Will Sanctions Bring Down the Syrian Regime?

Will Sanctions Bring Down the Syrian Regime?

It is doubtful that sanctions alone will cause regime-change in Syria. Economic deprivation and reduced government spending does not usually lead to regime-change. It is hard to think of a Middle Eastern government that has been brought down by sanctions. Some of the countries that have faced sanctions for decades are Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Sudan. Of course Gaza has faced severe sanctions in an effort to bring down the Hamas government with very little success. What sanctions do very effectively is make people poor and hungry. Governments are good at passing along the pain.  In Gaza there is 80% unemployment and widespread malnutrition but no regime change. The UN estimates that sanctions on Iraq killed over 300,000 Iraqis in the 1990s. Starving Syrians is not the intention of US and European policy makers who imposed the sanctions. They continue to insist that Assad will step down due to sanctions. But what Arab leader has ever stepped down as a result of having his country sanctioned? As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”

The good policy makers in Western capitals are not insane, so what are they up to?

  1. Are they simply imposing sanctions because it is a politically inexpensive way to do something? After all, military intervention, which is the tested method to bring about regime change, is unthinkable today.
  2. Could some policy makers be hoping to ratchet up the humanitarian disaster in Syria in order to create an “intervention friendly environment” down the road? This seems far fetched but the humanitarian argument was one of the more persuasive rationals for intervening in Iraq. The more extreme the disaster, the more extreme solutions people are willing to entertain.

The problem with sanctions is that they destroy national institutions, decimate the middle class, and degrade society. We saw this in Iraq. The results are not pretty. They make building democracy all the more difficult when the offending regime is finally overturned. The only thing we know about democracy promotion with any certainty is that its chances of success rise exponentially with greater per capita GDP.  A long sanctions regime can only hurt democracy promotion. We all know about the magic of the middle class. It is hard to do anything constructive in a country without one.

Religion. The Arab League vote split the Arab countries along Shiite-Sunni lines. Countries with large Shiite populations — Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen — voted with Syria or abstained. Another troubling aspect of the Syrian conflict is that the region’s minorities are remaining faithful to Assad and Syria’s Alawi-led regime even as it grows increasingly isolated. The Christian minority in the region has come out fairly solidly behind Assad. Egyptian Copts prayed for Assad in a large stadium the other day (Egyption Christians pray for Syrians And Syrian President 11-12-2011). Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, Yohana Ibrahim, said President Bashar al-Assad was “the best man” to lead reform in Syria. (Syrian archbishop says ‘everyone loves’ Assad). The Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon upset many when he backed Assad and warned against regime-change in Syria. The growing religious divide in the Middle East is not new, but it is troubling. It suggests that Assad will not relinquish power, as King Abdullah of Jordan and other regional leaders are urging him to do. It also suggests that Assad’s base support among minorities will not crumble easily. Religion has a way of making martyrs.

A friend writes that his parents cannot find cooking gas in Aleppo. The replacement bottles for the stove are unavailable in the market. Mazoot, or fuel-oil, which is used to heat homes, power taxis and farm equipment is also absent, or available at high prices. Aleppo authorities also warn that extended electric cuts are coming due to lack of power. Syria is facing a cold winter. Older people are standing in lines to get small containers of mazoot filled.  The Syrian pound has fallen to 54.25 to a dollar.

News Round Up

Pro-Syrian regime protesters, carry a giant Syrian flag during a demonstration against the Arab League decision to suspend Syria, in Damascus, Syria, November 13, 2011. Similar pro-government demonstrations were held in Aleppo and Latakia.

DJ Arab League To Send 500 Observers To Syria, 2011-11-14

 CAIRO (AFP)–The Arab League is preparing to send observers to Syria but needs guarantees from Damascus on their mission and the rights of each side, the organization’s chief, Nabil al-Arabi, said Monday.

Foreign Policy

An estimated 70people have been killed mostly in clashes between Syrian security forces and defectors in the southern city of Dera’a, in what has been the bloodiest day since the start of the uprisings. Meanwhile, crowds angered by comments byJordanian King Abdullah urging President Bashar al-Assad to step down stormed the Jordanian embassy in Damascus, bringing down the country’s flag.

The suspension and imposition of sanctions by the Arab League on Syria that is due to take effect on Wednesday is being met with uproar from the Syrian regime and its supporters. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem denounced the move as an “illegal” and “dangerous step” saying that “Syria will not budge and will emerge stronger…and plots against Syria will fail.” Regime supporters attacked the Turkish, Saudi Arabian, and Qatari embassies in protest of the suspension.Foreign governments have had varied responses. Russia condemned the suspension accusing Western nations of inciting the opposition. Angered by the attack on its embassy, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davultoglu asserted, “We will take the most resolute stance against these attacks and we will stand by the Syrian people’s rightful struggle.”The European Union reached an agreement to extend sanctions. King Abdullah of Jordan called for Bashar al-Assad to resign stating, “If Bashar has the interest of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life. Syria has requested an emergency meeting with the Arab League prior to the suspension and said it will meet with representatives from the opposition on Tuesday.

EU Places New Sanctions on Syria – Wall Street Journal

European Union foreign ministers announced new sanctions on Syria even as they insisted that the situation in the country didn’t merit the same military response they mounted in Libya earlier this year.

Turkey May Review Energy Supplies to Syria, Minister Says, 2011-11-15, By Emre Peker

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) — Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said the government is currently providing power supplies to Syria and may reconsider “all decisions” on the matter if its southern neighbor’s policies don’t change, according to state-run Anatolia news agency…..

Iranian Officials Meet With Syrian Opposition – 2011-11-14, by Richard Spencer in the Telegraph

Iranian officials have held talks with Syrian opposition leaders, in a dramatic sign of the growing isolation of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Several separate opposition sources have told The Daily Telegraph that Iran opened a channel to a “moderate” opposition group about a month ago. Officials met Haytham Manna and other members of a group known as the National Coordinating Body for Democratic Change, or the National Coordi

nating Committee. The group is strongly opposed to foreign intervention in Syria, and is likely to be seen as more acceptable to Iran than the largest group, the Syrian National Council, which has argued for “international protection” for civilians…..

هيئة التنسيق ستزور قطر .. والمناع يوضح موقفه ويؤكد : الحل يجب أن يكون عربياً Haytham Manna

هيئة التنسيق ستزور قطر .. والمناع يوضح موقفه ويؤكد : الحل يجب أن يكون عربياً | عكس السير دوت كوم

Syria’s fragmented opposition
As anti-government forces try to develop a united voice, Al Jazeera looks at the disparate groups within.
Roxanne Horesh Last Modified: 10 Nov 2011 13:42

Syria’s economy is key to Assad’s future
By Liz Sly, Monday, November 14

BEIRUT — The dramatic decision by Arab states to turn against President Bashar al-Assad could further damage Syria’s economy at a time when it is already unraveling, posing perhaps a graver challenge to Assad’s survival than the country’s nearly-eight-month-old popular uprising, analysts say.

The broader loss of regional support represents an important psychological blow to a regime that has long prided itself as a champion of Arab nationalist causes. In one indicator of how far Assad’s fortunes have fallen, Jordan’s King Abdullah II suggested Monday that the Syrian president step down, though he hedged that call, telling the BBC that Assad needed to ensure an orderly transition.

It was, nonetheless, the most explicit rejection yet by an Arab leader of Assad’s rule ahead of an Arab League meeting Wednesday to discuss further measures against Syria, including economic sanctions.

They could have a more profound and immediate effect than the withdrawal of political support, given that Western powers are ruling out military intervention and anti-government demonstrations have seen neither the protest movement nor the Syrian security forces gain a decisive advantage. On Monday, the European Union announced that it would expand its sanctions, to include 18 more individuals associated with the Assad regime and denial of access to the European Investment Bank.

“The economy is a trigger of a lot of other issues on a broader level,” said Ayham Kamel, Middle East analyst with the Eurasia Group. The business community has supported Assad so far, he said, “but over a longer period of time, they’re going to reevaluate.”

The extent of the damage is difficult to measure, and Syrian government officials say they don’t have indicators. But they do not play down the gravity of the situation.

Syrian Economy Minister Mohammad Nidal al-Shaar said at a conference last month that the economy is in a “state of emergency,” according to comments quoted by the Damascus-based Syria Report. In a recent interview in Damascus, Adib Mayalah, governor of the Central Bank of Syria, described the situation as “very serious” and ticked off the problems the economy is facing.

“Unemployment is rising, imports are falling, and government income is reduced,” he said. “In areas where there are protests, there is no economic activity — so people aren’t paying tax. Because they aren’t working, they are not repaying their loans — so the banks are in difficulty. And all this is weakening the economy.”

Merchants interviewed recently on the streets of Damascus report a 40 to 50 percent fall in business as consumers hoard cash and cease spending on all but the most essential items. Tourism has skidded to a halt, representing a loss of $2 billion a month to an economy worth $59 billion last year, Mayalah said.

“The whole system has been shrinking — and very fast,” said Rateb Shallah, a prominent Damascus businessman. “The sanctions are squeezing us, and it is definitely affecting us quite a bit.

To what extent the downturn is due to the sanctions isn’t clear, however.

Until now, only the United States, the European Union, Canada and Japan have imposed sanctions on Syria, with relatively limited measures mostly targeting individuals and financial services. The most serious measure, a European embargo on oil purchases imposed in August, goes into effect only on Tuesday because Italy sought to ensure that its existing contracts were honored.

But the experience of the oil embargo illustrates the broader crisis of confidence confronting Syria. European nations, which account for a vast majority of Syrian oil exports, immediately halted their purchases, even though they were not required to do so for three more months. And oil pumped since then has gone unsold, despite Syria’s boasts that it would easily find other customers. Syria has curtailed its oil production by more than 25 percent, Mayalah said.

In a similar fashion, the restrictions on financial services and individuals have had a detrimental effect even on aspects of the economy that aren’t directly connected, by dissuading investors and companies from doing business with Syria. The Central Bank of Syria has not been sanctioned, but many businesses are refusing to engage with it because they fear falling foul of the U.S. prohibition on trade in services with Syria and jeopardizing their interests elsewhere, Mayalah said.

Foreign investment has slowed to a trickle for the same reasons, he said, even though there are no restrictions.

But investors may be equally deterred by Syria’s shaky political future and the escalating violence. The Local Coordination Committees, an opposition group, reported the deaths of 50 people in violence Monday, 28 of them in the southern province of Daraa, where there were unconfirmed reports of major clashes between the Syrian army and defected soldiers. The official Syrian Arab News Agency said two members of the security forces were killed in Daraa.

A trade embargo would be difficult to enforce. Syria can still count on two key neighbors with which it shares long and porous borders: Lebanon, one of only two countries that voted against the Arab League’s resolutions censuring Syria, and Iraq, which abstained.

Yet even trade with Iraq, which has been seeking to boost business ties with Syria as the region tilts against it, has fallen because of the indirect effect of sanctions, said Syria’s deputy economy minister, Khaled Mahmoud Saloutah. The two trading companies that handle most cross-border trade are based in Europe and have been forced to curtail their transactions, reducing the value of Syria’s exports to Iraq by 10 percent, he said.

“The economy is not going to collapse overnight,” Kamel said. “But it is definitely taking Syria down a risky path.”

The newly sanctioned Syrians — other than military and intelligence people — include 3 young members of the Syrian Electronic Army, Rami makhlouf’s lawyer – actually one of his good friends called me today to explain that he had not taken a case for Makhlouf in four years. Another is the head of Berri clan shabbiha in Aleppo. #13 on the list is the most interesting. He is simply named Maj General Nazih. No last name is given. So any one with the name Nazih will have to think twice about a trip to Athens.

Qatar Presses Decisive Shift in Arab Politics – by Anthony Shadid in NYTimes

The tiny emirate’s intentions remain murky to its neighbors and even allies — some see a Napoleon complex, others an Islamist agenda….

“Do they fill a void? Yes,” said Bassma Koudmani, a Syrian opposition leader who credited the Qataris with a key role in the Arab League’s startling decision Saturday to suspend Syria and isolate a government at the pivot of the region’s relations. “They are filling a space and a role that is not being taken up by other countries.” … American diplomatic cables in 2009, released by WikiLeaks, claim that Qatar has occasionally offered Al Jazeera’s coverage as a bargaining tool. A senior journalist there said while no order was given, the network’s reporting on Syria changed sharply in April.

“We could feel the change in atmosphere,” the journalist said.

Syria: It’s the Economy Stupid
by Armand Hurault, Arab Insurrection Analyst, Transnational Crisis Project

The Syrian economic policies over the past 25 years have underpinned the current uprising. I argue that the economy may well be the Achilles’ heel of Assad’s grip on power…..

Dr Emad Mustafa NBN 11 11 11 02

Syria’s neighbors helping shape its fate LA Times

Syria’s embattled government must face the changing dynamics of the region as old alliances fade and new brokers emerge, most notably Qatar….

عشاء المعارضة السورية مع اللجنة العربية حسم الموقف من نظام الأسد
Ash-Sharq al-Awsat
بسمة قضماني لـ «الشرق الأوسط»: الجامعة استجابت لمطالب المجلس الوطني

How Syrian Authorities can Hurt Ex-pats – (in French)

Maidhc Ó Cathail The ‘Humanitarian’ Road to Damascus: Pro-Israel Groups Outline U.S. Options to Assist Syrian Opposition -mForeign Policy Journal

عاجل : اقالة الأمين القطري المساعد لحزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي محمد سعيد بخيتان
وتنصيب وزير الدفاع السابق حسن تركماني

Arab leaders shouldn’t kill their people?
Posted By Marc Lynch

I am an Alawi from Antioch. I have many relatives in the alawite communities of Turkey including those in Mersin, Tarsus, Iskenderun (Alexandretta), Arsuz and Samandag, many of whom I do not know personally. I also visited Syria and am told I have relatives in Latakia, Homs, Damascus, and Aleppo. I am responding to Ms. Kahf and Mr. Landis’ claims regarding Alawite tribes. The truth is as far as I know, there is no such a thing as an Alawite tribe. This is just simply a reflection of modernization, educational attainment, and the prevalence of an urban lifestyle which weakened the traditional intra-communal links. I am about 50 yrs of age and never heard of “tribes”. Even close family relationships are non-existent. I have many relatives that I do not know and could not recognize even if I saw them on the street. I live in the USA and some of my relatives are scattered in Europe including Norway, France, Holland, Germany, Sweden, and the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. So much for the “tribes”!

Human Rights Watch accuses Syrian government of “crimes against humanity”- The human-rights group, Human Rights Watch, released a 63-page report accusing the Syriangovernment of “crimesagainst humanity.” The report reflects the accounts of 110 victims andwitnesses who claim Syrian forces killed at least 587 civilians since the startof the uprisings in March. It also references the tortureof political prisoners and unarmed civilians, including the elderly and children.

Turkey deputy: weapons being smuggled to Syria
The National
Thomas Seibert Nov 11, 2011

ISTANBUL // Many firearms from Turkey have entered Syria, and the Turkish government has stopped alleged arms-smuggling activities at a border post between the two countries, a Turkish opposition deputy said yesterday.

“You see many Turkish-made firearms in Syria,” Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, a deputy from the province of Hatay, which borders Syria, said in a telephone interview. “I don’t know how they got into the country.”

A friend Writes: Friday, November 11, 2011

This is the most inept group of people to govern. The article talks about inability of anyone to pinpoint what the population figure is. One group thinks Syria’s population increases by 670,000 a year. Another thinks its 500,000 and a third believes its 440,000. As for unemployment, the government continues to think its 8% (joke?) while some think its 30%. How can you run a country with such variations? Bashar should have stopped everything in 2000 and did one thing. call the international organizations with expertise in this field and get help in finding out population levels and growth rates in every city and district and make sure each household has an income/asset bracket that qualifies it as poor/middle/wealthy. Only then, subsidies can go to who deserves it and policies can be implemented given actual population trends and where. Instead………………………enough to make want to cry http://www.syriasteps.com/?d=127&id=77652&in_main_page=1

Syria stopped paying oil companies
2011-11-11 15:28:06.43 GMT

LONDON, Nov. 11 (UPI) — Though oil production in Syria is ongoing, sources close to the government said Damascus stopped paying supermajors Royal Dutch Shell and Total. Sources familiar with the Syrian energy sector told the Financial Times that major energy companies working in Syria were getting paid by the government until a few weeks ago. Payments slowed and eventually stopped as European governments put more pressure on Damascus for its crackdown on opposition protesters. “Payments have been delayed and some are outstanding,” said one industry insider who spoke to the Financial Times on condition of anonymity. “My sense is the government has no cash.”

Syria Regime’s Likely Collapse Requires U.S. Planning: Analyst
2011-11-10, By Peter S. Green

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) — U.S. needs to plan for all contingencies, bring about demise of Assad regime, as long-lasting conflict will become bloodier, more sectarian, spread to neighboring countries, Andrew Tabler, fellow at Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says in testimony to Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Six-point plan needed:
* Form Syria contact group for coordinated pressure on Assad
* Peel away Assad supporters, especially Christians, Sunnis
* Aid opposition to develop peaceful strategy of strikes, boycotts
* Push for international human rights monitors to enter Syria
* Prepare for militarization of conflict – no-fly zone, buffer zones to keep protesters safe from Assad military
* Push for UN Security Council action on sanctions,
potential use of force

Comments (527)

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301. Ales said:

Iran as Syria ally, that’s the only reason unrest in Syria is still going on now. Probably it won’t be over soon and it will be bloody. Maybe, at the end, foreign secretaries like Hillary or Hague will be able to gloat over Assad’s dead body, with Syria in ruins and hundreds thousands dead. “We came, we saw, he died”. Hippocrates.

The curious thing is, fall of Syria will not hurt Iran, except maybe as humiliation of losing an ally. There’s no common border.

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November 17th, 2011, 7:50 am


302. Akbar Palace said:

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Professor Josh,

Perhaps this is why Arabs are dying across the ME.

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November 17th, 2011, 8:30 am


303. N.Z. said:

The regime, like its supporters, raises the flag of Arab Unity when it suits their pervert minds.

The attacks on embassies is a clear sign of utter failure.

When the regime falls, their trumpets will shut up. They rather put their tails between their legs from now, not only because their idol days are numbered, rather because they exhausted all their filthy cards.

The Assad regime, to their credit, were successful in robbing a portion of our society of their free will, and turning them to puppets. Clapping when asked, murderers when needed, but all the way devoid of introspection.

Rehabilitation indeed!

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November 17th, 2011, 8:31 am


304. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

Syria’s minister of foreign affairs said on 15 Nov 2011, “if the Arabs have decided to become conspirators, that’s up to them.” I just want to say that the word “conspirators” and “conspiracy” rings hollow with me. It’s the wrong word. Consider for instance the fact that on 15 Nov 2011 Bahrain’s parliament called for the expulsion of the Syrian ambassador in Bahrain. (By the way, Bahrain’s executive government rejected that idea, though Bahrain’s executive government recalled its ambassador from Damascus in August). The members of Bahrain’s parliament, and the general public of Bahrain, innocently believe the shit they’re reading in the newspapers about the policies and procedures of Syria’s security forces. Therefore you cannot call these Bahrainis conspirators. Slews and slews of newspapers, each with its own editorial independence, are putting out the shit, believing it’s probably the truth, although they know it’s unverified. You cannot call them conspirators either, although you can call them reckless and feckless. You can call them biased. Conspiracy is quite different from bias. Conspiracy requires foresight and coordination. Bias arises from incompetence and narrow-mindedness. Knowing humans as you do, you should not ascribe to foresight and coordination something that can be explained by incompetence and narrow-mindedness.

To help cure their incompetence and narrow-mindedness, Syria has invited the Arab League to send people to Syria to observe the security forces at work first-hand. Syria has specifically invited professional military and police men from Arab countries to come to Syria to observe the policies and procedures and the actual practices that the Syrian security forces are using to maintain law and order. As I said at #277 it shouldn’t be until after these first-hand observations are made that the Arab League can reasonably have any opinion about what the security forces are doing or should do. In particular, it is utterly wrong-headed and unprofessional and immature of the Arab League to rely on what they’ve read in the newspapers.

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November 17th, 2011, 8:47 am


305. zoo said:

“What should be clear, though, is that a chaotic, violent transition of power would not be in Syria’s interest – or Israel’s.”

Syria on the brink
11/16/2011 22:57
What should be clear, though, is that a chaotic, violent transition of power would not be in Syria’s interest – or Israel’s.

Early on Wednesday morning, it was reported that elements of the Free Syrian Army had launched attacks at several locations 3 kilometers northeast of downtown Damascus.

This represents the latest and most serious threat to the 40-year rule of the Assad family.

It is a welcome development, since Syria, and particularly the Assads, constitute Israel’s oldest and most implacable adversary on its borders.

It is important, however, to stress the caution with which we might welcome the demise of the Syrian regime.

There is good reason to heed the words of warning from the Russian Foreign Ministry: “If the Syrian government is unable to hold onto power, there is a high probability that radicals and representatives of terrorist organizations will become entrenched.”

The latest threat to the Assad regime is multi-faceted, which is precisely why it should be taken seriously.

The suspension of Syria seems to have provided Jordan’s King Abdullah with the institutional support to call on Monday directly for Bashar Assad’s resignation.

“If Bashar had the interest of his country [in mind], he would step down. But he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life,” Abdullah said.

From Israel’s point of view, Syria remains the last of the frontline states that is a credible, powerful enemy. Unlike Lebanon, which is a relatively weak country whose main menace to Israel comes via the Hezbollah militia it hosts, Syria represents a more traditional strategic threat.

Syria has served as a base for several extremist Palestinian groups, and as the conduit for arms flowing from Iran to Hezbollah, which is why Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah was so bloody.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned that toppling the Assad regime could result in the rise of a radical Islamic one or create a vacuum in which terrorist groups would thrive. This statement could be interpreted as deliberate fear-mongering, because Syria is a long-time Russian ally. But the Russian view should be taken seriously, because it might be accurate.

Israel already has a volatile southern border with Egypt and a fragile northern border with Lebanon.

Assad’s fall could result in chaos along the Syrian border, which could destabilize the region and put greater strain on the security forces.

The leader of the Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun, is an erudite Parisian academic who has said that the Syrian people are supportive of “resistance” against Israel. Very little is known about the rebel commander, Col. Riad al-As’aad, except that he is a Sunni, like many of the Syrian Army defectors who have rallied to his flag.

What should be clear, though, is that a chaotic, violent transition of power would not be in Syria’s interest – or Israel’s.

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November 17th, 2011, 8:47 am


306. zoo said:

Only two powers can stop Syria’s brutality
From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011 7:30PM EST

Syria is now at grave risk of descending into a prolonged civil war of attrition. The Arab League, most Arab states and Turkey have rightly denounced the violence against peaceful protests by many of the Syrian people, but their indignation may not be enough to cause the government of President Bashar al-Assad to change course in the short to medium term.Syria’s membership in the 22-nation Arab body.

Only the Assad family itself or the Syrian armed forces have the power to cause the security forces to step back from their policy of brutality. Mr. al-Assad, who after his father’s death seemed inclined to liberalize the regime, has formed a habit of making conciliatory noises, talking of reform and non-violence, but he is either unwilling or unable to control the repression. It is possible that the security forces make their own decisions, and that they are led less by the President than by his brother Maher, the commander of both the Republican Guard that controls Damascus, the capital, and an elite armoured division of the army.

This state of affairs makes it hard for the military to separate itself from Mr. al-Assad, as the Egyptian armed forces did earlier this year in detaching themselves from Hosni Mubarak, the former president, and in refusing to shoot demonstrators. But it is not impossible. Most ordinary Syrian soldiers are Sunnis, not members of the Alawite sect to which the Assads belong, and which is overrepresented in the upper ranks of the military.

Notably, the Minister of Defence, and the former head of the army, Lieutenant-General Daoud Rajiha, is Greek Orthodox, having been appointed to replace an Alawite general in August.

If the armed forces do not distance themselves from vicious repression, there will be a slow but steady stream of deserters, such as a unit which, using heavy weaponry and machine guns, assaulted an air-force intelligence complex on the outskirts of Damascus on Wednesday.

Sporadic defections, tending toward the dissolution of the military, are more likely to lead to anarchy than to peace and freedom. The Assads and others in the Alawite elite cannot rule Syria alone. They must find a way, belatedly, to be more like the Egyptian military.

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November 17th, 2011, 8:55 am


307. zoo said:

Mask are falling…

Syrians would accept Turkish intervention: Brotherhood leader

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A leader of Syria’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood said today that the Syrian people would accept military intervention by Turkey, rather than Western countries, to protect them from President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces.

Mohammad Riad Shaqfa, who lives in exile in Saudi Arabia, told a news conference in Istanbul that the international community should isolate Assad’s government to encourage people to press their struggle to end more than four decades of Assad family rule.

Hundreds of people have been killed this month, one of the bloodiest periods in the revolt since it began last March. The United Nations estimates that 3,500 civilians have been killed in the past eight months in a crackdown on the protests.

If Assad’s government refused to halt its bloody repression, Shaqfa said it might call for foreign, preferably Turkish, military intervention to protect people.

“If the international community procrastinates then more is required from Turkey as a neighbour to be more serious than other countries to handle this regime,” Shaqfa said.

“If other interventions are required, such as air protection, because of the regime’s intransigence, then the people will accept Turkish intervention. They do not want Western intervention,” Shaqfa said.

The Syrian authorities have banned most independent media and blame the unrest on armed terrorist gangs and foreign-backed militants who they say have killed 1,100 soldiers and police.

NATO-member Turkey had close ties with Assad, but now regards the government in Damascus as untrustworthy. Assad has so far ignored Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s repeated entreaties to halt the violence and make urgent political reforms that the protesters are demanding.

Ankara is considering imposing economic sanctions that would target Assad’s government without harming the people, and is working with Arab governments to increase pressure on Damascus to halt the attacks.

Several thousand Syrians, including army officers involved in the armed struggle against Assad, have taken refuge in Turkey, and the opposition has met regularly in Turkey to form the Syrian National Council.

The Syrian National Council is the foremost opposition group, bringing together people ranging from exiled dissidents to grassroots activists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

After mobs attacked Turkey’s diplomatic missions in Syria at the weekend, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hosted representatives of the Syrian opposition at dinner on Sunday.

Turkish officials have repeatedly denied media speculation that one of the contingencies being planned is the creation of a buffer zone inside Syrian territory to protect civilians, and to make it easier for members of the Syrian military to desert.

On Thursday, Turkish officials denied a report in Sabah, a newspaper regarded as close to the government, that said representatives of the Syrian opposition had requested Turkey make plans to implement a no-fly zone a few kilometres inside Syrian territory, and to expand it gradually to cover the city of Aleppo.

Sabah said Turkey told the Syrian opposition that three conditions would have to be met, namely; the no fly zone was U.N. mandated, the Arab League took the initiative to support the process, and the United States and European Union acted as guarantors.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told French BFM Radio on Thursday that France was helping Syrian opposition groups become more organised. Juppe was due to visit Turkey for talks on Thursday and Friday that would focus on Syria.

Shaqfa said members of the opposition council would meet British officials soon.

© 2011 Hurriyet Daily News
URL: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=syrians-would-accept-turkish-intervention-brotherhood-leader-2011-11-17

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November 17th, 2011, 8:57 am


308. zoo said:

Syrian opposition reject talks with Al-Assad regime
By Layal Abou Rahha

Beirut, Asharq al-Awsat- A sense of optimism has engulfed the Syrian National Council, as it believes that the Al-Assad regime has reached its final stage. Consequently, the council which is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey, intends to escalate its activities in the same manner as “with former regimes when they became close to collapse like Egypt and Libya”.

Within this context, National Council member Hassan al-Shibli said in a telephone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that “the regime has started to feel that things around it became tight; therefore, it is making charges and is trying to circumvent the decisions that have been issued by seeking support from Russia and China.” He expressed belief that the regime “will lose these two allies soon due to its reckless tone, the same as it lost Turkey and the Arab League with the continuation of the Syrian people’s insistence on its demands, the peaceful nature of their movement, and their distinguished performance.”

Al-Shibli expressed belief that “the Syrian opposition has become united now more than any time in the past, since the stands of the Coordination Commission have started to melt into the positions of the National Council.” He pointed out that “after the campaign launched by Syria’s envoy to the Arab League against the Qatari foreign minister, the turn of the foreign minister has come when he rapped the position of Nabil El-Araby, Arab League secretary general. However, all this would be useless and in vain.”

While Al-Shibli expressed belief that it would be ” stupid for the opposition to engage in dialogue of any sort with Al-Assad’s regime because there should be no dialogue except on the mechanism of the transfer of power and halting bloodshed,” Umar Idlibi, member of the National Council and spokesman for the local coordination committees in Syria, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the talk about a new invitation for dialogue is meaningless and has come too late.” He recalled that “the regime has spoken since the first week of the eruption of the popular movements about a comprehensive dialogue with all strata of the opposition without implementing any of its promises.”

Idlibi pointed out that “there is a clear confusion by the regime in administering its crisis,” explaining that Syrian foreign minister Walid “Al-Muallim’s call for holding an Arab summit does not go in line with the charges he made to 18 countries that took part in issuing the decision,” stressing that “all the talk within this context is only an attempt to play for time and shows that the regime has fully lost its credibility.”

National Council member Adib al-Shishakli did not differ with what his two colleagues have said. In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, he expressed belief that “Russia has a political stand it is trying to sell,” and expected that “Russia would change its position that supports the regime after the Arabs adopted a firm decision because Moscow would not relinquish its relations with the Arab countries for the sake of Syria.” Al-Shishakli emphasized that “we have become used to the falsehood and hypocrisy of the regime,” and said that “there is a sort of loss and confusion within the framework of the attempt to find a way out for their crisis, and I think they will never find it.”

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November 17th, 2011, 9:14 am


309. jad said:

Ghalyounis’ Circus Clowns
I’m already laughing at your ridiculous poets and nonsense ”eloquent” comments, besides, the freak show of a talking poetic-romantic hamster kid, a bloodthirsty makeup dude and a pathological liar hoop dancer is funny enough.
Move on idiots!

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November 17th, 2011, 10:13 am


310. jad said:

جوبيه: على المجلس الوطني السوري تنظيم صفوفه قبل أي اعتراف رسمي به

اعتبر وزير الخارجية الفرنسية آلان جوبيه أنه “يجب أن ينظم المجلس الوطني السوري صفوفه قبل أي اعتراف رسمي به”.
وأكد جوبيه في تصريح لقناة “بي اف ام” التلفزيونية وإذاعة “مونتي كارلو” أنه “لدينا اتصالات مع المجلس السوري، والتقيت رئيسه برهان غليون في باريس”، لافتا إلى أن “فرنسا تساعدهم وتتواصل معهم وتشجعهم على التنظيم”، مستبعداً “بذلك اعتراف فرنسا رسمياً بالمجلس الوطني السوري حالياً”.
وانتقد جوبيه “نظام دمشق”، معتبراً أن “القمع الشنيع الهمجي الذي يمارس منذ أشهر لا يمكن أن يستمر”، منوّهاً “بالمنعطف الذي أدى إليه المتمثل بإدراك الدول المجاورة بأنه لا يمكنها أن تثق بعد الآن بالرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، بالإضافة إلى قرار الجامعة العربية بتعليق عضوية سوريا”.

فاليرو: أي إجراء لحماية المدنيين في دمشق يستحق الدرس

أعلن المتحدث باسم وزارة الخارجية الفرنسية برنار فاليرو أن “أي إجراء يهدف إلى حماية السكان المدنيين، ضحايا أشهر من “القمع البربري” على يد النظام في دمشق، يستحق الدرس بانتباه”، وذلك في إشارة إلى من إحتمال إقامة منطقة عازلة بين سوريا وتركيا.
وأشار إلى أن “وزير الخارجية ألان جوبيه الذي يبدأ اليوم زيارة إلى تركيا، يبحث من المسؤولين الأتراك “كل السبل الممكنة لوضع حدّ للقمع في سوريا”.
وعلق على “قول وزير الخارجية سيرغي لافروف إن الهجمات التي يشنها “الجيش السوري الحر” ضد مقرات حكومية، تشبه الحرب الأهلية، بالقول “إنه منذ 8 أشهر ما يميز “الربيع السوري” هو شجاعة وكرامة الشعب السوري الذي يطالب باحترام حقوقه الأساسية والديمقراطية في وجه نظام يستخدم القوة المسلّحة لقمع شعبه”.
وإذ اعتبر أنه “ليست الطموحات الديمقراطية للشعب السوري هي التي تهدد إستقرار سوريا والمنطقة”، رأى أن ما يهددها هو “رفض النظام في دمشق لتطور أي حوار حقيقي والقمع الذي يعتمده للهرب إلى الأمام”.
وأعرب فاليرو عن “دعم فرنسا للجهود التي تبذلها جامعة الدول العربية لحل الأزمة في سوريا”.

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November 17th, 2011, 10:16 am


311. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Do you remember when was it, that the junta promised to allow journalists in?
We’re still waiting.

Do you remember when was it, that Bouthaina declared that the regime has the upper hand?

This is what I like about the opposition: they don’t resort to stupid and baseless statements. Ghalyoun, in his Eid speech, promised nothing but continuation of the same. So did FSA’s Asad.

Better not to promise, than promise, and then look as a fool and a lier.

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November 17th, 2011, 10:19 am


312. jad said:

Back to square one between the West and Russia
-كاثرين آشتون تدعو من موسكو الأسد إلى التنحي عن السلطة
-“الخارجية الروسية أعلنت رفضها شرط المعارضة بتنحي الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد للبدء في الحوار”.

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November 17th, 2011, 10:22 am


313. Ya Mara Ghalba said:

Another indicator that Syria’s economy is moving along okay this year:

17 Nov 2011. Turkey’s Minister for the Economy, Zafer Caglayan, reported that Turkish exports to Syria rose by 3.7 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2011 but declined in October and November compared to the same period last year. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/17/c_131253807.htm

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November 17th, 2011, 10:30 am


314. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Salafi and MB Egypt:

Was it done during the Mubarak (secular) period?

Was it done during the Mubarak (secular) period?

Think again!

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November 17th, 2011, 10:31 am


315. jad said:

Dear Louai,
Thank you for the reply, I understand your pain, but don’t give up hope, Syrians will come out better after all this, God willing!

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November 17th, 2011, 10:38 am


316. ann said:

Jordan tribesmen set fire to state building, cars

(AP) – 5 minutes ago

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The family of a Jordanian man who died in custody has set fire to a government building and vehicles in riots, blaming the state for his death.

A police report said Thursday that Najm Zoubi, 20, hung himself after he and two others were arrested Wednesday for questioning in a case whose details remain unknown.

It said Zoubi hung himself in a police detention cell, using torn bed sheets.

Forensic doctors say an autopsy performed late Wednesday determined that Zoubi died of asphyxiation.

His cousin Yousef said relatives, suspecting that policemen beat Zoubi to death, torched the state building and four cars in the northern town of Ramtha.

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November 17th, 2011, 10:39 am


317. jad said:

إحباط محاولة تهريب اسلحة إلى سورية عن طريق الأردن
الخبر برس : الإخبارية اللبنانية

اشار مسؤول امني اردني لوكالة فرانس برس إلى ان “نجم الزعبي والذي وجد متوفياً في السجن عقب توقيفه، كان قد حاول مع سوريين اثنين تهريب اسلحة إلى الداخل السوري بعد شرائها من تاجر سلاح اردني”، ولم يحدد المسؤول الأمني نوع السلاح او عدده.
واضاف المسؤول الذي طلب عدم الكشف عن اسمه، ان “السوريين كانا تحت المراقبة من قبل الاستخبارات العسكرية وتم توقيفهما مع نجم في مدينة الرمثا الأردنية”.
وترتبط مدينة الرمثا (95 كلم شمال عمان) اقتصاديا ارتباطا وثيقا بمدينة درعا السورية التي تبعد عنها قرابة ثلاثة كيلومترات. كما يرتبط سكانها بصلات قرابة مع سكان درعا.
ويعمل عدد كبير من سكان المدينتين بنقل البضائع والركاب بين المدينتين، الا ان اجراءات مشددة اتخذت منذ اندلاع الاحداث في سورية على جانبي الحدود مع المملكة.

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November 17th, 2011, 10:42 am


318. Tara said:


Interesting analysis in regard to the US position yet don’t you think that it blows up the western conspiracy theory and confirms that the revolution is home-grown? I think the regime and its supporters would be very unhappy with such analysis as it invalidates the core concept of the revolution being a cosmic conspiracy against the blue eyed doctor.

On a lighter note, my daughter told me last night that she does not like Sponge Bob ( which she had a life long love affair with) any more because he shares eyes color with Bashar. I was stunned that she has some understanding of what is going on.

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November 17th, 2011, 10:51 am


319. jad said:

لافروف:القوى الخارجية تحاول توتير الوضع في سورية من اجل تبرير التدخل في شؤون البلد

اعلن سيرغي لافروف، وزير الخارجية الروسي، اثر المباحثات مع كاثرين اشتون، عميدة الدبلوماسية الاوروبية، اليوم،17 نوفمبر/تشرين الثاني، ان القوى الخارجية تحاول توتير الوضع في سورية، من اجل تبرير التدخل في شؤون هذا البلد.

فقال لافوروف: “بودي لفت الانتباه، الى مساعي اللاعبين الخارجيين المتسارعة جدا لتصعيد مشاعر المواجهة في سورية، ولربما نتيجة الرغبة في اعطاء الوضع في الفضاء الاعلامي، صبغة درامية، بغية توفير حجة اضافية لتبرير التدخل في شؤون سورية”. واكد الوزير ان “روسيا لا تحبذ ابدا، ان تجري القضية في سورية على غرار السيناريو الليبي”.

ولفت الانتباه في غضون ذلك الى الوضع في اليمن، مشيرا الى انه “يقتل هناك عدد ليس اقل من المواطنين، ولكن الجميع يعملون على تهيئة الظروف من اجل ان تعمل خطة التسوية السلمية”. وتساءل لافروف:”لا افهم، لماذا لا يطبق هذا المفهوم بشأن سورية؟”.


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November 17th, 2011, 11:05 am


320. jad said:

الصين تأمل من الأطراف المعنية تنفيذ حل الجامعة العربية في سورية

أملت الصين اليوم الخميس من الأطراف المعنية بالأزمة في سوريا أن تساهم في تسريع تنفيذ حل الجامعة العربية.
ونقلت وكالة أنباء الصين الجديدة “شينخوا” عن الناطق باسم الخارجية ليو وايمين قوله بمؤتمر صحافي إن “الصين تأمل بأن تتخذ الأطراف المعنية جهوداً مشتركة لتنفيذ حل الجامعة العربية ومواصلة السعي لحلول للأزمة السورية عبر الحوار”.
وأضاف أن “الصين تواصل مراقبة الوضع في سوريا عن كثب وهي تدعو الأطراف المعنية لإنهاء العنف هناك، واستعادة الاستقرار والنظام في سوريا في أقرب وقت”.
وقال بشأن ما إذا كان ينبغي على مجلس الأمن الدولي اتخاذ خطوات إضافية، إن ذلك “يجب أن يعتمد على ما إذا كانت جهوده ستفضي لإزالة التوتر في سوريا، وحل النزاعات عبر الحوار السياسي، والمحافظة على السلام والاستقرار في الشرق الأوسط”.

مصدر دبلوماسي أوروبي: لا ننوي سحب بعثتنا بسورية
بروكسل ..
نفى مصدر دبلوماسي أوروبي أن تكون لدى الإتحاد الأوروبي أي نية في سحب رئيس أو أفراد بعثته المتواجدين في العاصمة السورية دمشق .
وجاء هذا التصريح تعليقاً على قرار فرنسا أمس استدعاء سفيرها في دمشق و إغلاق قنصلياتها في حلب واللاذقية.
وأفاد المصدر، في تصريح لوكالة (آكي) الإيطالية للأنباء اليوم، بأن الإتحاد الأوروبي يشدد على أهمية وجود دبلوماسيه في سورية، “نظراً لدورهم الهام حالياً، فلانية لنا لاستدعائهم”، حسب قوله.
وأشار إلى أن الإتحاد الأوروبي كان سابقاً أكد أن قرار سحب سفير من بلد ما يعود للسلطات الوطنية، فـ”إنه قرار سيادي لا تتدخل مؤسسات الإتحاد الأوروبي فيه”.
يذكر أن الإتحاد الأوروبي كان شدد في وقت سابق على ضرورة أن تضطلع السلطات السورية بمهمة المحافظة على سلامة الطواقم الدبلوماسية الدولية العاملة لديها، وذلك في تعليق على تعرض مباني تابعة لبعثات دبلوماسية دولية في دمشق لإقتحامات من قبل موالين للنظام السوري .

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November 17th, 2011, 11:19 am


321. jad said:

Abukhalil collection for today:

Violence against regimes
So much for Gene Sharp and his inspiration. “In Washington, a State Department spokesman, Mark C. Toner, said the United States had little information about the attack, and he laid the blame for it on the Assad government’s crackdown.” Wait: if the US government is blaming violence against the Syrian regime on the Syrian regime, would it also blame violence against the Zionist regime on the Zionist regime?
Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil

Al-Quds Al-`Arabi
““Nobody can predict what will happen next,” said an editorial Wednesday in Al Quds Al Arabi, a pan-Arab newspaper based in London. “But what we can be sure about is that the time for diplomatic solutions has come to an end.”” I think that Nada Bakri forgot to add that Al-Quds Al-`Arabi is Qatari-funded.
Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil

`Ar`ur in Idlib
There was a rally by the opposition in Idlib the other day. The speakers chanted in praise of the fanatic sectarian Shaykh Al-`Ar`ur. His mention does not appear in any of the Western media coverage of Syria because they really want the readers to believe that Burhan Ghalyun is the real power behind the leadership of the opposition–how I wish that to be true. But Western media did the same in Libya: they promoted the men in suit-and-tie and they feigned surprise when the fanatical religious nuts appeared in the leadership of the government after the collapse of the Qadhdhafi dictatorship. You can’t disturb their propaganda ploy: any references to the religious fanatics is dismissed by orders of the Ikhwan who are putting men (and a woman) in suit-and-tie in the forefront for deception purposes. The rally in Idlib sent one salutation after another to the religious kook, `Ar`ur. I only saw that on New TV, which is probably the only media (East and West) that covers different angles in Syria. (This despite recent decline in the news seriousness of New TV and the trends of appeasement in Saudi Arabia. The channel which had financial ties to Qadhdhafi (and Qatar), covered Libya as if it was critical of the the dictator all along.)
Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil

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November 17th, 2011, 11:27 am


322. annie said:

REVLON / Thank you for all that information. This site is decidedly occupied by less than reputable people with a couple of exceptions who bravely hold the fort.

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November 17th, 2011, 11:42 am


323. N.Z. said:

Syria’s last foreign friends, said the raid by the Free Syrian Army was “already completely similar to real civil war.”


When the Assad thugs had the upper hand, killing innocent Syrian civilians and army personnel who refused shooting orders, where were you Lavrov?

If it was okay for your people to eradicate Communism, why are you denying Syrians their wish for regime change?

Perhaps Lavrov and Assad, should spare us their rants and write a book, philosophizing our Syrian Revolution.

Long live the Free Syrian Army. An army that is doing what it is supposed to do, protect Syrians, not Assad and his crony.

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November 17th, 2011, 11:45 am


324. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I like it when prime mnhebak Jad quotes Angry Arab when it suites him, and doesn’t quote Angry Arab’s venomous criticism of the Syrian junta, when it doesn’t suite him.

Abu Khalil has an hierarchy of hate: On top on all others, with a huge margin, comes the usurping entity – the Zionist regime. Then there are the “houses”. House of Saud, house of Ziad and the house of Queen YouTube. In the 3rd place, there is Amrica, the west, their Arab “stooges” and the Zionist medias. Only then come all the rest (including the Syrian and other Arab juntas).

So I would take As’ad Abu Khalil’s writing with a pitch of salt.

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November 17th, 2011, 12:05 pm


325. bronco said:

Tara #314

There is no doubts that the ‘revolution’ is home-grown. It has happened in Arab countries and somehow in the West too.

But it has been immediately exploited by some western countries as the best opportunity they ever had to get rid of the only Arab country adamantly opposed to the US hegemony in the region.
In a way the revolutionaries’s ideals have become the trojan horse to the neutralization of Syria under Bashar Al Assad to bring it in line with the other obedient Arab countries.

An early acceptance by the local opposition to negotiate with the regime a gradual move to democracy, as it happened in Spain, would have avoided the bloodbath, but the weakness of the local opposition, the stubborness of the regime and the emergence of an western-fed expat opposition under Turkey sponsorship pursuing their agenda of a regime change favorable to the US and Israel has escalated the matter on the ground.

The surprise to them and the western countries is that, despite the multitude of sanctions and threats, the regime is still very strong and determined to fight back to preserve his acquired political assets and to counter the plot to reduce Syria to another Arab puppet.

Now the situation is becoming increasingly worrying to the Western countries with the intrusion of armed militias whose composition is unknown. Either the Western countries engage militarily and expose themselves to more expenses and unsure results, or they allow the Sunni Islamic militias, under the cover of the FSA, to overthrow Bashar al Assad in a series of bloody terrorists acts that would later threaten the neighbors and most of all Israel, or they accept to leave the regime of Bashar in power as its now on the way to reforms and seriously shaken and weakened enough so he would not play anymore his role as the defensor of the Resistance. Because of that, Syria’s relation with Iran will change as Iran will not be able to support Hezbollah through Syria anymore. In addition Turkey’s new strong position on Israel and its declared effort to help the Palestinians diplomatically is also making the Resistance somehow irrelevant.

The next few days will show if the US is really changing its approach or not and how the the Arab league will translate this in their decisions.

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November 17th, 2011, 12:14 pm


326. 5 dancing shlomos said:

the real police state:


Police State Tactics: Signs Point to a Coordinated National Program to Try and Unoccupy Wall Street and Other Cities
Dave Lindorff – 11/15/2011
The ugly hand of the federal government is becoming increasingly suspected behind what appears to be a nationwide attempt to repress and evict the Occupation Movement.

Across the country in recent days, ultimatums have been issues to groups occupying Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, and most recently New York, NY, where the Occupation Movement began on September 17. The two most recent eviction efforts, in Oakland and New York, have been the worst.

The police attacks have had a lot in common. They have been “justified” based upon trumped up pre-textural claims that the occupiers are creating a health hazard, or a fire hazard, or a crime problem, generally on little or no evidence, or there has been a digging up of obscure and constitutionally questionable statutes, for example laws outlawing the homeless. Then the police come in, usually in dead of night, dressed in riot gear and heavily armed with mace weapons, batons, plastic cuffs and tear gas, or even assault rifles in some cases and so-called flash-bang stun grenades–all weapons to be used against peaceful demonstrators.

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November 17th, 2011, 12:15 pm


327. 5 dancing shlomos said:

from israel and america with the only emotion we know – hate:

violence in america. violence in iraq. violence in afganistan. violence in pakistan. violence in yemen. violence in libya. violence in somalia and sudan. violence in iran. violence in syria. violence in palestine and lebanon.

the list of countries, peoples attacked by these two parasites and assorted puppet mites is longer.

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November 17th, 2011, 12:22 pm


328. irritated said:

310. Amir in Tel Aviv

Just wait and see what will happen when the Constitution will be prepared with the majority of Moslem Brotherhood. Get ready for a heavy crackdown on any act not conformed to the Sharia.

These are the first and the last days of the ‘sexual’ freedom of expression in the Arab spring. Enjoy.

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November 17th, 2011, 12:26 pm


329. jad said:

‘Cat boy’ prince
Your problem is not with me, your problem is with As’ad Abu Khalil telling the truth about your occupation and the hypocrisy of the Western media, so why don’t you send him an email to whine and bitch instead of annoying us with your worthless tribes of Israel.

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November 17th, 2011, 12:31 pm


330. N.Z. said:

There is a common denominator between all the “shabbeha”, their language is nauseating, here and at home.

Attacking the message, and, not the messenger is a sign of strength.

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November 17th, 2011, 12:41 pm




@ 305
Ruined your day?!

Ok, if it helps, that little untitled rhyme @278 was not addressed to you. Guess to whom?

As for Ghalyoun, in a month or so, SNC clowns will be anointing someone with a different family name as the next president of the SNC. Can you do the same with pencil neck and Syria?, say in the next ….. lifetime.

Just don’t take your aggression on a real hamster, it ain’t fair, you know.

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November 17th, 2011, 12:42 pm


332. jna said:

Jordan, Arab League Hypocrisy on Syria

Robert Dreyfuss on November 16, 2011

The stunning hypocrisy involved in the Arab League’s condemnation of Syria is nowhere more evident than in the fact that King Abdullah of Jordan, a through-and-through rotten autocrat, has called on the ruler of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, to step down.

“If I were in his shoes, I would step down,” said Abdullah this week.

Well, stay tuned. That might be true soon enough, if a report in this week’s New York Review of Books is correct. Nicolas Pelham, in “Jordan Starts to Shake,” says that protests are growing inside Jordan, and he adds that the king has not exactly been liberalizing the regime. Abdullah, he reports, is losing control of the tribes, the establishment and the people at large, and there’s even dissent within the royal family. Though he’s spent the last couple of years changing governments and prime ministers—and security officials—like dirty underwear, he’s still sliding down hill.

Even though Jordan is limping along on $1 billion per year from Saudi Arabia and another $800 million a year from the United States, Abdullah is losing touch. According to the piece:

[Abdullah] feted delegates from the Davos-based World Economic Forum with a champagne reception in his Dead Sea resort, sealing off public access for miles around the Dead Sea. The pretext for the meeting was ‘creating jobs,’ but bankers warned of the impending bankruptcy if Jordan’s wage bill is not further slashed. The complacent resplendence smacked uncomfortably, noted a doctor, of the latter years of the Shah.

Saudi Arabia, desperate to prop up Jordan (and to overthrow Assad), is going all out to save the kingly ally. And the piece reports that Jordan, which has been invited to join the kleptocracy club led by Saudi Arabia called the Gulf Cooperation Council, sent crack counterinsurgency troops to invade Bahrain this year to put down the anti-government rebellion there. “Some Jordanians complain that they have become the Gulf’s mercenaries,” reports Pelham.

Read Saudi Arabia’s (and Jordan’s) opposition to Assad as part of the Saudi-Iran cold war.


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November 17th, 2011, 12:47 pm


333. jad said:

Ghalyounis, how come you are not putting your God’s statements of ‘love&peace’ after he was whacked by the Americans, at least you will sound less pathetic than your comments.
Here you go I’ll put it for you so you can have your ‘menhebak’ moment and calm down, I really feel sorry for Ghalyoun (Toilet in Russian) of having such a lousy menhebakjiyeh who don’t know how to promote meaningful and important message.

نداء لرفض الفتنة والاقتتال الاهلي
by Burhan Ghalioun

أيها الثوار الأحرار يا أبناء سورية العظيمة
انطلقت ثورتنا المجيدة من رفض الظلم والتمييز والقهر الذي عانيتهم منه لعقود طوال. وكانت ثقافة الكرامة وحب الحرية وتأكيد الأخوة الوطنية ووحدة الشعب والوطن قلبها ومحركها. بثقافة المحبة والاتحاد هذه حقق الشعب الانتصارات وزعزع أركان الطغيان. وبها تعززت هويتنا القومية وزالت خلافاتنا وتوحدت صفوفنا وذهبت مشاعر الحقد والضغينة والانتقام من قلوبنا، وفيها ولدت سورية الجديدة، سورية المستقبل التي ننشدها لنا ولأبنائنا، سورية المساواة التي تحتضن جميع أبنائها دون تمييز قومي أو مذهبي أو سياسي.
وفيها أيضا تعرفنا على أنفسنا شعبا واحدا، وازدهرت روح الأخوة الوطنية تضامنا وتساميا في كل فرد منا. فصار كل واحد منا يفتدي الآخر بدمه وحياته، وأصبحت كل مدينة او محافظة تهتف باسم المدينة ألاخرى وتدافع عنها حتى الموت. هكذا استمرت الثورة ونجحت في مواجهة سياسات القتل والارهاب والترويع. وكعادتها عبر تاريخ سورية تحملت مدينة حمص مسؤولية جمة في استمرار النضال السلمي ضد الاستبداد. حتى أجمع الثائرون على تسميتها ” عاصمة الثورة” لما عانته من قهر ودمار وتهجير.
لكن أشهرا طويلة من القتل المنهجي المنظم وإذكاء النظام الاجرامي الفتنة الطائفية بين أبناء شعبنا وشحن فئة من المجتمع ضد فئة أخرى قد أضعفت دفاعات بعضنا في مواجهة مخاطر الانقسام والتصادم الطائفي. وأصبحنا نشهد منذ أسابيع عمليات خطف واغتيال وتصفية حسابات بين أبناء الشعب الواحد، بل بين أبناء الثورة أنفسهم. وهو ما يشكل تهديدا خطيرا لمكاسب الثورة ويقدم خدمة كبرى لنظام القتل والاستبداد الذي يترصد بنا ويؤخر الانتصار.
باسمي وباسم المجلس الوطني وجميع ابناء الشعب الحريصين على انتصار الثورة وقطع الطريق على مناورات السلطة الغاشمة ومؤامراتها، أدعو جميع أبناء الشعب السوري إلى التوقف القطعي عن هذه الاعمال المدمرة ونبذ روح الفرقة والانقسام، والعودة إلى روح الأخوة والوطنية الحقة التي أشعلت الثورة وكانت السبب الأكبر لاستمرارها وتقدمها.
وأتوجه بشكل خاص إلى أحرار حمص وثوارها الأبطال من كل الفئات والمذاهب، وادعوهم إلى تغليب حسهم الوطني، ووقف الاعتداءات وعمليات الخطف والانتقام والترفع عن الاحقاد والالتفاف حول ثورتهم الجامعة وأحثهم على ضبط النفس ورفض الانجرار وراء ممارسات بغيضة تزكي الحقد بدل المودة والألفة وتكرس الانقسام بدل الوحدة
أيها الاخوة الاحرار
نحن على مفترق طرق. احد هذه الطرق يؤدي بنا الى الحرية والكرامة واخر
يؤدي بنا الى الهاوية والانجراف نحو حرب اهلية لم يكف النظام عن محاولة اشعالها ليجهض ثورتنا المباركة منذ أشهر. واجبنا في هذه اللحظات الحساسة ان لا ننجرف وراء مشاعر سلبية بغيضة لن تجلب لنا الا
الهزيمة والدمار.
أدعو جميع الثوار إلى نبذ تلك الممارسات المدمرة للشعب والثورة وإدانتها وتحريمها والعمل معا على إطلاق سراح كل المختطفين وتكوين اللجان المحلية للتعاون من أجل منع تكرارها.

لا تدعو الاحقاد الصغيرة تهدد ثورتكم العظيمة، ولا تقعوا في فخ النظام، وأنتم على ابواب انتصارات اكيدة على قاب قوسين أو أدنى من تحقيق اهداف ثورتكم المجيدة، ثورة الكرامة والحرية والإخا.

عاشت سورية حرة أبية وعاش شعب سورية حرا عزيزا واحد موحدا
برهان غليون

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November 17th, 2011, 1:05 pm


334. irritated said:

Syrian Hamster @327

“someone with a different family name as the next president of the SNC.”

If it’s Radu the Cockroach, I’ll celebrate.

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November 17th, 2011, 1:06 pm


335. Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I don’t share your gloom and doom world view.

A poll I read recently showed that 99% of Egyptians don’t want a Sunni style Vilayat-e Faqih political system. Sharia is a part of the way of lives of Muslims. Trying to suppress this way of life will only make it stronger, more resentful.

And frankly, not all aspects of Sharia are so devilish. I like, for example, the Muslim way of the banking system. It is definitely better than the way our banks are doing business.

Sharia is here to stay, if you like it or not. Instead of vilifying the Sharia, it will be wiser to find ways to live with it. To integrate it, reform it, and even adopt the positive elements in the Sharia.

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November 17th, 2011, 1:16 pm


337. zoo said:

“Syria won this round,” said Louay Hussein, an opposition figure in Damascus.

Arab League Offers Reprieve for Syria as Toll Rises
Published: November 16, 2011

RABAT, Morocco — In what amounted to a surprise reprieve, the Arab League offered to send civilian and military monitors to Syria on Wednesday to determine whether it was abiding by a league-brokered peace plan to end the crackdown on the country’s eight-month uprising. The move countered the league’s startling decision five days earlier to suspend Syria.

In a meeting of foreign ministers here in the Moroccan capital, the league offered Syria a new deadline of three days to accept the plan, which calls for the government to withdraw its troops from cities and stop firing on protesters. The move effectively delayed Syria’s suspension, suggesting that the league still believed its plan was viable, despite a death toll this month that activists put at nearly 400.

The league’s move appeared to be a last-ditch attempt at diplomacy, though officials were reluctant to describe it as such. Syria has long played a pivotal role in the 22-member league, and appeared to have been taken aback by Saturday’s decision to suspend its membership. The league did not say what would happen if Syria failed to comply with the latest offer.

“What is happening in Syria is very sad to all of us,” Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheik Hamad Bin Jassim Jabr al-Thani, told reporters in Rabat on Wednesday evening. “We must take difficult decisions and force Syria to respect its obligations.”

“We should stop wasting time while people are getting killed,” he added.

There was no immediate response from the Syrian government. The government of President Bashar al-Assad refused to send a representative to the foreign ministers’ meeting.

The league’s turnabout raised questions about whether an organization long derided in the region as ineffectual, even a joke, could take on a more vigorous role in a tumultuous time. Expelling Syria would have offered the most vivid illustration of the country’s growing isolation, as European and American sanctions accumulate, countries withdraw ambassadors from Damascus and its former interlocutors become sharp critics.

“Nobody can predict what will happen next,” said an editorial Wednesday in Al Quds Al Arabi, a pan-Arab newspaper based in London. “But what we can be sure about is that the time for diplomatic solutions has come to an end.”

France decided to withdraw its ambassador on Wednesday and close its missions in two Syrian cities after the league’s Saturday vote prompted attacks on the diplomatic missions of France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Turkey has already withdrawn the families of its diplomatic staff there, and the American ambassador, citing safety concerns, left last month, though American officials say he will eventually return.

More attacks on diplomatic missions occurred Wednesday. The United Arab Emirates, the national news agency said, condemned an attack on its embassy in Damascus. It said supporters of Mr. Assad threw rocks and debris, and scrawled graffiti on its walls. The Moroccan Embassy was pelted with rocks and eggs, and some reports said that the ambassador was withdrawn.

The vote on Saturday also split the Syrian opposition, with exile groups hailing the move while some dissidents inside Syria worried that it might serve as a pretext for foreign intervention.

“Syria won this round,” said Louay Hussein, an opposition figure in Damascus. “We avoided turning this into an international crisis. Until yesterday, there were indications the Arab League was going to escalate. Our hope was that this would only be a warning.”

“Through sending Arab monitors, we can exercise pressure on the regime,” Mr. Hussein said in a phone interview. “We can uncover its lies and its fabrications.”

The Local Coordination Committees, an opposition group, said that 20 people were killed across the country on Wednesday, with the rising death toll sharpening fears that the uprising might be taking on a more violent character. The group said that 376 people had been killed, among them 26 children, since Syria first said it agreed to the Arab League peace plan on Nov. 2. The United Nations has estimated that more than 3,500 have died since March.

Syria has insisted that it has adhered to the Arab League’s plan. It offered an amnesty to insurgents if they had not committed crimes, and said it released 1,730 prisoners. Arab League officials say tens of thousands remain in detention.

Outside Damascus, the Free Syrian Army, made up of army deserters, claimed responsibility for an attack on a major intelligence installation in Harasta, on the outskirts of Damascus, and said that its fighters had clashed with armed forces in three other suburbs of the capital. On Monday, clashes between defectors and government troops near Dara’a, in southern Syria, are believed to have killed dozens.

Others played down the significance of the assault. The Local Coordination Committees said the attack in Harasta was probably an act of vengeance by protesters who were imprisoned and interrogated there. Another group said that only two rocket-propelled grenades were fired at the building, and that there was no apparent damage.

In Washington, a State Department spokesman, Mark C. Toner, said the United States had little information about the attack, and he laid the blame for it on the Assad government’s crackdown.

“It’s not surprising that we are now seeing this kind of violence,” he said. “We don’t condone it in any way, shape or form, but let’s be very clear that it is the brutal tactics of Assad and his regime in dealing with what began as a nonviolent movement” that are “now taking Syria down a very dangerous path.”

The Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, joined the Arab League meeting in Morocco. Turkey has played a pivotal role in the crisis, as its relationship with Syria has gone from warm to hostile. Turkey has threatened sanctions, but has not yet imposed them. Mr. Davutoglu said Turkey was satisfied with the league’s decision, but urged Syria to abandon violence.

“The regime should meet the demands of its people,” said Mr. Davutoglu, who tried to broker a peace deal in August, only to see the crackdown gather force. “The bloodshed cannot continue like this.”

Aida Alami reported from Rabat, and Nada Bakri from Beirut, Lebanon. Reporting was contributed by Anthony Shadid and Hwaida Saad from Beirut, Alan Cowell from London, Steven Lee Myers from Washington and Steven Erlanger from Paris.

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November 17th, 2011, 1:19 pm


338. jad said:


‘Turkey opposes military action on Syria’

Turkey says it is opposed to a military strike against Syria as a pre-fabricated US scenario to wage war against Damascus is exposed, Press TV reports.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul stressed Ankara’s opposition to any military intervention in Syria, warning that the situation in Iraq and Libya should not be repeated in Syria, according to a statement released by Iranian embassy in Ankara.

Gul made the statement during a meeting with visiting Head of Iran’s Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who noted that the reality on the ground in Syria is different from what Western-affiliated media are trying to portray.

Tehran and Ankara should have closer consultation and boost their cooperation to help resolve the crisis in Syria, the lawmaker urged.

Syria has been experiencing a deadly unrest since mid-March and according to the United Nations, over 3,000 people have been killed in the violence. Hundreds of Syrian security forces are among the dead.

The Syrian opposition accuses the security forces of cracking down on what it calls anti-government protesters. But Damascus blames the violence on outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups sponsored by foreign countries.

Meanwhile, informed sources in Syria said of a US scenario that includes attacks on Syrian diplomatic missions abroad and backing terrorist activities within the country.

The US also plans to refer Syria to UN’s human rights commission and the General Assembly later in November as well as the International Criminal Court in an effort to formally declare the Syrian government as a “war criminal,” the sources said.

The scheme also envisages the establishment of a buffer zone inside Syria through NATO-member Turkey and facilitating the supply of weaponry and arms to the so-called ‘contra forces’ inside the country.

The officials said supporting insurgency by Wahhabi extremists based in the Syrian city of Tripoli and instigating a civil war in the country are other parts of the American scenario.

Moreover, the Syrian sources said, the US scheme provides that the Israeli regime, along with Jordan, would also declare their readiness to engage in military operations against Damascus.

The latest discovery comes as the Arab League (AL) announced the suspension of Syria during an emergency session in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on November 12, and called for the imposition of sanctions against the country.

On Sunday, millions of Syrians poured into the streets across the country to condemn the AL decision and its siding with US-led measures against the government of President Assad.


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November 17th, 2011, 1:22 pm


339. irritated said:

#331 Amir In Tel Aviv

Banking practices, polygamy and other are in accordance to the Sharia. Sexual freedom western style is certainly NOT. Ask any ‘moderate’ non westernized moslem. Homosexuality and exposed nudity is outlawed and abhored in all Arab countries, I doubt they’ll be allowed in a Sharia based Constitution.

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November 17th, 2011, 1:24 pm


341. irritated said:

While the FSA claims proudly the attack in Harasta as a success, that’s what the LCC is saying.

“The Local Coordination Committees said the attack in Harasta was probably an act of vengeance by protesters who were imprisoned and interrogated there. Another group said that only two rocket-propelled grenades were fired at the building, and that there was no apparent damage.”

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November 17th, 2011, 1:30 pm


343. N.Z. said:

السيد الصدر: هناك فارق كبير بين ما يحدث في سورية والثورات العربية الأخرى
اعلن زعيم التيار الصدري السيد مقتدى الصدر عن ايمانه بقضية المعارضين في سورية. الا انه دعاهم للابقاء على الرئيس بشار الاسد على اعتبار انه “معارض للوجود الاميركي والاسرائيلي”.

In retrospect, the same could had been said about Saddam the tyrant!

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November 17th, 2011, 1:43 pm


344. jad said:


‘Ghalyounis’ go celebrate, Bassam Alkadi is missing:

اختفاء مشرف مرصد نساء سورية بسام القاضي
اكتشف اختفاء بسام القاضي يوم الخميس 17\11\2011 , هذا وقد شوهد للمرة الأخيرة يوم الأربعاء 16\11\2011 , بعد خروجه من اذاعة شام اف ام
وقد وجدت زوجته منزله مقلوبا رأسا على عقب ظهر يوم الخميس , مع اختفاء كافة حواسيبه وكاميراته .
بسام القاضي المشرف المسؤول عن مرصد نساء سورية الذي أشهر عام 2005 , و هو يعمل الآن مسؤول العلاقات العامة والإعلام في مشروع الرياض الدامجة .
نطالب السلطات السورية بالكشف عن مصير بسام القاضي .

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November 17th, 2011, 1:47 pm


345. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Irritated #335,

Sexual freedom western style and homosexuality are certainly NOT allowed in Judaism, as well.

Here is major Joshua Gortler. Openly gay, religious, and an officer in the IDF. In the picture you can see major Gortler with his IDF commander and his husband, in a ceremony when he got his major rank.
(Google translate this).

What I’m trying to say, is that things can change and reform. Sharia, and live with Sharia, can reform too.

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November 17th, 2011, 1:52 pm


346. Ghat Al Bird said:

Another example of who “wins” again in the Middle East would be a civil war in Syria… so far this new effort by the peace lovong Israelis. ISRAEL CALLS FOR US MILITARY TO PROTECT ITS ROBBERY OF LEBANONS OIL http://www.jinsa.org/visiting-fellows/don’t-pass-gas-israel’s-gas-discoveries-are-american-strategic-asset-worth-protecti

The U.S. Navy, which frequently makes port calls in Haifa, should play a strong role in deterring challenges to Israeli gas development. It can also share with its Israeli counterpart its Persian Gulf-honed expertise in protecting shipping lanes, oil rigs, and pipelines.

In mid-October, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro visited the Solitaire, the world’s largest pipe-laying ship, which is laying underwater pipelines to carry gas from the Tamar field to Israel. On deck, Shapiro expounded that the U.S. was “extraordinarily proud of the energy cooperation this represents between the United States and Israel…all in the service of stronger Israeli economy, stronger Israeli-American economic relations.” Israel’s gas finds can indeed be a strategic, economic, and political boon for Washington, as long as it does not pass on them.

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com/2011/07/israeli-pipeline-to-greece.html Lebanon has claimed it is off their coast. Their claim is quite likely legitimate, this is a subject I covered previously- Massive Natural Gas resources to spark attack by Israel on Lebanon. Which will be required reading if you’re to understand the ramifications of this hoped for pipeline to Greece.That being war with Lebanon and/or the removal of the government, for one that will be more compliant.Also, possibly, the removal of the Palestinians, once and for all, from Gaza? Or at the very least a timely agreement with a more compliant government? Perhaps, like the agreement that has recently been worked out between the governing bodies of Gaza and the West Bank?You see some of the natural Gas that Israel claims as their own, just happens to fall off the shores of Gaza. Such a problem. Daunting and exasperating I am sure for the land, resource grabbing nation of Israel.

[ED NOTE:Unlike Lebanon, Israel has not signed or ratified the 1982 UN Law of the Sea which is designed to clarify maritime borders between nations; “In cases of dispute, it is usual practice to hand the decision to arbitrators, which are listed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982. Israel isn’t a signatory to the convention .If Israel refuses to define its borders and Lebanon has its defined borders,then technically Israel shouldn’t be allowed to usurp,already existing lebanese maritime boundaries…

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November 17th, 2011, 1:59 pm


347. irritated said:

#341 Amir in Tel Aviv

“What I’m trying to say, is that things can change and reform. Sharia, and live with Sharia, can reform too.”

Unfortunately Sharia cannot be reformed. Shiism (like Iran) allows the “interpretation” of the Sharia in some matters based on ‘logic’ made by a hierachy of clerics( i.e transexuality is legal in Iran). Sunnism, especially Wahabbism forbids such interpretation and can never redefine was is “Haram” or “Halal”. Even though there is Al Azhar theological school in Egypt who could give some theological advices, there is no clerics entitled to do any interpretations.
The Catholic Christian religion is as rigid and has not reformed. The difference is that in western countries religion is separated from religion while in Arab countries is is not.

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November 17th, 2011, 2:49 pm


348. jad said:

This might interest you:

ضابط أمريكي سابق: مازال هناك وقت لحل الأزمة السورية إذا توافق القادة الاقليميين

أعرب الضابط السابق في وزارة الدفاع الأمريكية (البنتاغون) مايكل معلوف عن اعتقاده بأنه مازال هناك امكانية لحل الأزمة السورية في إطار إقليمي يضم بالاضافة إلى تركيا والسعودية. وأكد في لقاء مع “روسيا اليوم” في 17 نوفمبر/تشرين الثاني أن القوى الخارجية هي التي تسببت في الأزمة السورية.

ولفت معلوف إلى أن سورية تملك أوراق ضغط في المنطقة، لكنه أكد على الحاجة إلى تنفيذ اصلاحات سريعة من قبل النظام، لقطع الطريق على التدخل الأجنبي، وقال إن “الغرب فوجئ بالربيع العربي، ويخاف من موجة اسلامية قد تسيطر على الثورات”.


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November 17th, 2011, 2:50 pm


349. zoo said:

Dozens killed as Syria mulls allowing in foreign observers
2011-11-17 18:12:15

DAMASCUS, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) — Dozens of people, including army personnel, were killed Wednesday in Syria as the country was mulling allowing in foreign observers as the Arab League (AL) demanded, local media and activist groups said.

The Local Coordination Committees, a key Syrian activist network, said that 13 people were killed Wednesday “by security forces” in different parts of Syria, including the central province of Homs, the southern province of Daraa, and the suburb of the country’s capital Damascus.

Another activist group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that eight Syrian army personnel were also killed Wednesday in an attack on their checkpoint in a suburban area of the central Hama province. The attack was carried out by armed men believed to be defectors from the government forces.

The activists’ reports could not be independently verified with the absence of an official reaction.

Meanwhile, the private al-Watan newspaper reported Thursday that two rocket-propelled grenades were launched at the air intelligence headquarters in Damascus’ suburb of Harasta early Wednesday, causing only material damage.

The paper said the security personnel and army members chased the attackers, but the latter managed to flee the scene.

An alleged group of army defectors, the so-called Free Syrian Army, reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

At a meeting held Wednesday in Morocco, the AL decided to give Syria a three-day deadline to end its “repression” on protestors and allow in foreign observers.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani said at the meeting that the AL had sent the draft agreement on observers to Syrian government on Wednesday, threatening that Syria would face sanctions if it did not cooperate.

The recently recalled Syrian ambassador to the United States, Imad Mustafa, told Lebanese al-Manar TV Thursday that his country was mulling accepting the AL calls.

Syria has been in unrest for about eight months. Foreign reports said 3,500 Syrians had been killed since the anti- government protests erupted in March, while Syrian government said hundreds of security and army personnel were killed by armed groups backed by a foreign conspiracy with the aim of toppling the current Syrian government.

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November 17th, 2011, 2:52 pm


350. zoo said:

Arab Spring part of ‘US divide-and-conquer plan’

Published: 17 November, 2011, 14:03

The fall of Libya, the riots in Syria, the media attack on Iran are all parts of a global decades-old American plan to take control of all Middle East, believes regional consultant Peter Eyre.

­He believes that the operation went into action after 9/11. The terrorist attack on America meant that “no one is going to stop the US; it can bomb wherever it wants.”

The expert says a classified Pentagon document outlined the attack on the region. “It said ‘We are going to take out seven countries in a period of five to 10 years’. And on that list was Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Somalia. And of course the final target was Iran. This is a very well-planned exercise,” Eyre told RT.

“It’s all about geopolitics. It has nothing to do with Iranian nuclear capabilities or whatever,” he added.

Eyre says the whole notion of Arab Spring is in fact an orchestrated funneling of public dissent into a rebellion by special services.

“Look at the Arab Spring. You get people take to the streets en masse. Why are they out on the street? It’s because they’re frustrated with their government. It’s at this vulnerable moment when the special forces and secret service operatives intermingle with the crowd and in some cases become the ‘snipers on the rooftops’ that take out selected innocent victims. The people in the crowd then believe that the government is carrying out this action – and it becomes a rebellion,” he explained.

And Lindsey German from the Stop the War Coalition told RT before America plans another intervention, they should consider the far greater consequences that would beset the entire region.

“We should learn the lesson of Libya, that thousands and thousands of civilians died after the NATO bombing began, and NATO bombing or any other military intervention in Syria will have even more serious consequences because of the regional setup, because the whole question of Iran, the whole question of Israel, will all come to the fore, and I believe will lead to a much more substantial war in the region, which is the last thing that anybody really needs.”

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November 17th, 2011, 2:55 pm


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