Minorities - Syria Comment

Minorities

From the Comment section:

Majedkhaldoun

Out of 220,000, the Syrian army has 140,000 Alawite soldiers. They are paid by the Syrian people to defend them against Israel, instead they are attacking and killing the Syrian people,… How could we be proud of such an army? I am ashamed of such army, whose sole job is to defend Assad not the people. Those who defend such an army are traitors.

the security of minorities in the post Assad regime must be the responsibility of the security forces. In democracy we must respect rule of law.

I am not for revenge, by killing. I am for compensation financially to the victims of Assad clan, and yes we must try the officers who participated in the killing, all of them not the high ranking one only, and those who were involved in corruptions must pay back everything they benefited from.

Tara

Majedkhaldoun, The Syrian army is sectarian army. The low ranking Sunnis do not count. It’s sole purpose is to defend one sect. It is not going to protect the people or to defend the borders. I share your contempt. In free Syria, it should be dismantled and reconstructed physically and ideologically, such that the main purpose of it is to protect the people.

Khalid Tlass

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a few Shabeeh myself. I don’t smoke, but I like the cigarette becoz it would help in burning their devilish skin. And somebody should nuke Iran. Nahj al Balagha should be banned. Al Qardaha should be leveled with cluster bombs, SyAF should do the job.

Amir in Tel Aviv,

Kindly do us a favour and take out Hassan Nasrallah and the entire Hizbullah leadership with laser-guided missiles. Don’t tell me you guys don’t know his exact location. What’s stopping you, if you could do it with such noble leaders like Sheikh Yassin, whats stopping you guys from doing the same to these dirty faggots from Jnoob ?

Haytham Khoury

We should know we are Syrians above all. Even if we disagree with the regime politically, all the citizens of that country including, Bashar and Maher, are our compatriots. Hopefully, justice will prevail with no revenge (and particularly for Bashar, because I think he still has a good element in him). Even if we disagree with the regime, all the cities and towns of Syria, including Querdaha, are our cities and towns.

A reporter sent me this question:

I’m writing an article about why (some) Syrians are still supporting Bashar al Assad despite his brutality and violations (of Ramadan, for example)?

Landis Answers:

The minorities are fearful of any Islamic tinged government that might take the place of the Assad regime. The Christians have been squeezed out of most countries in the Middle East. Anatolia used to be 20% Christian, but by 1922, Turkey have either killed or deported its Christians. Iran has few Christians left since the Islamic Republic was established. Palestine used to have a large Christian population. No more. Caught between Zionism and Islamism, most decamped for less hostile homes. In Lebanon, the Christians took a beating during the civil war and lost their commanding influence in the Lebanese state. In Saudi Arabia, Christians are forbidden from permanent residence or citizenship. Most recently, Christians in Iraq have been preyed upon, causing many to flee; in Egypt, Christians are tasting the lash of Salifist anger; yesterday another church was burned. Christians see the authoritarian regime of the Assads as a last hold out for them in the region. Many are talking about not having anywhere left to run to in the Middle East. They are planning how they might escape and where they might escape to. Alawites are thinking in a similar vein. Of course, much of this fear may be imagined, but as the bloody repression of the uprising continues, the real specter of retribution grows among the average Christian and most particularly, Alawite.

The Reporter responds:

Thank you so much indeed. I thought these sentiments had disappeared after the crackdown but here is what a Christian friend told me, after I mentioned your response to him:

“What the American expert says is 100% true, and i think of my christian and Alawite friends who support the regime. and that exactly what they think. We, as Christians, are always prosecuted in the middle east and i think most of us would rather live under this bloody regime than to throw ourselves into the fire. in addition to that (and that’s my opinion) if the regime fell, there will be chaos, anarchy and civil war. people will pick up arms to take revenge for their dead and people will pick up arms to defend them selves. civil war, like the Iraq one is not far away from us. The only difference is that in Iraq they are roughly 40 – 60% so a bit more fair. in Syria it’s 70 against 10 10 5 5 % and the Christians will flee the country because they don’t have ties in this country anymore they feel it’s not theirs. No one wants them in the region.”

“Please mark the difference when i talk as a christian and when i talk as a Syria citizen. not every reason that i gave is related to my religion. we are Syrian citizens above all, then Christians, but when our existence is in danger, we only look out for ourselves. It hurts every time I say that I don’t want the regime to fall, because, deep down, i know it should go, but survival instinct tells me to support it.”

Currency flight fears mount in Syria
By an FT reporter in Damascus

Fears over the flight of foreign currency and a collapse in investor confidence are increasingly affecting Syria’s struggling economy amid the continued uprising against president Bashar al-Assad, now entering its sixth month.

In a sign of the regime’s concern over the supply of foreign currency, Syria’s central bank this week announced further restrictions on its sale, with Syrians now allowed to buy a maximum of $1,000 no more than twice a year, unless they give an “economic justification”.

Syrians travelling abroad are able to buy currency, but this has now been limited to three trips a year, and the currency must be bought the day before travel, with plane tickets in hand.

The official exchange rate remains at S£47.5 to the dollar, but the black market rate is persistently higher, with dealers asking S£52.5 to the dollar on Tuesday. They maintain they are doing brisk business despite recent attempts by the government to shut them down.

Adib Mayyaleh, Syria’s central bank governor, last month admitted the pound had come “under pressure” as a result of the crisis, while diplomats in Damascus have been among those suggesting that the regime’s foreign currency reserves are depleting rapidly.

Analysts say that growing calls for an embargo on Syria’s oil and gas industry is only increasing the regime’s currency concerns. Oil and gas exports account for up to a third of state revenues and is its single biggest provider of foreign currency.

Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, has already called on European countries to consider ending its imports of Syrian oil, a call backed by advocacy group Human Rights Watch on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Syrian activists say they plan to put pressure on western oil companies still operating in Syria. The two biggest are Anglo-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Total.

Some analysts agree that an oil embargo will put pressure on a regime that is counting the financial costs of its expanding campaign of repression against anti-government protestors.

“Crackdowns are expensive, you need fuel and you need equipment,” said one analyst in Damascus, who asked not to be named. He also said the regime needed to continue paying the irregular pro-regime gangs, known as “Shabiha”, who take part in the crackdowns, as well as the army and security forces.

“They are not coming out to beat up protesters out of loyalty alone,” he sad. “When the money disappears, so will they.”

But others worry that such measures are not sufficiently targeted, and will damage the wider economy further, harming ordinary Syrians who are already struggling.

“What you are seeing is a lack of investor and consumer confidence, and there is a fear that things can only get worse,” said one local economist. “Investment is down tremendously, spending is down, and these are the biggest contributors to GDP.”

Figures released on Tuesday by the Syrian Investment Agency suggest a dramatic slump in investor confidence in the country. Just 131 private investment projects were licenced in the first half of this year, down more than 40 per cent on the same period in 2010.

The state-run agency oversees investment in Syria’s infrastructure, transport and agriculture sectors, and is seen by local economists as a good indicator of broader investor confidence.

Meanwhile, Syria’s five largest banks saw their assets decline by nearly 17 per cent during the same period, a further sign of the deteriorating business environment. Lebanese banks operating in Syria also report that deposits in their Syrian businesses are down 20 per cent from 2010, as Syrians worried about the impact of the unrest pull their money from banks.

Omar Dahi on Chicago Public Radio today: He gives us a sense of the mood on the ground and whether Syrians will continue to risk their lives for democratic reforms. His lengthy article was published on Syria Comment this weekend.

Emboldened by uprising, Syrian clerics speak out
By Suleiman Al-Khalidi, AMMAN | Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:53am EDT

(Reuters) – Inside an old Damascus mosque, Sheikh Sariya al-Rifai departs from state-sanctioned sermons to warn President Bashar al-Assad that the whole country will rise up against him if he does not halt a bloody clampdown against protesters.

“Beware … all of Syria will erupt if you don’t stop. I hold the leadership responsible for every drop of spilled blood,” Rifai said in a sermon marking dawn prayers on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, just as tanks rolled into the Sunni Muslim bastion of Hama.

“I never imagined that the leadership of this country would give such a gift to its people and country … blood spilling into the streets of Hama and other provinces.”

Rifai’s comments earlier this month inside the Zaid bin Thabet mosque were seen on an Internet video and confirmed to Reuters by worshippers who attended the prayer service.

A pillar of a conservative religious establishment linked to the state, Rifai comes from a long line of Koran scholars who have taught generations of devout followers and refrained from challenging the iron rule of the Assad family.

But as the civilian death toll from a crackdown on five months of protests rose past 1,700, Rifai joined 19 leading clerics to sign a rare petition, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, blaming Assad for wreaking carnage on the eve of Ramadan, “the month of mercy and compassion.”

The onset of the holy month on August 1 coincided with the start of the bloodiest week in the uprising, helping drive some clerics to break their silence, clerics and analysts say.

Their new boldness could pile more pressure on Assad and give extra momentum to protests against Assad’s minority Alawite rule over the mainly Sunni Muslim country.

Clinton defends Syria policy
By Joby Warrick, Wash Post, 08/16/2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday strongly defended her department’s incremental response to the slayings of protesters in Syria, arguing that demands for the ouster of Syria’s president would accomplish little without the support of key allies in the region.

Clinton also sought to portray the Obama administration’s policy in both Syria and Libya as examples of “smart power,” an approach she said emphasizes collective action and international consensus over unilateral solutions that rely disproportionately on American troops and treasure.

“It’s not just brute force, it’s not just unilateralism, it’s being smart enough to say, ‘You know what? We want a bunch of people singing out of the same hymn book,” said Clinton, who appeared with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at a national security forum at National Defense University.

In some of her bluntest language to date on the administration’s relatively cautious response to the Syrian uprising, Clinton acknowledged the limited U.S. ability to directly influence Syria, a country with few economic or political ties to the United States. And she struck back at critics who have accused the United States of failing Syria’s pro-democracy movement by refusing so far to publicly call for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad. Administration officials said last week that such a call might come within days.

“It’s not going to be any news if the United States says ‘Assad needs to go.’ OK, fine, what’s next?” asked Clinton, who spoke before a room packed with service members, academics and journalists. “If Turkey says it, if [Saudi] King Abdullah says it, if other people say it, there is no way the Assad regime can ignore it.”

Clinton pointed to fresh successes in building a “chorus of condemnation” against Assad, noting strong statements last week by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states as well as by Turkey, Syria’s neighbor and major trading partner.

Clinton was questioned about Syria during an hour-long discussion that focused heavily on declining U.S. influence during a time of military draw-downs and shrinking budgets. Clinton was asked by one audience member whether the more limited U.S. responses to recent Middle East unrest suggests that the United States is no longer prepared to preserve stability in troubled corners of the globe.

Clinton insisted that Americans would still lead, but she said the administration’s message to the world was that the United States would not consent to carry the burden alone.

“It’s a message that the United States stands for our values, our interests and our security, but that we have a very clear view that others need to be taking the same steps to enforce a universal set of values and interests,” Clinton said.

Both Clinton and Panetta warned of furthering shrinking of U.S. influence and weakened U.S. security if Congress enacts even deeper cuts to the budgets for defense and diplomacy. Noting that both the State and Defense departments already face billions of dollars in cuts….

Clinton says more international pressure needed on Assad
2011-08-16, From Lalit K Jha

Aug. 17 (PTI) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today asked the international community, particularly countries having economic ties with Syria, to act against the authoritarian regime of Bashar-al Assad, though she stopped short of asking the Syrian President to leave power. Clinton said the “international chorus of condemnation” against Syria was growing and pointed out that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries had also joined in the chorus against Assad.

“I am a big believer in results over rhetoric. I think what we’re doing is putting together a very careful set of actions and statements that will make our views very clear….

US Urges Turks, Saudis To Press Assad To Step Down
2011-08-16 17:44:39.935 GMT

WASHINGTON (AFP)–A call by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others for Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step down would be more effective than one from the United States, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday.

Before canceling Article 8, the Baath Party plans to ‘purchase’ its real estate
By Sami Moubayed, in the Forward

According to media sources, an unannounced Baath Party meeting took place in early August, aimed at taking pre-emptive measures to solidify the party’s standing in the future, once it is no longer “leader of state and society.” That status, after all, is given to the Baath by Article 8 of the Syrian Constitution, which is expected to be canceled soon. Once it does, the party’s privileged status in society will also be canceled, meaning, the Baathists will have to secure land, real estate, and income for their party—whose membership will likely drop from the current 2.8 million.

One measure is to purchase all property that the party currently holds free-of-charge, which was given to it by the Syrian government since the Baathists came to power in March 1963. This would apply to the party headquarters in Mazraa in the heart of the Syrian capital, and the 14-floor building that houses the party daily al-Baath, along with the Ministry of Information on the Mezzeh Autostrade. Other buildings that would be bought by the party are the offices of its Regional Command in the posh Abu Rummaneh district, and headquarters of its National Command in Baramkeh.

Additionally, media sources said that the Baath Party recently bought a plot of land in rural Damascus, with the aim of establishing a university that would generate revenue—and help the Baathists recruit members and indoctrinate young people with their trinity of “Unity, Freedom, and Socialism.” That property cost 150 million SP ($3 million USD). Finally, the Baathists toyed with the idea of establishing a satellite channel carrying their name, al-Baath, aimed at reaching a wider Arab audience with Baathist ideology.

‘Rebels want no talks with govt in Syria’ – expert
Aug 16, 2011 16:58 Moscow Time

Information warfare in Syria has reached its peak, Mr. Oleg Fomin, deputy chief of the Russian Committee for Solidarity with Syria and Libya, said during a conference held by the RIA-Novosti news agency.

Mr. Fomin stressed that western media focus more on details rather than the roots of the crisis in Syria.

He warned against the Libyan scenario in Syria.

Many experts who took part in the conference agreed that armed gangs now active in Syria are not interested in dialogue with the authorities…..

Saudi Arabia Moves to Take Down Syria, Iran and Hezbollah
By: Bruce Riedel | The National Interest

After months of protests and regime violence, King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia, one of the last absolute monarchs in the world, has called on Syria?s embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, to stop the ?killing machine? …. The Saudis sense a strategic opportunity has opened in Syria, a unique chance to deal a mortal blow to one of their enemies, the Shia terror group Hezbollah, and a serious blow to their regional adversary Iran. Since Israel’s foolish invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the Syrian regime of Hafez and Bashar Assad has been Iran’s key partner in creating Hezbollah, arming it to the teeth with thousands of rockets and missiles and sending it to create terror throughout the region. For decades Damascus has allowed Tehran to use its airports and ports to transfer arms to Hezbollah, and more recently it has provided much of its own equipment directly to the Shia group. Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been based in Syria and thousands of Iranian tourists and spies have come to worship at Damascus’ Sayyidah Zaynab mosque, a traditional Shia holy site and an excellent place for extremists to get together under the protective eye of Syrian intelligence.

Iran banks all on Assad’s survival
By Mahan Abedin

The continuing unrest in Syria presents Iran with multiple challenges straddling the strategic, political and ideological spheres. While officially Iran is committed to the survival of the Syrian regime, the perceived gravity of the situation has led an increasing number of former Iranian diplomats and academics to voice concern over the Islamic Republic’s failure to hedge its bets in Syria.

The fear – expressed in its most extreme form – is that the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad may lead to the collapse of the Iranian-Syrian strategic alliance, thus undermining the “resistance axis” in the region.

While these fears are exaggerated, nonetheless there is a widespread feeling in the country that the lack of nuance in Iran’s

position – and specifically the absence of any contact with Syrian opposition groups – is not configured to protect Iran’s interests in what is by all accounts a highly significant political and strategic moment in the region.

Nevertheless, the Iranian government is confident that the Syrian regime can weather the storm, and that the situation is being deliberately exaggerated by Western media and intelligence services, who hope to extract strategic concessions from Assad further down the road.

Iran is also concerned by regional reactions to the crisis, especially by the pro-active Turkish position, which from an Iranian point of view is exploiting a putative humanitarian crisis to expand Turkish influence in the region. The real fear is not so much centered on Turkish influence (which is viewed as relatively benign) but that Turkey is working at the behest of Washington and key European states to re-align Syria away from Iran.

CFR: Cranking up Pressure on Syria
2011-08-16, Interviewee: Andrew Tabler

…He says that at this point, any gestures Assad makes toward reform are no longer credible, and the international community should invoke tough sanctions against Syria’s oil exports, 96 percent of which are purchased Europe. He also notes that the Saudis, in particular, are concerned about the potential for Iran to increase its backing of Assad against the opposition…..

Irony of Iraq: American ‘Ally’ Supports Bloody Syrian Repression

The grim realities of the Iraq war, from its multi-trillion-dollar expense to its awful cost in American and Iraqi lives, was supposed to be mitigated by progress toward democracy in the Mideast – or so the neoconservative politicians and pundits who promoted the invasion have long told us. Now the credibility of that argument, which was never very persuasive, has been decisively undermined by the latest developments in Baghdad, where President Nouri Kamal al-Maliki is lending support to the Assad regime’s bloody repression of non-violent democracy protesters in neighboring Syria. Troubling questions about the nature of the Shia parties that came to power following the fall of Saddam Hussein – and especially their relationship with the Iranian government — have long been voiced by critics of the war. Yet today, as Maliki and members of his ruling party openly attack the Syrian protesters while promoting economic deals with both Iran and Syria, those questions seem to have been answered. The Iraqi regime has at last delivered a verdict on the neoconservative justification for the war – and that verdict could scarcely be more negative. READ MORE

Slain Syrian protestors are Martyrs – Al-Obeikan
15/08/2011
By Mohamed al-Qushairi

Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- Sheikh Mohamed Abdul-Mohsen al-Obeikan, a renowned Saudi scholar, has put an end to the controversy over whether or not the slain Syrians protestors who were killed during anti-government demonstrations can be generally considered as “martyrs”. He deemed that they could be considered as “martyrs” because “they were killed unjustly”. The statement was made amidst a state of controversy among sheikhs and scholars, with regards to the status of the dead Syrian protestors. Some have labeled them as martyrs, whereas others have declined this description because their demands are material and have caused internal conflicts”.

Sheikh Abdul-Mohsen al-Obeikan, a consultant at the Saudi Royal Council, told Asharq al-Awsat in a telephone interview that “judging whether someone will go to heaven or hell is impermissible, except those who have already been designated by God and his prophet (PBUH). As for those who have died as a result of what is happening in Syria, they are martyrs, God willing, because they were killed unjustly.” He added that “without a doubt, they were killed unjustly and without committing a sin; they were killed only because they demanded their rights.” Al-Obeikan believed their killers were tyrants and corrupt.

When asked about the Syrian army’s practices against its own people, tightening its security grip, and preventing them from going to mosques to perform religious rituals during Ramadan – especially the Taraweeh prayers – with the aim of preventing gatherings, al-Obeikan said, “this is one of the most dreadful crimes, because Allah said “And who is more unjust than he who forbids that in places for the worship of Allah, Allah’s name should be celebrated?-whose zeal is (in fact) to ruin them? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter them except in fear. For them there is nothing but disgrace in this world, and in the world to come, an exceeding torment”, Surat al-Baqara; Verse 114.

The incidents in Syria have indeed sparked a lively debate about whether those who protested against the Syrian regime should be called protestors, terrorists, martyrs, or any other name. The internet websites of some sheikhs and scholars have posted numerous reactions about whether or not the slain Syrian protestors should be considered martyrs, in view of some claims that the state of tension there has revolved around material demands, whereas others have said that the protestors, by taking to streets, have caused a state of sedition.

Renowned Muslim scholar Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni had previously urged Muslim scholars everywhere to issue a statement to the entire Muslim nation, to emphasize that “Jihad and the act of deterring a tyrant are both legitimate duties”. He said that “what is happening in Syria is unprecedented; the regime is bombarding mosques, and the prayers inside supplicate assistance from God to protect them against the deeds which even Zionists would not dare commit.” Sheikh al-Qarni described what the protestors are suffering at the hands of the regime as “no less brutal than the crimes committed by the Mongolian leader Hulagu Khan.”….

IRAQ DUE TO EARN $80 BILLION IN OIL EXPORT REVENUE THIS YEAR, 2011-08-16

Christian Sci Mn: Seize the sanctions moment in Syria
2011-08-16

When the United Nations Security Council meets on Thursday to discuss Syria, it should seize the moment to impose multiple sanctions on the Assad regime and its network of support. Such measures would be consistent with past council sanctions aimed …

DJ US Urges Turks, Saudis To Press Assad To Step Down
2011-08-16 17:44:39.935 GMT

WASHINGTON (AFP)–A call by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others for Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step down would be more effective than one from the United States, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday. U.S. officials said privately last week that the United States was preparing to explicitly urge Assad to quit power over his regime’s deadly crackdown on protests, but Clinton suggested Washington was now not ready to do so. “It’s not going to be any news if the United States says Assad needs to go. Ok, fine. What’s next?” the chief U.S. diplomat told an audience at National Defense University. ” If Turkey says it, if King Abdullah [of Saudi Arabia] says it, if other people say it, there’s no way the Assad regime can ignore it,” Clinton said in a conversation with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta moderated by CNN.

Church burning deepens tumult of Egypt transition
CAIRO – The Associated Press

Egyptian Army soldiers stand guard outside the burned Virgin Mary church in the Imbaba neighborhood of Cairo. AP photo.

Relations between Egypt’s Muslims and Christians have degenerated to a new low after riots left 12 people dead and a church burned, adding to the disorder of the country’s post-revolution transition to democracy.

The attack on the church was the latest sign of assertiveness by an extreme, ultraconservative movement of Muslims known as Salafis, whose increasing hostility toward Egypt’s Coptic Christians over the past few months has met with little interference from the country’s military rulers.

Salafis have been blamed for other recent attacks on Christians and others they don’t approve of. In one attack, a Christian man had an ear cut off for renting an apartment to a Muslim woman suspected of involvement in prostitution.

The latest violence, which erupted in fresh clashes Sunday between Muslims and Christians who pelted each other with stones in another part of Cairo, also pointed to what many see as reluctance of the armed forces council to act. The council took temporary control of the country after President Hosni Mubarak was deposed on Feb. 11.

Syrian troops withdraws from E. province,
2011-08-16 21:20:52

DEIR AL-ZOUR, Syria, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) — Syrian army troops started a full withdrawal Tuesday from the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, which has become a flashpoint of the five-month protests in the country.

During a trip organized by the Syrian Information Ministry for Arab and foreign correspondents to Deir al-Zour, a Xinhua reporter witnessed the withdrawal of the troops amid cheerful mood of the residents as security and stability have been restored to the province.

“The situation in Deir al-Zour was difficult and disturbing until the army entered the city and carried out a number of missions to restore tranquility and security,” the reporter cited some local residents as saying.

Army troops entered Deir al-Zour on Aug. 8 for what the authorities said as “hunting down armed groups that terrorized people and committed atrocities in the city.”

Syria blames the five-month unrest on foreign conspiracy and armed groups.

However, opposition activists said the army was entering some restive cities nationwide to back the security apparatuses in cracking down anti-government protests.

Deir al-Zour, some 432 kilometers east of the capital Damascus, is known for its well-armed clans and tribes that have connections in neighboring Iraq. The area has been a scene of anti-government protests over the past weeks.

Iran is using the PKK to trap Turkey – Zaman

…. First, by launching an operation against PJAK, which had declared a cease-fire long before Iran’s offensive, Iran was hoping to ensure that PJAK will not be used as a destabilizing element in the coming months, because Iran calculates that if the Syrian regime falls, the next stop for the “Arab Spring” is Tehran.

Secondly, and most importantly, Turkey is distancing itself from the Assad regime, which Iran supports, and is getting closer to the West. Iran doesn’t like this because it considers Turkey a gateway to the rest of the world. By launching a military operation against PJAK and circulating the idea that it may have captured one of its leaders, Iran could be seeking to stir up the Turkish public’s anxiety against the PKK and create a political climate that would force the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government to conduct its own cross-border operations against the PKK.

If the AK Party government were to launch a cross-border operation targeting the Kandil Mountains and PKK camps in northern Iraq, Iran is well aware of the fact that the Kurdish population in Turkey would organize large public demonstrations in the streets, which in turn would force Turkey to launch a massive crackdown against Kurds and in the end have to potential to bring Turkey down to level of the Iranian regime and the Assad regime in Syria.

Unfortunately, the tone of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government seems to suggest that Turkey may make the mistake that Iran is excitedly waiting for.

Even Former Friends Abandon Syria’s Regime, Mideastwire.com, August 16, 2011 8:45 AM

Aug. 15, 2011 (Bloomberg) — As the death toll from unrest in Syria mounts, with perhaps as many as 2,000 killed in the past five months, Mideast commentators who support the Syrian regime have become increasingly rare.

Even the publications of Syria’s traditional allies, such as the Palestinian Hamas movement, whose top leadership is based in Damascus, are giving space to harsh indictments of those loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In the pro-Hamas, Gaza-based daily Al-Resaleh last week, columnist Moumen Bseiso wrote that the Syrian regime “is extremely hostile to the aspirations and rights of its people” even though it enjoys “an honorable record at the foreign level” as a leader of resistance to Israeli and Western agendas in the region.

In an unsubtle reference to Assad’s confident pronouncement to the Wall Street Journal at the beginning of the year that Syria was immune to the uprisings in the rest of the Arab world because of its foreign policy, Bseiso concluded that coexistence between the “course of domestic tyranny and foreign dignity … cannot last forever.” The values of “freedom, dignity and justice are absolute values and strategic principles that cannot be traded.”

Some of the strongest criticism has come from Saudi owned media, especially in the wake of Saudi King Abdullah’s recent call for Assad to “stop the killing machine” followed by Saudi Arabia’s recall of its ambassador to Syria.

In the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat, one of the most widely circulated Saudi-owned dailies, 15 of the last 19 opinion pieces focused on Syria, with almost all arguing that the Syrian regime was unambiguously evil and would inevitably fall…

Comments (278)


Aboud said:

“The minorities are fearful of any Islamic tinged government that might take the place of the Assad regime”

Really professor? Just what are the minorities afraid of exactly?

Are they afraid they will be gunned down in the streets by the dozens?

Are they afraid that their places of worship will be mercilessly shelled?

Are they afraid they will be rounded up by the hundreds in mass night time arrests?

Are they bloody well afraid that their villages will be invaded by militias, their stores and homes burnt?

Oh wait, that’s whats been happening TO THE SUNNIS FOR THE PAST FIVE MONTHS WHILE THESE MINORITIES SIT ON THEIR BUTTS AND WORRY ABOUT A PHANTOM MENACE.

Enough is enough. I have absolutely no patience whatsoever with people who will cling to any excuse to cower under rocks while the country burns. People like that don’t need their minority status as an excuse, they will just find some other reason to cowardly stay on the sidelines while thousands of Syrians are killed and arrested.

If they find that the rest of Syria resents them, it is not because they follow a different religion; it’s because they were so gutless as to support a regime that committed atrocities not since in almost 30 years.

And that goes as well for Sunnis who disgracefully still give support and comfort to the the Assad mafia.

August 16th, 2011, 9:34 pm

 

Husam said:

Joshua:

The reporter asked you the following question:

I’m writing an article about why (some) Syrians are still supporting Bashar al Assad despite his brutality and violations (of Ramadan, for example)?

You turned his question around cleverly using your Islamphobic nature (you can’t help it) and blamed it on Christians fearing Muslims. Perhaps this may be the case, that some Christians are fearful of retribution, but that not the whole story. What about the Damascene and Alepin Sunnis and atheist who fear of being shot point blank or loosing their family or business? Don’t you think that forms a bigger part of the “some” that the reporter was looking for? Don’t you think everyone is scared shitless from the white buses that keep circling Damascus? But, you waste no opportunity to depict Islam as the enemy of us all. From the pictures of Niqabis, to supporting those who bash Islam and now this. Your game is lame and low. You try to paint a picture that you are fair and balanced, but since I am back reading your blogs for the latest news, your statements still have anti-Islamic undercurrents. Muslims, every sect of us, who live in Syria are part and parcel of the Syrian pie. Stop spreading unnecessary fear. Syrians, including myself, my whole family and friends have nothing but love for our fellow Christians. Syria is not KSA and not Egypt. What happened by Ottomans occupation against the Christians in Syria was not done by Syrian hearts. You are taking part in target journalism depicting Islam always, always in the negative.

Not one positive piece on Islam, Muslims in the past years on SC, only ones painting the worst and uggliest. Why?

August 16th, 2011, 9:45 pm

 

Abughassan said:

Violence is the mother off all evil. Even on this forum,discussions turn ugly and personal with every bloody crackdown. The country needs a healer,and Bashar is unequipped and untrustworthy to do that job. Minorities suffered under this regime too,and many Sunnis benefited from the corrupt regime for years.it is unfair to paint every non Sunni with the wide brush as a regime loyalist as much as it is unfair to classify all Sunnis as victims of the regime. Because Syria is a third world country that is ready to “iraqanize” , I am opposed to a swift and disorganized toppling of this regime especially that it still has a considerable support and a lot of fire power. The decent thing to do,like it or not,is to change the leadership under the protection of the army,not because the army is impartial but because there is nobody else to do the job unless we want Turkish and NATO tanks to invade Syria. There is zero chance for a relatively peaceful change until the regime stops its bloody campaign,only then,Syrians may have a chance to talk instead of shooting at each other.

August 16th, 2011, 9:48 pm

 

Observer said:

Well despite all of the news and reports above I cannot discern a real strategy on the part of the regime.
All of the blog posts have focused repeatedly on the reaction of others to the regime: what are the Turks Saudis Americans Russians Brazilians saying thinking doing. Where does Iraq stand and what kind of support can it lend. How about Iran and does it support the regime or not. Did HA send troops or not.

I am not sure whether this is intended or not or is simply the fact that there is no official declarations or speeches or positions on the part of the regime. It has shielded the regime from the real discussion of the consequences of its actions. I do think that the regime was preparing its response and had Junior deliver lame and stupid speeches with people pouring over what he did or did not say while his inner circle was preparing for a military security response. This stupid minorities post does not address the fact that the majority of the people are fed up with oppression and corruption and brutality. Who gives a hoot about the feelings and fears of the minorities these days. I said before, divide the country if its constituents cannot live together. Get the minorities their security with NATO troops if need be and get them out of our hair.

Nowadays we have low ranking mouth pieces continue to regurgitate the armed infiltrating conspiratorial Salafi Zionist CIA trained Wahabi funded gangs. Even on this blog we have commentators that have diluted the real debate; the real news; the real issues into personal attacks, declaration of total loyalty and devotion to the “dear leader” oops I meant ” the President Leader”; and continued to post SANA and Press TV reports as if they are real news.

Let us assume that the regime will crush the revolt against it the real questions I would like to debate are
1. What kind of country will Syria be
2. What real reforms can be accomplished
3. How can the economy be restored to health
4. How can the bruised and bloodied sects live together again
5. How can the 10% of the population that live above the law and use the institutions of the regime to continue exploiting the majority of Syrians to no end
6. How can the role of Syria in the resistance camp remain credible after it lost its ability to influence the Palestinian cause
7. What role will the traditional allies of the regime be namely Iran and Russia. Can Iran support the financial burden of supporting the regime and for how long.
8. Now that Israel has seen the performance of the Syrian army in action it has a clear understanding of its capabilities and therefore knows that it is no threat except against unarmed civilians
9. How can the regime provide economic future to the tune of 500 000 new jobs per year and a growth rate of 5% per year at least.
10. The exchange rate of the pound to the dollar is more like 70 rather than 52 as stated above how long can the economy sustain this bleeding.

August 16th, 2011, 9:52 pm

 

Husam said:

Aboud:

You beat me to to it, my message got stuck somewhere. I found it odd too the way Joshua turned his answer around and avoided the full truths.

Actually, I will accept less: my vote has been casted for your left toe-“nail” and Hamster’s tail-“clippings” as V.P.

Cheers

August 16th, 2011, 9:52 pm

 

Husam said:

Observer:

I don’t understand, how do you get NATO to protect minorities in Bab Touma? Are you suggesting NATO intervention? If you don’t have an inclusive policy, you will have sectarian clashes. I am disappointed because your past comments did make some sense.

August 16th, 2011, 10:04 pm

 

Afram said:

“judging whether someone will go to heaven or hell is impermissible, except those who have already been designated by God and his prophet”

people of the world,now is the moment to study and understand why muslims are backwards and contribute nothing to modern civilization.

their retard clergy men are fighting among themselves to Decide
who is gonna go to islamic hell so he/she can be burned up in japanese made ovens and who is going up to have sex with 72 virgins “Houston, we have a problem” beam up the terroristas.

Religion began,when the desert Con artist tricked the bedouin and swindled&scamed him out of his money
religion is a fraud Economics › Con artists can trick you out of your money by taking advantage of any weaknesses so does the prophet for prophit

religion is a crutch for the weak minded people

August 16th, 2011, 10:09 pm

 

Abughassan said:

What do you guys expect from Joshua or any other western scholar or academia figure when the subject is how peaceful Islam is today? Just look around you and give me examples of how peaceful our religion has become today. Denying the fact that Muslim countries are among the most corrupt and most violent societies in the world today may serve as a good PR position or an ego booster to some but I would rather stick to the facts.
Religion does not belong to politics,what seems as religious slogans in the west is actually a civilized expression of freedom of speech,no violence or discrimination is allowed under the law.This is the country that elected a black president with the middle name of Hussein as president while many educated Syrians are calling for collective punishment of minorities because they did not revolt !!
Changing this regime is necessary and is desired by most Syrians but not until we agree on certain principles that protects the rights off all Syrians in the new Syria,and that change is not possible without a force that keeps civil peace,and that force is either the army or a foreign occupying force.nobody on this forum has articulated an alternative plan yet,all of what we hear is angry messages from mostly expats,including a full time blogger who speaks perfect English and uses slang American language and responds within seconds but insists that he lives in Homs (no disrespect,my friend).
My point is,Syria should not have to go through the Iraqi model or the Libyan model to move forward,there is a third way,kiiling that third option is essentially an endorsement of a civil war and foreign occupation. Pity a nation that has two choices: a thuggish regime or a civil war,we all should fight for a third option.

August 16th, 2011, 10:20 pm

 

Norman said:

Some notes from the opposition seems to indicate that what they want is not reform but the destruction of the Syrian army Iraqi style, So far it seems that the army is fighting back as it seems to understand that,

I do not know if the minorities of Syria will follow the rest of the minorities in the Mideast and run or will feel cornered and fight, I think that they will fight back,

If Turkey wants tranquility in Syria and their borders then they will be advised to call on the opposition to seek a solution with president Assad, and yes Abu Ghassan, president Assad as he is the only one that is keeping Syria together and preventing the people from defending themselves by using the army to defend them, we all know what happened in Iraq and before that in Lebanon when the armies were not there to help the people,
For those who think that the Syrian minorities will not be attacked, we all saw what happened to the Christians in Iraq, even the all mighty US could not protect them ,

The spirit of revenge is taking over Syria and might break it up,,,, I hope that i am wrong.

August 16th, 2011, 10:36 pm

 

Husam said:

Ya AbuGhassan:

You made a couple errors:

1) Islam has nothing to do with Muslim’s behavior or dictators in Muslim countries. I respect you as an atheist, respect me as a Syrian Sunni. So lets blame atheist for all ills of the world or every Christian Texan for Bush’s crimes in Iraq (1 Million Dead later).

2) I actually like to read your comments and look for them, but the “Hussien” thing with Obama was just laughable. You believe that crap a black muslim man got elected? He was not elected. If you want to take your mind off of Syria for a break have a look at this almost 10,000,000 million views documentary (yes “TEN” million) on youtube alone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

3) You live in a country that needs to prove “beyond the reasonable doubt”. Prove to us that Aboud is Wyoming please. Don’t you think before we need to make a future plan for Syria, we got to get rid of (including you) the “I am smarter, better, more/less religious than you” mentality that is in the mindset of every Syrian-Arab first?

August 16th, 2011, 10:41 pm

 

eman said:

http://superstore.wnd.com/books/Current-Affairs/Stop-the-Islamization-of-America-A-Practical-Guide-To-The-Resistance-Autographed-Hardcover

Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide To The Resistance

Here is just a small sampling of what you’ll find in this book:

* Startling new information about the full extent of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in the Department of Justice, and its brazen pro-Muslim activities, including its “Monthly Outreach Meetings” with Muslim and Arab groups at the Civil Rights Division — and the 14,000 documents the DOJ won’t release that reveal the full, shocking extent of this cooperation.

* A primer for protest against Islamic supremacist mosques and other initiatives in your local area.

* A primer for how freedom fighters can deal with an adversarial media.

* The shocking details of the travesty that is the 9/11 victims memorial, which is planning to put the unidentified remains of 9/11 victims seven stories underground inside a museum that charges admission — and which will include lavish profiles (above ground, of course) of the 9/11 hijackers.

* The Sheepshead Bay mosque initiative and other mega-mosque initiatives nationwide: the sinister forces behind them and their insidious agenda.

* Never-before-released details of the Islamic honor murders of the Texas teenagers Amina and Sarah Said.

* The American Bar Association’s coverup of its work to resist anti-Sharia initiatives.

* The Islamic schools that receive public money.

* The truth behind Virginia’s failing to mail military ballots in time for them to be counted in the election of 2008.

* Links between the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Islamic Society of North America, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the Muslim Students Association.

August 16th, 2011, 10:45 pm

 

Tara said:

Joshua

I propose coining a new phrase  called “minority complex” to describe a psychological syndrome affecting most Christian and Alawites in Syria.

Minority complex is pervasive fear of real or phantom danger.  It affects any group of people living in a non-democratic country when their religion, sect, or ethnicity constitute a minority. The affected minority perceives that its existence is in danger if the majority to rule itself.  The survival instinct of the affected minority causes a double thinking.  It justifies in the mind of the minority the subjugation and the brutal oppression of the vast majority of people.  It makes them turn a blind eye on killing women, torturing children, and murdering civilians as long as the minority maintains its privileged status.  They look out for themselves only and become unable to see the suffering of the others.  It eventually deprives them from their humanity..and unfortunately, there is nothing the vast majority can do to alleviate that fear.  

The minorities therefore would never stand by the underdog, in this case the majority.  The only solution or treatment for that complex is for a democratic state to be ” forced” on every one somehow, where the rule of law prevails and everyone becomes equal under the law.  

Syrian Sunnis need to understand this complex very well and to not fool themselves hoping for future defection within the army with it’s Alawi majority or for a spontaneous collapse of the regime that is mostly Alawis.  Their tactics and future strategy need to be reshaped accordingly.     

August 16th, 2011, 10:51 pm

 

ss said:

9# Norman;

You are right Norman in every word you said. The opposition made a huge mistake by siding with the gangs and criminals. Terror will lead to nothing except failure. The minorities are afraid and extremely anxious about their future. Thankfully, the army is there to protect us from the evil, from the radicals. The opposition sided with the radicals and who will trust them; no one. THere is no single one in the minorities who would trust any of the opposition. Congrats; the army did a wonderful job in Latakia and liberated the are from these dangerous evils. I heard they arrested. This net will be caught. Minorities with regime, army with regime, regime is going no where, and still has the support of many Syrians.

August 16th, 2011, 10:54 pm

 

umniyya said:

this syrian christian sounds like he considers himself some guest in the country not An owner of the land. when they guy believes deep inside that he has rights in this country like any other syrian,he will stand up against any stupid telling him to leave, and he will response YOU Fuck off this is my land.

why we damasenes r silent.. watching tanks is not an easy thing.. tell him to witjdraw tanks and see what will happen
second. his majesty and alhizb nevr let us in any way to see othr option but this family.. this
z our main concer, if he left we have no idea who is next… we never done this before..
third.. ppl are so sure that he will turn syria to another libya.. they wont leave it green .. we would rAther die before seeing any foreign plan or troop entering syria.. and he knows that these facts are stopping the rest from moving.. but we hate him. we hate his father.. we will tell our genration the dead end he pushed us into. the martyrs will deal with him .he will never show his face to us .

August 16th, 2011, 10:56 pm

 

MM said:

We did not have overt sectarianism in Syria. We never did until the uprising. Even Allawis, the non-connected ones, were treated equally with mutual respect. At least I gave them my respect. Most of the time I don’t know someone is an Allawi, christian or Sunni. How can you tell? Syria is a mixed up nation of various skin tones, hair and eye colors. Anyone could be anything.

The regime has done well in dividing the people and solidifying its last remaining power base by scaring the bejesus out of two minority groups: Allawis and Christians.

I am particularly disappointed in the Syrian Christian population. I think they would fare better in a Post-Assad Syria if they were to aim their sails with the winds of change. Instead, they’ve anchored themselves to Assad’s sinking regime. Disappointed does not mean I hate them. I’m just surprised that a usually progressive portion of the population is not embracing change, and is not engaging in any sort of dialogue. I am sure that when the time comes they will be fine partners in a democratic and free Syria, particularly in drafting the new Syrian constitution. However, they would gain more credibility in the hypothetical constitutional convention if they were to support it now rather than hitching a free ride on the backs of other Syrians. I don’t know anyone personally who harbors animosity towards the Syrian Christian population. They should remain and I am convinced they are safe from any sort of perceived “retribution.” Retribution is a deserved punishment in response to some other bad act – I know of none served by the Christians that would warrant this.

I cannot say the same for the Allawi population. There is deep rooted animosity that only time will heal. The onus is on them to prove that they are willing partners in a free state. They need acknowledge the abuse of power that they usurped. Even I harbor these feelings. The fact is is that they are the security forces, and army corp. They make up the killing machine behind Assad. I’m sorry but many of your fellow Allawis will need to face trial, and possible death. This cleansing of the perpetrators of this ongoing massacre will be necessary.

Joshua does seem to blame Syria’s ills on the stubborn Sunni population. For whatever reason, he suggests that they should remain disenfranchised indefinitely. Or accept the slow paced “enfranchisement” that might take 50 years or so. I think I’ll die before seeing anything. I have concluded that his views in this regard are tainted by his own familial connections.

August 16th, 2011, 10:59 pm

 

Abughassan said:

This is aljazeera: الراي و الراي الاخر:
اللاذقيه تعيش في رعب
اللاذقيه مدينه شبه مهجوره
لم يكن هناك أية مظاهر مسلحه في الرمل الجنوبي
استمرار قصف اللاذقيه من كل الجهات و من البحر
Daily calls to Latakia and personal testimonies from foreign Christian clergies in Latakia and palestinian residents clearly indicate that all of these statements are fabrications. Everybody I called went to work and sent their kids to school except in that area.
Gunfire and throwing dynamites along with illegal checkpoints have been the norm in that section of Latakia for weeks.
This is not to minimize the damage and the bloodshed that was inflicted on alraml alfilastini,and certainly not an attempt to get the regime off the hook,but is a reflection of the fact that aljazeera is not a news organization any more.

August 16th, 2011, 11:00 pm

 

ss said:

To 12 comment#

Unfortunately the opposition lost the trust of the Syrian people and minorities in particular. The opposition are clearly declaring themselves as Sunni who wants to bring the regime down. The opposition, instead of resurring and reaching out to the minority, went so far in chanting the crime acts of the gangs in the streets. So if you do not reach out, you want to fight, and you justify the killing of your gangs,how you want the minorities totruts you. No one can deny the aggressive and religious nature of the opposition. These videos of people shouting Allah wa Akbar has a negative impact worldwide; these pics has been seen in Afghanistan, pakistan…and the west is not thrilled by the content of these people. It brings nightmares. The opposition sided with them.

Why the west is not offering a serious help? we have not seen so far any real actions on part of the west. I believe the west is not thrilled by the Alah Wa Akbar agenda, and for that is careful about taking any supportive actions that they may regret it in the future. I believe Assad is the way to go for SECULAR Syria and he will stay.

Congratulation on liberating Lattakia from the evil. It is such a great day.

August 16th, 2011, 11:04 pm

 

Norman said:

Tara Said,

(( The minorities therefore would never stand by the underdog, in this case the majority. The only solution or treatment for that complex is for a democratic state to be ” forced” on every one somehow, where the rule of law prevails and everyone becomes equal under the law.

Syrian Sunnis need to understand this complex very well and to not fool themselves hoping for future defection within the army with it’s Alawi majority or for a spontaneous collapse of the regime that is mostly Alawis. Their tactics and future strategy need to be reshaped accordingly ))

I agree, and as you can see, your Majority is seeking revenge not equality,

Ignorants do not learn from their mistakes, Smart people learn from their mistakes, but only people who learn from other people mistakes will survive and after what happened to the Christians in Iraq and before that in Lebanon, I see no chance for the Syrian Christians to take that chance.

August 16th, 2011, 11:04 pm

 

umniyya said:

and the remaining majority silent.. if they were truely with him they would show up in the streets.. no one will stop them.. on the contrary.. but they are not with him but they cant say it.. coz if they say it.. hhe will kill us.. he will drag the people to carry arms.. no one wants to see syria burning .. we adore our land.. we dont want its destruction.

August 16th, 2011, 11:06 pm

 

ss said:

16. Abughassan#

Thank you for seeing the fabrications.Although I do not agree with you but I respect your opinion in regard to the regime and I truly consider you a great Syrian, and a great opposition who deserve to be a leader. This is the type of opposition who bring logic and security to the so called minority. This is the type of opposition who a minority may say: wait a minute, he might be right!
The opposition leaders lack the style, logic, and reassurance that minorities are in great need to and for that they lost the minority for ever. Well Abughassan has been always the exception and yes I do not agree with him in regard to regime resignation.

August 16th, 2011, 11:10 pm

 

Norman said:

SS,
I agree with you about Abu Ghassan, and yeas the opposition lack common sense leaders that inspire the Syrians to a better Syria,

August 16th, 2011, 11:14 pm

 

Tara said:

Norman

I do not agree that the majority is looking for revenge. However,

I am most certain though that most Christians and Alawi will continue to watch the Sunnis being slaughtered by the regime at a rate of 20 to 30 a day and they will not blink. But you know what? We will do it, and alone and we’ll prevail and we will ask for no revenge.

How we and you will be written in history is good enough for us.

August 16th, 2011, 11:15 pm

 

Norman said:

Tara,

There is no indiscriminate killing of Sunni in Syria there is a goal of restoring peace and security, I did not hear anything from you or others while the Christians were being killed by AL Qaeda in Iraq,

By the way , do you read what Maged and Atassi write, you might want to read their notes again,

August 16th, 2011, 11:27 pm

 

ss said:

I would say the majority may not be looking for revenge, but unfortunately instead of giving reassurance they aknowledge the criminal thugs, and made them a legit. By doing so they lost the respect from the minorities. By siding behind the animals in Raml Filastini; they will for sure lose the respect of the minorities. By not aknoweldeging the massacars that happended to the 120 army men in JIst ALshoogor; they lost the respect of the minorities. By broadcasting fabricating news and videos; they lost the support of the minorities. Clearly the majority saw a hope in the armed movement and they gave them the full support similar to their support of MBs back in the 80s. Shiela stated once on this forum that Sunnis did not like the MBs in the 1980s but sided by them because they felt it was the only hope to bring the regime down. They fell into the same mistake. Minorities needs reassurance, minorities need people like Abughassan not Tara, Aboud, Syrian Expact who spread their venoms on SC and show us their radical views.

August 16th, 2011, 11:29 pm

 

William Scott Scherk said:

The link and story above — “Church burning deepens tumult of Egypt transition” appears to be from May 9th (from Hurriyet). The relevance of this story to today’s Syria is unclear; perhaps this three-month old news can be set aside . . .

In other sad/kooky/disturbing news, an anonymous group has posted a Rogues Gallery of traitors and other terrorist-supporting enemies of Syria — The Plot Against Syria. Included in the list of enemies of Syria are such folks as Radwan Ziadeh, Haitham al Malleh, and Rime Allaf.

http://t.co/G55iHQz

August 16th, 2011, 11:31 pm

 

Tara said:

Norman

“no indiscriminate killing of Sunnis”. For real?

And the 80 some children killed were discriminate killing?

The last one was a 2 1/2 yo baby girl from Lattakia shot in her eye. Would you like me to post a link? Was she threatening peace and security?

What about the pregnant woman in Douma? Was she al Qaeda operative?

Please Norman, you only can fool yourself. You can’t fool the world.

August 16th, 2011, 11:38 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

What does Islamophobia have to do with what’s going on in Syria? For the record, since I started visiting this forum, I don’t recall having ever gotten the impression that Prof. Landis is Islamophobic. I find Prof. Landis to be fair and balanced and he does provide his take on the events in Syria, which is just fine with me, even if I might disagree.

However, it seems that Eman at 11 is an Islamophobe and may be a friend of the Norweigian mass killer Berevic. To Eman I say that this forum is about Syria. You can go somewhere else to spread your venom.

Please let’s stick to the topic at hand.

August 16th, 2011, 11:41 pm

 

Abughassan said:

I oppose political Islam and maltreatment of women,and I support the freedom to choose your life style as long as you are not stepping on somebody’s foot or breaking the law,but I am not an atheist ,not even by a long shot,and my sunni side is more prominent in my daily life than my alawi side,some friends think I am lost 🙂
I have not changed my mind about this regime but I am less confident that the opposition is ready to take over,let us say tomorrow. I am also against efforts to divide,attack or dissolve army for practical,not ideological reasons. Nobody in my family earned a penny from the regime or volunteered in the army or security forces. I will only support a leader who has a plan not just slogans. I want Bashar out but I think most expat opposition leaders are deformed versions of Iraqi Jalabi,a Shia who with his friends made Saddam’s iraq look very good compared to a majority Shia-ruled iraq today.The ” contradictions” you may see in my posts are a reflection of the complexity of the syrian situation and the real fear of a civil war,this fear is well-founded to say the least,and the urge for vengeance,not just justice, is oozing from many statements I read daily,this is Syria not Switzerland,and political Islam is a danger and not a healthy civil movement.
There are people on this forum who got mad and personal the minute I expressed my disagreement with them about how to get from point-A to point-B despite the fact that I denounced the regime and supported their call for Bashar to resign,how do you think somebody like me will be treated in real life if I oppose their views publicly ?
Half of my relatives are alawis,many of my Sunni relatives are “liberal” and few are not religious at all,I should be worried about their future as much as I have to worry about the rest of Syrians if the violence continues and no political solution is found.
As for aboud,whom I admire but disagree with,I just expressed my amusement at his ability to act American while he is in Homs ,I obviously do not care where he is and I support his right to express his opinion.
Peace..

August 16th, 2011, 11:46 pm

 

Norman said:

Hey Tara,

Did hear about collateral damage, do you really think that the Syrian army members are murderous enough to aim to kill pregnant women and children, I do not , i have more regards and faith in the Syrian army morals, apparently you do not.

Don’t you think that the causalities will be much more if there were indiscriminate killing, In Rwanda there was indiscriminate killing and more than 100000 died within few weeks, there is no such thing in Syria .

August 16th, 2011, 11:51 pm

 

Tara said:

William Scott Scherk

Thank you for pointing out that ” church burning deepens tumult of Eygypt” was an old article from May 9. It was first linked by BEAWARE who usually posts well balanced articles that cover different points of views. I did not pay attention to the date until you pointed it out. I thought that was a new ocurrance in Egypt and I was planning to comment on it.

I think linking it today was an oversight.

August 16th, 2011, 11:55 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Landis Answers:

The minorities are fearful of any Islamic tinged government that might take the place of the Assad regime. The Christians have been squeezed out of most countries in the Middle East. Anatolia used to be 20% Christian, but by 1922, Turkey have either killed or deported its Christians. Iran has few Christians left since the Islamic Republic was established. Palestine used to have a large Christian population. No more. Caught between Zionism and Islamism, most decamped for less hostile homes.

Professor Josh,

Please stop making excuses for Assad and equating Zionism to Islamism. If you really did your research, you’d find that the Christian population in Israel has always been INCREASING.

August 17th, 2011, 12:00 am

 

Darryl said:

24. SS said:

Firstly this is not an endorsement of what may or may not be occurring in Syria. It was once said, the “pen is mightier than the sword” and in the same America people say ” talk is cheap”. People when facing the last resort will “resort” to quite unusual things. I think, in Syria if freedom of speech was allowed, forget about political freedom, everyone would have benefited.

Freedom of speech would have allowed at least the behaviour of the “bad” elements to be exposed to everyone and all of a sudden everyone’s dirty laundry is in the open including the government’s and an almost playing field will be created.

The government has always tried to sanitise Syria from the so called bad elements from being seen like the MB, sectariasm corruption, incompetence etc, but this came at the cost of the people not seeing the bad execution of government daily business to deliver basic things that everyone expects for granted in the west.

We as minorities need to understand this fact. I dare not speak on behalf of some of the people you mentioned, but if I was in their position I would be happy to see freedom of speech as a least a basic right. I believe some of the key opposition people such as Michel Kilo have this same view as well as a writer Khalid “something” ( forget his surname).

In conclusion, the biggest mistake in the last 11 years was lots of steam escaped from the governments locomotive, but it was still standing in the same spot, but the people could not vent their steam.

One last point, all nations who are democratic, had to fight for free speech initially, the rest came in easy steps once this barrier was broken. Perhaps, that is where things should have started first. Unfortunately, Arabs have a way of putting the horse in front of the buggy more often than not.

August 17th, 2011, 12:02 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

An old message from Michael Moore to the Syrian government and Syrian people. It’s still relevant.

August 17th, 2011, 12:04 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

غباء النظام…………….
غباء النظام البهيم..بظنه وهو ينظر من نافذته في القطار السريع..ان الأشجار ترحل وهو ثابت؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟!!!!!!!!!!!!!
http://www.ali-ferzat.com/ar/%D8%BA%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%A7%D9%85–.html

August 17th, 2011, 12:13 am

 

Abughassan said:

Increased sectarianism in Syria is mostly due to the oppression of the Syrian regime,the rise of Iran and the Saudi religious establishment. From my own observations,i assure you that most syrian sunnis are not as sectarian as Bashar’s shabeehas,and their grievances with the regime are fully justified ,but those grievances are also shared by most Syrians, not just Sunnis. I will support a Sunni president just because this may help Syrians heal,but I do not think a majority rule will provide a magical solution to Syria’s problems,the system as a whole needs to be reformed,then it will matter less who is the president.
No fair observer can equate the brutality of the regime and the thuggishness of rogue elements on the opposition side,the regime,hands down,carry most of the blame. Cool minds,not hot guns,can still save Syria . If Bashar does not stop his violent security forces and start a transitional political process that ends with free elections he will be remembered as the accidental president who destroyed syria for his lack of vision and leadership.

August 17th, 2011, 12:21 am

 

beaware said:

Muslims attack Egyptian Copts; Again
Thursday, August 11, 2011 (4:09 am)
By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
http://www.worthynews.com/10871-muslims-attack-egyptian-copts-again

egypt_mapCAIRO, EGYPT (Worthy News)– Muslims attacked the Coptic Christians of Nazlet Faragallah village in Egypt’s Minya province Sunday evening; the assault continued unabated into the following morning.

One Copt was killed as homes were looted and torched by their Muslim neighbors, who also enlisted the aid of fellow Muslims from four neighboring villages; the attack began at approximately 8 p.m. after the daylight Ramadan fast ended.

According to eyewitnesses, thousands of Muslims attacked the village from all sides while firing automatic weapons and throwing Molotov Cocktails.

The home of Father Youanes, pastor of St. George Church, was the first to be attacked; he was beaten and his home looted and torched.

Maher Nassif Tobias was murdered in his own home, which was looted, along with all his livestock.

Security forces arrived four hours after the attack began, but their presence proved ineffective.

“They only had batons in their hands, and were unable to control the situation,” said a Copt resident. “Our village is surrounded by corn fields. The Muslims came into the village to loot and quickly disappeared in the fields, the police could not follow them. They were coming from all directions at the same time.”

The day before the attack, Muslims reportedly stoned St. George’s, breaking five of its windows. However, authorities in Minya claimed the attack on Nazlet was caused by Copts firing at Muslims as they emerged from a mosque that Sunday afternoon; Copts quickly denied the charge.

After the violence, three Muslims and three Copts were arrested, even though none of the Copts were involved in the incidents.

“Security is doing its balancing act again,” said one of the villagers. “They will use these Copts, who were arrested at random, to bargain for their freedom in exchange for village Copts giving up their rights during the ‘reconciliation meeting.'”

The “reconciliation meeting” was scheduled for Tuesday.

August 17th, 2011, 12:33 am

 

beaware said:

Turkey mulls radical moves on Syria policy
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-mulls-radical-changes-in-syria-2011-08-16
Top Turkish leaders turn up the heat on Syria, expressing deep
frustration with the violence in giving their ‘final word’ to Damascus

Turkey will discuss radical changes to its Syrian policy when its top security council meets Thursday amid Damascus’ continued refusal to heed Ankara’s demands for reform.

“This is our final word to the Syrian authorities,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters late Monday in Ankara’s strongest warning yet to its southern neighbor. “If the operations do not stop, there will be nothing left to say about the steps that will be taken,” he added.

“We are not [meeting] in optimism but rather in frustration,” a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News on Tuesday. The National Security Council, or MGK, will meet Thursday to mull a sea change in Ankara’s attitude toward Syria and to plot a possible reaction to a number of scenarios that will depend on the actions of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The meeting will convene under the leadership of President Abdullah Gül and include top civilian and military officials.

The minister said recent developments in the Syrian cities of Deir ez-Zor and Latakia could not be tolerated. “Turkey has never tolerated operations that could result in civilian casualties so far and we will not tolerate them in the future.”

In the worst scenario, Syrian forces could extend their military operations to the entire country, thus increasing both the bloodshed and the chance for a sectarian civil war that could even spread to other countries, especially Lebanon.

The second scenario posits a more cautious Assad listening to Ankara’s demands for reform and toning down the operations. The most desirable – but also most unlikely – scenario would involve a complete end to the operations and the commencement of a genuine reform process.

The MGK is set to draw its road map based on these scenarios but an additional factor that is likely to shape Ankara’s new policy will be the international community’s position on Syria. Ankara’s entire attitude could change in the event of any United Nations Security Council resolution against Damascus. In that case, Ankara would have to redraft its policies and, depending on the U.N.’s actions, could even launch a military operation – something Turkey has long opposed.

Meanwhile, Ankara is not considering calling on Assad to step down at the moment, the Daily News has learned. Similarly, the country is also not planning to withdraw its ambassador to Damascus, Ömer Önhon, as that option would only be considered as a last resort, according to one diplomat.

“We need our ambassador in Damascus to convey our messages if needed,” the diplomat said. Önhon is set to attend the MGK meeting to brief officials on recent developments. Meanwhile, Davutoğlu talked to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the phone about the developments in Syria.

August 17th, 2011, 12:37 am

 

Evan said:

#25 thanks for the link, it’s hilarious. of course AIPAC is behind the Syrian democracy movement, who else? lol. Also I agree with #30, Josh should stick to analyzing Syria. Anyone who has been to Israel or met an Israeli Christian arab knows that Israeli Christian arabs are often more Zionist than your average Israeli Jew. Back on topic, good luck to all the Syrians who just want a say in their own future. My question is, how do you move beyond the stalemate you have now? The regime won’t back down, and neither will the people. International intervention or armed insurrection would give the regime a new lease on life, would it not? So where do we go from here?

August 17th, 2011, 12:37 am

 

beaware said:

UAE to offer exit plan to Assad, Kuwaiti expert
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 İpek Yezdani
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=uae-to-offer-exit-plan-to-assad-kuwaiti-expert-2011-08-16
Sami Alfaraj, the president of the Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies, says an exit strategy cannot be feasible unless actors agree on Assad replacement.

The United Arab Emirates is preparing to offer an exit strategy to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad similar to the plan they offered to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, according to the president of the Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies.

“However, an exit strategy cannot be feasible unless regional actors really agree on his replacement,” said Sami Alfaraj. “We already know one of the conditions for the Arab countries – except Egypt – we will not accept an Islam-based party in Syria.”Alfaraj said when the Arab Spring took place, in the Tunisian and Egyptian cases, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered exits and sanctuary for the countries’ old regimes.

“Saudi Arabia is not willing to play this role with Assad now. But if you look at the situation of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, four nations out of six withdrew their ambassadors from Damascus, but the United Arab Emirates ambassador still remains. In the past, the UAE offered sanctuary for the Egyptian president, but he refused. They offered sanctuary for Saddam Hussein but he also refused. Now they are preparing to offer Mr. Assad an exit strategy,” Alfaraj said.

He said nobody wants to see Syria be divided, including Turkey, Syria, Israel, Iran and the Gulf states. “However, as regional powers we don’t want the situation in Syria to continue as it is, whereas Iran and Syria will fight for the continuation of the situation,” said Alfaraj.

The Gulf states would like to see the Assad regime withdraw, but they would not say this without coordinating with international powers first, he said. “For instance Saudi Arabia would not come out and say something without the support of the U.S. Our countries are not likely to do this,” Alfaraj said.

August 17th, 2011, 12:40 am

 

William Scott Scherk said:

From UAE’s National website:

Former regime insider says only democracy can save Syria

Phil Sands Aug 17, 2011

DAMASCUS // The safeguards of real democracy are all that can protect Syria’s minorities from Islamic extremism, a former regime insider has said.

Mohammad Suleman, who served for 13 years as a minister of state under the former president Hafez Al Assad, said a looming threat of sectarian violence could only be averted by a genuine shift to democracy, not by continuation of an authoritarian regime dominated by members of the minority Alawite sect.

“Democracy will give the guarantees, democracy will protect the minority communities,” he said on Monday. “No one sect in Syria can or should rule over the others, no sect need be afraid of democracy.”

Earlier this month Mr Suleman and 40 other former regime officials and senior Baath party figures launched a Democratic National Initiative. In it they called for an immediate halt to military operations and for representatives of street protesters to be included in a transitional coalition government.

The government would be tasked with drawing up a new constitution.

The proposals caused a stir in Syria because, rather than coming from familiar opposition figures, they were made from inside the country’s elite circles, including close allies of Hafez Al Assad, father of current president, Bashar Al Assad.

However the plan was not adopted by the authorities, which this week continued a Ramadan military offensive that activists say has killed more than 250 civilians, including residents of a Palestinian refugee camp in the port city of Latakia.

In the interview, Mr Suleman repeated his call for security operations to halt and for political prisoners to be freed. He also went further, urging Mr Al Assad to begin dismantling his regime immediately, saying it was a matter of survival for Syria and its minority communities.

“The country is bigger than any one sect or party, or any regime,” he said. “The security solution is not working and it will not work. The democratic solution is the only way now.”

“When I talk about regime change I am not talking about any individual figures, I am talking about the system itself,” he said. “The best way to change the regime is the legal way, a peaceful way and that starts with changing the constitution now, something the president personally has the authority to do.”

Mr Suleman’s remarks about minority rights touch on a sensitive issue in Syrian politics and a critical element in the current uprising. That he is a member of the ruling elite and an Alawite, coming from an impoverished rural Alawite family, as did Hafez al Assad, adds significant weight to his comments.

Opposition activists have been at pains to stress that the overwhelming majority of protesters are peacefully demanding rights and responsibilities, not following a narrow sectarian agenda. But they have struggled to overcome the fears minority communities have about the prospect of Sunni Muslim rule.

Largely secular in outlook and dominated by Alawites – an offshoot of Shia Islam – the Syrian authorities have long been viewed by many Christians, Druze, Alawites, Ismailis and Yezidis as a bulwark against Islamic extremism and domination by the country’s Sunni majority.

Officials have specifically presented the current uprising as a militant Islamic insurgency, adding to those fears by comparing it to the Muslim Brotherhood’s armed revolt of the 1980s. That was crushed with military force by Hafez al Assad, with 20,000 people estimated killed in an assault on Hama.

Mr Suleman flatly dismissed the comparison, however, saying that the uprising was overwhelmingly peaceful and, at the same time, posed a greater challenge to the country.

“In the 1980s we did not face a crisis this serious, it was not a crisis on this national scale,” he said. “It was a specific party, the Muslim Brotherhood, and it was a specific ideology that was not popularly accepted. This time the opposition is the masses, the uprising is from the people.
[full story at http://goo.gl/ztb7y ]

August 17th, 2011, 12:46 am

 

Pirouz said:

Not a big fan of Zaman. He consistently lacks objectivity and his record in providing reliable analyses is poor.

Have to say that so far, the SyA (Syrian Army) seems to be holding up well.

In many of the videos, command/control and discipline appears to be improving, not declining.

Many biased observers believe the tide will be determined by the duration of protests (and armed opposition elements operating alongside). I would caution that the SyA may be improving to a point where they could realize the upper hand in their efforts of suppression. The eventual outcome is far from clear.

August 17th, 2011, 1:02 am

 

Afram said:

Abrahamic religions:

Muslims believe that Muhammad was a descendant of Abraham through Ishmael…let us find out if they are right.
Abraham&wife Sarah Birth place in”Ur of the Chaldeans”in babylonia in todays iraq and spoke Aramaic:ܐܬܘܬܐ ܐܪܡܝܐ الابجدية الارامية‏
so he is not an arab.

Abraham departed for Canaan ..the Land of Canaan is in todays,Israel/palestine.

There was a severe famine in the land of Canaan, so Abram and his households, travelled south to Egypt. En route, Abram told his wife Sarai,to say that she was his sister, so that the Egyptians would not kill him.
captain Abraham meets Pharaoh they chit_chat/egyptian spoke ancient coptic (τὰ ἱερογλυφικά γράμματα]
Pharaoh rewards abraham a woman named:Hagar she is pharaonic NOT arab,Abraham off he goes back to land of Canaan.

Sarah then offered her Egyptian handmaid,Hagar,for Abraham to consort with her so that she may have a child by her,Abraham consented and had sexual intercourse with Hagar.The result of that Ishmael pops out.
then ISSAC pops out from sarah…then Jacob son of Issac.
Jacob has a dream wrestling and capturing god…then Jacob was named Israel.
El,IN HEBREW&Aramiac means God.
Ishmael is two words;ishma_el;ishma means listens and EL means god…god listens,,sarah was praying to god for a baby so he listend to her and voila ismael pops.
Jacob/israel is two words…ISRA_EL,,,ISRA MEANS TO CAPTURE AND EL MEANS GOD.
north of jerusalem there a village called beithel,,beith=house;el=god…house of god.
so far the languages has been spoken/hebrew,aramiac and coptic but no arabic.
Ishmael is half babylonian and half pharoanic egyptian NO arab blood in him.
all the biblical prophets..moses to jesus all were jews NO arabs among them.
this is hebrew אנטיפאדה
this is Aramaic ܐܬܘܬܐ ܐܪܡܝܐ
this is coptic τὰ ἱερογλυφικά γράμματα
this is arabicإنتفاضةمبدئيا
so muhamad escapes mecca and goes to YATHREB a jewish strong hold of 5000 people…so muhamad tried to market himself to them as a new prophet the jews rejected him,they told him all the prophets suppose to be jews..so he began muhamad to pray/QIBLA towards jerusalem for 18 month to please the jews,he was refused again,muhamad then switched to mecca kaaba where there was 100,s of idols SANAMS…was pagan place not house of god,allah was the largest idol/sanam represent the moon god…check out the crescent on top of mosques sympol of moon god.

finally muhamad killed all the jewish men[bani Quryza tribe]of yathreb/madina 900 of them the children sold to slave market and the women taken as sexual slaves..muhamad took SAFIYA A 17 years old,married her and had sex with her same night,after killing her father,brother and husband..a quranic verse says a woman widdow is forbiden to mary untill 4 months and 10 days passes on her husbands death,muhamad broke the rule married SAFIYA hours after the death of her husband,,,all quran is copy&paste of jewish and christian bibles plus bedouin paganism traditions…since the killing yathreb/madina jews..muslims and jews are not friendly,,i wonder why?/?

August 17th, 2011, 2:24 am

 

Mr.President said:

There are many Syrian Sunnis, myself included, who would like to see gradual reforms. We support the Syrian army in its protection of the mother land against the radical islamists. American army is filled with poor blacks and hispanic. Why should Syrian army not be packed with poor Syrian minorities? The Syrian army did a better job than the Palestinan army or the Iraqi army. The Syrians are still living in their cities and in in their homes and not in refuge camps. This is true despite many regional and international players trying to redraw our map for the last 50+ years.

August 17th, 2011, 2:37 am

 

Badr said:

“The decent thing to do,like it or not,is to change the leadership under the protection of the army,”

Abu Ghassan,

How do you propose this could be accomplished? Will the political leadership voluntarily step aside, or has the army been capable of overthrowing the regime in the past 40+ years? And still more, how can one be sure that the end result won’t be similar to many coups d’etat that Syria experienced since its independence?

August 17th, 2011, 3:55 am

 

Revlon said:

35 Dear AFRAM, as it is, we obviously do not agree about who is the aggressor in the current day Syrian conflict, in sopite of the thousands of bits of visuial and written facts offered by the thousands of Youtube videos and witness accounts, including the guy in Damascus, Abu Ali, and Aboud from my side and Jr, Bro., Coz. and the bandits from yours.

And you think your narrative of what happened thousands of years ago was the truth?

Your discourse suffers from advancing belief over logic, and wishful over critical thinking.

August 17th, 2011, 3:58 am

 

BEAWARE PLUS said:

Minorities should not derail uprisings

They should be wary of being exploited by autocratic Arab regimes as a leverage or tool against the majority

By Faisal Al Qasim, Special to Gulf News
Published: August 17, 2011

There is no doubt at all that ethnic and religious minorities in the Arab world or anywhere else, have the right to live peacefully, and to preserve their cultural, social and religious identities as full-fledged citizens. They should not suffer any kind of pressure, blackmail or persecution by the majority. But at the same time they should know that even democracy is always at the side of the majority.

That is why it hardly allows the followers of small ethnic or religious groups to occupy high positions such as the post of president, no matter how powerful those groups are politically or economically. For instance, certain minorities in the US are extremely powerful, especially financially, but none of their followers can become the US president, because the presidency is usually occupied by one from the Protestant majority.

The only Catholic American who managed to become president was John F. Kennedy, and he, strangely enough, was assassinated.

We have also seen the big hullabaloo raised in the American media during the last election campaign about the religious origins of Barack Obama. It tried to play on the Islamic name ‘Osama’ which rhymes with Obama to derail the latter’s campaign. Many Americans thought he had a Muslim background, which made a lot of them very unhappy. In a word, a large majority of Americans could not accept a Muslim as president of their country, although over seven million Muslims live in the US.

Article continues below

Obama himself tried hard to prove to the Americans that he is a Christian, and that there is no Muslim blood in his veins whatsoever. In fact, the first thing he planned to do on a visit to Ireland was to be seen by world media praying at a well known Protestant church.

Although western countries are thought to be secular, their constitutions provide that the president, the king or the prince should belong to the religion of the majority. In the UK, for instance, the king or the queen are the head of the Church of England.

The Greek constitution stipulates in clause 47 that anyone who ascends the Greek throne should be a follower of the Orthodox Eastern Church, even though there are millions of Catholics and Protestants in Greece, apart from millions of Muslims. Nobody has ever objected to clause 47 which insists that the ruler should belong to the religion of the majority.

Similarly, the seventh clause of the Spanish constitution provides that the king must be a follower of the Catholic church, as it is the faith of the majority.

Likewise, the first clause of the Danish constitution lays down as a condition that the king should be a member of the majority Lutheran Protestant church, even though there are a lot of Orthodox and Catholic Christians in Denmark.

Not far from Denmark, clause four in the Swedish constitution insists that the king must be a pure Protestant. We have never heard Catholics, or Orthodox Christians, or for that matter Muslims, call for the removal of clause four.

Arab secularists might argue that the democratic system is the best solution for Muslim countries which have ethnic minorities or religious sects as it protects their rights and prevent the majority from persecuting them. Nobody should object to that, but at the same time, the Muslim majority has the full right to prevail politically, socially, and culturally in Arab countries, as is the case with the western majorities.

And so, the minorities in the Arab world should never ever be a hindrance to the aspirations of the majority as is the case these days with their hostile attitude towards certain revolutions.

It is actually stupid and very unwise of certain minorities to unite in the face of the majority clamouring hard to topple autocratic regime, no matter if such rulers are quite suitable to and preferred by the minorities. This should in no way make the minorities derail the revolution being sought by the majority.

In actual fact, it is not at all in the interest of the minorities to antagonise the majority just to defend a hated regime, as this might appear very opportunistic. It might even lead to revenge attacks later against the minorities for allying themselves with a regime rejected by the majority, especially if the latter seizes power afterwards.

Minorities in the Arab world should think very carefully before blindly supporting this or that notorious regime to achieve short-term gains. They should not allow themselves also to be used as a leverage or a tool by some regimes against the majority.

Some shaky Arab rulers are frightening minorities these days that the Muslim majority might persecute them later if the regime fails. The rulers in question have been presenting themselves over the decades as secularists, and they claim that the new regimes might be Islamist, which is not true. Minorities should not even fear the emergence of an Islamic government, as the new regimes, unlike the toppled ones, will be really democratic, and everything will be decided at the ballot box. Therefore, minorities should be far-sighted and not allow some of the falling dictators to use them in their fight to remain in power. And had there been real wise people within the minorities and not just mercenary leaders, they would have sided with the rising majority to help the revolutions succeed, or at least they should have kept their mouths shut.

Dr Faisal Al Qasim is a Syrian journalist based in Doha.

August 17th, 2011, 4:03 am

 

Jasmine said:

After reading a few post above,I am finding it hard to agree with some of you who is doubting the objective thinking of Prof Landis and implying that he is Islamophobic.
With all my respect to all religions and personal believes which usually are inherited in the middle East,without a question or a debate,I find it so absurd for the human being to be ready to die for a religious thought, and defending it with such passion.

I think that the Syrian uprising has failed because of this strong sense of religious belonging in the society,it has overwhelmed the national feeling and sense for fighting for justice and basic human demands,it has simply challenged the national identity.

IMHO,The silence attitude of minorities has not contribute actively to the uprising because simply,they don’t believe in eye for eye and tooth for tooth,forgiveness has a big room in some religion and they consider hatred and revenge is self destructive.
May be the minorities like to stay topless !!! and may be they like their wine !!!

Islam was a practical religion for the Arabic society in the past and has stopped the aggression and wars ,but it is so sad to see it now defining the power struggle and becoming tool for greed.

The majority wants to lead but,if the majority is not adapting its attitudes to the 21 century and the rest of the world,then may be it is about time that the minorities should be given the chance to lead.
Leaders should be chosen according to their abilities and not to be classified by religions.

August 17th, 2011, 4:09 am

 

MNA said:

Majedkhaldoun

“Out of 220,000, the Syrian army has 140,000 Alawite soldiers.”

Would you care to share with us the source of your data?

August 17th, 2011, 4:18 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

We were privileged to be invited to read the invective, violent, incomprehensible, meaningless, hateful, and megalomaniac diatribe from non other than “Mr. Follow me or you are traitors and I will authorize a surgical strike against you” Bassam Alqadi against an icon of Syria’s Civility and Civil Liberties, Michele Kilo, for daring to do what People like Mr fake human right advocate has been asking muslims to do for years, but has failed to ask Syrian Minorities to do, which is to retake their religion from those who sold it to the Assads. It is a travesty that people like Bassam even think of calling Michele Kilo a sectarian.

I am a little surprised that Prof. Landis, a fair and ballanced person, and in my opinion, very admirable, haveng been being invited like us to enjoy Bassam’s invective logic, did not look up Kilo’s article. Copied Below from Alsafir. I think that as one calls on Muslims (most of the sectarians here use Muslim to mean Sunni Muslims) to modernize their religion, one must recognize that Churches in the Arab world (Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt) are in as bad position as the Wahabis in KSA. They have been a force against civil laws, they have not found a dictator they did not like and called a protector, and socially, minorities, including Christians, continue to be part and parcel of the ME backward mentality despite of appearances to the contrary. One must again distinguish between liberal life style, and liberal thinking. For example, I find people like Hussam, even with my disagreements with him regarding many many issues, to possess an open mind that I am yet to find among many who proclaim themselves “Secular”. If the only thing that comes out of this crisis is exposing so called Arab Secularism for what many of its followers are, which is Fascist, then the Syrians would have done a tremendous benefit to real secularism by allowing us to weed out pretenders. It is high time the church is reformed as much as the mosque. Anyone arguing otherwise would be fooling themselves, exactly like Bassam Alqadi is doing.


دعوة المسيحية إلى العقل

ميشيل كيلو

يبدو أن الخراب صار عاما إلى الدرجة التي تجلعنا نغادر ونحن سعداء خير ما كان في حياتنا من عادات وتقاليد تضامنية ومفيدة. في طفولتي الأولى، اصطحبني والدي من القرية التي كان يخدم فيها كدركي إلى اللاذقية. خلال سيرنا في الشارع، كنت ارتبك واخف عندما يترك يدي أو تمر واحدة من السيارات، النادرة جدا تلك الأيام. وبينما نحن على هذه الحال، بدأ الخلق يغلقون حوانيتهم ويقفون أمامها لتلاوة الفاتحة، بينما كان المسيحيون يرسمون إشارة الصليب، ووالدي يقف باستعداد رافعا يده نحو رأسه بتحية عسكرية نظامية، بعد أن جمع قدميه بعضهما إلى بعض في وقفة انضباطية رسمية. بعد مرور الجنازة، علمت أن المتوفى كان رجلا يهوديا من آل شيحا، الأسرة المعروفة والمحترمة في لاذقية ذلك الزمن، رغم أنه لم تكن تفصلنا فترة طويلة عن مأساة فلسطين وتخلي الصهاينة العرب عنها للصهاينة اليهود .

… واليوم، تعقد في مكان محدد من دمشق حلقات رقص ودبكة وغناء، يمجد خلالها النظام القائم وتعظم رموزه، مع أن رائحة الموت تزكم أنف سوريا من مكان الرقص السعيد إلى أبواب بيوت وأحياء كثيرة يقتلها الحزن. ما الذي جرى للناس ولسوريا، حتى انقسمت إلى هذا الحد، وفقد بعض ناسها الشعور بالتضامن مع غيرهم؟ ممن يطلبون شيئا يريدونه للجميع، يفتقر إليه السوريون – بمن فيهم هؤلاء الراقصون في حضرة الموت – هو الحرية، ويعلنون في كل مناسبة أنهم يرون حتى في الراقصين أخوة لهم، وأن حريتهم هم أيضا، يجب أن تكون مضمونة بقوانين الدولة المدنية الديموقراطية، التي تستحق أن يضحي المرء من أجلها؟ أين كنا وأين صرنا؟

هذا الذي قلته هو مجرد مدخل إلى المسألة التي أريد مناقشـتها. صحيح أن الراقصين يمثلون أنفسهم فقط، بدليل أن هناك نيفا وستين صبية وشاباً مسيحيين اعتقلوا خلال الأسبوع الفائت وحده في حي باب توما، حيث يرقص هؤلاء. وصحيح أن الراقصين أحرار في أن يحبوا ويكرهوا من وما يريدون، لكن موقفهم يتحول إلى مشكلة بقدر ما يوهم بأنه يعكس حصة المسيحية السورية الرسمية من الأحداث العربية عموما والحدث السوري بوجه خاص، ويعد خروجا على تقاليد مجتمع يحترم الموتى، بغض النظر عن دينهم، وضربا من سلوك غير إنساني يصل إلى حد الرقص على جثث الآخرين، لمجرد أنهم ليسوا من طينة الراقصين، أو لأن هؤلاء يرفضون مواقفهم، مع أن بينهم ضحايا يجب أن يمتنع الراقص عن إبداء سعادته لمقتلهم هم جنود الجيش وعناصر جهاز الأمن!.

هل فاتت الراقصين هذه الحقيقة، وهل فات من يستطيعون التأثير عليهم أن رقصهم قد يفضي إلى مزيد من القطيعة والعداء بين مكونات الشعب الواحد، التي عاشت متآلفة متآخية على مر تاريخ يمتد لنيف وألف وخمسمائة عام، احترم المسلمون خلالها الوجود المسيحي في دياره، وحموه ودافعوا عنه، واعتبروه جزءا من ديانتهم الخاصة ووجودهم الثقافي والحضاري، ومكنوه من تجاوز محن وتحديات تاريخية هائلة الخطورة كالحروب الصليبية، التي دأبوا إلى اللحظة على تسميتها «حروب الفرنجة « لفصلها عن الدين المسيحي، وكالاستعمار الأوروبي، الذي لعب التبشير الديني دورا تمهيديا خطيرا في الإعداد له، ودورا لا يقل خطورة في ديمومته وسطوته، بينما لعب المسيحيون العرب، بالمقابل، دورا لا يقل أهمية في بناء وتوطيد الدولة العربية / الإسلامية، وفي التأسيس الفكري والمعرفي للثقافة التي عرفتها حقبة الازدهار التي أعقبت انتشار الدين الحنيف في أرض العرب. في حين بلغ التسامح المتبادل درجة جعلت الفهارس العربية، التي تحدثت عن علماء المسلمين، تبدأ بأسماء بن بختيشوع وحنين ابن إسحاق وسواهما من علماء الدولة والحضارة المسيحيين، من دون أن يجد مسلم واحد غضاضة في ذلك أو يسجل التاريخ أن أحدا من المسلمين اعترض على اعتبار هؤلاء العلماء المسيحيين مسلمين .

كان المسيحيون جزءا من الجماعة العربية / الإسلامية، ولأنهم رأوا أنفسهم بدلالتها، وليس بأية دلالة سياسية ضيقة، تمكنوا من لعب دورهم في حاضنة واسعة وعامة اعتبرتهم جزءا تكوينيا من نسيجها، لا حياة لها بدونهم، وبالعكس، لذلك حرصت عليهم وأبقت على إيمانهم، الذي لم يحفظ التنوع داخلها وحسب، بل وازدهر أيضا بفضل التكامل والتفاعل مع مكوناتها الإسلامية وغير الإسلامية.

بكلمات أخرى: لم تكن الجماعة – الأمة – المسلمة ترى الآخر في مسيحييها، بل كانت ترى نفسها فيهم أيضا، فهم هي، في صيغة خاصة، مغايرة. وكل مساس بهم يعد مساسا بوجودها وتكاملها وطريقتها في العيش، كما في تسامحها، الذي كان معياره الرئيس الموقف من المسيحيين وديانتهم. بينما استعرت في الوقت على جبهات التنوع الإسلامي الخاص صراعات قاسية لم تعرف التسامح في أحيان وحالات كثيرة. بدورهم، اعتبر المسيحيون أنفسهم جزءا تكوينيا من جماعة تاريخية سابقة للدولة والسياسة، فلم يروا حقوقهم بدلالتهما، لأن الجماعة نفسها لم تكن تنكر عليهم حقهم في الصعود والارتقاء داخلها، دون تمييز اجتماعي أو أخلاقي، حتى أنها سمحت لهم في بعض الحالات باستثناءات تتعلق بدورهم العسكري في
الدولة، الذي كانوا عادة وتقليديا بمنأى عنه .

هل فقد مسيحيو العصور الحديثة هذا الدور وتحولوا من جزء في جماعة تاريخية إلى جزء من سلطة طارئة وعابرة، فبدلوا دورهم وغربوا أنفسهم عن حاضنتهم المجتمعية، التي كانت السلطة من خارجها معظم الوقت؟ وهل يعبر الرقص الحديث عن هذا الموقف بالطريقة الفظة التي يتقنها منخلعون عن الواقع يجهلون أو يزدرون تاريخهم، يظن من رباهم كنسيا على عنصرية دينية قاتلة أنهم يجب أن يكونوا كأسلافهم خدما للسلطة، وأن عليهم تمضية أعمارهم في اتقاء شرورها وخطب ودها ولعق قفاها؟

إذا كان هؤلاء قد أصبحوا جزءا من الســلطة، فما هي المزايا الـتي عادت عليهم من لذلك؟ هل يبرر التحاقهم بالسلطة انفكاكهم عن الجماعة التاريخية، التي لطالما انتموا إليـها وتكفلت باستــمرار وجودهم بينها، وبتمتعهم بقدر كبير من الحرية الدينية والمدنية، علما بأنها هزيمتها على يد السلطة الحالية ليست غير ضـرب من المحال أو من المصادفات العابرة؟ هل وازن هؤلاء بين الربح والخسارة، وقرروا الرقص على جثث الجماعة؟ وفي هذه الحـالة، ألا يرون ما وقع للمسيحيين في العراق، حيث كان ارتباطهم بالسلطة المسوغ الذي استخدمه مجانين الإسلاميين للقــضاء على وجودهــم في بلاد الرافدين؟ وهل فكر المسيحيون بالمعنى التاريخي الهائل للتغيير الذي يشهده العالم العربي الآن، وبانعكاساته على الجماعة التي ينتمون إليها وعليهم هم أنفسهم، ويرجح أن تعقبه حقبة نهوض غير مسبوقة ستبدل أوضاع المجتمعات والدول، ستكون قيمها متفقة لأول مرة في تاريخنا مع القيم التي يقوم عليها العالم الحديث، وستتيح مصالحة تاريخية تطوي صفحة الصراع بين عالمي الإسلام والمسيحية الأوروبية، الذي بدأ عند نهاية القرن السابع الميلادي واستمر إلى اليوم، دون أن يتأثروا هم بنتائجه، مع أنه شهد مراحل حلت خلالها هزائم جسيمة بالمسلمين؟ يبدو أن الكنائس المسيحية لا تفهم ما يجري، ولا تفكر بلعب أي دور جدي فيه، وأنها تفوت السانحة الفريدة على الجماعة التي تنتمي إليها، وهي في غالبيتها من المسلمين، وعلى نفسها، وتفضل البقاء حيث هي: إلى جانب الظلم والاستبداد، والرقص على أشلاء الأموات المظلومين.

والآن، وبما أن الدين ليس ملك الكنيسة، التي تبلد شعورها وفقدت علاقتها مع الواقع ومع حساسية المسيحية الإنسانية، ولأن للعلمانية الحق في ممارسة وفهم الدين بالطريقة التي تريدها، خارج وضد الكنيسة أيضا، فإنني أدعو العلمانيين من مسيحيي المولد إلى فتح نقاش أو عقد ندوة حول موضوع وحيد هو سبل إعادة المسيحيين إلى موقعهم الصحيح من الجماعة العربية / الإسلامية، وإلى دورهم الثقافي / المجتمعي في خدمتها، بعيدا عن أية سلطة غير سلطة الجوامع الإنسانية والمشتركات الروحية والمادية التي تربطهم بها، في زمن التحول الاستثنائي الذي لا سابقة له في تاريخ العرب، ويمثل فرصتها لامتلاك وبناء الدولة التي تعبر عن حريتها وحضورها في شأن عام عاشت المسيحية فيه وبفضله، لأنه كان مرتبطا بالدولة في مفهومها المجرد والسامي، ومنفصلا عن شأن سلطوي استبدادي الطابع والدور، مما حمى المسيحية من شرور وبطش السلطوية وغرسها بعمق حاضنتها الطبيعية، المستقلة نسبيا عن السلطة والسياسة، بفضل الإسلام وفضائه الإنساني: المتسامح والرحب .

إذا كان العلمانيون في الدول العربية المختلفة يدركون أهمية هذا التحول التاريخي، الذي يجب أن يرد المسيــحية إلى مكانها الصحيح من مجتمعاتها، فإن واجبهم يكون المبادرة إلى فتح هذا النقاش أو عقد هذا المؤتمر الذي لا بد أن يضم ممثلين عنهم يلتقون في بيــروت أو القاهرة، يتدارسون خلاله كل ما هو ضروري لرد المسيحية إلى موقعها التاريخي كجزء من المجتمع العربي / الإسلامي، يخوض معاركه ويشاركه مصيره، يفرح لفرحه ويحزن لحزنه، ويرفض اعتبار نفسه جزءا من سلطاته أو خادما لديها، فيتقاسم مع مواطنيه أقدراهم، سهلة كانت أم صعبة. بغير ذلك، لن تبقى المسيحية في هذه المنطقة، وسيكون مصيرهم كمصير النظم التي يخدمونها: على كف عفريت، خاصة إن انتصرت بالفعل جماعات الإسلام السياسي المتطرفة، التي ينتحرون اليوم انتحارا مؤكدا لشدة خوفهم غير المبرر منها، ولا يجدون طريقة يردون مخاطرها بواسطتها عن أنفسهم غير الارتباط المجنون باستبداد يعلمون تماما أنه إلى زوال مهما طال الوقت، وأن طريقهم إلى التوطن في قلوب وعقول مواطنيهم لا يمكن بحال من الأحوال أن يمر من خلاله أو على جثث ضحاياه .

باختصار شديد: إما أن تغير الكنيسة مواقفها وتعود ثانية إلى كنف مجتمعها العربي / الإسلامي، أو أن يؤسس العلمانيون كنيسة مدنية تأخذ المسيحيين إلى حيث يجب أن يكونوا، مواطنين حريتهم جزء من حرية مجتمعهم وفي خدمتها. وللعلم، فإن التاريخ لن ولا يجوز أن يرحم أحدا: كنسيا كان أم علمانيا، إن هو وقف جانبا، أو رقص على جثث من يموتون من أجل حريته!

August 17th, 2011, 5:01 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Jasmine @ 38
And the minorities are adapting to 21st century bu supporting murder of their own countrymen and women, and children, and by joining an increasingly Fascist movement? (which by the way includes many of those in the majority who think themselves more evolved than their brethren) . I thought freedom is a 21st century thing and that Tyranny is a bit older. Or have you forgotten that because it is in-convenient. The minorities are as backward as the majority. Their social life is no better, and I do not care if women do or do not cover their faces. The thinking style is the same, their resistance to mixed marriages is the same if not worst, and I have horror stories from the younger generation to tell about such backward attitude. So spare me the nonsense about majorities joining and adapting to the 21 century, NO one is joining and adapting to 21st century with dictators brandishing their sward above our necks. No one, not the Minorities, nor the Majority, independent of what sectarian terms and division are used to classify who is who. You keep supporting tyranny, and you are basically maintaining everyone in the 11th century (worst than the 7th).

August 17th, 2011, 5:08 am

 

Aboud said:

“All of what we hear is angry messages from mostly expats,including a full time blogger who speaks perfect English and uses slang American language and responds within seconds but insists that he lives in Homs (no disrespect,my friend).”

Yes, because people who live in Syria are too stupid to learn English to a sufficient degree that they start to speak and write it like a native speaker?

I think that, after the unsophisticated crap we’ve seen from the menhebak expatriates on this forum, we can safely put to rest the idea that people who live in the West are somehow more cosmopolitan, sophisticated, insightful and worldly than their Syrian cousins. Not when you have people obsessed with sex on a volcano and drinking the snot of satellite shiekhs.

Syria was unique among Middle Eastern countries, in that it had scant few cases of sectarian violence. You’d think that would have resulted in a stronger sense of nationalism for Syria and affinity with the rest of the country among the minorities.

Instead, if professor Landis is to be believed, Syria’s reward for being a haven of sectarian tranquility, is that the minorities end up looking out only for themselves, and turn their backs to the massacres and genocides occurring right before their very eyes.

How would the minorities like it if Iran and Hizbollah imposed their system on Syria? Or do they actually think that all the support junior is getting from those two directions, isn’t going to come with a price?

“May be the minorities like to stay topless !!! and may be they like their wine !!! ”

Have you been paying attention to the demonstrations? People want their *freedoms*. They are not calling for Sharia Islam. It takes an idiot to believe that the young people out risking their lives every day and night to overthrow the Baathist restrictions on their lives, are doing so just to replace them with Muslim Brotherhood restrictions.

The menhebaks are truly imbecilic. They claim this is a vast plot on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and yet in the same breath claim that the revolution has no leadership. How can there be a plot with no leader or plan behind it? Especially one that has supposedly managed to infiltrate a zillion armed gangs into every nook and cranny of the country.

“The Syrians are still living in their cities and in in their homes and not in refuge camps.”

*facepalm* 70,000 Hamwis would disagree with you. Thousands of people from Deir el Zour would too. The thousands of refugees in Lebanon and Turkey, ditto. Give it time, it’s only been 5 months, but at this rate junior will empty the country.

“Ignorants do not learn from their mistakes, Smart people learn from their mistakes,”

The irony is so heavy it could sink a battleship. And what has junior learned after five months of “tanks, tanks and even more tanks”

August 17th, 2011, 5:09 am

 

Revlon said:

38. Dear Jasmine,
You said:
” With all my respect to all religions and personal believes which usually are inherited in the middle East, without a question or debate, I find it so absurd for the human being to be ready to die for a religious thought, and defending it with such passion”

– I thought this is the usual way across the world!
– China and India are a big chunk of the world. Their religion is as a rule inherited
– Would you care to share with us any source of information to the contrary?

You said:
” I think that the Syrian uprising has failed because of this strong sense of religious belonging in the society, it has overwhelmed the national feeling and sense for fighting for justice and basic human demands, it has simply challenged the national identity”

– The revolution is in the ascendancy.
– This revolution aims to achieve freedom and calls for national unity irrespective of religion.
– The revolution has forged a new national identity; One that is made by free choice of the people, not ideologically imposed by the Baathist Slouches.

You said:
” The silence attitude of minorities has not contribute actively to the uprising because simply, they don’t believe in eye for eye and tooth for tooth, forgiveness has a big room in some religion and they consider hatred and revenge is self destructive”

– The majority of the “ minorities” have not contributed to the revolution for a simple reason; they are part of the regime machine of repression, that also include a minority, albeit sizable of the Muslem Sunnis.

– Violence have been practiced under the flag of all religious and non-religious ideologies, throughout history.
– The 3alawi minority rule have been responsible for thousands of killings, torture, and displacement of citizens on the basis of their ideological or religious beliefs.
– Look no further than Lebanon to test your claim that minorities, particularly the forgiving, peace-loving Christians of Ja3ja3 and Jmayyel do not believe in an aye is for a whole family!

” The majority wants to lead but, if the majority is not adapting its attitudes to the 21 century and the rest of the world,then may be it is about time that the minorities should be given the chance to lead”

– I hate to break it to you but the 3alawi is a minority, and along with some of the other minorities have been indeed ruling Syria for over 40 years and are driving it now to the brink of civil war.

– The rule of majority that the revolution is seeking is based on citizenship; one person for one vote.
– Social changes can be promoted not be imposition, but by free choice, in a climate of freedom and individual accountability.
– Syrian society, including Sunnis do not have to adapt to the social norms of the other nations. Local traditions of different communities are deeply rooted and are cherished.
They need to be catered for and respected, as long as they are in harmony with the basic human rights.

Finally,
You said,
“Leaders should be chosen according to their abilities and not to be classified by religions”

– I could not agree more.
The revolution aims to regain the right to self determination to all Syrians, on their own land , irrespective of religion or ethnicities.

August 17th, 2011, 5:33 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Faisal AlQassem said
“it is not at all in the interest of the minorities to antagonise the majority just to defend a hated regime”,
What would the Christians do if the revolution appears close to winning, would they switch side,it may be late, Christians are smart and educated , I believe that many of them prefer democratic system, where their status is protected by the rule of law than to live under current system of despotism and sectarian rule.Are they going to sleep better seeing 20-30 sunni slaughtered daily.
In USA, we are minority, Rule of law protect us, would they prefer dictatorship than current system?in USA
I found contradiction between what they say here and what they want in Syria.
In democratic system Minorities are more protected than under brutal despotic system.

Badr #44
He who advocates the army will change the goverment in Syria, should know that it is impossible, 70% of the army belong to the Assad sect, what he suggests is pure nonsense,it is not going to happen, sunni officers are in adminstrative positions and have no power at all.

the regime knows well that even if they reduce the numbers of demonstatrors now, in the future the whole syrian people will rise against them,they are buying time.the minorities better think again.

August 17th, 2011, 7:38 am

 

some guy in damascus said:

@ khalid tlass,
there will no leveling of qurdaha, or any invitation for Israelis to attack any arab. the Alawites are syrians and have right of claim to Syria as much as any other Syrian…christian,Muslim, Jew or otherwise.
khalid ,when you’re confronted by sectarian language don’t reply with more sectarian language…this revolution’s legitimacy derives from our secular,national and peaceful seed.
i don’t care if the next 1000 presidents of syria are alawites…what matters is their commitment to syria and all it’s people rather than a select few.
that being said, let me comment on what i anticipate will happen when besho breaks turkey’s last straw.
turkey will come out with a harsh statement, something along, syria is better without besho, but they will be hesitant to intervene physically. this will put pressure on the pro-regime members of the security council to come up with stronger statements and sanctions. internally, it will boost the protesters morale. ultimately it may trigger stronger statements by other close nations and maybe soon to be “former allies”.
@ all, especially abu ghassan,
as a Syrian, who has witnessed atrocities being committed at friends ,family and strangers from the security forces, there is obviously no limit to their atrocities. the regime has no leash on these dogs and they are the chemotherapy of civil society. the army is failing us miserably…..

August 17th, 2011, 8:17 am

 

beaware said:

Syrian troops detain dozens, 1 dead in northwest
17/08/2011
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=26258
BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian rights group says government troops have detained dozens of people overnight after cutting electricity in a Damascus neighborhood.

The group says the raids took place in the predominantly Kurdish neighborhood of Rukneddine early on Wednesday.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also says a bullet killed a man in the northwestern Idlib province as he stood on his balcony. Troops were carrying out raids in the area at the time.

President Bashar Assad has dramatically escalated the crackdown on a 5-month-old uprising since the start of the holy month of Ramadan at the beginning of August. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands detained.

August 17th, 2011, 8:18 am

 

Observer said:

It is the regime that we need to concentrate on. There is a genuine popular revolt against the family rule without checks and balances. There is a revolt against corruption and a system that forces corruption on the people to keep them humiliated and subdued; a revolt against monopoly and graft and the use of power to continue to exploit the majority of the people. There is a revolt against a few that are above the law and that use the organs of security and the resources of the state for their personal benefits and at the expense of both majority and minority groups. There is a revolt against a system that is meant to prevent the average Syrian from advancing his/her lot as the education/economic/opportunity system leaves them unable to advance or compete with the rest of the region and the world. This is the revolt against the insulting news from SANA and the use of the armed forces after the abolition of the state of emergency in indiscriminate killing and destruction. It is a revolt against the inability of anyone to have a real debate about their future from the scripted sermons to the forced marches.
It is a revolt against a system that for practical purposes has nothing but utter contempt for the average Syrian, treating the citizen as less than a worm or insect and against the mentality of graded citizenship that we see today.

This is the tragedy of this post that put the debate upside down on its head with people thinking in terms of sections of this or that town and who lives there and how they have been targeted and why.

Discuss the following
1. Criminality of the regime
2. Separation of powers
3. Independent judiciary
4. Open and free elections
5. Party law not to be written by the Baath
6. Justice for the victims
7. Reform of every single department and institution from the guard that cleans the portrait of the late President to the Presidency itself.
Dettol has not been able to wipe out the Germs. They are resisting and they are multiplying.

August 17th, 2011, 8:32 am

 

Aboud said:

“there will no leveling of qurdaha”

If Qurdaha came out to demonstrate, junior would level it with heavy artillery and later claim there were Salafi gunmen there.

August 17th, 2011, 8:33 am

 
 

sheila said:

Dear Dr. Landis,
All Syrians are fearful of the chaos that will ensue upon the fall of the current Syrian regime. It is disingenuous for the Christians to claim that they fear chaos more or that they will be affected more than anybody else. On the other hand, the Alawiis fear is very legitimate. There is a lot of bad blood between Sunnis and Alawiis thanks to the Assads and their criminals. The only reason for the Christians to be fearful is their stand with the regime against the people. The irony is that the regime is not purely Alawii, the supporters of the regime are not purely Alawiis and Christians and the opposition is not purely Sunnis.
For the Christians to claim that they will have to leave the country if this regime falls, is also disingenuous. Do we have any statistics on how many Christians left the country between 1963 and today under the wonderful rule of the Assads and its Baath party?. My husband and I went to private schools in Aleppo. Most of our friends and class mates were Christian. Of my husbands class, close to 95% are out of the country. Of my class, close to 80% are out of the country. I would venture to say that even before the uprising started, that if you offered any Syrian a chance to leave the country to the USA, Europe or the Gulf, they would be ecstatic. The only people to refuse are the elderly and those that are making millions because they are part of or benefiting from the corruption of this regime. All Syrians from all ethnicities and religions including Alawiis, have been leaving the country in droves looking for the basic opportunity to live a decent life or fleeing oppression and persecution by the Syrian regime.

August 17th, 2011, 8:42 am

 

Ammar said:

@majedkhaldoon

I don’t know whether to feel sorry for you, or really feel sorry for you. You claim the Syrian army is almost completely composed of Alawites. There are about 500,000 soldiers, not 220,000. And 140,000 are Alawites, that might be true, but then they would make up less than 33% of the army. You want to turn this sectarian when we in Syria haven’t spoken about sects since the early 80’s. Which Mickey Mouse website do you get your info? Are you lying to yourself, or the people on this blog? The army service is mandatory, not mandatory for Alwaites only you know. I’m rue there are plenty of non-Alawite’s who would be loving the fact that they don’t have to serve in the army.
To say that the army is killing innocent civilians holding olive branches is insulting your own people, but you’re too blind to see it. If the army if composed of volunteers, I might agree with you. When was the last time you heard of an army shooting innocent civilians? Out of the hours of footage on YouTube, how much of it shows the army shooting at innocent protestors. Even 30 years ago when no one had a camera you could see footage of the South African army shooting at protestors clear as day. When was the last time you saw a tank shelling, or a boat for that matter? The videos either show people running and no source to the firing, or the army hiding behind tanks and cement walls and shooting at an unknown target. If you were a soldier, and you were facing an un-armed enemy holding an olive branch, would u hide behind a tank? Or a cement wall? What do you have to be afraid of? Flip flops and shoes?
And please, don’t give me that self defense argument. Self defense doesn’t include cutting up bodies, throwing them off bridges or hanging them in the town square in their underwear. When a prominent opposition member admits that terrorist’s elements have made their way from Iraq to fight the Syrian forces, how could anyone deny the terrorists theory? The fact of the matter is, there are hard-core elements in Syria, and although they are not the majority, they still make the biggest noise. And if the terrorists are chasing after them, then good for them, if terrorists were attacking Syria and the army did nothing about it, you would be going on and on about how the Alawite army is doing nothing to protect the rest of the nation. If the army was killing “innocent protestors” and “civilians” the death toll would be 10 or 20 times as high.
If the protests stop, so will the criminal elements hiding between them and using them as a human shield. And if the killing continues after that, then no one will argue with you about how the army is comprised of monsters and killers. There are over 62,000 Syrians convicted of crimes and are escaping the law, don’t you think they at least half of them will be willing to use this time in Syria’s history to get off the hook? And all the religious fanatics, weren’t they just waiting for a day like this to pick up where they left off in the early 80’s? Or does it make more sense that the army is shooting little kids and women for sport? The security forces have been getting attacked since the first month of the revolt, were the people already defending themselves then too? And where they defending themselves from the army and the police when they were banned from carrying their guns for 2 weeks during the first month of the revolt? I know what happened in Me3adamieh, and it had nothing to do with self defense.
Go push your sectarian agenda somewhere else. Because this army is just as Sunni and Christian as it is Alawite. If you don’t believe me, go ask every young man 24 years or older who had served in the army. Look at any protest on TV and tell me if those people represent Syria, they are all young men between 16 and 40, much like the army. Only difference, the army probably has more diversity than those protests. The fact that they all start out of mosques says enough. If they would have started out of churches on a Sunday as well, you could possibly argue with me on this one.

August 17th, 2011, 9:20 am

 

ann said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 17th, 2011, 9:31 am

 

Tara said:

Ammar

Do feel sorry for your ownself. The army and security forces murdered more than 2000 innocent civilians including women and children. They did not even spare pregnant women. Names are published and well documented. The army is sectarian army and it’s sole purpose is to protect the minorities. Not all minorities, only the loyal ones. The Sunni conscripts do not count. They comply out of fear or they get shot when the don’t. It is never intended to protect borders. It is a well designed entity by the rabbit of Golan and his ancestor to protect the family reign.

August 17th, 2011, 9:34 am

 

ann said:

House Panel Approves Resolution Calling On Turkey To Return Christian Churches Confiscated During Ottoman Empire…

(CNS News) — The House Foreign Affairs Committee recently voted 43 to one in support of a resolution that calls upon the Republic of Turkey “to safeguard its Christian heritage and to return confiscated church properties” — a step the Turkish Embassy described as “deeply regrettable.”

The resolution (H.Res. 306), introduced by Reps. Edward Royce (R-Calif.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.), cites the “Ottoman Empire’s oppression and intentional destruction of much of its ancient Christian populations, including over 2,000,000 Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Pontians, and Syrics,” and adds that Turkey “has been responsible for the destruction and theft of much of the Christian heritage within its borders.”

The Ottoman Empire, from 1300 to 1922, was an Islamic-governed empire that covered much of southeastern Europe and parts of North Africa and the Middle East. In 1923, with the empire’s official dissolution, Turkey became one of its successor states.

August 17th, 2011, 9:42 am

 

ann said:

Muslims Attack Christian Village in Egypt — 1 Murdered, Homes Looted and Torched (AUGUST 9, 2011)

http://aina.org/news/2011089052824.htm

(AINA) — Muslims attacked Christians in the village of Nazlet Faragallah, in the southern Egyptian Minya province, on Sunday evening. The attack continued until the early hours of Monday morning, August 8. One Copt was murdered and homes were looted and torched when Muslims from Nazlet Faragallah together with Muslims from four neighboring villages started their violence at approximately 8 PM, after breaking their Ramadan fast.

According to eyewitnesses, thousands of Muslims entered the village from all sides, firing automatic weapons (mostly in the air), looting and throwing Molotov Cocktails at several homes. “They even destroyed our irrigation pumps,” said one witness.

The first attack was on the house of Father Youanes, pastor of St. George Church, which lies at the head of the village. He was beaten and his home was looted and torched.

Maher Nassif Tobias (50), an employee at the local council, was murdered in his home. He was found by his son. His house was completely looted, including his livestock.

Security forces arrived 4 hours after the attack began and there were too few of them. “They only had batons in their hands, and were unable to control the situation,” said a Coptic village resident. “Our village is surrounded by corn fields. The Muslims came into the village to loot and quickly disappeared in the fields, the police could not follow them. They were coming from all directions at the same time.”

Nazlet Faragallah has 8000 inhabitants, 80% are Copts and 20% Muslims.

The events were preceded on Saturday by an altercation caused by Muslims harassing Christian girls as they came out of a church service in the late afternoon. Stones were hurled by Muslims at the church, breaking five windows. A “reconciliation” meeting took place. Some 200 Copts staged a sit-in in front of St. George’s Church on Sunday afternoon to protest against Muslim attack on the church.

In a statement tonight, the security authorities in Minya said the Muslim attack on Nazlet Faragallah was caused by a group of Copts, headed by Haddar Ishaq, firing at Muslims as they came out of the mosque on Sunday afternoon. Copts in the village denied this claim.

Three Muslims were arrested yesterday and three Copts today. None of the Copts were involved in any incident, and one of them had broken his leg two weeks before. “Security is doing its balancing act again,” said one of the villagers. “They will use these Copts, who were arrested at random, to bargain for their freedom in exchange for village Copts giving up their rights during the ‘reconciliation’ meeting.”

It was reported that Muslim women walked the streets today, warning that after breaking the Ramadan fast the men would come to finish the Christians off, but this did not happen, as security was present in large numbers in the village and preparations were being made for another “reconciliation” meeting to take place on August 9.

August 17th, 2011, 9:51 am

 

ann said:

With regime’s fall, Christians become prey

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/middle_east/egypt/s_749270.html

QENA, Egypt — When Ayman Anwar Mitri heard his apartment building had burned, the high school administrator rushed to see the damage.

He found a crowd of bearded men waiting.

They “beat me all over” with charred furniture, recalls Mitri, 47, one of the Coptic Christians who make up 10 to 15 percent of Egypt’s 83 million people.

He says a rival falsely accused him of renting the apartment to two Muslim prostitutes and of having sex with them — a social and sectarian taboo that inflamed local Islamists.

“They were chanting, ‘There is no god but Allah.’ They wanted me to convert to Islam,” Mitri says. “… I was on my knees with my hands over my head. It felt like icicles falling on my body, and I prayed.”

An attacker slashed his back, an arm and a cheek with a box cutter before slicing off his right ear.

Afterward, a caller told police: “We took our Islamic justice; you can now take your civilian justice.”

White gauze is wrapped around Mitri’s head, covering the wound and part of his receding hair. A small cross is tattooed on his right wrist.

He says he learned his attackers — who were never charged — were Salafis.

Four days later, he says, authorities forced him into a “reconciliation” meeting with the men and made him change his police statement to deny knowing the culprits.

Across Egypt, Salafis are accused of increased violence, mostly against Christians, since the Mubarak regime fell in February.

“A month ago, you wouldn’t even dare to walk around. We were expecting them to throw acid (on us),” says Hala Helmy Botros, 47, a Coptic activist and blogger here. “They were on fire, cutting off ears and making lots of threats.”

In one incident, Botros recounts, an unveiled girl was stabbed in one arm.

Qena is the capital of a province of about 3 million Egyptians; a third are thought to be Christians. The place prides itself on its clean, tree-lined boulevards.

Youssef Sidhom, editor of an Egyptian newspaper that covers Christian issues, says officials have allowed Salafis “to become wild … to know that they are not paying any price, whatever atrocities they do.”

Three local Salafi leaders agreed to discuss the Mitri incident. Refusing to make eye contact with two female reporters during a two-hour interview, they insist that media reports distorted the attack.

One of the men, Abdel Rahman Adly, a civil engineer, says, “Prostitution isn’t acceptable by Muslims or Christians” and “lots of people, not only Salafis,” were involved.

Islam provides “no punishment such as cutting off ears for adultery or prostitution,” he says, and what occurred had “nothing to do with religion.”

Salafis, as well as other Muslims and some Christians, have protested the recent appointment of Qena’s new provincial governor, who is a Christian and police general; Egyptians widely revile police officials as corrupt.

According to Botros, Salafis at one protest chanted, “Oh Christians, you pigs!” and “There is no god but Allah, and Christians are the enemy of Allah!”

Others blocked the region’s rail line for more than a week.

Acting Gov. Magid Abdul Kareem says he has heard much talk about local Salafis but denies that a problem exists.

Social worker Naser Yasin, 27, disagrees. The Salafis’ actions are “a message to the Christians in general and the ruling military council in particular that they … (can) take control of the street,” he says.

Dr. Mona Makram Ebied, a Harvard-educated professor at American University in Cairo and former parliamentarian, describes Salafis as “the boogeyman we have today to frighten people.”

Egypt’s Copts feel insecure, she says, because government inaction gives “a free hand for the Salafis to continue doing this — cutting off ears, refusing a Christian governor, or burning a church.”

Mitri says he wants to immigrate to Australia; his 11-year-old son is too afraid to attend school.

“They have the upper hand,” he says of Qena’s Salafis. “If they were able to shut down the train tracks throughout the governorate for a week, this proves the power they have.”

August 17th, 2011, 10:01 am

 

ِAboud said:

“Out of the hours of footage on YouTube, how much of it shows the army shooting at innocent protestors”

Homs, August 15th.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ0-mliULgM&feature=player_embedded

Dar’a June 27th

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuZA93XK6G8&feature=player_detailpage

Damascus, July 8th

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFM9noE-sKk&feature=player_detailpage

Hama, August 1st.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YslLJ4ibyLc&feature=player_detailpage

Dar’a April 2nd

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3at5klg_R8&feature=player_detailpage

And that’s just what I could find in 5 minutes. For every shooting caught on video, a hundred go unreported.

None are so blind, than those that refuse to see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.

“When a prominent opposition member admits that terrorist’s elements have made their way from Iraq to fight the Syrian forces, how could anyone deny the terrorists theory?”

Give a source for this absurd statement (now he will, like all menhebaks, disappear from the forum).

When this is all over, every soldier and officer who oppressed the Syrian people will be held accountable. There are thousands of hours of Youtube footage that will go nicely at the trials.

In Hama, not a single person was killed or hurt, until the army invaded it. Same with Deir el Zour. Same with Latakia.

By the way, show us one video of armed gunmen firing at the army. You can’t, not in five months have you shown as much as shred of proof for the existence of these gunmen.

August 17th, 2011, 10:25 am

 

norman said:

Ann,

While at it they should ask the Spanish government to return the Mosques and Temples that they confiscated during the inquisition,

August 17th, 2011, 10:29 am

 

newfolder said:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/8702466/Iran-snipers-in-Syria-as-part-of-crackdown.html

Iran snipers in Syria as part of crackdown

Iranian snipers have been deployed in Syria as part of an increasingly brutal crackdown on protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, according to a former member of the regime’s secret police.

The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals, crossed the border into Turkey last week after being ordered to shoot to kill, bringing with him sickening details of increasingly desperate measures to end five months of demonstrations. He said he had beaten prisoners and fired on protesters in Damascus. At times during the past two months he was aware of Iranian troops – confirmed by senior officers – alongside his team in the Syrian capital.

“We knew they were from Iran because we were not allowed to speak to them and they were kept well away from us,” he told The Daily Telegraph in Yayladagi, the nearest town to the refugee camp where he now lives. “When we had operated with the Syrian army we would always mix with them and chat.” His account confirms other reports that Syria has turned to its closest ally for help in putting down the protests directed at the Assad family’s 41 years in power.

The ferocity of government operations has shocked international observers.

Tanks and snipers have been deployed to quell protests across the country during the holy month of Ramadan, even as the US and Arab states have called on Mr Assad to end the violence.

So far more than 1,700 people have reportedly been killed.
On Monday Syrian forces shelled residential districts in the Mediterranean port city of Latakia for a third straight day. At least 29 civilians, including a two-year-old girl have been killed, according to rights groups.

Spokesmen for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said a Palestinian refugee camp near the town had been shelled from the sea, emptying it of half its 10,000 residents. The organisation called on President Assad to stop the attack.

The bloodshed has forced thousands of people to cross the border from Syria into Turkey.

Among them last week was a 25-year-old officer with the Mukhabarat secret police, who described how officers were increasingly unhappy at being ordered to kill unarmed protesters.

“They were all feeling like me. They were all afraid like me but knew they would be killed if they left or if they refused orders,” he said.

Instead they tried to aim their shots in the air.

He also described bringing protesters – some as young as 13 – into police stations where they were beaten for the entertainment of senior officers.

The worst episode, he said, came in July when the secret police snatched nine women believed to be married to opposition leaders.

“The Mukhabarat stripped them and then made them walk through the streets,” he said. “It was just to make their husbands turn themselves in. Two days later they did.”

Now he faces an uncertain future. No one else in the refugee camp knows that he was once one of the men ordered to fire on protesters but he also knows that he faces death as a deserter if he were to return to Syria.

Iran and its close regional ally, the Lebanese militant group Hizbollah, are growing increasingly concerned at President Assad’s isolation and are doing all they can to bolster him as the Arab world starts to withdraw its support.

On Sunday, a senior religious figure, Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, issued a statement saying: “It is the duty of all Muslims to help stabilise Syria against the destructive plots of America and Israel.”

August 17th, 2011, 10:51 am

 

ِAboud said:

These menhebaks would still deny demonstrators were being shot at, even if someone showed them a clip of Cro Magnum Maher shooting at civilians.

See, let’s do a test

August 17th, 2011, 10:57 am

 

newfolder said:

#65 Aboud, you forgot this one in Idleb, clearly shows security forces firing to break up a protest, and people shot and killed:

August 17th, 2011, 10:59 am

 

jad said:

What’s the deal with the new wave of attacks against the Syrian Christians recently in the media?
Is it an organized campaign of some sort?
In the last 10 days many articles were talking about the minorities of Syria, ‘minorities’ means ONLY the Syrians Christians, not the Druz, the Ismaelis or even the Alawites, as if ‘they’ the ‘Christians’ can do anything with their pathetic powerless 8% of the population (if not less as someone claims 5%)?
If the 70% of the Syrians can’t do the job why to blame the useless Christians on that?
Oh, I got it, the usual middle eastern mentality when they can’t succeed they blame anybody but themselves, let’s blame those Syrian Christian they let us loose this mighty beautiful peaceful revolution, let’s forget about all those Christian Syrians who happened to be part of this uprising those anti-regime writers, activists, protesters, prisoners and martyrs, they all are the reason of our failure and they should pay…..what kind of stupid and ugly message is that to the Syrians Christians communities, it actually pushes them further away..

Here are some comments written on the revolution FB site 5 months ago, nothing changed since, the same sectarian sentiment from day one:

—————————————-
“Kinda Khalill سريان القامشلي يا مسيحين -للاسف هم معه لانهم يخافون من القادم على أنفسهم و انت تفهم قصدي سيد مالك
about an hour ago · 3 people

Nour Douchi ولك واحد عم بيطول لسانه عالمسيحيين ينضب و يقص لسانو. اللعمى شو كلاب. ولك أنا مسيحي و حارقين دمنا على شو؟ اللعمى بضميركون صحيح. قال حياديين و مانهون ضد حدا و لا مع حدا. يعني نسيتو العامل العددي؟ في كل حي صار يوجد مسيحي واحد. كانوا المسيحيين 40 بالمئة و صاروا عشرة بالمئة. عمي حارب بحرب تشرين و خالي التاني كان بالفدائيين و لكن عليكم ألا تنسوا بأن الفئة الضخمة عدداً و نسبةً في المجتمع عادةً يقع على عاتقها عبء التغيير بسبب العمق الاجتماعي فهي تستطيع امتصاص الاختراق من كل النواحي أكثر من غيرها. هذا حال الثورات في كل الدول و في كل
الأزمنة. و لكن للأسف ما تتكلمون عنه لا ينجم عن منطق و لكن عن انطباعات طائفية خاطئة من أساسها. يا ريت لو كان سمع جول جمّال هالحكي قبل ما كان يقرر ينتحر من شان مصر. يمكن كان قرف و ضل يعيش و يتهنى بعيشته

Ziad Malki يا أخ نور ..ما حدا غلط على المسيحيين على هي الصفحة يا حبيبي.هي صفحة كل السوريين. يلي بيسمعك بيفكرك عم تفطر فوارغ على الصبح !! بدك تطول بالك
27 minutes ago

Syria MyCountry يا شباب عيب الحكي عن الدين كلنا سوريين و كلنا عايشين بنفس الظلم و اصلا هاد الي مأخرنا و مخلي هالطاغية يتحكم فينا هو بيخلق هالنعرات بشان نلتهي و ما بنفكر بحقوقنا يا اخ او اخت نور انا كمان مسيحي بس انا سوري قبل ما كون مسيحي باعبد سوريا بعد الله و عندي ديني هو سوريا
26 minutes ago
——————————

MM,
Don’t be disapointed in ‘them’, ‘they’ are the most hopeless Syrian group at the moment, they have no power whatsoever, ‘they’ are afraid of all the blood they are seeing without any understanding or comforting words coming out if this uprising’s leaders, ‘they’ only hear ‘threats’ ‘attacks’ and ‘blames’…nothing attractive or smart out of all this mess so how can ‘they’ join this bloody uprising, besides how come the regime fall depend on 8% of the population when the major 75% can’t do that?

This idea of talking about the position of portions of the Syrian society according to their sects and then generalize it, is extremely dangerous since it puts the society in a defensive mode that nothing good can come out of it.

Haytham Khoury, you may need to change your last name if you want to become a politician, you are already judged.

August 17th, 2011, 11:00 am

 

Aboud said:

Thank you Newfolder, I had posted that same video some time ago, I was looking through the archives to find it.

August 17th, 2011, 11:02 am

 

annie said:

Two videos; I find this one rather sickening
http://youtu.be/77hQD6NEKp8

This one OTH impressive
http://youtu.be/25-iUW8fF28

Activist, Diaa Daghmas, the second interviewee in this remarkable documentary has been killed by the Assad gangs

August 17th, 2011, 11:19 am

 

Revlon said:

Short on cash and hard currency, the regime have started printing and circulating via Central and Commercial bank counterfeit banknotes.
The demonstrator in this videolink compares and highlights differences between a fake and an original SP500 bank notes having the same serial number!

عصابات النظام تطبع اوراق نقدية بدون اصول
هذا الفيديو يوضح الفرق بين ورقة ال 500 ليرة الاصلية وال 500 ليرة التي طبعتها مخابرات النظام في ادارة المخابرات الجوية

August 17th, 2011, 11:21 am

 

Revlon said:

A seargent and three soldiers desert their unit in Rastan, and join the free Officers brigades.
Homs, 15 August 2011

حمص – الرستن – إنشقاقات جماعية للشرفاء من الجيش 15-8-2011

August 17th, 2011, 11:35 am

 

jad said:

حماه: ضبط كميات كبيرة من الأسلحة المهربة
http://youtu.be/iKHgWOfivfg

التكذيب والتحليل الرسمي لإشاعة اصدار عملة مزورة
http://youtu.be/72v5dSPaCx4

August 17th, 2011, 12:06 pm

 

Revlon said:

Four has fallen martyrs to Jr’s, savage Wa2dulfitnah operation in Homs today!

AlFati7a upon their souls,
May God bless their families with solace and empower them with patience.

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
حمص :شهداء اليوم حتى الآن :
1 – الشهيد : قراس النعيمي من حي عشيرة
2 – الشهيد : خالد محمد سليمان من حي ديربلعبة
3- : مجمد باسر زادة من حي دير بعلبة
اللهم ارحم شهدائنا وألهم اهلهم الصبر والسلوان .

about an hour ago

August 17th, 2011, 12:06 pm

 

jad said:

دعوة إلى ميشيل كيلو… تعقًل تعقًل
17/08/2011
دونا ديرعطاني

السيد ميشيل كيلو، بعد أن أفلس ومن معه من معترضين، وصادروا من بين ما صادروا حرية التعبير ذاتها التي تحججوا بها لمنح غطاء لكل مسلح وقناص وإرهابي في سوريا، خرج مؤخرا بمقال تحت عنوان “دعوة المسيحية إلى العقل” في صحيفة السفير، أساء فيه إلى أسس المعتقد المسيحي، وإلى انتماء المسيحيين إلى سوريا الوطن وليس سوريا “الجماعة”.
كيلو الذي يعتقد أنه بهذا المقال يظهر صاحب “ثورة” مدنية حقيقية على مؤسسة الكنيسة، مطالبا جميع المسيحيين باتباع تهويماته ومن لا يفعل فكأنه يخطىء بحق التاريخ ويصبح خارجه، لايترك لنا خيارا سوى الإقرار بأنه لايمكن حماية شخص من نفسه، خاصة حين يتحول إفلاسه الفكري إلى تهويم، علما أن الخطر الأكبر يأتي حين يتوفر لمثل هذا التهويم منابر تحوله إلى تحريض.
يبدأ كيلو مقالته بالحديث عن “الخراب العام إلى الدرجة التي تجلعنا نغادر ونحن سعداء خير ما كان في حياتنا من عادات وتقاليد تضامنية ومفيدة” وذلك في سياق حديثه عن رفض المسيحيين الانتماء إلى “جماعة” المتظاهرين، آخذا عليهم تفضيلهم الانتماء إلى سوريا الأرض والإنسان والتاريخ، متناسيا أن من يدفع بالفعل باتجاه خراب كالذي يتحدث عنه هو دعواته المتناثرة هنا وهناك، مثله في ذلك مثل بقية المعترضين المتطرفين من الإخوان المسلمين والإرهابيين الذين اتخذوا صفة “مفتي”، ممن تضمنت دعواتهم الكثير من التحريض والترويج لتقسيمات طائفية هي بحد ذاتها من يسعى لإجبارنا على مغادرة “تقاليد تضامنية ومفيدة”.
وفي حين لم تفاجىء السوريين مشاهدة إرهابي كعدنان العرعور يتحول إلى مفتي يدعو للقتل والتقسيم، فإن كيلو الذي تمكن لفترة من الزمن من السير على خط سياسي فيه بعض الرزانة قد صدم السوريين بمقالته التي تدعو للعقل لكن أقل ما فيها هو “العقل”، وجاءت أقرب إلى التحريض.
ويذهب كيلو إلى التساؤل: “هل فقد مسيحيو العصور الحديثة هذا الدور وتحولوا من جزء في جماعة تاريخية إلى جزء من سلطة طارئة وعابرة، فبدلوا دورهم وغربوا أنفسهم عن حاضنتهم المجتمعية، التي كانت السلطة من خارجها معظم الوقت؟ وهل يعبر الرقص الحديث عن هذا الموقف بالطريقة الفظة التي يتقنها منخلعون عن الواقع يجهلون أو يزدرون تاريخهم، يظن من رباهم كنسيا على عنصرية دينية قاتلة أنهم يجب أن يكونوا كأسلافهم خدما للسلطة، وأن عليهم تمضية أعمارهم في اتقاء شرورها وخطب ودها ولعق قفاها؟”
وإذا أهملنا النعوت التي أطلقها عليهم من “منخلعين عن الواقع”، وأنهم “يجهلون أو يزدرون تاريخهم”، نجد كيلو يوجه لهم تهمة الانسياق إلى رجالات الكنائس الذين اتهمهم أيضا بتربية المسيحيين على “عنصرية دينينة قاتلة”.
ويبدو كيلو في مقالته هذه قد استسهل إطلاق التهم والنعوت والإدانات، في حين لم نشهد منه أي موقف يندد بدعوات قتل السوريين أو تشريدهم على أسس طائفية من قبل الإرهابيين في بعض المناطق من سوريا، ولم نجده يندد أو ينعت من ارتكب المجازر في جسر الشغور وحماة. وفي حين يسلب كيلو صفة “المدنية” عن المسيحيين الذين يترددون على كنائسهم، لم نسمعه يوما ينعت أو يستنكر دعوات التطرف غير المدنية التي نطق بها متظاهروه المسلحون في بعض المدن السورية، بل ذهب في أكثر من مقال ومكان إلى اعتبار تحركاتهم المتطرفة دينيا على أنها “مدنية” متجاهلا خروج معظمها من أماكن عبادة وبتحريض من شخصيات تتغطى بالدين هنا وهناك.
بالتأكيد يطول تتبع تهويمات كيلو في هذه المقالة، لكن أحد “أسئلته” فيها يدعو للتوقف مليا، لما تضمنه من أفكار تحريضية على القتل، بقوله: “هل يبرر التحاقهم بالسلطة انفكاكهم عن الجماعة التاريخية، التي لطالما انتموا إليـها وتكفلت باستــمرار وجودهم بينها، وبتمتعهم بقدر كبير من الحرية الدينية والمدنية، علما بأن هزيمتها على يد السلطة الحالية ليست غير ضـرب من المحال أو من المصادفات العابرة؟ هل وازن هؤلاء بين الربح والخسارة، وقرروا الرقص على جثث الجماعة؟ وفي هذه الحـالة، ألا يرون ما وقع للمسيحيين في العراق، حيث كان ارتباطهم بالسلطة المسوغ الذي استخدمه مجانين الإسلاميين للقــضاء على وجودهــم في بلاد الرافدين؟”.
لايمكن قراءة هذه الفقرة سوى أنها تبرير وغطاء مسبق لأذية ربما تحدث لاحقا ضد المسيحيين في سوريا، على اعتبار أن عدم قناعة معظم المسيحيين بأفكار كيلو وزملائه من المعترضين، وعدم خروجهم في تظاهرات كيلو وزملائه تجعلهم يقينا، برأي كيلو الذي استقى درسه التاريخي من العراق، هدفا للمسلحين (مع الإشارة إلى أن كيلو يتحدث عن المسلحين هنا في حين أنه لم يعترف بوجودهم في مؤتمرات ومقالات سابقة، ما يترك سؤالا عن سر تغير موقف كيلو في هذه المقالة فقط؟)، وكان الأجدى بكيلو أن يتأمل الدرس العراقي التاريخي مليا أكثر ويستقي منه دروسا أعمق تجعله أكثر حرصا على حماية سوريا، فيبتعد عن “الجماعة”، ويتوقف عن اتخاذ مواقف تساعد المتربصين بسوريا والراغبين بإيصالها إلى المصير العراقي ذاته.
كذلك فإن كيلو يتحدث في مقالته عن “الخوف من السلطة” على أنه السبب الرئيسي في امتناع المسيحيين في سوريا عن الخروج في التظاهرات، لكن تفكيك عباراته في الفقرة المذكورة يدل على أن منطق كيلو فيها لا يخرج عن سياق التخويف والترهيب، إلى جانب أنه يعتبر نفسه أكثر فكرا ووعيا لما يحدث من بقية المسيحيين، سالبا إياهم حق التعبير وحق الموقف وحق القراءة الخاصة للأحداث التي تشهدها سوريا، ويذهب إلى تصويرهم على أنهم منقادون، مستلبون، في حين أن كيلو يعلم تماما أنه يتحدث عن شريحة مثقفة ومتعلمة، إلا أنه أهمل حقيقة أن الكثير الكثير من أفراد هذه الشريحة يتفوق عليه في وعيه لطبيعة وخصائص اللحظة التاريخية التي تمر بها سوريا لكونه أكثر شبابا منه، وأهمل أن تكون هذه الشريحة على الأرجح أكثر منه تواصلا مع محيطها الاجتماعي، وأكثر منه انفتاحا على العقل، ولا تحتاج منه أو من غيره لـ”دعوة إلى العقل”.
ونصحح هنا حديث كيلو عن “الجماعة الإسلامية التي حمت المسيحيين” بالتذكير أن المسيحيين في سوريا هم سكان سوريا الأصليين ويشكلون النسيج السوري المتجانس وليسوا جزءاً من جماعة ما داخل سوريا، وليسوا بحاجة لحماية من أحد داخل سوريا أو خارجها إذ لطالما شكلوا وبقية السوريين وطنا اسمه سوريا، ولطالما كانوا كغيرهم من السوريين هم من يحمي سوريا ضد من يحاول تقسيمها طائفيا ويهجر شعبها الأصلي.
لقد أثبت مسيحيو سوريا على مر التاريخ عقلهم وعقلانيتهم ومدنيتهم، وليسو هم من يحتاج “دعوة إلى العقل” بعد أن أثبتوا انتماءهم لوطنهم وتاريخهم في وجه المخطط الذي يستهدف تصفية الاثنين.
من يحتاج الدعوة للعقل والتعقل هو من قبل أن يكون منساقا وراء “جماعة” غير تاريخية… ارتضت أن تكون دمية في مخطط دولي تخدمه الطموحات الذاتية الضيقة بتحصيل بعض المكاسب الشخصية على حساب سوريا والسوريين.
وتبدو ذاكرة كيلو قد باتت قصيرة الأمد، ولم يتذكر أن الحشود التي كانت ولاتزال تتجمع في الساحات العامة لم تمثل طيفاً واحداً من أطياف المجتمع السوري، وكان الجميع يهتف لسوريا، سوريا المقاومة، سوريا الممانعة التي تقف في وجه المؤامرات التي تحاك ضدها.
وختاما، نترك لكيلو هنا رسالة قصيرة، على أمل أن يقرأها بالعقل: “لن نخلي الساحات، ولن ندعها للمرتزقة والعصابات، سنبقى ننشد الأناشيد الوطنية ونهتف بحياة رئيسنا الذي لم يرضخ ولم يتعب ولم يتوان عن حماية شعبه وبلده، وستسقط المؤامرة وسيسقط الخونة وتُكشف الأقنعة عن الوجوه…. “.

August 17th, 2011, 12:13 pm

 

Revlon said:

#76, Concurrent circulation of old and new versions of SP500 bank notes with same serial number has not been explained by mayyaleh!

A defective bank note ought to be destroyed once its new duplicate is released for circulation.

Unless this point is clearly explained, the release by the Central bank or any other regime controlled agency of old and new duplicates of the SP500 bank note would amount to a crminal act of fraud.

It is only by serendepity that a given person would stumble on such a double!

August 17th, 2011, 12:20 pm

 

ann said:

Russia to sell arms to Syria, sales overall to rise

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFLDE77G0L820110817?sp=true

Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:10pm GMT

Aug 17 (Reuters) – * Russian arms sales boosted by N. Africa turmoil

* Rosoboronexport to continue sales to Syria

* Looking to S. America, Africa, Asia to find new customers

By Thomas Grove

ZHUKOVSKY, Russia, Aug 17 (Reuters) – Russia’s top arms exporter said on Wednesday it intended to continue selling weapons to Syria, despite calls from the United States for Moscow to halt its weapons trade with Damascus.

Russia, the world’s second largest arms exporter, wants to make up for $4 billion of contracts lost when the United Nations placed an arms embargo on Libya this year and is also looking to Africa, South America and Southeast Asia to compensate.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Russia last week to halt arms deliveries to Syria, one of the Russian defence industry’s best clients, following the crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

“There were deliveries of arms to Syria last year, and there will be deliveries this year. They will continue,” Anatoly Isaykin, general director of Russia’s top arms exporter Rosoboronexport, told a news conference at Russia’s premiere airshow outside Moscow.

There has been no sign from the Kremlin that Russia is about to respond to Clinton’s appeal by halting arms deliveries to Damascus. Russia has repeatedly said sales in the region conform with international law and do not threaten regional security.

Russia has carved out a niche selling arms to countries unwilling or unable to buy from the top arms exporter, the United States.

Isaykin said Rosoboronexport would deliver on contracts it has signed with Syria, including a recent agreement for Russia’s Yak-130 light attack fighter plane.

ROSOBORONEXPORT’S SALES SET TO RISE

He said he expected to make deliveries on at least $9 billion worth of arms globally in 2011, higher than sales of around $8.6 billion last year. Rosoboronexport makes up 80-90 percent of the country’s arms exports every year.

“I’m sure the volume (of arms supplies) will total at least $9 billion,” he said.

Russia’s arms sales have soared by more than 20 percent in the first half of 2011 to $5.9 billion as governments, fearing turmoil like that seen this year in North Africa and the Middle East, boost their arms stockpiles, Isaykin said.

“Naturally we are trying to compensate for the losses we saw due to the events of North Africa,” Isyakin said.

“We are trying to work more actively on the African continent, in western-central Africa. Southeast Asia, is one of the places where we are trying to market more effectively as are the countries of South America.”

The Russian arms industry — nurtured under Vladimir Putin’s 2000-2008 presidency — has sold weapons to post-Soviet states and Cold War allies for decades on the strength of Soviet design and technology, which once rivalled that of the United States.

Today Russia is feeding a hungry market of Asian countries warily eyeing China’s growing military might and African nations preparing for the worst in potential regional conflicts.

August 17th, 2011, 12:21 pm

 

Jasmine said:

#46. BEAWARE PLUS

“Minorities should not derail uprisings”

I can sense a lot of desperation in this article for the uprising.
How is the recruitment?
They must be cornered now !!!
Threatening language to the minorities in Syria?
This is going to be counter-productive, and the journalist lives in Doha(how convincing).

August 17th, 2011, 12:24 pm

 

beaware said:

Tunisia withdraws its ambassador from Syria
http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/17/54801876.html
Tunisia has announced the withdrawal of its ambassador from riot-ravaged Syria, media reports said on Wednesday.

They quoted Tunisian officials as saying that the ambassador is being withdrawn from the Syrian capital, Damascus “with the aim of holding consultations. “

Earlier withdrawing their ambassadors were Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.

According to human rights activists, about 2,000 people have been killed in armed clashes with police and security forces in Syria over the past five months.

The Syrian authorities point the finger at “armed terrorist elements”, who they claim are responsible for ongoing violence.

Official Damascus says that more than 500 soldiers and police officers have already been killed in riots.

August 17th, 2011, 12:26 pm

 

beaware said:

UN calls back support personnel from Syria
Aug 17, 2011 19:06 Moscow Time
http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/17/54798911.html
The UN has called back its support personnel from Syria where mass protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime have been continuing for five months.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that 26 foreign employees of the mission have already left the country with their families.

Protests in Syria began in the city of Dera’a in the south of the country in the middle of March and then spread to other regions. Human rights activists believe that all in all, since the beginning of mass protests against al-Assad in the middle of March, about 2,000 people have been killed.

According to official information, about 500 army and security forces servicemen have died at the fault of “armed terrorist elements”.

August 17th, 2011, 12:28 pm

 

Jasmine said:

46. BEAWARE PLUS

“Minorities should not derail uprisings”

By Faisal Al Qasim, Special to Gulf News

This is an act of extreme desperation to produce a threatening article like this to the minorities,it was very bold and not eloquent,and counter-productive,and the journalist lives in Doha.
How convincing!

August 17th, 2011, 12:36 pm

 

beaware said:

Syria: the Cost of Crisis
Wed, Aug 17, 2011
Chaosistan, Middle East, Strategic Deterrence
By Vladislav GULEVICH (Ukraine)
http://orientalreview.org/2011/08/17/syria-the-cost-of-crisis/
Syria has entered the sixth month of anti-government riots, orchestrated from abroad. Protesters no longer seek moderate reforms, they aggressively demand Bashar Assad`s resignation. Western media accuse Damascus of ‘opposing democratic changes’. The former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Craig Roberts, had earlier explained what these changes were about: “We need to topple Gaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria because we want to oust China and Russia from the Mediterranean” (‘US risks war with China and Russia’).

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

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

However, Turkey may affect these plans. Ankara has been and remained Syria`s ally. They had friendly cooperation even when ‘western democrats’ urged Syria to use force while dealing with protesters. With time Turkey`s attitude to the Syrian issue changed. Now they call the Syrian crisis ‘a struggle for freedom’ and have hosted two conferences chaired by Syrian opposition supporters who said Assad`s rule should be ended. The number of Syrian refugees has increased, more than 11,000 have already reached Turkey by now. Now Ankara urges Damascus to use force against demonstrators. The Turkish government is trying to regain its positions in Syria – in case the US ousts Assad.

Strategically, Syria is a very important country. Located between Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel and Jordan, Syria cooperates with Hizballah and HAMAS, – and this fact could not be ignored by Washington: Syria was placed on the list of states comprising ‘axis of evil’. The fact that Damascus has friendly ties with neighboring Tehran can neither be ignored. Though it had never been manifested clearly enough, the Tehran-Damascus alliance has always been a matter of concern for Washington and Tel-Aviv. Syria can influence Lebanon`s policy and balance of power in post-Saddam Iraq. Attempts made by Israel and US to isolate Damascus by means of diplomacy have brought no results. Syrians have established contacts with Russia, China, South America.

Turkey views Syria as an excellent opportunity to affect the situation in Iraq`s Kurdistan. Syria is home to over 1,5 million Kurds, and the Kurdish issues is one of the thorniest in Turkish-American relations. The fact that Washington was focusing on this issue while playing its game against Turkey resulted in Ankara trying to be more independent in terms of international policy. Turkey has also been trying to become a mediator in Syria-Israel dialogue. Ankara was left puzzled at the Syrian unrest: long-term geopolitical plans make Turkish authorities remain closer to Bashar Assad, which creates just new difficulties in Turkey-Washington relations and with pro-American regimes in the Arab world.

To conclude, I would like to say the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 17th, 2011, 12:40 pm

 

jad said:

أزواج الأم الأربعة
الاستبداد أوصلنا إلى ما نحن فيه، غير أن لعبة رمي اللوم لم تعد تنفع أي من الطرفين المتصارعين بعد ما دبت النيران في سراويل الجميع والجميع يصرخون من الألم، تماماً كذلك الرجل الذي صفع امرأته على قفاها ثم سألها من أين أتى صوت الصفعة فأجابتهة: من يدك ورقبتي، ذلك أن الاستبداد تتشارك فيه كف الدولة ورقبة المواطن الممدودة، غير أنه اليوم صارت رقبة الوطن هي الممدودة وغدت الدولة تحت رحمة أعدائها التاريخيين بمساعدة أولادها الضالين، بدءاً بأمريكا مروراً بفرنسا وانتهاء بالسعودية، مع إضافة العم التركي الذي لم يعد يخفي هو الآخر رغبتة بنكاح امرأة الأخ الجميلة، فغدت المعارضة كمن يزوج أمه للأعداء نكاية بوالده الذي يكرهه!؟
وما يجري اليوم أن الأب يعمل على إعادة الأم إلى بيت الطاعة مع وعد بفتح صفحة جديدة تتناسب مع متطلبات عصر التعددية الديمقراطية، غير أن الإبن الحاقد قد قبض مهر أمه فماذا يفعل إذا أبدت الوالدة رغبتها بالعودة وإنقاذ الأسرة من الضياع؟ الإبن المتعامل مع الغرباء لن يستطيع الجلوس إلى طاولة الحوار والمصالحة إذا لم يوافق خطاب الأم بعدما وضعوا الإبن في حضنهم ومد يده إلى جيبهم.. وهو الآن يعلم أن أحداً لن يعطيه شيئاً عندما ينتهي دوره، تماما كما حصل مع أولاد جيرانه العراقيين ممن تحالفو مع الأمريكيين الذين قضوا وطرهم من بترول العراق، ثم أداروا لهم ظهورهم..

هامش: إنه تمرد الكومبارس على المخرج والشركة المنتجة.. ولكن هل سينجح الكومبارس بإنتاج دراما بديلة برعاية “الجامع” وتمويل “الجزيرة” وتهليل النقاد الذين يكرهون المخرج ويعملون لصالح شركات إنتاج منافسة؟ أظن أن مشاهد مسلسل الكومبارس المكررة الذي تعرضه “الجزيرة” وأخواتها يومياً قد غدا مملاً، لذلك بدأت جموع المشاهدين بالعودة إلى متابعة الدراما السورية الأصلية.. قد يكون من حق الكومبارس أن يحلم بأدوار البطولة وأن يكره شركة الإنتاج التي كان يعمل لديها غير أن القوانين تقول أن الفاشلين سيبقون كومبارس على هامش الحياة يفبركون مشاهد زائفة في زواريب السكنتوري وبستان السمكة وتلدو ودير العشاير والحجر الأسود والصنمين و… أكملو الباقي بأنفسكم..

نداء: إلى حمير الطوائف وبغالها المقدسة؛ استمراركم في التجييش يساعد السلطات التركية على سلب ما تبقى من شمال سورية، فهل أنتم مبصرون؟!

نبيل صالح
http://www.aljaml.com/node/74194

August 17th, 2011, 12:42 pm

 

beaware said:

Report: Syrian Government Is Tracking, Intimidating Dissidents
by Eyder Peralta
August 17, 2011
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/08/17/139705238/report-syrian-government-is-tracking-intimidating-dissidents-abroad?ft=1&f=1001
The Wall Street Journal has an exclusive report today that sheds light on just how far the reach of Syria’s police state extends: Talking to U.S. officials and Syrian expatriates in the U.S., the paper found that the regime of President Bashar Assad is tracking and intimidating dissidents living abroad.

The Journal reports:

Syrian embassy staffers are tracking and photographing antiregime protesters and sending reports back home, Syrian activists and U.S. officials say. Syrian diplomats, including the ambassador to the U.S., have fanned out to Arab diaspora communities to brand dissidents “traitors” and warn them against conspiring with “Zionists.”

A half-dozen Syrian-Americans interviewed by The Wall Street Journal in recent weeks say that as a result of their activities in the U.S., family members have been interrogated, threatened or arrested in Syria. The Obama administration says it has “credible” evidence that the Assad regime is targeting relatives of Syrian-Americans who have participated in peaceful U.S. protests.

In an interview Tuesday, Imad Moustapha, the Syrian ambassador, dismissed the allegations by Syrian dissidents and U.S. officials as “slander and sheer lies.”

The whole piece is worth a read, so I encourage you to click over. It really explores how Assad’s regime differs from the other authoritarian regimes in the country. And also provides some helpful history on the Assad family, which has controlled Syria for 40 years.

August 17th, 2011, 12:45 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

I had said this before and am saying it again : Syrian Sunnis are paying for their own goodness and innoccence. Back in the 1980s we should have openly allied ourselves with Saddam and PLO and invited Iraq to invade us. Sunnis should stop cursing people like Saddam. When you see what hass happened in Syria in the last 5 months, and the reaction of “minorities” to it, you know why Saddam did what he did. Only people like Saddam Hussein can keep these scoundrels under check. I am adressing this specifically to Aboud, you should stop comparing Saddam with Besho, Saddam was a far more uproght, brave and principled leader.

August 17th, 2011, 12:46 pm

 

Revlon said:

Jr’s armed forces and thugs parade through the streets of Lattakia, in celebration of victory over the civilians of Raml AlFilastini
16 August 2011

اللاذقية – عصابات الاسد تحتفل بتدمير الرمل 16-8‬‎

August 17th, 2011, 12:52 pm

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

all are under attack:

In an interview with Amy Goodman on March 2, 2007, U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.), explains that the Bush Administration planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan, Iran

Transcripts:

[Wesley Clark] About ten days after 9/11 I went to the penatagon and I say secretary Rumsfield and Deputy Secretary Wolfweitz.

I went down stairs to see some of the staff who used to work for me and one of the Generals called me in and said “Sir, you have got to come in. Come in, you have got to come in and talk to me a second.”

I said “Well, your to busy”.

He said, “No, No, we have made the decision to go to war with Iraq”. This was on or about the 20th of September [2001].

I said “We are going to war with Iraq? Why” [emphasis added].

He said, “I don’t know” [crowd laughs]

He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do”. [crowd boos].

So I said “Well did they find come information connecting Saddam to Al-Queda?”

He said, “No, No. There is nothing new that way, they just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.”

He said, “I quess its like, we don’t know what to do about terrorists but we have a good military and we can take down governments”

So I came back to see him a few weeks laters and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan.

I said “Are we still going to war with Iraq?”

And he said “Oh, its worse than that.”

He reached over on his desk and picked up a piece of paper.

He said, “I just got this down from up stairs from the Secratary of Defense’s office today. This is a memo that describes how we are going to take out 7 countries in 5 years.”

“Starting with Iraq, then Syria and Lebenon. Then Lybia, Somalia and Sudan. Then finishing off Iran.”

[Amy Goodman] “Go Through the countries again.” [crowd laughs]

[Wesley Clark] “Well starting off with Iraq, then Syria and Lebenon, and Lybia, Somalia and Sudan. and back to Iran.”

August 17th, 2011, 12:54 pm

 

jad said:

الارتدادات العكسية للسياسة الأمريكية ضد دمشق

الجمل: تزايدت اهتمامات خبراء جماعات اللوبي الإسرائيلي المعنيين بالشؤون الشرق أوسطية بملف الحدث السوري، وفي هذا الخصوص نرصد ثلاثة وجهات نظر سعت إلى تحليل ثلاثة جوانب تتعلق بتطورات الأحداث والوقائع السورية الجارية على المستويين الداخلي والخارجي.
* مسؤولية السفير الأمريكي عن سياسة واشنطن إزاء دمشق:
تم إعداد هذه المقاربة بواسطة اليهودي ديفيد شينكر (مدير برنامج السياسات العربية بمعهد واشنطن، ومحلل الشؤون السياسية السورية واللبنانية بمكتب وزير الدفاع الأمريكي السابق دونالد رامسفيلد) ونشرتها صحيفة نيوريبابليك الأمريكية المرتبطة بجماعة المحافظين الجدد، وأشار ديفيد شينكر إلى مسؤولية السفير الأمريكي الحالي في دمشق روبرت فورد، عن توجهات السياسة الخارجية الأمريكية الحالية إزاء سورية، من خلال النقاط الآتية:
• شكلت أحداث مدينة حماه السورية الأخيرة فرصة ثمينة لواشنطن لجهة الاستناد عليها كذريعة من أجل القيام بعمل حاسم ضد دمشق.
• يعتبر السفير الأمريكي روبرت فورد، بمثابة المسؤول الأمريكي الرئيسي لجهة التأثير على قرار السياسة الأمريكية إزاء سورية، لأنه أولاً سفير أمريكا في سورية، وثانياً ـ وهو الأهم ـ لأنه قام بزيارة مدينة حماه، وأجرى تفاهمات مع رموز المعارضة الموجودين داخل المدينة.
• سعى السفير الأمريكي فورد لجهة الإدلاء بإفادته حول أحداث مدينة حماه أمام لجنة مجلس الشيوخ الأمريكي، وفي هذه الجلسة وردت خلال إفادات السفير فورد عبارة تقول: “إن نظام سورية إما أن يكون غير قادر أو غير راغب في قيادة عملية الإصلاحات الديمقراطية”.
• الجمهوريون الذين يشكلون الأغلبية في الكونجرس الأمريكي كانوا يرغبون في أن يكتفي السفير فورد بعبارة “غير راغب”، ولكنه عندما قرنها بعبارة “غير قادر”، فقد أدى إلى إفادة غير واضحة.
• تشير المعطيات إلى أن الأغلبية الجمهورية في الكونجرس سوف لن تصوت لصالح تزكية السفير فورد لجهة اعتماده في منصب السفير الأمريكي في سورية، الأمر الذي سوف يشكل ضربة قاصمة لمستقبل السفير فورد الدبلوماسي إضافة إلى الإضرار بمصداقية الإدارة الأمريكية التي اختارته لتولي منصب السفير الأمريكي في سورية.
هذا، وتأسيساً على هذه النقاط فقد أصبح واضحاً أن الجمهوريين سوف يسعون لجهة الوقوف جنباً إلى جنب مع رموز جماعات اللوبي الإسرائيلي وجماعة المحافظين الجدد لجهة تحميل السفير فورد المسؤولية عن ما يزعمون بأنه ضعف موقف واشنطن إزاء دمشق، إضافة إلى إنهاء عمل فورد كسفير أمريكي في دمشق سوف تتيح لهم فرصة تحقيق موقفهم الرافض بالأساس لوجود سفير أمريكي في سورية.
* تحليل المواجهات والوقائع العنيفة التي تحدث في سورية:
تم إعداد هذه المقاربة بواسطة اليهودي الأمريكي جفري وايت خبير جماعات اللوبي الإسرائيلي في الشؤون الأمنية والعسكرية، وثم نشرها على صفحة الموقع الإلكتروني الخاص بمعهد واشنطن لسياسة الشرق الأدنى تحت ورقة الرصد السياسي رقم (1840)، وفي هذه الورقة سعى الخبير جفري وايت، لجهة تحليل وقائع العنف السياسي التي حدثت في سورية عبر النقاط الآتية:
• تتمتع دمشق بوجود العديد من الأجهزة القادرة على مواجهة واحتواء الخصم.
• تتمتع المعارضة بوجود عدد قليل من العناصر المسلحة التي يمكن توظيفها في استهداف دمشق.
• في المناطق التي سعت فيها الفعاليات المعادية، سعت دمشق إلى استخدام قوة أكبر، وعلى وجه الخصوص في مدينة حماه، ومدينة دير الزور.
• تضمنت تكتيكات دمشق، ليس العمل لجهة مواجهة المخاطر بعد وقوعها، وحسب، وإنما استباق حدوثها.
• شملت تكتيكات دمشق مواجهة المناطق المتوترة عن طريق: عزلها ـ تقسيمها إلى مناطق صغيرة معزولة عن بعضها البعض ـ إظهار قدرة الردع ـ السيطرة على المواقع الرئيسية.
• سعت دمشق لجهة التأكيد على حق الدفاع عن النفس في مواجهة خطر خصومها.
على خلفية هذه النقاط سعى الخبير جيفري وايت لجهة التأكيد على أن دمشق قد سعت لاستخدام القوة من أجل تحقيق المزيد من القمع المنظم، هذا وما كان لافتاً للنظر أن الخبير جيفري وايت قد تجاهل متعمداً الحديث عن أساليب وتكتيكات خصوم دمشق لجهة استخدام وتوظيف العنف. وبكلمات أخرى، فقد ركز الخبير جيفري وايت على تحليل العنف على أساس فرضية أنه عنف وحيد الاتجاه وذلك على النحو الذي اسقط عن الطرف الآخر أي مسؤولية. علماً بأن جيفري وايت قد أشار في بداية تحليله إلى تمتع المعارضة بوجود عدد قليل من المسلحين، ولكنه لم يوضح ما الذي قام هؤلاء المسلحين وما هو دورهم في العنف.
* المطلوب من واشنطن القيام به إزاء دمشق:
تم إعداد هذه المقاربة بواسطة اليهودي الأمريكي ميشيل سينج، ونشرتها مجلة فورين بوليسي، الشديدة الارتباط بجماعات اللوبي الإسرائيلي وتيار صقور الإدارة الأمريكية وعلى وجه الخصوص أجنحة اليمين الجمهوري واليمين الديمقراطي، وقد سعى الخبير ميشيل سينج إلى تحديد المطلوب من أمريكا القيام به إزاء دمشق من خلال النقاط الآتية:
• يوجد تعارض بين وجهات النظر، بحيث يرى البعض بأن حركة الاحتجاجات العربية لن تنصب في مصلحة أميركا لأنها أسقطت حلفاء واشنطن حسني مبارك وزين العابدين بن علي، ويرى بعض آخر بأن حركة الاحتجاجات العربية تصب في مصلحة أميركا، لأنها تهدف لتحقيق التحولات الديمقراطية الذي ظلت واشنطن تسعى لتطبيقها في المنطقة.
• يوجد تناقض في ردود فعل أميركا، فمن جهة سعت واشنطن لجهة التعامل بحزم مع ليبيا، لكنها في نفس الوقت كانت مترددة مع سورية.
• ترتبط واشنطن بعلاقات وثيقة مع تركيا والسعودية ومن جهة تفتخر واشنطن بتركيا باعتبارها حليف إسلامي يعتمد نظام ديمقراطي. وفي نفس الوقت لا تسعى لجهة الضغط على حليفها الإسلامي السعودي باتجاه إنجاز وتحقيق تحولات ديمقراطية على غرار النموذج الديمقراطي الإسلامي التركي.
• تواجه السياسة الخارجية الأمريكية الشرق أوسطية مأزقاً حرجاً، فهي لا تتعامل مع بلدان الشرق الأوسط بشكل موحد ينسجم مع قيم ومبادئ الشفافية، وبدلاً عن ذلك، تعتمد مواقف مختلفة تحت مبررات أن كل بلد شرق أوسطي يختلف عن الآخر. وبالتالي يتطلب كل بلد سياسة أمريكية خاصة به. الأمر الذي جعل البعض يتهمون واشنطن إما بالسذاجة أو بتعمد التعامل الانتقائي الذي يستهدف البعض ويغض النظر عن البعض الآخر.
هذا وقياساً على هذه النقاط، فقد سعى ميشيل سينج لجهة مطالبة الإدارة الأمريكية باتخاذ موقف واضح ومتشدد إزاء دمشق يكون على غرار الموقف الذي اتخذته إزاء مصر وتونس وليبيا على خلفية تصاعد الاحتجاجات، وفي هذا الخصوص تطرق ميشيل سينج لجهة مطالبة واشنطن بالآتي:
• القيام بسحب السفير الأميركي فورد من سوريا: على النحو الذي يؤكد على إعلان واشنطن رسمياً عن قطيعتها مع دمشق.
• الضغط على حلفاء أميركا، وعلى وجه الخصوص الأوربيين الغربيين، لجهة القيام بسحب سفرائهم من دمشق.
• تشديد الضغط الاقتصادي والسياسي ضد دمشق.
• العمل من أجل تكوين “مجموعة اتصال سورية” بما يضم حلفاء أميركا، والتي يجب أن تعمل من أجل تنسيق فرض العقوبات وعزل دمشق.
نلاحظ هنا أن الخبير ميشيل سينج قد بدأ عرض وجهة نظره بشكل وإن بدا منطقياً لجهة توصيف تناقض وتعاكس المواقف الأمريكية، فإنه وقع في مغالطة كبيرة، عندما طالب واشنطن باعتماد الموقف المتشدد إزاء دمشق وحدها، متجاهلاً ملف الاحتجاجات البحرينية، وملف الاحتجاجات اليمنية، وملف الاحتجاجات المغربية، إضافة إلى ملف الاحتجاجات السعودية، وهذا التجاهل، جعل من وجهة نظر الخبير ميشيل سينج هي أيضاً متناقضة وانتقائية مثلها مثل مواقف السياسة الخارجية الأمريكية الشرق أوسطية تنظر بعين الغضب للبعض، وبعين الرضا للبعض الآخر.

الجمل ـ قسم الدراسات والترجمة
http://www.aljaml.com/node/74230

August 17th, 2011, 12:54 pm

 

ann said:

JAD can you please post in English. I’m sorry, I can’t read Arabic.

Thanks

August 17th, 2011, 12:58 pm

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

not that syria is any of america’s business:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20110809&articleId=25955

the ongoing protest movement is intended to serve as a pretext and a justification to intervene militarily against Syria. The existence of an armed insurrection is denied. The Western media in chorus have described recent events in Syria as a “peaceful protest movement” directed against the government of Bashar Al Assad, when the evidence confirms the existence of an armed insurgency integrated by Islamic paramilitary groups.

From the outset of the protest movement in Daraa in mid-March, there has been an exchange of fire between the police and armed forces on the one hand and armed gunmen on the other. Acts of arson directed against government buildings have also been committed. In late July in Hama, public buildings including the Court House and the Agricultural Bank were set on fire. Israeli news sources, while dismissing the existence of an armed conflict, nonetheless, acknowledge that “protesters [were] armed with heavy machine guns.” (DEBKAfile August 1, 2001. Report on Hama, emphasis added)

“All Options on the Table”

In June, US Senator Lindsey Graham (who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee) hinted to the possibility of a “humanitarian” military intervention directed against Syria with a view to “saving the lives of civilians”. Graham suggested that the “option” applied to Libya under UN Secuirty Council resolution 1973 should be envisaged in the case of Syria:

“If it made sense to protect the Libyan people against Gadhafi, and it did because they were going to get slaughtered if we hadn’t sent NATO in when he was on the outskirts of Benghazi, the question for the world [is], have we gotten to that point in Syria, …

We may not be there yet, but we are getting very close, so if you really care about protecting the Syrian people from slaughter, now is the time to let Assad know that all options are on the table,” (CBS “Face The Nation”, June 12, 2011)

Following the adoption of the UN Security Council Statement pertaining to Syria (August 3, 2011), the White House called, in no uncertain terms, for “regime change” in Syria and the ouster of President Bashar Al Assad:

“We do not want to see him remain in Syria for stability’s sake, and rather, we view him as the cause of instability in Syria,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday.

“And we think, frankly, that it’s safe to say that Syria would be a better place without President Assad,” (quoted in Syria: US Call Closer to Calling for Regime Change, IPS, August 4, 2011)

Extended economic sanctions often constitute a leadup towards outright military intervention.

August 17th, 2011, 12:59 pm

 

Jasmine said:

46. BEAWARE PLUS

\”Minorities should not derail uprisings\”

This is an act of extreme desperation to produce a threatening article like this to the minorities,it was very bold and not eloquent,and counter-productive,and the journalist lives in Doha.
How convincing!

August 17th, 2011, 12:59 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

S.G.I.D and Aboud, what news do you have about the Druze of Suweida ? Are they pro-regime or are they changing their stance ?

I wonder why Samir Geagea cannot convince Syrian Christians to change their stance.

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

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

August 17th, 2011, 1:03 pm

 

jad said:

أهالي الرمل الفلسطيني او الجنوبي: وحدات الجيش حمتنا
http://youtu.be/FpWyF9yLp9M

أهالي الرمل يروون معاناتهم مع العصابات المسلحة
http://youtu.be/r1K8MnVFml4
——————————-
Ann,
What I post are opinion articles written by Syrians in Arabic and published on an Arabic websites, they don’t have an English translation, otherwise I’ll post the English version.
To have an idea of what the article is talking about you can always use Google translation site, it helps.

August 17th, 2011, 1:06 pm

 

Revlon said:

Martyr 14 year old boy: Khaled A7mad Sleiman
Deir B3albeh, Homs
August 17th, 2011

Jr’s professional sniper, in cold blood, had a perfect aim from the roof top of a regime government building.

The bullet entered the top of Khaled’s head, exited from his neck and reentered his shoulder.

Jr’s Wa2dulfitnah has ended this boy’s life, and with it his family’s dream of watching him grow to become a proud young man!

AlFati7a upon his soul,
May God bless his family with patience and empower them with solace.

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
حمص ديربعلبة الشهيد خالد احمد السليمان 17 رمضان. الله يرحمك يا شهيد الحرية

2 hours ago ·

August 17th, 2011, 1:09 pm

 

Jasmine said:

46. BEAWARE

This is an act of extreme desperation to produce a threatening article like this to the minorities,it was very bold and not eloquent,and counter-productive,and the journalist lives in Doha.
How convincing!

August 17th, 2011, 1:12 pm

 

Jasmine said:

To #46. BEAWARE PLUS

This is an act of extreme desperation to produce a threatening article like this to the minorities,it was very bold and not eloquent,and counter-productive,and the journalist lives in Doha.
How convincing!

August 17th, 2011, 1:19 pm

 

Jasmine said:

To #46 BEAWARE PLUS

This is an act of extreme desperation to produce a threatening article like this to the minorities,it was very bold and not eloquent,and counter-productive,and the journalist lives in Doha.
How convincing!

August 17th, 2011, 1:21 pm

 

Revlon said:

Asad special forces are moonlighting by breaking in shops and looting!
This practice is sanctioned by the Asad army.
It is used both as a reward for those who carry orders better and as punishment to civilians.
It was practiced on a large scale in the aftermath of Hama massacre and destruction of its old quarters.
Asad Sr’s forces moved truck loads of looted funiture and bags full of jewellery looted or snatched from dead and evicted victims to their bastions in the mountains.

Earlier on this blog, a poster named Mr. President justified such practice as unavoidable in wars!

سورية – جيش ابو شحاطة

August 17th, 2011, 1:26 pm

 

ann said:

5 DANCING SHLOMOS, I have that Wesley Clark comment on video:

August 17th, 2011, 1:38 pm

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

the zionized empire and its water carriers (many at SC): lies, lies, and more lies.

http://empirestrikesblack.com/2011/08/uscentcom-buys-software-to-impersonate-social-networkers-blogosphere-shows-tell-tale-signs-amid-war-on-libya/

USCENTCOM buys software to impersonate social networkers & bloggers; blogosphere shows tell-tale signs amid war on Libya
(and syria)

August 17th, 2011, 1:49 pm

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

even as the zionized empire and its flunkies lie there is a grain of truth to be got to be followed by more lies.

“Two days ago Al Jazeera reported that Syrian naval forces had opened fire on the port city of Latakia, killing civilians. As usual, absolutely nothing to corroborate these grand claims was offered, except the customary “activists said” disclaimer:

Activists say 25 people killed as warships and tanks reportedly shell the northern port in an ongoing assault … At least 25 people have been killed and many others injured after Syrian warships and tanks opened fire on the port city of Latakia, activists said.

This is reminiscent of the almost identical lies told about Libya; we were told that Gaddafi’s forces had strafed and shelled protesters from the air. As it transpired, these claims were utterly demolished when the Department of Defense admitted to only having seen press reports of this, and having no confirmation whatsoever:

Q: Do you see any evidence that he actually has fired on his own people from the air? There were reports of it, but do you have independent confirmation? If so, to what extent?

SEC. GATES: We’ve seen the press reports, but we have no confirmation of that.

ADM. MULLEN: That’s correct. We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.

Even the Russian Military came out to say that it simply did not happen.”

August 17th, 2011, 1:52 pm

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

92. ann

unable to hear video. if it re the 7 countries to be taken down in 5 yrs (syria being one), thank you.

i posted some of the text earlier. so far hasnt appeared.

August 17th, 2011, 1:55 pm

 

Aboud said:

Hey menhebaks, did the MB buy out the Tunisian government? LOL!

I just heard that Washington has put Imad Mustapaha on a very, very short leash.

August 17th, 2011, 2:02 pm

 

ann said:

5 DANCING SHLOMOS: you are the only real enlightened poster on this board!

Thanks!

August 17th, 2011, 2:02 pm

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

“The Pentagon’s “Salvador Option”: The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26043

August 17th, 2011, 2:03 pm

 
 

beaware said:

Resistance Transforms a Once Mute Syrian City
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/world/middleeast/18homs.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print
This article was reported by an employee of The New York Times from Syria, and written by Anthony Shadid from Beirut, Lebanon.
August 17, 2011
HOMS, Syria — The narrower the streets of this city, a caldron of revolt and resistance against four decades of rule by the Assad family, the blunter the graffiti becomes. It is scrawled on walls, garbage bins, phone booths, doors and even tree trunks, as a city that was long quiescent declares these days that it will no longer stay quiet.

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

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

“Syria wants freedom,” goes their cry.

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

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

Each night, in Homs, the battle begins anew.

On a recent Sunday, 200 protesters marched in front of the Safir Hotel, the city’s most famous, carrying banners and signs calling for the fall of the government and showing solidarity with Hama, a neighbor to the north that was stormed on July 31.

The demonstrators walked slowly, led in the chants by a man whose face was concealed with a scarf. “Hama, we are with you until death,” they cried, with a few of the protesters in back filming the crowd with their cellphones. Cars drove unhurriedly behind the demonstration with their lights turned off, so as to conceal the identity of the protesters. As they passed, women on balconies cheered, shouting “God is great!”

“We’re not worried about the security,” said one of the protesters. “We will be done anyway in half an hour.” Since it was a small protest, he said, they would disperse by the time the buses carrying members of the security forces arrived. The protesters had lookouts near security stations, and they sent signals when the buses left. The main purpose of this protest was symbolic, he explained: they wanted to upload new videos on YouTube.

As the protest ended, distant gunfire could be heard. Residents in their homes strained their ears toward the window, trying to guess the direction from which the shooting came. Months ago, firing in the streets panicked residents. Now it often provokes only curiosity.

“We’ve gotten used to it,” said Umm Khaled, a 53-year-old homemaker.

more……….

August 17th, 2011, 2:35 pm

 

sheila said:

To all,

“Bern had already blocked assets worth 27 million francs ($31.7m) belonging to Assad and 22 other individuals. On Wednesday it added several others, including the president’s cousin and head of presidential security, Zulhima Shalish, and former defence minister Ali Habib Mahmud, to the embargo list”.

I do not understand why you are all complaining about Syria and why so many people leave the country claiming that there are no opportunities for advancement. From the previous post you can see clearly that even a government employee in Syria can open a bank account in Switzerland and have a substantial sum of money in it. What more do you want people?????????

August 17th, 2011, 2:35 pm

 

Revlon said:

A recorded message to AlArabiya
By Activist Suhair Atassi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCsHMBhbWKI&feature=player_embedded

She calls for bringing Jr to Justice,
the international community for an unwavering stand and sanctions against jr’s regime,
and the grey-zone Syrians to join the Revolution.

شام – العربية : الحرة سهير الأتاسي – بانوراما 16\8\
2011

August 17th, 2011, 2:40 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

AlJezeera used to broadcast Nasrallah’s speeches in full and live. No more, apparently. LOL.
.

August 17th, 2011, 2:46 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Dear Aboud,

You’re wasting your time trying to prove to the mn7ebaks that the Syrian army and shabbi7a are shooting people on the streets. The mn7ebaks know it, and they don’t deny this. The problem is that the mn7ebaks justify the shooting and the carnage.
.

August 17th, 2011, 2:50 pm

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

as with libya, so too syria:

“The battle for Libya continues. Overwhelming numbers support Gaddafi and want their country free from imperial control. They’re also prepared to fight for it, knowing the unacceptable alternative – colonization, pillaging, loss of freedom, and perhaps their lives.”

“Falsified Major Media Reports on Libya”

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/falsified-major-media-reports-on-libya.html

August 17th, 2011, 2:54 pm

 

SYR.Expat said:

76. JAD said:
“حماه: ضبط كميات كبيرة من الأسلحة المهربة
http://youtu.be/iKHgWOfivfg

For those who want the truth and nothing but the truth, turn to the Syrian media.

August 17th, 2011, 3:13 pm

 
 

SYR.Expat said:

Syria: Dozens Detained In Overnight Raids

BASSEM MROUE 08/17/11 03:00 PM ET
React
BEIRUT — Turkey’s prime minister compared Syria’s president to Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi on Wednesday, as Damascus defied international calls to end the crackdown on a 5-month-old uprising.

President Bashar Assad has unleashed tanks, ground troops and snipers in an attempt to retake control in rebellious areas. The military assault has escalated dramatically since the start of the holy month of Ramadan in August, killing hundreds and detaining thousands.

“We made our calls (to Gadhafi) but unfortunately we got no result,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday. “The same thing is happening with Syria at the moment.”

The conflict in Libya, which began a month before Syria’s unrest, has descended into a civil war as Gadhafi defies calls to end the bloodshed.

On Wednesday, Erdogan said he personally spoke to Assad and sent his foreign minister to Damascus, but “despite all of this, they are continuing to strike civilians.”

Turkey, a neighbor and former close ally of Syria, has been increasingly frustrated with Damascus’ crackdown. But Turkey, Syria’s most important trade partner, has not joined the U.S. and Europe in imposing sanctions.

With tension rising, the U.N. said it has temporarily withdrawn about two dozen “nonessential” international staff from Syria because of security concerns. U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq also said some family members of U.N. staff have been relocated to other countries.

The government insists its crackdown is aimed at rooting out terrorists fomenting unrest in the country. In comments carried on the state-run news agency, Assad appeared to lash out at the international reproach, saying his country will not give up its “dignity and sovereignty.”

Human rights groups and witnesses accuse Syrian troops of firing on largely unarmed protesters and say more than 1,800 civilians have been killed since mid-March.

In Latakia, a Mediterranean port city that has been subjected to a four-day military assault, security centers were overflowing with detainees Wednesday, forcing authorities to hold hundreds of other prisoners in the city’s main football stadium and a movie theater, said Rami Abdul-Raham, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“Detentions centers are packed,” he said.

A woman in Latakia died of her wounds Wednesday, two days after she was injured, according to the observatory and The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group. The LCC said a man was killed in the city late Tuesday.

In the northwestern Idlib province, a bullet killed a man as he stood on his balcony, according to observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of people on the ground. Troops were carrying out raids in the area at the time.

The regime’s recent military operations have also targeted the central city of Homs, where security forces shot dead one person and wounded three during raids Wednesday, according to the observatory.

In Damascus, the regime focused its raids on the predominantly Kurdish neighborhood of Rukneddine, where security forces detained dozens after cutting electricity in the area, the observatory said. The neighborhood has witnessed intense anti-regime protests in the past weeks.

Amateur videos posted online showed Syrian soldiers in SUVs and pickup trucks as they drove down a street, apparently in Latakia. The troop were greeted in the al-Ramel neighborhood by Assad supporters chanting “our souls and our blood we sacrifice for you Bashar.”

Another video showed a military helicopter flying over the coast.

Al-Ramel is home to a crowded Palestinian refugee camp where many low-income Syrians also live. The U.N. says some 10,000 Palestinian refugees living in al-Ramel have fled the violence.

The Associated Press could not verify the videos. Syria has banned most foreign media and restricted local coverage, making it impossible to get independent confirmation of the events on the ground.

Tunisia’s foreign ministry said Wednesday it has recalled its ambassador to Syria because of the “dangerous” developments in the country. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain also have recalled their ambassadors as Arab states joined the chorus of condemnation in recent weeks.

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Jordan renewed their call on Damascus to immediately end its crackdown.

In a joint news conference held on the sidelines of an Islamic nations’ meeting to discuss famine in Somalia, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: “The bloodshed must stop, all soldiers must be withdrawn from the cities and life in these cities must return to normal.”

August 17th, 2011, 3:26 pm

 

Aboud said:

“The problem is that the mn7ebaks justify the shooting and the carnage.”

I disagree Amir. I’m sure that once the menhebaks know all the facts, they will condemn junior and support the revolution…sorry, can’t keep a straight face anymore hehehehehehe. If they insist on going down with him, then I won’t deny them the pleasure.

August 17th, 2011, 3:38 pm

 

Tara said:

I am glad that Aljazeera did not broadcast Nasrallh life if that was true. He like others should understand there are ramifications when one choses to support a tyranny. He lost huge popular support not only in Syria but across the Arab world.

August 17th, 2011, 3:48 pm

 

Tara said:

Aboud

It is amazing how passionate Mnhebaks are to Gaddafi too. Isn’t that striking? Who in his/her right state of mind supports Gaddafi. That tell you how mnhebaks are incapable of free thinking. I wish them emancipation soon.

August 17th, 2011, 3:53 pm

 

Aboud said:

Eight people were killed tonight after the shabiha turds fired on people praying at the Fatima mosque in Al-Wa’er, Homs.

Are you proud of yourselves, menhebaks? Are you proud of your loathsome president who sends thugs to kill people who pray at night? I sincerely hope, that 10 shabiha get their throats slit for every person killed tonight.

August 17th, 2011, 4:04 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Tara #120,

“… He [Nasrallah] lost huge popular support not only in Syria but across the Arab world”.

He lost some of Tara’s support. I’m not sure he lost huge popular support. Opinion polls indicate that he still enjoys quite big popularity among Arabs, despite some tactical mistakes, like the support of the Assadian junta.
There’s no stronger glue that unites the Arabs, but the glue of rejecting Israel. The Arabs cannot agree on a thing, but the hate to Israel. One of the reasons why I’m pro the Arab awakening, is that I hope that this “hate” becomes institutionalized. By institutionalized, I mean, that instead of a domain of dictators and sheiks, those “hate” and ‘rejection’ will be discussed in a free press and in free and democratic houses of representatives. Only then we’ll be able to challenge the hate and the rejection, and hopefully find solutions (a just peace).
.

August 17th, 2011, 4:18 pm

 

SYR.Expat said:

بيان حركة الضباط الأحرار عن ما حدث في جبل الزاوية 17-8-2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6Pg0D17Yqk

If this is true, then this is a serious development. It’s a big mistake to take up arms. The uprising must remain peaceful. As much as I detest the criminal shabiha and security forces that are brutalizing people in Syria, the uprising must reamin peaceful. Resorting to arms is exactly what the government wants.

August 17th, 2011, 4:18 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

PLEASE fix the Spam filter. It’s annoying!!!
.

August 17th, 2011, 4:30 pm

 

Aboud said:

From the SNN Facebook page

شام – حمص – باب السباع : وصول سيارة اسعاف إلى حاجز الأمن المتمركز عند القلعة من جهة الوادي وبدون أضاء في السيارة والأنباء تقول عن اصابة عدد من الشبيحة على يد عناصر الجيش التي انشقت قبل ساعة في حي الخضر

Now THAT’s what I call REAL soldiers!

August 17th, 2011, 4:59 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Arab Street/Zionized West Update

In an interview with Amy Goodman on March 2, 2007, U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.), explains that the Bush Administration planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years

5 Dancing Ahmads,

It looks as if the Arabs are doing what the “zionized west” couldn’t do themselves.

August 17th, 2011, 5:06 pm

 

Abu Umar said:

Menhebek majaneen, let Saddam be a lesson for you. Saddam had his pro-Saddam Shi’ites who benefitted from his regime, yet when the opportunity presented itself, they turned against him. Saddam won many battles, but he lost the war against his enemies in the long run because the numbers weren’t on his side and the demographics of the Asad mafia is worse than Saddam’s. The pro-regime Sunnis will eventually turn against the Asad mafia just like the pro-Saddam Shi’ites and Bashar, Maher, and the rest of the gang will be forgotten in a few years. You can squeal and bay all you want, but your regime will fall.

August 17th, 2011, 5:07 pm

 

SYR.Expat said:

“121. TARA said:

Aboud

It is amazing how passionate Mnhebaks are to Gaddafi too. Isn’t that striking?”

الطيور على أشكالها تقع

August 17th, 2011, 5:13 pm

 

amal said:

SO, how is the independent islamist emirate of HAMA doing now Mr. ambassador?!

😀

August 17th, 2011, 5:17 pm

 

amal said:

OH! Did anyone hear from Turkey lately?!

Anyone?!

😀

August 17th, 2011, 5:19 pm

 

amal said:

You know! Turkey the big bad wolf! 😀

Anyone?!

😀

August 17th, 2011, 5:29 pm

 

Tara said:

Amir,

Hi. Can you share some info about you with us? Your continent of birth, your age group, your occupation or your educational background Can be very general if you wish.

Wouldn’t be offended if you choose not to and I hope you do not consider my question rude.

August 17th, 2011, 5:36 pm

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

5 dancing shlomos

mate, you sound ridiculous. Why are you trying to deny the fact that hundreds of innocent people have died at the hands of a brutal and illegitimate regime? My guess as always is that you have a vested interest in the regime and its survival. So go on, tell us, what are your business links to Syria? Do you do business with any of the board members of the Syrian American Business Council? Do either you or members of your family work for SyriaTel, Cham Holding or companies like them (i.e. those that give out jobs to regime supporters)? Are you one of the guys that has a ‘special’ import licence? Enlighten us.

August 17th, 2011, 5:47 pm

 

jad said:

“شبكة أخبار حمص
خبر تم تأكيده :
تم إلقاء القبض على المسلحين الذين قاموا بترويع أهالي الوعر منذ قليل و عددهم 20 مسلح.
كما تم إلقاء القبض على 4 مسلحين الذين قامو بالهجوم على جامع فاطمة الذي اسفر عن اصابة 6 من المصلين حيث قام المسلحين بالهجوم على مقى أنترنت في مجمع الوعر و قامو بسلب اجهزة الخليوي منهم و عند هروب صاحب المحل إلى جامع فاطمة قامو المسلحين بملاحقته و إطلاق النار على المصليين (نوع السيارة التي كانو بها المسلحين سيارة عمومية بدون لوحات و بدون فانوس)”

“حمص : سيارة بداخلها مسلحين يطلقون النار على الصيدلاني معد الحافظ صاحب صيدلية معد على خط النزهة وتصيبه برأسه حيث تم نقله الى مشفى النهضة و فارق الحياة في المشفى تعازينا لأهل الشهيد.”

“تم إلقاء القبض على المسلحين الذين أغتالوا الصيدلاني معد الحافظ”

“السيارة التي تم تفجيرها في اللاذقية حي الاوقاف تعود للسيد ياسر بسمة وهو أحد الشباب الذين شاركو بتنظيم المسيرات ضد المعارضه في انطاليه في تركيا و أخ السيد فراس بسمة نقيب صيادلة اللاذقية ولا وجود لأصابات والحمدلله”

“تفكيك عبوة بوزن 5 كيلو ديناميت في مشروع الزراعة باللاذقية”

August 17th, 2011, 5:59 pm

 

jad said:

Middle East News Network-English
Update on Syria’s events this evening:

Deir Ezzor: an anti- regime protest of 250 people was dispersed within minutes in Altakaya neighborhood, no security incidents were reported.

Latakia: in addition to the explosion in Alawkaf that resulted in no casualties, several dynamite explosions were heard and clashes erupted in Alheresh, Bustan Alsaydawi and near the train station.
Alawkaf area is being sweeped by army units right now in search of terrorists.

Daraa: sources speak of a close end to troubles there.
Protests were spotted in Alsanamein, Hreik, Mseifra an Sheikh Mesquin.

Damascus suburbs: The number of protesters in Duma reached 300.
Clashes erupted in Alkiswa between army forces and armed terrorists.

Homs: witnessed a bloody day, the result of the clashes mentioned in previous posts were 6 civilian martyrs killed by terrorists in front of Fatima mosques, and 7 insurgents killed by army and security forces.’

August 17th, 2011, 6:07 pm

 

abughassan said:

this forum is being used to spread rumors,obituaries, assassination lists,fear and broadcast unsubstantiated news and at times fabricated videos,and on top of that we have the daily dose of intra-blog shouting matches.
I do not know about you,but I much prefer to add to the knowledge of others by commenting on events instead of trying to create events or inflame an already dangerous situation. The country will not be able to withstand this crisis much longer,there will either be a political breakthrough or internal infighting on a larger scale.
A group of friends and I have decided to double our annual Ramadan Zakat sent to Syria for this year and send half or all of it to areas outside our immediate circle and our designated sect. in my case,I naturally split charity money in half between two cities that are diverse and different but both in need. I hope you consider doing the same.There was a Syria before Alasad and there will be Syria after him unless we destroy it with our own hands.

August 17th, 2011, 6:09 pm

 

William Scott Scherk said:

For the poster known as Aboud, and the questions regarding Najati Tayara, two items:

First, Tayara appears on the The Plot Against Syria website, as an enemy terrorist; he joins such other stellar figures as Michel Kilo and Suhair Atassi as begrimed evul monsters opposing The Lord Of Syria. Read and weep at the intensely crazy and hateful collection:
http://plot.vsyria.com/najati-tayara

Secondly, another polyp on the reef of anti-terrorist operations, the site known as “The Syrian Intelligence System.” Here are collected some internal documents supposedly tied to Tayara’s detention and charge. I have copied it to my own site.
http://wsscherk.host-ed.net/syria/najati.html

I am by no means a pallid ‘neutral’ on events in Syria, but lately I have been struck by what seems to be a headlong retreat from reality by some of the regimist/reformer activists online. Today it was reported on Twitter by the regimist squad that I have/had an office in the Israeli Embassy in Ottawa, from which I purportedly recruited agents to destroy Syria. Some former SC commenters dropped in to reinforce my membership on a circulating enemies list.

I don’t know just what to think about these odd outbursts of accusations . . .

August 17th, 2011, 6:14 pm

 

Gus said:

The revolutionists seem to be blinded by hate, frustrated by their lack of success .
They need to blame themselves before they blame other people. They needed to distance themselves from the criminal elements and by not doing that they alienated the majority of syrians.

August 17th, 2011, 6:23 pm

 

abughassan said:

Latakia did very little in the 1980s to rise with Hama.Back then there was a heavy reliance on common thugs and assassins to do the dirty work while most of the city watched and did not do much to support the uprising. This time,resentment against Alasad is more than in the 1980s and more people are involved ,and the desire to change the regime is stronger but the rebels are still dominated by people from poor SES and are heavily infiltrated by trouble makers and thugs. Latakia will be the last to rise in masses against the regime. Whoever put that bomb in Latakia either could not bring it closer to heavily populated areas or did not want to kill a lot of people,but the purpose is clear: to scare the public,warn the regime and erode confidence. One guy suggested that this is the work of almukhabarat,that does not make sense to me,I do not know about others.I hope nobody will ask me for a youtube video to support my story :), I am glad that nobody got hurt, I am upset but not surprised,after all,we lost thousands of Syrians since March. I just hope this mess comes to an end soon.

August 17th, 2011, 6:30 pm

 

Aboud said:

Thank you Mr Scherk. That list contains some of the most honorable and finest people in Syria and the region. I’d consider it an honor if I was important enough to be on it.

So the reason Najati Tayara is in jail, is because he dared tell the world about junior’s crimes.

His son gave an interview to Al-Arabiya, and rightly pointed out that Mr Tayara would have easily been eligible for bail under Syria’s laws. But of course, we all know that Besho, the so called First Judge, suspends laws at whim.

After he loses his job, maybe junior can be a panelist on “Menhebaks Got Talent!”. I’m sure No Klue will torment the audience with one of his terrible stories.

“Homs: witnessed a bloody day, the result of the clashes mentioned in previous posts were 6 civilian martyrs killed by terrorists in front of Fatima mosques, and 7 insurgents killed by army and security forces.’”

Yes, terrorists…shabeha terrorists, as witnessed by everyone in Al-Wa’er. It is no surprise that the menhebaks would be so ashamed by this disgraceful act of murder, that they would disown the turds who carried it out.

August 17th, 2011, 6:36 pm

 

True said:

@ ALL

Minorities of Syria weren’t all that bothered by the whole concept of earning FREEDOM, they enjoyed playing the followers instead. They did not, or only superficially, recognised the legitimacy of protesting to earn some dignity. Instead they were deeply entrenched in the political and social traditions of glorifying and sucking for the regime i.e. Weekly celebration nights @ Bab Tomma.

Relations between minorities and Sunnis were largely harmonious even after Besho’s inauguration, there were only a handful of documented episodes involving any serious physical clashes between minorities and their Sunni counterparts. Compared to the communal violence between similar groups in other countries such as Iraq or Lebanon.

Thus, the roots of the Syrian modern-day Minorities-Sunni antipathy lie not in the distant past, but a mere 40 years back, give or take, when Assad (the father) started knitting his “for-ever” regime and adding this minority fabric at every level of his temple. After the failed rebellion trials in 80s, this became more imposing and he began introducing a greater number of totalitarianism driven concepts which were rotating around one single ideology of “minority rule”. This fact suddenly awakened the other minorities to a stark reality which they had simply not been aware of or even dream of it, consequently a long term strategic alliance started amongst these minority groups till our current days.

For all those who suffer and hide behind this minorities-complex disorder (Tara©), c’mon till when do you want to keep playing the “victim”? It’s just about time to come out clean and break-up your unethical alliance with such a regime.

August 17th, 2011, 6:42 pm

 

beaware said:

Turkish jets bomb PKK bases in Iraq
Thursday, August 18, 2011
ANKARA – The Associated Press
Source: Turkish Air Forces website
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=the-associated-press-2011-08-18
Turkish jets launched air raids on suspected bases belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in northern Iraq on Wednesday, Turkish media reported.

The raids came hours after eight soldiers and a village guard were killed in an ambush by PKK members.

Some 15 warplanes took off from a Turkish base to strike at bases which the PKK use as a springboard to attack targets inside Turkey, according to a report on the NTV news channel.

CNNTürk television said Turkish F-16s were involved in the raids.
more….

August 17th, 2011, 6:58 pm

 

beaware said:

US to Turkey: We know when to say bye to Assad
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
This file photo shows Clinton (L) reacting at a meeting with Davutoğlu in Istanbul. Reuters photo
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=us-to-turkey-we-know-when-to-say-bye-to-assad-2011-08-17
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other governments should call on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, declining to make that call herself, but Turkey is not willing to be the leading country in that role. Ankara does not rule out that option, but says it’s too early to call for Assad’s departure.

It was crucial to develop a common regional attitude toward Syria, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters on Wednesday in response to a question recalling Clinton’s remarks.

“We’ll extend contacts in our region to develop a joint attitude on Syria. We’d do the best for timing and for what to say,” the minister added.

“If there will be call on Assad to step down, it should not be Turkey to make the call, but everyone, first of all Syrian people should say that first,” a diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Turkey does not rule out the option but also is not considering it at the moment, another Turkish official told the Daily News.

“It’s not going to be any news if the U.S. says Assad needs to go,” Clinton said, suggesting the world’s reaction to such a move would be, “Ok, fine. What’s next?” “If Turkey says it, if King Abdullah says it, if other people say it, there’s no way the Assad regime can ignore it,” she said Tuesday.

When asked whether the Obama administration should demand that Assad step down, Clinton said: “I am a big believer in results over rhetoric.” She said the U.S. diplomatic approach toward Syria amounts to “smart power,” noting such an approach is an alternative to using brute force and unilateralism.

Ankara has not indicated willingness to lead an international coalition to conduct coercive diplomacy to push drastic measures on the Syrian administration, but instead it is seeking coherence with regional countries. Along with Western actors, Turkey has been discussing the situation with regional countries such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey does not favor military intervention, Davutoğlu said late Tuesday, but added that the Syrian army’s military operation against civilians was not acceptable. “We are determined to take every necessary measure to make sure the operations stop. This is for us an issue that closely concerns our own stability.”

Turkey will continue to discuss with Syria, as it would do with other countries, Davutoğlu told reporters in a joint press appearance with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh on Wednesday.

Although Ankara might have not succeeded with its preventive diplomacy on Syria, since Assad has not taken steps to end the violence or implement urgent reforms, Turkey prefers diplomatic ambiguity before applying isolation policies to Damascus. A limited engagement policy could continue for the Syrian administration, the diplomatic source said.

Turkey is considering developments in Syria putting two threshold points to take further measures. The crisis in Syria is at the level of human rights violation, but it could lead to a crisis on Turkey’s border, the diplomatic source warned. The next level of threat could be a regional crisis, the source added.

Davutoğlu denied claims that Turkey was establishing a buffer zone on the Turkish-Syrian border. “We are talking about a 900-kilometer border. We cannot talk about such a development right now,” he said, adding however that the possibility of a safe heaven is on the agenda.

If thousands of people gather on the Turkish-Syrian border, Ankara could take security measures and set up a safe haven, the diplomatic source said.

‘Kılıçdaroğlu must apologize’

Davutoğlu also slammed the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for his criticism of the government for not informing the opposition regarding the developments in the foreign policy.

Davutoğlu said Kılıçdaroğlu should first apologize to him for calling him a “subcontractor” regarding Turkey’s Syria policy.

August 17th, 2011, 7:04 pm

 

True said:

So it seems Menhebeks are fighting back fiercely these days (pushing dislike button)!! I really can’t get down to it, is it a new set of orders they received? Or it’s just the last kick before death?

ABOUD, how dare you to be an educated man from Homs? Lol
I’m amazed how much “Menhebks” love to investigate your identity mate!!

August 17th, 2011, 7:06 pm

 

Tara said:

Another child killed today by Bashar.

Bashar should never be granted exile. He should be tried for crime against humanity.

August 17th, 2011, 7:14 pm

 

ann said:

9 killed in rebel attack in Turkey

http://news.yahoo.com/9-killed-rebel-attack-turkey-152339193.html

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Kurdish rebels ambushed a military convoy near Turkey’s border with Iraq on Wednesday, killing eight soldiers and a village-guard, the prime minister said.

Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz vowed tough response, as the military launched an air and ground offensive in the largely Kurdish Hakkari province where the attack happened, Turkey’s state television reported.

More than 30 Turkish soldiers have died in intensified rebel attacks since July, including one that killed 13 service members in July, leading to a major military offensive in southeastern Turkey.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said armored personnel carriers in the convoy came under rocket fire after being attacked with roadside bombs.

The Hakkari governor’s office said the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, detonated four bombs as the unit passed by.

Eight soldiers and a government-paid village guard who was helping troops fight the rebels were killed in the attack that also wounded 11 other soldiers, Erdogan said.

“What is it that they are doing? It’s oppression, it’s threats, it’s terrorism,” Yilmaz, the defense minister, told reporters. “The retaliation they will find will be manifold stronger.”

Dismayed that attacks are continuing during the holy month of Ramadan, Erdogan this week also hinted at tougher military action against the rebels after the end of the month of piety for Muslims, saying Turkey is at the end of its tether.

Some news reports speculated that Turkey is considering renewed cross border incursions into northern Iraq where the PKK maintains bases. Turkey has frequently launched air strikes or sent soldiers across the border to fight the rebels.

Asked Wednesday about the possibility of a cross-border offensive, Erdogan replied: “These things are not talked about they are done.”

The PKK, considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, is fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.

On Wednesday, the U.S. ambassador issued a message of condolence for the soldiers and said the United States stands “with Turkey in its fight against the PKK.”

August 17th, 2011, 7:16 pm

 

beaware said:

Young Egyptian activists sent to prison
http://news.yahoo.com/young-egyptian-activists-sent-prison-194327129.html
CAIRO (AP) — A military tribunal sentenced two young Egyptian activists to six-month prison terms after convicting them of insulting the army, a court official said Wednesday.
more…

August 17th, 2011, 7:18 pm

 

jad said:

«يديعوت أحرونوت»: «مهر» أميركي لتركيا بغية إنهاء نظام الأسد

ذكرت صحيفة «يديعوت أحرونوت» الإسرائيلية اليوم، أن الإدارة الأميركية تمارس ضغوطاً كبيرة على حكومة إسرائيل كي تعتذر لتركيا على أحداث أسطول الحرية، لأنها ترى أن استمرار الأزمة في العلاقات بين الدولتين يمس بالمصالح الأميركية في الشرق الأوسط.
وقالت الصحيفة إن دبلوماسيين إسرائيليين في الولايات المتحدة نقلوا أخيراً رسائل إلى حكومتهم، تضمنت مطالب واضحة من وزارة الخارجية الأميركية، وبينها مطالب مباشرة من وزيرة الخارجية هيلاري كلينتون جاء فيها أن «استمرار تدهور العلاقات بين إسرائيل وتركيا يمس بالمصالح الأميركية في المنطقة».
وأضافت الصحيفة إنه «من أجل التعامل مع الأزمة في سوريا تسعى الإدارة الأميركية في هذه الأثناء إلى توثيق علاقاتها مع الحكومة التركية.. للولايات المتحدة وتركيا هدف مشترك هو إنهاء حكم الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد وصعود شخصية معتدلة لتخلفه في الحكم وإعادة الاستقرار إلى سوريا ومنع تفككها»، موضحةً أن «المهر» الذي تريد الولايات المتحدة تقديمه إلى الأتراك في إطار توثيق العلاقات هو موافقة إسرائيلية على الاعتذار أمام تركيا عن الأحداث الدموية التي رافقت أسطول الحرية لكسر الحصار عن غزة في أيار/مايو من العام الماضي، والتي قتل خلالها 9 نشطاء أتراك.
وأشارت الصحيفة إلى أن رسائل مشابهة استمع إليها وزير الدفاع الإسرائيلي ايهود باراك، خلال زيارته واشنطن قبل ثلاثة أسابيع، حيث طالبت كلينتون في حينه بأن تبذل إسرائيل كل ما في وسعها من أجل إنهاء الأزمة الإسرائيلية ـــــ التركية لكونها تلحق أضراراً مباشرة بالمصالح الأميركية في المنطقة.
ونقلت «يديعوت أحرونوت» عن مسؤولين في وزارة الخارجية الأميركية تلميحهم بصورة غير رسمية إلى أنه سيكون من الصعب على الولايات المتحدة إقناع دول صديقة، أعضاء في مجلس الأمن الدولي، بمعارضة المسعى الفلسطيني إلى نيل اعتراف دولي بالدولة الفلسطينية في أيلول/سبتمبر المقبل إذا لم تستجب إسرائيل للطلب الأميركي بمصالحة تركيا.
وأضافت إن تركيا، المطلعة على هذه الضغوط الأميركية، تسعى إلى إقناع لجنة تقصي الحقائق الدولية بإرجاء نشر تقريرها إلى حين موافقة إسرائيل على الاعتذار.

(يو بي آي)
http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/19198

August 17th, 2011, 7:29 pm

 

True said:

I’d rather to send Besho “the criminal” to Iran so he can see Syria flourishing while he’s WANTED!! but hey it’s the people’s on the ground call if they wanna send him to the court then will do as he does fit the description

Accroding to the Article 6.C of the Charterc, Crimes Against Humanity defined as
“Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated”

@ Menehbeks it’s a shame you would not have fancy cars to cruise around while Besho in the cage!!

August 17th, 2011, 7:30 pm

 

jad said:

واشنطن تقيّد حركة دبلوماسيي سوريا وأردوغان يشبّه الأزمة بالوضع الليبي
الأسد يربط الإصلاح بأولوية الأمن … والحداثة بـ«الثوابت» حث الحزبيين على إشـراك القواعـد في التعديلات بما يشـمل المـادة 8

زياد حيدر
ربط الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد بين «إحلال الأمن والأمان في البلاد» وتعميق الإصلاحات بحيث «تصبح سوريا مثالا يحتذى به في المنطقة» وفق ما جاء خلال حديثه أمام 530 عضوا من قيادات وكوادر حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي الحاكم أمس، وذلك في ما يشبه المؤتمر القطري المصغر وفق وصف مشاركين قالوا لـ«السفير» إن القيادة السورية استمعت إلى آرائهم بشأن موضوع التعديلات الدستورية ولا سيما المادة الثامنة من الدستور التي تمنح الحزب الحاكم السلطة المطلقة في الدولة.
وطالب الأسد المجتمعين بالعودة للقواعد الحزبية لاستمزاج آرائها بشأن هذه الإصلاحات، مؤكدا أن الإصلاح في سوريا «نابع من قناعة ونبض السوريين وليس استجابة لأي ضغوط خارجية». ورأى العديد من المشاركين أن اللقاء يهدف لـ«شرعنة أي قرارات أو تعديلات تجري حزبيا وضمن إطار المؤسسة الحزبية» وإن لم تشر المصادر إلى «الآلية التي يمكن أن يتم اتباعها لتعميق الإصلاحات الدستورية». كما أكد الأسد خلال اللقاء أن «سوريا ستبقى قوية مقاومة ولم ولن تتنازل عن كرامتها وسيادتها».
ورأى الأسد أن «استهداف» سوريا «اليوم مشابه تماماً لما حصل في العامين 2003 و2005 عبر طرق مختلفة في محاولة لإضعاف دورها العروبي المقاوم والمدافع عن الحقوق المشروعة».
في المقابل، واصلت تركيا نهجها التصعيدي في انتقادها لدمشق، وشبه رئيس الوزراء رجب طيب أردوغان الموقف في سوريا بالوضع في ليبيا، فيما دعا وزير الخارجية التركي مجددا لوقف العمليات العسكرية والأمنية ضد المتظاهرين، مستبعدا في الوقت نفسه تدخلا أجنبيا في سوريا، ومجددا نفي اتجاه تركيا نحو إقامة منطقة عازلة على الحدود مع سوريا.

أما ميدانيا، فقتل عشرة اشخاص برصاص الامن السوري بحسب ما قال ناشطون لوكالة «فرانس برس» فيما شنت قوات الامن حملة مداهمات واعتقالات في عدة مدن سورية. وذكر مدير المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان رامي عبد الرحمن ان مواطنا قتل في قرية ابديتا في جبل الزاوية في ريف ادلب حيث كانت القوات السورية «تنفذ عمليات عسكرية وأمنية». وفي حمص، قال المصدر ان ثلاثة أشخاص قتلوا احدهم برصاص قناص في حي الارمن، وآخر في حي النازحين حيث اصيب ثلاثة اشخاص بجروح، وثالث في دير بعلبة. وأضاف عبد الرحمن ان 100 شخص اعتقلوا في حمص منهم 40 في حي الخالدية وحده. وفي اللاذقية، توفيت في حي القلعة سيدة متأثرة بجراح اصيبت بها الاثنين الماضي. ونقل عن ناشط قوله بوجود جثامين لثلاثة شهداء في مستشفى المدينة لم يتسن الحصول على أسمائهم. وقالت وكالة الأنباء السورية إن الأجهزة المختصة ضبطت «الليلة الماضية سيارتين محملتين بكميات كبيرة من الأسلحة من خارج سوريا في الشمال الغربي من محافظة حماة» وقالت إن السيارة كانت «متوجهة إلى المجموعات الارهابية المسلحة لاستكمال المخططات الإجرامية التي تقوم بها هذه المجموعات بحق أمن سوريا واستقرارها». وذلك من دون الإشارة إلى أية منطقة.
واحتوت السيارتان وأحداهما شاحنة من نوع «كيا» تحمل لوحة من محافظة إدلب والثانية سياحية نوع «كيا» أيضا تحمل لوحة من محافظة حماه على 160 بندقية آلية حديثة الصنع ومتطورة إضافة إلى قطع غيار أسلحة. وضبطت السيارتان على أحد الطرق المؤدية إلى سهل الغاب حيث تم إخفاء الأسلحة المهربة ببالات وأكياس بعد تغليفها ووضعها تحت غطاء من القصب العشبي. وتم إلقاء القبض على سائقي السيارتين ومرافقيهم والتحقيقات مستمرة لمعرفة خيوط هذه العملية. وأظهر التلفزيون السوري المعتقلين كما الأسلحة في وضعية المصادرة، وتبين أن معظمها من البنادق النصف آلية المعروفة بـ«البمب أكشن».
لقاء اللجنة المركزية
وكان الرئيس الأسد التقى ظهر أمس أعضاء اللجنة المركزية لحزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي وعدداً من الكوادر الحزبية في المحافظات وممثلي المنظمات والنقابات الشعبية في البلاد.
وذكرت «سانا» أن اللقاء تناول «الخطوات والقرارات التي اتخذت في الفترة الأخيرة على طريق بناء سوريا الحديثة من جهة والقوية بحفاظها على ثوابتها الوطنية والقومية واستقلالية قرارها من جهة أخرى وجرى تبادل الآراء حول أفضل السبل لتفعيل دور المنظمات والنقابات الشعبية والكوادر الحزبية في استكمال تنفيذ هذه الخطوات والقرارات».
وأكد الرئيس الأسد «أن النهوض بدور المنظمات والنقابات الشعبية والكوادر الحزبية لا يمكن أن يتم إلا من خلال تحمل الجميع مسؤولياتهم بما يمكنهم من العمل بفاعلية ومواصلة الحوار مع القواعد وجميع فئات المجتمع بشأن المراسيم والقوانين التي أقرت وخطواتها التنفيذية وإشراكهم مشاركة حقيقية في بناء مستقبل سوريا».
وجرى التأكيد على أهمية إشراك مختلف شرائح المجتمع على تنوعها وعلى جميع المستويات في ما يخص ما طرحه الرئيس الأسد في خطابه في جامعة دمشق في 20 حزيران الماضي «بخصوص النظر في الدستور وصولاً إلى تحقيق ما يهدف إليه المواطن السوري بجعل سوريا نموذجا يحتذى به في المنطقة وهذا لا يمكن أن يتحقق من دون إعادة الأمن والأمان إلى المواطن السوري والقضاء على المظاهر المسلحة بكافة أشكالها».
ودار الحديث في اللقاء وفق معلومات «السفير» في أغلبه حول المادة الثامنة من الدستور التي تنص على قيادة الحزب للدولة والمجتمع. ولاحظت المصادر أن هنالك ما يشبه الإجماع على إجراء تعديلات دستورية في إطار تعديل المادة الثامنة، وأن اللقاء جرى بهدف إجراء استمزاج رأي مع الكوادر الحزبية بشأن التعديلات الدستورية المرتقبة. وحضر اللقاء 530 شخصا بينهم وزراء من حزب البعث وأمناء فروع وشُعب وأعضاء قيادة مركزية للحزب ورؤساء منظمات. ورأى بعض المشاركين أن اللقاء الذي لم يتجاوز الساعات الثلاث كان أشبه بمؤتمر قطري مصغر، وأنه يستطيع تأمين «شرعية لأي قرارات تصدر بشأن التعديلات الدستورية المرتقبة».
وقالت المصادر إن الكثير من المداخلين ركزوا على الأحداث الأخيرة وضرورة صيانة الوحدة والوطنية والتعايش السلمي بين أبناء الوطن الواحد كأولوية، ولا سيما من تحدث من مناطق شهدت توترات طائفية كما في حمص. وتم خلال الاجتماع اقتراح موعد للموتمر القطري لحزب البعث خلال شهر أيلول المقبل يتم فيه إقرار موافقة الحزب على التعديلات الدستورية.
وقد نقلت «سانا» عن الرئيس الأسد إشارته إلى أن «الإصلاح في سوريا نابع من قناعة ونبض السوريين وليس استجابة لأي ضغوط خارجية» وأن «سوريا ستبقى قوية مقاومة ولم ولن تتنازل عن كرامتها وسيادتها.. واستهدافها اليوم مشابه تماماً لما حصل في العامين 2003 و2005 عبر طرق مختلفة في محاولة لإضعاف دورها العروبي المقاوم والمدافع عن الحقوق المشروعة مؤكداً أن الشعب السوري بثوابته القومية والوطنية تمكن عبر السنين من الحفاظ على موقع سوريا وتحصينها وحمايتها وسيبقى كذلك دائماً مهما تصاعدت الضغوط الخارجية».
الموقف التركي
وقال أردوغان للصحافيين في اسطنبول «فعلنا ما بوسعنا بشأن ليبيا لكننا لم نستطع تحقيق اي نتائج. لذا فقد اصبح الموضوع مسألة دولية الآن. لم يحقق القذافي آمالنا والنتيجة كانت واضحة». وأضاف «والآن يحدث الموقف نفسه في سوريا. لقد ارسلت وزير خارجيتي واتصلت شخصيا مرات عدة كان آخرها قبل نحو ثلاثة ايام عبر الهاتف. ورغم كل ذلك ما زال المدنيون يقتلون».
من جهته، قال داود اوغلو في مؤتمر صحافي مع نظيره الأردني ناصر جودة «يجب أن تتوقف اراقة الدماء أولا وقبل كل شيء. يجب أن تتوقف العمليات العسكرية». واستطرد «إذا استمرت العمليات في سوريا وأصبحت مشكلة إقليمية فمن الطبيعي ألا تبقى تركيا بلا حراك. لكنه استبعد تدخلا دوليا في سوريا. وأجاب ردا على تقرير اخباري يفيد بأن تركيا قد تقيم منطقة عازلة على طول حدودها مع سوريا قائلا «نتحدث عن حدود ممتدة لمسافة 900 كيلومتر. لا يمكننا الحديث عن مثل هذا التطور في الوقت الحالي». وأبدى جودة كذلك قلقه إزاء الوضع في سوريا قائلا إنه «سيواصل التشاور مع تركيا حتى تتوقف إراقة الدماء والعنف والقتل».
وذكرت وسائل إعلام تركية أن الحكومة التركية تعتزم مناقشة فرض عقوبات على النظام السوري وخفض الاتصالات الدبلوماسية بسبب استمرار دمشق في التصدي لمعارضي النظام من دون اكتراث للمناشدات التركية بوقف العنف ومحاولات الوساطة. وذكرت صحف تركية أن أنقرة تدرس عزل نظام الأسد دوليا وسحب السفير التركي من دمشق. وأضافت التقارير أن الحكومة التركية تدرس أيضا إمكانية تعليق التعاون العسكري مع سوريا وفرض قيود على النقل بين البلدين وتجميد ممتلكات عائلة الأسد في تركيا.
خطوات دولية وعربية
وتوجهت الدول الغربية بطلب إلى مجلس الأمن لعقد جلسة خاصة حول سوريا لمجلس حقوق الإنسان الإثنين المقبل. وقال دبلوماسي ان اكثر من 20 دولة وقعت على الطلب من بينها دول الاتحاد الاوروبي والولايات المتحدة، وهو ما يزيد على الثلث الضروري لعقد جلسة خاصة للمجلس الذي يضم 47 عضوا. وأضاف الدبلوماسي ان معظم الدول العربية الاعضاء في المجلس: الاردن، الكويت، السعودية، قطر، وقعت على الطلب. وقال الدبلوماسي ان الجلسة الخاصة ستهدف الى إدانة الاعمال التي تقوم بها سوريا وتدعو الى التحقيق في حملة القمع الدموية التي تشنها ضد المتظاهرين كما حدث في جلسة خاصة سابقة عقدت في 29 نيسان الماضي.
من جهته، يعقد مجلس الامن الدولي اجتماعا خاصا اليوم لبحث حقوق الانسان والوضع الانساني الطارئ في سوريا، بمشاركة المفوضة العليا لحقوق الانسان في الامم المتحدة نافي بيلاي. وقال دبلوماسي «علينا مواصلة الضغط بسبب تدهور الوضع» في سوريا مشيرا الى ان «جميع دول الاتحاد الاوروبي وبعض الدول العربية منها الكويت على توافق».
وفرضت الإدارة الأميركية على الدبلوماسيين السوريين طلب الحصول على إذن قبل مغادرة واشنطن إلى مناطق أخرى، وذلك ردا على إجراء مماثل فرضته السلطات السورية على الدبلوماسيين الأميركيين في دمشق. ونقلت هيئة الإذاعة البريطانية «بي بي سي» عن متحدث باسم وزارة الخارجية الأميركية قوله إن القيود على حركة الدبلوماسيين السوريين سترفع حين ترفع عن الدبلوماسيين الأميركيين في سوريا. وأضاف المتحدث أن الولايات المتحدة «تعارض وتحتج بشدة على فرض الحكومة السورية هذه القيود». وبموجب القرار الأميركي يتعين على الدبلوماسيين السوريين التقدم بطلب إذن مكتوب لمغادرة واشنطن قبل 7 أيام عمل من رحلتهم. ويعمل 16 دبلوماسياً معتمداً في السفارة السورية بواشنطن.
من جانبها، أعلنت وزارة الخارجية في تونس انها استدعت سفيرها لدى دمشق للتشاور بسبب ما وصفته بأنه تطورات خطيرة بعد ان وسع الرئيس السوري الهجمات العسكرية على مدن فيها احتجاجات.
إلى ذلك، رفض البنك التجاري اللبناني السوري الاتهامات الاميركية له بعقد صفقات مع ايران وكوريا الشمالية، معتبرا انها «ادعاءات سياسية» و«لا اساس لها من الصحة». وأكد المصرف في بيان انه «منذ تأسيس مؤسستنا لم نتعامل مع اي كيان ايراني او كوري شمالي حتى في القطاعات التي لم تطبق عليها اي عقوبات». وأضاف «ندحض كافة الاتهامات بالتورط في اي نشاط غير شرعي قدم يوما خدمات مالية لكيانات كورية شمالية او ايرانية حتى قبل فرض العقوبات».
وأكد المصرف انه «كيان لبناني يخضع بالكامل لرقابة مصرف لبنان المركزي وسلطاته التنفيذية» ويتعامل مع المصرف التجاري السوري «المؤسسة الأم كأي مؤسسة مالية اجنبية اخرى». وتابع ان «هذه العلاقات الثنائية تخضع للمراقبة الدقيقة والواضحة من قبل الجهات الرقابية في الدولتين لذلك فإننا واثقون من ان احدا لا يمكنه توجيه اي ادعاء او دليل بوجود اعمال غير شرعية في مؤسستنا».
واستبعد السفير الاميركي لدى الجزائر هنري سي. انشر تدخل حلف شمال الأطلسي (الناتو) في سوريا. وقال انشر في حوار مع صحيفة «الشروق اليومي» الجزائرية «لا أرى أي إمكانية لتدخل قوات الناتو في سوريا في ظل الظروف الحالية». وأضاف «لا أتحدث كمتحدث رسمي باسم حلف الناتو، لكن كسفير أميركي، نحن نقرر بشأن كل قضية حسب الظروف المحيطة بها، وحتى إن كان لنا مصالح في العراق وأفغانستان أو حتى ليبيا، فليس لذلك علاقة، فالقرار قرار الرئيس وقرار ثان للبلد المعني فنحن نعتبر الظروف والأوضاع في أي بلد هي التي تقتضي التدخل قبل اتخاذ القرار، لكن عندما نتدخل في بلد معين، فهذا لا يعني أن هناك مانعا للتدخل الضروري في بلد آخر».

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionID=1924&ChannelID=45400&ArticleID=2127

August 17th, 2011, 7:30 pm

 

beaware said:

Syria Blocks Turkey’s Ascent
Ariel Cohen
August 17, 2011
http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/syria-blocks-turkeys-rise-5772
Turkey finds its “zero-problems-with-neighbors” foreign policy severely compromised by upheavals in the Arab world. Relations with some of its closest friends, such as Syria, appear to be irrevocably damaged.

Last Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held marathon talks in Damascus. He called on President Bashar Assad and his socialist-nationalist, Alawi-minority regime to stop the bloodshed. Yet still the blood flows.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Davutoglu face a complex regional and international environment. Their nine-year investment in friendship with the Assad regime is backfiring. In 2009, Turkey and Syria signed a strategic partnership agreement, conducted joint military maneuvers and were so close that their cabinets held joint meetings. Expanding influence in what used to be the Ottoman Eastern Mediterranean province of Shams, Turkey introduced visa-free travel with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan while inundating Syria with its goods, from foodstuffs to appliances.

What a difference an Arab Spring makes. Now Turkey is flooded with over 12,000 Syrian refugees. Hundreds of thousands may flee if the Assad crackdown escalates to a civil war.

Ankara is attempting to synchronize its foreign policy with Sunni Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, which pulled their ambassadors from Damascus. Turkey is hosting Syrian opposition conferences, while Davutoglu and Erdogan are demanding that Damascus stop the killing of civilians. Syria, they say, should implement the reforms “in 10-14 days.”

Fat chance. President Assad responded to Davutoglu’s mission by saying that Syria will continue “relentlessly fighting armed groups,” the regime’s term for protesters. Assad also offended Davutoglu by sending tanks to crush protesters near the Turkish border on the day of Davutoglu’s mision, while sending “only” a deputy foreign minister, not the Turkish Minister’s counterpart, to greet him at the airport.

Much of this entanglement is Turkey’s own handiwork. It attempted to position itself as a new regional superpower, supported Hamas and abandoned a strategic relationship with Israel. Erdogan played to the Arab “street,” enthusiastically calling for Egyptian president’s Housni Mubarak’s resignation. However, today, the Sunni “street”—which is 80 percent of Syria’s population—wants the secular and minority-Alawi Assad gone, and so do the members of the Arab League.

Yet if Turkey abandons the pro-Iranian Assad, which it is in the process of doing, it will face another strategic headache: a confrontation with Tehran. Until now Turkey played a sophisticated game of rapprochement with Syria’s Shi’a patron, increasing trade and lobbying for Iran in the international arena. However, the demise of the Assad clan may open a new avenue for the Sunni Turkish Islamic AK Party, which is also close to the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition force in Syria and in Egypt.

And herein lies the rub. The Middle East historically has five power centers: three Arab (Cairo, Damascus, and Baghdad) and two non-Arab: Iran and Turkey. As one of these (Damascus) undergoes a meltdown, and two others (Cairo and Baghdad) are very weak, the remaining two non-Arab centers are doomed by history and geography to compete.

Recently Turkey stopped two shipments of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah of Lebanon, which were illegal under the UN sanctions. The Iranian media are now badmouthing Ankara as a “Western agent.”

Past hugs and kisses between Erdogan and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad notwithstanding, competition between Ankara and Tehran over Damascus and Beirut is on the rise.

Ankara’s “zero-problems-with-neighbors” policy is crumbling, fast­—with Syria, Cyprus, Armenia, Israel and with the Kurds.

Fasten your seatbelts, Middle East observers. It’s going to be a rocky ride.

August 17th, 2011, 7:52 pm

 

beaware said:

Lessons of two wars: We will lose in Iraq and Afghanistan
Posted By Stephen M. Walt Tuesday, August 16, 2011 – 12:23 PM
http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/08/16/lessons_of_two_wars_we_will_lose_in_iraq_and_afghanistan
One of the things that gets in the way of conducting good national security policy is a reluctance to call things by their right names and state plainly what is really happening. If you keep describing difficult situations in misleading or inaccurate ways, plenty of people will draw the wrong conclusions about them and will continue to support policies that don’t make a lot of sense.
….
The truth is that the United States and its allies lost the war in Iraq and are going to lose the war in Afghanistan. There: I said it. By “lose,” I mean we will eventually withdraw our military forces without having achieved our core political objectives, and with our overall strategic position weakened.

The real lesson one should draw from these defeats is that the United States doesn’t know how to build democratic societies in large and distant Muslim countries that are divided by sectarian, ethnic, or tribal splits, and especially if these countries have a history of instability or internal violence. Nobody else does either. But that’s not a mission we should be seeking out in the future, because it will only generate greater hatred of the United States and further sap our strength.

The United States rose to world power by staying out of costly fights or by getting into them relatively late and then winning the peace. It won the Cold War by maintaining an economy that was far stronger than the Soviet Union’s, by assembling a coalition of allies that was more reliable, stable, and prosperous than the Communist bloc, and by remaining reasonably true to a set of political ideals that inspired others. Its major missteps occurred when it exaggerated the stakes in peripheral conflicts — such as Indochina. Fortunately, the Soviet Union made more blunders than we did, and from a weaker base.

Since 1992, the United States has squandered some of its margin of superiority by mismanaging its own economy, by allowing 9/11 to cloud its strategic judgment, and by indulging in precisely the sort of hubris that the ancient Greeks warned against. The main question is whether we will learn from these mistakes, and start basing national security policy on hard-headed realism rather than either neo-conservative fantasies or overly enthusiastic liberal interventionism. Unfortunately, the first shots in the 2012 presidential campaign do not exactly fill me with confidence.

August 17th, 2011, 7:58 pm

 

jad said:

“Now Turkey is flooded with over 12,000 Syrian refugees.”

The correct number is:
‘Number of Syrian refugees in Turkey drops to 6,973’
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/15/c_131050904.htm

Besides, there are allegation of rape in those camps:
مزاعم عن حالات اغتصاب في مخيم اللاجئين السوريين بتركيا: 400 حالة اغتصاب و250 حاملاً
الكاتب وطن
الأربعاء, 17 أغسطس 2011 20:17
في تقرير لها نشر مؤخراً بعنوان 400 حالة اغتصاب و250 حاملاً!، كشفت صحيفة ايدنليك التركية وتعني النور، عن انتهاكات خطيرة ارتكبت بحق نساء سورية في المخيمات التي أقامتها السلطات التركية ضمن سيناريو مسبق لتهجير السوريين من المناطق الحدودية القريبة من تركيا.وقالت الصحيفة التركية اليسارية المعارضة الصادرة من اسطنبول، إنها حصلت على معلومات تتحدث عن ظهور
آثار اعتداء جنسي على بعض الفتيات المقيمات في مخيم بوينويوغون، وقامت بالاستفسار عن صحة هذه المعلومات من مصادر مختلفة للتأكد من دقة الخبر قبل نشره، لتكتشف الصحيفة أن اغتصاب النسوة قد حصل فعلاً في المخيم المقام في منطقة التناوز. وتابعت الصحيفة: بعد إجراء فحوصات طبية على النساء والفتيات تبين أن 250 منهن حوامل؛ مما أثار بلبلة كبيرة داخل المخيم، مؤكدة أنه وردتنا معلومات من مصادر أخرى؛ أنه قد تم استغلال بعض النساء المغتصبات لتشغيلهن كمومسات خارج المخيمات؛ لذلك رغبت أغلب العائلات بالعودة إلى وطنهم الأم.ويلمح التقرير إلى تواطؤ المسؤولين الأمنيين والإداريين عن المخيم مع شخص اسمه عبدو اصلانار وهو مختار القرية ويملك الأرض التي أقيم عليها المخيم، وأن المذكور يعمل في الدعارة.ولفت التقرير إلى أنه بعد افتضاح عدد من الحالات جراء محاولات أصلنار إجبار بعض النسوة على العمل في الدعارة، وصل الأمر إلى محافظ منطقة هتاي الذي لم يقم بأي خطوة لوقف الانتهاكات، فاستقال نائب المحافظ كما تم إبعاد مسؤول التعليم الشعبي في إجازة إجبارية خارج المنطقة، وذلك بحسب صحيفة ايدنليك التركية، بهدف التعتيم على هذه الانتهاكات.

‘Syrian refugees raped in Turkish camp’
Hundreds of female Syrian refugees have been raped in a camp in southern Turkey and have been forced into prostitution, a report says.
http://presstv.com/detail/194419.html

August 17th, 2011, 8:06 pm

 

beaware said:

SYRIA: Oil sanctions urged as security forces continue assault
August 16, 2011 | 12:16 pm
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2011/08/syria-security-forces-continue-to-crush-lattakia.html
Human Rights Watch called on the European Union on Tuesday to freeze oil and gas assets of the Syrian regime as the brutal military offensive on Latakia continued for a fourth day, claiming the lives of at least seven people over the last 24 hours.

The fresh casualties included Nada Hassan Al Saed, a 22-year-old Palestinian mother of two, and a young girl of about 5.

Activists reported that residents who were rousted from their homes, stripped of identification and guided to a large sports stadium on Monday continued to be held inside the stadium on Tuesday, though the claims could not be independently verified. The United Nations agency overseeing a Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia said it had no information about the whereabouts of at least 5,000 people living there.

Lattakia Activists and eyewitnesses reported tanks rolling through the neighborhoods of Sakantouri, Masbah Shaeb and Ain Tamra, shelling buildings and spreading fear among residents.

Military activity intensified through residential streets. Gunmen threatened to shoot any approaching residents, said Zoya, 26, an activist and university graduate contacted via Skype who asked that her last name not be used.

“They shelled buildings while residents were still inside them,” said one activist who goes by the honorific title Abu Youssef and belongs to the Local Coordination Committees activist network. “They threatened everyone and ordered them to either leave their homes or else they would be dealt with as terrorists.”

According to Abu Youssef, security forces had dumped the bodies of about 30 army soldiers into large garbage bins to be thrown in the sea later.

“The plainclothes security forces will record a video of themselves tossing the bodies into the sea and pretend to be residents, framing us for crimes we didn’t do,” he explained.

Eyewitnesses confirmed Monday that army soldiers were attempting to protect residents of the Al Riml neighborhood in Latakia from the assault of the security forces.

It has been the trend of the security forces to launch violent crackdowns on different Syrian neighborhoods and cities each week.

“It seems the regime is acting in confidence to turn the current uprising into a manageable one,” said Wissam Tarif, founder of INSAN and well-known human rights activist.

“Dead bodies are still dumped in the road” said Zoya. “The situation is terrible.”

Human Rights Watch called for sanctions on Syrian oil and gas in an effort to strike President Bashar Assad’s regime where it hurts the most, asking Europe, which consumes 95% of Syrian exported oil, to cut its oil ties with Damascus.

“Syria’s authorities are still killing their own people despite multiple efforts by other countries, including former allies, to make them stop,” said Lotte Leicht, EU director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s time to show the government that Europeans won’t help to fund its repression.”

The Syrian government receives approximately $2.8 million in oil and gas revenues per year, according to a recent International Monetary Fund report.

The London-based think tank Strategic Research & Communication Centre in a report Tuesday concluded that targeting Syria’s oil revenues would debilitate its economy and deal a fatal blow to the Assad regime without harming Syrian civilians.

“Oil revenue would only affect the regime, as it is not invested to improve the conditions of the people and is not spent on development. Sanctions on oil exports would not affect the people, but would cut off the steady flow of foreign currency diverted to the regime’s mercenaries,” stated the report.

— Roula Hajjar in Beirut

August 17th, 2011, 8:14 pm

 

Abughassan said:

Some of the most pleasant and most intelligent people I met are from Homs,true. I just avoided them on Wednesdays 🙂 the same way I avoided my Tartousi friends when they ran out of Matteh. Nobody asked aboud to reveal any info,I personally prefer that he does not. Whether he is in Homs or the US,that is beside the point. He is vigorous and witty and he is fully able to twist words and hide facts but a lot of what he says is true.we can not have a free forum if we only allow people who are copies of us to speak,I know that Joshua shares the same sentiment.

August 17th, 2011, 8:16 pm

 

Tara said:

Above report of Syrian women being raped and forced into prostitution lacks credibility. Those women are from conservative background. Additionally, the source is a Turkish opposition newspaper. My understanding is the Turkish opposition leader is Alevi Who sympathizes with the mostly Alawi regime in Syria and that makes Turkish opposition’ report tainted.

August 17th, 2011, 8:20 pm

 

jad said:

أزمة كاتب !

في خضم ما يحدث من أحداث بوتيرة متسارعة يكاد المرء لا يفرغ من استيعاب أحدها حتى ينهال عليه الآخر .. تجف مواقع الانترنت والصحف السورية خاصة والعربية عامة .. من مقالات الكتاب السوريين الواقعية فجُل تلك التي تظهر هنا وهناك تندرج تحت سقفين لا ثالث لهما .. الأول هو انصياع تام لما يحدث في الثورة السورية ودفع يشوبه نقص النظر في طريق الثورات العربية السابقة .. والثاني هو انصياع تام لرؤية الجهاز الأمني للجمهورية العربية السورية . بينما ينزوي البقية خلف جدار الصمت – بصورة واعية – مفضلين تهمة الانتهازية ..و انتظار الفرصة السانحة للميل نحو الجهة الرابحة على أن يكتب أحدهم كلمة تحسب – أخلاقياً – عليه ذات يوم فيندم عليها .
ولأن صمت الفرد أبلغ من رده غالباً .. ووضع البلاد اليوم .. لا ينقذه سوى رب العباد .. فالكاتب أو المدون السوري يقف موقف وعي من فكي الكماشة هذه التي تحيط بقلمه .. فهو من جهة يستوعب مطالب الشعب التي كانت في قلوب الشعب مذ بدأ حبره ينساب على الورق .. وقد نضجت اليوم بفعل تيارات الإصلاح العربية او ما يسميه البعض ربيع المنطقة ولكنه لا يستطيع ان يميل كل الميل لتلك الجهة فهو يرى .. بل يوقن ان كل هذه الحركات العشوائية تفتقد أدنى معايير التنظيم والرؤية والهدف .. وهو متوجس في نفسه ان تم ما قد يتم وانساقت البلاد نحو انهيار القلاع الأمنية والتي بات البعض يصفها اليوم بالقلاع الرملية .. فان الوطن سينساب من بين أيدينا كما ينساب الحليب المراق على الأرصفة .. وهذا من وجهة نظر الكاتب مرفوض تماماً فوطنه أغلى من ان يساق نحو بلبلة أمنية وفراغ فكري وسياسي وحتى ” شعبوي ” فيصبح في موقع استجداء لفكر قيادي جديد .. والجميع يعرف من هو البديل المطروح دوماً لهكذا فراغ !
ومن جهة أخرى يقف الكاتب بسبب ذلك التوجس السابق حائراً من ان يميل الى المنظمة الأمنية – الأمنية لا السياسية – أو لا يميل فهو يرى انها تفشل يوماً بعد يوم في التعامل مع هذه الأزمة … فيراها متخبطة بين مبدأ العصا والجزرة فتعطي الجزر لمن يحتاج العصا و العصا لمن هو تواق للجزر .
وعندما تخلو الساحة من قلم الكاتب السوري الذي كان دوماً احد رموز الفكر السياسي في المنطقة ككل .. بل والثقافي والاجتماعي أيضاً .. فلا يسعنا الا ان نقول “على الدنيا السلام “.. ففي ظل هذه الأزمة الفكرية أولا والإعلامية ثانياً و الأطماع الخارجية ثالثاً نحن نحتاج أكثر ما نحتاج للكاتب السوري الذي يتفهم كلا الطرفين الأمني والشعبي .. فالكاتب السوري يستطيع من خلال قلمه ومقاله ان يقرب بين الطرفين وان لا يسمح لأطراف أخرى بأخذ زمام هذه العملية فهو من جهة احد أبناء هذا الشعب .. بل المطالب الأول بحقوقه فهو يعي تماما تلك الأنغام التي يعزف عليها وطنه منذ أمد .. فهو لطالما كان لسان حالهم في مطالبهم .. ولطالما كان المتلقي الأول للصفعات تبعاً لها أيضاً .. وهو من جهة أخرى وبحكم ظروف المنطقة .. هو الأكثر علماً بطرق التعامل مع المنظمة الأمنية .. ويعي تماماً كيف يترجم لغتها – لغة العصا والجزرة – الى لغة مفهومة سلسلة منطقية يستوعبها الشارع الثوري اليوم .. وهو الأقدر بحكم كل هذا على ان ينقل طلبات هذه الجهة الى الجهة الأخرى وان يترجم لغاتهم المختلفة التي تتخبط اليوم بين لغة رصاص ولغة شعار الى لغة واحدة هي اللغة السورية .. وهذا ما يحتاجه الوطن اليوم .. طرفان يتحدثان نفس اللغة بنفس المفاهيم وبنفس المعايير .. طرفان لديهما نفس الرؤية والهدف والوجهة .. طرفان يوقنان ان الوطن هو أولاً .. وأخيراً .. طرفان يثقان بمدير الحوار الأمثل و الأجدر .. “الكاتب السوري” فالكاتب السوري وحده اليوم القادر على انتشال الوطن من مستنقع المصطلحات والمطالبات هذا .. إلى أرض الحوار والنقاشات بأسس و أفكار واعية وهو الأقدر حتماً على امتصاص فورة غضب الطرفين وخوف كل منهما من الآخر بقطرات حبره التي لطالما انسابت لخدمة هذا الوطن .
لذا نهيب بالأطراف الثلاثة اليوم .. الثوار بالاستماع .. المنظمة الأمنية بالصمت والكفاف .. والكاتب السوري بالخروج عن صمته والتعبير عن أمن شعبه فأنت الأمثل هذه الأيام على ضبط ثورة شعب باتت اليوم ضد نفسه .

بقلم محمود أغيورلي

August 17th, 2011, 8:21 pm

 

beaware said:

Syrian Human Rights Observatory in western media sources
( translated from Turkish)
“According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, lots of warships attacked Lazkiye and explosions were heard in the neighborhood”.
This became a “news” for France’s Le Monde, Libération, Le Figaro, and even as “respectable” newspapers as Humanite, Nouvel Observateur , l’Express, such as the widely read weekly magazine Le Point. Private and public television did the same. The Independent, The Guardian, BBC, The Washington Post, the Anglo-Saxon media took this as a “news”. The news flew very quickly, AFP, AP and provided by agencies such as Reuters. We should also add TV channels such Al-Jazeera and Al Arabia.
…..
http://www.aydinlikgazete.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2860:bat-medyasnn-suriye-kayna-nsan-haklar-goezlemevi&catid=40:dunya&Itemid=90

August 17th, 2011, 8:34 pm

 

Tara said:

The article posted by Beaware in 155 cited 2.8 million $ per year in oil and gas revenue. That is nothing. Is the number correct?

August 17th, 2011, 8:38 pm

 

Abughassan said:

I rarely try to post messages that carry a personal tone but I am really disappointed to see that more bloggers on this forum are turning sectarian and refusing to talk about anything but revenge and getting even. That can not be good for a country as diverse as Syria.
Lessons from other Arab and Muslim countries clearly indicate that replacing a minority government with a majority government rarely helps fixing national problems if a genuine reform of the political system is not enacted,otherwise,what is supposed to be a true change will become a game of musical chairs. I personally believe that Iraq under Saddam was better than Iraq today despite all of the talks about the wonderful democracy that the US invasion brought to that country. The only thing a Sunni president will bring to Syria is hopefully less resentment,so I am in support of such a move as long as it comes with a set of rules and laws that give all Syrians a bigger role in the policy-making process.
When this is over,we will discover that the average Syrian is not as sectarian and blood-thirsty as portrayed by some “think tanks”,but violence needs to stop,and this is stoppage must start by the regime NOW, no more excuses.

August 17th, 2011, 8:44 pm

 

jad said:

Al Jazeera lies again: U.S. Government unable to confirm use of naval forces on Latakia

Two days ago Al Jazeera reported that Syrian naval forces had opened fire on the port city of Latakia, killing civilians. As usual, absolutely nothing to corroborate these grand claims was offered, except the customary “activists said” disclaimer:

Activists say 25 people killed as warships and tanks reportedly shell the northern port in an ongoing assault … At least 25 people have been killed and many others injured after Syrian warships and tanks opened fire on the port city of Latakia, activists said.

This is reminiscent of the almost identical lies told about Libya; we were told that Gaddafi’s forces had strafed and shelled protesters from the air. As it transpired, these claims were utterly demolished when the Department of Defense admitted to only having seen press reports of this, and having no confirmation whatsoever:

Q: Do you see any evidence that he actually has fired on his own people from the air? There were reports of it, but do you have independent confirmation? If so, to what extent?

SEC. GATES: We’ve seen the press reports, but we have no confirmation of that.

ADM. MULLEN: That’s correct. We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.

Even the Russian Military came out to say that it simply did not happen.

It should come as no surprise then, to learn that the ‘naval forces’ claim is an outright lie too. Victoria Nuland – U.S. State Department Spokesperson – went on record yesterday to unequivocally state that the U.S. Government has not been able to confirm this apparent use of naval forces. Again, all they have seen is press reports – fabricated by the same outlet:

MS. NULAND: First, I think you’re referring to Latakia, which is the latest city to be a victim of the Asad regime’s carnage. I can’t – we have been unable to confirm, actually, the use of naval assets … We’ve seen reporting of this. We have not seen this firing ourselves.

QUESTION: You haven’t seen any firing from the sea onto land?

MS. NULAND: That is my understanding.

QUESTION: Not that it’s happening, but you’re not sure who’s doing it?

MS. NULAND: The point is that at the moment, my information is that we have –

QUESTION: Okay, well –

MS. NULAND: — not been able to confirm that naval assets have been used.

Update I – August 16
Yesterday – the same day that the US State Department stated that they have no confirmation of the use of gunboats – the UN’s Chris Gunness spoke to Al Jazeera claiming that Syrian boats had attacked a Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia. The Al Jazeera interviewer is told that over 5,000 Palestinian refugees fled the Latakia camp after being told to leave by Syrian government forces. The Syrian government vehemently denied these reports.

In a veiled call for intervention, Gunness goes on to state that he hopes this will provide “some kind of restraining hand” on the Syrian government.

On the face of it, this event seems to be a cynical attempt to rally Palestinians and the wider Arab world behind a war on Syria. The US government has not been able to confirm this use of gunboats, while Gunness claims to have it from “a broad range of sources“. Keeping this in mind, I’m going to take this with a pinch of the white stuff.

Update II – August 17
Yesterday (August 16), after ‘pushing again’, U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland is still unable to confirm that Syrian gunboats have fired or are even in a position able to fire on Latakia:

QUESTION: On Syria, have you been able to get any clarification on this whole issue of gunships and naval bombardments of –

MS. NULAND: Here’s what we have: I mean, obviously there is Syrian naval patrolling along the coast. We’ve seen the pictures of the boats. We have not been able to confirm, and I pushed again today, that those ships are able or actually firing into the city.

http://empirestrikesblack.com/2011/08/al-jazeera-lies-again-u-s-government-unable-to-confirm-use-of-naval-forces-on-latakia/

1-US unable to confirm reported Syrian naval shelling
UPDATE 1-US unable to confirm reported Syrian naval shelling
http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFN1E77E13620110815

August 17th, 2011, 8:46 pm

 

SYR.Expat said:

“Besides, there are allegation of rape in those camps:”

This is part of a campaign of disinformation by the Syrian government. It relies of yellow journalism by the Aydinlik Turkish outlet aimed at discrediting Erdogan and muddying the picture. Press TV, which parrots Syrian propaganda, refers to the same article by the Turkish newspaper.

August 17th, 2011, 8:46 pm

 

Darryl said:

142. TRUE said:

Disregarding the rest of your rant, the issues that minorities started to face was actually just before the incompetent Jamal Abdul-Nasser became the small god of the “Arabs” through his radio rants. During that period Wahabism was making its way to Syria and Abdul-Nasser made it worse as I have said previously buy purging the army and government in Syria from minorities. This was an eye opener to Syria’s minorities. The atrocities committed by MB in the 80s’ and the Lebanon civil war did not help in giving minorities in Syria more confidence going forward and then the Iraq war made the situation worse. The things that were done by the Ottomans who were given a free rein by the early Muslims to rule Muslims and minorities and almost decimated their population is also fresh on their mind.

If you were to have reflected on these events, your rant might have been easier to accept.

Minorities are actually wanting more democratic society in Syria for your information. They just do not believe in a democracy where there are no institutions in place for democracy to flourish and they do not want “wild west” scenarios to emerge in this vacuum as has happened in Iraq and now happening in Egypt.

The reality is that Christian leaders at least are working behind the scenes to move the government toward democracy. If you were to think about the statements coming out the Church leaders you can hear what I am saying.

The last point I want to bring to your attention is that minorities such as the Christians and at least the small number of Jews, had there history and contribution in current society erased. Very few people know that under the early part of the Ummayads, the government was largely secular as Islamic theology has not been formulated and written and the government was mostly run by Christians and the Jews of Damascus including military personnel. The Arabs had no clue what to do with government. This contribution has been replaced by the heroism of Salah Al-deen, Al-Zaher and other Arabian night stories (Alf Leila wa Leila) etc etc. No one talks about their contribution to help the early Islamic scholars in translating Greek to Arabic (Greek was widely spoken by Christians). No one talks about the contribution to make the Arabic Language what it is today as it was enhanced by Syriac and Aramaic. You believe Arabic was invented by Allah and simply brought it down to earth through the Qur’an.

Norman asked a question the other day about Spain and how the Muslims of those days were different. No one answered because no one knew the answer or dared to answer. The answer is in the above paragraph.

To conclude things for you, Christians do yearn for democracy and a system of rule based on solid institutions and many of them have been in jail for years. They just do not want a wild west based system and they want an evolution toward democracy. They know the government has been complacent on this front.

August 17th, 2011, 8:54 pm

 

Tara said:

Pointing sectarianism does not equate being sectarian. It is just calling spade a spade. Asking for justice to be served by trying a mass murderer is not being revengeful. Revenge is taking malicious actions against group of people because of real or perceived association with a culprit.

August 17th, 2011, 8:56 pm

 

SYR.Expat said:

“Al Jazeera lies again: U.S. Government unable to confirm use of naval forces on Latakia”
They’re learning from the Syrian media. After all, Qatar and Syria became very good friends. No wonder Aljazeera got infected.

Also, by saying “Activists say 25 people killed…,” they are not lying. They’re just reporting what the activists have said. Big difference.

Still this is not an excuse, but when the Syrian government prevents the truth from coming out, it cannot complain when other organizations’ reports are not accurate.

Allow freedom of press and then complain all you want.

August 17th, 2011, 8:57 pm

 

Raphael Mimoun said:

Do we have reliable information on the armed groups taking part in the uprising, besides the mere knowledge that there are armed groups involved? I am talking about qualitative and quantitative data.
Thanks

August 17th, 2011, 9:02 pm

 

Aboud said:

“Besides, there are allegation of rape in those camps:”

Thank you Jad, we now know two things. First, your ability to judge articles for posting is zero. And that you will post any crap, without discerning its plausibility.

A rape of 400 women in the camps would mean a higher percentage of rapes per population than happened at the height of the Bosnian war. Do you imagine for a moment that the male relatives of the women victims would just sit there and allow such things to happen? In this day and age, when every rampage by the shabiha turds gets reported within an hour, that such things as mass rape could actually go hidden?

Forget it, Jad has proven once and for all that talking to the menhebaks is like talking to a brick wall. Even a brick wall would collapse of sham at the things menhebakites take seriously.

August 17th, 2011, 9:02 pm

 

Aboud said:

“He is vigorous and witty and he is fully able to twist words and hide facts”

Hey, I never lie! I just don’t tell the whole truth.

🙂

August 17th, 2011, 9:08 pm

 
 

Aboud said:

Aleppan demonstration that managed, for the first time, to get to the Sa’ed Allah Al-Jabri main square. Aleppo is well and truly part of this revolution. If junior had any shame at all, he’d have resigned along time ago.

August 17th, 2011, 9:13 pm

 

Abughassan said:

صياما مقبولا للصائمين
My Iftar is now completed with thick Syrian coffee my cousin brought from Damascus.
Btw,private banks that are not owned or associated with Rami are still functioning for those who want to send Zakat money to Syria.
Today was relatively calm,or am I wrong?
Opposition leaders are so quiet,it is eerie (aboud,I picked this middle English adj to tease you 🙂 )..

August 17th, 2011, 9:35 pm

 

newfolder said:

this is very significant indeed, and Alawi officer defects from the army:

August 17th, 2011, 9:41 pm

 

Ali said:

Aboud,

400 women would not lie about being raped, especially Syrian women who are conscious of their dignity. I wouldn’t put it past those bastards to perform such an act. 250 of them have been reported to be pregnant. PIGS!!!

August 17th, 2011, 9:45 pm

 

Abughassan said:

Raphael,
There is a lot of weapons in Syria today,that is one reason why violence must stop now.
Armed people in Syria fall into too many categories but rural and border towns have tons of weapons. The costal area now is also heavily armed.many people who never carried a gun are now buying them.there are doctors in Syria who go to their clinic carrying a gun in their cars or even under their shirt. I am mostly talking about personal light fire arm but there is also an abundance of military grade machine guns and small bombs.
Atwan of alquds alarabi believe that turkey and Saudi Arabia may start to supply arms to rebels if Asad does not comply with calls to end his crackdown,I tend not to take atwan’s stories seriously,but who knows..

August 17th, 2011, 9:46 pm

 

Ali said:

Newfolder,

1, Where is the proof that this man is really an officer?
2, Where is the proof that he is of Alawi sect?
3, Where is his ID?
4, How do you know that this isn’t another BS video posted by the armed gangs(wouldn’t put it past them considering one man shot his own brother and claimed it was the security forces)
5, How do you know this man hasn’t been captured and forced to say those things as this has happened in the past?

I could go on forever. Use your brain once in a while and think outside the square

August 17th, 2011, 9:52 pm

 

Abughassan said:

Expat,I suspect that banning foreign press was a decision made by those who did not want the world to see their brutality,but those idiots forgot that there are 12 million cell phones in Syria and did not anticipate that YouTube will replace traditional press.
Thugs and millitants also enjoyed the absence of foreign press and used that absence to their advantage. In summary,that decision helped the opposition and hurt the regime.
The real victim here is the truth. We know that there is no such thing as neutral media,but you can always find some journalists who dare to look for the truth and inform the world about it. One more lesson for Arab dictators..

August 17th, 2011, 9:57 pm

 

Aboud said:

Raphael, the government has absolutely no information on the alleged armed groups. The regime cannot tell us their numbers, their weapons, who is funding them, where they are concentrated, who their leaders are.

Over 2,000 Syrians have been killed by the regime, and yet not one regime supporter here knows how many of them were supposedly “armed insurgents”

August 17th, 2011, 10:22 pm

 

True said:

@ 164. Darryl

“Christians do yearn for democracy and a system of rule based on solid institutions”

I’m really glad to hear that and would not expect less from noble Arab Christians people, although I can’t see how supporting a criminal and a bunch of thugs nowadays would build solid institutions!! Please explain? i.e. holding weekly celebration nights

You do have some issues with Arabism, don’t ya? Fair enough so do I, but I have to disagree when you do draw a line between Arabs and Christians/Jews. Christians/Jews in the Levant are original Arabs not FOBs and spoke Arabic way earlier than the “Islam” religion appeared.

I do sense your hardcore theological background (good for you) but now I’m discussing what’s happening in 2011 so don’t take me back in the time to discuss corporate governance policies of the Ottoman empire or conduct SWOT analysis on Muslims behaviour in Spain, simply I don’t care.

There’s no shame in expressing fear by minorities from the coming Sunni rule, this is totally LEGIT. BUT I’m really struggling to comprehend why sticking to the brutal regime!!

August 17th, 2011, 10:22 pm

 

True said:

@ Abughassan

Taqbakl Allah mate, I’m hankering for coffee but still 3:22:15 to go, Lucky ya 🙂

August 17th, 2011, 10:32 pm

 

Mick said:

#173

I bet they only had to pull two fingernails out to make him read that statement.

August 17th, 2011, 10:52 pm

 

Abughassan said:

It is essential for the army to be used only to defend the country when national security is threatened,but even in western countries,the army can be deployed internally to secure the streets when regular police can not do the job. My problem here is that the regime abused the army by engaging it in almost every province in Syria even when it was not clear whether the army is really needed. This is a disservice to the national army and it opens the door for internal division which is not in Syria’s best interest.
I have no doubt that keeping this policy in place,illegitimate use of armed forces,will speed up the demise of the regime and will increase chances for a bloodier internal conflict.
Another reason why Bashar is not qualified to lead.

August 17th, 2011, 10:53 pm

 

uzair8 said:

Syrian national anthem. English translation.

Guardians of the Homeland,
Peace on you;
Our proud spirits will
Not be subdued.
The abode of Arabism,
A hallowed sanctuary;
The seat of the stars,
An inviolable preserve.
Syria’s plains are
Towers in the heights,
Resembling the sky
Above the clouds.
A land resplendant
With brilliant suns,
Becoming another sky,
Or almost a sky.

August 17th, 2011, 11:00 pm

 

William Scott Scherk said:

Aboud at #141 RE Najati Tayara.

I believe 99.4% of Syrians at home and abroad want a country that does not allow what has happened to this man. A similar percentage want the media law taken out of the shadows and implemented, warts and all, anything to allow people to say what they want to whom they want when they want. There are no divisions on the kind of regime of law that Syrians want and could be proud of.

In my country people of all professions and none at all speculate, fudge, lie, fiddle and exaggerate, according to a complex formula of ideological, regional, language, and yes, sectarian motives and strictures.

Anyone, crazy or not, can call up Al Jazeera and report a demonstration, a UFO, or the death of the premier. No matter what he says to that TV station, he is not detained incommunicado, with a trial date but a dim future mystery and bail a non-starter.

I can’t believe any Syrian wants this Soviet-style regime of legal oppression to continue. The detention of Tayara is a travesty and a continued stain on Syrian justice. His case is but one of a sprawl of injustices and horrors.

What if all Aboud asks for from those who are even utterly opposed to him, is to please explain why this honest man Tayara continues to be in jail, maybe to express some compassion and solidarity with him and what he symbolizes as an honest Syrian man, to at least say, “It is a shame.”

Aboud I salute you for your passion and drive, but I urge you to become united with those like AbuGhassan who are your kin, your Syrian bloodbrethren, to draw together for the new Syria, among these common things you hold so dear, to justice, to honesty, to freedom, draw together and let your brothers and sisters share your honest grief, which they cannot help but share. Draw together, Syrians, may god grace you with wisdom in your shared sorrow.

Even if their minds tell them that the creaky old Soviet Baathi state is doomed, even if their eyes tell them that a brutal repression has been unleashed on their concitoyens, even if they cannot look up at the death toll or detention roll or disappearance list with frank open eyes, even the most devoted Bashar-supporter can can indeed draw together under common things.

The new regime bottom line seems to be completely agreed-upon among reformists and revolutionaries even here in this pit of contestation and insult. Even the most diehard Syrian Conspiracy Opera star like No Candy Here wants the same kind of future free, civil, bustling, tolerant, democratic first-world Syria. And all believe the native talent and wit and sophistication of Syrians will build a resurgent society, and all loath and reject the sectarian impulse among self and others . . .

So, the only problem is the elephant in the room, the Brezhnev-era machine standing in everyone’s way, lumbering like a mad destructive monster across the landscape.

Surely even the most demented among the Regimist Zombies can ask the government for a ceasefire?

Will a few Syrians on this blog be the last people on Earth to demand of this regime to still its guns?

August 17th, 2011, 11:03 pm

 

Revlon said:

124. DEAR SYR.EXPAT, thank you for posting this link.
I agree with you. It is a huge development. I also would not compare what they have done with Shabbe7a!
– The operation is a landmark in the development of the Free Syrian army.
– It amounts to announcement number 1 of the Free Officers Movement in its campaign to liberate Syria from Asad-makhloof syndicate and supporters.
– The revolting army members have gone on the offensive!
– The mission was to defend villages from Jr army units.

August 17th, 2011, 11:21 pm

 

Revlon said:

179. Dear Mick:
You said: ” I bet they only had to pull two fingernails out to make him read that statement”

Why?
Are Alawi officers so squeemish, compared to Dar3a boys?
I am asking you because you seem to know the trade of pulling nails and the state of mind of 3alawi officers!

August 17th, 2011, 11:28 pm

 

jad said:

Syr.Expat,
I toke it from you favorite site Alwa6an, you always link from there.
If you don’t like it don’t read it 🙂

Doude khanom, thanks for the hilarious meltdown…LOLOLOL
Enjoy Aleppo:
حلب:اطلاق النار على المتظاهرين بساحة سعد الله الجابري
http://youtu.be/OWr0Dsc7wvQ

August 17th, 2011, 11:42 pm

 

uzair8 said:

#181.

The Syrian national anthem seems like a sick joke under the current circumstances.

August 17th, 2011, 11:44 pm

 

jad said:

يحدث في سوريا وحولها

سامي كليب
أنهت القوات السورية في مخيم الرمل الفلسطيني آخر معاركها الأمنية الكبيرة. اكتملت استراتيجية الطوق الأمني عند الحدود. صارت المناطق الحدودية العراقية والتركية والاردنية واللبنانية أكثر وضوحا وربما اقل خطرا بالنسبة للقيادة السورية، فماذا عن وضوح الرؤية السياسية؟ وما الذي جرى في الاشهر الماضية على المستوى الأمني؟
عاشت سوريا في الشهر الاول لاندلاع المواجهات خضة أمنية حقيقية. سرت شكوك كثيرة. حصلت بلبلة في كيفية تفادي الأسوأ. لم تكن القيادة الأمنية معتادة على هذا النوع من الحراك في الشوارع الآمنة والساكنة منذ أكثر من 40 عاما. ليس لديها قوات مكافحة شغب، ولم تفكر يوما بأن ثمة من قد يتحرك بهذه السرعة والانتشار ضد الدولة .
امتصت القيادة الأمنية الصدمة. ترسَّخ يقين بأن أي تساهل في الموضوع الأمني او مع المتظاهرين قد يهدد النظام والبلد برمته. اجتمعت الآراء على ضرورة وضع استراتيجية سريعة تنطلق من فكرة أنه لا بد من ضبط الحدود مهما كلف الأمر. قرر الرئيس بشار الأسد ان يغلق سوريا على داخلها. صمَّ اذنيه عن كل ما يقال في الخارج، وحين اشتدت الوطأة الخارجية، قال وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم جملته الشهيرة بانه سيمحو اوروبا عن خريطة الاهتمام السوري وان الكلاب تنبح والقافلة تسير. كان الهدف الأول ضبط الأمن، وذلك من منطلق ان سوريا لن تفاوض أحدا من موقع الضعف.
نجح الرهان الأمني بمعناه الأمني الى حد بعيد. ضُبطت الحدود حتى في المناطق الخطيرة بما فيها المناطق ذات الثقل العشائري كدير الزور. حققت الاستراتيجية الامنية هدفين كبيرين بالنسبة للقيادة السورية: منعت حدوث انهيارات امنية، وحالت دون ارتفاع عدد التظاهرات بسبب خوف المتظاهرين من جهة، وظهور شبكات مسلحة اساءت للتظاهرات. كشف مركز دراسات أمني اوروبي انه في جمعة 25 آذار الماضي كان عدد المتظاهرين حوالى 22 ألفا ، وبقي في جمعة 12 آب الماضي أقل من 27 ألفا، بينما نقاط التظاهر لم تحدث اختراقات كبيرة، وتبين ان الفارق لا يزال ضئيلا بين اولى التظاهرات وآخرها.
هذا كان سببا رئيسيا في بث القيادة السورية لزوارها دائما اجواء من الاطمئنان الأمني. لكن وسط هذا الاطمئنان ظهرت قضية مدينة «حماه». سُلِّطت كل الانظار على المدينة ذات الثقل الدموي بين التيار المسلح في «الاخوان المسلمين» ونظام الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد. قيل ان المجزرة التي ستُرتكب فيها كفيلة بتأجيج كل الشارع السوري وكل العمق السني في العالم العربي وتركيا لاسقاط نظام بشار الأسد. حققت تظاهرة جمعة «ارحل» رقما عاليا من المتظاهرين، لكن العدد (حوالى 150 الفا) بقي أقل بكثير من ذلك الذي اعلنته بعض الفضائيات (اكثر من مليون) .
فوجئ الجميع بان الأسد قرر عدم الدخول الى حماه بمعركة. كل الاعلاميين الذين زاروا المدينة بعد خروج الجيش منها أكدوا انها لم تشهد اطلاق قذيفة واحدة.
الدخول شبه العادي والخروج السريع للجيش من حماه، أحدث تحولا في بعض المواقف. ترافق ذلك مع توزيع القيادة السورية اشرطة مصورة لمسلحين يرمون جنودا من فوق النهر ولجثث مشوهة.
تسلح الروس بكل ذلك فجنَّبوا سوريا قرارا مفصليا في مجلس الأمن. ذهب وزير الخارجية التركي أحمد داود أوغلو حتى دمشق في مسعى لا تزال تفاصيله غامضة حتى اليوم برغم كل الضجيج المثار بشأن احتمالات التصعيد العسكري الاطلسي التركي عند الحدود مع سوريا.
ماذا بعد ؟
العنوان البارز ورد في كلام وزيرة الخارجية الاميركية هيلاري كلينتون قبل يومين، قالت: إن «مطالبة اميركية بتنحي الاسد لن تجلب نتيجة مرجوة» ، ولكنها أضافت انه «اذا طالبت تركيا بذلك او طالب الملك السعودي الملك عبد الله فسيستمع الاسد».
تسعى واشنطن ومعها دول غربية منذ فترة لرفع الغطاء الاقليمي والعربي عن سوريا. تجاوب العرب سريعا معها. تصدَّر مجلس التعاون الخليجي الحملة في سحب عدد من السفراء. يقال الكثير عن أسباب الموقف السعودي، ولكن دمشق لم تبد حتى الآن أي رد فعل وقد لا تبديه لاحقا. ثمة من يعتقد بان طرفا ثالثا دخل على الخط لاعادة ترطيب الاجواء بين الرياض والقيادة السورية، هذا صعب الآن، ولكنه لن يكون صعبا اذا ما هدأ الامن وتقدمت السياسة.
ثمة من يرى في تقلبات الموقف التركي مؤشرات على أن شيئا ما يطبخ خلف الكواليس، وان ايران ليست بعيدة عن ذلك. توحي الحركة التركية والتصريحات الايرانية والروسية بوجود جهود حقيقية لعدم ايصال الاوضاع الى مرحلة الخطر الكبير. قالت كلينتون على نحو واضح ان «تركيا تسعى جاهدة للتأثير على النظام السوري واتخاذ خطوات ملموسة»، هذا يعني ان الخيار التركي امام هامش كبير من المناورة حيال الملف السوري سلبا او ايجابا. الاحتمالان قائمان.
تكثيف المطالب التركية لسوريا بوقف الأعمال العسكرية يعزز الحضور التركي في العمق السني من المشرق إلى المغرب، ولكنه يعزز أيضا قدرة أنقرة على القيام بدور وسطي في حال تجاوب الاسد مع آخر التمنيات (وليس التحذيرات) التي نقلها داود اوغلو إلى الأسد .
من المنطقي والحالة هذه، ان تنتقل سوريا في الأيام المقبلة إلى تقديم السياسي على الأمني. لا بد من العودة الى تعويم لغة الاصلاحات والحوار بعدما تراجعت حدة القلق السوري من تدهور امني كبير. تتوجه الاستراتيجية الامنية الحالية نحو الحفاظ على ما تحقق أمنيا وضبط الامور في الداخل حيث ان حركة الشارع قابلة لكل الاحتمالات، وثمة مدن لم تهدأ كليا وفي مقدمها حمص ستكون هدفا في عمليات ضبط الامن المقبلة.
لكن الامن وحده لم يعد كافيا. القيادة السورية بحاجة الى العودة الى لغة السياسة والاصلاحات واقناع العالم بان استراتيجيتها الامنية ليست هدفا بحد ذاته. القلق ليس أمنيا، وانما اقتصادي بامتياز. رفع الغطاء العربي عن سوريا يسهل خنقها اقتصاديا، لا بد اذا من تسريع الخطوات السياسية والتقليل من الضجيج الامني.
تحاول ايران الدخول بقوة على الخط السوري. كررت التحذيرات لواشنطن بضرورة عدم التدخل. بدا الموقف الايراني منطقيا بعدما ارتفعت لهجة دول الخليج. تم تعويم الملف النووي الايراني عبر البوابة الروسية والاغراءات باحتمال استئناف الحوار الدولي. هذه امور مفيدة بموازاة المحاولات الاميركية المضنية للاتفاق على مستقبل القوات الاميركية في العراق. المتحدث باسم الجيش الاميركي في العراق جيفري بوكانن كرر أمس ما تقوله القيادة الاميركية منذ فترة بان «ايران تمثل اكبر تهديد لأمن العراق في الوقت الراهن».
من غير المعقول تصور الاميركي قابلا بان يترك المنطقة بعد سحب جيشه من العراق في ظل تفوق ايراني واضح، وفي ظل استعادة القيادة السورية تماسكها. فماذا سيفعل؟ لا بد من خلق بؤر كثيرة بين الخليج وايران وسوريا. وثمة من يعتقد بان الضغوط الهائلة على سوريا حاليا، وتلك التي ستأتي من قبل الاوروبيين لاحقا وعبر مجلس الامن ومنظمات حقوق الانسان، ومن خلال اثارة الجدل مجددا في قضية المحكمة المتعلقة بقضية اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري، تدخل في سياق مستقبل الصراع او التفاهم الايراني الاميركي.
تدرك القيادة السورية ان الأشهر المقبلة مهمة جدا لتطور الملف السوري. لم تعر أي انتباه لكل ما قيل حتى الآن حول عملياتها الامنية. لكن الامن وحده قد يتحول لاحقا الى فخ حقيقي، فلا استقرار لاي امن بعد التحولات العربية الكبيرة من دون مخارج سياسية فعلية.
اذا ما عدنا الى الخطاب الاخير للرئيس بشار الاسد وكلامه عن حركة سياسية في اواخر شهر آب، يمكن ان نتوقع حركة سياسية حثيثة في الايام والاسابيع المقبلة، اكان ذلك عبر المواقف السياسية المعلنة او في سياق تنفيذ الاصلاحات او في المؤتمر المقبل لحزب البعث والذي يقول المنطق انه سيشهد تغييرات مهمة. هذا اذا بقي الشارع السوري مضبوطا .
سامي كليب

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionId=1924&articleId=2054&ChannelId=45406&Author=%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%8A+%D9%83%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A8

August 17th, 2011, 11:49 pm

 

beaware said:

Obama’s Options in Damascus
Why It’s Time to Rein in Syria — and Turkey
Tony Badran
August 16, 2011
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/68129/tony-badran/obamas-options-in-damascus?page=show
Syria … is engaging in horrific, revolting attacks on its own people,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a June 11 interview. “The region, however, is trying to — behind the scenes — get the government to stop…. We listen very closely to what people in the neighborhood, in the region, say.” By “the region,” Clinton meant Turkey, the country from which the Obama administration has been taking most of its cues on Syria.

U.S. President Barack Obama seems to have decided early in his administration that Turkey would be the United States’ primary gateway to the Middle East, and that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would be the leader who could help him implement his grand vision: to reduce the U.S. profile in the Middle East, engage Iran and Syria, and broker a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace. The Turkish agenda, developed by Ahmet Davutoğlu, Erdoğan’s foreign minister, seemed to dovetail perfectly with Obama’s strategy. It was dubbed “zero problems with neighbors,” and centered on Turkey’s increasing its leadership role across the region, improving its relations with Iran and Syria, and mediating Arab-Israeli peace talks.

Obama also saw Erdoğan’s close personal relationship with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as an opportunity. A leaked 2009 diplomatic cable revealed that the administration believed that Erdoğan offered “the best hope of luring Syria out of Tehran’s orbit.” Pulling Syria away from Iran by jump-starting the Arab-Israeli peace process, the thinking went, Turkey would weaken Iran’s influence in the Middle East.

Obama failed, however, to realize that Davutoğlu’s “zero problems with neighbors” policy did not simply mean outreach to Iran and Syria; it was also a strategy for managing U.S. power in the region. Davutoğlu and Erdoğan’s policy of non-alignment works to position Turkey as an intermediary between competing blocs — the Iranian alliance system, which includes Syria, and the U.S.-led system, which includes Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, among others. If Turkey were to actually succeed in reducing tensions between the two, its mediation would no longer be needed. It seems clear that part of Turkey’s strategy is to consciously exploit, not solve, Middle Eastern conflicts. When the Arab Spring spread to Syria this year, Erdoğan sought to position Turkey as Syria’s lead handler, simultaneously playing up the policy as an assertion of independent regional leadership and presenting Ankara as the good cop to Washington’s bad cop. But his efforts largely failed. Rather than reform, as Turkey wanted him to do, Assad became increasingly violent, laying bare the limits of Turkish power and the problems with Obama’s dependence on it.

The United States’ engagement with Turkey on the Syrian crisis started soon after the first protests. On April 26, Leon Panetta, then the director of the CIA, paid a surprise visit to Ankara. There, he met with Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency, and discussed what to do about Syria. Fidan had just been to Damascus and told Panetta that the uprising had reached a “critical threshold.” He emphasized the need to broker an agreement between Assad and “the Sunni opposition” and explained that if Assad were to fail to “take an immediate step towards reforms, then the nation could be drawn into serious internal strife.” In short, the Turks told the Americans to pursue regime-led reform. The Obama administration did so, but to no effect. The crackdown in Syria grew uglier. Even as Panetta was meeting with Fidan, the Syrian military laid siege to the town of Deraa, where the uprising began, committing atrocities beyond any the Arab Spring had yet seen.

Protests continued. By mid-May, the United States was again seriously debating whether to call on Assad to step down, and a major U.S. presidential speech on the Arab Spring was looming. Erdoğan, seeking to forestall a hardening of Obama’s policy, took his position on regime-led reform public in the United States. He appeared on Bloomberg TV on May 13 and referred to the Syrian dictator as a “good friend.” When asked whether Assad should step down, Erdoğan said, “It’s early to make a decision today, because the final decision will be made by the people of Syria.” As his speech was being finalized, President Obama made a special effort to reach out to Erdoğan, who was busy on the campaign trail and difficult to reach. At the last minute, Francis Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, arranged a dramatic meeting at a heliport in a suburb of Ankara, where he relayed Obama’s concern about Assad and told Erdoğan that the two countries should synchronize their messages. Erdoğan reportedly responded by saying, “The region is already undergoing a significant transformation. We shouldn’t disrupt the balance in the region any further.” Following the meeting, Turkey continued to emphasize the need to give Assad more time to reform.

In his May 19 speech on the Arab Spring, Obama refrained from declaring Assad illegitimate, stating instead that “President Assad now has a choice: He can lead that transition, or get out of the way.” Obama, echoing a standard Turkish talking point, also called on Assad to “start a serious dialogue to advance a democratic transition.”

This episode set a recurring pattern: Obama has edged several times toward calling on Assad to step down, only to pull back after speaking to Erdoğan. Another dramatic example of this came in July when, in an unscripted remark at a joint press conference with Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Clinton stated that “from our perspective, Assad has lost legitimacy.” The next day, in a television interview, Obama walked back from Clinton’s remarks. Four days later, at a joint press conference with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Clinton spoke out once again for regime-led reform.

Yet the Turkish solicitude toward Damascus bore no fruit. Assad did not reform, and the Syrian military became ever more emboldened. Throughout the summer, it brutally cracked down on protestors in Hama. When the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and Bahrainis recalled their ambassadors from Damascus on August 8, pressure built for the White House to take a firmer line on Assad. Several media outlets reported that Obama planned to do just that on August 11. But again, Turkey seems to have pulled him back. On August 10, unnamed officials revealed that Obama was not ready to issue the statement, partly because he wanted a full account of Assad’s talks with Davutoğlu the day before.

August 11 came and went without a statement. In its place, the White House produced a summary of Obama’s August 11 phone call with Erdoğan, stating that the two leaders “agreed to closely monitor the actions that the Syrian government is taking, and to consult closely in the days ahead.” For their part, Turkish officials claimed that Erdoğan had asked Obama not to call for Assad’s ouster.

The total absence of reform in Damascus has revealed a contradiction in Turkey’s strategy. A “zero problems with neighbors” policy is possible only if those neighbors have no problems with each other. Once the Syrian people sought to overthrow the regime, Turkey faced an uncomfortable choice: did it have zero problems with the regime or with the people? Turkey tried to hedge its bets by supporting Assad while pushing him to reform, but the Syrian dictator consistently rebuffed the effort.

Consider events in early April: Turkey allowed the leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood to hold a press conference in Istanbul, during which he denounced Assad. This incident gave rise to speculation that Ankara sought to push Assad to reach an accommodation with the Brotherhood. Turkey was seeking to extend its mediating role into the domestic Syrian arena, but Assad was having none of it. Days later, the Syrian ambassador to Turkey publicly criticized Erdoğan, stressing that true friendship means unconditional support, no questions asked. He continued, “For us, the Muslim Brotherhood is like the PKK is for Turkey,” referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the illegal separatist movement that has long bedeviled Ankara. His remarks were a veiled threat; Syria had supported the PKK in the 1990s. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem repeated the threat a month later, warning Turkey against destroying the quiet that has reigned along the Turkey-Syria border for just over a decade. For good measure, Assad sent troops to conduct operations in towns near the Turkish border even as Davutoğlu held another round of talks in Damascus in early August.

Turkey’s zero-problems policy is predicated on good relations with both Syria and Iran. But as the Turks reached out to the Syrian opposition they incurred the wrath of Tehran. Iran’s official media accused the Turks, for instance, of complicity in a U.S. plot against Syria and claimed that Turkey was arming Syrian protestors. In a July effort to rescue the zero-problems policy, Davutoğlu headed to Tehran, reportedly to convince the Iranians to stop supporting Assad’s campaign against the protesters. He was summarily rebuffed.

Since then, the tension between Ankara and Tehran has become public. An Iranian media outlet that belongs to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards threatened last month that “if the Turkish authorities insist on their current position … the strategic logic will lead Iran to select Syria” instead of Turkey. To drive the point home, Iran has reportedly frozen its intelligence cooperation with Turkey against Kurdish militants. For its part, Syria also appears to have discontinued its cooperation with Turkey on the fight against the PKK, and has been harboring some of the Kurdish group’s top leaders. These decisions were reminders to Turkey that, far from being a dominant power, it is vulnerable to pressure.

Embarrassed about Assad’s persistent defiance, the Turkish foreign minister was forced to issue a statement on Monday — “a final word to the Syrian authorities” — in which he demanded a stop to Assad’s military operations “immediately and unconditionally.” If Assad failed to do that, Davutoğlu added, obliquely, “there will be nothing left to say about the steps that would be taken.” The following day, a senior Turkish diplomat vaguely suggested that those measures might include moving toward a “disengagement policy,” the consequences of which “will be the isolation of Assad.” He added that, “economic measures will also come onto the agenda.” However, in remarks after a dinner on Tuesday night, Davutoğlu reiterated Turkey’s opposition to any “foreign intervention” in Syria.

The Syrian crisis has demonstrated a number of stubborn facts. Assad will not reform. He will not break with the Iranians. And, therefore, Obama has miscalculated. Turkey was never powerful enough to implement Obama’s original vision. However unsuccessful Turkey’s zero-problems policy has been, it was only ever intended to triangulate between Tehran and Washington. Turkey has sought regime-led reform, not because it is the most likely solution to the crisis but because Turkey needs Assad in power to preserve good relations with Tehran and maintain its role of mediator with Washington. Revolution in Syria will alienate the Iranians and allow the United States to develop its own direct relations with the Syrian people.

Turkey and the United States are now pursuing two mutually exclusive outcomes in Syria. Many in the United States believe that Syria would be a better place without Assad and that Assad has lost his legitimacy. In other words, United States policy is on the verge of calling for regime change, while Turkey continues to hold out hope for a reform program led by Assad, precisely in order to preserve its own influence as an intermediary between Iran, Syria, and Washington. As one Turkish senior official put it on Friday, Turkey is the “sole actor that can talk to Assad.” This boast should give the Obama administration pause, because the Turkish goal is to preserve this status.

It is time for Obama to exercise leadership and press the United States’ preferences for the region on Ankara. As Iran evidently explained to Turkey, the Turks must make a choice. The United States, for its part, does not owe Assad a soft landing. Strategically, it should favor his ouster and the breaking up of the Iranian alliance system. Morally, the United States should favor policies that might actually prevent slaughter on Syrian streets. Those who claimed that Assad is the last bulwark against chaos should realize by now that his regime is, in fact, destabilizing to the entire region. By all indications, it is time to actively back a democratic Syria, without Assad. Only a great power could do so and balance the complex agendas of the Middle East’s several regional players. Turkey is not a great power. That role remains the United States’ alone.

August 17th, 2011, 11:54 pm

 

ali said:

The only sick joke is the editor deciding he/she doesn’t want to post my comments

August 18th, 2011, 12:33 am

 

Abughassan said:

It is obvious by now that some of us are taking the easy route and blaming every violent incident or death in Syria on security forces or regime shabeeha without checking the facts and verifying their stories. Ignoring thugs who have no political position and thugs who oppose the regime will only increase distrust and fear among many of us.
Violence is evil if not done in self defense,and fair minded people should have no problem denouncing the killing of innocent syrians regardless of who committed the crime.

August 18th, 2011, 12:34 am

 

syau said:

6 People Injured During Internet Café Burglary in Homs,Bomb Explodes in a Car at al-Awqaf St. in Lattakia

http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2011/08/18/364603.htm

HOMS, (SANA) – A gang of four armed people on Wednesday burglarized an internet café in al-Waer Avenue in Homs city and looted mobile phones of customers.

The owner of the café resorted to a mosque while the armed people tracked him down which led to injuring 6 civilians.

in Lattakia, A bomb exploded on Wednesday in a Mercedes car parking in al-Awqaf St. in Lattakia city.

A security source told SANA that the explosion caused no casualties but some financial losses as three other cars were harmed, adding that investigations are still going on.

August 18th, 2011, 12:53 am

 
 

SYR.EXPAT said:

175. ABUGHASSAN
Dear ABUGHASSAN,

“The real victim here is the truth”
Indeed.

“One more lesson for Arab dictators”
Dictators never learn the lessons of history. This is why they’re called dictators. 🙂

August 18th, 2011, 1:35 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

183. REVLON said:

Dear Revlon,

As much as I would like the shabiha and criminal security forces get what they deserve, I remain convinced that taking up arms is a big mistake. The secret of success is in keeping it peaceful. It’s easy for me to say that, but that’s what the demonstrators have been saying all along. At the end, it’s divine intervention that will save the day. People need to be patient.

August 18th, 2011, 1:42 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

185. JAD said:
“Syr.Expat,
I toke it from you favorite site Alwa6an, you always link from there.
If you don’t like it don’t read it ”
I am glad you’re getting some of your news from Watan (not that I endorse it). When it comes to media, I am a skeptic. Some outlets like the Syrian media and Fox news are at the lowest end of credibility. Others fair better. In any case, one has to use common sense and do his homework before buying into their narratives.

As of the article that you linked to, I was merely pointing out to you, and more importantly to others on this blog, that the news is false and is based on yellow journalism by an outlet connected to the Syrian regime. One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that this is another dirty trick by the dirty Syrian regime.

The day is coming, God willing, when this dark chapter in the history of not only Syria, but the world, will come to an end. History will be rewritten and the crimes of this regime will be exposed.

August 18th, 2011, 1:59 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14569087
Syria’s Assad says military operations ‘stopped’

Mr Assad has refused to step down despite widespread protests
Continue reading the main story
Syria Crisis

Deadlock as pressure builds
Ramadan escalation fears
UN Security Council statement
‘Wait and see’ for Syria protests
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told UN chief Ban Ki-moon that military operations against protesters have “stopped”, a UN spokesman said.

He was responding to a demand from Mr Ban during a phone call that “all military operations and mass arrests must cease immediately,” the UN’s Farhan Haq said in a statement.

Mr Assad has come under mounting international pressure to end his violent crackdown on demonstrators.

Hundreds have been killed since March.

In the latest assault, Syrian forces fired on parts of the port city of Latakia, killing dozens and driving some 5,000 Palestinian refugees from their camps.

‘Excessive force’
“The secretary general expressed alarm at the latest reports of continued widespread violations of human rights and excessive use of force by Syrian security forces against civilians across Syria,” the UN statement said.

Mr Ban “emphasized that all military operations and mass arrests must cease immediately. President Assad said that the military and police operations had stopped,” it added.

The UN chief called on Damascus to introduce “credible” reforms and offer full co-operation to a UN human rights investigation into the crackdown.

The UN said Mr Assad listed the reforms he planned to take, which included constitutional change and elections, while also agreeing to receive a UN humanitarian mission.

Syria has prevented most foreign journalists from entering the country, making it difficult to independently verify the president’s claim.

The UN Security Council is due to hold a special session on Syria later on Thursday.

President Bashar Assad came to power in 2000 following the death of his father, Hafez.

He has responded to the challenge to his power with a combination of force and the promise of reforms, but has been unable to quell the revolt.

The unrest began following the toppling of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak early this year.

At least 1,800 people have died and tens of thousands have been arrested since it began, rights activists say.

August 18th, 2011, 2:07 am

 

Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: ABUGHASSAN

RE: “…some of us are taking the easy route and blaming every violent incident on security forces or shabeeha without checking the facts…”

Absolutely right, Abu! Any thinking Syrian (and I use the term “thinking” in its broadest connotation) after checking the facts would conclude that every violent incident came about as a result the CIA or the Jews…

August 18th, 2011, 2:35 am

 

jad said:

Syria’s Most Wanted: A Glimpse of Life on the Run with Army Defectors
By Rania Abouzeid / Near Rastan

The three motorbikes twisted around sharp turns, bumping over potholes, as their riders navigated the narrow alleyways of Rastan with their lights off, before heading out into the pitch-black fields beyond this Syrian town, 20 kilometers south of the recently smothered rebel city of Hama. They pulled out AK-47s (wrapped in sacks and towels) as soon as they’d passed populated areas, but they continued in the dark to avoid detection by the Syrian security forces stationed nearby, or their informants. “Make sure your safety is off,” my guide, the lead driver, told the others as he wrapped the strap of his weapon around his leg, before placing the AK-47 on his lap. It was late at night and my colleague and I, a French-Moroccan documentary film-maker, were heading to a safe house almost an hour away to interview eight Syrian military defectors fearful of being captured. They had ample reason to be afraid: just 48 hours earlier, there had been nine of them.
The group of soldiers, all of whom were lieutenants from Rastan, had mainly been stationed in the southern city of Dara’a, where the anti-regime uprising first erupted back in mid-March, as well as in the capital Damascus. The men had each escaped from their various deployments and come back to their hometown. Two days before TIME visited them, they had donned their uniforms again, to publicly announce their defection as a group in a brief, boilerplate video statement uploaded onto YouTube and later aired on Al-Jazeera. They made individual videos too, like a 48-second clip showing First Lieutenant Fadi Kism, a bearded man with dark eyes and plump lips, announcing his defection from the army’s Third Division. “I’m doing it because of the destruction that I saw in Rastan, and in Homs, in Dara’a and Hama,” the 23-year-old tells the camera.
(See “Exclusive: A Visit to Hama, the Rebel Syrian City That Refused to Die.”)
The next afternoon around 1 p.m., shortly after his mother watched the video of Rastan’s defectors on Al-Jazeera, Kism was dead, killed in an ambush by loyalist soldiers who had tricked him and his colleagues into thinking they wanted to join them. A firefight broke out, the defectors say, in an account verified by several civilian witnesses interviewed independently. The official Syrian news agency SANA ran a short piece the next day saying that “an armed terrorist group” had “set an ambush, four kilometers east of Rastan city, opening fire on a convoy carrying officers to their workplaces.” An officer and two soldiers were killed, the report said, adding that three loyalists were also wounded. “We only protected ourselves,” says Lt. Ibrahim Mohammad Ayoub, one of the remaining eight defectors. “We are not interested in attacking unless civilian lives, or our lives, are in danger.”
The defectors say they are being hunted down by a regime that won’t forgive disloyalty. They insist they are only protecting their townsfolk, but it seems like they themselves are in need of protection.
There are reports, difficult to verify, of soldiers being killed by their colleagues for refusing to shoot protesters. Low-level military defectors are breaking away in small numbers, but there have been very few high-ranking deserters, largely because the military’s upper echelon is made up of officers from the same Alawite minority sect as President Bashar al-Assad. TIME spoke to one of the most senior defectors, Colonel Hussein Harmoush, in northern Syria in June, just hours before he crossed into Turkey. Harmoush now claims to speak for the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), a loose grouping of defectors that is reportedly headed by Colonel Riad al-As’ad, whose whereabouts are unclear. Still, beyond a few amateur video statements — which encourage other soldiers to desert and offer promises to protect civilians — there is precious little proof of the FSA’s existence, at least in any regimented form.
The lieutenants in Rastan appear to have been left to their own devices, and most of them seem just fine with that. “We are not part of any command, we are not with Harmoush or anyone else,” says Lt. Abdel-Razak Tlass. “We are officers and we make and take our own orders.” They are proud of Harmoush and As’ad but they say they don’t obey them. “They have higher ranks, but they’re just like us,” says Yaroub Marwan Taktak.
(See “Dissent in Damascus’ Shadows: Driving Around Syria’s Capital.”)
That pique may be explained by the fact that the highest-ranking defectors are believed to be overseas, a sore point with all eight officers. “What is the point of being overseas? We need them here in Syria,” says Lt. Amjad Mohammad Hamid. “We have no communication with officers outside Syria,” says Taktak. “We are officers. We are supposed to protect our people here.”
Still, says one of the defectors diplomatically, “We are just in the early stages. We are still trying to organize ourselves.” The question is, into what?
Defectors, both in Rastan and elsewhere interviewed by TIME, all stress that their weapons are used for defensive, not offensive missions. They also say that they do not want armed civilians to join their ranks. Even if defections increase as more Syrian cities erupt in anti-regime anger, further stretching a loyalist military struggling to contain a five-month rebellion that shows few signs of being cowed, what will this corp of defectors do? Will it be big enough, and contain sufficient names and high ranks, to prompt the military to switch sides, as it did in Egypt against Hosni Mubarak and in Tunisia, against Zine El Abidine Ben Ali?
The coming weeks, months, and perhaps years will answer these questions. For now, it seems the most these small groups of defectors can do is save a few citizens, and perhaps themselves. They remain vulnerable to retribution, as the lieutenants in Rastan are all painfully aware.
Fady al-Kism was buried just before sundown, hours after he was killed, and just a day after publicly announcing his defection. He was placed into the ground wearing a blood-soaked green t-shirt and jeans, in keeping with the Islamic funeral rite of burying a martyr in the clothes he died in. “To Heaven we are going, martyrs in our millions,” an angry crowd chanted at Kism’s graveside. “Death but not humiliation.” “Syria is ours, it’s not for the Assad family.”
Kism’s grief-stricken mother, Em Fadi, said her son hated the army. She knew he wanted to leave, but tried to dissuade him, fearing he’d be killed. “He was killed anyway,” she said, head in hands, as she rocked back and forth, mourning the eldest of her four sons. “May their hearts burn the way they have burnt mine,” she says. He was going to be sent to Deir ez-Zor, a Syrian town that has since been attacked and besieged by the Syrian military. Her son had defected just five days before he died, his mother said. “He told me he wanted to join the free officers, that he’d rather die with them than have to shoot people.” His first child is due in late August.
(See “Syria’s City of Graves: Hama and Its History of Massacres.”)
On the way back from interviewing the defectors, the armed motorbike riders, who offer little information about themselves beyond that they serve as the “intelligence wing” of Rastan’s small unit of army deserters, senses trouble. Another motorbike is following us. They quickly pull over, and brandish their weapons. The suspect is a young man in military pants and a civilian shirt. He claims that he is checking on his nearby property. After several tense moments, he is allowed to continue, but one of the “intelligence agents” isn’t convinced. “His accent was odd,” he says, but the others convince him to forget it. The next morning shortly after 10 a.m., the telephone network in Rastan, both cellular and landline, suddenly cut out, along with the internet. Tanks soon rolled into parts of the town, focusing on the region beyond the fields, the location of the safe house. The officers quickly fled, I was told, to find safety elsewhere.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2089182,00.html#ixzz1VMOkzcuh

August 18th, 2011, 2:43 am

 

Revlon said:

193. Dear SYR.EXPAT,
I fully agree that the revolution should remain peaceful, as it is!

I would like to draw a distinction between arming civilians, which every body so far, including myself stand against, and encouraging the burgeoning units of defecting army forces to regroups and take the responsibility as army professional in doing what they can to defend civilians.

Precious human lives are callously wasted every day by the heavily armed Jr Armed forces and thugs. The last figure for martyrs was 2828.
I would like to ask at what magic count of martyrs and tortured, imprisoned and displaced civilians and after how long should one begin to justify armed resistance in self defense?
You might say that the down side of the army units taking arms is that the regime’s story of armed resistence would be substantiated.
I would argue here that the regime claims that the armed elements are civilians, While the emerging armed resistance now is carried by professional army units repulsed by jr atrocities!

The upside of engaging the regrouped army units in defending distressed civilians is several fold:
– It would engage part of Jr’s Military Forces away from civilians
– It would encourage more defections in the fought against units.
– It would let out some of the anger and frustration felt by the helpless civilians, averting the emergence of armed civilian resistance.

August 18th, 2011, 2:43 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

COMMON
SYR.EXPAT @ 194

Judging from the men7ebbakite’s logic on Syria comment, and their uncritical parroting of regime propaganda, common sense does not appear to be that common .

common sense would have told that their Jr. had already blown a couple of fuses after the first hundred victims

common sense would have told them that the global(oops…. Universal) conspiracy is a laughable fraud

common sense would have told them that they are aiding and abetting a terrorist regime

common scene would have made them reluctant dancing over the bodies of their folks

so in the end, common sense, with them, aint that common

August 18th, 2011, 2:46 am

 

jad said:

Sweet victory, without the war
Joseph Wakim

Syrians care more about overdue policy reform than ousting their president.
Do you want to eat the grapes, or to kill the vineyard’s guard? This rhetorical Arabic question addresses a disconnect between the means and the end. It is an apt metaphor for Syria’s crossroads and future.
Is the end game to dethrone yet another Arab leader, or ensure that its citizens gain human rights?
We already know from Iraq that toppling the leader of a pluralistic secular state unleashes sectarian militias, tribal warfare and al-Qaeda insurgents competing for control in a state that has become dangerously chaotic.
Do we wish the same anarchy for the Syrian people?
The resulting Iraqi parliament is created on the basis of delicate ethno-sectarian quotas. The ongoing human cost of this regime change has been horrific, with desperate asylum seekers floating to our shores and 1.4 million seeking refuge in Syria – a secular ”sanctuary”. Apart from Iraqis, Syria has been a safe haven to many minority groups such as Jews, Kurds, Ismailis, Druze, Palestinians and Christians.
Syria has the potential to change its policies without removing its president. Unlike Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – where presidents were unwilling and unable to implement dialogue and reform – Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has ratified his reform package, but will implement it only if the ”chaos” subsides, creating a vicious circle.
Eleven years after he inherited the presidency and the old guard of the Socialist Arab Baath Party, the pro-democracy demonstrations in Syria may have given Assad impetus to revisit his original reform agenda.
However, the president needs to redress the blatant disconnect between his brutal suppression of demonstrations and his rhetoric.
The escalating fatalities and arrests give unarmed civilians the ammunition to join the armed struggle. If the president is serious about his overdue reforms, including ”regulated peaceful protests”, he could let the protest voices be heard rather than hidden.
The regime’s dilemma is that the armed militia are increasingly, strategically and deliberately intertwined with the unarmed civilians.
The president cannot continue to hide behind a charade of conspiracies that armed saboteurs, extremists, snipers, terrorists and gangs are hiding among the ”protesters who have legitimate demands”. His ban on foreign media has backfired with his promises now dismissed as propaganda, and unverified images from mobile phones and exiles thriving as the official version in Western media.
When speaking to Australians who recently visited Syria, there is a disconnect between our media reports and their experiences, which confirm an overwhelming majority of Syrian citizens do not want their president ousted. They trust him to facilitate the reforms, as a means to an end, regardless of who may be democratically elected in the future.
Too often, media vision and audio put forward as anti-government protests are actually pro-government because Arabic-language interpreters have not been engaged.
Unlike the neat and naive narrative that we would like to believe, the anti-government protesters are not all unarmed pro-democracy civilians. Ironically, Assad’s claims about foreign and armed militia infiltrating the protests have been verified by many Australian witnesses.
The Saudi-supported Salafists are pushing for a theocracy – government by divine guidance or by religious representatives – not a democracy. The militarised insurgents with their urban warfare training are armed and funded – by which countries and for which reasons?
This parallels the recent reports in Egypt where the largely secular revolution has already been hijacked by Salafists calling for an Islamic state, hoisting Saudi flags and intimidating Copts.
With the lessons learnt from Iraq, the UN Security Council must have considered the regime change alternatives and consequences with its double-edged resolutions. While it “condemns the widespread violations of human rights”, it also “stresses that the only solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process”.
Western leaders should pressure the Syrian president to break the cycle and implement the reforms that articulate the aspirations of his people.
The least violent regime change is the organic evolution rather than bloody revolution. This means trimming the branches and poisoning the roots of the old guard rather than uprooting the entire tree and leaving a big black hole where citizens cave in.
Like all citizens, Syrians are more interested in the policies than the president. Perhaps they can reap the (sweet) grapes of political autonomy without killing the guard.
The end result could be a more robust secular society in the heart of an increasingly sectarian Middle East.
Joseph Wakim is founder of the Australian Arabic Council and a former Victorian multicultural affairs commissioner.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/sweet-victory-without-the-war-20110817-1iy1j.html#ixzz1VMPtzWPn

August 18th, 2011, 2:48 am

 

syau said:

Jad,

Thank you, actually I do know of Susan, she’s very talented.

Tara #157,

“Above report of Syrian women being raped and forced into prostitution lacks credibility.”

The situation with the rapes has been reported by a number of agencies with one being Turkish.

It has nothing to do with the Turkish opposition’s sect sympathising with the Syrian government. You people never miss an opportunity to twist everything you can into a sectarian issue when it suits you.

August 18th, 2011, 3:01 am

 

some guy in damascus said:

no dictator stays forever, the end of his rule is always a shame.
whether its Mubarak, Zein abdin, saddam, ceascescu and Pinochet.
the will of the people always overcomes….
but how will the dentist extract this rotten tooth?
i see besho got a tempting exile offer in spain…im sure he would prefer that over tehran
oh btw, remember that dumb reporter that stated the people of midan were celebrating the rain fall, she left for a more lucrative offer in Egypt…which ironically, displays anti-regime news.

August 18th, 2011, 3:04 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Dear Revlon

Your comment # 198 overlooks one of the most critical disadvantages of forming a revolutionary army using defectors as its core. Building a credible army resistance requires significant resources, weapons, ammo, and equipment. This requires both financing and supplies. Meaning that someone must provide resources, thus inviting external support, and logically interference or control.

In nonviolent resistance, the aim of defection is not for the gun to switch side, but the fighter to do so. Which means that the fighter switches side from being a proponent of violence as means, to non-violence, depriving the dictator and his thugs from human resources. The whole idea is to deprive the regime, one person at a time, of its oppressive power, without providing means of violence to the opposition. The best thing defectors can do is to leave their weapons behind, and to simply dissolve withing their communities and for defecting commanding officers to use their command skills to assist in coordinating and facilitating non violent actions. You may not find that an ideal solution given the composition of assads’ private army , but I am afraid that there is no other choice but to rely on the increasing momentum of the non violent resistance to pressure the regime. Internal Economic boycott must expand, and civil disobedience tactics should continue and expand. It is not easy, especially in country like Syria, where despotism and propaganda has been going on for generations to the point that even honest people confuse loyalty to the country with loyalty to its criminal thuggish regime.

Having two parallel revolutions one violent and one non violent is not an option either. Armed resistance renders non violent revolution less than effective…, at best.

I have asked myself, countless times, what to do about the continuing murder of the innocents, don’t they deserve to be defended. I struggle with this as I read every new martyr’s name. My answer is to continue to hope that the non violent resistance will eventually topple this criminal gang, and get this band of hyenas into the cages its members deserve.

August 18th, 2011, 3:10 am

 

some guy in damascus said:

from my facebook page:
one friend posts :
What country in the whole world celebrates its president’s birthday as a national holiday!!.. Not only that, but has organizations that ask for people’s donations to make him “the biggest birthday cake” & “the largest picture ever”!!.. That’s regardless of the fact that in the same exact country, hundreds of people are dying everyday, the economy has completely fallen apart & there are people fasting for simply having no money to buy bread!..
History has NEVER witnessed such a mockery!!

another friend posts:
الطائرة الرئاسية تتسع لـ 300 شخص فقط.. مين يا ترى بيلحق؟

August 18th, 2011, 3:17 am

 

Jacob said:

#202. some guy in damascus said:

“no dictator stays forever”
Correct…When Bashar steps down, his son will then become the mighty Assad of Syria.

#204. What country in the whole world celebrates its president’s birthday as a national holiday!!..

The Queen Elizabeth’s b’day is a national holiday.

August 18th, 2011, 3:53 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

Assad Jr. back in 2001 lecturing about the importance of political solutions. Someone need to remind him about it.

من مؤتمر القمة العربية – عمّان 2001
كل دول العالم تمر بأزمات مختلفة وتكون لديها الحلول لهذه الأزمات. وإذا كان هناك بلد لديه مائة حل لمجموعة من الأزمات فتسعة وتسعون حلا تكون حلولا سياسية. وقد يكون هناك حل أخير عسكرى وغالبا مالا يستخدم. أما بالنسبة لإسرائيل، فإذا كان لديها ألف حل فهي حلول عسكرية. ومع ذلك فالحل العسكري ينتقل من فشل إلى فشل.
(؟؟؟؟!؟!؟!!!!!!!؟!؟!؟!؟!؟!؟)

من كلمة بشار الأسد في مؤتمر القمة العربية – عمّان 2001
http://www.ali-ferzat.com/ar/-من-مؤتمر-القمة-العربية–عمّان-2001.html

August 18th, 2011, 4:20 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

نقلاً عن شيخ المندسين عبد الرحمن الكواكبي

في هذه المقالة نبين الخيوط التاريخية للمؤامرة ونوضح للقارئ أن الكواكبي هو من أوائل المتآمرين حيث توضح كتاباته أن ما يجري الآن كان مخطط له منذ زمن بعيد

أشد مراتب الاستبداد هي حكومة الفرد المطلق ,الوارث للعرش ,القائد للجيش ,الحائز على سلطة دينية ,ولنا أن نقول كلما قل وصف من هذه الأوصاف خف الاستبداد إلى أن ينتهي الحاكم المنتخب فعلاً.
ومن الأمور المقررة طبيعة وتاريخاً,أنه ما من حكومة عادلة تأمن المسؤولية والمؤاخذة بسبب غفلة الأمة أو التمكن من إغفالها , إلا وتسارع إلى التلبس بصفة الاستبداد, وبعد أن تتمكن فيه لا تتركه وفي خدمتها إحدى الوسيلتين
العظيمتين :جهالة الأمة و الجنود المنظمة .وهما أكبر مصائب الأمم وأهم معائب الإنسانية.
المستبد يود أن تكون الرعية كالغنم درّاً وكالكلاب تملقاً وتذللاً,وعلى الرعية أن تكون كالخيل إن خُدمت خدمت ,خلافاً للكلاب التي لا فرق عندها أطعمت أم حرمت حتى من العظام.
العوام-(أي الشبيحة في مصطلح العصر)- هم قوة المستبد وقوته بهم عليهم يصول ويطول ,يأسرهم فيتهللون لشوكته,ويغصب أموالهم فيحمدونه على إبقاء حياتهم,ويهينهم فيثنون عليه ,ويغري بعضهم على بعض فيفتخرون بسياسته ,وإذا أسرف في أموالهم يقولون كريماً ,وإذا قتل منهم ولم يمثل يعتبرونه رحيما ,ويسوقهم إلى خطر الموت فيطيعونه حذر التوبيخ.
إن خوف المستبد من نقمة رعيته أكثر من خوفهم من بأسه ,لأن خوفه ينشأ عن علمه بما يستحقه منهم ,وخوفهم ناشئ عن جهل,وخوفه عن عجز حقيقي فيه ,وخوفهم عن توهم التخاذل فقط وخوفه على فقد حياته وسلطانه وخوفهم على لقيمات من النبات وخوفه على كل شيء تحت سماء ملكه وخوفهم على حياة تعيسة فقط.
كلما زاد المستبد ظلماً وتعسفاَ زاد خوفه من رعيته وحتى من حاشيته ,وحتى من هواجسه وخيالاته وأكثر ما تختم حياة المستبد بالجنون التام قلت التام لأن المستبد لا يخلو من الحمق قط.
عن كتاب طبائع الاستبداد ومصارع الاستعباد(عبد الرحمن الكواكبي)
http://www.ali-ferzat.com/ar/نقلاً-عن-شيخ-المندسين-عبد-الرحمن-الكواكبي.html

August 18th, 2011, 4:21 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

“198. REVLON said:

193. Dear SYR.EXPAT,
I fully agree that the revolution should remain peaceful, as it is!
I would like to draw a distinction between arming civilians, which every body so far, including myself stand against, and encouraging the burgeoning units of defecting army forces to regroups and take the responsibility as army professional in doing what they can to defend civilians.”

Dear Revlon,

I see your point, but I still believe that defectors should not take up arms. The government doesn’t care who has arms. As long as there is armed resistance of some sort, they’ll use it as an excuse to use the army.

August 18th, 2011, 4:25 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

199. SYRIAN HAMSTER

Dear SYRIAN HAMSTER,

Nice to hear from you.

August 18th, 2011, 4:27 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

كان عمري 4 سنين
ايام الاحداث كان عمري 4 سنين بيتنا بمنطقة اسمها المدينة وفيها اكثرية مسيحية وقدام بيتنا كان في مقر لرابطة الشبيبة وايامها كان للشبيبة عز لدرجة انه العضو العامل بيحمل فرد لهيك وقتها ما صار في مجازر بشارعنا ومع هيك ورغم صغر سني بهديك الايام لليوم بتمر بذاكرتي بعض اللقطات اللي انحفرت بمخيلتي وبحياتها ما بتروح متل فلم سينما قصير ومنها
1- منظر جثة عم تحترق بساحة باب النهر نفس المحل اللي طالعوا منه ابراهيم قاشوش
2- منظر سوق الطويل (وهوي سوق قديم متل سوق الحميدية) بعد القصف وهوي عبارة عن اكوام من الحجارة والمعدن ورائحة الحريق اللي لليوم بتمثلي رائحة الهمجية الاسدية
3- منظر الطائرات وهيي عم تحط ع القلعة
4- لحظة تفجير الجامع الكبير وكنت يومها واقف ع الشباك وقلبت من ع الصوفا من قوة الانفجار لقرب الجامع من بيتنا
5- منظر عسكري خنزير عم يهين جدي اللي كان عمره بهديك الايام 75 سنة وامي اللي نزلوا تحت القصف ليشوفو اذا في شي بيتاكل بيقدروا يجيبوه من محلنا اللي موقعه بنص السوق ويتهمون بالسرقة
6- منظر محلنا اللي كان سوبر ماركت والبضاعة فيها كلها ع الارض حليب اطفال على طحينة على رز على على على ….كلو فوق بعضو
7- سحارة البرتقال وربطات الخبز اللي وزعها الجيش ع الناس اللي بقيوا عايشين بعد المجزرة ….. ولما كبرت وصرت اطلع لباقي المحافظات كان اكتر شي يألمني هوي الشي اللي حكت عنه فيروز والتهمة اللي انلزقت فينا ل 30 سنة انه نحنا خونة وهمج واخونجية وووووو صدقوني هدا الشي كان اثره بيعادل نتائج المجزرة كنا مجرد نقول انه نحنا من حماه تتغير الوجوه وتصير مركبة بالمقلوب … صدقوني اليوم الي قلب بوس ايدين اطفال درعا لانون السبب بكشف حقيقة هالعصابة اللي مستعبدة شعبنا ونازلة كذب ع الطالعة والنازلة بحجة المووووقاووومة والمووووومانعة
http://www.ali-ferzat.com/ar/كان-عمري-4-سنين.html

August 18th, 2011, 4:30 am

 

SyR.EXPAT said:

It seems there are no more mundasseen.
I guess people can now go out and demonstrate.

Syrian president tells U.N. chief military operations have stopped

“(CNN) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the head of the United Nations that military and police operations against anti-government protesters have stopped, according to a statement released by the Secretary-General’s office.
Details of a telephone conversation between the two men were released late Wednesday, shortly before the U.N. Security Council was to be briefed Thursday on the Syrian government crackdown against protesters calling for al-Assad’s ouster.
“President Assad said that the military and police operations had stopped,” the statement said.


http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/08/18/syria.unrest/index.html

August 18th, 2011, 4:32 am

 

Shami said:

Jadbeeh ,you became too much qardooh ,nshallah you will never change and remains proud qardooh lal abad.

shame on such people !

August 18th, 2011, 4:43 am

 

Shami said:

Alex ,your silence is strange.
do you still believe your forgotten propaganda for asad regime?

August 18th, 2011, 4:45 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?ArticleId=1407&EditionId=1921&ChannelId=45338

دعوة المسيحية إلى العقل

ميشيل كيلو
يبدو أن الخراب صار عاما إلى الدرجة التي تجلعنا نغادر ونحن سعداء خير ما كان في حياتنا من عادات وتقاليد تضامنية ومفيدة. في طفولتي الأولى، اصطحبني والدي من القرية التي كان يخدم فيها كدركي إلى اللاذقية. خلال سيرنا في الشارع، كنت ارتبك واخف عندما يترك يدي أو تمر واحدة من السيارات، النادرة جدا تلك الأيام. وبينما نحن على هذه الحال، بدأ الخلق يغلقون حوانيتهم ويقفون أمامها لتلاوة الفاتحة، بينما كان المسيحيون يرسمون إشارة الصليب، ووالدي يقف باستعداد رافعا يده نحو رأسه بتحية عسكرية نظامية، بعد أن جمع قدميه بعضهما إلى بعض في وقفة انضباطية رسمية. بعد مرور الجنازة، علمت أن المتوفى كان رجلا يهوديا من آل شيحا، الأسرة المعروفة والمحترمة في لاذقية ذلك الزمن، رغم أنه لم تكن تفصلنا فترة طويلة عن مأساة فلسطين وتخلي الصهاينة العرب عنها للصهاينة اليهود .
… واليوم، تعقد في مكان محدد من دمشق حلقات رقص ودبكة وغناء، يمجد خلالها النظام القائم وتعظم رموزه، مع أن رائحة الموت تزكم أنف سوريا من مكان الرقص السعيد إلى أبواب بيوت وأحياء كثيرة يقتلها الحزن. ما الذي جرى للناس ولسوريا، حتى انقسمت إلى هذا الحد، وفقد بعض ناسها الشعور بالتضامن مع غيرهم؟ ممن يطلبون شيئا يريدونه للجميع، يفتقر إليه السوريون – بمن فيهم هؤلاء الراقصون في حضرة الموت – هو الحرية، ويعلنون في كل مناسبة أنهم يرون حتى في الراقصين أخوة لهم، وأن حريتهم هم أيضا، يجب أن تكون مضمونة بقوانين الدولة المدنية الديموقراطية، التي تستحق أن يضحي المرء من أجلها؟ أين كنا وأين صرنا؟
هذا الذي قلته هو مجرد مدخل إلى المسألة التي أريد مناقشـتها. صحيح أن الراقصين يمثلون أنفسهم فقط، بدليل أن هناك نيفا وستين صبية وشاباً مسيحيين اعتقلوا خلال الأسبوع الفائت وحده في حي باب توما، حيث يرقص هؤلاء. وصحيح أن الراقصين أحرار في أن يحبوا ويكرهوا من وما يريدون، لكن موقفهم يتحول إلى مشكلة بقدر ما يوهم بأنه يعكس حصة المسيحية السورية الرسمية من الأحداث العربية عموما والحدث السوري بوجه خاص، ويعد خروجا على تقاليد مجتمع يحترم الموتى، بغض النظر عن دينهم، وضربا من سلوك غير إنساني يصل إلى حد الرقص على جثث الآخرين، لمجرد أنهم ليسوا من طينة الراقصين، أو لأن هؤلاء يرفضون مواقفهم، مع أن بينهم ضحايا يجب أن يمتنع الراقص عن إبداء سعادته لمقتلهم هم جنود الجيش وعناصر جهاز الأمن!.
هل فاتت الراقصين هذه الحقيقة، وهل فات من يستطيعون التأثير عليهم أن رقصهم قد يفضي إلى مزيد من القطيعة والعداء بين مكونات الشعب الواحد، التي عاشت متآلفة متآخية على مر تاريخ يمتد لنيف وألف وخمسمائة عام، احترم المسلمون خلالها الوجود المسيحي في دياره، وحموه ودافعوا عنه، واعتبروه جزءا من ديانتهم الخاصة ووجودهم الثقافي والحضاري، ومكنوه من تجاوز محن وتحديات تاريخية هائلة الخطورة كالحروب الصليبية، التي دأبوا إلى اللحظة على تسميتها «حروب الفرنجة « لفصلها عن الدين المسيحي، وكالاستعمار الأوروبي، الذي لعب التبشير الديني دورا تمهيديا خطيرا في الإعداد له، ودورا لا يقل خطورة في ديمومته وسطوته، بينما لعب المسيحيون العرب، بالمقابل، دورا لا يقل أهمية في بناء وتوطيد الدولة العربية / الإسلامية، وفي التأسيس الفكري والمعرفي للثقافة التي عرفتها حقبة الازدهار التي أعقبت انتشار الدين الحنيف في أرض العرب. في حين بلغ التسامح المتبادل درجة جعلت الفهارس العربية، التي تحدثت عن علماء المسلمين، تبدأ بأسماء بن بختيشوع وحنين ابن إسحاق وسواهما من علماء الدولة والحضارة المسيحيين، من دون أن يجد مسلم واحد غضاضة في ذلك أو يسجل التاريخ أن أحدا من المسلمين اعترض على اعتبار هؤلاء العلماء المسيحيين مسلمين .
كان المسيحيون جزءا من الجماعة العربية / الإسلامية، ولأنهم رأوا أنفسهم بدلالتها، وليس بأية دلالة سياسية ضيقة، تمكنوا من لعب دورهم في حاضنة واسعة وعامة اعتبرتهم جزءا تكوينيا من نسيجها، لا حياة لها بدونهم، وبالعكس، لذلك حرصت عليهم وأبقت على إيمانهم، الذي لم يحفظ التنوع داخلها وحسب، بل وازدهر أيضا بفضل التكامل والتفاعل مع مكوناتها الإسلامية وغير الإسلامية.
بكلمات أخرى: لم تكن الجماعة – الأمة – المسلمة ترى الآخر في مسيحييها، بل كانت ترى نفسها فيهم أيضا، فهم هي، في صيغة خاصة، مغايرة. وكل مساس بهم يعد مساسا بوجودها وتكاملها وطريقتها في العيش، كما في تسامحها، الذي كان معياره الرئيس الموقف من المسيحيين وديانتهم. بينما استعرت في الوقت على جبهات التنوع الإسلامي الخاص صراعات قاسية لم تعرف التسامح في أحيان وحالات كثيرة. بدورهم، اعتبر المسيحيون أنفسهم جزءا تكوينيا من جماعة تاريخية سابقة للدولة والسياسة، فلم يروا حقوقهم بدلالتهما، لأن الجماعة نفسها لم تكن تنكر عليهم حقهم في الصعود والارتقاء داخلها، دون تمييز اجتماعي أو أخلاقي، حتى أنها سمحت لهم في بعض الحالات باستثناءات تتعلق بدورهم العسكري في الدولة، الذي كانوا عادة وتقليديا بمنأى عنه .
هل فقد مسيحيو العصور الحديثة هذا الدور وتحولوا من جزء في جماعة تاريخية إلى جزء من سلطة طارئة وعابرة، فبدلوا دورهم وغربوا أنفسهم عن حاضنتهم المجتمعية، التي كانت السلطة من خارجها معظم الوقت؟ وهل يعبر الرقص الحديث عن هذا الموقف بالطريقة الفظة التي يتقنها منخلعون عن الواقع يجهلون أو يزدرون تاريخهم، يظن من رباهم كنسيا على عنصرية دينية قاتلة أنهم يجب أن يكونوا كأسلافهم خدما للسلطة، وأن عليهم تمضية أعمارهم في اتقاء شرورها وخطب ودها ولعق قفاها؟
إذا كان هؤلاء قد أصبحوا جزءا من الســلطة، فما هي المزايا الـتي عادت عليهم من لذلك؟ هل يبرر التحاقهم بالسلطة انفكاكهم عن الجماعة التاريخية، التي لطالما انتموا إليـها وتكفلت باستــمرار وجودهم بينها، وبتمتعهم بقدر كبير من الحرية الدينية والمدنية، علما بأنها هزيمتها على يد السلطة الحالية ليست غير ضـرب من المحال أو من المصادفات العابرة؟ هل وازن هؤلاء بين الربح والخسارة، وقرروا الرقص على جثث الجماعة؟ وفي هذه الحـالة، ألا يرون ما وقع للمسيحيين في العراق، حيث كان ارتباطهم بالسلطة المسوغ الذي استخدمه مجانين الإسلاميين للقــضاء على وجودهــم في بلاد الرافدين؟ وهل فكر المسيحيون بالمعنى التاريخي الهائل للتغيير الذي يشهده العالم العربي الآن، وبانعكاساته على الجماعة التي ينتمون إليها وعليهم هم أنفسهم، ويرجح أن تعقبه حقبة نهوض غير مسبوقة ستبدل أوضاع المجتمعات والدول، ستكون قيمها متفقة لأول مرة في تاريخنا مع القيم التي يقوم عليها العالم الحديث، وستتيح مصالحة تاريخية تطوي صفحة الصراع بين عالمي الإسلام والمسيحية الأوروبية، الذي بدأ عند نهاية القرن السابع الميلادي واستمر إلى اليوم، دون أن يتأثروا هم بنتائجه، مع أنه شهد مراحل حلت خلالها هزائم جسيمة بالمسلمين؟ يبدو أن الكنائس المسيحية لا تفهم ما يجري، ولا تفكر بلعب أي دور جدي فيه، وأنها تفوت السانحة الفريدة على الجماعة التي تنتمي إليها، وهي في غالبيتها من المسلمين، وعلى نفسها، وتفضل البقاء حيث هي: إلى جانب الظلم والاستبداد، والرقص على أشلاء الأموات المظلومين.
والآن، وبما أن الدين ليس ملك الكنيسة، التي تبلد شعورها وفقدت علاقتها مع الواقع ومع حساسية المسيحية الإنسانية، ولأن للعلمانية الحق في ممارسة وفهم الدين بالطريقة التي تريدها، خارج وضد الكنيسة أيضا، فإنني أدعو العلمانيين من مسيحيي المولد إلى فتح نقاش أو عقد ندوة حول موضوع وحيد هو سبل إعادة المسيحيين إلى موقعهم الصحيح من الجماعة العربية / الإسلامية، وإلى دورهم الثقافي / المجتمعي في خدمتها، بعيدا عن أية سلطة غير سلطة الجوامع الإنسانية والمشتركات الروحية والمادية التي تربطهم بها، في زمن التحول الاستثنائي الذي لا سابقة له في تاريخ العرب، ويمثل فرصتها لامتلاك وبناء الدولة التي تعبر عن حريتها وحضورها في شأن عام عاشت المسيحية فيه وبفضله، لأنه كان مرتبطا بالدولة في مفهومها المجرد والسامي، ومنفصلا عن شأن سلطوي استبدادي الطابع والدور، مما حمى المسيحية من شرور وبطش السلطوية وغرسها بعمق حاضنتها الطبيعية، المستقلة نسبيا عن السلطة والسياسة، بفضل الإسلام وفضائه الإنساني: المتسامح والرحب .
إذا كان العلمانيون في الدول العربية المختلفة يدركون أهمية هذا التحول التاريخي، الذي يجب أن يرد المسيــحية إلى مكانها الصحيح من مجتمعاتها، فإن واجبهم يكون المبادرة إلى فتح هذا النقاش أو عقد هذا المؤتمر الذي لا بد أن يضم ممثلين عنهم يلتقون في بيــروت أو القاهرة، يتدارسون خلاله كل ما هو ضروري لرد المسيحية إلى موقعها التاريخي كجزء من المجتمع العربي / الإسلامي، يخوض معاركه ويشاركه مصيره، يفرح لفرحه ويحزن لحزنه، ويرفض اعتبار نفسه جزءا من سلطاته أو خادما لديها، فيتقاسم مع مواطنيه أقدراهم، سهلة كانت أم صعبة. بغير ذلك، لن تبقى المسيحية في هذه المنطقة، وسيكون مصيرهم كمصير النظم التي يخدمونها: على كف عفريت، خاصة إن انتصرت بالفعل جماعات الإسلام السياسي المتطرفة، التي ينتحرون اليوم انتحارا مؤكدا لشدة خوفهم غير المبرر منها، ولا يجدون طريقة يردون مخاطرها بواسطتها عن أنفسهم غير الارتباط المجنون باستبداد يعلمون تماما أنه إلى زوال مهما طال الوقت، وأن طريقهم إلى التوطن في قلوب وعقول مواطنيهم لا يمكن بحال من الأحوال أن يمر من خلاله أو على جثث ضحاياه .
باختصار شديد: إما أن تغير الكنيسة مواقفها وتعود ثانية إلى كنف مجتمعها العربي / الإسلامي، أو أن يؤسس العلمانيون كنيسة مدنية تأخذ المسيحيين إلى حيث يجب أن يكونوا، مواطنين حريتهم جزء من حرية مجتمعهم وفي خدمتها. وللعلم، فإن التاريخ لن ولا يجوز أن يرحم أحدا: كنسيا كان أم علمانيا، إن هو وقف جانبا، أو رقص على جثث من يموتون من أجل حريته!

August 18th, 2011, 4:48 am

 

Shami said:

Darryl ,all the times syrian muslims were proud of their umayyad tolerant and liberal heritage,as so was syria until baath coup…we never changed our behavior towards our syrian christian brothers and we will forgive again and again.

August 18th, 2011, 4:51 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

Dear Prof. Landis,

Is there information about army defections by Alawite officers?

انشقاق المقدم البطل محمد موسى من الطائفة العلوية 17-8-2011

August 18th, 2011, 5:04 am

 
 

ann said:

Journalists Who Engage in War Propaganda Must Be Held Accountable

The war propaganda has entered a new phase, involving the coordinated action of satellite TV stations. CNN, France24, the BBC and Al Jazeera have become instruments of disinformation used to demonize governments and justify armed aggressions. These practices are illegal under international law and the impunity of the perpetrators must be stopped.

http://www.voltairenet.org/Journalists-who-engage-in-war

The current processing of the information on Libya and Syria has marked a turning point in the history of war propaganda in that it uses new ways that have taken the international public by surprise.

Four powers – the United States, France, the UK and Qatar – have combined their technical means to intoxicate the “international community”. These are mainly CNN (which, although private, interacts with the Pentagon’s psychological warfare unit), France24, the BBC and Al Jazeera.

These media are being used to falsely attribute to the governments of Libya and Syria crimes they did not commit while covering the crimes that are committed by the secret services of the aforementioned powers and NATO.

We witnessed a similar situation, on a smaller scale, in 2002 when Globovisión broadcast live images of a popular revolution against elected President Hugo Chávez plus images of pro-Chavez activists gunning down protesters. This staged event had made it possible to mask a military coup orchestrated by Washington with the help of Madrid. However, after a genuine popular uprising aborted the coup and reinstated the elected president, legal and journalistic investigations revealed that the revolution filmed by Globovisión was in fact a case of visual trickery and that the Chavistas had never fired on the crowd, but were themselves the victims of snipers armed by the CIA.

We see the same thing happening today, but with a consortium of satellite channels which transmit images of nonexistent events in Libya and Syria. Their aim is to make people believe the majority of Libyans and Syrians want to overthrow their political institutions and that Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad have massacred their own people. On the basis of such media intoxication, NATO attacked Libya and is about to destroy Syria.

Now, after the Second World War, the United Nations General Assembly passed legislation to prohibit and punish such practices.

Resolution 110 of 3 November 1947 regarding “measures to be taken against propaganda and the inciters of a new war,” condemns “propaganda which is either designed or likely to provoke or encourage any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression. ”

Resolution 381 of 17 November 1950 further strengthens this condemnation by condemning the censorship of conflicting information as part of the propaganda against peace.

Finally, Resolution 819 of 11 December 1954 on “the removal of barriers to free exchange of information and ideas,” recognizes the responsibility of governments to remove barriers that impede the free exchange of information and ideas.

In so doing, the General Assembly has developed its own doctrine on freedom of expression: it condemned the lies leading to war and upheld the free flow of information and ideas and critical debate as weapons in the service of peace.

Words and, especially, images can be used to prepare the worst crimes. In this case, the intoxication by CNN, France24, the BBC and Al Jazeera constitute “crimes against peace.” They should be considered as being more serious than the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by NATO in Libya and by Western intelligence agencies in Syria insofar as they precede and make them possible.

Journalists who engage in war propaganda must be tried by International Justice.

Thierry Meyssan

August 18th, 2011, 5:36 am

 
 

haz said:

Our Dr. Landis and the ICG come off looking not so good at all – they look like fools in fact. Dr Landis will have to respond to this to maintain any kind of credibility…

http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/articles/2011-OnlineFeatures/Weiss-2011-08-16.html

August 18th, 2011, 6:26 am

 

Mark said:

Several of Assad critics have admitted that his situation is hopeless. In the real world of realpolitiks there are no niceties, there is opportunism, cruelty, self interest, savagery winner takes all and loser goes to hell.

Saddam was sent to hell and with him all of Iraq, after being offered on a plate by the Americans to Iran!! Iran, their sworn enemy which they managed to keep bleeding and warring for eight long years, thanks to their local dictator, guess who: teh same Saddam!

Now instead of putting G.W.Bush, Tony Blair and many others on trial for REAL crimes against humanity, the easy solution is to replace the Assad regime in order to install a 21st century Sunni Saddam in Syria to buffer and challenge Iran’s hegemony.

The writing in on the wall that this is the Realpolitiks game plan, which has a big support in the poor Sunni communities in Syria, especially Iraqi refugees. The latest attempts by the US to arm twist its allies: Saudi Arabia, Bharain and others to criticize Syria publicly is insulting to the Syrian people intelligence.

Yes Syria needs drastic reform, but it does not need sanctions. Assad is rightly defending Syria as well as his own skin. Had he been truly selfish, he would have packed his bags and gone to Russia or some other place, but that would have been the real crime against Syria, to let it fall prey to the cruel games of Realpolitiks. The UN secretary general (Kofi Anan) had declared the Iraq war ILLEGAL, this was a very diplomatic way to say that the perpatrators must be face the full force of international law. Guess what, those accused by Kofi Anan make a mockery of international law and they are continuing to do so. The regime change being forced on Syria is nothing but the latest ripple in the disastrous intereference in the middle east, from assassinating Iran’s Mussadeq, to hanging Saddam to now vilifying Assad. True Syrian patriots must not be traitors, the real danger now is coming from outside intereference, including sanctions, arms and a media war. Looking across, not only the middle east, but the whole world, it is hard to find a leader with the integrity that Assad exudes. Let him go to the wolves and will end up with the wolves running your lives and devouring your kin.

August 18th, 2011, 6:54 am

 

Aboud said:

Haz, I quote from the last paragraph of the link

“Only in the last fortnight has a single piece of footage come to light showing what look to be civilians dumping what look to be dead security officials into the Orontes River in Hama. And it took a full-on siege of that formerly liberated city to produce this single reel, which has yet to be authenticated by independent analysis, possibly showing armed civilians fighting back.

No footage has been offered by either ICG or its “independent” sources substantiating allegations of anti-Alawite incitement. And as against this lone video of posthumous indecency in Hama, the Syrian opposition has uploaded thousands of mobile phone records documenting everything from snipers firing at civilians from rooftops, screaming mothers cradling the corpses of their slain children, self-confessed mercenaries admitting that Hezbollah paid and bused them into Syria to enforce military discipline, mukhabarat thugs kicking old men in the head, and a mentally disabled man displaying his bruises and reprehending Assad personally.

In other words, the weight of all available evidence overwhelmingly confirms the opposition’s narrative and discredits the regime’s. And yet, an organization dedicated to “preventing conflict” had instead become tribune for the sowers of one”

Michael Weis brilliantly debunked every single myth and untruth ever put forward by the menhebaks. I’m bookmarking this page and referring back to it.

Jad the Sexual Fetisher, “meltdown”? What, you’ve run out of insults that you have to steal one of my own? LOL!!! I guess the fact that the demonstrators reached Aleppo’s main square scared the regime’s pussies so much they had to manufacture an impromptu menhebak demonstration.

Now, if only I could find out what all the ruckus in Homs was

Abughassan, kindly explain why a revolution that has remained peaceful, would suddenly shoot up a mosque in a Sunni area? We all know that the regime’s turds have surrounded mosques,shelled mosques, beaten up people inside mosques.

So it isn’t such a large step for them to massacre people praying in a mosque that has been a staging area numerous of times for demonstrations. It just takes some common sense, but like Hamster brilliantly pointed out, common sense isn’t so common among the menhebaks. Just sexual fetishes about sex on volcanoes and the gender of posters heheheheh.

August 18th, 2011, 6:59 am

 

Aboud said:

“Had he been truly selfish, he would have packed his bags and gone to Russia or some other place, but that would have been the real crime against Syria”

Please, the country can’t take any more of junior’s altruism. Let him be as selfish as he wants and we will pay for first class tickets for him and Asma.

August 18th, 2011, 7:03 am

 

Aboud said:

Hey menhebaks, have the MB bought off the Swiss government? LOL!

Swiss recall ambassador to Syria, condemn violence

“Aug 18 (Reuters) – Switzerland is recalling its ambassador to Syria and said it condemned the violence perpetrated by Syrian forces against civilians.”

“The actions of the Syrian security forces are not acceptable. For this reason, the FDFA has recalled the Swiss Ambassador in Damascus to Berne for consultations,” the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. (By Catherine Bosley) “”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/18/syria-swiss-idUSL5E7JI23A20110818

August 18th, 2011, 7:15 am

 

Mark said:

Aboud writes:

“Please, the country can’t take any more of junior’s altruism. Let him be as selfish as he wants and we will pay for first class tickets for him and Asma.”

OK Aboud, and what will follow? An Aboud dictatorship? Armed gangs paid by Saudi Arabia and Hariri fighting armed gangs paid by Iran and Hezbollah? While Turkey uses the opportunity to massacre Kurds on both sides of the border? and while Israel declares the Golan Israeli territory as there is no one to negotiate with on the Syrian side?

Frankly I can’t figure out whether people like you are smart people corrupted by Harriri, Saudi or Israeli money, or dumb people brainwashed by Aljazeerah and western propaganda, or a combination of both. You want to earn my respect, be specific with transition solution, stop being the party of NO to whatever solution and dialogue is proposed by Assad. There is no other bloddless way to move Syria forward than dialogue and reform from the inside, by real patriots, not from outside with the help of traitors.

August 18th, 2011, 7:22 am

 

Aboud said:

“OK Aboud, and what will follow? An Aboud dictatorship”

What, you don’t think my left toe can rule govern Syria?

The opposition has made it very clear what is needed. A transitional government, which can be headed by any number of people, including some currently in the Baath party. During this transitional period, elections can be held, and the Syrians can choose their own president and parliament for the first time in decades.

It is a solution that has proven effective in Tunisia and Egypt.

Of course, junior will have nothing to do with such a transitional authority. And therein lies your main beef with the opposition. You want to maintain junior’s presidency, no matter what the cost to the country in terms of lives and diplomatic standing.

Junior is a murderer, a liar and an incompetent. If armed gangs have really managed to infiltrate every nook and cranny in Syria, then he should lose his job over allowing such an occurrence. But if they haven’t, then he is a liar, and a war criminal. Either way, his position and standing are untenable.

Saying that Syria can’t do better than Besho for a president, is like telling your brother that Roseanne Barr is the best he can do for a girlfriend.

August 18th, 2011, 8:02 am

 

Aboud said:

“Frankly I can’t figure out whether people like you are smart people corrupted by Harriri, Saudi or Israeli money, or dumb people brainwashed by Aljazeerah and western propaganda, or a combination of both”

You’re right, me and the Pope have been brainwashed by the world’s media.

Seriously, what makes the menhebaks think that junior is so important that Switzerland, Italy, the Vatican, the Gulf, Turkey etc etc etc have all decided together and gang up on him? Talk about an inflated sense of self importance.

“You want to earn my respect”

I couldn’t care less about your respect, Mr “Mark” who can’t spell bloodless LOL! How much respect am I supposed to have for someone who makes idiotic statements like this

“Looking across, not only the middle east, but the whole world, it is hard to find a leader with the integrity that Assad exudes”

Integrity? Then why is Najati Tayara in jail if the X-Box president has so much integrity? Let junior use his integrity to tell us how many of the more than 2000 Syrians that were murdered by his thugs were armed? Oh, and this after he gave a so called order for his turds not to fire on protestors.

My left toe has more integrity when I’m lying to a chick about cheating on her with her best friend.

August 18th, 2011, 8:07 am

 

Jasmine said:

TO #228 Mark

Well said !!!

They are so much blinded by hate and revenge,they are so desperate and start bullying minorities now to join them in the destruction of Syria.

August 18th, 2011, 8:13 am

 

Muhammad said:

Mark no one is rejecting a transition period, but after 5 months of killing there has to be guarantees that the transition WILL happen. These guarantees are either the departure of big heads of the regime (similar to Tunisia/Egypt) or internationally imposed conditions enforced by all methods if required. There is no transition that will result in Asad/Alawaites hegemony on power and returning to square one which is exactly what the regime is trying to achieve. The country has had enough of their insincerity and paranoia. With Asads in power nothing is really what they say it is and I grew up in Syria and I know what I’m talking about. I used to say that he is a good guy and he does come across as down to earth and “normal” in his interviews. Not any more. After the events of the past few months he has proven himself to be either an impotent imbecile or downright criminal or both. He cannot be part of Syria’s future and quicker he leaves the better.

August 18th, 2011, 8:13 am

 

some guy in damascus said:

@ jacob,
president and queen are different. syria is a “republic” the uk isn’t. ’nuff said.
“They are so much blinded by hate and revenge”
so by saying revenge your admitting junior victimized Syrians?

bashar and his clique aren’t the answer to Syria’s problems. they are the source.
what will follow?
people similar to those that toppled ceasceau, the last sultan of the ottomans, zein abdin, the British in the USA and all other dictators.

August 18th, 2011, 8:29 am

 

Jasmine said:

To # 232
Why don’t you be more productive and form your party and then think about enrolling in the next election?
I may vote for you if you are so convincing:)

August 18th, 2011, 8:47 am

 

some guy in damascus said:

@ jasmine,
no self-respecting party would form under article 8.

August 18th, 2011, 8:50 am

 

Aboud said:

“Why don’t you be more productive and form your party”

Another brick wall heard from. Tell me, do you have any experience in politics? Do you know what it takes to form a party? It takes recruitment drives, a media outlet, weekly meetings, statements of policy, all of which will get you arrested in Syria.

But since junior has no experience of a democratic system, he thinks people will be fooled if he signs a piece of paper that says “OK, you can now form political parties”.

It’s as credible as lifting the state of emergency was.

Frankly, I don’t care whether you vote for me or not. What I can’t stand is so called Syrians who make up excuses for the worst murderer of Syrians since his father. Don’t stand with me, but how dare you stand with junior.

August 18th, 2011, 8:53 am

 

Muhammad said:

To #234

I will get engaged once I know the change is real. As long as the Asads are in power all is just window dressing. There will not be transfer of power. There will not be democracy. There will not be anti-corruption measures. There will not be accountability for all the killing and destruction that has happened in the past 5 months. I have better things to do with my life than useless whitewashing exercises for this criminal family.

August 18th, 2011, 8:57 am

 

Jasmine said:

To # 235
Are you really angry?
You can always try,you are not courageous enough? instead of bullying every single person you can’t agree with:)

August 18th, 2011, 9:05 am

 

Tara said:

Syau

One needs to use common sense. Do you really find it plausible that massive number of Syrian women got raped in a crowded tent refugee camp by conservative Muslim men in a society where honored killing is a prevailing culture. I find it very difficult to believe and nothing more than a pure propaganda.

August 18th, 2011, 9:10 am

 

Aboud said:

@236

“Are you really angry?”

Doesn’t it show? Maybe I should ratchet up the rhetoric a bit.

“You can always try”

Ask the last guy who tried to get a permit for a demonstration how that worked out for him. Oh wait, you can’t, he’s still in jail.

“you are not courageous enough”

Yes, I’m not courageous enough to put myself infront of a tank and hope the person driving it will, out of the goodness of his heart, refrain from crushing me.

“instead of bullying every single person you can’t agree with”

Well now, if people are intimidated by cyber-taunts, which is considered part and parcel of any debate on the Internet, then they really have self esteem issues.

“:)”

>_<

August 18th, 2011, 9:15 am

 

some guy in damascus said:

@jasmine
We don’t trust bashar and his oligarchy…. That’s why we won’t try. If bashar wants our trust he could start with accountability….but now its too late for that.

August 18th, 2011, 9:20 am

 

Jasmine said:

To # 34 Syrian
Why you don’t want to give any credit for the reforms so far,even the enemy of Syria has recognised that Article 8 is gone now?
Oh I see,This change can disrupt the already planned chaos and destruction of Syria.

August 18th, 2011, 9:21 am

 

Abughassan said:

Aboud,when did I say that the uprising blew up a mosque?

August 18th, 2011, 9:38 am

 

Jasmine said:

To # 38 :))))now,please don’t be angry?

To # 39
Sad,can you change your mind? any room for negotiation?

August 18th, 2011, 9:48 am

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Dear all:

President Obama will announce later today that Bashar should resign. Further, the American Administration will send his file to the International Criminal Court. I am sure that Bashar will not know how to react to that, because he, simply, lacks the instinct of survival. Frankly, I feel bad for his kids; they do not merit that end.

http://haytham-khoury2.blogspot.com/2011/08/bashar-and-mounting-pressure.html

August 18th, 2011, 9:49 am

 

Abughassan said:

our government,in the US,will call for Asad resignation today,according to press reports.
I need to make it clear that I do not give a da…n,Syrians are the only ones who should make that decision.
Bashar needs to step down because of his failed leadership not because non Syrians want him out. Without a plan for the post Asad era,the country will not be served well by a disorganized departure of a president who still has the support of the army and security forces along with a sizable section of Syrians,he and his immediate circle of top army chiefs need to come out and make that move and pave the road for free elections. Many people here think he will never do that. It is time that those who support him understand that sooner or later he has to leave.

August 18th, 2011, 9:53 am

 

Aboud said:

“even the enemy of Syria has recognised that Article 8 is gone now”

Ho ho ho ho he he he he he. Who is this enemy that recognized that article 8 is gone?

“Oh I see,This change can disrupt the already planned chaos and destruction of Syria.”

He he he he ho ho ho oh my tummy is jiggling from all the ho ho. The Pope and Switzerland are in on the plot to remove junior?

Recent OFAC Actions
8/18/2011
The President has signed an Executive Order Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to Syria.

In addition, The following entities have been added to OFAC’s SDN list:

GENERAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (a.k.a. “GPC”), New Sham- Building of Syrian Oil Company, PO Box 60694, Damascus, Syria [SYRIA]

SYRIAN COMPANY FOR OIL TRANSPORT (a.k.a. SYRIAN CRUDE OIL TRANSPORTATION COMPANY; a.k.a. “SCOT”; a.k.a. “SCOTRACO”), Banias Industrial Area, Latakia Entrance Way, P.O. Box 13, Banias, Syria; Website http://www.scot-syria.com; Email scot50@scn-net.org [SYRIA]

SYRIAN GAS COMPANY, P.O. Box 4499, Homs, Syria; Agricultural Engineering Syndicate Building, Baab Hood Area, Al Arbeen District, Homs, Syria; Website http://www.sgc.gov.sy; Email sgcpdit@mail.sy; Email info@sgc.gov.sy [SYRIA]

SYRIAN PETROLEUM COMPANY (a.k.a. “SPC”), Dummar Province Expansion Square, Island 19, Building 32, PO Box 3378, Damascus, Syria; Dummar Province Expansion Square, Island 19, Building 32, PO Box 2849, Damascus, Syria; Todmar Project, Damascus, Syria [SYRIA]

SYTROL, Prime Minister Building, 17 Street Nissan, Damascus, Syria [SYRIA]

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20110818.aspx

August 18th, 2011, 9:55 am

 

beaware said:

Obama calls on Syria’s Assad to step down
Thursday, August 18, 2011
WASHINGTON – Reuters
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=obama-calls-on-syrias-assad-to-step-down-2011-08-18
U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday said it was time for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign, and said the United States was implementing tough new sanctions to help end violence in Syria.

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

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

August 18th, 2011, 10:01 am

 

Jasmine said:

To 237 Muhammad

Continuous criticism will lead to more destruction!
There is a lot of anger and frustration from the past !
How much do we have to wait to start feeling positive about the future,this is ruining our country!

August 18th, 2011, 10:06 am

 

syau said:

Tara,

I’m under the understanding that some of the women will be interviewed and provide an account of the ordeal they were put through. Once that materialises and is available, I’ll link it.

I wish it weren’t true, but unfortunately it seems that it is.

August 18th, 2011, 10:12 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

As Surgeons we always think to justify our words and actions(state the indications) and seriously consider the consequences(complications) of our actions.
Bashar is not a good doctor(president),since he did not have good justifications for his actions, and never consider the consequences.
I see other doctors on this forum who are doing the same, some are pure supporters of Assad, and some say contradictory statements,to sound in the middle,but they are truely for the regime.
The UN is meeting today to view Bashar regime anti humanitarian crimes, and they have full right to turn him to the international court.

August 18th, 2011, 10:13 am

 

newfolder said:

the U.S and E.U are now singing the Kashoush song “Yallah Ir7al Ya Bashar”!

Game Over Jr. take your shitty family and get the hell out.

August 18th, 2011, 10:17 am

 

sheila said:

To dear #174. Ali ,
I hope you realize that for 400 women to be raped and 250 of them to turn out pregnant is statistically impossible.

August 18th, 2011, 10:17 am

 

Abughassan said:

The last time I checked,good surgeons like to stabilize patients before surgery. There is no sense in claiming that ” the surgery was successful but the patient died”..
There in nothing wrong in stopping the bleeding by putting an end to violence. I realize that this requires a change of the regime ,which i support,but that does not mean inciting more violence,throwing charges of treason against ordinary Syrians and insisting on an “everything or nothing” approach.
Nobody owns the whole truth except those who think that they are chosen by a higher power to guide the masses,Bashar et al are in this category,I will not support others who try to do the same.

August 18th, 2011, 10:37 am

 

Ales said:

The Syria is now a playground for world realpolitik.
Assad can say anything, promise anything or even do almost anything except stepping down, but it won’t affect the chosen path of alliance made against him in last months. This alliance consists from USA, Qatar, SA, Turkey, almost entire West Europe and Australia. Also connected to this alliance are Jordan and Egypt, but keeping low profile.

We can expect coordinated effort to put pressure on Assad to resign, more sanctions and more covert support for protesters. Media will stay same as now, offering activists sum up of what is supposedly going on, daily disinformation (soon to come: chemical weapons, nuclear reactor, more human rights violations accusations, flight of Palestinian refugees to all states except their homeland Israel, …) and no arguments or events on the ground will change this course. We can see this in Libya, where it’s fairly sure at least 100 people are killed daily, because Gaddafi supposedly) continues to oppress and kill civilians.

Syria’s government knows all this and will not bow to pressure, counting on support of Russia and China. Many other countries in America, Africa and Asia (which can’t be bought or pressured by USA) are also uneasy with this obviously prepared scenario. It’s too obvious Iraq, Iran and Libya like. Expect Russia and China to continue to block any SC action, their fears about subverting it are real. Russia remembers well Georgia lesson, where a tiny state attacked them and enjoyed blind (organized, paid, dictated, …) media support, no matter the facts that Georgia attacked. I remember very well how at that time Russia called SC extra session to stop fighting, but USA with support of GB prevented resolution to stop fighting (they hoped Georgia will win). Almost same scenario happened in Lebanon in 2006, where they waited for Israel to win).

Assad will survive, if people of Syria keep supporting him..it will take about a year or two or three until pressure start to subside. I do believe majority of Syrians still support Assad as only realistic way forward. At this point I don’t believe anti Assad coalition wants elections. Did they allow it as solution in Libya? No, cause Gaddafi would won. Same story now, election is not enough for coalition now.

Please let independent media inside Syria. The Anti Assad will continue to publish same stories as now (babies in incubators killed, …) but there’s a part of of media that will also report facts as they are seen.

What does it seem to me? In country with Internet connection, millions of mobile phones, active opposition that is eager to publish any government caused destruction/death, all mosques are still standing and cities do not look Grozny like after months of army attacks.

August 18th, 2011, 11:01 am

 

newfolder said:

AbuGhasan in your never-ending quest to be the peacemaker and the rational middle man, you’re making the time old mistake of not heeding the ancient “adage irad2 al nas ghaya la todrak” – you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I realize your intentions are good, and that you’re a decent man trying to do what’s right by a country which you left long ago. And herein lies the problem, you’re disconnected from Syria, hence your irrational insistence on equating the homicidal maniacs of the Assads with the people who took up sticks and light arms to defend their families and neighborhoods. You just can’t equate the two by any stretch of logic, and reaching out to the minhibak gang is an exercise in futility and madness. They don’t want to listen, they want to kill anyone who disagrees with their God Bashar, they want to burn down their homes and eat their kids too.

Please stop trying to make bridges between the killers and their victims, the same reasons that made you leave Syria are the same reasons this revolution happened in the first place. Poverty, humiliation, servitude and oppression.

Kahalas, everyone take sides now, there’s a war going on. We’re going to win and get rid of Assad and his killers.

August 18th, 2011, 11:13 am

 

jad said:

Ya 7aram ya Doudeh, you totally lost it, you went from shitty attitude to marjeh attitude! LOLOL*
I thought that you will be happy about Abushama telling Besho to go away.
Any-who, just take your usual mental medication to get you back to the usual shitty attitude of yours, it’s funnier than the new crazy one.
Get well soon!

*I add OL at the end of your original LOL, it looks better.

August 18th, 2011, 11:13 am

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Dear majedkhaldoon:

My be your comment target me. I never intended to be in the middle. I have been always supported the revolution with out reserve. If I called for no revenge few days ago, it was for the sake of the Syrian people, because the cycle of revenge will create situation like Iraq. We should not forget many of the early armed groups in Iraq were remenant of Iraqi military that was dissolved by the American. If really you want to see may contribution to the revolution please read the following document. I did not put the full text for reasons that you know, but I can send it to you.

http://haytham-khoury2.blogspot.com/2011/07/strategies-to-fight-regime.html

Also please refer to the website below. All the posts with the nickname “Syrian Pride” are mine. Many of tactics that I advised to fight the regime were used.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%B7%D9%8A%D8%B7-%D9%88-%D8%AA%D9%83%D8%AA%D9%8A%D9%83-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AB%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9/230311230315744

August 18th, 2011, 11:14 am

 

Abughassan said:

Newfolder,read my old folders before you decide that I equated regime brutality with anti regime violence. Yes I left Syria and I do not believe that expats matter much today but I can not accept violence and I will not support calls for more violence.
Asad and his regime will not be part of the future,but I do not see a “future” without engaging all Syrians in the trip ahead. We need a regime change not a game of musical chairs.

August 18th, 2011, 11:22 am

 

jad said:

Haytham,
Change your last name to be accepted, you are not ‘good’ enough.
You will always be judged by the radicals according to your sect, being a Sunni, Alawite, Druz, Shia, Christian, Ismaili or Atheist (la sama7 Allah)..welcome to the middle east.

August 18th, 2011, 11:22 am

 

Haytham Khoury said:

In a letter that I addressed to Burhan Ghaliou and I did not put on my blog, I said to him:

“I am a hematologist. When I have a patient with leukemia, I give my patient chemotherapy. I never say my patient will recover by himself. I take care of my patient everyday to limit the complications. In our case, the patient is Syria, the cancer is the regime, the chemotherapy is the demonstration and the physician should be the opposition.”

I maintain my metaphore; further, I will say too much chemotherapy may kill the patient, too.For this reason, all what I said about the neccessity of not making extreme meseaures, I did not mean from it to appear “moderate”, but because I have my own opinion and vision on how to cure my patient from the cancer without causing him or her unwantted damage.

August 18th, 2011, 11:32 am

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Jad:

I hope that you are wrong. However, I will not do that, beccause from now and on we should face the realities as they are in Syria. All Syrians whatever their sect or race are full Syrian citizens. For this reason, I have intended to put my full name and I will continue to do so. As you can see from all my correspondance with the people related to revolution, I never cared about their sects or race. That is because my only alllegiances are only to the Syrian people; it is not to any sect or any party. I will continue to do so till the last breathe in my life. I will fight till the end for my vision Syria.I will fight till the end for Syria that I am proud of. Please come join me guys.

August 18th, 2011, 11:47 am

 

beaware said:

EU and US say Syria’s Assad must step down
Reuters
Aug 19, 2011
http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/eu-and-us-say-syrias-assad-must-step-down
BRUSSELS // The European Union told Syrian President Bashar Al Assad today to step down, following a similar call by the United States, and threatened to toughen its sanctions against his regime.

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

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

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

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

August 18th, 2011, 12:06 pm

 

Aboud said:

“I thought that you will be happy about Abushama telling Besho to go away.”

YES! The term Besho has infiltrated menhebak usage! Woooohooo! I’m a genius 🙂

And its not just Obama who told junior to take a hike, or maybe you haven’t noticed? The three most important European nations just told him the same thing. You remember Europe, right? The continent your foreign minister removed from the map? LOL! 🙂

And I like you are stealing my insults. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

“This alliance consists from USA, Qatar, SA, Turkey, almost entire West Europe and Australia. Also connected to this alliance are Jordan and Egypt, but keeping low profile.”

Again, kindly explain why junior is so important that half the world, which usually can’t agree on anything, somehow seem to be part of a nefarious plot to remove him. Is the Pope in on it too? And Switzerland? And Italy? And Tunisia?

August 18th, 2011, 12:06 pm

 

beaware said:

“UN withdrawal is part of campaign to demonize Syria”
Published: 18 August, 2011, 03:13
http://rt.com/news/un-syria-withdrawal/
The UN announced that it would be removing non-essential staff from its offices in Syria amid growing concern over the violent crackdown by government forces on demonstrators.

­The Syrian government responded by inviting UN personnel to observe the situation on the ground.

The director of the Canadian-based Center for Research on Globalization, Michel Chossudovsky, says much of the hype around the Syrian crisis originates from abroad.

“I think this is really part of the public relations campaign to demonize the Syrian government without addressing the fundamental causes of the crisis,” he stated. “This is not a peaceful protest movement. It is an armed insurrection by gunmen, well-organized mercenaries and it is confirmed not only by government sources. Let’s examine: Israeli and Lebanese sources say the protesters have heavy machine guns…Since when are peaceful civilian protesters armed with heavy machine guns?… And I think the United Nations decided to remove its non-essential staff essentially as a prelude to tomorrow’s [August 18] session at the UN Security Council.”

Chossudovsky says he spent a couple of months in Syria earlier this year and left the country shortly before the violence started in mid-March. He is sure the insurgency there is part of an intelligence operation.

“The question we have to ask ourselves: Who are the sources of this killing, what are the underlying causes of this insurrection?” he said. “We are dealing with a big lie as far as the media information is concerned. The media doesn’t even have access to Syria. They are drumming up the whole series of interpretations which are, from my point, totally biased.”

August 18th, 2011, 12:09 pm

 

beaware said:

Syrian leader signals reconciliation
Fedoruk Vladimir
Aug 18, 2011 16:13 Moscow Time
http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/18/54838097.html
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told UN chief Ban Ki-moon that Syrian army and police have stopped all military operations against protesters, a UN spokesman said.

Mr. Assad was responding to a demand from the UN secretary general during a phone call that “all military operations and mass arrest must cease immediately”.

The UN secretary general expressed alarm at the latest reports of continued widespread violations of human rights and excessive use of force by Syrian security forces against civilians across Syria.

Qatar’s Al Jazeera cites local human rights groups as saying that troops are still deployed in the cities of Latakia and Deir al-Zour.

In contrast, reports by Syria’s Sana say that a delegation of 70 journalists from 43 Arab and western news agencies saw troops pulling out of Deir al-Zour, where an assault on opposition forces had been continuing since last Wednesday, killing 32 civilians. Reports say that more than 35 people were killed in Latakia, where anti-government protests had been the worst and the authorities had to bring in naval forces to quell the rebels.

Boris Dolgov, from the Oriental Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, comments:

“It looks like Damascus has succeeded in suppressing the uprising. President Bashar al-Assad based his statements on reality. In a way, he also wanted to convince the international community that the situation is back to normal and that Syria’s law enforcers have crushed whatever armed units have been operating on the territory of Syria.”

Mr.Assad is prepared to negotiate a peace settlement but not with all members of the opposition, Boris Dolgov says:

“Dialogue is possible and has been going on with opposition leaders who call for constructive, democratic changes. But there are armed opposition groups that are fighting against the government and will not negotiate any democratic freedoms as long as President Assad is in power. They aim at toppling the president and don’t care what will happen next. This is because these groups are so motley, consisting of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and mercenaries from Afghanistan and Arab countries. Among them are Islamists who waged a war against the president’s father Hafez Assad in the 1980s.”

UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged Bashar al-Assad to embark on reforms which would bring about radical democratic changes. He called on the Syrian leader to exclude any military intervention in this process. Apparently, the arrival of a UN mission to Syria should provide a new incentive for resolving the crisis. Bashar al-Assad assured Ban Ki-moon that the United Nations would get access to various locations in Syria. Experts are required to assess the humanitarian situation and prepare recommendations for the forthcoming closed-door consultations in the UN Security Council.

August 18th, 2011, 12:14 pm

 

beaware said:

Ramadan TV drama fuels sectarian fears in Iraq
Reuters
Aug 18, 2011
http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/middle-east/ramadan-tv-drama-fuels-sectarian-fears-in-iraq
BAGHDAD // A move by Iraqi legislators to ban a television drama about events leading up to the historic split in Islam into Sunni and Shiite sects lays bare the fears of anything that could ignite sectarian tensions as US troops prepare to leave.

Iraq’s parliament voted on Saturday to ask the Communication and Media Commission, a media regulator affiliated with parliament, to ban Al Hassan and Al Hussein on the grounds it incites sectarian tensions and misrepresents historical facts
…….
The banned series, a joint Arab work with a Syrian director and Kuwait production company, revolves around the lives of Al Hassan and Al Hussein, grandsons of Prophet Mohammed, and depicts the infighting between Muslims over the Islamic caliphate after the death of the Prophet.

The two imams are revered by both Sunni and Shiite Muslims but their lives, and deaths, mark the start of a deep rift between Muslims – an era known by many as “the Great Sedition” after which Islam split into Sunni and Shiite.

Only one Iraqi channel, Baghdad TV, broadcast the show during the holy month of Ramadan. The channel is owned by a conservative Sunni party, which has a handful of seats in parliament.
more…

August 18th, 2011, 12:18 pm

 

beaware said:

Syria’s Deir Ezzor cheers army on exit
By AFP
Published: August 16, 2011
http://www.lhrtimes.com/syrias-deir-ezzor-cheers-army-on-exit.html

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

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

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

“Allah, Syria and Bashar,” cried residents.

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

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

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

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

He said gunmen had encircled the city and erected checkpoints.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 18th, 2011, 12:25 pm

 

uzair8 said:

Wow! This is getting serious now. With Obama’s statement and sanctions on Syrian oil. I just watched Fawaz Gerges’ analysis on AJE and it reality of the situation dawned on me.

August 18th, 2011, 12:35 pm

 

Jasmine said:

To #52
Dear Revlon
Although I am not fully convinced with your reply,but I do appreciate the politeness and precision with the answer provided.

When we inherit the religion from our parents,why do we have to accept it blindly with all the accessories attached to it?

doesn’t matter if India is doing that(by the way the Chinese are discovering the meaning of Christianity and Islam recently and I am sure that you know about it).

Don’t you think by criticising our faith sometimes will lead us into more peaceful acceptance and tolerance for the others from different religions?

Would you vote for a Christian lady,as a president in Syria in the future?

August 18th, 2011, 12:52 pm

 

Revlon said:

196 DEAR SYR.EXPAT
I feel the issue of peaceful activism need to be revisited.

You said:
“As much as I would like the shabiha and criminal security forces get what they deserve, I remain convinced that taking up arms is a big mistake. The secret of success is in keeping it peaceful”. It’s easy for me to say that, but that’s what the demonstrators have been saying all along.

I say:
For a movement to survive and be successful it would need to continuously re-examine its principles and tactics to stay in sync with and adapt to emerging adverse changes, or risk to be overtaken by these changes. The falling regime is a case in point.

FIRST
The principle of peaceful activism was declared as the chosen means for achieving the goals of the people in freedom.
It was the natural choice for non-organised, non-partisan members of the civil society.
It was strongly believed then, that it would effect the desired change based on the following preconceptions:
1. It largely worked in the Tunisian and Egyptian examples.
2. People truly believed that Jr would be different from his father in that he would be more accommodating to peaceful demonstrations.
3. There was a genuine desire to achieve a peaceful change that avoids loss of lives and preserves national unity.

Now, over five months later into the revolution, these preconceptions proved to have been wishful thinking.

SECOND
The revolution is now at crossroads, and I feel it is time to re-examine its principles and tactics to stay viable, minimise its human losses and achieve its set goals.

The revolution could choose to:
1. Stay the course and maintain peaceful activism and refuse any direct foreign military intervention, counting on international sanctions, the trickle of defections, and divine intervention.
– The regime has no problem maintaining current level of brutality for several months, and probably years if continued to be logistically and operationally supported as they have been by Iran and Hizballah. The intention to build an air base in latakia and the lukewarm reception of Syrian refugees in Lebanon underscore the seriousness of such alliance.
– In the meanwhile, the livelihood of demonstrators, their families, and their supporters will go from bad to worse by the day. There is no real indication that imprisonment, torture, and killing will stop even if the demonstrators chose to protest in the privacy of their homes!
– In the meanwhile, there is a growing sense of injustice and the need to act in self defence. Such trend, once established shall herald the inception of civil armed resistance.

2. Adapt to adversities and change tactics to minimise losses and expedite the change, without the need for direct military intervention.
– Peaceful activism is a mean for achieving change. It is not a sacred goal by itself.
– On the other hand, human life is sacred. Every practical measure need to be wisely sought for and tapped to protect human life and livelihood.
– It is widely believed that encouraging defection amongst armed forces to be essential in breaking down Jr’s repressive armed forces.
– To achieve that, potential defectors need to have a viable alternative that secure them a safe haven, a living and the ability to defend their exposed families.
– Helping the burgeoning FSA to organise and take on the responsibility of guarding the perimeters of cities and towns would serve both to save civilian lives and weaken the argument and trend to the self arming of civilians.

3. Call for foreign intervention, Libya style.

I feel that there is still a concensus on avoiding the last choice.
I also feel there is concensus amongst Revolution advocates in exile to stick to the first choice.
I also notice growing calls amongst some ground activists to supplement their peaceful activism with life saving measures, including assigning combat roles to defecting FSA.

August 18th, 2011, 1:03 pm

 

Revlon said:

206. Dear OFF THE WALL

You said:
“Your comment # 198 overlooks one of the most critical disadvantages of forming a revolutionary army using defectors as its core. Building a credible army resistance requires significant resources, weapons, ammo, and equipment. This requires both financing and supplies. Meaning that someone must provide resources, thus inviting external support, and logically interference or control.”

Indeed my friend, financing and logistical and operational support are needed.
Such could be garnered without compromising the autonomy and independence of the revolution.
The parallel of peaceful activism is a case in point. It has been carried out from EU and US and has required financial, logistical and operational support from external sources.
That has been achieved without compromising the independence of the decision making of the revolution.
Off course, the price tag for supporting an able FSA shall be much higher.
The revolution can draw from the frozen assets of the Syrian state and blacklisted individuals.
Furthermore, regional powers, such as KSA, Kuwait, and Turkey who have vested interest in stable and friendly Syria would not hesitate to pitch in to secure future good relations.

Prolonging the instability in the country by itself carries risks for sewing the seeds for organised, externally dependant and supported Syrian political lobbies!

August 18th, 2011, 1:13 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

“260. JAD said:

Haytham,
Change your last name to be accepted, you are not ‘good’ enough.
You will always be judged by the radicals according to your sect, being a Sunni, Alawite, Druz, Shia, Christian, Ismaili or Atheist (la sama7 Allah)..welcome to the middle east.”

Dear Haytham,

You don’t need to change your last name because of some radical here or there. Radicals from every sect exist. However, the vast majority of people in Syria are not radicals. Some people are trying to push the government’s strategy of fear mongering. Hopefully it won’t work.

August 18th, 2011, 1:14 pm

 

Revlon said:

270. DEAR JASMINE
You said: To #52 Dear Revlon
“Although I am not fully convinced with your reply,but I do appreciate the politeness and precision with the answer provided.”

– Thank you. That is my nature. I claim no virtue myself.

“When we inherit the religion from our parents, why do we have to accept it blindly with all the accessories attached to it?”

– No we do not!
– Actually from my own experience with my family, extended family, friends, and stories that I have heard over the years, the rule is that children do not embrace their parents choices and preferences in many things, including their interpretations of or adherence to their religious teachings.
– It has often been the case that Imams children chose to be non-pious or even communists, while communists had to endure having children holding deep religious beliefs.

“doesn’t matter if India is doing that(by the way the Chinese are discovering the meaning of Christianity and Islam recently and I am sure that you know about it)
Don’t you think by criticising our faith sometimes will lead us into more peaceful acceptance and tolerance for the others from different religions?”

– I could not agree more jasmine!

“Would you vote for a Christian lady, as a president in Syria in the future?”

– I have already voted for your comment!
– I believe that Syrian citizens should have equal opportunity to hold public posts, including Job 1, irrespective of their religion.
– I believe that women can be as successful in their jobs as men; my current boss is a lady and she is not Muslem.
– I personally feel that a Christian lady would be an ideal choice for the existing vacant presidency post.
– Such target, however can not and should not be imposed nor should it be expected to happen any time soon.
– It should be let to evolve as a natural result to social harmony.
– It should not be demanded or imposed as a measure to safeguard a sectarian interest.

Cheers.

August 18th, 2011, 2:00 pm

 

Jihad said:

Answers to Landis’ dubious answers:

1. “Anatolia used to be 20% Christian, but by 1922, Turkey have either killed or deported its Christians.” Any person other than Ataturk whould have done the same when the French and the British wanted to partition Turkey with the help of the Greeks.

2. “Iran has few Christians left since the Islamic Republic was established.” No one obliged some of them to leave. Go to Iran and see for yourself that the Christians and Jews there live peacefully. Mots of the estimated 300,000 Iranian Christians there are ethnic Armenians.

3. “Palestine used to have a large Christian population. No more. Caught between Zionism and Islamism, most decamped for less hostile homes.” What an intellectual cowardice! The flight of the Palestinian Christians is solely due to the destruction and occupation of Palestine by rabid Western Zionists with the help of Western governments, on top of them the USA.

4. “In Lebanon, the Christians took a beating during the civil war and lost their commanding influence in the Lebanese state.” You can only blame the criminals and Zionist collaborators in the so-called Lebanese Front (i.e the killers in the Gemayel family and the thug Samir Geagea).

5. “In Saudi Arabia, Christians are forbidden from permanent residence or citizenship.” However, Christians coming from the West do not mind pocketing the billions they earn there for doing nothing. If they were really doing something useful for the amounts they are paid, Saudi Arabia would have been long ago an industrial giant. On the other hand, Muslims too cannot have permanent residency or itizenship in Saudi Arabia or other Gulf sheikhdoms protected by the most criminal state the world has ever known, i.e. the USA.

6. “Most recently, Christians in Iraq have been preyed upon, causing many to flee.” Why don’t you say that the occupation of Iraq by the criminal US and British forces opened the way for such a thing. Plus, what about the millions of Iraqis, especially Muslims, that died due to the criminal sanctions enforced by Washington between 1991 and 2003.

7.”In Egypt, Christians are tasting the lash of Salifist anger; yesterday another church was burned.” Did Barack Bushama apologize for the Egyptian people when he opened his foul mouth in December 2010 to denounce the attack against a Coptic Church in Alexandria, only to appear weeks later that this heinous attack was conducted under the eyes of the then-Minister of the Interior (Al-‘Adli who is in ‘prison’ nowadays) who was a close confident to the criminal Husni Mubarak, a darling of the USA for decades?

August 18th, 2011, 3:35 pm

 

Aboud said:

Wait a second, what the heck is this crap

“In Saudi Arabia, Christians are forbidden from permanent residence or citizenship.”

Professor Landis, Christians are not denied permanent residence in Saudi Arabia because they are Christians. ANYONE who isn’t a Saudi is denied permanent residence in Saudi Arabia. I know a Lebanese Muslim lady who is married to a Lebanese Christian, and they have been living in Saudi Arabia since the 1970s, but they are under no illusion that they can permanently stay there. *No one can*

“Most recently, Christians in Iraq have been preyed upon, causing many to flee.”

Once more, the Iraqi scarecrow. Junior’s regime had a very large role in what happened in Iraq. And since the aim of this revolution is the removal of Besho and his clique, the same factors that destabilized Iraq will not get their chance in Syria.

August 18th, 2011, 3:57 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

“Palestine used to have a large Christian population. No more. Caught between Zionism and Islamism, most decamped for less hostile homes.”

What an intellectual cowardice! The flight of the Palestinian Christians is solely due to the destruction and occupation of Palestine by rabid Western Zionists with the help of Western governments, on top of them the USA.

Jihad,

The Christian community living in Israel has always been increasing. A little research (if one isn’t too lazy or biased) can easily verify this.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-s-christian-population-numbers-148-000-as-of-christmas-eve-1.208151

http://www.cbs.gov.il/statistical/arabju.pdf

August 18th, 2011, 4:01 pm

 

Sightseeing | A Decade Under The Influence said:

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October 5th, 2011, 9:11 pm

 

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