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)


1. jad said:

From the previous post:

Here is the plan to invade and occupy Syria as they did to Iraq, that will make the terrorist and their supporters happy of destroying Syria and killing more Syrians:

The Coming U.S. and NATO Occupation of Northern Syria: Iraq Redux

There is one thing certain about U.S. Pentagon strategy: it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. And using an old trick from Operation Desert Storm, establishing a humanitarian, NATO-protected no-fly salient in northern Iraq’s Kurdish area, appears to be the same strategy envisioned for northern Syria. There is much in common between the U.S.-led NATO planning for a northern Syria occupation zone and the no-fly zone established in 1992 for Iraq.
{…}
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided that it was better for Turkey to flip its previous support for Assad to the Syrian rebels and take the same side as that of NATO, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. For Erdogan, that decision may not only prove fateful for continued Turkish control over Turkey’s own eastern Kurdish territories but the entire map of the Middle East.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/04/11/the-coming-us-nato-occupation-of-northern-syria-iraq-redux.html

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April 10th, 2012, 6:34 pm

 

2. Afram said:

Will Turkey Invade Syria?
Bahar to Erdogan
Go Ahead Punk… Make My Day

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April 10th, 2012, 6:35 pm

 

3. omen said:

my contacts in Ankara are telling me that the government is truly furious over the refugees, the shootings, and the current peace plan fiasco. Nobody is of course calling for war outright, but the talk of the town does seem to have swung yet closer towards the intervention side of things.

does this mean that FINALLY the borders will loosen to allow the rebels to be properly armed?

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April 10th, 2012, 6:54 pm

 

4. Tara said:

In the name of orthodox Christian God, Serbians were murdered.  In the name of Bashar, Syrian are murdered…

Bosnians watching Syria with a sense of having been there
ROY GUTMAN
McClatchy Newspapers

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/04/10/3547082/bosnians-watching-syria-with-a.html

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — When snipers fired into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators in the capital of the newly declared state of Bosnia-Herzegovina in April 1992, few Bosnians imagined it would be the start of a 3 1/2 year war in which 11,541 men, women and children would die in the siege of Sarajevo alone.

Twenty years later, as they watch events in Syria unfold, some Bosnians wonder if they’ve seen this film before. Once again, they say, the international community is failing to act in the face of massive war crimes.

“The world swallowed the pill in Bosnia, where it became normal to hit apartments people live in and to burn cities randomly,” said Ejup Ganic, a member of Bosnia’s wartime collective presidency. “The international community allowed a crime against humanity in Bosnia. The same is happening in Syria.”
..
The war in Bosnia should have taught the lesson that “when faced with murderous dictatorships, appeasement does not work,”..

Noting the Syrian military’s 26-day bombardment of the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, they said the pattern of killings is straight from the Bosnia narrative: encirclement of a population center, cutoff of its food and basic services, a campaign of indiscriminate violence, then a roundup, followed by selection and execution “in total isolation.”
..
Both wars have religious aspects. In Bosnia, the conflict pitted Orthodox Christian Serbs against Roman Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosnians.

In Syria, the uprising has been concentrated among Sunni Muslims, who comprise at least 60 percent of the population, and many of the country’s Kurds, who comprise about 10 percent of the population. Both groups have chafed under four decades of dictatorial rule by the late Hafez Assad and his son Bashar, who have used primarily Alawite — a Shiite Muslim sect — to staff the security ministries.

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April 10th, 2012, 7:03 pm

 

5. omen said:

The Russian-Chinese double veto at the UN Security Council – the last in February – signaled 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…..

we all know that the US is compliant to israel’s interest. this arab spring wave of democracy and to the right of self determination is eventually going to focus on palestine. despite israel’s public pronouncements, it’s not in israel’s interest to see syria go. however, if there is one country that the US is more compliant to than israel, it’s china.

rebels cannot count on the US to help. kofi annan is acting under US direction. he cannot be counted upon either.

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April 10th, 2012, 7:10 pm

 

6. Hopeful said:

Please take a look at the following chart and explain why a regime which presided over such performance deserves to stay in power?

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April 10th, 2012, 7:11 pm

 

7. ann said:

‘West uses Syria to hit China, Russia and Iran’ – 11 April, 2012

http://rt.com/news/syria-russia-iran-annan-741/

Syria is nothing but a pawn in a global geopolitical game, set to be sacrificed in order to curb the expansion of China, Russia and Iran, political analyst Jamal Wakim tells RT.

­As the international community warily waits to see whether Kofi Annan’s ceasefire plan is going to work in Syria, Lebanese International University professor Jamal Wakim believes the West has still not given up its intention to topple President Bashar Al-Assad.

Reports on clashes between Syrian government troops and rebels on the Turkish border may signal that the Syrian opposition wants to discredit Annan’s initiative. This would allow Washington more freedom from the compromise on Syria it has struck with Moscow, Wakim points out.

Furthermore, a conflict with Turkey would help bypass the UN Security Council, where Russia can block any attempt to intervene into Syria, he notes. NATO principles say that attacking one NATO member means attacking the whole bloc, and retaliation would be proportional to this rule.

But, according to Wakim, the Syrian conflict has more to it than just toppling another “dictator,” who has been running the country for twelve years.

“This is an attempt to take over all of the Middle East and block Russia, China and Iran inside the continent, denying them access to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean,” Wakim told RT.

“There is an alliance between so-called maritime powers: the US, the Western Europe and Turkey. They are trying to hold back Russia, China and Iran off international trade routes and thus get better bargaining positions. This would also hamper the economic growth of the three countries and affect their role in global politics,” adds the professor.

With the Arab Spring advance, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran have lost their access to Mediterranean waters through Libya and Yemen and other places, says Wakim. “Syria is all that is left for them. That is how the ferocity of the US attack on the country can be explained.”

[…]

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April 10th, 2012, 8:21 pm

 

8. Mo said:

This is the kind of manipulation America and the entire world are being subjected to.

Look at the picture. Most of the people in it are men in their twenties or thirties!! They want to create a “Humanitarian crisis” in Syria anyway they can because their goal from day one is INTERNATIONAL INTERVENTION. The next logical conclusion is that bringing in B1 bombers on behalf of the “rebels” requires killing women and children, the Wahabi way (with knives).

To answer your question, no, Turkey will not dare invade Syria. Because it will have to go through Iran first. There are defense agreements between Iran and Syria for the last 30 years. In fact, Iran’s supreme leader just said two days ago that Iran WILL defend Syria. The Turkish prime minister received some strong messages from Russia and Iran the first time he announced that his country might establish buffer zones in Syria. That’s why he didn’t follow through with his threat.

This so called revolution may fool the whole world, but it’s not going to fool me.

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April 10th, 2012, 8:24 pm

 

9. ann said:

Russia calls on Annan to work more with Syrian opposition – 2012-04-11

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-04/11/c_122958080.htm

MOSCOW, April 10 (Xinhua) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday urged UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to devote more efforts to make the Syrian opposition adhere to the cease- fire plan.

During a telephone conversation with Annan, Lavrov said “the Syrian opposition and countries supporting it must take urgent measures to ensure a sustainable cease-fire” and called on Annan to step up efforts with them in that direction, according to a statement published on the foreign ministry’s website.

Lavrov also informed Annan on the phone about the talks with his visiting Syrian counterpart Walid al-Moallem.

“It was noted with satisfaction that the Syrian leaders are ready to continue the implementation of the peace plan and to cooperate actively with Annan’s mission,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the minister reaffirmed that Moscow backed Annan’s efforts to settle the year-long crisis in Syria and stressed that it was necessary that all parties concerned should unconditionally fulfill the plans.

Russia also saw the importance of the possible deployment of a UN monitoring mechanism in Syria.

Earlier Tuesday, Lavrov met Moallem on implementing Annan plan, calling on the Syrian government to fulfill the plan more actively.

For his part, Moallem said that the Syrian government had withdrawn its troops from some rural provinces, while the cease- fire must start simultaneously with the deployment of the international observer mission.

[…]

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April 10th, 2012, 8:24 pm

 

10. mjabali said:

Omen:

What happened to Ghandi that you quoted yesterday or today? It seems that you are all for the military solution in Syria.

Where is Ghandi today? We need him to teach the people how to achieve change through peaceful methods. No one is listening and all think they are tougher than the other party: this policy is harvesting the lives of ordinary Syrians in droves.

Before you quoted Ghandi you did quote Ibn Taymiyah’s famous sentence that is the base for all the Sunni Militant literature. Today you are back to Ibn Taymiyah.

Arming the Syrian rebels is not going to solve the Syrian stalemate.

It will prolong the life of the Assad government and it will prolong this chaos we see with no end in sight. The right political pressure could achieve more than anti tank weapons.

No one could tell what the end result would be if you arm the rebels. It will also increase the number of Syria killed.

The only solution in Syria is POLITICAL, that if you want to save people’s lives. But, if you do not care about the Syrian populace and believe in the collective punishment you always talk about, then let it be war for the days to come.

The question here: why don’t you go and fight like how your theoretical mentor Ibn Taymiyah advised?

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April 10th, 2012, 8:24 pm

 

11. ann said:

Iraq has entered “new stage”: Iraq’s UN Envoy – 2012-04-11

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-04/11/c_122958162.htm

Al-Bayati emphasized that with regards to the situation in Syria, his country favors an end to the violence that is based on a national framework, and “strongly supports” the work of Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy of the UN and Arab League for Syria.

“Historical and moral responsibility urges us all to work to contain the violence and to surround the fire raging in Syria and to exert pressure on both sides of the conflict to start a national dialogue,” he said. “A dialogue that we believe is the best option to resolve the crisis in Syria.”

Al-Bayati also warned other Arab nations about “hijacking of the wave of Arab revolutions by Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”

[…]

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April 10th, 2012, 8:29 pm

 
 

13. Tara said:

In cold blood, Batta executed women and children in Idleb and Homs.  

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/apr/10/syria-crisis-live-updates-ceasefire-bahrain-tunisia#block-7

Syria: Security forces have summarily executed scores, and possibly hundreds, of civilians and opposition fighters during their intensified offensive on cities and towns since December 2011, Human Rights Watch says today, in a new report entitled In Cold Blood.

In cases documented by HRW, at least 85 victims were described by witnesses as residents who did not take part in the fighting, including women and children. The report describes in detail several cases of mass executions of local residents, including the killing of at least 13 men at the Bilal mosque in Idlib on March 11, 2012; the execution of at least 25 men during a search and arrest operation in the Sultaniya neighborhood of Homs on March 3, 2012; and the killings of at least 47 people, mainly women and children, in the ‘Adwiyya, Karm al-Zaytoun and Refa’i neighborhoods of Homs on 11-12 March 2012.

HRW also documented the execution of at least 16 opposition fighters whom the Syrian security forces shot at point blank range after they had been captured or wounded,

One witness told HRW about the incident at Bilal mosque:

They kept 18 people, including the 13-year-old brother of a man they could not find, and three women. They brought them inside the mosque. Then they brought 13 of them back out again. They were blindfolded. They put them against the wall of the mosque. Then 13 army soldiers were placed in front of them and opened fire with their Kalashnikovs. The commander then shot them with his arm at point-blank range in the head.
….

HRW says the report “is based on more than 30 interviews with witnesses to executions whom HRW interviewed in person or over the phone …For some of the incidents, HRW interviewed separately several witnesses who provided similar, detailed accounts of the executions. In three of the cases there is also video or photo evidence that support the eyewitness accounts. We have also included in this report cases that are based on interviews with one witness when we found the witness to be credible and when other aspects of their accounts were independently verified. These cases should be investigated further.”
..

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April 10th, 2012, 8:35 pm

 

14. jad said:

In case some of you missed the devils’ visit to the Syrian refugee camp:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150787122483707.427400.6425923706&type=1

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April 10th, 2012, 8:38 pm

 

15. ann said:

14. jad said:

In case some of you missed the devils’ visit to the Syrian refugee camp:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150787122483707.427400.6425923706&type=1
.
.
I don’t see bibi natanyahu, do you?
.
Liberman is the kiss of death!
.

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April 10th, 2012, 8:44 pm

 

16. jad said:

Ann

He is behind the curtains, his prestige doesn’t allow it to visit refugees.

I’m not sure why he didn’t make a clip to support the revo. on youtube, every international thug did it already, why not him..

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April 10th, 2012, 9:02 pm

 

17. omen said:

i didn’t call for collective punishment, mjabali, i faulted the regime’s use collective punishment of innocent civilians. the regime are guilty actors and deserve to be punished.

not arming the resistance will give bashar a free hand to commit genocide. not arming the resistance, to quote the snc, will prolong catastrophe.

where is gandhi? the opposition tried civil resistance for over a year. gandhi was tortured, raped, shelled and burned for his effort. gandhi is dead. the regime killed him.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:04 pm

 

18. Ghufran said:

19 police men in Markadeh-Hassakeh were slaughtered, 15 were from Dair Azzour !!

Salamiyyeh has been under the mercy of armed thugs for months, this town provided shelter and food to hundreds of displaced families from Hama and Homs.

If that is not shooting the “revolution” in the foot, I do not know what is it the armed rebels are doing.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:21 pm

 

19. bronco said:

Is Joshua flipping?

It seems that Joshua Landis is finally realizing that the chance of toppling Bashar al Assad is almost null. Any further effort in this path is a waste of time, lives and energy.

So, the only choice left to the opposition is to accept officially the Annan peace plan and for Turkey to find a save facing exit to the mess it got into.

The hardliners may continue sporadic violence but it will be met with equal iron fist as before.

Instead of wasting lives and energy, it is time for the opposition who has failed to attract a majority of Syrians to play the “democratic game” offered by the multi party law and the coming elections.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:22 pm

 

20. ann said:

SYRIA’S “ROGUE ISLAMIST OPPOSITION”: US-NATO’s New Lie in its Bid for Regime Change – April 10, 2012

Western twisted logic will run, the Syrian government is “not interested in peace”, is “guilty of brutality”, and NATO is, alas once again, morally mandated to intervene, this time to save the people of Syria out of the noble principle of “responsibility to protect”.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30232

The Western propaganda offensive against Syria looks like tripping over itself in the rush to cover up the increasingly threadbare lies and deception that the mainstream media have been shamelessly churning out over the past year.

In the latest innovation, the Western corporate media are trying to tell us that a “rising tide” of rogue Islamic extremists is “sullying” the honourable armed opposition groups who are fighting the good fight for democracy in Syria.

The London Financial Times reports: “Both secular and Islamist groups are distancing themselves from a rising tide of propaganda by extremists intent on exploiting the uprising.”[Financial Times]

The FT adds: “For now, however, observers say the jihadi element in the revolution remains small [sic] and the extent to which it will be able to make headway is uncertain, given that the extremists are being denounced by both the secular and Islamist opposition.”

What this signals, more accurately, is an ideological move by the Western powers to create a false dichotomy between a “good opposition” and a “bad opposition” in Syria.

Then, all the violence and atrocities attributed to armed anti-government factions can henceforth be conveniently blamed on the “rogue” Islamic extremists, who are not “really part of the good opposition”.

The diversion of public understanding of what is going on in Syria is given greater urgency because of the overwhelming evidence emerging that the so-called Syrian Free Army opposition is steeped in heinous acts of violence, ranging from no-warning car bombs in crowded cities to gun attacks on buses carrying pilgrims.

This is the same “opposition” that is being armed and funded to the tune of $100 million by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the other Gulf Arab reactionary monarchies, as openly declared at the “Friends of Syria” conference in Istanbul on 1 April. This is the same “opposition” that has been afforded training camps by Turkey; the same “opposition” that is given an extra $800,000 in “aid” by the British government (at a time of swingeing public austerity in Britain); the same “opposition” that is supplied with communications and other “non-lethal” equipment by Washington, not to mention the clandestine caches of weapons – assault rifles, anti-tank mines, rocket-propelled grenades – from the US, Israel, Britain, France and Turkey, nor the teams of professional killers, known euphemistically as Special Forces, from these same countries.

As Michel Chossudovsky has carefully documented since March 2011 on Global Research, the armed so-called opposition groups have been waging a concerted campaign of violence and sabotage against the Syrian state from the outset. That is not the spontaneous operation of amateur would-be revolutionaries, who one day put down pens and the next day take up guns. This is not some peaceful civilian uprising that characterised the social upheavals in other Arab countries over the past year.

[…]

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April 10th, 2012, 9:25 pm

 

21. Ghufran said:

19 police men in Markadeh-Hassakeh were slaughtered,15 were from Dair Azzour.

Salamiyyeh has been under the mercy of armed thugs for months,this town provided shelter and food to hundreds of displaced families from Hama and Homs.

If that is not shooting the “revolution” in the foot,I do not know what is it the armed rebels are doing.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

22. Sunny said:

The US unemployment news today is not good :0( due to the rats’ visits to the Turkish camp LOL. The 1,200,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria have been waiting for the visit too … for 10 years, and they are armed with 4000,000 shoes :0)

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April 10th, 2012, 9:30 pm

 

23. Tara said:

Deep sorrow?  Doesn’t HA’s Hassan Nasrallah know yet that no one believes him any more?      

Hezbollah: Punish Shaaban’s killers
April 11, 2012 01:50 AM
By Hussein Dakroub, Mohammed Zaatari
The Daily Star

Al-Jadeed blamed the Syrian Army for Shaaban’s killing. The TV station’s owner Tahseen Khayyat said the Syrian attack on Al-Jadeed crew had been intentional. For its part, Syria blamed a clash between Syrian border guards and “armed terrorist groups” for the cameraman’s killing, saying Al-Jadeed crew happened to be in the area where the clash occurred.
..
The Future bloc condemned Shaaban’s killing. “The firing from the Syrian side was only aimed at intentional killing and terrorism. This happened as a result of leniency by the Lebanese government and official authorities vis-a-vis similar practices recently which killed a number of innocent citizens and also caused heavy losses to them,” the bloc said in a statement after its weekly meeting chaired by former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

“While condemning these repeated attacks, the bloc calls on the Lebanese government to summon the Syrian ambassador and send a strongly worded protest to his government against all these practices,” the statement said. “The bloc also calls [on the Lebanese government] to take all necessary steps to protect the Lebanese and protect Lebanon and its independence from those repeated violations of Lebanese sovereignty.”

“Did he ask you to say ‘hi’ to me before he died?” Shaaban’s twin sister, Fatima, asked Khreiss, who was with her brother on the same assignment.

She then collapsed.

Hezbollah expressed its deep sorrow over Shaaban’s killing. “We condemn this attack on journalists who pay the price for their courage in covering events,” Hezbollah said in a statement. It also condemned the targeting of the media “which tries to convey the picture of events for the people.”

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai expressed his deep sorrow over Shaaban’s killing “by sniper’s fire from Syrian territory in Wadi Khaled in Akkar.”

“The patriarch joins his voice with that of the president and officials in Lebanon in denouncing the incident and in investigating it, taking the necessary legal measures and working to put an end to such attacks,” said a statement issued by the patriarch’s media office in Bkirki.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Apr-11/169865-hezbollah-punish-shaabans-killers.ashx#axzz1rgc4i9PO

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April 10th, 2012, 9:31 pm

 

24. Son of Damascus said:

Everywhere the Assadi Army goes massacres happen, below is yet another example of how this supposed Resistance Army treat their fellow countrymen, desecrating the corpses of the fallen.

Inkhel, Dera’a

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0UVDTRtMcKw
(WARNING: Graphic Assad Crimes)

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April 10th, 2012, 9:32 pm

 

25. ann said:

21. Ghufran said:

If that is not shooting the “revolution” in the foot,I do not know what is it the armed rebels are doing.
.
.
How about holding hands and singing Kumbaya with joseph lieberman 8)
.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:36 pm

 

26. mick said:

I can’t believe people would doubt Annan as an honest broker. I mean he dealt sternly with Bush when he side-stepped the UN and declared an illegal war on Iraq.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/16/iraq.iraq

You can see what power both the UN and the head of the UN have! Yeah, Bush violated international law. But I’m Kofi Annan and I want keep my job as a ‘big wig’ in the world. So since there is no job and money pushing the subject…Bush and America…you get a pass.

Now you powerless third world country…I have to show the world I am a ‘person to be listened to!’

I’m sure Tony Blair will resurface soon to tell us how important Syria is.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:45 pm

 

27. omen said:

from the link above:

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.

“In a desperate attempt to crush the uprising, Syrian forces have executed people in cold blood, civilians and opposition fighters alike,” said Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch. “They are doing it in broad daylight and in front of witnesses, evidently not concerned about any accountability for their crimes.”
[…]

In the cases documented by Human Rights Watch, at least 85 victims were Syrian residents who did not take part in the fighting, including women and children. The report describes in detail several cases of mass executions of civilians, including the killing of at least 13 men in the Bilal mosque in Idlib on March 11, the execution of at least 25 men during a search-and-arrest operation in the Sultaniya neighborhood of Homs on March 3, and the killing of at least 47 people, mainly women and children, in the `Adwiyya, Karm al-Zaytoun, and Refa`i neighborhoods of Homs on March 11 and 12.

it’s delusion to think this overwhelming onslaught from the regime can be dealt with “politically.”

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April 10th, 2012, 9:45 pm

 

28. Son of Damascus said:

The Day Hafez Al Assad Died

The day Hafez al Assad died, I was having lunch with a friend. We were eating pasta at a family owned Italian restaurant in Ras Beirut when the news was announced. With everyone else, we stared at the small television. The owner kept changing the channel, and each time the news was confirmed.

I don’t remember if we finished lunch. But I do remember that when we went outside the streets seemed deserted. Beirut is not a quiet city, but that day it seemed as if sound had retreated from picture. My father called and demanded that I come home. Less than five minutes later my friend received the same call from her mother. No one knew what would happen next. The questions, I suppose, were obvious: Would a power struggle erupt in Syria? Would it erupt in Lebanon? Would “the war” return? What would Israel do?

Three days of public mourning unfolded. Three days of having these conversations and asking these questions. I placed bets with friends about the longevity of Bashar al-Assad’s rule. In person, of course. Never on the phone. I argued with family members about what Hafez al-Assad’s legacy would be. I spoke to people who did not live or grow up in West Beirut, and was again struck by the multiple and sometimes diverging histories that saturate this small country.

[…]

http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/4986/the-day-hafez-al-assad-died

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April 10th, 2012, 9:50 pm

 

29. FreeSoldier said:

Like Israel at the onset of the civil war in Lebanon, Turkey will create a buffer zone to safe guard their border. It is the most logical behavior and in today’s tech world we call it a firewall or a DMZ.
So my prediction is that such an area will be create within the next 2 months

Best

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April 10th, 2012, 9:52 pm

 

30. ann said:

The forgotten Titanic story of Ottawa’s Syrians – April 10, 2012

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/forgotten+Titanic+story+Ottawa+Syrians/6426918/story.html

When she stepped from the Grand Trunk Railway train at Ottawa’s brand new central station on April 23, 1912, Mariana Assaf cried out, then promptly fainted into the arms of her nephew’s wife.

Small wonder. Eight days earlier, the 45-year-old Ottawa woman had been rescued from a lifeboat she’d been shoved into barely an hour before the world’s largest and most famous passenger ship, the Titanic, disappeared into the depths of the North Atlantic.

Assaf had first come to the city in 1907 or 1908 from present-day Lebanon, then part of Syria. She was a greengrocer who’d made a good living selling produce to Ottawa’s wealthy. By 1912, she’d earned enough to return to Kafr Mishki, a small Roman Orthodox village in the lower Bekaa Valley, to visit her husband and two sons.

When the Titanic went down, Assaf was on her way back to Ottawa, accompanied by more than a dozen others – mostly cousins – from the tiny, impoverished village. They’d boarded the ship in Cherbourg, France, and all were bound for the far-off Canadian capital. She alone survived.

The Kafr Mishki villagers were part of a contingent of 125 Syrians who’d booked passage on the Titanic hoping for a better life in North America. Of those, an astonishing 102 died in the disaster.

The tale of the Ottawabound Syrians is one of the Titanic’s forgotten stories. Among them were a newlywed couple, the son of an Ottawa merchant, a father and his two teenage sons and at least two journalists.

Speaking through an interpreter, voice hoarse with sobs, Assaf told her harrowing story to a reporter from the Ottawa Evening Citizen.

She and her relatives, all travelling in steerage, were mostly in bed when the ship struck the iceberg.

“Although it did not seem to be much at first and we did not feel much except a jar, some of us wanted to go up on deck and see what had happened,” she told the newspaper.

They were told that all was well, but began to have doubts when the ship remained dead in the water.

[…]

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April 10th, 2012, 9:53 pm

 

31. Tara said:

Batta needs to pay specials attention to his diet. He lost lots of weight lately. Asma is not taking good care of her man. Do Homsi girls not cook well? Time to take some cooking lessons. With all the weight loss he sustained, Batta is not really a good name for him? We need to find him a better name. What could it be?

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April 10th, 2012, 9:57 pm

 

32. Halabi said:

Al Jadeed on the lies of Addunya’s report on Ali Shaaban. And there are people out there who believe Addunya yet call others naive or brainwashed… http://youtu.be/6I5c8iRI9TM

What you see on Addunya, Syrian TV, Syrian Truth and other mukhabarat run media organization (or blind men7ebak outfits) is straight propaganda. There is no effort to tell the truth and never an admission of error. The people running this operation and producing the content are responsible for much of the suffering in Syria and should be tried someday.

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April 10th, 2012, 10:00 pm

 

33. Norman said:

If we can say that there is no chance for the Syrian regime to fall, because it is strong and because the world is worry about what will happen, is the opposition naive not to reach an agreement, The question is will Turkey get involved, in the last few years Syria and Turkey became close and the relation between Turkey and Israel went sour.

The Syrian crisis changed the status of turkey and pushed it back into NATO, the question is what will happen to Turkey if it invades Syria, i think that Turkey will get weaker militarily and economically and become dependent on the west and NATO which will make it ineffective in any Arab /Israeli conflict or Israeli/Iranian one, weak Turkey is for the benefit of Israel and involving Turkey in Syria will do that, the question is will hate blind sides Erdogan so he will jump with his heart instead of his brain,,,, Will see.

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April 10th, 2012, 10:17 pm

 

34. Son of Damascus said:

The Syrian Uprising Through Palestinian Eyes

“Have you ever protested against the massacres in Syria?”, asked Israeli police officer Yossi Peretz as he was detaining me along with other activists on our way to an anti-occupation demonstration in Bil’in. “Bashar al-Assad murders tens of Syrians every day and you are silent.”

It was an atrocious day: The security apparatus of the “only democracy in the Middle East” showcased its full force and flexed its muscles to prevent a bus carrying non-violent protesters from reaching an unarmed demonstration; we were detained for three hours in the Givaat Ze’ev police station on a dreary, freezing morning; we couldn’t march alongside the courageous villagers in Bil’in as they commemorated the seventh anniversary of popular resistance against the apartheid wall. What exasperated me the most was the cynical attempt of a man charged with enforcing brutal occupation and military despotism to exploit the blood of Syrian martyrs and feign concern for the victims of Assad’s deplorable atrocities. Ironically, a few days earlier during an anti-Assad protest in occupied Jerusalem, a Palestinian man scolded us for “not participating in a single demonstration against the massacres in Gaza.”

[…]

Many, on the other hand, complain about the “excessive” focus of mainstream Arab and Western media on Syria and ignoring atrocities in Palestine and Bahrain. Granted, mainstream media has an agenda and a set of politically and financially-motivated priorities, and shedding light on the repression in Bahrain or Palestine doesn’t meet their agenda… or the corporate goals of mass-media conglomerates. Similarly, pro-Assad media outlets in Syria, Lebanon, Iran, etc., blather for hours about the crimes of Israel while turning a blind eye to the massacres carried out by Assad next door. Hypocrisy and double-standards in the media happen both ways. Spending all of one’s time blasting the media and Western governments for their despicable and shameful hypocrisy, selective indignation, and warped “humanitarianism”, while barely uttering a syllable of solidarity with the Syrian people is the epitome of the very hypocrisy and skewed “humanitarianism” one is trying to protest in the first place. As painful as the analogy is, reading circular debates about media coverage of Syria vis-à-vis Palestine reminds me of a football match where the supporters of both teams slam a terribly inept referee for his bias and explain his awful decisions by trotting out worn and tired conspiracy theories.

[…]

http://www.dimakhatib.com/2012/04/syrian-uprising-through-palestinian.html

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April 10th, 2012, 10:34 pm

 

35. omen said:

10. mjabali 8:24 pm

The right political pressure could achieve more than anti tank weapons…

what is the right political pressure?

No one could tell what the end result would be if you arm the rebels.

the right of the people to defend themselves and their right to survival trumps your fear and discomfort of the unknown.

the rebels have demonstrated discipline before. they destroyed a captured regime tank when it could have been easily used to destroy a regime stronghold instead. i’m sure there are more examples like this.

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April 10th, 2012, 11:00 pm

 

36. jad said:

Erdo and the Turkish newspapers are trying hard to escalate, I wonder if Erdo dies tomorrow who will take the lead on this mission, Oglu or Gul:

ديميرطاش: حدود تركيا الجنوبية ستكون مع كردستان

أردوغان في الرياض الجمعة… تحريض واسع على سوريا

محمد نور الدين

أكد رئيس وزراء تركيا رجب طيب اردوغان أن سوريا انتهكت بصورة قاطعة الحدود التركية، وان أنقرة ستقوم بكل ما يكفله القانون الدولي في هذه الحالة، وذلك قبل ان يزور الرياض الجمعة.

في هذا الوقت قطع وزير الخارجية التركية احمد داود اوغلو زيارته للصين تاركا فيها اردوغان وعاد إلى تركيا لمتابعة التطورات على الحدود التركية ـ السورية. وقال «إذا تكرر انتهاك سوريا للحدود التركية فسنقوم بما يلزم».

وهدد اردوغان، خلال زيارة لبكين، بالتحرك ضد سوريا بعد ارتفاع حدة التوتر عند الحدود أمس الأول ما ادى الى اصابة اربعة سوريين وتركيين في الاراضي التركية بإطلاق نار من سوريا. وقال ان اطلاق النار «انتهاك واضح جدا للحدود. سنقوم بإجراء تقييم نهائي. نحن نواصل العمل الدبلوماسي مع الدول الاقليمية، وبعد ذلك بالتأكيد سنتخذ الاجراءات المناسبة».

واعتبر اردوغان ان الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد نكث بوعده لمبعوث الامم المتحدة والجامعة العربية الى سوريا كوفي انان، بعدم سحب القوات من المدن. وقال «انهم يطلقون النار على الفارين من الخلف».

وأعلن اردوغان انه سيتوجه الجمعة الى السعودية للبحث في الملف السوري. وأعرب عن الامل في ان تأتي اتصالاته بالقادة السعوديين في الرياض بنتائج إيجابية حول المسألة السورية. ونقلت صحيفة «حرييت» التركية عن مسؤولين في انقرة ان اردوغان سيبلغ الملك السعودي عبد الله بأن الدول العربية يجب ان تتصدر تنفيذ اجراءات دولية منسقة ضد الحكومة السورية. واشارت الى ان اردوغان قد يسافر بعد ذلك الى موسكو للاجتماع مع رئيس الوزراء فلاديمير بوتين.

وقد رفعت وسائل الإعلام التركية من وتيرة التحريض على سوريا، حيث عنونت صحيفة «شفق» الإسلامية، المقربة من السلطة السياسية، «الدماء الأولى على الحدود»، فيما ورد في مقالات أحد كتّابها ان «مهمة (كوفي) انان ماتت ولم يبق سوى صوت الرصاص».

وقد حظيت تصريحات وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم واتهامه تركيا بتسليح المعارضة السورية صدى بارزا في نشرات الأخبار التلفزيونية ووسائل الإعلام المكتوبة، وأجمعت على وصف الاتهام بأنه «ثقيل».

وفي تعليقات متصلة بالوضع السوري كتب غونيري جيفا اوغلو في صحيفة «ميللييت» ان تركيا غادرت موقعها كقوة ناعمة وأخذت مكانا لها كقوة تتجه إلى استخدام السلاح في الأزمة السورية. وقال ان دعوة تركيا لإقامة ممر مساعدات انسانية داخل سوريا يعني دخول القوات التركية بضعة كيلومترات داخل الأراضي السورية. وتساءل «حينها هل ستبقى سوريا متفرجة؟ هذا هو السؤال الذي يدعو للقلق»، مضيفا انه اذا التزم الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد بتعهداته يكون ممكنا تبريد الحدود.

وقال إن «سؤالا آخر مقلقا، وهو هل من فائدة تركيا بقاء الأسد مع المحافظة على وحدة سوريا أم الاطاحة بالأسد وتقسيم سوريا؟». واضاف ان «سوريا باتت تدعم حزب العمال الكردستاني الذي سيجد في حال انهيار الأسد مقرا له في سوريا في منطقة كردية ذات حكم ذاتي».

في هذا الوقت نشرت صحيفة «طرف» حوارا مع رئيس حزب السلام والديموقراطية صلاح الدين ديميرطاش حذّر فيه تركيا من أنه اذا حصل تقسيم في العراق فسيحصل حكم ذاتي في سوريا، وفي الأساس توجد محافظة باسم كردستان في إيران وبالتالي ستكون حدود تركيا الرسمية الجنوبية مع كردستان من إيغدير الى إنطاكية.
{…}
http://assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionID=2122&ChannelID=50654&ArticleID=983

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April 10th, 2012, 11:11 pm

 

37. omen said:

here is another example of the rebels providing civil order and acting as mediators:

A Chrisian friend from Homs writes of how refugee families are occupying empty apartments.

My cousin who went to her Daughter in AL Raga, went back to Homs and found people in her house, it is 2 bedroom house so she told them that she needs the house as it is too small for more than her and her family, so they left, another relative of mine in Hameedia, they left first then when they came back they found people in their home so they asked them to leave, they refused and asked the owners my relative to talk to the office in one of the Hameedia restaurant that is occupied , so they went there and asked for their house back, they complied and the office of the armed militia ( i think) asked the people who were staying in the house to leave and give the house back,

returning property to the rightful owner isn’t sowing chaos.

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April 10th, 2012, 11:17 pm

 

38. Ghufran said:

Talal Salman is fed up with the regime’s endless games, he is right in blaming the regime but who will restrain Turkey and the GCC?

Russia today has the key, but the door is still guarded by a regime that wants to control who gets in and who does not.

Annan’s plan full implementation means the end of Assad et al domination on Syria’s affairs, the cat and mouse game now is about how much control each side is going to retain, that explains the posturing and the increased violence.

The gains made by the regime lately emboldened the regime but it also increased pressure on its adversaries to push back, neither sides paid attention to the cease fire,the regime wants “few more victories” and the rebels want to show regime supporters that it is too early to declare victory.

http://m.assafir.com/content/1334104202009568600/first

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April 10th, 2012, 11:57 pm

 

39. Mo said:

Most of the comments on this post are missing the big picture, I think. To think that there is not a regional and an international dimensions to what’s going on in Syria is naive. The whole thing I believe, evolves around Iran. I’m not saying there is no uprising in Syria, yes there is. One million Syrians out of 23 million, are willing to do anything to get rid of the current regime for a lot of reasons. Many of those reasons has nothing to do with democracy. The other 22 million Syrians, may or may not want change but if they do, they want it the right way and for the right reasons.

The whole thing evolves around Iran, think about it. Many NATO officials, including Americans, said over the years that a bombing campaign will not end Iran’s nuclear program. Does America wants to get involved in another invasion and another occupation? I don’t think.

So, how we are going to end the Iranian nuclear program?
I always believed that major things will happen to history and humanity if Israel’s future becomes unclear. Not because of the holiness of Israel–no, but because of its influence around the world. A nuclear Iran equals unclear future for Israel. At least in the mind of Israelis and that is unacceptable to most of them.

It seems to me that Iran and Turkey are walking steadily toward war. Turkey is being pumped up by Persian Gulf states, NATO, and its own ambition. Iran, on the other hand is determined to defend its long time ally, which she thinks that she’s being attacked through him. A turkish-Iranian war that lasts a decade with Turkey getting weapons, technology, and political support from the west while getting flooded with oil money from Arab states. That war will put the Iranian dream on breaks for the next quarter of a century. That’s plenty of time to come up with a defense against a nuclear threat.

Besides, it’s the mother of all sectarian wars. The one and only Shiaa muslim country against one of the most dominant Sunni muslim countries in a time when sectarian tension around the world and specially in the middle east is at its peak.

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April 11th, 2012, 12:02 am

 

40. zoo said:

Here we are again with the old song and in Deraa the “sophisticated opposition movement” is preparing the city for the post-Bashar era.

Topple Assad is now the only way’
Phil Sands
Apr 11, 2012

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/topple-assad-is-now-the-only-way#page2

DAMASCUS // As the deadline on a UN peace plan passed yesterday with no halt to the violence, in Deraa, where Syria’s uprising began, an increasingly sophisticated and disciplined opposition movement was planning for a post-regime future.

More than a year after the rebellion began in the south-western Syrian city, veteran civilian activists and rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are coordinating efforts to topple President Bashar Al Assad and to prevent chaos spreading if his regime collapses, activists say.

“There can be no negotiation with this regime, there is no peace plan, we knew from the very beginning, when we first demanded our freedom, that the only way we would get it is to topple the regime, nothing less,” said an activist involved in organising the initial demonstrations in Deraa last March

“The regime will be finished so we have to build ourselves now for what happens when it falls, so there is not a dangerous vacuum,” said a leading opposition figure from Deraa. He has played a major role in organising the rebellion in the city

“We have seen what has happened in Libya with all of the different militia groups and we will not allow that to be repeated here, when the regime finally falls there must be order and control,” he said.
(…)

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April 11th, 2012, 12:03 am

 

41. Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: SON OF DAM

RE: “…three days of public mourning for Hafez?…

It should have been three minutes, tops. That man wasted everyone’s time for forty years. And he was a vast liar, telling everyone he was on the “front line” in the resistance against the Jews. The fact is, the Jews had no better friend than Hafez. After Bashar and Asma are dead, Hafez’ body should be dug up and dragged through the streets and fed to the vultures…

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April 11th, 2012, 12:06 am

 

42. zoo said:

Turkey pressing the UN for the greenlight to invade Syria

Turkey presses UN over border violation
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-presses-un-over-border-violation.aspx?pageID=238&nID=18142&NewsCatID=338
Syrian forces fired shots across the Turkish border into a refugee camp April 9, wounding six people in the first case of Syrian bullets crossing into Turkish territory since the crisis began.

Davutoğlu also said the issue with Syria was becoming “a problem of border security” when speaking to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and others. U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague told Davutoğlu over the phone that the U.K. was ready to provide Turkey with assistance for Syrian refugees. Lavrov said yesterday Turkey assured them it would not take a unilateral step on Syria.
(..)

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April 11th, 2012, 12:08 am

 

43. zoo said:

A humoristic Turkish look at Erdogan and Davutoglu waking up to the realities of the region

The Dance of the Trojan Horse
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/PrintNews.aspx?PageID=383&NID=18112

Turkey, in fact, wanted to be the respectable referee in the Iran vs. West football game. Instead, it has become the ball in the game. But there is more.

After having cultivated an exemplary friendship, luring business deals and even the al-Gadhafi International Prize for Human Rights, the two most important Turks at the helm of foreign policy suddenly discovered that the Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi was a ruthless dictator.

Similarly, it took Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu nine years to understand that their man in Damascus was in fact a dictator. “Is it not amazing, Ahmet, I learned just this morning that there is no democracy in Syria?” “This cannot be true, Prime Minister, I always thought our Syrian brothers ruled their country like the Swedish rule theirs. But, just in case, I’ll check myself to see if these unpleasant rumors are true.”

Our brotherly and strategic relations with Iraq are in no better shape. Baghdad has expressed more than a few times – and in not-so-diplomatic language – its wariness of excessive Turkish meddling in Iraqi politics. “Listen, Ahmet, I suspect that the Iraqis may be starting to distance themselves from the idea of Sunni Turkish dominion.” “Prime Minister, the Iraqis have promised us to be on our side at all times. Muslims always keep their promises. But, just in case, I’ll check myself to see if the Iraqis are good Sunni Muslims like us.”

And most recently, Messrs Erdoğan and Davutoğlu have discovered, after a lengthy honeymoon that lasted a decade, that “our Iranian brothers” are dishonest. “I am totally shocked, Ahmet, that our Persian brothers are behaving like the enemies of the Syrian people. I am even more shocked that these Muslims are dishonest.” “That’s impossible, Prime Minister. But, just in case, I’ll check myself to see if the Iranians are Muslims.”
(…)

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April 11th, 2012, 12:15 am

 

44. Ghufran said:

القاهرة – قضت محكمة القضاء الاداري الثلاثاء ببطلان تشكيل الجمعية التأسيسية التي يهيمن عليها الاسلاميون في ما يعد انتكاسة سياسية لجماعة الاخوان المسلمين واول انتصار لليبراليين واليسار منذ اطاحة الرئيس السابق حسني مبارك في 11 شباط/فبراير 2011

[ blue diamond http://www.al-madina.com/node/370351 ]

That and the decision by Omar Sulaiman to enter the presidential race will rebalance political life in Egypt.

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April 11th, 2012, 12:20 am

 

45. zoo said:

In Hatay, Kofi Annan meets cutely dressed refugee girls and sit under the omnipresent portrait of the Turks idol: Ataturk

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2012-04/11/c_131519112.htm

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April 11th, 2012, 12:22 am

 

46. omen said:

mo 12:02. i hope you are not arguing that the majority of syrians must be sacrificed in the interest of maintaining geopolitical balance.

A nuclear Iran equals unclear future for Israel. At least in the mind of Israelis and that is unacceptable to most of them.

your support?

according to this poll:

Despite all the anti-Iran rhetoric from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his government, the Israeli public remains strongly opposed to Israel launching an attack on Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

…Tel Aviv University reveal the findings of their most recent Peace Index that show 62 per cent of Israelis are opposed to Israel launching an attack on Iran without U.S. cooperation.

i saw another poll that pointed out most israelis don’t believe iran would strike even if iran had nuclear weapons.

why is pakistan “allowed” to have nuclear weapons but not iran? does it come down to oil?

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April 11th, 2012, 1:26 am

 

47. omen said:

norman 10:17: i think that Turkey will get weaker militarily and economically and become dependent on the west and NATO which will make it ineffective in any Arab /Israeli conflict or Israeli/Iranian one, weak Turkey is for the benefit of Israel and involving Turkey in Syria will do that

palestine will win its liberation via the tunis/egypt model.

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April 11th, 2012, 1:47 am

 

48. omen said:

wow, the regime is in a pickle. via juan cole:

The Lebanese prime minister, Najib Miqati, said “We condemn the act of opening fire from the Syrian side on the Lebanese media team, mainly as this team was operating within Lebanese territory.”

Miqati is allied with Hizbullah, a strong supporter of the Syrian regime, but when Syrian gunfire is killing Lebanese on Lebanese soil, even he is forced to speak out. Lebanon is welcoming increasing numbers of Syrian refugees, which could also drag Lebanon into the conflict.

tara, no wonder basher is losing weight.

We need to find him a better name. What could it be?

how about sitting duck?

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April 11th, 2012, 2:03 am

 

49. Anne said:

Annan urges Syrian leadership to make “fundamental change of course”

UNITED NATIONS, April 10 (Xinhua) — Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League joint special envoy for Syria, on Tuesday urged the Syrian authorities to “seize the opportunity to make a fundamental change of course” by immediately implementing a peace plan proposed by Annan and accepted by Damascus.

Annan made the statement in his letter to the UN Security Council Tuesday, the deadline for the Syrian military to withdraw from urban areas. A copy of the letter was obtained by Xinhua here.

The Syrian government must send a political signal by achieving a cessation of its military operations in the coming days, Annan said. He also called for a quick action by the UN Security Council to deploy “an effective international monitoring mechanisms” in Syria, which has been plunged into crisis since March 2011.

“The Syrian leadership should now seize the opportunity to make a fundamental change of course,” Annan said in the letter, adding “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.”

Annan was appointed to mediate an early end to the year-long crisis in Syria on behalf of the United Nations and the Arab League.

Annan’s six-point plan calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, as well as talks between the government and opposition.

If the Syrian government meets the April 10 deadline, the Syrian opposition should halt fighting 48 hours after the withdrawal of government forces, so all fighting in the country must stop by 6 a.m. Damascus time on April 12, Annan said last week while briefing the UN General Assembly.

“We urge the opposition also to fulfill their commitment to the six-point plan and give no excuse for the government to renege on its commitment,” Annan said in the letter, noting “The clear declaration coming from the opposition are encouraging in this respect.”

“Despite these assurances from the Syrian government, credible reports indicate that during that same period, the Syrian armed forces have conducted rolling military operations in populated centers, characterized by troop movements into towns supported by artillery fire,” the letter said.

[ + … ]

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-04/11/c_122957846.htm

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April 11th, 2012, 2:58 am

 

50. Anne said:

Russia ‘Keeping Assad in Power’ – Clinton

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120411/172742746.html

MOSCOW, April 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s inaction over the crisis in Syria is keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

Russia’s “refusal to join us in some kind of constructive action is keeping Assad in power, well-armed, able to ignore the demands of his own people, the region and the world,” Clinton said at the U.S. Naval Academy on Tuesday.

She said the U.S. would again try to persuade Russia to support UN action that would at least allow humanitarian aid when G8 foreign ministers meet in Washington on Wednesday.

Clinton also said the “likelihood of regional conflict and civil war is increasing” in Syria.

Russia is the largest supplier of arms to Syria and has a naval base there.

Syrian opposition activists say more than 800 people have been killed since Assad accepted UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan late last month.

Clinton’s comments came as Syrian security forces continued military operations despite an agreement to withdraw troops by Tuesday.

However, Annan said earlier on Tuesday his efforts to end the unrest were still “very much alive.”

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said on Tuesday in Moscow that army units had begun withdrawing from some towns and cities, a claim denounced by a French foreign ministry spokesman as an “unacceptable lie.”

“Every effort must be made to achieve a cessation of violence in all its forms on 12 April at 06:00 [03:00 GMT],” Annan said in a letter to the UN Security Council.

“There is no more time to lose,” Annan said. “We must all push for an end to the bloodshed before Syria plunges into the abyss.”

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April 11th, 2012, 3:12 am

 

51. Anne said:

Russia pressures Syria to withdraw troops

http://themoscownews.com/international/20120410/189614045.html

In a fresh sign of Russia’s increasingly complex strategy regarding Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov put pressure on the Middle Eastern state on Tuesday to withdraw troops from around its towns and cities in accordance with a United Nations peace plan.

Under the plan, brokered by UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, Syria was to begin withdrawing its troops at 6 a.m. local time (0600 Moscow Time) Tuesday as a first step to ending the ongoing violence, which has claimed some 9,000 lives since protests broke out in March 2011.

“We demand that our Syrian colleagues rigorously implement the Annan plan,” Lavrov told reporters Tuesday after talks in Moscow with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem, Russian media sources reported.

The plan came close to collapse on Sunday when the Syrian government demanded written guarantees that rebel insurgents would stop fighting before it pulled back its troops, a demand that was rejected by the country’s main rebel group, the Free Syrian Army.

The conflict escalated on Monday when Syrian troops opened fire at refugee camp close to the Syrian border in Turkey, killing at least six people. A cameraman for the Al Jadeed television station was also reported killed in Lebanon from cross-border fire.

Muallem said in Moscow on Tuesday that the Syrian government has already withdrawn some forces from Syrian cities and that a cease-fire would begin simultaneously with the deployment of an international observer mission in the country.

“We would like to call on all opposition leaders and all countries that have influence on the political and military opposition to use that influence to bring about an immediate cease-fire as is provided by Kofi Annan’s plan,” Lavrov said in Moscow on Tuesday.

Lavrov’s strict line is symptomatic of a shift in its approach to the Syrian issue. Despite earlier disagreements with the West over how to react to the Syrian regime’s brutal repression of opposition activists, Russia has recently taken on the role of mediator between the two sides.

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April 11th, 2012, 3:20 am

 

52. Mina said:

Norman 32

The opposition is not asked to reach an agreement, since the FSA and its bailers in the Gulf make everything in their power to make that no meeting is possible. Look at their efforts now to hinder the opposition visit to Moscow. Look at their answer to annan peace plan with the Istanbul meeting: we’ll pay and arm the terrorists.

I.e. just like in Egypt: we hijack any revolution because we have money (thanks to our retrograde and slavery practices) while the US and EU are now in a state of bankruptcy and need oil.

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April 11th, 2012, 3:33 am

 

53. Anne said:

Vladimir Vladimirovich Suharto

http://www.rferl.org/archive/The_Power_Vertical/latest/884/884.html

On the night Vladimir Putin was first elected president back in March 2000, a revealing joke made the rounds among Moscow’s chattering classes.

“Putin says Russia’s new model of development will be Korea,” the anecdote began. “He just hasn’t decided whether it’s North Korea or South Korea,” went the punch line.

Following the joke’s logic, it is now clear that South Korea was indeed the model — but not today’s democratic South Korea. Putin’s model of development actually more resembles South Korea under the authoritarian rule of President Park Chung Hee from 1961-79.

Both Park and Putin came to power after a period of political chaos and ushered in an era of stability and prosperity. Both concentrated power in the executive, reduced the legislature to a rubber stamp, and turned elections into decorative affairs. Both politicized the judiciary and law enforcement and cracked down on dissent.

Park and Putin’s management of their respective economies was also similar. Both brought state-owned companies under tighter control and were not shy about intervening in the private sector. Both also presided over economic booms that led to the development of secure and stable middle classes.

But one of the main similarities of the two regimes has been the concentration of political power and most of the country’s important economic assets in the hands of a cabal of the president’s cronies from the security services.

Put simply, both can be characterized as what UCLA political science professor Daniel Treisman has dubbed “Silovarchies” — oligarchies dominated by siloviki.

Amid the political turbulence in Russia over the past several months, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Treisman’s insightful and much-discussed article “Putin’s Silovarchs,” which was published in the journal “Orbis” in 2007.

Antecedents of Putin’s silovarchy, Treisman wrote, can be found not only in Park’s South Korea but also in Indonesia under Suharto’s authoritarian rule from 1967-98:

Silovarchies — states in which veterans of the security services or the armed forces dominate both politics and big business — have existed in various countries including South Korea and Indonesia. They differ from ordinary oligarchies in that silovarchs can deploy intelligence networks, state prosecutors, and armed force to intimidate or expropriate business rivals. While their economic performance may be either good or bad, the temptation to use secret service tools and techniques predisposes such regimes toward authoritarian politics.

My main takeaways from the article were that silovarchies are deeply resistant to change, but at the same time they contain within themselves the seeds of their own destruction.

..,

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April 11th, 2012, 3:54 am

 

54. Afram said:

Pajamas Newz…
Fouad Ajami:”the Arab world has terrible rulers and worse oppositionists”

Burhan Ghalioun lied…Syrians died.

Mustapha Akkad: a Syrian-born Hollywood producer,complained in 1998 “in Hollywood, Muslims are only terrorists” “Hollywood Now Plays Cowboys and Arabs- November 1, 1998.

at a hotel in Amman, Jordan, he and his daughter Rina, 33, were killed by Muslim terrorists. November 9, 2005

Hilary Clinton:Democratic candidate for president “As your president,you will not see me holding hands with the Saudis,” a reference to President George W. Bush, was photographed holding the hand of Saudi King Abdullah.

James Woolsey,former Director of Central Intelligence: “Twenty-one Arab nations, plus Iran, have about the same population as the United States and Canada. Other than fossil fuels—mainly oil, of course—they export to the world less than Finland, a country of only 5 million people.

Arabs are special, I like to dedicate April fool as a yearly Arab day…the world laughing at us NOT with us.

[ blue diamond http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2004/04/caught-my-eye-noteworthy-quotes ]

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April 11th, 2012, 5:57 am

 

55. b said:

Prof. Landis writes:

“Who would not be outraged by the Syrian attack on refugees and Turkish workers within Turkey? ”

Probably those who read a bit deeper. This wasn’t a one sided shooting across the border. Syrian government positions were attacked by people coming from the Turkish side and fleeing back to it.

AP reported:

The soldiers were believed to be firing at rebels who tried to escape to the refugee camp after ambushing a Syrian military checkpoint, killing six soldiers, according to the Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Syria-fires-over-borders-with-Lebanon-Turkey-3468068.php

Hurriyet reported:

Kilis Gov. Yusuf Odabaş said the injuries were caused by bullets from clashes on the other side of the border, which erupted when opposition groups attempted to seize control of the border crossing from regime forces. Turkish security forces in no way intervened or used arms, he said. Twenty-one Syrians wounded in the clashes managed to cross into Turkey through a mine-ridden stretch of land. Three died in hospital and another two in critical condition have been transferred to a hospital in the adjacent province of Gaziantep, Odabaş said

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/critical-day-for-syria-as-fight-spills-into-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=18055&NewsCatID=338

It is quite telling how the media now depict Syria as being guilty for the cross border shooting. It is far from the truth.

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April 11th, 2012, 6:00 am

 

56. Alan said:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/235474.html

Moscow seeks to end Syrian unrest: Russian diplomat

Russia has charged that some foreign states are fueling violence in Syria by meddling in the country’s political affairs, saying it is cooperating with Syrian authorities to bring an end to the nation’s unrest.

“Attempts to force a solution on Syria from outside will lead only to an escalation of tension. Everything must follow from respect for Syria’s sovereignty, and violence must be stopped,” Itar-Tass news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying on Monday.

Gatilov said that his country is “working actively with Damascus in order to begin a political settlement process in (Syria).”

The Russian diplomat added that as part of a potential UN monitoring mission, Moscow was considering sending observers to Syria to oversee the implementation of the peace plan proposed by the joint UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

Gatilov said “there are concrete points in (Annan’s plan), and we fully support this plan.”

Meanwhile, on March 27, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei called on the Syrian government and the foreign-backed opposition groups to honor their commitments to the UN-Arab League peace proposal, adding that Beijing believes the plan needs more time to produce concrete result.

Annan’s six-point plan calls, inter alia, for an end to violence in Syria, a two-hour humanitarian ceasefire every day, media access to troubled spots, and political dialogue between the government and the opposition.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March and many people, including security forces, have lost their lives in the violence.

[ + …]
———————————————————-
http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/syria-war-spills-across-borders-into-turkey-lebanon/

Syria War Spills Across Borders into Turkey, Lebanon
Turkey Claims Deliberate Attack on Refugee Camp

antiwar.com
As Syrian rebel factions continue to lose ground to the military, fighting increasingly spills over to neighboring countries. This puts civilians on both sides of the border in the line of fire, resulting in deaths in both Turkey and Lebanon.

Two people were killed in Turkey, and four others wounded by Syrian military fire at the border near the Kilis refugee camp. Turkey’s government claims that the attack deliberately targeted the camp, but earlier reports suggested that it was simply fire that strayed across the border.

Meanwhile, Syrian troops attacked and killed a TV cameraman in neighboring Lebanon, firing across the border between the two nations. The incident occurred in Wadi Khaled, an area frequently used by Syrian rebels to hide from Assad’s forces and stage attacks into Syrian territory.

People with the camera crew said they explained to the Syrian troops that they weren’t fighters. Syrian state media reported that a nearby border post had come under attack shortly before the shooting.

Such incidents will surely embarrass the Syrian military, particularly coming just days before a scheduled ceasefire. But as fighting moves out of central cities and into the border regions, Turkey and Lebanon, too, could be dragged into the maelstrom.

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April 11th, 2012, 7:42 am

 

57. Alan said:

http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/russia-is-massing-troops-on-irans-northern-border-and-waiting-for-a-western-attack/

:)

Russia Is Massing Troops On Iran’s Northern Border And Waiting For A Western Attack

ed note–the original source on this is Joseph Farah (worldnetdaily.com) who is too stupid to find his ass even if he used both hands and a map, but is worth looking at nonetheless for what it portends.

The Russian military anticipates that an attack will occur on Iran by the summer and has developed an action plan to move Russian troops through neighboring Georgia to stage in Armenia, which borders on the Islamic republic, according to informed Russian sources.

Russian Security Council head Viktor Ozerov said that Russian General Military Headquarters has prepared an action plan in the event of an attack on Iran.

Dmitry Rogozin, who recently was the Russian ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, warned against an attack on Iran.

“Iran is our neighbor,” Rogozin said. “If Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.” Rogozin now is the deputy Russian prime minister and is regarded as anti-Western. He oversees Russia’s defense sector.

Russian Defense Ministry sources say that the Russian military doesn’t believe that Israel has sufficient military assets to defeat Iranian defenses and further believes that U.S. military action will be necessary.

[ + … ]

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April 11th, 2012, 7:49 am

 

58. dawoud said:

Will Erdogan’s Turkey LIBERATE Syria?
I hope so!

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April 11th, 2012, 8:00 am

 

59. Tara said:

Syrian Ambassador to Australia to join his expelled brotherly diplomats.

Australia may expel Syria’s ambassador, says Foreign Minister Bob Carr
BY: LANAI VASEK From: The Australian April 11, 2012 11:43AM
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/australia-may-expel-syrias-ambassador-says-foreign-minister-bob-carr/story-fn59nm2j-1226323700944 

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Bob Carr has signalled Australia may expel Syria’s ambassador after the embattled Arab nation failed to abide by a UN Security Council deadline to begin a full military pullback in urban areas.

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April 11th, 2012, 8:11 am

 

60. Dawoud said:

It was sad to see the Shia Lebanese family of Ali Shabaan-the cameraman for the pro-dictator\wilayat al-faqih al-Jadid TV who was killed by Bashar’s shabiha- cry for their only son. Allah yarhamou!

However, it was sad to see the picture of the # 1 Lebanese shabih-Hasan Nasrallah-hanging on the wall of Ali Shabaan’s family house! The seemed so scared to say anything bad about Bashar, who killed their son and thousands of Syrians.

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April 11th, 2012, 8:12 am

 

61. Tara said:

Dawoud

Aljadid TV accused Batta of the murder. Lebanese Shiaa is slowly but surely being disenchanted with Hassan realizing who he really is, a power hungry co-murderer.

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April 11th, 2012, 8:24 am

 

62. Alan said:

‘West uses Syria to hit China, Russia and Iran’

http://rt.com/news/syria-russia-iran-annan-741/

Syria is nothing but a pawn in a global geopolitical game, set to be sacrificed in order to curb the expansion of China, Russia and Iran, political analyst Jamal Wakim tells RT.

As the international community warily waits to see whether Kofi Annan’s ceasefire plan is going to work in Syria, Lebanese International University professor Jamal Wakim believes the West has still not given up its intention to topple President Bashar Al-Assad.

Reports on clashes between Syrian government troops and rebels on the Turkish border may signal that the Syrian opposition wants to discredit Annan’s initiative. This would allow Washington more freedom from the compromise on Syria it has struck with Moscow, Wakim points out.

Furthermore, a conflict with Turkey would help bypass the UN Security Council, where Russia can block any attempt to intervene into Syria, he notes. NATO principles say that attacking one NATO member means attacking the whole bloc, and retaliation would be proportional to this rule.

But, according to Wakim, the Syrian conflict has more to it than just toppling another “dictator,” who has been running the country for twelve years.

“This is an attempt to take over all of the Middle East and block Russia, China and Iran inside the continent, denying them access to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean,” Wakim told RT.

[…]

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April 11th, 2012, 8:27 am

 

63. Observer said:

Today as usual I go to Dounia and Cham Press and RT and Press TV and Manar and Sana.
On Dounia TV there was an advertisement for a bank so I clicked on it and on its web site, this Bank in Syria posted the exchange rate to the dollar at 72 while Sana has it at 61. Go figure.

Also the news are about the increased activity of armed gangs in the last few hours.

So we heard that the battle to topple the regime has ended and yet we listen and read that the armed gangs are increasing. Go figure.

Jadid reporter killed by Regime forces, yet we read that there will be some startling revelations by the as yet not formed investigative committee of the Lebanese army into this mess as sent to me by e mail from a friend. So we already know what the committee that has not met is going to find out. Go figure.

This is the exact best example of the incredible stupidity and ineptitude of the regime and we hear also from pro regime supporters on this blog how contemptuous they are of the average Syrian as they look and dress shabby and what have you. I guess that it is better to just forget that we are in Syria and continue surfing the web shopping at Harrod’s and for shoes from Paris. Go figure

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April 11th, 2012, 9:00 am

 

64. Observer said:

West uses Syria to hit at Russia China Iran.

Hahahahaha.

Let Russia and China have Syria just as China has North Korea and Russia has Chechenya. Who gives a hoot about a stupid backward regime with a collapsing economy, brutal security, gutted institutions, crime infested, corrupt to the core, family ruled garbage dump.

If Russia and China think that Syria is “prize” to be had, they indeed need a basic course of “investing for dummies” by Mike Tyson for $5 on amazon.com.

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April 11th, 2012, 9:05 am

 

65. Tara said:

Mouallem denied asking for written guarantee.  Lying Sahaf-style all the way through.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/apr/11/syria-annan-optimistic-on-ceasefire-but-violence-continues-live#block-4

Moallem also denied reports that he had asked Annan for “written guarantees from armed groups and countries sponsoring them”:

“I asked Annan to contact the armed groups and the countries supporting them … I asked him to send me a letter on the results of these communications,” he said, affirming that the Syrian government is prepared for national dialogue when all the opposition is ready for it, adding that Syria welcomes Russia’s offer to host a conference to prepare for national dialogue.

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April 11th, 2012, 9:13 am

 

66. Afram said:

62. Observer said:

“So we heard that the battle to topple the regime has ended and yet we listen and read that the armed gangs are increasing. Go figure.”
==========
topple the regime by military intervention has ended,,Not by kernel Riads rag-tag/armed gangs losers.

Freshly squeezed Carrot Juice is perfect for Observations!

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April 11th, 2012, 9:46 am

 

67. Mina said:

Some good news from peaceful protesters today:

“New protests are reported today in Sidi Bouzid, the town where the Arab spring began in December 2010.

The Tunisie Numerique website (in French) says about 3,000 demonstrators marched through the main street chanting slogans which included “Down with the new Trabelsi” and “Ennahda merchants of religion”.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/apr/11/syria-annan-optimistic-on-ceasefire-but-violence-continues-live#block-17

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April 11th, 2012, 10:14 am

 

68. Uzair8 said:

Shouldn’t Asma be fattening her duck? It’s gonna be up against the turkey soon.

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April 11th, 2012, 10:25 am

 

69. ann said:

Syrian army brigadier gunned down by terrorists – 2012-04-11

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-04/11/c_131520663.htm

DAMASCUS, April 11 (Xinhua) — “Armed terrorist groups” assassinated an army brigadier on Wednesday in a suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus, state-run SANA news agency reported.

Gunmen showered the brigadier with bullets while he was on his way to work in the Akraba area early Wednesday. The attack also killed his driver.

The assault, one of a string of recent assassinations targeting Syrian army and security personnel, came just one day before the deadline given by the United Nations for the implementation of a ceasefire brokered by the UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to solve the Syrian crisis politically and save the country from plunging into an all-out civil war.

[…]

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April 11th, 2012, 10:39 am

 

70. ann said:

Annan warns of ‘disastrous’ effect if Syria conflict continues

The UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has urged Iran to support his peace plan for Syria. “Any further militarization of the conflict would be disastrous,” he said after talks with Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi late Tuesday. Tehran is Syria’s key ally in the region. Annan said Iran agreed on the need to “find a peaceful solution to the crisis,” AP reports. Salehi stressed, however, that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should remain in power to promote “change in Syria.”

[…]

http://rt.com/news/line/2012-04-11/#id29440

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April 11th, 2012, 10:44 am

 

71. Ghufran said:

It seems like the army will indeed pull its tanks and heavy weapons tomorrow after Russia insisted that the regime takes the first step, in return, Almouallem received verbal assurance that the FSA will stop firing at the army tomorrow too, but that is the easy part, the difficult part is controlling rogue armed groups that have no leadership and no political agenda.

There is also a growing frustration among many pro regime forces that find the regime to be unable to protect their families and towns from armed gangs. Reducing the level of violence is doable but it will be much harder to stop small scale attacks, kidnappings and assassinations. Now,the list of targets on the terrorists agenda will include any politician or individual who participate in future negotiations or settlement with the regime, this is similar to what happened in Iraq where moderate Sunni politicians and tribal leaders were considered traitors and declared as legitimate targets by terror groups.

The regime has an opportunity to isolate militant groups by engaging moderate elements in the opposition and doing what Annan and Russia asked the government to do, resistance to this movement is not limited to the opposition camp, the regime is not unified on whether to accept this initiative or not, some people are just unable to compromise.

Syrians will be better off if they unite against those groups even if they are labelled as traitors by some in their own communities.

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April 11th, 2012, 11:00 am

 

72. Tara said:

Zoo@44

I would never have thought that you like blue.

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April 11th, 2012, 11:01 am

 

73. Uzair8 said:

Robert Fisk: Shot in the heart – the journalist Assad made into a martyr

Mourners demand answers over fate of cameraman killed on the Lebanese border

Wednesday 11 April 2012

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-shot-in-the-heart–the-journalist-assad-made-into-a-martyr-7631276.html

Are the Lebanese beginning to ask question?

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April 11th, 2012, 11:01 am

 

74. ann said:

Iran says changes in Syria should be under Assad’s leadership – 2012-04-11

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-04/11/c_131520253.htm

TEHRAN, April 11 (Xinhua) — Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Wednesday that changes in Syria should be under the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Iranian foreign minister made the remarks in a joint press conference in Tehran with the visiting UN-Arab League (AL) joint special envoy Kofi Annan.

Assad has promised changes in Syria and the Islamic republic believes that these changes should naturally occur inside Syria and under the leadership of the Syrian government and the leadership of Assad, said Salehi.

Tehran is against any foreign intervention in Syria and urges diplomacy, said Salehi.

Annan asked Iran to back his plan for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Syria, saying that it is important to find a way to end violence in Syria.

Annan also said that militarization of the Syrian situation will lead to a crisis in the region, the consequences of which will be disastrous.

The Iranian foreign minister said that Iran supports Annan’s plan in which there is no demand for a regime change in Syria.

[…]

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April 11th, 2012, 11:06 am

 

75. Alan said:

69. ANN said
It is Correct ! it will escalate to the point of clashes between the major countries! I am sure that Russia will react very seriously to the every not calculated step from forces of the West!

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April 11th, 2012, 11:07 am

 

76. Uzair8 said:

Kofi Annan is a wily old fox isn’t he? :-)

Assad and co. were hoping the plan would be derailed (while avoiding outright blame) and we were all certain the plan was doomed.

To my surprise yesterday Mr Annan acted as if everything was fine and there was still time, thus playing down such talk and thwarting any ideas to the contrary.

Check-mate* Mr Assad. LOL.

Assad can of course derail the plan directly and risk outright blame.

*At least ‘check’.

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April 11th, 2012, 11:10 am

 

77. jad said:

Bronco,

It seems that the Syrian government just gave Erdogan and his warmonger supporters a good kick.

The Syrian government comply with Annan’s plan and will stop all military action as of tomorrow morning, while Annan didn’t get any agreement from any of the armed militia and their supporters, even ksa refused to accept his visit, how is he going to force them to do that?

(Warning, SANA news, for those allergic to reality)

مصدر مسؤول في وزارة الدفاع: وقف مهام قواتنا المسلحة في مكافحة الأعمال الإجرامية للمجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة اعتبارا من صباح غد بعد أن نفذت مهامها بنجاح

دمشق-سانا

صرح مصدر مسؤول في وزارة الدفاع أنه بعد أن نفذت قواتنا المسلحة مهامها الناجحة في مكافحة الأعمال الإجرامية للمجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة وبسط سلطة الدولة على أراضيها تقرر وقف هذه المهام اعتبارا من صباح يوم غد الخميس الموافق في 12-4-2012.

وقال المصدر: ستبقى قواتنا المسلحة الباسلة متأهبة للرد على أي اعتداء تقوم به المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة ضد المدنيين وعناصر حفظ النظام والقوات المسلحة والممتلكات الخاصة والعامة ولحماية أمن الوطن والمواطن.

http://www.sana.sy/ara/2/2012/04/11/412006.htm

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April 11th, 2012, 11:16 am

 

78. ann said:

Russia says Syria ceasefire success in opposition’s hands – 11 Apr 2012

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/russia-says-syria-ceasefire-success-in-oppositions-hands

MOSCOW, April 11 (Reuters) – The Syrian government’s pledge to stop army operations on Thursday morning means the opposition must now also honour the ceasefire, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday.

“The Syrian government has declared it will cease fire as of 6 a.m. on April 12. Now it’s up to the armed opposition,” Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Twitter. “Those are the conditions of the Annan plan.”

[…]

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April 11th, 2012, 11:21 am

 

79. Ghufran said:

A Harvard professor trying to explain the democracy deficit in most Arab and Muslim countries,his short answer: blame the Arabs:

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/10/zakaria-explaining-the-arab-worlds-democracy-deficit/?hpt=wo_c2

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April 11th, 2012, 11:21 am

 

80. Juergen said:

Tara

I think its time for an revival of the old family name dont you think al-Wahsh suits the ambitions and the family business much better?

Here is an gruesome video of his thugs enjoying their vision of necrophilia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jsaZ6BOIdMY#!

Annan has failed as an mediator

DER SPIEGEL just published that in their view the process of an cease fire starting tomorrow is very unlikely and that Kofi Annan has failed to pursue in this matter.

http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fpolitik%2Fausland%2F0%2C1518%2C826922%2C00.html

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April 11th, 2012, 11:22 am

 

81. Observer said:

I am sorry to disapoint but the foreign intervention is not off the table. My preference would be for the members of the armed services to refuse to kill and destroy and for the people to express themselves peacefully and through honest fair and monitored ballot box.

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.

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April 11th, 2012, 11:25 am

 

82. ann said:

78. Ghufran said:

A Harvard professor trying to explain the democracy deficit in most Arab and Muslim countries,his short answer: blame the Arabs
.
.
I blame it on 400 years of ottoman religious slavery
.

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April 11th, 2012, 11:27 am

 

83. Juergen said:

Uzair

nice comment in the fisk article:

“We are with the Hezbollah when they fight Israel,” one villager said, “but we are not with the Syrians when they kill their people.”

Ghufran

I bet Hans would love to read what that Harvard professor has written.

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April 11th, 2012, 11:28 am

 

84. Hopeful said:

Re: Uzair8 #72

Isn’t Aljadeed TV owned by Nabih Berri? Why does the Syrian regime insist on losing its friends one after another? First Turkey, then Qatar, and now Berri? Who is next?

I really don’t get it. Would it be so hard to issue a sincere condolence and an apology, promise a true investigation, and work hard on keeping the few friends you have? What kind of advisers do these guys have?

They did not even bother to get the reporter’s name correct on Al-Dounia TV! How incompetent!

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April 11th, 2012, 11:29 am

 

85. jad said:

Simple answer:

Nothing but an ugly, corrupt, sectarian, bloody, unpopular and filled with treason movement can make Syrians stick to the existing brutal regime.

Go figure!

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April 11th, 2012, 11:33 am

 

86. Mina said:

Can anyone explain was The Guardian reports on a press conference IN MOSCOW through Syrian press agency SANA??

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/apr/11/syria-annan-optimistic-on-ceasefire-but-violence-continues-live#block-4

They don’t have correspondents in Moscow? They don´t have Arabic-speaking and Russian-speaking journalists to send to this press conference? It’s not important enough? I thought they had been milking the Syrian cow and Arab Spring enough for a year that they could afford such a correspondent, no? Isn’t the UK making business with Russia that it cannot send someone there?

The Old Continent has reached the bottom. They should not bother trying to build the EU when they cannot have proper multilingual professionals.

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April 11th, 2012, 11:42 am

 
 

88. jna said:

70. Ghufransaid:

It seems like the army will indeed pull its tanks and heavy weapons tomorrow after Russia insisted that the regime takes the first step,in return,Almouallem received verbal assurance that the FSA will stop firing at the army tomorrow

Very good.

79. Juergensaid: Annan has failed as an mediator

DER SPIEGEL just published that in their view the process of an cease fire starting tomorrow is very unlikely and that Kofi Annan has failed to pursue in this matter.

Oops.

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April 11th, 2012, 11:54 am

 

89. Hopeful said:

Re: Ghufran #78

Democracy works in societies that encourage critical thought and analysis, where every individual has free access to information, and is fully exposed to debate and argument of various points of view.

In the Arab world, we are faced by, not one, but three factors that discourage critical thought, stifle debate and instill submissiveness:

1. The traditional family/tribal structure (my older brother is always right)
2. The authoritarian state/government (my beloved president is always right)
3. The dogmatism of religion (my Shaikh/imam is always right)

Until these factors are eased and/or removed, it will be difficult to see true democracy flourish in our land.

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April 11th, 2012, 11:55 am

 

90. Alan said:

52. ANNE said:

Vladimir Vladimirovich Suharto

it is dark lexicon!

Such as Anastasio Somosa Obama

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April 11th, 2012, 11:55 am

 

91. Afram said:

80. Observer said:

“I am sorry to disapoint but the foreign intervention is not off the table.
How can anyone support such regime?”
==========
Mahatma Gandhi:”An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”.

First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you’ll see clearly Observer.

I & many others support syria the country Not the regime, full stop.

speaking for myself, inventing SNC was a sham for the cameras.

the islamists agenda from the get go was to abduct not to adopt the uprising, to many syrians are already 6 feet under, so spare us your bleeding heart!!.

you want to play war games(?!)I stop now..Scissorhands is watching

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April 11th, 2012, 12:11 pm

 

92. Alan said:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/syria-kofi-annan-iran_n_1416947.html?ref=world&ref=world
Syria: Kofi Annan Seeks Iran’s Help In Solving The Crisis; Fresh Violence Reported (VIDEO)

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April 11th, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

93. Uzair8 said:

Just discovered from his FB page that Shaykh Yaqoubi can now be followed on twitter.

This is a welcome move and I hope we get regular statements and updates. The Shaykh hasn’t updated FB on syria for a while. I for one, along with possibly many others, have sought guidance on this crisis by regularly checking the Shaykhs FB page.

Keep an eye on the Shaykh’s twitter.

A recent tweet:

“Are the Syrian people ready to loose hopes in the world and rely only on Allah? Then and only then triumph should come.”
14h

http://twitter.com/#!/Shaykhabulhuda

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April 11th, 2012, 12:23 pm

 

94. Halabi said:

Cease-fire. Great. Of course protests are considered a major threat to أمن الوطن so crushing the peaceful opposition will continue. I hope there will be peace, but how can we stop Assad’s soldiers who want to annihilate the followers of Mohammed, as the sniper in this video says. Nothing sectarian here.

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April 11th, 2012, 12:29 pm

 

95. Tara said:

Juergen@79

Batta Alwahsh? Sounds very good to me.

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April 11th, 2012, 12:30 pm

 

96. ann said:

Syria promises to follow ceasefire – unless it faces new ‘aggression’ – April 11, 2012

http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/world/syria-promises-to-follow-ceasefire–unless-it-faces-new-aggression-547081.html

Syria has promised to stop fighting in time for the deadline for a ceasefire brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan.

However, Syria reserved the right to respond to any aggression, a significant hedge against any end in the fighting that has convulsed the nation for more than a year.

The statement came as Mr Annan was in Tehran to seek support for his faltering plan to stop the country’s slide toward civil war. Iran is one of Syria’s most powerful allies.

[…]

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April 11th, 2012, 12:32 pm

 

97. jad said:

Alan, Naza3ta, allah ysam7ak ;)

Great! Chef Yaquobi is on twitter! Yeah~~~~
Back to reality:

It seems that Annan warning to the khalayjeh not to arm the militias in Syria is the reason why ksa don’t want to accept his visit, too peaceful for their bloody views:

Annan warns Gulf on arming Syrian rebels

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan warned Gulf Arab states on Wednesday that arming Syrian rebels would be “disastrous” and undermine peace efforts as an extended deadline for a ceasefire approaches.

Speaking at a news conference in Tehran – the capital of Syria’s principal ally Iran – Annan said that if both sides in the Syrian conflict respected his plan, “I think by six o’clock on Thursday the 12th…we should see a much improved situation on the ground.”

He said that a proposal by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to give weapons to outgunned Syrian rebels would worsen matters.

“I’ve always said the militarization of the conflict will be disastrous,” he said.

He stressed that a new conflict could not be tolerated in the Middle East.

Annan’s visit to Iran was seen as an appeal to the Islamic republic’s influence over Syria as the clock ticked down to the deadline of 6:00am Damascus time on Thursday, by which time all combat is meant to cease.

Prospects of Annan’s plan succeeding, though, were dealt a blow on Tuesday when the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad failed to fulfill a commitment to withdraw forces from populated areas.

Annan accused Damascus of moving its troops from some areas and moving them elsewhere during a visit he made on Tuesday to Turkey, an erstwhile Syrian ally now seeking Assad’s resignation.

But on Wednesday, Annan said he had received assurances from Damascus that they would adhere to the Thursday deadline.

“I have received government assurances they will respect the ceasefire.”

In a televised news conference, Annan said it was important that regional governments work with Syria to resolve the crisis, adding that Iran could be part of the solution.
{…}
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/annan-warns-gulf-arming-syrian-rebels

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April 11th, 2012, 12:35 pm

 

98. 5 dancing shlomos said:

democracy (a western propaganda term) deficit in arab/muslim world as analyzed by an imperialist tool.

western greed/imperialism has the greater ownership of blame.

syrian government do what is necessary to defend syrian independence.

syrian govt do not trust kofi annan – a u.s. puppet.

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April 11th, 2012, 1:06 pm

 

99. jna said:

Iranian Commandos in action

Off topic but interesting.

“The war on piracy in the Horn of Africa has received a major boost following the capture of one of the world’s most wanted Somali pirate leaders, Mohamed Garad.

Garad, a former British soldier, is said to have been arrested together with 12 other suspected pirates on April 4 by Iranian commandos after they hijacked a Chinese cargo ship.

The co-ordinator of the East African Seafarers Association, Mr Andrew Mwangura, said Garad was captured after the seizure of the Chinese vessel, Xianghuamen, last week.”

http://www.africareview.com/News/Most+wanted+Somali+pirate+seized/-/979180/1383504/-/14bpryj/-/index.html#commentsAnchor

“Reports reaching Somalia Report on Monday evening indicate that the Bolivian flagged Eglantine is no longer under pirate’s control. Military sources told Somalia Report that Iranian commandos stormed the bulker today,” the Somalia Report said.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/253735/pinoyabroad/hijacked-ship-with-10-pinoy-crew-members-released-by-somali-pirates-mdash-dfa

“Iran’s semi-official news agency says Iranian navy commandos opened fire on suspected Somali pirates attempting to hijack a supertanker.

The Fars news agency says the Iranian Voyager 1 tanker came under attack off Pakistan’s south-western coast on Sunday .

The report says commandos repelled pirates who were approaching the vessel with two speedboats in an apparent attempt to hijack it.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/10/iranian-commandos-pirates-tanker

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April 11th, 2012, 1:17 pm

 

100. jad said:

Hopeful
وزير الاعلام عدنان حمود يرسل برقية تعزية لاهل المصور علي شعبان

[blue diamond http://www.nna-leb.gov.lb/newsDetail.aspx?id=398086 ]

وجاء في نص البرقية “نتقدم منكم بإسمي وبإسم وزارة الاعلام في الجمهورية العربية السورية بأحر التعازي وأصدق مشاعر المواساة لفقدان المصور علي شعبان. الذي استشهد اثناء قيامه بمهمة اعلامية كان دائما حريصا على رسالتها الموضوعية والوطنية.وقد حملنا عن الشهيد علي شعبان صورة ناصعة خلال زيارته لنا في دمشق مع فريق قناة الجديد في كانون الثاني الماضي لتغطية الاحداث في سوريا. وكان مثالا للاخلاقية العالية والانتماء الوطني الذي لطالما تمتع به شباب لبنان المقاوم. ونؤكد ان خسارة الاعلام السوري بفقيدكم الغالي لا تقل عن خسارتكم بهذا الشاب الذي اظهر في عمله عمق انتمائه لخط المقاومة والعروبة ونهجها الراسخ الذي نتشارك فيه وسيبقى في صميم رسالة إعلامنا الوطني.
نعبر لجميع افراد العائلة واحبائه وزملائه عن عميق مشاعر المواساة والعزاء ونسأل الله ان يلهمكم الصبر والسلوان ويتغمد الفقيد بواسع رحمته”.

وعبر والد الشهيد عن تقديره العميق للمبادرة الانسانية لوزير الاعلام السوري شاكرا له اهتمامه باستشهاد نجله مؤكدا “ان الشهيد علي هو ابن سوريا كما هو ابن الجنوب اللبناني”.

وحضر اللقاء بين وفد وكالة “سانا” وعائلة الشهيد مسؤولون من حزب الله وحركة امل.

مقدمة أخبار الدنيا هنا دمشق 11-4-2012

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April 11th, 2012, 1:52 pm

 

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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