Many Christians Head for Tartus

Syrian Christians are taking refuge in Tartus. This is what I am told by a Syrian Christian in Beirut. Life is just too expensive in Lebanon for most Syrian refugees. Their friends who fled Aleppo to Beirut are finding excuses to go back — “My neighborhood is secure again,” “I must enroll my kids in school,” “things are getting better.” These are some of the reasons that Syrians are giving as they leave Beirut, but few are buying them. Money. It is all about the money. Life is too expensive in Beirut for most Syrians. Some are choosing to move to Tartus on the Syrian coast, rather than go back to Aleppo. There are a number of reaons it has become a destination of choice for Syrian Christians. It is a hop, skip and jump from north of Lebanon. It is surrounded by Christians in Wadi Nasara and by the Alawite Mountains. Apartments and food are inexpensive. Alawites have already begun to migrate there from Syria’s inland cities in search of security. Yes, the city has a Sunni majority, but the town of 120,00 has not seen communal violence and remains stable. Many Tartusis claim that in their town, one can almost pretend that the country is not at war.

قدري جميل: الاقتصاد سيصاب بسكتة قلبية إذا استمرت الأزمة 3 أشهر

2012/09/17نشر فى: اقتصاد
“لا حل إلا الحل السياسي ودونه لا حل اقتصادي ولا حل أمني ولا حل عسكري شامل, وهناك مشروع جديد لإيصال الدعم لمحتاجيه”

Foreign Policy

Clashes continued throughout Syria on Monday with an estimated 131 people killed by Syrian forces according to the Local Coordination Committees. Shelling by government forces was reported in Homs as well as the predominantly opposition held Damascus district of al-Hajar al-Aswad. The army reported it had taken control of Midan, a statement that was corroborated by a correspondent on the ground.

Fragmented Syrian Opposition Competes with SNC in Jordan
By: Tamer al-Samadi posted on Thursday, Sep 13, 2012

High-level Syrian opposition sources told Al-Hayat that meetings between Syrian opposition forces, which have been taking place in the Jordanian capital of Amman for several days now, seek to unite and establish an overreaching framework to serve as a substitute for the Syrian National Council (SNC). This united front will be headed by the defected Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab, who is currently in Amman.

Defected Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab (rear C) poses with members of the Free Syrian Army in Deraa August 7, 2012. (photo by REUTERS)

Yasser Abboud, commander of field operations for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who is currently in Amman, said that “the opposition meetings in the Jordanian capital that were launched last week are still ongoing.” In an exclusive interview with Al-Hayat, he said, “The ongoing meetings include politicians and military officers who defected from the criminal regime in Syria, in addition to some SNC members, who have personally attended the meetings.” Abboud stressed that the military leaders represent various cities and villages of the Damascus and Daraa governorates, the latter of which borders Jordan.

Abboud explained that the meetings seek to unify the ranks of the political and military opposition, and look into the possibility of establishing a political alternative to the SNC. Abboud, who is the leader of the group that succeeded in smuggling Hijab out of the country and into Jordan, said that “Hijab will be at the head of the new Syrian opposition entity, while defected Brig. Gen. Mohammed al-Hajj will head the FSA military and field leaderships, as well as the military and revolutionary councils. This new military entity, named the National Syrian Army, will be affiliated with the political leadership.

… Abboud spoke of what he called “guarantees” that were demanded by some states to “support the new birth.” However, he did not elaborate in detail. Abboud added that these states had stressed the need “to protect the rights of minorities,” which he considered to be “a demand that does not require any guarantee.”

“We have agreed to the general guidelines of the next phase. However, we are still looking into the details … What matters now is to overthrow the regime as soon as possible. Regarding the upcoming phase, the Syrian public will have the final say in this matter,” he added.

In the same vein, Mohamed Inad, an SNC member and a member of the Supreme Council for the Revolutionary Command, told Al-Hayat that “the meetings in Amman seek to reorganize the ranks of the SNC and to oust some people and leaders who have proved disruptive to the paths of change.

“All of the ongoing meetings are in the best interest of the political and military opposition. We are seeking a realistic vision that would guarantee the ousting of the regime and accelerate steps to declare a transitional government that would include people of high competence and expertise,” he added. Furthermore, Inad said that “the meetings seek to unite the military battalions in Syria, as well as the sources of external funding.”

However, Abdul Salam al-Bitar, the secretary-general of the SNC’s regional office in Jordan, criticized the meetings, saying that they “are run from abroad.” Bitar said that talk of unifying the opposition is a “big lie” which aims to declare an interim government “led by former regime leaders who killed so many Syrian people before they defected from the regime….

Saudi Arabia absent from Egypt-Iran-Turkey talks on Syria

CAIRO (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia opted to stay away from a meeting of four regional powers on the Syrian crisis on Monday, adding to a sense that the forum is unlikely to advance the quest for peace.

Time Magazine–  Rania Abouzeid / Idlib province – “Syria’s Secular and Islamist Rebels: Who Are the Saudis and the Qataris Arming?”

The FSA is nominally headed by the Turkey-based Riad al-As’aad. Both As’aad and his chief FSA rival General Mustafa Sheikh are not party to the Istanbul control room which supplies and arms rebels who operate under the FSA banner. The two men each have their own sources of funding, and are independently distributing money and weapons to selected FSA units.

According to sources who have dealt with him, Saudi Arabia’s man in the Istanbul control center is a Lebanese politician named Okab Sakr. He belongs to the Future Movement, the organization of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, which has a history of enmity with Damascus (Syria was accused of complicity in the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father Rafik). The party has not made Sakr available to TIME, denies his involvement in any weapons deals and insists that Sakr is in Belgium “on leave” from his political duties.

However, Sakr appears to have been in the southern Turkish city of Antakya in late August. A TIME inquiry with an Antakya hotel confirms Sakr was in the area at the time. According to rebel sources who dealt with him, theLebanese politician was there overseeing the distribution of batches of supplies — small consignments of 50,000 Kalashnikov bullets and several dozen rocket-propelled grenades – to at least four different FSA groups in Idlib province as well as larger consignments to other areas including Homs. The FSA sources also say he met with some commanders but not others – a selectivity that led to much chagrin.

That kind of favoritism has caused problems on the ground in many ways. According to FSA sources, prominent activists and members of the Istanbul control room, Sakr was mainly responsible for designating the representatives in Syria’s 14 provinces to whom the Istanbul center would funnel small batches of light weapons — Kalashnikov rifles, BKC machine guns, rocket propelled grenade launchers and ammunition – to reach FSA groups operating in each area. But the 20 or so Syrians selected (some areas like Damascus have more than one representative) to distribute armaments were not all effective. These representatives were “supposed to deliver the support inside but they did not have a presence on the ground, they weren’t known,” says an influential U.S.-based Syrian activist with wide contacts inside Syria who played a role in setting up the Istanbul operations room. “I saw this weak point, so I connected Okab to people I knew were working on the ground, and I wasn’t the only one to do this, others did too because we wanted the room to succeed.”

But the selectivity has bred further favoritism in the distribution of arms. “Those who received goods would distribute them as they wanted. They started sending to people and saying, ‘this is a gift from me to you,’” a member of the control room representing eastern Syria told TIME. Other representatives were blunter, seeking pledges of loyalty from FSA groups inside the country before delivering the goods. To try to alleviate the problem, the provincial representatives were cycled in and out of the room’s operations but the problems remained. “The weapons are all being distributed in secret,” says one fighter inside Syria angrily, “and what is secret will stay unclear.”

The situation is compounded by Qatar’s man — a major who defected from Assad’s army who has not yet responded to TIME’s request for comment. The Qataris want to focus on aiding the regional military councils, FSA groupings within Syria set up earlier this year partly in order to get around the favoritism of the representatives. (There are at least 10 military councilsscattered throughout the country.) Goods would be delivered to a council, and then distributed to the brigades under its umbrella. In practice, it wasn’t quite as easy, or smooth. “We were given lists by brigade leaders of their men, but we stopped believing the numbers,” says a member of the Istanbul room from Syria’s Idlib province. However, the Saudis – via Okab Sakr – appear to only want to support certain groups within the councils, but not others.

“We felt that the sides giving us support weren’t on the same page,” says the control room member from eastern Syria. “They started having side meetings with some groups.” Still, he says, “what is most important is that the guys receive weapons, whether that is via an operations room or directly, we don’t care. Nobody knows the truth from the talk,” he says. “We have been lied to [by the international community] and we have lied to the guys inside, saying weapons would arrive in a week, in 10 days, and months have passed and someareas haven’t received supplies. So, unless I see it, and see it distributed, even I don’t believe it.”

In the town of Bdeeta in Idlib province—which happens to be the hometown of Riad al-As’aad–rebel fighters complain bitterly about the lack of assistance. “We are licking our plates, we beg for salt,” says Abu Mar’iye, who heads the Martyrs of Ibditha group in the tiny town, home to some 2,000 people. “It’s not enough, even the weapons that arrive, it’s like a drop, just enough so the fighting continues, so we can kill each other but not win.”…..

….some FSA groups, like Abu Issa’s Suqoor al-Sham, are also part of wider Islamist networks. It’s largely to maximize the amount of support they can get.

…. Abu Issa, Suleiman and Maarouf, along with other high-profile rebel leaders from other provinces, spent much of August shuttling between Syria and Turkey to attend high-level meetings with diplomats and senior Syrian opposition. But U.S. diplomacy has yet to grasp the full complexity of the Syrian crisis. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to snub the SNC during an August trip to Istanbul was widely viewed as belated recognition by many activists inside Syria that the exiles comprising the body have littlesway or credibility. The fact is, the guys with the guns do, although the State Department denies any direct contact with members of the FSA. (The SNCdoes not have a role in the arming of the rebels inside Syria, though some individual SNC members are in the Istanbul control room, representing theirregions.)

The Obama administration does not deal directly with the armed opposition but it has authorized a non-profit organization, the Syrian Support Group, to fundraise for the FSA. The SSG is comprised of Syrian exiles in the U.S and Canada as well as a former NATO political officer.

Zeidan of the Idlib Military Council doesn’t seem to differentiate between official U.S. policy and that of the SSG. He says he’s been in contact with members of the SSG for months. “I know that they are afraid of something called Al-Qaeda, it’s all a big lie,” said Zeidan. “They talk about Ahrar al-Sham and Suqoor al-Sham. They are conservative Islamists, but they are not extremists. Many of these groups just want support.” He adds, “We are fighting to have a democratic country, not so that we can install people with American or European or Saudi agendas… We want to topple the regime, so whoever offers us help, we will call our units whatever they want as long as they support us. We just want to finish.”

Syrian opposition split and hesitant- FM
Sep 17, 2012 – Voice of Russia

Syria’s opposition has split over choosing a mediator to lead dialogue with the government officials, Russia’s deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told reporters Monday.

He said that the opposition failed to choose a joint candidate, while the government is ready for talks.

The Swedish Institute for International Affairs just published a 44-page study written by Aron Lund on Syrian jihadi movements: “UI Brief 13: Syrian Jihadism”. It’s in English, but a Swedish version is on the way.

Report: Syria tested chemical weapons delivery systems in August
The German weekly Der Spiegel quotes witnesses as saying that Iranian officers were flown in for testing of chemical weapons in Syria’s desert.
By Haaretz | Sep.17, 2012 |

A satellite image of al-Safir, Syria’s main chemical weapons facility, near Aleppo.

Syria tested delivery systems for chemical weapons at the end of August, according to the German weekly Der Spiegel.

The report, which quotes various witnesses, said that the tests took place near a chemical weapons research center at al-Safir, east of Aleppo, and were carried out with the aid of Iranian officers who were flown in for the testing.

According to the report, five or six empty shells capable of delivering poison gas were fired by tanks and aircraft at the site of Diraiham in the desert, near the village of Khanasir. The report said that scientists from Iran and North Korea are said to work in the al-Safir research center, which is Syria’s largest testing site for chemical weapons.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that the Syrian government has storied its chemical weapons and materials in some twenty sites around the country.

The report cited unnamed American and Middle Eastern officials, who also said there could be additional sites of which they were unaware.

The officials said their governments believe Syria has several tons of chemical weapons and materials, including weapons-ready sarin gas, and that the most dangerous elements of the arsenal are stored in bunkers.

UK: Syria intervention would need full US backing
AP / September 18, 2012

LONDON (AP) — British Foreign Secretary William Hague says any intervention in Syria would only be possible with the full backing of the United States

Hague told Parliament’s foreign affairs committee on Tuesday that he wasn’t advocating a military intervention, but that the option could not be ruled out amid an escalating crisis.

‘‘It would require intervention on a vastly greater scale than was the case in Libya, with no prospect at the moment of agreement at the U.N. Security Council, and would require the full involvement of the United States,’’ Hague told the committee.

Hague acknowledged he saw ‘‘major disadvantages’’ to an intervention….

Turkey to Provide Egypt $2 Billion in Aid

CAIRO—Turkey will provide a $2 billion aid package to help Egypt finance infrastructure projects and increase its dwindling foreign currency reserves, Egypt’s Minister of Finance said Saturday.

Egyptian financial policy makers have embarked on an aggressive effort over the past several months to solicit foreign assistance and investment in the hopes of mending a gaping budget and foreign currency reserve deficit.

Egypt’s budget deficit in …

Hatay officials look for fleeing Syrian refugees
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News, by  Erdem Güneş

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry is looking to coax back upward of thousands of Syrian refugees to temporary camps in the country’s south as they remain unaccounted for elsewhere in Turkey, an official told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

“Syrians who crossed the border illegally or escaped from the camps have been invited to come back to the camps by the Foreign Ministry,” Suphi Atan, who has been appointed to coordinate the Syrian camps in southern Turkish cities, said in a phone interview yesterday.

Atan said there were between 5,000 and 10,000 Syrians living in Hatay outside the camps, and there were thousands of others in other cities..

بوابة الأهرام
17-9-2012 |بشار الأسد

أعلن قائد الجيش السوري الحر لحماية الثورة الإثنين، عن “مكافأة مالية قدرها 25 مليون دولار، لمن يأتي ببشار الأسد حيًا أو ميتًا”.

وفي تصريحات خاصة لوكالة “الأناضول” للأنباء قال قائد الجيش العقيد أحمد حجازي إن “هذا المبلغ سيساهم فيه تجار سوريّون بالداخل والخارج

Aerial bombing ramped up in northern Syria – FT

Syrian rebels experiment with self rule
By: Borzou Daragahi | Financial Times

The leaders of the council governing Souran, a town in rebel-controlled Syria, decide to hold an impromptu meeting right on the footpath along its main street, a gesture of open government that would impress Canada or Sweden.

Jihad in Syria
Executive Summary – Institute for War Studies

This report examines the presence of jihadist groups within Syria, explains where various Syrian rebel groups and foreign elements operating in Syria fall along the spectrum of religious ideology, and considers their aggregate effect upon the Islamification of the Syrian opposition…..

  • The U.S. Government has cited concern over arming jihadists as a reason for limiting support to the Syrian opposition.  However, U.S. allies are already providing material support to the Syrian opposition, and competing sources of funding threaten Syria’s future stability by enhancing the influence of more radical elements. The confluence of jihadist interest with that of the Gulf states raises the possibility that these states may leverage jihadists for their own strategic purposes, while simultaneously limiting Western influence.
  • In order to counter this effect, the U.S. should seek to channel this support in a way that bolsters responsible groups and players while ensuring that Salafi-jihadist organizations such as Jabhat Nusra are unable to hijack the opposition movement. If the U.S. hopes to counter this threat and stem the growing popularity of more radical groups, it must clearly identify secular and moderate Islamist opposition groups and encourage the international community to focus resources in support of those groups alone.  Such focused support would increase the influence of moderate opposition groups and undercut the appeal of Salafism in Syria.

The United States must act on Syria By Radwan Ziadeh Monday, September 17 in FP

…. The United States should now provide robust diplomatic support for action to protect civilians, such as the establishment of no-fly zones. The Assad regime has proven time and again that it is entirely willing to indiscriminately bombard its own population centers with artillery and airstrikes. If the United States is unable or unwilling to put its own planes to use protecting innocents, the least it could do is provide diplomatic support to those who are. Regional allies have expressed a willingness to provide air cover for refugee camps situated near international borders — there is no reason for the United States not to support these efforts. Additionally, the United States should, in concert with regional partners, work to increase the supply of defensive weapons to the armed opposition. The Free Syrian Army (FSA), which controls large portions of the country, desperately needs anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons…..

I was born and raised in Daraya with my brothers and sisters. Many of my relatives still live in Daraya, and, following last month’s massacre and the death of my cousin, I fear for their lives. I last spoke to my mother on August 25 and have struggled to contact my family since. The feeling of helplessness that results from searching for the names of dead relatives on casualty lists posted on the internet is indescribable…

The America of the Arab Street
By ED HUSAIN, September 18, 2012, NYTimes

… The liberal protesters who demanded freedom and democracy last year were able to unite and overthrow dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. But their failure to explain what their liberalism stands for has opened the way for a new, Islamist-oriented power elite that capitalizes on old lies and half-truths to twist religion and history to manipulate the masses. …

Arab societies remain deeply religious. In liberal Morocco, 89 percent of the people say that religion is “very important” in their lives, according to a recent Pew poll. Mosques are packed every Friday; religious events promote widespread charity, and believers are encouraged to support candidates who are perceived to be more godly. But there is a deeper problem that goes well beyond the popular appeal of Islamist parties: A cancerous narrative has taken hold of many Arab minds.

In Egypt, 75 percent of Muslims do not believe that Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks, according to a 2011 Pew poll. Many believe that it was either Israel, the U.S. government, or both. The West is viewed through a hodgepodge of conspiracy theories, half-truths and a selective reading of history.

When I met Muhammad Mahdi Akef, the influential former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, in April 2011, he insisted that Al Qaeda was a figment of the Western imagination. The idea that it doesn’t exist, that the United States attacked itself, is buttressed by preachers in mosques, on satellite television channels and in glossy Arabic books.

Comments (86)

Citizen said:
Iran acknowledged that sent its special forces in Syria
18.09.2012 19:44
Iran’s military leadership has acknowledged sending troops of the Revolutionary Guards in the neighboring countries, including Syria. This was reported on September 16 Lebanese Naharnet resource with reference to the corps commander, Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jafari.

According to Jafari, “some” military Quds special forces in Syria and Lebanon. General explained that the Iranian military presence in these countries as advisors. “This does not mean that we have a military presence there”, – assured Jafari.

In addition, the general said that if Iran would be launched against the military campaign, the leadership of the Islamic Republic reserves the right to respond to the aggression of the attacks on the Strait of Hormuz, as well as U.S. bases in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. All these objects, reminded Jafari, located within the range of Iranian missiles.

September 6, 2012 to send Iranian soldiers in Syria wrote British The Daily Telegraph. Referring to Western intelligence, the publication reported that the decision to provide such assistance to Damascus Tehran adopted in July 2012 after the death of the Syrian defense minister at the hands of a suicide bomber. Iranian military arrived in the country on planes with hundreds of tons of military cargo: guns, rockets, equipment.

Information about the presence in Syria Revolutionary Guards appeared before. Thus, in May 2012 to send military aid Bashar Assad told the deputy commander of the “Quds” Ismail Gahan. According to him, before the Iranian troops, the Syrian opposition “to kill too many people.” However, before the performance, Mohammed Ali Jafari leadership of the Revolutionary Guards official did not acknowledge the presence of its troops in Syria.

The civil war in Syria began in March 2011. Since then, the armed clashes between the opposition and supporters of the Assad regime, according to human rights activists, killing 25,000 people, more than 235,000 people have fled to other countries.

September 18th, 2012, 3:29 pm


Citizen said:

Chance that the religious wars broke out during the war in Syria?
The Syrian crisis has affected to varying degrees, all the Middle East countries. One of the countries experiencing acute disorder of his neighbor, is Lebanon. Due to the events in Syria, as in Iraq, there is increasing conflict between Shiites and Sunnis, which sharply destabilize the country. In this situation, the question inevitably arises: is worsening religious conflict event natural, logical result of the revolutionary unrest in neighboring countries, or whether it is artificially created interested in the crisis in the Middle East countries?
As is known, the official Beirut on the events in Syria keeps neutrality. Simultaneously, the Lebanese authorities to reinforce the army in most hot spots, and political analysts say that recent events in the country is very similar to the beginning of the Civil War. The sharp deterioration of the situation in Lebanon caused by Shiite-Sunni conflict, has led some countries to urge their citizens to leave the state. One of the first to do that in Saudi Arabia, it was followed by Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, United States and other countries. The reason for this was the bombing aircraft SAR Syrian city of Aleppo in the province of Azaz. As a result, killing four of the 11 hostages, Lebanese, which holds 3 months Syrian armed opposition. Close to the “Hezbollah” the Lebanese Al-Manar TV reported that the hostages were killed by the rebels, while the Syrian rebels claim that the death of Lebanese blame government troops.
In response to the relatives of those killed Lebanese occupied Syrian bus with workers, hit the road to Beirut, and staged riots in the capital of shops owned by Syrians. They also blocked the international airport and the Beirut-Damascus highway, effectively isolating the country from the outside world. In addition, the Lebanese Shiite clan Al Mekdad said he intends to steal all Sunnis from countries that provide assistance and support to the Syrian rebels. First of all, this applies to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. In response, the Lebanese Sheikh Ahmed al-Athir, the head of local Sunni radicals, called the actions of Shiite clans beginning of the civil war in Lebanon and declared his intention to take to the streets of their activists. Shiites also expressed readiness to conduct night raids on Beirut to kill Sunnis, Sunnis, in response mobilized its activists.
Thus, it is apparent bitterness supporters of the two religions in the light of the events in Syria. In the Lebanon, members of different polarization directions of worship occurred at the very beginning of the Syrian crisis. As you know, Lebanon is 40% composed of Christians, 60% – Muslims, more than half of them – the Shiites, a third – the Sunnis and the tenth part – friends. In the country there are two major political forces that support different the Syrian conflict. The leader of “Hezbollah”, pro-Iranian Shiite movement, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah – for Alawite power in Syria. Sunni movement “Mustaqbal” Saad Hariri, at its heart, is a pro-Western Sunni fighters and support, helping activists worldwide terrorist organization “Al-Qaeda” to penetrate across the Lebanese-Syrian border to Syria. In this regard, on the northern border of Lebanon, through which from the very beginning of the conflict is the flow of weapons and fighters, almost daily clashes. According to official sources, the Syrian army conducts periodic shelling of border villages of Lebanon, knowing presence of militants ready to infiltrate into Syria.
Despite this, the Lebanese authorities are struggling to stay neutral in the Syrian conflict. Thus, the vote on Syria in the Arab League Beirut always abstain from voting on the exclusion of Syria from the OIC. Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour explains the position of the state as follows: “Lebanon adheres to the position of” samootstraneniya “, in the belief that an external intervention will aggravate in Syria.”
To prevent the division of the country, the authorities have begun consultations with the leaders of all religious and political groups in the form of a national dialogue to defuse the tension and maintain stability. So, every time Suleiman urges leaders to take national responsibility for stability in the country, but, nevertheless, the echoes of the events in Syria are more dialogues. Foreign Minister A.Mansur convinced that “provocations media and daily increase in violence directed bearing sectarian character, are a threat not only to Syria and its people, they represent a threat to the entire region.”
Indeed, the escalation of the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in Lebanon and Iraq, caused by events in Syria make the situation in the latter even worse. Moreover, the riots in Syria, exacerbating the situation in Iraq, created a crisis of regional character. Thus, the Kurdish nationalist groups began to mobilize in Syria and Turkey, and the Turkish troops were attacked by them. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) start taking important steps to demonstrate its independence from Iraq. In Iraq, the PKK is virtually unrecognized state with its own parliament, flag, army, visa regime, armed forces, the police and the law. PKK even self-made a deal with trafficking in arms and oil from foreign governments and organizations, thereby violating the laws of Iraq.
In turn, Turkey supports this position PKK and refers to it as to the national government, maintaining diplomatic contacts with the PKK without consultation with the central government of Iraq. The government of Kurdistan also allow their territory to be used as a base for Mossad operations against Syria and Iran. But this not only creates tension between Turkey and Iraq, but also directly affect the internal situation in Turkey. In particular, the PKK had began to mobilize, and holds the key area Shemdinli in the Turkish province of Hakkari, fighting also broke out in the south-east of Turkey.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan accuses occurring disorders as a provocateur fighting that ensued in the Kurdish regions of Turkey. However, this is due to the direct intervention of Turkey in the Syrian conflict.
Therefore, it is clear that in the Middle East today is not just sweeping wave of revolutions, but the process is started from the outside of incitement to religious hatred, ethnic division and religious war. Certainly, the fact that Syria was divided into parts and in a state of prolonged civil war, especially the U.S. and Israel are interested. And, destabilizing the situation in one country, they thereby exacerbate tribal, ethnic and religious strife in other Arab states, thereby setting fire to the whole territory of the Middle East.
Julia Chmelenko

September 18th, 2012, 3:53 pm


Juergen said:

A chart showing how many really went out in rage about the Muhammed film

0,01 % of the Muslim population

September 18th, 2012, 3:57 pm


habib said:

Lol, is the poodle Radwan Ziadeh still barking? Who even listens to this guy?

September 18th, 2012, 4:01 pm


Citizen said:
Summary of findings
Thus, the final success of any military operation scenarios pro-American forces in Syria will depend entirely on the ability of the country’s leaders to maintain control of the military organization, to ensure the high morale of troops and to consolidate the majority of the population around the idea of ​​ending the civil war in order to preserve its statehood. While there is a proactive anti-Syrian coalition to undermine the foundations of statehood from within Syria. These include the assassination and the top management of the army and the “spontaneous” transition to the opposition a number of senior generals and officers of the Syrian army, spreading rumors about massive shift troops to the militants, etc. These actions are the main threat to the national security of Syria. In this situation, internal consolidation – the most important factor to maintain the stability of the system. You can continue to ignore the fact that, for the country is a total information war and limited power action against terrorist groups, but without an adequate response to the challenges in the field of information, like, usually just multiply the number of supporters of the anti-government forces.

If someone is highly concerned about the state of democracy and human rights, it is only in Africa can be easily counted a dozen countries that really need it. Unfortunately there is not yet discovered oil fields. Probably do this against the background of oil rigs more interesting.

Syria, of course, has everything you need for an independent solution prevailing political crisis. The main thing – do not interfere.

For Russia, it is vital that it has been implemented this scenario. Otherwise, even the most optimistic forecast of the further development of the situation in the Middle East is fraught with serious complications for Russia in the North Caucasus and in close proximity to its borders.

September 18th, 2012, 4:11 pm


Juergen said:

At the Crossroads
The next phase of Sheik Jawdat Said’s nonviolent journey

In the midst of the growing firestorm engulfing Syria, Sheik Jawdat Said is on his way back to the land of his birth. The eminent 81-year-old Islamic thinker has championed nonviolence for decades. In 1966, as Bashar Humeid reports, Said published The Doctrine of the First Son of Adam: The Problem of Violence in the Islamic World, which is considered the first publication in the modern Islamist movement to present the concept of nonviolence. Studying in Cairo at the time, Said was concerned about violence in the movement, with which he was then closely connected.

“I am over 80. I don’t care what they do to me,” he told National Public Radio a few days ago. “I have always lived by these principles.”

September 18th, 2012, 4:20 pm


Uzair8 said:

So Alawites and Christians are heading for Lebanon or the coast.
So much for the regime restoring security.

Are we seeing the beginning of the retreat, eventually leading to the military retreat?

I don’t think Assad supporters or minorities can stomach a prolonged stalemate. For them, in effect, a lengthy stalemate = the war is lost.

September 18th, 2012, 4:23 pm


ann said:

Donate to help Syrian Christians made homeless by islamist terrorists, and their masters

Dear Friend,

“So many people, especially families, forced to flee from their own homes, threatened by armed conflicts and by grave forms of violence.” – The Holy Father

These words from the Holy Father are being lived right now by our fellow faithful in Syria. We have just received an urgent appeal from the Church there for emergency aid to help rescue 500 families from Homs who were forced to flee the violence and chaos now happening in their country. Terrified families fled with only the clothes on their backs—there was no time to pack food or medicine or even children’s toys.

Right now, these 500 refugee families from Homs are seeking refuge in the Christian town of Marmarita, near the Lebanese border. The Church is their only hope. “Christians are in a desperate situation,” said His Beatitude Ignatius Joseph III, Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church. He is doing all he can to provide for these poor men, women and children, who are displaced and dejected, tired and terrified. But the need is great. Please help today.

A gift of $30 will supply one family food for a month; $90 will provide food for a family for six months; $10 can provide needed medicine for a sick and frightened child, while $150 could help provide temporary housing. Your gift now will help bring aid and hope to those who have nothing, and let them know that we, their fellow Christians, stand with them and witness their suffering

We have pledged $100,000 to help these families.
Will you help us fulfill our goal? Donate Now


September 18th, 2012, 4:50 pm


Tara said:

Any shabeeh interested in getting the job done? They should have offered this to the Barry clan

Rebels ‘offer bounty’ for Assad
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has offered a $25m (£15.4m) bounty for the killing of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, citing Turkey’s Anadolu news agency.

It quoted the FSA commander Ahmed Hijazi as saying the money would be paid out by supporters as well as by “Syrian businessmen working both at home and abroad”.

September 18th, 2012, 5:36 pm


Tara said:

Nasrallah should stop assisting in killing Syrian children before expressing love towards the prophet. 

Hezbollah leader warns US of repercussions over anti-Islam film

“Prophet of God, we offer ourselves, our blood and our kin for the sake of your dignity and honour,” Nasrallah told supporters who chanted “death to Israel” and “death to America” at a rally in the southern Shia suburbs of Beirut. “The US should understand that if it broadcasts the film in full it will face very dangerous repercussions around the world.”

Nasrallah, who fears assassination by Israel, appears in public only rarely. Political opponents suggested that anger over the film, Innocence of Muslims, was a useful diversion from the bloody crisis in neighbouring Syria, where the Assad government, along with Iran, is a patron of the Lebanese militant group.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted on state TV as saying that western leaders must prove they were not “accomplices” in a “big crime”.

In Egypt, two prominent figures are facing legal action over broadcasting a clip of the film. Khaled Abdallah, an ultra-conservative television anchor, and Nader Bakkar, spokesman of the Salafi al-Nour party, stand accused of instigating violence that led to the storming of the US embassy in Cairo.

Tony Blair, meanwhile, told the BBC that the offending film was “wrong and offensive but also laughable as a piece of film-making”. He added: “What is dangerous and wrong is the reaction to it.”

The family of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula left their California home in the middle of the night on Monday and have been taken to an undisclosed location, a Los Angeles police spokesman said.

Nakoula has been identified by US federal authorities as the key figure behind Innocence of Muslims. 

September 18th, 2012, 5:50 pm


ann said:


Turks Sour on Leaders’ Support for Syrian Uprising – September 18, 2012

ISTANBUL — As the war in Syria rages next door, Turks have grown increasingly weary of nearly daily reports of troubles at home: Iranian spies working with Kurdish insurgents, soldiers ambushed and killed, millions spent caring for a flood of refugees, lost trade and havoc in border villages.

“This is how we start our morning,” Mehment Krasuleymanoglu, a bookseller in a narrow alley in central Istanbul, said recently as he laid out several newspapers, each with a blaring headline about an explosion at a munitions depot that killed more than two dozen soldiers. The government called it an accident, but in the current environment, many Turks, including Mr. Krasuleymanoglu, are not so sure.

“What do we have to do with Syria?” he said. “The prime minister and his wife used to go there for tea and coffee.”

The Turkish government is facing a spasm of reproach from its own people over its policy of supporting Syria’s uprising; hosting fighters in the south, opposition figures in Istanbul and refugees on the border; and helping to ferry arms to the opposition. Turks believe that it is leading to instability at home, undermining Turkey’s own economy and security.

Turkey’s call for military intervention, which much of the international community opposes, has only added to the domestic frustration. Now, in the wake of the anti-American protests that have convulsed the Muslim world in reaction to a film that denigrated Islam, it seems less likely that Turkey will find partners in the West to join its call for military action in Syria.

“A lot of Turks are seeing this as a direct result of Turkey’s aggressive posture against Assad,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, referring to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

“Turkey’s Syria policy has failed,” wrote Dogan Heper, a columnist for the newspaper Milliyet. “It has turned our neighbors into enemies. We have been left alone in the world.”

Perhaps causing the greatest unease for Turks these days is an increase in violence by Turkey’s separatist Kurdistan Workers Party, or P.K.K., which seems emboldened by the success of Syria’s Kurds in gaining territory. The P.K.K. has waged an insurgency against Turkey since the 1980s in a conflict that has claimed an estimated 40,000 lives. More than 700 people have died in the past 14 months, the deadliest level in 13 years, according to a report published last week by the International Crisis Group. The P.K.K. has now set up daylight checkpoints in villages in the southeast, carried out deadly ambushes against Turkish forces and kidnapped lawmakers. Recently, the Turkish military carried out an offensive involving F-16 fighter jets and 2,000 soldiers, Reuters reported.

The Assad government has effectively ceded some territory near the Turkish border to Syria’s Kurds, who have not joined the opposition in large numbers. These gains have fanned the flames of Kurds’ historical ambitions for an independent state that would include Kurdish areas in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran, analysts say.

“There has been a thunderbolt in the minds of people there,” said Sezgin Tanrikulu, a Kurdish member of Turkey’s Parliament, referring to Kurdish areas in southeast Turkey. P.K.K. fighters have become more visible, he said. “They are trying to create the idea among Kurds there that the authority in the area is the P.K.K.”

An influx of refugees — more than 100,000 Syrians have sought safety in Turkey — has tested government resources and raised tensions in border areas, prompting the Turkish government to try to relocate refugees further inland. The government has said it has spent $300 million providing for refugees and has complained of a lack of support from the international community.


September 18th, 2012, 5:54 pm


ghufran said:

حكمت محكمة جنح سوهاج، وسط، اليوم بالسجن المشدد 6 سنوات للمدرس القبطي بيشوي البحيري لادانته بتهمة اهانة الدين الاسلامي وايضا اهانة الرئيس محمد مرسي عبر صفحته الشخصية على موقع فيسبوك كما افاد مصدر قضائي.
واوضح المصدر انه حكم على بيشوي البحيري، وهو مدرس لغة انكليزية من مدينة طما بمحافظة سوهاج، بالسجن ثلاث سنوات بتهمة ازدراء الأديان وإهانة الدين الإسلامي لنشره صور كاريكاتورية مسيئة للرسول على الفيسبوك.
كما حكم عليه بسنتين اضافيتين بتهمة إهانة رئيس الجمهورية، وسنة اخرى لاهانة المدعي بالحق المدني الذي رفع عليه الدعوى بشان الرسوم الكاريكاتورية على الفيسبوك
that seems like a harsh sentence to me especially coming from a post revolution regime that promised to respect freedom of speech, people who ridicule and insult religious symbols should be liable to law suits and minor penalties that match the severity of their offenses, I actually prefer a system similar to the US legal system where freedom of speech protects offenders of speech crimes,but that is the Middle East where speech or the lack of it may be treated as a crime.

September 18th, 2012, 6:13 pm


Syrian Natonalist Party said:

Innocence of Islam, a better title would be %&&$#@#^&****of Islam.
The full version in high def for those Moslems that missed it while sleeping. The movies is very offensive, luckily not all trillion true Moslems offended by it, just the fake ones on Alciada payroll. Here is the link:

September 18th, 2012, 6:23 pm


Observer said:

Freedom of speech is specifically for those ideas that are not mainstream and nice including vulgar and insulting.

The Quran says that if they ridicule the book then walk away and do not discuss or bring yourself to their level.

As a matter of fact Bret Stevens has a good op ed today in the WSJ about it

Here it is
Dow Jones Reprints: This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers, use the Order Reprints tool at the bottom of any article or visit

See a sample reprint in PDF format. Order a reprint of this article now GLOBAL VIEW Updated September 17, 2012, 7:13 p.m. ET Stephens: Muslims, Mormons and Liberals Why is it OK to mock one religion but not another?By BRET STEPHENSLike this columnist
Article Comments (397) more in Opinion | Find New $LINKTEXTFIND$ »
smaller Larger facebooktwittergoogle pluslinked ininShare25Email Print Save ↓ More
smaller Larger ‘Hasa Diga Eebowai” is the hit number in Broadway’s hit musical “The Book of Mormon,” which won nine Tony awards last year. What does the phrase mean? I can’t tell you, because it’s unprintable in a family newspaper.

On the other hand, if you can afford to shell out several hundred bucks for a seat, then you can watch a Mormon missionary get his holy book stuffed—well, I can’t tell you about that, either. Let’s just say it has New York City audiences roaring with laughter.

The “Book of Mormon”—a performance of which Hillary Clinton attended last year, without registering a complaint—comes to mind as the administration falls over itself denouncing “Innocence of Muslims.” This is a film that may or may not exist; whose makers are likely not who they say they are; whose actors claim to have known neither the plot nor purpose of the film; and which has never been seen by any member of the public except as a video clip on the Internet.

‘The Book of Mormon’ performed at New York’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre
No matter. The film, the administration says, is “hateful and offensive” (Susan Rice), “reprehensible and disgusting” (Jay Carney) and, in a twist, “disgusting and reprehensible” (Hillary Clinton). Mr. Carney, the White House spokesman, also lays sole blame on the film for inciting the riots that have swept the Muslim world and claimed the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff in Libya.

So let’s get this straight: In the consensus view of modern American liberalism, it is hilarious to mock Mormons and Mormonism but outrageous to mock Muslims and Islam. Why? Maybe it’s because nobody has ever been harmed, much less killed, making fun of Mormons.

Here’s what else we learned this week about the emerging liberal consensus: That it’s okay to denounce a movie you haven’t seen, which is like trashing a book you haven’t read. That it’s okay to give perp-walk treatment to the alleged—and no doubt terrified—maker of the film on legally flimsy and politically motivated grounds of parole violation. That it’s okay for the federal government publicly to call on Google to pull the video clip from YouTube in an attempt to mollify rampaging Islamists. That it’s okay to concede the fundamentalist premise that religious belief ought to be entitled to the highest possible degree of social deference—except when Mormons and sundry Christian rubes are concerned.

And, finally, this: That the most “progressive” administration in recent U.S. history will make no principled defense of free speech to a Muslim world that could stand hearing such a defense. After the debut of “The Book of Mormon” musical, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded with this statement: “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.”

That was it. The People’s Front for the Liberation of Provo will not be gunning for a theater near you. Is it asking too much of religious and political leaders in Muslim communities to adopt a similar attitude?

It needn’t be. A principled defense of free speech could start by quoting the Quran: “And it has already come down to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah [recited], they are denied [by them] and ridiculed; so do not sit with them until they enter into another conversation.” In this light, the true test of religious conviction is indifference, not susceptibility, to mockery.

The defense could add that a great religion surely cannot be goaded into frenetic mob violence on the slimmest provocation. Yet to watch the images coming out of Benghazi, Cairo, Tunis and Sana’a is to witness some significant portion of a civilization being transformed into Travis Bickle, the character Robert De Niro made unforgettable in Taxi Driver. “You talkin’ to me?”

A defense would also point out that an Islamic world that insists on a measure of religious respect needs also to offer that respect in turn. When Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi—the closest thing Sunni Islam has to a pope—praises Hitler for exacting “divine punishment” on the Jews, that respect isn’t exactly apparent. Nor has it been especially apparent in the waves of Islamist-instigated pogroms that have swept Egypt’s Coptic community in recent years.

Finally, it need be said that the whole purpose of free speech is to protect unpopular, heretical, vulgar and stupid views. So far, the Obama administration’s approach to free speech is that it’s fine so long as it’s cheap and exacts no political price. This is free speech as pizza.

President Obama came to office promising that he would start a new conversation with the Muslim world, one that lectured less and listened more. After nearly four years of listening, we can now hear more clearly where the U.S. stands in the estimation of that world: equally despised but considerably less feared. Just imagine what four more years of instinctive deference will do.

On the bright side, dear liberals, you’ll still be able to mock Mormons. They tend not to punch back, which is part of what makes so many of them so successful in life.

So Le Canard Enchaine is to publish more on Wednesday.

My thoughts are if it is freedom of speeche then it is universal and should include those that deny the holocaust and those that have hateful ideas about the Jews and not exempt them from this freedom to talk about them.

September 18th, 2012, 6:26 pm


Tara said:

Bye Bye Bushra.  How about Anisa?  

Assad’s sister has fled – report
Bushra al-Assad, the Syrian president’s sister, has fled the country according to “an informed source” cited by the Saudi-owned TV channel al-Arabiya. The Guardian is unable to confirm the report.

Bushra was married to Assef Shawkat, the intelligence chief who was among a group of key regime figures assassinated last July. Al-Arabiya says that following the death of her husband she became worried about her own safety and that of her children.

Opposition website reported on Sunday that Bushra had left Syria to Dubai, where she enrolled her children at school. The website, which is owned by opposition figure Ayman Abdulnoor, reported that Bushra had previously lived in the UAE during a brief rift with her brother, Bashar.

Pro-Syrian Lebanese Arabic daily newspaper, Ad-Diyar, had also reported that Bushra, a pharmacist, was preparing to travel to Dubai; but didn’t clarify if that would be her final destination.

The Syrian source, who spoke to al-Arabiya English on condition of anonymity, said Bushra had escaped Syria amid reports of “rising disputes” within the Alawite sect, to which the president and the vast majority of his powerful military, intelligence, and government figures belong.

The Guardian

September 18th, 2012, 6:27 pm


Observer said:

Sorry I meant to send the link only

Well the genie is out of the bottle. The regime wanted to play the 80’s card again and now it cannot control the situation.

Salehi proposal is time buying at present and the various opposition forces on the ground have an agenda that is different from everyone else and they will continue to fight.

All the talk is just talk.

Will he use chemical weapons? I think he will but the question to Dr. Landis and others under what scenario will the regime use chemical weapons?

Let us assume he will use the chemical card for the sake of arguing and I would like to see what people think about this eventuality.

September 18th, 2012, 6:31 pm


Roland said:

Astonishing how much more attention is given, by even non-US Western media, to the plight of the refugees from the Syrian civil war, compared to the scant regard given to the much larger numbers of people driven out of Iraq in the aftermath of the US invasion of that country.

September 18th, 2012, 6:37 pm


Roland said:

Not much to gain for the Syrian government side through the use of chemical weapons in the civil war. Sure, the rebels don’t have protective gear, and they lack adequate medical facilities for chem casualties, but nevertheless there’s way too much downside, even considered in the narrowest operational sense. Danger to friendly forces, logistical and mobility constraints imposed upon friendly forces by need to use their own chem protective gear, excessive civilian casualties–especially since the only agents whose use would be tactically worthwhile would be the persistent types of chemical.

If anything could give fresh impetus to foreign interventionism of all kinds, it would be verified reports of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government. As it stands, Western public will to intervene, never strong to begin with, is definitely flagging, despite the full media and academic orchestra being employed to rouse their globalist spirits. So why should the Syrian governments administer a whiff of salts?

The value of chemical weapons lies more in the credibility of their use in the event of a foreign intervention. That’s why the regime would let foreigners know that their troops are exercising chemwar procedures. A friendly reminder or public service message, as it were.

As I’ve often remarked, the most effective chemical weapons are seldom the toxic agents, but usually the high explosives and the incendiaries. Only under fairly narrow tactical conditions does toxic weapons use make sense.

September 18th, 2012, 6:57 pm


ann said:

Former State Dept. Veteran Drops Bombshell: WWIII Starts Sept. 25 –
September 18, 2012

Speaking with Infowars’ Alex Jones, former Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Dr. Steve Pieczenik says Israel plans to attack Iran before the U.S. elections of Nov. 6., and, that an attack on Iran will assuredly kickoff WWIII, according to him.

Moreover, Pieczenik, a man whose career inspired the character Jack Ryan of the Tom Clancy book series, says the ‘October Surprise’ will not take place in October. Instead, the big surprise will come earlier, in late September.

Dr. Pieczenik says the specific date of the strike on Iran is Sept. 25th or 26th, Yom Kippur—the Jewish holiday, which commences in the year 2012 at sundown on the 25th, and ends at nightfall, the following day.

“It [an Israeli attack on Iran] could be earlier than October, because we have Yom Kippur. And I predicted on your radio show, and I predicted to our national security people, privately, that Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu would start something on Rosh Hashanah,” says Pieczenick.

“This [prediction] was over a year ago, and I said it on your radio show. He was as predictable as a clock, and the Israelis will be very predictable, on Yom Kippur,” he adds.

Pieczenik says it’s clear to him that Israeli prime minister Bibi Netanyahu has already planned to attack Iran and has been desperately trying to enlist the U.S. to back him up. But, with or without U.S. direct help, Pieczenik is certain that Israel will attack Iran.

Moreover, he says Netanyahu is an extremest, who will “lie” for his personal and selfish cause, a conclusion also drawn by many Israelis who protest his regime.

“Everything Bibi is saying to the Americans and the American Jews is an absolute, unmitigated lie,” Pieczenik, a Jew, himself, says forcefully,

“What we have here is a collusion between Saudi Arabia, neocon Jews of America and Israel, against a president, who, whether I like or dislike, and may have lied about Osama Bin Laden,” he adds, “he [President Obama] is the son . . . a son of a CIA operative, the grandson of a CIA operative, who understands very well what the issues of intelligence are.”

With help from his neocon friends, Netanyahu threatens the entire world with the suicidal notion that Iran must be attacked, and the Israeli prime minister must be stopped, even if it means assassination, according to Pieczenik

“In a couple of weeks, they [Israel, Saudi and neocons] will try to initiate another war, unless their ex-Mossad operatives and their ex-Shin Bet will take out Netanyahu, and do to Netanyahu what happened to Rabin,” exclaims Pieczenik. “They know what I’m talking about. Otherwise he will bring down Israel, the world, and there will be a third world war.”

He also says, “What we are, is [sic] at the brink of war, that is being precipitated by two major countries. That is, Israel, particularly Bibi Netanyahu, who knows his country is failing economically, socially, politically.” And the other country is “Saudi Arabia.”

Pieczenik says the Israelis, Saudis and neocons were behind the 9-11 attacks, an accusation also made some years ago by many researchers of the incident. Once considered a crazy idea forwarded by some ‘conspiracy theorists’, who seek to see a conspiracy in every major world event, the conspiracy theorists have been mostly vilified, though no reinvestigation of the 9-11 incident has been seriously proposed by any member of Congress.

Today, the ‘conspiracy theory’, or ‘inside job’ theory, appears to be much, much closer to ‘fact’ than the account of that day was published through the official Congressional report of 9-11, giving rise to a strong possibility of a Mossad, Saudi and neocon conspiracy to carryout a false-flag attack on the United States and blame the crime on Osama bin Laden, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Given evidence of Mossad’s checkered past and involvement with the attack of the USS Liberty on Jun. 8, 1967, killing 34 American soldiers, Pieczenik comments won’t be received as a big surprise to many Americans.

I want Netanyahu to “begin telling the truth, that the involvement of Israel was, in 9-11” says Pieczenik. “Over 134 Mossad operatives were picked up on 9-11. The FBI picked them up [and] debriefed them. They were clearly involved with the Pakistani ISI and Saudi Arabian intelligence” on 9-11.

And, as far as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Steven: he was murdered by the Israeli, Saudi Arabia and Zionist neocons cabal, according to Pieczenik.

“The killing of the ambassador is to precipitate war, so that Israel can finally get into Iran and try to destroy Iran,” he says. “It will be the beginning of the end of Israel. It’s Armageddon for Israel,” if it attacks Iran.

“The Pentagon source informed me the distance between the Libyan embassy, where the ambassador was, and where the rioters were, was so large, and two days of delay in response . . ., simply that they [the killers of Stevens and three other embassy employees] were professionals ready to take out our ambassador,” he adds, and with the “approval from Saudi Arabia.”

Adding to Saudi Arabia’s involvement of the two-plane demolition job in NY City, the crash of another alleged plane into the Pentagon, and the alleged downing of another plane into the woodlands of Pennsylvania, he says, “Saudi Arabia and Israel are twins. . . . There’s no way you can separate Israel from Saudi Arabia, or Saudi Arabia from Israel. They go back all the way to 9-11.”

Then the subject of the killing of alleged mastermind of 9-11, Osama bin Laden. According to Pieczenik, the account of Navy Seal Admiral William McRaven and President Obama regarding bin Laden’s death in Pakistan is another unmitigated “lie.”

“Then we get to the issue of Osama Bin Laden, which Obama said incorrectly and lied to the public that Osama Bin Laden was killed by Seal Team 6,” states Pieczenik. “Admiral McRaven had lied, repeatedly—unfortunately, a decent admiral, but for whatever reason he repeatedly insisted on saying Seal Team 6 killed Osama Bin Laden.”

Pieczenik says Bin Laden had already been dead, and McRaven had known that.

And the names that came out of 9-11 unofficial investigation are, what Pieczenik calls, the “neocon chicken hawks” of “Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams and Michael Chertoff.”

He adds, “Chernoff, the Chernoff Group, which is nothing more than a cover for the CIA and FBI, run by Charles Allen, a former CIA operative.”

Moreover, U.S. intelligence was behind the uprising in Libya, the assassination of Libyan president Muammar al-Gaddafi, and the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, according to Pieczenik.

“Why this particular ambassador,” Pieczenik asks, rhetorically. “I think it’s very important for your audience to understand . . . Stevens was an ‘Arabist’. . . ”


September 18th, 2012, 7:15 pm


ann said:

Syria Says Turkey Allows al-Qaida to Cross its Borders – September 18th, 2012

DAMASCUS, Syria (Associated Press)—Syria accused Turkey Sunday of allowing thousands of Muslim extremists to cross into its territory, as the government and opposition said an explosion killed at least seven and cut off a main road leading south from the capital.

In letters to the U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Syria’s Foreign Ministry said Turkey allowed “thousands of al-Qaida, Takfiri and Wahhabi terrorists” access to the country in order to “kill innocent Syrians, blow up their properties and spread chaos and destruction.”

Syrian authorities blame the anti-government uprising that began in March last year on a foreign conspiracy and accuse Gulf countries Saudi Arabia and Qatar, along with the U.S, other Western countries and Turkey, of offering funding and training to the rebels, whom they describe as “terrorists.”

UN Confirms ‘Terrorists’ Operating in Syria

An increasing number of “foreign elements” including jihadist are operating in Syria, an independent U.N. panel confirmed yesterday in its first report to say that outside “terrorists” have joined a war spiraling out of control.


September 18th, 2012, 8:03 pm


Norman said:

It is sad, but apparently the migration and the concentration of people depending on their ethnic and religious background has started, The destruction of the Christian areas probably was planned to force their migration so they do not have homes o come back to.we are probably seeing the early steps to divide Syria.

September 18th, 2012, 8:45 pm


Ghufran said:

The middlemen of the two countries operate out of Turkey, the regional military power. Ankara has been quite public with its denunciation of Assad even as it denies any involvement in shuffling weapons across the border to Syrian rebels. It claims its territory is not being used to do so. And yet, as TIME reported in June, a secretive group operates something like a command center in Istanbul, directing the distribution of vital military supplies believed to be provided by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and transported with the help of Turkish intelligence to the Syrian border and then to the rebels. Further reporting has revealed more details of the operation, the politics and favoritism that undermine the task of creating a unified rebel force out of the wide array of groups trying to topple the Assad regime.
Comment: that was from the Guardian. I do not know how much of that is true but the two countries,especially Qatar, are not likely to change their behavior until they start seeing the consequences of their destructive meddling in Syrian affairs.

September 18th, 2012, 8:50 pm


Ghufran said:

دمشق – أعلنت وكالة الانباء السورية ان الحكومة السورية لن تتمكن من ارسال سوريين هذه السنة لتأدية فريضة الحج في مكة المكرمة بالسعودية، بسبب عدم وجود اتفاق مع الرياض.
KSA will probably come with a lame excuse to justify this unfortunate outcome, the most likely explanation is Saudi fears of an influx of refugees and a presumed infiltration of regime agents.

September 18th, 2012, 9:21 pm


mjabali said:

Uzair0 said:

“So Alawites and Christians are heading for Lebanon or the coast.
So much for the regime restoring security.”

So a Pakistani like you is sticking his nose into the Syrian Alawite and Syrsian Christian business: dude did you meet any Alawis in your miserable life so far?

September 18th, 2012, 9:24 pm


mjabali said:

Mr. Ben Franklin:

At the end of the day you are a defender of the sect your parents grow you up to be… what you say is bullsh—t

When you make sense come and talk to me in French if you want.. تلحس

September 18th, 2012, 9:28 pm


mjabali said:


So a self confessed coward like you want to confront sects of Syria…Dude go to hell…….

September 18th, 2012, 9:45 pm


ann said:

Moscow forces U.S. to close down its aid mission in Russia – Tue Sep 18, 2012

* McCain blasts Russian decision as ‘insult to the United States’

September 18th, 2012, 9:47 pm


Ghufran said:

أفاد مصدر خليجي رفيع المستوى، بأن السعودية تعمل على خفض أسعار النفط، وأن غالبية الدول الأعضاء في منظمة “أوبك”، تريد أن تبقي الأسعار حول مستوى 100 دولار للبرميل.
وأضاف المصدر، أن المملكة تنتج حالياً نحو عشرة ملايين برميل يومياً.
Buying love with money BLWM

September 18th, 2012, 9:55 pm


Visitor said:

Baggage of Damascus (aka SOD) # 58 from previous post,

As you may well know I am short on time this week to give you the attention that you seek as I mentioned in this comment # 597,

So you have to bear with me as I can only read SC and respond from the hotel.

Nevertheless, as I promised I will ensure that you get properly leashed as you deserve and desire.   Never mind that your comment 58 of previous post is setting the ground for your escape from a catch 22 you put yourself in.  There will be no escape and a leash will leash you no matter what.

As for your nonsense about the age thing, I assure you that  I am not seeking a bride here on SC.  But have no doubt in your mind that I will be the one to enjoy Syria’s future when you and your micro brain has been drunk away and you finally join your Khayyam buddy in the dark world, I will be around in a Syria which will be free of both despots the Baggage generation.
Tik Tok away.

But, let’s do different kind of math.   I actually measure life not by the number of years one spends on this earth.  I measure it in milestones and accomplishments.  In your case compared to mine, one life span for you will not be enough to come close to even begin to make comparisons, You will have to find means to snuggle-in back into the womb of your mother, incubate for another nine months, come out and live another full life span to achieve only 5% to make the comparison expressible in some meaningful manner.

And when I read that theme in your comment about the worst generation that Syria ever witnessed, I asked myself where did this theme appear first on SC.  Lo and behold,  I didn’t have to look far away until I found that I was the first that made the theme here on SC when other  Baggages were at a loss to explain the current Syrian dilemma.  I made the following two comments at the indicated links clearly expressing for the first time on this board the shortcomings of the unfortunate generation.  So now you imitate me. I take that as flattery.

“5. VISITOR said:

Corruption goes back to the very first day this abomination of regime was born. It is wrong to narrow the causes to mistakes perceived to have been committed only in more recent years.

This is a regime that should have never been born in the first place to begin with. It is a pitch black dot in the history of Syria that will take years to erase even after the regime has fallen. Nothing in the history of mankind compares to this delinquency except the Nazi years of Germany of the last century.

Syrians are to blame first and foremost for being complacent all these years allowing this abhorrence to take roots. Having done exactly that, the Syrians are now facing the horrendous task of reversing the disastrous consequences of their complacency.

Blame not others but the complacent.”

And the link is,

And also this,

“16. VISITOR said:

I tried to open the link to Amal Hanano’s piece, The Womb of Murder which appeared recently in alayyam, but I received a message ‘server not found’. It appears there might have been be a deliberate attempt by regimists to conceal the information once again as Hafez did 47 years ago.

This is a very important historical eyewitness account of events that convey messages of existential importance as it relates to human destiny, fate and social upheavals and struggles. It will become a milestone worthy of committing to memory for generations to come, so that those who come after us will avoid the pitfalls of those who preceded them.

I made a search and found another link and stored a copy of the article. The new link is at

I suggest you do likewise and preserve a copy from this link for your posterity to keep the lesson alive, before another attempt is made to shut down the new link(s).”

And the link is,

Now back to business and see you in another week for further leashing.


Irritated  86 from previous post,

You are out of the race, man.  What are you doing here?  Did I not show you the difference between actual drone and drone-like?  How are you doing with your comprehension deficiencies?


Antoine 72 from previous post,

I am not rude except as a response to a rude comment.  You can go back and check.  BOD (Aka SOD) deserves everything he got.

I still do not see what positive things people like him can offer to the revolution.  My thoughts tell me that the only things they can offer are the negatives.  Remember what I said about those so-called peace-niks-turned-revolutionaries are actually calling for the creation of another generation of ‘Palestinian’ refugees.

September 18th, 2012, 10:04 pm


Ghufran said:

ما زالت الهدنة التي أعلن عنها في مدينة قدسيا منذ عيد الفطر صامدة باستثناء خروقات لا تذكر، و قطعت مدينة عربين شوطا لتنفيذ هدنة مماثلة على حين تبذل جهود مكثفة لتحقيق هدنة بين الحيين الشرقي والغربي في مدينة المعضمية
It remains to be seen if this new approach brings results. Anything that reduces bloodshed must be seen as a victory for all,people need to keep their pride aside.

September 18th, 2012, 10:04 pm


ann said:

“BOOM” The video you’ve all been waiting for!

September 18th, 2012, 10:06 pm


zoo said:

Frontline on Syria: The Syrian ‘revolution’ according to a Guardian journalist on ground in Aleppo, Joshua Landis and the SNC.

The government version is conspiciously absent from this program.

September 18th, 2012, 11:10 pm


zoo said:


“Saudi fears of an influx of refugees”
Touché !

September 18th, 2012, 11:12 pm


irritated said:

Sandro Loewe

Jump in! You have been expressing the desire of killing Bashar Al Assad for far too long. Now is the time, you’ll get some money too!

September 18th, 2012, 11:19 pm


ann said:

Beijing demonstrators damage US ambassador’s car – 59 mins ago

The statement said around 50 protesters surrounded Locke’s car as he tried to enter the embassy and were eventually removed by Chinese security personnel.

The incident comes amid heightened vigilance for American diplomats following violent attacks on U.S. embassies in Libya, Yemen and Egypt. The statement said embassy officials have asked the Chinese government to do everything possible to protect American facilities and personnel.


September 18th, 2012, 11:23 pm


ann said:

Syrian rebels pushed back – Sep 19, 2012

Lebanese border guards on Tuesday thwarted an attempt by a group of Syrian opposition fighters to sneak their way into the country.

According to a report by the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, a 150-strong Syrian unit was engaged by a mechanized patrol of the Lebanese army at Djuroud-Ersal, some 500 meters away from the border.

After an hour-long shootout, the rebels were forced to turn back.


September 18th, 2012, 11:41 pm


Ghufran said:

أعلنت كتائب المعتصم بالله التابعة للجيش الحر أنها إقتحمت قاعدة صواريخ تابعة للفرقة 24 دفاع جوي الواقعة بين بلدتي الطيبة و كحيل في محافظة درعا، رداً على العملية العسكرية في منطقة اللجاة ، بحسب بيان نشر على
موقع فيس بوك.
و أوضح البيان أن الكتائب تمكنت من تدمير 23 صاروخ سام 6، بعد أن تمكنت من قتل 15 جنديا من الجيش النظامي ، مشيرة إلى أنها “أسرت” قائد الكتيبة و ضابط بالإضافة إلى 23 جنديا.
So, how would destroying surface -air missiles could help the revolution or protect civilians?

September 18th, 2012, 11:42 pm


ann said:

EU invites Lavrov for ‘substantial’ Syria talks
BRUSSELS European Union foreign ministers have invited Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for “substantial” talks next month on the situation in Syria, EU diplomats said on Tuesday, even as battle raged between government forces and rebels near a Turkish border crossing and across the country.

In another bid to stem the bloodshed, Iran’s foreign minister proposed a new regional monitoring mission ahead of talks with President Bashar Al Assad in Damascus on Wednesday, Iranian state media said. Two previous missions have collapsed.

Lavrov is to dine with the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers on October 14, the eve of ministerial talks in Luxembourg expected to focus largely on Syria.

“The idea is to have a general political dialogue,” one source said.

“We will invite Lavrov for a substantial discussion,” said another. “There is a healthy dialogue these days with Russia.”


September 18th, 2012, 11:49 pm


jna said:

Journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad interviewed by PBS. A long interview, selection below on Iraq.

ABDUL-AHAD: Yes. Of course I spend time in Iraq. You know, one thing you do when – and I think I was very lucky in – in that is, I looked at Iraq as, you know, as an outside experience. I was Iraqi. I grew up in Iraq all my life. I’m Iraqi. I speak the language. But when I covered Iraq, I tried to do it as a foreigner covering a foreign country. I – otherwise, you know, I would be too passionate. I would be too angry. I would be too frustrated, and I will just – I won’t be able to do it.

So I tried to see it as a different country, as a foreign country, as what happens to the people when their country is occupied, when the fighting happens in the streets and when a regime like this is installed. So I think Iraq now is in a very, very bad place. It’s a mafia state. It’s ruled by, you know, by a very, very corrupt mafia.

And I don’t mean only the prime minister and his party. I mean even the opposition are no better. Everyone is corrupt. You have this clique of politicians, army generals, their bodyguards, their militia commanders who have total monopoly on the state, the wealth of the state.

I mean, we’re talking about a country with a budget of $100 billion in the past few years, yet when you drive in the streets of Bagdad, it’s the same miserable, it’s the same festering garbage, the same sewage overflowing in the street. The corruption is massive. There is no state of law, you know. No one is immune.

You can be detained in the street, tortured, captured, interrogated. You confess to whatever crime they tell you to confess, and then your family has to pay a huge bribe to get you released. So it’s a horrible state. I’m more scared when I cover Iraq than I am, you know, in Syria or in Libya.

September 18th, 2012, 11:51 pm


zoo said:

Turkish economy heading down

As concerns over Turkish economic growth pile up after yesterday’s data on power-engine sectors, the Central Bank eases its policy with a ‘radical’ interest rate move.

Amid fresh pessimistic data from the two engines of the country’s economy — the automotive and construction industries — Turkey’s Central Bank has pushed its interest rate corridor downwards, in a move expected to support growth while risking a boom in loan volume.
The Turkish economy grew an impressive 8.5 percent last year, but many economists speculate that the government will not be able to reach its growth target of at least 4 percent of GDP this year, and Cabinet ministers have already spoken of it being missed slightly. The economy grew 2.9 percent in the second quarter of this year, which was below market expectations.

September 18th, 2012, 11:52 pm


zoo said:

Saudi Arabia remains passive….

Turkish lawyers seek sentence for film crew

Two Turkish lawyers filed an official complaint Sept. 17 against the producer and director of the movie “The Innocence of Muslims,” which has sparked violent protests across the Muslim world.

September 19th, 2012, 12:01 am


ann said:

Chaos turns Syria into paradise for kidnapper – 19 September 2012

BEIRUT: Every time violence intensifies in Syria, so do abductions of civilians, for political reasons and more often for financial gain, activists and families of hostages say.

The plight of hundreds of people abducted over the past 18 months of conflict has prompted a group of activists to set up a Facebook page entitled “Missing” where pictures of men, women and children are posted by anxious relatives.

“Our sister, Taghrid Arnus, is missing, please call this number,” reads one of the messages posted on the Internet site.

“If you have any information on any of the missing, please send a message to this page,” says another message.

“Life has become very cheap in Syria.” Abu Ahmad, 66, was kidnapped one night in mid-August while he was on his way home from work in Damascus.

“He has a good job,” his son Ahmad told AFP. “That’s why they went after him.

“We received a phone call. A man from the Popular Committees demanded $75,000 for baba,” said Ahmad.

“I told him I wouldn’t be able to pay up. We are lucky he got out alive.” Ahmad said his father was not beaten by his kidnappers, “but he heard them rape a girl held in the next room. They kept my father for nine days.

“In the end, they let him out for $15,000. They just wanted any money they could get their hands on,” said Ahmad, adding that his father was traumatised by the experience.

Thousands of others haven’t been so fortunate, and remain missing.

Some hostages are allegedly held in captivity by a man known as Abu Ibrahim who hails from from the town of Aazaz in the northern province of Aleppo.

In the Aleppo countryside, where entire towns and villages have fallen into rebel hands, there has been an increase in tit-for-tat kidnappings — not only for money, but also for ammunition, residents say.

Residents of the mostly Shiite of Zahraa and Nabul claim that more than 100 of their relatives were abducted by rebels, who demanded 1,500 bullets in exchange for the safe return of each of their loved ones.


September 19th, 2012, 12:06 am


zoo said:

The Moslem quartet hampered by rivalry for leadership of the Muslim world

Quartet’s chances for Syria peace may be bleak

Michael Theodoulou
Sep 19, 2012
Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the Al Quds Al-Arabi daily newspaper, based in London, said Mr Morsi had undermined his own diplomatic drive by repeatedly calling for Mr Al Assad’s removal.

“A mediator should not take such a strong line … this ended his [Morsi’s] initiative when it was just an embryo,” Mr Atwan said.

Western diplomats have been sceptical that the quartet can reach any tangible deal on defusing the crisis, citing visceral distrust between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran.

But independent analysts said the quartet’s main problem was rivalry for leadership of the Islamic world between Saudi Arabia and a newly assertive Egypt.

“The Saudis never welcomed this quartet committee because it was always a competition for leadership between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as between Turkey and Iran,” Mr Atwan said. “You have four Muslim nations competing for leadership of the Muslim world.”

September 19th, 2012, 12:16 am


zoo said:

Ultimately, the Moslem quartet will do as the colonial western countries did in the Arab world: Agree to assign to each one its exclusive region of influence.

September 19th, 2012, 12:21 am


Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

The number of activists behind bars has exceeded 216,000 (11/9/12) according to one of the committees (Darayya) keeping track.

“I’m not just a number among the 216,000 in your prisons…”

September 19th, 2012, 12:22 am


Johannes de Silentio said:

48 Zoo

“Moslem quartet will do as the colonial western countries did in the Arab world: agree to assign to each one its exclusive region of influence”

Actually, it would be more like what Alexander the Great did: assign each one of his generals an exclusive region of influence. Oh wait, I forgot that we Syrians are ignorant of any event that occurred prior to the Muslim invasion.

Never mind.

September 19th, 2012, 1:40 am


Antoine said:

“6. Juergen said:

25 Million Dollar reward for Assad, dead or alive”


I prefer dead. Though I wouldn’t mind if they brought him before me alive, hands and feet bound.

September 19th, 2012, 1:40 am


Antoine said:

Yesterday a number of border checkpoints, customs centres were taken over by FSA in al-Raqqah :

September 19th, 2012, 2:04 am


Antoine said:

FSA in control of regime checkpoint on highway, amid dead bodies of tens of shabbihas and incompetent Assadist soldiers strewn all over the place :

Video of the operation and fighting :

September 19th, 2012, 2:09 am


Antoine said:


, after 2005 there was massive imbalance between Jabal Mohsen and Bab al Tabbaneh. Mohsen received many large stockpiles of weapons from the retreating Syrian Army including heavy weapons like Mortars, Dushkas,etc. which allowed them to tip the balance against Bab al tabbaneh. But recently they have lost that edge as they have started to run out of ammunition and Bashar told them to fend for themsleves as he is too busy in Syria.

Anyway it is a known fact, that the last time fighting erupted after Eid in August, Jabal Mohsen ran out of ammunition and the Lebanese Army had to come to protect them. In fact Bab al Tabbaneh fighters have declared that they can go on fighting but it is Jabal Mohsen which is demanding a ceasefire.

Anyway Jabal Mohsen will fall once Damascus falls, that is a certainty. Can you imagine what will happen once 100 to 150 battle-hardened fighters from FSA Farouk Battallion joins the fight in Tripoli ?

Also the first time any serious fighting erupted between the 2 was in 2008.

Hezbollah took exactly 22 years ( 1978-2000) to take back the “security zone” of South Lebanon from the SLA and IDF. And lets not forget SLA had only 8,000 fighters whereas Hezbollah had more than 50,000 fighters. Still it took them exactly 22 years to liberate their own lands.

September 19th, 2012, 2:35 am


Antoine said:

FSA ferocious female fighter :

September 19th, 2012, 2:51 am


habib said:

34. ann said

Lool, better than Raid or Pif Paf! And funny how the emotional description says “They were fathers and brothers.”. Oh, I bet they’re the only ones!

56. Antoine

… Whereas the Salafists receive weapons from the Gulf and the US. Salafists are no good for fighting man to man, just to blow themselves and civilians up. That’s what we’re seeing all over the world, and why they can’t win in Syria or Lebanon.

Hamas are useless to kill anything but civilians. Al-Qaeda kills civilians in the US and Europe.

Onthe other hand, Hezbollah kills Israeli and American soldiers on their own ground.

September 19th, 2012, 5:07 am


annie said:

Bushra al-Assad, sister of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has fled Syria with her children, an informed source told Al Arabiya English on Tuesday. Her husband, Assef Shawqat, who was the deputy chief of staff of the Syrian military, was assassinated in July.

According to the opposition website, Bushra left Syria to Dubai. Apparently she fled to the UAE in the past, during a short family quarrel with her brother, Bashar.

The pro-Syrian Lebanese daily Ad-Diyar reported that Bushra, a pharmacist, was on her way to Dubai, but didn’t specify whether it would be her final destination.

According to Al Arabiya, Bushra escaped Syria amid reports of internal strife within the Alawite sect, to which the president and most of the military, intelligence, and government leadership belong.

After the assassination of her husband, Bushra expressed great anxiety about her own and her children’s safety. A recent palace “quasi-coup” within the ranks of the Alawite leadership has driven Bushra to flee Syria.

According to Ad-Diyar, “some Alawite leaders are worried that the whole sect would eventually be implicated by President Assad in crimes against civilians,” and this has turned some of them against him. It appears that a “front of Alawite officers” has been formed to negotiate with the rebels’ Free Syrian Army on overthrowing the president. full article :

September 19th, 2012, 7:02 am



Bushra Al assad is a coward and a traitor to the Grat Syrian Arab Assad´s Nation.

Bushra should be besides Bashar eating snakes as a Presidential Female Fighter.

Bushra you will be caught even if you hide in Dubai. Your two daughters will bear the name of a high rank criminal who probably tried to make a coup d´etat against the President and this is why he was killed by Bashar´Iranian Guard.

September 19th, 2012, 7:44 am



I remember when Bushra´s little daughters atended at The Pioneers School and later it was called Al Bashaeir in honour of the Great Godess Sister. They have stolen huge amounts of money that cannot be tracked and are invested in Dubai. This is the way the Assad Great Arab Nationalists act. They are worse than jewish nationalists. These 2 little girls I personally knew will inherit huge amounts of money stolen from the syrian people taxes.

September 19th, 2012, 8:05 am


Uzair8 said:


I will respectfully ignore the unjustified but understandable emotional outburst.

September 19th, 2012, 9:16 am


irritated said:

@59. annie

Do you read SC posts or just post without reading what the others wrote?
Or maybe in the absence of any “good news”, I guess it is good to keep repeating the old ones

This was reported yesterday by Tara. It’s an old Al Arabya news.

September 19th, 2012, 9:48 am


zoo said:

The cost of hate and racist ‘free speech’ in France

France to close premises in 20 countries over Mohammad cartoons

PARIS, (Reuters) – France said it would temporarily close its embassies and schools in 20 countries on Friday after a French magazine published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, a move it fears will further inflame tensions over a film mocking the prophet.

“We have indeed decided as a precautionary measure to close our premises, embassies, consulates, cultural centres and schools,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said of the shut-down on Friday, prayer day across the Muslim world.

September 19th, 2012, 9:51 am


Tara said:


Wallahi ya Irritated you are not being fair..your freind Ann re-posts everything. Not only the ones that Zoo links but her own too. I excuse her most of the time because it appears that reading goes against her principals.

On a light note, I found a solution for irritable mood, try peanut butter sandwich on toast. It helps but avoid wt gain. 😉

September 19th, 2012, 10:03 am


zoo said:

Middle East protests: meet the hardline ‘tele-Islamist’ who brought anti-Islam film to Muslim world’s attention

The violent protests over a new film insulting Islam has highlighted two conflicting new visions emerging in the post-Arab Spring world

By Nick Meo, Cairo and Colin Freeman
7:09PM BST 15 Sep 2012

His inflammatory chat show on satellite television has long prided itself on baiting liberals, Christians and Jews, but last week saw Sheikh Khalid Abdullah stage the broadcasting controversy of a lifetime.

The rabble-rousing Egyptian tele-Islamist knew he had found a ratings-grabber when he found an obscure, badly-made film on the internet called the Innocence of Muslims.

It had actually been online since July, but nobody had paid attention to its crude libels against the Prophet Mohammed until Mr Abdullah’s show broadcast clips from it last weekend, calling for the film-makers to be executed.

Within hours the hardline Salafi Islamists who watch his programme, and who have been growing in strength since last year’s revolution, were demonstrating in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and outside the US embassy, which they stormed on Tuesday, burning the US flag.

September 19th, 2012, 10:11 am


irritated said:

65. Tara

Calamity Annie comes occasionally from behind the wall to throw at us copies from one of the most boring Blog on the net.
Peanut butter is far too American for me, it would irritate me even more.
I would suggest you to use دبس خروب it is very efficient for all kind of ailments you may suffer, including anger and frustration.
I guess you should reserve you wt advices to your Qatari idol.

September 19th, 2012, 10:24 am


Tara said:


can’t stop smiling. I expected every word you said. Next time I will suggest an authentic Damascene treatment..

September 19th, 2012, 10:44 am


zoo said:

Russia Threatens To Block All YouTube Access Over Anti-Muslim Film


MOSCOW – The General Prosecutor’s Office has filed a suit to declare the recent anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” extremist, which could lead to the blocking of YouTube across all of Russia by November, Kommersant reports.

A new law meant to protect children from exposure to information that will “interfere with their health or development,” including information that is extremist in any way will come into force on November 1. If the film is declared extremist and Google does not block access to the film, YouTube will be added to a black list and will not be accessible from inside Russia, Kommersant reports.

Google has already announced that it will not delete the film. However, it has restricted access to the film in India and Indonesia and has blocked the video from being shown in Egypt and Libya. The Russian prosecutor “strongly recommended” that Google block access to the film in Russia before the court makes a decision. Google’s headquarters in Russia refused to comment on the case.

September 19th, 2012, 10:50 am


ann said:

France’s Cynical Range from Hollande at Louvre to Araud in Council

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 18 — The range of French governmental spin about xenophobia and Islam has been displayed in the last week.

Today in Paris president Francois Hollande pledged love to Islamic art, at an opening at the Louvre.

Later, one step down, foreign minister Laurent Fabius condemned the publication Charlie Hebdo, but noted that there are in France legal protections from freedom of the press.

But at the UN last week, French ambassador Gerard Araud let it all hang out, multiple Security Council sources have told Inner City Press.

During a closed-door discussion last week of a draft press statement on the killing of US diplomats in Benghazi against a backdrop of protests of an anti-Islam film, Araud said, as paraphrased to Inner City Press by four Council diplomats, that he likes and takes pride in the freedom to denigrate religion.

One Security Council member told Inner City Press this was “outrageous” and “incitement.”

Another told Inner City Press, but then France should at least be consistent in being for free speech, because there are some kinds of speech they do not allow.

A third questioned how much this reflects the position of France under Francois Hollande, as opposed to Nicolas Sarkozy, and how much it is “Araud, pure Araud.”

We noted that France has positioned itself with the opposition in Libya, particularly in Benghazi then air dropping weapons into the Nafusa mountains, and now in Syria, where even the founder of MSF from Paris has said half of the fighters he treated in Aleppo were, to put it diplomatically, armed opponents of such films.

Is French policy in this regard schizophrenic? Or is it simply cynical?

September 19th, 2012, 11:16 am


zoo said:

France trapped in its double standard may loose what is left of its fading importance in the Middle East

Arab League urges restraint over Prophet cartoon

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 6:43 PM

Muslim and Arab leaders on Wednesday denounced cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a French magazine as another insult to their faith but urged people to shun a violent reaction and to protest peacefully.

The cartoons, featured in the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, showed an Orthodox Jew pushing a turbaned figure in a wheelchair on its cover. Several caricatures of the Prophet were included on its inside pages, including some of him naked.

The Arab League appealed to Muslims offended by the cartoons to “use peaceful means to express their firm rejection.”

The acting head of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Essam Erian, said the French judiciary should deal with the issue as firmly as it had handled the case against the magazine which published topless pictures of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Prince William.

“If the case of Kate (the duchess) is a matter of privacy, then the cartoons are an insult to a whole people. The beliefs of others must be respected,” he said.

Mahmoud Ghozlan, spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, welcomed French government criticism of the cartoons but said that French law should deal with insults against Islam in the same way as it deals with Holocaust denial.

“If anyone doubts the Holocaust happened, they are imprisoned, yet if anyone insults the Prophet, his companions or Islam, the most (France) does is to apologise in two words. It is not fair or logical,” he said.

September 19th, 2012, 11:42 am


Observer said:

I am stunned at the language and the tone and the content of what Majbali had to say.

Can someone explain to me what brought about the temper tantrum?

I liked what ANN had said in a previous post:
” 12% of the Syrian Population is Allawi the remaining 88% are sheep” A glimpse to her mind set as the posts are usually nothing more than obscure cut and paste of irrelevance. I am glad she/he has a mind. For the cut and paste was mind numbing to begin with.

Sheep to be ruled, slaughtered, sheered, milked, I wonder.

SC is better as moderation has actually prevented some free speech, and free speech can be hateful and racist and deragotary and whatever.

September 19th, 2012, 12:57 pm


Citizen said:

Israel just mobilized a large military force to the border with Syria. This supports speculation that an attack is planned on Syria followed by a faked “retaliation” by Iran to set the stage for all out war.

Israel launches largest ever “surprise” or “snap” live fire drill…..

The timing of this live fire “snap” drill should indicate this is no ‘snap’ drill. Nor is it a “surprise” drill, despite the silly headlines used by the media. When considering the timing and location of Israel’s live fire drill and how very provocative the undertaking of this drill by Israel is, consider this- 25 Nations Practice War Against Iran

Israeli defence officials say the military is conducting its largest snap drill in years. The exercise comes against the backdrop of tensions with Iran and the civil war in Syria.

A military spokesman says Wednesday’s drill under way in northern and central Israel is a planned, routine event.

But other officials say the exercise is unique in terms of number of soldiers and senior officers involved. Part of the exercise is in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights next to Syria.

September 19th, 2012, 1:04 pm


ann said:

Another Tactical Retreat To Paradise 🙂

Street fighting ongoing in Syria, rebels retreat from restive district of capital – 2012-09-19

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebel fighters announced Wednesday morning their retreat from the Damascus’ suburbs of al-Hajar al-Aswad, al-Qadam and al-A’sali in Damascus after weeks of violent clashes with government forces.

DAMASCUS, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — The clashes between the Syrian troops and the opposition fighters continued Wednesday in several hotspots in the unrest-stricken country, reports said, as activists claimed the armed rebels have pulled out from districts of the capital Damascus.

Syria’s state news agency SANA said the Syrian army carried out two qualitative operations at the Maisalon and al-Fardous areas in the northern city of Aleppo, killing many armed “terrorists” and destroying three buses occupied by “terrorists.”

Meanwhile, two explosive devices ripped through Damascus’ suburb of Qudsia near a high-school but leaving no human losses, said SANA.

Also in Damascus’ suburb, the Syrian troops have dealt “harsh blows” to the armed opposition fighters at al-Hajar al-Aswad area, killing and injuring a number of them, and the troops managed to ” purge” some parts of the restive district from insurgents, according to SANA.

Quoting a military source, SANA said the armed groups used all kind of weapons in their fighting against the government troops. The source also stressed that the forces will continue their operations to cleanse all Damascus’ suburbs from the armed insurgents.


September 19th, 2012, 1:14 pm


Tara said:


“Can someone explain to me what brought about the temper tantrum?”

Upbringing. Resorting to insult and vulgarity is usually a reflection of one’s own culture at home. That is how their family talks. I suspect they use the same exact words. It is their culture.

September 19th, 2012, 1:19 pm


ann said:

Surprise drill: IDF gets ready for war – 19 September, 2012

The Israeli Invasion Force has begun surprise live-fire war games on the Golan Heights, bordering unstable Lebanon and Syria. Officially, the Israeli military is practicing combat readiness to repel possible sudden attack from Lebanon-based Hezbollah.

The Chief of IDF General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz ordered troops from the Northern and Central commands, reinforced by reservists, to simulate an emergency. The IDF insists the drill is a routine scheduled event, but for unknown reasons withheld from making public how many troops and what military vehicles are being involved in the war games.

But Israel Radio’s military affairs correspondent who is in regular contact with senior officers, said on air that the timing of the exercise was “not mere coincidence.”

Troops were flown by helicopter from central Israel to the Golan Heights for the exercise.

The live fire drill will be conducted later in the evening and will be overseen by the IDF’s Chief Artillery Officer, Brig. Gen. Roei Riftin.


September 19th, 2012, 1:26 pm


Citizen said:

“What do we have to do with Syria?” he said. “The prime minister and his wife used to go there for tea and coffee.”

The Turkish government is facing a spasm of reproach from its own people over its policy of supporting Syria’s uprising; hosting fighters in the south, opposition figures in Istanbul and refugees on the border; and helping to ferry arms to the opposition. While many Turks at first supported the policy as a stand for democracy and change, many now believe that it is leading to instability at home, undermining Turkey’s own economy and security.

September 19th, 2012, 1:32 pm


Citizen said:
Mitt Romney on the Mideast Conflict

September 19th, 2012, 1:44 pm


ann said:

Archbishop Choloyan: Syrian-Armenian Community in Danger, HELP Required – September 19, 2012

To contribute to the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund, make your checks payable to the “Armenian Apostolic Church of America,” noting in the memo, “Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief.” Send your checks to the Armenian Prelacy, 138 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016.

In a recent interview with the Hairenik Weekly, Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Eastern U.S., urged Armenians worldwide to help the Syrian-Armenian community increasingly threatened by the turmoil in Syria.

Choloyan stressed the important and exemplary role the Syrian-Armenian community has played throughout the years. “The Armenians of Aleppo inherited the unique Armenian spirit that it directly acquired from the soil and water of the homeland, the spirit which was resurrected after the genocide, especially in Aleppo,” he said. “Hence, Aleppo remained true to our roots, in terms of traditions and heritage.”

His Holiness Catholicos Aram I has also called upon all Armenians, and especially to the parishes under the jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, to come to the assistance of the Syrian-Armenian community, said Choloyan. His Holiness wants to ensure that the community protects its properties, schools, churches, and centers, while also providing humanitarian aid to community members.

Choloyan commended the Syrian-Armenian youth for the role they have played thus far. “I want to note, with gratitude and pride, the sacrifice of the…youth, who willingly organized and—even under the threat of death—are providing aid to families in need,” he said. “Together and in one spirit, all of us must engage in this sacred endeavor, taking as example the unified sprit of the Armenian community leaders in Syria…”

Choloyan said Catholicos Aram I canceled his trip to the U.S. after it became clear the Syrian-Armenian community was in danger, and that his presence was needed in the Middle East.

Heeding the Catholicos’ call, the central committee for the “Syrian Armenian Relief Fund” was established. Unfortunately, it was not possible to organize under one banner the various organizations in the Eastern U.S., something that was done in the Western U.S. and in Canada. During their first meeting, the committee decided to dedicate September—and the following months—to raising funds, until the Syrian-Armenian community reestablishes itself, and unitl its members are able to return to a normal and productive life.

The committee has undertaken four measures for a successful campaign: First, they will appeal to those families and individuals on their mailing list. Second, they will collect donations through their churches. Third, they will donate all proceeds from the dinner reception in honor of the Catholicos’s visit to aid the Syrian-Armenian community. (The dinner reception, slated to take place on Oct. 7 in New York, has not been canceled despite the Catholicos’s decision to stay in the Middle East; the dinner is being held in appreciation to those individuals and organizations that aided the Armenian people following the genocide, including the Near East Relief, ANCHA, and Fridtjof Nansen.) Fourth, they will appeal to Syrian-Armenians who are prepared to contribute large funds to the relief initiative. Currently, the committee is working on producing a brochure outlining the current conditions.

“We greatly appreciate the campaign already initiated by the Armenian Relief Society,” Choloyan said in the interview. “We also appreciate the kindness of all those who, before our campaign even started, have made their generous contributions. This is the best expression of the conscientiousness of Armenians.”

According to Choloyan, the committee decided to send all donations to the Prelacy, and from there to the Cilician Catholicosate. Bank transactions are not currently possible in Syria due to sanctions imposed by the U.S. that make such transactions illegal, noted the archbishop. Catholicos Aram I has maintained contact with Armenian community leaders in Syria, with whom he occasionally meets, and the transfer of funds will be made through this route.

“No one should be satisfied by saying, ‘I gave what I could, now it’s up to others.’ In matters of national concern, that other is also us. Only through our togetherness, can our united strength be manifested. It is our heartfelt prayer that the bombing ceases, that enmities subside, so that as loyal Syrian citizens, the Syrian-Armenians commit themselves to the establishment of peace and reconstruction,” Choloyan said.

“If our education has given us the sense of belonging to one nation and one fate, now is the moment to prove it. As the Apostle has said, if one part of the body hurts, the whole body hurts…” he continued, adding, “Being Armenian is a duty; being Armenian is sacrifice. Let us not forget that being Armenian is also dignity and pride. And to stay true to our heritage, we are going to help our compatriots who are in a difficult situation. It is not forgivable to find excuses in face of daily turmoil in Syria.”


September 19th, 2012, 1:45 pm


zoo said:

Libyan Militia Blamed for Attack on U.S. Consulate Denies Responsibility September 19, 2012

A BBC Arabic interview with Mohammad Ali al-Zahawi, commander of the Islamist, Libyan militia blamed for the deadly attack on the American consulate in Benghazi last week.

September 19th, 2012, 1:45 pm


zoo said:

Turkish Polls Show Waning Support for Ankara’s Syria Policy

By Dorian Jones, VOA

ISTANBUL – A recent opinion poll in Turkey found that only 18 percent of Turks back their government’s support for the Syrian opposition. The poll was the latest in the last few months showing a collapse in public support and putting pressure on the government to address its Syria policy.

September 19th, 2012, 1:52 pm


ann said:

For men, neutrality comes at a price – Thu, 20 September 2012

“The Free Syrian Army handed me a gun and said ‘you are either with us, or against us,’”

MAFRAQ, Jordan — Mohammed Hamad finds himself both an outlaw and an outcast in his home village near Damascus — despite having not committed a crime or a social offence.

The 26-year-old pharmacist, who now lives in a refugee camp in neighbouring Jordan, says one decision last month left him a persona non grata and he was forced to flee.

He had refused to fight for the dissidents.

“The Free Syrian Army handed me a gun and said ‘you are either with us, or against us,’” Hamad said, as he stoked a small bonfire in front of his tent in the desert Zaatari refugee camp.

“How can I turn a gun on my own people?” Hamad is one of many in Syria who find themselves torn between the government of President Bashar al Assad and dissident forces.

Those who refuse to take sides say they quickly learn that staying neutral in the increasingly polarising conflict is a decision that can cost them their homes, livelihoods — and even their lives.

As the fighting drags on and the casualty count rises, dissidents admit they are in desperate need of manpower to keep their military prowess alive.

“Right now we need everybody we can get,” said Abu Hani, a 43-year-old air force lieutenant who joined the Free Syrian Army (FSA) last month.

The dissidents have launched a recruitment drive, travelling from one village to another, urging families to send their sons, brothers and fathers to the urban frontlines.

Although the FSA insists that enlistment is “entirely voluntary”, some Syrians accuse dissidents of using organised pressure to coerce young men into joining their ranks.

“They know very well that if asked in front of your entire village whether you will defend your people, it is impossible to say no,” said Mohammed Darawi, who declined to serve dissident forces due to an alleged heart problem.

“Your entire reputation and life would be over.” For the young men who reject the dissidents’ advances, the ramifications loom large.
Mohammed Homsawi said a group of local youths set fire to his grocery store after he turned down an offer to “join the resistance”, while Ahmed Rifai, 20, said he was disowned by his family after refusing to take up arms.

“It is not just a question about fighting, it is a question about defending your land, your home, your family,” Rifai said as he queued for water at the Zaatari camp, his temporary home for the last three weeks. “For many, shame of having a ‘coward’ in the family is too much to bear.’”

Despite being under pressure to replenish their ranks, dissidents say they are “sympathetic” to humanitarian cases.

“We recognise that not everyone is able to go off and fight; they have families to take care of,” Abu Hani, the defector from the Syrian army, said.

Yet as the 19-month conflict drags on, Syrians say the FSA has even begun to turn to “humanitarian cases” to fill out its ranks, offering single male household heads safe passage to Jordan and monthly stipends for their families in return for their services.


September 19th, 2012, 2:01 pm


ann said:

Cairo meeting over Syria: A drop in the ocean – Sep 19, 2012

Eyal Zisser from the Moshe Dayan Center for Eastern and African Studies in Israel doubts there is much Egypt’s President Morsi can do about the Syrian conflict, featuring a mixed bag of actors and issues.

I doubt it very much whether there is any possibility to reach any understanding or real solution to the Syrian problem. Anyhow it is not in the hands of those gentlemen who meet in Cairo, that have very little influence over the situation in Syria itself.

But do I get it right that it was the Egyptian suggestion that they meet in this kind of format in Cairo?

Yes, because it is clear that the Egyptians, especially after President Morsi took over, and of the Islamist background he is just showing some success or progress and so he is pushing things ahead. But I doubt it very much whether he can bring progress and whether he can really achieve something.

I’ve seen some reports saying that international experts have now become aware of foreign actors involved in the Syrian situation, I mean involved on the ground.

It is nothing new, I mean this involvement was well known from the early beginning, I mean everybody is being involved – the Iranians and Hezbollah on the one hand and some Western countries on the other hand. Once again, I believe that with all that we expect of this foreign involvement it is not the issue for real, this is the civil war and it will take some time till this civil war will come to an end. And how it will come to an end that’s something I really don’t know.

But it looks like the Assad’s Government is still quite strong, that it is still able to resist the pressure of the opposition forces.

I think that it is arbitrary, I mean nobody is strong enough to beat entirely the rise on the other side, I mean the Syrian Government is strong but the protest is deeply rooted and it will be very difficult for the regime to overcome it. So, I guess we will see more of the same problem for the time being.

Meaning the situation is not going to change drastically in Syria, is my understanding correct?

Yes, that’s my view of the situation.


September 19th, 2012, 2:18 pm


Citizen said:

Free Syrian Army plans to target civilian airports
ALEPPO, Syria — Syrian rebels say they plan to target the country’s public airports. While it might seem antithetical to their cause to attack airports serving civilians, the rebels say they are left with little choice. Facing a near constant barrage of regime attacks from the air, and little support from the international community to enforce a no-fly zone, the rebels are attempting — on their own — to cripple the government’s ability to launch airstrikes and move weapons.

September 19th, 2012, 2:28 pm


Citizen said:

إعتقال أم فلسطينية ناشطة ضد الجدار والإستيطان أمام أطفالها, فيما حاول الأطفال الدفاع عن والدتهم وتخليصها من بين أيدي الجنود. وقد ألتقط مقطع الفيديو, الجمعة الماضية في قرية النبي صالح, حيث إعتقل جنود الإحتلال ثلاث ناشطات فلسطينيات, إضافة إلى إعتقال خمسة متضامنين أجانب, والإعتداء على الطفلتين مرح وعهد التميمي.

September 19th, 2012, 2:38 pm


Post a comment