Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi Responds to al-Julani’s al-Jazeera Interview - Syria Comment

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi Responds to al-Julani’s al-Jazeera Interview

by Matthew Barber

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi is a respected Sufi scholar and teacher from Damascus who has been an outspoken voice against IS and other extremist groups in Syria. Throughout the course of the uprising, he has been consulted by rebel fighters seeking guidance regarding their conduct in the war. In this capacity, the Sheikh has provided numerous fatwas against acts of extremism, violence against civilians, sectarian violence, and the killing of prisoners. Sheikh Yaqoubi has previously been interviewed for Syria Comment, and more information on his background and activities can be found in that article.

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi speaks in Chicago 2014

This past week, Sheikh Yaqoubi published a short book containing a detailed religious argument against the behavior and tactics of IS. The first of its kind, the book is entitled The Obligation to Fight ISIS: A Detailed Fatwa Proving That ISIS Have Strayed from Islam, Opposed Sharīʿah and That Fighting Them is Obligatory. (The title of the Arabic version is: إنقاذُ الأمَّة: فتوﻯٰ مفصلة في إثبات أن داعش خوارج وأن قتالهم واجب) A strong refutation of IS’ ideology, this work is designed to influence Syrian fighters against IS as well as to curb IS’ recruitment of Muslim youth around the world. It can also serve to encourage IS fighters to leave the organization. An Arabic version of the book has just been published in Turkey and is available here; an English version is forthcoming. The book refutes IS on theological grounds for many aspects of its practice and positions, including their revival of slavery practices (for information on IS’ project to enslave Iraqi Yazidis, see: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Also this past week, al-Jazeera ran an in-depth interview with Abu Mohammed al-Julani, the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Syria’s al-Qaida organization. Highlights of this interview, translated into English can be read here, and the previous post on Syria Comment deals extensively with the interview. Eyebrows have been raised by what has appeared as an attempt to improve Nusra’s image as a more moderate alternative to IS that does not practice takfir (the practice of declaring a Muslim an unbeliever or apostate).

I spoke with Sheikh Yaqoubi on Friday. He shared with me his current efforts to ideologically combat IS, as well as his thoughts on the way that al-Jazeera handled the interview with al-Julani, the ranking representative of al-Qaida in Syria. Below is our discussion.

 

Sheikh Muhammad, what did you make of al-Jazeera’s interview with Abu Mohammed al-Julani?

The interview was fifty minutes of mockery—a scandal for professional journalism. It is unbelievable that al-Jazeera is doing the dirty job of beautifying this man before tens of millions of viewers, ordinary Muslims, telling them that he is a good man who is doing a good job, helping the Syrian people, a good Muslim, a moderate Muslim—he’s not! It was clear from the interview that the ideology of al-Nusra Front has not changed. Al-Julani twice confirmed his allegiance to al-Qaida, saying that he receives orders from its leader Dr. Aymenn [al-Zawahiri], and the interviewer never interjected any question about this. All the interviewer did was attempt to portray him as a nice man. He never asked him a critical question; he never challenged him.

What do you think is happening today that allows an important representative of al-Qaida to be featured on television in an accepting way by a mainstream voice of the media?

This question should be directed to Qatar’s government. Why are they doing this?

The man clearly stated that he hasn’t abandoned any of his principles. He only stated one thing that differs from his earlier positions: he says that he has received orders from al-Qaida leader Dr. Ayman to not target the West. This is the only real [ideological] change from what he conveyed in his earlier interview in 2013. Now they are just trying to get statements from him to the effect that “we do not do takfir.” And yet in the same interview, he confirmed the extreme position that visiting shrines of saints is kufr or shirk, accusing people who visit shrines of being mushrikiin [those who “commit polytheism” by ascribing “partners” to God]. This means he is going to have to consider most Sunni Muslims apostates (which for him could mean having to kill them) because they have shrines of saints and visit them, such as our shrine for Ibn ‘Arabi in the heart of Damascus, or in Konya the shrine for Mawlana Rumi, the most famous Muslim saint in the world. You have saints everywhere, from Morocco to South Africa, from Indonesia to Istanbul. All these Muslims are mushrikiin—non-Muslims, unbelievers—according to him? How can this be? This ideology is alien to the Syrian people and to the nature of Islam in Syria.

And ironically—or perhaps even sarcastically—they are trying to present him as so friendly toward [minority] sects.

As he said that Nusra will not kill Alawites or Druze.

Druze and Alawites—“if they don’t fight us, if they don’t work with Assad,” then they will not kill them.

But he made changing their religion a prerequisite for this.

This is the key moment where the interviewer failed to interrupt to pose any hard questions. He [al-Julani] gave two conditions. The first was that they abandon Assad, or defect—and this is the understandable politics of war. But the second condition, at which the interviewer did not pause to question him, was, when talking about the Druze villages in Idlib, he said “we have sent them duʿāt” [proselytizers], people to correct their dogma or their Islam.” And about Alawites, also he repeated that “if they accept Islam, we’ll be fine with them.” His approach to Druze and Alawites is that they should become Muslims and “then we will accept them,” which differs from the long-established position adopted by Sunnis, such as the Hanafis and Malikis, who accepted these groups and made them equal to the People of the Book. Al-Julani’s position means that Alawites have the only the choices of converting to Islam or being killed; they would not even be extended the option of deportation.

Now, these Alawites and Druze, along with the Isma’ilis, have lived side by side with Sunni Muslims for over a thousand years, and Muslims did not attempt to erase, eradicate, or convert them, even though Muslims had power, as the rulers of the land, such as the Ottomans. This is because it is part of our legal system that these people could be treated as the People of the Book, which means they are full citizens of the countries where they live. It is in the Hanafi school, the Malaki school, it is even one opinion of Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

Now I understand the position of the Shafi’is, but it was never practiced, so why pick it up after all these centuries? While the majority of Muslim scholars say that even mushrikiin can be treated as the People of the Book? Imam Malik says this very clearly and so does Abu Hanifa. This was practiced for many centuries in Syria, so why now? Why turn the tables after all of this history and begin forcing people into Islam? Al-Julani wants to claim to be more loyal to Islam than the Muslims? More than the Ottomans, more than the Ayubids, more than the Abbasids, more than the Umayyads, more than the companions of the Prophet? This is very strange.

What Shafi’i position were you referring to?

The Shafi’is said that jizya can only be taken from Christians, Jews, and Magians [Zoroastrians], not from others. But this has never been practiced; the Shafi’i opinion on this has never been followed. We have a rule in fiqh: “Practice takes priority.” In other words, the position of a madhab that becomes majority practice is validated, whereas an opposing position of another madhab, if not followed in a certain land, cannot be practiced there. Therefore the Shafi’i position on this has become invalid in Syria and neighboring countries because it was never adopted by any Muslim government. This is even echoed now by one of the major leaders of the current Salafi-jihadi movement, Abu Basir al-Tartusi, who states that the majority opinion on this is superior and should be practiced, and that all should be considered as People of the Book and should not be forced into Islam. He says this on his website.

Help me understand the difference between the Shafi’is on the one side, and the Hanafis and Malikis on the other. Both would agree that the option to pay jizya [rather than convert] is provided to the People of the Book, but the difference is about who is considered People of the Book?

The difference is about who can be annexed to the category, i.e. who can be merged into the People of the Book. It is about whether the “People of the Book” can be extended to include others who can be treated as the People of the Book, or not. Because in the past, when Muslims waged wars, they always offered the enemy three options before fighting: 1) the enemy could become Muslim, 2) they could remain non-Muslim and pay jizya, or 3) they could choose to fight. So for mushrikiin, the payment of jizya was not considered an option, in some opinions. But this was in regards to pagans among the Arabs. And the Hanafis, for example, and the Malikis on a larger scale, and even Ahmad ibn Hanbal according to one narration from him, all quote hadith from the Prophet, salla Allah ‘alayhi wa sallam, reporting that when he sent people to fight pagan mushrikiin, he asked them to offer [to the latter] all three options. This means that even pagans cannot be forced into Islam, if they choose to pay jizya. There is also another hadith, one about the Magians, in Sahih Bukhari, that says “treat them like the People of the Book.”

So from these proofs, these portions of hadith tradition, among others, scholars and Muslim jurists went on to say that all non-Muslim sects are annexed to the People of the Book. Let me state it clearly: Muslims were not keen on killing people. Muslims tried to save the lives of people under any pretext when any proof was available. They valued human life as God’s creation, so when they found these clear proofs from among the words of the Prophet, they knew that Islam was a religion of mercy, because this is the higher purpose of the shariʿa: mercy—not killing people, not harshness, not savagery.

This was the practiced pattern when Muslims had power. Today Muslims are weak, and a group like al-Nusra thinks that it can survive and become a superpower? This is ridiculous. Muslims were superpowers and controlled two thirds of the world, and they did not eradicate sects. They did not force them into Islam.

So when al-Julani mentioned placing duʿāt among the Druze in Idlib, the interviewer did not interrupt him to question the practice.

He didn’t challenge him at all. The way that al-Julani put it was “we sent missionaries, duʿāt, to them, to correct for them their misunderstandings of Islamic dogma.” But Julani is very aware that Druze are considered non-Muslims in books of theology. When they have freedom, they will identify as Druze.

There is no basis for forcing or pressuring others to enter Islam. In my new book on fighting ISIS, I mention that it is even forbidden to slander a Christian or another non-Muslim. Ibn Nujaim, one of the greatest scholars of fiqh and uṣūl al-fiqh in the Hanafi school, said that it is haram, forbidden, to say to a non-Muslim: “you kāfir,”because it upsets him, and you are not supposed to upset him by pointing out his difference in beliefs. This has been established in Islam for centuries. This is why when I once spoke in America at the Catholic University in Washington, I said that the concept of “tolerance” is alien to us, because tolerance means “bearing up with difficulty,” i.e. doing a favor to the other. It is derived from the Latin verb tolerare which means “to endure pain.” The Muslim relationship toward other sects was not based in “doing the favor” of tolerating them; they considered their separate beliefs as their right. Ibn ʿĀbidīn even says in his book Radd Al-Muḥtār that oppression against non-Muslims is worse than oppression against Muslims.

So where do these people like Julani and Baghdadi come from? But this is what results when they destroy the twelve-century-long corpus of law of the four schools. This is what you get: everyone is implementing his own opinion. Everyone who carries a gun is now a mujtahid or a mufti, producing his own fatwas and acting as judge. They claim to act in reference to the book of Allah and the sunna of his Prophet, salla Allah ‘alayhi wa sallam, but they act according to their own understanding—or misunderstanding.

Islamic law develops [over time]. One of its beautiful characteristics is its flexibility. We have certain things that are constant over time, things like the pillars of Islam (prayer, fasting, and so forth), but then we have things that may evolve and change over time. There are a lot of these things, including jizya. It is not something that is rigidly defined, even though it is mentioned in the Qur’an.

So what do you think was the goal of that interview?

The purpose of the interview seemed to be just to elicit certain statements from al-Julani, particularly that “we don’t do takfir to anyone,” in a way that would increase his appeal to the public. It was a very dangerous interview.

And in the interview we don’t really see a renouncing of takfiri practice or ideology?

No. And even if we did, there is more at issue with al-Qaida than the practice of takfir. For example, anyone who believes in democracy, for them, is a heretic. Another example: any Muslim ruler or country that enters an alliance with or seeks assistance from a non-Muslim country—they become unbelievers. There are many problems with al-Qaida, and the ideology is basically the same as that of ISIS, though ISIS has more extreme practices that have now made al-Qaida look nice. But we know that several thousand fighters moved from al-Nusra to ISIS.

Throughout the Syria conflict, every time a more radical group would appear, it would make the groups preceding it look less bad. People were concerned about Islamist groups, but after Nusra emerged, it began to appear as the bigger threat, making the other Islamists appear more moderate. After ISIS emerged, even Nusra began to look better, simply because it was not as extreme. People would perceive any opposition to whatever was the more extreme party as a good thing.

[laughing] Well if you believe in relativity, then that is the case! But we don’t believe in relativity in this criminal arena. You can’t say that a murderer who kills one person is a saint because someone else is killing more.

Let me ask you how you perceive the recent successes of Nusra and other Islamists. You are someone who wants to see a future peace in Syria, and you see both the Assad regime and Nusra as obstacles to that peace. So when you see Assad losing ground and Nusra or other Islamist groups gaining ground, do you interpret this as a positive or negative development, or neither?

Kicking the regime out of areas like Idlib is definitely good, but the ultimate solution for the crisis in Syria will be political. Sometimes people are happy that a piece of land is liberated, but then you see barrel bombs falling on people morning and night in that area, killing civilians and innocents. So it is good that the regime is now weaker, that more people are safe from the torture of the regime’s prisons, from its special art in killing people. But what we need is to finally reach a political solution, where no fighting takes place.

Until now the regime has refused to talk seriously about any political solution. Do you think that with all its recent losses it may experience enough pressure that going to the negotiating table will become a real possibility?

I think that there may now be an agreement to get rid of Assad. Even Russia and Iran now believe that he has become a burden. But what system would follow? Of course Iran wants to guarantee its own interests in the country, and Russia wants to guarantee its interests. We do not want the major destruction of Damascus. So what is happening now is more military pressure on the regime to bring it to the negotiating table, where hopefully Assad could step down, an interim council would be created to which power would be handed over, and we would eventually witness a new Syria.

If that doesn’t happen and the present fight continues to move, say to Latakia or Damascus, the destruction will just go on.

Let me say this: continuing the fight is no longer in the interest of Syrians.

Including the opposition.

Including the opposition because the opposition is not in power and is not represented by the people fighting on the ground. Those fighting are mainly extreme groups like ISIS and others who want to impose their own version of Islam, which is alien to the moderate Sunni Islam that the region has known for centuries. When you look at the four schools you realize that Islam is not about killing. For example, Islamic penalties could not be implemented in times of war, times of famine, times of ignorance and so forth. By putting Islamic penalties on hold, I am not challenging the book of Allah or the sunna. I am not challenging the books of fiqh. I am precisely following the reliable opinion of every school of law. Shariʿa is not about Islamic penalties; these extreme groups have reduced shariʿa to Islamic penalties, they have reduced shariʿa to jizya for non-Muslims. What about truthfulness, what about mercy, what about respect for citizens, what about protecting life? Islam is about these things.

Tell me about the new book you have written. It is a long fatwa about IS. What do you hope to accomplish with it?

First of all, I have seen a lot of need, from inside Syria and from around the world. From inside Syria I receive questions from fighters and commanders, from certain military groups, asking whether they should engage in the war against ISIS, asking whether ISIS are Muslims and whether they can fight against Muslims. And from non-Muslims around the world, you are aware how much fuss there is about ISIS and its crimes, especially after the burning alive of the Jordanian pilot Muaz al-Kasasbeh, Allah have mercy on him. So I saw the strong need [for an authoritative religious response to this], and there was only the one letter that was issued before, that I cosigned [www.lettertobaghdadi.com], but which did not go into enough detail regarding the proofs for the refutation of ISIS, but which mainly presented the basics. So I wrote this book directing the reader to the major positions held by ISIS, such as allegiance to Baghdadi and its validity, kidnapping, burning, slavery. Slavery is one of the major issues and I mentioned that as jurists, doctors of the law, from an Islamic point of view we are bound by international law on the issue, which we [Muslim countries] have signed, and Muslims must not breach their promises. Slavery should not be practiced and cannot be practiced; it is now forbidden in Islam for it to be practiced. This does not contradict the book of Allah or the sunna of the Prophet; it is rather in conjunction with them, because in Islam we are ordered to respect our covenants and contracts. Before the coming of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed participated in a covenant called the Hilf al-Fudūl that was made among tribes in Mecca to protect the oppressed. And after the message of Islam had come, the Prophet said that if he was again invited to such an accord that he would agree to it. So slavery in Islam is not obligatory; it is not the only option. Slavery was one option in Islam only because it was practiced in the world into which Islam came, and if the world comes to agree on abolishing it, we are bound by this. Even more so because our enemies do not enslave us. The only case in which slavery could still be applied would be if the world were to abolish the Declaration of Human Rights and begin to enslave Muslims. In such a scenario, Muslims could enslave their enemies as a kind of reciprocity. But this is impossible, an entirely imaginary hypothesis. There is now no place for slavery at all; it is out of the question.

Now when we spoke in 2013, you mentioned that many fighters were seeking your religious guidance, sometimes about relations with other groups, sometimes about fighting the regime. As the first sheikh to issue a fatwa validating resistance against the regime after its use of violence against the peaceful protesters, you played an important role in legitimizing the armed struggle of the opposition. I wonder now, in early 2015, whether similar numbers of fighters still consult you.

No. The reason is that many moderate fighters, for financial reasons or for lack of weapons and arms support, moved to join with al-Nusra or others. Three years ago there were so many military groups on the ground. Many of them were moderate and were fighting for a new Syria, and their goal was to take out the regime, not to create that form of a state which Nusra or ISIS is seeking to establish now. We all know that many Syrian fighters are now with ISIS or Nusra—they are well paid. Many looked at the international community with frustration, because they didn’t see any support.

But some still contact me and I have received requests from some of the major military groups that still exist, from around the country. Their questions now are not about the regime but mainly concern fighting ISIS.

How much practical influence do you think that your book can have?

It is designed to impact three target groups. The first group is the fighters inside Syria.

And can it physically reach them?

Yes. One major rebel group inside Syria has already requested 10,000 copies of it. A second group has requested 5,000 copies. These are good signs. They want to educate their fighters, to discuss what is right and wrong, who represents Islam, and what kind of Islam is to be practiced. So this is very encouraging. And this is just in the first few days. By the way, I have published 25,000 copies [in Turkey, to be distributed to Syrian fighters] at my own expense. I have had no sponsors. But we are expecting that 100,000 copies will eventually be needed.

The second target group for the book is the youth outside of Syria, around the world, who are at risk for recruitment. They can be reached online, and when they read this book they will realize that ISIS does not represent Islam. Through this effort we will try to minimize the levels of recruitment. That is why there are versions in both Arabic and English.

And the third target group is academia and the media. I receive a lot of questions from both academia and the media about the legal stance of Islam and the various schools on these issues, and this work can help answer those questions from concerned observers.

We are hopeful about the potential of this book and feel that its reception is promising.

Comments (200)


ALAN said:

/This question should be directed to Qatar’s government. Why are they doing this?/

A newly declassified Pentagon report provides startling high-level confirmation that the US-led strategy in Syria contributed directly to the rise of the wat called “Islamic State”.
The secret US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) document, obtained by Washington DC law firm Judicial Watch, and according to the internal report, which was distributed throughout the US intelligence community, emergence of ISIS was seen as a likely consequence of the West’s efforts to destabilize Bashar al-Assad’s gowernment in Syria.

Despite that, Western governments continued to coordinate financial, military and logistical support to largely “Islamist” militant rebel groups in Syria, through allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Jordan and Turkey, among others,Middle East Eye reports.
..
The Pentagon cannot pretend it didn’t know the consequence of its strategy. Indeed, it doesn’t.

When asked repeatedly by journalist and ex-US marine Brad Hoff to dispel claims that the West aligned itself with IS or ISIS at some point in Syria, the DIA’s official response was telling: “No comment.”
http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2015/05/pentagon-report-says-west-persian-gulf-states-and-turkey-created-isis/

May 31st, 2015, 7:37 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The discussion over nuances of Shari’a disgusts me.

“…which means they (all who are not Sunni), are full citizens of the countries where they live”.

Doubtfully full citizens, but only second class.

And this Yaaqoubi dude supposed to be the “good guy”?

May 31st, 2015, 8:09 am

 

Observer said:

How about removing religion fully out of politics once and for all.

Between this guy, that guy, and the retard prethident, we are in great shape to enter the darkest of the middle ages

May 31st, 2015, 8:30 am

 
 
 

Fahmein said:

I never heard of yaaqoubi. Obviously he is a wannabe. His arguments are all nonsensical without any exceptions.

May 31st, 2015, 9:16 am

 

Uss017 said:

This is an excellent interview. I immensely admire Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi. He is among the leading scholar of traditional Sunni Islam (ahle sunnah wal jamaah) and i always find his views to be sensible.

Many of the comments here are pathetic to say the least. Those who do not know zilch about Shaykh Yaqoubi only expose their gross ignorance.

The owners of this blog should moderate the comments section to ensure that silly, nonsensical comments containing insults are deleted.

May 31st, 2015, 9:17 am

 

Syrialover said:

FAHMEIN #6

Well, it’s good you’ve heard of him now.

Read more from him over the last 4 years – there’s a lot out there. He’s a force for sanity and reason in this mess.

He’s got more guts and IQ than the entire Daesch pseudo-army and Jabhat al-Nusra combined.

Thanks MATTHEW for this piece.

May 31st, 2015, 9:24 am

 

Syrialover said:

What IS al-Jazeera up to? They are creating a whole new media form of sinister/silly.

Better they concentrate on the bubbling scandal over Qatar bribing its way into hosting the World Cup and the exposure of the brutal slavery on Qatar’s building sites.

Now that’s REAL news people are following- http://www.forbes.com/sites/afontevecchia/2015/05/29/fifa-scandal-follow-the-money-to-qatar/ ; http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/soccer/doc-exposes-dreadful-conditions-qatar-labor-force-article-1.2241015

May 31st, 2015, 9:39 am

 

Poul said:

Mentioning Ahmad ibn Hanbal sort of says it all. Plus the importance of money also comes in and voila – Wahhabism.

There just isn’t a way to avoid Saudi Arabia in all this and their policy of spreading Wahhabism.

Islam must come back to it’s “pure” roots. As they would say.

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi represents the old ways which have been disappearing all over Syria. A new intrepretation of Islam is on the march – brought to you by Al-Nusra and IS.

May 31st, 2015, 9:42 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Mixing religion with politics should be punished with life prison penalty (or optionally with impalment penalty for those who have received education).

May 31st, 2015, 10:39 am

 

Fahmein said:

Reading about every wannabe is a total waste of time due to the fact that there’re many of them. I’d rather read something more relevant and more beneficial.

May 31st, 2015, 10:46 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Firstly, why does the google result for Syria Comment say ‘This site may be hacked’ underneath it? Is it just me? Noticed it in recent days but ignored it. Are everybodies details (eg email) safe? The regimes ability to reach opponents may be on the wane but you never know. I thought I’d bring it people’s attention.

May 31st, 2015, 11:06 am

 

Uzair8 said:

With John Kerry breaking his leg in an apparent cycling incident will the Iran- Nuclear & Sanctions talks be postponed until 2016?

Iran may demand an independant medical to verify and confirm the injury. It may also demand an investigation into the circumstances of the incident to see if it was caused deliberately by (eg) zionists to scuttle the Nuclear deal and lifting of sanctions?

May 31st, 2015, 11:13 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Recent Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi tweets:

– A Call to all Sufis in the World, unite… unite … unite. Sunni Islam is in danger: extremist groups may soon reach your areas, [May 29]

– I wonder why the MB movement does not condemn NF in Syria. [May 30]

{NF = Nusra Front? }

– Hezbollah was born in Lebanon, fostered in Iran; and will soon be buried in Syria. [May 30] [Originally 25th May 2013]

https://twitter.com/shaykhabulhuda

May 31st, 2015, 11:21 am

 

mjabali said:

Sheikh Ya’qubi is not telling the truth:

For example: he mentions Ibn Abdin ابن عابدين saying that non-Muslims could live with Muslims. Here Ibn Abdin is shown as a dove of peace. The truth he is not.

Ibn Abdin, for those who do not know him, is one of the main Sheikhs who issued Fatwas against the Alawites, and others. He is considered a source when Sunnis want to bring something against the Alawites…Ya’qubi do not lie to us please

This is a very known issue regarding Ibn Abdin.

Second: When Sheikh Ya’qubi say that “Alawites, Druze and Ismailis” could be dealt with as the people of the Book.

This means that these three groups are not Muslim, and in due time they could be punished for that.

It is obvious that the Muslim for Ya’qubi is the Sunni Muslim…

Ya’qubi thinks he is talking to children….

May 31st, 2015, 11:53 am

 

Sami said:

Is the discussing of Jewish Dogma nuances equally disgusting to you, Amir? And kind of funny you mention second class citizens considering the way Palistinains and Israeli Arabs are treated…

I don’t understand those who would want to push aside people as Yacoubi as unimportant, and yet claim under the same breathe that there are no Sunnis speaking out against extremism and Daesh. The man wrote the book on it literally and yet somehow it is easily dismissed with a swipe of a hand.

I am of the same thinking as Observer that mosque and state should be separated. Yet I would not think of downplaying the importance Yacoubi is trying to establish. To empower moderate thinkers is essential and personally as an agnostic Syrian that identifies by his country of origin and not my religious beliefs (or lack of) I would rather deal with a religious establishment run by the likes of Yacoubi than wackos like Jolani and Baghdadi.

If we ever can establish a separation between faith and politics in Syria shouldn’t we deal with those moderate enough to see that a state should be about the citizen and not his/her religion that is important?

May 31st, 2015, 12:28 pm

 

Baqiyah15 said:

This man is a kafir. He tries to make halal haram. Slavery is a great sunnah and we will never abandon it.
He does not even undersyand the principles of fiqh. urf or local custom is not a valid source for shariah.
And it is not from Islam to adhere to any particular madhab, rather we take the correct opinion from Quran, sunnah and ijma of sahabah.

May 31st, 2015, 12:32 pm

 

ALAN said:

Is there the gas in Al-Anbar? Is there the gas in the Syrian desert and the province of Palmyra? mmm

May 31st, 2015, 4:09 pm

 

Altair said:

Well, the real question is, what difference does he make?

As J. Stalin once said, “The Pope? How many divisions does he have?”

May 31st, 2015, 4:43 pm

 

Syrialover said:

FAHMEIN #12

You sound like a disgruntled wannabe yourself, irritated by anyone outside your apparently limited line of vision.

What is it you want to be? If you have any interest in the fate of Syria you need to get well-informed on the role of moderate religious leaders like Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi.

We need more people to contribute constructive, intellectually stimulating comments like that of SAMI in #17.

May 31st, 2015, 5:11 pm

 

Syrialover said:

BAQIYAH #18

Millions of lives and whole countries are being destroyed by people who have created self importance and reassurance through competitive creative interpretation and assertions of religious “rules”.

I hope you aren’t one of those.

Leave Islam to the quality thought leaders and experts like Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi. People who have a constructive role and mission.

(It’s fine to have your own personal belief system and interpretation of the universe, the Koran or whatever. But it gets sick and dangerous when brandished as a tool to assert power and superiority over others).

May 31st, 2015, 5:38 pm

 

Jamal said:

6. FAHMEIN said:

I never heard of yaaqoubi. Obviously he is a wannabe.

Could not agree more

May 31st, 2015, 5:45 pm

 

Tara said:

Joshua tweeted that IS advanced 90 km towards Damascus from Palmyra.

what a sad fate…

May 31st, 2015, 5:51 pm

 

Syrialover said:

MAJABLI #16 when you assert a religious person is “not telling the truth” I’m afraid you lose my interest. Fast.

When it comes to Syria there is so much more, so many bigger life-and-death situations and issues to think and care about.

In this forum over the years your knowledge and background outside religious issues has often been unique and valuable. You have contributed some excellent insights and perspectives on the current problems in Syria (with emphasis on the word current).

I wish you would not be so angry and taking offence. We need the other stuff from you.

May 31st, 2015, 6:01 pm

 

Jamal said:

Here comes another Sufi to claim the moderate version of extreme Sunnah which is (moderation) of course does not exist.

I read a comment on this forum from a Sunnah person who actually for once had the balls to speak the truth. Sunnah in general are supporting and advocating the killing and terror actions of IS and Nusra, Sunnah although the media job of condemnations but deep down they’re having wet dreams over the thought of removing Alwaite village or converting a church to a mosque or even crucifying few Isamilis.

You all ask why we turned our back to Arabs and sharing the bed with Iran, simply because they recognized us as humans and accepted us with any belief we practice. Not like Sunnah who always looked at us like infidels and could not waste a chance of reminding us how at a point of time under sever circumstances we had to sell our kids away to spare them the starvation in the mountains. Sunnah born as landlords and never experienced hunger or poverty hence could and still not able to understand.

It goes both way and if you demand respect and dignity you should show some.

May 31st, 2015, 6:01 pm

 

Syrialover said:

JAMAL #26 people destroy themselves inside with your kind of obsessing and catastrophe blanket thinking.

Far better to focus your energies on blaming the rotten Assad regime and their buddies in Teheran for the way things have turned out.

Most of the “Sunnah” as you call are as desperately poor and oppressed as the most underprivileged Alawai. All equally victims under the Assad dictatorship.

It might seem wobbly and irritating to you, but Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi offers alternative calmer, more rational and constructive thinking to your “enemies”. So they can get on with working to rebuild Syria in conjunction with people like yourself.

May 31st, 2015, 6:21 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

I suspect former user ALI is back…

May 31st, 2015, 6:29 pm

 

Syrialover said:

TARA #24, ISIS have been waiting and watching while the regime expends all its barrel bombs and military strategizing on Syrian civilians and the Syrian rebels, neutralizing them so they (ISIS) can jump in and sweep Damascus and Aleppo. They know they are safe from a real fight from Assad. That’s how sickly irrational both players are.

May 31st, 2015, 6:36 pm

 

Sami said:

Altair,

What army did Martin Luther have when he wrote his 95 Theses and shook the Holy Roman Empire of Charles V to its core and caused the Protestant Reformation in Europe?

Ideas are powerful and history has repeatedly proven that the written word is mightier than than the sword.

One can’t deny that Islam needs a reformation of its own. Fatwas of Ibn Tamiyah and his ilk need to be challenged by todays religious bodies, or should they remain silent while at risk youths gobble up the garbage Ibn T spewed centuries ago?

May 31st, 2015, 7:13 pm

 

Sami said:

Matthew,

Were you able to cover any ground with the Sheikh in regards to womens rights? I would be interested in knowing his views on the subject matter, especially the enslavement of the Yazidi women and their horrendous treatment under Daesh.

I am not exactly familiar with the dogma used by Daesh to enslave and trade women as properties but would hope for more voices to speak up on behalf of those poor women and children.

May 31st, 2015, 7:23 pm

 

Tara said:

Sami,

The religious dogma that is used is السبي.

Abd the women and children captured are ماملكت أيمانهم therefore they are considered properties and غنائم حرب.

I do not agree with it and it must be argued by scholars and changed.

May 31st, 2015, 7:49 pm

 

Syrian said:

Here is what the shaykh said about slavery witch should cover men and women.
“Slavery is one of the major issues and I mentioned that as jurists, doctors of the law, from an Islamic point of view we are bound by international law on the issue, which we [Muslim countries] have signed, and Muslims must not breach their promises. Slavery should not be practiced and cannot be practiced”
“Slavery was one option in Islam only because it was practiced in the world into which Islam came, and if the world comes to agree on abolishing it, we are bound by this.The only case in which slavery could still be applied would be if the world were to abolish the Declaration of Human Rights and begin to enslave Muslims. In such a scenario, Muslims could enslave their enemies as a kind of reciprocity. But this is impossible, an entirely imaginary hypothesis. There is now no place for slavery at all; it is out of the question.”

May 31st, 2015, 10:16 pm

 

Altair said:

#30 Sami

I don’t disagree with you that ideas are powerful, merely about who al-Yaqubi is and why is he being given prominence here. Maybe he is important, but I honestly don’t know why.

The Syrian conflict is a militarized one, and ideas are no longer playing much of a role. It is all about brute force right now. I think the regime wanted it that way because it thought it had no competition in that sphere, which evidently is not the case judging by how much territory it has lost.

But on the subject of ideas: the fact that we have to hear debates about whether slavery is permitted or not shows just how low the debate has gone. I guess that’s not al-Yaqubi’s fault, but it is still a bad indicator of the state of affairs.

Yet I don’t see any discussion of what good government is or should be. You would think that in a sea of bad governments and dictatorships, there should be more discussion about that. Did I miss something, or is it just not there?

May 31st, 2015, 11:22 pm

 

Syrian said:

Regime supporters are more afraid of Shiekh Al-Yaquobi than Jolani and IS, because a man like him would turn their claim of either Assad or IS on its head. So they keep looking for the smallest side issues than to discuss his great stand.
They are still betting on convincing the world about their P.O.V.

The thing is the world don’t care about you and has moved on, they did not come to help a legitimate revolution and for sure they will not come now to help a mass murderer.

June 1st, 2015, 12:39 am

 

El Chino said:

Excellent interview, Matthew. Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi is a brave cleric who is out front, telling it like it is. We should wish for more like him…

June 1st, 2015, 2:19 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

Thank you Matthew for this very informative post.

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, for those who do not know, is one of the top Sunni Muslim scholars in the world. He hails from a noble and scholarly family that has many scholars in its lineage back to Prophet Muhammad, salla Allah ‘alayhi wa sallam. Sheikh Muhammad’s lineage includes the fifth caliph Hasan son of Ali, the grandson of the Prophet, salla Allah ‘alayhi wa sallam, and king Idris I, founder of the Idrisid dynasty.

Just because some clearly ignorant person hasn’t heard of Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, it does not make Sheikh Muhammad a “wannabe.” The problem here is not ignorance. Ignorance can be educated. The problem is the logic that makes someone conclude that not knowing who someone is makes him or her a “wannabe.” In the words of Aristophanes, “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.”

When I see statements that lack intelligence, I remember the famous quote: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

June 1st, 2015, 2:56 am

 

ALAN said:

How long will this site keeps on publishing sectarian and religious C H O L E R A ? Apparently the same situation will continue as long as the boys are busy with their games.

June 1st, 2015, 3:13 am

 

ALAN said:

Non-Sectarian speech:
Anbar is home to about 53 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is the largest reserves of Russia’s which has gas reserves of 44 trillion cubic feet and this according to international estimates for the year 2008, that Anbar largest gas reserves in the world.
Oil experts foresee the possibility of the existence of what could be up to 300 billion barrels of crude oil in Anbar desert, believed to be the cause of this American forces attempts to control the Anbar region and not others over the past five years. Ohz is the largest of Venezuela reserves which occupies first place in oil reserves in the world and in 2008 published IHS International Foundation of oil a study on the discovery of large oil area in Anbar after a survey across satellites but it has been on the news media cover-ups
Phosphate: There is in Anbar 10 billion tons, which is close to the reserve, which Egypt has the largest reserves in the world. …… etc ….
The boys are still engrossed by playing.

June 1st, 2015, 3:53 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

30. SAMI said:

Altair,

What army did Martin Luther have when he wrote his 95 Theses and shook the Holy Roman Empire of Charles V to its core and caused the Protestant Reformation in Europe?

Ideas are powerful and history has repeatedly proven that the written word is mightier than than the sword.

One can’t deny that Islam needs a reformation of its own. Fatwas of Ibn Tamiyah and his ilk need to be challenged by todays religious bodies, or should they remain silent while at risk youths gobble up the garbage Ibn T spewed centuries ago?

Well Sami you seem to overestimate protestants and Luther. I am a protestant (Lutheran) and live in a protestant country.

During the time of Luther only a fragment of the population could read and write, so the masses in Europe had basically no idea what Luther did write and demand. During Luther’s time the Catholic Church was besides an enormously powerful and wealthy political/economical entity also extremely corrupted “ideologically”. The Catholic Church as an independent centralized entity was a direct rival of the kings and the aristocracy of that time.

The kings and other rulers especially in Northern Europe understood “at once” that the Luther’s Protestant Reformation was a golden -literally- opportunity for them. They could take the political/social power the Church represented under their direct control plus as a bonus take the lands and properties the wealthy Church owned. And they did it in Sweden, Denmark, England, North Germany’s states etc. The ruler of the nations church was now the king (president in present days), not any more that guy in Rome and his local henchmen. The priests and Church’s hierarchy were turned to into de facto civil servants of the government and the riches of invaded Churches was partly wasted in new wars and partly divided to the loyal elite.

The tales that the masses run to the streets demanding a reform of the religion are pure propaganda. In Sweden, to which Finland belonged then, the King Gustav Vasa managed to correct his miserable finances and create an enormously efficient way to rule the country and masses through the church under HIS control. Henry VIII made the same in England.

This reform process did lead to the Thirty Years’ War which was one of the longest, most destructive conflicts in European history. The religious reform did not exactly increase the democratic or human rights
of the masses. I suppose the Renaissance as a historic process did lead more to in that direction, than the regime change in national Churches.

June 1st, 2015, 6:12 am

 

mjabali said:

1-

Sheikh Ya’qubi claim to be the descendant of the Prophet or Ali or al-Hasan Ibn Ali or the Idrisis is to be confirmed by modern science. It is almost impossible to prove this, because the family of the Prophet hid themselves for hundreds of years because of hard persecution.

Many people through out history claimed they are the descendants of the Prophet of Islam… To put these in a special place does not make sense…..إن أكرمكم عند الله أتقاكم and not إن أكرمكم عند الله هو قريب محمد وعلي…

-2

Why don’t we ask Sheikh Ya’qubi about the Fatwa of Ibn ‘Abdin about the Alawites, Druze, Islamilis…and others…

He said that Ibn ‘Abdin called for social harmony and the Alawites say the opposite…

I heard it all along my life: The Fatwa of Nuh al-Hamidi and the Fatwa of Ibn ‘Abdin… are two amongst many that put the Alawites, and many other minorities, out of any equal platform,

3- Sheikh Ya’qubi mentioned in this interview that Ahmad Ibn Hanbal is a nice guy, and that he said something good in regards to minorities: If this is true, Isn;t this the same Ahmad Ibn Hanbal the spiritual godfather of Wahabism, IS, Nusra, Boko Haram……etc?

4- al-Ya’qubi said that the Alawites could be considered as people of the Book…This is a new invention to me..what book? The Alawites read al-Quran and I think this is not the book he is talking about…This ambiguity is an indication of uncertainty and unwillingness on the part of al-Yaqubi not to confront the main Sunni attitude regarding the Alawites and other minorities….

Ya’qubi is trying to show a nice face of Islam, that is great, but please let him speak the truth and face the real problems instead of this sugar coating technique…

To me he is speaking like any pro Assad cleric…think about it

June 1st, 2015, 6:37 am

 
 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

MAJABALI,

You keep on arguing about alawites, always sectarian. Just sectarian. You have an enemy, Sunna. Do not deny it. You are here just to attack others religions.

For me atacking religions is a stupid game.

You would better attack criminals who declare themselves a part of God on Earth like His Majesty on Earth Bashar Al Wahsh, known too as the slaguhterer of the House of Wahsh.

June 1st, 2015, 8:33 am

 

mjabali said:

Sandro Low:

I doubt that you read the articles published here at Syria Comment.

If you’d have read the article published you would know the topic been discussed is Ibn ‘Abdin and Ibn Hanbal, and if you consider the Alawites a people of the Book or not…

If you know anything about this topic please add up to the conversation…if not…I advise you to play somewhere else…..

I doubt you can add up one beneficial sentence to the topic been discussed here…

June 1st, 2015, 10:28 am

 

Juergen said:

I was shortlisting the book presenation of Christoph Reuter last week here in Berlin. Here is the video of the event. From Minute 24.25 the event is in english-its an interview between the author and Petra Stienen. ( writer and exdiplomate)

I urge you all to see it, his views and his analysis of Daesh is remarkable. Due to the fact that DER SPIEGEL seized some important papers about the structure and the narrative within this organization, one can gain great insights.

June 1st, 2015, 10:32 am

 

Juergen said:

Update: There is a problem with the listing of the video. Go to Youtube and select video 8 in the list.

I was shortlisting the book presenation of Christoph Reuter last week here in Berlin. Here is the video of the event. From Minute 24.25 the event is in english-its an interview between the author and Petra Stienen. ( writer and exdiplomate)

I urge you all to see it, his views and his analysis of Daesh is remarkable. Due to the fact that DER SPIEGEL seized some important papers about the structure and the narrative within this organization, one can gain great insights.

June 1st, 2015, 10:36 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Zeina Khodr @ZeinakhodrAljaz ·2h
#SNC head: #ISIL advancing towards Damascus, Suwieda and Aleppo and the intl community is doing nothing to stop the armed group #Syria

https://twitter.com/ZeinakhodrAljaz/status/605359408416063491

June 1st, 2015, 11:22 am

 

Sami said:

Thanks Tara and Syrian. I was hoping for more information than what was said above, I should’ve maybe been clearer. I know Matthew has done extensive work on the plight of Yazidi women under the brutal hands of Daesh by brining attention to them, was wondering if he touched base on that.

June 1st, 2015, 12:36 pm

 

Sami said:

Altair,

I agree with you full heartedly. The concentration on religion takes away from the actual politics on hand. That however shouldn’t stop someone from challenging the extremists dogma with a moderate one.

June 1st, 2015, 12:40 pm

 

Sami said:

Simo,

Its not often you and I agree, but we do on this. Luther’s Theses did not create a revolt of the masses and I never said it did, only monks, priest, and royals had the ability to read at the time. What it allowed was a challenge to the status quo of the time mainly among the clergy and monks against the Catholic Church. The fact that Royals used it to benefit their own interest is no surprise and King Henry VII would perfectly exemplify that.

However no one can argue that the Catholic Church was the same after that, those theses effectively split the Catholic Church in two with second part becoming an amalgamation of churches loosely labelled the Protestant Church.

June 1st, 2015, 12:51 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

This is the second article I’ve read about Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi from Matthew Barber.

I agree with Syrialover:

He’s a force for sanity and reason in this mess.

The Middle East isn’t going to become secular over night, nor does it have to. It just needs moderates, wherever they are.

#17.) Sami said to Amir:

And kind of funny you mention second class citizens considering the way Palistinains and Israeli Arabs are treated…

Israeli-Arabs are treated equally to Israeli-Jews.

http://www.israellycool.com/2015/06/01/photo-of-the-day-new-doctors/

http://www.israellycool.com/2015/04/14/new-job-opportunities-for-arab-women-in-apartheid-israel-concentration-camp-gaza/

http://www.israellycool.com/2013/03/12/apartheid-video-of-the-day/

June 1st, 2015, 12:59 pm

 

ALAN said:

Erdogan threatens the journalist, who leaked the pictures of weapon delivery to Syria, : “He will pay a heavy price for this, I will not leave go of him! ” . Journalist replies: “The person who committed this crime (weapon delivery) will pay a heavy price. We (turkish people) will not let go of him”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has publicly and personally threatened the editor-in-chief of a daily which published video footage that it said showed security forces discovering weapons being sent to Syria on trucks belonging to the state intelligence agency.

http://refreshingnews99.blogspot.in/2015/06/erdogan-threatens-journalist-who-leaked.html

June 1st, 2015, 2:46 pm

 

ALAN said:

Western governments no longer hide the fact that they’re using jihadists – NATO overthrew Mouamar el-Kadhafi by using al-Qaïda as its its only ground forces; Israël displaced the UN Forces to Golan, and replaced them with al-Nosra; the international anti-Daesh Coalition allowed Palmyra to fall in order to cause more problems for Syria. But while we can understand Western interests, we fail to grasp why and how the jihadists can serve Uncle Sam in the name of the Coran.
http://www.voltairenet.org/article187738.html

June 1st, 2015, 3:19 pm

 

Syrialover said:

SAMI and (yes, I’ll concede) SIMOHURTTA

Interesting comments thanks about the powerful impact of religious reform on Christianity and its shaping of the modern world.

I read this article the other day:

“The search for a Muslim Martin Luther –
Reform of ideology cannot be achieved amid an atmosphere of intimidation and intolerance”

EXCERPTS:

“Big terrorist attacks are often accompanied by calls for a reformation in Islam. But it will be a long wait for a Martin Luther. There is no church or hierarchy in Islam, and there are several schools of thought, so interpretations are usually based on the consensus of clerical institutions. The vast majority of clerics argue that jihadis misunderstand their religion and the overwhelming majority of Muslims never resort to any act of violence. But that is not to say there is no need for reform.

“After the attacks of September 11 2001, a rare and welcome debate erupted over the ideology and teachings of the puritanical Wahhabi Islam practised in Saudi Arabia and its role in misleading youth. Liberals were given the space to argue their case and the language of clerics grew more moderate. But then the pressure faded and so did the reforms.

“In the past year, a few liberals in the Arab world who have watched the terrifying rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) have again questioned religious teachings.

“The answer, however, lies in part in the rotting sociopolitical state of a Middle East blighted by autocracy, chaos and a troubled, sometimes irrational, relationship with the west.

“It would be a sign of progress, for example, if a debate over religion were allowed without anyone who dares to raise any question about Islam ending up behind bars. It’s a sad irony that, two days after the outrage in Paris, a Saudi blogger was lashed 50 times (with another 950 lashes still to go and a 10-year prison sentence) for running a liberal website that allegedly insulted religious authorities. The same week a court in Egypt sentenced a student to three years in prison after accusing him of writing Facebook posts that insulted Islam.

“It is not in an atmosphere of intimidation and intolerance that any change — let alone reform of religious ideology and discourse — will ever be achieved.”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/56682e1e-9bd7-11e4-b6cc-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3bqLzN1pe

June 1st, 2015, 5:00 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Have a look at US Embassy Syria’s latest tweets. Significant.

https://twitter.com/usembassysyria

June 1st, 2015, 5:33 pm

 

Syrialover said:

In one of the links to more reading on Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi MATTHEW described him as “moderate, influential, and ready to go to work”.

Well, here he is being all three in a PBS TV interview broadcast across the US last November.

“Syrian cleric who led funeral prayers for Peter Kassig speaks out against Islamic State, Assad”

In the interview he talks about atrocities committed by the Islamic State, why the militant group is able to gain followers and the fight against the Assad regime.

He also says of Kassig (an American aid worker and Muslim convert, who was beheaded by ISIS):

“Peter Kassig, Abdul-Rahman, sacrificed his life for the sake of the Syrian people.He went on a humanitarian mission as an aid worker to help save humanity, to show sympathy to the Syrian people, solidarity of the American people with the Syrian people. So it’s our duty as Syrians to stand by his family, and to stand by his community, and to stand by the American people who gave this example of bravery in this difficult time, when ISIS is slaughtering everyone.”

Podcast and transcript of the interview: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/syrian-cleric-led-funeral-prayers-peter-kassig-speaks-islamic-state-assad/

June 1st, 2015, 6:16 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Wow! I just looked at the link UZAIR8 gives in #55

Here is the US officially announcing that Assad is working militarily WITH ISIS.

Tweets from US Embassy, written by the State Dept, approved by the White House:

# Reports indicate that the regime is making air-strikes in support of ISIL’s advance on Aleppo, aiding extremists against Syrian population

# We have long seen that the Asad regime avoids ISIL lines, in complete contradiction to the regime’s claims to be fighting ISIL.

# With these latest reports, Asad is not only avoiding ISIL lines, but, actively seeking to bolster their positon.

# As we have long said, Bashar al Asad lost legitimacy long ago and will never be an effective counterterrorism partner.

# The fact is that there is no better recruiting tool for ISIL than the brutality of the Asad regime. http://goo.gl/wUJMCa

https://twitter.com/usembassysyria

June 1st, 2015, 6:29 pm

 

Syrialover said:

What does the above mean?

Here’s what I desperately hope it means.

That the US is about to drastically revise its outdated current “rules of engagement” that have seen it pussyfooting with a handful of airstrikes and dithering around, looking at ways to only target ISIS leaders and select infrastructure.

That it will go back to its earlier methodology (in earlier arenas, before the current situation) of many hundreds of fierce airstrikes a day, leaving the enemy target no where to run and hide – let alone travel in open convoys along open roads.

And I hope it means: “Get stuffed Assad – we mean you TOO”

June 1st, 2015, 6:38 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Will the message in #57 mean that US airstrikes might work to save the ordinary citizens and cities of Aleppo and Damascus, and aid those fighting on the ground to protect those cities from attacks by the joint Assad/ISIS team effort?

Hope, hope, hope…

June 1st, 2015, 6:44 pm

 

Syrialover said:

ALAN,

Can you give us any more information on reports that Russia is pulling back from the Assad regime and evacuating its diplomatic personnel and military advisers Syria? Russia’s also said to be no longer honouring some of its military equipment agreements with the regime.

We also know that Putin has been on the phone a couple of days ago to UK PM Cameron seeking talks on a Syrian solution. Cameron is very much a man with a post-Assad Syrian vision.

Looks like Assad’s sleazy affair with ISIS is getting too obvious for the Russians to bear, the same feeling the Americans have now declared.

That public display of affection by ISIS to Assad in destroying the massively incriminating Tadmur prison wasn’t very discreet.

June 1st, 2015, 7:33 pm

 

Nadia said:

The events are moving in a fast pace and observers can’t catch up wit the snowball rolling events.

The decision of retreats and evacuating multiple cities came as a direct advice from Russia and Iran.

The regime is hurting badly but at least there’s a practical and pragmatic strategy after digesting the new reality that the old Syria is gone for good. There will be no one leader, no one Syria, no one country.

The regime and its allies faced the reality and now dusting off the backup plans. What’s happening now is drawing the borders of the new mini-States.

With limited resources soon enough the regime has to let go of Aleppo or the South in order to keep control of a continuous connects geographical land. Most likely the regime will let go of Aleppo and preserve the coastal mountains and the borders with Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. The regime will keep the name of Syria to the new mini-State.

The partition of old Syria is already in place.

June 1st, 2015, 9:46 pm

 

Syrian said:

Nadia
Assad has been taking direct advice from Russia and Iran since day one and it did not work.Plan B most likely as always the case will not have any better chances than plan A.!
“If something might go wrong it will”

June 1st, 2015, 10:18 pm

 

Ghufran said:

The sheikh in question is more representative of shami Islam which is typically moderate, he can play a role in ending this war if rebels listen to him which I doubt. It is obvious that religious leaders have influence
over a lot of people in the opposition but the effect of moderate sheikhs is questionable because it is now a bloody war financed by the GCC, directed by Turkey and fueled by Wahhabi ideology.
Isis wants to take Aleppo and Erdogan does not seem to mind, he is in bed with Isis, if Aleppo falls northern Syria will become part of Turkey even if official borders are not drawn, but if Damascus falls, a much harder target than Aleppo. the regime will cease to exist and Syria will become another Somslia. My own opinion is that aljazeera and north Syria are gone, Aleppo is under a serious threat but Damascus is ok for now.
I also think it is too early to write the regime obituary despite the latest setbacks and the muted response of Russia and Iran who may want to preserve the regime or part of it but seem more willing to advise Assad to go now. Nobody came to help Syrian soldiers when they were attacked by Nusra and Isis ( and that tells a lot) but pro regime media is talking about a counter offense, I will believe it when I see it.

June 1st, 2015, 11:05 pm

 

Nadia said:

Dear Ghufran,

I like the meaning of your name and I hope Syrians will be able to embrace it at.

you said “pro regime media is talking about a counter offense, I will believe it when I see it”

I’m a pro-regime in the essence of army and police as they’re the only safety buffer to minorities. It’s a legitimate fear I live for myself, family and friends, as all of us will face a definite ending if the regime falls. I will not be dragged into the discussion of fairness for being selfish by ignoring the other majority of Syrians, because simply anybody will be selfish when the head (actually) on the chopping block.

Back to your comment. A trusted source told me how frazzled and confused the army troops are, they’re just following the orders and commands from Damascus while it totally does not make any sense for them. The continuous withdrawal of troops is putting down the army spirit and when they ask for justifications or reasons they get nothing. Other source mentioned how both Maher Alassad and Gen. Sulimani are working together to fortify the coastal area and draw new border/engagement lines with all hot area.

Everybody in my village is talking only about partition, and everybody in favor for partition if it means the safety of the village.

Syria is gone with hundreds of thousands of our young souls.

RIP Syria.

June 2nd, 2015, 12:12 am

 

Altair said:

#55 Uzair8

I find it surprising that the US Embassy to Syria would be suggesting a collusion between ISIS and the Asad regime. Is this for real?

On the other hand, many observers claim collusion between Turkey and ISIS, as well as saying that ISIS was originally supported by the Saudis, or that it receives substantial Gulf funding. These points can’t all be true without there being some serious policy contradictions.

The truth is there is more disinformation than information coming out of Syria, and it’s hard to verify anything.

I don’t put it past the Asad regime to do anything to stay in power (something it shares with most Arab regimes, by the way). But collusion with ISIS would take the definition of sinister to new levels unmatched in the history of Syria. It would also mean that the regime is betraying large numbers of its own soldiers.

This merits far more study before concluding such collusion as fact.

June 2nd, 2015, 1:09 am

 

Mina said:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/01/trial-swedish-man-accused-terrorism-offences-collapse-bherlin-gildo
“The attorney general was consulted about Monday’s decision. Karmy-Jones told the court in pre-trial hearings that Gildo had worked with Jabhat al-Nusra, a “proscribed group considered to be al-Qaida in Syria”. He was photographed standing over dead bodies with his finger pointing to the sky.”

But as this does not seem to be a crime in Sweden, they decided to drop the charges…

June 2nd, 2015, 1:22 am

 

El Chino said:

Memo to Ghuffie:

Re: Your comment that “Erdogan…is in bed with Isis…”

I think that is not true. I think he’s afraid of ISIS, afraid that ISIS will come north and upset his carefully balanced house of cards. He has an election coming up and he’s bought a lot of votes with favors done and payments made. Peace and prosperity are the name of the game in Turkey for those who support him. Anything to keep ISIS focused elsewhere he will do.

I said in another post that the Middle East has seen nothing like ISIS since the days of Tamerlane. In 1402, he invaded the Turkish homeland of the Ottoman Empire and carried the Sultan off in a cage as prisoner. I don’t think Erdogan wants to end up in an ISIS cage. So he plays nice.

June 2nd, 2015, 1:26 am

 

Kazemi said:

For those interested in discussing the future state of Syria, it should be pointed out that before Syrians can even agree to a Constitution, they must first agree on a charter of human rights which the Constitution must conform to.

You can find a proposed Syrian Charter of Rights and Freedoms here:

https://syriacharter.wordpress.com/

If Syrians cannot come up with a bill of rights early on, they will lose the one opportunity to create a fair state. So instead of fighting on religion or ideology, Syrians should come together and agree on a charter now.

June 2nd, 2015, 3:56 am

 

Kazemi said:

#34. ALTAIR said:
I don’t disagree with you that ideas are powerful, merely about who al-Yaqubi is and why is he being given prominence here.

Prominence? Does Joshua have to justify each and every post he makes or name he mentions? The guy is a pacifist. He is against Islamic extremism. Do you expect Joshua to post an article for each and every cleric equally? If you think there is a conspiracy here, then you should go and check your own psychotic state before accusing people of conspiracy.

Readers are intelligent enough to figure the wheat from the chaff.

Go and set up your own blog and give “prominence” to whomever you want. It is a free world. No one shall complain.

June 2nd, 2015, 4:21 am

 

Kazemi said:

51. AKBAR PALACE said:
And kind of funny you mention second class citizens considering the way Palistinains and Israeli Arabs are treated…
Israeli-Arabs are treated equally to Israeli-Jews.
http://www.israellycool.com/2015/06/01/photo-of-the-day-new-doctors/

Funny thing is that Palestinians are not allowed to become doctors, engineers, or go to public schools or universities in Lebanon. I suspect more of the same in Syria and Iraq and maybe Egypt. They are only allowed to have a job as a laborer.

And then some Arabs have the galls to criticize Israel as being racist?

June 2nd, 2015, 4:28 am

 

Kazemi said:

#61. NADIA

I am pretty sure as much as the Alawis want it, Damascus is not going to be part of the rump coastal state of Assad. He will have to give up Damascus in return for peace and a defined border at the Orontes river. Assad also needs to take back the top north of the enclave and even maybe Jisr al Shuqur.

So Assad will be forced to trade Damascus and Qalamoun, but he gets to keep Hama, parts of Homs and stuff to the west of the Orontes including Jisr and also maybe Qusayr which Hezb badly wants.

Once the peace deal is done, then the night of the long knives will begin for Assad and his entourage. Inshallah.

Will there be mass expelling of Sunnis from the coastal enclave? Probably not if they are willing to do the dirty menial work for the Alawis.

June 2nd, 2015, 4:49 am

 

Kazemi said:

I hope Joshua has a summer home on the Coast (the weather is much better there anyways).

Damascus is soon going to be traded to the rebels for an enclave rump state on the coast. If you have property in Damascus, it may be best to sell it now, if you are big fish.

Alawites will not be welcome in Damascus anymore. They may consider moving.

Will the Alawites keep Assad and Asma and the rest of the thieves? They have to be REALLY stupid to do that. I will have to suspect of genetic deficiency, degeneracy and inferiority if the Alawites keep him.

Russia saying they want to pull out of Syria is just a ruse. They may have lost confidence in Assad and his brain-hared plans to hold all of Syria. Putin wants to put pressure on Assad to downsize and move to the coast.

The Russians will have their Mediterranean naval base on the coast and that is what they need and will get. Lots of Russian tourists on the Coast to come.

Iranians will have a secure base on the coast (great for vacationing chadoris and segregated swimming in the sea). The highway for arms to Hezbollah will remain intact from Tartus to Sidon through Bekaa.

Everyone will call victory, except the Syrian people – left with 220,000 dead and having to reckon with ISIS and then with JAN. Marhaba. Meanwhile the Alawites will do anything to destabilize the future Syrian republic. Already we see Assad handing over eastern Syria to ISIS to prepare for another decade of violence in Syria. Palmyra, Deir Ezzor, and recently Hasakah are being handed over.

Aleppo will also be given to ISIS and right now ISIS is making progress in northern Aleppo. This is so that when SAA withdraws from Aleppo (billed as another victory for the SAA), ISIS can fill the vacuum and not the rebels.

You have no one to blame but that morally criminal leftist in the White House for his acts of criminal negligence, his gang, the postcolonial left, the anti-war left, and of course the righwing fascists and Baathists of the Syrian regime. History will put this down as a great example of the hesperophobic left colluding with the fascists against human emancipation and liberal democracy — just as they have done time and again in the past.

June 2nd, 2015, 5:13 am

 

Tara said:

Batta’s brother and the turban-in chief can “draw” as much as they like…. However, we will not تتنازل عن شبر واحد من سوريا لا من الساحل ولا من غيره
And those who don’t like it , go to Iran!

Let that be heard!

June 2nd, 2015, 6:12 am

 

Altair said:

#69 Kazemi

Perhaps you should take some reading comprehension courses before you write the nonsense you just wrote.

I was merely asking why al-Yaqubi is important. Just a request for information. No conspiracy theories, no criticism of the administrators of the blog (it was posted by Matthew, by the way), no request for equal time to other clerics, nothing of the sort. I wasn’t even criticizing al-Yaqubi himself, although I lamented the sorry state of the debate over slavery, and that in this day and age, we still have to talk about it.

Those theories were all in your mind, not mine. So the remark about being “psychotic” would best be examined by you when you look in the mirror.

Control your emotions and spare us the insults.

June 2nd, 2015, 7:37 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Re: 70. Kazemi

The time for cutting off your nose to spite your face has passed.

Let’s all get along and help each other out.

June 2nd, 2015, 7:50 am

 

Kazemi said:

#75. AKBAR PALACE

Unfortunately what you observe is exactly what we get from our Islamic culture and from our political culture, in the Middle East.

Generally Middle Easterners are more interested in proving themselves right on their politics or religion (i.e. on ideology), even if that means by violence. The concept of let’s put these aside these differences and instead invest in progress, and build a country, does not make sense there. In particular with Islam where material progress is frowned upon and considered detrimental to the worship and submission to Allah.

This is because historically due to lack of economic growth and political advancement, all movements within society were win-lose movements. Economic progress by some meant that some other people had to become impoverished. For one person to gain, another person had to lose. A zero sum game. Same in politics. The only way one person could be of service to the community was to put another person down and declared unsuitable or such.

The whole concept of setting differences aside in order to achieve group success by building, adding value, and by progressing individually or through a community doesn’t exist in our culture, and let’s face it.

Take the sorry state of the Syrian opposition today. You would think they would be most interested in setting aside their many irreconcilable differences and come together at least to craft a Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a starting point — a document that can be a very simple expression of agreed principles.

But you don’t see that desire. The interest is for the time being to defeat the enemy, and then once defeated, to fight one another and prove why their exclusive ideas and principles are the correct one. They will even cut their own noses to spite their opponents.

The last thing the intelligentsia of the M.E. ever end up doing is to sit down with people they disagree with and see how they can build a country.

This said, a good place to start would be the Syrian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

https://syriacharter.wordpress.com/

June 2nd, 2015, 9:09 am

 

Syrian said:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/world/europe/americans-and-turks-discuss-isis-threat.html?_r=0
WASHINGTON — American and Turkish officials are discussing a joint effort to clear Islamic State fighters away from Turkey’s southern border, a senior State Department official said on Monday.

The official did not provide details or explain what role American air power might play, but he said that discussions with Turkish officials had progressed after several rocky months. “We are looking for things we can do in a very material and tangible way,” the official said. “We want to get those extremists off their border. We want to look at a way that we can do that cooperatively with them.”
“Though both members of the coalition against the Islamic State, the United States and Turkey have been at odds on some important issues on how to deal with the conflict in Syria. Turkey, which is contending with a flood of Syrian refugees and wants to topple Bashar al-Assad, called last year for establishing a large buffer zone within Syria.

Mr. Kerry said in October that the idea was “worth looking at very, very closely.” But Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, insisted at the time that the idea was not under consideration.

With no agreement on Syria, the United States has not been able to conduct airstrikes from its air base at Incirlik, Turkey. Efforts to stem the flow of volunteers and supplies for extremist groups that are fighting the Assad government, much of which has entered Syria from Turkish territory, have also fallen short.

Though the State Department official declined to provide details, he appeared to be alluding to a much more modest approach than the establishment of a large buffer zone or an extensive no-fly zone.

Any agreement on a plan, he said, would not come before the June 7 parliamentary elections in Turkey.

June 2nd, 2015, 9:27 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Kazemi,

Thanks for telling it like it is. I hope one day we can help change this mindset to improve the lives of everyone in the ME.

June 2nd, 2015, 9:39 am

 

Tara said:

backing Islamic State’s Aleppo advance
Reuters
4 hours ago
BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United States has accused the Syrian military of carrying out air strikes to help Islamic State fighters advance around the northern city of Aleppo, messages posted on the U.S. Embassy Syria official Twitter feed said.

Hehe. We said so long time ago. The war on terrorism should now officially launch against Assad, Iran, and HA. The accusation is official now.

June 2nd, 2015, 11:27 am

 

Observer said:

The regime and IS are two sides of the same coin.

Here enjoy

June 2nd, 2015, 2:55 pm

 

Kazemi said:

Tara – with this leftwing morally criminal gang in the White House, don’t hold your breath. You may have to wait for another 12 months before a Republican contender emerges, before you see a change in US policy regarding Syria.

Obama, the product of Marxist academics and the victimhood industry does not have the same understanding of freedom and liberties like most people do. He also has a soft spot for Islam in his heart.

And then you have strongman Erdogan, a low-life Islamist, and a sorry product of treasonous and anti-American leftwing politics in Turkey, wanting an Islamic state in Syria subservient to his rule. Strongmen know exactly how to get re-elected as President-for-life.

Neither Obama, Assad, or Erdogan mind having ISIS or MB rule the rest of Syria. Assad will downsize to the coast, and he needs an enemy – an Islamic state and instability in the rest of Syria to justify continuation of his own rule and to maintain an ever-vigilant militaristic fascist superiority society on the coast. One reason for his bombing campaign against civilians is to create this enemy state.

June 2nd, 2015, 3:12 pm

 

Juergen said:

Life in Palmyra/Tadmor as Daesh likes us to see it…

June 2nd, 2015, 3:22 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

I must be Hallucinating NewZ

Tara – with this leftwing morally criminal gang in the White House…

Kazemi,

I thought I was only conservative Republican posting on this website.

Who do you like running for POTUS and why?

June 2nd, 2015, 3:37 pm

 

Nadia said:

71 . Kazemi

You said (then the night of the long knives will begin for Assad and his entourage. Inshallah.)

You’re a joke or actually nothing. Your above statement will not only increase support to Alassad between minorities but actually will make everybody fight for him to the last drop of blood.

I’m really shocked that non of the Sunni participants on this forum has voiced objection on your above statement. It’s quite horrible thinking of the Next Day.

June 2nd, 2015, 4:00 pm

 

Nadia said:

68. Kazemi said:

“For those interested in discussing the future state of Syria, it should be pointed out that before Syrians can even agree to a Constitution, they must first agree on a charter of human rights which the Constitution must conform”

Are you schizophrenic or just suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder?

How come you call for human rights while on the same page you can’t wait to do your long knifes in Alawis?

Are you implying human rights just for Sunni while others are second hand creatures? or do you imply Alawis are non-human?

June 2nd, 2015, 4:13 pm

 

Juergen said:

Raafat Alzakout’s first feature documentary “HOME” that tells the story of an amazing and creative group of people in ‪#‎Manbij‬ who founded a cultural centre called Home هوم was selected for the international competition at the FID Marseille 2015 – great news! Congratulations!

Here’s the trailer for those who want to take a first glimpse:

June 2nd, 2015, 5:13 pm

 

ALAN said:

I will stop the participation here until the moderator does not ban the ISIS representative, which flooded the blog with muck!!

June 2nd, 2015, 5:38 pm

 

jamal said:

Kazemi

Keep having wet dreams with your terrorist family and friends, the long knife yo want to slaughter Alawites with has one place and you’ll feel it every time you try to sit down.

Mecca, the White House, Paris will fall but Damascus will not so keep dreaming terrorist.

You’re dreaming that Alwaites are running away to the coast, but last time I checked they were thousands of new migrants getting settled in the areas around Qasion with money and weapons. Always remember that we did not come to Damascus to leave it unless there will be no Damascus.

There will be no coastal enclave, there will be a new Syria all the way from Idlib to Jordan. We don’t want the drought lands in Badya and we don’t need the Sunnah they come with it.

Keep in mind the regime controls 60% of the country and Daesh controls 30%, that’s 90% in total.

It’s Sunnah like yourself who brought the dismay and destruction to Syria.

June 2nd, 2015, 6:07 pm

 

jamal said:

Kazemi

My blood boils everytime I read your comments, you’re a terrorist and you must be brought to justice.

Identify yourself now? where are you from? who are you?

June 2nd, 2015, 6:09 pm

 

Observer said:

“Always remember that we did not come to Damascus to leave it unless there will be no Damascus.”

What is so special about Damascus? It is big rural conglomeration rendered incredibly ugly, corrupt, dysfunctional, with rude and uncivil coarse unsophisticated people living in it and thinking that they live in a jewel of city rather than the garbage dump that this regime has transformed it into.

Knives are being sharpened indeed and what goes around comes around.

Cheers

June 2nd, 2015, 6:59 pm

 

Marwan said:

“Always remember that we did not come to Damascus to leave it unless there will be no Damascus.”

Go back to your Day3a next to the animal barns where you belong. No matter how long you have been in Damascus you will not be a Damascene and Damascus will not be yours. Bring as much settlers to Damascus and as you arrived you will be kicked out.

You will be lucky if you keep Lattakia after the partition.

June 2nd, 2015, 7:13 pm

 

Marwan said:

“Identify yourself now? where are you from? who are you?”

What the hell are you saying? You’re not in fer3 Mukhabarat to interrogate the man.

قال العلوي بيقلو للحمار
قرد ولو اعترف انك ارنب

June 2nd, 2015, 7:17 pm

 

Syrian said:

We got us a drama queen in here.the guy is predicting a bad end for a mass murderer and his top helpers. He even might be talking about the actual Alawite with long knives that actually did massacre kids hiding in their closets In Banyas and Bayda. Where were your sensitivity then? the best we got from your side was calling it “hardly a massacre”

June 2nd, 2015, 7:23 pm

 

Marwan said:

” massacre kids hiding in their closets In Banyas and Bayda.”

It’s fair enough to taste the same horror and fear every kid and adult experienced in Bayda.

I can visualize the Alawis leaving Damascus in a long line, barefoot, heads down, walking their way through to Jabal Mehsen in Lebanon or back to their mountains.

June 2nd, 2015, 7:31 pm

 

mjabali said:

Jamal the fake Alawite is bringing the best out of some Sunnis…

Marwan Said:

“Go back to your Day3a next to the animal barns where you belong. No matter how long you have been in Damascus you will not be a Damascene and Damascus will not be yours. Bring as much settlers to Damascus and as you arrived you will be kicked out.

You will be lucky if you keep Lattakia after the partition.”

And Observaar said:

“Knives are being sharpened indeed and what goes around comes around.”

Genocide is the solution according to Marwan and Observar to all the Alawites living in Damascus….Marwan does not see any right for any Alawite to live in Damascus…

One man pretending to be an Alawite made them go this crazy….

I said before where are the sane people to stop this madness in Syria…

Revenge is going to take you nowhere…just more blood

tsk tsk tsk….

June 2nd, 2015, 7:52 pm

 

Syrian said:

Mjabali.
“I said before where are the sane people to stop this madness in Syria…”
Mjabali. If sheik Yaquobi was not good enough for you. There is no hope what so ever to stop the ” madness”
Tsk tsk tsk

June 2nd, 2015, 8:12 pm

 

El Chino said:

Memo to Jamal:

RE: Your demand to “Identify yourself now? where are you from? who are you?”

That’s a three part question, Jammie. It might take a while. A few minutes ago I spoke to Kazemi. She said Kazemi is a pseudonym, a pen name, what you warriors for President Pencilneck would call a nom de plume.

Right now, she is a vagabond working in Paris at a falafel stand on a street corner selling snacks to passers-by. She also sells sex when time permits. She lives in Gypsy camp and tutors the small children there in pickpocket techniques. Her long term goal is to run for the French Parliament as a conservative in the 2019 elections.

Her philosophy of life is “live and let live.”

Her political philosophy is “kill or be killed.”

Her religious philosophy is “God likes a good joke now and then.”

Oh yes, last but far from least, she is from the other side of the street.

She hopes she answered all your questions. If not, you can call her at !-888-EATME….

June 2nd, 2015, 8:22 pm

 

mjabali said:

“Syrian”

If Sheikh Ya’qubi told us the truth about Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and Ibn ‘Abdin I would have taken him more seriously as a moderate man…He is trying to convince us that Ibn Hanbal is a peaceful man…really?

If Ya’qubi would have quoted some moderate Sufis instead, I would have looked at Yaqubi in a different light…

Ya.qubi could have made a great impression but he did not…

Again: where are the smart ones to stop this madness in Syria?

June 2nd, 2015, 8:45 pm

 

Syrian said:

Mjabali
I suggest you re read the interview again.
The 3 times he mentioned ibn Hanbal and Ibn Abdien he used the word “even”.”even Ibn Hanbal said so and so” in his refuting Jolani’s interview, so he was talking to Jolani’s followers. That even these two that they value their opinion more than others did not agree with them.
Then he went on and on about that their methods are not supported neither with other sheikhs nor through out actual practice in history of asking Druze and Alawite to become Muslims.
And you will not find any Sunni sheikh not even Assad’s mufti Hasson attacking Ibn Hanbal. While Ibn Hanbal was the more conservative of the 4 Sunnis Imams he would have never approved of what is being done under his name. Wahhabis don’t even approve of the 4 Sunni imam altogether but after 9/11 they picked him as their spiritual leader as a cover of their changing to moderation.

June 2nd, 2015, 9:33 pm

 

Marwan said:

Note to the Alwai Ibn T,

How come you know a lot about Sunni scholars and faith? Is your mother a Sunni? Did you go to Sunni schools in your childhood? Did you study Share’aa at Damascus university?

June 2nd, 2015, 8:54 pm

 

Kazemi said:

#83. AKBAR PALACE

Interesting. Are you saying that Assad supporters here are all leftists? Frankly I will not be surprised. Leftists have a certain affinity and respect for rightwing fascists especially if they are hesperophobic. Leftists appeased Hitler, and went to bed with him (RM pact).

Why would a so-called “progressive” support and defend a fascist dictator like Assad that murders his own people and who stirs up religious sectarianism? Can you explain?

Interesting that it is the Democrats who seem to like this odious Putin/Khamenei/Nasrallh lap-dog Assad. So why does the left complain so much about “US Imperialism” and propping up dictators (Shah, Pinochet), when they are so much wedded to Assad, which makes the poor Shah look like an angel. The Shah managed to kill about 3,500 people before the revolution and another 1,000 during the revolution. Compare this to Assad. Khamenei already has 50,000 on his hands and if you include the war dead, the blood of another 1 million.

As far as the Republicans are concerned, I am more in favor of the small-government liberal democratic ones such as Walker. Walker would immediately put an end to this carnage. Obama should be stripped off his Nobel Peace Prize. They might as well give one to Assad.

June 2nd, 2015, 8:57 pm

 

jamal said:

Kazemi

Come out of the closet ABOUD

You are a coward terrorist hiding behind new aliases. I know everything about you ABOUD and I know your love to Bedouins, are you still living in Saudi Arabia? Are you enjoying human rights under the king of pedophiles?

We will turn your Saudi to pigs barn in due time

June 2nd, 2015, 9:05 pm

 

Kazemi said:

#85. NADIA said:

How come you call for human rights while on the same page you can’t wait to do your long knifes in Alawis?

Are you implying human rights just for Sunni while others are second hand creatures? or do you imply Alawis are non-human?

My post said “the night of the long knives” for Assad will begin. I did not say for Alawis. Funny that you confuse the two, and still don’t know the difference between Assad and another person who is Alawi. This expression means a coup within the Alawite ruling class, by the Alawites, and against Assad and his henchmen.

But that would be too easy for him, being such a coward and sadistic bomber of children. Better if he is packed and sent to the Hague Court, and jailed in a tiny cell like a dog, and where he dies like a dog, just as Milosevic did.

From the Syrian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Article 4. Equality before and under Law and Equal Protection and Benefit of Law – Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law and is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, minority status, parentage, kinship, sex, gender, age, mental or physical disability, philosophy or religion, political or other opinion, property, or other status.

Does it say that this does not apply to Alawites? Does the Charter single out Alawites anywhere for a different treatment?

Here is the Syrian Charter:

https://syriacharter.wordpress.com

Have you even read it?

June 2nd, 2015, 9:11 pm

 

Altair said:

#75 Akbar Palace

You wrote: “Let’s all get along and help each other out.”

Wouldn’t it have been really nice if your beloved Israel had actually followed such a policy, as in being a haven for Syrian refugees?

And I don’t mean the occasional one or two or ten or twenty Syrians that seek medical assistance across the 1967 cease-fire lines in the Jolan.

Turkey, for example, which is often criticized by many on this blog, has taken in nearly a million Syrians (some say far more), and offers them medical care and education. This will establish a generation of good will for these people.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if Israel took in even half or a quarter of that number? I mean, Israel sits on a nice chunk of fertile Syrian territory that was ethnically cleansed of most Syrians in 1967, who are now estimated to number over 500,000. What a great message it would make to Syrians at a time of their greatest need.

Of course this could never happen. Israel never really wants to get along with its neighbors, and never acts like it is part of the neighborhood, except of course when it engages its neighbors violently.

June 2nd, 2015, 9:22 pm

 

Kazemi said:

#87. ALAN said:

I will stop the participation here until the moderator does not ban the ISIS representative, which flooded the blog with muck!!

We all know that ISIS is a murderous Islamic fascist cult, and we also know that Assad worships Mohammad (the 50 year old who married a 6 year old), the same prophet of ISIS. But Which part of the Syrian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is “muck”?:

https://syriacharter.wordpress.com/

Article 6. Religious Rights –
Every Person has the right to:
(a) be free of religion;
(b) belong to a religion;
(c) change one’s religion or beliefs; and
(c) privately practice and observe one’s religion alone or in community with others.
Religious rights are subject to and conditional on the observation of all the rights and freedoms in this Charter.

Article 3. Fundamental Freedoms – Every person has the following inalienable fundamental freedoms:
(a) Freedom of speech;
(b) Freedom of conscience, thought, opinion, and belief;
(c) Freedom of expression, criticism, communication, and mass publishing;
(d) Freedom to access information, research, teach, and of education;
(e) Freedom of the press and from censorship;
(f) Freedom of and from association;
(g) Freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(h) Freedom to publicly practice and instruct a minority or ethnic culture, language, or mode of existence.

Exactly where is the muck?

June 2nd, 2015, 9:30 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Kazemi is not Aboud.

Kazemi is the same one as in the EA Worldview comment section who makes remarks offensive/hurtful and provocotive to muslims.

June 2nd, 2015, 9:43 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

ALAN said:

‘I will stop the participation here until the moderator does not ban the ISIS representative, which flooded the blog with muck!!’

LOL, is that supposed to encourage the moderator? You need to threaten something else.

June 2nd, 2015, 9:49 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Jamal/Ali

A fake Alawite?

He’s the one who shared with us the fascinating story of the hole at a shrine in which people try to squeeze through, remember?

Btw Shab e Barat Mubarak to all whom it may concern.

June 2nd, 2015, 9:52 pm

 

Juergen said:

Special Report on the Importance of Palmyra
ASOR CULTURAL HERITAGE INITIATIVES

The ancient city of Palmyra stands out as one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Syria and, indeed, the world. Following the takeover of the site and the adjacent town of Tadmor by ISIL, Palmyra has been in the news daily. The purpose of this report is to provide a concise introduction to the site and its importance so that the international community can better understand why it should be saved.

http://www.asor-syrianheritage.org/special-report-on-the-importance-of-palmyra/

June 2nd, 2015, 9:57 pm

 

Kazemi said:

#88. JAMAL said:
Keep having wet dreams with your terrorist family and friends, the long knife yo want to slaughter Alawites with has one place and you’ll feel it every time you try to sit down.

doh, where does it say that Alawites should be slaughtered? It says that after the Alawites move into their Med coast state of Tartous-Latakia (i.e. Plan B) the Alawites will slaughter King Assad for all his crimes including the loss of Syria and loss of all the oil and gas, and the war crimes that he has committed such as shelling children in their homes. Read post #71. “The night of the long knives” refers to a coup in the Nazi Party of 1933 where Hitler managed to kill his rivals in the Nazi Party. Same here. The Alawites will kill Assad, and a new king will emerge — maybe someone with a bit of intelligence, followed by people who have some intelligence for a change, and not a war criminal, hopefully. Don’t tell me you are ignorant of the history behind the “night of the long knives”. Check Wiki.

You’re dreaming that Alwaites are running away to the coast, but last time I checked they were thousands of new migrants getting settled in the areas around Qasion with money and weapons. Always remember that we did not come to Damascus to leave it unless there will be no Damascus.

Its over JAMAL. You have lost the war. The only thing keeping Assad from fleeing are his friends ISIS. You will be lucky if Obama/UN steps in and gives you the coast because the rebels do not want to give you the coast. Why should they after you shelled and gassed their children? The price you pay will be Damascus and Qalamoun. You will be lucky if they let you have Jisr and northern Latakia.

I can see that you may lose your pretty house on Qasiun. So better if you sell it now and move to the coast. There will be a war crimes tribunal, and if your father is a war criminal, there goes the house.

June 2nd, 2015, 10:10 pm

 

Kazemi said:

#106. UZAIR8 said:
Kazemi is not Aboud. Kazemi is the same one as in the EA Worldview comment section who makes remarks offensive/hurtful and provocotive to muslims.

Barakallah ya habibi.

Don’t tell me JAMAL and ALAN are lousy Mohammedans worshiping a paedophile mass murderer. Are they?

And then they complain that I am ISIS? Assad’s followers are not the brightest lightbulbs, are they.

June 2nd, 2015, 10:17 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Kazemi,

You’ve created quite a stir here. Keep up the good work. A breath of fresh air not muddled by Islamist/shia/sunni/alawi sectarianism.

Interesting. Are you saying that Assad supporters here are all leftists?

Generally, yes. These groups tend to support “resistance” and “revolutionaries” like the Communists did in SE Asia and central america. To my way of thinking, conservative support freedom, capitaliam, and democracy.

Frankly I will not be surprised. Leftists have a certain affinity and respect for rightwing fascists especially if they are hesperophobic. Leftists appeased Hitler, and went to bed with him (RM pact).

Some claim Hitler and naziism are a Leftist ideology. National “socialism”, government control of everything, “social engineering” (gone mad), etc.,etc.

Why would a so-called “progressive” support and defend a fascist dictator like Assad that murders his own people and who stirs up religious sectarianism? Can you explain?

Not sure. From my vantage point, Assad and his Iranian masters have sold the brainwashed masses on this concept of “resistance”, which used to mean fighting Israel and Zionism. That label stuck, and many can’t peel it off. Too difficult; glue is too strong.;)

Interesting that it is the Democrats who seem to like this odious Putin/Khamenei/Nasrallh lap-dog Assad. So why does the left complain so much about “US Imperialism” and propping up dictators (Shah, Pinochet), when they are so much wedded to Assad, which makes the poor Shah look like an angel. The Shah managed to kill about 3,500 people before the revolution and another 1,000 during the revolution. Compare this to Assad. Khamenei already has 50,000 on his hands and if you include the war dead, the blood of another 1 million.

I can’t explain the unexplainable. It boils down to denial on a massive scale.

As far as the Republicans are concerned, I am more in favor of the small-government liberal democratic ones such as Walker. Walker would immediately put an end to this carnage. Obama should be stripped off his Nobel Peace Prize. They might as well give one to Assad.

I like Walker. I like most of the Republicans….some more than others. My motto is any Republican would be 100 times better than Obummer.

Keep up the good work. If your proposed Syrian Constitution means freedom and equal rights for all Syrians, then how could anyone be against it?

June 2nd, 2015, 10:25 pm

 

Tara said:

because the rebels do not want to give you the coast. Why should they after you shelled and gassed their children? The price you pay will be Damascus and Qalamoun. You will be lucky if they let you have Jisr and northern Latakia.

….

At least you got that right, not a شبر.

واللي ماعجبه يلا عايران.

We won’t let go an inch of Syria.

And by the way, I am a Muslim and I am proud if it.

June 2nd, 2015, 10:27 pm

 
 

Kazemi said:

#88. JAMAL said:
It’s Sunnah like yourself who brought the dismay and destruction to Syria.

Lol, I am a 12-Imam Shia Muslim.

But I am not an Islamic.

Waiting for Imam Zaman (12th Imam) Mesiah who disappeared into a cesspool at age 5 in Samara. I hope he takes a bath after he emerges from all that muck. He must stink to the heavens!

June 2nd, 2015, 10:40 pm

 

Tara said:

Kazemi,

Are you really 12 imam Shiaa Muslim ?

What does that mean? There are Shiaa that are not 12 imams?

يلا اشرحلنا

Not all of us went to religious hate school like the Alawi IBM Taimieh . So excuse my ignorance.

June 2nd, 2015, 10:56 pm

 

jamal said:

(At least you got that right, not a شبر.

واللي ماعجبه يلا عايران.)

I will package you and straight to the king of Bediouns where you belong. Keep dreaming but Damascus will not fall and Shwam will stay polishing our shoes.

Actually Damascus was nothing before our arrivals. Women used to be enslaved, oppressed, locked inside houses and their life just for cleaning, cooking and sex no more. We brought education for women and liberal society, we legalized consumption of alcohol and prostitution way before the West did it. We allowed Internet. We allowed ATM banking. We allowed everybody to ride a car. We opened big malls. We opened huge commercial markets. Without SyriaTel and other projects there would be hundreds of thousands unemployed.

We created a meaning and flavor to Damascus, it’s ours.

June 2nd, 2015, 11:07 pm

 

Kazemi said:

And by the way, I am a Muslim and I am proud if it.

Tara, with all due respect, I am not sure what that means. I am also Muslim, but why should I feel proud of the way I was born? Why should anyone be proud and feel superior about their heritage — unless as a person they have accomplished something beneficial?

True pride is when you earn it. Even if Islam was this dandy candy thing, which it is not, we did not earn it. Someone 1400 years ago claimed he found a walkie-talkie and talked to some creature in the sky. Then when they asked him to show the walkie-talkie, he pulled out his sword and said stfu.

The false pride of the sort you have can be the root cause of these clashes of identity, and sorry to say, war and slaughter. Syria is an example of false pride gone awry.

We should be proud of our accomplishments, not of something we never earned, but inherited without even our consent or knowledge.

As a Muslim, I hope you are a modern liberal Muslim, and not an Islamic believer believing in fairies in the sky and other fancy tales, when there is absolutely no evidence for that.

Besides, there is little in Islam to be proud of, and a lot to be disgusted about. It’s a long story, but checkout the dubious character Mohammad. Read Dashti or Ibn Warraq.

June 2nd, 2015, 11:09 pm

 

jamal said:

Kazemi

“I can see that you may lose your pretty house on Qasiun. So better if you sell it now and move to the coast”

Fashert (I don’t know how to translate this)
Soon after getting rid of your allies of terrorist, I’ll be sure to host you in our villa in Saboura, or actually in our apartment in Almalki (If it’s summer I’ll take to our farm in the coast)

Note:
I decided you deserve no attention and I will not converse with no more.

June 2nd, 2015, 11:12 pm

 

Syrian said:

What happened Ali? Are you afraid he’ll make you cry same way Aboud did?

June 2nd, 2015, 11:27 pm

 

Kazemi said:

#116. TARA said:
What does that mean? There are Shiaa that are not 12 imams?

12 Imamis are the most populous followers. Then you have the Ismailis who believe in 6 only. The 7th Imam which has my name, somehow is not recognized by them.

There are also 3 Imamis, and 9ers.

Each Imam was either poisoned, murdered or beheaded. None died peacefully. Usually assassinated. Lots of strife and fighting even among the Shias as to who is the true heir of Mohammad, just like in a medieval royal court. I am sure many older brothers were killed so the younger brother becomes the Imam.

The funniest is #12 Mehdi. His father #11 Naqi (?) could not bear a child. But this business of Imams was very lucrative and millions of people were paying the scholars and the mollas for the right to visit the Imams and get healed, etc., after all they were the direct male descendants of Ali and Fatimah, daughter of Mohammad.

So the mollas hatched a story that Mehdi was born but could not be shown until he grows up. So their was an heir now. Naqi dies, and it was time to reveal Mehdi who was 5. Lo and behold he goes in to occlusion and was reported that he descended into a well at the Shia mosque of Samarra and disappeared. Problem solved.

Not to worry, he will come out at the apocalypse to lead humanity to righteousness. But don’t hold your breath!

June 2nd, 2015, 11:31 pm

 

jamal said:

120. Syrian said:

What happened Ali? Are you afraid he’ll make you cry same way Aboud did?

Stay out of it or I will make you cray day and night.

June 2nd, 2015, 11:39 pm

 

Syrian said:

Lol, so you are Ali, Gotch ya

June 2nd, 2015, 11:43 pm

 

Tara said:

Kazemi,

@121. Thank you. I am hoping you are not joking because I believed you. My mother always scolded me for skipping Ibn Taymieh class and I hate to admit, i should not have so I can أواكب العصر.

In regard to #118, I intentionally said I am proud. I agree that it is non sense to be proud of what one has not accomplished him/herself so I am not going to discuss our collective heritage as I feel such a discussion is nonsensical when we are currently rated third_world. I simply said so to express a specific point in regard to how one should be comfortable in his/her own skin and not let other people tell him who he or she is. Most those who are islamophobe project their own hatred and inhumanity on Islam and they can not make me shy away of who I am. I am who I am and I like the way I am and so billion of Muslims like me.

June 3rd, 2015, 12:07 am

 

Kazemi said:

#103. ALTAIR said:

Wouldn’t it have been really nice if your beloved Israel had actually followed such a policy, as in being a haven for Syrian refugees?

As a supporter of Israel, I must agree with you.

June 3rd, 2015, 12:43 am

 

Kazemi said:

#119. JAMAL said:

Soon after getting rid of your allies of terrorist, I’ll be sure to host you in our villa in Saboura, or actually in our apartment in Almalki (If it’s summer I’ll take to our farm in the coast)

I don’t know what a house in Saboura is worth (probably a dusty desert village dump now subdivided to 20 lots to an acre), but I will not trade my $7M westcoast home for even Assad’s palace in the cesspool called Damascus in a war-torn country. It will probably be blown up like the PP, after Assad flees for Qardaha, and even before the Alawites draw out their long knives to welcome him. Face it after you lose your villa, you will have a choice to polish shoes in Damascus, or you can go back to Latakia and entertain bearded Hezbollahi goons running your government, or drunk Russian sailors, in your farm with Alawi girls. You should choose the latter. The income is better.

BTW in Iran, Ali is considered a dumb Baboon and a source of jokes by modern Iranians. How is it that Alawis worship this thug?

June 3rd, 2015, 1:50 am

 

Kazemi said:

#124 Tara

Please don’t waste your time on Islam (or any other theism). Nothing good comes out of that. Don’t let Islam or some prophet tell you what is good or bad. Use your intellect and study ethics if that is what concerns you. Science has a lot to say about ethics and morals, human relationships, consciousness and the self, and life, etc. The issues are a lot more complex than what an illiterate 7th century figure who cheated on his 14 wives and had dreams of a political empire can ever teach you. Don’t sell yourself short.

June 3rd, 2015, 2:19 am

 

Kazemi said:

#112 Akbar

Thanks for your kind words. It is very also refreshing to hear from you.

Agreed. It is a myth when leftist claim they are pro-freedom or democracy. Some are, but a good majority are not and are quite illiberal.

Conservatives believe in markets. I am convinced that liberalism and democracy are not possible without markets and private ownership of capital. After all, democracy is just another form of a market, a political market, where ideas are traded, and power is bought and sold where each person gets exactly one vote.

Leftists talk about democracy and freedom, but without the markets. That is not possible IMO and I am convinced they are engaging in propaganda in order to corner power. That is why each and every leftist regime turns authoritarian where it can.

Nazism started as trade union socialism. It was a socialist party called the German Socialist Workers Party before it changed its name. It had both a left and right tendency, sort of like what Assad has, which makes him attractive to socialists, hesperophobes, Strasserites, Bolsheviks, Nazis, and authoritarians of a wide spectrum.

One thing all of them have in common is hatred of individual liberties and the rights of man. As George Orwell said, in each and every leftist is a totalitarian struggling to come out.

What do you think of the Syrian Charter of Rights? Can you please critique it, and uncover the errors?

Funny thing are these Middle Eastern revolutionaries who proclaim that they support liberalism and democracy. None has any interest in studying the Charter (or any charter), and when pressed they say it is a western document and does not entirely reflect our culture, and in fact may be imperialistic and may open the door to western colonialism (!).

In other words, they (the modern ones) all say the want liberalism, democracy, markets, private capital, etc. But at the same time they want to keep power within their own group — probably because they don’t trust the other groups. And when they have no competition, then they still want to keep power, because they don’t trust the people — or actually because they have tasted the sweet taste of power and can’t let go off their addiction.

The whole of middle east in the past many centuries had only one single statesman – Ataturk and nobody knows him except for some older Turks. Even today in the age of instant mass communication, we don’t have statesmen that can lead and be nonpartisan. We end up jumping ship from one charlatan to the next — Nasser, Baathism (Saddam, Assad), Ghaddafi, Arafat, Mossadegh, Erdogan, Khomeini, etc. We are in a vicious cycle of political poverty. But you can’t even say that today, without being accused of being a foreign agent.

June 3rd, 2015, 3:06 am

 

Jamal said:

It’s very obvious this called KAZEMI is hasbará

Zionists go to bed together, and we Syrians whether with or against the regime should unite to defuse the Zionists and Imperialists plans in the region against our existence, Arabism, and our main case of Palestinian struggle.

June 3rd, 2015, 5:17 am

 

Kazemi said:

http://www.english.rfi.fr/middle-east/20150601-signs-russia-takes-u-turn-syria-worry-inhabitants-damascus

“It was clear that the Syria regime has accepted the idea of Syria’s partitioning. And they are focusing their efforts on maintaining their hold on the coast and Damascus as well as the road that links Damascus to the coast.”

Kashan thinks Assad wants to keep Damascus as a “bargaining chip” in forthcoming negotiations.”

Told you so. JAMAL, quickly sell your villa in Saboura.

June 3rd, 2015, 5:26 am

 

Kazemi said:

JAMAL, before you know it, Assad will strike a deal for the coast and hand Damascus over to the terrorists, and he will be on the next plane to Moscow. He is not going to wait for the long knives to unsheath. The SAA army disintegrates and changes side. What are you going to do when they come to take your villa and apartment away? The Lebanese border is about 6 km away from your villa. Make sure you have some good running shoes. You can do it in 45 minutes, and if they are chasing you in 30 minutes, depending on your physical condition.

I really feel sorry for you, but hey you still have a farm in Latakia, and you can entertain drunk Russian sailors or bearded Hezbollahis there for a living.

Let me know if I can be of help. I am a fellow Shiite as you know and love your religion worshiping Baboon Ali (RA). BTW who won the fight between Ayesha and Ali to rule?

and our main case of Palestinian struggle.

You wree bombing the hell out of Palestinian Yarmouk and killing children. Don’t give me the BS that you care for the Palestinians.

June 3rd, 2015, 5:51 am

 

Kazemi said:

#129 JAMAL says:

Zionists go to bed together, and we Syrians whether with or against the regime should unite to defuse the Zionists and Imperialists plans in the region against our existence, Arabism, and our main case of Palestinian struggle.

Listen, Syria is such a poor and miserable country — there is nothing there to take. Why would the Imperialists even bother about Syria? You don’t have oil, gas, copper, gold, molybdenum, iron ore, … NOTHING. The only thing I see you have is goat dung and sand. Maybe there is some use for it in the California organic food industry. Do you really believe that the Imperialists are after your goat dung?

June 3rd, 2015, 5:58 am

 

Altair said:

I came across this in Al-Monitor:

In Israel, people are using a familiar expression coined in 2007: “miscalculation.” This term refers to a long line of misunderstandings and incorrect readings of the situation from both sides of the border fence, which could lead to an explosion. At the time, the Israeli public was primed for the possibility of a miscalculation in the summer of 2007, a type of reciprocal deterioration on both sides of the border in the northern sector that could sweep the sides into war without any prior planning. No one really understood where this “miscalculation” popped up from. It was only after the fact — after the mysterious planes bombed the Syrian nuclear reactor in Deir ez-Zor in July 2007 and foreign sources attributed this operation to Israel — that the cat was let out of the bag. The IDF understood that such an operation could force Syria to descend into war, so it took the necessary preventive measures. But Assad would give anything in the world to go back in time to that merry era. He would prefer to lose the nuclear reactor again and even perhaps enter into a catastrophic military engagement with Israel, if only he could avert the current situation.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/06/israel-hezbollah-syria-golan-heights-assad-desintegration-is.html#ixzz3bxKygSqR

The most interesting part of the above are the last few sentences. “If only he could avert the current situation”…

I post this just to show how badly various parties miscalculate and the Syrian regime surely miscalculated when it launched the war on its own people in 2011. I wonder how many regime insiders regret that decision now.

June 3rd, 2015, 6:00 am

 

Observer said:

No Mjabali I am not calling for killing anyone. I am just observing the situation and remind all that he who sows the wind harvests the storm and what goes around comes around and the sense of revenge is still very much part and parcel of the culture of the ME. Neither redemption nor forgiveness have much of a place in the mind set of the people of the ME and now more than ever.

I support you in calling for a political solution but I am afraid it is too little too late now. Don’t you think? If not please tell us how to proceed to defuse the situation; step by little step and if so how is this process going to end.

Cheers

June 3rd, 2015, 7:57 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Altair,

Both Assad and Arafat were promised the moon when they were dabbling into the peace process. They both got cold feet. Why?

Because then they would have to produce working societies and be responsible for it.

They both opted for power and irresponsibility, which is easier for a tyrant and dictator.

June 3rd, 2015, 8:32 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Kazemi,

Not sure Article 10 (nutrition, education, medical care) can be implemented at 5 his stage. Syria isn’t Norway and that would be prohibitively expensive at this stage.

Article 22 – “Right to Resist”? What does that mean? Right to bear arms? Right to depose government? Right to peacefully assemble was already mentioned.

June 3rd, 2015, 8:47 am

 

Ghufran said:

After providing overt and covert support for Isis, governments and groups that opposed the Syrian regime have to come up with a strategy to stop Isis advances that are not only threatening regime controlled areas but also rebels strongholds. Isis is marching towards Aleppo and not taking any hostages.
This business of the enemy of my enemy is my friend can produce short term gains but long term pains.
Isis domination is the direct result of the stubbornness and foolishness of Syrians from both sides.
شلة فاشله و ضاع البلد يا ابطال الانترنت

June 3rd, 2015, 11:17 am

 

Altair said:

#135 Akbar

I’m not sure which of my posts you are answering, but Asad the father wasn’t promised the moon. He couldn’t get Israel to return to the 1949 lines. The negotiations fell apart on a small strip of land bordering Lake Tiberias. Otherwise, he was ready to make a deal. From what I understood, Ehud Barak was the one who got cold feet.

As to your reasoning about governance, well, look at Egypt. They had a military dictatorship before signing a deal with Israel, they had one after. They have one now, with Israel’s support. They didn’t get better governance by signing a peace deal. In fact, they have a more corrupt and despotic government than ever.

June 3rd, 2015, 12:09 pm

 

Fahmein said:

What we have in Syria is a certain sect which feels rightly or wrongly that history has been un-fair to it, and on the other hand we have another sect which doesn’t feel that way because historically it was favored.

Therefore, the sect which feels history was unfair to it is in a state of denial of this history but somehow it cannot act outside what has already been determined and came to pass. As a result, it developed a weird sense of denial of reality, in order to feel at ease with itself, which will further aggravate its historical grievances.

That’s why we see this comic exchange of conflicting history narratives between the representative(s) of the deniers of history and the more realistic ones feeling at ease with historical realities.

Unfortunately, the time may have passed to do anything about it. The deniers will remain in a state of denial until as somebody remarked the knives get unsheathed to do the final cuttings.

Sometimes it helps to reflect on why history treated you so unfavorably. In other words the faults could be within.

June 3rd, 2015, 12:24 pm

 

Juergen said:

Al Sissi is in Berlin today, and also left an remarkable visit at the chancellors office, like back when Mursi was here. ( Remember his good english?)

A women today interrupted the press conference by calling him a traitor and killer, and a Fashist. She then showed him also the Arbiya. The “press corpse” ( I saw some actresses as well among the “journalists” all with Sissi stickers on their clothes were outraged by her bluntness. She was protected by German police from Pro Sissi protestors.

June 3rd, 2015, 1:25 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

I’m not sure which of my posts you are answering, but Asad the father wasn’t promised the moon. He couldn’t get Israel to return to the 1949 lines. The negotiations fell apart on a small strip of land bordering Lake Tiberias. Otherwise, he was ready to make a deal. From what I understood, Ehud Barak was the one who got cold feet.

Altair,

I agree. The “moon” metaphor was mainly toward Arafat who was offered nearly 100% of the West Bank and parts of Israel inside the green line as well as tens of billions of dollars in monies and investment.

However, in retrospect, the deal with Syria seems like it was the “moon” now that Syria has totally fallen apart. At what point, do you think, Assad will say, “Gee, maybe I should have taken that deal”. And where you may think Syria wasn’t getting back ALL the land Israel “stole”, I’m not sure Israel was promised ALL the “PEACE”. (see links below)

http://www.state.gov/1997-2001-NOPDFS/regions/nea/000326_lockhart_mepp.html

http://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/resources/mappingpeace.pdf

June 3rd, 2015, 1:26 pm

 

Juergen said:

Now as Sissi is treated like Nasser, they also seem to bring in the cheering crowds with planes from Cairo. I hope they had enough Botox onboard to make these ladies presentable for the world…

http://www.nawaret.com/%D9%81%D9%86/%D9%8A%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%87%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%B3%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A7

June 3rd, 2015, 1:29 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

As to your reasoning about governance, well, look at Egypt. They had a military dictatorship before signing a deal with Israel, they had one after. They have one now, with Israel’s support. They didn’t get better governance by signing a peace deal. In fact, they have a more corrupt and despotic government than ever.

Altair,

Understanding that hindsight is 20/20, no one can predict what can befall the countries in the region. Was there someone in the Mossad telling Israeli leaders, “If one pin drops in Deraa, Syria will fall apart”? I doubt it. Leaders play the game of wait and see just like Assad did. What we found out was not only was he repressive, but he just couldn’t protect his nation.

He opted to remain in the resistance camp, isolated with the rest of the world instead of getting most of the Golan and international recognition.
This is the death spiral of a despot, who cannot countenance what is best for his country.

Egypt was a basket case before, during and after the 1 year rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. Millions were on the streets protesting against Morsi. Unfortunately, Egypt just doesn’t have the wherewithal to keep an elected official in office. I don’t know. I hope they can return to the voting box.

June 3rd, 2015, 1:40 pm

 

fayz said:

My heart ponders when I see our Muslim brothers supporting or joining Isis or Al Qaida. Pls don’t follow the non sensical teachings of wahabbism. Wahabbism only leads to Ignorance n brutality. We need to educate our youth about the misleading and misinterpreting wahabbism.

June 3rd, 2015, 2:46 pm

 

Altair said:

141. Akbar

I still don’t know why you brought that up. Arafat, by the way, wasn’t offered a sovereign state. Check the details. Palestine would not have had control of its borders and no control over its airspace, much like Gaza is now. But that is a different subject.

What I was saying is that Israel in the last 4 years is the only adjacent neighbor of Syria that has taken in next to no refugees. Why not? It would be a great show of good will to the Syrian people if it did. It is also the richest adjacent country to be able to do so.

While Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon have taken in substantial numbers of Syrians, up to nearly a million each and in some cases more, Israel makes only small gestures like one kid who was treated in a hospital. Relatively distant Germany has even taken in larger numbers of Syrians, I believe up to 50,000, (not sure of the figure, but someone can correct me if I’m wrong).

I guess when you build a country based largely on creating refugees, it would be just too ironic to take refugees in, unless they had the “right” religion.

June 3rd, 2015, 2:47 pm

 

fayz said:

Essence of Islam lies in the love of Rasoolallah. I really admire Sheikh Yaqoobi. His teachings are sensical and. Clear.Islamic world needs more Yaqoobi’s to guide muslims to correct path of Islam.

June 3rd, 2015, 2:53 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

What I was saying is that Israel in the last 4 years is the only adjacent neighbor of Syria that has taken in next to no refugees. Why not? It would be a great show of good will to the Syrian people if it did. It is also the richest adjacent country to be able to do so.. ….

I guess when you build a country based largely on creating refugees, it would be just too ironic to take refugees in, unless they had the “right” religion.

Altair,

Israel was built to be a state of the Jewish People. Palestine was built to be a state of the Palestinian People. Hence 2 states for two different people. Israel can get by with having non-Jewish minorities. I wish the opposite were true of Palestine, but it isn’t. Israel takes in a token amount of non-Jewish refugees, but is dedicated to taking mostly jewish refugees.

Also, please remember you can be a member of the jewish people without necessarily being jewish. Just ask Harrison Ford or famous chess player and anti-semite Bobby Fischer.

June 3rd, 2015, 3:25 pm

 

jamal said:

144. fayz said:

“My heart ponders when I see our Muslim brothers supporting or joining Isis or Al Qaida. Pls don’t follow the non sensical teachings of wahabbism.”

Thank you Fays, it’s so good to hear so normal people around this place.

What’s really intriguing is how the Alassad the father could sense this devil and fought them hard in 1980s. Without Alassad family Syria could have been dismantled ages ago

June 3rd, 2015, 4:33 pm

 

jamal said:

Do you think it’s cool to insult people’s faith and belief using fancy words like liberalism or science.

I know how much (insulting Islam or prophet M) hurts Sunnah and aside from everything I hate seeing Sunnah Syrians going through this and feeling useless to kickback just because you’re against the regime.

So pay some respect and stick to the rules of this forum of get the hell out of here you Bedioun. Liberal my ar*e.

June 3rd, 2015, 4:38 pm

 

jamal said:

We will not sell the villa in Saboura, actually we’re trying to increase our real estates in there giving many people ready to sell and migrate to Euripe.

When I told you Damascus will not fall I meant it.

7000 fierce fighters arrived to join the efforts of fortifying Damascus.

http://www.champress.net/index.php?q=ar/Article/view/57021

June 3rd, 2015, 4:45 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

US complains that Assad is helping ISIL. The answer is very easy: hit Assad.

Why does the US not dare to attack Assad who is the master of ISIL ?

June 3rd, 2015, 5:06 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Apparently Suleimani is propmising some big surprises coming soon. Strange to pre-announce them and potentially reduce the surprise factor.

I wonder if they’ll officially announce an alliance with ISIS? Now that would be a surprise, even if pre-announced.

June 3rd, 2015, 5:14 pm

 

jamal said:

151. SANDRO LOEWE said:

“Why does the US not dare to attack Assad”

Because he’s Alassad and a wise man will not mess with Alassad knowing the catastrophic ramifications world wide.

June 3rd, 2015, 6:02 pm

 

Observer said:

I told what goes around comes around and he who sows the wind harvests the storm. I was stunned today to hear the tribal leaders of Fallujah pledge allegiance to IS.
Here is a nice analysis today
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/world/isis-making-political-gains.html?ref=middleeast&_r=0

June 3rd, 2015, 9:56 pm

 

Mjabali said:

“Syrian”

Telling the Jihadis that Ahmad Ibn Hanbal is a man of peace does not work. This is the worst plan ever. The Jihadis are not going to take you seriously because Ibn Hanbal is very big in their fighting ideology.

This is like telling the world that because Usama Bin Laden composes poetry so he must be a peaceful tender man….

June 3rd, 2015, 11:13 pm

 

Marwan said:

Just so we don’t forget

The achievements of General. Maher Alassad

أنجازات العميد ماهر الاسد في الثورة السورية

June 3rd, 2015, 11:15 pm

 

Ghufran said:

The partition of Syria, if it happens, will not be good for Syrians, it can only benefit Israel and Turkey but this unwanted outcome may be the only option if the war does not stop.
The problem now is much bigger than 2 years ago because there are tens of thousands of jihadists in Syria who do not listen to any government or a political body, they do not even acknowledge sheikhs like Yaqoubi.
On a side note, I am afraid the moderator is too busy to monitor the
blog, that allowed hateful and unacceptable posts to surface, freedom of speech has limits and those limits have to do with the rights of others not to be targeted or threatened with violence regardless if the person behind the post is likely to be an unemployed Alqaeda sympathizer or an Assad supporter.
Syria would not have slipped down to this deep hole if Syrians knew how to disagree and share, the garbage thrown on this blog by many is home made, foreigners recruited Syrians as useful idiots and now those foreigners will decide the future of Syria while the current and future victims of this evil war are wondering if they will live to see tomorrow or be able to feed their children.’
طز فيكن و بها لنظام و هل الثوره خلو شيوخكم و القائد الملهم و البدو و العصملي ينفعوكن

June 4th, 2015, 1:18 am

 

Jamal said:

157. GHUFRAN said:

طز فيكن و بهل الثوره خلو شيوخكم و البدو و العصملي ينفعوكن

Well said Dr. Ghassan, could not agree more.

June 4th, 2015, 2:02 am

 

Aref Khatib said:

Excellent article provides insight on why Isis is not representing our true Islamic Faith.
All believers in One God and His Messengers are believers of Islam. Only Allah Knows what is in the hearts of everyone and everything He created in the universe. The moment anyone pre-judges others is the moment they are lead astray from the right path of Islam.

We must understand there is no coercion in Islam. True believers in monotheism should never force others to choose their religion no matter what they decide. Islam is a religion of tolerance and only promotes peace and respect to one another.
Activist Pamela Geller needs to understand that Islam is the religion that introduced freedom of speech, true equality amongst everyone, abolished slavery and emphasizes no discrimination, while allowing people the freedom of choices between right and wrong. Islam teaches when someone kills another human being it as if they killed all of mankind. The only reason it is important not to create pictures of any Prophet, including Prophet Muhammad is to prevent people from worshipping others along with Allah and prevent people from submitting to messengers, prophets.
There are many sides to every story, your side, our side, their side and the just side which is only known by Our Creator (Allah) who knows everything within our hearts while having no bias. We have a choice between being just a society and becoming a just society, by becoming Accountable, Responsible, Ethical and Fair in all aspects of life.
Sincerely,
Aref Khatib
ArefCorp
Accountable Responsible Ethical Fair Corporation

June 4th, 2015, 10:05 am

 

El Chino said:

Jammie, why don’t you do something useful, like pick peanuts out of your butt…

June 4th, 2015, 3:36 pm

 

El Chino said:

156 above.

When this is over, when the Assads are living in exile in Iran, Maher will spend whatever days he has left looking over his shoulder. The Iranians can only provide so much protection. There are plenty of people with motive and means who will have him marked for death…

June 4th, 2015, 3:43 pm

 

jamal said:

159. El Chino said:

“Jammie, why don’t you do something useful, like pick peanuts out of your butt”

Right back at you because I’m holding a mirror in my hand (SMASH!!)

June 4th, 2015, 3:44 pm

 

jamal said:

El Chino

I judge by your good English that you’re not a Syrian. How about you go somewhere else and get busy with your peanuts.

June 4th, 2015, 4:47 pm

 

Syrian said:

“Your brother created ISIS” — a student just completely shut down Jeb Bush

https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/829537633803029/

June 4th, 2015, 7:47 pm

 

jamal said:

Don’t read too much into the which happened yesterday in Alareed street in Tartous. It’s a clear signal from the presidential palace that nobody gets away with tashbe7 from now on even if you are an officer from Qurdaha.

That’s how new prosperous Syria is, long live the president.

June 4th, 2015, 8:01 pm

 

El Chino said:

Tashbe7. Hmmmm. Must be some kind of secret code. Well, whatever it is, nobody gets away with it…

June 5th, 2015, 12:00 am

 

Ghufran said:

After 4 years of bombing areas held by rebels and terrorists it is not clear whether this bombing campaign achieved anything but multiplying the number of civilian victims of this evil war. Rebels knew very well that the regime can not win by bombing civilian areas so they made sure they occupied those areas, if the regime bombs those areas, and it should not, women and children die and the regime loses more
public and political support and if it does not rebels will look victorious, at the end of the day nobody cares about the loss of lives in Syria.

June 5th, 2015, 12:48 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

“Your brother created ISIS” — a student just completely shut down Jeb Bush

Syrian,

I would have loved to be in Jeb Bush’s place during that Q & A session.

Everyone wants to blame the US and Israel for “creating” everything bad in the Middle East.

The US “created” ISIS, Saddam Hussein, Assad and Israel “created” Hamas, blah, blah blah.

What he should have answered this person is the GWB got rid of a tyrant who had killed more Iraqis then anyone else and allowed Iraq to vote for the first time in 40+ years.

But as usual, our elected leaders aren’t that smart and leave the details to “experts”.

And the arabs. Will the finger pointing ever be directed inward? I think we’re beginning to see it.

June 5th, 2015, 8:08 am

 

Altair said:

#164 Syrian–thanks for posting it.
#168 Akbar

Cheney/Bush didn’t just remove Saddam Hussein, they destroyed the state. They also killed more Iraqis than Saddam did, and set the stage for many more to die. How?

1. They (by way of J. Paul Brenner) fired the entire army of about 400,000 and sent them home without even their pensions. These men were armed and trained militarily. With few options, many of these men joined the predecessor to ISIS, and some continued on to ISIS itself.

2. They allowed and encouraged political parties to be set up on sectarian bases, something not permitted in the US itself. It sectarianized Iraqi society more than it ever was. That further encouraged disgruntled and dispossessed Sunnis to join opposition forces, some of which evolved or merged into ISIS.

3. The US Occupation dismantled nearly every state institution in order for “privatization” (read plundering of Iraqi assets) to take place.

4. They presided over the “cleansing” of Sunnis in Baghdad.

It’s too simplistic to just say they deposed a tyrant and set up elections. They did it in an extremely bad way, and very violently and with rampant corruption.

The young student was right and I applaud her courage in confronting Jeb Bush. It’s too bad she couldn’t have had access to George himself. It’s too bad mainstream media journalists whose job it is to challenge authority never do.

The Cheney/Bush gang destroyed a sovereign country through an illegal war, breeding extremism through their sledgehammer approach and created the conditions for an ISIS to grow and thrive.

June 5th, 2015, 9:43 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Altair,

I’m not hear to belittle anyone or claim that “we are better than you”. I am hear to just say, “Yes, we have these problems, let’s work together to fix them”.

Cheney/Bush didn’t just remove Saddam Hussein, they destroyed the state. They also killed more Iraqis than Saddam did, and set the stage for many more to die. How?

No, arab leaders destroyed the state, namely, Saddam Hussein, who led Iraq against UN sanctions and ultimately war. His choice: war or peace. Then, insurgents from across the ME came in and murdered thousands, until the surge shut the door on it.

Lets look at the numbers.

Iraq Body Count (which, like you, is no friend of GWB) has a fairly accurate count of the dead from the beginning of the war in 2003 to THE PRESENT. It is about 200,000.

Were these deaths all caused by an American or coalition soldier firing at an Iraqi civilian? NO! MOST (I would say at least 90%) of these deaths are muslim/arab-on-muslim/arab. Insurgent killings, thugs, suicide bombers, etc.

When I think of MURDER Altair, I think of WHO pulls the trigger! Since when is a death caused by an insurgent killing an innocent bystander GWB’s fault?

The estimates are that under Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi thugocracy was responsible for about 1/4 million to 1/2 million Iraqi deaths.

https://www.iraqbodycount.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Saddam_Hussein%27s_Iraq

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-13094677

1. Whatever Paul Brenner did, he did not pick up a gun and shoot people. If some Iraqi felt the need to kill innocent people, the murder rap is on him.

2. The US encouraged political parties and voting! People were cheering! Someone is “disgruntled” and felt the need to kill someone? Oh my, that must be GWB’s fault.

3. Has nothing to do with murder.

4. Feel free to link to articles. “Cleansing” may mean confronting armed terrorists like in Faluja.

It’s too simplistic to just say they deposed a tyrant and set up elections. They did it in an extremely bad way, and very violently and with rampant corruption.

Here was can agree. Like they say, “If you want to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs”. Not saying this war and rebuilding was an easy task and without errors. Obviously, nothing in the ME can be accomplished without “resistance” and violence. However, after the surge and several elections, Iraq was on its way. It was an opportunity. I think the task wasn’t completed when US forces pulled out. And that’s what we’re seeing today. And the Iraqis can’t seem to protect their own country. That must be GWB’s fault too.

The war wasn’t illegal. It was actually sanctioned by the UNSC.

Now everyone wants the US back. Go figure.

June 5th, 2015, 10:48 am

 

Juergen said:

Joke of the day:”Democratic” Republic of Korea wants to build Kim Il Sung industrial parc in Damascus…

June 5th, 2015, 1:47 pm

 

sowhat said:

“Even Russia and Iran now believe that he has become a burden.”

there is not the slightest evidence or lead that Russia or Iran are willing to get rid of Assad. Besides, other Syria allies are not weakening their support for the legal government, China , Brazil, South Africa, Armenia, Cuba and many other countries, how come they are all stupid ?

“But we are expecting that 100,000 copies will eventually be needed.” (!)

just one question : if Mr Al Yakoubi is fair and consistent with his thinkings why doesn’t he try to spread his books among the syrian population who live within the areas still controlled by the regime and who represent something between 60 to 70% of the total population (without not even considering that the majority of these syrians might be loyalists). Why is he trying to convince only the so called “moderate rebels” (a fiction according to Obama), a few minority after all if ever they were really moderate, not the rest of the syrian people ? there is something wrong here
sorry as a syrian i don’t buy it

June 5th, 2015, 3:22 pm

 

ALAN said:

Joke of the day:”Democratic” US want to build democracy everywhere
some footage of the killing at least 18 civilians by a US Apache Helicopter?
https://youtu.be/QI-qBXcVVc0

June 5th, 2015, 3:50 pm

 

Juergen said:

As the days are grim, here is a fresh greeting from a very famous Syrian.
For me the best shawayah there is…

June 5th, 2015, 3:57 pm

 

El Chino said:

Memo to Akbario Palacio:

It’s Paul Bremer, not Brenner.

What GWB tried to do was introduce democracy into the Arab World by taking down the most hated man in the Middle East. He failed.

Saddam Hussein had the fourth-largest army in the world, which he used to kill and torture Iraqi Kurds and Shi’ites. He also used it to invade Kuwait and Iran. He had been dictator for over thirty years and had kept the lid on any dissent by use of terror and force. Every Iraqi Kurd and Shi’ite was waiting for him to die. Everybody knew that when Saddam died, the lid would blow sky-high.

Bush fast-forwarded the process. Without the US invasion, it might have been another ten years before Saddam either caught a bullet or died of, say, cancer. What happened after 2003, would have happened with or without Bush. There were all kinds of resistance movements in Iraq waiting for the day when the Baath party would be weakened.

Bush’s de-Baathification policy was the cornerstone of his attempt to introduce democracy to Iraqis. Now, we see it as a bad idea. But at the time, not having 20-20 hindsight, it made sense. The Baath party was modeled on the old Soviet politboro. As long as those people were left in control. it would be Saddam by another name. So the Baath Party was dismantled. And all those Baathists, stripped of their power, joined the rebellion.

But, if there never had been an invasion, the shitstorm would have happened anyway. It would have happened on Saddam’s death.

June 5th, 2015, 6:04 pm

 

Juergen said:

Saving an Ancient ‘Lost’ City in War-torn Syria

A small band of Syrian villagers fight poverty, war, and the elements to protect an ancient site.

Amid the death, despair, and destruction that mark today’s Syria, there’s little good news for archaeologists and others who fear for the country’s remarkable cultural heritage. But in a windswept corner of the country, a dedicated group of local people is quietly protecting an important archaeological site, often at their own expense.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/150604-urkesh-syria-mozan-buccellati-archaeology/

June 6th, 2015, 3:59 am

 

Altair said:

How could anyone believe that the US under Cheney/Bush or any other administration wanted to introduce democracy in the region? It is, to be polite, very naive to believe in this myth.

From the US overthrow of the democratically elected government of Syria in 1949 to the present time, the US has consistently opposed democracy in the region.

The promotion of democracy is just providing good cover for the plunder that is really taking place.

In this regard, the US government supports anyone, including Saddam, who is obedient. Saddam was actively supported in the 1980s by very much the same people who overthrew him in 2003. Donald Rumsfeld comes to mind. Once Saddam became disobedient, things changed.

When the US reconstituted Kuwait in 1991 for example, there was no talk of establishing democracy in Kuwait, but rather putting back in place “the legitimate government”.

The US consistently supports tyrannical rule. Every monarchical dictatorship in the Middle East is supported by the US, without exception.

The pro-democracy movement in Bahrain was opposed by the US, to the point that the the US-equipped Saudi military invaded and crushed it.

The US made little effort to support the democratic movement in Egypt, supported Mubarak until the last minute, and now supports the military dictatorship.

The US only uses “democracy” as a tool to oppose governments it does not like, namely disobedient ones.

It is a fantastic coup of propaganda, this myth that the US has supported democracy. It most definitely has not.

With regard to Syria, maybe that’s why the US failed so miserably in supporting pro-democracy activists until the situation got so out of hand and polarized.

June 6th, 2015, 6:35 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

What GWB tried to do was introduce democracy into the Arab World by taking down the most hated man in the Middle East. He failed.

El Chino,

Correct. Not only did GWB fail, but so did the Iraqi people. GWB gave Iraq the opportunity, and it was squandered. Even today, Iraqis are retreating when they outnumber ISIS in personnel and firepower.

Personally, the US should have set up permanent bases in Iraq like those we have in Europe. And Obama needed to insure failure to prove his antiwar stance.

June 6th, 2015, 8:01 am

 

Hopeful said:

#177 ALTAIR

“How could anyone believe that the US under Cheney/Bush or any other administration wanted to introduce democracy in the region?”

I do!

Democracy is the region is good for the US on several fronts:

– It means stability for the sources and routes of energy supplies – good for the global economy
– It means less religious radicalization – good for the west
– It means open capital-based economies – great for US corporations
– It means people with values in line with the American values – more friends

So strategically – almost all policy think tanks and experts believe that democracy in the Middle East is good for American and good for Americans.

The questions have always been: how hard should the US push for democracies in the region? Can the US force them? And how should the US deal with dictatorships?

GWB believed that the “old” US policy of tolerating dictators to ensure short-term stability was wrong. He believed that the US has the muscles and the know-how to force democracy on the Iraqis. Unfortunately, for the US and for the Arab region, he was wrong on both fronts. Had the US succeeded, we would all be better off, and by “we” I mean the entire world. The US’s failure in Iraq was good for theocratic Iran, Arab dictatorships, Iraqi corrupt politicians, radical Islamists and fascist Russia – all forces that worked hard against the US’s project!

The US’s success in Japan, Germany, South Korea, etc., has been good for everyone. The US does support democracies in the region – look no further than Israel and Turkey. The US does not support them because they are non-Arabs (Israel has over 20% Arab population and Turkey is an Islamic country) – it supports them because they are democracies.

So the myth is NOT that the “US supports democracy in the region” – the overwhelming majority of Arabs do not believe that. The myth is exactly the opposite – that the “US does NOT want democracy in the region”. This is the myth that most Arabs believe in. And around that myth tens of conspiracy theories have been created, propagated by the dark forces of radical islam, national ideologies and fascist dictatorships, and fueled by the ignorance and hate of the common people on the street.

June 6th, 2015, 8:36 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Hopeful,

Thanks for articulating what I’ve been trying to say for years!

June 6th, 2015, 9:19 am

 

Alan said:

تكررت الثناءات و اصبح من الواجب منح الشريط البنفسجي لوضعه على المعصم

June 6th, 2015, 10:08 am

 

Sami said:

Hopeful,

While technically yes democracy is good in the long term for America in the short term it goes against its own interest in the region. America is a staunch ally of the gulf kingdoms and does little to nothing in pushing for democratic reforms there. Their silence on the flogging of the Saudi blogger is clear. The Americans do not want instability and are willing to deal with tyrincal regimes so long as they buy American hardware and tow the line. Kissinger said it, there are no permanent allies for the U.S. Just permanent interests.

Iraq is no Japan, South Korea or Europe post WWII. There is no peace and prosperity there, yes the Iraqis have a large share of the blame however that does not overshadow US responsibility there. There are many blunders, from the lies to excuse the invasion, Abi Ghraib, Falluja, Halliburton, to the disbanding of state institutions and the army. All these had extreme negative effects on the region and helped pave the way for Daesh to rise.

June 6th, 2015, 11:20 am

 

Hopeful said:

#182 Sami

The “stability first” axiom was challenged by GWB and the neocons, They lost the challenge due to the forces mentioned in my post above, in addition to the incompetency of the U.S. administration and the Iraqi leadership. Their “new Middle East” project was mocked and challenged by all the dark forces in the region, and the dark forces won – unfortunately. Rice’s “constructive chaos” comment became a mockery to show how the U.S. is bend on “creating chaos” in the region, when in fact she was explaining how the US should tolerate short-term instability in the region for the benefit of creating a better future for all in the long term. In short, we all missed a golden opportunity to take the Middle East in a better direction with the help of the US’s military and political muscles. What we now are getting is a US administration and a public who could care less about us, are ready to forget about us for good, and leave us to the evil of the dictators and the religious radicals.

June 6th, 2015, 12:30 pm

 

Fahmein said:

Too much comical exchanges are in progress packaged as pseudo-arguments.

Destroying these pseudos is easy. The U.S. Doesn’t care about you, never cared about and that’s how reality is. You’re the only one who cares about YOU. Change must come from within and not according to some agenda prepared by outsiders.
Outsiders have interests. Their interests supersede caring about you. Any change which is enforced by outsiders by default will put the interests of the outsiders first.

I find you guys naive without exception.

June 6th, 2015, 1:39 pm

 

El Chino said:

Fahmein – “I find you guys naive without exception…”

You’re the naive one, buddy boy. Name me one Iraqi leader in modern times (1922 to now) who put the people ahead of personal power and the interests of family/clan/tribe. You can’t. Every one of them was/is a mafia don in a keffiyeh. You want change, you need the outsiders. Otherwise, you’re gonna get the same old crap over and over…

June 6th, 2015, 2:27 pm

 

Fahmein said:

So what?
You didn’t convince me that anyone cares about me more than me.

June 6th, 2015, 2:50 pm

 

Sami said:

Hopeful,

Don’t miss understand me on the U.S. I am not regurgitating age old theories about America. I want America that when it liberated Japan helped build it to the developed democracy it is today. I agree with Akbar the U.S. Should’ve kept a permanent base in Iraq, it’s the first time in its history it has not done so, and although it was Bush that laid the ground work for full pull out of American forces from Iraq, Obama did nothing to reverse that and I am told that it could’ve been easily done had he actually wanted so. The same thing is happening in Afghanistan.

All am trying to say is that Iraq was a project squandered by Bush and abandoned by Obama. And all of this to the detriment of the region. A shame really.

June 6th, 2015, 2:51 pm

 

ALAN said:

US Warplanes Strike Iraqi Army Bases in Fallujah, Kill 6 Soldiers
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940316001210

June 6th, 2015, 4:55 pm

 
 

Jamal said:

Your discussion is not interesting at all. What matters is the partitioning of Syria in progress.

Now it’s all about Homs, till now both sides are not letting go of Homs.

The good news is that Damascus will be part of the new Monarchy Syria along with all access to fresh water, sea and Lebanon.

Getting rid of uneducated peasant/Bedouin Sunnah will drop the percentage of Sunnah in the new Syria to less than 35% Sunnah with 35% Alawites, 30% Other.

June 6th, 2015, 5:17 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Sami said:

All am trying to say is that Iraq was a project squandered by Bush and abandoned by Obama. And all of this to the detriment of the region. A shame really.

Sami,

And at what point to we cast fault at the Iraqi people? The Iraqi government was dead set against an agreement for bases, and they took the relative calm after the surge and did nothing.

Even now they are abandoning towns where they outnumber ISIS. Why?

June 6th, 2015, 5:34 pm

 

Jamal said:

No filthy Zionists allowed in the New Monarchy Syria. You can play and enjoy the cohabitation with Nusra and ISIS though.

Q: What is the difference between a Zionist and a professional criminal?
A: A professional criminal doesn’t make up lame excuses for things he denies doing.

June 6th, 2015, 6:40 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Jamal,

You forget that the amount of refugees created by arab despots amounts to about 10 Nakbas. Save your anti-zionism for someone more worthy like Assad, Saddam, Gadafi ISIS,etc, etc.

June 6th, 2015, 7:21 pm

 

Syrian said:

#169 Altair, you’re welcome.and thanks for you great reply to Akbar place.
To say that Bush/ Cheney went to Iraq to topple a tyrant and allow Iraqis to vote is laughable, it was all about Iraq’s oil and nothing more. When Bagdad fell the oil ministry was the only building that got protection while the mob was destroying everything else.

June 6th, 2015, 7:37 pm

 

El Chino said:

“When Baghdad fell [in 2003], the oil ministry was the only building that got protection.”

Correct. There was looting and shooting everywhere else. One Canadian reporter interviewed a mob of Iraqis protesting against the US invasion. Here’s a segment:

…there are daily protests against the Americans. They are never more than a few hundred-strong but they get angrier as time goes by and the population remains without many basic needs. The demonstrators’ principal demand is a government made up of Iraqis and chosen by Iraqis.

“In the government I want Iraqi, not American, not British,” one of them yells over the sound of his comrades’ chanting.

Does he think it’s good that Saddam has gone, I ask.

“No. I need Saddam because I want to kill Saddam!”

Practically everyone wanted to kill Saddam. Saddam knew he was hated. He didn’t care. There’s a story about a woman who cursed him after he had her husband and two sons executed. He said to her, “Do not think you will get revenge. If you ever have the chance, by the time you get to me there will not be a sliver of flesh left on my body.”

Still, when he had some ancient buildings in Babylon restored, he had “Saddam Hussein built this” stamped on every brick. He expected that one thousand years in the future, researchers would dig them up and write about him the way they write about Hammurabi now…

June 6th, 2015, 8:07 pm

 

Jamal said:

Go away you filthy Zionist, soon enough the popular resistance wings will liberate the occupied Golan heights.

Q: Why did the Zionist cross the road?
A: To occupy the other side.

Q: What did the Zionist answer, on his job application form, when asked about his desired occupation?
A: Occupation!

June 6th, 2015, 8:33 pm

 

El Chino said:

Hey, Jammie. Good to see they let you out of the dog pound. Akbar and I were talking about you, wondering if something had happened. Good to know you’re safe and sound, and that you still have your sense of humor.

June 6th, 2015, 9:12 pm

 

Jamal said:

EL CHINO

Thanks for checking in. I’m safe and sound in an awesome country but my heart and soul goes out to the heroes of Syria Arab Army who are writing our victory with golden ink in the book of glory.

Is Akbar holding on tight to your pocket these days?

Q: Which Zionist film is most likely to win an Oscar?
A: The Great Terrain Robbery, starring Sean Con-nery and Donald Smother-land.

Q: Why did the Zionist claim to own your home?
A: You couldn’t prove that it was in your family’s possession 2,000 years ago, so it must be his to claim.

June 6th, 2015, 11:19 pm

 

passerby said:

The deal has always been that IS/ISIS/Al-Qaeda in Iraq/Zarqawi/Saddam Regime gets eastern Syria and the Assad crime syndicate gets the big cities and Alawite heartland.

Saddam created IS/ISIS/Al-Qaeda in Iraq/Zarqawi, but Assad made it’s resurgence possible after GW and the Iraqi people crushed them.

The incompetence, the corruption and bigotry of the Iraqi Shiites didn’t help but that was just stupidity, Assad it was intentional.

June 7th, 2015, 12:04 am

 

Juergen said:

Why Boat Refugees Don’t Fly!

June 10th, 2015, 3:00 am

 

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