"Iran and Syria: An Alliance Shaped by Mutual Foes" by Deborah Amos - Syria Comment

“Iran and Syria: An Alliance Shaped by Mutual Foes” by Deborah Amos

Here is a little vanity, today's NPR show for which I have a bit. To listen, click here.

Iran and Syria: An Alliance Shaped by Mutual Foes by Deborah Amos 

Morning Edition, August 22, 2007 · Over the last quarter-century, Iran and Syria have sustained a strong partnership, which many experts see as an odd coupling.

Syria is a secular regime and, in the 1980s, its army gunned down thousands of Islamist revolutionaries and jailed many more. Iran, on the other hand, touts revolution under the banner of Islam, according to Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group.

"It's unlikely at one level," Malley says. "I mean, there's one very secular and one very religious regime. One is Arab, one is Persian. One has negotiated with Israel, the other one has had no dealings with Israel. And, yet, they have found common interests and enemies, and that's what's made this relationship both intriguing and extremely solid."

Common Enemies

Officials in Damascus offer a list of reasons for the partnership, but they say that what it boils down to are common enemies.

"We believe that the American agenda in the Middle East — it's so dangerous for the people in the Middle East. Iran believes same. We believe that Israel is our enemy — this is exactly what Iran believes," says Mohammed Habash, head of the Iranian Syrian Friendship Committee in Parliament.

Common enemies have led to common economic interests, according to Abdullah Dardari, Syria's deputy prime minister for economic affairs.

"It's political and economics. Can you separate the two? Naturally, we have good political relations. Most of the businessmen who come from Iran are telling us they see a virgin land for investment," Dardari says.

Iran has poured about $3 billion into Syria for an oil refinery, a car factory and cooperation agreements for telecommunications, housing and agricultural projects.

Syrians, however, have never quite warmed to the alliance.

At a mosque in the center of the Syrian capital, crowds of Iranian pilgrims gather to visit a historic Shiite shrine, the women in long, black cloaks and the men chanting Shiite prayers with deep, public emotion.

More than one million Iranians visit every year, providing a huge boost for Syria's economy. But there are no Syrians at the shrine.

The two nations share no common language, and as for Islamic traditions, there is a deep divide.

Iranians are predominately Shiites while Syria's ruling elite is most Alawite, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. The vast majority of Syrians, however, are Sunni Muslims.

But for the past 25 years, their alliance has been cemented by a mutual suspicion and fear of neighboring Iraq.

"Saddam Hussein not only started a war against Iran, he was supporting anti-Syrian elements — the Muslim Brotherhood — here. So both regimes were threatened. They had to come together and be against Saddam Hussein," says Josh Landis, co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma and assistant professor of Middle Eastern Studies in the School of International and Area Studies.

"It's a classic balance of power game. When Iraq is strong and threatens both countries, the two neighbors, Syria and Iran, have to come together and protect themselves," Landis says.

Re-Establishing Ties

The Iran-Syria alliance drifted apart in the 1990s when Saddam was weak, but Landis says that in 2003, Iraq became a threat again.

"As soon as America landed in Iraq in 2003 and said, 'I am going to blow apart both the Iranian and Syrian regimes and change the entire Middle East,' the relationship became strong again. And America was threatening both countries, so Iraq was strong," Landis explains.

But as the Iraq war dragged on, Iran became stronger, too. Oil prices were rising, and elections in Iraq brought to power a Shiite-dominated government friendly to Tehran. Iran began to challenge American influence in Iraq and around the region. Iran's partnership with Syria deepened again, according to Vali Nasr with the Council on Foreign Relations.

"It's the United States that's defined these two governments as an axis of trouble in the region," Nasr says.

The United States points to Lebanon as one example of that trouble, where Iran and Syria support Hezbollah. In Gaza, both countries back Hamas.

Nasr says Iran is the stronger partner, but Syria is important because Damascus is Iran's lone ally in the heart of the Arab world, where anti-American sentiments are strong.

"Iran is the driver. Syria is not the one who is on the barricades confronting the U.S., but Syria has decided or benefited from the fact that it's hitched its wagon to Iran," Nasr explains.

The End of an Alliance?

These days, the partnership remains strong, but as the two find themselves supporting opposing sides in Iraq's sectarian war, their decades-old alliance could come under strain.

In broad terms, Iran supports the Shiite-dominated government, but Syria, a predominantly Sunni country, sees interests with Iraq's Sunni minority, Nasr says.

"In fact, Syria is in many respects doing the dirty work of the Arab world in providing the actual physical support for the insurgency. When it comes to Iraq, Syria is aligned with the Arab world," Nasr says.

"So as soon as the U.S. leaves, Syria is going to want Sunnis to have more power. Iran is going to want Shiites to have more power, and they are going to fall out over this," Landis says.

Comments (51)


why-discuss said:

I don’t agree with the last paragraph. Iranians are more pragmatists than people think. They know very well that Iraq is arab and not persian. It is a new area for them. They count on Syria and Hezbollah to play the role of ambassadors between them and Iraq and Lebanon to attract them into their anti-american views. Their aim is to have a peaceful political and economical neighbours where they can visit the holy sites and participate in the economical development (they are already doing both). They do not want a civil war in Iraq that could spill over on their arab citizens. Of course they are accused of wanting a strict islamic governement – I am sure some in the iranian government wants that- but I think the majority in the governement does not insist on that. This is why laic Syria, in the eyes of the arab countries, is becoming ‘incontournable’ as it is the warrant that sunnis will have a political role in the new Iraq.
This may explain the showdown between Syria and Saudi Arabia, as Saudis are realizing they are loosing the control of Iraq and may have to plea Bashar to intercede with the Iranians. The wrath of the Saudi is a sign of their weakness and the failure of their policies in the areas. They are trying to discredit the Syrians in the arab minds, accusing them of being sold to the iranians but all arab masses know that the Saudis are sold to the US and ultimately the Saudis will have to accept reluctantly that they need Syria more than Syria needs them.

August 23rd, 2007, 2:13 am

 

norman said:

I see Iraq stable after a timetable for the US withdrowle from Iraq the and only then Iran and Syria will feel safe to stablize Iraq and take all the credit ,Syria wants a secular Iraq Sheia and Sunni , while Iran wants a freindly Iraq , Syria and Iran can together make Iraq better.

August 23rd, 2007, 3:45 am

 

Enlightened said:

“”So as soon as the U.S. leaves, Syria is going to want Sunnis to have more power. Iran is going to want Shiites to have more power, and they are going to fall out over this,” Landis says.”

So Syria wants more empowerment for the Iraqi Sunnis, while in Lebanon it backs more political power for the Shiite Hezbollah, while backing the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, while the Mehdi army fighters are being trained by the lebanese Hezbollah in warfare.

Ouch my head is in a spin, this is a Psyzophrenic policy if ever one analyzes it logically. The regime is a secular regime but has its hands tied to radical Islamic insurgents.

I will add my two cents worth here and go out on a limb. The eventual break up of Iraq is now a real possibility, Syrian policy to aid the Sunnis in Iraq is for one purpose only, in the eventual break up the Sunnis will seek Union with the Syrian State ( The Arab tribes of Anbar have famlilial ties to the Syrians), The Kurds and Shiites will go their own way( I know the Turks will try and prevent this, but the inevitable withdrawal of the Americans in the Next 18 months, should and will lead to a fully fledged civil war.

Does anyone differ in their perspective?

August 23rd, 2007, 5:31 am

 

Alex said:

Enlightened,

It is very logical : ) .. you’ll understand everything when you listen to Syria’s version of things, not the others.

Syria knows that the only solution to the chaotic situation in both Lebanon and Iraq is to not exclude any party.

THe Syrians do not want Sunnis to rule Iraq and they do not want Shiites to rule Lebanon. They want both groups to be better represented in their respective countries, that’s all.

Some claim that Syria is working from a purely selfish perspective. If this was true then Syria would have milked its investments in all the Shiite and Kurdish Iraqi leaders who were living under Syria’s protection from Saddam Hussein in the 80’s and 90’s. Iraq’s current president, current prime minister, and ex prime minister were all Damascus residents for over a decade each.

Yet Syria switched to supporting the underdog in Iraq .. the Sunnis…which, incidentally, proves that Syria is not an Iranian puppet as the Saudis tell us.

When the Druze and Palestinians tried to destroy the Christians’ power base in Lebanon in 1976 Syria fought in the side of the Christians until they survived.

August 23rd, 2007, 5:48 am

 

t_desco said:

Two Arrested in Connection with UNIFIL Bombing

Lebanese authorities arrested two persons suspected of involvement in the July 16 bombing of a U.N. peacekeeping patrol in south Lebanon, the daily An Nahar reported Thursday.

It said their detention came after security forces found and seized a “remote control” that had been used and left behind in the roadside bomb that targeted a UNIFIL patrol on Qassmiyeh Bridge near the southern port city of Tyre.

There were no casualties from the attack on the vehicle belonging to the Tanzanian contingent, which was slightly damaged.

A preliminary investigation showed that the two detainees were Palestinians with links to Jund al-Sham, An Nahar said.

It said authorities were still hunting for a third suspect. …
Naharnet

August 23rd, 2007, 8:07 am

 

t_desco said:

The usual Jund al-Sham – Asbat al-Ansar confusion (including a possible link to Fatah al-Islam):

Lebanon arrests 2 Palestinian suspects in bombing targeting U.N. mission

Lebanese authorities have arrested two Palestinians in connection with a roadside bombing that targeted U.N. peacekeepers in southern Lebanon last month, a security official said Thursday.

The suspects, Salem Kayed and Ahmed Mohammed, were arrested Wednesday near the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh in southern Lebanon after they were lured out of the camp by security agents.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said the two are former members of Asbat al-Ansar _ an extremist Palestinian group based at Ein el-Hilweh _ who may have recently joined the Fatah Islam group fighting Lebanese troops in another Palestinian camp in northern Lebanon.

He said they confessed to their involvement in the July 16 roadside bombing of a U.N. jeep in the southern village of Qassimiyeh that caused damage but no casualties. …

The official said a third suspect, Bilal Kayed, was still at large, but did not provide further details. …
AP

August 23rd, 2007, 12:18 pm

 

milli schmidt said:

Syrian investments drop in first half of 2007

Syrian Investment Agency director Mustapha al-Kafri has said that he is disappointed at the investment figures for the first half of 2007.

Kafri said that the total cost of the investments licensed in this period amounted to SYP 40bn (USD 0.8bn), down from USD 3.4bn in the first half 2006. He attributed the drop in investment to the fact that new law, Investment Law No. 8 of 2007, is still unclear to investors.

Commenting on the positive points of the new law, Kafri said it was more lenient than its predecessor, Investment Law No. 10 of 1991. “Although the new law has eliminated tax holidays, it has decreased the rate of income tax to 28 percent,” Kafri said. “Moreover, if a project is licenced under the new investment law, the rate [of income tax] drops to 22 percent,” he added.

According to Kafri, further tax cuts are also available as part of a dynamic reduction system included in the new law. If an investor employs more than 150 workers, he said, the rate falls to 19 percent, while for joint-stock companies which float more than 50 percent of their shares to the public, the rate is reduced to 14 percent.

Kafri added that the December 2006 tax holiday explains the large number of investments licenced in that month.

August 23rd, 2007, 1:01 pm

 

Georges said:

I think this alliance between Syria and Iran will remain as long as both have the same mutual regional adversaries (US-Israel-Saudi Arabia). When either country reaches a settlement with the US, the alliance will end.

How strong do you think this alliance is? Do you think it will last? Vote on it on: http://youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=372

August 23rd, 2007, 1:06 pm

 

Observer said:

In a recent debate forum on Al Jazeera, the issue of the Syrian Iranian alliance came up and all the participants agreed that the current alliance of the KSA Egypt and Jordan with the US-Israel axis is the major reason why Syria finds itself allied with Iran. If the KSA and others were to recognize some of the legitimate security concerns of Syria then the alliance will shift. At present, the Syrians have seen that an alliance with Iran pays dividends in the form of investments as they build around the holy Shia sites, military expertise and training as they showed with HA in Lebanon, and as a strategic depth to counter any effort to surround and isolate Syria. The KSA is now desperately trying to salvage the US role in the region for they deathly afraid of the declining influence of the superpower in the region. Having surrendered their foreign policy to the incompetent present US administration, they are left to pick up the pieces. Why not ask the question in reverse: is the alliance KSA-EGYPT-JORDAN-US-ISRAEL viable on the short term or is it in toral retreat if not in disarray?

August 23rd, 2007, 5:48 pm

 

Kamal said:

The Independent confirms a longstanding allegation made by the US: Hizballa has active ties with the sectarian Shi’a militias of Iraq. They have ‘exchange programs’ where Hizballa experts are sent to Basra to train Muqtada As-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, and Shi’a militiamen travel to South Lebanon for training in guerilla tactics. (Mahdi Army are the brave ‘resistors’ who popularized the use of electric drills as torture toys.) So is Hizballa a national liberation/resistance movement, or a cross-national Shi’a extremist militia in service of Iranian imperialism?

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2878769.ece

August 23rd, 2007, 6:21 pm

 

ausamaa said:

“The End of an Alliance?

These days, the partnership remains strong, but as the two find themselves supporting opposing sides in Iraq’s sectarian war, their decades-old alliance could dissolve.

In broad terms, Iran supports the Shiite-dominated government, but “Syria, a predominantly Sunni country, sees interests with Iraq’s Sunni minority, Nasr says.

I do not beleive this represent the case of Syria or Iran even.

By going in this line, we assume that Syria is 100% Politically Pragmatic. I do not think Syria is Strategically “pragmatic”.

I truly beleive the “regime” beleives it has a mission. It will go out of its usual stiff and origional ideological line to stiffel “bigger” disasters such as its temporary line to stace off “bigger” and more serious problems. But the Basics remain the same in the long run.

Are we talking about the Syria that IS, or the Syria that we “think” it it is?

August 23rd, 2007, 7:55 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Kamal

So is Hizballa a national liberation/resistance movement, or a cross-national Shi’a extremist militia in service of Iranian imperialism?

I would put the statement differently:
So is Hizballa a national liberation/resistance movement, or a cross-national Shi’a militia in service of fighting US-Israel imperialism?
By the way US is the country that managed a place called Abu-Graib and Israel is the illegally occupying force that has more than 10,000 palestinians prisonners in their prisons and practice regularly killings of innocents civilians in Gaza.

August 24th, 2007, 1:31 am

 

Sami D said:

From an Arab nationalism point of view, Hizbulla is indeed not acting like a perfect Arab nationalist movement in its alliance with Shia militias/Iran. On the other hand, from the view of the urgent need to resist the onslaught of US-Israeli axis on Arab nationalism AND Iran, Hizbulla’s actions are understandable.

The term “Iranian imperialism” –common, for a good reason, among M14 and US clients in the region– is erroneous. More accurately, it is an alliance lead by Iran, the stronger/richer party, to resist the much more powerful imperialism (US-Israel) violently attacking the region. It has much more the components of a defensive posture than the offensive one of imperialism.

August 24th, 2007, 12:40 pm

 

norman said:

With brothers like these , i am not surprised of Syria’s freindship with Iran,
The Saudies would have liked the slaughter of the Christian in Lebanon ,
We all remember the Attacks that started with the MB supported by KSA and Iraq in the late seventies after Syria’s intervention to stop the setlment of the Palestinians in Lebanon.

Print

Copyright (c) 2007 The Daily Star

Friday, August 24, 2007
Saudi daily blames Syria for assassinations

Daily Star staff

BEIRUT: Riyadh-based Oukaz lashed out at the Syrian regime Tuesday accusing it of having plotted the assassination of Lebanese politicians starting with Druze leader Kamal Jumblatt.

“For the last 30 years Syria has set up a clear-cut plan to systematically kill Lebanese leaders to incite strife among various Lebanese sects, and consequently reinforce its presence and role in Lebanon,” the newspaper said

The Saudi daily has published in its Tuesday issue a special report from Beirut tackling the role of Syria in Lebanon since 1975. The daily described the current Syrian regime as “a regime of slaying and slaughter,” and accused it of making use “of all possible means to restore its influence in Lebanon after their withdrawal in April 2005.”

“The Syrian regime has long worked on inciting hatred and conflicts among the Lebanese and has currently created what could be labeled as ‘death teams’ to silence anyone who dares to speak against Syrian influence in Lebanon,” Oukaz reported.

The daily blamed Syria for plotting all the assassinations of March 14 figure which took place following the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri. Oukaz also accused Syria of killing former presidents Bashir Gemayel and Rene Mouawad.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Syria escalated in the last week or so because of discord over Lebanon.

Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa said last week the kingdom’s regional influence was in a state of paralysis. Riyadh snapped back saying Damascus was trying to incite disorder and conflicts in the region.

Relations between the two countries deteriorated after the February 2005 Hariri assassination, which ultimately led to Syria’s withdrawal of its troops from Lebanon after a three-decade military presence.

“The Syrian regime has brought nothing but harm to the Lebanese as well as the Palestinians in Lebanon; fueling inter-Lebanese and Lebanese-Palestinian skirmishes in an attempt to boost its role in Lebanon,” the daily said. – The Daily Star

Copyright (c) 2007 The Daily Star

August 24th, 2007, 12:55 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Maliki is becoming a liability for the US administration as he is flirting too openly with Iran and Syria and he dares to reply bluntly to US critics. When Bush says about someone “he is a good guy” it may be a death sentence. He said this about Georges Tenet, Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and they dissapeared fron the scene a few months later. Yet, Maliki may be hard to chew, he has to support of most of Iraqi Shias, Iran, Syria (recently). His aggressivity towards the US may also be getting him more support in anti-american arabs, and last there is no one who could easily replace him. The US may have to swallow his infidelities as they have little choices and time is running out for them in salvaging US soldiers lives.

August 24th, 2007, 3:15 pm

 

why-discuss said:

The Saudis can boast themselves of having failed in every aspect of their foreign policies. Al-Qaeda is a Saudi creation, they have never succeeded in influencing their good friend the US in solving the Palestinian problem, and their interference in Lebanon has only helped create the Nahr al Bared disaster. After all these years, the whole area is a mess. So blaming the Syrian is similar to the US blaming Iran for all the problems in the area: they need a scapegoat to hide their impotency….

August 24th, 2007, 3:26 pm

 

Alex said:

Why Discuss,

Saudi Arabia is good in managing their area … the gulf states and Yemen … they are unable to understand Lebanon/Syria/Iraq/Palestine .. because they are very different. No one understand this area better that Syria itself… the day they (and their American business partners) accept that fact, we will have a much more peaceful Middle East.

But they are not close to being convinced … they are going to try harder… and everyone else, except them, will suffer… starting with Lebanon the next few months.

August 24th, 2007, 4:21 pm

 

t_desco said:

For the record:

Al-Hayat: Jund al-Sham cell behind attack on Tanzanian UNIFIL linked to Abu Hureira.

August 24th, 2007, 4:47 pm

 

Offended said:

i would like to know how the average iranian citizen feels about this alliance…

August 24th, 2007, 6:08 pm

 

Kamal said:

Why-Discuss and Sami D,

I know this is a difficult concept to grasp, but it is possible for more than one imperialism to coexist. In nearly every region of the globe today, US imperialism faces a regional rival competing for the region’s resources and hearts & minds. The main difference is the scope of US imperialism, which is truly global, in a unique and unprecedented way. But within their specific regions, these imperialisms are no less powerful, cynical and dangerous than the US version.

Regional rivals lack the global power and resources of the US, but enjoy greater knowledge of the neighborhood, plus historical, cultural and economic ties within their respective spheres of influence. So, globally speaking there is no comparison, but regionally speaking, imperial rivals are not necessarily at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the US.

To view these smaller-scale regional imperialisms as “defensive alliances” is simply naive.

August 24th, 2007, 6:13 pm

 

Kamal said:

Offended,

Based on readings and anecdotal evidence, I believe the impoverished Iranian people are bitter about the exorbitant sums Iran spends on arming Hizballa, reconstructing South Lebanon and providing public services to Lebanese Shi’a to purchase their allegiance.

Think of Saddam Hussein’s cynical championing of the Palestinian cause, while Iraqis languished in misery. The moment his regime collapsed, Palestinians in Iraq were scapegoated and targeted for attack…

August 24th, 2007, 6:25 pm

 

Sami D said:

Kamal wrote:

I know this is a difficult concept to grasp, but it is possible for more than one imperialism to coexist. … To view these smaller-scale regional imperialisms as “defensive alliances” is simply naive.

Kamal,

Following the (non-naive) logic you lay out, then one could also refer to Jumblat-Hariri-Jmayyel’s alliance also as “M14 imperialism”!

More seriously, your case of Iranian “imperialism” would be clearer if the factor of US-Israeli onslaught against Iran didn’t exist first. Of course precedence does not indicate causality; but that being the target of an attack by a giant, you’d be fool if you didn’t try to create alliances, influences, relationships, or whatever, for protection (hence defensive) — especially with entities that happen to also be targeted for attack by the same giant. The Iranians are not exactly, as you implied, “in competition” with the US for the region’s resources; they are, more accurately, trying to thwart an attack by the US, as the US continually threatens to do, with credentials to show it means it.

Surely the Iranians would like to have their own mini (by comparison) desire of hegemony, like anyone else, in a normal competitive environment. However, the case of current Iranian “hegemony” is firmly situated in the context of serious threat of US aggression. This lopsided situation –as opposed to just two powers competing– ought also factor the recent past of US meddling in Iran, like toppling Mosaddeq, installing the Shah & supporting Saddam in his war with Iran.

August 24th, 2007, 7:20 pm

 

ausamaa said:

Defensively explaining a FAILED imperialist adventure, if not a totaly world-wide FAILED approach, can be a very challenging task. That is if it can be called an Imperialist adventure when it is no more than a narrow, misguided and a self-serving misadventure by a group called the Neo-cons aspiring to re-arrange the landscape for the benifit of only Israel; the tail of the so-called imperialst machine.

Anyway, too late unfortunately. Attempting to serve the dog has set the whole house on fire.

August 24th, 2007, 8:04 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Kamal

Imperialism is when a country wants to exploit the ressources of another country to its own advantage. Iran has no need for Lebanon or Syria’s ressources and in Iraq because of the history and the closeness with the Shias, they don’t have to try hard to become close friends without the need to force themselves in. The US is a complete foreign body who want desperately to make sure they can exploit the huge ressources of Iraq ( and other weak countries) to their advantages to feed their economy. That’s what imperialism was about with the french in Algeria and the Europeans with the Suez Canal etc…
The US uses fear (The Shia threat, The communist threat, the Iran threat, the nuclear threat, the terrorist threat) and “ideals” of freedom and democracy to manipulate the weak countries into subverdience… Typical of imperialistic tricks.
Iran is not using threats to any neighbour. It never invaded any neighbours, (it was invaded by imperialistic Saddam with the agreement of the US and all arab countries-except Syria).
They say that the Iranians intend to grow their influence in the neighboring countries. In view of the disastrous influence of Saudi Wahhabism in the growth of sunni terrorism and the total absence of a modern arabic culture, I think the Iranian influence, as it has during the golden days of the islamic civilization, may bring new waves of culture, industrial development, arts etc… Already Syria is benefitting from that with car factories being built, holy shrines embellished. The south of Lebanon will also benefit from that,instead of the monstruous palaces built by the saudi millionaires in the mountains of Lebanon.
Iran is a great country with incredible ressources and an amazing history. It has remained independant througout history contrary to countries that were colonized or under french and english mandate. Iran was never colonized. It is going through social upheavals and it remains very suspicious of US overt or covert intentions. The US has developped a strong campaign to demonize Iran. It is failing …

August 24th, 2007, 9:09 pm

 

norman said:

To All ,
I think we are making things more complicates than should be ‘As i look around I find that Iran is helping Syria building a cement factory , Oil Refinery and a car factory while KSA is doing nothing , sorry , they might be building more mosques , all the talk about Hezbollah and Syria being agents of Iran is false the facts are that Hezbollah and Syria are standing against Israel ,trying to secure the return of all Lebanese and Syrian land and help secure a descent deal for the Palestinians ,
Iran not KSA is helping them while the KSA is supporting Israel and the west .
Can anybody have any doubt about who the brother is and who the enemy is.?

August 24th, 2007, 10:29 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Norman said:

I think we are making things more complicates than should be…

I agree. I think we should keep it simple:

– So when a participant here brings up the US and Abu Ghraib, we should point out this horror of innocent Arabs wearing womens underwear and ignore the innocent people being beaten and killed in Syrian and Iranian jails or people getting limbs hacked off in the KSA.

– Similarly, when a participant here whines about the occupation of Palestine, we should ignore the issue of Palestinian terrorism and how their elected officials still do not recognize Israel’s right to exist.

– Also, when a participant here needs to explain why two terrorist states are allied, we should explain “that the current alliance of the KSA Egypt and Jordan with the US-Israel axis is the major reason” they are allied and ignore the fact that all of these countries recognize the right to exist of each of these 2 terrorist states, yet, the 2 terrorist states can’t reciprocate.

– When a terrorist militia starts a war which results in over a thousand dead and several billion dollars in damage that’s called a “victory”.

– When the leader of a terrorist-supporting regime tells Israel to return land that she claims without negotiating, that called “making peace”. When Israel offers the terrorist leader to come to Israel to discuss peace, that’s calling “war-mongering”.

So much for the University of Oklahoma’s Centre for Peace Studies here on this website.

August 25th, 2007, 3:08 am

 

Kamal said:

Sami D, I don’t disagree with your comments.

I’d like you to agree that Iran is imperialistic in the sense that it invests resources abroad to maximize its influence and manipulate smaller countries to use as proxies serving Iranian interests. Iran also plays a dangerous sectarian double-game.

On one hand it fosters ties with Arab Shi’a communities, while also strengthening the Shi’a identity, through long years of ‘religious education’ Shi’a clerics undergo in Iran before returning to their home countries. It arms and funds sectarian Shi’a groups, those brave-hearted drillers, who murder Sunni civilians.

Of course, this use of Shi’a sectrianism is a matter of expedience, not principle, for the cynical islamic imperialist regime. They have no “Islamic” ideology that determines who they can and can’t form alliances with. Iran is equally eager to support Sunni extremists whenever this suits its interests.

On the other hand Iran is engaged in a struggle for the hearts & minds of that old cliche, the Arab Street. Iran is winning this battle, due to the pathetic competition: America is hated; the Sunni/Arab Establishment has long lost all its credibility; and the Street has progressed beyond its initial flirtation with Bin Ladenism and grown sick of of al-Qa’ida’s evil tactics. That’s how you end up with 2 buffoons like Ahmadinejad and Bashar as the most popular rulers among the al-Jazeera-watching Arab masses.

It’s not the dictators’ charisma, nor the exploits of their respective states, that have afforded these buffoons their popularity, but one Hasan Nasralla, the only charismatic leader in the Mideast, with a degree of (dwindling) credibility to boot. He became a rock star after Hizballa’s performance in last summer’s war (while a far cry from ‘victory’ – for Lebaonn the war was an unbridled catastrophe – Hizballa surpassed the military performance of any Arab foe of Israel).

Iran also plants military bases on foreign territory, arms allied militaries and guerilla groups, and uses them for its own interests, fighting proxy battles against its great rival, at the expense of the powerless countries which host the batlles. The long list of Iranian proxies includes Syria, Hizballa, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Lebanese and Iraqi Sunni jihadis (via Syria), and sectarian Shi’a militias in Iraq.

Iran is currently engaged in a struggle with the West over its advances towards posessing nuclear weapons. Lebanon, along with Iraq and Palestine, is one of the battlefields in this conflict. Unsurprisingly, most Lebanese would like to see their country taken out of this struggle, not locked perpetually in struggle, which is Hizballa’s declared dream for Lebanon’s future. Even assuming one supports Iran’s rights to acquire nukes (defensively, you might say – to balance against the US/Israeli nuclear threat) willingness for one’s country to serve as a battlefield for proxy war does not follow.

Not only does Iran provide Hizballa with missiles, it controls Hizballa’s use of the missiles, leaving them subject to Iranian “green lights” and specific target locations in Israel.

And Hizballa has served marvelously in its capacity as the prime attractive quality of the Iranian camp, to the extent that Hizballa is more popular in Palestine, Jordan and Egypt than it is Lebanon… Among Lebanese, only the Shi’a support Hizballa (homogenously). That is because their message is targeted at external consumption, not Lebanese consumption.

August 25th, 2007, 6:45 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

Iran is equally eager to support Sunni extremists whenever this suits its interests.

Do you have any real proof of such support or are you basing your “theories” purely on anonymous US/Israeli sources? Isn’t it much more likely that Sunni extremists are financed and armed by the “home” (they have money) of Sunni extremists. Religious extremists are very rarely opportunists and have the tendency to stick on their “teachings”.

Would you swallow without demanding proofs claims that Shia extremists are controlled by KSA?

Iran also plants military bases on foreign territory, arms allied militaries and guerilla groups, and uses them for its own interests, fighting proxy battles against its great rival, at the expense of the powerless countries which host the batlles. The long list of Iranian proxies includes Syria, Hizballa, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Lebanese and Iraqi Sunni jihadis (via Syria), and sectarian Shi’a militias in Iraq.

Wow what a list. Why aren’t Talenbans and Al Qaida on your list? I must say that the Iranians are masters of politics, intelligence and logistics to be able to recruit, control and arm ALL terrorist and resistance organizations in the Middle East.

Having a same enemy doesn’t prove that they are lead by same “imperialistic” power.

Among Lebanese, only the Shi’a support Hizballa (homogenously). That is because their message is targeted at external consumption, not Lebanese consumption.

Hmmmm what means support? Seems that Hizbullah’s “external” message has had some “modest internal” success.

According to a poll released by the Beirut Center for Research and Information, 87 percent of Lebanese support Hizbullah’s fight with Israel, a rise of 29 percent on a similar poll conducted in February. More striking, however, is the level of support for Hizbullah’s resistance from non-Shiite communities. Eighty percent of Christians polled supported Hizbullah along with 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis.

August 25th, 2007, 10:21 am

 

Kamal said:

Simohurtta,

I made an appeal to your conscience in our discussion under a previous post, I’m disappointed you didn’t respond. But since you’re back:

> Isn’t it much more likely that Sunni extremists are financed and
> armed by the “home” (they have money) of Sunni extremists.

I didn’t say ALL Sunni jihadis are Iran-backed. Many are Saudi backed, by wealthy individuals. (Wealthy individuals can overlap with the Saudi “regime”, which is a massive family. So, some of these individuals are part of the Saudi establishment or have links to elements therein.) I believe other states are also involved in backing Sunni jihadis, but I’d say KSA and Iran/Syria are the major ones.

> Religious extremists are very rarely opportunists and have the
> tendency to stick on their “teachings”.

That’s just false. Like any other gang, they’ll take help – and the orders that come attached – from the highest bidder. Do you think the kidnappings-for-ransom and rapes and sadistic child-killings are all religiously motivated?

> Seems that Hizbullah’s “external” message has had some “modest
> internal” success.

Quoting the BCRI is a bit of joke. Their studies are shoddy and amateurish, and are carried out by a Hizballa sympathizer (Amal Saad-Ghorayeb). Google her and read her writings.

Did you survey the credible data available or just cherry-pick any old “survey” that supports your pre-held position?

The Pew Research Center reports:

* Nearly two thirds of all Lebanese (64%) have an unfavorable view of Hizbullah, including a 55% majority who say their opinion of the organization is very unfavorable.

* Hizbullah is more popular in the Palestinian territories (76% have a favorable view), Egypt (56%) and Jordan (54%). Only Lebanese Shias—86%– have a favorable view of Hizbullah. 66% of Christians, 33% of Sunnis and 7% of Shias cited Hizbullah as a “top threat”.

* 66% of Lebanese have a negative opinion of Hassan Nasrallah and 64% of Lebanese have an unfavorable view of Iran.

http://pewglobal.org/reports/pdf/257.pdf

August 25th, 2007, 2:43 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

As Kamal responds to the terror sympathizers on this forum (terrorist who Kamal accurately exposes as KSA, Iranian and Syrian funded) the weekly disinformation campaign continues.

First the BBC Headline:

Israelis kill seven Palestinians

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6963396.stm

Then the Israeli headline:

IDF forces foil terror plot

http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3083,00.html

Interesting how 2 difference news agencies present the same news (LOL).

August 25th, 2007, 6:44 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

I didn’t say ALL Sunni jihadis are Iran-backed. Many are Saudi backed, by wealthy individuals. (Wealthy individuals can overlap with the Saudi “regime”, which is a massive family. So, some of these individuals are part of the Saudi establishment or have links to elements therein.) I believe other states are also involved in backing Sunni jihadis, but I’d say KSA and Iran/Syria are the major ones.

Hmmm your list included Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Lebanese and Iraqi Sunni jihadis and sectarian Shi’a militias in Iraq. You mean that “private” Saudis finance these groups with Iran or only Iran alone. Is Iran controlling the Bask terrorists and Colombian militias?

Were do get your wast knowledge about the international terrorist organizations? From Akbar?

That’s just false. Like any other gang, they’ll take help – and the orders that come attached – from the highest bidder.

Really, do you believe yourself what you are witting? I doubt that. Religious extremists are religious extremists. How would a Mafia style criminal organization manage to “encourage” its members to make suicide bombings? Or are the bosses secular opportunists and the lower raking members fanatical believers? Well in the end I must trust your word, you seem to have personal experience with this subject.

If they are really so behind the money as you claim, then it would easy for USA to win the the War on Terror. By 0.1 percent of the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan wars it could buy all the terrorists of the world. Well naturally the defence industry wound loose some lucrative profits.

By the way Saudis have more money than the Iranians. Why do they not bid more than Iranians? A couple billions to Hizbollah and “problem solved”. Not to mention Israelis. A couple hundred million dollars to Hamas and they would throw roses on Israeli tanks.

Do you think the kidnappings-for-ransom and rapes and sadistic child-killings are all religiously motivated?

Have I ever claimed that they are? It was you who claimed that Iran controls the Sunni and Shia terrorism. Do you claim that these type of crimes are controlled and organized from from Iran? Come-on.

Quoting the BCRI is a bit of joke. Their studies are shoddy and amateurish, and are carried out by a Hizballa sympathizer (Amal Saad-Ghorayeb). Google her and read her writings.

Hmmmm if Daily Star and others quote that poll why wouldn’t I? By the way how can a poll be amateurish and shoddy and based on what “evidence”? Would a non Hizbollah sympathizer make a better poll?

What I have wondering for a longer time is that how can anybody make a decent poll in Lebanon, if nobody knows the real distribution of the different groups (there has not been a census since 1932). Maybe Pew Research Center in USA has accurate figures. 🙂

August 25th, 2007, 11:17 pm

 

norman said:

War for Syria’s Water
by T Schuh
(No verified email address) 25 Aug 2007
Real casus belli behind next Israel-Syria showdown
QUNEITRA, Syrian Golan Heights — Trucks of every size were queued up for miles and some hadn’t budged in days. At the end of the line, drivers resigned to a long, hot ordeal set up camp waiting for inspections.

At the border checkpoint on the Beirut-Damascus highway, each industrial vehicle must be searched in compliance with UN Resolution 1701 to insure it isn’t smuggling missiles or weapons into Lebanon. Israel and the US repeatedly charge Syria with rearming Hezbollah, and if true it could provide a casus belli for the next Lebanon war.

I discussed the possibility of an attack with a retired Syrian Army General who had served as a Captain in the 1967 Six-Day War when the Israelis defeated the Syrians, and seized the Golan Heights. “I am afraid there will be more trouble here and in the middle east,” he sighs.

And the fate of the Golan? “There is an Israeli military buildup now on the Golan Heights… and negotiating at the United Nations has never gotten the Arabs anything…”

In the Golan’s graveyard city of Quneitra, a town destroyed by Israel during the conflict, an eery sound whistles through the burnt skeletons of a hospital, a Christian church and a mosque. The main street feels haunted, with shop facades blown off, baring the insides of what may once have been a pharmacy, a bakery or a beauty parlor. Home after home is punched flat to the ground, one with trellised front gate still creaking in the wind.

Across a dirt road and a barbed wire fence is a minefield, and beyond that the green farms of Israel. This strategic plateau rises 500 yards above the Sea of Galilee, abutting the Jordan River Valley near the West Bank and the Lebanese Sheba’a Farms.

But the real strategic asset is water. The Golan is the catchment basin for the Sea of Galilee which provides 30% of Israel’s supply. In 2006, Israel began building its 20 Golan reservoir- the Quneitra Reservoir- just yards from the ruins of the town. “To be without water will be worse than any war,” the Syrian General told me. “Millions could die. It is not land but water that will cause wars in the future.”

On Israel’s Mount Hermon, which overlooks Quneitra and as far as Damascus, the preparations for such a war are well under way. Despite the heat, IDF soldiers are drilling in full combat gear and restocking military bases with equipment for the first time in over a decade. In the southern Negev desert, IDF commandos recently staged mock raids on a Syrian village.

Israeli intelligence predicts war within the next 24 months and security officials claim the army is on its highest alert since the Yom Kippur War of 1973. According to Israeli military expert Aaron Klein, the country’s top ministers held a “very sensitive” closed-door meeting on August 8 to finalize plans.

The Syrians too are getting ready, building so-called “pitas”, a type of flat bunker that blends into the landscape, resembling unleavened bread. The Syrian government is purchasing advanced military hardware and anti-aircraft technology from Russia. Israel and the US also accuse China of supplying Syria with C-802 missiles- the same model used by Hezbollah to puncture an Israeli navy ship during last summer’s war.

Learning from history, the Syrians are training their own guerrilla teams to wage Hezbollah-style ambushes, with the help of up to 15,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards stationed in Syria.

Ironically, Great Britain, France and American-allied Arab states led by the US all urged Israel to attack Syria as an extension of the 2006 war on Hezbollah. Israel wisely refused. While these instigator allies live safely oceans away, Israel could be left vulnerable to constant future retaliation from contiguous nations inflamed by US war-making.

At the Syrian Consulate in New York, I spoke with Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Bashar Ja’afari about US policy, and Bush’s professed “Crusade for Democracy”. Ja’afari warned that spillover from another war in the region would dangerously impact everyone. “We have to deal with this American elephant in the china shop… The midde east is a very fragile area.”

Israelis themselves echo the view. On July 31, the Golan Peace With Syria movement headed by former Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Liel urged a resistant President Bush to allow peace negotiations with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. “For the past year we have heard voices that we have never heard before from Damascus… We believe such talks could remove the threat of missiles that are currently flowing from Iran into Syria by the thousands and may soon land on our heads,” he told Yedioth Ahronoth.

But will Bush learn from history? At the foot of Mount Hermon overlooking both the Syrian and Israeli sides of the Golan Heights is an Ayyubid fortress, the Nimrod Castle, used to expel the Crusaders from Damascus in 1291. Crusaders who didn’t leave were beheaded, and their bones flogged…
See also:
http://www.esquire.com

August 25th, 2007, 11:54 pm

 

norman said:

AP, I think you should go to Spain and see how the Arabs treated the Jews and try to treat the Palestinians the same way ,
War would end in the ME if that happened.and Israel will be axcepted.

August 25th, 2007, 11:59 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Kamal

I’d like you to agree that Iran is imperialistic in the sense that it invests resources abroad to maximize its influence..

That’s how you end up with 2 buffoons like Ahmadinejad and Bashar as the most popular rulers among the al-Jazeera-watching Arab masses.

Iran is equally eager to support Sunni extremists whenever this suits its interests..

What nonsense you say!!!! Since when investing in a country is imperialism!!! then all the countries in the world are imperialists, China, the US, Brazil, Saudi arabia, UAE etc…
The two buffoons are certainly better that the morons ruling many arab countries and who brought the arab world to the failures we have to deal with. You are obviously terrified by the emergence of a shia power in the arab world, I think it was time that they have a role to play after having the Iraqi shias massacred By Saddam, the Lebanese Shias treated like secind class citizen for years..
The Iranians have fought for years against the Talibans, the sunnis extremists. Sunni extremists hate the Shias and Al Qaeda leaders has repeatedly called for the head of Nasrallah. Now you think Iran are helping them, come one, this is total stupidity. It is the US who admitted they are helping the sunnis extremist to counter the Shia supremacy!

I am amazed to see how you distort everything to prove your point. Investing = inperialism!
Trying to counteract the destructive US policy = become a buffoon! ( the real buffoons are Rumsfeld, Olmert and Bush!)!
Fighting occupation = terrorism!
Time will tell…

August 26th, 2007, 2:29 am

 

norman said:

Arabs are eager for a winner no matter what religion he has , Shea, Sunni Christian , everybody was with Nasrallah last year , we should stop dividing the Arabs into religious affiliation and divide them into 2 camps one with the surrender to the US and Israel include Egypt, KSA, Jordon ,Abbas and Siniora and the second camp is for the resistance to the western Israeli plan for the Middleast and that include Syria Iran , Ha mas and Hezbollah, The Arab street is with resistance camp, the question is where do we stand.?

August 26th, 2007, 2:44 am

 

t_desco said:

Lieberman update:

Damascus airport called Al Qaida hub

WASHINGTON — Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, has been recruiting support for legislation that would sanction Damascus International Airport.

Lieberman said the airport has become the major conduit for Al Qaida fighters to Iraq as well as Iranian weapons shipments to Lebanon. He based his assertion on briefings from the U.S. military.

On Thursday, the Bush administration released an unclassified version of a national intelligence estimate that supported Lieberman’s allegations against Syria. But the report said Damascus, despite its increase in support for militias in Iraq, has cracked down on Al Qaida in wake of a determination that the Islamic movement threatens Syrian national security.

Lieberman said U.S. intelligence has determined that the lion’s share of Sunni volunteers fly into Damascus International Airport and then proceed overland to Iraq. He said this makes Damascus the hub of Al Qaida travel in the Middle East.

Congressional sources said House and Senate members were discussing sanctions against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The sources said Congress has been briefed by U.S. military commanders who said Syria continues to serve as the main conduit for volunteers for the Sunni insurgency in neighboring Iraq.

“There is a feeling that something has to be done,” a senior congressional staffer said.

Officials said about 80 volunteers per month have been processed and trained in Syria before being sent to strike Shi’ite and U.S.-led coalition targets in Iraq. They said most of the volunteers, who meet their handlers in Syria, were assigned suicide bombing missions in Iraq.

The proposed legislation, expected to be introduced in Congress in September, would ban Damascus International Airport to international carriers. The sources said the sanctions could affect the U.S. activities of airlines that violate the proposed sanctions.

Alitalia, Air France and British Airways conduct regular flights to Damascus. U.S. carriers do not fly to Syria.
World Tribune

August 26th, 2007, 7:55 am

 

Bits and pieces said:

[…] Debating the Iranian-Syrian alliance, Josh Landis squares off with Lebanese bloggers. […]

August 26th, 2007, 10:17 am

 

Bakri said:

Why discuss,and did u asked the iranian people if they are happy under this propagandistic regime.?Why so much iranians are poor,why so many iranians are leaving Islam and becoming atheists or go back to zoroastrism ?And why the arabs in Iran are second class citizens despite that they are shias.
And who in the region other than Khomaini directly got weapons from Israel ? And what was the mission of the father of G w Bush in Khomaini’s Iran when he was at the head of the CIA ?

This regime is like any other tyrannic regime ,it use propaganda for external consumption and inside you see the opposite and is ready to deal with the target of their propagandas if it help to allow them more years in power.This typically batini behaviour.

Why discuss ,there will be never iranian supremacy in Iraq even if they win a good deal with the USA ..because as u know the shias are a small minorities in the arab world and if they show they loyalty to an hostile regime ,they will be considered as traitors ..As today are Nasrallah and Bashar.
The shias and the other minorities must be clear about their loyalty and no to appear as the fifth column.

August 26th, 2007, 11:36 am

 

why-discuss said:

Bakri
Have you been to Iran??? If you have then you know very well that they are not rich but they live much better than the egyptians who live in a ‘democracy’. They have succeeded in many social programs where the arab countries have failed miserably (decrease of natality, education, arts, industrial development, fight against corruption). The arabs, the kurds, the armenians , the ethnic turks are not second class citizens, please provide elements instead of basing yourself on US media. Yes the iranians are not arabs but their contribution to the islamic civilization is enormous and despite the fact they continuously have autocratic regimes( The shah supported by the US was a dictator) they are growing much faster than the arab countries in all areas… The arab shia will certainly benefit from that…
I don’t know where you read that they are going back to Zoroastrism, ths is total absurdity…
You hate the idea that the Shia are becoming strong.. Well that’s the way it is going to be after decades of failures from the sunni rulers in arab countries to solve crucial problems like the palestinian ordeal and others…

August 26th, 2007, 5:05 pm

 

Bakri said:

Why ,60 % of iranian people lives under poverty line and the regime there is one of the most corrupt regime in the world even more than the syrian , check the transparency index.(this is not imperialistic propaganda ,this is the reality)
In economy ,90 % of their exports are oil and gas,worse than Nigeria.(despite all these car factories ,the outdated factories of Peugoet and Citroen sold to Iran).
This is not a question to hate or not ,as syrian i have many good iranian friends and they are well educated and open minded people but all i have meet hate the regime and they believe that this regime is a pure product of imperialism despite all the lies and propagandas from qom….As for the culture yes many of our great minds were from Iran ,but in Islamic Arab middle Age ,Iran was not ruled by hypocrite and corrupt clerics but by valuable and effective politicians like Nizam al Mulk.And btw most of those iranian thinkers and scientists were not Shias,Iran is only shia since 400 years ago.
Such regimes are only strong against their own people.
Do u call the killing of the iraqi brains and intellectuals is for the sake of Iraq ? The iranian backed militias who came on the back of American tanks this is what you call sign of power ?
Most of the iraqi shias hate the iranien regime but they are suffering from the hand of the iranian militias,especially the educated people amongst them and it must be known ,they never betrayed Iraq during their war against Iran.

August 26th, 2007, 6:20 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

AP, I think you should go to Spain and see how the Arabs treated the Jews and try to treat the Palestinians the same way ,
War would end in the ME if that happened.and Israel will be axcepted.

Norman,

Arabs and Muslims treated the Jews just fine as long as they remain dhimmis and remain nationless. Conversely, Israel has recognized Palestinian statehood and self-determination.

So, I guess you’re not telling the whole story.

August 26th, 2007, 9:28 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Conversely, Israel has recognized Palestinian statehood and self-determination.

Akbar the essential fact which you intentionally forget is that what Israel has not recognized are the borders. It is “funny” that the state of Israel is desperately just now investing besides the settlements also to the Jewish only roads on the West Bank. Does a country which is going to leave those areas do that? Only an idiot believes that.

Recognizing the Palestinian statehood and self-determination (what ever it means in the Israeli plans) is hypocritical if Israel doesn’t take the nesserary steps to make the “promises” true.

So, I guess Akbar you’re not telling the whole story.

August 26th, 2007, 10:09 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Simohurtta –

There is no such thing as “jewish only roads”.

You seem so easily duped.

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=55&x_article=1016

August 27th, 2007, 12:05 am

 

why-discuss said:

Bakri

Have you been to Iran? You should, they give visas at the airport for most nationalities! Since you seem so well informed, please provide references to the figure you claim of “60% of iranians living under the povertly level” otherwise they may sound like another ‘demonization’ propaganda.

As the Shia Iraqis who you claim have never betrayed Iraq during the murderous 8 years Iraq-Iran war initiated by Saddam, well, they had second thoughts as they went against Saddam during the first Gulf war to be betrayed by the US and massacred by Saddam. The Iraqi Shias and the Kurds have been going from betrayal to betrayal from the iraqi sunni-lead governments and the US. I guess that, despite their suspicions, they are looking less negatively to the Iranians who are, to the displease of the US, establishing commercial relationship and providing the iraqi with electricity and goods. Maliki’s visit and his harsh rebuttals of the US dissaproval seem to show that there is a serious Iranian-Iraqi rapprochement. Time will tell if this new alliance will be allowed to succeed.

August 27th, 2007, 2:20 am

 

Bakri said:

Why,I’m not speaking about the shia agents who came on the back of the american tanks …but the brave shias who fought the iranians during 8 years and didnt betrayed their homeland,because as u know most south iraq was almost completly destroyed by the iranian army bombs and missiles ,that khomaini received from Israel.
Why discuss,and the iranians sent Abdulaziz Hakim to Washington months before the war to meet Wolfowitz and others….?
And why did they send ,the former president Khatami for an one month trip to the USA just after the war of Lebanon?
Forget their slogans and propagandas and look at the reality on the ground.
If today Iraq is suffering it’s from the iranian american deal ….they thought that iraq will be an easy prey with the help of the marja3iyet and the wilayat faqih militias.

August 27th, 2007, 3:10 am

 

Bakri said:

fter decades of failures from the sunni rulers in arab countries to solve crucial problems like the palestinian ordeal and others…

here i agree with you why discuss….
but we should not change one wrong policy by an another…it’s not because i’m against mubarak and asad that i must fall in the other trap.

the arab rulers are part of the plot against the arab masses…because any freedom and prosperity for the arab people will mean a danger for Israel supremacy…Israel doesnt fear slogans and tv serials…and even not some attacks on its territory by small groups.
Look at Egypt and Syria in the 40’s and 50’s,it was a very promising society ,it was not perfect but at least the people were not humiliated under the pretext of the imperialistic aggression.The civil society was dynamic and it was not rare to see in that time communists and brotherhood to collaborate together.
today egyptian and syrian people,sons of urabi pasha and yousef azma,fares bey al khouri and ezedin al qassam have lost their pride and became weak in their personality and very corruptible.
They brought to us the stupid nasser …and people followed his demagogic easy to take rhetoric.we should avoid to repeat this mistake again.

August 27th, 2007, 4:39 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

There is no such thing as “jewish only roads”.
You seem so easily duped.

Indeed Israel is constantly building (so that it seems not to have money left to repair the road safety on Israel’s side) and has good roads on West Bank for Israelis only. In Palestinians and our others viewpoint these roads are de facto Jewish only roads. Israeli Arabs would like and mostly have to use normal roads on the West Bank when they visit relatives and friends. Non Jews in Israel certainly do not support building an Apartheid network of roads on the occupied territories. Akbar how many Israeli Arabs (citizens) live in West Bank’s Jewish settlements and outposts?

If you consider Camera promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East you are nuts. Can you find any “Camera error” where Camera is correcting news which are to pro Israeli and give wrong information about Palestinians situation? I at least could not. Camera is as balanced as Al Qaida’s “press office”.

You Akbar seem so easily duped by the Zionist propaganda, that you can’t any more see things in the right and humanistic light.

August 27th, 2007, 5:21 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Maale Adumim Arabs residents

August 27th, 2007, 10:48 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Simohurtta,

You (and Amira Hass of Haaretz, etc) inaccurately accused Israel of creating “jewish only roads”. This a blatant lie that has been picked up by every leftist, main stream media outlet and the anti-semitic Arab press.

Israeli Arabs use these roads freely, every day despite the state of war that exists between the terror-supporting PA and Israel.

CAMERA responds to lies and inaccuracies found in the news. As this example shows, it’s a pretty easy job. And now with MEMRI translations, this can be extended to the Arab press as well.

August 27th, 2007, 11:20 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

You (and Amira Hass of Haaretz, etc) inaccurately accused Israel of creating “jewish only roads”.

Well I am in good “company”. Everybody with little sense understands that these roads are built for the illegal Jewish settlements = JEWS (I suppose there is not a single Israeli Arab living in those settlements), not for Israeli Arabs to visit their friends and relatives. Come-on Akbar your “tribe” doesn’t even build bomb shelters for the Israeli Arabs.

CAMERA responds to lies and inaccuracies found in the news. As this example shows, it’s a pretty easy job.

The problem is that nobody takes Camera seriously as a neutral operator. It is an pro-Israeli propaganda machine. Show me Akbar one single time when Camera has corrected the facts in pro-Israeli news which are often wrong and always unbalanced. Then you could say that Camera is sometimes (but rarely) balanced.

What are your comments Akbar to Haredistans leading figure’s Rabbi Yosef newest. “No wonder secular IDF soldiers are killed in war”.

“They don’t observe the Sabbath, they don’t observe [the laws of] the Torah, they don’t pray, they don’t put on phylacteries every day. Is it any wonder that they’re killed? It’s no wonder. May the Almighty have mercy on them and bring them back to religion.

Israeli women rights are closing to those in Afghanistan. Did you Akbar read that news in Haaretz how a pregnant Shas preschool teacher was fired, because she was walking provocatively (=”in a non religious way” I suppose) and was barbecuing on Sabbath.

No wonder Akbar that you do not dare/like to live in Haredistan.

August 27th, 2007, 12:47 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Across the bay:Voop! Nonsense About the Syria-Iran Alliance
http://beirut2bayside.blogspot.com/2007/08/voop-nonsense-about-syria-iran-alliance.html

A rebuttal to Joshua Landis who dared to wonder on NPR if the alliance will stand or not!!! The conclusion which seems to summarize all the comments in this topic is that it will stand!

August 29th, 2007, 9:13 pm

 

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