From the Comment Section (26 April 2012)

From Foreign PolicyViolence continues in Hama

An explosion in the Masha at-Tayyar district in the city of Hama killed up to 70 people. The Syrian government and opposition activists have offered conflicting accounts of the blast. According to Syrian state media, 16 people were killed in an accidental explosion in a house that was used as a bomb factory by “armed terrorist groups.” However, activists have reported several houses have been destroyed by what they claim could have been a Scud missile attack, killing up to 13 children and 16 women. The BBC’s Jim Muir reported that the magnitude of devastation could not likely have been achieved by conventional shelling. The opposition Syrian National Council called for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting “so that it can issue a resolution to protect civilians in Syria.” France has recommended stronger action by the United Nations, calling for a Chapter 7 mandate that would allow for the use of force if President Bashar al-Assad’s forces do not pull back according to Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

Members of the UN monitoring team in Syria, with opposition activists in Homs. Photograph: Handout/Reuters

Nour said:

The previous blog entry seems to be inciting against the Annan plan and hoping it would fail so that a subsequent phase of possible military intervention may take place. Moreover, the report on the electoral list is misleading and disingenuous. It links to an article listing the candidates of the Baath Party only, implying that those are the only candidates running in Lattakia, which is not true. Members of other parties as well as independents are running both in Lattakia and across the rest of the country. The Popular Front for Change and Liberation, for example, which includes the opposition SSNP and Qadri Jamil’s The Will of the People Party, has 45 candidates across Syria. Other new parties have also listed their candidates and the ballot boxes will determine who wins the majority of the seats in the People’s Assembly.

[Landis adds: thanks for this correction, Nour]

Ghufran said:

The next 6 months are unlikely to include a major shift on Syria unless the opposition scores a significant military defeat against the regime. This period will be used by both parties to strengthen their position on the ground. The lack of any serious political proposal that adresses the grievances and concerns of the sizable pro regime Syrian forces mean that the only option on the table is to fight and preserve as much as possible of the gains made in the last 2 months. If Syrians themselves are not willing to compromise nobody will do that job on their bahalf.

Observer said:

I have been in the ME for some time now. The regime is losing grip on significant part of the countryside including around Damascus. Only 15% of new conscripts showed up to be recruited this year. The number of defectors has reached 100 000.

Cham Press announces that the dollar is trading below 70 pounds in a so called sign of improvement therefore countering the official rate of 60.

Very little support is available to the FSA from the outside and this will await the US elections before any real policy to emerge

zoo said:

Rice: The “friends of Syria” have been ironically promoted to the “Friends of Democratic Syria” when the most influent members, Qatar and KSA are non democratic countries preaching democracy to others…

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Rami Khouri: “…For many tens of thousands who were prepared to demonstrate peacefully – albeit at the cost of their lives – this has become a disaster. Syrian friends of mine call it a “tragedy”. They blame the Gulf states for encouraging the armed uprising. “Our revolution was pure and clean and now it’s a war,” one of them said to me last week. I believe them”.

I utterly agree with Khouri and his friend. The irreversible mistake of resorting to arms will be fully revealed in the coming years, if not decades.

amnesia said:

In comments above I read that the secular opposition will join the Assad government, and that the opposition arming was a mistake. Please make some sense guys for a change. The soldiers who defected did so rightfully, and their willingness to risk their lives to create a challenge for Assad’s remaining forces is laudable.

DAWOUD said:

The Syria Revolution against Bashar’s, and his father’s before him,oppression began as completely peaceful. I has become militarized because of the regime and its allies (Hasan Nasrallah, Iran,…) began to use violence and murder innocent unarmed demonstrators. People have the right to defend their lives, property, dignity, and honor!.. The overwhelming majority of Syrians are opposed to the murderous Bashar and his shabiha. Free Syria, Free Palestine!

irritated said:

Dawood, What proof do you have that the “overwhelming majority of Syrians are opposed to Bashar?” If it was true how come nobody goes on strike when asked to? That’s the least the ‘overwhelming majority’ could do. … Most anti-Syrian government types keep repeating “It started peacefully’ trying to justify the issue that ‘it continued violently’ and that it is now made of death squads infiltrated by islamist extremists and criminals.

ZOO said:

This is what will happen in Syria whether Bashar stays or not?

“The terror network has taken advantage of the country’s political turmoil of the past year to capture several southern areas, and the Americans are eager to coordinate efforts with the Yemenis to push them back.

An al-Qaida settled and safe in the remote interior of southern Yemen would allow its militants to plan and execute more attacks on Western interests, taking advantage of proximity to strategic shipping lanes in the Red and Arabian seas through which much of the West’s energy needs to pass.

Comments (728)

Aldendeshe said:

For how long the shia backed Dictator Batta will keep killing Syrians and destroying Syrian cities, for how long the Saudi/Qatari backed mercenaries will continue in a way that will end life for Syrians but keeps the regime thriving and enjoying Damascus nightlife.

It looks lke that is by design, the endgame is to destroy Syria, kill millions of Syrians but keep the Batta and Baathist in power to protect Israel. Syrians been had by the master deceiver.

April 26th, 2012, 12:39 pm


Akbar Palace said:

I utterly agree with Khouri and his friend. The irreversible mistake of resorting to arms will be fully revealed in the coming years, if not decades.

Professor Josh,

So “resorting to arms” was a mistake?

I’ll make sure the Assad family gets your “profound” message.

April 26th, 2012, 12:41 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Just make sure that profound message sent in Duckistani. You don’t wan’t it to get lost in translation.

April 26th, 2012, 1:07 pm


Afram said:

I agree with Akbar

Hamas should resort to Huh ? Can you please explain this remark fixing Israelis inside cafes & buses coz PA Abass attempting negotiations with Netanyahus regime is futile.

So Hamas “resorting to arms” is kosher, Akbar!?

April 26th, 2012, 1:30 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

No words

[ Man Buried Alive begs for his life ]

April 26th, 2012, 1:47 pm


Shami said:

[Shami, do NOT repeat the coda below. This is a moderation warning.]

On STOP Jad’s bible.

April 26th, 2012, 1:56 pm


Badr said:


Not so fast. That ““profound message” was your cyberpal Amir’s, and not JL’s!

April 26th, 2012, 2:03 pm


omen said:

who is this man?

(Reuters) – A group of opponents to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including members of armed factions in the country, will unveil an interim government on Thursday and claim that unlike the Syrian National Council (SNC) it will have legitimacy in Syria.

Dawalibi’s father Maarouf was Syrian prime minister before the Baath Party and Assad’s family took control. He fled Syria in the early 1960s and became an adviser to several Saudi kings.

do syrians posting have memory of a time before assad regime?

April 26th, 2012, 2:06 pm


Akbar Palace said:


No words indeed.

BTW, did you state:

I utterly agree with Khouri and his friend. The irreversible mistake of resorting to arms will be fully revealed in the coming years, if not decades.

as Badr suggested? If so I apologize to Professor Josh, and my remark goes to you habibi. If anyone made a mistake using arms it was the Syrian government.

Yom Hatzma’ut Sameakh

April 26th, 2012, 2:12 pm


Uzair8 said:

There are the obvious reasons why the high profle political, military and business figures haven’t as yet defected. Reasons such as fear for the safety of oneself and family aswell as fear over ones wealth and property.

One reason which may have passed us by is the fear of revelation of humiliating info. The mafia regime with it’s multiple layers of intelligence and spy agencies will no doubt hold files on everyone including evidence showing figures in compromising situations (intimate).

April 26th, 2012, 2:13 pm


omen said:

uzair8, i don’t think humiliation is enough to sanction atrocity. but maybe that’s just me.

April 26th, 2012, 2:29 pm


Uzair8 said:

The following is just to share an observation. Just sharing some thoughts. One doesn’t have to agree with it.

It has crossed my mind that maybe there is an invisible force keeping everyone (incl. major and regional powers) at arms length preventing them from intervening.

Ok we can make an excuse for Nato and the West as they are over stretched and Syria is a formiddable challenge.

How about Turkey? Well a year on and still nothing from Turkey other than tough talk. Fear of hurting their political, security and economic interests in the region may be holding them back.

Saudi and the GCC? Dragging their feet. In essence buying time for the regime. Chance after chance. No action. Although it is obvious to them that Assad has no intention to play ball and they must start thinking about alternative options as pressure from their own and global population increases.

UN? Hands tied with the Russian obstacle.

Nobody else? Is it just words and no action?

I’ve wondered. Is this by chance and the regime got lucky or is God Almighty preventing anyone from intervening as He intends to deal with the regime Himself? Time will tell.

April 26th, 2012, 2:32 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Dawalibi’s father Maarouf was Syrian prime minister before the Baath Party and Assad’s family took control.

@ Aldendeshe Said:
It is a good start in the right direction, but please don’t include any former Baathist or those responsible for your father overthrow, neither any of their grand children please, you will ruin a good start, stay clean with this government, just as your father had it. Good luck. Let us know how can be of help.

April 26th, 2012, 2:33 pm


Uzair8 said:

#10 Omen

I agree, however, I wasn’t referring to sanctioning regime actions. For someone to defect they have to face a list of consequences. It would take a brave and selfless person to have the attitude of ‘come what may’. They could find an image or video of themself plastered all across the internet.

Elites tend to have secrets that can be used against them. The system has actually encouraged corruption amongst the ruling class.

Perhaps the FSA should think about setting up a special forces stealth division in order to infiltrate the intelligence headquarters where such ‘info’ is kept and destroy any such evidence? LOL.

April 26th, 2012, 2:43 pm


Alan said:

128. ALAN said:

“SYRIAN OPPOSITION”: Mossad, Blackwater, CIA Led Operations in Homs. Weapons from Israel

“The crisis is at its end” is no longer a relieving statement made by some political analysts, as the crisis is really close to its end. Baba Amro is now under the control of the Syrian army… and so are the armed groups of which a big number escaped to the Lebanese borders dubbing their retreat “tactical”.

April 26th, 2012, 3:01 pm


Tara said:

Mawal 95 or any one

I made a mistake of opening the link Amir posted for burying a man alive. Can anyone please review it and tell me it is fake. I do really need to hear it is fake.

April 26th, 2012, 3:08 pm


Amnesia said:

The portion of my comment quoted above doesn’t come close to doing it justice.


“Anyone who thinks otherwise, and anyone who thinks the opposition they like should split and join the mafia, is being completely disrespectful to millions who have suffered through this past year only standing up for what is right. Your comments are inexcusable. You have been on this forum since the beginning, and you are now effectively defending the atrocities. Shameful”

April 26th, 2012, 3:09 pm


Aldendeshe said:

BATTA are not known to hid head in the sand, but Syrian BATTA is doing it anyway. Here is an example of Syrian BATTA delusion:

“Syrian opposition” are Mossad, Blackwater, CIA operatives, no real Syrian opposition to the BATTA rule and his one man 40 years running comedy and tragedy show.

Yes, there are Blackwater, CIA, Mossad, Turkmen, Saudis, Qataris, NATO, Hariri…long list, you name it they are operating in Syria disguised as opposition. But, there are real Syrian Oppositions and the dim witted BATTA could not make a separation to accommodates them and leave the foreign operatives on dry run.

April 26th, 2012, 3:18 pm


omen said:

irritated said: What proof do you have that the “overwhelming majority of Syrians are opposed to Bashar?

CNN’s Rick Roberson says “Al-Assad still has 20% to 30% support of the population … They still buy his message that he is fighting terrorist groups who are backed by an international media conspiracy.” Fawaz Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics says “I think he has at least 30 percent solid support…

also indicative:

[FSA] still capable of inflicting heavy casualties on the Syrian military and operating fluidly within supportive populations.

If it was true how come nobody goes on strike when asked to? umm, cause they’re poor?

April 26th, 2012, 3:19 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Storyful has cast doubt over the video:

“Syrian forces allegedly bury alive a civilian from Al Qusair, Homs in the graphic video above. Storyful has spent several hours assessing the available evidence surrounding this footage. We are particularly grateful for the advice of highly-experienced observers of video from Syria. We cannot definitively say this video is a fake but do believe there are serious grounds for doubt about its authenticity.”

It seems to be a hoax as a scare tactic, I will update with more information if it becomes available.

April 26th, 2012, 3:34 pm


omen said:

irritated said: If it was true how come nobody goes on strike when asked to?

because that would automatically mark them as a target for retaliation.

April 26th, 2012, 3:34 pm


omen said:

SNP, he also claims this:

Over the past months, Mr. Al DAWALIBI has received the increasing support of tribal structures, of the traditional Islamic schools and also of the moderate majority of Christians. His relationship with the Kurds in Syria is described as good and reputed Alawites families also give him their confidence in managing the future.

really? alawite support?

April 26th, 2012, 3:39 pm


Son of Damascus said:

A few days ago a pro regime commentator posted a video of a lady and men that were being ruthlessly beat up by what they claim to be “terrorists”. However the link to the video they posted (which came from SyriaTruth) was edited and shortened.

Below is the unedited footage of what happened (with audio which was missing from the earlier video) and you can see and hear who those “terrorists” really are:
(Graphic content)

April 26th, 2012, 3:42 pm


jna said:

About this Article


The media has already declared the UN observer mission in Syria a failure. It hasn’t stopped the violence and cannot protect protesters. Of course it hasn’t been effective yet, writes Daniel Serwer. It hasn’t really arrived. It will likely take the still-growing mission weeks, at best, to quell the violence. The Annan plan may still fail, it hasn’t failed yet.

April 26th, 2012, 3:45 pm


Uzair8 said:


Dear moderator.

I guess the quote wasn’t necessary although I felt it was related to the preceding comment.

My intention wasn’t sectarian and I always try to be careful. It wasn’t meant as a warning to the Alawis. My understanding of the quote is that it refers to those who are part of the regime (and it’s actions) regardless of their background. It refers to ‘Ba’thiyyin’ (Baathists). The bracketed ‘ruling alawis’ may have been added by the students of the Sheikh responsible for the transcript. (?) My understanding is that a point will come when the regime and it’s forces will realise the futility of their actions and will run due to their guilty consciences. My intention was to give the revolutionaries an optimistic scenario of a successful revolution.

Initially I intended to post this ‘observation’ yesterday but forgot. The Sheikh’s comment was a late addition and I did hesitate before doing so but went ahead as I have posted that quote several times on SC before without any objections.

In hindsight it was unneccessary and a misjudgement so I apologise for crossing the line. As comment #12 may appear sectarian I politely request the moderator kindly remove the quote in question.

April 26th, 2012, 3:52 pm


MM said:

I have penetrated the intelligence ranks of the Syrian regime and have a solid source of information as to their cyber tactics this week.

It is evidenced by the comments you posted above.

This week’s PsyOps are intended to gain credence by suggesting the revolution was ‘good’ until it became militarized. The idea is to shape public perception as to the arming of the FSA and other threatening elements to the regime. Words such as it was a “mistake” will be used. Of course, the logic missing from these arguments are the fact that it took a long time before it did become ‘armed’ and only after many thousands of innocents were killed did the shift occur. This shows that the regime sees the only threat to it’s existence as one that I armed. All other peaceful avenues are futile in their mind, as it will be easily crushed through the use of the State’s apparatus.

April 26th, 2012, 3:54 pm


Antoine said:

Al Dawalibi and his likes are the ones who should lead Syria…..its about time these uppitty Baathists are dragged to Hama al-Azm Palace in chains and forced to apologize.

April 26th, 2012, 3:55 pm


Antoine said:

My dear friend MINA, if you are reading this :

While you’re at writing your little comments on Syria-Comment, can you give us some Leftist ideas, how to feed these starving peasants of Syria ?

What do you propose to do to feed the starving peasants of Nahia Uqayribat and Kubeybat in Reef Hama ?

What do you propose to do to feed the starving peasants of Nahia Deir Hafir of Reef Halab ?

April 26th, 2012, 3:59 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“This shows that the regime sees the only threat to its existence as one that I armed. All other peaceful avenues are futile in their mind, as it will be easily crushed through the use of the State’s apparatus.”

I beg to differ on that point, yes the regime has been using heavy handed tactics from day one, mowing down peaceful protestors, detaining civilians, torture, ….

However the huge spike in regime retaliations only came about after the revolution started to arm itself, the regime ended up using the futile tactic of “killing a fly with a canon ball”. Having been using that kind of overwhelming power to “crush” the revolution is making them believe they can win this militarily (Which is correct, they are better equipped, better organized, and in much bigger numbers military speaking)

The biggest threat to the regime that we have seen so far in the last year and a bit was when Hama was an autonomous region far from the control of the Baathists government, or when Clock Square in Homs was filled.

The regime will not enter into close combat situations (when they did heavy losses were inflicted to their personnel) only after they encircle and bombard with artillery, tanks, and mortars the area then they enter. This has proven costly for not only the revolution but to the people helping to overthrow the regime, because the regime has shown it has no problem in dishing out collective punishment.

April 26th, 2012, 4:10 pm


Aldendeshe said:


So, SNP have wide Alawite and Christian support. So what..What is the point!!

He still needs Military backing or someone that can assemble the right effective hardware for him to level the field with Assad’s units and armament without resorting to horrific terrorism and murdering Syrians. SNP can do that, but we have not enough cash.

Assad, understood the game plan. He understood that whoever financially and militarelli supporting the “Syrian Oppositions” to his Baathist Sectarian rule are only doing it to harass his regime, and really are not seriously after removing it. He also understood that all they wanted is to destroy Syria and kill Syrians and he has no problem with that, he is playing the game as well. He knows that no one will front the Syrian opposition sufficient materials and cash to win, he can figure that out. He understood, that what is really being plotted and carried out is a way to use the opposition as cover, when in fact they wanted something from him (Saddam’s or his personal saved Billions perhaps), Deliver the Golan on a Silver Platter, who knows. One thing is sure, no one has interest in seeing Syria a prosperous, progressive, democratic and strong State.

April 26th, 2012, 4:14 pm


omen said:

30. Aldendeshe 4:14

no, no, not that snp, i was address this poster:

13. Syrian Nationalist Party said:
Dawalibi’s father Maarouf was Syrian prime minister before the Baath Party and Assad’s family took control. — 2:33 pm

sorry for being unclear.

btw, Syrian Nationalist Party, you forgot the “last democratically elected” part. do loyalists have a hard time acknowledging that concept? don’t feel bad, that threw me for a loop too. soon, syria will come full circle.

April 26th, 2012, 4:28 pm


Antoine said:

JAD, I am sure you can see most of the people support the FSA :

MAWAL 95, please do an alaysis of above video.

April 26th, 2012, 4:50 pm


Tara said:


Thank you. In this case, I would appreciate even a lie to tell me it is fake.

April 26th, 2012, 5:00 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

Tara, have you really been psychologically disturbed by that video ? There have been worse cases.

Thats why this fight should go on. Huh ??? Revenge. We will fight them in a purely physically level.

April 26th, 2012, 5:03 pm


omen said:

tara, afram says it’s a jordanian army training technique.

April 26th, 2012, 5:10 pm


Aldendeshe said:

@OMEN, Sorry, still, I am not getting your point.

Well, this is like which came first, the chicken or egg. Premier Dwalibi has to form a Government and set up bylaws that will allow for free and fair election. Baathists and supporters will be, and must be barred from politics, held liable for damages and right abuse, theft of Syria assets and treasury. They will all be charged with various crimes under new Syrian Laws and be subject to court of law. Those escaped ones, are not really free, under International laws,they will be charged in absentia and Interpol will have to hands them over. Otherwise, a clandestine operation will be conducted to repatriate them and bring them to face justice. No crime will go unpunished, they can run, but in age of biometrics, they can not hide.

April 26th, 2012, 5:11 pm


Aldendeshe said:

AAAHHH…Just saying it, “Premier Dawalibi”I feel relief. Ahhh, when will be the day. No more Baathist Sunni chair leg for the Assads, Zuaiin, Zoubbi, Proletariat, the bottomless bin.

Premier Dawalibi, lets do it, will show you the way.

April 26th, 2012, 5:18 pm


omen said:

Aldendeshe, i don’t know anything about the man. i’m trying to find out who he is and how people perceive him. on paper, he’s too good to be true. supposedly he has support lined up to launch even a military initiative. his saudi ties made me suspicious at first. but if his ties are ones that have been cultivated from his father’s time, well, we shall see.

more from the article:

“We have support from FSA generals, fighters in Syria, tribal systems and moderate Islamic schools,” he said. “This government will be approved by those inside Syria.”

Several FSA officers – Air Force General Fayez Amro, Captain Ammar al-Wawi, a former intelligence officer, and Colonel Khaled Hammoud – all appeared in a video pledging allegiance to the group.

The group wants air strikes, a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors, a slightly tougher line than the SNC. Western countries have been wary of calling for intervention similar to the military action that helped oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Dawalibi said his “government” comprised about 35 “ministers” inside Syria and that five or six members outside the country provided and coordinated financing, weapons, and humanitarian aid.

April 26th, 2012, 5:18 pm


Son of Damascus said:

An interesting excerpt from the article Shami linked above, about the “truths” from SyriaTruth:

“Dr. Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the GLORIA Center and spent time in February embedded with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) inside Syria. When asked about al-Haqiqa’s report his answer was clear, “File under regime cut-out, fake opposition, straight out of the Ba’athist playbook.… Of course there are Islamist fighters in the FSA and this should not be denied or underestimated but this particular info sounds very much like regime info-ops.”

For good measure, I also forwarded al-Haqiqa’s story to left-wing journalist Nir Rosen. Like Nayouf, Rosen is no fan of U.S. policy in the region. Yet unlike Nayouf, Rosen has traveled extensively inside Syria (especially in Homs) over the past year.

Rosen stated that al-Haqiqa’s story of imposition of jizya was completely fictitious, pointing out that even if the al-Faruq Brigade wanted to impose jizya, it is not in control of the areas named in the report, lacking sufficient organization to gain said control. Moreover, there is no evidence that the al-Faruq Brigade is led and dominated by Islamist militants wanting to impose jizya on Christians.

It is unfortunate that Nayouf and al-Haqiqa are continuing to disseminate false claims of mass persecution of Christians in Syria by the opposition, and putting such unsubstantiated stories in the mouths of “Christian sources” in Homs Governorate. The effect of this material portrays Christians as propagandists for the regime. This is something that will only inflame any anti-Christian sentiment that already exists and could turn claims of mass persecution into self-fulfilling prophecies.

Lacking arms or a defensible geographic hinterland to defend themselves, Christians are generally “sitting on the fence” and refraining from openly taking sides in the present conflict. It is not in their interests to be portrayed as partisans. Thus, Nayouf and al-Haqiqa are not helping Syrian Christians.

Let us hope they will desist from any further irresponsible dissemination of bogus reports and conspiracy theories.”

April 26th, 2012, 5:41 pm


Alan said:

whether you consider that there is political Takfirizm?

April 26th, 2012, 5:50 pm


omen said:

35. Aldendeshe said:
Baathists and supporters will be, and must be barred from politics, held liable for damages and right abuse, theft of Syria assets and treasury. They will all be charged with various crimes under new Syrian Laws and be subject to court of law.

what do you think about this?
via snc draft proposal:

Members of Mr Al Assad’s state apparatus would be retrained if possible, Mr Aldrobi said. “Those considered criminals will get a fair court process.” He said an amnesty for regime supporters who distance themselves from Mr Al Assad before the regime falls was under discussion. In the end, “only a handful of people may go to court”, he said.

didn’t occur to me until now that declaring and widely publicizing offers of amnesty could help spur defections.

offers of amnesty would help minority sects feel less frightened, thus be more willing to let go of support for bashar regime.

April 26th, 2012, 6:02 pm


Alan said:

Those rebels are ridiculous – destroying lives. They need to be stopped.
A true rebel cause wouldn’t use fear as a tool and destroy small business.

Revolution Racketeers: Industrial terrorism in Syria

April 26th, 2012, 6:11 pm


Aldendeshe said:

“….offers of amnesty would help minority sects feel less frightened, thus be more willing to let go of support for bashar regime….”

That offer from Mr. Droubi been on the table for sometime, few months, to my knowledge no one took advantage of it. No Baathist is repentant, no remorse whatsoever after all of what transpire. Tlass left Syria with kid to preserve millions in cash hoarded from Syrian treasury and illicit insider deals.

April 26th, 2012, 6:20 pm


Alan said:

NATO and XE try for Another Oppressive DeMockracy – Syria Christoph R. Hörstel

April 26th, 2012, 6:21 pm


Juergen said:

I was today at an panel discussion with Tariq Ramadan ( swiss professor and muslim scholar and yes before someone else will post it he is the grandson of Hassan Al Banna) and Ruprecht Polenz ( an member of the German Parliament and head of the foreign comitee). The topic was how islamic is the arab spring. Some thoughts of the panel member i found noteworthy:

Tariq Ramadan:

“I dont call it Arab spring, in all that time i did not see spring.
I dont see revolutions, yet there are rebellions and uprisings.”

” The question is not if Muslims or Islam can deal with democracy, the question is if the West can deal with an democratic Arabia”

“Secularism has not the same connotation as we know it here in Europe for Arabs. Secularism is for many Arabs the politics of dictators like Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak and Bashar Alassad.”

“Salafism has no answers for the future, but when 80 million Dollar are spent for the cause of the Salafi in the egyptian election, any movement will get strong. Islamists are seen by most as being more authentic, more genuin, many have spent years in prison and therefore have more credibility than others”

” I dont like the term “islamist”, it does include any group or party from the AKP to AlQauida, and there are extraordinary differences”

“Dont enter in ME politics when you act against your core values, because at the end the West will make their deal with hardcore Islamists, as we see with KSA”

“Why do we see more women in islamist parties involved than in our secular parties in the west? I dont judge anything, but thats a fact”

Ruprecht Polenz:

“We have 5 aims concerbing the Arab countries: 1. Economy,2. to prevent migration to the EU, 3.Terrorism and security, 4.strategic safety of Israel,5. Modernism, rule of law, human rights. The first 4 aims we achieved with all the ousted dictators, and i say that clearly we have not pushed enough to get the 5th aim in order with them”

“The average age of Arab societies is about 25 years old, in Germany the average age is 43, that shows to me that more modern uprisings will happen and that the young who demonstrate and fight for an better life do so because most of their lives are still ahead”

Those who have not heard mucb about Tariq Ramadan here is the wikiarticle on him

here is a videointerview

April 26th, 2012, 6:24 pm


Gregory Carlin said:

What the FSA militants are shouting on their YouTube videos is what they will do should they take power. An offer of an amnesty by groups murdering most if not nearly all of their prisoners is something of a Mişrātah bargain.

April 26th, 2012, 6:36 pm


Ghufran said:

Three Syrian aljazeera news team members lost their jobs:

Was Basel Rayya, a basketball player, a security threat too?

Who in Syria is immune today?

April 26th, 2012, 8:05 pm


Tara said:

Russia thinks its “importance” is appreciated because of its position on Syria.  Hurt ego to be healed at the expense of the Syrian people? 

‘Russian UNSC vote for sale?’
Russia seems to believe it is going through a proxy war with the West over Syria at no cost to itself. Russia thinks that its “importance” is appreciated because of this crisis and therefore has based all its geopolitical calculations on the premise of this “importance” becoming more appreciated. This strategy and psychology are clearly evident in the lines of the editor of journal Russia in Global Affairs:

“Moscow is not trying to preserve its Syrian contracts but to reaffirm its status in international affairs. By resisting powerful psychological and diplomatic pressure, Russia has shown that although it has lost ground in the Middle East (Syria is its last close partner in the region), it is still a power whose opinion cannot be disregarded. Russian diplomats have clearly said that it will not allow intervention to be legalized through the U.N. Security Council … Kofi Annan’s plan and the U.N. Security Council’s statement in its support were mostly brought about by Russia’s firm stance … But Russia’s possibilities are not unlimited; it can hardly achieve much more.”
…Russia’s future in the Middle East fares no better than the al-Assad regime in which Russia had been investing.

Read more..

April 26th, 2012, 8:38 pm


Ghufran said:

A piece of Syria’s modern history before Hafez Al-Assad captured the office of presidency:
Israel was busy getting stronger and richer while Baathists were busy conspiring against each other after declaring that Israel lost the 1967 war becuse Albaath styled in power !!

April 26th, 2012, 8:47 pm


Tara said:


Thanks Omen.

April 26th, 2012, 8:49 pm


Tara said:

Starting with interesting analysis and ending with wishful thinking.  

The Ottomans are back! Well, not really where they wanted to be…

The neo-Ottomans in Ankara have skillfully been able to return to their Ottoman past – well, not really the glorious times, but rather the empire’s days of decline. 

The Turks vigorously played the role of the leader of the Muslim world. But now that the Muslim world is deeply engaged in a growing proxy war along the Shia-Sunni fault line and Turkey has found itself in a Sunni alliance, it will have to be content with playing the role of the leader of one Muslim sect only. That’s a much smaller cake, but one cannot pretend to be all things at all times. 

The Sunni Arabs are in an alliance of convenience with the Sunni Turks, perfectly aware that this, too, is merely a temporary coalition. Once the Sunni-Shia divide ends up somewhere definite, Turkey will no longer find its Sunni brothers around. Instead, this time, the Sunni brothers will see the Turks as a rival and a threat to their Arab Sunni brotherhood – unless of course Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can prove that the Turks are in fact Arabs!

In a recent article, the Economist argued that: “With one foot in the West and the other in the Middle East, Turkey was able to mediate between Lebanon’s rival factions, between Iraq’s Shias and Sunnis, and between Israel and Syria (until Israel’s 2009 assault against Gaza).” The Economist quoted Nikolaos Van Dam, a former Dutch ambassador to Ankara, as saying that: “It was this ability to talk to all sides that made Turkey an effective player. But ‘now it has chosen sides.’” (Turkey’s foreign policy: Growing less mild, the Economist, Apr. 14, 2012)

In fact, Turkey’s southern and eastern borders have not been this tense for a decade. Syria has again become a “military matter,” like in the late 1990s. It is an open secret that the Turkish-Persian chess game has turned into a cold war that’s getting warmer every day. And mo recently, the Iraqi government has declared Turkey “a hostile state.” Naturally, Mr. Erdogan no longer is the rock star he once was to the Israel-hating Hezbullah hooligans in Lebanon. Did anyone say “zero problems with neighbors?”

To make things less pleasant, there is a lot of hypocrisy going on around the Syrian crisis. Some sunshine-or-rain pro-Erdogan fans disguised as intellectual peace activists explicitly advocate pinpoint airstrikes against Syria. By whom? Ah, the Americans of course. But was it not you, gentlemen, who fiercely wanted the United States “out of Middle Eastern politics?” Besides, if pinpoint airstrikes from countries with deterrent firepower against regimes oppressing a majority of their own people is a legitimate remedy, why not Russian pinpoint airstrikes against Bahrain? 

The fact is that the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad would have looked terribly sympathetic to most of his present-day enemies if tomorrow he disconnected his country from the Shia axis. I can imagine western and Turkish headlines: New evidence reveals al-Assad was victim of terrorist propaganda! Independent reports confirm al-Assad was innocent…

[ … ]–.aspx?pageID=449&nID=19394&NewsCatID=398

April 26th, 2012, 9:13 pm


Aldendeshe said:

I think France should take the lead in Syria and go it alone. The Bolshevicks will not do it, the Arabs are waiting for USA and this one is hand tied by Obama-Israel. France should not have abandoned Syria in teh 60’s to teh Baathist, just 15 year after independence.

April 26th, 2012, 9:30 pm


irritated said:

#10 Uzair8

“There are the obvious reasons why the high profle political, military and business figures haven’t as yet defected”:

Trust and loyalty

April 26th, 2012, 9:37 pm


Aldendeshe said:

52. irritated said:
#10 Uzair8

“There are the obvious reasons why the high profle political, military and business figures haven’t as yet defected”:

Trust and loyalty


Greed and Fear

April 26th, 2012, 9:43 pm


irritated said:

53. Aldendeshe

Unanimously? Not one important official dissident? Absurd. Try something else.

April 26th, 2012, 9:50 pm


zoo said:

Would Turkey’s arrogance and affirmation of superiority over the Arab countries backlash ?

Turkey owns, leads, serves to ‘new Mideast:’ Davutoğlu

Davutoğlu hails Turkey’s ‘pioneering’ role in the Middle East, challenging opposition parties while noting that Ankara will ‘own’ and ‘serve’ to the region
Turkey will not become involved in any foreign policy that did not originate from Ankara, Minister Davutoğlu tells the Parliament.
Turkey is set to carve itself a primary role in shaping the Middle East as it guides the “winds of change” in the region, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said yesterday.

“A new Middle East is about to be born. We will be the owner, pioneer and the servant of this new Middle East,” Davutoğlu told Parliament after attracting criticism from opposition parties over Ankara’s Syria policy.

April 26th, 2012, 10:00 pm


Aldendeshe said:

It is because the Baathist higher ups are mostly military men and they know the opposition Klashinkoves and dull knifes are no match to the ترسانة سوفياتية

April 26th, 2012, 10:05 pm


zoo said:

Al League meeting in Cairo 26th april 2012
All Syrian oppositions parties invited to meet in Cairo on 16 May

In the press conference co-chaired by Arabi and Khaled al- Hamed al-Sabah after the meeting that lasted for more than four hours, Arabi said that Arab foreign ministers had authorized him to invite all the Syrian opposition parties to meet on May 16 in Cairo.

Arabi called for the UN Security Council to deploy monitors to Syria as soon as possible, demanding the Syrian regime to help them with their work.

Arabi noted that AL will assign its representatives in the UN Security Council in its scheduled meeting on May 5 to ask the Security Council to stop violence and protect Syrian civilians immediately, asserting that all those who are against human rights and international humanitarian principles will be punished by law in time.

April 26th, 2012, 10:08 pm


zoo said:

The “New Era in Syria” : Turkey and the SNC trying to rebound?

Syrian opposition holds secret workshops for transition after Assad
Thomas Seibert
Apr 27, 2012

ISTANBUL // The Syrian opposition in exile says it has begun drafting concrete plans for a transition of power once the regime of Bashar Al Assad falls.
The opposition, which includes veteran politicians, ethnic leaders, Islamists, secular dissidents, youth activists and defected soldiers, has been struggling to persuade potential supporters abroad that it can overcome its divisions and be a viable alternative to Mr Al Assad’s government.

In a series of confidential workshops titled “The Day After”, opposition members have been looking at questions ranging from securing water and electricity supplies for a country of more than 20 million people to finding a role for religion in the post-Assad era, members of the Syrian National Council (SNC), the main opposition umbrella group, said yesterday. Plans are scheduled to be finalised by July.
Mahmut Osman, an SNC official in Turkey, confirmed that a 16-page document titled “New Era in Syria” was circulating among opposition members. The document raises the possibility of the deployment of an Arab or international peace force during the transition and calls for significant international aid, according to the Turkish CNNTurk news channel.

April 26th, 2012, 10:15 pm


bronco said:

France’s election will impact seriously Syria’s situation.

There is a real possibility that if Sarkozy is re-elected, France will push further its “military solution” toward Syria.
In case Hollande is elected, we may see a decrease of France’s agressivity toward Syria, at least for a while

April 26th, 2012, 10:40 pm


Norman said:

Do i see the UN observers holding hands with the opposition militants, i thought they are supposed to be neutral. apparently the whole Annan mission is just a justification for what is coming and that is the invasion of Syria, i just hope that Syria is prepared to make them taste what they are planning for the Syrian people.

April 26th, 2012, 10:44 pm


omen said:


“There are the obvious reasons why the high profle political, military and business figures haven’t as yet defected”:

Trust and loyalty

irritated, there are plenty of former members who now oppose the regime. what do they have in common? apparently, one has to leave the country first before feeling safe to do so.

Trust and loyalty…i was going to scoff but then i remembered loyalty is one of the traits valued by authoritarian followers.

April 26th, 2012, 10:49 pm


Aldendeshe said:

i just hope that Syria is prepared to make them taste what they are planning for the Syrian people.

Keep on hopppppppping, few know the real story in Syria, but I do.

63. Aldendeshe said:

مصادر متطابقة في باريس وتل أبيب تؤكد أن المراقبين الدوليين في سوريا يتبعون لمكتب دولي خاص أنشىء مؤخرا في إسرائيل ، ورئيس فريق المراقبين عميل لوكالة المخابرات المركزية!؟

April 26th, 2012, 11:03 pm


bronco said:

61. Norman

The whole Annan’s plan is based on the observers convincing the reluctant opposition to go along with the Peace Plan toward the dialog. This is why the observers may seem to act “cozy” with them, but that’s part of their mission.

The Annan peace plan has been neither ‘officially’ nor enthusiastically accepted by the opposition, therefore it is necessary that the opposition learn to trust the observers and with time the Annan’s peace plan. They won’t go along if they feel the UN is bullying them or manipulating them.

The proof of their impartiality is that the 2 observers who were in Hama have made no public comments on the ‘explosion’ that killed dozens of people. They may have reported their observations to Annan, but it remained secret, for now.

April 26th, 2012, 11:17 pm


omen said:

61. Norman said: Do i see the UN observers holding hands with the opposition militants, i thought they are supposed to be neutral.

neutral? monitors refused to accept even a
piece of paper
from activists.

others have noted: More UN observers will arrive next week, but they appear mainly to be coordinating with the regime, not with dissidents, and likely won’t be allowed to go to the places the government is killing people.

one un monitor is brazilian, the other moroccan. both countries sympathetic to the regime.

April 26th, 2012, 11:19 pm


omen said:

The proof of their impartiality is that the 2 observers who were in Hama have made no public comments on the ‘explosion’ that killed dozens of people. They may have reported their observations to Annan, but it remained secret, for now.

bronco, that isn’t impartiality. that’s complicity and collusion.

why do you put ‘explosions’ in quotes? are we pretending they didn’t happen?

April 26th, 2012, 11:37 pm


Son of Damascus said:

What a trip through Khalidieh in Homs is like.

Great narration in Arabic.

April 26th, 2012, 11:39 pm


omen said:

aldendeshe, aljazeera english had satellite photos that showed the regime has idlib under seige, surrounded by tanks, continuing to be shelled. isn’t idlib known for being the most conservative (militant?) enclave of muslims? do you think israel would approve?

April 26th, 2012, 11:44 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Anytime that an Arab, Moslem or Syrian die, suffer, lose, not only they approve, but cheer on. When did Israel do one Iota to help Arabs, Moslems or Syrians. Any one event, any one deed, name it please.

April 26th, 2012, 11:51 pm


Aldendeshe said:

@OMEN Said:
aldendeshe, i don’t know anything about the man. i’m trying to find out who he is and how people perceive him.

Neither do I know much about him, heard of him from our European/ Netherlands SNP group, but never seen his CV. But if he is the son of Maaruf Dawalibi, he got the “Brand Name” we trust. Who cares about his Saudi references, we needs it to get cash to rebuild Syria, we need billions and it is chump-change for them. The way we look at it, he is a good starting point to pick up from that abrupt coup by Bolshevik Proletariat Louai Atassi and his cousin that overthrown Dwalibi legitimate Syrian Government, plucked Syria from the age of renaissance and Syrian glory back to the age of demonically Satanic Bolshevik Socialism run dictatorially by sectarian regime in its lowest and evil form: BAATHISM.

Since that fateful day March 8, 1963, Syria never had a legitimately elected Government or legitimate leaders, just crooks and thieves that robbed the nation, looted its treasuries and natural resources and made it destitute. It is about time Arabs, will step in and pay back for supporting Baathist rule over Syria for more than 40 years.

April 27th, 2012, 12:47 am


Son of Damascus said:

Regime men open fire on un armed protesters greeting UN observers in Dera’a, regime forces set up camp INSIDE the mosque.

April 27th, 2012, 1:30 am


Mina said:

Antoine #28

Precisely Antoine, under the dictature they were able to feed themselves. Can you tell me what in your opinion will happen to them when Syria’s agriculture will be destroyed by the ultra liberals and neo-cons? When not a drop of water will remain because Turkey, Israel and Jordan will be given all of it? Syria has always been THE enemy because it is self-sufficient in terms of agriculture.

So for you, to say that nothing else but a repetition of the Lebanese civil war or the Iraqi current civil war could happen from these manipulated demonstrations in Syria means I follow a leftist (why don’t you say ‘neocommunist’ like on CNN?) agenda… Interesting take. But I get suprised everyday from the expats here.

The French media is boasting all over that the the new “transitional government” as been announced by a Syrian expat in Saudi Arabia while in a meeting in Paris yesterday. For sure, the Saudis have always been feeding the poor, from Egypt to Yemen, Indonesia and Pakistan…

April 27th, 2012, 4:16 am


Mina said:

As long as the Western media is happy selling the old “reds” bipolar scheme (hooouuuuuu the bad Chinese Russian veto, please do not recall the doomed fate of the Palestinians for half a century), we will see both the US and Europe fall iremediably into intellectual sclerosis. The Western alliance with the Gulf is precisely based on the same fear, but as long as air-heads buy it…
Rather, we now live in a multipolar world, sorry for the cynical P1 and its armies of virtue.

A history of the world, BRIC by BRIC
By Pepe Escobar

Goldman Sachs – via economist Jim O’Neill – invented the concept of a rising new bloc on the planet: BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). Some cynics couldn’t help calling it the “Bloody Ridiculous Investment Concept.”

Not really. Goldman now expects the BRICS countries to account for almost 40% of global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050, and to include four of the world’s top five economies.

Soon, in fact, that acronym may have to expand to include Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea and, yes, nuclear Iran: BRIIICTSS? Despite its well-known problems as a nation under economic siege, Iran is also motoring along as part of the N-11, yet another distilled concept. (It stands for the next 11 emerging economies.)

The multitrillion-dollar global question remains: Is the emergence

of BRICS a signal that we have truly entered a new multipolar world?

Yale’s canny historian Paul Kennedy (of “imperial overstretch” fame) is convinced that we either are about to cross or have already crossed a “historical watershed” taking us far beyond the post-Cold War unipolar world of “the sole superpower.” There are, argues Kennedy, four main reasons for that: the slow erosion of the US dollar (formerly 85% of global reserves, now less than 60%), the “paralysis of the European project,” Asia rising (the end of 500 years of Western hegemony), and the decrepitude of the United Nations.

April 27th, 2012, 5:00 am


Mina said:

Chatham House “socialist U-turn” (and the double-dip recession)

• A continuing failure to address weaknesses in the economy could lead to a second, angrier revolution in Egypt, writes Jane Kinninmont in a new paper for the thinktank Chatham House. It urges that international organisations, like the IMF, should be cautious about trying to impose free market solutions on country keen to tackle social justice. It says:

International organisations need to remember that economic policy advice on the role of the state (for instance, on privatisation and subsidies) touches on political issues and values, rather than being purely technical. Rather than repeating old mantras that a smaller public sector is always a good thing, external policy-makers should tread carefully and sensitively, recognising that having debates over the role of the state, the free market and the nature of globalization are part of democratic self-determination – and remembering that these debates are likely to be taking place in their own countries as well.

April 27th, 2012, 5:53 am


Alan said:

Syria faces neo-mujahideen struggle
By Victor Kotsev

According to an expert cited in a separate Reuters report, “It’s demoralizing conducting counter-insurgency operations, shelling urban areas and having troops deploy away from home … These place enormous strains on armed forces. And he has very limited numbers of elite units that are available, so there are benefits to his military strategy from the ceasefire.”

While Assad currently controls a formidable force, equipped with sophisticated Russian-made air defenses and ballistic missiles tipped with chemical weapons, which acts as a powerful deterrence against a foreign intervention, it is likely that in the future his grip on power will deteriorate. According to Syria expert Joshua Landis,

I doubt he will have a lot more success than the US has had in Iraq or Afghanistan, although, his army probably understands Syrians a lot better than US troops and commanders did Iraqis. But they will likely be provoked into over-reacting to terrorism, road-side bombs and demonstrations as they have already been. They can only lose the battle for hearts and minds. The Alawites cannot regain the battle for hearts and minds. They can only instill fear and play on Syrian anxieties about turning into a failed state, such as exists in Iraq. That is what worked in the past for the Assad regime. The regime has no new tricks up its sleeve. Syrian State TV is now trying to demonize the Saudi monarchy for being descended from Jews and backwards. That says a lot about the regime’s tactics.

It bears noting that the full extent of the regime’s violence has yet to come to light, but according to the latest United Nations statistics at least 9,000 have died since the start of the uprising.

April 27th, 2012, 6:23 am


Tara said:


“I like blue.”

Just “like”? You are “crazy” about blue. I’m sure it has become your favorite color. It is Bashar’s eye color, and I am sure your favorite doctors are ophthalmologists. Mine are brain surgeon,

April 27th, 2012, 7:45 am


Mina said:

Baghdad on the Barada
An explosion has hit the centre of the Syrian capital Damascus, killing three people according to one local report.

April 27th, 2012, 7:51 am


bronco said:


OMG, color “blue” triggers such a wave of resentment.. Watch it as it can become pathologic. In any case while I appreciate the color of eyes, brain color does not appeal to me at all.

April 27th, 2012, 8:06 am


zoo said:

The yoyos to side with the Syrian opposition: “This new Israeli thinking is based on both moral and strategic grounds”.

Israeli leaders speak up about Syria
By JOSEF FEDERMAN and KARIN LAUB | Associated Press – 5 hrs ago
In this Saturday April 21, 2012 …

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli officials have become increasingly outspoken in their belief that Syria’s President Bashar Assad should relinquish power after a 13-month uprising that has killed thousands of his citizens — a surprising turnaround that risks backfiring and potentially strengthening the embattled Syrian leader.\These calls mark an important shift in Israel, where leaders initially reacted to the uprising with barely disguised concern and alarm. As the Arab Spring remakes the fabric of the Middle East, Israel has been torn between support for democratic change and a surprising comfort with the established order.

This early dominant thinking was that while Assad was no friend of Israel, he remained a known quantity whose family had kept the shared border quiet for nearly four decades and occasionally pursued peace talks with Israel. With Islamic parties on the rise throughout the region, there was no telling who might replace him.

But as the Syrian uprising has dragged on and the death toll mounted in recent months, a number of Israeli officials have concluded that the Middle East would be a better place without Assad.

This new Israeli thinking is based on both moral and strategic grounds.

April 27th, 2012, 8:13 am


zoo said:

Non sectarian?

Russia’s strategic clarity in Syria
Tony Badran, April 26, 2012
“Russia and Iran see in continued Alawite rule a continuity of policy and alignments. The US, therefore, must ensure the end of this rule and the establishment of an order that empowers Syria’s Sunnis. It must pursue this aim as assertively and as explicitly as Russia (and Iran) pursues its diametrically opposed objective.”

To read more:

April 27th, 2012, 8:20 am


zoo said:

Women plight in ‘progressive’ Turkey

“Reports of attacks against women occur on a near-daily basis in Turkey despite recent legal regulations to protect victims of domestic violence.

A woman was repeatedly stabbed by her husband in the street in broad daylight in İzmir yesterday while another woman was hospitalized after being beaten in public by her husband in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak the same day.”


April 27th, 2012, 8:23 am


zoo said:

7 killed, 20 wounded in blast in Damascus 2012-04-27


• Seven people were killed and 20 others injured when an explosion occurred Friday in Damascus.( Meidan area)
• Preliminary speculations indicated that a suicide bomber detonated himself.
• After the explosion, unknown gunmen opened fire at people who gathered around the scene.

April 27th, 2012, 8:31 am


Tara said:

Damascus explosion.

Congratulation for Neron al Assad for scorching the country. What is he ruling over now? Syria is lost and will not recover for years to come.

April 27th, 2012, 9:00 am


bronco said:

#86 Tara

Congratulation to the opposition.

They have transformed a peaceful and proud country into a playground for Islamists kamikaze, criminals and paranoiac regional powers, and still call for more massive destructions.

April 27th, 2012, 9:24 am


Afram said:

Syrian uprising is fading away… U.N.,S fraud and waste

The Bucks Stop with Kofi Annan.

Michael Rubin:A friend on Capitol Hill alerts me to Kofi Annan’s budget for his doomed-from-the-start observer mission in Syria. (The breakdown is in paragraph 17):

The estimated requirements for the Office of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis for the 10-month period ending 31 December 2012 amount to $7,488,000 net ($7,932,200 gross) and will provide for salaries and common staff costs for 18 positions ($3,022,300), as well as operational costs ($4,465,700), comprising consultancies ($165,700), official travel ($1,590,500), and facilities and infrastructure ($578,400); ground transportation ($100,200); air transportation ($750,000); communications ($94,800) and information technology ($135,700); and other supplies, services and equipment ($1,050,400). Of the non-post items, $111,800 relates to one-time expenditures for the refurbishment of office space ($30,000) and provision of information technology and other equipment ($81,800).

So, Kofi Annan’s office will have 18 people? Dividing the salary line item by 18, each employee will stand to make about $168,000—and that’s just ten months. The entire budget is a bit extreme, but that’s nothing new for Annan. Not only did he oversee the UN’s worst corruption scandal during his tenure as secretary-general, but he bankrupted his own “Global Humanitarian Foundation” retirement post through massive mismanagement. Western diplomats may assuage their guilt over the atrocities in Syria by throwing money at Annan and his office. They may not help Syrians, but they can be certain of one thing: When it comes to Annan, the bucks certainly stop with him.

April 27th, 2012, 10:20 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

When suicide bombings started with this (peaceful) insurgency, syria’s destruction thinkers were shy and conspiring to the bone that this is a (regime) show. When Alqaeda declared responsibility and gave the opposition full support their response was OOPS.

When suicide bombers continue and car explosion and road side bombs and all the other criminal acts of their jihadists their response was OOPS it is Assad fault. When a mentally handicapped gets hanged in Duma and a minority girl gets hanged in Homs they claim to refuse to open the link because it is (Syrian link). When Syria is gone and dead their response is OOOPS.

April 27th, 2012, 10:22 am


Juergen said:

Is it only me who see some resemblance? Is Bashars family from Braunschweig?

April 27th, 2012, 11:25 am


irritated said:

#89 Juergen

I would say that Catherine Ashton is much closer.

April 27th, 2012, 11:34 am


Mina said:

Must be that some pro-regimes were visiting Ben Ghazi today. “God is Love,” “Religion brings people together”…

1.04pm: Libya: Three explosions outside a courthouse in the eastern city of Benghazi have wounded three people and caused some damage to the building’s fence and surrounding structures, the Associated Press reports, citing the state news agency, Lana:

Lana says three devices went off early Friday. It wasn’t clear who was behind the attack. Security official Aghdour bin Zablah says the explosives were thrown out of a passing car.

The attack came hours after a failed prison break in Benghazi during which prisoners and guards exchanged gunfire. The shooting killed three prisoners and three guards.

[ … ]

April 27th, 2012, 11:47 am


Alan said:

Syria records 1,300 violations by “terrorists” of UN-led truce

April 27th, 2012, 11:47 am


Alan said:

Russia accuses Syrian rebels of using “tactics of terror”

(Reuters) – Russia accused Syrian rebels on Thursday of using terror tactics and suggested they were more to blame for ceasefire violations than President Bashar al-Assad’s troops.

The remarks by the foreign ministry differed from assessments by Western states which have been calling on government forces to end attacks and withdraw from cities and towns under a U.N.-backed truce.

“We call upon the Syrian side to carry out in full its obligations…” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a weekly briefing. “Nonetheless … there is another side in Syria, opposition groups, which have in essence shifted to tactics of terror on a regional scale.”
[ … ]

April 27th, 2012, 11:54 am


irritated said:

What was this Friday called by the opposition:
Bye Bye NATO, Welcome Al Qaeda?

April 27th, 2012, 11:57 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

92. Alan said:
Syria records 1,300 violations by “terrorists” of UN-led truce

Syrians recorded 13,987,7874,343.003 Billion violent abuse cases, unlawful arrest, disappearances, torture, economic crimes, infringements on state sovereignty, illegal possession of power of state and office, illegal participation in election for illegitimate official office, serving unlawfully in Syrian armed forces, impersonating ranking officers in military offices, and other violations to human rights, human dignity, you name it, the Baathists committed in the past 40+ years of their rule.

April 27th, 2012, 12:00 pm


Aldendeshe said:

[Huh ??? ALDENDESHE, ALAWI and SHIA is no problem. Inserting or appending SHIA / ALAWI as a sectarian label for your putative enemies is. Please observe the rules of Dr Landis’s site. This is a moderation warning.]

Now you can not even say the word ALA*** or SHI** in the comment section. This is the price of the deal made between Iran and USA.

April 27th, 2012, 12:06 pm


zoo said:

The armed opposition elements have turned into desperate, suspicious, disunited and confused loosers. They naively put the blame on Syria’s ‘culture of distrust’ for their inability to trust each others.

Rebel rivalry and suspicions threaten Syria revolt
By Erika Solomon | Reuters – 1 hr 56 mins ago

ANTAKYA, Turkey (Reuters) – Rebel fighter Mustafa and his trio of burly men look out of place at a trendy Turkish cafe near the Syrian border, dressed in tattered jeans and silently puffing on cigarettes as they scoop into tall ice-cream sundaes.

“When it comes to getting weapons, every group knows they are on their own,” says the 25-year-old with a patchy beard. “It’s a fight for resources.”

Nominally Mustafa’s rebels fight for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), but the FSA, lacking international recognition or direct state funding, is a often just a convenient label for a host of local armed groups competing fiercely for scarce financing.

So fiercely, they sometimes turn their guns on each other.

“Everyone needs weapons. There is tension. There is anger and yes, sometimes there is fighting if rebels in one town seem to have an unfair share of weapons,” said Mustafa, who comes from Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, which borders Turkey and has been a hotbed of resistance to Assad.

Many say Islamist groups, from hard-line Salafists to the exiled Muslim Brotherhood, bankroll many battalions that share their religious outlook. The Brotherhood has representatives in Antakya ready to meet interested rebels, fighters say.

Leftist politicians and other opponents of Islamists are trying to counter that influence by funding rival armed bands.

“These groups are all making their own militias, like they are some kind of warlords. This is dividing people,” said one activist who asked not to be named. “They aren’t thinking about military strategies, they are thinking about politics.”


With the U.N. peace plan for Syria on the ropes, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, regional rivals of Assad’s main ally Iran, are likely to increase calls for the insurgents to be armed…..
Several rebel groups have formally broken with the FSA to form outfits such as the Syrian Liberation Army, the Patriotic Army and The Alternative Movement, whose real identity and clout are hard to assess, because the government restricts media access to Syria.

The FSA has pledged to honor the shaky U.N.-backed truce that took effect on April 16 if the army reciprocates. But the Syrian Liberation Army says it will keep fighting.

“We don’t accept the ceasefire. We have slowed down a bit, only because we don’t have enough weapons,” its spokesman, Haitham Qudeimati, told Reuters.


April 27th, 2012, 12:10 pm


daleandersen said:

Memo To: ZOO

RE: “…loosers…”

It’s “losers,” loser…

April 27th, 2012, 12:25 pm


Tara said:


Let me take this a step further.  I think it is  the regime supporters that bear the responsibility of scorching the country. 

They saw no evil in this regime from the get go.  The supporters were happy with the status quo.  Their interests were fulfilled and saw no reason for change.  The revolution started peacefully and was  not good then.   It was delegitimized from day one.   Supporters were mere accomplices by parroting the regime’s narrative of the revolution being Harriri-Bandar-Zionist- imperialist-traitor conspiracy.   Did that materialize?  Was Bandar the provocateur?  Was it America?  Had America wanted to remove Bashar, Bashar would’ve been history by now.  The regime responded to the peaceful demonstrators with the unthinkable and the supporters cheered on.  They denied that the sky is blue and they denied the undeniable.  Massive discourse followed to deny the mayhem.  Books  written to convince us that Hamza al khateeb was a sexual predator, not a tortured child; and that “Mart amee” the  veiled Banias woman whose denture fell off after she was gunned down was a visual hallucination of our own production.  The regime and the supporters’ behavior literally forced the revolution into becoming armed.  This was inevitable and was also an ethical and moral responsibility for our men to defect, bear arms and protect us.

The regime supporters made a historical mistake.  Instead of denying us the legitimacy of our revolution from the first second and instead of spending all their time, effort, and energy to discredit the revolution; they should’ve extended us an arm, not a fist, not a hand, a full arm.  Our grievances should have been met with acknowledgement, sympathy, demand for accountability, and resolute determination to change the status quo.  This did not happened and we had no choice other than to defend our own existence.  Once people take up arms, consequences can’t be guaranteed.  We will never know for sure who is responsible for what.. And the country will be lost for some years to come.

The bottom line is supporters wanted us to keep suffering in silence and forever. They did not realize they are defying destiny.  It is the destiny of people to be liberated and so we will.  Their greed, selfishness  and disempathy  blinded their eyes from seeing the big picture.  They thought Bashar would win and they thought wrong.  It is their fault and their fault only.

April 27th, 2012, 12:28 pm


Tara said:


Sorry but don’t you think that it is quite impressive for Zoo and some others to speak and write Arabic, English, and French, and may be some other languages too? I do.

April 27th, 2012, 12:42 pm


Aldendeshe said:

93. Alan said:
Syria records 1,300 violations by “terrorists” of UN-led truce


Syrians recorded 13,987,7874,343.003 Billion violent abuse cases, unlawful arrest, disappearances, torture, economic crimes, infringements on state sovereignty, illegal possession of power of state and office, illegal participation in election for office, illegal service in Syrian armed forces, illegal impostering of ranking officers in Syrian military, embezzlement, theft of treasury, corruption, extortion, treason, theft of State Assets, theft of personal property, illegal aid to terrorist groups, and few hundreds classified violations to Diplomatic and International Laws, not the least of which, illegally holding a diplomatic office and falsely representing the people of Syria, violation to human rights charter, human dignity, among many, many others violations to the Syrian Constitution the Terrorist Baathists committed in the past 40+ years of their rule. Someone aught to start building up a case of those crimes to be ready for charges and prosecution of Baathists and illegally serving army officers immediately after liberation of Syria, to be included with the genocide prosecution bill, genocide crimes against the Syrian people and nation.

Syrians need those Salafi’s and Moslem extremists in the days after the revolution succeed next year or two to man the check points and arrest the criminals that will be charged for the above crimes.

You can run, but you can’t hide.

April 27th, 2012, 12:43 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Supporters were mere accomplices by parroting the regime’s narrative of the revolution being Harriri-Bandar-Zionist- imperialist-traitor conspiracy.   Did that materialize?  Was Bandar the provocateur?  Was it America?  Had America wanted to remove Bashar, Bashar would’ve been history by now.

Did that materialize?…… Yes it did, where were you, at Bloomingdale spending the cash advance?. thank god it did not succeed in destroying Syria and bringing in the intended atrocious Civil War ( Israelis are saddened) How Bandar can now face Mossad Chief again, red faced I guess. The dim-wits miscalculated everything and now miserably failed. So the revolution is now back on track, except what they did make it a lot harder now to go forward. Winning the majority of Syrians, even the minorities now is so much harder to do.

April 27th, 2012, 12:44 pm


Antoine said:


Can you show me any proof that any single peasant from daraa, Ildib, Hama, Homs, Deor, support Assad ?

April 27th, 2012, 12:51 pm


Nour said:

I don’t think the militants will be able to regroup to what they were before suffering serious defeats against the army. However, the scattered acts of terrorism will continue for a while, as they cannot be stopped suddenly. Moreover, the militants supported by foreign states are purposely increasing their rate of attacks in order to blow up Annan’s plan and use its failure as a justification to move to the phase of military intervention. Because they understand that there is no way the regime will fall unless the entire Syrian state is destroyed by a foreign military attack. However, Russia and China continue to absolutely oppose any military intervention and so that scenario is still not very likely.

The main problem I see is with a lot of the opposition inside the country, who appear to be acting with ignorance and/or cowardice.

The best solution for Syria is a political solution achieved BY Syrians INSIDE Syria. This continued refusal to engage in dialogue will only continue to sustain the situation as it is now. They need to stop trying to compete with the stooges of the SNC, who are bound to foreign interests and thus will never represent the interests of Syria, and take a courageous step toward at least giving a chance for a national dialogue. How is that any worse than where the country is going today?

Why can’t we drop our stubbornness and realize that we all need to make compromises in order to save Syria. This whole mentality of one side wanting to achieve victory over the other side is causing the country to descend into chaos and is totally unrealistic anyway. People who continue to hold these views do not have the interest of Syria in mind. Rather, they are interested in satisfying their base desires for vengeance. It’s time to wake up and stop the nonsense.

April 27th, 2012, 1:06 pm


Tara said:


Do you support the revolution on Tue-Thur-Sat and the regime the alternative days? Or you don’t follow strict schedule?

April 27th, 2012, 1:07 pm


Nour said:

Interview with Dr. Ali Haidar, president of the SSNP.

April 27th, 2012, 1:20 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Do you support the revolution on Tue-Thur-Sat and the regime the alternative days? Or you don’t follow strict schedule?


As Chief Strategist for the Syrian Nationalist Party, I dedicated all my life, since teen, to the revolution cause. All mental, financial and career resources dedicated to it since the group foundation back in September 5, 1981 . I am, like all real Syrians, not the virtual ones operating out the basement of Mossad and other Intel agencies, not interested in the destructive revolution you are promoting at all, not on any day, not any minute of the day. We don’t work with losers. Can you tell me, based on the 14 months of your revolution what has been accomplished? Did you succeed in advancing in any minute way in Syria or bringing Syrians close to resolution? Other than destroying the whole country, socially and economically, which to any intelligent observant, it is obvious that you are satisfied with this end result, to you , it is the plan and happy to see your supposed revolution be just as it is, slowly demolishing Syria and killing millions of Syrians, an “Israeli Neocon Dream”. Rolling back Syria is a second step in the demented Ziopedic “Feith plan”. You have not managed anything other than what originally intended, and none of that planned by your revolution is bringing Freedom and Democracy to Syria.

April 27th, 2012, 1:30 pm


Alan said:

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said, “Absolute security for one state means absolute insecurity for all others.” It was laudable that Kissinger openly acknowledged this axiom. Now, we must take the necessary measure to make sure that Kissinger’s axiom doesn’t become reality in the M.E.

April 27th, 2012, 1:30 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

غزوة كفر نبوده
Dogs of FSA attacking a village!! Not a tank, not an army point … a village:

April 27th, 2012, 1:37 pm


VOLK said:

Unending Syria violence ‘opposition’s fault’ – Lavrov

Russia believes the terror attacks that defy the internationally-agreed ceasefire in Syria are the work of radical groups within the Syrian opposition.
Appearing on Russian national TV Friday, Foreign Minister Lavrov accused these groups of trying to derail Kofi Annan’s settlement plan and invite outside armed intervention in Syria.

April 27th, 2012, 1:39 pm


Anonymous said:

Syria No Kandahar,

That is deplorable, just as bad as the Assad army shelling Douma, Idlib, Hama, Homs, Dera’a, and many more parts all over Syria, No?

April 27th, 2012, 1:42 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Imported terrorists from Libya,limited edition :

April 27th, 2012, 1:52 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Watch this and know why your gabagelution will get the Amy Award for the dirtiest one in History:

April 27th, 2012, 2:03 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Лавров, отказаться от водки и посещать пресс-конференции трезвый пожалуйста. Lavrov, drop the Vodka bottle and attend the News Conferences sober please.

My wife refuse to help correcting the Russian grammer. Lavrov, why do you think that the terrorism is conducted by Syrian opposition. Did not your Ducky tell you that there are ( MUNDASSEN-погруженных ) Terrorists in Syrian Opposition?. How do you know that it was not Mossad or Blackwater operations. Are you trying to blame Your/Annan plan misrable failure on the opposition, is that what are you trying to do. It is proven that your Ducky bombed Hama using missiles your country have provided him with.

April 27th, 2012, 2:15 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Putin, Lavrov boss, delivering a message to Syrian oppsitions:

April 27th, 2012, 2:28 pm


Shami said:


I’m thinking to join the muslim brotherhood ,how would you oppose me on the ground ?

Behind a shabeeh ?

And in post- Assad Syria,should you enjoy the same priviliegies allowed to you by the makhlouf and assad?

April 27th, 2012, 2:53 pm


Amnesia said:

Moderator, I have never used name-calling against specific members in any of my posts over the past year. What I write below is fact.


We have countries the world over watching Syria and unable to make any brave decisions. They are only watching and talking.

Russia and China continue to obstruct action in the Security Council, as Russia did with Serbia in the 90s, and are using Kofi Annan’s “peace process” as a front for Assad to tighten his grip and kill opposition leaders and activists.

While Lavrov today unapologetically blames the opposition for stoking government attacks, they plan their next shipment of weapons and fuel to Assad to run his tanks.

We still have Syrian spies and informants at protest rallies, in countries bordering Syria and overseas, in refugee camps, and on the streets of Syria, working diligently to make sure that families of activists will pay dearly now and into the future.

And we have trolls on this very forum that are paid to act as Islamists and regime supporters, both spreading propaganda that Assad’s media has claimed from the beginning. Al Qaeda appears finally after months of peaceful protests and the only ones celebrating are Assad’s loyalists, feeling as if they have been given some legitimacy after so many lies.

SYRIA NO KANDAHAR pointedly states that we the opposition are allied with Al Qaeda. Now they can use the full might of the fourth division, and Russia will protect them and say, “See? We were right to support Assad all along.” The Russians are happy to say this, because they feel what Assad is doing is the same as what Milosovic did and what Russia itself did in Chechnya and elsewhere: Mistreat peoples, bombard cities, rape girls and women, execute “prisoners”, and blame it all on “terrorists”. Russians are bitter about NATO action against Serbia, and they wish for this massacre to continue so that Russian businesses can proceed as usual.

What a world we live in. People of the opposition, do not let this situation get to you. Assad will fall one way or another. Do not be afraid of divisions, religions, sects, countries with their own agendas, or even splits to Syria itself. Only be afraid of:

state-sponsored shabiha terrorizing our people, lack of proper rule of law, lack of education, and lack of opportunities for our young ones

State-sponsored violence can never be accepted. A true Syrian will never agree to it. The crimes cannot go unchallenged. Assad feels that he can continue to use fear to kill dissent. For our country and our children’s future, he must not succeed. We must find a way to continue the bright democratic future our country had before socialism and a military coup led to dictatorship. We must somehow move forward, without the Baath club of greed and corruption. We must channel the individual greed to greed for our communities, cities, and nation. What does the nation need for a prosperous future? People have to want it, work for it, and not ever be punished for doing so.

April 27th, 2012, 2:54 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Bashar and Maher’s sick idea of dialogue…



27 April 2012

Concern is growing for three human rights defenders being held incommunicado at a military base near Damascus, amid reports they may be facing ongoing torture, Amnesty International said.
Hani Zitani, Abd al-Rahman Hamada and Mansour al-Omari are being held in the town of al-Mo’damiya outside the capital, at a base run by the Fourth Armoured Division, under the de facto command of the Syrian president’s brother Maher al-Assad.
Another three of their colleagues detained with them there from 19 March until 22 April were brought before a military court on Sunday, where they alleged that Fourth Armoured Division officials had tortured, including by beatings, all six men during that time.
The six men – prisoners of conscience accused of “having an illegal recording with a view to distribute banned publications” – were among 14 men and women arrested in February during a security forces raid on the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression in Damascus.


April 27th, 2012, 2:55 pm


Mina said:

103 Antoine

Ask the 60,000 person who are displaced first (didn’t you see one of the first pictures of the refugees in Hatai, around last May 2011, where some had posters of Bashar?). Ask the Christians who have fled Homs and elsewhere. Actually I don’t think anyone “supports” Assad, but I do believe that 75 percent do not support “FSA, SNC, Syrian expats, Wahhabis, you name it”. The regime is not unified, it is composed of many different segments which are and have been fighting each other.

Then, for the people like Amnesia who think that the regime is organised enough to have people spreading extremists ideas to discredit the opposition, first you give a too high esteem to the Syrian lousy mukhabarat and second just check (through mirror websites) the tweets from February-June 2011 and you will see that the extremists have been a part of the virtual uprising since day one. They even fooled many western journalists who simply did not realise that these people were not Syrians, but they also helped the extremists focus on Syria as if it was “the mother of all battles’.

Do I have to remind you all the stupid eschatological manipulated “prophecies” one could hear in mosques for 20 years? The Shis will be allied with the Christians and will fight the Sunnis and the Mahdi will come? (There are so many variants, even in the same garbage books traded among Protestants and Jews that it does not make sense at all, but it is certainly on the mind of many ‘simple minds’).

April 27th, 2012, 3:14 pm


zoo said:

The rise of Turkey as a superpower
April 27, 2012|By Nicholas Burns
When the Cold War ended, more than a few European and American officials predicted that Turkey would decline rapidly in geopolitical significance. Without the Soviet threat, they said, Turkey’s role as a bulwark against communist expansion was finished and it was destined to be a second-tier power in the 21st century.

That prediction, of course, could not have been more shortsighted. During the past decade, Turkey has become the rising power in Europe, arguably the world’s most influential Muslim country and a dynamic inspiration for young Arab reformers. Turkey is the only European country that has grown in power since the financial crisis and the start of the Arab uprisings. While European economic fortunes have contracted, Turkey has one of the fastest growing global economies. Turkey may even now be more powerful in the Middle East than Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. This is all supremely ironic for a country long excluded from positions of power in NATO and which has had the door to the European Union slammed shut in recent years.
During the last two years, however, Erdogan has shifted dramatically from honest broker to a more aggressive, independent, and often unpredictable course — breaking relations with Israel over the Palestinian issue, spurning the Europeans, and, most surprisingly this year, turning his back on his former friend, Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad and calling openly for revolution against his regime.

Some Turkey experts believe Obama has bet too much on Erdogan, whose lofty foreign policy ambitions have not always produced results and who is battling close American friends in the Turkish military.
In this sense, the United States may be playing a far smarter game by keeping unpredictable Turkey close as a force multiplier to advance our many interests in the ever challenging Middle East.


April 27th, 2012, 3:35 pm


Aldendeshe said:

“The rise of Turkey as a superpower” What a hot air, worse than Neo-Safavid State, and Neo-Ammonite one in Jerusalem. When I see the GDP matches taht of China or Russia, India, will consider the statement rather egotistic one, self glorifying perhaps and not purely hot, hot, hot, steaming hot air.

April 27th, 2012, 3:48 pm


Amnesia said:

“Then, for the people like Amnesia who think that the regime is organised enough to have people spreading extremists ideas to discredit the opposition, first you give a too high esteem to the Syrian lousy mukhabarat”

And you underestimate the mukhabarat Mina. Yes, they are lousy in that they are woefully uneducated. However, do not think for a minute that a police state with KGB training and decades of experience tracking and befriending activists are incapable of doing basic intelligence work. You may not have experience with the mukhabarat, but longtime activists inside and outside of Syria know very well what they do and what they are capable of.

What does the nation need for a prosperous future? Syrian people have to want it, work for it, and not ever be punished for doing so.

April 27th, 2012, 3:50 pm


bronco said:

Tara #99

“Instead of denying us the legitimacy of our revolution from the first second and instead of spending all their time, effort, and energy to discredit the revolution;”

Do you seriously mean the “regime supporters” should have turned immediately to Ghalioun and his bunch of lunatics as an alternative to the regime? That would have be the stupidest and deadliest move any intelligent Syrian would have done.

In Tunisia and Libya the opposition was united and had valid leaders, in Egypt the army grabbed the power. In Syria, we had Ghalioun, Basma, Juppe and Turkish and Qatari moslem brotherhood cronies. Thank you. Most Syrians preferred to stick to Bashar and Asma and a united army and government rather that these empty, ambitious and perfidious ‘foreigners’.

The main problem with the opposition is that they had nothing to propose except after-the-prayers friday demonstrations calling for the removal of the regime with nothing to propose, no leader, no programs, no valid alternative. Because of that, they failed totally despite using and manipulating the death of civilians and exposing them shamelessly to the media, hoping for an intervention “a la Libya” to ‘save lives’. Despite their university degrees, little they knew about the international forces in presence and the geopolitics of the region . You can call that naivety, I call that stupidity.

This is why I consider them responsible for the chaos Syria is in now because of their under estimations and their internal incoherences.

Until now, they are so taken by their importance and their ‘mission’ that they are not even able to accept they have lost and they have been loosing many innocent Syrians with them.

April 27th, 2012, 4:03 pm


Mina said:

To have a prosperous future a nation needs to rely on real friends and not on people who can only have an agenda of total destruction.

I agree with you that the lousy mukhabarat are smart (in human intelligence) and infiltrated everywhere, but that does not make the regime one and unified. And I really think they are under too much stress to have time with spreading ridiculous messages on the internet. I mean, of course they are infiltrating FB, since this is about real people, but not SC or The Guardian’s comments.

They probably have no time for that since indeed, Syria is under a real attack since one year, which only goal is to let the Israelis build more settlements, the Palestinians to accept whatever they’ll be given and not dream of their UN bid, and to split oil-rich Kurdistan from Iraq. As Chomsky always says, don’t you ever think that the West is going to help a nation get free and prosperous.

April 27th, 2012, 4:06 pm


zoo said:

#98 Dale

Thanks for reading so thoroughly my posts, I am flattered.

The comments repeat and confirm your own comment.

1. looser

A looser is a loser who can’t spell “loser”.
Moron: “Hey man, you are teh looser!”
Guy: “It’s spelled ‘loser’ you uneducated b……”

2. looser

Idiotic way of spelling “loser”. Most often used by teens and adults with no more than a 2nd grade grammar level.

April 27th, 2012, 4:13 pm


Nour said:


I’m sorry, I didn’t understand your post or your question.

April 27th, 2012, 4:39 pm


Uzair8 said:

Aleppo seems to be stirring… this space.


4 hours 53 min ago – Aleppo

‎Activists say dozens of anti-Assad demonstrations have taken place in Aleppo city and elsewhere in the province today.

This video purports to show one of the bigger ones, in al-Shaar neighbourhood.


Aleppo city? Is that central Aleppo? Some outer regions were already said to be slipping out of regime hands.

April 27th, 2012, 4:59 pm


Alan said:

Ship Smuggling Weapons to Syria Intercepted off Lebanese Shore

The Lebanese army marine corps and UNIFIL forces (United Nations Interim Forces In Lebanon) intercepted a ship, off the Lebanese northern shore, while smuggling weapons to Syria, local media outlets reported Friday.

Al-Manar TV stated that the ship, which had set sail from the port of Alexandria in Egypt, is loaded with heavy weapons and machine guns intended for Syrian armed gangs, and was on its way to Tripoli in northern Lebanon.

[ … ]

April 27th, 2012, 5:18 pm


Halabi said:

“Most Syrians preferred to stick to Bashar and Asma.”

I don’t think Asma is an important factor for people deciding to support the eternal rule of Assad. If Bashar died of a lisp-induced injury pre-revolution, we would be forced to worship Maher and not Asma.

This separation between Bashar and the nastiest elements of the police state is a fantasy in the mind of the we-love-you. One major accomplishment of the revolution (and there have been many: Assad wouldn’t even be taking about reform without a revolution) is eliminating the myth of the old guard acting with Bashar’s knowledge.

Syrians and people all over the world can see that Assad’s regime is intact – where the responsibility lies is also clear.

April 27th, 2012, 5:51 pm


Uzair8 said:

Yesterday I gave an incomplete explanation (#25) of why I posted a quote from Sheikh Nazim. Having had more time to think about it I wish to provide the context in which it was posted.

I interpreted the quote as a premonition. Possibly a glimpse of a future event. Sheikh Nazim is regarded as a highly spiritual personality and regularly shares his visions and inspirations.

If any ordinary scholar or shaykh had said something similar I would interpret it as wishful thinking and demonisation of the perceived enemy and I would not post it.

I can give examples of some of the things the sheikh has claimed during the arab spring. There was the ‘all regimes will collapse’ video from shortly before Ben Ali fell. There was the time when the sheikh advised people to stock up on 40 days of supplies. He ordered his followers to not visit him in cyprus as the mediterranean would become unsafe. Now there is heated discussion on the Sheikhs recent announcement, claiming as a result of ‘inspiration’, that King Abdullah of Jordan is the candidate for Caliph and he may make a move for syria.

It’s another question whether ‘premonitions’ have any place or meaning on SC. They may be of no value. The ‘premonition’ was a logical conclusion to my observation in #12. The content may still have been questionable or open to misinterpretation so one has to be ultra careful.

I was undecided about commenting further on this as I wanted to move on. Forgive me but I just wanted to clarify. I wanted my conscience clear regarding sectarianism.

Thank you.

April 27th, 2012, 5:56 pm


Uzair8 said:

On BBC radio 5 last night Dotun Adebayo talked to BBC correspondant at the UN, Barbara Plett, on the developments in Syria and how they are playing out at the UN.

Listen from 6 min 30 sec. [6 days left]

April 27th, 2012, 6:14 pm


Juergen said:

If true and not launched by Mubarak loyalists, pretty nasty stuff is going on in egyptian parlament.

April 27th, 2012, 6:21 pm


Tara said:


You demand of me what you don’t demand of yourself.  “Most Syrians prefer to stick to Bashar and Asma”.  Please prove it, otherwise rephrase and say “Bronco prefers to stick to Bashar and Asma”.

You have warned me of “pathological resentment”.  I will warn you of a “pathological love”.  Granted love is utterly stupid and follows no rule but loving a mass murderer despite his “charming blue eyes” is nothing but pathological.  I can understand why Alawi masses can be herded into loving the demi-god but for the life of me I can’t understand why you “appreciate” him.  It is very much not you….or my understanding of you..  

I wasn’t blaming the supporters for not “getting in bed” with Ghalioun and Basma.  Please excuse the expression.  I fault them for their continuos support and attempt of legitimizing the illegitimate.  Had Alawi and Christian elders and their educated class did what Samar, Fadwa, and Mai have done, had they demanded the killing and torture to be stopped, had they asked for accountability, had they made clear cut statements that they do not approve the security option…Bashar al Assad would not have been emboldened and disillusioned.  

What every supporter has done to delegitimize the revolution, to discredit it, to call it bad names, to ridiculously analyze footage of crime and horror to cast doubt, to construct endless internet-based propaganda houses is a crime against Syria.  The revolution did not start wanting the execution of the president.  The demands were initially simple demands for reform.  It was the way Bashar al Assad chose to handle it, emboldened by his supporters, that made the revolution changing course and becoming armed.  The supporters, some blinded by their privileged status, other blinded by historical hate and desire for revenge, forgot that at the end of the day those killed and tortured were once their Syrian brothers and sisters.  And by willfully destroying that Syrian fabric, they carry the full responsibility for the destruction of Syria.        

April 27th, 2012, 6:39 pm


Tara said:


I agree with you. Asma does look like the photo you linked. As a matter of fact, many of her family members look like that too.

April 27th, 2012, 6:41 pm


Juergen said:

No we dont love you Bashar!

when one is browsing…

April 27th, 2012, 6:50 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Does a suicide bomber goes to heaven or hell ?

April 27th, 2012, 7:07 pm


Tara said:

“خطية لا يريد يزعل ولا وحدة منهن

Found this story on the site linked by Kandi.  Real story or fabricated?  The site is clearly a Mnhebak one.

April 27th, 2012, 7:19 pm


Norman said:

The problem with Annan plan is that there is misunderstanding about it and it should lead to, the government expect from the plan a C Fire and discussion about the election and the time for them and the monitoring process, while the opposition expect from the plan a C Fire and discussion with the government about the steps that will lead to the departure of the president, and the Baath party,

Therefore, I do not think that they will reach an agreement, their expectations are far from each other,

April 27th, 2012, 7:28 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Prof Landis,

This clip I am linking is the most valuable I have seen since the beginning of this crisis in revealing the true nature of this uprising currently after being shifted from a true honest demands of freedom an democracy into a movement lead by terrorists. This clip leaves no doubt about the Terrorists, jihadists, Alqaeda and mafia nature of this uprising. The clip is self explanatory and it horrifying and difficult to watch as the revolutionists thugs kills on of their fellow friends (Alboustani, a terrorist from libanon) after doing a quick Islamic local court for him and getting a quick fatwa from a shiek to kill him with tow bullets in the head, all shown in this clip (very disturbing to watch please be advised):

April 27th, 2012, 7:28 pm


bronco said:

Tara #134

Let’s agree that we disagree.

April 27th, 2012, 7:33 pm


Amnesia said:

Tara, well said. It is clear where responsibility lies.

Juergen, if true I would like to know in detail which parlaiment members in Egypt are guilty of proposing these laws. If true, expect most members to split from the parties if supported by the leadership. If true, and the MB is involved, the Syrian Brotherhood had better very clearly and explicitly state their position and distance themselves completely. I don’t know the full story, but wackos need to seriously cut this crap out. God forgive me; they weren’t elected to be *** idiots.

Someone please tell me if Al Arabiya has this one wrong.

April 27th, 2012, 7:39 pm


bronco said:

#139 Norman

None of the six points of the Annan Plan, confirmed by the UNSC resolution calls for the departure of Bashar al Assad.

It calls for a dialog between the opposition and the regime.

If the opposition wants to speculate about the result of the dialog, it is their right, but they know very well that their speculation will not easily become a reality, this is why they are trying in any way possible to derail the plan, even selling their soul to Al Qaeda.

In my view, they are burning themselves beyond repair as the Syrians who want to keep their country alive and united will not shake hands with the Islamist devil.

Why don’t we hear about new defections from the Syrian army anymore? Is the process starting to reverse?

April 27th, 2012, 7:49 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

I have seen some reports that the amount of gas in the syrian national water is huge (more than the Israeli ,libanes or cyprus ones) and the fight over Syria is so brutal between Russia,china and Europe and the US because of that as an important reason…any thoughts.

April 27th, 2012, 8:09 pm


Tara said:


I am afraid no one likes music among the regime supporters ( or whatever you guys call yourself) except you

April 27th, 2012, 8:35 pm


Tara said:

Bronco @141

I agree. I don’t like to disagree on Fridays. I do follow a strict schedule.

April 27th, 2012, 8:47 pm


jna said:

Interesting US politicians’ positions on US policy regards Syria.

Should U.S. call for Assad to go? Republicans can’t decide

The Republican Party appears to be deeply split on whether the United States should call on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, a Senate committee vote revealed today.

The divisions were on display during a one-hour debate Thursday at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), after which the Republican members of the panel remained irreconcilably divided over how aggressively the United States should work for Assad’s removal.

Thursday’s markup of a resolution condemning the violence in Syria, put forth by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Casey (D-PA), was the first real congressional debate over U.S. policy in Syria since protests broke out there more than a year ago. It was a heated debate, and by the time the dust settled, half of the Republicans on the committee joined with the Democrats to insist that Congress call on Assad to step down, overruling the other half of the Republicans on the panel, who argued that such language should be scuttled from the resolution.

( … )

April 27th, 2012, 9:53 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

نعلن سوريا خلافه اسلاميه
We declare Syria Islamic kelafa

April 27th, 2012, 10:03 pm


bronco said:

Where are the ‘massive’ demonstrations predicted?

Maybe the turnout of demonstrations is lower because, ironically, the protesters are now more afraid of a suicide bomber exploding among themselves than from the self-retrained security elements?

By tolerating extremists among their ranks, the opposition is probably torpedoing its own main (and only) pressure asset : Peaceful demonstrations

April 27th, 2012, 10:07 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

خلافه للابد غصبا عنك يااسد
Who is going to be Syria’s next kalefa?

April 27th, 2012, 10:08 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

We want kelafa and Sharia Islamist
Welcome to the Switzerlanded Syria :

April 27th, 2012, 10:14 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Aljazera the Chanel of the terrorist and the other terrorist:

April 27th, 2012, 10:32 pm


Norman said:


Have you heard of any opposition leader or not calling for talk withe government and president Assad, did any of the people who are friends to the opposition calling them to talk and reach an agreement, no, the goal now and forever is to bring down the resistant nature and policy of Syria ,

April 27th, 2012, 10:57 pm


Ghufran said:

Dalai Lama on the Arab Spring:
When asked about the Arab Spring, the exiled Tibetan leader said he thought it was “in principle, very good.”
“Now they achieved the basic goal, now time come they must be united, all forces, no matter what their political thinking or something, now they must work together, that is very important,” he said.
Comment: People with guns can only fight even if they unite first,when they defeat their initial enemy they turn their guns against each other.

April 27th, 2012, 11:39 pm


William Scott Scherk said:


For broad coverage of the current Parliamentary Election campaign, Die Presse has a section devoted to the candidates, parties and platforms. DP has been fairly impressive over the past ten months, especially on its English side. It is the sole semi-official news site inside Syria that attempts to ‘balance’ its reports. I am amazed that the English editor has not yet been taken in for questioning.

I note that a story appearing at Syria Truth quotes President Assad as having not yet decided whether to postpone elections. As is usual with Syria Truth reports, the garbled prose and lack of references leaves a reader wondering just where the information originally appeared. If I can find the original story half-cited by ST, I will post it tonight.

Here is the ST story that covers President Assad and the May 7th election. I have found nothing yet that confirms the report in relation to the decision or the quote, or that Assad was accurately quoted. The story mixes up several news items that may or may not be true — including the ‘fact’ that Haytham Mannah and the NCB have urged the Russians to pressure Assad to step aside (in their last Moscow talks):

رأس السلطة في سوريا يلتقي سرا أحد قادة المعارضة في الداخل ، و”الأخبار” تنشر محضر اللقاء

25 نيسان 2012 04:04 عدد القراءات 4623

الأسد يصر على تشبثه بالكرسي ، وهيئة التنسيق الوطني طلبت من موسكو إقناعه بالتنحي والضغط على السلطة للسماح بعقد مؤتمر وطني للمعارضة في الداخل

April 27th, 2012, 11:54 pm


Ghufran said:

Common sense indicates that Libyan revolutionists will focus on fixing their country instead of sending weapons to another country that is more than 2,000 km away,but the fight over Syria now is not internal any more,every thug and every foreign government wants a piece of Syria today:

April 28th, 2012, 12:27 am


omen said:


Uzair, ty for pointing to him. i was surprised by his recounting a prediction that palestine will be liberated once syria is free. i carry the same hunch but had no idea this had been foretold as prophesy.

April 28th, 2012, 12:54 am


omen said:

commen sense would dictate not to support a mad man.

April 28th, 2012, 12:56 am


omen said:

the sheikh has claimed during the arab spring. There was the ‘all regimes will collapse’ video from shortly before Ben Ali fell.

it’s been said before:

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.
Mahatma Gandhi
Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 – 1948)

April 28th, 2012, 1:04 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

If you try to apply what Mahamata Ghandi was saying to the Syrian situation
Please refer to the clip I posted about killing the number one wanted person
In Lebanon by his terrorists friends in FSA by tow bullets in his head(I wonder why the fatwa was 2 not 1 or 5 bullets)or to the killers of 3500 soldiers or to the hangers of mentally handicapped and minority girls….if Mahamata Ghandi comes back to life from the dead in Syria he will pull his hear and ask an FSA officer to give him a quick fatwa with tow bullets in his head and go back to dying .

April 28th, 2012, 1:35 am


omen said:

bronco: The main problem with the opposition is that they had nothing to propose except after-the-prayers friday demonstrations calling for the removal of the regime with nothing to propose, no leader, no programs, no valid alternative.

snc is faulted for lacking clear policy proposals, but neither does bashar!

Abdel Halim Khaddam, vice-president under both Bashar and his father, says the younger al-Assad is both brutal and indecisive.

“Bashar’s problem is that he listens to everything but denies and forgets quickly. You discuss an issue with him in the morning and another person comes along and changes his mind.

“Politically, Bashar does not have a consistent ideology; he changes his opinion according to his interests and that of the regime’s.”


April 28th, 2012, 1:52 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Mahamata of the Syrian Destructution:

April 28th, 2012, 2:08 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Kurds are picking up their own Friday names lately

And are refusing to use SNC names which has been for the most Quran phrases lately.This Friday for the Kurds was the Friday of federalism !!

The north east is a timed bomb which hasn’t exploded yet, the main reason being that the Kurds don’t want to ignite it. Kurds are Sunni for the most but defers from the main Sunni street in Syria in many ways:

1- they are not very religious.

2-They are very politically organized

3-Their loyalty to the Kurdish cause takes priority to any thing else.

4-they for the most hate Turkey and Arabs

5-Historically has had strong ties with Israel (not the Syrian Kurds, for clear reasons)

6-Have been over the last few decades very much trying to make it up for their historical mistakes against their Christian neighbors

7-learned from their encounter with the regime in 2004 that it does not pay to destroy your country
Because they will be the first losers(in 2004 they did what MB is doing in the other parts of Syria now like burning government buildings and had a preview of civil war )That experience had made their contribution to the current uprising cosmetic .

It seems like there is an agreement between FSA and SNC and the Kurds to stay away from them.
So far FSA operations has spared their areas with no hijacking or killing or stopping buses and robbing them and killing passengers based on their ID.

Federalism will be vety difficult to do for the Kurds in Syria ..but that is another subject.

April 28th, 2012, 2:56 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Opposition work plan is (removing Bashar) The morning after: Syria will be a heaven,no crimes,no killings,no hijacking,no stopping buses and robbing them,no fights ,no hanging for mentally handicapped or minorities or regime members,All Syria will be flowers,sunny and forests,The Syrian lira will be 10 dollars ,the falafel sandwich will be 5 liras,the meat will be 50 liras a killo,the farooj will be 25 liras a killo,the cherries will be bigger andsweeter ,the cucumbers will be fresher and greener,the cows will produce more milk,every Syrian will have a jobe,a car ,a wife and a villa,the rain will not stop and the dusty storms will never come again,they sky will be blue and the moon will be full all month around,the courts will all adopt the American jury system,the word of law will prevail,the merchants will not cheat any more,the zaater will be full of sesame seeds and pistachio,the mattewill be banned because of its depressing flashback ,the trains will all be bullet electric trains ,the flight attendants will all have short skirts and have size C and be at least 6 feet,the highways will all be 6 lines each side,the tollswill be free if you are a Syrian…,, We have the greatest opposition in the world….all of this will be done assoon as Bashar goes….almost similar to what the Egyptians,libyans,Tunisians,yaminis And Iraqis got the morning after Mobarak,Qadafi,Bin Alli,Saleh and Saddam fallen..we are next on line…

April 28th, 2012, 3:31 am


Alan said:

can you explain point 4 concerning hatred as I didn’t notice at Kurds such trait of character! and point 5 concerning a word historically as Israel was formed recently!

April 28th, 2012, 3:56 am


Alan said:

The Kurds, Syria, and Big Game

In March this year, at the time of aggravation of the situation in Syria and Iran, was a momentous event – the Syrian Kurds announced the creation of “West Kurdistan,” which declared the capital city of Afrin. It is a territory in northern Syria, near the border with Turkey. Previously, in early 2012, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil hosts conference of Syrian opposition groups, on which it was decided that “after the overthrow of the Assad regime in the north-east of Syria must be created Kurdish self-rule.”

Turkey reacted instantly. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said that the only way to avoid “persecution of civilians” in the provinces of Raqqa and Idleb here is to create a “security zone” or “buffer zone” in Syria, which would require the Turkish troops here. In the case of realization of the idea of Ankara and the creation of a “security zone” Syrian Liberation Army fighters will have an excellent staging area for combat operations against the government of Assad, as well as the territory for training under the supervision of trainers organized Western armed forces.

When a quasi-public education in the face of Western Kurdistan (Kurds, and the term has historically referred to as the territory that lies within Syria and Turkey), Turkey received a dangerous place for her Kurdish region in Northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan Autonomous), just two. With this experience of Libya shows that if, after the “liberation” of the war in the country there are “independent territory,” bring them back under central government control is not easy.

Do not establish control over the process of formation of the Western Kurdistan, Turkey can not, otherwise it will be on the verge of territorial disintegration, as the new education in the Kurdish north-east of Syria – a step towards the emergence of Greater Kurdistan .An example of Syrian Kurds can affect their Turkish neighbors, with whom Ankara and so could hardly cope

[ … ]

April 28th, 2012, 4:14 am


Alan said:

Heartland Geopolitical Maps

A close look at the oil reserves, refining and transport infrastructure of the northern Kurd area, one of Iraq’s oil richest zones: location and names of main oil and gas fields; active, damaged and planned oil and gas pipelines; areas of tensions and guerrillas, layout of ethnic groups.

April 28th, 2012, 4:22 am


Mina said:

About UN sponsored chaos, their own report on Ivory Coast details weapons trafficking (except for “and the winner is…..” Ouatarra) and even vote to ease weapon trade, and mentions that now racket and exactions are “endemic”.
(the 350 pp report is available on the UN website)

For South-Sudan, watch archives from al Jazeera of December 2010: Qatar sponsored it 100 percent, even though there was no maps for the borders and the the tribes living on the oil fields in the border regions were against Juba’s secession (and against the North too?) and threatening to retail.

Listening to the news in France about Syria is surreal, at least on RT and Chinese news agency, you get reports on the casualties from both sides, but with the French media, even suicide bombings are government sponsored: they claim that 6 ambulances were seen outside the mosque in Midan before the bombing.

Now that the opposition admits the use of fake videos such as the man buried alive, can’t they admit that the people who do that for a year are the same who manipulate the genuine need of reforms? They pass these videos from cell phone to cell phone to create rage and anger and get people to the streets who did not want at first to participate. They did this since the beginning, adding videos from Lebanon and Iraq’s horrors and it was certainly not by mistake. How can these people be trusted rather that many from within the Baath and the regime who have been openly critical for many years?

April 28th, 2012, 5:40 am


Tara said:


Asking where are the massive demonstrations?

Tens of thousands of people marched into streets across Syria in what has now become a weekly anti-regime protest after Friday prayers. Amateur video from Homs, where the presence of UN observers helped halt weeks of artillery attacks, showed rows of men lining up in a main street, holding each other by the shoulders as they sang and danced.

In another protest, people held up 45 squares of cardboard with writing and drawings that – when viewed together from above – showed a picture of Assad and the words “oppression, corruption, despotism, demolition”. When they simultaneously flipped over the squares, it created a new message that read: “Toward a modern society that is more developed and sensible.”
However, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five protesters were killed by fire from the security forces, including a 10-year-old boy.

April 28th, 2012, 7:14 am


Alan said:

Military Unit in Lattakia Foils an Infiltration Attempt of Armed Terrorist Group offshore
Lebanese Army Seizes Ship Carrying Weapons from Libya to Terrorists in Syria

April 28th, 2012, 7:53 am


Antoine said:

The Libyan ship shouldn’t have followed orders from the Lebanese Navy.

Firstly, the Lebanese Navy is not acting independently, secondly, they can’t hit an elephant from a distance of 50 metres even if their guns are in working condition. Thirdly, they woyld not have risked it.

April 28th, 2012, 8:10 am


Antoine said:

Yesterday’s demonstrations in Deir Ezzor were characteristically boisterous :

Also, one can notice the increased presence of Qatari and Saudi Flags in demonstrations in Deir al Zour.

Syria No Kandahar, is there any tribal connection between the people of Deir al Zour and Saudi Arabia ?

April 28th, 2012, 8:17 am


Alan said:
A perfect storm in the Middle East
A messy journey

Like their Eastern European counterparts, the Arabs’ democratic journey will be rocky, messy, uneven, and prolonged. There is no assurance of successful democratic transformation and consolidation, and there will undoubtedly be setbacks.

The most difficult challenge is to institutionalize the relationship between the army and civilian leadership and put an end to the domination by the senior ranks of the military.

Like Eastern Europe, Arab transition from political authoritarianism to more open, pluralistic societies will take more than two decades. It has taken Turkey five decades to get the army to accept democratic rules.

Domestic concerns and grievances – jobs and freedoms, not anti-Western foreign policy sentiments – mainly fuel the new Arab intifada. Unlike demonstrators of the Islamic revolution in Iran in the late 1970s, neither Egyptians nor Tunisians burned American and Israeli flags, nor did they blame Western imperialism for their predicament.

These same characteristics are evident in other protests sprouting across the region, including Iran.
Fawaz A. Gerges is the director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics, London University. He is author of the forthcoming book, “Obama and the Middle East: Continuity and Change.”

April 28th, 2012, 8:35 am


bronco said:

#154 Norman

“Have you heard of any opposition leader or not calling for talk withe government and president Assad,”

Of course I haven’t and nobody has. The major point of Annan’s Peace plan, endorsed by the UNSC and secretly opposed by France, Turkey, Qatar and KSA, requires the countries supporting the opposition to force them into a dialog with the regime.

Of course they are not doing that, simply because no one has control over armed gangs, but according to news circulating, the rebels are running out of weapons and not receiving fresh supplies. That explains why they are resorting to terrorist acts like car bombing with home made bombs ( like the ones that allegedly exploded in Hama 2 days ago).

By doing so, they are uncovering unambiguously that they are the aggressors now and they are discrediting themselves further in front of the general population.

Annan is supposed to refer again to the UNSC soon to report the situation and put the international community in front of its commitment.

The last suicide bomb seems an irrefutable proof that the Syrian army is acting in self defense and that the armed gangs are breaking the ceasefire by continuous armed provocations.

Would another UNSC finally tougher on the opposition ( and probably on the regime) be implemented seriously by the EOS and by the UN presence, that is to be seen, as the EOS are adamant not to loose face in case Bashar’s regime survives.

April 28th, 2012, 8:43 am


Mina said:

Antoine, there is certainly a connection in taab fil mukh. Look at the Egyptian parliament for broader connections too.

Could you tell me, in your view, why is it for the Libyans, Egyptians and Tunisians, a priority to help the syrian insurrection rather that to work on their constitution, reforms and economy?

April 28th, 2012, 8:46 am


Alan said:

how many full age people in your valuable video?

April 28th, 2012, 8:53 am


bronco said:

#170 Tara

“Tens of thousands of people marched into streets across Syria in what has now become a weekly anti-regime protest after Friday prayers.”

You call that massive? Didn’t you predict Syrians will pour into the streets calling for Bashar to leave when the army will refrain from shooting as they allegedly did before on protesters?

In fact, many protesters who lost all their illusions just insulted the UN observers and told them to leave.

Now that there are suicide bombers operating to ‘protect’ the peaceful demonstrations, I doubt these demonstrations will go beyond a few thousands hardliners, as children will probably be prevented by their parents to participate.

This suicide bomb in Midan is a turning point as it exposes clearly the methods the rebels intend to use on to bring the country to ‘democracy’: terror.

April 28th, 2012, 9:02 am


zoo said:

A bitter warning to ‘regime changers’?

Our Man in Baghdad
Don’t look now, but the greatest threat to Middle East stability might just be the “democracy” we created in Iraq.

Instead, Iraq under Maliki has become a deeply fragmented state with superficial democratic characteristics, and a net exporter of sectarianism. It offers yet another lesson for American policymakers — in case they needed it — in the unintended consequences of regime change.

April 28th, 2012, 9:09 am


zoo said:

April 27, 2012
Turkey Has Reason to Worry About Arab Spring
By Ersin Kalaycioglu

Interestingly, different interlocutors took part in influencing events from Tunisia to Yemen to Syria. It looks as if the two Wahabi political regimes of the region, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been playing a major role in all of the theaters of conflict as soft powers with enormously deep pockets. Curiously enough, these two major Wahabi states are the staunchest enemies of democracy and individual liberties, especially for women, yet they seem to be pressuring the Assad regime in Syria to democratize.

While the conservative government of Turkey harks back to Ottoman times as a golden era, the Arabs remember it as their dark age. A Turkish intervention in Syria would intensify anti-Turkish feelings not only with Syria but probably with the rest of the Arab world–attitudes the former zero-problem and open-borders policies of the government were trying to ameliorate.

While Syria, Libya, and Iraq are grappling with tribal and sectarian civil war-like strife, Tunisia seems to enjoy calm and to have the highest chance of developing some form of democracy in the foreseeable future. Egypt appears to be following a path somewhere in-between these two extremes. Evidently Syria, the new Middle East theater of conflict pitting Sunni-Wahabi against Shiite political forces, is robustly moving to replace Lebanon in that function. It should come as no surprise if we observe a protracted struggle there of the main sectarian Muslim forces before any major change occurs in the Middle East.

April 28th, 2012, 9:14 am


Mina said:

Saudi Arabia, the sole inspiration of Egyptian MB: get a brain!!!

“Egyptian activists have condemned the draft anti-cyber crime law published by the research and legal studies committee of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of Muslim Brotherhood.

Ahram Arabic-language portal reported on Thursday the 13 articles of FJP’s anti-cyber crime law.
Dozens of activists used Twitter to criticise the FJP’s draft law which was copied directly from the Saudi anti-cyber crime law without any changes.

Article 12 of the controversial draft law still contains the word “Kingdom” which is irrelevant to the Arab Republic of Egypt.”


April 28th, 2012, 9:20 am


zoo said:

Would a positive resolution of the Iran-US nuclear issue empower further Iran’s allies, Bashar Al Assad and Al Maliki? Next episode in Baghdad 23rd may.

Iran indicates it’s ready to compromise on nuclear programme
Michael Theodoulou
Apr 28, 2012

Iran is preparing public opinion for possible concessions on its nuclear programme in renewed talks with six world powers.

Yesterday’s sermon at Tehran University echoed positive statements by top regime officials, media outlets and other Friday prayer leaders.

Hojatoleslam Kazem Siddiqi said Iran was a “rational actor” that welcomes dialogue with its adversaries. If they, in turn, showed “logical behaviour”, the outcome would be “good for all”.

Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, declared last week that Tehran was “ready to resolve all issues very quickly and simply”.

On Tuesday he said initial talks in Istanbul earlier this month “came up with results that satisfied both sides”, adding there would be “more progress” at the next round in Baghdad on May 23.

April 28th, 2012, 9:23 am


zoo said:

KSA mouth piece: Pessimism over Egypt’s future? A true outrage or a gimmick?

…this is because the great Egyptian actor Adel Imam dared to criticize the government, corruption, election fraud, and many other issues whilst Mubarak was still in power, not merely after the Egyptians had taken to the streets against him! Adel Imam was in Tahrir Square long before the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, and Egyptian intellectuals.

For the great and enlightening Egyptian actor Adel Imam to be tried for insulting Islam, and sentenced to three months imprisonment, means only one thing, namely that Egypt has taken the decision to put itself on trial! Targeting Adel Imam, in this retaliatory manner, means that the time has come for us to express our pessimism regarding the future of Egypt, politically, economically, artistically and culturally.

April 28th, 2012, 9:33 am


ann said:

Syria foils armed infiltration attempt – Apr 28, 2012 16:55 Moscow Time

Several rebels have been killed and four Syrian servicemen wounded after Syrian coastguards foiled an attempt by armed terrorists to land on the Syrian coast near Latakia.

Other reports say clashes between rebels and security forces near the country’s second city Aleppo have left three soldiers dead.

Syrian forces guarding the border with Turkey have killed two terrorists. The other rebels in the clash managed to cross into Turkey.


April 28th, 2012, 9:50 am


ann said:

700 Syrian militants lay down arms – Apr 28, 2012 13:59 Moscow Time

More than 700 Syrian militants have already laid down arms in the cities of Damascus, Hama, and Idlib on a free-will basis, officials said on Saturday.

They added that militants had repeatedly violated a cease-fire agreement that was announced on April 12.


April 28th, 2012, 9:55 am


ann said:

‘No Syrian crisis settlement without Russia, China’ – Saturday, April 28th 2012

Moscow, April 28 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The crisis in Syria is impossible to settle if the international community ignores the positions of Russia and China, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

“I believe there has been understanding recently that the crisis may not be settled if the positions of Russia and China are ignored,” Lavrov told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

According to UN estimates, more than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March last year.

Russia and China have twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions on Syria over what Russia said was a pro-rebel bias, but supported UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan, which Damascus also backed.

“Our Western partners are constantly speaking of the necessity to ensure supremacy of law in each separate country, and we do not argue with that,” Lavrov said.

“This is in our interests, we are actively dealing with this. Our leadership is taking specific steps in that direction,” the Russian minister said.

He said the supremacy of law principle should not be ignored in international affairs.

“There is the UN Charter, international law embodied in other universal documents, and these documents should be observed,” Lavrov said.


April 28th, 2012, 10:02 am


Ghufran said:

وليد البستاني

April 28th, 2012, 10:07 am


omen said:

[ blue diamond OMEN, please remember to always provide a reference or URL for off-site content.]


Is there any place left in Syria jails & intelligence buildings for so many arrests? What has become of all our disappeared people?


There IS no place left in Assad jails so sports stadiums are being used instead -including Abbasiyyeen stadium in Damascus

April 28th, 2012, 10:36 am


Afram said:

Arabian soap opera..
Beauty Assad and the Beast burhan:La Belle et la Bête

Bahrain–hosts U.S. 5th Fleet base
————————————->veto powers
Tartus-hosts a Soviet-era naval base

thousands Saudi Arabian soldiers goes to Bahrain,who runs Bahrain? Saudi army in Bahrain to do their dirty work that’s apparently OK!!.

the beast crying wolf says Iran has no right in syria!that,s apparently bad.

Question:are the syrians,actors or viewers on this Petri-Dish?

April 28th, 2012, 10:47 am


omen said:

161. Syria no Kandahar If you try to apply what Mahamata Ghandi was saying to the Syrian situation

apparently, gandhi was full of caveats & contradictions when it came to his nonviolence doctrine.

i like what malcolmx had to say about the matter:

“I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence”.

rational people recognize gandhi’s doctrine wouldn’t have worked against hitler. it wont work alone against this regime either.

April 28th, 2012, 10:52 am


ann said:

Hungary Says Two Nationals Kidnapped in Syria – 28 April 2012

Hungary said two of its nationals were kidnapped in Syria on Saturday by unknown gunmen, adding that Budapest may dispatch agents to the region to collect further information.

“The Foreign Ministry and TEK (Hungary’s Anti-Terrorism Center) confirmed that two men working in Syria were kidnapped on Saturday at dawn by unknown gunmen,” said Peter Szijjarto, a spokesman for Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in a statement to MTI, the Hungarian state news agency.

“Hungary will look after its citizens who are in difficulties abroad … Members of the Anti-Terrorism Centre are ready to get to the region as soon as possible to collect the necessary information.”


April 28th, 2012, 10:52 am


omen said:

3. Aldendeshe said: Just make sure that profound message sent in Duckistani. You don’t wan’t it to get lost in translation.

that is freakin’ brilliant!

syria no duckistan!

April 28th, 2012, 11:00 am


Mina said:

Unable to stand any criticism, Saudi Arabia “recalls ambassador” because of a protest again their kidnapping of an Egyptian NGO activist while on pilgrimage!
The BBC bows to KSA and gives the “jazeera pills” official version!

April 28th, 2012, 11:04 am


omen said:

mina, syria regime and the ksa are pretty similar. no wonder regime members and saudi royals have close ties.

p.s. no, i take that back. actually bashar is worse. as far as i know, the saudis never shelled one of their own cities because they were offended by graffiti.

April 28th, 2012, 11:18 am


Mina said:

I have posted this article before but it is a reminder for so-called BBC “journalists”: do they really want us to believe that someone who has filled up a complaint against a Saudi official went there with drug pills in his bags? And they would have left his wife finish her pilgrimage alone?

Foreign Ministry says working to release Egyptian lawyer detained in Saudi
Tue, 24/04/2012 – 12:34

“Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has asked its diplomats in Saudi Arabia to contact local authorities to seek the release of an Egyptian citizen detained there for insulting the kingdom’s monarch, ministry spokesperson Amr Roshdy said Tuesday.

Ahmed al-Gizawy, a lawyer and a human rights activist, was detained last week when he arrived in Saudi Arabia to perform the holy Muslim pilgrimage of Umra. He had been sentenced in absentia to 20 lashes before arriving, though he had not been notified of this beforehand.

Gizawy has been a vocal critic of Saudi authorities’ treatment of Egyptian workers and an advocate of the rights of Egyptian detainees there.

He had also filed a lawsuit against King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, accusing him of practicing arbitrary detention and physical abuse against Egyptian nationals, and demanding the detainees be released and compensated.”

(Revolutions have left people dream in broad daylight… “released (!) and COMPENSATED (???!!!)”

April 28th, 2012, 11:28 am


Alan said:

US ‘world leader’ in color revolution engineering
The US is the foremost power when it comes to creating and applying “color revolutions”: America invented the know-how and has the best experts in this area, political scientist Mateusz Piskorski told RT.

April 28th, 2012, 12:05 pm


Afram said:

موسكو: على سوريا “التصدي” ل”الارهابيين بحزم
Moscow:Syria must “address” the “terrorists” forcefully

Russia said Saturday that Syria must enacte forceful measures inorder to defeat the “terrorists”, after an explosion in the Damascus.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement:”we are convinced that it must be addressed decisively to terrorists who move in Syria,and all the actors inside and outside(the country)to prevent them from getting the support that they need.”

“We are particularly concerned at the Syrian opposition attempts to further deterioration of the obstinate situation in the country and urging violence that causes the killing of innocent civilians.”

موسكو: على سوريا “التصدي” ل”الارهابيين بحزم”

موسكو: اعتبرت روسيا السبت ان على سوريا التصدي ل”الارهابيين بحزم”، وذلك غداة انفجار في حي الميدان بدمشق اسفر عن 11 قتيلا بحسب التلفزيون السوري الرسمي.

وقالت وزارة الخارجية الروسية في بيان “نحن مقتنعون بوجوب التصدي بحزم للارهابيين الذين يتحركون في سوريا، وعلى جميع الفاعلين داخل (البلاد) وخارجها ان يمنعوهم من الحصول على الدعم الذي يريدونه”.

واضاف البيان “نحن قلقون خصوصا لمحاولات المعارضة السورية العنيدة العمل على مزيد تدهور الوضع في البلاد والحث على العنف الذي يتسبب بقتل مدنيين ابرياء

April 28th, 2012, 12:10 pm


Aldendeshe said:

165. Syria no Kandahar said….

You forgot to mention the 45 days annual paid vacation to Tel Aviv resorts. That is for the bachelors, the married ones in MB are sent strait to Dude Ranch.

April 28th, 2012, 12:16 pm


omen said:

Revolutions have left people dream in broad daylight… “released (!) and COMPENSATED (???!!!)”

this is an excellent idea. after bashar falls, regime members should have their property confiscated, sold and proceeds distributed to compensate victims.

April 28th, 2012, 12:17 pm


Aldendeshe said:

He said the supremacy of law principle should not be ignored in international affairs.

“There is the UN Charter, international law embodied in other universal documents, and these documents should be observed,” Lavrov said.


Yeah Lavrov, you can not be that ignorant. Don’t tell me you know not of a “Secret Government” which obey no other law but its own. The problem is there exist a secret Government under sinister control making globally all rules and plot on one hand, and a “Dictator” whose very existence in Syria not only is against all the Charters and International Laws you mentioned but his regime 40+ years rule is convict-able with high crimes under those same rules and convention.

So LAVROV, drop the Vodka bottle and think soberly about the solution please. We (Syrians) are stuck in the middle and suffering from both malignant actors.

April 28th, 2012, 12:18 pm


bronco said:

#193 Mina

An anxiety pill controversy is sufficient to close KSA embassies in Egypt?
I think the problem runs deeper.

KSA is probably very displeased that its Salafist candidates for the Egyptian president election have been eliminated while Qatar’s Moslem brotherhood candidates are still running for election.

Are we seeing a KSA vs Qatar-Turkey showdown in Egypt?

April 28th, 2012, 12:19 pm


Norman said:


I am not as optimistic as you are, the next time Annan will blame the Syrian government as has done so far for breaking his plan.

April 28th, 2012, 12:25 pm


zoo said:

Ruling party Turkish women: No more secularism, we want more religion, family values and the freedom of wearing hejab

Women of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have urged for the new constitution to allow for the freedom to wear headscarves in all areas of the public realm as part of proposals they submitted to Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek.

The proposal, titled “The new civil constitution from the viewpoint of women,” also said that the new charter should place greater importance on family and religion as well as democracy, and stop imposing secularism.

April 28th, 2012, 12:30 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

194. omen said:

mina, syria regime and the ksa are pretty similar. no wonder regime members and saudi royals have close ties.

p.s. no, i take that back. actually bashar is worse. as far as i know, the saudis never shelled one of their own cities because they were offended by graffiti.

No, not for graffiti against the king (no one dare that anyway), but try to spray paint a cross, a christian symbol or Jesus Love you and you will see the city eradicated quickly.

April 28th, 2012, 12:35 pm


Mina said:

Omen #199, you are a day-dreamer if you think that KSA is going to compensate someone who had dared insult them! That’s probably why you can’t except them to understand ‘politics’.

April 28th, 2012, 12:36 pm


Aldendeshe said:

203. zoo said:

Ruling party Turkish women: No more secularism, we want more religion, family values and the freedom of wearing hejab

Using Islam as weapon of mass destruction to a nation. Turkey bid for supper power is being undermined by the “Secret Government”

April 28th, 2012, 12:39 pm


zoo said:

Annan first hand report at the closed door meting of the UN Security council: There is still a chance of success.

Annan to Security Council: Diplomacy may suck, but it’s a lot better than war
Posted By Colum Lynch Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – 6:46 PM

Special Envoy Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council today in a closed-door session that an expanding U.N. monitoring mission still stands a chance of calming the violence in Syria, despite a spike in killings on Monday, including a report of a government attack on civilians in the town of Hama after U.N. observers left the town.

Annan, a former U.N. secretary general who is serving as the joint U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, delivered a carefully worded briefing to the council that both raised concern about the government’s conduct in recent weeks but urged the council to maintain support for his fragile diplomatic bid.

“Our patience has been tested severely-close to its limits,” he said. “But we have also seen signs that there is the possibility for the parties to implement a cessation of violence, which can lead to a political process and peaceful way out of the crisis.”

Annan said he intends to press ahead with his efforts to start political talks between the government and the fragmented political, civil and military opposition groups. He would approach the Syrian government at the “appropriate time,” he said, and request that President Bashar al-Assad appoint a representative to the talks. At the same time, he said his team is pressing the opposition to develop a “more inclusive and representative” approach to political talks.

Annan said that while it is difficult for a handful of U.N. monitors to “assess the level of violence” throughout Syria, the scale of killing had “as a whole” decreased since the U.N.-brokered cease-fire took effect on April 12. However, the violence spiked yesterday, he admitted, citing an upsurge of killing in Hama, where government forces reportedly attacked civilians in a suburb of the town following a visit by U.N. monitors.

“I am concerned by media reports that, before and after [U.N.] observer visits, government troops have been active in civilian areas and launched attacks,” he said. “I am particularly alarmed by reports that government troops entered Hama yesterday after observers departed, firing automatic weapons and killing a significant number of people.”

The move comes as the U.N. Security Council is straining to maintain its unity despite widely divergent approaches by the council’s key powers. The United States — and its European and Arab allies — have begun clamoring for a tougher approach to Syria, arguing that a resort to sanctions, and possibly stepped-up support for the armed opposition, is required to prod the government into meeting its obligations. Russia and China, meanwhile, have preferred an exclusively diplomatic strategy backed, reinforced by diplomatic pressure on both sides to pursue political talks.

Annan, meanwhile, held out the hope that a beefed up U.N. monitoring mission, which may expand to a force of some 300 unarmed observers in the coming weeks, could restore calm, citing the reduction of violence in the town of Homs following the arrival of U.N. observers. “There is a chance to expand and consolidate the cessation of violence,” he said. “Observers not only see what is going on, but their presence has the potential to change the political dynamics.”

Annan concluded that Syria’s compliance with its commitments under his peace plan — known as the six-point plan — has been “partial” at best, noting that the “gestures” the government has taken so far “do not yet amount to the full and clear signal” of its commitment to embrace political reform. But he also hinted that any political settlement he is likely to deliver will involve moral compromises.

“Under the circumstances, the peace we are trying to build could never be perfect — and we have all been shocked by events in Syria,” he said. “But if we succeed, the prospects are far better than any promised through war.”

Annan said that he had received written assurances on Saturday from Syrian Foreign Minister Wallid Moallem that “the withdrawal of massed troops and heavy weapons from in and around population centers is now complete and military operations have ceased.” Annan said he was “encouraged” by Moallem’s pledge but that “it should be understood that the only promises that count are the promises that are kept.”

[ … ]

April 28th, 2012, 12:44 pm


zoo said:

Main opposition in Turkey disagrees with the Davutogly’s arrogant foreign policy with Syria
Turkey’s Mideast role ‘a dangerous fantasy’

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

[ blue diamond ]

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair Faruk Loğoğlu has slammed Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu for saying Turkey has a pioneering role in the new Middle East, calling this view a “dangerous fantasy.”

“I am only smiling at this. I interpret this as a fantasy. I wouldn’t have a word to say if it was a safe fantasy, but it is a dangerous fantasy. The Turkish foreign minister, who cannot manage the foreign policy of Turkey, saying that ‘we will be pioneering the change in the Middle East’ is disrespectful to the Arab nations,” Loğoğlu told journalists on April 27. The CHP is organizing an international conference called

“Changing Seasons: The Arab People’s March for Democracy and Freedom” in Istanbul on April 28 and 29.
Loğoğlu also slammed the government for hosting members of the opposition Free Syrian Army in Turkey, saying it is against international law and regulations. “Turkey has taken a one-sided approach to the Syrian case from day one. The Turkish government has excluded the regime directly and positioned itself on the side of not only the political figures of the opposition, but also military figures of the opposition. Facilitating the military arm of the opposition which aims to destroy the regime of a country is against international law and regulations,” Loğoğlu said. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is dragging Turkey into war, Loğoğlu said. “It should not be Turkey who is triggering the conflicts in Syria by taking sides. The attitude of the [ruling AKP] government is wrong. It is also contrary to good, neighborly relations,” Loğoğlu added.

April 28th, 2012, 12:52 pm


Alan said:
Russia prepares for a US-Israeli military strike against Iran

By Clara Weiss
28 April 2012

Russia has undertaken intensive preparations during the past few months for a possible military strike by Israel and the United States on Iran. According to recent reports, the Russian General Staff expects a war against Iran this summer, with enormous repercussions for not only the Middle East but also the Caucasus.

Russian troops in the Caucasus have been technically upgraded, and a missile division situated on the Caspian Sea has been placed in readiness. The missile cruisers of the Caspian flotilla are now anchored off the coast of Dagestan. The only Russian military base in the South Caucasus, located in Armenia, is also on alert for military intervention. Last autumn, Russia sent its aircraft carrier Kuznetsov to the Syrian port Tartous following the escalation of the conflict in Syria. Experts believe that Russia would support Tehran in the event of war, at least on a military-technical level.

In a commentary in April, General Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Science, wrote that “a war against Iran would be a war against Russia” and he called for a “political-diplomatic alliance” with China and India. Operations were being undertaken throughout the Middle East in order to destabilise the region and proceed against China, Russia and Europe. The war against Iran, Ivashov wrote, would “end up at our borders, destabilise the situation in the North Caucasus and weaken our position in the Caspian region.”…….

April 28th, 2012, 1:00 pm


Juergen said:

Interview with Bahrain King Khalifa Prime minister Prince Chalifa Bin Salman Al Chalifa:

sounds familiar?

DER SPIEGEL: But the protests continue in your country. The opposition says that the reforms of the government were not sufficient and you are not really interested in a dialogue.

Khalifa: We’re talking about people we would call in the modern world as a terrorist group. This movement is supported by Iran and Hezbollah. We are experiencing exactly the same as the Americans with terrorism.

interesting comment by Mohammed Al Attar

“As I write here in this article, I think of all those of my acquaintances, who were arrested during the protests. I see a beautiful rainbow spectrum, beautifully colored like Syria itself: men and women, Muslims and Christians, Alawites and Kurds, musicians, doctors, journalists and the unemployed. They, and all the martyrs, make up the soul of the revolution, a revolution that does not need to worry about those who would be supportive of you, but are left confused, given all the political complications, conferences and statements of this or that page.”

April 28th, 2012, 1:16 pm


Tara said:


Tahrir Square demonstrations are not happening because the regime still shooting at people.  The regime has not changed it’s behavior one bit after formally agreeing to Annan’s plan. As usual Bushbus talk the talk but does not walk the walk.  The regime is under heavy criticism from Ban and the world press for not abiding by the plan and is playing with fire.

Additionally, Midan explosion is likely orchestrated and carried out by the regime to scare people from demonstrating.  The regime is the only beneficiary.  If it was masterminded by the opposition, why then not bombing Qurdaha or Damascus proper close to where the blue eyed thug lives.  Have you not asked yourself that question? 

Agreements need to be respected.  If you do not live up to your end of the agreement, I won’t either.

April 28th, 2012, 1:42 pm


Juergen said:

Sorry the interview is with the Prime minister Prince Chalifa Bin Salman Al Chalifa not with the King himself.

April 28th, 2012, 1:42 pm


omen said:

mina, you were talking about the saudis. i shifted it over to syria.

April 28th, 2012, 1:51 pm


Uzair8 said:

176. Mina said:

‘Could you tell me, in your view, why is it for the Libyans, Egyptians and Tunisians, a priority to help the syrian insurrection rather that to work on their constitution, reforms and economy?’

They, having experienced a similarly desperate situation, understand what the Syrian people are going through and the necessity of helping them in whatever way they can?


185. ann said:

‘700 Syrian militants lay down arms – Apr 28, 2012 13:59 Moscow Time’

So they are militants and not terrorists? Maybe they are militants if they surrender?

April 28th, 2012, 1:56 pm


omen said:

Juergen, did you see that disgusting cartoon demonizing shia children that bahrain regime loyalists were putting out?

April 28th, 2012, 2:04 pm


Juergen said:


No i have not seen it yet, where can i find it?

April 28th, 2012, 2:05 pm


Tara said:

So the link showing shabeeha burying an activist alive was not fake after all?
[ blue diamond By Ruth Sherlock, Beirut7:21PM BST 26 Apr 2012]

Syrian rebels call for emergency UN meeting after video showing activist being ‘buried alive’

The video, said to have been filmed in the Syrian border town of Qusayr, shows a man buried to his neck in the ground. He wails desperate prayers as two men in military uniforms fill in the small ditch around his head with shovels. Dry mud and rocks smash against his face and head until he is completely covered, when the video cuts out.

The footage cannot be verified, especially as it seems to have been posted by a member of the regime forces, most likely one of the Shabiha, the informal militia often tasked with the “dirty work” on the streets to allow deniability. It may have been intended to frighten the opposition.

The dialogue on the video suggests the man has been caught sending footage of the uprising to Arab satellite television channels such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya. He cries out, “there is no god but Allah”, a traditional prayer of those about to die, but is told to say “there is no god but Bashar” instead.

The call by the Syrian National Council for an emergency statement by the UN came after another apparently major breach of the ceasefire, when a huge explosion destroyed part of a working class civilian district of Hama, Mash at-Tayyaron, on Wednesday.

[ … ]

April 28th, 2012, 2:17 pm


Uzair8 said:

189. omen said:

“I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence”.

A great quote from Malcolm X. Thanks.

Another good quote I read yesterday on ‘the Walls’:

‘Violence is the hallmark of the regime with or without the FSA.’

April 28th, 2012, 2:24 pm


zoo said:

Major military defection reported in Syria (30)
Date : 4/28/2012

KUWAIT, April 28 (KUNA) — The Syrian Information Center reported on Saturday “major defections” from units of the Syrian Army headquarters stationed close to the Republican Palace in the northern city of Latakia.

Sima Malaki, spokesperson of the center, which represents the Syrian opposition, said in a statement that 30 personnel broke off the Defense Battalion, stationed near the palace.

In Barzeh, on outskirts of Damascus, snipers opened fire at complex housing offices for government utility services and Tichrin Hospital. In Al-Maadamiah, also in suburbs of the capital, three huge blasts echoed across the region, and other explosions rumbled in Daraya, also located close to the capital, according to the opposition Coordination Committees.

It reported intensive gunfire in Al-Karameh district in the city of Hama, where residents staged night-time demonstrations calling for ouster of the regime of Bashar Al-Assad .

In northern city of Aleppo, government troops attacked demonstrators with gunfire and tear gas. In Al-Boukamal, Deir Al-Zor, an identical incident was reported.


April 28th, 2012, 2:27 pm


Halabi said:

The execution of Walid Al Bustani, the reported Lebanese terrorist, by the FSA is troubling for we-love-you crowd who are livid because he didn’t receive a fair trial, one where Assad’s soldiers stomp on his skull and say “ya 3ar3our, here is the the freedom that you want.”

This treatment is also known as justice in Assad’s Syria. It’s not perfect, but it may or may not be better than the Taliban’s form of repression, and as long as Syria trumps Afghanistan than all is well. I have a slightly higher bar for my country.

April 28th, 2012, 2:39 pm


Tara said:

The video posted by Omen is clearly Bahraini regime’s creation. I am not with minority ruling over majority and I support Bahraini Shiaa getting their equal rights. Yet, the video begs a question. Does reenacting the violent death of Hussain and other Shiaa figures a way to instill hate against the Sunnis since childhood, or is it just a celebration of the death. Christians celebrate and reenact the death of Jesus out of their belief that Jesus is their savior and that his sacrifice will deliver them. Why do Shiaa celebrate the death of Hussain? This concepts of the savior and the deliverance are not present in Islam. What is the reason for the reenactment?

April 28th, 2012, 2:42 pm


Alan said:
United Arab Emirates (UAE) lead Anti-Iran Alliance on Behalf of Washington and Tel Aviv

by Kourosh Ziabari
The United Arab Emirates officials are burning with a low blue flame. They have once again started insulting the Iranian nation using an arrogant and offensive language. What has irritated them this time is the recent visit paid by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Iranian island of Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf as part of his provincial trip to the southern province of Hormozgan on April 11. They claim that the island belongs to their soil and that Iran has violated their territorial integrity by continuing its “occupation” of the strategic island.

Of course fueling anti-Iranian sentiments has been constantly on the UAE officials’ political agenda. The statesmen of the newborn, tiny Arab sheikhdom think that by launching verbal attacks against Iran, they can gain power and popularity. But they have brought their eggs to the wrong market. Hostility and rivaling with Iran will backfire and fail. The hullabaloo of the Emirati officials is a tempest in a teapot and there’s no trace of logic and rationality in it. What is annoying and painful is that by credulously neglecting the principle of peaceful neighborhood and coexistence, the Arab officials are muttering the words of Israel, the U.S. and UK about Iran

[ … ]

April 28th, 2012, 2:46 pm


bronco said:

#211 Tara

Sorry, totally unconvincing excuses.

When the Syrian security forces were allegedly shooting at ‘peaceful’ demonstrations early in the uprising, their number was in the hundred thousands, now the demonstrations are meager and rare and the security forces are only throwing tear gas. Either fatigue or desillusion… The SNC did not even bother calling for ‘massive’ demonstrations or strikes as they know they won’t happen.

Now the government is organizing suicide bombings in areas where there are a gathering of security agents, really?

Now the government is using Scud missiles on Hama’s buildings, really?

The amount of absurdities coming out from the opposition desperate to prevent more UN observers on the ground as they would give an impartial account of who is doing what, shows that the peace plan is seriously threatening the opposition’s agenda.

Annan is determined to make his plan work despite the organized sabotage and the media incitment by the EOS to call it dead.

Time is needed but I think the plan is on track.

Just read Annan’s report to the UNSC posted by Zoo earlier.

April 28th, 2012, 2:48 pm


Alan said:

Syrian paper accuses UN chief of encouraging “terrorists”
April 28, 2012 – 18:01 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – A Syrian state-run newspaper accused UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday, April 28, of encouraging “terrorist” rebel attacks by focusing his criticism on the government, while other government media reported that the navy foiled an infiltration attempt by gunmen who tried to land on the Syrian coast in rubber boats.

The editorial in Tishrin daily came a day after Ban said Syrian President Bashar Assad’s continued crackdown on protests has reached an “intolerable stage.” It also followed what the state media said was a suicide attack in Damascus that left 10 dead.

On Saturday, activists said army defectors clashed briefly with troops in the coastal town of Burj Islam, which is home to the presidential summer palace. They had no immediate word on casualties. Assad was not believed to be in the palace at the time of the fighting.

[ … ]

April 28th, 2012, 2:59 pm


Tara said:


“Now the government is organizing suicide bombings in areas where there are a gathering of security agents, really?”

Bronco, you must be consistent with yourself. You refuse to believe that the regime is organizing suicide bombing in areas where there are a gathering of security agents but you easily believe that the opposition is bombing themselves in their own area?

Tear gas? Really? And the 50-100 death a day is from what? From crying?

April 28th, 2012, 3:04 pm


Tara said:

The regime wants to make the UN a party to the conflict

Syria hits back to the UN chief’s criticism
April 29, 2012

Syria has derided UN chief Ban Ki-moon as biased and called his comments “outrageous” after he blamed the regime for widespread ceasefire violations – the latest sign of trouble for an international peace plan many expect to fail.

In new fighting on Saturday, activists said regime forces battled army defectors near President Bashar Assad’s summer palace in a coastal village and shelled a Damascus suburb in pursuit of gunmen. State media said government troops foiled an attempt by armed men in rubber boats to land on Syria’s coast, the first reported attempt by rebels to infiltrate from the sea.
The regime “wants to make the UN a party to the conflict, rather than a mediator, and to stretch out the process to prevent any kind of serious change,” Rami Khoury, an analyst at the American University of Beirut, said of Saturday’s editorial.

April 28th, 2012, 3:05 pm


irritated said:

#218 Omen

A propaganda caricature piece from sweet “Baba Hamad”: the Shias are violent and hateful while the Sunnis are innocent and smiling.

April 28th, 2012, 3:08 pm


bronco said:

#226 Tara

Talking about consistency, you have a bad memory as you forgot this, back on 6th January 2012 where 11 policemen were killed?

“In Damascus, government officials and state media said the bomber had detonated an explosive belt next to three buses bringing policemen to Midan, in the south of the city, just before weekly anti-regime demonstrations were due to start.”

The new suicide bomb is a repeat of this one. But it failed to kill as many policemen.

Most of the people who were killed in the last weeks are soldiers or innocents killed by the armed gangs while preparing their suicide bombs… so please check well before throwing your numbers. Are you becoming the female version of Rami Abdel Rahman?

April 28th, 2012, 3:21 pm


Tara said:


50-100 death a day was what has been reported by the LCC, that is activists and civilians slaughtered by the regime.  I have been adding links so go back and review.  I have not seen how Rami Abdel Rahman looks like so I can’t comment if I am a female version of him.  Do you know how he looks like?  Does he have green-blue eyes?  

Andيا عيني, citing regime media and governmental official does not constitute evidence.  I thought we are way beyond that…   

April 28th, 2012, 3:38 pm


bronco said:

#230 Tara

“citing anti-regime media and LCC does not constitute evidence either.”

April 28th, 2012, 3:46 pm


Ghufran said:

Even if you use rami abdelrahman as a reference,close to 39% who died in Syria since march 2011 were army and security officers, if the armed opposition wanted to inflict pain on the army and security forces, it has certainly succeeded, but now what?

How many people need to die before fighting parties admit that they can not defeat the other side and wipe it out of physical existence?

Advocates of war are Syrians who are imprisoned by revenge and exclusionary fantasies or non Syrians who do not want a functioning state in Syria. Annan plan is an experiment being manipulated by two parties who have not decided to talk to each other yet, the regime in particular is pleased to see that the theory of one side killing everybody else is dead,and it has benefited the most from the infiltration of terrorists in the opposition forces. It seems to me that the early announcement of the death of Annan plan is mostly done to advance a military solution for the Syrian crisis except that such solution is effectively a declaration of civil war, some posters openly support that option.

April 28th, 2012, 3:55 pm


Halabi said:

“Even if you use rami abdelrahman as a reference,close to 39% who died in Syria since march 2011 were army and security officers.”

The percentage of army and police deaths is 28.5% according to the observatory numbers. Defectors are also included in that tally, while over 8,000 others are civilians, according to the group.

It doesn’t matter what we write anonymously here or say publicly from exile, as long as Bashar and his police state continues to rule with tanks and guns, a large portion of the Syrian population will consider fighting the regime a religious and moral obligation. A war against Assad’s dictatorship fits the definition of a just war, which gives cover to nations who want to project power in Syria to arm the rebels as they see fit.

Even if Bashar, his family and his criminal cronies leave, it’s unlikely today that Syrians will accept the authority of a corrupt military that has dropped more bombs on Taftanaz than Israel. Syrians will not be free unless they dismantle the security state, which has, to the detriment of most, dominated all aspects of Syria’s government and society in the Assad era.

Great nations have emerged from civil wars. Other countries were weakened and divided. We will see how Syria turns out next decade.

April 28th, 2012, 4:53 pm


Norman said:

Zoo, here it is.

Bronco, The UN Secretary laying the ground work for the invasion.

April 28th, 2012, 5:02 pm


jna said:

Women and Islam: A Debate with Human Rights Watch

To Kenneth Roth:
( … )

You say, “It is important to nurture the rights-respecting elements of political Islam while standing firm against repression in its name,” but you fail to call for the most basic guarantee of rights—the separation of religion from the state.

( … )

The way you ignore social and economic rights is of a piece with your neglect of women, sexual rights, and religious minorities. Your vision is still rooted in the period before the Vienna Conference and the great advances it made in holding non-state actors accountable and seeing women’s rights as human rights. Your essay makes it all too clear that while the researchers, campaigners, and country specialists who are the arms and legs and body of Human Rights Watch may defend the rights of women, minorities, and the poor, the head of their organization is mainly interested in relations between states.

Meredith Tax
Centre for Secular Space

Sultana Kamal
Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh

Fatou Sow
Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML)

Faizun Zackariya
Muslim Women’s Research and Action Front (MWRAF), Sri Lanka

And thirteen other women’s rights organizations around the world; the full list can be found on the Centre for Secular Space website. A petition to HRW can be found here.

Reading further down, a reply from Human Rights Watch, and also more replys and comments.

April 28th, 2012, 5:06 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Do you know of any Islamic great nation which emerged from civil war?

April 28th, 2012, 5:27 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:


In regard the Israeli-Kurdish relations it is a recent history from the days of mulla Barazani.

As far as Kurdish-Arabic relationships they have not been love ones. Halabja and repression against them has created chronic hate inside many of them.

April 28th, 2012, 5:32 pm


Alan said:

Beijing against external interference in Syria

MOSCOW, April 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Beijing is strongly against external interference in Syria, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said.

“Moscow and Beijing are 100 percent identical positions on the North Korean issue and the situation in Syria. We are against solving the Syrian issue by force. We are strongly against external interference in the affairs of the Arab republic for the sake of regime change. Otherwise, we will see a repetition of the Libyan situation,” Li said on Saturday, April 28.

[ … ]

April 28th, 2012, 5:37 pm


Halabi said:

North Korea, the mn 7ebak paradise. Hafez was very impressed with the dictatorship and adopted much of the personality cult from the Kims. Assad’s allies have no problem turning Syria into North Korea, a failed state that can be used as bargaining chip for other issues.

Free Syrians reject this plan to become mindless zombies for the criminal gang ruling the country and their masters in Moscow and Beijing. How many people here would want to live in North Korea, a puppet of China and Russia, over Qatar, a puppet of the West.

Even the we-love-you would choose Qatar, although they probably would choose Qatar over Syria in the best of times if the price is right, given their love of living in the West.

April 28th, 2012, 6:08 pm


Alan said:

كل هؤلاء هم الاكراد
الاقوام الارية التي تسكن منطقة كردستان التي تشكل أجزاء متجاورة من العراق وتركيا وسوريا وإيران وارمينيا حيث قدرت الإحصاءات عددهم بحوالي 55 مليون نسمة، وهم يتوزعون بالشكل التالي :1. في الشرق الأوسط
• تركيا : 22 مليون.
• إيران : 8 مليون.
• العراق : 4.2 ملايين.
• سوريا : 1.3 مليون.
. 2.في آسيا
• أفغانستان : 250,000
• أذربيجان : 150,000
• ارمينيا : 95,000
• جورجيا : 210,000
• لبنان : 100,000
• إسرائيل : 100,000-150,000
• الهند : 1600,000
• كازاخستان : 460,500
• تركمنستان : 400,000
• روسيا : 1900,607
3.في أوروبا
• ألمانيا : /8000,000 /5000,000
• فرنسا : 1200,000
• السويد : 800,000
• هولندا : 700,000
• سويسرا : 600,000
• بريطانيا : 250,000-850,000
• الدنمارك : 800,000-3000,000
• اليونان :200,000-205,000
• اوكرانيا : 200,088
4.في أمريكا الشمالية100000
• الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية : 400,000
• كندا :60,000
5.في أستراليا : 500,000
6.في أفريقيا
•تشاد :40,000
فنجد من هذه الإحصاءات ان 55% من مجموع الاكراد يعيشون في تركيا وحوالي 20% من الاكراد يعيشون في كل من العراق وإيران و 18% من مجموع الاكراد تقريبا يعيشون في سوريا واما النسبة الباقية وهي حوالي 20% يتوزعون في أنحاء العالم المختلفة.
هل ما جاء من علاقات يمثل كل هؤلاء ؟
لاحظ انه في اسرائيل يتواجد قرابة 150 ألف كردي يهودي ! و ضمن هذا الاطار هرب البارزاني الذي يمثل فئة محدودة جدا من ماذكر أعلاه إلى الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية
حيث توفي فيها عام 1979م، في مستشفى جورج واشنطن إثر مرض عضال.
أما عن حلبجة فذلك في ذمةالرئيس العراقي السابق و ليس في ذمة كل العرب ! و العرب أخوة للأكراد و تجمعهم التاريخ و الجغرافيا و المصير و العيش المشترك !

April 28th, 2012, 6:10 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:


I am talking from personally living between Kurds and Arabs in Syria, I wish you were right but I have not seen that love. A Kurd will shop from a Kurd will go to A Kurdish doctor (even if he was a bad one). Arabs are not so much that way but relations are not healthy. Arabs and Kurds share the same towns in the north east how would you do what the Kurds want: federalism or independence?

April 28th, 2012, 6:23 pm


Alan said:

let’s read what this North Korea the malicious country!!! the same Russia and China!

April 28th, 2012, 6:35 pm


Tara said:


Obviously, I can’t use the LCC reports to convince you with the regime crimes. You can’t use the regime media to convince me with the “alleged” crimes of the opposition. We need outside journalists. I have always wanted the international press to gain acess to Syria. Do you regret your prior stated support of Bashar’s decision to seal Syria off from the international press?

And are you going to refrain from using the term “majority” when having no evidence?

Please stop worrying about me…I am fine. I have a sharper memory than average… It feels good though when someone is concerned about your health and well being. Does’t it?

April 28th, 2012, 6:39 pm


ann said:

Moscow angry as Syrian army hit from sea – Updated 2 hours ago

Russia, Damascus’ most powerful ally, stepped up its criticism of anti-Assad militias, condemning what it called “barbarous” attacks designed to scuttle the two-week-old truce engineered by U.N.-Arab League mediator Kofi Annan.

Syrian media say Ban was inflaming the conflict by ignoring “crimes and terrorist actions” committed by anti-Assad militiamen.

“His focus on shamefully pointing at Syria, as usual, encourages these groups to continue to commit more crimes and terrorist acts,” the state newspaper Tishreen said.

Russia also piled in, saying the disparate rebel groups trying to topple Assad appeared determined to trash what is left of the U.N.-backed peace initiative.

“Attempts by the irreconcilable opposition to increase tension even more and incite violence cause particular alarm,” Moscow said in a statement. “The aim is clear: to ruin a solution in Syria based on Annan’s plan.”


April 28th, 2012, 6:46 pm


Alan said:

أنت ذكرت ما يفرق ! بينما أنا ذكرت ما يجمع ! على مايجمع خلينانبني! 🙂

April 28th, 2012, 6:52 pm


ann said:

Saudi children abandoned by their Saudi father suffer in Syrian strife

“I am Syrian and I have been divorced for four years from a Saudi man who works as a faculty member in one of the universities in the Kingdom. When we got married, I was only 15 years of age and was the third wife, following a Saudi and a Pakistani woman. We were together for 10 years and we had three children.

“Marital problems and differences arose between us and he subsequently divorced me. He sent my children to Syria to live with me. For four years since the divorce, my ex-husband did not inquire about our welfare or send any financial assistance, even though our son has heart problems and needs special medical treatment.

I contacted my ex-husband in Saudi Arabia and asked him to receive his children in the Kingdom where they would be safe. His answer struck me like a lightning bolt. He said, ‘Your situation is of no concern to me and I have no ties with you’. He changed his mobile number and I have no way to get through to him,” continued Umm Muhammad.

She even called her ex-husband’s relatives and begged them to convince him to welcome his own children back. They tried to change his mind but he would not relent, so they asked her to not bother them again.


April 28th, 2012, 6:59 pm


ann said:

Feature: Protracting crisis worsens poverty in Syria – 2012-04-29

DAMASCUS, April 28 (Xinhua) — Life turns increasingly unaffordable for a large segment of the Syrian society as the spinning-out crisis in the country beats hard on the less well-off and spirals the percentage of the poor.

A recent report issued by the Labor Union in Syria reveals that the proportion of the poor has amounted to 41 percent of the 23 million Syrian population. It says that the Tenth Five-Year Plan was ambitious to create 625,000 new jobs in the first two years, but it actually provided 277,000, or only 44 percent.

Workers in both public and private sectors and retirees complain about their salaries which have been eroded in light of the skyrocketing prices of almost all commodities, as well as about the failure of the government to control the markets.

The daunting pressures on all businesses in Syria have forced many employers to sack workers, raising thus the number of the jobless.

The report says special attention should be paid to the workshops and crafts and to motivate them to shift from the shadow economy to formal and legal economy, and also emphasizes the need to restrict the activities of investment and holding companies in the high-cost projects, and to increase the state’s support for the poor and develop a consistent policy of wages compatible with the cost of living.

As observers fear that the rising poverty caused by prolonged uncertainties would foment popular wrath, the report calls for the need to reduce unemployment, especially among young people, by increasing government investment in public sector with the cooperation of the private sector to provide new job opportunities.

Prominent Syrian economic expert Aref Dalileh recently told media that the economic problems in Syria have stemmed from the decades-long political system, while the economic factor in turn constitutes the main reason for the current events in Syria today.

According to Dalileh, the roots of the economic problems lie in the way the government manages the national economy and the economic surplus, especially its failure to use the surplus in development.

The Syrian unrest that erupted over a year ago and the ensuing U.S., EU and Arab sanctions have tightened the squeeze around the already slow-moving economy that has been striving to shift from the socialist style to open market, hitting hard all businesses in the country ranging from tourism, oil to banking sectors, and after all, people’s daily life.

As the EU said lately that it is mulling new package of sanctions on Syria, Amru Eiz-eldin, a 35-year-old worker, told Xinhua that “It’s not a secret that prices have gone up tremendously and that people’s purchasing power has decreased. We’ re all feeling it.”

“Some people are no longer eating meat,” he said.

Suad Sultan, a local housewife in Damascus, also complained. “A dish of salad cost 400 Syrian pounds (about 9 U.S. dollar),” she said.


April 28th, 2012, 7:14 pm


Alan said:

for what a knife in a back? and where justice of France?
Gaddafi put up 50M euro for Sarkozy’s presidential bid – report

April 28th, 2012, 7:19 pm


Alan said:

Anti-Gaddafi plot conceived in Paris – Voltaire Network

April 28th, 2012, 7:29 pm


Alan said:

Russia, China to trade in national currencies
syria can follow this practice !

April 28th, 2012, 7:40 pm


bronco said:

#243 Tara

The independent eyes are certainly not the ones of the western journalists. These are all dependent on the owners of their newspaper to keep their threatened jobs. Just look at the Murdoch scandals in the UK to judge about the honesty of the journalists.

What is needed and what is rejected vigorously by the LCC and the rest of the opposition are UN observers, especially if they come from neutral or friendly countries and have not been brainwashed by the prejudices of their government and the media.

This is why Annan is so adamant to hurry the 300 observers to Syria while the enemies of Syria are trying to delay it by invoking all sorts of reasons and putting the condition that there should be a ceasefire first. Yet they bully the Syria government to respect the ceasefire and they shy off of asking the same from the armed rebels. It looks that Annan is not the kind to cede so easily and he will continue to hammer the necessity for BOTH parties to stop the violence.

This is also why some opposition demonstrators insulted the UN observers and told them that they don’t need them, just like they did to the AL observers because they were trying to be impartial. For the opposition, fairness and impartiality are crimes, they only want the observers to demonize further the regime. If they don’t they should be kicked out like the AL observers after they submitted their impartial report. But this time Qatar is powerless to stop ostensibly the UN process, they would try indirect way to sabotage it.

Let’s wait and see that mission of the observers happen, I am sure we could be surprised.

April 28th, 2012, 7:55 pm


omen said:

Aldendeshe said:
Neither do I know much about him, heard of him from our European/ Netherlands SNP group, but never seen his CV. But if he is the son of Maaruf Dawalibi, he got the “Brand Name” we trust. Who cares about his Saudi references, we needs it to get cash to rebuild Syria, we need billions and it is chump-change for them. The way we look at it, he is a good starting point to pick up from that abrupt coup by Bolshevik Proletariat Louai Atassi and his cousin that overthrown Dwalibi legitimate Syrian Government, plucked Syria from the age of renaissance and Syrian glory back to the age of demonically Satanic Bolshevik Socialism run dictatorially by sectarian regime in its lowest and evil form: BAATHISM. Since that fateful day March 8, 1963, Syria never had a legitimately elected Government or legitimate leaders, just crooks and thieves that robbed the nation, looted its treasuries and natural resources and made it destitute. It is about time Arabs, will step in and pay back for supporting Baathist rule over Syria for more than 40 years.


of course any help (money/weapons) from saudis is welcome – but i fear the royals are playing a double game. they say one thing while doing another. rhetoric condemning syria regime is probably done more to appease their own discontented populace.

saudis were upset with regime change in egypt and libya. they fear more than anything the continuing tsunami of the arab spring. i doubt they’ll do anything to help sustain it.

but then again, saudi royals might not be monolithic. the younger ones might be more supportive of reform. who the hell knows?

upon hearing of this new group, a couple of activists were suspicious and wondered if a competitive group was set up just to undermine and fracture the snc. the regime wouldn’t be above setting up a faux “opposition” group. i’m wary about batta regime’s own ties to the saudis.

however dawalibi’s saudi ties would be less suspicious if they are long in the making. if they were recently made ones, that would suggest opportunism.

i’m going to be glad when the regime falls. all of the smoke and mirrors subterfuge and betrayal from the world community is beyond disgusting. i used to wonder how people could have turned a blind eye to jews burning in the ovens. now i see how oblivious the world can be. “never again” is a broken promise.

April 28th, 2012, 7:56 pm


bronco said:

#234 Norman

The article does not say anything about a preparation for an invasion. It is simply annoyed that Syria is seen as manipulating the UN while in my view the critics toward Annan’s silence about the opposition violence is totally justified. Annan should declare more openly that the opposition is breaching the UN ceasefire and provoking retaliation. The Russians are repeating it everyday.

The UN have hard times finding 300 observers, you think they can gather sufficient soldiers to invade Syria.

Any military threat toward Syria sounds as empty rhetoric to me as the Israeli threats to attack Iran

April 28th, 2012, 8:07 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Ban and Anan don’t see this? does not bother them?

What would Mahamata Ghandi and Macolm X say about these peaceful self defenders? if they knew Arabic they would say:

تفو عل هيك ثوره

April 28th, 2012, 8:34 pm


Tara said:


“UN observers from neutral or feindly countries..”

Friendly towards whom exactly? The regime? I think observers from “friendly countries” such as Russia or China should be banned. Those friendly observers can’t help not to be “friendly” and biased in favor of the Syrian regime. Moreover, observers should be hand-selected by Annan who shoud chose them very carefully in a manner similar to how jurors are selected in the US for a high profile trial. Observers should report directly to Annan or his designee and not to their own government. Contact with authority in their respective countries of origin should be discouraged during the mission.

Where did you get that other countries trying to block or delay sending 300 observers to Syria, and if you were genuinely interested in a fair reporting why did you oppose letting the observers having their own helicopters for freedom of movement? Why does it scare the regime too much for the observers to roam freely?

April 28th, 2012, 8:38 pm


bronco said:

Tara #255

While EOS say that they want the observers, parallelly they are trying to show, using any pretext, that there are useless. Their aim is to bypass the mission, cancel Annan’s plan and call the UN security Council emergency for a new resolution to use force. Until now they keep failing.

“Ghalioun, whose group is the main opposition organization in the country, said increasing the number of monitors isn’t enough. “We have to go to the Security Council and extract a resolution that will enable us to use force,” he said. ”


Juppe said that May 5, when Annan is to present his next report on the peace process, would be “a moment of truth.”

If the UN mission “is not working, we cannot continue to accept the defiance of the regime” and the international community will have “to move on to other things to stop the tragedy.”

About the helicopters, the UN observers safety is the entire and exclusive responsibility of the Syrian government because the UN cannot count on the opposition or no one else to ensure their safety. Therefore it is obvious that the Syrian government must be present in all the movements of the UN observers in order to protect them.

The UN observers could very well make use of the Syrian helicopters to roam under protection of the Syrian army.

April 28th, 2012, 9:14 pm


zoo said:

Rebels trying to infiltrate from Turkey or Lebanon by sea maybe because the land borders are mined or watched.

Syria rebels ‘launch sea raid’ as Lebanon seizes weapons

Syrian rebel gunmen in inflatable dinghies have attacked a military unit on the Mediterranean coast, with deaths on both sides, state media report.

It is thought to be the first rebel assault from the sea. Separately, Lebanon says its navy has seized weapons destined for the rebels.

The dinghy attack reportedly took place further north, about 30km (19 miles) from the border with Turkey.

Syria’s official news agency Sana said a military unit had foiled a “terrorist attempt” to infiltrate the country overnight by boat in Latakia province.
“An official source told a Sana reporter that members of the military unit clashed with the terrorists who were boarding inflatable boats, forcing them to flee,” the agency said.

“The source stated that the clash led to the martyrdom and injuries of a number of [members of the] military unit.” Sana said it was not clear how many rebels had been killed “as they attacked the military unit at night”.


April 28th, 2012, 9:25 pm


Aldendeshe said:


The points you stated are valid, all your concerns are in place. The SNC is proven to be terroristic and uninspiring bunch that have alienate large segment of Syrian Society, they are done and over. This is how we see it:

Just like 9/11 demolition plot, there were several sets of conspirators, each not aware that the other knows what is being plotted and having own plan to ride on the main action conspired, so there were a multiple of independently plotted conspiracies operating (based on obtained clandestine Intel) to benefits from the main set of plotters action.

In Syria now, it appears that the same pattern of action is conspired. The plotters and hopeful beneficiaries here are many as well, each operating independently to skew the endgame to his own advantage. None of these pretending to act now having the country or people interest at heart. The facades (fronts) created are staffed with men that are too gullible and naive to see through it all, but as one facade fails to deliver another one created.

We know that Dawalibi backers are not just Saudis but Cheney team and Israelis as well. This point is irrelevant to us at this time, because Dawalibi can never raise an army strong enough to equate with Assad’s. Without SNP, he has no chance whatsoever, much like SNC. SNP can equate the balance and have all the strategies and plans, the15 years long strategic planning. Dawalibi only chance to make it in Syria without SNP is to use foreign armies. Terrorism will fail in Syria and is plotted out by Syria’s enemies to achieve specific goals. So at this moment, we just play along as one of the actors who all ignore, yet we have the keys and are holding on to them.

In Syria, the main conspiracy is oil and gas ( that is all I want to say about this)

There are those who feel the need to split the Alawites away from main land Syria and cut the inland from the sea so they can strike a GAS deal of sort with the Alawite State, leaving Syria out.

There are those who just like to “break Syria on top of Assad Head”. that is all, getting even and revenge.

There are those that like to divide Syria into separate areas, such as Aleppo and Sahl Al Ghab (minerals and pipeline transport interests) in the Northwest of Syria, create a Kurdistan State out of the Northeast part to be united with Iraqi Kurdistan (oil interests), there are those that are interested in setting up an Islamic Emirates in the Southeast (oil&gas interests).

There are those that are interested in rolling Syria back and expanding Israel boarder beyond the Golan, all the way to Greater HAARETZ ( encompassing Homs and Akkar region).

There are those that are interested in creating a no man land ( an Afghanistan or Somalia) in Syria, to be a launching ground to destabilize Turkey and the Caucasus region. Remember, Lebanon Civil war was instigated when Lebanon became the Switzerland of the Middle East, it had to be cut down. Israel is just as antsy on Turkey rise as Iran rise.

There are those who are interested in Syria oil and Gas transport region from East to west from South to north and from North to Southwest.

There are those that wants Syria to be used as launching ground for literally a slow take over of Russian Republics west of the Ural. Afghanistan is to insure success of that takeover. Using the same faked out revolutions in Arab World. The same means, the same methods, we know the plans.

There are those that are interested in using Syria for underground highways tunnels to link up with the network of tunnels dug up all over the world connecting the nearly 1870 underground cities and bases built worldwide by (SOMEONE). Rumors is that oil is being siphoned all over the Middle East oilfields through slant-horizontal drilling and are piped through the subterranean highway size tunnels without the knowledge of any government. We seen maps and diagrams of such, but will not discuss this any further.

Each of these conspiring interests are working with and against each others, each aware of the other party and are competing to win inroad to own plot and interests grab.

And then there are those dummies that are being used by this and that who are really after liberating Syria, yet they are such an amateurish bunch, they have no clue about what they are being led to. Most importantly, they have no army and are fighting terroristically one of the best army in the world, they have no chance, they just being used to bring in the plotters closer to the intended goals.

This is a long story, this is about quarter of it. The real story is much, much longer.

April 28th, 2012, 9:48 pm


omen said:

8:34 – Syria no Kandahar said: Ban and Anan don’t see this?does not bother them? What would Mahamata Ghandi and Macolm X say about these peaceful self defenders?

other videos regime supporters have posted condemning actions purported being committed by fsa has later been debunked before.

though i couldn’t see it (ytube blocked it from playing) the hanging one needs to be followed upon.

did you forward it to the UN or the ICC and demand it be investigated?


did you try to forward it to media? if not, why not?

April 28th, 2012, 9:56 pm


Norman said:


I hope that you are right and i am wrong.

Please remind when Annan or moon blame the opposition,

April 28th, 2012, 10:59 pm


zoo said:

Moslem Brotherhood loosing ground in Egypt elections
Public support for the Brotherhood appears to be waning, with 40.9 per cent of respondents in a poll this month by the Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies supporting Amr Moussa, the liberal former foreign minister of Egypt, for president. This figure was followed by 25.2 per cent choosing Mr Aboul Fotouh. Just 0.9 per cent of the 1,200 polled supported Mr Morsy.

The situation represents the rapidly shifting political landscape in Egypt just 14 months after the former president, Hosni Mubarak, was forced to resign. In March, the Muslim Brotherhood political arc appeared to be just taking off when the group’s political arm – the Freedom and Justice Party – emerged from the country’s fairest parliamentary elections in decades with nearly half the seats.

April 28th, 2012, 11:37 pm


Ghufran said:

Micael Kilo spent 3 years in prison for trying to use his brain,he and many like him are the main reason why somebody like me will not forgive the corrupt and brutal regime in Syria and will never deal or support the thugs who treated decent Syrians like disposable pieces of furniture. It was the policy of the regime that weakened seculars and empties Syria from much of its brain wealth and replaced it with uneducated thugs who formed an alliance with corrupt Syrians from different sects who never liked their mother country but loved bloody money and ungodly power. The regime is directly responsible for the emergence of violent Islamist and the bleak future that awaits minorities if this regime is not sent to where it belongs:
The Book of Thugs- Syrian section

April 28th, 2012, 11:39 pm


Ghufran said:

This is for you,Michael Kilo,I am ashamed that your country never gave you the recognition and respect you deserve:

April 28th, 2012, 11:50 pm


Ghufran said:

[blue diamondبالغار-كللت-سعيد-عقل/ Link added]

بالغار كللت- سعيد عقل
بالغار كللت أم بالنار يا شام أنت الأميرة تعلو بإسمك الهام
أواهٍ بضع غمامات مشردة في الأفق بعض روئاً و البعض أحلام
سألتهن أظللتنها صبحاً شام التي وحدها للعود أنغام
ما ألهمتني من صوت خلدت به كذا يخلد شك السيف مقدام
و طالعتني ليال من بطولتها حمر تغاوت لها في الريح أعلام
كأنما نضجت خضر المواسم من هوى أغاني و الأشعار أيام
ختام تشرين هل ناس أوائله إذ هب يعتصر العنقود كرام
يا شام سكبك مجد ما يكون إذا بملئ كفك دفقاً أفرغ الجام
أقول خالد شج الشعر مندفعاً و خط طارق فوق البحر رسام
يا شام لبنان حبي غير أني لو توجع الشام تغدو حبي الشام

April 28th, 2012, 11:55 pm


ann said:

An Imperialist Springtime? Libya, Syria, and Beyond – 28.04.12

Samir Amin: You see, the US establishment — and behind the US establishment its allies, the Europeans and others, Turkey as a member of NATO — derived their lesson from their having been surprised in Tunisia and Egypt: prevent similar movements elsewhere in the Arab countries, preempt them by taking the initiative of, initiating, the movements. They have tested their experience in Libya, and they have tested it in Libya with success, in the sense that, in Libya, at the start we had no [broad popular] movement . . . against Gaddafi. We had small armed groups, and one has to question immediately . . . where those arms were coming from. They were — we know it — from the beginning, from the Gulf, with the support of Western powers, and the US. And attacking the army, police, and so on. And the same day, not even the next day, those very people who qualified themselves as “liberation forces,” “democratic liberation forces,” called upon NATO — the French and then NATO — to come to the rescue, and that allowed for the intervention. That intervention has succeeded in the sense that it destroyed the regime of Gaddafi. But what is the result of the success? Is it democratic Libya? Well, one should laugh at that when one knows that the president of the new regime is nobody else than the very judge who condemned to death the Bulgarian nurses. What a curious democracy it is! But it has also led to the dislocation of the country on a Somalian pattern: that is, local powers — all of them in the name of so-called “Islam,” but local warlords — with the destruction of the country. One can raise the question: was this the target of the intervention — that is, the destruction of the country?

I’ll come back to this main question, because they tried to implement the same strategy immediately afterward on Syria — that is, introducing armed groups from the very beginning. From the north through Turkey, Hatay particularly. The so-called “refugee camps” in Hatay are not refugee camps — there are very few refugees — they are camps for training mercenaries to intervene in Syria. This is well documented by our Turkish friends. And Turkey as a NATO power is part of the conspiracy in that case. And similarly with Jordan, introducing from the south, with the support — not only neutrality but, I think, active support — of Israel, through Daraa, armed groups in the south.


April 29th, 2012, 12:58 am


ann said:

US ‘world leader’ in color revolution engineering – April 28, 2012

The US is the foremost power when it comes to creating and applying “color revolutions”: America invented the know-how and has the best experts in this area, political scientist Mateusz Piskorski told RT.

RT: What are the key ingredients to start a color revolution?

Mateusz Piskorsky: There has to be a real political and social crisis, which may be an inspiration for those groups who protest. There is no color revolution without a social basis. Common consciousness of a real economic or social problem is needed to easily manipulate the protesting groups.

RT: What is the infrastructure behind a protest?

MP: Really professional coordination centers… secret from ordinary protesters, but functioning very effectively.

RT: What is the share of people power versus the power of the people who actually pull the strings?

MP: Every protester has his own interests to participate in the protest, but it is really very easy for him to lose his rationality and become a subject of “emotional engineering”.

April 29th, 2012, 1:07 am


Halabi said:

Ghufran, I’m with you on Kilo. You probably saw this, but here’s some great analysis from him in Al Safir. A sharp mind and, from what I’m told, a decent man, a combination that isn’t welcome in Assad’s Syria.

حدود الصراع على سوريا
ميشيل كيلو

April 29th, 2012, 1:10 am


ann said:

The otoman empire is abandoning ship 8)

Babacan: None of The Countries Should Aim to Arm Opposition in Syria – 28 April 2012

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said that none of the countries should aim to arm the opposition in Syria.

Turkey does not have such an aim, added Babacan who spoke at a conference in Boston on Friday.

Turkey fully supports political efforts and is against an external intervention in Syria, said Babacan.

An opposition should only be shaped as a political effort in Syria, said Babacan, adding that a legitimate opposition would be important as it would present an alternative to the existing regime.

Noting that Annan plan opened a a window of opportunity, Babacan said that the plan should immediately be implemented, and international community should support the plan.


April 29th, 2012, 1:42 am


Son of Damascus said:


Where are you? Hope you are fine!

😉 إذا زعلان، زرعها في ذقني. نحن العرعوريه عندنا اللحى طوووووووويلة

[Sorry Mod if I translate this it won’t make sense at all in english, nothing bad is written]

April 29th, 2012, 1:55 am


omen said:

i stand corrected. the saudis did support the ousting of gaddafi. prof. cole reminds us that [saudis] supported the revolution against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya

i had forgotten the hostile words shared between the two at some conference. probably didn’t help that gaddafi once plotted to assassinate the saudi king. i don’t know what that man was smoking. did he think he could just swoop in and take over the kingdom?

April 29th, 2012, 2:32 am


Alan said:

[blue diamondميشيل+كيلو Link added]

ميشيل كيلو

« لا أعرف إن كان الروس سيصرون إلى النهاية على موقفهم الراهن، وأشك كثيرا في أنهم قادرون على مجاراة أميركا في لعبة القوة النهائية »

هذا شأن ميشيل ان يشك و من شأنه أن يدغدغ مشاعره السياسية كما يشاء ! الا ان الايمان افضل من الشكوك ! ان أومن بأن الروس , و الصينيون سيخوضون بشراسة معركتهم في سورية و ايران و لعبة القوة التي سميتها النهائية لصالحهم ! عفوا سيد ميشيل !

April 29th, 2012, 3:31 am


ann said:

RT: I want to ask you about Syria. The Obama administration has kind of ruled out a military intervention saying it’s too complicated. What in your opinion keeps the US from attacking Syria?

D.M.: There are several things. First of all, there is a quiet recognition behind closed doors, that if Assad is removed – however much people don’t like Assad – that the government that would succeed him would be a radical Islamist Sunni Muslim government. Hostile to Israel, hostile to the West, hostile to Shia Islam. In other words – not a good development from the standpoint of the United States or Europe. I think that is understood.

Secondly, there is an understanding that Syria actually has – despite the fact that it’s much smaller than Iran; they have 22 to 23 million people, I think – very good armed forces. It does have an integrated air defense structure that would take some time to dismantle. But its ground forces are actually very good. Of the Arab forces I would describe the Syrian forces as probably among the best, if not the best. Best disciplined, best officered.


April 29th, 2012, 5:23 am


ann said:

Norwegian General Robert Mood to lead UN observers – 2012-04-29

BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhuanet) — Major General Robert Mood of Norway will arrive in Syria on Sunday to head the UN cease-fire observer mission. The mission is aimed at bringing an end to the 13-month crisis in the Middle Eastern country.

Mood’s appointment was announced by the UN on Friday. Mood has held senior military posts in Norway and internationally, including in UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon. The spokesman of the UN observers Neeraj Singh said that the advance team’s operation continued on the ground Saturday. 15 observers are now in Syria.


April 29th, 2012, 5:29 am


ann said:

Report: Lebanon seizes 150 tons of weapons from Syria-bound ship – 29 April 2012

About 150 tons of weapons were seized by Lebanese authorities from a ship bound for Syria, the pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat reported Sunday.

The cache included Kalashnikov rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition as well as telescopes and military uniforms, dpa quoted the report as saying.

Al Hayat quoted judicial sources as saying that the 11-member crew, including eight Syrians, were being questioned over the suspected arms smuggling attempt.


April 29th, 2012, 5:40 am



Assad killing its own population and Europe attacks with embargo on caviar. How much stupidity will we have to stand from both sides and how longer? Obama looking to another side… Criminals, gangsters and stupids share world power to the beneffit of mafias and large corporations. Assad is nothing else than a fool in a world of global greed and criminality.

April 29th, 2012, 5:51 am


Mina said:

#276 Sandro
For once, I agree. Maybe it would have been useful to explain that to Daraa, Hims, and Edleb “angry young men” before?

April 29th, 2012, 7:16 am


Tara said:

FSA denying involvement in arranging for the arms shipment?  Is it a hoax orchestrated by the regime?

Syrian opposition: We can only retrieve civilians’ bodies when U.N. observers come

By the CNN Wire Staff

Sun April 29, 2012

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported Saturday that Lebanese military forces seized weapons bound for Syrian rebels from Libya.

The army intercepted a ship in the Mediterranean Sea on Friday and found heavy and light weapons aboard Saturday, Lebanon’s National News Agency said. Ten crew members and the vessel’s agent were arrested after the inspection in Salaata port, north of Beirut, the NNA said.

“The Free Syrian Army is unaware of the arms shipment, and we deny any involvement in arranging such a deal,” Free Syrian Army Lt. Riad Ahmed said Sunday.

“For over a year, we heard that the Libyan rebels were planning to send us a shipment of weapons for our fight against the daily slaughter and the massacres committed against our people, but it was all rumors. We have been asking for weapons to protect our civilians, over and over, but we haven’t received any support, whatsoever.”

April 29th, 2012, 8:24 am


Mina said:

It is called the Qatar-Saudi 1 million dollar hoax? Why are the authorities in Libya so much interested in the fate of Syria? Wasn’t the GCC anwer to Annan plan a statement that they were going to pay salaries to the rebels and send them weapons?

Here is the place for the next EU caviar embargo: Bahrain
From Angry Arab chief Bahrain correspondent: “Situation in Bahrain is like how it was last year in March and April when emergency law was instituted. Media is back to identifying protesters and using hate speech. There are house raids, mass arrests, excessive use of force, and checkpoints everywhere. This all existed throughout the year but it seems like we are almost back to the level it was last year. Round two? Zainab AlKhawaja is still in prison. No news about her father.”

April 29th, 2012, 9:09 am


zoo said:

A significant flip in Egypt: Dissident and moderate Moslem Brotherhood Abdoul Foutouh is poised to become the next Egyptian president as he is now the favorite of the the MB, the Salafists and liberals

Support From Islamists for Liberal Upends Race in Egypt
Published: April 28, 2012

ABU HOMOS, Egypt — Egypt’s most conservative Islamists endorsed a liberal Islamist for president late Saturday night, upending the political landscape and confounding expectations about the internal dynamics of the Islamist movement.

The main missionary and political groups of the ultraconservatives, known as Salafis, threw their support behind Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a dissident former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood known for his tolerant and inclusive view of Islamic law.

The endorsement goes a long way toward making Mr. Aboul Fotouh the front-runner in a campaign that could shape the ultimate outcome of the revolt that ousted the former strongman, Hosni Mubarak.

Mr. Aboul Fotouh’s liberal understanding of Islamic law on matters of individual freedom and economic equality had already made him the preferred candidate of many Egyptian liberals.

His endorsement on Saturday by the Salafis now makes him the candidate of Egypt’s most determined conservatives, too. Known for their strict focus on Islamic law, the Salafis often talk of reviving medieval Islamic corporal punishments, restricting women’s dress and the sale of alcohol, and cracking down on heretical culture.

April 29th, 2012, 9:13 am


Francesca Merlan said:

When the Russians go on, as they are now doing, about terrorists
and how they should be put in their place — and by that they mean
regime opponents — why is it that the shabiha are not discussed
by them in this light, as terrorists?

The shabiha have been a government-sponsored, completely illegitimate terrorist force right from the start, with more freed by Bashar’s alleged `amnesty’ (which didn’t free political prisoners). They kill, fire on protests, torture, steal and rape. Why are they not `terrorists’? and why do the Russians and others similarlyminded not recognize them as such?

This may be a rhetorical question but it’s an important one. It
comes down to a question of whether one thinks the regime
remains in power by legitimate means. If you factor in the secret
services and the shabiha, it’s hard to say yes to that.

April 29th, 2012, 9:15 am


bronco said:

#278 Tara

Since the Gay Girl in Damascus, Syria have become Hoaxyland.
Do you seriously think the FSA will acknowledge officially that they are receiving weapons from Libya?
They’ll be criticized and discredited from all sides, from the UN and from the Syrians who dissaprove the military involvement of other arab countries.

April 29th, 2012, 9:17 am


Mina said:

Bombings are in Lebanon too, but the Western media do not care. Neither do they care about the new emirate of Tumbuctu (Mali’s afghanisation). The Tuaregs were able to take it 2 days ago but withdrew after “al Qaeda in Maghreb” asked them too. Al-Qaeda? The organisation after which the West has supposedly spent billions of dollars that we are today blamed for in the so-called “debt crisis”? Do you have any debt except that made from silly army investments?

“When Samir Ja`ja` (Ga`ga` in Egyptian accent) claimed that he was saved by a rose from a sniper’s fire, US officials rushed to condemn the “assassination attempt”. Yet, when people from the other side of the spectrum face real assassination attempt, US officials are silent. Yesterday, the head of the Tawhid Party (a small pro-Syrian regime Druze group) survived what was possibly an assassination attempt when a massive bomb exploded in the party’s new headquarter.”

April 29th, 2012, 9:23 am


Tara said:


Yes. The gay girl in Damascus story was fascinating. What was the final conclusion in regard to that story? I had not followed the fine details of the story as I was angry, very very angry then and was not in a mood for distractions. Was he just bored and wanted to have some Internet fun? Some people on SC thought I was the gay girl in Damascus.

April 29th, 2012, 9:24 am


bronco said:

#283 Tara

Not only some SC commenters but the whole international press was praising that ‘courageous’ girl, facing the horrible Syrian mokhabarat.
It contributed to depict Syrian moslems as ‘tolerant’ but victims of a primitive police state that harassed them.
Yes, the guy behind it was having a trip writing all that, then he realized he went too far and revealed the hoax. I thought it would have been a humbling experience for newspapers but while they had praised in length the “Girl” they were very discreet about the “Boy” behind the hoax. And the story was closed and forgotten.

After that, I became very suspicious of newspapers using ‘personal experiences’ in Syria to set the stage on the events in Syria as a ‘reality’, and I am still.

April 29th, 2012, 9:43 am


zoo said:

Does the Western media support Annan’s plan or hoping it derails?

Example of the disparaging tone of the media toward Annan’s peace plan:
“The observers in Homs are part of an advance team of 15 U.N. monitors in Syria trying to SALVAGE a peace plan”
( why not IMPLEMENT?)

“Most analysts say the plan has LITTLE chance of succeeding, though it could temporarily bring down the level of daily violence.”
( why not SOME chances?)

April 29th, 2012, 9:56 am


Alan said:

Russian, Chinese, and other countries Briks urge to stop violence from two parties!
Clinton declared that it is not necessary to hand over the weapon and the Saudi minister told that it is necessary to arm insurgents! in difference from players under a table Russia insists on respect of the sovereignty and integrity of the countries and not to turn the world in the field for worry! about authority of Russia on the world community ask at To Mr Anan and the Mr Pan Ki Moon! stop to float in not a deep water

April 29th, 2012, 10:22 am


ann said:

Syrian opposition stresses the importance of closing ranks – 2012-04-29

DAMASCUS, April 29 (Xinhua) — An opposition faction at home on Sunday stressed the impotence of the opposition unity but stressed that it should be based on rejection of foreign intervention in Syria.

“We are the first opposition forces on ground that sought to unite the Syrian opposition,” said Ali Haidar, a member in the Popular Front for Change and Liberation (PFCL).

In a press conference held in Damascus, Haidar stressed that the unity among the opposition should be ostensible and that it shouldn’t be a cover to call in foreign intervention in the unrest- battered country.

“We won’t be a cover for such intervention, we want the unity to be based on a vision and a project,” Haider said.

The Syrian opposition is known of its fractured nature, as the exiled opponents, who have assembled under the title Syrian National Council, have been calling since the first days of unrest last year for foreign military intervention to help toppling the 40-year-old ruling regime in Syria.

However, their approach was met with discontent from the Syria- based opponents, who have totally rejected any foreign intervention out of fear that such move would devastate the country and drag it into an all-out civil conflict due to the diversity of sects in the Syrian society.

The Libyan scenario has also raised intimidation and panic among the opposition at home after the great deal of human losses and chaos in Libya, following the NATO operation that helped the downfall of Moammar Gaddafi last year.

Meanwhile, Haidar made it clear that dialogue is the only way out to Syria’s 13-month unrest but said that it should be under the title of preserving the Syrian sovereignty as well as its stability and its strategic options.

Leading members of the PFCL went to Russia lately to discuss the Syrian crisis.

The head of the PFCL, Qadri Jamil, said that “we have asked our Russian friends for their mediation, not only between the government and the opposition, but to be a mediator between the opposition factions too and they have promised us to do so.”

Jamil said that his faction would run for the upcoming parliamentarian elections but stressed that the decision would be reversed had the guarantees for the integrity of elections were not implemented.

Asked about unity opposition with the broad-based opposition, Jamil said “there would be no unity with the Syrian National Council had they persisted on calling for foreign intervention in Syria.”

Moreover, he accused the Arab League of excluding the opposition at home “because we don’t go along with their schemes.”

“We have been always excluded by the Arab League because we don ‘t go along with its schemes and we call on that league to be evenhanded and impartial when dealing with the Syrian opposition.


April 29th, 2012, 10:36 am


son of Damascus said:


Last I checked it was the international press that debunked the GGiD story, if memory serves me right was it not Andy Carvin of NPR that broke the story about her (Him)?

As bad or corrupt the international press might be, it is still a lot more trustworthy than any pro-regime news outlet.

April 29th, 2012, 10:38 am


Uzair8 said:

BBC Radio 4’s latest episode of ‘Unreliable Evidence’ (43 minutes). Last broadcast yesterday, 22:15:

Transitional Justice

Clive Anderson and top legal experts discuss the best way to achieve justice in the wake of massive human rights violations in the Arab Spring countries. What role should the international community play in the process?
Libyan lawyer Elham Saudi and US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, Stephen Rapp, reflect on how successfully transitional justice was achieved in the past, in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Iraq, South Africa and Yugoslavia, and argue about the best way forward in Libya as well as in Egypt and Tunisia.

Should prominent members of the former Libyan regime, such as Saif Gadaffi, be tried in Libya, where they would face the death penalty, or dealt with in the International Criminal Court in The Hague?

Other guests on the programme are Claudio Cordone of the International Centre for Transitional Justice and Geoffrey Robertson QC who served as the first President of the Special Court in Sierra Leone.

Are criminal trials the best way to address the horrors of a long and brutal regime? Or are truth and reconciliation commissions better placed to allow a society to move forward? And if there are to be trials, should members of revolutionary forces also be prosecuted for human rights violations?

April 29th, 2012, 10:43 am


Mina said:

No it is certainly not Andy Carvin which debunked the story, it is independent people such as Sophia who was commenting here, as well as Moon of Alabama, and especially Liz Henry, an expert in “sock puppets”. Many people on SC had been doubting her writings from the beginning, including me, especially because of the literary style and the contradictions in what he/she wrote.

Sorry I failed to mention the Electronic Intifada, which started the heavy investigating (IP numbers etc).
Carvin, as one would expect, simply had to go into it after it became all over the blogs and twitter.

April 29th, 2012, 11:15 am


Mina said:

The more we have Western journalists in Syria and the less we have news.
France media did not report the kidnapping of 2 Hungarians yesterday nor the sea-attack.

April 29th, 2012, 11:17 am


Dawoud said:

تفو على هيك نزام مجرم. بشار القاتل بن القاتل

الحريه لسوريا ولفلسطين

April 29th, 2012, 11:23 am


Alan said:

292. MINA
they are driving the car with one included headlight only 🙂

April 29th, 2012, 11:25 am


bronco said:

#289 SOD

You are right about the GGID’s uncovered by NPR.
Western media have the aura of names like “NY Times” or “Newsweek’, “le Monde’. “Reuters”,”AFP”. They have a high visibility internationally. Therefore, any false story they publish is believed without hesitation and parotted in all the other newspapers worldwide and may have a devastating influence on the political affairs. Just remember Judith Miller in the NY times whose ‘false’ articles contributed greatly to manipulate the public opinion and to lead the US to the war against Iraq.

This is why they are much more dangerous that local papers like Al Watan ,Al Safir etc… and this is why I don’t trust them blindly.
The other thing is that when they make a false announcement in the first page, the later correction, if any, is lost somewhere in the third or fourth page. Therefore the first impression stays in the reader mind, despite the correction. That’s is pure abuse and manipulation and they all do that.

April 29th, 2012, 11:26 am


bronco said:

292. Mina

This is called ‘selective’ reporting according to the mood of the day. Now the mood is to derail the UN mission and Peace Plan by demonizing the Syrian government. The trouble is that the last violent events are pointing to the Opposition failing to restrain their angry ill-armed troops, so the press prefers to remain silence or make predictions that “it won’t work, it’s too little too late” etc..

April 29th, 2012, 11:31 am


Son of Damascus said:


Moon of Alabama published June 13th two days after Carvin and NYT’s.

Book Maniac quotes Andy Carvin in her blog post:

“Andy Carvin has been twittering all afternoon trying to find someone who has met Amina in person and has not succeeded.

If this is a hoax, I feel for everyone involved whose emotions were brought to a pitch and who stepped up to try and support Amina Araf. It also must be really infuriating for the LGBT people actually in Syria and for many other activists and bloggers who have been detained for their online writing.”!/acarvin/status/78130192538808321

Many other news sources mentioned the kidnapped Hungarians, why would the inaction of a few French papers overshadow their work?

April 29th, 2012, 11:33 am


Tara said:

Where is Syrian Hamster? I miss his writings..


April 29th, 2012, 11:36 am


Alan said:

Jad !
it is a call for you from 269.Prepare please the razor!

April 29th, 2012, 11:43 am


Mina said:

OK let’s put it this way: Carvin probably knew for a while she was a hoax, since even the CNN interview was made by email, but he admitted it only after a lot of evidence was given by the Electronic Intifada.
Anyway, I doubted her all along, and I remember laughing at a Canadian “native speaker” who was posting here for believing in such writings.
And none of the media made some real search on MacMaster Iraqi connections.

What about the man buried alive, SOD? You posted this link from the 26 april, and then yesterday Tara came back with a 26 april article which attempts to validate the story. Why would people film that?

By the way, Liz’s mention “Carvin has been teweetering all day” came as an update to her post, which she had on the morning. Check the archive of the electronic intifada for all the details

April 29th, 2012, 11:44 am


Son of Damascus said:


What Judith Miller did was and is criminal and she should be persecuted for it, not to mention her sordid actions in the Valerie Plume scandal.

You are correct to say that we should not believe any news blindly, but at the same time we should not deny the news blindly, or believe what we want to fit our personal narratives of what might be happening.

The overwhelming evidence is against the regime, when the Head of the UN accuses the regime of breaking the cease fire and the Annan 6 point plan (Which the regime has NOT implemented a single point as of yet!) the Syrian regime goes on the offensive calling Ban Ki Moon as a stooge of the west (again with the conspiracy theories from the regime, everything can be argued away with conspiracies…)

April 29th, 2012, 11:56 am


Tara said:

Mina, dear

Your overall analyses and opinions are as good as your long held assumption that Tara was the GGID.

Sorry moderator, I follow a stict schedule. I like to get even on Sundays…

April 29th, 2012, 11:57 am


Son of Damascus said:

“they are driving the car with one included headlight only ”

I much rather be driving a car with one headlight than a deer stuck staring at one…

April 29th, 2012, 11:58 am


Son of Damascus said:


What about the man buried alive?

I posted the information that raised doubt on it, and tracked it to a pro regime site. As I mentioned to Tara it seems to be a hoax as a form of intimidation by either the regime or loyalists.

The electronic intifada posted a DAY after Andy Carvin BROKE the story. If people raised doubt good for them, Andy PROVED it.

April 29th, 2012, 12:05 pm


Mina said:

So for you the “proof” is Carvin asking colleagues and people on Twitter if anyone had ever met or talked personaly with the fake Gay Girl, and not the thorough investigation of the Electronic Intifada, with the addresses and IP numbers? As someone mentioned in the comments to the EI article, the Wall Street Journal and the BBC had expressed doubts about it. But Twitter rules for some people…

Be it as it may, I think news about the man buried alive are more important than that. So your answer seems to be that there is no more on that in the last three days.

Maybe Jad will have something when he comes back inshallah.

April 29th, 2012, 12:12 pm


Antoine said:


It seems roles are being reversed in Jordan. The indigenous Jordanians who traditinally been the supporters and pillars of hashemite monarchy, are getting disenchanted with the King, while many Palestinians ( especially middle and upper-middle class Palestinians) see the King as the new hope. Of course ordinary and poor Palestinains are still the main opposition to the Monarchy.

This is somehwat similar to what happened in Syria ( not quite) where through marriage and family ties the Sunni elites and private sector interests were able to enter into alliance with top Alawite echelons, leaving the Alawite corporals, sergeants and NCOs feeling let down and incrasingly distant from Bashar.

Another thing sbout Jordan is how the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists managed to displace the PLO /Nationalists as the main spokesman of the Palestinian community. Why do you think this happened Ghufran ?

April 29th, 2012, 12:15 pm


Antoine said:

^^ MINA, you can also answer the question above, if you have knowledge about the subject.

April 29th, 2012, 12:16 pm


Antoine said:

Another one for my friend Ghufran :

Since you are interested in Egypt, there are rumours that Egyptian military personell and their families are being pressured in various ways to vote for Ahmad Shafiq in the Presidential elections.

Do you think these rumours are credible ?

April 29th, 2012, 12:19 pm


Son of Damascus said:


I am NOT denying the work of EI or anyone else, what I am saying is that the News outlets like NPR, BBC and other raised doubts over it as WELL with some even before the rest.

To say that they did not is just a fallacy, and wrong. They reported on her disappearance first because it is something that is not of the unusual of this criminal regime. I would like to remind you of the youngest prisoner of conscience that was arrested by the criminal regime for posting a poem about the plight of Palestinians in the name of Tal Malouhi.

What is important is that when doubt was raised these news outlets dug a little deeper and exposed the truth, unlike pro-regime media that even when it is caught with its pants down never even attempts a retraction.

(I keep saying her, when I mean him)

April 29th, 2012, 12:22 pm


Mina said:

I’ll answer you what someone answered recently about this, and I shared this feeling in June when it happened:

“i had admittedly missed the entire GGID story. i’ve been paying attn to npr’s andy carvin’s “whirlwind tour of new libya”, the tone of which seems to stand in stark contrast to news of thousands disappeared, torture and the horrifying details involving hala misrati’s kidnapping by the NTC that are coming out right now. none of this is mention by carvin. he just released a looong story about GGID. i thought it was odd timing and a distraction from his libya series.

it was very long. most readers wouldn’t get to the part about the hoax and the title gives no indication that the story is about a hoax at all. it takes you a long time to get to the hoax confirmation. it ends with an exhortation to more firmly resolve to defend (by that, perhaps he means bomb) gay/lesbian activists who *are* real in syria.

well, come on. sherlock holmes over at npr goes through all this while other media is covering the intel community’s use of social media in these conflicts and he never once thinks to hypothesize that maybe it is a military psyop with obvious objectives?

then, i remembered that he had to mention that EI broke the hoax (he downplayed that, btw). i came here and immediately found this — a sensible article. i just figured i would ping you all with my observations.
Submitted on Wed, 02/22/2012 – 00:49

April 29th, 2012, 12:33 pm


zoo said:

Who is Abdel Monein Abou Foutouh, the most probable new Egyptian President? Some notes about his views on Syria and the region

January 12 2012
SA and AA: What do you think about Egypt’s foreign policy towards the region, specifically Syria and the question of Palestine?

AMAF: No Egyptian foreign policy has yet been developed, so we cannot make an accurate reading yet. The current regime is transitional and it is on its way out. It doesn’t have a policy.

SA and AA: What is your reading of the US’ policy towards the Arab revolutions today?

AMAF: US policy has no importance in this regard. The Arab revolutions are popular revolutions. They have no foreign backing. They are based on the people’s support for them. They need to remain homegrown, patriotic revolutions that depend on the people and not on any foreign backing. Foreign support would do the revolutions harm.

Full interview
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Finally, if you are to direct a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, what would you tell him? In your opinion, to what extent has the Arab League succeeded in managing the Syrian crisis?

[Abu al-Futuh] The Arab League has not succeeded as usual because it is a weak league that represents governments that are weak overall. Consequently it was natural that it should not succeed. Bashar al-Assad will not stop spilling the blood of the Syrians. He has to depart and leave the Syrian people to elect the Syrian regime that represents them.
Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has reiterated support for senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdel-Moneim Abul-Futuh’s bid to run for Egypt’s presidency.

“I will vote for Abul-Futuh,” Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), has told the Qatari newspaper Al-Arab.

Camp David pact to be reviewed: Futuh
January 16, 2012
The Daily Star
BEIRUT: Egyptian presidential candidate and former senior Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel-Moneim Abul Futuh said Sunday Egypt’s parliament would review Camp David Accords along with all international treaties, and that if elected he would not seek to impose Islamic law in the country.

Read more:

April 29th, 2012, 12:34 pm


Alan said:

Russia backs delivering decisive rebuff to terrorists in Syria
News | 29.04.2012 | 06:06

Russia has said that it supports delivering a “decisive rebuff” to Syrian “terrorists” after a fresh explosion in the capital Damascus.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that “we are convinced that the terrorists operating in Syria need a decisive rebuff.”

“All domestic and outside players need to prevent any support” from reaching the armed gangs, it added.

[ … ]

Since the beginning of unrest in Syria last year, scores of people, mostly security forces, have been killed in terrorist bomb attacks.

[ Press TV ]

April 29th, 2012, 12:35 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Not sure what that answers, but OK.

“Be it as it may, I think news about the man buried alive are more important than that. So your answer seems to be that there is no more on that in the last three days”

What am I supposed to do? Go ask the people that filmed it why they did it?

April 29th, 2012, 12:37 pm


Norman said:

Russia is going to have a problem in the next 2 weeks, if it continues it’s stand on Syria it might find itself overtaken by the US and the West if they take action unilaterally,and Russia did nothing, and if it falter and goes along it will have no friends as other countries will not trust Russia to stand by them, so most if not all countries will look at the US and the West as the only leaders that they have to follow,

The next 2 to 4 weeks are going to be decisive, probably,

i wonder where Russia is going to be,

April 29th, 2012, 12:59 pm


Antoine said:

And lastly, for my friend MINA,

A collection of today’s videos from my favorite city, Deir Ezzor –

This one should be very interesting for you , do you think all those girls are protesting so they can go back to the kitchen ?

April 29th, 2012, 1:15 pm


Ghufran said:

The rise of political Islam is due to the failure of existing regimes,it is a stage Arabs probably have to go to before they find middle grounds. The slogans of albaath, the PLO, jamahiriyya-Libya, etc, became empty when people found about corruption and suffered from oppression. Most of the “isms” are covers for dictatorships in one way or the other, a plural society needs an accountable government and a functioning judicial system, the rest is details.

As for Alawites in Syria, hundred of thousands were lifted from extreme poverty to a more manageable level of economic hardship until the late 90s, most alawites today are as poor and oppressed as everybody else but they are not given an alternative bus to ride if the one they use today is put OOS.

Replacing this regime with a mulla-type non forgiving government is not a solution, it is a problem on its own, there is no future for Syria without the inclusion of its various sects and ethnic groups in government affairs and economic development.

BTW, what is “نزام” ?

Is that part of a new language previously thought to be limited to ‘smooth” boys?

April 29th, 2012, 1:35 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Alors que les observateurs des Nations unies essaient, non sans difficultés, de remplir leur mission, Reporters sans frontières souhaite attirer l’attention sur les nombreuses violations de la liberté d’informer que perpétue le régime de Bachar Al-Assad, notamment en emprisonnant ceux qui ont le courage de nous renseigner sur la situation en Syrie.

“L’organisation appelle à la libération immédiate de tous les professionnels de l’information, citoyens-journalistes et net-citoyens emprisonnés par le régime. Les autorités syriennes se sont engagées à mettre en œuvre le plan de Kofi Annan, qui prévoit notamment la libération de tous les prisonniers d’opinion. Il est grand temps qu’elles remplissent leurs engagements”, a declaré Reporters sans frontières.

L’organisation est particulièrement inquiète du sort de Yara Michel Shammas, 21 ans, arrétée avec onze autres jeunes activistes, le 7 mars 2012 dans un café de la vieille ville de Damas, par les forces de sécurité syriennes. Elle a été transférée dans une prison à Homs et, le 22 avril 2012, neuf chefs d’accusation ont été présentés contre elle, dont un pour lequel elle risquerait la peine de mort, en vertu de l’article 298 du code pénal.


April 29th, 2012, 1:57 pm


Antoine said:


You did not answer the main question :

Why MB has become main spokeman of Palestinians’ interests in Jordan ?

Why PLO is no longer popular among Palestinains in Jordan ?

Amd this one I am asking you personally, do you think the indigenous Jordanians / tribal leaders will be even more offended after the King tried to blame and insult a respected man like Awn al Khasawneh ?

Don’t you think there is a popular perception among indigenous Jordanians that the King has become a slave to the private sector Palestinian business interests mainly through his wife and the former PM Samir al Rifai ?

April 29th, 2012, 2:23 pm


Mina said:

Antoine #315

Do you think women who were protesting in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, want to stay in the kitchen? In Deir al Zur, Kurds have a better way towards women. While in other parts of the country, with Shafi’i fiqh, you will have a hard time to change it…

With unemployment and economic crisis, always expect women to be the easiest scapegoats.

Have you been watching the debates at the Egyptian parliament lately? and what is your take on the trial to this TV director who dared screening Persepolis in Tunis? Does it announce anything positive as to women rights?

April 29th, 2012, 2:46 pm


Antoine said:

“? and what is your take on the trial to this TV director who dared screening Persepolis in Tunis? Does it announce anything positive as to women rights?”

I think the director would have been in trouble even if Ben Ali had been in power.

Btw do you know anything about the internal social dynamics of Jordan ? Its almost like Syria though its a 95 % Sunni country, there is actually acute racial hatred among indigenous Jordanians directed at the Palestinian refugees.

April 29th, 2012, 3:05 pm


Alan said:

314. NORMAN said:
(Russia is going to have a problem in the next 2 weeks, if it continues it’s stand on Syria it might find itself overtaken by the US and the West if they take action unilaterally,and Russia did nothing, and if it falter and goes along it will have no friends as other countries will not trust Russia to stand by them, so most if not all countries will look at the US and the West as the only leaders that they have to follow,)

you needed to use 4 times a word (if) it approves yours not sure assumptions! if US and the West in a good form why more than a year scratch the head and do magic receptions for destruction of Syria and absurdly wait the drama! excuse it climax signs!

April 29th, 2012, 3:35 pm


bronco said:

314. Norman

Contrary to you, I would not be surprised that in the medium and long term, relation between Russsia and the Arab countries will become closer as gradually the new Arab republics prefer to balance the influence of the West with the one of the East.

As for Syria, Russia and China have reiterated forcefully again their support for the peace plan in Syria and criticized the biased and partial stand of the western countries toward Bashar al Assad. Their position has not changed despite the affirmation of Alain Juppe and others and I doubt it will soon.

Remember that most Arab countries are suspicious of the US plans in the region where the priority is to secure the oil and protect Israel. Russia does not have such plan, as it doesn’t need oil and it has always supported the Palestinians in their struggle.

The new Arab republic will look more toward China and Russia for trading, buying weapons and friendship.

US’s influence in the region is weakening by the day and its only allies left are the undemocratic monarchies regimes that only survive because of their small population, their oil and their money. It is obvious that these too would not last much longer and the US will left with one ally: Israel.

April 29th, 2012, 3:36 pm


zoo said:

A wide range of scenarios?
‘Failing’ Syria Peace Plan Raises Question of What’s Next
By Nayla Razzouk and Nicole Gaouette – Apr 29, 2012 11:44 AM ET

Pentagon officials are drawing up plans in the event that President Barack Obama decides to pursue military options in Syria, Kathleen Hicks, an administration nominee to the Defense Department’s policy staff, told the Senate Committee on Armed Services April 26.

‘Significant Planning’

“We are doing a significant amount of planning for a wide range of scenarios, including our ability to assist allies and partners along the borders,” said Hicks, the nominee to be principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.

The U.S., Turkey and other allies have discussed creating a civilian aid corridor along the Turkish border with Syria as one option if the fighting continues.

The head of the UN monitoring force arrived in Damascus today, Al Arabiya reported without saying how it got the information. An advance team of 15 UN observers has reported heavy weapons in populated areas in violation of the UN agreement, Ban said.

Nuland estimated that it may take another three to four weeks to deploy the first 100 of the anticipated 300 monitors.

The head of the Arab League, Nabil el-Arabi, said Arab foreign ministers have asked him to convene a meeting of all the Syrian opposition factions on May 16, according to the Al Jazeera television channel.

April 29th, 2012, 3:58 pm


Tara said:


Don’t you think that Russia miscalculated it’s strategy. Bashar is not going to stay forever. Sooner or later, Syria will be a free country. Russia’s illogical unwavering support of Bashar and its failure to envision the future would definitely affect it’s relationship with the free Syria. It would be only smart for them to reconsider their position.

April 29th, 2012, 4:17 pm


Ghufran said:

Lebanon and Jordan are incidental countries created by the West for a clear purpose and they do not have the structure or resources to form independent self-reliant states.

Many in Lebanon knew this and looked to Israel (tried and failed) or Syria for closer ties or pushed soecial relations with Mother France for “cultural support”, I vividly remember Sulaiman Franjieh, SR broken Arabic and his preference for using French inside his house. Lebanon now have two more competing countries, KSA and IRI, that are added to the list, thanks to HA and the Harirites.

Rich urbanites in Jordan are behind the king, but that class is shrinking, most rural and poor Jordanians support Islamist movements, especially the MB, tribal support for the royal family is alive but is weakened.

The Palestinians never liked the royal family but some who got rich decided to have a marriage of convenience with it for economic reasons, add the Israeli factor and you now have all the ingredients for a major storm.

In summary, Jordan is boiling, and Lebanon was never off the stove, and the GCC may not be strong enough to help either. Syria, on the other hand, is a much bigger fish to fry, but Syria’s neighbors are still trying to “chef ” it around. Welcome to the Middle East, dividing that area into a dozen states was done for a clear and vicious reason, I hope nobody is still wondering why Islamist movements are getting stronger today.

April 29th, 2012, 4:52 pm


bronco said:

#325 Tara

I don’t think Russia is playing such a hard diplomatic game with high risks if they did not have a clear picture of their future role in the Middle East in view of the weakening influence of the USA in the region and its narrow involvement in preserving its two assets: Oil and Israel.

Russia looks at a renewal of its role after having been kicked out with the fall of the Soviet Union.
Syria is heavily dependent on Russia’s weapons and industries. It cannot just switch to new suppliers and unless it throws itself, like Sadat did, in the hands of the USA by signing a peace deal with Israel, it will continue to need Russia and China for their weapons and for their economical development.

I doubt Syrians, under any regime, will accept to capitulate and sign a peace treaty with Israel to get military and economic support from the West (as Egypt did), that is a red line that no Syrian government would easily cross.

Therefore whatever happens, Syria will prefer to stick with Russia that does not make conditions for supplying it with weapons and industrial investments. Moreover Russia has always followed the policy of not interfering in a country internal affairs contrary to the USA who have always done it with negative results in the region as it watches Israel’s and the oil security.

I think Russia is in a win-win situation in Syria, while the hesitations of the USA qualify it clearly as an opportunistic and unreliable long term partner.

We will see how the new Arab Republics will deal with the USA, now that they got rid of their leaders who were USA’s best allies.

April 29th, 2012, 5:28 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Thanks for sharing بالغار كللت- سعيد عقل.

His words in the voice of Fairuz:

April 29th, 2012, 5:43 pm


Tara said:

Bronco@ 5:28 pm

That was pretty good.

April 29th, 2012, 6:21 pm


Uzair8 said:

Apparantly the recent friday was called “The command of Allah is coming, so be not impatient for it.”

The following is a video (about a minute long) from a mosque in the heart of Damascus (fri 27/4/2012).

April 29th, 2012, 7:09 pm


ann said:

Hide-and-ship: Did the US know Libyan weapons were en route to Syrian rebels? – 30 April, 2012

The US and NATO have some questions to answer about the massive weapons cargo seized by Lebanese intelligence officials, Franklin Lamb tells RT. He says they surely knew the shipment was on its way to Syrian rebels, but still turned a blind eye.

­The Sierra Leone-registered ship Lutfallah II, carrying three containers filled with heavy machine guns, shells, rockets, rocket launchers and other explosives has been intercepted over allegations that the arms were intended for Syrian rebel consumption. Some of the arms seized were labeled as Libyan.

Franklin Lamb, director of the NGO Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, argues the nearly-successful delivery could hardly have come as a surprise to the US and NATO.

There is an eyewitness, Hassan Diab, who saw the ship Lutfallah II, carrying a Sierra Leone flag, being loaded in Benghazi, Libya. We know that Qatar and Saudi Arabia control five warehouses in the area of Benghazi. So the great suspicion is that the intercepted arms are from those left over from the Libya campaign.

The craft was loaded with three containers filled with 150 tons of weapons, though apparently the initial plan was to send as many as 15 containers.

The boat went from Tripoli to Turkey, back down to Egypt and then to Libya, then to Tripoli, Lebanon. It was seized on the way there.

What is remarkable about that adventure is that the Americans almost surely knew about it. NATO did. The Israelis did not touch the ship this time. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) did not stop this ship.

It seems very clear that with all the differences (and we could name twenty or more) between the situation in Libya and the situation in Syria, the fundamental pillar – a regime change – is identical. This ship clearly headed to the so-called “Free” Syrian Army as other shipments have come from Lebanon into Syria. So, if anyone has to answer for the incident now, it is Washington and certainly Brussels with NATO. They have to say what they know about the ship.


April 29th, 2012, 7:45 pm


Tara said:

Syrian President Assad could be tried for war crimes, says ex-peace
Saturday 28 April 2012 07.26 EDT

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could be tried for war crimes, says former Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell. Photograph: Sana/EPA
The former US Middle East peace envoy, George Mitchell, has said that the Syrian president, Bashir al-Assad, could be tried as an alleged war criminal over the brutal crackdown on opponents of his rule.

Mitchell, who was the US special envoy for Middle East peace until last May, said Assad could be tried for war crimes in the same way as Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia who was this week found to have “aided and abetted” war crimes by a UN-backed tribunal in The Hague

April 29th, 2012, 7:54 pm


omen said:

bashar loyalists faulted islamist moroccan culture for the suicide of girl raped…but what is this?

The Committee on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, seen here, has expressed concern about Syria’s penal code, which exempts rapists from punishment if they marry their victims.

(CEDAW) in 2007 raised concerns that Article 508 of the penal code exempts rapists from punishment if they marry their victims, and that there is no specific legislation to criminalize violence against women in Syria, including domestic violence.

tell me again about the virtues of secularism.

April 29th, 2012, 8:00 pm


Tara said:

Half truths and repression: the tools of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime

Journalists allowed into Syria on a handful of official visas are told they can go anywhere, but are stopped when they do so. They are told it is “too dangerous” as “there is shooting everywhere”, and then denounced for their “lies” for having portrayed the city as mired in violence.

Such official statements are, though, not the brazen fantasies of Libya’s Gaddafi regime. Lies and terror are tools of bad dictatorships. Those that perform more successfully, as the Assad regime does in its capital at least, prefer half-truths and a repression that hovers between the omnipresent and the invisible.

There is much that is normal in Damascus, but the normal seems deliberately designed to keep people in a state of nervous confusion as to what is really happening.

The Midan bomber struck as worshippers came out of Friday prayers at the Zain al-Abideen Mosque. Reports described body parts and blood stains, and nine people, including five riot police, three civilians and one regular lieutenant were said to have been killed.

That there was an explosion is beyond doubt – it was captured on Syrian state television, whose cameras, by coincidence apparently, happened to be on the scene at the time.

Across Midan, there is a contrast between the rebellion on clear display and what people are prepared to say. The graffiti says “Assad out” and “Homs the brave”. But Mohammed al-Halabi, a local barber, cautiously says the opposition is “exaggerated by Al-Jazeera”.

The regime does not need to have an overt presence to enforce such loyalty, as Colonel Gaddafi did. At night, according to another shop-keeper, the army come with threats, shooting out one man’s air conditioning, firing into the threshold of another shop.

But nor need it be too concealed….

April 29th, 2012, 8:18 pm


jna said:

Tara, perhaps George Mitchell is stretching the comparison between Bashar Assad and Charles Taylor. Taylor, former Liberian President, was convicted on the evidence that he “aided and abetted severe human rights abuses carried out by rebels during Sierra Leone’s civil war.” The rebel crimes included “murder, rape, sexual slavery, recruitment of child soldiers, and enslavement.”

“Prosecutors had said Taylor masterminded Sierra Leone’s civil war in the 1990s, arming and assisting Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front rebels in exchange for “blood diamonds,” mined in eastern Sierra Leone.”

“The court found Taylor did not have command and control of the rebels but was aware of their activities and provided them with weapons and other supplies.”

Who is supplying the Syrian rebels who have committed many, many crimes?


April 29th, 2012, 9:10 pm


zoo said:

Al Qaeda behind the Midan suicide bomber?
An Islamist group calling itself Al-Nusra Front claimed responsibility for the attack, the SITE Monitoring Service said on Sunday. The group said the bomber, whom it named as Abu Omar al-Shami, had targeted the security forces.

The US-based SITE, which tracks jihadi websites, said the group posted its claim on the Shumukh al-Islam site which is generally used by Al-Qaeda.

April 29th, 2012, 9:20 pm


Norman said:

Bronco, Alan,

The US and the West did not need UN vote to invade Iraq or attack Serbia and they do not need that to attack Syria, the only question that i have for both of you, do you think that Russia will shout and yell but do nothing to help Syria directly and if Russia does nothing would anybody trust Russia again.

April 29th, 2012, 9:24 pm


Tara said:


When Batta is tried at the ICC and his crimes are exposed, will all find out who is more evil.  For Tara meanwhile, I thinkمن قتل نفساً بغير حق فكأنما قتل الناس جميعاً.  Killing one unjustly is equal to killing the whole humanity.    

April 29th, 2012, 9:37 pm


bronco said:

#337 Norman

The West is not ready for another military adventure that may turn to be a quagmire and would trigger Iran’s direct or indirect intervention and a danger to Syria’ neighbors, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.
The USA is in an election year, it would be the worse time to do such foolish action. The whole Europe is in a deep economical crisis and would not embark in military expenses that Syria, contrary to Libya, would never be able to pay back.
Russia will not tolerate any unilateral action from western countries and will threaten to help militarily Syria.
These are only a few reasons why the West would not invade Syria this year.

April 29th, 2012, 9:38 pm


Tara said:

While Asma was shopping for shoes:

‘I was prepared to lose someone in my family, but not all of them’
Inside, 38-year-old Hasna brushes off her injuries. “I’ve lost my legs but it doesn’t bother me; it’s the other things I’ve lost that mean more.”

She describes how she and her family fled their village in provincial Homs when they heard the Syrian army was about to launch an offensive. They were returning home several days later when a tank shell hit their motorbike.

“My husband was driving, our three-year-old son between his legs and me on the back holding our one-year-old daughter,” she says. “There was flying metal and dust and I saw my baby daughter’s head opened up in front of my eyes. I felt her last heart beat. I won’t forget that moment for as long as I live.”

Her son had his leg blown off and also died at the scene, while her husband succumbed to his injuries during the journey to Lebanon. “I had prepared to lose someone in my family in the revolution – you steel yourself for it. But I had not prepared to lose them all,” she says.

April 29th, 2012, 9:39 pm


Ghufran said:

We have heard the call to topple the regime a zillion times but I am still waiting for a reasonable political plan that allows the inclusion of millions of Syrians who may not share the SNC or the Islamist vision for the immediate and long future. Without such a plan we will still be talking about David and Goliath without any progress except producing more death and deepening the division among Syrians. The lack of a serious political dialogue backed by punitive measures in the case of incompliance is not just wrong ,it is criminal and it can only benefit hawks and thugs from all sides.
Those who think that dialogue can take place while guns are talking are not sincere in their calls for reaching a political compromise. Every bullet that gets fired at any unarmed Syrian or an ordinary servant of the state is a shot aimed at killing that dialogue.
At this rate,the summer this year may be as bad as last year,too bad for Syrians who were dreaming of a Syrian vacation this summer or at least a quiet summer for their loved ones back home.

April 29th, 2012, 9:41 pm


omen said:

327. bronco said: Moreover Russia has always followed the policy of not interfering in a country internal affairs contrary to the USA

afghanistan? bosnia? georgia? ukraine? chechnya? SYRIA? hello!

April 29th, 2012, 9:42 pm


zoo said:

Russia, China agree on Syria, North Korea: Chinese minister
ReutersReuters – Sat, Apr 28, 2012
MOSCOW (Reuters) – China and Russia agree entirely with each other’s positions on the crisis in Syria and on North Korea’s nuclear program, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said on Saturday in Moscow.

“The sides hold 100 percent coinciding positions on the issues of North Korea and Syria,” Cheng, who was accompanying Vice Premier Li Keqiang on a visit to Russia, told reporters through an interpreter.

Russia and China have protected Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by blocking two U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning a government crackdown in which the United Nations says 9,000 people have been killed since March 2011.

While publicly opposing foreign interference and particularly military intervention in Syria, they have both backed U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan in Security Council votes and urged the government and rebels to adhere to a ceasefire.

April 29th, 2012, 9:43 pm


omen said:

bashar bullied as a child. is this common knowledge? maybe tara is right and lil asma wears the pants in the family:

Two former regime insiders — now its opponents — recalled their time with the younger al-Assad. Former vice president Abdel Halim Khaddam said Bashar was often the victim of his elder brother’s cruelty. “His brother Basil bullied him as a child. His father never gave him as much attention as Basil,” Khaddam said.

Al-Assad’s uncle Rifaat, who left Syria in 1984 after being involved in a failed coup, also recalled the future president.

“He is very different than his father. Hafez was a leader, the head of the entire regime, while Bashar was never that close to being one and never fell within that framework. He is being perceived as the leader but he follows what the regime decides on his behalf.

but then the article contradicts this notion of bashar as merely a figure head by pointing out:

Despite the brutal crackdown over the last year in Syria, in which thousands have died, al-Assad maintains he is not in charge of Syria’s military. He told ABC’s Barbara Walters: “They are not my forces. They are forces for the government. I don’t own them. I’m president. I don’t own the country. So they are not my forces.”

Wouldn’t al-Assad, the commander in chief, have had to give the order for any military actions? “No, no no,” he said.

Not by your command? “No,” he said, “on no one’s command. There was no command to kill or to be brutal.”

Al-Assad said those members of the armed forces who “went too far” had been disciplined.

But former vice-president Khaddam is in no doubt who does give the orders to kill: “Bashar Al-Assad and no one else. He gives out orders to use all means of force to crush the revolution. He is surrounded by close aides and a security apparatus that advise him, but he decides.”

what does this mean? that other regime members run (and loot) the country but they make sure it’s bashar who gets held responsible for the war crimes?

April 29th, 2012, 10:01 pm


Ghufran said:

NCB is afraid of joining a tamed opposition coalition that does not enjoy wide support among Syrians, however, having a non Baathist opposition body is a step in the right direction if its members do not follow orders from a regime that have in the past only tolerated packaged “opposition”.

Qadri Jamil is a well spoken figure who has Russia’s support, he in a democratic system will always have a role to play in Syrian politics, his opponents insist that he is a regime supporter in disguise.

April 29th, 2012, 10:29 pm


Norman said:


the GCC will pay the bill.

April 29th, 2012, 10:30 pm


Tara said:


He is “a figure head” because he is easily manipulated. You convince him with one thing in the morning then someone else convinces him with completely the opposite in the evening. The final decisions to kill and mayhem though have to come from him.

Just for intellectuals honesty, when I discussed Asma’s relation with Bashar, I don’t have inside information. I was quoting what is written about them. Bashar dose strike me though weak, unintelligent, and inconfident. Not my kind of a man.. A person like this can be easily manipulated that the decisions he makes are his own ideas when they are really what his entourage/ advisers implant in his mind.

April 29th, 2012, 10:36 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The benevolent dictator

Shoukran shoukran shoukran lak ya Bashar our soul our blood our eyes thank you for giving us this jasmine garden what will we do without you and without our beloved queen. We are lost without you. Really. Please stay.

April 30th, 2012, 12:43 am


Syrialover said:

Assad’s best buddy – a vicious moron also busy destroying his own country. Incredible! Iran had the chance to become a rich, advanced and influential-by-respect nation with its big oil assets and human resources. Do we smell a coup coming on?

Subsidy Dispute Adds To Iran’s Woes (Financial Times, April 25, 2012)

A subsidy reform battle in Iran shows that the government of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the president, is being squeezed by domestic challenges while international powers place unprecedented pressure on the country.

Tehran shocked politicians and economists last month by announcing that, despite rapid consumer price inflation, it would increase monthly cash payments to citizens that were introduced as compensation for subsidy cuts.

The country’s parliament has tried to prevent the inflationary move as Iranians struggle with skyrocketing prices, particularly for food. Domestic producers are being hit by rising bills for unsubsidised energy, without receiving any extra government support.

In an effort to reduce wasteful consumption and save state money, Iran’s government announced in December 2010 a plan to cut about $100bn in subsidies on energy and other basic commodities.
To compensate for rising prices and counter the risk of social unrest, parliament obliged the government to give half the anticipated income from subsidy cuts back to the poor in the form of monthly cash payments. The rest of the income was to be used to support domestic producers.

Instead, Mr Ahmadi-Nejad chose to pay 455,000 Iranian rials ($37) every month – almost double the figure approved by parliament – to most citizens, including children. The commitment to support domestic producers was dropped entirely.

When the government said last month it was going to increase the compensation payments nearly 40 per cent, Ali Larijani, parliament’s speaker, was quick to write to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, urging him to intervene and block the rise.

Ahmad Tavakkoli, a parliamentarian, accused the government on Sunday of “violating the law” and “mis-implementing” the plan because it earned 290,000bn rials ($23.6bn) from the cut in subsidies in the first 14 months of its implementation but paid people $36.7bn of compensation in return.

Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moqaddam, another MP, alleged last month that the government had forced the central bank to use $7.3bn of consumer bank deposits to make the monthly cash payments. “This is unprecedented in the world for the central bank to withdraw people’s money overnight,” he said.

The storm over subsidy policy is a new domestic problem for the Islamic regime, as it faces unprecedented international pressure over its nuclear programme and increasingly open threats of a foreign military attack.

Political analysts accuse Mr Ahmadi-Nejad of caring more about his political base among the poor, who have so far benefited from the monthly payments and remain grateful to the populist president, than he does about Iran’s economic health.
The latest official data comparing prices of foodstuffs in the second week of April to the corresponding period last year showed dairy products rose about 42 per cent, red meat 47.5 per cent, rice about 29 per cent, beans 45.7 per cent, vegetables 92 per cent, sugar 33 per cent and vegetable oil 30 per cent.

Ahmad Karimi-Isfahani, secretary of the Society of Bazaar Associations, told the semi-official ILNA news agency: “It had never happened before that the prices of basic commodities rise by about 50 per cent over one year.”

The employment crisis was highlighted by another recent central bank report which said that in 22.5 per cent of Iranian families, all family members were unemployed.

Hossein Raghfar, an economist, said: “This figure means about a quarter of the population are probably suffering from severe poverty.” A rise in monthly cash payments to people, he added, would triple inflation and “destroy” many domestic industries.

Iranians, like Syrians, now have nothing to lose and everything to gain by fighting to get rid of someone who is happy to trash the country to keep his claws sunk into illegitimate power.

(reposted from last thread)

April 30th, 2012, 1:09 am


omen said:

sorry about that, moderator. fixed:

@rallaf: Is there any place left in Syria jails & intelligence buildings for so many arrests? What has become of all our disappeared people?

@rana: There IS no place left in Assad jails so sports stadiums are being used instead – including Abbasiyyeen stadium in Damascus

shades of pinochet. and yet this holds out some measure of hope. people are fearing most of the disappeared have been slain.

April 30th, 2012, 1:14 am


Alan said:

337. NORMAN said:
Bronco, Alan,
*The US and the West did not need UN vote to invade Iraq or attack Serbia and they do not need that to attack Syria*

This is a terrible reputation !

*the only question that i have for both of you, do you think that Russia will shout and yell but do nothing to help Syria directly and if Russia does nothing would anybody trust Russia again.*

do you consider that all efforts of Russia are not enough in the Syrian conflict?

I think you are right! they are not the comparable with strong support of US and the West to Israel!
apropos to shout and cry, using two double VETO + 3 calling of the Russian ships on the Syrian port + the Syrian military maneuvers with use of naval forces of repulse therefore the USA and the West have the nervous mood .

can be quiet! that Russia and China will react rigidly to military attacks!

won’t be more with impunity if there will be such nonsenses !

the time of impunity left!

in attack on the sovereign countries, any nonsenses will lead to enormous consequences

April 30th, 2012, 1:42 am


Alan said:

in continuation about reputation!

April 30th, 2012, 1:55 am


omen said:

just curious, did you light a candle, amir?

April 30th, 2012, 2:01 am


Nour said:

البيان الانتخابي لمرشحي الحزب


الإثنين, 30 أبريل/نيسان 2012 01:41

نصون وحدة المجتمع ـ نفدي سلامة الوطن. نعمل من أجل حياة حرة كريمة متسامية

يا أبناء “سوريا” العظيمة!

أنتم الشعب، ونحن منكم. ويشهد التاريخ أننا ما تخلينا يومًا عن قضيةٍ من قضايا أمّتنا، ولا عن مطلبٍ من مطالب شعبنا أو مصلحةٍ من مصالحه… وعبر حاضنةٍ وطنيةٍ لحزبنا عمرها ثمانون عامًا، نهجنا فيها نهجًا يتوافق مع مبادئنا وغايتنا في كلّ كيانات أمّتنا السياسية. فلم نقترب من نظام حكمٍ في يومٍ ما ولم نجنِ فائدةٍ من حاكم، وكانت كلّ ثروتنا تتمثل في كنز محبّتنا لشعبنا. ومن قناعةٍ راسخةٍ في نفوسنا أنّ الأزمة السياسية التي يمرّ بها شعبنا اليوم هي أزمة عميقة ومتشعبة، تتطلب من الجميع الانخراط في العمل السياسي المدني لتوجيه مجمل الحراك السياسي نحو برنامج تغيير يهدف، أولاً، إلى صيانة هويتنا الوطنية والقومية، ويضع مخرجًا آمنًا للأزمة بعيدًا عن مبدأ الربح والخسارة بين معارضةٍ وموالاة، وبما يضمن وضع “سوريا” على خط التغيير والانتقال من الدولة الأمنية إلى الدولة المدنية القائمة على مؤسسات دستورية تتجسد فيها سيادة القانون وتداول السلطة مدنيًا وسلميًا، عنوانًا لمشاركة الشعب السوري في إدارة مجمل شؤون حياته، ويكون رأيه وصوته الحرّ المستقل الملتزم بقيم الحق والخير والجمال المجتمعية، وسلامة الوطن وحريته مصدرًا لشرعية السلطة ومؤسساتها وإداراتها، عبر انتخاباتٍ نيابيةٍ شفافة حرّة مستقلة تُنتج ندوة برلمانية تكون السلطة فيها للشعب عبر ممثليه.

يا أهلنا في الشام

لقد بات الشعب بحاجة إلى تغيير ديمقراطي وطني على قاعدة المواطنة الحقة ـ مواطنون أحرار في وطن حرّ ـ يؤسّس لحاضنة وطنية عبر تغيير شامل لإدارة مجمل شؤون حياة الشعب، تغيير يُنهي نهج السلطة الحالي ويعيد بناء ما دمّرته العقلية الإقصائية في الشخصية الوطنية السورية وفي كلّ مناحي حياة الشعب، التي جاءت نتيجة سيطرة واحتكار “الحزب القائد والرأي الواحد”، وعقلية الوصاية على الدولة والمجتمع، واحتكار ما فيه وما عليه، واختصاره في ثقافة تسلّطية عطّلت، ومنذ فترة طويلة، مقوّمات المقاومة الحقيقية المعتمِدة على عوامل القوة الحقيقية الذاتية، وعقلية نفعية أفقدت الشعب المناعة ضدّ كلّ ما يدمّر حياته؛ عقلية إقصائية استبدادية انقلابية أسّست لسلطة “شمولية” تسلطية غيّبت إمكانات وطاقات وقوى مجتمعية كان يمكن لها أن تسهم في إنهاض المجتمع وتساميه، وتجنّب الشعب والسلطة والدولة مآزقَ وأزماتٍ لم تؤخِّر تطور المجتمع فحسب، وإنما تركته أسير قوى الظلام والتجهيل والفردية الهدّامة، وأوقعته في براثن الفساد والمفسدين، وأوصلته إلى حال بات الإصلاح فيه غير ممكنٍ، وأصبح التغييرالشامل والجذري والعميق لبنية النظام السياسي مطلبًا للجميع وشاملاً للجميع ومهمة الجميع.

[blue diamond … ]

April 30th, 2012, 2:16 am


Alan said:

Lebanon seizes 150 tons of Libyan arms en route to Syrian rebels

April 30th, 2012, 3:41 am


Alan said:

the help with sending of containers!

[ BBC News – Lebanon seizes weapons as Syria rebels ‘launch sea raid’ 2012 ]

[Russia Today: Danger in shipping box? Club-K missile container system sparks terror sale fears ]

April 30th, 2012, 3:55 am


syria no kandahar said:

can a (revolution)get any dertier than this.Why is the opposition
diverting towards suicide bombings?why not rally their millions of supporters in the streets?or may be their half millions?quater millions?are they so bancruped that all they have they can do now is just criminal acts such as :Killing,suicide bombings,hijacking,torturing,robbing,lying.importing ships of weapons,hanging mentally handicapped,hanging minority women,killing
fellow terrorists with TOW pullets to head after an express fatwa,robbing polmans of money on highways,stopping buses on highways and robbing and killing passengers,asking for their country to be bombed,killing hijacked civilians then staging TV shows about their bodies on Aljazera,asking the army for ceasefire while they are doing suicide bombings every other day,occupying churches by wahabi terrorists claiming to be protecting virgin mary,admitting having libyan,Saudi,Qatari,and Afghan terrorists and being proud of that,calling for Alkelafa and Alsharia laws over and over again…..
Any one proud of all that?

April 30th, 2012, 8:06 am


irritated said:

#357 SNK

They are now acting out of a murderous rage and deception after all the unfulfilled promises and encouragements they got from the insane Turkey, GCC, France and others.

Japanese did the same when they were loosing the war, send kamikazes. At least they were Japanese kamikazes.

April 30th, 2012, 8:37 am


bronco said:

#358 Allan

I agree with you. The Libyan military adventure seems to be the last one of these unilateral moves from the USA and colonialist powers in the region.
Powerful countries like the BRICS will stand on the way of any attempt, under a ‘humanitarian’ pretext or others, of a military intervention to change a regime they don’t like.
That’s what the ‘rebels’ and the enemies of Syria are learning at their own expenses and at the innocent citizens expenses. If they still have some sense they’ll lower their expectations of a regime change and accept to enter into negotiations for the sake of the unity of the country, already badly damaged.

April 30th, 2012, 8:50 am


zoo said:

No need to put quotes anymore or skip the qualifier. If these are not terrorists what are they?

Syrian (?) Blasts Target Security Buildings

Syrian activists say blasts in the northwestern city of Idlib have killed at least 20 people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the blasts targeted security buildings and killed mostly security force members.

Syria’s state news agency, SANA, said the two blasts killed eight people, blaming “terrorists” for the explosions.

The SANA agency says the bank building was damaged during Monday’s attack in the capital, Damascus, but no one was hurt. The agency also reports that what it described as “armed terrorists” fired rocket-propelled grenades at a police patrol in the capital, wounding at least four police officers.

Monday’s attacks come hours after the newly appointed head of the U.N. observer mission in Syria called on President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and the opposition to stop fighting so that the tenuous cease-fire can take hold.

April 30th, 2012, 8:56 am


zoo said:

More about the ship carrying hundred of thousands of dollars worth of weapons destined to the armed rebels in Syria: A gift from Qatar ending in the Lebanese army and a warning to others who have the same intention?

The statement added that the 11 detained crew members were of various Arab and foreign nationalities.

Al-Manar TV reported Sunday that the crew was made up of eight Syrians, two Egyptians and one Indian.

Tripoli MP Samir Jisr from former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Future bloc said Sunday he was waiting for the results of the investigations before making conclusions.

“We are waiting for investigations and we don’t want to jump the gun. People of Tripoli are neither involved in [the smuggling of] weapons nor in other events taking place in Syria,” he told reporters after receiving a Palestinian delegation at his office in Tripoli.

The owner of the ship is Syrian Mohammad Khafaja and its Lebanese shipping agent is Ahmad Bernard.
Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

April 30th, 2012, 9:02 am


Tara said:


Why do you think they replaced the Morrocon guy with Mr. Mood? The whole thing surrounding Mood’s initial arrival, quick departure, then reappointment is funny?

April 30th, 2012, 10:04 am


zoo said:

Are the “rebels” trying to kill the UN observers or frighten then off?

“Ibrahim said the observers have been staying at the Carlton,”

The bombers detonated their explosives near a military compound and near the city’s Carlton Hotel, SANA said.

A local activist, who only gave his first name, Ibrahim, for fear of repercussions, said the two sites are several hundred meters apart and that the explosions went off within five minutes of each other after daybreak Monday.

Two members of the U.N. observer team toured the site of the bombings, SANA said. Ibrahim said the observers have been staying at the Carlton, and a pro-government website reported that the hotel sustained some damage.

April 30th, 2012, 10:48 am


bronco said:

#362 Tara

Col. Ahmed Himmiche is a colonel, Mood is a general with a wider experience and he was accepted by the Syrian government.
I don’t think Himmiche was removed, he works under Mood.

April 30th, 2012, 10:54 am


Halabi said:

Global Post: Syria seals off rebellious neighborhoods

BABA AMR, Syria — For Syrians on both sides of the concrete wall that now surrounds this neighborhood, the comparisons to the region’s longest running conflict are unavoidable.

“When my wife described the wall to me I immediately thought of the wall built by the Israelis to isolate Palestinian villages and towns in the West Bank,” said Abu Annas, formerly a resident of Homs’ devastated Baba Amr district.

“I can understand that Israel built a wall to protect Israeli settlers from Palestinians. But I cannot understand how a national government builds a wall to separate its citizens from each other.”

Omar, the young rebel fighter from Homs, said the FSA was now restructuring after suffering a strategic defeat in Baba Amr.

“We will adopt guerilla tactics,” he said. “We are fighting in small groups and moving from one district to another so we don’t let the regime block this district and kill us. The FSA leaders made a big mistake when they tried to hold Baba Amr.”

“The Sunni districts are hosting terrorists and armed gangs so the government should close them off by all means. If this needs a high wall, why not?” Haidar, a 35-year-old Allawite from Homs’ Zahara neighborhood, told GlobalPost.

A member of the Popular Committees, the official name for armed civilian militias fighting for the regime, Haidar said the possible collapse of the regime would mean no future for three million Allawites in Syria’s big cities. “We would return to our villages in the mountains,” he said.

“We have been occupying senior positions in the army, security agencies and government in Syria for four decades and we will keep the power in our hands, whatever this costs us.”

April 30th, 2012, 11:03 am


zoo said:

The “smart” response of the SNC to the wave of destruction and killings of security officers and innocents passers by

New blasts mar Syria truce, killing 20

“The Syrian National Council, the main opposition group, said the RPG attacks in Damascus were “another trick” by the regime to justify its continued crackdown against a revolt that began in March last year.

“The Assad regime is trying in various ways to mislead and distract (UN) observers in order to prevent them carrying out their work,” a statement said, calling for “an international commission of inquiry to uncover who was behind the explosions.”
“Is this the freedom they want?” shouted one man, standing near a woman who was carrying a child with blood running down his forehead.

One building appeared in ruins and cars nearby were flattened by the explosion.

April 30th, 2012, 11:22 am


irritated said:

365. Halabi said:

“Global Post: Syria seals off rebellious neighborhoods”

Well done, it was time.

April 30th, 2012, 11:23 am


zoo said:

Freedom of expression and respect for Moslem in “non-racist” Germany

Berlin Worried About ‘Muhammad Cartoon Contest’,1518,830571,00.html

A far-right group in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is running a ‘Muslim cartoon contest’ and plans to display the works outside mosques. The move has alarmed authorities which fear it could incite violence and hurt German interests abroad, similar to the backlash that followed the 2005 publication of cartoons in Danish newspapers.

April 30th, 2012, 11:30 am


Uzair8 said:

Alongside the usual narrative we also have a parallel spiritual narrative unfolding.

Remember recently Sheikh Nazim relaying ‘inspiration’ to us about King Abdullah of Jordan being future Caliph and his role in the region and Syria in particular?

We have a new video from 27/4/2012 in which the Sheikh, after receiving a visiting delegation* of the Hashemite Royal family of Jordan, addresses them with a message to the King himself.

At 19.25 minutes:

‘I received a message that these tyrant people in the land of sham. I received the message, what His Majesty the King should do. Sham is open, there is no one there. Why is he not organising himself? What is he fearing?

This addressing is for His Majesty. He was hesitant, but support is coming**, support is coming for His Majesty to make a move and declare that he is the Khalifa that he is. The last King who will raise the flag of Islam.

I received this message so my message to the king is that he should not hesitate. Because he is representing Ahl Al Bait and he is the real inheritor of the Descendants of the Prophet (saws). Go and do not fear! Declare that, “I am the inheritor of the Prophet (saws) of the end of times and I am the one who will gather the muslims & will throw away the tyrants from the whole area, in 10 countries” ‘….

Click on subtitles. Choose english.

* From youtube version info:


Yesterday just before Juma’a prayer, Mawlana received a visit from members of the Jordanian Hashemite Royal family. Despite his health condition, Mawlana said that he had to deliver an important message to His Majesty, King Abdullah. His honorable guest, the Hashemite Prince, had not come to visit him by coincidence. Our camera was open to film a private message to His Majesty when Mawlana said that all the people need to hear and be warned abut the content of this message since it involves all Arabs and all Muslims. He ordered us to broadcast the message with full translations.

** Interestingly at this point the call to prayer begins in the background.

April 30th, 2012, 11:36 am


Uzair8 said:

I think I should give my view in relation to the previous post.

I’m not sure. I choose a wait and see approach. Wait for more comment from the Sheikh and reaction from other scholars. See how events unfold.

Sheikh Nazim is someone who I take seriously. However,he can be wrong as ‘inspiration’ can be misinterpreted. There is also the old age and this topic is one that is dear to the heart of the Sheikh.

It was something interesting and I thought worth sharing. Especially as members of the Hashemite Royal family visited the Sheikh in recent days. I wonder who?

Maybe there could be something to this?

April 30th, 2012, 11:44 am


Mina said:

357 SNK
We are told that they are not one million in the streets “out of fear” and yet every friday the pictures shows dozens of kids in the forefront.

April 30th, 2012, 12:12 pm


jerusalem said:

البيان التأسيسي
للجنة العرب الأميركيين للدفاع عن سوريا
لوس أنجلس، كاليفورنيا
الولايات المتحدة
April 30 2012 00:02

Arab Americans for Syria AA4Syria

تستشعر اللجنة حجم المخاطر والمؤامرة التي تتعرض لها سوريا وطناً وشعباً وقيادة وطنية، والتي تستهدفها كقلعة من قلاع الصمود والمقاومة العربية وكحاضنة للمشروع القومي العربي
وترى اللجنة أن ما يجري في سوريا هو صراع جيوـ سياسي يستهدف الدولة السورية ووحدتها وسيادتها، كمقدمة لتمزيق المنطقة برمتها وتقاسمها بين قوى الغرب الرأسمالي والعثمانيين الجدد والصهاينة

April 30th, 2012, 12:29 pm


equus said:

“Kloony 2012 – the Feel Good Campaign to use African Children as Cover for Barack Obama’s Imperialist Conquest of Sudan”

Posted on April 30, 2012 by Scott Creighton

The “official” government of South Sudan (a construct of U.S., British, and Israeli creation) has just lost a major battle in their ongoing war with Sudan.

They were recently driven out of a key oil producing region in Sudan, Heglig township, which “South Sudan” had attacked and occupied for the past few weeks while George Clooney was weeping over what he called the “aggression” of the Sudanese government.

Let’s see… South Sudan invades and occupies Heglig township killing many civilians, and George Clooney condemns the Sudanese government for defending their nation from the invasion.

The victory for the Sudanese government is a timely one considering all the George Clooney propaganda being poured on the American fauxgressives over here across the pond.

April 30th, 2012, 12:39 pm


Mina said:

So if the opposition is unable to unite, why should we believe there is a unified “regime”?

(From the Angry Arab:)
Syrian opposition veteran, Haytham Al-Malih, attacks Nawfal Dawalibi (close to Saudi intelligence) and other exile opposition figures who he accuses of collaboration with Israeli intelligence, among others.

April 30th, 2012, 12:40 pm


Halabi said:

دمشق – كفرسوسة – الآلاف في تشييع الشهيد نور زهرا 30 / 4 /2012

“Dozens” march at a funeral in Damascus today.

April 30th, 2012, 12:53 pm


Tara said:

Regime supporters who are spending their life trying to convince us of how evil and under the influence Aljazeera  is should just keep quite at least out of…self respect.  What influence Aljazeera is now under, producing the “Bahrain” documentary?  The Persian influence?  Did Iran buy Aljazeera from Israel?  Shame on the cause that prompts people to lie to serve it..

“So far more than 150,000 visitors have cast in excess of 75,000 votes on a page asking users to vote on which programme should win the Current Affairs prize at this year’s Bafta Television Awards. This has proved to be due, in part, to an intervention from the Khalifa dynasty that rules Bahrain.

On Saturday, Bahrain foreign minister Khalid Al Khalifa tweeted to his nearly 80,000 followers, urging loyalists to vote against the Al Jazeera documentary Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark in the Radio Times poll.

“I call on everyone to stand with Bahrain,” he wrote, providing a link to the poll, “and vote against the harmful Al Jazeera film.”…

Al Jazeera has reported that activists who oppose the regime have taken to social networks, also linking to the Radio Times poll and calling for a vote for Shouting in the Dark. At the time of writing the Al Jazeera film criticising the Bahrain regime is winning by a distance, with 60% of the overall vote, although that percentage has fallen slightly since Saturday.

The result of the award, which will be announced on 27 May, is decided by a jury so the readers’ votes will not affect it anyway.”

April 30th, 2012, 1:01 pm


equus said:

To Live With Honour ~ by Bill the Butcher
Today at last I took up the gun
I knew it had no answers
But the choice before me was stark
Die in the light or die in the dark.
I do not fight for Taliban
Or for Freedom or Democracy.
All I can do is choose my way
To live or to die

April 30th, 2012, 1:05 pm


equus said:

China-Russia Partnership Protects Rights Of Developing Nations

From Blog: STOP NATO (Indeed, there is not one country that NATO touches its soil evolves…in fact it only regresses)
Now India: NATO Has James Bond Badge To Kill With Impunity

NATO: “James Bond” 007 force
Geopolitical notes from India
M D Nalapat

[I]f NATO personnel were to be arrested for killing innocent civilians, tens of thousands would now be in jail for the murder of hundreds of thousands in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere. To join NATO is to get an invisible 007 badge which confers the right to kill without any fear of punishment.

The only way to teach NATO that India is still an independent country would be to set a figure for compensation that is similar to what citizens of the alliance themselves claim when a loved one is killed.

Countries across the world that have lost lives as a consequence of NATO action need to come together and shame the UN into conducting an investigation into the matter, rather than ignoring it because the headquarters of that venerable institution is dominated by members of NATO, whose license to kill with impunity needs to be taken away before more tens of thousands of innocents perish in bombs, bullets and missiles.

April 30th, 2012, 1:46 pm


Mina said:

South Sudan, lever against Egypt,
Mali, lever against Algeria,
Libya, “mission accomplished,”
who is trying to fix gas prices for the years to come?

April 30th, 2012, 1:53 pm


Mina said:

Ask the Egyptians! As for Mubarak, he has vanished from the news.

“Syrian anti-regime activist Yara Shammas, who faces the death penalty for “belonging to a secret organization,” was bailed on Monday pending trial, said the director of the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research.

The judiciary, either “will issue a decision regarding the charges against her and she will be tried before the Criminal Court, or it will issue a declaration of her innocence and drop the charges,” said Anwar Bunni, a human rights lawyer.

Shammas was arrested in Damascus on March 7 and jailed in Homs, central Syria.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) noted that, among the nine charges brought against her, is one under Article 298 of the criminal code that carries a possible death penalty.

The article mandates a life sentence for anyone committing an act that aims to cause a civil war or communal strife by arming citizens or inciting them to take up arms against each other, or to incite a massacre or looting.

“If this act achieves its aim, the guilty party will be sentenced to death,” the article said.
It is unclear what criminal acts Shammas, 21, was alleged to have committed.

Shammas, an IT specialist, was also the daughter of human rights lawyer Michel Shammas, who was representing her.

Rights groups said that her arrest was meant to put pressure on her father.”

April 30th, 2012, 2:00 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Momo to half million soldiers and their families from your friendly friends in the Turkish I mean free Syrian Army:
Just to let you know that if you don’t defect we will kill you.
Thanks for your kind attention .
Sincerely yours :
Alzabet Riad Alassad

April 30th, 2012, 2:03 pm


Tara said:

Yara Shamas, a 21 yo female activist, could face the death penalty for defending the people right to bear arms to defend themselves. This can be applied to all of us. Those of us who support the revolution could then be arrested to face the death penalty for the same reason. And I am asked why not there is no Tahrir square demonstration! Doesn’t Yara’s story answer the question?

What kind of monster can try or execute a 21 yo girl for wanting freedom?

April 30th, 2012, 2:28 pm


daleandersen said:

[STOP DaleAndersen Please use the handle chosen by the commentators to address them]


RE: “…colonialist powers in the region…”

Be sure to include your precious Syria in this, boy.Your imperialist adventures in Lebanon are neither forgiven nor forgotten…

April 30th, 2012, 3:20 pm


Tara said:


Being able to hurt for other people is commendable and noble, but what do you think id the pathophysiology for the selective perception of pain and empathy?

Dehumanization? Can children be dehumanized? May be If they are born to a “disgusting” veiled women? I know it is easy and natural for some to dehumanize veiled women totally covered in black or on blue. I see it all the time. Some, unconsciously, do not even see them as women. I have seen it here on SC, from prople that I even like very much, but what about a 21 non-veiled young Christian woman? Can she also be dehumanized… For the cause?

April 30th, 2012, 3:25 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

It is stupid and not justifiable regardless of religion.

April 30th, 2012, 3:33 pm


Syrialover said:

# 379. Mina said: “South Sudan, lever against Egypt,
Mali, lever against Algeria,
Libya, “mission accomplished,”
who is trying to fix gas prices for the years to come?”

I don’t know Mina, you tell us. You write in mysteries and riddles for us poor ordinary people who don’t have whirling conspiracy theorist minds.

I’m mildly intrigued about the rationale and sources for each of those dramatic statements above.

April 30th, 2012, 4:00 pm


Aldendeshe said:

What kind of monster can try or execute a 21 yo girl for wanting freedom?


A monster that is for 40+ years is backed by all Moslem, Arab and World countries, even the supposed arch-enemy Israel, as well as, all International Organizations such as the U.N.

Now, I don’t know what the girl did but if she did not kill anyone herself, premeditated crime, she should not face the death penalty for sure.

April 30th, 2012, 5:08 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

[Moderator Note SNK Can you please provide a different link, this one is no longer available]

Alqaeda -Syrian Revolution ,LLC

April 30th, 2012, 5:08 pm


zoo said:

With the Bahrain documentary, are Qatar and KSA becoming enemies again after the truce in July 2007? Is the GCC unity breaking up?

How Saudi Arabia and Qatar Became Friends Again
And why their rapprochement could mean an early end for the Arab Spring.

“The New York Times reported in 2008 that the Qatari emir had taken the chairman and general manager of Al Jazeera with him to Riyadh in September 2007. One Al Jazeera employee claimed in an email message to the Times that “Orders were given not to tackle any Saudi issue without referring to the higher management” and that subsequently “All dissident voices disappeared from our screens.” Al Jazeera is now accused of rarely taking on sensitive topics involving its larger neighbor.

April 30th, 2012, 5:45 pm


Alan said:

Blasts & killing fail to blow apart Kurdish chance in Syria

April 30th, 2012, 6:02 pm


zoo said:

#389 Allan

Assange’s next episode on Tuesday: The current Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki about torture.

April 30th, 2012, 6:08 pm


zoo said:

Go Obama Go!
Indispensable but invisible in the Syrian crisis
By Jackson Diehl, Published: April 29
For a year, a chorus of pundits has been proclaiming that the Arab Spring has ushered in a new era in the Middle East in which the United States no longer is the “indispensable nation” Bill Clinton once described. Syria has proved them wrong.

To be sure, so far the evidence is a negative: the failure of the United Nations or Syria’s neighbors to stop the country’s slide into civil war in the absence of U.S. leadership. The case is nevertheless conclusive — because every other power or organization that aspired to step into the vacuum left by Washington has tried and failed to deliver in Damascus.

A gloomy defeatism has infected European and Arab diplomats working on Syria. They shrug and say there are no solutions, that not much can be done to stop the fighting and that there’s no way to build an international consensus for stronger measures.

What’s missing, of course, is a decision by President Obama to make that commitment. To do so, he would have to set aside the idea that any action must be authorized by the U.N. Security Council. He would have to forge an ad hoc coalition with Turkey and other NATO members, led by the United States. And he would have to order U.S. diplomats to work intensively with Syria’s opposition movements and ethnic communities to build an accord on a post-Assad order.

In other words, Obama would have to behave as if the United States were still what Bill Clinton understood it to be: the indispensable nation

April 30th, 2012, 6:14 pm


zoo said:

By supporting Abdel Monem Aboul Foutoush, are the Arab monarchies turning their back to the Moslem Brotherhood? How are Qatar and Turkey, the MB traditional allies taking that slap?

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Salafist party, the extreme Islamists, withdrew support from Mohammed Morsi and backed instead the more liberal Islamist candidate, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, often described as a “defector” from the Brotherhood.

Although the Salafists propose an even more extreme version of the Muslim Brotherhood’s program, oil is thicker than blood in the region; the Salafists get a reported $50 million annual subsidy from the Saudis, and presumably are acting under Saudi orders.

The Saudi Crown Prince, Interior Minister Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz, is a bitter enemy of the Brotherhood. “In the past Nayif has castigated the Muslim Brotherhood for their influence in Saudi Arabia, so he can be expected to look on with suspicion as the Brotherhood moves towards power in Egypt and perhaps in Syria and Tunisia,” Joshua Teitelbaum wrote in a paper for the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies [4].

And on April 16, Jordan’s parliament passed a draft political law that would disqualify the country’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood from participation elections, effectively banning the largest opposition party to the Hashemite monarchy.

The Arab monarchies fear that the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt by revolutionary means portends a further revolutionary assault on their own regimes. And the result of American failure to take decisive action to interdict the Brotherhood’s march to power is likely to be greater instability and a decline of American influence in the region.

April 30th, 2012, 6:24 pm


zoo said:

Contrary to warnings by Davutoglu and Clinton:

Obama official: No NATO planning underway for Syria
Posted By Josh Rogin Monday, April 30, 2012 – 5:11 PM Share

There is no formal planning going on inside NATO to prepare for defending Turkey from the violence spilling over from Syria, even though Turkey is considering whether to formally invoke NATO’s chapters on collective defense, a top Obama administration official said Monday.

“Our Supreme Allied Commander [Adm. James Stavridis] can do a certain amount of planning… but there has been no formal tasking and there has been no formal request by the Turks for consultations in an Article 4 or Article 5 scenario,” said Liz Sherwood-Randall, the National Security Council’s senior director for Europe, in remarks Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotoglu briefed his foreign minister and defense minister counterparts on Syria at a high level meeting in Brussels this month, and reports said that Davotoglu discussed at length a cross border attack by Syrian forces on a refugee camp inside Turkey that killed two. Davotoglu is also reported to have said the Syrian regime has “abused a chance offered by the Annan plan.”

The Obama administration also believes that the Annan plan “is failing,” is currently searching for a “plan B” in Syria, and is preparing military related options in case they are diplomacy breaks down. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that NATO might have to get involved earlier this month, during a ministerial meeting of the “Friends of Syria” group in Paris.

April 30th, 2012, 6:34 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

What’s missing, of course, is a decision by President Obama to make that commitment. To do so, he would have to set aside the idea that any action must be authorized by the U.N. Security Council. He would have to forge an ad hoc coalition with Turkey and other NATO members, led by the United States. And he would have to order U.S. diplomats to work intensively with Syria’s opposition movements and ethnic communities to build an accord on a post-Assad order.

Israel and neocons will not permit that.

April 30th, 2012, 6:37 pm


bronco said:


As a good omen for you, General Mood not only has blue eyes, but looks like Bashar al Assad in tougher.

April 30th, 2012, 6:54 pm


zoo said:

Syria’s new constitution has not weakened Baath Party’s grip on power
Phil Sands
May 1, 2012

DAMASCUS // Promising rule of law, democracy and an end to the Baath Party’s monopoly on power, Syria’s new constitution has been heralded by regime officials as proof of real political change.

But two months after the new legal code was formally introduced in response to protests calling for reform, a Baathist official has acknowledged the party’s grip remains undiminished. Lawyers say nothing has changed in the daily operations of ineffectual justice courts or to rein in the security services.

However, doing away with Article 8 has done little, if anything, to weaken the Baath Party’s institutional hold on the country it has ruled for decades, and party members anticipate a victory in next week’s ballot will further enshrine its leading role.

“Now on the ground the Baath Party is ruling. It ruled between 1963 and 1973 without the need for Article 8 and [without Article 8], it is still ruling today,” said a prominent Baath party official, speaking on condition of anonymity,

“The Baath party didn’t give up its authority yet, and if the other sides want power they will have to take it from us in the elections or by force [of arms],” he said. “The Baath Party is still here. Let’s see who wins the elections.”
Umran Zaubie, a lawyer and Baath Party member, said the new legal framework would bring about profound changes to Syria’s political system and assure “freedom, democracy and human rights”, but that it was unrealistic to expect an immediate shift.

“The new constitution won’t be implemented on the ground overnight, there is a line in the constitution that says all laws will have to be changed [to comply] within three years,” he said.

“Real implementation in a political sense will begin after the [7 May] parliamentary elections, although a start has already been made, it will take time for it all to happen. It’s absurd to say, ‘there will be a new constitution tomorrow so everything will change tomorrow’, it is not a small matter.”

Mr Zaubie said he expected the Baath Party to remain a strong presence in Syrian life.

“There are three million Baath Party members, and there are maybe half a million in the opposition, if we are being generous with their numbers,” he said. “That half a million wants to cancel the three million but it cannot, that is undemocratic. Let the real parties stand up in the elections and flex their muscles.”

April 30th, 2012, 7:05 pm


zoo said:

Iran hosts the first exhibition of Syrian goods.
April 2012.

April 30th, 2012, 7:11 pm


Alan said:

Syria, occupying strategically important situation in the region and being the potential conductor of economic and military-political interests of Russia in the Middle East and in the Pool of Mediterranean, should take rather important place in the Russian foreign policy. In this regard it is abundantly clear that the modern Russian policy concerning Syria, as well as all Middle East region, should be based on the national and state interests of Russia and consider the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between two countries. Thus speech doesn’t go about new confrontation with the West countries, namely about original protection of the Syrian people and the Russian interests that represents natural and historically successive diplomatic practice.

Boris Dolgov

Cт. research associate of the Center of the Arab researches of Institute of oriental studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

April 30th, 2012, 7:13 pm


Uzair8 said:


‘…members of the Hashemite Royal family visited the Sheikh in recent days. I wonder who?’

Just watched more of the video and it was Prince Abbas of Jordan. The Sheikh gives oath to King Abdullah via Prince Abbas on 34 minutes.

April 30th, 2012, 7:31 pm


daleandersen said:

Memo To ZOO

RE: “…Iran hosts the first exhibition of Syrian goods…”

Syrian goods. So this will be an exhibition of 500 kinds of garlic? Quick! Where’s my passport…

April 30th, 2012, 7:32 pm


omen said:

390. Alan said: Assange Episode 3: Torture & double standards of the West

you know, assange came out in favor of the revolution and attacked hezbollah’s support for a brutal regime guilty of war crimes in his interview with nassar.

i had braced myself beforehand to be disappointed with a misguided, reflexive anti-imperialist stance. but to my relief, assange had done his homework!

April 30th, 2012, 7:45 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Don’t laught at garlic, just look what Sabra and other companies makes in sales of Hummus a year in the United State alone.

April 30th, 2012, 7:45 pm


omen said:

382. Tara said: Yara Shamas, a 21 yo female activist, could face the death penalty for defending the people right to bear arms to defend themselves.

What kind of monster can try or execute a 21 yo girl for wanting freedom?

people are killed for holding a camera. i saw one video of a young girl, dead. still in her hand was a small camera, disguised to be worn as a ring. she was killed for trying to get the truth out.

April 30th, 2012, 8:02 pm


Alan said:

Bombings spread in Syria as Al Qaeda seizes control of rebel factions

anniversary of the death of al Qaeda’s iconic leader Osama bin Laden at the hands of US special forces, the jihadist movement is making an operational comback in the Arab world and Africa. The suicide bombings hitting Damascus and Idlib in the last 24 hours were the work of Al Qaeda in Iraq – AQI, whose operatives have been pouring into Syria in the last two weeks, DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report.

Washington has not asked Iraqi premier Nouri al-Maliki to stem the outward flow, realizing he is glad to see the backs of the terrorists and waving them across the border into Syria. Our sources report from Western agencies fighting al Qaeda that several thousand operatives have arrived in Syria to fight the Assad regime, most entering the country from the north. They come fully armed with quantities of explosives. Among them are hundreds of Saudis, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, Iraqis and Sudanese.

They quickly join up with the hundreds of al Qaeda fighters from Libya present at Free Syrian Army-FSA training camps in southeast Turkey. There, they are instructed in the geography of Syrian government, army and security forces locations, led across the border and transported to their targeted locations by special guides.

[ … ]

April 30th, 2012, 8:02 pm


omen said:

an iranian/syrian exhibition? what, are they going to impress one another by showing off demonstrations of various torture techniques?

i can hear them already going “oooh” and “aaahhh” in admiration. sick effers.

April 30th, 2012, 8:09 pm


Alan said:

402. OMEN
all colors of a rainbow form white light !

April 30th, 2012, 8:12 pm


zoo said:

It’s the first time Ban Ki Moon use the word “terrorists attacks ” about Syria violence

U.N. chief condemns “terrorist bomb attacks” in Syria
Reuters – 4 hrs ago

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon condemned on Monday “terrorist bomb attacks” in the Syrian cities of Damascus and Idlib, and noted that while there had been security improvements in areas monitored by U.N. observers, he was “gravely concerned” by the continued violence.

“The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist bomb attacks in the cities of Idlib and Damascus which took place today and on 27 April 2012, killing and injuring scores of people,” Ban’s press office said in a statement

April 30th, 2012, 8:26 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“Syrian goods. So this will be an exhibition of 500 kinds of garlic? ”

What kind of backwards statement is this?

What benefit do you think you are bringing here when you not only choose to attack commentators in every comment of yours, but belittle an entire nation as well?

Under what pretence are you choosing to use the word “boy” to address Arabs? Are we somehow a race or group of people that should revere you? Or is it being used under a racist guise similar to what African Americans were called by their slave bosses?

I think you keep mistaking SyriaComment for 4Chan, you will find a much better audience there for your “comments”.

April 30th, 2012, 8:34 pm


Tara said:


Not all blue eyes are created equal. Some are more equal than others….

April 30th, 2012, 8:43 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Aljazera the Chanel of Blood and the other blood:

[ + التضليل الاعلامي 30-4-2012 عملية قنص تمثيلية ]

April 30th, 2012, 9:04 pm


omen said:

409. zoo said: It’s the first time Ban Ki Moon use the word “terrorists attacks ” about Syria violence

activists have noted every time foreign monitors touch ground in syria (whether from the un or the arab league,) coincidentally, “terror attacks” happen. a pattern now predictable enough to count upon like clockwork.

one illustration of this argument.

state sponsored terrorism is always much worse than stateless actors (see the u.s. & israel, for example.) syrian regime is worse than alqaeda.

i don’t know why bashar isn’t in an orange jumpsuit, sitting in gitmo. only reason he isn’t is because he benefits the u.s. or israel somehow.

April 30th, 2012, 9:14 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Arab terrorists and jihadist killed in Syria:

April 30th, 2012, 9:24 pm


Gregory Carlin said:

If the Hama explosion was a Scud missile, it would have been observed from space. The explanations from the Free Syrian Army for one bombing or another have a common element, the narrative is ubiquitously surreal. I think this conflict also has the record, since the technology came into being, for fabricated videos.

April 30th, 2012, 9:51 pm


Mick said:


You know what the foreign minister said and what happened are two different things.

He was asked if an attack on the observers would look bad on the government. The attack was on government forces.

I fail to see why you are using the weak argument to deflect attention from terrorists acts.

April 30th, 2012, 9:55 pm


Tara said:

Dale Andersen

If I to bet, I would say you are a first or second generation Christian Lebanese-American who, suffered by the Syrian imperialistic excursion in Lebanon, despises everything Syrian. You are too much fixated on the Syrian “excursion” in Lebanon. Am I wrong?

I asked you once and you told me you hate Syria and everything Syrian, yet you are intensely drawn to Syria comment and to that ancient Syrian Queen.. Dare I ask What was her name again? You were vey much “hurt” by being banned and never lost interest. You are politically correct with the Israelis (genuinely or not) but not so dealing with the Syrians. What are all these contradictions about?

April 30th, 2012, 10:22 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

[SNK Please refrain from labelling an entire group of people. Emotions are high, name calling and labelling will do nothing but raise the emotions even further. We appreciate your understanding and help in keeping Syria Comment open and safe place for everyone.]

Where is the next suicide bombing? Huh ??? Any one has bakara(cow)of Qater e mail ?Huh ??? Does anyone knows
The color of the eyes of the next jihadulutionist?Huh ??? Or jihad supporters can’t looke jihadulutionist in the eye? Huh ??? Why did revolutionists turned onto jihadulutionists?

April 30th, 2012, 10:54 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

When opposition criminals يقتلون نفسا بغير حق their supporters would say خلوها مستوره لامنشاف ولامين دري

اغتيل مساء اليوم  الشيخ “اسماعيل السيراني” في محافظة درعا ، بعد اقتحام منزله من قبل مجموعة مسلحين أثناء تأديته صلاة العشاء داخل منزله .

وذكرت صفحات على موقع التواصل االجتماعي فيسبوك أن “مجموعة ارهابية مسلحة سبق لها أن اغتالت ابنه قبل نحو اسبوع ” .

April 30th, 2012, 11:35 pm


zoo said:

Davutoglu: People in Arab countries love us..
( armenians too?)

Davutoğlu seems to have no doubt, since he said, “I’d like to advise those who are criticizing us: Go to Cairo. Go to Tripoli. Go to the streets of Beirut, Tunisia, Jerusalem, and ask about Turkey’s policy on Syria. They will hug you and express their appreciation for Turkey’s honorable policy.”

April 30th, 2012, 11:38 pm


ann said:

Ambassador calls for passive approach to Syria – April 30, 2012

The world needs to have a hands-off international approach when it comes to the violent revolution in Syria, according to Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, during a speech at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies last Friday.

“We believe that United Nations Security Council, by charter, is not supposed to get involved in regime change,” said Churkin.

“In case of a crisis, we believe that the role of the international community should be to support various groups in the country involved in the crisis to find a peaceful solution,” said Churkin.

“As long as there is no serious monitoring of the situation, [violations] will keep happening,” said Churkin. “I don’t believe the armed groups are going to simply heed Kofi Annan or the Security council, unless there are a fair number of monitors who will be able to spot their activity in contravention of cease-fire relations.”


May 1st, 2012, 12:56 am


Uzair8 said:

Some coincidences:

– Each friday demonstrations are given a different name. The recent friday was named:
“The command of Allah is coming, so be not impatient for it.”

– On the same friday (27/4) Sheikh Nazim received visiting members of the Hashemite Royal family in cyprus. The Sheikh advised King Abdullah to prepare for Syria and revealed:

“He was hesitant, but support is coming, support is coming for His Majesty to make a move…”

– While these words are being uttered, we hear the sound of the call to prayer breaking out in the background. *


May 1st, 2012, 1:32 am


Uzair8 said:

Crisis deepens in Syrian cities
Tue 24 Apr 2012

by Simon Assaf

The arrival of United Nations observers has triggered a new round of protests in the Syrian cites that remain under siege. In return the cities of Idlib, Hama and Douma could face attacks by government forces.

Angry street confrontations continue in Aleppo and Damascus, and significant protests have emerged in their industrial districts.

Young rebels on the streets are calling to be sent weapons—rather than calling for foreign support. A debate is raging over tactics, with the “peace camp” losing ground significantly.

An intense debate has broken out among the Shia Muslim clergy in its religious heart at Najaf, Iraq. A significant and vocal minority are citing Shia Muslim tradition of always siding with the oppressed, and want to issue a general call for solidarity with oppressed Sunnis in Syria.

May 1st, 2012, 2:00 am


Alan said:

when comment repeat, it means there are uncertainty signs! better if comment contains a material about dolphins!

May 1st, 2012, 2:15 am


Juergen said:

Robert Fisk: Robert Fisk: After the Arab Spring, an Islamic Awakening?

he qouted Nasr Hamid Abu Zeid: “If you consider the situation in the Muslim world, the absolute absence of political freedom and the failure of all the projects which were started by socialism, communism, nationalism – absolute failure – the poor Muslim citizen finally got nothing. And he was deprived even of his liberty to think – 40 years with the absolute absence of democracy, of liberty! Only one voice was allowed. We had to echo the voice: the president, the king, whatever. Obedience to the ruler became some sort of religious conviction. So obedience here is the key word.”

interview with Nasr Hamid Abu Zeid:

I find Abu Zeids stand a bit too radical, Thomas Bauer has just published an very interessting book: The culture of ambiguity-an other history of islam. Here is an overview of his book.

It may be off the topic a bit, but find it suits well some claims that radical jihadis are the worlds biggest problem. Here is an documentary of evangelicals in the US, i just found the film on youtube. May be i am the only one, but i really am afraid of those folks. In the film one teacher lady said that because in Palestine the muslims send their kids to terror camps we send them to bible camps. Just a reminder, there are more evangelicals in this world than salafists…
“Jesus camp”

May 1st, 2012, 2:32 am


Uzair8 said:

😆 😆 😆

Iran & Syria implement Free Trade Agreement

Saturday Apr 28, 2012

The title on google news had me laughing.

May 1st, 2012, 3:07 am


daleandersen said:

[UN blue helmet Dale Andersen has returned to moderation.

Dale, the rules are plain. They apply to everyone. Your personally-directed scorn and expressions of contempt against Syria are intolerable. You were warned several times that you would re-enter moderation if you could not alter your habitual patterns of expression. @SCModeration (Twitter) ]

RE: “…that ancient Syrian Queen…”

She wasn’t ancient, Tara, just pre-Muslim. And she wasn’t a queen, but an Empress. people like you You Syrians think nothing happened in Syria until the Muslims came. people like you You seem to be totally ignorant of the thousands of years before the first jihad. Too bad about that.

Her name was Theodora. You can look her up. It never ceases to amaze me what people like you you so-called educated people don’t know about your own country. It would be sad if it weren’t so funny.

By the way, I wasn’t upset about being banned. I told the SC Moderator to jam it.

May 1st, 2012, 3:30 am


omen said:

7:11 – sorry zoo, should have watched video first. indeed, syria produces such beauty.

May 1st, 2012, 3:53 am


omen said:

Juergen, fisk is infuriating. from iran onwards, he’s taken cheap pot shots against protesters while being too soft against dictators. during an aljazeera english roundtable a couple of weeks ago, he praised bashar as being a very smart man!

an egyptian activist ran into fisk:


I asked him about citizen journalism and again, he sounded very dismissive. I don’t know if he’s heard of @acarvin and his work. #Fisk

May 1st, 2012, 4:00 am


ann said:

Syria Attacks Seen as Sign of Extremists’ Rise – April 30, 2012

Suicide Bombings Signal Growing Role Of Islamist Militants Amid Opposition

Suicide blasts on Monday and a series of other bombings across Syria have renewed concerns that unrest there is giving extremist Islamist groups room to grow, a scenario Western officials fear will make it more difficult to contain the crisis.

The development also complicates efforts to encourage compliance with a United Nations-brokered cease-fire by President Bashar al-Assad—who has long held that the uprising against him is the work of terrorists.

Western and Arab officials and some members of the Syrian opposition say the attacks point to the growing activities of al Qaeda and radical Sunni Islamist groups in operations against the Syrian regime, as the popular uprising against Mr. Assad has developed into armed conflict.

U.S. officials, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have said strikes on security and intelligence buildings in Damascus and Aleppo over the past four months have resembled al Qaeda attacks, and that extremists, mainly al Qaeda insurgents from Iraq, may have infiltrated Syrian opposition groups.

“We are increasingly concerned that these attacks are beyond the control of the Syrian opposition…that other groups are involved,” a U.S. official said.

“Core al Qaeda was caught somewhat flatfooted in the Arab Spring,” the official said. “They’ve had more time on something like Syria” to plan.


May 1st, 2012, 4:14 am


omen said:

fisk works out of lebanon. did he suck up to bashar out of concern for his safety? this obscene culture of fear needs to be put to rest.

May 1st, 2012, 4:21 am


ann said:

Syria prepares for elections – 2012-05-01

For the first time in 40 years, seats in the Syrian parliament will be up for grabs by multiple parties in the country’s much-postponed elections, now scheduled for May the 7th.

Previously, only parties that belonged to the National Progressive Front were allowed to stand for election. More than 7,000 candidates from more than eight parties will be competing for 250 seats in parliament.

Streets in Syria are decked with candidates’ election campaign banners and posters, with most of the slogans emphasizing national unity, greater youth participation and peaceful change. Many Syrians believe the upcoming elections can bring vitality to the country and pave the way for reforms.


May 1st, 2012, 4:31 am


ann said:

Syrian sanctions finding unintended targets – April 30, 2012

[Ann, the Financial Times does not allow reposting of its articles to the web, as noted in the body of your comment – and in a copyright notice at the bottom of their articles. If you are a subscriber, you may use your paid subscription tools to link, following FT rules. At the moment, we cannot allow any copy-paste excerpts from this site. Headlines, links and a description are perfectly okay.

Sorry for the editing, and thanks for your cooperation.]

© Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012. articles are only available to registered users and subscribers.

You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.

May 1st, 2012, 4:35 am


Tara said:


I want to have an honest word with you..Your 2 or 3 dots between boring round short, and fat brackets are becoming a problem and simply not doing the cut for me. I can’t copy them all the time plus they were invented by Mina, And it tires me to copy something dull. I like versatility. I miss Beaware so much. Very very

May 1st, 2012, 7:19 am


Antoine said:


Do you have anything to say about the protagonist in this video ?

Is he a Zionist agent ?

May 1st, 2012, 7:48 am


zoo said:

#435 Tara

I guess the content of my posts from newspapers annoy you more than the brackets. I can’t change the world news even if they go against your predictions. I ‘ll try to think for an alternative to the bracket-dots, just to make the annoyance of the articles and your jealousy less painful.

May 1st, 2012, 7:57 am


zoo said:

“around half” of the SNC’s members are Islamists.”

In Syria, America Allies with the Muslim Brotherhood
The president’s support for the Syrian National Council strengthens Islamists.

By John Rosenthal

While the Obama administration’s burgeoning contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt continue to cause controversy, the administration’s policy of growing cooperation with the Syrian opposition continues to enjoy almost unanimous support. This is remarkable, since by virtue of that policy the administration is openly allied with none other than the Muslim Brotherhood: that is, openly, but with perhaps just enough misdirection for the alliance to escape the notice of the broader public.

The Syrian opposition organization that the United States and other Western powers have been officially supporting is, of course, the Syrian National Council (SNC). At a meeting in Istanbul on April 1, the so-called Friends of Syria, including the United States, recognized the SNC as “a legitimate representative of all Syrians.” Although the use of the indefinite article suggests there were reservations on the part of some participants, U.S. State Department statements both before and after the Istanbul meeting leave no doubt that the Obama administration treats the SNC as its principal Syrian interlocutor. The SNC is also the presumptive recipient or at least conduit of the aid that the Obama administration has pledged to the Syrian opposition. While in Istanbul, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with representatives of the SNC, and she afterwards promised that “there will be more assistance of all kinds for the Syrian National Council.”

But who is the Syrian National Council? Although the chairman and most recognizable face of the council is the secular Paris-based political scientist Burhan Ghalioun, it is openly acknowledged that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is a major force within the council. In fact, there is strong evidence that it is the major force. When several members of the council resigned in mid-March, they cited the overwhelming influence of the Brotherhood as a reason for their decision. “The Brotherhood took the whole council,” departing council member Walid al-Bunni told the New York Times. “We became like extras.”

The Belgian Syria expert Thomas Pierret, a lecturer in contemporary Islam at the University of Edinburgh, estimates that “around half” of the SNC’s members are Islamists.

May 1st, 2012, 8:02 am


Juergen said:


very funny indeed, he really got the vibe taking down the posters. I hope syrian schools will be better ( and more colorful places ) places after this family regime will be ousted.

May 1st, 2012, 8:15 am


zoo said:

Marzouki worries about Salafists and call for dialog in Syria

The President of Tunisia has said that Salafis in his country pose a “threat to democracy,” but called on his security forces to not resort to the torture and suppression that plagued the country until last year.

Speaking to Assange, Marzouki distanced himself from backing the insurgents and called for a negotiated settlement.

“We are not supporting any kind of foreign intervention in Syria. I do believe that giving weapons to Syrians would lead to civil war. I think it’s not a good choice. I still believe that the only solution must be political, and that we have to find common… common ground between opposition and the regime. I still believe that the only solution is the Yemeni scenario,” he said.

May 1st, 2012, 8:15 am


Tara said:


Thank you Zoo. I Iove you too.

May 1st, 2012, 8:24 am


Mina said:

Sorry, I am currently in the Middle East and cannot open videos anymore. Too dangerous in the land of “freedom of expression and prosperity” (not Syria, you guess).

May 1st, 2012, 8:34 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

عزيزي سوريا ليست قندهار
الأمس طلبت منك أن لا تسمي مجموعة كاملة بكلمات سيئة – شكراً على احترامك ومساعدتك في جعل سيريا كومنت (التعليق السوري) مقار للجميع
SCModeration Team

Opposition criminals killing a Homsi Christian then transporting his body to his family so that he does not appear on Aldonia:
الثوره يقوم بها الأغبياء
يقودها المثقفون
يستفيد منها المنافقون
In Syria’s case:
يقودها العراعره

May 1st, 2012, 8:44 am


DAWOUD said:


If you read Arabic, please read the following article. Please notice that Sunnis are 45% of Bahrain’s population. If they achieve civil rights for non-Bahrainis born in Bahrain, and grant citizenship to long-term residents, Sunnis would be a majority in Bahrain. This is bad news for Hasan Nasrallah-in-waiting, Ali Salman and his sectarian al-Wifaq agenda. I still support the Bahraini uprising for freedom as long as it would lead to a non-sectarian inclusive democracy for ALL. Similarly, I support a non-sectarian inclusive democracy in Syria, regardless of the fact that Sunni Syrians are at least 80% of the population.

Final thought: thanks to the editor/moderator for posting my comment in this post, “from the Comment Section.” I wonder why the Xinhuanet/RT/Press TV commentator did not have anything to contribute to this post (you did not pick anything for her). Could it be because of the fact that she is a cut-and-paste pro-dictator commentator? Her recently acquired knowledge of the Middle East is inadequate!

هذا التصعيد السياسي المذهبي إلى أين؟
معركة كلامية لا تتوقف بين رئيس الوزراء التركي أردوغان، وبين نظيره العراقي نوري المالكي، ويتطوّع الطرفان والمتحدثون باسمهما في الردِّ والهجوم على نحو غير مسبوق، بينما “يحج” المالكي إلى طهران في زيارة ليومين لا يمكن النأي بها بعيدا عن جهة التصعيد مع الجار التركي، فضلا عن عموم الوضع الذي تعيشه المنطقة وفي مقدمته الثورة السورية. وتصل الحفاوة بالضيف العراقي حدّ الحديث عن وحدة بين البلدين (إيران والعراق)!!

May 1st, 2012, 10:11 am


ann said:

German police arrest 30 SALAFISTS after clashes – 1 hr 32 mins ago

BERLIN (AP) — German police say 30 protesters of an ultra-conservative Muslim group were arrested after clashing with security officials.

Police spokeswoman Anja Meis said a group of Salafists protesting against a far-right march threw stones and attacked officers separating the two rallies in the western German city of Solingen Tuesday. Three policemen and a passer-by were injured.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agencies are keeping a close eye on Salafists, suspected by officials of spreading a radical ideology condoning violence


May 1st, 2012, 10:50 am


Alan said:

some music!
Marcel Cartier & Agent of Change – Hands Off Syria

May 1st, 2012, 10:51 am


Mina said:

Even aljazara does not believe in the “rebels” or in zibalah anymore.

(from the Angry Arab today,

May 1st, 2012, 11:20 am


Halabi said:

Syrian Regime Confiscates Sky News Camera – (the link has a photo of the shabeeh)

A television camera belonging to Sky News has been confiscated by Syrian officials after the crew filmed an impromptu protest in the capital, Damascus.

“A uniformed officer with a machine gun approached us and violently ripped the camera away from us.

“There was a struggle between us and the policeman. He then ran off down the road with it and I subsequently followed the policeman.
“More armed men with truncheons later came out towards my two colleagues, who were taken into the court building.

Marshall and the Sky News team have been filming in Damascus and other areas in Syria with full credentials, filming permits and media visas.
“It is a contravention of the six-point peace plan on two counts,” Marshall said.

“Firstly not to allow journalists to film freely and secondly, not to allow demonstrations.”

May 1st, 2012, 11:29 am


irritated said:

448. norman

The FSA is collapsing by lack of weapons, infiltrations by Sunnis extremists and foreigners and their resort to terrorists acts.
They are not protecting civilians, they are killing them.

Like the SNC, they are on the way to the Turkish garage.

May 1st, 2012, 11:30 am


Uzair8 said:

Dr Radwan Ziadeh was on BBC Radio 5 last night:

Presenter: “That’s a dreadful accusation. How could a government persuade people to go out and blow themselves up, in the name of some great deception?’

Listen from 40min. About 6 minutes long.


From Sun night/Mon morning. Andrew Tabler, a fellow at the Washington Institute for near east policy and former editor-in-chief of Syria Today was on Radio 5.

Worth a listen.

“Like Algeria in the 90’s….the difference is that the Algerian regime had a lot more oil revenues, the syrian regime doesn’t. And of course Algeria is not right in the middle of the middle east in the middle of the Iranian axis.”

Listen from 18 min. About 9 minutes long.

May 1st, 2012, 11:36 am


Mawal95 said:

Dated 23 Apr 2012, uploaded 25 Apr 2012: An anti-regime crowd in Deir Ezzor prays: “Oh God, we are suffering defeat, so give us victory. No one gives victory but You, God…. Bring down your rage upon them, oh our Lord. Oh God, deal with Bashar Al-Assad.” . I’m glad they’re smart enough to see they’re suffering defeat. Too bad they’re stupid enough to think prayer can bring them a miracle.

Uploaded 21 Apr 2012, an anti-regime crowd in Binish town in Idlib chants “Death, Death to Israel”. They also chant that they want to re-establish a Califate.

May 1st, 2012, 12:44 pm


Mawal95 said:

Using the info reported daily by SANA.SY, the average number of security forces men buried per day during the first 15 days of April was 11 men per day, while the average for the last 15 days of April was 10 men per day. The latter average doesn’t count an additional 25 soldiers buried in a military graveyard in Latakia on 29 Apr 2012, all of whom were killed in Homs, and who are not counted because their names are not given in SANA’s report, . For the month of March the average was 9.5 security forces men buried per day.

May 1st, 2012, 12:44 pm


Mawal95 said:

Two of the newly established political parties, namely the Democratic Vanguard Party and the Solidarity Party, have decided to withdraw from the 7 May 2012 parliamentary elections contest. They realized that they didn’t have the slightest chance of getting any of their candidates elected. The population is in the mood to vote for the Baath Party and vote for national unity and vote against factionalism.

More news about the elections, in Arabic:

Looking at the following daily newspapers in Arabic, there’s not much coverage of the parliamentary elections to be found:

Similarly on Syrian State TV’s news you’ll find very little coverage of the elections. Today is a national holiday in Syria, 1st of May, Labour Day, which in abstract theory might’ve been a good day to have some political campaign events for next week’s elections. Syrian State TV’s take on today is that it’s a day for workers to recommit themselves to protecting the homeland against the conspiracy and contributing in a positive way to the national economic development process. I didn’t see any mention of the elections at all.

May 1st, 2012, 12:46 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

May 1st, 2012, 12:54 pm


Juergen said:

“They realized that they didn’t have the slightest chance of getting any of their candidates elected.”

what a nice way of putting it into context. Wouldnt it be more true to write: They realized that they had no chance against a regime which manipulates the election results.

Do you really expect an election campaign in Syria? Syria never needed that to get the 99/98 % approvals. Alone the word, election in Syria bears some comedy in it.


How about some proof that more than 100 french soldiers were detained in Homs? Now Pakistanis, who will be next?


thank you for posting the sky news video, i loved the demonstration in front of Hamidiye.

here is an other great video of todays protest in the capital

May 1st, 2012, 12:59 pm


Mawal95 said:

As linked to above by #398 ZOO, a lawyer and Baath Party member named Umran Zaubie said: “There are three million Baath Party members, and there are maybe half a million in the opposition, if we are being generous with their numbers. That half a million wants to cancel the three million, but it cannot.”

His estimate that the uprising’s supporters number about a half a million is an estimate fitting well with what’s to be seen of activity on the ground all round the country. I say it’s a good estimate. If you have an evidentiary basis for disagreeing with it, please enlighten us. (The number of card-carrying members of the Baath Party is closer to two million according to what I’ve read).

May 1st, 2012, 1:08 pm


Badr said:

Any Syrian would like to take an exception to this?

I hope for a regime change, but I don’t think it is in Israel’s interest.

I don’t want to see a regime change, and I believe it would be in Israel’s interest, if this happens.

May 1st, 2012, 1:56 pm


Nour said:

بيان حول انتخابات مجلس الشعب في “الشام” في السابع من أيار 2012.

عمدة الاذاعة

الأربعاء, 02 ماي/آيار 2012 00:09

في شهر آذار 2011 بدأت ملامح الأزمة العامة في الشام تظهر إلى العلن وتطفو على سطح الواقع، بأشكال الحراك الشعبي السلمي الذي عمّ عدة مدن ومحافظات، ثم ما لبث أن تطور بعد حين، إلى مواجهات مسلحة عنيفة وقد غذّت وفجرّت ذلك الحراك الغاضب تراكماتٌ سلبية مزمنة على مدى عقود من المعاناة والألم والقهر رزح تحتها الشعب في الشام على المستويات السياسية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية والأمنية، ما جعلته يثور وينتفض عند أول بارقة أمل حملتها رياح “الربيع العربي”، تلك المعاناة الكبرى التي كان يتم تجاوزها وتجاهلها وتبسيطها من السلطة تحت أعذار ومسميات شتّى، أبرزها المقولة- الذريعة “لا صوت يعلو على صوت المعركة”…

وقد رفدت ودعمت هذا الحراك الوطني المحقّ قوى إقليمية ودولية وجدت لها السانحة الذهبية والفرصة المثالية في تنفيذ “أجندتها السياسية” في تقويض الاستقرار العام في الشام جملة، تمهيدًا لتفتيت هذا الكيان وإضعافه وإدخاله في آتون “الفوضى المنظّمة” التي تعمل على استكمال تفكيك أوصال أمّتنا من العراق مرورًا بلبنان وصولاً إلى فلسطين، تحقيقًا للمصالح الأميركانية في النفوذ والسيطرة وإنقاذًا لمقولة “أمن إسرائيل فوق كلّ اعتبار”… فتمّ حرف مسار ذلك الحراك عن اتجاهه الصحيح ومطالبه المحقة وتمّ تشويه صورته وتبديل أهداف ووسائل عمله، فدخلت عليه جماعات خارجية، حاقدة ومجرمة، فأمسكت بناصية التخطيط والتوجيه، تساعدها إمكانياتها العالية في التحويل والتسليح والتجهيز لتحقيق أغراضها ومقاصدها في تدمير الشام شعبًا ودولة ومؤسسات. وكنا قد أبدينا آنذاك رأينا، كحزب، بكلّ ما يحصل، أسبابًا ونتائج، ونشرناه في بيانات ومقابلات إعلامية مرئية ومسموعة ومكتوبة، استنادًا إلى رؤيتنا الشاملة في البناء والإصلاح المشروحة والمفصلة في تراثنا الحزبي منذ العام 1932، والتي وضعت على أساسها مئات الدراسات والأبحاث المتخصّصة في كلّ الشؤون الحياتية، وآخرها عشرات الرسائل والمذكّرات المرسلة إلى القيادة في دمشق التي حذّرناها، باكرًا، من انفجار الوضع في الشام، بدفعٍ من عدوّ متربّص وشرس تدعمه قوى دولية وازنة تُحْسِن فتح الثغرات واستحداث الشروخ الموجودة في بنيتنا السياسية الهشة، وذلك انطلاقًا من حرصنا على سيادة شعبنا وسلامة وطننا وعملاً بالحكمة القائلة : “إن اتقاء الأغلاط خير من معالجة نتائجها”.


May 1st, 2012, 2:41 pm


Halabi said:

حمص بستان الديوان العم أبو وليام الصامد حتى الموت
[Moderator Note Homs – Bustan Al Diwan – Uncle Abu William, resolute until death]

What should be done with this 3ar3our…

May 1st, 2012, 2:43 pm


omen said:

460. Badr said: Any Syrian would like to take an exception to this?

I hope for a regime change, but I don’t think it is in Israel’s interest.

I don’t want to see a regime change, and I believe it would be in Israel’s interest, if this happens.


May 1st, 2012, 3:04 pm


omen said:

426. Juergen said: I find Abu Zeids stand a bit too radical, Thomas Bauer has just published an very interessting book: The culture of ambiguity-an other history of islam.

i must be missing something. how is abu zeid too radical? both men seem to be trying to work towards the same thing. a reexamination and challenging of orthodoxy.

May 1st, 2012, 3:23 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

As linked to above by #398 ZOO, a lawyer and Baath Party member named Umran Zaubie said: “There are three million Baath Party members, and there are maybe half a million in the opposition, if we are being generous with their numbers. That half a million wants to cancel the three million, but it cannot.”


So Baathism will be banned, 3 million Baathists will be criminalized and stripped of what they stole plus compensation to other Syrians, faces criminal charges for one thing or another, loss of civil rights and voting, holding any job other than farmland…Lets keep the revolution going please… There are just 3 million of them criminals and 27 million Syrians to fight them.

May 1st, 2012, 3:55 pm


Mina said:

A new movement is born! I hope Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd will be delighted, from where he reads us.

May 1st, 2012, 4:07 pm


omen said:

mina, this question isn’t raised as a form of an attack, so please don’t be offended. i ask this simply because i’m genuinely puzzled. how is it you support the overthrow of the tyranny ruling saudi arabia but not for syria?

May 1st, 2012, 4:36 pm


Alan said:

UN mission in Syria to be fully deployed by late May – UN official

May 1st, 2012, 4:40 pm


Uzair8 said:

Found some previous RT interviews with uk activist and writer Tariq Ali which it appears (google search) haven’t been on SC previously. The first one was on the UK Stop The War Coalition (STWC) site. The STWC supports neither side but opposes foreign intervention so it is good to see Tariq Ali make the comments in the more recent interview (see below).

I came across the first one yesterday, from december 2011, which lets say, may appear balanced as he is equally critical of all sides. I decided not to post earlier. ~ 4min long.

A more recent interview on RT, from february 2012. Not good listening for Assad.

‘Assad must go to save Syria from intervention’
15 February, 2012

[Selected quotes]

“He has to be pushed out,” Tariq Ali insists, for which “the Syrian people are doing their best”.


The expert says both Assad and his father have spilled enough Syrian blood and that “this family is unacceptable”.


“If the Assad clan refuses to relinquish their stronghold on the country, sooner or later something disastrous will happen,” Tariq Ali predicts,..


“The fact is that the overwhelming majority of people in Syria want the Assad family out – and that is the key thing that we have to understand and he [Assad] should understand,” Tariq Ali claims.

May 1st, 2012, 5:25 pm


omen said:

440. zoo said: Marzouki worries about Salafists and call for dialog in Syria:

Speaking to Assange, Marzouki distanced himself from backing the insurgents and called for a negotiated settlement.

“We are not supporting any kind of foreign intervention in Syria. I do believe that giving weapons to Syrians would lead to civil war. I think it’s not a good choice. I still believe that the only solution must be political, and that we have to find common… common ground between opposition and the regime. I still believe that the only solution is the Yemeni scenario,” he said.


this is a contradiction. the yemeni scenario required foreign intervention. the yemeni scenario amounted to regime change. bashar hasn’t shown indication he would willingly go along with this.

marzouki’s frame of reference is tunis. nonviolent protest approach has been tried and failed in syria. if marzouki toured in person homs, idlib and other cities under seige, if he talked to people on the ground, im sure he’d come away with another impression.

May 1st, 2012, 5:44 pm


irritated said:

#466 Uzair8

Traek Ali repeats the mantra that no one can prove: “The overwheming majority of Syrians want Bashar out.”

May 1st, 2012, 5:45 pm


bronco said:

$467 Omen

“the yemeni scenario amounted to regime change”

It did not. The family and friends of Saleh remain in charge of the country is now fighting against Al Qaeda. I was just a ‘president’ change, not a ‘regime’ change and solved nothing.

May 1st, 2012, 5:52 pm


omen said:

true, bronco.

May 1st, 2012, 5:58 pm


omen said:

speaking of marzouki, more from the assange interview. discussing secret police security files, assange argues for the sake of democracy, it’s important to open secrets from previous regime.

assange: will you open the tunisian archives?

marzouki: yes, for historians. it’s our duty to know what happened […] i’m not interested in convicting people saying “you have done this” and “you have done that.” because it would be very very dangerous. it’s important to know, to remember. but it’s also important to not know and to forget.

assange: is there pressure on you from other people in tunisian government to keep these files closed?

marzouki: no, no there is no pressure. this is my choice, you know. my choice is to be very careful. because, once again, we have to know, but we also have to forget and to forgive.

but remember this warning from the island president ousted in a coup:

The Maldives’ experience with the remnants of autocracy should serve as a lesson for other countries in the Arab Spring said Nasheed.
“The lesson is we didn’t deal with Gayoom. That’s the obvious lesson. And my romantic ideas of how to deal with a dictator were wrong. I will agree with that,” Nasheed told Time, in a striking reversal of his magnanimity in 2008.
Nasheed observed that “you can get rid of a dictator, but you can’t get rid of a dictatorship. You can get rid of a person very easily, but the networks, the intricacies, the establishments — you have to flush them. And to do that is not an easy thing. We have to be mindful with other countries going down the same line — for instance, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya. They’ll have good elections, they’ll probably come up with a better leader. But then the dictatorship will always try to come back. And it’s going to be impossible to hold them from coming back from within the system.”

marzouki is going to have to be harder than this if he hopes to survive and if he hopes to safeguard tunis.

May 1st, 2012, 6:01 pm


zoo said:

UN mission in Syria has “visible impact”: official

UNITED NATIONS, May 1 (Xinhua) — United Nations under-secretary- general for peacekeeping operations Herve Ladsous said here Tuesday that UN observers in Syria have had an impact on the situation on the ground, although their deployment is not yet complete.

Ladsous made the statement to the press during a briefing on the progress of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), which was established by the UN Security Council on April 21 in order to monitor a cease-fire between Syrian government troops and opposition forces and support a six-point plan for peace in the country created by Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League joint special envoy for Syria.

“The fact is that the numbers are still small at the moment but already they have had a visible impact, an effective impact on the ground,” Ladsous said.

He explained that UNSMIS currently has small teams of observers on the ground in Damascus, Idlib, Homs, Hama, and Daraa.

“In each of these places they reach out to all of the parties and they conduct mobile patrols regularly,” he said. “Today we have 24 observers on the ground and I fully expect this number to increase rapidly over the next two weeks so that UNSMIS will build up to full operational strength by the end of May.”

The Security Council resolution 2043, which created the observer mission, called for up to 300 unarmed and impartial observers in Syria in addition to the necessary civilian component of UNSMIS.

According to Ladsous, the mission has the potential to make a sizable contribution to peace in Syria over time.

“Observers, of course see what is going on but also their presence has the potential to change the political dynamics. They help build calm and calm helps the political process that Mr. Annan is leading and that process in turn, we hope will bring lasting peace to a democratic Syria,” he said.

Ladsous called on all parties in Syria to facilitate a lasting cessation of violence.

“More bombs, more weapons, more violence could only increase the tensions and add to an already very considerable toll of human lives,” he said. “So I and we all call upon all parties in Syria to ensure that the cessation of violence is indeed observed.”

May 1st, 2012, 6:06 pm


Tara said:


Are the Yemenees happy with the status quo? Are they going to have new election soon?

May 1st, 2012, 6:10 pm


Tara said:

Now that is bothersome that Syria allowed a memorial guarded by Turkish soldiers on it’s land to commemorate the Ottoman occupation all these years.

Turkish soldiers guard sacred tomb in Syria

ISTANBUL (AP) — It’s a tiny plot of Turkey deep within violence-torn Syria — a sacred mausoleum guarded by Turkish troops.
The memorial to Suleyman Shah, grandfather of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire, has remained surrounded by a small contingent of Turkish soldiers even as Turkey helps to lead international condemnation of the Syrian regime, shutting its embassy in Damascus and demanding that President Bashar Assad resign.

The Ottoman empire collapsed in the early 20th century, and foreign powers encroached on its former territories. An article in the 1921 Franco-Turkish agreement lets Turkey keep guards and hoist its flag at the Syrian tomb, described as Turkish property. The arrangement was renewed with an independent Syria.
“Our soldiers are still there. There is no problem at all,” a Turkish military officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

 Syria has made no public statements about the soldiers, possibly calculating that any move against them, particularly at a site heavy with Islamic symbolism, offers no political gain and only risks retaliation from its powerful neighbor. Turkey’s military headquarters declined to talk to The Associated Press, a likely sign that it does not want to publicize the memorial amid Syria’s chaos.

Soner Cagaptay, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, visited in 2006 and described it as a “surreal experience.”
He said the surrounding landscape was desolate — “there are no towns, tiny small villages here and there” — and that he had to show his passport to enter. The soldiers seemed bored. The infrequent visitors who signed the log were mostly Turks or ethnic Turks from Germany, Azerbaijan, the United States and other countries.
“It’s a mini-attraction,” Cagaptay said. “It’s like a mythical past. It is where it all started for the Turks in Turkey.”
Shah, a Turkic leader, is said to have drowned in the Euphrates in the 13th century. His followers headed north into what is today Turkey, where they launched the Ottoman empire. Some historians question official accounts about Shah’s tomb, saying they might have been retrospectively concocted to enrich an imperial, then national identity for Turks.


May 1st, 2012, 6:47 pm


Ghufran said:

Jackson Diehl is another “bright mind” ,but unlike Limbaugh he is neither “horizontally challenged” nor white:
(the filter prevented a more accurate description of the man)

May 1st, 2012, 8:26 pm


Tara said:

UN observers in Syria report cease-fire violations by government and opposition
By Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press | Associated Press

The U.N. peacekeeping chief said Tuesday that U.N. military observers in Syria are reporting cease-fire violations from the government and opposition and he demanded an immediate halt to all violence.

Herve Ladsous refused to say which side was responsible for the most violations. But he said the unarmed observers have documented a number of Syrian heavy weapons deployed in populated areas — including armoured personnel carriers and Howitzers — despite the government’s claim that it had withdrawn tanks and troops from cities and towns as required under international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan.
Syrian forces fired mortar shells into a farming village near the Turkish border Tuesday, killing 10 people, among them two young children.
“The level of violence in Syria has been appalling,” Ladsous said at a news conference. “I think the violations that are observed come from both sides. I would not establish a ratio. Now is not the time … The important fact is that violations do come from both sides.”

Herve Ladsous refused to say which side was responsible for the most violations. But he said the unarmed observers have documented a number of Syrian heavy weapons deployed in populated areas — including armoured personnel carriers and Howitzers — despite the government’s claim that it had withdrawn tanks and troops from cities and towns as required under international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan.
But Ladsous said this requires Syria to give visas to the observers and it has already denied visas to three observers without reason. He declined to disclose their nationalities.
He said there were “verbal comments” from the Syrians about the Friends of Democratic Syria, which includes more than 70 nations including the U.S., many European countries and a number of Mideast nations. President Bashar Assad’s government said it would refuse visas to observers from the “Friends” group.

Ladsous said it is the U.N. peacekeeping department’s responsibility to appoint observers and if Syrian authorities don’t co-operate, “we report to the Security Council,” as he did last week.
He said he expects the U.N. and Syria to sign an agreement “very rapidly” on the operation of the U.N. mission.

But Ladsous said Assad’s government still refuses to allow the U.N. to use its own helicopters and air assets, and discussions are continuing on that issue.


May 1st, 2012, 8:29 pm


Ghufran said:

[Moderator Noteماذا تريد (القاعدة) في سورية؟]

رشاد ابو شاور

May 1st, 2012, 8:40 pm


Ghufran said:

As in politics, a pleural system with checks and balances is essential for world peace:

May 1st, 2012, 8:44 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Nidaj Janood one of the first victims anniversary:

May 1st, 2012, 8:45 pm


Tara said:

Damning reports about security forces conducting excavation and looting the country treasures.  I consider that great treason.  The regime is not happy stealing our lives and dignity.  It also wants to steal our history.  My heart aches for Syria..  

The government and opposition have traded blame for damage and looting of sites around the country. But a group of European and Syrian archaeologists tracking the threats through witness reports from the ground says that in several cases, government forces have directly hit historic sites and either participated in or turned a blind eye to looting.

Syria’s cultural treasures latest uprising victim

BEIRUT — On its towering hilltop perch, the Krak des Chevaliers, one of the world’s best preserved Crusader castles, held off a siege by the Muslim warrior Saladin nearly 900 years ago. It was lauded by Lawrence of Arabia for its beauty and has been one of the crown jewels of Syria’s tourism.

But it has fallen victim to the chaos of Syria’s uprising and the crackdown against it by President Bashar Assad’s regime. Recently, gunmen broke into the castle, threw out the staff and began excavations to loot the site, says Bassam Jammous, general director of the Antiquities and Museum Department in Damascus.
In one of the most egregious examples, shells thudded into the walls of the 12th century al-Madeeq Citadel, raising flames and columns of smoke as regime forces battled with rebels in March. The bombardment punched holes in the walls, according to online footage of the fighting.

Local activists said regime forces carried out the assault and afterward moved tanks into the hilltop castle. Later footage showed bulldozers knocking through part of the walls to create an entrance.

“What we know of Syrian heritage has already provided a huge quantity of information, but we can safely say that the part that has not yet been studied is even bigger,” said Martin. Each incident of destruction “is like burning a page in the book of history of mankind.”

The heritage also helped fuel tourism that was steadily rising before the crisis, giving a much-needed economic boost. More than 8.5 million tourists visited Syria in 2010, 40 percent more than the year before. Now there are virtually zero.
The nearly 2,000-year-old ruins of Palmyra, an ancient oasis city that was one of the biggest tourist draws with towering Roman colonnades and a temple to the god Baal, stand deserted. Government forces have surrounded it and the nearby town and have set up a base in a historic castle on a hilltop overlooking the site, deep in Syria’s central deserts.

In a report to the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO and the EU conservation group Euromed Heritage, Martin and the other archaeologists warned that the troops’ fortifications have damaged parts of the ruins. They say there are also reports of looting under the troops’ noses — raising the possibility they were involved.

“Many groups have attempted to conduct secret excavations, starting by the security forces,” their report said, referring to looting around the country. The archaeologists, who have set up a Facebook page to track reports of damage, say illicit digs have taken place at a number of unexcavated tells and other sites.


May 1st, 2012, 8:52 pm


omen said:

Ghufran, what does “horizontally challenged” mean? and what does race have to do with anything?

May 1st, 2012, 9:07 pm


Ghufran said:

The travesty about the new PA “elections” is another chapter in the Book of Idiocy written by almukhabarat and the Baathists ,anybody who thinks that those elections will mean anything is daydreaming. Refusing to postpone the elections is a sign of things to come,those elections will only produce a corrupt body that preserves the status quo.

May 1st, 2012, 9:19 pm


Tara said:

Karman unsatisfied with Turkey’s policy on Syria
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakel Karman urged Turkey yesterday to take action on the ground on the side of the Syrian uprising, as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu nominated the activist for Turkish citizenship.

“The international community’s support for the Syrian people is inadequate, and so is Turkey’s. Turkey should take steps to establish a safe haven to protect the Syrian people,” Karman told a press conference. Karman called on Ankara to open secure corridors into Syria to bring injured Syrian people to Turkey for treatment. If Turkey steps in to activate such measures, the international community would also extend support, she argued.

‘Annan plan can’t succeed’

The Yemeni journalist criticized U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria, saying it could not succeed. “Annan’s approach makes [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad both an enemy and a judge,” Karman said, stressing that the plan is too flexible. Karman asked the Turkish people to put pressure on their government to lend more support to the Syrian people. “Al-Assad will continue the bloodshed if the international community does not stop the killing,” she said. Late on April 30, Karman met with Davutoğlu as the two paid visits to Yemenis being treated in an Ankara hospital. The minister signed papers nominating Karman and her family for Turkish citizenship. Ankara had promised the activist citizenship when she first visited Turkey in March.

May 1st, 2012, 9:21 pm


ann said:

Turkish soldiers guard sacred tomb in Syria

Read more here:

In a 1970s agreement with Syria, Turkey moved the mausoleum, sacred in Turkish lore, to its current location because the old site at a castle further south was to be inundated by the waters of a new dam.

Soner Cagaptay, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, visited in 2006 and described it as a “surreal experience.”

He said the surrounding landscape was desolate – “there are no towns, tiny small villages here and there” – and that he had to show his passport to enter. The soldiers seemed bored. The infrequent visitors who signed the log were mostly Turks or ethnic Turks from Germany, Azerbaijan, the United States and other countries.

“It’s a mini-attraction,” Cagaptay said. “It’s like a mythical past. It is where it all started for the Turks in Turkey.”

Shah, a Turkic leader, is said to have drowned in the Euphrates in the 13th century. His followers headed north into what is today Turkey, where they launched the Ottoman empire. Some historians question official accounts about Shah’s tomb, saying they might have been retrospectively concocted to enrich an imperial, then national identity for Turks.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s founder, rejected the legacy of the Ottomans and their Islamic precepts, deeming them backward and imposing a secular, Western-oriented outlook that remains the subject of national debate today. In Shah, though, he may have seen a link to Turkic origins in Central Asia, a source of veneration in his new order.

“Even Ataturk could not let go despite the fact that his reforms were so much about letting go of the Ottoman past,” Cagaptay said. The mausoleum’s newfound vulnerability in a country in conflict, he said, makes it potentially “more significant than it has ever been since the end of the Ottoman empire.”


May 1st, 2012, 9:30 pm


omen said:

They guard a piece of stone while Syrians are dying & no one cares: Turkish soldiers guard sacred tomb in Syria

May 1st, 2012, 9:47 pm


bronco said:

#483 Ghufran

The elections are part of the commitment the Syrian government did to the UN and Russia when it was criticized from not implementing reforms fast enough. It is just responding to that pressure.

If Bashar had dared to postpone them, he would have been immediately accused of breaking the promises and dragging its feet. The international community is getting the elections they asked for in the current circumstances. If they are not at the standard expected, in such a rush, the Syrian government is not the only one to be blamed.

May 1st, 2012, 9:54 pm


zoo said:

The Marjeh bombs were targeting the Iranian Cultural Center.
Meanwhile, an Islamist group that has claimed several bomb attacks in Syria said it was responsible for a blast in Damascus last week that targeted security forces and an Iranian cultural centre and wounded three people.

The Al-Nusra front said one of its members had attached an explosive device to an army vehicle and that it detonated at the cultural centre in Marjeh Square, “hitting two targets in the process.”

May 1st, 2012, 9:57 pm


bronco said:

485. Tara

The Nobel Prize Laureates fight: Karman vs Annan

May 1st, 2012, 10:01 pm


Ghufran said:

Is not it funny that there are people who are worried that Iran and the West may be able to reach a compromise and prevent another war in the Middle East?
As of now,a war against Iran is on the back burner at best,and if new progress is achieved in May,such a war would be very unlikely.
Does this matter to Syria and the GCC? You bet it does.

May 1st, 2012, 10:05 pm


bronco said:

#475 Tara

Yemen is in a “transitional” chaos: Saleh family is still in power, Al Qaeda is threatening, USA is involved, Saudi Arabia too, Yemeni Shias (45%) are not satisfied, war in the south, protests continue etc…

In view of the complexity and difficulties facing the Syrian government to crush the Al Qaeda operators in Syria hiding among the Syrian rebels, Syria may well turn out like Yemen, a playground for Al Qaeda.

In February 2012, Mr. Hadi was elected president, after winning 99.6 percent of the vote in a single-candidate election. But the reality is that Mr. Saleh still wields considerable influence in Yemen. His relatives control most of the military and government security agencies.

Now President Hadi’s fledgling government has found itself overwhelmed by a set of dangerous new challenges to the country’s stability, including a series of bold attacks by a resurgent militant movement in the south, where hundreds of people have been killed in clashes. In addition, he has faced open defiance from the old guard, after he tried to dismiss or reassign officials loyal to his predecessor, Mr. Saleh.
A lot more…

May 1st, 2012, 10:21 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Bashar had 12 years to implement those kinds of reforms, he has been dragging his feet for all that time.

For the record the “elections” will most likely be of the usual expected “standards” that Syrians came to endure under the rule of Assad.

It is a shame that the Baathists and the Assadists erased any semblance of a true democracy with their idealisms, and turned Syria into their personal playground to do with as they wish.

May 1st, 2012, 10:27 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

المنافق ابو جعفر

May 1st, 2012, 10:29 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Sky News Reporting from inside Syria, report includes a video report in the link:

Devastation In The Syrian Battlefield Of Homs

Despite heavy losses in the Bab Amr district of Homs the Free Syrian Army (FSA) still controls large areas of the city.

The FSA stronghold is the Khaldia district but it manages to keep the Syrian army out of other quarters as well.

The area is devastated. High-rise buildings have collapsed, their floors pancaked one on top of the other.
Shops and houses have also been destroyed by artillery fire. Rubble is strewn everywhere, and there appears not be a single building which is not in some way damaged.

There are still hundreds of civilians living in Khaldia among the FSA fighters who say they are there to protect them.

The Syrian government calls the FSA terrorists and insists it needs to push them out of Homs in order to liberate the city.


May 1st, 2012, 10:32 pm


zoo said:

Saudi Arabia does not want the Moslem Brotherhood to take a prominent role in new Arab republic: Is a competition looming between KSA and Turkey-Qatar over the new Arab Republics?

(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia frets that Egypt, its strongest Arab ally and a major recipient of Saudi funding, is falling under what it sees as the baleful influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Riyadh recalled its ambassador from Cairo at the weekend in a spat that underlines the misgivings of the robed princes who rule the world’s top oil exporter and who have watched Egypt’s revolution and its often chaotic aftermath with alarm.

The Brothers offer a religious political discourse that’s in competition with the Wahhabi one. It’s something of a threat to the government because it enjoys a certain legitimacy by virtue of its religiosity,” said Thomas Hegghammer, author of Jihad in Saudi Arabia.

Since the 18th century, the ruling Al Saud family have enjoyed a close alliance with clerics of the ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Islam.
For its part, the Muslim Brotherhood knows Egypt has no credible donors that could substitute for Saudi Arabia, said Daniel Kurtzer, U.S. ambassador to Egypt from 1997-2001.

“I don’t think the leadership of any of the Egyptian factions – the military, civil society, the Islamists – would want to change things. The problem is where the street takes Egyptian policy,” he said.

Jamal Khashoggi, an influential Saudi commentator and former newspaper editor, said Riyadh was watching Egypt’s transition.

“It’s waiting for Egypt to settle and for a leadership to emerge before we start rebuilding the strategic alliance we have with them,” he said..

May 1st, 2012, 10:34 pm


irritated said:

#495 SOD

“There are still hundreds of civilians living in Khaldia among the FSA fighters who say they are there to protect them.”

Protect them or keep them as hostages?

May 1st, 2012, 10:37 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

قناة الدم والدم الاخر
Never in history has been so many lies about any thing as much as the lies about current situation in
Syria …..all to get Syrians to kill each others so that payers agenda gets done:

May 1st, 2012, 10:41 pm


bronco said:

#493 Son of Damacus

“Bashar had 12 years to implement those kinds of reforms, he has been dragging his feet for all that time. ”

He was under no pressure to do them, the same way many EU countries postponed for decades the necessary reforms of their economies until they collapsed.

Now it is a matter of survival.

May 1st, 2012, 10:43 pm


omen said:

8:53 – tara,

security forces conducting excavation and looting the country treasures.

doesn’t this suggest the regime realizes they’re a losing their grip on power? why loot now if they’re confident about being in control?


10:21 – bronco, bashar or alqaeda? is this the choice syria faces? bashar offers nothing else? if the regime represented the best interests of the country, surely loyalists could offer a better argument rather than constantly resorting to fearmongering. how many times can you push this one button?


10:43 – bronco, if bashar wanted to implement reforms, he would not have thrown advocates for reform in jail!

May 1st, 2012, 10:44 pm


bronco said:

#493 Son of Damascus

By the way, Yemen elections “praised as democratic” by the international community gave 99.6% to the only candidate.

That’s the model Tunisia’s Moncel Al Marzouki is calling for Syria.
I think Syria’s elections will be more credible and more democratic.

May 1st, 2012, 10:47 pm


Ghufran said:

The destruction in Homs is horrifying ,I talked to few Homsi visitors about it,but the usual cliche about the regime bombing innocent civilians does not fully explain the destruction even if we accept the fact that the regime is responsible for most of that destruction.
Homs is destroyed because we have two fighting forces,one with heavy weapons and another with active public support,that support is not strong across the board especially after what people saw as an unnecessary warfare in their own neighborhoods,this makes the slogan of “protecting civilians” closer to being an oxymoron than an actual workable plan. That is what violence brings,enough is enough.

May 1st, 2012, 10:47 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Protect them or keep them as hostages?

Well according to a lot of the residents of Homs to protect them, have you seen the video Halabi shared of Abu William sitting on his veranda smoking his cigarettes?

In case you missed it, I suggest you listen to the part he speaks about the Assad forces bombing his house, and how the Thawarjieh have been nothing but helpful:

Moreover these hostage and ethnic cleansing accusations have not been corroborated by a single journalists that have been to Homs, and the “proof” that SyriaTruth claimed to be as fact have been debunked even by left leaning Journalist that has spent extensive time in the area:

“Rosen stated that al-Haqiqa’s story of imposition of jizya was completely fictitious, pointing out that even if the al-Faruq Brigade wanted to impose jizya, it is not in control of the areas named in the report, lacking sufficient organization to gain said control. Moreover, there is no evidence that the al-Faruq Brigade is led and dominated by Islamist militants wanting to impose jizya on Christians.

It is unfortunate that Nayouf and al-Haqiqa are continuing to disseminate false claims of mass persecution of Christians in Syria by the opposition, and putting such unsubstantiated stories in the mouths of “Christian sources” in Homs Governorate. The effect of this material portrays Christians as propagandists for the regime. This is something that will only inflame any anti-Christian sentiment that already exists and could turn claims of mass persecution into self-fulfilling prophecies.”

May 1st, 2012, 10:56 pm


omen said:

Ghufran, you expect rationality from a regime that shelled a city over graffiti. collective punishment was being rendered even before there was a fsa.

May 1st, 2012, 11:08 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“He was under no pressure to do them, the same way many EU countries postponed for decades the necessary reforms of their economies until they collapsed.

Now it is a matter of survival.”

Did he not inherit his power promising to “reform” and people believed him then and signed something called the Damascus Declaration, what the “reformer” did was throw them ALL in jail, and that was when he had the country under his control. How can anyone expect this man to deliver on those promises now when Politically speaking he not only went back on his word, but jailed and tortured the ones that wanted to help him implement the “reforms” he promised the Syrian public?

You are right it is a matter of survival for him now, because his arrogance and callousness is turning this from a political solution, to a kill or be killed solution. He can’t blame anyone but himself for that…

May 1st, 2012, 11:09 pm


Son of Damascus said:


I totally agree, and this is the main reason why I never advocated a military solution to this conflict.

What is important though is to understand that this conflict turned this way because of the callous actions of the people leading this regime, and in order for Syrians to ever move forward is to bring those people responsible to justice. The criminals in the regime can’t be trusted in supervising any peaceful transition for they are the main culprit of the chaos we are seeing today.

Even if the bombings were the act of Al Qaeda I still blame Assad and his cronies for it, for they are too busy suppressing the Syrian people to actually protect them from such acts of terrorism.

May 1st, 2012, 11:16 pm


jerusalem said:

مراسل محطة الجزيرة في القاهرة يستقيل ويتهم المحطة بالكذب والانحياز
April 30 2012 22:58

أعلن جلال شهدا المذيع بقناة الجزيرة ومراسلها في القاهرة عن استقالته من القناة القطرية وقال في إعلانه للاستقالة إنها لم تعد قناة الرأي والرأي الآخر وأن مصداقية ونزاهة القناة تراجعت واشار جلال في تغريدة علي تويرتر أن القناة بدأت تغض الطرف متعمدة عن الأحداث الدامية بمحيط وزارة الدفاع والتأكيد علي أن جميع المعتصمين من أولاد أبو إسماعيل فقط . وشدد علي ان القناة حددت أسباب الاعتصام في رغبة أبو إسماعيل للعودة لسباق الرئاسة مرة أخري وهو ما يعد مخالفة للحقيقة

May 1st, 2012, 11:24 pm


jerusalem said:

كومبارس الاعلام العربي فيصل القاسم … اذا عرف السبب بطل العجب

كشفت جريدة الاهرام المصرية النقاب عن ان المذيع السوري الاصل الكومبارس فيصل القاسم يتقاضى 25 الف دولار عن كل حلقة يقدمها من برنامج الاتجاه المعاكس اي ما يعادل مائة الف دولار شهريا هذا عدا عن السكن المجاني ومصاريف الاقامة والانتقال والاجازات والتامين الصحي وخلافه

وكان القاسم الهارب من التجنيد في سوريا يعمل مترجما في اذاعة بريطانية قبل تاسيس محطة الجزيرة ويتقاضى مرتبا شهريا يقل عن ثلاثة الاف دولار وعند تاسيس الجزيرة كشركة بريطانية بيعت لشيخ قطر انضم القاسم اليها كمترجم قبل ان يحدث ( شيء ما ) بينه وبين صاحب المحطة خلال لقاء عائلي بين الاثنين اسفر عن نقل القاسم من وظيفة مترجم الى وظيفة مذيع ومقدم برامج في حين اصبحت زوجته وصيفة للشيخة موزة … واستولت المحطة على فكرة برنامج امريكي شهير اسمه ( كروس فاير ) لتحوله الى برنامج عربي باسم الاتجاه المعاكس اعتمد بشكل اساسي على مبدا صراع الديوك وهو اتجاه وجد تجاوبا بين المشاهدين العرب الذين يعانون من كبت في الحريات مما ادى الى شهرة البرنامج وشهرة صاحبه الذي سرعان ما تحول الى كاتب عمود في صحف قطرية ينسخ معظم مقالاته من الصحف ووكالات الانباء ويبيعها للصحف القطرية

May 1st, 2012, 11:28 pm


jerusalem said:

اعلان هام للاردنيين في بريطانيا

May 01 2012 15:54
ستقوم الجاليه والطلبه الاردنيين في بريطانيا بالاحتفال بدكرى ميلاد الشهيد الراحل صدام حسين بعد ان تم منع اقامه الاحتفال في الاردن الحفل سيقام في قاعه المركز الاسلامي في لندن بمشاركه واسعه يوم الجمعه 4-5-2012 الساعه 2 بتوقيت غرينتش ولمده ساعتين يتضمن الحفل القران الكريم وكلمه يلقيها الدكتور عبدالله متعب ومن ثم معرض صور وبرنامج تلفزيوني عن الراحل الشهيد صدام حسين وقصائد مغناه وامسيه شعريه والدعوه عامه لكل العرب الشرفاء في بريطانيا

May 1st, 2012, 11:34 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

100 years old Shiek get attacked by one of freedom monsters:

May 1st, 2012, 11:56 pm


bronco said:

#505 Son of Damascus

Have you counted the promises Obama made to the American just to get elected and that never materialized? Guantanamo is still open…

Priorities change and some promises are never fulfilled unless there are serious pressures. Bashar never had them until the Arab Spring.

May 2nd, 2012, 12:06 am


zoo said:

A candidate to election killed and other threatened
DAMASCUS, May 1 (Xinhua) — Violence was reported Tuesday in several Syrian cities, as the United Nations accused both the Syrian government and the opposition of violating the cease-fire deal brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan.

An armed group killed Tuesday a candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections in the southern province of Daraa, state- run SANA news agency reported.

Armed men shot down Abdul-Hamid Taha at Busra square in Daraa, SANA said.

According to private media report, the so-called “Battalions of Mohammed” rebel fighters, have lately threatened to kill whoever might put himself as a candidate for the forthcoming elections in Syria, and said those candidates “have no shame nor fear of God.”


May 2nd, 2012, 12:13 am


omen said:

5:45 – irritated said: Traek Ali repeats the mantra that no one can prove: “The overwheming majority of Syrians want Bashar out.”

you betray yourself, irritated. somebody who believes the above statement to be false would cry out “that’s not true!” instead, your response is one typically uttered by the evasive – “you can’t prove it.”

May 2nd, 2012, 12:35 am


jerusalem said:

Tawakel Karman
Seriously who is she?
I have not heard of her prior sharing her peace Prize …because she slept in a tent against Saleh?? What are her credentials? Palestinians were imprisoned and went on hunger strike without even being noticed. They have been living in tents for over 60 years…unnoticed.
I don’t see this alleged peace activist condemning the bombing of Al-Qaeda in her country where people are perishing on a daily bases in the hundreds even US volunteered to send drones to help in controlling the situation. I guess it’s Hallal in her twisted logic. She’s preoccupied teaching Syrian children in Turkish refugee camps slogans against Assad (that was on Euro News). After the break, they showed us 1500 refugees are preparing themselves to return to Syria since things have calmed down in their area. …

From Duke in Istanbul
Turkey granted Tawakkul Karman citizenship even though this was her first visit to the country…[Let’s send all Palestinians to Turkey, would they be granted citizenship as well?]
Then, after she had extolled the importance of a free press and women reporters, a professor asked how she reconciled the imprisonment of Turkish journalists and an underdeveloped democracy with Turkey being a role model for the Arab world. To my surprise, the entire lecture hall burst into applause. Again, Karman was in a difficult situation and “claimed” that she had not heard about this but she trusted Erdogan and his government to respect human rights and work to correct these wrongs. Needless to say, most of the Turkish students and professors were not satisfied by this answer.

She had not heard about this…..Of course not she’s busy teaching hate slogans to children although she is peace activist.

Obtaining this award lost its virtue: Henry A. Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize …he destroyed the world from Chile on.. Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat received one too…all what he did is betraying his countrymen. Then you have Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin. When Rabin actually meant peace he was put down.

May 2nd, 2012, 12:43 am


omen said:

a little night music to haunt your sleep.

May 2nd, 2012, 2:28 am


Mina said:

Omen 466
If you read what I have been writing since one year, you can see that I have never said that “I want the government to stay as it is”. Like many here, I have called for monitored elections, a transition, but not for lies and manipulation and the blind reliance on the promesses of non-democratic states such as KSA and Qatar.

Could you explain me HOW Syria and Egypt are supposed to implement full freedom of expressions and of political parties when this is not available in the Gulf? Does this mean they have to go this way and the expats will keep coming from the Gulf states with their conservatives views and advocate that this is bad and against Islam? Unless you don’t want to admit reality, you should consider that once there is freedom of expression (by the way, where is freedom of expression in Tunisia if TV cannot screen a harmless cartoon called Persepolis?) there will be harsh talk, people who say (and are paid for that) that everybody should be allowed to go naked on the internet etc. How is that going to happen if the so-called moral standards of the Gulf are what they are?
Yemen had many sects and a very tolerant version of Islam. Once KSA expeller 1 million Yemenis to punish the Yemeni gov to have sided with Iraq, these people came back with their black abayas and stupid ideas, and they have extremized and ruined the country. So what I say from the beginning is: start with the top of the pyramid. Otherwise no matter what change you get, it will be a change… until the next putsh.

May 2nd, 2012, 2:52 am


Badr said:

Omen @462,

For starters, you are not a Syrian (are you?), so my comment does not pertain to you. Probably I should have phrased my comment more lucidly. I’m asking the Syrians on this forum whether one of the two following exclusive cases apply to them:

1. You hope for a regime change, and you think it would be in Israel’s interest.

2. You don’t want to see a regime change, and you don’t believe it would be in Israel’s interest, if this happens,

May 2nd, 2012, 2:54 am


Juergen said:

DER SPIEGEL writes that the FSA is buying weapons from lebanese weapon dealers who receive the weapons from hisbollah near alawite and shia groups. So the Assad regime is arming indirectly the FSA.

“They sell me what they get paid by the Syrian government, and I sell it to the Syrian insurgents to fight so that the same government.” As proof, he shows his range of Kalashnikov ammunition: small marks on the artisan will recognize that it was produced in Iran or Syria. “And now it is back on the way there,” said Abu Mahmoud.”

May 2nd, 2012, 7:22 am


Mina said:

Le Monde’s favorite specialized hosted blog on Syria ( the author claims to be a former diplomat but no precise record on that is available) gives this

as a demonstration where “revolutionaries” has been able to cut the traffick in the street going up Muhajireen…
If I see well, they are three young chaps. What a demo!
And the same here in Baramke

How smart to bother normal people driving at night. If there is an accident, they will blame the usual suspects?

May 2nd, 2012, 7:37 am


Syria no kandahar said:

May 2nd, 2012, 8:14 am


jna said:

A previous message was lost. Testing here.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:05 am


zoo said:

Is Egypt on the way to Algeria in the 1990’s when Islamists were denied legitimate political power?

11 killed in Cairo clashes near Defense Ministry
By HAMZA HENDAWI | Associated Press – 40 mins ago

CAIRO (AP) — Clashes erupted on Wednesday between assailants and mostly Islamist protesters gathered outside the Defense Ministry in the Egyptian capital, leaving 11 people dead and nearly 50 wounded, security and hospital officials said.

The violence is the latest episode in more than a year of turmoil in Egypt following the ouster of longtime authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak and will likely

May 2nd, 2012, 9:17 am


Tara said:


Karman vs Annan. That sounds funny..and the people vs al Assad. That sounds noble.

Now that the revolution became militarized, I miss the romanticism inherent in “dying for the cause and sacrificing oneself for the others”. What does that sound? Abnormal?

I still do support people’s divine right to defend themselves.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:17 am


Alan said:

Your Der Spiegel suffers from schizophrenia!

May 2nd, 2012, 9:18 am


zoo said:

Free Syrian Army Struggles to Survive Amid Charges That It’s Executing Opponents
May 1, 2012 4:45 AM EDT
By Tobias Havmand.

In the past week, the poorly armed Free Syrian Army has set off bombs in urban areas as a way to compete with the Syrian government’s firepower. But the bombs have not merely killed and wounded soldiers but dozens of civilians, too. This, along with the rebel habit of summary executions, raises more troubling questions about their methods and their ideology.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:19 am


Tara said:


Both at 9:17? It is the more..effect. More is never equal to less.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:22 am


bronco said:

Is the apparent rift between KSA and Qatar beneficial or detrimental to the Syrian situation?

The Moslem Brotherhood, supported by Qatar and Turkey are failing in Egypt. This is partly due to KSA’s open rejection of the MB in favor of either of Amr Moussa or Aboul Foutou, an MB dissident. In retaliation, Qatar has started to become more open about the Bahrain’s situation through Al Jazeera to indirectly criticize KSA.

In addition by removing its ambassador in Egypt, KSA is giving a choice and a warning to Egypt’s SCAF : Either you find a way to eliminate the MB from the presidential elections or you loose the financial support we give you. On other words, choose between Qatar-Turkey or Saudi Arabia.
Qatar has already promised billions to Tunisia to the displease of KSA whose Salafist allies are been ostracized openly by the president. Ksa does not want this to repeat.
This division of the richer “enemies” of Syria can be seeing as benefiting the Syrian government by weakening the political stand of the opposition, but it can also accelerate the deliveries of weapons by both countries.
I think that KSA would never tolerate the MB in power in Egypt or in Syria, as the MB have often threaten the kingdom. In my view they would opt either for a Salafi or would prefer to remain with the present alawite ruling that never threaten them.

Therefore I would not be surprised that KSA would gradually oppose further Turkey and Qatar’s influence in the region and shift toward a continuation of the present regime with some ‘democratic’ reforms.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:47 am


Jad said:

Dr. Joshua
How could you misuse the trust of your readers by putting someone with a tainted reputation like WSS as a moderator to Syria Comment and exposing the privacy and security of all the readers IPs and Email addresses like that?
That is a shocking news and a big blow for the trust many of us had put in you and Syria Comment.
What a shame!

May 2nd, 2012, 10:04 am


Ziad said:


May 2nd, 2012, 10:18 am


Alan said:

Dr. Joshua
you can’t tell that you didn’t know about it! I told you personally that the moderator became a problem! 22.04.2012, 14:03

May 2nd, 2012, 10:27 am


Tara said:


If you don’t feel comfortable having your email and IP address known to anyone, you may want to reconsider writing on a blog. Can you please stop your attempt of bullying JL, the moderator, and the rest of us. As far as I am concerned, JL does not need to check with anyone before “appointing” a moderator. And please always remember, this is at will site.

May 2nd, 2012, 10:31 am


bronco said:

#523 Tara

I could add Assad vs Assaad.

Sorry, but there is nothing romantic or divine about politics and war. Only in movies.

May 2nd, 2012, 10:37 am


bronco said:

#505 Son of Damascus

Why would he feel the pressure to make changes to an apparently running system when he was so popular?

Assad – Most popular Arab leader

Published June 10th, 2009 – 18:34 GMT

An American public opinion poll held in six Arab states indicated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is the most popular Arab leader. The poll, conducted by Maryland University in cooperation with Al-Zughbi International Foundation for Polls, showed that al-Assad has got most votes among Arab leaders. The poll included a sample taken in six Arab countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

May 2nd, 2012, 10:51 am


Ghufran said:

Excuse my ignorance but who is WSS and why he has a “tainted” reputation?

May 2nd, 2012, 11:03 am


Sc Moderation Team said:

Dear Syria Comment Commentators,

We are all somewhat shocked by what has transpired here last night. What I would like to assure you and I am sure Dr. Landis will make this perfectly clear once he has had the time to deal with this situation properly, that your personal info was not shared or leaked to anyone at any point.

I ask of you to keep this in mind, and help the Part-time Mod (I just started last Friday on the 27th) in keeping this place civil and most importantly keeping Syria on the forefront.

شكراً جزيلاً على مساعدتكم في هذه القضية، مع كل إحترام المشرف الجديد

May 2nd, 2012, 11:04 am


zoo said:

Assad appeared to throw an olive branch to thousands of draft-dodging conscripts, with the announcement on Wednesday of an amnesty for people who have refused to join an army accused of widespread brutality.

Syria is also gearing up for multi-party elections on May 7 – part of a political reform package agreed to by Assad as a gesture towards those who want an end to his family’s four-decade grip on power.
Paris has called for UN sanctions, but the West can do little given the diplomatic cover Syria enjoys at the Security Council from China and Russia.

Moscow says the rebels are mainly to blame for the continued violence and issued a statement on Wednesday condemning “terrorists” for “a large-scale campaign to destabilize the situation and disrupt … Annan’s plan”.

Western states do not set much faith in either the ceasefire or reform process.
Don’t read More…

May 2nd, 2012, 11:05 am


Tara said:

New moderator,

What has happened last night? Can someone please explain?

May 2nd, 2012, 11:11 am


Ghufran said:

You have to be blind not to see that the daily attacks on security and army personnel are not a blatant breach of the cease fire. Those attacks will give the regime a perfect excuse to do the same. It is obvious that most hawks never accepted the Annan plan,but what is even more obvious that those attacks will indeed worsen the situation in Syria and isolate the opposition further.
I still have not received an answer about this moderation “crisis”.It is possible that this issue can have legal consequences if existing US laws were violated.

May 2nd, 2012, 11:20 am


Afram said:

534. Ghufran said:

Excuse my ignorance but who is WSS and why he has a “tainted” reputation?
I think:William Scott Scherk

May 2nd, 2012, 11:24 am


Jad said:

Dear Moderator
What about the twitter account, aren’t you taking it over?
Thank you!

May 2nd, 2012, 11:39 am


zoo said:

Signs of increasing flips away from bellicose and ‘regime change’ solutions?

Jordan king urges ‘political solution’ in Syria
AFP – 1 hr 57 mins ago
King Abdullah II of Jordan, which hosts tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, urged Wednesday “a political solution” in the neighbouring country, saying he is “worried” about the violence there.

Meeting with a US congressional delegation, the king said he is “worried about the developments in Syria,” a palace statement said.

“He stressed the need to end violence in Syria and to find a political solution,” it added.

May 2nd, 2012, 12:00 pm


Tara said:

Although I have no details of what transpired, I am greatly annoyed that the moderator regardless of his Identity was somewhat “harassed” and therefore felt the need to resign.


Whether you were or weren’t the moderator, I believe that those who are/ were trying to taint
your reputation are actually the ones deeply tainted. Not only tainted but also cowardly so, hiding under pseudonyms while passing judgement on real people. If you truly were the ex-moderator, I would like to thank you for a job well done!

May 2nd, 2012, 1:05 pm


jna said:

To make things more cryptic. JAD’s mention of the “twitter account” got me to search for “Syria Comment twitter”. What I found was:!/SCModeration

This twitter page claims it is “The official Twitter account of the moderation team at Syria Comment.”

Would the moderation team here please explain transparently who is moderation here, what happened last night, is this twitter page real or fake? Help. JAD, can you explain what you know of what is going on.

May 2nd, 2012, 1:40 pm


Juergen said:

Jad if you can put some light onto what has happend. You choose to adress the moderator openly, so you should reveal also openly what has happend.

HRW has issued an report on crimes against humanity in the Idleb region. For the first time an fact finding team of HRW was able to operate in Syria. Here is an article in DER SPIEGEL about it:

“It is shocking that while Assad was sitting at the negotiating table, his troops have committed this terrible violence,” says Solvang. The five villages – Sarmin, Sarakeb, Taftanas, Hasano and Kelli – were devastated. At least 95 civilians were killed, one third of which was executed with a headshot. “We could still see the bloodstains and bullet holes in the wall, where executions have taken place,” says Solvang. In 50 to 60 centimeters in height – the victim had to kneel down apparently.

“The victims are often family members or activists of opposition fighters,” says Solvang. In one case, 19 men were executed in a single family, the oldest 75 years, the two youngest no 18th After the killings, the looting soldiers moved through the village and set fire to houses. “We have seen hundreds of burnt-out houses,” says Solvang. Some walls were graffiti: “Go on as before, and we come back – the death brigade.”

Here is the report “They burnt my heart” of HRW:

May 2nd, 2012, 1:49 pm


jad said:

Dear Mina, Jna
The ex moderator was Bill Schrek (aka) WSS, he was the moderator for a while, but we didn’t know until last night after this guy as usual of him lead a smear campaign against Alex on twitter, and when another person claimed that Alex is the ‘evil’ moderator of SC, Alex answered that he is NOT and the moderator is Bill, then ‘Bill’ wrote this as a revenge and claimed that he resign his post:

@SCModeration is outed as @wsscherk on Facebook. By Camille Otrakji. I flee to Cyprus, give palace keys to my VP, whom Alex will out shortly!/SCModeration

That means that we’ve been all exchanging emails/comments with the same person that many of us and specifically me, tried to avoid for many reasons, one of them was our ‘privacy’.

I think that Dr. Landis, has the moral obligation to explain to us all how he took this decision by putting a moderator with lots of strange history without even telling us who is he and leaving us in the dark for such a long time and letting Bill to deceive us all, that is unacceptable and from now on I suggest that any hired new moderator identity needs to be known in advance for us to feel safe exposing our IPs and Email address with especially when black lists and hit lists are allover the net.

May 2nd, 2012, 2:05 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Aljazera : Syrian Blood Trading,LLC

May 2nd, 2012, 2:13 pm


Mina said:

Last week, Democratic Argentina has expropriated a Spanish oil company operating on its soil and nationalized it. Today Bolivia does the same with a Spanish electricity company and sens the army to take over the buildings.

Can’t wait to see this trending in Afghanistan and Iraq. Maybe it will bring them peace?

May 2nd, 2012, 2:17 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

عبد الباسط صاحب سيرة الحب
وبدنا نبيد العلويه

May 2nd, 2012, 2:31 pm


Juergen said:


big time buddy Chavez ( who loves damascene kibbeh btw) has set the examples how to nationalize companies, its an old trick done by otherwise not successful despotes like him and Mugabe to offer some cash back for poor supporters.

May 2nd, 2012, 2:32 pm


Juergen said:


There is much more to his righful fight against orthodox claim on islam.

For Abu Zaid the Quran was divine and transmitted from God through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad. Muhammad therefore was a translator of the divine will and the divine language. Abu Zaid argued that the Quran must be read with the histocial context of Muhammad ( and his time) to understand the message clearly. Later generations never did so, they just accepted the fact that the Quran is divine and sanctious. This implification that Muhammad had an own role in the message of the Quran is indeed a new aspect and worthwile to be considered, but for me that is not meant to be an open and public discussion, and the events have shown it, he was bitterly opposed by even liberal thinking scholars. His way of bringing his thesis into the public and the discussions which followed showed to me two things, firstly his message was not understood properly, and secondly he published his ideas too early for an adequate recepion.

May 2nd, 2012, 2:57 pm


jna said:

545. jad said: …

Thanks for filling in some of the information regarding SC moderation. Appreciated.

May 2nd, 2012, 2:57 pm


SC Moderation Team said:

Dear commentators,

Please understand that no one is allowed to attack others on this forum. The ex Moderator kept these pages civil and open for all, and in the spirit of that I will trash any comment deemed to be a personal attack against WSS, or anyone else.

If you have any issues I ask you to please email me at, so that we can resolve it privately.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

May 2nd, 2012, 2:59 pm


Tara said:

JL should not explain anything to anyone. Those uncomfortable with how SC is running should disinvite themselves. Cheap shots taken by some to spread panic across SC should be labeled as is: “cheap shots”. Most of us use fake names and fake email accounts. The moderator has no access to who we really are other than our fake email and IP addresses. Those who want to close the site, please disinvite yourself. You will not be missed. The new moderator should, in my opinion, follow the rules and not even bother explaining him/herself. It is a judgement call and if people do not like it, they can quit. No farewell party needed.

May 2nd, 2012, 3:09 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Stop all the B.S. about the moderation. If you need the means to equate this Syrian Revolution with Assads means and get ahead let me know, hide your pride and bring your check book. Otherwise, if you are way to ashamed of what you have done and your loss, can’t muster enough courage to show your face to me, that is “A OK too”, just send your Bank Draft, fill the appropriate sum and include a signed note like this:(Sorry, we were to naive and stupid, name signed)

May 2nd, 2012, 3:14 pm


Tara said:

Syria economy faces ‘significant’ contraction: IMF
By Ali Khalil | AFP

“We do expect contraction in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) this year,” the head of the IMF’s Middle East, North Africa, Gulf and Central Asia Department, Masood Ahmed, told AFP, adding the drop was expected to be “significant”.
The IMF is not providing figures on the Syrian economy due to lack of data amid the political uncertainty.
According to IMF data, the Syrian economy expanded by 3.4 percent in 2010 after growing 5.9 percent in 2009.
“Syria had a strong diversified economy,” Ahmed said, adding that an end to the conflict “would provide the basis for a programme of reconstruction, stabilisation and a resumption of growth.”
Agriculture contributes some 17 percent of Syria’s GDP, compared to over 24 percent from industry, including oil, and around 54 percent from services.


May 2nd, 2012, 3:18 pm


Tara said:

The army torched activists’ homes, Israeli-style? 

Syria army suffers deadliest day since ceasefire
Syria’s army reportedly suffered its deadliest day since the ceasefire when rebel fighters killed 20 troops, in the latest violation of the three-week truce the UN says both sides are flouting.

The rebels killed 15 soldiers – including two colonels – in a dawn ambush in the northern province of Aleppo, where two rebel fighters also died, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Clashes near Damascus killed six troops, while the army shelled and torched activists’ homes in eastern Deir Ezzor province and regime gunfire killed a civilian in southern Dera’a, cradle of the 14-month uprising.
“Regarding the heavy weapons, yes, our military observers do see a number of APCs (armoured personnel carriers), for instance; they see a number of Howitzers and other military equipment in most places where they are,” he said.
Syria had told the monitors the armoured carriers had been disarmed, but this had not been verified…


May 2nd, 2012, 3:29 pm


Nour said:

I am saddened to report to you that Ismael Haidar, the son of SSNP president Ali Haidar, and his comrade, Fadi Atawneh, were assassinated on the Homs Mesyaf road.

May 2nd, 2012, 5:11 pm


Ghufran said:

It is not that hard for any person with moderate IT knowledge to detect origin of emails by tracking IP addresses, the regime did it, many revolutionists did it, and I have no doubt that most of us do not want their location and any private info shared by a third party, it is not “too much to ask” if we demand that the moderator does not violate our rights and our trust, and I am not assuming that he did, I hope that JL agrees to respond to this question, I have no reason to believe that Joshua has any interest in allowing a biased and agenda-driven person to moderate this site, some of you may consider lowering the rhetoric a little bit.

May 2nd, 2012, 5:13 pm


bronco said:

#556 Tara

No prayers for 22 young Syrian soldiers killed in an ambush?
You know, like the ones you have prayed on, these too have parents, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers. wife and children.

May 2nd, 2012, 5:25 pm


Alan said:

next embargo! oil there to China we will not leave!
UN Security Council threatens Sudan & South Sudan with sanctions

May 2nd, 2012, 5:27 pm


jad said: | المركز السوري للتوثيق

مسلحون مناهضون للحكومة يغتالون (اسماعيل علي حيدر) ابن رئيس الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي ورفيقه (فادي عطاونة) عند مفرق المحنايا طريق حمص- مصياف.

Gunmen assassinate Esmael Ali Haidar, the son of the Syrian National party, and his friend Fadi A’tawnah nearby Al-Mahnaya located on Homs – Masyaf road

الدكتور علي حيدر رئيس الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي في اتصال له على التلفزيون السوري بعد استشهاد نجله:

دماء اسماعيل وصديقه لن تكون أغلى من الدماء التي سقطت وستسقط لأجل سورية وأنا مستعد للتضحية بولديي الباقيين وكل عائلتي اذا كانت هذه التضحية هي الثمن لعودة اللحمة الوطنية الى سورية.

May 2nd, 2012, 5:27 pm


Mina said:

Bye bye democracy! Just like in Egypt, after banning parties based on a religious or ethnic ground, they authorize them. One way to hell.
Libya says the previous ban on religious political party functioned to test public reactions to the legislation
AFP , Wednesday 2 May 2012

Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council on Wednesday dropped a controversial ban against parties organised along religious, regional, tribal or ethnic lines. (…)

Members of the NTC judicial committee on Wednesday read out an amended version of its law governing the formation of political parties, making no mention of the ban.

May 2nd, 2012, 5:33 pm


Alan said:

‘US bent on destruction of Middle East countries’

May 2nd, 2012, 5:42 pm


Alan said:

Mass Mobilization: Israel brings out reserve border battalions

May 2nd, 2012, 5:50 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Moderator Note[SNK I welcome Jad back as well, and look forward to him continuing to contribute here. However please refrain from name calling and labelling, this is a place for open respectful discourse, not a place to label an entire group of Syrians. A lot of blood has been spilled on both sides and this type of language will not solve anything. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.]

Jad welcome back
That is so sad,opposition criminals has completely lost it …They are becoming the enemies of Syria.They have proved over and over again that they only have one agenda : that is to kill and kill
And kill….why are they attacking SNP?why did they killed Sameer qentar in edlin?why did they killed the dentist in Aleppo yesterday ?why did they killed 15 soldiers in Aleppo today?Why did they killed 6 passengers in Saraqeb today?why
And why and why…All they know is killing and killing and killing ….lying and lying and lying…
They are pro-turkey,pro-qater,pro-KSA,pro-Aroor,pro-Israel,pro-France,pro-Libya,pro-Hariri,pro-Wahhabi …they have nothing in them PRO-SYRIA

May 2nd, 2012, 6:00 pm


omen said:

alan, did you accuse somebody of being cia? or did i dream that?

May 2nd, 2012, 6:04 pm


omen said:

bashar sent militants to iraq to kill americans. granted, we didn’t belong there, but that’s beside the point. if anybody knows terrorism, it’s the thugs ruling the regime.

no, not thugs. that’s too inadequate a word. the regime is made up of psychopaths. how can syrians pledge their loyalty to madmen?

May 2nd, 2012, 6:12 pm


Aldendeshe said:

My condolences to Mr. Haidar, that is terrible news indeed, but I blame the BATTA for this and all crimes committed in Syria by all sides. 12 years and after the people of Syria said no more, we get 14 months of hell, IRHAL YA ZALAMI IRHAL. You have no future and neither Syria under your minority Baathist rule.

“…some of you may consider lowering the theoretic a little bit…”

I say no moderation at all is best. We voted for it anyway. The reason we did so, is we knew that once you allow for it, the abuse of this moderation power starts and you kill free speech right away.

May 2nd, 2012, 6:14 pm


bronco said:

Mina #562

It is highly probable that Qatar made a strong pressure on Libya to keep the Moslem Brotherhood in the country politics as Egypt’s Moslem Brotherhood are loosing ground there.
Qatar now has Tunisia, Libya and Gaza under its control and its payroll to press for a MB rule while they seems to be loosing ground Egypt and Syria.

May 2nd, 2012, 6:17 pm


Tara said:

Dear Bronco@559

Teach me…. Should I pray for terrorists?

I did not pray for OBL, Quaddafi, or Saddam when they died. They all had family members.

May 2nd, 2012, 6:24 pm


Shami said:

My condoleances Nour,
Allah Yerhamon.

May 2nd, 2012, 6:33 pm


Tara said:
Sami Moubayed
The Syrian Opposition, Non-state Players, and the Peace Process
Posted: 05/ 2/2012 4:46 pm

There are two views floating in Syria today. Theory I says that the U.S. wants to break the Syrian-Iranian alliance through regime change in Damascus. They argue that if the regime collapses in Syria, it would result in a rapid decline for both Iran and Hezbollah. Theory II, however, claims that contrary to what is being said, the U.S. is un-interested in severing Syria’s alliance with parties, fearing the worst in the Middle East.

If the Syrian opposition does come to power and puts its words into action, that leaves Iran as the only player with considerable leverage over non-state players like the PKK, the Mehdi Army, the Badr Brigade, Hezbollah, and to a lesser extent, Islamic Jihad and Hamas who nowadays, are allied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Let us take Hezbollah as an example. The turbaned leadership of Hezbollah realized, early into the Syrian uprising, that there was an entire street in Syria that it is clueless about; namely the boiling anti-regime demonstrators. Hezbollah was indeed taken aback by angry young Syrians tearing apart pictures of Hasan Nasrallah and burning the yellow flag of Hezbollah. Swiftly, it tried to build bridges with these groups, offering to mediate in the Syrian crisis but its calls fell on deaf ears, namely because of its staunch commitment to the Syrian regime, which meant that nobody in the opposition took them seriously as honest brokers. Nasrallah’s remarks only complicated matters, as he adhered to the conspiracy theory being marketed by the Syrian state-run media and refused to give the anti-regime street the slightest respect — or even the benefit of the doubt. The wider the gap between Hezbollah and Iran on one front, and the Syrian opposition on another, the more worrying this was to realists in Washington D.C.

The Syrian opposition today has to sit back and come up with answers to the following questions: What to do with the military, governmental, and security institutions if they come to power? How to manage the Syrian economy? How to handle Syria’s relationship with people like Muqtada al-Sadr and Hasan Nasrallah? More importantly, what to do with the Syrian-Israeli peace process, which is now on hold? This is something that is extremely important to both Israel and the U.S., and which is being completely overlooked in all rhetoric and strategy since March…

These are challenges that are yet to be addressed properly. If the opposition does have answers, then they have not yet been articulated properly to those who matter in Washington circles, which might explain why the U.S. is seemingly so reluctant to push for real change in Syria.


May 2nd, 2012, 6:49 pm


omen said:

550. Juergen For Abu Zaid the Quran was divine and transmitted from God through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad.

but fisk described him as “secular.”

also from the article:

Forty years ago, Holland writes, two German scholars were allowed by the Yemeni government to examine a cache of ancient Korans found in the ceiling of Sanaa’s oldest mosque, stuffed into hessian sacks, fragments of probably the oldest Korans in the world. One of the Germans concluded that the Koran – like the Bible – had evolved over time and was a “cocktail of texts”.

You can guess what happened next. Outraged Yemenis ran for cover, and the Koran fragments have remained unpublished, unseen, stashed away in secret ever since.

we’ve lost so much ancient knowledge already. what a shame.

May 2nd, 2012, 6:54 pm


omen said:

558. Ghufran said: some of you may consider lowering the theoretic a little bit.


are we allowed to vote? ghufran for moderator!

May 2nd, 2012, 7:07 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

I don’t know what prayers will do for those who lost loved ones…the killing has to stop…Syrians have to sit…bullets and knifes and RBGs have to stop..
Libanese sat on one table after losing 200000 people for nothing…Iraqis sat on one table after losing hundred of thousands for nothing…Libyans
Lost hundred of thousands for nothing ..Algerians lost hundreds of thousands for nothing…yaminis
Lost tens of thousands to replace Saleh with Faleh..sodanes lost hundreds of thousands tow replace a crappy soudan with a crappier sudans..
Why are Syrians not zooming out and Seeing the big picture…why don’t all parties accept that they are all sinners and none of them is a saint..why
Don’t they all get out of the endless killing,counter killing and revenge mud….6000 plus 9000 equal
15000 Syrians spread between heaven and hell
…nothing can be done about that..let us not put the 23000000 remaining Syrians in a hell in the make called Syria.

May 2nd, 2012, 7:16 pm


Tara said:

Oppression breeds radicalism.
This is a reminder of who we used to be..

Once We Kissed

It took me almost a year to collect this rare footage from Arab films between the 20’s and the 60’s. With the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism after the Arab Spring in 2011, extremists have been calling for a rupture with the past and censorship of our heritage. This is a reminder of who we used to be, and that one day we were capable of showing love rather than condemning it…

May 2nd, 2012, 7:34 pm


omen said:

6:49 – tara,

tunis president marzouki echoes that sentiment:

Asked about the leader of the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah, which has backed President Assad’s claims that he is fighting a foreign-backed uprising, Marzouki said he had lost friends in the Arab world with his stance.

“Nasrallah and people like him, you know, think that Syria is… because he’s, you know, against Israel they can forgive to this dictatorship everything, but here in Tunisia we don’t have this problem. We are not interested in the fight between Israel and Syria,” said.

“I really… I can’t understand the position of Nasrallah. I can say and tell you that Nasrallah was very, very popular after the… (war) in 2006 because of the battle against Israel, but now, you know, his popularity is completely finished, you know, here in Tunisia and in the whole Arab world.”


some argue that is no proof that millions of syrians oppose bashar. the entire arab hates the regime and its allies.

May 2nd, 2012, 7:59 pm


jna said:

Reporter films both army and insurgents in Homs.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:06 pm


bronco said:


If you shed any tear for a Syrian army soldier they would be crocodile tear, so you might not cry.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:07 pm


Tara said:


And I personally echo this sentiment. I for one really really loved Nasrallah. I thought I saw, through the turban and the fuzzy beard, a fairy tale hero. And oh boy, was I fatally wrong! I see him now for what he really is: A criminal.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:08 pm


irritated said:


Now Moncef Marzouki represents “milions of arabs who hate the regime and its allies”. Pathetic.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:10 pm


Tara said:


I don’t have crocodile tears in me. I do not pretend emotions…I feel them.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:13 pm


jna said:

578. Friend in America said:
We have received word that Nour died in Damascus, last Sunday or Monday

Don’t tnink it can be. Nour posted today. Unless there are two Nour.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:13 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

It is a trifle to pull the mask off me, as I am a known person. I thank Alex for ending the charade.

What I learned from acting as moderator was a greater respect for Joshua Landis and the spirit of his inquiries into Syria. Only through respect can Syrians at home and abroad hope to get through this crisis.

Hatred, group dynamics, discriminatory language, wild speculation and charges as to personal motives, all these things degrade discussion.

I am accountable not only for my words under my name as WSS, but also as the former Mod.

Some masks, like mine, can be easily pulled off. Others, not so easily. With the provocative post to twitter that denied Alex was a malevolent power at Syria Comment – acting as moderator in the here and now, I defended Alex against the charge he was pulling strings behind the scenes. My “Sweet FA” as an acknowledgement of his hands-off approach to Syria Comment. I pointed out privately in the DM referred to (NuffSilence) that it was unfair to ascribe actions to a person (Alex) without investigating first!

So, although we might disagree with Alex, I thank him for pulling the mask off. I stand by my defences of Joshua Landis (against bias). I stand by all my statements as moderator during my tenure. I stand by Camille Alex Otrakji as a fair-dealer with folks both upfront and backstage.

Any other lessons are apparent. Thanks to the newest moderator who also volunteered for the chore. May he and those to come help this place walk the fine line between freedom and chaos.

I salute those Syrians inside and out who honestly (and fairly) address the issues that concern them. I loathe nasty personal asides and snide allusions. I respect those who show self-respect enough to not deal with their opponents as enemies, terrorists or agents of the devil.

I apologize to those who feel deceived or that an imposture was accomplished. For those who fear outing by Alex or admins, I can well afford outing, having been a commentator for some years. Others with family at risk in Syria cannot afford my Canadian luxuries of free speech and freedom of association.

As for those who trade in idle slurs about spies, my shoe.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:34 pm


Tara said:

Avaaz report: Annan plan ineffective.

Syrian opposition group: ‘Annan plan has been ineffective’
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:22 PM EDT, Wed May 2, 2012

“Having spoken to a range of residents and activists across Syria, Avaaz is able to assert with confidence that the Annan plan has been ineffective, with residents continuing to flee the violence being committed by both sides,” the report concluded.

In Homs, “Armed opposition groups remain inside the city while the regime’s forces retain a formidable presence,” Avaaz said.
Also in Homs, the plan’s call for a cease-fire is not being observed, the group said.
“Snipers are still stationed across the city’s rooftops, shooting at anything within range,” the report said, citing residents. “One man was shot dead today in Khalidiya.” It also reported that Abdelbasset Saroot, the Olympic goalkeeper for Syria’s national soccer team, was also injured by sniper fire.
The report said government forces were continuing to clash with Free Syrian Army opposition forces. An activist blamed the army for “shooting at anything” in its efforts to enter cities, and state media was blaming “terrorists” for targeting government forces.
The plan’s call for the release of political prisoners “has not even seen the light of day,” the report said, with activists in Homs saying “no political prisoners have been released.”
Humanitarian aid is not getting into the city, and demonstrators must leave Homs to avoid being shot, it said.

Though Syrian authorities say they have permitted 400 journalists to enter Syria, “these journalists enjoy little to no freedom of movement, with their movements calculated in advance by the Syrian security forces under the pretext of protecting them,” the report said.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner expressed no surprise. “So far, the Syrian regime — Assad regime — has taken, really, almost no steps toward fulfilling the core commitments of the Annan proposal,” he said.
Though the United States seeks an end to violence by both sides, “the vast proportion of violence has been the Syrian government inflicting it on its own citizens,” he said.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:37 pm


omen said:

today’s story is about how the u.s. state department in china pressured a vulnerable blind lawyer to exit the protective asylum of the embassy and to leave the compound. we threw a poor helpless man out to the wolves.

i’ve argued before how the u.s. is much too compliant to china’s wishes. this is the only “principle” the u.s. stands up for: $ .
washington isn’t going to risk economic sanction and loss of profit over one scruffy dissident.
what else does china want? no intervention in syria.

despite the mythology about the u.s. acting to protect human rights, i’ve yet to see it live up to the rhetoric of the propaganda. we wouldn’t have acted in libya at all if it weren’t for france being proactive and if libya didn’t have oil.

bashar could kill a million syrians and washington wouldn’t blink an eye. the opposition needs to make entreaties elsewhere in seeking to get help.

obama didn’t do anything when iran slaughtered dissidents during their uprising in ‘o9. he isn’t going to do anything now. he’s more interested in appeasing iran in order to feather his legacy by crafting a historic deal with iran over the weapons issue.

another indication of appeasement: MEK used to be supported as a liberation group. we’ve even trained members in the utah desert. now it is being listed as a terror group and prominent people who once supported it are now being threatened with prosecution.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:37 pm


Tara said:

Dear new moderator

Can you please honor the pact we have had with the previous moderator. Bronco and I often have a genuine and direct exchange and were given a “blue light” to moderate ourselves. I always initiate a personalized discussion with Bronco and I appreciate the exchange. I thank you for your handwork but please allow it. It has always been civil and honest.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:45 pm


Aldendeshe said:

LOL, you mean to tell me that I am the only one who knew that WSS is the SC-MOD? That was so obvious. By the way, When will you remove SNP from moderation? We are going quite now for sometimes, our minds are made up and thoughts are hard wired. It is obvious Syrians can not live with the one family / Baathist minority rule anymore. We need to move forward.

May 2nd, 2012, 8:54 pm


Observer said:

More areas of the country are no longer under the control of the regime.

The use of heavy weapons is due to the inability of the pro regime units to enter into sections of a town or village.

Fredo issued an amnesty to those who failed to report to be conscripted. This is an indication that he does not have enough troops to repress all of the areas that are in revolt.

Both rural and urban areas are in revolt and mass exodus into urban areas will destabilize the regime further.

Now about the regional players:

HA has been damaged beyond repair in the eyes of many Syrians.

HA chief appears to have become another of the Arab rulers love for the Chair and Power as he uses the “resistance” ( empty of any action since 2006 ) to remain in power.

Iran will find accommodation with Europe and the US over its nuclear program. The combination of sanctions and military presence will bring some results. The name of the game is face saving for everyone.

Russia is like Qatar in a sense both like the fables de la Fontaine are frogs drinking water to try to become bulls and both have been deflated. Russia cannot influence Syria and is now going to lose big time for the only way that it can force the regime hardliners to stop the violence is through a 180 degree turnaround at the SC.

Syria does not even make it to the top 7 or 8 news items on RT arabic any longer.

The conflict has moved into an insurgency without anyone’s ability least of which the stupid regime to control it.

Selling gold is one small measure to support the currency but this is not going to be able to solve anything.

Meanwhile the debate on this blog is sterile as it goes back and forth between pro regime and anti regime commentators all of whom are living comfortably in the West and pontificating in a “cafe-like meeting”.

The people on the ground are the real opposition neither Ghalioun nor Aita and the only credible people are Kilo and Maleh the rest are a bunch of stooges.

Now let me remind all the “conspiracy minded” people that the US DOES NOT CARE ONE BIT WHAT HAPPENS TO SYRIA IN SYRIA. As a matter of fact I believe that the average American has no love lost for Syria regime and people as both helped the insurgency in Iraq and the regime being the arsonist par excellence is now having his own house burn down on his head due to his stupid actions.

Syria is finished and we will see a 10 year low level civil war/insurgency that will leave the country looking 10 times worse than when Lebanon emerged from its civil war which to this day has left that country a shadow of its former self.

Dr. Landis career as a Syria expert will I am sorry to say will take a turn to the very dull indeed.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:14 pm


omen said:

sure, ridiculous accusations against posters being cia is an idle slur, but is it really scrub worthy?

May 2nd, 2012, 9:18 pm


Ghufran said:

The post at 558 was supposed to read” lower the rhetoric ” not theoretic,too much technology when an auto speller becomes an auto annoyer.

I fixed the spelling error Ghufran, I hope you don’t mind – Moderator

Slowly but steadily armed rebels and Assasins are taking over the struggle against the regime,people like kilo are almost irrelevant,thanks to the language of guns. The problem is this: what do those gunmen want beside killing and looting for revenge,pleasure or profit? Michael Kilo is right,we used to have one problem,the regime,and now we have two,it will get to the point where old enemies may have to unite against a new enemy ,the danger of losing the state is today bigger than the danger of keeping the regime,at this rate,the regime will stay for the foreseeable future,you will remember Kilo’s words when it is too late,the time when alliances and positions change is

May 2nd, 2012, 9:18 pm


omen said:

oops – make that the nevada desert, not utah.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:22 pm


omen said:

8:54 – When will you remove SNP from moderation?



May 2nd, 2012, 9:34 pm


Ghufran said:

Observer just wrote the best post I read on SC in weeks but I still think expats and cafe politicians can help:
1.send money to the needy in Syria
2. Do not hate your Syrian friend because he has a different opinion from you
3. Do not force your kids to be as opinionated as you are Syrians who want to emigrate and who have something to offer
5. Think of this crisis as a test that we have to pass,even if it take years
6. Understand that we do not choose or change our religion but we can change ourselves
That is not a lecture,it is a friendly advice from an older Syrian who has no dog in this fight except wanting to see his mother land and its people live in peace and dignity.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:35 pm


Aldendeshe said:


Pretty good all and all no argument with what you stated except when you said this:

“…..Syria is finished and we will see a 10 year low level civil war/insurgency that will leave the country looking 10 times worse than when Lebanon emerged from its civil war which to this day has left that country a shadow of its former self….”

All Middle Eastern countries are finished. There not available resources with neither the regime, nor the oppositions, to last that many years. As we go forward, the likelihood of the conflict and terrorism spreading out to other areas is assured. Regional Dynamics will force urgent resolution in the end, say about 2-2.5 years max. But it will be too late to contain, it’s ARMAGEDON TIME.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:38 pm


Ghufran said:

شوفو الوساخه و قلة الاصل

[Mod translation: Look at this grimy and lacking of integrity reporting]
As if those soldiers and officers were rats and not humans with families and children

May 2nd, 2012, 9:43 pm


bronco said:

#585 Tara

Syrian opposition group: ‘Annan plan has been ineffective’

That’s the proof it has been effective.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:54 pm


Friend in America said:

[Moderator Note I sent an email to the Nour that comments here, they are in fact “Alive, and well” and the same Nour that has always commented here. I thank Friend in America for showing concern for our fellow commentators.


We have received word that Nour died in Damascus, last Sunday or Monday. He was struck in the leg by a bullet and died from loss of blood.
The description of Nour that we heard sounds like this Nour is our Nour who participated on Syria Comment for several years and is the most outspoken advocate on this site for peaceful opposition. If so, we all over the world have lost a blog friend and Syria has lost a young man capable of being a future leader for justice, fairness and peace for all Syrian citizens. How very sad.

May 2nd, 2012, 9:56 pm


irritated said:


“Syria is finished and we will see a 10 year low level civil war/insurgency that will leave the country looking 10 times worse than when Lebanon emerged from its civil war which to this day has left that country a shadow of its former self.”

You have been hammering us that Syria would be split geographically along religious sects and ethnical groups lines. As this did not happen you are now coming with another gloomy prediction that will not occur.
Please continue with your gloom… it is refreshing.

May 2nd, 2012, 10:01 pm


bronco said:

@596. Ghufran said:

شوفو الوساخه و قلة الاصل
As if those soldiers and officers were rats and not humans with families and children

Unfortunately some SC commenters share that view.

May 2nd, 2012, 10:05 pm


jna said:

“…..Syria is finished and we will see a 10 year low level civil war/insurgency that will leave the country looking 10 times worse than when Lebanon emerged from its civil war which to this day has left that country a shadow of its former self….”

There is a positive UN peacekeeper mission that has not yet barely been set in place. On paper at least it has the support of all the major international parties, plus the Syrian regime, plus the opposition and probably most Syrians. Before everyone writes it off as a lost cause, can we see how it develops. That includes consistent active international support and effort for the plan and it includes compromises by both the Assad regime and the opposition. Let’s not be so quick to jump for doomsday scenarios for Syria.

May 2nd, 2012, 10:21 pm


omen said:

9:14 – 10 times worse than when Lebanon emerged from its civil war which to this day has left that country a shadow of its former self

before israel knocked it back down again, some of the reconstruction lebanon embarked upon after the civil war has been remarkable. all shinny and modern.

May 2nd, 2012, 10:33 pm


omen said:

9:16 – Ghufran: at this rate, the regime will stay for the foreseeable future

“The worst possibility for our country is that the regime stays in power,” Saleh, 51, said in an interview at a safe house here. “Anything else is less bad.”

May 2nd, 2012, 10:43 pm


omen said:

Meanwhile the debate on this blog is sterile as it goes back and forth between pro regime and anti regime commentators all of whom are living comfortably in the West and pontificating in a “cafe-like meeting”.

bite me.

May 3rd, 2012, 12:01 am


Juergen said:

I called last night a friend who works also in academics on the field Abu Zaid worked. He had worked together with him on two of his books which were translated here into German. He assured me that he remained strong in his muslim faith throughout the campaign against him. I do think being secular does not mean automatically to be against religion. To my understanding he was totally outraged against the accusations, he never accepted even the idea that he had left the islamic grounds.

There is an other figure, you may have heard from him, Christoph Luxenburg who issued an series of articles and a book on the subject. He claims in short that Muhammed was so much influenced by the surrounding christians and jews that most of the stories and subjects in the Quran have jewish or christian backgrounds ( that might be true that there were more of those religions present) . He goes so far that he claims that the aramaic language was used widely in the quran, the arabic of that time borrowed many words from other languages. The word huri in his study does not mean paradise women, he argues that huri in old aramaeic is the word for grapes. So for him at least all of those shaheeds will end up with a bowl of grapes, funny thought though. by the way, this scholar is a syrian aramaeic christian, he changed his name for obvious reasons.

May 3rd, 2012, 1:43 am


Juergen said:

Swiss tv team entered into Syria

The reporter verified that he did not see an islamist opposition, but he said that there are people from Libya and Iraq with that backgorund who entered, but again he did not meet any of those.

There is also the video report of the tv crew:

May 3rd, 2012, 1:57 am


Mina said:

Luxemberg is a Lebanese priest (who wrote his thesis in Germany already in his mid-life and not as a normal student) and so you cannot compare him with Abu Zayd. Plus the guy has a limited knowledge of Semitic languages and was criticized for this reason. I like many of his hypotheses though (especially when he “corrects” Arabic-English dictionaries by adding the meanings of the cognate words in Syriac), but one should add the work of Irfan Shahid who points out at extensive connections between Mekka and Christian Ethiopia in the time of Muhammad.

May 3rd, 2012, 3:47 am


Juergen said:


my sources from the academic level told me that he was born in Syria and is currently working in the university of Saarbrücken. But I guess since he makes a secret about his real identity we shall not know more at this point.

I do believe that certain connections can be found and the role of jewish and christian arabs in the area and the time of Muhammed should be further studied, but assumptions sura al Imran talks about chrismas and that the Kaaba was a christian church do not really help in this matter.

As far as I know Abu Zaid wrote his controversial book also inmidst of his academic life, not as an student.

May 3rd, 2012, 4:08 am


Badr said:

…commentators all of whom are living comfortably in the West and pontificating in a “cafe-like meeting”


How exactly are you any different?

May 3rd, 2012, 4:09 am


ann said:

Hollande: A kinder, gentler France ahead? – May 3, 2012

Jean-Louis Bianco, a Socialist Party lawmaker who was President Francois Mitterrand’s longtime chief-of-staff, said Hollande “of course” could envision the use of force abroad — as long as authorized through the United Nations.

“We have to give the Annan plan all the chance it needs,” said Bianco, perhaps the best-known name on Hollande’s team of foreign policy advisers, in a telephone interview.

The author of a 2008 parliamentary report on Iran, Bianco said international sanctions against the Islamic regime over its controversial nuclear program are having an impact.

“Our line would be one of great firmness,” he said, but insisted France would invariably oppose military action even if Iran builds a nuclear weapon. “We won’t support an Israeli or American military action in Iran … An Israeli strike won’t prevent the Iranians from continuing” their program, he said.

In Israel, Western leaders including Obama have run into “considerable Israeli intransigence” on issues like settlements in the West Bank, Bianco said, and “we aren’t going to be able to bring about any miracles.”


May 3rd, 2012, 4:28 am


ann said:

Damascus says Gulf states behind Syria-bound arms shipments

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali on Wednesday accused Gulf countries of being behind the Syria-bound arms shipments that was intercepted recently by the Lebanese Army. “The ship was bound for the Syrian opposition,” Ali said. He accused leaderships in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries of being behind “these acts which undermine the security of Syria, Lebanon and the region.”

May 3rd, 2012, 4:50 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Dividing Syria:a real risk and goal(for some)
Few years ago 3 top fighters of PKK were handed over to Turkey after finishing their prison time in Syria.Assad announced from Turkey that it is within Turkeys rights to Attack PKK in Iraq…..Today thanks to Turkey hostile and shortsighted
Policies PKK is growing and thriving in Syria ….

May 3rd, 2012, 4:51 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

According to Michel killo:congratulation to the Syrian Regime this kind of opposition(if he wrote that here he would have been moderated):

May 3rd, 2012, 4:57 am


ann said:

tel-tviv boosts troops at borders with Egypt and Syria – 02 May, 2012

Israel is to deploy at least 22 reserve battalions on its borders with Egypt and Syria, claiming the growing instability in the two countries makes it necessary to be ready for possible external security threats.


May 3rd, 2012, 4:59 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

May 3rd, 2012, 5:12 am


ann said:

On Syria, Ladsous “Studying” Drones, Claims Free Movement, Borrel Scandal Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 1 — When Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping, appeared Tuesday for a rare press conference, the UN’s deputy spokesman said that only questions about Syria would be accepted.

This kept off limits not only questions about South Sudan, where Ladsous’ Department is bemoaning its lack of anti-aircraft missiles while refusing to issues its report on the dead of Pibor in Jonglei State, and Haiti where peacekeepers presumptively brought in cholera, but Ladsous’ own scandals, including arranging flights with cronies of Tunisian dictator Ben Ali, and improperly intervening in a death investigation in Djibouti, see below.

On Syria, Inner City Press asked Ladsous about his previously-exposed proposal that the UN use drones — did he intend to try to use these in Syria?

Ladsous replied that on drones, “we are conducting a study: technical, financial and other, one very strong parameter would be to secure the consent of the government concerned.” Then he would use them?

Inner City Press asked about the call for freedom of movement of UNSMIS, how does it compare to the restrictions that Ladsous’ DPKO accepts in Western Sahara, as revealed even by the recent report that was watered down under Ladsous, at the request of his country, France?

Ladsous said, “I won’t think the situation compares. We did have some initial, some few restrictions of movement for our people, presented to us as motivated by security considerations, I would say, over last week freedom has been ensured, they can go places they want.”

So Ladsous is both bragging about freedom of movement in Syria, and belated acknowledging but not explaining a less degree of freedom of movement accepted by his DPKO in Western Sahara, restrictions on MINURSO by French ally Morocco.

Beyond the other controversies Ladsous had refused to substantively answer Press questions about — his actions as French Deputy Permanent Representative in the Security Council during the genocide by Rwanda forces allied with France, his support for the ouster of popularly elected Jean Bertrand Aristide in Haiti, and “Air Ben Ali” for his boss the subsequently fired Michele Alliot-Marie — more is out there, including Ladsous’ action concerning the Horn of Africa, where Ladsous’ UN peacekeeping in involved, via Google Translate:


May 3rd, 2012, 5:15 am


Alan said:

566. OMEN
Do you want to fish in troubled waters?
the number of thump down shows you the answer!

May 3rd, 2012, 5:35 am


ann said:

Bold move as Syria leader makes time for chess – 22 hours ago

Syria leader Bashar Assad has taken time away from the deadly civil war raging in his country to consider the issue of chess tournaments for school children.

Assad held a three-hour meeting on Sunday with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, an eccentric Russian in charge of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), according to a report on Chessbase News.

The pair discussed a project to teach chess in Syrian schools, according to a press release that said an international youth chess tournament could be held in Damascus in early June.

Ilyumzhinov did not rule out the possibility that Assad could take part in the proposed tournament, telling Chessbase: “TheSyrian President plays chess very well – since his studies in London”.

He also revealed that Assad wants to invite the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet and a leading figure in world Buddhism, to sanctify an ancient Buddhist temple in Syria.

The Independent newspaper in London reported that Ilyumzhinov told Russia’s Interfax news agency the pair had also discussed the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

“Assad says he is adhering to the Kofi Annan peace plan,” Interfax quoted Ilyumzhinov as saying. “But the situation is being destabilized by the opposition, who are receiving huge numbers of weapons from neighboring countries.”


May 3rd, 2012, 5:46 am


Mawal95 said:

The Syrian Baath Party and its National Unity List (and the related National Progressive Front) looks like it’s going to win everywhere in the parliamentary elections on 7 May 2012. Before last year’s reforms some seats in the parliament were set aside for non-Baathist independents. Today the non-Baathist independents are complaining that each and every one of them has no chance of getting elected in fair competition against Baath or National Unity candidates, with the result that the new parliament will be all-Baathist and won’t contain representation for non-Baathist opinion. In response to this complaint, the Baathists within the past week have decided to voluntarily withdraw their candidates from some electoral districts, in order to make it possible for non-Baathists to have some representation in the parliament. I’m not joking. And now, guess what, the independents are complaining that the Baathists haven’t withdrawn from enough districts.

Also in recent days many non-Baathist candidates have voluntarily withdrawn from the election contest in recognition that they’ve no chance of getting elected.

May 3rd, 2012, 6:16 am


Mina said:

(…) “I don’t need condolences over the deaths of my son and his comrade, because their blood is no more precious than the blood of any Syrian that was martyred before or will be martyred in the coming days.”

“Those who carry guns will not terrorize us and will not silence us nor stop us from working day and night to establish peace and security in Syria.”

“Ismail and his comrade are the victims of terrorism that is afflicting Syria…they, like the rest of the martyrs, fell so that Syria may live, for Syria’s interest is above all interests.”

The SSNP is one of the oldest political parties in Syria, founded by Lebanese academic Antoun Saadeh in the 1930s, calling for a secular pan-Syrian nation.” (…)

May 3rd, 2012, 6:30 am


Observer said:

Here are my responses

When I say Syria is finished, and for 10 years this is because it will require at least one generation to repair the damage that was done by the regime; just as it will require the same amount of time for the US to emerge from the follies of GWB.

When I say that Syria should be divided it is because there is at present more centrifugal forces than centripetal forces. The Kurds want autonomy, the Christians want a forced secular state where they retain their religious particularity while the majority is forced into secularism. The unfortunate Alawi community are now between a rock and a hard place as Corleone the father put them in that predicament or so they think: either on top or at the bottom; not as equal citizens.

As for the Arabism that has been the hallmark of many Syrians, it was destroyed over several events, 67; the fight with Jordan in 70; the Syrian debacle in Lebanon and its colonization for 20 years; the participation with the war in 91 in Kuwait; the abandonment of Iskanderun; the manipulation of Palestinians. All of this has weakened the one element that would have made the Syrians rally together.

As for being an actual citizen in Syria, it is clear that the regime is so sectarian in its allocation of resources and so dictatorial that the people if you have noticed revolted.

Finally, I am guilty of having been at times more involved than being a mere observer. I chose observer because I did not want to enter into a moralistic role of telling people what to do and how to proceed.

For he am I but a person living comfortably in the West. If I strayed from my role of “observing” then I am guilty as well.

The accusation of gloom is due to my reading of how dictatorship and oligarchy tend to have a vicious not virtuous cycle of maintaining their grip on power and in keeping the people and the country poor and backward.
After all, Latin American in reality has remained in this grip of a vicious circle of oligarchy for nearly 400 years and the same we have experienced under the Ottoman except for the brief period of modernization that Muhammad Ali undertook in Egypt in 1805 forward.

If this regime is allowed or manages to keep its grip on power, the people in Syria can expect another one or two generations of utter misery.

May 3rd, 2012, 7:28 am


DAWOUD said:

Although I think that “safe heavens” and arming the FSA is necessary, I have a great respect for a pricipled non-sectarian Iranian intellectual, Professor Hamid Dabashi, and his perspective. Below is his opinion article in al-Jazeera English.

Hamid Dabashi
Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

Don’t let Syria become Libya
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan must be allowed to mediate a real peace in Syria in lieu of a Libya-style redux.

New York, NY – All the indications are that the US and its regional allies are gearing up for a Libyan déjà vu in Syria. That is a dangerous and potentially catastrophic turn of events for Syria, and for the region at large, resulting in even more blood than the murderous Syrian regime has shed so far.

The recent Al Jazeera report that the Lebanese navy intercepted “a ship loaded with three containers of weapons destined for Syrian opposition forces” is the most recent indication that the incessantly increasing violence has long since assumed regional and transnational proportions. The ruling regimes in Iran and Saudi Arabia are fighting their proxy wars on the backs of the Syrian people.

To be sure, just like Gaddafi’s, the bloody ruling regime in Syria is chiefly responsible for the carnage that has unfolded over the past year – for if they had allowed peaceful demonstrations to result in a peaceful transition to democracy, the US and its regional allies would not have had the opportunity to try to fish from the bloody water that Bashar al-Assad has created, nor would there be any room for the opportunist manipulations such as those proffered by Russia, China or Iran.

May 3rd, 2012, 8:25 am


Juergen said:

thank you for the information about the fate of the son of Ali Haidar.

Jürgen Todenhöfer on his last trip to Iran:

“How gladly I would take some of our Western politicians once in Iran. To show them that this country is so very different from what they tell their voters. I would accompany them to a Christian church or the synagogue in Tehran.”

May 3rd, 2012, 8:26 am


Mina said:

Freedom of expression? Not for the Libyans:
“Public praise of Gaddafi or his regime will now be an offence.”
in addition to the liften ban on religious parties.

Demonstrations and fighting in Aleppo university;–killed.aspx

May 3rd, 2012, 8:28 am


Ghufran said:

This is supposedly from Ghalioun’s hacked email exchange,I am just bringing it for your view,some may consider it regime prop:

May 3rd, 2012, 8:46 am


ann said:

I vote/nominate GHUFRAN for Syria Comment Moderator 🙂

May 3rd, 2012, 8:47 am


Ghufran said:

This is the reform corrupt Arab regimes will provide:
Arab regimes will only respond to pressure.

May 3rd, 2012, 8:53 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Look at the picture associated with this article from
Voice of America ,it is for FSA terrorists in Alkaldia, concentrate on the shop on the right ,if you read Arabic it says :دمك مهدوو!!!Huh ???That is the islamic Sharia way to tell someone we will kill youHuh ???(to the shop owner)!!–149976585.html

May 3rd, 2012, 9:18 am


Tara said:

SNC And Ghalioun must step up to the plate and denounce the suicide bombers and all rogue elements possibly disguised under the opposition. He also shoud not rule out that these elements may also be working under and paid by the regime to wreck havoc and spread chaos.

By denouncing them, he draws a clear distinction between the FSA fighting to protect Syrians and the terrorists and mercenaries with their sickening ideology.

SNC in my opinion falling short from making that distinction.

May 3rd, 2012, 9:23 am


zoo said:

#624. Mina said:

“Freedom of expression? Not for the Libyans:”

Not for ‘democratic’ Turkey either

The decline of media freedom continues

The decline of media freedom in Turkey is continuing, the Turkey Journalists Association (TGC) Executive Board points out in a statement on World Press Freedom Day, May 3:

“We can only say in the name of press freedom that the decline is continuing in a county where the number of journalists under arrest is nearing 100 and the number of legal cases against journalists has reached 10,000. Unfortunately, also this year, Turkey is ranked 117th among 197 countries under the category of partially free countries in the latest report issued the other day by Freedom House.

May 3rd, 2012, 9:34 am


ann said:

628. Syria no Kandahar said:

Look at the picture associated with this article from
Voice of America ,it is for FSA terrorists in Alkaldia, concentrate on the shop on the right ,if you read Arabic it says :دمك مهدوو!!! That is the islamic Sharia way to tell someone we will kill you(to the shop owner)!!–149976585.html

SNK, you missed the obvious CHILD SOLDIERS in the picture also!

May 3rd, 2012, 9:35 am


Atassi said:

[Atassi, Please address commentators with the handle they chose]

SC Moderator

Syria no Kardaha Kandahar

What’s up !!! Still defending this regime !!Wow .. amazing!! The sooner everyone recognize the Assad regime is finished politically and can’t saty one form or another and stop raising the expectations of the Pro-regimeMenhiback , the more likely a sort of reconciliation can be reached. civil war is not in the interests of any side

May 3rd, 2012, 9:36 am


bronco said:

#629 Tara

“SNC in my opinion falling short from making that distinction.”

Where is the ‘military office’ in Turkey that SNC announced supposedly to control the distribution of weapons?
The SNC is a shame to Syrians and, by its silence and inaction, it has not fallen short, but it has now become an accomplice to the terrorists acts in Syria.

May 3rd, 2012, 9:44 am


Aldendeshe said:

SNC And Ghalioun must step up to the plate and denounce the suicide bombers and all rogue elements possibly disguised under the opposition…

@629 TARA
Good point, was in our discussions for sometime now. There is the issue of murder accusation by AL-Hakika, assassinating SSNP (Haidar) son and issuing hit list, we never heard from him or SNC any denial or rejection of the accusation. He could be personally charged under U.S. / French Terrorism laws if this true.

May 3rd, 2012, 9:44 am


Afram said:

the death report is a complete fabrication,after performing his post-mortem examination on the arab mind & body,he concluded that lentil soupشوربة العدسgases caused the death,the backward virus[culture]that severely afflicted our life and prevented the arabs from mounting the modernity train,IS not the actual causes of death.!?
we need a specialized pathologist,Not an observer to describe the arab muslim illness & condition…!!!
for the time being,the deceased arab mind is put back in the freezer untill the cause of death is known.

May 3rd, 2012, 9:51 am


Atassi said:

Syrian regime forces raid Aleppo University after protests; at least 4 students killed


Associated Press

3 May 2012


Associated Press Newswires



(c) 2012. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

BEIRUT (AP) – Syrian security forces stormed dormitories at Aleppo University to break up anti-government protests, killing at least four students and wounding several others in an hourslong rampage that ended Thursday morning and left part of the campus in flames, activists and opposition groups said.

They said the main university in Syria’s largest city shut down in the wake of the violence, but it was not clear for how long.

Around 1,500 students had been protesting in student quarters next to the main campus late Wednesday when security forces and pro-regime gunmen swept into their residences, firing tear gas at first, then live ammunition to disperse them.


[link added]

May 3rd, 2012, 9:52 am


zoo said:

Syrian opposition at home forms coalition for peaceful change

• Nine opposition parties and bodies in Syria announced formation of a coalition of forces.
• It stressed its antagonism to current regime as well as “negative aspects” of the anti-regime movement.
• The coalition also reiterated the importance of national dialogue.
DAMASCUS, May 2 (Xinhua) — Around nine opposition parties and bodies in Syria have closed ranks and announced Wednesday the formation of a coalition of forces for peaceful change.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the new coalition stressed its antagonist to the current regime in Syria as well as “negative aspects” of the anti-regime movement, in reference to the armed attacks carried out by rebels against government troops and populated areas.

The coalition also reiterated the importance of national dialogue with all parties on the bases of rejecting foreign intervention in Syria.

The opposition coalition came apparently to forge a united front in face of a broad-based opposition that has been calling for foreign intervention in Syria since the first months of civil unrest in Syria.

It welcomed any initiative that would be conducive in solving the Syrian crisis, called for the release of all political detainees and urged the government to halt its crackdown. It also warned of foreign calls to arming the opposition, stressing that it would only devastate the country from inside.

May 3rd, 2012, 9:59 am


ann said:

CBS Sets Purchase Price of USD at 61.68 and 67.75 for Intervention Purposes – May 02 2012

According to the bulletin of foreign currency exchange rate issued by the CBS, the purchase price of Euro reached SYP 81.51 while the selling rate reached SYP 82.08

The CBS set the price of foreign currency for intervention purposes as the purchase price of the USD was set at SYP 67.75 and the selling price at 70.50 while the purchase price of Euro reached SYP 89.78 and the selling price hit SYP 93.45.


May 3rd, 2012, 10:21 am


Mawal95 said:

Syrian soldiers saying “with soul, with blood, we support Bashar” after a pep-talk from an officer, May 2012:


Allah m-HEE-ae!
El-jaysh el-hur!

May 3rd, 2012, 10:21 am


Uzair8 said:

Scholars understand the (spiritual) causes of the situation and where the solution lies.

Sheikh Yaqoubi is a supporter of the revolution and is aware of the need to remind and guide the people where necessary. Here is his latest update on facebook (Tue 1/5/2012):


Guidance – Has Victory Been late?

Sh. Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi

There is question that arises sometimes after a year has passed since the revolution began, with months passing as if today is tomorrow and yesterday is today.

As some people like to talk about victory as right granted to them or inherited and must therefore be given to them without any efforts or struggle. They do not mind having it on a plate of gold.
I say: victory is a right that is earned and attained, and is not given but after by jihad and patience and is not reached but through sacrifice.

No one is qualified for victory through fear and laziness nor by wishful thinking and hopes, but by courage, altruism and struggle.
One year of Jihad is a short period of time for someone who accepted to live for forty years under humility and oppression without changing anything.

One year of supporting Allah does not compare to fifty years of heedlessness from Allah and failure to support his religion.
The answer that solves the problem is summed up in one word:
Victory is not late; our work for is late.
The struggle is from us and the victory is from Him; the former is a result of the latter. This is a Divine Law in the universe.
He told us about it in the Holy Quran when He said: “If ye help Allah, Allah God will you!”

In His words, “If ye help” He points out to our duty of work for to Allah, in Allah and for Allah. This is the support for religion, for blood and wealth, for the oppressed and the humiliated.
In His word, “He Will Give you victory” glad tidings coming fro Him even when we are few in numbers, weak or lack the means.

And between understanding His signals and His tidings the balance has been broken. We kept busying ourselves in what He promised us while we forgot what He demanded from us. No wonder we have reached this state, begging for victory without efforts and wanting a change with no sacrifices.


May 3rd, 2012, 10:29 am


DAWOUD said:

[Moderator NoteDawoud, currently there is only one person Moderating that both Dr. Landis and Mr. Otrakji verified. If you are worried about your anonymity I suggest spoofing your IP address, and getting a throw away email account if you have not done so already.]

Sc Moderator

Dear Professor Landis:

Please let me know when Xinhuanet/RT/Press/al-Akhbar commentator assumes any moderation duty. I intend to stop posting when the commentator who claimed that the martyr Hamza al-Khateeb was killed by “Saudi terrorists” assumes moderation. Was she doing moderation last week when I was put in moderation? We have the right to know when she is the moderator. I don’t want my email and privacy in the hands of this Hizballah-trained Amrican!

When Bashar was “visiting” children, the murderous dictator’s shabiha and forces were killing other people’s children. See:
Pro-Assad gun, knife attack kills four protesters

(Reuters) – Syrian security men and students wielding knives attacked a protest march at Aleppo University on Thursday, activists said, killing four and rounding up dozens of demonstrators who were demanding President Bashar al-Assad step down.

In an unusually bloody incident for Syria’s hitherto fairly peaceful commercial hub and second city, video posted on the Internet showed young people chanting slogans against the ruling family and being drowned out by gunfire. Activists posted images of a bloodied corpse and what they said was a burning dormitory.

May 3rd, 2012, 10:38 am


Tara said:


The SNC lack of political experience is due to the fact that the country have been deprived of political life for 40 some years. The only shamefulf faction I see is the regime and it’s supporters. I especially fault the supporters. Bashar is detached from reality and so all dictators. The supporters bear the responsibilities by continuing to see no evil and by willfully refusing to see the need for Bashar to step down to save the country. The revolution is not likely to reverse course. It has reached the point of no return long time ago. Bashar must be forced to step down for the regime and opposition to sit down and talk to reign in the rouge elements and to stop the bloodshed. No one, absolutely no one will sit and talk while Bashar remains on the helm ordering and organizing the killing.

May 3rd, 2012, 10:55 am


DAWOUD said:


Tara, it looks like your nightmare (do you remember your comment regarding a dream/nightmare that you had?) might have been realized 🙂

May 3rd, 2012, 10:56 am


Tara said:

Dear Dawoud

OMG. You reminded me now. That was dreadful. Half of it has happened. I hope it will not materialize.

May 3rd, 2012, 11:05 am


DAWOUD said:


Dear Moderator:

Thanks for these few assurances. No, I use my real email (which shows my real first/last name-you already know both). In any case, If you ever pick this person (you know whom I am referring to), please let me know so that I stop commenting.


May 3rd, 2012, 11:20 am


ann said:

The Syrian Opposition, Non-state Players, and the Peace Process – 05/02/2012

There are two views floating in Syria today. Theory I says that the U.S. wants to break the Syrian-Iranian alliance through regime change in Damascus. They argue that if the regime collapses in Syria, it would result in a rapid decline for both Iran and Hezbollah. Theory II, however, claims that contrary to what is being said, the U.S. is un-interested in severing Syria’s alliance with parties, fearing the worst in the Middle East. It would rather manage than break that alliance, they believe. Advocates of this theory don’t believe that regime change in Syria automatically spells out a quick demise for Hezbollah and Iran. If change does happen, the U.S. would still want a regional heavyweight that can deliver when it comes to non-state players like Hezbollah and countries like Iran. One of the pitfalls that the Syrian opposition is falling into is telling the world that if they come to power, they would automatically sever Syria’s alliance with Hezbollah and Iran. That sounds logical, but is emotional more so than pragmatic given that they are focused on charting a course that is completely different from everything Syrian officialdom has done since 1970. Let us take a look at Theory II.

The United States, they argue, is more interested in the security of Israel than in the democratization of Syria. America’s track record since 1949 — the date of Syria’s first military regime — speaks volumes about Washington’s desire for change in the Arab World. Its focus on Syria since the late 1980s has been namely because of its ability to influence non-state players that give Tel Aviv a headache. It used those connections in recent years, for example, talking Hezbollah into joining the political process in Lebanon, and convincing Hamas into accepting the Arab League Initiative of 2002 and abiding by the 1967 borders of Palestine. During the heyday of Hosni Mubarak, for example, he made sure that Camp David was upheld from Egypt’s side, and pushed the right buttons with Fateh, while Syria did the same on its border with Israel, making sure that it remains quiet, while moderating the behavior of militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. With Mubarak gone, the U.S. lost a major “stabilizer” in the Middle East, and now with the Syrian regime in shaky waters, it runs the high risk of seeing a leadership in Damascus that cannot deliver when it comes to the security of Israel.


May 3rd, 2012, 11:54 am


Afram said:

HI Juergen/this muslim man wants to ban traditional Oktoberfest

No more Prost!or Zum Wohl!…how to say Allahu Akbar in germanic?

May 3rd, 2012, 12:06 pm


Uzair8 said:

Observer mentioned the fable of the frogs drinking water.

The regime allies would be wise to distance themselves from the doomed regime rather than attempt to save it. The regime will fall and may bring them down with it.

Observer #589: ‘Russia cannot influence Syria and is now going to lose big time…’

It’s the regimes nature. It cannot change.


A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”

May 3rd, 2012, 12:08 pm


Tara said:

Now if the FSA showed up to defend the students and some shabeehs killed in the process, should shabeehas be prayed for?  Their family members can pray for them.  Not me.  Not in my book.خائن يللي بيقتل شعبه, and I do not pray for traitors.

Syria: Syrian security forces stormed student dorms at Aleppo University in the north-west of the country following anti-government protests there, killing at least four students and wounding several others with teargas and live ammunition, activists and opposition groups said today. From AP .

Around 1,500 students had been protesting in student quarters adjacent to Aleppo University’s main campus late Wednesday when security forces and pro-regime gunmen swept into their residences, firing tear gas at first, then live ammunition to disperse them.

Student activist Thaer al-Ahmed said panic and chaos ensued as students tried to flee. “Some students ran to their rooms to take cover but they were followed to their rooms, beaten up and arrested,” he said.
He said raids and intermittent gunfire continued until early Thursday morning. Dozens of people were wounded, some critically, and around 50 students were arrested, he said.

The Local Coordination Committees activist group confirmed the raid and said five students were killed and some 200 arrested while the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four students were killed. “Regime forces demanded through loudspeakers that the dorms be evacuated, then began detaining the students,” the LCC said in a statement.

The LCC says demonstrations are taking place now, both elsewhere on the campus and outside the campus, in solidarity with the students who were attacked.

A video posted online purports to show a student who was shot.

May 3rd, 2012, 12:54 pm


bronco said:

#642 Tara

“The SNC lack of political experience is due to the fact that the country have been deprived of political life for 40 some years.”

Ghaliun and his clique have been outside Syria for decades and the TNC in Libya was formed and united in two weeks.
After 13 months, the SNC is still disunited, immature and snubbed by the international organizations.
Instead of rallying the local opposition in Syria to create a popular political movement, they preferred to follow the encouragement and bad advices of Juppe, HBJ and Erdogan calling for ‘instant regime change’
They bear a huge responsibility in the failure of the revolution and the state in wich Syria is now. They have no excuses and the history will judge them very severely of having failed the revolution in Syria and transforming in it is murderous civil war.
Your repetitive affirmations and predictions do not make the reality, as we have seen in the last year.
I keep wondering what happened to MajedAlkhaldoon who was the master of failed predictions.

May 3rd, 2012, 1:51 pm


zoo said:

is Israel worried about Islamists getting closer to its borders with Syria and Egypt?

Tel Aviv boosts troops at borders with Egypt and Syria
Edited: 03 May, 2012, 09:29
Israel is to deploy at least 22 reserve battalions on its borders with Egypt and Syria, claiming the growing instability in the two countries makes it necessary to be ready for possible external security threats.

­The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has been given an approval of a call-up of additional force by Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee although they exceed the average. Reservists from six battalions have already received their orders, even though many of them are soldiers who have already completed their annual reserve duty.

Israeli generals say these troops are needed to deal with security threats which are coming from Israel’s borders with Egypt and Syria, and also because of growing instability in those countries.

May 3rd, 2012, 1:59 pm


zoo said:

Even the Turkish press ridicules Davutoglu about his naive declaration on Syria and the Middle East.

Bright Ideas on Syria

As seen above, to my understanding, Davutoğlu draws a picture of a preparation committee for insurgents under the title of UN Supervision Mission so that this committee will free everyone from all problems. And also “neighbors” who do not want to be involved in risky businesses like organizing the insurgents, giving arms, providing logistics and a safe heaven get out of a jam, while the necessity for an international military intervention is removed. Thanks to this bright idea, it by itself would contribute greatly to “insurgency” history.

Since “revolution will occur permanently ” in the Middle East, then relevant problems can be solved easily by deploying “UN Supervision Missions” instead of military.

May 3rd, 2012, 2:06 pm


Tara said:


Hay…. What about your predictions? They haven’t materialized either.., I think Majed is in Turkey volunteering his medical expertise. I am thinking to go there too… to volunteer something… I can cook for them and may be do other things…What do you think? A good idea?

May 3rd, 2012, 2:43 pm


Uzair8 said:

PM Erdoğan has record-long meeting with military chief


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel held their weekly meeting on Tuesday, which lasted more than three hours.

The two usually hold a weekly meeting on Thursdays, but move it up two days earlier as Gen. Özel will be traveling abroad later in the week. The meeting was held at Erdoğan’s residence and lasted three hours and 10 minutes, the longest tete-a-tete the two have had.


May 3rd, 2012, 2:44 pm


Uzair8 said:

SC 1668 visits short of 3.5 million visits.

PS: I would’ve asked whether Assad would fall before the figure was reached but then I did the calculation and…nevermind.

May 3rd, 2012, 2:56 pm


Uzair8 said:

@655 Actually hold on…

Bahrain News Agency
7 hours ago


Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: Syrian economy on the brink of collapse


Manama: May 3 — (BNA) The London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper stated that the Syrian economy is on the verge of collapse as a result of a critical slumping in deposits and loans.

The Arabic-speaking newspaper said that deposits dwindled at the rate of 35% last year and that foreign reserves in the Central Bank of Syria dropped to USD 10 billion this year which is half the record figure attained in 2010.

The exchange rate of the Syria Lira sharply dropped to 68 Liras per US dollar in contrast to 47 Liras per dollar before the eruption of the Syrian revolt last March. (IY)

May 3rd, 2012, 3:14 pm


omen said:

651. zoo said: is Israel worried about Islamists getting closer to its borders with Syria and Egypt?

no, israelis are there to mow down fleeing refugees (you know, fellow syrians) trying to escape the regime’s clutches. they’re there to provide support for bashar.

May 3rd, 2012, 3:16 pm


Juergen said:


a friend from Texas used to say, it takes all kind of folks to make a world, gee i dont know if i live in the same world as this guy.
Probably he hasnt seen an octoberfest from inside, and the many khalijee guys enjoying their pint of beer there.

German Tv is back to Damascus to cover the UN misson and the upcoming election,
They reported that last night 4 students died in raids by the regime in the university residences of the students.

Timm Kröger from ZDF ( second channel) said in his report that Damascus looks very normal, very little presence of security visible. Tomorrow wide spread cehckpoints surrounding Damascus will be set up to keep the normality in the capital. The city is full of election campaign posters.
The opposition calls the upcoming election an farce.

May 3rd, 2012, 3:21 pm


Uzair8 said:

Saw the following headline on TV scrolling news ticker earlier.


Syria: Britain To Blame For Civilian Deaths
Thursday May 03, 2012

Syria’s deputy foreign minister has accused Britain of being directly responsible for the deaths of civilians in his country.

May 3rd, 2012, 3:31 pm


Alan said:

Russia ‘retains right’ to pre-emptive strike on missile shield

Russia is ready for a pre-emptive strike on European missile defense systems if the US refuses dialogue, stated Russia’s senior military official. Washington has responded by saying it doesn’t rule out giving Russia legally binding guarantees on AMB.

Russia warns ‘point of no return’ imminent in US missile defense talks

US missile defense: Loaded system, empty promises
Activists say Syrian forces raid university, kill 4
Syrian opposition activists claim security forces have stormed student dorms at a university in northwestern Syria, killing at least four students and wounding several others. The raid reportedly followed students’ anti-government protests. Security forces and pro-regime gunmen fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the students at Aleppo University late Wednesday night, AP said, citing activists. More than 50 students were reportedly arrested during raids that continued until early Thursday morning.

May 3rd, 2012, 3:42 pm


Alan said:

Decisions about Syria’s future should not be imposed from outside

May 3rd, 2012, 3:45 pm


Alan said:

Washington acknowledges Al Qaeda attempts to undermine Syria
A U.S. State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, has acknowledged that Al Qaeda is seeking to destabilize Syria. After the April 27 deadly explosions in Damascus, two car bombs targeting administrative buildings and police offices rocked the northern Syrian city of Idlib.

At least 40 people have been killed and dozens of others were wounded in those latest attacks. Earlier, the U.S. administration claimed that President Bashar Assad was the only one responsible for instability and violence in Syria.


May 3rd, 2012, 3:48 pm


omen said:

michael j. totten:

Fake Terrorist Attacks in Syria:

No one who follows Middle East conflicts should be shocked to discover that the Syrian government is staging terrorist attacks against itself.

For a year now the Assad regime has claimed it’s fighting our war against radical Islamist terrorist “gangs,” even though we all know Damascus is the biggest state-sponsor of radical Islamist terrorism in the Arab world. And those of us who followed and reported on the 2006 war in Lebanon, Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and the Second Intifada in Israel and the West Bank know chapter and verse how Middle Eastern terrorist organizations and their sponsors manipulate the media by using actors, Photoshop, bogus hysterical claims, etc. It’s de rigueur over there.

May 3rd, 2012, 3:56 pm


Mina said:

If the SNC understands nothing about politics, why should it be the fault of the regime? Aren’t exiled people authorized to enter in politics or social activities and activism in other countries? Maturity?

May 3rd, 2012, 4:00 pm


omen said:

5:35 – Alan

first of all, i wasn’t even sure if it was you who made the accusation. one minute, i see a post. the next minute, it was gone.

secondly, i defended your right to make even a baseless accusation. i didn’t think it was necessary for it to be scrubbed. you’re welcome.

Do you want to fish in troubled waters?

it’s what i do.

the number of thumb down shows you the answer!

yeah? so? what do i care? i get 20 of those for merely saying hello.

May 3rd, 2012, 4:06 pm


Antoine said:

653. TARA said: “..I think Majed is in Turkey volunteering his medical expertise. I am thinking to go there too… to volunteer something… I can cook for them …”

Nice idea, I too have been thinking of going to Turkey camps for a long while, but it seems getting permission from the authorities to enter the camps is difficult. Majed promised that he will be working with Syrian refugees in the months of April and May.

I think working with the refugees may be easier, bcz most of the refugees are living in residential areas of North Lebanon.

The least we can do is play with the children and feed them. I have a good mind of teaching Syrian children how to play Cricket. Introducing cricket among Syrians should be interesting.

May 3rd, 2012, 4:10 pm


Atassi said:

[ Moderator NoteAtassi, Please provide a link for any offsite news sources, and please do not copy the material in its entirety, thank you.]

Sc Moderator

Good reading
Fear of anarchy within Syria is leading to just that

Itamar Rabinovich

4 May 2012

Bangkok Post


(c) 2012. The Post Publishing Public Company Limited. All Rights Reserved.

The failure of US President Barack Obama’s administration, its Western allies, and several Middle East regional powers to take bolder action to stop the carnage in Syria is often explained by their fear of anarchy.

Given the Syrian opposition’s manifest ineffectiveness and disunity, so the argument goes, President Bashar al-Assad’s fall, when it finally comes, will incite civil war, massacres, and chaos, which is likely to spill over Syria’s borders, further destabilising weak neighbours such as Iraq and Lebanon, and leading, perhaps, to a regional crisis.

What is actually happening in Syria refutes this argument. In fact, the lingering crisis is corroding the fabric of Syrian society and government. Anarchy is setting in now: it is preceding, and precipitating, the regime’s eventual fall.

The United States and others are substituting high rhetoric and symbolic punitive action for real action on Syria.

Sanctions on those involved in electronic warfare against the opposition’s social media are not the answer to the shelling of civilian neighbourhoods in Homs and Deraa.


May 3rd, 2012, 4:15 pm


Mina said:

To have, or not to have, an election
(…) “Over the past year, street battles have erupted on a near-monthly basis between anti-government protesters and various combinations of military, security forces and so-called “honorable citizens,” known to others as thugs. The latest round, near the Defense Ministry in Abbasseya, left at least 11 people dead and scores injured.

It is usually unclear how these clashes begin and how they escalate. When they do, they dramatically change the composition of the protest and the motivations behind it. But the latest round of violence, in Abbasseya, suggests that some protesters might be moving into a newly confrontational — and armed — form of resistance and self-defense, to the consternation of many activists.

The sit-in began on Friday, after supporters of disqualified presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail moved their protest from in front of the Presidential Elections Commission to the Defense Ministry near Abbasseya. After some initial confrontations with plain-clothed individuals on Saturday, other political groups joined the sit-in, in front of Ain Shams University, which is adjacent to the ministry, to protest the military council’s rule and what they see as irregularities in the presidential elections process.

“The sit-in is no longer about Abu Ismail, it is against what will be fraudulent elections in the presence of corrupt judges on the elections commission and Article 28 of the Constitutional Declaration [which disallows appeals against the commission’s decisions],” said Abu Ismail supporter Tareq Hefny, who has been present since the sit-in in front of the elections commission.

Groups like the April 6 Youth Movement and Youth for Justice and Freedom, as well as non-affiliated individuals, joined the sit-in.”

May 3rd, 2012, 4:25 pm


Tara said:


Cool. I know what I want to do with the children. I will have a dancing class for them so they can express themselves through dance.

I am concerned about the mental scars that are going to inflict this generation of Syrian children.

May 3rd, 2012, 4:26 pm


bronco said:


“I can cook for them and may be do other things…What do you think? A good idea”

Brilliant idea, so you can see from near the ‘angels’ that Majed has been praising and not rely on second hand information. Don’t feed them too much as they need to remain alert despite their failures.

Most of my predictions have materialized: the SNC and the FSA are falling apart, the Arab League plan is in the dustbin, Qatar and KSA have become competitors and fighting for influence in the Arab Spring countries, France, the EU and the USA are reduced to empty calls and ‘caviar’ sanctions, Syria economy did not collapse and Bashar is still here.
My only early error was to overestimate Turkey’s political smartness and power.
I thought they would contribute to bringing peace in Syria and they did exactly the contrary.
My prediction is that the MB is going down the slope and carrying with it Qatar, Turkey and the SNC.
The key is now with Annan and the UN and I think they may succeed in bringing the parties into a dialog and stop the violence.

May 3rd, 2012, 4:36 pm


Tara said:

How about sharing this info with Dear Mina.

I am surprised that Hamster had not visited with us for long time.

May 3rd, 2012, 4:43 pm


bronco said:

# Allan

Al Qaeda is moving in Syria and benefiting from the ceasefire by the Syrian government to infiltrate even more the armed rebels.

The worst scenario for the USA is if they reach the Syria-Israel borders. No wonder Israel is worried and is beefing up the area with more soldiers.
Ironically, maybe we will soon see the USA asking ( and helping) the Syrian army to crush the Al Qaeda elements who are getting closer to the Israeli border similarly to what the USA is doing in Yemen helping the Yemeni army to fight against al Qaeda that is threatening Saudi Arabia and the oil routes.

May 3rd, 2012, 4:45 pm


omen said:


Mercy-USA is a certified organization that complies with all standards. They have a 4 out of 4 star rating on Charity Navigator. #txt4syria


Mercy-USA is a great organization that has been helping Syrian refugees since June 2011. They are 100% trustworthy. #txt4syria


Watch promo video for Text4Syria: Text “Syria” to 80077 to donate $10 to Syrian refugees! #txt4syria

May 3rd, 2012, 4:47 pm


Alan said:

665. OMEN
It is my right protect not yours !
Secondly it is necessary to be sure before calling names of people!
You recognized the environment of the hobby – muddy water
and on the end your indicator of fingers reflects perception of readers of that that you wrote!

May 3rd, 2012, 4:55 pm


Juergen said:

The Ways of Syria
by Fuad Ajami
“In one of his sweeping insights, Henry Kissinger once captured the forces at play in Syrian history. “Damascus is at one and the same time the fount of modern Arab nationalism and the exhibit of its frustrations,” he wrote. “Syrian history alternates achievement with catastrophe. . . . ”

Please see Atassis link to Rabinovitch article, its a good read.

I just received word that in syrian tv they run advertisement for the army to join them, even with the lowest school degrees. Anyone can confirm that?

May 3rd, 2012, 4:55 pm


omen said:

alan said: It is my right protect not yours !

right to speech is a universal right. your right is my right and vice versa. i defend my own by defending yours.

Secondly it is necessary to be sure before calling names of people!

what? i didn’t call anybody names.

May 3rd, 2012, 5:07 pm


zoo said:

What really happened at the Aleppo University?
Did the security forces intervene to separate fighting factions and went too far?

The student quarters — known as the University City — comprise 20 dormitories that house more than 5,000 students next to the university campus. Students there often shout anti-Assad slogans from their rooms at night,(‘many from rebellious areas such as the northern Idlib province’)

It was an unusually violent incident in Aleppo, a major economic hub that has remained largely loyal to Assad and has been spared the kind of daily bloodshed that has plagued other Syrian cities over the course of the uprising.

There has been a string of bombings near government security buildings in Aleppo and the capital, Damascus, adding a mysterious element to the anti-government revolt. U.S. officials suggested al-Qaida militants may be joining the fray.

For the most part, Aleppo has been quiet, but university students — many from rebellious areas such as the northern Idlib province — have been staging almost daily protests calling for the fall of Assad.

Al-Ahmed, a law student, said the Aleppo campus and dormitories have been raided before, but Thursday was the most violent incident

Wednesday when around 1,500 students held a protest against President Bashar Assad’s regime. Pro-regime students attacked the crowd with knives before security forces swept in, firing tear gas and then live ammunition, activists said.
Al-Ahmed and the Observatory’s director Rami Abdul-Rahman said pro-regime students armed with knives tried to break up the protest before the security forces raided the dormitories
Reporters accompanying the observers on the tour interviewed residents who said life was fairly normal during the day but was worrisome after dark.
The head of the U.N. observers, Norwegian Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, visited the central cities of Homs and Hama, where anti-regime sentiment runs high. He said there is still “a good chance and an opportunity” to break the cycle of violence.

“The situation is calm during the day but scary at night,” said Maher Jerjous, a 53-year-old resident of the Bab al-Quba district in Hama. “Masked gunmen … roam the streets. There are kidnappings on public roads. You will not see anyone (on the streets) after six

May 3rd, 2012, 5:10 pm


Juergen said:


Nour Hatem Zahra, 23 year old graffiti activist died in the capitol this week

May 3rd, 2012, 5:14 pm


Mina said:

From the Angry Arab
The view from Homs
I asked a contact in Homs to give me a feel of the place and he wrote (I am translating from Arabic): “The armed men are primarily in Hayy Al-Khaldiyyah and in Jurat Ash-Shiyyah, and they can also appear suddenly and nervously in other quarters. But the quarters from which they have been evicted by the army like Baba Amr and Ashirah and Bab As-Siba` are almost empty now. My quarter is…and others where there is no opposition there is movement as in other quarters. You may describe the mood as tense and a state of civil war, along sectarian lines. There is some repugnance from the practices of the armed men among some former opposition people (and for example it is difficult to find opposition from the minority sects at this time). But because people are embroiled in armed conflict and engaged in bloody actions it is difficult to find this alienation (from the deeds of the armed groups) translated especially given the media avalanche that has reached to extreme limits. But what is clear and certain and widespread and is indubitable that the prevailing ideology among the armed movement is the Salafi ideology (populist and the organized one, like Hizb At-Tahriri and others). As for the [upcoming parliamentary] election, supporters of the regime will elect some candidates (and most of them are worse than previous representatives). As simple as that. Incidentally, elections in Homs for a long time, lacks popular participation except by some groups like clans and the percentage of participation is insignificant.”

Ah, what a bad taste, the Homsi here breaks some “North Korea syndrom” taboo and mentions previous elections…

As’ad Abu Khalil also has a link to an interview of Manna’ in Jadaliyya

May 3rd, 2012, 5:16 pm


Tara said:

Aleppo university:

Syria: The assault by the security forces at Aleppo University last night followed the largest anti-regime demonstration at the university to date, the opposition website al-Ayyam says.

This video purports to show the demonstration yesterday.

Al-Ayyam says:

The protest drew many students and was the largest protest at Aleppo University to date. Security forces arrived quickly on the scene and assaulted the protesting students forcing them to disperse and fold back.

The main assault [was] overnight. The students started another protest in the university’s housing complex. They launched the protest from their rooms. Witnesses report that three buses carrying security forces and Shabbiha [pro-regime thugs] surrounded and laid siege to the housing complex. The attack started shortly after midnight Thursday and lasted about an hour.

Security forces stormed the complex with five military vehicles while firing from mounted machine guns. The initial assault caused widespread damage and killed two students. Security forces and Shabbiha followed on foot. They searched room by room, breaking in, and firing bursts of gunfire to intimidate the students. More than 50 students were seen being taken away.

From the Guardian blog.  Sorry, can’t link it now

May 3rd, 2012, 5:18 pm


omen said:

as’ad abukhalil is all over the place. on one hand, he was outraged that nato would place a no-fly zone over libya when syria had suffered more casualties. he demanded one be placed over palestine. (he would have a stroke if a nfz was placed over syria.)

on the other hand, he would cite anti-revolution voices that pointed to a few syrian women at the demonstrations wearing black abayas, spooked by the implication of fundamentalism.

while he praises the bahrain protests (where most of the women are wearing black abayas.)

as’ad is a mess! he has no intellectual consistency.

p.s. oh, i forgot. he is consistent about one thing. everything is the fault of the zionist west.

May 3rd, 2012, 5:31 pm


Tara said:

New moderator,


Welcome to our world on SC. I hope you find it a pleasurable experience to moderate us. We are, as you know, far away from being able to respectfully agree to disagree. I hope your tenure eith us will last longer than our ex-moderator and that your real personality will not be outed like our ex. I am still waiting for Alex to explain himself…I also would like to recommend that upon your elective or “provoked” retirement, you may want to form with prior moderators an ex-moderator club. This reminds me with the ex-diplomats club that I’d like our expelled Syrian diplomats to form. You may all want to meet up at one time and smoke Argille at the Nawfara cafe in the old city and snare memories. I once was determined to do just that. We drove to the area but chickened out. It was all men and only one table seated by couple women among a sea of all men. I changed my mind and smoked Argilleh somewhere else. In any case, welcome on board.

Feel free to trash this comment if you feel like it.

May 3rd, 2012, 5:33 pm


Mawal95 said:

@ MINA #679: Here’s a different view of Homs:

3 may 2012. Nice, well-mannered schoolchildren in Homs sing “God, Syria and the People” = “Allah, Souria au Ash-Shaab”. They also sing “Allah, Souria au Bashar”. (time 0:18)

A pro-regime rally in Homs, video uploaded today:

Scenes of normality at Al-Baath University in Homs, recorded 30 Apr 2012:

The areas of Homs that the rebels took over but have since been thoroughly driven out of, are now getting electricity and other basics restored on a rapid restoration schedule. A TV news report about that today:

Meanwhile from Damascus a group of candidates for parliament make campaign speeches on the campus of Damasus university: . More of the same:

A large gathering of senior Levantine muftis (including the Syrian Grand Mufti) has condemned the Syrian rebels. Uploader says it’s dated 1 May 2012, but I think it’s from 10 Apr 2012. In any case the rebels can’t promote themselves as having God on their side when they don’t have the Sunni clerical leadership on their side.

I think the comment at #619 (written by myself) is fascinating:

Souria bekhair.

May 3rd, 2012, 8:07 pm


omen said:

623. Juergen said:

Jürgen Todenhöfer on his last trip to Iran:

“How gladly I would take some of our Western politicians once in Iran. To show them that this country is so very different from what they tell their voters. I would accompany them to a Christian church or the synagogue in Tehran.”

linktv runs a documentary he had made, examining the arab spring. the one where he travels through egypt, libya and syria. in libya, Jürgen almost died. his contingent were given bad information and had inadvertenly stumbled into a live battle. gaddafi troops shelled his car while he was out on foot examining wreckage on the road when his driver for hire, still sitting in the car, was killed.

hmm…i wont ask the obvious question.