EU and US say Syria’s Assad must step down

EU and US say Syria’s Assad must step down
Reuters, Aug 19, 2011

BRUSSELS // The European Union told Syrian President Bashar Al Assad today to step down, following a similar call by the United States, and threatened to toughen its sanctions against his regime.

“The EU has repeatedly emphasised that the brutal repression must be stopped … The Syrian leadership, however, has remained defiant,” the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.

“This shows that the Syrian regime is unwilling to change… The EU notes the complete loss of Bashar Al Assad’s legitimacy in the eyes of the Syrian people and the necessity for him to step aside,” she said.

Ms Ashton said the EU’s 27 governments were preparing to extend their list of Syrian entities targeted by EU sanctions and discussing ways to broaden the bloc’s measures against Mr Assad.

“The EU is moving ahead with discussing further restrictive measures that will broaden its sanctions against the Syrian regime. By these efforts we continue to aim at assisting the Syrian people to achieve their legitimate aspirations,” she said

Obama Calls for Syrian President to Step Down, By MARK LANDLER and NADA BAKRI in the NYTimes

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” Obama said in a statement. “His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people.”

“For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

EU To Consider Ban On Refined Product Exports To Syria, 2011-08-18, Dow Jones Newswires

Fact Sheet on Syrian Sanctions By New York Times

Resistance Transforms a Once Mute Syrian City
This article was reported by an employee of The New York Times from Syria, and written by Anthony Shadid from Beirut, Lebanon. August 17, 2011

HOMS, Syria — The narrower the streets of this city, a caldron of revolt and resistance against four decades of rule by the Assad family, the blunter the graffiti becomes. It is scrawled on walls, garbage bins, phone booths, doors and even tree trunks, as a city that was long quiescent declares these days that it will no longer stay quiet.

“We won’t bow to anyone but God,” says one slogan.

The sentiments are echoed in the streets, most remarkable perhaps for the simple notion that no one — not young men filming, not fathers hoping for a glimpse of defiance and not grandmothers chanting from their balconies — seems ready to give up.

“Syria wants freedom,” goes their cry.

Syria’s uprising has entered its sixth month, as protesters defy an escalating crackdown that has killed hundreds this month in cities like Hama, Deir al-Zour and, now, Latakia. International condemnations have mounted, even as diplomats acknowledge a paucity of tools to determine the uprising’s outcome. But daily life in Homs underlines the degree to which the uprising has already transformed life in a country once remarkable for its dearth of politics.

Dissent and defiance in Homs, its residents say, have become knitted into the city’s fabric, signaling to the government that however ferocious the repression, it will face a resilient opposition for the foreseeable future.

Each night, in Homs, the battle begins anew…..

The conceptual gap between Syria and the U.S.
By David W. Lesch in Foreign Policy, Wednesday, August 17, 2011

…..For an orderly transition from dictatorship to democracy two elements are crucial: “an elite willing to hand over power, and an alternative elite organized enough to accept it.” In Syria neither exists. Will it at some point? Probably not, but it is not out of the realm of possibility, as there are stirrings that something might emerge on both sides of the equation.

Most of us watching from the outside — those making policy decisions in Washington, at the U.N. or in European capitals — are from a decidedly different world and conceptual paradigm than the Syrian leadership. To think that we could all get on the same page and collectively find a peaceful way out of this has been more fantasy than reality. The weltanschauung prisms are anchored in vastly different experiences, pre-conceptions, local politics, and ideologies, and they have a very hard time seeing and understanding each other.

Re-Examining the Arab Spring – August 15, 2011 | STRATFOR

…..Among Europeans and within the U.S. State Department and the Obama administration is an ideology of human rights — the idea that one of the major commitments of Western countries should be supporting the creation of regimes resembling their own. This assumes all the things that we have discussed: that there is powerful discontent in oppressive states, that the discontent is powerful enough to overthrow regimes, and that what follows would be the sort of regime that the West would be able to work with.

The issue isn’t whether human rights are important but whether supporting unrest in repressive states automatically strengthens human rights. An important example was Iran in 1979, when opposition to the oppression of the shah’s government was perceived as a movement toward liberal democracy. What followed might have been democratic but it was hardly liberal. Indeed, many of the myths of the Arab Spring had their roots both in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and later in Iran’s 2009 Green Movement, when a narrow uprising readily crushed by the regime was widely viewed as massive opposition and widespread support for liberalization.

The world is more complicated and more varied than that. As we saw in the Arab Spring, oppressive regimes are not always faced with massed risings, and unrest does not necessarily mean mass support. Nor are the alternatives necessarily more palatable than what went before or the displeasure of the West nearly as fearsome as Westerners like to think. Libya is a case study on the consequences of starting a war with insufficient force. Syria makes a strong case on the limits of soft power. Egypt and Tunisia represent a textbook lesson on the importance of not deluding yourself.

The pursuit of human rights requires ruthless clarity as to whom you are supporting and what their chances are. It is important to remember that it is not Western supporters of human rights who suffer the consequences of failed risings, civil wars or revolutionary regimes that are committed to causes other than liberal democracy.

The misreading of the situation can also create unnecessary geopolitical problems. The fall of the Egyptian regime, unlikely as it is at this point, would be just as likely to generate an Islamist regime as a liberal democracy. The survival of the al Assad regime could lead to more slaughter than we have seen and a much firmer base for Iran. No regimes have fallen since the Arab Spring, but when they do it will be important to remember 1979 and the conviction that nothing could be worse than the shah’s Iran, morally or geopolitically. Neither was quite the case.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t people in the Arab world who want liberal democracy. It simply means that they are not powerful enough to topple regimes or maintain control of new regimes even if they did succeed. The Arab Spring is, above all, a primer on wishful thinking in the face of the real world.

Read more: Re-Examining the Arab Spring | STRATFOR

Syrian Bank Rejects U.S. Charges on WMD Ties
Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011

The Lebanon branch of a state-run Syrian financial institution on Wednesday rejected U.S. charges that it had carried out transactions that assisted unconventional weapons operations in North Korea and Syria, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Aug. 11).

The United States last week unveiled punitive measures against the Commercial Bank of Syria and its subsidiary, the Syrian Lebanese Commercial Bank, for doing business with Syrian and North Korean entities blacklisted previously by Washington for purportedly supporting WMD proliferation activities.

The U.S. Treasury Department also said the Syrian bank has done business with blacklisted Iranian entities such as Bank Melli, Bank Saderat and the Export Development Bank of Iran.

The Syrian Lebanese Commercial Bank described the U.S. charges as “unfounded political allegations.”

“Since the establishment of our institution, we have never had any operation with either a North Korean or an Iranian entity even before the existing sanctions,” the bank stated.

“As a result, we deny all accusation of being involved in any illegal activity with any suspected country,” the firm said in released remarks

Syria: the Cost of Crisis
Wed, Aug 17, 2011
Chaosistan, Middle East, Strategic Deterrence
By Vladislav GULEVICH (Ukraine)

Syria has entered the sixth month of anti-government riots, orchestrated from abroad. Protesters no longer seek moderate reforms, they aggressively demand Bashar Assad`s resignation. Western media accuse Damascus of ‘opposing democratic changes’. The former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Craig Roberts, had earlier explained what these changes were about: “We need to topple Gaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria because we want to oust China and Russia from the Mediterranean” (‘US risks war with China and Russia’).

Russia has a naval base in Syria`s Tartus, the only place in the Mediterranean where the Russian fleet has its warships stationed. In 1991 Russia reformed its Mediterranean squadron, and since then has sailed to the area only several times. Meanwhile, the US and NATO presence there is not decreasing.

The base in Tartus was established to replace one in Sevastopol if Ukraine bans Russia from having its navy there. There is an alternative port in Novorossiysk but it can`t accommodate as many ships as the one in Sevastopol. On ousting Russian sailors from Syria, Americans will fulfill their goal. That is why Washington is being so persistent in trying to topple Bashar Assad, who is Russia`s ally. The day Assad leaves, Russian sailors will be asked to quit, too. The next step for Washington will be to oust Russia’s Black Sea Fleet from Crimea to Novorossiysk. After that Russia will no longer remain in the list of countries enjoying naval presence in the west…..

To conclude, I would like to say the following:

– in case riots in Syria end in Assad`s resignation, Syria will be controlled by the US

– Turkey, Russia and Iran will have its positions in the Middle East weakened

– Russia will be ousted form the Mediterranean and locked inside the Black Sea basin, where it will have to deal with Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia – US allies and anti-Russian foreign policies

– the Kurdish issue will become even a greater threat for Turkey, especially in view of the fact that a pro-American Assad`s successor won`t be opposing what Kurdish rebels are going to implement on Syrian territories

– Al-Qaida has already voiced its support to Syrian rioters, and it appears that they are going to strengthen their position in post-Assad Syria, the fact which Ankara cannot favor; but this will allow Washington justify its military presence in the region

– If Assad steps down, Turkey will face huge economic losses (in 2010 bilateral trade between Syria and Turkey stood at $2.5bln, and the sides agreed to reach the $5bln level)

– If this all happens, Turkey will have no alternative but to abandon its ambitious plans to create a free trade zone with Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

Comments (172)

Mango said:

روسيا تعتزم مواصلة بيع الاسلحة الي سوريا رغم دعوات من واشنطن لوقفها

زوكوفسكي (روسيا) (رويترز) – قالت أكبر شركة لتصدير الاسلحة في روسيا انها تعتزم مواصلة مبيعات السلاح الي سوريا على الرغم من دعوات من الولايات المتحدة لان توقف موسكو تجارتها للاسلحة مع دمشق.

وروسيا هي ثاني أكبر مصدر للاسلحة في العالم وتريد تعويض عقود بقيمة 4 مليارات دولار خسرتها عندما فرضت الامم المتحدة حظرا على السلاح الي ليبيا هذا العام وتتطلع ايضا الى افريقيا وامريكا الجنوبية وجنوب شرق اسيا للتعويض عن تلك العقود.

وحثت وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية هيلاري كلينتون روسيا الاسبوع الماضي على وقف شحنات السلاح الي سوريا -أحد أفضل زبائن صناعة المعدات العسكرية الروسية- في اعقاب الحملة التي تشنها الحكومة السورية لقمع الاحتجاجات المطالبة بسقوط الرئيس بشار الاسد.

وأبلغ اناتولي اسايكين مدير عام شركة روسبورون اكسبورت -أكبر مصدر للسلاح في روسيا- مؤتمرا صحفيا على هامش أول معرض جوي لروسيا والمقام خارج موسكو “كانت هناك شحنات اسلحة الي سوريا العام الماضي وستكون هناك شحنات هذا العام. انها ستستمر.”

August 18th, 2011, 1:34 pm


Mango said:

نتنياهو يرفض طلب هيلاري كلينتون بالاعتذار لتركيا

أفادت وسائل الإعلام الإسرائيلية، الأربعاء، أن إسرائيل رفضت طلبا أمريكيا بالاعتذار إلى تركيا عن الهجوم الدامى فى مايو 2010 على أسطول السفن المتجه إلى قطاع غزة، والذى أسفر عن مقتل تسعة أتراك.

وقالت إذاعة الجيش إن نتنياهو “قال إنه لا ينوى الاعتذار فى هذا الوقت وينتظر نشر تقرير الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة”.

وكانت صحيفة يديعوت أحرنوت قالت إن واشنطن تضغط على إسرائيل لتقديم اعتذار إلى تركيا، حيث قام الدبلوماسيون الإسرائيليون فى واشنطن مؤخرا بتسليم رسالة للحكومة من كلينتون تقول فيها إن الأزمة الدبلوماسية المستمرة بين إسرائيل وتركيا تتداخل مع المحاولات الأمريكية للتعامل مع الأوضاع في سورية.

August 18th, 2011, 1:39 pm


Abughassan said:

So,what is next? More sanctions or may be arming rebels to remove the regime by force ?
Bashar can end this crisis by forming a council that represents different Syrian factions headed by somebody other than him or a member of his family.

August 18th, 2011, 1:40 pm


atassi said:

UN report says brutal crackdown in Syria ‘may amount to crimes against humanity’
Associated Press
18 August 2011

Associated Press Newswires

GENEVA (AP) – Government forces in Syria may have committed crimes against humanity by conducting summary executions, torturing prisoners and targeting children in their crackdown against opposition protesters, a high-level U.N. human rights team said Thursday.

Their report recommends that the U.N. Security Council refer Syria to the International Criminal Court for prosecution of alleged atrocities, a move that is likely to be discussed by the council at a closed-door session in New York later Thursday.

“The mission found a pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population, which may amount to crimes against humanity,” the U.N. investigators said in their 22-page report.

Crimes against humanity are considered the most serious of all international human rights violations after genocide.

The report’s findings comes as President Barack Obama and a slate of European leaders called on Syria’s President Bashar Assad to step down, saying his brutal suppression of his people had made him unfit to lead.

Among the specific atrocities mentioned in the report are the alleged execution of 26 blindfolded men at a football stadium in the southern city of Daraa on May 1; indiscriminate firing of live ammunition at peaceful demonstrators using snipers and helicopters, resulting in the death of hundreds of people including women and children; and the killing of injured protesters in hospitals — including by locking people in morgue refrigerators alive.

“Children have not only been targeted by security forces, but they have been repeatedly subject to the same human rights and criminal violations as adults, including torture,” the report found. It cited the case of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib from the southern village of Jiza, whose mutilated body, with his penis severed, was delivered to his family weeks after he disappeared April 29.

Eyewitnesses provided the investigators with names of 353 people who were summarily executed, and corroborated accounts of Syrian security forces posing as civilians who acted as ‘agents provocateurs,’ causing unrest during demonstrations, the report said.

The U.N. team, led by Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang, was denied access to Syria itself, but conducted interviews March 15 to July 15 with witnesses in the region, including protesters and former members of the security forces who had deserted and fled the country.

The investigators also examined video evidence and photographs of alleged abuses, and invited comment from the Syrian government on the allegations.

They concluded that at least 1,900 people had been killed in the unrest by mid-July, a figure the Syrian government confirmed but said included at least 260 members of the security forces.

The Syrian government told the U.N. team that it had instituted several political reforms in response to protesters’ demands, and set up investigations into alleged abuses. But the government of President Bashar Assad claimed media organizations had distorted facts about the events in Syria, and accused the U.N. team of bias for referring to the Alawite sect — of which Assad is a member — as a “repressive minority.”

The authors of the report said they have compiled a confidential list of 50 alleged perpetrators at “various levels” of Assad’s government, who could face prosecution before the International Criminal Court. Syria hasn’t ratified the Rome Statutes, which would give the ICC automatic power to prosecute alleged abuses. But the U.N. Security Council can also refer countries to the Hague, Netherlands-based tribunal.

International pressure on Syria was mounting Thursday. Switzerland announced it was recalling its ambassador to Damascus due to the crackdown. And the U.N.’s top human rights body in Geneva said it would also be examining the situation in Syria at an urgent meeting Monday. A draft resolution circulated by Poland calls for a second investigation into events that have happened since July 15.

Syria’s Assad told the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a telephone call Wednesday that military operations in his country have ended. But activists said Thursday that security forces shot dead 18 people nationwide and intense shooting had erupted in the flashpoint city of Latakia.

August 18th, 2011, 1:43 pm


sam said:

Now the US is at it AND they got big money for that… This was known as soon as Saddam was gone. They will not let a Shiite crescent in the middle East at the doorstep of the Zionist entity. SA is paying a fortune to see Assad go.

Assad is our option, but they will destroy Syria to see him go. This is not about democracy or about more freedom to the Syrian people or about al rashawi aka corruption of the regime… They want it sunnite so we become the puppet of SA and its master: ISRAEL.

this is sad.

God bless Syria. Souriya Allah hamiha

August 18th, 2011, 1:44 pm


newfolder said:

Why the WikiLeaks cable about Syrian regime is spot on

US diplomats describe the Assad government as institutionally dishonest, brutal and defiant

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s apparently disingenuous statement to the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, that military operations have ended comes as no surprise to diplomats with experience of working in Damascus.

Deceit is high on the list of qualities marking Syrian diplomatic relations, according to a frank US diplomatic cable from 2009 published by WikiLeaks this month.

“SARG [Syrian government] officials lie at every level,” wrote the US charge d’affaires in Damascus, Maura Connelly, as the US was beginning to re-engage with Syria after withdrawing its ambassador in 2005. “They persist in a lie even in the face of evidence to the contrary. They are not embarrassed to be caught in a lie.”

The portrait painted here fits with the behaviour of the regime towards its own people and the international community during the last five months: brutal and defiant.

In the cable the Syrian regime is described as willing to be “nasty” and using a style “at best abrasive and, at its worst, brutal” to achieve its aims.

This could involve anything from “harsh verbal attacks to intimidate and rattle foreign diplomats” to allegations made by Syrians abroad about harrassment by their own diplomatic staff. Other undesirable rules of engagement besides deceit are provided in the guide: “vanity and self-preservation” and the use of “non-sequitur” and “antagonism” as key strategies by officials, who are described as sticklers for protocol.

“The Syrians are not troubled by discord; they seek an upper hand in any relationship by relying on foreign diplomats’ instinctive desire to resolve problems,” Connelly wrote.

The cable suggests flattery may help lubricate meetings with Assad, whose weaknesses are described as vanity and abstraction – two hallmarks of his speeches during the current crisis.

The embattled president is described as less shrewd than his father, with a self-image as “a sort of philosopher king, the Pericles of Damascus” that influences policy to a “disproportionate” degree.

According to diplomats little has changed in the two years since the cable was written. “Syrian diplomats are a source of exasperation to all,” said one non-US western diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity. “The security state runs the show, officials are hard to get hold of and when you do, they repeat the latest regime line ad nauseum.”

The cable also exemplifies why the regime has been caught short by a generation of young people who use social media to disseminate information about the crackdown. At the time of writing the Syrian ministry of foreign affairs had no internal email system, relying solely on phone and fax.

The cable does note, however, that a few talented individuals allow the Syrian government to punch above its weight.

August 18th, 2011, 1:46 pm


Mango said:

There are 2 opinions the first my and second wrong! Philosophy of the American Administration.LOL

August 18th, 2011, 1:47 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Haytham Khoury
No Haytham, it was not intended for you,You are smart and descent, and I have full respect for you, You are telling us your opinion, you are not Oscillating.
To STABILIZE the situation is NOT by sending troops to commit excessive violence and kill and arrest and torture the people,this is not stabilization, it is wrong and the troops and their actions and who sent them are to be condemned by intelligent people

August 18th, 2011, 1:53 pm


jad said:

“شـبـكـة أخـبـار اللاذقـيـة | L.N.N
التاسعة مساءً بتوقيت اللاذقية الحبيبة

مساء الخير جميعاً

كلما هدأت الأمور (داخلياً) طواعيةً أو بفعل فاعل .. وصل التصعيد (خارجياً) حد السماء, ومع كل حدثٍ يجري تطرح أسئلة جديدةٌ رغم (بساطتها) إلا أن البعض لا يجد لها جواب

التصعيد كان (عالمياً), فمن الولايات المتحدة وفرنسا التان تنازعان على شفير الإفلاس, إلى دول بعضها يحترق فعلاً .. وبعضها بدأ بالإحتراق اليوم كألمانيا مثلاً .. إلى (العربان) الذين يتنوعون ما بين مملكةٍ حرمت التظاهر شرعاً .. وفرضت عقوبة الجلد حتى الموت لمن يفكر في ذلك بينما ما تزال (دباباتها) تصول وتجول في فنائها الخلفي !! إلى إمارةٍ تراقب علناً (التويتر والفايسبوك وكل ما يخطر ولا يخطر على بالك) والعقوبة هنا تتراوح بين الثلاثة أشهرٍ إلى العشر سنوات .. والخطر طبعاً ليس من (الأصليين) بل من (الوافدين) !! إلى بلدٍ لم يرى أساطيل الناتو تقصف بلداً عربياً مجاوراً انطلاقاً من أرضه, ولم يرى عشرات القتلى ومن شعبه يومياً على أرضه, فخرج للإحتجاج على (القطريين) واستدعى سفيره دعماً (للسوريين) !!

كل هذه الدول .. قفزت فوق مشاكلها (البسيطة) ووضعت مشاكل السوريين (أمانة) في أعناقها, ولم نكن نعلم من قبل أننا نملك هذا العدد الهائل … من المعجبين !!

أما الأسئلة التي تطرح نفسها فهي كثيرة, فمن السؤال البديهي حول إن كنّا قد تعلمنا شيئاَ مما جرى ويجري في العراق وليبيا؟, إلى السؤال الأصعب حول ماذا يجري حقاً في مصر وتونس؟ إلى السؤال عن النموذج اللبناني والفلسطيني .. هكذا حتى نصل إلى السؤال الأهم:

هل الخلاف في سورية شخصي, أم قبلي أم وطني؟ وهل وصلت حدة الخلاف للإستعانة بالخارجي؟

ما يهم حقاَ, أنه إن كان البعض يعتبر الأمر سهلاً, فسيكون مخطأَ جداَ, وعليه أن ينتبه إلى حقيقة ما زال الكثيرون يبتعدون عنها, وعلى بساط أحمدي كما يقال, إن فئة كبيرة وهامة من السوريين ما زالت (تترقب) ما يحدث, وإن كان البعض يظن أنها (صامتة) نبشره بأنها جاهزة لكل الإحتمالات .. حتى تلك اللي لا يجرؤ على أن تخطر على باله .. فلينتبه !

في النهاية نقول, خمسة أشهر من عمر الأزمة في سورية, وشهراً بعد شهر نزداد حيرةً بخصوص البعض وحول حقيقة فعلاً ماذا يريد .. !! وكم انتظرنا أن نسمع أحدهم يردد معنا .. سورية أولاً !! لكننا لا نسمع إلا أريد .. ويريد .. ونريد !!

أما بالنسبة لمدينة اللاذقية, فيومها كان شبه طبيعي, رافقه الرصاص المعتاد من خلف مبنى الريجي على فترات متقطعة, والإسهاب بالحديث عن المقبرة الجماعية في الرمل الجنوبي, وعندما بدأ الحديث صباحاً توجهنا إلى المكان, وسألنا العديدين, لكن كل إجابة كانت تناقض الأخرى تماماً, فمن من يصر أنها قديمة, إلا من يصر أنها حديثة, إلا أحداث وروايات لم نتمكن أبداً من التأكد من صحتها, فصدر توضيح عن الأمر عن لسان محافظ مدينة اللاذقية

أما ميدانياً, فما تزال عملية إزالة الحواجز والأتربة من طرقات الرمل الجنوبي جارية بالإضافة للإصلاحات العامة التي بدأت, والعديد من الأسر بدأت بالعودة بشكل فعلي إلى المنطقة, بانتظار أن يتضح كل شيء ويعود الأمان والهدوء لكل مكان, أما في باقي المناطق, فلا جديد يذكر, حيث تزداد الحركة شيئاً فشيء ويوماً بعد يوم, بينما ما يزال طريق الحرش مغلقاً

كل الإحترام والتقدير والإمتنان لأعضاء الشبكة سواء من يساعدوننا في كافة المناطق ميدانياً أو على الشبكة من خلال نقل أحوال مناطقهم لحظة بلحظة .. وتعجز الكلمات دائماً عن شكرهم

مع الأمل بأن نكمل شهر رمضان بخير وسلام .. نكمل مع أحوالكم وأحوال مناطقكم وكل الشكر دائما لكم

رمضان كريم .. والرحمة لشهداء سورية في كل مكان وزمان .. ولأهلهم الصبر والسلوان

اللهمَّ آمِنّا في أوطَانِنا وجَنِّبنا الفِتَنْ .. ما ظَهَرَ مِنْها ومَا بَطنْ”

August 18th, 2011, 2:06 pm


uzair8 said:


That wiki leak article sums up this regime perfectly. I hate this regime. I hate regimes.

Universal rule:

Government good.
Regime bad.

August 18th, 2011, 2:07 pm


atassi said:

Iranian aid boosts Syrian regime’s survival chances

Wednesday, August 17 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday urged regional powers Turkey and Saudi Arabia to call on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, while Iran continued to stand by its Syrian ally, warning that Western interference in the country would stoke public hatred in the region. The close alliance between Syria and Iran is based on shared ideological and strategic interests, including anti-US and anti-Israeli postures and support for the Lebanon-based Hizbollah. Together they form the pillars of what has been described by concerned Sunni neighbours as the ‘Shia Crescent’ of countries stretching from Iran to Lebanon. Damascus is critical to Iran’s rising regional hegemony, and represents its most valuable ally. If the Assad regime collapsed, Iran would lose its corridor for arms shipments to the Levant, as well as its strongest ideological bulwark.
• Increasing international isolation of the Syrian regime will increase its dependence on regional ally Iran.
• Iranian military aid will boost the Syrian forces’ efficiency and prolong the regime’s survival.
• Tehran will be the major economic beneficiary of new international sanctions against Damascus.
• Iran’s promise of over 5 billion dollars in aid will compensate any loss Syria suffers in trade with Turkey.
• With Riyadh leading Arab efforts against the regime, Syria is set to become the newest battleground between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
What next
Iranian penetration into Syria will become more obvious in coming months, particularly on the military and economic fronts. Its recent offer of a short-term loan and free oil deliveries will be the first of several aid measures aimed at propping up Assad’s regime. Iran’s moves will balance any threats coming from Ankara to cut trade or engage militarily. The Alawi-dominated regime’s crackdown on its largely Sunni population and its increasing isolation alongside Iran will polarise the already tense standoff between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Sectarian tensions will increase in the region as both countries corral support for their respective Sunni and Shia constituencies.
Syria’s violent crackdown on a five month civil uprising has increasingly isolated it from its Sunni neighbours in the Middle East. Amid mounting diplomatic pressure for an end to the violence, Iran has stood firmly in support of its Syrian ally, criticising any outside interference. In contrast to mainstream Arab TV stations, Iran’s media is providing only cursory coverage of events, adopting the Syrian regime’s line that ‘gangs and terrorists’ are the primary instigators of the violence Strengthening ties
Iran is contributing arms and military personnel to the Syrian secret service, as well as increasing its economic aid to the embattled Assad regime. The web of military and economic agreements that tie Tehran to Damascus has tightened in recent weeks. This additional support has reassured elements of the Syrian old guard, which had been preparing to move abroad. For Iran, Syria’s political setbacks will further open its market to Iranian goods and services, stimulating much needed economic growth, and turning what is already politically its most important regional alliance increasingly into an economic one as well:
There has been a huge upsurge in Iranian economic and military support to Syria in recent weeks
1. Military assistance
Iran’s elite Qods Force is bolstering Syrian security forces with light arms, munitions, rocket-propelled grenades, training, advisers and other resources. Iranian snipers are also reported to have been deployed. Last week, Turkey intercepted a shipment of arms from Iran to Syria, the most recent in a string of interceptions, including a cargo seizure in March of automatic rifles, mortars, and other weapons. In June, a UN Security Council report indicated Syrian involvement in ‘violations’ of the arms embargo on Iran.
2. Aid
Iran significantly boosted its aid to Syria last month. In addition to the 1.5 billion dollar short-term loan and oil hand-out, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei offered Syria 5.8 billion dollars.
3. Economic links
Trade agreements and joint ventures have bolstered economic ties in recent years
Economic ties between the two countries have been bolstered in recent years by trade agreements and joint ventures. A trade agreement made last summer establishes an economic bloc to build cooperation in industry, investment, communications and other fields. Iran and Syria are also embarking on a series of partnerships, such as the construction of a 10 billion dollar gas pipeline from Iran’s South Pars field via Iraq, and a new 60 million dollar factory to produce Syria’s first locally manufactured car. Other joint ventures include a Damascus-based bank with Iran putting up 60% of the initial 30 million dollar capitalisation, and heavy industrial projects including an oil refinery, a cement plant, wheat silos and a new oil pipeline.
4. Tourism
Syria’s revolt is significantly reducing Arab and Western tourism — the source of over 12% of its revenues. Here too Iran is filling the gap with public and private funding to restore Shia shrines on Syrian soil, build madrasas, and support Iranian religious tourism, with over 10 million Iranians visiting Syria this past year.
Regional rivalry
Iran’s growing entrenchment in Syria not only delivers economic and military opportunity, but gives it traction against regional rival Saudi Arabia, which recently recalled its ambassador from Damascus. This development further blurs the lines defining the Arab uprisings, revealing them as caught between competing authoritarian, rather than democratic, visions (see IRAN: Tehran faces questions amid regional turmoil – April 28, 2011).
Assad’s inability to engage both Saudi Arabia and Iran simultaneously, as his father did, has tilted him increasingly toward dependence on Tehran. Riyadh had previously engaged him to act as a broker between Iran and the pro-US ‘moderate’ Arab camp. However, the Syrian regime’s brutal crackdown on the uprising has scotched that arrangement. Turkey’s failed attempts to push Assad towards reform is straining its relationship with Damascus and reducing its influence, a situation Tehran is using to its advantage, even if it puts pressure on its own relationship with Ankara. Condemned and isolated on all sides, the Tehran-Damascus partnership is developing a siege mentality that is playing out not only towards their own populations, but vis-a-vis the world at large.
Syria is increasingly dependent on Iran, and the partnership is developing a siege mentality
International isolation will bring Iran and Syria closer together, increasing economic, military and political ties. With Iran’s support, the Assad regime will be able to withstand sanctions, and continue to attack the opposition. Having so far avoided serious reforms, the Assad regime is unlikely to undertake these now. With Riyadh bolstering the Sunni majority, and Iran the Alawi minority, a stand-off can be expected for some time to come.
© Oxford Analytica 2011

August 18th, 2011, 2:14 pm


Aboud said:

“Bashar can end this crisis by forming a council that represents different Syrian factions headed by somebody other than him or a member of his family.”

You can see it, I can see it, everyone apparently can see it except the junior himself.

Everyone will notice how the Libyan rebels fought for six months, but only made most of their gains in the last few weeks.

In every conflict, the side that won always made the overwhelming majority of their gains in the last quarter or so less of the conflict.

It’s the 80/20 principle at work; 80% of your gains or benefits will eventually come from 20% of your efforts. The other 80% of your efforts were laying the ground work for the 20% when results were most visible.

A simpler analogy would be mining for gold. It takes a massive investment in exploration, equipment, manpower and digging before that first nugget is extracted.

When the end comes, it is going to come very, very fast.

August 18th, 2011, 2:37 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

Dear majedkhaldoon:

Thank you very much for your compliment. Anyway, this forum is to discuss. The more we can exchange our ideas, the more we can become one. Differences in the opinions are normal. At the end, we are different, therefore we have different opinions. Indeed, this is what democracy about. It is about having different opinions. It is about respecting each others opinions.

August 18th, 2011, 2:53 pm


uzair8 said:

In that wikileak article who is being referred to? :

‘The cable does note, however, that a few talented individuals allow the Syrian government to punch above its weight.’

August 18th, 2011, 2:55 pm


newfolder said:

#13 It’s referring to a few highly educated, intelligent and well spoken diplomats and bureaucrats, usually only found inside the Syrian foreign ministry, but sometimes also amongst Assad’s aides.

August 18th, 2011, 3:08 pm


mjabali said:

al-Assad is going to speak on TV probably by Sunday if not earlier, and I think he is going to say that he is going to cancel article 8 and talk about a sort of a constitution or a referendum.

The American and European change of tone is not going to change things a lot on the ground in Syria. It may lead into a more wider direct confrontations.

Sunnis states started showing that they are trying to mobilize troops to interfere. They have a common goal and to rally their poor angry Sunni citizens a war against the infidel Shia and Alawis is a nice way out.

Remember how much the Sunni street is filled with hatred towards Shia and Christians and of course the Jews.

If anyone is going to listen to al-Assad is not the question, because in my opinion the demonstrators do not want anything else but his departure, something al-Assad is going to fight with his big guns now. He has no other choice but to fight and this will lead in the future to new entities in the area.

Syria now is on a crossroad. Either more bloodshed and then small states here and there, or, a savior to help keep the state together.

al-Assad is going to promise change and no one is going to listen of course. They all made their minds, and he made his mind too.

Syria need a secular constitution because as we see religion is playing a huge factor in the bloody events taking place in Syria.

This brings to the discussion the situation of the other religious citizens like Christians and Jews. The situation in Syria is going to have ramifications on a larger scale than people expect as usual.

A secular constitution is what makes Syria stay together other than that Sectarian and cross-religions wars that are going to persist for the near future.

August 18th, 2011, 3:13 pm


Mango said:

sorry ! for russian speaking !

V.Ahmedov: the Syrian deadlock. Crisis is included into solving stage

Situation in Syria/ Evgenie Satanovsky

August 18th, 2011, 3:21 pm


uzair8 said:

People like:

Farouk al Sharaa
Walid Muallem

Reem Haddad? lol

Btw the parliament chamber of Syria looks well designed. Will it be preserved after Assad regime is toppled?

August 18th, 2011, 3:24 pm


Revlon said:

Against all odds, besieged ground Syrian activists are showing more determination and organisational and communication skills than than their advocates in the west who are blessed with security and decent logisitical support

The ground resistence groups have succeeded in forming the “General Commision for The Syrian revolution”
It encompasses 54 coordination committees across Syria.!/photo.php?fbid=10150791215100727&set=a.10150791214980727.734400.420796315726&type=1&theater

August 18th, 2011, 3:28 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Joining the democracy singers:Mobark:
Assad has to step down,and stop his crimes!

August 18th, 2011, 3:28 pm


newfolder said:

UN Investigators Detail Syria Rights Violations

A U.N. fact-finding mission on Syria says widespread and systematic human rights violations against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity. The investigators recommend the U.N. Security Council refer Syria to the International Criminal Court for prosecution.

The mission’s 22-page report presents a detailed and grim litany of human rights violations in Syria during the government’s crackdown on dissent. It presents evidence supporting what the investigators see as a pattern of widespread and systematic attacks against civilians.

Spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, said these findings are extremely serious and could amount to crimes against humanity, which after genocide, constitute the most serious international human rights violations.

“The report lists…lots of things for example, summary executions,” noted Colville. “They mention a list of 353 named victims of summary executions. There are lots of reports of snipers systematically shooting into civilian demonstrators, including children, many reports of torture. The mission had a medical forensic physician on the team who examined victims of torture.”

The report also cites cases of people being pulled from their hospital beds and shot. It describes people being killed in mosques. It says Syrian forces used heavy weapons in civilian areas.

The report covers the period from mid-March, when protests began against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, to mid-July. The report says at least 1,900 people were killed during that period. The Syrian government does not dispute this figure, but says at least 250 members of its security forces were among the victims.

The investigative team of 13 human rights experts collected its information over a three-month period. Syria did not allow the team to enter the country, so most of the information was acquired from witnesses in neighboring countries.

Nevertheless, U.N. spokesman Colville says the team was able to interview defectors from the Syrian armed forces, the security services and other government agencies, both inside Syria and in neighboring countries.

“They basically described how they were given orders to shoot to kill and also described how soldiers or other security agents who refused to shoot civilians were themselves shot,” said Colville. “So, that is very strong and interesting evidence and that is an important factor in the crimes against humanity because that involves a kind of command responsibility.”

The human rights experts say they have compiled a confidential list of 50 alleged perpetrators at various levels of the Syrian government who could face prosecution before the International Criminal Court.

Colville says the Syrian government disputes much of the report. Syrian authorities reportedly told the U.N. experts they had instituted some political reforms and were investigating alleged abuses.

August 18th, 2011, 3:30 pm


Tara said:

50 rights groups urge UN’s Syria meeting to mandate victim hearings, special investigator
Published by UN Watch – 
August 18, 2011

GENEVA – An international coalition of 50 human rights and church relief organizations are calling for Monday’s UN Human Rights Council session on Syria to mandate a permanent special investigator into violations by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the holding of televised hearings in Geneva for Syrian victims to testify.

Led by UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights advocacy group, the appeal was submitted in a letter today to the ambassadors of all 47 council member states.

The open letter is signed by Franciscans International, Initiatives for China headed by eminent dissident Yang Jianli, and 48 other non-governmental, humanitarian and church groups from Australia, Belgium, Burkina Faso, DR Congo, France, Germany, India, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria Nepal, Switzerland, the UK, Uganda, the US and Vietnam.

“It’s vital for the UN meeting to produce a meangingful outcome that will pressure the Syrian regime and help protect victims on the ground,” said UN Watch director Hillel Neuer. “Public hearings with victim testimony, coupled with the creation of a permanent investigator on Syria, would do that.”

The NGOs criticized the council for holding only one meeting on Syria more than three months ago, saying the UN body had “failed to take prompt or effective action to protect the victims of Syrian mass killings.”

The NGO appeal also called on the council to hold the Syrian military and political leadership personally accountable for alleged “crimes against humanity.”GENEVA – An international coalition of 50 human rights and church relief organizations are calling for Monday’s UN Human Rights Council session on Syria to mandate a permanent special investigator into violations by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the holding of televised hearings in Geneva for Syrian victims to testify.


August 18th, 2011, 3:50 pm


jad said:

Thank you Gus,
Very nice article.

I think the full scale war of Syria just started.
God bless Syria and protect all Syrians from the coming days.

August 18th, 2011, 4:13 pm


Edward Ziter said:

I wondered if anyone has any idea whether the facebook page and youtube postings by Hanan Noura AlHayek are produced by an actual
individual? It appears to be a medium for posting SANA news broadcasts about the uprising, but the page is so flashy and sexy that its hard to believe its the work of a single individual. If you haven’t seen it you should check it out–it’s an almost campy mix of sex and nationalism. I’d really appreciate your thoughts.

August 18th, 2011, 4:15 pm


newfolder said:

Syrian crackdown on protesters may amount to crimes against humanity – UN report

18 August 2011 –
The Syrian Government’s “widespread and systematic” attacks against its own people may amount to crimes against humanity and warrant an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the United Nations human rights office said in a report released today.

The Report of the Fact-finding Mission on Syria was produced by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in response to a request by the UN Human Rights Council.

The mission was tasked with investigating “all alleged violations of international human rights law and to establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes perpetrated.”

It found “a pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population, which may amount to crimes against humanity,” states the report, which covers events from 15 March to 15 July.

As many as 2,000 Syrians have been killed in the past five months since the start of the pro-democracy protests, which are part of a broader uprising across North Africa and the Middle East that has led to the toppling of long-standing regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and conflict in Libya.

As Syria did not provide OHCHR access to the country, the findings in the report are based primarily on the mission’s analysis of first-hand information obtained through interviews conducted with victims and witnesses.

It also examined more than 50 videos and numerous photographs related to apparent human rights violations, as well as information compiled by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the media and other information in the public domain.

The 13-member mission, headed by Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang, gathered corroborative eyewitness statements with respect to numerous summary executions, including 353 named victims, and describes the disproportionate use of force by Syrian military and security forces.

“Reports from witnesses indicate that there was a widespread modus operandi to kill civilians by using: (a), forces on the ground; (b), snipers on rooftops; and (c), air power,” states the report. “Consistent with an apparent shoot-to-kill policy, most of the victims’ bullet wounds were located in the head, chest and general upper body area.”

Interviews were conducted with a number of former soldiers who had deserted the army, the police and different branches of the security forces, who stated that they received clear orders to use live ammunition against protesters, “and those who did not shoot civilians were shot from behind by other security officers and Shabbiha [an Alawite civilian militia] units.”

From the 180 witness accounts taken by the mission, 98 revealed acts of torture and other examples of inhuman and degrading treatment of civilians by military and security forces. “A clear widespread or systematic policy appears to have been in place whereby security forces targeted people suspected of having taken part in demonstrations, with a view to intimidating and terrorizing them as a way of quelling protests.”

The report adds that “children have not only been targeted by security forces, but they have been repeatedly subject to the same human rights and criminal violations as adults, including torture, with no consideration for their vulnerable status.

“The fact that Syrian forces have tortured or killed children on several occasions, in what are clearly not isolated incidents, causes grave concern,” it states.

Bearing in mind the findings of the mission, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay recalled the principle agreed in 2005 by all UN Member States, by which each State has the responsibility to protect its populations from crimes against humanity and other international crimes.

“When a State is manifestly failing to protect its population from serious international crimes, the international community has the responsibility to step in by taking protective action in a collective, timely and decisive manner,” states the report.

The High Commissioner recommends that Syria immediately put an end to the gross human rights violations, as well as allow immediate access for humanitarian workers to assist those in need and for OHCHR to conduct investigations into all abuses.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the same appeal in a phone conversation yesterday with President Bashar al-Assad, during which the UN chief expressed appreciation that the Government had agreed to receive a UN humanitarian assessment mission and was assured that it would have access to different sites in the country.

Among her other recommendations, Ms. Pillay says the Human Rights Council should urge the Security Council to call for an immediate cessation of attacks against the civilian population, and to consider referring the situation in Syria to the ICC.

The High Commissioner will brief the Security Council later today on the situation in Syria, along with the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos.

In addition, the Human Rights Council will hold a second special session on the situation of human rights in Syria on Monday

August 18th, 2011, 4:16 pm


abughassan said:

I do not know why it is so hard for some people to “get it” but I suspect that when emotions are high,judgement is low. we will have a better chance talking to each other when there is less blood shed and the army goes back to where it belongs. I do not know anybody who called for the killing of civilians or endorsed torture,but more of us are now unwilling to listen to the other side and prefer to throw sound bombs. we all have families and we all want what is best for Syria,but,in a forum,we must expect to hear opinions that differ from ours,and if we can not handle that,we should leave the forum or at least not lecture people about freedom and democracy.
Bashar is unlikely to resign just because the US asked him to,actually I think he is less likely to resign now, knowing his character and the nature of the regime. It takes a true leader to realize when his country will be better without him,Bashar does not have this quality and he may choose to fight calls for his resignation despite the high cost for Syria.

August 18th, 2011, 4:20 pm


Tara said:

Humiliating day for Bashar today.  Both EU and the US called for Bahar al Assad to step down.  A call that is long due.  More than 2000 innocent civilians, many women and children were killed.  Bashar is officially declared illegitimate to rule by the western block.  Other countries will follow suit.  He in not only illegitimate but also incompetent.  KSA, Bahrain, Kuwait, Tunis, and Switzerland recalled their ambassadors.  Tougher targeted sanctions are forthcoming.  An international coalition of 50 human rights and church relief organizations are calling for Monday’s UN Human Rights Council session on Syria to mandate a special investigation into violations by the regime and the holding of televised hearings in Geneva for Syrian victims to testify.  This will set the stage for Bashar, Maher, and other key figures to be tried for crimes against humanity.  Turkey declared losing hope on Bashar to reform and a new approach is in the make.  This is a happy day indeed.  Few weeks ago, a Friday was named ” your silence is killing us”.  The world is now responding…I expect huge demonstrations on Friday…

On a personal note, Tara wears black to work every single day she hears a child or a women have been killed by the regime.  Tara works in a large institution and her behavior ignited curious questioning a month or two ago.  I can not really describe the amount of solidarity with the Syrian people Tara gets on daily basis from average people….  Not only Syrians are disgusted with Bashar, the whole world is…

August 18th, 2011, 4:22 pm


SQI said:

“Obama Calls for Syrian President to Step Down.”

YAWN. how boring.
this man , Obama, is totally irresponsible.

how exactly would this solve the US debt crisis !?

there are now 46 Million People in the United States who are on Food Stamps , i.e they can’t afford to eat. the number have doubled since Obama became president .

Obama, and the entire US political class have , in a single generation, delapidated the power and wealth of one of the greatest nations in human history.

leave Syria to Syrians and focus on the hopeless situation in which you put millions of people in your own country, probably for generations to come.

better focus on regaining some work ethics rather then living of off exploiting the pains and suferings of other peoples.

August 18th, 2011, 4:45 pm



“Baath Party Calls Emergency Meeting”
What’s the hurry. It’s been only than 5 months since the uprising began.
Real reforms need a lot of time. Hopefully, after 20 5-year plans, we can have some meaningful reforms to celebrate under Hafiz III.

August 18th, 2011, 4:46 pm



Report: U.S. Favors Muslim Brotherhood (KHADDAM) Over Pro-democracy Syrian Opposition

The Hudson Institute, a leading consultant to the Defense Department, asserted that the administration has decided to work with Turkey and the Brotherhood in Syria for a post-Assad government. In a report by Herbert London, the institute said Obama has dismissed the pro-democracy opposition as an alternative.

London, president of Hudson until 2011, said the State Department has ignored non-Brotherhood opposition groups.In July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited Brotherhood operatives and urged them to work with Turkey to help oust Assad.”According to various reports the State Department made a deal with Turkey and Muslim Brotherhood representatives either to share power with Assad to stabilize the government, or replace him if this effort fails.”


The summit began with a briefing by a high-ranking State Department official on the current situation in Syria Farid N. Ghadry (also Farid al-Ghadry and Frank Ghadry) is co-founder and current president of the Reform Party of Syria (RPS), a “‘US-based opposition party’ of pro-democracy Syrians” SYRIAWATCH-Syrian Opposition met in DC with(GLOBALIST NEOCON) ”New American Foundation”???

VIDEO-EXPOSED!The Book of Joshua (Muravchic) Prophetic on Arab Democracy NED-SABAN CENTER PLOT ON SYRIA!

Clinton met with members of the Syrian opposition for the first time last month, ”””’ but several Syrian activists say they have been meeting with various agencies across the administration on a regular basis. ””””””” US Provided Funds to Anti-Government Syrian Exile Group United States has funneled about $6 million to the London-based Movement for Justice and Development since 2006.

SYRIA-IRAN Operations Group – SourceWatch U.S. Turns to Arab Dictators to Contain Hezbollah-The first target of U.S. instructions to the Arab regime appears to be Syria(2006) ZIONIST THINK TANKS AND SYRIAS OPPOSITION LEADERS)

[NOW FOR THOSE UNAWARE OF WHO KHADDAM IS SEE…Abdul Halim Khaddam, former Vice President of Syria…[WHO IS KHADDAM”? ..Relative of Saudi King Abdullah and former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri KHADDAM AND MB EXPOSED Khaddam and National Salvation Front Exposed

August 18th, 2011, 4:51 pm


ALI AL said:

MUST READ!!!Report: U.S. Favors Muslim Brotherhood (KHADDAM) Over Pro-democracy Syrian Opposition

The Hudson Institute, a leading consultant to the Defense Department, asserted that the administration has decided to work with Turkey and the Brotherhood in Syria for a post-Assad government. In a report by Herbert London, the institute said Obama has dismissed the pro-democracy opposition as an alternative.

London, president of Hudson until 2011, said the State Department has ignored non-Brotherhood opposition groups.In July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited Brotherhood operatives and urged them to work with Turkey to help oust Assad.”According to various reports the State Department made a deal with Turkey and Muslim Brotherhood representatives either to share power with Assad to stabilize the government, or replace him if this effort fails.”

August 18th, 2011, 4:53 pm


beaware said:

Turkey calls for change in Syria, but not Assad’s resignation
Thomas Seibert
Aug 19, 2011
ISTANBUL // Turkey’s political and military leadership yesterday called for “democratic change” in Syria, one day after Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, issued his strongest criticism yet of the Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad by comparing him to the Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi.

A statement published after a scheduled meeting of Turkey’s national security council in Ankara said participants renewed calls for an end to the bloodshed in Syria, but they stopped short of following the example of the US and other major Western powers in demanding the resignation of Mr Assad.

The council said “democratic political change in line with the legitimate demands of the Syrian people … has to be implemented following a clearly stated timeframe”. The meeting included a briefing by Omer Onhon, Turkey’s ambassador in Syria, officials said. The council is chaired by Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s president, and includes top government officials as well as top commanders of the armed forces and intelligence chiefs.


Mr Erdogan’s government did not react publicly to reports yesterday saying that Mr Assad had assured the UN that all military action against demonstrators had stopped. Privately, Turkish officials expressed doubts the crackdown would end.

Barack Obama, the US president, yesterday called for Mr Al Assad to resign. It was the administration’s first explicit demand for Mr Assad to step down and was accompanied by an executive order freezing all Syrian government assets in the US and targeting the country’s lucrative energy sector.

The move was coordinated with the UN and with US allies in Europe and the Middle East, and followed an intense diplomatic campaign to increase pressure on Mr Al Assad. The European Union issued an identical call shortly after Mr Obama’s statement, followed quickly by similar words from the leaders of France, Britain and Germany.

Mr Onhon told Syrian officials several days ago that Turkey was disappointed with the failure of the government in Damascus to stick to assurances given to Mr Davutoglu last week, a Turkish official told The National.

The Syrian government did pull its forces from the city of Hama and allowed Mr Onhon to visit Hama afterwards as promised, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks in Damascus were confidential. But they did not stop the violence elsewhere.

“So the ambassador told them that if the oppression continued, there was no point in continuing talks about a [reform] process that they were saying they were pursuing.”

Yesterday’s meeting of Ankara’s national security council was the first since a shake-up of the Turkish military earlier this month. A new general staff was appointed on August 4, following the resignation of former top commanders in protest against the arrest of scores of officers who have been indicted for involvement in coup attempts to bring down Mr Erdogan. The change of guard at the top of the armed forces was a political breakthrough for Mr Erdogan’s efforts to scale down the political role of the military.
Next page …

August 18th, 2011, 4:54 pm






The summit began with a briefing by a high-ranking State Department official on the current situation in Syria Farid N. Ghadry (also Farid al-Ghadry and Frank Ghadry) is co-founder and current president of the Reform Party of Syria (RPS), a “‘US-based opposition party’ of pro-democracy Syrians” SYRIAWATCH-Syrian Opposition met in DC with(GLOBALIST NEOCON) ”New American Foundation”???


VIDEO-EXPOSED!The Book of Joshua (Muravchic) Prophetic on Arab Democracy NED-SABAN CENTER PLOT ON SYRIA!


Clinton met with members of the Syrian opposition for the first time last month, ”””’ but several Syrian activists say they have been meeting with various agencies across the administration on a regular basis. ””””””” US Provided Funds to Anti-Government Syrian Exile Group United States has funneled about $6 million to the London-based Movement for Justice and Development since 2006.


SYRIA-IRAN Operations Group – SourceWatch U.S. Turns to Arab Dictators to Contain Hezbollah-The first target of U.S. instructions to the Arab regime appears to be Syria(2006) ZIONIST THINK TANKS AND SYRIAS OPPOSITION LEADERS)

August 18th, 2011, 4:55 pm


beaware said:

When the United States says “jump,” Syria says….
Posted By Daniel W. Drezner Thursday, August 18, 2011 – 2:32 PM
So the big Middle East news this AM is that the Obama administration has explicitly called for Syrian leader Bashir Assad to leave power. The White House blog has the full text of Obama’s statement. On Assad:

The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people. We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.

The United States cannot and will not impose this transition upon Syria. It is up to the Syrian people to choose their own leaders, and we have heard their strong desire that there not be foreign intervention in their movement. What the United States will support is an effort to bring about a Syria that is democratic, just, and inclusive for all Syrians. We will support this outcome by pressuring President Assad to get out of the way of this transition, and standing up for the universal rights of the Syrian people along with others in the international community.

As to what the administraion is going to do to, well, you can check out the executive order, or you can believe me when I say that it amounts to a tightening of economic sanctions.

Now, conservatives have been calling for this move for quite some time, while Middle East analysts like FP’s Marc Lynch, have been far more pessimistic. Two months ago, Lynch argued:

[T]here’s “Expellus Assadum”: the magic words by which Obama might declare that Asad must go and somehow make it so. While there’s every reason for the U.S. to ratchet up its rhetorical criticism of an increasingly violent and brutal regime, tougher rhetoric isn’t going to change the game. The entire course of the Arab upheavals this year demonstrates the limits of American influence and control over events or other regional actors. It most certainly proves that firm Presidential rhetoric is not enough to tip either the internal or the international diplomatic balance.

Libya should be enough to demonstrate this hard reality. I’m actually optimistic about Libya — the diplomatic and military trends all clearly favor the rebels, the NTC has come together into an impressive government-in-waiting, and international consensus has remained reasonably strong. But even if Libya ends well, the reality is that it has taken months under nearly the best possible conditions. It isn’t just that the President used his magic words. The Libya operation had widespread regional and international support, UN authorization, direct military involvement in a favorable environment for airpower, and an organized and effective opposition on the ground with a viable political leadership. And it has ground on for months.

The idea that invoking “Expellus Assadum” would quickly lead to an endgame in Syria just doesn’t make sense. Demanding that Obama say “Assad must go” seems less about Assad and more about either moral posturing or about creating a rhetorical lever for pressuring Washington — not Damascus — to do more to deliver on that new commitment. By putting the President’s — and America’s — credibility on the line, however, it might force unwanted escalation into more concrete actions in order to deliver on the demand. So tougher and sharper rhetoric, with constant condemnations of violence, is not just appropriate but essential… but escalating to “Assad must go” at this point is not.

I’ve already revealed my sober assessment of this kind of policy step on Twitter. That said, I’m a bit more sanguine about this kind of call than Lynch. This strikes me as your classic gut-level foreign policy pronouncement, which, as I argued last month, accomplishes nothing of substance but, “just the acknowledgment of frustration can be politically useful, a venting of pressure that might otherwise lead to hopelessly misguided or absurdly risky policy options.”

I suspect Marc is still haunted by the ways in which this sort of rhetoric about Saddam Hussein in the 1990s laid the political groundwork for Operation Iraqi Freedom. But it’s not the 1990’s anymore. The United States has three active military operations in the Middle East. There is no public clamor or enthusiasm for yet another military engagement, nor do I see any genuine policy appetite for such a move. Sanctions are already in place. Covert action might be taking place, but that policy option can never be publicly acknowledged. As the New York Times story notes, in calling for Assad to leave the United States is now moving towards the consensus in the region.

When the rest of the policy quiver has been exhausted, sure, why not call for Assad to leave? As a general rule, all else equal, I see no reason why the U.S. government should not express its actual preferences rather than hide behind diplomatese. Or, as Douglas Adams would put it, this rhetorical move counts as “harmless.”

What do you think?

August 18th, 2011, 5:00 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

to uzair8 at #19.
I did not advocate to keep any of those in their position. What I was adovcating is to do not dissolve the whole Syrian army. Remember there were units that did not agree with the besiege of Dara’a. Originally, when the regime sent the 4th and 5th batallions to Dara’a. Soldiers from the 4th and 5th batallions clashed with each other, because officers from the 5th batallion did not agree with that strategy. Coining the whole Syrian army (I know its composition) as not patriotic is not an accurate description. Further, there are many of them that are deluded by the regime; some of those really believe that are fighting armed groups (as 50% of the Syrian poulation). For this reason, if I was the one to lead the transition, I would change the leadership of the Army right away.I would put the very highly ranked on in prison till they are tried in a court of law. I would try to strip the 4th batallion and the National Guard from most of their arms and change the highly ranked officers of these two parts of the army right away. As you see, there are many things that can be done to neutralize the bad ellements of the army, all with keeping the good ones.
Further, I would put in prison all the symbols of the regime including Buthina Shaaban, Farouk al Al-shara’ and a number of others (till they are tried in a court of law). I am not naive to do not know where the danger comes from. I am not naive to do not understand the importance of punishing the symbols. However, we should not let emotions overcome reason. We should put the interest of the people above everything.

August 18th, 2011, 5:04 pm


Majed97 said:

Abughassan (28):
With all due respect, this has nothing to do with Bashar; his resignation is not what the US and west are truly after. Nothing short of Syria surrendering its alliance with Iran and Hizb, and give up its rights in the Golan will satisfy the west. This is the reshaping of the Middle East plan that has been in the works for many years. They want Syria to give up its only remaining political asset against Israel, namely the Iran/ Hizb front. After the surrender of Egypt and fall of the Soviet, Syria has lost its military capability to confront Israel, but found a very effective political strategy in confronting Israel through Hizb and Iran, which has frustrated Israel and its backers for decades. They want to strip Syria of this tool, so Israel may assume complete control of the region without giving up anything. The only thing will satisfay the US and Western Europe is for Syria to “walk like an Egyptian” or a Jordanian…

August 18th, 2011, 5:12 pm


halabi said:

@24. Gus – The article is premised on wishful thinking: how can you have a loyal opposition when opposition is punishable by abuse/imprisonment/death? While economic sanctions will hurt the economy (and the old sanctions still do), years of bad planning and corruption have hurt it more. But how does one’s voice get heard? Furthermore, as there has been wholesale slaughter and abuse, this issue is not only about the economy. In a sense, the situation is already out of the government’s hands.
As for the economic situation, had the revolution not erupted then we would be well on the way to more privatisation of government industries (where would they get people for the pro demos?) and assets, world prices for mazot, etc. The government is/was happy to sell the assets of the country in a corrupt way but nobody can do anything about it. We were heading towards an egyptian/tunisian situation anyway. Better to stop now?
For the economy to grow we need a transparent and fair legal system and reasonable laws. The regime (from top to bottom) regard government jobs as a way of milking the system instead of building it.

We need to be able to fix the country. How are we going to do with that with corrupt Baath/Assad in charge?

Question to economists: will the restriction on printing banknotes in Austria help the lira to maintain its value?

August 18th, 2011, 5:18 pm


jad said:

تركيا بوصفها ذراعاً للناتو باتجاه دمشق وطهران
الجمل: تداولت وسائل الإعلام التصريحات الرسمية التركية الأخيرة، والتي حملت المزيد من الإشارات التي تفيد لجهة انخفاض حدة التوترات على خط علاقات دمشق ـ أنقرا، ولكن برغم ذلك، فقد برزت بشكل متزامن مع هذه التصريحات المزيد من المعلومات والتسريبات التي تحمل الإشارات المتعاكسة: فما هي الإشارات المتعاكسة، وإلى أين سوف تمضي التوجهات السياسية التركية إزاء دمشق خلال الفترة المقبلة؟
* الإشارة الأولى: ما مدى مصداقية النوايا التصعيدية؟
تحدث بعض الخبراء الأتراك المعنيين بالشأن الشرق أوسطي عن نوايا تركية رسمية لجهة المضي قدماً في مسار المزيد من التصعيد إزاء دمشق، وفي هذا الخصوص كشفت هذه التسريبات عن جهود تركية تجري حالياً لجهة وضع مخطط إستراتيجي تركي من أجل التعامل مع دمشق ضمن ثلاثة مستويات مرحلية، ويمكن الإشارة إلى ذلك على النحو الآتي:
• المستوى المرحلي الأول: يركز على استخدام الضغوط السياسية، بما يتضمن الإجراءات الدبلوماسية السلبية، مثل سحب السفراء، وما شابه ذلك، وتقول التسريبات بأن أنقرا سوف تسعى لحشد الدعم وتعبئة بعض العواصم الشرق أوسطية لجهة الانخراط معها ضمن هذه المرحلة.
• المستوى المرحلي الثاني: يركز على استخدام الضغوط الاقتصادية، وبالذات فيما يتعلق بالإجراءات المالية والتجارية السلبية مثل تجميد الأرصدة، وتجميد المبادلات التجارية وتجميد حركة نقل الأموال والتحويلات.
• المستوى المرحلي الثالث: يركز على الإجراءات العسكرية، وتقول التسريبات بأن هذا المستوى يعتبر هو الأكثر خطورة، وصعوبة بسبب التداعيات المترتبة عليه إضافة إلى التحديات والمخاطر الكبيرة والتي سوف تهدد مدى مصداقيته.
حتى الآن وبحسب التسريبات مازالت هذه المستويات المرحلية ما تزال في طور التخطيط والمشاورات، هذا وتقول التسريبات بأن التفاهمات تجري على قدم وساق على خطوط أطراف مثلث أنقرا ـ واشنطن ـ الرياض.
* الإشارة الثانية: تحركات معطيات نظرية المؤامرة
كشفت بعض المصادر الأوروبية الرفيعة المستوى، والوثيقة الصلة بحلف الناتو، بأن قيادة الحلف، قد بدأت نقل قوات الحلف البرية من مقرها الحالي في قاعدة حلف الناتو الموجودة في مدينة هايدلبيرج في جنوب غرب ألمانيا إلى مقرها الجديد، والذي هو قاعدة حلف الناتو العسكرية الجوية الموجودة في مدينة أزمير التركية، وأضافت المصادر إلى أن قوات حلف الناتو البرية الموجودة في أحد القواعد الإسبانية سوف يتم أيضاٌ نقلها إلى قاعدة الحلف الجوية الموجودة في مدينة أزمير التركية، وأكدت المصادر بأن قيادة حلف الناتو قد اتخذت هذا القرار قبل بضعة أيام. هذا وتقول المعلومات والتسريبات بأن قرار نقل القوات سوف يؤدي إلى الآتي:
• يوجد حالياً في قاعدة الحلف الجوية الموجودة في مدينة أزمير حوالي 400 عنصر متخصص في مجال الأنشطة الفنية والعملياتية، وبوصول القوات البرية من القاعدة الألمانية والقاعدة الإسبانية من المتوقع أن يرتفع العدد إلى بضعة آلاف.
• أكدت التسريبات بان أمين عام حلف الناتو الجنرال فوغ راسموسين قد برر عملية نقل القوات البرية إلى تركية على أساس اعتبارات أنها تهدف إلى تقليل تضخم وجود قوات الناتو في القارة الأوربية، إضافة إلى أنها تتيح لقوات الحلف التعامل بمرونة أكبر، وعلى النحو الذي يتماشى مع طبيعة التهديدات ومسارح عمل حلف الناتو الجديدة المتوقعة.
• أشارت المصادر إلى أن قيادة الحلف قد أكدت على أن نقل قوات الحلف البرية بحيث تتمركز في قاعدة أزمير العسكرية الجوية، هو أمر يهدف إلى تحقيق مبدأ إعادة هيكلة قيادة الحلف، وإلى تحقيق كفاءة عمل قوات الحلف، إضافة إلى تعزيز القدرة على قابلية الانتشار وإعادة الانتشار وخوض المواجهات.
• أبرز المهام الجديدة التي سوف تقوم بها قوات حلف الناتو البرية بعد اكتمال تمركزها في قاعدة مدينة أزمير سوف تتضمن: استطلاع المسارح العملياتية الجديدة وتحديد المسارح الشرق أوسطية المحتملة، إضافة إلى إجراء التدريبات والتمرينات والمناورات العسكرية بما يتيح لهذه القوات تحقيق التكيف العسكري المطلوب مع بيئة المنطقة.
هذا، وأشارت المصادر إلى أن توقيت صدور قرار قيادة حلف الناتو بنقل قواته العسكرية الموجودة في ألمانية وإسبانية إلى قاعدة الحلف الجوية بمدينة أزمير التركية هو أمر بحمل أكثر من دلالة بسبب تزامنه مع توترات الحدث السوري، إضافة إلى تزايد المزاعم التي تحدثت عن نوايا أنقرا لجهة القيام بعمل عسكري ضد سورية، وأضافت هذه المصادر بان المسارح الشرق أوسطية التي سوف تقوم قوات الناتو باستطلاعها تتضمن بلا شك المسرح السوري ـ المسرح الإيراني ـ والمسرح اللبناني.
على أساس الاعتبارات التحليلية السياسية، نلاحظ أن تركيا قد بدأت إن لم تكن قد شرعت فعلاً في إنفاذ بنود مشروع تحويل أنقرا لجهة القيام بدور “الباب العالي” في منطقة الشرق الأوسط والأدنى إضافة إلى القوقاز والبلقان وآسيا الوسطى.
وبرغم أن مصداقية قيام أنقرا عملياً باستهداف سورية، ما تزال غير مؤكدة بسبب الشكوك واللايقين، فإن الأكثر وضوحاً يتمثل في معطيات جدول أعمال الإستراتيجية التركية الجديدة، والتي سوف يضم من بين بنود أخرى: تعزيز موقف تركيا كموازن لصعود قوة الإستراتيجية الإيرانية، استعادة مكانة تركيا كممر استراتيجي لجهة تهديد وردع العراق. ومنع بغداد من التمادي لجهة الانخراط في أي تحالف استراتيجي سوري ـ عراقي ـ إيراني، إضافة إلى إفساح المجال أمام حلف الناتو لجهة القيام بتهديد وردع روسيا. إضافة إلى الاحتمالات المؤكدة لجهة تعزيز سيطرة الناتو على البحر الأسود ونفط بحر قزوين وآسيا الوسطى، إضافة إلى تهديد استقرار روسيا عبر نافذة مناطق القوقاز الشمال، وبالتالي، وإن كان البعد المعلن لعملية نقل القوات هو بعد استراتيجي يتعلق بعملية إعادة انتشار قدرات حلف الناتو بما يتناسب مع مذهبية الحلف الجديدة المتعلقة بمواجهة التهديدات والمخاطر الرئيسية، والتي تقول كل الحسابات الإستراتيجية بأنها تتمثل في صعود القدرات الروسية المتزايدة.

الجمل ـ قسم الدراسات والترجمة

August 18th, 2011, 5:21 pm


jad said:

إذا رحلت اليوم يا بشار، فأنت خائن.. وخسئتم يا عبيد الناتو!
الكاتب بسام القاضي
18/ 08/ 2011
ما جرى اليوم لم يعد يحتاج إلى قول كثير. فعبيد الناتو، الخونة الذين ولودوا لأباء أو أمهات سوريات شريفات وحرات، مثل.. (قالت لي صديقتي: توقف عن ذكر الأسماء.. كل يوم في زيادة!).. يرقصون اليوم إيغالا في الدم السوري الذي شاركوا في سفكه بعد أن أمنوا حياتهم كأي أمراء حرب قتلة مجرمين..

ولم يعد الأمر يتعلق بديمقراطية أو حرية. فكلاهما لن يتوقف النضال من أجلهما أبدا، سواء بمظاهرات سلمية أو بأي من أشكال العمل المدني الأخرى، هذا قرار شباب وشابات سورية من دفع من حياته وحريته ثمن فتح هذا الباب الجديد على مستقبل سوري مشرق..

بل بات يتعلق، اليوم، الخميس 18/18/2011، وحتى أجل آخر، بكرامة كل سوري وسورية، بكرامة وطن يأتي قادة الإجرام في العالم، مغتصبو الأطفال والنساء والرجال في الصومال ورواندا وأبوغريب والعامرية وطرابلس الغرب غزة ورام الله وكفر قاسم ولبنان وأفغانستان وباكستان وإيران و… وزبانيتهم مدعي حقوق الإنسان والحرية والديمقراطية، يأتون جميعا لينتهكوا كرامته واستقلاله وسيادته بألف وسيلة ووسيلة..

بات يتعلق بكرامتنا..

ولذلك، فإنني أنا شخصيا، وباسمي فقط، أعلن ما يلي:
– بعد أن أمضيت عمري الماضي في النضال ضد الديكتاتورية والقمع من النظام السوري، دافعا كل الأثمان بلا تردد، لا منة لي في ذلك ولا حسنة، سأكمل ما تبقى من حياتي في النضال ضدهما (الديكتاتورية والقمع) من النظام السوري أو أي نظام آخر.
وأدعو كل الشباب والشابات، مَن رفض السلاح والطائفية والعنف تحت أي مسمى، إلى الاستمرار بلا توقف ولا هوادة في النضال المدني السلمي من أجل سورية مدنية ديمقراطية حرة ومستقرة لكل من فيها بغض النظر عن الجنس أو الدين أو القومية أو اللون أو أي اعتبار آخر.

– وفي الوقت نفسه، وتحت راية مختلفة، سوف أحمل السلاح الحقيقي لأقتل كل من يفكر من خارج سورية أن يوجه حتى سكين مطبخ لسورية، سواء كان إيرانيا أو تركيا، فرنسيا أو ألمانيا أو أمريكيا، وأعتبر كل من يعمل في السلك الدبلوماسي فرد من حملة السلاح اعتبارا من اللحظة التي يشرع فيها السلاح الحقيقي ضد بلدي، وكل هؤلاء، مع زبانيتهم داعمي هذا العدوان ومبرريه، هم أهداف مشروعة لي في تلك اللحظة.

– لم أنتخب بشار الأسد ولا انتخبت أبيه من قبله، ولا يهمني بقاؤه في السلطة أو نظامه أو رحيلهما. فصراعي لم يكن مع شخص أيا كان. إنما مع آلية وقوانين ودستور وممارسات و.. انتهكت كرامتي وحريتي وحقوقي منذ أكثرمن ألفي سنة بلا توقف..
وسوريتي هي سورية المدنية الديموقراطية الآمنة المستقرة التي يأخذ كل شخص فيها شرفه وقيمته من انتسابه لها، لا العكس.

– نظرا للاهانة الشديدة التي لا تقل كثيرا عن الاحتلال، وتمهد له، التي مارسها اليوم قادة الإجرام الدولي في العالم، بالطلب إلى من يحمل لقب “رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية” الرحيل عن منصبه، مهددين بقوة الضغط الاقتصادي والعسكري، فإن تلبية هذه الدعوة اليوم، وحتى إشعار آخر، ليست إلا خيانة عظمى لسورية ولكل رجل وامرأة وطفل وشيخ فيها. وتلبية هذه الدعوة تعني منح الحق لكل سوري وسورية أن يلاحق الخائن أينما توجه ليوقع فيه قصاص الخيانة.

– إن بقاء بشار الأسد اليوم حاملا للقب “رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية”، وحتى حدوث انتخابات ديمقراطية نزيهة وحرة لا رقابة عليها إلا رقابة سوريين/ات لم يغادروا سورية ليتمسحوا بأقدام مجرمي الغرب، والذي لا يجب بحال أن يتأخر عن نهاية 2012، هي الرد الواضح والصريح على انتهاك كرامتنا من قبل أولئك المجرمين، عربا كانوا أو من أية قومية أخرى.

– إن مطالبتي العلنية لبشار الأسد أن لا يتخلى عن منصبه ولقبه اليوم، لا يعني بحال تأييدي له، ولا للنظام السوري، ولا لأي من طروحاته أو سلوكه، سواء كنت متفقا أو مختلفا معها أو مع بعضها.
بل يعني فقط: سورية للسوريين والسوريات فقط، ولن نبيعها لأي مجرم مهما بلغت قوته وبطشه، ومهما بلغ جعير عبدته وخدامه من حملة الجنسية السورية.

– اعتبارا من الغد، الجمعة 19/8/2011، سوف أضع عصابة سوداء ظاهرة بوضوح على معصمي الأيسر، كدلالة على رفضي القاطع لتدخل المجرمين الدوليين أمثال اوباما وساركوزي وزبيانيتهم.. وستبقى هناك في كل مكان أكون فيه، حتى انتهاء الأزمة في سورية.
وأدعو كل من يعتقد أنه يجب الرد على هذا الانتهاك لكرامتنا، أن يفعل الأمر نفسه، فيضع عصابة سوداء ظاهرة بوضوح على معصمه/ا الأيسر، ويبقيها هناك في البيت والشارع والعمل والسرفيس والتكسي والطائرة وأقبية المخابرات والمظاهرات.. وفي كل مكان..

August 18th, 2011, 5:26 pm


beaware said:

Turkey at the Syrian crossroads
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Turkish President Abdullah Gül convened the National Security Board, or MGK, with two major topics on the table Thursday.

The one which directly hurts Turkish people’s senses was the Kurdish issue and the struggle against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. This topic was particularly important after the PKK staged complex attacks on Wednesday, killing eight soldiers and a village guard (contrary to the first reports of 12 killed in total) in Hakkari province, which borders Iraq and Iran.

The other major topic on the agenda of the MGK was Syria. There were reports before the meeting that if President Bashar al-Assad of Syria does not make a last-minute move to stop firing on his own people who are demonstrating for more rights, the government was to present two contingency plans to the MGK to discuss the Syrian policy from now on.

Assad tried his chance and phoned up United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before the release of a U.N. report on Syria – and also before the MGK meeting started in Ankara.

That did not stop the U.N. from releasing the report that the Syrian government might have committed crimes against humanity while trying to suppress the unrest in the country.

And soon after the MGK started in Ankara, U.S. President Barack Obama called on Assad to step down in what was probably his first act on Thursday morning.

The European Union Commission followed the U.S., demonstrating that it was a coordinated action. That was followed by new sanctions announced against Syria by the U.S., Britain, France and Germany.

So the position of the Western powers was clear almost an hour before the MGK had finished discussing the PKK and had begun addressing the Syria issue.

That has put Ankara at the crossroads in terms of Syria; it has to decide whether to side with its Western allies or adopt a middle-road policy, since siding with Assad is no longer an option. And Erdoğan has to make this decision under diplomatic and intelligence speculation that the recent escalation in the number of the PKK attacks might have been inspired by not just the Arab Spring but directly by the Syrian regime itself.

August 18th, 2011, 5:29 pm


beaware said:

Assad to address Syrians on crisis
Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:54PM GMT
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reportedly plans to deliver a televised speech in the upcoming days to address the ongoing crisis in the country.
Informed sources say Assad plans to address the nation in the next two days about the months-long unrest in Syria that is feared to seriously harm the national unity in the country, a Press TV correspondent reported on Thursday.

The Syrian head of state is expected to elaborate on the leadership’s proposed measures to curb the tension.

The speech will come as the Syrian Army pulls its units out of Deir Ezzor after clearing the eastern city of armed gangs.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed in the tension.

Damascus says that the unrest is being orchestrated from outside the country and that the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

Syrian state TV has also broadcast reports and images of seizure of arms caches as well as confessions by terrorist elements, pointing to how they obtained weaponry from foreign sources.

August 18th, 2011, 5:40 pm


Tara said:

Bassam Al Kadi considered in the above article Obama call today for Bashar to step aside to be very humiliating…. He got that right.

But the rest of the article is worth nothing..

August 18th, 2011, 5:44 pm


SF94123 said:

As I said many times before on this forum, Syria is doomed…. It will take a miracle to save it from a total destruction and death… I feel sorry for the rest of my family and friends who still live there.. I will pray today for the safety of all Syrians..

August 18th, 2011, 5:45 pm


Afram said:

I am conducting a POLL on Pro vs anti(ASSAD)

is ASSAD going to end up like….well look at the video

Pro Assad: simply Click on the “Like”lime green button/staying

anti-Assad:simply Click on the “DisLike”Burgundy button/leaving


August 18th, 2011, 5:46 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

Iran is up to its old tricks again. Iy orchestrated the Kurdish terrorist attack in Tirkey to scare Erdogan.

Aboud and SGID,

How are preparations for Friday shaping up ? Please do not stop coming out on the streets, never accept defeat, if you do, the souls of the martyrs will not be in peace and 2000 martyrdoms will all go in vain. So please keep protesting, you OWE it to the martyrs, do not give excuse of Shabbiha and Tanks on the streets. No excuses, we have to honour our martyrs, and the only way to do it is to topple the regime.

August 18th, 2011, 5:49 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

Aboud, do you think Hama and Deir will again come out in the 100,000s Friday? As I said, we should keep up the momentum, keep up the fight, no matter what the cost. The day people stop coming out on the streets, the regime will win, and 5 months of blood and tears, and 2000 martyrs will go in vain. If we can absorb 2000 maryrs we sure can absord 1000 more martyrs. We must keep up the fight even if we have to die and lose everything. We have nothing to lose, if we get scared then the regime will win and we will lose everything and humilation will be ours. If we keep coming out on the streets in large numbers despite getting killed, victory will be ours and we will ride through Qardaha on T-72 Tanks and shout Takbeer so loud it reaches the ears of Tehran.

So I ask you guys, face the Tanks and APCs damn it. 2,000 people have not died for you huys to say now that Tanks are on the streets and we can’t go out on the streets.

August 18th, 2011, 6:00 pm


SQI said:

a little reminder for those cheering up Obama’s calls.

EU and US are here reacting as things are getting out of hand ….. they are not acting .

بما معنى انهم في هذه الحالة … مفعول به
اما الفاعل فهو المقاومة

this what happened earlier today, and probably prompted Obama to call on Assad to step down.

7 turkish soldiers, one village guard killed in PKK ambush.

Multiple attacks launched in southern Israel kill 7

August 18th, 2011, 6:00 pm


Tara said:

Resistance what?

By the rabbit of Golan?

Sure. It was only a cover used by him and his daddy to sustain their status as regional power brokers under the disguise of resistance with one and single goal: to keep the family in power.

August 18th, 2011, 6:05 pm



One thing for sure. I am against any foregin intervention (except in the most dire of circumstances like a real genocide).

However, unlike Bassam Al-Kadi, I call upon Bashar Assad who betrayed the trust of of the presidency to step aside he and his mafia for the sake of Syria. The mullahs for Iran can’t wait to be his hosts. There he can teach them the meaning of ,ukawamah, mumana’ah, and haq al-radd (resistance, dissent, and reserving the right to respond to aggression). While he’s at it, he can also help them get their economic house in order.

August 18th, 2011, 6:13 pm



اما الفاعل فهو المقاومة

Yes indeed. The “resistance” that secured the Syrian-Israeli border for several decades.

August 18th, 2011, 6:17 pm


Tara said:

Syrian expat

And Asma can teach them how to dress nicely.

By the way, Asma missed the fall collection not because her husband was busy reforming but because her husband was busy killing and torturing. Any how, the fall collection this year is boring and not exciting at all so she really did not miss much. May be she can catch the niqab winter collection in Tehran?

August 18th, 2011, 6:20 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

Aboud and SGID, do you think Hama and Deir will again come out in the 100,000s Friday? As I said, we should keep up the momentum, keep up the fight, no matter what the cost. The day people stop coming out on the streets, the regime will win, and 5 months of blood and tears, and 2000 martyrs will go in vain. If we can absorb 2000 maryrs we sure can absord 1000 more martyrs. We must keep up the fight even if we have to die and lose everything. We have nothing to lose, if we get scared then the regime will win and we will lose everything and humilation will be ours. If we keep coming out on the streets in large numbers despite getting killed, victory will be ours and we will ride through Qardaha on T-72 Tanks and shout Takbeer so loud it reaches the ears of Tehran.

So I ask you guys, face the Tanks and APCs damn it. 2,000 people have not died for you guys to say now that Tanks are on the streets and we can’t go out on the streets. We OWE it to the martyrs, they have not died in vain.

August 18th, 2011, 6:22 pm



You must see this. It’s ironic and hillarious. The video may have been edited at the end, but it’s still a good one to watch.

August 18th, 2011, 6:26 pm


Haytham Khoury said:


I am happy that you are focusing on Asma a little bit, because not body mentioned her before. My wife always asks about the fate of her $700 shoes.

August 18th, 2011, 6:33 pm


Tara said:

Hi Haytham

I also want to say I have lots of respect for you. I was not happy about the comment in regard to changing your last name. It is because of you, and other people like Samar Yazbek, kilo, Dalilah, etc..I cling on what I always thought to be the nicest part of Tara’s Syrian identity. Scare mongering and hate mongering tactics will only intensify as the Syrian people coming closer and closer to achieving democracy, freedom, and dignity.

In regard to Asma, it was so un-witty on her part to talk about democracy inside her household when she is living with a tyrant and was also balatantly unacceptable, in my views at least, to get featured wearing a 700$ bag when Syrian kids are begging on the street. I call that poor taste.

August 18th, 2011, 6:48 pm


Tara said:

Just heard the UN human rights report in regard to Syria which is going to be discussed on Monday. Very incriminating!

August 18th, 2011, 7:10 pm


SQI said:


You can’t get back the Golan , that is a an obvious fallacy by now, you have to get the whole of Palestine, and this takes time and sacrifice and is the work of several generations.

but as you have seen in the last decade, we are getting closer. Hopefully without another War as deterrence seem sufficient to turn Isreal into the feckless country it really is.

the Resistance is a Camp , an Alliance of many people and groups and regimes in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and maybe soon the PKK.

against what is termed as ‘US Policy’ in the ME. of which you are a little tool.
their objective is simple : NO ‘US Policy’ in the ME. buzz off.

August 18th, 2011, 7:15 pm


jad said:

المعارضة تتخوّف من «تدخّل عسكري» بعد الموقف الأميركي
وسام كنعان, محمد الشلبي

دمشق | التطورات الأخيرة في الحدث السوري تترك انطباعاً عميقاً لدى المراقب الحيادي بأن مصلحة الخارج في امتطاء صهوة الاحتجاجات الداخلية مسألة حقيقية للغاية. هكذا، لا يترك الموقف الدولي، ممثلاً بالموقف الأميركي، فرصة لتطبيق إصلاحات حقيقية يعلنها النظام السوري، ولا سيما بعد دعوة الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما نظيره السوري إلى التنحّي.
فكيف ينظر بعض رموز المعارضة السورية وبعض الشخصيات الموالية للنظام إلى التطورات الأخيرة. أمين التحرير في جريدة «البعث»، الصحافي عدنان عبد الرزاق، يقول لـ«الأخبار»: «أعتقد أن التناسب يسير عكسياً بين ما يجري على الأرض في سوريا والتصريحات والضغوط الخارجية، سواء كانت عربية أو دولية، فكلما شعر السوريون بأن الإصلاح بدأ حقيقة بالتسارع على الأرض احتدمت المواقف الخارجية بنية تأجيج الوضع في سوريا».
ويشير عبد الرزاق إلى مسألة ضرورية، فيقول «الأزمة بدأت داخل سوريا وليس لها أي حلول إلا من الداخل، وواهم من يظن أن الخارج قادر على تقديم حلول منطقية أو أنه مهتم بإنهاء الأزمة بالأصل، وفي الوقت ذاته لا يمكن التقليل من شأن الضغوط والتصريحات الخارجية، لأنها في حقيقة الأمر تسهم في مضاعفة الحالة وزيادتها سوءاً».
إلا أن الصحافي المعارض، فرحان المطر، يختلف مع عبد الرزاق، معتبراً أن ما صدر عن الرئيس السوري من إنهاء العمليات العسكرية ليس صحيحاً ومجرد محاولة لكسب الوقت. أما بالنسبة إلى موقف المجتمع الدولي، فيرى أنه «تأخر كثيراً». ويضيف: «نحن ضد التدخل الخارجي، ولكننا لن نمنع العالم إن أراد وقف شلالات الدم بحق شعبنا، وذلك من خلال الضغوط الحقيقية والجدية والمحاكمات الجنائية، على اعتبار أن النظام يجر البلد إلى نفق التدخل الدولي».
أما الكاتب والمخرج المسرحي السوري أحمد كنعان، فله موقف آخر، إذ يقول لـ«الأخبار» «ليس هناك من جديد في تصريحات أوباما ووزيرة خارجيته سوى أن موقف الإدارة الأميركية من النظام السوري صاراً معلناً. فالرئيس السوري يعي تماماً منذ تسلّمه السلطة أن هناك نيّة مبطنة لإبعاده عن الحكم من قبل الإدارة الأميركية متمثلة في من يصل إلى البيت الأبيض من الرؤساء». ويلفت إلى «أن تصريح الأسد عن نهاية العمليات العسكرية لا يعني نهاية الاحتجاجات، بل يعني القضاء على العصابات المسلحة، ليبقى للتظاهر السلمي سياسة أخرى في التعاطي من قبل الدولة. لكن تصريحات وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم عن انتخابات قبل نهاية العام ثم عقد اللجنة المركزية لحزب البعث اجتماعاً بقيادة الأسد تعني أن الاحتجاجات تسير نحو النهاية، وهو ما يغيظ الموقف الدولي».
الكاتب المعارض فاتح جاموس يرى أن تصريحات الرئيس الأميركي تندرج تحت ما يمكن تسميته «التصعيد السياسي الخارجي ضد النظام السوري». ويقول لـ«الأخبار» «هذا كان متوقعاً منذ مدة، سواء توقفت العمليات العسكرية والأمنية ضد الشارع المنتفض أو لم تتوقف، إنها تندرج ضمن ما كان مخططاً له من قبل السياسة الأميركية لواقع سوريا السياسي». ولا يستبعد التدخل العسكري على الأراضي السورية، في المرحلة القريبة المقبلة، «إن لم تحدث مصالحة فورية بين النظام السوري والشارع المنتفض والمعارضة الوطنية بكافة أطيافها، فإن التدخل العسكري الدولي، مدعوماً بقرار لمجلس الأمن، أصبح قريباً جداً».
وطالب جاموس المعارضة السورية والمتظاهرين في الشارع بتقديم طروحات منطقية وموضوعية للنظام السوري من أجل الخروج من الأزمة سريعاً، قبل تطور الأحداث على نحو متسارع جداً وصولاً إلى ما نخشاه جميعاً، ونطالب بعدم حدوثه، حتى لا تتحول سوريا إلى ليبيا ثانية. ورأى أن مجمل الإصلاحات وجملة القوانين التي أصدرها وقدمها النظام السوري أخيراً، ما هي إلا محاولة جادة منه لتطويق الأزمة التي تعيشها البلاد، بعدما «تنبّهت السلطات السورية وأجهزتها الأمنية إلى أنه لا مجال لتطويق الأحداث والاحتجاجات في الشارع إلا عبر تقديم حزمة كبيرة من التنازلات والإصلاحات التي طالب بها المتظاهرون، منذ بداية الأحداث السورية. يجب عليها الآن الدعوة إلى التصالح مع الشارع، وإنهاء حالة العنف بعد أن تعقدت الأوضاع كثيراً، وبات من الصعب بحق حلّها أو الخروج منها». لكن أمام هذه التطورات المتسارعة، سواء كانت سياسية دولية أو شعبية محلية «هناك فئتان اثنتان أغلقتا باب الحوار نهائياً مع النظام السوري، هما فئة واسعة من المتظاهرين في الشارع، بعدما تطورت مطالبها إلى إسقاط النظام وجميع أركانه، وتقديم رموزه إلى المحاكمة، والفئة الثانية في العوامل السياسية الخارجية التي وجدت الآن الفرصة مناسبة للتدخل في السياسة السورية، لتحقيق مكاسب على حساب النظام السوري المشغول بوضعه الداخلي». أما عن السبل من أجل تطويق الأزمة والخروج بأقل الخسائر الممكنة، فيرى أنه «لا مجال لنا سوى الحلول السياسية العقلانية، وعلى النظام تقديم حزمة واسعة من الإصلاحات على نحو جدّي وحقيقي، وحقن الدماء في الشارع» .
بدروه، أبدى الكاتب المعارض بكر صدقي تشاؤماً كبيراً من تصريحات أوباما الأخيرة بخصوص الشأن السوري، معتبراً أن «خطر التدخل العسكري بات وشيكاً جداً، وأنا أحمّل النظام السوري المسؤولية كاملة في حال حدث ما هو متوقع، بسبب تعنّته ومبالغته في الحل الأمني مقابل التظاهرات السلمية التي خرجت إلى الشوارع منذ حوالى خمسة أشهر، ولا يزال مستمراً حتى يومنا هذا».
أما التخوفات والنتائج على الداخل السوري من التدخل العسكري، «في حال حدث ما نخشاه جميعاً، أخشى على سوريا أنها لن تقوم لها قائمة بعد أكثر من 20 عاماً على الأقل. لا أحد منا يريد أن تتحول سوريا ليبيا ثانية». وتوقع أن السياسة الأميركية قد أجرت جملة من المباحثات والمفاوضات مع روسيا والصين وجميع الدول المؤيدة للنظام السوري، والمعارضة لقرار إدانة من مجلس الأمن الدولي، «ربما تمكنت الحكومة الأميركية أخيراً، عبر وسائلها الخاصة، من الضغط على كل من روسيا والصين والهند للتخلي عن موقفها الداعم والمؤيّد للنظام السوري، من أجل إصدار قرار إدانة من مجلس الأمن الدولي، تهيئة للتدخل العسكري المرتقب». ويضيف «لكن هناك وسيلة ضغط قوية على هذه الأنظمة، تتمثل في ازدياد العنف والممارسات الأمنية التعسفية التي يرتكبها النظام يومياً بحق المتظاهرين السلميين، وهذا ما أحرج على ما يبدو جميع السياسات الدولية المؤيدة للنظام السوري». هذا ما يؤكده تخلّي الرئيس الروسي عن موقفه المدافع عن النظام السوري، بعد دخول وحدات الجيش إلى مدينة حماه.

August 18th, 2011, 7:21 pm


Aboud said:


“If we can absorb 2000 maryrs we sure can absord 1000 more martyrs”

And you wonder why Tara suspected you are actually a menhebak? I hope no more lives will be lost from this day on, from either side.

“but as you have seen in the last decade, we are getting closer”

Ha ha ha ha he he he he the menhebaks are really in funny mode today.

Syr Expat, thanks for that 🙂 I’d have thought Besho’s accent would be more British after all that time in England hehehe.

August 18th, 2011, 7:23 pm


Haytham Khoury said:


Thank you very much for supporting me. I know I have nothing to worry about regarding my last name. This was insignificant story. I am not sure what to say about Asma. However, the way she was behaving during the last 10 years reflects how she was out of touch with the reality. The people who convinced her of this marriage were also out of touch with the reality. Without that marriage she would be having an excellent career as an independent educated and intelligent woman. My be she will live as single mom, with three kids wondering about fate of their father, for the rest of her life. Certainly, it would not be a good life.

August 18th, 2011, 7:27 pm



The lies about resistance have been exposed. It’s funny that you include Iran and Iraq in your equation. The last time I checked it was the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Iraqi opposition that collaborated with the USA to oust Saddam Hussein. They collaborated with the Greatest Satan, which speaks volumes.

The Syrian government can no longer fool the Syrian people with empty slogans. The Syrian people are the real resistance.

August 18th, 2011, 7:29 pm



In case someone was wondering, “64. SYR.EXPAT” was in response to “60. SQI” nonsense about resistance.

August 18th, 2011, 7:35 pm



“62. ABOUD”
Any time 🙂

August 18th, 2011, 7:36 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

By the way, what happened in Dara’a alone is enough to convict for crimes against humanity. For this reason, I found it reckless that Bashar does not accept to negotiate the terms of his departure now. Few days ago, Spain made an offer to receive him and his family. However, he rejected that. It was stupid, Was not it?

August 18th, 2011, 7:38 pm


newfolder said:

look at how Assad’s shitty army randomly shelled Rastan a while back

tfoh 3aleh wa 3ala his army

August 18th, 2011, 7:46 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

I would like to hear from Ehsani or another economist how the Western trade embargo would affect Syrian economic growth, assuming that Iraq, Iran, and other non-pro-West countries do not restrict their trade with Syria (including also Turkey).

August 18th, 2011, 7:47 pm


SQI said:


the sharing of military strategies, tactics, weapons, intelligence ,and know how, among all parties to the resistance camp is very real and have shown very strong results in Lebanon in 2006, and in Gaza in 2008.

the resitance alliance have made it clear last year that Israel and/or Nato will not be able to single out a particular country or a group for a fight anymore, they will have to take on the whole camp.

I think the message was made clear again today, before Obama reacted, with a speech. a very strong speech.

if you think these are lies , it is up to you.

August 18th, 2011, 8:04 pm


Tara said:

Watch hadeeth al thwart on aljazeera right now.

August 18th, 2011, 8:14 pm


jad said:

دمشق: الإصلاح مستمر والانتخابات مؤجلة حتى تنهض الأحزاب
هل دعوة أوباما لمصلحة المحتجين؟

زياد حيدر
على الرغم من أن دعوة الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما و«كبار» قادة الاتحاد الأوروبي الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد إلى «التنحي» لن توقف الإصلاحات في سوريا، وفق تعبير مسؤول سوري تحدثت إليه «السفير»، إلا أنها يمكن أن تكون في غير مصلحة المتظاهرين والمحتجين، كما أنها لن تكون حتماً في مصلحة «المخرّبين» ومن تصفهم السلطة عموماً «بالمجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة».
لقد تصرّفت الحكومة السورية في الأيام الماضية من منظور تخفيف «الضغط الخارجي» والحرص على «مساعدة الحلفاء في الخارج»، فسحبت الجيش من بعض المدن الرئيسية، وعقد حزب البعث الحاكم اجتماعاً لكوادره ناقش فيه سبل إجراء تعديلات دستورية ممكنة في المستقبل، كما التحضير لمؤتمر قطري للحزب، وجرى الحديث عن إعادة تعويم الحلول السياسية.
وجرت الخطوات على الرغم من أن العملية الأمنية لم تنته، كما تشير المعطيات، وذلك بهدف «تقوية موقف الأصدقاء في العالم» وهم قلة الآن، في مواقفهم الداعمة لسوريا، أو المقاومة للموقف الأميركي والأوروبي، ويأتي في طليعة هؤلاء روسيا والهند وجنوب إفريقيا والبرازيل. وتأتي تركيا لاحقاً، وإن كانت الثقة بالجانب التركي تقترب من مستوى الصفر في سوريا، خصوصاً حين يتحدث رئيس وزراء تركيا رجب طيب أردوغان، والذي لم يعد خفياً طلبه، عبر أكثر من مناسبة عن إشراك الأخوان المسلمين في الحكم في سوريا ورغبته في التوسط لهذه الغاية.
وفي ضوء المعلومات غير الموثقة عن «مفاوضات» تجري بين الولايات المتحدة وقادة جماعة الإخوان المسلمين العالمية، تصبح سياسة تركيا ازاء سوريا، سياسة أميركية الطابع وتستدعي أقصى الحذر.
لذا لن يجد المحتجون آذاناً صاغية لدى السلطة أكثر في الفترة المقبلة. كما ستتأثر الحركة الاحتجاجية بالجدل المتضارب حول «رفض التدخل الخارجي» و«قبول التصريحات الأميركية»، خصوصاً أن واشنطن لم تكن يوماً صديقة لا للشعب السوري ولا لنظامه. في الوقت الذي ستعطي فيه دعوة أوباما زخماً عاطفياً وسياسياً لداعمي النظام السوري كما ستحدث ميلاً متعاظماً نحو ذلك بين شرائح «الأغلبية الصامتة» والتي ليس من بينها من نشأ أو تكون سوى على عدم الثقة بالسياسة الأميركية في المنطقة.
ولا ينكر مَن في دمشق حجم التأثير الذي ستتسبب به العقوبات الملوّح بها غربياً الآن على سوريا، خصوصاً في قطاع النفط، الذي يؤمن الكمية الأعظم من القطع الأجنبي في البلاد، وتستورد كميته العظمى الدول الأوروبية. إضافة لكونه من النوع الثقيل غير المغري لعدد كبير من دول العالم. من جهة أخرى سيتسبب وقف العلاقات التجارية مع سوريا بضرر كبير لحركة السوق السورية وقدرة الاقتصاد على العمل، وهو ما سينعكس على الحياة المعيشية وسيؤذي عامة الشعب.
إلا أن إغلاق بوابات قد يعني فتح بوابات أخرى. إذ سيصبح العراق رئة سوريا في هذه الحالة، خصوصاً بحدود تتجاوز 600 كيلومتر. كما سيعود لبنان منفذاً على كل «ممنوع» كما كان في فترة من فترات ثمانينيات القرن الماضي. وفي الوقت الذي تظهر مؤشرات «مشاكسة وتضييق» على الحدود السعودية للتجار السوريين، يمكن لخطوة رسمية من قبل بعض دول الجوار لسوريا أن تؤثر سلباً عليها أيضاً، خصوصا لكون سوريا نقطة وصل بين مرافئ وبلدان عديدة تزدهر التجارة بينها.
وسيتزامن هذا مع حراك سياسي «منظم» وفقاً لمعطيات الاجتماع الأخير لكوادر البعث أمس الأول. حيث يجري التحضير لمؤتمر قطري هذا الخريف سيتم فيه التوافق على كيفية التعاطي مع المرحلة المقبلة، والتي ستشهد ولادة حركات سياسية جديدة، حيث كان لافتاً لدى بعض المشاركين في المؤتمر حجم الرفض الذي لدى عدد كبير من كوادر الحزب اتجاه التعديلات الدستورية ولا سيما المتعلقة بـ«المادة الثامنة» من الدستور بحجة «حماية الخصوصية السورية». كما من المتوقع وفق مصادر «السفير» ألا تجري انتخابات تشريعية قبل ربيع أو نهاية شتاء العام المقبل، وذلك بهدف منح الأحزاب الجديدة التي ستتشكل وقتاً كافياً للاستعداد لذلك.
من جهة أخرى، من المتوقع أن يتمّ تشكيل هيئة تأسيسية لتعديل الدستور، بحيث يطرح الدستور الجديد لاستفتاء في توقيت غير واضح، ربما يسبق موعد الانتخابات التشريعية، إلا أن حجم الضغوط الخارجية على دمشق قد يدفع حزب البعث وكوادره لاستبعاد المرونة في التنازل السياسي، خصوصاً ان الأشهر المقبلة هي أشهر تحدٍّ مختلفة المستويات.

August 18th, 2011, 8:15 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

What is hitting the Syrian economy the most is not the sanction, but the demonstrations. The major two revenues for Syria are tourism and petrol. Tourism was completely hit. The petrol is not, because the European countries did not stop importing petrol from Syria.

August 18th, 2011, 8:17 pm


jad said:

‘فلسطين المحتلة | وكالات : اطلاق نار كثيف على الجيش الإسرائيلي بهضبة الجولان’

August 18th, 2011, 8:21 pm


Ali said:

47. Afram

Accidently pressed dislike

August 18th, 2011, 8:23 pm


jad said:

Check the results of this poll at the guardian:

Is it time to treat Syria like Libya?
US and European leaders have called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, condemning his regime’s use of force against anti-government protesters. Should the international community begin military action in Syria, as in Libya?

August 18th, 2011, 8:23 pm


Tara said:

I love Azmi Bishara. I wish Muhamad al Abdallah and Fidaa al Sayed take him as an advisor to help them come up with a comprehensive program for the opposition. He is brilliant.

August 18th, 2011, 8:29 pm


Ali said:

BREAKING NEWS: NATO and Turkey Support Armed Rebels in Syria. Campaign to Recruit Muslim “Freedom Fighters”

by Michel Chossudovsky

The Western media has played a central role in obfuscating the nature of foreign interference in Syria including outside support to armed insurgents. In chorus they have described recent events in Syria as a “peaceful protest movement” directed against the government of Bashar Al Assad.

Recent developments in Syria point to a full-fledged armed insurgency, integrated by Islamist “freedom fighters”, supported, trained and equipped by NATO and Turkey’s High Command.

According to Israeli intelligence sources:

August 18th, 2011, 8:32 pm


jad said:

“عاجل: روسيا والصين والهند وجنوب أفريقيا والبرازيل هذه الدول تعارض أي تدخل في سوريا وتعتبر هذه الدول أن مايجري هو شيء داخلي وقد فشل مجلس الأمن الأن بإصدار أي قرار يدين الحكومه السوريه
Conseil de sécurité de L’ONU : la Russie , la Chine, , le Brésil , l’Inde et l’Afrique du Sud s’opposent à une résolution condamnant la Syrie, considérant la non ingérence dans les affaires intérieurs d’un pays souvrain , destabilisé par des manoeuvres terroristes”

August 18th, 2011, 8:33 pm


Ali said:

Sniper shooting from rooftops and lethal weapons seized by armed gangs in Lattakia.

August 18th, 2011, 8:41 pm


Ali said:

More breaking news
Lattakia. 7 bodies found. killed and buried by the armed gangs

Still peaceful???

August 18th, 2011, 8:54 pm


SQI said:

#77. JAD

rebuff to Obama’s calls from BRIC and south Africa.

Verb: Reject (someone or something) in an abrupt or ungracious manner.
Noun: An abrupt or ungracious refusal or rejection of an offer, request, or friendly gesture.

August 18th, 2011, 9:03 pm


Ali said:

Russian Popular Delegation to Take Part in “We Love Syria and its Leader” Campaign

Aug 17, 2011

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – A Russian popular delegation on Wednesday arrived in Damascus to take part in “We Love Syria and its Leader” campaign.

The delegation includes Russian political, academic, cultural and artistic personalities in addition to 6 Syrian residents in Russia.

In a statement to SANA, Members of the delegation said the visit aims at seeing the reality of events in Syria on ground, adding that Syria is a country of great history and people and led by a wise leadership.

They also expressed that the Russian people rejects foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs, stressing that the Russian people supports Syria.


August 18th, 2011, 9:11 pm


Ali said:


WASHINGTON, (SANA) – American United Press International UPI said that citizens in Deir Ezzor were happy that security and stability are back in the city, adding that hundreds of people stood in front of the Police Academy at the southern entrance of Deir Ezzor to say farewell to the Army units while they were moving out.

“Some families have carried flowers, women have scattered rice on soldiers,” UPI said in a report from Deir Ezzor.

UPI quoted Kholoud, a teacher, as saying that the Army has restored security and stability to the city after the armed terrorist groups perpetrated acts of sabotage in the safe city.

She underlined that the terrorists were strangers, adding “we are living in a society where citizens know each other… I saw 7 persons carrying weapons while roaming the city… their features won’t indicate they were from Deir Ezzor.”


There you go! enjoy

August 18th, 2011, 9:14 pm


EHSANI2 said:

Dear SOURI333,

Robert Fisk of the “Independent” just published an article where he wrote that a Swedish government agency recently concluded that Syria was largely unaffected by the world economic crisis – because it don’t really have an economy.

You ask how the trade embargo will affect Syria.

The answer to this will depend on the EU tomorrow. A draft circulated today that the region will ban the exports of refined petroleum products to Syria. Why is this important? Because while
Syria may find buyers to its exports of crude (heavy type), what it really needs is to import refined crude. Iran also suffers from such a deficiency. This is why you see cars lined up at its gas stations in spite of the ample oil that it exports.

By placing the five different Syrian oil companies and agencies on the OFAC list, many countries and financial institutions will find it problematic to trade and do business with them. Iran will be an exception of course as it is under similar sanctions already.

By all accounts, Syrian businessmen report near 40-50% drop in general activity. The stock market is down by a similar amount largely reflecting this sentiment.

Again, what the EU does tomorrow with the export ban on refined petroleum will be key. The U.S. and the EU are likely to keep adding to the list of sanctions as this standoff continues. The pressure on the economy and the country’s finances are likely to intensify. Iran has been under similar sanctions and survived. I guess one argue that Syria can do the same. But, one must not underestimate the repercussions of these actions. When such measures are put in place, they are very hard to cancel and do away with.

August 18th, 2011, 9:20 pm



74. JAD said:

‘فلسطين المحتلة | وكالات : اطلاق نار كثيف على الجيش الإسرائيلي بهضبة الجولان’

Where did you get this news from? Israeli sources haven’t reported such shootings?

August 18th, 2011, 9:22 pm


N.Z. said:

The whole world is looking with admiration to the Syrian people except some Syrians, I wish they can see themselves through the lenses of others.

The way this popular uprising has evolved over the past 5 months has proven to the world, the unlimited brutality of this regime, in contrast with the civility, bravery and collective determination of the protesters. The Syrian protesters and the opposition, together, had sent a clear signal to the Assad regime, that their clamp down on Syrian is no longer accepted. The world is looking at them in awe and respect, at once.

August 18th, 2011, 9:24 pm


abughassan said:

actually,Al-Qadi’s article is very good,read his bio before you accuse him of being a pro regime. He is far better than many of our opposition leaders and way better than the regime heads.
I understand the jubilation among some after the US statement, after all,most syrians want to change the regime,however,the smell of a foreign intervention is nauseating,I hope I am wrong,I want Syrians in Syria to finish the job,not The US,The EU or KSA or those clowns who are taking pictures with foreign leaders and competing in a race about their dream future political job, something we want the next elections to determine,not Mr Erdogan or King Abdallah.
you guys need to take a deep breath and pray for a stop of the bloodshed instead of electing the next syrian president on the internet.Bashar has no way to go but out,it is how it is done and who is next that really matter,not whether Obama declare his old “love” for Asad or not,even the Jordanian FM is joining the party and suddenly acting tough tough after realizing that the big guys are really after Asad. Many accidental TV and internet heros will emerge because Asad is an easy target now, and he only has himself to blame.I am only concerned about Syria,not whether Bashar’s feelings are hurt,rahima allah man matoo…

August 18th, 2011, 9:30 pm


Norman said:


Can Russia help Syria in that regard .

August 18th, 2011, 9:30 pm


syau said:

Tara #29,

“Humiliating day for Bashar today. Both EU and the US called for Bahar al Assad to step down.”

And since when does Syria care about the views of the US or EU, or for what they call for?

For those who think this call has weakened President Assad, it’s done quite the contrary and furthermore, it will weaken the US’ influence over the Middle East in future.

August 18th, 2011, 9:35 pm


beaware said:

SAC welcomes Obama’s call for Assad to ‘step aside’
Syrian American group urges Russia, China, Brazil, India to end support for Syrian dictator
(Washington, D.C., 8/18/11) – The Syrian American Council (SAC) welcomed the statement today from President Barack Obama calling for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad to “step aside,” and expressed optimism about new measures introduced to further isolate the Assad regime.

In his statement, Obama announced “unprecedented sanctions” to financially cripple the Assad regime’s ability to maintain its assaults on nonviolent protesters. These restrictions add to the sanctions already imposed by the U.S. and European Union.

SAC urged important world powers that have so far opposed a UN Security Council resolution against the Assad regime, including Russia, China, Brazil, and India, to join the U.S., Britain, France and Germany in demanding that Assad leave power.

The grassroots Syrian American organization expressed appreciation for Obama’s assurance that “the United States cannot and will not impose this transition upon Syria,” and the commitment to the demands of the Syrian people that “there not be foreign intervention in their movement.”

President Obama: ‘The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way’

In a statement, SAC Chairman Dr. Louay Safi said:

“We applaud President Obama and his administration for finally calling for Bashar Assad’s immediate resignation. We appreciate the leadership from the United States over the past month to further isolate the Assad regime, and we welcome the Executive Order from the President with hopes that it will hasten the end of the Assad regime and stop the bloodshed of innocent men, women and children.

“We urge the United Nations to follow with an immediate resolution that holds the Assad regime accountable for its crimes against humanity that President Obama referenced, which include the ‘imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering’ of thousands of innocent Syrians.

“We specifically urge the leaders of Russia, China, Brazil, and India to immediately cease protecting the Assad regime, and to stand on the right side of history by supporting Syria’s peaceful revolution. By opposing a UN Security Council resolution, these governments are directly facilitating the massacres we have witnessed in the past month. Any government or organization that can exert pressure on the Assad regime to step aside and allow the Syrian people to take control of their destiny must do so immediately.

“Finally, we wish to commend President Obama for reminding all people that the fate of Syria is firmly in the hands of the millions of Syrians who have admirably taken to the streets in Deraa, Hama, Deir ez-Zor, Homs, Damascus, Aleppo, and all of the other cities across Syria. Neither the United States nor any other nations or individuals can intervene in the destiny of Syria.”

SAC echoed the White House’s admiration for the entirely peaceful six-month revolution, despite Bashar Assad “imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people.” To date, over 2,500 people have been killed in the brutal government crackdown on peaceful freedom-seeking protesters, and many thousands remain missing.

Founded in 2005, the Syrian American Council (SAC) has been coordinating with the State Department, Congress, and the White House to guide US foreign policy and to build the case for an unequivocal call for Bashar Assad to step down. SAC is opposed to any form of foreign military intervention in Syria. The mission of SAC is to mobilize Syrian Americans to strengthen civil society in Syria, to promote friendly relations between the Syrian and American peoples, to engage civic and governmental organizations to advance civil liberties, human dignity, and democracy in Syria, and to encourage cooperation based on international law and justice.

# # #

Contact: SAC Chairman Dr. Louay Safi,, (317) 679-6894; or SAC President Dr. Talal Sunbulli,, (708) 373-6531

August 18th, 2011, 9:37 pm


N.Z. said:

In order for Syrians to finish the job without outside intervention, the silent majority, must show their support/ lend their voices to the protesters, or keep quiet. What these silent majority MUST NOT DO, is give excuses and stab the protesters, dead or alive in their back, one way or the other. Standing on solid ground with both feet together.

August 18th, 2011, 9:38 pm


Vedat The Turk said:

I agree with Souri333. We need to here from Eshani. His analysts is always spot on.

August 18th, 2011, 9:38 pm


N.Z. said:

To every supporter of this regime, Please Read!

لكل محب للنظام وداعم له تفضل واقرأ هذه السيرة المشرفة محمد مخلوف من مواليد محافظة اللاذقية “جبلة
بستان الباشا” يحمل شهادة في التجارة والاقتصاد. الوضع العائلي : هو الشقيق الأصغر والوحيد وترتيبه الثالث بعد فاطمة مخلوف – وأنيسة مخلوف زوجة الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد ووالدة الدكتور بشار الأسد, متزوج من أربع نساء ولديه خمس أولاد من زوجته الأولى “مهنا” : ( رامي – حافظ – إيهاب – إياد – ابنتان ) الوضع المهني : كان موظفاً في شركة الطيران السورية في قسم المحاسبة التجارية وبعد تولي الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد السلطة في سوريا عين محمد مخلوف مديراً عاماً لمؤسسة التبغ والتنباك “الريجي” في سوريا عام 1972 . انطلق بالفساد من هذه المؤسسة والتي تحكم جميع العقود مع الشركات الأجنبية سواء باستيراد التبغ الخام والسجائر الأجنبية المصنعة، واستيراد الآلات والتجهيزات الصناعية للمؤسسة التبغ “كخطوط تصنيع السجائر المحلية وغيرها من مستلزمات المؤسسة “، وتصدير المنتجات السورية والتبغ السوري الخام للخارج . وفي الوقت نفسه دخل مجال السمسرة في عقود الدولة مع الشركات الأجنبية بعد حوالي عدد سنوات . ** فساده في مؤسسة التبغ والتنباك: حصر جميع وكالات شركات السجائر الأجنبية المصنعة باسمه بدل أن تكون محصورة في مؤسسة التبغ ، شراء تجهيزات مستعملة وخطوط إنتاج لتصنيع السجائر المحلية وبيعها على أنها جديدة وبأسعار خيالية، تصدير التبغ الخام السوري الذي له صبغة ونكهة خاصة مطلوبة عالمية إلى شركة يونانية وهمية بأسعار رخيصة جدا ويتم بيع التبغ السوري في اليونان إلى شركات أجنبية بأسعار اغلي من السعر الحقيقي التي تم شرائه من مؤسسة التبغ أي بحوالي ضعفين السعر المباع إلى الشركة اليونانية ، وانعكست هذه الأسعار الرخيصة على الاقتصاد الوطني وعلى المزارعين حيث تم فرض عليهم شراء منتجات التبغ منهم بأسعار لاتكفي تكاليف زراعته . ولم يكتف بسرقته من أموال الدولة بل فرض على التجار والوكلاء الحصريين للسجائر الأجنبية المصنعة “بدفع عمولة مالية” له فرفضوا هذه الضغوطات عليهم وتم رفع شكوى الى رئيس الحكومة آنذاك عبد الروؤف الكسم مما دفع محمد مخلوف الى إصدار قرار بوقف استيراد السجائر الأجنبية المصنعة عبر وكلاء وتجار وحصر استيرادها عن طريق مؤسسة التبغ حيث ايضا فرض على الشركات الأجنبية عمولة 10% مقابل كل كمية مستوردة من مؤسسة التبغ من الشركات الأجنبية و كون هذه الشركات كانت تعطي 10 % للتجار والوكلاء في سوريا وهذه الشركات تريد أن لاتخسر مبيعاتها وعقودها في سوريا ، فأصبح محمدمخلوف الوكيل الرسمي لهذه الشركات الأجنبية في سوريا تحت مظلة مؤسسة التبغ السورية رافعاً شعار (حماية الاقتصاد الوطني). وفتح هذا القرار الباب على مسلسل “التهريب”

هذا القرار كان بالنسبة لأإفراد من آل الحاكم ” طاقة الفرج ” أي فتح لهم انهر من الأموال ليتم تأسيس شركات ومؤسسات مسلحة التي عرفت باسم “الشبيحة” لتقوم بتهريب هذه السجائر من الدول المجاورة ومن دول أوربية عبر “البحر – البر – الجو” على عينك يا تاجر ( حاميها حراميا ) !! ولكن عسل وطمع محمد مخلوف مع الشركات الأجنبية لم يبقى كثيرا حيث فرض على الشركات الأجنبية برفع النسبة والحقيقة السمسرة أو عمولته فرفضت الشركات الأجنبية هذه الضغوطات وأرسلت شكوى الى رئيس الحكومة السورية عبد الروؤف الكسم آنذاك وطلب من الحكومة السورية بإلغاء العقد مع محمد مخلوف وإعادة العقود السابقة التي كانت موقعة مع مؤسسة التبغ ومع وكلاء من التجار السوريين أيضاً التي أدت الى خسارة مؤسسة التبغ لملايين من الدولارات وكانت تحمل رسالة الشكوى استغرابها كيف تكون الوكالات ” سمسرة ” للشركات الأجنبية للسجائر المصنعة مع شخص وحيد في سوريا ويمنع بعض التجار من أن يكونوا هم أيضاً وكلاء لشركات أخرى أجنبية للسجائر المصنعة، وذكر ايضا كيف يمكن أن تكون كل وكالات ” سمسرة ” الشركات الأجنبية لشخص وهو بنفس الوقت يدير مؤسسة التبغ السورية يكون هو الوكيل الحصري للمنتجات ، وهي التي كانت بالسابق تصدر لهذه المؤسسة الحكومية حصرياً بأسعار مناسبة والى وكلاء لها من بعض التجار السورين وكانت الأسعار تتناسب مع مستوى معيشة المواطن ؟؟ … وبقيت هذه الشكوى في طي الكتمان في إدراج مكاتب القصر الجمهوري ، وبقي الحال على ماهو عليه حتى ظهر ماهر الأسد على الساحة الاقتصادية وطلب من خاله مقاسمته في الشركات الأجنبية للسجائر المصنعة بعد أن اصدر الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد مرسوم جمهوري يقضي وقف استيراد السجائر الأجنبية المصنعة من مؤسسة التبغ وحصر استيراد السجائر الأجنبية المصنعة بمؤسسة الأسواق الحرة “غوتا” والتي يسيطر عليها محمد مخلوف حيث أصبحت الشركات الأجنبية أغلبيتها عائدة الى ماهر الأسد لهذه اللحظة من كتابة هذه المقالة . وبعد هذه الشوشرة من الشركات اصدر رئيس مجلس عبد الروؤف الكسم آنذاك قراراً بنقله الى المصرف العقاري بناء على أوامر الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد في عام 1985 وظناً من الدكتور عبد الروؤف الكسم انه حجم محمد مخلوف في نقله لهذا الموقع . **فساده في البنك العقاري السوري: اكتشف محمد مخلوف كنزاً جديداً في المصرف العقاري فوضع تسعيرة للقروض التي يمنحها المصرف بمقدار 15% ولم يمنح قرضاً لمواطن أو مقاولاً أو لأصدقائه إلا بعد حصوله على 15% ،وان المصرف العقاري كان قد منح عدد قروض تقدر بمليارات من الليرات السوري الى أسماء وهمية ومتوفى وعقارات وهمية لان القرض يمنح بناء على مستند عقاري أو تجاري لضمان حق البنك بحال عدم التسديد ، وأيضاً وضعت نسبة 10% لمن يطلب تأخير التسديد أو طلب تمديد مدة القرض أو تمديد مدة إعفاء القرض من الرسوم المضافة عليه . من حوادث هذا البنك : 1- حادثة منح قرض مبلغ 350 مليون ليرة سورية لإقامة مشروع سياحي على ارض في مدينة الرقة في المدخل الشمالي لها عند البحيرة والواقعة تماما تحت جسر الرقة اكتشف بان الأرض هي لأملاك الدولة ( وزارة الزراعة ) اسم صاحب القرض متوفي 2- حادثة منح قرض مبلغ 270 مليون ليرة سورية في مدينة حلب لرجل أعمال لإكمال بناء مشروع صناعي لكن المفاجئ كانت بان قيمة القرض 300 مليون القيمة الحقيقية لكن منح فترة عشر سنوات للتسديد بدون فوائد عليها

3- قرض بقيمة 500 مليون ليرة سورية وكانت كفالة هذا القرض منشأة اكتشف فيما بعد أن هذه المنشأة عليها حجوزات من قبل الورثة وصاحب القرض موجود في القاهرة وقبرص . وغيرها الكثير من القروض … !!! وأخر أيام فساده في البنك العقاري هو تحويل بعض مبالغ من احتياطي البنك العقاري في البنوك الخارجية باسمه مباشرة بدل أن تكون باسم البنك العقاري وخاصة مبلغ وقدره 61 مليون دولار في بنك سويس كارد وأيضاً تجهيز بنك العقاري من حواسب بنكية وآلات الصرف الالكترونية عن طريق شركة لبنانية هو شريك لهذه الشركة حيث قدمت عروض فرنسية وبريطانية بأوصاف فنية أفضل وأسعار ارخص من عقد الشركة اللبنانية لكن عرض الشركة اللبنانية بمواصفات صينية وأسعار أغلى من الشركات الأوربية كانت الأفضل تشجيعاً لزيادة أرباح محمد مخلوف **فساده في قطاعات اقتصادية حكومية ومصرفية أخرى: 1- قطاع النفط أسس محمد مخلوف شركة تعمل في مجال الخدمات النفطية ” تامين عقود استخراج النفط – البحث واستكشاف عن آبار نفطية – نقل النفط الخام – حفر آبار نفطية – ” واسم هذه الشركة ( ليد للخدمات النفطية ) وحصته في هذه الشركة 50% والنصف الأخر باسم المهندس نزار الأسعد وحصة محمد مخلوف مسجلة باسم شقيق زوجته غسان مهنا ( شركة ” ليد ” مملوكة أمام دوائر الدولة الى غسان مهنا الشريك الأول الذي يتستر ورائه محمد مخلوف والشريك الثاني نزار الأسعد ، غسان مهنا كان موظفاً سابقاً في الشركة السورية للنفط والغاز، نزار الأسعد مهندس وموظف في دائرة حكومية وله قرابة عائلية مع محمد مخلوف ) وتولت هذه الشركة جميع أعمال الخدمات في قطاع أعمال النفط بالإضافة الى عقود استيراد معدات وتجهيزات النفط وعقود تصدير النفط ، حققت هذه الشركة أرباحاً طائلة منذ عام 1980 . وأسس ايضا شركة “شحن بحري” مقرها في اليونان تعنى في مجال شحن النفط والغاز والمواد الخام. ألحقت شركات محمد مخلوف النفطية أضراراً كبرى في الاقتصاد الوطني السوري ومن هذه الأضرار أن وزارة النفط السورية قررت إنشاء معمل الغاز طرح في مناقصة عالمية وقد نجحت شركة ” توتال الفرنسية ” من الناحية الفنية والمالية في هذه المناقصة وكان ترتيبها الأول لكن هذه الشركة لم تلبي مطالب محمد مخلوف فتم إعادة النظر في عملية إرساء المناقصة من قبل ابن شقيقته الدكتور بشار الأسد شخصياً لتمنح المناقصة لتحالف شركات وكيلها محمد مخلوف ” الشركة الكندية غير معروفة في مجال الغاز – وشركة بريطانية مملوكة من رجل أعمال سوري من – وشركة اوكسيدنتال الأميركية ” . طلب وزير النفط السابق الدكتور حداد ضمانات مالية وضمانات بعدم تطبيق المقاطعة الأميركية في هذا المشروع فلم يستطع تجمع الشركات المذكورة ذات الصلة بمحمد مخلوف من تقديم الضمانات

فأوقف العقد لحين تقديم هذه الضمانات والى الآن لم تتمكن هذه الشركات من ذلك وبالتالي أضاع محمد مخلوف على الاقتصاد الوطني مئات ملايين الدولارات نتيجة عدم استثمار الغاز المهدور في الحقول النفطية وكان من المفترض أيضاً وضع المعمل في الإنتاج !!! ؟؟؟ وعلى اثر ذلك ايضا أقيل وزير النفط من نصبه كونه رفض التوقيع على العقود إذا لم يتم تامين الضمانات !!! شركة الفرات هذه الشركة التي أسست في عام 1980 و تقوم بأعمال التنقيب عن النفط واستثمار حقول النفط وكانت الحكومة السورية لها 65% و35 % من مجموعة شركات أجنبية كانت ترأس هذه المجموعة شركة شل الهولندية والتي كان وكيلها محمد مخلوف ،وأصبح من المعروف أن محمد مخلوف الناشط في صناعة النفط، هو المحتكر الأول لها في سورية. ويتردد الآن في أوساط أركان النظام السوري وعائلاتهم، ودائما حسب الأوساط المقربة، أن من اكبر المسؤولين عن الخيارات الصعبة التي اتخذتها سورية في العراق ولبنان، كان السيد محمد مخلوف, خال رئيس النظام السوري، وابنه رامي مخلوف. فمن اجل دوام استقطاع 20 ألف برميل من منح النفط العراقي اقترح محمد مخلوف الوقوف الى جانب بقايا النظام العراقي، وإعطائهم ملاذا في دمشق، وتمكينهم من إدارة أعمال التسلل وربما الإرهاب، إعداداً وتمويلا، انطلاقا من الأراضي السورية. وكذلك كان محمد مخلوف وراء الإصرار على التمديد ثلاث سنوات لولاية اميل لحود, الرئيس اللبناني، حماية لعلاقة الشراكة القائمة بين رامي ابن محمد مخلوف، وإميل ابن الرئيس اللبناني, والتي تشمل شركات الموبايل، والمناطق الحرة على الحدود بين لبنان وسورية. وقد كلفت هذه الخيارات النظام السوري خسائر فادحة ” سياسية – اقتصادية ” أوصلته الى ماهو عليه الآن من عزلة ومحاصرة، وشعور دائم بالتهديد . ورأت الأوساط أن أعمال محمد مخلوف وابنه رامي تعتبر من التجاوزات التي قد يدفع ثمنها رئيس النظام بحكم الروابط العائلية. 2- قطاع النسيج أعلنت الحكومة السورية على إجراء مناقصة عالمية لإنشاء معمل لغزل النسيج في محافظة ادلب في عام 1990 وقد رست المناقصة على شركة يابانية بمبلغ 104 مليون دولار وقبل توقيع العقد مع الشركة اليابانية فوجئ الجميع والقيمين على هذه المناقصة بإدخال شركة اسبانية كانت قد سقطت في التأهيل الفني والتأهيل المالي ورفعت علاماتها الفنية لأعلى الدرجات بحيث رست المناقصة على الشركة الاسبانية بمبلغ 109 مليون دولار واستبدل عقد الشركة اليابانية بعقد مع الشركة الاسبانية !!! هذه الشركة الاسبانية مملوكة لشخص سوري يعمل مع محمد مخلوف في اسبانيا وهي عبارة عن شركة وهمية وردت آلات ومكنات لغزل النسيج لمعمل ادلب للغزل والنسيج وبعد تركيب الخط الإنتاجي والمكنات وكان الاستغراب من قبل مهندسين المعمل وجميع مسؤولين المعمل بعدم حضور مهندسين الشركة للإشراف على تركيب الآلات وكانت الصاعقة والصفعة الأكبر بان جميع الآلات لم تعمل بعد تركيبها وتم الاتصال وإرسال الطلبات عبر سفارتنا في اسبانيا ولكن لا مجيب فتقدمت الحكومة السورية بدعوى على الشركة الاسبانية وتفاجئت الحكومة السورية برد الدعوة لعدم وجود هذه الشركة في اسبانيا وعدم وجود أي ممتلكات لها ولا سجل تجاري وبالتالي تقاسم محمد مخلوف

مع شريكه في اسبانيا مبلغ 109 مليون دولار وبقي حال هذا المعمل على ماهو عليه وبقيت الآلات في المستودعات وبقيت أبواب المعمل مغلقة حتى الآن والأموال التي دفعت من الحكومة السورية بدون تقديم أي ضمانات من هذه الشركة قد ذهبت الى جيب حرامي الشعب وحرامي الشعب الأكبر الذي يحميه بشار الأسد ووالده ومحمد مخلوف !!! 3- قطاع الكهرباء – إنشاء محطات توليد كهربائية في ( دير علي – محردة – تشرين ) بعد أن وقعت الحكومة السورية هذه المشاريع الى شركة يونانية وروسية وأوكرانية يملكها عدد رجال أعمال سوريين شركاء محمد مخلوف بعد الإعلان عنها في مناقصة عالمية ؟؟ لكن بعد حوالي سنة انفجرت محطة تشرين لعدم قدرت تحمل عنفات توليد الطاقة الكهربائية مما أدى الى توقف محطة تشرين عن توليد الطاقة الكهربائية ولإغلاق هذا الملف ” كرمال عين تكرم مرج عيون ” اتصلت الحكومة السورية بالحكومة الروسية طالبت فيها مساعدتها بخبراء روس ومكنات جديدة لتوليد الطاقة الكهربائية بالسرعة الفائقة بدون إجراء أي مناقصة وفعلا تم تركيب مكنات جديدة روسية بدل المكنات المركبة ولم تحاسب الشركة المنفذة للمشروع ولم تعاد أموال هذه المكنات التي ركبت من قبل شركة محمد مخلوف وأغلق الملف كلياً – محطة توليد الطاقة الكهربائية في محردة: بعد حادثة محطة تشرين بأشهر توقفت مكنات التوليد في محطة محردة ولكن بدون أن تنفجر مكنات توليد الكهرباء فسارعت وزارة الكهرباء والحكومة السورية بإجراء التصليحات اللازمة بدون الاستعانة والطلب من الشركة التي قامت على تركيب هذه المولدات ولكن بعد عدد أسابيع توقفت هذه المكنات ليقرر آنذاك وزير الكهرباء ورئيس الحكومة بالعودة الى تركيب مكنات التوليد القديمة التي كانت موجود قبل تركيب هذه المكنات ” الحديثة ! ” وفعلا رجعت تعمل محطة محردة على أجهزة توليد للطاقة الكهربائية القديمة التي ركبت منذ عشرات الأعوام !! لكن بدون محاسبة ايضا وضع هذا الملف في أدراج رئيس الحكومة وفي أدراج القصر الجمهوري تحت مقولة ” كرمال عين تكرم مرج عيون ” 4- قطاع المصارف الخاصة بعد صدور مراسيم تقضي بالسماح بافتتاح بنوك خاصة تعمل داخل الأرضي السورية , كان محمد مخلوف معد هذا المشروع ليس من اجل الاقتصاد الوطني وليس من اجل مايردده ابن شقيقته من شعارات بضرورة الانفتاح الاقتصادي والإصلاح الاقتصادي إنما لزيادة إرباحه وفتح مجالات اقتصادية أخرى له فكل بنك أسس في سوريا وخاصة البنوك العربية واللبنانية كانت ترخص عن طريق محمد مخلوف ليكون هو أول المساهمين في البنوك الخاصة وسنقدم مثال عن إحدى البنوك الموجودة في سوريا والتي يديرها محمد مخلوف بأمواله التي سرقها من الشعب والأمثلة كثيرة ولكن سنتطرق الى بنك بيبلوس اللبناني: يملك محمد مخلوف في بنك بيبلوس اللبناني 166 ألف سهم أي ما يعادل 41 % وصندوق زويك للتنمية الدولية 30 ألف سهم وابنهرامي محمد مخلوف 20 ألف سهم أي ما يساوي 5% من إجمالي الأسهم إضافة الى عدد من المستثمرين السوريين وهم: – إيهاب محمد مخلوف ولديه 20 ألف سهم بنسبة 5% – عصام خير الله أيوب 20 ألف سهم

– محسن نبيه شيخ الأرض 20 ألف – نادر محمد قلعي 20 ألف سهم – عماد الشريف 20 ألف سهم – المعتز واصف الصواف عشرة آلاف سهم – سمير أنيس حسن أربعين ألف سهم ويبلغ رأسمال المصرف ملياري ليرة سورية وعدد الأسهم أربعة ملايين سهم وبالنسبة للأسهم من الفئة «أ» فقد تم السماح للسوريين حصرا المقيمين وغير المقيمين بالاكتتاب عليها??? كما جاءت التعليمات للمواطنين السوريين غير المقيمين في سوريا تقديم طلبات الاكتتاب لدى بنك بيبلوس – الإدارة العامة في بيروت على أن يتم تسديد قيمة الاكتتاب بالنسبة للسوريين المقيمين بالليرة السورية ولغير المقيمين بالعملات الصعبة ونصت التعليمات على أنه لا يجوز للمكتتب من الأشخاص الطبيعيين السوريين امتلاك أكثر من 5% من رأسمال المصرف أي ما لا يزيد على 200 ألف سهم من أجل الحفاظ على التوازن. ويعد هذا البنك باكورة أول تعاون مصرفي بين القطاع الخاص في كل من سوريا ولبنان وبلغ عدد المصارف الخاصة التي تم الترخيص لها حتى الآن في سوريا ثمانية مصارف!! على أن يرتفع العدد إلى نحو عشرة مصارف قبل نهاية العام الجاري .. طبعا بعد موافقة محمد مخلوف على هذه البنوك !! إجراء تعيينات مدراء في مؤسسات اقتصادية حكومية حساسة : يصدر محمد مخلوف أوامره لرئيس الحكومة بتعيين بعض من المدراء في مؤسسات حكومية اقتصادية حيث تم تعيين كل من : – تعيين المدير العام للبنك العقاري – تعيين المدير العام للبنك التجاري السوري – تعيين مدراء للبنك العقاري في المحافظات السورية – تعيين مدراء ” غوتا” السوق الحرة السورية في المحافظات السورية دون العودة الى مدير مؤسسة الأسواق الحرة السورية وبدون العودة الى وزارة الاقتصاد. – تعيين مدراء للريجي في المحافظات السورية بدون العودة الى مدير العام لمؤسسة التبغ والتنباك وهذا أدى الى تصادمات حادة بين الدكتور فيصل سماقية ” قريب الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد ” الحرامي الأكبر للريجي وسنخصص له حلقة خاصة. – تعين مدير حقول رميلان النفطية في محافظة الحسكة – تعيين مدير شركة الفرات للنفط – تعيين مدير برامج في الشركة السورية للنفط والغاز – تعيين مدير المشاريع في وزارة الكهرباء – تعيين مدير منشات توليد الطاقة الكهرباء في وزارة الكهرباء – تعيين عدد من أعضاء مجلس الشعب – تعيين أعضاء في غرف تجارة بعض المحافظات السورية – تعيين بعض من المحافظين في المحافظات السورية – تعيين بعض من أمناء فروع الحزب في المحافظات – تعين المدير العام للجمارك وبعض مدراء الجمارك في المحفظات السورية وسنذكر حادثة عن المدير العام للجمارك السورية “غطفان الرفاعي” حيث تم توقيف المدير العام للجمارك السورية “غطفان الرفاعي” وعدد من التجار السوريين من قبل شعبة الأمن السياسي الذي

كان يرأسها آنذاك اللواء الراحل غازي كنعان ، وكانت التهمة الموجهة إليهم تلاعب في البنود الجمركية وإدخال مواد مهربة الى سوريا ، حيث اقر واعترف مدير الجمارك غطفان الرفاعي انه قد استلم مبالغ رشاوى بقيمة 45 مليون دولار مقابل التلاعب في الكشوف الجمركية وادخل مواد مهربة الى سوريا ، وان مبلغ 45 مليون دولار كانت له حصة فيه وهي بقيمة 10 مليون دولار وان باقي المبلغ 35 مليون دولار قد سلم الى محمد مخلوف شريك غطفان الرفاعي الذي تم تعينه من قبل محمد مخلوف ، وهذه الاعترافات كانت مسجلة بصوت ومكتوبة بخط يد غطفان الرفاعي وأحيل غطفان الرفاعي وبعض التجار الى القضاء المختص لكن بعد نقل اللواء غازي كنعان الى وزارة الداخلية أفرج عن غطفان الرفاعي وبعض التجار بكفالة نقدية بقيمة 10 مليون ليرة سورية وأجريت المحاكمة وهم طلقين وبعد وفاة اللواء غازي كنعان أصدرت المحكمة المختصة قرار ببراءة غطفان الرفاعي والتجار وإسقاط التهم الموجه لهم!!! تقدر ثروة محمد مخلوف بـ 8 مليار دولار !!

August 18th, 2011, 9:42 pm


Tara said:

Syau #90

The Difference this time is where the Syrian people stands. The Syrian people is against the regime this time and that along with the targeted sanctions are what will bring Bashar down.

August 18th, 2011, 9:43 pm


sheila said:

To #60. SQI,
You have left me speechless when I read your comment:
“You can’t get back the Golan , that is a an obvious fallacy by now, you have to get the whole of Palestine, and this takes time and sacrifice and is the work of several generations.
but as you have seen in the last decade, we are getting closer. Hopefully without another War as deterrence seem sufficient to turn Israel into the feckless country it really is.
the Resistance is a Camp , an Alliance of many people and groups and regimes in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and maybe soon the PKK.”

I am sorry to bring this to you SQI, but this is beyond delusional. WE are getting closer to getting Palestine back?????????????. REALY??????????? And what exactly is making you so sure????????
We seriously need a big magnifying mirror to look at where we are as a nation and where Israel is as a nation, starting from educational system, military power, economic advances, scientific superiority and where can we end: In Syria Alassad! I guess, enough said.

August 18th, 2011, 9:44 pm


Ali said:

N.Z @87

Who is looking at them in respect? The Americans who funded the armed terrorists? Or maybe Turkey who has now become Americas new booty call? Again i will say… The majority of Syrian people still believe in and support Bashar Al Assad like it or not

August 18th, 2011, 9:45 pm


newfolder said:

watch how Bashar’s dogs abuse detainees on the bus in Hama and laugh about it? tfooh on them

August 18th, 2011, 9:47 pm


Tara said:

Syau and Alex

Kindly give me your opinion in regard to the link provided by Newfolder in 97.

Newfolder, I would love to see this on CNN and Aljazeera.

August 18th, 2011, 9:55 pm


SQI said:

no Ali babas in the US , so the 40 thieves roam through the Land.

they are robbing their own country , imagine what they would do if they got control over Syria.

For the past two decades, according to a whistle-blower at the SEC who recently came forward to Congress, the agency has been systematically destroying records of its preliminary investigations once they are closed. By whitewashing the files of some of the nation’s worst financial criminals, the SEC has kept an entire generation of federal investigators in the dark about past inquiries into insider trading, fraud and market manipulation against companies like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and AIG. With a few strokes of the keyboard, the evidence gathered during thousands of investigations – “18,000 … including Madoff,” as one high-ranking SEC official put it during a panicked meeting about the destruction – has apparently disappeared forever into the wormhole of history….

August 18th, 2011, 9:57 pm


Ali said:

97. newfolder

If you don’t know yet, I will be the one to tell you. Security forces have seized not only explosives and guns, but they have also found stolen army uniforms hidden by these thugs. I don’t trust that this video is legitimate. These are not the actions of security forces in Syria. To me this is a bus full of terrorists making yet again another fabricated video.

Again, there is no proof of your accusations.

August 18th, 2011, 9:58 pm


Afram said:

75. Ali


August 18th, 2011, 10:02 pm


syau said:


Wrong. You seem to be a little out of touch with what Syrians want. Supporters of this terrorist revolution are a minority. It is the minority who cheer the collapse of the economy, the destruction of the country and the outright terror this so called revolution has brought Syria.

President Assad has the support of the majority of Syrians and that is fact. The call from the US has enhanced the sense of unity Syrians feel and the interference by the US and co in Syria’s internal affairs is rejected by the most important people, the Syrian people residing in Syria.

Realpolitik will triumph over ethical values. The sanctions that have been imposed on Syria are basically a reinforcement of old sanctions and an extention of current sanctions which Syria is already accustomed to surviving.

The only outcome this call will have is to increase anti Americanism in Syria which has been quiet of late, and further enhance President Bashar Assad’s support amongst his people.

August 18th, 2011, 10:04 pm


beaware said:

Experts Skeptical Syria’s Assad Will Resign
By Cecily Hilleary, VOA, Washington
President Barack Obama has issued his strongest call to date for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power. In a statement released Thursday the U.S. leader has said that “the future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way.”

Meanwhile, even before Obama’s latest call experts have been skeptical that of any voluntary departure on Assad’s part. They say that one doesn’t have to look too far back into Middle East history to realize that there isn’t much of a future in being a fallen dictator. Most of them, analysts says, either end up jailed and tried for corruption, such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak; dying an undignified death, as did Iraq’s Saddam Hussein; or, if they’re lucky, the will get to live out their last years in lonely exile abroad.

Dictators know this. That’s why most of them would do almost anything to hold onto power, at least until outside forces step in – whether it’s opposition factions or the international community.

Five months into the Syrian uprisings, Bashar Al-Assad may have lost credibility, but he has not lost his stranglehold over the country. “I think the main thing that is maintaining Bashar al Assad in power is the inability to see beyond him from Western policy makers,” says Nadim Shehadi, an Associate Fellow at the London-based think tank Chatham House. In other words, Shehadi explains, “Assad creates smokescreens that prevent the world from seeing beyond him, by creating the circumstances whereby people would be afraid of what comes after he falls.”

What exactly are those smokescreens? To Shehadi they are a myriad of Western worries he says the Syrian President deliberately feeds: “Iran would come in, Al Qaeda would take over, the Muslim Brotherhood, there would be civil war like Iraq…chaos in Lebanon, chaos in the whole region.”

The international community also worries that if Assad were to fall, Syria would not be able to manage its ethnic, religious and political divides. The majority of Syria’s population – about 74% – is Sunni Muslim. The Assad regime is Alawite, a Muslim sect with a historical relationship with Shi’a Islam, which represents about 12% of the population. Christians account for another 10%. The population also encompasses a variety of ethnic minorities such as Kurds, Circassians and Armenians, among others.

But Shehadi argues that fears of sectarian strife are groundless. “A society like Syria will not go into chaos and civil war because the Syrian population has lived the Lebanese civil war. They’ve lived the Iraqi civil war. They had a million and a half Iraqi refugees. They know what’s at stake.”

Without a clear statement from the U.S. and international community calling for Assad’s ouster, there’s no chance, says Shehadi, of Assad going anywhere. “The message he is getting is that ‘we cannot see beyond you, so we want you to stay.’ And he interprets this message as ‘do what it takes to stay in power,'” Shehadi tells VOA.

For the U.S. and for the Syrian opposition, it’s a huge conundrum. The White House has previously demanded the immediate end to Syria’s crackdown on protesters and imposed additional sanctions against Damascus. It has also been working to increase pressure on countries that trade with Syria. But, say analysts, that appears to be as far as Washington is willing to go – at least until it sees a “roadmap” for a future Syria. So the U.S. is looking for signals from other players in Syria – protesters, the armed forces, political dissidents – anything that paints a semi-clear picture of what a post-Assad Syria might look like.

So far, those signals are few and far between.

Disparate Players

Numerous political parties exist in Syria. Some are tolerated by the ruling Baath Party; others operate on a clandestine basis; and still others – mainly Kurdish or religious parties – are banned altogether. Historically, they have always been divided, either by political or religious differences, or simple competition.

The year 2005 saw the “Damascus Declaration,” a statement of unified opposition signed by some 250 individuals and political groups, including liberals, communists, Islamists, and Kurds. It criticized the Syrian government regime as “authoritarian and totalitarian,” and called for national dialogue and reform. For the most part, the traditional opposition to Assad’s Baath Party is made up of such groups as the Democratic National Grouping in Syria, the Kurdish Democratic Front and others.

The 2011 uprisings have spawned a wide spectrum of activist groups whose numbers seem to increase almost daily: The Syrian Creative Revolution, the Syrian Revolution Coordinators Union, the Syrian National Front for Change, and endless variations on the theme. Among the most prominent of these is the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), a coalition of grassroots activists who coordinate protests from cities across Syria and who gather and disseminate information to the international media.

The most outspoken and organized critics of Assad’s regime reside outside Syria – in Europe, the U.S. or elsewhere in the Arab world. Among them are Radwan Ziadeh, founder of the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studiesor Ausama Monajed of the London-based Movement for Justice and Development, who is also an organizer of the National Coalition to Support the Revolution.

So far, none of these groups – the political parties, the protesters or the expatriate dissidents – have managed to send a signal that resonates in the West.

“The opposition is very fragmented,” says Shehadi. “There is no leadership. That’s because this regime doesn’t allow for an opposition to be united, coherent and credible.”

Stephen McInerney, Executive Director of the Washington, D.C.-basedProject on Middle East Democracy, agrees. “A lot of the key people that will emerge as leaders,” he says, “are keeping a low profile, and a lot of people who are being active in this protest movement don’t want to be known at this point, because if they are prominently known as leaders of the opposition and the protest movement, they are more likely to be targeted, and their work more likely to be eliminated.”

At a recent press conference in Washington, D.C, Radwan Ziadeh, who is also a Visiting Scholar at The Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs, acknowledged the lack of unity among Assad’s opponents. “It’s not easy,” he said, “to come up with a united opposition after 47 years of dictatorship. But even though the Syrian opposition does not have a united leadership, they do have a united agenda: A free Syria, for all Syrians.”

Fears of Civil War

Ziadeh also addressed concerns about religious, ethnic and sectarian divisions. In a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and other diplomatic officials he stressed that the new Syria will be politically, ethnically and religiously inclusive. “We don’t want anybody to be excluded by the transition.”

Not even the Baath party, he adds.

Still, Washington has publicly stated that it is looking for clearer signs from the opposition. The State Department said this week said that U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford continues to meet with the Syrian government and the opposition on a daily basis.

“I think where we are in our discussions with the opposition,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters, “is to continue to encourage them to work together, to be unified in their message, and to come up with a clear roadmap of their own for a democratic future for Syria.”

Meanwhile, even before Obama’s statement the U.S. has been lobbying for the support of international allies in dealing with Syria, stressing the importance of acting collectively, rather than unilaterally. Appearing at a national security forum this week, Clinton even questioned whether any U.S. call for Assad to leave office would carry weight in the light of a history of strained relations. Responding to critics who had been saying the U.S. should have been speaking up more forcefully, she admitted that calls by other players might in fact carry more weight.

“It is not going to be any news if the United States says Assad needs to go,” she said. “Okay, fine, what’s next? If other people say it, if Turkey says it, if [Saudi Arabia’s] King Abdullah says it, there is no way the Assad regime can ignore it.”

Yet for now, most experts agree that Assad will most likely tighten his grip to avoid the fate of fellow autocratic Arab rulers, at least until a tipping point is reached. And as Tunisia and Egypt have already shown – and Libya perhaps soon will – tipping points do eventually come.

August 18th, 2011, 10:13 pm


Tara said:


The Syrian people are against Bashar al Assad. Horan, Damascus suburbs, Damascus itself, all Hama, all Homs, all Sunni areas in Lattakia, Jisr al Shogur, Rastan, Banias, Deir al zor, Hasaka, Bukamal, Raqqa, Tadmur, and Aleppo. What is left Tartous and Jableh? It is time for Bashar’s supporters to face the truth.

August 18th, 2011, 10:15 pm


Samara said:

All i heard the EU and the US say was “woof, woof”.

And all i hear the Syria people way is “ALLAH, SOURIA, BASHAR OU BAAAS!!!”

August 18th, 2011, 10:21 pm


ann said:

Iraq Leader Says the Arab Spring Benefits Israel

August 18, 2011
Iraq Leader Says the Arab Spring Benefits Israel

BAGHDAD — While Western leaders including President Obama called on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to step down, Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, warned Arab leaders in a speech on Thursday that Israel would benefit the most from the Arab Spring.

“There is no doubt that there is a country that is waiting for the Arab countries to be ripped and is waiting for internal corrosion,” he said in Baghdad. “Zionists and Israel are the first and biggest beneficiaries of this whole process.”

Mr. Maliki, the leader of Iraq’s Shiite government, rarely mentions Israel in speeches. But he warned that those Arab countries experiencing democratic revolutions should be wary of Israel’s taking advantage of the turmoil.

“We must take notice and be careful not to be the prey of the ambitions of this usurping country,” he said.

Mr. Maliki, who has maintained a far friendlier tone toward the Assad government than many Arab leaders, did not refer to Syria in the speech. He said that Arabs deserved to have more rights, but that they should gain them through the electoral process.

Since the uprising in Syria began, Mr. Maliki has invited many Syrian officials to Baghdad to discuss stronger economic ties between the two countries. He has also said far less about the Syrian government’s bloody crackdown on dissent than he did when there was similar unrest earlier in Bahrain, where a Sunni monarchy holds sway over a predominantly Shiite population.

Many analysts have said that Mr. Maliki’s stance on Syria reflects Iraq’s increasing tilt toward Iran, a Shiite theocracy and a strong supporter of Syria. In 2010, Mr. Maliki relied heavily on Iran’s political support to gain a second term as prime minister. Others have said that Mr. Maliki is concerned that unrest in Syria could spill over the border into Iraq and further destabilize the country.

August 18th, 2011, 10:23 pm


newfolder said:

#103 don’t bother with the Assad supporters, they’re too stubbornly stupid to face facts. They also won’t comment on the videos emerging of their “glorious and brave” security and armed forces shooting up mosques, beating detainees on buses or shooting little girls in the eye. Screw em and screw their leader, pretty soon we’ll rid Syria from their filth.

August 18th, 2011, 10:24 pm


Ali said:

Armed terrorist groups have shot at a bus carrying army men to their barrack in Homs. They shot 13 of them.
When they were trying to rescue them to take them to the National Hospital in Homs, the armed groups shot at them again.

3 men are in critical condition.

August 18th, 2011, 10:24 pm


beaware said:

Anderson Cooper Calls BS On Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’Afari
18 aug 2011

August 18th, 2011, 10:26 pm


beaware said:

Post Assad Syria will be Pro-Western
Syrian human rights activist Ammar Abdulhamid says democracy protesters are disgusted with Iran’s support of Assad regime.
2 Aug 2011

August 18th, 2011, 10:31 pm


Ali said:

Last comment didn’t go through

If you don’t know, i will be the one to tell you, security forces did not only seize explosives and guns but also found stolen army uniforms hidden by the armed thugs.
These are not the actions of security officers but the hideous actions of the salafi animals. I don’t have faith that this video is legitimate.To me this is yet another fabricated video and a failed attempt to bring the Syrian government.

August 18th, 2011, 10:31 pm


N.Z. said:

Who are these terrorist groups? asks Anderson Cooper. How did they sprang all of a sudden, who are they? he keeps repeating the questions then Bashar Jaafari with a straight face say they are Salafis who came from Iraq.

He accuses Anderson that he does not know all the story, he answered that is because you will not allow journalists in? he then invited Anderson to come and see for himself.

Anderson replied that he was there even before the uprising took place and he was not allowed to go alone. He had to be chaperoned by bashar’s ghosts. Same as when the two delegation went to Hama.

CAn you imagine that an American is standing up for the Syrians, while one of our own is looking us straight in the eye, and lying through his theeth.

August 18th, 2011, 10:32 pm


Abughassan said:

The corruption in Syria is a real threat to national security,and most of it is linked directly or indirectly to the regime and its allies,however,if it was not for willing participants inside Syria,corruption would have never reached this epidemic level. Corruption is not just a huge problem,it is now a way of life for millions of Syrians who got used to it,tolerated it or even practiced it at work or at government offices. One major reform measure the new regime has to take is impose fair taxation on millionaires and billionaires who are used to bribing government officials and getting away with paying a faction of what they owe, some people like to forget that those corrupt fat cats belong to all syrian sects and most of them are not actually alawis but they partner with alawis in the regime to get their dirty job completed.Syria is poor mainly due to corruption and poor economic planning,we do not need oil to recover financially,we need a new accountable regime.

August 18th, 2011, 10:33 pm


Ali said:

@104 Samara.

more like “oink oink”

August 18th, 2011, 10:33 pm


ann said:

Turkey and Syria
One problem with a neighbour
Turkey’s tough talk on Syria is unlikely to be matched by action

Aug 20th 2011 | ISTANBUL | from the print edition

IN A small café outside Istanbul’s Fatih mosque, a slight bearded man lifts his shirt to reveal two deep bullet wounds. “Assad’s soldiers did this to me,” says Motee Albatee, who served as an imam at a Sunni mosque in the besieged Syrian town of Deraa until he fled the country several weeks ago. Mr Albatee is among a growing number of Syrian dissidents who have found sanctuary in Turkey, many of them in refugee camps near the border. Some are angry over the reluctance of Turkey’s government to get tougher with Bashar Assad, Syria’s president. “Turkey must set up a buffer zone [inside Syria]” to protect more refugees from the fighting, insists Yayha Bedir, a member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Like many seated around the table, he believes only drastic action will force the Syrian army to defect en masse, bringing down Mr Assad’s brutal regime.

Such talk is particularly loud online, where Syrian tweeters have voiced disdain for Turkey’s attempts to get Mr Assad to end the bloodshed. Their fury grew earlier this month when Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, flew to Damascus to deliver what Turkish officials tautologically called a final ultimatum. “We are at the end of our tether,” roared Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister.
In this section

* Dancing with danger
* Grasping hands and bleeding hearts
* »One problem with a neighbour
* No longer among the Euro-weenies

Related topics

* Kurdistan Workers’ Party
* Bashar Assad
* Iran
* Turkey
* Syria

Mr Assad’s response was to intensify his assaults against unarmed civilians, notably in the Mediterranean port of Latakia (see article). This prompted Mr Davutoglu to issue yet another warning: Turkey would not, he said, “remain indifferent” to continuing massacres. Yet he also ruled out intervening to create a buffer zone. So what leverage does Turkey actually have over its erstwhile Ottoman dominion?

None whatsoever, say critics of Mr Davutoglu’s much-vaunted “zero problems with the neighbours” policy. That is unfair. But as Soli Ozel, a political scientist, puts it, the Syrian crisis has revealed that “Turkey isn’t as influential as it thought.”

The last time Turkey got tough with its southern neighbour was in 1998, when it threatened to invade unless Syria booted out Abdullah Ocalan, leader of Turkey’s outlawed rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The Syrians caved in, and relations between the two countries have flourished since. Trade has more than tripled in the eight years of Mr Erdogan’s Justice and Development (AK) government, visas have been abolished and ministerial meetings have been held amid much fanfare. (Mr Davutoglu says he has made over 60 visits to Syria.) Crucially, Syria has ended its patronage of the PKK.

Rapprochement with Syria has also allowed Turkey to play a bigger regional role. The government came close to brokering a peace deal between Syria and Israel before the plan was scuppered by Israel’s attack on Gaza. Some Turks hoped that engagement with Syria would eventually yank Mr Assad out of the orbit of Iran, his biggest patron, and set him on a path towards reform. (His alleged involvement in the 2005 car-bomb assassination of Rafik Hariri, the Lebanese president, was quietly ignored.) All the more reason for Turkey’s feelings of betrayal.

Turkey’s Western allies are not about to mount an invasion of Syria. But they are turning the diplomatic screws, and are eager for AK to sever political and trade links with Mr Assad. But a bigger prize would be to drive a wedge between Turkey and Iran. Turkey’s mollycoddling of the mullahs has angered America, most recently when Mr Erdogan’s government voted against imposing further sanctions on Iran at the United Nations last year. Turkey has since sought to make amends. It has agreed to NATO plans for a nuclear-defence missile shield that is clearly aimed at Iran. And after some dithering, it is co-operating with the alliance’s military operations in Libya.

Yet Turkey is understandably wary of openly confronting Iran, one of its main sources of natural gas and the primary transit route for Turkish exports to Central Asia. Iran has also helped Turkey in its battle against the PKK—though it continues to flirt with hardliners who oppose any deal with the Turkish government. Lately the PKK has been stepping up the fight—some 30 Turkish soldiers have been killed in the past month. On August 17th, in a bid to quell mounting public anger, Mr Erdogan authorised the bombing of hundreds of PKK targets inside Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. But such actions have failed in the past and the last thing Turkey needs is a hostile Iran.

Besides, many of AK’s pious constituents see the unrest in Syria as yet another America-backed Zionist plot to pit Turkey against Iran. The ultimate goal, their thinking goes, is to cut Turkey down to size. Disappointingly, the same line is parroted by the main opposition Republican People’s Party, for all its claims of change under its new leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

So what are Turkey’s options? It can withdraw its ambassador from Damascus, continue to intercept the flow of weapons to Syria and impose economic sanctions. Other than that, as Mr Ozel suggests, it should desist from promising any more than it can deliver.

August 18th, 2011, 10:35 pm


Ali said:

This is a very graphic 30min video made by the Russians of SOME of the horrifying crimes committed by the armed gangs in Syria!

btw… The Assi was not dry

August 18th, 2011, 10:40 pm


N.Z. said:

The journalist from CNN who went to Syria, was repeatedly warned that they are armed terrorists, that they wear long sleeves and stand near mosques, in other words armed and dangerous. They ignored the warning and approached the Syrian brave men, she told Anderson, THESE MEN WERE NEITHER ARMED NOR DANGEROUS.



August 18th, 2011, 10:46 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Thanks Ehsani.

What I know is that the Syrian exports to Europe are mostly the crude oil. I think that crude oil makes more than 85% of the Syrian exports to Europe. So I believe if they stop buying Syrian products it won’t affect us significantly aside from the oil problem, which, I think, is not a major problem. We can live with some oil product shortages. I think the government should reduce the supplies of mazout and gasoline to the rebellious areas, especially Homs, Deraa, and Idlib. I think the oil embargo may even be good because it may force the government to reduce the subsidies on oil products and it may force the people to turn to renewable energy sources.

The real problem I think is the European imports to Syria. I think that many industries in Syria depend on European imports, so it may take time to find replacements from other countries. I wonder how hard it will be to find replacements from other countries to the things that we import from Europe.

Most of Syria’s non-oil exports go to Saudi Arabia and Iraq as far as I know. Iraq is never going to be against us (just listen to Maliki yesterday when he called the Arab Spring a Zionist conspiracy, it was amazing). So the only potential problem is Saudi Arabia. The article published in Al-Haya threatens Saudi Arabia with closing the Syrian and Iraqi borders if it stops importing from Syria, which means that Saudi Arabia would lose its land connection to Turkey, Europe, and Lebanon. Will that threat deter them from stopping trade with Syria?

I don’t feel that the Western embargo is as huge problem as the Western media makes it sound. I am not sure if I am right or not.

If we can endure a few years without trading with them it will be great because I am sure we will develop and find many alternatives to their products, thus we will become much less dependent on them.

August 18th, 2011, 10:49 pm


Ali said:


And I don’t believe anything you just said

August 18th, 2011, 10:51 pm



To add insult to injury, Syria is disqualified, at least for now, from the next soccer World Cup! And guess who is to blame? The world-wide conspiracy against Syria, not the incompetence of the Baathists in charge of the Syrian Soccer Federation!

الفيفا يقصي منتخبنا الأول من تصفيات كأس العالم بسبب جورج مراد.. ورئيس الإتحاد يبرر كالعادة

Expect more people to join the demonstrations.

August 18th, 2011, 10:51 pm


Tara said:


Thank you for The article you posted in #41. Pretty ironic and entertaining. Next Ramadan we may be discussing Arab Spring in KSA.

August 18th, 2011, 10:55 pm


SQI said:


it’s a bit odd for a Syrian to brag about Israeli “educational system, military power, economic advances, scientific superiority ” !! ? .

anyway , TOZZ, Israel is much weaker than you think , it has been shown , as weak as a spider’s web as someone said.

we can compare Syria’s developement in these areas to Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Iran , etc .. That would make sense, we can learn things from them. Israel however is a freak in the regional context , does not belong , nothing useful is learned or deduced from any such comparison.

i said that “deterrence seem sufficient to turn Israel into the feckless country it really is”. meaning if Israel is deterred militarly from manifesting its hostile nature , it will simply loose its purpose and dissovlve by itself into a one state solution.

Syria and its allies have developped significant asymetrical deterrence capabilities in the last decade , that were battle-tested on several occasions and are still developping these capabilities at a very quick pace.

Israel could not defeat Hizbolla, which could be viewed militarily as one division in the Syrian Army , does not this mean we are getting closer ?.

the current pressures on Syria do not affect in any way these capabilities and their developement.

August 18th, 2011, 11:10 pm


Norman said:

I do not think that the call for the resignation of president Assad will lead to anything, and it might even make it clear how impotent the US is, The question is if he does not listen will the US feel the urge to force it’s well, president Assad does not represent himself alone, as apparently there is a strong conviction in the Baath party and and the army that is the goal of the opposition and the West is Iraqi style demise of Syria as we know and apparently, The Baath party, the army, the president and most of all the Syrian people believe that and are willing to fight back.

August 18th, 2011, 11:17 pm


True said:

Going through the Menebeks posts, boooooring!! Nothing new, no more knowledge added just a waste of space. It’s amazing how all of the Menhebkes still showing the same symptoms of denial!!! People you need a shrink

@ SYR.EXPAT, Ta 4 the video
@ Haytham Khoury, I’ll call you Haytham Sheikh instead 🙂 good on you for not listening to the sick Menhebeks
@ ABOUR, Besho’s accent is quite strong eh I think they’ll be forced to use some subtitle in the international court
@ Tara, Well Besho turned thousands of innocent ladies & kids into widows & orphans so why not let Asma and (little) Hafez feel the same.

August 18th, 2011, 11:21 pm


Aboud said:

“I think the government should reduce the supplies of mazout and gasoline to the rebellious areas, especially Homs, Deraa, and Idlib”

That’s already been tried, or did you think in five months your pathetic Besho didn’t think of that? Last May it was close to impossible to get mazout in Homs…until people started smuggling them from other towns 🙂

All the cities that came out to demonstrate have had their electricity, water, Internet and telephone lines cut at some point. It didn’t stop a single person from going out to demonstrate. Do you have any more bright ideas for your X-Box president?

However, thank you for sanctioning the idea of economic warfare against your own people. It’s a tactic I look forward to seeing applied to Qardaha in the not too distant future 🙂

“Will that threat deter them from stopping trade with Syria?”

And what do you think the economic effect will be of Syria losing the transit fees such a blockade will cause? Another bright idea from you that didn’t turn out to be so bright.

“and it may force the people to turn to renewable energy sources.”

Man, it’s just another pie in the sky after another from the menhebaks. Kindly name me one renewable energy resource Syria can turn to? Solar power? The solar power available to Syrians can just barely heat their water, and it costs 20,000 to put up solar panels just for that.

If this is the kind of brilliant planning the Baathists think will get them through the coming days, it’s no wonder they let a zillion so called Salafis into the country.

“And all i hear the Syria people way is “ALLAH, SOURIA, BASHAR OU BAAAS!!!”

Yes, it is a common illness among the Baathists that they go deaf and blind when traveling through Latakia, Homs, Hama, Deir el Zour, Dar’a, Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Baniyas, Telkelakh…in fact, anywhere that isn’t Qurdaha aka the nation’s new garbage dump 🙂

So Menhebaks, is Switzerland part of the nefarious plot against junior? Is the Pope?

August 18th, 2011, 11:23 pm


Aboud said:

“Syria and its allies have developped significant asymetrical deterrence capabilities in the last decade”

*groan* Someone give me s bucket. Not the “asymetrical deterrence” BS again. Dude, 50,000 Katyushas is not a deterrence. Where was your deterrence when the Israelis bombed Syria several times during junior’s reign?

“Israel could not defeat Hizbolla, which could be viewed militarily as one division in the Syrian Army , does not this mean we are getting closer”

Did you idiots even look at what Israel did to South Beirut? You call that a victory? And why did that pussy Nasrallah stay quite as a mouse when Israel bombed Gaza in 2009? Because Hassoni had learned his lesson, he would have been powerless to stop Israel from repeating its devastation of his neighborhoods, and it would have been the end of him politically in Lebanon.

Today, of all days, we have seen how desperately the menhebaks cling to any straw, to console themselves that nothing really matters. I hope they never break out of their illusion 🙂

August 18th, 2011, 11:29 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

# 120.,

The first point: I was talking about how to confront possible oil product shortages. I was not talking about how to stop demonstrations. If we have a mazout shortage, it will be logical to reduce mazout supplies to those who are on permanent civil strike and those who asked for the oil embargo on themselves in the first place.

The second point: the measure I mentioned will be a reaction, not an action. If Saudi Arabia stops trading with Syria this will create a huge problem between the two countries and I don’t think Saudi Arabia would still be sending its trucks through Syria. The point is that Iraq will also close its borders, thus depriving Saudi Arabia from all its land routes.

I don’t want to continue responding because the points you raised are just so stupid. Try to concentrate a little bit and to understand what people are saying. Are you from Homs by any chance?

August 18th, 2011, 11:44 pm


Abughassan said:

Press reports that alwesal tv and orient tv are off air after Nile sat decided to revoke their contract due to incitement of sectarian hatred and violence. Can you guys verify this story?
I supported targeted sanctions that are aimed at regime heads and corrupt Syrian officials and businessmen but I do not see how suffocating the Syrian economy will serve Syrian citizens and advance the cause of freedom and democracy. Some people do not learn from history,please tell me when was the last time broad and universal sanctions ever hurt a corrupt regime?
Western assurances that measures to reduce the effects of those sanctions on ordinary Syrians will be taken are as credible as those old claims of WMDs in Iraq. As for those expat clowns who are begging for future political positions,we have to assume that the west will insist on free elections that those expats may or may not win,otherwise,those expats will have to wait for NATO tanks to put them in power,something that seems as a remote possibility unless NATO scores a quick victory in Libya and manages to change china and Russia position on this subject. Expect the temperature in the middle east to rise especially in Lebanon,Gaza and the Sinai desert,that will make the situation even muggier for all parties involved but it may help the regime ,Iran and hizbullah.
A final note,I tend to believe those who think that the sanctions will only manage to create a black market in Syria that will benefit smugglers,UN corrupt officials and regime thugs.
Are we as expats willing to send money to poor Syrians ,instead of just moral support?
Poor Syrians ,who are friendless today, are likely to get poorer while the regime is sitting pretty and starts to use sanctions to buy loyalty from Syrians who now have to suffer from the regime brutality and those merciless sanctions…

August 18th, 2011, 11:49 pm



What a disgraceful interview by Syria’s ambassador to the UN. Is this the best this regime can do?

August 18th, 2011, 11:52 pm



المملكة المخلوفية

صرح بخيتان، الأمين القطري المساعد إننا ماضون في مكافحة الفساد…. وصرح رئيس الوزراء إن مكافحة الفساد عملية مستمرة… ولكن متى بدأتم حتى تقولوا لنا أنكم مستمرون؟ وأين هي تلك الأسماء الطنانه الرنانه التي تمّت محاسبتها ؟ رامي مخلوف محمد حمشو ماهر الأسد نادر قلعي هاشم العقاد أياد غزال وغيرهم ….. نحن شعبٌ لا نريد الثأر بل نريد خزينة دولة عامرة تمطر علينا مشاريع تنمية، وفرص عمل، ومستقبل واعد لأولادنا . وإذا كان أسلوبكم في مكافحة الفساد مثل أسلوبكم في تحقيق الوحدة والحرية والاشتراكية، فهنيئاً لكل الفاسدين في بلدنا لأنهم نـفــــــــــــدّوا بريشهـــــــــــــم، والعترة على المواطن الذي عليه أن يقبل بمخدركـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــم الجديد حتى لا يصحو أبداً.
بقلم : هابيلالمملكة-المخلوفية.html

August 19th, 2011, 12:13 am



شكون هاي يالله…!!!!؟؟؟

اليوم دخل وفد من 70 صحفي تابع لوسائل إعلام محلية وعربية وعالمية إلى دير الزور .
فاتوا بين هالناس وعينك تشوف الحماس و التنافس الشريف , وصاروا المصورين يتفننوا بالتقاط الصور ,قال شو القيادة الحكيمة بدا تنقل الصورة الحقيقية لما يجري في سوريا.
لو بتشوفوا الفران شو حكى … الدكنجي ,أبو اليانصيب ,جماعة البسطات, الزباين ,الزبال, الناس يلي بالسوق كلن عملو معون مقابلة….. يعني الشحاد الي هوي الشحاد ما قصر ولله ….. عشرات من المقابلات المباشرة والغير مباشرة .
المهم طلعو 68 مقابلة متل بعض نفس الكلمات نفس النقاط ,الفواصل ,اشارات التعجب والاستفهام ,الأقواس … ولك اقسم بالله لو كانوا بفحص بكلوريا لرسبوا بالتشابه….
بعد ما راحوا الصحفيين صرخ الشحاد بكل صوتو اجتمــــــــــــاع
بدقيقة اجتمعت الناس كلها قدامو…..على شكل ارتال… وبلش الدكنجي يصفن ويصرخ: ترادف ,ازبل ,ستارح ,ستاعد …..يعني ماضل حدا بالسوق ما اجتمع.
رددوا الشعارات وقدموا التحية للشحاد الركن …بعق كم بعقة و طالع منهم تنين ..وبلش فيهم ضرب وتعفيس ومسبات ,وهوي يقول على مين عم تتشاطر يا ابن ال…..؟ ما رح قولها بالشهر الفضيل..!!
اتاري هل العنصرين هني ألي عملوا المقابلتين المختلفتين عن 68 مقابلة
يعني طلعوا عن النص شوي…..
وبالآخر ركبوا بهل باصات و راحوا على المعسكر الكل راح للنوم و العنصرين ألي طلعوا عن النص قضوا ليلة سعيدة في منتجع الجاموقة السياحي .
بعد الإفطار بشوي عرضوا الريبورتاج على قناة الدنيا , وطلعوا اهل الدير على التلفزيون عم يشكروا الجيش و قائد الجيش ويلعنوا العصابات المسلحة.
شكون هاي يالله بلهجة اهلنا بدير الزور تعني (شو هذا يالله)
مهاريتي الهندي- نيو دلهي – حمصشكون-هاي-يالله…!!!!؟؟؟.html

August 19th, 2011, 12:16 am


uzair8 said:

That was some interview with the UN ambassador.

August 19th, 2011, 12:24 am



Theory of [R]evolution | نظرية الثورة

August 19th, 2011, 12:30 am


Ali said:

US accused of using neutron bombs
Former commander of Iraq’s Republican Guard says US forces used weapons in 2003.

August 19th, 2011, 12:33 am


Abughassan said:

Aljafari on CNN was not convincing because he was not allowed to speak the truth. Cooper on the other side managed to do what he wanted to do. This regime is an embarrassment to Syria and it needs to go. Charity reform measures suggested by Baathists and regime loyalists are too heavy to fly and will not prolong the life of the regime. If those guys are sincere they would have released political prisoners by now and sent guilty security thugs to court.The regime boneheads know what people wants but they are focused on protecting their stolen wealth and avoiding future legal measures . Reform is not on their mind,and it never was.

August 19th, 2011, 12:36 am



هل تتحقق وعود القيادة السورية ؟

August 19th, 2011, 12:37 am


Joshua said:

Aboud, You argue that Christians are not denied permanent residence in Saudi Arabia because they are Christian but because they are not Saudis.

Here is what wikipedia says:

Saudi Arabia allows Christians to enter the country as foreign workers for temporary work, but does not allow them to practice their faith openly, because of that Christians generally only worship in secret within private homes.[3] Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are prohibited.[3] These include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols, and others.[3]

The Saudi Arabian Mutaween (Arabic: مطوعين), or Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (i.e., the religious police) prohibits the practice of any religion other than Islam.[3] Foreign Christians may meet at church meetings held at one of several embassies after registering and showing their passport to prove foreign nationality, or by private assemblies in school gyms located in gated communities on Aramco grounds. They can also hold services in each others houses.[but generally try not to be detected doing so because there is no clear distinction between public and private worship in Saudi Law and police have sometimes broken up worship in homes…..

The percentage of Saudi Arabian citizens who are Christians is officially zero,[6] as Saudi Arabia forbids religious conversion from Islam (Apostasy) and punishes it by death (Capital punishment in Saudi Arabia).[3][7] The Government does not permit non-Muslim clergy to enter the country for the purpose of conducting religious services.[3]

As for diminishing numbers of Christians in Palestine – They used to be almost 10% and have fallen fairly dramatically. In a 2007 letter from Congressman Henry Hyde to President George W. Bush, Hyde stated that “the Christian community is being crushed in the mill of the bitter Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and that expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were “irreversibly damaging the dwindling Christian community”.It is worth reading the wikipedia entry for the various reasons that Christians have left.

August 19th, 2011, 1:04 am




In your answer, there nothing about permanent residence. I don’t know if there is such a thing for anyone. Maybe there is for a select few. In Saudi Arabia, at least from what people say, non-Saudis are considered foreginers regardless of whether they are Muslims or not. Foreigners get temporary residence permit that can be renewed.

Also, other than the religious restriction, foreigners from Western countries get preferential treatment. I have heard many stories from friends over the years about that. I am sure people on this forum can confirm.

August 19th, 2011, 1:17 am


Dale Andersen said:

Aboud should really keep his mouth shut regarding Professor Landis’ response to him in #130, but we all know the one thing Aboud is incapable of doing is shutting up…

August 19th, 2011, 2:07 am



اغنية (يامو..يامو) على طريقة الثورة السورية

August 19th, 2011, 3:08 am


mark said:

The incredible hypocrisy of the west is simply too much.
Their agenda to push for regime change in Syria in order to stop the Iranian regional hegemony made possible by the Iraq war, amounts simply to a crime used to cover another crime (Iraq invasion) which was also to cover up a previous crime (instigating the Iran/Iraq war) which was instigated to cover a previous crime (Supporting teh brutal regime of the Shah) which was necessary to cover a previous crime (assassinating Mossadeq, the nationalist popularly elected Iranian leader). So traitors like Aboud and others doing the bidding of foreign powers interested only in exploiting the middle east resources and people for their own realpolitiks agenda, not to mention the pro-Israeli lobby controling most of the US and EU foreign policy.

Assad reforms are a big threat to the west, because if he succeeds, it would be the best democracy in the middle east, democracy from within, not a charade controlled by foreign powers like what was installed in Iraq next door after a bloody civil war and a complete destruction and looting of the country’s wealth. Those who support western interference in Syria are either traitors or idiots.

August 19th, 2011, 3:34 am



Dale #132

August 19th, 2011, 3:37 am



“Assad reforms are a big threat to the west”
Assad and reforms in one sentence! I a speechless! No comment.

August 19th, 2011, 4:09 am


EIU said:


you are right to pick up on the importance of refined products imports (mainly mazout/diesel/gasoil), but it would be a mistake to rule out Iran as a potential supplier. Iran was dependent on product imports, but has turned that situation round through abolishing subsidies and upgrading its refineries, and is now in a position to export significant volumes of gasoline and diesel.

Syria’s products consumption has also been distorted by subsidies, and we can assume that if imports are curtailed consumption would fall either through rationing or increased prices.

Syria’s requirement for petroleum products has also been eased somewhat by significant increases in natural gas production over the past two years.

August 19th, 2011, 4:48 am


Jasmine said:

To # 130

Dear Prof Landis
Thank you for defending the truth.

To # 131 Syr.Expat
The Saudis knows very well that these foreigners are living in a golden cage for a while,They are paid better because they need their expertises,these fat Hypocrites Saudis suffers from lack of knowledge,education,ethics and moral values,they are obsessed with women,money and alcohol,and pretend they are saints on earth.

They are the one who are causing all this trouble in the middle East and I hope that one day,they will never be allowed to step a foot in Syria.

To# 134 Mark
well said!!!

August 19th, 2011, 5:19 am


Aboud said:

Professor Landis, freedom of religion and the issue of permanent residence are two different matters, and the former was not the original point you were trying to make at all.

You misleadingly made it sound like Saudi Arabia singled out Christians when it came to residency in the Kingdom. There are Muslim Asians and Arabs who have been living there for decades but who do not have the privilege of citizenship or permanent residence there.

In the expatriate compounds where no Saudi is allowed to live, Westerners carry on their lives as if they were back home. Just take a trip to the Aramco compound, a city unto itself.

Dale Andersen, annoying people like you who have nothing better to do but show the world the massive chip on their shoulder, is reason enough for me to keep coming back here. In the five months you have been here, you have earned the distinct achievement of being loathed by every possible side on this forum. You do nothing but remind us everyday that you hate Syrians, hate Syria, hate the very word and country.

You can tell the size of the person by the size of the things that get him angry. And you have proven yourself a very small person indeed.

August 19th, 2011, 6:02 am


Akbar Palace said:

In a 2007 letter from Congressman Henry Hyde to President George W. Bush, Hyde stated that “the Christian community is being crushed in the mill of the bitter Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and that expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were “irreversibly damaging the dwindling Christian community”.It is worth reading the wikipedia entry for the various reasons that Christians have left.

Professor Josh,

What you and the late Congressman fail to acknowledge is that the Christian community in Israel has been GROWING. Why continue the misinformation? The Christian population is now up to 153,000.


Saudi Arabia is next on the democracy “chopping block”. At least they aren’t firing live ammunition at their own people. That’s about the best I can say.

August 19th, 2011, 6:58 am


some guy in damascus said:

“83. Ali said:


WASHINGTON, (SANA) – American United Press International UPI said that citizens in Deir Ezzor were happy that security and stability are back in the city, adding that hundreds of people stood in front of the Police Academy at the southern entrance of Deir Ezzor to say farewell to the Army units while they were moving out.”
i searched for that report on the UPI website. i didnt find it, or anything similar to that. NOTHING!,zero,nada,zilch!

however i did find this on UPI:
WADI KHALED, Lebanon, Aug. 18 (UPI) — Syrian refugees fleeing the violence of the 5-month-old uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad say they have lost hope of returning home soon.

Human rights organizations estimate 1,700 people have died in the fighting and nearly 3,000 are missing. About 5,000 more have fled to a border area with Lebanon where they are finding it difficult to find food and medical assistance, Voice of America reported Thursday.

Abdullah Tassi, who works with the Bekaa Youth for Development and Free Education, said the refugees thought they only would be in the area for a short time.

“But after days go on and on, now they believe they are going to stay here for a long time,” Tassi said. “Some of them are trying to mingle with the [local] people and many of them are going to villages far from here.”

A man identifying himself as Hassan al-Hassad said he went AWOL from the Syrian army a month ago and thousands of other soldiers have done the same thing, hoping to organize a new army to fight the regime.

U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday called on the 45-year-old Assad — who came into power in 2000 following the death of his father, who led Syria for 29 years — to step down and allow the Syrian people to achieve the reforms they are seeking.

“People woke up and realized that they have an alternative to living under a dictatorship of one man and his family and his cronies and having no say in their own future,” Nadim Shehadi, an expert on Syria with London’s Chatham House, told VOA. “And once people realize this it’s irreversible.”

Read more:
here the source:
@ samara
“And all i hear the Syria people way is “ALLAH, SOURIA, BASHAR OU BAAAS!!!”
take it from a guy living in damascus, the syrian people are far from unanimous when saying that, and the only people reciting that are the shabeeha that regather after they beat the pulp out of the anti-besho demonstrators
anyways, if further complications persist, maybe this link will help you out :

August 19th, 2011, 7:25 am


Samara said:

140. Akbar Palace
“Saudi Arabia is next on the democracy “chopping block”. At least they aren’t firing live ammunition at their own people. That’s about the best I can say”,

No, but beating the crap out of a woman for driving a car is just as bad. Why is Saudi Arabia advocating democracy in Syria when it is the most oppressive regime? Why is King 3aduallah in support of human rights in Syria, yet he couldn’t give a rats fart about women’s rights in his own country? Or aren’t women considered human being in Saudi Arabia?

I just love how Obama, the US, EU and UN think that they can ‘sanction’ Bashar, and tell him to ‘step down’. LOL. Bashar’s reply should be “Go to hell”.

The next thing we will hear is that Bushama saw Bashar from the White House shooting innocent people in Latakia, Homs, Hama, Deir el Zour, Dar’a, Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Baniyas, Telkelakh.

And Arboud, always mentioning Qurdaha shows what a racist you are. I have no family there, so on my part, I couldnt care less how much you trash talk it. But my point is, you are a racist through and through. And trying to hide that by saying that the Syrian regime is sectarian, is so low. Because your colours, black colours, shine everytime you make such remarks.
And i say to you:وقف نباح

August 19th, 2011, 7:29 am


Aboud said:

Damn it, while I appreciate the gesture of spraying us with water, it’s really hard not to swallow any while yelling “Ya bashar ya zarafi, allah la ya3tek el 3afi” hehehehe.

You know what the best barometer of menhebak frustration is? How many times they whine about Aboud. Judging by the posts this week, I need to increase the scale 🙂

“i searched for that report on the UPI website. i didnt find it, or anything similar to that. NOTHING!,zero,nada,zilch!”


Today there were so many demonstrations in Syria, the live feed from the satellite channels couldn’t keep up.

“Assad reforms are a big threat to the west”

Let’s have some fun with this, and see where it takes us.

So, you are saying that the West considers a Syria that implements the same freedoms that the rest of the world have had for over a hundred years, a threat?

So you admit that the old Baathist way of doing things made Syria weak? Therefore, why should anyone want a regime around that even its supporters admit has failed miserably?

Also, junior has had 11 years plus 5 months to implement reforms. Besides X-Box Live, what have been his achievements in your opinion? A higher standard of living for Syrians? Nope. Return of the Golan? Nope. Pissing off every regional and international power with nothing to show for it? Yep.

@142 I have plans for Qurdaha. It involves a numerous number of urinals. Or do you think that shelling mosques, killing over 2000 Syrians, jailing over 12,000 will not have its price?

August 19th, 2011, 7:36 am


Ali said:

Some Guy in Damascus

This is the site. If you don’t believe the article, the picture says it all.

126 Citizens Return from Turkish Camps to Jisr al-Shughour

August 19th, 2011, 7:48 am


Ali said:


Where are the rest of my comments? They were posted about 8 or 9 hours ago.

August 19th, 2011, 7:59 am


Ali said:


Very good points. Your forgetting to mention a few things though.

1, Time in prison for consuming alcohol
2, 500 lashes for alcohol trading
3, taken into custody for smelling like alcohol
4, 90 lashes a year ago for being in the same car as an unrelated man
5, In 1977 a Saudi princess and her lover were sentenced to death and executed
6, Honor killings are condemned (normally done by stoning or torture)
7, If a woman does not cover her hair she is stoned to death.
8,Permission to go outside from a male figure

I could go on and on but you get the picture.
I hope this all taught you something about the Syrian regime

August 19th, 2011, 8:24 am


beaware said:

U.S. sanctions on Syrian gov’t not sufficient to bring down al-Assad
2011-08-19 11:35:43
by Matthew Rusling
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — The latest U.S. call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster and its new sanctions imposed on Damascus may not be sufficient to bring down Assad, U.S. experts said on Thursday.
Obama issued a new executive order that immediately froze all assets of the Syrian government under U.S. jurisdiction, and prohibited all U.S. citizens from engaging in any transactions involving the Syrian government.

It also “bans U.S. imports of Syrian-origin petroleum or petroleum products; prohibits U.S. persons from having any dealings in or related to Syria’s petroleum or petroleum products; and prohibits U.S. persons from operating or investing in Syria.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury announced that it barred trade with five Syrian oil and gas companies, including General Petroleum Corporation, Syrian Company For Oil Transport, Syrian Gas Company, Syrian Petroleum Company and Sytrol.
Speaking on a White House conference call on Thursday, senior U.S. officials said the new sanctions, along with other measures the administration has taken against Assad, will “disrupt the Syrian regime’ s ability to finance its campaign of violence against the Syrian people.”

But there remains some questions as to whether the sanctions will have any impact at all, as the United States is no major importer of Syrian oil.

“The U.S. response alone probably will not have a substantial impact on the question of Assad stepping down,” said Wayne White, a scholar at the Middle East Institute who for decades served in various U.S. government positions in the Arab world.

David Pollock, senior fellow at the Washington Institute, echoed those thoughts.” The sanctions themselves are relatively minor,” he said. “But what’ s much more important is (U.S. President Barack Obama’s) very explicit statements that Assad should step aside.”

“So it’ s really this support (which is important for) the demonstrators in Syria, as well as other countries that are looking to see which way the wind is blowing,” he said.

U.S. Officials said they would continue to build on those actions as well as work with the international community to force Assad to step down, while insisting that the U.S. would not intervene in the domestic affairs of Syria.

Three leading European powers, Germany, Britain and France, have also called for the Syrian leader to step down, and U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Thursday said the Obama administration is now looking to more countries to take similar steps.
White said there may be no specific actions that the rest of world can take to force Assad to step down at this point, adding that the Syrian leader may well opt to fight on.

August 19th, 2011, 8:32 am


Mango said:

тo analyse events occurring to Syria for five months it is possible to confirm:
* – is engaged in affairs of Syria:
The USA, Israel, England, France, Germany, Russia, China, India, Southern Africa, Brazil, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, League of the Arabian countries. And also the United Nations security council, all world organizations on (protection of human rights) and also the international court etc.
Hence means that Syria is the Hyper important country!
If throughout 40 years all so is bad, who has made it such Hyper important!
For reflection!!!

August 19th, 2011, 8:33 am


beaware said:

Russia opposed to call for Syria’s Assad to step down
Aug 19, 2011 13:47 Moscow Time
Russia does not see eye-to-eye with the United States and the European Union on their call for the Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.

Moscow believes that Assad should be given time to carry out the reforms that Damascus has recently spoken of.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Syria has already made impressive progress to that end. – Relevant laws have been adopted, an amnesty has been declared for political prisoners, and Syria said it was prepared to hold general elections by the end of the year and receive an international humanitarian mission.

But the main thing is Bashar Assad’s statement that all military operations against the opposition have been brought to a halt.

The Russian Foreign Ministry feels that Syria’s problems can be settled only through dialogue between the government and the opposition.

August 19th, 2011, 8:38 am


some guy in damascus said:

sana lies.
i scanned the UPI website for such a report. i couldn’t find anything like that.
furthermore, sana didnt even give us a link to the report.
its a lie, something sana is good at.
@ all,
KSA does have gruesome criminal conduct, but heres something nice about KSA. it has stuck to its legal code. what is written is executed, unlike the syrian constitution.
im not saying i want a ksa or iran style regime, but i want a government that sticks to what it writes down in bills, constitutions and paper. something the KSA HAS DONE.

August 19th, 2011, 8:40 am


beaware said:

Assad should be given time for reforms – Kosachev
The Syrian President Bashar Assad should be given time to carry out the reforms he has announced.

The demand by the United States and some European countries that he should resign is premature, says the Head of the Russian Duma International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev.

The West’s version that the Assad totalitarian regime is suppressing the popular uprising in Syria is only a part of the actual picture of events, while the Syrian opposition protests feature elements of extremism and banditry,

Kosachev said in an interview with the Interfax news agency. The Russian MP agrees that Assad will step down sooner or later, but that reforms, he says, should not be imposed on Syria from without.

August 19th, 2011, 8:41 am


Ali said:


along with other measures the administration has taken against Assad, will “disrupt the Syrian regime’ s ability to finance its campaign of violence against the Syrian people.”

This is not their goal. Since when has US given a damn about the Syrian people… or any people for that matter? Not even its own.
9/11 was planned and taken out by the US government itself!
Their goal is not to “disrupt violence against the Syrian people”. It is to corrupt Syria as a nation, not just the economy or the government. America wants every other country to bow down and say yes master. Bashar refused to do that. Why hasn’t KALBama mentioned anything about resolving the issues of the armed thugs? Why is he only focused of corrupting the economy and “demanding” Assad steps down? (not that anyone gives a s*** what he wants. He can bark away for all I care. If he wants to give his opinion that no one wants, at least have a good argument or a solution


Thank you for using the term “woof”. perfect description. although I would have used “oink oink”

August 19th, 2011, 8:46 am


beaware said:

Syria’s Deir Ezzor cheers army on exit
Published: August 16, 2011

DEIR EZZOR: Syrian troops pulled out from the flashpoint protest city of Deir Ezzor on Tuesday, capping a 15-day operation to expel “terrorists,” an AFP reporter on a government-sponsored tour said.

Hundreds of residents sprinkled troops with rice and flowers — in a traditional Arab greeting — as they withdrew from the city in a military convoy bearing a banner that read “Soldiers of Assad.”

“The people and Deir Ezzor want (President) Bashar al-Assad,” and “We will sacrifice our blood and soul for you,” the soldiers chanted in honour of the embattled leader.

“Allah, Syria and Bashar,” cried residents.

Several residents described to AFP days of “horror” at the hands of “armed terrorist groups,” echoing government charges that terrorists were to blame for the past five months of bloodshed in Syria.

Rights groups say a brutal crackdown on dissent by Assad’s security forces has killed more than 1,800 civilians since mid-March, while 416 security forces have also died.

According to activists, the operation in Deir Ezzor, the largest city in eastern city, cost 30 lives.

“The army conducted a quick and sensible operation in Deir Ezzor in order to restore stability and calm at the request of residents,” who had complained of armed groups, an army officer told reporters.

He said gunmen had encircled the city and erected checkpoints.

Journalists visited Deir Ezzor’s main square, the epicentre of local pro-democracy and anti-regime rallies that pro-democracy protesters have renamed “Freedom Square.”

“It started with peaceful protests. Then they took the central square and merchants shuttered their shops in a general strike. After that, armed fighters took over the city and put up checkpoints,” said resident Ahmed Nasr, 38.

He said local population had appealed for the army to intervene after the city was overtaken by “terrorists of all ages,” some as young as 12.

Ahmed Abdel Khazem, 40, said he “lived in terror of armed terrorist gangs who cut roads, prevented traffic in and out of the city, and pillaged shops,” many of which remained closed on Tuesday.

“Assad is the Eagle of the Arabs,” and “The conspiracy is over, America,” read fresh graffiti on city centre walls.

Deir Ezzor province governor Samir Osman, whose office bore the scars of gunfire, said armed groups waged a campaign of terror and intimidation against officials, security and police officers, and public buildings.

The aim of the campaign was to “ruin the reputation of the state” and “serve Israel,” he said, adding that soldiers were killed by snipers posted on the minaret of a mosque.

“I know personally that some people are plotting against Syria and they have named themselves the opposition,” he said. But “everything is now back to normal and citizens are getting on with their lives.”

The governor also promised to tackle the demands of pro-democracy protesters. “The people have demands which we will satisfy at the level of Deir Ezzor and the country,” he said.

Syrian troops last week withdrew from another hotbed of dissent, Hama, after a 10-day operation that fuelled outrage abroad as authorities press on with their deadly crackdown on dissent through the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

August 19th, 2011, 8:51 am


Aboud said:

While the menhebaks accuse Saudi Arabia of hypocrisy (kettle, meet pot), they are not surprisingly silent on Switzerland, Tunisia and Italy, all of which withdrew their ambassadors 🙂

August 19th, 2011, 8:56 am


Ali said:

@155 Beware,

along with other measures the administration has taken against Assad, will “disrupt the Syrian regime’ s ability to finance its campaign of violence against the Syrian people.”

This is not their goal. Since when has US given a damn about the Syrian people… or any people for that matter? Not even its own.
9/11 was planned and taken out by the US government itself!
Their goal is not to “disrupt violence against the Syrian people”. It is to corrupt Syria as a nation, not just the economy or the government. America wants every other country to bow down and say yes master. Bashar refused to do that. Why hasn’t KALBama mentioned anything about resolving the issues of the armed thugs? Why is he only focused of corrupting the economy and “demanding” Assad steps down? (not that anyone gives a s*** what he wants. He can bark away for all I care. If he wants to give his opinion that no one wants, at least have a good argument or a solution


Thank you for using the term “woof”. perfect description. although I would have used “oink oink”

August 19th, 2011, 8:59 am


Ali said:

@160. beaware,

Thank you!

This is the article I was referring to. Read and enjoy just as I did.

August 19th, 2011, 9:05 am


Akbar Palace said:

No, but beating the crap out of a woman for driving a car is just as bad. Why is Saudi Arabia advocating democracy in Syria when it is the most oppressive regime? Why is King 3aduallah in support of human rights in Syria, yet he couldn’t give a rats fart about women’s rights in his own country? Or aren’t women considered human being in Saudi Arabia?


I really hear your concerns. But, I wish you understood the concerns from the West. The “Oriental”/Western views are really far apart, and my hope is that we can bridge them. I feel there are some on this forum who ARE bridging the gap, namely, Aboud and Tara (and others).

I am no fan of Saudi Arabia, but is beating a woman driving a car really “just as bad” as killing 2500 of your own demonstrating population, who has been w/o basic human rights for over 40 years?

I think I understand Arab frustration with their governments, but I think we first have to understand that these huge problems have to be taken in baby-steps. The first baby step is stopping the killing of innocent people. The second baby steps are basic human rights including elections.

I just love how Obama, the US, EU and UN think that they can ’sanction’ Bashar, and tell him to ’step down’. LOL. Bashar’s reply should be “Go to hell”.

No. Bashar’s reply should be “I’ll hold elections to prove that the majority of Syrians want me.”

If Assad’s reply is what you recommend (Go to hell), then you will wind up with more dead Syrians. I can’t believe that is your preference.

August 19th, 2011, 9:31 am


Ibn Arabi said:

From Nasser to Milosevic, from Ceaușescu to Ghaddafi, From Lumumba to Saddam, everyone who relied on Russia came to a sorry end. Russia, which is now egging Assad to defy its people and the West, has a miserable record in doing anything meaningful to save its dictator friends. It is the ill-omened owl of doom for every leader putting faith in it. Bashar al-Assad is doomed.

August 19th, 2011, 9:47 am


Transformation said:

Where was America when Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers for years? Where was their false philosophy on Human Rights? Weren’t Palestinians good enough for European Union, America or even Australia? For years people around the world disregarded the suffering of these people. Taking over their land was not enough for Israel and its allies! Israelis expressed their Holocaust stories all around the world for so long so that humanity will understand their suffering. However, I ask myself whether Israel or its allies are different from Hitler himself or not. Have they ever followed a better strategy to resolve their problems with Palestine but to massacre them regardless of their age or gender? Why America is suddenly concerned with what is happening in Syria, now? Let us assume that Assad has resigned. What happens next? Minorities once again will be oppressed or massacred as my ancestors were!

August 19th, 2011, 10:03 am


Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: MARK

RE: “…Assad reforms are a big threat to the west, because if he succeeds, it would be the best democracy in the middle east…”

Oh, you poor, deluded little man. Assad reforms? It’s not going to happen. Bashar Assad would kill every man, woman and child in Syria before he would implement even the most elementary reform.

August 19th, 2011, 11:49 am


Akbar Palace said:

Searching for America

Where was America when Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers for years?


America was in the same place when Israelis were killed by Palestinian and Arab terrorists. And please don’t confuse “demonstrators” with “terrorists”. For example, demonstrators didn’t shoot up that bus yesterday on the Egyptian border.

America is still in the same place and still promoting land for peace. That’s about the best your gonna get.

August 19th, 2011, 12:51 pm


sheila said:

Dear #123 SQI,
It is not as you said “ odd for a Syrian to brag about Israeli” advances, rather it is very difficult for a Syrian like me to do so, however, I have realized long time ago that for us to solve our problems and move forward, we have to begin with acknowledging that we have problems and recognizing what our problems are.
We have been raised under the rule of the Assads to claim advances when we were retreating and claim victory when we are the biggest losers. This is very detrimental to our nation.
Again SQI, we are no where near defeating Israel. The differences between us and them are very wide and in need of a lot of time and effort to be gapped. They have built a nation out of nothing and we have destroyed a great nation. We have one lethal weapon in our possession and that is demography. We produce a lot more children than they do. Time is on our side. The Israelis understand this weapon very well and fear it most. This is precisely why they do not want to annex the West Bank and Gaza.
All the countries that you have mentioned are very unreliable and have different agendas than ours. Believe me, on an emotional level, I would love to accept your scenario, but my brain can not allow me this delusion.

August 19th, 2011, 3:50 pm


sheila said:

Dear Dr. Landis,
It is fair to say that Saudi Arabia is a third world country with a lot of money. You are absolutely right about the treatment of Christians in the Kingdom, however, it is also fair to say that approximately 50% of the Kingdom’s citizens who are in effect Muslims, are treated worse than Christians. These are the women of Saudi Arabia. It is mind boggling to know that in the time of the prophet Muhammad, both Christians and women were treated a lot better than today. What kind of Islam does the Saudi government practice??????. In my view, this is not Islam at all.

August 19th, 2011, 5:03 pm


sheila said:

To all,
This Syria Comment is better than Comedy Central. I am cancelling my cable. Between the “we are on solid ground to defeat Israel”, “This could encourage alternative energy”, and “Assad reforms are a big threat to the west, because if he succeeds, it would be the best democracy in the middle east” I am on the floor laughing. Really people?. Let’s first think about providing food and medicine to the Syrians before we push for alternative energy. And yes, Assads reforms are a big threat to the west, because iffffffffffffffffff it succeeds. And let us all stop at ifffffffffff. It is the operative word.

August 19th, 2011, 5:29 pm


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