Will Turkey Invade Syria? Can the West Find a New Calculus for Intervention?

Will Turkey Invade Syria? Can the West find a new calculus for the Syria dilemma?
By Joshua Landis

Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru’s remarked yesterday that tomorrow “a new period will begin” in Turkey’s Syria policy. Is this rhetorical bluster? Turkish officials say that they are seriously contemplating imposing a humanitarian corridor inside Syria, but will not “invade” Syria. The difference between imposing a corridor and invasion my only be academic, however.

Turkish statesmen, no doubt, feel great pressure to take action in Syria. Who would not be outraged by the Syrian attack on refugees and Turkish workers inside Turkey? The humanitarian crisis is appalling. The refugee problem is going from bad to worse. Syria is a mess. Syrian soldiers are neither restrained by Damascus nor discouraged from using the most inhuman methods to regain control of rebel towns. The central state seems to be in decline as the army lashes out without restraint and the economy withers.

All the same, I find it hard to imagine that Turkey will invade.  Perhaps Turkey will up the ante in some way to hurt Syria in an effort to dissuade it from allowing its soldiers to act so disrespectfully. Something must be done. But Syria is a swamp. Its Kurdish region could secede to join Iraq. And the US does not want to get in the middle of a civil war. The Turkish government seems loath to take decisive action against Syria without firm US and European guarantees of partnership and commitment. The costs of stabilizing and rebuilding Syria will be immense.

I cannot see Turkish officials allowing their fit of peek to overtake their national interest. Turkey can only lose if it invades alone. In all probability, should Ankara invade, it would not be able to extract itself from Syria until the Syria regime was toppled, Alawite power destroyed, and a substitute government put in place. That is a very tall order. The US has attempted it twice in Iraq and Afghanistan and failed. Libya, where western governments brought down the government but refused the task of nation-building is becoming a failed state beset by too many militias.

The problem with Syria is that if one regards it with nothing but cold calculation, Assad remains the lesser of possible evils, which could be chaos, lawlessness, or militia infighting. The opposition has shown no capacity for united leadership. It cannot impose order on itself let alone on fractious Syria.

The US, equally, can count few substantial benefits from intervention in Syria. Pundits claim that the present situation presents a once in a life time opportunity to hurt Iran, help Israel, and change the balance of power in the region. But Iran is already hurt by Assad’s weakness. The Iranian economy is weak and the government throw good money after bad at Syria. Syria cannot harm its neighbors. It is a moral and military liability for Hizbullah. Hamas has decamped from Damascus already. The Assad regime as it stands today is a threat to no one save Syrians.

Syria is a moral and humanitarian disaster. It begs for a humanitarian solution. But it is not a grave security threat. It will only become a security threat if the regime falls and there is no authority to take its place. I suspect regional statesmen are imagining all sorts of worst case scenarios should the regime fall: the spread of jihadism and al-Qaida, civil war, the possible break up of Syria, a rising death toll, and increased refugee outflows. Who can assure them that these nightmares would not become real? Assad has always insisted that without him Syria would fall apart and the region would face chaos or worse. He once threatened that should foreign powers intervene, Syria would be worse than a hundred Afghanistans. He is still making that calculation and few want to call his bluff. It is possible that world leaders are adding up the numbers in the same way that Assad is; although they struggling to find a new calculus for the Syria dilemma.

[End of Landis article]

The article is in today’s Zaman. Here are the relevant excerpts:

“What will happen if the UN cannot get its act together, and Russia and China end up using their veto powers for the third time? Ankara will probably invoke the 1998 Adana agreement with Syria to justify the military interference while calling on NATO members for the application of the Article 5 of the NATO Charter…

On Oct. 20, 1998, both Turkey and Syria signed the Adana Agreement, which set out very explicit terms for preventing PKK activities in Syria. It squarely puts all the responsibility on the Syrian government in this matter. For example, Article 1 of the Adana Agreement states that Syria will not permit any activity on its territory aimed at jeopardizing the “security and stability of Turkey.” Be it PKK terrorism or a crackdown on the opposition, both would be considered threats that seriously jeopardize the “security and stability of Turkey” — in which case Turkey reserves the right to take necessary measures for self-defense, including armed interference into Syrian territory to contain the threat…

Syria has bowed to Turkish pressure before. In the late 1990s, Bashar’s father Hafez al-Assad caved under the pressure mounted by Turkey, and finally stopped harboring the fugitive PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and expelled him from Damascus

But the most comprehensive deal came in 2010 when the two sides inked a significant agreement on cooperation against terror. It was signed on Dec. 21, 2010 by Davutoğlu and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem and ratified by the Turkish Parliament on April 6, 2011. This agreement has 23 articles, which have important implications for Turkey. For example, Article 7 of the agreement gives both parties the right to conduct joint operations in each other’s territory. If Turkey officially recognizes the Syrian National Council (SNC) as the only legitimate government of Syria, which is likely to happen in the upcoming Paris meeting of the Friends of Syria if Assad fails to follow through on the Annan plan, it can very well secure the consent of the SNC to launch joint operations with the Free Syrian Army against Assad’s forces.

All in all, the urgency to act against the Assad regime’s aggression on its own citizens, in order to stabilize the country as soon as possible, is a sensitive issue for the national security of Turkey. For that Ankara is willing, even determined, according to some officials, to invoke unilateral or multilateral legal remedies at its disposal. It clearly prefers the multilateral approach for the time being. But when push comes to shove, Turkey will not hesitate to act alone, as it did in 1998 in Syria or in 1975 in Cyprus. Watch out for the signal that will indicate that Turkey is ready to act: When the government decides to seek a mandate from the Turkish Parliament for troop deployment in a foreign country, as it must according to the Constitution, it will mean the real warning shot for military incursion into Syria has already been fired.”

Annan’s Letter to UNSC – last two paragraphs

…..But recent events are deeply concerning. The prevailing security and human rights situation is unacceptable. This crisis has lasted for more than one year, has produced an intolerably heavy death toll and is now triggering increased flows of refugees throughout the region. Earlier this morning, I saw. with my own eyes the devastating impact of the crisis in a refugee camp in Turkey, close to the border with Syria. The scale of the suffering of the Syrian people is clear. A cessation of violence is urgent.

The Syrian leadership should now seize the opportunity to make a fundamental change of course. It is essential that the next 48 hours bring visible signs of immediate and indisputable change in the military posture of the Government forces throughout the country, as called upon by the six point plan, and that items (a), (b) and (e) of paragraph 2 of the six point plan are fully implemented, to enable a cessation of armed violence on 12 April. We urge the opposition also to fulfill their commitments to the six-point plan and give no excuse for the government to renege on its commitments. The clear declarations coming from the opposition are encouraging in this respect.

Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) 4/9/12: “After all this time & bloodshed–after all the commitments made & promises broken–we are facing a moment of truth. #Syria”…. If #Syria refuses to implement Annan’s plan despite its commitments, then Russia/China have to be prepared to follow their words w/actions.”

Saudi Defense Minister Salman also in DC tomorrow, coinciding w mtg of Quartet principles – Clinton, Lavrov, Ban Ki-moon & Ashton #syria

Syrian military vengeance on Anadaan: the following video shows footage of the poor town that makes up part of Aleppo’s norther suburbs. It was opposition turf for some months before recent military operations in the area – part of the regime’s “clear and hold” counter-insurgency strategy.

Syria: Bashar al-Assad ‘will pay’ for breaking peace pledge
By Richard Spencer, 10 Apr 2012

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria fell under renewed threat of international action today after peace negotiator Kofi Annan said his regime had broken its promises to embrace a ceasefire.

Mr Annan, the former United Nations secretary-general who has tried to broker an accord, told the Security Council that the regime had not pulled its troops and heavy equipment out of towns and cities by today, as demanded.

“It is essential that the next 48 hours bring visible signs of immediate and indisputable change in the military posture of the government forces throughout the country, as called upon by the six-point plan,” a letter read to the council said. He added that Syria was demanding a guarantee that the rebels lay down their arms and disband, and a commitment by regional nations not to arm them….

Syria threatens pullout from ceasefire deal unless given ‘written guarantees’ – 08 April, 2012

….Syria has learnt a “very hard lesson from the Arab League observer saga” and does not want the same thing to happen again, a former Syrian ambassador to Turkey, Dr. Nidal Kabalan, told RT.

“[Rebels] fostered in Syrian cities and towns, and it has cost extra hundreds of innocent lives of civilians and army soldiers to get rid of some of those armed gangs,” Kabalan said.

At least two large militant bases have been found and secured on Saturday, Syrian authorities reported. One was located in the city of Douma, just 12 kilometers north of Damascus, and the other in Yabrud, 80 kilometers north of the capital. Government news agency Sana said loyalist troops discovered large caches of weapons and arrested a number of people suspected of kidnappings and murders. Smaller scale operations are taking place in other parts of the country….

Britain and other Western powers called for Mr Assad to be censured by the UN. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said he wanted the Security Council to refer Mr Assad to the International Criminal Court.

“President Assad and his closest cronies should be under no doubt that they will be held to account for their actions,” he said. The Security Council called for the Syrian government to make a “fundamental change of course” to end hostilities by 6am Damascus time Thursday.

But with Russia and China still likely to veto any Western action, the more significant response came from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which have emerged as Mr Assad’s leading Middle Eastern critics.

The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced he was to visit Saudi Arabia on Friday to discuss the crisis and though neither side gave details of any new proposals, reports from Ankara said Mr Erdogan would call for concerted action.

Analysts say Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations are likely to begin the promised release of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the rebels, while Turkey’s threatened buffer zone came much closer to reality after Syrian troops fired over the border on Monday.

Extrajudicial Executions: The 25-page report,

“In Cold Blood: Summary Executions by Syrian Security Forces and Pro-Government Militias,” documents more than a dozen incidents involving at least 101 victims since late 2011, many of them in March 2012. Human Rights Watch documented the involvement of Syrian forces and pro-government shabeeha militias in summary and extrajudicial executions in the governorates of Idlib and Homs. Government and pro-government forces not only executed opposition fighters they had captured, or who had otherwise stopped fighting and posed no threat, but also civilians who likewise posed no threat to the security forces.

Turkish Defense Minister adopts provocative stance on Syria Press TV, Iran

Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz has adopted a provocative position regarding Syria, saying that Ankara is prepared for any development on the Syrian situation, including war.

Yilmaz, however, noted that Ankara is “not calling for war,” but that it will be prepared just in case.

Russia-China victory in Syria a sign of declining US power – 9 April 2012

It sets an important precedent in international relations, and is perhaps the clearest sign of declining US power in the Middle East.

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, Russia and China have effectively thwarted the United States and its allies from pursuing its interests in a fiery Middle Eastern flashpoint, Syria.

The Russian-Chinese double veto at the UN Security Council – the last in February – signalled to the West that the two powers were drawing a red line on Syria. Notably, China’s second veto on Syria was only its eighth in history, highlighting the importance of the matter to Beijing. The message was clear: UN-sponsored regime change, military intervention, or arming of Syrian rebels – as seen in Libya – would never pass…..

Turkey also hedged its bets on a quick Assad downfall, a strategic blunder that is now under sharp criticism from leading Turkish commentators and opposition leaders as the Syrian dictator appears to have held sway. Although it still hosts Syrian opposition groups and armed rebels, Turkey has notably toned down its harsh rhetoric of Assad in recent weeks. …

Turkey Crisis Planning Includes Soldiers in Syria, Milliyet Says – Apr 9, 2012 Bloomberg

Turkish soldiers may establish buffer zones in Syria by the end of the month to protect civilians, Milliyet newspaper reported, citing interviews with unidentified officials.

U.S. senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman are expected to meet President Abdullah Gul today in Istanbul, and may also travel to refugee camps near Turkey’s border with Syria, Milliyet said.

The decision to arm the rebels has not yet been implemented – Guardian.co.uk, 5 Apr 2012 :

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been saying they want to supply the Syrian rebels with weapons. “The decision to arm the rebels has been taken in principle, but it has not yet been implemented”, said Mustafa Alani of the Saudi-funded Gulf Institute of Strategic Studies in Dubai. British officials have informed the Guardian they see no evidence that large-scale government weapons transfers to Syrian rebels have taken place. Arab sources say a bigger effort may be imminent. Last week the Gulf states agreed to fund the SNC to pay wages to FSA rebels. This is seen as providing cover for arms purchases…. The situation is complicated by the fact that neither Jordan nor Turkey, which have land borders with Syria, are likely to allow transfers of significant armaments. The logistical difficulties in smuggling any supplies into Syria….

US Returning to Security Council To Protect Syrians, Says Burns
By Barbara Slavin

….Al-Monitor: What do you see as the Russian diplomatic role regarding Syria? If their base at Tartous is preserved, can they be convinced to drop Assad?

Burns: Russia’s diplomatic role is important, both as a permanent member of the Security Council and as a country with a longstanding close relationship with Damascus. Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Lavrov are in frequent contact to discuss Syria, and Presidents Obama and Medvedev also addressed this key issue during their meeting in Seoul. Obviously we were very disappointed with Russia’s vetoes in the Security Council. Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice have been unambiguous on that point. The Secretary has also been absolutely clear in her comments about deliveries of Russian arms to Syria. Russian officials have more recently claimed that they are “no friend” to Assad and have criticized the regime for “making mistakes” and for “reacting incorrectly” to the demonstrations…..

We believe that Russian pressure contributed to Assad’s acceptance of the Annan mission. We would like to see Russia use its influence with Assad to bring an end to the regime’s violence….

Crisisweb: Syria’s Phase of Radicalisation
2012-04-10 – Crisis Group

…Syrians from all walks of life appear dumbfounded by the horrific levels of violence and hatred generated by the crisis…..Full and timely implementation of Annan’s plan almost surely was never in the cards. But that is not a reason to give up on diplomacy in general or the Annan mission in particular. The priority at this stage must be to prevent the conflict’s further, dangerous and irreversible deterioration….

the outside word is caught between four costly postures. The regime’s allies, Iran and Hizbollah, have supported it unconditionally and have every incentive to continue doing so. Russia and China put the onus on regime foes at home and abroad to defuse the situation, expecting the former to lay down their arms and join an ill-defined “dialogue”, and the latter to cease all forms of pressure. The West remains confused and ambivalent, having exhausted all sources of diplomatic and economic leverage, fearful of the future and tiptoeing around the question of military options. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have spoken loudly of their intention to arm the rebellion but, even assuming they demonstrate the commitment and follow-through necessary to establish meaningful supply lines, it is hard to see how such efforts would bring a well-armed regime to its knees. Hamstrung between these conflicting stances, Annan’s mission has yet to achieve much traction other than rhetorical endorsements by all concerned….

As Crisis Group previously argued, the regime will genuinely shift its approach if and only if it faces a different balance of power – politically, through a change in Moscow’s attitude; or militarily, through a change on the ground….

Why Did Anyone Believe Bashar al-Assad’s Promises of a Ceasefire to Begin With?
By Radwan Ziadeh in The New Republic Daily Report, 04/10/12

Comments (150)


Pages: « 1 2 [3] Show All

101. Tara said:

Why is the regime flipping flopping?  They were not to comply 2 days ago demanding written guarantees and claiming that Annan misunderstood the agreement.  Now, they denied their request for written guarantees and say they will comply.  Were they slapped around by the Russians?  Are the international monitors in Syria already?

Syria to comply with truce -Annan
http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/syria-to-comply-with-truce-annan-1.1273895

April 11 2012 at 07:11pm 
By Stephanie Nebehay

AP
UN peace envoy Kofi Annan speaks to the media after a meeting with Syrian National Council members in Ankara, Turkey.

Geneva – Syria has told international mediator Kofi Annan that it will halt all fighting by a dawn deadline on Thursday but reserves the right to respond to any attack by “armed terrorist groups”, the peace envoy’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

He also stressed that Annan’s peace plan required Syrian armed forces to withdraw from urban areas – something a televised government statement did not mention.

Spokesman Ahmad Fawzi, in a statement, quoted a letter from the Syrian Foreign Ministry which gave an undertaking “’to cease all military fighting throughout Syrian territory as of 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) tomorrow, Thursday, 12 April 2012, while reserving the right to respond proportionately to any attacks carried out by armed terrorist groups against civilians, government forces or public and private property’.”

Annan, special envoy of the United Nations and Arab League, said he would continue to work with the Syrian government and opposition to ensure complete implementation of his six-point peace plan, including “item 2”, the statement said.

“Item 2” commits the Syrian government to withdrawing military forces from population centres, not just stopping the fighting. State television, reporting a government pledge to cease fire, made no mention of it pulling back troops.

Fawzi said Annan, the envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, would seek international backing to ensure compliance: “The Joint Special Envoy looks forward to the continued support of relevant countries in this regard,” he said in the statement.

Annan had expected Syria to begin the withdrawal on Tuesday, well ahead of the final ceasefire deadline, in a show of good faith by the stronger party time. But the violence has continued and government forces were still bombarding opposition neighbourhoods on Wednesday.

Annan was in Iran for talks on Wednesday but was expected to return to U.N. offices in Geneva in time to brief the Security Council in New York by video link on Thursday. – Reuters
(…)

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April 11th, 2012, 2:01 pm

 

102. Alan said:

“Obama is only a marionette”

The Secretary of the Treasure of the United States, Timothy Geithner, has made sure that the tensions with Iran and the increase of the price of oil are between the main threats of the American economy.

The last surveys have revealed the indignation of the citizens with the president Barack Obama for the record registered in the price of the fuel.

To extend this information we have live Mark Glenn, international, resident analyst in Idaho.

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April 11th, 2012, 2:19 pm

 

103. ghufran said:

Ali Hashem is talking about Arab Media from a first hand experience
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/03/arab-spring-arab-tv-credibility

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April 11th, 2012, 2:21 pm

 

104. Alan said:

41. ZOO said:
Turkey pressing the UN for the greenlight to invade Syria
it shall be the end of talking ! to start the action of catastrophe for Turkey !!!

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April 11th, 2012, 2:28 pm

 

105. Alan said:

Syrian govt agrees to cease fire at 6 am April 12

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/389992.html

MOSCOW, April 11 (Itar-Tass) — Syria’s government has said it will cease fire at 7 a.m. Moscow time on April 12, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Wednesday.

“The Syrian government said it would cease fire at 7 a.m. Moscow time on April 12,” Gatilov wrote in his Twitter blog.

“Now the matter depends on the armed opposition – these are the conditions of Kofi Annan’s plan,” the Russian diplomat stressed.

U.N./LAS Special Envoy for Syria Kofi Annan said he is hopeful that the situation would improve in the country by Thursday morning, April 12, at 7 a.m. Moscow time. The U.N. Security Council determined this timeframe to cease armed clashes in Syria.

According to Annan, Damascus assured him to comply with the agreement on ceasefire. If all parties (the government and the opposition) respect the agreement, the situation in Syria will really improve, the U.N./LAS special envoy said.

All Syrians want the warring sides to stop clashes by this term, Annan said.

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April 11th, 2012, 2:45 pm

 

106. Alan said:

Alien Invasion: US Military Prepare For Attack 2012
what all of these mean ?

[ blue diamond ADG Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alien-Disclosure-Group/189249627773146 ]

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April 11th, 2012, 2:50 pm

 

107. Uzair8 said:

Annan didn’t let the regime squeeze out of this one. :lol:

The Pharoah’s magician’s magic failed them this time. We’ve seen Muallem squeeze out of the tightest of diplomatic spaces but not this instance.

Annan using all his experience.

Been wondering lately about the clever game the regime has been playing and whether the Iranians are advising or even devising such plans. Iranians are said to be good negotiators going back to ancient persian times.

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April 11th, 2012, 2:52 pm

 

108. Tara said:

Uzair

I am not following. What is the clever game Annan is playing?

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April 11th, 2012, 2:58 pm

 

109. Uzair8 said:

110 TARA

I’m running with this theme as I’m having a laugh at the regimes expence.

I may be wrong but It looked as though the Annan plan was being written off by everyone (media, experts, general chatter). I suspected this was what the regime hoped and wanted.

It seems Annan wasn’t having any of it. He simply said there was still time. Today we have possibly seen Russia pressure the regime into accepting a ceasefire (?)

It needed a patient and stubborn approach to pin down Assad. Annan may well have achieved this. (?)

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April 11th, 2012, 3:09 pm

 

110. Tara said:

Is Besho afraid of the consequences if he does not comply? There is no other explanation for the new promise of compliance by tomorrow at 6. It seems like Moualem’s visit to Russia lead to a drastic shift in the regime position? Did Russia “pull his ear” and threaten a UNSC resolution against Batta and company if they don’t comply or was it a threat to remove it’s protective veto from an ICC referral?

We have reached the end of political maneuvering by Bushbush regime. Comply or else…

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April 11th, 2012, 3:30 pm

 

111. Mawal95 said:

10-minute video of a Syrian army general giving speech to Syrian troops in Homs, dated rougly about two weeks ago, with English subtitles added:

(A news article about this video was linked to by UZAIR8 #970 in an earlier thread).

The soliders interrupt with cheering for Bashar several times. For my own taste, the soliders are excessively servile towards the person of Bashar, and I wish they’d have expressed more servility towards Bashar’s principles rather than Bashar’s person.

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April 11th, 2012, 3:31 pm

 

112. Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

When will the Assadaist Mafiosi and Associates stage the next car-bomb? Just as the UN observers arrive? Could it be helpful if IED exploded under an observer-carrying vehicle?

How long is it going to take the AsMAA to send their long-bearded thugs and shabbiha to snipe at the crowds that will come out to test one of Annan’s six-point plan, and then claim that it was “the terrorist gangs” sent by Qatar and SA?

Lets go, place your bets. If you guess the day, you can triple your bet-money.

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April 11th, 2012, 3:44 pm

 

113. jad said:

تلفزيون الدنيا يقدم واجب العزاء 11-4-2012

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April 11th, 2012, 4:07 pm

 

114. Antoine said:

What makes people believe Assad will pull all his forces out ? He’s still going to place his Tanks in the cities, only they will be “inactive” for a day or two, then again some false flag attack will be staged and then back to square one. Meanwhile many important Towns, such as Binnish in Idleb, Rastan and Qusayr in Homs, al-Boukamal in Deirezzor, ‘Azaz in Reef Halab (partially) are still in opposition control. I wonder how the regime can stomach that and not go on the offensive soon.

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April 11th, 2012, 4:12 pm

 

115. Mina said:

Thanks for this article

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/03/arab-spring-arab-tv-credibility

The best line: “A few years later things started to change, and the turning point was in 1994 when the BBC decided to launch its Saudi-funded Arabic TV. The project attracted tens of Arab journalists who thought for a while that they were on the threshold of a huge shift in the Arab media landscape.

Two years later the BBC-Saudi project faced a serious dilemma when the channel aired a documentary about a Saudi arms deal.”

Are we here talking of the UK and the BBC, who give lessons of moral to the whole planet everyday and even air some oecumenical religious programmes on their world service?

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April 11th, 2012, 4:13 pm

 

116. Uzair8 said:

About Annan. I think the regime may have been using the Annan process to buy time with the eventual intention to shake him off. However Annan is determined to remain engaged and will not let any ‘setbacks’ get in the way. It won’t be so easy to shake him off and Russia/Iran/China will find it difficult to not go along with the ‘reasonable’ Annan plan so will continue to press the regime to comply.

Moving on.

I heard a short clip of former UK Amassador Sir Andrew Green on radio last night. Can’t find it.

If my memory is correct he said that the regime has used the time to crush the uprising and doesn’t want a ceasefire as it wants to continue to crush it.

Maybe, thru the recent military actions, the regime has had a first hand look and the chance to weigh up the likelihood of crushing the revolution and has come to the confident conclusion that it can do so.

If this true, and the armed resistance is weak, Turkey/Saudi/Qatar must immediately supply anti-tank and anti-helicopter/aircraft to the FSA to alter the balance.

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April 11th, 2012, 4:14 pm

 

117. Alan said:

Jad ! picture for you ! :)
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/files/lieberman1.jpg

McCain and Lieberman meet with the Free Syria Army
ed note–now remember, it is supposedly on the Syrian/Turkish border where all this fighting is taking place, with Syria ‘deliberately’ firing on Turkish positions, making it a very dangerous place for anyone to be, and especially 2 blue-blooded, cowardly US senators.

So what this means is that the stories involving Syria firing on turkish positions are either (a) flase, or (b) the result of American coordination.

Either way, these 2 cowardly, Zionist traitors would no soon step into a war zone then they would a courtroom where they were under indictment. Remember as well that it was these very same individuals who made a trip to Tahrir Square during the days of the Egyptian revolution, indicating that indeed the overthrow of Mubarak was something that America (and by extension, Israel) wanted.

[ blue diamond + http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/04/10/mccain_and_lieberman_meet_with_the_free_syria_army ]

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) are on a surprise trip to the Turkish-Syrian border to meet with leaders of the Free Syria Army and visit Syrian refugees, who have been under attack by Syrian government forces.

The senators’ trip was not associated with the efforts of U.N. envoy Kofi Annan, whose cease-fire agreement seems to have failed to stop the violence. McCain and Lieberman said in a statement that Syrian President Bashar al Assad has violated the terms of Anann’s cease-fire and that the only practical way forward is to arm the Syrian opposition.

“We respect Mr. Annan’s desire to find an end to the killing in Syria. Unfortunately, Bashar al-Assad does not share this goal. That fact has been clear to many of us for months, but it should now be undeniable for everyone,” the senators said. “Indeed, reports indicate that Assad has used the time provided by the recent diplomatic initiative to kill up to 1,000 additional men, women, and children in Syria. And just yesterday, Syrian forces fired across the border with Turkey, killing and wounding people in a refugee camp on Turkish territory.”

McCain and Lieberman were in Hatay province Tuesday and met with the leaders of the Free Syrian Army, General Mustafa al-Sheikh and Colonel Riad al-Asaad. They also toured a refugee camp and met Syrians who had recently arrived from across the border. They are the first members of Congress to meet the FSA leaders and to visit the border, and the senior-most U.S. officials to do so.

“All of the Syrians we met with are grateful for the humanitarian assistance that many nations are providing, as are we. But this does not change the basic fact: The international community is failing the people of Syria,” the senators said.

“Make no mistake: The situation in Syria is an armed conflict. This is a war. Diplomacy with Assad has failed, and it will continue to fail so long as Assad thinks he can defeat the opposition in Syria militarily. And right now, using tanks and artillery and even attack helicopters, Assad has the upper hand on the battlefield.”

The senators acknowledged the Obama administration’s decision to provide communications equipment to the Syrian opposition but said that would have little effect against the regime’s tanks. They repeated their call for arming Syrian rebel fighters, as they called for in their congressional resolution earlier this month.

“Under these conditions, no one should think that Assad will stop killing and leave power anytime soon. Indeed, the unanimous opinion of everyone we have spoken with on our visit is that there is no end in sight to the horrific violence in Syria,” they said. “The only way to reverse this dynamic is by helping the Syrian opposition to change the military balance of power on the ground. This means delivering all of the non-lethal assistance that has been pledged thus far. But it means doing a lot more.”

The senators were in Istanbul Monday, where they met with Burhan Ghalioun, the president of the Syrian National Council and other top opposition leaders. They also met with the recently defected Syrian deputy oil minister Abdo Hussameldin, with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, and with the recently recalled Turkish ambassador to Syria Omer Onhon.

In their statement, they repeated their call for foreign air power to suppress Assad’s military and called on the U.S. administration to increase its activities to protect the Syria people.

[ + ... ]

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April 11th, 2012, 4:14 pm

 

118. Afram said:

الثوار السوريون يشكون تدهور أحوالهم الحياتية والمعنوية

http://www.elaph.com/Web/news/2012/4/728748.html?entry=homepagemainmiddle

Great comment,do read it>
ودود- الأربعاء 11 أبريل //مرة أخرى، يعود الإسلاميون من إخوان مسلمين وشياطين آخرين ليتسببوا في ديمومة بيت الأسد كما فعلوا قبل أكثر من ثلاثين عاماً. عاد هؤلاء اليوم ليسرقوا ثورة الشعب السوري ويشوهوها، ويقتلوا شعاراتها اللاطائفية وأهدافها النبيلة في نيل الحرية وتقديم المساواة الكاملة إلى كل أفراد الشعب السوري. مرة أخرى يعود شياطين الدين ليفرضوا على الشعب السوري مشاريعهم التخريبية وليدبوا الفساد في ثورتنا المجيدة، ويبدأوا بالقتل والإغتصاب على الهوية، مدعين أن العلويين كفاراً ولديهم عقيدة فاسدة ويحللون نكاح المحارم، وأنهم أعداء طبيعيين للمسلمين، ومن هذه النقطة تنتشر دعاياتهم عبر الفيس بوك وغرف الظلام على البالتوك، وعلى أرض سوريا تقوم عصاباتهم بشتى الأعمال القبيحة الطائفية المسلحة من قتل ونهب وإغتصاب بحق الآخرين، وكأنهم لم يتعلموا شيئاً من أعمالهم السابقة التي مددت لحكم حافظ الأسد عملياً وهي اليوم مرشحة لتجعل بيت الأسد يمكثون حقيقة إلى الأبد كما أرادوا. هذه الحشرات عادت وركبت ثورة الأخرار في سوريا، وقامت حتى بقتل الضباط الأحرار الأشاوس أمثال النقيب أمجد حميد في مدينة الرستن لأنه حض الناس على عدم القيام بأعمال الإغتصاب والأعمال اللا أخلاقية الأخرى. نعم أيها الأخوة، إن ثورتنا تواجه الفشل، وفشلها يعود مرة أخرى إلى هؤلاء الجهلة المجرمين، المتخلفين عقلياً، الذين يظنون أن الله إختارهم وحدهم بين كل الناس على هذا الكوكب، وأنهم هم فقط يحق لهم الحياة، ونسى هؤلاء أن صورتهم هي أوقح صورة بشر على سطح الأرض.

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April 11th, 2012, 4:26 pm

 

119. Uzair8 said:

After extensive search I found the clip mentioned in #116.
There were still 4 minutes left of editing time but I wasn’t allowed to. (?) Happens occasionaly.

Anyway.

Sir Andrew Green, Former UK Ambassador to Syria. On BBC Radio 5, during the 2 AM headlines:

“It’s absolutely clear that the regime have decided that they don’t want the ceasefire. They’ve made a calculation and their calculation is that if there is a ceasefire it will help the opposition. And on the other hand they think that they can continue to crush them, brave that they are, the regime think they can crush them.”

‘Listen from 01:00 (1hr)’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01fjyzy

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April 11th, 2012, 4:29 pm

 

120. omen said:

80. Observer 11:25 am:

The essence of this regime’s mantra is encapsulated in this picture
Assad aou nouhrouk albalad
Assad or we burn the land.
How can anyone support such regime?
I challenge anyone to explain to me how they can continue to support such regime and how they can defend this slogan.

throughout history, tyrants could always count on winning a certain faction of diehard loyalists. via camille’s article:

CNN’s Rick Roberson says “Al-Assad still has 20% to 30% support of the population

from former nixon lawyer john dean (adapted to fit context):

In my book Conservatives Without Conscience, I set forth the traits of authoritarian leaders and followers, which have been distilled from a half-century of empirical research [...]

[syrian regime] fits perfectly as an Authoritarian Leader. Such leaders possess most, if not all, of these traits:

〮dominating
〮opposes equality
〮desirous of personal power
〮amoral
〮intimidating and bullying
〮faintly hedonistic
〮vengeful
〮pitiless
〮exploitive
〮manipulative
〮dishonest
〮cheats to win [hello, diebold]
〮highly prejudiced (racist, sexist, homophobic)
〮mean-spirited
〮militant
〮nationalistic
〮tells others what they want to hear
〮takes advantage of “suckers” [see kofi]
〮specializes in creating false images to sell self [regime media]
〮may or may not be religious
〮usually politically and economically conservative/Republican

traits found among Authoritarian Followers…[such as the shabiha]:

〮submissive to authority
〮aggressive on behalf of authority
〮highly conventional in their behavior
〮highly religious
〮possessing moderate to little education
〮trusting of untrustworthy authorities
〮prejudiced (particularly against homosexuals and followers of religions other than their own)
〮mean-spirited
〮narrow-minded
〮intolerant
〮bullying
〮zealous
〮dogmatic
〮uncritical toward chosen authority
〮hypocritical
〮inconsistent and contradictory
〮prone to panic easily
〮highly self-righteous
〮moralistic
〮strict disciplinarians
〮severely punitive
〮demanding loyalty and returning it
〮possessing little self-awareness
〮usually politically and economically conservative/Republican

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April 11th, 2012, 4:33 pm

 

121. jad said:

Syria: Intervention or Mediation? – Centre for the Study of Interventionism

“After more than a year of turbulence, Syria is still facing both a violent internal opposition uprising and the threat of external intervention. NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council have backed the opposition, the Syrian Transitional Council, both politically and militarily. Calls for humanitarian intervention in the name of the “responsibility to protect” have been made by the same NGOs as those who acted over Libya last year. Russia and China have vetoed interventionist resolutions in the Security Council, backed by the US, France and the UK, and a chance for reconciliation has been offered with Kofi Annan’s mediation mission. But can it succeed? Will sovereignty remain respected, as provided for by the UN Charter? What are the real aims of NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council in Syria? Do they want peace and reconciliation or regime change and chaos? Our video provides some answers to these questions, with interviews with Rodolfo Reyes, the Permanent Representative of Cuba to the UN in Geneva; Jean Bricmont, the Belgian political scientist ; John Laughland, Director of Studies at IDC in Paris; and Bahar Kimyongür, the Belgian author of “Syriana, la conquête continue”.”

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April 11th, 2012, 4:38 pm

 

122. Mina said:

Good picks from the Atimes

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/ND12Dj03.html
by Chris Cook, former director of the International Petroleum Exchange.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND12Ak03.html
What’s goin’ on at the Turkish-Syrian border?

By Pepe Escobar
There is a video [ + http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SteUoGZSH0w ] that could be loosely translated as “Terrorist Turkish border opening fire on the Syrian side” that pretty accurately sums up what’s going on at the ultra-volatile geopolitical hotspot of the moment.

The voice over says, “This is the Syria-Turkey border, and this is an operation of the Free Syrian Army [FSA] … The Gate [that would be the Syrian side of the border, housing the Gate checkpoint] is going to be seized.”

What this means is that Turkey is sheltering the FSA right on the border, only a few meters – and not kilometers – away from Syrian territory. Way beyond hosting a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) command and control center in Iskenderun for months now – a fact already reported by Asia Times Online – Turkey has now advanced right to the border, enabling a back-and-forth by heavily weaponized guerrillas/mercenaries to attack a sovereign state. (…)

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND11Ak01.html
Muslim Brotherhood chooses chaos
By Spengler

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood signaled its intent on Sunday to push the country into economic chaos. With liquid foreign exchange reserves barely equal to two months’ imports and panic spreading through the Egyptian economy, the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater warned that it would block a US$3 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unless the military government ceded power. (…)

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April 11th, 2012, 4:40 pm

 

123. zoo said:

German government moves to block Quran distribution
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/german-government-moves-to-block-quran-distribution-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=18178&NewsCatID=351

Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union Party recently began a campaign to prevent an Islamic group from distributing copies of the Quran on the street in Germany, private broadcaster NTV reported on its website.

Ibrahim Ebu Nagi, a Salafi Muslim of Palestinian descent, began his “Lies!” campaign to distribute Islam’s holy book in Oct. 2011. The campaign has distributed over 300,000 books in 35 German cities, and is funded largely by Turkish families living in Germany.

German politicians have initiated a counter-campaign to end the distribution, saying the “Quran in every house” campaign should be stopped. The Islamic organization’s move threatens religious freedom, a member of the Christian Democratic Union Party said.
(..)

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April 11th, 2012, 4:41 pm

 

124. zoo said:

Syria declares halt to military operations from Thursday
AFP – 4 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-declares-halt-military-operations-thursday-154910112.html

The Syrian defence ministry said Wednesday that it will cease military operations against rebel fighters from Thursday, the day set by peace envoy Kofi Annan as a deadline to halt hostilities, state television reported.

“After our armed forces completed successful operations in combating the criminal acts of the armed terrorist groups and enforced the state’s rule over its territory, it has been decided to stop these operations from Thursday morning,” the television quoted a ministry official it did not identify as saying.

The official said the armed forces would “remain on standby to retaliate against any attack by the armed terrorist groups against civilians, the security services, armed forces, or private or public property.”
(…)

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April 11th, 2012, 4:47 pm

 

125. Antoine said:

I personally feel Turkey has a responsibilty to be involved in Syria, not just militarily, but I feel it is a moral obligation on Turkey, because the sectarian divisions we see today in Syria and also in Lebanon and Iraq, are mostly the result of 500 years of Turkish colonialsim, and sectarian demographic policies ( forced population transfers, demographic engineering, etc. ). Therefore, Turkey has a moral and historical obligation to put things right in the Fertile Crescent, bcz most of the sectarian problems are the results of their policies ( particularly in the 19th and early 20th century)

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April 11th, 2012, 4:55 pm

 

126. jad said:

الاخبارية تجول نقاط تفتيش ريف دمشق

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April 11th, 2012, 5:05 pm

 

127. Uzair8 said:

126. mjabali

It’s no joke. The Ambassador’s analysis worried me. I don’t want Western/Nato intervention (unless Russia intervenes militarily). This will turn many people against supporting the just revolution. That only leaves regional muslim countries.

I don’t have to justify myself as much as you have to justify your support of the regime and silence over the regimes current actions.

I’m on the side of the victims, on the side of a just cause.

If the fate of the just revolution is at stake and time is running out then yes it is of utmost urgency to supply the FSA with those weapons they need.

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April 11th, 2012, 5:18 pm

 

128. Uzair8 said:

In #120 I accidentally deleted the time of the clip:

ARROW If the moderator could kindly add the following before the BBC radio link:

‘Listen from 01:00 (1hr)’

Thank you in advance.

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April 11th, 2012, 5:24 pm

 

129. Hopeful said:

Re: JAD # 101

Thanks for forwarding. How do you explain this:

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April 11th, 2012, 5:28 pm

 

130. Afram said:

Madonna wants to play Syria,Lebanon,Iran

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4213930,00.html

Pop star launches her ‘MDNA’ tour in Israel,but wishes she could play the rest of the Middle East.

C’mon,drop the gun….have some fun.

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April 11th, 2012, 5:33 pm

 

131. Khalid Tlass said:

Uzair, relax. The FSA are going nowhere. Assad has failed to capture any other neighborhood in Homs other than Baba Amr, despite shelling for the last 2 months. The FSA is still confident. however, the Idlib FSA is really foolish as most of their forces are made up of conscripts, local farmers and workers, and testosterone-pumped youths without a brain. From what I’ve seen most of the Idlib FSA is very foolish and incompetent.

The best FSA units are actually in Homs and Rastan. I would say the Homs and Rastan FSA can measure up to the best forces Assad has. Because they are led by a handful of highly intelligent, versatile and capable commanders. And the soldiers have very high motivation.

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April 11th, 2012, 5:41 pm

 

132. Tara said:

Europe has left Syria to a distinctly Ottoman fate

On Syria there’s a moral case for intervention – but with the west reluctant, Turkey and other powers will be the ones to decide
Timothy Garton Ash in Istanbul
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 11 April 2012 16.00 EDT

….
In these circumstances, it is other powers that will determine the fate of the Syrian people. In the near future, Turkey will be more important than Britain, Iran than Germany, Saudi Arabia than France, Russia than America. In Syria, all these regional powers pursue their own national interests, defined not just in economic and military but also in cultural and ideological terms. So there’s a struggle between Shia, post-revolutionary Iran and Sunni, reactionary Saudi Arabia, post-imperial Russia and neo-Ottoman Turkey, not to mention distant but mighty China – a vital swing vote among the permanent members of the UN security council.

If some weary pasha had gone to sleep in 1912 and only woken up today there would of course be much to surprise him, from post-colonial states to Facebook, democracy and mobile phones. But after a few weeks of adjustment, he might feel quite at home. Ah yes, he would say, here are great powers pursuing their very different values and interests, openly and by stealth, in the familiar great game. In fact, many of them are reduced, partially modernised versions of the same old powers: Turkey now under sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia yoked to tsar Vladimir Putin, China in the last months of emperor Hu Jintao, Britain with Her Majesty’s pink-cheeked first minister, and so on.
(..)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/11/europe-left-syria-to-ottoman-fate

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April 11th, 2012, 6:00 pm

 

133. Antoine said:

So it seems the news of 19 Policemen slaughtered in al-Hasakah was a total and blatant falsehood. Even SANA hasn’t given any credibility to it. Rumor-mongering has become a Syrian obsession.

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April 11th, 2012, 6:02 pm

 

134. jad said:

Dear Hopeful
To be honest I didn’t follow the beginning of the tragic incident of 3li Sha3ban, so I have no clear explanation, however, from what I know and read, it seems that Aljadeed TV was over reacting and tried to politicise the issue and use it to the max against the Syrians, I do understand their emotional reaction, it’s natural, and at the same time I do understand Addounia reaction of the news, in its way it was trying to ‘defend’ the Syrian interest in the media, however, I also respect and appreciate their revision of what they did and the professional try to apologize and be proactive instead of sitting back and ignore reality.
To be honest I enjoyed Addounia courage to go to Sha3ban house and show the respect they deserve, mistakes happen and they are trying to be better which shows in their attempt today.

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April 11th, 2012, 6:02 pm

 

135. chris said:

soo funny how people like TARA say cry about a day or two late! who complained when it took the US to leave iraq on time? delayed year after year until it was suposedly safe! this is what the regime is doing. they are wanting neighbourhoods to be safe before leaving the people to fend for themselves. my sister in laws neighbour in home, bsatn al diwan, came to her village seeking refuge as their building came crashing down as rebels had overtaken the area and the fear that the military will pull out meant they are on thier own!

why isnt anyone asking the oppostion if they are going to lay their arms down?

seems starnge how the FSA is seeking democracy yet they kill civillians. why arent they just aiming at the government?

WHY DONT THEY JUST ATTACK THE PRESIDENTS HOUSE AND ARMY BASES?

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April 11th, 2012, 6:06 pm

 

136. mjabali said:

Uzair:

All I see from you is double talk and cliche revolutionary Jihadist lunatic crap.

Modern law put people in front of judges in courts for talk like that.

The death toll in Syria is mounting and every time I ask someone living in Syria I hear about major battles where people from both sides are getting killed with no mercy.

You do not care, and all you care about is calls to more violence.

Still: you did not answer me why you do not go and join the FSA?

Also: Khaled Tlass: why don’t you go and join the FSA?

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April 11th, 2012, 6:11 pm

 

137. chris said:

mjabali

thats right why dont people who want to arm the FSA join them!

PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS!

i cant get over how easy it is for people to say fund them give them more weapons intervene. who the hell are they?
syrian people can decide what they want. we do not have to be like iraq, libya, eygypt! we are now hearing their cries. the libyans are desecrating graves of war heroes why doesnt the west care about that? oh they got what they want now they leave the innocent to bear the free army!

iraqis are over the moon now that they have democracy, thats why they are their highest refugees coming from their country in the millions.

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April 11th, 2012, 6:19 pm

 

138. omen said:

i’m afraid i stepped on the message by not resisting the urge to editorialize. i shouldn’t have thrown in the needless jab about kofi.

from the john dean’s list above characterizing authoritarian followers:

〮[the regime] tells others what they want to hear

i’m sure that there are people of goodwill who continue to support the regime simply because they cannot envision the alternative. even good people can get stuck in the old ways of thinking.

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April 11th, 2012, 6:58 pm

 

139. omen said:

139. chris said: the libyans are desecrating graves of war heroes why doesnt the west care about that?

but the regime blowing up syria’s mosques is okay?

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April 11th, 2012, 7:12 pm

 

140. Uzair8 said:

#138 Mjabali

I don’t recognise this description of me.

I don’t think I’ve called for anything. It is for the syrian opposition to decided what they want to do because they are going to make the sacrifices and face the consequences. The rest of us can only support what they decide to do. I only repeated what Syrians on SC and the ‘Walls’ have called for (I don’t have to name them), that is arming the FSA with such weapons (some have even called for help from arab fighters).

The syrian people have decided that enough of their blood has been shed the point of no return has been crossed. There is no going back. The regime has brought about this situation and doing almost all the killing (of civilians at least).

Double talk?

I don’t need to join the FSA. One can support them from afar.

Forgive me for ignoringto any inaccurate charges from now on.

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April 11th, 2012, 7:16 pm

 

141. chris said:

[ EDITED to lower case ]

OMEN

No thats not okay. but they are attcking the people destroying civilian buildings. if they are in the mosques then the mosques get attacked.

how many mosques are down compared to buildings in homs? please give me a figure because dozens of buildings in my neghbourhood are down and the mosques are not in comaprison.

Churches are being attacked around the world!

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/03/indonesia-thugs-in-luxury-minivan-attack-church-with-air-rifles.html

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/03/democracy-on-the-march-dozens-dead-in-series-of-jihad-attacks-in-iraq-baghdad-church-targeted.html

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/04/raymond-ibrahim-death-to-churches-in-islamic-world.html

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/04/nigeria-death-toll-now-50-in-easter-sunday-jihad-bombings-at-church.html

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/04/tunisia-islamic-supremacists-destroy-crosses-in-cemetery-smear-feces-on-church-fresco-demand-that-pr.html

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April 11th, 2012, 7:31 pm

 

142. Uzair8 said:

143. chris

The regime was killing people. The opposition was pulling down statues and then targeting the local baath headquarters and the like in response when provoked. The regime claiming sabotage and calling them vandals.

It seems people on here care more for the empty* symbols of power in brutalised areas than they care about the people being gunned down in them areas by the regime.

This is old ground. Accusations refuted long ago.

*I say empty as the occupants (loyalists) of those buildings will have long fled opposition areas.

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April 11th, 2012, 7:39 pm

 

143. chris said:

In a democratic country all people have a right to their own faith. i respect that.i love and pray for all my muslim brothers and sisters. u may find that hard to believe but we regularly do that at church for many differnet religions. we ask for peace in all instances.

already fanatics in syria are implying muslim law on non muslims.
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/04/syrian-opposition-army-imposes-jizya-on-christians-in-homs.html

sudan
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/04/submit-to-sharia-or-get-out-of-sudan-christians-must-become-citizens-today-or-be-deported-in-bid-to.html

in eygypt their calling for complete sharia

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/04/egypt-muslim-brotherhood-presidential-candidate-says-every-aspect-of-life-is-to-be-islamized.html

in indonesia theyre doing the same

even in turkey it happens

dont get me started on KSA and Qatar! funders of the revolution yet they have now democracy! they want freedom for sharia not for peace!

if these arab revolutionaries wanted freedom they would do it with democracy in mind but we know thats bullshit and it wont happen.

no where in the mid east is there a democratic society that accepts all people to choose their own religion.

all my life ive been told get out of their if u dont like muslim countries. but its not this was the land jesus walked on and if we could all get visas to get out we probably would but we cant! so we are happy to live here just let us practice our own religion without jizya!

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April 11th, 2012, 7:45 pm

 

144. Sunny said:

Common sense.

[ + blue diamond Published on 11 Apr 2012 by RussiaToday

Peace envoy Kofi Annan says he's received assurances from the Syrian government that it will respect the UN brokered ceasefire with rebels, which is due to begin in less than 24 hours. The key negotiator remains optimistic about the deal, as some Western countries again unleashed a barrage of criticism on the regime for its alleged failure to stick to commitments. However, Turkey is now accused of assisting Syrian rebels, says Patrick Henningsen, regional expert at the 21st Century Wire website. ]

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April 11th, 2012, 7:48 pm

 

145. Mawal95 said:

In the video linked to by JAD #128, Syrian soldiers on duty at a checkpoint say the motto “Homeland Honor Dedication”. In the following video of Syrian soliders standing over the body of a rebel they’ve just killed, they don’t say “Homeland Honor Dedication”. Instead they gleefully sing “Ya Bashar we’re your men” and one solider says into the camera “This was one of the American collaborators who are trying to shoot and kill us…. The followers of Sheikh Al-Arour [we are vanquishing]….” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv0GhmCwYSY . This video was maybe posted here before, but in any case my comment is that by now I’ve seen enough videos like this one to make me believe that it summarizes what most fighting soldiers say they’re fighting for and fighting against. I say they’re fighting for the Syrian Establishment against Chaos and Bedlam, while they say they’re fighting for the Syria of Assad against Western puppets and Salafis.

Joshua Landis says above: “If the regime were to fall there would be nothing to take its place.” It’s true. A vital reason why it’s true is that the uprising is NOT broad based. Notably the uprising has no base in the society’s governing classes. The main body of the opposition are working-class people who don’t know what they’d want to build, nor how to build it, if the regime were to fall. The remaining tail of the opposition is miscellaneous other dissidents, who lack a political platform with broad appeal (not counting the many things on which they don’t differ from the regime’s platform), who lack communications outlets that reach a broad base, lack clarity in political platforms individually and lack unity in political platform collectively, and lack many other things.

Joshua says “The opposition cannot impose order on itself let alone bring order to Syria.” True, but unlike Joshua I think a vital reason why it’s true is that the uprising is NOT broad based. In my view, and this seems to be the view of most pro-regimers, Syrian political society to a first degree approximation is a monolith (“most of the people of Syria adhere to the spirit of national unity”) and what happens politically is whatever the monolithic People of Syria wants and insists on. With this view, the opposition cannot impose order on itself let alone bring order to Syria because the opposition isn’t trying to get with the monolith.

Here’s a repeat of something I posted on 7 Dec 2011:

Bashar Assad on 16 Apr 2011: “The most dangerous thing is the existence of contradiction between the direction we [the government] are moving in and the direction the [monolithic] people are moving in…. What’s important at this stage is for us to reach a state of unity, unity between the government, state institutions and the [monolithic] people…. From my meetings with sections of the population last week, I found that there is a gap which started to appear between state institutions and the Syrian citizens. This gap must be closed…. What’s important is that we and the population are one party, not two parties.” http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/04/18/pr-341923.htm

Bashar Assad on 19 Nov 2011: “Most of the Syrians are unified, [are politically a monolith], and what’s happening now is a minority of militants are killing Syrians on a daily basis.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkMTRU_j5H0

Walid al-Moallem on 28 Nov 2011: “I take pride in the [monolithic] Syrian people…. I assure you that the [monolithic] Syrian people’s word is the Syrian leadership’s decision.” http://www.youtube.com/user/alikhbariasyria

The Syrian General Federation of Trade Unions on 7 Dec 2011 expressed confidence that the national unity of the [monolithic] Syrian people and their rallying around President Bashar al-Assad is the guarantee to preserve Syria’s steadfastness in the face of all challenges. http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2011/12/07/386766.htm

7 Dec 2011: Pro-regime rally in Deir Ezzor city today. As usual in Deir Ezzor a large percentage of the attendees are women and the great majority of the women are wearing head coverings. Two women in the crowd tell the Syrian State TV cameras at the rally: “The people are united.” Those women are right, to a first degree approximation. The monolith is real. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3YtMWPZqyg

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April 11th, 2012, 7:57 pm

 

146. omen said:

sunny, what kind of “expert” goes on tv wearing a hawaiian shirt? nice of him to take time out from surfing to inform us of the world.

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April 11th, 2012, 8:15 pm

 

147. mjabali said:

Uzair:

samples of your double talk:

In comment # 142 you said: “I don’t think I’ve called for anything” this was posted at 7:16 pm

In your comment # 129 you said: “If the fate of the just revolution is at stake and time is running out then yes it is of utmost urgency to supply the FSA with those weapons they need.” This was posted at 5:18

In your comment # 117 you said: “Maybe, thru the recent military actions, the regime has had a first hand look and the chance to weigh up the likelihood of crushing the revolution and has come to the confident conclusion that it can do so.

If this true, and the armed resistance is weak, Turkey/Saudi/Qatar must immediately supply anti-tank and anti-helicopter/aircraft to the FSA to alter the balance.” this was posted at 4:14

So general Uzair we see clearly that you are not telling the truth here. You called to arm the FSA. What I brought are your words.

Point 2:

You said in your comment # 142 @ 7:16 pm :”The syrian people have decided that enough of their blood has been shed the point of no return has been crossed”

Dude: Last time I checked: I am Syrian and from the Syrian people and you are a Pakistani from the Pakistani people, so how come you are talking like this?

I am a part of the Syrian people and I do not confirm anything you said. How come you are speaking in our name?

Do you want more double talk than your claim to speak in the name of the Syrian people. I really think this is kind of insane.

Point 3:

I went and watched some videos of the Sheikh you always and he sounded a Sufi to me. He explain in this video his Sufi influences among other things.

How come you call for weapons and arming doesn’t that contradict the main principles of Sufism?

Pakistan is known to have one of the most anti Shia populace in the world. As a matter of fact, the Pakistani Sunnis made it a habit to blow Shia gatherings. Every years there are tens of those. This Shia vs Sunni in Pakistan is notorious. Can this historical background explain your position?

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April 11th, 2012, 8:20 pm

 

148. omen said:

good lord, sunny, the guy in the video is another global warming denialist. that’s the biggest tip-off that such people are not in touch with reality. if they’re not lyndon larouche followers, they’re being funded by big oil polluters like the koch brothers.

somebody needs to do a documentary exposing all of these scam artists in the conspiracy industry.

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April 11th, 2012, 8:46 pm

 

149. chris said:

[ EDITED to lower case ]

Is this why their attacking mosques

So why are the militia attacking the church

are their torrorists inside?

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April 11th, 2012, 9:20 pm

 

150. Yavuz Selim said:

Turkish people and Turkish goverment thinks different. In Turkey nobody wants let the Turkish army invades Syria. But as seen, Tayyip Erdoğan and his party (AKP) will send Turkish troops to Syria.

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April 14th, 2012, 10:09 pm

 

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