WikiLeaks: US Embassy Officials’ Views on Sanctioning Syrian Insiders and on Assad

WikiLeaks: Bush, Obama Passed on Sanctioning Syrian Insiders
by Kevin G. Hal, Thursday, August 4, 2011 by McClatchy

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. administrations declined in recent years to place sanctions on Syrian officials who now are involved in that country’s harsh crackdown on dissidents, despite the officials’ involvement in crushing internal opposition previously, according to secret State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks.

The struggle continues … demonstrators shout slogans against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of the Syrian Embassy in Turkey. (Photo: Reuters) In one instance, the top diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus asked the State Department in 2007 to impose sanctions on Ali Mamluk, the chief of intelligence for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“The role of the organization he heads in suppressing internal dissent is publicly known in Syria and stating as much in our statement would resonate well here,” wrote Michael Corbin, the embassy’s charge d’affaires.

But no action was taken against Mamluk until this April, after security forces had killed scores of civilians in the Syrian town of Deraa in protests that have since spread to much of the country.

In the same cable, Corbin opposed sanctions for Mohammad Suleiman, who at the time was a special Assad adviser for arms procurement and strategic weapons. Corbin argued that Suleiman’s activities weren’t well-known enough that the Treasury Department could impose the sanctions without revealing classified information.

“His activities are not widely known, which will make it difficult to obtain unclassified material” needed for the Treasury Department to cite when sanctioning Suleiman, Corbin wrote.

Suleiman never was sanctioned. On Aug. 1, 2008, a sniper killed him in the Syrian coastal town of Tartous. Syria blamed Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency but offered no proof. A secret cable dated April 9, 2009, offers another possibility: that Suleiman was killed because he had $80 million in cash in the basement of one of his homes, which investigators who were looking into his slaying later found.

How to deal with Assad’s inner circle clearly has been a difficult problem for the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, according to the cables, part of the vast trove of State Department communications that WikiLeaks has shared with McClatchy and other news organizations.

Despite suggestions as long ago as 2006 that Assad was falling short on promises to open his country’s political system, neither administration was willing to take firm action against his closest advisers, though such sanctions — which would have prohibited U.S. citizens and companies from doing business with them — often were discussed, the cables show.

That same ambiguity exists today, with the Obama administration refusing to call for Assad to leave office, even as the White House regularly denounces the harsh crackdown in which as many as 1,600 people are thought to have died. The most recent White House statement came Sunday, after Syrian troops moved into the restive city of Hama and killed an estimated 75 people.

A Jan. 4, 2006, confidential cable from the previous charge d’affaires in Damascus, Stephen Seche, spelled out why the Bush administration was reluctant to target Assad’s inner circle.

“Most Syrians we talk to believe that President Assad still represents their best hope for change without instability. It is their fear of instability that stops the majority of Syrians from pushing harder for internal change,” Seche wrote.

The hesitancy to pressure Assad’s inner circle as a way to bring political change to Syria that’s reflected in the cables recalls the conflict between how officials today describe the Libyan regime of Moammar Gadhafi and the way Gadhafi’s regime was portrayed in diplomatic cables before the current uprising in that country.

As McClatchy outlined in a story in April, those cables often portrayed Gadhafi’s regime as moving toward greater openness and described Gadhafi’s son Saif as one of the main proponents of greater respect for human rights. The International Criminal Court indicted Saif Gadhafi on war crimes charges in June, along with his father.

Corbin raised the issue of sanctions in several cables, including one classified secret and dated Jan. 24, 2008, in which he suggested that the U.S. target four men who make and move money for Assad.

The four included Assad’s father-in-law, Fawas Arkhas; financier Zufair Sahloul, who was said to be able to “move $10 million anywhere in the world in 24 hours”; and Assad’s uncle and financial adviser Mohammad Makhlouf. The U.S. still has made no move to sanction them, although the European Union sanctioned Makhlouf on Tuesday.

The fourth person Corbin suggested the U.S. move against was Nabil al Kuzbari, whom Corbin identified as an Assad confidant who ran investment schemes on behalf of Syria’s top business families. The U.S. moved to sanction him only this May.

Despite its refusal to move in some cases, the Bush administration did impose sanctions on some Assad confidants, including Assad’s cousin and economic power broker Rami Makhlouf, after the embassy in Damascus suggested that they be targeted.

A secret cable sent Jan. 31, 2008, described Rami Makhlouf as the “poster boy” of corruption, squeezing out legitimate businesses and benefiting from his family ties to make money in banking, the power sector and cellular-phone service contracting. Sanctions were imposed the next month.

The Bush administration in November 2007 sanctioned his brother Hafiz, a colonel and head of intelligence in Damascus, for Syria’s meddling in Lebanon. In May, the Obama administration modified his sanction to include his alleged role in stifling dissent in Syria.

But to date, the United States hasn’t sanctioned the family patriarch, Mohammad Makhlouf.

The Bush administration also imposed sanctions on Assad’s brother-in-law, Asif Shawkat, in January 2006. Shawkat, who’s married to Assad’s sister Bushra, headed Syrian intelligence at the time, but he fell from grace after the death of Lebanese terrorist mastermind Imad Mugniyah, whom the U.S. sought for killing Navy diver Robert Stethem during the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jet.

A car bomb blew Mugniyah to pieces on Feb. 12, 2008, in Damascus. A secret cable dated April 14, 2008, suggested that Assad stripped Shawkat of some of his power in response to the assassination, which proved embarrassing since Syria had denied for years that Mugniyah was in the country.

Theories abound about who killed Mugniyah and why, ranging from Shawkat, whose office was near the bomb site, to Assad’s violent brother Mahir. Known as the family enforcer, Mahir Assad escaped sanction until late April, when the Obama administration targeted him through an executive order.

In a secret cable from Paris, dated Sept. 12, 2008, the U.S. Embassy cites a French security adviser as saying that Mahir Assad, described as “a bit of a wild man and determined to increase his power,” may have killed Suleiman and possibly Mugniyah. The motive was effectively doing away with headaches from people who “knew too much” about the activities of the Assad family.

Another secret cable — from Damascus on June 3, 2009 — paints an unflattering portrait of the Western-educated leader of Syria. The memo was sent as the Obama administration considered ways the U.S. government could engage Assad and take a less hostile tack.

“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is neither as shrewd nor as long-winded as his father but he, too, prefers to engage diplomatically on a level of abstraction that seems designed to frustrate any direct challenge to Syria’s behavior,” noted the cable, sent by a new charge d’affaires, Maura Connelly. “Bashar’s vanity represents another Achilles heel: the degree to which USG visitors add to his consequence to some degree affects the prospects for a successful meeting.”

The cable suggested that playing to Assad’s “intellectual pretensions is one stratagem for gaining his confidence and acquiescence; it may be time-consuming but could well produce results.”

If U.S. diplomats under Obama sought to butter up Assad, the Bush administration tried a hostile approach designed to keep him diplomatically off balance.

A Dec. 13, 2006, secret cable from Damascus by charge d’affaires William Roebuck suggested that the diplomats try to sully Assad’s international image since he was preoccupied with how the outside world viewed him.

“Actions that cause Bashar to lose balance and increase his insecurity are in our interest because his inexperience and his regime’s extremely small decision-making circle make him prone to diplomatic stumbles that can weaken him domestically and regionally,” the cable said. “While the consequences of his mistakes are hard to predict and the benefits may vary, if we are prepared to move quickly to take advantage of opportunities that may open up, we may directly impact regime behavior where it matters — Bashar and his inner circle.”

Yet, as the documents show, both administrations chose not to sanction much of his inner circle until the Arab Spring spread this year to Syria. The Obama administration and European allies haven’t yet declared Assad an illegitimate leader who must go, as they did with Libya’s Gadhafi.

READ THE CABLES

Cable: To pressure Syria’s Assad go after his ‘money-men’

OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS

Treasury Sanctions Syrian Businessman: CorrptionCurrnts: 2011-08-04

The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday it imposed sanctions on a Syrian businessman who serves in the country’s parliament. Muhammad Hamsho and his holding company, Hamsho International Group, which has about 20 subsidiaries, provided services …

Comments (180)


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51. Abughassan said:

The power vacuum was on mind even before this uprising,however,using tanks and guns will not reduce this vacuum,the regime knows that very well.

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August 4th, 2011, 10:16 pm

 

52. ss said:

Abughassan,

If all the opposition have your logic, Syria would not have been were it is now. You are the only one on this forum who is opposed to president Assad, want the regime to go, yet carefuly about Syria. You never used Sectarian posts at all, and the other opposition like Tara, Aboud, never learned from you. Good luck in your mession in Syria, the mother Syria is wounded and needs people like yourself

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August 4th, 2011, 10:27 pm

 

53. SYR.Expat said:

“If all the opposition have your logic, Syria would not have been were it is now. ”
So now it’s the fault of the opposition. They are the ones to blame. Great logic at work here.

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August 4th, 2011, 10:37 pm

 

54. ss said:

53. Syr.Expat,

“So now it’s the fault of the opposition. They are the ones to blame. Great logic at work here”.

I respect some one like Abughassan knowing in advance that he wants the president out. I am against this revolution because it brought destruction to our lives, and yes I am a supporter of the president. Despite all of that I would respect some one who is in the opposition for one reason; the power of logic. So Syr. Expat, you and your alikes Tara, Aboud, Revlon, and many many others who are on the offense, who lack logic, who are fabricating the facts, you should really learn logic first, and learn how to get people at your side. If the oppositions had this power, i wouold say they may win the heart of many Syrians. Because I see blood in your words, I would assure you that will keep the sectarian a border between you and us, and will be ready to face you as we are since the begining of Ramadan

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August 4th, 2011, 10:52 pm

 

55. Abughassan said:

I have decided after what I saw in Syria to support the people,pro and anti,and stay away from hateful meaningless discussions. Syria can get out of this mess,mark my words.
Send a dollar to a needy person and make a difference instead of sending verbal bombs and youtube videos that keep things the same. I am done with this endless game of he said,she said,Syria is burning,we need water not fire..
Some people are not born to do what is right,they are destined to say what is wrong.
Please consider this as a friendly advice and not another verbal bomb..
سوريا و بس

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August 4th, 2011, 10:53 pm

 

56. SYR.Expat said:

ثورة في (إسرائيل).. يهتفون: مبارك، الأسد، نتنياهو
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBTJaieg-Rs&feature=player_embedded

Compare the treatment of the protestors by the Israeli security forces to the treatment the Syrians get. What a shame. ياحيف .

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August 4th, 2011, 10:58 pm

 

57. jad said:

Enjoy!
روغوزين: حلف الناتو يعمل على وضع خطط للقيام بعملية عسكرية ضد سورية

أعرب المندوب الدائم لروسيا لدى الناتو دميتري روغوزين عن اعتقاده ان حلف شمال الاطلسي يعمل على وضع خطط للقيام بعملية عسكرية ضد سورية.

وقال روغوزين في تصريحات لصحيفة “ايزفيستيا” نشرت يوم 5 أغسطس/آب “من شأن هذه العملية أن تكون نهاية منطقية للعمليات العسكرية والاعلامية التى قامت بها بعض الدول الغربية في منطقة شمال افريقيا”.

واكد روغوزين ان “روسيا تتوقع أن تشهد التطورات اللاحقة هناك قراءة خاطئة لقرار مجلس الامن (في حال تبنيه) شأنه كشأن القرار الاممي حول ليبيا، وموسكو تعارض تطبيق السيناريو العسكري هناك”.

والجدير بالذكر ان امين عام الناتو اندريس فوغ راسموسن استثنى في تصريحاته للصحفيين مؤخرا احتمال القيام باي عملية عسكرية في سورية، غير ان هذه التصريحات لم تكن مقنعة حسب رأي بعض المراقبين. مع ذلك أصر بعض اعضاء مجلس الامن الدولي على تبني مشروع قرار لادانة الحكومة السورية بصيغته المشددة والذي أعدته بريطانيا والمانيا والبرتغال وفرنسا، غير ان المجلس اكتفى بعد مشاورات مطولة باصدار بيان رئاسي يوم 3 اغسطس/آب ادان فيه “الخرق الواسع لحقوق الإنسان واستخدام القوة ضد المدنيين من قبل السلطات السورية”، مطالبا السلطات السورية بـ”الاحترام الكامل لحقوق إلإنسان والتصرف بموجب واجباتها وفق القانون الدولي”.

المصدر: اينتر فاكس

NATO plans campaign in Syria, tightens noose around Iran – Rogozin

NATO is planning a military campaign against Syria to help overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad with a long-reaching goal of preparing a beachhead for an attack on Iran, Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said.
The UN Security Council condemned on Wednesday ongoing violence in Syria and urged the country’s authorities to stop using force against peaceful protesters, while saying the current situation in the country has not yet called for NATO interference.
“[This statement] means that the planning [of the military campaign] is well underway. It could be a logical conclusion of those military and propaganda operations, which have been carried out by certain Western countries against North Africa,” Rogozin said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper published on Friday.
The Russian diplomat pointed out at the fact that the alliance is aiming to interfere only with the regimes “whose views do not coincide with those of the West.”
Rogozin agreed with the opinion expressed by some experts that Syria and later Yemen could be NATO’s last steps on the way to launch an attack on Iran.
“The noose around Iran is tightening. Military planning against Iran is underway. And we are certainly concerned about an escalation of a large-scale war in this huge region,” Rogozin said.
Having learned the Libyan lesson, Russia “will continue to oppose a forcible resolution of the situation in Syria,” he said, adding that the consequences of a large-scale conflict in North Africa would be devastating for the whole world.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110805/165570384.html

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August 5th, 2011, 1:17 am

 

58. N.Z. said:

Dear ABUGHASSAN,

Your assertiveness in concluding what is best for Syria is to be commended!

With people like you, Syria will become a promising nation. All along, your patriotism and inner-struggle to what is best, was apparent to all.

One people, one country, holding a cross and a crescent, as we were and always will be. Salaam.

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August 5th, 2011, 1:43 am

 

59. Syria is kandahar said:

In a city in the north east of Syria (kamishli),Christians collect every morning rocks from ther balconies.Kurds and beduin attack ther houses at night with rocks,so they sleep with windows closed.if the police tries to follow the attackers they laugh and start shouting:الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام
Another achievement for this Aroor Masturbation.

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August 5th, 2011, 1:47 am

 

60. SYR.Expat said:


فما الذي كسبه النظام من سفك دماء 140 مواطناً سورياً، خلال ساعات معدودة؟ أغلب الظنّ أنّ أبرز ‘انتصارات’ تلك العمليات الوحشية هي انطلاق أولى التظاهرات الشعبية في حيّ أبو رمانة، الدمشقي الفاره والنخبوي، حيث مقارّ السفارات والهيئات الدولية؛ وأولى التظاهرات التي لامست ساحة الأمويين، حيث وزارة الدفاع، وقيادة القوى الجوية (آمرية الطيران)، ومبنى الإذاعة والتلفزيون؛ وأولى التظاهرات في حيّ المهاجرين، غير بعيد عن القصر الرئاسي التاريخي، وقصر الروضة، ومقرّ العميد حافظ مخلوف في الجسر الأبيض. مواقع ‘انتصار’ أخرى تمثلت في ما شهدته مدينة حلب من تكثيف للتظاهر، هناك حيث كان يتظاهر الحلبيون راكضين بسبب من الحواجز الأمنية الخانقة، والإنتشار السرطاني للمفارز الأمنية وقطعان ‘الشبيحة’، وحيث تفاخر النظام طويلاً حول صمت المدينة الثانية في سورية.

http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=today4qpt995.htm&arc=data\201188-044qpt995.htm

شام – دمشق – مسائية بجانب الاركان تطالب باسقاط النظام3-8

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August 5th, 2011, 2:02 am

 

61. SYR.Expat said:

موسكو حذرته من مصير حزين
واشنطن: الأسد في طريقه للرحيل

جددت وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية هيلاري كلينتون القول بأن الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد فقد شرعيته، بينما
طالبته روسيا على لسان الرئيس ديمتري ميدفيديف بتنفيذ إصلاحات عاجلة، وإلا فإنه سيواجه مصيرا حزينا.

واتهمت كلينتون نظام الأسد بالمسؤولية عن مقتل ألفي سوري في قمعه للاحتجاجات السلمية، وأضافت أن الولايات المتحدة وحلفاءها يعملون على إستراتيجيات لممارسة مزيد من الضغط يتجاوز العقوبات الجديدة التي أعلنت الخميس.

وبدوره قال البيت الأبيض إن الرئيس السوري في طريقه إلى الرحيل ويتعين التفكير في مرحلة ما بعد نظامه.

تصعيد روسي
وفي أقوى موقف يصدر عن روسيا إزاء الأحداث في سوريا حث الرئيس ديمتري ميدفيديف نظيره بشار الأسد على تنفيذ إصلاحات عاجلة والتصالح مع معارضيه وإقامة دولة حديثة، وإلا فإنه سيواجه ما سماه مصيرا حزينا.

ديمتري ميدفيديف: الأسد ينتظره مصير حزين (الفرنسية-أرشيف)
وأعرب ميدفيديف عن قلق بلاده العميق إزاء الوضع في سوريا، معتبرا أنه يأخذ منحى أكثر مأساوية قائلا “للأسف يقتل هناك عدد كبير من الأشخاص”.

ورفض الرئيس الروسي المقارنة بين الأسد والعقيد الليبي معمر القذافي “الذي نظم حملة قمع أكثر وحشية لمعارضيه”. وأضاف “إننا سياسيون واقعيون، وعلينا أن نرى كيف تتطور الأمور”.

وكانت روسيا -حليف سوريا- صعدت لأول مرة لهجتها حيال دمشق الاثنين بعد العملية العسكرية الدامية التي نفذها الجيش السوري في حماة، ودعت إلى وقف “قمع” المتظاهرين.

http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/DDC92DD5-E53D-4A3F-A37E-29EEE8309840.htm?GoogleStatID=1

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August 5th, 2011, 2:07 am

 

62. Syria is kandahar said:

Amazing how violence increases after prayers,that speaks about the spirituality and the connection between the spirit and god,which manifests itself in loving pattern of shouting,burning cars,killing,attacking….

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August 5th, 2011, 2:46 am

 

63. MNA said:

Aliccie @ 27

Thank you for your interest in Syria!!
But your people at the embassies, admin, congress have no buniness in uttering a word regarding any internal problem of any country.
The good work of your people is evident in supporting all dictators in the world and in places such as Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghansatn, Vietnam, Cuba etc…
No good can come from any foreign intervention.
So please apare us!!!

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August 5th, 2011, 3:59 am

 

64. hsyrian said:

NATO is planning military campaign against Syria: Russian envoy

MOSCOW, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) — Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said Friday that the alliance is planning a military campaign against Syria to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, local media reported.

In an interview with Russia’s Izvestia daily newspaper, Rogozin said the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is also probably establishing a long-reaching goal of preparing an attack on Iran.

Rogozin said a statement Wednesday from the UN Security Council, which confirmed that the current situation in Syria had not yet called for NATO interference, meant that planning for a military campaign was underway.

“It could be a logical conclusion for those military and propaganda operations, which have been carried out by certain Western countries against North Africa,” Rogozin said.

Russia has learned lessons from Libya and will continue to oppose “a forcible resolution of the situation in Syria,” Rogozin said.

He added that the alliance is aiming to interfere only with the regimes “whose views do not coincide with those of the West.”

The diplomat also warned that the “noose around Iran is tightening,” saying Moscow is seriously concerned about “an escalation of a large-scale war in this huge region.”

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/05/c_131031861.htm

Disclaimers:
One dollar for the bomb , One Syrian Pound for Medecins Sans Frontieres

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August 5th, 2011, 4:06 am

 

65. MNA said:

Abughassan,

Have you gone to Syria With SAM on medical missions before?

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August 5th, 2011, 4:12 am

 

66. N.Z. said:

A testimony from Syria

Syrian author and journalist Samar Yazbek describes the horrors of the detention centre to which she was taken in the aftermath of the demonstrations earlier this year

Two huge men entered the room. They stood in readiness, in plainclothes. One of them stood to the right and the other to the left. With a signal from his eyes, each seized me by the shoulders, though not roughly. They seized me as if I were some object, easy for them to move. I did not resist when they started to lift me out of my chair. I even stood up, surprised at what was happening. Would they finally arrest me, putting this nightmare to an end? One gave the officer a jaunty look, and I looked at him not knowing what was next. I tried to read some good news in their eyes, body movements and demeanour. He was neutral, looking at some spot in the room. The two of them put a band of cloth over my eyes. Moments later, I was blindfolded, and noticed a strange smell from the cloth. A strong arm seized me, an arm sure of its grasp of my elbow, of its push and pull. Then I straightened up and shouted, “Where are you taking me?”

He answered calmly, and I heard a certain buzz. “For a little drive, to improve your writing.” I was certain they had decided to arrest me.

It took less than two minutes; but all these thoughts passed faster than that, and I would have collapsed had it not been for the man on the right and the other to the left moving me along, which they were still doing with fastidious calm. They must have been ordered to do that, but when I almost fell and they caught me, I knew we were going down stairs.

The staircase was narrow. I tried to peek around the blindfold, but it was firm and tight. My breathing grew tighter; I felt we had descended several flights. A nausea started to rack my body, and rotten smells mingled with odours I had never smelled before. At last we stopped. A burning pain shot up my lower back and I shivered. A hand undid the blindfold. I did not expect what awaited me to be horrible, despite everything I had read about prisons; I had tried to write about what I had heard and imagined, but all that meant nothing the moment I opened my eyes. I could scarcely believe this was a real place and not a space in my mind, sick from writing. A passage down which two persons could barely pass side by side, the far end enveloped in blackness. I looked behind me and saw nothing, and before me was utter blackness. A passage with no beginning or end, suspended in nothingness, with me in the middle, and closed doors. The man standing before me opened one of the doors. A sharp buzz started quickly and then ended with slow beats, sad beats like a melody I heard once in a Greek bar. One of the men grasped my elbow and pushed me further in, and kept holding my arm and the open door, and there . . . I saw them. It was a cell scarcely big enough for two or three to stand in. I could not see clearly, but I made out three bodies hanging there, I did not know how! I was bewildered, and my stomach began to convulse. The bodies were nearly naked. There was a dim light seeping in from somewhere, feeble rays for enough vision to discern that they were youths of no more than 20 years old. Their fresh young bodies were clear beneath the blood. They were suspended from their hands in steel cuffs, and their toes barely touched the floor. Blood streamed down their bodies, fresh blood, dried blood, deep bruises visible like the blows of a random blade. Their faces looked down; they were unconscious, and they swayed to and fro like slaughtered animals.

I retreated, but one of the men grabbed me and pushed me, in total silence. One young man raised his head in agony, and the weak light allowed me to see his face.

He had no face; his eyes were completely encrusted. I could see no light in his eyes. There was no place for his nose or even lips. His face was like a red painting with no lines. Red mixed with black.

At that point I collapsed, and the two men lifted me up. For a minute I teetered on a slippery spot, blindly, and it took several moments for me to regain my balance on my feet. I heard one of them tell the other, “Man, she can’t take it. Look at her. The closet’s killing her!”

Then that smell gushed out, the smell of blood, urine and faeces. Abruptly they took me out of the cell and opened another, and as they did so, the sounds of screaming and torture came from somewhere. Never had I heard such sounds of pain. They did not stop until we left the passage.

A second cell was opened. There was a young man curled up on the floor, in a foetal position, his back to me, the vertebrae of his spinal column like an anatomist’s drawing. He, too, seemed to be unconscious. His back was sliced up, as if a knife had carved a map into it.

They closed the cell, and so on with cell after cell, grabbing me by my elbows and pushing me into them, then pulling me out. Bodies lay on top of bodies in heaps. This was Hell. As if humans were just pieces of meat, laid out to put on optimal display the arts of murder and torture. Young men transformed into cold pieces of meat in damp, narrow cells.

I asked one of the men, as they tied the blindfold back on me, “Are those the boys from the demonstrations?”

“Those are the traitors from the demonstrations,” one of them answered.

My question irritated him. He seized my elbow and squeezed it harshly, until I thought he would break it. I stumbled and fell, but instead of letting me get up, he kept dragging me. I felt a scalding pain in my bones when I thought back on the boys who had gone out to demonstrate. All those smells were in my mouth, and the images from the cells covered the blackness before my eyes. We stopped. They pulled off the blindfold and I saw him sitting behind an elegant desk, and I knew that this was not a nightmare. He stared at me derisively.

“What do you think?” he asked. “Did you see your traitor friends?”

I vomited, and fell to my knees. They got very angry. He got out of his chair to stare at the beautiful furniture I had ruined. I kept vomiting. The thought came back to me: everyone who goes out to demonstrate in the streets here is shot, or lives as a fugitive, or is detained and tortured like those boys. What courage was now growing from this flinty ground!

My voice was weak but I heard it say: You are the traitor. I know he heard it because he leaned over and hit me hard. Finally I fell to the floor and everything began to fall apart. Before I passed out, I could feel it: my mouth was open against the floor, and the blood started flowing.

Translated by Peter Theroux. Samar Yazbek is one of the Beirut 39 Arabic writers

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August 5th, 2011, 4:51 am

 

67. OFF THE WALL said:

ABUGHASSAN
Godspeed and please return safe and sound. While in Syria, It would be excellent if you can identify a trustworthy group of Doctors to help. Many i know are not sure where to send help to. No one wants resources to fall in the wrong hands.

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August 5th, 2011, 4:51 am

 

68. Aboud said:

I want every menhebak (edited for insult. Aboud: refrain from insulting commenters) here to read, and re-read the post by NZ at 66. Don’t you (edited) ever dare come and whine when one of your shabiha shits gets his head smashed in. I can’t believe there are still so called Syrians who would support such practices. Filth, the lot of them.

“look whichever minhebak douche-bag is abusing the thumbs up/down system on this blog by changing his IP and re-voting would you please stop it. ”

ROFL! Aboali, talk about a pathetic person :) What sad loser spends his or her time going thumbs up/thumbs down.

Such a person should be pitied. Aboali, if the menhebaks have nothing better to do, then by all means let’s leave them to waste their time doing so.

@63″But your people at the embassies, admin, congress have no buniness in uttering a word regarding any internal problem of any country.”

But the Ayatollahs in Iran have every right to send weapons and snipers to prop up junior in Damascus. I believe the Iranian Donkeys have been uttering more than just words about events in Syria. Hypocritical Baathists, barking on about a “secular” state while being sustained by a theocracy.

@59 Yet more complete and utter BS offered up as fact by the menhebaks. Where did you get this little nugget of information? SANA, or your dreams (both are as credible as the other I guess)

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August 5th, 2011, 4:56 am

 

69. hsyrian said:

Shadow government of Syria was established in Turkey

In Istanbul, the National Salvation Council of Syria, composed of Islamists, liberals and independent members. … agreed that 11 members will be elected and they will strengthen the links between the separate groups of opponents of the official in Damascus.
…..

Opponents of President Bashar al-Assad can be divided into four main groups.
First, according to senior researcher Institute of Oriental Studies Boris Dolgov – intellectuals, dissatisfied with the rigid Syrian regime.
Then – the part of the former leadership of the country, which has appeared in exile after the purges in the ruling party, “the Baath.”
….
But the strongest opponents of the current government – a radical Islamist movement : the world’s oldest terrorist organization “Muslim Brothers”.

….

It was the Islamists, as suggested by Sergey Demidenko, able to combine a large part of the Syrians and to the actual fighting – many of whom were Iraq and other hot spots. Liberals dream of democracy, but appears to lack imagine how it would work in the Syrian conditions.
Former high-ranking functionaries of the party “Baath” wish for revenge.

- The search for consensus between Assad and the opposition, is the right decision – insists on the Russian Foreign Ministry .

http://izvestia.com/news/494972

Disclaimers:

Time to read the gigantic work from Tolstoy about … and Peace .

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August 5th, 2011, 5:02 am

 

70. Aboud said:

@54 “I am against this revolution because it brought destruction to our lives,”

And yet Hama was peaceful until your akho manuki president sent in the tanks to invade it.

No, you support junior because your daddy gets goodies from him. I can only imagine the modest price needed to buy your family’s loyalties.

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August 5th, 2011, 5:08 am

 

71. Aboud said:

From the SNN Facebook page

شام : حماة : عاجل : الآف من العناصر التي ترتدي زي الجيش تنتشر في الشارع الممتد من دوار البحرة إلى ساحة العاصي … و الآن بدء دخول بعض الباصات التي تحمل أناساً بلباس مدني و تتوجه باتجاه ساحة العاصي و توقعاتنا بأنه يتم الآن التحضير لعمل مسرحية نبيحة و رقص على دماء الشهداء في حماة … حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل .

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August 5th, 2011, 5:13 am

 

72. Ali said:

#64. hsyrian said:
“NATO is planning military campaign against Syria”

This is no surprise to me.The revolutions are run by the CIA, Mossad and NATO. This evil plan to attempt to destabilize Syria began with the evil John Bolton. In 2002 he introduced the plan to break up both Syria and Libya simultaneously.
The original plan was to bring about military coups in Syria but with lack of willingness form the military officers, this plan failed.

They then resorted using the media as their weapon. They used the infamous “Gay girl in Damascus” stunt that caused controversy all around the world. That also didn’t go as planned when the perpetrator was exposed as a 40yr old male from…You guessed it, AMERICA. But what stuns me is the gullibility of the internet users and newspaper readers who are swallowing these lies blinded by the truth not realizing that they are posing as puppets, doing exactly as they are controlled to do and thinking with the brains of others.

And then come the “peaceful protests” or demonstrations that have caused the deaths of many good Syrian Soldiers. When these started, salafi gangs randomly started shooting from rooftops claiming it was the army in order for the people to feel unease and believe that this is at the fault of the President. Syrian TV showed armed groups on rooftops firing at random into the crowd and at the police. But when these images were shown on western media, it was said that the Syrian government were firing at the civilians, not that those that were firing were the forces of the CIA-Mossad. They murdered and mutilated the bodies of army and security personnel, burned down their stations and stole their uniforms using them as a disguise and randomly shooting civilians making out like it was security forces. Despite all of the evidence shown, people are still (wasting their time) fighting the regime

The majority of the Syrian population are supporting the great leader and standing firmly behind its government. Unlike those fathers sending their sons into the battlefield and waiting for the “good news” that his son has died in the name of jihad. If these puppets took a second to think they would realize that if (God forbid) Assad were to step down, who would take over? These vicious monsters? Is that the kind of life they wish upon themselves? And yet these people are still blinded.

This conspiracy will come to an end. And the last one standing will be Bashar Al Assad. Long live Syria’s only Assad

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August 5th, 2011, 5:36 am

 

73. syau said:

“Army Units Restore Security and Stability to Hama, Open and Remove Roadblocks”

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/08/04/362357.htm

“The Army trucks are opening roads, removing stones, soils, cement cubes and lighting columns used by those terrorist groups to divide the city from its surroundings, block life and terrify Hama families.

Meanwhile, a number of law-enforcement members who were wounded in Hama told how they were shot by armed terrorist groups while fulfilling their national duties in the city.

Lieutenant Colonel Maher Jroudi said his unit was assigned to remove roadblocks set up by terrorists when the armed terrorist groups attacked them.”

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August 5th, 2011, 7:12 am

 

74. Samara said:

ALI,

Hey mate! Walla muzbout. Kbeer, wallah kbeer.

Bashar will remain. And his supporters will remain.

Tez3al dini, terda dini, badna n dun enhebu hayk. Bashar Assadna. Those who hate him can, as the saying goes, baltu al bahar.

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August 5th, 2011, 7:27 am

 

75. hsyrian said:

About Ntrepid

Ntrepid supplies software, that enables one operator to create and control multiple personas from one computer.
The software sought would allow a user to have 10 personas.
Each persona would have a background, history, supporting details, and cyber presence that is consistent from a technical, cultural, and geographic standpoint.[
The user is able to use his different online personas from the same PC, and make them appear to be coming from almost anywhere in the world, without his true location being determined even by a sophisticated enemy.
The user appears to be socially aware as he/she would be if he/she was located in the relevant geographic location.

http://ntrepidcorp.com/

Disclaimers
Any resemblance with known commentators on this blog will be purely coincidental.

Germs can be transmitted via comments here . The reader should check any comments for the presence of germs.

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August 5th, 2011, 7:33 am

 

76. samys said:

Syrias predecement is not easy , we all know syria is holding (Iran, Hesollah Syria)chain together. (israel) needs to breake that. the dictatorship in syria is agood execuse,its a cry wolf stratigy. what took place in Iraq would seem little in comparison. Breaking the regime in syria now is a desaster on the work. none apludes dectators, but the other side of the story is very very SCARYYYY. let give syria one quiet year and examen Bshar with the changes even 6 monthes. nothing can change under this havoc. i think Bashar learned a good lesson dont you?

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August 5th, 2011, 7:41 am

 

77. Abu Umar said:

“72. Ali said:

#64. hsyrian said:
“NATO is planning military campaign against Syria”

This is no surprise to me.The revolutions are run by the CIA, Mossad and NATO.”

So why did your beloved Hafez collaborate with the Americans in Gulf War I? Why did his father collaborate with the French and praised the Zionists and blame the Palestinians for refusing to become refugees in their own land? Why did the CIA rendition many jihadists to be tortured in Syrian dungeons? Enough of the mumaana nonsense.

” This evil plan to attempt to destabilize Syria began with the evil John Bolton. In 2002 he introduced the plan to break up both Syria and Libya simultaneously.
The original plan was to bring about military coups in Syria but with lack of willingness form the military officers, this plan failed.”

And yet, the quisling Iraqi government which was brought about by the likes of Bolton are your biggest allies now. More hypocridy

“They then resorted using the media as their weapon. They used the infamous “Gay girl in Damascus” stunt that caused controversy all around the world. That also didn’t go as planned when the perpetrator was exposed as a 40yr old male from…You guessed it, AMERICA.”

As opposed to the deranged cyber-shabiha and the propagandists of the regime like Talib Ibrahim, Khalid Abboud and Ali Shu’aybi.

“But what stuns me is the gullibility of the internet users and newspaper readers who are swallowing these lies blinded by the truth not realizing that they are posing as puppets, doing exactly as they are controlled to do and thinking with the brains of others.”

What stuns me is the gullibility of the cyber-shabiha menhebek fanatics who are swallowing these lies blinded by the truth not realizing that they are posing as puppets, doing exactly as they are controlled to do and thinking with the brains of others.

Kama tudeen, tudaan.

“And then come the “peaceful protests” or demonstrations that have caused the deaths of many good Syrian Soldiers.”

How about the tens of thousands of Syrians slaughtered by your regime in the past and the thousands killed recently?

” When these started, salafi gangs randomly started shooting from rooftops claiming it was the army in order for the people to feel unease and believe that this is at the fault of the President. Syrian TV showed armed groups on rooftops firing at random into the crowd and at the police. But when these images were shown on western media, it was said that the Syrian government were firing at the civilians, not that those that were firing were the forces of the CIA-Mossad.”

This is probaly the most deranged lie propogated by the regime and its backers. Why would these gangs fire on those who are on their side against the regime? Are you saying that your regime didn’t intentionally kill hundreds of unarmed protestors? Have you forgotten that your regime has slaughtered tens of thousands in the past.

” They murdered and mutilated the bodies of army and security personnel, burned down their stations and stole their uniforms using them as a disguise and randomly shooting civilians making out like it was security forces. Despite all of the evidence shown, people are still (wasting their time) fighting the regime”

When you slaughter tens of thousands, don’t expect the people to go to their graves like sheep.

“The majority of the Syrian population are supporting the great leader and standing firmly behind its government. Unlike those fathers sending their sons into the battlefield and waiting for the “good news” that his son has died in the name of jihad. If these puppets took a second to think they would realize that if (God forbid) Assad were to step down, who would take over? These vicious monsters? Is that the kind of life they wish upon themselves? And yet these people are still blinded.”

Millions of Syrians hate your regime and those blinded are deranged menhebeks like yourself.

“This conspiracy will come to an end. And the last one standing will be Bashar Al Assad. Long live Syria’s only Assad”

No, your regime will soon come to an end and you will join Bashar in Iran.

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August 5th, 2011, 8:24 am

 

78. Allicie said:

@ 68 Aboud

Agree. I’ve spent a while reading some of Samar Yazbek’s other accounts and to see what happened to her in prison. (can’t find)
http://www.rayaagency.org/2011/04/waiting-for-death-a-testimony-from-syria/

Thanx for answering #63

@Ali
Thanx for the entertainment, you’re funnier than the Russian guy.
It’s a relief from reading and watching all this blood and gore.

Like when I type ‘IKEA’ (antispam), it reminds me that there are places that aren’t hell holes like Syria

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August 5th, 2011, 8:39 am

 

79. MNA said:

Aboud

I said in my Comment #63: But your people at the embassies, admin, congress have no business in uttering a word regarding any internal problem of any country.

You replied in 68

“But the Ayatollahs in Iran have every right to send weapons and snipers to prop up junior in Damascus. I believe the Iranian Donkeys have been uttering more than just words about events in Syria. Hypocritical Baathists, barking on about a “secular” state while being sustained by a theocracy.”

1- My response was to Aliccie who was speaking about her people at US EMBASSIES, Hence my response to her.
2- I also said in the same response, which you conveniently chose to ignore: No good can come from any foreign intervention.
So I think foreign intervention covers it all, unless you believe that Persians are Arabs.
3- The label you used to describe Persians “Iranian Donkeys” is not purely political
4- Unlike the hard and harsh realities imposed on countries all over the world as a result of US intervention, there was no shred of evidence to your allegations of Persians fighters and sippers. If you have any, please don’t hesitate to provide.
5- In other comments, you slapped me with one of your ready-to-use label and called me a Baathist. When I pointed it out to you, you humbly apologized and your apology was accepted. But you did it again today, and my response to you will be the same. I told you then and will tell you now that I will ignore it. Not that there is anything wrong with being a baathist, but I was never and will never be a member of the baath party, or any other for that matter.

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August 5th, 2011, 8:43 am

 

80. Aboud said:

Professor Landis, kindly mind explaining, how is it that if the country is awash in armed militants, we have not seen any revenge attacks all week in response to the regime’s invasion of Hama? It just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

What is the point of foreign armed groups if not to attack government assets? Seems to me to be either the most pointless foreign conspiracy ever, or (as more realistically), a complete made up fantasy on the part of the regime.

I’m afraid professor, that empirical analysis inevitably must come to the conclusion that whatever arms may be with the populace, is solely for self defense, much like the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto armed themselves in anticipation of being liquidated by the Nazis.

@79 “there was no shred of evidence to your allegations of Persians fighters and sippers.”

Aha, I see you left out the word “weapons”. The Baathists are now not denying anymore that there are indeed Iranian weapons bound for the Damascus Donkeys. Kindly look at the Al-Arabiya article I posted about Turkey seizing Iranian weapons bound for Syria.

I’ve always said that so far there has not been an Iranian smoking gun, but there is overwhelming anecdotal evidence. Is it enough to hang Iran? Not yet. But that’s the price the Baathist scum pay for not letting in an independent press. With all the support the pigs in Tehran give junior in every sphere imaginable, I would find it shocking if they didn’t send republican guards just like they did to Lebanon. It would be out of character for the Tehran scum.

“3- The label you used to describe Persians “Iranian Donkeys” is not purely political”

Donkeys, pigs, scum, ekhwat sharmouta, wood for a bonfire, not worthy enough to lick the boots of any Syrian. Did I miss anything out?

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August 5th, 2011, 8:47 am

 

81. Abu Umar said:

“80. Aboud said:

- The label you used to describe Persians “Iranian Donkeys” is not purely political”

Donkeys, pigs, scum, ekhwat sharmouta, wood for a bonfire, not worthy enough to lick the boots of any Syrian. Did I miss anything out?”

American collaborators as Iran and it’s proxies collaborated with the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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August 5th, 2011, 9:10 am

 

82. Aliccie said:

@ 79 MNA

“My response was to Aliccie who was speaking about HER people at US EMBASSIES, Hence my response to her.”

Of course I wasn’t, I’m not american. And what are embassies for if they don’t ‘talk’ about the internal things going on ? Syrian embassies have done worse than that, they go out and threaten people.

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August 5th, 2011, 9:13 am

 

83. Aboud said:

Thank you Abu Umar. The Iranians have the most odious record in the region. Syrians share absolutely no values whatsoever with that despicable theocracy. The Iranian revolution caved in after just a few weeks, while the Syrian revolution is going on strong despite a death toll that has exceeded the one in Libya.

Aliccie

“Syrian embassies have done worse than that, they go out and threaten people. ”

Indeed. But they won’t have the ability to do so in Egypt. The ambassador there packed up his family and headed back to Syria, after the Egyptian anti-regime demonstrators surrounded the embassy for days there.

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August 5th, 2011, 9:19 am

 

84. Afram said:

Abughasan take with you some rabies shots so you can Vaccinate the barbarian salafi aBOUD

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August 5th, 2011, 9:25 am

 

85. Aliccie said:

@Abu Umar.

Iranian regime are two faced, they fund the taliban too.

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August 5th, 2011, 9:25 am

 

86. hsyrian said:

The new Tweeter campaign has OFFICIALLY started 2 hour ago.

Tweets by by @rallaf London
Writer & commentator on Arab world, communication & marketing consultant.

“”””””””
#Syria: The “Twitter Campaign to Support the Syrian Revolution” has officially started NOW, Please use #RamadanMassacre in your tweets..
Retweeted from @KareemLailah
( Syrian researcher and human rights activist, has a liberal political interests. Amnesty International & LCC Syria active member.)

then another Tweet

Asking for sources on casualty & martyr numbers in #Syria is simply pathetic & doesn’t make you more pro! #RamadanMassacre #Hama

“”””””

The Washington Post report
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/syrias-ramadan-massacre/2011/08/01/gIQAZHCKoI_story.html
compares the ‘Ramadan Massacre’ to a 1982 massacre of tens of thousands. It then goes on to admit that,

“”
It’s not known how many people have died .
But Syrian opposition sources reported at least 55 deaths on Sunday, and by Monday some counts exceeded 100.
“”
The article proves nothing and does not name its sources. Instead it suggests the ‘Ramadan Massacre’ is comparable to the killing of tens of thousands, and offers zero evidence. This is the modus operandi for mainstream reporting on Syria.

But the aforementioned London-based Syrian lady – Rime Allaf – with over 2,200 followers, has a reason for her hollow cries of indignation. Her website bio lists her as being an Associate Fellow of Chatham House – the UK arm of warmongering corporate U.S. think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations:

Rime Allaf is a writer, broadcaster and consultant specializing in Middle East affairs, and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House. ( The UK arm of warmongering corporate U.S. think tank )

She was previously the Managing Director of a consultancy in Damascus, advising multinationals wishing to move in to Syria on political, business, legal and social issues.

Neoliberal apostle and globalist footsoldier, …..

Among others tweeters using the #RamadanMassacre hashtag
freesyria16,hartig55,JellySquirrel,ehsan_ibn_sina,
AhmadFathElBab,Motaz_Kaakarli,Rahuba8,
BintAlRifai,AntaTeportNews,Chaag2,

and USAforFreelybia !!

are the authors of 25% of the 1731 tweets I recovered with this hashtag.

Disclaimer
A Tweeter with 1 brain and 10 fingers cannot beat a crowd of Retweeters with 1 neuron and 1 finger and Ntrepid.

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August 5th, 2011, 9:26 am

 

87. MNA said:

82 @ Alicce,

The fact that you are not an American does not change the essence of your comment nor my response. You were speaking of US embassies and hence was my response. I have no problem with staff of foreign embassies trying to depict the right internal situation of the countries were they are placed, But recommending sanctions is a blatant intervention.

As for syrian embassies, I was only discussing intervention in local affairs by foreign embassies.

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August 5th, 2011, 9:29 am

 

88. Revlon said:

66. Dear N.Z., thank you for posting Samar Yazbek’s experience in a Jr’s prison.
Accounts offered by non-Syrians of the surreal, beastly nature of jr’s underground prisons serve to portray a ruthless system, lead and guarded by sick minds.

Those who support the persistence of or the negotiation with this criminal regime can not be but their accomplices.

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August 5th, 2011, 9:36 am

 

89. MNA said:

Aboud,

Iran has been supplying weapons to Syria ever since the Collapse of the Soviet Union and it is no different than any country getting weapons from the US, Russia, Europe etc… So to use it in this context is disingenuous to say the least.

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August 5th, 2011, 9:38 am

 

90. Aboud said:

MNA, aha, but that was when everyone believed that Syrian weapons were for fighting Israel, and not to gun down people as they come out of a mosque. Would Iran have given Syria a bullet if Syria had decided to take on Hizbollah in Lebanon?

The Iranians are the only ones who consider it acceptable for their weapons to be used to kill 1,600 civilians, not one of whom has been shown to have Jihadist or militant backgrounds.

Every weapons producing nation on Earth, once they see their weapons being used for purposes other than which they were originally sold for, slap an arms embargo on the offending nation. If a country continues to provide weapons, then it approves of the method in which its weapons are used, and is therefore complicit in the crime.

Afram how dare you call me a barbarian salafi! I’m not a salafi
:)

Hehe, it will probably take him a while to get the joke. But at least he didn’t call me a Baathist. That’s the kind of stuff tribal vendettas are made of.

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August 5th, 2011, 9:44 am

 
 

92. MNA said:

Aboud

Nonsense, every weapon that I have seen on any Syrian security or army personnel was not Iranina made, but Russian made. Actually all the tanks, klanshikoffs, RBJs are Russian made. Trucks used to transport tanks and heavy military equipment are either Benz or Hundai. How come you are not complaining about any of that?

“Hehe, it will probably take him a while to get the joke. But at least he didn’t call me a Baathist. That’s the kind of stuff tribal vendettas are made of. ”

So does that give me the excuse to declare tribal Vendettas on you :-)

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August 5th, 2011, 9:55 am

 

93. Aboud said:

MNA, I am most definitely pissed off at the Russians and Chinese. Their stance and continued cover for the regime is inexcusable. Where will they be if this country slides into a civil war as a result of the regime’s barbarities? Will they host refugees? Will they send peace keepers? Will they pick up the tab for reconstruction?

Numerous countries in the world are manufacturing their own light arms based on Soviet designs. Iran is no exception. Just because it is an AK-47, doesn’t mean it didn’t come from Iran.

“So does that give me the excuse to declare tribal Vendettas on you”

ROFL! You are the only guy who has managed to catch me out time and again using my own words :)

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August 5th, 2011, 10:05 am

 

94. Haytham Khoury said:

Excerpt from a letter addressed to Radwan Ziadeh on April 29th, 2011 in response to the “National Initiative for Change”

http://haytham-khoury2.blogspot.com/

“First, in your proposal you are counting on the president to understand the reality and to step down now for the sake of the country. Unfortunately, I think this won’t happen. I know Bashar personally. I know well what type of personality he is. Bashar was a “nice” person, however superficial and has no good understanding for real life. Consequently, Bashar could have had good wishes, when he started his presidency, but he has had no ability to achieve them. This failure is inherent in his character that lacks charisma and social intelligence. Thus, he has not been in control and he won’t be; he has had no courage, and he won’t have shortly. In brief, he is immature and has no personal assets that permit to him to have appropriate psychological growth. As you know, people when they can’t progress personally, they regress (please refer to Karen Horney in “Neurosis and Human Growth”. In other words, they become worse, more dysfunctional and consequently more evil. This particularly applies to immature people in power, because during their reign they become extremely entitled, arrogant, narcissistic, ruthless and paranoid (please refer to Eric Fromm in “Anatomy of Human Destructiveness”). Bashar is no exception. He by now believes that he was born to be president; even, he is the best of them all. He is the savior of Syria and probably the whole Arabic World (as his father used to believe). Do not think that for them these are empty words, they simply try to bluff us with. Not at all, these are deep believes in their minds; they are called in psychology self-delusions (please refer to Cordelia Fine in “A Mind of its Own”). However, he knows inside himself that without presidency he is nothing; nobody will respect him; nobody will glorify him; nobody will adore him. Therefore, do not count on him to quit the presidency merely for the sake of the country. He won’t leave the presidency easily. He won’t give up before reaching the point of psychological breakdown (I can elaborate more on this point, if you wish). On the other hand, he will quit at the end when the demonstrations grow up. He will give in not because he loves the country, but because of his psychological breakdown.”

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August 5th, 2011, 10:11 am

 

95. Haytham Khoury said:

Second excerpt from a letter addressed to Radwan Ziadeh on April 29th, 2011 in response to the “National Initiative for Change.

http://haytham-khoury2.blogspot.com/

“Before the president steps down officially, encouraging any army officer, even if it is the Defence Minister or the Chief of Staff, to take any political move seems to me reckless, because such move will lead to a schism in the army. It will result in a civil war similar to the Libyan one. As you know, in the army there are many units that are loyal to Maher al-Assad, which will obey him till the end. Maher will not relinquish his position easily, even if Bashar steps down. As long as Bashar is still officially in power, ”Maher’s units will be legitimate and will fight till the end to keep the status quo. On the other hand, when Basher resigns these units will be rogue, if they do not obey the person who then will be then the Commander in Chief. In brief, If any of the highly-ranked officers attempts any political move in the current status, we will see situation similar to that occurred in 1984 when Rifa’at Al-Assad put his tanks in the street of Barzza (Damascus) confronting the tanks of the rest of the Syrian Army. Furthermore, I do not prefer, personally, any participation of the army in the political process. I believe firmly that Bashar will resign due the increasing public demonstrations, leading to his psychological breakdown.”

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August 5th, 2011, 10:15 am

 

96. Ales said:

This looks to me to be much more accurate report about Syrian situation than usual day report 90% created by London based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Title: How 10,000 Protestors Multiply Overnight to be 500,000
Link: http://www.iraq-war.ru/article/253819

So…is this reported lying or not?

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August 5th, 2011, 10:18 am

 

97. Akbar Palace said:

I hope Israel or the US is somehow supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition.

For years, the Syrians were the ones supplying weapons to terror groups, now it’s the right time to help people defend themselves from the this inhumane regime.

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August 5th, 2011, 10:34 am

 

98. Revlon said:

Hamwis shall emerge after fasting of Ramadan, and Jr’s food and utilities blockade fitter than ever.

There is more daily exercise in Tarweeh and after-Taraweeh marchings!

There is shortage of food, for late night indulgence,
yet defiance a plenty; the food of pride!

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August 5th, 2011, 10:36 am

 

99. Ales said:

Why we should trust obscuring report on side media, like my recent link?
They are signed by people with name and surname, for which internet search reveals to actually exists and work where they claim to be. Authors and bloggers, please at least do an internet search before you post or repost anything.
Example from established newspaper is not to it’s credit: 90% of articles on Syria in Guardian are from Nour Ali and signed with: Nour Ali is a pseudonym for a journalist based in Damascus.

Not really interested who wins in Syria and Libya, but I hate being lied to.

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August 5th, 2011, 10:38 am

 

100. Aboud said:

Haytham, can you post a link to the letter please, it would be very interesting to read in its entirety.

Ales, that article by Pierre Piccinin was discredited a long time ago. It was so bad, Professor Landis removed the link to it from his post when it first came out.

Since the article was first posted, hundreds of thousands of Hamwis came out each and every week, hence the military operation in that city.

“Example from established newspaper is not to it’s credit: 90% of articles on Syria in Guardian are from Nour Ali and signed with: Nour Ali is a pseudonym for a journalist based in Damascus.”

The regime has only itself to blame for that. If it had nothing to hide, it could have let in Brazilian and South Korean media, for example.

AP “I hope Israel or the US is somehow supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition.”

Um, no thanks. However odious the Baathists may be, they are still Syrians, and I wouldn’t want to get behind a movement that got its weapons from an enemy state.

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August 5th, 2011, 10:47 am

 

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