"Mohammad Nassif: The Shadow Man of the Syria-Iran Axis," by Mohammad Ataie - Syria Comment

“Mohammad Nassif: The Shadow Man of the Syria-Iran Axis,” by Mohammad Ataie

nassifThe Shadow Man of the Syria-Iran Axis
For Syria Comment, July 16›
By Mohammad Ataie

Throughout the Syrian-Iranian partnership, few men had a more important role in the genesis and evolution of the alliance than Major General Mohammed Nassif. Known by his sobriquet, Abu Wael, he was the last of Hafez Asad’s men to remain at the heart of the regime. He died on June 28, 2015 in his 80s. The secretive Major General was central, from the early 1980s, in forging Syrian policy towards Iran and directing their often turbulent cooperation in both Lebanon and Iraq.

Nassif was known for his political clout and elusive character as a central member of the security apparatus. His star began to rise in the 1970s, when Lebanon’s Shia emerged as an important political force under the leadership of Musa Sadr. Musa Sadr turned to President Asad as an ally when he fell out the Shah of Iran. Asad directed Nassif to take responsibility for Shia affairs in Lebanon and to act as liaison with the clergy there. According to Sadr’s family, Musa Sadr stayed at Nassif’s house when he visited Damascus. Nassif also cultivated friendships with leaders of the Lebanese Amal movement, such as Nabih Berri and Mustafa Chamran, who was an Iranian member of Amal. After 1979, Chamran became minister of defense in Iran. With Sadr’s disappearance, Nassif’s ties remained strong with his family, including Sadr’s nephew, Sadegh Tabatabai. In 1981, Nassif while on an official visit in Tehran, asked Tabatabai to arrange a meeting for him with Ayatollah Khomaini, the leader of the revolution. The meeting did not take place.

With the Iraqi invasion of Iran in 1980 and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon two years later, Damascus drew closer to Tehran. Nassif’s importance in nurturing the creation of Hizbullah and the emerging “Shiite Crescent” could not have been more important for Iran because Saddam threatened the survival of young Islamic Republic. Claiming to be the shield of the Sunni Arab World, the Iraqi leader dragged his country into its eight-year conflict with Iran. Saudi Arabia and the Sunni monarchs of the Gulf accustomed to Sunni supremacy and Shiite docility believed that Saddam could contain, if not crush the new revolutionary force in Tehran.

Mohammad Nassif sensing that Syria could harness the Shiite awakening to its advantage became infatuated with Ayatolah Khomaini and Shia doctrine. His rapport and common intellectual outlook with Iran’s revolutionary clerics helped make him indispensible in Damascus, where secular Arabism seemed to preclude real sympathy with the Persian upstart. The secretive Major General was one of very few people, according to Patrick Seale, who could telephone Asad at any time of day or night. In the eyes of Iranians, he was not only a key channel to the Syrian President but also a power behind the throne.

In 1980, when Ali Akbar Mohtashami went to Damascus in the hope of exporting the Islamic Revolution, he was sorely disappointed by his cold reception by the secular Baathist leaders of Syria and with a “sluggish bureaucracy” in the Syrian Foreign Ministry. He was unable to get an audience with the President himself or stimulate interest in the president’s office. Mohtashami, the key Iranian in building the eventual Syro-Iranian alliance, was not put off. Undaunted, he cultivated a close relationship with Muhammad Nassif, a winning strategy. If either the Foreign Ministry or the Prime Minister’s Office threw up road-blocks in front of Mohtashami or if conservative Sunnis, such as Abdulhalim Khaddam or Abdul Rauf al-Kasm, looked with distaste at Iranian advances, Nassif could find ways around them; he helped convince Assad that the Iranians offered a stable and strong ally in the dangerous sea of fickle Arabs partners surrounding Syria. For the Iranians, he was the right man in the right place.

Musa al-Sadr

When Iran’s revolutionary leaders sought to get to the bottom of the 1978 disappearance in Libya of Musa Sadr, the Iranian-Lebanese divine and Shiite politician, they turned to Mohammad Nassif. To their surprise, Nassif openly accused Colonel Muammar Qaddafi of kidnapping Musa al-Sadr and used the strongest invective in characterizing Libya’s strongman, but despite his belief in Qaddafi’s guilt, Nassif explained to his Iranian counterparts that any investigation into Sadr’s death would be useless. All the same, the Iranians insisted on talking to Hafiz al-Asad. True to Nassif’s warning, the President told the Iranian envoy: “the issue of Mr. Imam Musa Sadr is over. Unfortunately, I must insist that you not follow up Mr. Sadr [‘s case]”. Syrians never publicly accused the Pan-Arab leader of Libya of murdering Musa al-Sadr and, as it turned out, neither did Tehran. They swallowed their anger in recognition that Libya was too important to the unfolding Middle Eastern chess game to be sacrificed in an unconsidered fit of rage. Some insisted that Qaddafi murdered Sadr because the Libyan leader was furious at the mocking tone adopted by the learned Imam as the two leaders debated Sunni-Shiite theological differences. Others claimed that Yasser Arafat had asked Qaddafi to dispatch Sadr, a competitor in Lebanon. Now that Qaddafi has met his grisly death, the real reasons for Sadr’s death may never be known.

In the early 1980s, Syrians were concerned lest Iran embrace Yasser Arafat as an instrument of its broader revolutionary policy in the region. Khomeini seemed to flirt with the idea of forming an alliance with the PLO to harness the passions created by the Arab-Israeli conflict. Mohammed Nassif took a strong anti-Arafat position; he advised Tehran against cooperation with the mercurial Palestinian. In 1981, an Iranian delegation dispatched by Tehran to meet Arafat in Beirut, stopped off in Damascus to see Nassif on their road West. Nassif argued against depending on Arafat who he described as unreliable and two-faced. Instead, Nassif asked the Iranians to side with Nabih Berri, the leader of Amal, Lebanon’s dominant Shiite political movement. Syria’s anti-Arafat stand kept Iran from choosing Arafat, but despite Syria’s advocacy of Berri, Ayatollah Khomaini never agreed to meet Berri and the revolutionary clerics hung back from choosing a Lebanese client until the rise of Hizballah following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

Nassif remained a key player in the triangular relations that bound Syria to Iran and Lebanon during the next decades. Following the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, he added Baghdad to his brief. In both Lebanon and Iraq, Syria’s two principal arenas of cooperation and competition with Iran, Nassif played a crucial role. A loyal and substantial figure under both Asads, he knew how to remain in the shadows and eschewed self-aggrandizement or promoting family. His death brings to an end the influence of the original architects of the Asad regime.

* Mohammad Ataie is an Iranian journalist and a PhD student in History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Comments (90)


Tara said:

” if conservative Sunnis, such as Abdulhalim Khaddam or Abdul Rauf al-Kasm, looked with distaste at Iranian advances, Nassif could find ways around them; ”

Khaddam and al -kasm are conservative Sunnis ? Hehe. The author lost his credibility immediately . Trying to portray Nasif as a hero of change against those Sunni conservatives. Well, neither one is a conservative Sunni by any stretch of the imagination. The author wants to sugar coat the fact of the matter: an Alawi regime ruling the majority people by brutal sectarianism where the prime minister and the foreign minister can’t make a single decision while a low-life mass murderer security thug (aka Nasif) probably with high school education or less is the major power.

An Alawi garbage man working as mukhabarat is more powerful and influential than any Sunni minister or military officer .

And Nasif was infatuated by the turban-in chief, Mulla khamenei and the Shiaa doctrine . Can any one explainer what is the Shiaa doctrine other than a religion that is built on the concept of hating and incriminating Sunnis for a historical murder that was committed umpteen centuries ago? Is there any Shiaa doctrine that is hidden that we are aware of? The last thing I read that Shiaa read the SAME QURAAN, believe in the same God , the same Angeles , the same books, and the same prophets. Please explain.

such a Doctrine should تبلوه وتشربوا ميته

July 16th, 2015, 10:47 pm

 

ALAN said:

In fact, the “free world” is a world intrudes deeply into criminality! Money? mmm
Britain is providing precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia to use in airstrikes in Yemen.
Earl Howe, the defence minister, said that British forces were not participating directly in Saudi-led military operations against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, in a written response to a House of Lords question.
The minister added: “But we are providing technical support, precision-guided weapons and exchanging information with the Saudi Arabian armed forces

July 17th, 2015, 1:10 am

 

Syrian said:

“Britain is providing precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia to use in airstrikes in Yemen”
Alan
Too bad for the Syrians that Russia doesn’t have the technology to manufacture precision guided bombs to sell Assad, instead of selling him the martial for barrel bombs.

July 17th, 2015, 2:56 am

 

Hopeful said:

# Omen

“whose side are you on?”

I have always been consistent. I am on the side of the Syrian rebels who went on the streets demanding freedom and dignity, and took up arms to defend their homes and families against a brutal regime.

But I am not on the side of the radicals, the sectarians, the foreigners, who are now roaming around Syria, fighting for any agenda other than a free democratic Syria.

But having lived in the US for decades, I understand how the US political system works. Something that our Israeli and Jewish friends also understand very well. If you want to affect policy in the US, you must first affect the US public opinion. There is never been any public support for US intervention in Syria, no fly zone or otherwise. The Syrian opposition never understood this – they neven tried to influence public opinion. On the contrary, their statements of “support” to Jabhit Alnusra, and their continue statements of “anger” towards the US for not doing enough, only made the US public even more hesitant. Obama will not get directly involved in a war that the U.S. public does not support. As an American, I appreciate and respect that.

July 17th, 2015, 4:10 am

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Hopeful said the Iranian deal is good to the United state
It is not in my opinion, this reflects lack of understanding , and bad analysis, but on the other side he may be right, it is good for US to cover the humiliating failure of the US to solve Syria crisis and defeat ISIS
US prefers the status quo in Syria since the alternative is not good to US, when US tries to solve a problem, they replace it with worse problem, in Egypt they brought Sisi, in Syria they empower a criminal terrorist Iran, their goal, NEVER solve the problem the right way, so there always will be problem

July 17th, 2015, 10:12 am

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Hopeful said the Iranian deal is good to the United state
It is not in my opinion, this reflects lack of understanding , and bad analysis, but on the other side he may be right, it is good for US to cover the humiliating failure of the US to solve Syria crisis and defeat ISIS
US prefers the status quo in Syria since the alternative is not good to US, when US tries to solve a problem, they replace it with worse problem, in Egypt they brought Sisi, in Syria they empower a criminal terrorist Iran, their goal, NEVER solve the problem the right way, so there always will be problem

July 17th, 2015, 10:12 am

 

ALAN said:

SIMOHURTTA
Various political forces in the United States are trying to distort the essence of the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, and most importantly – Israel and Saudi Arabia are going to continue to try to keep Iran on the outskirts of the regional policy, no matter what the agreement signed with the Islamic Republic of the United States.
The main argument of “champions of truth” for the Israeli and Saudi money in the ensuing heated discussion is the argument that even economically weakened, Iran has managed to achieve considerable influence in the Middle East, some aggressive military hegemony it has become, when all restrictions will be removed from it?
Not Iran, but the above two states differ adequately large budgets for the purchase of weapons and, above all, Teheran is most interested in the economic development, but not in a senseless war that almost engulfed the region. The irony lies in the fact that the White House is careful that his opponents did not deceive him, not noticing it as so-called allies twist them at their own discretion. It turns out that this is not Washington refused to unfounded accusations against the Iranian people, and dealt a blow to its satellites, which now require “moral compensation
Truly turning Iran, long-term, into a functioning member of the global community, not just with its benefits but with its responsibilities and obligations, might be the only real plan that allows the Iranian people, long-studied and long-documented as perhaps the most democratically-knowledgeable and democratically-aspiring people within the Muslim world, to finally reconstruct its own society in a manner that fundamentally changes the nature and the dynamic of the region.

July 17th, 2015, 10:44 am

 

Hopeful said:

#6 Majedkhaldoun

Can you help a US citizen understand why it is his/her responsibility to “resolve” the Syrian crisis? Especially when, in the same message, you always accuse them of failing when they try and they replace it with a bigger problem?

The US has a national interest in stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but they do not want to wage war on Iran. Not now at least. So the wise thing to do is to attempt to stop them using other means. And the “deal” is one of these attempts. If it works, great. If it does not, it will be easier to sell the public on a military action.

From the US perspective, the Iranian nuclear issue has nothing to do with Syria.

July 17th, 2015, 11:01 am

 

Sami said:

I agree with Tara, that labelling Khaddam as a conservative Sunni is a far stretch from the reality. He was a hardcore Baathists as such religion was never a priority for him. Also if I recall correctly Khaddam visited Tehran in 79 where he stated that the Syrian government stood behind the Iranian revolution (he was foreign minister then). Also the “conservative” Sunnis of the regime never blinked an eye when Hama was levelled and its inhabitants massacred, Khaddam was even governor of Hama at one time.

However the rest of the post was interesting to read, but considering the mislabelling of Khaddam on Co. It raises the question of how well was the rest of the paper researched…

Good read, but taken with a grain of salt

July 17th, 2015, 11:47 am

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Hopeful
You said nuclear deal with Iran is good to US
You have not come with an answer how?
As for Syria I said several times it is not good for US to solve Syria crisis , because victory of the Rebels is good for Erdogan, US is severely afraid of Mr. Erdogan, and it is the fear of Erdogan that prompted Obama to improve relations with the terrorist Iran, US lied to us telling us it is for freedom, US lied to us telling us it is for democracy, US is scaring KSA from Turkey, but one day the Saudi will realize it is the best way to stop The double criminals, Iran and Assad regime, is to ally with Turkey, the young Saudi generation will change, they are smarter than the senile corrupt old kings

July 17th, 2015, 1:30 pm

 

Badr said:

“Hopeful”,

Reading your comment above (4:10 am timestamp) has inspired me to ask what caused you to say in early 2014: “Assad will not make it to the end of 2014. I am willing to bet big money on it.” (Hopefully no one took you up on the bet challenge)

July 17th, 2015, 3:41 pm

 

Hopeful said:

#11 Badr

I cannot remember exactly what inspired my prediction, but I was dead wrong. Fortunately only my brother in law took me up on my bet so I did not lose too much money.

Unfortunately for Syria though, he is still hanging on, so the war will continue with no end in sight.

July 17th, 2015, 5:01 pm

 

Hopeful said:

# 10 Majedkhaldoun

I think I have answered why the deal is good for the US but let me repeat it:

Iran with a nuclear weapon is a threat to US national security, therefore, the U.S. must stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon. Sanctions alone did not do the trick as Iran continued to build up its nuclear program. The only other two choices were: 1) Bomb Iran and start a new war in the gulf, or 2) negotiate a deal where they stop their building nuclear weapons in exchange for some carrots. Obama, a president who came to office with a mandate to bring our troops home and fix our economy, chose the path of negotiating a deal. For America today, this is the correct path.

I understand why many regional and domestic players are upset that Iran is getting carrots which will help it become stronger, but it is very disingenuous to say that the deal will allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. It won’t. The deal has a chance of preventing Iran from acquiring the weapon without resorting to a military operation. If Iran continues to build the bomb by violating the agreement, Obama, and the future president, will be able to present a much stronger case to both the US people and international community to conduct a military operation.

July 17th, 2015, 5:21 pm

 

omen said:

13. Hopeful said: but it is very disingenuous to say that the deal will allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. It won’t.

“it wont”? that’s quite a claim. what makes you so certain?

July 17th, 2015, 6:09 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Charles Krauthammer, again, explains why this agreement is farcical and will make Iran much more of a world threat…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/worse-than-we-could-have-imagined/2015/07/16/aa320b42-2bf0-11e5-bd33-395c05608059_story.html

Saudi Arabia ‘ s Prince Bandar agrees…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-the-iran-agreement-is-worse-than-the-us-deal-with-north-korea/2015/07/16/7d7747f4-2b0d-11e5-960f-22c4ba982ed4_story.html

The “Time line to Doomsday”, ASSUMING Iran complies with their commitments (which BTW, they can EASILY cheat on). Not LOL.

Hopeful, time for ur naive spin….

July 17th, 2015, 7:18 pm

 
 
 

ALAN said:

هناك وهم أن الرئيس أوباما ربما يكون الرئيس الاضعف للولايات المتحدة في السنوات ال 50 الماضية، وان أمريكا نفسها على وشك أن تنهار وسوف تعاني من انهيار اقتصادي كامل. لكن و في الواقع أميركا هي الرائدة بلا منازع و تتكشف أمام أعيننا، الثورة الصناعية الثالثة، التي في نطاقها وعواقبها يمكن ان تتجاوز حتى الثورة الصناعية الأولى والثانية. و قد تم خلال رئاسة أوباما استخدام الائتلاف الأكثر تنوعا من القوات الأمريكية، ويرتبط في نهاية المطاف مع المخابرات والمجتمعات العسكرية لإعادة النظر جذريا في سياسة واستراتيجية الولايات المتحدة في العالم، وربما على نطاق واسع أكثر بعد نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية.
شملت هذه المراجعة باعتبارها استراتيجية الأمن القومي للولايات المتحدة عام 2015، الاستراتيجية العسكرية للولايات المتحدة عام 2015، ومبادرة الاستثمار في الدفاع والابتكار، و تمت الموافقة عليها في عام 2014 والتي تتكشف حاليا في جميع هذه الوثائق وسيتم تنفيذها حرفيا كلها بعد تنحيه أوباما، بغض النظر عمن سيخلفه.
من وجهة نظر التفاعل بين الجامعات العلمية مع المخابرات والمجمع العسكري وضرورة تخصيص بعض العناصر الرئيسية لاستراتيجية وتكتيكات الولايات المتحدة الجديدة. و يشمل ذلك:
– أولا، الرفض المتواصل للفصل الواضح بين الحرب والسلام. وبدأت هذه العملية في الولايات المتحدة منذ نهاية القرن الماضي مع تطوير واختبار المفاهيم العملية مثل الحرب الهجينة، وعدم انتظامها، و انها غير متناظرة، ووكلاؤها غامضون. وقد تم التعرف على تلك النتيجة ليس فقط من الناحية النظرية ولكن أيضا من الناحية العملية البحتة، دولة تميزها الحرب والسلام في الظروف الحديثة، وتحولها إلى ما يشبه “الحرب العالمية”. وفقا لهذا، في الوثائق الرسمية الأمريكية تستخدم بشكل أقل وضوحا، بما في ذلك التعريف القانوني لمصطلح “الحرب” وعلى نحو متزايد “المواجهة الصعبة”، “الصراعات متغيرة الوتيرة”، “ردا على التهديد”، “عمليات نشطة” وما إلى ذلك؛
– ثانيا، الآن الجيش والمخابرات في الولايات المتحدة، استنادا إلى فهم الحرب على أنها صراع مع استخدام العنف في خمسة بيئات – البر والبحر والجو والفضاء والفضاء الإلكتروني، وفي المجالات السبعة من المواجهة الصعبة، بما في ذلك الحرب التقليدية، المعلومات الخارجية، الداخلية (مباشر المعنية مباشرة في المعركة السياسية في البلدان الأخرى)، والمالية والاقتصادية والسلوكية (تأثير عنيف على السلوك عن طريق التلاعب بالعادات والصور النمطية والقيم والأنماط السلوكية، وما إلى ذلك)، وعملية (استخدام التكنولوجيا لتدمير سيادة المعلومات، والعقلية، والمساحات الاقتصادية والمالية الأخرى)؛
– ثالثا، رفض تقسيم الاقتصاد والصناعة والتعليم والمجالات الأخرى الى تلك العسكرية منها والمدنية. وفي إطار مبادرة الدفاع الثالثة للاستثمار والابتكارعلى مستوى الدولة فإنه لا توجد قطاعات مدنية أوعسكرية بعد الآن، وجميع الشركات الأميركية والشركات والجامعات، وحتى المجتمع يجب أن تعمل لصالح الأمن الوطني وحل المشكلات العسكرية الاستخباراتية. هذا التعزيز التشريعي حصلت على فكرة أنه من الآن فصاعدا كل التكنولوجيا العالية في المجالات التقنية والاجتماعية والمعرفية والتنظيمية وغيرها، تمتلك وظيفة مزدوجة. عند التخطيط لميزانية عام 2015 تم لأول مرة تلزيم المخابرات ليس فقط اعداد وتجهيز وتحليل المعلومات بل و تأمين اتخاذ ودعم القرارات ، بل و أكثر
من ذلك الانخراط لتنفيذ عمليات نشطة لضمان الهيمنة الامريكية على العالم.

July 18th, 2015, 2:37 am

 

ALAN said:

Done by American planers
ISIS used chemical weapons against Kurds – monitor
http://www.rt.com/news/310143-isis-chemical-weapons-kurds/
.

July 18th, 2015, 2:47 am

 

Hopeful said:

#15 Akbar Palace

I do not need to spin anything against Charles Krauthamar. The guy lacks credibility in anything he says. Nevertheless, it is clear in his article that what he is worried about is Iran flush with cash, not the nuclear weapon. This is what worrys the people against the deal. It is a real worry, but it is not the nuclear weapon!

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2015/07/the_real_reason_israel_saudi_arabia_and_neocons_hate_the_iran_deal_they.html?wpsrc=sh_all_mob_tw_top

Akbar Palace, you start by calling my arguments “naive spin”, then you may attack me personally. Again, I am not used to you using these tactics. I respect how you always stick to arguments and facts. No need to start getting personal.

July 18th, 2015, 3:44 am

 

Hopeful said:

# 14 Omen

“What makes you so certain?”

Because the military option is not off the table, and it will be significantly easier to use it in the future if Iran is shown to have been cheating. Today, Obama cannot bomb Iran, even if he wants to. Why? Because he is a president who respects his people’s wishes, and Americans do not want to engage in another war in the Middle East.

An Iran with $100B does not make it any harder for the US to attack it if the US chooses to, but an Iran that violates an agreement with six major world powers would be much easier to attack with a full cover/approval from both the international community and the U.S. public.

July 18th, 2015, 3:54 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Alan… you don’t seem to have gotten the new talking points form the butcher in Qum or from the hasan vuvuzula…

US is no longer the great satan….

For a lesson on how t change your skin like all other lizards when the butcher of Qum orders change of skin, you may want to request a lesson from a former “editor”….

July 18th, 2015, 6:40 am

 

Ziad Abu Fadel said:

‘Abdul-Haleem Khaddaam and ‘Abdul-Ra`oof Al-Kasm were not conservative Sunnis. But, they were stooges of the Wahhabist Saudi Arabian apes. The sectarian character of some of the remarks on this site have convinced me even more that minority groups in Syria have no choice but to back the secular Ba’ath Party since the alternative is the ignorance and sickness of professional liars like Tara. I knew Gen. Naaseef when he was a colonel. His influence was well-deserved given his shrewdness and broad knowledge of events. May he rest in peace knowing he does not have to suffer the stench of so-called “Sunni” reactionaries and troglodytes anymore which is, pretty much, what Landis’ site attracts.

July 18th, 2015, 6:44 am

 

Tara said:

Abu al Fadel,

Now don’t be coward. Explain to us the Shiaa doctrine that ” infatuated ‘” Nassif thug . Any thing Shia is differnt other than its whole concept is based in hating and incriminating Fatima, and الصحابة and the sunnis thereafter for a historical murder?!

A relegion that inherently hate, incriminate and exclude the vast majority of Muslims while performing ritual of self-inflicted injuries and other rituals while at the same time submit to the same Alllah, prophets, Angels, Quraan , and القضاء والقدر like those it hates and excludes.

Come on face the truth!!!!

July 18th, 2015, 8:54 am

 

ALAN said:

About all from Strategic Culture Foundation
Dunford, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Joseph McCarthy , Ted Cruz, John Earnest
Mark Toner, Nuland, Robert Kagan, Hillary Clinton, Ashton Carter, John Kerry and so on …..
http://www.voltairenet.org/article188199.html

July 18th, 2015, 10:18 am

 

Tara said:

And one more thing ابو الفضل

Thug Nassif is dead and has already met God. He is never going to rest in peace. He is now in the lowest layer of Hell being burned just like he burned people alive. May he never achieve redemption for all his crime against the Syrian people.

July 18th, 2015, 10:23 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

As an Atheist, i don’t give a squat whether a butcher like nassif rests in peace of in pieces. As a troglodyte, I however am against burring such turd in regular earth, grave worms and critters should not be subjected to such barbaric treatment.

July 18th, 2015, 12:03 pm

 

ALAN said:

They arrived in Toyota Hilux pickup trucks, the favored vehicle of Islamist fighters in the Middle East and South Asia. But these men, the first graduates in the faltering U.S. train-and-equip program, were traveling into Syria to fight against an extremist insurgency, the Islamic State. The U.S. military calls them the “New Syrian force” and disclosed that they are to coordinate with rebel forces already on the ground who have a different objective – to fight the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The goal, a spokesman said, is to expand the effectiveness of all moderate forces.
Who please are the “moderate forces” in Syria? The clowns from Jaish al Fatah, Jabhat al Nusra (AlQaeda) and their best friends, the Brookings favorite Ahrar al-Shams, come to mind.

These groups, supported with the help of U.S. intelligence by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, last month took Idlib in northern Syria. As reaction to that the Syrian government received additional support from its allies and pulled back to defensive positions. Since then new Jihadist attacks against Aleppo, Daara and in the Golan heights all failed with high casualties on the attackers side.

So now it is time to insert those “new” forces and, like in Yemen, offer AlQaeda the help of the U.S. air force:

[Maj. Curtis J. Kellogg, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, told McClatchy] “However, it is anticipated that New Syrian Force personnel will coordinate with other moderate opposition forces to build trust between organizations that are countering ISIL and apply the skills they have learned through the train-and-equip program to increase the combat effectiveness of all forces they operate with.”

The “New Syrian Force” will be able to call in U.S. airstrikes, as the Kurdish People’s Protection Units or YPG, a militia that has captured dozens of villages from the Islamic State in recent weeks. A U.S. government official who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss details of the program said the force on the ground will communicate with a U.S. military officer who’ll pass requests for air support to coalition commanders.
The “new” forces the U.S. is inserting will thereby be the Forward Air Controllers who will call in the U.S. air force “to increase the combat effectiveness of all forces they operate with”. They will join the other insurgents on the ground, AlQaeda and other Jihadis, who have the premier aim of overthrowing the Syrian government.

Does anybody believe that the targeting data the “new” U.S. trained forces in Syria will be submitting will be solely of Islamic State targets?

But while the U.S. is giving air support to AlQaeda in Yemen and in Syria the lunatics of the Washington Post are threatening Iran for “meddling” in the Middle East:

Stopping Iran’s destabilizing behavior is the priority in the Middle East, as senior Israeli, Saudi and Emirati officials agree privately, whatever the public commotion about the nuclear deal. This essential task of confronting Tehran should be easier now that the Iranian nuclear program is capped for at least a decade.

What’s the best way to confront Tehran on these regional issues? As with the nuclear problem, the right strategy is a combination of pressure (including possible military force) and diplomacy.
“So yeah. Let’s bomb Iran so we can help AlQaeda to swallow up Yemen and Syria.”

I remember from years ago travel that the water in Washington DC is heavily chlorinated. Since then, it seems, they added LSD to it.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/07/us-air-force-is-supporting-alqaeda-in-yemen-and-coming-now-also-in-syria.html#comments

July 18th, 2015, 1:43 pm

 

ALAN said:

Obama, believe me, your calculation is wrong … We ٍwill pull you from nose into the mud.

July 18th, 2015, 2:08 pm

 

Hopeful said:

#24 Tara

Wow, slow down a bit. Shiaa Islam is practiced by hundreds of millions of people (if not billions) around the world. I know you are angry about what is going on in Syria, and you should be, but please do belittle a religion that has hundreds of millions of followers. Don’t we criticize people who attack Islam as a religion based on hatred of the infidels and Jews? You are doing the same thing. A Shiaa muslim does not have to defend his beliefs, to you or to anyone else.

We need to stop this Shiaa vs. Sunni madness!

July 18th, 2015, 6:37 pm

 

Tara said:

Hopeful,

So glad you asked. I take the others’ criticism about takfiri Sunnis and agree with it. I also have the right to describe other religions the way they are. I do not have explanations to واضربوا
هن في المضاجع or for الغلمان or for the 72 virgins other than I don’t practice it as such. In the same token, I do not hesitate to describe other religion as it is presented and this is exactly in my opinion is what Shiism is : a sect that believe in all what the Sunnis believe in theology with added qualification of Takfeering Sunnis, heating them and incriminating them. Correct me if I am wrong ! How is Shiism is different than Sunni Islam other than incriminating the Sunni Muslims and practicing the grief rituals of sel-inflicted injury. Even the twelveer concept stems from the murder of Hussain .

Why it is not sectarianism calling takfiris for what they are and it is sectarianism calling Shias for what they are?!! Note I did not describe Akawism as such . Alawism is simply not a religion that is based on the hate and incriminating of the others – and therefore, I won’t characterize Alawism, the religion as such.

THE DIFFERENCE here is that as a Sunni, I agree to the ills that inflicted the religion. The Shias need to do the same and until this happens, the war continues and the evil consumes itself and billions of innocents in its way.

July 18th, 2015, 8:37 pm

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Shiaa count billion,
It is unfortunate some think this way, now we know where is their source of informations, and we know how accurate these informations, which will be the base for their discussions
May be also some believe the earth is flat, ,or Ali is God, as the people of Taooqan, or Jews are children of monkies
I say stupid people believe stupid ideas,while smart people believe in facts and reasonable ideas only, we should always seek accuracy in what we say, yes sometimes we speak out of emotions, but that is when our feeling is stronger than our ability to control our mind

July 18th, 2015, 9:46 pm

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Assad still has chemical weapons, US know where he is hiding CW, and not objecting to his hiding CW
Obama is withholding arms from Rebels so Iran would not get upset, Obama wants the nuclear deal too much he is afraid Iran could get upset
Zahran Allouch was ordered to withdraw from the southern storm, the order came from US
That weakened the southern storm
Obama considers Syria as Iran sphere of influence
Many Obama advisers are against Obama decisions
For that I think American policy toward Syria will change after Obama leaves office

July 19th, 2015, 12:31 am

 

ALAN said:

KSA- a kingdom drowning in sleaze, decadence and hypocrisy.

“Islam as preached is not practiced. Jobs are promised but not delivered. Corruption is rampant, entrapping almost every Saudi in a web of favors and bribes large and small, leaving even the recipients feeling soiled and resentful. Powerful and powerless alike are seeking to grab whatever they can get, turning a society governed by supposedly strict Sharia law into an increasingly lawless one, where law is whatever the king or one of his judges says it is – or people feel they can get away with.”

The result is a grotesque combination of oppression, regimentation, and street-level anarchy. In other countries, for instance, young people are free to drink beer, see movies, go to all-night raves, or do any of the other dumb stuff that young people the world over like to do. But in Saudi Arabia, where all such activities are forbidden, young men have one option only: steal cars.

4 all, can read it
https://consortiumnews.com/2015/07/18/making-excuses-for-saudi-misbehavior/

July 19th, 2015, 1:22 am

 

ALAN said:

20. HOPEFUL
/No need to start getting personal/
Asghar is a dual citizen American and Israeli. He is not care about Americans or the interests of America. he had sworn allegiance to Zionist Israel, not America. but he was not registered as agents of a foreign nation.
his friends work for big business, the U.N., the IMF, and The FED.
Here wrote all about them: https://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/jewish-sayanim-more-dangerous-than-al-qaeda-cells/

July 19th, 2015, 3:58 am

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Allan
What you said about KSA is true but Assad regime is much worse in his savagery brutality corruption ans sectarianism , he is by far exceeded every one you may criticize, it is ridiculous to complain about all what you say yet support the worse system on earth, please admit the truth, the most criminal regime is Assad regime

July 19th, 2015, 8:55 am

 

Observer said:

I agree with Tara. I must confess that I am stunned at how some in the Shia and Alawi community have visceral hatred of all Sunnis. There is a demonization of the Sunnis and some have voiced their hatred towards the companions of the prophet and have held a grievance 1450 years old associating all Sunnis with what happened ages ago and some have even called that all Sunnis are followers or influenced by Ibn T. It is such that people do not know any longer what a Shia or an Alawi thinks and therefore how they can be ever trusted.

Islam is now caught in the vicious grip of two takfiri ideology one based on Khomeinism that has used Shia faith as a political ideology for narrow interpretation of how a society should live and how a human should relate to God with a firm grip of mullahs on the minds and thought process of a whole sect and on the other hand Wahabbism that has also used literal interpretation of the faith to advance a cult like demonization of the other.

Both are dead end ideologies and will be thrown into the dustbin of history.
Until them countless innocents will be slaughtered and what is worst done so in the name of defending the faith.

July 19th, 2015, 9:01 am

 

ALAN said:

36. MAJEDKHALDOUN
/the most criminal regime is Assad regime/
the most criminal regime is Saddam regime 🙂
the most criminal regime is Gaddafi regime 🙂
the most criminal regime is Milosevic regime 🙂
the most criminal regime is N. Korian regime 🙂
the most criminal regime is Venezuela regime 🙂
But not American, not British, not Israeli, not Saudi and not western at all
It inevitably others and not yours!
I am tired of repetition! When George W. Bush and Tony Blair will enter the prison as the first step? The exceptional US war administration out of the global law! Is not it “your revelation of justice”?
Please solve the issue as if it credibility and legitimacy.

July 19th, 2015, 9:57 am

 

ALAN said:

Today, Syria is the target of many of the warring forces throughout the Middle East and the world. We believe that this trend will continue where we can not expect a change in the hostile policies of the opponents of the Syrian political approach in the near future. We expect those US officials all the hostility and hatred until the fundamental changes occur in USA

July 19th, 2015, 12:00 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

ALAN,

I thought you were now fighting with the real mujahideen of Lebanon and Palestine, and also the mujahideen of Iran fighting in Syria.

I remember how Hezbollah mujahideen killed thousands of christians in Lebanon (1982-today) because they were supposed to be the allies of US (although the US never was their ally).

What should we do with chia people in Lebanon, Syria and Irak now that they have become the allies of the Great Satan US????

Khamanei the God Suxxer is now the great ally of Obama´s US, a country that does not understand a shit about the Obama foreign polidy.

Come on, now show the world how the US and IRAN will rule the Middle East. Ayatolha is the real Great Satan and should be crucified alongside the Caliph.

July 19th, 2015, 3:10 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Islam is now caught in the vicious grip of two takfiri ideology one based on Khomeinism that has used Shia faith as a political ideology for narrow interpretation of how a society should live and how a human should relate to God with a firm grip of mullahs on the minds and thought process of a whole sect and on the other hand Wahabbism that has also used literal interpretation of the faith to advance a cult like demonization of the other.

As a western person it is a bit difficult to see the how the Iranian religious “order” is so limiting. A western spectator as a non-Muslim must leave away the theological nitpicking and watch simply to the “achievements” which both main Islamic religious orders today offer to their people.

Iran itself has shown a considerable will and ability to become a developed industrialized country and their ruling religious “system” has supported that development. Even much of the Iranian defence successes stories with missiles, drones etc technologies are propaganda, it can’t be denied that despite the sanctions Iran has managed to develop its own industrial basis in steps of which all Sunni states can only dream. In 2014 Iran was country number 16 in SCImago Journal & Country Ranking showing their present scientific activity. Israel was number 31 in that ranking. Iran has a plenty of universities and the majority of students are women. Iran has the ability to send satellites built with own resources and knowhow. Saudi Arabia can buy a satellite built, sent and operated by others. The reality is that in normal circumstances, meaning no sanctions, Iran will become one of the major 10 economies in the word. This even if mullahs have their present role and influence.

What can the Sunni states offer to their people? Social, economical, intellectual, military, technological, scientific development? Turkey is the only with some results. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states do not offer much real industrial/technological development to the region. Two thirds of workers employed in Saudi Arabia were foreigners and in the private sector approximately 90%. That is simply unbelievably absurd considering what will become of such country once the oil income ends? One example of completely insane “Sunni development efforts” is that the Finnish newspapers tell Bahrain just offered to finance the starting of building a large Mosque to Helsinki, the costs are estimated to be over 100 million Euros. Is there any sense in spending hundreds of billions to over-sized Mosques all around the world, financing religious power struggles and civil wars, instead of educating own population and building a real industrial basis for future times after oil.

There is a clear difference in the attitude of the Shia state and Sunni states. The religious Sunni states floating in oil money have an economy based on oil and services using mainly foreign skills and labour. There is much noise of Iran’s aggressive nature, but where does it exist and show? Iraq has a Shia majority and Hezbollah serves the Lebanese Shias with undeniable success. The major terrorism using organizations are Sunni “movements”, even in propaganda we are demanded to believe that Shias created and lead them, financed and armed generously and relative openly by religious Sunni “circles”.

July 19th, 2015, 5:20 pm

 

Tara said:

Simo,

The turban regime in Iran employs a network of non Iranian westerners esp in Europe and in Canada to clean up its filthy images with a tremendous budget so it whitewashes their crimes and propagandize their ability. Could you tell me how much they pay? I Would like to supplement my income? Additionally, when the might of Iran was tested by Saddam, it failed miserably ? Could these so called advancement be a mere propaganda by the turbanized mullahs

July 19th, 2015, 5:45 pm

 

Tara said:

To all,

I am again challenging all pro Iran pundits on this forum. Can anyone explain to me how the Shiism is different than Sunnism other than by their extra layer of hating and incriminating the Sunnis for a historical one person murder? Other than the petty stuff of fasting few more minutes less or more, praying one or 2 less prayers and other non-sensical differences ?!!

Isn’t the core of their theology based on incriminating Sunnis because of that crime. Aren’t the self – inflicted injuries, the twelveer concept of some missing divine figure, the worship of Zainab , the killing of the innocent to protect the perceived tomb of a dead woman all based on that crime? Would their be a Shiism had they forgiven the Sunnis for the murder of Hussain ?

What if they find out that the supposed tomb of Zainab is a fake one and that she was never buried there?

July 19th, 2015, 5:57 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Ahlan,

Just for accuracy, I am NOT a dual citizen. have only 1 citizenship: USA. My alligence is to the USA. That being said, I believe America’s best ally in the region, with the most shared values is Israel. It certainly isn’t Iran.

Yet, no one questions the alliegence of the pro-Iranians knuckleheads on “Veterans .Today”

July 19th, 2015, 6:06 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Ahlan,

Just for accuracy, I am NOT a dual citizen. have only 1 citizenship: USA. My alligence is to the USA. That being said, I believe America’s best ally in the region, with the most shared values is Israel. It certainly isn’t Iran.

Yet, no one questions the alliegence of the pro-Iranians knuckleheads on “Veterans .Today”

July 19th, 2015, 6:06 pm

 

Hopeful said:

#32 Tara

“Why it is not sectarianism calling takfiris for what they are and it is sectarianism calling Shias for what they are?”

Because takfiris do not represent the Sunnis and radical Shias do not represent all Shias.

I do not have enough knowledge of Shiasm to answer your question, but I am certain that a religion which millions of people follow has much more good than bad in it. I personally have heard from my Alawi friends amazing sayings attributed to Imam Ali, his sons, and the other Imams. These sayings represent values that are core to Shiasm, in the same way that the Hadith is core to Sunnis.

July 19th, 2015, 6:39 pm

 

Hopeful said:

#32 Majedkhaldoun

I am sorry but ALL religions are based on beliefs not facts. So believing Ali was God is stupid but somehow believing that Mohammed ascended from Mekka to the seven skies and then descended in Jerusalem is smart and factual?

Religions cannot survive and propagate if they teach values which do not improve humanity and societies. From my perspective, Sunnis believe in as many things which I find hard to comprehend as Shiaa do, as Jews do, and as Christians do. But at the end, as long as they embrace and encourage values that are constructive to societies, they can choose to believe in whatever stories they want to believe in, and will earn my respect and appreciation.

July 19th, 2015, 6:53 pm

 

Tara said:

Hopeful,

“I do not have enough knowledge of Shiasm to answer your question.’

Then please read. Go to shiapen.com and read what is their core beliefs. The site is written by non other than Shiaa faqihs. It explain well their core teachings. It is the same Islam with a twist . Same holy book. Same pillars , but with a twist. The twist is arguing each and every figure and every spoken or written word said by anyone who came after prophet Muhammad . It is their cause and their goal. IT IS THE RELIGION nothing more nothing less !!! To antagonize and argue every one ( and his brother) starting from عائشه, the prophet’ s wife and هلم جرة

I did not get that deep into why they hate عائشة that much. May be she did not promote Ali.

Now for God sake, who gives a damn !!! 225 thousand Syrians slaughtered because they hated Aisha et al! Can they please get a life.

The fact of the matter is that there is no Shiism if there is no Sunni hatred. Shiism becomes non-exist if they give up hating Sunnis .

I am sorry for my blunt opinion . It is what it is. I am just describing what they tell us they are. Not more not less.

July 19th, 2015, 7:43 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Tara claiming that Iran is paying us western people to polish their imago is hilarious. Iran or Iranians have never paid a single cent to me. Actually I do not even know a single Iranian or Shia (as far as I know) personally. My wife is a very secular Sunni and I know many Sunnies. I never dicuss about religious “details” with them, but I have never heard them complaining about Shias or Iran. I have heard them criticising the order and achievements of their countries, both on the religious and societies other levels. Anyway I describe only the situation in the light of the facts I as a former economist and engineer by training have read during the past decades. Iran has a rather developed industrial basis, despite the mullahs who seem to support that industrial develoment. Which Sunnies states can brag about that? Let us speak about that when women in Saudi Arabia can drive alone.

July 19th, 2015, 10:17 pm

 

Passerby said:

(Funny, everyone thinks the US is on the other side.)

ISIS going after Hamas today…
http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/ISIS-blamed-for-exploding-seven-Hamas-Islamic-Jihad-cars-in-Gaza-409439

What strikes me is how ISIS/Saddam Regime is very selective in who they attack. Those that would punish them they leave alone. Turkey, Israel, Russia, etc.

And of course, the common refrain here, that the US and Israel are controlling ISIS/Saddam Regime. Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Iran, Assad, all in their cross-hairs, it could be worse…

July 19th, 2015, 10:34 pm

 

Majedkhaldoun said:

Hopeful
As Tara said you need to read, you do not know a lot of things, in Arabic we say الجهل نعمة، ignorance is a blissful

As for the prophet trip to heaven , it was spiritual trip not physical one, Aishaالسيدة عاءشةsaid that too
When you understand Islam correctly you will be advocate of Islam

July 19th, 2015, 11:03 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Mentally and intellectually many muslims, Shia and Sunni, are still living in the Middle Ages, this business of my religion is better than yours or my religion is true Islam is a sign of a personality disorder. The miserable conditions of most muslims is due to poverty and lack of freedom and that adds fuel to the fire.
Keep your faith to your self and ignore your sheikhs, they have not done anything since the 15th century to help you and help your chikdren.
Show the love of God in charity and good behavior, religious people do not commit murder or advocate murder.

July 19th, 2015, 11:40 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Well, I have to agree with Ghufran ‘ s last post.

Syrian Hamster is an atheist. That should not be illegal.

July 19th, 2015, 11:45 pm

 

Hopeful said:

#48 Tara

“Now for God sake, who gives a damn !!! 225 thousand Syrians slaughtered because they hated Aisha et al! Can they please get a life.”

Syrians are slaughtered because a brutal regime attacked people who rose up to ask for their freedom. Because foriegn jihadis flooded the country aiming to establish a radical Islamic state. Because war lords and regional powers are leveraging sectarian hatred, on both sides, to advance their agendas.

Sunni web sites are also filled with similar nonsense you mention. One who wishes to discret Sunnism can also make a similar claim to the one you made. Yes, shiias have a different narrative than the Sunnis regarding what happened after the prophet died, and it is their right to have that. The silly wars and hatred between the two sects based on whose version is accurate is indeed silly and unfortunate. And to this day, imams and shiekhs on both sides use these narratives to stir emoticons and secterian tendencies among their followers.

An amazing book and a really enjoyable read is a book written by Lesley Hazelton called: “After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam”. It reads like a fairy tale, but she has done a great job in researching the topic. I read it last year and learned a lot. The fact that Ali led a muslim army to fight another muslim army led by Aysha is a historic fact that I never learned about in school books. It is part of Islam history that Muslims, on all sides, need to come to terms with instead of keeping the secerians hatred igniting for ever.

I agree with Ghufran in #52. The problems in Islam are shared among all sects.

July 20th, 2015, 3:02 am

 

Badr said:

“Omen” has been despairing “opposition hasn’t gotten more help from house of saud”.

[Jokingly] Perhaps because the “influential” professor has been successful in convincing them that the only alternative to the Assad regime is the hardline Islamists and Jihadists:

The Biggest Loser In The Iranian Nuclear Deal

Landis believes that the only thing that has kept Assad’s opponents in the Gulf from pushing harder for Assad’s fall is the fear that radical Islamist groups will fill the regime-shaped void. For now, Landis predicted, any increase on either side will be met with balance.

July 20th, 2015, 3:25 am

 

ALAN said:

الحموض الأمينية العربية تحتوي على مكونات الخيانة. جاء الاسلام ليصلحها. ضعف الاسلام و بقيت الخيانة.
العرب هم المشكلة و ليس الاسلام.

July 20th, 2015, 3:28 am

 

Hopeful said:

# 51. MAJEDKHALDOUN

Please forgive my ignorance, but what is a “spiritual trip”? A dream? Billions of Muslims around the world mark the day of الإسراء والمعراج which, in your interpretation, is nothing other than a dream the prophet had in his sleep?

It must be a belief in something bigger than just a dream. But it is just that – a belief. Not a fact. Hence the point of my previous post.

July 20th, 2015, 3:33 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

The deal US / IRAN could be a great trick to Iran. I compare it with the Munchen Agreement 1938.

Due to the Obama recognition the persian empire will expand will fresh money and no need for political reform. Exactly as it happened with Chamberlain deal with Hilter regarding Checslovakia by 1938-39.

We all know the result of the great mistake committed by France and GB. They tried to push Hitler towards the Soviets but at the end they were massacred by Hitler and later invaded by Stalin. Just a big war lead by US could solve it. 55.000.000 died.

This time with nuclear and chemical weapons and dictators ready to use them the numbers could be even higher.

July 20th, 2015, 4:35 am

 

Observer said:

I do not know what is the difference in development between Iran and the Sunni states in detail. In Iran the literacy rate was 22% for women in 79 and now it is above 80%.
In KSA it is the same and in the GCC they did develop to the best of their abilities and considering their low population numbers. Kuwait is lagging behind.

The point is that the ideology is flawed from my point of view: Khomeinism has hijacked Shia ideology and Wahhabism has hijacked Sunni ideology and both have diminished the religion to a political straight jacket.

Corruption is rampant in Iran and what is most interesting is that the degree of atheism in both Iran and KSA has skyrocketed and some estimate that more than 50% are now secret atheists.

That is the point: when a system of beliefs fails to provide solutions it will be abandoned. This is what will happen long term.

July 20th, 2015, 7:36 am

 

omen said:

52.Ghufran said: Keep your faith to your self and ignore your sheikhs, they have not done anything since the 15th century to help you and help your chikdren. Show the love of God in charity and good behavior, religious people do not commit murder or advocate murder.

190.Jasmine said: this wasn’t a revolution, it started from a mosque

now this wont come as a surprise to seasoned syria watchers but i have yet to see a loyalist acknowledge this reality:

Jolani was in his third year at medical school in Damascus University when, after attending Friday sermons led by the renowned cleric, Abu Qa`qa`, in Aleppo, he left in 2003 to fight the Americans in Iraq under the command of the Jordanian Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi.

[…]

Two details in particular stand out, the first being the Abu Qa`qa` connection. In their new book, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan devote several pages to the “curious case” of this Bin Ladenite whose ties to the regime were “hardly Syria’s best-kept secret.” His bloodcurdling sermons preaching murder and martyrdom in the heart of Syria’s largest city were of the sort that ordinarily earned one a lifetime’s imprisonment and torture. Questions about his character were scarcely assuaged by the revelation he was supplying the mukhabarat with names of local extremists. Nonetheless, for the youths (like Jolani) who were persuaded by his call to fight the infidel invaders next door, he provided the golden ticket across the border to Zarqawi’s men. “He was a tool for the regime, and in the end he was shot,” former Syrian MP Muhammad Habash, who knew him, told the authors.

loyalists like to scapegoat islam when clerics are on regime payroll.

July 20th, 2015, 1:12 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

The deal US / IRAN could be a great trick to Iran. I compare it with the Munchen Agreement 1938.

Due to the Obama recognition the persian empire will expand will fresh money and no need for political reform. Exactly as it happened with Chamberlain deal with Hilter regarding Checslovakia by 1938-39.

We all know the result of the great mistake committed by France and GB. They tried to push Hitler towards the Soviets but at the end they were massacred by Hitler and later invaded by Stalin. Just a big war lead by US could solve it. 55.000.000 died.

This time with nuclear and chemical weapons and dictators ready to use them the numbers could be even higher.

Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

July 20th, 2015, 2:07 pm

 

omen said:

tell me again, dear loyalists, how Islam is to blame.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B7Wdw_4IAAARhDK.jpg

July 20th, 2015, 4:07 pm

 

ALAN said:

Again the US army supplied weapons to the Islamic state by airdrops

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bfc_1437376344

In this way the American and British aircraft become outlaws and have to be shot down.

July 20th, 2015, 5:07 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

IRAN is talking too much these days, but in this chess game they have sacrified the Queen (nuclear capability).

Alan, do not try to cheat yourself. You know US has agreed with Iran that the ayatollahs will pólice the Middle East if they give up their nuclear projects. Now you (Assad/Iran) and US are in the same side.

Get ready to receive from behind, you cannot attack the US anymore. Do not cheat yourself.

July 20th, 2015, 5:23 pm

 

omen said:

the two leaders debated Sunni-Shiite theological differences.

on topic for once, earlier looking for a quote by hof, stumbled across this instead, a piece that treads along same territory mr. mohammad ataie highlights.

by bassam barabandi

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah developed a relationship with Bashar a few years before his father’s death in 2000 and endeared himself to Bashar in a way that his father would never allow.

hmm, you dont say.

As a diplomat for the Syrian Foreign Ministry in 2008, I attended a dinner during a diplomatic visit with Iranian Ambassador Ahmad al-Mousawi. He told me, “Iranians are all blooming flowers planted by Mohamad Nassif.” Nassif was a close advisor to Hafez al-Assad, and until recently the deputy vice president for security. Ambassador Mousawi’s statement hints at the complexities of Iran and Syria’s relationship over the last forty-five years. The Syrian constitution requires the president to be a Muslim. As an Alawite in the 1970s, Hafez al-Assad needed to put to rest any question of his religious legitimacy. He saw an opportunity in Musa al-Sadr, an influential Iranian Shia scholar in Lebanon. Assad supported Sadr’s rise, and in return, Sadr declared that all Alawites were brothers in the Shia Muslim faith.

hafez the bastard who stole power was illegitimate on top of illegitimate from the start.

now this was startling:

Sadr later suggested that Assad meet an influential Iranian Shia named Khomeini, then exiled in Iraq. Assad saw strategic benefit in supporting a future ally in the region, and supported Khomeini with intelligence, money, and assistance. Syria was the first Arab state to recognize the post-Shah government in Iran and backed it in conflicts throughout the 1980s, particularly that against Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

was hafez instrumental in the iranian junta that toppled the shah??
he’s responsible for the misery and untold suffering of two countries. hell isnt good enough for this demon.

July 20th, 2015, 6:50 pm

 

Tara said:

Simo,

“Iran has a rather developed industrial basis, despite the mullahs who seem to support that industrial develoment. ”

What a flawed logic! Since when the industrial development is a measure of righteousness? So the mullah’s use of Shiism to kill the innocent is forgiven because they support industrial development . So if Hitler built advanced industrial infrastructure, is it ok for him to annihilate the Jews and perhaps the Finns too?

Can you suggest my name to your superiors ? Everyone has a price …

July 20th, 2015, 7:42 pm

 

Tara said:

Hopeful,

“Syrians are slaughtered because a brutal regime attacked people who rose up to ask for their freedom. Because foriegn jihadis flooded the country aiming to establish a radical Islamic state. Because war lords and regional powers are leveraging sectarian hatred, on both sides, to advance their agendas.”

Sorry Hopeful, I don’t think this is accurate enough . Had the brutal regime not been propped up by millions of dollars from Iran and by the military expertise of the Shiaa HA, the brutal regime would’ve passed away long time ago and the armless protesters would’ve won their lives and their country. It was the consequence of this propping up that foreign jihadis filled the vacuum …

Please let us not submit to the noise that Assad ‘s regime tried so hard to stir so this is presented as jihadis against Alawis and Shiaa. He maded that way to maintain his grip on the seat in Damascus.

220k innocent Syrian were killed because the Mullahs invoked the hate of the Sunnis into their followers and it did not take much. The whole religion evolve around antisunnism .

I yet have to see a religion that only evolve about the hatred of the other. And if that particular hatred to resolves, the whole religion in its core will disappear.

July 20th, 2015, 7:56 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Israel and the war mongers lost in the unsc and Israel was never more isolated, the Israeli ambassador was denied a request to address the unsc and all 5 permanent members voted
yes. You know the deal is good for the Middle East when Israel says no and all of the big dudes
say yes.
The future of the Middle East should left for its people to decide, the idiotic and the incompetent regimes in Syria, Iran, ksa, turkey and Egypt should take charge and end the misery of their people once and for all, enough is enough.

July 21st, 2015, 12:30 am

 

ALAN said:

For all american: war maniacs, Pentagon,weapons manufacturers, bankers, owners of oil and gas companies Damn you /The future of the Middle East should left for its people to decide ….. enough is enough. /

July 21st, 2015, 5:07 am

 

Altair said:

The criticism that Turkey and Erdogan get regarding Syria is truly unjust. Turkey out of all Syria’s neighbors has been the best to Syrian refugees. Indeed, no country in the world has taken in more than Turkey, and treated them better. Yet I see almost no praise for Turkey’s policy.

Syrian refugees in Turkey, officially numbering almost 2 million, and unofficially probably a lot more, are getting education and health care. One tenth or more of Syria’s population is now in Turkey!

I’m not sure how much Turkey is spending on the Syrian community (perhaps someone can help out on that), but it is certainly a major part of its budget.

Contrast this with rich Saudi Arabia or for that matter all the Gulf Arab states, which closed its doors to Syrians almost immediately (they were tight doors anyway, but they got even tighter), and whose assistance seems mainly to consist of aid to salafists bent on imposing a strict ideology that is contributing to the sectarian breakdown in Syria.

On the military front Turkish policy regarding ISIS may be ambiguous, but Turkey is faced with difficult choices of which lesser evil to pick from.

However, Turkish policy toward long suffering Syrian refugees has been unambiguously positive, and Turkey stands alone in this regard, not only in the region, but in the whole world. It is high time that this is appreciated and distinguished from the policies of Syria’s other neighbors and from the “international community” in general.

July 21st, 2015, 5:19 am

 

Hopeful said:

#67 Tara

Then we will agree to disagree. We both want freedom, dignity and democracy to Syria without a brutal regime that has abused and murdered for over 50 years, and without the radical Islamists who want to take Syria back to the dark ages and impose their beliefs on other people.

The reason Syrian Sunnis have for centuries been much more moderate and open than their counterparts in the gulf is precisely because they interacted, inter-married and inter-traded with other communities in Syria with alternate beliefs and religions. Sunnis in Syria, IMHO, should consider themselves lucky to have Christians, Shia, and Alawites within their community. This mosaic made Syria stronger and more liveable than other Sunni societies. These relationships survived because every community showed respect and tolerance towards others. It would be a shame if this tend is reversed in the coming decades. That is why all the talk I am hearing from you is sounding alarm bells in my head! If a moderate, modern, educated, western-based woman like you is expressing views like these, what do we make of the common people today on the streets of Syria?

July 21st, 2015, 5:52 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Israel bad, Iran good NewZ

You know the deal is good for the Middle East when Israel says no and all of the big dudes say yes.

Ghufran,

Well, I agreed with one of your more recent posts, but you’re comment above shows me, that in the end, you’re not very objective.

First of all, Israel has been saying “no” at the UN for the past 50 years, and the Middle East has been getting worse, not better.

This deal is NOT going to be “good for the Middle East”, and I challenge you to specify exactly how the lives of Middle Easterners will improve now that it has passed.

Then, once you tell us what to look for, we’ll be able to offer a judgement each year this agreement is in place.

My prediction is MORE bloodshed and more war, and more muslims (rather than joos) will meet untimely deaths.

July 21st, 2015, 7:42 am

 

Observer said:

I agree with AP. Now there will be more strife and war not less. The difference is that this time the US will not be involved directly and will let the protagonists duke it out. This deal is a great security to Israel which will see some Arabs accommodate with it against Iran and will see the arms bazaar take off.

The Supreme leader just announced that he will continue to meddle in the ME more so than ever. The head of the IRGC is against the nuke deal.

Now the regime has to deliver to the people and sanctions cannot be used as an excuse.

In reality, this is going to be a double edged sword. In the meantime, things are going bad in Yemen for them. Bahrain is secure for now. Next is the southern front in Syria.

July 21st, 2015, 7:52 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

This deal is a great security to Israel…

Observer,

You are exactly right, except that with Hezbollah and Hamas further armed to the teeth, Israel’s security will continue to suffer as well as those living near these Iranian proxies.

July 21st, 2015, 9:01 am

 

omen said:

74. Akbar Palace said: except that with Hezbollah and Hamas further armed to the teeth

please, akbar. syria’s killing fields been Great for decimating hezbollah. their best & strongest fighters been cut down by the thousands. if you’ll recall, earlier, israel forged a non-aggression pact with hezbollah, ever so considerately avoiding another front just so HA would have peace of mind to concentrate on killing syrians.

israel is probably a factor in pressuring obama against acting to topple assad. you always hear immoral “better the devil you know” arguments from israel-firsters. even american congressmen give assad a free pass!

in a hearing:

@BradSherman suggests that barrel bomb attacks might be legitimate. Equates Assad tactics to US tactics.

when our little island of democracy is reduced to green lighting regional genocide – you have to wonder how viable israel’s continued existence is in the first place. what kind of mind can only find peace & security in scheming to kill off innocent arabs? netanyahu’s paranoia will backfire. you cant sow this much instability without suffering blowback.

July 21st, 2015, 11:16 am

 

omen said:

anyone have a script for this article?

Assad abandoned by his family clan and commanders

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article4501299.ece

July 21st, 2015, 11:28 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

How dare the Israel-Firsters want to defend themselves NewZ

please, akbar. syria’s killing fields been Great for decimating hezbollah. their best & strongest fighters been cut down by the thousands.

Omen,

Really? I don’t hear screams from Iran or Hezbollah for a cease fire. Now with and influx of $Billions, Iran can bolster HA and the Republican Guard.

if you’ll recall, earlier, israel forged a non-aggression pact with hezbollah, ever so considerately avoiding another front just so HA would have peace of mind to concentrate on killing syrians.

Sorry, this must be something YOU recall. I have never seen the “non-aggression pact with Hezbollah” and the GOI. Mind you, if there WAS an non-aggression pact between the GOI and HA, that would be great, but again, I’ve never heard of it or seen it. Do you have a pdf of the agreement? I’d like to see it.

israel is probably a factor in pressuring obama against acting to topple assad.

Obama doesn’t need to speak with the GOI about Assad. Obama never had a desire to “topple Assad”. Assad is not a factor, he’s protected Israel for many years. I think the threat is HA, Assad’s military wing, and the only thing HA has to consider is the IDF. Right now they prefer not to agitate Israel because they have bigger fish to fry (I love that phrase).

you always hear immoral “better the devil you know” arguments from israel-firsters. even american congressmen give assad a free pass!

Correct, the question the Israel-firsters have to ask (most Israelis are “Israel-firsters”, don’t ask me why), is what’s better Syria/HA/Iran or ISIS.

The answer is from the Israel-firsters is a resounding, “I don’t know, they are both awfully brown and smelly.”

July 21st, 2015, 11:43 am

 

omen said:

How dare the Israel-Firsters want to defend themselves NewZ

is this how Israel defends herself?

https://twitter.com/earthnews2020/status/623335582039605252

July 21st, 2015, 11:54 am

 

omen said:

first, a reminder about the saudis:

@farGar: everyone assumes Saudi sides with Syrian opposition yet they just signed 6 agreements with Assad’s military backers in Moscow Russia

55. Badr said: “Omen” has been despairing “opposition hasn’t gotten more help from house of saud”.

[Jokingly] Perhaps because the “influential” professor has been successful in convincing them that the only alternative to the Assad regime is the hardline Islamists and Jihadists

i dont get your humor, Badr. so you do acknowledge the professor as being influential after all. score one for moi. i don’t understand why you bother to deny the obvious – and on his behalf. why is landis’ influence a subject of controversy?

trivialities aside, thanks for raising the issue. akbar makes a similar argument excusing unforgivable inaction with a facile “better the devil you know” argument. i meant to counter earlier but couldn’t find cite i needed.

allow me to defer to the learned, this from
ambassador ford who tears this “assad the lesser evil” argument apart:

This worry about extremists taking over from Assad would be a legitimate concern if it was remotely realistic. It is not. Neither the Islamic State nor Nusra nor any other armed faction is going to seize full power from a collapsed Assad government. The Assad government is weakening, but it isn’t going to disappear, and there is sharp competition between the armed factions, with none strong enough to vanquish the others. It has long been thus.

i want to know who cooked up this pernicious “assad vs isis” framing. it’s given life over and over again in media. the gullible are quick to swallow its shallow reasoning.

it’s not an easy argument to counter. only somebody steeped in covering the conflict would recognize how misleading an argument this is.

the “assad vs isis” frame at its heart is an appeal to racism. a manipulative argument aimed at westerners that bets on their willingness to ignore mass carnage of arabs.

it would not resonate like it has if networks hadn’t instituted a media blackout barring TV from showing assad carnage. why is corporate media providing cover for assad?

who in their right mind would prefer assad to the mass murder of syrians? that argument only makes sense if you hate muslims.

an argument marie peltier eloquently makes here.

where she argues the assad vs isis argument exploits “massive latent Islamophobia.”

rana k. lays bare the insult underlying this argument:

Rana Kabbani: You demean every Syrian person’s hope and dignity when you believe only choice they must make is between Halesh backed Assad & Daesh

the choice isn’t between assad versus extremists. the choice is between 22 million syrians versus assad. or as shabiha put it “assad or syria burns.”

why is the professor providing cover for assad?

July 21st, 2015, 2:14 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

is this how Israel defends herself?

Omen,

OK, so if you want to change the discussion to Israel’s methods for defending herself, she wins hands down compared to your arab brethren and has shown herself to be on par with the most “advanced” countries, perhaps even better.

Your picture of a mutilated baby’s body is:

1.) creepy and dishonorable to the soul and family of the child to be used in some sort of propaganda war. I hope Israelis don’t fall for this cheap political ploy and keep such photos archived and hidden from public viewing.
2.) I know of not 1 jew or Israeli who takes pride in this child’s unfortunate, untimely death.
3.) Conversely, many arab Resistance Pros GLORIFY the killing of innocent Israelis and joos. In addition, they teach their own children, pre-teens included, the benefits of killing innocent joos and jooish babies aren’t excluded.
4.) Whereas the IDF may have killed an innocent youngster (mainly because the Resistance Pros love to fight among innocent civilians, which is a war crime), numerous Resistance Pros like this animal Kuntar, and the Assad shabiha go right up to the innocent child, and take their life from them by their own bare hands.

http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=846

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itamar_attack

Omen,

You need a brain adjustment. Israel is your best friend HaBB.

July 21st, 2015, 3:23 pm

 

omen said:

#55

Landis believes that the only thing that has kept Assad’s opponents in the Gulf from pushing harder for Assad’s fall is the fear that radical Islamist groups will fill the regime-shaped void. For now, Landis predicted, any increase on either side will be met with balance.

so the saudis are so concerned about post-assad vacuum that they are willing to consign syrians to mass carnage at the hands of the regime rather than allow islamists to prevail.

absurd to consider and yet this is reality. undeniable saudis have betrayed syrians but not because of scary jihadists which are being used as a fig leaf to disguise another agenda. certainly one factor must be that saudis are frightened at the prospect of regime change having a domino effect threatening their own hold on power.

apologists mock saudis as hypocrites for pretending to care about democracy and injustice and yet the professor plays into that mockery by pretending saudis have syria’s best interest at heart.

a line reasoning that echoes vietnam; “you have to burn a village to save it.”

really tired of arguments that rely on slight of hand that throw the spotlight elsewhere in effort to deny the fact that assad is THE extremist.

meant to include this earlier. a nuance overlooked:

Thomas Pierret: Iran is that only state that sends foreign fighters into Syria. Sunni foreign fighters are recruited by non-state actors. No symmetry

July 21st, 2015, 4:05 pm

 

Darryl said:

Hopeful,

As I have said this character Tara is an Islamist who always pretends to be outward and modern looking. No such person who writes like she does will always be talking about Iranians and calling Saudi Arabia the “guided Kingdom” knowing that half of Saudis Arabia (women) and Iranians are victims of Islam. She has been fooling everyone.

July 21st, 2015, 4:30 pm

 

Badr said:

“Omen”: “so you do acknowledge the professor as being influential after all”

Again, no I do not think so, at least not when it comes to affecting Obama’s policy on Syria. And yes I do agree with his assessment in the link I gave above.

July 21st, 2015, 5:06 pm

 

omen said:

80. Akbar Palace said: Your picture of a mutilated baby’s body is creepy and dishonorable to the soul

dear akbar, how can you be shocked? assad was at the end of his rope when netanyahu rescued him from the edge of the precipice by giving him a get-out-of-jail-free card by cooking up a fake cw disarmament deal. a blatant fraud when assad continues to gas children to this day.

this girl was sacrificed to keep assad in power. that was part of the deal. a deal you defended in the name of keeping israel safe. you yourself admit assad has “protected Israel for many years.” she was sacrificed for the sake of israel. you cant be offended by the very consequence of policy you defended.

you keep justifying inaction because israel can only worry about her own interest. well, this is what selfish self interest looks like. over 20,000 kids dead just like her. torn to shreds. but nevermind that because syrian lives dont matter. it’s only israel’s security that matters. only jewish lives matter.

you’ve said repeatedly nobody came to help when jews were being decimated. i guess syrians have to pay the price for that sin.

July 21st, 2015, 7:36 pm

 

Tara said:

hopeful,

I disagree again !! Syrians are not lucky to have co/-lived with other minorities . 225 k innocent Syrians were killed because of the so called mosaic of Syria. Name one thing the minorities in Syria have done to Syria other than taking active role either in killing or in cheering the killing.

I can name many things majority served the minority: the let them live respected unscathe, Abd well since ever! Look at the fair of any minority in any part of the word excluding the US.

Sorry to inform you Darryl , but it is well known facts that the aid money pouring from European countries are stolen by the one in the middle who happened to be christian Syrians. Are some of those theirs Darryl your cousins? And guess who my sources are? Pro regime Alawis. The regime كاشفهم على حقيقتهم بس عم يغض الطرف لان بموقف ضعف

Hopeful- I am sorry but your views are really romantic… Had one of your Family members or freind being barrel bombed or gased , you would not be proud …Syria got nothing from the minorities except murder and embezelment.

July 21st, 2015, 7:58 pm

 

Hopeful said:

# 85 Tara

The only thing I would say is this: you are confusing “Syria with minorities” with “Syria under Assad”. “Syria with minorities” existed for centuries before Assad and his cronies came to power.

The Assad regime wanted to create this confusion, and apparently succeeded. What a shame!

July 22nd, 2015, 3:10 am

 

omen said:

along the same vein tara notes above:

SyrianGirl1977: wonder why the savage bloodshed in Iraq against Sunnis?

Iran’s mullah: “whoever Kills Fallujahian will enter paradise”

khamenei exploiting shia faith to wage genocide in middle east gets zero play in western media. we get some quibbling about abuses of iraqi shia death squads but we are not given the big picture. this should be a huge scandal. imagine if media had decided not to cover hitler.

instead media/punditry focus has been tilted to rail against the saudis. you can see how there is a group consensus to treat gulf states as scapegoat. whose agenda is being served?

July 22nd, 2015, 12:55 pm

 

omen said:

so boys & girls, what can we conclude from mr. ataie’s column?

that contrary to supporters’ myth-making, assad regime is not a secular one as lauded but actually is a sectarian form of dictatorship implemented not only in syria but also instrumental in toppling an actual secular regime under the shah to replace with a brutal sectarian theocracy under khomeini.

look how hafez ruined iran. a glimpse of how it used to be before assad supported khomeini’s junta.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CH91IFaUEAACKcj.jpg

funny how assad’s western nazi apologists who praise bashar’s alleged secularism also embrace iran’s fascistic “islamic” theocracy.

i believe this is called “cognitive dissonance.

July 22nd, 2015, 7:48 pm

 

J. Lee @ www.usmilitarylendingcorp.com said:

To SANDRO LOEW:
There´s a big thing about Munich agreement regarding Czechoslovakia – it happened totally and completely without a participation of any Czech political leaders. There were no Czechoslovakian politicians invited to Munich. I don´t see the point of your comparison. It´s a bit different story, IMHO.

July 25th, 2015, 6:35 pm

 
 

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