Syrians Donating to Opposition; News Round Up (Nov. 23, 2011)

A friend Writes:

A friend of mine attended the conference in Paris. Bourhan Ghalioun was not there because he was meeting the British officials. Basma kadmani was supposedly impressive. She spoke about them having refused to get any money from non Syrians even though they have been approached repeatedly. Having said, many wealthy Syrians are helping and are prepared to give more according to what my friend heard from there.

Another Friend:

That is the truth and I know it for a fact. Many many many wealthy Syrians, inside and outside, are giving money. There is so much investment in anti-Bashar that it’s impossible to roll back.

Another writer:

I appreciate your insights and the unbiased approach with regards to the Alawite questions. As an Alawite myself, I was born in the mountains of Antioch,I am extremely worried about what is going on in the Middle East and the repercussions on my people in Turkey and Syria. My village is within miles of the Syrian refugees who are being “hosted” on the Turkish side of the border. Even though I have deep reservations about the Baath and their ideology and am in favor of open, transparent, pluralistic democracy based on human rights and the rule of law, it does not keep me from worrying about a disorderly unraveling of political order in Syria and what it represents for my people….

Syria, Iran and the Balance of Power in the Middle East
By George Friedman

Thus far al Assad has resisted his enemies. Though some mid- to low-ranking Sunnis have defected, his military remains largely intact; this is because the Alawites control key units. Events in Libya drove home to an embattled Syrian leadership – and even to some of its adversaries within the military – the consequences of losing. The military has held together, and an unarmed or poorly armed populace, no matter how large, cannot defeat an intact military force. The key for those who would see al Assad fall is to divide the military.

If al Assad survives – and at the moment, wishful thinking by outsiders aside, he is surviving – Iran will be the big winner

CBS News: U.S. urges Americans to leave Syria “immediately”, 2011-11-23

 (CBS/AP) BEIRUT – The U.S. Embassy in Damascus urged its citizens in Syria to depart “immediately,” and Turkey’s foreign ministry urged Turkish pilgrims to opt for flights to return home from Saudi Arabia to avoid traveling through Syria. “The …

Nikolaus van Dam on Syria’s three possible main scenarios for transition

“Just because you are on the throne does not mean you are actually in power,” Nikolaos van Dam, Dutch scholar, author of several books on Syria, and former ambassador to Egypt, Iraq, and Turkey, among other places, told The Epoch Times.

“It is similar to the situation under his father [Hafez al-Assad]. [In charge] is a group of officers and security personnel who have very close ties and the same background,” he said.

Bashar al-Assad came to power as the anointed successor to his father, but his background in the West and manners misled many people into believing that he was more liberal than he turned out to be, or that he had more space to make changes than he did, van Dam says.

“The officers needed him and he needed them. But he did not earn his seat like his father, by winning it in a struggle. So it is a different situation.”

Nevertheless, says van Dam, as president, if he disagreed, he could have stepped down. “It would be rather strange to be president and not be responsible for your own deeds.”

Bruce Jentleson, professor of Public Policy and Political Science, and former senior adviser to the State Department, is of a similar opinion. “Power in Syria is more opaque than it was in Egypt, Tunisia, or Libya. While more than a figurehead, Bashar al-Assad doesn’t sit as much at the apex of power as Mubarak, Ben Ali, or Gadhafi did,” he said. “Syria could be left with Assadism without Assad.”

Thus, removing al-Assad from power may not automatically open up the process of change, he argues.

It may also prove desperately hard to do for anyone outside of the strong and well-armed Alawite minority elite that rule Syria, according to van Dam. He sees three possible main scenarios for transition in Syria.

One is a coup from within, by someone reform-minded who is far enough removed from power not to fear going down with al-Assad, but still close enough to have the muscle to do it.

Only people with power and arms could perform a successful coup in Syria. But it’s easier said than done.

— Nikolaos van Dam, Syria scholar

“Only people with power and arms could perform a successful coup in Syria. But it’s easier said than done. If you start contemplating it and taking people into confidence, you may be executed the next day,” he said.

The second scenario is that al-Assad agrees to step down and leaves the country, which would require guarantees that he will not be prosecuted.

The third is civil war, and this is by far the worst scenario, says van Dam. “The outcome is unknown, and it will be damaging for society for generations to come. You will have only losers in the end. Nobody wants this, especially not the mostly peaceful demonstrators,” he said.

A civil war also runs a high risk of destabilizing the entire region, according to observers. Lebanon in particular is often mentioned, but also Iraq and even Turkey may get drawn into it, van Dam said.

Another group that has been mentioned as influential is what Jentleson calls al-Assad’s “business cronies;” businessmen, many of them members of the al-Assad family, who have made a lot of money by colluding with the government. Despite their economic power, they may not have much political influence, however, according to van Dam. And it’s hard to know which way they would swing if the regime showed signs of going down.

“They want to be safe. They cooperated with the regime out of self-interest. The regime has many supporters, but how many of them support it out of conviction? The businessmen are probably afraid of the alternatives. What if a Sunni regime that discriminates against Alawites would come to power?” asks van Dam.

Regardless of what happens within the regime, van Dam thinks that the rest of the world has locked itself in a dangerous position by simply declaring the Assad regime illegitimate and proposing sanctions, for lack of other means of exerting pressure.

“The EU has not even tried to negotiate with al-Assad. Having only sanctions cuts off your ability to influence. Sanctions killed 300,000 people in Iraq, and it didn’t help. Imagine that the regime stays in power for several years, then what? It is better to be pragmatic and avoid bloodshed,” he says.

In his view, the Arab League is probably the best chance for a peaceful resolution at this point. Although they have not been successful so far, he thinks they have a greater chance at convincing their Arab brothers than the West does.

Overall, the situation doesn’t look good for Syria. “It is hard to be optimistic,” said the former ambassador.

Hezbollah ‘cripples’ CIA — or so it seems

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 22 (UPI) — Hezbollah’s roll-up ofan alleged CIA operation in Beirut has given the Iranian-backed movement an immense boost at a time when its ally, the Syrian regime in Damascus, is fighting for survival…. The U.S. reports over the last several days about how Hezbollah’s formidable counterintelligence arm was able to uncover CIA recruitment of its personnel and expose an entire CIA network to infiltrate the movement’s security apparatus indicate that Hezbollah crippled the U.S. operation.

“Beirut station is out of business,” one CIA source was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times Sunday….

Hezbollah and Lebanese authorities have also arrested more than 150 people, including senior army officers and prominent political figures, on charges of spying for Israel, with Hezbollah the primary target. By any standards that’s a massive network — and it must be presumed others remain at large.

Since qhadaffi fell, i hear libyan real estate is up 3 times

Cameron: War looms in Syria 

David Cameron urged world leaders to “engage” with Syrian opposition groups yesterday as he warned the country was on the brink of a full-scale civil war.

The Prime Minister praised interventions by Turkey and the Arab League against Bashar al-Assad’s brutal suppression of protests. Speaking alongside Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Downing Street, he said: “Today we had important discussions on Syria, where now a full-scale civil war is a real possibility.

“The world now needs to get behind with concerted pressure on the regime and positive engagement with the opposition, who can represent Syria in an inclusive transition,” he added.

“Syria is now at a dead end so change is inevitable,” Mr Gul had earlier said.

CNN: Cyberwar explodes in Syria

Istanbul (CNN) — A familiar digital chime rang on the computer. Someone was calling via Skype from Syria. It was a law student and opposition activist from the city of Homs who uses the pseudonym Musaab al Hussaini to protect himself from arrest. …

“It Will Not Be Syria, It Will Be Libya”: 20,000 marchers in Tahrir Square, November 21, 2011

“This is the breaking point we were all waiting for. Getting rid of Mubarak was just the warm-up. This is the real showdown.”

In a challenge to the ruling military council, Egypt’s interim cabinet has offered to resign. 20,000 people have occupied Tahrir Square since the weekend and many have clashed with security forces in some of the worse violence since the uprising earlier this year that overthrew Hosni Mubarak. At least 33 people have been killed and over 1,500 injured so far. Thousands are reportedly chanting “The people want the end of the field marshal,” a reference to Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the leader of the military council, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). They are also chanting “it will not be Syria, it will be Libya.”….

“”The Muslim Brotherhood and other political parties met on Monday after which the Brotherhood issued a “collective apology” for not joining the protesters’ calls for the SCAF to loosen its hold on power earlier. But the Brotherhood, which is the best organized of Egypt’s political organizations and stands to win a majority in the upcoming elections, also said that it would not participate in the “million man march.”””

الرئيس ينهي تكليف عماد مصطفى واشاعات عن رغبة بثينة بالحلول محله

Syrian government, Russia criticize Britain’s calls against Assad

DAMASCUS, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday called on Syrian opposition to “unite” against President Bashar al-Assad, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov chided such calls from Western countries as provocation.

“It is important for opposition groups to be able to put aside their own differences and come to a united view of the way forward, ” Hague made the remarks after meeting with Syrian opposition representatives in London on Monday.

However, he said Britain was not ready to recognize the Syrian opposition as the country’s legitimate government.

“We are not at the point of a formal recognition, partly because there is not a single council as there was in Libya. They are not in control of territory in Syria as the council was in Libya and the international community has not reached that point,” Hague said.

Meanwhile, Lavrov said that “so far, when the Arab League (AL) urges to stop the violence and start dialogues, Western countries and some countries in the region call for the opposition to avoid such dialogues with Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”

Abuses over international law and the UN authority cannot be allowed, Lavrov added.

The remarks of Hague and Lavrov came after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s confirmation that he would press on with a crackdown against what he called armed groups targeting civilians, policemen, army personnel in his country despite increased pressure from the AL.

“The conflict will continue and the pressure to subjugate Syria will continue,” Assad told the Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper. ” However, I assure you that Syria will not bow down and that it will continue to resist the pressure being imposed on it,” he said….

In yet another move to place pressure on Damascus, the AL has said that it will sponsor a meeting combining different opposition figures to help them form a united front….

U.N. draft is a “declaration of war” on Syria: envoy

Louis Charbonneau, Reuters, November 21, 2011

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Syria’s U.N. envoy on Monday slammed a draft U.N. resolution condemning the Syrian government’s eight-month crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, calling it a “declaration of war” on Damascus.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari was referring to a draft resolution on Syria which Germany submitted to the U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee. The draft, which was crafted by Germany, Britain and France, has five Arab states among its 61 co-sponsors.

“This was tabled in the context of declaring a political and media and diplomatic war on my country,” Ja’afari told the committee, which is comprised of the 193 U.N. member states.

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“It is a declaration of war that aims to affect the independence of our political decision-making and stop us from moving ahead in our national political agendas,” he said.

Syria has promised the United Nations that it would halt military operations against civilians and implement political reforms. But U.N. officials say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has failed to keep any of his promises.

The draft resolution says the committee “strongly condemns the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities, such as arbitrary executions, excessive use of force and the persecution and killing of protesters and human rights defenders.”….

Syrian cameraman killed his eyes gouged out, Mr. Ferzat Jarban, in the town of al-Qasir.

Hezbollah reaffirms support to Syrian regime – 2011-11-22

BEIRUT, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Lebanese Shiite armed group Hezbollah confirmed Monday its support to Syria and Iran against ” international conspiracies” and said it opposed that Lebanon be used as a launch pad for plots against its biggest neighbor.

“What is taking place in Syria is an international conspiracy that targets Syria due to its position as a rejectionist state as well as its supportive policies to Arab and Islamic resistance movements, especially in Palestine,” Hezbollah and its ally Lebanese Shiite group the Amal Movement said in a joint statement.

“We affirm our support to Syria, its people, army and institutions, and oppose the use of Lebanon as a launch pad to conspire against sisterly Syria,” the statement added.

“In a significant failure for the United States in the Mideast, more than a dozen spies working for the CIA in Iran and Lebanon have been caught and the U.S. government fears they will be or have been executed, according to four current and former U.S. officials with connections to the intelligence community.

The spies were paid informants recruited by the CIA for two distinct espionage rings targeting Iran and the Beirut-based Hezbollah organization, considered by the U.S. to be a terror group backed by Iran.”

Some Damascene businessmen still supporting the regime:

دعا إلى فرض حالة الطوارئ وتشكيل مجلس استشاري
الدكتور العطار : كل من ترك البلد وعاش مترقبا ليس وفيا

دمشق- سيرياستيبس:

في بداية الأحداث…حدد الدكتور عبد الرحمن العطار موقفه بالإعلان عن أنه ( ولعله كان يتحدث باسم كل تجار دمشق الشرفاء ) ضد المجهول الذي يحرض ويحمل السلاح…وأنه مع المعلوم – الذي هو الدولة والوطن –.

مرّة ثانية نلتقي العطار ..و مازال ثابتاً على موقفهِ, فمن لا يكون وفياً لوطنه – في هذه الظروف التي وصفها بأنها الأقسى التي تتعرض لها سورية. – ..لا يستحق العيش فيه بل إنه يرى أن كل رجل أعمال وكل تاجر و صناعي وثري اختار ترك البلاد والعيش في بلد آخر مع أسرته خلال هذه الظروف بأنه غير وفي وبأنهم يرتكبون خطأً جسيماً بهذا التصرف..

واصفاً المعارضة بالكرتونية – ومتسائلاً- كيف يمكن لأولئك أن يجلسوا في الصالونات – صالونات الدول التي تتآمر على وطنهم- ويتحدثوا عن الناس الذين يموتون في الشوارع فكيف يمكن أن يشعروا بهم…!؟

العطار وفي رده على سؤال ” لسيرياستيبس” قال : النظام لن يسقط وستخرج سورية أقوى, ولكن لابد من تحويل مؤسسات الدولة كلها إلى ورشة عمل حقيقية لتصحيح الأخطاء ووضع سياسات جديدة أكثر انعكاساً على الأرض خاصة لجهة تعيين المسؤولين, وهنا تساءل العطار ( متألماً) ..أين هو التمثيل الدمشقي في مختلف المؤسسات بدءاً من المؤسسة الحزبية إلى مجلس مدينة دمشق..إلى …

Webster Tarpley : Western powers are behind the violence in Syria RT

Turkish Leader Calls for Assad to Resign in Syria
By SEBNEM ARSU, November 22, 2011

ISTANBUL, Turkey — In his most blatant criticism yet of Syria’s political repression, the prime minister of Turkey said for the first time on Tuesday that the Syrian president should resign, raising the pressure on him from a country that Syria had once counted as its friendliest neighbor and economic partner.

The criticism by the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, was not totally unexpected, given Mr. Erdogan’s increasing exasperation with Mr. Assad’s intransigence over the political uprising against him, now in its eighth month. But Mr. Erdogan’s comments were notable nonetheless for his explicit language, in which he also likened Mr. Assad to the self-delusional dictators of history who have met violent and messy ends, most recently Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya.

“Just remove yourself from that seat before shedding more blood, before torturing more and for the welfare of your country as well as the region,” Mr. Erdogan said of Mr. Assad in a televised statement at his party meeting in Ankara.

Rifaat al-Assad’s version of what happened in Hama

If you are interested in what Salafi and Wahabi shaykhs are saying about Syria and the Alawis, watch this Fundamentalist Christian network with clips of a number of shaykhs. It is revealing.

لدليل 40 شيوخ الفتاوى تجار الدماء

Independent: Robert Fisk: Egyptian crisis gives Syria time to talk about democracy, 2011-11-23
Robert Fisk

Egypt is the best thing to happen to Syria for a long time. Just when Western leaders – and Qatar – were hounding President Bashar al-Assad for his brutal suppression of opposition demonstrations, along comes the latest crisis in Egyptian cities …

U.S.’s Rice Will Say UN Mandate Stopped Rwanda Repeat in Libya, 2011-11-23
By Flavia Krause-Jackson

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice will say the use of military firepower against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi prevented a catastrophe akin to the 1994 Rwanda genocide, in the capital Kigali today. “Every situation is different, of course, and calls for a different policy response,” Rice will say in a speech today, according to a draft obtained by Bloomberg News. “Yet many of us heard strong echoes of 1994 when Muammar Qaddafi promised that he would root out the people of Benghazi and go house to house killing innocents like ‘rats.’” Visiting Rwanda after a surprise trip to Libya, Rice’s comments come as the international community pursues alternatives to military intervention to stop bloodshed in Syria, where a government crackdown on protesters has killed more than 3,500 people, according to UN estimates.

‘The tide turns against Bashar Assad’ (The Economist)

“Turkey, the neighbour with the biggest punch, has been fiercest in calling for Syria’s regime to reform or die. Its government hosts the main political opposition, the Syrian National Council (SNC), and harbours the leaders of the Free Syrian Army, a burgeoning group of defecting soldiers. More recently Turkey has threatened to cut off electricity to northern Syria. Tensions between Syria’s internal and external opposition inevitably persist, though the SNC is doing quite well in maintaining a broad front that includes a strong component of Muslim Brothers as well as secular liberals. Some council members may be drawing premature hope from Libya’s experience, in the unwise expectation that the West and the UN may impose a no-fly zone over Syria and invoke a “responsibility to protect” civilians. Despite the Arab League’s increasingly robust demands that Mr Assad should engage in a proper dialogue, he still seems unlikely to do so. But his room for manoeuvre is a lot more limited than it was even a month ago.”

Comments (229)

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……FYI.. Bashar and Mkhalouf bought houses in Dubai .. Bashar paid $60M for his…”

Great, there is nothing wrong in an orderly transition of power in Syria. The concern if he to relocate to that 60 mil mansion is how much of worthless fiat currency will be left at the Central Bank, for sure there will be no gold or hard currency, NIL, Iran will be paid first, before handing of power and there not available reserve to pay that debt. Another concern is who will run Syria afterward, are there going to be a cohesive body ready to take over or will, in revenge, get left to the Allahu-Akbar throat slitters to finish the job. Finish Syria and Syrians off. The best plan is to deny the Baathists that luxury vacation for life and help them fix the mess they made in Syria first.

November 23rd, 2011, 12:20 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“…She spoke about them having refused to get any money from non Syrians even though they have been approached…”

“…That is the truth and I know it for a fact. Many many many wealthy Syrians, inside and outside, are giving money..”

Go ahead stoke me, I am stupid shipple. All those lies are made up to cover the fact that they are NATO and Qatari paid puppets. We have solid evidence of this foreign cash help.

November 23rd, 2011, 12:26 pm


Tara said:

Why is Buthina wanting to replace Imad Mustafa?

May be she is expecting the regime to fall soon and wants to be in the US at that time? Smart lady! Once that happens and Bashar falls, the next thing will hear that she is applying for asylum in the US..

She is on the US sanction list. Can she become a Syrian Ambassador in the US despite being on that list?

I used to think that there is something gracious about her physical appearance. I don\’t think that anymore. I want Samar Yazbek to be the Syrian Ambassador. I like good-looking people when they are good looking inside and out. She is that.

November 23rd, 2011, 1:43 pm


Humanist said:

I find it very hypocritical the way all Assad-loyalists/worshippers/fans on this blog are posting articles about and are cheering for the “revolutions” in all arab countries… EXCEPT SYRIA…

I also noticed very negative posts about Turkey recently.

When will they post articles about the massacres by russians against chechens?*

*–> Expect that to start happen ONCE Russia finally decides “to give up” Syria…

November 23rd, 2011, 1:51 pm


jad said:

“She spoke about them having refused to get any money from non Syrians even though they have been approached repeatedly.”

What a pathetic lie!

November 23rd, 2011, 2:08 pm


maledkhaldoun said:

The rumor is that Muallem may leave,could Imad Mustafa replace him ?.

November 23rd, 2011, 2:41 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The rumor is Muallem may leave,

November 23rd, 2011, 2:43 pm


N.Z. said:

Dear Professor Landis,

I was hoping to see Hassoun, the regime’s mufti, linked in your news roundup, threatening Europe & US with suicide bombers (9 Oct)

It is time, once and for all, to stop insulting, the free men and women in Syria, the free Syrians who can no longer tolerate social injustice. 60 Years in the life of a nation, a people is enough!

While you have every right to post what you like, you are not immune from responsibility.

November 23rd, 2011, 2:48 pm


newfolder said:

child Bilal Ahmad AlMunashef killed in Baba Amro Homs by security forces.
AL ManarTV camera man is a witnesses to this

November 23rd, 2011, 3:31 pm


zoo said:

Preferred Egypt president?
“Asked to pick who in a list of nine foreign leaders they would like the next Egyptian president to look like, a whopping 38% cited Erdogan; Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, 11%; former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, 9%; and Saudi King Abdullah, 8%. Obama was cited by only 5% of the respondents.”

Turkey is ‘biggest winner’ of Arab Spring
By Jim Lobe

..2011 edition of the annual “Arab Public Opinion Survey” conducted by Shibley Telhami of the Brookings Institution.

The survey, which was conducted during the last half of October, was based on detailed interviews of some 3,000 respondents from
urban centers in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It also included Saudi Arabia, the results from which, however, arrived too late to be weighted with the other five countries.


November 23rd, 2011, 6:35 pm


irritated said:

@humanist #4

“I also noticed very negative posts about Turkey recently.”

I wonder why you are surprised about that. Turkey is playing a dirty game in Syria it has been appointed by Western countries as the ‘Terminator’ of Bashar al Assad.

Do you expect the pro Assad to write niceties such as the 10 inches boots Mrs Gul was wearing when she met Queen Elizabeth?

November 23rd, 2011, 6:40 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Let me wildly guess that this news round up was rounded up by Alex.

November 23rd, 2011, 6:41 pm


zoo said:

The Devil We Know: Why Assad Will Survive?

Somewhere, probably in hell, Hafez al-Assad is biting his fingernails, hoping that his son, Bashar, remembers his history lessons. Because this is not the first time that an Assad ruling Syria has faced mounting opposition protests, deadly attacks on government personnel and installations, and army defections. A similar uprising occurred in the 1970s and early 1980s, under Assad senior’s watch.

Hafez was opposed by the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Sunni group, that views the Alawite Islam practiced by Assad’s tribe as heretical, while also resenting the regime’s secular nature. After several years of increasingly deadly cyclical attacks and counterattacks, Hafez lost patience and decisively crushed the opposition: In February 1982 his troops massacred tens of thousands of Brotherhood fighters, supporters, and ordinary civilians, in the city of Hama – a main Brotherhood base.
Assad senior – whom the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman memorably described as a man who looked as if he “had long ago been stripped of any illusions about human nature” – realized that unless he showed no mercy, the attacks would continue until he was toppled. He was obeying an old tribal adage that declared hesitation in battle to be a sign of weakness, not magnanimity. (Friedman labeled Hafez’s outlook, “Hama Rules.”)

And so Assad’s troops didn’t just massacre their opponents in Hama, they let the bodies lie on the ground for days so that the details of their brutality would spread throughout Syria, and beyond. After that the Brotherhood went silent and Assad ruled without any real challenge until he died in 2000 (from natural causes). He was content with being like the Roman Emperor Caligula, who reputedly declared: “oderint, dum metuant” (“let them hate [me], so long as they fear [me]”).

As often happens, history is now repeating itself, this time with the son in place of the father. Assad junior has more than just his old man’s lessons echoing in his head: many of his father’s advisors now surround him. It’s not a surprise, therefore, that the regime has shown no signs of backing down, and has demonstrated a willingness to kill unarmed protesters. The only question remaining is the full extent of Assad junior’s potential for brutality.

There’s also the added factor that Assad is defending not only his personal rule, but also the future of his religious sect as well. This means more is at stake for him then was the case with Hosni Mubarak in Egypt or Muammar Gadhafi in Libya. Indeed, while the opposition is not officially led by the Brotherhood, the group is involved in the uprising, and they are likely to be the main beneficiary if Assad is overthrown.

If the Brotherhood takes power, not only will Alawites likely suffer, other minorities – who are also viewed as heretics or as infidels – will most probably as well. This might explain why the Vatican has remained largely silent on Syria, and it is definitely a motivation for Assad’s recent appointment of a Christian as his defense minister (replacing an Alawite) – sending an overt reminder of what’s at stake.

It was due to a fear of the Brotherhood taking control that Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned President George W. Bush in 2005 against toppling Assad. His argument: better the devil you know. And that’s despite Syria’s alliance with Iran and support of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Also weighing in Assad’s favor with the Israelis is that for the last few decades Syria has tightly controlled its border with Israel. The only exception came in May when Assad allowed some Palestinians fighters to charge at the Israeli side of the border –once again an overt reminder of what’s at stake.

Other regional powers too know full well that the Brotherhood will likely take power post-Assad. For example, a representative of the Iranian regime, Mohammad Javad Larijani, told the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens during a recent visit to New York that his theocratic regime isn’t concerned about the turmoil in Syria.

Either Assad survives or the Brotherhood takes over, Larinjani said, and so “the future relations of Iran and Syria will be as strong as they are right now.” (Iran is a sponsor of Hamas, which grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood.) Inversely, it is no coincidence that Turkey – once a Syrian ally but now a principal cheerleader for the opposition – is ruled by the Justice and Development Party (or “AK”), whose roots too are in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Throughout Bashar’s decade in power, most western visitors to Damascus have drawn the same conclusion: Bashar is not a brute like his father, but rather a democratizer who wants peace with the West. Notwithstanding, that is, his alliance with Iran, support of Hamas and Hezbollah, interfering in Lebanon (including the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri), and his nuclear dalliances with North Korea (which, incidentally, may tilt Israel’s leaders away from the Sharon position), all of which heavily suggest otherwise.

Of course, Bashar’s pose as a reformer might simply have been another leadership lesson taken from his father. Assad senior could play the modernizing great Western hope too. Just ask President Jimmy Carter, Secretary of State Warren Christopher, or any of the other western diplomats who cooled their heels at Damascus airport.

In fact, once again, it seems that the only ones misreading what’s going on in Syria are starry-eyed westerners. That’s unlikely, however, to give Hafez much comfort in Hades.

November 23rd, 2011, 6:45 pm


jad said:

No Prince, it’s the new trend of Dr. Landis not to sign his initial at the end of the latest news round, I wonder why he doesn’t?

November 23rd, 2011, 6:51 pm


Ales said:

This is, in my opinion, an excellent article. Too bad it likely won’t be headed by anyone.

November 23rd, 2011, 6:51 pm


Ya Mara Ghalba said:

I was leaning into melancholy last night when so many Arabic countries — deceived by the litany of unverified and false stories in their newspapers — voted to condemn the Syrian government for “the persecution and killing of protesters and human rights defenders”. But then I saw this bit: In his speech at UN chambers yesterday explaining why Egypt voted in favour of the text of condemnation, the UN representative of Egypt said: “The text preserves the unity of Syria and its territorial integrity and could not be interpreted as an invitation for foreign intervention. Indeed, the recently added preambular paragraph 8 includes clear language reaffirming the commitment of all Members States to refrain in their international relations from the use or the threat of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.” That paragraph 8 of the preamble of the text means that all countries that voted in favour of the condemnation were also voting against military interference.

November 23rd, 2011, 6:53 pm


Ya Mara Ghalba said:

Joshua quotes Nikolaos Van Dam. I have a comment. As a backgrounder to my comment, here’s what I said at #258 in the previous thread:

#254 Uzair quotes Joshua Landis speaking of “…the stability that the Assad family has enforced in Syria…”. Joshua’s language is false and wrong because no family or cabal can enforce or create stability in Syria. My language is “…the stability that the Establishment has created in Syria…”. The Syrian Establishment is a sociologically broad group that covers all geographic parts of the country, nearly all religious groups, all age groups, all professional occupations, all big private enterprises, and all components of the State. Syrian society also contains a smallish anti-Establishment, most of it alienated poor people with Wahabi or Wahabi-like political ideas, which today is “riding the wave of popular and justified demands” to try to overthrow the Establishment. The Establishment is big and broad enough to weather the storm.

#241 Uzair quotes Rami G. Khouri saying: “The regime’s political support systems are thin…. The regime’s four pillars of its incumbency are: military, business class, non-Sunnis, Aleppo-Damascus silent middle classes….” Taken together, those four pillars of support are strong, not thin. And you must take the four together; they are not independent of each other; they mutually support each other as a single nationwide societal Establishment, unified in its opposition to the anti-Establishment. An anti-Establishment of size 2% can create a lot of Events if they put their hearts into it (as IRRITATED said above). But they can’t seriously challenge the Establishment. That’s how I see the situation.

Nikolaos Van Dam is an enemy of the Establishment and an anti-Assad bigot. After considering various hypothetical pathways for what he terms a “transition”, meaning an ouster of the Assad regime, Nikolaus Van Dam reaches the conclusion: “It is hard to be optimistic.” My translation: “It’s hard to be optimistic that the anti-Establishment factions can be successful against the Establishment.” I am optimistic about complete victory for the regime after the political reforms are fully implemented. I say, speaking as a big believer in the goodness of the Establishment and their Assad regime, and assuming that foreign military interference is not in the cards: It is hard to be pessimistic.

November 23rd, 2011, 6:54 pm


jad said:

Syrian opposition youths beating up a Syrian woman in Egypt, Ya

الصورة للدكتورة البطلة ربوع التي تعرضت للضرب والشتم من قبل قطعان مدعي الحرية والديمقراطية.

November 23rd, 2011, 6:58 pm


Ya Mara Ghalba said:

Some figures about Syrian economic development between 2004 and 2010:

From year 2004 to year 2010:
(1) Percentage of GDP that comes from the private sector increased from 59% to 65.5%
(2) Percentage of workers who work in the private sector increased from 68% to 71%
(3) Percentage of workers who work in the industrial sector increased from 15% to 22%
(4) Percentage of workers who work in the agricultural sector decreased from 17% to 13%
(5) The labour force grew at a rate of 2% per year on average over the years 2004 through 2010
(6) The unemployment rate was 12% in 2004 and was 9% in 2010.

In case you don’t know how to interpret those figures: the economy is developing satisfactorily; most notably there’s lots of new job creation in the non-agricultural private sector.

A Syrian government official says about year 2011: The wheels of commerce and industry have continued to turn. The Events have not distracted employees from getting on with their work. Schools, universities, hospitals, law courts, and businesses of all kinds except the foreign tourist sector have continued to function normally.

November 23rd, 2011, 6:58 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The reason for a diesel oil shortage

First it was the person who films the video saying in his voice the date and place. Then, a piece of paper was used. Now it evolved to this Neon moving announcement (probably a smartphone app). Cute.


November 23rd, 2011, 7:04 pm


N.Z. said:


دمشق محطة الحجاز وسط العاصمة مظاهرة مسائية 23-11


November 23rd, 2011, 7:06 pm


Son of Damascus said:

I have a question I would like to pose to the regime supporters here on Syria Comment,

At what point does the regime and Bashar lose their legitimacy in your eyes? Is there a so called line in the sand that he and the regime would have to cross? Or is just a support that will blindly follow him even if his fate at the hangman’s noose is a fait accompli? Or is it just a fear of the unknown where the devil you know is better than the one you don’t?

I understand that my views fall on the opposite side of your opinion, I’m just trying to understand why you choose to back the regime. I oppose Bashar and the regime because I truly believe he and his circle of advisors have done a great injustice to Syria, if he had chosen a different route back in March with what happened in Dera’a I truly believe that Syria would be on a different road (He would have probably won an election straight out if he did choose the hard route). The fact is he and his advisors chose the heavy handedness tactic of beat them to submission, and in my opinion the streets rose up and said enough. 9 months later that tactic has not changed to the better, but have become more brutal and more widespread. I don’t support the MB, or any salafi thinking, I’m a secular through and through, I believe every Syrian no matter their race, creed, or sex have as much right as I to live in our beautiful country as any Syrian.

I see your love to our country (even if it might be misplaced), the fact you come here and show your support to the cause you believe in (even if I disagree with it) shows your love to our country. I don’t support dialogue with the regime for they have too much blood on their hands, but I do with every ounce of me with supporters of the regime. After all which ever side of the aisle you stand in, we are all Syrian, and if we want to have a better Syria in our future we must at one point reach a middle ground.

November 23rd, 2011, 7:12 pm


Tara said:

Dear N.Z

Thank you very much for linking Hijaz area demonstration. Loved it. I loved seeing these Damascene women participating and you tubing. Can’t wait to visit..

November 23rd, 2011, 7:21 pm


Ya Mara Ghalbaq said:

#21 “Son of Damascus” says: “I have a question I would like to pose to the regime supporters here on Syria Comment, At what point does the regime and Bashar lose their legitimacy in your eyes?”

I’ll respond by quoting the regime’s leader, Bashar the Great, speaking on 21 Nov 2011:

Q: Is there a circumstance under which you would resign as President?
Bashar: It [the political situation in Syria] is not about me, it’s about about the stability of Syria. It’s about how can we keep Syria unified. If the President is a factor in unifying the country he has to stay. If he is a factor in dividing the country, he has to leave. Most of the Syrians are unified, and what’s happening now is a minority of militants are killing Syrians on a daily basis.

Q: A sector of the community is opposed to the regime. Even if it’s a minority, it exists. Do they not have the right to say their say?
Bashar: They have the right, but through the elections. We are going to have elections in February, maybe March. We will have a new parliament. After that we’re going to have a new government. We’re going to have a new Constitution. That Constitution will set the basis for electing a President. The ballot boxes will decide who should be the President.

As I’ve said a thousand times before at SyriaComment, next year there’s going to be free and fair elections (religious and tribal parties banned), and the sundry dissidents are going to have to compete against the regime’s party in the elections, and who ever wins the election has legitmacy by dint of the Will of the People of Syria.

November 23rd, 2011, 7:22 pm


Shami said:

Son of Damascus ,most of those who come here belong to the ” minorities” mindsets and it’s clear that islamophobia unite them.(Alex and Norman are not part of this group)
Others are non syrian anti-globalists..they support everyone who like to appear as an anti-american.

November 23rd, 2011, 7:24 pm


Ya Mara Ghalba said:

THIS IS A DUPLICATE ONLY IF DELETE IS NOT WORKING. #21 “Son of Damascus” says: “I have a question I would like to pose to the regime supporters here on Syria Comment, At what point does the regime and Bashar lose their legitimacy in your eyes?”

I’ll respond by quoting the regime’s leader, Bashar the Great, speaking on 21 Nov 2011:

Q: Is there a circumstance under which you would resign as President?
Bashar: It [the political situation in Syria] is not about me, it’s about about the stability of Syria. It’s about how can we keep Syria unified. If the President is a factor in unifying the country he has to stay. If he is a factor in dividing the country, he has to leave. Most of the Syrians are unified, and what’s happening now is a minority of militants are killing Syrians on a daily basis.

Q: A sector of the community is opposed to the regime. Even if it’s a minority, it exists. Do they not have the right to say their say?
Bashar: They have the right, but through the elections. We are going to have elections in February, maybe March. We will have a new parliament. After that we’re going to have a new government. We’re going to have a new Constitution. That Constitution will set the basis for electing a President. The ballot boxes will decide who should be the President.

As I’ve said a thousand times before at SyriaComment, next year there’s going to be free and fair elections (religious and tribal parties banned), and the sundry dissidents are going to have to compete against the regime’s party in the elections, and who ever wins the election has legitmacy by dint of the Will of the People of Syria.

November 23rd, 2011, 7:26 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The Hejaz Railway

A personal note: My father was the main electricity engineer of the Israeli rail. His office was located in the Haifa East station. I LOVE this building. During summer breaks, as a child, my father used to take me with him to work. So I spent many enjoyable hours in this station and around.

November 23rd, 2011, 7:29 pm


zoo said:

PKK: A pretext to attack Syria?

Gül warns Syria of cross border raids
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Ankara could be forced to launch a cross-border operation against Syria if Damascus were to allow the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to attack Turkey from its territory, President Abdullah Gül has said during a state visit to Britain.

“I don’t think the Syrian government would make that kind of mistake” in allowing the PKK to conduct attacks from the Arab republic’s territory, Gül told the daily Guardian on Nov. 22, adding that “terrorist groups” had been trying to sabotage the process of reforms in Turkey.

November 23rd, 2011, 7:45 pm


Tara said:


I feel I am competing with you when it comes to reading stuff from Hurriyet Daily News. It looks that you and I are regular readers and for some reason I get annoyed when you read it first… I don’t know why. I am becoming weird….

November 23rd, 2011, 7:53 pm


Tara said:

What does France mean by humanitarian corridor?  What is the difference between a “buffer zone” and “securitized zone”.  I don’t see a difference.  It sounds like he just did not want to be the first leader to say it.  Also, Libya is no longer alone in recognizing the SNC.  France just joined in.  Who is next?  The EU?   

France backs humanitarian corridor in Syria, rules out military action 

PARIS (Reuters) – France backs a possible humanitarian corridor in Syria and considers the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) a legitimate partner with which it wants to work, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Wednesday.

After a meeting with SNC Chairman Burhan Ghalioun, Juppe said that the military option in Syria was not on the agenda and he had not discussed it with anyone.

He ruled out military intervention to create a “buffer zone” in northern Syria but suggested that a “securitised zone” may be feasible to protect civilians and ferry in humanitarian aid.

“If it’s possible to have a humanitarian dimension for a securitised zone to protect civilians, that’s a question which has to be studied by the European Union on the one side and the Arab League on the other,” he told a news conference.

France, the first Western country to recognise Libya’s opposition, has been championing the cause of pro-democracy protesters in Syria, leading calls for a UN Security Council resolution to condemn the government’s bloody crackdown on them.

Juppe said he had asked to put on agenda of the next European Union meeting the possibility of creating humanitarian initiatives to alleviate the pain of the Syrian population.

“Should we have to create humanitarian corridors or humanitarian zones? I will ask the European Union to put it on the agenda at next meeting,” he said.

European foreign ministers meet next week with leaders convening the following week.

International concern has grown over Syrian President Bashar Assad’s violent crackdown on the eight-month-old uprising, with Turkish President Abdullah Gul warning it threatened to “drag the whole region into turmoil and bloodshed”.

Although Ankara says it is reluctant to intervene across the border, Turkish foreign ministry officials have told journalists in recent days that Turkey could be willing to create a buffer zone inside Syria if Turkey were inundated by refugees or if there were massacres in Syrian cities.

Opposition partner, free Syrian army

Juppe, who went to Turkey last week to discuss the Syrian situation, also said France was seeking international recognition for the SNC.

“The Syrian National Council is the legitimate partner with which we want to work,” he said. “We are working with the Arab League and all of our allies towards its recognition.”

A report in French weekly Le Canard Enchaine on Wednesday, citing a French military intelligence source, said French and British special forces had made contact with Syrian rebel soldiers in Turkey and Lebanon to establish how strong they were and pave the way for training them, should the decision be made.

“Turkey could be the base for a limited, careful and humanitarian NATO intervention without offensive action,” a French foreign ministry source told the paper.

The ministry has denied any contact with the rebel Free Syrian Army.

The SNC’s Ghalioun, who said he had detailed his “democratic and peaceful” transition plan to Juppe said his organisation supported the Free Syrian Army’s role in protecting civilians.

“We support this army in its defensive missions to protect soldiers who have deserted the army and to protect peaceful demonstrations but not for offensive actions against army positions,” Ghalioun said.

The Paris-based academic said the increasing violence threatened civil war and to avoid that he wanted to raise pressure on Assad to leave power.

Ghalioun also dismissed recent offers by Assad’s uncle Rifaat Assad and his former vice-president Abdul-Halim Khaddam, both based in Paris, to join the opposition.

“We do not consider them to be part of the democratic opposition,” he said. “These people are part of the old system.”

The United Nations says 3,500 people have been killed in the uprising, triggered by Arab revolts which have toppled leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Syria, which blames the unrest on “armed terrorist groups”, has barred most independent media.

November 23rd, 2011, 7:54 pm


zoo said:

Welcome, chaos

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Despite all those exciting explanations and images, I am not hopeful – in the medium term – about the prognosis for the Arab Spring. I have four fundamental reasons for this: first, there is the lack of a road map with democracy that would end poverty and solve the problem of the scarcity of economic resources, one of the most important root causes of the revolution; second, democracy-building is an inherently long-term and formidable venture; third, the emergence of a newly competitive environment would lead to the rapid replacement of fallen central authorities with ethnic, religious, sectarian and tribal authorities; and finally, there is a lack of global leaders.

November 23rd, 2011, 7:59 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Thanks a lot for the video you showed in Hijaz,More and more demonstartions will spread in Damascus,Damascus will be out of Bashar control soon,the only area in Damascus that has not witnessed demonstraions is around his residence due to heavy security,all the other places,Midan Rukn aldin Salhieh Qadam barzeh Muhajerine,Kafar sooseh,has witnessed demonstrations against him,The area wher he lives, I am sure FSA will take care of,Bashar will run away from Damascus.

This revolution is not religious one,this is a secular revolution intended to regain freedom and dignity, and justice,Hafez was in adifferent time,there was no internet, Hama was the only city he has to deal with, and there was no Arab upring then.Turkey was under different rule,and Israel had just invaded Lebanon and Hafez defended Lebanon against Israel then.

Bronco said people should have power only temporary,he prefer strong person to rule.
Bashar is not that man,and people should always has the power,the goverment should serve the people, the mentality of dictatorship is gone for ever,

November 23rd, 2011, 8:18 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

I understand Humanitarian corridors,as buffer zones that are seperated

November 23rd, 2011, 8:31 pm


Shami said:

The Aleppine women too Tara:

November 23rd, 2011, 8:31 pm


N.Z. said:

Tara and Majed,

Thanks to the brave men and women of Syria!

In Aleppo as well, and as you said many more in Damascus, as always Homs, Hama and all over the country.

November 23rd, 2011, 8:32 pm


bronco said:

Tara #28

The UK have snubbed the SNC and now France recognizes it as ‘a partner’, not as a sole representant of the Syrian opposition. It is no surprise as SNC is partly french, since many members of the SNC are french nationals.
So the SNC is now french-sponsored and already France has assigned to Turkey its geographic role in the ‘humanitarian corridor’ that would allow medical help to reach wounded people inside Syria and allow seriously wounded people to be taken out of Syria. To where? To Turkey.
It seems Turks are unwilling to play that role, so their leaders have become more vocal. Erdogan is bashing Bashar on a daily basis hoping to justify to his people the necessity to play that military role. I am not sure the Turks are ready to become the policemen of Syria.

November 23rd, 2011, 8:36 pm


Tara said:

Here we go: The EU wants to check the SNC out

Talking about the power of Syrian women, I’d like Basma Qudmani to be the next head of the SNC

EU says ready to talk with Syria’s opposition
Published: 11.24.11, 01:02

The European Union is ready to engage with the Syrian National Council and other opposition groups, a spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Wednesday.

Asked about French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe’s comment that France backed a possible humanitarian corridor in Syria and considers the Syrian council a legitimate partner to work with, spokesman Michael Mann said: “The High Representative met yesterday with leaders of the Syrian National Council. (Reuters),7340,L-4152497,00.html

November 23rd, 2011, 8:37 pm


Tara said:


SNC is indeed not the sole representative of the Syrian opposition. SNC must work harder to be inclusive of all so I agree with France’s view in that regard. I still do not really understand what a humanitarian corridor means other than a zone that is established and maintained by “armed power”. No? I think Juppe just did not want to be the first one to say it.

I think Turkey will not restore to establishing that zone except as the last resort and definitely not before a UNSC resolution.

November 23rd, 2011, 8:49 pm



تداعيات الربيع السوري: تحالف شيعي مسيحي في مواجهة السُنّة
المجموعة: سياسة نشر بتاريخ الأربعاء, 23 تشرين2/نوفمبر 2011 20:45 كتب بواسطة: وليد الحاج

ترددت كثيرا قبل أن تناول هذا الموضوع خاصة في ظل الظروف والمعطيات الراهنة التي تمر بها سوريا والجهود الجبارة التي يبذلها المخلصون في صفوف الشارع السوري والمعارضة الوطنية لجمع الصفوف وتوحيد الكلمة وتبديد مخاوف الأقليات الدينية والقومية في البلاد. جال في خاطري وأنا أرتب أفكاري واستجمع معلوماتي عتب بعض الأخوة من الطائفة العلوية الذين نكن لهم كل احترام وتقدير والذي يدفعون منذ استيلاء الأسد الأب على مقاليد السلطة إلى يومنا ثمنا باهضاً لمواقفهم الوطنية المشرفة وعلى رأسهم أكثم نعيسة الذي يتعرض منزله في اللاذقية اليوم لنيران الشبيحة والأمن لأنه يدافع عن حقوق الإنسان السوري بغض النظر عن ديانته وطائفته، وعارف دليلة عميد كلية الاقتصاد السابق الذي أودع السجن لسنوات عديدة لأنه قال “إن مصروفات سيارات المسؤولين وضباط الأمن وأبنائهم تكفي لمضاعفة رواتب الموظفين الحكوميين مرتين”، ووحيد صقر الذي يدافع عن الشعب السوري في شجاعة قلّ نظيرها والفنانة فدوى سليمان وغيرهم.
كما استذكر وأنا أخوض بهذا الحديث تضحيات مسيحيي سوريا وعلى رأسهم الناشط السوري ميخائيل سعد الذي تقدم منذ أيام بطلب انضمام لجماعة الإخوان المسلمين السورية “نكاية ببعض اليسار السوري وبعض العلمانيين الشكليين وبعض القوميين، وقبل هذا نكاية بالسلطة السورية” كما قال. كما أستذكر وقفات بعض الشبان المسيحيين – رغم قلتهم – وانتظارهم في أيام الجمعة أمام أبواب المساجد للمشاركة في المظاهرات التي تنطلق من أمامها عقب الصلاة، أتذكر موقف التنظيم الآشوري في دعم الثورة السورية والذي أعتقل بعض أتباعه وتعرضوا لشماتة وانتقادات إخوانهم في الدين (لأنهم يعطون صورة مغلوطة عن السريان ومواقفهم، ولا ينظرون الى الموضوع نظرة بعيدة وحكيمة) كما ينقل عنهم الكاتب الأشوري المعارض داويد زبداي في أحد مقالاته.
لعل البعض وبعد إطلاعه على المواقف السابقة لثلة من الوطنيين العلويين والمسيحيين ،يعتبر أنه من باب الإجحاف ونكران الجميل الحديث عن تحالف مسيحي شيعي، والحديث في الوقت ذاته عن ثورة سنيّة ضد الحكم الطائفي في سوريا.
ولكن ولإيضاح الصورة فلابد من الإشارة أولا أن المقال ليس تحريضا على المسيحيين بمختلف مذاهبهم أو الشيعة على تنوع فرقهم ،إلا أن الواقع يشير الى أن أهل السّنة اليوم يقفون في الساحة وحدهم أمام آلة القمع الأسدية التي نجحت الى حد كبير في تحييد المؤسسات الدينية الشيعية والمسيحية بل وحشدها في صفه.
وسنبدأ باستعراض مواقف الشيعة من الأحداث في سوريا ، حيث أنه من اليسير على المتابعين للشأن السوري ملاحظة حجم الدعم الذي حظي به نظام الأسد من الشيعة في الداخل السوري ( علويين ومرشديين وشيعة ومعهم الدروز) وفي بقية أنحاء العالم الإسلامي لدرجة يصعب فيها التنويه بحالة شاذة واحدة دعم فيها رجل دين أو حزب أو حكومة محسوبة على الطائفة الشيعية مطالب الشعب السوري المنادية بالحرية والانعتاق من هيمنة عائلة الأسد وحكم الحزب الواحد منذ ما يزيد على نصف قرن.
وقد أثار الدعم الذي حظي به نظام الأسد من شيعة ايران والعراق ولبنان والبحرين والكويت الكثير من الاستياء وعلامات الاستفهام عند الشارع السوري بشكل خاص والعربي بشكل عام، متسائلين عن الازدواجية التي تحكم مواقف الشيعة وتوجهاتهم الدينية والسياسية في هذه القضية ، إذ كيف يستوي لديهم تحريم تسلُّم حزب البعث للحكم في العراق وتكفير أعضائه، بل والإفتاء بجواز استعانة قوى المعارضة الشيعية (بالشيطان الأكبر وقوى الاستكبار الغربي) – كما يصفهم علماء الشيعة – للإطاحة به ، في حين تُشن حملات التخوين على الشعب السوري وقياداته المعارضة لمطالبتهم بإنهاء حكم حزب البعث وتدخل الأمم المتحدة والمجتمع الدولي لحمايتهم من بطش النظام الطائفي البعثي.
لم يعد البعد الطائفي في المشهد السوري خافيا على أحد فاليوم تضع الدول والحكومات التي يهيمن عليها الشيعة في كل من ايران والعراق ولبنان وبعض حلفائهم في المنطقة بكل ثقلها لإنقاذ نظام بشار الأسد الآيل للسقوط تحت ذرائع وحجج مختلفة، بزعم أنه النظام الممانع والمقاوم الوحيد في المنطقة العربية في وجه الصهيونية والامبريالية العالمية.
لقد حاولت ايران التي تقود المحور الشيعي ومن خلفها حلفائها أن تلقي في محاولة يائسة بطوق النجاة لنظام الأسد الذي بدأ يترنح اقتصاده تحت وطأة العقوبات الدولية وتراجع الصادرات النفطية وتدهور قطاعات التجارة والصناعة والسياحة ومن قبلها قطاع الزراعة الذي أسهمت سياسات النظام الرعناء في تدميره. فقد جرى الحديث في وقت سابق عن ستة عشر مليار دولار مساعدة للنظام السوري تعهدت الحكومة العراقية بعشرة منها في حين تكفلت طهران بالجزء المتبقي، وذلك بحسب اعترافات عضو في تحالف المالكي لصحيفة الشرق الأوسط 2-8-2011م، وفي الوقت الذي قلّلت فيه دول عربية مستوى العلاقات الدبلوماسية والتعاون مع دمشق واستدعت دول أخرى سفرائها، قامت الحكومة العراقية باستقبال المسؤولين السوريين ووقعت معهم المعاهدات وعرضت الدعم السياسي والاقتصادي.وقد جاء التغير في الموقف العراقي بعد سلسلة من التصريحات المتضاربة التي انتهت بتأكيد رئيس الوزراء العراقي نوري المالكي في لقاء مع التلفزيون العراقي، أن بغداد تعارض بشدة تغيير النظام في سورية(صحيفة القدس العربي 9/10/2011م). كما أكد المالكي لمجموعة من رجال الأعمال السوريين المرتبطين بالنظام أن سورية ستحل محل تركيا في عدد من عقود العمل والبناء الكبرى التي يحتاجها العراق، وجرى الحديث أيضا عن خطة لربط إيران والعراق وسورية بشبكة أنابيب نفط وغاز.كما جرى الحديث – بحسب ريما فليحان الناطق الرسمي باسم المجلس الأعلى لقيادة الثورة في سوريا – وذلك في بيان استنكار للحكومة العراقية بتاريخ 16 تشرين ثاني الجاري عن عشرات الحافلات المحملة بعناصر قيل أنها من جيش المهدي الى الأراضي السورية عبر معبر التنف وقد وصلت تلك الحافلات الحدود السورية مصحوبة بقوات عراقية ومن ثم دخلت تلك المليشيات الى سوريا من غير أن تختم جوازاتهم.
في حين ذهبت طهران في دعمها للأسد موقفا أبعد من ذلك حين أعلنت على لسان الناطق باسم الخارجية الإيرانية رامين مهمانبرست أن “البلدان الإستكبارية قررت زعزعة الاستقرار والهدوء في سورية وممارسة الضغوط على هذا البلد لفتح الطريق أمام الكيان الصهيوني للفرار من مشاكله”، مضيفا بحسب وكالة الأنباء الإيرانية إرنا 12 -9-2011م “إن الأحداث التي وقعت في سورية تبين انه لم تكن هناك تظاهرات ومطالب شعبية بل قامت الجماعات المسلحة بقتل الناس والشرطة بصورة مترافقة “. كما كشفت مصادر مطلعة في اسطنبول لمعارضين سوريين أن إيران تسعى إلى المضي قدما في دعم النظام السوري حتى لو وصل ذلك إلى تشكيل دولة علوية في الساحل السوري متصلة مع بعض المناطق في لبنان.
وقد أشارت مصادر الثوار في سوريا عبر مواقعهم على الفيس بوك الى أن إيران قدمت لسوريا وسائل تكنولوجية لمراقبة الإنترنت والتنصت على هواتف الثريا والنشطاء، فضلا عن الأسلحة والإمدادات وما قيل عن مشاركة قوات من كتيبة القدس النخبوية الإيرانية لقمع الانتفاضة السورية.
وبالانتقال الى دور حزب الله الحليف الأهم لطهران في المنطقة، نرى أنه لم يشذ عن مواقف طهران بل بدا متماهيا معها الى حد كبير جعلت من شعبيته العربية والإسلامية التي حازها بسبب مقاومته لإسرائيل على المحك ، فحزب الله بات متورطا في الأحداث السورية الى حد يصعب نفيه، فمفوضية الأمم المتحدة لشؤون اللاجئين أشارت في تقرير لها في 5 آب الماضي الى أن إيران وحزب الله متورّطان على حد سواء في قتل الجنود السوريين الرافضين لإطلاق النار على المتظاهرين، ونشرت تقريراً مفصلاً من 20 صفحة يشتمل على صور وشهادات لاجئين وجنود منشقين عن النظام السوري، يتواجدون الآن على الحدود التركية. ويؤكد التقرير أن الجنود السوريين الذين رفضوا إطلاق النار على المتظاهرين قتلوا بعد اعتقالهم على يد عناصر تنتمي إلى حزب الله اللبناني أو قوات إيرانية تابعة للحرس الثوري المتواجدين في سوريا لمساعدة النظام السوري في قمعه للمتظاهرين. كما دعا حسن نصر الله الأمين العام للحزب في كلمة له على قناة المنار السوريين الى “الحفاظ على بلدهم ونظامهم المقاوم والممانع”(القدس العربي 26 -5-2011م )، وأعلن حزب الله صراحة وعلى لسان كبار مسئوليه أنه لن يقف مكتوف الأيدي بينما تتصاعد الضغوط الدولية على الأسد للاستجابة إلى المحتجين. فضلا عن هذا فقد تبنت وسائل الإعلام التابعة للحزب مواقف النظام والدعاية له، بل وصل الأمر بقناة المنار أن أعلنت في شهر أيلول الماضي تضامنها مع قناة الدنيا المملوكة لرامي مخلوف ابن خال الرئيس بشار الأسد في وجه الحملة الساخرة التي يشنها نشطاء الثورة السورية عبر صحفهم ومواقعهم الالكترونية على القناة التي تفتقر الى النزاهة والموضوعية في برامجها وتقاريرها الإخبارية فضلا عن المضمون الإعلامي الهزيل لتلك البرامج.
تدخلات حزب الله في سوريا ليست مبالغة أو تهويلا أو ترديدا لتقارير منظمات دولية قد يتهمها البعض بالتبعية للغرب كما يظن البعض، فقد صدر عن طلبة جامعة دمشق في الأول من أيار 2011م بيان شكا فيه من ممارسات قمعية يمارسها طلبة “حزب الله وإيران” الدارسين في الجامعات السورية بحق الطلبة الذين يتظاهرون أو يبدون دعما للحراك الشعبي في سوريا حيث يتم القبض عليهم من طلبة حزب الله وإيران ويتم تسليمهم لأجهزة الأمن السورية، والتهمة الموجهة عادة تكون التحريض على التظاهر في الجامعة. كما طالت تهديدات حزب الله الدول العربية المتعاطفة مع الشعب السوري حيث هدد منذ أيام الصحفي والسياسي اللبناني مدير المركز الدولي للدراسات الإعلامية والإستراتيجية رفيق نصرالله المقرب من حزب الله والموالي لنظام بشار الأسد، الأردن ‘بخلايا نائمة’ في حال ضربت سوريا عسكريا . و في رده على سؤال خلال حوار اجرته معه فضائية ‘الدنيا ‘ السورية عن دعوة الملك عبد الله الثاني الأسد للتنحي، قال نصر الله ‘ لا يعتقد النظام الأردني انه سيكون بمنأى عن هذه الإحداث ، فلدينا خلايا نائمة في الأردن ستتحرك في حال ضربت سوريا وستفتح الجبهات على طول الحدود مع الاردنية مع فلسطين المحتلة لتقض مضاجع النظام ، و قال نصرالله إلى أنه ‘ستعم الفوضى بالشرق الأوسط وستغلق قناة السويس ومضيقي باب المندب وهرمز ويصبح سعر برميل النفط 500 دولار وستفتح جبهة الجولان وتتحرك المقاومة في فلسطين ولن تبقى إيران ساكتة’ .
لم تقتصر المواقف الشيعية المؤيدة للنظام في سوريا على ايران والعراق وحزب الله وحدهم، بل شاهد الجميع مهرجانات التأييد والدعم التي أقيمت في الكويت والبحرين للنظام السوري في وجه من يصفونهم بعملاء أمريكا والصهيونية العالمية من المنتفضين على نظام المقاومة والممانعة في سوريا!!!.
ومن اللافت أن إيران التي ابتلعت العراق ولبنان وتسعى اليوم لابتلاع سوريا تحت سمع وبصر الأنظمة السنيّة في المنطقة قالت وعبر أسبوعية “صبح صادق” المتحدث الرسمي باسم الحرس الثوري الإيراني، في عددها بتاريخ 19 تموز الماضي منتقدة الحكومة التركية المتعاطفة (قولاً لا فعلاً) مع الحراك الشعبي في سوريا :”لو استمرت تركيا في الإصرار على مواقفها على هذه الوتيرة سيؤدي ذلك إلى تفاقم الأزمة، الأمر الذي سيرغم إيران على التفاضل بين تركيا وسوريا، وفي هذه الحالة منطق المصالح الإستراتيجية والمعرفة العقائدية سيدفع إيران نحو اختيار سوريا”. وهنا فلا مانع لدى شيعة ايران من دعم إخوتهم في العقيدة من الطائفة العلوية بناء على (المعرفة العقائدية) ولكن بالمقابل يحظر على تركيا أو الدول العربية دعم إخوانهم من السنة في سوريا وفق المبدأ العقائدي والمعرفي ذاته.
البعد الطائفي في الأزمة السورية أخذ منحى إقليميا خطيرا واصطفافا غير مسبوق، فالعلويين في تركيا والذين ينعمون بالحرية والمساواة ومستوى معيشي يفوق بعض دول الاتحاد الأوروبي أعلنوا تأييدهم لنظام الطائفة في سوريا واستكثروا على السوريين المطالبة بتغييره ، حيث يروي تقرير لصحيفة الإندبندنت البريطانية ونشرته صحيفة القدس العربي بتاريخ 17-6-2011م أن معارضي استقبال السنة من العلويين الأتراك قاموا بأكثر من مظاهرة في تركيا ضد اللاجئين من سوريا. ونقلت عن سكان من المنطقة ممن ينتمون للطائفة العلوية قولهم “إن القصص التي يحكيها اللاجئون غير صحيحة ،هم كذابون، بشار الأسد كان جيدا معهم، وستحدث اضطرابات أكثر لو أجبر على الخروج من السلطة، ليس في سورية ولكن في تركيا كذلك’. كما نقل أقارب المقدم حسين هرموش مؤسس لواء الضباط الأحرار وأول المنشقين عن الجيش السوري تفاصيل إلقاء القبض عليه ونقله الى داخل الأراضي السورية والتي تمت بواسطة المخابرات السورية باشتراك عناصر من المخابرات الإيرانية وعناصر من المخابرات التركية من الطائفة العلوية .
المشهد الطائفي داخل سوريا يزداد سخونة وتوترا مع قيام القيادة السورية بتسليح العلويين استعدادا لما يبدو أنه حرب طائفية سيشعلها النظام، فمنظمات حقوق الإنسان السورية والتقارير القادمة من المدن الساحلية والوسطى تفيد بأن عمليات تسليح كبيرة للعلويين تجري على قدم وساق ، وقد قال أنس الشغري أحد الناشطين في مدينة بانياس قبيل اعتقاله لوكالة رويترز ” قاموا بتسليح القرى التي يقطنها علويون في التلال المطلة على بانياس ونواجه الآن ميليشيات من الشرق.” مضيفا ” يؤسفني أن أقول أن الدعاية التي يروجها الأسد بان العلويين لن يتمكنوا من البقاء إذا أطيح به تجد استجابة بين جيراننا العلويين “.
بالانتقال الى الدعم المسيحي لنظام بشار الأسد فإن مواقف الكنائس المسيحية في سوريا قد بدت متناغمة ومتوافقة الى حد كبير في تأييدها لبشار الأسد. وعلى أرض الواقع فقد نجح النظام السوري وعلى مدى العقود السابقة من حكمه في كسب ولاء رؤساء الكنائس السورية الى صفه، ونحن نرى اليوم ثمار ذلك دعما لافتا للنظام في مواجهته للثورة الشعبية ،حيث برزت دعوة زعماء الكنائس المسيحية لرعاياهم الى عدم المشاركة فيها بشكل واضح لا لبس فيه، فالمطران يوحنا إبراهيم رئيس طائفة السريان الأرثوذكس وهو من أهم الشخصيات الكنسية في سوريا يقول بصراحة: “أن الكنائس لا تشجع الناس على المشاركة في المظاهرات”. ويقول انه “”متأكد من أن 80 في المائة من المسيحيين يحضرون للكنيسة للاستماع إلى رأيها بشأن الاحتجاجات وهم يلتزمون بموقفها”.
كما أصدر مجلس أساقفة الكنائس المسيحية في دمشق بياناً مشابها في وقت مبكر من عمر الثورة السورية في 29 آذار 2011جاء فيه “إن ما يحدث في بلادنا هو مؤامرة خارجية اشتركت فيها – مع الأسف- أيادٍ داخلية”. أما البطريرك زكا الأول عيواص فقد ذهب أبعد من ذلك، فهو يعتقد بأن هناك مؤامرة طائفية على سوريا هدفها ضرب التجانس بين الإثنيات والأديان، وأصدر بياناً في 3-4-2011م بيانا قال فيه “ندين وبشدة اندساس بعض الأيادي الغريبة التي تُحرك ضعاف النفوس لتأليب الرأي العام في الداخل والخارج، للوصول إلى مآرب خاصة لا تخدم مصلحة سورية ومواطنيها الشرفاء”. مضيفا: “كلنا ثقة بقائدنا الهمام السيد الرئيس الدكتور بشار الأسد، الذي منحه الله حكمة الشيوخ وهمة الشباب، بأنه سيُخرج سورية من هذه الأحداث الأليمة بحلةٍ جديدة، وبشكل يضمن لجميع المواطنين الشرفاء كافة حقوقهم المشروعة (الموقع الرسمي لبطريركية أنطاكيا للسريان الأرثوذكس) .
ولم يقتصر دفاع رجال الكنيسة السورية عن نظام بشار الأسد في الداخل ،بل انتقل البعض منهم للدفاع عن النظام أمام التجمعات والمحافل الدولية في الخارج، فقد ناشد المطران يوحنا إبراهيم المشاركين في الاجتماعات التمهيدية لقمة الدول الثمانية الكبرى بدعم مسيرة الاستقرار والسلام في سورية ودعا المشاركين في الاجتماعات المنعقدة بتاريخ 22-5-2011م لعدم تصديق كل ما يُبَث من إعلام مغرض ضد سورية، وقال إبراهيم الذي مثّل الطوائف المسيحية المشرقية في القمة الدينية التي سبقت قمة الرؤساء: “أنا مواطن مسيحي قادم من سورية أشهد أمامكم وأقول أنه إذا تزعزع الاستقرار والسلام في سورية، ستكون له تأثيرات على بلدان الشرق الأوسط”. وأضاف المطران إبراهيم: “بالتأكيد المسيحيون بشكل عام هم مع الدكتور بشار الأسد ومع النظام، ويتمنون أن لا تمتد هذه الزوبعة كثيراً
كما اعتبر بطريرك أنطاكيا وسائر المشرق للروم الأرثوذكس أغناطيوس الرابع هزيم أنَّ “الأوضاع في سوريا مغايرة تماماً لما تنقله بعض وسائل الإعلام”، بل وذهب مؤيدا ادعاءات النظام بوجود الجماعات المسلحة الى القول أمام وفد يضم شخصيات أكاديمية وسياسية وبرلمانية عربية وأجنبية “ما تشهده بعض المناطق في سوريا من استخدام المسلحين لأحدث الأسلحة والقتل بأبشع الطرق وتقطيع الرؤوس والأوصال هذا شيء يبعث على الاستغراب، وهو غريب عن طبيعتنا السورية وعن تاريخنا وهو منبوذ دينياً وأخلاقياً”.
وقد نشرت صحيفة الـ “تايم” في 19- 9 – 2011م تحقيقاً عن وضع الأقلية المسيحية في سوريا يؤيد ما ذهبنا إليه، مشيرة إلى أن معظمهم يشعر بالقلق من مرحلة ما بعد نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد.وأن الغالبية العظمى من المسيحيين يؤيدون نظام الأسد العلماني ويعتبرونه حصناً ضد الإسلام السياسي واحتمالات نشوب صراعات دينية مثل تلك التي تلت سقوط نظام صدام حسين في العراق عام 2003. “. بل ووصل الدعم المسيحي لنظام بشار الأسد الى انقلاب في مواقف المعارض البارز ميشيل كيلو تجاه الثورة السورية ووصفه الثورة السورية بـ(التمرد!!!) وذلك في برنامج (في العمق) الذي تقدمه قناة الجزيرة.
مواقف زعماء الكنيسة في تأييدها للنظام في قمعه للمحتجين تم تبريرها بالخوف من سقوط النظام وتسلم السنّة لمقاليد الحكم، وقد أيد هذه المخاوف مسيحيو لبنان أيضا ، وإذا شذ بعض المسيحيين في لبنان من فريق الرابع عشر من آذار عن هذه المواقف فما ذلك إلا لظروف سياسية وعداوة تاريخية بين حزب الكتائب والقوات اللبنانية مع نظام الأسد، وهم في كل الأحوال لم يعودوا يمثلوا الأكثرية المسيحية في لبنان خاصة بعد الدعم الذي أعلن عنه البطريرك الماروني بشارة الراعي لبشار الأسد ، حيث غيّر الراعي في موقف لافت من سياسة بكركي بمقدار 180 درجة نحو دعم قوى 8 آذار الموالية لسوريا والممثلة بحزب الله والتيار الوطني الحر بزعامة العماد ميشيل عون، وقد ادعى الراعي في تصريحات شهيرة له أن «تأزم الوضع في سوريا أكثر مما هو عليه سيوصل إلى حكم أشد من الحكم الحالي كحكم الإخوان المسلمين، وسيدفع المسيحيون الثمن كما حصل في العراق”. ورأى الراعي أن «تغير الحكم في سوريا ومجيء السنة سيؤدي إلى تحالفهم مع إخوانهم السنة في لبنان، ما سيؤدي إلى تأزم الوضع أكثر بين الشيعة والسنة». في المقابل أبلغ رئيس الجمهورية اللبناني ميشال سليمان السفير الأمريكي جيفري فيلتمان بعضاً ممّا لم يُفصح عنه رسمياً ، حيث قال في حديث تم تسريبه الى وسائل الإعلام في 22-6-2011م كلاما مشابها لتصريح الراعي :” إذا تسلّم الإسلام المتشدّد الحكم في سوريا، فإن ما رأيتموه في العراق والسودان، مرشح كي يتكرّر في سوريا ولبنان. لن يبقى بعد ذلك مكان لمسيحيي سوريا ولبنان”. بدوره دافع ميشيل عون بقوة عن موقف الراعي وأثنى عليه، معتبراً أن «بديل النظام الحالي في سوريا سيكون الإخوان المسلمين الذين يؤمنون بأن الديموقراطية هي ضد الشريعة”.
مواقف البطريرك الراعي لم تأت من فراغ كما يظن البعض بل قد ألمح هو ذاته – وبعد ردود الأفعال الكثيرة المستنكرة لتصريحاته- بأن مواقفه تلك إنما جاءت بإيعاز من أعلى سلطة دينية في العالم وهي الفاتيكان، وقد اضطر الفاتيكان إثر ذلك الى نفي أي علاقة له بتلك التصريحات، كما كشفت مصادر في الفاتيكان لصحيفة (الجريدة) أن الدوائر المعنية علّقت قراراً بابوياً كان من المقرر إعلانه نهاية أيلول الماضي بتعيين البطريرك الراعي كاردينالا أسوة بما درجت عليه العادة مع البطاركة الموارنة منذ البطريرك المعوشي مرورا بالبطريرك خريش وصولا الى البطريرك صفير عقوبة له على ما يبدو على تصريحاته تلك “صحيفة كلنا شركاء السورية 18-9-2011م”.
ربما يتساءل البعض عن مدى صحة توجيهات الفاتيكان للبطريرك الراعي والكنائس السورية – في أغلب الظن – لدعم نظام بشار الأسد، وهل لذلك أية صلة بتوجهات جديدة للفاتيكان بدعم الشيعة في المنطقة؟ الإجابة عن هذا التساؤل ستتوضح عندما نعلم أن الفاتيكان قد أعلن عبر تصريحات للكاردينال بيتر توركسون رئيس المجلس المسكوني للعدالة والسلام بتاريخ 22 -1- 2011م أن “الفاتيكان سيواصل الحوار مع الإسلام، لافتًا خصوصًا إلى إيران”، وذلك في أعقاب تعليق الأزهر الحوار مع الفاتيكان احتجاجا على ما اعتبره تعرض البابا بنديكتوس السادس عشر للإسلام بشكل متكرر وانحيازه ضده. ومعلوم أن لجنة الحوار بين الفاتيكان والأزهر، والتي تأسست بهدف تقريب وجهات النظر، وتكريس فكرة التسامح والحوار بين أصحاب الديانات المختلفة، تجتمع مرتين سنويا لاستعراض كل ما يتعلق بالتعاون بين الجانبين.
الدعم المسيحي لنظام الأسد لم يتوقف على مسيحيي سوريا ولبنان بل جاء هذه المرة من بلد آخر ومن زعيم ديني طالما دافع عن الحقوق المدنية ومطالب الشعوب في العيش بحرية وهو المطران عطا الله حنا رئيس أساقفة سبسطية للروم الارثوذكس في القدس الذي قال : أن هناك مؤامرة خطرة تستهدف سورية ليس بنظامها السياسي فقط وإنما كدولة لها دورها الوطني والقومي والعروبي والإنساني والروحي في المنطقة وأضاف في حديث آخر :”اننا واثقون بان سوريا ستجتاز هذه المرحلة من تاريخها وستكون اقوى مما كانت سابقا ، بفضل حكمة قيادتها ووعي شعبها”، كما يشاهد الجميع اليوم تقاطر الزعماء المسيحيين من روسيا وبعض الدول الأخرى للتضامن مع النظام السوري في وجه ما قيل أنها مؤامرة كونية تستهدف سوريا ووحدتها الوطنية ومواقفها المقاومة والممانعة.
التخوفات المسيحية من سقوط نظام الحكم في سوريا لم تعد خافية على أحد خاصة بعد ما نقلناه من تصريحات بهذا الشأن لزعماء الكنائس المسيحية في المنطقة ، حيث يرون أن لهذا الخوف ما يبرره، ويجري بشكل مستمر استجرار التجربة العراقية بكل ظروفها ومعطياتها، ويتم إلصاق تهمة قتل المسيحيين بالسنّة في حين أن عمليات التصفية لم تتم إلا بعد أن فقد السنة حكم العراق وأصبحت تحكمها المليشيات الطائفية المخترقة من قبل أجهزة الاستخبارات الإقليمية والدولية .
يجري اليوم على لسان بعض المسيحيين الخلط بين السُنّة والإرهاب ، متناسين أن المسيحيين عاشوا قرونا طويلة تحت حكم أنظمة سنية متدينة منذ العهد الراشدي مرورا بالأموي والعباسي وانتهاء بفترة ما بعد الاستقلال عن الاستعمار الفرنسي والبريطاني حافظ خلالها المسيحيون على وجودهم الديني وتعايشهم المشترك مع أبناء الديانة الإسلامية وباعتراف المطران السوري يوحنا إبراهيم في كلمته ذاتها في الاجتماعات التمهيدية لقمة الدول الثمانية الكبرى حين قال ( قدّمت سورية ذاتها في تاريخها ماضياً وحاضراً أنموذجاً للعيش المشترك والإخاء الديني والوحدة الوطنية)،وكلام مشابه ذكره البطريرك عيواص في مقابلة مع التلفزيون السوري حين قال:”نحن منذ بدء الإسلام كنا جنبا الى جنب مسيحيين ومسلمين نعتز بوطننا ونبذل الغالي والنفيس في سبيله (التلفزيون السوري 3/10/2011م).
فإذا لماذا يتباكون على مستقبل المسيحيين في سوريا ويتناسون في الوقت ذاته تناقص أعدادهم من 8% الى أقل من 4.5% من السكان بحسب الإحصاءات الرسمية وذلك في الفترة التي استلم فيها حافظ الأسد العلماني ومن بعده ابنه بشار للسلطة في البلاد!!.
ثم أين هم المسيحيون اليوم في سوريا وما هي المناصب التي يتقلدونها؟ أم لعلهم ظنّوا أن داود راجحة الذي جاء به النظام إلى وزارة الدفاع قبل ثلاثة شهور فقط لتوريط الأقليّة المسيحيّة في حماية أقليّة أخرى، هو ممثلهم والمدافع عن مصالحهم في هذه الحكومة؟.
إن اشد ما نخشاه اليوم في سوريا أن هذه المواقف التي يسلكها الشيعة والمسيحيون والاصطفاف الخاطئ في دعم النظام ربما تلحق بهم ضررا فادحا في المستقبل قد لا تحمد عقباه، بل ربما تساهم في تأجيج الفتنة الطائفية في البلاد، خاصة أن النظام بات على حافة الانهيار.وأعتقد بأن أمام الشيعة والمسيحيين اليوم فرصة أخيرة قبل أن تنجر البلاد الى أتون حرب أهلية لا قدر الله سيكون الجميع فيها خاسرا، بل ربما تكون هذه الأقليات هي الخاسر الأكبر فيها.
وليد الحاج
صحافي سوري

November 23rd, 2011, 8:53 pm


bronco said:

@20. N.Z.

دمشق محطة الحجاز وسط العاصمة مظاهرة مسائية 23-11

These are students of a school but I can’t read the rest of what is written on the banner, what does it say?

November 23rd, 2011, 8:54 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

November 23rd, 2011, 8:59 pm


Tara said:


It say school so and so asking for freedom for Yaman al Qadri

She is the 21 yo female medical student arrested by the regime. I told you about her yesterday.

November 23rd, 2011, 9:02 pm


Norman said:

PARIS (Reuters) – France backs a possible humanitarian corridor in Syria and considers the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) a legitimate partner with which it wants to work, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Wednesday.

Are these corridors what the French plan so Sarkozy can take the Christians from Syria to France, I have a surprise for France, The Christians are more Arabs than anybody else and with all what is going on they have not asked for any help from the West or the East, any way if they are going to leave i want to advice them to leave for the US and settle in Iowa,New Hampshire and south Carolina, and Florida, these are states that elect the president in the US so at least we can rule the US by proxy,

November 23rd, 2011, 9:10 pm


bronco said:

Tara #36

A Humanitarian corridor or a Regime-change corridor?

Oxford dictionnary:

“a belt of land linking two other areas or following a road or river: the security forces established corridors for humanitarian supplies

These corridors will be secured (by who?) and would link Syria to Turkey or Syria to Jordan or Syria to Iraq, so medical supplies can be brought in and wounded transported. It is not supposed to be use by the military.
I guess they will need the approval of the Syrian government to establish it or a UNSC decisions.

In any case I don’t trust any country invoking the word “humanitarian” after Libya, least France as it will be transformed into a Regime change corridor

November 23rd, 2011, 9:12 pm


bronco said:

40# Tara

Thanks, I did not remember the name and was wondering who was the person they were protesting about. It is very good to see solidarity, call for justice and absence of hatred in a protest.

November 23rd, 2011, 9:18 pm


sheila said:

To #18. Ya Mara Ghalba,
I do not know where to start. This site should not be called aksalser (against traffic), rather, aksalmanteq (against logic). Do you really believe these figures? Anyone with any amount of knowledge about Syria and very limited intellect can see the problem. I am tempted to say that I personally know more than 9% of Syrians who are unemployed. Obviously, this is a gross exaggeration, but really sir? 9%? It is not about knowing how to interpret the numbers; it is the numbers that are the problem. Do you take us for idiots? Do you have such low opinion of our abilities to think that we would believe such figures? Do you think we are blind, stupid, gullible or all of the above? Please sir, stop insulting our intelligence. And after all this you finish by saying:” The wheels of commerce and industry have continued to turn”. Really? Using what kind of fuel? For your information, people in Syria have no fuel to heat their houses, no fuel to cook and in some areas, no food.

November 23rd, 2011, 9:21 pm


zoo said:

Sad observations for the Arab Springers…

Revolution Full circle On Tahrir

…Author and political commentator Mark Glenn says that not only in Egypt, but in the entire region affected by the Arab Spring, people do not know what they want. “All they know is that they are unhappy with the status quo. But as far as actually being able to sit down and to formulate a plan as to how to bring these changes about, they are somewhat tied up in that regard.”

Glenn doubts that the Arab Spring will bring anything substantively different for the people in the region. “It is just going to be cosmetic,” he said.

“And sadly the loser in all this are going to be the people themselves who have literally paid for this revolution with their own blood,” Glenn concluded.

November 23rd, 2011, 9:25 pm


Tara said:

The Syrian revolution stirring many fantasies.  This is the Jordanian MB’s fantasy:  
Thursday, November 24th, 2011
Islamists walk a thin line as they eye gains from Syria crisis
By Taylor Luck

AMMAN – Amidst the rising calls in Jordan for an end to the Assad regime, one of the loudest has come from the Islamist opposition.

While the international community struggles with a united response, the Syrian crisis presents a host of political opportunities and challenges for the Muslim Brotherhood, which, according to observers, stands to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of regime change in Damascus.

‘Tough talk’

The Islamist opposition stepped up its calls for actions against the Assad regime – most recently calling on the government to recall its ambassador from Damascus and to recognise the Syrian opposition.

The calls come on the backdrop of a series of statements by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood last week urging the Syrian regime to withdraw the military from cities, release political prisoners and enact widespread political reforms.

According to the movement, the heightened rhetoric comes as part of its desire to see Jordan take a stronger stance towards a Syrian government it believes has “lost all legitimacy”.

“We believe the Jordanian government should be reaching out to the Syrian people and not the regime,” Muslim Brotherhood Spokesperson Jamil Abu Baker told The Jordan Times in a recent phone interview.

According to observers, the movement’s newfound tough language boils down to politics: The brewing crisis provides Islamists with the opportunity to outflank the government, whose more cautious position is tied to diplomatic realities and the consensus of the Arab League.

“A position against Assad has been a popular position and has a lot of political support,” said Adnan Hayajneh, political observer and professor of political science at the Hashemite University.

The crisis in Syria stands to benefit the Brotherhood, which unlike its response to the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, got behind the Syrian opposition from the onset of violence earlier this year, according to Mohammed Abu Rumman, researcher at the University of Jordan’s Centre for Strategic Studies.

“The Muslim Brotherhood has been clear from the beginning; they are against the regime and support the revolution, and the stance has paid off politically,” Abu Rumman said.

It is this support which has emboldened Islamists to urge the government to recognise the Syrian National Council, claiming that the coalition represents the widest array of Syrian society.

“The council represents Muslims and Christians, Sunnis and Shiites, Arabs and Kurds and it is our duty to support them,” said Islamic Action Front Secretary General Hamzah Mansour.

Recent calls for Arab recognition of the council stem from considerations other than concern for Syrian national unity: The opposition coalition also includes the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ties between the Muslim Brotherhood from Amman to Damascus remain “strong”, according to Islamist leaders, with the Jordanian branch maintaining direct contact with its Syrian counterparts on a “daily basis”.

These ties have driven the sharpened rhetoric over the past week, observers say.

Recent tough language stems from a sense among Islamist leaders in Amman that the Syrian regime may be in its final days, with the movement prepared to go to any length to make sure that its sister branch will be at the centre of any political change in Damascus, according to Oraib Rintawi of Al Quds Centre for Political Studies.

“An Islamist government in Syria would be one of the greatest victories for the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood in decades,” Rintawi said.

Political inroads in Syria would boost the Islamist movement in Jordan, observers say, leading to increased moral, political and logistical support across the border and providing Islamists with a major bargaining chip in its ongoing negotiations with authorities over reform and political life in the Kingdom.

“The Islamists know they have an opportunity in Syria, and they are not going to pass it up,” Rintawi added.

‘No foreign interference’

As the international community continues to form its response to ongoing violence in Syria, Islamists have already declared their opposition of any foreign intervention in the Kingdom’s northern neighbour.

“We refuse any foreign intervention from the West or the East,” Muslim Brotherhood overall leader Hamam Said told The Jordan Times.

The Islamists’ stance stands in stark contrast to the position of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, which as recently as Friday voiced its support for Turkish military intervention.

Rather than a push for military action, the movement says it supports a more “pragmatic approach”, advocating the Arab League to exhaust all avenues of diplomatic and economic pressures before considering any intervention.

“We support diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions to push the Syrian regime to respect the rights of its people,” Abu Baker said.

According to Mansour, the Islamists’ more cautious approach is driven by concerns that any intervention by the Arab world may be hijacked by the West to serve “foreign agendas”.

“There is an agenda by the United States and the Zionist entity to take advantage of the crisis in Syria and we warn against any actions, Arab or otherwise, that may aid this agenda,” Mansour told The Jordan Times.

The Brotherhood’s concerns run much deeper than alleged American designs for Syria, according to observers.

Support for outside intervention would not only break the movement’s decades-long policy against foreign occupation of Arab and Muslim countries – the Muslim Brotherhood opposed foreign military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently Libya – but would taint any post-Assad political gains in Syria.

“The Muslim Brotherhood would go from speaking out against US interference in the Arab world to be seen as welcoming US assistance; it wouldn’t look good”, Hayajneh added.

As beneficiaries of Western military intervention, the Muslim Brotherhood would attract suspicions from the Arab public that the Islamist movement is in fact serving US interests, threatening the movement’s credibility and regional Arab Spring renaissance.

“The last thing the movement wants is to be associated with a Western military invasion,” said Ibrahim Gharaibeh, Al Ghad columnist and expert in the Islamist movement.

Should diplomatic efforts fail and the violence continues, Said conceded that the Islamist movement would throw its support behind an Arab-led military intervention.

“We would support an Arab solution – including a military solution – to what should remain an Arab issue,” Said said.

According to Mansour, the Islamist movement would support a host of options, including a no-fly zone or a protective zone, provided that it is carried out by Arab states.

“We must ensure the protection of civilians who are demanding their basic rights, and we call on all Arab and Islamic forces to take all responsible steps to extend this protection,” Mansour said.

Balancing act

Despite its efforts to take a more aggressive stance, analysts say the movement finds itself in a position similar to the government: striking a cautious balance between urging Assad’s departure and preventing the crisis from escalating.

“Despite the difference in language, the Islamists’ position is very compatible with the Jordanian government’s stance,” Hayajneh said.

With a looming humanitarian crisis at the Kingdom’s northern border, a wider Syrian conflict would take away focus and energies Islamist leaders believe should be directed at the local reform movement, according to Abu Rumman.

The perception of the Muslim Brotherhood taking sides in a civil conflict would further aid autocratic regimes aiming to depict Islamists as a source of instability, and further jeopardise the movement’s Arab Spring gains across the region, analysts say.

“If Syria turns into Iraq, the Muslim Brotherhood stands to be the biggest losers,” Gharaibeh said.

Sectarian strife north of the Kingdom may cause a regional political ripple effect, dissuading Arab voters, many of whom are going to the polls for the first time, from selecting Islamist candidates, he added.

As the crisis drags on with regional solutions dwindling, observers agree that the political opportunities and potential pitfalls continue to mount for the Islamist movement in Jordan.

“Depending on how they react, this could mark the peak of the Islamist renaissance, or its untimely demise,” Gharaibeh said.

November 23rd, 2011, 9:38 pm


irritated said:

Offended Sheila #44

If there are areas in Syria where they have no food, why don’t you organize a collect instead of venting uselessly your anger on a blog.

November 23rd, 2011, 9:41 pm


sheila said:

To #47. Irritating,
I am not surprised that this is what you took away from my post. Maybe you need to read it a couple more times to comprehend it or seek assistance.

November 23rd, 2011, 9:47 pm


Hans said:

Lies as usual:

“Basma kadmani was supposedly impressive. She spoke about them having refused to get any money from non Syrians even though they have been approached repeatedly.”

the above statement maybe it is true about Basma but Drs Zebaleh and Ghallioun have been receiving money for the US state department and the french
it is well known the argument between the two over the money they received from foreign governments.

November 23rd, 2011, 9:52 pm


Norman said:

I was reading Forbes recently, they were talking about the 400 American Billionaires, OK I did not find my name, what i found is that 68% of the Billionaires in the US are self made,20% are inherited and 12% are combined, That is what makes the US great as anybody can make it with a good idea,

That is what brought me to the US, I was poor and did not see a real chance of doing as well as i am doing here in the US and be able to take care of others, not just my immediate family or extended family but also my community, what we see in Syria is probably the reaction of that despair that i felt but had the chance and the help to leave while the people who are in Syria are not able to do and do not understand why they can not be as successful in Syria as people in the US,

Syria needs a lot of work and needs all Syrians to join, the question is will they answer the call, It is going to be hard.

November 23rd, 2011, 9:53 pm


irritated said:

#48. sheila

It was boring enough to read it once, sorry, I really can’t a second time.

November 23rd, 2011, 9:58 pm


Tara said:

Why did the US change plan in regard to “Heckle” Ford?  Are they expecting increased violence after the AL meeting on Thursday? Are they secretly preparing to suddenly establish a buffer zone?

U.S. urges Americans to leave Syria “immediately”

(CBS/AP)  BEIRUT – The U.S. Embassy in Damascus urged its citizens in Syria to depart “immediately,” and Turkey’s foreign ministry urged Turkish pilgrims to opt for flights to return home from Saudi Arabia to avoid traveling through Syria.
“The U.S. Embassy continues to urge U.S. citizens in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available,” said a statement issued to the American community in Syria Wednesday and posted on the Embassy’s website. “The number of airlines serving Syria has decreased significantly since the summer, while many of those airlines remaining have reduced their number of flights.”

The warning followed an announcement in Washington this week that Ambassador Robert Ford would not return to Syria this month as planned, indicating concerns over his safety.

The Obama administration quietly pulled Ford out of Syria last month, citing credible personal threats against him.

The Turkish foreign ministry on Wednesday urged Turkish pilgrims to opt for flights to return home from Saudi Arabia and avoid traveling through Syria for security reasons.

The warning came two days after Syrian soldiers opened fire on at least two buses carrying Turkish citizens, witnesses and officials said, apparent retaliation for Turkey’s criticism of Assad. The Turks were returning from Saudi Arabia after performing the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

November 23rd, 2011, 10:11 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

Jad, this is not the first time you have noted an article that seemed unclear in authorship to you. As far as I can see, each new article is clearly posted by one or another administrator. For example, the Round Up today tells us, right up there above the comments, that today’s entry was:


I think the Prof has moved back into the driver’s seat, and Alex is busy keeping us all safe from outrages in the comments …

November 23rd, 2011, 10:11 pm


bronco said:

The French newspaper Le Canard enchaine has revealed that Sarkozy has send agents of the French counter spy agency to meet with the FSA in the north of Lebanon and Turkey in order to organize them in view of the mini NATO intervention from UK, France and Turkey imminently planned for Syria.
The ‘humanitarian corridors’ will be setup for refugees fleeing for safety. It does not say if they will be setup with Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon or Iraq.

This is probably orchestrated in conjunction with the AL who will impose Arab sanctions on Syria tomorrow.
The western countries seem in a hurry to finish up this crisis before end year. Sarkozy intends to get a boost for his election with that second military adventure.

November 23rd, 2011, 10:23 pm


ann said:

262. jad said:
“”Democracy for sure!
From the Crusaders ‘safe’ passage wars of the 12th century to the French mandate in the 20th century to today’s ‘Safe Humanitarian Passage’ plans nothing changed but the number of the century, the same westerner colonization war driven mentality, nothing changed!””

You missed:

1. Sykes-Picot agrement

2. Carving out Lebanon

3. Carving out Alexandretta (iskandarun) and handing it over to the Turkey

4. Helping Israel’s atomic bomb program

November 23rd, 2011, 10:35 pm


Norman said:

I was reading Forbes recently, they were talking about the 400 American Billionaires, OK I did not find my name, what i found is that 68% of the Billionaires in the US are self made,20% are inherited and 12% are combined, That is what makes the US great as anybody can make it with a good idea,

That is what brought me to the US, I was poor and did not see a real chance of doing as well as i am doing here in the US and be able to take care of others, not just my immediate family or extended family but also my community, what we see in Syria is probably the reaction of that despair that i felt but had the chance and the help to leave while the people who are in Syria are not able to do and do not understand why they can not be as successful in Syria as people in the US,

Syria needs a lot of work and needs all Syrians to join, the question is will they answer the call, It is going to be hard.

November 23rd, 2011, 10:41 pm


jad said:

Dear WSS
For the credibality of SC it’s important to end any post with the author initials.

November 23rd, 2011, 11:04 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:


وقالت مصادر مقربة من “المجلس الوطني السوري” لـ”الحقيقة” إن برهان غليون طلب من باريس ـ بعد اتصالات أجراها مع وزارة الخارجية الأميركية ـ طرح وتبني فكرة “ممرات إنسانية” في سوريا ، وقد سارعت فرنسا إلى تبنيها رسميا. وعلق مرجع متخصص في القانون الدولي لـ”الحقيقة” على ذلك بالقول” إن اتفاق غليون مع واشنطن وباريس على ذلك ، وتصريحات جوبيه بهذا الشأن ، تنم عن أنهم غير معنيين بمصالح الشعب السوري ، وإنما بمصالح سياسية إجرامية دنيئة تخدم أجندات لا علاقة لها بحقوق الأإنسان ، لأنهم يعرفون أن الممرات الإنسانية والمناطق الآمنة لا تلجأ إليها الأمم المتحدة إلا في حالتين هما الحرب الأهلية والكوارث الإنسانية. وهذا لا وجود له حتى الآن في سوريا . لكن مجرد تبني الفكرة ، يعني أن الأطراف المذكورة تخطط فعلا لتفجير حرب أهلية”.

November 23rd, 2011, 11:34 pm


Son of Damascus said:

@ Norman post 50

You said:
“That is what brought me to the US, I was poor and did not see a real chance of doing as well as i am doing here in the US and be able to take care of others, not just my immediate family or extended family but also my community, what we see in Syria is probably the reaction of that despair that i felt but had the chance and the help to leave while the people who are in Syria are not able to do and do not understand why they can not be as successful in Syria as people in the US,

Syria needs a lot of work and needs all Syrians to join, the question is will they answer the call, It is going to be hard”

My response:

That is why many Syrians have left Syria, and our country really experienced a sort of brain drain that robbed it of the potential its citizens could have accomplished within its borders. While this might be a shame in the past, I see great opportunity for Syria’s future because of it, we have such a rich (not just financially) and accomplished expatriate community that can really help it and their fellow citizens. You are correct Syria really does need hard work going forward, but it has the right people to do the job right (its citizens which have been sadly neglected for far too long).

November 23rd, 2011, 11:37 pm


son of Damascus said:

@ Shami Post 23

I have a hard time believing in the fact that because they might belong to a “minority” they choose to back the regime. I know of many Syrians that come from the minority including Allawi that are vehemently against the regime, while at the same time I know Syrian Sunni who are with the regime. I don’t really accept this sectarian view of us vs. them, because its us vs. ourselves in this conflict.

November 23rd, 2011, 11:53 pm



“That is what makes the US great as anybody can make it with a good idea, That is what brought me to the US”
Says a proud member/supporter of the fascist Baath party. Does anyone see the irony here.

“Syria needs a lot of work and needs all Syrians to join,”
How can Syrians do anything under the rule of the fascist Baath party?

November 23rd, 2011, 11:57 pm


Bronco said:

Why not a referendum in Syria?

Military seeks to harness support with referendum
Tantawi’s move aimed at tapping ‘silent majority’

“Of course I am with the idea of having a referendum because the people sitting in Tahrir don’t represent all Egyptians,” said Mohammad Saeed, who works in a foreign exchange bureau.

“Business is suffering. Our work here is affected of course. No tourists, no people pass by,” he said.

“We don’t know what the people in Tahrir want any more.”

November 24th, 2011, 12:01 am



حمدي قنديل: لن اضع قدمي في سورية… والنظام يتحمل المسؤولية الاكبر عن الدماء
رد على موقع الكتروني نسب له تصريحا يهاجم فيه ‘قطر وحلفاءها’

لندن ‘القدس العربي’: على قناة ‘التحرير’ وضمن برنامجه الشهير ‘قلم رصاص’ قام الاعلامي المصري الشهير حمدي قنديل بالرد على موقع الكتروني سوري نسب له تصريحا يزعم هجومه على قطر و’حلفاءها العرب عملاء امريكا’ بسبب ‘موقفها المتآمر على النظام في سورية’، ونفى الاعلامي المصري هذا التصريح واعتبره ‘حركات صغيرة’.
ننشر هنا شهادة قنديل كما صرح بها على الهواء:
‘من عشرة ايام وجدت تصريحا منسوبا لي انني صرحت به لقناة التحرير خرج التصريح هذا من موقع الكتروني سوري يتوزع بكثافة على الانترنت عنوان التصريح ‘فلان الفلاني يفتح النار على قطر وخلاصته انني العن سنسفيل قطر وحلفاءها العرب عملاء امريكا لدورهم في التآمر على النظام في سورية الذي خرج الناس لتأييده بالملايين’. قناة ‘التحرير’ كذبت التصريح. ارسلت انا تكذيبا للموقع فلم ينشر كلمت بعضا من اصدقائي اللبنانيين الذين لديهم علاقات واسعة بسوريا فلم يحصل شيء ولذلك وجدت نفسي مضطرا لشرح نفسي هنا خصوصا انني عارف انني متهم من زمان بانني منحاز للنظام السوري.
انا طبعا لا انكر انني تربطني بسورية علاقة في خلفيتها الايمان بالعروبة ويمكن حنين الى الماضي الى الزمن الجميل وانا في بداية زمن الشباب والعمل في الصحافة اثناء فترة الوحدة هذا يعود الى عام 1959 اي منذ 52 سنة حيث لم تنقطع علاقتي بسورية طول السنين حيث اعرفها شبرا شبرا منذ ذلك الحين حيث اعرف الكثير من الناس الذين
الرئيس بشار الاسد لا اعرفه الا من سنة 2005 حين كنت اعيش في دبي واقدم برنامج قلم رصاص جاءني تلفون من الرئاسة السورية قالوا الرئيس عاوز يشوفك لقيته بيقابلني على السلم مش على شان خاطري قبلها كنت اسمع كثيرا قبل ذلك انه شخص متواضع وانه بيقعد في القهاوي والمطاعم عادي وان الناس تراه بالتي شيرت راكب دراجة او ماشي في الطريق وكان هذا في بداية حكمه، وهذا كان منذ زمان حيث انه عندما كان طالبا كان الوحيد بين اخوته الذي لم يغير سيارته ‘التعبانة’ طول الست سنين بتوع الدراسة.
المهم، قعدنا ساعة ونصف تقريبا، ليه عاوز يشوفني، بعد ان شاف برنامج قلم رصاص اراد ان يعرف مني لماذا انا مؤمن لهذه الدرجة بالعرب والعروبة، المهم في نهاية الجلسة كان واضح اننا كنا وبعد ذلك بدا اننا متفقين على السياسة الخارجية لسورية عموما ومختلفين على السياسة الداخلية وخصوصا قمع الحريات. حصل بعد ذلك الهجوم الاسرائيلي على لبنان في 2006 وذهبنا بوفد شعبي مصري الى هناك عبر سورية وذهبنا لمقابلة الرئيس الاسد وكان لدينا مطلب اساسي هو الافراج عن المعتقلين السياسيين في السجون بسورية، وبعد ذلك قمت بحديث طويل مع الرئيس بشار في تلفزيون دبي. صحيح كان واضحا تقديري للدور السوري في مساندة لبنان لكنني تكلمت عن الحريات بالذات وقلت ان اول حق للناس في بلدهم هو ان يتكلموا بحرية. ما تمتعش الشعب ابدا بحرية طول حكم الاسد وقد شاهدنا كيف انتفض الشعب في سورية في شهر مارس الفائت وشفنا كيف القمع بالدم بالدبابات بعد كم اسبوع من بداية الانتفاضة تكلمت مع همزة الوصل الذي يكلمني واكلمه ليجمعني بالمسؤولين السوريين وطلبت مقابلة الرئيس وقلت في هذه المكالمة انني غير راض وانكم بهذه السياسة تحرجون الاصدقاء امثالي وفي شهر مايو الفائت دعيت للبنان لحضور خطبة السيد حسن نصر الله في مناسبة تحرير الجنوب اللبناني من احتلال اسرائيل، واهتممت بالذهاب لانني كنت اريد ان اعرف ماذا سيقول حسن نصر الله عما يحصل في سورية، ووقتها قال في خطبته انه يدعم النظام السوري لأنه معاد لاسرائيل وقال انه لما شاف الرئيس بشار كان مقتنع انه حياخذ خطوات اصلاحية وانه جاد في ذلك وان الاصلاحات ستعلن في القريب العاجل. الحقيقة في البداية لم اكن متقبلا كلام حسن نصر الله. عموما الاوضاع اشتعلت اكثر فاضطررت ان اتكلم عن ذلك حين تحدثت عن رسام الكاريكاتير السوري علي فرزات الذي قام شبيحة النظام بكسر يديه وقالوا له عشان تتعلم ما ترسمش ضد اسيادك ومن بعد ان تكلمت وقبل ان اتكلم كانت تأتيني اتصالات من وسائل اعلام غير رسمية، اذا كان هناك شيء يدعى وسائل اعلام سورية غير رسمية اصلا، عايزين يعرفوا ايه رأيي فيما يحصل، وكنت دائما اعتذر لانني اعرف ان ما سأقوله اعرف لن ينشر فاقترح البعض ان اذهب الى هناك لأرى بنفسي لعلي اغير رأيي فلم اتقبل ابدا فكرة ان اضع رجلي في سورية والدم فيها انهار ويتحمل القدر الاكبر من المسؤولية فيها النظام الحاكم، فجأة الاسبوع الماضي جاءتني مكالمتين الفرق بينهما نصف ساعة، واحدة من بيروت وواحدة من باريس الاثنتين من اصدقاء اعزاء من كبار السياسيين اللبنانيين بيقولولي جماعة الشام منتظرينك تروح وتكوّن رأيك بنفسك حسب اللي تشوفه وعندك الحرية تقابل من تريد من المعارضة بالعكس عاوزينك تتدخل يمكن تقدر تساعد في الحل وفيك تروح اي مكان عاوزه الحوار وتقابل ‘الراجل الكبير’ ووعدتهم ان افكر بالموضوع وبرضه قلت رأيي وانتم تعرفونه منذ ان تكلمت عن الاحداث، منذ شهر فات وحتى النهارده ما عرفش النظام يتعامل غير بلغة الرصاص ولذلك حتى امثالي الذين كانوا يرون املا في بشار الاسد لا يمكن بعد كل المجازر التي حصلت هناك ان يقف النهارده مع نظامه مهما كنا متأكدين ان قوى اجنبية بتستهدف هذا النظام اللي عارف ان هناك قوة اجنبية تترصده لا يعطيها فرصة. غير ممكن اي حد يتوقع اننا في مصر نثور ضد الاستبداد عندنا ثم نقف في صف ثاني غير صف الشعب السوري. القصد من كلامي انني اقول انني لسة عند رأيي وما فيش داعي لهذه الحركات الصغيرة بتاع تصريحات والعاب الاعلام المكشوفة الحقيقة. الجريمة اساسا هي استمرار القمع الدموي للشعب هو الذي جعل الشعب يرفع السلاح ليدافع عن نفسه وهو الذي فتح الباب لسلاح من خارج سورية وايادي من خارج سورية واعتقد ان الوضع الآن تعقد جدا الى حد صعب التدخل فيه على ناس مثلنا، ولذلك ايضا يصعب علي الاستجابة لعرض الزيارة، مع تقديري لاصدقائي اللبنانيين، ولكن ان اذهب انا او يذهب غيري ما عاد هو الموضوع ما عاد ان ازور سورية او لا ازوره، الموضوع الان صار اكبر من الكل، وحله في يد فرد واحد فقط، كما ما هي العادة في نظم الاستبداد. في يد بشار الاسد، دا اذا كان في يد اي حد، الشيء الوحيد الذي يمكن ان يساعد على الحل هو المبادرة العربية، ولكن الذي يقلقني في المبادرة العربية هي القول انه في حال لم يتوقف العنف والقتل على الامين العام للجامعة الاتصال بالمنظمات الدولية المعنية بحقوق الانسان بما فيها الامم المتحدة. هذا بند يفتح الباب لتدخل اجنبي النهارده حقوق انسان ما حدش يعرف بكره حيوصل للسلاح. على الجامعة ان تعلن بصراحة انها ضد التدخل الاجنبي، ولكن انما، مع ذلك، ما فيش وسيلة لقطع دابر التدخل الاجنبي هو ان يكون هناك حل عربي، وبالاصح حل سوري تساعد عليه المبادرة، وطريق هذا الحل هو قبول المبادرة العربية، وليس بالكلام فقط ولكن بالفعل، وذلك بايقاف القتل والجلوس على مائدة حوار يكون فيه الحكام قابلين لامكان التنازل. انا ادعو الرئيس بشار الى انقاذ سورية وانقاذ الامة من مخاطر غير محدودة. ادعو الرئيس الاسد الى القبول بالمبادرة العربية على الفور.’

November 24th, 2011, 12:02 am


Majed97 said:

Looks like the Europeans, along with the Turks and AL, are conducting an aggressive psychological warfare campaign against Syria by loudly discussing various options that violate Syria’s sovereignty and interfere in its domestic affairs. Talks of the ‘humanitarian corridors’, no fly zone, training the FSA and meetings with the SNC are all psychological tactics designed to get concessions out of Syria. The problem is implementing such measures require UN authorization, which means Russia and China must be on board. Last time I checked the Russian’s position (today), they are dead set against any such measures. Should these measures be carried out without UN approval, they become acts of war that will cause Syria and its allies to respond, triggering a wide regional war that will do serious harm to the world’s already fragile economy. The question is who can afford such a mess, and does anyone really benefit from this? The Russian fleet on the Syrian shore is there for a reason; to send an unmistakable message to those who dare to interfere to back off. By sending its ships to Syria, Russia has indirectly committed itself to be a player in any potential military action against Syria. Russia has a lot to lose in Syria; its last lifeline to the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East markets. I Thefore believe any military action against Syria is highly unlikely.

November 24th, 2011, 12:08 am


jad said:

معارضة وطنية جداً

غليون طلب “ممرات إنسانية ” في سوريا بالتنسيق مع واشنطن وباريس، ومرجع حقوقي يقول إن الفكرة تعني أنهم يخططون لتفجير حرب أهلية في سوريا

مالملف السوري بين التأزيم أو الانفراج المفاجئ عشية اجتماع الوزراء العرب
باريس تطرح فكرة «ممرات إنسانية» والاعتراف بالمعارضة

دخلت الأزمة السورية منعطفا خطيرا عشية اجتماع اللجنة العربية الخاصة بسوريا ووزراء الخارجية العرب في القاهرة اليوم، والذي يتوقع أن يفرضوا خلاله عقوبات اقتصادية على دمشق، بعدما طرح وزير الخارجية الفرنسي آلان جوبيه للمرة الأولى، أمس، فكرة إقامة «ممرات إنسانية» في سوريا، وتلقى تأييدا اميركيا لذلك، وتقدم خطوة إضافية نحو اعتراف باريس «بالمجلس الوطني السوري» المعارض الذي اعتبره «المحاور الشرعي» لكنه لم يصل بعد إلى حد الاعتراف الرسمي به.
وقالت مصادر دبلوماسية عربية في القاهرة لـ«السفير» انها تتوقع موافقة سوريا اليوم على بروتوكول المراقبين بعد إدخال تعديلات جزئية عليه، خاصة في موضوع حصر المراقبين بالدول العربية. وأوضحت المصادر أن الأجواء تشي بموافقة سورية قد تنتج مناخات ايجابية في الساعات المقبلة على عكس ما أحاط بالمبادرة من توقعات في الساعات الأخيرة.
وعلمت «السفير» أن أمانة جامعة الدول العربية تجاهلت مرتين على الأقل ملاحظات رسمية أوردتها كل من الجزائر ومصر حيال التعديلات السورية على مشروع بروتوكول التفاهم بين دمشق وأمانة الجامعة حيال إرسال بعثة مراقبة إلى سوريا. (تفاصيل صفحة 13)
وذكرت مصادر في أمانة الجامعة لـ«السفير» أن كلا من مصر والجزائر أبدت ملاحظاتها على البروتوكول، في الأيام الماضية، وأن الأخيرة أرسلت رسالة خطية إلى الأمين العام لجامعة الدول العربية نبيل العربي تتضمن موافقة الجزائر (عضو اللجنة الوزارية) على معظم التعديلات السورية، مع إضافات من وجهة نظر الجزائر اعتبرتها المصادر «بمثابة تسويات بين نصي اللجنة الوزارية (قطر من جهة) وسوريا (من جهة أخرى)».
ومن المقرر ان يبحث وزراء الخارجية العرب، في اجتماع في القاهرة اليوم، يسبقه اجتماع آخر للجنة الخاصة بالازمة السورية، الخطوات التالية الواجب اتخاذها بعد رفض الجامعة العربية التعديلات التي طلبت سوريا إدخالها على مشروع البروتوكول المتعلق بمركز ومهام المراقبين
الذين تنوي الجامعة إرسالهم إلى سوريا لأنها «تمس جوهر الوثيقة وتغير جذريا طبيعة مهمة البعثة».
وقال المتحدث باسم وزارة الخارجية الجزائرية عمار بلاني «إن الجزائر تعرب عشية انعقاد اجتماع حاسم لمجلس وزراء الخارجية العرب عن رغبتها الملحة في أن تعطي السلطات السورية موافقتها وتوقع على البروتوكول المتعلق بإرسال ملاحظين عرب إلى سوريا من اجل الحفاظ على فرص حل عربي – عربي، وبالتالي تفادي تدويل الأزمة». وأضاف ان «المبادرة العربية جيدة بما أن تنفيذها السريع سيسمح بإنقاذ أرواح بشرية والتأكيد على مشروعية الخطة العربية للخروج من الأزمة».
ويتوقع ان يعلن الوزراء عقوبات اقتصادية على سوريا. وأعلن الأمين العام المساعد للشؤون الاقتصادية في جامعة الدول العربية محمد التويجري، في مقابلة نشرتها صحيفة «الأعمال» السعودية الاقتصادية، مجموعة من التدابير التي قد تخنق البلاد، مشيرا الى انها تشمل «السفر، التحويلات المصرفية وتجميد الأموال في الدول العربية، إيقاف المشاريع القائمة في سوريا والمشاريع المشتركة، التعاملات التجارية، تعليق عضوية دمشق في منطقة التجارة العربية الحرة». الا انه اشار الى ان «ذلك يتطلب موافقة أغلبية الدول الأعضاء».
وقالت نشرة «انترناشيونال اويل ديلي» المتخصصة في صناعة النفط، امس، إن ايران اشترت شحنة من النفط الخام السوري، هي أول صادرات نفطية لسوريا منذ اواخر ايلول. وذكرت مصادر هندية مطلعة ان شركة «هندوستان للبترول» الهندية تتطلع لشراء النفط الخام من سوريا، وطلبت من شركة الشحن البحري الهندية التي تديرها الدولة ان ترتب ناقلة.
واستقبل الأمين العام لجامعة الدول العربية نبيل العربي، في القاهرة، وفدي «المبادرة الوطنية لوحدة المعارضة السورية» و«تنسيقية الثورة السورية» كلا على حدة في إطار مشاوراته مع المعارضة السورية قبيل عقد اجتماع الوزراء العرب اليوم لبحث تطورات الأوضاع في سوريا. كما التقى العربي وفدا سوريا يمثل الجالية السورية المقيمة في السعودية، ويضم العديد من الشخصيات ورجال الأعمال المؤيدين للنظام السوري. وقالت عبير عادل باش «إن الوفد أطلع الأمين العام على مجمل الأوضاع السورية وأبلغه دعمه لجهود الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد لتحقيق الاستقرار وتنفيذ الإصلاحات السياسية والاقتصادية التي يقوم بها».
وفي سابقة خطيرة في العلاقات الدولية بين بلدين جارين كانا إلى أشهر خلت على علاقات إستراتيجية، شنّ رئيس الحكومة التركية رجب طيب اردوغان أعنف هجوم على الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد مشبّها إياه بهتلر وموسوليني وتشاوشيسكو، وداعيا إياه للمرة الأولى بشكل صريح إلى ترك السلطة والتنحي، فيما حذر الرئيس التركي عبد الله غول، من أن مصير سوريا أمر «مهم للمنطقة بأسرها، إذ تقع سوريا على خطوط تماس طائفية». (تفاصيل صفحة 13)
وأعلن وزير الخارجية الفرنسي آلان جوبيه، في ختام لقاء مع رئيس «المجلس الوطني السوري» برهان غليون في باريس، أن «الممرات الإنسانية مسألة بحثناها، وسأطلب في الاجتماع المقبل لمجلس الوزراء الأوروبيين إدراج هذه المسألة على جدول الأعمال» في اجتماعهم في الأول من كانون الأول. وأضاف «إذا كان ثمة بعد إنساني، مناطق يمكن فرض الأمن فيها وحماية الناس، إنها مسألة يتعين درسها مع الاتحاد الأوروبي والجامعة العربية». الا ان جوبيه استبعد من جديد اللجوء إلى «الخيار العسكري». وقال إن «الخيار العسكري ليس مدرجا على جدول الأعمال. لم نبحثه». كما استبعد إمكانية إقامة منطقة عازلة داخل سوريا على الحدود مع تركيا. وقال «إن عملا عسكريا قد يفجر حربا أهلية داخل سوريا، وهذا هو أسوأ وضع للبلد».
وقال المتحدث باسم وزارة الخارجية برنار فاليرو إن جوبيه ونظيرته الأميركية هيلاري كلينتون اتفقا، في اتصال هاتفي بينهما، على «العمل معا على إمكانية إقامة ممرات إنسانية في سوريا، وعلى العمل أيضا، بالتعاون مع الشركاء، على هذا الأمر».
وطرحت باريس أيضا فكرة الاعتراف بالمجلس الوطني السوري. وقال جوبيه ان «المجلس الوطني السوري هو المحاور الشرعي الذي سنواصل العمل معه». وشدد على «ضرورة ان يضم المجلس الوطني السوري اكبر عدد ممكن من تيارات المعارضة»، مشيرا الى ان الاعتراف الرسمي به سيحصل في وقت لاحق. وقال «نعمل على اعتراف رسمي مع الجامعة العربية وجميع حلفائنا».
من جهته، دعا غليون الى «تنسيق دولي افضل لمواجهة نظام يمارس سياسة الهروب الى الامام». وقال ان «المعارضة ليست موحدة في اي من البلدان. اننا نبحث عن ارضية مشتركة. ناقشنا خريطة طريق أعددناها نحو انتقال ديموقراطي وسلمي لتجنيب سوريا الحرب الأهلية والتدخل العسكري الذي يريد الجميع تجنبه». ودعا «الجيش السوري الحر» إلى عدم تنفيذ «عمليات هجومية ضد» الجيش النظامي. وكان جوبيه أعلن، في الكويت أول أمس، ان الدول الغربية لا تفكر بالتدخل عسكريا في سوريا، مؤكدا ان استصدار قرار من مجلس الامن حول سوريا يتيح التدخل العسكري، سيصطدم بالفيتو الروسي.
وفي بروكسل، قال المتحدث باسم وزيرة خارجية الاتحاد الارووبي كاثرين اشتون، مايكل مان ردا على سؤال حول تصريح جوبيه «التقت الممثلة العليا (اشتون) مع زعماء المجلس الوطني السوري امس» (أول أمس). وأضاف «وخلال هذا الاجتماع شددت على أهمية ان تحافظ المعارضة على التزام واضح باتباع نهج سلمي وغير طائفي. والاتحاد الاوروبي مستعد للحوار مع المجلس الوطني السوري وغيره ممن يمثلون المعارضة ويتمسكون بعدم العنف والقيم الديموقراطية». وتابع «حماية المدنيين في سوريا مسألة تزداد الحاحا وجانب مهم من الرد على الاحداث في ذلك البلد».
وقال دبلوماسي في الاتحاد الأوروبي إن حكومات الاتحاد تعتزم تبني عقوبات مالية واسعة ضد سوريا الاسبوع المقبل تستهدف قدرة الأسد على الوصول إلى السيولة من خلال القطاع المصرفي.
إلى ذلك، قال السفير السوري لدى الولايات المتحدة عماد مصطفى، في لقاء حواري مع طلبة جامعة تشرين في اللاذقية، إن «سوريا تستند في تعاطيها مع الأحداث الراهنة إلى الموقف الشعبي كركيزة حقيقية في اتخاذ القرار»، مشيرا إلى أن «المسيرات الجماهيرية الحاشدة رفضا لقرارات جامعة الدول العربية والتدخل الخارجي بشؤون سوريا قلبت الحسابات وأربكت مدبري المؤامرة التي تستهدف النيل من وحدة سوريا وموقعها في المنطقة».
وقال مصطفى إن «هذه المسيرات فرضت نفسها على الاجندة الاخبارية لوسائل الإعلام الأميركية التي لم تجد بدا من نقلها حفاظا على الحد الأدنى من المصداقية، الأمر الذي شكل وعيا جديدا لدى المتلقي الأميركي جعله يدرك مدى التضليل الذي تعرض له سابقا».
وشدد مصطفى على أن «مخططات استهداف سوريا عسكريا في ضوء هذا المشهد باتت شبه معدومة»، معتبرا ان «صلب الازمة والثقل الاعظم من الضغوط هو على خلفية الموقف السوري الثابت من الصراع العربي – الاسرائيلي». وقال ان «التصدي للضغوط على سوريا يتم من خلال تحصين الوضع الداخلي، وهذا ما عملت وتعمل عليه القيادة السورية باستمرار»، مشيرا إلى «تكشف ملابسات مواقف العديد من الدول في التعاطي مع سوريا، والتي كشفت عن محاولة خداع سوريا واحتواء دورها تحت عناوين الصداقة والعلاقات الاقتصادية والتجارية، فضلا عن محاولات البعض تقديم اغراءات كبيرة لسوريا مقابل التخلي عن حلفائها».
وأضاف مصطفى أن «سياسة العقوبات ضد سوريا قديمة ولم تتوقف، ونحن نشهد اليوم تكالبا محموما للتآمر على سوريا من قبل أنظمة ليست الا أداة تقوم بدور طلب منها من قبل واشنطن».
وأكد أن «السفارة السورية في واشنطن تعمل بشكل مستمر على إظهار الصورة الثقافية والاجتماعية الحقيقية لسوريا عبر التوجه إلى شرائح الطلبة»، مشيرا إلى أن «هذا الأمر يحتاج الى كثير من الجهد والامكانات للتصدي للهجمة الشرسة التي تتعرض لها سوريا، حيث تركز السفارة خلال هذه الفترة على إقامة جسور للتواصل وتعزيز الحوار مع مختلف الاتجاهات في ما يتعلق بالأزمة السورية، انطلاقا من ضرورة الانفتاح على الآخر عبر كثير من الحوارات مع جماعات سورية معارضة لفتح أقنية التواصل في اطار الحوار الوطني».
وذكرت وكالة الانباء السورية (سانا) ان «الآلاف من أبناء محافظة الرقة شاركوا في الاعتصام الذي نظمه فريق سوريا الوطني التطوعي وبصمة شباب سوريا في ساحة الرئيس أمام مبنى المحافظة تحت عنوان ليكن وطننا هو المعشوق الأول، وذلك استنكارا لقرار الجامعة العربية حول سوريا ورفضا لأشكال التدخل الخارجي في شؤونها الداخلية». وحثت السفارة الاميركية في دمشق الاميركيين على «مغادرة» البلاد على الفور. وقالت، في بيان، «تواصل السفارة الاميركية حث المواطنين الاميركيين على مغادرة البلاد فورا طالما لا يزال هناك امكانية للسفر».
الأمم المتحدة
وكانت لجنة حقوق الانسان في الجمعية العامة للامم المتحدة ادانت، أول أمس، حملة «القمع» التي تشنها الحكومة السورية ضد المحتجين. وجاءت الادانة في قرار حصل على 122 صوتا مقابل اعتراض 13 صوتا، وامتناع 41 عن التصويت، بينها روسيا والصين.
وأدان القرار، غير الملزم، «بقوة انتهاكات السلطات السورية المستمرة والخطيرة والمنهجية لحقوق الانسان»، مشيرا الى «عمليات القتل التعسفية واضطهاد المحتجين والمدافعين عن حقوق الانسان». ودعا الى وقف العنف، مطالبا دمشق بتطبيق الاتفاق مع الجامعة العربية «من دن أي تأخير».
والدول العربية التي صوتت لصالح الإعلان كانت البحرين ومصر والأردن والكويت وليبيا وموريتانيا والمغرب وسلطنة عمان وقطر والسعودية والسودان وتونس ودولة الإمارات، بالإضافة إلى تركيا. ولم يصوت العراق وجيبوتي والصومال.
وأكد المبعوث السوري في الامم المتحدة بشار الجعفري أن القرار لا معنى له بالنسبة لدمشق. واتهم الدول الاوروبية بشن «حرب اعلامية وسياسية ودبلوماسية على سوريا والتدخل في شؤوننا الداخلية». وقال ان بريطانيا وفرنسا وألمانيا «جزء من تصعيد العنف في بلادي وتنشر الفتنة العنيفة» في سوريا.
واعتبرت الصين، امس، ان القرار «يؤتي نتائج عكسية». وقال المتحدث باسم وزارة الخارجية الصينية ليو وايمين «ان اللجوء الى قرار للضغط على بلدان اخرى هو امر يؤتي نتائج عكسية لا تؤدي لتهدئة الوضع». وكرر دعوة بلاده لجانبي الصراع في سوريا لوقف العنف والبدء بعملية سياسية شاملة.
وقال وزير الخارجية الاردني ناصر جودة، أول أمس، ان عددا من العناصر التي تنتمي للقوات المسلحة السورية لجأت الى الاردن «بطرق غير مشروعة»، فيما نفى الناطق الرسمي باسم الحكومة وجود وحدات منشقة عن الجيش السوري في المملكة.
وقال مدير المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان رامي عبد الرحمن، امس، «سقط برصاص الامن شهيدان في حيالين في ريف حماه وشهيدان في حي البياضة في مدينة حمص». وأضاف ان «حصيلة قتلى الثلاثاء برصاص قوات الامن السورية ارتفعت الى 34 قتيلا»، مشيرا الى ان «القتلى هم 29 مدنيا سقطوا في حمص ودرعا وإدلب ودير الزور وحماه، وخمسة عسكريين منشقين في حمص ودرعا».
وذكر موقع «سيريا ديز» الالكتروني أن القوى الأمنية اكتشفت «غرفة تنصت» في حمص قادرة على متابعة محادثات الهواتف الخلوية في المحافظة. وأشار الى انه «بفضل المتابعة المستمرة من قبل الجهات الأمنية المختصة تم الكشف عن تلك الغرفة الواقعة في أحد الأبنية السكنية ضمن حي من أحياء المحافظة تقودها عناصر من جنسيات عربية»، مشيرا الى أنه تم «استقدام عناصر مختصة من دمشق، قامت بمداهمة البناء ليتم الكشف عن تلك الغرفة وإلقاء القبض على العناصر المتخصصة والمدربة التي بداخلها. وأثناء عملية المداهمة تم العثور على أجهزة تنصت متطورة تقوم بالتنصت على أي جهاز خلوي في المحافظة، بالإضافة إلى العثور على أجهزة بث فضائي وأجهزة اتصالات فضائية عن طريق الأقمار الصناعية، حيث تم تفكيك الأجهزة وإلقاء القبض على الشخصيات التي كانت تدير وتوجه الأعمال الإرهابية في العديد من مناطق وأحياء حمص».
(«السفير»، سانا، أ ف ب، أ ب، رويترز، أ ش أ، د ب ا)

November 24th, 2011, 12:12 am



U.S. urges Americans to leave Syria “immediately”

“(CBS/AP) BEIRUT – The U.S. Embassy in Damascus urged its citizens in Syria to depart “immediately,” and Turkey’s foreign ministry urged Turkish pilgrims to opt for flights to return home from Saudi Arabia to avoid traveling through Syria.
“The U.S. Embassy continues to urge U.S. citizens in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available,” said a statement issued to the American community in Syria Wednesday and posted on the Embassy’s website. “The number of airlines serving Syria has decreased significantly since the summer, while many of those airlines remaining have reduced their number of flights…”

November 24th, 2011, 12:12 am


jad said:

مراجعات الاسلاميين الكبرى.. أعطونا السلطة وخذوا الاستقلال
by بقلم: نارام سرجون

من يتابع الاسلاميين هذه الفترة في العالم العربي يستطيع أن يستنتج أن الحركات الاسلامية قامت باجراء مراجعة شاملة لتجربتها عبر العقود الماضية والتي تكللت بالهزائم والتراجعات والانتكاسات والهزائم ..وقد ساهم الاندحار العسكري في عدة تجارب خلال عدة عقود على أن ترغم هذه الجماعات على الجلوس واعادة النظر في تكتيكاتها التي اعتمدت على العناد السلوكي والتحدي والمجاهرة بالأهداف العالية السقف التي لاتقل عن الاستيلاء على السلطة بحكم ارادة الله الذي لاراد لارادته وبناء المجتمع الاسلامي واقامة دولة الخلافة..

وساهمت عملية القمع التي قامت بها السلطات الحاكمة في الدول الاسلامية والملاحقات في كل العالم لرموز الحركات الاسلامية في جعل المراجعات على الاستراتيجيات والتكتيكات التي تتبعها هذه التنظيمات حتمية وضرورية.. وبدات ملامح المراجعات التكتيكية في الاعلان ان “عبود الزمر” أحد القادة والمنظرين الرئيسيين لتيار الاخوان المسلمين في مصر أصدر كتبا في سجنه يعبر عن اعتداله ويعلن انشقاقات عن رأيه في عملية تطبيق الجهاد .. بل واعتبر “الزمر” أن الرئيس أنور السادات شهيد وهو الذي أرداه التنظيم الاسلامي نفسه صريعا برصاصات خالد الاسلامبولي .. وزاد الزمر على ذلك بأن اعتذر عن عملية قتل السادات ..وقيل أيضا ان الشيخ عمر عبد الرحمن أحد أكبر منظري الحركات الجهادية المصرية قد تبرأ من قتلة الرئيس السادات أيضا ..وكان قد أعلن تأييده لمبادرة وقف العنف عام 1997!!هذا التراجع عن فتوى بحجم فتوى قتل أنور السادات وتعطيل الجهاد كانت له دلائل ..لم تقرأ بدقة ولكن يمكن فهمها الآن في ضوء مايحدث..
ومن يقوم باجراء مراجعات فاحصة لخطاب هذه التنظيمات يجد أنها قامت بعملية تفاوض شاقة مع نفسها وقامت بعملية قلع ذاتيه للأظافر والمخالب والأسنان وجدع الأنف لغاية في نفسها .. وان فلسفتها النظرية لم تتغير على الاطلاق بل تمت عملية تغيير في طريقة تسويق المنتج .. بحيث أن المنتج الفكري الاسلامي بقي نفسه ولم يتغير تركيبه ومذاقه ولكن التغيير طال الغلاف الخارجي وعملية التعليب ورافق ذلك عملية تحطيم للمفاهيم السائدة عن ثوابت الاسلاميين وتغيير الصورة النمطية التي احتفظوا بها ..وجرت حملة دعائية لمنتج جديد باسم جديد سمي “الربيع العربي” الديمقراطي ..

والأهم من ذلك أن هذه التنظيمات قررت بعد اجرائها المراجعة الكبرى أخيرا التسليم والاعتراف بأن مرحلة الوصول الى السلطة لن تتم الا عبر المرور بالموافقة الغربية وبالتحديد الامريكية ..وكان لابد من ثمن والدلائل تشير الى ان ثمنا ما قد تم تسديده أو الاتفاق عليه ..وهذا ماسنتحدث عنه لاحقا..

الخطاب الاسلامي الحديث يستعمل كل أدوات العملية الانتخابية المراوغة فهو بالرغم من انطلاق ثورجيته من المساجد وفي يوم الجمعة تحديدا وبالرغم من استعماله النداءات الدينية والجهادية فانه حريص جدا على أن يستعمل الكلمات الرقيقة التي قامت من اجلها الثورة الفرنسية والبلشفية وهي الحرية والعدالة والمساواة للجميع .. وأضاف اليها حديثا كلمة وشعار “الديمقراطية” لدغدغة المشاعر الغربية التي تعتز بملكيتها الفكرية والانسانية لهذا المصطلح ..والديمقراطية تعتبر آخر صيحات الثورات التي تمنحها صك البراءة وبطاقة المرور الى الاعلام الغربي .. فلا يستطيع معترض أو ناقد لهذه الثورات أن يرفض طلبها بممارسة الديمقراطية والحرية ..ويصر المتظاهرون فيها على حمل اللافتات ذات البعد العاطفي التحرري الديمقراطي رغم أنهم يحملون السلاح أيضا تحت ثيابهم..

وانتهج الخطاب الاسلامي الجديد مبدأ تطبيق فكرة الهولوكوست .. وبدت التجربة مفيدة جدا ..فبدل استعراض القوة الاسلامية التي كان الرعيل الاول يباهي بها ويصر على اظهار بأسها وقوتها واعتدادها بنفسها ونأيها عن الخضوع والذل، والمباهاة باستشهاد الأبطال انتقل الاسلاميون الجدد الى تكتيك الهولوكوست أي الى استدرار عطف الجمهور وسياسة البكائيات المباشرة .. وفي تجربة الهولوكوست لوحظ أن المحرقة لم يتم تصويرها بوثائق وأفلام حقيقية بل ان كلمة هولوكوست لم تظهر الى الوجود الا في نهاية الستينات لذلك تمت عملية تصنيع الوعي عبر مشاهد سينمائية من خلال مئات الأفلام وجوائز الأوسكار التي جعلت منها شيئا من التراث الانساني وكأنه لامفر منه .. وبالطبع فان عملية استعطاف الاقوياء والرأي العام كانت عمادا اساسيا ناجحا في ترويج ضرورة تفهم أمن اسرائيل والنظر بتفهم الى عنف اسرائيل والاغداق عليها بالصفح والغفران..والعيون العمياء عن وحشيتها..

وقد التقط الاسلاميون الفكرة التي قدمت لهم كنصيحة مخلصة وبدا أن هوليوود كانت جاهزة عبر استوديوهات الجزيرة والعربية لتسويق هولوكوست مصغّر ومن خلال مكاتب اعلامية تعمل لايصال الدم الى كل العيون ولاستحضار العطف من المشاهدين وتحريض المحايدين على اللاحياد ..وماتم كشفه من تزوير ومشاهد هوليوودية على يد ثورجية سوريا كان بداية الكشف عن هذا التكتيك..وللأسف فان التكتيك بدئ به بنجاح في كل الثورات العربية وبالذات في ليبيا التي لم نكتشف عملية التزوير الا متأخرين عندما كشفت صحفية بريطانية كانت في ليبيا أن الجزيرة وأخواتها اعلنت عن سقوط 6000 قتيل في ايام قليلة فيما كان عدد الضحايا لايتجاوز 250 بسبب الاشتباكات .. وبالطبع لانزال لانعرف الجهات التي اطلقت النار عليهم ولاتزال أسرار تلك المرحلة مغيبة لصالح الثوار ..ولو ان الكلام بدأ يشير الى تورط جهة ثالثة في القتل لاطلاق مبررات الثورة..ومبررات المجزرة الكبرى في تحرير ليبيا..

وفي ثنايا الثورة السورية الاسلامية يلاحظ أنه بخلاف خطاب الاخوان المسلمين في الثمانينات الذي اتصف بالصلف والمكابرة واطلاق بيانات عسكرية تحدثت عن مقاتلين استشهدوا في معارك مع (كلاب النظام) فان التكتيك الجديد اعتمد على العكس من ذلك تماما وهو الظهور بمظهر الضحية الضعيفة التي تذبح من غير ذنب ولامقاومة ولايكون لها ردة فعل سوى الصبر والبكاء والدعاء لله والشكوى لذوي الضمير والمجتمع الدولي .. بل واتبعت أساليب في غاية الخبث عن طريق الحديث عن مقابر جماعية (مصطلح هولوكوست لم يسمح لها باستعماله لأنه مصطلح له قداسته وخصص لليهود واكتفي بترويج مصطلح القبور الجماعية لتقريب الذاكرة الغربية من أعمال صدام حسين) ..وتبين أن الثورة السورية كانت تستعمل ضحايا الخصم لدفنهم وتصويرهم على انهم ضحايا الجيش والسلطة (عملية جسر الشغور) ..وحتى هذه اللحظة رفضت جهات الثورة قاطبة وكل أعضائها الاعتراف بأية عملية عنفية بل وصادرت أرقام شهداء الجيش والشرطة عنوة واضافتهم الى رصيدها من الضحايا في عملية سطو وسرقة حتى للضحية والجثامين ..والأسماء ..وسوقتهم على أنهم ضحايا النظام

ومن يقرأ أدبيات الثورجيين الاسلاميين يعتقد أنهم كانوا شركاء في نداء حقوق الانسان الذي أطلقه الرئيس الأمريكي وودرو ويلسون بعد الحرب العالمية الأولى ..وهم يطلقون معسول الكلام ويهدئون الجميع من القلقين من العلمانيين والأقليات من أن وصولهم الى السلطة سينعكس خيرا على العلمانية والأقليات ..وأن الأنظمة القمعية هي التي شيطنت الاسلاميين وقد أضفت عليهم سمعة رهيبة مشينة لتبرير عنفها ضدهم ..وأن الشرق -ان وصل الاسلاميون للسلطة- سيتنفس التسامح من أفواههم ويرضع المحبة من أثداء الحركات الاسلامية الحاكمة وسيأكل من بيادر الوطن الاسلامي السخي المعطاء..

ومايثير الريبة من هؤلاء الاسلاميين هو تلك الصفقة التي تمت في الخفاء مع الغرب لمنحهم بطاقة العبور الى السلطة .. فالغرب الذي أقام الدنيا وأقعدها من الاسلاميين والمهاجرين ويرفض حتى الحجاب والمآذن في بلدانه ابتسم لهؤلاء الاسلاميين وربت على ظهورهم حتى أن أحد الوزراء البريطانيين في حديثه على ال بي بي سي طمأن مشاهديه البريطانيين من أن الاسلاميين في سوريا هم اسلاميون معتدلون ولامبرر للخوف منهم .. كما أن الدعم الكبير الذي لقيه اسلاميو سوريا من رعاية مباشرة يومية من ادارة اوباما وزيارات السفير روبرت فورد الميدانية الى معاقل الثورة الدينية تدل على ان الاسلاميين قد قبلوا الصفقة وتم الاعتراف بهم أخيرا.. اعتراف غربي يثر الريبة والحذر الشديد لأن الغرب نفسه لايزال مصرا على تصنيف حماس وحزب الله كحركات اسلامية ارهابية رغم أن كلتا الحركتين لم تصلا الى السلطة بالسلاح ولابالثورات بل عبر صناديق الاقتراع .. أما الثورات العربية الاسلامية وعنفها الفاقع فهو مرحب به..
يخطئ كثيرا من يعتقد أن الغرب هو من أجرى مراجعة لأنه مهزوم من تقدم الاسلام السياسي وأنه هو من قام باعادة النظر بالاسلاميين من باب قبول الأمر الواقع ..ويخطئ أكثر من يعتقد أن الغرب مرهق من التعامل مع الاشكال الاسلامي وأنه قرر التسليم لهم مقابل صفقة عادية تسلم لهم السلطة بمقتضاها مقابل الأمان لاسرائيل ..

في الغرب لايخرج قرار اعتباطي قبل موافقة مؤسسات كبرى عليه استخبارية ومعاهد أبحاث .. والمؤسسات الكبرى وجدت أن اسلام جمال الدين الأفغاني ومحمد عبده والخميني له مساوئ ومضار جمة.. وأن عملية مواجهة الاسلام الثوري لاتتم عبر مواجهته -ليس بسبب الكلفة فقط – بل بسبب توفر البدائل الأفضل خاصة أن هناك مبدأ في السياسة الأمريكية وضعه هنري كيسنجر يقول: ماتستطيع تقطيعه بالملعقة لاتقطعه بالسكين !! وهناك مبدأ آخر يقول “لن تروض الجواد حتى تعتلي ظهره” .. ولذلك لابد من ركوب هذا الاسلام .. ومن ثم قيادته بلجام قوي بالاتجاه وبالسرعة التي نريدها..وأنت على ظهره..

الغرب كان يدرك المرارة التي يحسها الاسلاميون من نكساتهم وهزائمهم وكانت لديه كل المعطيات أن الاسلاميين قد نضجت جلودهم وكسرت عزيمتهم وأنهم بحاجة ماسة شديدة للوصول الى السلطة لاثبات أن لديهم نظرية صحيحة حول قيادة الدولة وقيادة المجتمع .. وكانت قنوات الاتصال معهم قد فتحت بهدوء منذ التسعينات وظهرت الاشارة بتجريبهم عبر السماح لأول هذه الطلائع الاسلامية الجديدة بالمرور الى السلطة في تركيا دون تدخل الجيش فظهر أردوغان وحزب العدالة الذي رأى بأم عينه كيف ان المؤسس الروحي للحركة الاسلامية نجم الدين أربكان قد أزيح بليل بواسطة الجيش لانه لم يقدم الثمن .. وأنه لم يقدم على مراجعة تكتيكات الحركات الاسلامية بشكل كلي وبالذات من حيث المقايضات.. وبالطبع كان أردوغان الرجل الذي يعرف كيف يفاوض ..ويدفع الثمن..ويراجع التكتيكات..ويقايض..

سذاجة الحركات الاسلامية تستدعي الشفقة لأنها تعتقد انها تقوم بعملية خدعة كبرى وتمويه على مبدأ (الحرب خدعة)..وانها ستأكل بعقول الغربيين حلاوة لأنها بعد تسلمها للسلطة ستمكن لنفسها في المجتمع والسلطة ثم تنطلق لتخلع الأثواب الضيقة التي ارتدتها وتلقي بالشعارات المستوردة وتبني لنفسها الدولة الاسلامية ودولة الخلافة..وتصبح قوة مستقلة تفاوض من تريد وتملي ارادتها على من تريد..كما فعل أردوغان ..ويغيب عن هذه الحركات أن أردوغان نفسه ليس مستقلا وأنه لم يجرؤ على تحرير تركيا من حلف الناتو ولا على اعادة الحروف العربية القرآنية للغة التركية بل وأجبر على تغير أحكام قضائية شرعية اسلامية في عملية تشبه عملية اعدام كاملة وذبح لآيات قرآنية..من الوريد الى الوريد..وسماها الغربيون سخرية عملية (ختان القرآن)..هذه السذاجة والطفولة السياسية هي سمة الاسلاميين الجدد الذين ضيعوا ماأنجزه الرواد الأوائل للحركة الاسلامية من سمعة التمسك بالمبدأ والمجاهرة به والثقة بنصر الله ودين الاسلام والثقة بما لدى الثوار من امكانات وتأييد الله لهم .. (لاتحزن ان الله معنا) ..

والغاية الرئيسية من اطلاق الحركات الاسلامية المحمولة على جناح الربيع العربي هو كسر الحركات الاسلامية التي وصلت الى السلطة بالانتخاب أو هي متحالفة مع السلطة وتسير بالاتجاه المعاكس في المنطقة وبالذات بالعقلية الجهادية ضد الغرب واسرائيل (ايران وحزب الله وحماس) وهي في غنى عن المساومات بسبب امتلاكها السلطة..

وبالطبع هناك غاية أخرى أشد خبثا وهي اعادة انتاج الصراع الداخلي في المجتمعات العربية التي بدأت رحلة مابعد الاستقلال بوصول القوى العلمانية للسلطة وانشغالها بالصراع مع القوى الأخرى الداخلية لاسيما الاسلامية ..وبعد انهاكها في الصراع وانتهائه لصالح السلطة تنتهي مرحلة الاستقلال لتبدأ عملية ايصال الاسلاميين الى السلطة ليخوضوا النزاع بالاتجاه المعاكس مع القوى العلمانية وهم على عرش السلطة .. أي تدوير الصراع الداخلي لأن الاسلاميين سيصلون الى الحكم بثورة ولن يتركوه الا بثورة مهما تشدقوا بصناديق الانتخاب فالفتاوى قادرة على اغلاق أكبر صندوق انتخاب في العالم .. وهذه الجدلية ستجعلهم يعيشون نفس جدلية القوى العلمانية جميعا التي وصلت بثورة وتوجست من أعداء الثورة ولاتريد الرحيل الا بثورة ..
ومن هنا ياتي الرفض القاطع لمشروع الاصلاح الذي اطلقته الدولة السورية للخروج من هذا الصراع ومن هذه المعادلة القاتلة لأن المشروع الاصلاحي يحمل معه كسر هذه المعادلة التي تقول ان الثورة لاتنتهي الا بثورة مضادة ..والانقلابيون لاينتهون الا بانقلاب .. معادلة يعمل السوريون بجد مع الرئيس بشار الأسد على نزع مساميرها والغامها بعملية اصلاح “ثورية” في المجتمع السوري .. ولكن لايراد لها أن تنجح..وتعمل قوى غربية كثيرة على احلال ثورة اسلامية محل ثورة البعث..بالثورة العنيفة…لتدور عجلة التغيير الثوري وتدوير الصراع ..واعادة توجيه البنادق والطاقة نحو الخصم الداخلي العلماني الذي سيعد لثورته مهما طال الزمن..ويعيش من في السلطة هواجس الانقلاب والرحيل بالثورة فيسود الاستبداد من جديد..
ومايثير الاستغراب هو أن التيارات الاسلامية هي اشد الحركات السياسية في العالم اختراقا .. ولم يتم اطلاق سراحها ومنحها تذكرة مرور الى السلطة الا بعد تحميلها بكل امكانيات المراقبة والرصد والتحكم ..ولدى أجهزة المخابرات الغربية امكانية التلاعب بها بأجهزة تحكم رئيسية ولديها القدرة الكاملة على التشويش عليها ولديها أزرار جاهزة للعمل (جمهور من المفتين مثل القرضاوي والعرعور وطارق رمضان وجيل كامل تم تجنيده وترويضه ينتظر الاشارة)..

أما كيف أن هذه الحركات الاسلامية مخترقة جدا ومتحكم بها فمثالها مالقيه أحد زعمائها الروحيين من مصير وهو الشيخ عبد الله عزام وهو فلسطيني كان يقيم في الأردن لكنه تفرغ لتحرير أفغانستان وقدمت له كل التسهيلات لدعم الجهاد ضد الروس الى أن تم التحرير.. فظهر الشقاق بينه وبين الشيخ أسامة بن لادن وأيمن الظواهري.. ففيما ارتأى الظواهري الانتقال لحرب أمريكا والأنظمة العربية رأى عزام أن الأولوية الآن لفلسطين وعندما بدأ بتدريب مجموعات المقاتلين للانضمام لحركة تحرير فلسطين (كما قيل) احتدم الخلاف حتى أن الظواهري قد رفض الصلاة خلفه بل وتم سب عزام على المنبرمن أنصار الظواهري … وماهي الا فترة قصيرة حتى تمت تصفية عبد الله عزام مع ولديه ..بعبوة ناسفة لم يعرف حتى الآن مدبرها..
أي الشيخ عبد الله عزام اعتقد أنه ضحك على الامريكيين فتعاون مع مشروعهم ضد الروس لسنوات ولما بدأ مشروعه ..أرسلوه الى الرقيب الأعلى وانتهت مهمته بعبوة ناسفة.. وأعطي بعدها الظواهري وبن لادن المجال لاطلاق مشروعهما ..تحت الرقابة الصارمة ..والأيام تدل على ذلك..

أحد الاسلاميين الذين اعتقلوا في الأردن وكتب مذكراته عند تعاونه مع مجموعة أبو مصعب الزرقاوي في الأردن قبل انطلاقها الى العراق قال بأنه أدرك وصار على يقين من أن المجموعات الاسلامية مخترقة بشدة عندما دعي لاجتماع مع المجاهدين فحضر فوجد أكثر من عشرين شخصا لايعرف عنهم شيئا وبعد ذلك تم ادخال أكياس مليئة بالذخيرة والقنابل أمام هذا الحشد الذي لايعرف بعضه ..وعلم يومها علم اليقين أن التنظيم مراقب الى أبعد الحدود ومضبوط بقوة ما تسيطر عليه ..

الاثمان التي قبل الاسلاميون بدفعها محدودة كما يعتقدون لكنها كل شيء ..لاذكر لفلسطين في الادبيات ..ولالاسرائيل ..وهناك احياء لفلسفة السلام مع العدو لتحل محلها فلسفة تطهير الجسم الاسلامي..وانتقال الاسلام الى المرحلة التبشيرية بعد انتهاء المرحلة الجهادية ..اثمان قد لانعرفها الآن ولكن المستقبل القريب سيكشفها ..

وتحضرني هنا كلمات أحد قادة الثوار الاريتريين الذين التقيتهم يوما وقال لي: لقد قاتلنا سنوات طويلة لتحرير اريترية دون احراز تقدم كبير ..وفي احد الأيام وصل الينا وفد غربي وطلب لقاءنا وفوجئنا به يعرض علينا الاستقلال مقابل ثمن بسيط بدل هذا الكر والفر ..وكان الطلب ببساطة هو أن تكون السلطة بيد الأقلية الدينية اللااسلامية في اريترية التي لاتتجاوز نسبتها 15 % ..وعندما قبلنا حصلنا على الاستقلال خلال 3 أشهر..وظهر أسياس أفورقي رئيسا لاريترية ..
اذا كان الاستقلال يمنح بثمن هو التنازل عن السلطة .. فحري بالسلطة أن يكون لها ثمن من الاستقلال أيها الاسلاميون الثورجيون ..أي ماقاله الغرب للثورجيين الاسلاميين هو بالضبط:
خذوا السلطة وأعطونا استقلالكم ..وانظروا الى ليبيا مثالاً..

November 24th, 2011, 12:22 am


jad said:

By comparison, the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was a marginal event

Huge Stakes in Syria

President Bashar al-Assad’s enemies are closing in for the kill. The Arab League is suspending Syria, and Turkey, once a close ally, is leading the pack in seeking to displace the government that has ruled for 40 years. Arab leaders are talking to West European states about deploying the same mix of political, military and economic sanctions against Syria that was used in Libya.

This final assault is already producing convulsions across the Middle East and beyond, because the outcome of the struggle will have an explosive impact on the entire region. By comparison, the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was a marginal event. Complex though these developments are, the media’s coverage has been misleadingly simple-minded and one-dimensional, giving the impression that all we are witnessing is a heroic uprising by the Syrian masses against a brutal Baathist police state.

This is certainly one aspect of the crisis. Brutal repression is continuous. Death squads roam the streets. Foreign journalists, banned from Syria and reliant on information from the opposition, report this. But manipulation of the media by the opposition is also made easy by the lack of information from the country. Opposition claims, such as one last week that an air force intelligence centre near Damascus had been stormed, are credulously accepted and published, although other accounts suggest that all that happened was that the building was hit by rocket-propelled grenades that scorched its paintwork.

The line-up of the Syrian government’s opponents should make it clear to anybody that there is more at stake here than Arab and international concern for human rights. The lead is being taken by Saudi Arabia – its repressive regime one of the few absolute monarchies left on the planet. In March, it sent 1,500 troops into Bahrain to crush protests very similar to those in Syria. Unstinting support was given by the Saudis to the Bahraini authorities as they tortured distinguished hospital consultants whose only crime was to treat injured protesters. Is it really conceivable that Saudi Arabia should be primarily motivated by humanitarian concerns?

A more convincing motive for international involvement is the decades-old but escalating struggle against Iran by the US, its Nato allies, Israel and the Sunni states of the Middle East. But the last few years have shown the limits of effective action against Iran, short of war, which, for all the bluster from Washington and Tel Aviv, they are wary of fighting. But Syria is a different matter. “If you can’t beat Iran, the second best option is to break Syria,” says the Iraqi political scientist Ghassan Attiyah, who points out the absurdity of Saudi Arabia presenting itself as a defender of human and democratic rights in the Middle East.

The US has been carefully keeping in the background, although one senior Arab official says that Damascus had sent emissaries to talk to the Americans to see if Washington would ease up on the campaign against it. The US price was that Syria must break with Iran, but the Syrians were dubious about what exactly they would get in return for giving up their sole ally. “We are being asked to jump into a swimming pool with no water in it,” they said.

The struggle for Syria is the latest arena for the sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia. Its modern origins lie in the Iranian revolution of 1979, deepened during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, and reached new depths of hatred in Iraq during the Shia-Sunni civil war in 2005-07.

In 2005, Iraq became the first Arab state since the Fatimids in Egypt in the 12th century to have a predominantly Shia government. In Lebanon, the Shia political-military Hezbollah movement became the leading political player and withstood an Israeli military assault in 2006. In post-Taliban Afghanistan, the Hazara, a Shia ethnic group which was once oppressed as virtual serfs, grew in political and economic strength.

The Arab Spring at first seemed to work in favor of the Shia and Iran by deposing some of their most notable opponents, such as President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. The 70 per cent Shia majority in Bahrain demanded democratic rights in February and March, only to be brutally repressed. Those tortured say their torturers continually demanded they confess to links to Iran. Underlining the sectarian nature of the repression, the Bahraini authorities demolished Shia mosques and desecrated the graves of Shia holy men.

The gathering alliance against the Assad government is both anti-Iranian and anti-Shia. It is based on the correct assumption that the fall of the present regime will be a blow to both. The Alawites, the heteredox Shia sect to which 12 per cent of Syrians belong, dominate the ruling elite. A senior Middle East diplomat says: “The Alawites have decided they must do or die with Assad.” The Christians and Druze likewise do not expect much mercy from a triumphant Sunni regime, while Hezbollah will be weakened in Lebanon and Syria’s 30-year alliance with Iran will end. Not surprisingly, the Iranians see the assault on Syria primarily as an anti-Shia and anti-Iranian counter-revolution wearing a human rights mask.

How will Iran and Iraq, the two most important Shia states, respond to the growing likelihood of the fall of the government in Damascus? The Iranians will do all they can to prop it up, but already suspect this may not be enough. Consequently, they will respond to the loss of their Syrian ally by increasing their influence in Iraq. “They will do everything to hold Iraq as their last line of defence,” Dr Attiyah says, “but the country will become a battleground.”

Baghdad has its own reasons for fearing the outcome of the crisis in Syria. The Sunni minority in Iraq, politically marginalised by the Shia and Kurds, will be strengthened if a Sunni regime takes over next door in Damascus. The withdrawal of the last US troops at the end of the year means that Washington has less reason to defend the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki. The Iraqi leader should be under no illusion about the hostility of his Sunni neighbours.

The fall of the government in Syria will not be confined to one country, as happened in Libya. It will throw the whole Middle East into turmoil. Turkish leaders say privately they have been given a free hand by the US and Britain to do what they want. But the Saudis have no wish to see Turkey become the champions of the Muslim world. The battle for Syria is already producing fresh rivalries and the seeds of future conflicts.

November 24th, 2011, 12:46 am


Mina said:

I agree fully with Van Dam’s analysis except on one single point. When he says that Bashar could have leaved power, since he has no control of the governors and their various security apparatuses nor on his brother and his own intelligence services, I believe this would have been a recipe for a full Iraq type situation. What he, Buthayna, Muallem and others have been doing is to figure out how to save the country from this outcome. An uneasy task when you face simultaneous Tukish and Qatari betrayal with their opening the doors to the Syrians MB on one side and the Egyptian ones (Qardawi in Doha) on the other calling for Asad’s head since last spring. As Van Dam points out, it was a mistake from the expat opposition online to focus all the hatred on Asad as if his removal could instantly change the situation. The “regime” or rather “regimes” is much bigger than Asad and it is militarized and based on old alliances. We still need to hear from the opposition how they intend the “debaathification” and the “demilitarization of the country”, and why betting that the “brotherization” of the Syria could be of any help, given the secular and multi-sectarian history of Syria.

November 24th, 2011, 1:09 am


Mina said:

And now, Tunisia too.

As long as al Jazeera, King Abdallah, the Turks, let people think that they can change the government on one click and that everything wll get better afterwards, no doubt it is not going to stop anywhere. Do they want to give to the Middle East the few problems they are missing, taking their inspiration from Africa? Is it only when it will reach hunger because people will be either on strike everywhere or unable to access the fields or to buy what they need for work that the irresponsible fat cats in their palaces, ministries, TV stations and newspapers, will start thinking ahead?

November 24th, 2011, 2:29 am


ann said:

Syria blames “armed groups” for attack against Turks – 2011-11-24

DAMASCUS, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) — Syria’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday blamed the attack on Turkish pilgrims on armed terrorist groups, while the Turkish government warned its nationals not to return overland from Hajj pilgrimage via Syria.

On Monday, two Turks were wounded when a bus carrying a group of Turkish pilgrims came under attack in the restive province of Homs in central Syria.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Turkish foreign ministry warned its pilgrims not to travel overland through Syria and asked them to travel back home by air instead.

In a statement obtained by Xinhua, Syria’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Gihad Makdisi denied any involvement of the Syria army in the attack and placed the blame on armed terrorist groups.

Makdisi expressed his regrets for the incident, pointing out that the area where the incident took place is known of being a stage to such incidents “that have touched the Syrians before foreigners.”

Commenting on Turkish presidential advisor Arshad Hurmuzli’s statement that considered the incident a message from Damascus to Turkey, Makdisi stressed that Syria’s message to its neighbors is its keenness to the security and stability of neighboring countries.

He said that the specialized authorities are currently investigating the circumstances of the incident, adding that necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the security of all visitors to Syria.

The Syrian-Turkish relation has hit a new low after the incident that followed an earlier attack by the Syrian pro- government demonstrators on Turkish diplomatic missions in the capital Damascus and two other cities on Nov. 13.

Turkish Foreign Ministry evacuated the families of its diplomats and sent a diplomatic note to Syria one day after the attacks. It has also advised Turkish citizens to avoid travelling to the unrest-hit country.

Turkey last week suspended joint oil exploration plans in six wells in Syria.

The ongoing violence in Syria has prompted the international community to adopt tougher measures against Syria. The United Nations General Assembly Third Committee Tuesday adopted a resolution condemning Syria for human rights violations.

The non-binding resolution, sponsored by Britain, France and Germany, was approved by a vote of 122-13 with 41 abstentions, including China and Russia.

It calls on Syrian authorities to implement an Arab League peace plan calling for the withdrawal of government tanks from the streets, the release of political prisoners, an end to attacks on civilians, and allowing Arab observers into the country.

Syria’s UN envoy Bashar Ja’afari said the resolution would not benefit Syria and claimed it was a U.S.-inspired political move.

November 24th, 2011, 2:39 am


ann said:

Syria is not Libya – 2011-11-24

BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhuanet) — The resolution approved by the united Nations General Assembly’s third committee, which is in charge of the humanitarian affairs, on Tuesday, condemning “grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities” is of little help in solving the ongoing Syrian crisis.

The prolonged clashes between Syrian security forces and anti-government protesters, which broke out in March, have resulted in thousands of deaths, including civilians and soldiers.

With the help of external forces, the opposition has been growing increasingly stronger in its confrontation with the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Army defectors and protesters have begun fighting back at government forces and even assaulted military bases. It seems that a civil war, which is the last thing the international community wants, is just around the corner.

With this in mind, regional or international endeavors must concentrate on the goal of easing tensions in the country and maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East.

West-sponsored sanctions, or the threat of sanctions, against Damascus will only pour oil on the flames and grease the way for future military intervention in Syria.

By calling on the Syrian opposition to refrain from dialogue with the government, Western countries are sending the signal that they back the opposition to topple the government by means of violence.

Trying to repeat the “Libya model” in Syria is dangerous considering the geostrategic importance of the country in the Middle East and its intricate and delicate relations with neighboring countries, especially its close ties with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, all of which are hostile to the West.

Syria has long been seen as the region’s most combustible geopolitical flashpoint. President Assad has warned that Western powers risk causing an “earthquake” and that “any problem in Syria will burn the whole region”.

Prolonged instability in Syria, not to mention regime change and a subsequent shift in diplomacy, will lead to the formation of new regional alliances and change the current balance of power in the Middle East.

The Syrian crisis is far more complicated than the Libyan one, and the international community should show extra caution in resolving it.

China has always believed that constructive dialogue and cooperation is the only approach to the restoration of domestic order and the protection of human rights.

Both the authorities and the armed groups among the opposition in Syria should first immediately put an end to the violence. The Syrian government should keep its promises to move forward on a process of comprehensive reforms.

To ensure an inclusive and balanced political process, compromise and concessions from both sides are of vital importance, and external mediation can play its due role in this regard.

The international community can play a constructive role in creating conditions for the easing of tensions in Syria. Any outside force inciting an escalation of violence will only further deteriorate the humanitarian situation in Syria.

November 24th, 2011, 2:42 am


ann said:

UNESCO elects Syria to human rights committees – November 23, 2011

UN Watch pointed out Tuesday that a resolution supported by an overwhelming majority in the UN General Assembly’s “third” committee – which deals with human rights – defers to Syrian demands for respect of its “territorial integrity” and “political independence” – even as it strongly condemed Syria for its violent crackdown.

GENEVA, Nov. 23 – UNESCO’s executive board, which includes the US, France, the UK and other Western democracies, unanimously elected Syria to a pair of committees – one dealing directly with human rights issues – even as the Bashar al-Assad regime maintains its campaign of violence against its own citizens.

The Arab group at UNESCO nominated Syria for the spots, and though the 58-member board approved the pick by consensus on Nov. 11, the agency has not yet posted the results on its website.

Syria’s election came just a day before the League of Arab States moved to suspend Syrian membership of that body.

“The Arab League’s suspension of Syria is stripped of any meaning when its member states elevate Syria to UN human rights committes,” says Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch.

“It’s shameful for the UN’s prime agency on science, culture and education to take a country that is shooting its own people and empower it to decide human rights issues on a global scale. Regrettably, the pressure to bow to consensus – part of the go-along-to-get-along tradition at the UN – can drag everyone down to the will of the lowest common denominator.”

Neuer highlights that the executive board’s decision should not be all that surprising, given the body “recently welcomed serial human rights abusers as new members, like Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Pakistan and Russia.” Syria was already on the executive board, noted Neuer, “as were other countries with poor human rights records, including Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Belarus, China, Vietnam and Algeria.”

The UN says Syria’s crackdown on opposition protests has left more than 3,500 people dead over the past eight months.

“By rewarding the murderous Syrian regime with badges of international legitimacy, UNESCO has endangered core interests of the U.S. and its allies, undermining national security, regional stability and democratic values.”

Syria will serve a second two-year term on the 30-member Committee on Conventions and Recommendations, which examines “communications … relating to the exercise of human rights,” according to UNESCO’s Web site. Syria also joins the 23-member Committee on International Non-Governmental Organizations, which is mandated to encourage approved activist groups to help further UNESCO’s overall goals.

In a bid to insulate UNESCO’s administration from criticism, the agency’s executive director, Irina Bokova, insists her hands were tied. She has even broken with protocol in commenting that the executive board’s choice was not a good one.

“The director-general and secretariat are bound by the decisions of member states and are not supposed to comment on them,” said Sue Williams, UNESCO chief spokesperson.

“Yet given the developments in Syria, the director-general does not see how this country can contribute to the work of the committees.”

The criticism of the member states’ move comes as Bokova, on behalf of UNESCO, is struggling to overcome a sudden cut in U.S. funding to the agency after another controversial decision – namely the vote late last month by a majority of UNESCO’s 194 member states to admit Palestine as a full member.

The United States pays 22 per cent of the budgets of all UN agencies, and cut its payments to UNESCO because of longstanding U.S. legislation that prohibits funding any part of the UN that admits Palestine, which is not recognized by the UN as an independent country.

Still, Bokova herself provoked headlines earlier this month when she had one of her senior communications directors summon the Israeli ambassador at UNESCO to complain about a cartoon the Israeli newspaper Haaretz had printed.

Haaretz said the cartoon was an obvious dig at the Israeli government’s anger over the decision to admit Palestine.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, comments on the developments at UNESCO by saying the agency “continues to outdo itself with stunning and dangerous behavior.”

While the United States and some key allies, including Britain and France, are members of the UNESCO board, Western democracies are in a minority on the body. Canada, which joined the United States in opposing Palestinian membership of UNESCO, but is not a member of the executive board, told UN Watch it regrets the move to elevate Syria.

“While Canada was not involved in this decision, we find it deeply
 disturbing that Syria was designated by the Arab regional group at 
UNESCO as a member of the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations, given the Assad regime’s continual and repeated violation of human
rights,” said Joe Lavoie , a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. “Canada strongly and firmly continues to call on Assad to step aside.”

UN Watch pointed out Tuesday that a resolution supported by an overwhelming majority in the UN General Assembly’s “third” committee – which deals with human rights – defers to Syrian demands for respect of its “territorial integrity” and “political independence” – even as it strongly condemed Syria for its violent crackdown.

November 24th, 2011, 2:49 am


ann said:

Ambassador Mustafa: Syria’s Dealing with Events Depends on Popular Stance in the Decision-Making

Nov 24, 2011

DAMASCUS, (SANA)-Syrian Ambassador in Washington Imad Mustafa underlined that Syria’s dealing with the current events depends on the popular stance as a real base in the decision-making, saying that the mass popular marches in rejection of the Arab League resolutions and the foreign intervention have overturned the accounts and disturbed conspirators.

“The popular marches in Syria have imposed themselves on the news’ agendas of the US media institutions which didn’t find an escape from conveying them to keep the minimum credibility, and this formed a new awareness at the American receiver,” Mustafa said at an open dialogue session in Tishreen University.

He added that the plots of targeting Syria military in light of this scene became nearly nonsexist, considering that the reason behind the essence of crisis and pressures on Syria were Syria’s firm stance towards the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Mustafa said that confronting pressures on Syria will be through strengthening the internal situation, referring to the stances of some countries’ circumstances in dealing with Syria that uncovered the attempt of swindling Syria and containing its role under the titles of friendships, economic and trade relations.

The Syrian Ambassador pointed out to the utmost domination of the Zionist Lobby in the decision-making centers in the US where those sides effectively share in formulating policies in favor of the groups that support Israel.

He said that sanctions against Syria are not new and didn’t stop, adding “we are witnessing today feverish attack to conspire against Syria through regimes that move as a tool to act as Washington orders.

On the sanctions’ effects on Syria, Mustafa underlined that President Bashar al-Assad gave directives to build economic relations with the Asian giants to ease those effects.

November 24th, 2011, 2:53 am


ann said:

Iran Gets Syrian Crude Despite EU Sanctions, Oil Daily Reports

Nov 23, 2011

An Iranian-owned entity has received an 80,000 metric ton shipment of crude from Syria, which is barred from delivering oil to European refiners, previously its main customers, the International Oil Daily reported.

The cargo was dispatched on a Greek-flagged vessel in apparent violation of European Union sanctions, the newsletter said yesterday, citing unidentified trading and shipping sources.

The sanctions, introduced in early September over Syria’s treatment of pro-democracy demonstrators, ban companies in the EU’s 27 member states from buying or transporting Syrian oil.

During the first half of this year, Syria exported about 120,000 barrels of crude a day. Almost all of it ended up with European refiners, the newsletter said.

November 24th, 2011, 2:55 am


Mina said:

75, Sana report
“nonsexist” for “nonexistent” ??

November 24th, 2011, 3:08 am


Uzair8 said:

Mr Robert Fisk. In your latest article you say that Assad will benefit from the current situation in Egypt.

I say the Egyptian situation is bad for Assad. It shows how people will not settle for cosmetic reforms or anything less than their full demands. The people will not be fooled again.

If the Egyptians will not accept crumbs why would the Syrians? This will make them even more determined and uncompromising.

November 24th, 2011, 5:14 am


Uzair8 said:

Erdogan attaks Assad: “why don’t you fight Israel until death, you coward.”

Are we seeing a new Assad? Willing to die for his cause.

Should Isreal finally be worried? This new Assad may be willing to die fighting Isreal and liberating the Golan.

November 24th, 2011, 5:21 am


zoo said:

Saudi mouthpiece
By Tariq Alhomayed A Sharq alawsat

“Therefore, the Arab League is now required to bring the Syrian file to the UN Security Council, and demand it to immediately intervene to protect the civilians who are being killed every day at the hands of the al-Assad regime. Anything less means that the Arabs have failed the unarmed Syrians. It means that they have not earnestly and decisively tried to stop the al-Assad killing machine, even though the regime did not cease its daily killings of Syrians throughout the period of its negotiations with the Arab League. The League must stand up to protect the innocent. If Tehran is only interested in al-Assad, then is it not appropriate that the Arabs should be interested in all Syrians? “

November 24th, 2011, 6:04 am


zoo said:

Egyptian activists want neither the army nor the Moslem Brotherhood

The Brotherhood and Salafis ejected from Tahrir Square
23/11/2011 By Ali Ibrahim

Most of the traditional Egyptian political forces lost out in the bloody battle to recover Tahrir Square, which has become the source of legitimacy in Egypt ever since the 25th January. However, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis may in fact be the biggest losers, after their million man march which they called for last Friday, in a foolish display of power that seems to have provoked the very forces that carried the flame of the January 25th revolution.

November 24th, 2011, 6:11 am


zoo said:

Frustrated Gul qualify the EU as a ‘miserable union’ and one its member Cyprus as a ‘half state’

November 24th, 2011, 6:18 am


Norman said:

the Egyptians should have their elections and accept the result and try again next time if they do not like what they get,

The idea that every time they do not like what they get they have to get to the street and try to change the rules, until we accept what we get in free election and give a chance for the winners to lead we will always be in chaos and turmoil.

November 24th, 2011, 6:23 am


zoo said:

The FSA in action

13 killed after severe clashes in Syria’s unrest-torn Homs
2011-11-24 17:56:59

DAMASCUS, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — A total of 13 people were killed in severe clashes Wednesday between the security forces and terrorist groups in the central province of Homs, al-Watan newspaper said Thursday.

Nine gunmen and four army members were among the dead after they clashed in the Bab el-Sebaa neighborhood in Homs, al-Watan reported.

“In a separate event, an armed terrorist group attacked a checkpoint in the al-Farabi district with RPGs, but no casualties were reported, al-Watan’s report said, adding that terrorist groups blew up an ambulance and stole two cars in Homs.”


November 24th, 2011, 6:26 am


annie said:

Love the 21.Son of Damascus post and the following ones (and of course Tara, Sheila, Uzair8 and the pple who get thumbed down with a couple of zio exceptions); you might be interested in

Bashar’s Western water carriers

November 24th, 2011, 6:56 am


Tara said:

UZAIR8 @ 80

Any link to Erdogan’s statement describing Besho as a coward?

November 24th, 2011, 7:21 am


Norman said:

It seems to be spreading to Saudi Arabia ,

توتر وتحذيرات متبادلة بين السلطات وأوساط شيعية سعودية قبل عاشوراء

الرياض- (ا ف ب): ساد التوتر والتحذيرات المتبادلة بين السلطات السعودية وبعض الاوساط الشيعية الخميس اثر سقوط أربعة قتلى خلال أربعة أيام في محافظة القطيف في المنطقة الشرقية مع اقتراب احياء ذكرى عاشوراء.
وقالت مصادر حقوقية وطبية إن “علي عبد الله آل قريريص (26 عاما) من بلدة العوامية ومنيب السيد آل عدنان (20 عاما) من الشويكة قتلا برصاص قوات الأمن خلال تظاهرات مساء الاربعاء”.

ولقي الشابان مصرعهما في القطيف خلال تشييع ناصر المحيشي (19 عاما) الذي قضى قرب حاجز للشرطة ليل الاحد وعلي الفلفل (24 عاما) الذي قتل اثناء احتجاجات اندلعت مساء الاثنين.

وفي حين اعلنت وزارة الداخلية انها “تحذر كل من تسول له نفسه بتجاوز الانظمة بانه سيلقى الرد الرادع”، حذر رجل دين شيعي بارز بدوره من “مغبة انزلاق الوضع لانه اذا غابت لغة العقل ليحل مكانها الرصاص، فالقادم خطير”.

واتهمت الوزارة مجددا “مثيري الشغب بتحقيق اهداف مشبوهة املاها عليهم اسيادهم في الخارج” في اشارة الى ايران على ما يبدو.

واكدت أن “عددا من النقاط الامنية في محافظة القطيف تتعرض لاطلاق نار من قبل مثيري الشغب بصفة متصاعدة اعتبارا من الاثنين وفقا لما تمليه عليهم المخططات الخارجية المغرضة”.

واوضحت الوزارة ان “قوات الامن المتواجدة في الموقع مخولة كافة الصلاحيات للتعامل مع الوضع (…) وفي الوقت ذاته تدعو العقلاء في محافظة القطيف إلى الاخذ على أيدي هذه القلة المغرر بها حتى لا يكون الابرياء ضحية مثل هذه التصرفات”.

وأكدت مقتل أربعة اشخاص واصابة تسعة اشخاص بينهم امرأة واثنان من رجال الامن منذ مساء الاحد.

من جهته، قال رجل الدين منير الخباز “نناشد جميع العقلاء وننبه كل من له ضمير ونحذر بشدة من انزلاق الوضع، فاذا غابت لغة العقل والحكمة وحلت محلها لغة الرصاص والاستخفاف بالدماء فالقادم خطير”.

ووصف ما حدث بانه “فاجعة اليمة، وهي رحيل الشهداء المظلومين”.

ومن جهتها، قالت مصادر حقوقية إن “الاحداث التي تشهدها محافظة القطيف خلال الاسبوع الحالي تزيد من التوتر في ظل سقوط الضحايا مع اقتراب احياء ذكرى عاشوراء” التي تبدأ مساء الأحد المقبل.

واضافت ان “استخدام الرصاص الحي خلال اربعة ايام وسقوط اربعة قتلى على ايدي عناصر الامن هو استخدام للقوة القاتلة في غير موضعها”.

بدوره، قال الناشط الحقوقي وليد السليس ان التصعيد الامني لا يجلب الاستقرار في الوقت الذي ندعو فيه السلطات السعودية الى محاسبة المتسببين فورا ومعالجة اسباب الاحداث بحكمة بعيدا عن السياسة الامنية القمعية”.

كما اعتبر الباحث محمد الشيوخ ان “اعطاء الضوء الاخضر لعناصر الامن باطلاق النار على الشباب عند نقاط التفتيش في محافظة القطيف هو سبب اراقة الدماء”.

وكان رجل الدين حسين الصويلح اكد الاربعاء ان حاكم المنطقة الشرقية الامير محمد بن فهد “ابلغنا ان لجنة شكلتها وزارة الداخلية ستباشر التحقيق” في مقتل المحيشي والفلفل، و”طمأننا الى ان النتائج ستظهر خلال ساعات”.

واضاف “طلب منا تهدئة الشارع والخواطر خصوصا مع اقتراب احياء ذكرى عاشوراء”.

وتعد المنطقة الشرقية الغنية بالنفط المركز الرئيسي للشيعة الذين يشكلون حوالى 10% تقريبا من السعوديين البالغ عددهم حوالى 19 مليون نسمة، وكانت شهدت تظاهرات محدودة تزامنا مع الحركة الاحتجاجية في البحرين وغيرها.

وقد اوقعت مواجهات العوامية مطلع الشهر الماضي 14 جريحا غالبيتهم من الشرطة في حين اتهمت وزارة الداخلية ايران، من دون ذكرها بالاسم بالتحريض على العنف، داعية المحتجين الى “تحديد ولائهم اما للمملكة او لتلك الدولة ومرجعيتها”.

ويتهم ابناء الطائفة الشيعية السلطات بممارسة التهميش بحقهم في الوظائف الادارية والعسكرية وخصوصا في المراتب العليا.

وقد طالب مشاركون في تظاهرات القطيف الربيع الماضي بتحسين اوضاعهم فيما اطلق اخرون هتافات تندد بارسال قوة درع الجزيرة الى البحرين.

November 24th, 2011, 7:21 am


zoo said:

Iran cleared from alleged interference in Bahrain

Investigator: excessive force in Bahrain crackdown
By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press
Investigators, however, “did not discover any role of the Iranian Islamic Republic.” The finding is a sharp contrast to claims by Bahrain’s leaders and Gulf allies that Shiite power Iran was linked to the protests.

November 24th, 2011, 7:27 am


Uzair8 said:

@87 Tara

“Bashar al-Assad is saying he will fight to the death. Fighting your own people… is not heroism but cowardice,” Erdogan told parliament, referring to a recent interview with Assad published by the Sunday Times in London.


“You are talking about fighting to the death. Why didn’t you fight to the death for the Golan Heights occupied by Israel?” Erdogan asked.

November 24th, 2011, 7:37 am


Humanist said:

70. Mina

I somewhat agree with you,

Bashar is maybe not an “evil” man. As the writer and many others argue the real power may lie in the hands of the thugs of the “security” forces.

However if he’s so “weak” he can’t control his own forces, why should he be in charge of the country?

Bashar may be “evil” (and in power) or he may be “weak” (and not in power).

Either way he’s a bad leader.

November 24th, 2011, 8:22 am


Inhabitant of Damascus said:

Amb Van Dam’s analysis of the options before Syria is very close to the mark. However I believe there are no only two realistic options for Syria’s medium-term future.

There is no likelihood whatsoever that Bashar al-Assad will step down or be deposed in some sort of internal coup. Those calling for him to step down (the US, UK, France, Turkey, among others) demonstrate a poor understanding of Syria. The regime needs Assad. He is their best bet in managing the international elements of the crisis, and has been instrumental in keeping Russia, China, South Africa, and India among others, actively supporting the regime despite its rampant and very nasty human rights abuses. Assad is also still very popular, particularly in Damascus and Aleppo, including having strong Christian and Druze support. So why would the regime remove him.

Assad will not step down, regardless of the economic sanctions (which will achieve nothing but the suffering and deaths of the civilian population as van Dam says). And what if he did get on a plane and go into exile (in Tehran?)? Nothing would change. For things to change and the violence to stop, a million or so Alawis (plus other regime insiders) would need to go into exile with him. It is not the removal of Assad which will usher in reform, but the removal of the entire Assad/Alawi elite.

Syria’s first option is to enable a meaningful Arab League delegaton, of some hundreds of monitors, to enter the country to help stem the violence and begin a confidence-building process with consultations aimed at a democratic transition. Assad told the ‘Sunday Times’ this week that he will hold parliamentary elections in Feb/March. This will be followed by a constitutional review, and if the post of president is part of the new constitution, presidential elections will be held and ‘the people can decide’. The best thing for Syria would be that all factions cease violence and test Assad’s promise. If he fails to deliver then he will lose what little credibility he has left. There is nothing to lose by giving him 6 months to deliver. The Arab League initiative is therefore a last chance for the regime and the country to avoid destruction.

The second option is the atatus quo – continue the present slide into civil war. This will be the inevitable outcome if the AL plan fails. Syria would become the proxy battleground for a Sunni vs Shia and a US, Israel, Saudi vs Iran, Iraq confrontation. Sanctions and violence would take a terrible toll on the civilian population. After months or years, direct outside military intervention would be inevitable. This would have hugely negative impact on the region.

The choice is stark. But why would Assad refuse the AL initiative? It would stem the violence. It would enable him to deliver on his promise of parliamentary and presidential elections. If he refuses to accept the AL initative he would do so only for two reasons. One, he has no intention whatsoever of introducing democratic reforms. Two, he does not want outsiders into the country to confirm to the world the atrocities being committed by his regime on the Syrian population. If Assad refuses this initiative, he and his regime will confirm that this is a brutal dictatorship prepared to hold on to power at enormous cost to the Syrian people. The key is that the Arab League does not allow Syria to turn the initiative into a constrained and toothless exercise, tightly controlled by Syria’s massive internal security apparatus. The intiative must be credible if the violence is to be reduced and progress is to be made.

November 24th, 2011, 9:08 am


jad said:

سيناريو فرنسي لتقسيم الأراضي السورية عبر خطة “الممرات الإنسانية”

الجمل: تداولت وسائل الإعلام بمختلف أنواعها التصريحات الفرنسية الرسمية التي تحدثت عن رغبة فرنسا لجهة المطالبة بإقامة ما أطلقوا عليه تسمية الممرات الإنسانية داخل سوريا، فما هي حقيقة التصريحات الفرنسية الجديدة، وما هي طبيعة الممرات الإنسانية المشار إليها، وهل ستقتصر على البعد الإنساني، أم أنها سوف تكون بمثابة بوابة الاتحاد الأوروبي لتدويل ملف الاحتجاجات السياسية السورية؟

* النوايا الأوروبية الغربية الجديدة إزاء الملف السوري: توصيف المعلومات الجارية
تحدثت العديد من الأطراف الأوروبية الغربية الرفيعة المستوى نهار الأمس طارحة نوايا جديدة إزاء التعامل الأوروبي المحتمل إزاء أزمة ملف الاحتجاجات السياسية السورية، وفي هذا الخصوص نشير إلى الآتي:
• الرئيس الفرنسي نيكولا ساركوزي: تحدث قائلاً بأن فرنسا سوف تسعى لجهة النظر في إمكانية أن يسعى الاتحاد الأوروبي من أجل إقامة ممر إنساني لحماية المدنيين السوريين.
• وزير الخارجية الفرنسي آلان جوبييه: تحدث واصفاً المجلس الوطني السوري المعارض، بأنه يمثل الشريك الشرعي الذي ترغب فرنسا في التعامل معه.
• مسؤولة السياسة الخارجية في الاتحاد الأوروبي كاترين آشتون: تحدثت قائلة بأن الاتحاد الأوروبي مستعد للتعامل مع المجلس الوطني السوري المعارض، والجماعات السورية المعارضة الأخرى، وشددت لجهة مطالبة هذه الأطراف المعارضة بضرورة الالتزام بمبدأ اللاعنف واللاطائفية.
هذا، وأشارت التقارير والمعلومات إلى التفاصيل التي تحدث عنها وزير الخارجية الفرنسي آلان جوبييه في مؤتمره الصحفي الذي عقده بعد لقائه مع رئيس المجلس الوطني السوري المعارض، ويمكن الإشارة إلى تفاصيل حديث الوزير آلان جوبييه على النحو الآتي:
• إذا تم التأكيد على خيار الممر الإنساني، فإن التدخل العسكري يصبح مستبعداً.
• إقامة “المنطقة العازلة” سوف تكون أكثر جدوى، إذا أخذت شكل “المنطقة الآمنة” التي تتضمن الجمع بين “حماية المدنيين” وحماية “قوافل المساعدات الإنسانية”.
• الجمع بين مفهوم “المنطقة العازلة” و”المنطقة الآمنة” يتطلب البحث والدراسة المشتركة بين الاتحاد الأوروبي وجامعة الدول العربية.
أشارت التقارير إلى أن تفاصيل المشروع الفرنسي المقترح ما تزال حتى الآن غير متوافرة، وإضافة إلى ذلك تحدثت التقارير عن قيام الدول الأوروبية الغربية بفرض المزيد من العقوبات الاقتصادية ضد سوريا، وبرغم ذلك، فإن هذه الدول ما تزال أقل رغبة لجهة التصعيد باتجاه التدخل المباشر في سوريا، والتي يدرك الأوروبيون جيداً أن بيئتها الاجتماعية تنطوي على المزيد من خطوط الصراعات الإثنية والطائفية الشرق أوسطية.

* خارطة الطريق الأوروبية الغربية الجديدة إزاء الملف السوري: ماذا تحمل؟
سعت الأطراف الأوروبية الغربية والأمريكية والمنظمات الدولية إلى إثارة المزيد من المناقشات حول إشكالية حماية المدنيين، وهل الأفضل ترك أعباء الحماية تقع على عاتق الحكومات أم على عاتق المجتمع الدولي، وفي هذا الخصوص برزت اتجاهات متعددة، أبرزها:
• اتجاه يرى بضرورة احترام الحقوق السيادية للدولة، وبالتالي فإن المسؤولية عن حماية المدنيين تقع بالدرجة الأولى على عاتق الحكومات الوطنية.
• اتجاه يرى بضرورة إعطاء المجتمع الدولي الحق المطلق في القيام بمسؤولية حماية السكان المدنيين، وبالتالي غض النظر عن موضوع احترام السيادة الوطنية.
• اتجاه يرى بضرورة الجمع بين جهود المجتمع الدولي وجهود الحكومات الوطنية، لجهة التعاون بين الطرفين، وذلك لأن الحكومة الوطنية إن لم تكن راضية، فإن التدخل يمكن أن يؤدي إلى خلق المزيد من المشاكل الإضافية.
وتأسيساً على ذلك، وعلى خلفية تداعيات أزمة الصراعات اليوغسلافية والبلقانية، فقد جاءت ردود أفعال المجتمع الدولي والخبراء الدوليين أكثر ميلاً لجهة إعطاء المجتمع الدولي الحق المطلق في إنفاذ عمليات التدخل الدولي من أجل حماية السكان المدنيين، مع التشديد على ضرورة أن تتم عملية التدخل وفقاً لقواعد الشفافية والمصداقية، ووفقاً لمواثيق الأمم المتحدة وبالذات تلك المتعلقة بحماية الأمن والسلام العالمي، والمنصوص عليها في الفصلين السادس والسابع من ميثاق الأمم المتحدة.
سعت الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وحلفاءها الأوروبيين الغربيين، وبالذات فرنسا وبريطانيا لجهة استغلال وتوظيف مبدأ التدخل الإنساني الدولي في استهداف خصوم أطراف مثلث واشنطن ـ باريس ـ لندن، وفي هذا الخصوص نشير إلى الآتي:
• أدى التدخل الإنساني الدولي في منطقة البلقان إلى تقسيم يوغوسلافيا، ولاحقاً إلى تقسيم صربيا عندما أعلن إقليم كوسوفو الانفصال عن صربيا دون وجود أي اتفاقية دولية أو إقليمية أو داخلية تتيح له ذلك. وتم الانفصال تحت سمع وبصر القوات الدولية، والتي سعت إلى منع صربيا من استعادة الإقليم.
• أدى التدخل الإنساني الدولي في جورجيا إلى قيام أقاليم أوسيتيا الجنوبية، وأبخازيا، وأداجيا بإعلان الاستقلال عن جورجيا، دون وجود أي اتفاقية تدعم ذلك.
• دعمت أطراف مثلث واشنطن ـ باريس ـ لندن قرار مجلس الأمن بخصوص التدخل الإنساني والدولي في إقليم دارفور السوداني، ولكن القرار لم يتم تنفيذه بسبب قيام الاتحاد الأفريقي بإرسال قوة حفظ سلام وصلت إلى الإقليم قبل وصول القوات الدولية، الأمر الذي أبطل تنفيذ قرار مجلس الأمن الدولي.
تحدثت التقارير عن الاقتراحات الفرنسية، على أساس أنها تسعى لإقامة منطقة عازلة لحماية المدنيين السوريين وتقديم المساعدات لهم، ولكن، ما هو غير واضح الآن يتمثل في البعد الأمني الذي تحدث عنه وزير الخارجية الفرنسي آلان جوبييه بشيء من الغموض، وفي هذا الخصوص تبرز التساؤلات الآتية:
• ما هي المناطق التي سوف تشهد قيام هذه المناطق العازلة ـ الأمنية الأوروبية الغربية داخل سوريا. هل هي نفس المناطق التي تم الحديث عنها سابقاً باعتبارها المرشحة كمناطق لحظر الطيران؟
• ما هو موقف دول الجوار السوري إزاء قيام هذه المناطق، وإذا وافقت تركيا فهل يا ترى سوف يوافق الأردن والعراق ولبنان؟
• من الذي سوف يقوم بالإشراف على حماية هذه المناطق. هل هو قوات عربية يتم جلبها بالتنسيق مع الجامعة العربية، أم أن الجامعة العربية سوف تسعى إلى مطالبة الأوروبيين بإرسال قواتهم بحيث يبدو الأمر كما لو أنه جاء بناء على طلب عربي؟
• من الذي سوف يقوم بإصدار قرار إقامة المناطق العازلة في سوريا، فالاتحاد الأوروبي هو تكتل إقليمي خاص بالقارة الأوروبية، ومجلس الأمن الدولي أصبح غير محايد لجهة تمرير القرارات الدولية المعادية لسوريا.
• هل سيكون قرار إقامة المناطق العازلة قرار عربي تقوم بإصداره الجامعة العربية، ثم تقوم بعد ذلك بمناشدة الأطراف الدولية والإقليمية لتقديم المساعدة؟
على الأغلب أن يكون القرار عربيا، والإعداد أوروبيا، أما التخطيط فعلى الأغلب أن تقوم به “الأيادي الخفية”، والتي تسعى حالياً لتوظيف ملف الاحتجاجات السياسية السورية، وإضافة لذلك من المتوقع أن يتم تحديد هذه المناطق العازلة ـ الأمنية بحيث تغطي كل واحدة منها منطقة طائفية سورية بعينها، بحيث تتم لاحقاً عملية الإدارة الدولية لهذه المناطق على نحو يمكن أن يستمر لبضعة سنوات، تماماً على غرار نموذج الإدارة الدولية لإقليم آتشيه الإندونيسي. الذي أدى في النهاية إلى فصل الإقليم عن الوطن الأم أندونيسيا: وبعيداً عن التحيز لأي طرف من أطراف الصراع السوري، نقولها بصريح العبارة: اتركوا سوريا للسوريين فهم الأكثر دراية بشأن بلادهم!!

الجمل ـ قسم الدراسات والترجمة

November 24th, 2011, 9:12 am


zoo said:

Syria to allow Arab League observers in Stria
24 November 2011
­Damascus is to sign a protocol allowing Arab League observers into the country, the Egyptian news agency MENA reports, citing Syria`s foreign minister, Walid Muallem. According to the agency, Arab League General Secretary Nabil el-Araby received a letter from Muallem saying Damascus was ready to sign the document. Deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad is to represent Syria at the signing. The Arab League proposed sending its observers to Syria in the hope of stopping violence in the country, where clashes between government forces and protesters have claimed thousands of lives since March.

Syria agrees to Arab League monitoring plan 2011-11-24 20:54:37 FeedbackPrintRSS

CAIRO, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — The Syrian government has accepted the Arab League’s plan to send a mission of observers to monitor the situation on the ground in the unrest-plagued country, an Egyptian TV channel reported Thursday.

The development came as the regional bloc is meeting in the Egyptian capital to discuss sanctions on Syria, which had been at odds with the bloc on some details of the monitoring plan.

The reported reversal of Syria’s attitude has yet to be confirmed by Arab League leaders.

November 24th, 2011, 9:37 am


zoo said:

Syrian women rally in support of embattled Assad, irritation with AL
2011-11-24 20:58:50
DAMASCUS, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — Thousands of Syrian women on Thursday staged a pro-government rally at the Bab Touma square in the capital Damascus, shortly before a planned meeting of the Arab League (AL) in Cairo to discuss the Syrian crisis.

The participants, shouting pro-government slogans and waving the Syrian national flags, also hoisted posters of embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

Some people were seen carrying a small coffin with an Arabic writings: “the Syrian people mourn the death of the Arab League.”

Thursday’s rally came as part of many other similar demonstrations that have taken place lately to lend support to Assad, who is currently facing a crescendo of international uproar over the prolonged violence in Syria.

The rally also came just hours ahead of the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting that is set to convene Thursday in the Egyptian capital of Cairo to discuss the Syrian crisis.

The AL has recently rebuffed Syrian proposal for amending the AL’s decision to send 500 observers to monitor the full implementation of the peace plan that was concluded between both parts on Nov. 2.

The AL suspended Syria’s participation in its meetings, citing its failure to implement the agreed-upon agreement.

November 24th, 2011, 9:39 am


Ya Mara Ghalba said:

Here’s a pretty large, lively and confident in rally in Australia supporting the Assad government and denouncing the Arab League’s action last week. The chants are in Arabic language and the faces in the crowd are overwhelmingly Arabic-looking.

Here’s pro-regime rally in Australia with a different flavour. It was held inside a public park in Sydney on a Tuesday, on 22 Nov 2011.

People are enjoying themselves at these rallies. The next rally in Sydney is scheduled for Sunday 11 Dec 2011.

I am very pleased that the Syrians of Australia have been able to know the truth and have not been fooled by the unverified and false scurrilities from Reuters, AFP, AP, etc. that have been printed in the Australian newspapers. They are wiser and better informed than the likes of Nikolaos Van Dam.

November 24th, 2011, 9:54 am


Juergen said:

@80. Uzair8

Sorry but i find Baschar Al Assad the last one fighting for palestininan liberty or the return of the golan heights.
I am quite sure that Israel was content until recently that Assad was in charge in Syria, it gave them the feeling at least there is no emminent threat at our border. The Israelis have shown their support for Mubarak and Assad alike, giving some meaning to the old saying, he is a bastard, but he is our bastard!

Sure Palestinians have seome more rights than other groups in Syria, f.e. kurds are almost in a whole mistreated, but one could still say that they are classified 2nd class citizens.

In my opinion, Assad may be willing to die, but the cause will not be heroic, more or less it will be his own lack of intelligence.

November 24th, 2011, 10:23 am


Tara said:

Well said! Jeurgen

November 24th, 2011, 10:31 am


Observer said:

I hope the following facts help clarify the emotional outbursts on this post:
1. The regime is a purveyor of organized chaos in peacetime and of violent chaos in strife and protest. The idea that there is stability in Syria is hogwash. There is stability for about 20 people in charge and an additional 200 that benefit from it.
2. The loyalty of the troops is increasingly in doubt. The fact that there is an inability to quell demonstrations after 8 months speaks against the ability of the regime to be strong everywhere.
3. Repression is no longer possible without worldwide exposure and spinning the news with Soviet style propaganda is no longer credible
4. The alliance of the regime with Iran and HA is a smart attempt to counter the strategic imbalance with Israel and other regime opponents. It is expedient and can be changed if the regime desires so. It does not help with the core issues of the interior of the regime and of the economic grievances
5. The economy’s collapse will not allow for the regime to survive and Iran cannot sustain the Syrian economy for a very long time with money and goods.
6. The opposition is divided and is a manifestation of the diversity of Syrians on the one hand and the lack of political maturity on the part of the Syrian and Arab and non Arab people in the region where the notion of national identity is still weak. This diversity is a source of great strength for it will never allow again for a very strong dictatorial regime. What is needed is for it to function efficiently and people will be happy squabbling.
7. Fear is what drives minorities and the regime is stoking that fear. It would be most constructive of the minorities to ask the so called Salafists and MB what do they intend to do with minorities and how to protect them. It is more constructive to ask the EU and US and Russia and China how they would also provide for their safety. At the end of the day they will live with the majority of the people in the region. Their best safety lies in a civil administration and freedom of the press and independent judiciary.
8. The insistence on the person of Bashar has also squeezed the regime into a corner. Farouq his deputy is not a good option. His brother is nuts. His cousin is a nitwit and is only a Corleone banker. The old guard are in their seventies and they are looking on the military in Egypt and realizing that even if they try to ride the tiger of revolution the time where immunity is complete is long gone.
9. The dismantling of the regime in Egypt is continuing after toppling the head and this is where the long term outlook for Syria’s regime will be even worse. Now that Yemen is no longer a player, there is only Lebanon and Iraq to count on in the Arab arena
10. China is distancing itself from the Russian position towards Syria. Russia will get a price for abstaining and there will be the introduction of observers into Syria.
11. Once observers are in all that the international community needs is to rely on the stupidity of the regime and watch as some of them are attacked or hurt or killed and then the UNSC will pass an article 7 resolution insisting on armed observers with unfettered access. This will permit for the sitting on the fence crowd to jump.
Now I invite emotional outbursts and cursing and sarcasm.

The Arab revolts’ greatest losers are by far
1. Israel which will eventually have to contend with the desires and wishes of the people and not corrupt and pliant regimes. At the end they will have to give the Palestinians their rights.
2. Iran as a Persian Shia country will have a diminished influence when it comes to Arab Muslim Sunni revival.
3. The US as it will be replaced in the region with local regional players such as Turkey and KSA and Qatar and most certainly Egypt.

November 24th, 2011, 10:34 am


Uzair8 said:

@95 Juergen.

I agree. I was being sarcastic.

November 24th, 2011, 10:35 am


Revlon said:

حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom

‎( الجيش الحر سيقضي على النظام خلال ثلاث او اربعة اشهر )
هذا ما قاله لي قريبي ضابط في الحرس الجمهوري

تسريب مهم جداً جداً من احد اعضاء حركة سوريا شباب في دمشق
… اليوم التقيت مع زوج خالتي وهو ضابط في الحرس الجمهوري
( وهو سني وليس علوي ) قال لي ان الاوضاع في الجيش سيئة جدا والمعنويات منهارة واكد لي ان الكثيرين من الضباط السنة يودون الانشقاق ولكن بطش النظام وخوفهم على عوائلهم تجعلهم ينتظرون اللحظة المناسبة , واكد لي انه تم ابعاد جميع الضباط السنة عن اي اجتماعات تقام داخل الحرس الجمهوري وعلى جميع المستويات وانه كل اسبوع يتم اعتقال عشرات من الضباط والمجندين السنة او تصفيتهم مباشرة ,

وقال لي قريبي , ان عمليات الجيش الحر تكاد تكون على مدار الساعة وان خسائر الحرس الجمهوري تفوق المائة قتيل اسبوعيا والخسائر ترتفع يوميا , كما ان مخازن الاسلحة تتعرض للسرقة ولا نعرف من يسرقها وهناك حالة من عدم الثقة بين ضباط القيادة و كلام التخوين والتآمر منتشر بكثرة .

وختم قوله بان جيش النظام سيتفكك وينتهي بفعل ضربات الجيش الحر على ابعد تقدير خلال ثلاثة او اربعة اشهر

واخبرني انه قريبا سينشق مع العشرات من الضباط السنة لكن بعد ان يؤمن اسرته في مكان آمن .

See Translation
about an hour ago

November 24th, 2011, 10:35 am


Haytham Khoury said:

“Syria to allow Arab League observers in Syria”

This has no big use.

This is what I advised the SNC with last week:

إذاً إن كل هذا يدعوننا إلى الإعتقاد أنه حان أوان عودة القضية السورية إلى أروقة مجلس الأمن مرة أخرى و أن روسيا هذه المرة لن تعطل أي قراراً من مجلس الأمن لا يفتح المجال بإستخدام القوة بتهور ضد سوريا. هذا ما أوحى به بوتين نفسه الإسبوع بقوله : “نحن على استعداد للتعاون مع المجتمع العالمي، وسوف نفعل ذلك. لكننا ندعو لضبط النفس والتعقل. هذا هو ما يتمحور موقفنا حوله. أي أننا لن نتهرب من التعاون مع شركائنا أو نتجاهل آراءهم، بل سنواصل العمل معا

The decision to take the regime out has been taken at highest level, and there is no return.

November 24th, 2011, 10:47 am


Revlon said:

حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom

بسم الله الرحمن الرجيم
بيان صادر عن الجيش السوري الحر
Announcement by FSA
AOBJ Phalange attacked state security building in Madaya, Damascus and confiscated all of its arsenal
كتيبة أبوعبيدة بن الجراح

قامت كتيبة أبو عبيدة بن الجراح بالإشتباك مع عناصر مركز أمن الدولة المتواجد في ريف دمشق منطقة مضايا وتم تحرير كامل المركز والإستيلاء على كافة سلاحه

كتيبة سعد بن معاذ
SBM Phalange ambushed Asad forces involved in earlier attacks on civilians and their properties. The attack resulted in killing 10 Asad armed forces and wounding of many others.
Mhardeh Road

قامت فصائل من سرايا 1 خلدون الياسين 2 صلاح الدين طعمة3 ابو القعقاع التابعة لكتيبة سعد بن معاذبالتصدي لكتائب الاسد على طريق محردة جريجس والتي هاجمت المدنيين العزل في المنطقة ونهبت وكسرت البيوت حيث كبدتها قواتنا 10 قتلى وعشرات الجرحى وعاد الابطال سالمين

وما النصر إلا من عند الله العلي العظيم

12 hours ago

November 24th, 2011, 10:48 am


Revlon said:

The key theme in the protocol of the AL mission that Jr is seeking to alter is its independence!
The upside of this initiative to Jr is that it provide him with peace of mind to go around his Wa2dulfitnah plan, albeit more discretely, protected from external intervention by the good Samaritan AL mission.

Jr will try hard to keep the mission in “ICU” as long as it is serving his agenda, before he pronounces it dead.
After that, Jr has plan B ; The Russian imitative, …

…..In the meantime, civilians death goes on!
However, in compliance with the language of the AL initiative, They will die quietly with state of technology, silenced, concealed guns, by thugs wearing non-military apparel

Jr wants the following changes to AL mission protocol:
– Name: Independent mission of experts > AL mission of Appointed experts
– Mission supported by appropriate staff of security personnel; their number and nationality is to be decided by Al Secretary and mission’s leader> Mission supported by adequate Arab bureaucrats; their number is to be as decided above, in coordination with regime (Which will both limit the number and force the mission to rely on Jr thugs security).
– Ascertain the release of detainees of the revolution > Ascertain the release of batches thereof who did not commit crimes or anarchy (Thug one can claim that all are criminals and anarchists; there is no clause for stopping the arrest of civilians!!)
– Ascertain the withdrawals of military manifestations from cities and neighbourhoods that witnessed/are witnessing protests > Ascertain the withdrawals of military manifestations from cities and neighbourhoods. (Thug one reserves the right to send back military to areas where he deems “national security to be under threat”!!!
– Mission is free to move around > Mission is free to move around in coordination with Jr forces.
– Ascertaining the ability of Mission to reach its destinations when they see fit > Ascertaining the ability of Mission to reach its destinations in coordination with Jr forces!
– Mission contacts of Witnesses and families safety guaranteed from harassment, harm, or inconvenience > Mission contacts of Witnesses and families safety guaranteed from harassment, harm, or inconvenience only in matters related to AL mission.
– The protocol is valid for 2 months from signing; it can be extended by mutual agreement.

«الراي» تنشر نص الجامعة لوثيقة المراقبين وتعديلات الحكومة السورية عليها
Items in AL protocol for observers and related Syrian regime rephrasing


تنشر «الراي» الوثيقة التي أرسلتها الجامعة العربية إلى الحكومة السورية الخاصة بإرسال المراقبين للتحقيق والتأكد من تنفيذ الخطة العربية لحل الأزمة في دمشق وتوفير الحماية للمدنيين.
الوثيقة نفسها والتي أطلق عليها «بعثة مراقبي الجامعة العربية»، وحصلت «الراي» على نصها ـ ردت عليها حكومة دمشق ببعض التعديلات على البنود وفيما يلي نص الوثيقة:

المادة أولا: تشكيل بعثة مستقلة من الخبراء المدنيين والعسكريين العرب من مرشحي الدول والمنظمات العربية ذات الصلة بأنشطة حقوق الإنسان وتوفير الحماية للمدنيين لإيفادها إلى أراضي الجمهورية العربية السورية.. وتعرف باسم «بعثة مراقبي الجامعة العربية»، وتعمل في إطارها وهي مكلفة بالتحقق من تنفيذ الخطة العربية لحل الأزمة السورية وتوفير الحماية للمدنيين السوريين .

وجاء التعديل السوري كالتالي: تشكيل بعثة عربية من الخبراء المدنيين والعسكريين العرب من مرشحي الدول العربية لإيفادها إلى سورية تعرف باسم «بعثة الجامعة العربية» وتعمل في إطارها وهي مكلفة بالتحقق من تنفيذ بنود الخطة العربية لحل الأزمة الراهنة في سورية على أن يوافى الجانب السوري بقائمة تتضمن أسماء وصفات ومراتب وجنسيات أعضاء البعثة .
المادة ثانيا: «تبدأ البعثة عملها فور توقيع الحكومة السورية على هذا البروتوكول وتباشر مهامها بوفد مكون من رئيس البعثة وعدد كافٍ من المراقبين «من 30 إلى 50 مراقباً» مدعم بعدد مناسب من الموظفين والإداريين وأفراد الأمن للحماية الشخصية لأعضاء البعثة» .
التعديل: «تبدأ البعثة عملها فور توقيع سورية على هذا البروتوكول وتباشر مهامها بوفد مكون من رئيس البعثة وعدد كافُ من المراقبين مدعم بعدد مناسب من الموظفين والإداريين» .

بند فرعي في المادة ثانياً: «يحدد رئيس البعثة بالتشاور مع الأمين العام أعداد المراقبين وفقا لما يراه من احتياجات تتعلق بإنجاز مهام البعثة في مراقبة تنفيذ الحكومة السورية لتعهداتها بحماية المدنيين على أكمل وجه، وللأمين العام الاستعانة بالخبرات الفنية والمراقبين من الدول العربية والإسلامية والصديقة لتنفيذ المهام الموكلة للبعثة» .
التعديل: «يحدد رئيس البعثة بالتشاور مع الأمين العام وبالتنسيق مع سورية أعداد المراقبين وفقا لما يراه من احتياجات تتعلق بإنجاز مهام البعثة في مراقبة تنفيذ الحكومة السورية لتعهداتها على أكمل وجه وللأمين العام الاستعانة بالخبرات الفنية والمراقبين من الدول العربية لتنفيذ المهام الموكلة للبعثة» .
الفقرة الفرعية (3) من المادة ثالثاً: «التأكد من الإفراج عن المعتلقين بسبب الأحداث الراهنة» .
التعديل: «التأكد من الإفراج عن دفعات من المعتقلين بسبب الأحداث الراهنة من غير المتورطين بجرائم القتل وأعمال التخريب» .
الفقرة الفرعية (4) من المادة ثالثا: «التأكد من سحب وإخلاء المظاهر العسكرية المسلحة من المدن والأماكن السكنية التي شهدت أو تشهدها المظاهرات وحركات الاحتجاج» .
التعديل: «التأكد من سحب وإخلاء المظاهر العسكرية المسلحة من المدن والأماكن السكنية» .
الفقرة الفرعية (7) من المادة ثالثا: «للبعثة حرية الحركة الكاملة وحرية ما تراه مناسبا من زيارات واتصالات ذات صلة بالمسائل المتعلقة بمهامها وأساليب عملها المتعلقة بتوفير الحماية للمدنيين».
التعديل: «للبعثة حرية الحركة الكاملة وحرية ما تراه مناسبا من زيارات واتصالات ذات صلة بالمسائل المتعلقة بمهامها وأساليب عملها بالتنسيق مع الجانب السوري» .
الفقرة الفرعية (2) من المادة رابعا: «تأمين سبل الوصول وحرية التحرك الآمن لجميع أعضاء البعثة في جميع أنحاء أراضي الجمهورية العربية السورية في الوقت الذي تحدده البعثة» .
التعديل: «تأمين سبل الوصول وحرية التحرك الآمن بالتنسيق مع الجانب السوري لجميع أعضاء البعثة» .
الفقرة الفرعية (5) من المادة رابعا: «ضمان عدم معاقبة أو مضايقة أو إحراج أي شخص ـ بأي شكل من الأشكال ـ أو أفراد أسرته لتواصله مع البعثة أو تقديم شهادات أو معلومات لها» .
التعديل: «ضمان عدم معاقبة أو الضغط على أي شخص ـ بأي شكل من الأشكال ـ أو أفراد أسرته لتواصله مع البعثة في المسائل المنوطة بمهامها» .
وأما المقترحات التي وضعتها سورية من أجل إضافتها إلى البروتوكول فهي:
تقترح الحكومة السورية إضافة، مادة جديدة أولى: «تحدد مدة هذا البروتوكول بشهرين اعتبارا من تاريخ توقيعه، قابلة للتمديد بموافقة الطرفين».

مادة جديدة ثانية: «لا تتحمل الحكومة السورية أي نفقات مالية عن قيام البعثة بأداء مهامها»، إضافة إلى طلب سورية في تعديلاتها شطب بعض المواد من البروتوكول .

November 24th, 2011, 10:48 am


Akbar Palace said:


Thanks for the link. Jerusalem archeology is fascinating.

Amir in Tel Aviv,

I guess you were once Amir in Haifa. I didn’t realize there was such a extensive rail network. I somwhat recall the old Haifa rail station. If you take the train to Haifa from TA, I think it stops very close or passes right by this station.

November 24th, 2011, 10:56 am


Revlon said:

أغنية السفاح أبو نص لسان – ألحان وغناء فرقة المندسين
Light musical break!
The mass murderer

November 24th, 2011, 11:00 am


Revlon said:

Tomorrow is Friday of “The-Free-Syrian Army-Protect Me”

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد
جمعة الجيش الحر يحميني 25 – 11 – 2011
من أعمال الثوار …
See Translation
2 hours ago

November 24th, 2011, 11:08 am


Revlon said:

We are all Hamza
In memory of the brave youngster Hamza AlKhatib
كلنا حمزة الخطيب – يوسف السوطري ( فرقة الهدى الدولية )

November 24th, 2011, 11:13 am


Revlon said:

I applaud the SNC media committee for posting on the SNC website a stern critique of the SNC president for his alleged statements concerning the FSA.

حمزة الخطيب
توضيح من صفحة كلنا مع المجلس الوطني السوري حول تصريح الدكتور برهان غليون فيما يخص الجيش السوري الحر

تصريح الدكتور برهان غليون بخصوص طلبه من الجيش السوري الحر عدم مهاجمة الجيش النظامي …
نقول أولاّ نحن لسنا صفحة ناطقة بإسم المجلس ولكننا ندعم المجلس وهذا لا يعني ألاّ نتكلم عن الأخطاء ..

الدكتور برهان غليون المحترم : الجيش السوري الحر لا يهاجم الثكنات العسكرية ولا الجنود في قطعهم العسكرية ولا يعتدي على من ليس له علاقة في قمع وقتل الشعب السوري

الجيش السوري الحر يهاجم نقط التفتيش التي تنكّل بالشعب , ويهاجم المدرعات والدبابات التي تحتل المدن ويحمي المدنيين منها

الجيش السوري الحر مهمته حماية المدنيين والعزّل ولولا وجوده لما استمرت الثورة إلى الآن ولما كان للمجلس الوطني وجود ..

يجب على المجلس الوطني في اجتماعاته مع دول الغرب توضيح مهمة الجيش السوري الحر والدفاع عنه وليس الإساءة إليه

دكتور برهان نحن لا نقدّس الأشخاص اطلاقاً هذا هو التصريح الثالث الذي نضع أمامه عشرات علامات الإستفهام ولذلك نقول وبصوتٍ عالٍ إن لم تكن أهلاً لرئاسة المجلس الوطني نتمنى عليك ترك المهمة لمن هو أجدر منك ونذكرك ونذكر الأمانة العامة والمكتب الحقوقي والإعلامي ومكتب العلاقات الخارجية أنّكم وعدتم الشعب أن تكون الرئاسة للمجلس الوطني ولهذه المكاتب دورية خلال ثلاثة أشهر وعليه نذكركم أنّ الثلاثة أشهر قد اقتربت من نهايتها وعليكم تحويل رئاسة هذه المكاتب كلّها بما فيها رئاسة المجلس إلى أعضاء آخرين في المجلس لكي نشعر بحقّ أنّ المجلس الوطني السوري هو مجلس ديمقراطي حر …..​WearewiththeSyrianNationalC​ouncil
صفحة كلنا مع المجلس الوطني السوري
See Translation
14 hours ago

November 24th, 2011, 11:25 am


majedkhaldoun said:

AL gave till tomorrow for Syria to sign the AL protocol,this protocol has been revised to include Arab observers only, It seems that FM of Iraq,Mr. Zibari has delivered a message that Syria is willing to sign the AL protocol, It was not a message from Muallem as some suggested, Most Arab delegates did not believe Zibari,so they insisted that signing must be friday,it should be done by Maqdad,Fax paper is not accepted.
Syrian regime is not ready yet to comply with AL initiative.If Syria signed the protocol, the pictures and videos the observers will show will expose the crimes of the regime and will convince more states to condemn Bashar.may be Russia will switch.China already switched.

FSA which I call Angels will increase in number,sudden massive increase will be sufficient to cause collapse of the regime,Loyalty is increasingly in question,,Morality is in decline, the troops who are ordered to shoot at civilian they try to shoot in the sky or shoot but not kill,if they really want to shoot people they could have end this revolution,,that is why I question the loyality of the troops.

SNC has to respect the FSA,they are the only hope SNC has.

November 24th, 2011, 11:38 am


Revlon said:

The custody of the body of the late Engineering student Husein AlEnizi has become a case of contention.

Husein’s bereft father has refused that his relatives in Homs reclaim the body after it was exhumed by Asad security thugs.

He has contacted the Saudi authorities to act on his behalf.
It is feared that the Syrian regime authorities have tampered with death related evidence in order to distance themselves from the crime.

November 24th, 2011, 11:53 am


Tara said:

The regime is playing games as usual. They wait for the last second then give in. I call that coward’s tactic. I expect Bashar to do the same thing. He said he will fight until the end. I don’t believe it. He will exit himself to safety the last second and sell his men cheaply.

November 24th, 2011, 11:56 am


Uzair8 said:

Assad used foreign intervention first
By Tariq Alhomayed

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Arab ministers are supposed to meet next Thursday in order to discuss the situation in Syria, and the Assad regime’s refusal to adopt the Arab League’s resolutions. This meeting comes amidst the false propaganda spread by the Assad regime itself, about foreign intervention in Syria and the threat of a civil war.

Therefore the Arab officials, all of them without exception, must be aware of the facts, rather than the Assad regime’s propaganda. The facts say that while the Syrian rebels have been peacefully maintaining their revolution for nearly eight months, the Assad regime is the one that has used weapons against them, with all its brutality. Of course the Assad killing machine has not stopped to this day, so how can the rebels be blamed after this for now starting to defend themselves, when faced with a regime that wants to rule with an iron fist?

Read more:

November 24th, 2011, 12:03 pm


N.Z. said:


You said “At the end they will have to give the Palestinians their rights.”

Just yesterday Netanyahu said: “his complete contempt for the Arab people’s ability to sustain democratic regimes, and his nostalgia for Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt. He said he feared the collapse of Jordan’s Hashemite monarchy and also reiterated his absolute refusal to make any concessions to the Palestinians.”

The Zionists leaders are as enlightened as the Arab despots. No difference. In addition ob being mass murderers, they are blind, complacent and distanced from realities.

The winds of change are hovering over the Arab world, to the better. In occupied Palestine the effects will bring drastic change, to put it mildly.

The Arab Awakening has changed the world. Its repercussion could be felt worldwide.

November 24th, 2011, 12:07 pm


Uzair8 said:


AbdAllah Bin Amr Ibn Al-Aas stated that “If you see or hear about a tyrant in a city who is overpowered by another, and flees to the Romans, then that is the beginning of the greater confrontations. The Romans will come after Muslims.” (Nuaim bin Hammad, Kitab al-Fitan)

Romans = Russia according to one interpretation. (Quran uses the term Ar-Rum for the Byzantine Empire, the former base of the Eastern Orthadox Church, now based in Russia).

November 24th, 2011, 12:13 pm


Revlon said:

Eight civilians fell martyrs today in Rastan, Homs
AlFatiha upon their souls,
May God bless their families with solace, and empower them with patience.
Ugarit News | أوغاريت الإخبارية

أوغاريت || الرستن حمص :: شهداء اليوم ,
1-الشهيد راغب الزعبي
2-الشهيد محمود بحبوح
3-الشهيد محمد الرز
4-الشهيد ناصر طلاس
5-الشهيد زياد درويش
6-الشهيد عماد عبيد
7-الشهيد الشاب أية ايوب
8-الشهيد ياسر دالي

15 minutes ago

November 24th, 2011, 12:15 pm


newfolder said:

An absolute must read, the International Crisis group’s latest policy briefing on Syria.

Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through
Syria’s Dynamics East North Africa/Iraq Syria Lebanon/Syria/B031 Uncharted Waters – Thinking Through Syrias Dynamics.pdf

Policy Briefing
Middle East Briefing N°31
Damascus/Brussels, 24 November 2011
Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through
Syria’s Dynamics
The Syrian crisis may or may not have entered its final
phase, but it undoubtedly has entered its most dangerous
one to date. The current stage is defined by an explosive
mix of heightened strategic stakes tying into a regional
and wider international competition on the one hand and
emotionally charged attitudes, communal polarisation and
political wishful thinking on the other. As dynamics in
both Syria and the broader international arena turn squarely
against the regime, reactions are ranging from hysterical
defiance on the part of its supporters, optimism among
protesters that a bloody stalemate finally might end and
fears of sectarian retribution or even civil war shared by
many, through to triumphalism among those who view
the crisis as an historic opportunity to decisively tilt the
regional balance of power.
Yet, almost entirely missing is a sober assessment of the
challenges provoked by these shifts and the very real risk
that they could derail or even foreclose the possibility of a
successful transition. In particular, five issues likely to
shape events have been absent from the public debate:
􀂉 the fate of the Alawite community;
􀂉 the connection between Syria and Lebanon;
􀂉 the nature and implications of heightened international
􀂉 the long-term impact of the protest movement’s growing
militarisation; and
􀂉 the legacy of creeping social, economic and institutional
Many in Syria and abroad are now banking on the regime’s
imminent collapse and wagering that all then will be for
the better. That is a luxury and an optimism they cannot
afford. Instead, it is high time to squarely confront and
address the difficulties before it is too late. In the “draft
political program” it released on 20 November, the Syrian
National Council ‒ an opposition umbrella group – presented
the image of an entirely peaceful movement enduring
savage repression. The regime and its allies regularly
describe the crisis solely as the local manifestation of a
vicious regional and international struggle. The two blackand-
white narratives are in every way contradictory and
mutually exclusive. Both miss a central point: that successful
management of this increasingly internationalised crisis
depends on a clear-eyed understanding of the grey zone
that lies between.
This briefing analyses and in its Conclusion presents recommendations
for handling the pivotal issues.
The situation faced by the regime hardly could be more
dire. It is more isolated than ever: the Arab League has
forged a remarkable consensus against it; support from
Arab public opinion has reached an all-time low; the Syrian
National Council rapidly is gaining recognition internationally;
and a UN General Assembly resolution registering
disapproval garnered 122 votes on 22 November.
At home, the so-called Free Syrian Army, which purportedly
is drawing more and more military defectors to its side,
has been claiming increasingly effective attacks against
the security services.
From the outset, the regime strove to deny the existence
of a deep-seated popular protest movement, choosing instead
to reduce the crisis to actions of foreign-backed
armed gangs. Paradoxically, now that it faces an emerging
insurgency coupled with a broad international coalition
bent on its demise, it appears wholly unprepared to cope
with the very enemy it initially fantasised and which its
short-sighted behaviour largely helped bring to life.
For over eight months, the regime was so obsessed with
the desire to contain, defame and quash peaceful demonstrations
that it let just about everything else go to waste. It
failed to develop any discernible economic strategy to enable
it to carry out a sustained struggle; instead, it steadily
drew down its reserves, alienated the business establishment
and exposed ordinary citizens to worsening hardships.
Remarkably, it did nothing to prepare itself for highly
predictable sanctions on oil and gas. Electricity cuts have
become endemic, even in central Damascus; there are shortages
of heating oil and cooking gas; and the price of basic
foodstuffs is rising dangerously. The regime invested the
bulk of its efforts toward shoring up the Syrian pound, but
Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria’s Dynamics
Crisis Group Middle East Briefing N°31, 24 November 2011 Page 2
as the political crisis deepens, those too sooner or later will
prove inadequate, precipitating a much deeper economic
Politically, the regime made only half-hearted and belated
attempts to consolidate its support base. Beyond evoking
a nebulous “model democracy” in-the-making, announcing
legislative initiatives that were never implemented
and undertaking a drawn-out constitutional revision process
seemingly designed above all to gain time, President
Bashar Assad signally failed to suggest a credible way forward.
Instead, the official narrative became locked into
the mantra that only a handful of decisive military operations
against residual terrorist pockets stood between the
crisis and its resolution, all the while denying that peaceful
demonstrations were being repressed. This focus on a
“security solution” dissipated much of the popular backing
the regime initially enjoyed, both at home and throughout
the region. Lastly, and perhaps most surprisingly for a regime
renowned for its shrewd diplomacy, it created the
conditions for its unprecedented international isolation.
Assad has registered only two achievements, albeit highly
ambivalent ones. First, the regime in effect took the Alawite
minority hostage, linking its fate to its own. It did so
deliberately and cynically, not least in order to ensure the
loyalty of the security services which, far from being a
privileged, praetorian elite corps, are predominantly composed
of underpaid and overworked Alawites hailing from
villages the regime has left in a state of abject underdevelopment.
As unrest began, the regime staged sectarian incidents
in confessionally-mixed areas as a means of bringing
to the surface deeply-ingrained feelings of insecurity
among Alawites who, in centuries past, had been socially
marginalised, economically exploited and targets of religious
discrimination. To stoke fear, authorities distributed
weapons and bags of sand – designed to erect fortifications
‒ to Alawites living in rural areas long before any objective
threat existed; security services and official media
spread blood-curdling, often exaggerated and sometimes
wholly imaginary stories of the protesters’ alleged sectarian
With time, the Alawites’ conspicuous role in putting down
protests, disseminating propaganda and staging pro-regime
demonstrations transformed anti-Alawite feelings ‒ initially
latent and largely repressed ‒ into a perilous reality.
The regime’s behaviour conformed to the worst anti-Alawite
stereotypes. It revived age-old prejudices about the community’s
“savagery”. It exacerbated historic grievances
regarding ownership of land, which in some parts of the
country had been transferred from Sunni feudal elites to
Alawite serfs during the agrarian reform that began in the
1950s. It intensified resentment over the inequitable use
of state institutions, which have been a key source of employment
for Alawites and, over time, have become an instrument
with which to plunder the public while serving
the ruling family’s interests.
As repression escalated in recent months, many Syrians
have shifted from blaming elements of the regime, to
blaming the regime as a whole and, finally, to blaming the
Alawite community itself. As a result, many Alawites are
now in a state of panic, leading them to embrace a regime
for which most, at the start of the crisis, evinced little
sympathy. Sharing analogous fears born of their minority
status, large swathes of the Christian community appear
to be following a similar path.
The regime’s second ambiguous success was in compartmentalising
its territory. Denied both mobility and control
of any symbolically decisive space (notably in the capital,
Damascus, and the biggest city, Aleppo), the protest movement
failed to reach the critical mass necessary to establish,
once and for all, that Assad has lost his legitimacy.
Instead, demonstrators doggedly resisted escalating violence
on the part of the security services and their civilian
proxies in an ever-growing number of hotspots segregated
from one another by numerous checkpoints. Within each
of these separate locations, security forces turned their
firepower against uncomfortably large gatherings, stalked
local leadership figures, seized tools used to communicate
with the outside world and resorted to collective punishment
‒ in some instances carrying out such gruesome scare
tactics as returning victims’ desecrated bodies to their
However, the regime has been able to ensure such territorial
control largely because the protest movement remained
essentially peaceful. This allowed it to rely on numerous
but lightly armed security forces and proxies, drawing on
military combat troops solely for secondary missions (such
as manning checkpoints) or in response to the relatively
rare instances when it met organised armed resistance. This
was for a reason. Over the years, the regime built up the
instruments of a police state while distrusting the army ‒
large but poorly trained, ill-equipped and lacking esprit
de corps. To minimise the risk of a military coup, Assad
made sure the army stayed both weak and divided. The
net result is that ‒ save for a few praetorian units ‒ it cannot
be depended upon as an instrument of repression.
There are signs the regime’s formula no longer is working.
Its failure to shore up its legitimacy coupled with the
gap between its narrative (in which the state fights to restore
law and order in the face of terrorist attacks) and
everyday reality (in which security forces make no distinction
between peaceful protesters and armed groups) has
produced a growing number of military defectors. Civilians,
hungry for protection and eager for revenge, are ever
more willing to welcome, support and shelter them, making
it virtually impossible for security services to root them
out. In short, their brutality has provoked an incipient armed
Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria’s Dynamics
Crisis Group Middle East Briefing N°31, 24 November 2011 Page 3
reaction the security services and proxy forces are not in a
position to address. Increasingly exposed, they need the
help of combat troops who have not been prepared for the
task, feel gradually more alienated from the regime’s apparatus
of repression and increasingly are drawn toward
the protesters. The immediate consequence is that security
forces progressively are losing ground in various parts of
the country where they can do little more than engage in
hit-and-run operations.
By the time its lengthening list of foes was able to begin
to move in unison, the regime had squandered virtually
every chance to consolidate its domestic front, brought the
economy to near breaking point, pushed its own military
to defect in small but ever-increasing numbers and lost
almost all sympathy from the broader Arab street, whose
support historically had been a key source of legitimacy.
In several respects, Syria’s society is far better prepared
for change than at the outset of the uprising. The regime’s
divide-and-rule tactics have kept most Alawites, many
Christians, as well as some Druze and Sunnis on its side,
but simultaneously given rise to an unprecedented sense
of awareness, solidarity and responsibility among large
segments of the population. After decades of suppression,
civil society has emerged as a surprisingly enterprising
and energised actor, providing support to those targeted
by the regime and often bridging communal and geographic
divides. Over time, social divisions also gradually have
receded. Members of the business community have extended
material assistance to protesters, and some within the
middle classes belatedly have thrown in their lot with what
initially had been a disproportionately working-class, proletarian
A long-apathetic youth has become politicised and is now
actively engaged in the struggle, seeking to push back
against some of the more thuggish and sectarian trends
among protesters. The latter, through their coordination
efforts, have produced incipient, discreet yet increasingly
effective local leadership. Through the string of defections,
the army itself may be generating the skeleton of a
future, more cohesive apparatus.
Finally, a relatively positive relationship has developed
between Syrians living in the country and the diaspora.
Overseas Syrians have been mobilised, providing considerable
logistical support to the protest movement; they
have given rise to an opposition in exile that has acquired
real, if fragile credibility both on the ground and internationally.
They also possess significant resources that could
prove crucial to a political transition.
But that is only the brightest part of a canvas of shadows.
Prospects for a successful transition are clouded by five
critical issues that largely have been left unaddressed.
Rather than abruptly fall, the regime could well endure
for a considerable time even as it continues to both erode
and mutate, spawning die-hard, nihilist militias. In several
recent interviews, Assad essentially pledged to go down
fighting. He will not do so alone. Military defections aside,
and notwithstanding significant discontent within the security
services and the power structure itself, the regime
retains considerable manpower. That support base is being
radicalised even as it narrows. It is being reorganised around
a hard-core composed of ruling family members and loyalists
whose determination to fight has only heightened as
their involvement in months of gruesome repression has
grown, diminishing chances of a palace coup. The most
extreme elements among the regime’s civilian proxies ‒
disparagingly referred to as shabbiha – reportedly have
been creating their own battalions, whose fanaticism instils
fear in less committed troops.1
More generally, many regime supporters are terrified about
their future and thus liable to resist till the bitter end. A
majority of Alawite officials, security officers and ordinary
citizens, along with segments of the Christian community
and some secularists, have become convinced that
their fate is either to kill or be killed.
Alawites at least are not entirely mistaken. Although the
regime has been infinitely more sectarian than the protest
movement, and although it clearly bears responsibility
for exacerbating and exploiting sectarian feelings, reality
gradually has been catching up with fiction. There is every
reason to fear that, regardless of how the situation unfolds,
Alawite villages whose residents have been most
actively involved in repressing demonstrators – such as
Rabi’a on the outskirts of Hama and Qabu in the hills overlooking
Homs – could well witness large-scale retribution.
Many other Alawite villages have sought to keep their
distance from the confrontation, either because they are
located far from confessional fault lines or because they
have retained a rural identity largely independent from
the regime. But even they will not be immune from strife,
1 The word shabbiha is a reference to an essentially unrelated
phenomenon, namely criminal gangs with ties to the ruling family
that terrorised people on the Syrian coast and drove around
in a kind of Mercedes dubbed shabah (ghost). They were rooted
out by the regime in the 1980s, but the expression stuck, in a
very liberal acceptation, to describe a wide array of behaviours
seen either as supportive of the regime or as an expression of its
Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria’s Dynamics
Crisis Group Middle East Briefing N°31, 24 November 2011 Page 4
for these are the home villages of the urbanised Alawites
who are being radicalised by events and feel almost entirely
beholden to Assad – virtually incapable of imagining
a future without him. Were the regime to lose control
of the capital, these diehard loyalists could well retreat to
their villages in order to defend the wives, children and
elderly whom they long ago dispatched to the countryside
for protection. Should they choose to make a last stand in
defence of their strongholds, any distinction between regime
stalwarts and ordinary Alawites could well be erased.
As witnessed in Libya, attempts to eradicate the last pockets
of loyalists could trigger civilian massacres.
Some entertain the hope that Assad will be killed and that
this would prompt the rapid collapse of what remains of
the power structure, paving the way for a smooth transition.
There is little chance of such a scenario and high probability
that his death would produce the opposite effect.
By now, given the extent to which Alawites have come to
equate their fate with his, they likely would see in it a harbinger
of their own.
The connection between what happens in Syria and Lebanon
seldom has been so stark and so perilous. Over the
past several months, the Lebanese political scene has been
eerily quiet even as it remained deeply polarised. Hizbollah,
the Shiite resistance movement, has offered the Assad
regime all-out political support. Al-Manar, its television
station, readily embraced the official narrative of a foreign-
sponsored, Sunni-Islamist insurgency; its secretary
general, Hassan Nasrallah, in effect labelled any Syrian
who expressed dissatisfaction with Assad’s meagre package
of reforms an Israel supporter and enemy. For Hizbollah,
the core issue remains the regional balance of power
and the struggle against Israel; for its Shiite rank-and-file,
sectarian anxiety looms large: should Sunnis dominate a
new Syrian regime, they fear being caught between it and
Lebanon’s own Sunni community.
Paradoxically, many Lebanese Sunnis share their Shiite
counterparts’ sectarian interpretation, viewing their coreligionists
eventual victory in Damascus as both historical
revenge and an opportunity to shift the local and regional
balance of power at Hizbollah’s expense. Still, despite occasional
pro- and anti-regime demonstrations, as well as
the periodic arrest or disappearance of Syrian dissident
activists, the country appeared suspended in time, pending
clarification of where the crisis next door was heading.
This has begun to change. The increasingly evident weakness
of the Syrian regime has altered domestic calculations.
Even as it struggled to find home-grown spokespersons
willing to defend it on Arabic satellite television channels,
the regime could count on an army of Lebanese volunteers
to fill the vacuum. Echoing Assad’s apocalyptic vow to
destabilise the entire region rather than step down, Hizbollah
and its Lebanese partners are now issuing the most
alarmist pronouncements on the Syrian president’s behalf.
Solidarity with an embattled ally is not their sole motivation.
They also are driven by the strongly-held conviction
that events in Syria are part and parcel of a broader international
conspiracy to deal a decisive blow against what
they consider the axis of resistance to Israeli and U.S. domination
of the Middle East.
They have grounds to be worried. International pressure
for the regime’s demise is not simply a matter of humanitarian
concern at mounting loss of life. In more than one
country ‒ notably the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia – toppling
Assad is seen as a critical step toward crippling
Hizbollah and isolating Iran. Escalating pressure on Tehran
– manifested by growing talk of a possible Israeli strike
against its nuclear facilities – coupled with intensifying
efforts to ensure Beirut continues to fund the Special Tribunal
for Lebanon (which has accused Hizbollah of involvement
in the assassination of former Lebanese prime
minister Rafiq Hariri), further fuels belief that popular
protests in Syria have morphed into an existential tug-ofwar
over the region’s fate.
Nor has Hizbollah helped its case. By offering blind support
to the Syrian regime while championing the largely
Shiite uprising in Bahrain, it has come across as deeply
sectarian and squandered much of the sympathy it once
enjoyed among Arab public opinion. And, by placing the
practical exigencies of resistance over its purported ethical
foundations, it has forfeited its moral standing.
This presents significant threats both to Syria and Lebanon.
It could push Hizbollah to step up its assistance to its
Syrian ally in concrete ways. Now that failure of the recent
Arab League initiative appears to have closed the door
on a negotiated solution, and now that Turkey has hinted
it could establish a buffer zone on Syrian soil and implicitly
recognised the legitimacy of armed struggle against
the regime, Hizbollah could conclude that the conflict’s
patently international character justifies its own direct involvement
on the ground. This would mark a sea change;
periodic accusations to the contrary notwithstanding, to
date no hard evidence has surfaced of the Shiite movement’s
military role in suppressing the uprising.
Likewise, should the situation reach the point where Assad’s
ouster appears imminent, Hizbollah potentially could
be drawn to launch attacks against Israel in an attempt to
radically alter the focus of attention. At this point, there is
little indication the movement will take this course, which
would present major risks for the Shiite movement. Its
motivations would be transparent, and it would subject
itself to massive Israeli retaliation at a time when it no
longer could safely bank on physical protection and miliUncharted
Waters: Thinking Through Syria’s Dynamics
Crisis Group Middle East Briefing N°31, 24 November 2011 Page 5
tary resupply from Syria. By the same token, Iran might
prefer to keep Hizbollah’s powder dry in anticipation of –
and in order to deter ‒ a possible Israeli strike. Still, the
more Hizbollah and Tehran perceive the Syrian crisis as
an existential struggle designed to deal them a decisive
blow, the greater the risk that they would choose to go for
broke. At a minimum, it is a prospect not to be entirely
Nor would Lebanon itself necessarily be unscathed. If and
when the Syrian regime collapses, anything Hizbollah
views as an effort to undermine its position could reignite
a bloody domestic conflict. For now, Lebanon’s emboldened
Sunnis have shown no appetite for military confrontation
with their nemesis. Rather than arming themselves,
they are investing their hopes in the Syrian protest movement
and opposition to whom they reportedly have been
extending logistical and material assistance. The Shiite
movement undoubtedly would be weakened by the loss of
its ally, but nonetheless would remain by far the most powerful
Lebanese actor, with strong popular support among
Shiites and Christians and an unmatched military arsenal.
For Hizbollah’s opponents to use this opportunity to press
their advantage would be to play with fire. All would likely
lose – the Lebanese people, of course, but also Syria’s own
transition, which inevitably would be disrupted by a violent
crisis at its border. In short, given the current balance
of power and the Sunnis’ realistic reluctance to turn to a
military option, the odds of this scenario remain low. But
circumstances and calculations could change. The Syrian
crisis might serve as a turning point, leading outside actors
to step up their efforts on behalf of their Lebanese Sunni
For protesters relentlessly subjected to harsh repression,
the shift toward greater international involvement almost
certainly comes as welcome news. Support within Syria for
such intervention has grown, a development all the more
remarkable given its people’s legendary suspicion of outside
meddling. It also is a development that speaks volumes
‒ not about the breadth of the purported foreign conspiracy,
as the regime and its allies would have it, but rather about
the depth of the people’s despair. Yet, a short-term remedy
for their suffering could spell long-term trouble and complicate
a political transition. Among Arab nations that have
experienced popular uprisings, Syria arguably is the most
vulnerable to disruptive foreign involvement, a reflection
of its long conflict with Israel; intense security ties to Iran
and Hizbollah; frail institutions; complex ethnic and confessional
makeup; and deep interconnection with Arab neighbours,
Turkey and the Gulf states, where many of its citizens
have found work and been exposed to militant forms
of Islamism that are unlikely to sit well with their nation’s
pluralistic society.
It is not difficult to imagine where all this could be headed
in the context of a transition. The U.S. and Israel likely
would seek to shape Syria’s foreign policy. Turkey would
strive to contain Kurdish autonomist aspirations and could
choose to promote the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi
Arabia might back Salafi-inspired currents. Iran, but also
Iraq, would want to thwart emergence of a Sunni-dominated
polity and could be tempted to play the Alawite card; Tehran
in particular might sponsor remnants of the former
security services. The more Syria is exposed to external
interference before the transition takes place, the more
likely that it will become an arena for foreign intrusion
after it has occurred. In short, the challenge is less to draw
in outside actors than to keep them at bay.
At this point, the trend toward internationalisation may
well be impossible to stop. The regime wasted months
during which the outside world essentially remained passive;
rather than acknowledge, let alone address its domestic
crisis, it chose instead to shift the focus to an imaginary
international conspiracy. Today, it faces both a deepening
internal crisis and escalating foreign intervention. But for
the international community to up the level of such intervention,
and in particular for it to resort to military means
of any kind, would provide the regime’s allies with the
necessary justification to step up their own involvement.
The outcome could well be a catastrophic escalation for
which none of the regime’s foes appears prepared and that
would both distract from the protest movement’s goals
and diminish its chances of success.
The security services and their proxies are subjected to
ever-increasing attacks, in particular targeting their means
of transportation. As a result, regime forces run the risk of
progressively losing their mobility as well as control over
portions of the country, thus forcing them to retreat. By
now, there no longer is a permanent loyalist military presence
in parts of Idlib, Hama and Homs governorates, a
situation that enables the armed opposition to further regroup
and organise. The governorates of Dayr Zor and
Deraa appear on the verge of following a similar path. As
defections mount and the army is under ever greater stress,
there is reason to doubt that the regime can muster sufficient
military resources to reverse the trend. Talk about
creating safe-havens on the Turkish and Jordanian borders
could soon be moot; in many ways, Syrians appear on their
way to doing that on their own.
But what is emerging in those areas free of regime control?
For now, both the Syrian opposition and much of the
mainstream international media paint a reassuring picture:
Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria’s Dynamics
Crisis Group Middle East Briefing N°31, 24 November 2011 Page 6
an army of devoted patriots backed by civilians in need of
self-defence gradually is asserting itself wherever regime
forces retreat. There is truth to the narrative. But there
also is a more disquieting underside, as evidence mounts of
spreading chaos, sectarian retribution and criminal activity,
notably in central Syria. In the ensuing vacuum, fundamentalist
fighters and proxies reporting directly to foreign
parties may join the fray. In self-serving fashion, the
regime long has claimed that such forms of violence were
the crux of the matter, when in reality they were at most a
sideshow. That does not mean one ought to dismiss the
possibility that they could assume a more central role as
the conflict pivots from one pitting a ruthless police state
against a predominantly peaceful movement to a far more
fragmented confrontation in which all sides wield arms.
The Free Syrian Army itself is more a wild card than a
known entity. Does it serve as an umbrella for essentially
self-directed armed groups that could morph into disorderly
militias? Or is it integrating defectors into a hierarchical,
disciplined structure? In the latter case, will its
leadership agree to political oversight, for instance by the
National Council, or will it endeavour to steer its own
course and act autonomously in the aftermath of the regime’s
fall? Will it stand for national unity or fall prey to
sectarian polarisation? Can it refrain from mimicking the
murderous behaviour of the regime against which it is
fighting but from which it springs? The Free Army’s posting
of forced confessions by captured security officers –
who, in at least one instance, showed obvious signs of torture
– stands as a first, cautionary tale.
The regime endlessly claims to represent and defend the
“state”, defined as the embodiment of national unity, guarantor
of law and order and ultimate source of legitimacy.
In reality, it has done nothing of the sort. Instead, it has
manipulated social fault lines and used divisive tactics to
frighten Syrians into accepting its rule as a lesser evil. It
has endangered the Alawite community for the sake of
holding on to its power; sought to play minorities off
against the Sunni Arab majority; unleashed its security
forces against unarmed protesters and covered up for their
sectarian behaviour; and hired criminals to do its dirty
work, while turning a blind eye to the criminalisation of
its own regular forces – elements of which have resorted
to theft, kidnapping and weapons smuggling. High-level
corruption, malfeasance and incompetence occur with
impunity whenever the ruling family’s interests are involved.
All in all, the regime has encouraged ‒ if not rewarded
‒ the most destructive forms of social behaviour.
The impact of this deliberate corrosion of state and social
institutions – which were weak to begin with ‒ could prove
devastating. By now deeply entrenched, mutual mistrust
and resentment have come to define relations between members
of opposing camps. In schools and universities, tensions
frequently reach boiling point, provoking clashes,
at times encouraged by the regime itself. Communal instincts
and, in certain instances, genuine threats, are inducing
citizens to resettle in like-minded areas, producing
a worrying pattern of sectarian segregation. In a country
long known for its safety, some areas are witnessing rampant
criminality. The regime’s extensive use of civilian
proxies almost certainly will further fuel this development.
A major economic crisis also is looming, with ruinous
consequences for the future. The regime almost certainly
will empty state coffers in order to hold on to power as
long as possible. Meanwhile, international sanctions are
bringing business to a virtual standstill, generating growing
unemployment. As the price of imports rises and local
production is disrupted, Syrians find it harder to obtain
commodities, including medicine and milk powder. As
businessmen and citizens scramble to protect their assets,
banks are being weakened. Sanctions, however narrowly
focused, inexorably contribute to a vast economic downturn.
Even assuming a quick resolution of the political
crisis, a socio-economic one almost certainly will take centre
The Syrian National Council’s draft political program appears
premised on the notion that, when the regime ultimately
falls, the opposition will inherit a functioning state
capable of holding the country together while a democratic
political process unfolds. That view is far too rosy. Syrians
might well display remarkable patience and restraint
during the trying transitional period, but the challenges
they will face likely will be far more daunting than those
encountered by Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans before
them. Wishful thinking is a poor substitute for forward
That the current crisis and future transition present enormous
risks is not a reason to defend a regime that offers
no solution and whose sole strategy appears to be to create
greater hazards still. Optimally, this would be the time
for third-party mediation leading to a negotiated transition.
Yet, there is little sign of that either. The recent Arab
League initiative rightly insisted that the regime end its
attacks against peaceful protesters. But popular demonstrations
are precisely what the regime fears most, making
such an undertaking virtually unthinkable. The League has
demanded – and the regime in principle accepted – the
dispatch of foreign observers. But the authorities have far
more to hide than to put on display; they will acquiesce
only to the extent outsiders corroborate the existence of
armed groups and only insofar as they are prevented from
Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria’s Dynamics
Crisis Group Middle East Briefing N°31, 24 November 2011 Page 7
documenting security forces’ crimes. The regime also has
pledged to hold municipal elections and reform the constitution,
but neither step comes close to matching the depth
of the crisis.
Even rhetorically, the regime is not suggesting willingness
to compromise. Al-Dunia, its semi-official television
station, is more belligerent than ever. In his latest interview,
Assad flatly denied that civilians had been shot by
the security services; by his count, the sum total of 619
victims comprised protesters accidentally killed in crossfire
with armed gangs; individuals targeted by sectarian
attacks; and loyalists. Meanwhile, conservative estimates
put the number of fatalities at 3,500 (excluding members
of the security services and army), most as a result of regime
The choice offered by the regime appears clear-cut: preservation
of Assad’s rule or collective destruction. In this nihilistic
view, citizens are admonished to rally around the
old socio-political pact, while the international community
is expected to retreat out of fear of the chaos that might
otherwise ensue. As its supporters abroad – and notably
Hizbollah – see it, the regional struggle must trump all else;
protesters are either witting or unwitting foreign agents
who have brought the current devastation upon themselves.
Such narratives almost by definition rule out the possibility
of a workable compromise.
Under the circumstances, the international community
should neither surrender to the regime’s cynical blackmail
nor respond to Damascus’s brinksmanship with injudiciousness
or imprudence of its own. Rather than head
straight toward direct confrontation, it ought to carefully
weigh its options.
Negotiations. However unlikely they are to succeed, mediation
efforts ought to be encouraged in principle, and
none should be automatically dismissed. The focus should
remain for now on the Arab League initiative, the most
promising proposal currently on the table. For international
actors or the opposition to rule out dialogue or negotiations
with the regime would be to validate its argument
that nothing short of its immediate fall will be deemed
satisfactory. At the same time, Damascus should not be
given an opportunity to gain time, nor should it be offered
concessions in the absence of tangible signs that it is acting
in good faith. Should the regime present a genuine,
detailed proposal backed by immediate, concrete steps on
the ground – again, an implausible scenario – mediated
talks with the opposition should swiftly begin.
Military action. Threat of military action in any form ‒
including imposition of a “no-fly-zone” or establishment of
foreign-backed buffer zones in Syrian territory ‒ is naive,
counterproductive and irresponsible. It would not deter a
regime that, more than ever, appears indifferent to pressure;
it would provide cover for its allies to intensify their
own support; and it would not meaningfully alter the situation
on the ground insofar as defectors already enjoy greater
freedom of manoeuvre in central and northern Syria.
Economic sanctions. There is little doubt that the sanctions
are having a significant economic impact, but it remains
unclear whether they are having a political one – and
whether whatever political benefits might accrue outweigh
the inevitable socio-economic costs. For now, no further
sanctions should be considered without first assessing
both the immediate implications of those already in place
and the longer-term burden they would impose on Syria’s
economic and social recovery. At the same time, Syria’s
opposition and the international community should begin
planning on how to rebuild the economy in the context of
a transition.
Regional implications. The international community ought
to realise the dangers of overreach – and in particular the
dangers posed by cornering Hizbollah and heightening
pressure on Iran (notably by raising the spectre of a military
attack against its nuclear facilities) at a time when
both fear the loss of a critical ally. The greatest risk arguably
lies in Lebanon, where an effort ought to be made by
all sides to defuse confessional tensions and regional actors
should avoid meddling. Diplomacy in Lebanon traditionally
kicks in only after simmering hostilities break into
the open. Such a reactive approach would be too costly
now given the stakes; instead, an urgent effort is needed
to reassure rival parties and thus seek to insulate Lebanon
from its neighbour’s conflict to the extent possible.
UN resolution. There is every indication that the regime
remains sensitive to its growing isolation. Its acceptance
(however perfunctory) of the Arab League initiative came
about only as a result of Russian and Chinese pressure and
fear it would lose their support. But its back-peddling on
the Arab League initiative just days later may have helped
erode Russian and Chinese support: both abstained on the
UN General Assembly Resolution. That resolution, which
condemned the violence, obtained wide support, garnering
122 votes in favour, thirteen against and 41 abstentions;
notably, six Arab countries co-sponsored the resolution,
and none voted against it. Passage of a Security Council
resolution demanding a cessation of violence and the immediate
deployment of monitors on the ground would be
an important next step, albeit a difficult one.
Accountability. The international community ought to lay
down clear markers to the regime but also to its opponents
(notably if and when they come to power) that all who engage
in human rights violations, and notably war crimes and
crimes against humanity will be held accountable, including,
if necessary, before the International Criminal Court.
Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria’s Dynamics
Crisis Group Middle East Briefing N°31, 24 November 2011 Page 8
Protection. Ironically, and however difficult it may be to
admit, the Alawite community ultimately might need the
kind of protection the protest movement long has strived
to obtain for itself. As seen, risks of massacres in the early
stages of a transition are very real; should they occur,
chances of success could be fatally imperilled. It is not
too soon for the opposition to address these fears head on;
it might consider possible mechanisms – for example coordinating
the swift dispatch, once the regime falls, of observers
from local and perhaps international human rights
organisations – to minimise this risk.
Fate of regime officials. Assuming the regime is overthrown,
every effort should be made by the Syrian opposition
and international community to treat its leadership
with the fairness it denied its own people – they should
be detained, protected and tried. A repeat of Gaddafi’s macabre
killing would only further inflame sectarian passions
in a country where they represent the greatest threat to any
potential transition.
Damascus/Brussels, 24 November 2011
Uncharted Waters: Thinking Through Syria’s Dynamics
Crisis Group Middle East Briefing N°31, 24 November 2011 Page 9

November 24th, 2011, 12:23 pm


agatha said:

Another analyse in german. Muriel Asseburg is a consultant of the german gouvernement:

November 24th, 2011, 12:24 pm


Mango said:

Bouclier antimissile: Moscou menace de déployer des missiles à Kaliningrad

MOSCOU – Le président russe Dmitri Medvedev a menacé mercredi de déployer des missiles Iskander dans l’enclave de Kaliningrad aux portes de l’UE, si les Etats-Unis poursuivaient sans concession le déploiement de leur bouclier antimissile en Europe.

Si les autres mesures ne sont pas suffisantes, la Fédération de Russie déploiera à l’ouest et au sud du pays des systèmes offensifs modernes, qui garantiront la destruction des installations européennes de la défense antimissile des Etats-Unis, a déclaré M. Medvedev dans une allocution télévisée.

Une de ces mesures sera le déploiement d’une batterie de missiles Iskander dans la région de Kaliningrad, a déclaré M. Medvedev.

Il a ajouté que des ordres seraient donnés aux forces armées le cas échéant pour mettre sur pieds des mesures assurant si nécessaire la destruction des moyens de détection et de contrôle de la défense antimissile de l’Otan.

Les missiles Iskander sont des missiles balistiques de courte portée, dont le champ d’action de 280 kilomètres pourrait atteindre 500 kilomètres pour certaines versions.

La Russie a déjà menacé à plusieurs reprises par le passé de déployer ces engins dans l’enclave de Kaliningrad, frontalière de la Pologne, l’ancienne Prusse orientale annexée par l’URSS à l’issue de la seconde guerre mondiale.

Moscou exige d’être associé au système antimissile de l’Otan en cours de déploiement en Europe, ou à défaut de recevoir des garanties que celui-ci ne vise pas sa capacité de dissuasion, y compris en ayant accès aux installations de l’alliance pour le vérifier.

M. Medvedev a répété mercredi la proposition de diviser le continent européen en plusieurs zones de responsabilité militaire, une option déjà refusée par l’Otan en 2010.

L’Otan est en train de mettre en place un système antimissile en Europe, pour se protéger, dit-elle, contre des menaces en provenance de pays comme l’Iran.

La Roumanie, la Turquie, la Pologne et plus récemment l’Espagne ont officialisé leur participation à ce système.

(©AFP / 23 novembre 2011 13h59)

November 24th, 2011, 12:39 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Uzair8#113

Russia is not anymore supporting the Assad

November 24th, 2011, 1:13 pm


Akbar Palace said:

N.Z. said:

You said “At the end they will have to give the Palestinians their rights.”

Just yesterday Netanyahu said: “his complete contempt for the Arab people’s ability to sustain democratic regimes, and his nostalgia for Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt. He said he feared the collapse of Jordan’s Hashemite monarchy and also reiterated his absolute refusal to make any concessions to the Palestinians.”

The Zionists leaders are as enlightened as the Arab despots.


Can you provide a link to the Netanyahu quote you wrote above?

Also, if you are concerned about the rights of Palestinians, you should discuss this with Hamas and the PA. Very few Palestinians are occupied by Israel, and Arab-Israelis already have rights.

Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans here (like me)!

November 24th, 2011, 1:17 pm


Norman said:

S O D, Syrian Exp,

The problem is not limited to Syria and the Baath party rule as you say,as that despair is seen in states that do not have the Baath party, Jordon, Egypt Saudi Arabia , north Africa and the Gulf states, even more open Lebanon, all these states without any sanctions that makes it difficult, I do not think that the Baath party is the reason, it is probably our culture and the poor economic system that we have in addition to the corruption that is not limited to Syria, Syria in the last 10 years tried to liberalize the economy and to make it as free as the West in the hope of expanding the middle class, that backfired for the lack of taxation and redistribution of wealth and because the well to do Syrians did not spend or contribute enough in Syria to lift the poor.

November 24th, 2011, 1:18 pm


ann said:

Fallout from Egyptian Revolution II: Tourism Cancellations – 11/24/2011

Egyptian Revolution II is just a week old, but already the tourist industry is taking its first hit. Coud Israel be affected?

Egyptian Revolution II is just a week old, but already the country’s slowly returning tourism industry is taking its first major hit — this time around — from the violence.
Travel agencies in four major markets have cancelled bookings on flights to Egypt, Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour told Tuesday’s Arabic edition of Egypt’s daily newspaper, the Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The article was translated by the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) media watchdog organization.
Nour said he had received official reports describing international reactions to the violence taking place in Cairo’s Tahrir Square from Sami Mahmoud, head of the international tourism section at the Tourism Ministry.

Tour operators in Russia, Japan, Italy and Britain have cancelled their reservations for flights to Egypt as a result of the Tahrir Square riots.
Moreover, a number of countries have warned their citizens against traveling to Cairo, Ismaila and Suez, Mahmoud added, among them Britain and the United States. The reports expressed fears over footage depicting violent and bloody scenes from the clashes between protesters and police.

The tourism crisis in Egypt also affects Israel, noted Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov recently. There is a great deal of cross-border tourist traffic, and any drop in tourism in Egypt can affect tourism in Israel as well, albeit not nearly as much.

Mahmoud blamed media coverage for the negative impact on people’s travel plans. He called for the government to implement a political, rather than a security-based solution to the current crisis.

November 24th, 2011, 1:24 pm


Uzair8 said:

Dear Haytham @119

Im afraid I dont understand Arabic. Im assuming you have inside info from SNC about Russia’s change in position?

EDIT: Using Google translate. Thanks.

November 24th, 2011, 1:28 pm


ann said:



BRICS countries against external interference into Syria’s affairs

Nov 24, 2011

BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) have demanded to rule out external interference into Syria’s affairs.

The communiqué adopted in Moscow on Thursday on the results of the meeting of BRICS’ Deputy Foreign Ministers, states that immediate talks involving all parties are only variant to resolve crisis in Syria.

The deputy ministers have also stressed that additional and unilateral sanctions against Iran would be counterproductive and would lead only to aggravation of the situation.

The diplomats have also spoken for the settlement of the Iranian nuclear problem only by political and diplomatic means.

November 24th, 2011, 1:34 pm


irritated said:

116. newfolder

Senior advisor to the International crisis group :
Turki bin Faisal Al Saud

November 24th, 2011, 2:35 pm


zoo said:

Juppe: The ‘humanitarian corridors’ would be protected by international armed observers and need to be approved by Syria.

“Juppe insisted the plan fell short of a military intervention, but acknowledged that humanitarian convoys would need armed protection.

“There are two possible ways: That the international community, Arab League and the United Nations can get the regime to allow these humanitarian corridors,” he told French radio on Thursday. “But if that isn’t the case we’d have to look at other solutions … with international observers.”

Asked if humanitarian convoys would need military protection, he said: “Of course… by international observers, but there is no question of military intervention in Syria.”

November 24th, 2011, 2:43 pm


Tara said:


See what Zoo linked. It appears you were right. I think the world is confused about what to do with Syria. Juppe is not making sense.

November 24th, 2011, 2:56 pm


Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Uzair8 # 123.

We have such information. Putin visit to France last week (last Friday) was turning point in the Russian viewpoint. That was helped by condemnation of the Arabic league to the Syrian regime and by the visit of the SNC to Moscow.

Also, we have Orthodox Christians in Syria (I am one of them); we do not want to make that link that you were doing in your post#113 (I know that you did not mean any harm by it). In certain way, your post#114 may suggest that there is alliance between the Assad regime and the Orthodox Christians. I hope you can see my point here too.

November 24th, 2011, 3:00 pm


zoo said:

BRICS could be the contact group to help Syria out of the stalemate

Averting Syria’s Coming Civil War
By Patrick Seale

Syria needs the intervention of a high-powered, neutral, contact group to stop the killing on both sides. There must be a pause in which tempers are cooled, demonstrations and counter-demonstrations are halted, and a climate created in which a real dialogue can take place and real reforms agreed and implemented. The aim must be a peaceful transition to a different sort of regime, with effective guarantees for all sides.

The Arab states and the Western powers are ill-suited for this task. The latter aren’t trusted. Too many of them have taken sides. The United States, in particular, has been discredited by its blind support in the region for Israel. Rather than bringing peace, Washington’s spectacular failure to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, or indeed its own decades-long conflict with Iran, has prepared the ground for future conflicts.

Who then could form the necessary contact group? My choice would be the BRICs: Brazil, Russia, India and China – countries with real economic and political clout and a strong interest in the region. Brazil, for example, has close historical ties with Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Millions of Brazilians have grand-parents who emigrated from these countries.

As the death toll rises, the thirst for revenge becomes sharper and the sectarian divide deeper. Civil war looms and, with it, the urgent need for measures to avert it.

November 24th, 2011, 3:00 pm


Uzair8 said:

Dear Haytham @128

Yes of course. I didn’t mean any harm.

Romans are mentioned in some prophecies and many of us assumed this meant the US/West. Sheikh Imran Hosein identifies Russia as the ‘Romans’. Im not sure about this.

Anyway, the Eastern Orthadox Church is only mentioned (and relevant in the context) for identification purposes. There is no suggestion that the EOC will have anything to do with anything Russia does or doesnt.

Here is a 4 min video if you’re interested:

November 24th, 2011, 3:25 pm


N.Z. said:

To Assad Die-Hard followers,

Yesterday Netanyahu spewed his venom and blasted Israeli and world politicians who support the Arab Spring revolutions and accused the Arab world of “moving not forward, but backward.”

Any feedback?

p.s. his despicable, racist comment are neither news nor a surprise,
makhlouf warned at the beginning of the popular Syrian uprising, “almakshouf”

November 24th, 2011, 3:32 pm


Tara said:

I think Syria will sign tomorrow and will allow Arab observers to enter.  It is clear that if the regime doesn’t, economic sanctions will be applied by most not all Arab countries and the case will be referred to the UN.  I don’t think the regime will stop the killing.  It is probably will go on unabated.  I hope Syrians will go out in massive demonstrations everywhere feeling protected by the observers.  How long is the observers mission?  I would like them to start their mission on a Thursday night to witness the demonstration on Friday

Updated November 25, 2011

CAIRO (AFP) – The Arab League on Thursday served a new ultimatum on Damascus, giving it less than 24 hours to allow monitors into the country or face sanctions, while for the first time calling on the United Nations to help resolve the crisis.

The ultimatum, issued at the end of a crisis meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, came amid an explosion of violence in Syria in which 32 people died, including 11 security force members and seven military pilots.

Long resistant to drawing the international community into the Syria crisis, the Arab top diplomats agreed to ask UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon “to take all measures to support the efforts of the Arab League to resolve the critical situation in Syria.”

The Arab body’s chief, Nabil al-Arabi, said the 22-member bloc has invited Syria to sign an agreement in Cairo on Friday at 1:00pm (1100 GMT) that would allow observers into the country to monitor the situation on the ground.

Finance ministers will meet on Saturday to vote on sanctions should Syria fail to sign.

Sanctions, it said, would include suspending flights to Syria as well as freezing financial transactions with its central bank and commercial deals with the government except for basic goods.

The sanctions could also include freezing the financial assets of the Damascus government.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansur said earlier that Beirut would not endorse any potential Arab League sanctions against Syria.

Arab sanctions could sound the death knell for the country’s economy which depends on its Arab neighbours for half or its exports and a quarter of its imports.

“If that is to happen, it will be very unfortunate because the damage will be to all sides,” Economy Minister Mohammed Nidal al-Shaar told AFP in an exclusive interview.

“We don’t expect all Arab countries to yield or participate in sanctions,” he added. “In fact, we are almost certain that some Arab countries will not participate,” he said.

On the ground, the violence claimed another 32 on Thursday, even as the Free Syrian Army called for foreign air strikes on in Syria to speed up the ouster of the regime.

November 24th, 2011, 3:41 pm


Bronco said:

Tara #132

Yes, a total confusion and lots of rhetorics and no deeds.
We were all waiting for the AL to deliver a bull ( sanctions, recognition of the SNC, meetings with the opposition on the transition etc..) and it was only an egg: a new deadline for Syria to accept observers otherwise…
How long the 500 observers will stay in Syria? what are observers going to see? It seems they will see the FSA attacking the regular army, sectarian killings in Homs and peaceful demonstrations like the ones in Damascus or kafr souseh as well as pro-regime rallies like the women in Bab Tuma today.
Of course they will hear millions of stories of horrors, killings abuses but I guess their purpose is the evaluate if there is any need now for Juppe’s corridors or the SNC’s Buffer zone or the LCC’s No-Fly zone or ‘protection’ as it would now also mean protection of the regular army soldiers from terrorists attacks.

It looks like someone’s prediction of a 24h collapse for the government was largely optimistic.

November 24th, 2011, 3:55 pm


Tara said:


You forgot the observers are there to ensure that the regime releases all political prisoners? Those arrested will just return back to the street and demonstrate. Can the regime allow massive demonstrations in cities like Damascus and Aleppo? How is Bashar going to disperse it while the observers observing?

If I was one of the organizer of the demonstrations, I’d be calling on all youth to descend from all over the country on Umayad square and make it a Tahrir square while the observers are observing to ensure that the regime is not arresting, killing or imposing restriction on people movement. I am hoping that the organizers are brainstorming their strategy for this potential new phase in their struggle.

Am I worried? I pretty much am. They need different tactics now and I hope they are planning the new phase. I also hope that Ghalioun will address the people again after the regime signs tomorrow and actively help leading the new phase by suggesting these non-violent measures.

November 24th, 2011, 4:18 pm


Norman said:

The West is trying what they did in Libya, but different name, they called for a resolution to protect civilians in Libya but moved to full militery assault, The Russians said no more like Libya, so they are going to do the same thing with a different name, Corridors, I just hope Syria is smart enough to fight tooth an nail against that,

The goal as i see in the west is not reform but the a civil war in Syria and they are preparing for might come out of that with refugees that will be expected, as the West has not even once called for a talk between the Syrian government and the opposition under the supervision of the AL or the BRIC or even the UN, They do not reform they want to break Syria from Iran so they can attack Iran, as long as Syria is whole there will be no attack on Iran, they tried to destroy Hezbollah as a first step but that failed, now is the turn for Syria as the Fall of Syria will paralyze Hezbollah with lack of supplies from attacking Israel, The Sunni Shea war is underway for the benefit of Israel, Iraq might hold the cards for saving Syria and that is if it support Syria fully and for that the Allawi Block in Iraq is going to be the major loser, as i see no chance of Syria supporting him and his Sunni affiliate in Iraq after what is going in Syria,
Things are really complicated.

November 24th, 2011, 4:21 pm


Akbar Palace said:

N. Z.,

Why do you consider stating the Arab world is moving “backward”, “venom”? I think Netanyahu should wait a little longer to see how things pan out, but there are serious concerns that these revolutions may bear Islamic states.

November 24th, 2011, 4:22 pm


Norman said:

The issue as i see is not if the Arab spring will bring in Islamic states, the question should be, will these Islamic state improve the lives of the people of these states and will they protect minority rights and consider them as much citizens as the Muslim ones, we still do not know and that is what scaring everybody, the Syrian revolution might become more successful if the Egyptian revolution will transfere Egypt to a secular state, the Syrians are not seeing that, so far, Tunisia and Libya do not count as they do not have religous minorities,

November 24th, 2011, 4:38 pm


Akbar Palace said:


I agree.

November 24th, 2011, 5:21 pm


Tara said:

Never in my entire life, an Arab government was held accountable for its wrongdoing.  For the first time ever, someone in charge offers an apology.  Had the blue eyed so-called doctor offered an apology instead of evil retarded giggles during his first un-historic speech, we may not have gotten to where we are now.  This is an Arab spring alright, at least in my eyes.

Egyptian protesters get army’s Facebook apology

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Egypt’s military rulers apologized yesterday on Facebook for the deaths of dozens of protesters, while the cabinet announced a truce on that same platform widely used by protesters to organize the uprisings

Protesters carry a flag with the slogan ‘leave, Egypt is bigger than all of you’ during continued demonstrations in Cairo. AFP photo
Egypt’s military rulers apologized yesterday on Facebook for the deaths of demonstrators at the hands of police as a truce brought calm back to the surroundings of Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the scene of days of deadly clashes.

“An agreement has been reached between security forces and protesters to halt confrontations between the two sides,” the cabinet said in a statement on Facebook. At least 38 protesters have been killed since clashes erupted on Nov. 19 and more than 2,000 injured, prompting expressions of concern from Western governments and a U.N. call for an independent inquiry into the “excessive use of force.”

“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces presents its regrets and deep apologies for the deaths of martyrs from among Egypt’s loyal sons during the recent events in Tahrir Square,” the cabinet said on the social media outlet. Since Nov. 18, Egyptians have converged on the square to demand the end of military rule and the ouster of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak’s long time defense minister now in charge of the country.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called the images coming from Egypt “deeply shocking,” and urged the authorities to end their “clearly excessive use of force” against protesters. British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed deep concern at the “unacceptable violence and loss of life” in and around Tahrir.

Leaving power would be betrayal

Egypt’s military rulers yesterday said parliamentary elections starting next week will he held on schedule, despite spreading unrest. The military also rejected protesters’ demands to immediately step down, saying that doing so would amount to a “betrayal” of the people’s trust and arguing the military took over from ousted president Hosni Mubarak by popular demand.

“Let me just say this: There will be no postponement of the election,” said Maj. Gen. Mamdouh Shaheen, one of two members of the ruling military council who spoke during a televised news conference. “The elections will be held on time with all of its three stages held on schedule.”

Members of Egypt’s ruling military council also yesterday rejected calls to step down immediately, saying it would amount to a “betrayal.” “The people have entrusted us with a mission, and if we abandon it now, it would be a betrayal of the people,” said Gen. Mukthar al-Mulla, a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. “Our goal is not to leave power or to remain in power, but it is to implement our commitment to the people,” Mulla told reporters.

Meanwhile, Egyptian expatriates have begun voting in Egypt’s parliamentary election. An electoral official said voting at embassies abroad had started Nov. 23 and would continue until Nov. 27.

November 24th, 2011, 5:23 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


The link to Bibi’s statement
I don’t know what was his motivation with this, nor the purpose. He sure realizes that what he says, will be quoted across EU US and Arabia.

In any way, Bibi and Observer are in agreement.
“…The Arab revolts’ greatest losers are by far
1. Israel (…) At the end they will have to give the Palestinians their rights”.

PS the “Haifa East” station is no more in use for passengers. Now the lovely building is serving the Israeli railways administration. And right, you see this building when the train leaves Haifa on it’s way to Naharia.

November 24th, 2011, 5:24 pm


jad said:

Killing 11 Syrian air-force officers, by attacking their bus, they have nothing to do with the protesters and the makeup dude is celebrating his terrorist friends achievement:

HNN| شـبكة أخـبار حمص
اليوم 10 شهداء من الجيش ضـــباط طــيارون … طـيارون … يعملون بمطار عسكري
هل تحول الخبر لمجرد خبر ؟؟ … لو استشهدوا بمثل هذا الوقت من السنة الماضية
فهل سيكون خبر استشهادهم كما الآن ؟ … فلتسقط الجامعة العربية و ليسقط كل العربان الغربان … و ليحيا دم الشهداء … لا تهمني السعودية و مظاهراتها ولا العرب كلهم … و يا من تقرأ الكلمات و في قلبك حقد و كره و ظلمة … وعد منا …قادمــون

على إحدى المفارق و بينما كان المبيت يمر , في لحظات صغيرة كان الكمين الارهابي الاجرامي يطبق على نسور الوطن …
العملية استمرت لدقائق معدودة جداً … فكل شيء كان معروف للإرهابيين التوقيت الموقع الوضع ( المستهدفين ) !!!! …
5 دقائق تفصل الزمن عن الحافلة الأخرى التالية التي توقفت لترى بحر من دماء الأطهار الأشراف نسور الوطن تغطي المكان ….
لن نخبركم عن لون الدماء , فدم شهدائنا لها لونٌ واحد , و لن أخبركم عن الأوغاد فلحقدهم و غدرهم لونٌ واحد … لم يبقى إلا الأعمى لايشاهد الألوان .
هرب الارهابيون و هم يعرفون طريق هروبهم جيداً ….
النسور حلقت في السماء من دون عودة … رحم الله الشهداء …
أسماء الشهداء الذين قضوا في هذه العملية الإرهابية المجرمة وهم
الشهيد العقيد أحمد عطوف
الشهيد العقيد احمد عصفور
الشهيد العقيد محمد عصفور
الشهيد العقيد خالد هرشوش
الشهيد العقيد محمد الأحمد
الشهيد العقيد منهل الصالح
الشهيد الرائد علي محمد
الشهيد الرائد الطيار نزار أسبر
الشهيد النقيب عطاف درويش
الشهيد الملازم أول الطيار وليم ياسين الصالح
الشهيد المساعد أول من آل كنيار
الشهيد خالد عسكر

November 24th, 2011, 5:33 pm


Uzair8 said:

SANA is claiming:

Media Delegation from British Channel 4…Life in Daraa Normal
Nov 24, 2011

Im sure SANA have got the name wrong. It’s Jonathan Miller instead of Johnson Miller.

Anyway here is a Channel 4 report:

November 24th, 2011, 5:44 pm


Norman said:


Ghulion never apologized for the deaths in the army, do you blame him for being insensitive, I do not think so, killing army members seems to be permitted by the revolutionaries,

By the way if the observers come to Syria and government in Syria does not give permission for demonstration it will have the right to suppress the demonstrators as it is done everywhere in the world.

November 24th, 2011, 5:57 pm


Ya Mara Ghalba said:

Iyad Khuder is a computer programmer and a Real Syrian who lives in Syria. Here’s some of his perspective, dated 3 Nov 2011, copied from

We are used to embargos. It is a life-long obstacle that we work around. When I tried to install last year a trivial software, google chrome browser, on my computer, a window opened to tell me: “Sorry, you are in an embargoed country.” A Syrian team of programmers lost a prize of “Best Project” in a competition in Beirut some years ago because “Their license of Oracle is illegal since they are Syrian”. I remember that in the 1980s medicaments were on the embargo-list. This was a real problem, but the Syrians solved it. The Syrian president said once — these are not his exact words, but this is about what he said: “If we were to fear sanctions and isolation, we wouldn’t suffer all the last years, we would obey foreign dictates a long time ago. But it’s a question of principles. We don’t want to be just another emirate. We are Syria. We are a civilization.”

There’s a consensus in Syria about the need for reformation. President Al-Assad showed ultimate approval for all demands of democratic transformation. He said in his speech in the Parliament on 30 March 2011: “We cannot say that all those who demonstrated are conspirators. This is not true, and we want to be clear and realistic.” President agreed on all democratic demands such as: The state of multi political parties, the freedom of media, rewriting the constitution of Syria, reform the judiciary and fighting corruption. An ironic matter is that Syria is progressing toward reforms and building the democratic state in a pace that is faster than the would-be “post-revolution governments” in Tunis, Egypt, and the new comer, Libya. We already have in Syria a modern law of political parties, another of media, whereas Egypt, Tunis and Libya are still in the swamp of chaos. We have annulled the state of emergency, while the others are applying it.

November 24th, 2011, 6:11 pm


Tara said:


Self defense is a human right and moral obligation therefore you are comparing apple to orange.

November 24th, 2011, 6:16 pm


Tara said:

Also Norman

AL would not be happy with this rediculous justification of killing demonstrators because they did not have permission. They will declare the regime non- complian. It is an inevitable conclusion. It will help the regime buying more time though

November 24th, 2011, 6:25 pm


Norman said:

And the army has the right to defend itself, the people who are killed by the army are being used as human shield by the terrorists, The Syrian security forces are not killing the demonstrators they are arresting some and defending themselves,
they are collateral damages,

November 24th, 2011, 6:48 pm


Tara said:


No. You are wrong. What you are saying is the regime’s propaganda. The people killed by the army are civilians demonstrators and bystanders shot randomly to spread terror. They were not collateral damages. They were purposefully targeted. They were snipered in the head, eyes, and chest. They were killed viciously.

November 24th, 2011, 6:56 pm


jad said:

البارجة النووية الأمريكية “جورج بوش” تتوجه نحو سواحل سورية

(دي برس)
انتقلت البارجة الأمريكية الحديثة حاملة الطائرات النووية “جورج بوش” من الخليج العربي إلى الساحل السوري، وتتميز البارجة بقدرتها على إطلاق 70 طائرة و صاروخ بما فيها 48 طائرة مقاتلة، و يصاحب البارجة عدد من السفن والقوارب العسكرية، بما فيها سفينة مدمرة.

وكان مصدر ملاحي مسؤول بهيئة قناة السويس قد صرح في وقت سابق بأن حاملة الطائرات الأمريكية عبرت المجرى الملاحي لقناة السويس قادمة من البحر الأحمر في طريقها للبحر المتوسط عبر التفريعة الشرقية للقناة”، وأضاف المصدر حسبما ذكر وكالة أنباء الشرق الأوسط “أن عبور حاملة الطائرات النووية الأمريكية وقطعها الحربية المرافقة قد صاحبه حراسة مشددة من جانب القوات المسلحة وإدارة تأمين المجرى الملاحي لقناة السويس التابعة لمديرية أمن الإسماعيلية”.

وتباين الخبراء في آرائهم بهذا الشأن، فرأى بعضهم سوءاً مقبلاً لا محالة، في حين ينظر الآخرون إلى الأمر بهدوء أكثر.

يقول مكسيم مينايف الخبير في مركز الدراسات السياسية الروسي حسبما ذكر موقع إذاعة “صوت روسيا”: “يدور الحديث عن عملية عسكرية ضد سورية، وهذا السلوك يذكر بتجمع القوات العسكرية البحرية التابعة لحلف الناتو بالقرب من الساحل الليبي، الموضوع يتكرر بنفس الطريقة، فالولايات المتحدة تريد أن تحصل على أكبر المكاسب الممكنة من الثورات العربية، و لذلك يمكنها أن تتدخل عسكرية دون انتظار قرار من مجلس الأمن، لذلك نشهد الآن الخطوة الأولى من عملية توجه قوات الأسطول البحري التابع لدول حلف الناتو إلى الساحل السوري”.

أما المستشرق أليغ كُلَكوف الأستاذ في الجامعة العسكرية فغير ميال إلى هذا الإتجاه الدرامي في تفسير الأمر: “يحمل التوجه العسكري البحري الأمريكي إلى البحر الأبيض المتوسط طابعا تهديدياً ليس إلا، الزمن سيثبت أن أمريكا الآن تقعقع بأسلحتها تخويفاً، و هذا واضح تماماً، فهي لم تكف عن ذلك في وقت من الأوقات، نعم إنها تزيد من تواجدها العسكري في المنطقة و هذا عامل قوي من عوامل الترهيب السياسي، إضافة إلى ذلك سيدعم الضغط العسكري ضغط دبلوماسياً أيضاً، و لكن من المستبعد أن يصل الأمر إلى الهجوم العسكري”.

في نفس الوقت يجري التصعيد من ناحية أخرى، فقبل توجه البارجة “جورج بوش” إلى البحر الأبيض المتوسط بيوم واحد أشاعت قناة “العربية” السعودية من قبيل مقولة “الروس قادمون” خبر وصول ثلاث بوارج روسية إلى البحر المتوسط، و تستند على ذلك بقول مسؤول في سورية على حد تعبيرها.

طبعاً تناقلت هذا الخبر فوراً صحيفة “هارتس” الإسرائيلية، و مجموعة من وسائل الإعلام الأخرى في المنطقة، أما في وزارة الدفاع الروسية فقد أنكروه في حديث مع إذاعة “صوت روسيا”.

و لكن يشير الخبراء إلى وجود القاعدة العسكرية الروسية في مدينة طرطوس الساحلية السورية، و لذلك ليس غريباً أن تتواجد هناك سفن عسكرية تابعة للأسطول الروسي، وهذه القاعدة الروسية هي القاعدة الروسية الوحيدة التابعة لروسيا بعيداً عن حدودها بهدف تأمين التخديم التقني و غيره من متطلبات الأسطول، وكانت الإتفاقية الروسية السورية بهذا الشأن قد عقدت منذ 40 عاماً، وبقي اليوم في طرطوس 40 بحاراً من أسطول البحر الأسود الروسي يملكون حق التصرف بثلاثة مراسي، و بورشة تقنية، ومستودع للقطع البحرية اللازمة للسفن، و غيرها من المنشآت التخديمية.

و كانت البارجة الروسية حاملة الطائرات “الأميرال كُزنِتسوف” قد دخلت المياه السورية في العام الماضي في طريقها من خليج عدن بعد العودة من عملية مكافحة القراصنة الصوماليين، وارتاح طاقمها في مدينة طرطوس، حيث تخطط روسيا لتطوير القاعدة فيها كي تتمكن من استقبال البوارج الكبيرة منذ عام 2012.

November 24th, 2011, 6:58 pm


jad said:

حقن دماء السوريين… بقلم: ميشيل كيلو

كلما تحدث مواطن مع أنصار التدخل الخارجي، أجابوه: والمدنيون، من يحقن دماءهم ويحول دون موتهم اليومي بالعشرات، ودون الاعتداء على أطفالهم ونسائهم وشيوخهم، وإتلاف ممتلكاتهم وإحراق بيوتهم واعتقال وتعذيب بناتهم وأبنائهم حتى الموت في حالات كثيرة جدا؟

هذا السؤال المحق، يمليه على السوريين ما يمارسه النظام من بطش وقتل عبر ما يسمى الحل الأمني، الذي ليس حلا وليس أمنيا، وإنما صدر عن نظام يعتقد أنه شكل التنظيم الوحيد الممكن في سوريا والصالح لها، مع أنه دمرها، ولا هدف لقادته غير استعادة صورته الحالية بعد إخماد الحراك الشعبي والتمرد المجتمعي، الموجه ضده بالتحديد، ولا يجد ردا عليه غير استباحة حياة مواطنيه وقتلهم واعتقالهم بأرقام فلكية يصعب تصديقها، وانتهاج سياسة تقوم على أساس صار واضحا هو: تدمير حياتهم ومقومات وجودهم المادية كبيوتهم وأدوات ومحلات عملهم ووسائل نقلهم وأموالهم وممتلكاتهم وأراضيهم… إلخ. هذه السياسة، كان من الطبيعي أن تسبب آلاما مخيفة للشعب السوري، وأن يزج به في تناقضات داخلية تجعل من السهل على أي طرف تصفية من لا ينتمي إليه، مما وضع سوريا على حافة حرب أهلية بدأت تنزلق إليها أكثر فأكثر، وأخضعها لمعايير تفتقر افتقارا متعاظما إلى العقلانية والمقومات الوطنية، وشرع أبوابها على اتساعها أمام أي أجنبي يريد التدخل في شؤونها.
واليوم، وقد بلغ القتل المتبادل في مناطق مختلفة، وخاصة في محور حمص، ريف حماه، ريف إدلب، درجة تتخطى أي توقع أو تقدير وتشبه كثيرا ما نعرفه عن الاقتتال الأهلي الذي يسمونه الحرب الأهلية، دون أن يقوم أحد في المعارضة بالجهد المطلوب لوقفه، في ظل اندفاع السلطة المتعاظم نحو تسعير نيران الحرب الأهلية لاعتقادها أن هذا يحول دون التدخل الخارجي، يصير من غير المنطقي والمقبول إطلاقا أن يطرح أي شخص أو أي جهة السؤال حول حماية الشعب السوري بما هو مهمة يجب أن يتولاها أو ينفذها الخارج، وخاصة الأميركي والأوروبي والتركي منه، سواء من خلال مجلس الأمن أم من خارجه، ومن غير المقبول أيضا أن يتجاهل دور المعارضة عموما، و«المجلس الوطني» خصوصا في وقف هذا الجنوح المجنون نحو العنف والقتل على الهوية، الذي لا يتناقض مع أهداف الحراك الشعبي الأصلية: الحرية والمواطنة والدولة الديمقراطية، وحسب، وإنما يتجاهل دورها الأصلي بصدد منع القتل، الذي ربما كان بعضها يسكت عليه خوفا من تشويه صورة الثورة، كأن الجرائم الطائفية لا تشوهها، أو كأنها لا تجهز على الثورة، التي تضحي قطاعات واسعة من المجتمع بالغالي والرخيص في سبيل أهدافها النبيلة، أو كأن السلطة لم تخطط لها منذ بداية الحدث الشعبي السوري العظيم، لاعتقادها أنها ستقوض وحدة الشعب، وستضع في يدها وسيلة فاعلة تعينها على احتواء الثورة وإخمادها.
بدل إعطاء أولوية للعمل على وقف هذه الجرائم الطائفية المتبادلة، التي يعاني أهل حمص وحماه وإدلب من نتائجها الرهيبة، يركز بعض المعارضين أنظارهم على ما يسمونه «الحماية الدولية»، ويطالب بعضهم بتدخل «مجلس الأمن»، جهلا منهم بأصول السياسة عموما والدولية منها خصوصا، ولاعتقادهم أن رفع صوتهم بالمطالبة بتدخل دولي يمكن أن يعوض عن صمتهم الشائن على الاقتتال المتفاقم باطراد، الذي يمارسه في أحيان كثيرة أشخاص قريبون منهم أو تابعون لهم، وأن يظهرهم بمظهر المدافع عن حياة الشعب، ويعطيهم الفرصة للمزايدة على بقية معارضي سوريا ومواطنيها، ولإدانتهم باعتبارهم أشخاصا لا يكترثون لحياة مواطنيهم، ولا يريدون تدخل الهيئات الدولية لحمايتهم وحفظ حياتهم!
ليس القتل الأعمى الجوال والمتبادل في أكثر من مكان إلا نتيجة من نتائج الحل الأمني السلطوي، الذي ولد بضغوطه المتزايدة على الشعب الأعزل انزياحا جديا في طابع ومجريات الحراك الشعبي، جسده انفكاك التحالف بين المجتمعين الأهلي والمدني، الذي وجهت السلطة أنظارها نحوه منذ بداية الأحداث، عندما قامت بتسديد معظم ضرباتها إلى المجتمع المدني، قائد الحراك ومنظمه ومنتج قيمه وأهدافه، فاعتقلت وقتلت وطاردت عشرات آلاف الناشطين، بينما سعت إلى إجبار المجتمع الأهلي على حمل السلاح وتبني مواقف متطرفة، مذهبيا وطائفيا، لينحرف الحراك عن طابعه المدني/ الديمقراطي، وينقلب إلى اقتتال أهلي يشبه ما يجري منذ بعض الوقت في حمص وريف حماه وإدلب، مع ما وصل إليه من تصاعد مفزع بلغ اليوم (15/11/2011) حدا مرعبا عبر عن نفسه في عمليات خطف وقتل متبادل طالت حتى الساعة (الثانية عشرة ظهرا) قرابة مائتي مواطنة ومواطن!
إن وقف الجنوح نحو العنف يجب أن تكون له – من الآن فصاعدا – أولوية مطلقة في عمل تنظيمات المعارضة المختلفة، ما دام استمرار العنف سيقوض مطالب وعمل المجلس الوطني وغيره من أطراف المعارضة، وسيضع مصير سوريا في أيد لا يعرفها اليوم أحد، من شأن سيطرتها على الساحة قلب الأمور رأسا على عقب، وتغيير الواقع السياسي لغير صالح الشعب أو أي طرف من أطرافه أو مكون من مكوناته. هذه أولوية مطلقة يجب أن تنصب عليها جهود جميع السوريين الشرفاء إلى أي جهة انتموا، وإلا وجدنا أنفسنا بعد حين إما ألعوبة في يد الخارج، لا قيمة لها بذاتها، أو خارج حقل السياسة والشأن العام، وخارج أي فاعلية سياسية أو عملية، مع ما يعنيه ذلك في الحالتين من فشل للحراك الشعبي السلمي، الذي ندين له بكل شيء إيجابي وقع خلال الأشهر الثمانية الماضية، وترجع إليه أزمة النظام السياسية والعسكرية الحالية.
من غير المقبول والجائز استمرار تجاهل الواقع القائم باسم حماية دولية للمدنيين، الذين سيقتل الكثيرون منهم، إن استمرت وتيرة القتل المتصاعد الحالية، قبل اقتناع مجلس الأمن بالتدخل لحمايتهم، علما بأن المجلس ليس مؤسسة إنسانية أو جمعية خيرية، وبأن مصير المواطنين السوريين ليس أكبر همومه، كما قد يتوهم بعض سذج المعارضة ممن يتحدثون عن مجلس الأمن وكأنه أداة بيدهم يحركونها كيفما أرادوا، فهو لا ينتظر غير صدور أوامرهم إليه بالتدخل كي يتدخل للتو، مع أن حماية المدنيين لن تكون ممكنة فعليا، حتى في حال تدخل مجلس الأمن، إذا ما خرج الأمر من يد الجميع ودخلت سوريا في مرحلة القتل من أجل القتل: تحت إشراف النظام الحالي وبإدارته.
لا بد أن تتجه جهود السوريين نحو وقف العنف المجنون، طائفيا كان أم سياسيا، وإلا وجدنا أنفسنا بعد هنيهة أمام مدنيين يذبحون بعضهم بعضا، وسلطة تتحكم بقتالهم، وتسعد برؤيتهم وهم يقتلون بعضهم بعضا بصورة مجانية وعبثية، بينما نحن نكرر حديثا يصير فارغا أكثر فأكثر، عديم المعنى والجدوى، ومملا وسخيفا عن ضرورة حمايتهم.

November 24th, 2011, 7:08 pm


Norman said:


let me understand this, So you think that the security services will find out about a demonstration so they line up the tanks and shoot at the people and manage to kill few people in each place,

with the fire power that the government has it is hard to believe that, don’t you think?.

November 24th, 2011, 7:31 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Two interesting interviews.

First, from min 2:01 with Mr Tawil Fadikha, the Palestinian minister of Uncontrollable Rage, about why rage is good for your health and sex life.

Then from min 6:28 with professor Yusuf al Mahali from Oxford university, on who killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

November 24th, 2011, 7:45 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Palestinian researchers discovered that the Palestinians lived here long long before the Jews stole Palestine.

November 24th, 2011, 8:35 pm


Tara said:


“I hope this story enlightened you Tara about Samaria and break up all these boring post about Syria.”

Thanks Darryl for your attempt to entertain me with your “islamophobe” story. I don’t find such stories entertaining enough. “Hate” does not do it for me. Try harder. A spiced up “love” story would do. Make it between a Muslim and a Christian. I would say a Muslim woman and a Christian man as it is not a common occurrence. Must be a Sunni Muslim. Don’t make it Shiaa and Christian. I heard Shiaa-Christian love affair is a fad now. I know of few examples. Don’t make it easy. Make them suffer a bit. Just a bit. I don’t like too much suffering. MUST have a happy ending. I will not read it if the ending was not happy. I don ‘t want any villain in there. Absolutely no killing. A bit of jealousy is ok.

November 24th, 2011, 8:37 pm


Bronco said:

134 Tara

“Can the regime allow massive demonstrations in cities like Damascus and Aleppo?”

Of course it will for the good reason that there will be certainly more massive demonstrations in favor of Bashar Al Assad too that the observers will be able to observe.

It will the moment of truth to see which crowd is bigger.

November 24th, 2011, 8:58 pm


N.Z. said:

Homs: the story behind Mani’s extraordinary images from the frontline

French photographer has taken extraordinary steps to avoid being caught by Assad’s security forces

Photographs from inside besieged Syrian city – audio slideshow

November 24th, 2011, 8:58 pm


irritated said:

@148 Tara

“The people killed by the army are civilians demonstrators and bystanders shot randomly to spread terror”

To prove your point can you direct us to one video showing clearly the army shooting randomly at demonstrators and bystanders?

November 24th, 2011, 9:02 pm


irritated said:

@142 UZAIR8

The Channel 4 reporter says that there has been 40 dead across Syria today. I don’t know where he got that figure as I have not read it anywhere, did you?
This lie justify well this qualification of “Inflated’. In addition, he conveniently omits to mention that more soldiers are being killed than civilians.

It is obvious that the reporter has his own agenda to follow and trying to ridicule an official by using false data.

November 24th, 2011, 9:26 pm


Ghufran said:

كشفت صحيفة “ميللييت” التركية عن أن “سورية خصصت مخيما لمتمردي حزب العمال الكردستاني بالقرب من قرية رسوليان السورية على الحدود مع تركيا”. وأشارت الصحيفة إلى أن “الهدف من إقامة المخيم الواقع مقابل ولاية أورفا التركية، الانتقام من احتضان أنقرة للمعارضة السورية والسماح لها بافتتاح مكتب تنسيقي في إسطنبول”. وأوضحت أن “المخيم يضم حوالي 150 انفصاليا مسلحا، وأطلق عليه اسم رستم جودي وهو الاسم الحركي لأحد قياديي المنظمة الذي قتل الشهر الماضي في قصف جوي في أحد معسكرات الكردستاني”.

November 24th, 2011, 9:54 pm


irritated said:

@156 N.Z

The photographs are very artistic.
I have not found any information anywhere about this mysterious photojournalist Mani? There is no french journalist or photograph with that name, it is a war name?

November 24th, 2011, 10:02 pm


N.Z. said:

As American are giving their thanks, Syrians are giving their lives.

Have a happy Thanksgiving America.

November 24th, 2011, 10:03 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The FSA are active lately, the officers who are against the regime but has not defected yet,they are coward and useless officers,passive officers are worthless officers, but I doubt the number of defected officers and soldiers has reached 5000 yet,but their increase in number would explain their high activities,what the FSA are doing is to demoralizing the Assad troops,this is good strategy.
FSA are angels sent from God to rid us from the devil Assad troops.
When the their number exceed 10,000 we will see massive defection,and we will see quick end to the devil regime of Assad, we really do not need foreogn troops, NFZ is good.

November 24th, 2011, 10:04 pm


zoo said:

Tunisians kick out Al Jazeera in Tunisia: “Degage”

محتجون يطردون قناة الجزيرة من أمام مقر مجلس النواب

Watch the video

November 24th, 2011, 10:14 pm


zoo said:

Syrian women protest against Arab League’s monitoring plan in Bab Tuma.
24 novembre 2011

Slide show

November 24th, 2011, 10:38 pm


N.Z. said:

159. irritated,

They have the imprint of a mass murderer.

“Artistic”? Was that the first thing that came to your mind.

November 24th, 2011, 10:55 pm



Remember how the Iraqi government used to accuse Syria of supporting terrorism in Iraq no too long ago? Well, to refresh your memory, here’s a video that was posted in 2007. In it, you can hear what appears to be an Iraqi government official interrogating someone identified as a member of the Syrian mukhabarat.!

Here’s another confession on Iraqi TV of another person accused of terrorism who received his training in Syria and was controlled by Syrian intelligence.

Here’s more:

So when talking about terrorism in Syria, remember who used to run terrorists.

November 24th, 2011, 11:11 pm


ann said:

Is the United States secretly preparing for war with Syria?

November 24, 2011

“Today the United States announced in Vienna, Austria, that it would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia. This announcement in the CFE Treaty’s implementation group comes after the United States and NATO Allies have tried over the past 4 years to find a diplomatic solution following Russia’s decision in 2007 to cease implementation with respect to all other 29 CFE States. Since then, Russia has refused to accept inspections and ceased to provide information to other CFE Treaty parties on its military forces as required by the Treaty,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.

Nuland also said that the United States did not intend to tie the CFE with the missile defense talks.

“This is most unusual and unprecedented move on teh part of the United States, which is possibly seeking to go to war against Syria” says Yogi Youkuskov, a former KGB operative living in Syria. “It is long known that the plan is for regime change for Syria by the U.S. We know this is true.”, he said. See “the plan” according to U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.)


The CFE Treaty was signed in 1990, during the existence of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The document stipulated a reduction of the number of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery (larger than 100 mm in caliber), combat planes and helicopters, as well as information exchange.

Speculation is that Russia is seen as an obstacle to the U.S. objectives to go to war in Syria.

The Russians have a naval base in Syria’s Tartus. It is seen as a vital and strategic naval base, because of where it is located.

The base is protected with sophisticated air defense complexes, so the chances for aggression from NATO from the sea are not very much. If the U.S. or its lapdog NATO decides to attack, it will most likely happen from the side of Saudi Arabia. So it appears that the United States has something to conceal. In other words it has ulterior motives in doing this action. It is seen as another indication of war against Syria and possibly Iran (see; Youtube video There are other indication of military intervention as well see:

According to sources in Moscow Russia has interests in Syria besides military. There are approximately 120,000 Russian citizens living in Syria.

“These are citizens of Russian Federation who will have to be protected from the United States aggression and bombing, if it lauches an attack. Should these innocent people be targeted or killed by NATO or the United States – it could mean war between the U.S. and Russia”, says Dan Fulton of Charlotte, N.C. a Russian military affairs expert.

Matt Thompson of Charlotte wonders “What would this mean if the United States gets into yet another prolonged war in the middle east? He continues: “We simply can’t afford it. I don’t understand why we go around looking for trouble all the time. Syria is not threatening us militarily. Neither is Iran for that matter?”

“I thought Russia was our ally?”, said Tim Karr of Charlotte. “Why would we opt of of such a treaty obligation. It doesn’t make sense to me’, he said.

Russia is seen as the only nation in the world who could possibly defend itself from the military might of the United States and NATO.

Many people I talk to don’t really understand the motives behind this?

Emails sent to the State Department on November 23, 2011 asking for clarification on this issue were unresponded to at the time of publication of this report…

Robert Tilford

Charlotte, N.C.

November 24th, 2011, 11:33 pm



121. NORMAN said:

S O D, Syrian Exp,

The problem is not limited to Syria and the Baath party rule as you say,as that despair is seen in states that do not have the Baath party, Jordon, Egypt Saudi Arabia , north Africa and the Gulf states, even more open Lebanon,…”

Where did I mention any of these countries? The fact that other countries have problems, doesn’t absolve the Baath party. I was pointing out the obvious irony of you abandoning the paradise that your Baath party created in Syria to live in the USA where you can have a chance at getting ahead in life. It speaks volumes about this corrupt party and its followers.

November 24th, 2011, 11:39 pm


ann said:

NATO conceals preparations for military action against Syria


The United States has decided to disengage itself from certain obligations on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE). In particular, the USA will no longer inform Russia about the plans connected with the redeployment of its forces. Those restrictions are not touching upon any other country.

“Today the United States announced in Vienna, Austria, that it would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia. This announcement in the CFE Treaty’s implementation group comes after the United States and NATO Allies have tried over the past 4 years to find a diplomatic solution following Russia’s decision in 2007 to cease implementation with respect to all other 29 CFE States. Since then, Russia has refused to accept inspections and ceased to provide information to other CFE Treaty parties on its military forces as required by the Treaty,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.

According to her, the USA does not refuse from the dialogue with Russia within the scope of the Treaty. However, Russia must get back to the institution of the CFE, the US diplomat added.

Nuland also said that the United States did not intend to tie the CFE with the missile defense talks.

The remarks from the US diplomat look like another attempt to turn everything up side down again. It is worth mentioning here that the first edition of the CFE Treaty was signed in 1990, during the existence of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The document stipulated a reduction of the number of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery (larger than 100 mm in caliber), combat planes and helicopters, as well as information exchange.

A renewed variant of the treaty was signed in 1999. The new edition reflected such changes in Europe as the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the expansion of NATO. However, only Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan ratified the new treaty. Russia moved a big part of its arms behind the Ural mountains, but the Western countries did not even want to execute it. The expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance continued, and NATO neared Russian borders.

At the end of 2007, Vladimir Putin decided to suspend Russia’s participation in the CFE until the USA and its European allies ratified the renewed variant of the treaty. The Americans did not want to make any moves in that direction. Now they have decided not to inform Russia about the redeployment of its forces. This is obviously another violation of the treaty which the United States committed.

What consequences may Russia face as a result of the US decision? Pravda.Ru asked expert opinion from the director of the Center for Military Forecasts, Anatoly Tsyganok.

“The USA will stop informing Russia about military redeployments. The Americans can technically send their troops to Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia, which did not sign the treaty. Will the Baltic states turn into an uncontrollable military center near Russia’s borders?”

“When Russia suspended its participation in the CFE Treaty, she had the right to say that some NATO’s newcomers, such as the Baltic states and Slovenia, had never signed the treaty. Now NATO eyes Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and all other former members of the Warsaw Pact.

“When they were deciding on the unification of Germany in 1990, Germany and France said in the appendix to the adequate agreement that NATO would not move beyond the Oder River (the river separates Germany and Poland – ed.). However, the West does not take this appendix into consideration. They only follow the agreement itself, which does not say a word about the non-expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance. It just so happens that the USA and its allies played a trick on Russia.

“Why did it take the United States four years to decide not to inform Russia about military redeployments?”

“Apparently, it is connected with the situation in the Mediterranean Sea. One may assume that NATO will create a military group near Russia’s southern borders to strike Syria. They will most likely raise this issue at the NATO summit in December. They will try to analyze Syria’s actions in case NATO conducts a military operation against the country, like it already happened in Libya.”

“Is Russia a big obstacle for conducting NATO’s operation against Syria? Does the USA have anything to conceal from us at this point?”

“Russia is an obstacle, yes. We have a naval base in Syria’s Tartus. The base is protected with air defense complexes, so the chances for aggression from NATO or Israel from the sea are slim. If they decide to attack, it will most likely happen from the side of Saudi Arabia. So the USA has something to conceal.

“There is another aspect to this. There are approximately 120,000 Russian citizens living in Syria. Presumably, it goes about Russian women, who married local men. Russia can use this detail to interfere into the events in Syria. In addition, 20 percent of the Russian defense complex will simply tip off the perch in case Russia loses the Syrian market. It is not ruled out that they are regrouping NATO forces to get ready for the war against Syria, and they don’t want to notify Russia of that.”

November 24th, 2011, 11:40 pm


ann said:

A British warning to Syria’s opposition – November 25, 2011

On a dry, chilly Damascus night in late 2004, I shared a pot of sweet strong coffee with Abdullah Dardari, then Syrian deputy prime minister for economic affairs and the man charged with dragging the country’s moribund economy into the 21st century.

As he outlined his plans for opening up Syria to foreign investment, creating new jobs, and increasing prosperity, I pointed out that economic reform had a habit of being a catalyst for political reform, something that was unlikely to find favor with the ruling Baath Party.

Dardari smiled and assured me that political change was part of President Bashar Assad’s plan for Syria. His exact words were: “The understanding that there is a need for political and judicial reform is there. It’s not a taboo subject. I am not a Baath Party member, but if you look at what’s happening in the party today there is recognition of the need to develop the political system.”

Well that was then. In the event, Syrians got neither political nor economic reform. Dardari, the only reform-minded senior politician within the Syrian regime, was ousted in March when Assad sacked Mohammad Naji al-Otari’s Cabinet. Dardari’s removal came partly because Assad had grown tired of criticism within the Baath of his largely failed attempts to attract foreign investment – a pretty impossible task considering the Kafkaesque bureaucracy underpinning Assad rule. It came also because removing a well-known reformer sent a signal to Syrians that institutional changes of any sort that undermined Assad’s grip on power (Dardari’s tentative reforms increased unemployment, and with that anti-Assad sentiment) would not be part of Syria’s future.

Assad’s new government, unveiled in April, was a retreat to the bunker. Assad is increasingly isolated, with only Russia and China preventing global sanctions from being imposed on Syria, and just Yemen and Lebanon offering lukewarm Arab support. He has now dug in, surrounded by family and cronies. But the forces enveloping his regime – European and American sanctions, international disapproval, and unending street protests verging on civil war – look overwhelming.

It is the realization that the game finally looks over for Assad that is currently exercising the British government. Particularly against the backdrop of current events in Egypt, the United Kingdom is very worried about what will happen next in Syria.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague’s warning to Syria’s disparate opposition groups to “put aside their differences” was the diplomatic equivalent of a clip around the ear to squabbling children. Hague’s meeting this week with opposition representatives may have, in the words of the government, “intensified the U.K.’s engagement with the opposition.” In reality, it has given London a rude awakening about the caliber of Assad’s opponents.

In contrast to its approach to opponents of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya, Hague insisted the U.K. would not recognize the Syrian opposition while it remains so fractured and poorly coordinated. When you consider that the Libyan opposition was no paragon of unity, you get a good idea of how highly the British government rates the Syrian opposition.

The problem for the U.K. is, as Hague alluded to after his meetings with members of the Syrian National Council and the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCC), as well as individuals aligned with neither group, is that the Syrian opposition isn’t in any fit state to fill the vacuum if Assad is removed from power. Worse still, privately the government fears such a disunited opposition runs the risk of jeopardizing the goal of overthrowing Assad’s regime.

Unlike the Libyan opposition, which was based in eastern Libya, Syria’s opposition is spread across the Middle East, Turkey, France and the United Kingdom. The SNC includes the Muslim Brotherhood, which backs Turkish military intervention to overthrow Assad. The Brotherhood has a very different vision of a post-Assad Syria than others in the SNC. The NCC still favors talks with the Assad regime. And the hastily formed Free Syrian Army, composed of army deserters whose leader has been given refuge in Turkey, wants to be recognized as the military wing of the opposition, something the SNC won’t countenance.

Meanwhile Syria’s Kurdish population is understandably wary about Turkey’s increasingly high-profile involvement in the current turmoil. Ankara’s denunciations of the Assad regime are growing more bellicose, and there is speculation that Turkey will send troops into Syria to create a buffer zone for those fleeing the continuing violence.

Kurdish groups have also held meetings with representatives of the British government and warned that any military intervention by Turkey is likely to result in Kurds taking up arms to oppose them. Whether Turkey, whose president, Abdullah Gul, visited London this week, wants to become involved in military action is a moot point. But Ankara’s criticism of Assad is getting close to fever pitch. Earlier this week Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared Assad to Adolph Hitler.

Any armed confrontation with Turkey could play into Assad’s hands. However, as the situation grows ever more violent, Arab states, most notably Saudi Arabia, fear that Syria’s continuing instability will spread across the region if decisive action is not taken soon.

It remains to be seen what the Arab League will decide to do after its suspension of Syria’s membership in the organization. The United Nations will not repeat its actions in Libya. Much as the United States, France and the U.K. – not to mention Saudi Arabia – would like a pro-Western Syria to act as a counterweight to Iran, the West has firmly ruled out military action or no-fly zones in a country of much greater global strategic importance and sensitivity than Libya.

As one British government insider succinctly put it: “There is a lot at stake here, but ultimately the opposition needs to get its act together, look beyond their own egos and aims, and consider the needs of the Syrian people.” Like Assad, it appears the West has no Plan B.

November 25th, 2011, 12:01 am


ann said:

Syrian army defectors came as individuals to Jordan – FM

By Hani Hazaimeh

AMMAN – The government on Thursday said scores of Syrian military defectors have crossed into the Kingdom since the violence erupted in Syria earlier this year; however, they arrived individually and at different times, a senior official said.

“We have around 100, mainly conscripts, who have crossed individually over time and not in organised units,” Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told The Jordan Times over the phone Thursday from Cairo, where he was taking part in the Arab League meeting to discuss the situation in Syria.

Earlier this week, Judeh, in an interview on Jordan Television, said there were arrangements for the reception for a possible influx of Syrian refugees into the Kingdom.

He added that these arrangements are a normal procedure just for emergency situations.

“This, however, does not mean that we are encouraging Syrian citizens to flee their country, as Jordan did not offer asylum to one, but is always ready to receive humanitarian cases in emergency situations,” Judeh said in the interview.

Earlier this year, a government official said in a statement to The Jordan Times that around 200 Syrian citizens who entered Jordan illegally are currently staying under the protection of authorities.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stressed that the government does not consider Syrians residing in the Kingdom as refugees, but rather guests who left their country temporarily because of the current unrest there.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Deputy Representative Arafat Jamal, the agency is in constant coordination with the government regarding the Syrian citizens’ status, adding that currently there are more than 1,500 Syrian families who are receiving assistance from the UNCHR.

“The number of Syrians in Jordan is in the thousands but not all of them are seeking the assistance of our agency as they are capable of taking care of themselves financially,” Jamal told The Jordan Times last week over the phone, stressing that so far there is no need for setting up any camps in the Kingdom.

Refugee camps become an urgency when the number of refugees coming into a country amounts to tens of thousands, so far it’s only few hundreds, he added.

November 25th, 2011, 12:16 am



القصيدة التي أعدم بسببها الشاعر السوري حسن الخيّر بعد قطع لسانه
نشره !THE-SYRIAN في 24 تشرين الثاني, 2011 – 03:31 المسا – 13 تعليقات

ربما لم يسمع الكثيرين عن حسن الخيّر بسبب التعتيم الذي فرض على قصته وقصيدته وبسبب الحساسية التي يسببها لعائلة الأسد كونه ينتمي إلى إحدى أكبر العائلات في مدينة القرداحة

حسن الخيّر كان شاعرا” سوريا” انتسب إلى حزب البعث في شبابه وبلغ من حماسه بالحزب أن سمى ابنه بعث ولكن بعد استلاب حافظ الأسد للسلطة في سورية انتشر الفساد المالي والأخلاقي إلى حد لم يكن معروفا” في الستينات وبدأ الشاعر بكتابة الكثير من القصائد المعارضة ومهاجمة السلطة لفسادها الكبير . لم يتعرض الشاعر وقتها لأذى لأن حافظ الأسد الذي كان في بدايات حكمه لم يرد استعداء مدينته وطائفته وتغاضى عن قصائده . ثم جاءت القشة التي قصمت ظهر البعير عام 1979

في أواخر السبعينات شهدت سورية الكثير من حوادث القتل والاغتيالات كان النظام مسؤولا” عن القسم الأعظم منها واتهم الطليعة المقاتلة بالمسؤولية عن القسم الآخر ولكن الأكيد أن كتيرا” من الناس قتلوا بدون أن يعرفوا لماذا قتلوا كما يحدث الآن . من بين من قتل صديق للشاعر كان متفوقا” وحاصلا” على شهادة الدكتوراه من أمريكا حديثا” ,ورغم أن المتهم بالقتل كانت الطليعة كون القتيل ينتمي للطائفة العلوية إلا أن الشاعر صب جام غضبه على النظام محملا” إياه المسؤولية الكاملة عن كل ما يجري في البلد فقام بإلقاء قصيدة قوية في ذكرى تأبين الفقيد هاجم فيها حزب البعث ورفعت الأسد بشكل مباشر كما تطرق لحماه ومايحدث فيها ولحلب واللاذقية

وانتشرت القصيدة وتناقلها الناس شفهيا” وهنا طفح الكيل مع النظام

تم اعتقال الشاعر من أمام منزله في ذلك العام ولم يره أهله بعدها حيا” أو ميتا” . إلا أن الأخبار تسربت من بعض سجناء آخرين بأنهم شهدوا اعدامه وأن الأمن قام بقطع لسانه قبل الاعدام

القصيدة :

ماذا أقول وقول الحق يعقبه …. …….جلد السياط وسجن مظلم رطب
وان كذبت فان الكذب يسحقني ……… معاذ ربي ان يعزى لي الكذب
وان سكت فان الصمت ناقصة …… إن كان بالصمت نور الحق يحتجب
لكنني ومصير الشعب يدفعني ……. سأنطق الحق ان شاؤوا وان غضبوا
عصابتان هما: احداهما حكمت ……….. باسم العروبة لا بعث ولا عرب
وآخرون لباس الدين قد لبسوا ……….. و الدين حرم ما قالوا وما ارتكبوا
عصابتان أيا شعبي فكن حذرا” …………. جميعهم من معين السوء قد شربوا

أيقبل البعث ان تثري زعانفه ………. باسم النضال ثراء ما له سبب
من أين جاؤوا به حقا وجلّهم ………. ما زانهم أبدا علم ولا أدب
ولا تشقق كف فوق معوله ………… في الحقل يوما ولا اضناهم التعب
ولا تجلى على ايدهم هدف ……….. ولا تحررت الجولان والنقب
هل السماء بكت من فوقهم فرحا” …. ..فراح يهطل منها المال والذهب
لا تكذبوا إنها اموال امتنا ………….. ومن غذاء بنيها كل ما سلبوا
كم قد سمعنا بهيئات تحاسبهم …………… لتسترد إلى الجمهور ما نهبوا
فما رأينا سوى قول بلا عمل ………… كم في تصرفهم من عجبة العجب
علا برتبته ( لص ) ورتبته …. ……..من سوئه انخفضت.. ولتخجل الرتب

اني لأخجل ان أحصي معائبهم ……….. أنّى ذهبت تجلى العيب والعطب
قالوا: النقابات قلنا: انها كذب …. …كم لعبة بمصير الشعب قد لعبوا

اختاروا لكل قطاع لاعبا” حذقا” …….. ونصبوه نقيبا” بئس من نصبوا
ومجلس الشعب كل الشعب يعرفه …. ويعرف الناس هل جاؤوا أم انتخبوا
قالوا: وجبهتنا ؟ قلنا: لقد صدقوا .. .. يوم البيان بما قالوا وما كتبوا
اذ قال قائلهم: انّا سماسرة ……… .. نمشي كما يقتضيه العرض والطلب
لم يصدقوا بحديث غيره ابدا … . ….وما عداه لعمري كله كذب
سيعلمون جميعا أي منقلب …… …. يوم الحساب وما فيه هم انقلبوا

قالوا حماه عماها الحقد فاضطربت …. يا للعجب عرين البعث يضطرب
لو يذكرون حماة الامس ما فعلت .. ….. بالظالمين وبالاقطاع لانتحبوا
كانت وكان بنوها خير من رفعوا .. .. للبعث راياته خفاقة تجب
لما رأوكم نكبتم عن مبادئكم …….. .. فإنهم شرفا”عن حبكم نكبوا
الم تكن حلب الشهباء ساحتهم.. ؟ .. .. ألم تدكي كيان الفرد يا حلب
الم تثوري بوجه الانفصال ؟ وهل …. أغضى على عاره ابناؤك النجب
واللاذقية مهد البعث ما فعلت..؟ .. .. حتى اثير على ساحاتها الشغب
مباحث السوء شاؤوا ان تشب بها … . نار الخلاف وقد أغراهم اللهب
قالت لهم وجراح الحزن تؤلمها ……. لا تحلموا بخلاف كلنا عرب
أل الفقيد عزاء أن محنتكم من……… . محنة الشعب لا تجدي بها الخطب
لئن نكبتم بحر صادق فطن … ….. فحسبكم ان كل الناس قد نكبوا
يرضى فقيدكم دربا يوحدنا …… … وليس يرضى إذا تاهت بنا شعب
سيسقط الغيث في ارضي وقد ……. ظمئت وينجلي الليل والسحب

يبقى مدى الدهر صوت لا بديل له …………… الله اكبر إنا كلنا عرب

November 25th, 2011, 12:23 am


mjabali said:

The Syrian Free Army FSA leader calls for the shelling of the Alawis area:

Someone should check the mental capabilities of this mad man.

Syria is going to be divided if these militant solutions from all sides are the order of the day.

I really see no future for Syria as a whole to be around if these idiots are running the show. Still waiting to see one SANE person in this conflict. They all seem to be LOST with no solution available. They all are participants in what is going on today.

Syria needs help ASAP from its own sons and daughters who has some brain. Those who does not have a brain or from the outside it is obvious that they do not care about Syria and should stay the hell out of this problem.

Who the hell can convince me that these French clowns do want anything good for Syria? Did France ever do anything good for Syria? Did France kill thousands of Syrians before? Did France divide Syria and the whole Fertile Crescent and caused what we have today, indirectly?

As for the Arabs: who can argue that these illiterate figures know what is democracy? They say that the king of Saudia Arabia hardly have any education as well as the Wahabi faker of Democracy Hamad of Qatar, or the Middle Ages’ prince of Kuwait? or the Mercenaries dealer: the king of Jordan?

Turkey and the French are the reason for most of the misfortune of the Syrians today. Both countries are causing trouble for Syria and no one on earth can convince me that they want any good for Syria and the Syrians.

Today, Syrian blood was spilled cheap again, so who is going to stop this?

We are going to see an escalation in the frequency of attacks from all sides, so prepare yourselves and do not be surprised of what is going to happen?

PS: The name of the leader of the FSA is Riad al-Asad, it is almost identical in English to the last name of the ruling family of Syria” al-Assad (missing one ‘s’ and in transliteration it is written As’ad)….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 25th, 2011, 12:30 am


N.Z. said:


The late Syrian poet, Hassan Kheir, from the same village of Assad, was killed by senior, his tongue cut off before murdering him in prison.

Thanks for posting.

Another Syrian artist, Lina Shamamian posted in her facebook a letter to Father Elias Zahlawi.

الفنانة لينا شماميان تنتقد انبطاح رجال الدين المسيحي والاب الياس زحلاوي

الأب زحلاوي …
منذُ بدأتَ مشروع ( التآخي) المسيحي الإسلامي مع الشيخ المرحوم حمزة شكور على المسارح .. ولم تفعلوا شيئاً لتغيير الوضع المجحف في حال الزواج المختلط – الذي ترفضه كما كل رجال الدين والمتدينين في سوريا بل وتلتفون حوله وهو واقع قائم شاء الجميع أم أبى- والتآخي لم يكن يوماً عرضاً مسرحيّاً … بل هو حياة اليوم السوري
أنت من علّمني أن أقول الحق الذي أؤمن به حتى وإن رذلني كل أخوتي من بني الأرض (الصوفانية كانت إيمانك وحدك واستمريت عليه رغم اتهامهم لك بالكثير واليوم آمن بها الكثير)…
أي حقّ في السياسة يا أبتِ ؟
أنا ضد العنف … كل عنف .. والعنف لا يأتي يوماً من طرف واحد
نحنُ نتوسّد الدفء ليلاً … ولنا (أخوة) تتوسد الألم والبرد في حمص أولاً وغيرها الكثير … وهذا الألم ليس عرضاً مسرحياً
منذ بدأت تخوض غمار العمل السياسي الذي لا يقرب العمل الحق مهما كان صادقاً : ما عدت تمثلني
لم يعد صوتك يذكّرني بصوت الله على الأرض لأنه لم يكن عادلاً ….. بعد أن كانت جوقة الفرح – مشروعك الأول – أول من ذكّرني بصوت الله فيّ
خجل أصواتكم أوصلنا اليوم لكل هذا الألم … وليغضب مني من يشاء … فكلنا نعلم بداخلنا أننا لو كنّا مكانهم كنا احتجنا محبة رجال الدين لا تجنّبهم .. وغضب سوريا وألمها منا اليوم أكبر منا جميعاً

الأب زحلاوي … رجال الدين، بكل محبة / بكل حزن : سأرحل
وأضيف: تمنيت لو أنك وجهت رسالتك إلى أمهات الشهداء أو المخطوفين أو المعتقلين أو الغاضبين أو الخائفين أو المحزونين السوريين … بدل وزير الخارجية الفرنسي (أو إضافة إليها مثلا)

Syrians who have the courage to say the truth.

November 25th, 2011, 12:42 am


ann said:

Syria agrees to League monitors – 2011-11-25

CAIRO – General Secretary of the Cairo-based Arab League Nabil el-Arabi received an “OK” message from the Syrian side on the protocol of an Arab mission to Syria, Egyptian news agency MENA reported.

“Arab League General Secretary Nabil el-Arabi received a reply, which agrees over the protocol of an Arab observer mission set to travel to Damascus observing the situation and protecting civilians,” it cited an Arabic official as saying.

The message said the protocol will be signed by Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad on behalf of the Foreign Minister Walid el-Moallem.

The council of the league adopted on Nov 16 in Morocco’s capital Rabat a draft protocol on the Arab observer mission in Syria. Syria had demanded that some items of the protocol be modified.

The league’s foreign ministers gathered in Cairo on Thursday to discuss imposing sanctions on Syria.The league, which for decades has spurned ordering action against a member state, has suspended Syria and threatened unspecified sanctions for ignoring the deal it had signed. But Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansur told local radio before heading to Cairo, “Lebanon will not endorse any sanctions by the Arab League against Syria.”

On Wednesday France called for a “secured zone to protect civilians” in Syria, the first time a major Western power has suggested international intervention on the ground.

November 25th, 2011, 12:57 am


N.Z. said:


Do you agree with Bassam Juneid? His newspaper was suspended for writing the solution, your solution. Let us know what you think?

بسام جنيد : لنتفرغ الآن إلى وطن اسمه سورية

اليوم سقط آخر شعار من شعارات حزب البعث.. فبعد أن سقط شعار (الحرية) منذ أكثر من أربعين عاماً ومن بعده سقط شعار (الاشتراكية) منذ أحد عشر عاماً .. اليوم ـ وبحسب جميع الموالين والأعضاء العاملين والقياديين في الحزب ـ سقط شعار (الوحدة) .. وخرج الأنصار ليعلنوا أنها ليست أمة واحدة ورسالتها ليست خالدة ..
بربكم، ماذا بقي من هذا الحزب سوى مجموعة لصوص أتخموا من النهب والسرقة تحت غطاء الوطنية
جميل للغاية .. لنتفرغ الآن لوطن اسمه سورية بعد أن اتفقنا معارضة وموالاة على أن الحزب الحاكم (موضوع الخلاف) قد حل نفسه بنفسه
هاتوا نعمل على حماية المدنيين السوريين بأنفسنا .. هاتوا نعمل على محاكمة كل الفاسدين والقتلة بأنفسنا .. هاتوا نبني وطناً …………….
لدينا كل شيء ..
لدينا كل مقومات الدولة القوية.. لدينا شعب عظيم ولدينا موارد (إن لم تسرق) فهي وافرة .. لدينا سلاح ولدينا عدو واضح .. لدينا حدائق سيئة ومدارس سيئة وملاعب ومسارح وشوارع وأرصفة وبنية تحتية .. كلها سيئة ولكن من الممكن جداً أن نجعلها رائعة …
ماذا ينقصنا كي نبني وطناً عظيماً ؟
أعتقد أنه ينقصنا أن نبدأ في التفكير بتغيير العقيدة ..
بالأمس خرج قسم من الشعب وأعلن بداية التغيير .. واليوم وبمساعدة غباء الجامعة العربية وعهرها تقدمنا خطوة جيدة نحو تغيير العقيدة .. هاتوا نكمل معاً طريق التغيير .. لنتفق أن الوقت الآن ليس للمعارضة ولا للموالاة .. الوقت للوطن ..
ـ الشعب .. لن يقتل بعضه بعضاً .. مهما حاولوا ، الشعب السوري لن يقتل بعضه ….
ـ إسرائيل .. عدو .. وستبقى عدواً ، وهذا أمر ليس حكراً على أحد .. إنه من تركيبة الشعب السوري ومن عقيدته الأساسية التي سنحافظ عليها
بقي الخارج ..
الخارج أمره بسيط، إن قررنا أن نبني وطناً عظيماً
المطلوب الآن وفوراً قرارات تاريخية تحمي سورية .. الآن وعلى عجلة .. نريد تسرّعاً وتسرّعاً سريعاً .. نريد تسرّعاً سريعاً جداً ..
يكفي مماطلة ولعباً وسياسة ودهاء وذكاء .. لن يفيدنا تغيير اللون العسكري باللون الأزرق في شيء .. لن يفيدنا اعتقال الشباب السوريين ولا إهانتهم ولا تعذيبهم في شيء .. لن يفيدنا قتل مواطن سوري بريء في شيء .. لن تفيدنا سلطة لا تستطيع أن تميز بين إرهابي ووطني في شيء .. لن تفيدنا سلطة لم تقو منذ 8 شهور على توقيف فاسد واحد .. فاسد واحد بالعدد .. لن تفيدنا لجان تحقيق لم تعثر على مخالف واحد للأوامر منذ 8 شهور .. عدم عثورها على هذا المخالف أودى بالبلاد إلى مئات المخالفين وإلى آلاف الضحايا ..
ضعوا خلف مكاتب رجال الأمن والوزراء والمسؤولين خريطة الوطن .. سورية
أعيدوا هيبة المؤسسة العسكرية، لا تسمحوا لضابط برتبة لواء أن يقف خائفاً أمام ضابط برتبة عميد ..
لنبدأ منذ الآن ..
تباً للجامعة العربية، تباً للأمم المتحدة وغير المتحدة.. تباً لإيران ولأمريكا ولحزب الله ولتيار المستقبل ولعطارد وللمريخ ..

November 25th, 2011, 1:06 am


ann said:

Media Lies Used to Provide a Pretext for Another “Humanitarian War”: Protest in Syria: Who Counts the Dead?

by Julie Lévesque – November 25, 2011

The “Syrian uprising” seems to be a copy and paste of the “prtoest movement” in Libya, which was conducive to regime change. The mainstream press has once again one principal source of information – the opposition groups. The media neglects military casualties and fails to report that armed gunmen, 17 000 according to a report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, are among the protesters. A non-elected body, the SNC, ironically is upheld as a democratic movement and is offered “credibility” as well as extensive mainstream media coverage.

According to numerous reports from the Western media, human rights organisation, as well as the UN, countless peaceful civilians have been killed by the Syrian forces since the beginning of the unrest in the country in mid March. But where do the numbers come from?

Many media reports on the alleged deadly repression by the Syrian government fail to mention the sources of their information, which are very often referred to solely as “human rights groups” or “activists”:

“Rights groups said Sunday that troops cracking down on pro-democracy protesters killed eight people in northern Idlib province and four more in central areas near Hama. (Syrian Forces Kill 12 as ICRC Head Visits Damascus, Voice of America, September 4, 2011.)

These protests are an unprecedented challenge to President Bashar al-Assad — and his family, which has ruled the country for more than 40 years. The cost has been high: at least 200 dead, according to human rights groups, and many cyber activists have been jailed. (Deborah Amos, Syrian Activist In Hiding Presses Mission From Abroad, NPR, April 22, 2011.)

At least 75 people have been killed today in Syria during mass protests, local human rights activists told Amnesty International […]

Thirty were killed in the southern town of Izzra’, 22 in Damascus, 18 in the Homs area and the rest in other towns and villages, activists said […] (Scores killed in Syria as ‘Great Friday’ protests are attacked, Amnesty International, April 22, 2011.)

Although the necessity to remain “anonymous” where dissent is said to be life threatening may under certain circumnstances be understandable, this stance inevitably raises suspicions: The “‘numbers” can be used to demonize the govbernment, as part of covert operations by any state or organisation looking for regime change in Damascus. It is no secret that the overthrow of the Syrian regime has been a long-sought goal by several foreign powers, including the U.S. and Israel.

The reliance of the mainstream media on information emanating from anonymous groups provides a biased understanding of the Syrian protests, which in turn supports the broader objective of destabilizing the Syrian regime.

When information from unknown sources pertaining to the death toll is published either by a mainstream media or a recognized human rights group, it is invariably picked up and considered a “factual evidence” by other news sources or think tanks, without further verification. Moreover, intghe process the information is subject to further distortion. Here is an example of this phenomenon:

Rights group Amnesty International said on Friday that it has recorded the names of 171 people killed since the first protesters died in Daraa on March 18.

The group based its tally on information received from rights activists, lawyers and other sources and said the majority appeared to have been killed by live ammunition fired by the security forces. (Protesters killed in southern Syria, Al Jazeera, April 9, 2011.)

The above news article is based on trhe following statenment by Amnesty International:

At least 171 people are believed to have been killed during three weeks of unrest in Syria, Amnesty International said today after at least eight more fatalities during protests.

The death toll from today’s clashes could rise significantly, according to reports from human rights activists in the country.

Amnesty International has recorded the names, via information received from sources including human rights activists and lawyers, of 171 people killed. (Death toll rises amid fresh Syrian protests, Amnesty International, April 8, 2011.)

The original information from Amnesty international (AI) is that “171 people are believed to have been killed”, a statement showing that although “it has recorded the names of 171 people killed”, this information could not be confirmed. Al Jazeera fails to report this “uncertainty” and by doing so makes it a fact rather than an assumption, that 171 people were killed.

Here is another example of blatant distortion:

Despite a pledge to end its crackdown, Syrian security forces continued to suppress anti-regime protestors, killing at least eighteen on Thursday in the city of Homs (al-Jazeera). (Jonathan Masters, Assad’s Broken Promises, Council on Foreign Relations, November 3, 2011.)

This is an analysis from the Council on Foreign Relations, the famous and extremely powerful U.S. foreign policy think tank [1]. It is based on the following article from Al Jazeera where the information related to the killing is markedly different:

“Dozens of people have reportedly been killed in the flashpoint city of Homs, as Syrian security forces bombarded residential areas with tanks.

The reported deaths occurred in the Bab Amro district of Homs on Thursday, the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an activist group monitoring the country’s uprising, said. (Syria “violence defies peace deal”,” Al Jazeera, November 4, 2011.)

Al Jazeera’s wording “reportedly been killed” and “reported deaths” shows the deaths have not been confirmed. The Qatari media also mentions that these claims come from one source only, namely from an activist group called Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCC). The article from the CFR changed Al Jazeera’s allegations into concrete facts.

When it comes to counting the dead, the LCC is very often cited in the mainstream media as a source for reports on killings committed by the Syrian authorities, as we can see in the examples below:

Another opposition group, the Local Coordination Committees, said it could not corroborate the Syrian Observatory’s account of the military casualties, though it also called Monday one of the uprising’s bloodier days, with at least 51 civilians killed. “We don’t have any confirmation of what they’re claiming,” said Omar Idlibi, a spokesman for the Local Coordination Committees. (Nada Bakri and Rick Gladstone, Syria Faces New Threats as Opposition Seeks Allies, The New York Times, November 15, 2011.)

According to the opposition network, the Local Coordination Committees, at least five people were killed during the military offensives — three in the central province of Homs, one in the eastern border town of Tal Kalakh and one in Idleb along the Syrian-Turkish border. (Roula Hajjar, Syria: Activists report manhunt for defectors and protesters, Los Angeles Times, September 5, 2011.)

Secret police opened fire and shot teargas to disperse more than 10,000 protesters in Deir Ezzour, in Syria’s tribal east, an activist from the Syrian Revolution Coordinators Union (SRCU) told Al Jazeera. Ten protesters were wounded and around 40 were arrested, he said.

The SRCU is the name given this week to one of Syria’s grassroots opposition networks. The SRCU works alongside the Local Coordinating Committees (LCC), another grassroots opposition network. (Al Jazeera Live Blog – Syria, June 3, 2011.)

At least 2,200 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the unrest, by the United Nations’ count. An activist group, the Syrian Revolution Coordinating Union, said on Tuesday that 551 people were killed during Ramadan alone. The group said 130 others were killed on July 31, the eve of Ramadan, in an attack on the city of Hama, which was also the scene of a ferocious crackdown in 1982.

On Tuesday, four people were killed in Hara and two others in Inkil, two towns in Dara’a Province, according to the Local Coordination Committees, another group of activists who document demonstrations. (Nada Bakri, Syrian Security Forces Fire on Worshipers as Ramadan Ends, The New York Times, August 30, 2011.)

The above article mentions a “UN count” as if it were an independent source of information. However, according to one of its reports, the UN also relies on the same sources of information, the LCC, and it mentions in a note that it is unable to confirm if the information given by the LCC is true:

“At the time of writing, the mission had received more than 1,900 names and details of persons killed in the Syrian Arab Republic since mid-March 2011; all are said to be civilians [26]

26. This information is compiled by local coordinating committees active within the Syrian Arab Republic in documenting the names and details of victims. The mission is unable to verify independently this information.” (United Nations, Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic – A/HRC/18/53, September 15, 2011.)

What are the Local Coordination Committees (LCC)?

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the LCC is part of the non-elected Syrian National Council (SNC). Even though most of its members are in exile and its members in Syria are unknown, the SNC is presented as the legitimate Syrian authority, and has been recognized by the National Transitional Council of Libya, another non-elected body recognized by Western powers as a “pro-democracy” representative of the Libyan people.

“Syrian opposition leaders meeting Sunday in Turkey formally created the Syrian National Council, bringing together most of the disparate groups seeking to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The council includes the Local Coordination Committees, which has organized most of the protests across the country; the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood; and Kurdish groups; among others, the Associated Press reports. Almost half the members are from inside the country, according to the Washington Post, overcoming a key concern that the council would rely to (sic) heavily on exiles. (Ariel Zirulnick, Syrian oppositon groups formally unify, overcoming key hurdle, October 3, 2011.)

The LCC are somewhat “anonymous”. They refused a telephone interview, but agreed to answer some questions by email. They stated that for security reasons they could not reveal how many members the LCC includes, but claim 13 members of the LCC are in the SNC. “We have enough people to run demonstrations on ground, for media and relief action.”

The members allegedly come from different backgrounds and are from all age groups; some are active inside Syria, the others outside the country. The LCC says that their members, in and outside Syria, have been threatened, arrested and tortured by the Syrian authorities. When asked how they became a source of information for the foreign media, the LCC says it is because they provide credible facts.

And what is the ultimate goal of the LCC? “Our goal is to change the regime in Syria, and as the first step, to end the mandate of the current President, who is now politically and legally responsible for the crimes committed by his regime against the Syrian people and a safe transfer of power in the country.”

Basically, the LCC wants regime change in Syria and it seems to be the major source of information for the western mainstream media and human rights organizations. This opposition group claims to provide “credible facts”, however there is no way to verify these facts. The so-called facts could well be propaganda intended to discredit the actual regime and galvanize public opinion in favour of the regime change the group aspires to implement.

Although the LCC spokesperson refused to disclose the names of its members, some have appeared in the mainstream media. One of their members, or collaborator, is Rami Nakhle, a cyberactivist living in exile in Beirut, Lebanon.

“Today, after 98 days of protests, he is living in denial,” says Rami Nakhle, a Syrian working in Beirut with the Local Coordination Committees, a clearinghouse for Syrian opposition protests and activities “It has become clear to everybody that Bashar al-Assad cannot change. He doesn’t realize that Syria has changed forever but he’s still the same president we heard last time, in April.” (Nicholas Blanford, Assad’s speech may buy time, but not survival, The Christian Science Monitor, June 20, 2011)

The activist has a privileged relationship with Al Jazeera, according to NPR:

When the Arabic channel Al-Jazeera broadcasts the latest news, the images come from Nakhle’s network. (Deborah Amos, Syrian Activist In Hiding Presses Mission From Abroad, April 22, 2011.)

It should be noted that Al Jazeera played a key role in promoting the regime change in Libya., a website presented by the Bush Center as a “Voice of Freedom Online”, offers a brief portrait of Nakhle, which is not unlike the other portraits found in the mainstream press, which describe him solely as a cyber-dissident, as if he never had any other occupation:

“Rami Nakhle is a 27 year cyber-dissident. His use of social media to spread information about the Syrian Revolution caught the attention of Syrian authorities, causing him to flee to Lebanon in January 2011. For the past three years, he has been working under the pseudonym Malath Aumran. Although the Syrian secret police have discovered his real identity, he continues to use this pseudonym to retain recognition from his online followers.

Despite these threats from the Syrian government, Nakhle continues to work in hiding, continuing his campaign for freedom through Facebook, Twitter, and full-access interviews with prominent news sources like BBC and The New York Times. (CyberDissident Database)

The U.S. government and NGOs doing CIA work, such as Freedom House, are major sponsors of cyber-dissidence:

“Political dissidents from China, Iran, Russia, Egypt, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba will travel to Dallas to join with Fellows of the George W. Bush Institute, experts from Freedom House, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the U.S. Government and other leaders in the field to discuss the successes and challenges of Internet-based political dissident movements around the world.

The George W. Bush Institute today [March 30, 2010] announced it will co-host a conference on cyber dissidents with the human rights organization Freedom House on April 19, 2010. (George W. Bush Institute and Freedom House to Convene Freedom Activists, Human Rights and Internet Experts to Assess Global Cyber Dissident Movement,” Business Wire, March 30, 2011)

Rami Nakhle doesn’t hide his interests in American organisations. On his Facebook page, he lists the following as “interests”: National Democratic Institute (NDI), chaired by Madeleine Albright, Human Rights Watch and the U.S. Embassy Damascus.

Nakhle’s interest in these organisations clearly shows which side he’s on, just like SCN member Radwan Ziadeh, former fellow of the National Endowment for Democracy, another organization well-known for its links with the CIA.

In an interview with the Guardian, the cyberactivist claims to be harassed by the Syrian secret police, on his Facebook wall. It might be true, but it would be a rather unusual tactic for a secret police, which usually, as its name says, acts secretly. Such harassment is more likely to be black propaganda — people opposed to the regime trying to make the Syrian authorities look bad. A kind of “cyber false flag” on Facebook, for everyone to see.

The “Syrian uprising” seems to be a copy and paste of the “prtoest movement” in Libya, which was conducive to regime change. The mainstream press has once again one principal source of information – the opposition groups. The media neglects military casualties and fails to report that armed gunmen, 17 000 according to a report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, are among the protesters. A non-elected body, the SNC, ironically is upheld as a democratic movement and is offered “credibility” as well as extensive mainstream media coverage.

November 25th, 2011, 1:16 am


ann said:

Torn to Pieces? ‘Syria military intervention around corner’

November 25th, 2011, 1:27 am


jad said:

أنباء عن تسليح من الأردن وإسناد ومناظير ليلية … ونشاط استخباراتي غربي على حدود تركيا … ولبنان!
الجامعة العربية تدفع الأزمة السورية نحو «التدويل»

‘تقدمت الجامعة العربية خطوة جديدة أمس نحو «تدويل» الملف السوري، عبر إعلان وزراء الخارجية، للمرة الأولى، «اللجوء إلى الأمم المتحدة للمساعدة في تسوية الأزمة السورية»، وأمهلوا دمشق أقل من 24 ساعة للتوقيع على بروتوكول بعثة المراقبين تحت طائلة توقيع عقوبات اقتصادية على النظام السوري، يستعدّ المجلس الاقتصادي والاجتماعي لعقد اجتماع غداً للنظر فيها، في حين تصاعدت الهجمات على القوات الأمنية بشكل غير مسبوق، حيث سقط منهم 18، بينهم 7 طيارين، فيما تتحدث التقارير عن إقامة مناطق آمنة داخل سوريا وإنما تكون مرتبطة جغرافياً بتركيا ولبنان او بسواحل البحر المتوسط!
لكن إذا قررت دمشق التوقيع على البروتوكول اليوم فإنها ستلغي إمكانية عقد اجتماع المجلس الاقتصادي غداً، والاجتماع الطارئ الجديد الذي سيعقده وزراء الخارجية الأحد. وقالت مصادر دبلوماسية لـ«السفير» إن الجزائر ومصر تحفظتا على موضوع تحويل الملف إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي في البداية وهو ما أجبر الوزراء على تعديل الصيغة الرئيسية إلى الطلب من «اللجوء إلى الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة (بان كي مون) للمساعدة في حل الأزمة السورية». ورفض لبنان ومصر والأردن فرض عقوبات اقتصادية على دمشق، فيما كانت دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي، مدعومة بعدد من الدول التي تسير في ركبها، تضغط لتمرير القرارات كما هي.’

‘وفي باريس، ذكر مراسل «السفير» محمد بلوط ان معدات رؤية ليلية متقدمة من بلد غربي قدمت الى «الجيش السوري الحر»، وهي مساعدة وصفها مصدر أمني فرنسي لـ«لسفير» بأنها مقدمة لتعاون أوسع مع المسلحين الذين يقودهم العقيد رياض الأسعد، وتقيم قيادتهم في مدينة إنطاكيا في لواء الإسكندرون، ويشرف مسؤول في وزارة الخارجية التركية في أنقرة على تنسيق علاقاتهم الخارجية واتصالاتهم الدولية انطلاقاً من الأراضي التركية.’

‘وقال مصدر فرنسي لـ«السفير» إن عدداً كبيراً من المقاتلين في الجيش المنشق ينتمون عملياً إلى الإخوان المسلمين، الذين يفضلون العمل العسكري تحت غطاء المنشقين،على تنظيم وتسليح مقاتليهم في وحدات مستقلة. ‘

” دعا قائد الجيش السوري الحر، العقيد رياض الأسعد، إلى قصف مناطق للعلويين.”

November 25th, 2011, 1:42 am


ann said:

Syrians protest Arab monitoring plan – November 25, 2011

November 25th, 2011, 1:43 am


jad said:

هـل يفجـر الضـغـط على سـوريـا الجـامـعـة العـربـيـة؟ ســر انـزعاج العـربي من دول مجلـس التعـاون الخليجـي

سامي كليب
أعرب الأمين العام لجامعة الدول العربية نبيل العربي في إحدى جلساته الرسمية عن قلقه الفعلي من خطط ضم الأردن والمملكة المغربية إلى مجلس التعاون الخليجي. أوحى الدبلوماسي المصري العريق لسامعيه بأن ثمة خطرا فعليا على جامعة الدول العربية، بحيث يكون التقسيم الجديد للمنطقة العربية مستندا إلى ممالك وإمارات من جهة وباقي الدول العربية من جهة أخرى، فيتسنى للغرب السيطرة الفعلية على مصادر الطاقة وعلى جل القرار السياسي.
قلق العربي نقله أحد المقربين منه، الذي قال أيضا إن نائب الأمين العام للجامعة احمد بن حلي، الجزائري الأصل، يبدو في بعض الجلسات الرسمية بين العربي ومسؤولين عرب مجرد مسؤول تنفيذي لآراء رئيس الوزراء القطري الشيخ حمد بن جاسم بن جبر آل ثاني واقتراحاته، الأمر الذي دفع بعض حاضري تلك الجلسات إلى السؤال عن حقيقة موقف الجزائر، لا سيما ان الدبلوماسية الجزائرية العريقة تاريخيا مذ كان الرئيس عبد العزيز بوتفليقة وزيرا للخارجية وفاعلا جدا في التسويات العربية تميزت بصلابة وإقدام لافتين. فهل تخشى الجزائر أن يصيبها ما أصاب جاريها التونسي والليبي؟ أم في الأمر ما هو أبعد من ذلك؟
في توصيفه للتحرك الخليجي يقول العربي :«إن التحرك بهذا العدد وهذه القوة من قبل هذه الدول موضوع مقلق»، وما يعزز القلق هو تصرف بعض دول الخليج مع الجامعة على أنها مجرد غطاء حيال بعض الدول العربية الأعضاء، على غرار ليبيا واليمن وسوريا ومصر وغيرها. فنبيل العربي وبعض مسؤولي جامعة الدول العربية شعروا بأن ما حصل في ليبيا اكتنفه الكثير من الغموض المتعمد. وينقل مسؤول رفيع المستوى عن الأمين العام لجامعة الدول العربية قوله: «أنا شخصيا لم أكن أعرف انه حين يتم حظر الطيران وإقامة حظر جوي فوق ليبيا، سيكون حلف الناتو قادرا على قصف ليبيا بالمدفعية واستهداف ما يراه من المناطق، ولو أني كنت على علم بذلك لما كنت وافقت على ما حصل».
معروف أن قرار الجامعة العربية كتشريع أبواب ليبيا لحلف شمال الأطلسي كان قد اتخذ خلال ولاية عمرو موسى. ويبدو أن العربي أراد من خلال قوله هذا إيصال رسالة واضحة مفادها انه تم التغرير أيضا بالدول العربية حيال ليبيا حتى ولو أن النتيجة، أي القضاء على معمر القذافي وعهده، تلقى ترحيباً الآن من الأمين العام للجامعة.
المقربون من أحمد بن حلي ينقلون عن العربي قوله إن دول الخليج ضغطت كثيرا على جامعة الدول العربية بغية اتخاذ ذاك الموقف من ليبيا، وجل هذه الدول يضغط حاليا وربما بالقوة نفسها حيال الوضع في سوريا.
يذكر ان نص قرار جامعة الدول العربية بشأن ليبيا، حمل في بنده الأول في 14 آذار 2011 طلبا واضحا لمجلس الأمن بغية التدخل العسكري في ليبيا، حيث طالبه بـ«اتخاذ الإجراءات الكفيلة بفرض منطقة حظر جوي على حركة الطيران العسكري الليبي فورا، وإقامة منطقة آمنة في الأماكن المتعرضة للقصف كإجراءات وقائية تسمح بتوفير الحماية لأبناء الشعب الليبي والمقيمين في ليبيا من مختلف الجنسيات مع مراعاة السيادة والسلامة الإقليمية لدول الجوار».
ووفق مصادر مقربة من جامعة الدول العربية، فإن بعض دول الخليج وفي مقدمها قطر تضغط حاليا لتوفير غطاء عربي مماثل حيال التدخل الدولي في سوريا، لكن الأمر يلقى اعتراضات جدية من بعض الدول العربية الكبيرة، فمثلا مصر والجزائر رفضتا حتى الآن، والملك السعودي عبد الله ليس متحمساً للأمر برغم ضغوط من بعض الأطراف السعودية والكويتية التي لا تعبر بالضرورة عن القرار الرسمي في البلدين.
وهنا تطرح العلاقة بين بعض دول الخليج وأنقرة علامات استفهام كثيرة حيال ما يجري في سوريا، وتدور في أروقة الجامعة العربية أحاديث عن عمل حثيث بغية تشجيع تركيا والأردن على رفع مستوى التدخل في الشأن السوري بذريعة حماية المدنيين واللاجئين وعدد من منشقي الجيش، على أن يرافق ذلك التفكير جدياً بمناطق حدودية عازلة، وعقوبات اقتصادية عربية تتعلق بالحركة المالية السورية في المصارف العربية وبالاستثمارات الخليجية في سوريا وبوقف التعامل الاقتصادي وتعليق عضوية سوريا في منطقة التجارة الحرة والضغط على الدول والشركات التي تتعاطى مع القطاعات الاقتصادية والمالية السورية.
تدخل دولي ومعارضة
وتشير بعض وسائل الإعلام الإسرائيلية، ومنها «هآرتس»، إلى بعض الخطط المتعلقة بحمص وحماه وادلب كي تتحول إلى مناطق محمية دولياً، لكن الوسيلة إلى ذلك لم تنضج بعد، ذلك أن الفيتو الروسي والصيني ضد أي تدخل دولي في الشأن السوري يجعل الأمر بالغ الصعوبة حاليا. وتحاول بعض الدول التفكير بحلول أخرى، وبينها ما ذكره وزير الخارجية الفرنسي ألان جوبيه بشأن «ممرات إنسانية».
مثل هذا التدخل التركي والدولي لا يلقى إجماعا عربيا داخل الجامعة، وثمة تحفظات واضحة أعرب عنها بعض ممثلي هذه الدول ولكنها بقيت بعيدة عن الأضواء أو تم التغطية عليها عمدا.
وثمة خلاف عربي – عربي آخر بشأن المعارضة السورية. ويقول عمار القربي مثلا ان نبيل العربي تلقى حتى الاسبوع الماضي أكثر من 25 طلبا من هذه المعارضة للقائه، وثمة ضغوط خليجية وقطرية على وجه الخصوص لدفع الدول العربية للاعتراف بالمجلس الوطني، لكن ثمة آراء أخرى، وبينها غربية، تقول إنه لا بد من توسيع إطار التمثيل المعارض السوري قبل أي اعتراف جدي.
هذا ما يفسر عدم اعتراف أي دولة عربية أو غربية بعد بالمجلس ممثلاً للمعارضة، ذلك أن قوى سورية معارضة أخرى ترى أن المجلس هو مجرد غطاء للإخوان المسلمين وان قراره ليس سورياً محضاً بل يهيمن عليه الأتراك والقطريون وبعض الدول الغربية.
ومن المنتظر أن تتكثف الضغوط في المرحلة المقبلة بغية التأسيس لمؤتمر أوسع للمعارضة تكون فيه كل الأطراف، أو جلها، حاضرة، ما يسمح بالاعتراف العربي والدولي به كمقدمة لرفع الشرعية عن النظام السوري، مع ما قد يطرحه ذلك من عقبات أمام حركة الدبلوماسيين السوريين في الخارج وشل قدراتهم.
ولكن السلاح الذي انتشر بقوة في الأشهر القليلة الماضية، جعل المعارضة نفسها منقسمة حيال التعاطي معه. ويقول المعارض هيثم المناع ذو العلاقة المتوترة دائما مع برهان غليون «لو أن التظاهرات تأسلمت وتسلّحت وتطيّفت لانتهت» ذلك أن من يملك السلاح الأكثر هو الذي سينتصر في نهاية الأمر. ويطالب المناع ورفاقه بموقف واضح من غليون ومجلسه بأن يعلنوا فصل الدين عن الدولة، لا بل انه يتحداهم أن يفعلوا ذلك.
ولكن جل هؤلاء المعارضين يقول إن على النظام أن يبرهن فعلا انه يريد الإصلاح وان يبدأ بخطوات ملموسة لذلك، خصوصا لجهة الانتخابات والمشاركة الفعلية في السلطة لكي يسحب البساط أمام أي تدخل خارجي.
وقد لعبت قطر في الأسابيع القليلة الماضية دورا كبيرا في توحيد جهود المعارضة ودعت معظم ممثليها إلى الدوحة. وثمة من يقول إن لقاء رئيس الوزراء القطري قبل أيام قليلة مع ولي العهد السعودي الأمير نايف خصص في معظمه للشأن السوري، برغم أن الأمير نايف كان قد تلقى رسالة صداقة لافتة من الرئيس بشار الأسد بعيد تعيينه ولياً للعهد، ورد عليها بكلام حميم وبالتمني لسوريا الخلاص مما هي فيه.
ويلعب الأتراك دورا كبيرا في تكثيف الضغوط، فإلى التصريحات القاسية التي يدلي بها رئيس الوزراء رجب طيب أردوغان، تتحدث المعارضة السورية، وبينها القربي نفسه، عن سيناريوهات عديدة تُناقش مع القيادة السياسية في أنقرة وبينها: «انقلاب عسكري داخل سوريا، إنشاء منطقة عازلة، عقوبات اقتصادية ومالية شالّة، والعمل الحثيث على تشجيع انشقاق داخل الجيش».
ويبدو أن دخول الجيش السوري إلى حمص، ومواصلة اعتماد سياسة أمنية «استئصالية» فيها بحيث لا يستبدل القصف الشامل بعمليات «نوعية» لاعتقال أو قتل مجموعات من المسلحين، جعل بعض الدول الخليجية تسرِّع الضغوط وتكثفها على الجامعة العربية وعلى نبيل العربي شخصيا بغية استصدار بروتوكول مكبِّل لسوريا، فلا هي قادرة على القبول به لأنه يعني تشريع أراضيها لكل أنواع المراقبين والسلاح وتشجيع التظاهرات ومساعدة المسلحين، ولا هي قادرة على رفضه لأنه سيفتح الطريق إلى مجلس الأمن ويكبح جماح روسيا.
علام اختلفت سوريا والجامعة العربية؟
حصلت «السفير» من مصادر قريبة من أحمد بن حلي على الأوراق التي تم تبادلها بين الجامعة العربية ودمشق في الشهرين الماضيين.
طالبت الورقة الأولى والحاملة الرقم 7435 والصادرة بتاريخ 16/10/2011 السلطات السورية بما يلي:
÷ الوقف الكامل لجميع أعمال العنف الموجهة ضد المواطنين السوريين، والوقف الكامل للعنف من أي مصدر كان.
÷ إعلان السلطات السورية عن اعتزامها الإفراج عن المعتقلين السياسيين بسبب الأحداث الراهنة في سوريا قبل حلول عيد الأضحى المبارك.
÷ القيام بإخلاء جميع المظاهر العسكرية من المدن والأحياء السكنية.
÷ عقد مؤتمر حوار وطني شامل بمقر الأمانة العامة لجامعة الدول العربية وتحت رعايتها خلال أسبوع ولمدة 15 يوما وذلك بعد تنفيذ الفقرات 1 و2 و3 المذكورة أعلاه، ويضم هذا المؤتمر ممثلي الحكومة السورية وممثلي المعارضة بجميع أطيافها للاتفاق على خريطة طريق لعملية الإصلاح السياسي والآليات اللازمة لتنفيذها وبما يحقق طموحات الشعب السوري في الإصلاح السياسي المنشود.
÷ تتولى اللجنة الوزارية العربية والأمانة العامة للجامعة إعداد الآليات اللازمة لإنجاز هذه البنود.
وبعد تعديلات سورية على هذه الورقة، عادت اللجنة الوزارية العربية تقول في 26/10/2010 ، «انه بناء على اتفاقها مع «فخامة الرئيس بشار الأسد» تم الاتفاق على ما يلي:
÷ وقف كل أعمال العنف من أي مصدر كان لحماية المواطنين السوريين.
÷ الإفراج عن المعتقلين بسبب الأحداث الراهنة.
÷ إخلاء المدن والأحياء السكنية من جميع المظاهر المسلحة.
÷فتح المجال أمام منظمات الجامعة العربية المعنية ووسائل الإعلام العربية والدولية للتنقل بحرية في جميع أنحاء سوريا للاطلاع على حقيقة الأوضاع ورصد ما يدور فيها من أحداث».
وأبقت على البند الأخير المتعلق بمؤتمر الحوار كما هو.
تقول أوساط الجامعة العربية، انه في خلال النقاشات الجانبية التي كان نبيل العربي ومساعدوه يعقدونها مع بعض ممثلي دول الخليج وفي مقدمهم الشيخ حمد، كان الانطباع العام ينحو صوب توقع رفض سوري لهذه القرارات، لكون نبيل العربي سمع أكثر من مرة من الأسد كلاما واضحا لجهة رفض أي مساس بالسيادة السورية وبأن الحوار يجب أن يتم على الأراضي السورية.
ولكن موافقة سوريا على المبادرات العربية والتي ترافقت مع تعزيز القبضة الأمنية السورية على المناطق «الملتهبة» خصوصا خلال عيد الأضحى، ساهم في تكثيف الضغوط الخليجية والدولية على الجامعة لرفع مستوى الضغط، وذلك فيما كانت وسائل الإعلام الفضائية العربية والدولية تكثف بث صور لما تراه عمليات قتل واقتحامات وعنف وغيرها. فكان البروتوكول العربي الذي جل ما فيه كان سيؤدي إلى رفض سوري فوري.
فِخاخ البروتوكول
البروتوكول المؤلف من خمسة بنود يتفرع من كل منها 3 نقاط مكبِّلة، يسمح للجنة المراقبين بالتحرك أينما شاءت وكيفما أرادت. يستطيع المراقبون فتح السجون وزيارة المخيمات عند الحدود واللقاء مع من يرونه مناسبا. وعند اللجنة حرس شخصي يحق له التنقل أينما شاء. وتقدم اللجنة تقاريرها فقط إلى نبيل العربي، الأمين العام لجامعة الدول العربية، من دون أي تواصل مع الحكومة السورية إلا إذا احتاجت فتح سجن.
واللافت ان البروتوكول العربي يفرض على سوريا ان تدفع كل تكاليف المراقبين الذين سيبقى عددهم مفتوحا.
مرة ثانية لم ترفض سوريا البروتوكول. قررت ان تذهب باتجاه الريح رغم ان سير تلك الريح سيحطم الكثير من النوافذ والأبواب. قبلت مبدأ البروتوكول وأدخلت عليه تعديلات ومنها: ان سوريا ألغت بند الحرس الخاص، ورفضت تقديم أي تقرير من اللجنة قبل التشاور مع الحكومة، وقالت انه لا يمكن للجنة ان تتحرك إلا بالتشاور مع الحكومة، وينبغي ان تقدم تقريرا لهذه الحكومة بالتوازي مع التقرير إلى الأمين العام للجامعة العربية. وأما التمويل فيكون على حساب الجامعة.
ما الذي يدفع سوريا للقبول
بما ينسف جزءاً من سيادتها؟
اذا كانت المعارضة ترى في ذلك ضعفا من قبل النظام، وتقول انه لم يعد قادرا على رفض أي شيء لان سقوطه حتمي، فلدى النظام وجهة نظر ثانية ومناقضة تماما لهذه الأجواء. يقول المقربون من القيادة السورية، انه بعد ان دخلت الازمة السورية شهرها التاسع، تبين للخارج ان لا اهتزاز جديا في النظام وان الجيش لا يزال متماسكا وان جل الانشقاقات التي حصلت لم تصل بعد إلى مستوى عدد الفارين من الجيش السوري في السنوات العادية، وان لا خوف على الوضع الاقتصادي، ذلك أن سوريا عرفت في تاريخها الحديث 17 عاما من الحصار وحافظت على تطوير زراعاتها وصدّرت منتجاتها إلى الخارج، وما دامت خطوطها مفتوحة مع العراق وإيران ولبنان وروسيا واندونيسيا والهند وغيرها فلا شيء سيخنق الاقتصاد.
ويضيف هؤلاء أن قبول قرارات الجامعة يهدف أولا إلى الإبقاء على «وحدة الصف العربي» بغية عدم تشريع الأبواب للتدخلات الخارجية، ومساعدة الروس والحلفاء الآخرين على تدعيم مواقفهم في مجلس الأمن، خصوصا أن هذا الموقف السوري ترافق مع إعداد ملفات كاملة ومنها مصور بالفيديو أو بالـDVD ، تظهر وجود مئات المسلحين في مناطق الاشتباكات، كما تظهر انزلاق بعض المناطق، خصوصا في حمص، إلى عمليات قتل على الهوية وتنكيل بالجثث واغتصاب وغيرها.
وثمة معلومات موثقة بالصور تؤكد تورط بعض الدول الخليجية في عمليات التمويل والتسليح، وقد يتم بثها إذا رفع العرب مستوى ضغطهم على سوريا إلى حد القطيعة.
ولعل في المنطق السوري أيضا ما يشير إلى أن دمشق لن تبادر مطلقا للخروج من جامعة الدول العربية، أما اذا كان بعض العرب يريدون طردها فليتحملوا نتيجة عملهم. واللافت هنا ان نبيل العربي نفسه كان يروي لبعض الذين قابلوه مؤخرا كيف انه تعرض حين كان وزيرا للخارجية لضغوط خليجية بغية إرجاء قضية التقارب المصري السوري.
وفي هذا المنطق ما يستند الى حركة الشارع السوري، حيث تبين في الاسابيع القليلة الماضية ان قرارات الجامعة العربية لاقت أصداء إيجابية لدى جزء من السوريين، ولكنها جوبهت بتظاهرات عارمة لدى الجزء الآخر، كما ان هذه القرارات حرّكت بعض القوى القومية العربية لنصرة سوريا ضد التدخل الخارجي.
وسط هذه الأجواء، تبدو الأوضاع السورية إلى مزيد من التعقيد، ذلك أن ضبط الأوضاع الأمنية في الداخل يواجه ضغوطا هائلة من الخارج، ولكن ثمة من يقول، وبين هؤلاء الروس على وجه الخصوص، ان النظام لا يزال قادرا على إحداث اختراق كبير عبر خطواته السياسية المقبلة، ولا بد بالتالي من تسريع هذه الخطوات ونقلها الى مستوى الواقع. وهذا ما جعل موسكو تستقبل قبل فترة وفدا من المجلس الوطني، للعب دور الوسيط. الخطوة الروسية أعقبت مؤتمر انتاليا الذي أريد له ان يكون الاكثر تنوعاً للمعارضة السورية في الخارج حيث طالب صراحة بإسقاط نظام بشار الأسد.
ويبدو أن عددا من الدول العربية قد أعرب في الآونة الاخيرة عن قلق فعلي من أية «خطوة ناقصة» حيال سوريا، لكن اللافت ان ذلك جوبه برفض فعلي من قبل نبيل العربي والشيخ حمد. فالتعديلات الجزائرية على البروتوكول لم تؤخذ بعين الاعتبار، وثمة من يعتقد أن تأجيج الأوضاع في مصر له علاقة مباشرة بما يحدث في غير ملف عربي ودولي، خصوصا أن القرار الرسمي المصري لم يكن كبير الترحيب لا بالمجلس الوطني السوري ولا بالتدخل الدولي في شؤون سوريا.
المتشائمون يذهبون إلى حد الاعتقاد أن العالم العربي يعيش مرحلة تفكك الجامعة العربية أو إخضاع دورها لسيطرة دول الخليج، وهذا يتطلب قبل كل شيء إضعاف الموقف المصري. وآخرون يرون أن الاشتباك الإقليمي والدولي يمر في أوج مراحله الآن وثمة من يعتقد ان الفرصة مؤاتية تماما لضرب سوريا كمقدمة لتطويق إيران. ولكن هذا يفترض أن يكون الطرف الآخر، أي ايران وسوريا و«حزب الله» وروسيا وغيرهم في أوج جهوزيتهم، الأمر الذي يجعل الأزمة السورية أمام تعقيدات طويلة الأمد ما لم تحصل مفاجأة أمنية كبيرة في الداخل السوري، أو ان تنزلق الأوضاع إلى فخ مواجهة مع تركيا أو الاردن وغيرها.
ووسط كل ذلك فإن لبنان مرشح في المرحلة المقبلة لعدد غير محدود من الاهتزازات السياسية والأمنية ما دام جل سياسييه يتعاطون بسياسته وفقا لموقعهم حيال الأزمة السورية.

November 25th, 2011, 1:45 am


jad said:

مقابلة مع الصحفي وبيستر تربيلي الجزء الأول 24-11-2011

مقابلة مع الصحفي وبيستر تربيلي الجزءاالثاني 24-11-2011

November 25th, 2011, 2:09 am


mjabali said:

Mr. NZ comment # 175:

Overall, I like what Bassam Junied wrote, although there are things I would disagree with him here and there. Therefore I will discuss few points:

1- As for the first paragraph in the article about al-Baath and the fall of its slogans about Arab unity, I say that I never was impressed with anything al-Baath had produced. Also, I was never a fan of Arabic nationalism, and nationalism in general. I like Syria with its multi ethnic composition, and always saw how Arab nationalism is bad for these ethnic groups like the Kurds in Syria and the Amazigh in North Africa, for example who were stripped from their rights to know who they are and teach their language for the sake of Arabism. al-Baath put its bet on the wrong horse and did not know that the Arabs are tribal, of course sectarian, and racist when it comes to talk about themselves vs other races. al-Baath never made that distinction between the Arabic culture and the Arabic race, and instead brainwashed the masses, I lived through this myself, telling them that the Arabs wish to be united, and of course you know that is a lie. Do you think that the rich illiterate rulers of the Gulf who have money want to unite with Syria? Even the other Baathis in Iraq did not wanted to be united with Syria because they had oil money and Syria did not.

Arab Unity was a drug the Baath was selling over the counter without the approval of the right authorities (logic in this case).

2- Bassam Junied was a little emotional when he said that Syria is a very rich country and could be one of the best places if its sons and daughters built it correctly. Here I agree with him about the need for the Syrian people to build their country, but, I think Syria today is a country that is getting poorer by the day with a huge demographic problem. Limited resources and population growth unplanned and not calculated for. Syria will also get poorer with this civil war taking place now. They are not going to get out of it in a long time and wish if an economist would try to estimate the real loss.

3- I totally agree with Bassam Juneid when he said that we are in desperate need for historical decisions and actions ASAP. We need something today before tomorrow that could change things. I like to be optimistic sometimes but the reality is telling me otherwise. This decision/decisions has to be the RIGHT ones that will keep this country together otherwise Syria is going to hell.

Point Four: His last sentence is an example of his emotional thinking and I do not blame him because he is living in Syria and can see the destruction and chaos around him. He said that he wants the Arab League and the UN and everyone else to leave Syria alone.

Here, the first thing I do not agree with him in this sentence is that I believe in the role of the UN, no matter how much of a joke it could be here and there. The second thing I do not agree with him in this sentence is that I think the USA could really play a positive role in Syria and the whole region for a long time, because it is the real superpower of this world with a good democratic record and a law that Syria should copy and learn from especially there are tons of Syrian who could show their co-patriots the right way.

November 25th, 2011, 2:10 am


jad said:

مسلحو “المجلس الوطني” يرتكبون اليوم جريمة كبرى تؤكد ما كشفه أحد ضباطهم لـ”الحقيقة” قبل أسبوعين

اغتيال سبعة من طياري القاذفات السورية خلال توجههم في سيارة المبيت من قاعدة ” التياس” الجوية إلى منازلهم في حمص عصر اليوم الخميس

دمشق ، الحقيقة ( خاص): أقدمت عصابات العميل الأميركي ـ التركي رياض الأسعد ، المسماة بـ”الجيش السوري الحر” أو الجناح العسكري لـ”المجلس الوطني السوري” الذي يترأسه برهان غليون، على ارتكاب جريمة وطنية كبرى عصر اليوم الأربعاء بحق سبعة من طياري القاذفات والطائرات الاعتراضية السورية بينما كانوا في طريقهم بسيارة المبيت إلى منازلهم في مدينة حمص. وقال مصدر عسكري سوري من القوى الجوية والدفاع الجوي لـ”الحقيقة” إن الطيارين السبعة ، ومعهم سائق سيارة المبيت ، استشهدوا بنيران كمين مسلح نصبته لهم عصابة من “الجيش “المذكور عند بلدة الفرقلس الواقعة على الطريق بين حمص ومدينة تدمر السورية الشهيرة. وبحسب معلومات”الحقيقة”فإن الطيارين السبعة يقودون قاذفات وطائرات اعتراضية بعيدة المدى ، وكان معظمهم تلقى تدريبات في روسيا بعد تخرجهم في الكلية الجوية. وقال المصدر إن الطيارين ينتمون إلى قاعدة ” التياس” الجوية ( 70 كم إلى الشرق من حمص)، المعروفة باسم T4 نسبة إلى محطة الضخ الرابعة التابعة لخطوط نقل النفط العراقي التي تمر من تلك المنطقة باتجاه حمص والساحل السوري ومدينة طرابلس اللبنانية.

هذا وقد نشر موقع “الجيش” المذكور بيانا اعترف فيه بجريمته ، وجاء فيه :

الجيش السوري الحر / الجناح الالكتروني
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم //
الجيش السوري الحر / الجناح الالكتروني :: نزف لكم حصريا هذا النبأ السار جدا
“ويومئذ يفرح المؤمنون بنصر الله ينصر من يشاء وهو العزيز الرحيم ”
الخميس 24 /11 /2011
قامت كتيبة الفاروق قبل قليل حوالي الساعة الثالثة عصرا بالهجوم على باص مبيت يقل ضباطا طيارين من مطار التيفور على طريق حمص _تدمر عند بلدة الفرقلس وكانت النتيجة بحمد الله ومنه وفضله مقتل 7 ضباط طيارين اقل رتبة فيهم مقدم ورقباء اثنين يرافقون الباص بالاضافة الى المساعد اول السائق الذي يقود الباص.

وإلى ذلك ، علمت”الحقيقة” أن الضباط الطيارين هم :

ـ العقيد الطيار محمد عصفور ( مصياف / الفندارة) ، العقيد الطيار خالد هرشوش ( حمص) ، العقيد الطيار محمد الأحمد ، العقيد الطيار منهل أيوب ، الرائد الطيار علي المحمد ( حمص ، المخرم)، الرائد الطيار نزار إسبر ( طرطوس / صافيتا) ، الملازم الأول الطيار وليم ياسين الصالح .

وكان أحد الضباط العاملين مع العميل رياض الأسعد كشف لـ”الحقيقة” قبل نحو أسبوعين عن مخطط الاغتيالات والتفجيرات التي سيقوم به العقيد رياض الأسعد ، بالتتنسق مع الملحقية العسكرية الأميركية في أنقرا، ضد المنشآت والمصالح الاستراتيجية الخاصة بالجيش السوري ، بما في ذلك القوى الجوية.

November 25th, 2011, 2:26 am



الجيش السوري الحر بقيادة سيادة العقيد رياض الأسعد
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
بيان صادر عن الجيش السوري الحر
إن الجيش السوري الحر يستهجن وينفي ما تناقلته صفحات الإنترنت ما نسب إلى العقيد رياض الأسعد قائد الجيش السوري الحر نية إستهداف الجيش السوري الحر لقرى جبال العلويين
ونؤكد أن العلويين هم جزء من نسيج الشعب السوري وإن النظام هو من ينشر مثل هذه الشائعات والأكاذيب لإشعال الفتنة بين أبناء الشعب الواحد
وندعوا الشعب للوقوف صفا واحدا في وجه هذا النظام الذي أمعن في إجرامه مع كافة أطياف الشعب
(العقيد رياض الأسعد قائد الجيش السوري الحر)
عاشت سورية حرة أبية .

November 25th, 2011, 2:46 am



الجيش السوري الحر بقيادة سيادة العقيد رياض الأسعد
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
اعزائي الزائرين نعلمكم بانه تم انشاء صفحة مزورة تحمل نفس الاسم الجيش السوري الحر بقيادة سيادة العقيد رياض الاسعد لتشتيت الزوار فلذلك هذه هي الصفحة الوحيدة التي تمثل الجيش السوري الحر فيرجى الحذر والابلاغ فور

November 25th, 2011, 2:51 am


Juergen said:

@ mjabali

Who cares still about the baath ideology?

Nationalism is for me a disease, and its certain that some countries are very ill while others just have a fever from time to time. Nationalism at the most will always produce hate if not more.

November 25th, 2011, 3:25 am


Volk said:

Russia is opposed to any resolutions against or pressure on Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has said. What Syria needs is an internal political dialogue. Russia sees the use of outside force as totally unacceptable, while human rights issues should not be used as a pretext, the diplomat pointed out.

November 25th, 2011, 3:36 am


Mango said:

ننصح الحكومة اللبنانية و الجيش اللبناني منع فتح مسرحيةابليس انطلاقا من شمال لبنان !!!

November 25th, 2011, 4:45 am


Uzair8 said:

@158 Irritated

Isn’t that the same reporter SANA is quoting in its headline ‘Deraa is normal’?

Is SANA being selective?

November 25th, 2011, 5:50 am


Uzair8 said:

Someone posted a witty comment here about the allegation the Arab Spring was started by and is controlled by the west/zionist’s. It was posted in the last month or so. Im trying to find it. If you know where it is or if you posted it please let me know.

It ridiculed the allegation thus: ‘…. zionists made Bouazizi set himself alight…’

Im sure it was on here (it may have been on AJE Live Syria blog).
Thanks in advance.

November 25th, 2011, 5:55 am


Ya Mara Ghalba said:

If you’ve been reading news about Syria in mass media outlets over the past week you’ll recall that (a) the narrative has been that Syria and the Arab League cannot agree about the grounds rules under which the Arab League would send a delegation of observers into Syria, and (b) the items of disagreement between the two sides were fundamental and “lie at the core of the Arab League plan”, but (c) the items of disagreement were left unspecified, and not aired in public by either the Syria side or the Arab League side.

Today at SANA I finally see what the Arab League wanted. 25 Nov 2011: “The Arab League Council called on the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition to hold a dialogue conference as stipulated by the Arab plan to move to a national unity government in order to run the transitional stage, which the Syrian people considered a flagrant interference in their internal affairs.”

That was always utterly unacceptable for the regime. There will be free and fair parliamentary elections next year (except religious and tribal parties are banned). Local Council Elections are to take place on 12 Dec 2011. The opposition has to compete and win in those elections if it is to have any role in government. It’s as simple as that. We on the pro-regime side have every reason for confidence that the opposition will lose bigly in all elections. The Will of the People of Syria is to support the political reformation that is being introduced by the regime. Any other conceivable or hypothetical pathway out of the situation is unacceptable.

By the way, repeating myself from an earlier post:

Right now, the Arab League countries have a standing invitation from the Syrian government to send professional military and police men to Syria to observe the policies and practices of the Syrian security forces. If a delegation of such Egyptian and other Arabic security professionals went to Syria, their observations would help to inform the world beyond Syria that Syria’s security policies and practices are virtuous. If the Arab League countries refuse this invitation to educate themselves, I’d read that as malice on their part.

November 25th, 2011, 6:18 am


irritated said:

@189 UZAIR8

In the the Channel 4 article the reporter does not mention his visit to Deraa at all. Yet the photo shows clearly Jonathan Miller with Daraa Governor Muhammad Khaled al-Hannous. Either Sana is lying big or the guy ( or channel four) have preferred to omit to make public the report on Deraa as it may have contradicted his previous scoopy lies of “40 dead across the country”. The honesty of Channel four could be in question.
Curiously both his visit to Deraa and his interview with Mekdad have not been by reported yet by any other media . I would have guessed they would jump on such a scoop: A foreign media finally in Syria. Their silence triggers many questions.

November 25th, 2011, 9:02 am


Juergen said:

@ya mara ghalba

can you name me an election in Syria ever held which was democratic, open and fair? How can the regime offer an open democratic election process? How can we have democratic election in the spring of 2012 if until now only one party is there?

You must know i grew up under the communist regime of East Germany, we always had according to the regimes propaganda democratic elections, 98% approval was almost certain.We even had the name democratic in our countries name, but all would aggree that we had all but no democracy. The muhabarat which was called Staatssicherheit paid visits to those who forget to come to the voting box, i bet such coutesy is also available in Syria. By the way our muhabarat trained the Syrian one.

November 25th, 2011, 9:09 am


irritated said:


“Nationalism at the most will always produce hate if not more.”

So what do you think of the hyper nationalism and the Ataturk idolatry in Turkey?

November 25th, 2011, 9:12 am


Bronco said:

#193 Juergen

You can say the same about elections in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Yemen etc..
Yet until recently no western countries disputed them.

If ever there is an election or a referendum in Syria, it must be under the supervision of foreign observers, otherwise it is useless

November 25th, 2011, 9:16 am


ann said:

Carry on Obama – 24 – 30 November 2011

Ruthlessly pursuing its Middle East grand strategy come hell or high water risks another terrorist tsunami, warns

Popular uprisings that began with peaceful protests in Tunisia and Egypt nearly a year ago, and spread across the Arab world, have created a new reality, not only in countries experiencing political awakening, but far beyond. More worryingly for Washington, the Arab Spring created fresh uncertainties and pressures for United States policy. With the first anniversary of those momentous events approaching, there is growing resentment among many Arabs who feel that their revolutions have been hijacked by forces not originally anticipated. Demonstrations in Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and Kuwait in the last few days are acute symptoms of the prevailing mood in the region.

Two opposing trends are at work. The pressure from below succeeded in overthrowing the regimes in Egypt and Tunisia — in Egypt President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown though not the ruling military order. But the pressure from above has been decisive in the overthrow and lynching of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi after NATO intervention. It also continues to sustain Bahrain’s minority Sunni ruling class, thanks to the entry of Saudi troops and Western military assistance.

In Syria, Bashar Al-Assad is much more resilient, despite every conceivable attempt by the United States and its Arab and European allies. I say “every conceivable attempt” because the prospect of the United Nations Security Council approving a Libya-type full-scale Western-led intervention in Syria is much less likely. The Russians and the Chinese would not play ball with America, Britain and France.

Even so, external forces look determined to decide Syria’s fate. A lot depends on whether the Syrian armed forces will mostly remain loyal to the regime. There are signs of defections from the Syrian military, but for now the military as an institution appears to be with Al-Assad —- just about. However, the United States is determined to eventually see regime change in Syria too, and the course of events there could become even more bloody. Its implications for the Middle East, starting from neighbouring Lebanon, will be very serious indeed.

What began so hopefully in the Arab world a year ago has transpired into something bloody and ugly. Authoritarian regimes, assisted and sustained by great powers, have long dominated the region. Although the Cold War ended and the Soviet threat ceased more than two decades ago, the United States continues to pursue its grand strategy in the region with increasing and desperate vigour. The need for oil and support for Israel remain the two fundamental planks of US foreign policy. The Arab Spring threatened the status quo, and with it, America’s interests in the Middle East. It had to be reversed.

What we see now is a counter-revolution from above, trying to frustrate the will of the people. After Libya, the only exception is Syria. Democracy would be very welcome there, as it would be throughout the Arab world. But turmoil inspired by foreign powers is not what the region needs.

The supreme irony in all this is that both Libya and Syria, targeted by Washington on grounds of humanitarian intervention, collaborated with the torture programme during America’s “war on terror”. The Libyan and Syrian regimes accepted detainees rendered by the US and British intelligence agencies and tortured them in their notorious prisons. As for old friends like Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika of Algeria, Zein Al-Abidine bin Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, they had to be abandoned. They had served their purpose and become liabilities. The tide of popular opposition to them had become unstoppable.

Political expediency demanded that they be sacrificed in the interest of Washington’s alliance with the military in Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia, and the pace of change be controlled. Emboldened by Washington’s understanding and encouragement, the Egyptian military has been tightening its grip in the country. A climate of fear and sorrow pervades the streets of Cairo in advance of parliamentary elections beginning on 28 November. And in response to calls for limiting military assistance to Egypt, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has reaffirmed that the United States is against “imposing any conditions”.

Egypt is the biggest, most powerful country in the Arab world. Compliance of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the leading oil exporter and most influential in the Islamic world, is vital for Israeli security and the continuing US supremacy in the Middle East. Hence it is vital for the Obama administration that the rulers of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with smaller Gulf states, remain beholden to Washington.

Double standards of international law for friends and foes is the name of the game while the United States pursues its grand strategy in the Middle East. Not learning lessons from the calamitous legacy of America’s wars under the Reagan presidency in the 1980s, and more recently from George W Bush’s “war on terror,” it is Carry On Barack Obama. As we approach the next chapter of recent bloody history, it is difficult to escape a deeper sense of foreboding.

November 25th, 2011, 9:26 am


irritated said:

The Terminator Erdogan compares Bashar al Assad to Adolph Hitler.

The only problem is that Turkey is responsible for the second largest known holocaust in history: the massacre of millions of armenians and hundred of thousands of Kurds, still denied by the self-righteous modern Turkey.

November 25th, 2011, 9:26 am


N.Z. said:


You seem to be genuinely concerned. You eluded in your response that you want to be optimistic, but no signs to lead you in that direction, you believe that all foreign powers are not to be trusted, I cannot agree with you more on this one.

FSA, were not airborne, neither Hamas nor Hizbullah.

FSA, are uneducated and do not understand what democracy means.

Now, I am not more concerned for one group of Syrian, more than the other. We are all Syrians. But the silence and the lack of condemnation towards Assad’s atrocities from the Alawites, is a complacent one.

All groups, including SNC, on many occasions went out and stated the unity of our people, the oneness of Syrian. All protesers chanted, ONE ONE ONE, SYRIAN PEOPLE ARE ONE!

SC, a sample of Syrian society, not once, have I read a comment, that states, in a positive light, Muslims. They are always painted as wahabis, salafis, MBs, KSA and all the stupidity that comes with resentment.

Accusing any person, educated or not, that he does not know what freedom means is unacceptable.

Assad does not own Syria nor Syrians. This family treated all Syrians equally, with disdain, they are traitors.

We kicked the thousands of French only to discover that an agent, a Syrian traitor was to replace them, fulfilling the interest of the west, by hindering the advancement of our people. Education was their first prey.

I think this quote speaks volume, remember, we are equally human.

متى اسعبدتم الناس وقد خلقهم امهاتهم احرارا

November 25th, 2011, 9:40 am


zoo said:

As the Qatar sponsored AL initiative appears shaky and unproductive, Saudi Arabia is ready to sponsor another GCC initiative based on its ‘success’ in Yemen.

GCC prepared to put forward Gulf initiative for Syria – Saudi FM
As for the Syrian crisis, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said that the GCC is prepared to put forward an accord similar to the Yemeni initiative. Prince Saud al-Faisal said “The GCC Secretary General is present and the accord is available. If they [Syria] ask for a similar accord [to the Yemeni initiative], we are ready to put it forward. We hope such a development would happen, but you cannot impose anything.”

He added that this is what the Arab League had tried to do, putting forward a “framework” to solve the crisis and calling for a dialogue to discuss this resolution, with Syria initially accepting this, only to later “change” the entire framework of the accord. The Saudi Foreign Minister stressed that this is what led the Arab League Secretary General to ask the ministerial council to convene.

“Prince Saud al-Faisal also stressed that “we don’t want to internationalize the issue. We want an Arab solution. We put forward views that we believe are in the interest of Syria and which will put an end to the bloodshed. These ideas include meeting with different parties to reach a political solution that will ensure that the losses that have been made as a result of this fighting never occurs again.” He added “we put forward a solution that we believe will save the country from foreign intervention, and will also save it from the threat of fragmentation and economic collapse, but regrettably there has been no response [from Syria].”

November 25th, 2011, 9:44 am


Ya Mara Ghalba said:

@ Juergen #193. Read this year’s new legislation on (1) Political Parties Law, and (2) Elections Law. Supplementarily see the new law on information media. Some introductory info about those laws is in English at

Syria has always had a multiplicity of political parties. But under Article 8 of the Constitution the Baath Party has automatic control of Parliament. Article 8 is being deleted in the forthcoming revised Constitution.

November 25th, 2011, 9:44 am


Juergen said:

@ irritated
Nationalism is never really a product of our rational mind.
I can tell you a nice story by a german friend who went on umra. Most turkish pilgrims wear the ihram with a turkish flag stiched to. he was waiting to kiss the black stone. the turk was waiting in front of him but left gaps between him and the line. My friend gestured to him to move on, the turk took his hand and touched his flag saying in turkish i am turkish. My friend was astranged by this in front of the kaabah and answered that he is german.

nationalism like is said is for me a desease and surely Turkey is a stronghold of nationalism,and it has cost many nonturkish lives.
Who to blame? Mostly nationalism was introduced by the european powers as a substitute for religion, a common base for otherwise indifferent people.

When Erdogan referred to Hitler it was not helpful but the speech had the meaning that Assad should look into history and make a move instead of dying like Mussolini, Hitler,Ceaucescu and Ghadaffi.

To blame Turkey for the genocide against the Armenians is is like blaming the german government for the genocide of the jewish, you can blame morally since such a crime was never acknowledged officially by the turks. The Nazis by the way learned how to build concentration camps from reading books on the first concentration camps for massive killings build by the Turks in Deir az Zohr.

November 25th, 2011, 9:54 am


mjabali said:

Irritated comment # 197

Turkey is a state build on blood and the killing of others (This is a FACT).

The name Turkey is foreign to the area and was forced by the sword. Turks came from Central Asia and Turkey should be the name of a state over there not over the ruins of one of the most ancient people and civilizations in the Middle East.

It is one of the biggest ethnic cleansing ventures in history that no one seem to notice and study what happened to the REAL people of that land?

Just one or two days ago Erdugan issued a half ass apology about the massacre of the Alawi Kurds in the famous incident at Dersim in the years 1934-1937 where thousand of Alawi Kurds were massacred. The timing of this apology is interesting. But, of course, Erdugan’s apology did not resonate well with the nationalist Turks who denied it of course as usual. By the way the Alawi Kurds were bombed from the air also in this incident.

The Turks massacred many and as for apologies they need to apologize a lot for lots of people…

November 25th, 2011, 10:00 am


Juergen said:


forget to answer about Atatürk idoltry

this same german friend refers to Atatürk always as Shaitanotürk- he finds there is almost no nice picture of him where he does not have this weired looking

But really, the Assadmania is no better, i always wondered if some artists are still alive, after seeing some handmade paintings at monuments throughout Syria.

November 25th, 2011, 10:01 am


norman said:

((186. Juergen said:

@ mjabali

Who cares still about the baath ideology?

Nationalism is for me a disease, and its certain that some countries are very ill while others just have a fever from time to time. Nationalism at the most will always produce hate if not more.))

I do care about the Baath ideology as the Baath party is the only party that is not associated with individuals and personalities but with a platform of unity, freedom and social justice , and one Arab nation with great mission to improve the world,

Nationalism is bad if it is to hate others but good when it is to inspire the people of the nation to love each other and work together for the overall good of the nation , supporting an Arab nation was and is still never against any other nation.

November 25th, 2011, 10:17 am


Juergen said:

@Ya Mara Ghalba

Please, even a german like me, felt always the tension syrians have when the subject politics come up. A friend of mine studied in Damascus, and he asked sometimes shopowners or his landlord in fusah arabic, they immediatly were afraid he would adress them about politics, as fusah is widely used just for official purposes.

Can you at least say that elections in Syria have a record of frauds and manipulation?

How much power lies in the parliament of Syria? I dont see there is a opposition worthwile noting in damascus under the variety of political parties you suggest exist in Syria.

November 25th, 2011, 10:27 am


Juergen said:


I can understand that personaly people have different opinions about the concept of nationalism, may be i am too german in this, after the nazi regime we tend to have difficulties of being nationalistic.

In my opinion there is no good in it, you will always end up leaving those who are not of your kind, your ideology, your language,your culture.

Baathism is just an overcome ideology, it may get some revival if ever we will have a process started which would end up into the foundation of a unified arab union, but now at this moment,its as dead as communism in the region. In Syria it does not even give the basic ground of politics anymore, it seems more or less even there an abondoned ideology, Assadism has taken control of the hearts and souls of a lot of Syrians.

November 25th, 2011, 10:39 am


jad said:

العلمانيّة المغدورة في سوريا
(تقرير من إعداد: محمد ديبو)
مَن يراقب البيانات التي تصْدر عن مؤتمرات المعارضة السوريّة يَلْمح دخولَ مصطلح “الدولة المدنيّة” وغياب مصطلح “الدولة العلمانيّة،” مع أنّ المعارضة المذكورة تتكوّن من تيّارات وأحزاب وشخصيّات كانت منذ عقود (وما زالت في جزء منها) تعتبر نفسَها علمانيّة!
فلصالحِ مَن إحلالُ “الدولة المدنيّة” مكانَ “العلمانيّة”؟ وإنْ كان مفهومًا أن يُقْدم السياسيُّ على مبازرةٍ طالما امتهنها، فإنّ المستغرب أن يجاريه المثقفُ، فيقرأ بعينَي السياسيّ لا بعينيه هو. بل وصل الأمرُ بالمفكّر السوريّ برهان غليون، حين سأله مارسيل غانم كيف يتفق مع الإسلاميين وهو علمانيّ، أنْ ردّ مستنكرًا: “من قال إنني علمانيّ؟!” (ورد في مقال نزار العاني، “غليون والعقل السياسيّ العربيّ”). كذلك يفاجئنا المُنْصف المرزوقي بتصريحه الآتي: “لو كنتُ فرنسيًّا لكنتُ لائكيًّا [علمانيًّا]. لكنْ بما أنّني مسلم تونسيّ فلن أرضى باللائكيّة في بلدي.”(تقرير نشرته ا ف ب بعنوان “تونس تقطع علاقتها مع الماضي،” جريدة الرأي الأردنيّة
أثمّة ردّة في ما يحصل؟ هلّا توقّفنا عند تحذير شيرين عبادي، القاضية والناشطة الحقوقيّة الإيرانيّة الحائزة جائزةَ نوبل للسلام، حين خاطبتْ نساء اليقظة العربيّة أثناء مؤتمر “منبر النساء” في دوفيل بفرنسا قائلة: “لا ترتكبْن خطأنا. إنّ فصلَ الدين عن الدولة هو الضمانة الوحيدة للديموقراطيّة، لا لأنّ الخلل من الشريعة وإنّما لأنّ هذه قابلةٌ للتفسير من قِبَل الرجال الذين يريدون المزيدَ من التسلط ويروْن في الديموقراطيّة عدوًّا لتفرّدهم وخطفًا لصلاحيّاتٍ صادروها وأبعدوا النساءَ عنها عمدًا”؟ (راغدة درغام، “الغرب يصادر الثورات العربيّة لمصلحة الإسلاميين،” الحياة، 28/10/2011).
الهواجس السابقة وجّهناها إلى عددٍ من الفاعلين في الشأن السوريّ، علّنا نفهم ما يجري.

جاد الكريم الجباعي (باحث سوريّ): مكْر العلمانيين أدهى وأمرّ .
لا أعرف مَن يراقب بياناتِ المعارضة سوى لجان الصياغة، التي تعبِّر غالبًا عن نسبة القوى في المؤتمرات. وأدّعي أنّ هذه اللجان لا تهتمّ بالحقائق أو بالجهة التي توجِّه إليها بياناتِها، بقدر اهتمامها بالتعبير عن “ثوابتها ومبادئها،” وبقدر حرص كلّ واحدٍ من أعضائها على وضع بصمتِه أو سمةِ الاتجاه الذي يمثّله على تلك البيانات. وهذا أمرٌ مطّردٌ في أعمال لجان الصياغة في المؤتمرات، ولا سيّما مؤتمرات المعارضة التقليديّة. لذلك لا يُنظر إلى أيّ من هذه البيانات إلا بصفته “خطابًا مثقَّبًا” تقول فجواتُه أكثرَ مما تقوله كلماتُه.

أدّعي أيضًا أنّ أحزاب المعارضة التقليديّة الشائخة لم تتخلّ عن “الدولة العلمانية.” إذ ليس من المنطقيّ أن يتخلّى أحدٌ عن شيء لا يملكه أصلاً ــ فليس في فكر الأحزاب التقليديّة الموصوفة بالعلمانيّة وبرامجِها لا فكرةُ الدولة ولا فكرةُ الدولة العلمانيّة، بل لدى كلٍّ منها مشروعُ دولة “قوميّة” أو “اشتراكيّة” أو “إسلاميّة”، شموليّة لا تمتّ إلى الدولة العلمانيّة بصلة. لقد غابت فكرةُ الدولة الوطنيّة، أي العلمانيّة بالتمام والكمال، عن الثقافة السياسيّة منذ أكثر من نصف قرن، أيْ منذ اغتيال جنين الدولة الوطنيّة الذي كان آخذًا في النموّ بعيْد الاستقلال وبداية ما يسمّيه بعضُ الباحثين “العهد الليبراليّ.”

إنّ مصطلح “الدولة المدنيّة” الشائع اليوم في خطاب المعارضة السياسيّة هنا وهناك، وفي خطاب بعض المثقفين، هو مصطلحٌ محليّ لا أساسَ له في العلوم السياسيّة والقانونيّة. وقد ابتكره منظّرو الإخوان المسلمين في خمسينيّات القرن الماضي على أنه تعبيرٌ عن “حقيقة الدولة الإسلاميّة،” ويرْجعه بعضُهم إلى “الدولة” التي أقامها النبيّ محمّد في المدينة المنوّرة ووَضع لها “صحيفةً” يشبِّهها بعضُهم بالدستور. لكنّ أهمّ ما يدحض هذا المصطلح اليوم أنه من قبيل الأضداد (التي تحمل المعنى ونقيضه)، إذ يعني به الإسلاميون الدولة الإسلاميّة صراحةً، ويعني به “العلمانيون” الدولة العلمانيّة مواربةً. وفي اعتقادي أنّ شيوعه ناتجٌ عن جهل أو مكر، فكيف يأمن الناس على مستقبلهم بين الجهل والمكر؟ والمكْر هنا قسمة بين الإسلاميين والعلمانيين، ولعلّ مكر “العلمانيين” أدهى وأمرّ.

جورج طرابيشي (مفكّر سوريّ): ارتداد علمانيّ
من المؤسف أنّ الإسلاميين ـ المموَّلين بالبترودولارات، والمروَّجَ لهم بالصحافة والمحطّات الفضائيّة المموَّلة بدورها بالدولارات النفطيّة، والمتفوّقةِ بالتالي تفوقا تقنيًّا ساحقًا ـ استطاعوا أن يؤبلسوا كلمة “العلمانيّة” التي كانت الأحزابُ التقدميّة (القوميّة والشيوعيّة معًا) قد تحاشت اعتمادَها في مسعًى انتهازيٍّ منها لكسب أصوات الجماهير المتديّنة التي لم تخرجْ مجتمعيًّا من القدامة إلى الحداثة. وهذه الانتهازيّة هي عينها التي جعلت المعارضةَ العلمانيّةَ باطنًا تقْبل اليوم باستبدال كلمة “العلمانيّة” المؤبلسة بكلمة “المدنيّة” الملتبسة، والتي يزيد في التباسها وذيوعها جماهيريًّا أنها قد تُفهم وكأنها النقيضُ للدولة الدكتاتوريّة المتعسكرة في مصر وسورية والعراق وليبيا. وهذا ما جعل كلمة “المدنيّة” مقبولةً جماهيريًّا ما دامت توحي بأنها ضدّ عسكرة الدولة من دون أن يكون لها إطلاقًا معنى العلمانيّة.

والحال أنّ الضعف الجماهيريّ لأحزاب المعارضة العلمانيّة باطنيًّا لم يتركْ لها من خيار آخر، في سياق تنافسها غير المتكافئ مع الإسلاميين الذين قطفوا الثمارَ ناضجةً بعد نجاحهم في أسلمة المجتمع تمهيدًا لأسلمة الدولة وفق النموذج التركيّ (بعد أن كان إسلاميّو الستينيّات يعملون على أسلمة الدولة أولاً عن طريق الانقلاب أو التمرّد المسلّح)، غير أن تَسْحب الكلمة المؤبلسة من برامجها المعلنة. وعلى هذا النحو بات الإسلاميون اليوم هم المطالبين بالديمقراطيّة، وذلك بعد أن باتت نتائجُ صناديق الاقتراع معروفةً سلفًا بفضل أسلمة المجتمع. الجدير ذكرُه أنّ الأنظمة الدكتاتوريّة تتحمّل نصيبًا كبيرًا من المسؤوليّة عن هذه الأسلمة بعد أن قمعتْ على مدى أربعين عامًا كلَّ شكل من أشكال المعارضة السياسيّة، وغضّت النظر (بل شجّعتْ) تلك الأسلمة في سعيها إلى شرعنة نفسها جماهيريًّا.

حازم نهار (كاتب سوري معارض): سرّ نجاح أيّ ثورة هو منطقها العلمانيّ
يمكن في هذه اللحظة السياسية تفهّمُ وجود حالة من التنافس المحموم لكسب الشارع السوريّ المنتفض من قبل الأحزاب السياسيّة والنشطاء السياسيين ـ وهذا أمرٌ طبيعيّ بعد حالة الكمون والبلادة السياسية واقتصار العمل السياسيّ على الغرف المغلقة. وبالتالي يعتقد بعضُ الأحزاب السياسيّة بضرورة تفادي استخدام كلمات مرفوضة من الشارع السوريّ كمفردة “العلمانيّة.”

في اعتقادي أنّ هذا الموقف خاطئ من جهتين. فمن جهة أولى، أرى أنّ الأحزاب، تحت هاجس كسب الشارع مؤقتًا، تتخلّى عن أهمّ وظائفها المتمثّلة في الارتقاء بالوعي العامّ. والحقّ أنّ الأحزاب التي تتخلّى عن هذا الدور، وترتكز فقط إلى المزاج العامّ المؤقّت وإلى الحدس والمباشر والآنيّ، تصبح غير ضروريّة مع الزمن؛ ذلك لأنّ الشارع في المآل الأخير لا يحتاج إلى مَن يعبِّر عنه وحسب، بل يحتاج بالقدر ذاته إلى من يرتقي به ويقوده.

وهو خاطئ، من جهة ثانية، لأنّ هذا التشخيص لِما “يريده” الشارعُ المنتفض غير دقيق. هنا أستطيع القول إنّ الشارع السوريّ المنتفض كان علمانيًّا على مستوى السلوك أكثرَ من أصحاب العَلمانيّات المبتذلة أو العَلمانيّات التي تتكشّف عن طائفيّةٍ مقيتةٍ في داخلها. فالشارع لم يخرجْ من أجل إقامة حكم إسلاميّ، ولا تحرّك بإرادة رجال الدين أو الأحزاب الدينيّة، وإنما خرج ثائرًا من أجل الحريّة والكرامة في وجه نظام استبداديّ وفاسد. وقد حدَّد الشارعُ موقفه من الجميع استنادًا إلى اعتبارات المواطنة والوطنيّة ومصالح الشعب: فهو، على سبيل المثال، لم ينظرْ بعين الاحترام إلى عدد من رجال الدين الإسلامي كالبوطي وحسّون، ورفع في كلّ المناطق السوريّة شعاراتٍ وطنيّةً ترى الشعبَ السوريّ كلاً واحدًا موحّدًا. وإذا كانت هناك ملامةٌ من قِبل مدّعي العلمانيّة للمتظاهرين على خروجهم من الجوامع أو على ترديدهم صيحات “الله أكبر،” فإنّ هذا يحدث بسبب نظام القمع والقتل والاستبداد الذي يقوم بكلّ ما هو إجراميٌّ لمنعهم من الوجود في الساحات العامّة. ثم إنه ليس المطلوب بالتأكيد أن يردِّد المتظاهرون أثناء تشييع شهدائهم سمفونيّات بيتهوفن وموزارت!
وإذا كان الشارع يمتلك حساسيّةً خاصّةً تجاه مفردة “العلمانيّة،” فإنما يعود ذلك إلى ارتباط هذه الكلمة بسياسات النظام الاستبداديّ الذي حاول تقديمَ نفسه على أنه نظامٌ علمانيّ، وهو في الحقيقة أبعدُ ما يكون عن العلمانيّة. كما يعود إلى ارتباط المفردة (كما حاول العلمانيون المبتذلون إيصالها) بالموقف السلبيّ والعدائيّ من الدين ــ وهذا الفهم لا علاقة له بالفهم الفلسفيّ والفكريّ للعلمانيّة، وبتجسيداتها السياسيّة.

قد نتفهّم هذا السحبَ لكلمة “العلمانيّة” من التداول في حالةٍ واحدةٍ فقط، هي الحفاظ على مدلولاتها وتعبيراتها ومعانيها في الأهداف والبرامج السياسيّة والتطبيقات العمليّة، وألاّ تكون المفرداتُ البديلة (كالمدنيّة أو غيرها) غائمةً وتنتقص من المدلولات الفكريّة والسياسيّة للعلمانيّة. ذلك أنّ سرّ نجاح أيّ ثورة هو منطقُها العلمانيّ، أيْ عندما يكون الانتماءُ إلى الوطن فوق كلّ انتماء. فهذا الانتماء هو الأساس لبناء الدستور الديمقراطيّ الذي يساوي بين جميع المواطنين في الحقوق والواجبات.

بقي أن أضيف فكرةً حول ما أسمّيه “العلمانيّة الطائفيّة” التي هي توصيفٌ لتفكير سطحيّ ومختزل لدى قطاعٍ واسع، وبخاصّةٍ أدعياء الثقافة والتحضّر. إذ تُختزل العلمانيّة لديهم إلى “فصل الدين عن الدولة،” ثم تُختزل بعد جولة نقاشٍ بسيطة معهم إلى موقف ضدّ حجاب المرأة ومع حريّة تناول الكحول، وإلى التخوّف على فقدان هذه النِّعَم التي يتيحها نظامُ الحكم في سورية. وهذا الفهم المبتسر والسطحيّ يتكشّف في المآل الأخير عن قاعٍ طائفيّ لدى هذه العلمانيّات المدّعية، وعن موقف متعالٍ ومتعجرفٍ إزاء الآخر المختلف. العلمانيّة مفهوم أوسع من هذا الذي تقدّمه هذه العلمانيّاتُ الطائفيّة (أو بالأحرى الطائفيّون الذين يتستّرون بقشرة علمانيّة شكليّة). إنها رفضٌ لهيمنة أيّ فكر أو دين أو إيديولوجيّة أو حزب أو فردٍ على الدولة وأجهزتها ومدارسها ونقاباتها وشوارعها. بهذا المعنى كان حزبُ البعث منذ استلامه السلطة الأكثرَ سلفيّةً، وكان شأنه في ذلك شأن الحكومات الإسلاميّة السلفيّة. الدولة في النظام العلمانيّ قطاعٌ حياديّ مستقلّ فكريًّا وسياسيًّا عن الحزب الموجود في السلطة، لتكون الدولةُ دولةَ كلّ المجتمع، لا دولةَ البعثيين أو الإسلاميين أو دولة الحاكمين. العلمانيّة لا تتجسَّد إلا في بيئة الحريّة واحترام حقوق الإنسان. والدولة التي تفتقر إلى نظام ديمقراطيّ تفتقر بالضرورة إلى نظام علمانيّ، والعكس صحيح. فاحترامُ الآخر والقبولُ بوجوده وبحريّته هما أساس كلّ رؤية علمانيّة حقيقيّة، وبالتالي ليس ما يحدِّد علمانيّةَ فردٍ أو طرفٍ ما هو الفكر الذي يحمله أو الإيديولوجيّة التي يتبنّاها أو الدين الذي يعتنقه أو الطائفة التي ينتمي إليها؛ وإنما هو ذلك الإيمان الراسخ بحريّة الآخر المختلف. من هنا، فإنّ المتديِّن الذي يؤْمن بحريّة الآخر المختلف عنه ويقبل بوجوده وينظر إليه نظرةَ الشريك في الوطن هو ما يمكن توصيفُ موقفه وسلوكه بالعلمانيّ. أما ذلك الذي يختزل الحريّة (التي هي جذر العلمانيّة وأساسها) بالموقف من لباس المرأة أو بحريّة تناول الكحول، بمعزل عن جملة الحريّات الأساسيّة الأخرى، فلا يمكن تسميته إلا بالعلمانيّ المبتذل. وليس من قبيل المصادفة أن يكون هذا الابتذالُ مستلهمًا لروحٍ طائفيّةٍ في العمق.

العلمانيّة في المحصّلة ليست موقفًا ضدّ الدين أو ضدّ أيّ فكر أو إيديولوجيّة. إنها موقفٌ راسخٌ مع الحريّة وضدّ الهيمنة والاستبداد من أيّ نوع كان.

روزا حسن (روائيّة وناشطة سوريّة): رحلة الألف ميل تبدأ بمئة خطوة.
إنْ تذكّرنا سلسلة الخيبات التي مُنيتْ بها الأحزابُ والقوى والتيّارات العلمانيّة في العالم العربيّ عمومًا، فلربّما برّرْنا قليلاً عمليّةَ التلاعب بالمصطلحات، ومحاولاتِ عدم الخوض (الآن) في سجالاتٍ إيديولوجيّةٍ تلْهي المعارضين عن حربهم الأهمّ ضدّ الطغاة، خصوصًا أنّ التقاطعات بين المصطلحين (العلمانيّة والمدنيّة) كثيرة والتفارقات قليلة.
يعود غيابُ مصطلح “الدولة العلمانيّة” إلى أسباب شتّى. من هذه الأسباب حملاتُ التشويه الممنهج، على مدى عقود، من قِبل رجالات الدين الإسلاميّ، الذين نعتوا العلمانيّة مرةَ بأنها صنيعةُ الغرب، ومرةً أخرى بأنها كفرٌ وإلحاد. سببٌ آخر يجعل العلمانيّة تغيب من الخطاب الإعلاميّ لصالح مصطلح “الدولة المدنية” هو أنّ الأخير مصطلحٌ فضفاض ومشوّش، وليست لدى الشارع العربيّ ذاكرة “سيّئة” عنه كما هو الحال مع العلمانيّة. بل إنّ قسمًا كبيرًا من التيّارات الدينيّة “المعتدلة” ترى اليوم ألاّ غضاضة في تطبيق الدولة المدنيّة لأنّ الإسلام قال بها؛ وسيُلْقون عليك أكثرَ من شاهد على ذلك كقولهم إنّ الشورى ممارسة ديمقراطيّة، وإنّ أهل الذمّة أو أهل الكتاب عاشوا سالمين في الدولة الإسلاميّة… وهكذا.

ثمة ركيزةٌ أساسيّةٌ تشترك فيها الدولة المدنيّة والعلمانيّة، وركيزةٌ أخرى تختلفان فيها. الركيزة الأولى المشتركة تفيد، بالإضافة إلى ترسيخ الفعل الديمقراطيّ، بأنّ وظيفة الدولة هي رعايةُ مصالح المواطنين الدنيويّة، وتفيد بضرورة التمييز بين مجالين في حياة المواطنين: 1) مجال عامّ هو من حقّ جميع المواطنين التمتّعُ به، بغضّ النظر عن أصولهم ومعتقداتهم، ولا مرجعيّة فيه لأيّة سلطة دينيّة. 2) مجال خاصّ يكون المرءُ فيه حرًّا بما يعتنق ويرى. أيْ إنّ القانون الوضعيّ العقلانيّ، لا أيّة شريعة سماويّة، هو الذي يحكم الدولة وأفرادَها في الدولتين من دون التمييز بين المواطنين.

لكنّ الركيزة الثانية التي تقوم عليها الدولةُ العلمانيّة، وتتفارق فيها مع الدولة المدنيّة، إنما هي المساواة الكاملة بين معتنقي أيّ دينٍ بمختلف مذاهبهم، ومساواةُ هؤلاء بغير المتديّنين، والملحدين أيضًا، وضمانُ الدفاع عن حريّتهم المطلقة في إيمانهم أو عدم إيمانهم (وهذا ما يسمّى في العديد من البلدان الأوروبيّة: “حريّة الضمير”).
ولنا أن نتذكّر أنّ قوانين الدول العلمانيّة استطاعت أن تحقّق إنجازاتٍ حضاريّة مهمّة على صعيد إنهاء الصراعات الطائفيّة والحروب الدينيّة في الدول التي اعتنقتها، كالحروب الشهيرة بين البروتستانت والكاثوليك. وربما نجمتْ عن عدم اعتناق الدولة المدنيّة لهذه الركيزة صعوبةٌ في إيجاد تساوٍ حقيقيّ بين مختلف الفئات الدينيّة أو العرقيّة، وخصوصًا في البلدان المتنوّعة طائفيًّا وإثنيًّا وفكريًّا واجتماعيًّا كسوريا: فتفاصيلُ ما يسمى “الدولة المدنيّة” لا تضمن الاعترافَ بحقِّ عدم الإيمان (أو شكله) أو الإلحاد، وبالتالي يُخشى من أن تفتح البابَ على ما كان يمارَس باسم الدين لعقود طويلة!

في النهاية، وعلى الرغم من ذلك، فربما كان استخدامُ العلمانيين مصطلحَ “الدولة المدنيّة” بدلاً من “الدولة العلمانيّة” خطّة براغماتيّة في ظلّ الثورات العربيّة، لستُ متشنّجةً في الحقيقة تجاهها، بل ربما كانت لها ضرورة؛ ذلك أنّ تطوّر الشعوب والقوانين والبلاد العربيّة المتخلّفة أمرٌ يحتاج إلى انتقال تدريجيّ، وليس بالضرورة إلى الانتقال الأوروبيّ المباشر نحو الدولة العلمانيّة. فأن أستطيع اليوم أن أطبّق قوانينَ “غير دينيّة” في بلادٍ كانت إسلاميّة منذ قرون، ويزداد المدُّ الدينيُّ فيها، أمرٌ ليس بالسهل ولا بالقليل. وربما أقتنع بأنّ رحلة الألف ميل تبدأ بخطوة، فما بالكم إنْ كانت خطوةً بمئة خطوة؟!

لؤيْ حسين (كاتب ومؤسِّس تيّار بناء الدولة السورية): استخدام مقصود
صحيح ما تقوله عن غياب مصطلح “الدولة العلمانيّة” وبروز مصطلح “الدولة المدنيّة.” ولا أنكر أننا استخدمنا كلمة “المدنيّة” بديلاً من “العلمانيّة” بشكل مقصود. وربما كنّا نحن مَن بدأ بترويج مصطلح “الدولة المدنيّة” على نطاق واسع في مؤتمر السميرأميس، وحاولنا قاصدين تكريسَه لاحقًا في جميع الأدبيّات والخطاب السياسيّ [مؤتمر سميراميس هو أول مؤتمر علنيّ للمعارضة في الداخل السوريّ، دعا إليه المعارض لؤيْ حسين، ليجتمع فيه حوالي 300 شخصيّة معارضة ومستقلّة للتشاور في شأن الانتفاضة السوريّة، وأصدر بيانًا في ختام أعماله، من أهمّ بنوده الانتقالُ الآمن والسلميّ إلى دولة مدنيّة ديمقراطيّة ودعم الانتفاضة والتأكيد على التظاهر ودون إذن مسبّق ـ م. د].

إنّ مصطلح “الدولة المدنيّة” لم يكن يدلّ سابقًا على شيء، أيْ لم يكن معتمَدًا، أو لا دلالة سياسيّة له. لكننا آثرنا استخدامَه بديلاً من “العلمانيّة” في الاصطلاح، لا في المضمون والمعنى. فمن يراجع وثائقنا وأدبيّاتنا يجد بسهولة أننا نريد دولة علمانيّة محايدة تجاه العقائد والأديان، وتقوم على المواطن الفرد، ومصدرُ التشريع فيها هو الإرادة الحرة للسوريين لا أيُّ نصٍّ أو مرجعٍ سابق.

ومع علمنا بعدم الدلالة السياسيّة لمصطلح “الدولة المدنيّة،” فإننا ننوي أن نعطيه نحن تلك الدلالةَ التي تتطابق تمامًا مع العلمانيّة وتنوب منابها. واستخدامُنا لذلك المصطلح نابعٌ من أنّ مصطلح “العلمانيّة” ملتبسٌ في الثقافة السوريّة ويشير دومًا إلى الإلحاد ومناهضة الدين ـ وهذا غير صحيح. وكنّا قد سعينا في الزمن الميّت سياسيًّا، قبل الانتفاضة، أن نروّج لمصطلح العلمانيّة في الثقافة السياسيّة السوريّة. لكنّ استخدامَه في هذا الزمن الحيّ سياسيًّا، الذي انتعش بعد انطلاق الانتفاضة السوريّة، سيسبّب الكثير من الإرباك للمتظاهرين والمحتجّين. لهذا حاولنا أن نقلّل الإرباكات الآن باستخدام مصطلح “الدولة المدنيّة” الذي بات معروفًا لدى المهتمّين بالشأن العامّ السوريّ أنه بديلٌ للعلمانيّة. وهذا ليس تنازلاً أمام الأحزاب الدينيّة على الإطلاق، بل على العكس: فالقوى الدينيّة الآن بدأت تعتمد هذا المصطلح.

November 25th, 2011, 11:11 am


ann said:


Foreign Minister Davutoğlu: Turkey can no longer tolerate Syrian bloodshed – 25 November 2011, Friday

The Turkish foreign minister said on Friday that Turkey can tolerate no more bloodshed in Syria and is ready to take action along with Arab powers if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fails to take steps towards ending his crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

At a joint press conference Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu held with his Italian counterpart, Giulio Terzi, after a tête-à-tête meeting in İstanbul on Friday, Davutoğlu said he hoped the Syrian government would respond in a positive way to a plan by the Arab League to resolve the conflict. “Today is an historic decision day for Syria. It must open its doors to observers,” he added.

“If it doesn’t, there are steps we can take in consultation with the Arab league” he declared, adding: “I want to say clearly we have no more tolerance for the bloodshed in Syria. The attitude of friendly and fraternal countries on this subject is clear.”

Meanwhile, Syria missed an Arab League deadline Friday to allow hundreds of observers into the country, prompting the bloc to consider economic sanctions against Damascus for its eight-month crackdown on dissents, a senior diplomat said. The Arab League had given Syria 24 hours to agree to the observer mission, a humiliating blow to a nation that was a founding member of the Arab coalition.

The Friday afternoon deadline passed with no word from Damascus, said Arab League Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Heli. Another official said the League would still consider an answer from Damascus presented by the end of Friday; However, it was not clear if Syria would offer such an answer by the time Today’s Zaman went to print. Now, the bloc will meet Saturday to decide on sanctions that could include a freeze on financial dealings and assets. Syria is the scene of the deadliest crackdown against the Arab Spring’s eruption of protests, with the UN reporting more than 3,500 people killed in eight months. International pressure has been mounting on Assad to stop the bloodshed.

Also Friday, a UN human rights panel expressed alarm at reports it received of security forces in Syria torturing children. The Geneva-based Committee against Torture says it has received “numerous, consistent and substantiated reports” of widespread abuse in the country.

Davutoğlu also expressed his readiness to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of Arab League nations that may take place on Sunday, depending on Syria’s response, and that he is also consulting with the European Union, NATO and UN Security Council members.

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi has stressed that the situation in Syria is alarming and added, “What’s going on [in Syria] could potentially upset the balances in the region.”

Earlier on Friday morning, Davutoğlu also held talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who had attended a meeting of foreign ministers of Arab League nations in Cairo on Thursday. “Today is the last chance for Syria and that involves signing the protocol proposed by the Arab League,” Davutoğlu said. The Jordanian foreign minister hopes Syria will sign the protocol proposed by the Arab League and said, “This is the collective wish of the Arab world and if they don’t, God forbid, we [will] have to meet again.”

Turkey also underlined that an uprising in Syria is its neighbor’s internal affair and that it will not allow any state to militarily intervene in Syria, ruling out any possibility that Turkey will become militarily involved. “We won’t send soldiers [to Syria], won’t intervene and won’t allow or create conditions for others to intervene,” Bülent Arınç, Turkey’s deputy prime minister told a local TV station in Bursa. Arınç, who is also the government’s spokesman, said any foreign intervention will create divisions not only in Syria but across the region as well. He added that incidents in Syria are developing along ethnic lines and that sectarianism is also playing a role.

Arınç’s remarks came at a time when Syria’s armed opposition groups asked Turkey to create a buffer zone to shelter anti-regime fighters. Lt. Salem Odeh, a defector from Latakia, told Reuters this week that historic and religious ties with Turkey that go back to the Ottoman Empire mean Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents — generally wary of outside interference — would accept a Turkish military role.

“I just hope there will be a Turkish military intervention. It’s better, and they have longstanding blood ties from old times, and they are closer to the East than the West,” he added. Citing Israeli security officials, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Thursday that they believe Turkey is moving toward a military intervention in Syria, in order to create a secure buffer zone for opposition activists. Accordingly, Turkey is expected to set up secure buffer zones on its border with Syria that would allow armed opposition groups to organize against the Syrian regime from bases protected by the Turkish military, according to Haaretz.

However, Arınç categorically ruled out any discussion among government circles that Turkey is considering military intervention. “There is absolutely no such thing,” he underlined. “Some Turkish politicians and some countries are saying Turkey will intervene in Syria. This is totally wrong. This is impossible, we don’t think of it.”

Turkish President Abdullah Gül, on an official visit to Britain, said this week that change is inevitable in Syria, but said this should come from within Syria, not through external intervention. Earlier, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke of the fate of defeated dictators from Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini to Muammar Gaddafi and bluntly told Assad to step down. Non-Arab Turkey, Syria’s largest trading partner and formerly a close friend, has strongly backed the stance taken by the Arab League towards Syria. Turkey and Jordan both border Syria and will potentially have an important role to play if French proposals for a humanitarian zone in Syria garner support.

Some countries are exploring the possibility of stronger steps to force Assad’s hand, with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe calling for EU-backed humanitarian corridors to allow aid groups a way in. Juppe labeled the situation in Syria “no longer tenable” and accused Assad’s regime of “repression of a savagery we have not seen in a long time.” He told France-Inter radio he was in contact with partners in the UN, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Arab League about the possibility of setting up these humanitarian corridors.

Juppe suggested that aid groups like the Red Cross could use the corridors to bring medical supplies to cities such as Homs.

November 25th, 2011, 11:20 am


jad said:

وقائع من اجتماعات المعارضات السورية في القاهرة والدوحة ولندن وباريس…

يروي معارضون سوريون من الذين حضروا ويحضرون اجتماعات أطياف المعارضات السورية في القاهرة والتي تجري صوريا تحت رعاية الجامعة العربية وفي الحقيقة هي تحت الوصاية والرعاية القطريتين، يروون قصصا عن ما يطلقون عليه “عنجهية” القطريين هذه الأيام والتي على كل حال لا تتناسب مع حجم قطر ولا مع واقعها.

ومن القصص التي يتندر بها الجمع السوري المعارض كلام ينسبونه للشيخ خالد بن جاسم آل ثاني رئيس قسم حقوق الإنسان في وزارة الخارجية القطرية والذي يتولى الإشراف على اجتماعات المعارضات السورية في القاهرة في جوابه لمعارض سوري. آل ثاني تحدث في بداية أحد الاجتماعات عن الدعم الروسي لنظام الرئيس بشار الأسد حيث قال إن “روسيا في جيبنا”. وتقول المصادر إن خالد آل ثاني لوح بيده للأسفل عند كلامه هذا، واستكمل آل ثاني قائلا “نحن نؤيد المجلس الوطني السوري ونريد منكم جميعا الانضواء تحت عباءته.

تفاصيل الاجتماعات..


توتر الوضع أمس الخميس في اجتماعات المعارضات السورية التي تجري في القاهرة بعد ورود أنباء من العاصمة الفرنسية باريس تفيد بأن برهان غليون رئيس المجلس الوطني السوري رفض حضور ميشال كيلو وممثلين عن هيئة التنسيق المعارضة في اللقاء الذي جمعه مع وزير الخارجية الفرنسي آلان جوبيه. وبحسب مصادر سورية في القاهرة، كانت الأمور تسير ببطء نحو الاتفاق على تشكيل هيئة جامعة لأطياف المعارضة السورية بعيدا عن الاستئثار الذي يسعى إليه المجلس الوطني أو ما يطلقون عليه “مجلس اسطنبول”.

وتقول المصادر “كان الأسبوع الماضي قد أفضى إلى اتفاق على وقف الحملات الإعلامية على الهيئة والشخصيات التي تمثلها والتي باشرتها قناة الجزيرة القطرية منذ أسبوعين”، وفعلا توقفت هذه الحملات، كما انه تم التوافق على استمرار الاجتماعات بعد أن اتفق الجميع على رفض التدخل العسكري الخارجي وكانت الأمور تسير وإن ببطيء للاتفاق على تشكيل هيئة تجمع كافة الأطياف المعارضة مع احتفاظ كل طرف بخصوصيته، غير أن الاستعجال القطري والغربي في تدويل الوضع السوري ظهر في مباحثات باريس بعد ظهر يوم الخميس ما أثر على اجتماعات القاهرة.

وقد أسر لنا معارضون سوريون من أكثر من طيف ولون أنه “إذا وجدتنا في الأيام القليلة القادمة في موسكو أو طهران أو بكين أو بيروت فلا تستغرب لأن الوضع في القاهرة يستعجل التدويل وهو ضاغط على كل من يرفضه”.


بعيدا عن الكلام الذي يتناقله الوسط السوري المعارض حول أسباب غياب أمير قطر عن المشهد السياسي بسبب تعرضه لمحاولة اغتيال من فلسطينيين مؤيدين للقذافي يبدو أنها بعيدة عن الواقع. فلا تزال قطر تتبنى المجلس الوطني السوري الذي ساهمت في تشكيله مع كل من فرنسا وتركيا وبأشراف أميركي كامل، ولا تبدو الدعوات القطرية التي وجهت لأطياف سورية معارضة من خارج المجلس إلا من باب الدعاية الإعلامية التي تجيدها قطر. فحديث الذين زاروا الدوحة لا يعطي جوابا شافيا عن أهمية تلك الزيارات اللهمّ إن أوقفت الجزيرة حملاتها على هيئة التنسيق المعارضة، وهذا كان قد اتفق عليه في القاهرة، بينما كانت الاجتماعات مع ولي العهد تميم بن حمد بن خليفة فرصة للبعض لاستنتاج أن بن حمد يخشى من نفوذ حمد بن جاسم في حال غياب والده حمد بن خليفة المصاب بفشل كلوي.


في لندن بدا المشهد الخلافي واضح، ولولا الهدوء البريطاني الذي استوعب الجمع لما حصل اللقاء مع وزير الخارجية البريطاني وليام هيغ. فالمصافحة الفاترة بين وفدي المجلس الوطني ووفد هيئة التنسيق كان واضحا وعلى كل حال انفجر الوضع بعد يومين في باريس. مصادر المجتمعين مع هيغ قالت إن الوزير البريطاني أبلغهم بأنه لا تدخل عسكرياً أطلسياً في سورية على غرار ما حصل في ليبيا، كما وأصر عليهم على التوحد في هيئة واحدة تسهيلا للاعتراف الغربي والدولي بهم.

وتنقل المصادر أن العضو الكردي في هيئة التنسيق قال لهيغ أن أكراد سورية سيقاتلون تركيا في حال تدخلت عسكريا في سورية، بينما نفت المصادر ما نقلته أحدى الصحف عن كلام حصل مع هيغ ومفاده أن إيران طلبت لقاء معارضين سوريين ثلاث مرات وتم رفض الطلب الإيراني. وبحسب تلك المصادر فإن شخصية من الموجودين كانت قد اجتمعت مع دبلوماسيين إيرانيين قالت لهيغ عندما طرح السوآل عن العلاقة مع الإيرانيين إنها لم تلتق بهم منذ ثلاثة أشهر.

انفجر الوضع بين هيئة التنسيق وبين المجلس الوطني بعد ظهر الخميس
24الشهر الحالي على خلفية رفض برهان غليون رئيس المجلس الوطني حضور ميشال كيلو وممثلين عن هيئة التنسيق اللقاء في وزارة الخارجية الفرنسية مع الوزير آلان جوبيه، وقد صبت هيئة التنسيق غضبها على الوزير الفرنسي الذي لم يتحلى بأدنى مواصفات الدبلوماسية عندما سمح لغليون بهذا التصرف، بينما تصرف البريطاني هيغ بمسؤولية أكثر واجتمع بالطرفين. وبحسب مصادر الهيئة فإن إعلان جوبيه عن سعي فرنسي لدى الأوروبيين لفتح ممرات إنسانية هو في الحقيقة طلب تقدم به غليون وتبناه جوبيه، وهذا المشروع ليس سوى دعوة لتدخل عسكري دولي بتلبيسة “ممرات إنسانية”.

وفيما استعجل جوبيه الاعتراف بالمجلس في القريب العاجل، يبدو أن الأمور تسير نحو الأسوأ حسب مصادر سورية معارضة، فالمسار الحقيقي الخطير يمكن رؤيته في باريس بينما يتم الإخراج والديكور في القاهرة.

كوفية لورنس العرب وعقاله تعود هذه الأيام لتشريع التدخل العسكري ضد سوريه.
كان الله في العون…

November 25th, 2011, 11:29 am


irritated said:


“The Assadmania is not better”

This was true at the time of Hafez al Assad, but under Bashar there has been a gradual decrease of the presence of portraits in public places or in homes.

The Turks hang on their identity of Ataturk as if they are unease with the controversial Ottoman empire’s achievements and humiliating end.
I think German have a similar issue, but they hang on their identity by the pride of being a successful economy and a leader of Europe.

Syria has nothing to be ashamed of their past, in the contrary. Most of the time they were on the side of the oppressed people of the region, receiving the hundred of thousands of armenians refugees fleeing the killing by the Turks, hundred of thousands of palestinians, millions of Iraqis. They never claimed to be a special race. Whatever you may think about the Assad ruling, you cannot deny that this is very unusual attitude, especially when you see now how Europe keep pushing away refugees from areas that they exploited and colonized shamelessly for centuries.

November 25th, 2011, 11:40 am


N.Z. said:


You can be as bias as you want, ideological as you believe, but neither you nor your idols, father and son can change historical facts of the Syrian fabrics. The Syrian opened their homes and hearts before your despicable idols and after, and will remain so. From Armenians, to the Lebanese.

Only under your two idols, Syrians have been turned to refugees in their homeland and abroad, massacred and turned to strangers, intruders and infiltrators.

November 25th, 2011, 12:09 pm


mjabali said:

Mr NZ comment # 202:

You and I and millions of Syrians want freedom and dream about it. There is no doubt about that Alawis are included in this dream about FREEDOM.

But; what have the Sunnis done so far to ease the historical Alawis’ fear of the sectarian violence that is looming?

Can’t you see the Sunnis of the other Arab countries pouring gas into this fire that is eating Syria?

Can’t you see how sectarian they are? Do you expect a man from Saudia Arabia or Qatar or Kuwait is going to teach a Syrian about co-existence? These people as we see belong to the Middle Ages and can do nothing good for Syria or the Syrian people as a whole.

Why no one shut these idiots out of this Syrian issue? Can’t you see the Sunni/Shia fight and how this is reflecting on events in Syria? How can we fix a situation like this with illiterate Kings and princes from the Middle Ages who have money and channels spewing hatred toward all minorities with these Sheikhs of doom ?

The Sunni leaders and religious figures, so far, did not utter ONE WORTHY word so far to walk in the direction of religious reconciliation and total equality between us Syrians. I do not think they are capable of doing this. They are afraid of critiquing the “sacred.”

All of what we heard so far are cliches that in reality worth nothing.

The slogans you brought about the Syrian people and how they are ONE people do not really come from the heart as I have seen so far. It is for the cameras. Saying that we are equal and belong to One nationone where at the same time the Sunni propaganda machine is spewing the worst hatred toward the Alawis is not going to win supporters for the anti-Assad movement.

All of these elements are gathered to make the Alawis not to trust what is going on or take things cautiously. al-Assad takes advantage of this of course as you know.

AS for the Alawis against al-Assad, I see their numbers rising and everyday you hear new criticism for al-Assad from new Alawi dissidents.

The ball is in the court of the Sunnis to ease the fears of the Alawis and other minorities.

One thing to note here mr. NZ: discussions like this that you raised is what gonna progress Syria.


November 25th, 2011, 12:32 pm


ann said:


Syria: 6 elite military pilots killed in ambush – 3 hrs ago

BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian armed forces say in a rare televised statement that six elite military pilots have been killed in an ambush.

Friday’s statement said the attack happened the day before in Homs province and it marked a dangerous escalation in the conflict.

Syria is the scene of the deadliest crackdown against the Arab Spring’s eruption of protests and international pressure has been mounting on President Bashar Assad to stop the bloodshed.

The statement warns Syria will “hit back” at any attempt to cause chaos.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria missed an Arab League deadline Friday to allow hundreds of observers into the country, prompting the bloc to consider economic sanctions against Damascus for its eight-month crackdown on dissent, a senior diplomat said.

The Arab League had given Syria 24 hours to agree to the observer mission, a humiliating blow to a nation that was a founding member of the Arab coalition.

But the Friday afternoon deadline passed with no word from Damascus, said Arab League Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Heli. Now, the bloc will meet Saturday to decide on sanctions that could include a freeze on financial dealings and assets.

Syria is the scene of the deadliest crackdown against the Arab Spring’s eruption of protests, with the U.N. reporting more than 3,500 people killed in eight months. International pressure has been mounting on President Bashar Assad to stop the bloodshed.

Also Friday, a U.N. human rights panel expressed alarm at reports it received of security forces in Syria torturing children. The Geneva-based Committee against Torture says it has received “numerous, consistent and substantiated reports” of widespread abuse in the country.

Former ally Turkey — now a leading critic of Assad’s regime — said allowing the observers would be a “test of goodwill” for Syria.

“Today is a historic decision day for Syria,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a joint news conference with Italy’s new Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi Friday in Istanbul. “It must open its doors to observers.”

Syria’s state-run SANA news agency, however, dismissed the ultimatum, declaring Friday that the Arab League had become a “tool for foreign interference” and that it was serving a Western agenda to stir up trouble in the region.

Violence continued Friday, as activists urged protesters to flood the streets to support army defectors who have sided with the opposition.

Syrian security forces fired outside mosques in Daraa province — apparently to prevent demonstrations by people leaving mosques after Friday afternoon prayers, activists said. Demonstrations were reported in Idlib province, which borders Turkey.

Some countries are exploring the possibility of stronger steps to force Assad’s hand, with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe calling for EU-backed humanitarian corridors to allow aid groups a way in.

Juppe called the situation in Syria “no longer tenable” and accused Assad’s regime of “repression of a savagery we have not seen in a long time.”

He told France-Inter radio he was in contact with partners in the United Nations, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Arab League about the possibility of setting up the humanitarian corridors.

Juppe suggested that aid groups like the Red Cross could use the corridors to bring medical supplies to cities like Homs.

France, Syria’s one-time colonial ruler, was the first country to formally recognize Libya’s opposition in an early stage of Moammar Gadhafi’s crackdown on protests. France played a prominent role in the NATO-led campaign of airstrikes against Gadhafi’s forces.

But while the European Union said protecting civilians caught up in Syria’s crackdown on anti-government protests “is an increasingly urgent and important aspect” of responding to the bloodshed there, it fell short of endorsing Julle’s corridor.

Other countries have taken an unambiguous stance against intervention.

Last month, Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the bloodshed in Syria. They have argued that NATO misused a previous U.N. measure authorizing the use of force to protect civilians in Libya to justify months of air strikes and to promote regime change.

They expressed fears that any new resolution against Syria might be used as a pretext for a similar armed intervention.

November 25th, 2011, 12:54 pm


jad said:

They already did:

November 25th, 2011, 1:29 pm


ann said:

Q & A: Mohammed Nidal Al-Cha’ar Minister Of Economy and Trade

Syria Today spoke to the Minister of Economy and Trade about recent decisions and the ways the government is managing the crisis.

You mentioned that banning certain imports aimed at limiting the use of foreign currency in Syria. After rescinding the ban, what alternative measures have you taken instead?

The earlier ban has been replaced by a scheme to reduce imports that are directly financed by the Central Bank. Other imports, including those that are financed through the private sector banks, are not affected. As the EU sanctions only target certain state-owned banks, private sector banks can still continue to deal in foreign exchange and support financing of imports at stable prices. The ultimate aim of this scheme is not so much to limit the use of foreign currency, but to maintain price stability of goods and services in Syria.

We are also working to increase the government’s income, especially through measures to boost revenue through increased productivity and competitiveness, from state-owned industrial entities. Other options being explored include raising customs rates for certain luxury items. In addition to increasing the government’s income, we are also looking at ways to push higher level of exports that can lead to higher foreign currency earnings.

We do not feel any need at this stage to reintroduce the ban on imports for the foreseeable future. It is very important for us to maintain the flow of goods into Syria especially those that are covered under trade agreements that we have entered into with other trading partner countries.

Many have voiced their concerns over the earlier imports ban and its subsequent rapid cancellation, describing the whole episode as an experimental decision. However, you have insisted that it has instead enhanced trust between the people and the government. Whose trust has the government earned?

I have always said that the government’s quick decisions should be viewed in a very positive light because they have created enhanced trust between the people and the government. In the past, there might have been some perceived barriers between the people’s needs and the government’s responses to those needs. And I definitely would not describe the government’s decisions as experimental. In economics, there are no lab rats; rather, there are a series of alternatives and options from which to choose. There is no certainty in terms of results, but there is certainly no experimenting. As you know, the EU has changed tack several times over its response to the eurozone crisis, as has the US to its economic predicament. Syria has to be nimble in dealing with our situation too.

During the debate over the import ban decision, we noticed differences in numbers given by officials. Which numbers should people trust?

As far as historical statistics and figures are concerned, the Central Bureau for Statistics is the official body for publishing them. As for future forecasts and estimates about the Syrian economy, I would want to abstain from issuing any at the moment. As we are currently going through an uncertain economic patch, any forecasts or estimates at this stage would not be meaningful. Having said that, I am not expecting growth over the short term. All of us also need to understand that the current crisis could have a major long-term impact on the economy.

The emphasis now is on managing the crisis and protecting the people, continuing to provide for their basic needs, and protecting the country’s economic well-being.

What measures did you take to cope with the EU sanctions?

Our main concern is securing people’s basic needs; this is crucial for us. And this is something we have managed to achieve so far. We have taken many precautionary measures in the past four or five months, including securing staples by stockpiling them. Trade activity has decreased, but nothing has stopped.

Did the government sign contracts to export oil?

I have been informed by the Minister of Oil that they have very recently been able to secure outlets for petroleum and its by-products in many different countries. The statements were clear: they have signed contracts to keep trading oil.

What about potential sanctions from Turkey? And why are you reconsidering the Turkish agreement now, although some of its negative consequences appeared years ago?
We have yet to receive full clear information about possible Turkish sanctions. There is no intention to cancel trade agreements with Turkey, but rather to reconsider agreements that have been signed with various countries, including Turkey. Syria’s trade balance with some countries is declining, and such a situation does not support the fundamental goal of having economic relations based on equality and balance.

I want to refrain from talking about the past as I have a duty to consider the current economic situation. It is now very clear that the current situation has necessitated that some things be re-addressed and reconsidered.

What are the sectors most affected by the protests?

I feel the term “protests” can be very misleading. I prefer “adverse events in the country”. Economic activities in general, including foreign trade, have slowed down. In particular, the tourism sector has undoubtedly been badly affected. But if we measure the pressure resulting from the crisis against the level of activity in the Syrian economy, I think the result would indicate a rare case. There is no other country that could be subjected to such pressures and still withstand them in such a way. Until now, the overall situation is still relatively good: the exchange rate of the Syrian currency, the availability of commodities and the overall price levels – especially if we take into account fluctuations in global prices of some commodities such as wheat and sugar – are still very manageable.

The diversity of economic sectors and activities, along with the capacity of Syrian industries to enter the marketplace and continue trading, have all helped the overall Syrian economy as a whole to withstand this crisis.

To what extent did economic policies play a role in triggering current protests?
We need to admit that some economic programmes and initiatives had not achieved the desired objectives regarding wealth and income distribution. Hence, unemployment and poverty have continued to exist and taken their toll on the people.

Therefore, it is the duty of the country’s economic administration to put in place appropriate economic policies to address the situation. And that is precisely what we are currently doing.

But won’t the “emergency measures” in managing the crisis affect the future of the Syrian economy?
Although we are managing the crisis, and that is our top priority, we are not doing it through “emergency measures”. Over the past few months, the ministry has worked on a considerable number of programmes and initiatives to manage the overall economic environment, and only a handful of these were in direct response to the crisis. The overwhelming majority are actually based on policies and strategies to facilitate corporate economic activities, encourage foreign trade and protect consumers.

What new laws should we expect?
The ministry has continued to carry out proactive measures aimed at creating a conducive economic and business environment. Among others, we are working on new legislations to support small- and medium-sized industries and investment funds to support the Damascus Stock Exchange. We have also implemented the introduction of a consumer protection law. All these measures will have a positive impact on the country.

Are you calling for austerity measures?

I would never ask people to resort to austerity. Even when the imports ban was in place, I only called for people to possibly postpone consumption of items covered by the ban. And as long as basic needs are met, I call for everyone to continue their lives as before. After all, overall income and salaries are generally still at the same levels as before. It is important to note that when dealing with economic uncertainty, one way to boost economic activities is to continue and possibly even increase consumption.

How could the Syrian economy be defined nowadays? Is it still a socialist or social market economy?

Although it is not easy to define the current economy, it has been called by some “a crisis economy”, for obvious reasons. But we are working on building a new economic future – a different economy that is more liberal but retains progressive social market characteristics.

The private sector, whose contribution to the economy is now increasing to almost 70 percent, can play a very big role in driving future economic growth. Therefore, we will continue to support the private sector, including nurturing its ability to compete in regional and global markets.

It is most important for us to empower the internal components of our economy so that we can then compete effectively in international markets.

November 25th, 2011, 1:29 pm


ann said:

“”218. jad said:
They already did: “”

Do you have it in English please

Thank you

November 25th, 2011, 1:32 pm


ann said:

FEATURE-Arms smugglers thrive on Syrian uprising – Fri Nov 25, 2011

BAALBEK, Lebanon Nov 25 (Reuters) – Weapons dealer Abu Wael has traded guns in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley since the last days of his country’s civil war, nearly a quarter of a century ago.

This has been his busiest year ever.

Unrest in neighbouring Syria has sent demand for weapons soaring, doubling prices for Kalashnikov assault rifles and other weapons and helping supply the increasingly well armed insurrection challenging President Bashar al-Assad.

In the first six months of the protests, Abu Wael sold 2,000 Kalashnikovs and M16 rifles, the highest turnover of his long years in an underground arms business that has operated for decades across porous Middle East borders.

Prices for Kalashnikovs have risen 75 percent to as much as $2,000 each, while M16s doubled to $2,500, reflecting the surge in demand for arms. The biggest jump was in the price of rocket-propelled grenades, which together with a launcher now cost $2,500 compared with $400 before, when demand was minimal.

“I buy weapons from Lebanese people and sell them to traders who in turn pass them on to Syrian merchants,” said 63-year-old Abu Wael, who declined to give his full name.

He spoke to Reuters with his face covered by an Arab keffiyeh headdress, clutching one of his rifles. He said he deliberately dressed in the scruffy clothes of a Bekaa farmer to avoid attracting attention, never spoke by telephone, and declined to be identified by his full name.

“There is an organized network between Lebanon and Syria dealing with the purchase and sale of weapons of various kinds, especially rifles,” he said.

The emergence of anti-Assad fighters calling themselves the Free Syrian Army, attacking Syrian troops, tanks, and even an intelligence building on the outskirts of Damascus, has led Syria to revive accusations of foreign arms trafficking.

Damascus says it has thwarted many attempts to smuggle in weapons. Shortly after protests broke out in March, authorities accused an anti-Syrian Lebanese politician of funding arms traffickers to supply Assad’s opponents, and earlier this month Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem accused northern neighbour Turkey of failing to cut the flow of guns.

But dealers, diplomats and analysts say that weapons coming across Syria’s borders with Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq may form only a small part of a rebel arsenal that is also supplied by army deserters who bring weapons when they defect, and by raids on, or even purchases from, army depots.

Activists play down the role of arms trafficking, possibly to emphasise the peaceful side of the Syrian uprising.


Syrian army deserters on the Turkish side of the border insist arms smuggling into the country is negligible, but they say expatriate Syrians who support the uprising have sent electronic equipment to help communications as well as cash used to bribe security officers to hand over weapons.

“Turkey is not allowing us the opportunity to send weapons inside,” Captain Ayham al-Kurdi, who heads the Abu Fida brigade of the Syrian Free Army, told Reuters.

Another defector who declined to reveal his identity said $2 million was recently sent across the border “to help our brothers set up better communication links”.

Several defectors involved in what they insist is a small-scale arms trail say most weapons that do reach Syria are brought across from northern Lebanon, where the remote, undemarcated frontier has for decades been a haven for smugglers ferrying subsidised goods from Syria and weapons from Lebanon.

They say there has also been an increasing flow of guns and RPGs into Syria from the Sunni Muslim tribes of Iraq’s Western Anbar province, who have close ties with their brethren in eastern Syria, hundreds of miles (kilometres) from Damascus.

“Due to the inter-tribal ties across the border, Iraqi tribes are helping defecting groups in the Deir al-Zor area. But the quantities remain small and the long distances make it difficult to transport many arms,” Kurdi added.

A tribal figure from the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zor, who identified himself as Sheikh Abu Ismail, said more weapons might be supplied in future “depending on developments on the ground and what turn the revolution takes.”

“The borders are not sealed… so arms flows would accelerate in the future if the regime continues its repression and killings,” he told Reuters by telephone.

The United Nations says more than 3,500 people have been killed in Assad’s crackdown on protests. Authorities have since the start of the unrest blamed armed groups for the bloodshed, saying they have killed 1,100 soldiers and police.

Sheikh Abu Ismail said money to finance the trafficking was coming from Sunni Muslim Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, which sees Assad’s alliance with Shi’ite Iran as a challenge to its regional clout.


Western diplomats say there is no proof of any state role in directly financing or arming the rebels, suggesting they have so far been able to rely primarily on guns already in the country.

“It’s not unreasonable to assume that a lot of the stuff they get is from inside,” a Damascus-based diplomat said.

“I don’t think there has been mass, coordinated gun-running. But I suspect that if there are tribal members across the border asking for help, they will get it,” he said, citing the Jordanian and Iraqi frontiers with southern Syria.

“There’s no sense yet that governments have been (involved). There’s been sabre-rattling – saying this is what we could do – but we haven’t seen that yet”.

Jordan says smuggling across its border took place before the uprising and has continued, but only in very limited cases. “Authorities have always had an iron grip on the borders,” Information Minister Rakan al-Majali told Reuters.

A Syrian man involved in arming the deserters said the main source for weapons “is the Syrian army itself”.

“With the corruption that has infested the country, you can buy a lot from the army,” he said. “I heard of one case where a whole arms depot was being offered to be cleared but there were no takers because it was feared it could be a trap.”

Efforts to play down the role of arms trafficking may be a deliberate policy by activists who have relentlessly sought to accentuate the peaceful side of the Syrian uprising.

“I think there is an effort by activists helping the defectors to cover up the fact they are smuggling weapons,” said one Assad opponent from the central city of Homs.

“They want to keep the media focused on the peaceful revolution happening, not on the armed rebels fighting the army. They are definitely smuggling weapons, I’m sure of it.”

In Baalbek, Abu Wael complains that business has dried up in the last two months, as Lebanese authorities clamped down on the trade and Syria started planting mines on the border.

“The arms market in Lebanon today is frozen. Buying and selling has almost stopped.”

November 25th, 2011, 2:09 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

SpANN, so you can’t even read or understand Arabic, you are not even Syrian, yet you patently consider yourslref an authority on Syrian affairs ?

November 25th, 2011, 2:47 pm


ann said:

I despise blood thirsty islamist terrorists, their defenders and their friends

November 25th, 2011, 3:05 pm


ann said:


Syrian military shows solidarity with Assad regime as Damascus faces more sanctions

Syria faces sanctions but army stands by regime – 9 minutes ago

The Syrian military vowed Friday to “cut every evil hand” that targets the country’s security, a defiant stance by the regime as it faces the possibility of sweeping economic sanctions from the Arab League.

The military statement could signal darker days to come in an eight-month revolt against President Bashar Assad that is turning more violent by the day.

Until recently in the uprising, most of the bloodshed came as security forces fired on mainly peaceful protests. But there have been growing reports of army defectors and armed civilians fighting Assad’s forces _ a development that some say plays into the regime’s hands by giving government troops a pretext to crack down with overwhelming force.

“The choice offered by the regime appears clear-cut: preservation of Assad’s rule or collective destruction,” the International Crisis Group said in a report this week.

Assad blames the unrest on a foreign plot to destabilize Syria, saying extremists and terrorists _ not true reformers _ are driving the calls to oust him. On Friday, the military blamed terrorists for an attack a day earlier in Homs, saying six elite pilots and four technical officers were killed in an ambush.

“The general command of the armed forces sees that enemies of the country are behind this terrorist act,” the military said. “The armed forces will continue to carry out its mission … and will cut every evil hand that targets Syrian blood.”

Although many Syrians resent police and intelligence agencies that they blame for oppressing the uprising, they respect the armed forces, which is seen as a bulwark against Israel.

Unlike the armies of Tunisia and Egypt, Syria’s military has stood fiercely by the country’s leader as Assad faces down an extraordinary protest movement.

In the past 40 years, Assad and his father before him stacked key military posts with members of their minority Alawite sect _ an offshoot of Shiite Islam _ ensuring the loyalty of the armed forces by melding the fate of the army and the regime. Syria is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim.

“Many regime supporters are terrified about their future and thus liable to resist till the bitter end,” the Brussels-based ICG said in its report. “A majority of Alawite officials, security officers and ordinary citizens, along with segments of the Christian community and some secularists, have become convinced that their fate is either to kill or be killed.”

It is not clear who was behind Thursday’s attacks. It’s impossible to verify events on the ground because Syria has banned foreign journalists and prevented independent reporting.

Syria is the scene of the deadliest crackdown against the Arab Spring’s eruption of protests, with the U.N. reporting more than 3,500 people killed in eight months. International pressure has been mounting on Assad to stop the killing.

Also Friday, a U.N. human rights panel expressed alarm at reports it received of security forces in Syria torturing children. The Geneva-based Committee against Torture says it has received “numerous, consistent and substantiated reports” of widespread abuse in the country.

The panel’s chairman, Claudio Grossman, cited reports of “extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; arbitrary detention by police forces and the military; and enforced and involuntary disappearances.”

The Arab League gave Syria a 24-hour deadline to agree to an observer mission or face sanctions, a humiliating blow to a nation that was a founding member of the Arab coalition.

But the Friday afternoon deadline passed with no agreement. Instead, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby received a letter from Syria seeking more details about the proposed observer mission and its legal status.

The league will meet Saturday to decide on sanctions, according to Arab League deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Heli. The punishments could include halting flights and imposing a freeze on financial dealings and assets.

Syria’s state-run SANA news agency dismissed the ultimatum, declaring Friday that the Arab League had become a “tool for foreign interference.”

SANA also said thousands of people were demonstrating in support of the regime.

But violence continued Friday, after activists urged protesters to flood the streets to support army defectors who have sided with the opposition.

Security forces fired on protesters, killing at least 11 people _ and possibly as many as 26, activists said. The differing death tolls are common in Syria, and they point to the confusion tallying information in a country that remains largely sealed off.

Syrian security forces fired outside mosques in Daraa province _ apparently to prevent demonstrations by people leaving Friday afternoon prayers, activists said. Demonstrations were reported in Idlib province, which borders Turkey.

The death tolls were compiled by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees.

Despite the violence, Assad still has a firm grip on power, in part because the opposition remains fragmented and he retains the support of the business classes and minority groups who feel vulnerable in an overwhelmingly Sunni nation.

International intervention, such as the NATO action in Libya that helped topple Moammar Gadhafi, is all but out of the question in Syria, in part due to concerns that it could spread chaos around the region.

Sanctions, however, could chip away at the regime in the long-term, although Syria’s staunch allies of Russia, China and Iran will help cushion the economic blow for a while.

But it is clear the unrest is eviscerating the economy, threatening the business community and prosperous merchant classes that are key to propping up the regime. An influential bloc, the business leaders have long traded political freedoms for economic privileges.

The opposition has tried to rally these largely silent but hugely important sectors of society. But Assad’s opponents have failed so far to galvanize support in Damascus and Aleppo _ the two economic centers in Syria.

With the military’s iron loyalty on his side, Assad likely sees the use of force as the only way he can survive because if the crackdown ends, the people would come out in force.

November 25th, 2011, 3:12 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

What the FSA needs at this moment are more heavy arms, like some Grad-21 rockets and launchers, ATGMs, Igla SA-7 and SA-13 surface-to-air shoulder-fired missiles ( MANPADS ) to take out helicopters; CASSPIR armoured vehicles, some BTR-60s and BMP-2 armoured fighting vehicles, and maybe a few T-55 tanks thrown in the bargain.

At this moment they are desperately outgunned, they are fighting with basic, light infantry weapons like AKS, RPK light machineguns, RPG-7s, a few PKM s here and there, there is a lack of enough vehicles , if they have 70-80 technicals mountd with DsHk heavy machine guns and the weaponry cited above, we assure you the regime forces will be defeated WITHIN 1 WEEK.

November 25th, 2011, 3:42 pm


ann said:

Some 20 killed in 24 hours across Syria: report – 2011-11-26

DAMASCUS, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) — Some 20 people were killed in the past 24 hours across Syria, including law-enforcement members, gunmen and a civilian, the official SANA news agency reported Friday.

Two law-enforcement members were killed Friday when a mine planted by armed groups blasted in central Hama province, SANA reported, adding that another sergeant was killed in southern Daraa province when a group of gunmen opened fire at a vehicle that was ferrying food to the law members.

In central Homs province, specialized forces conducted a qualitative operation on Thursday in the al-Rastan area, during which 16 gunmen were killed and dozens arrested, SANA said. The operation also led to the confiscation of large quantities of arms and ammunition, including diverse Israeli-made weapons, mines and mortar shells, the report said.

Meanwhile, SANA said that three explosive devices went off on Friday in several neighborhoods in Hama, but no injuries were reported. It reported that explosives experts managed to dismantle four devices that were set to go off in several crowded areas in Daraa.

In northern Idlib province, a roadside bomb exploded at Taftanas town on Thursday, killing a 13-year-old boy who was herding sheep, according to SANA.

On the opposition side, the Local Coordination Committees, an activists’ network, said that as many as 26 people, including two kids, were killed Friday across Syria, as anti-government protesters rallied under the title “the Free Syrian Army Protects Us.”

The so-called Syrian Free Army, which is composed of army defectors, has attacked many army bases over the past weeks. Their recent assault targeted a bus carrying elite army pilots on Thursday, which led to the killing of 10 officers.

The Syrian Army said in a statement on Friday that the attack on the pilots was considered a dangerous terrorist escalation, ” which unveiled the scheme that aims to weaken and target our army forces.”

“We affirm the involvement of foreign parties with the aim of weakening the fighting ability of the army,” said the statement.

The beneficiaries are the enemies of Syria such as Israel, it said, stressing the army’s full readiness to carry on with its mission to protect the citizens’ lives.

Currently, there are mounting cries among Syrians, even from anti-government activists, to halt all kinds of violent acts whether they are against government’s targets or not, as armed resistance, which the Syrian government has claimed to be fighting to justify its crackdown on protesters and which has been dismissed by many other countries, has practically become true.

November 25th, 2011, 3:46 pm


irritated said:

#223 Khaled Tlass

” you consider yourslref an authority on Syrian affairs ?”

The only authority on Syrian affairs are you and Radu the cockroach, noone will dispute that

November 25th, 2011, 4:47 pm


zoo said:

Saudi dynasty should leave power: top Iran cleric

Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al-Saud dynasty should give up power, a hardline senior Iranian cleric said Friday, warning that the fate of Egypt’s toppled president Hosni Mubarak awaits Saudi King Abdullah.

“You should give up power and leave it to the people. They will establish a people’s government,” Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said in the weekly Muslim prayers at Tehran University.

“It is better for the Al-Saud to awaken. The fate of the Egyptian pharaoh (Hosni Mubarak) and that of the (fallen) strongmen in Libya and Tunisia, ultimately, awaits the Saudi pharaoh (King Abdullah)… You should be careful,” he said, as worshippers chanted “Death to Al-Saud.”

His remarks, broadcast on state radio, follow protests this week among the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich east, resulting in four deaths since Sunday.

November 25th, 2011, 5:16 pm


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