Marie Colvin’s Death Was Tragic, But It Was Random

Marie Colvin’s Death Was Tragic, But It Was Random
By an Informed Observer in Damascus
For Syria Comment, June 13, 2016

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Marie Colvin’s death was tragic, especially for her family and friends and the international media community. Colvin was a courageous and legendary journalist. But her death was random, like hundreds of thousands of other deaths in the Syrian war that the world does not hear about. She was not “assassinated,” as claimed in the lawsuit submitted by her relatives or emphasized in news headlines, such as this Washington Post article: War reporter Marie Colvin was tracked, targeted and killed by Assad’s forces, family says.

Gilles Jacquier, French Photojournalist. An investigation by the French Ministry of Defence concluded that Jacquier had been killed in an attack carried out by anti-Assad rebels. Caroline Poiron, Jacquier’s wife, published the book Attentat Express in June 2013 with Vallelian and Hammouche that accuses Syrian government intelligence of planning the death of her husband. She claims he was killed either by a 22 millimeter gun associated with Syrian secret police or a long knife.


Colvin was embedded with the media wing of an insurgency in an active war zone. She was not targeted by Syrian government forces any more than the French journalist Gilles Jacquier was when he was killed by insurgent retaliatory mortars fired from the Old Homs neighborhood they controlled at the majority Alawite neighborhood of Akrama, in January 2011. A lot of people die in wars, most are not directly targeted as individuals. Most local journalists and western journalists are also not targeted. The US military has accidentally killed journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan, they were usually Arab so few of us know their names. But they too were not targeted. Those few from the brave and reckless pack of international journalists who dare to venture into war zones do the world a great service, but they volunteer to leave a world of safety and laws to enter chaos and risk death. They do so believing the mission is worth the risk, and we owe them a debt to be sure, but when they get killed it should not shock us for they have entered a world that their typically privileged audience does not know, where death is random, merciless, fickle and ubiquitous.

There is no doubt that Colvin was killed by artillery fired by the Syrian armed forces. Apart from that basic fact, the legal complaint submitted reads as if it was written by a Syrian opposition activist and contains many factual errors. The shells that killed her and French photographer Remi Ochlik were fired from the Hassan ibn al Haitham military base in Homs’ Tadmur Circle, quite a distance away, and with a range of error of fifty meters. It was not a sniper rifle. The artillery was fired at Baba Amr, a large Homs suburb seized by insurgents who were attempting to penetrate government held areas in the city itself such as Inshaat. Government forces had launched an offensive to retake the neighborhood after the previous battles had ended in late 2011 with insurgents remaining in the neighborhood.

The complaint recounts a naive narrative about the birth of the insurgency, claiming that “in response, defectors from the Syrian army joined with local volunteers to defend opposition neighborhoods from attack. In November 2011, a group of officers who had defected from the Syrian army entered Baba Amr, a district in southwest Homs. They announced the formation of the al-Farouq Battalion, a rebel group affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, a national network of moderate, pro-democracy rebels (“FSA rebels”). Composed of several hundred army deserters and volunteers, equipped only with small arms, the FSA rebels launched raids against government checkpoints in Baba Amr.”

In fact the overwhelming majority of insurgents from March 2011 were not defectors from the military but angry civilians. Especially in Homs city former criminals and low level street gangsters played a key role in the formation of insurgent groups and became local defenders. Much like the so called shabiha in fact. The Farouq Battalion described in the complaint was not a moderate pro-democracy faction. it was led and financed by salafis, its ideology was Islamist and it engaged from the beginning in attacks against civilians perceived to be loyal to the state and kidnappings of Alawites in particular. The complaint is correct that “In late November 2011, the FSA rebels expelled Assad regime forces from Baba Amr, established a defensive perimeter around the neighborhood, and declared it a “liberated zone.”” But then it should be no surprise that the Syrian state would not tolerate this and would have to take military action to retake this zone. The insurgents took an entire neighborhood hostage, and later much of the country, without prior invitation by locals. These insurgents received funding from state and non-state actors throughout the Middle East and especially the Gulf and were backed by businessmen affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. They laid waste to institutions and infrastructure, as does any insurgency, and displaced all who have differing views or were from other sects. They also displayed callous disregard for the predictable consequences their strongholds would face when the Syrian security forces responded.

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See original Map of Homs here

While the Syrian armed forces do use indiscriminate force when targeting insurgent held areas, they are indeed insurgent held areas and their conduct is not inconsistent with how other states respond to insurgencies. Baba Amr was full of insurgents threatening to penetrate the city and destroy the state. It is no surprise that the state would use all its force to prevent this. This is why it was placed under siege. Syrian forces surrounded Baba Amr in order to deny the insurgents the ability to seize the rest of Homs city.

The complaint claims that “Syrian military and intelligence forces launched a scorched-earth campaign against Baba Amr.” In true Syrian style it was not a surgical operation and no doubt the laws of war were violated and violence was used indiscriminately without the proper concern for civilian collateral damage. But less than 20 percent of Baba Amr was badly damaged and today the neighborhood is overwhelmingly intact. Compared to operations that would come in the following years of the civil war the use of violence in the Baba Amr campaign was consistent with western standards, if not as efficient.

Contrary to the complaint, Maher al Assad was not involved in the Baba Amr operations at all. But in November 2011 a brigade of “BMP” armored personnel carriers trained in urban combat was sent by the 4th Division to Homs and placed under the command of the 18th Division which only had tanks that were unwieldy for urban combat. But even these APCs had not belonged to Maher’s liwa, which was liwa 47. Maher al Assad does not command the 4th division, contrary to popular belief. The APC’s belonged to Jamal Sleiman’s liwa.

The Syrian government’s capabilities pinpointing locations based on communication were always very weak, especially in those early days of the war. At best they could locate a neighborhood where the communication was taking place. And they were overwhelmed with mobile phones and satellite communication taking place in insurgent held areas so their primitive tracking abilities were even less effective. The complaint claims that “the Computer and Signals Section of Branch 261 of the Syrian Military Intelligence Directorate informed General Shahadah that the informant’s account matched the location of broadcast signals they had intercepted earlier that night.” But in 2012 the most advance device in Branch 261 of the Syrian Military Intelligence Directorate was a Chinese radio and it did not have the ability to analyze intercepted signals and determine a location. Branch 225 in Damascus did have those capabilities but at the time they were not mobile and only available in Damascus. It would be over a year before the Syrian government obtained mobile devices that could help identify the location of communications. Even then, we’re not talking about very sophisticated capabilities.

In early 2012 more and more of Homs was falling to insurgents. A regime which had little regard for international media was too busy struggling to survive and responding to a burgeoning insurgency to hunt down a small team of westerners. The regime was much more concerned about Syrians. It was struggling to win the domestic battle and root out activists working with the insurgents. They were a far greater priority for it than westerners. And indeed when it captured them, depending on the location and the time, they were often treated brutally. Westerners were largely immune to such treatment.

The “shabiha” were not a paramilitary death squad. Shabiha was a colloquial name to describe a pre-war phenomenon of organized crime with connections to the regime. Once the uprising began the name was used to describe any government supporter but also more specifically to describe a parallel phenomenon that emerged alongside the nascent insurgency of loyalist civilians organizing themselves as self defense (in their minds) committees that also engaged in attacks on the opposition with loose cover from government security forces. These would eventually become organized into a handful of official paramilitary forces such as the National Defense Forces. It is wrong to view them as death squads. And they were not under the command of Maher al Assad. Instead, once they gradually became organized various groups were affiliated with various security agencies and army units depending on the area and who had jurisdiction.

Moreover Khaled al Fares, the individual described in the complaint as “a shabiha militia leader” was nothing of the sort. Khaled al Fares was a businessman with a shady past in semi legal or illegal activities who gradually became a legitimate businessman with interests in car dealerships, chicken coups, a marble factory, and money lending. He was also close to Asef Shawkat, brother in law of the president, a former intelligence chief and at the time deputy minister of defense. Al Fares was not affiliated with Maher al Assad in any way at the time. Al Fares was part of an informal committee of influential Homs citizens, Alawis and Sunnis, loyalists and opposition, who gathered at the Safir Hotel with government officials occasionally to try to mediate and prevent the city from collapsing into civil war. Because he had a tribal background he was a useful asset for the government in reaching out to various constituencies. Not only was he not a militia commander, al Fares (who lived in the upper class Inshaat neighborhood at the time) only had a couple of bodyguards and 4 AK-47s to his name.

Al Fares did play a small role in this story, but not as an informant to help kill Colvin. When the death of Colvin was announced, the Syrian government did not believe it at first. One of their sources had falsely told Syrian intelligence that she and her colleagues had snuck out using tunnels to the western Homs country by Qatini Lake and that the death announcement was a tactic to deceive the government and allow Colvin to flee. Then an old man living in Baba Amr came to the Safir and met with security officials. The old man was originally from Wadi Khaled and his son was a member of an insurgent group in Baba Amr. He wanted to safely evacuate his son from Baba Amr and was also hoping for financial compensation in exchange for revealing to the government that the bodies of Colvin and Ochlik were buried in his back yard. He also informed the security officials that the insurgents were gathering at the edge of Baba Amr to prepare to evacuate to Quseir in western Homs. Khaled al Fares overheard this and told Asef Shawkat. Some in the government wanted to ambush the insurgents before they fled while others wanted to recover the bodies. Asef claimed he had told an EU official that he could get the bodies. Al Fares claimed that he took part in the operation to recover the bodies while in fact it was a team of low ranking security men who snuck in on a cold and snowy night and recovered the wrapped up corpses. They were surprised to find that insurgents had largely abandoned Baba Amr. When the bodies were taken to the Political Security branch Khaled al Fares took his picture with them.

Senior Syrian officials at the time claimed they had tried to mediate with the western journalists before the offensive was launched, going through local and international organizations and offering safe passage out to Lebanon. Security officials were also in touch with local insurgents about this. They worried about the consequences should westerners be harmed in their offensive. They claim Colvin was adamant on staying or made demands such as evacuating wounded insurgents. Syrian security chiefs surely wanted to detain and expel foreign journalists who had entered Syria illegally to report and at least in their view promote an insurgency, but they did not want to kill them, even in Syria western lives have more value than those of locals.

The complaint states that “Colvin and Conroy feared that it would be unsafe to embed with the Syrian government on an official press tour.” This is silly. While Colvin and Conroy were providing a necessary and valuable service informing the world about the suffering in insurgent held areas, it is absurd to think it is more safe to embed with insurgents than to go on a state sanctioned visit. The complaint claims that “two Swiss journalists who were with Jacquier at the time accused the Syrian government of leading Jacquier into an ambush.” This is nonsensical because Jacquier was in a safe majority Alawite neighbourhood with government escorts and streets full of people that suddenly came under insurgent mortar attack.

This is the footage of the moment that Gilles Jacquier was killed along with eight Syrians. It taken by an Arab camera crew and released by Adduniya TV, a pro-government channel.

He had bad luck, just like the others killed that day. But as usual the lives of Syrians wounded or killed are not as important and if a westerner is hurt than surely he must have been targeted. The complaint names a plethora of the most senior officials in Syria as part of a conspiracy to kill these western journalists. This is absurd. These officials were dealing with far more urgent matters than a couple of western journalists.

It is naive and misleading to call Khaled Abu Salah a poet and media activist. One can support his cause but the fact is he was a leading member of the media arm of the insurgency in Homs and his job was to be a propagandist on their behalf. Indeed after Baba Amr was retaken footage was discovered of him and his colleagues fabricating claims and footage to add drama to their media appearances. As Khaled Abu Salah played an important role within the Homs insurgency, but he was less of a poet and “activist” and more the equivalent of one of Hamas’ spokesmen in Gaza. These so called media activists were no doubt passionate and brave but they operated under the permission of insurgent commanders and in support of their armed struggle. Thus embedding with them would naturally expose one to the same retaliation the insurgents could expect.

The complaint claims that a female informant revealed the location of the western journalists. In fact Syrian officials believed the journalists had fled. It was only the old man from Wadi Khaled who revealed to them that they had stayed behind and two were dead. The old man also claimed that insurgents had killed them in order to tarnish the image of the Syrian government. This of course was not true but as a result some government officials wanted to take the bodies for an autopsy in Damascus but they were overruled and the bodies were hastily handed over to the ICRC.

Comments (56)

Akbar Palace said:

Dr. Josh,

Who really cares about a non-native journalist who OPTED to cover one of the most dangerous places on Earth? Sorry about her death, but I reserve my tears for a battered people who have no options at all.

July 13th, 2016, 1:50 pm


Tara said:

“Informed observer in Damascus” and no name mentioned

Meaning informant mukhabarati from Damascus fabricating a report to avoid repercussion ….

That is called استحمار

How much a مخابراتي report cost to publis? … Other than self respect and lack of integrity which goes without saying …,

July 13th, 2016, 9:12 pm



Reply: Tara said:

“How much a مخابراتي report cost to publis?”

Where’s your evidence of such allegations?

July 13th, 2016, 9:52 pm


Passerby said:

Turkey PM Yildirim hints at mending ties with Syria

Assad wins.

Well played by Assad, his little deal with ISIS to leave each other alone. Granted, not exactly original, since Saddam created them to plant in the no-fly zone to torment the Kurds and punish the UN for creating it.

Turkey and the Gulf States, blinded by religious bigotry, supported the most radical, least democratic/moderate. Having Al-Qaeda and ISIS on your side is a real tough sell. Big mistake, after the Syrian people, they are the big loser, particularly Turkey. Erdogan has to crawl on his belly now to get Assad to take back the refugees.

Russia is a big winner.

The US has really looked weak. Not what it did, but the red line and all that. And after all, we backed losers and, in effect, Al-Qaeda. Pretty spectacular losers.

IS/ISIS/Al-Qaeda in Iraq/Saddam Regime is a big loser, but sure had a good run filling that vacuum. A cornered rat will bite. But they don’t care about religion, it’s all about power. It’ll be like in Iraq those years they were killing US kids and all those Iraqi civilians. Ain’t no US Military to end that this time. Spectacular foreign terrorism? Well, a cornered rat has nothing to lose, time to shake the table, and that would do it.

July 13th, 2016, 10:28 pm


Adam Larson said:

On Turkey’s apparent possible course change – the proof will be in the pudding.

Fascinating piece here from the ‘informed source,’ but I’m a bit skeptical. My main concern is the factuality of “There is no doubt that Colvin was killed by artillery fired by the Syrian armed forces.” Is there or should there maybe be doubt? Were the shells responsible identified? I’m really not sure. Were all rebel forces too close, for example, to hit the place with a mortar? No.

If it was intentional, we must consider motive, and we should ask Alex Thomson, chief correspondent for Channel 4 (UK), who has motive. In June, 2012, he said “dead journos are bad for Damascus,” and implicitly good for rebels. He said that after trying to report on the Mazraat al-Qubeir massacre in Hama province, where rebels led him into a blocked-off sniper alley and ditched him to die (probably the same type of gunmen shooting at the UN/Arab League inspectors there, blamed on the “regime”). Thomson was lucky enough to get out alive and explain how in his case, it wasn’t the regime trying to kill journalists.

Thomson blog: “I’m quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian Army.” (note: interpretation, and maybe being ‘diplomatic,’ perhaps like the source here – these ‘army snipers’ never shot at the rebels doing the set-up. They were supposed to be there to instantly report the ‘regime crime.’)
speaking to RT:
“I have no doubt in my mind what happened, nor independently, does the very experienced cameraman I was with, and, perhaps more importantly than that, neither does the driver or the translator we were working with have any doubt at all that we were deliberately … exposed to a dangerous situation. And I have absolutely no doubt they did it deliberately. When we reappeared, still alive, the car full of men saw us, turned round and drove off at speed.”

As mentioned here, Gilles Jacquier was killed in a rebel artillery attack, although I haven’t studied that. His wife thinks the “regime” killed him, with a gun or a knife? Hmmm…

How about kidnapping journalists? Ask Richard Engel who has an stablished record of that. He’s given two different stories, and one trumps the other. Here’s your coffee, Mr. Engel, with two scoops of Shia…

So Richard and Alex survived their ordeals and in the end were clear rebels were behind them. In this case, Marie and Remi are unable to talk, but like Paul and Edith, they might have been just as fooled as most of us were. Conroy cites how shells kept landing closer and closer to their building, suggesting it was the target, whether or not those firing knew who was in there.

Or alternately, all that’s irrelevant, and this really was a government attack. In that case, like the author, I see no good motive, so it would presumably be accidental. This was the peak of the offensive to re-claim Baba Amr, they’d be hitting a lot of locales – a very dangerous place to be. The counter-evidence would have to be pretty compelling to convince me otherwise. So far, it doesn’t sound very compelling.

July 14th, 2016, 3:27 am


Adam Larson said:

Another point: “The “shabiha” were not a paramilitary death squad.” Many would require some explanation here. They were unequivocally blamed for
a host of genocidal massacres, like Houla, the Qubeir incident Alex Thomson almost died covering, etc. And in Aqrab too, where Alawi Shabiha allegedly massacred their own family members while rebels stood by stunned!

The best explanation I know of is the in these cases, the terrorists actually killed the people AND then lied. It’s basically proven in Houla, with the rebels’ own video record of the events partially showing their victorious military assault that left them in charge of the massacre area (central and south Taldou) immediately before the killings. Some witnesses never mentioned that, and some did. The credible ones say the victims were government loyalists and converts to Shi’ism.

Other massacres have strong evidence to near-proof suggesting the same. None of them is actually proven true. Al-Bayda: most victims were all related to a pro-government retired imam, sheikh Omar Biassi, in the pre-dawn hours, way before the army offensive even started, when rebels had full run of the place.

Whoever has acted like they totally believe the claims, and it’s some powerful people, the fact is this: our evidence for the “Shabiha massacre” is the assurances of the same people who told us about Engel’s kidnapping and Colvin’s assassination by Syria’s government, and were probably hoping to tell us about Thomson’s death by regime sniper.

July 14th, 2016, 3:39 am


Adam Larson said:

Correction to the above: on review, Thomson was not in Hama but in al-Qusayr, south of Homs. I guess the timing left me thinking he was covering the massacre there.

Oh, and I just noticed Joshua’s error – June 13 should be July 13. 🙂

July 14th, 2016, 9:24 am


Akbar Palace said:

The IDF helping wounded Syrians w/o asking too many questions. I wonder what would happen in the opposite situation?,7340,L-4828380,00.html

July 14th, 2016, 4:04 pm


Syrialover said:

TARA #2,

You are right. The article above is aligned with Assad regime propaganda.

Sad to see it given prominence on SyriaComment.

It’s full of barbs and sniping at the Syrian opposition and convenient reinterpretation of what was happening back in 2012. The usual attempt to distract from and minimise the killing-machine actions of the regime against civilians and mass destruction of infrastructure.

The fact this article was produced and circulated shows that the Colvin law suit is a nuisance and embarrassment to the regime.

A big thanks to Marie Colvin’s family and their advisers. They are raising issues about the Assad regime the world needs reminding of.

They are no fools, much more sophisticated than those they are suing.

July 14th, 2016, 6:06 pm


ghufran said:

Syrians who opposed the regime were betrayed and lied to by their alleged friends and their own Syrian supporters. Rebels advocates did not only lied to Syrians they lied to the world and the media and continue to do so. You were led to believe that the Rebels are ill-equipped and are a bunch of freedom loving tolerant dudes while the truth is that they have modern weapons and billions of dollars and that they are in bed with the terrorists.
Khaliji money and Turkish support led to the death of tens of thousands of Syrians and western support for Rebels helped delay ending the war.
يا أمة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

July 14th, 2016, 6:21 pm


Syrialover said:

I am a long term admirer of EHSANI on this site and often read his twitter (

But I am uneasy and baffled by his comment a few weeks ago that Obama is the only sane person in Washington on Syria.

Suggesting that any US officials who advocated a less inconsistent, passive and avoidance approach than Obama’s from the start was wrong.


To me, that approach also infers that Iran and Russia brazenly occupying Syria and ruthlessly killing its people and destroying the country is OK, quite OK. Nobody else’s business.

That’s a hard sell, but maybe Ehsani has answers.

July 14th, 2016, 6:25 pm


Syrialover said:


Give it a break. Sitting there a punching out random pro-Assad comments.

Lucky you.

You don’t have family who lived in territory ceded by Assad to ISIS, had their homes smashed by Russian bombers in the playfighting, suffered under ISIS “rule”, and have now lost everything and fled to the desert to avoid the ugly exercise by Russia and Hezbollah to take back territory warehoused by ISIS for Assad.

They are now among 100,000 refugees in a desert camp on the Jordan border, denied food and water from aid agencies that are being blocked by both Jordan and the Assad regime.

Despite the hell and desperation, they had one guiding thought: they are safe from attack.

But now Russia is bombing them!!

Lucky, lucky you Ghufran.

In your warped thinking, if Assad has destroyed their lives and is still actively attacking them they MUST have deserved it.

July 14th, 2016, 6:44 pm


Syrialover said:

For those who like Obama’s style (and it is just style, no substance).

Remember this:

It took an Obama to get a Trump.

July 14th, 2016, 6:49 pm


Tara said:

ورأى “الأسد” أن “ترامب” المرشح الجمهوري المحتمل، وكذلك الرئيس الحالي باراك أوباما ومن سبقوه، مثل جورج بوش وبيل كلينتون، لم تكن لديهم أي خبرة، مشيرا إلى أن ذلك يمثل مشكلة في الولايات المتحدة.
وأضاف أنه ينبغي على الولايات المتحدة أن “تبحث عن رجل دولة يمتلك خبرة حقيقية في السياسة لسنوات، وليس بناء على شغله لمنصب في الكونغرس لبضع سنوات، أو لكونه وزيراً للخارجية على سبيل المثال. هذا لا يعني امتلاكه للخبرة، رجل الدولة ينبغي أن يتمتع بخبرة أكبر بكثير، ولذلك لا نعتقد بأن معظم رؤساء ‫‏الولايات المتحدة كانت لديهم خبرة جيدة في السياسة!”.

Dear informed observer in Damascus ,

قله لمعلم معلمك ان الطلاب بالجامعة ما كأنو يوصفوه الا بالهبيلة ولما بعضنا نشوفه بالأوساط العائلية ماكان حدا يشيله من ارضه . هبيلة ومسّكوا وطن! شو بيتوقع الواحد
باع الوطن لإيران وذبح الشعب
مشان تضل لازقة قفاه عالكرسي
ابن كلب . شو ممكن يتوقع الواحد منه

Sorry for the vulgarity
بس هي اللغة الوحيدة اللي انتوا بتفهموها

July 14th, 2016, 7:29 pm


Akbar Palace said:


You have criticized Obama for being passive. And I am pretty sure you were critical of GWB for deposing Saddam Hussein.

What would you like to see the POTUS do.


July 14th, 2016, 10:36 pm


Syrialover said:


I am surprised at such a shallow and irrelevant comment.

There is a lot I would like to have seen the White House do, starting back in 2011.

Not just me, but this frustration is shared by a significant number of professionals in the US State Dept, the Pentagon, Hillary Clinton, and apparently, interestingly, John Kerry as well. As well as about 98% of serious analysts and observers.

Have you been following the recent flood of revelations and criticisms of Obama’s (lack of) policy on Syria?

Many feel Obama actually set out to deceive, and never had any intention of seriously criticizing Assad and raising objections to what Iran and Russia are doing in Syria.

Syria has not been worth a moment’s sincere care or consideration by Obama. Quite the opposite.

His biggest legacy to the Middle East has been handing Iraq to Iran (and Syria as a side dish).

In 2016, it’s all too late. So your question is irrelevant. Unless you want to go back over the dozen or so specific occasions in the last five years where Obama fluffed, dodged and failed what was advised and expected of him on Syria.

Obama turned out not to be leadership material. He is a clever speechmaker, self-absorbed “professor” on things that interest him and someone who became bored with the job soon after he took it.

And above all egotistically vain and obsessive about his “legacy”, which he imagines will include transforming Iran through his personal friendship (i.e. idiotic and dangerous appeasement and one-sided giveaways which have the Mullahs laughing up their sleeves.

Yes, it took an Obama to get a Trump.

July 15th, 2016, 2:12 am


Badr said:

The Assad regime is both the cause and effect of what Syria has been ailing from.

July 15th, 2016, 4:11 am


Ghufran said:

It is fair game to scrutinize the opposition and hold it to high standards because it took the country down a dangerous path when it got militarized and used violence in the name of liberty and self defense. It is not good enough to use the regime’s past and current crimes to justify the opposition’s past and current crimes, that is called distraction and it does not feed hungry bellies or bring security to the unsecured. The so called revolution has failed and the thawrajiyyeh have betrayed their country and their people and they are not different from Minhebbakjiyyeh who see Assad as the hope and the cure. Congratulations on Turkey’s last U turn and the finger it gave to the opposition and Saudi Arabia. Most of what you see today was written about in 2011 and 2012 but you can not fix stupid. When Syrians stop fighting and start nursing their wounds they will be as lonely as a goat with scabies.
يا امة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

July 15th, 2016, 5:07 am


Badr said:

I meant to say: … a cause and an effect …

July 15th, 2016, 5:07 am


Akbar Palace said:

I am surprised at such a shallow and irrelevant comment.

Syrialover, I think my question was relevant, asking you what you want from the POTUS considering you have been disappointed both by Bush and Obama. I have always been respectful to you.

There is a lot I would like to have seen the White House do, starting back in 2011.

Not just me, but this frustration is shared by a significant number of professionals in the US State Dept, the Pentagon, Hillary Clinton, and apparently, interestingly, John Kerry as well. As well as about 98% of serious analysts and observers.

Have you been following the recent flood of revelations and criticisms of Obama’s (lack of) policy on Syria?

Many feel Obama actually set out to deceive, and never had any intention of seriously criticizing Assad and raising objections to what Iran and Russia are doing in Syria.

Syria has not been worth a moment’s sincere care or consideration by Obama. Quite the opposite.

His biggest legacy to the Middle East has been handing Iraq to Iran (and Syria as a side dish).

In 2016, it’s all too late. So your question is irrelevant. Unless you want to go back over the dozen or so specific occasions in the last five years where Obama fluffed, dodged and failed what was advised and expected of him on Syria.

Your words above show great disappointment in Obama. I share your disappointment. But you haven’t answered my question. What did you WANT him to do differently? Be as specific as you can. I will give you my opinion whether or not you give yours:

1.) He should have stayed in Iraq and Afghanistan and fortified our bases there and make them permanent.

2.) He should have brought down Assad (like Saddam Hussein).

3.) Accomplishing the two goals above, he should have mustered a pro-Western and pro-arab coalition to help with this a create the foundations of a democracy in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Will the attack in Nice make this a reality?? No. It will take many more attacks until the West wakes up and does something constructive, but, IMHO, GWB had it right.

Obama turned out not to be leadership material. He is a clever speechmaker, self-absorbed “professor” on things that interest him and someone who became bored with the job soon after he took it.

I agree.

And above all egotistically vain and obsessive about his “legacy”, which he imagines will include transforming Iran through his personal friendship (i.e. idiotic and dangerous appeasement and one-sided giveaways which have the Mullahs laughing up their sleeves.

Obama’s legacy is weakness and more ME turmoil.

Yes, it took an Obama to get a Trump.

I’ll take Trump over Hillary any day.

July 15th, 2016, 8:32 am


Tara said:

“”””ففي رسالة صوتية تم بثها في 22 مايو/أيار الماضي حضّ المتحدث الرسمي باسم تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية السوري أبومحمد العدناني مَنْ يطلق عليهم تسمية “جند الخلافة” على استخدام أي سلاح متاح لهم.
وجاء في الرسالة: “ابذل جهدك في قتل أي أميركي أو فرنسي، أو أي من حلفائهم، فإن عجزت عن العبوة أو الرصاصة، فاستفرد بالكافر وارضخ له بحجر، أو انحره بسكين، أو اقذفه من شاهق، أو ادعسه بسيارة”.”””

We are as global Muslim community are not doing enough to take concrete measures to reinterpret the religion so Quranic verses are not falling prey to sick ideology capable to easily brainwash masses to kill and mayhem . The brutality we are witnessing is a mere testament that there is something really wrong in our religion that needs correction and perhaps eradication . And no I am now not proud to be Muslim if my faith can be used that way . I will only be proud when real movement takes place to correct Islam as organized religion. There is difference between faith and religion and while I am still a believer and I submit to God , I still insist that the religion needs radical changes

July 15th, 2016, 8:38 am


Akbar Palace said:


I see you are the lone participant here willing to speak the truth.

Like you, I believe in G-d. But who has the right to commit such atrocities because they woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Such selfishness! If you’re perpetually unhappy, kill yourself and yourself only.

If you don’t like France, leave France and move in next to Ahlan, wherever that may be. Move to Iran, Afghanistan or Latakia. Of course, with the Democrats in the US, you are welcome in the US with open arms. We trust you’ll vote democrat in the future and “hope” you don’t get angry again (sarcasm intended).

July 15th, 2016, 1:11 pm


ALAN said:

/If you don’t like France, leave France and move in next to Ahlan/
You need to shut up.

July 15th, 2016, 4:07 pm


Passerby said:

Erdogan Overthrown!!!??

Any bets? Probably resolved by the time you read this. My bet is yes.

Get lucky.

July 15th, 2016, 5:05 pm


Passerby said:

“Turkey and the Gulf States, blinded by religious bigotry, supported the most radical, least democratic/moderate. Having Al-Qaeda and ISIS on your side is a real tough sell. Big mistake, after the Syrian people, they are the big loser, particularly Turkey. Erdogan has to crawl on his belly now to get Assad to take back the refugees.”

Look at how Erdogan has totally botched foreign policy. Everyone is Turkey’s enemy or a lot less thrilled with them. A disaster in Syria, mighty Russia for a mortal enemy, the rest of the planet fed up with his support for ISIS, total victory for Assad. And to guarantee that’s a fact, Erdogan crawling on his belly like a reptile to Russia, Assad and Israel all in a couple weeks, proving that part to be a total disaster. Mistake going after Assad, mistake murdering the Russian pilot, mistake, mistake, mistake.

And of course, Iran, and Hezbollah. And the dumping of refugees game with Europe? No popularity contest winner there. Total disaster for a foreign policy.

And wanting to be a dictator. Got to stick in the craw of some folks. Turkey has seen better.

Yeah, Assad wins, it’s over.

July 15th, 2016, 5:19 pm


Passerby said:

The Military controls the media. Erdogan doesn’t seem to have anything to say for himself. That’s a hint.

Ok now. How does this change things? For one thing, France wanted NATO to go to War with ISIS. Unleash the dogs of War. The reason it didn’t go to a vote, is Erdogan. It only takes one veto.

Gee, I wonder if France is still interested in taking it to a vote? What do you guys think? France a little peevish at the moment?

How far is Raqqa from the border of a NATO country? 35 miles, mostly desert?

July 15th, 2016, 5:32 pm


Ghufran said:

The military coup has a good chance of succeeding in Turkey but it is not clear yet if Turkish intelligence and presidential guards are in the loop. Too early to celebrate and if you ask me I see little reasons to celebrate. Even if the coup succeeds, a real possibility, it is too little too late for Syria. The coup will strengthen the belief that western style democracy and islam are not compatible. For Turks the coup will leave them more divided and remind them of 1997 and reduce their already small chances of joining the EU. At the end of the day, Erdogan was elected and Assad was crowned King. I wish we had an army in Syria that was loyal to Syria more than to Assad and that the army had intervened in 2011 or 2012 to remove Assad and his top aides, that wish never came true.
يا امة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

July 15th, 2016, 5:49 pm


Tara said:


“The Assad wins” my foot
You were happy a little too early
Democracy has won
And the whole Turkey is celebrating

July 16th, 2016, 8:30 am


Syrialover said:


Thank you for taking the time to respond.

On the question of America’s options in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, there are no clear answers, no stable or simple scenarios. Partly because of the scale of unanticipated and sinister interventions by Pakistan, Iran and Iran/Russia.

It’s too complicated to dismiss with simple “should” and “shouldn’t” statements. It’s just the way history is unfolding. There’s a lot to think through and no clear path. Consider: America is spending $100 billion a year in Afghanistan while Pakistan keeps pumping up the Taliban and local warlords. (About what it would cost to rebuild Syria.)

And Iranian-backed Malaki vandalized any hopes of political development in Iraq. All on America’s watch and $$s.

But that’s not the point. Massive damage was done and much was lost when Obama declared a red line for Assad then dithered, sat down and lost interest. Giving vicious warmaking dictators Assad, Iran’s leaders and Putin a rocket signal that the head of the leading country in the free world was a joke to be disrespected and defied. And they could confidently do the unimaginable, the unthinkable, the unprecedented to Syria and its people and nobody was going to do anything about it.

And Obama has repeatedly confirmed their opinion at various stages ever since.

And now it’s too late.

(PS Hey, the party’s getting silly when you state: “I’ll take Trump over Hillary any day.” You hate America enough to wish that?)

July 16th, 2016, 9:29 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

The people in Turkey defended their elected president ,that is democracy, this is good news, I am very happy Assad after short excitement ,now he is depressedمطموز

July 16th, 2016, 9:57 am


Syrialover said:


Not so fast.

I give Turkey endless applause and medals for steadfastly opposing Assad.


The world got an important clue about Erdogan when his bodyguards got into a brawl with security staff at UN Headquarters several years ago.

I feel deep sympathy and sorrow for Turks who want a modern secular, democratic state. Under Erdogan that has been fading fast as he’s become steadily dictatorial and even bizarre. His treatment of journalists, for example, has caused rising shock, as has his purging of personnel in state institutions and meddling with the constitution to strengthen his personal power base.

Now wait for all the savage repression and reprisals to be unleashed. The whistle has been blown on him and Turkey is in for a very rough ride and instability its people don’t deserve.

Among other losses for the Turkish people, Erdogan provoking an attempted army intervention has probably blown Turkey’s chances of getting into the EU.

It’s another tragedy for the Middle East that Erdogan was incapable of respecting his job description as a democratically elected leader.

July 16th, 2016, 10:11 am


Akbar Palace said:

Whew! So much going on! What a mess!


Thanks for the response. I share your frustration. You criticize Obama’s “hands off” policies, and only point to the “red line” issue as your pet peeve.

So I guess I’m wondering if you would have preferred American “boots on the ground”, air strikes against the Assad regime, or what exactly? Again, IMHO, the US should have kept bases in Iraq.


I see you are pro-Erdogan. That’s fine. He and his party won the national elections. I can’t imagine what would happen if parts of the US military tried to take control away from Obama.

That being said, we here in the West view Erdogan and his government as sliding further into an authoritarian regime in the same fashion as Egypt. Journalists are being hauled away for speaking negatively about Erdogan, etc. I am sure the Turks will figure things out.

July 16th, 2016, 10:24 am


Syrialover said:


Looking at the mob out on the streets defending Erdogan you see a rabble of excited thugs who beheaded a soldier after he surrendered.

And looking at the army, I see uncertain young men who were obeying orders they were in no position to refuse.

Who is good and who is bad?

What heartbreak for Turkey. Syrians know it well.

Now the nightmare sets in for the millions who hoped for something better with an elected government, not the troublemaker and ruthless, egotistical wannabe dictator Erdogan.

The verdict of many will be that he brought it on. But now what are they going to do about him?

July 16th, 2016, 10:46 am


Syrialover said:


I’m disappointed that you have such a shallow take on what I said. I was not putting forward a narrow “pet peeve” – but an issue far more significant and sophisticated than the simplistic “boots on the ground” stuff you like to talk about.

All I can say, is that having closely watched things unfold on Syria since 2011, and taking a long-term interest in the Afghan and Iraq situations beyond what’s in the popular press, it’s impossible to think the way you are asking me to.

July 16th, 2016, 11:01 am


Akbar Palace said:


Ok, well, I’m just trying to understand what it is you want from the US government with respect to Syria. I respect your outlook and frustrations (even your opinion of Erdogan). But I’m still having trouble understanding what solutions you’re looking for. “Shallow”?

July 16th, 2016, 12:38 pm


Tara said:


لهذه الاسباب الشعب التركى بكل اطيافه السياسيه رفض الانقلاب ووقف…✌

وبعض الفشله من العرب يريدون تركيا ان تكون فاشله مثلهم….

ماذا فعل أردوغان بتركيا في 10 سنوات فقط

في هذا المقال نعرض معلومات و حقائق عن تطورات اقتصادية و سياسية عظيمة في تركيا في السنوات العشر الأخيرة , تلك التطورات كانت كفيلة بتحويل تركيا من دولة فقيرة ترضخ تحت وطأة الديون , إلى واحدة من أقوي 11 اقتصاد في العالم , و ذلك في فترة قياسية , مع حكم رجب طيب أردوغان .

1- الناتج القومي لتركيا عام 2013 حوالي تريليون ومائة مليار دولار وهو يساوي مجموع الناتج المحلي لأقوى اقتصاديات ثلاث دول في الشرق الأوسط ؛ إيران السعودية والإمارات فضلاً عن الأردن وسوريا ولبنان.

111 أردوغان قفز ببلاده قفزة مذهلة من المركز الإقتصادي إلى 16 بمعدل عشر درجات سنوياً، مما يعني دخوله إلى نادي مجموعة العشرين الأقوياء الكبار (G-20 ) في العالم ..!

3- العام 2023 يوافق إنشاء الدولة التركية الحديثة، وهو التاريخ الذي حدده أردوغان لتصبح تركيا القوة الإقتصادية والسياسية الأولى في العالم ..! فهل سينجح ؟؟ ، الأيام ستكشف ذلك..

4- مطار إسطنبول الدولي، أكبر مطار في أوروبا ويستقبل في اليوم الواحد 1260 طائرة فضلاً عن مطار صبيحة – الذي يستقبل 630 طائرة ..!

5- الخطوط الجوية التركية تفوز كأفضل ناقل جوي في العالم – لثلاث سنوات على التوالي.

6- في عشر سنوات، زرعت تركيا مليارين و 770 مليون شجرة حرجية ومثمرة ..!

7- تركيا صنعت و للمرة الأولى في عهد حكومة مدنية – أول دبابة مصفحة، وأول ناقلة جوية، وأول طائرة بدون طيار، وأول قمر صناعي عسكري حديث متعدد المهام ..!

يا عباقرة تصنيع ( أكبر قرص فلافل ) وأكبر (صحن تبوله ) و ( أكبر ساندويشة ) ..!

8- أردوغان في عشر سنوات بنى 125 جامعة جديدة، و 189 مدرسة و 510 مستشفى و 169 ألف فصل دراسي حديث ليكون عدد الطلاب بالفصل لا يتجاوز 21 طالب ..!؟

9- عندما اشتدت الأزمة الإقتصادية التي اجتاحت أوروبا وأمريكا – رفعت الجامعات الأمريكية والأوروبية الرسوم الجامعية ، بينما أصدر أردوغان مرسوماً بجعل الدراسة في كل الجامعات والمدارس التركية مجانية وعلى نفقة الدولة ..!

10- في عشر سنوات ؛ كان دخل الفرد في تركيا 3500 دولار سنوياً ارتفع عام 2013 إلى 11 ألف دولار ..! وهو أعلى من نسبة دخل المواطن الفرنسي، ورفع قيمة العملة التركية إلى 30 ضعف ..!

11- في تركيا تعمل الدولة جاهده لتفريغ 300 ألف عالم – للبحث العلمي للوصول إلى عام 2023 ..!؟

13- في أكبر إنجاز سياسي لتركيا – قام أردوغان بإحلال السلام بين شطري قبرص وأجری محادثات تسوية مع حزب العمال الكردستاني لوقف نزيف الدم، واعتذر للأرمن وهي ملفات عالقة منذ تسعة عقود ..!!؟

14- في تركيا المسلمة ، ارتفعت الرواتب والأجور بنسبة 300% ،وارتفع أجر الموظف المبتدئ من 340 ليرة إلى957 ليرة تركية، وانخفضت نسبة البطالة من 38% إلى 2%

15- في تركيا المسلمة، ميزانية التعليم والصحة فاقت ميزانية الدفاع، وأعطي المعلم راتب يوازي راتب الطبيب ..!

16- في تركيا المسلمة، تمّ إنشاء 35 ألف قاعة مختبر لتكنولوجيا المعلومات، وقواعد بيانية حديثة يتدرب الشباب الأتراك فيها ..

17- أردوغان سدّد عجز الميزانية البالغ 47 مليار، وكانت آخر دفعة للديون التركية 300 مليون دولار – تم تسديدها في يونيو الماضي للبنك الدولي السيء السمعة، بل ووصل أن أقرضته تركيا 5 ملياررات، إضافة إلى وضع أردوغان 100 مليار في الخزينة العامة، في حين أن هناك دول عريقة في أوروبا وأمريكا تتخبط تحت وطأة الديون والإفلاس ..!

18- تركيا كانت صادراتها قبل عشر سنوات 23 مليار – أصبحت 153 مليار لتصل إلى 190 دولة في العالم .. وتحتل السيارات المركز الأول، تليها الإلكترونيات، حيث أن كل ثلاثة أجهزة إلكترونية تباع في أوروبا هناك جهاز صناعة تركية ..!

19- حكومة أردوغان، تبنّت عملية تدوير القمامة لاستخراج الطاقة وتوليد الكهرباء ؛ ليستفيد منها ثلث سكان تركيا – وقد وصلت الكهرباء إلى 98%من منازل الأتراك في المدن والأرياف ..!!؟

20- أردوغان جلس مع طفلة لا تتعدى الـ 12 من عمرها، في مناظرة تلفزيونية نقلتها وسائل الإعلام على الهواء، وتحدثا عن مستقبل تركيا بنديّة،واحترم ذكاءها واندفاعها فأعطى الأطفال الأتراك المثل والقدوة في مناقشة ومناظرة من يحكمهم في قراءة المستقبل ..!

21- أردوغان صديق إسرائيل – حسب زعم العلمانيين العرب؛ وجه صفعة قوية لإسرائيل وجعلها تعتذر عن ضربها لسفينة مرمرة التي كانت متوجهة إلى غزة، واشترط في قبول الإعتذار رفع الحصار عن غزة ..!

22- أردوغان( صديق إسرائيل)، وجه انتقاداً لاذعاً للحضور الذين صفقوا لكلمة بيريز- الذي برر فيه الحرب على غزة في المنتدى الإقتصادي دافوس 2009 وخرج غاضباً من المنتدى بعد أن قال للحضور :

(عار عليكم أن تصفقوا لهذا الخطاب – بعد أن قتلت إسرائيل آلاف الأطفال والنساء في غزة) ..!؟

23- أردوغان واجه معارضيه بخراطيم المياه ولم يقصفهم بطائرات الميغ والسكود وبراميل الموت ..!

25- أردوغان، الوحيد الذي زار بورما هو وزوجته والتقی بأهالي إقليم ميانمار المنكوب ..

منقول ،،،،

I removed some items that were religious . If he is not a great leader then who?

July 16th, 2016, 1:01 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Oops! Egypt votes against UN support for Erdogan.


Because Erdogan supports the MB.

Even the GOI supports Erdogan against the coup.

To figure out the Middle East, you must be crazy or slightly demented.

July 16th, 2016, 4:31 pm


Uzair8 said:

In the last couple of hours there’s been talk/images/video of huge continuous explosions (visible from ~75 km away – Charles Lister) in Regime held Safira (Defence Factories). A well known Barrel Bomb factory/rocket depot. Said to be accidental.

Sami @Paradoxy13 24m
#Aleppo Reports +100 Assad/pro forces/militias killed & most ammo & barrel bomb depots + 5 helicopters were destroyed in the explosions

PS: Maybe it’s a coup? LOL.

July 16th, 2016, 6:23 pm


Syrialover said:

TARA #35

Did all that happen as a result of personal generous gifts to Turkey by Erdogan, or was it the momentum of a democratically elected and modernizing system, reflecting what Turks wanted and expected from that system and worked to get it?

Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic behavior suggests that he firmly believes the former and this has entitled him (and a few of his cronies) to impose non-democratic actions. Such as attacking or removing anyone who might question him – journalists, lawmakers, protesting students, bureaucrats, fellow politicians, the list goes on – showing his contempt for the democratic system he is supposed to be running and eagerness to dominate and destroy it.

Erdogan was wearing a mask but it slipped and the face behind it was showing.

He has become a dumb and nasty wannabe dictator, which has doomed Turkey to instability and division. That is what happens with dictatorships in the 21st century.

Thank God the Turkish people are uniting and fighting any attempt at unlawful seizures of power by the army. But the problem is they already HAVE that happening with Erdogan, and now they are living with the consequences of his destabilizing dictatorial behavior.

As an educated person, didn’t roaring alarm bells go off in your head when Erdogan declared that women were only half persons until they had children and they should not pursue careers?

This from someone entrusted with leading a modernizing economy and democratically elected government! Not even the repressive theocracies of Iran and Saudi Arabia have come out with that one. An idiocy which among other things damaged the image of his countrymen and helped increase concerns about the proposed opening of the EU with unlimited entry and movement for Turks.

An Islamist undemocratic Turkey has no chance of going anywhere both internationally and internally if it alienates and excludes its educated middle class who keep the country ticking over and advancing.

My deepest care and greatest fear is for the Syrian refugees in Turkey. They will suffer further desperation and hell if Turkey unravels.

It took an Erdogan to get an army coup attempt.

July 16th, 2016, 6:33 pm


Syrialover said:


Please re-charge those thought batteries.

There was nothing America could have done to shape the outcome (boots on ground, assisting with a peaceful transition, whatever) once Obama destroyed trust by those who needed help from America, and lost all credibility and influence with those who wanted to defy it.

Assad and Putin dismissed him as a weak bluffer, and Iran grinned like a cat with a big bowl of cream as Obama organized concessions which have filled the Iranian war chest with the $ billions they need to keep controlling Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

It’s been revealed that Obama never took the Syrian crisis seriously and refused to take authoritative advice on it.

If you want to explore what role people wished America had played, it’s a good idea to look at what frustrated senior members of the American bureaucracy and establishment, including Democrats and his own appointed officials have said.

Get reading!

July 16th, 2016, 6:59 pm


Syrialover said:

Erdogan would see the leaders of Germany and the UK as failures as human beings(“deficient and incomplete”) because they don’t have children. I guess Hillary Clinton is too, as she has only one child and Erdogan advocates at least three per women.

Theresa May,the new UK Prime Minister has said that she and her husband had early hopes of having children but sadly weren’t able to. And Angela Merkl has said “it just didn’t happen” for her, not necessarily a deliberate choice.

At least 6% of couples are infertile, and about 50% of this is due to male infertility. That’s a lot of half-people in Turkey, even if you exclude males unable to have children from that category.

In fact, there are even more – a recent study of women in semi-rural western Turkey found 16% of them were infertile!

Birth rates drop drastically with economic development, so Erdogan’s efforts at destabilizing and politically Islamising Turkey, forcing it into reverse gear economically and socially, would fit his stated agenda to increase the birthrate.

Turkish Kurds get his message! Their birthrate is almost double that of other sectors of the population (averaging around 5 per women in some provinces), and they are fast increasing their numbers as a % of the Turkish population.

July 16th, 2016, 7:56 pm


Syrialover said:

Worth reading, from a well-informed witness to events

“Why the failed coup will further hurt Turkey in the coming months”

July 16th, 2016, 8:09 pm


Syrian said:

ماذا لو نجح الانقلاب التركي؟
ياسين الحاج صالح
Jul 17, 2016

لو نجح الانقلاب لاعتقل الانقلابيون الذين قصفوا مقر البرلمان عشرات ألوف الناس وقتلوا المئات أو الألوف، ومنعوا المظاهرات، وحظروا حزب العدالة والتنمية، وربما جميع الأحزاب، وجمّدوا الحياة السياسية في تركيا لأمد غير معلوم. لو نجح الانقلاب لكان ضربة للديمقراطية في تركيا أقوى من الضربة التي تلحق بأردوغان وحزبه، خلافاً لما يفضل إيهام أنفسهم مساندو الانقلابات العسكرية المثابرون.

لو نجح الانقلاب لتجمد أي نشاط سياسي وثقافي سوري في تركيا، ولربما طرد المعارضون السوريون من تركيا مثلما استبشرت قناة “الميادين” (قالت إن الجيش التركي أمهل المعارضين 48 ساعة لمغادرة تركيا)، ولربما جرى تسليم سوريين للنظام، وتنكيد عيش نحو ثلاثة ملايين سوري، وإطلاق حملات إعلامية تتهمهم بالإرهاب وبأنهم عبء على الاقتصاد التركي، ولتكاثرت الاعتداءات المدبرة عليهم.

لو انتصر الانقلاب لعمل الانقلابيون على تأجيج النزعات القومية الشوفينية المتشددة في المجتمع التركي، ولكان محتملاً أن يبادروا إلى إعدام أوجلان، حسب تقديرات معارضين كرد لأردوغان. ولاستأنف الانقلابيون حرب الحكومة الحالية في المناطق الكردية أو صعدوها أكثر، ولشحت أخبار الحرب في تركيا في وسائل الإعلام الغربية.

لو نجح الانقلاب لألحق كل كفاح السوريين بالإرهاب، ولكان الانقلاب قفزة في تطبيع بشار الأسد، تُقوّي قلب القوى الغربية وهي تجدد انتدابه على سوريا وترفع عنها أي حرج. قتلُ نصف مليون وتهجير نصف السكان يغدو من تفاصيل الشؤون السياسية العادية التي تمعن في التقادم لو نجح الانقلاب في تركيا. ولكان عبيد الدولة الأسدية الذين أطلقوا الرصاص ابتهاجاً بأخبار الانقلاب الأولى رفعوا صور قادة الانقلاب إلى جانب “ربرتوارهم” من صور بشار وبوتين ونصر الله وخامنئي. ولكنّا ربما قرأنا رسالة تهنئة من بشار لقادة الانقلاب يثني فيها على “تصحيح المسار الديمقراطي” في تركيا.

ولكان نجاح الانقلاب نصراً عظيما للسيسي والسيسية، وتقدما في إضفاء الشرعية على حاكم مصر العسكري الذي سيظهر وقتئذ رائداً سابقا لزمنه في الانقلاب على حكم الإسلاميين الإرهابي.

لو انتصر الانقلاب التركي لكان ذلك خبراً طيباً لإسرائيل التي كانت، ومعها القوى الغربية في ذلك، سنداً ثابتاً لحكم لا أكثري في منطقتنا من العالم. أردوغان الذي عمل على تطبيع العلاقات مع إسرائيل يبقى أكثر استقلالية وأوسع قاعدة من أن يجري “تطبيقه” بإملاءات أمريكية إسرائيلية من أي حاكم عسكري غير منتخب.

لو نجح الانقلاب التركي لكان ذلك مبهجاً جداً لروسيا البوتينية، ولبدا متسلط امبريالي مثل بوتين مقبولاً جداً أكثر حتى مما هو مقبول حالياً، ولاعتبر منتصراً في معركة خاضها بكل عنجهية وتشبيح أكثر من انتصاره بتأسف أردوغان له على إسقاط الطائرة الحربية في المناطق الحدودية السورية التركية قبل شهور.

ولو نجح الانقلاب التركي لعمت بهجة عارمة قلوب اليمين الغربي، ومعظم اليسار الغربي، ومعظم وسائل الإعلام الغربية التي تجندت كالكورس منذ عامين في تشنيع يومي ضد أردوغان على نحو يفوق بما لا يقاس انشغالها بأمثال بشار والسيسي، وطبعا نتنياهو. ولصار “الموضوعيون” في الغرب يقبلون بثلاثة أرباع هذا التشنيع الممتلئ بالخرافات كي يستطيعوا التشكك في ربعه، ما يضعهم عمليا في موقع التابعين لأجندة صناع “الموضوعية” من صحف ومركز أبحاث نخبوية.

ولو نجح الانقلاب لكان نجاحه تعزيزاً لتراجع الديمقراطية في العالم، ونصرة حاسمة للحكم النخبوي الأقلي في مجالنا من العالم، ودعماً للنزعات الدولتية المتصاعدة في كل مكان، وخطوة إضافية في تمركز السياسة في العالم حول “الحرب ضد الإرهاب”، أي في ما يُقوّي الدول كلها ويضعف الشعوب جميعاً، ولا ينال من التشكيلات الإرهابية.

لو نجح الانقلاب التركي لتسبب في تعزيز كبير لسردية المظلومية السنية، ولمثّل هدية ثمينة للحركة السلفية الجهادية المعولمة، وإثباتا إضافياً لصحة موقفها المبدئي الذي يقابل بين صندوق الاقتراع وصندوق الرصاص، وينحاز للثاني طبعاً على حساب الأول. ولكان نجاح الانقلاب معززاً أيضاً للتطرف في أوساط جهادية تركية، ولربما أخذنا نشهد استثماراً من قبل قادة الانقلاب في الخطر السلفي الجهادي من أجل التمديد للانقلاب. ولتبلبل الرأي العام في تركيا بين عمليات إرهابية يفبركها الانقلابيون الذين لا حليف لهم أقوى من الخوف العام، وبين عمليات حقيقية يقوم بها سلفيون جهاديون، صارت البيئة أنسب من أجل توحشهم.

لو نجح الانقلاب التركي لكان ذلك هزيمة للعلمانية التحررية، وانتصاراً للعلمانيين الجهاديين الذين يرفضون بدورهم صندوق الاقتراع لأن “صندوق الرأس″ تبعنا معطوب، أو الذين يسيرون على صيغة معدلة من نهج الطبيب بشار الأسد، تتمثل في ضرورة قطع الرأس من أجل تغيير العقل. ولرأينا أولئك العلمانيين الذميين يكررون تنظيراتهم عن انقلاب الجزائر قبل ربع قرن كتصحيح للديمقراطية، وبهجتهم بانقلاب السيسي قبل 3 سنوات.

لو نجح الانقلاب لكان ضربة قوية للديمقراطية على مستوى العالم.

لم ينجح.

الفضل في فشله للشعب التركي الذي واجه الدبابات في الشوارع، والفضل للأحزاب التركية التي حيدت خلافاتها وأجمعت على رفض الانقلاب.

هزيمة الانقلاب انتصار للشعب وللديمقراطية في تركيا. نعم، هي أيضا انتصار لأردوغان. لكنه منتصر بين منتصرين، وليس من المحتوم أن يكون المنتصر الوحيد أو الأكبر. بل إن واقعة هزيمة الانقلاب عبر جبهة شعبية برلمانية متماسكة هو ما يؤسس لأوضاع تتيح مقاومة التسلطية الأردوغانية بصوة أفضل. يرى معارضون أتراك متنوعون أنهم ضد الانقلاب دون لكن. بعد ذلك الصراع مستمر.

هزيمة الانقلاب التركي تفرض وقفة للتساؤل: في تركيا، في العالم العربي وفي العالم، من هم الديمقراطيون فعلا، ومن هم أعداء الديمقراطية؟

إنها خدمة عظيمة للوضوح.

ياسين الحاج صالح

July 17th, 2016, 12:36 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

You certainly missed it completely , the people went to the streets ,facing the army and foiled the coup , this is what democracy is ,
You wonder why Egypt opposed UN security to condemn the coup , you said ,Erdogan support MB , as if you are living in different world , Sisi staged a coup against elected president democratically.

for a president who was elected democratically , and NATO member US president should have sided with Erdogan immidietly they stay silent five hours till they found out the coup failed then they issued statement , further Kerry did not condemn the coup immidietly , eve that Turkey is NATO member that was a major mistake , then US sources are saying Erdogan fled to Russia , that was a lie to influence the course of Coup , now we heard Kerry saying on CNN that some Turkish jets re fueled in Incirlik, he admitted on TV , this clearly implicate US in this Coup , Kerry said US has no prior knowledge of this coup that is clear lie , Obama met with his ministers on Saterday immidietly to discus Turkey , all indications that US was involved in this poorly planned coup
The improved relations between Erdogan and Putin ,and fast , that scared US who are trying to corner Erdogan , they have to act fast , they planned this poorly , that is why it failed, why it failed? They launched a missile at Erdogan hotel in Mermalis, and send troops to arrest him , he left before the misleading hit the hotel , who alerted him ? I suspect Russian intelligences, I am not sure.

Syria lover , what would you do if a coup in such scale was executed against you? Forgive the plotters and their supporters , Erdogan is still early now to accuse him that he is going to drift away from democracy , I hope he will not .

July 17th, 2016, 12:10 pm


ALAN said:

تكريسا لشخص أردوغان:
صباط مهترى من تركي فقير فيي فم قردوغان المتفسخ من الفساد
عدد الفقراء 17 مليون وأردوغان يفاخر بقصره الأبيض
الفساد و التفسخ
وهنا جرائم الحرب:
وخازوق بسفل ابنه بلول المبتل من النفط السوري المشترى من داعش
بلال أردوغان وشبكة الفساد
و سمية أردوغان ملاك الرحمة في خدمة الدواعش:

July 17th, 2016, 6:07 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

I am for democracy , the people in Turkey marched in millions in the streets to support Erdogan, that is democracy at best , ,so you missed the point ,
My comment was deleted when I talked in detail, I do not know why

July 18th, 2016, 8:31 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Some of Mr Kerry statements on CNN are deleted, he said the coup failed because it was not planned well , , he did not denounced the coup early , only when he found out it failed, Turkey is NATO country, US should have denounced the coup early .
Clear US does not support democracy in Islamic countries, they supported a coup against Mursi who was elected democratically and US is very unhappy that the Turkish coup failed ,

Democracy is to tolerate the other opinion

July 18th, 2016, 9:08 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Mr Kerry admitted on CNN that some of the coup officers refueled at Incirlic base

July 18th, 2016, 9:14 am


Ghufran said:

Difficult days are coming to Turkey not just because of the coup but also because of Erdogan’s response to it.
Thousands arrested, hundreds killed and thousands were laid off. This thing is not over it, Turkey is now on the wrong path.

July 18th, 2016, 1:27 pm


Akbar Palace said:

I am for democracy , the people in Turkey marched in millions in the streets to support Erdogan, that is democracy at best , ,so you missed the point ,


Thousands in Egypt marched in the streets to oust Morsi from power. Do they now regret it?

Marches and VIOLENCE, cannot replace a peaceful vote and well-defined term limits. Shouting in the streets is not an election.

Erdogan was voted in, and the government and military must respect that. The coup was an act of treason.

That being said, I am troubled by Erdogan’s purges without due process. Are people getting thrown in jail without committing a crime? Democracy also means freedom to speak and criticize without retribution.

July 18th, 2016, 1:49 pm


Uzair8 said:

Following in the footsteps of the Turkish Government, the revolution will likely similarly purge/parade(on TV) Assads Army (SAA) after his overthrow.

The revolution is probably compiling a ‘wanted’ list as of this moment if it hasn’t already done so.

This is a debate to be had. Is it going to be full blown de-baathification? How far will the purge go?

July 18th, 2016, 2:58 pm


ALAN said:

“As we can see, a dedicated number of Jewish Zionist activists, commentators and intellectuals have worked relentlessly in many countries pushing for exactly the same cause – the breaking up of Arab and Muslim states into smaller, sectarian units.”

theatrical fallout:
Yesterday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim threatened to go to war with any country that would “stand by” the exiled Fethullah Gulen; this would naturally imply the US which is where Gulen is currently located.
the tensions between Turkey and US appear to have spilled over this morning, when moments ago John Kerry threatened Turkey that it could lose its NATO membership “if it fails to uphold the principles of democracy in the wake of an attempted coup” the US has warned.

The smell of barbecue pork blocks the noses

July 18th, 2016, 3:23 pm


ALAN said:

It’s very likely that Turkey will accelerate its multipolar pivot and finally embrace its Eurasian destiny, though not without forthcoming American-improvised Hybrid War challenges – a renewed Kurdish insurgency, left-wing terrorism, a Color Revolution, ISIS attacks, maritime proxy hostility via Greece, engineered provocations with Turkey’s other neighbors, a civil war, and/or another feeble coup attempt — in order to throw the progressively Islamifying and Muslim Brotherhood-inspired state into such chaos that it becomes impossible for its new multipolar partners to make any substantial use of its territory in their joint quest to dismantle the unipolar world order.

July 18th, 2016, 4:42 pm


ALAN said:

Russia used its superb spy to uncover a USA plot against Erdogan that was being hatched by his former friend now enemy living in the US. Russia gets word to Erdogan that the Americans are getting ready to stab him in the back and they have the particulars of the plot being hatched to unseat him.
Erdogan gets convinced the plot against him is for real and knows he’ll go down without some Russian assistance. So he agrees to stop being the supply depot for ISIS and the terrorist op in Syria. He decides to suck salt, apologize to Russia, pay the family who lost a member in the plane that was shot down – all in return for Russia giving him current intel regarding the coup when he gets home. He gets word timely from Russia. Goes on vacation (just like Putin did when he was being chased) and then sits back and sees all the folk who he needs to get rid of because they are plants of the USA.
Kerry’s visit to Russia probably Russia has Clinton’s emails – All of them. Kerry needs to make sure nothing leaks between now and November. Russia is willing to oblige on certain conditions – US goes along with Erdogan’s decision to shut down ISIS, joins Russia in wiping out the remnants of ISIS, and holds out a couple more Trump cards (pun intended) over Kerry’s head. I’m convinced Putin believes the world will be a much safer place under Trump – despite all the “tough talk” – than Clinton, who is a very frightening thought as potus for the entire globe.
The smell of barbecue pork blocks the noses

July 18th, 2016, 5:36 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

You said democracy is freedom to speak and criticize
I can not agree with you more, your friend that you love and respect Sisi of Egypt does not allow freedom of speech and criticizing , he , as he is favorite Israel leader, put people in jail for no crimes except they were elected by the people in a free election , he led a military coup against democracy , I never heared you criticize him , I never heared you condemning his crimes , you have two sets of criteria ,
And yes you called the people who rose up to defend democracy in Turkey to stop military coup , you call them violent , there is no difference between you and supporters of Assad , I can not believe your biased ideas , , you contradict your self from one moment to the other , freedom to you means two things , not one thing , , you think like the radical terrorist , Erdogan was elected democratically , and Turkish demonstrated against a military coup is not violence , it is to preserve freedom and democracy , but since you hate Erdogan you developed two standards

July 18th, 2016, 11:26 pm


Akbar Palace said:


I am not in love with Sisi as you claim. Let’s face it, the Middle East is a mess. I have always urged for freedom and rule-of-law in every arab and muslim country, but it just doesn’t seem possible.

I was happy to see Morsi win the election the Egypt. But again, he was turning Egypt into a theocracy. The demonstrations against him were enormous.

And of course, demonstrations aren’t elections, but in the Middle East, that seems the only way to get things done.
Majedkhaldoun, what did you think of Morsi and these demonstrations?

There is no question that no country, arab or otherwise, should be controlled by a military. Sisi should hand over the country to civilian rule under an appropriate constitution where rule-of-law is paramount.

As far a Israel is concerned, they understand the region and that hoping for a democratic Middle East is purely pie in the sky. The GOI will deal wit anyone who help bring peace to the region. The GOI is not me. My American point-of-view is that freedom is basis of all working government.

July 19th, 2016, 10:38 am


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