasha and pointed at his cast. “You guys shot me,” he said, pointing to the top of his left foot, which had been hit by a bullet during the fight for the military security building. “If you were not a big supporter of the regime, why did you work for military security [one of the most feared of Syria’s intelligence agencies]?”

“Sheikh, I had no choice. This was our reality.”

Whether it likes it or not, Syria’s Alawite minority was at the vanguard of the crackdown that followed the first stirrings of popular uprising in March last year, and which has now evolved into civil war. Also undeniable is that the opposition movement and guerrilla force is almost exclusively comprised of Sunnis, some of whom hold a grudge against the Alawites, whom they see as agents of a regime of persecution.
..

Yet both the sheikh and the Alawite lieutenant are anxious to dispel talk of longstanding enmity between their sects. The same case for cooperation is being made in political circles, although hardly with a booming voice.

“Do you hate us because we’re Sunnis?” asked Omar.

“No, my sheikh, I swear,” replied Barakat, leaning forward to touch Omar on the knee to press his point. “I don’t hate you at all. The regime created all these hostilities. We had always gotten on as communities.

“Who buried our dead after the fighting, the regime? They were nowhere to be seen. It was your men who dug the graves and gave my men a burial.”
….
Later, Barakat was animated and expressive. He had heard about the pardon and the family visit and clearly wanted to please his jailer. “You haven’t told us anything yet,” said Omar.

“I’ve told you everything I know,” he replied. “Believe me.”

Throughout the day, Sheikh Omar had been toying with the idea of releasing all the Alawite prisoners and most of the Sunnis over the coming days. He said he did not fear that the location of his base would be given up. “It’s not a secret anyway. They know where we are, and if they don’t all they need is Google Earth.”

He stopped speaking for a minute, cupped his chin in his right hand, then said: “When was the last time you saw your family, your mother and father?”

Barakat looked at his feet and replied: “About two years ago.”

“Would you go back to the army?” the sheikh asked

“No, I swear, I want to finish with the military and with fighting.

“Would you join us?

“I can’t, sheikh. I just want to go home. I’ve had enough.”

By now, Barakat’s eyes were welling with tears. He stared straight ahead, doing all he could to maintain his composure. Then came the question that broke him.

“When was the last time you saw your wife?” Omar asked. Barakat managed the words “five months ago” before grief overcame him. As he sobbed into his hands, a young rebel brought him a glass of water and a napkin.

“You can go and see them,” the sheikh said.

“God bless you all,” Barakat said while wiping his eyes. “100 salaams (peace).”

“Can you take me to my village?” The question evoked laughter from all the five rebels sitting nearby. Barakat’s family home is in the centre of the Alawite heartland, near Latakia on the coast.

“We will take you to the countryside and you can make your way from there,” Omar replied.

“It isn’t always like this elsewhere,” said Omar after Barakat had left. “But they are military men and they must be treated well. We must show that we are better than what they were.
….

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August 11th, 2012, 8:29 pm

 

68. Tara said:

Ann,

Read the story above and contrast the Sheik’s attitude with yours when you said: “paradise is getting crowded” while the regime was shelling civilian area in Aleppo with artillery and war plane.

Do you know now why your attitude reminds me with Rosalinda Celentano in “Passion of the Christ”.? 

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August 11th, 2012, 8:43 pm

 

69. SYR.EXPAT said:

@63. BRONCO

I am glad you admit that Samaha, an ardent Assad supporter is no doubt guilty,
which again, speaks volumes about Assad supporters. It can also help solve the car bombings that killed two and severely injured Mai Shediak, the anti-Assad news presenter.

The fact that he, according to your analysis, didn’t question Mamluk’s request to transport the explosives and hire people to carry out the explosions is an admission that the Assad regime has requested similar services before, whether from him or from other people.

Samaha is no novice. He was a member of the Christian Kata’eb paramilitary gangs and because of his very close ties with the Syrian regime since the mid eighties according to what I read, he was a minister in most of the Lebanese government. He is so close to the Assad regime that when Assad went to france, he accompanied him (can’t verify, but that’s what I read). In other words, he seasoned enough to know the modus operandi of the Syrian government. This is why he did not question or refuse to carry out the plot. So thank you for making that clear to people.

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August 11th, 2012, 8:52 pm

 

70. ann said:

Sheikh handling abducted pilgrims’ case warns Gulf states over neglecting issue – August 11, 2012

The head of the follow up committee in charge of the case of the 11 Lebanese Shiite men kidnapped in Syria Sheikh Abbas Zgheib warned Gulf foreign ministers that the unresolved issue might negatively affect their countries, the National News Agency reported on Saturday.

“The case of the abductees should be included in the agenda [of the meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers – who are meeting in the Saudi city of Jeddah], since the repercussions of this case will affect them if they don’t find a solution to it,” he said.

[…]

http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=427027

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August 11th, 2012, 9:01 pm

 

71. VISITOR said:

SYR. EXPAT & others who call Samaha ardent supporter of Athad.

Correction: Samaha IS an advisor of Athad. He is more than a supporter.

………………………………..

I do not think that this emphasis on economics and economic growth has much bearing on this Syrian uprising. The real issue is that this regime is corrupt to the core since the day it was NOT supposed to have been born back 50 years ago. Therefore, I repeat here a comment I made under the previous post by the same writer,

Corruption goes back to the very first day this abomination of regime was born. It is wrong to narrow the causes to mistakes perceived to have been committed only in more recent years.

This is a regime that should have never been born in the first place to begin with. It is a pitch black dot in the history of Syria that will take years to erase even after the regime has fallen. Nothing in the history of mankind compares to this delinquency except the Nazi years of Germany of the last century.

Syrians are to blame first and foremost for being complacent all these years allowing this abhorrence to take roots. Having done exactly that, the Syrians are now facing the horrendous task of reversing the disastrous consequences of their complacency.

Blame not others but the complacent.

………………………………..

Though possible intervention appears to be a distant prospect, her remarks were nevertheless the closest Washington has come to suggesting direct military action in Syria.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Aug-11/184286-turkey-us-weigh-no-fly-zones-for-syria.ashx#ixzz23HxiyxMJ
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

…………………………………………..

66 TARA,

By saying those things, Ann is a terrorist espousing and cheering the killing of Syrians on this blog. She said similar things couple posts ago. She should be banned for ever from posting here.

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August 11th, 2012, 9:07 pm

 

72. Tara said:

Sedition should result in capital punishment.  Sedition is worse than killing as it can lead to ethnic cleansing.  

Lebanon indicts Samaha and Assad security adviser for assassination plots
August 11, 2012 04:45 PM (Last updated: August 11, 2012 05:14 PM)
The Daily Star

BEIRUT: Judge Sami Sader indicted former Information Minister Michel Samaha and Syrian National Security Bureau head Ali Mamlouk Saturday for plotting to assassinate political and religious figures in Lebanon and carry out terrorist attacks.

The indictment also included a Syrian army officer identified as Brig. Gen. Adnan.

Sader, the government’s deputy commissioner at the Military Tribunal, also charged the three men with creating an armed group aimed at undermining the authority and prestige of the state

Additionally, he accused them of planning to incite sectarian clashes through terrorist attacks with explosives that Samaha transported to Lebanon and stored after taking possession of them from Mamlouk and Adnan.

The indictment also charged the three men with working with Syria’s intelligence to carry out aggression against Lebanon. Samaha was also accused of possessing weapons without a license.

A judicial source told The Daily Star that the charges, if proven, could lead to the defendants being sentenced to hard labor or death.

Sader referred the case to Military Judge Riad Abu Ghida, who will pursue the investigation and question Samaha.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Aug-11/184294-lebanon-indicts-samaha-and-assad-adviser-for-plotting-to-assassinate-political-figures.ashx#axzz23IC110ZT

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August 11th, 2012, 9:09 pm

 

73. Mohsen said:

Josh – don’t say! The typical leftist frequenting the comments has no idea what economics is or means. You see, all social dynamics is either cultural, political, or spiritual. Economics is just something that happens in the background, and if you need to create a job, you just hire them as government employees. This is the simplistic level of analysis offered by most leftists and socialists, who have jettisoned nuanced materialism in favor of cheap and simplistic idealism.

I completely concur with your analysis including the part on population explosion.

However I disagree that a Chinese model can be implemented in the Middle East. The lack of resources in places like Syria, Egypt, Yemen, coupled with a brain-damaged consciousness inculcated by leftists and communists that all fate is determined by “colonial powers” and the locals have absolutely nothing to do about the dismal state of being or can effect any change (except to yell death to America), and are hence blameless, plus the seductive effects of Islam (opiate of the masses) will assure that a Chinese model will NEVER develop.

The will to progress does not exist in the Middle East, for a variety of reasons – foremost being the total abdication by intellectuals there to understand matters of economics, development, production, competition, and material relationships, and stop nagging against the US, Israel, or some other abstract power.

The intellectuals and supposedly the more conscious segments of society has let the nation down. There is not a single statesman in sight for thousands of miles and never has been. In the past two years only one has emerged and that is Jalil of Libya.

Yes, corruption and greedy exploitation at the expense of another is rampant in the M.E. But that was the default case in Europe as well a century or two ago. But Syria, Iran, etc. do NOT have the national will to dig themselves out of this hole. The intellectuals and the educated have let the nation down and they are mostly to blame. Never expect a corrupt monopoly person to voluntarily reform itself. It is up to society at large to manage that.

Unfortunately the left and the socialists simplistically analyze history in terms of imperialistic power dynamics and have no notion how production happens and what economics is. A class of economically and materially illiterate but educated up to the hilt class of useless, self-satisfied, and power-seeking people.

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August 11th, 2012, 9:32 pm

 

74. Tara said:

Visitor

Do you know how the Lebanese intelligence uncovered Samaha’s plot? Who tipped them over? It sounds to me like the work of a quiet defector in the inner circle of the regime..I am afraid that Bashar will soon trust no one around him may be including Asma…I can see a miserable ending waiting for him.

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August 11th, 2012, 9:33 pm

 

75. omen said:

what are the odds the regime will arrange for samaha to be killed in jail so that he doesn’t have a chance to testify?

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August 11th, 2012, 9:43 pm

 

76. ann said:

Armed men attack Al-Ikhabrieh Syrian TV channel ‎- Sat Aug 11, 2012

Al-Ikhabrieh Syrian TV channel was once again the target of armed men. On Friday, four of its employees were kidnapped by armed men in al-Tal area in Damascus countryside while reporting on the events there.

Head of the journalists union condemned such acts saying countries
supporting armed groups in Syria are responsible for their safety.

Earlier, the so called al-Nusra front affiliated to al-Qaeda had kidnapped a Syrian TV anchor and reportedly killed him. Another Syrian state TV cameraman was then abducted.

Nevertheless, other non-Syrian media outlets and journalists covering events in Syria were also threatened as foreign reporters were also kidnapped by armed men. Head of al-Alam and Press TV office in Damascus Hosein Mortada received many threats by armed men after reporting on clashes between them and the Syrian army. He also survived recently an assassination attempt in the city of Aleppo.

[…]

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/08/11/255766/armed-men-attack-alikhabrieh-syrian-tv-channel/

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August 11th, 2012, 9:54 pm

 

77. VISITOR said:

72 TARA,

I am not sure. It looks like someone tipped Intelligence. But I would presume Samaha and many others like him are under constant surveillance.

According to media reports, Samaha was arrested after a man from the Kfoury family informed the ISF that the former minister had asked to provide him with a group of men to transport explosives to northern Lebanon in return for a sum of money.
After receiving the tip, Kfoury was handed a spy pen camera that exposed Samaha in the weeks before his arrest.

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/49716-samaha-mamlouk-charged-with-planning-attacks-in-lebanon

The above is based on media reports, so it is mostly rumors.

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August 11th, 2012, 9:56 pm

 

78. Syrialover said:

Mohsen

Partly very true, and partly unfair and unrealistic.

You forget how little most Syrians saw and knew of the rest of the world before the cyber explosion.

Until fairly recently bright non-elite Syrians had a chance only to study in the Soviet bloc and never had the opportunity to travel anywhere or to read much of the wider world’s history, thinking and experience.

And added to that was the fact that those in control have been universally stupid, economically illiterate, lazy and uninterested in anything except medieval methods of keeping power and stealing from the country.

A legitimate government with merit-appointed advisers and bureaucrats today might see and do things very differently.

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August 11th, 2012, 10:01 pm

 

79. Hopeful said:

Tara, Omen,

Forgive me but I am very distraught. Between a brutal corrupt regime, and vengeful religious extremists, I do not know how anyone can rescue Syria anymore!

Here is the link to the video. I found it on Youtube. Please be careful- it is very graphic and disturbing. Note the “Allah Akbar” shouts. Really? God wants you to do this? How insane is that?

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August 11th, 2012, 10:04 pm

 

80. Syrialover said:

Hopeful,

Believe it, there have been worse, much worse things than that on youtube from Syria. People laughing, wearing uniforms, and paid by the “government”, dishing out crueller and more prolonged and humiliating deaths to elderly men and kids.

Syrians, like people who have experienced war everywhere, are going to face this and bravely deal with it, not throw up their hands in despair declaring they have lost all hope in humanity etc.

The root cause of every one of these incidents – and there will be countless such inclidents like the one that has sent you into a spin – can be linked to the Assad regime’s actions and the behavioural benchmarks they set.

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August 11th, 2012, 10:21 pm

 

81. ann said:

Hillary’s Friends!

Death squads targeting government officials and civil service workers in Syria – August 11, 2012

News reports indicate that the so-called Free Syrian Army, are operating “death squads” that are focusing on killing government officials even if they’re in the civil service?

Some have even termed the phrase “people hunting expeditions” to apply to what the rebels are doing in this regard.

“They’re also attempting to kill scientists because these people are also considered to be the supporters of [President Bashar] Assad and as we’ve seen on July 18 a huge terrorist attack on the Syrian government killing the defense minister and other top personnel”, said Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley. (see article: CIA secret army seeks destruction of Syria: American author http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/09/255251/cia-secret-army-wants-syria-destroyed/ ).

They are also attacking national symbols.

One Syrian rebel commander complained about foreign fighters connected with al-Qaeda coming in and “attacking any and all symbols of the state including schools” (see article: Tomorrow’s foes? Syrian rebels fear foreign Islamist fighters are ‘too extreme’ http://www.rt.com/news/extreme-islamic-jihadists-syria-161/ ).

More than that they are also targeting the very fabric of Syrian civil society and murdering anyone who gets in their way!

To complicate matters the problem seems to be getting worse, with the influx of weapons and money…

So who is responsible for all this?

I wish I could say it wasn’t the United States?

On June 21, the New York Times reported that a group of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers are operating “secretly in southern Turkey” and that the agents are helping the anti-Syria governments decide which gangs inside the Arab country will receive arms to fight the Syrian government. Arms include such things as “automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons…” (see article: C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/world/middleeast/cia-said-to-aid-in-steering-arms-to-syrian-rebels.html?pagewanted=all ).

The New York Times article also mentioned they are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

It seems the terrorists in this case are basically supported by those states that want President Assad gone! That would include the United States (see also article: US Proxy Al Qaeda Death Squads in Syria http://www.infowars.com/us-proxy-al-qaeda-death-squads-in-syria/

[…]

http://www.examiner.com/article/death-squads-targeting-government-officials-and-civil-service-workers-syria

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August 11th, 2012, 10:30 pm

 

82. Tara said:

Jane Austen Scherk,

I really really love to read you. Your humanity increases the Serotonin in my brain. I enjoyed very much reading your post from the last thread. I have no explanation in regard to certain things. I guess my profound empathy can see through the apparent lack of empathy, I still stand my position…

So the third or forth moderator is joining your band I heard….you guys should organize a trip to the free Syria in the future to smoke Argilleh and share your memories. You heard I am having a big party in my parents’ house in Zabadani? Of course if it is still there after the shelling. You should come.

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August 11th, 2012, 10:32 pm

 

83. Observer said:

I agree with hopeful that there is no room whatsoever for ill treatment of any sort and at any level.

The slogan Allah Akbar is supposed to mean at least in my opinion that God is greater in every way and in every detail than any of man’s affairs be it love hate jealousy worship work etc….

Invoking God or any other ideology to harm is evil.

Justice will bring peace and I hope in the new ME the death penalty will be abolished.

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August 11th, 2012, 10:44 pm

 

84. Tara said:

I have a burning question. I am still awed by the acute mnhebak phenomena and puzzled by it…Can anyone tell me why does Samaha worship Bashar? Money? They only found $170,000 cash with the bombs. Does not sound to me like great sum of money to explain the worshiping phenomena? What is it? Are some human beings genuinely born slaves?

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August 11th, 2012, 10:55 pm

 

85. ann said:

CIA stopping weapons crossing border to aid Syrian rebel forces – August 12, 2012

DESPITE mounting calls in Washington for a more aggressive US military role in Syria, the CIA has been quietly working along its northern border with Turkey to limit the supplies of weapons and ammunition reaching rebel forces, according to Syrian opposition officials.

“Not one bullet enters Syria without US approval,” one official complained in Istanbul. “The Americans want the [rebellion] to continue, but they are not allowing enough supplies in to make the Damascus regime fall.”

Details of the CIA’s policing activities offer a rare insight into the complex struggle for regional advantage that is rapidly developing at the margins of the Syrian civil war. Conducted mostly by clandestine agents from America, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran, the conflict has turned Turkey’s rugged border provinces into a hotbed of arms dealers, spies and would-be fighters.

Over the past 10 months, a Syrian opposition official told The Sunday Times, the CIA has blocked shipments of heavy anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, which rebel units of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have long described as vital to their efforts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

At the same time, they have approved supplies of AK-47 Kalashnikov rifles, and just over a month ago they gave the green light to a shipment of 10,000 Russian-made rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).

“The weapons are being carried across the border on donkeys, which are especially good for carrying ammunition,” the official said. Since the fall to rebel forces of Azaz, a Syrian town near the Turkish border, guns have begun to arrive by truck.

The weapons are either bought on the black market in Istanbul or supplied by the rebels’ allies in Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. “Qatar sends money and usually says, ‘go and buy what you want’,” the official said. “The Turks just give the weapons free of charge, especially light anti-tank weapons.”

Yet rebel frustration is mounting at the CIA’s reluctance to allow heavy weaponry across the border, for fear that it may eventually be used against America’s allies.

“The RPGs aren’t enough,” the opposition official said. “You have to be close to the tank to make any impact, and often the fighter using it gets killed.”

The CIA’s activities highlight an awkward contradiction in Washington’s approach to Syria. While President Barack Obama’s administration supports the rebel uprising, has called for Assad to step down and is supplying opposition forces with millions of dollars in non-lethal aid, it has shied from a more forcible military intervention.

Suggestions that Washington is deliberately prolonging the conflict while it attempts to identify a friendly successor to Assad were described by one former CIA official as “a little too Machiavellian” last week.

Yet Washington’s hesitant strategy is increasingly coming under fire from both Republicans and Democrats who fear US inaction will encourage Al-Qa’ida and other extremists to build a power-base in a post-Assad Syria.

Other experts noted that Mr Obama’s policy appeared to be driven by fear of what one former CIA official described as “negative unintended consequences”.

Bob Grenier, a former director of the CIA counter terrorism center, said the CIA’s policing activities along the border were intended to protect the administration from future embarrassment if the rebel groups it supports today turn out to be hostile to Israel or America should they gain power.

“It would not be good if it was later established that weapons reached people identified with al-Qa’ida, and we could have done something about it,” Grenier said. He described the administration’s current policy as “hiding behind the CIA”.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said “It is one thing to talk about all kinds of potential actions, but you cannot make reasoned decisions without doing intense analysis and operational planning,” she said.

CIA agents have been active along the border, attempting to prevent jihadists sympathetic to Al-Qa’ida from joining the Syrian fray. “The CIA vetoes Al-Qa’ida and it’s not very keen on the Muslim Brotherhood,” a Syrian opposition official said.

Senior SNC members said Britain was supplying neither money nor arms to the FSA. “The Brits are at the end of the line, we ask them for money and military assistance, they tell us to submit projects as if we were talking about business plans,” said one frustrated official.

[…]

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/cia-stopping-weapons-crossing-border-to-aid-syrian-rebel-forces/story-fnb64oi6-1226448561253

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August 11th, 2012, 11:02 pm

 

86. Norman said:

Ann,

Do you think that the US is changing it’s objective from changing the regime to changing the behavior of the regime.To abandon Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah and all is forgiven.

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August 11th, 2012, 11:08 pm

 

87. Ghufran said:

I think it is too early to pass a judgement on Smaha,he may have acted as a “friend” to Mamlouk(some posters still think he is an alawi),but we really are not sure what he actually did and how much he knew,I prefer to wait and see,I do not trust anything that comes out of a Haririte,they lie as easy as we breathe and they are ready to deal with the devil to score points against their political enemies.
As for revenge crimes being individual acts,that is too optimistic, there is a lot of bad blood and bad people in Syria,if Syrians and the international community are interested in preventing wide scale civilian massacres after the fall of the regime,they must work on making sure there is a formidable force that keeps civil peace,and so far that has not happened,indeed what is being done is exactly the opposite which makes me very suspicious that the west main concerns are the safety of Israel and securing Syria’s large stocks of missiles and chemical weapons,all other items including the lives of alawites are not important to the anti Iran camp,sorry for being blunt. This belief is widely held among alawites ,and we can not change it with words and promises.

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August 11th, 2012, 11:14 pm

 

88. ann said:

Strange Bedfellows: US and Al Qaeda – William Blum – Saturday, 11 August 2012

Tales of an Empire Gone Mad: The United States and its comrade-in-arms, Al Qaeda

Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s … Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s … Libya 2011 … Syria 2012 … In military conflicts in each of these countries the United States and al Qaeda (or one of its associates) have been on the same side. 1

What does this tell us about the United States’ “War On Terrorism”?

Regime change has been the American goal on each occasion: overthrowing communists (or “communists”), Serbians, Slobodan Milosevic, Moammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad … all heretics or infidels, all non-believers in the empire, all inconvenient to the empire.

Why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, has the United States invested so much blood and treasure against the PLO, Iraq, and Libya, and now Syria, all mideast secular governments?

Why are Washington’s closest Arab allies in the Middle East the Islamic governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, and Bahrain? Bahrain being the home of an American naval base; Saudi Arabia and Qatar being conduits to transfer arms to the Syrian rebels.

Why, if democracy means anything to the United States are these same close allies in the Middle East all monarchies?

Why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, did the United States shepherd Kosovo — 90% Islamist and perhaps the most gangsterish government in the world — to unilaterally declare independence from Serbia in 2008, an independence so illegitimate and artificial that the majority of the world’s nations still have not recognized it?

Why — since Kosovo’s ruling Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) have been known for their trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts (sic) — has the United States been pushing for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the European Union? (Just what the EU needs: another economic basket case.) Between 1998 and 2002, the KLA appeared on the State Department terrorist list, remaining there until the United States decided to make them an ally, due in no small part to the existence of a major American military base in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel, well situated in relation to planned international oil and gas pipelines coming from the vast landlocked Caspian Sea area to Europe. In November 2005, following a visit to Bondsteel, Alvaro Gil-Robles, the human rights envoy of the Council of Europe, described the camp as a “smaller version of Guantánamo”. 2

Why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, did the United States pave the way to power for the Libyan Islamic rebels, who at this very moment are killing other Libyans in order to institute a more fundamentalist Islamic state?

Why do American officials speak endlessly about human rights, yet fully support the Libyan Islamic rebels despite the fact that Doctors Without Borders suspended its work in prisons in the Islamic-rebel city of Misurata because torture was so rampant that some detainees were brought for care only to make them fit for further interrogation? 3

Why is the United States supporting Islamic Terrorists in Libya and Syria who are persecuting Christians?

And why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, did US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice — who daily attacks the Syrian government on moral grounds — not condemn the assassination of four Syrian high officials on July 18, in all likelihood carried out by al Qaeda types? RT, the Russian television channel broadcast in various parts of the United States, noted her silence in this matter. Does anyone know of any American media that did the same?

So, if you want to understand this thing called United States foreign policy … forget about the War on Terrorism, forget about September 11, forget about democracy, forget about freedom, forget about human rights, forget about religion, forget about the people of Libya and Syria … keep your eyes on the prize … Whatever advances American global domination. Whatever suits their goals at the moment. There is no moral factor built into the DNA of US foreign policy.

Bring back the guillotine

In July, the Canadian corporation Enbridge, Inc. announced that one of its pipelines had leaked and spilled an estimated 1,200 barrels of crude oil in a field in Wisconsin. Two years ago, an Enbridge pipeline spilled more than 19,000 barrels in Michigan. The Michigan spill affected more than 50 kilometers of waterways and wetlands and about 320 people reported medical symptoms from crude oil exposure. The US National Transportation Safety Board said that at $800 million it was the costliest onshore spill cleanup in the nation’s history. The NTSB found that Enbridge knew of a defect in the pipeline five years before it burst. According to Enbridge’s own reports, the company had 800 spills between 1999 and 2010, releasing close to 7 million gallons of crude oil. 4

No executive or other employee of Enbridge has been charged with any kind of crime. How many environmental murderers of modern times have been punished?

During a period of a few years beginning around 2007, several thousand employees of stock brokers, banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, credit-rating agencies, and other financial institutions, mainly in New York, had great fun getting obscenely rich while creating and playing with pieces of paper known by names like derivatives, collateralized debt obligations, index funds, credit default swaps, structured investment vehicles, subprime mortgages, and other exotic terms, for which, it must be kept in mind, there had been no public need or demand. The result has been a severe depression, seriously hurting hundreds of millions of lives in the United States and abroad.

No employee of any of these companies has seen the inside of a prison cell for playing such games with our happiness.

For more than half a century members of the United States foreign policy and military establishments have compiled a record of war crimes and crimes against humanity that the infamous beasts and butchers of history could only envy.

Not a single one of these American officials has come any closer to a proper judgment than going to see the movie “Judgment at Nuremberg”.

Yet, we live in the United States of Punishment for countless other criminal types; more than two million presently rotting their lives away. No other society comes even close to this, no matter how the statistics are calculated. And many of those in American prisons are there for victimless crimes.

On the other hand, we see the Chinese sentencing their citizens to lengthy prison terms, even execution, for environmental crimes.

We have an Iranian court recently trying 39 people for a $2.6 billion bank loan embezzlement carried out by individuals close to the political elite or with their assent. Of the 39 people tried, four were sentenced to hang, two to life in prison, and others received terms of up to 25 years; in addition to prison time, some were sentenced to flogging, ordered to pay fines, and banned from government jobs. 5

And in Argentina in early July, in the latest of a long series of trials of former Argentine officials, former dictator Jorge Rafael Videla was convicted and sentenced to 50 years for a systematic plan to steal babies from women prisoners who were kidnapped, tortured and killed during the military junta’s war on leftist dissenters — the “dirty war” of 1976-83 that claimed 13,000 victims. Many of the women had “disappeared” shortly after giving birth. Argentina’s last dictator, Reynaldo Bignone, was also convicted and got 15 years. Outside the courthouse a jubilant crowd watched on a big screen and cheered each sentence. 6

As an American, how I envy the Argentines. Get the big screen ready for The Mall in Washington. We’ll have showings of the trials of the Bushes and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Obama. And Henry Kissinger, a strong supporter of the Argentine junta among his many contributions to making the world a better place. And let’s not forget the executives of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Enbridge, Inc. Fining them just money is pointless. We have to fine them years, lots of them.

Without imprisoning these people, nothing will change. That’s become a cliché, but we very well see what continues to happen without imprisonment. And it’s steadily getting worse, financially and imperially.

Items of interest from a journal I’ve kept for 40 years, part VII

*

Bantustanning the aboriginals all over the world: The Indians in America, the aboriginals in Australia, the blacks in South Africa, and the Palestinians in Palestine.
*

From 1966 tape of President Lyndon Johnson: “I know we oughtn’t to be there [in Vietnam], but I can’t get out.” And he never did. And thousands more troops would die before Johnson left office. (Washington Post, March 12, 2006)
*

The Germans had Lebensraum. Americans had Manifest Destiny.
*

chinks, gooks, wogs, towelheads, ragheads — some of the charming terms used by American soldiers to describe their foes in Asia and the Middle East
*

In June, 2005, Cong. Duncan Hunter (Rep.-CA) held a news conference concerning Guantánamo. Displaying some tasty traditional meals, he said the government spends $12 a day for food for each prisoner. “So the point is that the inmates in Guantánamo have never eaten better, they’ve never been treated better, and they’ve never been more comfortable in their lives than in this situation.” (Scripps Howard News Service, June 28, 2005, Reg Henry column)
*

Vice President Dick Cheney: Guantánamo prisoners are well treated. “They’re living in the tropics. They’re well fed. They’ve got everything they could possibly want.” (CNN.com, June 23, 2005)
*

“[Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld said Guantánamo’s operations have been more open to scrutiny than any military detention facility in history.” (Associated Press, June 14, 2005)
*

“Their ‘coalition of the willing’ [in Iraq] meant the US, Britain, and the equivalent of a child’s imaginary friends.” Paul Loeb, Truthout, June 16, 2005
*

Nobody has ever suggested that Serbia attacked or was preparing to attack a member of NATO, and that is the only event which justifies a military reaction under the NATO treaty, such as the 1999 78-day bombing of Serbia.
*

Rumsfeld re Chinese military buildup: “Since no nation threatens China, one wonders: Why this growing investment?” (New York Times, June 6, 2005
*

Rumsfeld re Venezuelan major weapons buildup: “I don’t know of anyone threatening Venezuela, anyone in this hemisphere.” (Washington Post, October 3, 2006) [Is it possible that the response to both points raised is the same? A country in North America bordering on Mexico?]
*

The failure of the United Nations — as an institution and its individual members — to unequivocally oppose and prevent the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003 can well be called “appeasement”.
*

The Iraqi Kurds generally sided with Iran during the 1981-88 Iraq-Iran war; helped the United States before and during its bombing of Iraq in 2003 and during its occupation; and most Kurds don’t identify with being Iraqi according to polls.
*

One of the military judges at Guantánamo said: “I don’t care about international law. I don’t want to hear the words ‘international law’ again. We are not concerned with international law.” (Democracy Now, April 12, 2005)
*

George W. Bush, re al Qaeda types: “Iraqis are sick of foreign people coming in their country and trying to destabilize their country. And we will help them rid Iraq of these killers.” (Baltimore Sun, May 6, 2004)
*

“I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq. Those who want to come and help are welcome. Those who come to interfere and destroy are not.” Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense and unindicted war criminal (Chicago Tribune, July 22, 2003)
*

Timothy McVeigh, Gulf War veteran who bombed a government building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people: “What occurred in Oklahoma City was no different than what Americans rain on the heads of others all the time … The bombing of the Murrah building was not personal, no more than when Air Force, Army, Navy or Marine personnel bomb or launch cruise missiles against government installations and their personnel. … Many foreign nations and peoples hate Americans for the very reasons most Americans loathe me. Think about that.” (McVeigh’s letter to and interview with Rita Cosby, Fox News Correspondent, April 27 2001)
*

Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and unindicted war criminal: “Defense Department officials don’t lie to the public. … The Defense Department doesn’t do covert action, period.” (Washington Post, February 21, 2002)
*

The United States will “deal promptly and properly with the terrible abuses” of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers. “No country in the world upholds the Geneva Conventions on the laws of armed conflict more steadfastly than does the United States.” Douglas Feith, Boston Globe, May 5, 2004
*

“The State Department plans to delay the release of a human rights report that was due out today, partly because of sensitivities over the prison abuse scandal in Iraq, U.S. officials said. One official who asked not to be identified said the release of the report, which describes actions taken by the U.S. government to encourage respect for human rights by other nations, could ‘make us look hypocritical’.” (Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2004)
*

In the decades after 1945, as colonial possessions became independent states, it was widely believed that imperialism as a historical phenomenon was coming to an end. However, a new form of imperialism was in fact taking shape, an imperialism not defined by colonial rule but by the global capitalist market. From the outset, the dominant power in this imperialism without colonies was the United States.
*

Francis Boyle re the capture and public display of Saddam Hussein: “This is the 21st century equivalent of the Roman Emperor parading the defeated barbarian king before the assembled masses so that they might all shout in unison: Hail Caesar!”
*

The US-provided textbooks in Nicaragua after the US-instigated defeat of the Sandinistas in 1990 carefully excluded all mention of Augustino Sandino as a national hero. (Z magazine, November, 1991)
*

“Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said tougher methods are being used to gather the intelligence. On Wednesday night, he said, his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: ‘If you want your family released, turn yourself in.’ Such tactics are justified, he said, because, ‘It’s an intelligence operation with detainees, and these people have info.’ They would have been released in due course, he added later. The tactic worked. On Friday, Hogg said, the lieutenant general appeared at the front gate of the U.S. base and surrendered.” (Washington Post, July 28, 2003) [This is illegal under international law; in ordinary parlance we’d call it a kidnapping with ransom; in war, it’s the collective punishment of civilians and is forbidden under the Geneva Convention]

[…]

http://www.pacificfreepress.com/opinion/12172-strange-bedfellows-us-and-al-qaeda.html

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August 11th, 2012, 11:16 pm

 

89. Ghufran said:

قال محمد مهدي عاكف المرشد السابق لجماعة الإخوان المسلمين، إن من لا يقبل الحكم الإسلامي الذي ارتضى به الشعب فـ”طز فيه”، معتبرا أن الشعب انتخب الدكتور محمد مرسي رئيس الجمهورية لتبنيه “مشروع نهضة مصر” والذي كان من منظور إسلامي. حسبما ذكرت صحيفة “اليوم السابع المصرية”.

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August 11th, 2012, 11:25 pm

 

90. VISITOR said:

Can anyone decipher what the Americans and the Turks agreed upon?

http://www.aljazeera.net/news/pages/03946784-6b4d-4f51-aab0-be41cd6eabc0?GoogleStatID=9

Watch Hilary speak in the embedded video.

………………………………..

Do you have any problem with what Akef said, Ghufran?

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August 11th, 2012, 11:29 pm

 

91. Ghufran said:

نعت المؤسسة العامة للسينما إلى الشعب السوري عامة والفنانين والسينمائيين السوريين خاصة المخرج السينمائي السوري الشهيد بسام محي الدين حسين الذي اغتالته المجموعات الارهابية المسلحة يوم الأحد الماضي قرب منزله في بلدة جديدة عرطوز .

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August 11th, 2012, 11:34 pm

 

92. VISITOR said:

82 TARA,

That money is not for Samaha to take home. It is for the hired men who will plant the bombs on the scene.

That’s more than enough to hire few who are capable and willing.

Samaha’s rewards come in the form of political gains.

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August 11th, 2012, 11:43 pm

 

93. ann said:

84. Norman said:
Ann,
Do you think that the US is changing it’s objective from changing the regime to changing the behavior of the regime.To abandon Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah and all is forgiven.

Norman,

The US never deviated from it’s one and only objective. The destruction of Syria.

vilifying Assad’s government, like Saddam and Kadafi before him provides the cover to wipe Syria as we know it off the map by destroying it’s military capability.

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August 11th, 2012, 11:53 pm

 

94. Johannes de Silentio said:

Ann,

Do you ever take time to actually personally read all the inarticulate screeds and tissues of delusions you post on SC? No? Do you think anyone here reads them? Of course we don’t.

So what’s the point, Ann? Why waste all that bandwidth when you could be doing something useful, like bringing your scrapbook on the domestic life of Bashar and Asma al-Assad up to date. I’m sure there’re some photos of the Dictator and his wife strolling barefoot on a beach you’d like to paste in there….

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August 11th, 2012, 11:53 pm

 

95. bronco said:

#67 Syr.Expat

This is why he did not question or refuse to carry out the plot.

That is exactly my point, Samaha was known to be so dedicated to Bashar that he was the perfect fool to fall into the trap that some enemies of Bashar ( opposition, Mossad..) had arranged.
Did he know Ali Mamlouk? It is possible he didn’t, the guy is rather invisible. Someone impersonating Ali Mamlouk could have given him the order in the name of Bashar together with the bombs. Uniforms are easy to get. They knew he would accept with not much hesitation. It is also possible he was paid.
Then the driver, in complicity with the enemies of Bashar, gave him up immediately to the Lebanese security.
Now in his testimony Samaha is implicating Mamlouk and Bashar because he is under the impression that the orders came from them.

If this explanation turns out to be true, it is a clever set up that the enemies of Bashar did. I think that either the opposition or the Mossad or both that are responsible for the plot whose only purpose was to bring murder accusations on Syrian officials, stain Bashar Al Assad and the Hezbollah and.. get rid of Samaha.

I wonder if it will possible to uncover it as the sole witness, Mr Kfoury, the driver is gone into anonymity.

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August 11th, 2012, 11:54 pm

 

96. Tara said:

Visitor,

It just struck me,

A year ago, it was Aboud, True, and Tara. It is now Amjad, Visitor, and Tara…

I am getting dull. How did it take me that long? Welcome back. I can’t stop smiling.

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August 11th, 2012, 11:58 pm

 

97. VISITOR said:

“Do you think that the US is changing it’s objective from changing the regime to changing the behavior of the regime.To abandon Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah and all is forgiven.”

Stop the delusion. Nothing can save this Nazi-like criminal regime of delinquents.

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August 12th, 2012, 12:02 am

 

98. bronco said:

84. Norman, Ann

The USA repeatedly warned the FSA not to collaborate or tolerate the presence of the Islamist terrorists in their ranks.
The FSA did nothing, neither Turkey. The fear that these terrorists could threaten Israel has triggered the USA to start policing themselves the arms and militants crossing the border.

This task is slowing down and limiting the delivery of weapons to the rebels. That explains why the rebels complain of not receiving enough ammunitions and weapons.

The Islamists extremists have obviously hijacked the armed rebels and have killed any chance of a military success for the opposition.

The USA is back again on the ‘political transition’ crusade…

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August 12th, 2012, 12:11 am

 

99. jna said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk3hYVwSjOQ&feature=youtu.be

“Aug 11, 2012
Syria, Albab city August 2012 . Gangsters of Free Army occupied Syrian Post Office in Albab city. They killed all government employees by throwing them off building roof. The armed gangsters reason for this act was that victims should not have gone to work and should have stayed home. They are supporters of Syrian government and president Bashar Alassad.”

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August 12th, 2012, 12:15 am

 

100. Ghufran said:

I hope this is not true:
بعد أن حالت العوائق الطبيعية دون انشائها في لبنان وافقت اسرائيل على منح منشآت عسكرية قريبة من مرصد جبل الشيخ لإقامة منشآت لإذاعة تبث على موجات الـ (اف . ام) باسم الجيش الحر
وقد بدأت الإذاعة بثها بمعاونة متطوعين يحملون الجنسية الأميركية ولكنهم من أصول سورية
علماً بأن المنطقة التي أقيمت فيها الإذاعة هي منطقة سورية محتلة وربما لهذا لن يشعر المعارضون السوريون بأنهم خونة ولربما سيفكرون يوماً في مقاومة الإحتلال الإسرائيلي إعلامياً من داخل ممنشآت منحتها لهم إسرائيل
من المفيد ذكره أن منطقة جبل الشيخ تبعد عن قلب العاصمة دمشق أقل من 30 كم وهي تعلو 1700 م عن سطح البحر مما يجعلها أهم نقطة بث إذاعي وتلفزيوني موجهة إلى دمشق أرضياً

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August 12th, 2012, 12:16 am

 

101. Ghufran said:

من المندسه
بداية تحية لابطال الجيش السوري الحر
شخصيا كنت على قناعة بعد شهرين من بدأ الثورة ان الحل الوحيد لاسقاط النظام هو حل عسكري مع انو كنت بتمنى ان يتم ذلك عن طريق الناتو او تدخل خارجي وما كنت بتمنى يصير هادا الشي عن طريق تسليح العالم او عن طريق تشكيل الجيش الحر (طبعا كل شي الو ضريبة بس بقناعتي الناتو كان ضريبتو اخف)
برايي انو وجود الجيش الحر خلق معو كتير مشاكل انشالله نكون قادرين على حلها بعد ما يسقط النظام، رح اذكرها وبتمنى الكل يكتب شو وجهة نظرو بالموضوع ويقلي اذا كنت غلطان:
1-      وجود السلاح بيد ابناء الشعب مشكلة كبيرة جدا، لانو على مر التاريخ لا يوجد احد أخد سلاح وتخلى عنو بعد انتهاء المهمة، وفي عنا امثلة واضحة في لبنان والعراق.
2-      تركيبة سوريا الطائفية، وتوجه الحرب لتكون بنسبة كبيرة حرب طائفية (وخلينا نكون واقعيين، الصراع خصوصا في حمص وحماة وادلب اتخذ منحى طائفي) سيؤدي الى حدوث مجازر كبيرة في المستقبل اذا بقي السلاح بايدي ابناء الشعب
3-      شئنا ام ابينا الجيش الحر معطمو اشخاص متدينين، يعني مارح تلاقي في هادا الشخص يلي بنادي بدولة مدنية وعلمانية ويلي كان كتير كول ومن بار لبار، حامل بارودة ومنضم للجيش (ومو تجي تقلي هلا بتعرف واحد انت هيك ومنضم للجيش الحر، نحنا عم نحكي بشكل عام)، هذا سيؤدي في حال انتصار الجيش الحر في المعركة ان تكون كلمته هي العليا، يعني رح يكون شي متل خلينا نقول انقلاب عسكري، بالتالي ما بعرف هادا الشي رح يخلينا بسهولة نوصل للدولة المدنية يلي منحلم فيها (مع العلم انو ما عندي اعتراض على ان تكون دولة قائمة على الشريعة الاسلامية، بس عندي اعتراض على الاشخاص الذين سيطبقون التعاليم الاسلامية)
4-      وجود الجيش الحر وباغلبيته المتدينة، ادى الى دخول مجموعات كبيرة من الجهاديين الى سوريا، وشئنا ام ابينا تنظيم القاعدة صار عنا
5-      الجيش الحر يفتقد الى التنظيم، وانا شايف انو معظم تصرفاتو في اقتحام المدن كان غلط، واخرها بصلاح الدين بحلب وبالميدان في دمشق، انو يا اخي فهمو بقا لساتكن مو بالقوة الكافية وما معكن السلاح الكافي، وعم تفوت على نص الاماكن السكنية، وبتعرف النظام ابن كلب مستعد ينزل مدينة كاملة اذا عرف انو فيها 10 من الجيش الحر، فيا ريت تنظمو اموركن شوي، ما بعرف كيف بس ممكن انو تقومو بالتركيز الآن على عمليات نوعية، عمليات مداهمة اغتيالات، بس مو تفوت بحرب مفتوحة مع النظام
بالنهاية انا متخوف من الحل العسكري على يد الجيش الحر، لانو يلي شايفو ممكن انو يوصل لمشاكل كبييييييرة، رح تتطلب منا سنين لنحلها
بتمنى حدا يطمني اذا انا فهمان الموضوع غلط، وشو الحلول ممكن تكون، وبتمنى ما حدا يقلي انو خلي النظام يسقط بعدين منشوف شو بدنا نسوي، ليش ما منهلا منشوف شو الاخطاء ومناسقط النظام وباقل الخسائر
مندس سوري

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August 12th, 2012, 12:26 am

 

102. VISITOR said:

194 TARA,

My day is Amjad’s night.

We’re 8000 miles apart.

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August 12th, 2012, 12:28 am

 

103. bronco said:

#82 Tara

Samaha is a weird guy. I saw him debating on TV several times. For me there is something wrong in his head. He was always shouting and running hysterically through his notes he got from NY Times or Washington Post. Yet as he was attacking the USA and Israel, he got a lot of attention. I am not sure he got sympathy or admiration. He gave me the impression of a mentally unstable and a real psychological case.
He was a Phalangist under Gemayel then he moved to Lebanese forces under Geagea who were responsible for horrible crimes in Lebanon, then he was anti-Syria, then he gradually became obsessed by the CIA, Mossad and Hariri plotting against Syria, then he became totally infatuated with Bashar Al Assad and was considered by everybody as Bashar’s man in Lebanon.
Yet he was refused the official job of coordination between Syria and Lebanon before the exchange of ambassadors. I think Bashar really did not trust him.
In my view, he was the perfect fool to be manipulated, as his dedication for Bashar and the ’cause’ would make him do just anything.
This is why I think Bashar would never have given him such a stupid task of carrying explosives as if Syria did not have any other operators and as if there was no explosives already available in Lebanon.

In the contrary he was the perfect fool to be used in an elaborated and spectacular plot to implicate Bashar Al Assad and the regime in murder accusation.

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August 12th, 2012, 12:33 am

 

104. bronco said:

Moderator… please release my post to Tara

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August 12th, 2012, 12:35 am

 

105. Ghufran said:

A.alibrahimi’s appointment is not a done deal because the Syrian government does not want any envoy with links to the AL to take that post,however,any new mediator will face the same fate as Annan unless a new approach is taken. On paper,the Syrian soldiers will do what its commandors order them to do but who has any authority over armed rebels especially the islamists ?
Only a fool will believe that a diplomatic solution is being seriously pursued while foreign leaders declare publicly that they support the armed rebels.

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August 12th, 2012, 12:41 am

 

106. bronco said:

#73. omen

what are the odds the Mossad and its Lebanese allies will arrange for samaha to be killed in jail so that he doesn’t have a chance to testify?

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August 12th, 2012, 12:42 am

 

107. omen said:

is there relief in death?

a happy dead baby.

photo

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August 12th, 2012, 2:11 am

 

108. Ghufran said:

انسحب الجيش الحر من معظم حي السكري في حلب
At this rate,the armed rebels will abandon Aleppo within few days and focus on the Reef and try to launch small scale attacks on regime forces inside the city.

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August 12th, 2012, 2:13 am

 
 

110. Visitor said:

TARA,

Also, True and I are not one and the same.

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August 12th, 2012, 2:55 am

 

111. kisore said:

Workers’ compensation provides limited insurance coverage for injured employees for lost of wages, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and retraining, if necessary.

compmanwc

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August 12th, 2012, 5:10 am

 

112. Citizen said:

Do you have something proud to do other than war

‘Intervention into Syria already underway’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbpRL-lXTiY

Israel to attack Iran before US election in November – media report
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phWJtOGVazk

‘Western powers antithetical to peace in Syria’
http://www.youtube.com/user/RussiaToday?feature=watch

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August 12th, 2012, 6:28 am

 
 
 

115. bronco said:

Tara

I had given you my opinion about Samaha but for some reasons the moderator held it and never released it.

I was telling you that Samaha is a mental case and his behaviour in all his life has been going for unhealthy worshiping a cause or a person to another. I watched him several times on TV in debates and I always thought the guy had a serious psychological problem as his behavior was very strange and often hysterical. If he took money or not, it’s possible but his unhealthy dedication to Bashar Al Assad and to the anti-american crusade were his weaknesses. He saw himself as a hero.

In my view, while he was close to Bashar, I doubt Bashar trusted him and I doubt the Syrian intelligences would send this 66 old man in a mission to carry explosives to Lebanon, as if there are no explosives available in Lebanon and to take so little precaution on scrutinizing the driver.
So, in my view, it was a plot, not from the Syrian intelligence, but from an organized intelligence in Syria opposed to Bashar who took advantage of Samaha’s psychosis to use him to create an event aimed at demonizing further Bashar and the regime, sour the relation with Lebanon and discredit Hezbollah. And to get rid of a Samaha, a too vocal opponent.
Time will tell if I was right.

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August 12th, 2012, 9:24 am

 

116. Tara said:

Visitor,

Ok Visitor. You are not True. I thought you were.

This Samaha’s story is more Interesting than Asma’ shoes or Bashar and the women around him. It really sums up what the regime is all about. Brutality, corruption, murder, and worshiping. I really hope that he does not get killed while in custody before trial. The truth must come out. May be we will know for sure who killed Harriri..

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August 12th, 2012, 9:27 am

 

117. bronco said:

Jumping on the usual suspect

The Samaha effects are starting in the arab media demonizing Syria, based only on the “confession” of one man without any proof that the Syrian government was involved.
The westerm media are discreet.

Opposition Officials Demand Cutting Relations with Syria over Samaha Case
by Naharnet Newsdesk 5 hours ago
….
11-08-2012 11:26
Hbeish calls for action against Syria following Samaha’s confessions

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August 12th, 2012, 9:32 am

 

118. Tara said:

Bronco,

How so? Supposedly he does not know how Ali Mamluk look like, how can an imposter ( Mossad or opposition) meet him in the security headquarter and hand him explosives? You do not think they met in a cafeteria or a private house. Do you?

Bronco , please provide the link.

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August 12th, 2012, 9:33 am

 

119. Citizen said:

Turkey will keep offering the logistical base for mercenaries coming from “liberated” Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Lebanon. The House of Saud will keep coming up with the cash to weaponize them. And Washington, London and Paris will keep fine-tuning the tactics in what remains the long, simmering foreplay for a NATO attack on Damascus. Even though the armed Syrian opposition does not control anything remotely significant inside Syria, expect the mercenaries reportedly weaponized by the House of Saud and Qatar to become even more ruthless. Expect the not-exactly-Free Syrian Army to keep mounting operations for months, if not years. A key point is whether enough supply lines will remain in place – if not from Jordan, certainly from Turkey and Lebanon.

Putin’s Geopolitical Chess Game with Washington in Syria and Eurasia
http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article35727.html

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August 12th, 2012, 9:46 am

 

120. Citizen said:

US and Turkey plan Syria intervention
Thomas Seibert
Aug 12, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/us-and-turkey-plan-syria-intervention
ISTANBUL // The United States and Turkey said yesterday they are working on plans for possible intervention in Syria should Bashar Al Assad’s regime use chemical weapons.
“We have been closely coordinating over the course of this conflict,” Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, told reporters in Istanbul after talks with her Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu. “But now we need to get into the real details of such operational planning and it needs to be across both of our governments.”

She said the US and Turkey had decided to set up a working group of representatives from the two foreign ministries as well as from the intelligence services and the military of both countries. Responding to a question, Ms Clinton confirmed that the establishment of safe havens for refugees and a no-fly-zone for government aircraft inside Syria were being looked at.././.

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August 12th, 2012, 9:51 am

 

121. bronco said:

#114 Tara

What link are you asking for?
Nobody know exactly how it happened in Syria, who he met and how it went.
The leaks of the confession just say that Ali Mamlouk gave him the explosives because “Bashar wants it”.
Did he meet Ali Mamlouk or a certain Adnan? Do you see the Syrian national security chief handing him personnaly the explosives? Another odd thing: In Lebanon, he asked his driver to help him find people to carry the bombs to the North, doesn’t it sound absurd that the Syrian intelligences would not have ready people in Lebanon to do that, when the media keep repeating that the Syrian mokhabarat have many agents in Lebanon? In the video he is seeing discharging by himself the 24 bombs ( some of 15 kilos) from the car while being filmed by the driver who gave him up. Isn’t strange for a 66 year old man?
Of course, until the real story emerge, if ever it does, the media are bashing Syria, accusing them of crimes on Lebanese. It sounds so much like the anti-Syria popular hysteria after the murder of Hariri.
Samaha is criminal, but we don’t really know yet who was behind him. In my view, it is a foreign (Mossad, CIA..) plot that serves too well to boost the cause of the opposition so weakened in the last weeks.

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August 12th, 2012, 9:56 am

 

122. Tara said:

Bronco,

The link for your post @9:32

The more plausible scenario would be that it really is a Syrian plot…and you are just in denial? Couldn’t it be?

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August 12th, 2012, 10:04 am

 

123. Citizen said:

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c154/493868.html
Russia has opportunities for resolving Syrian conflict – France’s former PM
PARIS, August 11 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia has opportunities for resolving the Syrian conflict, France’s former prime minister Francois Fillon told the French regional daily West France, to be published on Saturday.
On Friday the newspaper placed extracts from the interview on its website. Fillion led the Cabinet during the Nicolas Sarkozy presidency.
“The solution is in Russia. President Francois Hollande should take the risk and go to Moscow to discuss Syria with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin face to face. I do know that it will not be easy,” Fillion said, adding that in his opinion Russia had the clue to the solution of the conflict.
He argues that “if Russia gives up support for Bashar Assad, his regime will fall at once.”
“Should Hollande take such a move, I shall support him irrespective of whether his mission will succeed or fail,” Fillion said.

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August 12th, 2012, 10:08 am

 

124. zoo said:

The rebels path to victory : A safety corridor by punching holes in Aleppo flats and blowing up civilians in Damascus

Aleppo rebels fight flat to flat in Syria
Hugh Naylor
Aug 12, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/aleppo-rebels-fight-flat-to-flat-in-syria

ALEPPO //Abu Suleiman’s rebel unit has started using unorthodox tactics to help take this strategic city from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

Targeted by snipers and indiscriminate bombardments by government warplanes flying overhead, he and his fellow Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters have learnt to avoid moving through the streets of Aleppo’s Salaheddine neighbourhood.

They prefer punching holes through apartment walls, creating networks of indoor passageways to funnel fighters from flat to flat and closer to enemy lines.
..
One of the blasts went off in central Damascus’ Marjeh district, when an explosive device planted under a tree was detonated by remote control as a vehicle carrying soldiers passed by, an official at the site of the blast told the Associated Press. The explosion, which caused no casualties, went off about 100 metres from the Four Seasons, one of the luxury hotels in Damascus.

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August 12th, 2012, 10:08 am

 

125. bronco said:

#118 Tara

The Syrian plot is the most obvious but the least plausible, as far too amateurish.
There are too many incongruities in it
Remember the adage: To whom the crime benefit.

Bashar did not need to create a civil war in North Lebanon when he is winning the military war in Damascus and Aleppo, while the enemies of Bashar want badly that Lebanon allow weapons to pass to Syria, since the CIA is now blocking the turkish passage, and more demonization of Hezbollah. The recent US sanctions on Hezbollah is not a coincidence.

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August 12th, 2012, 10:18 am

 

126. Tara said:

Bronco

If your scenario is right, then the opposition are brilliant. You sure you want to give them that much credit?

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August 12th, 2012, 10:19 am

 

127. Citizen said:

To summarize: U.S. politicians from both parties have lied to the public about the true nature of the conflict in Syria, because it benefited them politically to see a non-U.S. ally destroyed by ethnic-religious barbarism.
Shamus Cooke
http://www.countercurrents.org/cooke050812.htm

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August 12th, 2012, 10:25 am

 

128. bronco said:

122. Tara

It certainly serves the opposition well, but I think it is far too organized to be a strictly Syrian opposition plot.
If it is true, I think it would rather be a CIA-Mossad plot with the complicity of some Syrian opposition, some within the Syrian intelligence. Nothing to be proud of.

The Syrian government have not made any comment on the subject. That’s smart because nobody belives the denials of a ‘usual suspect’, in the contrary.
I hope that the Hezbollah intelligence will debunk the plot as I do not trust the Lebanese security known to be biased toward Hariri-USA-KSA.
Whatever the case is, when resolved, this story could be an eye opener for many.

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August 12th, 2012, 10:41 am

 

129. bronco said:

Tara

The flow of calls to break relation with Syria..

MPs call for expulsion of Syrian envoy to Lebanon over Samaha case
August 12, 2012 10:33 AM (Last updated: August 12, 2012 05:33 PM)

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Aug-12/184337-hamade-calls-for-expulsion-of-syrian-envoy-to-lebanon-over-samaha-case.ashx#ixzz23LLXXBC2
_____________
Opposition Officials Demand Cutting Relations with Syria over Samaha Case
by Naharnet Newsdesk 6 hours ago
http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/49762-opposition-officials-demand-cutting-relations-with-syria-over-samaha-case
_______________
Hbeish calls for action against Syria following Samaha’s confessions
http://www.lbcgroup.tv/news/45005/hbeish-calls-for-action-against-syria-following-sa

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August 12th, 2012, 10:47 am

 

130. zoo said:

Short notice cancellation: Is the AL waiting for the USA to tell them what they agreed with Turkey on possible military intervention?

Arab League postpones meeting on Syria

http://www.rt.com/news/line/2012-08-12/#id35732

Arab League foreign ministers have postponed to a later date a meeting in Saudi Arabia to discuss Syrian conflict, AFP sites top Arab League official as saying. Ministers were scheduled to meet on Sunday in the city of Jeddah. Arab bloc’s Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Ben Helli said that they were going to discuss the latest developments in Syria and which policy actions to take after the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, resigned earlier this month.

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August 12th, 2012, 10:51 am

 

131. VISITOR said:

112 TARA,

I do not think that Samaha falls into the same menhebek category, but he does belong to all the other categories you mentioned. He is a Lebanese politician and this is the way for him to achieve political goals. May be you would want to read this as well,

http://www.alarabiya.net/views/2012/08/12/231768.html

As for the Hariri killing, there is no doubt in my mind that Bashar himself gave the orders. The logistics are just details.

You see the menhebeks always resort to denial and/or accusing Israel insisting that there is no benefit for the regime behind such killings. Their reasoning is absolute B.S.

The most reasonable of reason is this. We know now this regime is sectarian to the core. Everything it does or it does not do is tied to its sectarianism as it looks at sectarianism as its ultimate means of survival.

So, the question is, does the Hariri killing serve this purpose? Definitely. The regime cannot tolerate a Sunni leader of Hariri’s stature neither in Lebanon nor in Syria, especially when Hariri showed his determination to challenge the regime in 2004, a so-critical period when the regime perceived it is next to be swept away after Saddam.

Now again, it is fighting for its survival. Igniting a civil war in Lebanon and particularly in the North between Sunnis and Christians and possibly the few Alawis in Tripoli is the best scenario this regime would hope for. If plan B is to be put into motion, the regime would want to gain control of as much land as possible. It would want to maintain control over Damascus if it can. Hence, North Lebanon becomes strategic from this point of view, as the other corridor through Homs and its countryside is not secure.

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August 12th, 2012, 10:56 am

 

132. zoo said:

The Samaha affair: Point of view of 8 March group ( Michel Aoun, Hezbollah) ( translation)

http://www.lorientlejour.com/category/Liban/article/772912/Mot_d%27ordre_du_8_Mars+%3A_attendre_avant_de_reagir_a_%3C%3C+l%27affaire_Samaha+%3E%3E.html

If the details of the investigation are still confused, March 8 circles cast doubt on the information in the media. Like it or not, Michel Samaha is a man of words, an intellectual, and we can’t see turn suddenly into conveyor bombs like a thug.

He does not have an immunity of deputy or minister and diplomat to be asked to carry explosives in his car. There are so many explosives in Lebanon that is hard to see why he would not make use of them, if needed, on-site instead of getting them from Syria. In addition, Samaha has frequently defended the thesis that the Syrian regime has a vested interest that North Lebanon remains calm to avoid having on its border a totally hostile area. Finally, the Syrian regime still has many small groups allies or agents in Lebanon, to be obliged to have recourse to Michel Samaha in the execution of such work.
For all these reasons, the argument that he would have conveyed the explosives in his car in order to plot attacks in North Lebanon, especially against the deputies Khaled Daher and Mouin Meraabi, does not seem very plausible. Even if those who spread the information states of indisputable evidence. But in this time of technological development, all kind of manipulation are possible, Hezbollah keeps repeating.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:07 am

 

133. zoo said:

Tunisia: More calls for strikes. Will it spill over on Egypt? Women ‘complement’ to men or equal in Tunisian constitution?

Media, strikes threat to Tunisia unity: Ennahda

Ennahda’s leader Rached Ghannouchi denounces the growing number of ‘calls for regional and sectoral strikes’ in Tunisia.
Opposition accuses the ruling Islamist party of anti-democratic behaviour
AFP , Tuesday 7 Aug 2012
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/49834/World/Region/Media,-strikes-threat-to-Tunisia-unity-Ennahda.aspx

Tunisia’s ruling Islamist Ennahda party, accused by opposition groups of anti-democratic behaviour, on Monday slammed the language of hostile media and strike calls that it said threatened the country’s unity.

“At the level of the media, the political parties and currents have begun stirring things up against each other using a language that would suggest we are at war,” he added.

He also denounced the growing number of “calls for regional and sectoral strikes,” after the General Workers’ Union (UGTT) urged medical sector employees to stage a nationwide walkout on Tuesday.

Ghannouchi also dismissed the importance some media and opposition groups attached to a proposed article in the new constitution which refers to the “complementarity” of women to men, rather than their equality.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:20 am

 

134. VISITOR said:

This is in just 4 hrs ago,

LBCI: Contacts are ongoing to prevent Military Tribunal Judge Sami Sader from issuing a warrant against Syrian President Assad, while judicial sources denied the claim because Lebanese law does not allow charges to be pressed against a head of state.

Well, if true, then it seems it is higher than Mamlouk. Well, of course it is. This is what BASHAR wants. So Bashar was there all along.

And by the way, Samaha can easily see Bashar and not just Mamlouk and the other General. He is Bashar’s advisor.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:21 am

 

135. zoo said:

The “angels” in action

Massacre by Syrian opposition caught on tape
Sunday,August 12 2012, Your time is 11:31:36 AM

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/-massacre-by-syrian-opposition-caught-on-tape-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=27589&NewsCatID=352

Video footage recorded Aug. 10 appears to show Syrian opposition militants killing office workers by pushing them off the roof of a post office that had been seized by the group, daily Hürriyet reported.

Armed militia is seen in the video as they take over the post office in a town in Aleppo and kill all officials working at the post office one by one by forcing them off the roof of the building.

Officials who refuse to leave their posts following their takeover by militants are labeled as regime supporters and frequently executed by members of the anti-government forces, according to Hürriyet.

While militants have said the executions are conducted in response to secret ties with pro-regime militias, independent sources in the area have yet to confirm the claims.

Previous executions by Syrian opposition members have also been recorded and released on the web.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:33 am

 

136. Tara said:

Visitor,

I wish the judge proceed with issuing the warrant against Besho for its symbolic meaning.. I know nothing will materialize even if the warrant issued though. Are we witnessing the beginning of a subtle Arab spring in Libnan?

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August 12th, 2012, 11:37 am

 

137. VISITOR said:

132 TARA,

” Are we witnessing the beginning of a subtle Arab spring in Libnan?

No. But if you read that Al-Arabiya article, you’ll find that politicians in that country are re-aligning themselves away from a sinking ship. Today, Jumblat said something to that effect. He wants to break away from Hizbistan.

There will be no Spring in Lebanon. As I said before Lebanon will eventually be absorbed by Free Syria. This time it will not be because Syria wants it. The Lebanese would want it.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:46 am

 

138. bronco said:

#132 Tara

The Lebanese government is neither that naive nor that stupid. They have no proof whatsoever except a secret “confession” of one man.

They have an urgent need to trigger a break between Lebanon and Syria and open up the borders to weapons to help the rebels in dire straight.
So the anti-Bashar are rushing in throwing accusations and rumors before the balloon collapses.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:49 am

 

139. Son of Damascus said:

A Syrian Armenian musician from Aleppo talks about his experiences in Syria and why he rejects Assad’s lie of “protecting the minorities”.

http://translate.google.ca/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fde.qantara.de%2FEs-ist-Irrsinn-fuer-das-Assad-Regime-zu-sein%2F19614c20862i1p499%2Findex.html

What really grabbed me was Hrach Macoushian description of the Syrian opposition inside Syria:

The opposition tried to organize. There are many activists who oppose the regime. What makes me optimistic is that the Syrian opposition is not centralized, as in Armenia. The Syrian opposition united by the struggle against the regime. But the actors are very diverse in nature. The Syrian opposition is very open and very broad structure. Who says that this is a weakness of thinking exclusively in classic patterns. Critics say the opposition is disorganized. But I say, it is decentralized. I do not think this is a weakness. It’s just that you can not see through it so easily.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:52 am

 

140. irritated said:

Visitor
You remind me of a “Cassandra” on this site who failed so lamentably in his/her predictions that he/she had to change his/her identity to re enter the blog without appearing too ridiculous.

As I said before Lebanon will eventually be absorbed by Free Syria. This time it will not be because Syria wants it. The Lebanese would want it.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:52 am

 

141. irritated said:

Here comes the thumbs spamming wave…

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August 12th, 2012, 11:54 am

 

142. bronco said:

#130 Visitor

“while judicial sources denied the claim because Lebanese law does not allow charges to be pressed against a head of state.”

What not charging Ali Mamlouk then? It sounds like a hoax

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August 12th, 2012, 11:57 am

 

143. Ghufran said:

طالب ناشطون بلغ عددهم حوالي 800 ناشطاً بطرد تنسيقية الميدان من اتحاد تنسيقيات الثورة السورية، بسبب نزعات التطرف الوهابي والتعصب الأعمى التي تغلب على أدائها وتصريحاتها.
وقد أصدر هؤلاء الناشطون بياناً قالوا فيه: “أن صفحة تنسيقية الميدان رفضت توصيف ما يحدث في سوريا على أنه ثورة, بل هو بحسب رأيها الذي أعلنت عنه جهاد ضد الكفار”. وأضاف البيانك “وقام أعضاء التنسيقية بإهانة الأقليات تبعاً لمعلومات غير صحيحة عن مدينة السلمية مثلاً التي اشتهرت منذ بداية الثورة بالمشاركة القوية والمساندة لاخوتهم في حماة”.
وختم البيان بالقول: وبما أن التنسيقية هي ليست حزباً أو منبرا لآراء اقصائية بل عليها أن تجمع لا أن تفرق, وبما أن هذه التنسيقية فعلت العكس, ثم قالت بأن هذا جهاد وليس ثورة, أي نفت الثورة بالمطلق ولم تجمع بينهما حتى كما قلنا, أن الثورة ضد الظلم ومن أجل الوطن جهاد,
نطالب بأن تنشطب من اتحاد تنسيقيات الثورة وألا تعتبر تنسيقية مثل باقي التنسيقيات التي أدت دورها بلا زيادة أو نقصان”.
هذا ويذكر أن تنسيقية الميدان كانت قد نشرت بياناً في الثالث من من شهر آب الجاري تحت عنوان “جهاد وليس ثورة”. زعمت فيه أن مصطلح الثورة “لم يرد لا بالكتاب ولا بالسنة النبوية ، وليس له أصلٌ شرعي ، بمفهومه السائد الآن”.
Riyad Asaad received criticism after he suggested that Salamiyyah was supportive of the regime.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:58 am

 

144. zoo said:

Morsi kicks out Tantawi

Egypt president orders military chief Tantawi to retire

12/08/2012
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=30674

CAIRO, (Reuters) – Islamist President Mohamed Mursi ordered Egypt’s two top generals to retire, including Hussein Tantawi who led the nation after Hosni Mubarak was ousted, and appointed two generals in their place, the presidential spokesman announced on Sunday.

President Mohamed Mursi also canceled a constitutional declaration aiming to limit presidential powers which the ruling army council issued in June as the election that brought Mursi to power drew to a close.

Defense Minister Tantawi, who served Mubarak as a minister for 20 years, and Chief of Staff Sami Enan were both appointed as advisers to Mursi. Spokesman Yasser Ali said the changes among Egypt’s top brass were effective immediately.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:59 am

 

145. bronco said:

Tara

Do you agree that a woman is not the equal of a man, but his “complement”?

That’s what the new Tunisian Constitution established by Ennahad the Islamic ruling party, say.

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August 12th, 2012, 12:05 pm

 

146. Son of Damascus said:

Irritated,

“Here comes the thumbs spamming wave…”

You are still on this?

Did you not once ridicule SyriaLover for obsessing over this exact issue, seems kind of odd to me that you are obsessing over it now…

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August 12th, 2012, 12:07 pm

 

147. Tara said:

Bronco,

Yes, I most certainly do.

As much as I agree that a man is not the equal of a woman but her complement….They have different degrees of capabilities and needs…therefore they are often attracted to each others.

Of course, that is not to say that they should not have equal rights..

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August 12th, 2012, 12:13 pm

 

148. Ghufran said:

Zoo # 131
I never believed the propaganda launched on GCC media and certain Internet sites that tried to portray this conflict as a David VS Goliath battle knowing fully how brutal and corrupt the regime is,what makes Syria different is its diversity,its relations with Iran and its strategic significance especially to the Arab-Israeli conflict. What started as peaceful protests was changed slowly but steadily into an armed rebellion that may succeed in toppling the regime but will destroy Syria in the process. Arming the opposition,forming death squads,assassination of non combatants ,and the inclusion of Islamists made a LOT of people have second thoughts about who is behind those rebels and what is their agenda beyond the obvious ( a regime change). Without a deciive victory on the ground,unlikely in my view,the prospects for a secure and unified Syria look grim.

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August 12th, 2012, 12:18 pm

 

149. VISITOR said:

138 BRONCO,

I am amazed at your level of comprehension? Do you really understand what you read.

………………………………

136 IRRITATED

Can’t you do your own thinking for once? You always need TARA or Ann to do the thinking for you. Cassandra!!! hehehehe!!! How pathetic?

If you cannot do your own thinking, I suggest you keep counting the thumbs-up and thumbs-down. And I, sure hope you know how to count at least.

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August 12th, 2012, 12:26 pm

 

150. Observer said:

The Samaha story is huge if true and it is huge if it is false.

It is huge if the confession is true; not withstanding the Pretzel argument that BRONCO is giving us on this site including his claim that Fredo is winning in Damascus and Aleppo.
It is perfectly plausible that Mamlouk was present and this is because the security services are so hierarchical that such a plot could not be done by an underling and Samaha may not know all of these people. IT IS THE WAY THE REGIME WORKS and it is the way they funneled jihadists to Iraq and it is the way they funneled arms to North Lebanon and IT IS THE WAY THEY ALLOWED PRO PKK KURDS TO TAKE OVER IN THE NE OF SYRIA.

If it is false it is huge as there is a plot to disrupt the relationship between Syria and Lebanon in a big way. Now if we are to follow the logic of BRONCO, Samaha would have traveled to Damascus and went into a disguised security services building and with a prop that has the mask of Mamlouk and received the money and the explosive devices. Then he went back to Beirut and started the process. This is a scenario that we would have in the movies such as Mission Impossible.

I keep my mind open to both plausibilities.

HOWEVER, knowing that the Lebanese are trying very hard to avoid any entanglements with the Syria crisis and knowing that at present the government is made up of pro Fredo factions, I find it extremely interesting that an indictment has been issues, therefore the evidence must VERY SOLID.

TARA, the clue comes from HA, as they refused to endorse the statement made by the parliamentarian about this plot being manufactured and they are completely silent about it including on their AL MANAR WEB SITE.

Moreover, the Syrian media is also completely silent, now I can understand that the regime remains completely silent but for the media not to mention the events is not its usual operative mode. After all they mention how Israel mistreats Palestinians and Syrians on the Golan and what have you.

Now the hidden camera in the pen of Samaha implies high level intelligence service participation no doubt about it, something the FSA does not have and this is the events behind the scenes that we are seeing with computers worms and viruses and Russian satellite imagery and CIA help and MI6 help and what have you.

It is a blow to the regime in a big way.

NOW BRONCO IF IT TURNS OUT TO BE TRUE, WHAT IS YOUR RECIPE FOR JUSTICE RENDERED TO MAMLOUK AND HIS BOSS?

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August 12th, 2012, 12:27 pm

 

151. VISITOR said:

146 OBSERVER,

You forgot one teeny weeny bit of most important piece of information.

Bashar himself telephoned Suleiman (Lebanon President) after the arrest and asked him that Samaha be released.

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August 12th, 2012, 12:34 pm

 

152. Ghufran said:

If the rebels lose the battle,not the war,of Aleppo they will have to stir the pot somewhere else,one spot that continues to show signs of tension is Latakia’s northern Reef especially villages close to Turkey and villages with sizable Turkman population. There are reports of turkmans and non turkmans alike being forced to leave their homes. Turkmans in Syria pose a challenge in rural areas while most others have assimilated in urban centers.
Stats about number of turkmans are not easy to find, they are probably 3% of population excluding those with Turkish roots who do not speak the language or consider themselves Turkman , more than 70% of turkmans in Syria are Sunni muslims.
The more one knows about Syria ,the more he realizes why it needs a strong central government and a powerful army and security apparatus, the problem in the last 42 years is that the Assads went too far and ignored people’s legitimate rights in a free and dignified life,the key to keeping Syria in one piece was thrown in deep water,a new key needs to be made,it may or may not work.

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August 12th, 2012, 12:51 pm

 

153. Ghufran said:

قال فهد المصري مسؤول الإعلام المركزي في “القيادة المشتركة للجيش السوري الحر”، أن رئيس المجلس الوطني السابق برهان غليون يعمل حالياً على تشكيل مجلس عسكري جديد في مدينة حمص بهدف تقسيم “الجيش السورى الحر” وتشتيت قواه على الأرض.
و نقل موقع ” اليوم السابع ” الاخباري المصري عن المصري قوله، إن لديه معلومات بأن غليون يعقد حاليا اجتماعات في اسطنبول مع عدد من السوريين لتشكيل مجلس عسكري جديد لمدينة حمص وريفها بديل عن المجلس العسكري الذي يقوده العقيد الطيار الركن قاسم سعد الدين.

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August 12th, 2012, 1:13 pm

 

154. Juergen said:

Der Spiegel has published a great story on Al Nusra, the AQ group supposed to carry out deadly bombings and killings.
They raised the question that this group came out of nowwhere and opereated precisly inmidst highly secured areas. As Bronco was raising the question, qui bono, this Al Nusra front group is definatly playing into the hands of the regime. When we see how much Syria is still involved in destabilizing its neighbouring countries, the question of qui bono becomes more and more kafkaesk.

There is an interesting quote:

“We do not target them immediatly. We settle within them and only act in the appropriate moment. ” Ali Mamlouk, taking to US diplomats officers about how the Syrian regime is treating AQ.

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August 12th, 2012, 1:26 pm

 

155. Ghufran said:

A country committing suicide:

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August 12th, 2012, 1:43 pm

 
 

157. Ghufran said:

تونس ـ (يو بي اي) ـ رويترز ـ قال مهتمون بفعاليات مهرجان قرطاج الدولي إن حفل المطربة السورية أصالة نصري الذي أحيته ليلة الجمعة – السبت، فشل جماهيرياً وفنياً بسبب مواقفها إزاء الأوضاع في بلادها سوريا.
وذكرت إذاعة “شمس أف ام” التونسية أن سهرة أصالة نصري في مهرجان قرطاج “لم تكن سهرة ناجحة جماهيرياً وفنياً”.

وأوضحت أن أصالة “لم تقنع جمهورها الذي حضر بأعداد قليلة ومتواضعة مقارنة بسهرات قرطاج السابقة، حيث سُجل حضور حوالي 4 آلاف شخص فقط، فيما يتسع مسرح قرطاج لنحو 12ألفاً”.

وأشارت إلى أن أصالة بدت فوق خشبة مسرح قرطاج “مرتبكة وحزينة ولم تستجب لرغبة الجمهور الذي أراد الإستمتاع بأغانيها الإيقاعية الشبابية، حيث إقتصرت على أداء أغاني ذات طابع رومنسي حزين”.

كما إعتذرت لجمهورها عن بعض الأخطاء الموسيقية التي إرتكبتها بسبب حالتها النفسية وتأثرها الشديد بالأوضاع
التي يعاني منها الشعب السوري.
وإعترفت أصالة نصري أن شباب تونس قاطعوا حفلها في قرطاج لأنهم ضد “الثورة السورية” على حد قولها.
وكان ناشطون شنوا حملة على مواقع التواصل الإجتماعي ضد أصالة نصري، وطالبوا بمقاطعة حفلها بتونس على خلفية مساندتها لـ”الثورة السورية “، وصولا إلى إتهامها بـ”الخيانة”.
وسعت جهات مجهولة إلى محاولة كسر هذه المقاطعة من خلال توزيع بطاقات الدخول إلى حفل أصالة نصري مجانا، ما أثار ردود فعل ساخطة، خاصة وان البعض لم يتردد في إتهام حركة النهضة الإسلامية التونسية بالوقوف وراء هذه المحاولة.
وظهرت في هذا السياق تعليقات ساخرة في مواقع التواصل الإجتماعي، منها “ما حدث بالقرب من مقر النهضة عمل لا يمكن وصفه إلا بالحقير”، وذلك في إشارة توزيع بطاقات دخول حفل أصالة نصري مجانا.
وأضاف آخر، “بينما كان أهلنا في سيدي بوزيد يواجهون القمع الوحشي لقوات الأمن مطالبين بحقهم في الحياة، كان أنصار الحزب الحاكم “النهضة” يوزعون تذاكر مجانية لحضور حفل الخائنة “أصالة” بدعوى نصرة أهل الشام”.

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August 12th, 2012, 2:02 pm

 

158. William Scott Scherk said:

Bronco at #141 sez:

“the new Tunisian Constitution established by Ennahad the Islamic ruling party”

Wrong.

The Tunisian Constitution is not established, and neither is it the sole responsibility of Ennadha (not Ennahad), which does not command the 2/3 majority of seats in the transitional assembly charged with drafting the constitution. This draft is to be completed by October.

For those who wish to comment on news from Tunisia, please try to refer to Tunisian reality. Tunisia has a vibrant media, in Arabic, French and English.

This is excerpted from a report in Tunisia Live:

Baccar acknowledged that after approximately nine months of debate, her committee is now running out of time to finish its work, particularly if the date given by Mustapha Ben Jaafar for the draft constitution to be completed, October 23, is to be met.

Director of Human Rights Watch Tunisia, Amna Guellali, echoed Baccar’s sentiments. “Their [the Commission of Rights and Liberties] work is coming to an end, so obviously all problems have also come up [recently]. The problem is the 23rd of October [deadline], and all the commissions are rushing.”

With the clock ticking, most Constituent Assembly members are anxious to complete their work as soon as possible, particularly since the one month vacation originally allocated to them in celebration of Ramadan has now been reduced to just two weeks.

Still, opponents of the contentious bills need not be distressed quite yet. Farida Laabidi, an Ennahdha member of the Commission of Rights and Liberties assured Tunisia Live that the articles are still in their first stage of drafting. They must pass through the Coordinating Committee and later receive a two-thirds majority vote within the Assembly before being passed.

For Guellali, this two-thirds majority will be difficult to achieve, particularly due to fractures within the current tripartite governing coalition of Ennahdha, the CPR [Congress for the Republic], and Ettakatol. “Although there was an alignment previously with the three parties supporting each other, we have seen now that these lines are starting to break,” she explained.

Ounaies, also, believes that the articles will have a difficult time passing – not due to fractures within the government, but because of action from Tunisian civil society that he foresees emerging after the conclusion of Ramadan. “Civil society members will demonstrate in front of Ennahdha headquarters, and in the street in front of the Constituent Assembly…but this won’t occur until after Ramadan,” he contended.

Bronco, possessed of an All-Seeing-Eye into Tunisia reality, also lets us know of the psychotic personality of the just-detained former Lebanese minister Samaha. His professional observations could be true, but should we not have a bit more evidence of psychosis from the good doctor Bronco? The contortions necessary to let Syria’s terrorist leadership off the hook for plotting with Samaha are grimly hilarious, as pointed out by Syrian Expat and Observer.

— Dr Bronco/Freud: Someone impersonating Ali Mamlouk could have given him the order in the name of Bashar together with the bombs. Uniforms are easy to get … someone posing as Ali Mamlouk or Adnan convinced Samaha to transport explosives in Lebanon.

It is useful to see a forensic psychologist like Bronco give his spidey-sense. Useful as a depiction of Baath lap-dancing logic …

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August 12th, 2012, 2:32 pm

 

159. Ghufran said:

Armed rebels withdrew from Ariha-Idleb which is now under government control.

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August 12th, 2012, 2:47 pm

 

160. SANDRO LOEWE said:

151. Ghufran

Your post refering to the revenge in Aleppo as “a country committing suicide” seems to ignore all the suicides that has been committed by Assad sectarian dictatorial forces.

Once for all, if Assad had not bulleted thousands of peacefull demonstrations for long months we would not be at this point now.

I repeat it, if Assad had not bulleted thousands of peacefull demonstrations for long months we would not be at this point now.

Is it so difficult to understand? Once again, If Assad had not bulleted thousands of peacefull demonstrations for long months we would not be at this point now.

Repeat it three times in order to keep it clear:

1) If Assad had not bulleted thousands of peacefull demonstrations for long months we would not be at this point now.

2) If Assad had not bulleted thousands of peacefull demonstrations for long months we would not be at this point now.

3) If Assad had not bulleted thousands of peacefull demonstrations for long months we would not be at this point now.

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August 12th, 2012, 3:12 pm

 

161. habib said:

Article which might help explain anti-Syrian Azeri votes:

“Why Azerbaijan is closer to Israel than Iran”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19063885

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August 12th, 2012, 3:14 pm

 

162. ghufran said:

دعت «هيئة التنسيق الوطنية لقوى التغيير الوطني الديمقراطي» المعارضة السلطة إلى إعلان من أعلى المستويات لوقف إطلاق النار من قبلها ولو ليوم واحد لاختبار نيات الجماعات المسلحة.
وفي تصريح لـ«الوطن» قال رئيس المكتب الإعلامي في الهيئة منذر خدام: «أدعو السلطة إلى أن تعلن ومن أعلى مستوى وقف إطلاق النار من طرف واحد لمدة معينة 5 إلى 6 أيام.. وتبقى في مواقعها لنرى ونختبر ردود فعل الآخرين. عند إذن نستطيع أن نضع العالم كله على المحك، لكن أن تنتظر (السلطة) وقف إطلاق نار متزامناً، فلا يجوز أن ندمر المدن من أجل بضع مئات من المسلحين لأنه كلما دمرت مدناً كلما دفعت نحو السلاح».
و طالب خدام السلطة بأن تقدم أجوبتها على الأسئلة المطروحة للحل السياسي للازمة قبل البدء بأي حوار.
وفيما يتعلق بنتائج مؤتمر طهران الدولي التشاوري حول الوضع في سورية الذي عقد الخميس الماضي رحب خدام بأي جهد دولي يساعد السوريين على الخروج من هذه الأزمة، لكنه اعتبر أن طهران لم تقدم جديداً يمكن التعامل معه من أجل حل الأزمة.
ورأى خدام أن السوريين كانوا بغنى عن أي مؤتمر دولي خارجي يتدخل في شؤوننا الداخلية. وكان يمكن لهم حل مشاكلهم بأنفسهم لو تعاملت السلطة منذ البداية مع الوضع بجدية، «لكن الآن القضية السورية للأسف أصبحت قضية الآخرين أكثر مما هي قضية السوريين خاصة بعد أن استفحل العنف والقتال في كل مكان».
وأضاف: «الآن للأسف عقول السوريين في إجازة أو أن بعضها قد استقال من العمل السياسي. الآن لا صوت يعلو فوق صوت السلاح.
في المقابل وصفت «الجبهة الشعبية للتغيير والتحرير» المعارضة في بيان تلقت «الوطن» نسخة منه نتائج مؤتمر طهران بـ«الإيجابية»، ورحبت بدعوة المؤتمر النظام والمعارضة في سورية لتنفيذ هدنة مدتها 3 أشهر لتوفير فرصة لتسوية النزاع سلمياً عبر الحوار الوطني.

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August 12th, 2012, 3:23 pm

 

163. Citizen said:

حرية
Syrian atrocity: Bodies of postal workers thrown from roof (GRAPHIC VIDEO)
http://www.rt.com/news/syria-aleppo-post-video-476/

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August 12th, 2012, 3:43 pm

 

164. Johannes de Silentio said:

Thank you, Habib, for the BBC article on the regime in lovely Baku.

Poor Iran, with its 20 million Azeris and not knowing what side they’d take when the excrement hits the fan. I wonder how many Azeris are Twelvers…

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August 12th, 2012, 3:46 pm

 

165. ghufran said:

citizen # 159,
the video is very disturbing, there are numerous incidents that show the brutality and inhumane behavior of armed rebels,add the crimes committed by regime supporters and you will understand why I think Syria is doomed,the revolution ended a long time ago,what we have now is a civil war,new rules and expectations come with this reality.

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August 12th, 2012, 4:20 pm

 

166. SANDRO LOEWE said:

159. CITIZEN

Question: how do we know they are postal workers and not armed thugs belonging to Assad mafia milicias? Any clue?

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August 12th, 2012, 4:32 pm

 

167. SANDRO LOEWE said:

160. GHUFRAN

Assad has declared war on its own populations.

You critize “brutality and inhumane behavior of armed rebels”. Of course you have nothing to say about crimes commited by security forces against unarmed populations during thousands of demonstrations. I think this way of “thinking” a viewing the reality is really unsane and perverse.

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August 12th, 2012, 4:39 pm

 

168. ghufran said:

قال مصدر من المعارضة السورية، يوم الأحد، إن “نائب قائد شرطة محافظة حمص انشق وتوجه إلى الأردن”، بحسب وكالة “رويترز” للأنباء.
وقال المسؤول من “المجلس الثوري الأعلى” المعارض لرويترز، من العاصمة الأردنية عمان، إن “العميد إبراهيم الجباوي عبر الحدود إلى الأردن وسيعلن انشقاقه في قناة العربية التلفزيونية الفضائية في وقت لاحق يوم الاحد”.
I am actually surprised that there are still loyal regime supporters in the army and security services that have not left their jobs yet, eventually,most government empployees will stay where they feel safe,many cities will be empty from alawites,and probably christians or we might see real divisions in the same city if there is no clear majority for one sect over the other.
Congratulations.

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August 12th, 2012, 5:00 pm

 

169. omen said:

i might have been rude earlier. sorry, ehsani.

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August 12th, 2012, 5:01 pm

 

170. omen said:

civil war is when half of the population is pitted against the other half. even if the red cross says otherwise, this is a revolution.

the red cross is subject to political pressure just like the un is.

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August 12th, 2012, 5:05 pm

 

171. ghufran said:

A women-only industrial city dedicated to female workers is to be constructed in Saudi Arabia to provide a working environment that is in line with the kingdom’s strict customs.
The city, to be built in the Eastern Province city of Hofuf, is set to be the first of several planned for the Gulf kingdom. The aim is to allow more women to work and achieve greater financial independence, but to maintain the gender segregation, according to reports.

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August 12th, 2012, 5:09 pm

 

172. Tara said:

Guys,

“i might have been rude earlier. sorry, ehsani.”

Omen, I wish every one behaves like you. I get uneasy when posters make fun of each other and subtly call each others stupid,, etc.. Those who are being called stupid are very intelligent, and those who are being called bad names are pretty refined people. Pro and anti alike need to understand that we are here because we need each other and need to be here. If this is not the case, loyalists could have gone to “Angry whatever his name is” and anti could have immigrateed to the
Wall. We are here because we want to be here so guys please enough name calling.

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August 12th, 2012, 5:18 pm

 

173. omen said:

Themyscira (pronounced Them-mes-skera) is a fictional island nation in the DC Comics universe that is the place of origin of Wonder Woman and her sister Amazons. Known as Paradise Island

an island of independence? the clerics wont stand for it. it’s going to drive them crazy. how dare anybody escape their thumb? watch the clerics’ imagination go wild and accuse the women of sorted “crimes.”

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August 12th, 2012, 5:19 pm

 

174. ghufran said:

دافع الرئيس المصري محمد مرسي في خطاب ألقاه في الأزهر مساء الأحد عن القرارات التي اتخذها في وقت سابق مؤكدا أنه “قصد بها مصلحة الأمة ومصلحة الشعب” وأنها ليست موجهة ضد المؤسسة العسكرية.
وأشار إلى قرار إلغاء الإعلان الدستوري المكمل وإحالة وزير الدفاع المشير حسين طنطاوي ورئيس الأركان سامي عنان إلى التقاعد بالقول “إن ما اتخذته من قرارات غير موجه ضد أشخاص ولا إحراج لمؤسسات”.
وأضاف “كلي عرفان بدور القوات المسلحة، وأتعهد برعايتها وبرعاية الشرطة ودورهما في إرساء الأمن”. كما أشاد بدور الجيش “المطلوب منه التفرغ للدفاع عن الوطن”.
وأكد مرسي في كلمته المطولة -التي استشهد فيها بكثير من آيات القرآن- أنه يسعى للأمن والنهضة والإتقان في السياسة والاقتصاد والتعليم والصحة و”التحرك نحو الأفضل”.
وتزامنت كلمة الرئيس مع ليلة القدر، بينما كانت الجماهير المصرية تتوافد على ميدان التحرير بالقاهرة لتأييد القرارات الرئاسية.

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August 12th, 2012, 5:37 pm

 

175. ghufran said:

“We strongly condemn this heinous act,” said Abdul Hafiz Abdul Rahman, an activist with the Syrian human rights organization MAF. He said when he saw the video, “I felt that part of me died, and now I’m worried about the revolution.” He also cited a video posted to YouTube last month in which someone identified as a Syrian lieutenant appeared to be executed by rebels. “True, we are in a state of war, but if we do such acts like this … then we are becoming the very entity that we are revolting against.”
Such videos bolster claims by the Syrian regime that it is battling armed “terrorist” gangs.

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August 12th, 2012, 5:41 pm

 

176. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Tantaoui is over. The egyptian army is losing its prerrogatives and power.

Who said the egyptian revolution was going nowhere?

This is the beginning of a new era. And once again Egypt, the heart of the Arab World, is leading it.

Syrians, the spirit of the Arab World, are now fighting for this reality to become true. When Syria changes, powerfull change processes will take place all around the Middle East. And this is going to happen Occidental and Oriental super powers like it or not.

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August 12th, 2012, 5:43 pm

 

177. omen said:

good point:

Now, after the Samaha case, do you still think the FSA was behind those security branches explosions in Damascus and Aleppo?

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August 12th, 2012, 5:48 pm

 

178. omen said:

171. sandro: powerfull change processes will take place all around the Middle East.

that’s why the u.s. and the arab world is refusing to help other than token gestures. apart from oil interests they’re trying to safeguard, they also fear the revolution continuing past syria.

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August 12th, 2012, 5:56 pm

 

179. ghufran said:

حتى كتائبيّو الجوار لم يصدّقوا أن ميشال سماحة موقوف. بين هؤلاء وبضعة من شباب المتن من يهمس: لو كان سماحة إرهابيّاً لقطع مناصروه الطرقات واعتصموا في الساحات العامّة، بغضّ النظر عن براءته أو تورّطه. لو لم يكن سماحة «مسيحيّاً حيطه واطي» لما تجرّأ أحدٌ على توقيفه.
Unlike some of you,I prefer to wait and see what evidence those people have against Smaha. Politically speaking,his arrest and the way it was done indicates how much power and influence Syria has lost in Lebanon and it reminds us about a basic fact in the Middle East: only the stronger will survive,this is a place that does not respect the weak and vulnerable.

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August 12th, 2012, 5:59 pm

 

180. Syrialover said:

Time for some positive thinking.

Since we are on the subject of Tunisia, let’s look at what they are doing with businesses confiscated from corrupt regime cronies.

Could this be a model for action by the future legitimate government of Syria?

(Note they even seized luxury yachts and horses!)

Excerpts from articles:

Tunisia to sell six firms seized after revolution

Tunisia’s government plans to sell shares this year in six companies seized from the relatives of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali after he was overthrown by a popular uprising last year. The new Tunisian government seized various companies and properties belonging to 114 people linked to the president of 23 years.

The government will sell its 25 percent stake in mobile phone business Tunisiana, a 13 percent stake in Bank of Tunisia and 60 percent of Ennakl car distributors, said Slim Besbess, a director at Tunisia’s finance ministry.

It will also sell 100 percent of Carthage International School, 37 percent of Carthage Cement and 99 percent of the local branch of Kia Motors.

“International auctions to sell our shares in Tunisiana and Ennakl are ready and the rest will also be issued during this year,” he told reporters.

The finance ministry has set the end of November as the deadline for submission of offers for Ennakl, which was owned by Sakher Materi, Ben Ali’s son-in-law. Ennakl is the distributor of Porsche and Volkswagen cars in Tunisia.

http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE86P06S20120726

AND

A decision in this period is needed to save the confiscated companies from this transitional period, during which they might default and collapse because of an absence of good management or because of a lack of clarity regarding their future. As judicial procedures require substantial time, the competent authorities have decided to disregard the laws by confiscating and selling the said companies.

The confiscation process affects 114 individuals, who own 550 properties, 300 companies, 223 cars, 48 boats and yachts, 40 stock portfolios, 367 bank accounts, and 83 horses.

The confiscated companies include commercial businesses (13%), real estate agencies (15%), financial institutions (11%), service providers (14%), and tourism concerns (8%).

The government’s plan aims to maintain the Tunisian industrial base, increase the government’s revenues, provide liquidity to the banking sector, improve employment rates, lengthen companies’ durability, and boost the stock market.

The government’s goals are quite clear and straightforward. They do not provide, however, a wide range of solutions. As the nationalization solution has been excluded from the beginning, the government has to show a great deal of political bravery, mainly because it is surrounded by several radical leftist parties (within or outside the Troika).

“The state is a bad administrator as we can clearly see the increasing public deficits. We cannot manage these confiscated companies like this. A good management is necessary,” stated [Minister of Economy], Ridha Saidi.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/business/2012/08/tunisia—disposal-of-confiscate.html

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August 12th, 2012, 6:00 pm

 

181. irritated said:

Welcome to the Islamic Republic of Egypt and the Islamic Republic of Tunisia, two new experiences in the Arab world as for the first time in history the leadership of these two countries is in the hand of the ‘moderate’ Moslem Brotherhood.

Let see if they’ll do better than the Islamic republic of Iran

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August 12th, 2012, 6:03 pm

 

182. omen said:

167. thank you, tara.

/blushes

i’ve been just as bad at times but i believe in fair play.

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August 12th, 2012, 6:16 pm

 

183. zoo said:

Kfoury is the key eyewitness in Samaha’s case, LBC
August 12, 2012 ⋅ 10:36 pm

http://www.yalibnan.com/2012/08/12/kfoury-is-the-key-eyewitness-in-samahas-case-lbc/

LBC television reported on Sunday that the key eyewitness, whose cooperation led to the detention of former Information Minister Michel Samaha, was Milad Kfoury and he is presently outside Lebanon because of security concerns for his safety.

LBC report also said that Kfoury has been known to use two other names, Zohair Nahhas and Amjad Sourour, and that he hails from the Lebanese village of Polonia located in the northern Metn district.

LBC also reported that Kfoury established relations with different individuals and groups, including Samaha and the Internal Security Forces (ISF) Information Branch.

In addition, he had established his own security company that offered protection services for Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi from 2005 until the third week of July 2012.

The report also said that Kfroury had been working in the security sector since 1983 and “he had a good relation with late former minister Elie Hobeiqa, but he was not one of his bodyguard .” Hobeiqa , who was closely associated with the Syrian regime was killed in January 2002.

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August 12th, 2012, 6:39 pm

 

184. zoo said:

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August 12th, 2012, 6:44 pm

 

185. zoo said:

Interview with Ryad Al Assaad: The overall size of the Free Syrian Army is more than 100,000 people

Political Resolution on the Crisis in Syria is Impossible
Friday, 10 August 2012
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/140046/political-resolution-on-the-crisis-in-syria-is-impossible.html

The Voice of Russia Radio Company has managed to reach the commander of the Free Syrian Army Riad al-Asaad and get an exclusive interview about the course of military operations.

The colonel has been in Turkey since he deserted from the Syrian army in the summer of 2011. He says that the fight for Syria is continuing, and the statements about Al-Qaeda terrorists inside the Free Syrian Army are made up.

Do you confirm the information of the Syrian government that the opposition had to surrender Aleppo?

No, absolutely not. The battle for Aleppo is continuing. The government has pulled powerful forces there. Part of the troops still remains on the outskirts of Aleppo where heavy fighting is going on. At the same time, battles are taking place in several parts of the city. Our troops were able to surround them going from the rear. Government forces are losing people and armored vehicles. The government’s attempt to take Aleppo under control has failed.

What about the capital? Judging by the government’s reports, there is no armed opposition there.

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August 12th, 2012, 6:45 pm

 

186. Johannes de Silentio said:

Omen:

It’s not the job of the Red Cross to decide what is, and what is not, a civil war. That’s for the warriors and the politicians and the other assorted nasty people to do. The Red Cross has one job: to help people who find themselves in harm’s way.

ps: i really wish someone would switch off the “awaiting moderation” function key.

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August 12th, 2012, 6:52 pm

 

187. Tara said:

Asma made fondue for lunch which is the most important meal of the day in Syria.  If I to tell my family I am “cooking” a “fondue” for dinner,  the whole family will say “excuse me…, you are what?.  I guess I always knew I have a peasant root in me.  I could not have possibly blend with the pseudo-classy pseudo-elites of Damascus..

At home with the Assads: an eerie memoir of Syria’s first family before the slaughter began
 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9458674/At-home-with-the-Assads-an-eerie-memoir-of-Syrias-first-family-before-the-slaughter-began.html

The Assads’ then PR firm, Brown Lloyd James, took care of my visa. Lloyd and James were absent, but Brown turned out to be Peter Brown, a bearded Englishman who’d once managed the Beatles. Asma al-Assad was about to sign an agreement with the Louvre, about Syrian antiquities.
We sat with Brown’s associate, Mike Holtzman, and they brought in their 22-year-old intern, Sheherazade Ja’afari, the daughter of the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations. She and Holtzman would be in Damascus with me.
I landed in Damascus on the night of 12 December 2010. Sheherazade was waiting on the runway in a government car. She handed me a Syrian mobile phone. ‘Your American one won’t work here,’ she said. The next day Sheherazade took me through Damascus; in the dark early-evening streets I felt uneasy. Holtzman came with us to the Umayyad Mosque, huge enough to hold 6,000 people.
….
Her parents came from Homs. She’d grown up with two younger brothers in what she called Ealing and what the London press calls the less upscale Acton: she rode horses; her school friends called her Emma; she got her degree in computer science at King’s College, London.
….
She briefly worked at Deutsche Bank in New York, and was back in London at Morgan Stanley, about to take up an MBA at Harvard, when, on holiday at her aunt’s in Damascus in 2000, she remet Bashar al-Assad, a family friend. She was 25, he was 35. She said she began to go to Damascus at weekends to see the president’s son. The word president rang as glamorous in her mouth as movie star.
……
Asma pulled open three boxes of fondue mix. The base of the saucepan she used was bright and brand new. The president attempted to ignite a little can of Sterno with a match. ‘I’ve never tried it, this is the first time,’ he said. We all clustered around the dinette table in the kitchen and dipped squares of bread into the fondue. Assad told jokes; they weren’t funny. Everyone laughed. After lunch Asma announced we would be going to Massar in Latakia.

I sat in the hotel bar with the French ambassador and asked what was really going on in Syria. He took the battery out of my Syrian mobile phone and then did the same with his. This must have set off an alert, because suddenly Sheherazade materialised in front of us.
‘What are you doing?’ she asked.
‘Aren’t you sick?’ I asked. ‘Go back to bed.’
The ambassador drew maps of Syria’s shifting boundaries, with dates.
The next day Sheherazade said, ‘We don’t want you to talk to the French ambassador.’
‘You can’t talk to me that way,’ I said.
When I opened my laptop at Vienna airport on the way back to New York an icon on the screen announced itself as the server for someone named Ali. I arrived in New York on 21 December 2010, and quarantined the compromised laptop.

What is consciousness when you are first lady of hell? I will never know.

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August 12th, 2012, 6:57 pm

 

188. Syr.expat said:

Bronco,

You’re attempts at trying to extricate Assad from the Samaha case are not working. You’re logic is not there. You are better off waiting until the case goes to trial.

So far, things don’t look good for Samaha and Batta.

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August 12th, 2012, 7:04 pm

 

189. Syrialover said:

Tara (#180)

Thanks. More revealing information about the career and style of soon-to-be exiled little smartass Sheherazade Jaafar.

I hope Syrian students at Columbia University are keeping up the pressure on her while she is studying there. Apparently as an “ambassador’s daughter” she is automatically entitled to daily security protection at US taxpayers expense.

She had better study fast, because it won’t last.

PS Asma played around with fondue – and using pre-packaged mix! – because she clearly couldn’t cook but wanted to show off, in accordance with the prepared script.

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August 12th, 2012, 7:12 pm

 

190. bronco said:

181. Syr.expat

I am not trying to extricate anybody. I find this whole story fascinating like a John le Carre spy book with many ups and downs and turning points with spies and informants and double crossing under a background of political struggle.
If Ali Mamlouk is proven without doubts that he is behind this criminal intention, be sure I won’t defend him. As I am not defending now Samaha if his confession was real.
I just try to counter the flow of rumors based on flimsy information that are attempting to rush and put the blame on the usual suspect without a complete investigation.

I am waiting to see how it unravels, but I think we are on for many Hitchcokians surprises.

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August 12th, 2012, 7:16 pm

 

191. ghufran said:

a heated discussion but without using foul language on aljazeera Opposite Direction program about who wants to divide Syria
http://www.aljazeera.net/programs/pages/0ec5060b-8786-48c5-88ba-36d2ff2bbd44

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August 12th, 2012, 7:17 pm

 

192. bronco said:

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August 12th, 2012, 7:23 pm

 

193. Tara said:

Bronco

I am willing to say that your scenario is possible but in case if Samaha indeed met the real Ali Mamluk not an imposter, would you incriminate Mamluk alone or would you incriminate Bashar too as Mamluk would not independently do this?

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August 12th, 2012, 7:34 pm

 

194. omen said:

71. MOHSEN said: Josh – don’t say! The typical leftist frequenting the comments has no idea what economics is … A class of economically and materially illiterate but educated up to the hilt class of useless, self-satisfied, and power-seeking people.

name calling isn’t a counter argument. and i wouldn’t be so quick to call others illiterate when you can’t even tell who wrote this column.

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August 12th, 2012, 7:35 pm

 

195. omen said:

The intellectuals and supposedly the more conscious segments of society has let the nation down.

here is a crazy thought: maybe dictators killing off half of the intellectuals and reformers has something to do with progress having been thwarted.

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August 12th, 2012, 7:40 pm

 

196. Syrialover said:

Bashar Assad, a “man” with an unnaturally small head that is noticeably shrinking, full of violent, destructive hate and contempt for Syria, its people and its beautiful heritage.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/aleppos-other-battle-line-8037175.html

Report from Aleppo:

One shell demolished the front of the house, leaving a gaping hole where the arched gateway once stood. A second gouged out a crater 10ft wide in the walled garden and a third smashed into bedrooms and the library. The family of seven living there all suffered injuries, three of them severe and needing emergency surgery.

“We thank Allah that they are alright. But this home has now gone. It is 390 years old,” said Awni Abu Riadh. “There was a fountain in the garden which was one of the oldest working ones in the city. My uncle Ahmed had collected a history of this house, but that has gone with the library. Look all around. Bashar’s army are ruining this great city; they are trying to take away our past.”
Compared with its surroundings, the beautiful Ottoman house of Ahmed Mansour – now destroyed – is relatively new. Standing on the rubble, one can see, through other buildings damaged by the fighting, the Citadel of Aleppo, built on original fortifications which date back to 3000 BC; a World Heritage Site of history and culture which had been restored to some of its glory through extensive excavation and conservation.

The citadel is now once more a battleground. The forces of the regime occupy the castle and the rebels the Iron Gate, Bab al-Hadeed. The cobbled streets, shaded courtyards and covered bazaar –one of the most famous in the region – are used to trade fire. Increasingly, there is damage from air strikes, one of them blowing up a 17th century bathhouse and surrounding properties.

This, the second frontline of Aleppo, is a vast contrast to the first, Salaheddine, which has been pulverised by bombing and air strikes and is now a dark and forbidding place of constantly echoing gunfire and the stench of bodies buried beneath collapsed houses.

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August 12th, 2012, 7:43 pm

 

197. bronco said:

186. Tara

My scenario is only one of the different possible scenarios behind that complex event. I am sure there are many others.
Yet, would you take Samaha’s word as the truth when the guy seems to be a criminal and based on his words break the relation between two countries?
Before accusing anyone in Syria, there is a need of more proofs than the confession of Samaha.
Who will prove whom Samaha met in Syria? By rushing to indict without proof the chief of the Syrian National Security, the Lebanese judiciary has chosen to reject any possible collaboration with Syria on this matter. By doing so, it may be now impossible to know if Samaha actually met Ali Mamlouk or not. Syria will not be willing to provide any help as it under an indictement.

I guess that’s what the conspirators were counting on to prevent any truth to come out except the ‘truth’ carried by Samaha.

It is a very complex case and like the Hariri case, we may never know the truth.

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August 12th, 2012, 7:53 pm

 

198. Ehsani said:

Omen,

Jobs are created by investors who take risks and start new businesses. Many countries are competing to attract such capital. Jebel Ali in Dubai offers zero tax business environment for example.

You implied that 20% tax in Syria is not too high. This is true. But, you must also be aware that borrowing costs for syrian based businesses are double digit. Financing your working capital or new expansion can only come if you pay close to 12-13% in interest. Add this to the 20% tax and a further 5% on employee payroll tax, and you start to see how difficult it can become to run a business.

On top of the above, returns have to be adjusted for risk. The risks of starting a business in Syria are high (recent events confirmed this). In order to attract capital to come, you have to offer what appears to you as give-away deals in terms of taxation and other incentives.

This is precisely the recipe that must be followed. The money that you forgo from higher taxation will pale in comparison with the jobs that may get created. I would rather offer zero or 5% taxes and have jobs created than charging 20% taxes only to have businesses go to other regional markets.

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August 12th, 2012, 7:57 pm

 

199. ghufran said:

I know it is convenient for many of you to forget why the army is in Aleppo in the first place and how come a rebel force dedicated to defending civilians is actually hiding in civilian areas and firing on soldiers who have no choice but to fire back.
you can blab as much as you want,the destruction seen in a number of cities in Syria is the result of a joint effort made by the regime and its armed foes,enough of insulting the intelligence of this blog readers.

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August 12th, 2012, 7:58 pm

 

200. irritated said:

Ghufran

a rebel force dedicated to defending civilians

But that’s what they are doing by breaking their homes and sending them to Turkey refugee camps.

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August 12th, 2012, 8:04 pm

 

201. omen said:

160. GHUFRAN: the video is very disturbing, there are numerous incidents that show the brutality and inhumane behavior of armed rebels, add the crimes committed by regime supporters

174. GHUFRAN: a basic fact in the Middle East: only the stronger will survive,this is a place that does not respect the weak and vulnerable.

.

you condemn and justify at the same time. this is a contradiction.

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August 12th, 2012, 8:04 pm

 

202. zoo said:

Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Venezuela, Algeria, Iraq, Cuba, Belarus — 30 Nations Meet in Tehran for Alternative to Hillary Clinton’s Attack on Syria

Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
August 11, 2012

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August 12th, 2012, 8:14 pm

 

203. Syr.expat said:

183. Bronco

There was a typo in my comment, (You’re attempts >> Your attempts).

“If Ali Mamlouk is proven without doubts that he is behind this criminal intention, be sure I won’t defend him.”
Fair enough. We’ll wait and see.

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August 12th, 2012, 8:24 pm

 

204. ghufran said:

القدس المحتلة – أصدرت نيابة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي حكما بسجن جندي اسرائيلي 45 يوما فقط بسبب قتله لام وابنتها في قطاع غزة إبان العدوان الإسرائيلي على القطاع بداية عام 2009.
وبحسب اذاعة جيش الاحتلال فقد قامت النيابة الاسرائيلية بتعديل لائحة اتهامه من القتل العمد إلى استعمال السلاح بشكل غير قانوني.
جدير بالذكر أن الفلسطينية وابنتها رفعتا الاعلام البيضاء عندما وجه الجندي الاسرائيلي سلاحه عليهما وقام باطلاق النار بالرغم من عدم وجود اي خطر من قبلهما.
“وام”
the message: in Israel,the lives of two innocent palestinian civilians is worth 45 days in jail if you get caught.
the tragedy is that those who killed scores of Syrians may not even face trials.
you would think that Arabs,being mistreated by almost everybody,will somewhat unify or at least not fight among each other,but the truth is exactly the opposite,this made a jewish friend say that Israel is not likely to face any challenge in the next 10-15 years and beyond,if you ask me,I think israel is here to stay as long as the Israelis figure out a way to neutralize their palestinian population,this neutralization will be much easier if the pals have no help from other nations that can not help themselves. As for Khadem Alharamayn standing up to israel,the chances are similar to seeing the Talibans fighting for women rights.

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August 12th, 2012, 8:25 pm

 

205. Syrialover said:

Thanks for more good points, Ehsani (#190).

Any views on the Tunisian model of selling off confiscated businesses?

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August 12th, 2012, 9:22 pm

 

206. ghufran said:

France-24 on the FSA:
The leaders of the FSA have worked hard to project the image of a streamlined, homogenous, non-sectarian force. Our Observers on the ground say that in reality, this is far from the case. As the Syrian regime begins to show signs of weakness, the FSA will have to begin functioning in a more transparent manner if it ever hopes to quiet international concerns a post-Assad Syria.

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August 12th, 2012, 9:30 pm

 

207. Norman said:

With what is going on in Syria, Syria will be lucky to have companies that want to open businesses in Syria even with ZERO Taxation, that might be good idea, tax the employees and as long as the company keeps the money in Syria to reinvest will pay no taxes.

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August 12th, 2012, 9:34 pm

 

208. Aldendeshe said:

Blame Bashar Al Assad, he is responsible for this all.

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August 12th, 2012, 9:40 pm

 

209. ghufran said:

قال “رئيس المجلس الوطني السوري” المعارض عبد الباسط سيدا، يوم الأحد، إن “المعارضة السورية المسلحة التي تقاتل من اجل الاطاحة بالرئيس بشار الاسد تحتاج إلى مناطق حظر جوي بحماية اجنبية وملاذات امنة قرب الحدود مع الاردن وتركيا”..
وقال سيدا، بحسب وكالة “رويترز” للأنباء، إن “الولايات المتحدة ادركت ان عدم وجود منطقة حظر جوي للتصدي للسيادة الجوية لقوات الاسد عرقل تحركات المعارضة”.
A no fly zone will be a serious test for the resolve of Russia and iran,it is also a declaration of war,what Syria needs is a cease fire not a process that aims at helping one side wipe the other,I simply do not trust the FSA and the deformed opposition unless they are restrained by checks and blanaces like any democracy or even a semidemocracy,but i agree with one thing:
Assad and top corrupt political leaders and security chiefs must go.

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August 12th, 2012, 9:40 pm

 

210. Aldendeshe said:

Our Islamist liberators that you all proud of:

http://www.rt.com/news/syria-aleppo-post-video-476/

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August 12th, 2012, 9:41 pm

 

211. Syrialover said:

Ghufran wrote:

“I know it is convenient for many of you to forget why the army is in Aleppo in the first place [and why the city is being damaged].”

Ghufran, I never forget for 0.05 of a second why the army is in Aleppo and why the city is being smashed up.

It is because the Assad regime ignited this conflict, escalated it with further violence to the point of no return or compromise, and then proved ridiculously incompetent in dealing with the rebellion.

That last point is significant.

Just as the Assad regime couldn’t run the country properly, they can’t run an effective campaign against an insurrection. Instead, they relentlessly make things worse, inflicting terrible, pointless collateral damage, and causing anger and loss of confidence in the regime to spread.

The Syrian military personnel shelling and aerial bombarding buildings are very poorly led, directed and trained.

People scoff at the FSA, but I’ve read some interesting informed observations on how clearly struggling and inept the regime’s forces doing the aerial strikes and ground shelling are. They dither around, constantly missing their targets and destroying non-military civilian structures nearby.

This is because the Syrian military “leadership” is headed by people who got their jobs from their fathers, received ninth-rate training, are lazy and corrupt and wouldn’t qualify for the lowest ranks in a more professional army.

And do you know what’s particularly pathetic? Assad does not have access to sophisticated experience, advice and strategies because the people he’s tucked himself into bed with, Russia and Iran, are useless at that. All they have to offer is more weaponry and professional killers.

We could not have a better and more constructive symbol of Bashhar Assad’s terminal idiocy and failure in his “job” than the meeting room murder of Asef Shawkat.

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August 12th, 2012, 10:28 pm

 

212. Son of Damascus said:

SyriaLover,

While I agree with you whole heartedly that the Assad regime is guilty for the devastation and losses happening in Aleppo and elsewhere, personally I can’t help but put some of the blame on the FSA today.

It should come as no surprise to anyone let alone the FSA what kind of a response the regime will have to territory lost. After Baba Amr, Khalidiyeh, Qusour, Mahatah, Moukhayam, Deir Al-Zour, Midan, Tadamoun…. this brutal regime has one play in their playbook and that is collective and unrelenting collective punishment (Or as you called Urbacide).

I feel as though the FSA is trying to establish a Benghazi type of place, and that is just not successful for them. They lack the manpower, the proper equipment, and most importantly the cohesive strategy to face a conventional army head-on and actually retain and repel any Assadi advances. They are a militia group not an army, they should not believe they can actually take and retain territory, because it will be a futile task that will end with the eventual “cleansing” of the area by the Assadi regime (meaning bomb the living hell out of the entire area indiscriminately and systematically until the FSA falls back meanwhile the civilians pay the heaviest price)

The mission of the FSA when it first started was to protect the protestors, when they take territory not only do they fail to protect the protestors but endanger the civilians in the process.

Taking territory has proven to be a failure of a strategy, they must be accountable for that failed strategy especially if they keep doing it. And honestly their land grab has been counter productive to their success, for before the battle for Aleppo they were causing major losses to the Assadi regime in the countryside, since not so much for most of their energy is spent trying in vain to hold on to Aleppo while the Assadi regime levels it.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:07 pm

 

213. Son of Damascus said:

The other Islamists group fighting in Aleppo…

http://www.therevoltingsyrian.com/image/29268141072

Is it ok for regimists that Hizballah fighters are being used by the regime to kill Syrians? Or should we believe that these guys are on a pilgrimage as well, they just rather travel in uniform and armed?

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August 12th, 2012, 11:14 pm

 

214. Observer said:

I KNOW THIS IS LONG AND SORRY ABOUT IT BUT HERE THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE ICG LATEST REPORT ON SYRIA

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August 12th, 2012, 11:31 pm

 

215. Observer said:

At a distance, Syria’s conflict can resemble a slow, painful slog, punctuated by intermittent accelerations and apparent tipping points, influenced by international activity.
Zoom in, and one can cast such impressions aside. Diplomatic manoeuvrings have ended up being little more
than inertia masquerading as motion. The West used them
to pretend it was doing more than it was; Russia exploited
them to feign it backed the Syrian regime less than it actually did. Meanwhile, in Syria, one sees neither deadlock
nor abrupt transformation; virtually everything has been
changing but at a steady pace: the shape of the conflict;
civil society dynamics; sectarian relations; and the very
nature of the regime the opposition seeks to depose.
Not all is heading in the wrong direction; some developments have been surprisingly uplifting. But there are more
than enough ominous trends, none more alarming than
these: a regime seemingly morphing into a formidable militia engaged in a desperate fight for survival; an Alawite
community increasingly embattled and persuaded its fate
hinges entirely on the regime’s; and an opposition that,
despite sometimes heroic efforts to contain them, is threatened by its own forms of radicalisation. Together, this
could portend a prolonged, ever more polarised, destructive civil war.
The regime almost certainly will not change its ways, and
so the burden must fall on the opposition to do what – given the immensity of its suffering – must seem an improbable undertaking: seriously address the phenomena of
retaliatory violence, sectarian killings and creeping fundamentalism within its ranks; rethink its goal of total regime
eradication and instead focus on rehabilitating existing
institutions; profoundly reassess relations with the Alawite community; and come up with forward looking proposals on transitional justice, accountability and amnesty.
First things first: Syria indeed has become an arena for outside meddling, but the meddling has been far more effective at sustaining the fighting than ending it. The joint UN/
Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan, sought to mediate, but
Syrians and non-Syrians alike backed him for opposite
reasons and in entirely self-serving ways. Because the mission’s success was predicated on finding middle ground
when most parties yearned for a knockout punch, few truly
wished it well, even as no one wanted to be caught burying it.
International attitudes might yet change: an especially
large-scale massacre or, more likely, regime use or loss of
control of chemical weapons could trigger Western military
action; Turkey or Jordan, alarmed at the rate of refugee
inflows, could establish a safe-haven in Syrian territory;
in the event of Western intervention, Iran or Hizbollah
could reciprocate on the regime’s behalf. For now, such
scenarios are entirely hypothetical. The bottom line at this
stage is that the conflict will be sustained and influenced
by outside parties but not determined by them. That unenviable role will fall on Syrians.
That is why by far the more significant dynamics are those
unfurling on the ground. One is tempted to say that the
regime has been uniformly cold-blooded and indiscriminate from the start, but that is not so. The conflict experienced several phases: from the regime’s political concessions, both half-hearted (which prompted stronger popular
demands) and coupled with brutal repression (which further undermined their credibility); to its so-called security
solution (which, by seeking to force entire communities
into submission further energised the opposition and pushed
it toward armed resistance); and, finally, to its so-called
military solution (a scorched earth policy of rampant destruction and looting that turned what once was viewed as
a national army into a broadly reviled occupation force).
With each stage, the regime burned yet another bridge,
leaving it with neither way back nor way out. Just as the
political solution undermined those involved in politics
and the security situation wrecked the security services’
ability to operate, so did the military solution eviscerate
the army’s credibility.
Social dynamics have evolved as well, a case of what one
might call the good, the bad and the ugly. The good was
better than anticipated: a remarkably vibrant, courageous
and resilient civil society that has mobilised networks of
assistance and kept in check some of the worst forms of
violence to which any armed opposition operating in a
poisonous environment might have resorted. Intensified
regime brutality failed to subdue popular protests; if any-yria’s Mutating Conflict
Crisis Group Middle East Report N°128, 1 August 2012 Page ii
thing, it gave them a shot in the arm. Surprising none more
than itself, Syria’s opposition rediscovered a sense of solidarity, community and national pride.
The bad involves those features (sectarianism, fundamentalism, jihadi and foreign fighters) that a prolonged battle
virtually was bound to unearth and attract and that the regime did its utmost to exacerbate. Several opposition groups
have adopted an increasingly fundamentalist discourse
and demeanour, a trajectory that mirrors the conflict’s gradually deadlier and more confessional turn; popular loss of
faith in the West; as well as mounting pledges of support
from Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
All this could be – and, looking back, was predicted to be
– far worse. In the tug of war between society’s demons
and its ability to resist them, the most encouraging aspect
has been Syrians’ at times striking self-awareness, grasp
of dangers ahead and attempts at course correction. Yet,
this hardly justifies complacency.
That is because the ugly is truly alarming. From the start
of the crisis, the gulf between pro-opposition and proregime constituencies has grown exponentially. As if living in parallel worlds, each ostracises the other, meeting
almost only in battle. Among armed rebels, activists and
protesters, deeply-rooted, atavistic anti-Alawite (and antiShiite) prejudice resurfaces more intensely as time goes
by: the minority community’s ways are alien, their mores
primitive, their presence unnatural. Likewise, when evoking the fate of their foes, even mainstream Alawites can
resort to bloodcurdling language.
Whether it be their perceptions of past, present or future,
the two sides stand poles apart. Opposition circles tend to
focus on the injustices perpetrated by a minority, Alawitedominated regime; identify their current oppressors as
mostly Alawite security forces; celebrate a newly discovered culture of solidarity and social cohesion; and look forward to the day the present power structure will be undone.
Alawites for the most part recall centuries of discrimination and persecution at the hands of distant rulers and urban
elites, often drawn from the surrounding Sunni majority.
They can see nothing of the revived sense of camaraderie
from which, their own tremendous losses and pain notwithstanding, they have been excluded. They experience solely
the darkest side of a merciless conflict. And, whether or
not they took part in regime brutality, they expect to pay a
heavy price should President Bashar Assad be toppled:
the existing security services will be wiped out; the Baath
party probably will be outlawed; and bureaucratic purges
likely will occur. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Syria’s
is not an Alawite regime, and that community hardly lives
in opulence. But it is a regime thanks to which the Alawites
overcame their second-class status and escaped a history
of harassment and massacres. Members of the opposition
might contemplate triumphant success. Alawites worry
about collective eradication.
Of all the ongoing changes, perhaps the most significant
and least appreciated is what, over time, has become of the
regime. The one that existed at the outset of the conflict
almost certainly could not have survived the spectacular
killing of top officials in the heart of its traditional stronghold; street combat in Damascus, Aleppo and a string of
other towns; the loss of important border crossings with
Turkey and Iraq; all amid near-total economic devastation
and diplomatic opprobrium. That, a year and a half later,
its new incarnation not only withstood those blows but
vigorously counterpunched sends a message worthy of
reflection.
As its political backbone disintegrates, the regime is being reduced to its repressive apparatus, while the latter
itself gradually morphs into an entity more akin to a militia than an army in both make-up and ethos. The regime
essentially has been stripped down to a broadly cohesive,
hardcore faction fighting an increasingly bitter, fierce and
naked struggle for collective survival. It is mutating in
ways that make it impervious to political and military setbacks, indifferent to pressure and unable to negotiate. Opposition gains terrify Alawites, who stand more firmly by
the regime’s side. Defections solidify the ranks of those
who remain loyal. Territorial losses can be dismissed for
the sake of concentrating on “useful” geographic areas.
Sanctions give rise to an economy of violence wherein pillaging, looting and smuggling ensure self-sufficiency and
over which punitive measures have virtually no bearing.
That the regime has been weakened is incontrovertible. But
it has been weakened in ways that strengthen its staying
power.
These multiple mutations carry practical implications.
First, from a military standpoint, it is becoming clearer by
the day that the outcome will be much messier than either
party to the conflict once hoped. The regime will not succeed in suppressing the armed groups; if anything, its ruthless practices have guaranteed a virtually limitless pool of
recruits prepared to fight with the opposition at any cost.
Conversely, both the regime – by design – and its opponents – through negligence – appear to have ensured that
a large portion of the Alawite community now feels it has
no option but to kill or be killed.
Secondly, there can be nothing more to expect from a regime that, by its very nature – never much of an institutionalised state, no longer genuinely a political entity – has
ceased being in a position to compromise, respond to
pressure or inducement or offer a viable solution. Which
means that the traditional international panoply of actions,
from public blandishments to condemnation, from threats
to sanctions, is not about to work. And that, while one
still can hold out hope for a “clean break”, that moment yria’s Mutating Conflict
Crisis Group Middle East Report N°128, 1 August 2012 Page iii
when the regime neatly collapses or surrenders, it hardly
warrants holding one’s breath.
Thirdly, the opposition should rethink how it deals with
pro-regime constituencies in general and Alawites in particular – how it acts, speaks and plans. No single indiscriminate massacre of Alawites has yet to be documented, but
given current dynamics one almost assuredly lies around
the corner. The opposition has tended to downplay its less
attractive characteristics: it blames rising sectarianism
solely on the regime’s divisive tactics; dismisses increasingly religious, if not fundamentalist, overtones as reversible
side-effects of the crisis; attributes armed groups’ alleged
crimes to mere indiscipline; and shrugs off the still-limited
but increasingly visible presence of jihadis and foreign
fighters. There are logical reasons for all these tendencies
to appear. There is no justification for belittling them. Failing to seriously address them now could haunt all Syrians
later. The danger of widespread sectarian reprisals, indiscriminate killings and large-scale displacement is frighteningly real.
Rhetoric also matters, as does the content of transition
plans. When the opposition says it will topple the regime,
what Alawites hear is that their source of income, employment, and physical protection will be eliminated. When it
evokes the undoing of the system and all its institutions,
they hear a return to second-class citizenry. When it speaks
of justice and accountability, they hear the threat of collective retribution. On all these issues, the opposition should
engage in intensive efforts to clarify its meaning, reassure
minorities and reassess the scope and speed of the changes
it intends to introduce.
For those Syrians who have endured seventeen months of
repression at the hands of a ruthless regime, for whom the
instinct of revenge, understandably, must be hard to suppress, these must seem callous, inappropriate, perhaps even
offensive questions. Yet raising them is a necessity if the
transition for which they are struggling is to be worthy of
the sacrifices they will have endured getting there.
Damascus/Brussels, 1 August 2012

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August 12th, 2012, 11:31 pm

 

216. Son of Damascus said:

Thanks Observer for bringing the CGI report to our attention, here is the link for the full report for those that are interested:

http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/Middle%20East%20North%20Africa/Iraq%20Syria%20Lebanon/Syria/128-syrias-mutating-conflict.pdf

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August 12th, 2012, 11:52 pm

 

217. ghufran said:

SOD post is a proof that you can be anti Assad and still criticize the FSA and its affiliates, the slogan of toppling the regime at any cost is an invitation to sacrify thousands of civilians and destroy Syrian cities to achieve the goal of a regime change,another destructive slogan is uprooting the regime from the buttom up which simply means creating another Iraq and a new insurgency, I am just sick and tired of arguing with people who refuse to see beyond their nose, even die hard Assadists are having second thoughts about Assad leadership,or the lack of it,may be it is time for some of you to take a deep breath and rethink some of you indefensible positions.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:52 pm

 

218. zoo said:

Each side looses a journalist

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syrian-opposition-massacre-caught-on-recorded-footage.aspx?pageID=238&nID=27636&NewsCatID=352

State-run news agency SANA said one of its reporters, Ali Abbas, was killed at his residence in Damascus.
Pan-Arab satellite news channel Al-Arabiya television said that Bara’a Yusuf al-Bushi, a Syrian national and army defector who worked with the station and several other international news organizations, was killed in a bomb attack while covering a story in al-Tal.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:53 pm

 

219. ghufran said:

thanks for the link and the summary,guys,I am eager to hear what SOD and Observer think about its conclusion.

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August 12th, 2012, 11:56 pm

 

220. Syrialover said:

Son of Damascus,

It makes little sense to criticize the FSA for not achieving this or that. It is what it is: a classic common man’s rebellion, and it’s fighting a war of attrition against a feral foe, not facing a strategic military campaign.

If a Benghazi-style bloc is ever established as a beachhead for a legitimate government, it will owe a lot to the FSA. I never saw anywhere that the FSA could or would run it alone.

Syrians need to feel they have fought back against the regime. They know it’s broken and can’t be repaired and that without a struggle there can’t be an end to the worsening Assad nightmare.

There is no going back. And the FSA is all there is, and it’s proved worth all the sacrifice and efforts. As a guerrilla campaign, I don’t think it’s losing or failing, except in some artificial construct that doesn’t apply to this kind of conflict.

You appear dispirited and frustrated. I can recommend the article below, earlier posted here by Zoo, surprisingly. I have been circulating it to others who have been passing it on.

A peaceful post-Assad order is probable

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2012/Aug-11/184214-a-peaceful-post-assad-order-is-probable.ashx#ixzz23GiflhBX

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August 12th, 2012, 11:56 pm

 

221. Aldendeshe said:

Who pays these Islamist liberators?

http://www.rt.com/news/syria-aleppo-post-video-476/

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August 13th, 2012, 12:02 am

 

222. Richard said:

204. Son of Damascus said:
“I feel as though the FSA is trying to establish a Benghazi type of place, and that is just not successful for them. They lack the manpower, the proper equipment, and most importantly the cohesive strategy to face a conventional army head-on and actually retain and repel any Assadi advances. ”

Agreed. But a NATO enforced No-Fly zone in north could create safe zone for civilians and sanctuary for FSA.

Do you support a safe zone in north?

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August 13th, 2012, 12:04 am

 

223. Observer said:

Here is another part worth reading

What it says is that although the regime as it once was has
been terribly weakened, it has grown increasingly indifferent to its own losses, whether political or territorial: its
metamorphosis has made it impervious to setbacks that
once might have spelled its end. A former official said,
“regime officials use the expression balaha, meaning they
can do without – as in ‘Homs? Balaha!’. They can do without most of the country, without the state, without much
of the people. It’s just not an issue to them”.
202
What remains, at bottom, is an ethos much closer to that of a large,
exceptionally well-armed and committed militia than it is
to that of a state. All of which raises the question: can one
topple a militia?

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August 13th, 2012, 12:04 am

 

224. ghufran said:

“ماذا تفعل لمن يعتقدون بأن موتهم أشرف لهم من حياتهم وقياداتهم ترسلهم لكي يموتوا مجاناً دون النظر إلى أي عواقب لأن خسارة هؤلاء التكفيريين لحياتهم لا تعني شيئاً لمن نصب نفسه أميراً على العصابات المسلحة وهو مختبئ في الأرياف أو في لبنان أو في تركيا والأردن وقطر والسعودية وأتباعه يموتون يموتون رخيصين في شوارع المدن السورية”.

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August 13th, 2012, 12:05 am

 

225. bronco said:

208. Son of Damascus

Thanks. Unfortunately that lengthy report brings more questions than answers.
Obviously no one know how it would turn out.

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August 13th, 2012, 12:06 am

 

226. Richard said:

201. ghufran said:
“A no fly zone will be a serious test for the resolve of Russia and iran,it is also a declaration of war,what Syria needs is a cease fire not a process that aims at helping one side wipe the other,I simply do not trust the FSA and the deformed opposition unless they are restrained by checks and blanaces ”

GHUFRAN, I appreciate your good intentions. The problem is that the Kofi Annan way – a cease fire and negotiated solution – has failed and passed into irrelevance. This is now a war, and it is going to be settled by force of arms. Perhaps it can be influenced, steered into less tragic directions by conditional aid.

A no-fly-zone could shorten the war.

If you see a negotiated path, please explain specifically how that would work. I don’t see it.

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August 13th, 2012, 12:11 am

 

227. Observer said:

I mentioned before that Fredo has changed into the head of a militia and that the structures of the state have vanished.

The regime has gutted the state of its meaning and replaced it with a security apparatus and when the security apparatus failed to quell the uprising and as a matter of fact forced it into armed resistance the regime used the army and this led to the fact that the uprising which was geographically located coalesced with displaced people and with the message that the regime is opting to enslave the people.

Faced with such dire choices death or slavery the people continued their revolt and the massacres done by the regime were not meant to suppress the people as to entrap the Alawi community to its fate thereby insuring the transformation of the regime into a milita.

Like all milita it will be difficult to dislodge or defeat but often enough the milita results in internal strife and divisions which eats it from the inside out and that may explain the reason why the killing of top security officials did not hinder the regime in a terminal way and it may very well have been an insider job to decapitate internal dissent.

The revolt will remove the regime and it already has forced a fundamental transformation of the regime into an armed well organized militia.

The inability of the regime to take sections of cities without destroying them especially in Aleppo is telling of the next phase which in my opinion is the disintegration of the discipline of the army into factions and units that are impervious to any control.

The next phase will be full fledged civil war and many many many people killed.

The West hid behind the veto not to intervene, Russia to spite the West decided as we say in Damascus to pee in its pants to spite its ablution or to cut its nose to spite its face and is going to end up with nothing to hold right now.

If there is no quick end, Iraq will look like a boy scout outing compared to Syria and what is going to happen to whole areas in terms of massacres and ethnic cleansing
By the way did the official and semi official Syrian news show the youtube video of the bodies being thrown off the building or not. I am curious to know as I did not find any evidence of it except at RT.

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August 13th, 2012, 12:19 am

 

228. Son of Damascus said:

SyriaLover,

But we have to criticize, and they need to be open and apprehensive regarding it as well. Or we are just damning ourselves from one group with guns to another.

And let me be clear about this, I am criticizing their tactic and not the FSA. If there is a hole in front of my house and I fall in it the first day, I can blame the city, but if I continue to fall in it every time I step out there is no one to blame but myself, I need to find a new route or learn to side step the damn hole.

There is no winner in this tactic, our cities are being levelled and Syrians are being killed. AK 47’s and RPG are no match to tanks, helicopters, and jet fighters. Syria’s youth should not be used as canon fodder for a short term gain.

There needs to be a civilian presence in the decision making of the FSA, to make sure things like the Geneva convention, risk to civilians, proper conducts of war, actual strategy is being taken into consideration. The brave men fighting on the ground don’t have the time to consider these options, that is why in my opinion it is imperative not only to have a civilian body that is not facing the shells and bullets that helps in that decision process but helps, but also helps to balance and keep in check the over militarizing of the conflict and way the options and consequences or their actions.

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August 13th, 2012, 12:21 am

 

229. Johannes de Silentio said:

Moderator! Hello? Hello?

Please release my posts

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August 13th, 2012, 12:22 am

 

230. ann said:

Media coverage of Syrian violence partial and untrue, says nun – August 13, 2012

A NUN who has been superior at a Syrian monastery for the past 18 years has warned that media coverage of ongoing violence in that country has been “partial and untrue”. It is “a fake”, Mother Agnes Mariam said, which “hides atrocities committed in the name of liberty and democracy”.

Superior of the Melkite Greek Catholic monastery of St James the Mutilated in Qara, in Syria’s diocese of Homs, which is in full communion with Rome, she left Ireland yesterday after a three-day visit during which she met representatives of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Maynooth.

She told The Irish Times she was in Ireland “not to advocate for the (Assad) regime but for the facts”. Most news reports from Syria were “forged, with only one side emphasised”, she said. This also applied to the UN, whose reports were “one-sided and not worthy of that organisation”.

UN observers in Syria had been “moderate with the rebels and covered for them in taking back positions after the withdrawal of heavy equipment, as seen so tragically in Homs”, she said.

When it was put to her this suggested the whole world was out of step except for Syria, Russia and China, she protested: “No, no, there are 20 countries, including some in Latin America” of the same view.

The reason the media was being denied easy access to Syria currently was because in the Libyan conflict journalists placed electronic devices for Nato in rooms used at press conferences in that country, she said. “So Syria didn’t want journalists,” she said.

Christians make up about 10 per cent of Syria’s population, dispersed throughout the country, she said. The Assad regime “does not favour Christians”, she said. “It is a secular regime based on equality for all, even though in the constitution it says the Koran is the source of legislation.”

But “Christians are less put aside [in Syria] than in other Islamic countries, for example Saudi Arabia,” she said. “The social fabric of Syria is very diverse, so Christians live in peace.”

The “Arab insurrection” under way in that country included “sectarian factions which promote fundamentalist Islam, which is not genuine Islam”, she said.

The majority of Muslims in Syria are moderate and open to other cultural and interfaith elements, she said. “Wahhabism (a fundamentalist branch of Islam) is not open,” she added.

Christians in Syria were “doubtful about the future if the project to topple the regime succeeded”. The alternative was “a religious sectarian state where all minorities would feel threatened and discriminated against”, she said.

There was “a need to end the violence”, she said. “The West and Gulf states must not give finance to armed insurrectionists who are sectarian terrorists, most of whom are from al-Qaeda, according to a report presented to the German parliament,” she said.

“We don’t want to be invaded, as in Aleppo, by mercenaries, some of whom think they are fighting Israel. They bring terror, destruction, fear and nobody protects the civilians,” she said. There were “very few Syrians among the rebels”, she said. “Mercenaries should go home,” she said.

[…]

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2012/0813/1224322099930.html

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August 13th, 2012, 12:29 am

 

231. VISITOR said:

SOD,

FSA said it will hand the country to civilian politicians once the war is over. You have to take their words at face value, PERIOD. You have no other choice. What you’re calling for is simply not practical in times of war. The first shots were fired and we all know who fired them.

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August 13th, 2012, 12:50 am

 

232. Uzair8 said:

From the AJE twitter wall (AJ Correspondents on Syria):

Basma_ Bodies thrown from Aleppo building belonged to dead security men after intense fighting with rebels inside military intelligence devision
14 hours ago

https://twitter.com/Basma_/status/234661176754200576

Basma_ The building where bodies are thrown from in Aleppo is not only Post Office – it is the headquarters of the Military Intelligence division
14 hours ago

https://twitter.com/Basma_/status/234660530957217792

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August 13th, 2012, 12:54 am

 

233. ghufran said:

I understand the effort to beautify the ugly face of armed rebels brutality but it is too little too late,those videos are all over the internet and have received plenty of attention from the press and politicians alike. Armed thugs apologists are not much better than regime apologists,human rights abuses must be condemned even if your favorite side was the culprit,there is no gray color here.

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August 13th, 2012, 1:25 am

 

234. Juergen said:

Its strange that crimes like the Hariri murder, the Samaha bomber are classified as complex issues, whereas the whole revolution is seen as an foreign conspiracy. Well Salafis live in an halal&haram universe, obviously mhnbaks dont differ that much, they would argue this is complex( which literally means lets stop the discussion) and that is obvious. Well both attidudes leave out a big part of what definees our world.

Here is an interview in arabic with the tv crew of Al’ichbaria. Its strange, somehow one feels like they are not at all afraid about their fate, they seem to even enjoy talking with their hijackers about the regimes massive brutality towards the civilians.

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August 13th, 2012, 1:44 am

 

235. omen said:

of course. waiting to get the fuller details to understand the context before pronouncing judgement is for the samaha case.

not anything rebel related.

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August 13th, 2012, 1:48 am

 

236. Uzair8 said:

Read this report on Sky News television text yesterday:

Syrian Defector: Rebels Have The Will To Win

A Lieutenant Colonel who served with Assad’s forces until just three days ago speaks exclusively to Sky’s David Bowden.

Monday 13 August 2012

The unnamed Lieutenant Colonel, who is now in an Free Syrian Army (FSA) safe house in Southern Turkey, was serving with government forces in Aleppo, until three days ago.

Speaking exclusively to Sky News about abandoning his 23-year army career, he said he could no longer stomach what his military was doing to his countrymen.

“I decided to defect out of sympathy for my people, because of the injustice of what was going on,” he said. “The way the regime dealt with the demonstrations was wrong, it was aggressive.”

Read nore:

http://news.sky.com/story/971727/syrian-defector-rebels-have-the-will-to-win

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August 13th, 2012, 1:57 am

 

237. Juergen said:

Fisk on Samaha

” I’ve been calling him for six months to ask for his assessment of the Syrian crisis. Once he was in Damascus, and said he’d call back next day. When in Beirut, he said he’d call back. He didn’t. Then his wife told me he was in Paris… Now we’re all waiting for the videos.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/robert-fisk-in-the-end-all-israel-and-her-western-allies-want-to-do-is-to-break-iran–via-syria-8037174.html

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August 13th, 2012, 2:02 am

 

238. Mohsen said:

There is no question that if Assad is successful in pushing the FSA out of Aleppo, that a no fly zone will be established to protect the Syrian civilians and rebels in the areas north of Aleppo.

This would be the end of the Assad regime as he would be nothing without his tanks and BMPs. Snipers and mortars are not so effective in wide open fronts. The Assad forces will be pushed back into the mountains.

Once the NFZ is extended to southern Syria and then Damascus, Homs, and Hama, the game will be over. Assad will have to retreat to Latakia and it may take another year to liberate those areas, but at least most of Syria will become safe to civilians.

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August 13th, 2012, 2:31 am

 

239. Ghufran said:

Smaha investigation will have consequences either way, if the leaks are true, the regime will sanctify Mamlouk and Bashar may not be able to escape trial, if the whole business is a fabrication, two heads in lebanese Maloumat branch will be lost among others and the anti Syria camp will pay a heavy political price, it is just too early to tell, the leaks are too perfect to be taken at face value and the possible absence of the main witness will create a large hole in the case.

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August 13th, 2012, 2:42 am

 

240. Syrialover said:

SOD said:

“There needs to be a civilian presence in the decision making of the FSA, to make sure things like the Geneva convention, risk to civilians, proper conducts of war, actual strategy is being taken into consideration.”

I believe they are getting plenty of good advice from various sources, and those issues you mention would be on the agenda. I’ve seen enough to believe their leaders and their non-military supporters are worried about “dirtying the revolution”.

But on the ground, people are fighting for their lives. We have irregular volunteer forces operating in incredibly difficult circumstances, much worse than the usual dense fog of war. Plus furious propaganda campaigns flying in all directions.

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August 13th, 2012, 2:43 am

 

241. Juergen said:

an appeal from an Homs women

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August 13th, 2012, 3:02 am

 
 
 

244. Syrialover said:

Dear Observer,

Nobody has been able to properly predict how this crisis has unfolded. Nobody has complete information. I am a fan of your writing here, but I can’t accept your bleak and frightening scenario in #219 as inevitable.

Millions of people inside Syria are stoically accepting the current situation as unavoidable but believe it will have an end, and are looking towards the future. They are hanging on to a vision and faith in their country and fellow Syrians.

So if you can, try to think positively and constructively, for their sakes. Instead, think of what you can do personally to help with the rebuilding of Syria. There are a lot of reasons to see a half full glass rather than a completely empty one.

I’d like to quote from my current favorite article, it’s by Rami Khouri in Beirut (already recommended to Son Of Damascus above, and worth reading in full)

Khouri writes:

“The Syrian people are too intelligent, sophisticated and cosmopolitan to allow themselves to sink into a dark pit of sectarian warfare, even if their sick Baathist-led, Alawite-run power elite uses sectarianism and the specter of post-Assad chaos as tools of intimidation – tools that have failed miserably, in any case.

“Syrians of all identities will be so pleased to start a new life of normalcy, freedom, dignity and citizenship the day after Assad is toppled that they will be too busy re-creating their own country in their own image to be sidetracked into domestic warfare. The last thing Syrians want after 42 years of police-state rule and many months of violence since March 2011 is to keep fighting each other.”

“Many around the world – in Dubai, Beirut, Istanbul, Washington, Berlin and other cities – are now working on plans for a post-Assad transition. Most of these will have only minimal relevance, because the only really credible political management work will be done by the Syrians who emerge from the resistance committees to shape the new government. The importance of the many transition-planning efforts abroad, however, alongside the handful of Syrian governments-in-exile now being established by opposition groups, is that they confirm the enormous intellectual, political, nationalistic and technical assets that a free Syria will have at its disposal to redefine itself.”

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion
/Columnist/2012/Aug-11/184214-a-peaceful-post-assad-order-is-probable.ashx#ixzz23GiflhBX

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August 13th, 2012, 4:39 am

 

245. Mohsen said:

#234 — yes that is definitely a jet shot down by the thuwwar.

Now wait for fascist Assad’s friends to claim that was a US drone or something.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:49 am

 

246. VISITOR said:

Juergen said,

“Its strange that crimes like the Hariri murder, the Samaha bomber are classified as complex issues, whereas the whole revolution is seen as an foreign conspiracy. Well Salafis live in an halal&haram universe, obviously mhnbaks dont differ that much, they would argue this is complex( which literally means lets stop the discussion) and that is obvious. Well both attidudes leave out a big part of what definees our world.”

Yes, The menhebeks are a shame on Syria and the human race.

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August 13th, 2012, 5:37 am

 

247. Tara said:

I hope Mursi is not going to be the new Mubarak.

The privately owned daily newspaper Al-Dostour is being investigated on charges of insulting President Mohamed Morsy, state-run MENA reported on Saturday.

Al-Dostour’s website reported that early morning Saturday, security forces came to the paper’s offices to confiscate some of its issues.

MENA reported that investigations into the newspaper had been opened after people accused the newspaper of “fueling sedition,” and “harming the president through phrases and wording punishable by law.”

Gamal Fahmy, a member of the journalists’ syndicate, told Al-Dostour that the investigation was part of a Muslim Brotherhood scheme to limit press freedoms

Other press freedom advocates also condemned the raid, saying the Brotherhood was moving to silence its critics.

“What happened this morning is a new attempt to impose hegemony, domination and exclusion on those in conflict with the group,” said Saeed Ziauddin Garhi, legal advisor for the Justice Center for Freedoms.

Earlier this week, Al-Faraeen Satellite TV channel, owned by the famous TV personality and former parliamentary candidate Tawfiq Okasha, was shut down, due to charges that the TV host incited viewers to attempt to assasinate Morsy.

Al-Dostour was also controversial under former President Hosni Mubarak; in 2010 the mogul publisher sacked Editor in Chief Ibrahim Eissa, an outspoken government dissident. Many claimed that the publisher had fired Eissa under direct pressure from the regime.

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/al-dostour-newspaper-under-investigation-sedition

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August 13th, 2012, 7:28 am

 

248. Observer said:

SL

I agree with Rami Khouri, that is why the regime must go, the people are way more intelligent and sophisticated then people give them credit for.

Once my colleagues came to visit Syria and most were from Scandinavian countries and they told me that the people are extremely bright and they pointed out that the ability of the people to make a living in such bureaucratic nightmare is a testimony to their intelligence and resilience.

My concern and fear is for the Alawi and other minorities whose panic at the prospect of revenge killing may force them to retrench into violence and nothing but violence.

If as is the case we have local committees bearing arms and manning checkpoints around Alawi parts of this or that city, it is ominous.

It is also clear that the slogan Athad or we burn Albalad is being carried out with gusto and this is another mentality that is ominous with Alawi leadership willing to kill in the millions to stay in power. For them it is kill or be killed mentality and this is where the support the regime is getting from Russia and Iran without political push is extremely dangerous.

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August 13th, 2012, 7:51 am

 

249. ann said:

Hillary’s Heroes!

Syrian atrocity: Bodies of postal workers thrown from roof (GRAPHIC VIDEO) – 13 August, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/syria-aleppo-post-video-476/

A horrific amateur video appeared on YouTube, apparently showing an atrocity against public service workers in Syria. The footage displays a crowd of people callously throwing postal workers from a post office rooftop.

The video, the source of which could not be independently verified, shows several dozen people having surrounded the staircase of the building, chanting “Allahu Akbar!”

As they hit the ground, the crowd rushes in to catch the appalling images on their mobile phones.

The video caused online outrage and heated debates on Twitter as to who the people committing the atrocity might be. The majority allege they are Free Syrian Army supporters who intentionally target civil servants.

RT’s correspondent on the ground Oksana Boyko reports that around one-and-a-half million of the country’s civil employees have now become targets. Doctors, teachers and municipal workers risk kidnapping or assassination for simply doing their jobs.

“Documents confirm Syria’s armed opposition has a hit list with scientists, engineers, doctors and civil servants on it,” Ammar Safi, a plastic surgeon from Damascus, told RT.

His brother, Faris Safi was one of Syria’s most experienced civil pilots. US-educated, he logged more than 20,000 hours around the globe. He was coming home from the airport when gunmen attacked his car.

Earlier in August another amateur video blew up the global network.

It showed an apparent mass execution of Assad supporters in Aleppo at the hands of rebels from the Free Syrian Army. Several bloodied men were forced to kneel by a wall amidst a throng of excited, machine gun-touting men.

Also in August, a militant Islamist group claimed responsibility for the execution of Syrian state TV host Mohammed al-Saeed. Al-Saeed was kidnapped on July 19 of this year. The Al-Nusra Front, a little-known Islamist militant group, posted a statement August 4 on an Al-Qaeda-affiliated internet forum:

“The heroes of western Ghouta [in Damascus province] imprisoned the presenter on July 19…He was then killed after he had been interrogated,” AFP cited their statement.

Syrian state news agency SANA says one of its reporters, Ali Abbas, was killed at his residence in Damascus on Saturday. The report blamed an armed terrorist group but gave no further details.

Another journalist was killed in a bomb attack while covering a story in al-Tal, a suburb in northern Damascus.

On August 6, a bomb was detonated at a state-run television and radio building in the capital of Damascus, leaving three people injured.

http://www.rt.com/news/syria-aleppo-post-video-476/

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August 13th, 2012, 8:05 am

 

250. ann said:

Syrian president special envoy to visit China – 2012-08-13

BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) — The Chinese Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Syrian president special envoy Bouthaina Shaaban is to visit China on Tuesday.

During the visit, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will hold talks with Shaaban, who is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s political and media advisor, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a written reply to a reporter’s question.

“Meanwhile, China is also considering inviting members of the Syrian opposition groups to visit,” Qin added.

Qin said China has always actively promoted its work between the Syrian government and the opposition in a balanced way to achieve a political solution to the Syria issue.

The spokesman noted China has been urging the two sides to substantially implement the six-point peace plan proposed by the UN-AL joint envoy Kofi Annan, the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the Geneva communique agreed by the Action Group meeting of major world powers on June 30.

[…]

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-08/13/c_131782658.htm

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August 13th, 2012, 8:14 am

 

251. Dawoud said:

Ehsani ends his post by stating:

“Expect the Tahrir Square of every Arab capital to occupy our evening news for years to come.”

I agree with you Ehsani! Accordingly, you agree with me (and disagree with Bashar and his propagandists here-some of whom are RT/Press TV American-accented “analysts/researchers” and naive propagandists-and elsewhere)that Syria’s ongoing revolution is NOT a Saudi/Western/etc. conspiracy. It has always had legitimate reasons and motivations.

Speaking of Tahrir Square, August 12, 2012 will always be remembered as the day in which President Morsi started the post-revolution Second Republic!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

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August 13th, 2012, 8:17 am

 

252. ann said:

UN observers chief accuses heavy damages to Syrian civilians – 2012-08-13

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/13/c_131782722.htm

DAMASCUS, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) — Military showdown continued Monday as part of the ongoing conflict in Syria at a time when the UN Supervision Mission has downsized its manpower and its chief accused the conflicting parties of not considering the wellbeing of the civilian.

The state-run SANA news agency said the army forces are tracking down armed insurgents in a number of restive areas nationwide.

It said the security apparatus chased remnants of armed groups in Ariha area in northwestern province of Idlib, adding that heavy losses have been inflicted on the armed groups there as large quantities of weapons and ammunition have also been confiscated.

The state media also reported that tracking down “terrorists” took place in an number of towns and villages in the countryside of the capital Damascus and in the northern province of Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the oppositional Local Coordination Committees said that heavy shelling with rockets and heavy artillery hit Monday the town of Zabadani near Damascus. The group also reported chaos and violence in a number of Syrian areas, placing the death toll so far at 33 people.

Yet, the activists’ claim couldn’t be checked independently.

Meantime, a video appeared online on Monday, showing the kidnapped staffers of the pro-government al-Ekhbaria TVs, who were snitched by the rebels Free Syrian Army while covering unrest in the Damascus’ suburb of Tal.

An alleged army defectors appeared beside the kidnapped reporters, claiming that the rebels were protecting the TV crew from the government forces’ bombardment and a cameraman assistant among the four staffers, was killed due to the shelling on the town.

The other three appeared in the video intact. The kidnappers said they want the “Assad gangs” to stop the shelling on al-Tal and to allow the displaced residents to return to their homes.

Targeting the reporters, who mainly work for the state-media, has become increasingly common these days. Some people have become afraid to appear on media out of fear of reprisals by armed opposition.

[…]

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/13/c_131782722.htm

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August 13th, 2012, 8:45 am

 

253. ann said:

Syrian president special envoy to visit China – 2012-08-13

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-08/13/c_131782658.htm

BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) — The Chinese Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Syrian president special envoy Bouthaina Shaaban is to visit China on Tuesday.

During the visit, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will hold talks with Shaaban, who is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s political and media advisor, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a written reply to a reporter’s question.

“Meanwhile, China is also considering inviting members of the Syrian opposition groups to visit,” Qin added.

Qin said China has always actively promoted its work between the Syrian government and the opposition in a balanced way to achieve a political solution to the Syria issue.

The spokesman noted China has been urging the two sides to substantially implement the six-point peace plan proposed by the UN-AL joint envoy Kofi Annan, the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the Geneva communique agreed by the Action Group meeting of major world powers on June 30.

China urges both sides to cease fire immediately, protect civilians and resolve the crisis through political dialogue, the spokesman said.

[…]

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-08/13/c_131782658.htm

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August 13th, 2012, 8:53 am

 

254. Dawoud said:

I am not always uncritical of the U.S. government, particularly its outrageous support of the Zionist occupation of Palestine-which is even more outrageous than Vladimir Putin’s support for Syria’s bloody dictator! However, I find the image of Hilary Clinton-who has, despite her Zionist positions-an admirable side-dancing in South Africa very nice and humane. Hilary’s image dancing is much more preferable than seeing the American-accented female being interviewed on Press TV, which is used to defame the Syrian Revolution and portray it as an American/Saudi/Qatari conspiracy! Maybe the American-accented Nasrillat translator should start dancing, instead of defaming Syria’s martyrs-including Hamza al-Khateeb-whom she claimed was murdered by “Saudi terrorists!” This claim makes her a good RT/Press TV naive propagandist!

Please read real history books about Arabs and Muslims from a variety of sources, not just those in Hizbistan’s library! What does the RT/Press TV analyst think about Michel Samaha conspiring with Bashar (and Nasrillat) to kill Lebanese Sunnis in Lebanon’s Sunni hearland (Akkar)? Didn’t he say that “this is what Bashar wants [sic]?”

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

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August 13th, 2012, 9:03 am

 

255. ann said:

China steps up diplomacy with Syria envoy visit – August 13, 2012

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-syria-crisis-chinabre87c0c8-20120813,0,7108907.story

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Monday that it would host an envoy of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and consider another visit by members of the opposition, as Beijing steps up its diplomacy to help resolve the crisis gripping the country.

In its latest effort, China’s foreign ministry said Assad’s envoy, Bouthaina Shaaban, would begin a visit to China on Tuesday and meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

The ministry added that China was also considering inviting members of the Syrian opposition.

“To promote the political solution to the Syria problem, China has always actively balanced its work between the Syrian government and the opposition,” ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a brief statement on the ministry’s website (www.mfa.gov.cn).

Qin reiterated China’s call for the “practical implementation” of Kofi Annan’s peace plan, which is now essentially dead, and for “an immediate ceasefire and for the violence to stop; for the effective protection of civilians and to defuse the crisis through political dialogue.”

“Receiving Shaaban in China is part of the above-mentioned work by the Chinese side,” Qin said. “Meanwhile, China is also considering inviting Syrian opposition groups in the near term to China.”

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University, said China was keen to show it was not taking sides in the Syrian conflict.

China has repeatedly expressed its opposition to outside intervention in troubled countries as well to any kind of “regime change” or political solution which is not broadly supported by the Syrian people.

[…]

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-syria-crisis-chinabre87c0c8-20120813,0,7108907.story

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August 13th, 2012, 9:04 am

 

256. ann said:

I have 3 posts in the spam filter!

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August 13th, 2012, 9:12 am

 

257. Hamoudeh al-Halabi said:

Homs: Before and After
http://freehalab.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/homs-before-and-after/

Shaykh Mouaz al-Khatib’s Courageous Call for Freedom in the Face of Oppression
http://freehalab.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/shaykh-muadh-al-khatibs-courageous-call-for-freedom-in-the-face-of-oppression/

“Freedom is granted by God, not by a ruler, or a government, or a state“

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August 13th, 2012, 9:29 am

 

258. b said:

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August 13th, 2012, 9:31 am

 

259. ann said:

Syria: Violence rages in Aleppo and close to capital Damascus – 13/08/2012

http://www.dp-news.com/en/detail.aspx?articleid=128489

DAMASCUS- Activists reported more clashes Sunday in some Damascus suburbs, the battleground city of Aleppo in the north, central Homs province, and the restive southern town of Daraa.

On Monday, reports say clashes continue in Aleppo as the Syrian Army troops took control over al-A’damiah and al-Mashehad neighborhoods. Other official Media sources also indicate that the Syrian troops have confronted the militants attempting over again to attack the Central Prison and Aleppo Airport.

On the situation in the capital, the pro-government Al-Watan newspaper spoke of “foiled bids to break the calm in Damascus, which was cleansed of terrorist groups who terrified residents.”

In Damascus and based on information from locals, the competent authorities uncovered tunnels under a house in the Old City of Damascus, in which they found large amounts of weapons and ammo and arrested a number of terrorists who had been stockpiling stolen equipment and medicine in that house to treated injured terrorists, state news agency SANA reported Sunday.

In northern Aleppo province, security forces ambushed Sunday an armed group at Aghyour roundabout, killing and wounding a number of its members, SANA said.

In central Homs province, government forces destroyed Sunday two hideouts of armed groups in al-Hamidieh neighborhood, killing tens of “terrorists” and destroying an ammunition dump.

Also in Homs, authorities pursued an armed group in Talbiseh city and arrested 26 of its members, who were attacking citizens and blocking streets.

In the southern province of Daraa & also on Sunday, government troops pursued armed groups at al-Nazihin camp, SANA said, adding that the confrontation left a number of armed men killed or injured.

In the northwestern province of Idlib, authorities arrested Sunday a number of armed men who have committed acts of killing and robbery, and confiscated 80 explosive devices.

[…]

http://www.dp-news.com/en/detail.aspx?articleid=128489

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August 13th, 2012, 9:39 am

 
 

261. bronco said:

#239 Tara

An original country ruling style is unfolding: A Democratic Islamism
Let’s give it time…

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August 13th, 2012, 9:53 am

 

262. SANDRO LOEWE said:

247. CITIZEN,

It is atonishing your tendecy to discover the dark side of human being when talking about US and co. but how easily you forgot that dark side when talking about dictatorships like Syria, Iran, and the rest.

The question is , why ?

Maybe you think when we have a good righteous guy in power we do not need democracy, then only when the bad and perverse need to rule they need to create democracy to justify their ends?

What a FUXXX perserve way of thinking.

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August 13th, 2012, 9:56 am

 

263. irritated said:

Dwood

“Syria’s ongoing revolution is NOT a Saudi/Western/etc. conspiracy.”

It is NOT ONLY a Saudi western conspiracy, for sure.
No revolution have only one reason

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August 13th, 2012, 10:10 am

 

264. ann said:

Syria: Outrage after video shows bodies thrown from roof
AFP – August 13, 2012

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/RestOfAsia/Syria-Outrage-after-video-shows-bodies-thrown-from-roof/Article1-913073.aspx

Horrific videos purportedly showing Syrian rebels throwing the bodies of postal workers off a roof and a man’s throat being savagely cut triggered outrage among rights activist on Monday.

Three videos all showing the apparent atrocities in the province of Aleppo, including a bound man being repeatedly shot, were posted on YouTube on Monday.

“What is the difference between them and a wild animal in the jungle? At least a wild animal does not kill unless it is hungry,” said Massoud Akko, a Kurdish activist and co-founder of the Association of Syrian Journalists.

In one grisly scene, a crowd of people shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) gathered around several bodies crumpled on the ground outside a building before another three victims are hurled one-by-one from the rooftop.

The incident was said to have taken place in rebel-controlled Al-Bab near the northern metropolis of Aleppo and the victims were identified as postal workers, but it was not clear when the killings occurred.

“These are the heroes of Al-Bab city who are inside the post office,” the man shooting the video said.

In another shocking amateur video, a blindfolded man, with his hands tied behind his back, struggled as a group of men forced him to lie down on a pavement in Aleppo.

The man calls out: “I would rather die by a bullet.”

A man retorts: “Shut up.”

As the group chanted “Allahu Akbar,” the assailant forced what appeared to be a small knife repeatedly across his throat as his blood spurted onto the pavement.

“This is the fate of all those who support Bashar (al-Assad),” said the man filming the video.

And a third clip, purportedly shot in Aazaz, also in Aleppo province, showed a bearded man being hauled out of a car boot with his hands tied behind his back and pushed to the ground.

One man opens fire on him with a small pistol, only to be joined by another with a rifle. They shoot many times at the man, who dies face down in a field.

[…]

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/RestOfAsia/Syria-Outrage-after-video-shows-bodies-thrown-from-roof/Article1-913073.aspx

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August 13th, 2012, 10:11 am

 

265. bronco said:

328 Juergen

Samaha is decorated from the French Honor Legion, an award given for remarquable services rendered to France.
No word from Hollande…

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August 13th, 2012, 10:17 am

 

266. irritated said:

#252 Ann

The “angels” turning into Nazi-like butchers

An appetizer of what’s to come when the country will be ruled by such guys.
As they claim God is with them, we’ll have to bow.

When will the West plan a “No Cut-Throat zone” ?

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August 13th, 2012, 10:23 am

 

267. jna said:

Re: 251. ann

The man calls out: “I would rather die by a bullet.”

A man retorts: “Shut up.”

As the group chanted “Allahu Akbar,” the assailant forced what appeared to be a small knife repeatedly across his throat as his blood spurted onto the pavement.

“This is the fate of all those who support Bashar (al-Assad),” said the man filming the video.

And the USA is supporting these fanatic lunatics to rule Syria?

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August 13th, 2012, 10:25 am

 

268. Tara said:

Bronco

What did Samaha do to deserve the award? Did he worship a French man?

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August 13th, 2012, 10:26 am

 

269. Citizen said:

249. SANDRO LOEW
Robert Fisk is the true adress ! it is just new from Belfast Telegraph!it is not my opinion!

by the way also not my opinion too when gentelmen here speak about dictatorship !we are the recipients а wonderful information from various mass media,so take care about your emotions and 3 XXX

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August 13th, 2012, 10:27 am

 

270. ann said:

254. jna said:

And the USA is supporting these fanatic lunatics to rule Syria?

No price is too high for our beloved `israel!

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August 13th, 2012, 10:30 am

 

271. Observer said:

Once again I condemn any act of violence. It is most unfortunate that people had to resort to arms for self defense and any act of revenge is NOT acceptable.

We must preserve the diversity of Syria, we must make sure that people are not persecuted or discriminated against in any community and on any basis.

Justice is blind and equal and above all. It is meant to expunge revenge first and foremost.

Those people that were killed in Aleppo from the Barri clan and those bodies thrown from the roof of the building they have mothers and wives and children and no matter what they did or did not do there is NO place for any acts of revenge.

I do not accept explanation or justification due to highly emotional state people are in this is NOT acceptable.

Unfortunately the ICG report confirms what I have been saying all along that this is a mafia state and is degenerating into a militia sectarian conflict.

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August 13th, 2012, 10:35 am

 

272. VISITOR said:

They say immitation is the highest form of flattery.

What did I do to deserve that honor IRRITATED @253?

Nazi-like huh?

So, am I going to become your source of inspiration, now?

TARA will be sooooooooo jealous!!

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August 13th, 2012, 10:37 am

 

273. Citizen said:

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August 13th, 2012, 10:39 am

 

274. ann said:

Assassinating Syria’s Public Service, Professional Class – 13 August 2012

http://www.pacificfreepress.com/opinion/12179-assassinating-syrias-public-service-professional-class.html

Syrian Atrocity: Bodies of Postal Workers

UK-based journalist and broadcaster Neil Clark says the violence carried out by rebels turns ordinary Syrians away from the opposition. If previously rebels were believed to have had all the support, “it is the other way around now.”

“We had people who supported Assad at the beginning. I mean a lot of people not sure which way to go. They actually are being turned off by the atrocities you outlined. And I would say that possibly the support for President Assad is stronger now than back in March, 2011,”Clark told RT.

­The reports of the atrocity against public service workers come as Washington and Ankara have discussed introducing a “no-fly zone” over Syria to help the rebels, and have set up a joint group “to facilitate regime change.”

But the fact that the rebels are calling for foreign intervention only stresses the desperate situation they find themselves in, believes Dr. Ali Mohamad, editor-in-chief of the Syria Tribune.

“Every time they call for foreign intervention they are just reassuring everybody that they cannot do anything on the ground,” he told RT. “They lost in Damascus. They are losing Aleppo as we speak.”

“If they claim they have popular support as they have been saying for 17 months why do they need foreign intervention?”

[…]

http://www.pacificfreepress.com/opinion/12179-assassinating-syrias-public-service-professional-class.html

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August 13th, 2012, 10:40 am

 

275. I'm A real American said:

Spam Ann,
(No price is too high for our beloved `israel!)
you admit you are a self hating jew?

——————————————————————
Citizen Putin,
It might not be your opinion but the fact that you only post pro-russian/assad news says more about your opinions that you lead us to believe.

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August 13th, 2012, 10:41 am

 

276. irritated said:

Visitor

“So, am I going to become your source of inspiration, now?”

Absolutely! you are a real inspiration to us all.
I can’t yet match your dismissive and patronizing style, but I am working on it too.
Yet, I won’t try to imitate you on your abundant predictions or your insidious religious sectarism. It’s not neither in my culture not in my genes.

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August 13th, 2012, 10:51 am

 

277. Tara said:

Visitor,

Yes. Tara is a very jealous woman, selectively…Irritated, please do not imitate Visitor. ;). For the record, I like to copy Zoo..

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August 13th, 2012, 10:53 am

 

278. ann said:

Syrian army advances into another insurgent-held district in Aleppo – Aug 13, 2012

The Syrian army has advanced into another insurgent-held district in the flash point city of Aleppo as the military operation to clear the northern city of armed groups enters its sixth day.

Syrian troops stormed the western district of Saif al-Dawla on Monday and heavy clashes are still taking place in the area.

The army has launched a mop-up operation against insurgents in Aleppo since Wednesday and so far, several districts, including insurgents’ stronghold of Salahuddin, have been cleared of terrorist groups.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/13/256033/syrian-army-advances-into-saif-aldawla/

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August 13th, 2012, 10:53 am

 

279. Citizen said:

ha ha ha !
stop lie! Putin your significant partner! in Afghanistan and in various areas! Ask Madame Puggi how nervous she was when Mr. Lavrov absent when he was in Australia! do you lost a landmark Mr Real with a capital letter ?

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August 13th, 2012, 10:58 am

 

280. ann said:

“The mother of all battles”

Syrian Forces Enter Aleppo District – 13/08/2012

MOSCOW, August 13 (RIA Novosti) – Syrian government troops on Monday stormed the western neighborhood of the rebel-held city of Aleppo using tanks and armored vehicles, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Clashes with rebel fighters have been reported in the Saif al-Dawla neighborhood with the bombarded by regime forces ongoing since morning.

Observers have viewed the battle for Aleppo as a major watershed in the Syrian conflict that could decide the future of the armed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Aleppo, a city of 2.5 million people, has remained the hot spot of Syria’s civil conflict since last week, when pro-government forces launched a massive assault on the city in a colossal push to regain control of key territories across the country. The media proclaimed the fight for Aleppo “the mother of all battles.”

[…]

http://en.ria.ru/world/20120813/175189878.html

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August 13th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

281. zoo said:

Syrian opposition calls for no-fly zone as violence rages
2012-08-13 11:57:09

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/13/c_131781580.htm

• A Syrian opposition leader in exile called on Sunday for a no-fly zone in border areas.
• Fighting continued escalating between government forces and rebels across the Mideast country.
• U.S. and some other Western countries are explicit about their demand for Assad to step down.

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August 13th, 2012, 11:09 am

 

282. Uzair8 said:

The reports of the MiG being shot were reported on AJE blog earlier. Regime media reported a training jet crashed whilst on a training mission (something like that). The rebels claimed they captured the pilot.

Here is a video of the pilot (?):

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August 13th, 2012, 11:10 am

 

283. Uzair8 said:

While the regime forces are busy in Aleppo:

NOW_Syria
Rebels killed sixty-nine regime troops and Shabiha members in an attack on a checkpoint n Daraa, Al-Arabiya reported #Syria

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/now-syria-rebels-killed-sixty-nine-regime-troops/

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August 13th, 2012, 11:14 am

 

284. I'm A real American said:

Citizen Putin,
The statue of liberty is a landmark, the twin towers were buildings.
And at least the head of the FBI was not explicitly involved in bombing his own citizens. Come to think of it, it is very clear where the assad regime got the idea of bombing their own people to ‘fight’ terrorists.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_apartment_bombings
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Chechen_War

Afghanistan went really well for ‘em Ruskies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Afghanistan

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August 13th, 2012, 11:15 am

 

285. Citizen said:

U.S. TREASURY NOW DIRECTS
THE WAR ON SYRIA:
Says the US Department of War!
http://www.kirwanesque.net/2012/4465/flash/
“The Obama administration unveiled new sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and Iran as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton heads to Turkey for weekend talks with top Turkish officials and Syrian opposition activists.

The administration singled out Syrian state-run oil company Sytrol for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, which were imposed in an effort to curtail Tehran’s alleged nuclear weapons development operation.

According to the State Department, Sytrol sold $36 million worth of gasoline to Iran in April- providing additional financial resources to the Assad regime while also bolstering Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

In addition, the Treasury Department Friday designated Hezbollah, the Iran-backed organization classified by the U.S. as a terrorist group, for providing training and logistical support to the Assad forces.”

Note: Israel created both Hezbollah & Hamas to defeat the Palestinians, only to see both of these groups turn against Israel, in the current conflict. (k)

“The new measures come as Clinton prepares for Saturday’s discussions in Istanbul that will focus on forming a “common operational picture” with the Turks and Syrians to guide a democratic transition in post-Assad Syria, the officials said.”” (1)

The second article was – “11 Aug 2012 The United States and Turkey indicated on Saturday they might impose no-fly zones in Syria as battles between [CIA-backed] rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces shook Aleppo and fighting erupted in the heart of Damascus.

(This is the exact same thing that was done to Libya, just prior to the NATO desecration of that country. Libya too was supposedly brought down by rebels from within which later proved to be NATO & UN forces from outside that country – k)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after meeting her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul that Washington and Ankara should develop detailed operational planning on ways to assist the ‘rebels’ fighting to topple Assad. “Our intelligence services, our military have very important responsibilities and roles to play so we are going to be setting up a working group to do exactly that,” she said.” (2)

The third link to the conflict brings in the Jordanian connection. Jordon is home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Refugees living in very vulnerable camps that could compromise Jordan should this “WAR” spread further.

“The Jordanian army has destroyed two Syrian border outposts by tank shelling after clashes broke out between the two sides.

Clashes erupted late Friday in the Tel Shihab-Turra area, about 50 miles north of the Jordanian capital Amman.

Jordanian officials say reports of any casualties have not been released.

Meanwhile, France has deployed troops to the Syrian border with Jordan. The French government announced that its soldiers had been deployed “to help refugees” in the border area.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that there are reports that a very large number of the insurgents in Syria are foreign nationals.” (3)…/./…
————————-
The reason for this action came because the Department of the Treasury and Hillary Clinton need the services of America’s most corrupt banking institution to coerce Turkey and Lebanon into assisting in the completely criminal overthrow of the Syrian government—thereby placing the U.S. Treasury in charge of making WAR on a nation that has no intention or desire to attack the USA (However attacking USI or Israel), might be quite another matter.
placing the U.S. Treasury in charge of making WAR on a nation that has no intention or desire to attack the USA

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August 13th, 2012, 11:18 am

 

286. irritated said:

Uzair8

The Revolution in Syria has turned into a competition game:

The one who wins is the one who kills the largest number of Syrians

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August 13th, 2012, 11:19 am

 

287. Uzair8 said:

273 Irritated

Soldiers/fighters.

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August 13th, 2012, 11:26 am

 

288. Uzair8 said:

‘Very interesting picture posted by Anwar Malek: Arab League Monitor met this man in prison, who was presented to him as a dangerous person from Al Qaeda who killed tens. Later he saw the same man in a pro Assad rally’

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/very-interesting-picture-posted-by-anwar-malek-arab-league-monitor-met-this-man-in-prison-who-was-presented-to-him-as-a-dangerous-person-from-al-qaeda-who-killed-tens-later-he-saw-the-same-man-in-a/

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August 13th, 2012, 11:28 am

 

289. zoo said:

Sounds “promising”, but who else wants to get into that quagmire?

Lakhdar Brahimi’s Long Career of Useless Diplomacy
By As’ad AbuKhalil – Sat, 2012-08-11 18:34- Angry Corner

We are led to believe that the UN, or “the international community” which is the term that has been coined by the US empire to disguise its wars of aggression behind the veneer of international legitimacy, has just appointed retired Algerian diplomat, Lakhdar Brahimi, as its envoy to Syria. As if we don’t know how those appointments come about.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/angry-corner/lakhdar-brahimis-long-career-useless-diplomacy

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August 13th, 2012, 11:31 am

 

290. irritated said:

274. Uzair8

Do you mean that the soldiers/fighters are not counted are Syrians?

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August 13th, 2012, 11:33 am

 

291. zoo said:

Egypt: There Goes the Army; There Goes the Free Media; There Goes Egypt
August 11, 2012 – 11:53 pm – by Barry Rubin
http://pjmedia.com/barryrubin/2012/08/11/egypt-there-goes-the-free-media/


Oh and to put the icing on the cake, Mursi will apparently decide who will be on the commission that writes the new Consttitution.

Behind the scenes note: Would Mursi dared have done this if he thought Obama would come down on him like a ton of bricks? Would the army give up if they thought America was behind it? No on both counts.

This is a coup. Mursi is bound by no constitution. He can do as he pleases unless someone is going to stop him. And the only candidate–the military–is fading fast, far faster than even we pessimists would have predicted.

Muslim Brotherhood President al-Mursi has also just named the editors of the top Egyptian newspaper and other media outlets. They are state-owned, you know, and there are a half-dozen good little independent newspapers.

But one of them, al-Destour (ironically meaning “The Constitution”), has just had a full issue seized on charges of “fueling sedition” and “harming the president through phrases and wording punishable by law.” We know this through a report in the Middle East News Agency, the state-owned monopoly.

And what was the inflammatory report? That the Brotherhood was going to seize power and that liberals and the army should join together to stop the country from being turned into an Islamist regime.

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August 13th, 2012, 11:36 am

 

292. zoo said:

Is the honeymoon really over or just a newly-wed dispute?

(Reuters) – The Islamist group Hamas, stunned by Egypt’s closure of its border with Gaza, said on Monday the new Islamist leadership in Cairo was imposing the same pain on the Palestinian enclave as ousted former president, Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt pulled the shutters down on the Rafah passenger terminal a week ago after unidentified militants shot dead 16 Egyptian police near the Gaza border before launching an attack on neighboring Israel that was swiftly smothered.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/13/us-palestinians-egypt-crossing-idUSBRE87C0IC20120813

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August 13th, 2012, 11:39 am

 

293. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Fisk, go to hell you and your conspiracy theories about Israel. It is all about the syrian people asking for freedoms. Please show some respect for the people. Many of us know our country much much better than you, even Lebanon. You made a bussiness of your know-how about politicians and mafious middle eastern leaders. But now it is a question of getting in touch with people’s realities, economical failures, etc. Weak up or go to hell.

It is not about Iran and Israel. This revolution has not been ordered by your mafious criminal colleagues from both sides but by the people. The unravelling and deep will of the people of Syria.

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August 13th, 2012, 11:45 am

 

294. jna said:

Reporters Without Borders


“Recent brutality towards official and pro-government media organizations gives serious cause for concern about the fate of the four al-Ikhbariya workers. We call on the leaders of the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council to make every effort to ensure the journalists are released without delay.”
[…]
http://en.rsf.org/syria-fate-of-missing-pro-government-tv-11-08-2012,43208.html

“A pro-government Syrian TV station said Monday one of its cameramen who was kidnapped three days ago is believed to be dead while the others are being held by rebels near the capital Damascus.”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/08/13/syria-hostage-reported-killed.html

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August 13th, 2012, 11:46 am

 

295. Uzair8 said:

277. Irritated

Nope.

I mean that the regime loyalists are prepared to kill as many civilians as it takes to remain in power.

The sooner the rebels defeat the regime the more lives will be saved.

This is about saving syrians from other syrians.

There are syrians who have given their life or defected due to refusing to kill fellow syrians.

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August 13th, 2012, 11:49 am

 

296. Son of damascus said:

Since the regimists favourite lying nun is at it again, I would like to yet again bring into light what Nuncio Mario Zenari the head of the Catholic Church in Syria had to say:

Zenari rejected reports by unspecified media that minority Christians were being targeted by some armed opposition groups.

Vatican news agency Fides reported on Tuesday that Christians had massively fled the town of Qusayr, near Homs, where only about 1,000 were left of the 10,000 who lived there before the outbreak of violence.

Fides said they were forced to leave after an armed opposition group led by general Abdel Salam Harba set an ultimatum. Christians in Qusayr were reportedly no longer allowed to move around freely and forced to let Muslims pass first.

“So far, I would say that Christians share the same sad fate as all Syrians (…) I would not say that they are the object of particular discriminations, less so persecutions,” said Zenari.

The lot of Christians in Syria today does not compare to that in other countries in the region, he said. “Sometimes it is compared to Iraq, but you cannot compare this.”

In an October 2010 attack, militants stormed a church in central Baghdad, killing 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force personnel. It was claimed by al-Qaida’s local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq.

Dozens of attacks on churches and houses of worship since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 served to raise sectarian tensions there.

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/43330-vatican-envoy-syria-has-started-descent-into-hell

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August 13th, 2012, 11:52 am

 

297. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Assad and the alawites are Genkhis Khan and the Moguls of the 21st century.

We always heard shami people being called Tamerlanjis, now we know why. Tamerlanjis are the sons of those who came from outside to Damascus city to steal and destroy our culture and values.

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August 13th, 2012, 12:01 pm

 

298. irritated said:

#295 Uzair8

They said that anyone who supports Bashar is an enemy and does not deserve to live as they were killing the Post office employees.

Obviously you are still in the illusion of the freedom and justice
‘angels’. This revolution has unleashed the lowest and most bestial feelings in human beings. It’s sick.

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August 13th, 2012, 12:04 pm

 

299. Citizen said:

Rules and Regulations
The purpose of the comment section is to promote informed debate, share pertinent information and news items, and encourage constructive criticism and analysis.
the following elements will not be tolerated:
•Personal attacks against other contributors;

293. SANDRO LOEWE SAID:
go to hell you and your conspiracy theories about Israel…. … Weak up or go to hell….
Mr Moderator it is not acceptable !!!

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August 13th, 2012, 12:11 pm

 

300. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Fisk, the bad news is that you are a part of the problem. You are a part of the system formed by: Reporters, politicians, diplomatic personel, secret agents, army officials, etc. You have been living over your merits and back to people’s realities.

The good news is that some reporters, specially young ones, are still in time to leave this decaying system and join the people’s news sources, getting in touch with new surging political agents.

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August 13th, 2012, 12:11 pm

 

301. Johannes de Silentio said:

test

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August 13th, 2012, 12:36 pm

 

302. SANDRO LOEWE said:

299. CITIZEN,

I am not attacking Mr. Citizen, who is a respectable contributor, unless you are the real MR. FISK.

I am asking Mr. Fisk to go to hell (which is a will action) or weak up (wich may be out of his will). I think it is better asking him to go to hell than wishing him being abducted by the Jundi Al Cham Al Qaeda Assad Branch (Trade Mark Registered) while Assad accuses the wild Al Qaeda Original Bros Co.

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August 13th, 2012, 12:40 pm

 

303. VISITOR said:

297 SANDRO LOEWE

Regarding your comment, I suggest you find out how the people of Syria were saved from the Mongolian invasion (thanks to Egypt), read more,

http://www.diwanalarab.com/spip.php?article4486

Also you may want to find out more about the Nusayris, since they played a collaborative role with Taymoour against Syria at that time. Google search for a word document by د. محمد بن إبراهيم الحمد

The title is النُّصَيْرية
حقيقتها _ تاريخها _ عقائدها

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August 13th, 2012, 1:18 pm

 

304. VISITOR said:

Moderator/Administrator,

I have a comment in jail. Please release. Thanks.

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August 13th, 2012, 1:19 pm

 

305. Erin said:

Mr. Landis
would you please unlock the comments still being moderated under my name and all the restriction put on commentators IP’s.

It is unfortunatly to feel that the last moderator needed to be moderated.

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August 13th, 2012, 1:35 pm

 

306. Observer said:

What do people make of the Syrian Ambassador in Tehran announcing that the regime is willing to sit and talk to the opposition?

Also Al Quds has the news that the Syrian Delegate to the UN human rights commission in Geneva has defected, is that true?

One more blow to the regime.

ANN posts to say that Bouthina is going to China, what for? To open front companies like Makhlouf is doing in Moscow?

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August 13th, 2012, 1:53 pm

 

307. observer said:

I am puzzled for I went to RT and to Press TV and to ALikhbaria and AL Manar and I really cannot find any news worth mentioning about the regime and its success stories.

Please help and let me know if you are also finding a paucity of news from the pro regime outlets.

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August 13th, 2012, 1:57 pm

 

308. Syria no Kandahar said:

Friends of revolution supporters evil acts(very disturbing..wahabi head cutting):

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August 13th, 2012, 2:27 pm

 

309. Citizen said:

@306.
Mr. Moderator! Please put a warning sign near the video! I have the reflex to vomit came when I looked!

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August 13th, 2012, 2:55 pm

 

310. Ales said:

Conspiracies never happen. All that has passed in Palestine, Iraq and Libya has been good intentions gone bad, just stubborn natives not realizing they are standing up against advancing democracy.
A little armed foreign help and matter is settled…

Going on in Syria.

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August 13th, 2012, 3:17 pm

 

311. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I support the revolution. But the savagery of some of the revolutionaries (as seen in #306), makes me sick. The leadership of the revolution MUST issue a condemnation and warn against such despicable actions.
.

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August 13th, 2012, 3:17 pm

 

312. Citizen said:

A former Syrian politician persecuted and forced underground for more than ten years tells RT what he thinks is going wrong with his country.

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August 13th, 2012, 3:26 pm

 

313. Tara said:

Amir

I do too. The SNC has condemned prior brutal acts of some rebels publicly. It also condemned the Barri clan ‘s execution. Condemnation is no longer enough. The leadership of the FSA snd the SNC should make it clear that the rebels committing those kind of acts will be haunted down and be brought to justice.

I just want to point out that most of us who support the revolution do condemn those savage acts, in very much contrast to loyalists who always cheered the regime savegry. I hope people see the difference.

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August 13th, 2012, 3:27 pm

 

314. Citizen said:

Here the soil where it grows this kind of cutting heads!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPU3lNF9AAg
in that video @ 306 there is the voice of a Saudi dialect (where the camera is not shown) and it seems he is the author of this story

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August 13th, 2012, 3:35 pm

 

315. VISITOR said:

311 TARA made a very good observation. Menhebeks never condemned the Nazi-like criminal regime for the countless atrocities it committed. In fact, they cheered all those atrocities and even called for more. All of the regimist commentators without exceptions did the cheering for the last 17 months and many called for the so-called security solution even the writer of the current main post few months ago when he presumably came back from a visit to Syria, as well as Norman who professes Arabism and presumably a Gynocologist (really???), and the rest of the gang.

The pressure cooker quite often explodes, regrettably.

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August 13th, 2012, 3:36 pm

 

316. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara,

#311: “…The leadership of the FSA snd the SNC should make it clear that the rebels committing those kind of acts will be haunted down and be **brought to justice**.

I strongly agree.
.

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August 13th, 2012, 3:40 pm

 

317. VISTOR said:

Dear Moderator/Administrator/Dr. Landis,

I still have a comment stuck in jail!!!

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August 13th, 2012, 3:50 pm

 

318. Tara said:

Visitor,

Not only the they did not condemn the regime savegry, they applauded it by endorsing the ” security solution”, “disinfecting and cleansing”, etc, and worse, they did not even have the slightest decency of validating our outrage by incessantly attacking the validity of every you tube showing the crimes committed by this heinous regime. Their rebuttal of the authenticity of those YouTube clips were as heinous as the crime itself. The regime supporters are really in need for humanity class..

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August 13th, 2012, 3:52 pm

 

319. VISITOR said:

Dear moderator,
Dear Administrator,
Dear Dr. landis,

I still have a comment in the filter.

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August 13th, 2012, 3:52 pm

 

320. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The shabbiha who wore Prada
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1kFiL-jpEM
.

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August 13th, 2012, 3:52 pm

 

321. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Sorry for slow posting. I’m with the IDF now, serving my duties as a reservist. Regular posting resumes in 11 days from tonight.
.

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August 13th, 2012, 3:57 pm

 

322. ann said:

Syrian refugees try to tear down Jordan camp fence – August 13, 2012

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/08/13/2061173/syrian-refugees-try-to-tear-down.html

ZAATARI, Jordan — More than 50 Syrian refugee youths have tried to tear down an enclosure fence at Jordan’s first refugee tent city, saying they wanted to flee.

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the incident at the Zaatari camp near the Syrian border says government security guards fired three warning shots in the air to disperse the angry crowd.

No injuries from Monday’s incident were reported, and the guards have quieted the outburst.

More than 3,300 refugees in the desert camp have expressed dissatisfaction with its harsh conditions, including extreme heat and cold and constant dust-laden winds.

[…]

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/08/13/2061173/syrian-refugees-try-to-tear-down.html

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August 13th, 2012, 4:00 pm

 

323. omen said:

this is from wednesday, aug 8th:

Free Syrian Army has shot down a plane and destroyed five tanks in Aleppo, according Al Jazeera correspondent

via uzair8 at 243:

Video: Activist says rebels hit MiG in Mo Hassan, Dier ez-Zor

did rebels shoot down two planes?

!!!

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August 13th, 2012, 4:04 pm

 

324. zoo said:

Flow of media propaganda of the rebels spectacular “victories” as the Syrian army storms another ‘liberated’ area of Aleppo and the UN accuses both parties of ignoring civilians..

Syrian troops overrun rebellious district in Aleppo
2012-08-13
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/13/c_123578528.htm

DAMASCUS, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) — Activists said Syrian troops backed by tanks and armored vehicles stormed a rebel-held district in the battered Aleppo city in northern Syria on Monday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces rolled intothe western part of the Saif al-Dawla neighbourhood of Aleppo, adding that the army units were backed with tanks and armored vehicles.

It said that clashes with rebel fighters have erupted in the area.

The Observatory also said several parts of the Salahuddien neighbourhood in Aleppo have been subject to bombardment by regime forces since early hours Monday.

Salhuddien was the first to fall in the hands of the rebels, who have been taking pains to make a foothold in Aleppo as a prelude to a Libyan-style scenario.

Gaye said none of the conflicting parties in Syria is caring about the civilians.

“It’s clear that violence is increasing in many parts of Syria, the indiscriminate use of heavy weapon by the government and the targeted attacks by the opposition in urban centers are inflicting a heavy toll on innocent civilians,” he said.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:04 pm

 

325. irritated said:

#315 Tara

Your condemnation of the abuses of the rebels comes a little too late.
The rebels have made abuses and crimes very early in the uprising but you kept denying it because the whole media campaign was well organized by the opposition expats through Facebook and Youtube in favor of the opposition and for the demonization of the Syrian army and security through fabricated videos and a network of false eye witnesses and zealous militants who strangely have now disappeared.

With the arrival of the western media on the ground who are able to see and document on a daily basis the horrors the rebels are committing, now you and the media are obliged to admit it is happening… reluctantly, as your myth of the “heroic and pure freedom fighters” turned out to be a sinister parody.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:20 pm

 

326. omen said:

not justification but pointing to reality of conditions on the ground:

Safe Zones and Summary Executions

Only through the establishment of safe zones can revenge killings and summary executions be minimized. Towns and villages controlled by rebels at this stage are under siege and under constant shelling by Assad’s heavy artillery, helicopter gunships and now even MiGs. This situation is not ideal for holding prisoners over longer periods of time, or ensuring their safety. Rebels who can barely feed themselves and who have to continuously fight against incursions by pro-Assad militias cannot afford to take many prisoners, yet, they cannot just afford to let prisoners go and have to face the again in the battlefield. Unless rebels have secure places to which they can transport prisoners of war, their decisions in this regard will be dictated by the prevailing chaotic and emotional conditions in the battlefield, and the requirements of basic survival.

We have been clamoring for the establishment of safe zones in Syria for over a year now, because such zones offer safety and security not only to civilians running away from Assad’s oppression, but also to prisoners of war captured by the rebels. Those who are truly concerned about decreasing violations and infringements of basic rights should help us establish the necessary conditions that can minimize such occurrences. By helping rebels establish safe zones in liberated areas of Syria, international conventions regarding treatment of prisoners of war can be respected and transitional justice processes can begin at earnest, creating a credible alternative to warzone justice.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:22 pm

 

327. ghufran said:

the alleged pilot of the Mig Jet fighter asked soldiers and officers to defect from the “criminal regime”, one has to wonder why he agreed to bomb areas in dayr alzour if he believes the regime is criminal. the two videos shown about the jet and the pilot seem credible but we really do not know where and when the first video was shot and whether the guy on the second video is actually the pilot of that jet, will wait for a response from the regime.
another interesting phenomenon is the targeting of journalists who work for the government,we are talking about killing of journalists not a slap on the wrist,I am eager to know which Quranic verses or a law the rebels used to justify the execution of media workers even if they were pro regime.
one poster suggested that a no fly zone is imminent if the regime wins Aleppo,I failed to see the connection,I still think there will be no direct military intervention in Syria unless the army collapses, rebels in Aleppo will not be able to fight much longer unless they receive outside help from other areas or from outside Syria,but this war is far from over even if the regime wins Aleppo,there are now tens of thousands of anti regime fighters and arms trade is a multi billion dollar business in Syria now, nobody will be able to govern syria,all of Syria,even if he occupies the presidential palace in Damascus,the state has already collapsed in a number of areas and no force can bring the pieces together again.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:23 pm

 

328. irritated said:

320. omen said:

did rebels shoot down two planes?

Soon, I’ll be a whole squadron. Just anything to boost them. They need it.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:25 pm

 

329. SANDRO LOEWE said:

322. irritated

Your condemnation of Assad thousands of crimes will not come late. It seems it will never come. It is really a shame.

This is the difference between loyalists and oppositors. You will never recognize Assad inhumanity. While some of us, maybe most of us, feel sorrow for human beings being tortured and assasinated.

Come on, show yourself, do you feel sorrow for thousands of demonstrators bulleted, tortured til death, villages under siege, etc ???

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August 13th, 2012, 4:27 pm

 

330. SANDRO LOEWE said:

325. irritated

You feel proud as if you yourself were Assad and the entire Assad Milicias. Will you committ suicide if Assad is sacked and killed?

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August 13th, 2012, 4:30 pm

 

331. omen said:

arms trade is a multi billion dollar business in Syria now

tell that the rebel i saw interviewed pointing to a rusty old kalashnikov.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:30 pm

 

332. Syrialover said:

Tara, Amir, Observer,

The FSA and their allies need where possible to quickly investigate, identify and disarm any elements known to be dirtying the revolution, and then widely publicize the fact.

They also need to do a better job of sending out public messages – for example, condemning the disrespectful treatment of bodies, so civilians supporting the revolution as well as fighters know the standards and will remind others.

They must correct disinformation and get the truth out there as vigorously as the pro-regimists.

A current urgent example: were those people slain in Aleppo ordinary postal workers, or were they security men who died in intense fighting with rebels at a Militiary Intelligence building (See Uzair8 #232)?

This last one is crucial. The Assadist propaganda machine will make a feast of “innocent public servants being terrorized and murdered for working for the government”. Either way, the FSA needs to say loud and clear that this is not their policy and will not be tolerated.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:30 pm

 

333. irritated said:

As France gave Iskenderun to Turkey, I think the USA should give Edlib and the Azzaz region to Turkey.

I am sure Syria will survive very well without these areas who have shown they prefer to live under the FSA-Turkish control than Damascus central control.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:33 pm

 

334. bronco said:

329. Syrialover

“The FSA and their allies need where possible to quickly investigate, identify and disarm any elements known to be dirtying the revolution, and then widely publicize the fact.”

I said that months ago when I still had the hopes that the FSA was clean and proud and that they could become a potent party in eventual negotiations with the regime to solve the issue as peacefully as possible, as I knew the SNC was hopeless.

Since then I have no more illusions. The FSA lost their chance as they have now alienated most of the Syrians by tolerating among them extremists and criminals that they can’t get rid off anymore.
By neglecting to tackle this problem when it started, they have lost the heart and minds of the average Syrian.
It’s too late to change that, that’s why now the revolution is like a headless hen, running aimlessly.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:42 pm

 

335. irritated said:

Sandro Loewe

Will you committ suicide if Assad is sacked and killed?

Will you if he stays alive?

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August 13th, 2012, 4:44 pm

 

336. omen said:

325. irritated

would stories about unarmed civilians, including children, being cut down by regime snipers make you feel better?

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August 13th, 2012, 4:44 pm

 

337. irritated said:

Qatar foreign diplomacy: Take over of Egypt

Egypt fires Tantawi and take full power of the country less than 3 days after Qatar made deposit of 3 bn dollars in Egypt Central bank.
Coincidence?

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August 13th, 2012, 4:51 pm

 

338. VISITOR said:

315 TARA,

You’re 100% right.

By the way, it is OK with me if YOU use the term Nazi-like criminal regime to describe these delinquents. I wouldn’t even say you’re immitating me.

Because, I think this is the most appropriate term to describe them, and should be made routine calling them as such.

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August 13th, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

339. irritated said:

Omen

would stories about unarmed journalists and civilians, being summary slaughtered or thrown from the roof by rebels soldiers make you feel better?

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August 13th, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

340. Syrialover said:

So ugly witch propagandist Dr Bouthina Shabaan is off to Beijing.

Ha! That will punish the Chinese for not condemning the Assad regime.

I last heard Dr B.S. was in Moscow, but even they must have a limit to what they can bear to look at and listen to.

She’s probably been sent to Beijing to give some reinforcement lessons in poisonous lying to silly ambassador Imad Moustapha who is more absorbed in embarrassing attempts at portraying himself as a man of culture and intellect.

It’s interesting that Moustapha quit his Beijing blog a year ago, but for a laugh have a look at his pronouncements on western culture here. It’s clear he’s still shellshocked at no longer being Syria’s ambassador to the US:

http://imad_moustapha.blogs.com/imad_moustapha_the_blog/2012/06/on-english.html

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August 13th, 2012, 4:59 pm

 

341. omen said:

Some important questions about rebel video of man they say is captured jet pilot: why isn’t he in uniform? Why aren’t we shown ID?

ENGLISH SUBTITLES 4 interview with captured pilot of jet fighter gunned down by FSA

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August 13th, 2012, 4:59 pm

 

342. Tara said:

Irritated,

Why the stubborness? Showing you care about the thousands of unarmed protesters tortured and killed by the regime is not a sign of weakness, I promise you..

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August 13th, 2012, 5:17 pm

 

343. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Isn’t there a specific word for Helicopter in Arabic? Both, airplane and chopper are “Tayaran”?
.

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August 13th, 2012, 5:17 pm

 

344. bronco said:

Samaha Affair: Is the informant, Milad Kfoury, on Mossad payroll?

http://www.english.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=20726&cid=274

“As-Safir” Lebanese paper reported Monday that “former Minister Michel Samaha’s defense team, which is composed of lawyers Youssef Fenianos and Malek as-Sayyed, will initiate what looks like the counterattack in the Samaha case.”

“The lawyers will build their defense strategy on the theory that Samaha was lured into transferring the explosive devices in order to frame him,” it clarified.

In this context, “ad-Diyar” daily unveiled the agent Milad Kfouri is a friend to the head of the Internal Security Forces Information Branch Wissam Hassan.”

The paper also pointed out that ” the man visited the Zionist entity from Cyprus many times using a foreign passport,” as it highlighted that ” Kfouri has close ties with the “Israeli” Mossad secret service since the days of the late minister Elie Hobeika.”

“Kfouri’s work with the “Israeli” Mossad is of very high level,” it highlighted and alluded to the possibility that “the “Israeli” security apparatus revealed some of its agents to Hassan to cover up their link to Kfouri.”

“Will the crisis over the agent Kfouri lead to the sacking of the head of the ISF Hassan or immobilizing his work because it has led to a huge crisis – a crisis the size of Lebanon and Syria – after Hassan provided Kfouri with political asylum, just as the case with false witness Mohammad Zuheir Siddiq?” the daily wondered.

It stated ” the ISF paid 5 million dollars to Kfouri, to take all the information from Michel Samaha on President Bashar al-Assad and General Ali al-Mamlouk and what all he know about Hizbullah.”

“The money have been transferred from one account to another via a European bank to be later set in Kfouri’s wife’s account,” “ad-Diyar” learned.

It also emphasized that “a week ago, Hassan has safeguarded the travel of Kfouri’s family to Europe in coordination with an external security device.”

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August 13th, 2012, 5:21 pm

 

345. mjabali said:

Erin said:

“It is unfortunatly to feel that the last moderator needed to be moderated.”

I want to ask Dr. Landis to investigate if the last moderator shared our personal information with anyone.

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August 13th, 2012, 5:31 pm

 

346. irritated said:

#339 Tara

I care about all Syrians who suffered, died and still suffer because of an uprising that called for reforms and ended up by bringing out the worst feelings in the form of hatred and bloody revenge and finally lead the country to an absurd carnage.

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August 13th, 2012, 5:31 pm

 

347. omen said:

324. GHUFRAN said: I still think there will be no direct military intervention in Syria unless the army collapses, rebels in Aleppo will not be able to fight much longer unless they receive outside help from other areas or from outside Syria,

so this acknowledges rebels in reality aren’t getting much help from outside powers. about time! instead, we get fantastical conspiracies not ground in truth and not reflected in the conditions on the ground.

and arms trade is a multi billion dollar business in Syria now

yeah, from russia to the regime. and from iran sending in fuel, money and fighters.

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August 13th, 2012, 5:36 pm

 

348. mjabali said:

Ghufran:

You are right. The countryside of Lattakia is on fire. The Turkmen of Rabi’a established al-Turkmen Brigade and now attacking everything around them. Turkey is helping them a lot as obvious.

Also, few days ago the rebels of al-Qastal attacked an Alawi village and killed six of its inhabitants. The women and children of that village left and the men are now armed. Now there are Sunni and Alawi villages in the area posed to attack each other. These Alawi and Sunni villages are empty now from their women and children. Men left to fight each other. The situation is very dangerous.

Turkey is playing the dirtiest role by funneling fighters and arms.

The whole area is about to go up in flames.

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August 13th, 2012, 5:38 pm

 

349. Katamon said:

Amir, I was under the impression that a helicopter in Arabic is مروحية – merwachiyah..

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August 13th, 2012, 5:42 pm

 

350. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Katamon,

Thanks!
Isn’t “merwachiyah” a fan? BTW, by Katamon, do you mean קטמון?
.

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August 13th, 2012, 5:53 pm

 

351. Tara said:

Irritated,

The carnage was committed by the regime who you failed to condemn even once…. While I see the horrendous acts committed by some rebels who are “dirtying” the revolution, you have always seen no evil in this regime for whatever reason… while I do not believe that you have any mental “instability”, I do want to know how are your feelings any different from a true worshiper of a person or a cause? It is like the loving husband seeing with his own eyes his wife cheating then denying it ever happened, just out of love..what is it you glorify about this regime? Please tell me..

Who sawed this hatred Irritated? Was it not the regime who tortured children? Was it not the regime who beaten the cadavers, was it not the regime who gunned down the elderly woman who fell and during her fall her dentures came out and rolled in front of her dead bodies. Who taught these rebels hatred Irritated? Who made them monsters?

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August 13th, 2012, 5:55 pm

 

352. omen said:

loyalists only like victims who die without complaint. anybody who resists is a terrorist.

loyalists are threatened and feel persecuted when victims don’t cooperate with being subjugated.

it’s an odd mindset.

only thing that explains it for me is that assadists feel superior to their victims.

loyalists feel they deserve to be in power and everybody else is inferior.

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August 13th, 2012, 6:06 pm

 

353. ghufran said:

according to this report,western diplomats are abandoning SNC’s accidental politicians and looking at Syrian armed rebels:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/13/syria-opposition-groups-national-council

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August 13th, 2012, 6:17 pm

 

354. VISITOR said:

297 SANDRO LOEWE,

I wrote this comment for you earlier a reply to your comment, but it got stuck in the filter. So I am repeating it here.

You should read about the collaborative role the Nusayris played when the Mongols invaded Damascus and the other countries. Here’s a link which also shows how the people of Syria were saved thanks to Egyptt and to particularly to Ibn Taymiya,

http://www.fnoor.com/fn0045.htm

You should also read about the beliefs of this group. Here is an excellent study explaining in details,

http://thiqaruni.org/general2/512.pdf

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August 13th, 2012, 6:19 pm

 

355. ghufran said:

Luke Harding-The Guardian:
One Aleppo resident I speak to, an engineer living in a regime-controlled district, says he supports the revolution. But he admits many of his neighbours don’t. “If I were to generalise I would say the middle class and upper class don’t want the rebels. They want everything to be how it was,” he says. Many poorer Aleppines had welcomed the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA); others viewed it as a bunch of dangerous extremists; almost all were terrified of what the fighting would bring.

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August 13th, 2012, 6:22 pm

 

356. ghufran said:

رويترز: وزراء خارجية منظمة التعاون الإسلامي يتفقون على تعليق عضوية سوريا

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August 13th, 2012, 6:25 pm

 

357. Mick said:

Helicopter can go by many name in Arabic. Marwahiya is one. Taiera ‘Amwdiya is another.

But in Syria, it is Huwami

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August 13th, 2012, 6:30 pm

 

358. Syrialover said:

Irritated

cc Tara

Irritated said: “I care about all Syrians who suffered, died and still suffer because of an uprising that called for reforms and ended up by bringing out the worst feelings in the form of hatred and bloody revenge and finally lead the country to an absurd carnage.”

Irritated, your posts have done a good job of concealing this concern. The impression you seem to give is that the regime is flawless and blameless and was recklessly provoked.

I want to requote you with the missing sections:

“because of an uprising that called for reforms and ended up by bringing out the worst feelings in the form of hatred and bloody revenge [by the Assad regime] and finally lead the country to an absurd carnage [by the regime].”

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August 13th, 2012, 6:36 pm

 

359. irritated said:

#348 Tara

Your view on the situation in Syria is so focused on the dramas lived by the civilians that you miss the big picture.

The tragedy in Syria goes much beyond Bashar Al Assad, but to be reassured you prefer to think that there is only one culprit for all the horrors that took place and if he goes, Syria will become free and prosperous.

Sorry, I don’t think the same way. Maybe I am wrong. Only time will tell.

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August 13th, 2012, 6:48 pm

 

360. omen said:

sl

i can’t find it now but somebody had a poignant note that reminded how peaceful protests, where people offered flowers and water bottles to security forces, where met with bullets.

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August 13th, 2012, 6:54 pm

 

361. zoo said:

#304 Observer

Danny Al Baaj is ” a junior member of his country’s U.N. mission.” He is the third secretary in the Syrian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council”

“Syria is not a member of the 47-nation council, but al-Baaj worked with it as part of his duties.”

“I met with Syria’s (Geneva-based) charges d’affaires to let him know that I had made my decision to go to the opposition… He said it was my choice and wished me luck,” Al-Baaj said

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/158869#.UCmGyVKiri4

“A spokesman for the U.N. Human Rights Council, Rolando Gomez, identified the Syrian as Danny al-Baaj and described him as a junior member of his country’s U.N. mission.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Danny Al-Baaj, the third secretary in the Syrian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council and its highest diplomat in the group to defect, announced to reporters that he felt he could no longer do anything more for his nation.

“I announced my resignation on Friday on a Syrian web site and informed the Syrian charge d’affaires in Geneva,” he was quoted as saying by the Swiss news agency ATS. “I was in contact with an opposition group for some time. The situation continues to worsen. I felt that I could no longer serve my country in the government camp,” he said.

“I met with Syria’s (Geneva-based) charges d’affaires to let him know that I had made my decision to go to the opposition… He said it was my choice and wished me luck,” Al-Baaj said. He added that his parents are with him in Geneva.

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August 13th, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

362. omen said:

the story of al bab “post office.”

read from the bottom up.

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August 13th, 2012, 7:04 pm

 

363. irritated said:

305. observer

The regime does not need any propaganda.
You just need to look at the results on the ground and the agitation of the “Friends of Syria”.

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August 13th, 2012, 7:10 pm

 

364. omen said:

hillary clinton refused to met with manaf tlass in turkey?

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August 13th, 2012, 7:12 pm

 

365. zoo said:

Liwa Al Tawheed, “the most successful rebel force” fighting in Aleppo

“They are engaged in the Syrian conflict fighting against the Syrian government. The group crosses the border with Jordan to resupply itself in weapons and fighters. The group had some Libyans and Palestinians waiting to join their ranks.[3]

Its ideology is jihadism, conservative Islamism but they reject Al Qaeda terrorist tactics against women and children and also killing Shia Muslims. They also said that they have had no links with the FSA leadership based in a refugee camp in Turkey.[4]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawid_Brigade

Aleppo battle led by ragtag bunch of ‘country boys’

Hugh Naylor
Aug 14, 2012

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/aleppo-battle-led-by-ragtag-bunch-of-country-boys

ALEPPO // Syria’s most successful rebel force is being led by a honey trader, an agricultural merchant and the manager of a mini-market.d

They head a ragtag collection of farmers and labourers from the countryside north of Aleppo known as the Tawhid, or Unity, Brigade, who have dealt the Assad regime its biggest setback since the uprising erupted 17 months ago.

Tawhid fighters launched an audacious assault on Aleppo last month, which threatens to wrest it from regime control.

The group has drawn suspicion, in part because of its conservative religious views and executions of Assad loyalists, but admirers regard it as the most disciplined of the disorganised mishmash of rebel fighting groups.

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August 13th, 2012, 7:24 pm

 

366. irritated said:

360. omen said:

hillary clinton refused to met with manaf tlass in turkey?

A good example of the agitation and confusion among the “Friends of Syria”

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August 13th, 2012, 7:27 pm

 

367. zoo said:

France favors Manaf Tlass, Hillary wants an “intensive planning” to push Turkey to war. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are helping a violent Islamist take over of Syria. Total panic in the West.

Syria: western diplomats lose faith in SNC to unite opposition groups

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/13/syria-opposition-groups-national-council

US, UK and France seek to build more direct links with disparate rebels amid fears that Islamists are getting Gulf donations

The US, Britain and France are scrambling to retain their influence with Syrian opposition groups amid fears that most support from the Gulf states has been diverted towards extremist Islamic groups.

Washington, London and Paris now agree that efforts to encourage a unified opposition around the exile-led Syrian National Council (SNC) have failed, and are now seeking to cultivate more direct links with internal Syrian groups.

He said the new government had instead thrown its weight behind Manaf Tlass – a former Republican Guard general and member of Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle – who defected in July. France is hoping the FSA will coalesce around Tlass, providing some coherence to the disparate array of militias.

According to western diplomats, a Kuwaiti sheikh is also playing a key role in channelling money collected in the Gulf to militant groups judged to have sufficient Salafist credentials.

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August 13th, 2012, 7:35 pm

 

368. zoo said:

The birth of a islamist dictatorship in Egypt?

Morsi’s bloodless coup spikes the army’s guns
Bradley Hope
Aug 14, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/morsis-bloodless-coup-spikes-the-armys-guns

CAIRO // The uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak may not have ended Egypt’s tradition of authoritarian government.

Mohammed Morsi has forced the two top military officers to retire, there has been a crackdown on the media and the Muslim Brotherhood says it will contest every seat in forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Taken together, these developments have aroused fears among some Egyptians that Mr Morsi may be replicating the authoritarian rule of his predecessor, with the president and the Brotherhood the contemporary incarnation of Mubarak and his ruling National Democratic Party.

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August 13th, 2012, 7:50 pm

 

369. Syrialover said:

Omen (358#),

On the true story of what happened at the “Post Office” – the FSA’s external associates are really dropping the ball by not getting this into the media.
(http://twitter.com/marioMondas/status/235096780038094848/photo/1)

But an LA Times blog seems to have some of the story :

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/08/syria-rebels-video-bodies-thrown-off-roof.html

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August 13th, 2012, 7:53 pm

 

370. omen said:

earlier reports have pointed out obama & clinton pressuring neighboring states against arming rebels. i haven’t seen indication otherwise. in fact, after cia was sent to turkey, the weapons flow dried up.

if the u.s. wanted regime change, we wouldn’t hesitate to arm the rebels right now. why would we rely on middleman/allies to do the job? we are not even willing to jam communication signals.

Hillary wants an “intensive planning” to push Turkey to war.

clinton dithering on “what comes after” or post regime transition plans – isn’t doing anything to stop the carnage on the ground. this is yet more distraction along the vein of kofi’s six point plan negotiation charade. all talk/no action. yet another cover to disguise the american lack of action that is only prolonging the war and allowing the bodies to pile up.

it would take so little to provide that extra puff of breath* needed to blow the regime over – and we are not willing to do it.

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August 13th, 2012, 8:07 pm

 

371. omen said:

* borrowed that from someone. don’t remember who.

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August 13th, 2012, 8:08 pm

 

372. VISITOR said:

Our heroes of the victorious Free Army of the Revolution announced that they arrested one of the mercenaries of Hizbistan in Damascus.

God willing, the mercenary thug will be court martialed as war criminal and receive appropriate punishment for his crimes against the Syrian people.

——————

Mahmoud Ahmedi Nejjad arrives in Jeddah. He did not get any Royal reception as expected,

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Aug-14/184604-islamic-body-to-suspend-syria-during-emergency-summit.ashx#axzz23TXDM1L2

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August 13th, 2012, 8:17 pm

 

373. Uzair8 said:

337. Syrialover said:

‘Dr B.S.’

Appropriate.

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August 13th, 2012, 8:34 pm

 

374. erin said:

still no answer! why i am being moderated all the time, moderator.
Mr. Landis is this the policy of the SC to agree with the moderator otherwise, put on moderation for ever or even worse block and send comment directly to spam because the moderator doesn’t like what he reads.
I think a free speech policy should be held, unless there is a personal attacks.
calling facts as it is that’s not an insult to anyone.
thanks

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August 13th, 2012, 8:41 pm

 
 

376. Tara said:

Irritated @355

I think the big picture you think I fail to see is that the revolution has been taken over and used by the US, England, France and their stooges KSA and Qatar to achieve their goal of destroying Syria or bringing it down to it’s knees, Syria, the proud country that you always “fell for”, being the pulsing heart of Arabism and the only Arab country left to oppose the western dictates and to fight the Arab causes.  The country that thanks to it’s minority “secular” regime has provided a thriving milieu for the Syrian Christians and other minorities to flourish..

While the big picture I think you are refusing to see is that the regime is nothing more than a brutal dictatorship built by Hafiz al Assad who took advantage of perceived historical grievances of the Alawites against the majority Sunnis and used them to build an apparently secular but deeply sectarian government that has established a republican of fear called the Syrian Arab Republic.  The republic that distinguished itself by building certain regional alliances under the pretense of resistance and the auspice of the Baath ideology, eventually turning this ideology into empty slogans with one goal in mind, the preservation of the one family’s reign.  Did Hafiz really believe that his son Bashar is the best man in the country to lead Syria?  If you know Bashar as much as I know him,  the answer is of course not.

It is quite obvious that you are set on your narrative and I am set on mine. From my
prospective, the sad thing is that nothing…absolutely nothing, this regime can do or say no matter how outrageous or shocking that would make you change your mind.  Think about it… And the sadder thing from my own perspective also is that I do not know why do I care.            

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August 13th, 2012, 9:26 pm

 

377. VISITOR said:

297 SANDRO said,

” Assad and the alawites are Genkhis Khan and the Moguls of the 21st century.”

Actually they did collaborate with the Mongols when the Mongols invaded and were very upset when they Mongols were finally defeated by the Egyptians who saved the Syrian people of their atrocities.

I brought these two links for you in response to your comment. You may find them interesting.

http://saaid.net/book/16/8465.pdf

http://thiqaruni.org/general2/512.pdf

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August 13th, 2012, 9:32 pm

 

378. Son of Damascus said:

Visitor,

I am not as well versed in Alawi history as I should be, but I am aware of Ismaili history somewhat.

I am not sure Dr. Mohammad Ahmad is the best source on Alawi ideology or history:

الحشاشون: فقد عرفوا في التاريخ بذلك الإسم لأن كبرأهم يستهوون مريديهم بالتخدير الحشيش

That statement is completely false and pure fiction. The Assassins or الأساسيين who were also called the Hashashin come from the Ismaili sect.

There is a great book called The secret order of assassins: the struggle of the early Nizârî Ismâʻîlîs against the Islamic world that I highly recommend for anyone wanting to learn more about the order.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=GU7uAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y

Amin Maalouf also goes mentions them in one of his books Samarkand which is as well a great/must read.

http://books.google.ca/books/about/Samarkand.html?id=Yp__IcnhXVIC

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August 13th, 2012, 10:29 pm

 

379. irritated said:

Tara

The dictatorship is the small picture, the whole geopolitical game of the region, Israel, Iran, the oil, the Western ambitions, the religious antagonisms etc… that’s the big picture.

If you think that dictatorships flourishes in the void, you are mistaken, they feed on the whole geopolitical game of the region and sometimes beyond.
If Mobarak, Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi and Ben Ali stayed so long in power, it is because they were convenient to the West and they helped them keep their power.
If Bashar al Assad is still here, it is because he is strong and tough as these same powerful western powers wanted him out a long time ago: He was not an obedient puppet they could buy or crush as they did with the other dictators .

The political monolithism and toughness of Syria were for long the shield against the powerful looming enemies and allowed it pass through difficult time. These traits have been both a strength to resist and a weakness as it molded an authoritarian mentality in dealing with the social and political life of the country.
The expected mistakes of using repression early in the conflict rather than a dialog were fatal. The crisis was immediately used by Syria enemies who have been waiting for 40 years for that opportunity to crush it.
Whether they will succeed in crushing the resisting tough rulers and keep to country in one piece, we don’t know
Whether this regime became sufficiently aware of its mistakes and is ready to change, that’s what we don’t know either.

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August 13th, 2012, 10:33 pm

 

380. Ghufran said:

Too little,too late,the beast is out of the gate:
Rafif Jouejati@RafifJ
More important than ever for #FSA to adhere to a code of conduct & denounce terrorism & barbarism perpetrated by all others in #Syria
11 Aug 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Ḱ@яℯℯм ℒαḯł@н@KareemLailah
As they called us traitors for condemning similar “Revolutionary” crimes, here I accuse every Syrian cheers for this of being a traitor.
11 Aug 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
wissamtarif@wissamtarif
I beg Syrian activists to stop justifying #FSA human rights violations. Either we expose the bad apples or we are all going to rot #Syria

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August 13th, 2012, 10:51 pm

 

381. zoo said:

As the rebels are loosing ground day after day in Aleppo, they desperately call for help to the Western countries.
They call for No-fly zone NOW and Hillary calls for “intensive analysis before any reasoned decision”

WRAPUP 1-Syrian rebels call for no-fly zone

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/12/syria-crisis-idINL6E8JC4HH20120812

Abdelbasset Sida, head of the Syrian National Council, said the United States had realised that the absence of a no-fly zone to counter Assad’s air superiority hindered rebel movements

He was speaking a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her country and Turkey would study a range of possible measures to help Assad’s foes, including a no-fly zone, although she indicated no decisions were necessarily imminent.

“It is one thing to talk about all kinds of potential actions, but you cannot make reasoned decisions without doing intense analysis and operational planning,” she said after meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul.

Though any intervention appears to be a distant prospect, her remarks were nevertheless the closest Washington has come to suggesting direct military action in Syria.

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August 13th, 2012, 10:51 pm

 

382. VISITOR said:

373 SOD,

Dr. al-Ahmad is conflating the Alawis with the Ismailis when he refers to them by the broader term of al-Batinyyeen. The english word Assassin is actually derived from the Arabic Hashashin and it is true that their sheikhs used drugs to induce their followers into committing the assassinations that they became famous for.

Dr. al-Ahmad is refering to all these groups under the broad term of esoterics or al-batinyyeen in Arabic. The Ismailis, the Druze, the mainstream Shia and the alawis do have common ‘geneology’. They all share the same ‘imams’ up to the seventh. But then they divert. The Ismailis do not recognize the other imams from the eighth onward.

Aside from this, I believe Dr. al-Ahmad is quite accurate. Technically speaking, Dr. al-Ahmad is not wrong when you consider that each one of these sects practices what is called esoterism at least when it comes to the Qura’n interpretation. But you are correct the assassin term is associated with the Ismaelis.

The other link by Dr Badawi does fall into this trap.

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August 13th, 2012, 10:56 pm

 

383. Son of Damascus said:

Some ominous words to consider from the ICG report:

Should they [Regime] feel compelled to, they can escalate it to yet more horrifying levels

They give a well worded statement to WHY Syria is where it is at today:

In its attempt to manage the crisis, the regime has been plagued by a tendency to carry out solutions that ultimately create more problems than they solve. In the early stages, Bashar’s belated, half-hearted political concessions led to broader popular demands even as the security services’ routine misconduct undercut the credibility of whatever measures were taken. At the same time, by seeking to re- strain the security services’ behaviour, the president gener- ated a level of concern and frustration within regime ranks and supporters that was all the greater, inasmuch as the official narrative already was denouncing the opposition as a frightening blend of criminals, Islamist fundamental- ists and foreign-backed plotters.8 As demonstrations snow- balled, slogans radicalised, opposition violence intensified and even the modest reforms that were undertaken threat- ened entrenched interests, pressure swiftly grew for a more “decisive” regime crackdown.

I am only halfway through the report, I dare a regimist to go through it and try to debunk it. No amount of BS backed by the likes of Narwani, Abu Khalil or any other two bit hack out there can dismiss these claims.

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August 13th, 2012, 11:01 pm

 

384. zoo said:

Anti-Morsi protests scheduled for Aug. 24 in Cairo

Following a series of recent attacks on Brotherhood offices, the group has vowed to protect its headquarters against possible violence during anti-Morsi protests scheduled for Aug. 24 in Cairo. The vow was seen by critics as an acknowledgment by the Brotherhood that it would resort to violence in the face of threats.

http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-military-signals-support-president-151944159.html

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August 13th, 2012, 11:03 pm

 

385. VISITOR said:

In 377,

“The other link by Dr Badawi does fall into this trap.”

Should read,

The other link by Dr Badawi does not fall into this trap.

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August 13th, 2012, 11:11 pm

 

386. Ghufran said:

خلال جلسة استجوابه الأولى في المحكمة العسكرية، تراجع النائب والوزير السابق ميشال سماحة عن افادته التي أدلى بها أثناء التحقيق معه في فرع المعلومات، وهو قال انه تعرض لاستدراج وكمين من قبل فرع المعلومات.

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August 13th, 2012, 11:11 pm

 

387. Ghufran said:

(MUMBAI, India) — India has joined Japan in offering government-backed insurance for ships carrying Iranian crude in order to bypass European sanctions that have nearly halved Iranian oil exports to key markets.
The first Indian ship to carry oil from Iran with Indian insurance is scheduled to load up in Iran on Wednesday, a shipping company executive said. This is a breakthrough for the Indian government, which has scrambled to maintain vital Iranian oil imports after European sanctions blocked third-party insurance in July.
Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/08/13/insurance-deal-lets-india-resume-shipping-iran-oil/#ixzz23UEvCR6g

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August 13th, 2012, 11:17 pm

 

388. zoo said:

Ahmad Zeidan , from Al Jazeera mislead FSA soldiers in Aleppo and caused the death of many of them.
He had to be promptly removed to Turkey to escape retaliations form the FSA

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August 13th, 2012, 11:18 pm

 

389. Son of Damascus said:

Visitor,

When he says تعريف النصيرية he is not conflating the two but making a false statement by saying Nusayris are known as Hashashin.

This is a deliberate attempt in my opinion to muddy the waters and try to paint a sect into something it is not. This is a 60 page thesis paper, to start with such a false assertion makes the rest of it look highly suspect. If he is willing to blur the lines on such a trivial matter as what the Alawis are called what else is he blurring the lines or conveniently adding?

Personally I really wish there were more credible sources about the Alawi history and faith, I am really interested to learn more. But when closet bigots (Pipes, Dr Ahmad, Inb Tamiya) are the “sources” I have a hard time accepting what they write as the unbiased truth.

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August 13th, 2012, 11:26 pm

 

390. irritated said:

Ghufran
This is a breakthrough for the Indian government

It is also a breakthrough for Iran who may be able not only to export its oil, but also to bypass the monopoly of the british insurance companies that will be loosing lucrative contracts.

These sanctions have been good at provoking changes that were necessary but never dealt with.

It is the same situation when Iran was prevented from importing refined gazoline: They build their own refineries. Who became the losers?

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August 13th, 2012, 11:32 pm

 

391. VISITOR said:

384 SOD,

I totally disagree and in fact I was wrong in saying that al-Ahmad was conflating the alawis with the broader batinyeen. He did address the same objection that you raised and made the distinction.

He made 6 definitions All 5 are accurate except teh f=sixh where he mentioned the Assassins and he immediately made the distionction.

Here’s what he said,

تعريف النصيرية، وسبب تسميتها، وأسماؤها الأخرى
أولاً: تعريف النصيرية: هي طائفة باطنية غالية، انبثقت من الشيعة الاثني عشرية في القرن الثالث الهجري على يد رجلٍ يُقال له: محمد بن نصير.
ثانياً: سبب التسمية( ): سميت النصيرية بهذا الاسم نسبة إلى محمد بن نصير النميري الفارسي الأصل الذي عاش في القرن الثالث الهجري؛ فهو الذي أسس المذهب، ودعا إليه، ونظَّم شؤونه.
ثالثاً: أسماء النصيرية الأخرى( ): يُطلق على النُصيرية أسماء أخرى منها:
1_ النميرية: نسبة إلى محمد بن نصير النميري؛ حيث قيل: إنه مولى من موالي بني نمير؛ فنُسب إليهم( ).
2_ المعنوية: لأنهم يقولون في علي بن أبي طالب ÷: إنه هو المعنى، أي الإله؛ فالمعنى رمز للألوهية المجردة عندهم؛ فيُقرون بأنه الإمام في الظاهر، والإله في الباطن( ).
3_ العلويون أو العلوية: نسبة إلى تأليههم عليَّ بن أبي طالب ÷.
وهم يحبِّذون هذه التسمية، وقد قيل: إن الفرنسيين أثناء احتلالهم لسوريا عام 1920م أطلقوا عليهم هذا الاسم إما للتمويه وستر حقيقتهم، أو لاستمالتهم، ومكافأتهم، وحفزهم على مزيد من موالاتهم( ).
4_ العلي إلهية: نسبة إلى قولهم بألوهية علي بن أبي طالب ÷.
5_ المؤمنون وأهل التوحيد: فهم يُطلقون على أنفسهم هذا الاسم( ).
6_ الحشاشون: فقد عرفوا في التاريخ بذلك الاسم؛ لأن كبراءهم كانوا يستهوون مريديهم بالتخدير بالحشيش( ).
ويبدو أن هذه التسمية ليست خاصة بالنصيرية فحسب، بل تشمل بعض طوائف الباطنية.
هذه _ بإيجاز _ أسماء النصيرية.
ولعل أكثر هذه الأسماء شهرة هي النصيرية، والعلوية أو العلويون.

So what are you complaining about? of course it is a 61 page thesis and do you think those who examined it overlooked your objection?

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August 13th, 2012, 11:49 pm

 

392. zoo said:

Davutoglu political fate depends on Syria. In Turkey, there is a public sympathy for the Syrian regime because of its stand against the USA.

Turks watch as their country moves into uncharted territory

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turks-watch-as-their-country-moves-into-uncharted-territory-.aspx?pageID=449&nID=27709&NewsCatID=416

Working in overt and covert ways to topple regimes considered unsavory, and helping opposition fighters to this end, have been a trademark of Washington’s for decades. But this kind of effort, especially if it is aimed at an Islamic country in its region, is new for Ankara.

Prime Minister Erdoğan and his Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, are seen now by Islamists to be bedding with what they consider as “the devil’s instrument on earth,” namely America, in an effort to try and topple a regime in an Islamic country.

But their “Syrian gambit” has turned into such a matter of political prestige for Erdoğan and Davutoğlu that it seems the irony of where they have ended up is not something they are dwelling on very much at the moment. Their focus, instead, is on toppling al-Assad; especially for Davutoğlu who acts as if his whole political future depends on this.

“The most important question that remains unanswered on the Turkish political and media scene is this: Until when will Erdoğan continue to bear the burden of the flawed policy of his foreign minister, which has cost Turkey dearly and at all levels?” Albawaba asked on Aug. 8.

“Here, it seems that Davutoğlu is determined to overthrow the regime in Syria; otherwise, Erdoğan will dismiss him and put an end to his diplomatic career, which he wanted to exploit for future political calculations,” the popular Arabic news portal added.

Then there is the situation in Turkey itself where the government’s Syria policy is causing concern on a number of levels. Given that all international opinion polls indicate Turks as the most anti-American of all people, the close coordination between Ankara and Washington is even creating public sympathy for the al-Assad regime in Turkey, reprehensible as that regime may be.

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August 13th, 2012, 11:54 pm

 

393. Ghufran said:

SOD,
It is not just Wahabis and Takfiri sheikhs who have distorted the teachings of alawi original thought leaders,it is also the Assads who want alawis to follow them as the protectors and keepers of the alawite community and the alawite faith,this is why prominent alawi sheikhs were replaced with 9th graders mukhabarati figures who were forced on alawites.
Most alawites today are not religious and they do not belong to any recognized school of religious doctrine,some people confuse that with being anti Muslim or pro Israel which is not true, it is the history of prosecution and the fear of becoming second class citizens that drive most of those uneducated,and at times educated,alawites into becoming followers of a corrupt and brutal regime,the only cure for this is a pleural and secular political system,I personally do not see a chance of this happening in the near future,third world countries do not suddenly mature and become civilized,that takes time,Bashar failed on many fronts and one of his biggest failures is that he did very little to help Syria transition from a dictatorship and a police state to a more pleural and free society,this failure is now being copied by the Islamists who are intolerant and narrow minded.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:01 am

 

394. mjabali said:

Visitor said:

“The Ismailis, the Druze, the mainstream Shia and the alawis do have common ‘geneology’. They all share the same ‘imams’ up to the seventh. But then they divert. The Ismailis do not recognize the other imams from the eighth onward. ”

I told you my dog knows more history than you.

The Shia and the Ismaili share the Imams to number 6 al-Imam Jafar al-Sadiq and then they differ on number 7: the mainstream Shia has al-Imam Musa ibn Jafar as their number 7 while the Ismailis has Ismail as their number 7.

Dude read some books.

يتشارك الشيعة والاسماعيليون بالأئمة حتى يصلو إلى ابناء جعفر الصادق ياجاهل.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:11 am

 

395. mjabali said:

Visitor said:

“Actually they did collaborate with the Mongols when the Mongols invaded and were very upset when they Mongols were finally defeated by the Egyptians who saved the Syrian people of their atrocities.”

Again you lie. When the Mongol you are referring to came to Syria, Syria was ruled by another brand of Mongols/Memlukes. The Alawis were no military power to stand up to anyone at that moment. Syria was to be defended by the Mongols who were ruling Damascus at that time. But, since they failed, they needed to find someone to blame.

Ya Jahel, do not fake history. what you said is the lie we always heard from those who failed and looking for someone to blame.

Then: when you said that the Egyptians came to liberate Syria is another lie, because there was not one single Egyptian with those who came to fight the Mongols. They were all Memlukes: mostly Mongols like the invaders.

I told you before that my dog knows more about history that you.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:19 am

 

396. mjabali said:

Hey Cassandra:

The Assassins was a name given to a certain group by their enemy. why doesn’t Cassandra go and see what these people call themselves?

For those who want to know more about the Ismaili read some books. If you ask me nicely i will direct you to the right books.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:25 am

 

397. mjabali said:

Son of Damascus:

I always respect what you have to say.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:26 am

 

398. mjabali said:

What is really interesting is that some always try to spread the same lies about the Alawis, Ismailis and other minority groups. Ever wondered why this?

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August 14th, 2012, 12:29 am

 

399. mjabali said:

Some Sunnis think that Shia, Alawi, Ismails, Druz…etc are not humans like our friend Cassandra the history specialist.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:31 am

 

400. mjabali said:

Cassandra said:

“تعريف النصيرية، وسبب تسميتها، وأسماؤها الأخرى
أولاً: تعريف النصيرية: هي طائفة باطنية غالية، انبثقت من الشيعة الاثني عشرية في القرن الثالث الهجري على يد رجلٍ يُقال له: محمد بن نصير.
ثانياً: سبب التسمية( ): سميت النصيرية بهذا الاسم نسبة إلى محمد بن نصير النميري الفارسي الأصل الذي عاش في القرن الثالث الهجري؛ فهو الذي أسس المذهب، ودعا إليه، ونظَّم شؤونه.
ثالثاً: أسماء النصيرية الأخرى( ): يُطلق على النُصيرية أسماء أخرى منها:
1_ النميرية: نسبة إلى محمد بن نصير النميري؛ حيث قيل: إنه مولى من موالي بني نمير؛ فنُسب إليهم( ).
2_ المعنوية: لأنهم يقولون في علي بن أبي طالب ÷: إنه هو المعنى، أي الإله؛ فالمعنى رمز للألوهية المجردة عندهم؛ فيُقرون بأنه الإمام في الظاهر، والإله في الباطن( ).
3_ العلويون أو العلوية: نسبة إلى تأليههم عليَّ بن أبي طالب ÷.
وهم يحبِّذون هذه التسمية، وقد قيل: إن الفرنسيين أثناء احتلالهم لسوريا عام 1920م أطلقوا عليهم هذا الاسم إما للتمويه وستر حقيقتهم، أو لاستمالتهم، ومكافأتهم، وحفزهم على مزيد من موالاتهم( ).
4_ العلي إلهية: نسبة إلى قولهم بألوهية علي بن أبي طالب ÷.

The idiot who copied this without even checking the contradiction within this text is a joke at his best day.

First of all: the Alawis and the Ali Ilahi are two different groups.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:37 am

 

401. VISITOR said:

mjabali,

Sure enough. Your dog knows how to bark. And sure enough you learnt so much from ‘him’. Keep on doing it.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:38 am

 

402. Ghufran said:

This is what means to be an armed rebel today,I apologize for the graphic video,but this is why the revolution is now over,what is left is a civil war and a fight led by thugs:

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August 14th, 2012, 12:41 am

 

403. mjabali said:

Visitor:

For real dude: do you believe that the Alawis helped the Mongols? come up with a better one.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:42 am

 

404. mjabali said:

Vistior:

The lie we heard for years about the Alawis and the Mongols does not work anymore. Go come up with something else. Your lies are easy to detect ya jahel.

Again, my dog knows more history than you.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:46 am

 
 

406. Son of Damascus said:

Visitor,

ويبدو أن هذه التسمية ليست خاصة بالنصيرية فحسب، بل تشمل بعض طوائف الباطنية

That is EXACTLY my point, he knows this is not something attributed to the Alawi faith yet CHOSE to highlight it as if it is. It is extremely well documented that the Assassins order led by Hasan I Sabah was a Nizairi Ismaili sect, it is a fact and not a mere “ويبدو” as he tries to make it out to be.

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August 14th, 2012, 12:54 am

 

407. mjabali said:

Son Of Damascus:

why are you trying to teach a fanatic something meaningful and useful?

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August 14th, 2012, 12:59 am

 

408. omen said:

375. GHUFRAN: Too little,too late,the beast is out of the gate:

i recced the comment because i agree with rafif & kareem. but you’re wrong. it’s not too little, too late.

the 2 (count em: one, two) who summarily executed the berri clan doesn’t represent the whole of fsa.

while you’ve been notable for denouncing the regime, as tara points out, loyalists aren’t known for holding the regime to task.

maybe by seeing rafif & kareem modeling it, regime supporters will start learning what integrity looks like.

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August 14th, 2012, 1:05 am

 

409. Uzair8 said:

A story of a child, showing him hanging has been spread on the internet blaming the rebels. Assad supporters exploiting it. It seemed it was an Iranian source primarily responsible for reporting this.

It turns out the image and story was from before the start of the revolution:

WARNING: Graphic. Also bad language in some responses.

Before that, the Fars News story:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9104253045

The pre-revolution source:

http://www.documentingreality.com/forum/f10/child-hanged-syria-69681/

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August 14th, 2012, 1:06 am

 

410. ann said:

395. mjabali said:

Vistior:

Again, my dog knows more history than you.
.
.
That still doesn’t say much about him!

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August 14th, 2012, 1:11 am

 

411. Ghufran said:

لندن – خلص تقرير لمنظمة الأمم المتحدة للأغذية والزراعة (الفاو) وبرنامج الغذاء العالمي أن الأزمة التي تعيشها سوريا كبدت قطاعها الزراعي خسائر بقيمة 1.8 مليار دولار خلال العام الجاري، وتتضمن أضرارا وخسائر في المحاصيل والماشية وأنظمة الري.

وأشارت المنظمتان إلى أن المواد الإستراتيجية كالقمح والشعير وزيت الزيتون والمنتجات النباتية تضررت بشدة، وقال ممثل برنامج الأغذية العالمي بسوريا مهند هادي إن الخسائر المذكورة تظل أولية وسيتضرر منها أكثر الفئات الفقيرة.
وذكر التقرير أن الكثير من سكان الأرياف بسوريا فقدوا جزئيا أو كليا مصدر رزقهم الممثل في الزراعة وتربية الماشية، ويحتاج قرابة مليون سوري محاصيل ومساعدات خاصة بتربية المواشي مثل البذور والوقود وعلف الحيوانات، وأضافت المنظمتان أن واحدا من كل ثلاثة سوريين يعيشون بالريف يحتاج لمساعدة.
وقد اضطر المزارعون إلى ترك أراضيهم أو العجز عن رعايتها بفعل غياب عوامل الإنتاج، كما أن نقص الوقود وارتفاع أسعاره وانقطاع التيار الكهربائي قلص كثيرا من حجم إمدادات المياه المتوفرة، كما تاخر موسم حصاد الحبوب بمحافظة درعا وريف دمشق وحمص وحماة بسبب قلة العمالة وامتناع ملاك آلات الحصاد عن تأجيرها مع غياب الأمن، وهو ما يهدد بخسارة جزء من المحاصيل
وأشار التقرير في تقييم لوضع الأمن الغذائي في سوريا إلى أن محافظتي دمشق وحمص تكبدتا أكبر الخسائر بالقطاع الزراعي بحيث قدرت الخسائر والأضرار بأكثر 385 مليون دولار و382 مليونا على التوالي، وتليهما محافظة حلب (244 مليونا) ومحافظة إدلب (235 مليونا)، كما مست الخسائر محافظات الحسكة (156 مليون دولار) ودرعا (125 مليونا) والرقة (124 مليونا) وحماة (110 ملايين).
Regardless of who ends up occupying the presidential palace,Syria will be under the mercy of foreign lenders who will undoubtedly take advantage of the situation .

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August 14th, 2012, 1:16 am

 

412. VISITOR said:

397 SOD,

You continue to split hair.

The fact that al-Ahmad pointed that out plays in his favor and NOT in your favor.

There is no need to use the term assassin if the author’s objective is to actually denigrate the so-called alawi faith as you purport.

Being a belief (the Alawi) based on esoterism (batiniya), more important and recognized scholars have trashed this esoterism long before al-Ahmad came up with his thesis. The well known and revered Imam al-Ghazali have long trashed it in his well known treatise, فضائح الباطنية

http://ia600709.us.archive.org/30/items/waq6817/6817.pdf

So why would al-Ahamad resort to such denigration (presuming your objections are valid) when more authoritative and well known works achieved the purpose and quite elegantly?

You see, many so-called pseudo-intellectuals attribute the bad fortunes of these groups (Shia, Alawi, Ismaili, etc…) to Ibn Taymiya and what they call Wahabis. But the fact is al-Ghazali already put forward all the principles to identify the fallacies of the esoterics long before Ibn Taymiya was born (almost 200 years before). In fact, some of Ibn Taymiya’s works are based on al-Ghazali and specifically the same book I linked above.

I am sure, you cannot tell me that al-Ghazali is a Wahhabi or a follower of Ibn Taymiya!!

So please, stop this charade, because you’re getting nowhere and just chasing tails.

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August 14th, 2012, 1:25 am

 

413. ann said:

What if the Empire Project Fails in Syria? – August 14th, 2012

By Michael Collins

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2012/08/14/what-if-the-empire-project-fails-in-syri

Al Jazeera’s weekend coverage of the battle for Aleppo, Syria reveals a major obstacle for the United States-NATO Empire Project. Hardly anyone in Aleppo seems to be joining up to fight with the rebels.

Syrian rebels get limited support in Aleppo, Al Jazeera, August 11

Reporter Anita McNaught: “[The rebels] know they have to win if the revolution is to succeed but Aleppo was slow to demonstrate any widespread support for the opposition.” The reticence was due to fear of Syria’s intelligence service a local claimed.

McNaught followed up: “Why now, when the Free Syrian Army was so quickly consolidating its hold, were its ranks not being swelled by volunteers from the city?”

One of the rebels (gesturing in image) responded: “They are afraid of the situation now. It’s new to them. It’s not like the countryside all around here which has had time to get used to the fighting.” Trauma requires practice.

Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar. Qatar partnered with NATO in Libya by providing troops on the ground and cash to the Libya rebels. The built in bias gives credibility to the claim of tepid local support. Like the people of Damascus who also kept their distance from rebels, Syrians in Aleppo are not consumed by anti-regime passion. That may have something to do with public polling showing that “most Syrians are in favour of Bashar al-Assad remaining as president.”

What kind of revolution is this? Fighters from the countryside plus foreign fighters including al Qaeda move into the nation’s largest city, attack police and government security installations inspiring … nothing much. The response of citizens both cities show that this is more an attack on cities rather than a broad based revolution.

There are a number of ways the revolution can succeed. However, success will be meaningless if the cause can’t even inspire noticeable support from citizens in the two largest cities.

Over time, the ruling Ba’ath party of Bashar al-Assad relied on strong support from rural areas and the military. City dwellers were less inclined to support the regime, particularly in Aleppo. The rebels have not inspired much support in an area where support was expected. Where will they find it?

Turkey is the designated U.S.-NATO proxy. The Asia Times reported a conversation between President Obama and Turkey’s President Erdogan in which Obama urged Turkey to send al-Assad on a permanent vacation. However, Turkey is experiencing some immediate blowback from its alliance with the West.

Long term hostilities between the Turkish state and its huge Kurdish population (nearly 20%) have been inflamed by the Syrian conflict. The Kurdish military arm, the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), recently set up a base in Iraq. The PKK launched attacks on Turkish officials and facilities in the Kurdish region.

This is President Recep Erdoğan’s worst nightmare. He’s set up his Foreign Minister as the fall guy if things go terribly wrong for Turkey (e.g., Syria survives as a viable state, a robust conflict with the Kurds).

There are few voices out there predicting that the Syrian government will survive the rebel assault. But the rebels can’t find any open support in an area that should be sympathetic during the critical battle (Aleppo). Therefore, it is reasonable to ask: what happens if the enterprise falls on its face?

The United States and NATO would have to question the viability of its Libyan formula for regime change.

1. Take advantage of a political clash between a used up/undesirable leader and some internal faction (the rebels).

2. Covertly arm and otherwise assist the rebels;

3. Get a UN resolution decrying human rights violations based on evidence from an NGO aligned with the rebels;

4. Overtly arm and otherwise assist the rebels;

5. Win the battle for the rebels.

The steps must be followed in sequence. The current effort in Syria has stalled on step three.

[…]

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2012/08/14/what-if-the-empire-project-fails-in-syri

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August 14th, 2012, 1:27 am

 

414. Syria no Kandahar said:

أحفاد الرسول
Kidnapped TV crew by the terrorist of FSA …one photographer from the crew was killed by أحفاد الرسول …the terrorist claims to be doing that according to his religion..same way like cutting heads and throwing bodies from buildings.keep supporting destroyers of your religion:

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August 14th, 2012, 1:30 am

 

415. Juergen said:

Thank you Uzair

A good example of the need for propaganda of this regime.

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August 14th, 2012, 1:37 am

 

416. Syrialover said:

Irritated # 374

cc Tara

Irritated,

Your statement speaks of fierce and genuine pride in Syria, but it is badly misplaced in feeling proud of Bashar Assad.

You said: “If Bashar al Assad is still here, it is because he is strong and tough as these same powerful western powers wanted him out a long time ago: He was not an obedient puppet they could buy or crush as they did with the other dictators.”

Comment: Let’s put aside all the conspiracist stuff about the wicked west out to crush Syria. It’s what was done INSIDE Syria that matters. The Assads have terrorized and choked Syria, robbed it, isolated and handicapped it by lack of economic management and development, denied it modern systems and institutions, sold it to Iran and above all stifled its rich human resources and potential. All done at the point of a gun.

This makes it look like the free world’s biggest historical crime was in not coming in and more forcefully punching Hafez Assad’s lights out and freeing the people of Syria. But that’s a separate debate with many strands.

And it wasn’t Bashar’s “strength” that stopped him being their “puppet”. He’s been a very easily jerked around puppet of Iran’s, a messed-up country with nothing to offer Syria.

You said: “The crisis was immediately used by Syria enemies who have been waiting for 40 years for that opportunity to crush it.”

Comment: To requote: The crisis was immediately used by Syrians who have been waiting for 40 years for that opportunity to crush the Assad barrier to a better and freer and more dignified life.

You said: “Whether this regime became sufficiently aware of its mistakes and is ready to change, that’s what we don’t know either.”

Comment: Er, Irritated, I think we do know.

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August 14th, 2012, 1:46 am

 

417. ann said:

U.S. appears undecided on imposition of no-fly zone in Syria – 2012-08-14

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/14/c_123578602.htm

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) — The United States on Monday appeared still undecided on the potential imposition of a no-fly zone in Syria as fighting continued to escalate between government forces and rebels across the Middle East country.

“What I can say is that the President and his team have ruled out no options as we try to bring about, with all of our partners, and with the Syrian people, the political transition that is so desperately needed in Syria,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney at a press gaggle.

Recently, there is speculation about the possible imposition of a no-fly zone in Syria as the Syrian opposition is raising its voice in calling for such a move. On Sunday after meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul, U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton gave no definitive answer on the issue, only saying such a decision requires “intense analysis and operational planning.”

Without directly responding to the question, Carney said that the Obama administration continued to believe the current approach which involved heavy-handed economic sanctions and international pressure on the Assad regime is the “right course.”

“But we review all options, as you would expect, and will continue to do so,” he added.

The United States and some other Western countries have been explicit about their demand for Assad to step down and used both diplomatic and economic maneuvers to exert pressure on the Syrian government. Together with some Arab countries, they have also agreed to provide assistance to the Syrian opposition.

[…]

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/14/c_123578602.htm

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August 14th, 2012, 1:47 am

 

418. omen said:

At the same time, by seeking to restrain the security services’ behaviour, the president generated a level of concern and frustration within regime ranks

what proof is there that bashar tried to restrain security services? the barbara walters interview? the same one where the aide noted american psyches are easily manipulated?

an iranian general claims they tried to get assad to resolve the conflict politically. bashar resisted. although iran later sending the regime additional fighters makes one doubt that claim as well!

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August 14th, 2012, 2:03 am

 

419. Juergen said:

one night in Aleppo

french( one can change the language from german to french in the player)

http://www.arte.tv/de/Eine-Nacht-in-Aleppo/6851678.html

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August 14th, 2012, 2:12 am

 

420. Juergen said:

“In Syria, it’s past time for the United States to act
Richard Cohen
The awful things that could have happened had the United States intervened in Syria are now happening anyway. The insurrection has become a civil war. Neighboring countries are being dragged in. A refugee crisis has been created. Jihadists have entered the fray, and the death toll has passed 20,000. The worst has happened — maybe because the best did nothing.

Had Barack Obama committed the United States to get involved in a muscular fashion, the civil war in Syria might now be over. This, of course, is just a guess, open to the usual criticism and derision by foreign policy realists. But it is not all that unrealistic to presume that had the United States hit Syria’s command and control centers, the defection of generals and other officials would have become a stampede. Nothing so illuminates an exit sign as the certainty of defeat.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-syria-its-past-time-for-the-united-states-to-act/2012/08/13/fec1bcce-e57c-11e1-8f62-58260e3940a0_story.html

Ali Ferzat:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=407424925972940&set=a.355695941145839.74344.103006823081420&type=1&theater