Chemical Weapons; Jabhat al-Nusra; The End Game; Recognizing National Coalition

A number of journalists have asked me if I believe Assad is likely to use chemical weapons. Here is the way I think about it:

Assad is unlikely to use chemical weapons at this time. He must know that as soon as he uses them, he will have written his death warrant. I do not think he is suicidal or about to pursue a “Samson option” as some have suggested.

The Alawite community of 2.5 million that lives in the coastal region of Syria is counting on his army to protect them from possible retribution from the rebel militias. Sectarian hatred has been driven to a high pitch by the brutality of the regime. Syrians have been putting hate in their hearts over the last two years, making the likelihood of some sort of retribution ever more likely and the ethnic cleansing a possibility, even if a small one at this time. Assad and his generals will want to protect their families who live along the Mediterranean coast.

Should Damascus become ungovernable, as I believe it eventually will — although that may be a long time from now — he will have to fall back with his army to the coastal region. Then he will have his back to the wall and the likelihood of his using chemical weapons goes way up. He would most likely threaten to use them should rebel militias begin pushing into the Alawite Mountains or attack the coastal cities. He will want to keep them as a deterrent.

The Chemical weapons scare now going on may be overblown. Speaking to a general at Central Command in Tampa yesterday, I was reminded that chemical weapons are difficult to arm and use. Sarin was used by Saddam in Halabcha, where bombs were dropped by planes, which means that Assad could do the same because he has an airforce. But for the rebels to use them effectively would be difficult, without proper missiles or systems to launch projectiles which are difficult to arm.

Here is a section from Tony Karon’s most recent Time article, which is excellent as always. It reflects my understanding of what the regime’s thinking may become:

Yet, such a fracturing of Syria could, in the minds of some of the hard men around Assad, offer the prospect of salvaging more than they might if the regime is defeated and replaced by a strong, Sunni-dominated central state.  Assad’s regime is not so much a personality-cult dictatorship as it is a system of Alawite minority rule and privilege, and its core remains a cohesive, heavily armed and highly motivated Alawite-dominated army that believes it is fighting for the survival of its community. Even once it recognizes that it can no longer rule the entire country, its sectarian communal logic may militate against making a desperate last stand in Damascus, a predominantly Sunni city.

(PHOTOS:Syria’s Slow-Motion, Bloody Civil War)

“Nobody knows what they’re thinking in the regime’s inner circles, but to the extent that the regime is making rational decisions, it doesn’t make much sense to take the ‘Samson option’ and use chemical weapons,” says University of Oklahoma Syria scholar Joshua Landis, referring to the Biblical figure who wanted to take down all with him as he died fighting. ”Unlike Gaddafi in Libya, Assad is ruling on behalf of a community, and the key decisions may not be his alone to make. The Alawite strongmen around him don’t want to commit suicide. They want to protect themselves and their families from the violent retribution they fear is inevitable if the regime falls.” That, argues Landis, may make them more likely to favor a retreat to the Alawite heartland along the coast, where they’ll have a greater base of strength than they do in Damascus. If so, the regime, as we know it, will have fallen, but the civil war would be far from over.

If the Assad regime’s Alawite security core, which could field significantly more than 50,000 men motivated by fear for their lives, was to abandon Damascus, its best hope would lie in Syria breaking up into warring fiefdoms rather than reconstituting as a strong Sunni-dominated central government. The regime’s earlier strategic decision to cede control of Kurdish areas to a separatist militia with no intention of bowing to any authority in Damascus appears to reflect a preference for Balkanizing those parts of Syria it can no longer control. The regime will therefore also hope to see its enemies divided by the schism in rebel ranks between more extreme Salafist groups and those deemed secular or more moderately Islamist. Right now, the Syrian opposition coalition recently formed in Doha, Qatar, at Western behest may be recognized by France, Britain and Gulf states as the “sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” but its control over fighting units on the ground remains an aspiration rather than an established fact.

Some of the most striking recent rebel victories in overrunning Assad’s bases have been chalked up by the Qaeda-inspired Jabhat al-Nusra militia, whose numbers are reportedly swelling to the point that its rivals estimate it fields up to 10,000 men, many of whom play the leading combat role on the fronts where they’re deployed.

Jabhat al-Nusra

The announcement by US officials that they are moving to proscribe Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist organization at this time is a bit confusing. It sends controdictory messages. Whose side is Washington on? Does it want to bring down Assad and support the rebels? Or does it want to start a civil war among the rebels? The latter would would be a boon to the Assad regime.

It sends a message to Qatar and Saudis: “don’t send money to Salafi groups or we will nail you for aiding terrorists and freeze any assets you have in the West.” It would also allow Congress to begin setting policy buy setting sanctions against any militia or regional authority that associates with Jabhat al-Nusra. The Treasury Department’s expanding anti-terrorism branch will also begin to set policy, as it must enforce this sanction.

Here is an NPR clip I did about this yesterday: Syrian Militia Leaders Depend On A Terrorist Faction – “Melissa Block talks with Joshua Landis about the ongoing conflict in Syria and whether the Bashar al-Assad regime has reached a tipping point.”

Here is what Tony Karon writes:

But it remains to be seen how a U.S.-authored move against the Nusra Front will be received by fighting units to whom the jihadists have become valuable partners in combat, while the U.S. is widely viewed by rebel fighters as having done little for their cause.

Still, the Lebanese paper As-Safir reported Tuesday:

Many expect a fierce battle to break out between the Salafists and the al-Nusra Front on one hand and the other armed groups on the other, under the pretext of uniting the [Free Syrian Army]… The FSA cannot unite without settling the Salafist and jihadist issue once and for all. That may happen if the West puts this as condition for sending arms, some believe.

Civil wars, within civil wars, along the lines of those fought in Lebanon between 1976 and 1992 may be viewed as the best hope of survival by the hard men of the regime who turned Syria’s rebellion into a bloody sectarian war almost two years ago. That war has steadily dismembered the Syrian state; rebuilding it on new terms could take many turbulent years. At least, that’s what the more far-sighted in Assad’s circles may be hoping.

It’s Time to Recognize the Opposition in Syria – Room for Debate  – New York times
As Good as It’s Going to Get” by Joshua Landis, December 5, 2012

Washington should recognize and support the newly formed National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. The United States has spent the last 21 months insisting on unity in what turns out to be a very fragmented Syrian opposition. This group is as good as it is going to get. It is filled with elite Syrians, who are educated, relatively pro-American, not too anti-Israel and not too Islamist — many of whom have gone to jail for their beliefs. This group will be able to retain popular backing from the West.

The problem is that events on the ground in Syria have largely overtaken this effort at statecraft. Hundreds of militias are bringing down the Assad regime. They have largely driven the Syrian military out of the north and east of the country at a tremendous cost. They tend to look at the coalition as a foreign concoction, selected by unknown hands, and representing only itself.

The Syrians fighting in the militias come from a very different background than those placed at the head of the coalition. They grew up in mostly rural areas and have only basic educations. Salafism is the ideology of the day, taking root with growing speed. Most come from the north of the country and the poorer towns outside of Aleppo, Idlib and Homs. Some have already rejected the coalition, others have said they will cooperate with it on the condition that it delivers money and arms soon, but none are likely to cede it real authority. The president and his two deputies all grew up in Damascus and hail from elite families. None have military experience.

The big question that haunts the coalition is how it will gain control of the armed elements of the revolution. Today, Syria is ruled by guns, radicals and tough guys. It will take a miracle for the U.S. to glue this new exile leadership on top of the militia lords in Syria.

From Juan Cole  – thanks Juan

The phone conversation above between two Alawite soldiers is very telling. They are caught in bases in the North that are about to fall to rebels, who presumable captured this recording and posted it to youtube. They are dispirited. Read this excellent article by Marlin Dick in the Daily Star about it.

…They both complain about the lack of support from other units, the inability to use many roads – “you just get blown up if you do” – and the isolation.

Throughout the rest of the conversation they make several brief references to the state of the war and the regime’s prospects for victory. The caller talks about being a “strike force” in the area while the second man, who is markedly demoralized, rejects the idea, based on the steady, bloody attrition.

“No … no … we’re not a strike force,” he insists, before asking: “What’s the point of being out here?”

The caller tries repeatedly to boost his friend’s morale but at one point blurts out: “There’s no solution.”

When the caller asks about defections, the demoralized officer’s response is: “No, there haven’t been any defections … there’s just … disgust.”

Neither man presumes to predict how or when the war will end. Since it is the Eid, the caller asks his friend if sweets, baklava, were offered at the base to mark the holiday.

“No, they didn’t bring me anything,” the demoralized officer responds immediately, before adding: “They brought me worries.”….As the caller laments a few times during the conversation, “There’s no one left from our graduating class.” مسرب مكالمة لضابطين من وادي الضيف وسراقب معنويات فوووق

Brookings: Al Qaeda 3.0: Terrorism’s Emergent New Power Bases |

An American-Aleppine writes:

From Free Syrian Army sources it seems that FSA surrounds the city of Aleppo in a circle with wide gaps. The circle stretches 3 to 10 miles outside the city limits. The Syrian Army controls inside this big circle except the south half of the city. There is a narrow no-mans land (about 5 percent of the city area) between the two halves of the city where most of the face-to-face fighting is taking place.

Under siege by drones in Pakistan and Yemen, al Qaeda 3.0 has exploited the Arab Awakening to create its largest safe havens and operational bases in more than a decade across the Arab world. This may prove to be the most deadly al Qaeda yet. The …

The ways in which the Syrian regime has been portrayed are reminiscent of the common tendency to view violence generally as deeply irrational, and – from ill-defined but morally unwavering liberal perspectives— as always counterproductive, destructive and self-defeating. Indeed, the more violence the Syrian regime resorted to, the more it came to be portrayed as inherently inadequate and senseless. In his questioning of the irrational qualities habitually attributed to armed conflict and violence generally, one scholar, Christopher Cramer (2006), gave his book the title “civil war is not a stupid thing”. Similarly, but with far more modest objectives, I present my argument that, during the uprising in Syria, authoritarian governance and repression has not been a ‘stupid thing’ either; on the contrary, and moral considerations and judgments set aside, the Syrian regime’s responses to the uprising suggest that it is ‘in-touch’, calculative, ‘rational’, and learning –if by trial and error, and surely without necessarily quelling the uprising.  FULL TEXT AT

Bunker Mentality
2012-12-04 Telegraph View

Dec. 4 (Telegraph) — Even if President Bashar al-Assad remains rational, no one can be sure that he still controls Syria’s chemical arsenal, one of the largest in the world

With one miscalculation after another, President Bashar al-Assad has reduced Syria to a charnel house and his regime to a bloodstained gang with no aim save survival. Judging by their stark warnings, officials in Britain and America genuinely fear that he could crown his litany of crimes and misjudgments by unleashing Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons….Mr Assad would be a latter-day Samson pulling down the pillars of
the temple

Free Syrian Army Fighters Destroy Statues of roman soldiers, calling them asnam, or idols.
The Internet – November 27, 2012

For one Syrian activist, second thoughts on the armed rebellion
By David Enders | McClatchy Newspapers, December 03, 2012

Hasaka is still controlled by the Syrian government, but even from the window of a taxi it’s obvious the people here have not been spared from the country’s civil war.

The lines at bakeries are daylong, and many schools are closed because they’ve become homes for refugees from other parts of the country. The power is out now as often as it is on, and fuel is in ever shorter supply.

Though she is happy to see him, Adam Ebrahem’s mother admonishes him for returning to his family’s home here.

“You shouldn’t stay,” she says. “The PYD will kill you.”

Ebrahem – it’s a pseudonym he uses for security reasons – is a 27-year-old revolutionary. A musician and a student, he was working and studying in Damascus when the rebellion against the government of President Bashar Assad began nearly two years ago. After months of demonstrating in Damascus, he returned to Hasaka to organize demonstrations. Now, as he travels across Hasaka province and in Deir al Zour province to the south, documenting the situation there, he openly wonders whether he and his fellow revolutionaries have done the right thing.

“What will we tell our children? That we started this revolution and destroyed the country?”

Ebrahem is a Kurd, the ethnic group that dominates Hasaka province and makes up about 10 percent of Syria’s population. The PYD is a Kurdish militia that is allied with the Syrian government; it’s the PYD that more or less controls the neighborhood Ebrahem’s family lives in. It also has clashed with anti-Assad rebels in northern Syria, heightening tensions between Kurds and Arabs.

The first demonstrations, particularly in Damascus, were hopeful ones and deliberate in their displays of unity among the country’s sects and ethnicities. But as the violence grew, it was the Sunni Muslim Arab population that armed itself. Though the narrative that has persisted is that arming the rebellion was the only choice, many peaceful demonstrators like Ebrahem are tepid in their support of that decision, and some oppose it outright.

Ebrahem’s family is making plans to leave Hasaka. They don’t expect it to remain free of widespread violence for much longer. No one does….

But his forebodings were right. A few days later, Ebrahem gave an update by phone.

“There was fighting between Kurdish and Arab students today at three schools in Hasaka,” he said.

The Confessions of a Sniper: A Rebel Gunman in Aleppo and His Conscience
By Rania Abouzeid / Aleppo

He hails from a Sunni military family in a town on the outskirts of Damascus, the capital. His uncle is a serving general in President Bashar Assad’s army, several of his other relatives are also high-ranking military officers. Apart from his parents and siblings, his relatives all think he’s dead — and that’s the way he wants to keep it….

He may look calm, but he’s deeply troubled. After some nine months of fighting with several Free Syrian Army units, first on the outskirts of Aleppo and then in the city itself after the rebel push into it in late July, he has grown disillusioned with the fight and angry with its conduct. “I did this when it was clean,” he says. “Now it’s dirty. Many aren’t fighting just to get rid of Bashar, they’re fighting to gain a reputation, to build up their name. I want it to go back to the way it was, when we were fighting for God and the people, not for some commander’s reputation.”

He refused an order in November to fight a proregime, ethnic Kurdish militia in a Kurdish neighborhood of Aleppo that the rebels had entered. “Why should I fight the Kurds?” he says. “It’s a distraction. This isn’t our fight.”

Syrians in the opposition, whether armed or not, have often said that there may be a revolution after the revolution to unseat Assad. The fault lines differ depending on whom you talk to. Some envision a fight between Islamist and secular rebels; others between defectors and armed civilians; some say it will be ethnic, between Kurds and Arabs; others simply territorial, between rebel commanders in a particular area, irrespective of ideology. Others say it won’t happen. The Sniper, like many fighting men, thinks that it will, and that it will be ugly: “We will not become Somalia after Bashar falls,” he says. “We will have many Somalias in every province.”…

And so rebel snipers, especially professionally trained ones, are in great demand. The Sniper says he has “been offered so much money, it is as if I am working for the mafia.”

“Some [rebel commanders] offered me money. Others would say, ‘Just tell me what you want.’ One told me, ‘I’ll bring your parents, take them to safety. Just come and work with me,’” he says. “It does not honor me to work with people like this who think they can buy and sell me.”

Instead, he has found a home with Liwa Suqoor al-Sha‘ba, an Islamist unit of the Free Syrian Army headquartered in Azaz, a town north of Aleppo in the vast band of countryside in rebel hands around the city. For the past few months he has been stationed in the northeastern neighborhood of Bustan al-Basha, a devastated wasteland emptied of all but three of its thousands of residents. “We cannot charge on [government] positions — if we do, they will eliminate us — nor can they advance on us,” he says. “It’s not that I’m tired, but I want something new. New territory. I’m sick of it here, I’m disgusted by it.” But he respects his adversaries, who he says have pinned the rebels down now for months….

“We were in school together. We grew up together. His mother was like my mother, that’s how close we were,” he says. The Sniper is pensive, takes several deep breaths and fidgets with his 10-mm handgun as he speaks of his friend, repeatedly flicking off the gun’s safety. The young men joined the army together and stayed in contact even after the Sniper defected. He was the only person outside of the Sniper’s immediate family who knew that he was still alive. “I would tell him to defect, he’d say, ‘Not yet, it’s still early.’ I’d say defect. I told him I’d come and get him, that I would go anywhere to see him, to help him defect, even to the gates of his brigade. Whatever he wanted, wherever he was, I would get him. He kept saying, ‘It’s still early, it’s early.’ He was scared that his family would go through the same thing my family went through.” The Sniper says his family members were interrogated, harassed, ostracized in their community. The only thing that saved them from greater harm, he suspects, was the clout of the loyalist military men in his family and the fact that they thought he was dead, not a defector.

Mohammad was eventually sent to Azaz, stationed at what was called the Shatt Checkpoint. Both the Sniper and his commander repeatedly urged Mohammad to defect, warning him that they planned to attack the checkpoint. He didn’t listen. “We were three snipers. We killed a colonel, a soldier and my friend. I don’t know which one I killed, I didn’t see their faces. They were soldiers in front of us, and we were ordered to kill them.” That was three months ago.

“He’s gone anyway, what good is thinking about it? I did — for a long time afterward. I thought, ‘Why? He was my friend. Why did I shoot at him? I shouldn’t have.’ But I have left those thoughts behind me. I have to move forward.”…

“Whoever is going to be in my sights will die. That’s it,” the Sniper says. “My heart has hardened. I returned to religion, but after I killed, my heart hardened. A sniper sees who he kills,” he says, pausing. “It’s hard. A sniper sees his victim.”

Its a Disaster Live iside a Syrian Refugee Camp

Aleppo: How Syria Is Being Destroyed
The New York Review of Books 20/11/12

New York Times

Syria Moves Its Chemical Weapons, and U.S. and Allies Cautiously Take Note

Report: Syria Has Chemical Weapons Ready to Use
Leslie Horn

Mideast’s WMD ‘red line’ gauntlet
By Bennett Ramberg, December 3, 2012, Reuters

….Remember the ultimatums that called on Iraq to get out of Kuwait in 1991; the Taliban to surrender Osama Bin Laden in 2001, and the demand Saddam Hussein leave Iraq in 2003? Each failed and war ensued.

With red line failure more often than not, both the United States and Israel must map a response. As it turns out, however, Washington may face the more immediate problem…..

Comments (164)

Ghufran said:

اعلن مسلحو المعارضة السورية الذين يقاتلون في محيط العاصمة دمشق أن مطار دمشق الدولي اصبح منطقة مستهدفة، منذرين المدنيين وخطوط الطيران من الاقتراب منه.
وقال نبيل العامر المتحدث باسم المجلس العسكري في دمشق إن ألوية المقاتلين الذين يحاصرون المطار قرروا يوم الخميس ان المطار بات هدفا.
واضاف ان المطار يغص الآن بالمركبات العسكرية المدرعة والجنود وان المدنيين الذين سيقتربون منه الآن هم المسؤولون عن انفسهم.
Rebels have to be in control of the airport to stop the planes they do not like from landing, what they are doing now is a form of terrorism .

December 7th, 2012, 8:52 am


zoo said:

An analysis and assessment of the failing military strategies by العميد المتقاعد أمين حطيط

و في الخلاصة نقول ان كل ما يروج عن قرب حرب او تدخل عسكري اطلسي في سورية ، انما هو مجرد حرب نفسية و سلوك تعويضي ، و جمع اوراق قوة للربيع المقبل حيث باتت ارهاصات المفاوضات الدولية تلوح في الافق بعد قناعة جبهة العدوان ان بلوغ اهدافها بالعمل العسكري بات مستحيلا ، و ان حل الازمة السورية لن يكون الا عبر طاولة تفاوض دولية يحشد فيها كل فريق اوراق قوته و يتخلى عن اوراق الضعف ، و بهذا نفسر القرار الاميركي الاخير باعتبار “جبهة النصرة ” تنظيما ارهابيا لغسل اليد الاميركية من جرائمها قبل الدخول في المفاوضات الاتية و في الختام لا بد ان نسجل للفريق المدافع عن سورية احترافه في ادارة معركته الدفاعية و بنجاح ملفت (في وجوهها كلها السياسية و العسكرية و الاستراتيجية حتى و في الحرب النفسية ذاتها ) ادى الى هذه النتائج .

December 7th, 2012, 9:01 am


ann said:

Syrian opposition urges action to stop chemical weapon “disaster” – Dec 7, 2012

The world must act to stop President Bashar al-Assad’s regime unleashing a chemical weapon “disaster”, opposition Syrian National Council chief George Sabra told reporters in Paris on Friday

“We ask the countries of the world to act before disaster hits not after,” Sabra said.

Clinton calls for ‘concerted push’ on Syria

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Friday on all parties with influence in Syria to make a “concerted push” together to halt the conflict.

Clinton said there had been no “great breakthrough” during talks in Dublin on Thursday with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and the UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, but said there would be further meetings.

“All of us with any influence on the process, with any influence on the regime or the opposition, needs to be engaged with Brahimi for a concerted, sincere push to see what is possible”, Clinton said.

Ban Ki-moon urges Security Council to unity on Syria

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community and the UN Security Council on Friday to unite and take decisive action to end the conflict in Syria, saying only a political solution could end the violence.

“I urge the international community, and in particular the Security Council, to stand united and act decisively to end the crisis,” Ban said after visiting a refugee camp in Turkey.

“The military path is a dead end. It only fills the streets with more blood, it only fills camps like this with more tears.”

US intel claims Damascus ready to use chemicals

Pentagon’s Leon Panetta has said that intelligence reports suggest Damascus is planning to use chemical weapons against rebel fighters.

“We remain very concerned, very concerned, that as the opposition advances, in particular on Damascus, that the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons,” Mr. Panetta was cited by The Voice of America as saying Friday.

The US spy chief refused to comment on potential consequences of such a move but said “it is fair enough to say that their use of those weapons will cross the red line. The intelligence that we have raises serious concerns that this is being considered.”

Various US and European sources earlier reported increased activity around Syria’s chemical arms depots. Washington claimed the regime was moving sarin gas components and loading them into bombs.

Syrian deputy foreign chief Faisal Maqdad has accused the West of trying to exploit chemical threat to justify a possible military invention.

Russia has no proof of Syria’s chemical weapons plans –envoy

Russia has no data proving Syria’s intentions to use chemical weapons against the opposition – the country’s envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko stated Friday.

The official confirmed Russia’s concern with the situation and said that Moscow is closely following all information about the issue and will immediately react if something suspicious is reported.


December 7th, 2012, 9:08 am


ann said:

Clinton says US, Russia agree to back mediation on Syria, but Assad must step down – December 7, 2012,0,581859.story

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States and Russia have agreed to support mediation efforts with all parties in Syria to bring about a political transition.

In a new effort, Clinton met with Russia’s foreign minister and the U.N. peace envoy for Syria to try to chart a new path forward.


December 7th, 2012, 9:14 am


zoo said:

Pomposity and a sense of urgency is storming the armed rebels ahead of the looming amputation of their fiercest fighters, the terrorists of Jabhat al Nusra.

Syrian rebels say airport legitimate target

The rebels issued a stern warning to the regime and travelers planning to use the country’s main airport, just a few kilometers (miles) south of the capital.

Another rebel, speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason, said the airport is now considered a “military zone.”

“We urge civilians to stay away,” said the rebel, a member of the Damascus area military command involved in Friday’s fighting.

December 7th, 2012, 9:15 am


ann said:

News Analysis: Talks of Syrian chemical weapons: prelude for intervention or further pressure on Damascus? – 2012-12-07

Media reports revealed Wednesday Russia’s intention to provide the Syrian administration with Iskander Missiles in the face of the U.S. Patriots

DAMASCUS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — The U.S. administration and its Western allies have renewed talks of Syria’s alleged chemical arsenal over the past week, sending stern warnings to Damascus against using it.

Such move has raised questions: is this added pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, or a prelude for a foreign intervention?

U.S. President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials have unleashed a barrage of warnings to the Assad administration citing Western media’s reports that “the Syrian regime has shown signs that it may be making chemical weapons material.”

Obama said he wanted to be “absolutely clear” to Assad that ” the world is watching and the use of chemical weapons is “totally unacceptable” and “if you make mistake of using it — there will be consequences and you will be held accountable.”

The Syrian government then made several statements, saying even if it had chemical weapons, it wouldn’t use them “against people.”

“The real concern is that the U.S. may have other plans; to provide the terrorist groups with such weaponries… to justify any foreign intervention in Syria’s internal affairs,” Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad told local media on Thursday.

He stressed that any foreign military aggression on Syria will be costly and lead to catastrophic consequences in the region.

Qadri Jamil, the minister of domestic trade, asserted recently that “the West is looking for an excuse for direct intervention. If this excuse does not work, it will look for another excuse.”

However, Syrian analysts and experts argued that the United States and its Western allies’ talks and warnings only aimed to practice more pressure on Damascus.

Sharif Shihadeh, a Syrian parliamentarian, told Xinhua that ” stirring this file now doesn’t exceed a political pressure by the Western countries along with some regional ones in a bid to achieve political and strategic agendas.”

He said Washington knows that Syria doesn’t possess such weapon, adding that all “this wrangling aimed at empowering the Western stance in the face of Russia that supports the Syrian government.”

Meanwhile, Afif Delleh, a political expert, concurred with Shihadeh, saying the talk about chemical weapons is a “mere media magnification aimed to achieve political gains on the negotiation table.”

Delleh, who runs a center for strategic studies in Syria, said that the Syrian administration “will not commit such a folly act because using that kind of weapons would not resolve battles in the military sense, but have catastrophic results on the civilians. ”

He concluded that the Western countries will use all pressure cards to squeeze the Syrian administration.

Other observers believe that the United States wants to stir the chemical weapons case because it acknowledges the presence of radical fighters of al-Qaida in Syria and that in case of further deterioration in the country, those weapons might fall in the hands of those fighters which will cause great danger to Israel.

Meanwhile, the NATO has approved Turkey’s request to deploy Patriot missiles along the Turkish borders with Syria to “protect Turkey from a possible attack from Syria.”

In response, Media reports revealed Wednesday Russia’s intention to provide the Syrian administration with Iskander Missiles in the face of the U.S. Patriots.


December 7th, 2012, 9:18 am


ann said:

Russia sees signs of NATO involvement in Syria crisis – 2012-12-07

MOSCOW, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — The deployment of anti-aircraft missiles on the Turkish borders with Syria was a sign of NATO’s involvement in the Syrian crisis, said Russian envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko on Friday.

“It is difficult to imagine that Syria would be interested in mounting tension on the border. Deployment of the Patriot missiles means NATO has been getting involved into the conflict,” Grushko said during a video linkup between Moscow and Brussels.

“We see a danger of further involvement of NATO into the situation in Syria as a result of provocation or some border incidents,” Grushko said.

Meanwhile, Grushko said Russia had no information that Damascus was going to use chemical weapons.


December 7th, 2012, 9:22 am


ann said:

Syria denies rebels’ control over Damascus int’l airport – 2012-12-07

DAMASCUS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — A Syria military source denied Friday media reports circulating on some Arab TVs that rebels took control over the country’s international airport in the capital Damascus.

The source, whose remarks were carried by the local media, rejected the news as “unfounded and aiming to heighten the morale of the terrorists.”

Clashes along the 30-km road to the airport have been raging since last week, when the armed militias waged a large-scale offensive to cut the road and control the airport.

The Syrian troops responded to the attackers and unleashed a great firepower, leaving around 3,000 of them killed, reports said.

Separately, the state TV said electricity has started to gradually return to the northern city of Aleppo after the government workers fixed the damage caused by armed groups on a gas station that feeds electricity generator center in the war- torn city.


December 7th, 2012, 9:26 am


ann said:

Car bomb goes off near mosque in Syria’s Homs, injuring 15 – 2012-12-07

DAMASCUS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — A car bomb went off in Syrian central city of Homs near a mosque after Friday’s midday prayers, leaving 15 people wounded, the state media said.

The blast rocked the Insha’at district in central Homs, the report said, adding that some 15 people have been injured and material damage has been caused.

No news of casualties has emerged yet.

In the capital Damascus, meanwhile, a mortar shell fired by armed militias slammed a building at al-Mazzeh district and caused material damage only, according to local media reports.


December 7th, 2012, 9:31 am


ann said:

Libya’s Islamic militants get arms meant for rebels: report – 2012-12-07

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — The Obama administration secretly approved arms transfer to Libyan rebels by Qatar last year, but Americans were later alarmed by growing evidence that Qatar was giving some of the weapons to Libya’s Islamic militants, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

However, the report said no evidence has shown connections between the weapons provided by the Qataris back then and the attack that killed an American ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya in September.

In the months before the attacks, said the report, the Obama administration was clearly worried about its hidden hand in helping arm the Libyan rebels, which are concerns that have not previously been reported.

According to the report, the experience in Libya has taken on ” new urgency” as the Obama administration is mulling whether to play a direct role in arming rebels in Syria, where money and weapons are flowing in from Qatar and other countries.

The Obama administration did not initially raise objections when Qatar began shipping arms to oppositions in Syria, but Washington later has growing concerns that, just as in Libya, the Qataris are equipping some of the wrong militants, said the report.

Countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are reportedly feeding weapons to the Syrian rebels. However, the Obama administration has so far refused to directly arm the Syrian oppositions, for fear that the weapons may end up in the hands of the more hard- line Islamic groups in the Arab country.


December 7th, 2012, 9:36 am


ann said:

Blast rocks district of Syrian capital, killing 1 – 2012-12-07

DAMASCUS, Dec.6 (Xinhua) — At least one person was killed and 29 others injured when “terrorist” blast rocked the Syrian district of al-Mazzeh 86 on Thursday evening, the state-run SANA news agency said.

The blast rocked the area between a bakery and a school bus stop in al-Mazzeh 86, the report said, adding that children were among the injured.

The blast is the latest in a series of explosions that have become daily routines recently.

Earlier on Thursday, one person was killed when a roadside bomb went off near a branch of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Damascus.


December 7th, 2012, 9:40 am


ann said:

US ramps up threats in ‘psychological’ war on Assad government – 07 December, 2012

Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile is not designated for anything but deterrence, Mohamad says. “It is obvious that Syria has something that is scary to its opponents, but the idea is that this thing was built to face the massive nuclear bomb power that Israel has”

American media are reporting extensively that the Syrian president is getting ready to use chemical weapons on his own people, raising concerns that Washington could be planning a strike on Damascus with the chemical threat as a pretext.

Reports that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime is preparing to use its chemical weapons at home have created a storm in the US media.

NBC reports that the Syrian military has loaded sarin, a deadly nerve gas, into aerial bombs, which could then be dropped on rebels from Mig-23 or Sukhoi-24 aircraft.

Unnamed American officials stressed that so far the bombs have not been loaded onto planes, and that over the last 48 hours there have been no major movements at chemical weapons sites of concern, ABC News reported.

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton warned that if Assad goes down the chemical weapons road, he would be crossing “a red line.”

President Barack Obama also warned Assad that “the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable.”

Clinton said that Washington is worried that Syria’s chemical weapons might fall into the hands of the Syrian rebels, some of whom have links to Al-Qaeda.

“Our concerns are that an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons or might lose control of them to one of the many groups that are operating within Syria,” Clinton told reporters Wednesday.

Syrian rebels also claim to have reached Safira, a town with stockpiles of chemical weapons south east of Aleppo, according to a video posted to YouTube.

According to another video posted to YouTube, rebels threaten to kill Naseeriyah, the Allawide sect, “and supporters of Bashar Al-Aasad with our chemical weapons.”

The video features two rabbits that die in convulsions just a minute after inhaling a chemical agent.

A text underneath the video reads, “Your destiny would be like them because you are missionaries for Naseeriyah and supporters of Bashar Al-Aasad. God is great. God is Great. Wait and see. We from the AR-Reeh Asarsar Chemical Battalion, the Destructive Wind Chemical Battalion – we shall kill you all with our chemical weapons.”

The situation is reminiscent of the military buildup and war of words before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Washington and London used the pretext that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as a justification for going to war. The allegations proved to be false, but the damage was done.

In the latest round of US saber-rattling, the USS Eisenhower, an American aircraft carrier holding eight fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 men, joined the USS Iwo Jima, an Amphibious Ready Group of 2,500 marines off the Syrian coast yesterday.

Paula Slier, RT’s Middle East correspondent, explained that the US is making contingency plans in case Assad’s regime suddenly crumbles.

“They are aware that Assad has received numerous asylum offers, and the United States stands ready for direct military intervention in the Syrian conflict,” she said.

Hisham Jaber, a former general in the Lebanese army and head of the Middle East Center for Studies and Research in Beirut, explained to RT that America is conducting “a psychological game designed to threaten the Assad regime.”

He expressed concern that the weapons might fall into the hands of the rebels, and believes the only viable option available to Assad is to ask the United Nations to help him safely dispose of them.

He thinks the US “may send in Special Forces to occupy, control and destroy the chemical weapons.”

­Washington says President Assad could resort to using chemical weapons out of despair, as his government is on the verge of collapse. But Ali Mohamad, editor in chief of the Syria Tribune, believes such concerns are exaggerated.

“They’ve been saying this for the past, like, 18 months, and so far the Syrian government is still there and it is not desperate,” Mohamad told RT. “The question is why President Assad or the Syrian army would use chemical weapons? It’s winning the ground, the Damascus airport battle a week ago proved that again. Why would Syria give a pretext to the US to intervene when it does not even need to?”


December 7th, 2012, 9:47 am


ann said:

Syria Ripe For A False Flag Attack – Dec-6-2012

December 7th, 2012, 9:57 am


Tara said:

The coast is Syrian and will always stay Syrian. Assad and his followers won’t have a chance of building their own Alawite enclave there. He may try but he should rest assure that the people of Syria will not allow this to happen no matter the sacrifices. Those who are not interested in living in the New Democratic Syria may want to start thinking about joining their brethren in Hatay. They can fuufil their desire worshiping Bashar there. We promise we won’t ask for Iskandsron back. They can have it.

December 7th, 2012, 10:35 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Mr. Landis
The republican guards and the forth division are present around Damascus, they are mostly loyal Alawis, a defeat in Damascus means Assad will run out of loyal soldiers and he or his generals will have very small number of loyalist to defend the mountain (jabal),
Losing Damascus will be the end of Assad rule.
Damascus battle will be very destructive, and Assad will lose over 40,000 loyalist,whatever will be left will die on their way back to Jabal,during the retreat.

December 7th, 2012, 11:02 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Islam is not religion, Islam is a political System, the religious aspect of it is fraud, and it is a totaletarian satanic system of rule:


December 7th, 2012, 11:02 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Teenager stoned to death for entering a beauty pageant in Ukraine after angering her Moslem youth:

Islam is SATANISN the worship of R*ep*ti*lia*n (this word is banned by Landis)

December 7th, 2012, 11:10 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

There are 3 catagories of women that man cannot live with without daily beating, according to Qatari Mullah, the Quran (KARFAN) is a manual like any other manual when you purchase a car or DVD player, it shows you how best to treat a women using a stick:


December 7th, 2012, 11:16 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Stop Islamization of the World:

December 7th, 2012, 11:26 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Last post of the day: Learn what Islam is really about:

December 7th, 2012, 11:31 am


Citizen said:

US Cross oceans terrorism !!!!
17 US warships now off Syria
The U.S. aircraft carrier “Dwight D Eisenhower” has arrived off the shores of Syria.
The multipurpose nuclear attack carrier the U.S.S. Dwight D Eisenhower is leading the naval assault group which has arrived in the eastern Mediterranean.
It is in close proximity to the coast of Syria. On board the ship are 70 fighter-bombers and a total 8,000 US servicemen.
The Dwight D Eisenhower joined the amphibious assault helicopter carrier Iwo Jima, which has been in the area for almost two weeks.
In all there are now 17 Amercian warships off the Syrian coast.
Voice of Russia, TASS

December 7th, 2012, 11:49 am


ann said:

15. majedkhaldoun said:

“”” Losing Damascus will be the end of Assad rule. “””


December 7th, 2012, 11:53 am


Assad is not suicidal — War in Context said:

[…] News Sources on December 7, 2012 Joshua Landis writes: Assad is unlikely to use chemical weapons at this time. He must know that as soon as he uses them, […]

December 7th, 2012, 1:07 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

يحكى أنّ حاجزاً للجيش أوقف أحد الباصات للتفتيش وعند سؤاله إحدى السيدات الموجودات داخل الباص عن هويتها لاحظ أنّ صدرها كبير فسألها: شو هادا سيليكون؟
فقالت له: لا , تكبير ..
فصرخ جميع من في الباص: الله أكبر

December 7th, 2012, 1:08 pm


Ghufran said:

افاد مصدر في هيئة الاركان العامة للقوات الروسية ان عودة السفن الحربية الروسية التابعة لاسطول البحر الاسود، قد تأجلت الى حين صدور اوامر خاصة من الهيئة.
وقال المصدر “بسبب تغير الاوضاع العملياتية في المنطقة، فان السفن الحربية الروسية استلمت امرا بالبقاء في بحر ايجة امام منطقة المضائق لحين صدور اوامر جديدة من هيئة الاركان العامة”.
واضاف موضحا “ان قرار بقاء السفن في هذه المنطقة مرتبط بعدم استقرار الاوضاع العملياتية في البحر الابيض المتوسط. ومن المحتمل ان تصدر اوامر جديدة الى هذه السفن. وسوف تبقى في بحر ايجة الى حين صدور اوامر خاصة من هيئة الاركان العامة.
Would not be cheaper for everybody to just work out a solution instead of beating the drums of war?
On that note I have to confess that I find the slogan ” no to peace keeping force” rather stupid.

December 7th, 2012, 1:19 pm


Aldendeshe said:


Quran is not catalog from Rep*to*id Allah, it is from Mohammad filthy evil possessed mind:

December 7th, 2012, 1:27 pm


Mina said:

Poor Gulfies, why would they protest? They have cheap South Asian slaves: if they opt for a revolution and get deprived of their slaves, they may have to work by themselves!!

It’s getting viral in Egypt!
” Thousands of protesters in the industrial city of Mahalla in the western Delta governorate of Gharbiya have announced the city “independent” from the state’s authority and that they will elect a “revolutionary council” to handle the city’s affairs. Meanwhile, protesters are still blocking entrances and exits to the city.”
(note: the revolution that ousted Mubarak started from Mahalla before the Tahrir magazine stars and the Muslim brothers hijacked it)

December 7th, 2012, 1:32 pm


Aldendeshe said:

On that note I have to confess that I find the slogan ” no to peace keeping force” rather stupid.

Stupid to you, but not to the Satanist-Talmudic Islamists destroying Syria. They need no peace now, that will protect Syria and reserve Assad in power, they surely think they will win in the end, Satanallah told them so. They are so drunk with blood of Syrians, after drinking Iraqi blood for decade, they don’t see that the victory they aided is the one that will boomerang and bring their own demise.

December 7th, 2012, 1:34 pm


Syrialover said:

Sorry everyone, “ANN” still hasn’t been taken out like we hoped.

After being knocked of its perch for several days (possibly in Damascus with the internet blackout, as some speculated here) “ANN” appears to have regrouped with its pathetic stockpile of trash ammunition and now fired THIRTEEN rubbish cut-pastes here in rapid succession.

(Repeat warning – some of “ANN’S” links could be virus-lasden)

Meanwhile, SYRIAN NATIONALIST PARTY/ALDENDESHE is back, swinging from his perch upside down hoarsely squawking religious delusions about Satan and the Koran, frantically posting SEVEN with one hit.

This forum is being trashed like Syria.

December 7th, 2012, 1:50 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

the lying u.s. fabricates and presents a lie, syrian govt to use chem weapons, then has its fools and stooges argue the lie as if it is real.

u.s. blow smoke up your own ass.

December 7th, 2012, 1:53 pm


Ghufran said:

Akeppo is boiling and the anger is not just against the regime. Here are some testimonies:
عمار الحلبي: “لم نعد نحتمل هذا الإجرام الوضيع ، حرقوا معاملنا و متاجرنا وخطفوا شبابنا وبكل وقاحة يتحدثون عن الحرية وتحرير حلب
بشرى زيتوني: “يجب تحرك الدولة بفعالية في حلب قبل فوات الاوان الشعب سئم هذا الوضع الذي يتحكم فيه الرعاع و الغوغاء المدعومون من اعداء سورية بحياة 3 مليون انسان حلبي ذنبهم الوحيد هو تمسكهم بالدولة السورية و نبذ العنف” .
وقالت ريما شحنة: “لا بديل يحمينا سوى الدولة السورية نحن مع اي اجراءات يقوم بها الجيش ونريد تشكيل خلية من ضباط الجيش العرب السوري لادارة حلب معاشيا وخدماتيا وفرض الاحكام العرفية واعدام كل متلاعب بقوت الشعب ونصب المشانق لهم لانهم خونة”.
Be ready for thawrajiiyyeh to discount the stated anger against rebels as regime propaganda.

December 7th, 2012, 2:02 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

the cackling witch has job offers for new keyboarding monkeys to join current tribe.

they are a bit stale.

banana for each new lie.

December 7th, 2012, 2:02 pm


zoo said:

22. ann

“”” Losing Damascus will be the end of Assad rule. “””

Loosing the Damascus war will be the end of the armed rebels credibility

December 7th, 2012, 2:40 pm


Citizen said:

Down syndrome = Dick Cheney ,
Here Comes The WMD LIES All Over Again

December 7th, 2012, 3:02 pm


Syrialover said:

Iraq Blocks Syria’s Request to Fetch Combat Helicopters from Russia


Iraq has shut its airspace to four Syrian flights scheduled to pick up attack helicopters that had been repaired in Russia, the spokesman to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said Tuesday. Syria has failed several times since June to retrieve the refurbished helicopters from Russia, and the regime of Bashar al-Assad appears to be growing more desperate as fighting intensifies.

Iraq’s denial of the flights appears to be a diplomatic breakthrough for the U.S. Although Baghdad has said it won’t allow arms shipments to Syria and has recently begun to inspect some planes flying from Iran, White House and State Department officials have been pressuring Iraq to act much more aggressively to choke off military aid.

Two U.S. diplomatic officials who are closely monitoring Iraq-Syria relations expressed relief when told that Baghdad said it had denied Syria’s overflight request for the helicopters.

But one of the officials emphasized caution, noting that flights continue over Iraqi airspace from Iran to Syria. Iraq has maintained that the flights carry humanitarian goods but the United States suspects they contain matériel. “The abuse of Iraq’s airspace continues to be a concern,” the official said. “We urge Iraq either to require flights enroute to Syria over its territory to land for inspection or deny overflight requests for these aircraft.”

ProPublica reported on the Syrian fly-over requests last week, noting that the cargo plane expected to pick up the helicopters did not land or take off at the scheduled times at a military airfield near Moscow. The reason was unknown at the time.

Ali al-Mousawi, the [Iraqi] prime minister’s media adviser, told ProPublica on Tuesday that Syria’s requests had been denied by the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority.

“We will not authorize any overflight until we make sure that it does not contain any military equipment in line with the Iraqi government’s policy which firmly rejects allowing transporting any military shipments via our airspace from or to Syria,” he wrote in an email.

December 7th, 2012, 3:23 pm


Citizen said:

Russia threatened to turn Syria into the new Vietnam if the US invades. I think Landis is advised to stay away from Syria and compared it to Vietnam. Hillary Rodham Clinton has to understand : that the time for REGIME CHANGE from Washington’s desire by remote control devices is gone forever!The world is changing and America still behave like a cowboy.

US works with Russia on Syria, but wants Assad out

December 7th, 2012, 3:28 pm


Syrialover said:

Report: French military advisers meet with rebels inside Syria


French military advisers have met Syrian rebels inside the war-torn country in recent weeks in effort to identify recipients for possible weapons supplies, Le Figaro newspaper reported Friday.

The French agents had held face-to-face talks with a Free Syrian Army leader “in the area between Damascus and Lebanon,” the paper quoted an unnamed leader of the Syrian opposition as saying.

The source was also quoted as saying that U.S. and British agents had also held meetings on Syrian soil with rebels fighting President Bashar Assad’s regime.

“The French experts want to know who is doing what,” the opposition leader told the newspaper.

They also wanted to determine the “operational capacity of each group” and their “political colors.”

December 7th, 2012, 3:30 pm


Syrialover said:

The bleak, vast scale of the Syrian refugee situation. The isolation in the desert, nowhere to go, life suspended.

Captured in this stunning aerial photo of Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan near the Syrian border – 9 square km of tents.

December 7th, 2012, 3:44 pm


zoo said:

Ban Ki Moon: “The slaughter in Syria must stop,” Ban said. “The military path is a dead end. It only fills the streets with more blood.”

December 7th, 2012, 4:17 pm


Tara said:


I am truly surprised that the regime supporters are yet not seeing the defeat coming. It is just inevitable. It is pure psychological denial. I almost feel sorry for them as they at this time should be thinking about a strategy to cut their losses.

December 7th, 2012, 4:43 pm


zoo said:

#39 Tara

Defeat for some means victory for others. Who are the winners? Jabhat Al Nusra, the Moslem Brotherhood, the USA, Qatar, KSA?

The losers are the Syrians. The ones who do not realize that, will be forced to soon

December 7th, 2012, 5:03 pm


Citizen said:

Middle East on the Boil

Call it the curse of oil and gas. Countries with large and smaller reserves are affected. So are some with few or perhaps none. Living in a targeted neighborhood is challenging. Independent governments are most vulnerable.

Reports suggest the worst ahead. Iran remains a longtime US/ Israeli target. Syria’s very much on the boil. Washington’s proxy war rages. It’s been ongoing since early last year.

It was planned many years ago. Previous articles explained that America wants all independent governments replaced by pro-Western puppet ones. War is the bottom line option of choice when other methods fail.

Direct US/NATO intervention looms. Deploying attack Patriot missiles in Turkey near Syria’s border comes perilously close to declaring war. Doing so may follow.

Germany agreed to participate. It approved sending 400 troops to the Turkish/Syrian border. Washington, Berlin, and the Netherlands will provide Patriot missiles.

On Tuesday, NATO formerly approved deploying them. Operationally, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) will control them.

Washington considers the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea its private lakes. Powerful naval forces dominate their waters ominously.

The USS Eisenhower sits off Syria’s coast. On board are eight fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 troops. It joined the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group. About 2,500 marines are on board.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) said “10,000 US fighting men, 70 fighter-bombers and at least 17 warships, including three Iwo Jima amphibious craft, a guided missile cruiser, and 10 destroyers and frigates” are positioned off Syria or nearby.

Four ships have Aegis missile interceptors. Some are nuclear armed. US firepower off Syria’s coast can destroy the entire country. It remains to be seen what’s next.

The combination of powerful warships, heavy armaments, thousands of combat troops, dozens of attack aircraft, offensive Patriot missiles, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System readiness, and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) capability suggests direct US-led intervention could happen any time.

On Tuesday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment. It requires Obama to inform Congress of intentions to impose a Syrian no-fly zone or planned intervention in other ways.

Voting 92 – 6, it requires “a report on military activities to deny or significantly degrade the use of (Syrian) air power against civilian and opposition groups in Syria.”

It suggests possible US intervention. Allies should be involved if it comes. US boots on the ground should be avoided. Hostilities could erupt any time. Opinion in Washington is divided. Influential hawks want something done now.

Amendment language said it’s not a declaration of war or authorization of force. It didn’t rule them out. It wants US military options evaluated. It suggests establishing a no-fly zone.

Attack Patriot missiles deployed on Syria’s border impose one. The Senate amendment adds more teeth. It suggests possible intervention in one of three ways or a combination of two or more.

US aggression may involve offensive Patriot missiles, no-fly zones over population centers, and/or US-led NATO air strikes.

Backers called the amendment a “reasonable assessment” of how Pentagon forces can degrade and deter Assad’s air capability. Some call it step one toward direct US involvement.

Senators want to be kept informed about plans. Most House members likely concur. They passed their NDAA measure earlier this year. Both versions will be reconciled once a final Senate bill passes. Obama will sign it into law.

He made baseless threats about Syria’s chemical weapons. He called using them crossing a “red line.” He’s looking for ways to provoke full-scale intervention.

When America wants war, pretexts are claimed to justify it. When none exist, they’re invented. Washington wants Assad removed. Expect full-scale war. It’s coming.

Timing may follow Obama’s January inauguration. It could be sooner. Reports suggest Israeli involvement in plans to remove Assad. A previous article discussed Israel approaching Jordanian officials about attacking Syrian chemical weapons sites.

Baseless US claims suggest Assad has sarin nerve gas bombs ready for use. They say he’s positioning them at as yet unknown locations.

Syria categorically denies it. A Foreign Ministry statement said military forces “would not use chemical weapons, if (they) had them, against its own people under any circumstances.”

On December 2, The New York Times hyped the baseless chemical weapons threat. Unnamed officials were cited as sources. A US one said “activity we are seeing suggests some potential chemical weapon preparation.”

It goes beyond moving them from one location to another, he claimed. No evidence whatever of planned use was given.

Leaking the chemical weapons story was strategically timed. It came ahead of NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels. They approved deploying Patriot missiles.

Doing so permits establishing no-fly zones over Syrian population centers without Security Council authorization. Incrementally, US-led NATO heads for war.

Following his one day Istanbul meeting with Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan, Vladimir Putin issued a veiled warning. It was meant for Washington, saying:

“What we are concerned about is Syria’s future. We don’t want the same mistakes to be repeated in the near future. We shall remember how some regimes supported the militants in Libya and” how badly that turned out.

At the same time, Putin knows Washington’s war on Syria looms. Russia and China have much to lose if America achieves unchallenged regional control. It remains to be seen how both countries will respond.

December 7th, 2012, 5:30 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

I think he is getting delusinal

December 7th, 2012, 5:37 pm


Syrialover said:

Message for Syrians, neatly laid out and well signposted, on certain groups with ambitions to hijack post-Assad Syria:

“..utlra-religious, authoritarian groups who justify their actions through selective, corrupt, and ultimately self-serving interpretations of Islam”

That’s leading Libyan writer Hisham Matar on the Islamists in Libya, and their (so far unsuccessful) tactics to grab power.

Just like the MB in Egypt and the pushy MB in the Syrian opposition, Hisham Matar writes about the the Libyan Islamists taking a free ride on the revolution and trying a quick and dirty route to steal control.

Matar also talks about the importance of engaging the young in post-revolution Libya, and the cheap tricks and double-standard games the Islamists are using.


They are utlra-religious, authoritarian groups who justify their actions through selective, corrupt, and ultimately self-serving interpretations of Islam. Under Qaddafi, they kept quiet. In the early days of the revolution some of them claimed that fighting Qaddafi was un-Islamic and conveniently issued a fatwa demanding full obedience to the ruler. This is Libya’s extreme right.

They see in these days, in which the new Libya and its young institutions are still fragile, an opportunity to grab power. They want to exploit the impatient resentments of young people in particular in order to disrupt progress and the development of democratic institutions.

And these far-right groups that feign religious and moral outrage are being very deliberate in their progress. They have turned a blind eye to what can be argued are conservative Libyans’ more traditional concerns. They have said nothing, for example, about the widespread consumption of drugs and alcohol among Libya’s youth, about the young men who fill Tripoli’s costal cafés late into the night, descending into hopeless states of intoxication before every weekend. This is not an oversight but intentional.

Infringing on the freedoms and fun of young people would provoke too much anger and, more crucially, lose the extreme right the support of their main target audience: young men. Like Benito Mussolini’s Milan fascio in nineteen-twenties Italy, Libya’s far right knows that it cannot rule through violence and fear if it does not have the young and strong on its side.

So instead they have focussed on easy targets: architecture, women, and, now, America, or, more abstractly, the West. They demolished landmarks, claiming them to be unreligious; demanded that women be banned from cafés; and now, because of a film almost no one has seen, they have attacked symbols of the American state.

Following a demanding revolution and the exuberances of victory, Libya has entered a phase of fatigue and cynicism. The happiest people seem to be the old and the middle-aged, those whose lives had been most affected by Qaddafi’s repression and who are now basking in vindication. The young, however, who form the majority of the population and who are the intended audience for the far right and its violent acts, are impatient, angry, and resentful.

Whether secular or religious, they [the young] are pissed off. Theirs is an almost existential grievance toward history. If they are not engaged, if their energies and grievances are not attended to, then the road ahead might prove very difficult indeed. And a Libyan version of Milan fascio might yet take hold.

Read more:

December 7th, 2012, 5:42 pm


Syrialover said:


What happened to that Russian woman journalist who disappeared in Syria a couple of months ago? Is she still missing?

December 7th, 2012, 5:45 pm


Syrialover said:


Could we have some insider comment on how the Russians are getting tired of their Assad alliance.

Use your special contacts to give us real information, something fresh.

Instead of THIRTY-TWO PARAGRAPH empty cut-pastes from non-credible sources saying nothing really about conspiracist non-news (eg #42)

Stop being lazy and selfishly taking up space.

December 7th, 2012, 5:58 pm


zoo said:

French & US Intelligence Chemical Weapons False Flag in Syria Exposed

December 7th, 2012, 6:02 pm


zoo said:

Does international law allows to openly support the armed opposition in Syria?
No, only if the opposition proves it is a “National Liberation movement’ widely representative and there is no political solution possible.

“Recognizing an opposing force is not illegal because it is a decision that falls within the domestic jurisdiction, however any action to support the use of force by armed groups against the legitimate government is illegal and a grave violation of international law. A state that supports the use of violence against another state is responsible under international law for damages. Furthermore it is forbidden to any other state in the international community to recognize a situation created by such violation of law. Support for armed groups in Syria is illegal because they use force against a recognized government.

The only exception Doebbler continues, “consists in the fact that the armed opponents are recognized as national liberation movement. Then they should demonstrate that they are oppressed to such an extent that the exercise of their right to self-determination has necessitated the use of force, unique instrument for achieving this right. But the opposition backed by abroad has had many opportunities to participate in the government and the regime in Syria says it is ready to grant other participation rights. Not only foreign-backed rebels are not a clearly defined group of the Syrian people, no more than a majority. They can be defined at best as actors proxy of foreign powers who try to intervene in Syria for regime change. This violates various obligations: non-interference in the internal affairs of other States on the basis of art. 2, al. 7 of the UN Charter and abstention from the use of force in the art. 2 al. 41, one of the most important principles of international law.

On 27 June 1986, the United States have been condemned by the International Court of Justice in The Hague for violating these principles in Nicaragua. ”

In that case, the Court presided over by an Indian judge has rejected by 12 votes against 3 the justification of self-defense and ruled that the U.S. had violated: the obligation of non-interference in arming and financing the Nicaraguan Contras, the obligation not to exercise the use of force by attacking Nicaraguan territory in 1983-1984, the obligation to respect the sovereignty and peaceful trade, undermining territorial waters.

December 7th, 2012, 6:19 pm


ghufran said:

more terrorism in the name of toppling the regime:
أفاد مصدر في ريف دمشق بأن اثنين من موظفي مطار دمشق الدولي استشهدا أمس الخميس قنصاً بعد أن حاولا الخروج من مبنى المطار
(that was not from SANA, it was from an opposition site: Aksalsair)

December 7th, 2012, 6:23 pm


Michal said:

Question for the qualified (hint: ANN and the like, you can ignore this) What do we know about Liwa Al-Tawhid?

Large sums of cash have been delivered by French government proxies across the Turkish border to rebel commanders in the past month, diplomatic sources have confirmed. The money has been used to buy weapons inside Syria and to fund armed operations against loyalist forces.

The French moves have stopped short of direct supply of weapons – a bridge that no western state has yet been willing to cross in Syria. But, according to western and Turkish officials as well as rebel leaders, the influx of money has made a difference in recent weeks as momentum on the battlefields of the north steadily shifts towards the opposition.

Some of the French cash has reached Islamist groups who were desperately short of ammunition and who had increasingly turned for help towards al-Qaida aligned jihadist groups in and around Aleppo.

One such group, Liwa al-Tawhid, an 8,000-strong militia that fights under the Free Syria Army banner, said it had been able to buy ammunition for the first time since late in the summer, a development that would help it resume military operations without the support of implacable jihadi organisations, such as Jabhat al-Nusra, which is now playing a lead role in northern Syria.

December 7th, 2012, 6:29 pm


zoo said:

Finally a voice of sanity and realism ..

Syria chemical weapons scare: Is Assad threatening to use them, or lose them? (+video)

A report suggests that Syria has ramped up activity at chemical-weapons sites. But President Bashar al-Assad might simply be sending a message to the international community.

But Mr. Assad also might be sending a different signal to the US and the international community, analysts say. By ordering “activity” at chemical weapons sites, Assad could be reminding the international powers demanding his departure that his fall would likely be followed by chaos – in which radical Islamists could get their hands on Syria’s weapons of mass destruction.

“By far the greater threat is that the state collapses, with the threat of terrorists getting their hands on these weapons,” says Charles Blair, an expert at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in Washington.

December 7th, 2012, 6:33 pm


ghufran said:

Thieves in one place,terrorists in the other:
أفاد مدير المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان رامي عبد الرحمن أن “عناصر من كتائب غرباء الشام التابعة لجبهة النصرة هاجمت قرية المناجير في محافظة الحسكة التي يتواجد فيها صوامع للحبوب”.
وأوضح عبد الرحمن أن “الإشتباكات ما تزال مستمرة بين المهاجمين وعشيرة الشرابين العربية التي تسكن القرية”، لافتاً إلى “استشهاد وجرح 12 من مقاتلي الكتائب المهاجمة بالإضافة إلى خسائر بشرية في صفوف مقاتلي القرية”
moving to Aleppo, this is what the rebels provided to the city:

December 7th, 2012, 6:35 pm


habib said:

14. Tara

Lol. So what does “Syrian” mean to you?

Your friends in the Muslim Brotherhood and their Salafist dogs have made it clear they don’t care about anything called “Syria”, they just want a caliphate.

Lebanon is as much part of Syria as Palestine and Jordan, for that matter. Not to mention a hypothetical Alawite enclave.

In the end, both sides are doing the bidding of the Zionists simply by figting each other. The rebels more overtly tough, since they get support from Zionist allies.

December 7th, 2012, 6:37 pm


zoo said:

One wonders where is France getting the money from?

France funding Syrian rebels in new push to oust Assad

Money delivered by French government proxies across Turkish border has been used to buy weapons and ammunition
Martin Chulov in Ankara
The Guardian, Friday 7 December 2012 19.58 GMT

France has emerged as the most prominent backer of Syria’s armed opposition and is now directly funding rebel groups around Aleppo as part of a new push to oust the embattled Assad regime.

Large sums of cash have been delivered by French government proxies across the Turkish border to rebel commanders in the past month, diplomatic sources have confirmed. The money has been used to buy weapons inside Syria and to fund armed operations against loyalist forces.

The French moves have stopped short of direct supply of weapons – a bridge that no western state has yet been willing to cross in Syria. But, according to western and Turkish officials as well as rebel leaders, the influx of money has made a difference in recent weeks as momentum on the battlefields of the north steadily shifts towards the opposition.

Some of the French cash has reached Islamist groups who were desperately short of ammunition and who had increasingly turned for help towards al-Qaida aligned jihadist groups in and around Aleppo.

One such group, Liwa al-Tawhid, an 8,000-strong militia that fights under the Free Syria Army banner, said it had been able to buy ammunition for the first time since late in the summer, a development that would help it resume military operations without the support of implacable jihadi organisations, such as Jabhat al-Nusra, which is now playing a lead role in northern Syria.

December 7th, 2012, 6:58 pm


Michal said:

@ 54. Yeah congratulations on posting the same story that I just have, only with a completely retarded spin, Zoo. Where could they possibly get the money from? Gee I wonder, it’s only got fifth largest GDP in the world, guess Jews did it.

December 7th, 2012, 7:00 pm


Tara said:


” Who are the winners?”

The winners are the Syrian people. They will get
their stolen country back. It is the ultimate win: To have a place on the map you call it Wattan.

Syrians have become fearless and in fact if the revolution wins and it will, they will become unstoppable. Bringing down the most brutal regime in the history of humanity will empower them. They will know no limit. There is no Jabhat al Nusra or any Jabha for that matter that will ever be able to oppress them again.

December 7th, 2012, 7:08 pm


Visitor said:

Friday the 13th,

Thirteen armored vehicles destroyed in Zabadani, and the Corniche checkpoint completely demolished.

If Zabadani gets liberated then Assadistan will be cut off from Hizbistan.

December 7th, 2012, 7:11 pm


zoo said:

Irony: KSA mouthpiece accuses the Moslem Brotherhood of being friend with Israel and involving religion in politics.

The predicament of the Brotherhood’s support

By Tariq Alhomayed

This genuine predicament tells us that no one should involve religion in politics. Politics cannot be transformed into black and white through the pulpits or by issuing insults, for the matter is more complicated than that. This is the predicament in which the Brotherhood’s cheerleaders find themselves in today, particularly as they have failed to notice that the Brotherhood is America’s friend. In fact, we can add Israel to this list now, whilst the Brotherhood is no friend of moderate states or the liberals. Evidence of this can be seen in the Gaza truce, and the West’s silence towards the Brotherhood coup in Egypt, and therefore the Brotherhood and its cheerleaders are in a predicament, and the worst is yet to come!

December 7th, 2012, 7:12 pm


zoo said:

#56 Tara

I envy you to float in your romantic heroic fantasy…

December 7th, 2012, 7:14 pm


zoo said:

#55 Michal

oops. sorry

December 7th, 2012, 7:17 pm


Citizen said:

The best article what i read today!!! I advise all of you to read it.
Wars! What are wars?

December 7th, 2012, 7:18 pm


zoo said:

63. Tara

I guess you prefer DEBKafiles?

December 7th, 2012, 7:22 pm


Tara said:


“French & US Intelligence Chemical Weapons False Flag in Syria Exposed”

Exposed through what? Through special undisclosed sources close to al Dunya? I am sure you can’t bring yourself to call that an evidence.

You very well know that the credibility of “special sources” known to al Dunya is not much different than the evidence indicating the presence of a rept-iliian god that inhabits the brain of SC’s ice skating ballerina.

December 7th, 2012, 7:27 pm


Tara said:


I envy you to float in your romantic heroic fantasy…

It is from watching too much Disney 😉

December 7th, 2012, 7:28 pm


Tara said:


This is a tired line. Do regime supporters not get tired from repeating the same thing again and again?

The kids who started the revolution in Deraa are not Zionists. Or were they?

This blindness of not seeing the revolution of what it truly is will not take us anywhere except to more destruction and more death. Yet, the outcome is so very much obvious. I am sorry that you guys are still incapable to see. There is still a chance for supporters to change course but waiting until the Assad is actually toppled will be too late in my opinion.

December 7th, 2012, 7:38 pm


habib said:

65. Tara

Lol, and it isn’t “tired” to accuse everyone who critisises the opposition of being regime supporters?

The fate of those kids were surely exploited by Zionists and Salafists alike to reach a goal they’ve wanted for decades before those kids were even born.

Of course the government is responsible for what happened to them, but I don’t have to excuse them, since I don’t support them. I support the secularists who have nothing to do with the violence on either side, and have been sidelined by all warring parties.

You, on the other hand, support the insurgents, so you have a lot to answer for.

December 7th, 2012, 8:17 pm


habib said:

To get my point above across, supporting Bashar is like supporting Mubarak, whereas supporting the rebels is like supporting Mursi.

Both stances are morally indefensible. The secular liberals are the only ones worthy of support throughout the Middle East.

December 7th, 2012, 8:20 pm


Citizen said:

F**ng kitten!
Hours after NATO agreed on Tuesday to send Patriot missiles to Turkey because of the crisis in Syria, Russia delivered its first shipment of Iskander missiles to Syria.

The superior Iskander can travel at hypersonic speed of over 1.3 miles per second (Mach 6-7) and has a range of over 280 miles with pinpoint accuracy of destroying targets with its 1,500-pound warhead, a nightmare for any missile defense system.

According to Mashregh, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard media outlet, Russia had warned Turkey not to escalate the situation, but with Turkey’s request for Patriot missiles, it delivered its first shipment of Iskanders to Syria.

Reporting today, Mashregh said the handover occurred when Russian naval logistic vessels docked at Tartus in Syria.

The Iskandar is a surface-to-surface missile that no missile defense system can trace or destroy, Mashregh said. Russia had earlier threatened that should America put its missile defense system in Poland, it would retaliate by placing its Iskander missiles at Kaliningrad, its Baltic Sea port.

Russia’s delivery of Iskanders to Bashar Assad’s embattled regime clearly shows that the security and stability of Syria remains Russia’s red line, Mashregh said. It is unknown how many of these missiles have been delivered but the numbers given are sufficient to destroy any Patriot missiles in Turkey, it said.

The delivery of the missile not only threatens the security of Turkey but also Israel, which would have to recalculate its strategy with its defensive and offensive capabilities.

As reported in a WND exclusive on Dec. 5, Iran’s Islamic regime also sees the toppling of the Assad regime as its red line and has 170 ballistic missiles targeting Tel Aviv in underground missile silos, some with biological warheads.

In August, a commentary in Mashregh, representing the regime’s views, warned America and Israel that further instability in Syria would spark a pre-emptive attack on Israel in which the use of weapons of mass destruction – biological, chemical and even nuclear bombs – won’t be off the table. It stated that certain groups (proxies, such as Hezbollah) have been armed with WMDs and that Israel will be their target.

The Mashregh commentary charged that Israel is one of the conspirators behind the Syrian crisis in order to strategically change the geopolitics of the region and defeat one of the main players in the Islamic world’s “resistance front” (Iran, Syria and Hezbollah). It warned Israel that with the direction it has chosen, “There is a dead end, and the threat of mass killing awaits.”

The Islamic regime in Iran for its part continues to ship arms to Syria via Iraq both by air and ground while its Quds Forces help the Assad regime in killing its own people. To date, over 40,000 people, including many women and children, have died since the Syrian uprising began in March of 2011.

Reports indicate that Assad has decided to use chemical weapons on his own people as a last attempt to save his rule. Speaking in Prague on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Syria that the use of chemical weapons would be a red line, indicating that America would retaliate.

Meanwhile, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has ordered the Guards and its Quds Forces to use all of their capabilities to protect Assad and has threatened war against those helping the rebels in Syria, primarily Saudi Arabia and Turkey, according to a source who had served in the Revolutionary Guards intelligence unit but who has since defected.

The source added that the recent Gaza conflict was a warning to America and Israel that the Islamic regime in Iran can destabilize the region further should the push in Syria continue to topple Assad. The region will witness terrorist attacks, assassinations and incitement for uprisings in countries allied with America as the situation in Syria further deteriorates, the regime has promised, according to the source.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).


December 7th, 2012, 8:21 pm


Sheila said:

Dear Ghufran,
Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to talk about the “terrorist” acts of the FSA when you have that rich and deep reservoir of atrocities committed by the regime. Whatever the rebels do, pales in comparison.

December 7th, 2012, 8:29 pm


Tara said:


“since I don’t support them”

Not true. You do support the regime. Not supporting the revolution is supporting the regime. There is no such thing as a fence sitter. You know that the regime will not reform. You know the regime is barbaric. You know the regime oppressed millions before the revolution. You know the regime stole the country. You know the regime killed children. We are not asking you to support the opposition factions. We were asking you to support the concept of revolting against the regime, you didn’t. Please face it, you are a regime supporter and that is a fact.

December 7th, 2012, 8:39 pm


Citizen said:

Aggression against Syria to cause “catastrophic consequences” in region: deputy FM

December 7th, 2012, 8:46 pm


habib said:

71. Tara

Lol, yes, black and white, absolutes. That has sure helped the world in the past, right?

Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

No. In times like these, cool, pragmatic heads are needed. Not emotional vigilantes. That’s what kept Europe peaceful for the last sixty years.

Who do you think you’re fooling with this rhetoric? We’re not kindergarten kids here, Tara.

December 7th, 2012, 8:47 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Europe has been peaceful because its governments don’t declare war on its protesters.

First Damascus, than Lattakia. If the regime cannot hold Damascus, how are they going to hold Lattakia?

The regime did not want to talk when it was strong. Now that they’re weak, what right do they have to ask for negotiation?

December 7th, 2012, 8:49 pm


Citizen said:

Former Powell adviser ‘skeptical’ of ‘politicized’ US intelligence on Syria

December 7th, 2012, 8:53 pm


Uzair8 said:

NMSyria ‏@NMSyria

Baath Party officials are taking down the Syrian flag and Bashar al-Assad’s mural from Sa’ad Allah al-Jabri square in #Aleppo. #Syria

December 7th, 2012, 8:53 pm


habib said:

74. MarigoldRan

Lol, what do you know about European history? Go back a few decades, pre Soviet collapse, and you had dictators and terrorist groups all over Europe. No one would even dare protest in some parts. The solution wasn’t total war. Quite the opposite.

December 7th, 2012, 8:54 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Um. In the 1940s, Europe WAS in TOTAL WAR. You know:
World War II???

They learned from that experience that total war is a bad thing, which is why the governments afterward have been much more peaceful.

The Syrian regime declared total war on its people. Now it’s time for it to get its just deserts. Teach them a lesson that they’ll never forget.

There will never be peace in the long run unless the supporters of the regime are taught a serious lesson about the application and use of violence. If the government and its Alawite supporters commit violence, it should get violence back in return. Maybe that will stop them from resorting to violence in the future.

December 7th, 2012, 8:56 pm


MarigoldRan said:

No, you wrote “last few decades.” Which could mean 60+ years.

But to answer your point: the UK did not collapse into total civil war because the UK government was SMART ENOUGH NOT TO CARPET BOMB AND SHELL ENTIRE CITIES.

The UK government used a measured counter-terrorism approach to combat its rebels, knowing that if the government acted too violently, it would create more rebels than it would kill. The Syrian government unfortunately was too stupid to realize this. So it resorted to total violence, which played into the rebels’ hands.

Every ‘victory’ by the regime created more defectors and rebels.

Compare the UK’s behavior towards the IRA to the Syrian government’s behavior towards its rebels. The Syrian government has been infinitely more brutal against the FSA than the UK during its war against the IRA.

My point? The regime behaved badly, much worse than the UK. Its supporters deserve to be punished.

December 7th, 2012, 9:06 pm


Citizen said:

What’s Really Happening in Syria with Syrian Girl

December 7th, 2012, 9:06 pm


Sheila said:

Dear Habib,
Starting every sentence with LOL reflects quite poorly on a gentleman and yet you condescendingly accuse others of not knowing history. To do that effectively, you need a little more poise.Tara said it right and your reaction is that of someone who is trying to find ways to circumvent the inevitable.

December 7th, 2012, 9:07 pm


habib said:

79. MarigoldRan

My last comment was “marked as spam” when I edited for some reason, and disappeared.

Anyway, few decades obviously does not mean 60+ years, especially when I specifically ruled out a total war scenario.

And let’s keep things in context. The Brits were not exposed to attacks as intense as those committed by the insurgents in Syria, so of course they didn’t need to carpet bomb anything. But you can be sure they’d taken more extreme measures if thousands of Catholic extremists had invaded the UK from all over the world to expel the British powers.

You can be sure they’d done the same, if not worse, than what we see in Syria today, the Brits were ruthless back then.

But anyway, all of this is irrelevant. The point is, if you keep supporting either armed rebels or armed Assadists, you’re a pawn of the Zionists. If both sides laid down their arms right now and worked together, the Zionists would weep.

December 7th, 2012, 9:14 pm


habib said:

81. Sheila

Yes, and it sure helps your own credibility and argumentation that you attack style instead of substance.

Sheesh. Consistency, people.

December 7th, 2012, 9:15 pm


Tara said:


What statement sound rhetorical to you and what statement downgraded the audience to kindergarten level? Please clarify.

December 7th, 2012, 9:18 pm


habib said:


how about “You do support the regime. Not supporting the revolution is supporting the regime.”

Ok. So if I don’t support Morsi, I support Mubarak? That’s democracy!

December 7th, 2012, 9:21 pm


MarigoldRan said:

No, you did not say that, Habib. Perhaps you edited it later, but whatever.

To answer your main point:

The rebels and the protesters were not that violent initially. There was some violence, but it wasn’t on a scale much different from the violence in the Kurdish region of Turkey or Northern Ireland back in the 70s.

The DIFFERENCE was in the government response. The UK tried to separate the peaceful protesters from the violence-makers. They did NOT make it government policy to send snipers to shoot at protesters. The did NOT attack and burn villages. They did NOT hire Shabiha to terrorize Irish populations. They did NOT resort to artillery and mortar strikes on urban populations to maintain control.

The Syrian government however has done ALL of that. It resorted to indiscriminate violence, thinking that they could replicate the Hamas massacre of 30 years ago. They were wrong.

The foreign fighters flooded into Syria AFTER the regime resorted to indiscriminate violence.

And now it’s time to punish the regime for its bad behavior.

December 7th, 2012, 9:21 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Why do regime supporters complain about the violence being inflicted on them? Why are they whining about foreign fighters when it was the regime that first resorted to indiscriminate violence? If you’re going to declare war on other people, then you have no right to complain when the violence turns against you.

The regime CHOSE to be violent to its people. Now it’s the people’s turn to inflict violent on the regime.

What comes around, goes around.

December 7th, 2012, 9:25 pm


Citizen said:

SYRIA(Aleppo): Libyan mercenaries within FSA/Al-Qaeda battalions go to Idlib (6-Dec-2012)

December 7th, 2012, 9:26 pm


habib said:

86. MarigoldRan

First, let’s keep in mind that the IRA never did anything as extreme as the FSA has done, and did not have as massive foreign support either.

And then I have two words for you. Bloody Sunday.

Sure, no snipers shooting unarmed protesters in Ireland, never happened!

December 7th, 2012, 9:26 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Bloody Sunday happened once.

In Syria, every Sunday is a bloody Sunday. And that is the fault of the government. A government that must resort to force to rule is not a government at all.

If a government declares war on its people, what do you expect the people to do?

December 7th, 2012, 9:29 pm


Visitor said:


You are a fake pretender of the worse kind.

Last time you claimed similarities between Syrian events and neighboring countries civil wars. I showed you you know zilch about those civil wars and by extension of course you know nothing about Syrian events.

Now you claim bizarre things about European history a kindergarten kid can easily refute!!

Shut up man and get your head straightened up. We have no time to argue with mediocrity.

And by the way, I do not believe the so-called seculars of the middle east are genuine or even understand what secularism is, and for that reason I support a nonsecular middle east for at least the next five hundred years. So again, play another one.

December 7th, 2012, 9:33 pm


Tara said:


“Ok. So if I don’t support Morsi, I support Mubarak? That’s democracy!”

Read my post again. I get frustrated when people do not comprehend what is being said. I made a clear distinction between supporting the revolution as a concept and between supporting opposition figures or factions. I support the revolution wholeheartedly but I probably criticized almost all opposition figures. If you do not support Mubarak, then you must support the Egyptian revolution that aimed to bring him down. It does not automatically mean that you support Morsi.

December 7th, 2012, 9:33 pm


MarigoldRan said:


To a certain extent, I agree with you. The Syrian government has faced challenges greater than the UK government during its war against the IRA.

But regardless of the circumstances, the Syrian government has OBVIOUSLY not stepped up to the task. It has FAILED to meet its challenges. Instead it behaved in a BRUTISH and VIOLENT way making the situation WORSE and more VIOLENT than ever before.

Do you deny this, Habib? There is no excuse for the behavior of the Syrian government. It deserves to go down, along with its supporters.

December 7th, 2012, 9:34 pm


Citizen said:

‘Swedish holy warriors in Syria (Svenska )
‘Swedish’ Terrorists Fighting For Al Qaeda in Syria

December 7th, 2012, 9:37 pm


habib said:

90. MarigoldRan

It happened once, great, but that doesn’t change the fact that it happened, which you denied at first, and that’s my sole point. What happened afterwards? IRA violence dropped, so it didn’t exactly have to be repeated right away.

Anyhow, I don’t have to apologise for the actions of a government I don’t support. The peaceful secularists I support have no stakes in the armed conflict, since they’ve been completely sidelined by both sides.

Compare with Egypt. Yes, Mubarak was toppled. He was replaced by another dictator in the making. The secularists are still protesting, now they’re just getting killed and tortured by a fellow “revolutionary”.

Fuck the brotherhood, and fuck the dictators. As simple as that. The FSA is funded by sectarian dictators against another sectarian dictator, so they sure as hell will never get my support.

December 7th, 2012, 9:39 pm


habib said:

91. Visitor

Lol, you didn’t show “zilch”, other than the usual preaching to the choir.

92. Tara

See my last post. I supported the revolution in Egypt, since it remained peaceful even after a thousand protesters had been killed.

In Syria, the protesters turned violent much earlier. And Egypt did not have the sectarian angle either. The Ikhwan didn’t jump into the ring until the fight was over. If they’d been in front of the revolution from the start, I’d had my doubts.

If the stuff in Syria had been secular and peaceful, sure, I’d support it. Ghandi style all the way.

December 7th, 2012, 9:43 pm


Uzair8 said:

That ‘Syrian girl’ keeps popping up everywhere. There are the now familiar youtube videos. Wasn’t she also in the audience in the Australian tv debate posted on SC in recent weeks?

A couple a weeks ago she had a bit of a falling out with Commando on twitter (although I saw them exchanging a tweets a couple of days ago).

During 2011 a former SC user was a member of Shiachat and there also used to be a female user with the military styled avatar and signature (incl. syrian flags). Both regime supporters on a forum largely sympathetic to their view of things. Anyway she began posting again in recent weeks after a long time and also revealed her identity. You guessed it! No surprise. Should have guessed it. She was back and now angrier than ever.

Here is her return:

PS Her popping up all over the place on behalf of Assad makes her fair game for scrutiny.

December 7th, 2012, 9:44 pm


MarigoldRan said:


So you don’t support the FSA. Nor do you support the regime. So who do you support? Anarchy?

Look, secularism has no place in the Middle East anymore. Every secular government in the Middle East has turned into a disastrous dictatorship. Look at Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and now Syria. All were originally “secularist” and all governments failed.

Any democratic government in the Middle East must be Islamist. There’s no way around it. Most of the Arab population is Muslim, and devoutly too. Secular governments in the Arab world will ALWAYS morph into a dictatorship.

Secularism and democracy cannot exist together in the Arab Middle East. You can either have an Islamic democracy, or a secular dictatorship, but you cannot have both.

December 7th, 2012, 9:45 pm


habib said:

98. MarigoldRan

It’s not secularism that’s the problem. It isn’t necessarily Islamism either.

It’s foreign corruption. Egypt is turning into a dictatorship with Gulf and Western blessing, simply because the peace treaty with Israel has to be upheld.

That’s all that matters these days.

Syria was on the way to becoming a secular democracy after independence, Iran was too. Both were thwarted by the CIA.

Secular governments only became dictatorships due to Soviet and Western meddling. Now, Islamic governments are becoming dictatorships due to both Gulf and western meddling.

These days, there’s no one to effectively fund and prop up a secular dictatorship (the Russians haven’t reached the level yet), the west supports who the Gulf supports, and that’s always bad. Therefore, a modern secular government would be less tainted; no foreigners would care to fund them, therefore no corruption.

December 7th, 2012, 9:51 pm


Tara said:


“The Syrian regime declared total war on its people. Now it’s time for it to get its just deserts. Teach them a lesson that they’ll never forget.

There will never be peace in the long run unless the supporters of the regime are taught a serious lesson about the application and use of violence. If the government and its Alawite supporters commit violence, it should get violence back in return. Maybe that will stop them from resorting to violence in the future.”

Kalam Jawaher if you understand Arabic. This is the best post of the whole thread. A harsh lesson must be taught.

December 7th, 2012, 9:54 pm


habib said:

100. Tara

Yet again, preaching to the choir and praising revenge fantasies won’t get you nowhere.

Seriously, people like these on both sides should be locked together in an igloo until the rest of us find a solution.

December 7th, 2012, 9:57 pm


MarigoldRan said:


Pffft. The CIA this, the CIA that. Foreign meddling this. Foreign meddling that. What is it with Arabs these days? Why are they always blaming other people, when they cannot get their own houses in order?

A government that cannot rule its people with fairness and legitimacy will ALWAYS be a target of foreign meddling, especially in a place like the Middle East. But in the end, the fault is squarely on the government and the people who support it.

Foreign meddling will ALWAYS be there for Middle Eastern countries. After all, the Middle East is located in the MIDDLE of the intersection of 3 continents. You can either whine about it, or you can deal with it.

December 7th, 2012, 9:58 pm


ann said:

Morsi left the country his regime collapsed!

December 7th, 2012, 9:59 pm


MarigoldRan said:

@ Tara

Thank you.

December 7th, 2012, 10:03 pm


habib said:

102. MarigoldRan

This is a hard fact, and I don’t see why it should be mocked. Are you denying that the only true Middle Eastern democracies in the making were undermined by the West? As in governments that weren’t created through coups?

Who propped up the monarchs and dictators in all these countries?

Anyway, the point was that secular governments can and have worked in the Middle East. But such governments usually don’t let foreigners rape their resources, and therefore they are overthrown.

December 7th, 2012, 10:04 pm


Tara said:

Habib@ 101

Not revenge but punishment. The killer shall be killed and justice must be served.

December 7th, 2012, 10:07 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Look at Turkey. Thanks to Kemal Ataturk, its democratic government is doing fine. The West supports it. Turkey is part of NATO!

But you’re right. Foreign meddling IS a hard fact of the Middle East. I do not mock this. What I mock is the ATTITUDE that people have towards it. They’re always blaming foreigners for their problems, when in fact it is their responsibility for it.

Foreigners cannot overthrow a government without the support of some people within the country. Do you agree with that? As long as people believe they can get a better deal by bargaining with foreigners than with their own government, then the Middle East nations will always be vulnerable to foreign meddling.

The solution is not to blame foreigners for this problem. Foreigners and the CIA and the KGB and the Mossad will always behave as they always behaved. You cannot change that. What you must change is the government, so that it is representative of the people. The people must feel like the government will defend THEIR interests against that of the foreigners, instead of the other way around.


Look at the people of Syria. They have turned to foreigners to protect their communities against the government!

Why are you blaming the foreigners for this? If a man beats his wife and his children, shouldn’t the neighbors stop him? If a governments beats its people, shouldn’t others step in to help?

December 7th, 2012, 10:12 pm


habib said:

For the record, I was all for the revolution in Tunisia. It turned bad (read: Islamist), but at least the revolution didn’t turn violent.

The revolution in Egypt was noble, since it didn’t turn violent even after a 1000 people had been killed. It also turned bad, but the revolution itself was clean.

I supported the revolution in Libya initially, even as it became violent, but then all these Jihadis joined, and the West somehow felt it had the right to intervene. That’s where the revolution became morally indefensible.

Same in Syria. But the revolution was quickly tainted by both violence and foreign meddling. I don’t buy that this is Assads fault alone, since it should also had happened much earlier in Egypt then.

December 7th, 2012, 10:17 pm


habib said:

107. MarigoldRan

Aha. And what was Atatürk again?

Bingo. A staunch secularist. But Turkey also had the benefit of having been a strong empire up until that time, and was seen more or less as an equal by Westerners. Syria was just part of this, inhabited by lowly, tribal Arabs. Unlike the secular nationalists in Turkey that held the country together.

As for foreign help being necessary, I don’t buy it. In fact, if the opposition in Syria takes power by themselves, I’ll have much more respect for them than if the West intervenes directly.

December 7th, 2012, 10:18 pm


MarigoldRan said:


No, it is not Assad’s fault alone. Many people in the regime supported the use of violence against the protesters. And there were provocateurs on the rebellion’s side too. But Assad was the president, the leader of Syria. And he had real power. So MOST of the fault is his.

Don’t judge the revolutions yet. It has only been a year or two, and revolutions are always messy. Revolution should only be judged a generation later. At the time, many people thought Gaddafi’s revolution, when he took power 40 years ago was great! They were wrong. The situation in many countries is not the revolutionaries’ fault, but the dictator’s fault.

The dictators HID the problems in their country. The revolutionaries EXPOSED them. Which method of government do you think is better?

About Ataturk:

He was special. Turkey was lucky to have him, and the Turks, despite their flaws, do not divide themselves into sects and tribes, as Arabs do. So when he proclaimed himself the father of the Turks, all of the Turks in Turkey listened, and he has proved himself to be a good father too.

In the Arab world, this is not possible. Anyone who declares himself the father of the Arabs will be shot down, laughed at, or assassinated.

December 7th, 2012, 10:38 pm


Syrialover said:

It’s interesting and strange.

Why are people on this forum leaving it by default to accused Assadist HABIB to be the one to make a statement about the desirability of a liberal secular government in Syria?

Unlike countless anti-Assad twitter dicussions, blogs and other Syrian forums out there, there is a weird vacuum and inhibition on this forum about openly discussing the issue of political Islam in post-Assad Syria.

It’s as if many fellow Anti-regime posters here are shy about the subject in front of anonymous cyber entities like ZOO and “ANN” and MINA for fear of conceding some debating points.

Anybody with a stake in Syria needs to be thinking NOW about the issue of political Islam and Islamic extremists seeking power in Syria. And thinking rationally, not emotionally and rhetorically.

Dodge the subject now, but it’s going to hit you like a hurricane any minute. Currently this forum feels like a chatter circle down the back of the room while the rest of the room holds the main discussions.

I’m not talking “religion” here, I am talking competence, experience and credibility to run a country in the 21st century. The ability, bottom line, to provide a future for young Syrians and peace, dignity, freedom, economic security, equal opportunity and rule of law for everyone.

The problems and lessons emerging from this issue in Egypt, Iran and potentially Tunisia and Libya (see what’s in my post #44) become clearer every day.

VISITOR # 91, you can talk tough about wanting non-secular government for the next 500 years, but pack up your life and family, give away your assets and current residency rights and go and start life under such a regime in the real world. Try Northern Mali as a jump off point.

And my views on this are identical to countless Syrians inside Syria with their lives on the line for the revolution. Plenty of FSA and LCC statements make this clear.

Even the courageous poster makers in Kafranbel say the same.(

But I guess those guys in Kafranbel defying Assad’s aerial bombing aren’t “revolutionary enough” for the tough anti-Assidists here?

December 7th, 2012, 10:46 pm


habib said:

110. MarigoldRan

I agree, Assad fucked up big time, but so did Mubarak. Yet he didn’t get an armed uprising as a result. He perhaps would, if he had stayed, but you can e sure such an uprising would not had been supported by the West or the Saudis.

On Atatürk, I’m not sure if I agree, apart from the obvious Kurds (not to mention Armenians, Greeks, Syriacs, etc. who have pretty much gone extinct there), there are several sects other than Sunni Islam practiced by Turks. Many of them syncretic, and therefore potentially “heretical”.

But the Sunni Turk were in majority, therefore their rule (however brutal) could be said to be more legitimate than Alawite rule in Syria, from a “democratic” standpoint. But Turkey still had demographic problems, of course, and does to this day.

December 7th, 2012, 10:48 pm


MarigoldRan said:

When Mubarak order the army to shoot, the army did not shoot. When Assad ordered HIS army to shoot, the army shot. This is the reason why Syria had a civil war, but Egypt does not. Kudos to Egypt.

When I mentioned Ataturk, I was careful and I said “the TURKS listened to him.” I did not mention the Kurds or the Greeks or the Armenians for precisely the reason you mentioned. The Turks behaved badly towards the Greeks and the Armenians. But the Greeks and the Armenians behaved badly towards the Turks too. The difference was that the Turks won.

About Political Islam:

Yes, there needs to be a serious discussion about it. What I’ve been trying to tell the secularists is if they continue to hold onto their inflexible secularism, they will be washed away by the tide. The future of Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya is Islamic. The question is: how Islamic?

December 7th, 2012, 10:53 pm


habib said:

111. Syrialover

Yet again, not supporting the armed opposition does not one an Assadist make.

Likewise, one who doesn’t support Mursi isn’t automatically a Mubarakite.

December 7th, 2012, 10:56 pm


habib said:

113. MarigoldRan

Well, how do you explain a 1000 dead Egyptians in a month then?

As for secularist, they have already been washed away by the tide. Now its the turn for the Islamists to fail, and perhaps we’ll get something good out of it afterwards.

December 7th, 2012, 11:02 pm


Visitor said:

Syrialover @111

I told you many times that my personal life is my own, and so is yours. So SHUT THE F##K UP  This is the most polite reply you will get from me when you encroach into such areas. 

You want to discuss secularism and political Islam, then by all means start a thread.  Then I will show you you are the least informed about both subjects as well as the least capable to deal with such issues.

Otherwise, go do your blah blah until hell freezes.

December 7th, 2012, 11:02 pm


MarigoldRan said:

In a revolution, the death of 1000 people is nothing. Unfortunate, but true. The army fought a little for Mubarak, but when they realized how hated he was, they kicked him out of power.

The Syrian army and the Alawite officers were stupid. They clung to Assad even when it became obvious that Assad had no future in Syria.

And Habib, if you wish the Islamists to fail, then you’re wishing for another generation of failure in the Arab world. Is that what you really wish for?

December 7th, 2012, 11:06 pm


habib said:

I’d argue the military kicked out Mubarak simply because the West told them to. And the West sure has leverage there. Money is all that counts for the military, and Israel is all that counts for the West.

Perfect match. The West knew that whoever ruled Egypt after Mubarak would be manageable too, since Egypt is completely dependent on Western aid to function, so Mubarak himself didn’t really make a difference to them.

As for wanting Islamist governments to fail? They’re already failing. I don’t even have to wish for it. Heard the news from Egypt lately?

December 7th, 2012, 11:16 pm


Syrialover said:

HABIB #114, you and I are in agreement on some things, and I see and respect your points.

But we are not going land on the same page because I have the highest regard for and pride in the FSA. For reasons that would take as long as one of CITIZEN’S or “ANN’S” cut-pastes to list.

MARIGOLDRAN #113 I agree about Islam being reflected in the official insitutional culture of Middle Eastern countries (just as Christianity forms the basis of what the west has today).

But NOT a particular version of Islam claimed by those in power to the exclusion of those who don’t fit with them. And who claim their “superior” belief system gives them the right to run the government (and even more scarily, the economy and judiciary) of a country.

That’s why secular government is the only way to stand up and walk forward.

Modern history has yet to give us a model of a non-secular government that provides its citizens with the rights, opportunities, freedoms, protections, economic management and effective government that many living under secular governments enjoy.

But the guts of the issue is how the Islamists in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya are busy cheating and climbing over the backs of those who have this vision and did the actual heavy lifting in the revolutions in those countries.

December 7th, 2012, 11:25 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

France sent its airforce carrier C De Gaulle to the Mediterranian ,to join several british ships and to USS Eisehower carrier, it is getting crowded.

December 7th, 2012, 11:26 pm


zoo said:

#118 Habib

In Egypt, the army is back in the front. They have made deals with the MB to keep a large part of their industrial empire in exchange for their “collaboration” in quelling any ‘liberal’ trends.
Egypt will be either an islamic or military autocracy or both and they’ll get western support despite a crooked ‘democratic’ constitution that can easily be interpreted to quell freedom of expression and civil rights.
Forget about a democracy tainted with religion, it is a lose lose situation on short and medium term.
As for these pathetic allahukabarites in Syria, full of the illusion of the paradise of freedom and fortune they will bring in a “democratic Moslem Brotherhood” ruling, I think they will fall from their clouds into a deep desillusion…

December 7th, 2012, 11:31 pm


zoo said:

Although heavy fighting near to the capital has been sustained and is taking place simultaneously over a wide swathe of the suburbs, the balance of forces remains hard to gauge.

Rebels, and their supporters, have pushed a narrative of opposition forces converging decisively on the capital, with a final battle for Damascus close at hand.

In official and semi-official news outlets, the Syrian authorities say the opposite is true, with “terrorists” – their term for the rebels – suffering dramatic losses during a successful counter offensive.

The situation is changing rapidly and the rebels have been making ground but it is still much too soon to talk about the fall of Damascus,” said an independent analyst based in the city.

“If the FSA is to take the Damascus it will require a lot more hard fighting and much more death and destruction, we all know that,” he said.

Read more:

December 7th, 2012, 11:43 pm


zoo said:

Are there “terrorists” and a “conspiracy” in Egypt against the ‘revolution’ as Morsi claims it?

“Opposition groups and protesters also sharply criticised Mr Morsi’s speech, in which he warned of a “fifth column” trying to derail the country’s democratic transition by providing arms, funding and support to violent groups.

His use of “terrorism” and “conspiracy” drew comparisons to Mubarak’s final speeches last year, where he beckoned for calm and claimed foreign countries were instigating violent protests.

Read more:
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

December 7th, 2012, 11:47 pm


Observer said:

It is imperative that political Islam be allowed a place in politics for it will show its deficiencies and its ultimate failure to truly address the real issues facing the people of the ME.

Be it in Iran or Turkey the fact that the political system has GOT to deliver means that the rhetoric of “Islam is the solution” is being exposed for its being a pure BS. In both instances and better in Turkey than in Iran, political Islam is being exposed and people are actually either making it more pragmatic as in Turkey or hated and eventually irrelevant as it is in Iran.

Likewise the rhetoric of Resistance and Arab Nationalism and LIberation and Socialism that the Baath and more recently the Mafia states of Syria and Iraq have put us through is also exposed as cruel and bloody BS.

Both in Iraq and in Egypt an attempt to create an Islamist dictatorship is being resisted one being Shia and the other being Sunni.

Now get back to Syria; the regime has reverted into an ethnic militia and the only remnant of the state apparatus maybe the ability to secure the chemical weapons. It is not capable of providing anything anywhere in the country and it has nothing resembling a modern state even by third world standards.

Is the airport open, I cannot get to SANA to find out the activity of the air traffic
What is the value of the US dollar is it more than 85 now?

Cham Press says that there is no gas for taxis in Damascus is this true?

Which areas are slipping out of its control? How many parks are filled with refugees?

What are the Alawites doing in term of securing their areas for a withdrawal that will spare them a genocide?

Will chemical weapons be transferred there and how will they be stored? What would happen to the population if the FSA bombs them with long range artillery?

Some are saying that Russia delivered to Syria Iskander missile systems, when we all know that the Patriots are meant to prevent Syrian Scuds from landing in Turkey and more likely Iranian missiles from hitting NATO bases.

Is this true? If so what is the Russian strategy? Keep a foothold in an Alawite enclave? Ally themselves with a sect that will alienate further the Sunni world and the Sunnis of Russia?

It does not make sense to me/

Justice for Hamza


December 7th, 2012, 11:50 pm


zoo said:

U.S., Iraq Sign Defense Cooperation Agreement

By Jim Garamone | American Forces Press Service (Source: IIP Digital, U.S. Department of State)

Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun Al-Dlimi, foreground, and U.S. officials James Miller and Rose Gottemoeller, background, discuss a memorandum of understanding they signed in Baghdad.

Washington – American and Iraqi officials signed a memorandum of understanding December 6 in Baghdad that will make it easier for the two countries to work together.

The memo was one result of the Defense and Security Joint Coordination Committee that met December 5-6 in the Iraqi capital.

December 8th, 2012, 12:01 am


zoo said:


You sound suddenly extremely worried about the turn of the events in Syria.
Maybe you better stay asleep and dream of a happy end to that messy ‘revolution’ that you have idealized…

December 8th, 2012, 12:04 am


zoo said:

“I think it’s unreasonable to expect that the battle is in its last stages right now,” said Rami Abdelrahman of the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has tracked the fighting since it began in March 2011.

“The big advances are only in the media. The situation is certainly not good, for anyone. The Syrian economy is dead. But conditions for the rebels are not good either…Rebel-held parts of Aleppo are barely eating and are always at risk of army shelling.”

December 8th, 2012, 12:09 am


Syrialover said:

Well, VISITOR Habibi I was going to write your response (#116) to me to save you the trouble. I knew you exactly what you were going to say, and you did.

Be fair now, you have expressed powerful opinions and wishes for how my family and friends and everyone else inside Syria should live the rest of their lives (“500 years of non secular government”). That is, if they survive.

So I invited you to imagine yourself living the vision you have pronounced here. The same as the vision you offered for the private lives and futures of millions of others who don’t have any option but to live where they are now.

You also said: “Then I will show you you are the least informed about both subjects as well as the least capable to deal with such issues.”

Well, from your apparent extensive experience of these issues(maybe living as a citizen of Iran or Saudi Arabia?), please reassure and demonstrate to me that I’m wrong to want a liberal secular government in Syria’s future.

Not just me, but also all those people in the FSA, Kafranbel, LCC and Syrian Coalition who have expressed hope for the same thing.

And to be fair again, I have tried to start debate on this crucial subject of political Islam several times, and respectfully attempted to engage you, but you usually make me run the obstacle course of being told I know nothing, to butt out and shut the f##k up.

December 8th, 2012, 12:11 am


Syrialover said:

OBSERVER #125, as usual I strongly agree with what you write.

But I can’t bear to sit back with my eyes shut and hands over my ears and let political Islam run its course in Syria. We know all we need to know from what has happened elsewhere. And also the aggressive selfish pattern being followed by the MB in the Syrian opposition movement and the Assad-facilitated Salafists on the ground in Syria.

Syrians don’t have the time, the resources, the psychic energy to waste on a false start and failed experiment. They have already lost and sacrificed too much, wasted so much and suffered so much compared with Iranians, Egyptians, Libyans and Tunisians.

I beg anyone with a stake in Syria to focus on the points made by Libyan writer Hisham Matar quoted in #44.

Matar is a person whose life was determined early by Gaddafi’s cruelty, who lost close family in the recent Libyan revolution and who understands intimately the dirty cheap game being played by Islamists.

He also zeros in on the significance of winning the hearts and minds of youth in this revolution.

December 8th, 2012, 12:30 am


Syrialover said:

ZOO #127,

Comment that’s a random potshot and has nothing to do with what we’re talking about.

December 8th, 2012, 12:33 am


Syrialover said:

Waiting, waiting, for the post-revolutionary “governments” of Egypt and Tunisia to recognise the Syrian Coalition.

Waiting, waiting for those same inept political Islamists throwing their muscle around in Egypt and Tunisia to articulate to their own citizens, particularly that big restless majority under the age of 30, a vision that makes those young people see a future worth having in their own country.

December 8th, 2012, 12:40 am


ghufran said:

not really,sheila (# 70)
we are not in a match about who is more terroristic, the rebels or the regime, we were lead to believe that the rebels and their backers were the solution to Syria’s problems only to discover that the rebels have committed unacceptable human rights violations, endorsed sectarian and violent ideology and did not manage to improve the lives of people under their control, indeed,everywhere the rebels go destruction follows, with the help of the regime I might add.
the next war when this is over and done will be between sunnis, those who want to live against those who want to die and kill,
Assad ,and his family/circle,is an issue but the bigger issue is what type of a country we will have and are we going to see a unified Syria, as usual I will take the easy route and paint a grim picture,but this time I have my reasons.
(I have to admit that I am surprised by SL sudden turn)

December 8th, 2012, 12:59 am


Altair said:

That video showing “Free Syrian Army” soldiers “destroying statues” needs some commenting on.

First of all, anything coming from MEMRI, a pro-Zionist site dedicated to maligning Islam in any way possible (or anything or anyone else perceived as being anti-Zionist), has to be taken with a grain of salt, and I’m surprised it was posted without any comment or explanation.

The video itself does show 2 men destroying Roman “statues” but they are of the hollow type and don’t appear to be anything historic. It’s not clear where this is either. Is it a museum or is it some gaudy mansion of a government supporter? It doesn’t appear to be a Taliban style destruction of Bamyan statues, but it implies that it is. Very misleading.

Tangentially, I would add that I wish Syrians (or any Muslims) would stop saying “Allahu akbar” every time they do anything. It has cheapened the phrase and given it negative connotations to many non-Muslims and should be reserved only for true acts of liberation, justice or (primarily) prayer, not acts of destruction.

December 8th, 2012, 1:06 am


Visitor said:

Syriallove @129,

I do not recall at all you attempting to start such debate about political Islam or secularism.   In fact, you showed aversion to open the subject(s).

As experience has shown, and will continue to show, it is only the people of Syria, inside Syria, and particularly those who are actively involved in the fight, who will write the final chapters of this revolution.

As you and everyone may well know, Syrians have become political novices (read ignorants) for very well known reasons (I.e. last 50 years of despotism).  This is now clearly reflected in the current fractitious political landscape.

So-called secularism was imposed on Syria and most of the middle east during the twentieth century from above.  It was imported ad hoc by few elites from Europe without any solid foundation that would give it the popular acceptance and the needed support to develop states supported by modern institutions (with the exception of Egypt) and the rule of law. 

The results were failed states that in every case without exception brought disasters.  This is the legacy of imported secularism in your Syria as well as the other middle eastern (Arab) states.  It is not a legacy that one can be proud of or it can be sold again to a public that has paid the price.

As for me, I lived most my life in the west.  I can easily go to Qatar, Dubai, the Emirates or even KSA and would not feel any difference in the quality of life that I am currently accustomed to.  But why should I disturb my life?  You must be aware that none of these countries are secular, and also none of them experienced the so-called ‘glorified’ revolutionary past that the Syria of Assad made a case of for everyone to emulate until lo and behold the glass shattered, and everyone discovered it was nothing but a cheap lie.

The question now, do you want for your family and their descendants to live another cheap lie for another hundred years?

I made a post not long ago and expressed my opinion about how the coalition should proceed in order to usher in a new era in Syria.  If you have read it then I hope you understood it.  If you haven’t read it or missed it, I suggest you go back and read it.  It shouldn’t be too hard to find.  It is under one the most recent posts just after the coalition was formed.

December 8th, 2012, 1:13 am


ghufran said:

أعلنت المعارضة السورية المسلحة التي تقاتل لاسقاط الرئيس بشار الأسد الجمعة مطار دمشق الدولي منطقة حرب، بينما بدت كل من موسكو وواشنطن متشائمتين بشأن احتمالات نجاح المساعي الديبلوماسية لانهاء الصراع، فيما قال مبعوثون إن جماعات معارضة سورية مسلحة انتخبت في اجتماع في تركيا قيادة موحدة تتألف من 30 عضوا الجمعة خلال محادثات حضرها مسؤولون أمنيون من قوى عالمية.
وقال المبعوثون إن القيادة الجديدة تضم كثيرا من المرتبطين بجماعة الاخوان المسلمين والسلفيين ولا تشمل أكبر الضباط المنشقين عن جيش الرئيس بشار الاسد.
وغاب عن تشكيلة القيادة العقيد رياض الاسعد مؤسس الجيش السوري الحر والعميد مصطفى الشيخ وهو ضابط بارز معروف بمعارضته لجماعة الاخوان المسلمين.
ولم يحضر الاسعد والشيخ الاجتماع الذي شارك فيه 263 فردا في انطاليا. ولم يحضر أيضا اللواء حسين حج علي وهو أعلى الضباط المنشقين عن الجيش رتبة منذ بداية الانتفاضة في مارس / اذار العام الماضي.
I told you,as others did, that FSA leaders in Turkey will be treated like a shoe,you wear it when you do not want to go barefooted then you take it off when the floor is more friendly to your foot, at this rate only takfiri islamists will be allowed to “direct” the guns with the stamp of approval from Qatar, Turkey and KSA, the three highest ranking defecting officers in the FSA are now expired goods.

December 8th, 2012, 1:15 am


Syrialover said:

GHUFRAN #133 wrote:

“I have to admit that I am surprised by SL sudden turn”

Why? What sudden turn?

Go back and you’ll find I’ve ALWAYS expressed lack of enthusiasm and respect for Islamic extremists’ adventure-opportunist role in Syria’s problems. And my view is the same as millions of other Syrians on the side of the revolution, and plenty of high profile and strongly credentialed anti-regime commentators.

GHUFRAN you’ve fallen into the shallow ditch of wrongly assuming that everyone who wants the regime overthrown and supports the aims of the FSA is “pro-Islamist”. Far from it. Do some reading.

And I know the role of the extremist Islamists in the FSA has been wildly EXAGGERATED and over-dramatized by the Assad camp and this has been used to manipulate ill-informed outsiders.

But at this final heated stage of proceedings on the ground I don’t see the point of putting effort into intervening to stop them attacking the Assad regime. The revolution needs all the help it can get to counterbalance Assad’s assistance from Hezbollah, Iran and Russia.

December 8th, 2012, 1:24 am


ghufran said:

Have you asked yourself the basic question:
What on earth is a foreign country ,France, that does not border Syria doing?
“France has emerged as the most prominent backer of Syria’s armed opposition and is now directly funding rebel groups around Aleppo as part of a new push to oust the embattled Assad regime.
Large sums of cash have been delivered by French government proxies across the Turkish border to rebel commanders in the past month, diplomatic sources have confirmed. The money has been used to buy weapons inside Syria and to fund armed operations against loyalist forces”
From France to the GCC to Russia, Iran and the US, everybody seems to want to have a say in what happens in Syria, in my humble view a country this important,with little wealth I must add,should not be ruled by a man like Bashar and can not be ruled by the MB,Syrians are too difficult to control, too independent to form a coalition and too proud to accept defeat, I do not know how Hafez Al-Assad managed to stay in power for 30 years.

December 8th, 2012, 1:37 am


MarigoldRan said:

In which case, if the people are so fractious, Syria may as well establish a Lebanese-type government and be done with it. That may very well be the fate of the country. The Islamic and rural elements of the opposition could become like Hezbollah, but a Sunni version, and supported by the GCC. The Alawites will be allowed their enclave in Lattakia, and the Kurds will have de facto autonomy.

Is that truly a bad fate? Lebanon is not a terrible place to live in, and Hezbollah, despite what the Americans say, takes care of its supporters and have shown that they can live in peace with their less religious Lebanese neighbors. Lebanon is a corrupt democracy, but it has a sort of corruption that everyone can live with. Despite predictions of doom, Lebanon has weathered the Syrian Civil War relatively well.

December 8th, 2012, 1:53 am


Jasmine said:

Marigoldran @139
My worry is having a Syrian Robespierre next, it will never end like Lebanon,the Christians in Syria are leaving for good.

December 8th, 2012, 2:07 am


Syrialover said:

VISITOR #135 I express my views on behalf of those close to me who are playing a first-hand role in the fight. I also know strongly devout Muslims who have sacrificed and suffered in this revolution who definitely do NOT want Islamists to claim a political role in post-Assad Syria.

You and I went a few rounds in the boxing ring when I expressed my fear that Islamists might steal a role by default at the ballot box. The same way the military dictatorships in Africa did.

I said much the same as you say now about Syrians being political novices. And my concern that they could be shouldered aside in an election situation without realising what’s happening.

I am very happy to re-read your post if you give me the link. I read so much here and everywhere else I apologize that I can’t pinpont it.

I don’t share your view that “secularism” ushered in the disastrous modern history of Arab nations. Tribalism could be a better shorthand way of looking at it.

I also know that being in a country while having the option to travel and live elsewhere is radically different from being confined to that country without other options and experiences.

To sum up, my concern is that selfish and opportunistic mischief is being planned against Syria right this moment by the MB within the opposition, and delusions of grandeur about unearned power are being held by self-styled warriors who have rushed into Syria to have an adventure.

And these elements need to be jostled from outside, beause that’s where they are coming from, not left for the people inside Syria to worry about on top of everything else.

December 8th, 2012, 2:14 am


Syrialover said:

GHUFRAN #138 wrote:

“I do not know how Hafez Al-Assad managed to stay in power for 30 years”

Oh it’s not such a mystery.

He was a vicious dictator. He got into power and kept it by holding a gun and using it with ruthless contempt and indifference against Syrians. By keeping an iron grip through state terrorism, corruption, censorship and illegitimately excluding 90% of Syrians from involvement in their nations affairs.

With a few little incidents like the Hama and Tadmore massacres to help keep the fear level high and resistance suppressed for around two-thirds of his “rule”.

Still puzzled about how Assad senior and his gang did it?

December 8th, 2012, 3:14 am


Mina said:

Syrian women would vote Hafez 100 times rather to be downgraded to the status of Egyptian women!!

Cairo snipers:
“Dr. Mohamed Sinousy, a member of Tahrir Doctors, was shot in the head with a live bullet from a shotgun on his way home after working in the field clinic in Heliopolis near Roxy Square; he died in the hospital the next evening.”

December 8th, 2012, 5:03 am


Citizen said:

Cut and paste articles on the topic of dialogue is one of the way to explain!
Obama’s US Administration Playing the WMD Hype Game Against Syria’s S

Report: Foreign Jihadis Infiltrate Syria and Fight in an Islamist-Infested Syrian “Revolution”

December 8th, 2012, 7:26 am


Citizen said:

Syria could ‘blow up’ the region with major spillover effects, but major actors do not have a clear policy to prevent this.

December 8th, 2012, 7:39 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Do you believe that the people must decide whether they want to live under secularism or religious backed system?

If you do, then what would you do if the people decide they want religion backed system? do you revolt violently or just peacefully?

And if you don’t, then you don’t believe in democracy.

I think ,since the constitution applies to every body, it must be approved by at least two third majority,not less.

Please respond

December 8th, 2012, 8:09 am


Majed97 said:

Back to square one… Looks like the only thing the Egyptian revolution accomplished is getting a younger dictator with a beard…

Egyptian President Said to Prepare Martial Law Decree
The New York Times
Published: December 8, 2012

CAIRO — Struggling to subdue continuing street protests, the government of President Mohamed Morsi has approved legislation reimposing martial law by calling on the armed forces to keep order and authorizing soldiers to arrest civilians, Egypt’s state media reported Saturday.

Mr. Morsi has not yet issued the order, the flagship state newspaper Al Ahram reported. But even if merely a threat, the preparation of the measure suggested an escalation in the political battle between Egypt’s new Islamist leaders and their secular opponents over an Islamist-backed draft constitution. The standoff has already threatened to derail the culmination of Egypt’s promised transition to a constitutional democracy nearly two years after the revolt against the former leader Hosni Mubarak.

“President Morsi will soon issue a decision for the participation of the armed forces in the duties of maintaining security and protection of vital state institutions until the constitution is approved and legislative elections are finished,” the state newspaper Al Ahram reported, suggesting that martial law would last until at least February. Parliamentary elections are expected to be held two months after the constitutional referendum, which is scheduled for next Saturday.

A short time later, a military spokesman read a statement over state television echoing the report of the president’s order. The military “realizes its national responsibility for maintaining the supreme interests of the nation and securing and protecting the vital targets, public institutions, and the interests of the innocent citizens,” the spokesman said.

Expressing “sorrow and concern” over recent developments, the military spokesman warned of “divisions that threaten the state of Egypt.”

“Dialogue is the best and sole way to reach consensus that achieves the interests of the nation and the citizens,” the spokesman said. “Anything other than that puts us in a dark tunnel with drastic consequences, which is something that we will not allow.”

The Al Ahram newspaper reported that the defense minister would determine the scope of the military’s role. Military officers would be authorized to act as police and “to use force to the extent necessary to perform their duty,” the newspaper said.

A need to rely on the military to secure a referendum to approve the new charter could undermine Mr. Morsi’s efforts to present the documents as an expression of national consensus that might resolve the crisis.

Even the possibility presents an extraordinary role reversal: an elected president who spent decades opposing Mr. Mubarak’s use of martial law to detain Islamists — a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who himself spent months in jail under the “emergency law” — is poised to resort to similar tactics to control unrest and violence from secular groups. After six decades during which military-backed secular autocrats used the threat of an Islamist takeover to justify authoritarian rule, the order would bring the military into the streets to protect an elected Islamist, dashing the whispered hopes of some more secular Egyptians that the military might step in to remove Mr. Morsi.

The move would also reflect an equally extraordinary breakdown in Egyptian civic life that in the last two weeks has destroyed most of the remaining trust between the rival Islamist and secular factions, beginning with Mr. Morsi’s decree on Nov. 22 granting himself powers above any judicial review until the ratification of a new constitution.

At the time, Mr. Morsi said he needed such unchecked power to protect against the threat that Mubarak-appointed judges might dissolve the constitutional assembly. He also tried to give the assembly a two-month extension on its year-end deadline to forge consensus between the Islamist majority and the secular faction — something liberals have sought. But his claim to such power for even a limited period struck those suspicious of the Islamists as a return to autocracy, and his authoritarian decree triggered an immediate backlash.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters accusing Mr. Morsi and his Islamist allies of monopolizing power have poured into the streets. Demonstrators have attacked more than two dozen Brotherhood offices around the country, including its headquarters. And judges declared a national strike.

In response, Mr. Morsi’s Islamist allies in the assembly stayed up all night to rush out a draft constitution over the boycotts and objections of the secular minority and the Coptic Christian church. Then, worried that the Interior Ministry might fail to protect the presidential palace from sometimes-violent demonstrations outside, Mr. Morsi turned to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups to defend it, resulting in a night of street fighting that killed at least six and wounded hundreds in the worst clashes between political factions since Gamal Abdel Nasser’s coup six decades ago.

International experts who monitored the constituent assembly’s work say that before the crisis, the Islamists and their secular foes had appeared close to resolving their differences and uniting around a document that both sides could accept. Even the draft charter, ultimately rushed out almost exclusively with Islamist support, stops short of the liberals’ worst fears about the imposition of religious rule. But it leaves loopholes and ambiguities that liberals fear an Islamist majority could later use to empower religious groups or restrict individual freedoms, which the secular opposition has repeatedly compared to the theocracy established by the Iranian revolution of 1979.

Their denunciations, in turn, have reminded Islamist leaders of the Algerian military coup staged in the early 1990s to abort elections after Islamists won, and Mr. Morsi’s political allies have repeatedly accused their secular opponents of seeking to undermine democracy in order to thwart the will of the Islamist majority.

Against the backdrop of the mounting distrust, Mr. Morsi’s advisers say he has attempted to offer a series of compromises. He has sought to redefine his initial decree so it fits within judicial precedents instead of stepping over the courts. He has said that the decree would be canceled after the referendum next weekend, even if the constitution is rejected. And on Friday night, government officials opened the door to a delay in the referendum so that the constituent assembly can make further amendments, if secular opponents would agree to the terms.

But Mr. Morsi’s Islamist allies say that they have also lost hope that any concession would satisfy the secular opposition and are convinced the opposition’s true goal is to bring down the president — the main chant of the protesters who have surrounded the presidential palace for the last four nights. Mr. Morsi’s secular opponents say they do not trust the president or the Brotherhood to deal in good faith. They are insisting that he agree to revamp the constitutional drafting process before they sit down for any talks.

In a speech two days ago, Mr. Morsi had invited secular opposition leaders to meet with him Saturday to try to work out a compromise. But the principal leaders declined the invitation. Without them, he met with a group again dominated by fellow Islamists, including some less-conservative Islamists outside the Brotherhood’s party, according to a list reported on state media. Only one secular politician, the former presidential candidate Ayman Nour, attended.

The continuing unrest in the streets and attacks on Brotherhood offices had begun to raise the possibility that violence might mar next Saturday’s scheduled vote on the referendum. While a deployment of the military could allay those concerns, it might also lead to new questions about the legitimacy of the process if the charter is indeed approved, complicating longer-term hopes of restoring civility and trust.

December 8th, 2012, 8:45 am


zoo said:

After Erdogan’s meeting with Putin where it became clear that now that the SNC sponsored by Turkey was dead, Erdogan must make a last ditch to salvage its other creation, the FSA from immiment desintegration. If the FSA collapses, Turkey will be totally sidelined in any political solution in Syria. Time is running out for Erdogan.

Who is Brig. Gen. Salim Idriss?

Syrian rebels create new unified military command
By By BASSEM MROUE | Associated Press – 2 hrs 45 mins ago

BEIRUT (AP) — A senior official with the rebel Free Syrian Army says commanders from all over the country have elected a new Supreme Military Council and a chief of staff.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal the meeting’s outcome, says the move is similar to last month’s conference in Qatar that unified political groups.

He says the meetings in the Turkish resort of Antalya began on Dec. 5 and are being attended by more than 550 rebel commanders and representatives. The official said Saturday that Brig. Gen. Salim Idriss was named as the group’s chief of staff.

December 8th, 2012, 9:31 am


zoo said:

#133 Ghufran

I am not surprised by the increased uneasiness of the regime change promoters about the twisted turn the events are taking in Syria, turns obvious from the start but laughed at.
What they saw as a romantic fight between the Good and the Evil is turning out to be a destructive mess where no one knows anymore who is the Good and who is the evil.
Their view was dictated by the infantile idea that Syria is an island and that its geopolitical location is irrelevant to the sacred quest of ‘karama’ and ‘freedom’ when the issues were more of economic nature.
Suddenly they realize that the events went much beyond that and the result maybe extremely far from what they hoped for.
We now read a flow of worried comments, anxious questions, and increased internal rifts among them… They are just waking up to the bitter reality that this revolution has destroyed this country to a point where who will rule it is of no importance anymore to the Syrians living in Syria. They only want their security and peace that were stolen from them.

December 8th, 2012, 9:45 am


zoo said:

Sidelined by Morsi, the Egyptian army is back in force.
No ruler can rule without having a disciplined and dedicated army on its side. A thought many Syrians should consider…

Egypt: military warns of ‘disastrous consequences’
By By SARAH EL DEEB | Associated Press – 2 hrs 8 mins ago

Egypt’s once all-powerful military, which temporarily took over governing the country after the revolution that ousted autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak, has largely been sidelined since handing over power to Morsi weeks after his election.

But it has begun asserting itself again, with soldiers sealing off the presidential palace with tanks and barbed wire, as rival protests and street battles between Morsi’s supporters and his opponents turned increasingly violent.

The statement said the military “realizes its national responsibility in protecting the nation’s higher interests” and state institutions.

December 8th, 2012, 9:53 am


zoo said:

138. ghufran

France has a economy in a deep crisis. It urgently needs investments. In addition should they renounce to nuclear energy they will be at the mercy of the gas and oil suppliers: Russia, Iran, Qatar, KSA, Libya. In addition France wants to claim its past international position back and at the same time hide the internal crisis it is going through.

They lost Iraq’s friendship after they were the only one to do business with during the Saddam’s years. Iran is off their reach. Now their main foreign policy is to tap Qatar’s resources and encourage the flow of gas from this region rather than from Russia and Iran ( through a ‘friendlier’ Syria).
Therefore they took many decisions in this line of thought. They supported Qatar in the Libya take over, decided absurdly that Qatar was a ‘francophone’ country and they now closely follow the emir’s foolish and bellicose foreign policy in Syria.
So, it’s no surprise they were involved in Libya and Syria ‘regime changes’
But history has shown that France foreign policy moves ultimately turned against it. Let’s see what the future will reserve it.

December 8th, 2012, 10:22 am


zoo said:

An Islamic military command for the FSA: It is its last breath?

Syrian rebels pick chief of staff in Turkey’s Antalya

BEIRUT – Reuters / AP

Syrian rebel groups have chosen Brigadier Selim Idris, a former officer from President Bashar al-Assad’s army who defected, to head a new unified military command dominated by Islamists, opposition sources said on Saturday.

December 8th, 2012, 10:31 am


Majed97 said:

Here is a sample of the glorious FSA fighters captured by the Syrian Army and interviewed by BBC. Imagine what Syria will be like under their control…

December 8th, 2012, 10:56 am


zoo said:

Where is Jihad Makdisi?

Syria foreign ministry spokesman’s whereabouts in question

However, the US State Department says he has not turned up there. A State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, told al-Hayat newspaper: “We believe Jihad Makdissi is in London, we cannot confirm. Not aware of him reaching out to US embassy,”
UK officials were insistent throughout the day that Makdissi had not arrived in London.

Faisal Makdad told Sky News that Makdissi had not defected at all and was on a “three-month sabbatical”.

December 8th, 2012, 11:06 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

Does it really matter where Jihad Makdisi is?

Madeleine Allbright decided that Saddam Hussein had to go even if 500,000 Iraqi children had to die.

According to several non-western media reports its now Hillary Clinton’s turn to decide who is in charge in Damascus.

History keeps repeating itself in the ME

December 8th, 2012, 11:19 am


Visitor said:

Syrialove @141,

You can only speak and represent yourself.

If you do not understand what went on in the middle east in the last 100 years, then you cannot step one inch forward.

That comment of mine is under one of the most recent posts just after the coalition was formed. It is easy to find. I do not make tons of comments usually. I will find it for you if I have the time but no promises.

December 8th, 2012, 11:19 am


zoo said:

If You Thought Benghazi Was Bad, Watch Syria

By Robert B. Baer

Now, a story in the Wednesday’s New York Times claims to have confirmed rumors that some of the arms supplied by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates ended up in the hands of Libyan Salafi groups.

Qatar, for one, has made no bones about its intention to continue arming Syrian rebels until Bashar Assad and his regime fall. The evidence so far is anecdotal, but I’ve heard enough of it to believe that much of the Qatari aid is going to factions of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood – and probably also militant Syrian Salafis. With Syria’s stocks of chemical weapons potentially in play, the regional threat from armed and empowered Salafis is greater in Syria than in Libya.
The story told by the New York Times suggests that, as Syria circles the drain, it behooves us to find out precisely to whom in that country the Gulf Arabs have been sending weapons and money. And equally important is to learn the lesson that it’s always a bad idea to outsource covert action in the Middle East. You’re better off sticking with a hands-off policy – enforcing embargos and sanctions – and letting the chips fall where they may.

Read more:

December 8th, 2012, 11:28 am


zoo said:

“BBC abruptly shut off its live broadcast of the speech after seven minutes because it offered nothing new.”

The Stubborn President
Morsi Fans the Flames of Hatred in Egypt

By Matthias Gebauer in Cairo
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi addressed his nation on Thursday night. But instead of striking a conciliatory tone aimed at calming the tense situation in his country, he continued to toe the Muslim Brotherhood line. More violence is almost sure to be the result, and Morsi himself shoulders the blame.

In the end, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi took all of 35 minutes for his nationally televised speech Thursday night.
And it was certainly entertaining. Originally, the palace had announced that the speech would take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, but then the “Address to the Great Egyptian Nation” kept getting pushed back until finally, at 10:30 p.m., Morsi turned up on national television in front of an Egyptian flag.

He need not have made the effort. The Islamist president didn’t accomplish a single one of his goals with his address, nor did he really try. Instead, his flowery rhetoric served merely to further deepen the deep divide between his supporters and the political opposition from the youth movement, the left-leaning and secular parties and even the judiciary.

There wasn’t a hint of real concessions to the opposition. Even the BBC abruptly shut off its live broadcast of the speech after seven minutes because it offered nothing new.

December 8th, 2012, 11:34 am


zoo said:


France is sliding to pauperisation

The French Really Are Les Misérables
Wolf Richter, Dec. 8, 2012, 8:17 AM | 1,696 | 3

In France, 48% of the people considered themselves either living in poverty or on the way to living in poverty. The sobering results of a survey released just ahead of the National Conference of the Fight against Poverty.

Read more:

December 8th, 2012, 11:43 am


Tara said:


“Where is Jihad Makdisi?”

I think he is in Bakourland.

The regime probably killed him..

December 8th, 2012, 3:16 pm


zoo said:


If he is in Bakourland, he will probably meet Ryad al Assaad and Moustafa Sheikh who were kicked out of the FSA and whose whereabouts are also unknown.

I think Makdisi made a PR mistake by implicitly admitting Syrian had chemical weapons. He is either punished for 3 months or he has been enrolled to be part of the western-led government in exile with Tlass, Hijab Ryad and maybe Basma Kodmani.
Be patient, Miss Piggy will tell us all that on the 12/12/12 in Morocco before she is kicked out of her job to join a travel agency with an onsite hairdresser.

December 8th, 2012, 5:15 pm


Tara said:


I am just hoping you are not celebrating a birthday on Dec 12 for yourself or a loved one as I am afraid the day will be spoiled for you. If we believe what Miss Piggy has been telling us, Dec 12 is going to be a big day for Syria.

In any case, Miss Piggy needs a little more work than just a good hair cut. I’ll be happy to give some tips but only if she was not making us wait for nothing …

December 8th, 2012, 8:18 pm


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