The US Must Supply anti-Aircraft Missiles to the Syrian Opposition

The US Must Supply anti-Aircraft Missiles to the Syrian Opposition
by Joshua Landis
October 22, 2012

The US government should tell Assad that he must launch serious negotiations for a transition government. If he does not, Western governments should supply opposition militias with ground to air missiles in sufficient numbers to bring down the Syrian air-force. Circumstantial evidence suggests that US officials in Libya may already have been working to facilitate the transfer of portable heat-seeking missiles—the bulk of them SA-7s—from Libya to Syria.

As soon as the elections are over in the US, Washington should redouble its efforts at changing the balance of power in Syria, if Assad does not begin to form a transitional government in earnest.  He must come to terms with the most powerful rebel leaders or see his air force neutralized.

Lakhdar Brahimi of the UN should be empowered to monitor and report on these negotiations, judging if they are sincere.

Assad should be encouraged to work toward some sort of agreement comparable to the Taif Agreement — or National Reconciliation Accord — that ended the Lebanese civil war. It may be impossible to get the Sunni militias to accept such a solution, particularly as they remain so divided. All the same it is worth trying.

It is unclear whether Assad will chose to fall back to the Alawite Mountains, where he can may struggle to protect Alawites from uncontrolled retribution, but where his capacity to damage to the rest of Syria is severely limited.

Assad has no possibility of regaining control of Syria. He does not have soldiers enough to retake lost cities. But he insists on using his air force to destroy what remains of rebel held towns. This is senseless destruction. He has no hope of recapturing them. It should be stopped. He has been carrying out a scorched earth policy that is killing thousands, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, and destroying Syria’s precious architectural heritage.

I have long resisted supporting US intervention, believing that the US should refuse to get sucked into Syria. It cannot determine what is fair. No one truly understands the “real” Syria today, as Syrians are only beginning to emerge from 40 years of sever authoritarianism that stopped politics in its tracks. What new social forces will emerge in the coming years is impossible to determine. Most importantly, the opposition has been too fragmented to replace the Syrian Army as a source of stability and security. Syrians need to find their own way forward and to create a new balance among the sects and regions. Decapitating the regime too suddenly, I believe, would likely result in a number of unhappy endings: a massacre of the Alawites, a civil war among militias that could bring even greater suffering, or a melt-down of security as happened in Iraq.

The various Syrian factions have to find a new equilibrium, which would not happen with an overpowering US intervention. Even one limited to the use of American air power, such as that carried out in Libya, could be too much force, used too quickly.

The supply of portable heat-seeking missiles, however, seems to be increasingly justified. US politicians fear that elements of the Syrian opposition may misuse ground to air missiles, but surely they cannot be misused more than are Assad’s jets and helicopters. Assad’s air superiority combined with his inability to rule Syria, is causing endless misery. Air power is so destructive that it should be denied to both sides. Fewer people would be killed and a new balance would emerge as an expression of regional forces.

Assad and his increasingly Alawite manned army can no longer control Aleppo and Damascus, which are overwhelmingly Sunni. Assad may not even be able to defend the Alawite Mountains from the growing strength of Sunni militias. The fate of the Alawite region is likely to depend on whether Sunni forces can unify — an eventuality that is not assured. The US should stay out of the struggle to define the internal arrangement of Syrian factions. Who knows how Syria will look when the fighting is over? Will the Kurds gain independence or a large measure of autonomy? How will the Alawite Territory be connected to Syria? Will the city of Latakia become an Alawite or Sunni dominated city? Will the government in Damascus hold central power as firmly in its hands as it has over the last 50 years? Or will Syria find unity in a larger measure of federalism? One can change views on these questions every day — the outcome depends on decisions yet to be made by Syria’s many leaders — but it seems clear that the Syrian air force has simply become an instrument of destruction. The day of reckoning for Alawites and for Syrians at large is only being put off by the lopsided use of air power. The US has already played a decisive role in tipping the balance of power in Syria against the Assad regime. It is time to help the Syrian opposition stop the government use of air-power.


Aleppo May Be Soon to Fall into Rebel Hands — Notes from an Aleppine friend

One of My wife’s sisters lives in Abu Dhabi. Her apartment in the Sabeel area of Aleppo was taken over this morning. Homeless people found out it was empty. They broke the lock and made it their home.

I sent Zaki the driver I use to the house. An elderly woman and a child were inside the house. He said if I offer you money would you leave? How much the lady asked, while the driver had the apartment owner in Abu Dhabi on the line. The offer came at 10 k Syrian pounds [$150]. Shockingly the lady took the offer and left the house. Man oh man. This just happened 5 minutes ago.

The driver just called me. He went with three armed men he rang the bell. He said this is my house. He paid the three armed men 5k too. He said when free Syrian army moved into his neighborhood in Bustan al Basha he called authorities and pleaded with them to come and clean the area up from the Free Syrian Army. They kept saying, “Yes, we know.” After a few weeks they came with planes. He had to leave the house with his kids. He called me to ask if he could stay in an empty office I have. He has been living there for the past two months.

After speaking to contacts in Aleppo, I think that the regime will have a very difficult time taking back the city now. The battle lines have tipped in favor of the rebels if you look at the map of the city. There are only one or two key regime holdouts before the city falls totally under their control….

[An update sent 24 hours later] One of my relatives was kidnapped this morning from Syrian Jdide area (super safe untill now). Five armed guys took him away while his driver was waiting for him outside. They scared the driver away and snatched him. He is on medications. They called his son, a doctor, and told him that they had bought him the proper medications and that he was taking them. An hour later they called demanding SYP 15 million.

The whole family is crying.

This video explains to what level Syria has arrived. Syrian soldiers threaten to beat a young man as they make him chant that he loves Bashar and accepts him as God. They smile among themselves in self affirmation and mirth, as they terrify the teenager. He is cowering blindfolded against a wall. Bashar al-Assad claims his soldiers are fighting “fundamentalists” even as they impose their religion of al-Assad on terrified Syrians. The Salafis cannot be worse. This sort of video has become a trope. They have popped up with terrifying regularity since the first months of the revolution and express the ideological endgame of the regime. Assad is God

How US Ambassador Chris Stevens May Have Been Linked To Jihadist Rebels In Syria
Michael Kelley
| Oct. 19, 2012, Business Insider

The official position is that the US has refused to allow heavy weapons into Syria. But there’s growing evidence that U.S. agents—particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens—were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels.

In March 2011 Stevens became the official U.S. liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan opposition, working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group—a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life.

In November 2011 The Telegraph reported that Belhadj, acting as head of the Tripoli Military Council, “met with Free Syrian Army [FSA] leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey” in an effort by the new Libyan government to provide money and weapons to the growing insurgency in Syria.

Last month The Times of London reported that a Libyan ship “carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria … has docked in Turkey.” The shipment reportedly weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

Those heavy weapons are most likely from Muammar Gaddafi’s stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles—the bulk of them SA-7s—that the Libyan leader obtained from the former Eastern bloc. Reuters reports that Syrian rebels have been using those heavy weapons to shoot down Syrian helicopters and fighter jets.

The ship’s captain was “a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organization called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support,” which was presumably established by the new government.

That means that Ambassador Stevens had only one person—Belhadj—between himself and the Benghazi man who brought heavy weapons to Syria.

Furthermore, we know that jihadists are the best fighters in the Syrian opposition, but where did they come from?

Last week The Telegraph reported that a FSA commander called them “Libyans” when he explained that the FSA doesn’t “want these extremist people here.”

And if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey—a deal brokered by Stevens’ primary Libyan contact during the Libyan revolution—then the governments of Turkey and the U.S. surely knew about it.

Furthermore there was a CIA post in Benghazi, located 1.2 miles from the U.S. consulate, used as “a base for, among other things, collecting information on the proliferation of weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, including surface-to-air missiles” … and that its security features “were more advanced than those at rented villa where Stevens died.”

And we know that the CIA has been funneling weapons to the rebels in southern Turkey. The question is whether the CIA has been involved in handing out the heavy weapons from Libya.

In any case, the connection between Benghazi and the rise of jihadists in Syria is stronger than has been officially acknowledged.

Among the Snipers of Aleppo
By BENJAMIN HALL, October 18, 2012, Nwe York Times
Antakya, Turkey

IN the Syrian city of Aleppo, there are neighborhoods that are almost entirely abandoned; blocks of buildings with their facades blown off, apartments open to the street; and other buildings, intact but empty, their curtains billowing out the windows. Broken water pipes have turned roads into debris-clogged rivers. And tribes of cats stalk around like predators; every now and then you pass one lying dead on the ground, its body torn apart by sniper fire.

The snipers, both rebel and regime, are everywhere. The MIG jets are always overhead, and shelling continues day and night. You cannot escape the smell of dead bodies, and it feels as if it is only a matter of time before you are hit, too.

This is life on the ground for the remaining residents of Aleppo. With only this in mind, it is easy to argue that the West should intervene — arm the rebels, help them overthrow the vicious rule of the Assads, and try to create something good from the chaos. After all, the rebels are outgunned, outsupplied and outfinanced. They are battling a force that is aligned with Iran and Hezbollah, and one that commits daily atrocities.

And yet, all things considered, I can’t argue for intervention in Aleppo, or in the wider Syrian conflict.

For a few days in September, I was embedded with the Ahrar al-Sham, or Free Men, rebel faction in the city. These men are fierce and battle-hardened. They sit chatting or sleeping while shells fall all around, and seem nonchalant while lobbing homemade bombs into government compounds. Some taunt the enemy. Others seem almost excited to fire their guns — for them the conflict is jihad, a badge of honor. We sat with one rebel marksman as he followed government soldiers through his scope and laughed as he shot at them. “My throat is full of victims,” he said.

But every couple of streets in Aleppo is under the watch of a different brigade, and while they sometimes work together, they are just as often at odds. I have seen one brigade lay down covering fire to allow another group to retrieve the dead body of one of its fighters, only to see the same two factions scream at each other later in the day and refuse to cooperate in a battle that did not benefit them both. I have met some members of the Free Syria Army who prefer to enter Aleppo illegally rather than go through the gate held by the Northern Storm Brigade, a strict Islamist group under the umbrella of the F.S.A. “They’re not our guys,” one explained.

In addition to great mistrust, there is a general lack of leadership. The opposition coalition in exile, the National Syrian Council, debates from Istanbul but gets no respect from the fighters on the ground. Last month, the leader of the F.S.A., Riad al-Assad, announced that he was moving his headquarters to Syria in an attempt to unify the different battalions under his watch, but rumors abound that he remains in Turkey. Other leaders who have tried to command respect are defectors from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and they are not often trusted.

Many of the rebels are fighting for a noble cause, and have no motive beyond protecting their homes and families. But it is hard to pick them apart from those who seek to take advantage of the chaos to transform Syria into a Shariah-based fundamentalist state. In Aleppo, I heard Salafi jihadists talk of slaying the minority Alawites, and call for both the immediate support of America, and its immediate demise. These extremist groups are getting weapons from Saudi Arabia and Qatar already; they are not groups that the West would choose to arm. Compared with them, it is not clear that Mr. Assad is the bigger foe.

It would be an error for the United States and the European Union to supply arms to the rebels or intervene on the ground. No one would be happier to see America mired in the country than Iran, which sees a chaotic Syria as the next best thing to an allied Syria.

The most the West can do is impose a no-fly zone under the auspices of NATO to ground the government’s air force. This would level the playing field, giving the rebels space to try to form a more unified leadership near the Turkish border, while preventing the slaughter of civilians and the destruction of more cities like Aleppo. Since the rebels took over an air defense base near the city last week, this seems to be an ever more feasible option. But it won’t be easy: no-fly zones are hugely expensive, and Syria is no Libya; its air defense system is far more sophisticated.

And even with a no-fly zone, it’s hard to see a way out of this quagmire. Turkey has been in discussions with the rebels and the government about the possibility of beginning a peace process, but it seems unlikely at this point that the rebels will stop until they have taken Damascus.

So for all the horrors on the ground, it seems almost impossible that the United States and Europe can do much to help while the future is so blurred and so bleak. As President Bill Clinton once said, “Where our values and our interests are at stake, and where we can make a difference, we must act.”

Despite what I have witnessed, I am not convinced we can in Syria.

Benjamin Hall is a freelance journalist who writes on conflict and the Middle East.

Military intervention in Syria: Time to act
OUR foreign editor explains why, despite the huge risks involved, the time has come for the West and the Arabs to intervene in Syria
Oct 20th 2012 | Economist


Turkey calls on major powers to intervene in Syria
19 Oct 2012 , The Guardian

Turkey has called on the US, Britain and other leading countries to take immediate action to intervene in Syria to prevent a looming humanitarian “disaster” that it says threatens the lives of millions of internally displaced people and refugees as winter approaches and could soon ignite a region-wide conflagration. Appealing to the […]

A Syrian preacher: The charm of telesalafism
An influential rebel preacher who needs to tone things down
Oct 20th 2012 | BEIRUT | Economist

NOT so long ago, Sheikh Adnan al-Arour seemed like a gift to the Syrian regime. Keen to discredit the peaceful protesters who came out in March 2011, state media portrayed the grey-bearded preacher, an exiled dissident whose fiery blasts beam across two Saudi-owned Salafist satellite channels, as a bigoted ghoul.

Especially damning was footage in which the sheikh rose, shook a warning finger at the camera and vowed to “grind the flesh” of pro-regime Alawites and “feed it to the dogs”. The government gleefully dubbed its foes “Araeer”, a taunting plural form of Mr Arour’s name, insinuating they were just nasty Sunni chauvinists out to destroy Syria’s multi-sectarian harmony.

But as Syria’s misery has ground on, sectarian fault lines have inexorably widened. Mr Arour’s views, once widely dismissed as extreme, now look closer to the mainstream, at least among the three-quarters of Syrians who are Sunni Muslims.The sheikh’s recent return to the rebel-held swathe of northern Syria, where he starred at a rare gathering of commanders from rebel military councils, showed how popular he is among the fighters. Yet it is not just the surge in religiosity among Syrian Sunnis that gives him his cachet. Mr Arour has been a vociferous and effective fund-raiser in the Gulf.

Rather than back the most extreme of the groups, Mr Arour has now paired up with Mustafa Sheikh, a secular-leaning leader of the Free Syrian Army, and has spoken of a need to channel funding through military councils in order to reduce rivalry among the myriad rebel groups. Criticising the involvement of foreign jihadists, he has also denounced suicide-bombings as criminal. And it has been claimed that his blood-curdling video threat to Alawites, who comprise the core of the Assad regime’s support, is often taken out of context, since he directed his meat-grinder rant only at those Alawites who were actively suppressing the revolt; any of them who stayed neutral, he insisted, should be protected as equal citizens. Reassuring?

Syria’s Salafists: Getting stronger?
Salafists are on the rise but have not dominated the opposition—so far
Oct 20th 2012 | ANTAKYA AND BEIRUT – Economist

….Salafists have been on the rise in Syria since the start of the year, when Jabhat al-Nusra (The Support Front) presented itself. The group, which sees Syria’s struggle as part of a global jihad, is the only one explicitly recognised by al-Qaeda. It marks itself out with suicide-bombings that often cause civilian casualties and has a slick media operation. With its forces on the front line in the raging battle for Aleppo, Syria’s second city, its impact is getting stronger.

Ahrar al-Sham (Freemen of Greater Syria) is another slightly more moderate Salafist network, operating mainly in the north-west province of Idleb. Like Jabhat al-Nusra, it wants to impose a strict Islamist state and sees the fight in Syria as a sectarian battle of Sunni Muslims versus Alawites, the esoteric Shia offshoot to which the Assads belong. The two groups’ numbers are probably relatively small. Whereas Mr Assad’s regime encouraged the flow of jihadists into Iraq to kill Americans after the invasion in 2003, it has generally stamped on extremists. But jihadists are a minority within the Salafist trend; most Salafists are of a milder bent.

“Rebel ranks are drawn disproportionately from poor, conservative areas where Salafism has resonance,” says Noah Bonsey, an author of a recent report by the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based lobby, on jihadists in Syria. He thinks the regime’s reliance on Alawite soldiers and on thugs known as the shabiha, as well as the support of Shia powers, including Iran and Hizbullah, a Lebanese Shia party-cum-militia, has helped to spread the Salafist idea that the uprising is really a struggle for Sunni dominance…..

2 Zarqawi cousins detained in Jordan after fighting in Syria
By Bill Roggio October 18, 201 Long Wars Journal

Two cousins of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the slain leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, were arrested by Jordanian security forces as they returned from waging jihad in Syria.

The two cousins, Zayed Sweiti and Firas Khalailah, were detained by Jordanian border guards after spending five months in Syria, Mohammad Shalabi, a Salafist who is also known as Abu Sayyaf, told AFP.

“A third jihadist, Mohammad Najmi, was also arrested with Sweiti and Khalailah. The three men decided to return to Jordan because there was no fighting against Syrian regime troops in the area the were in,” Shalabi told the news agency. “The intelligence department is currently interrogating them.”

The report of the capture of the three jihadists takes place as the US has stepped up support for the Jordanian government as the situation in neighboring Syria deteriorates…..

Al Nusrah backed by radical Jordanian cleric

The Al Nusrah Front has been backed by known radical Islamist clerics with ties to al Qaeda. In May, Abu Muhammad al Tahawi, a Salafist Jordanian cleric who has encouraged jihadists to fight in Iraq and elsewhere and who is close to Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi, Zarqawi’s mentor, released a statement backing Al Nusrah.

Al Tahawi’s lengthy statement, which is titled “Supporting the Victory of the Al Nusrah Front,” was posted on jihadist forums and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. In the statement, al Tahawi said that it was an obligation for Muslims to fight in Syria, and accused NATO, the UN, Arab regimes, and the media of backing Assad. He also praised suicide attacks, and said jihadists will expel the West, Israel, and Arab regimes from “Muslim lands.”

“The people who wrapped explosive belts around themselves, on their bellies, and
tore apart the idol of the era America and put its nose in the dirt of defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and very soon in the Levant, will put down the nose of the Nusayris [Alawhites], the daughter of Zionism, and extirpate them from the heart of Muslim land,” al Tahawi said….

Hezbollah Hedges Its Bets on Assad.”Thank you very much,Giorgio Cafiero
(650) 799-1080

Syria as dress rehearsal: Securing WMD in midst of civil war
By Bennett Ramberg OCTOBER 19, 2012

As Syria’s civil war spirals into mounting violence, the Assad regime’s chemical weapons stockpile is generating increased anxiety throughout the Middle East and beyond. Taking precautionary measures, the United States has reportedly placed 150 “planners and other specialists” in Jordan to work on contingencies — including the chemical weapons threat.

As odd as it may seem, however, we are lucky that Syria’s chemical stockpile marks Damascus’s most serious weapons of mass destruction risk. Had Israel not bombed the country’s weapons reactor in 2007, the embattled nation — and the rest of us – could have been staring at the globe’s first civil war with a nuclear dimension.

Consider the domestic and international panic that could ensue if rebel factions, terrorists, government insiders or looters in civil war got control of nu

Understanding the Situation in Syria
By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi & Oskar Svadkovskyon 7.19.12
Minority numbers aren’t adding up for Bashar Assad’s defenses.

It’s become an article of faith among policy makers and analysts in the West that Syria is a nation of minorities. Various sources put the share of non-Sunni Muslim minorities at around one quarter of the population. These minorities are believed to constitute the bulk of the support base of the Syrian regime. Some ventured as far as to suggest that the regime was deliberately stoking sectarian tensions with the massacres in Houla and Qubeir in order to consolidate its minority support base.

The commonly accepted percentages of Syrian minorities are: Alawites and Shia — 13%, Christians — 10%, and Druze — 3%. Syria, however, does not collect or publish data related to the sectarian composition of its population and trying to track the origin of common estimates usually leads nowhere.

For example, all observers commenting on Syria believe that Syrian Druze live primarily in Jabal al Druze and constitute 3% of the Syrian population. This claim, however, does not square with the results of Syria’s last population census. According to the census, in 2004 the population of the province of Sweida, where Jabal al Druze is located, had only 313,231 inhabitants against 17,920,844 of the total population of Syria. This makes for 1.7% and not 3% of the population. On top of this,…

Syrian government airstrikes hit the opposition controlled town of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province killing at least 44 people and leaving massive destruction on Thursday. The opposition secured the town last week after intense fighting, and had begun providing basic services for residents. Maaret al-Numan is located on a strategic highway and supply route connecting Damascus and Aleppo. A missile hit a residential area, damaging four buildings, four homes, and a mosque. Over 20 children were reported to have been killed in the attack. The strike on Maaret al-Numan signals a shift of government tactics according to some analysts. Rather than trying to win back territory gained by the opposition and the “hearts of the people,” the regime is merely destroying and abandoning towns so that the population will resent the opposition.

Turkey and Egypt Seek Alliance Amid Upheaval of Arab Spring
By Tim Arango | The New York Times

Lebanon and Syria: The strife spreads
Oct 19th 2012, Economist
A bomb blast in Beirut kills eight people

Comments (231)

Visitor said:

“It makes sense to force Assad to fall back to the Alawite Mountains, where he can protect Alawites from potential slaughter and uncontrolled retribution, but where his capacity to damage to the rest of Syria is severely limited.”

No it does not make any sense at all!!!

What is Dr. Landis up to? Dividing Syria?

It ain’t gonna work. Will be fought with tooth and nail.

First. What makes Dr. Landis believe that the Alawites would want Assad as their protector?

Second, if the Alawites go along with an Assad (and that is a BIG IF), where will they retreat to? They cannot claim the coast for themselves. They are not even majorities in the coastal cities. Most of those who live in the coastal cities are actually newcomers who moved from the mountains since the 70s just like those who moved to Damascus.

Would the Alawites want to lock themselves up in the mountains?

I would say, most Alawites would want to stay in Syria.

Solution is for Assad and company to go – to the Hague in other words.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:50 am


Johannes de Silentio said:

Give the Rebels heat-seeking missiles? Zoo just dropped his tampon. VATTY just had an orgasm.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:55 am


Silent Bob said:

I didn’t know Mr. Landis worked at AlArabiya? seriously, Mr. Landis, your site is becoming nothing more than a breathless, desperate attempt to prop up AlQaeda rebels and show them to be on the verge of victory, even though realities on the ground in Syria and surrounding countries point to a totally different truth: the ‘revolt’ is gasping for life as it turns to crime and kidnappings to finance itself. So much for neutral, professional analysis.

I don’t know if you’ve received the memo, but it seems that this US administration is washing its hands from Syria, while Turkey, Qatar, and SA and their March 14 monkeys are fighting each other and falling apart. It’s just not going to happen the way you envision it, and I am willing to bet you on it.

October 22nd, 2012, 1:26 am


Juergen said:

This is how Assad deals with Al Qaida:

Syria releases the 7/7 ‘mastermind’
The alleged terrorist mastermind behind the July 7 London bombings is reported to have been freed from a Syrian jail by President Bashar Assad’s regime. Abu Musab al-Suri had been held in Syria for six years after being captured by the CIA in 2005 and transported to the country of his birth under its controversial extraordinary rendition programme.

But he is now said to have been released as a warning to the US and Britain about the consequences of turning their backs on President al-Assad’s regime as it tries to contain the uprising in the country.

October 22nd, 2012, 1:33 am


twisted mind said:

1. Visitor said:
No it does not make any sense at all!!!

What is Dr. Landis up to? Dividing Syria?
Sorry, but the articles of Mr Landis are getting more and more confusing.
Nothing else but the reflections of a twisted mind.

October 22nd, 2012, 1:37 am


Aldendeshe said:

The US government should tell Assad that he must launch serious negotiations for a transition government. If he does not, Western government can threaten to to supply opposition militias with ground to air missiles …heat-seeking missiles—the bulk of them SA-7s—from Libya to Syria.


Agree that President Assad must launch serious negotiation for reform and transition to new rule under his leadership without Baathist monopoly and terrorists on the round table. But SA7 are useless, various technologies around to defeat it when it become serious threat. Syria has some of it already in stock.

This demand and threat is useless. Assad will fight on no matter what. At this moment Assad will go for military victory no matter, militarily he will win. The only way to get him serious on negotiation is not with more bombastic threats, he will match it and stay put. Iran, Russia and China must convince him of doing that, and they will not unless the fire is ceased. He will not case fire first, he is after military victory. So the terrorists must cease fire first.

Then who is going to cough up the 400 billion needed to rebuild? Syria now has no incentive to negotiate unless someone promises to pay. Expanding the conflict regionally is now in Syria’s interest and keeping it expanding until it engulf others, regional or global war or someone walks in and pay up.

October 22nd, 2012, 1:42 am


Juergen said:

Dylan Connors great song for Syria, now in a video

October 22nd, 2012, 1:44 am


Syrian Natonalist Party said:

“……He must come to terms with the most powerful rebel leaders or see his air force neutralized….”

Who is going to do that, useless trinket SA-7 or NATO Strike? What about the 6000 tanks and 10,000 of surface to surface missiles. It is a war, now they are using precise weapons, when you deny that use, will resort to missiles with outcome of greater casualty and urban destruction.

October 22nd, 2012, 1:52 am


Syrialover said:

How much worse can it get?

Skip the heat seeking missiles. Get those latest mini drones out there.

Dealing with Assad is now like having to shoot a rabid dog.

Apart from the regime’s official atrocities, there’s the spreading brutalization and dehumanizing of people on both sides of the conflict.

That video of soldiers abusing a teenager and account of homeless people in Aleppo Joshua posted above are just tiny glimpses at the suffering of countless ordinary citizens.

Every day this drags on makes the task of human and material reconstruction of Syria even bigger.

The game’s over for Assad. He’s burned the country and is just spinning on empty.

October 22nd, 2012, 2:01 am


Aldendeshe said:

It makes sense to force Assad to fall back to the Alawite Mountains, where he can protect Alawites from potential slaughter and uncontrolled retribution, but where his capacity to damage to the rest of Syria is severely limited.

Landis losing his cool, getting frustrated, yelling nonsense. Who is going to protect the Syrian Sunni Majority, Christians and other 20 millions from Zionist backed genocidal Islamic terrorists if Assad forced to bolt to the mountain to protect the Alawites. He is married to Sunni, what is going to happen to the Homsi Akhras family. Just what make you think that the majority is not soon going to side with Assad and join his armed forces to protect themselves when they get a sense that he will lose or run to the mountain. They are on the side now because they think he got the upper hand and they are letting the terrorists squeeze him, but when the Islamic Terrorists gets stronger, it will not be like what they fancy, that they will join the mercenaries, they are going to fight alongside Assad when it gets to that point.

October 22nd, 2012, 2:04 am


Johannes de Silentio said:

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said it was likely that Assad’s government had a hand in Al-Hassan’s assassination. Fabius told Europe-1 radio that while it was not fully clear who was behind the attack, it was “probable” that Syria played a role.

“Everything suggests that it’s an extension of the Syrian tragedy,” he said.

October 22nd, 2012, 2:12 am


Aldendeshe said:

Assad has no possibility of regaining control of Syria. He does not have soldiers enough to retake lost cities.

That is his biggest mistake from the beginning. He failed to introduce serious (real) reforms that people can feel empowered on all levels and side with him rather than stay on the sideline. For as long as he does not the war will continue and expand, get more vicious. At the same time the Islamic terrorists and backers have the worst malignant intention for Syria and will refuse to stop and cease fire. After all, they won in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Syria, for the Jews is more important to win.

October 22nd, 2012, 2:13 am


Syrian Natonalist Party said:

I have long resisted supporting US intervention, believing that the US should refuse to get sucked into Syria.

The notion that Russia, Iran and China will just sit back and watch others come in to Syria and pull their game plan is beyond naive, it is on the silly side. A nasty civil war will wage for decades, financed by these countries. You see, the westerners, bought into the lies of the Islamist Terrorists, that the majority of Syrians (Sunni) will side with them, not true, they did not, and will not. They are not acceptable replacement to Assad, is not that obvious yet, If you to force them on the majority, there will be fight to no end. They are not acceptable to SNP and we will fight them and seek help from other countries then. They are simply genocidal war criminals.

October 22nd, 2012, 2:23 am


Syrialover said:


I respect your feelings and opinions on what should happen in Syria.

Your personal processing started earlier than many others pronouncing on the situation.

I think back to almost 18 months ago, when the conflict had only just started to smoulder. You recounted then how a young Alawi military officer in your wife’s family, a father of little children, had been senselessly and randomly shot by a sniper. It was not clear who had killed him or why.

I recall at the time it was shocking and moving to read. You described the impact on his immediate and extended family, their memories of him and bewildered grief.

How little we guessed what lay ahead! That this devastating experience would become so universal and routine. That tens of thousands of families across the country would go on to suffer the same, and worse.

So if you now say bring on the west’s heat seeking missiles and let the Alawites retreat to safety in the mountains, I know this comes after being on the long terrible journey, every day of it.

October 22nd, 2012, 3:08 am


Jarthouma said:

I really wonder why America is so concerned about so called advanced weapons getting into rebel hands.

The Assadist cult is using training jets because the majority of its MIGs cannot be used to bomb cities. In other words a cheap shoulder missle that is useless against more advanced planes would do just fine. Helicopters are about to be defunct in the next 6 months anyway because of the number knocked down. Interestingly another major factor is the consistent stream of basic ammunition. It is coming in random spurts and that is making coordination difficult

This so called American fear is an excuse to let them battle it out with minimum intervention at the cost of the Syrians. It then can come in with significant pressure to influence what is left of Syria.

One concern it should be worried about is the chaotic nature of the situation. The regime will soon be in no position to hold onto stockpiles of chemical weapons and then they could give to Iran and Hizb al Shaytan with the last scream of defiance.

October 22nd, 2012, 4:27 am


Albo said:

More than often, US foreign policy is draped in humanitarian concerns yet a closer observation shows that it is much more realistic than idealistic. We all know that the US is closely allied with several dictatorships in the world.

Humanitarianism is often used as a way to score points within the public opinion and to shame your geopolitical enemies. But it is in no way a guideline of US foreign policy, and much less when it collides with naked and cold interests, rhetorics notwithstanding.

The coast had officially less than 2 millions inhabitants in the two governorates, but with the refugees its population has certainly increased and its demographic make-up changed. Short of an independence, JL is describing an increasing autonomy in his scenario. Both the coastal and northeastern autonomies will reinforce each other, sealing the fate of any central power in Syria. The consequences are dire for the whole region, gains made by US regional allies against their enemies would be offset by their domestic losses: their oppressed groups will take Syrians as an example, weapons and militants will be disseminated, economic exchanges curbed.

To prevent that, you need an invasion by an overwhelming power or coalition. But competing regional powers won’t allow it and will get in as well, in one way or another. So you get a regional war, or worse.

This is why the West, deep down unconcerned by humanitarian motives, hasn’t much options.

Of course giving them anti-air as JL advocates is a very dangerous move from the standpoint of US politicians, beyond the caveats mentioned above. Where their priorities lie, between western citizens in civilian aircrafts and Syrian casualties, is pretty clear and any blowback in the future would cost them very dearly.
Besides, they must have reckoned that, absent aircrafts, artillery would be used which is more indscriminate, cheaper and deadlier.

October 22nd, 2012, 5:22 am


Syrialover said:

Assad, desperate and dangerous, is trying to blast Lebanon into assisting him.

This article also says Assad threatened that the Middle East would burn if things in Syria didn’t go his way.

Article: Beirut killing risks Middle East conflict


Prominent anti-Syrian politicians in Beirut have been under self-imposed house arrest for months, fearful of the Damascus regime staging an assassination to draw Lebanon into its own mayhem. In the end, it was the man who watched over them who was blown up, a killing with possibly more devastating effect.

As one of those homebound politicians, Walid Jumblatt, said, Wissam al-Hassan, killed on Friday, was “our protector”. He was head of the intelligence agency in the internal security forces.

It is, of course, impossible to know for sure who was responsible for the blast… But even Najib Mikati, the Lebanese prime minister whose family is close to Damascus and whose government is backed by Syrian allies in Beirut, suggested that the killing was linked to Hassan’s uncovering in August of a Syrian plot to stage terrorist attacks in Lebanon.

Analysts always expected, however, that, as pressure mounted on Mr Assad, his regime would try to widen the conflict. The Syrian leader, who sees the revolt as a conspiracy by western and Gulf powers, said a year ago the Middle East would burn if Syria unravelled.

What’s more, the Assad dynasty’s way has been to meddle in neighbouring states, creating crises then offering to resolve them in return for concessions. No one knows this better than Lebanon.

Despite an official policy of “dissociation” from Syria, Lebanon is deeply involved in its neighbour’s conflict. Hizbollah help Mr Assad’s forces, while parts of the Sunni-led opposition help to supply finance and weapons to rebels.

The Syrian regime, however, wants Lebanon to be firmly on its side.

“Domestically, he [Mr Assad] has no solution. His only way out is for neighbouring states to strangle the rebellion for him. His message [to Turkey and Lebanon] is: ‘don’t let weapons flow to the rebels and leave them to me’,” says Samir al-Taqi, a former Syrian government adviser who runs a Dubai-based think-tank.

As the neighbours are discovering, a desperate Mr Assad is also a more dangerous enemy, to his own people and to the region.

October 22nd, 2012, 7:48 am


Ales said:

Mr. Landis,

please bookmark this post, you will live to see one of two things:
– failure of your predictions.
– chaos and bloodshed much worse than so far, resulting from increased militarization and eventual rebel victory.

As for predictions, they are quite naive. Assad must come to terms with rebels after antiaircraft missiles are deliver? There was one side willing to talk until now and that was not rebels. Will they want to talk after getting more weapons and support? No, they will continue as do now, with a goal of settling score at the end for ever. Who will stop them? After that is done, you, West governments and news media will blame rebels anD Assad…anyone except themselves.

In a way, your situation is quite difficult. If you were seen as Assad supporter, demonstrations will be scheduled before workplace, your job will be in danger and maybe your life too. Do you not believe it? Check
Much easier to change your view…just like mentioned dr. Chebabi did and he lives on in peace.

October 22nd, 2012, 8:02 am


Syrialover said:

ALES #16,

I don’t think Joshua Landis is making predictions as you claim.

I’m intrigued that you insist that Assad was willing to talk. What do you know that the rest of the world doesn’t?

As for anti-Assad demonstrators targeting his supporters overseas, I haven’t heard of them doing much to parade their public disapproval for example of Bashar’s spin mistress Sheherazade Jaafari, Bashar’s father-in-law (who advised him on how to lie about media reports)and Bashar’s uncle war criminal Rifaat Assad and his oily son Ribal who are living the high life on stolen Syrian assets.

Joshua Landis would be very far down their list – and in fact not on it at all, he’s said so many unkind and questioning things about Bashar Assad on this blog.

October 22nd, 2012, 8:25 am


Citizen said:

Jordanian soldier killed in clash with militants at Syrian border
A Jordanian soldier has been reportedly killed at the Syrian border in clashes with armed militants. They tried to cross illegally into the neighboring country to join rebels, AP reported. The incident took place early Monday, Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah said. It was not clear if the militants were Jordanians or foreign fighters.

October 22nd, 2012, 8:30 am


Citizen said:

SL – enjoy watching !!!
Superpower is a well-executed and comprehensive film that asks tough questions and goes behind the scenes of America’s national security apparatus and military actions. Far from a conspiracy film about the dangers of government secrets and regime change, this well-balanced film straddles the philosophical divide and allows viewers to understand the US quest for global dominance through economic and military strategy that is exposed through review of historical events, personal interviews, and analysis of US foreign policy.

Should citizens trust that their government will keep them safe, a government that keeps secrets, and lies, in the name of national security? Does the simple act of withholding information lead to a world of eroding civil liberties and corruption? Superpower presents a view of US foreign policy, which lies in stark contrast to that depicted by corporate media, popular pundits, and US heads of state. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has emerged as the preeminent superpower of the world. Superpower illustrates how the United States has chosen to leverage that position to pursue a grand strategy which will ensure itself unilateral world domination through absolute economic and military superiority. It shows a consistent pattern of government deception.

October 22nd, 2012, 8:38 am


Jeff said:

Translation: The US Arms industries need to increase their profit.

October 22nd, 2012, 8:38 am


Syria (Shame) | jewish philosophy place said:

[…] posted the above last night. This morning I checked the “Syria Comment” blog by Joshua Landis. I don’t know much about Syria, but Landis does. He’s a […]

October 22nd, 2012, 8:41 am


VIEWPOINT: US Should Supply Syrian Opposition With Portable Heat-seeking Missiles | Middle East Voices said:

[…] This post was originally published under a similar headline on Syria Comment. […]

October 22nd, 2012, 8:50 am


zoo said:

A weapons hysteria apology to solve a political problem when egos are high.

It seems that the opposition supporters are in real despair to resort to call for more deadly weapons that would kill much more Syrians and would fall in the wrong hands. Remember Afghanistan. The disease has caught most opposition members. For them it is not about winning anymore, it is about saving one’s skin,, one’s face and one’s narrative at any cost, even by causing more destruction and more deaths to create an irreversible process.

If ambassador Stevens was behind the shipment of weapons to Syria that killed scores of Syrians and escalated the violence, then he is a criminal and he deserved his death in the hands of his “allies”, the Islamist militants.
Any entity that, instead of promoting unconditional negotiations with the present government, illegally send weapons to Syria ‘to protect’ the civilians are criminal and deserve to be judged. They will pay in a way of another. Sometime justice finds unusual paths.

I hope that the Obama administration is not fool or suicidal enough to execute what JL is hoping for but instead push for negotiations and early elections in Syria.

October 22nd, 2012, 8:55 am


Tara said:

Providing shoulder to air missiles to neutralize the regime’s air power that is destroying cities and killing scores of civilians, woman and children is the only way to force Assad Killing Machine Inc. to cede power to a transitional government that will treat every one equally. I join JL’s call for providing such weapons.. We do not want foreign boots. We want equal footing in military power so a meaningful peace in Syria can be achieved.

October 22nd, 2012, 9:09 am


zoo said:

#18 Citizen

Jordan and Lebanon are the weakest links. Will they matter?

The King of Jordan understood that if Bashar Al Assad falls , it will give such a boost to the islamists that he and the Gulf countries will be next. That’s why he is now trying to stop the flows of rebels and weapons through the borders and do not call anymore for Bashar al Assad to resign, quite the contrary.

Being direct neighbors and weak Jordan and Lebanon are the next governments to be threatened by chaos. They are the weakest links. If Bashar al Assad falls, Jordan and Lebanon will fall into a chaos.

This is why the resilience of the Syrian government is, in a way, weakening and containing the Islamist wave that may otherwise overrun Jordan and Lebanon.
The Gulf countries who do not feel seriously threatened by islamists ( except the UAE) are now faced with a choice. Either they persist in their efforts to topple Bashar al Assad at the risk of seing Jordan and Lebanon collapse, or they find a negotiation ground to stop the violence.
This is why I think the USA under Obama, in order to save Jordan and the Gulf from looming violence will not send more weapons but rather use stick and carrot on both parties to reach a dialog even if Bashar Al Assad stays temporarily in power.
By December we will know..

October 22nd, 2012, 9:22 am


zoo said:


“We do not want foreign boots”.. God no! Just foreign weapons so only Syrians are killed..

October 22nd, 2012, 9:24 am


zoo said:

Ben Walid killing now on Youtube: Where is the UN and Navy Pillay?

Children killed or mutilated in shelling – evidence from besieged city

Several graphic clips published on YouTube claim to show dreadful consequences of the recent shelling in Bani Walid.

Plumes of white and black smoke can be seen rising all over the town and sporadic gunfire can be heard in one of the videos dated Friday. Shells hit civilian buildings. Inside one such house there are patches of blood across what appears to be the living room, while the whole house is strewn with rubble and dust, gaping holes in the walls.

Another video, allegedly from Bani Walid, claims to show victims of shelling. A 13-year-old boy killed in a blast is among them, his arm torn away. The caption reads: “Killed Oct 19 by ‘Misrata gang’ bombing.” The camera shifts to another kid – his face and right arm severely burnt, allegedly in the same shelling, and his left foot missing.

A man whose family is currently in Bani Walid confirmed to RT the authenticity of the footage and sent more evidence. One of the photos shows the body of a girl under 10 years old, who died on Saturday following a bombing by Misrata forces.

October 22nd, 2012, 9:42 am


Tara said:


About 200 Syrians are killed every day by Assad’s bombardment and massacres. Don’t they count? It is logic that neutralizing his air capabilities will save lives and cities. Look around…Syria is burning and unless this regime is neutralized, it will be destroyed. Now the revolution is not going to stop. Too much blood spilled for people to be subdued. And Assad is not going to stop till he uses the last man and the last fighting jet. Should the country be left burning and its people annihilated for the one man. I agree sudden shift in power may bring chaos, but balancing of power will lead to orderly transition where the two sides have no other way to settle. It is delusional to think that negotiation and reform can occur if there is no balance of power.

October 22nd, 2012, 9:45 am


Visitor said:

The Zoo@23 spake thusly,

“A weapons hysteria apology to solve a political problem when egos are high.”

I am not sure whether to laugh or…. laugh!!!

October 22nd, 2012, 9:46 am


Mjabali said:

Syrians from all parties need a political solution and not a military one.

Heat seeking missiles will force al-Assad to use other means to bomb. Them the next step is to give the opposition tanks and heavy artillery.

Escalating the violence is good for no one. Only political solutions can make any real difference.

October 22nd, 2012, 10:02 am


zoo said:

#28 Tara

That’s not “balancing the power”, that is calling for escalation of violence as the Syrian government will radicalise even further. We don’t hear much about defections anymore.

The 200 killed per day are mostly rebels. That’s why they are calling for help as they are gradually being decimated. If this continues, there will be soon nobody left to enter into a negotiation.

October 22nd, 2012, 10:04 am


zoo said:

Hyenas always laugh in front of dead bodies.

October 22nd, 2012, 10:05 am


Tara said:


The 200 killed every day are not rebels. I tried to show you…many times…you refused to see… They are elderly, women, and children.

Why can’t you admit that the one who hold the military supremacy will not submit to true negotiating, dialogue, and transition? It is a known fact.

October 22nd, 2012, 10:14 am


Visitor said:

The Zoo@32 Spake Thusly,

“Hyenas always laugh in front of dead bodies.”

Know thyself.

The Zoo knows what hyenas do best – they always laugh in front of dead bodies.

Zoo has been laughing in front of dead bodies on this site for as far as I can remember.

Therefore, Zoo knows himself and knows it very well. Zoo acts like a hyena, lives like a hyena, eats like a hyena, barks like a hyena and most importantly laughs like a hyena. Zoo IS A HYENA.

October 22nd, 2012, 10:22 am


Albo said:

For those who have short memories, Americans have a long history of not helping people who counted on them, notably the shi’a majority in Iraq after the first Gulf War

That took place while the West was at war and in frontal opposition to Saddam, and was encouraging the population to rise up. The extremely heavy casualties didn’t change anything for the shi’as as the US chose to let them get slaughtered, while their troops were very close and could sometimes watch the events. The southern no-fly zone came largely after the bulk of the massacres were carried out. Afterwards we had the very harsh economic sanctions that led to the death of up to 500 000 children.

That’s the kind of things the US let happen, but still so many Syrians want to be naive and starry-eyed when Uncle Sam suddenly proclaims he’s their friend.

October 22nd, 2012, 10:53 am


The U.S. must supply anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian opposition — War in Context said:

[…] News Sources on October 22, 2012 Joshua Landis writes: The US government should tell Assad that he must launch serious negotiations for a transition […]

October 22nd, 2012, 11:12 am


Visitor said:

Why did Dr. Landis suddenly have this change of heart?
The US Must Supply Anti-Aircraft Missiles to The Syrian Opposition

Is Dr. Landis just going with the flow, trying not to miss the train? Is his real thesis to divide Syria by giving in to a foregone conclusion? We know that the FSA is getting Anti-Aircraft missiles from reliable sources. We know they recently received over 100 Stinger missiles from non-American sources.

Perhaps, the Syrian opposition does not need the US and its so-called hurtful help. The US would do us a great favor by just staying away, saying nothing and leave those who are willing to help do their job. But, either way the missiles will come and the revolution would destroy the evil regime without owing any favors to the US, whether under Obama or Romney. Mrs. Clinton has done eneough damage to the Syrian people that she should feel ashamed of herself.

“Helping to hurt

Tony Badran, October 18, 2012

A cartoon depicting Bashar al-Assad thumbing his nose at Turkey, while shells were fired from his fingers. (Al-Hayat)

Over the last two weeks, the Syrian regime has directed mortar and artillery fire at Turkish villages. The US ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone, might have stated, in response, that the United States stands behind its ally, Turkey, however it sees fit to protect itself. Instead, he confidently declared that Washington sees no possibility of war between Turkey and Syria. What the ambassador couched as a benign prediction was, in fact, an obvious instruction to Turkey.

Many have wondered whether the Assad regime’s shelling was meant to provoke Ankara. A cartoon in the daily al-Hayat depicted the Syrian president thumbing his nose at Turkey, while shells were fired from his fingers.

Assad’s aggression is an expression of his contempt not just for Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan but, in addition, the United States. He sees, on the one hand, Iran rallying all the members of its alliance network in the region (Hezbollah, Iraqi Shiite militants, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki) to prop him up and to isolate their common adversary, Turkey. On the other hand, Assad sees the US leaving its Turkish ally and the Syrian opposition alone in the cold.”

To read more:
Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished. For information on republishing rights from NOW Lebanon:

October 22nd, 2012, 11:12 am


Albo said:

30. MJABALI said:

Heat seeking missiles will force al-Assad to use other means to bomb. Them the next step is to give the opposition tanks and heavy artillery.”

That’s the logical conclusion I drew as well, and upon reading the UNHCR chronology of Iraq just a moment ago, here’s what I found in the mar 2, 1993 entry:
“Following the formation of the no fly zone, the army switched to long range artillery attacks. These attacks were often followed by ground assaults resulting in “heavy casualties” and widespread destruction of property. There are also allegations of mass executions.”,,MARP,,IRQ,,469f38a7c,0.html

How very surprising… so much for the brillant solutions devised to end our conflict, you are completely right only a political settlement can work.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:28 am


Mina said:

Then Iraq, now Iran and Syria, sanctions will only reach the population.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:28 am


Mjabali said:


Sooner or later both parties gonna use the multiple rocket launchers and artillery.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:39 am


Jasmine said:

Mina 38
“La situation est catastrophique pour le peuple iranien, mais pas pour les monarchies du Golfe qui voient disparaître avec un sourire complice leurs plus grand adversaire de la region.”
That is one of the reasons for the Syrian Chaos.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:45 am


Tara said:

The key is balancing of power first, then political solution. Without balancing of power, the powerful will not compromise despit his call for pseudo-dialogue.

When balance of power is present, then will know how much real support the one man has. Would the Alawis continue to support the one man holding onto the chair at the expense of their dead children? They are now..just because they see Bashar has the military supremacy but when he loses it, they will reconsider, and surely they would want a real dialogue..

October 22nd, 2012, 11:47 am


zoo said:

The ones who repeatedly laugh at dead people cannot hide. Their cynical laughs can be easily tracked on this site by doing a simple search.
Yet they pose as self-righteous deeply religious people and don’t stop giving moral and theological lessons to the “infidels” and the “heretics”

No religion in the world calls for laughing on dead people, whoever they are.
Only the hyenas on this site do that naturally.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:51 am


zoo said:

#41 Tara

Young and old men dying are as worth as women and children.

You repeated differentation of the victims on both side is becoming a cliche to stir more emotions and trigger a foreign intervention.

In a civil war, many innocent civilians are killed, their gender and their age are irrelevant.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:59 am


zoo said:


Where did you read the 200 victims a day are elderly, children and women? In a Aljazeera or Al Arabya? Activist declaration?
What I read in less biased media is that most of the killed are either soldiers or rebels militants. Most civilians in exposed villages and towns have fled to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:07 pm


Albo said:

It will be a bit more complicated, because the weapons willl have to be brought from a neighboring country, and in doing so they that country will signal it is openly at war with Syria.
All have sought to avoid this until now, and I think except Turkey none has an interest in it.. It was avoided so far not merely for fear of Syrian reprisals, but also because being illegally at war with a sovereign state harms them in many ways on the international stage.

Usually it’s lighter weapons that are provided, most of the time of the same soviet/russian type already existent in Syria so as to have plausible deniability. Other small weapons, they feign not to have spotted them, and blame foreign donors. But larger weapons are easier to track and have serial numbers, so absent international resolutions, they would be quite embarassed if caught smuggling them.

They also know very well that some would then feel justified in sending the same hardware to their own restive groups, I’m thinking of the Kurds and Turkey, so I think they are wary about opening the pandora box.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:11 pm


Visitor said:


The HYENA from the Zoo continues to bark – typical hyena display of character.

Hyenas run away full of fear and start barking once you show them the goad.

We are witnessing full fledged hyena behaviour complete with laughs on dead bodies, barks and cowardly fear of getting whipped made specially for you here at SC coming straignt from the Zoo.

We expect your GRAND HYENA IDOL to lend you a hand in barking and running out of fear in the very near future. Continue to tune in.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:14 pm


annie said:

At long last some hope of getting the real weapons so as to resist and shoot down Assad’s murderous planes.

So happy to read your comment, Josh.
Syria will be free and unite all of its children.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:16 pm


zoo said:

After France admitted Qatar as part of group of countries where french language is widely spread (the Francophonie), I have no more respect whatsoever for this country who sells its identity for oil gas and money.
What Fabius or Hollande say are stained with Qatar’s gas, they stink.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:18 pm


zoo said:


“Syria will be free and unite all of its “dead” children.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:19 pm


zoo said:

Turkey going Nuke with the help of France… not Germany or Japan

Turkey in 3rd nuke plant bid

France and the United States could bid to construct energy-hungry Turkey’s third nuclear power plant, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said, according to daily Milliyet.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:25 pm


Tara said:


I am not following. You have said most dead are rebels. I disagreed. Children and women are dying and they can’t possibly be rebels. They are the collateral damages of Assad suppressing the uprising against his rule. UN statistics indicate that most dead are civilians period. The world has the responsibility to protect. The devastation inflicted on the Syrian people are well known to those who want to see, and can’t possibly be shown to those who move their head the other way. Believing that Assad is now capable of dialogue, negotiation, and reform when he has the upper hand militarily is delusional. He can only be forced onto reform when his supporters turn against him and that will not happen until a balance of power is achieved, and this is a key to save Syria from the Abyss. This is not a civil war. This is a one way slaughter of Syrians by their dictator.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:27 pm


Albo said:

“This is not a civil war”

This is a civil war by every legal definition, and will be registered as such in history books.
For those who follow the accounts of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, they should know it’s counter-propaganda vs propaganda. Many civilians die, unfortunately, but these guys are cooking the numbers all the time, they often count the rebels as civilians in their tolls, and that’s when they aren’t completely made up.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:42 pm


Chuck Klaniecki said:

No one hopes for a rebel victory more than I do, but I would be reluctant to supply them with surface-to-air missiles. When they fall into the wrong hands (as I’m certain they eventually will) it’s just a matter of time before a passenger jet is brought down.

Perhaps there’s a better way of eliminating Assad’s air power.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:44 pm


Tara said:

This is a one way wholesale slaughter by Assad and his phalanges against the people of Syria. This is a one man show killing his people. Batta himself denies it as being a civil war.

It is only a civil war in a sense that a minority ruling sect is slaughtering majority Sunnis. The conscripts are in their barracks. The republican guards and the 4th brigade are doing the job. He just can’t trust the general military. I know that as a fact.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:51 pm


zoo said:

Like Jordan is preventing rebels and weapons to pass to/from Syria, Turkey worried of sectarian spillover on its land, is changing its attitude towards rebels fighters seeking asylum in Hatay..

(Reuters) – An influx of Syrians fleeing President Bashar al-Assad’s military onslaught is stoking tension in an area of Turkey known for religious tolerance and setting Turks who share the Syrian leader’s creed against their own government
“Does the Turkish government really think that everyone will like them when this is all over? Only when Assad is gone will the real war start,” said Aydin, an Alawite shopkeeper in Hatay’s provincial capital Antakya near the Syrian border.

“The government is playing a sectarian game here. They are trying to divide our community. Whether you were Sunni, Alawite or Christian never even mattered here before. To ask would even be a dishonor. But things are changing,” he said.

There are indications too of Turkey trying to distance itself from overt involvement in Syria’s armed rebellion.

A two-day meeting between Syrian rebel commanders due in Antakya last month was cancelled, rebels said, after objections from Turkish officials, who urged them to find another country.

The most prominent of the rebel factions, the Free Syrian Army, last month announced it had moved its leadership from Turkey to “liberated” areas in Syria, a move one Western diplomat said was a decision “obviously” motivated by Turkey.

Officials in Ankara have denied any change in policy.

But refugees in two border areas said Turkish soldiers were starting to block fighters from crossing over into Turkey. “They tell them, ‘Don’t bring your problems here, keep them over there’,” said Mustafa, a refugee in Hatay’s Yayladagi district, who used to frequently cross the porous frontier.

October 22nd, 2012, 12:52 pm


zoo said:

#53 Tara

For once you agree with Bashar al Assad?

October 22nd, 2012, 12:54 pm


Tara said:


I think Jumblat is much better looking than Bashar.

October 22nd, 2012, 1:01 pm


Albo said:

Miss Tara, you will agree that junior isn’t a very unbiased source for that matter….

October 22nd, 2012, 1:26 pm


Visitor said:

There is some new information about Al-Hassan assassination

The car used has been identified. It was stollen a year ago. There is a lead to the thief who stole it. There are several arrest warrants against him.

Also, some information about Al-Hassan’s recent itenary up to the time of the explosion.

October 22nd, 2012, 2:07 pm


Tara said:


You are calling the one and only Junior? How dare you?

You can call me Tara.

October 22nd, 2012, 2:25 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:


“This is not a civil war”

Sorry, but it’s a civil war. The fact that, right now, one side is outgunned does not alter that fact. But never fear. Things will change. These wars go through phases. The Rebels will get really cool weapons from somewhere and then they will ramp up the violence. It’s gonna be a LAST MAN STANDING deal. It’s forty years of insults and abuse spilling out into the light of day. Like one pre-Muslim ruler of Syria once said, “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.”

October 22nd, 2012, 2:27 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:

56. Tara

Jumblatt would win a Middle East ugly man contest hands down.

October 22nd, 2012, 2:29 pm


Citizen said:

NATO/ZioCons Restarting Cedar Revolution?
the “Clean Break” Report
“The encirclement of Syria and Lebanon has long been in the works. Since 2001, Washington and NATO have started the process of cordoning off Lebanon and Syria. The permanent NATO presence in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Syrian Accountability Act are part of this initiative. It appears that this roadmap is based on a 1996 Israeli document aimed at controlling Syria. The document’s name is A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.

The 1996 Israeli document, which included prominent U.S. policy figures as authors, calls for “rolling back Syria” in 2000 or afterward. The roadmap outlines pushing the Syrians out of Lebanon, diverting the attention of Damascus by using an anti-Syrian opposition in Lebanon, and then destabilizing Syria with the help of both Jordan and Turkey. This has all respectively occurred from 2005 to 2011. This is also why the anti-Syrian March 14 Alliance and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) were created in Lebanon.

As a first step towards all this the 1996 document even calls for the removal of President Saddam Hussein from power in Baghdad and even alludes to the balkanization of Iraq and forging a strategic regional alliance against Damascus that includes a Sunni Muslim Arab “Central Iraq.” The sectarian nature of this project is very obvious as are its ties to opposing a so-called “Shiite Crescent.” The roadmap seeks to foment sectarian divisions as a means of conquering Syria and creating a Shiite-Sunni rift that will oppose Iran and keep the Arab monarchs in power………..

October 22nd, 2012, 2:33 pm


Tara said:


No. I insist. The winner is Batta.

Are you trying to make nice with Zoo?

October 22nd, 2012, 2:40 pm


Syrialover said:


Look what you have done to ZOO.

October 22nd, 2012, 2:41 pm


Tara said:

Dear SL,

Zoo is not a hyena in my eyes.

October 22nd, 2012, 2:50 pm


Citizen said:

EU bans broadcast of Syrian TV channels on Hot Bird ! damn why the EU is waging war against the Syrians? Are Europeans believe that we’re going to listen to news of our country from the BBC or AFP?

October 22nd, 2012, 3:04 pm


Citizen said:

There are nearly 70 American nuclear bombs in Turkey
There are nearly 70 American B61 nuclear bombs in Turkey. All of them are deployed on the Turkish Incirlik Air Base, Adana.
Despite the factual presence of the US air bombs, the possibilities of using them are limited, the Haberturk Agency reported.

The greater part of these bombs is the property of the U.S. army, and Washington reserves the right to use them in case of need. Until 1995 from 10 to 20 B61 bombs were deployed on the two other air bases in the country but later all of them were transferred to the Incirlik Air Base.

October 22nd, 2012, 3:18 pm


Visitor said:

SL 64,

That is what happens to hyenas when they are goaded, of course after they bark for a while and make their merry-go-round laughter on dead bodies on the carousel of their circus Zoo. In their Zoo, they are almost like the circus clowns. The clown can sometimes climb up the walls, walk on many ropes, jump up and down but no matter what he does or says he is nothing but a miserable bewitched useless piece of hyena meat ready to be goaded anytime.

October 22nd, 2012, 3:20 pm


Citizen said:

The death toll from Syria’s uprising has reached 30,000, unofficial sources say. Fights continue in Homs and Aleppo, in opposition forces stage regular attacks in Damascus. An uprising which began with protesters chanting pro-democracy slogans is turning into a jihad. By supporting the Syrian opposition, the U.S., the EU and NATO did not imagine what price they would have to pay for bringing democracy to Syria.

October 22nd, 2012, 3:23 pm


Citizen said:

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
US Probes South Caucasus’ Attitude to Iran
Eric Rubin, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs, is touring Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia to promote democracy and cooperation and develop partnership on the issues of Syria and Iran.
The media in Azerbaijan reports that Rubin’s visit to Georgia focused on economic issues, civil freedoms and Nagorno-Karabakh.
The US Embassy in Armenia’s press service said Rubin would attend a meeting of the US-Armenian group on economic cooperation to discuss stimulating investment in energy and trade, as well as nuclear power.
The agenda for high-ranking Washington officials’ visits to the South Caucasus seldom varies, and this is not simply because Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia face largely similar problems, but also for ethical reasons. Washington wants to convince them that they are all equal partners. Therefore, if Rubin talked about Iran in Georgia, he did or will do the same in the other two South Caucasus states.
“During the meetings with the President and future Prime Minister of Georgia, we discussed the international community’s efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons,” Rubin told a press briefing at the US Embassy in Tbilisi as quoted by Azernews. “We are broadly cooperating over the Turkish-Syrian issue, and Georgia is called upon to play a peacekeeping role in the region.”
However, some Georgian experts believe that Rubin met with Mikheil Saakashvili and Bidzina Ivanishvili to probe Georgia’s attitude to Iran, where Washington will want Georgia to play a special role if the situation escalates.
Georgian politician Irina Sarishvili said before Rubin’s visit that many hospitals built in Georgia recently under a presidential program bear an alarming likeness to standard US military hospitals. Considering the speedy modernization and construction of airports for heavy transport planes and other infrastructure improvements, this could be more than straightforward concern for the Georgians.
Eric Rubin also said in Tbilisi, clearly referring to Russian bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia that “the US position regarding the obligations that Russia undertook in 2008 to withdraw its troops from the Georgian territory remain unchanged.” He said the US stance on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia is firm and clear.
Commenting on the recent parliamentary election, Rubin congratulated Ivanishvili on the victory and praised Saakashvili’s personal contribution to positive developments in Georgia. He said the world can see that democracy in Georgia is real, and that the country can become a model for the region.
Rubin also met with ministerial nominees, notably Irakly Alasania who is slated to become the Defense Minister. Alasania assured him that Georgia would honor its commitments in Afghanistan. In response, Rubin said that Washington would redouble its efforts to promote Georgia’s rapprochement with NATO.
The US official refused to comment on Ivanishvili’s plans to participate in the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. He said he was pleased with Saakashvili’s assurances that Georgia is committed to strengthening ties with Euro-Atlantic organizations and the United States, and to guaranteeing press freedom.

October 22nd, 2012, 3:42 pm


Syrialover said:


On Walid Jumblatt – people I know have been impressed at how sharp his mind is when they heard him give a speech and watched him in action close up.

Personality and brains, in other words.

Anyone out there heard the same thing said by those who have encountered Bashar Assad?

And Bashar is definitely uglier. That shrunken head and close-set eyes. Creeeepy.

October 22nd, 2012, 4:10 pm


Simon said:

I am disappointed that Joshua Landis has gone from a student studying Syria to proscribing violence against it. Is this what a man does with education? Speculates about who ought to be killed by whom in the interest of what agenda exactly? Destroying the country? Disgusting. And the Taif Accords are the opposite direction the region, let alone Syria, needs to go. From a real Syrian, you #Fail Landis. No matter how much we make you feel welcome, no matter who you married, you shall never be Syrian, so end your destructive obsession with our country and try to advocate in your own country for who should be bombed in the US in the interest of social justice, wealth redistribution, religion, freedom, dignity, or any other warped excuse. You are as bad as the Salafis and the militias who support Assad.

October 22nd, 2012, 4:22 pm


Syrialover said:


You acknowledge the death toll in Syria to be now at least 30,000.

But you doggedly place 100% of the blame on the USA, and keep trying to divert us from discussing Syria by telling us in detail what a dark and dirty force for evil America is.

Stripped down to its basic bones, your blame theory would put America as the main controller and supporter of Bashar Assad, the one responsible for the industrial-scale killing and destruction inside Syria.

Hey, what an insult to Iran and Russia, after all they have done for the guy.

(PS And if you don’t think badly of Bashar, but hate America, that theory puts you with a foot on two skateboards slipping in different directions. Ouch!)

October 22nd, 2012, 4:36 pm


Syrian said:

I skimmed through Sunday’s comments, I saw ZOO Attacking my spelling by saying that I have Dyslexia then he misspelled it him self calling me dyslexy, which was really funny
then he tried to insult me by calling me Opera , witch made me go in shock that he actually knows of her
I also saw all supporters talking about the bombing in Bab Toma. to them and especially to the guy in Guffran’s comment who said TOZ I put this section from a Syrian blogger piece

سمعانين ببحتة الش*اميط؟
ما ضل حدا اليوم الا انبحت… لوهلة فكرت تفجير باب توما اول تفجير بصير بسوريا من وقت ما ادم تعرف ع حوا… و يلي ماتو اليوم هنن اول مين بينقتلو بسوريا من بعد قابيل!
حسسوني انو عايشين بالجنة… مو ببلد صار مقتول فيها ٣٠ الف بني ادم و نصها صار مهبط عالارض!
لك تلحسو طي*زي ملا علاكين… و فوقها حيوانات! يلي ما سمعنا صوتهون صرلنا سنة و نص اليوم طلعو عم يبكو و يتباكو…انو خففو …ع حالكون شوي… ارحمو قلوبكون فكري…
..و على سيرة ذكريات باب توما..بتذكر امي كانت تقلي انو شحاطتها بتصير بني ادم و انا ما بصير… فيا شعب سوريا العظيم… يلي لليوم لحتى زعل او يلي اليوم شمت… شحاطة امي بتصير بني ادم و انتو لاء

October 22nd, 2012, 5:07 pm


Michal said:

I would also like to express support for delivering anti-air missiles. The regime has shown it can not utilise the air force meaningfully. Their accuracy is terrible and they have no regard for civilians. There is no doubt that this weapon increases civilian casualties through its sheer firepower, not just the nature of it’s use.

However, I do not believe it will make anyone come to the negotiation table. I intuitively sense that negotiations would be acceptable to many in the resistance, however even if they were willing to negotiate, there is no way for them to form a cohesive stance, let alone implement any agreement. The opposition is too fractured for that. Any ceasefire or negotiation result is for now, and will be, until the opposition solidifies, subject to whims of any single brigade or a terrorist cell.

@16. ALES. I absolutely resent your talk about how Assad supporters are supposedly victimised in the west. They should be shamed, no doubt. The public backlash is absolutely justified in view of their activities. If you like, you may start your own pressure campaigns against supporters of the revolution. Good luck with that. Only there already is the Syrian intelligence doing that for you – spying on opposition abroad and making threats against them and their families back in Syria.

October 22nd, 2012, 5:16 pm


Brad said:

Dr. Landis,

Ground to air missiles to the rebels supplied by West?…

What about when American/western missiles are used by rebels (many of whom have shown just as little regard for human life as Assad) to bring down civilian jet-liners?

Why must it be America that heads up a plan for what might little by little turn into yet another foreign quagmire which has little to do with American defense/best interest?

All of this also assumes that somehow the rebels are not as murderous as the Assad regime. Myriads of rebel car and suicide bombings in populated areas, which also take out women, children, and innocents, point to the uncomfortable reality that, should the regime fall, another tyranny would take its place.

Only yesterday, on a Sunday, did we see a bombing that took out many people in Christian Bab Tuma.

I too am sickened by the brutality of the murderous regime, but that doesn’t mean that the armed opposition Assad is trying to put down isn’t also murderous.

The world is fallen and sick. Suffering and murder exist in many places. America (and the west) is NOT the hand of divine providence in the world. We do not need to go around injecting missiles into a civil war.

R2P doctrine sounds nice and humanitarian, but often leads to more deaths on all sides!

October 22nd, 2012, 5:43 pm


zoo said:

The Moslem Brotherhood take over of the region with Qatar’s money.
Will Qataris become the new beauty canon for the Arabs?

Qatari visit hands Hamas major victory
By IBRAHIM BARZAK | Associated Press – 1 hr 13 mins ago

The first head of state to visit Hamas-controlled Gaza, the emir will deliver more than $250 million in aid, a move that will deepen the Islamic militant group’s control of Gaza and which reflects the rising influence of the Muslim Brotherhood across the region.

The Brotherhood now governs Egypt, and Islamic parties have made gains elsewhere in the region since last year’s popular revolts that became known as the Arab Spring. Qatar has been a key ally of the movement, which includes the Palestinian offshoot Hamas.

The visit by Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani comes over the deep reservations of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas ousted Abbas’ forces in Gaza during its June 2007 takeover of the territory, leaving the president in control only of the West Bank.

October 22nd, 2012, 5:46 pm


zoo said:

Some people have real problem writing in a state of furor.

I wonder what Oprah Winfrey will say when she’ll learn that some Syrian opposition supporter called her OPERA on a very popular blog.

October 22nd, 2012, 5:51 pm


zoo said:

Will Morsi make it to Christmas? Will Abdul Foutouh becomes the first sane Egyptian president?

Egypt prosecutor to probe election challenges
By SARAH EL DEEB | Associated Press –

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered Monday an investigation into allegations of irregularities and forgery in the presidential election, after the candidate who narrowly lost filed a complaint and said he remained in politics despite facing corruption charges.

Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood edged out Ahmed Shafiq to win Egypt’s highest office in the nation’s first freely contested presidential vote last summer. Shafiq left the country with his family to the United Arab Emirates soon after the results were announced, without explanation at the time. But he has since said he will continue his political career, pledging to return to Egypt soon and found a new party.

“For sure there was rigging (in the elections),” Shafiq told a private TV station late Sunday. “I had information that I was a winner. But by God’s will and people’s will, the decision turned out this way … I had no doubt there was forgery during the election process.”

October 22nd, 2012, 5:54 pm


Warren said:

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood: Terrorism in 1976-1982 Period

This video shows a compilation of articles between 1976 and 1982 regarding the Muslim Brotherhood acts of terror against the Syrian government and civilians. The parallel between those articles and what is happening today is eerie. The Muslim Brotherhood armed uprising is very similar to the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) terrorists killing and destroying in Syria since 2011.

October 22nd, 2012, 6:27 pm


Warren said:

French Muslims demand group ban after mosque attack

(Reuters) – The French Muslim Council (CFCM) urged the government on Monday to ban a far-right group that occupied a mosque on Saturday and issued a “declaration of war” against what it called the Islamisation of France.

CFCM President Mohammed Moussaoui said the Council also wanted better protection for mosques and Muslim cemeteries against racist attacks, which he said jumped sharply in 2011 and continued to rise this year.

Some 73 protesters from a movement called Identity Group seized a mosque in the western city of Poitiers on Saturday and unfurled a banner referring to Charles Martel’s historic defeat of advancing Muslim troops there in 732.


Here is the video of the incident.

Génération Identitaire met l’ambiance sur le toit de la future grande mosquée de Poitiers

La mosquée de Poitiers envahie par des militants d’extrême-droite

October 22nd, 2012, 6:35 pm


Warren said:

Turkey has jailed more journalists than Iran, Eritrea or China: watchdog

ISTANBUL — Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government has waged one of the world’s biggest crackdowns on press freedom in recent years, jailing more journalists than Iran, China or Eritrea, a leading media watchdog said on Monday.

The damning report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) added to a chorus of criticism from the European Union and rights groups of the EU-candidate country’s mass detention of reporters, most of whom are kept in detention while their cases are dealt with.

Around two-thirds were journalists writing about the largely Kurdish southeast, where the government is fighting a separatist rebellion.

October 22nd, 2012, 6:40 pm


habib said:

So Joshua Landis has finally lost it and bowed down to the pressure from his clueless American peers.

There’s a heavy price to pay for Americans of any profession who don’t follow the party line.

Bye bye Syriacomment. Hello Salaficomment.

October 22nd, 2012, 6:48 pm


Darryl said:

Dear Visitor,

Can you please tell me if Ibn Abbas, Abu Huraira, Al-Khulafaa al-rashidoun, the great general Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed etc etc used the internet resource you would like me to use or had scholars during those days?

They all understood Allah’s book without scholars or the internet reference. Why can’t you?

October 22nd, 2012, 7:19 pm


Majed97 said:

And the magical solution to Syria’s civil war is …. “The US Must Supply anti-Aircraft Missiles to the Syrian Opposition”…just like that… everyone comes to the table for a compromise feast and….problem is solved.

I would expect an expert opinion like that from a group like AIPAC.

Which of the 2,000 militias exactly should the US give advanced weapon to, Mr. Landis!?! And what in your expert military opinion should the US supply the 2,000 militias with next, after the Syrian regime and its allies up the ante and use even heavier weapons!?!

And in your expert legal opinion, which international law would be violated in supply weapon to destabilize a sovereign UN member country!?!

October 22nd, 2012, 7:57 pm


Visitor said:

Dear Darryl 82,

are you comparing your Qur’anic Arabic knowledge to those men?

At least I am not comparing mine to theirs

Can you decipher any one of المعلقات without resorting to an expert in that kind of Arabic.

Those men were companions and were experts in the language. They saw, witnessed and acted upon the revelations first hand. You and I are not.

The internet is nothing but a tool. When, you first started your inquiries on this site, I remember saying to you that I am not interested in turning this site into a Qur’an teaching venue. But you insisted and kept coming back. There are many Islamic institutions all over across North America that have some excellent resources and teachers that can help you. I am sure there is one or two near where you live, and I strongly recommend you explore that option.

October 22nd, 2012, 8:30 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Why not call the terrorists for what they in fact are. Jewelry market thives,rapists, sectarian separatists, kidnappers for ransom, artifact thieves, Alciada criminals, Mossad mercenaries…war criminals…Militias!! these have legal presedence and fight for the people, not fight the people. Militia is supported by the people and are protected and welcomed by the people, mercenaries are financially and militareli supported by the people enemies and protected by the enemies.

October 22nd, 2012, 8:40 pm


Darryl said:

My Dear Visitor,

You have really made my day as I am still laughing and will be laughing for sometime. The majority of the people who were around the Messenger were illiterate and yet they understood the qur’an better than you?

My dear Visitor, I will remind you to read Surat 15:1, 26:1, 27:1, 28:2. It appears you need to sharpen your mind!

October 22nd, 2012, 9:02 pm


Syrialover said:


OK, I sit here waiting.

What is YOUR “magical solution to Syria’s civil war”?

Are you saying there is no solution. That nobody should try anything to stop the total destruction of Syria.

And don’t bother making noises about “negotiation” with Bashar Assad. The opportunity came for him 100 times and he demonstrated he was not capable or interested in taking such a process seriously.

It simply isn’t in his DNA. And now it’s too late. After all that’s happened under his command he’s not a figure anyone could plausibly negotiate or work with.

So tell me, what is your plan for saving what’s left of Syria?

October 22nd, 2012, 9:11 pm


Syrialover said:


Perhaps while MAJED97 takes time to prepare his recommendations, how about you.

Do you have any suggestions on how we might save what’s left of Syria?

And perhaps you could also recommend an appropriate line for poor “clueless” Joshua Landis (read #12).

October 22nd, 2012, 9:21 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:


“Turkey has jailed more journalists than Iran, Eritrea or China”

Good. Freedom of the press is overrated. It’s an 18th century ideal that has outlived its usefulness.

October 22nd, 2012, 9:21 pm


Visitor said:

My Dearest Darryl 86,

In fact you are the one who made my day and will always laugh whenever I remember your latest most stupid of all comments?

What shall we call it? Mother of all stupid comments? That sounds very catchy and Saddamish!! Don’t you think?

What you have just revealed is how limitless yor ignorance can be. Do you know why? Because of the simple fact that you have made a clear statement about your total ignorance of Arab history.

For your information, the Arabs in those days would consider a child dullard and lacking in one of the most fundamental human faculties if by age of ten he/ she did not compose poetry. And they did not have schools to achieve that. They simply sent their kids to the desert as soon as they wee born in order for the kds to learn the language of the poets first hand and at early age.

I would rather you find a compatible ignorant parner to converse with him/her.
Now that latest comment of yours is considered the utmost in incompetency of comprehension, and therefore, it would trigger the response which I already warned you about: MY TIME IS TOO PRECIOUS TO WASTE ON YOU.

But again thanks for the laugh which I will remember for quite sometime.

October 22nd, 2012, 9:28 pm


zoo said:

It must come as a psychological shock to JL and the opposition as it appears that ‘plan’ may take years to get any result.

Obama and Romney unanimously agree on these points:

– Take a “leadership” to help the unification the opposition (taking over from France, Turkey and Qatar after’s failed attempts ?)
– Make sure this chosen opposition is friendly to the USA and Israel
– No heavy weapons to rebels
– Selective dispatch of help only to Syrians who are potentially friends to the USA AND to Israel
– No US involved in No-fly zone
– Bashar al Assad must go but no time frame..

October 22nd, 2012, 9:35 pm


zoo said:

Beside laughing like a kid for just anything, hyenas are pretentious and arrogant, they think they know better and that everyone else is an heretic, an infidel and above all stupid.

But they have one problem they are not aware of, they stink.

October 22nd, 2012, 9:42 pm


zoo said:

Qatar’s official visit to Gaza confirms Qatar siding on the Moslem Brotherhood versus the secular PA. A dangerous choice.
Analysts have called the visit a reward for Hamas’s decision last year to break ties with the Syrian regime of president Bashar Al Assad by dismantling its long-standing headquarters in Damascus.

They also described it as a setback for the group’s Palestinian rival, Fatah, which is headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas.

“We find it weird that the emir doesn’t support all of the Palestinians but sides with Hamas over the Palestinian Authority (in the West Bank) which he has never visited,” Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. “The emir has chosen his camp and it is not good”.

Read more:
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

October 22nd, 2012, 10:59 pm


zoo said:

Turkey’s Challenge and the Syrian Negotiation

October 16, 2012 | 0902 GMT
Turkey wants to avoid regime change in Syria, and it is not alone. Neither the states trying to retain influence in Syria, like Iran and Russia, nor the states trying to force a political transformation in the Levant, like Turkey, the United States, Saudi Arabia, France and Qatar, are prepared to weather the consequences of debaathification, which would dismantle the state machinery, sideline the Alawite minority and plunge the country more deeply into civil war.
A growing consensus centered on removing the al Assads while largely maintaining the regime has created an opportunity for dialogue between the United States and Turkey on one side and Russia and Iran on the other. Tehran and Moscow have used the monthslong stalemate in the Syrian conflict to edge their way into discussions over a post-al Assad government. The Russians and Iranians have positioned themselves for a possible agreement that facilitates an exit for the al Assads while requiring a prominent space for the Alawites in a new government, something that would preserve Russian and Iranian influence in Syria.

The urgency to negotiate the Syrian transition is escalating just as one of the key pillars Stratfor identified from the start of the conflict, the cohesion of the Alawites, appears to be breaking down. Recently, clashes have erupted between Alawite clans in the coastal Alawite strongholds of Latakia and Qardaha, the birthplace of former President Hafiz al Assad. Evidence also has emerged supporting claims that a handful of Alawite military officers have recently defected from the regime. Critical Alawite defections could accelerate in the coming weeks as fewer Alawites see the survival of the al Assads as necessary to their own survival.

As the al Assad clan continues to weaken, Turkey has sought to stitch together negotiations already fraught with complications. One look at the participants in the discussion over a post-al Assad Syria explains the difficulty.

Read more: Turkey’s Challenge and the Syrian Negotiation | Stratfor

October 22nd, 2012, 11:11 pm



“This is senseless destruction. He has no hope of recapturing them. It should be stopped. He has been carrying out a scorched earth policy that is killing thousands, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, and destroying Syria’s precious architectural heritage.”

Can’t agree more. Excellent post Prof. Landis. However, the worshippers of Bashar won’t like it.

As for the video showing Bashar’s thugs forcing a kid to say that there is no God but Bashar is a powerful video. It’s nothing new. We’ve known about this for a long time, since the Baath took over. It was Hafiz and now his son. Bashar claims to be a Muslim, yet he allows his henchmen to force people to commit blasphemy (not to mention the bombing and desecration of mosques and sacred symbols). This is what many people that were imprisoned during this revolution have experienced. So when people call Assad and his gang enemies of God, now you know why.

Bashar is not the first one to claim divinity or allow his henchmen to claim him as god. History has many examples and we all know how they ended.

We’re waiting for that time when we see the end of thins most barbaric creature.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:12 pm


zoo said:

After having failed to keep its influence in Tunisia and Libya where they are persona non grata, and failing now to obtain a political role in Syria, Qataris are now trying to lure Hamas away from Iran and Syria with cash and build itself the image of the benefactor.

Its failure is in a matter of months as it is directly antagonizing the US and Israel who consider Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Hamas has made the wrong choice to be exclusively under Qatar’s control and break its long and unconstrained relationship with Iran and Syria.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:16 pm


Syrialover said:

Here’s ZOO taking joy in sharing an insider’s description of you-know-what. (#92)

Things only those in that tribe would know.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:23 pm


Syrian said:

Assad days are numbered, both Obama and Romeny have said.
Because both knows that the voters (who are only remembered at election time) don’t want to hear about foreign issues at this time played down their real thinking about the issue,when it comes to foreign issues American national security trumps what the voter after the election thinks

October 22nd, 2012, 11:36 pm


Syrialover said:

If only the Qataris would sponsor Bashar Assad – there are a few sour grapes out there on that point (e.g. #96)

October 22nd, 2012, 11:37 pm


zoo said:

Oprah is now turning to National Geographic to make her points clear, because no one understand her babbles.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:37 pm


zoo said:

#98 Syrian

“Assad days are numbered”,
Oh yes, is the number 365 or more?

October 22nd, 2012, 11:39 pm


Syrian said:

You are so stupid about Oprah, I’ll take your insults as unintended compliment
I also notice that after I commented on ANN’s trip and she might had a good time, you became very agarrasive and the level of your comments go down sharply when she is around, so what is going in that office is there something you want to share, is there a love story happening here on SC?

October 22nd, 2012, 11:53 pm


zoo said:

Despite tensions, Turks against Syria intervention

Turkish politicians are fighting a war of words with Syria, but a new poll shows the country’s populace is dead-set against an intervention

A majority of Turkish people oppose any kind of intervention in war-torn Syria, a new survey has revealed despite rising tension between Ankara and Damascus governments.

October 22nd, 2012, 11:54 pm


zoo said:

US’ Damascus message to Turkey: Military intervention out of question

Also, the Middle East is the biggest quagmire in the world for the White House. It is complete madness to re-enter this region. Moreover, this chaos will continue for a number of years.

What will happen then? How will this issue be solved?

Nobody assumes that Bashar al-Assad would leave soon. He will leave sooner or later but it is not known when and how.

I talked to the team of Kofi Annan, who quit the mediator role in the U.N. They are sure that neither war nor mediation would solve the problem. They believe that the only way out is through a U.S.-Russia agreement.

A diplomat working with Kofi Annan said, “Putin is not happy with what Bashar al-Assad does and he knows he has to go, but he does not know what will happen afterward and also he does not want Washington to interfere in every country’s internal affairs. Because of this he is waiting for al-Assad to breakdown on his own.” The same diplomat stressed that the issue is now in the hands of superpowers, as if to say, “There is nothing you Turks can do in this matter, Do not overestimate yourselves, the train has left.”

October 22nd, 2012, 11:56 pm


Syrain said:

101 lover boy
We had to take the filth of your reigeme for 50 years if it take 50 Years to take it down is ok with the Syrians
It is either us or you

October 22nd, 2012, 11:59 pm


KDD said:

After an absence from commenting, I am compelled to weigh in on this one.

First of all, hats off to Dr. Landis for taking such a stance. The reason I say this is not because I agree with his analysis, it is because he does so at great personal risk.

I have watched over the months the senseless destruction of my country. We need to acknowledge that at this point, there is no backing down for either side in this conflict. Too many lives have been lost, much has been vested by many. Neither side will accept nothing short of victory.

In order for Assad to accomplish military victory, there will have to be tremendous further destruction of our country. He will have to establish a pogrom and national policy of mass arrests and punishment. It will need to be Hafez to the power of 4. That is the only way he could quite possibly restore his kingdom.

That is untenable at this point to anyone. Everyone will be swept up in this firestorm – just ask my neighbor in Damascus. He was strongly proRegime until his two sons were arrested and only released after payment of large sums.

Large swaths of Alleppo will be obliterated in the process of establishing security. This will be devastating.

This is the truth that those who continue to be entrenched with the regime. They know it, I know it, we all know it.

When we approach the question of – how can we at this point return to a semblance of normalcy in our country in the quickest fashion? It would undoubtedly have to be under a revolutionary victory. An Assad victory would entail a horribly black era. There would be no light at the end of that tunnel. There would be a continued insurgency and ongoing conflict for a decade to come.

A revolutionary victory, on the other hand, is not without its risks – it comes fraught with them. There would be plenty of work to do, agreements to hammer out, and third party intervenors to contend with. But this is the good work of a nation. A nation which represents all those who are within it. No such opportunity was extended to the people of Syria when Hafez staged the coup and cemented him power for decades. It is long overdue.

Fellow Syrians, the parks and cemetaries of Damascus and other towns across the country are full of people who are now homeless. Their homes have been destroyed and their city is in ruins. We cannot waste any further time with the delusion that the regime will reestablish security and then miraculously start implementation of reforms. A revolutionary victory is the only tenable option which would bring a halt to the fighting throughout the country.

At this juncture in the conflict, the Free Syrian Army has asserted control in large swaths of territory throughout the country. In Idlib, where I have family, some families have returned after the army withdrew. The only obstacle to liberty are the air raids that continue to mete out senseless indiscrimante destruction.

We cannot continue to have our country destroyed. We need to open the door to a political transition. That can only be established through military means. Simply put, to quickly dovetail this war we need to push past this stalemate that threatens to run indefinitely. We need to ground the Syrian Air Force which is slowly Levelling the entire country, and allow for the Free Army to place pressure on Damascus. A breakthrough will ensue, and depending on the speed of FSA advancement, talk of a political transition will be murmured from the Presidential Palace.

In conclusion, we all need to go back to our lives. We cannot afford to have sustained conflict over the next decade. We need to move on. Let the balance of power tip into Revolutionary hands, let the revolution finally succeed. Give them the weapons they need.

October 23rd, 2012, 12:13 am


Juergen said:

a great site with funny comments

October 23rd, 2012, 12:22 am


zoo said:

Rebels get their first 150 dollars salary from their employers Qatar and Saudi Arabia. ( video in arabic)

October 23rd, 2012, 12:45 am


Juergen said:

FSA soundtrack: Eye of the tiger

KDD, great comment

October 23rd, 2012, 12:58 am


Uzair8 said:

Yes KDD #106, great comment.

:Round of applause:

October 23rd, 2012, 1:30 am


Syrialover said:

KDD #106

I felt a lot of emotion in my chest reading your comments.

What you write is so straight and right. Every word.

Wasting time over a delusion. Senseless, indiscriminate destruction. Heading for a firestorm where nobody is spared.

Tip the balance against Assad so we can move forward, start to rebuild the country and develop a proper nation.

Yes 30,000 times, yes. There’s no alternative vision or path left.

Thank you for putting into clear words what every honest rational person knows.

(My personal fantasy is that someone very close to Syria-hating Bashar Assad starts to fear and distrust him, so kills him to get in first and save their own skin.)

October 23rd, 2012, 1:32 am


Syrian Natonalist Party said:

When we approach the question of – how can we at this point return to a semblance of normalcy in our country in the quickest fashion? It would undoubtedly have to be under a revolutionary victory. An Assad victory would entail a horribly black era. There would be no light at the end of that tunnel. There would be a continued insurgency and ongoing conflict for a decade to come.

Victory of Mossad mercenaries and Zionist Moslem Brotherhood, is a historic defeat to Syria that majority of Syrians will neither support nor accept. If Bashar is not willing to dump Baathism and reform Syria, empower Syrians, then ya all keep at it please, will cheer you all on from here and send you our moral support and gratitude for work well done in the end.

October 23rd, 2012, 1:42 am


Uzair8 said:

Has the FSA really reached the centre of Ar-Raqqa?


S.N.N | Shaam News Network

#SNN | #Syria
Breaking News | Arraqqah | October 23, 2012
Fierce clashes between the FSA and regime forces in the city center are just taking place.

October 23rd, 2012, 1:48 am


Visitor said:

KDD 106,

You captured the pulse of the moment. It is all in the air and victory will come sooner than many expect.

October 23rd, 2012, 1:56 am


Syrialover said:


That IS a great and hilarious site (my favorites include “what I’m going to do to my pro-Assad cousins when the revoluton is over”).

It also has an expose on the real identity of @SYRIANCOMMANDO, which may have already appeared here.


October 23rd, 2012, 1:57 am


Uzair8 said:

Is there a First Lady debate?

There isn’t but they should make this year an exception. Oprah as chair of the debate.

First question should be what would your advice be to the First Lady of Syria?


Brahimi’s role should be only to secretly plant an undetectable ultra adhering tracker device (nanotech) on Assad’s person via a handshake.

October 23rd, 2012, 2:23 am


Syrialover said:

Watching SNP #112 hack in and give himself 17 instant votes.

Now, will I get 17 thumbs down for noting what he did? Waiting…

October 23rd, 2012, 2:34 am


Albo said:

“When we approach the question of – how can we at this point return to a semblance of normalcy in our country in the quickest fashion? It would undoubtedly have to be under a revolutionary victory. An Assad victory would entail a horribly black era. There would be no light at the end of that tunnel. There would be a continued insurgency and ongoing conflict for a decade to come.

A revolutionary victory, on the other hand, is not without its risks – it comes fraught with them. There would be plenty of work to do, agreements to hammer out, and third party intervenors to contend with. But this is the good work of a nation. A nation which represents all those who are within it. No such opportunity was extended to the people of Syria when Hafez staged the coup and cemented him power for decades. It is long overdue.

Let the balance of power tip into Revolutionary hands, let the revolution finally succeed. Give them the weapons they need.”

Your first mistake is to use that old wicked shtick of “revolution”. There’s no revolution.
Civil war it is, and your black era of pogroms and retribution will also take place under your scenario. We have witnessed enough of you revolutionary “justice” in “liberated” area already, and it is nothing short of ruthless for your enemies and innocents alike. Even if you personally and some of your friends are magnanimous, which I’m ready to believe, you’ll not be heard by angry armed crowds who follow little to no orders. Mob rule will not bring back any “semblance of normalcy”. It never does.

And what kind of principled revolution, allegedly meant to bring justice and improve people’s lives, use terrorism against civilians to make its point? Even if they represent a small percent of our deads? Tactics that, as we clearly saw here, are either met with complacent silence or A-OK’ed in your side.
Only feelings of sectarian revenge, blind and indiscriminate, can account for this
This is why people need to stop masquerading this civil war as some revolution.

October 23rd, 2012, 4:26 am


Syrialover said:

ALBO (#119),

Getting rid of the Assad dictatorship is a revolution.

You don’t want that to happen. You present as a counter-revolutionary.

But it’s happened. It’s messy and chaotic and painful and uncertain, but Syrians are revolting against the regime.

It’s a revolution.

October 23rd, 2012, 5:17 am


William Scott Scherk said:

What makes Landis’s call so strongly felt is that his children are children of Syria, he has his own heart in the game, more so than much of the regime menagerie here.

The challenge to commentators of this stripe is how to counter Landis’s suggested response to brute air bombardment while at the same time pretending that the regime is not brutal.

Landis is not morally blinkered or tethered to a strongman or a fantasy, he sees a quicker end to the bloody horrors being inflicted — shoot down Assad planes and helicopters that pound Syrian civilians in punitive raids.

Since regimists cannot discuss atrocities, regime guilt, plane downings or the actual conduct of the war, they must continue to inhabit a separate cognitive universe where Assad is ‘winning.’

A nice nod from son of Syria Amjad of Homs: “Landis is a good, decent man,and as a good man he couldn’t fathom the depth of depravity we have been dealing with in Syria”

I concur. A challenge to the menagerie to talk about aircraft, bombing, destruction. Why keep up the ‘cleansing’ air strikes, Zoo? Please explain the motivation of the regime mind to the professor and to the rest of us.

October 23rd, 2012, 5:20 am


Syrialover said:

That SNP #112 – what a box of tricks!

He’s now given himself 32 thumbs-up votes (an instant leap from 17).

It’s a bit selfish of him not to spread his votes around, just giving them all to himself.

October 23rd, 2012, 5:25 am


annie said:

122. Syrialover

The thumbs system has no credibility whatsoever
It is just a relief for the thumbers

October 23rd, 2012, 5:55 am


Juergen said:

Uzair if true, the rebels could be in control of the Tabqa dam, which would mean that the regime would have lost one of the most important and strategic power plants.

October 23rd, 2012, 6:08 am


zoo said:


You said:

“A breakthrough will ensue, and depending on the speed of FSA advancement, talk of a political transition will be murmured from the Presidential Palace.”

Once the Syrian air force is grounded and the wave of FSA supported by the ‘mass’ would win Damascus, why are you even mentioning “talk of a political transition” ? Why would the opposition even consider it? There will be no need for that. The ‘palace’ would have been reduced to silence and the Syrian army dismantled.. It will be replaced swiftly by a “revolutionary” government whose attitude will undoubtedly be following the model it has had all along these 18 months, divided, sectarian, hateful, bloodthirsty, revengeful and dysfunctional.
The FSA would take the commandement over what would be left of the regular army and police.
Despite the promises and preparation for the ‘after’ scenarios instigated by the West, any expectation of a just and sane government as well as an obedient army is a wishful thinking.

A very encouraging perspective indeed.

October 23rd, 2012, 7:30 am


zoo said:

#121 WSS

If you don’t know the regime motivation by now, what do you know?

October 23rd, 2012, 7:36 am


Observer said:

KDD it is nice to have a comment pertaining to the situation in Syria while we have the distractions bombardment of Libya and Tunis and Egypt and what have you.

I always start the day reading the pro regime sites and the pro regime posts here because it gives me a very good clue as to what state of mind they are in.

For example, when ZOO posts about the potential for the demise of Morsi in Egypt it shows a one world view in which the “winner” of the post of Prethident is by definition that of a dictator. He cannot fathom that there is separation of powers and a limit to rule; just as the power of Morsi was tested when he unlawfully ordered the dismissal of the attorney general lately and he was reminded of the limits of his power.

I do believe that the last 50 years of misrule and the cult of personality and the emulation of the Wilayet Al Fagih has distorted the world view of the Adoring News Network employees that we have on this post.

For JL to advocate arming the rebels is truly remarkable for he sees that the quicker the regime is defeated the better it is. On the other hand, I do think that the conflict is a God sent to the camp that is working on exhausting Iran in Syria and Russia by implication.

Every day I notice better weapons and better equipment and better body armor and heavier weapons.

As for those that fear a pogrom, perhaps it is time for the Prethident to actually come out and say: ” I will stop the killings but I want a guarantee with international force to protect my sect and others that feel threatened”

Call a spade a spade: every decision without a single exception made by the regime was a mistake: the children in Dera’a the changing of the governor of Hama the attack on demonstrators the attack on Homs the formation of Shabiha the formation of popular committees the bombing by heavy weapons the reliance on Iran the reliance on Russia the depiction of the revolution and the propaganda of the conflict. Every single one of those and the militarisation of the conflict and the transformation of the army into a militia and the release of criminals and so on ans so forth was and remains a mistake. The worst mistake of all was and remains to make it a sectarian conflict and to hold the sect’s physical survival to the political survival of the house of Corleone.

That is why ALBO is terrified and must be having nightmares about the coming success of the revolution.

October 23rd, 2012, 7:47 am


zoo said:

#128 Observer

In view that 18 months passed after the prediction that the toppling of Bashar was a matter of ‘weeks’, one wonders who made the largest amount of mistakes, Bashar or the opposition.

October 23rd, 2012, 8:02 am


zoo said:

Turkey a secular country?

Religious Affairs to receive larger budget share than 11 major ministries

Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate is set to receive a share of next year’s budget that exceeds the allocations for 11 ministries, including major ones like the Interior and Foreign ministries, daily Hürriyet has reported.

With an increase of close to 1 billion Turkish Liras to its current budget of 3,89 billion liras, the Religious Affairs Ministry will receive a larger budget share than the Interior; Health; Science, Industry and Technology; Environment and Urban Planning; Culture and Tourism; Foreign; Energy and Natural Sources; Development; and European Union ministries.

The directorate will receive a total of 4.6 billion liras in the new budget, making it the 12th richest Turkish institution.

October 23rd, 2012, 8:06 am


zoo said:

Salafis determined to establish Islamic Emirate in Gaza

By Kifah Zaboun

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat – A prominent Salafi jihadist based in the Gaza Strip has stressed that his group’s efforts of establishing an Islamic Emirate in the Gaza Strip continues despite the severe blows handed to them at the hands of Israel and the Hamas Movement.

“We always are planning to establish God’s Sharia on earth. This is the duty of every Muslim. Our project, God willing, exists, and the day will come when the mujahidin will fulfil their project.” Abu Abdul-Muhajir told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Abu Abdul-Muhajir blasted the Hamas movement for what he described as the continued detention and “summoning campaign” against members of his movement, despite the recent Israeli attack that killed prominent Salafi official, Hisham al-Suaydani (Abu al-Walid al-Maqdisi).

Relations between Hamas and the Salafi groups in Gaza are extremely tense. Hamas considers the Salafi groups as takfiri groups, and accuses them of striking at the social fabric, and of carrying out killing, arson, and targeting operations against individuals, institutions, and shops; these accusations are rejected by the Salafis, who do not recognize the rule of Hamas.

Hamas says that it “will not allow such terrorist seeds to grow in the Gaza Strip. Hamas also refuses to carry out any unilateral action against Israel in order to preserve the calm in Gaza and the interests of the people. Hamas says that war is subject to general national consensus.

October 23rd, 2012, 8:13 am


Albo said:

“That is why ALBO is terrified and must be having nightmares about the coming success of the revolution.”

I know that thinking that probably gives you a hard on, but I’m not terrified buddy. I was reverting KDD’s rhetorics, and I have a good case. Really you shouldn’t take the comments here as an indication that the “end is near”, “it’s a matter of days now” as someone did, drawing fancy conclusions. The posts are mere talk and most of the press and even international statements are noise as well. One should at least try to see the big picture, and it’s one pertaining to the whole region, what I attempted in my post 14.

You revolution isn’t a revolution and isn’t succeeding, because if you call that success you have very low standards.
And here’s to you and Syrialover, about how things should be called:
on any rapid google search.

Need I go on? If you have a problem with definitions, you can rely on others, people outside Syria will call things by their name. “Civil war” has displaced “revolution” almost everywhere, and the latter is not even mentioned anywhere in most articles. I can also make you a long list of diplomatic statements if you prefer.

It’s very clear why you need the “revolution” shtick going on, it’s because you can wash your hands and not face the last remark of my post 119 you both reacted to.

October 23rd, 2012, 8:37 am


zoo said:

Can the opposition accept a peace keeping force after a ceasefire?
Wouldn’t this force actually prevent the armed rebels to achieve their goal of overthrowing the present government by military means?
Unless there are strong pressures from the USA and the West, the opposition will reject that plan as they are rejecting a ceasefire.

UN plans for Syria peace force if truce holds

We are getting ready to act if it is necessary and mandate is approved – official
Published: 21:46 October 22, 2012
Gulf News
United Nations The United Nations has made plans to assemble a peacekeeping force for Syria if a ceasefire proposed by a special envoy takes hold, a top UN official said Monday.

October 23rd, 2012, 8:43 am


zoo said:

# Albo

I agree with you.

I have not seen in the media the word “revolutionaries’ ever used to qualify the Syrians who oppose the government. The qualifiers overwhelmingly used are “rebels”, “protesters” and “terrorists”.
To qualify for a revolution, there must be a clear organized opposition under a united leadership. Once groups fight against each other, are paid by foreign powers, and massacre each other on the basis of religions or political affiliations, it is a civil war.

Obviously the idea that this is a ‘revolution’ is only in the mind of some idealists. While a revolution may end up by a regime change or a return to a previous status, a civil war usually ends up with negotiations between the warring parties.

October 23rd, 2012, 8:59 am


Warren said:

Saudis slammed for usual rights abuse, never for exporting revolution

While some Saudis enjoy the trappings of immeasurable wealth and privilege – the majority of the population struggles with daily oppression. And while ignoring issues in their homeland, Arab oil magnates remain committed to exporting regime change to neighbouring countries. RT’s Oksana Boyko is in the region with more.


Camille Otrakji comments on this video and exposes Saudi duplicity in the Syrian civil war.

October 23rd, 2012, 9:05 am


Citizen said:

search for your gold!cool fish
Germany, like many other nations, has stored a large part of their nation’s gold bullion at the New York Federal Reserve. There has not been an actual audit of the NYFED gold vaults for decades, and even back then only 5% of the bars were tested for purity. The German people want their gold brought home. The NYFED has so far returned none of the gold to Germany and the Bundesbank is refusing to press the NYFED on the matter.
Wie viel Gold hat Deutschland?
1500 Tonnen Gold in den USA
gone thoughts with Mitt Romney at the debate will be useful

October 23rd, 2012, 9:22 am


zoo said:

Qatar Facade for US, Western Schemes To Divert Arab Revolutions

Qatar: The Godfather of Arab Revolutions”

Al-Akhbar, Al-Sayyid al-Najjar:
Monday, October 15, 2012
Qatar is stealing hope from the spontaneous Arab revolution. It is trying to harness their results to serve the United States and the West and impose its hegemony by seeking support through its subservience to them. With money and the media, Qatar is fostering the implementation of an agenda of contrived revolutions we shall see in other Arab countries which the United States considers part of its plan for the new landscape in the region.

Qatar appears today as the charitable Arab facade preoccupied with the aspirations and freedom of the Arab peoples. But the fact is that it is the facade for implementing the schemes of the United States and the West in changing the course of these revolutions to serve their interests. The United States knows that the region`s peoples hate it, reject any intervention or assistance from it, and suspect its intentions even if it is extending a lifeline to a drowning person. Qatar thus found a role it is undertaking as a means of overcoming the problem of being a midget State in location, area, and history.

A popular saying goes that “those who do not have seniors should buy themselves seniors.” This is what Qatar has applied by buying the biggest country in the world, the United States. The two States found their opportunity to attain their objectives. The United States got its biggest military base in the area in Qatar which was assured in return of the strongest form of international protection. The United States acquired the influence while Qatar obtained the ability to be spoiled and adopt decisions supported by the American Administration and by plentiful money. It sells and buys whomever it wants, even if it wants to impose somebody specifically as Secretary General of the Arab League. It felt that it was entitled to get rid of its deep-seated inferiority complex by showing that the prestige of States is not due to geographical location, history, or the achievements of their peoples but to political prowess. Who can rival Qatar in this now after it became the American paw and became in control of a loud media voice through a network of satellite TV channels that support its position and carry out this design with money? Who can rival it today after the volume of its foreign investments reached $300 billion? Its biggest chance today to control the resources of the Arab Spring countries is through investments in real estate, tourism, and banks. It is the primary profit maker in times of crises and not the primary savior, as it tries to appear in its image with Egypt. This is another subject we shall discuss.

October 23rd, 2012, 9:47 am


Mina said:

The very fact that Mr Qatar can walk around Gaza with as sole protection the “Egyptian Presidential Guards” (and the little coordination of the Israelis?) says it all! As for Hamas, they do not even know who fire rockets to the Negev regularly, maybe they could ask their host?

October 23rd, 2012, 9:53 am


AIG said:


Instead of analyzing what options the West has why don’t you analyze what options the Syrian regime has? It seems to me that they have zero options. They cannot win whatever the outcome. All what Bashar has done in the last months is bring about the destruction of Syria. Aleppo is a ghost town except for the fighters and the poor. The rebels have not won, but Assad has not weakened them a bit and all he has done is wreck Syria in trying to fight them.

And let’s say a miracle happens and Assad is able to subdue the rebels. What then? Syria will still be under sanctions and with dismal relations with Turkey, the Gulf Arabs and the West. Where will it get money and help for reconstruction? If Assad wins he will be ruling over am ashen corpse. Not a Syria that what is left of the Syrian middle class would want to be part of.

But you know this. So all you are left with are scare tactics. You are trying to wave the scepter of a “regional war” or the veiled threat that an Islamic win in Syria will bolster such a revolt in the Gulf countries. But of course, that is not going to make anyone support Assad even one little bit. You don’t make friends by making threats, and anyway, the rebels are not under anyone’s thumb and will keep fighting whether or not they get heavy weapons.

Assad had 11 years to reform Syria. He didn’t. Now his supporters and backers for 11 years are paying the price. Unfortunately, so is the rest of Syria.

October 23rd, 2012, 9:54 am


zoo said:

Jordan’s support for terrorists to move freely in/out Syrian is now backfiring.

In Amman, Jordanian authorities said Monday that soldiers had fought two gun battles overnight against small groups of what the government called Islamist extremists at the Syria-Jordan border, arresting 13 of them. The Associated Press reported that the assailants were trying to cross into Syria.

The gun battles came hours after the government said it had arrested a ring of 11 Jordanians accused of planning to use explosives and weapons obtained in Syria for terrorist attacks against the American Embassy, shopping malls and other targets.

Samih Maayta, Jordan’s minister of media and communication, said the government had evidence that they had traveled to Syria and planned to go back for munitions to use in the attacks.

Mr. Maayta said the group had taken “counsel from Al Qaeda in Iraq via the terrorist sites on the Internet,” and had posted its plans online “to enable others to be able to create the same explosives.”

October 23rd, 2012, 9:58 am


zoo said:


“the rebels are not under anyone’s thumb”

Who pays their salaries? God?

October 23rd, 2012, 10:02 am


zoo said:

Al Hassan used a rented car to go from the airport to his home, and was in that same car the next day when the bomb exploded.
I am not sure I understand how using a rented car without any protection is secure.

The Lebanese Central News Agency revealed yesterday that al-Hassan arrived in Beirut at 7pm on Thursday evening, returning from Germany via France after participating in a security conference held in Berlin along with the Director General of the Internal Security Forces and a number of senior officers in the Directorate. Al-Hassan then flew to Paris to meet his family without informing the other members of the delegation about his whereabouts. Upon his arrival in Beirut, al-Hassan contacted the Interior Minister Marwan Charbel to discuss some security matters and to arrange a date to meet. Prior to his trip to Germany, al-Hassan had met with Charbel to put a number of security issues on the table. Al-Hassan then travelled in a rental car from the airport to his apartment in Ashrafiya, whilst he would customarily travel via motorcade to the General Directorate of the Internal Security Forces.

On Friday afternoon, al-Hassan decided to travel to his office in the Directorate using the same rental car. However, a car bomb, parked in the district hours before, i.e. after al-Hassan had returned from his trip abroad, exploded the moment that his vehicle approached it.

October 23rd, 2012, 10:08 am


AIG said:

“While a revolution may end up by a regime change or a return to a previous status, a civil war usually ends up with negotiations between the warring parties.”

Who cares what it is called? As for negotiations, why didn’t Assad negotiate during the 11 years in which he was firmly in power? The past is relevant because negotiations are only worth it if there is some trust between the parties. And since Assad has a history of using force to get his way, and has not implemented democratic reforms when he was strong, why should anyone believe him that he is willing to make them when he is much weaker?

As for the Syrian army, it has become as Landis says, an Alawite militia. Why should the majority trust the army any more? Bashar was firmly in power for 11 years. He had all the time in the world to make serious reforms and build trust. He didn’t do it and has lost all trust of the opposition.

October 23rd, 2012, 10:10 am


zoo said:

Syrian activists speak out on al-Hassan assassination


For his part, Adib Shishakli, a member of the Syrian National Council, wrote a comment on the assassination saying: “The Syrian and Lebanese people are going through the same ordeal, suffering the same wounds, and are pursuing the same freedom. They have the right to overthrow the Zionist-Assad regime”.

As for Omar Kaddour, a Syrian dissident based in Damascus, he wrote on his Facebook page: “I don’t want to undermine the investigation, but even if I heard it from Wissam al-Hassan himself that the Syrian regime and Hezbollah were innocent of his bloodshed and the blood of Samir Kassir, Gebran Tueni and Rafik Hariri, I would still insist on accusing them, and I am coming from a purely objective standpoint”.

October 23rd, 2012, 10:13 am


AIG said:


The rebels raise money from many sources, not just one, including the Syrian diaspora.

Still, I don’t understand your question. Who pays the Syrian Alawite Militia’s salary? When Bashar stops paying them, will they stop fighting? Or you think that the Alawite Milita is driven by ideology while the rebels are all mercenaries?

October 23rd, 2012, 10:13 am


Albo said:

AIG, this isn’t about Assad and his inner circle, and if you ask me I think the likelihood of his replacement in 2014, without a de-baathification as the Western alliance demands, is quite high.

This is what one can read behind the lines in yesterday’s Obama-Romney debate.
I understand that things are not black and white, and most probably the country will be like Lebanon for a long time, divided by sects (and ethnicity) and an enduring conflict. And it really sucks, Lebanon’s barely is a nation, its state is completely dysfunctional but what do you want?

The country is getting destructed, yes. You are yourself Jewish, and not an Arab israeli? If so I’m certain you understand the thinking of minorities, you people persisted and always chose to pay the price.

October 23rd, 2012, 10:18 am


zoo said:

#143 AIG

Obviously you are making fixation on the “11 years”.
Just look at all the wars and conflicts close to Syria that happened in the region in these 11 years and compare it to the achievements France, Belgium, Spain and even the USA made in 4 years of peace, a huge economical crisis.

October 23rd, 2012, 10:18 am


AIG said:

“Jordan’s support for terrorists to move freely in/out Syrian is now backfiring”

That is one of the funniest things you ever wrote. Did you mean to write:
“Assad’s support for terrorists to move freely in/out Iraq is now backfiring”

What happened, the Islamists you used to fight others start fighting you? Why are you surprised and why are you complaining? You reap what you sow. You called Assad a “foreign policy genius”. Maybe you were wrong?

October 23rd, 2012, 10:18 am


zoo said:


Of course Islamists terrorists never come from countries friendly to peaceloving Israel.

October 23rd, 2012, 10:22 am


AIG said:


Yes, I am an Israeli Jew.

And no, Syria will be much worse than Lebanon because Lebanon has Gulf and Western backing. It received about 50 billion dollars to rebuild in loans. Syria will receive nothing if Assad or some lackey of his stays. Supporting Assad is a no win situation for any Syrian. There is just no winning proposition.

And the difference between Israel and Syria is that the Israeli government does not fight its people. While Bashar and Hafez were in power, we changed Israel’s government many times without firing one shot. People like you were telling us how there is no sectarian strife in Syria and that you are one united nation. Now you guys change your tune? Were you lying to us all along so as to give Assad a veneer of legitimacy when in fact he was just an Alawite war lord?

October 23rd, 2012, 10:29 am


Visitor said:

The Obama-Romney debate is over. Did anyone notice anty difference as far as Syria is concerned?

I didn’t see much differnce.

Obama is as sure as ever Assad will fall.

Romney wants to arm some rebels but he does not know who.

Syria is not an American problem and it never will be. The US already defined its limits of tolerance to the Syrian mayhem. It is when so-called Chemical weapons get mobilized for fear of falling into the hands of mulla-stan or some other imaginary so-called Qaida groups.

The US therefore, if it has any concerns for spilled Syrian blood, must either say nothing or stay out of it altogether. Let those who are willing to help do their job. The rest will be handled by the great heroes of the FSA. But in the end, America will always be remembered that it not only betrayed the Syrian people but even helped in prolonging their agony.

If you go back a year and half ago and review Mrs. Clinton’s apparently naive but deeply sinister statements urging the well known criminal to reform, you would realize that every time she made such statements, the killing and murder by the regime would go one notch up, of course coupled with promises of so-called reform. Only a totally dumb secretary of state would not realize that what he/she is saying has no correlatiuon with what goes on the ground in terms of killing and destruction. So why not just shut up Madame Secretary? Likewise, you could review all the repeated announcements by the White House, the Chief of Staff and other key officials, and you will have no choice but to conclude that the US was doing one thing and one thing only which is to buy the criminal thug more time to kill more Syrians.

Despite RT’s venom and this apparently Syriacomment personality Otrakji’s mumbo jumbo, we are deeply grateful to our brothers in the Gulf for their valuable help that they have provided to the great Revolution of the Syrian people. We will never forget who our real brothers are who came to our help in times of need. We are also grateful for all Turkey did to help this greatest of all Revolutions of the Syrian people, as well as to our Libyan brothers who were among the first not to only provide much needed weapons to fight the epitome of all evil, the nazi-like thugs, the remnant of the of the mongolian rejects, the shame of humanity, but for also being the first to offer their blood on Syrian soil. In fact, the Syrian peiople would be very doisappointed and hurt if their next of kin just watched them getting slaughtered and did nothing to help. Our brothers did the least a brother would do to help his brother.

So, for RT/Otrakji-likes this one is for you. Thank you KSA, thank you Qatar, thank you Turkey and above all thank you Libya.

October 23rd, 2012, 10:33 am


Albo said:

148. AIG said:

“Assad’s support for terrorists to move freely in/out Iraq is now backfiring”

I get it that people think that it was so morally repellent, what they did with Iraq, but now Turkey and Jordan (for a time), under western watch and tacit approval, are doing exactly the same. Plenty of jihadists in Turkish hotel rooms.
French intelligence sources admitted they know about French jihadists going to Syria, and said they “can’t” stop them unlike they did for Iraq.
So I see that their condemnations were heartfelt, really.

October 23rd, 2012, 10:33 am


AIG said:


Who cares about what happened in the West during the 11 years Assad was in power? Why are you always looking for irrelevant excuses and pointing fingers at everyone else except at the right place, yourself?

Assad had 11 years for democratic reform. He did nothing. How many years are enough? 50? Why would anyone trust him to make real changes when he is weak, when he was afraid to make these changes when he was strong?

“Of course Islamists terrorists never come from countries friendly to peaceloving Israel.”

Where does Israel send Islamist terrorists? What are you talking about. Assad used the Islamists and now he is getting burned. Why are surprised or even complaining? I have said for years on this site that this is going to happen. Assad’s foreign policy was short sighted and stupid, not to mention cruel and barbaric (just count the thousands of Iraqis that died from suicide bombers coming from Syria).

October 23rd, 2012, 10:37 am


Albo said:

“And the difference between Israel and Syria is that the Israeli government does not fight its people.”

Well sort of, you fought and expelled most of the indigenous population, then replaced it. My point, if you remember the mass demos in your country, is that it would have been much much easier for you to settle anywhere else, in Florida or whatever. Including materially, your American Jew is much richer than your Israeli. Why is that you choose to pay this price, including the blood price?

“People like you were telling us how there is no sectarian strife in Syria and that you are one united nation.”

People like me, hum. Legitimacy still isn’t the rule in the Arab world, anyway.

October 23rd, 2012, 10:40 am


AIG said:


Again, you point fingers at others, as if it changes anything. Assad used the Islamists. If you thought it was stupid then, you did not say anything. Now you complain. Not only that, you complain about other people’s hypocrisy when you are the one that was hypocritical to begin with! You didn’t complain then, don’t complain now. You you didn’t plan yourself to live up to the standard that now you demand from the West. And you blame the West for being hypocrites. I don’t get it. Assad and his supporters cheered his “brilliant” foreign policy. Now it has backfired, and you are pointing fingers at others instead of at yourself.

“is that it would have been much much easier for you to settle anywhere else”

What are you talking about? I am a second generation Israeli, born in Israel to parents born in Israel many years after Israel was founded. The Arabs in the US are also richer than Arabs in their native countries. Is that a reason for them to move en mass to the US? How about the Palestinians in the US? They are so much richer than those in Gaza and the West Bank. The Albo solution I see is to move them to richer countries.

October 23rd, 2012, 11:05 am


Johannes de Silentio said:

150. AIG

“Now you Syrians change your tune? Were you lying to us all along so as to give Assad a veneer of legitimacy?”

Yes, they were lying. Their whole crazy-quilt political structure is built on lies.

October 23rd, 2012, 11:06 am


zoo said:

Qatar’s emir and Sheikha Mozarella humiliated in Gaza: No crowd of fans to hear his speech.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The emir of Qatar has called a planned address to the Palestinians in Gaza City’s main soccer stadium.

Hamas officials at the stadium announced the cancellation and ordered thousands of people who gathered there on Tuesday to go home.

The address had been the centerpiece of the emir’s landmark visit to Gaza.

Hamas cited the emir’s tight schedule in announcing the change. But the stadium was only about one-fifth full around the time of the cancellation.

The emir planned an address to a much smaller crowd at a Gaza university instead.

October 23rd, 2012, 11:48 am


zoo said:


You are so funny, the real brother of Groucho….

October 23rd, 2012, 11:50 am


zoo said:

When is the next Vogue interview with Sheikha Mozarella, now that she owns several ‘hotel particuliers’ in Paris and that Qatar is now the only francophone country where no one speaks french?

October 23rd, 2012, 11:55 am


AIG said:

“You are so funny, the real brother of Groucho….”

Is that the best you can do? A border line antisemitic remark?

Any explanation about why Assad used the Isalmists and now you are complaining about them? How about explaining why it was smart for Assad to do so? Nothing to say about your idol’s “genius” foreign policy? Or do you plan to post just more irrelevant news? Could you please check if some Saudi prince has gone on a safari in Africa? I can’t wait for the link.

October 23rd, 2012, 11:58 am


zoo said:

Confirmed: The FSA acts in collusion with terrorists from Al-Nusrah

SOHR reported that “fire was seen to have engulfed regime forces checkpoints in Wadi al-Dayf following a violent attack by fighters from the Al-Nusrah Front and rebel regimes.” This attack occurred simultaneously with violent clashes that “destroyed four vehicles and which resulted in the deaths of at least nine soldiers and the wounding of 20 more.”

October 23rd, 2012, 12:05 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Illuminati Showdown in Middle East
February 22, 2011 — Dean Henderson

Old but relevant to today, infact, it will help you understand what is going on now:

October 23rd, 2012, 12:08 pm


zoo said:

#160 AIG

By reading you aggressive comments, I remembered that you are one of these radical and racist Israelis who feel superior to other races and refuse any self-criticism.

By the way, I like Groucho, an American Jew, but I don’t have much sympathy for radical Israeli Jews.

This ends my conversation with you.

October 23rd, 2012, 12:12 pm


Albo said:

AIG, putting words in my mouth isn’t arguing. Your are saying I’m a hypocrite over things I said in your imagination. If I had given you my opinion back then, I would have certainly condemned that move, you think I’m endorsing the countless terrorist attack in Iraq?
Neither did I call Besho’s policy “brillant”, or commented on the Syrian society being more united than yours. This is all convoluted, stop lumping all dissenting opinions together, to each his own.

Second, my points stand. I argued here that humanitarian claims in Foreign policy are rubbish and I gave examples. Even Romney used the word over Syria and we all know he is full of cr*p.
As for you, I said materially among other things, you security and general wellbeing, and never Palies will have the good life you enjoy in the US whatever their revenue. Did you get my point at all? I was getting at your long history of persecuted minority, how many times Jews lost everything to keep their identity? To avoid conversion? This is why you should understand that the material losses you described at length don’t factor in the equation, at least not nearly as much as you think.

October 23rd, 2012, 12:13 pm


AIG said:


99.9% of Israeli Jews are proud Zionists, which for you is a curse word. So stop with you BS about “radical” Israelis. You don’t like Israeli Jews, period. Are you sure by the way that Groucho was not a Zionist?

When someone asks you a direct question, you suddenly disengage. What is the problem, you have no explanation as to why you cheered on Assad using the Islamists and now you complain?

October 23rd, 2012, 12:46 pm


France seeks changes to draft UN statement on Syria ceasefire | The Back Channel said:

[…] he must launch serious negotiations for a transition government,” Syria scholar Joshua Landis wrote at his blog Monday. “If he does not, Western governments should supply opposition militias with ground to […]

October 23rd, 2012, 12:50 pm


zoo said:

Burhan Ghaliun: Despite the pressure coming from France, we are not ready to create a transition government. The opposition must unite first and the proper conditions must be put in place. Why is France so impatient when no other country called for that?

Audio in french

October 23rd, 2012, 12:54 pm


AIG said:


How about telling us clearly what your position is? Do you support Assad? What were your views about Assad while he was in power? If you did not support him, did you do anything to try remove him? Was your family part of the ruling elite or economic class that had it good under Assad?

As for the way of life you are talking about. What do you mean? What is the minority that you believe you belong to?

October 23rd, 2012, 12:55 pm


zoo said:


99.9% of Syrians are anti-Zionists. What are you doing in this blog?

October 23rd, 2012, 12:57 pm


AIG said:

“Burhan Ghaliun: Despite the pressure coming from France, we are not ready to create a transition government.”

You missed this:
Bashar Assad: Despite the pressure from the entire world, we are not ready to stop bombing Aleppo.

October 23rd, 2012, 12:57 pm


Tara said:



Oh I forgot. You prefer Shushu. Or should we ask Observer for a nick name for her inspired by her dad?

October 23rd, 2012, 1:02 pm


AIG said:


What happened, in #163 you wrote:
“This ends my conversation with you.”

Yet, you immediately addressed me with post #169.

You even lie to yourself!

We are still waiting for your explanation about Assad and the Islamists. We are wondering why you cheered him on when he used them and now you are complaining. Even Albo has disavowed himself from your position. You better come up with an explanation.

Any links about Saudis on safari in Africa being “humiliated” by a secular giraffe?

October 23rd, 2012, 1:02 pm


zoo said:


Keep provoking…

October 23rd, 2012, 1:03 pm


zoo said:


I did not have to twist my mind to find this nickname.
Admit that it suits her well with her white cheese Pizza husband.

October 23rd, 2012, 1:07 pm


Tara said:


I’d rather Cinderella. She is very pretty. She looks like an Arab Cinderella.

October 23rd, 2012, 1:15 pm


AIG said:


Provoking? I am asking a simple question that you refuse to answer. It is not a provocation. You keep complaining about the Islamists and posting how horrible they are. But you are not willing to explain why is was ok when Assad used them.

And really, what kind of credibility do you expect to have if you write “this ends my conversation with you”, and you immediately continue conversing with me!

October 23rd, 2012, 1:21 pm


Badr said:


If “Zoo” has a legitimate concern for the future of Syrian minorities, does it exonerate him/her for being an Assad supporter?

October 23rd, 2012, 1:35 pm


AIG said:


First of all, let’s hear his argument.
Second, it makes him more rational and somebody I at least can understand if he explains he is choosing the better of two bad options.
As things stand, he sounds like an irrational and inconsistent news spamming robot.

If he makes a good argument it exonerates him from shoddy thinking. Whether you want to exonerate him from being an Assad supporter, that is dependent on your moral views regarding how one should balance self interest and the welfare of society. It is a very nuanced discussion. I hope that you would not hold someone to be in the wrong if he supports Assad because otherwise his jailed relative would be killed, for example. Each situation needs to be judged based on its merits.

October 23rd, 2012, 1:50 pm


Albo said:

“How about telling us clearly what your position is?
Do you support Assad? What were your views about Assad while he was in power? If you did not support him, did you do anything to try remove him? Was your family part of the ruling elite or economic class that had it good under Assad?”
As my posts clearly state I clearly oppose the rebels and their methods. I’m very sorry for the state of Syria, I condemn atrocities and indiscriminate retribution by the loyalist troops but I am fully aware that rebels have taken a lot of people hostage as evidenced in Aleppo recently, and also that there are civilians who support and hide unsavory elements at their own peril.
I have never been an “Assadist” by any definition of the word, contrary to what Syrialover would have you believe. I could always compare Syria to developped countries and understood that a lot of the things that were wrong were the regime’s responsibility; yet I also witnessed the same kind of backwardness in the whole Arab world, I saw that Egypt was also filled with Mukhabarats from top to bottom, and still is.
Therefore I came to the conclusion that there was something wrong with societies at large in the Middle East; you know what? I never had any sympathy for that crazy Khadhaffi, and at first no preventions against revolted Libyans. But when I saw how they killed him, how they couldn’t even perform a proper execution, much less a trial, I concluded that he was a dictator to their image. I generally agree with the saying that people have the leadership they deserve. Liberal democracy emerged first and best works in countries where the political culture was ready for it.

I had some relatives and friends beaten, without much reason, like the average Syrian. I witnessed regime privilegees driving dangerously in their big Mercedes, accelerating and squealing their tyres to frighten and impress people. My folks had good lives, away from politics. Believe it or not, there was some place for merit in Syria, succeeding in exams allowed some to lift their condition, in Syria or abroad. They are of these. The Syrian system sharing some socialist principle, wasn’t the worst by far in the islamic world, educationally-wise.

Therefore, I of course never touched politics, beyond cursing the regime privately from time to time.

October 23rd, 2012, 1:52 pm


zoo said:


Well done: Moza + Cinderella= Mozarella

I wonder what is the name of Pizza’s two other wives?

White Snow?

October 23rd, 2012, 2:04 pm


AIG said:


You were part of the 2 million that had it good in Syria. The problem is the other 20 million that did not.

You want to protect the life you had, they want a better life. The regime did not give them hope and neither did you. You just cursed the regime. If the people that had it good and advanced on merit did nothing to bring change, who did you expect to bring change? The people working around the clock just to feed their families?

Don’t you see that you are in the position you are in because you wouldn’t touch politics? If you and your class ignored politics and the fact that millions in your country had no dignity and no future, what exactly did you expect to happen except what you have now?

It is hypocritical to have ignored politics and the fate of millions of Syrians just because you had it good only to wake up now and become political just because things are not so good for you. Return to your political slumber instead of belittling the millions who are trying to better their situation. You ignored them for all your life, just keep doing it.

October 23rd, 2012, 2:05 pm


Michal said:

@ 179. ALBO: People may have governments they deserve, or they may not. The political culture, which you see as a foundation of a liberal democracy, can not come about in dictatorships and stale waters of countries such as Libya or Syria, where it has seemed that time has stopped for decades, while the world sped forward. Culture of democracy needs space to grow, that the dictatorships logically can not give to it.

This of course does not mean that every revolution is a step forward. But it also does not mean that every dictatorship with an underdeveloped civil society deserves to remain in place.

October 23rd, 2012, 2:19 pm


Mina said:

HBJ faced an empty stadium and retreated to Gaza University; the Tunisian Islamists were in a hurry to wrap up the ceremony after riots, continuous fightings and the death of a political activist, not to mention the video showing Ghannushi’s real relations with the Salafists. No wonder why Ghalyun and France are at loss.

October 23rd, 2012, 2:35 pm


Mina said:

Please, you discredit yourself with figures such as “99 percent of the Israelis are Zionists” or “20 millions of Syrians had nothing to eat”.
How many million civil servants and military forces in Syria?
How many kids?

Come and tell us you’ll launch a revolution for the impoverished Beduins of the Negev…

October 23rd, 2012, 2:39 pm


Visitor said:

“As things stand, he sounds like an irrational and inconsistent news spamming robot.”

spamming robot?

I like that.

And I used the same term before.

October 23rd, 2012, 2:45 pm


AIG said:


Learn to read. I wrote that 99.9% of Israeli Jews are Zionists, not Israelis. There 20% Arabs that are Israeli citizens and not many of them are Zionists.

As for the government and military in Syria, Ehsani showed on this blog, that they live on about $2 per day per person based on the average salary. And what does it matter how many kids? They are either part of the 2 million or part of the 20 million.

Here is a simple graph for you to enjoy:!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=ny_gdp_pcap_kd&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:ISR:SYR&ifdim=country&hl=en_US&dl=en_US&ind=false

The poor in Israel would be considered quite well off in Syria. That is what decades of Assad rule gets you. Keep supporting them.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:00 pm


AIG said:


If I unconsciously plagiarized the term you used, I apologize.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:07 pm


Visitor said:

187 AIG,

It is all yours fee of charge to put to good use.

But here’s a good article from reasonable, thoughtful and rational Arabs who can help shed light on the reality of the Killing Machine Inc. Hope you like it and feel free to plagiarize from it as much as you like to expose the hypocrisy,

Amazingly, the killing stage was devoid of any ideas, as both Syria and Lebanon merely had room for some corny folklore rhetoric about “fighting Israel”. Shallow and deceitful though it is, this remains a lethal rhetoric nonetheless, as it not only justified killing, but also urges the victim to remain silent when killed.

Usually, it would have been enough to retort: You are not really fighting Israel. This is a good – yet insufficient – pretext, at least since 1974 in Syria and the end of the 2006 [July] War in Lebanon. The time has maybe come to say: The issue is not about whether or not you are fighting Israel. Rather, the issue is that you are killing [us]. As for your fighting Israel, it certainly does not justify anything, least of all not killing us, knowing that no one asked for our opinion on fighting Israel and the costs resulting from it in the first place.

In other words, and regardless of some taboos some would like to impose, the time has come to consider killing the only central criterion in political life and even in national unity. Indeed, whoever kills is a traitor and treason is to kill, assist in killing, and justify or cover killings. If we don’t admit to that, the nation will remain more of a jungle and coexistence would be tantamount to granting the wolf a license to slaughter the sheep, while talking – any kind of talking – would be just lies. No sane person would hang on to that, let alone defend it.

To read more:
Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished. For information on republishing rights from NOW Lebanon:

October 23rd, 2012, 3:19 pm


Mina said:

In Egypt, the Muslim Brothers is the only party who wants full normalization with Israel (in exchange for HBJ’s little help?)
“Participants condemned the letter of introduction sent by the Egyptian presidency to Israel for the nomination of a new Egyptian ambassador to Tel Aviv, which critics deemed too friendly. They stressed the need for faster action to resolve outstanding issues with the “Zionist entity, restoring full Egyptian control over Sinai, and canceling the natural gas export deal with Israel.””

October 23rd, 2012, 3:23 pm


Albo said:

“It is hypocritical to have ignored politics and the fate of millions of Syrians just because you had it good only to wake up now and become political just because things are not so good for you. Return to your political slumber instead of belittling the millions who are trying to better their situation. You ignored them for all your life, just keep doing it.”

I think you got the wrong impression about me. If you didn’t realize, I wasn’t born in Syria and didn’t live there. I just visited regularly. So you’re are wrong to assume I’m some class conscious bourgeois or something, defending his privileges. As for my people, they are middle class, by the syrian standard: that means the middle class is a fraction of the total, not the majority as in developped countries. But I wouldn’t put them in the first decile, definitely not.
The reason why I was apolitical, beyond my living abroad (but I still have the citizenship), is that I clearly understood I shouldn’t mess with politics. Most Syrians were likeminded, and if you lived there you you’d know. People didn’t want to get in trouble, regardless of class.
So you mischaracterized what I was saying: it was not selfishness, and if it was most Syrians could have been described as selfish as well.

Lastly, you don’t get to decide if i can or can’t have poltical opinions, this is my land, my people and none of your business. My purpose in here is to show people that some (most) of the political options at play in their struggle won’t improve their lots at all, contrary to your claims. Yes I’m worried that political islam targets non sunnis, but I will also points out that sharia permeating the social sphere is a catastrophic failure everywhere in the world, and that GCC countries can only make up for that and hide that reality thanks to their ressource windfalls, that prevents them to be other Yemens. And that dying and destroying Syria for such regressive aims is just dramatic, a revolution to be worth it should have some benefits at least to repay the damage and blood.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:30 pm


AIG said:


Glad you are worried about the tone of a letter sent to Israel while Assad bombs Aleppo. Perhaps you should reexamine your priorities? Though I will give you credit for not using the word “humiliated” in your post. What happened?

So what about that giraffe that “humiliated” a Saudi prince married to Erdogan’s daughter while they were on safari in Africa? Did you find that link? It is just as relevant as the nonsense you link to.

You and Zoo are a real tag team of useless spam. You are also excellent at pointing fingers at everybody except yourself.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:32 pm


Syrialover said:


Welcome back! It’s wonderful see a bout of high level debating and the pressure being put on those who have swarmed this forum and done everything they can to crudely cut off criticism of Assad.

So many longterm SC forum members like yourself have quit in disgust. Instead of the previous quality discussion forum they see a swamp of professional distractors, cranks, and worst of all, closet shabeeha sitting on the fence whilst pointing the finger at the victims.

But you’ve got their number and know precisely where to land the punches.

I hope some of the other SC veterans will pay a visit and bring in the verbal waterjets to clear the paths again.

PS I’ve said before here I have many issues with Israel, but I have always respected you for coming here, standing your ground and widening the discussion while showing a sincere interest in issues affecting Syria.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:34 pm


Mina said:

Of course, I was not suggesting you thought about including the Palestinians in your figures. As a matter of fact, even Israelis are divided on the definition of Zionism, so it makes it easy for you to decide that all the Israeli Jews are “Zionists.” If only right wingers like the hardcore Likud binationals holding US and French passports could not vote, result would maybe be different, I mean, if ever there is one day a choice between the orientation of the politicians.
Anyway, it is probably useless to argue since you are probably just here on a diplomatic visit, an olive branch in the hand? I am afraid you are bound to fail. Even Qatar’s al Jazeera can’t achieve it, after 2 years trying to fix in the head of the Arabs that “peace with Israel could not be that bad, since they’ve never done half of what the Arab governments are capable of…”

October 23rd, 2012, 3:37 pm


Albo said:

I think AIG can do without your cheerleading, SL, but the punches are easily countered so far, thank you.

Still the contradiction is appreciated, AIG.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:42 pm


AIG said:


“The reason why I was apolitical, beyond my living abroad (but I still have the citizenship), is that I clearly understood I shouldn’t mess with politics. Most Syrians were likeminded, and if you lived there you you’d know. People didn’t want to get in trouble, regardless of class.
So you mischaracterized what I was saying: it was not selfishness, and if it was most Syrians could have been described as selfish as well.”

Why did you come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t mess with politics? Because otherwise harm might come to you? So basically your excuse is cowardice. Not much better than being selfish though I am sure it was a combination of both.

And the poor Syrians who were barely putting food on the table were not selfish. They did not have the time or the energy to be political. It is the fraction that is better off, that faction that you belong to that has to do that, that has the responsibility to do that.

Just think how ridiculous your argument is though. If an Islamist government comes to power and is as tyrannical as the Assads, what would you say about people that accepted this government with the excuse that they “clearly understood I shouldn’t mess with politics”. Would you still hold the same view if an Islamist government is in power? I think not as the fact of the matter is that you have decided to indeed “mess with politics”. So what does it say that you held this view about an Assad government?

October 23rd, 2012, 3:45 pm


Syrialover said:

ALBO #190,

You have freedoms, opportunities and options beyond the wildest dreams of people living in Syria, and yet seem to think that those inside do not deserve the same.

You don’t know what will improve people’s lots. And you apparently don’t know what is driving Syrians to make desperate sacrifices and attracting the support of the free world.

I suggest you start looking more closely at the messages and aspirations of Syrians and Asad’s response because it is going to hit you squarely on the jaw next time you make a visit.

For those who have real human and material stakes in Syria, not just distant emotional ties, you are fishing in very shallow waters with earplugs in.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:46 pm


habib said:

Angry Arab said it well:

Joshua Landis wants missiles
So Joshua Landis, using his long-standing military expertise obtained in graduate studies of the Middle East, calls on the US government to supply the Free Syrian Army gangs and Al-Qa`idah affiliates with anti-aircraft missiles. I read this and thought: have you noticed this rule about the Syrian conflict? The most vocal advocates of the armed Syrian opposition gangs in the West (aside from Zionists) are those writers and academics who were for years apologists for the Syrian regime? I mean, you really can go one-by-one and find that to be true. Is this guilt? Or is this a silly attempt to whitewash one’s own record?

October 23rd, 2012, 3:50 pm


Syrialover said:

ALBO (#194),

Oh I’m sure AIG doesn’t mind my cheerleading. All competitors like to hear the roar of the crowd.

His punches have NOT been countered. ZOO appears to be out for the count and Mina is reeling and rambling.

And sorry Albo, so far AIG has dodged your jabs and come back with firmer ones.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:53 pm


habib said:

88. Syrialover

Peaceful transition. Forget everything about revenge and prosecution, that won’t get you anywhere.

In a perfect world there should be Scandinavian style democracy. But hell, that isn’t even found in southern Europe. So we have to be realistic.

And realistically, I think the only viable outcome is secession. I’m not for it, but the way both sides are acting, they won’t be able to live together any more.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:56 pm


AIG said:


I have no interest in peace with people like you. If you cheer your fellow countrymen being bombed and killed, what is a signature on a piece of paper that you signed worth? Nothing at all. That is why I for years have been saying that Israel should only sign a peace agreement with a democratic and free Syria and never with Assad. The only peace agreement that is worth anything is one which a majority of the Syrian people freely supports and not some dictator tells them to accept.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:56 pm


Tara said:

And the Copt pretending to be a Sunni is still hanging around SC calling everyone thugs and backward except the real thugs.

Mina, you need to learn a lesson. There is nothing wrong being a Copt. There is much wrong in misrepresenting yourself to advance your political view. One really loses all respect to people who
resort to this.

I could not resist again taunting you for this. I think the best solution for you if you do not want to participate in a Mali comment is to come back under a new name.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:57 pm


Jasmine said:

Albo 190
I share with you the frustration and anger about what is happening in Syria,nevertheless IMHO,there are numerous factors which brought the country to this stage but my criticism is carrying the flag of Arab ism for too long without looking after own interest has done a lot of damage to the country.
As an expat,I don’t think that we can influence the political life in Syria and we will never be taken seriously ,no matter how much wisdom or vision we have,and we will never be able to contribute as much as we like to.
Democracy doesn’t happen in a flick of a switch,till now in the west they are not sure if they ever will be able to achieve it.
pain make patience a habit,and being pragmatist is the only way of finding a way out,accepting the fact that this revolution was build on revenge will lead every one to think about :what next?
I am not trying to lecture or preach,I am just in pain.

October 23rd, 2012, 3:57 pm


Michal said:

I fully support your opinion -Assad’s airforce should be stopped. I am happy you came to this conclusion.
The agony of the regime is long and painful, massacres are terrible, I hope it will end soon.

October 23rd, 2012, 4:00 pm


Syrialover said:

HABIB #200

I want transition and I want it now.

But tragically, Assad has gone to lengths nobody imagined possible to make sure it couldn’t be peaceful.

The world has learnt a lot about the possibilities of reconciliation and recovery. And I’m confident Syrians have it in them as much as anyone else.

But first, clean out the virus (Assad).

October 23rd, 2012, 4:02 pm


Mina said:

You attack me without even knowing me or my positions, so do not expect my respect or sympathy. As I have repeated here several time, I am not Syrian, I have many Syrian friends inside and outside Syria, and I call for elections with international monitoring since the very first demo in the Hamidiyye (shortly after Daraa). But did the armed rebels and their Gulf mentors ever let a possibility for this to be even put on the table?

It’s not because I read news about Egypt and criticize the MBs that I am a Copt. You should grow up a little and fight this narcissism that makes you believe that as a Syrian you should feel concerned only with Syria and with your close relatives.

October 23rd, 2012, 4:06 pm


Syrialover said:

TARA #202

My problem with Mina is not sectarian.

It is that she appears to dismiss absolutely everything and everyone in the Middle East as a mess and failure beneath contempt.

Consistently, relentlessly. Nothing happening in the region ever receives a comment of approval or support, just sneers and negativity all round on everything.

I don’t understand how she can bear to focus on the place and visit SC, the whole region and its people are such a disastrous rubbish zone in her mind.

Afterthought: Does she wear a mask to hide her thoughts when she is with her Syrian friends and visiting Syria? Or do they wear a mask to hide their opinions of her?

October 23rd, 2012, 4:13 pm


Tara said:


The only concern Mina has is for the Christians in the ME. No one else matters in her book. The only praise she gives is to Persia. Just observe.

October 23rd, 2012, 4:23 pm


Syrialover said:

TARA,( ref. Mina #206)

You naughty narcissist you for caring about Syria on Syria Comment!

October 23rd, 2012, 4:25 pm


Albo said:

“Why did you come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t mess with politics? Because otherwise harm might come to you? So basically your excuse is cowardice. Not much better than being selfish though I am sure it was a combination of both.”

Cowardice? Remember the wall of fear? If I was a coward, then I was barely alone or distinguished in that. I’m interested to know how someone as brave as you deal with a Leviathan, though, after you’re done calling other cowards. For your information, a lot of Syrians of all stripes are still refusing to fight and get involved, and many of those who do are guided by misplaced religiosity.

“Just think how ridiculous your argument is though. If an Islamist government comes to power and is as tyrannical as the Assads, what would you say about people that accepted this government with the excuse that they “clearly understood I shouldn’t mess with politics”. Would you still hold the same view if an Islamist government is in power? I think not as the fact of the matter is that you have decided to indeed “mess with politics”. So what does it say that you held this view about an Assad government?”

You don’t understand do you. If an islamist government comes to power, it will be generally bad but much worse for several groups in Syria, slightly less than 1/3 of its population to be precise. I’m “messing with politics” online on an american blog, comfortably sitten behind my computer in a first world country, like most of us. Are you out of your mind?
But now I think I know why you just say that, I think you’re still making wild assumptions as you did in our first exchanges. For your information, I do not contribute one inch to the events unfolding in Syria. I’m still apolitical, just reflecting and discussing as before. If islamists come to power, I expect it will be after such violence that most of the other communities will flee, kind of what happened in Turkey; or the country will more likely break up, so your point is moot.

October 23rd, 2012, 4:26 pm


Tara said:


Guilty as charged!

October 23rd, 2012, 4:29 pm


Tara said:


I just watched al Jazeera. It looks like Hamad and Moza were well received in Gaza and they are pretty liked by the Palestinians. What not to like anyhow with their philanthropic contributions to rebuild Gaza. I think if Batta and Athma ever go to Gaza, they will be thrown with stones and rotten tomatoes after the mayham they caused in Yarmuk refugee camp.

October 23rd, 2012, 4:39 pm


Albo said:


You have freedoms, opportunities and options beyond the wildest dreams of people living in Syria, and yet seem to think that those inside do not deserve the same.

You don’t know what will improve people’s lots. And you apparently don’t know what is driving Syrians to make desperate sacrifices and attracting the support of the free world.”

Open your eyes SL, there exists many democracies in poor, barely literate countries, and they’re all trainwrecks. Take a closer look at some African countries, at India where half of the children are malnourrished. In authoritarian China, hunger has disappeared and shanty towns are non-existent.

There isn’t some miracle about democracy and liberal values, and this is my response to MICHAL as well: historically, functional democracies emerge in countries where a large enough middle class has been formed, and where the population has been adequately politicized. I don’t think both conditions were fulfilled in Syria, and if you think otherwise I want you to show me your reasons to think so.

Absent these, most democracies don’t really improve people’s lives. And worse, don’t necessarily prepare a better future.

October 23rd, 2012, 4:42 pm


Visitor said:

Today, I decided to be nice.

I brought to the idol worshipers on this site a little present.

This has nothing to do with halloween or anything like that. It is just that I located your ‘god’ in order for you to keep expressing your adoration just in time before your present ‘god’ retires,

October 23rd, 2012, 5:07 pm


Michal said:

@ 213. “Open your eyes SL, there exists many democracies in poor, barely literate countries, and they’re all trainwrecks. Take a closer look at some African countries, at India where half of the children are malnourrished. In authoritarian China, hunger has disappeared and shanty towns are non-existent.”

It is absolutely not true that shanty towns are nonexistent in China. See the UN statistics. Using datan.un, 30% of Chinese urban population lives in what is defined by the UN as a slum, ie. missing basic sanitation, with inadequate space and with non-durable buildings. How can you make claims about India and its poverty and ignore the same going on in China? I don’t know why are you spouting such utter nonsense. Are you merely ignorant or do you have an agenda?

“There isn’t some miracle about democracy and liberal values, and this is my response to MICHAL as well: historically, functional democracies emerge in countries where a large enough middle class has been formed, and where the population has been adequately politicized. I don’t think both conditions were fulfilled in Syria, and if you think otherwise I want you to show me your reasons to think so.”

Ah, and if a dictatorship does not permit the creation of a large enough middle class, then the people should just continue to suffer under it. If the dictatorship does not permit the creation of a sufficiently democratised civil society, then the same should apply? What an enormously corrupt logic.

What kind of wealth constitutes middle class anyway? What is a sufficient size?

There is working democracy in Ghana and I have significant doubts on whether Ghana is somehow terribly more backwards than Syria.

October 23rd, 2012, 5:08 pm


Syrialover said:

ALBO #197,

You are using the lite and shorthand version of “democracy”.

In doing so, you have no idea what this is all about. No idea at all.

My eyes are open much, muuch wider than yours.

One of the bottom lines of “democracy” is not just liberal values. It is that the State cannot massacre citizens, disappear and torture them by the thousands and use military force to smash up infrastructure. It is institutionally impossible.

And your country examples are very weak. (For example, I am astonished at your comment on China not having shanty towns! They are there, under your feet as you walk around, workers living in concrete tunnels with their children left behind in dirt poor villages. Read up on it)

I repeat: You have freedoms, opportunities and options beyond the wildest dreams of people living in Syria, and yet seem to assume that those inside do not want and deserve the same.

October 23rd, 2012, 5:10 pm


Observer said:

ZOO I have pointed out the mistakes of the regime one by one and I am not sure that I did not cover all of them.

AIG is right that the only response is to point the finger elsewhere and it could be in Libya or Mali or Syria. It is NEVER EVER THE FAULT OF THE REGIME. This is because you and your Alawi Adoring News Network ( to which you are fully entitled to have along with any state you want living in freedom and dignity and equality ) have had one mantra characterized by abject worship of the current regime and complete denial of the reality of its methods and mentality.

I challenge you to give us the number of demonstrations that were dispersed by tear gas or cordons of police especially if they were in any way shape or form not entirely peaceful.

I challenge you to show me demonstrations against the regime that were not treated with brutality. I challenge you to show me a real end to the state of emergency and I challenge you to show us where are the so called loyal opposition like Khaier and his colleagues after their return from China.

I challenge you show us the visits by the ICRC to the prisons and the state of the detainees there and to show us that anyone who was detained got a fair hearing in front of a judge without 72 hours of his/her arrest as it is stipulated by the constitution and after the so called abolition of the state of emergency.

I challenge to show us one session of the parliament bringing in any minister for questioniong and I challenge you to show us the results of the so called inquiries into the death of Mughnyah and of the bombing of the facility in the North in 07 and of the “mistakes” that your Prethident acknowledged after the SAA forces were humiliated into leaving Lebanaon in disgrace and in their shabby trucks filled to the brim with stolen goods without even a modicum of covering them with tarp.

As for the discourse of the minorities I have said this many times:
1. This is proof beyond proof that there is no such thing as a Syrian National Identity. The minoriites fearing Sunnis wanted a secular state and yet all of a sudden they do wish to remain defined as a minority first and Syrian second. This is from those that gave us Arab and Syrian Nationalism.
2. All of the minorities want the Sunni majority to be secular while they retain their minority special status. Either you are Syrian first and foremost or you are not. It is an oxymoron to have minorities declare that they are Syrian but want to be Minority first.

So ZOO thinks that the prediction of the quick demise remain unrealized gives
a) justification to the repression
b) fits the narrative of a world wide war on the regime
c) means a victory for the regime

are pure hogwash.
WHo would have predicted that people would revolt against a regime that is one of the most brutal on the face of the earth with a pervasive security services of about 17 different branches?


October 23rd, 2012, 5:12 pm


Syrialover said:

Stay in the ring OBSERVER (#217).

You are boxing swift and powerful. A roar of cheers!

But I think ZOO has been carried off on a stretcher.

Not that we mind. He routinely accounts for 30% of the posts here by number and well over 50% by length.

Room for some decent discussion at last.

October 23rd, 2012, 5:21 pm


Syrialover said:


Look, your front line is collapsing. Where are you when needed by your collaborators/colleagues?

I hope you will at least see that ZOO gets some medical (psychological) support.

It wasn’t up to much, but I think he gave all he had before going down.

Mina is proving little use as you can see.

October 23rd, 2012, 5:32 pm


Albo said:

First of all to Michal and SL let me rectify what I said, I’m not in the business of making stuff up, but my memory failed me on this one.

UN-Habitat says “China’s urban population living in slums fell from 37.3 percent in 2000 to 28.2 percent today; [2010]”

I was thinking of a prize China received (I think by the same institution), and for the moment I couldn’t find you the article again. But it was praising China for having fought shanty towns the most efficiently worldwide. I had this headline in mind.
In fact if you look again at the figures I just quoted, you must remember that in those ten years, urban population there augmented by 200 millions. That the slum population decreased as a percentage with such urbanization rates unabated is an achievement unparalleled in the developping world, and I think the prize was about China not having *new* shanty towns built, hence the mistake. Sorry.

But as for my point, yes China is FAR ahead of democratic India in most development metrics, and I have ample (and sourced!) info to back that claim. So the point still stands.

Syria’s middle class was growing, but not fast enough. And inequality rose, particularly for the rural populations it was aggravated by the droughts. So yes overall, this wasn’t working.
But it’s still not a reason to have your country, with all its flaws, go through an Iraqi or Lebanese process. Whatever was wrong about economic conditions in Syria pale in comparison, as we’re witnessing now. I’m absolutly against your assertion that we should have envied Ghana: GDP per head PPP
Ghana 2011: 1,884 VS Syria 2010: 5,262 (World Bank)

HDI score 2010: Syria 0.632/ Ghana 0.541

Intentional Homicide rates (before the events, doesn’t count war casualties) : Syria/Ghana: 2.3/15.7 per 100000 inhabitants.

Syria Lover:
“It is that the State cannot massacre citizens, disappear and torture them by the thousands and use military force to smash up infrastructure. It is institutionally impossible.”

Of course it should never do that, but in wars all bets are off. Even if you say it’s 100% the regime fault, that’s still war, not normal conditions and everyone has to gauge the opportunity of their actions, including setting up a rebel force and fighting an intense guerilla war.

Be careful not to take a punch in your eye if its too wide open (I know this wasn’t all that necessary but since you insist 😉 )

October 23rd, 2012, 5:55 pm


Tara said:

The day ended in Syria with 220 martyred. Among them 10 women and 20 children jihadists…
New post is on.

October 23rd, 2012, 6:49 pm


AIG said:


Your thinking is of course circular:
1) There should be no democracy in Syria because of the economic situation
2) Therefore, Assad should stay in power
3) But Assad has not improved the economic situation in Syria
4) Therefore go to 1

Your argument would have had some merit if Assad had a proven track record of sustained economic improvement at the 10% growth level like China. But he hasn’t. So your “economic” excuse is just that, an excuse. Democracy is not at a miracle cure. But Assad is certainly a very bad disease. The choice is obvious.

October 23rd, 2012, 7:20 pm


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[…] Kriegsfront Syrien in einer Sackgasse. Selbst Joshua Landis, einer der übelsten sektiererischen Kriegspropagandisten der westlichen Wertegemeinschaft, hat inzwischen eingestanden, dass das US-Konzept, in Syrien über […]

January 4th, 2013, 2:50 am


Comment on CNAS policy brief “Syria’s hard landing” by Dr. Marc Lynch | jonasrenz said:

[…] The debate over the right approach to the tragedy that is unfolding in Syria has sharply polarized the foreign policy community. In the past months, advocates of stronger US involvement seemed irreconcilably opposed to proponents of non-involvement—a rift that divides academia, political analysts, Capitol Hill and even the national security team of President Obama. However, as the fighting escalates, the two sides appeared to hesitantly converge on some aspects. Critics of intervention might have noted that the option of a Libya-style bombing campaign has widely disappeared from the discourse. At the same time, even proponents of a hands-off approach grudgingly concede that a workable strategy to alleviate the suffering must include some military elements. […]

February 26th, 2013, 3:04 pm


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