“Why Syria’s Assad heads to Geneva from a position of strength,” by Joshua Landis

Analysis: Why Syria’s Assad heads to Geneva from a position of strength
By Joshua Landis
for Aljazeera America, Edited by Tony Karon
January 22, 2014

His army is stronger, his allies are more committed and regime’s capacity for brutality has kept it in charge.

Syrian troops celebrate as they take the village of Haydariya on May 13 as part of a push to cut supply lines to their opponents in the strategic Qusayr area of Homs province.Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

As representatives of Syria’s Assad regime and some of its opponents sit down Wednesday for their first direct negotiations since the rebellion began three years ago, the grim reality facing the Syrian opposition is this: President Bashar al-Assad comes to the negotiating table in Switzerland apparently stronger today than at any time in the last two years. Thus his cavalier tone ahead of the talks, dismissing opposition representatives as a “joke” and brushing off Secretary of State John Kerry’s and the opposition’s demand that he relinquish power and accept a “transitional governing body.” Instead, Assad maintains, Syria will hold elections this year, and “I see no reason why I shouldn’t stand.”

Understanding why Assad’s regime survives more than two years after then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it a “dead man walking” is critical for gauging the outcome of the Geneva II talks.

The regime’s resilience is based, first and foremost, on the Syrian Army. Without its loyalty, Assad would likely have fallen as quickly as did Tunisia’s President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. But while many soldiers and officers did join the rebellion, most did so as individuals; few entire units defected and no entire divisions did. Structurally, the military held together, and it was able to replenish its ranks through intensive recruitment among the Alawite minority, where many are loyal to the regime and still more live in mortal fear of sectarian retribution at the hands of the Sunni-led armed rebellion. The same factors allowed the military to expand its capabilities through the paramilitary Popular Committees, often called shabiha. And it has also been able to enlist the support in critical battles of units of the Shia Hezbollah militia from neighboring Lebanon, whose leaders recognize that their own military fortunes depend on maintaining the re-supply lines that the Assad regime has long provided.

Just as important as the military’s loyalty to the regime has been its superior armaments. Even if rebel fighters, who number well in excess of 100,000 by most estimates, outnumber the Syrian Arab Army, in any battle for territory they are often little match for the Syrian Army’s dramatic technological and organizational advantage. Rebel militias have no answer for the artillery, armor and air power of the Syrian military. Perhaps even more importantly, the rebels have no central command. And it is difficult to imagine, today, how the rebels could plausibly overcome these disadvantages.

The fragmentation and radicalization of rebel fighting forces, over whom there is no clear political command, has been the opposition’s greatest weakness. Had a unified political-military command emerged among Syria’s rebels in the first year of the uprising, at the height of optimism over the Arab Spring, the United States and Europeans might well have been persuaded to give direct military backing to the uprising. Today, such hopes have been dashed.

Infighting among rival militias battling for control over rebel-held areas has, in recent weeks, cost over 1,000 lives. The prospect of militia chaos combined with widespread human rights abuses, the radicalization of the militias, and an estimated 10,000 foreigners fighting on the rebel side have spooked Western leaders, even amid the anguish caused by images depicting gruesome torture and murder in the dungeons of the regime.

Few policy-makers talk about “good guys” in Syria anymore; some — most notably former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden last December — even argue that a rebel victory would be worse than an Assad win. Not even the recent emergence of a larger militia coalition, the Islamic Front, to organize rebel fighting and challenge forces aligned with Al-Qaeda has been able to end rebel chaos.

Foreign involvement in the Syrian civil war has also worked strongly to the advantage of the regime. Iran and Russia have proven to be far more reliable as allies to Assad than the U.S. and Gulf Arab states have been to the rebels. From day one of the revolt, Assad’s top concern has been that the U.S. would invade. He and his generals were convinced that they could survive so long as F-16s did not appear over the Damascus horizon. So far, their assumption has proven to be correct.

Rhetoric and action gap

Rarely has the gap between U.S. rhetoric and action been wider than it has been on Syria: President Barack Obama proclaimed during the first months of the uprising that “Assad must step aside,” which was read as a statement of intent by the rebels but which has produced negligible concrete action. Even when Washington proclaimed that Assad had crossed Obama’s “red line” by using chemical weapons, no retribution rained down. The U.S. electorate has no appetite for further wars in the Middle East. So, while Obama was able to strike a deal ridding Syria of all WMD, to the opposition that success was a damp squib. They had expected Washington to deal Assad a crippling blow, turning the fight in their favor. Instead, Washington struck a chemical-weapons dealthat saw Assad dispense with a category of weapons that had played very little role in the civil war, while effectively strengthening his and his allies’ diplomatic position.

Obama made clear in his pivot on launching a punitive strike on Syria that he believes the U.S. has practically no interest in the country’s civil war. Syrian opposition figures look at the fact that the U.S. has spent less than $2 billion on Syria, the equivalent of three days’ spending at the height of the Iraq war, and see little reason to expect much from Washington. Even those opposition groups who’ve agreed to go to Geneva II are not convinced by Secretary of State John Kerry’s insistence that Assad will have to agree at the talks to form a sovereign “transitional government.” Kerry took charge of the State Department last year declaring his intention to change Assad’s “calculation” about his ability to hold on to power, but instead it is Washington’s calculations, rather than Assad’s, that have changed.  How he will be made to step aside on the basis of the current balance of forces remains a mystery.

Assad has been extraordinarily ruthless in pursuing his survival, and such ruthlessness can have a decisive effect in determining the course of a war. The most recent U.N. report about “industrial scale killing of detainees” made for blood-chilling reading, chronicling the regime’s brutality and willingness to destroy whole neighborhoods in order to kill rebel fighters sheltering within them. The carnage wrought by Assad’s forces has been breathtaking — one in three Syrians today has been displaced from their homes by the war.

Assad’s game plan was to confront unarmed civil disobedience with gunfire, betting that turning the uprising into an armed rebellion would push extremist forces to the fore, which would alienate key Syrian and foreign stakeholders. He prioritized geography, withdrawing from the regions that hold less strategic value or are ungovernable by his regime in order to consolidate his hold on core geographic assets, such as Damascus, Homs, Hama and the highways linking them to the Alawite population centers on the coast. Although he ceded control of the poorest and most heavily Sunni provinces of northern and eastern Syria, his army has been able to retain bases in every major northern city. Government artillery and aircraft continue to bombard rebel-held areas at will, creating chaos and sowing dissention.

So, although Assad’s representatives have gone to the negotiating table in Switzerland, it is not clear they are there to seek compromise. But others might.

While Assad insists that his army is “making progress,” it is not at all clear that he can retake Syria or that Syria’s allies will continue to bankroll his attempt to do so. Iran and Russia may well be content to have the Assad regime survive in only half of Syria if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the West agree to the other half for the rebels. Even then, a deal remains a distant prospect. Most Syrians today reject the notion of partition or even autonomous regions, but the military stalemate has endured for almost two years. On the eve of the Geneva talks, Syria’s Kurds declared unilateral autonomy in the far northeast, where they hold military power and comprise the majority of the population. Syria is effectively divided, and none of the military forces in the field appear capable of reuniting it under their control. Negotiated settlements to end wars tend to reflect the balance of forces in play; the idea of Assad stepping aside for a consensus-based national unity government is quite at odds with the current balance of geopolitical and military forces. For that reason, it is unlikely to be achieved at Geneva II.

Comments (227)

Alan said:

the so called torture report about Syria was paid for by the same government which finances those rebels in Syria..

Original report on Syrian regime prison kilings payed by Qatar
the link to the original report is here:

who made this report? CNN answers:

The lawyers were hired to write the report by the British law firm Carter-Ruck, which in turn was funded by the Government of Qatar, de Silva told Amanpour. ….
CNN was referred to Carter-Ruck, and this report, by a Qatari government official, and a CNN producer met in the Qatari capital Doha with the report’s authors.

The Christian Science Monitor’s Dan Murphy says yes. Don’t forget the agenda, he warns:

This report is no more credible than the claim last August that Assad gassed his own Alawite supporters with Sarin gas virtually in front of UN chemical weapons inspectors on the very day they arrived. Initially supportive, the UN chemical weapons inspectors have since retracted their claim that they detected Sarin at the site of the attack, and have now conceded that the August 21st attack was, like its predecessors, carried out by the rebels. The agenda is to oust Assad and replace him with a US puppet regime, and the author of that agenda, the United States, has a long track record of using lies and deceptions, like the claim that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons, to move their agenda forward.

sick Kerry ! H A N D S O F F S Y R I A


January 22nd, 2014, 11:38 am


Juergen said:

An information for Syrians having relatives in Germany.

The german government has decided that any Syrian living in Germany since 1 January 2013 has the right to bring relatives of 1st and 2nd degree to Germany. The costs of living have to be provided by the resident, health costs will be covered by the government. The procedure is quite simple and very fast, a friend of mine was able to bring his whole family from war torn Idleb within 4 days.

January 22nd, 2014, 1:21 pm


Juergen said:

Syria report: One is reminded of Nazi Germany
Everyone knows that the Assad regime – from father Hafez onwards – has employed torture and executions to preserve the doubtful purity of the Baath party

“The pictures are horrific, the torture details revolting, the numbers terrifying. And the integrity of the three former prosecutors who have effectively accused the Syrian government of war crimes with their report published this week, is without blemish. Shrivelled, blood-spattered corpses provide unstoppable evidence of regime cruelty – just as the videotapes of Syrian rebel executions tell us what kind of Syria may soon exist if the insurrection against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad succeeds.
Everyone knows that the Assad regime – from father Hafez onwards – has employed torture and executions to preserve the doubtful purity of the Baath party. So why not, indeed, talk of war crimes? Well, let’s just remember that the 11,000 prisoners reportedly done to death by the Syrian regime is only just over half the total number of Syrians – 20,000 – reportedly killed by Hafez’s brother’s troops in the besieged Syrian city of Hama in 1982.”



January 22nd, 2014, 1:26 pm


habib said:

“The carnage wrought by Assad’s forces has been breathtaking — one in three Syrians today has been displaced from their homes by the war.”

Wow, even though many of them have actually fled the “rebels”?

January 22nd, 2014, 1:54 pm


Juergen said:

Kenan Rahmani

“Opponents of the Revolution sometimes ask me: “Who can replace Assad?” And I surprise them when I tell them, “You could. I could. Any of us would be better than this President who has brought so much tragedy to ‪#‎Syria‬.” Then they start thinking, imagining such a world where any Syrian could serve his people as President, regardless of sect, even if his last name is not Assad.”

January 22nd, 2014, 3:15 pm


Tara said:

Bravo Tabl al Moualem!!

You have outdone yourself inciting anger and contempt in the heart of Mr. Kerry and exposing the regime for what it is..

Please reward yourself and eat more.

January 22nd, 2014, 3:20 pm


Pirouz said:

Good read, in general. However there are a couple of assertions that are questionable.

1) I don’t think Assad had a “game plan” to draw extremists to the fore. I found Crooke’s observations back in 2011 to be on the mark, with an armed extremist presence at get-go for this conflict. Moreover, Syria’s decision to take a forceful military response (in contrast to Iran’s law endorcement and security response in 2009) was simply a replay of former Syrian responses to periods of unrest.

2) I don’t think Iran (or Iraq for that matter) are “content” with a continued regional destabilization that the Syrian conflict is generating. That said, Iran’s military and economic contributions toward Syria are maintained by means of economized support.

January 22nd, 2014, 4:16 pm


Observer said:

Dr. Landis I have bridge in Syria I would like to sell you and few other things.

Position of strength my foot indeed. You have a wall of fear that is broken, you have a population bent on redressing injustice. Time is not on his side unless you are convinced otherwise for in that case I have a bridge to sell you.

Once again no one is actually showing us their “conflict of interest disclaimer” on this blog

January 22nd, 2014, 5:00 pm


omen said:

ghouta got some food in. homs continues to starve – accuses robert ford of complicity & treason:


January 22nd, 2014, 6:00 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

The situation in Syria has approached the limits of meeting the criteria of ” we are living in a mad, mad world.

It should be plain to accept that the Syrians have arrived at a point in time in their history that their only solution to their situation is killing each other.

It also should be plain as daylight that fellow human beings that live thousands of miles away, are not Syrians, drone/kill dozen of human beings and declare that a President of a country and fellow member in the UN cannot be part of the solution.

And the fight goes on with one side wanting to be in a poistion of strength while the other side also wants to be in a position of strength if approved by SA, Israel, and others.

Come to think of it why finish it off by just having no Syria?

January 22nd, 2014, 6:26 pm


Brad said:

“…and willingness to destroy whole neighborhoods in order to kill rebel fighters sheltering within them.”

When there are mass civilian casualties and refugees as a result of US striking insurgents embedded in Iraqi neighborhoods (many more than in Syria), it is passed off as ‘collateral damage’ – yet the Syrian regime is still seen as somehow uniquely brutal.

This is not to excuse the Syrian regime’s crimes, but to highlight the hypocrisy of those in the West presuming to mediate peace.

January 22nd, 2014, 6:31 pm


Alan said:

At this point in history, the US government is morally bankrupt beyond belief, and it appears that all of its members have collectively had their conscience surgically removed.
The US government’s options have become extremely limited in Syria because of massive infighting among the rebels, some of those being none other than the alleged sworn enemy of the US government, Al Qaeda.
For several years now, all the money and training afforded to these rebels has been all for naught, because the rebels cannot manage to maintain a cohesive, unified front or actually create a set of objectives for creating security and stability in Syria; and worse than that, huge numbers of these alleged “rebels” are not even Syrian, but are foreign fighters, eager to participate in “jihad”.
And should these fighters, by some miracle, be able to take over the country and establish their rule, what the US might experience here is an even more viscerally anti-American government than they had under Al-Assad’s watch.
The only option the US has at this point, other than attacking Syria militarily, which will mean war with Russia, is a straight-out assassination of Assad, in some way.
U.S. insists Syria’s Assad is illegitimate and must be ousted

January 22nd, 2014, 6:45 pm


norman said:

What the opposition want is to dismantle the Syrian army, Baath party and the security services, it is not about president Assad and I do not care if he stays or does not, but the Syrian army is a red line for all Syrian, we saw what happened to Iraq after the invasion and dissolving the army and the Baath party, let me add that if president Assad decide to step down, he will not be allowed by the army and the Baath party until they secure a replacement that they can trust not to sell them.

January 22nd, 2014, 6:56 pm


Alan said:

In the west region militias Dzhesh Al- Mujahideen announced its full control over these territories and retreat groups ISIS have suffered heavy losses in the fighting . Terrorists reported 40 killed and dozens arrested members of the enemy forces , while clarifying , given the fact that the group commanded by Chechen fighter , ” interesting ” information that among them – “a lot of foreign mercenaries ” …

Themselves in the hands of terrorists ISIS 10 members Dzhesh Al Mujahideen , as always, were brutally executed.

Meanwhile, six battalions were part of the Al- Ahrar Haraket Sham Islamiya , announced its withdrawal from the gangs because of the reluctance to engage in feuds with ISIS , whose spiritual leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi turned back to competing with his subordinates militants. He urged them to stop infighting , declaring all members of armed groups operating in Syria, ” the Mujahideen called to fight the Syrian regime.”

January 22nd, 2014, 7:05 pm



US Grant rules do not allow the good professor to buy bridges with grant money. But as you know, what our firm sells is a great retirement investment, especially for those who may wish to take early retirement.

January 22nd, 2014, 7:29 pm



On the other hand, Norman seems to be a great buyer. I hope that the bridge we have in stock is called Al-Baath bridge.

January 22nd, 2014, 7:32 pm


Tara said:

طبل المعلم is bitter about having to travel for 12 hours. Did they not have enough food in the plane for him?

سجال بين المعلم وبان كي مون بجنيف2

نشب خلاف بين وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم وبين الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بان كي مون خلال إلقاء الوزير السوري كلمته في الجلسة الافتتاحية لمؤتمر جنيف2، بسبب تجاوز المعلم الوقت المحدد لكلمته أمام المؤتمر.

فقد اعترض بان على تجاوز المعلم الزمن المسموح له في الكلام في الجلسة الافتتاحية للمؤتمر المنعقد بمدينة مونترو السويسرية, لكن الوزير السوري أصر على الاستمرار في كلمته.

ويشار إلى أن بان حدد فترة عشر دقائق لكل من المتحدثين في المؤتمر.

وفيما يلي نص السجال الذي دار بين بان والمعلم:

بان: السيد نائب رئيس الوزراء، أنا آسف، ولكن هلا تفضلت وأنهيت كلمتك أو اختصرتها فقد تحدثت لأكثر من عشرين دقيقة.

المعلم: سيدي الأمين العام، لقد تحدثت أنت لأكثر من 25 دقيقة. لقد سافرت 12 ساعة بالطائرة واحتاج إلى بضع دقائق لإنهاء كلمتي، فالموضوع هو سوريا.

بان: كم تبقى لكلمتك.

المعلم: أعتقد من خمس إلى عشر دقائق.

بان: لا، لا، أنا سأعطيك فرصة أخرى.

المعلم: علي أن أنهي كلمتي، وسأبذل ما بوسعي في هذا المجال.

بان: هل يمكن أن تجمل كلمتك خلال دقيقة أخرى أو دقيقتين.

المعلم: لا أستطيع أن أعدك، علي أن أنهي خطابي.

بان: إذن عليَّ أن أعطي الوقت نفسه لأطراف أخرى.

المعلم: سيدي، أنت تعيش في نيويورك وأنا أعيش في سوريا، ولدي الحق في تقديم الرواية السورية للأوضاع أمام هذا المنتدى.

بان: نعم بالطبع لا أعترض على ذلك بعد ثلاث سنوات من المعاناة. يجب أن يكون الحوار بناء ومتناغما.

المعلم: أنت تحدثت لمدة 25 دقيقة، وأحتاج للتحدث لمدة ثلاثين دقيقة.

بان: لن يكون ذلك بناء في هذا الوقت.

المعلم: أعدك سيكون بناء، دعني أكمل خطابي، أعدك بذلك.

بان: دقيقتان أو ثلاث دقائق، سأعطيك فرصة أخرى.

المعلم: عشرون دقيقة أخرى.

المصدر:الجزيرة + وكالات

January 22nd, 2014, 8:03 pm


Tara said:

Jaafaris statements are much less hawkish than Tabl (Mouallem).

Knowing Jaafarii, it seems to me that the regime is intentionally playing bad cop good cop to deceive.

January 22nd, 2014, 8:17 pm


Observer said:

The Drum had to say all these points otherwise the iPad Retard would have starved him to death. He came and delivered as instructed he had no choice in the matter.

His boss does not understand that there is time limits or dialogue or time frames or agendas to be kept on time for he was brought up to look pseudo modern but his upbringing is one of pure backward brutal dictatorial feudal and condescending nature to all that serve him worthy of the worst slavery tradition know to man.

CNN was right when it portrayed the two red lines put forth by the protagonists: whereas Jarba said Time today in Syria means Bloodshed, the Drum said the President is a red line. Whereas Jarba pointed out to the red color of blood being shed in Syria, the regime was only interested in the Presidential Red Line.

As for Botox laden Bouthaina she was a pathetic buffoon defending the indefensible and claiming that she loves and cares for the Beoble of Syria that are being destroyed by foreign Jihadi elements.

As for the well connected academics on NPR today, I wonder where the family in law is living today? Are they in the US the country of support to the rebellion or are they in England or perhaps in Paris or in Latakia these days?

I have a lot to sell as I am willing to sell the bust so that the regime buffoon buy the boom. Norman what Syrian army are you talking about? 70% defected or are gone and no more than 40 000 troops are in support of the regime and without Russian and Iranian and HA fighter your so called SAA would have been totally defeated and sent to the gallows.

Two air to surface missiles brought down a helicopter and an Iranian airplane in Damascus this last week.
SAA my foot to be polite.

January 22nd, 2014, 9:46 pm


joe said:

this is sad

January 22nd, 2014, 11:43 pm


Aleskander said:

Syria will never divide, despite the sectarian tension, when the war is over (…) the Syrians will be forgiving.
As for Professor Landis, his conclusions have been always off, noting his suggestions to arm the rebels much earlier on with antiaircraft weapons, to his reaction to the alleged chemical attach, when he recommended military strikes , to now when he is suggesting that Syria will be divided. Professor Landis is deligent. But he is somehow not on target .

January 23rd, 2014, 12:08 am


ghufran said:

The only thing that attracted my attention at the opening show of Geneva 2 was the smiley face of Luna Ashibil.
Saud Al-Faisal proved that there is no limit to how ridiculous and vindictive GCC Bedouins can be when he referred to Jarba, who spoke in broken Arabic and a heavy Saudi-type accent, as “Fakhamet Al-Ra’ees”(your excellency. I never wanted Assad to be president but if Mr Jarba becomes president (a big if) I will demand that my coworkers start referring to me as Sultan Ghufran.
Seriously, I can not understand how a body of allegedly educated and well-funded Thawrajiyyeh like the NC could not come with a better figurehead than Mr Jarba who looks bad, talks bad and makes the NC seems like a tribe of Bedouins headed by a smuggler !!
The opposition team needed a Luna and a chair person who appears well-fed and speaks proper Arabic.
(ready to hear accusations of racism)

January 23rd, 2014, 12:08 am


Hopeful said:


Well, you knew it was coming 🙂

Look, the participants in the conference are the ones who are willing to sit and talk to the regime. Everyone else backed out, even Haitham Manaa and his group. Jarba will not be elected president – we all know that, but he could be an agent of change – all of the participants could. If I recall correctly, none of these guys in Geneva today will end up in the transition government, because it is against their charter at the SNC. We need fresh ideas for a change, because clearly the existing pattern will lead nowhere. Let’s hope that something positive may happen out of this.

I really do not know what is wrong with Bedouins. You always use this term in a derogatory manner. What do you believe that Bedouins are not worthy of leadership or modernization? Look at what the cowboys did for the United States, while the sophisticated bourgeoise French were sipping wine!

January 23rd, 2014, 12:54 am


Hopeful said:

# 21 Joe

So sad on so many different levels. For those who say that abuse of women is an exclusive trait of the Saudi or Indian cultures, take a look at what happens in Syria. Not to mention the complete collapse of law and order (a few men with guns can feel the right to abuse and beat the girl and the old man – regardless of how terrible his crime is). Not to mention the label of the video itself to score political points (this guy is an opposition leader? Really?). Not to mention the judgmental culture that leads to sexual frustration… So sad to see.

January 23rd, 2014, 1:13 am


joe said:

#24 hopeful

Why do you feel compelled to defend a pedophile who rapes his granddaughter?! How dare you compare his heinous crime to a case of sexual frustration! His name is Mohammed Qasim Al Nasooh imam of a mosque in Idlib, who later became commander of the Ahbab Al Sahaba battalion. If you have proof to the contrary, put it up, or …

January 23rd, 2014, 2:17 am


habib said:

21. joe

This is why the opposition is losing, their leaders prove to be utter monsters again and again.


January 23rd, 2014, 3:49 am


jo6pac said:

Thanks Alan for your comments and links.

January 23rd, 2014, 10:50 am


Andrew said:

At Syria talks, a workaround: Forget regime change, for now

After bitter arguments on day one of talks in Switzerland, the goals have become more modest: local truces and humanitarian aid.


January 23rd, 2014, 11:24 am


Alan said:

Growth of International Terrorist Threat from Syria
Vladimir Platov, an expert on the Middle East

26. JO6PAC
With pleasure!

January 23rd, 2014, 12:45 pm



I expect no less than outrage and 60 thumbs down from heznbulla and assad fanatics in the US and Canada. I guess this is how Charmine Narwani and co get funded to be scholars:

Australian police crack global money-laundering racket
By Amy Coopes (AFP) – 7 hours ago

Sydney — Australian police revealed Thursday they had cracked a major global money-laundering ring with operatives in more than 20 countries and funds syphoned off to groups reported to include Hezbollah.

The Australian Crime Commission said more than Aus$580 million (US$512 million) of drugs and assets had been seized, including Aus$26 million in cash, in a year-long sting codenamed Eligo targeting the offshore laundering of funds generated by outlaw motorcycle gangs, people-smugglers and others.

According to the ACC, the operation had disrupted 18 serious and organised crime groups and singled out 128 individuals of interest in more than 20 countries, tapping information from agencies including the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.


It was described as “one of the most successful money-laundering investigations in Australian law enforcement history” by the ACC.

“Seizing more than $550 million worth of drugs and cash is a significant blow to the criminal economy,” he added.
Legitimate international cash wiring services were a major focus of the operation, with the government’s anti-laundering agency AUSTRAC saying they had been identified as at “high risk of being exploited by serious and organised crime groups”.

Record seizure

A Fairfax media expose on the operation found criminals targeted foreign nationals and students in Australia awaiting remittances from overseas, hijacking the transaction by depositing dirty money to the payee and then taking the cash wired from offshore.
Fairfax said at least one of the exchange houses used in the Middle East and Asia delivered a cut from every dollar it laundered to Lebanon’s powerful Shiite movement and Syria ally Hezbollah, which is banned as a terrorist organisation in Australia.

So Russian-Hizbullah-Iranian-Ass-ad/Makhlouf gangs have good reason to cooperate….

January 23rd, 2014, 1:29 pm


Alan said:

So Russian-Hizbullah-Iranian-Assad/Makhlouf gangs have good reason to cooperate….

January 23rd, 2014, 2:01 pm


Juergen said:

I will praise the day when this scum will show off her jewelry in Tehran or Sotschi. It’s disgusting to see so much lying in front of the whole world knowing better.


January 23rd, 2014, 2:23 pm


Alan said:

The Lexicon of GCC:
How much is the cost of renting your state?’
money, money, money’….

Kerry! it is a gainful business, Saudi will continue buy USA made weapons, Israel will get it for free, actually Saudis are charged for what Israel gets for free, and the business mans from war corporations on all side will make billions upon billion profits, . In reality these people, no matter what or who they are, the last thing in their mind is humans life’s, destruction of a country or nation even if millions upon millions humans are killed, today tomorrow or next week and how much the “Business” is bringing is their concern.

With “friends” like Israel and Saudi Arabia, America doesn’t need any enemies! take care about yourself Mr Kerry! ! Your back hurts and Uncle Osteo does not want to leave you! Sweet Dreams Mr. Kerry.

January 23rd, 2014, 3:11 pm


Alan said:

Cut each of the ship landing huge affiliate Black Sea Fleet ” Azov ” as well as the ship landing huge affiliate fleet of the North Sea , ” St. George victor ” the Dardanelles and entered within the composition of the permanent Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea , as diplomatic source said military told ” Interfax news agency military ” on Monday, January 20 .

The spokesman said that the agency ” mega- ships landing ” Azov “and” St. George victor ” cut off in the area of ​​the strait and entered the Black Sea waters in the Aegean Sea off to join the Russian naval forces in the Mediterranean .”

He pointed out that joining the two vessels were in the framework of rotation of troops chosen for the permanent collection of ships of the Russian Navy fleets , which implements the functions in this region .
moscow never sleep

January 23rd, 2014, 5:09 pm


Tara said:


Enjoy!. Watch the clip:


Note the Shabeehas around the propaganda minister can’t resort to Tashbeeh in Switzerland.

January 23rd, 2014, 7:49 pm


ghufran said:

AB Atwan believes that Geneva 2 will help the Syrian government and hurt the NC:
النظام السوري حقق نجاحا جزئيا في الجلسة العلنية الخطابية لمؤتمر جنيف الثاني عندما قدم نفسه ضحية “مؤامرة ارهابية” خارجية ووصلت الجرأة بالسيدة بثينة شعبان مستشارة الرئيس الاعلامية الى حد مطالبة امريكا بالمساعدة لمواجهتها، باعتبارها عانت اي امريكا من الارهاب نفسه، وحريصة على حماية الاقليات الدينية في سورية يقول النظام انه يوفرها لها.
المفاوضات التي ستنطلق غدا ستطيل من عمر النظام حتما، وقد تقصر من عمر المعارضة في الوقت نفسه، (الائتلاف الوطني) لانها تفتقد الى الشرعية التمثيلية، فالسيد المعلم سيعود والوفد الذي يترأسه الى مرجعيته في دمشق للتشاور معها حول ما يحمل في جعبته من اسئلة ومقترحات اولية، ولكن الى اين سيعود السيد الجربا ونصف الهئية السياسية لائتلافه مستقيلة، او رافضة لذهابه الى مؤتمر جنيف؟
ما يمكن استخلاصه من رصد تطورات اليومين الماضيين السياسية وتصريحات المسؤولين الغربيين هو ان امريكا تفضل “احتواء” نظام الرئيس بشار الاسد وليس “اسقاطه” تماما مثلما فعلت مع حليفه الايراني، ولا نستغرب، او نستبعد، ان تكون المعارضة السورية، اول ضحايا هذا التحول الامريكي.

رأي اليوم – عبد الباري عطوان

GCC thugs knew from day one that they should avoid coming to the point where they, through their employees at the NC, have to negotiate with Assad government, they wanted a military solution and chaos like Libya and they were hoping for an end to Assad similar to what Qaddafi had on the hands of GCC-funded Islamists. Only idiots and evil people would have supported a Libyan model in Syria, those of us who warned about what is coming were three years ahead of others who were blinded by hatred and those who were possessed by a religion that lost its path.
Our thawrajiyyeh failed because they hated the regime more than they loved their own country and for that I consider them untrustworthy and unfit to move Syria forward.

January 23rd, 2014, 9:24 pm


ghufran said:

JL on PBS:

Chief foreign correspondent Margaret Warner joins Gwen Ifill from Switzerland to further discuss the positions held by the opposing sides. Then Gwen Ifill gets reaction from Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma and Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute about whether anything positive can come of the talks.

January 23rd, 2014, 9:55 pm


Juergen said:


They call him already the runaway minister

January 24th, 2014, 12:18 am


Juergen said:

This is the report the scumlady was referring too, but did she read it thoroughly? There is no statement whatsoever that rebels have control of Sarin nor that they launched the attack. The report of the MIT only questions the findings of US intelligence organs, particularly the distance of which the rockets were flying before exploding in rebel held territories. It makes sense to me that the regime launched those rockets from a much smaller radius, given that winds arent loyal, and central Damascus is only miles away.https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1006045-possible-implications-of-bad-intelligence.html#storylink=relast

January 24th, 2014, 12:46 am


annie said:

Thank you Juergen

Bouthaina Shaaban,


I feel like vomiting listening to her

Get your thumbs down ready shabihas !

January 24th, 2014, 1:44 am


Badr said:

Mind you, I’m not supporting the Russian position.

“If this is the outcome (Assad and only Assad), no one will be able to block action in the United Nations anymore, including Russia and China.”


A little dose of reality:

A senior Russian official has told the BBC that nobody other than President Assad could run Syria at the moment.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said the conflict was a battle for power and not a fight for democracy.

He said the toppling of the Libyan and Egyptian leaders had ended in disasters and Russia wanted stability.

January 24th, 2014, 3:20 am


Alan said:

I’m supporting the Russian position. What if Russia wanted the heart Gulf regimes ways of the U.S. of lying and deception and demonization?
The US must leave the bad habits and play on the satanic regime change!

January 24th, 2014, 3:44 am


Hopeful said:

#42 Badr

This is what I would say to the Russian deputy foreign minister:

Assad is at worst a war criminal and at best a miserable failed leader. His leadership in the past three years had led to the worst destruction of a nation in modern history. It is an insult to all Syrians, opposition and loyalists included, to state that the Syrians cannot produce a better leader for the country at the moment.

January 24th, 2014, 4:49 am


Observer said:

Tara and Syrian Hamster today I checked Cham Press another regime source of information and as you know I always start with the news from the regime side
Here is the economic section of Cham Press for you to read and for apologists of the regime to read as well. By omission or by commission the regime is a failure of course
We will sell the bust so that they can buy the boom later with this kind of economy


On a different note today Nadim Kouteich on DNA Future Tv on You Tube has a nice piece about the School of Diplomacy of Walid Muallem just like the Wharton School of Business or the Pritzker School of Medicine

January 24th, 2014, 8:17 am


Observer said:

Now this is not made by the CIA or the Mossad. It is made in Syria and is actually a tribute to my calling for these various ethnic religious populations to divide the country and live separately.

Let them have their state and get them out of our hair does not seem to be so farfetched or outlandish or call for ethnic cleansing as some accuse me of; it is simply a recognition that the age old hatred is still burning fiercely in their minds and they are blind to any humanity.


Watch the hatred on display and tell me that we can live together

January 24th, 2014, 9:27 am


Alan said:

This is what I would say to US foreign minister:
You can exercise your bad habits in regime change O N L Y in those countries which are governed by US dolls!

January 24th, 2014, 10:48 am


Alan said:

No need to be a professor from Oklahoma to approve: negotiation and seeking a compromise and common denominator is poletical, cultural practice. I am confident that the continuity of the negotiations between the Syrian political adversaries is the true way to find an expected Syrian solution!

January 24th, 2014, 11:17 am


Andrew said:

Can he manipulate the West?

President Bashar Assad’s hopes are rising that he may be able to use the conference in Geneva to bolster the legitimacy of his regime


January 24th, 2014, 11:23 am


Alan said:

It would suggest that Omarov’s latest suicide attacks in Russia are part of a “revenge” operation of Netanyahu and Saudi Intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, to sabotage the Sochi Olympics, for Putin’s role in winning Obama away from war against Syria last fall and openly seeking a diplomatic resolution of the Iran nuclear problem. Saudi Arabia’s Bandar and Netanyahu, who admitted they were in cooperation, both were reportedly livid against Putin for sabotaging their Jihad in Syria.

Now this same network seems to have activated a revenge attack against Putin and Obama for foiling their stratagems. It’s a high risk gamble by Netanyahu and Saudi Prince Bandar that could severely boomerang against them.

January 24th, 2014, 1:27 pm


ghufran said:

Hajar, the child Jarba used to win sympathy while lying about everything he said about her:

This is Jarba, the SaudoSyrian:

في صباح ٢٨ /٥ /٢٠١١ خلال عبورها جسر تلبيسة في حمص، متوجهة إلى مدرستها في باص يقلها مع رفاق وأقارب، لم تكن هاجر الخطيب تتوقع أنها على موعد مع الموت أمام حاجز لجيش الأسد. قبل سلوكها الطريق إلى جسر الموت، كانت اختارت مع والدتها قالب الحلوى لتطفئ فوقه إحدى عشر شمعة. والدة هاجر أضاءت في تلك الليلة الظلماء شمعة حزينة فوق جثمان ابنتها، والتف حولها أهل الرستن المصعوقين، تلك المنطقة التي سميت عرين الجيش السوري لكونها خرجت آلاف العسكريين، وقدمت للجيش ضباطاً بأعلى الرتب.

Jarba: she died May, 28, 2011 (no school on that day)
truth: she was killed May, 29, 2011

Jarba: Hajar was killed by the regime while in a school bus
truth: Hajar was killed near Jisr Talbiseh while in a VAN after rebels opened fire to assassinate an army officer (from the Tlaas family) in the same van who was also killed in the attack. Rebels also opened fire on the ambulance that tried to evacuate the victims.

Jarba’s boss (Saud Bin Faisal) who demanded a transfer of power in Syria was attacked by a woman from Kuwait:
سخرت الاعلامية الكويتية فجر السعيد من كلمة وزير الخارجية السعودي سعود الفيصل خلال مؤتمر جنيف2 وحديثه حول تداول السلطة. ونشرت تغريدة على حسابها في موقع ‘تويتر’ جاء فيها ‘سعود الفيصل بجنيف يدعو لتداول السلطة، علماً بأنه وزير خارجية المملكة منذ سنه 1975 يعني صار له 39 سنة لم يتم تداول السلطة بمنصبه’.

Jarba, who sounded like a Saudi Bedouin not as a Syrian, forgot to mention that the first casualty in Homs was a poor guard, Nidal Fandi, who was stoned to death by “peaceful protestors” on March, 25, 2011.

January 24th, 2014, 1:57 pm


Colby said:

Too many people in the West continue to see the Civil War as a purely sectarian conflict. To be sure, sectarianism is an extremely important, if not the most important factor. However, the Assad regime and the Syrian Army have remained cohesive and held steady not only because they have the support of Syria’s minority communities. The fact of the matter is, a vast segment of Syria’s majority Sunni Arab population remains loyal to the regime. Secularists, Baathists, Socialists, Merchants, Educated Professionals, and the urban middle-class have, by and large, remained loyal to Assad and the secular, civil State which he embodies.

January 24th, 2014, 2:59 pm


Alan said:

Memo to the six thousand pound saggy gorilla, napping on the Steinway …Here is Russia(and China). And Russia will defend Syria militarily if it is attacked.

Elite Newspapers: Violate International Law, Bomb Syria

January 24th, 2014, 3:46 pm


Syrialover said:

Hahah. Hahahahahah. hahahah. Hilarious.

Bouthaina Shaaban’s latest interview.

Watch the witch panic and screech nonsense when asked some straight questions and the interviewer won’t let her change the subject.

The ugliest woman in the world, inside and out, despite all that cosmetic surgery.

See “Assad aide defends regime”


Comment: They really are running on empty and desperate if this is the best the regime can offer up. She lost it. Nothing rational or intelligent to say.

January 24th, 2014, 3:47 pm


Syrialover said:

The regime is doing their opponents a great service by offering up that freak show of “Foreign Minister” Walid Moallam and “Top Adviser” Bouthaina Shaaban in Geneva.

In shock about what is happening in Syria, the world regards them as unnatural monsters and fools, and they certainly look and play the part.

The sad and humiliating thing for Syrians all these years is to be dishonestly “represented” by such creeps as if their “appointment” to their roles was legitimate.

January 24th, 2014, 3:59 pm


Syrialover said:


Thanks for the great laugh with your latest super-silly conspiracy theory in #51.

The more reality upsets people the wilder the stories they make up to comfort themselves.

January 24th, 2014, 4:13 pm


Alan said:

Let your thanks go to:Frederick William Engdahl (born August 9, 1944) is an American German freelance journalist, historian and economic researcher, He says that in the last of his writings!
But what stood out at this particular comment? You seem to be trying to defend בנימין נתניהו!

January 24th, 2014, 4:36 pm


Syrialover said:

The people representing both sides in Geneva would be under massive pressure not to fail. Jarba and those with him risk stinging criticism and political exclusion if they make a mess of it.

But for Moallam and Shaaban the personal stakes must be terrifying.

If they fail badly and make things worse in the eyes of their regime colleagues, what will happen to them? Will we hear that they “committed suicide” (with a bullet in the back of the head) or, more likely these days, died tragically in an “al Qaeda car bombing”.

The game’s up, they are in a lose-lose position with the clock ticking.

In their shoes, I’d defect. Though the regime will have them and their families too closely watched and tethered for that.

January 24th, 2014, 5:27 pm


Tara said:

Buthina sole job in Geneva is to spy on Drum al Mouallem ( the Sunni) lest he defects or says something not authorized to say. Drum Al Mouallem has never traveled alone since the revolution erupted except with the witch on his side.

This is Syria and we all know how things happen there.

January 24th, 2014, 6:47 pm


Atassi said:

You are correct, the witch main job is to watch what he say and do. I know, one time she was fuming because he went out of the script during a press conference …This bitch will have a nasty fall soon.

January 24th, 2014, 8:22 pm


Ghufran said:

The terrorist attacks in Egypt are a powerful reminder that the disease is from within and a living proof that the agony is the Arab world is not due to a Sunni – Shia war but to a takfiri ideology endorsed by a small but committed group of Muslims who seek life through death , they live to die and kill. Stop diverting blame and try to accept the truth it will set you free.

January 24th, 2014, 8:23 pm


Andrew said:

Weak Rebel Support for the Syrian Peace Talks

Posted by: Aron Lund January 24, 2014


January 24th, 2014, 8:37 pm


Atassi said:

The Syrian regime delegation has no support at all among Syria’s armed and security forces..I heard Maher will hung Moulem, his team and his brother from their ball if they gave up an inch to the other side. Iran and HizboAllah are getting ready to take over and split Syria fifty-fifty with defendable borderline

January 24th, 2014, 9:46 pm


Hopeful said:

Since 1963, the Assads have based their rules on the objectives of the Ba’ath party: uniting the Arab world, freedom, socialism, liberating Palestine, and defending the homeland against Israel. In 50 years, they failed in every single aspect. Syrians today are poorer than ever and others are determining their destination. The Arabs are more fragmented than ever. Syrian land is occupied and the Palestinians are still living in refugee camps.

So, all emotions and ideologies aside, why would any reasonable free-thinking person vote to extend the same failed leadership?

January 25th, 2014, 12:29 am


ghufran said:

There is no doubt that Albaath has failed and not just the Assads, remember that the Assads and their cronies used albaath for personal gains and so did many Syrians from all regions and sects and that include some new thawrajiyyeh who until March 2011 were in bed with the regime and its products.
Arab unity is a big lie, socialism is an unnatural economic theory and freedom from external powers requires allowing citizens to live free in dignity and not as hostages to fear and oppression.
The cure is to let Syrians decide through elections what type of government they want, but those elections are impossible when there is no security. The war needs to stop first and all foreign fighters should leave, even the Iranian FM said that, but tell that to ISIS and Nusra and try to keep your head above your shoulders.
I suspect that it is not just the Baathists who fear elections, it is the islamists also, they always chose war over peace because they can only thrive in an environment of conflict and violence. The army in Syria may become the defacto government for years to come, the army should have removed Assad 2 years ago, and this theory about the army has international support now but the West wants Assad men to depart or at least share and that where the money is, nobody including the US is talking about an alawites-free army and security forces after seeing what sunni “freedom fighters” had in their bags, this is not my language, I do not think any sect can claim purity or virtues, but that is how the West thinks today, give your thanks to ahfad arrasoul, ahrar alsham, aljabha alislamiyyah, etc and all of those who want to please god by burning churches and killing infidels, this new silly play by the GCC and many in the opposition about condemning ISIS and Islamists is too little too late, those islamist thugs were hailed as heroes until few months ago and received support and political cover from the same people who are attacking them today !!

January 25th, 2014, 2:02 am


Hopeful said:

#66 Ghufran

In Iraq, during the US occupation, the “sunni freedom fighters” teamed up with the Islamists/Al-Qaeda early on too, and the “local population” tolerated them. The majority of people around the Arab world, including Assad and his cronies, Hizbollah, etc., supported them and their actions because they were fighting against the occupation (remember how they kidnapped and chopped heads of anyone who “collaborated” with the occupation? At the time, everyone justified their actions because the “occupation” was humiliating the population by entering and searching houses where women lived!). When General Petraeus gave clear guarantees to the Sunni leaders that the US occupation will indeed end, the Sahwat fighters turned against Al-Qaeda and kicked their asses, and the local population rejected them in masses.

A similar situation is now at play in Syria. If the regime does indeed want an end to the blood shed, they have to deliver guarantees to the freedom fighters that Assad rule/occupation will come to an end. Only then will the freedom fighters turn seriously against Al-Qadea and fight them away. I have no doubt that they will do so because that culture is very alien to Syrians.

Do not get me wrong, I am 100% against the jihadis in Syria today as I was against them in Iraq in 2003-2007 (when everyone else justified and excused their actions), but the two situations are very similar: freedom fighters tolerating the jihadis because the are attacking their common enemy.

January 25th, 2014, 2:35 am



Seems like the regime’s delegation to Geneva believed the professor’s thesis and are acting on it. Big mistake.

January 25th, 2014, 4:05 am


Upasana Sharma said:

It is western propoganda that has been boosting Al Queda morale in Syria. There are no moerate or freedom fighters. They all are the puppets and murderers helping by Saudi Arabia, Quatar, the US and its puppets England, France, Turkey and the arb autocratic monarc. Long live Syria long live great president Al Assad.

January 25th, 2014, 5:12 am



small differences…I don’t think so.


الغيوم تملئ السماء، طابور النساء أمام فرن “الاتحاد” في حي “الفيض” الخاضع لسيطرة النظام في حلب الغربية أصبح طويلا، أم أحمد تتساير مع جارتها “في الطابور” قائلةً: شو بيشتغل جوزك خيتو ..! تجيب أم حسن: مع اللجان الشعبية عم يقاتل الارهابيين، تفزع أم أحمد وتقول مستنفرةً: يا عيب الشوم عليكم .. عم تاكلوا لقمتكم بالحرام، هدول الشبيحة كل رزقهم حرام ..! ، تجيب أم حسن مبررةً: خيتو هو مالوا علاقة بالناس، هو شغلتو يحارب “الارهابيين” بس..! ، يقترب العسكري المكلف بتنظيم الطابور، يسأل أم حسن قائلا: وين عم يخدم جوزك !؟، تجيب: هو عندكم ع جبهة “خان طومان”، يقول: طيب هلق بعطيكي خبز ع السريع بدون ما تستني دورك..! تنتظر أم حسن، لدقائق، ثم لساعات، من دون أن يحرك العسكري ساكنا، يقفل الفرن طاقته دون أن تتمكن من الحصول على الخبز..!

على الجانب الآخر، لقد وصل حسان تواً إلى كراجات حي الحيدرية الخاضع لسيطرة الثوار في حلب الشرقية قادما من تركيا برا وقبلها من دبي حيث يعمل، يشير إلى سيارة أجرة “تاكسي” فتقف، ينزل السائق لمساعدته في تحميل الحقائب الكثيرة التي يصطحبها، يصعد، يطلب إلى السائق أن يوصله إلى حي “السكري” حيث يقطن أهله، دقيقتان، يحاول حسان استكشاف الوضع، يسأل السائق قائلا: معلم، أنا هي وصلتي على حلب، حكيلي شو أكتر شي تغير عليكم بعد سيطرة الجيش الحر ع حلب..!؟ ، يجيب السائق: الخبز..! ما شبعنا الخبز يا أبن عمي غير ع زمان الجيش الحر.!! يستغرب حسان يستفسر قائلا: شلون بقا . أشرح لي..! يسترسل السائق قائلا: والله يا ابن عمي، السنة الماضية بعد ما صار الطيران تبع بشار يقصف الافران ، قرروا جماعة الجيش الحر أنو ممنوع حدا يوقف ع فرن ..! وعملوا نظام المعتمدين، يعني كل شارع مثلا بيصير المعتمد تبعهم شي سوبر ماركت بحارتهم ، وبتجي سيارة تابعة للفرن بتحط الخبز عند المعتمد “السوبر ماركت” وبيجو الناس بياخدو خبزهم بدون ما يوقفوا على دور قدام الفرن، إيمت ما بدهم، الله يجزيهم الخير على هالنظام، الخبز صار أكتر من الهم ع القلب ودايما موجود وبيزيد عند المعتمدين..!

For the Full story:

Naturally, and according to dog-poop sniffers, dog-poop athad is very popular….

January 25th, 2014, 5:18 am


Syrialover said:


Witch Buthaina Shaaban is failing to impress and deliver the regime “message” the way she no doubt boasted she would. She’s emerging as a liability.

She’s also firebombed the bridges she worked so hard to build over the years with her gullible western buddies and other contacts.

The mask is now off.

The absurd lies, idiotic denials and close connection with the Assad regime’s sordid actions will have her name wiped in embarrassment from address books.

Many of her “dear friends” in the west, shamed and angry at having been deceived and manipulated by her, will be joining those hoping to see her in the dock at the Hague.

January 25th, 2014, 6:04 am



HOPEFUL, it’s always such a pleasure to see your calm, reasonable and informed comments.

The world feels a saner and safer place when reading what you have to say.

January 25th, 2014, 6:15 am


Syrialover said:


Thanks for that great story on the Australian authorities discovering clear links between local drug money laundering and Hezbollah finances.

This article gives more details and mentions that the Americans uncovered something similar on Hezbollah last year.

“Terrorist groups taking cut as drug money is laundered”


January 25th, 2014, 6:32 am


Syrialover said:

Did we ever get an explanation for ZOO’s sudden disappearance before Christmas? He was contributing over 30% of the comments here for a very long time.

One theory is he’s been redeployed to Geneva, to be found among the group in the media room sitting next to the Assad regime flags.

January 25th, 2014, 6:37 am


Alan said:

60. SL

whether it is possible to decipher your comments as a warrant for assassination attempt?

January 25th, 2014, 7:57 am



I can’t fathom why do regime supporters like Alan insist on embarrassing themselves and filthy regime figures like this woman by posting some of the most humiliating clips. I think it all comes from their complete disregard to values like decency and their teenage like attitude of what they think is ” scoring” with stupid and degenerate remarks.

January 25th, 2014, 9:43 am


ghufran said:

I too like to read your posts, I see you as a definite improvement over some who lost their cool and their ability to write readable comments, however I disagree with your post about jihadists for a number of reasons especially when comparing Syria to Iraq. There is no foreign army occupying Syria, there are thousands of foreign fighters most of whom are on the anti regime side and most of those are terrorists condemned and sanctioned by the international community. Rebels supporters know that very well, that is why they keep saying things like :the Syrian army is an occupying force, ISIS was made by the regime, and that Hizbullah fighters are similar to alqaida,etc, it is a way of running forward and trying to cover their behinds.
It is disturbing to say that rebel backers will support terrorists until they get what they want, that clearly puts Syrian rebels in the same camp as Al-Qaida and make their supporters terrorists sympathizers, both charges have been circulating in regime and some western media for 2 years at least especially after the attacks on Christian communities, the massacres in Northern Latakia, the atrocities in Adra, the kidnapping of nuns and the ceremonies of beheadings. Rebel supporters’ silence over all of this was worse than regimists silence over atrocities committed by forces loyal to the government, it was very damaging politically, American friends have asked me whether it matters to rebels sympathizers if every non Sunni Syrian is killed or kidnapped !!
Iraq(and even Egypt, Libya, Pakistan and Afghanistan)today gives us a powerful lesson:
US troops have left and the US-NATO occupation is gone, yet there is daily killing in Iraq mostly against Shia civilian “targets” including cafes, open markets and even funerals, terrorists will always find a reason to kill (look at Egypt also),it may be Assad today but it can easily be changed to Nusairis, Infidels, Agents of Iran,etc. The bottom line is that dreaming of a peaceful end to Islamist involvement in the Syrian war is a fantasy, those people live to kill and die. Syrian fighters not affiliated with Nusra and ISIS have the right to go back to their homes and communities after a cease fire is reached, they also have the right to keep their light weapons to protect their families, many rebels around Damascus are doing just that, the latest was Harasta (after Muaddamiyeh), notice how achieving a cease fire is less difficult in places that have less presence of Nusra and ISIS thugs, to me it is obvious that this war was started due to internal factors but it was made much worse and much longer because of foreign interference.

January 25th, 2014, 9:49 am


OAB said:

Dear Prof Landis

Please note that the recently released torture report is not a UN report, it is a Qatari report. Also your link to the report is dead.

I used to be a frequent visitor to Syria Comment, but since you came out against the regime, all your analysis has been biased and tainted. Neither side deserves it.

The entire piece above is completely spun and lacks objectivity. The government has not strengthened it has been maintaining its power and following a certain strategy, the rebels on the other hand and their supporters are the ones who have weakened dramatically in the last few months, with the hand over of the Syria file from Qatar to Saudi and the consequent shift of money and resources from the FSA/MB to the Salafis backed by Saudi, not to mention the resulting infighting, probably caused by US demands on the Saudis to show that they are able to control and roll back alqaeda (which up to now appears to failed).

Additionally, the US is not being effective player as it does not seem to know what’s going on or how to react, and rightly so, it’s not clear what the consequences of Assads removal will be and the Saudis, who are completely dependent on the US for defense are in no position to influence the US in this matter. The US has plenty of vicious dictators in its stable, will it still be so gung-ho about “freedom and democracy” when it comes to Saudi Arabia, and it clearly hasn’t been in bahrain, not to mention its silence during the Egyptian coup.

January 25th, 2014, 9:58 am


ghufran said:

I watched Buthaina’s piece on CNN, I actually think she did well and will probably receive praise from those who sent her to Geneva and gave her the OK to talk to CNN.
Claiming that she did well does not equate to suggesting that she was truthful in everything she said, after all she is a regime figure and she will defend the regime whether it was right or wrong.

January 25th, 2014, 10:09 am


ghufran said:

Notes of an Indian journalist on Syria:
(this is one of the best pieces I read on Syria, watch out dr. Landis)
Kapil Komireddi is an Indian journalist who writes on South Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. This was posted on CNN:

Today, Bashar al-Assad is more powerful than he was 15 months ago. For all the predictions of his impending overthrow, his Baathist machine remains the only stable feature in Syria. Despite the carnage, daily life in Damascus, al-Assad’s bastion, largely continues as before. There have been no major defections, and most importantly the Syrian Arab Army, despite suffering more than 30,000 fatalities, continues to pledge its allegiance to al-Assad. In the past two months, it has reclaimed from the opposition territory outside Damascus.

The so-called Geneva Communiqué that forms the basis of Kerry’s demand does not in fact call for Assad’s removal.
And he is unlikely to budge without a credible threat of force from the United States.
Kerry claimed this week that such a threat was still “on the table.” In truth, Washington’s options are severely limited by the embarrassing fact that the opposition that has come to Switzerland to wrest power from al-Assad does not have a significant constituency in Syria. Its members hold little sway over the mujahideen fighting government forces.

As the principal backer of the opposition, Saudi Arabia has played a key role in transforming Syria into a haven for foreign jihadists cut from the same ideological cloth as the men who carried out the 9/11 attacks.
Syria is now a homicidal theater for a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran — the Middle East’s Sunni and Shia powers. A dialogue between the two may do more to halt the fighting in Syria than negotiations between Assad and his Syrian adversaries operating from abroad. Washington’s energies are better spent in nudging the two rivals in that direction.
More immediately, the United States’ ambition should be to end the violence. Rather than push for al-Assad’s departure, it should work toward obtaining a pragmatic power-sharing deal centered on reconciliation rather than regime change. Finally, it should press its allies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar to drop their support for radical Islamists. If not, the flames that are now devouring Syria may soon engulf the West.

January 25th, 2014, 11:17 am


habib said:

66. ghufran

“socialism is an unnatural economic theory”

Works with the right people, see Scandinavia.

Also, I wouldn’t say the Awakening Movement in Iraq was successful, judged on what’s happening there now.

January 25th, 2014, 12:15 pm


Alan said:

77- Micky !
Your comment expresses the content of your character!
You need to improve your speech!
For as long as the terms of the site did not disagree, I will write what I want! And will publish any video like! Is not is the freedom that you called it?

January 25th, 2014, 12:29 pm


Hopeful said:

#77 Ghufran

Here is a difficult question for you: did you sympathize with the suicide bombers from Hamas and Islamic Jihad when they attacked Israeli markets and cafés? Did you celebrate the release of Samir Kuntar, who in cold blood killed a child? Do you consider Imad Mughniyah, who murdered tens of civilians, a hero, as Hizbullah does, or a terrorist?

People who are fighting for their freedom seem to always turn a blind eye to terrorist acts conducted against the enemy they are fighting, be it an occupation force, a dictatorial government, or aliens from Mars.

I, for one, have always considered any intentional attack on civilians terrorism, no matter who does it and who the civilians are. I consider any military attack, that does not take extreme care to spare civilian lives, terrorism. Again, no matter who does it and no matter who the civilians are. I consider ISIS and Alnusrah terrorist groups, but so are the units in the Syrian army that are dropping bombs on civilians in Aleppo, and so are all Syrian intelligence units.

January 25th, 2014, 1:00 pm


Hopeful said:

#71 SL

Thank you for the compliment. I have lost friends, on both sides of the conflict, because they did not like to hear what I have to say. I have members of my family, who sit on either side of the fence. So it is nice to hear that some people do appreciate what I have to say.

January 25th, 2014, 1:05 pm


gunniy said:

Joshua, it’s definitely not the so-called strength of Assad.

It’s the strength of the Iranian Qudsforce behind. But this Iranian activity exactly collides with Saudi Arab interests. One number reveals how Saudi Arabia behaves in this conflict: The Saudi Arab growthrate in defense spending between 1999 and 2007 was 173%. The largest growthrate (armament spending) was achieved in China and Russia, the third biggest growth rate world wide was achieved by Saudi Arabia.

Unwillingness to compromise on one side is answered with intransigence on the other side. It should be clear that the attitude of the Syrian regime is determined by the Iranian regime and this exactly will increase the resistance of Saudi Arabia and GCC states. The war will go on – no end in sight.

In the battle among the international discussion the mass murder Assad has lost also. Who could deny the Syrians the right to armed resistance if the Syrian torturers cut out the captive’s eyes?

This interpretation is truer than the interpretation of a strength of Assad on the battlefield which is not there.

January 25th, 2014, 1:19 pm


ghufran said:

I actually angered a number of people before when I stated my opinion on suicide bombers who killed civilians in Israel and other fighters who attacked Israeli civilians. It is a difficult question indeed because most of us oppose Israeli aggression and support Palestinians struggle for freedom but when it comes to innocent civilians, especially children, the color grey suddenly looks ugly. In that sense, rebels or regime forces who knowingly kill civilians and rebel fighters who hide in civilian areas and cowardly use civilians as human shields deserve nothing but shame and condemnation.
It is time for Syrians to accept the 21st century norms and join the league of civilized nations, that will be very difficult to achieve if many Alawites keep sticking with the Assads and many Sunnis finding excuses for terrorists, I understand that there are many alawites who are not married to the regime and that many Sunnis are bitterly opposed to Islamist terrorists , those contrarians have the key to a better future for Syria.

January 25th, 2014, 1:42 pm


Alan said:

Rossiay will not allow your military aggression against its allies! Will not let you! Will never allow! Will not! Have you got the message?

January 25th, 2014, 3:59 pm


Syrialover said:


It seems you have suspicious crush on Bouthaina “botox” Shaaban. You are telling us with that statement you anxiously want her to succeed no matter what.

In that interview she made bizarre statements*, lied clumsily, ignored questions, was stuck for words several times and became increasingly shrill and frantic. Hardly professional stuff.

Though maybe you set the bar very, very low for regime apologists and don’t judge them by normal standards.

* One that had me burst out laughing was the insistence that it is not democracy to call for a head of state to step down. (Especially a hereditary dictator only in power through domestic use of the gun and torture chamber, and now barrel bombs and scuds.)

January 25th, 2014, 4:29 pm


Alan said:

The vast majority of Americans know and raise their voices, saying that their government is lying and they are very upset by the behavior of their immoral government
Some of the Syrians come in order to begging ethics at the door of Uncle Sam! It lowliness!

January 25th, 2014, 5:10 pm


Syrialover said:

OK OAB #78 we get it. Message received:

– Assad must not be criticized, because he is protecting something you have some kind of investment in (even if it’s as flimsy as an emotional hangup about America or Sunnis or whatever)

– the Assad regime is what Syrians deserve because they are inferior to other people.

– any line, no matter how conspiracist, irrelevant or distractionist is worth trying to get people off Assad’s case (but even Bouthaina Shaaban looks bizarre and desperate suggesting that those 11,000 photos of starved, tortured and murdered people were the creation of some foreign group!)

– you have superior insight,information and understanding on what is happening on the ground in Syria, while others are just biased, uninformed or weak thinkers.

But what is hard to get is whether you are sitting on a safe, comfortable sofa out there in some free and prosperous country. Enjoying your life and “independent thoughts” where the government and most of the population are shocked and disgusted by the Assad regime’s actions.

If this is an incorrect reading, please tell us.

January 25th, 2014, 5:13 pm


omen said:

this is unbelievable. kurds have been sitting on these the entire time & nobody seems outraged.


January 25th, 2014, 5:30 pm


Tara said:

How long before Ibrahimi calls Geneva II futile? How long is it going to take him to understand that only force can remove Assad? Batta is relinquishing no power until life relinquishes him and until he is disposed to eternal Hell, more people will die.

Is Ibrahimi really expecting that after Assad killed 120,000, tortured to death at least 11,000, and displaced millions to tents that he will accept a transitional government? It would be only on his dead body….literally.

I give the coalition lots of credit controlling their emotions sitting down with those murderes. Those buffoons deserve nothing but a spit on the face.

January 25th, 2014, 5:46 pm


Syrialover said:

ALAN, answer to your question in #70:


But wow, thanks for the revealing insight into how you think.

January 25th, 2014, 6:06 pm


Syrialover said:

Fascinating reading an article written over 7 years ago. It shows there should have been no surprises with Bashar Assad’s disastrous handling of the current crisis.

From an article by Volker Perthes in Foreign Policy, Nov/Dec 2006:

“Since Bashar al-Assad took over after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, six years ago, state institutions have weakened and lost considerable authority. The regime has yielded little on demands for reform: there has been some cautious economic liberalization, but dissent is still being suppressed, and corruption has, according to all available accounts, increased tremendously.

“Meanwhile, regional dynamics and mistakes on the part of the Assad government have left Damascus more isolated than ever, both internationally and among key Arab partners, notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia. One mistake has been underestimating American anger over Syria’s tolerance of Iraqi insurgents.

“Assad also misjudged the international and Lebanese reactions to his decision to have the mandate of the Damascus-backed Lebanese president, Emile Lahoud, extended in 2004 and failed to anticipate the storm that would ensue after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minster Rafiq Hariri, which forced Syrian troops to leave Lebanon.”

And there’s this on Hezbollah:

“…despite Hezbollah’s dependence on Iran — and the fact that Nasrallah accepts Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as his spiritual guide –Tehran has never overseen Hezbollah’s operational planning. That task long fell to Damascus…

“It was understood by all that Syria — rather than the Lebanese government — would both represent Hezbollah’s interests and discipline the group when necessary. The arrangement worked, more or less, for many years.

“Two events undermined it. The first was the death of Hafez al-Assad and the ascension of Bashar in 2000, which came just a month after Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon, a triumph that Hezbollah claimed as its own. Whereas the father never left any doubt about who had the upper hand in the regime’s relationship with Hezbollah, the son allowed it to move closer to an equal partnership, and the Syrian government has sought to benefit from Hezbollah’s popularity.

“Nasrallah has become a frequent distinguished guest at the presidential palace. Militia fighters have been allowed to parade in Syrian cities, and photos of Nasrallah are now often posted alongside those of the Syrian president — not a sight that Hafez al-Assad would have appreciated.”

And finally, a reminder why the regime will be useless at conducting any sort of rational and constructive negotiations:

“Syria’s negotiating strategy has traditionally been one of insinuation, treating politics like a game in which one should hold one’s cards as close to one’s chest as possible until one is certain of the benefit of playing them.”

January 25th, 2014, 6:57 pm


apple_mini said:

Looks like economy in Turkey is in big trouble. Hope that will be a major blow to Erdogan’s re-election.

If that happens, we do hope it will be more convenient to bring Erdogan to Syria to face justice.

One at a time. Syrians do not forget.

January 25th, 2014, 8:00 pm


ghufran said:

Luna Ashibil:
لونا الشبل تبادلت مع مقربين منها مساء الأربعاء الماضي عقب انتهاء افتتاح المؤتمر على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي “الفيس بوك” رسائلاً أوضحت لهم أنها كانت تضحك على كيفية إجبار “الحكومة السورية” لأربعين دولة كانت تحضر افتتاح المؤتمر على حسن الإصغاء طيلة نصف ساعة أو أكثر، وقالت: “اقترحت على وزير الخارجية أن تكون الكلمة طويلة على هذا النحو، وأن يُتمّها حتى وإن جرت مقاطعته، وهذا الذي حدث”…ثم تضيف: “ضحكت أيضاً على كيري حين كان يضع يديه على خديه مثل العاجز..لا هو ولا غيره يرغب جدياً أو يستطيع تغيير النظام السوري”.كما ضحكت -والكلام هنا للشبل مستشارة الأسد- على رأس هيثم المالح المضمد بالشاش وهو يجلس خلف الجربا كأن أحداً ضربه قبل دخوله المؤتمر. وعن آفاق جنيف 2 قالت لهم الشبل: “لا تقلقوا الرئيس باقٍ وسيترشح لولايةٍ ثانية، ولا يستطيع أحد تغيير هذا الواقع بما في ذلك الولايات المتحدة….وسنبقى في المؤتمر حتى يملّ الآخرون وينصرفوا من حيث جاؤوا..والأيام القادمة ستثبت لكم صحة كلامي”.
Luna is telling her friends that she suggested to Muallem that he speaks in length well beyond his designated time. She also stated that Kerry’s helpless look (per Luna) and Haitham Al-Maleh stitched head also made her smile (!!).
Luna added that Assad will run for another term and that the Syrian government delegation will stay in Geneva until others get bored and go back to “where they came from”.
This is a regime that is feeling increasingly comfortable and is in no hurry to compromise, however, it is in Syria’s best interest to:
1. add opposition members to the Syrian government
2. release political prisoners
3. allow aid to areas under siege
4. approve international observers to monitor any future
5. establish an international court for war crimes

Syrians eventually have to confront the common enemy: Islamists armed thugs and they can not do that without some type of a national consensus (see what happened in Iraq when Maliki ignored this golden rule).
As for Assad, the opposition should stop asking for his immediate departure and instead focus on more attainable goals, Assad will eventually have to leave his post, he has been president for 14 years and he can not complain that he was not given enough time to serve his country, the problem is that many in the opposition are obsessed with Assad and are disappointed that he has not received the same fate as Qaddafi. Assad for the sake of ending this war must be allowed an exit that win the approval of those Syrians who are nervous about what comes next, Kerry and others know that but are unable to spell the beans.

January 25th, 2014, 8:30 pm


Tara said:


In regard to Zoo: “One theory is he’s been redeployed to Geneva, to be found among the group in the media room sitting next to the Assad regime flags.”

Another theory is that Zoo disappeared from the SC at the same time Agnes the crow disappeared from the lime light. I heard her last stop was to Australia.. Then… Complete silence. Rumors have it that when the two crossed path in Australia, magical sparkles were ignited. They discovered the love of Batta in each other and since, they became inseparable. They left the public life and is living happily thereafter.

The End.

January 25th, 2014, 9:10 pm


ghufran said:

Tripoli, Lebanon is becoming a haven for terrorists while Lebanese politicians are arguing about whether they should have a formula of 8 8 8 or 7 8 9 for their “unity government” !!
This is an update from Lebanese Trablustan:

لبنان: أبو سياف: قررنا بعد مشاورة إخوتنا بالدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام إنشاء خلايا للتنكيل بالنصيرية وعباد الصليب

لبنان: أبو سياف في كلمة موجهة إلى الداخل اللبناني: الأمة تفقد الثبات بغدر جيش الصليب اللبناني و “حزب اللات”

لبنان: أبو سياف الأنصاري يعلن مبايعة البغدادي من طرابلس

Another update on existing and pending cease fires:
هدنة في حرستا لم تتضح شروطها.
هدنة في القابون (وقف اطلاق نار).
هدنة في المعضمية.
هدنة في برزة.
محاولة هدنة في بيت سحم (تفشلها العديد من الاختراقات)
Many people were pictured returning to their homes in Barzeh..

January 25th, 2014, 9:41 pm


Syrialover said:

TARA #96,

Aha, you might be right.

Australia is where authorities have just uncovered a link between drug money laundering and Hezbollah’s finances (see #29 and 72).

Maybe ZOO was there to sort out his retirement funding.

Though I’ve heard the pseudo-nun Agnes Mariam’s gender is in doubt.

January 25th, 2014, 9:46 pm


Hopeful said:

# 85 Ghufran

“I understand that there are many alawites who are not married to the regime and that many Sunnis are bitterly opposed to Islamist terrorists , those contrarians have the key to a better future for Syria.”

I agree. FSA fighters have already started fighting the Jihadis in north Syria. Many Syrian opposition figures have become more and more vocal against the jihadi terrorists. I’d like to see the other contrarians on the other side get stronger. Where is the outrage at the imprisonment of Abdul Aziz Khayyer?

January 25th, 2014, 11:24 pm


Hopeful said:

Good panel discussion to watch:


Compare and contrast what mr. Davutoglu and mr. Zarif said. While mr. Davutoglu clearly condemned the jihadis attacks on religious symbols in Syria as murders and crimes, mr. Zarif refuses to criticize the Assad regime for destroying over 1500 mosques. Mr. Zarif also seems to justifies why outsiders should rush to protect their holy symbols in Syria, while mr. Davutoglu makes it clear that it is not acceptable for any outsiders to come to Syria.

January 26th, 2014, 12:30 am


ghufran said:

“Where is the outrage at the imprisonment of Abdul Aziz Khayyer”

when primary fears dominate the mind, lesser things, as significant as they are, take a back seat. A lot of people are angry that Assad had the appetite to arrest a good and peaceful man like Alkhayyer while the country was at war but the same people are worried sick about their own survival and they are not about to shut down the only door open to them today even if it brings unpleasant wind.
Securing a divorce between alawites and the regime was predicted to be hard from the beginning, and after Nusra, ISIS , a series of sectarian crimes and assassinations and a failed visionless opposition, that divorce is much harder to get today, the best we can hope for is eventually replacing Assad with an acceptable politician while leaving many security and military chiefs and officers on the job minus those who were clearly implicated in the blood shed. Forget about the old slogans of a radical regime change and “cleaning out” the army and security forces, there is not much left of Syria after a devastating 3 years of war, people just want to live and feed their kids, if that fate is not a massive failure of a “revolution” I do not know what else is, even Egypt,where there is no shia-sunni tension, is celebrating the 3rd anniversary of its revolution with car bombs and attacks on the army and security forces, which in return killed a number of Egyptians today while the senile but guided Abdullah of Sandy Arabia was watching from his wheel chair. Most Egyptians consider their army as a national army, they do not call it Jaish abu shahhata like some of you do, but that was not good enough for Islamists who are about to change Egypt into a failed state. Events in Egypt, and Libya, defy the weak logic of Islamic thawrajiyyeh, most of whom do not post here any more, that the Arab Spring is a war between a crowd that fears Allah and regimes that do not, it seems to me that the only people who fear allah according to some thawrajiyyeh are the Islamist thugs !!

Erdugang’s FM criticism of foreign fighters in Syria while his government is up to its ears in Syrian blood is the real outrage here. Turkey for three years have provided safe haven for terrorists and turned a blind eye to international thugs who crossed the border looking for Jihad in the holy land of Bilad al-sham !!

January 26th, 2014, 12:41 am


omen said:

Syrian Coalition @SyrCoalition

Jarba met with Brahimi – called for the release of detainees in Assad’s prisons, including Adul Aziz al-Khaiyr. He should be at Geneva2.

January 26th, 2014, 1:32 am


Observer said:

It is clear to me that there are closet regime insiders who from the very beginning and in a fashion very similar to that of Thomas Friedman of the NYT, start by criticizing the side they support in order to completely discredit the opposition. Thus, Friedman would point out the obtuse and narrow minded aspect of Israeli politics without ever questioning the legitimacy of the occupation of Palestine only to completely delegitimize the Palestinian’s resistance to this illegal and immoral occupation.

It is clear that preserving the regime and its structure is the agenda of the closet regime insider.

Let me remind everyone:
1. The regime is illegitimate from its very foundation to its outer aspects.
2. The regime structure is the real and continuous incubator of extremism and terror
3. The regime in its very structure and in its own dungeons is the producer of all forms of counter terror and extremism
4. The regime in its very structure and its very mentality is the epitome of hatred and sectarian thinking
5. The regime has failed to deliver on every single aspect of its so called responsibility especially under the current leadership for it failed in the economy, the education, the defense, the justice, the health, the financial sector, the planning, the agriculture, the environmental, the security, the police, the industry, the commerce, the foreign relations and all other aspects of its so called mandate.

Show me one iota of success in any arena except that of terrorizing the population with brute force, bureaucratic nightmares, corrupt judiciary, monopolies by five families, death by hospital admissions, epidemics by contaminated water, and last but not least the establishment of factories producing extremism in the very prisons of the Arab world where generations of humiliated and tortured prisoners go on to be the mirror image of their tormentors.

The Marsh of Folly by Barbara Tuchman tells the stories of historical disasters such the rush to WWI and the War in Vietnam and the Buying of Indulgences and we do have another one in the making and it is called: the Folly of Trying to Stop the Arab Call for Freedom and DIGNITY.

The closet regime insider does not have an oz of dignity and anyone who defends any aspect of this abhorrent regime is only worthy of contempt. Any defense of the despicable spectacle of the regime delegation as it claims to represent the Syrian people should live in eternal shame. Once again, the regime and its cronies has shown the world its depravity and has continued to bring shame and dishonor on the very people it pretends to represent.

Realpolitik is what got us into this mess and it is time that Principled Moral and Ethical considerations take over.

Asking to accommodate the security house of cards in the new Syria is to me a clear indication that the very idea that change is not happening is no longer the conviction of the closet regime insider and propagandist. Here is some reading despite my previous critique of Friedman worth your breakfast.


January 26th, 2014, 7:29 am


Observer said:

Here is a nice description of this delegation’s humiliating performance for those that continue to defend this depravity.

في حضور اربعين دولة، وخلال اربعين دقيقة، قدم وليد المعلم نموذجاً حياً عن الارهاب الذي يمارسه النظام السوري منذ اربعين عاماً. ليس في وسع احد ان ينكر ان المعلم والوفد السوري حاولا ارهاب مؤتمر “جنيف 2″، وهو ما يعكس سيكولوجياً ثقافة الترهيب المنسحبة عليهم منذ اربعة عقود، إذ لم يتنبه المعلم الى انه راح يقمع بان كي – مون لا بل قمعه امام انظار العالم، لكن عمليات القمع السورية برزت في محطات اخرى في مونترو:

السفير بشار الجعفري قمع الامم المتحدة “لأن تنظيمها للمؤتمر كان مخيباً للآمال” ربما لأن الدول الاربعين التي حضرت تؤيد انتقالاً سياسياً يوقف المذبحة المتمادية في سوريا، ولأنها كانت غاضبة امام صور التعذيب الخارجة من سجون النظام والتي نشرتها “الغارديان” وبثتها “سي ان ان”.
الجعفري متخم بثقافة الترهيب، فعندما سأله الصحافيون عن صور 11000 معتقل ماتوا تحت التعذيب في سجون النظام لم يحاول ان ينكر، قال في بساطة ان التعذيب موجود في معظم دول العالم، والأمر ليس غريباً فلطالما هو ايضاً عذّب الوفود بخطبه امام الامم المتحدة.
الوزير عمران الزعبي هرب غاضباً من سؤال صحافي سوري تكرر 16 مرة: “لماذا لا تلقون البراميل المتفجرة على “داعش” و” النصرة” بل على بيوت الناس؟”. كان يمكن ان يذهب هذا الصحافي لملاقاة وجه ربه لو كان في دمشق. ولأن النظام عمّق في جماعته ثقافة الترهيب، لم يتردد الصحافيون الذين ارسلهم الى المؤتمر في الاطباق بالزعيق في وجه صحافية غربية لأنها استهجنت تصفيقهم بعد خطاب المعلم، رغم اشتباكه المعيب مع بان كي – مون… ثم ألم تلاحظوا حبور اعضاء الوفد السوري عندما واصل المعلم قمع بان المبتسم!
اذا كانت هذه تصرفات وزراء النظام وديبلوماسييه، فكيف تكون تصرفات سجّانيه في الاقبية التي خرجت منها تلك الصور المخيفة؟ لهذا ليس كافياً ابداً مستر جون كيري ان تظهر الانفعال في مؤتمرك الصحافي بعد صمت اميركي عن المذابح مستمر منذ ثلاثة اعوام، ولا يكفي ان تقول: “بشار الاسد هو من يجذب الارهاب من انحاء العالم، ولا يمكن ان نقبل بأن تبقى السلطة في يد فرد واحد او عائلة، ولا سلام واستقرار وانقاذ لسوريا من التجزئة والتقسيم ما دام بشار في السلطة”… هذا كلام يحتاج الى ترجمة!
ذهب النظام لتحويل جنيف مؤتمراً يلزّمه وحلفاءه “الحرب على الارهاب”، لكنه قدم عرضاً ارهابياً مذهلاً، حتى احمد الجربا غرق في الضحك… اما المعلم ورفاقه الذين يعرفون انهم ارتكبوا اخطاء قد لا يغفرها النظام، فعليهم ان يتذكروا ان جنيف افضل مكان في العالم لطلب اللجوء السياسي!

January 26th, 2014, 7:34 am


Atassi said:

Good one #104.. Thank you

January 26th, 2014, 8:48 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

Finally or is at last a better note on what the Daily Star reported….Syrians talking to each other.

No matter lets wish them the best of good luck and intentions….


January 26th, 2014, 11:26 am


Ghufran said:

I agree that a regime change is necessary to end the war and move Syria forward, however, in Syria we have an external opposition, the NC (many of its members have not been in syria for decades), this opposition is financed by the GCC and inflated by NATO but still does not have enough support inside syria and is unable to guarantee that any agreement with the regime will be honored by the rebels, despite all of that, the US and ksa insisted on giving the NC the exclusive right to represent the anti regime forces at the expense of other parties that refused the use of violence from day one and declined to be bought by the GCC. The NC talks about democracy and freedom but insists on having a monopoly on the political decisions of Syrians and refuses to admit that there are Syrians who feel strongly about making sure islamists and the GCC are not given a free hand in Syria. foreigners who watch jarba may think that he indeed represents all Syrians while he is at best a Bedouin hired by the KSA to fight Iran and the Hizbullah on KSA’s behalf.
I agree that even Bedouins have the right to be represented in the government since Syria does have Beduoins, I also accept the fact that conservative Muslims who denounce violence have equal rights like everybody else to run for seats in the parliament and be represented in the government, my problem with many Syrians is that they want to replace the Assad regime with a bunch of Bedouins and Islamists who pledged allegiance to the GCC and have displayed venomous animosity towards Christians and minorities.
حاجه فلسفه حياتي اته

January 26th, 2014, 12:28 pm


Hopeful said:

#108 Ghufran

I honestly believe that the opposition’s allegiance to GCC is way overblown. For now, GCC governments are paying the bills so these Syrian expats do not have a choice but to be courteous to GCC leaders. Where else would the money to travel, survive and fund activities come from? Assad and his regime have their hands on the entire country’s resources. Where else would his opposition get funding?

You may not like Jarba (I am not a fan either), but the opposition team has many decent people: Kilo, Galioun, Attasi, Flayhan, etc.

Once the regime is gone, Syrians will not allow any group that is not fully representative to take over. In fact, I am actually hopeful that more opposition figures will join the talks once a little progress is made. Momentum seems to be behind the political process now, so let’s be hopeful.

Whatever happened to Riyadh Saif?

January 26th, 2014, 2:43 pm


Badr said:

If you like intrigues, then read this.

January 26th, 2014, 2:43 pm


ghufran said:

I hope you are right, Hopeful, I do not want to see another Lebanon in Syria, I am sick and tired of the foreign hands whether pro or anti regime, Syrians eventually have to figure out a way to live together and accept their differences.
Qaboun seems to be joining other areas around Damascus and trying to implement a cease fire, this will be confirmed when we see people going back to their homes.

The opposition team in Geneva is facing tough questions about the issues at hands because they could not secure the approval of rebel groups to make a mutual agreement for areas under siege work. Government team demanded that the blockade against areas considered pro regime to be lifted also, the NC responded by saying they do not have control in Northern Syria (!!).
The exclusion of Riad Saif and others tells a lot about the NC, brother.

January 26th, 2014, 2:48 pm


Syrialover said:

OBSERVER, hear, hear I agree with ATASSI. You put the truth very starkly and eloquently in #104.

January 26th, 2014, 3:21 pm


ghufran said:

Rebel sources announced the killing of ISIS # 2 and the actual military leader of ISIS:
أعلن الثوار في ريف حلب الشمالي عن مقتل الرجل الثاني في تنظيم ” دولة العراق و الشام ” و المعروف باسم حجي بكر أو ” أبو بكر العراقي “.
و قالت الفصائل المرابطة في الريف الشمالي، إن العقيد ركن ” حجي بكر “، ضابط سابق في جيش صدام البعثي، و كان انضم إلى تنظيم البغدادي عارضاً على الأخير خبرته العسكرية.
و أظهر أبو بكر تمسكه و توبته من حزب البعث، ليصبح أكبر القياديين المقربين من البغدادي.
و أكد الثوار أن ” حجي بكر ” أصبح ملازماً للبغدادي و بمثابة وزيره الشخصي و القائد الثاني بعده، لافتين إلى أنهم سيقومون بنشر وثائق جديدة عنه في القريب العاجل.

January 26th, 2014, 3:42 pm


Syrialover said:

I enjoyed that article, thanks BADR (#110).

The regime has suffered a couple of annoying inconveniences in the lead up to Geneva.

First, the world hears about the determined and concerted efforts by both Syrian communities and the FSA to get rid of ISIS (and the suspicious lack of effort by the regime to do the same).

Then we saw the release of those 11,000 photos giving forensic evidence of sickening mass war crimes by the regime.

The denials by regime supporters are bizarre considering how swiftly this will be verified when Syrian people are free to give evidence.

As the report explains:”The reason for photographing the(5,000) executed persons was to issue a death certificate to be produced without families being required to see the body and therefore avoiding explanations as to cause of death and also to confirm these executions had been carried out.”

Reminiscent of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia and Nazis in Germany whose own careful photographic records of their victims indicted them.

January 26th, 2014, 3:53 pm


ghufran said:

I read the post # 104 by observer despite my suspicion that he will not add anything I did not know about his views of how to get out of this mess. Clearly we have a fundamental disagreement about why we are here and how to get out of this mess.
Thawrajiyyeh tried for 3 years to topple the regime and start from scratch and what they got was a destroyed country and a nation of refugees. I and others have warned against the use of violence and the influence of Turkey, the GCC and religious zealots from the very beginning, I was right, I might add.
It is simply not possible to impose a radical regime change without a foreign invasion, that is why many of you were disappointed that such an invasion never materialized. My views are not based on a (non existing) stake in keeping the regime alive but out of realization that the path chosen to bring change by anti regime forces was wrong and self defeating.
At the end of the day, democracy is a long process that requires a basic level of security and financial health, both do not exist in Syria today, what can be done is starting a transitional period where the regime men do not have a free hand to do what they want in Syria and where a more balanced MP and government are elected / appointed, and first and foremost a cease fire and an agreement to end the siege on all Syrian towns and an alliance to reject ISIS and Nusra.
Observer may have good intentions but the road to hell is paved by people with good intentions.
حاجه فلسفه حياتي اته

January 26th, 2014, 4:15 pm


Alan said:

Senator John McCain has only one agenda. When McCain opens his mouth, he speaks for his friends in Tel Aviv not for the American people- Russian Parliament Member Alexei Pushkov

January 26th, 2014, 4:37 pm


Alan said:

Faisal moans that “America’s allies” are distressed that no one is helping Syria, while Prince Bandar arms the rebels who are destabilizing Syria.
Exactly!! He has the audacity to come on television and jest!

January 26th, 2014, 4:40 pm


Akbar Palace said:

When McCain opens his mouth, he speaks for his friends in Tel Aviv …


Who speaks for Syrians?

January 26th, 2014, 4:57 pm


Tara said:


Let me take this a step further and say that despite my visceral hatred to Batta and Asma, I as a Syrian, willing to keep Batta with one precondition of dismantling the regime.

When the Syrians asked for “the execution of the President”, they implied execution of what the so called president represents: a regime of mafia, corruption, sectarianism, backwardness, nepotism, favoritism, brutality, and failure. Batta did not create the regime. The regime shaped Batta into what he is now. Had Batta found himself regime-less, he may have turned differently. It was the security, the family, and the military institutions that inflated him like a balloon and at the same time isolated him until he completely lost contact of reality.

The regime and its military and security institution must be dismantled one person at a time if we to get a meaningful change.

January 26th, 2014, 5:01 pm


Syrialover said:

I am sorry, GHUFRAN, but your comments always seem to fit a certain familiar template:

Yeah, yeah, Assad is not good, I agree, and of course Syria must move forward. That’s right, it’s awful and terrible and all the rest.

BUT look, quickly at the bad behaviour, mistakes and problems being generated by those who oppose Assad.

A template straight from the “closet shabiha” instruction manual.

January 26th, 2014, 5:03 pm


ghufran said:

This is a small but a necessary step to help the good people of Homs:

Syrian negotiators have reached their first deal in peace talks in Geneva, an agreement to allow women and children to escape the siege of rebel-held districts of the city of Homs.
A relief corridor will be opened up as early as Monday, Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy and mediator at the talks said on Sunday night. Non-combatant men will also be allowed to depart, though only after a list has been sent for scrutiny by the government.

January 26th, 2014, 5:12 pm


Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL that was a good discussion you linked in #101. You are right, in the attitudes to Islamic culture and heritage it shows the primitive, thug mentality of the Iranian regime (despite the suave act by their foreign minister) and the normality and more civilized and sophisticated approach of the Turkish.

I also agree with your comment in #109 that the opposition’s allegiance to the GCC is way overblown and exaggerated.

You can look back on insider accounts of when the GCC first said “right, how can we help?” it was the MB who rushed into the arena, forcefully pushing other Syrian opposition elements aside, then destructively manipulating, cheating and mischief-making the opposition movement to its own stupid agenda. These accounts show the GCC did not select the damaging Syrian MB route, it was manoeuvred into it.

Interesting to see the GCC states now delivering a very powerful kick (prison sentences, confiscations and bans) to their own domestic MB.

January 26th, 2014, 5:26 pm


ghufran said:

Mulham Al-Droubi (Ikhwanji from the old SNC)talks about ISIS:
وعن رأي جماعة إخوان سوريا في القتال الدائر بين تنظيم داعش، والجبهة الإسلامية وحلفائها، أشار إلى اننا نحاول إعادة توجيه البوصلة إتجاهها الصحيح، أي إلى بشار الأسد واي صراعات جانبية لا تخدم الشعب ولا الثورة”، مضيفاً “داعش امرها غريب وهناك كثير من إشارت الإستفهام حول دورها وتصرفاتها ما يدفع الناس الى اتهامها بالعمل مع النظامين الإيراني والسوري،ولكننا لا نملك ادلة قطعية على ذلك”.
وطالب الدروبي تنظيم داعش بترك الشعب السوري يقوم بواجباته، فهو قادر على الإستمرار والإنتصار، اما اذا اراد التنظيم الدخول ضد الثورة فهذا امر مرفوض”. وعن العلاقة بين جيش المجاهدين المتواجد في حلب وجماعة الإخوان المسلمين أوضح أن هناك مجموعة من الاوية والكتائب المنضوية تحت راية هذا الجيش، تعتبر مقربة من جماعة الإخوان”، وحول إذا كان مقاتلو الجماعة يخوضون المعارك ضد داعش، قال، “نحن نؤكد مرة اخرى ان معركتنا ضد الظلم والطغيان وضد بشار الاسد، ولا مصلحة لنا بالمعارك الجانبية، وندعو الثوار والمجاهدين إلى الإبتعاد عن الإقتتال الداخلي”.
He is not sure that ISIS is liked to Iran and the Syrian government, he also did not support fighting ISIS

January 26th, 2014, 5:47 pm


Tara said:

Jihad Makdisi:

جهاد مقدسي : النظام السوري انتهى وسقوطه العملي مسألة وقت… قد يطول
POSTED IN: أخبار محلية

الرأي –

أعرب جهاد مقدسي الذي كان حتى الثلاثين من نوفمبر 2012 ناطقا باسم وزارة الخارجية السورية قبل ان يغادر سورية عن اعتقاده بأن النظام السوري انتهى وان سقوطه العملي مسألة وقت، معترفا بأن ذلك قد يطول.

وابدى مقدسي الذي تحدث الى «الراي» في باريس في أول اطلالة اعلامية له منذ مغادرته سورية «خوفه الشديد» على مستقبل بلاده.

وكان مقدسي، وهو من دمشق، استدعي الى العاصمة السورية من لندن للعمل ناطقا باسم وزارة الخارجية مع بدء الاحداث السورية قبل اقلّ من ثلاث سنوات بقليل. وعمل قبل ذلك ديبلوماسيا في سفارة بلاده في بريطانيا.

وظهر مقدسي أول من أمس في باريس بعد يوم واحد من افتتاح مؤتمر «جنيف – 2» في مدينة مونترو السويسرية التي تبعد نحو مئة كيلومتر عن جنيف.

و في دردشة في احد فنادق العاصمة الفرنسية، لم يخف مقدسي استياءه من معاملة النظام له، لكنّ الديبلوماسي السوري السابق، الذي سبق له أن عمل في واشنطن أيضا، لم يخف كذلك اعجابه بنائب الرئيس السوري فاروق الشرع الذي يلازم منزله منذ محاولة فاشلة لعقد مؤتمر للحوار الوطني في فندق «سميراميس» في دمشق.

وقال مقدسي: «كان الله في عون الشرع، فمنذ بداية الأزمة، وهو يطالب بالحوار والحل السياسي لا الأمني، ويعتبر ان الإصلاحات الحقيقية مكسب لسورية بغض النظر عن شكل السلطة او النظام».

واكد مقدسي انه منذ بداية الازمة «كنت مؤيدا للإصلاح والحوار كحل وحيد يخرج الجميع من متاريسهم الصغيرة الى رحاب الوطن الكبير»، لكنّه عندما وجد أن لغة السلاح والدم صارت هي السائدة، قرر الخروج من سورية والعيش في بلد عربي مع أفراد عائلته. وعندما سألته «الراي» هل هو مستقر الآن في دبي؟ أجاب بابتسامة «ترجيحية».

وأوضح مقدسي انه كان منسجما مع نفسه خلال عمله في وزارة الخارجية لكن المضايقات والإملاءات كانت موجودة. وذكر انه عندما كان يتحدث الى الإعلاميين كان يطلب منهم علنا وعلى الهواء ألا يطرحوا «أسئلة صديقة» بمعنى ان ينقلوا بصدق ما يطرح في الشارع او ما هو مستند الى معطيات حقيقية «لكن مسؤولين في النظام لم يعجبهم ذلك ولا يريدون تصديق ان العالم تغير وان الفبركات الإعلامية وقنابل الدخان السياسية لم تعد تجدي».

وابدى مقدسي مخاوفه على مستقبل سورية، قائلا ان الله وحده يعلم «كيف ستلتئم جراح البشر قبل اعادة بناء الحجر. فالمآسي هي التي ترسم خريطة الوطن اليوم جغرافيا واجتماعيا واقتصاديا وأمنيا وإنسانيا وفكريا»، مشيرا الى ان طوابير الضحايا « تتوزع وتتمدد بين قتلى وجرحى ومصابين ومفقودين ومهجرين وثكلى وايتام من دون أمل بحل. وفوق ذلك كله انقسامات مخيفة وقيم مختلفة تجعل المجتمع السوري المدني يتشظى بسرعة مرعبة».

وسبق للناطق السابق باسم وزارة الخارجية السورية أن أصدر بيانا قبل سنة (في فبراير 2013) نشرته «العربية نت» أكد فيه أنه لا يرغب بأيّ موقع سياسي.

وقال وقتذاك: «لقد غادرت بلدي سورية موقتا لاستقرّ-منذ مغادرتي- لدى اخوة لنا من الشرفاء ممن يساعدون الشعب السوري على تجاوز محنته الانسانية من دون تمييز. لقد غادرت ساحة حرب ولم أغادر بلدا طبيعيا(…) فقد تمنّيت لو كان بامكاني البقاء على تراب الشام. ولكن لم يعد للوسطية والاعتدال مكان في هذه الفوضى وخرجت الامور عن السيطرة. يريدها البعض معركة وجود، فيما أرى أنا انّها يجب أن تبقى معركة لانقاذ الدولة والكيان السوري عبر الشراكة الوطنية».

January 26th, 2014, 6:28 pm


Ghufran said:

Maqdisi denies what some media sources said about him and his prediction that the regime is ” finished”:
أعلن الناطق السابق باسم وزارة الخارجية السورية جهاد المقدسي عبر صفحته الرسمية على موقع فايسبوك أنه لم يقم بأي لقاء أو مقابلة صحفية سوى اخر مقابلة لي على نيويورك تايمز.
وتابع مقدسي “كل ما يروج لمقابلة مؤخراً مع موقع عربي أو صحيفة ليس لي علاقة فيها أبدا”.
وكانت صحيفة الراي الكويتية نشرت مقابلة قالت أنها مع جهاد المقدسي اعرب فيها عن اعتقاده أن النظام السوري انتهى وان سقوطه العملي مسألة وقت، معترفا بأن ذلك قد يطول.

January 26th, 2014, 7:36 pm


Hopeful said:

#117 Alan

Faisal has been open and honest about how Saudi Arabia support the FSA. He also makes it clear that his government does NOT support Alnusrah or Isis and that he wants them out of Syria.

Do you believe that the Saudi Arabia government secretly supports the jihadis? Why would they do that and weaken their own ally that they have been very vocal about supporting? I do not buy it.

January 27th, 2014, 3:14 am



Good one in #101. IKEA cells closets with semi-translucent doors and lights inside are optional if one so desires. I think our regime insider is hiding in one of those.

January 27th, 2014, 3:20 am



isn’t the west Christian??
don’t you care for Christians??
don’t you care for the language of Christ??
don’t you care of 11 kidnapped nuns?
don’t you care of thousands of raped christian women?

These are the questions hyperventilating buthaina shaabaan fired at the “baffled” anchor during a western TV interview in an anemic attempt to gain cheap support. Anyone still cares to call these thugs “secular”.

Lest we forget, the regime brought out to Geneva an old archbishop never hesitating for a second to make of an icon of middle eastern Christianity a cheap prop of the “ashtray class”.

January 27th, 2014, 3:37 am


Alan said:

Are you familiar with the secrets of Saudi intelligence works ?
Extreme evil!

January 27th, 2014, 3:49 am


Hopeful said:

#130 Alan

No. I am only familiar with how the Syrian intelligence works. I lived through it for years.

I even had a taste of it when I was invited to visit them to answer the question of why I would turn down a scholarship to go to graduate school in Russia and chose to pay my way to a US university instead. What I saw (and heard) there is hard to describe, even though I was simply a casual visitor!

January 27th, 2014, 8:18 am


Hopeful said:


I have been thinking about the comment you made regarding “Human shields”. Is hiding among civilian population “terrorism”?

This is a much more difficult question, and an area where many shades of gray perhaps exist. What I believe in is the following:

* Militants occupying hospitals and schools and using them to launch military attacks is certainly terrorism (Hizbullah and Hamas have both engaged in these activities against Israel). Black.

* Militants taking over civilian houses against their will and using them to launch attacks is certainly terrorism. Black

* Militants being hidden by their friends and families to avoid arrest is certainly NOT terrorism. White.

Now, here are the shades of gray:

* Militants hiding in worship places and defending themselves against capture.
* Militants hiding in civilian homes and defending themselves against capture.

January 27th, 2014, 8:29 am


Hopeful said:

A great day for Tunisia and a great day for Arab democratic movements. I know some of you think three years is a long time, but it is almost a flash of light in a nation’s history. Congratulations to all Tunisians.

There seems to be a correlation between how quickly and peacefully a dictator is overthrown, and how quickly and peacefully a country stabilizes afterwards. For that, Tunisians should thank Zine El-Ebedin for not being a bigger jerk like Mubarak, a monster like Qaddafi, or a war criminal like Assad.

January 27th, 2014, 9:36 am


OAB said:


It seems that you misunderstood my comment:

I don’t recall even mentioning Assad in my post, I was just lamenting how Prof Landis lost his ability to analyze syrian developments because he’s no longer able to be objective. Which I consider to be a great loss, especially for those needing to understand the situation in Syria.

Your highly confrontational reply is concerning – especially since it should be clear that this crisis is not about Syria alone and what happens there may have ramifications for many other countries.

Your post is a clear example of what happens when one loses their objectivity… its as if you just want to argue – please don’t direct your frustrations to me.

people want to know:
1- what are the prospects for agreement in Geneva?
2- What would a potential agreement look like, if it were at all possible?
3- How will Alqaeda be dealt with after such an agreement? how will the respective governments insure that the returning jihadists (assuming they do go home) be dealt with – or are the syrians just supposed to continue fighting them?
4- If no agreement is reached in Geneva – what happens next? what is the potential for escalation in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan (what about Israel/Turkey)?
5- Partial success? will there be a Geneva 3? the russians are talking to other opposition figures, the SOC is talking about getting more people involved?
6- what are the americans trying to achieve? they are intent on keeping the government/Army, but what options do they really have to make this happen?
7- what are the russians trying to achieve? they have not been adamant about keeping Assad, but his removal is sure to threaten their interests… how do they intend to maintain their interests if he goes?

etc etc

January 27th, 2014, 12:49 pm


ghufran said:

One man’s terrorist may be another man’s freedom fighter but there are still clear cut acts of terrorism that are hard to defend, namely the deliberate targeting of innocent unarmed civilians.
Using civilians as human shields or hiding in civilian areas then firing on your enemy and complaining that the enemy hit those same civilian areas may not be terrorism but is certainly a behavior that deserves condemnation and is indefensible in my mind, that does not make the act of bombing mixed areas that have civilians and armed rebels right, it just adds complexity to the picture and makes both parties guilty.
Let us not forget that in every war, civilians suffered tremendously and were bombed by official armies, that was the case in WW2, Vietnam, Afghanistan, the two Persian Gulf wars, Arab-Israeli wars and now Syria. This is why the best way to protect civilians is not to start a war in the first place especially when it is a war between citizens of the same country.
My views on war and the use of violence earned me a lot of insults and accusations on this board but facts on the ground tell why war should be the LAST resort to settle conflicts, look at what the Syrian war has produced and try to prove me wrong !!

January 27th, 2014, 2:36 pm


Alan said:

135. OAB
thump up

It seems to me, that he became dependent on boys than on personal potentials.

January 27th, 2014, 3:25 pm


Juergen said:

Thanks to Tarek Touma, from London famous syrian artists showed their work in context of the war.

January 27th, 2014, 3:47 pm


Alan said:

Tell me,the right of God! Why are all of you resort to personalization any subject?
For as long as you choose personalization! Tell me, the right of God: How cents your home country benefited from your studies?

January 27th, 2014, 4:13 pm


Alan said:

Israel is trying to goad Syria into a retaliatory strike, which would open the door for a direct US attack on Syria.
The military scenario so scary dangerous .They will be at war with Russia, in it military support of Syria.

January 27th, 2014, 4:55 pm


Alan said:

The face of British ‘terror tourism’: Estate agent and his brother who died in Syria fighting with al-Qaeda


January 27th, 2014, 5:09 pm


Observer said:

I have proposed solutions on many occasions and I have actually proposed to some the unthinkable as I have proposed an Alawi state and a Kurdish state and city states even to stop the bloodshed.

I have also called on a truth and reconciliation commission and on South Africa and China and Brazil to provide security troops, help with the commission, and for a new completely reformulated constitution with open debate just as the Tunisians have shown us the way.

I have proposed the complete subjugation of the military to the civilian authorities and to dismantle the security services and merge them into two external and internal and that an oversight of their activities be done by the parliament.

I have proposed that the judiciary be independent and that a supreme court determine the constitutionality of laws and I have proposed the abolition of the ministry of religious affairs and of the information ministry and to render the interior ministry devoid of control of the security services.

I have even proposed that the justice minisrty be under the judicial authority and separate from the executive powers and I have proposed an education system that we can ask South Korea to help us with as they have achieved incredible rapid progress in every aspect of science and technology

I have asked that an agreement be reached with complete restoration of the oasis that are the cities of Syria and to actually move the seat of the capital to Palmyra to help it economically and to create a neutral zone and to leave the cities free of huge congestion and migration

All of those in one form or another wer proposed and I did so equally on other posts.

I am very optimistic on the long run for the future of the people for the wall of fear is broken and the march of dignity and freedom is unstoppable and the most important part to my mind is the forging in blood and tears and sweat and skin and bones and teeth and gouged eyes and plucked nails of a new national identity whereby citizenship means the rule of law and the supremacy of institutions of freedom.

The days of sectarian narrow minded apologists to the horrors of this regime are over.

My friends tell me that no prisoners are to be released no matter what the issue until the talks are over so every prisoner is being used as a bargaining chip. It tells me that the regime cannot win and for it to even consider negotiating is already the beginning of the end.

January 27th, 2014, 6:36 pm


Tara said:


What are the Russians saying about the progress of the negotiation? It appears that the Americans and the Russians are refraining from any analysis in regard to the outcome..

January 27th, 2014, 6:59 pm


Ghufran said:

Heart breaking stories are emerging from The Yarmouk Refugee Camp, one child , Omar, who is 10 year old has access to a phone but does not have the luxury of bread , his testimony points to one screaming fact:
This is a failing nation that lost any connection with its creator and forgot why it is a sin to let kids go hungry regardless of the slogans used.
Palestinians in Yarmouk would have been better off under Israeli occupation which may take their land and much of their right but it will probably let them feed their children .
تفو ع شرف كل مجرم اله علاقه من قريب او بعيد بتجويع الاطفال
هذه امه النضيف فيها حرامي و المتعلم فيها كذاب
الرجال فيها بدون دين و الدين فيها شحاطه بدل ما يكون تاج
Do not give me the usual garbage that this crime is committed by one side, both sides are guilty of killing the spirit and taking away the dignity of Palestinian children.
كل ثوره و انتم و الثوار و القائد الملهم بخير

January 27th, 2014, 10:13 pm


Hopeful said:

#138 Alan

I am not sure what you mean exactly by “personalization”, but if I understand you correctly, that is how grass root revolutions start. They are driven by the collective personal experiences of millions of people. There are no central figures initiating and guiding them. That is what the Syrian regime failed to understand on day one. This is why we are where we are today.

January 27th, 2014, 11:11 pm


Ghufran said:

Labwani told Faisal Alqasem that the USA wants to divide Syria ino multiple states under one confederacy using the Kurds as a model.

January 27th, 2014, 11:30 pm


Hopeful said:

#145 Ghufran

Small states governed by representative governments are a mile better than a larger state ruled by a dictatorship. The road to Arab unity starts with these true representative states, not by a strong man/party bringing people together by force and terror.

The United States of America is now a few hundreds years old. The Soviet Union did not last more than 50 years. It is clear which model is better in the long run.

January 27th, 2014, 11:47 pm


Juergen said:

documentary by orient news on Assad and his dealing with the revolution

arabic with translation
part 1

January 28th, 2014, 1:45 am


Juergen said:

part 2

January 28th, 2014, 1:46 am


Juergen said:

The last voice of reason from within besieged Homs, Father Frans

January 28th, 2014, 2:14 am


Badr said:

Under Double Attack

“Al-Haj Saleh points out that in addition to the political and military battle going on in Syria, there is also a cultural battle.”

January 28th, 2014, 2:30 am


Syrialover said:

OAB, #134

Thank you for your reply. It was me who found your comment (#78) confronting, and if you got a confrontational response (#89) it’s because you stood up and waved your arms inviting it.

Without “mentioning Assad” you made a statement that reflected the Assad regime line of argument and disinformation without blinking. Are you aware of that?

This is not a school debating exercise. You have taken a teaspoon and had a little dig at the surface of a subject that demands intellectual and informational excavation miles deep and wide.

You present opinions, theories and shallow observations as if they were irrefutable facts. And to informed readers, your analysis is actually more “biased and tainted” than that of Joshua Landis who you dismiss in those terms.

Your list of “people want to know” points (#134) betrays the teaspoon approach.

Yes, I am frustrated. Very frustrated that people sit out there showing no appreciation of the enormity of what has happened to Syrians and their country, tossing out comments like “especially since it should be clear that this crisis is not about Syria alone”.

Well, it IS about Syria, first, second, third and for as long as you want to count.

You seem to think that reading comments by Joshua Landis should provide all you need. I am sure he definitely wouldn’t agree with that.

There are a lot of substantial leads on SyriaComment and elsewhere to sources that enable you to read and think more deeply about the issue. If not, better to switch channels and find diversion elsewhere.

January 28th, 2014, 6:22 am


SimoHurtta said:

146. HOPEFUL said:

The United States of America is now a few hundreds years old. The Soviet Union did not last more than 50 years. It is clear which model is better in the long run.

Well actually Soviet Union lasted 70 years. Russia is a much older entity than USA is. Does it make Russian “systems” better than US? Or let us take a look at China. With its thousands of years of different kinds of regimes is it “better” than US, Britain or Germany?

Egypt managed to stay as an independent entity for 3000 years. Israel 150 years in the very distant past and now for little over 60 years. Conclusions of that?

So is really clear what model is the “best” on longer run? The speed in which the US political system is making itself dysfunctional is staggering. Can the next president rule at all if he/she has not the majority in US parliament system and support of Israeli lobby? Also that Coca-Cola – Pepsi-Cola democracy where you have to choose from basically increasingly equal alternatives is hardly the best example for future Syria’s ruling system. Neither are the Iraqi / Lebanese religious quota systems. Or the Somali system (= no government), which the rebels are de facto offering is not optimal.

January 28th, 2014, 7:40 am


Observer said:

Tara again I start the day by visiting the pro regime sites SANA and Manar and Mayadeen and Alam and RT.

RT in Arabic reported on an UN finding: the revolution is using children to fight and the regime is torturing them. This report is meant to show that both sides are evil for the children of Syria. I always thought that Putin wants everything for a super power Russia to be on the world stage. He uses the Syrian issue to score points while at the same time making sure that his association with the regime is kept at a distance lest he is splattered with the foul excrement that the regime is bound to emit in its fight for survival.

The Syrian delegation in its numerous press encounters in my mind especially when Shaaban prefers to answer in English is out to perform a propaganda campaign, to portray the regime as a bulwark against extremism and terrorism, and to delegitimize the opposition as non representative and foreign agents. It has no intention to do anything else and has been instructed not to do anything else.

They are used for decades to lecture to journalists who take notes and report verbatim what was said. They are not used to any give and take, to any confrontation, to any idea what the real free world is about and they keep faltering every time or running away from the cameras.

The US and Russia are actually watching on the sidelines so each is positioning himself to come out on top when the talks fail and the blaming for the failure comes crashing on their respective sides. In essence, the regime refusing to discuss Geneva 1 is a victory for the opposition and for the US. If they do not accept to discuss it, the US can go back to the Security Council and Russia will have to veto once more a decision that it accepted in the first place.

So the talks will continue and if there is no agreement on the humanitarian aid then the regime will come out with a black eye for it shows the world that its so called fight for the Beoble of Syria is a sham once more as it allows starvation of whole areas.

The women of Homs refused to be evacuated without their men as Juan Cole reported today because trust is absent. If humanitarian aid is allowed this will demoralize the regime troops and will be seen as a victory for the rebels. It will give legitimacy to the outside opposition and show that they can bring help on the ground to the besieged.

The US has no dog in this fight and Obama wants to finish the presidency having terminated two wars and not engage in a new one. The next President will deal with Syria.

Russia is getting screwed big time in Ukraine and has Sochi next month. If anything happens there, Putin will look the fool that he really is. So laying low is the order of the day lest the excrement touches him as he holds the Syrian regime like a dirty rag on a stick as far away from his persona as possible

January 28th, 2014, 8:24 am


Hopeful said:

#153 SIMO

I honestly am not sure what point you are trying to make. Are you saying that a central dictatorship in a large state is better than a federation of representative governments in smaller states?

If so, I strongly disagree and we can agree to disagree.

January 28th, 2014, 8:30 am


Sami said:

Speigel follows up on the report of tortured detainees. Some might find this “fancy” or might just dismiss it like they dismiss every atrocity committed by the regime as “the syrian beoble fighting terrorists”.


January 28th, 2014, 8:47 am


Juergen said:

I hope one day she get the rewards for all the lies she spread…

Question by the reporter of Orient TV:

You want the exit of all foreign fighters, does that include HB and iranian fighters?

No answer…

January 28th, 2014, 2:08 pm


Alan said:

Talks were stillborn when announced. Syria is Obama‘s war. He launched it. He continues it. He wants regime change.
He wants Washington in charge of Syria‘s future. He wants Syrians having no say. He wants pro-Western stooge governance replacing Assad.
He wants what Syrians won’t tolerate. The so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) is a US construct.
Its leaders and representatives are beholden to Washington. They have no legitimacy whatever. Most aren’t Syrians. They live abroad.

They have no connection to Syria. They don’t give a damn how much they suffer. Most Syrians want nothing to do with them.
Their representatives are in Geneva. They’re holding talks with Syrian officials. They’re playing a dirty game. They represent Washington, not Syrians.
At first they refused talks unless Assad agreed to step down. They relented. They’d talk, they said, but not directly.
Again they about-faced. They met in the same room. They’d only speak through Lakhdar Brahimi. He’s UN/Arab League Special Envoy to Syria.
He’s no honest broker. He’s Obama‘s front man. He acting as intermediary for both sides. They’re addressing each other through him.
Sunday was day two of talks. Exchanging prisoners alone was discussed. SNC official Monzer Akbik said “we have presented our list.”……

January 28th, 2014, 2:30 pm


Syrialover said:

Another inconvenience for the Assad regime: many are remarking in Geneva that the Syrian opposition have really lifted their game in dealing with the media.

For whatever reason they had stubbornly kept it in the hands of unqualified people for a long time and resisted advice and offers of help.

Not any more, the opposition are now much more professional and well organized. At last it looks like they are taking advice and accepting assistance.

Meanwhile, as OBSERVER in #154 and others have pointed out, the regime spin doctors are badly out of their comfort zone dealing with real life media and not their usual tame state reporters and sympathizers.

January 28th, 2014, 4:28 pm


Syrialover said:

SAMI (#156) the war crimes evidence from Syria is going to be the most accessible, plentiful, better documented and forensically watertight in history.

Once people are free to talk and investigators move in, it will be very straightforward matching the digital proof with human evidence.

Those photographs were apparently often used as “death certificates” to show terrified families. There will be thousands able to legally verify who they show, what happened to them and who is responsible.

January 28th, 2014, 5:02 pm


Syrialover said:

ALAN, who is most likely to provide funds and assistance to help Syrians rebuild something out of the ruins of Assad-burnt Syria?

Their dear, generous friends Iran and Russia?

No way. Especially after they’ve invested so much of their scarce funds helping to destroy it. And they also have a pathetic lack of core nation building competencies back home.

Serious question.

January 28th, 2014, 5:14 pm



We must insist that Assad the criminal leaves and be judged for Crimes Against Humanity. This is the first and only goal to reach. Later we must look for rebuilding Syria for the syrians.

January 28th, 2014, 7:04 pm


Ghufran said:

Geneva 2 will probably end without any agreement but nobody wants to be blamed for this failure. Excluding Iran and major opposition parties was an early ominous sign and now we hear that the USA wants to arm rebels and that the NC admitted that they can not guarantee any cease fire, end of blockades or prisoners exchange agreements due to their inability to control rebels in areas under Islamist militias control !!
The government team was more than happy to hear this and is trying hard to put Assad’s departure on the back burner.

January 28th, 2014, 7:38 pm


Gurdjieff said:

Lavrov: Geneva II key task is to stop violence in Syria, not to have Assad step down

[ 29 January 2014 00:50 ]

Baku-APA. The key goal of the Geneva II peace conference on Syria is to stop violence but not to have President Bashar Assad step down, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists on Tuesday after the Russia-European Union summit, APA reports quoting Itar-Tass.

“Russia is backing no particular figures in Syria,” he said. “We are not friends with Assad or his family. But we are deeply worried over the fact that this country, the cradle of Christianity in the Middle East, is besieged by terrorists and extremists who profess no religion, who plunder and burn monasteries and mosques, who kill the elder, women and children and who are not bound by any norms of humanity.”

“We are confident that it is inadmissible to focus on simplified, primitive demands,” he went on to say. “It is the easiest thing to say that Assad must step down and everything would be all right. But we remember Yugoslavia, where everybody demanded that Milosevic should step down. We watched the development in Iraq, where the same demands were laid to Saddam Hussein. There was Libya and Gaddafi. We see what it all resulted in. Today, we are witnessing an obsession with an idea of changing the regime in Syria, because someone feels personal hatred to Assad. But it is not a behavior of mature people.”

“The key tasks on the Geneva peace conference on Syria is to stop violence, to solve humanitarian problems, to reach a consensus between the government and the opposition on the how they want to rule a tolerant, democratic, free and secure Syria, free from terrorism and extremism,” Lavrov stressed. “They must agree on basic principles of how they want to reform the state.

January 28th, 2014, 7:44 pm


Tara said:


May god inflict on you what you inflicted on these people, may all those who knowingly distracted, propagandized, covered up Bashar’s crimes fare the same fate.


January 28th, 2014, 8:19 pm


Tara said:

Hamster, this is for you

ضربَ صاحٌ صَيّاحاً
(كش ملك: هذه مساحة نخصصها للكاتب العالمي رفيق شامي، يملؤها كما يحلو له)
ضَرَبَ صَاحٌ صَيَّاحَاً

يكتبها: فرحةُ قلب
مجلة “كش ملك”
الأديب السوري الكبير
رفيق شامي
ضربَ: فعل ماضٍ وحاضرٌ في كل زمان وأغلب الأمكنة، والضربُ طريقٌ ذو اتجاه واحد يمتد من القوي باتجاه الضعيف.
والضرب له معانٍ كثيرة منها: ضَرَبَ في الأرض، بمعنى نهض وأسرع في السير طالباً الرزق… وهي فضيحة الفضائح في تاريخنا الحديث أن يهجر بناتُ وأبناءُ البلاد هذه الجنةَ بمواردها الخيالية طلباً للرزق متحملين الذل كعبيد القرن العشرين في غربتهم ولصوص ينهبون المليارات من عرق أهلنا الطيبين وباطن أرضهم .
البلاد العربية تسبح فوق محيط من الذهب الأسود.. وبينما يكدس لصوصُ السلطة الأموال يلتحفُ غالبية سكانها بالقهر متوسدين الحاجة والفقر.

يقال أيضاً: ضرب في الماء بمعنى: سبح… وهي تختلف عن الجملة الشهيرة: “إضرب المي بتظلّ مي”.. بمعنى العمل المفقود أملُهُ. مثلاً: أن تُقنع شبيحاً بأن رأس الإنسان يمكن استعمالُه للتفكير وليس فقط للنطح والشخير والبراز.
ويقال: ضرب به عرض الحائط، بمعنى أهمله وأعرض عنه احتقاراً، مثلاً، مشورة أو رأي كعادتنا نحن العرب، فكل منا نبي ولكن ليس هناك مَنْ يُصْلِح المزراب. كل من مفكرينا يسبر الغيب بنظرته ويستطيع غلي إبريق شاي على وهج فكره، ولكننا، إلى الآن، لم نستطيع توحيد قوانا ضد عدو واحد. فما إن تكشف عمالة «داعش» و«جبهة النصرة» حتى يؤسس ثلاثة رجال أربعة ألوية تابعة لخمسة أحزاب.

ضرب الحلي والمعادن: بمعنى صاغها، والدراهمَ ونحوَها بمعنى سَكَّها وطبعها. وضرب له موعداً بمعنى حدده وعينه، وجملة «تضرب إنت ومواعيدك» تعني أن صاحبنا أتى متأخراً أو أنه لم يأت في الموعد المضروب إطلاقاً.
وضرب الخيمةَ: بمعنى نصبها، وضرب عليه الحصار بمعنى حاطه به وضيق عليه كما يفعل المجرم «أحمد عزرائيل» بالفلسطينيين والسوريين في مخيم اليرموك.

ومن فعل ضرب يشتق فعل «أضْرَبَ» بمعنى أقام ولم يبرح، وسكن لا يتحرك. ويُستعمل هذا الاشتقاق منذ حوالي 200 سنة، بمعنى كف عن العمل حتى تجاب مطالبه. وهذا التصرف ممنوع دينياً في البلاد العربية الإنسانية، ومسموح به في قوانين كل البلدان الكافرة. وكذلك يشتق من فعل ضرب كلمة الضريبة وهو ما يُفرض على الملك والعمل والدخل في الدول غير المُمَانعة، وينعكس الأمر في بلاد الممانعة فيضع «رامي مخلوف»- مستنداً على إيمانه بالوطن- ضريبةً خاصة له على كل ما يدخل البلد ويسيطر لوحده على مصدر ربح تعيش منه دول العالم وهو «الجوال» والهاتف والاتصالات الإلكترونية. ولذلك أطلق عليه الشعب إسم (اللص أبو الـ 20 %) ومن هنا اشتق العلماء كلمة «الممانعة» أي أن عائلة مخلوف «تمانع» وتقاوم بكل قواها الأعرافَ السائدة في كل الدول الراقية في تحديد اتجاه الضريبة من الناس للدولة لتقوم بوظائفها في خدمة الشعب الذي يدفع هذه الضريبة… وهم سباقون في ذلك وتفوقوا بوقاحة على أبناء عمومتهم من عائلة مبارك وأبناء خالتهم القذافيّين.

يعتقد بعضُ جهابذة اللغة أن فعل «ضربَ» قحطاني المولد، ويعني «العطاء».. ويؤكدون ذلك بقولهم: «ضرب له مثلاً» بمعنى أعطاه مثلا. ثم يؤكدون ذلك بأن عملية الضرب في الرياضيات تزيد الأعداد سلباً وإيجاباً. ويمكن لهذا التفسير على سخفه أن يملك شيئاً من الحقيقة فالضرب عطاء لكن مُسْتَقْبِلَهُ ناكرٌ للجميل.

الضرب مسموح في بلادنا التي تنعم الله عليها بأربعة ديانات عالمية وحوالي 30 ديانة لم يسعفها الحظ فانقرضت في موطنها. وكان جاري «العربجي» أبو سليم يحذر كل من يفتخر أن بلادنا موطن الديانات دون باقي البلاد، من أن الله عز وجل- وهو العالمُ بكل الأمور حتى بما تفكر به نملة- عرف معدن شعوب هذه المنطقة وأنهم يحتاجون لأضعاف أضعاف ما تحتاجه الشعوب الثانية لترشد. فأرسل لهم الرسل وهز رأسه فيما بعد أسفاً على مصيرهم، فموسى أنكروه والمسيح صلبوه ومحمد حاربوه والحلاج قتلوه وبهاء الله سجنوه. بينما قوانين الشعوب المتأخرة، التي لم تحظَ ولا حتى بزيارة نبي، آمنت دون أن ترى نبياً واحداً (وقد مدحهم السيد المسيح متنبئاً بقوله “طوبى للذين آمنوا ولم يروا”)، وبلدان الكفار هذه تمنع حتى ضربَ الحيوان!

ويضيف العم أبو سليم: ومن هنا سُميت بلادنا «محبط» الديانات السماوية. والإحباط معلوم ولا حاجة لشرحه، وبعض الأجانب يلفظ “مَحْبَط” لعدم قدرته على لفظ الحاء: مَهْبَط.
والضرب عملية فيزيائية، أي أنها لا تغير تركيبة المضروب الكيميائية. فالإنسان يظل إنساناً جميلاً حتى تحت الضرب. لكن للضرب نتائج نفسية خطيرة على المضروب والضارب رغم أن الأخير يحتقر علم النفس.

January 28th, 2014, 9:01 pm


OAB said:


You seem intent on making this personal, as if my words were not sufficiently critical of the regime.

Last time I checked, this was Dr. Landis’ website, and making a comment specifically directed to Dr. Landis was somehow interpreted by you to be reflecting of the “regime line”

I am well aware of the complexities of the situation in Syria, apparently more than you – as you seem to think simply getting rid of Assad will magically solve all of Syria’s problems.

Your statement that this is about Syria alone, belies your own superficial and one-dimensional understanding of the challenges faced by Syria. Last time I checked, Syria had fighters from 50 countries fighting there, and tens of countries are pouring billions of dollars into the outcome. And you think you have the right to patronize me you pompous, self important, troll.

It’s amazing for someone who knows so much about the enormity and complexity of the situation in Syria, was not able to even enlighten us, even just a little by, sharing a single opinion about a even one of my points. instead choosing to try and bully others as if Syria Comment was reserved for him/her idea’s.

Don’t presume to talk down to me because of what you think you know about me or my thinking.

January 28th, 2014, 10:52 pm


Alan said:

Western media tries to convince us that the blood currently being spilled in the Middle East is a result of the Sunni-Shiite conflict. Ostensibly, Muslims kill Muslims solely on the strength of their religious dissension. Such a version frees the US and its allies from the responsibility of interfering in the internal affairs of the region’s countries and of double standards and dubious alliances with the most reactionary of regimes and radical groups, including extremists and international terrorists. The externally fomented Sunni-Shiite conflict creates an eminent threat of “Somalization” of the region, and of sowing chaos and violence in it for long years to come. It becomes ever more apparent that there is no Sunni-Shiite conflict, as such – there are only external players, striving to realize their own national and corporate goals and objectives (control of resources, the militarization of the region, the enrichment of war lords, etc.) on the blood of Muslims.

It is not merely Sunnis that are standing against Shiites, but the political elite, tied to the West by dozens of economic, political, military, financial and other threads, receiving guarantees that persecution of Shiites will not kindle the outrage of the “international community” nor become a subject for the international tribunal in Hague or of US Congress hearings. Additionally, myths were fabricated in the corridors of the State Department and the CIA for propaganda purposes – myths about Shiite fanaticism, the Iranian nuclear threat, the “bloody dictatorship of the ayatollahs” and the anti-civilian regime of Bashar Al-Assad – in summary, an ideological base was created for a new witch hunt. The most visible goal for the artificial fomenting of the Sunni-Shiite conflict is clear: the destruction or weakening of Iran’s strategic regional partners such as the Assad government in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, increased pressure on the Shiite-majority government in Iraq, and the future isolation of Iran and the Persian Gulf region as a whole. As Imam Khomeini justly stated: “Animosity between Sunnis and Shiites is a Western conspiracy. Discord among us is profitable only to enemies of Islam. Whoever does not understand this is not a Sunni or a Shia…”.

Stanislav Ivanov, leading researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies

January 29th, 2014, 2:56 am


apple_mini said:

OAB #166

Those opposition people who are still sticking to their “revolution” are just as bad as those ISIS to the country. On top of the power and money intoxicated regime, there are no good factor helping solving Syrian crisis on the surface.

We are not expecting any rosy future for Syria at this moment or any time soon. Transitional government or not, as long as a ceasefire can be reached, it will help Syrians and we cannot ask for more now.

January 29th, 2014, 3:30 am


Sami said:

Hey the “Hardly a Massacre” scum finally differentiates between the opposition and fanatics, but sadly still compares them to each other… This would explain why great people like Omar Aziz get tortured to death in the Assadi dungeons, but raises the question why were Alloush and Co. released?

January 29th, 2014, 8:53 am


Ghufran said:

There seems to be a decision by the government not to give the NC any gift that can help it inflate its small stature, that means we may not see any substantial results immediately, indeed the army is hitting rebel areas hard in Aleppo and is reportedly entering areas that have been under rebels control for more than a year, the army advances have also allowed Aleppo international airport to start breathing again ( few flights daily).
The political dance here will come at the expense of ordinary Syrians who could not care less about the NC and Assad , they just want to live and feed their kids. Rebels in Homs are now denying any link with the NC and want to negotiate with the army directly, this should have been done a long time ago. Few notes:
1.The NC has little control over rebels, its size does not reflect its relevance but it shows the power of the GCC and the USA over the opposition.
2.People are dying while NC figures tour Europe and enjoy their stays at expensive hotels
( that reminds me of a poster here who was bragging about going to the world’s best hotels while he was asking people to kill and die in Syria)
3. The NC is under total control of the GCC and ambassador Ford ( who is in my judgment another Bremer/ Iraq) and that is not necessarily a good thing when you are trying to speak on behalf of all or most Syrians.
4. For any political agreement to stand, non jihadists anti regime Syrians from all sides need to take part in the dialogue.
5, instead of asking Assad to step down, the NC should focus on a process that will lead to a change at the top through elections and consensus. Assad is benefiting from this stubborn demand by GCC and the USA for him to step down first, it makes him look more Syrian than his opponents by showing the world that external powers are after him and not after elections which should be the acceptable way to choose leaders.

January 29th, 2014, 12:48 pm


Andrew said:

Terrorism Intel Chief: Syria Becoming Hotbed for Terrorists

Lt. Gen. James Clapper says region has replaced Pakistani tribal lands as breeding ground for terrorists

Read more: U.S. Intelligence Chief James Clapper Warns Syria Breeding Terrorists | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2014/01/29/clapper-syria-terrorists-warning/#ixzz2roOOGTfu

January 29th, 2014, 1:04 pm


ghufran said:

If this is true, it probably means that the NC is split, again, and is ready for a sell out:
مفاوضات سرية بين النظام و الائتلاف و بمشاركة امريكية و
ايرانية و روسية في العاصمة السويسرية بيرن
Louai Safi is now the face of the NC, I would take him in a heart beat over Mr. Jarba.
Here is some of Safi’s statements:
لؤي صافي : لن نسمح لأي مجموعة في سوريا بالهيمنة
على الحكومة الانتقالية
we will not allow any group to dominate the transitional government.
لؤي صافي : ملتزمون بيجاد حل سلمي ووقف المعاناة شرط تقدم المحادثات
we are committed to a peaceful resolution to stop the suffering (of Syrians) if the negotiations show progress.

January 29th, 2014, 2:44 pm



Thank you. I am an avid reader of this magazine, especially the brilliant Rafiq Schami.

January 29th, 2014, 3:31 pm


Alan said:

109. GHUFRAN said:
/I agree that a regime change is necessary to end the war and move Syria forward/
Do you like to use this term (regime change)?
Just the U.S. start to sway any Arab regime, at once all stand consonants
It is the surrender to the status of de facto!

January 29th, 2014, 4:29 pm


Alan said:

Weapons were approved by Congress in closed-door meetings
The Geneva talks between the Syrian government and some opposition forces faltered Tuesday upon revelations that U.S. Congress secretly approved arms shipments to Syrian opposition forces.
After representatives of the Syrian government expressed anger at the covert weapons flow, the United Nations’ top mediator decided to discontinue the talks planned for Tuesday afternoon.
Reuters revealed on Monday that the U.S. government is sending small arms, as well as the more powerful anti-tank rockets, to “moderate” rebels —identified as “non-Islamist” forces — through Jordan.

Jordanians ungrateful!
Do not you want from Syrian to give you fresh water to drink as long as the Israelis are turning to the path of sewage into your waters in order to drink ?
Arabs such as strokes untreatable

Any Jordanian commentator here?

January 29th, 2014, 7:06 pm


ghufran said:

It takes a US and a Russians involvement to end the Syrian war, do not count on Syrians and other Arabs to do the job. Both parties at Geneva have one thing in mind: power. The blood shed and the suffering of the little guys are not at the top of politicians agenda. Both parties also are afraid of looking weak or getting caught selling their supporters out and ignoring the lives that were lost, senselessly I might add, to defend or destroy the country. new calls about Syria’s biological weapons, the “leaks” regarding arming rebels by the US and “discoveries” of new weapons in northern Syria (in rebels hands) all point to one thing: the fighting parties and those behind them are not ready yet to call it a quit and give poor Syrians a break.
My holy Tozz and not so holy disgust is divided, not necessarily equally, among the two factions who should give up their Syrian passports if they fail to end this war before the summer or sooner.

January 29th, 2014, 11:11 pm


ghufran said:

waiting to see if this piece of news is true, I hope it is not:
اقتحمت قوات الأمن التابعة للنظام صباح اليوم ثانوية محمد بهجة البيطار للبنات في شارع خالد بن الوليد بحي الميدان في العاصمة دمشق، حيث قامت باعتقال 10 طالبات منها.
وقال شاهد عيان من سكان الحي إن عدد رجال الأمن كان كبيراً جداً، وأنهم حملوا قوائم بأسماء مطلوبات، حيث قاموا بالدخول إلى شُعبٍ محددة لاعتقالهنّ، وتمّ صرف باقي الطالبات إلى بيوتهن، بحسب ” مكتب أخبار سوريا “.
وأضاف أنه تمّ إغلاق المدرسة إلى حين خروج عناصر الأمن منها، مصطحبين معهم 10 طالبات تمّ اعتقالهن من داخل المدرسة.
Social media and aksalser claimed that security forces arrested 10 female students (high school)from al-Midan in Damascus.

This is Louai Safi today:

January 30th, 2014, 1:34 am


Alan said:

In the province of Homs Syrian Arab Army special operations continued and militias , aimed at the destruction of operating in areas of al- Zahra and al- Hosn terrorist groups Jend Ash Sham , most of whom are armed gangs , composed of foreign mercenaries .
During the three days since the start of operations in these areas have been destroyed , according to information from the sites of armed groups , terrorists more than the last two years . About what exactly the number of persons killed in question are not reported.
It is also known that during a combat mission killed three government soldiers , 13 – were injured.
Among the killed militants there – a lot of people from KSA , Tunisia, Libya and Lebanon. During thereof of shelling was eliminated Kutada Abu al -Libi , one of the members of the military council groups Jind al- Sham warlords squad leader Hamda terrorists .
Meanwhile, in the city of Raqqa Sharia court strictly monitored implementation of the decree on compulsory wearing the burqa and women gloves. For this, they even created a special female battalion Kataeb Al- Hansaa , the disposal of which are cars . Such patrols ply the streets of the city , identifying and punishing the disobedient . One opposition activist Khaled Saleh published photo , which depicts a high school student of a local school Raqqa after the introduction of the new order . also reported that in one day January 28 female gendarmes arrested and punished caning more than a dozen women . At the same day he was caught and beaten up by a young man who evaded visit prayers.

January 30th, 2014, 4:01 am


Alan said:

Who Called for and Welcomed Foreign Terrorists in Syria?

January 30th, 2014, 7:48 am


Hopeful said:

#181 Alan

These people inviting the jihadis into Syria deserve utmost condemnation for their short sightedness, sectarian views and support for terrorism.

And the regime deserves utmost condemnation for its brutality, suppression, and miserable failed leadership through this crisis.

Enough with both.

January 30th, 2014, 10:02 am


ghufran said:

As expected, the circus in Geneva is starting to produce “leaks” , here is one, it is virtually impossible to verify accuracy:
إن وفد الجمهورية العربية السورية إلى اجتماع جنيف يؤكد أن هدف هذا الاجتماع هو تحقيق الانتقال السياسي بموجب بيان جنيف الصادر في 30 حزيران 2012 والذي ينص في الفقرة 5 بند ( أ ) على الالتزام بوقف دائم للعنف المسلح بكل اشكاله وبتنفيذ خطة النقاط الست فوراً .

إن وفد الجمهورية العربية السورية يؤكد على ضرورة وقف الجماعات المسلحة الإرهابية أعمالها العدائية كاملة على جميع تراب الجمهورية العربية السورية زإخراج المسلحين المستوردين من 83 جنسية , و إيقاف تدخل الدول الأجنبية وعلى رأسهم الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية التي اتخذت قراراً مناقضاً تماماً لجنيف نصاً وروحاً بالإعلان عن استئناف تسليح المجموعات الإرهابية في سوريا , وكل من المملكة العربية السعودية وتركيا وقطر .

إن وفد الجمهورية العربية السورية في اجتماع جنيف , وبتكليف من الحكومة التي يمثلها يعلن أنه في حال تم الإعلان الفوري عن هذه الخطوات وتسليم الإرهابيين أسلحتهم للأستفادة من مراسيم العفو الرئاسية , فإنه مستعد للبدء فوراً في بحث مصير سيادة الرئيس بشار الأسد بما في ذلك خروجه الآمن وعائلته وعدد من أركان الدولة إلى بلد آخر , بموجب قرار سيادي سوري من أجل تسهيل البدء بالحل السياسي وتشكيل هيئة حكم انتقالية بقيادة سورية بحسب ما نص عليه بيان جنيف .

وإن من شأن التعامل غير المسؤول مع هذا الأمر تقويض مؤتمر جنيف 2 و إفشال الجهود المبذولة لضمان نجاحه
This one claims that the government is willing to discuss Assad’s departure in return for taking serious measures to stop terrorism and terrorists influx into Syria.
I personally do not believe the government team will go that far without solid guarantees from the US and other countries that oppose Assad, It is also possible that a pro regime party made this up to suggest that the Assad family is willing to give up power for the sake of Syria.

January 30th, 2014, 10:30 am


Observer said:

Well well the source of this leak is not provided by Ghufran. Once more the lack of sourcing the information is a deliquency for the source often tells us of the bias of the information. If it is coming from a Saudi outlet is one thing if it is coming from Russia Today it is something else.

If the delegation is talking about the departure of the regime henchmen then I would like to see the fate of the Drum when he arrives back in Damascus. The pictures of starved and emaciated prisoners must haunt him fully.

I wonder whether he will ask for political asylum this is his chance and his only chance.

In the meantime life has stopped in the Southern Suburbs of Beirut.

Israel says that HA has 170 000 rockets aimed at it. So if I were an Israeli I would keep the party of God occupied in the unholy land of Assad forever.

If HA has 170 000 rockets Israel has 200 nuclear bombs. Let us see if HA is willing to test the Israeli resolve to use that option.

January 30th, 2014, 12:51 pm


Hopeful said:

Great interview with Michel Kilo. http://youtu.be/5IASsABJXGg

January 30th, 2014, 1:12 pm


Alan said:

Going back to the negotiations, it must be admitted that a very complex process has been started, and the fact that we have managed to hold the inaugural meeting of the Geneva-2 is very positive. Syrian sides have agreed to sit at the negotiating table, despite all the recriminations, for the first time in three years of this bloody conflict, which has resulted in probably the most difficult humanitarian situation in the world. Everything will depend on how the dialogue goes. Moscow expects that UN members – as mediators in these negotiations – represented by Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Representative of the UN and the Arab League, will do everything possible, using their diplomatic skills and experience, not just to keep the parties at the negotiating table, but to encourage them to find mutual understanding – step by step. It is quite clear that all problems can be resolved and the slaughter can be stopped only through negotiations.
Victor Mikhin, correspondent member of RANS

January 30th, 2014, 3:47 pm


Alan said:

Nothing demonstrates the greatness
  Not in the character of Kilo
  And not in his achievements!

January 30th, 2014, 5:22 pm



Lavrov is a War Criminal. Must be judged and executed in Núremberg II.

January 30th, 2014, 6:05 pm


Andrew said:

Global Terrorism and Saudi Arabia: Bandar’s Terror Network

By James Petras
14 January, 2014

January 30th, 2014, 7:52 pm


Syrialover said:


We can say one word to those who deny any likelihood of the Assad regime being connected to al qaeda atrocities.


Many intelligence exerts believe Assad’s team is very likely to be using pages out of the playbook of the brutal Algerian military intelligence service, the DRS.

This organization was behind countless acts of “islamist” terrorism and civilian massacres in Algeria’s civil war of 1993-97, carried out so the government could then blame the islamist resistance group the GIA. (The Algerian conflict was caused by the Algerian government suddenly cancelling a national election when it became clear that Islamic Salvation Front was going to win).

To quote one of many excellent sources on the subject:

“Simply put, GIA was the creation of the DRS, using proven Soviet methods of penetration and provocation, the agency assembled it to discredit the extremists. Much of GIA’s leadership consisted of DRS agents, who drove the group into the dead end of mass murder, a ruthless tactic that thoroughly discredited GIA Islamists among nearly all Algerians. Most of its major operations were the handiwork of the DRS, including the 1995 wave of bombings in France. Some of the most notorious massacres of civilians were perpetrated by military special units masquerading as mujahidin, or by GIA squads under DRS control.

“Having driven GIA into the ground by the late 1990s, DRS has continued to infiltrate and influence Islamist groups in the country. To what extent the local Al Qaeda affiliate is secretly controlled by the military—as GIA and GSPC were—is an open question, but its recent record suggests that DRS influence over any Algerian extremist group is considerable.”

(From “The Ugly Truth About Algeria” – http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-ugly-truth-about-algeria-7146?page=2)

Note this bit: “…using proven Soviet methods of penetration and provocation.”

We have seen how al qaeda-linked groups in Syria have flourished and intensified their madness in an environment created to perfection for them when the Assad regime burnt and smashed the country into a failed state.

But genuine jihadist extremists in droves apparently still aren’t doing enough for the regime’s purposes.

Have you seen the recent videos showing sickening atrocities being carried out by people clad in “ISIS uniforms” who happen to have Alawite and Iraqi accents?

January 30th, 2014, 10:51 pm


Syrialover said:

Wow, have we got some speed readers here! I got two thumbs down before my detailed post above even settled on the page.

We can just see them pushing a panic button at the opening words “…deny any likelihood of the Assad regime being connected to al qaeda atrocities”

January 30th, 2014, 11:00 pm


Syrialover said:

UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, sitting and negotiating with the Assad regime delegation in Geneva, knows.

He knows about them. He knows what they have done to their fellow Syrians and understands their criminal mentality.

That’s because he was Algerian Foreign Minster for the government that created the brutal and sinister situation outlined in #192 above.

Brahimi then somehow went on to enjoy a privileged career as a UN functionary, despite being personally unimpressive and carrying the air of not really caring what happens. He advanced in a world where the bar has been set very low and the talent pool kept very shallow for representatives of the Arab world.

But maybe Brahimi is the right sort of person to sit down with the Assad regime. He is able to sit there placidly, not surprised or bothered by the stupidity and lies. Knowing he’ll keep his job and his status and paycheck regardless.

Roll on to the post-Brahimi era, the day when the Arab world is represented properly by people of high calibre, who competed for their jobs and daily prove they are equal to their international peers. They are there in the Arab Spring generation, ready for their chance.

January 31st, 2014, 12:46 am


Syrialover said:

OAB #166 said,

“as if my words were not sufficiently critical of the regime”

No they weren’t. They actually follow the regime’s propaganda points.

That isn’t unconscious, is it?

When you say “you seem to think simply getting rid of Assad will magically solve all of Syria’s problems”, you just delivered another pro-Assad line. Do you realise that?

Unlike you, I and most of the world believe that getting rid of the Assads is the only hope for ever having a chance of solving Syria’s current problems and building a future worth having.

You say “…what you think you know about me or my thinking”

Are you saying you think differently from the (pro-Assad press) “headline inspired” stance and opinions you’ve shown here in this forum?

If so, please demonstrate it. And maybe stop shouting – not just talking – down to me.

January 31st, 2014, 1:38 am


Alan said:

Saudi Arabia has long been a backroom player in the Middle East’s nuclear game of thrones, apparently content to bankroll the ambitions of Pakistan and Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) to counter the rise of its mortal enemy, Iran.

But as the West and Iran have moved closer to a nuclear accommodation, signs are emerging that the monarchy is ready to give the world a peek at a new missile strike force of its own – which has been upgraded with Washington’s careful connivance.

January 31st, 2014, 6:58 am




Plesea notice that our problem in Syria is the criminal dictatorship regime killing the syrian people. As you perfectly know they are a mafia permitted by the world powers to reduce the syrian people ambitions.

You and your international war games are out of place and out of time in a fórum talking about Assad War on Syria Population.

January 31st, 2014, 7:08 am


Hopeful said:

The same empty rhetoric that the Syrian people have been hearing for 50 years while their dignity is being robbed and wealth is being squandered.


Only the communist party of the Soviet Union and the nazi party of Germany used empty slogans like these.

By the way, I have never heard Israel call on the Syrian government to “compromise” by making Syria a free country. I did, however, hear the Israelis ask Syria to abandon its chemical weapons (in fact they even attacked facilities of weapon of mass destruction). So what exactly is this nutcase talking about when he says we won’t compromise on anything that we have not compromised to Isreal about? Is Israel asking you to hold free elections in Syria?

January 31st, 2014, 8:42 am


Hopeful said:

A demonstration in London against the US, Saudis government and the FSA for trying to bring democracy in Syria


Brought to you not by regime supporters, but jihadis supporters!

January 31st, 2014, 9:05 am


Alan said:

Where these blinds jihadis in London were, when Tony Blair launched an attack on Iraq? When American soldiers urinated on the corpses of Taliban? When the Israelis violate the sanctity of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque? etc…
They are like worms moving out of in order to perform the function of terrorism for the benefit of the global arrogance and the Zionist Anglo-Saxons!

January 31st, 2014, 10:43 am


Hopeful said:

#200 Alan

They were always there. These jihadis are brainwashed fanatics who believe the world will be a better place if somehow an Islamic state (whatever that means) is created with an emir (whatever that means) ruling by the words of God (whatever that means). They see an opportunity in Syria now that the regime has created a big mess and chaos by deciding to use violence instead of dialogue to deal with the rebellion.

These jihadis want to create an Islamic state in Syria
The regime wants an Assadist state
The Syrians want freedom, dignity and democracy.

Both the regime and the jihadis keep wining and complaining that the US and the Saudi are helping the Syrians get rid of both diseases.

January 31st, 2014, 12:06 pm


Syrialover said:

Excuse me for laughing.

Assad regime Foreign Minister Walid Muallem is declaring that the Geneva talks went nowhere because the opposition are “immature”.

Actually the world got the opposite impression about the performance of the opposition delegation.

Many observers were pleasantly surprised by their discipline, coherence and focus in the negotiations.

Meanwhile the Assad regime delegation would have stuck to their standard crude and unsophisticated tactic of “negotiation by insinuation”.

From a 2006 article I quoted earlier above (#95) :

“Syria’s (i.e. the Assads) negotiating strategy has traditionally been one of insinuation, treating politics like a game in which one should hold one’s cards as close to one’s chest as possible until one is certain of the benefit of playing them.”

Which is why the regime’s representatives will be incapable of conducting any sort of rational and constructive negotiations.

(Apologies, I gave the full source of that 2006 article “The Syrian Solution”, but omitted the link. It’s: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/62087/volker-perthes/the-syrian-solution)

January 31st, 2014, 2:28 pm


Syrialover said:

Here’s a good observation:

“Syria will be to global jihad what Egypt has been for the Muslim Brotherhood.”


With the local Syrian population wishing them to hell and most of their home governments strengthening laws to guarantee them a future behind bars or deny them re-entry, all those misfit idiotic fantasist “holy warriors” are going to have to find something else to make their d***s feel bigger.

January 31st, 2014, 3:00 pm


Alan said:

Angle of vision with Muasher!

Marwan Muasher, former foreign minister of Jordan, asserts that all sides—the United States, Europe, Israel, and Arab governments alike—were deeply misguided in their thinking about Arab politics and society when the turmoil of the Arab Spring erupted. He explains the causes of the unrest, tracing them back to the first Arab Awakening, and warns of the forces today that threaten the success of the Second Arab Awakening. Hope rests with the new generation and its commitment to tolerance, diversity, the peaceful rotation of power, and inclusive economic growth, Muasher maintains. He calls on the West to rethink political Islam and the Arab Israeli conflict, and he underscores the importance of efforts to strengthen education and expand traditional definitions of Arab citizenship for the long-term process of democratic transition.

“This powerful view is a manifesto for political pluralism in the Arab world—a liberating concept that has unfortunately been missing in much of the thus far disappointing ‘Arab Spring.‘ Marwan Muasher shows how badly the Arabs need a political culture that accepts diversity, tolerates dissent, and embraces different sectarian strains. If Muasher’s ideas about a pluralistic ‘third force’ can take hold, we’ll see the second Arab awakening that this book describes—and Muasher will be one of its wisest chroniclers.”

He is a seasoned statesman and scholar of the Middle East provides an astute and historically informed analysis of the Arab Spring and its origins, meaning, and implications for the future of the Middle East. Muasher delves into history and draws on his own personal experiences to produce a smart, balanced, and engaging account of the intellectual debates and political reality that shape the landscape of change.


January 31st, 2014, 5:44 pm


Alan said:

The “boiling Middle East” is a fitting name for the region as the intrigues here seem to be perpetually growing. They are followed by new informational provocation, which in turn prepares a foothold for the possible upcoming deterioration of the military-political situation in the region. One example of this is the new recent claim by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding the possibility that Syria has the manufacturing capabilities to produce not just chemical, but biological weapons which will, once again, give the U.S. a reason to send a military operation to Damascus, something of particular interest to Riyadh who is ready to pay any amount of their oil money to achieve their goals.

However, let’s not forget that the times are changing and the world is changing with them. New calls for military action, even those that are financed well and generously funded by the Wahhabi monarchy, will not only fail to generate an income for the puppeteers in Washington and Riyadh, but will instead hasten their political downfall.

Vladimir Odintsov – a political commentator

January 31st, 2014, 6:02 pm


Syrialover said:


Either you didn’t read the material you posted in #205 or you have had a tsunami-like shift away from supporting and approving the Assad regime.

Possibly you did a quick glance and assumed it was all about criticizing the west and the Arab Spring.

On the contrary, it says:

“Hope rests with the new [Arab Spring]generation and its commitment to tolerance, diversity, the peaceful rotation of power, and inclusive economic growth, Muasher maintains.”

This describes the OPPOSITE of all the Assad regime stands for and is furiously burning Syria to stop happening!

Or maybe you have been reading and absorbing the calm wisdom and decency of HOPEFUL in his responses to you.

January 31st, 2014, 6:18 pm


ghufran said:

Geneva 2 ended with mutual accusations between the government and the NC amid calls for new military actions after the army seems to be closing on Aleppo. The advances in Aleppo have prompted some nervous commentators to suggest that an attack against the army might be needed, this new/old song is in synch with fresh “concerns” about a delay in delivering chemical weapons to the UN per Kerry-Lavrov agreement and a “declaration” by US DOS spoke woman that the “military option was never taken out completely” !!
The bottom line is this: Geneva helped the opposition politically especially after Jarba was sent back to his hotel and the government delegation went on defense few times and refused to make any concessions, as many predicted. If Russia does not back off and play a “neutral” role and pressure the regime, and if the US does not understand that making this all about Assad is indeed helping Assad, more focus will be shifted to the battle field and more blood will be spilled in a war that was never intended to help the average Syrian. It is strange that advocates of democracy and freedom are more worried about elections than the party that ruled Syrian unopposed since the 1960s, I say let Syrians decide who leads them and what constitution they want but make sure there is a valid and effective UN involvement in all of this, you can not put GCC and Islamists (NC backers) and democracy in the same sentence without sounding ridiculous.

January 31st, 2014, 6:45 pm


Alan said:

Firstly, you refer to the person emotional and irresponsible , and he needs to learn more
Secondly, the tsunami is not understanding the necessity of publishing , I wanted to mention to the exactly Muasher words when he says :
/ the United States, Europe, Israel, and Arab governments alike-were deeply misguided in their thinking about Arab politics and society /
/ Muasher calls on the West to rethink political Islam and the Arab Israeli conflict /
Third, followed the subsequent comment
 let’s not forget that the times are changing and the world is changing with them. New calls for military action, even those that are financed well and generously funded by the Wahhabi monarchy, will not only fail to generate an income for the puppeteers in Washington and Riyadh, but will instead hasten their political downfall. /
It is a simulation of the Western politicians! And is not a personal matter as you like to refute!
Long live Syria!
Glory for syrian arab army

January 31st, 2014, 7:16 pm


Syrialover said:

ALAN, #217

Stop FAKING things and telling lies.

You have now badly discredited yourself and should be suspended from SyriaComment for posting false quotes.

The following words you expect us to believe came from Marwan Muaher, who represents the mainstream and highly respected American Carnegie Institute:

“let’s not forget that the times are changing and the world is changing with them. New calls for military action, even those that are financed well and generously funded by the Wahhabi monarchy, will not only fail to generate an income for the puppeteers in Washington and Riyadh, but will instead hasten their political downfall.”

Those words not on that video you posted in #213, or anywhere else. They come completely out of your head.

Muashar’s real comments are not anti-west or anti-Saudi, but focus on domestic issues in Arab countries.

What you have done is very serious – and could bring legal problems.

Joshua Landis will probably have to go into damage control with Marwan Muaher and apologize for this happening on his blog.

February 1st, 2014, 12:17 am


Matthew Barber said:

For those interested in more translations of the @wikibaghdady leaks, the folks over at reddit continued them, here:


February 1st, 2014, 2:28 am


Juergen said:

Erdogans Lasershow

February 1st, 2014, 4:00 am


Alan said:


Are you know how to read? well Are you see at the end of comment No 214 ? what you have going on with the understanding?

(However, let’s not forget that the times are changing and the world is changing with them. New calls for military action, even those that are financed well and generously funded by the Wahhabi monarchy, will not only fail to generate an income for the puppeteers in Washington and Riyadh, but will instead hasten their political downfal)
Vladimir Odintsov – a political commentator SAID!!!
Sorry Mr. Vladimir Odintsov ! Americans do not want to understand your words! very Sorry Mr. Vladimir!

February 1st, 2014, 5:35 am


The Syrian War: the Start of a New Phase | Red (Team) Analysis said:

[…] Kurdish forces. This would fit with Landis’ statement in his latest article Analysis: Why Syria’s Assad heads to Geneva from a position of strength (22 Jan 2014) ”rebel fighters… number well in excess of 100.000 by most […]

February 24th, 2014, 7:15 am


Strategic Intelligence Assessment for Syria (2) – State of Play Part I – Pro-Assad Groups and Moderate Opposition Forces | Red (Team) Analysis said:

[…] Kurdish forces. This would fit with Landis’ statement in his latest article Analysis: Why Syria’s Assad heads to Geneva from a position of strength (22 Jan 2014) ”rebel fighters… number well in excess of 100.000 by most […]

February 25th, 2014, 9:54 am


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