Why Syria Must Burnish its “Resistance” Credentials in the Face of Obama’s Inaction on Settlement Expansion

Both David Lesch and Ian Black explain that in Washington and European capitals policy makers are wondering where to go next with Syria as President Assad burnishes his “resistance” credentials, despite Obama’s recent conciliatory decision to return an ambassador to Damascus.

It is little wonder, however, that Syria is stressing “resistance” of late. President Obama has shown no ability to discipline Netanyahu. Despite sulking in his tent like Achilles, Obama has done little to counter Netanyahu’s insistence on expanding settlements. Israel’s Prime Minister has also rejected suggestions that he re-start negotiations over the Golan and peace with Syria. Consequently, Syria has little choice but to reaffirm its intention to resist. Assad’s embrace of Ahmadinejad two weeks ago, his interview on Hizbullah’s TV channel, and his insistence at the Arab League summit in Libya this weekend that the PLO reject talks with Israel and that Arab governments rescind their moldering peace offer to Israel cannot come as a surprise to Washington.

Scott McConnell, writing in the American Conservative, compares Obama’s ineffectiveness and lack of action to President George H.W. Bush and James Baker’s “effectiveness” in 1992, when they attempted to hold back loan guarantees as a means to slow settlement activity. The only problem with McConnell’s argument is that George H Bush and James Baker failed miserably. The following graph of Israeli settlement growth indicates that settlement growth in the West Bank continued unabated and rose at a constant rate during the 1990s, despite Bush’s threat to stop loan guarantees and despite the peace process he launched. Neither threats, which were hollow and quickly rescinded, or the peace process and discussions of relinquishing the occupied territories caused Israelis to slow expansion or to believe that they would not retain the territory and its settlements.

The Syrian effort to beef up Hizbullah and to broaden its alliances with Iran makes sense within the context of its pursuit of peace with Israel. Only by counterbalancing Israel can it to hope for peace.

Syria’s main problem vis a vis Israel is that it is too weak. It needs to get stronger to be taken seriously. It can do this in a number of ways, some of which are: building up Hizbullah, acquiring nuclear capability, developing better weapons, using Iran to scare Israel, upgrading its economy and relations with important powers such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and France. Syria must pursue all of these.

Israel upped the ante with the 2006 Lebanon war and Gaza campaign, signaling that it can raise the level of pain to previously unimagined levels for those who oppose it. Without nukes (presumably Israel destroyed its effort to develop this option) Syria must go for low tech missiles which is the most effective and cost efficient deterrent available to it.

Without these things, Syria would be forgotten. The Golan would fall from the table – it almost has, anyway.

The main proof that Syria’s strategy is smart, if not a success, is Hillary Clinton’s speech at AIPAC. She said:

“Both sides must confront the reality that the status quo of the last decade has not produced long-term security ….

Finally, we must recognize that the ever-evolving technology of war is making it harder to guarantee Israel’s security. For six decades, Israelis have guarded their borders vigilantly. But advances in rocket technology mean that Israeli families are now at risk far from those borders. Despite efforts at containment, rockets with better guidance systems, longer range, and more destructive power are spreading across the region. Hizbollah has amassed tens of thousands of rockets on Israel’s northern border. Hamas has a substantial number in Gaza. And even if some of these are still crude, they all pose a serious danger, as we saw last week.”

Had Syria not helped to build up Hizbullah or had Hizb been destroyed in 2006 – there would have been no Turkish talks in 2008 and Syria would have lost whatever negotiating power it had. The only reason Israel and the US still talk about flipping Syria is because of its relationship to Iran and Hizbullah. From a purely balance-of-power point of view. Iran’s pursuit of Nukes increases the likelihood of Syrian–Israeli peace. No that Obama has pushed health-care through congress and looks as if he might tangle with Israel and the question of Arab-Israeli peace, Syria must push the question to the forefront. One way to do this is to bear his teeth and raise the flag of resistance, a third intifada, and possible rekindling of war between Hizbullah and Israel.

Syria cannot changes its posture toward Israel until Israel relinquishes the Golan. Assad has said this a number of times. He will only discuss altering his relations with Hizbullah and Hamas once the Golan is returned and not before. To do otherwise makes no sense.

From Assad’s point of view, the 1990s and the Oslo process was a decade in which Syria was played by Israel. By opening up Golan discussions, Israel bought Syrian compliance in Lebanon and Palestine for eight years. Syria helped tamp down resistance to Israel from both Hamas and Hizbullah during the 1990s. Lebanon experienced a renaissance. But Syria received little in return. Syrians believe that the Israeli prime ministers who followed Yitzhak Rabin did not want peace if it meant returning the entire Golan and only wished to continue the process because it was useful for other goals. They were using the Golan as a lure to keep Syria complacent and to put pressure on Palestinians to cede more land.

Supporters of Israel argue that prospects for peace are strongest when the US favors Israel and there is no light visible between their policies. This argument is not born out by the facts or history. By making Israel so much stronger than its opponents, Washington is dooming prospects for peace. It is time for the US to distance itself from Israel and to stop providing it with money, arms, and unlimited diplomatic support.

Line graph of Israeli settlement growth created from the Israeli  Bureau of Statistics.

Both sides of the fence
By David W. Lesch Monday, March 29, 2010
Foreign Policy

Syrian President Bashar al-Asad is not unlike his father. Hafiz al-Asad was a foreign policy pragmatist who went against the grain on occasion based on perceived national interest. He was able to steer a foreign policy course for Syria where it could play on both sides of the regional and international fences. Syria is the only country in the Arab world that can do so in any meaningful way. On the one side of the fence Syria has been a cradle of Arab nationalism, yet it supported non-Arab Iran against Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. It was the leader of the Arab confrontation states traditionally arrayed against Israel, yet it has engaged in direct and indirect negotiations with the Jewish state for almost three decades, coming tantalizingly close to a peace agreement in 2000. It was a client state of the Soviet Union during the superpower Cold War, yet it sent troops to fight alongside American forces in the US-led UN coalition to evict Iraq from Kuwait in 1990-91. This foreign policy hopscotch can be frustrating to those countries that would like to see a more consistent policy path emanating from Damascus, but it is exactly the ability to do this that has allowed Syria to muddle through various crises in the recent past as well as provide what otherwise is a relatively weak state some leverage and utility. …..

…There are those who say that the US may have overplayed its hand with Syria too soon. Syria also has to be careful not to overplay its hand. Maybe Bashar feels the Obama administration is too disorganized and weak right now to worry about making positive impressions, but this might not always be the case, especially if the US president’s perceived standing improves due to the passage of the time-consuming health care legislation. Bashar worked hard to finally be taken seriously in Washington and in the region, but straddling the fence can be dangerous too if you don’t know when to-or can’t-get off of it when the time is right.

Assad keeps Europe waiting
An increasingly confident Syria is playing hard to get in its relations with the EU
By Ian Black in Damascus
guardian, Tuesday 30 March 2010

Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, after the Arabl League summit on 28 March

The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, talks to reporters after the closing session of the Arab League summit this week. Photograph: Mohamed Messara/EPA

European Union diplomats in Syria work in a handsome stone house in the leafy Abu Rummaneh quarter of Damascus, guarded by machine gun-toting policemen at the gate. Their well-appointed offices are strewn with glossy brochures about the links between the EU and this Arab republic – testimony to valuable assistance programmes and ambitions for a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.

Yet there is unease about the way things are heading. Last October, after a decade of negotiations, the two sides were poised to sign an “association agreement” covering political and economic issues, trade and investment, modelled on those already concluded by the EU and its eight other “Mediterranean partners”.

Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco have all put their relations with Brussels on a formal footing; maverick Libya is conspicuously absent from this “ring of friends”. But Syria balked at the 11th hour, insisting it needed more time. The reasons tell an interesting story about President Bashar al-Assad and the view from Damascus.

The official line is that Syria has undergone significant changes since the text was initialled in 2003. A revised version took some of them into account: British and Dutch demands for special statements on human rights and weapons of mass destruction were defeated and the language used now is standard to all EU-Med association agreements.

Still, economic conditions have fuelled fears that the free trade requirements could endanger Syrian industries, though tariffs on EU goods are to be cut over long periods. Crushing competition from the Turkish textile market has served as a warning.

“We are reviewing the relevance of the text to the Syrian economy today,” explains Abdullah Dardari, the deputy prime minister and architect of recent economic reforms. But there is much more to it than that. “Even a free trade agreement must be built on political understanding and trust,” he says. “An EU foreign policy that respects Syrian and Arab rights creates more confidence – and makes the lives of technocrats and economists easier.”

Beyond the crunchy detail of the agreement’s 144 articles there is a litany of complaints that Syria deserves better. Europe’s passivity in the face of the US-led war in Iraq – with British participation – is a big one. Others include the EU, led by France, blaming Syria for the 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, support for Beirut’s “cedar revolution” and Syria’s ejection from Lebanon after nearly 30 years.

Yet another is Europe’s failure to challenge US policies towards Israel and the Palestinians, especially its refusal to talk to the Islamists of Hamas, Syria’s protege – which, like Lebanon’s Hizbullah, is considered a terrorist organisation on both sides of the Atlantic but a “resistance movement” in Damascus.

“Nobody is in a position to lecture us on human rights,” insists another official, echoing Assad at his most combative. “The Europeans should have an independent position vis-a-vis Syria.”

The western media is considered hostile too. Journalists who ask about the prospects for political change in Syria get angry answers about the boycott of Hamas, the invasion of Iraq or Israel’s war on Gaza. More thoughtful responses explain that the president’s priorities are boosting the economy, creating wealth and raising educational standards so his country can take its place in a globalised world.

Syrians have also noticed, like others before them, that the EU is less than the sum of its parts. “We used to have a Europe file but we’ve split it into separate countries – France, Germany and the UK,” said Samir al-Taqi, the influential head of the Orient Centre for International Studies. “Europe no longer behaves as a unit and you get policies of the lowest common denominator.”

And the Qatari and other Gulf Arabs flocking to Syria’s newly liberalised financial and investment sector – the Damascus stock exchange is just a year old – do not share European concerns about Assad’s domestic or foreign policies.

Worse, for Brussels and its representatives in Abu Rummaneh, is the sense that Syria cares more about its slowly improving relations with the US. Not a week goes by without some senior administration official or congressman arriving from Washington, often invited for a flattering one-to-one at the presidential palace. The US ambassador was withdrawn after the Hariri killing, but a newly appointed one is eagerly awaited.

Americans and Europeans are both wooing Syria because of its strategic position in the Middle East – its role in any peace process, its co-operation in fighting jihadi terrorism and stabilising Iraq and its capacity, if excluded, for troublemaking, as Iran’s main Arab ally and supporter of “resistance movements”. “For Syria the carrots are just not tempting enough,” argues Rosa Balfour of the European Policy Centre in Brussels. “It can ignore Europe because its political role is so important.” The gloomy conclusion is that, despite reassuring noises, the agreement with the EU may not be signed any time soon.

The feeling in Damascus is that Syria has come through a tough period and survived to realise that it still holds cards that others badly want it to play. “Five years ago things looked really bad for this regime – with Lebanon, Iraq, Bush and the neocons,” says a Syrian intellectual who is privately critical of Assad. “Now look. Are these guys very smart or is it just that the rest of the world really needs them?”

One buried, more jailed after Kurd celebration in Syria
News of the killing by security forces surfaces, underscoring worsening conditions for the minority.
By Borzou Daragahi
March 30, 2010

Mohammad Haider’s family buried him quietly, without a funeral, as they had been instructed by Syrian authorities.

The Syrian Kurd’s body was returned March 23, two days after security forces opened fire on a Kurdish New Year’s celebration in northern Syria sponsored by a political party, human-rights groups said. The killing, which surfaced Monday, underscored worsening conditions for the minority.

Syrian Kurds, who live in the north near the border with Turkey, have a long and fraught relationship with the state. In recent years, Syria has begun tightening its suppression of Kurdish identity.

Kurdish language, customs and even traditional folk dances have been increasingly discouraged or banned. Among these cultural rites is Nowruz, the ancient New Year’s celebration observed by Iranians, Kurds and other groups in the region.

In recent years, Nowruz has become a trigger for violence between Kurdish activists and Syrian security forces, leading to a number of deaths and increased scrutiny of the Kurdish community.

According to Human Rights Watch, Syrian forces this year demanded that the event’s organizers take down Kurdish flags and pictures of Abdullah Ocalan, the Kurdish political leader imprisoned in Turkey. The organizers refused, and some began throwing stones at the security forces, who responded by firing into the crowd, killing at least one person and wounding others.

Normalizing Relations
President Obama’s speeches signal a desire to treat Israel like any other country. Now events have converged to test his resolve.
By Scott McConnell
May 01, 2010 Issue
The American Conservative

President Obama has probably studied the first President Bush’s standoff with Israel. Then as now, the issue of contention was Israeli settlement-building in the West Bank and Jerusalem. George H.W. Bush was hopeful about moving toward a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians. In the last days of the Reagan presidency, the Palestine Liberation Organization had finally laid down the only significant diplomatic card in its possession, accepting UN Resolutions 242 and 338, recognizing Israel’s right to exist within its 1967 borders and limiting its aspirations to a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza. In May 1989, Secretary of State James Baker addressed AIPAC’s annual Washington conference. After praising Israel’s commitment to democracy and role as a strategic partner, Baker went on to say, “Now is the time to lay aside, once and for all, the unrealistic vision of a greater Israel. … Forswear annexation. Stop settlement activity. Allow schools to reopen. Reach out to the Palestinians as neighbors who deserve political rights.” AIPAC’s delegates gave Baker a chilly reception. Relations between Israel’s Likud Party Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and President Bush were frosty as well. Bush believed Shamir had lied to him about settlements in East Jerusalem, which the United States (and every other country) considered occupied territory. The embryonic peace process stalled.

But after driving Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, Bush and Baker returned to the Palestine issue. In May 1991, Israel asked the administration for a $10 billion loan guarantee. The funds were to be used to settle immigrants from the former Soviet Union. At the time, Israel was building settlements at breakneck pace, and Baker and Bush both labeled them an obstacle to peace. Shamir was confident Israel’s clout in Congress would force the president to relent and turn over the money. Bush worked to ensure no funds could be used for construction beyond Israel’s 1967 borders. When AIPAC held an “education day” in Congress to press for the loans with no strings attached, Bush went public with a denunciation, depicting himself as “one lonely little guy” battling thousands of lobbyists. Some American Jews were bothered by the language, but the country was supportive, backing the president by two- and three-to-one margins. Bush stuck to his guns through the following summer, when Israeli voters tossed out Likud and elected Yitzhak Rabin’s Labor Party by a decisive margin. He then released the loan guarantees. The peace process, which came tantalizingly close to producing a two-states-for-two-peoples agreement by the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency, would begin.

A principal lesson is that an American president can prevail in a showdown with Israel over settlements. But the Bush-Shamir dispute also highlights the centrality of the settlement issue……

Comments (100)

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51. Alex said:


Instead of your productivity in name calling, I suggest you try some memory exercises. You need to work on it my friend.

minutes ago you wrote:

“This is THE ONLY blog on the net whose moderators would choose to keep post #9 and its racist filth on their blog.”

So to prove you wrong, I linked to Haaretz, which is a fine newspaper that I read every day, despite the fact its comments section is useless as it is full of Israelis calling for bombing Damascus or calling the Arabs dogs …

If you prefer to stick to “Blogs” I can gladly give you URLs of tens of right wing hate-filled blogs in the US (since you don’t want Israeli ones)

Sorry if you felt you need to call me a Baathist after you called me an antisemite.

If you really want to know, I do not like the Baath party … did considerably more damage than good to Syria.

Because I need to go to dinner, I suggest you stop your name calling for today. Come back tomorrow if you want with more accusations.

Small advice: what you are trying to do is useless… others before you tried to tarnish the reputation of Syria Comment, Joshua, or “Alex” … Syria Comment is still the most popular and respected Syria blog.

Save time, find another tactic.

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March 31st, 2010, 10:40 pm


52. Ford Prefect said:

Again, for the record, the disgusting language (and it sure is disgusting) that you are referring to in #9 above is a direct quotation from a French author, whose book I linked in my comment #28. It is not what Ghat was personally saying.

But you seem to be falling in the same trap that AP has laid for most of us – he conveniently uses the label “terror” every time he wants to attack us – so that we come back to defend ourselves and the “terror” to get even. This is a very well known tactic that the armchair ideologues at AIPAC teach their disciples while Daniel “Sewage” Pipes institutionalize it through his oh-so-innocent hate speeches to minds that are color-coded by the terror alerts.

So, for example, if you are for peace and justice, you are, by default, either a self-hating Jews, a terror-sponsoring person, or a Ba’athist. Really?

But luckily, few are paying attention to them anymore. So now they are flocking to the empty-headed, but sexy, Sarah Palin to arouse Joe the Plumber so he can get even with the terrorists. Good luck!

If you are trying to categorize those of us who support Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Israeli rights as Ba’athists, then you are wrong. The Ba’athist label is fashionable only where is a famine of intellectual thoughts.

Our comments should stand on their own merits – we don’t need the Ba’ath sponsorship.

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March 31st, 2010, 11:43 pm


53. Ghat Albird said:

is this worse than disgusting or just plain disgusting?.

Came across two items this afternoon and had to share them with SC.

First item has to do with suggestions for effetive Communication for individuals dedicated to supporting Israeli actions etc,.

First and foremost always state that Israel is for PEACE….. and a … and that israel is for ending the pain and suffering of both people.better life for all Israelis and Palestenians. Further suggestions follwo the same format ad infinitum.

The second item is a link detailing the importation of shoes into Gaza for the first time in 3 years.


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April 1st, 2010, 12:26 am


54. almasri said:

“Officials say that the move is a concession by the Israeli government after pressure from the Obama Administration.”

This is a quote from your linked article Ghat. That should tell you how much these guys are going to abide by Obama’s demands.

Worse than that, it seems now that when Mitchell goes back next week after Easter ends (The holiday which is over a week for Israelis seems to have been a good execuse to ignore Obama for a while, it came in very handy), the settlement freeze period would now be shortened to 4 months instead of the original beyond-September demand by Obama. That would be an indirect way for the Zionists to gain US approval for the future i.e. beyond the 4 months there is an implication that the US approves such settlements tacitly.

Can any Arab with common sense believe Obama?

The Arabs would soon compete with neocons praising and describing Bush as an angel.

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April 1st, 2010, 12:48 am


55. Akbar Palace said:

Planes, Trains, anti-semites, France, and my “pathetic claims”

Ford Prefect responded to Hassan:

…that you are referring to in #9 above is a direct quotation from a French author, whose book I linked in my comment #28. It is not what Ghat was personally saying.

Ford Prefect,

Thanks for the link. No surprise to find a anti-semitic website. However, you needn’t speak for Ghat. We already know what “Ghai was personally saying” when he wrote:

According to a RESPECTED French analyst the parallels between Judaism and hysterical pathology are quite natural.


Like Amir, I wouldn’t make any drastic changes.

As far as equating an anti-semite to Daniel Pipes, I challenge you to find an article by Dr. Pipes that discusses the parallels between Islam and “hysterical pathology” or anything comparable.

Dr. Pipes is against “radical Mulsims” not Islam. Here is an article that summerizes his views and his desire to see more “moderate muslims” who don’t excuse away terrorism and holds those that employ terrorism accountable.



Another example came to mind. The French war with Algeria. It seems to me you are trying to change the parameters of the debate. When we compare two things, we say they are similar when we are in a similar situation and we would do the same thing. You agree with me that Israel is acting no different than any Western country in its situation, so how is Israel not similar to Western countries?

If Israel would be in France’s situation it would act like France. If France would be in Israel’s situation it would act like Israel. In fact, given the fact that France killed nearly 1 million people in Algeria, I put it to you that Israel is acting much better than France in the same situation. The difference is that the French could go home. Israelis have nowhere to go. What I am presenting to you are facts that clearly prove that Israel is better than France because in similar situations Israel acted much more humanely.


Frankly, I think it is you who is the propagandist. You are not comparing apples to apples, and I reallly think you know it. You are trying to judge Israel as if it is in France’s situation NOW in 2010, while the situation is TOTALLY different. That is a double standard. You want to be fair, compare Israel NOW to France during the Algerian war. Otherwise, admit you lost the argument.


Peace Professor Josh said:

I am not proposing war or recommending it.

I am merely trying to imagine what Syrian thinking is.

Professor Josh,

When you wrote the title of you article, “Why Syria Must Burnish its “Resistance” Credentials …”, we errroneously thought you were speaking. How were we to know you were speaking for an “imaginary” Syria? You’re tricky!

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April 1st, 2010, 12:57 am


56. Ford Prefect said:

Please don’t defend the hate-filled Daniel “Sewage” Pipes. It is a slippery slope – and made more so by his own filth! May I remind our readers here with just one of his many racist quotes: Here it is:

“The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”

And funny enough, he brags about the above stupid statement on HIS OWN BLOG, for crying out loud:


“Must be made to understand” my you know what, Danny boy!

AP, if I were you, I’d stay clear from his name and similar filth-filled names, just so you don’t further undermine your own statements.

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April 1st, 2010, 1:10 am


57. Husam said:

Oh my…

This is an absolute disgrace, such waste of energy. Racism is a disease. A little story for you guys:

I, a Muslim, a successfull business partner with a Jew for 11 years. We are equal 50-50 partners. I give him full control of the books and his one signature (or mine) suffice for all checks. We are talking multi-million dollar company here. Yes, I did a few spot investigations in the beginning and found no foul play (trust me, I checked things top to bottom). He knows my life story, and I know his. Is he Jewish?, yes in many ways. I, an Arab Muslim, yes in my ways. We accepted each other and truly care for one another. The moral of the story: we are all human beings that need to understand that not all Jews are alike and not all Muslims or Arabs are the same; and my partnership with him is proof of that.

Having said that, I believe this ensuing debate about censorship here is the following: “anyone” who repeats the same message over and over again is either a nut case or a professional blogger paid to discredit and disenfranchise respected commentators ultimately ruining the debate. This also plays negatively on highly scholarical views. I am not talking about those who make an error in judgment and then apologize, I am talking about what someone said earlier “robotics.”

The BEST and only thing you can do is COMPLETELY ignore these type commentators. The minute you respond, you ligitimize their post and it becomes sensational to any new visitor here.

About AP (and the like): Banning him/her, will probably just result in him/her getting another name. Actually, I would not be surprised if s/he actually goes by two or even three names here (Perhaps, Hassan rings a bell).

Alex: Do your poll, but be prepared to be the moral police. Perhaps it will rid of the roach infestation you got going here.

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April 1st, 2010, 1:26 am


58. Akbar Palace said:

AP, if I were you, I’d stay clear from his name and similar filth-filled names, just so you don’t further undermine your own statements.

Ford Prefect,

There was nothing anti-muslim in that statement.

So you take issue with his statement about defeating Palestinians?

Gee, no one here has any problem defending Hamas and Hezbollah under the exact same situation. Must be that double-standard we’ve all come to know and love…

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April 1st, 2010, 1:45 am


59. Husam said:


Please see comment #48, Joshua, regarding balance of power. This is what I have been trying to bring across to you. A “precieved” balance of power is not enough. It is has to be “real”.

This may be possible within 3-5 years with the Turkish-Iranian-Syrian hegemony. Others may come on board. This is to me is a clear reason why the U.S. is drumming up sanctions on Iran so loudly. The west has never allowed the M.E. to florish without exerting ultimate control one way or another. This time it is no different.

The possibility of regional war may be played out only to keep the fire burning in the M.E. in order to render the region divided, insecure, and weak.

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April 1st, 2010, 1:54 am


60. jad said:

“There was nothing anti-muslim in that statement”
It was anti-human statement, but I guess you don’t know what Human means, why don’t you sit on your a** and give your brain some rest robot AP.

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April 1st, 2010, 2:03 am


61. Husam said:


About city of blogger origin, etc…you can crawl the web privately nowadays with special add ons. Also, you can set your router to a different country, and I would imagine a whole bunch of other tactics to disguise your origin. So AP may be in Tel-Aviv and also in NYC under a different user ID. This is what professional bloggers do, they have hundreds of aliases all over the net.

I am no computer whiz, but you may want to check this out with your programmer.

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April 1st, 2010, 2:35 am


62. almasri said:

Y’3ani with all due respect we all have money and in multimillion dollar size as well. We do not go around on blogosphere trying to inflate our ego displaying our checkbooks in our comments. It is not an SC rule yet but perhaps it should become a recommended wise discretionary practice.

We also know many Muslims and Jews do business together. So what is new in your last comment?

Did you check if your partner supports Zionism? Does he support Zionist expansionist projects in Palestine depriving our brothers of their land?

I will be very disappointed if you failed to do so. I would also be very disappointed if he turned out to be so and you remain partners, and I wouldn’t care much in this case how many millions you may have in the bank.

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April 1st, 2010, 2:36 am


63. Akbar Palace said:

The Evil Daniel Pipes

It was anti-human statement, but I guess you don’t know what Human means…


Is it “anti-human” when Hamas states:

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

“The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. ”

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

“After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”


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April 1st, 2010, 2:46 am


64. Ford Prefect said:

Attention AIPAC bloggers everywhere:

When someone exposes the racism of Daniel Rusty Pipes or similar geniuses of the same DNA misaligned sequence, throw a Hamas said this, Hizbollah done that, an Iran, a 911, or any anything to that nature as part of the subject. Go to Faux News, MEMRI, and other friendly misfits to find some examples. Make sure the subject remains diverted and keep focusing on Hamas or similar fun topics.

Woohoo!! Problem solved and Israel remains safe.

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April 1st, 2010, 3:29 am


65. Husam said:


You are one lousy person, who is a Jew-hater! I thought I got you to calm down and be civilized after a few exchanges. You just switched on me because you found out that I worked with a Jew. So, you think that I am here to inflate my ego. Please Mr. Almasri, explain to me how does one inflate an ego on a blog? We are not hanging out in a Cairo Cafe or Nadi here. Gentlemen, this is the type of idiocity we have on this board.

You, as usual, are a hot potato, jumping like a kid, and missing the point. I was saying “million” to put emphasis on how much I trust a Jew. Ok, Go Cry.

Anyone reading my comment, other than you, would have understood my intention in discribing details about how mutual trust can grow. Money is a sensitive issue to people and I put it in his hands. Why are you offended on the subject of money? Of all people, Almasri, this should have rang a bell in your little head. Yes, many people worked with Jews before me going back to Mohammed(PBUH), but nowadays those who do, suspect every Jew to be a theif exactly like you said “did you check if he is zionist, I bet he is, I would be disappointed if you did not, etc…”

Almasri, here is some lecturing for you (since often times you love to lecture others): if you are a Muslim this relentless unfounded suspicion on a specific individual is Haram. I believe you are a Muslim because you refer to Palestinians as brothers.

You are suggesting that I don’t know a Zionist from an average Jew after having described various Zionist personalities in detail and provided you with various links and exchanges about Zionism. So, I live 9 hours with this guy every day, 365/year, for 11 years and don’t know where his money goes! Really? Are you from Shubra wela aye?

This is the EXACT reason why the M.E. bleeds because some Arabs it seems are so arrogant, dictative, overconfident, know-it-all, and jealous of their own.

One last thing: you state “we all have money” really? How so? Who has what? Perhaps Shai is poor and has no money. Perhaps his filthy rich. You see the world only from your perspective. You type faster than than you think. And frankly, judging from the way you wrote your last comment and demeanour, I don’t think you have a pot to p*ss in.

Mr. Almasri this is my last post directed to you. So go ahead bash me, my partner, bash jews, say whatever you want. You are in the Racist Trash Bin next to AP.

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April 1st, 2010, 3:34 am


66. jad said:

Back to reality:

Obama is officially the new Bush!

New Iran Sanctions Get Boost: China Agrees To Pursue Sanctions

“China has agreed to sit down and begin serious negotiations here in New York … as a first step toward getting the entire U.N. Security Council on board with a tough sanctions regime against Iran,” Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the U.N., told CNN.


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April 1st, 2010, 3:56 am


67. almasri said:

You should take it easy Mr. Husam. You realize that you’re beginning a shouting match for nothing and for no justified provocation.

Nonone goes around blog spots and dispalys his millions except perhaps a nouveau riche.

The only reason I mentioned that you should check if he was a Zionist is because you did display a lack of knowledge in this area in your previous comments. If you’re sure he is not, then that’s good for you and I’ll be glad to know that.

I would go on and call your last comment id**tic, but I’d rather not go down to such level and have you think that you got the best of my nerves.

And yes, there is nothing new in mentioning a Jew and a Muslim can trust each other in business. A 10 year old kid in Egypt knows that. You should know more than any anyone else that Muhammad (PBUH) trusted Jews most with his possessions.

And I’m sure you know SC is not a stock exchange or a chamber of commerce.

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April 1st, 2010, 3:59 am


68. jad said:

I’m amazed how smart the Syrians are when it comes to international matters, they know the game very well and they knew what is coming. No wonder that President Assad insists on resistance in his last statement…I just wish that they were as smart on domestic matters.

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April 1st, 2010, 4:04 am


69. almasri said:

JAD @66,
Now we seem to have something in common for a change. But I beat you to that in 11 and in 54.

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April 1st, 2010, 4:08 am


70. jad said:

tsk tsk tsk…You can’t beat me buddy, check #3.
I guess you’ve been busy attacking people and not reading the comment.
Your coming apology will be accepted 🙂

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April 1st, 2010, 4:30 am


71. almasri said:

JAD @70
I see that. You do not really want an apology. You want me to thank you for pointing that out. Ok, thank you.

Nevertheless, the source of my comment in 11 precedes your source chronologically. That is, I reached my conclusion based on an earlier event than yours. Abu Shama met the Chinese ambassador and promised him Taiwan before he met Sarkozy after which Abu Shama made the pronouncement you mentioned in 3.

You only beat me in posting the conclusion on SC. But, still you win in this case.

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April 1st, 2010, 4:45 am


72. jad said:

“You do not really want an apology” excellent point, no I don’t.
“Thank you” is always nice to read. You are welcome!

“Abu Shama met the Chinese ambassador and promised him Taiwan”
I didn’t read that yet, but rationally speaking it might be the price the US is paying for Iran’s Head.

“Abu Shama” LOLOL that is so funny!

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April 1st, 2010, 4:53 am


73. almasri said:

Now you got it all figured out. This is how I figured it out two days ago. And the Iranians are already in Beijing.

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April 1st, 2010, 5:01 am


74. jad said:

What are the Iranians doing in Beijing and what is the card they hold higher than Taiwan? From my understanding of the far east, Taiwan to china, is the jackpot, the Iranians have nothing more precious for China to offer, Do they?
what do you think will happen?

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April 1st, 2010, 5:07 am


75. Yossi said:

Akbar @17 and @55,

I will respond to your latest batch of shallow argumentation later. Sit tight. My answers will appear in the thread where we’re been having the rest of the discussion. Here:


The discussion on the topic will happen there, and I’d like to explain why and also comment on your performance and my attitude towards you.

The reason we will have the continuation of our discussion back in the original thread is three-fold

First, as much as I’d like to drag your bottom and put you to shame through the comment section of each thread, some sanitation is in place. Taking the garbage out is healthy, but the trip from the kitchen to the dumpster doesn’t have to include every room in the house. So I will do my bit for hygiene by containing our discussion, and especially your ridiculous half of it, in one place.

Second, it would help me immensely to have a single point of reference when it will come to summarize my triumph over your excuses of arguments.

Third, it will provide me with an accurate metric of the tenacity with which you’re willing to peddle your propaganda. I will be able to easily count how many times you have failed to respond to the same argument and repeated your “arguments” after they have been thoroughly refuted.

As to the form of my discourse in our debate:

I do not wish to attack you personally, but I can’t believe that you believe your arguments of the form 2+2=5. Especially after having been demonstrated where your mistakes are. Because you are making the same arguments repeatedly, completely ignoring my refutations, if I were pressed to make a judgment call about why that happens, I would have to assume that you, as a person, are either a propagandist or very stupid. There is no other choice, and I know you are not stupid. I could have stuck to characterizing your arguments, instead of you, and I’d actually much prefer that, but here’s the problem with that: when you ignore MY arguments and repeat yours as if I never refuted them, you’re giving me very little respect, and really wasting my time. Because you are hurting my personal interests, by forcing me to repeat the same things over and over without any hope of making forward progress, I have no choice but to expose your motives for doing so. You can always take the higher path and start replying to the point, conceding a point when you have to and not repeating the same argument while ignoring a refutation of the same argument, which I have taken time to write FOR YOU to read, understand and internalize or at least take into account. When you will provide me with the courtesy of an intelligent debate, it will be reciprocated. It’s that simple.

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April 1st, 2010, 5:15 am


76. jad said:

First of all, Happy belated Passover to you and your family and also to Shai and his family.
Second, your comment is hilarious especially ‘taking the garbage’ scene and the ‘propagandist vs very stupid’ argument…you sound that you are in a good mood which make me happy for you 🙂

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April 1st, 2010, 5:30 am


77. almasri said:

JAD @74,
You are correct. Taiwan is the jackpot for China. But it is also the jackpot for the US. The Chinese are good business people and China is very very hungry for energy. Iran’s card is nothing but the oil supplies. US sent Gates about a month ago to the Gulf seeking support from SA, UAE and others to compensate China’s oil needs in exchange for China coming on board. He came out from a meeting with the Saudis and made a statement in which he implied that he felt the Saudis are willing to go along. The Saudis later on denied making any promises.

China holds over trillion dollars in US treasury bonds and sits on trillions in cash while everybody else is going further and further in the red. The Chinese are thinking of dumping their US dollar investments gradually and replace it with gold and other securities as India did recently. The US will not simply relinquish Taiwan overnight. If they do so, they basically surrender the whole east to China and they would have no sway over the rising giant any more. The game will go on back and forth as the Chinese would never make false steps. They move like a dragon. If Taiwan will ever be given to China, the handover will take place as it did with Hong Kong gradually.

Abu Shama did indicate to the ambassador that he would like to see China unified. How, when and what will the new China look like are still open questions.

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April 1st, 2010, 5:31 am


78. Shai said:

Dear Joshua, Husam,

You may well be right. But please realize that when I speak of the “psychology”, namely the perceived threat, I am not looking at it separately. That is, I am attributing great value to it, only when in parallel Syria launches a head-on “peaceful attack”. I still think Washington is different today than it was the previous 8 years, and if Obama won’t come to Syria, Syria should come to Obama. But not as a “sponsor of terrorism” (as most of America sees her). And if Bibi won’t come to Obama, with a plan to withdraw to the 1967 borders, Obama should come to Bibi, with an order.

If you believe Syria cannot do more, I would argue with that. The gamble of waiting for a real balance-of-power is that, like always, the smaller players can call the shots, whenever they want and often based on their own best interests. And then you get long delays again. Look at what happened after summer 2006. Or especially with Turkey after winter 2008. I am not blaming everything on HA or Hamas, but take away Israel’s excuses for delaying the process, and you make it much tougher for us to do so.

The recent crisis with Washington is really the best example. It was all-quiet-on-the-West-Bank-front, no Intifadas, no terrorism, nothing. Israel went ahead and approved 1,600 new units, and Washington wouldn’t have it. But imagine there was something going on – it’d be the perfect excuse to tell Obama (quietly): “Look, this is the only way for the Palestinians to realize time is not on their side. We will continue our natural growth, until they are ready to do business…” And what will Obama say?

The situation in our region is like a barrel of TNT that is growing fatter and fatter by the day, and any tiny match can light it. We can’t afford to wait for true balance. It wouldn’t mean the barrel won’t explode. The last place I would use the logic that barely held together during the Cold War, is the Middle East. Between 1961-1967, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. came three times within a hair’s-length away from Nuclear War. Do you think Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Turkey, and the Palestinians, can exercise “wisdom” like the two superpowers did? I doubt it.

We’re left, I think, either with my thesis (all-out Peace Attack), or with Norman’s.

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April 1st, 2010, 5:37 am


79. jad said:

I’m impressed with your analytical approach.
Accepting that the US asked the Saudis and the Gulf States to pay for its next war, is the Saudi that stupid to oblige for the third time seeing the amount of destruction the last two wars brought to the region??
For Abu Shama to take his country into a third war with the financial problems they have doesn’t make any sense though, it won’t be as easy as the Iraqi war and it will defiantly be a major one, is the States really willing to take this risk?? For what??

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April 1st, 2010, 5:49 am


80. almasri said:

JAD @79,

I do not have a link for the Saudi denial of Gates statement. But I recall clearly that the Saudis were very upset and did indicate exactly what you pointed out, i.e. their interests are above all, and that they would like to see a diplomatic solution.

Remember we are not talking war yet. This is only sanctions at this point. And the sanctions may even get way watered down by Chinese maneuvers in order to safeguard their oil supplies. With oil prices on the rise, the Iranians will have no problem marketing their oil and finding new customers, thereby depriving China of a steady supply for its rising needs in the future. The Chinese are not stupid, and even if the Saudi plan was as Gates mentioned, the Chinese know it is only temporary and they still have to take into account future considerations.

The more sinister scenario is the Neten scenario of Israel. There were leaked reports about plans for Israeli strikes of Iranian facilities and making refueling stops in Saudi somewhere without Saudi or US knowledge (bull**t, like the 2003 over flights that no one knew about). Then the Israelis will sit still while the Iranians counterattack and hit Israel and Saudi as well, because the Saudis would be perceived by the Iranians as accomplices in the strikes. The US in this case will have no choice but to intervene and do something. In this case AIPAC would have accomplished what they wanted despite all the good plans and intentions of Abu Shama and team, and Neten would be smiling in Abu Shama’s face: So, who is the real boss, here?

Do you think AIPAC and the neocons would care less if the US goes broke?

By the way if you visit China, which I did, you will find all the big corporations with same names as in the US. You name it: HP, Dell, IBM, Siemens, Wall mart … If ever the US goes broke they just move headquarters to Shanghai, Hong Kong or Shenzhen and it is business as usual.

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April 1st, 2010, 6:32 am


81. Yossi said:


Thanks 🙂 I hope you’re good too and I wish you all the best today, and every day of every year 🙂


Get to it, time to recycle electrons, I know you can’t help it: http://joshualandis.com/blog/?p=5835&cp=4#comment-235347

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April 1st, 2010, 8:09 am


82. Mr.President said:

So far no real solution to Iran. China will not sell Iran for a promise to get more oil from the Saudi family. Saudi family ties to US and Israel are very strong. I am sure a promise to supply China with oil was made by the Saudi long time ago. China knows that Saudi’s promise could become a Trojan horse by the West. the West can easily command the Saudi family to negate/(play games) on its promise once the full sanctions are in place. at that time China and its economy will be nothing but a low hanging fruit.
The fight in the ME is not between Iran, Israel,… it is a fight between the super powers as usual. China and Russia are trying to establish a presence on the shores of the big oil lake (by helping Iran). the West got two third of the lake. The West, by invading and occupying Iraq, had a plan to protect the lake fully. The backup plan is to use this Iran Nuclear issue for phase II of the US attack. no clear winner or looser so far. the battle goes on.

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April 1st, 2010, 8:25 am


83. Akbar Palace said:

You are in the Racist Trash Bin next to AP.


Even thoough you consider me a racist, I just wanted to let you know that I read your Post 65 and I wanted to thank you for putting AlMasri in his place.

As I’ve stated before, I believe the Palestinians are a people and they should have a state. The borders should be negotiated, land for peace.

JAD said,

Obama is officially the new Bush!

It’s funny how they both look alike, especially if you only look at them based on one criteria: stability in the ME. All those who have jumped on the “Iran bandwagon” may find themselves still holding the stick.

Yossi stated:

First, as much as I’d like to drag your bottom and put you to shame … some sanitation is in place. Taking the garbage out is healthy, but the trip from the kitchen to the dumpster … So I will do my bit for hygiene by containing our discussion …

… to summarize my triumph over your excuses of arguments.

Third, it will provide me with an accurate metric of the tenacity with which you’re willing to peddle your propaganda. I will be able to easily count how many times you have failed to respond to the same argument and repeated your “arguments” after they have been thoroughly refuted.


Because it is not my intention to get personal, I hereby declare you victorious. You win the argument. Israel is not like any Western country. Israel is much worse. In fact, your country is a terrorist state.

Now that we have that taken care of, I will continue posting here, asking questions, pointing out factual errors, anti-semitism, and providing my opinion all at the discretion of Alex and Professor Josh. IMHO, they allow me to post here because I’m not as articulate as other past posters. Anyway, just make sure you’re wearing a mask and rubber gloves so you don’t get infected.;)



Do you think AIPAC and the neocons would care less if the US goes broke?

Al Masri,

Considering that the US is Israel’s main ally and home to about half the world’s Jewish population, I would say, “yes”. BTW, the US is already “broke”, and the 78% of Jews who voted for the current president are partly responsible.

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April 1st, 2010, 11:16 am


84. Shai said:


The atmosphere is certainly not one of peace right now. There are power plays on both sides, and this is a first in a lifetime that the region is shifting. I did not advocate waiting forever, but there are strategist working around the clock almost like a game of chess. The key difference this time around is Turkey and the regional social and ecomonic thrust is evident.

Give it a few more years, let it brew, and hopefully there will be a golden opportunity building up (unless the TNT barrel blows up, as you mentioned). I think the opportunity is worth the risk of waiting.

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April 1st, 2010, 1:08 pm


85. Husam said:


The atmosphere is certainly not one of peace right now. There are power plays on both sides, and the region is shifting. I did not advocate waiting forever, but there are strategist working around the clock almost like a game of chess. The key difference this time around is Turkey and the regional social and ecomonic thrust is evident. As for small players going after their own interest, that is true and the problem. But perhaps they will play along in a collective bargain.

Give it a few more years, let it brew, and hopefully there will be a golden opportunity building up (unless the TNT barrel blows up, as you mentioned). I think the opportunity is worth the risk of waiting.

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April 1st, 2010, 1:15 pm


86. Ghat Albird said:

Some observations about the “exclusive” visit of Senator Kerry.

The fact that Senator Kerry is on an exclusive visit to only Lebanon and Syria is an evident manifestation that US policy makers have decided on an almost 180 degre change in US-Israeli dealings.

It needs to be considered as a watershed and basic change in US policy and will entail some time to establish formally. As MLK put it, “free at last, free at last” from the zionist noose”.

Its up now to the non-zionists and principally the Syrians to undertake a primary role in establishing markers for the future.

The DC/Tel Aviv axis is not anymore what it used to be.

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April 1st, 2010, 1:15 pm


87. Husam said:


I wish you were right, but please don’t get too excited too fast. There is a change, very true I agree. But it only seems so good because of how bad things were.

Zionist are still the powerfull plotters. They are only offering cookies to make belief that things are changing. The meat will always be kept for themselves and their evil masters (not kosher meat by the way).

Kerry is part of the skull and bones fraternity married to the Heinz (food) family. Other than his calm nature and political position, he offers nothing tangible to Syria.

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April 1st, 2010, 1:24 pm


88. Badr said:

I am not proposing war or recommending it.

I am merely trying to imagine what Syrian thinking is.

Dr. Landis,

In that case, may I suggest that you change the wording of your post?

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April 1st, 2010, 6:00 pm


89. Ghat Albird said:

HUSAM said:


I wish you were right, but please don’t get too excited too fast.


Its not a question of excited too fast. Ita certain sense of satisfaction that the prevailing Zionist control of US policies in the ME has hit a brick wall.

Initially Israel was sold as a control center over much of the region. Over time it began to dawn on most everyone that things were not working out the way the US neocon/Likudnids had planned due to a variety of reasons; bad decisions, global power imbalances etc,.

What broke the “camel’s back” is that the israelis have come out into the open and told the US “f#ck off” (naturally in more diplomatic language). thus the visit of Kerry to just Lebanon and Syria.

Now that the whole world has come to know that the US was told to “f…ck off” by a tiny state like Israel and has done nothing well leave to one’s imagination.

Reminiscent somewhat of what Sadddam Hussein told the US and what the US subsequently did to him and Iraq.

Time will only tell.

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April 1st, 2010, 6:47 pm


90. Husam said:


While I agree with most of what you stated, there is no way that Israel would suffer anything remotely close to Iraq.

Neten is an idiot, twice. But he is a pawn, just like Obama. Never underestimate what the really strategy may be. Have you ever heard of a false flag operation? If so, this recent Israel-US row, although maybe have occured naturally, both sides may play it out to their advantage leading the Arabs to think “Ahaaaaaaa at last.” In reality they are planning the next 2 decades while we are throwing a one month celebration.

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April 2nd, 2010, 12:54 am


91. jad said:

Abu Shama begging continue:

Obama Talks With Hu Jintao, President Of China, While Plane Idles

Obama urges China’s Hu to get behind Iran push

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April 2nd, 2010, 12:55 pm


92. almasri said:

JAD @91
Thanks for those links Jad. I was following similar news and I read the Reuters story. Notice in the Huffingtonpost story the reference to arms sales to Taiwan. This was announced couple months ago – 6 billion dollar worth which infuriated Beijing.

Similar tactic was used with Russia some 8 months ago with so-called missile defense systems to be deployed in Poland. That too infuriated Moscow and looks like a deal was reached and now Russia is on board for sanctions. So for now Taiwan is only a promise, i.e. a distant future carrot. It is used now as a stick.

Most likely sanctions, if they pass UN, will be toothless, like financial restrictions on certain Iranian personalities and institutions and some sensitive products – all can be easily circumvented by the Iranians. I doubt China will go along with sanctions restricting Iranian ships or other countries commercial ships which would cause some pain for the Iranians with the oil exports. In this case China will be shooting itself in the foot- see Mr. President @82.

Turkey is against any sanctions citing other countries in the region with nuclear weapons with no sanctions discussed as well as its 380 km border with Iran. Brazil is most likely against. Our great friend (i.e. Arab friend) President of Brazil recently trashed his protocol visit to so-called Herzel mausoleum, a protocol more or less imposed on every foreign head of state when s/he sets foot in the Zionist colony since colonization began. Lebanon is excused for voting against because of the sensitivity of the issue to its internal politics. All three countries are non-permanent members in UNSC currently.

The deal may go as I described above with China on board. The Europeans and the US will then declare their own so-called ‘tougher’ sanctions. The pool of oil will essentially be divided as a result as Mr. President mentioned in his comment. However, I would say Iraq is still a disputed territory.

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April 2nd, 2010, 5:02 pm


93. Ghat Albird said:

Chuck Krauthammer of Washington Post fame, a pathetically hysterical zionist writes that he has finally figured out the ways Obama treats his “foreign allies”.

To wit: …. given how the (Obama) administration has treated other allies, perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised.

[that]Obama visits China and soon Indonesia, skipping INDIA OUR NATURAL AND RISING ALLY IN THE REGION. [WE] HAVE A COMMON LANGUAGE, COMMON HERITAGE, COMMON DEMOCRAY, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY COMMON JIHADIST ENEMY. Indeed, in his enthusiasm for China, Obama suggests a Chinese interest in peace and stability in South Asia, a gratuitous denigration of Indian power and legitimacy in favor of a regional rival with hegemonic ambitions.

Mr. Krauthammer’s pseudo peripatetic commentary examplifies his deep affection for a nation that encompasses many languages/dialects as well as a common European heritage like the USA.

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April 2nd, 2010, 5:28 pm


94. jad said:

The real problem is not with the Chinese, the Russians, the Brazilians or the Turks, not even with the Americans or the Europeans every one of these powers is looking for what works best for their own people and their own nations, our biggest problem is ourselves, US THE ARABS, we are nothing but a mule to every power throughout our history since the end of the Arab empire so no wonder that we are still backward in every aspect of our lives, and what makes it worse is that we want to pull back Iran to our backwardness farm so we will all be ‘equal’ in the ditch of shame and all this nuclear charade is BS.

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April 2nd, 2010, 6:05 pm


95. almasri said:

JAD @94


The Arabs have gone backwards and everyone else in the neighbourhood moved forward. We’re even competing with each other on how to behave more shamefully than each other. I’d say the Arabs have never been at a lower ebb in their history since the word Arab became known in this world.

The Turks (or Ottomans) who many Arabs were taught from childhood to vilify had more honour and understanding of history than most Arab leaders who inherited (or actually who were appointed by the west over) the Ottoman legacy. Case in point is the last Sultan Abdulhamid’s position on Palestine when he was approached by the Zionists in an effort to buy a ‘State’ on that land. Does it make you wonder why Erdogan is the most popular non-Arab leader in the Arab world? If he were allowed to run for Presidency of the Arabs – all 300 million – what percentage of votes do you think he would get? The same may also apply to the Iranians.


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April 2nd, 2010, 9:15 pm


96. norman said:


You don’t have to look outside the Arab world , we have a leader who has more popularity than Erdogan and Ahmadinejad and that is the President of Syria , Bashar Assad ,who navigated Syria through hot waters and stood beside the Palestinians , the Lebanese , and the Iraqis,

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April 2nd, 2010, 10:11 pm


97. almasri said:


Bashar is doing very well compared to others. Hopefully, he’ll continue to do so. He may be a contender for Erdogan but, I believe Erdogan (and team) succeeded in winning many more hearts.

Happy Easter…

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April 2nd, 2010, 10:58 pm


98. Mr. President said:

Shai said:

“”The atmosphere is certainly not one of peace right now. There are power plays on both sides, and this is a first in a lifetime that the region is shifting.””

I always believed that western powers are ready to let go of Israel at the moment when it is no longer useful to them. The next few years will tell us unless Israel is able to redefine itself in relation to new power plays. I believe that the West that created, funded, and protected Israel starting 60 years ago did not do so for the love of Jews. Hitler had almost complete support of the average European on the street (including the Catholic Church and most of the neutral? Swiss bankers). The Holocaust was more of a marketing tool to win the hearts and minds of the average European. Just as Western politicians of today are using Islam phobia, anti-Islamic-veil to win the hearts and minds of Europeans and Americans (to them Middle-Easter-originated Christian veils of Catholic and orthodox nuns are not offensive and fully acceptable). The point is that the West had benefited much more from Israel than one can imagine. Israel was a fantastic tool to stop the Soviet Union from taking over the Middle East and its oil/water canals. It kept local population wasting its money and resources for the purpose of protecting its land, homes, brothers and sisters from this ever expanding new neighbor called Israel.
Western Powers created Israel to prevent any sort of political, cultural, economic unification or even open border Middle East. The goal was exactly not to allow any economically based alliance between Persians, Turks, Arabs… However, that seems no longer true. The goal was exactly against what we are witnessing today. Hilary Clinton indicated lately that Israel has not lived up to western expectations. It failed to destroy Hezbollah in 2006, as commanded by Bush Jr,. It partially lost its military deterrence. It lost the demographic war against the original Palestinian population. It created more enemies in the far Middle East (Turkey and Iran). I am amazed as to the strategic thinking of Israeli politicians. They are still stuck to the old model. One can only imagine how strong Israel would be playing the role of Germany financially, technologically, politically,… in a United-Open Borders-All Winners-All Equal-Constitution Protected Minorities Middle East.
Happy Holiday.

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April 3rd, 2010, 11:42 am


99. Shai said:

Mr. President,

The quote you attributed to me is not mine… It is Husam’s, from Comment 85. For some reason it appeared first as my comment, in 84.

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April 3rd, 2010, 1:08 pm


100. Husam said:

Shai, Mr. President:

Sorry, for the typo.

Contrary to Mr. President’s remark “I always believed that western powers are ready to let go of Israel at the moment when it is no longer useful to them.” I believe the opposite is true for the following reasons:

1. While the current drama we are witnessing between US and Israel is unfolding, the consensus over settlement building between Israel and U.S in reality is, as it always has been, a blind eye through the back door. The Obamaniacs are tactically trying to make it look like they are engaging in a U-TURN towards the Arabs, especially Syria, in order to yank it out of Iranian influence, but in reality, it is just grand political theatrics.

2. American Evangelical, Christians United for Israel, Christian Zionist etc… are extremely powerful and have a very fundamentalistic views of supporting Israel (religious doctrine).

3. Jewish reach into the heart and soul of American politics, for the past 100 years or so, is extremely profound and will likely remain unchanged for the forseeable future. I wrote several weeks ago listing the names of powerful Pro-Zionist Jews in the Obama adminstration. This is widely known public information. Further, the whole political arena in the US is bank rolled by the heavy weights (Goldman Sachs, Rockerfellers, Rothschilds, Big Pharma, Military Industrial Complex, etc…) which strive on Israel’s presence in the M.E.

4. According to FEC, Obama received twice the funding of Jewish-dominated international finance than did his opponent John McCain. It will be pay back time for 4 years, we know how politics work, don’t we?

5. Israel has historically on many occassions, commited aggression and killed direclty (and indirectly) hundreds, if not thousands of Americans without any reprimand whatsoever. Take the well document evidence of Israel’s attack on U.S.S. Liberty in 1967. http://www.uss-liberty.com It is a known fact that the Mossad is actively spying on the U.S. more than any country in the world. How can this be possibly be going on? Why has nothing been done about this?

I can’t believe the amount comments on SC claiming victory regarding the Obama-Neten row. Mr. President, it is only a political shift for us “the audience.’ The reality is a different matter altogether. Last and most importantly, the Amercian society is not in control of its destiny. The ultimate power is in the hands of powerful – Zionist friends of Israel and no tangilble change will come overnight.

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April 4th, 2010, 3:06 am


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