Truce Shaky but neither Arab League nor West have Better Idea as Opposition Militias Fight Among Themselves

The Annan truce is shaky but neither the Arab League nor the West has a better Idea about what to do in Syria. They opposition militias in the Idlib region are fight among themselves. The growing violence has scared or repulsed many educated and middle-class Syrians, who had been hoping for greater help from outside powers.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the sanctions had depleted Syrian government financial reserves by half.  Egypt’s reserves have also been depleted by half, oddly enough. Juppe said the regime of President Bashar Assad was trying to maneuver around the sanctions and that “we must respond to these maneuvers.” Syrian reserves were reported at 18 billion before the revolt began. The sanctions have been unpopular with most Syrians because of the inflation, scarcity, and monetary collapse that has made the average Syrian much poorer than he was.

 The following article describes how the free Syrian Army militias in Idlib province have taken a beating by the Syrian army and in public opinion because many of them turned to kidnapping, robbery, and fighting among themselves.

نشقاقات واسعة في صفوف ” الجيش الحر” بإدلب وأنباء عن تصفيات قريبة

خاص عربي برس

هل بدأت حروب التصفيات بين ثوار إدلب مع اشتداد تضييق الخناق عليهم من قبل الجيش السوري، وانحسار الغطاء الشعبي عنهم بعد تراكم الأخطاء، ومع قلة الذخائر والأسلحة التي ترشح من الحدود التي بات يطبق عليها حرس الحدود بشكل لافت ؟ وبعد تسليم المئات منهم أسلحتهم والتعهد للسلطات بعدم حمل السلاح والمشاركة في الشغب أو التخريب ؟

أريحا التي تشتهر بأطيب أنواع الكرز السوري، ذاقت الأمرين على يد المسلحين الذين سيطروا عليها ،موسم الكرز الذي كان يصدر إلى الخليج لم يجد من يقطفه العام الماضي ، و مصايف جبل الأربعين حيل بين أهل حلب وبينها، بل إن بيوت الحلبيين تم نهب الكثير منها ، ولم يبق موسر من أصحاب مطاعمها لم يدفع “خوة ” أو يخطف له ابن بهدف الفدية، دخول أبنائها تراجعت كثيراً بسبب الأحداث وقطع طريق اللاذقية حلب الحيوي الذي يمر بالقرب منها عوامل أدت إلى انقلاب المزاج العام، بعد انتشار قصص التعذيب و ” التشبيح ” التي مارسها هؤلاء بحق مؤيدي النظام وحتى الحياديين الذين لم يتحمسوا للثورة.

ومع تسرب اليأس إلى صفوف المسلحين نتيجة صمود النظام وسيطرته العسكرية على معظم الأرض في المحافظة بدأت الأصوات تتعالى في أريحا منتقدة الجيش الحر و مسلحيه وممارساتهم .

أستاذ جامعي طلب عدم نشر اسمه قال: ” حارتنا ضيقة ونعرف بعضنا ، أي جيش حر هم ؟ هل بيت العدل عائلة الجاسوس الإسرائيلي بسام العدل ، أم مسلحي بيت الحرصوني وبيت البخورة ؟ هم عصابات سرقت ونهبت وقتلت ،والناس تريد من الجيش سحقهم ، لكنهم يخافون من الإعدام و التعليق على أعمدة الكهرباء بعد محاكم خنفشارية لمشايخ نصف وهابيين ونصف جهلة… ” .

Addendum (7 hours later) : Thomas Pierret writes in an email

Dear Joshua, I’m writing to warn you against the article you put on your blog today, on Idlib militias fighting among themselves. I’ve read several articles of that kind over the last weeks, always on websites that are strongly pro-regime (Arabi Press is one of them). It might well be pure propaganda, and in any case I wouldn’t take these articles at face value. Best, Thomas

Addendum: Landis replies to Pierret.

Dear Thomas. Many thanks for this cautionary advice. You are absolutely correct to warn against taking pro-government news at face value. There is so much bad, half-truth, and false news coming out of Syria that it is very hard to know what to trust and how to report on it or summarize it. I have been erring on the side of linking to as much as I can, and try to publish contradictory reports next to each other when I can in order to underscore the confusion.  I must confess that this report seemed possible to me as I have reliable reports from friends and relatives who travel through the Idlib region being robbed. Two different co-workers of my brother-in-law stopped by gangs on the Aleppo-Idlib road. Both were Sunnis. They were beaten and robbed. None of them take the highway anymore or travel between the two cities because the roads are considered unsafe. Firas, my brother-in-law, who kept a small apartment in Aleppo and traveled there every week in order to oversee a small clothing factory had to find other work based in Latakia, give up his apartment, and stop traveling to Aleppo. The stories of highwaymen attaching people for money are legion. These stories are at the heart of the article I quote above. This was the reason I went with it and quoted from it. All the same, I do not have independent verification of the militias attacking each other, although I have heard many accounts of people who support the revolution during its firs – and largely peaceful phase – losing confidence in it for the reasons reported in this story and because they fear growing lawlessness the emergence of armed groups who are using revolutionary activities as cover for less savory activities. Of course, this is exactly what the government and security forces who have provoked this violence are hoping for in order to discredit the revolution. One does not want to play into their cynical plans, but equally one does not want to whitewash reality. You warning is important. Government papers have incentive to paint the opposition is criminals and must be read with caution and skepticism.


Recent developments in Aleppo Province. The so called FSA has abandoned its checkpoints in the northern countryside of Aleppo, but these checkpoints remain intact (not demolished). It is not clear yet whether the FSA has abandoned its checkpoints in compliance with Anan’s plan or because it cann’t confront regime’s superior air force and army or both.

Foreign Policy: Who Broke Syria?
Bashar al-Assad did. But the international community and the media made things worse.
BY JAMES HARKIN | APRIL 17, 2012, Foreign Policy

In December, the Syrian National Council seems to have made an orchestrated effort to turn Homs into a Syrian Benghazi…. The council spread stories in the international media, for example, suggesting that the Syrian Army had moved up reinforcements with which to strike the city, and that it had given the rebellious Homsies 72 hours to lay down their weapons or be killed. When I phoned a respected veteran activist in Homs, he told me that the charge simply wasn’t true. Things were bad enough, he said, without having to make up scary stories….

The United Nations bought it. Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that “many voices are warning that a major assault” on Homs is about to begin, that a further military buildup had already begun. ……

If there was a strategy to internationalize the conflict, however, it failed. The United Nations could do nothing, but the promise that it might may have put ordinary activists and Free Syrian Army rebels in the city at even greater risk. Many were led to believe that help was coming, when it most definitely wasn’t….

….Nor is it lost on them that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are so democratically backward as to make the Syrian government look like a hippie commune. The SNC’s apparent decision to accept money from the Gulf States to pay salaries to Free Syrian Army guerrillas sounded breathtakingly arrogant, and makes for shockingly bad politics. Not only does lend credence to the conspiracy theories peddled by the government that the uprising is the handiwork of foreign agitators; it risks splitting the indigenous opposition movement and empowering exactly the kind of Sunni extremist groups who are most likely to stoke sectarian tensions.

Whatever the Syrian government now says, the influence of these extremist Sunni factions is currently marginal, even inside the Free Syrian Army. Most of the military defectors are simply conservative Sunnis from farming communities. But Syria is currently exhibiting a brand new irony of our post-war-on-terror era. The secular Syrian liberals and leftist groups that have most in common in Western values don’t want NATO intervention, while it’s exactly the kind of people who don’t much like us — the aging remains of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the newer, more radical Sunni salafists — who are begging for our help.

Who knows: If the unthinking drift toward creating neo-mujahideen in Syria and Iran (a strategy advocated by Foreign Policy’s own James Traub) continues, following a decade in which radical Sunnis became America’s Public Enemy No. 1, Osama bin Laden might have to be posthumously converted back into the freedom fighter America saw him as in the 1980s, marching into battle to drive out one of the last vestiges of godlessness in the Middle East.

Fox News: Syria regime’s finances cut in half by sanctions

PARIS – France’s foreign minister says an array of international sanctions targeting Syria’s repressive regime have depleted its financial reserves by half — and Damascus is actively trying to evade them. Alain Juppe called Tuesday for a solid …

France24 (EN): Al-Assad’s ‘modest and sensitive’ cousin publishes romantic thriller

Al-Assad’s ‘modest and sensitive’ cousin publishes romantic thriller By Tony Todd the 16/04/2012 – 18:30 While President Bashar al-Assad suppresses an uprising in Syria, his first cousin has written a romantic thriller warmly praised by Paris …

By Phillip Smyth April 15, 2012, MERIA

As the Syrian revolution against Bashar al-Asad’s rule enters its first year, Asad appears to have a good command over Syria’s large and fractious minority community. Three of the most prominent minority groups include the Christians, Druze, and Kurds. Asad’s control of these groups was not happenstance but the result of a number of hard- and soft-power moves executed by the regime. These calculations did not simply involve direct internal dealings with said minorities, but also outreach to their populations living in neighboring states and abroad. Due to the regime’s many policies, minority support may continue for some time.

Foreign Affairs: Alawites for Assad

Since the start of the revolt in Syria, the country’s Alawites have been instrumental in maintaining President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power. A sect of Shia …

The Alawites’ loyalty to Assad today is hardly assured, however. Despite popular notions of a rich, privileged Alawite class dominating Syria, the country’s current regime provides little tangible benefit to most Alawite citizens. Rural Alawites have struggled as a result of cuts in fuel subsidies and new laws restricting the sale of tobacco — their primary crop for centuries. Indeed, since the provision of basic services by the first Assad in the 1970s and 1980s, most Alawite villages — with the exception of Qardaha, the home of Assad’s tribe, the Kalbiyya — have developed little. Donkeys remain a common form of transport for many, and motor vehicles are scarce, with dilapidated minibuses offering the only way to commute to the cities for work.

Some Alawites are explicitly breaking ranks. Last September, for example, three prominent Alawite sheikhs, Mohib Nisafi, Yassin Hussein, and Mussa Mansour, issued a joint statement declaring their “innocence from these atrocities carried out by Bashar al-Assad and his aides, who belong to all religious sects.” According to Monzer Makhouz, an Alawite member of the Syrian National Council, a leading opposition group, Alawites are joining protests in the coastal cities of the Alawite territory. And in recent weeks, evidence has emerged of defections of Alawite soldiers and intelligence officers, seemingly from less privileged Alawite tribes, who have described themselves as “Free Alawites” and called for other Alawites to join them. …

Two Car bombs exploded in Aleppo on Tuesday killing 5 and wounding 16.

Salon: Syrian rebels’ man in D.C.

Radwan Ziadeh fled Syria with his wife via the Jordanian border in October 2007. He had come to Washington many times before that, for conferences dealing with his work on Syrian politics. But upon returning to his homeland after one Washington …

By Jeffrey White – WINEP
April 17, 2012

Data from one of the key Syrian opposition groups, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), shows a persistent pattern of violent, armed regime actions against the people despite the ceasefire that supposedly went into force last week:

The regime has effectively continued its struggle against the armed and unarmed opposition, even using heavy weapons at times, though less frequently than before. Around twenty people are dying each day since the beginning of the ceasefire.

From Friday through mid-Sunday, the LCC reported some sixty-eight violent regime actions across the country. All major centers of opposition were targeted: Aleppo, Deraa, Homs, the Damascus countryside, Idlib, Deir al-Zour, and Hama. Regime tactics included shelling of cities with heavy weapons (artillery, tanks, and BMP armored vehicles), shooting at demonstrators and other individuals, raids with armored vehicles on opposition towns and neighborhoods, breaking up demonstrations with gunfire, physical assaults on demonstrators, and arrests.

The widespread use of violent tactics will be a challenge for the UN monitoring mission, even if it reaches its projected strength of 250. The regime’s actions also suggest that it has no intention of negotiating anything but the opposition’s surrender.


Recent developments in Aleppo Province. The so called FSA has abandoned its checkpoints in the northern countryside of Aleppo, but these checkpoints remain intact (not demolished). It is not clear yet whether the FSA has abandoned its checkpoints in compliance with Anan’s plan or because it cann’t confront regime’s superior air force and army or both.

By Michael Knights – winep

If the Gulf states decide to aid the Syrian armed opposition, they have considerable equipment and expertise they could bring to bear.
The participation of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the Libyan conflict demonstrated the Gulf Cooperation Council’s activism and capability. In recent months, therefore, speculation has focused on possible GCC intervention in the Syrian civil war. On February 27, Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told the Friends of Syria conference in Tunis that “we should do whatever is necessary to help [Syrian oppositionists], including giving them weapons to defend themselves.” On March 31, Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal echoed this statement: “The arming of the [Syrian] opposition is a duty.” What capabilities, then, would the Gulf states bring in terms of support to armed proxies? And what would be the risks related to their intervention?

External security assistance to states and substate groups can be divided into two broad categories: foreign internal defense (FID) and unconventional warfare. FID support comprises security assistance provided to a government for the purpose of overcoming insurgent or terrorist groups, while unconventional warfare refers to support provided by external actors to the insurgents. In either case, foreign support may include provision of training, equipment, or operations, in some cases via direct involvement of foreign combat forces.
GCC states have a significant track record in FID and are quickly gaining experience in unconventional warfare missions. Both FID and unconventional warfare accentuate funding, technology, airpower, and special forces — attributes possessed by the Gulf Arab monarchies. Likewise, factors that have traditionally hindered GCC military effectiveness — limited manpower, inability to field large numbers of high-quality units — are deemphasized. The partial deniability afforded by the use of militant proxies is also attractive to the cautious Gulf monarchies.

Saudi Arabia offers a significant pedigree in terms of unconventional warfare campaigns: ..

Why Turks don’t smile

A Turkish friend of mine who has lived in the United States for many years once told me an amusing experience of hers. After more than a decade in the land of freedom, she came back to Istanbul for a few weeks. While strolling the streets, she inadvertently smiled at people with whom she came face to face. In return, though, she did not get the polite response that she was used to. Instead, the women she smiled at looked surprised, and worse, the men she smiled at looked aroused.

“I realized that those men took my smile as a sexual hint,” my friend told me. “One of them even began to follow me in a very excited mood!”

Soon, my friend wisely adapted to the Turkish manners: In this country, you don’t smile at strangers. You simply look the other way, and, if you come eye to eye, you try to look tough.

For a while, and as a sociologist-wannabe, I have been wondering why this is the case. Gradually, I have become convinced that this no-smile attitude tells us a lot about the nature of Turkish society: As surveys also prove, this is one of the places on earth in which people trust each other the least. Hence, they can easily see other members of society as potential threats or even enemies.
But why? Are Turks inherently rude, antisocial or nasty people?

Not really. Quite the contrary, Turks are famous for their hospitality and generosity, and they are also known to be very loyal to their friends.

But there is a catch here: Turks are very good to people that they know well, such as their family and kin. Yet, for the people with whom they are less familiar, their attitude dramatically changes. In other words, if they see a familiar face on the street, they go out of their way to show affection. For unfamiliar faces, however, they have nothing but suspicion.

This social reality of Turkey seems to tell us a lot about the nature of its politics as well: Here, every political camp is filled with contempt and paranoia for the other camps. (In the 1970s, this led the country to near civil war; …..

Burhan Ghalioun’s email hacked. Published by al-akhbar. No real surprises

■ رياض الأسعد مغرور ويجب إيجاد قيادة جماعية
■ الخارجية الأميركية تقدم الاستشارات لغليون وقضماني
■ هكذا يخاطب «رئيس المجلس» سعود الفيصل

Fred Hof email … Saud Alfaisal …

عرض الإخوة الطريقة التي تعامل بها العقيد رياض مع اللجنة وأظهروا الجانب الفوقي في العلاقة التي أظهرت غروره وأنه يجب علينا إيجاد قيادة جماعية لضمان حسن سير العمل، حيث تصرفات العقيد لا توحي بالأريحية بالتعامل معه

2- محاولة اغتيال د. سمير جعجع

قرار: إصدار المكتب الإعلامي بيان إدانة وأن هذا العمل اعتاد النظام القمعي في دمشق القيام به، وأن هذه الأعمال للنظام القمعي بسوريا لن تمر بدون عقاب وإرسال رسالة الى د. سمير (للتهنئة) بسلامته (د. بسمة)

8- فواتير بسام كويفاتي ومطالبة الأستاذ هيثم المالح بها تم حلها مع صاحب العلاقة مباشرة وصرف له مبلغ 10 آلاف دولار وانتهت القضية

Comments (171)

Jad said:

From the previous post:

Very good interview with Jihad Makdissi, however, CBS only showed 20sec out of almost 20min interview, yet they keep whining that there are no press in Syria….
Isn’t it obvious that the mainstream media reporters are not interested in hearing the answers of their questions or to know anything about the truth:

CBS Part 1

CBS Part 2

April 18th, 2012, 1:49 am


Jad said:

blue beret This is for our SC Moderator who is doing a magnificent work for all of us, I stole it from a friend of mine but I won’t link his page.

Sorry Mr. Moderator you have to accept it without a link.

Thank you for your hard work 🙂

قالت الممحاة للقلم: كيف حالك يا صديقي..؟
رد القلم بغضب: انا لست صديقكي….
قالت بدهشه….لماذا…
…رد القلم :لانني اكرهك قالت بحزن…..و لما..؟
قال لانك تمحين ما اكتب ……….
… … قالت :انا لا امحو الا الاخطاء
قال لها…..و ما شأنك انتي ……
قالت :انا ممحاة هذا عملي
قال: هذا ليس عملا قالت :عملي نافع مثل عملك
قال القلم:انتي مخطئه و مغروره
قالت :لماذ ا قال : لان من يكتب افضل ممن يمحو…
قالت: إزالةُ الخطأ تعادلُ كتابةَالصواب….
رفع القلم رأسه وقال: ولكنني أراكِ تصغرين يوماً بعد يوم… قالت: لأنني أضحّي بشيءٍ من جسمي كلّما محوْتُ خطأ .. قال القلم محزوناً: وأنا أحسُّ أنني أقصرُ مم كنت…
قالت الممحاة تواسيه: لا نستطيع إفادةَ الآخرين، إلا إذا قدّمنا تضحية من أجلهم… ثم نظرت الممحاة إلي القلم بعطف بالغ قائلة: أما زلت تكرهني؟…
ابتسم القلم وقال: كيف أكرهك وقد جمعتنا التضحيات………

April 18th, 2012, 2:12 am


Son of Damascus said:

blue beret Moderator,

How dare you be fair in your moderation?

Do I need to get a wasta (special permission) from the Doctor, to make you less fair and more biased?
Or do I need to slip you some money so you look the other way?

You must understand we Syrians despise being treated equally, we must be treated differently and always made to feel special. We are always right, even when we know we are wrong, actually especially when we are wrong.

Which route will you take to quell this little “uprising” you got on your hands, will you continue to be the moderate moderator, or will you turn into the terminator and strike us with the mighty Banhammer?

Until then you will keep hearing both sides saying: ” El Shaab of SC ureed isqat el moderation!!!”

(This is a tongue in cheek post, I really do appreciate the time you VOLUNTEER to make this space a civil place for Syrians to discuss. THANK YOU!!)

April 18th, 2012, 2:19 am


William Scott Scherk said:

Son of Damascus! Stay and say more, please …

I read more at Syria Comment these months. I liked when the site went down from some spy attack and there appeared a flood of pictures from Alex (whom I miss) and Juergen (beautiful black and white photos of Syria).

I wish the moderator could allow pictures from us more often, and I wish I heard more from the Walls blog.

I also have more: a wish that peace takes hold after a ceasefire and elections are postponed and a real National Dialogue takes place and pardons start flying out of the Palace and the prisons are inspected by the Red Crescent and charges are filed against people for atrocities, detainees go home and food comes in and deeply traumatized get help and truths get told … and I hope somehow, some way, by some fortune, that Syria can get from here to there with no more blood.

But there are demons abroad right now, demons prowl, demons mask and demons snarl, whether instigators or stooges or currents of hate and exclusion, and after forty years, the authoritarian machine will not easily be dismantled. Imagine when North Korea’s regime totters into the ditch, when Belarus finally cracks, when reformists take control of the Douma, when China is free and Cuba comes home to the world.

Then maybe I could understand Syria giving up forty years of devotion to the Baathi playbook.

I was most heartened by a start of honest discussion of Alawites — and their needs for protection after abuses at the hands of the Baathis and the Assads.

I was encouraged my Mawal95’s first stab at explaining Alawis, and how the pie of opinion actually stands in Syria, how the round table will be populated, how accomodations will be made, who will be let in and so on. There is goodwill and good sense on the nuts and bolts of a new constitutional state in Syria, I think.

I see and I wish for, in my minds eye, the Syria border and customs controls, sometime soon, where The List is given up, the detainess meet the exiles at the airport, where the old Walls fall as it did in other countries, when people at long last have one tangible sense that a page has been turned and that justice is closer at hand. When apologies and trials are announced and televised. When Syrian television dares tell the whole Syrian truth. When the bloggers come out of torture, when the disappeared walk free and the unidentified dead in mass burials are identified by forensic investigation.

Wishes, Son of Damascus, wishes.

Do I foresee peace in the near future in Syria?

Sadly, no, at least not from reading here. There is too much hatred and disinformation and abuse and denial of atrocities by Assad security and military forces and irregulars (the so-called Shaheeba). The old order is firmly in control and intends to keep it so. By any means. With or without a ceasefire, it intends to endure and manage everything forever.

My favourite picture of Syria, haunting and beautiful. I demand that this useless moderator publish it.

If this ceasefire holds, if it really holds, if the destruction is laid bare, the need for truth and reconciliation becomes urgent in Syrian breasts, I see hope for Syria.

Otherwise, I am silent. Only Syrian will can solve Syrian problems. And the game of shelling, arrests, torture, propaganda, civilian casualties and terror seems the only game in town. From the regime side above all, all is power, gunnery, arrest and control.

All for Syria.

Then, elections. 🙂

April 18th, 2012, 2:52 am


Antoine said:

If these type of posts continue to appear by Dr. Landis, especially the misleading title and ill-informed paragraph in Arabic ( a first-hand account, at that), Syria-Comment is fast on the way of becoming Tartous-Comment or Jabal-Comment.

April 18th, 2012, 3:19 am


Antoine said:


I am counting on you to post links to videos of pro-regime rallies in the following towns in Syria :

Manbij, Al-Baab, Safirah, Deir Hafir, and Khanasir in Aleppo Province.

Salamiyah, Kubaybat, al-Saan, Mhradeh, and Kafr Buhum, in Hama Province

Al-Boukamal, al-Qouriyah, and al-Mayadin, in Deirezzor Province

al-Qaryatayn in Homs Province.

I am counting on you, bcomz my knowledge of the Arabic alphabet is deficient.

I should add that should you fail to post videos of pro-regime rallies in above-mentioned towns, I would conclude that there is no significant pro-regime sentiment in those towns.

April 18th, 2012, 3:24 am


Alan said:

كل عام وسورية غنية بأبنائها، مطمئنة بإخلاصهم، فخورة بحبهم، عامرة بعملهم، سالمة بوعيهم

April 18th, 2012, 3:52 am


Alan said:

“Imagine when North Korea’s regime totters into the ditch, when Belarus finally cracks, when reformists take control of the Douma, when China is free and Cuba comes home to the world.”

Сasually didn’t forget couple of tens countries to add such as Iran, Venezuela and all her allies in Latin America, Pakistan, India, Russia, etc.

April 18th, 2012, 4:04 am


Antoine said:


Please refer to my comment # 6 on this page….I shld add that ou should especially try to post videos of pro-regime rallies in the towns of Mhradeh and Kafr Buhum in Hama….both these towns are 95 % Christian…..and should you fail to do so, I would asume most Christians in Syria are not pro-regime.

April 18th, 2012, 4:56 am


Alan said:

ثمانية نقاط لعالم التمنيات و الأحلام و نقطة واحدة من معارض
هذا مؤشر على بعدنا عن العالم الحقيقي و خضوعنا لتأثير الدعاية الوردية !
يجب أن نتعامل مع العالم بوضعه و حاله الراهن و لا نحاول أن نحوله لطاحونة دون كيشوت !
من المتوقع بعد اجراء الانتخابات الأمريكية زيارة الرئيس الروسي بوتين الى الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية سيعقبها مرحلة انفراج في العلاقات الدولية لننتظر و نرى !

April 18th, 2012, 5:20 am


Mina said:

From the beginning of the post above: “They opposition militias in the Idlib region are fight among themselves.”

Alan, get out of hiding! Nice to see it’s not only me who is making too many mistakes when I write too fast.

April 18th, 2012, 5:41 am


Juergen said:


I have an flickr album where i collected some picture which I took during the years, i do love the so called dead cities nearby Aleppo, the sandstone used in the buildings is amazing,one could alone spent two weeks to visit this area.

April 18th, 2012, 5:53 am


Juergen said:

Salafists threaten Egypt with an Islamic revolution

As three candidates were rejected by the election council, the election seems to be endangered

April 18th, 2012, 6:08 am


Juergen said:

Batta video

April 18th, 2012, 6:29 am


Alan said:

أليس بسام كويفاتي هو واحد من جماعة جان و كميل كويفاتي للألبسة الجاهزة جامعو الأموال الذين فروا الى خارج القطر ؟

April 18th, 2012, 7:28 am


SyrianPatriot said:

More on the Syrian E-Mail wars on the english al-akhbar website:

April 18th, 2012, 7:39 am


Alan said:

Boris Dolgov, a Senior Researcher with the Center for Arabic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, talks about the Syrian opposition, which has arrived in Moscow to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Syrian opposition in Moscow Audio report

April 18th, 2012, 8:14 am


Alan said:
‘Friends of Syria’ are not to assess implementation of Annan plan – Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, is concerned about attempts by the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ group to assess the implementation of the Kofi Annan plan for a settlement in Syria.

When addressing a press conference in Moscow earlier today, Lavrov pointed out that the plan was approved by the UN Security Council, and it is therefore for the Security Council to assess its implementation on the basis of reports by the UN monitors in Syria.

In this context, Sergei Lavrov urged the UN Secretary-General not to postpone the submission to the Security Council of proposals for the format that the mission of monitors should operate in when supervising the observance of the ceasefire in Syria.

The Russian Foreign Minister called attention to recent news reports to the effect that the fighters of the so-called Free Syrian Army are using refugee camps in Turkey to prepare attacks on Syrian checkpoints.

“Friends of Syria” ministers to discuss tougher sanctions against Assad

Foreign ministers of France, US, Turkey and several Arab Gulf states are due to discuss tougher sanctions against Syria at the upcoming Paris meeting, US state department acting spokesperson Mark Toner said, adding that the US hoped to mount more political and economic pressure on Syria’s strongman Bashar al-Assad.

Mark Toner also stressed that the ministers would do their best to ensure that harsher actions are imposed on the Islamic Republic.

On Thursday, France will be holding a foreign ministers meeting, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to increase the pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s regime and urge it to adhere to Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

April 18th, 2012, 8:39 am


Tara said:


If you have not read the email sent by the moderator to some of us, please do.  It is heart-lightening.

For the record, I have very frequently if not always addressed you as “YOU”.  I have on many time cross questioning you, have personalized the discussion, and have asked you the very same question in many shapes and forms.  This was my way to establish “trust”…. that your indignation is not fake and that your views and support are genuine, regardless whether I agree or not, and you have always been polite and gracious.  So yes, I take full responsibility…        

April 18th, 2012, 8:58 am


Alan said:

The Syrian conflict as a school of diplomacy

April 18th, 2012, 9:03 am


Alan said:

An article by V.Naumkin “Eternal “Spring”

April 18th, 2012, 9:08 am


bronco said:

#19 Tara

Reading the email, I understand the moderator point of view and I know it is not often easy to detect bitter and destructive exchanges from just direct and genuine exchanges. In written messages, the lack of the tone of voice makes a big difference.

blue beret I hold no one responsible for my been scolded, not even myself. It is part of the risk of being in a public blog and to show openly one’s cards.

April 18th, 2012, 9:08 am


zoo said:

Let Turkey and Arab money do the job?

Assad: An Arab Problem
The U.S. doesn’t have a big role to play in Syria.
By Buck Sexton

As Bashar Assad toys with the ill-fated United Nations peace plan for Syria, some have called for a U.S.-led intervention in yet another Arab conflict. Some support American action as a strategic opportunity to deal a deathblow to Iran’s favorite proxy; others push on purely humanitarian grounds. But all of them ignore a fundamental reality: Assad is an Arab problem. This is their fight, not ours.

… And those who believe America has a moral obligation to act largely assume that an effort intended to be a replay of NATO in Kosovo, 1999, won’t turn into America in Beirut, 1982. By getting too involved, we could very make well make things worse — in a country with chemical weapons, no less.

In addition, our historical culpability for the Syrian mess is markedly different from other Arab Spring states. Unlike Egypt, where it was Uncle Sam’s dollars and friendship that helped keep a pro-Western despot in power for decades, Syria has long been the junior-varsity member of the Axis of Evil. The Alawite kleptocrats running the show in Damascus have kept their country on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1979. Assad is not a U.S. puppet, but a hobgoblin.

… But America shouldn’t do the heavy lifting for largely Islamist insurgents in Homs or Hama.

In a region that generally soaked itself in post-colonial pity until the Arab Spring, a unique opportunity presents itself for Muslims to take the reins and free an oppressed Sunni population.

Geography will probably determine a lot for the fate of Syria. With the exception of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria’s neighbors are turning against Assad, and apart from Israel, all happen to be Muslim-majority states. Assad is a Ba’athist dictator surrounded by Muslim militaries and seasoned insurgents with more than enough resources to hasten his departure, if they throw themselves into the task.

With that in mind, Turkey also has to play a leading role. As a NATO member, it has the capability to protect refugees and work effectively through diplomatic channels, though actively arming anti-Assad fighters will probably be left to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
… We want freedom for all peoples, but we can’t ensure it through force of arms, and shouldn’t try. It’s time for Washington to establish a bright line between protecting Americans’ liberties and assisting Muslims and other oppressed peoples in fighting for their own.

— Buck Sexton is a former Central Intelligence Agency officer with the Counterterrorism Center and the Office of Iraq Analysis. Currently, he is national-security editor at

April 18th, 2012, 9:17 am


zoo said:

No fans of Assad, Syria’s Kurds distrust uprising (and the opposition)
By ZEINA KARAM | Associated Press – 6 hrs ago
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s Kurds, who have long complained of discrimination under President Bashar Assad, would seem a natural fit to join the revolt against his rule. Instead, they are growing increasingly distrustful of an opposition they see as no more likely to grant them their rights.

Kurdish parties angrily pulled out of a recent conference aimed at unifying the opposition ranks after participants ignored their demands for more rights and recognition in a post-Assad Syria.

April 18th, 2012, 9:20 am


zoo said:

Syria’s Political Opposition: a report

Executive Summary

Policymakers must identify and understand Syria’s political opposition, both in exile and on the ground, in order to develop a clear vision of their aims and a better strategy for support. Any successful U.S. policy in Syria should focus on constructing a viable alternative to Assad’s government.

This report provides detailed information on the diverse groupings of the Syrian political opposition in order to inform the international community’s response to the conflict. It distinguishes between the expatriate political opposition and the grassroots protest movement operating on the ground in Syria.

Policymakers must come to the understanding that they may not get the chance to sit across the table from a single opposition party, but rather will have to work directly with the nascent political-military structures that have formed at a local level.
The key to creating an effective national opposition lies in connecting the established national coalitions with the grassroots political movement.

The most well-known and widely recognized established political opposition coalition is the Syrian National Council (SNC). The SNC is based in Istanbul and functions as a loosely-aligned umbrella organization comprised of seven different blocs: the Muslim Brotherhood, the Damascus Declaration, the National Bloc, the Local Coordination Committee (as representatives of the grassroots movement), the Kurdish Bloc, the Assyrian Bloc, and Independents.

The SNC has not meaningfully engaged with local opposition forces, and is losing credibility and influence within Syria as the conflict grows more militarized.

April 18th, 2012, 9:25 am


MM said:

Joshua builds up “journalistic capital” by reporting the truth, then publishes this kind of blatantly false stuff not reported anywhere else.

April 18th, 2012, 9:34 am


zoo said:

Libya turning against its saviors

UK minister sued for sending Libyan back to torture
Lawyers acting for Abdel Hakim Belhadj, once a Libyan rebel fighter on the run who went on to help topple Gaddafi in 2011, say recent evidence indicates that Straw authorized British spies to allow Belhadj to be sent back to Libya without due legal process, something known as rendition.

Now a powerful man in Tripoli, Belhadj says the United States was acting on a tip off from Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, and that the CIA used the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to refuel during the flight.

Belhadj is already suing the British government, the intelligence services and Sir Mark Allen, the former MI6 head of counter terrorism operations.

A report in the Sunday Times quoted sources as claiming Straw, who as foreign minister is formally in charge of the foreign spy service, had personally authorized Belhadj’s rendition to Libya.

Blair said this month he had no recollection of the Belhadj case but the legal action has tested even the steely nerves of Britain’s spy chiefs who now have to ponder whether their decisions will one day be the subject of legal action.

April 18th, 2012, 9:45 am


Antoine said:

27. MM said:

“Joshua builds up “journalistic capital” by reporting the truth, then publishes this kind of blatantly false stuff not reported anywhere else.”

Couldn’t have said it better.

April 18th, 2012, 9:52 am


Antoine said:


“….Nor is it lost on them that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are so democratically backward as to make the Syrian government look like a hippie commune.”

Let me correct the typo …” nor is it lost on him that Syria is so dehumanizing as to make Qatar and Saudi Arabia look like a hippie commune”.

April 18th, 2012, 9:59 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……..The U.S. doesn’t have a big role to play in Syria…”

Sure not…Middle East peace and security, progress and devolepment is nightmare for Israel and U.S. Why would they play any effective role in bringing that to fruition.

April 18th, 2012, 10:02 am


Aldendeshe said:

What a bucnh of dimm witted losers…..Where is my MANDO SODA you promised me REVLON?

April 18th, 2012, 10:32 am


Afram said:

The fact is Russia’s Lavrov literally saved Syria from spiraling out of control.
the master diplomat care less about if the syrians name a street or their first born after him.history books would do him Justice

the fact is,syria is not arab problem but syrians,to many cooks crooks and Liars in the kitchen,somehow Lavrov left them(3%ZIft+Burhan)looking embarrassed and foolish.

The corrupt three Percenter can go buy Obamas Nobel peace prize

April 18th, 2012, 10:37 am


Alan said:
UN condemns Syria opposition of human rights abuses

April 18th, 2012, 11:00 am


zoo said:

After the failed meeting in Istanbul on 1th april, and an even worse meeting in Paris on the 17th april, the next FOS meeting is planned in Washington.

The very low key meeting in Paris renamed “Sanctions meeting” on 17th April produced nothing worth mentioning. It is not even clear who attended it as no participants list was published. They were qualified as ‘junior officials’. Neither Clinton not Davutoglu were present. The popularity of the FOS is in deep decline.

“At the end of today’s meeting, the group said it would convene again next month in Washington. The final statement offered to lift sanctions on Syrian businesspeople who can show they have broken links with the government. ”

Juppe is trying to gather 14 foreign ministries ‘passing by’ to send one more “strong message” to Bashar al Assad

April 18th, 2012, 11:40 am


Afram said:

31. Syrian Nationalist Party said:
“……..The U.S. doesn’t have a big role to play in Syria…”

Sure not…Middle East peace and security, progress and devolepment is nightmare for Israel and U.S. Why would they play any effective role in bringing that to fruition.
After israel succeeded in knocking the arab financial capital Beirut in the 80,s out of commission and made Tal-Abib/Aviv in it place,the zionists been living a dream and the arabs in a coma!

Israeli nightmare!? is a joke

some 63 Israeli companies were listed on the NASDAQ..MR.SNP

The arabs are buying their praying rugs and Fawanees Ramadan from China..Time to say alfatiha on arabism and burry their useless 60,s fiery speeches
here is a slogan for you:
‘drop the gun….its time for fun’

April 18th, 2012, 11:45 am


zoo said:

Report: Lebanon Refused Opening Qulaiat Airport for Syria Observers
by Naharnet Newsdesk 11 hours ago

Lebanese authorities have refused to allow U.N. observers to land in the defunct Qulaiat airport in the North to give them quick access to the Syrian province of Homs, An Nahar daily reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said the U.N. made the request given that the airport is at close proximity to Homs and could be used for the possible evacuation of casualties.

An advance team of six members already arrived in Syria and is preparing for the deployment of a 30-person mission in accordance with a U.N. Security Council resolution which also calls upon the Syrian government to “implement visibly” all commitments under special envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan — including the withdrawal of all troops and heavy guns from Syrian cities.

A new resolution with a full mandate will be required for the full monitoring mission of more than 200 observers.

The Lebanese decision to refuse the international request came over fears that the Qulaiat airport could be used as a “humanitarian corridor” to aid those in need in Syria, which Lebanon had rejected as part of its policy in distancing itself from the Syrian crisis, An Nahar said.

April 18th, 2012, 11:51 am



syria’s ambassador to the UK poised to defect.

April 18th, 2012, 11:51 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Syrian Nationalist Party
Metaz K M Aldendeshe
Chief Strategist

@AFRAM – You got it right and wrong, you misunderstood. You are right, Israelis been living a dream, and in fact have a hand in Syria today to complete this big dream, they need no nightmare now like peace, they are happy dreaming.

The Israeli companies NASDAQ listing is not so impressive, most, in not all the technologies or services these companies produces are either stolen or obtained/contract secured through unlawful, or purely unfair practices, or criminal means with shady capital, where is the 2.7 Trillion missing Pentagon cash?. Anyone care to investigate.

Anyway, world economy is heading to the bottomless pit, the next QE3 is coming and nearly 17 trillion some sources reporting, Israeli secured themselves by taking large percentage of sectors that will be suiting the coming decade of economic and social mayhem. Arabs, unless they wake up today, not tomorrow, will bite the desert dust.

If I was the Emir of Qatar, Dubai, UAE or Kuwait, I will be on my knees begging SNP to secure Syria, which means in fact securing and shielding the whole Middle East and Gulf Countries from serious all sorts of troubles coming ahead. The window of opportunity to act is in days not months. These GCC needs to expand it’s cooperation and even security and military with countries like Lebanon and Syria. This is essential to their economy and state survival. When the KAKA hit the fan, it will be too late to act. Israelis knows what is coming and have prepared themselves for that day. If Gulf countries act swiftly now, they can make it and be safe as well.

April 18th, 2012, 12:24 pm


ghufran said:

the writer is right,but that goes both ways,regimes should not be allowed to pick and choose their opposition too. the rule of the law,especially when it comes to the use of violence, should dictate who can run and who can not. Iraq tried an exclusionary policy and paid a heavy price,those who advocates exclusion are ” revengists” and do not have a balanced vision for the future.

April 18th, 2012, 12:29 pm


Uzair8 said:


Whatever the case, at least he may have to break his ‘silence’ and reveal his position thus denying him the opportunity to later claim otherwise and gain the benefit of the doubt.

April 18th, 2012, 12:34 pm


jna said:

1. Jadsaid:

Very good interview with Jihad Makdissi, however, CBS only showed 20sec out of almost 20min interview, yet they keep whining that there are no press in Syria….
Isn’t it obvious that the mainstream media reporters are not interested in hearing the answers of their questions or to know anything about the truth:

CBS Part 1

CBS Part 2

Jad, I watched all the two part interview. Jihad Makdissi did an excellent job explaining the governments position especially regarding the ceasefire.

But I think he faltered when the interviewer asked him how could there be successful parliamentary election as soon as May 7? It is unrealistic to think these elections could be considered a serious reform with so little time in this chaotic period and with much opposition seemingly not even engaged in elections yet.

The UN team very much needs to develop a (government/opposition) dialogue over this issue and hopefully reach an election agreement which will be strictly UN monitored. But I don’t see how this can happen without the election being postponed or, at the least, a repeat election at a later date. All this assumes that the opposition will engage in either a direct or indirect dialogue.

April 18th, 2012, 12:59 pm


Mawal95 said:

@ Antoine: In general, one can only find pro-regime rallies in the capital city of each province, and not elsewhere. For example, Manbij in Aleppo, with a population of well over 100,000 hasn’t had any pro-regime rally that I can find at Youtube, except one smallish event last summer where people drove through the city in cars with flags waving. Salamiya city, with a population of over 100,000, had one large rally on 2 Nov 2011 but it is the only rally that was held in Salamiya this past year I believe judging from a quick look through Youtube search results for حماة سلمية‎ مسيرة . Meanwhile the great majority of the provincial capital cities have had nearly a dozen rallies each over the last year, with high turnout in most cases.

More important than turnout at rallies is turnout at elections: 57% of the population voted in the referendum on 26 Feb 2012; and 41% voted in the Local Council Elections on 12 Dec 2011. Looking forward to the turnout in the Parliamentary Election 7 May 2012 it’s worth having as a reference point that 56% turned out in the Parliamentary Elections in 2007.

April 18th, 2012, 1:04 pm


Alan said:

يوم 11 تشرين الثاني 2011، بعث فريديريك هوف، المنسق الخاص للشؤون الإقليمية في مكتب المبعوث الخاص للسلام في الشرق الأوسط التابع لوزارة الخارجية الاميركية، برسالة إلى رئيس «المجلس الوطني السوري» برهان غليون والمتحدثة باسم المجلس بسمة قضماني، يقترح عليهما فيها الآتي: «يجب عليكما أن تلتقيا ميخائيل مرغيلوف»، المبعوث الرئاسي الروسي. في هذه الرسالة، يقدم هوف نصيحة إلى غليون وقضماني، بشأن رجل روسيا الأقرب إلى السياسة الأميركية في الشرق الأوسط، والأقرب كذلك إلى قوى المعارضة السورية وفريق 14 آذار في لبنان.

وفي ما يأتي، نص الرسالة:
العزيزان برهان وبسمة،
اعذراني على دفق الرسائل. علمت انكما ربما ستلتقيان المبعوث الروسي الخاص ميخائيل مرغيلوف. لم ألتق به في السابق، ولذلك تواصلت مع عدد من زملائي الذين يعرفونه طالباً توصيتهم. قيل لي إن اللقاء به امر مجدٍ.
مرغيلوف يجيد اللغة العربية بطلاقة، وهو امضى جزءاً كبيراً من طفولته في المغرب وتونس. لديه صلات جيدة بالرئيس ميدفيديف، ولديه اهتمام قوي بالمصالح التجارية لبلاده في سوريا. يُقال إن شخصيته جذابة، وملتزم، وحريص جداً على أن يظهر منطقياً في ما يقوم به. وهو مطلع إلى حد بعيد. ربما على من يلتقيه ألا يثق بالضمانات التي يقدمها حول قدرته على تنفيذ الوعود. بين من ستلتقيانهما في موسكو، ربما سيكون المبعوث الخاص مرغيلوف الأكثر إرضاءً لكما من خلال ردود فعله على ما ستقولانه. ورغم كونه خبيراً حقيقياً ويتمتع بقدر كبير من الصدقية، إلا انه ليس بالضرورة في صلب عملية اتخاذ القرارات.
بناءً على ذلك: التوصية تقضي بأنه يجب عليكما أن تلتقياه إذا كان ذلك متاحاً. يُقال إن لديه اهتماماً كبيراً بمبادرة الجامعة العربية، ويمكن أن يشكل ذلك عنواناً مناسباً للمحادثات.
أرجو أن تكون هذه المعلومات مفيدة.
أطيب التحيات،
لديه صلات جيدة بالرئيس ميدفيديف، ولديه اهتمام قوي بالمصالح التجارية لبلاده في سوريا
كالعادة الأمريكان يتناسو ان الرئيس الروسي بوتين فلاديمير فلاديميروفيتش و رسالة البزنس بالمصالح و الكلام الفاضي لاتزال متعفنة في ذهنية التفكير الغربي !
لا ليس مرغلوف الا مانيجر سابق و بامكانكم رشوته لكن حدودكم ستبقى عند حجمه

April 18th, 2012, 1:10 pm


Tara said:

They should start with selling Asma’s fine jewelry first.

Syria selling gold reserves as sanctions bite: sources
By John Irish and Amena Bakr | Reuters – 2 hrs 43 mins ago–business.html

PARIS/DUBAI (Reuters) – Syria is trying to sell gold reserves to raise revenue as Western and Arab sanctions targeting its central bank and oil exports begin to bite, diplomats and traders said.
Western sanctions have halved Syria’s foreign exchange reserves from about $17 billion, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday after a meeting with about 60 nations aimed at coordinating measures against President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
“Syria is selling its gold at rock bottom prices,” said a Western diplomatic source, declining to say where it was being sold.
A second diplomatic source confirmed the information, adding that Damascus was looking to offload everything it could to raise cash, including currency reserves.
Two gold traders in the United Arab Emirates said the Syrian government had been offering gold at a discount, with one saying it was making offers at about 15 percent below the market price.
The trader said Damascus was selling small volumes of around 20-30 kilos which were easier to offload, with offers being made through private accounts set up with free email providers.
Another trader said deals as of yet had not gone through in Dubai because the Emirati authorities were blocking unauthorized trades and few potential buyers were willing to take the risk of these deals.
“We have been getting offers for gold purchases from Syria and North African countries at 15 percent discount, but there are tough restrictions in Dubai that don’t allow any unauthorized trades,” said the trader.

The meeting on Tuesday was aimed in part at tightening up existing sanctions and trying to pinpoint countries that were offering Damascus ways to sidestep them.
The World Gold Council estimates Syria had about 25.8 metric tones of gold as of February 2012, representing about 7.1 percent of its total reserves.

April 18th, 2012, 1:23 pm


Tara said:


187. MINA said:
 “I always wondered about the no smile attitude in Syria”
I guess we didn’t visit the same country. Some should try to put a foot out of the Shraton, Hilton and Four Seasons.
Sorry to affirm it again but this is cheap PR propaganda to depict Syria as another North Korea.

Mina, I doubt you even visited Syria.  You are self proclaimed tourist.  I am from a deeply rooted Damascene family that has had significant cultural impact on the society.  I am not saying this to “show off” or to sound rude, but it becomes pretty annoying when a “tourist” suddenly becomes a cultural expert and start challenging natives.
Also, had the plain went to the wrong address?  There is no Hilton in Damascus…  Can you please familiarize yourself with the issue at hand before commenting.  It would sound better if you do.  Finally, if it was not a typo, it is spelled Sheraton. 

April 18th, 2012, 1:37 pm


jad said:

I’m thinking of Pinocchio…

April 18th, 2012, 1:47 pm


Tara said:

A Canadian friend of mine who I have never met sent me an email few days ago to tell me his heart aches for Syria…I contrast his email to some misanthropic people who continue to show no respect for the life or dignity of the humans life, and feel very appreciative. Thanks my anonymous friend. Thanks for your empathy. Thanks for reassuring me that the world is still a good place.

April 18th, 2012, 1:48 pm


Afram said:

46. Tara said:

Also, had the(plain) went to the wrong address? There is no Hilton in Damascus… Can you please familiarize yourself with the issue at hand before commenting. It would sound better if you do. Finally, if it was not a typo, it is spelled Sheraton
are you on a typo Hunt?
is spelled plane

April 18th, 2012, 1:54 pm


Tara said:

Thanks Afram

April 18th, 2012, 1:56 pm


jad said:

Is that for real or his site is ‘hacked’ as usual for these cases, (I think the site is hacked)…however, it’s funny to read:

Anwar Malek, the previous Arab observer apologize for lying in his statement because the emirate of barrels offered him ‘lots’ of money that he couldn’t refuse and he signed his letter with.

Vive Syria Alassad!!! (LOL)

رسالة إعتذار من المراقب السابق أنور مالك إلى سيادة رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية بشار الأسد

سيادة الرئيس بشار الأسد رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية

اعتذر اليكم ومن خلالكم للشعب العربي السوري على ما إقترفته في حقه وحق الجمهورية العربية السورية حيث حنثت بقسمي وخنت الضيافة التي اكرمتموني بها ولفقت لكم تلفيقات لما كنت احد المراقبين ضمن بعثة الجامعة العربية.

فقد أغوتني تلك الاغراءات التي قدمتها لي دولة قطر وسقطت في لعبتها القذرة ضد بلد عربي أحبه وأقدره وأسأت للجزائر والجزائريين قبل أن أسيء للشعب السوري المضياف.

عندما جرى تعييني ضمن البعثة إتصل بي فيصل القاسم وأنا في القاهرة ليعرض علي مكافأة نصف مليون دولار في حال قيامي بتدمير بعثة الجامعة العربية من الداخل لأجل التدويل.

ضعفت في تلك اللحظة لأن المبلغ مغري وقررت أن استجيب لأوامرهم وبقيت على اتصال بفيصل القاسم أمدّه بكل أخبار البعثة حتى جاءني الأمر بعدم مغادرة الفندق وإدعاء المرض لأنه يوجد من يريد قتلي.

ثم أمروني بعدها بستة ايام أن أغادر بعد إقناع الجنرال محمد أحمد مصطفى الدابي بالسماح لي بالذهاب لفرنسا من أجل العلاج فوافق بكل طيبة وصدق يشهد الله أنني ظلمته أيضا. وعندما وصلت الى الدوحة أعطوني ورقة فيها كل ما يجب أن أقوله في البرنامج على المباشر.

الآن صار ضميري يؤنبني كثيرا على ما إقترفت في حق الجمهورية العربية السورية وخاصة بعدما رزأني الله في أقرب الناس عقابا من الله تعالى على ما فبركت من الكذب والبهتان في حق سورية والبعثة العربية.

لذلك اتقدم اليكم سيادة الرئيس بهذه الرسالة أرجو فيها قبول إعتذاري قبل ان تستغل مواقفي السابقة الملفقة ضد بعثة المراقبين الدوليين.

في الأخير أجدد طلب الإعتذار من الشعب السوري على ما وقعت فيه بسبب المال والاغراءات القطرية التي اكتشفت مؤخرا مدى خساسة الدور الذي قمت به. وأتمنى أن يلقى عندكم وعند الشعب السوري كل القبول والعفو.

عاشت سورية الأسد
المراقب المستقيل سابقا أنور مالك
باريس في 18/04/2012

April 18th, 2012, 1:58 pm


Afram said:

U bet Tara

April 18th, 2012, 2:00 pm


Afram said:

51. jad said:

Is that for real or his site is ‘hacked’ as usual for these cases, (I think the site is hacked)
Hi jad
Clearly ‘hacked’
Saturday, April 14, 2012 – 14:14
أنور مالك: مجلس الامن يخرج بمهزلة المهازل حول سوريا

قال أنور مالك العضو السابق في بعثة المراقبين العرب الى سوريا في تصريح خاص لـ”ايلاف ” إن “مجلس الأمن سيرسل في البداية 30 من المراقبين المدنيين للتأكد من إلتزام نظام بشار الأسد وقف اطلاق النار وسحب الاليات العسكرية”.

وعبّر عن اعتقاده السابق، وبحكم التجربة كمراقب عربي “أن بعثة الجنرال الفريق أول محمد الدابي هي المهزلة فقط، ولكن اليوم خرج علينا مجلس الأمن بأم المهازل، فقد كنا 20 مراقبا في حمص وحدها ولم نستطع مراقبة الوضع في أحياء تعد على الأصابع مثل بابا عمرو وباب السباع والخالدية والبياضة، لأن النظام كان يخادعنا ويضللنا ويبتزنا ويرعبنا ويغرينا ويكذب علينا”.

وتساءل “كيف سيتمكن هؤلاء الذين سيذهبون لسورية، من مراقبة مدن وقرى مدمرة وتحولت إلى أنقاض وخراب؟!!”.

وأكد من خلال ما عايشه “أنه لا يمكن نجاح أي مهمة مراقبة في سورية إلا بخمسين ألف مراقب لديهم معداتهم وأجهزة متطورة جداً بينهم النصف على الأقل يحملون السلاح لحماية أنفسهم حتى لا يخضعهم النظام لسطوته، مع ضرورة توفير مناطق وممرات آمنة تحت حماية جوية، ووجوب مراعاة الجانب الإنساني المتردي، ودون ذلك فالعالم يعبث مع البعث بدماء الشعب السوري البطل”.

وقالت بعثات كل من بريطانيا وفرنسا والمانيا في الامم المتحدة “إن مشروع القرار ستدعمه ايضاً بريطانيا والمانيا والبرتغال والمغرب الدولة العربية الوحيدة في مجلس الأمن”.

ويدعو مشروع القانون وفقا لتوتير ووكالة “رويترز” الى نشر” 30 مراقبا غير مسلحين من الامم المتحدة مبدئيا تماشيا مع طلب مبعوث الامم المتحدة والجامعة العربية كوفي عنان”.

وقدم مبعوث روسيا لدى الأمم المتحدة فيتالي تشوركين الذي انتقد نسخة سابقة من المسودة الامريكية نسخة روسية تفضل موسكو التصويت عليها.

وقال “وضعنا معا نصا أقصر. توصلنا الى تفاهم إلى أنها يجب أن تكون مباشرة وعملية ومحددة بشأن نشر أفراد على الارض.. مجموعة أولية من فريق المراقبين.”

وأضاف”ان المجلس سيجتمع مرة ثانية بشأن سورية”. ولكن حتى الان لم يتضح ما اذا كان المجلس سيتمكن من الاتفاق على نص واحد للتصويت عليه يوم الجمعة. وقال دبلوماسي في المجلس انه يشك في امكانية اجراء التصويت قبل اليوم السبت.

April 18th, 2012, 2:13 pm


jad said:

I know, it’s too obvious, however, it’s funny to see him mocked online on his own website.

April 18th, 2012, 2:19 pm


Alan said:

Jad ! mentioned link already dameged

April 18th, 2012, 2:21 pm


jad said:

Alan, Oh…how sad 😉

April 18th, 2012, 2:28 pm


Mina said:

Hilton Tara,

I bet everybody has recognized a specialist!!

You think tourists would love Syria if nobody was smiling? You want me to make a quick search on Google pictures?

What I noticed when I worked in Syria is that precisely at work, Syrians were smiling, laughing with each other, including between men and women. Compare to what we have in the West where you hardly someone smile at the other at work, and in the other Arab countries where it is more rare that men and women are jocking at each other and smiling in a public environment such as work.

April 18th, 2012, 2:33 pm


Alan said:

Ann !
allow to ask you to use an information from Xinhua agency 🙂

Syria stresses commitment to facilitating task of UN observers

Syria stresses commitment to facilitating task of UN observers 2012-04-18 19:04:07
DAMASCUS, April 18 (Xinhua) — A spokesman of Syrian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Syria is committed to facilitating the mission of UN observers, noting that more than 85 percent of a protocol between the Syrian government and the observers has been accomplished in order to regulate their operation.

In an interview with U.S. CBS network which was posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Jihad Makdissi stressed that it is in Syria’s interest to have observers on the ground to monitor the situation.

“From our side, we want the observers to be here as soon as possible… This is in Syria’s vital interest,” said Makdissi.

“We need someone to monitor the violation,” he said, adding that “We don’t want the politicians and the decision makers to rely on YouTube or eye witnesses’ account. We need a proper mechanism, which is the observers.”

“So from our side, we are committed to facilitating their task, ” the spokesman concluded.

The Syrian government says that the 13-month-old unrest in Syria is the work of armed groups and Islamic extremists backed by a foreign plot rather than a popular will.

A five-member advance team of UN observers arrived in Damascus Sunday night to monitor the implementation of the cease-fire which was brokered by UN-Arab League joint special envoy Kofi Annan and went into effect Thursday.

Their arrival came a day after the UN Security Council unanimously approved the observer mission. The advance team will be followed by other batches of observers and the total number of the monitors may eventually reach 250.

[ … ]

April 18th, 2012, 2:40 pm


Tara said:


The author was discussing strangers behavior when you smile at them. This was not about your relation between co-worker You did say English is not your first or second language so you may want to google translate. It is ok. I hope you enjoyed your visit to the Hilton in Damascus. Does it have nice swimming pool? My favorite thing to do when I visit of course after walking in Hamidieh… I am planning a visit to Zainab shrine. I have never seen it before.

April 18th, 2012, 2:46 pm


Mina said:


I don’t put a foot in 5 stars hotel: they mainly belong to Gulf immoral people. It is sad that you do not want to recognize the achievements of Syria compared to its neighbours and “brothers in headaches”.

For the record, when a Saudi princess advocates reforms in her country, she is answered with a “readers reactions” section by the BBC, so why haven’t yet we seen that for the 50 (++) percent of Syrians who did not buy the protests since their beginning?

April 18th, 2012, 2:58 pm


Tara said:

I think The regime needs to adopt new name.  Instead ofسوريا الأسد. We should all change to
سوريا البطة

I am so happy that Asma did not call him “Atta”, otherwise we would’ve been forced to change to 
سوريا البيسة  God forbidden…  That would have been very embarrassing as Batta is a bit more “manly” than.   بيسة          


Mina, you have not gotten a single point of what was written. Try google translation. It is free.

April 18th, 2012, 3:02 pm


Alan said:


I ask, that you reported further about a vessel with the Ukrainian seamen onboard which suspiciously for Syria delivered the weapon and as it appeared that cargo for chisel needs of Turkey! we wait your response!

April 18th, 2012, 3:06 pm


Alan said:

Ukraine-Syria: what «dangerous cargo» was delivered by the Ukrainian seamen?

The company chartering a vessel, denies arms transfer to the Syrian ports
The Ukrainian seamen didn’t break the charter of the last resolution of the United Nations calling for a truce in Syria. It to Russian service «Voice of America» was declared on April 18 by the executive director of Varamar shipping company which some German mass media accused of a weapon transfer in one of the ports of Syria.

Scandal and assumptions of an illegal transfer the Ukrainian vessel of the weapon from the Iranian ship appeared in the press at the end of the last week. However still this situation didn’t receive official neither confirmations, nor denials.

«Yes, onboard there was a dangerous cargo, but it wasn’t the military man. Cargo followed to Turkey and to Montenegro transit through Syria. The vessel should come into Syria to unload construction cargo and to follow further. In four weeks prior to calling to Syria we obtained permit to calling to its ports and on unloading of this cargo. When we were at two o’clock from the coast of Syria, we received the letter by e-mail that we have onboard a military cargo. But at us onboard not military, but dangerous cargo and it intends for Turkey», – the executive director of Varamar shipping company Alexander Varvarenko argues.

Difficulties of transfer

He doesn’t undertake to judge how the German Der Spiegel and Deutsche Welle editions identified cargo on the vessel Atlantic Cruiser which, in turn, was chartered by Varamar.

«It is possible, they mixed words – dangerous and military? I hope, today (on April 18 – T.B.) the authorities of Turkey will inspect – anything military in it isn’t present. It is cargo for the mining industry – explosive, but on it there are all certificates, export licenses. We have no bases to believe that to us aboard to us overloaded something another», – Alexander Varvarenko emphasizes. On specifying question of that, probably, onboard Atlantic Cruiser there was an explosive for the mining industry, he speaks: «Probably, it is explosive».

Alexander Varvarenko emphasized that his company not so once transported similar dangerous cargoes, but the sensation in mass media arose just now.

In too time, he remembers a case when under the pretext of one cargo the vessel could transport another, dangerous and demanding special permissions. «About ten years ago, and can it is more, in Ukraine there was a case when from the country military production under the name “agricultural machinery” was exported. But it was the various evacuation equipment, according to the declaration it passed as “agricultural purpose”, – Alexander Varvarenko emphasizes.

Sensitive market

According to the head of Institute of public policy Victor Chumak, any charges of illegal arms supplies, undermine image of the state working at the weapon market. He says to Russian service «Voices of America that today Ukraine know, how diligent seller of the weapon.

«The simplest way is to undermine trust in such sensitive market, as traffic in arms. Diligent buyers look cautiously at violators of obligations and rules at the conclusion of transactions with the weapon», – Chumak considers. ../../..

April 18th, 2012, 3:11 pm


Aldendeshe said:

89. Valerya said:

51 SNP
Have you any usefull idea to add it to world practice ?


BILLLLYAT. No, we offer the same useful ideas taught to us by 2 Jews, Marx and Lenin. So, maybe you should go back to Kremlin and tell them to teach you those useful ideas that you don’t comprehend, like in Russia, calling every minority in the country with a slur, from east to west, from Churkas to Chuksha.

You want a useful idea that may get you shot in a staircase, try investigating the 2 Moscow apartment demolition by KGB men, to stir the invasion of Chechnya. I have the whole file and can send you the leads.

April 18th, 2012, 3:32 pm


Shami said:
Made by hezbollahi khomaynists for bata.

April 18th, 2012, 3:34 pm


mjabali said:


Care to let us know what are the cultural منجزات of your family, as far as I know there is nothing of the sort that is from Damascus for the last few hundred years.

I know that part of Syria well and the ones who has some “cultural” influence are some families of the religious establishment. If you are calling religious production and influence cultural we have a problem here.

Also, any one care to talk about the Ghaliyoun’s e mails leak?


Did you read Ghaliyoun before his ascend to SNC leadership? I used to read him daily sometimes in al-Hiwar al-Mutamadin. His logic and words were from a different era. He was talking as if he was in the 1960’s and 1970’s. His tone was different from his leaked e mail to the prince in Saudi Arabia.

He never generated any interest from people to discuss his writings. He wrote some good articles here and there, but overall he was not that interesting or connected to the current moments of history. Other writers generated way more interest and debates.

April 18th, 2012, 3:38 pm


Afram said:

Blood borders

How a better Middle East would look
By Ralph Peters

International borders are never completely just. But the degree of injustice they inflict upon those whom frontiers force together or separate makes an enormous difference — often the difference between freedom and oppression, tolerance and atrocity, the rule of law and terrorism, or even peace and war.

The most arbitrary and distorted borders in the world are in Africa and the Middle East. Drawn by self-interested Europeans (who have had sufficient trouble defining their own frontiers), Africa’s borders continue to provoke the deaths of millions of local inhabitants. But the unjust borders in the Middle East — to borrow from Churchill — generate more trouble than can be consumed locally.

While the Middle East has far more problems than dysfunctional borders alone — from cultural stagnation through scandalous inequality to deadly religious extremism — the greatest taboo in striving to understand the region’s comprehensive failure isn’t Islam but the awful-but-sacrosanct international boundaries worshipped by our own diplomats.

Of course, no adjustment of borders, however draconian, could make every minority in the Middle East happy. In some instances, ethnic and religious groups live intermingled and have intermarried. Elsewhere, reunions based on blood or belief might not prove quite as joyous as their current proponents expect. The boundaries projected in the maps accompanying this article redress the wrongs suffered by the most significant “cheated” population groups, such as the Kurds, Baluch and Arab Shia, but still fail to account adequately for Middle Eastern Christians, Bahais, Ismailis, Naqshbandis and many another numerically lesser minorities. And one haunting wrong can never be redressed with a reward of territory: the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians by the dying Ottoman Empire…read more>>

REDRAWING map of the middle east:before

REDRAWING map of the middle east:after

April 18th, 2012, 3:41 pm


Alan said:

messege me pls

April 18th, 2012, 3:55 pm


Tara said:


Cultural impact in term of poetry, literature, art, etc. I can not spell it out as that may reveal my identity, not that I care personally but it would embarrass my parents tremendously to have an offspring like me..(I am making myself laugh now) and yes my father side are pretty religious but I wouldn’t call that a cultural impact.

Should Alawism be “an off shoot’ of shiaa, or should it be a stand alone religion from a theological POV. I am asking a theoretical question. Understandably, the need to be part of a recognized branch of Islam in our society otherwise, it’s member risk being heretic/infidel and whatever consequences.

April 18th, 2012, 4:00 pm


Afram said:

65. mjabali said:


Did you read Ghaliyoun before his ascend to SNC leadership? I used to read him daily sometimes in al-Hiwar al-Mutamadin.
Hi mjabali:
yes,I read for Homer Simpson at:

agree- he is old school,I like reading Fouad Namari,smarter than Burhan

April 18th, 2012, 4:08 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:


SNP useful ideas to the World “PRACTICE” actually came from 4 Jews: Marx, Lenin,Trotsky and Therefore Djugashvili (otherwise known as Joseph Stalin- genocidal murderer of 20 million white Russian Christians)

April 18th, 2012, 4:10 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Dear William,

I have not given up hope, I will never give up hope.

Through the darkest hour great leaders are born, that pluck their countries from the abyss of hate and destitute. Through the darkest hour is when a nation sheds it old skin to develop a new skin that is the envy of the world.

Many people stopped dreaming about the future of Syria, their hearts aching from the dead, tortured and missing. Have turned to hate and distrust as a way to cope with the barbarity that we are witnessing, quick to label someone 3ar3ouri or Menhabakji when at the end of the day we are all Syrians, nothing more.

Over the past year I have learnt to somewhat cope with the horrors that I witness daily, I try to compile as much info about the people that die everyday (from both sides), maybe selfishly hoping that if at least one person remembers them their death won’t be forgotten, or lost. However one thing I still can’t cope with is the level of hatred we Syrians have shown each other, lashing out in absolute anger to label anyone that does not agree with our own opinion, as a treacherous fool. Labelling the dead as if their labelled death is an excuse for their callous murder, when in reality no label can justify it.

Nevertheless I still believe in my country, I still believe in my fellow Syrians, and the general goodness and humanity in them, I know we will come out of this a stronger and more united country than we have ever been. Some people might say that I live in a dream, to them I say greater men dared to dream bigger things and go on to accomplish greater feats, how can I accept defeat when they dared not to.

A great man that experienced hatred and injustice all his life and even died from it once had a dream, and in that dream he said:

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred … to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”

Dr. King Jr.

April 18th, 2012, 4:20 pm



BMBS: A Nonfatal Syndrome Recently Discovered

This article will be published in the next issue of the Journal of Popular Cyberspace Pseudo Psychopathic Morphology

The group that discovered the Shabee7a Syndrome a year ago, has recently announced the discovery of a new syndrome. The newly discovered syndrome is called Bipolar Moderator Baboonery Syndrome or BMBS . The syndrome is a subset of bipolar disorder in that it has more general characteristics, but it manifests its symptoms most profoundly when its afflicts deal with blog moderators, hence the name. Afflicted individuals usually rapidly oscillate between posting what appears to resemble love poems to the moderator thanking her/him profusely for a job well done when they censor the writing of one of their adversaries only to blast the same moderator (generally within less than a week of time) with most vulgar and angry language if they or one of their own favored commenter was censored for a gross violation of blog rule.

Describing a typical BMBS person, the team leader, Professor Khunfos (Arabic for Dung Beetle), said, “A BMBS tends to use more than one language, which allows them to select one of the languages for each mode of their “civilized” and “bully” mode of behavior.” Believe it or not”, Dr. Khunfus said: “there may even be three or four behavioral poles”. He added:” however, in their advanced stage, they occasionally forget their own lingual utilitarianism, and tend to occasionally mix the languages. The shorter the time separating the polar oscillation, the higher the frequency between lingual confusions and mix-ups, but it is most common that the mother language will be used as the “contempt” language as it is the language through which we all have far more connection to most base human emotions encompassing anger, hate, contempt, and raw vulgar as well as childish frustration.

The affliction a far more complex phenomenon than the simple “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde\” in the sense that the separation of the modes of behaviors is not as discrete as in the famous novella. This is emphasized by the “baboonery” description, which alludes to oblivion to ironies and reflexive attitude among BMBS afflicts contrary to the deliberate and well considered evilness in the famous story.

Despite of their rarity, BMBS afflicts are generally prolific cut-paste artists with tendency to title their cut-paste with headers or short “opinionated” paragraphs, which they think sound neutral and authoritative, to force their own point of view of the propaganda piece onto others. It is such little paragraphs, coupled with their propensity to cut and paste, which have allowed Professor Khunfus’s team to increase the behavioral sample size and to better understand the behavior of BMBS afflicts. For example, BMBS afflicts have also been observed to display capacity for super-intense contempt directed at certain individuals. They display single mindedness in their attempt to continuously discredit their disfavored persons, and will spare no chance to continuously use toddlers’ like linguistic wordplay on persons’ names.

It goes without saying that BMBS afflicts tend to view themselves as highly moral, nationalistic patriots, superbly educated, nice people, a common misconception arising from their bipolar (or multi-polar) state of mind.

Again, in their advanced stage, BMBS also direct their bipolar states at the blog owner. At any moment the owner of the blog posts an article that they don’t agree with, they see in that a fundamental and sudden “treacherous” transformation of the owner forgetting that people evolve over a period of time unlike their own sudden “provoked” shifts. Herein, they must be distinguished from those who fundamentally agree or disagree with the owner’s general trend of posts, or those with a singular cause, for the latter type is generally always antagonistic to the owner. BMBS on the other hand, show ebbs of disrespect to their host and are intolerant to him presenting any counter point to theirs. This in fact indicates that BMBS may also be associated with feelings of obsessive entitlement, commonly demonstrated in the afflicted tendency to sneer at “new comers” who they disagree with, and with their tendency to “warmly welcome” the “new comers” who agree with them and pay them the required dose of complement.

Professor Khunfus asserts that the number of BMBS afflicts is far higher than what appears from viewing public blogs. He stresses that Moderators’ code of conduct , which prohibits them from publicly sharing the diatribes and love-poems they receive to their private “moderator” email hinders or the comments that go in trash the accurate estimation of the real number of cases. He lamented the time he was asked to moderate a blog but refused to do so saying “well, I would not have divulged any information and I would have stuck with the code of conduct, but I would have nonetheless formed a good understanding of the real extent of this non-fatal, yet humorous affliction”. He concluded laughingly, while shaking his own antennas “this shows that when you get a chance, grab it by the horns”.

When asked, how come a Khunfus like him has left his favorite “Dung rolling pass time, professor Khunfus smiled menacingly and answered with a question “have i?…..”

April 18th, 2012, 4:28 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Any Given Friday

How a battle over a Facebook page became a war for the soul of the Syrian revolution.

A woman stands in the middle of a busy Damascus street. Yellow cabs honk and weave around her. Her red dress, splattered with white paint, flows in the wind along with a red fabric banner held up above her head like a translucent shield. A group of people gathers on the sidewalk to observe as she turns side to side, for all to see. As we watch them watching her through our computer screens, we hear a new sound — not a familiar chant of the revolution, but loud claps of extended applause. When she faces the camera, we finally read her words: “Stop the killing. We want to build a country for all Syrians.”

Her name is Rima Dali, and she stood in protest alone, armed with a red scarf and a powerful message, in front of the Syrian Parliament on April 8. She would be detained for two days for her dissent.

Dali’s action, while brave, would have been easy to disregard as a fleeting incident if it hadn’t happened again, a few days later, in front of the Palace of Justice. And again a few days after that, when more people occupied Dali’s place and even more onlookers clapped from the sidewalk.

Activists like Dali, who had a strong presence at the beginning of the uprising, are trying to rewind Syria’s clock to the early months of the revolution, when the message of selmiyeh — peaceful — dominated the streets. During the past two weeks, despite the regime’s relentless violence, Syria protested like it was 2011 again.

During the 10-day lull between the announcement of U.N. and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point plan for a ceasefire and its implementation on April 10, violence sharply escalated in Syria — as it usually does before every international ultimatum directed at President Bashar al-Assad. But since then, while shelling and government attacks have continued in certain flashpoints, the daily death toll has decreased significantly. Within opposition circles, another sentiment was brewing even before the ceasefire: a realization that it’s time to reclaim the revolution in order to reclaim the country.


April 18th, 2012, 4:28 pm


jad said:

ما بدي 🙂

April 18th, 2012, 4:59 pm


Alan said:

له ! كيف بدي وصيك على حلاوة حمصية 🙂 ؟ ما عندي عنوانك ؟

April 18th, 2012, 5:16 pm


Jad said:

Son of Damascus,

Here are the names of 8 Syrian army-men killed by the armed militias today, and 14 killed yesterday, I’m not sure if you already have their names:

8 Law Enforcement Members Martyred in Idleb, Daraa and Damascus Countryside, Terrorists Murder Entire Family in Hama
Apr 18, 2012

PROVINCES, (SANA)- Six law enforcement members, including a first lieutenant, were martyred on Wednesday and 11 others were injured in an explosive device blast in the town of al-Mastoumeh in the countryside of Idleb province.

The martyrs include First Lieutenant Tammam Hassoun and Privates Anas Idris Juani, Hassan Ahmad Arnous, and Faraj Mustafa Ismael.
The explosive device was planted on al-Mastoumeh-Idleb road and detonated by an armed terrorist group targeting the law enforcement personnel.

Policeman Martyred in Daraa

Meanwhile in Daraa province, the policeman Youssef Qasqas was martyred by the gunfire of a sniper in front of the Customs’ old building in the city of Daraa. 

Lieutenant Colonel Martyred in Damascus Countryside

In Damascus Countryside, an armed terrorist group opened fire on members of law enforcement forces in teh city of Douma killing a lieutenant colonel and injuring a chief warrant officer.

Fourteen Army, Law-Enforcement, Civilian Martyrs Laid to Rest

Apr 18, 2012

PROVINCES, (SANA) – Fourteen army, law-enforcement and civilian martyrs were escorted on Wednesday from Tishreen, Zahi Azraq and Aleppo Military Hospitals in Damascus, Lattakia and Aleppo and Daraa  National Hospital to their final resting place.
Solemn funeral processions were held for the martyrs who were targeted by armed terrorist groups while they were in the line of duty in Idleb, Homs, Damascus Countryside, Daraa and Aleppo.

April 18th, 2012, 5:16 pm


Afram said:

[greenlight Updated from spam. Goat cheese. This is edging into Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew areas, so, how about less of this, Syrian Nationalist Party, Afram, please?


70. Syrian Nationalist Party said:


SNP useful ideas to the World “PRACTICE” actually came from 4 Jews: Marx, Lenin, Trotsky and Therefore Djugashvili (otherwise known as Joseph Stalin-
C’mon Syrian Nationalist Party
you made the man of steel -Stalin-a jew?!?

yousef stalin almost became a georgian priest, he killed Trotsky in mexico with an Axe.

Lenin is-half a jew

yes, the rest of the Bolshevists were jews, all also were anti-zionism, so is Einstein, the red army saved the euro-jews from actual attempted inhialation by hitler, while the Americans were at omaha beach/france eating goat cheese

April 18th, 2012, 5:17 pm


Tara said:

Dear Syrian Hamster

Your writings are to die for…   I usually skip it until I find a quiet time with a cup of coffee.  I wish you write me a book.  Your description of the BMBS afflicts, the headers they use attempting to force their opinion, the cliche teenage’s words they use, the welcoming of the new comers, the attacking of the blog owner, the entitlement,  the over-inflated self perception, the bipolar relation with the site’s moderator,  etc…  

Many many thanks to professor Khunfus on my behalf.  I would love a chance to meet him for my own psychoanalysis.  I am more and more needing one too.

April 18th, 2012, 5:32 pm


Tara said:

blue beret Dear Moderator

Please promise me that you will not quit your job until we have a “regime change”. We need you as much as Syria needs the international observers. The site was intolerable before your arrival. Your moderation has toned down lots of hateful language and I feel I can “dialogue” with lots of people I never wanted to dialogue with before. Thank you for you.

April 18th, 2012, 5:37 pm


Shami said:

Mr Landis ,next time be careful with site ,it’s iranian theocracy backed media,its killing itself for this regime more than the makhlouf’s adunniya itself.!

Here is a nice hadra from Aleppo.

April 18th, 2012, 5:41 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Thank you for the links, I very much appreciate it. I check SANA daily for such reports, as well the LCC, SRC, VDC and other organizations.

Thanks again

April 18th, 2012, 5:44 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

[ greenlight Updated from spam for ‘shit’]

-Juergen’s link to Syria pics is great: someone, the photoghrapher Amana78, has a great eye for depth and light. The so-called dead cities of Syria are spell-binding. They make me think of mighty empires come and gone, of those who endure, the people of the area. Syria has such deep roots — the discovery of pre-historic settlements via satellite this year show how profound is the depth of the human drama in Syria. 14,000 year-old human settlements, empires, armies, refugees, invaders, saviours and administrators.

All of those who rule come and go, and their glories may fall.

I am glad to see Mawal95 engage directly using terms of rational inquiry like evidence and so on. Long ago, as Ya Mara Ghalba, Mawal was much more categorical. On a video circulating in November of last year, Ya Mara said:

This high resolution video was uploaded at youtube today and has so far attracted 78 comments at youtube. I’d like to hear any anyone comment who’s seen bogus videos before. I say the first eight seconds were filmed at a quite different time than the rest of the video(even though I see the yellow taxi with license plate 3P13 appears before and after). The crowd you see before time 0:08 clearly exhibits unawareness of the large crowd you see after time 0:08. And the crowd you see after time 0:08 clearly exhibits unawareness of the crowd you see before time 0:08.

Once you accept I’m right about that, the video as a whole is an attempted fraud.

Here is a video response to your analysis and conclusions:

— will you revisit this video and give your reaction? (hoping you can forgive the non-civil “full of shit” not-safe-for-Syria-Comment description) It looks like you did not do a frame-by-frame analysis, so what you dismissed as an ‘attempted fraud’ was not a fraud at all …


In other news, Syria’s Amal Hanano (a pseudonym for a brilliant Halabi) is one of the best new writers emerging from the crisis. She is good enough to be slagged by faux-journalists like the Huh ??? regime lap-dancer Sharmine Narwani (and Angry Arab, and Ikhras).

When a non-Arabic-speaking Iranian-American fake-scholar independently-wealthy UK-NATO-citizen like Narwani gets off slurring and lecturing Syrians like Amal Hanano on probity, I know the media war is still full-on.

But Amal gets in Foreign Policy, and Sharmine gets a blog at Al-Akhbar english.


I wish there was more frank talk about Alawis, by Alawis here. Is there still a leftover hangover of Baathi suppression of Alawi identity?

Mjabali’s link was very instructive, but it doesn’t tell me why — with a few million strong community at home and abroad, we do not hear directly from a Syrian Alawi here in comments. Beyond Khudr, and another rare exception, who has ever entered these comments and let us know? “I am Joe from Damascus. I am Alawi, and here is what I think blab hlah blah.

Thinking of the size and shape and pie-sections given to the Dialoguers at the National Dialogue, I get a sinking feeling that a new unrepresentative Parliament will be installed before a) the guns are still and populations go home (who gets to vote who is out of country?) or b) a dialogue even gets charted.

Syria does not seem to be thinking of postponing May 7th elections, even though the present lame-duck assembly (long past its sell-by date) has pleaded with the government to delay the vote.

On that subject, Mawal, what do you think of the widely-reported-in-SANA-but-not-yet-mentioned-by-you request of Parliament to the government to postpone?

Does it not seem — given “the reality of the situation” on the ground, a fledgling reform, a featherless UN three dozen unarmed chicks not yet out of the incubator, a score of death in the streets each day … does it not seem the May 7th polls will be anything but free and fair and adequately monitored (whether by the magical ‘new’ media reporting on magical ‘new parties’ or by the special ‘friendly media’ reporting for foreign channels)?

Do we support Ghufran’s for postponement, or as with your seeming advice, march to the urns on May 7th and install a fresh cage-full of the obedient chickens?

The sad reality of politics in Syria is that Michel Kilo and Haytham Manna and Azim and a hundred others Are Not Allowed By Law to participate meaningfully in party life and are barred from running for Parliament as things stand. Thus political life in the new parliament will be the fraud, not the evidence of security/army/irregulars live fire on civilians. Reforms are worth shit without judicial and criminal code reforms, and the further reforms that come from public inquiry.

That is all my opinion. I do not speak for anyone but myself.

One last point: the “captcha” words are now insidiously biased towards peace, it seems. I have caught one ‘unity’ and I wouldn’t be surprised to face “empathy” one day soon. What gives?

April 18th, 2012, 5:47 pm


Juergen said:


The ship is now in Iskanderun and Turkish customs and police search all the containers as the crew could only open up those containers in the top. The shipping company is still insisting that the shipment for Syria contained only pumps and spare parts for an factory. In the reports the captain has given (routine work) before entering the Suez channel he wrote that dangerous goods are on board, and they are for Turkey, but Turkey was never part of their route, so many questions remain uncertain, also the 24 hour period 80 km off the Syrian coast raise concern that the shipment was already taken from board by now.

Here is an article about the search on the ship.

April 18th, 2012, 6:27 pm


jad said:

المؤتمر الصحفي لوزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم 18 4 2012

April 18th, 2012, 6:31 pm


bronco said:

The first unannounced visit of the observers to Arbeen turns into chaos. The UN has clearly asked the Syrian government to be responsible for the safety of the observers. Therefore, during the visits any suspicious move from the protesters can be interpreted by the Syrian security as a potential threat to the observers and will be met with strength.

It seems that the observers’ visits will be preceded and supervised by the Syrian security, therefore the Syrian security could be potentially be blamed for any casualties occurring during these visits, whether on a protester or on an observer.

This is what the media reported:

UN monitors flee Syrian protest after gunfire
By BEN HUBBARD | Associated Press – 58 mins ago

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian security forces opened fire Wednesday on anti-regime demonstrators surrounding the cars of a U.N. team meant to monitor a shaky cease-fire, sending the observers speeding off and protesters dashing for cover, according to activists and amateur videos.

The team’s head, Col. Ahmed Himiche, declined to comment on the incident, saying the team would report only to the U.N.

April 18th, 2012, 6:39 pm


jad said:

Ban Ki-moon’s Helicopter Nonsense

Who gave Ban Ki-moon this idea?

The United Nations Security Council is expected to authorize deploying a full mission of 250 monitors to Syria after it takes up the issue Wednesday, but Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon questioned whether even that number would be sufficient.

“I think this is not enough, considering the current situation and considering the vastness of the country, and that is why we need very efficient mobility of our observer mission,” he said Tuesday.

He said he had discussed with European Union leaders whether the EU could provide helicopters and airplanes for that mobility.

This can not be a request for civilian helicopters as those could be rented by the UN itself. So those helicopters Ban Ki-moon is dreaming of would be military helicopters from EU countries with military pilots and NATO standard encrypted radios. The same EU countries that have put sanctions on Syria because it cracks down on an foreign paid insurgency.

This at the same times as the U.S. has pledged “communication equipment” to the insurgents in Syria. The helicopter pilots could thereby direct the insurgents around military concentrations and roadblocks towards their targets.

The Syrian government would be crazy to agree to such a scheme of transport of UN monitors. Indeed it offered its own helicopters for the monitors to use. Ban Ki-moon certainly knew that the EU helicopter scheme would be rejected when he came out with it.

This crazy idea was only offered to let it look as if the Syrian government rejects the Annan plan and hindering the monitor deployment. But for now it seems to me that the UN is the one that holding back progress. There are still only six UN monitors on the ground where thirty were supposed to be since Monday. What is up with that Mr. Ban Ki-moon?

April 18th, 2012, 6:40 pm


bronco said:

#86 Jad

“The Syrian government would be crazy to agree to such a scheme of transport of UN monitors”

Especially that the protection of the observers incumbs solely to the Syrian government. It sounds like a thoughtless request.

April 18th, 2012, 6:54 pm


Tara said:

More on The observers’ first mission.  Activists sticking a poster on the UN vehicle 

The poster stuck to the UN vehicle in Arbeen read:

The killer is engaged with killing, the observers are engaged with monitoring, the people are engaged with their revolution.

Shortly after it was filmed shooting broke out.

April 18th, 2012, 6:58 pm


zoo said:

Meet the Freedom-Fighting Smugglers on the Syrian Border
Erin Banco and Sophia Jones
April 18, 2012 | 12:00 am

Antakya, Turkey—Mautaz and his wife heard the shelling getting closer to their village of Hazan and knew it was their time to leave. The subsequent journey did not take place alone: They joined a group of 13 Syrians, led by a smuggler. With the smuggler carrying one of their eight children ahead, Muataz and his brother cautiously followed behind, wary of landmines. Eventually they safely reached this Turkish border town.

As violence has intensified in Syria, the human smuggling business has boomed—in both directions. Syrian civilians employ smugglers in hopes of getting out of harms way, while journalists, aid groups, and human rights organizations hire them to gain access to the front lines. It can be an expensive proposition: Sources confirmed that smugglers have asked for upward of $20,000 for a single trip. But, increasingly, smugglers are giving a free ride to international journalists, or anyone else who promises to spread the word about the stakes in Syria. Indeed, perhaps the most telling aspect of this burgeoning market is that it’s informed by a calculus that’s not strictly economic.

While many people now working as human smugglers were also regular smugglers of money and goods before the conflict began, many more began smuggling people through the border only after the violence began.

April 18th, 2012, 6:59 pm


zoo said:

In Revolutions, Do Nice Guys Finish Last?
April 18, 2012

The Egyptian liberals who played a big part in the insurrection that toppled Hosni Mubarak now find themselves marginalized, pushed into a minor role in parliament and reluctantly withdrawing from the electoral commission.

A similar situation has befallen Syria’s liberal, mostly peaceful protesters, who led last summer’s protest marches but have since been sidelined by the Free Syrian Army’s violent revolt. The story of one of Homs’ first protest leaders, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor, is a telling example:

And yet, the FSA is faltering, as peaceful demonstrators are returning to the streets, gratefully cheering the ceasefire that still seems to be holding. Assad’s forces have pushed the FSA out of Homs and a number of other cities where they once controlled neighborhoods. FSA brigades have run out of weapons and don’t seem to be getting the equipment they need to continue to shoot back. Meanwhile, protesters are gathering in Cairo this week, hoping for a united declaration of a return to the nonviolent protests of last summer.

Via Meadia hopes the nice guys win the battle for Syria, but we are not holding our breath. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes a gun speaks louder than a protest chant.


April 18th, 2012, 7:03 pm


Tara said:

Ambassadors’ wives urge Asma al-Assad to stand up for peace in Syria

Wives of the British and German ambassadors to UN say Syrian first lady cannot hide behind her husband amid violence

Associated Press
Tuesday 17 April 2012 15.14 EDT

Stop Syria violence, ambassadors’ wives urge Asma al-Assad. Link to this video
The wives of the British and German ambassadors to the United Nations have released a video urging Syria’s first lady to demand her husband should stop the violence in her country.

The video asks viewers to sign a petition calling on Asma al-Assad to “stand up for peace … for the sake of your people”. Sheila Lyall Grant and Huberta von Voss-Wittig said in a letter accompanying the video that as a champion of women’s equality, Assad could not “hide behind her husband”.

“Her public voice is needed,” they said, noting that many female victims of the violence had taken the risk to stand up for their freedom. “We are asking Asma Assad to take a risk, too, and to say openly: stop the bloodshed, stop it right now,” Voss-Wittig and Lyall Grant said.

The four-minute video alternates pictures of Assad with scenes of Syria’s conflict and its victims, including graphic pictures of children who have been killed or injured.

It starts out by saying “some women are for style”, against a photo of the first lady wearing designer sunglasses, “and some women care for their people”, against a photo of a woman cradling a child surrounded by many other youngsters.

It says “some women have forgotten what they preached about peace”, followed by a clip of Assad telling a group of young people “we should all be able to live in peace, stability and with our dignity”.

The video says: “One day, our children will ask us what we have done to stop this bloodshed. What will your answer be, Asma?”

April 18th, 2012, 7:16 pm


zoo said:

All Quiet on the Damascus Front
By: Hassan Illeik
Published Wednesday, April 18, 2012

There’s little sign of revolution in the Syrian capital. Either it is simmering underground awaiting the moment to surface, or the confidence expressed by the regime is well-founded.

The Syrian customs officers at the Jdaidet Yabous border gate still use sheets of newspaper as sunshades. A front page of the Saudi-owned dailyal-Hayat is stuck on the window of their office. It was a rather old issue.

There’s nothing at the border to suggest you’re in a country wracked by revolution. While the vehicle searches are no longer conducted on the basis of “trust” between the security men and drivers, they do not hold travellers up. The numbers of people crossing these days is comparable to an ordinary day before March 2011 – about as many on a weekend as there used to be on a weekday.

The cafes are open, and fill up from early evening – one up-market establishment in Mezze looks like an exhibition of designer clothes and handbags.

Although electricity generators have appeared in front of some buildings, supplies are steadily improving. Rationing has been eased in the capital, and in some districts the electricity is cut off for as little as an hour per day.
In other words, a sizeable proportion of Syria’s Sunnis still want the regime to survive. President Bashar Assad said at a private gathering some weeks ago that it was the Sunnis who had safeguarded Syria. Such a remark sounds uncharacteristic of the Syrian leadership, but sources close to it affirm that this is what Assad believes.
These are not revolutionary times in Damascus. The regime is confident of its future and of that of the country. But those in charge also speak realistically: the crisis is set to be protracted. It will not be a matter of mere months.

April 18th, 2012, 7:24 pm


Tara said:

The video made by the wives of the British and the German Ambassadors to the UN can be found in this link from the Telegraph.

April 18th, 2012, 7:29 pm


jad said:

كلمة السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد 18 4 2012

April 18th, 2012, 7:41 pm


Tara said:


If you know any woman interested in signing the petition to Asma al Assad, here is the link.

April 18th, 2012, 7:43 pm


jad said:

Are we going to see Syrian Sa7wat against the terrorist armed gangs who are still spreading crimes and horror wherever they go?

شيوخ العشائر السورية يعلنون الحرب على الوهابيين ويقولون: كل الجرائم التي حدثت سببها الوهابيين
اللاذقية – سامي زرقة

على خلفية الملتقى العشائري الذي جرى في اللاذقية مؤخرا (يومي السادس عشر والسابع عشر من نيسان) كان لـ عربي برس حوار مع الأمير جمال بني ربيعة أمير بني ربيعة في سورية.
وقال الأمير جمال بني ربيعة إنه قام وبرفقة الشيخ محمد السيبراني و الشيخ محمد المطاردة بزيارة خان الجوز على الحدود التركية حيث تعرضوا لإطلاق نار من قبل المسلحين في المخيمات التركية و من خلال هذه الزيارة تمكنوا من إعادة عدد من العائلات المهجرة إلى بيوتهم في إدلب و دير بعلبة و الخالدية و البياضة في حمص… والهدف من هذه الزيارة كان توعية اللاجئين في تلك المخيمات بأن ما يحصل لهم هم بفعل الوهابيين والسلفيين التكفيريين الذين يحاولون تخريب سورية بحجة تطبيق قواعد الدين الصحيح وأن الجيش العربي السوري وأجهزة الأمن السورية لا شأن لها بما يحصل لهم وفقاً لما حاولت وسائل الإعلام تصويره على أنهم ضحية للنظام.

وأضاف سمو الأمير أن تعرضه لإطلاق النار ومحاولة اغتياله لم يثنه عن تأسيس هذه الملتقيات في المحافظات السورية كافة لأنه يعرف تمام المعرفة خطر الوهابية والوهابيين على المجتمع بسبب ما تتضمنه الوهابية من تكفير للمسلمين حيث يمكن اعتبارها على أنها امتداد بصورة أو بأخرى للخوارج الذين ظهروا في صدر الإسلام.

ويستغرب الأمير جمال بني ربيعة من إطلاق الوهابية على نفسها أنها سلفية ويقول أن هذا الأمر زور وكذب فالسلفية صادرتها الوهابية من الصوفية فيما تمت مصادرة أهل الحديث من الأشعرية والماتوردية.

ويضيف الأمير جمال أن تعاليم الوهابية كلها تقوم على تغيير عقيدة التوحيد، والحكم على كافة المسلمين بكافة مذاهبهم بأنهم كفرة ومبتدعين واعتبر هذه المسألة خطيرة للغاية فالوهابيون لا يحبون أحداً لا من المسلمين ولا من غير المسلمين.

أما عن مسلسل القتل والتكفير والتهجير والتدمير الذي يمارسه الوهابيون في سورية فقال الأمير جمال أن هذا الأمر ليس بجديد بل بدأت معالمه تظهر منذ اللحظة الأولى لإعلان الدعوة الإسلامية وما ممارسات الوهابيين اليوم إلا امتداد لما كان يمارسه أعداء الإسلام والمسلمين تحت صور ومسميات أخرى.

إن جوهر عقد الملتقيات و الهدف الأسمى من عقدها ( الكلام طبعاً للأمير جمال بني ربيعة) أن نكون حراكاً شعبياً خالصاً هدفه الحفاظ على وحدة سورية أرضاً وشعباً وقيادة ووفقنا بذلك بانضمام الشيخ طارق الباشان و هو أحد شيوخ منطقة الخالدية بحمص الذي كان له دور فاعل بالإعداد والتنظيم لهذه المؤتمرات، إضافة إلى أنه من أشد محاربي الوهابية والوهابيين في سورية.
وفي نهاية حديثه لـ عربي برس حذر الأمير بني ربيعة من خطر انتشار التشدد الوهابي حيث رأى أن في الأمر تمزيق للمسلمين وتفرقة جراء التكفير الذي يؤدي بطبيعة الحال الى انقسامات داخلية تفضي الى نزاعات وصراعات لا يخرج منها منتصر أو ناج، وقال إن سورية متكاملة ببعضها البعض لا يمكن التفريط بأي قطعة أو شبر منها وغناها بتنوعها.

April 18th, 2012, 7:48 pm


jad said:

Let those lousy 2 ‘wives’ sign a petition against their own husbands’ governments who killed and still killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghani and keep sending submarines and weapons to the israelis to kill more Palestinians, but I guess for those two highly moral ‘wives’…those who they killed are not human enough…bunch of hypocrites!

April 18th, 2012, 7:54 pm


Tara said:

Why doesn’t the world declare the ceasefire dead? Because once it does, the options are limited… So the regime understands that well,  playing the game perfectly by announcing it “wholeheartedly” endorses the plan while the killing machine continues unabated.  Doesn’t that make Annan, the UNSC, the US, and the EU accomplices.  They do not even need to step up the rhetoric any more.  There is a ceasefire in place…. What a disgrace!

A Ceasefire in Syria That No One Believes but Everyone Still Believes In

The ceasefire in Syria is now a fiction, as the regime’s military forces continue to pound opposition, but the U.N. and Western nations don’t want to admit as much because the talks it’s supposed to engender are still seen as the least worst option. Though there had been reports of the regime’s violence almost as soon as the U.N.’s six-point peace plan went into effect on April 12, by Wednesday morning, news wires no longer had to depend on claims by Syrian activists that President Bashar al-Assad was flagrantly breaching its terms. “Wednesday, regime forces fired mortar shells at the central city of Homs, sending thick gray smoke into the air as loud booms rang across residential areas,” reports the AP’s Karin Laub. “Shelling by Syrian military troops continues unabated,” reports NPR’s Kelly McEvers. Outside of Homs, the BBC reports evidence of deadly fighting in Deraa province. So why not declare the ceasefire dead? Because once you do, your options don’t look good.


April 18th, 2012, 8:25 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Getting upset by the hour.

April 18th, 2012, 8:39 pm


Mawal95 said:

JAD #94 links to a 25-minute televised speech by Bashar Assad today on the one subject that has still not yet been completed in the regime’s comprehensive reform program, namely the new Anti-Corruption Law.

April 18th, 2012, 8:39 pm


Aldendeshe said:

91. Tara said:
Ambassadors’ wives urge Asma al-Assad to stand up for peace in Syria Wives of the British and German ambassadors to UN say Syrian first lady cannot hide behind her husband amid violence


Naive people put this video plea together. They are not aware of Asma family background and of Syria class struggle that she was raised in, the psychological make up and complexes that people like her developed and grown up with, with such an intensity, that it molded her personality and thinking in manner that none of what is shown in the video of suffering and carniage matter to her or any of her family members.

To her, this is a corny video. It will not bring tears to the eyes of Shia Munafeq such as Ayatoali/marduk Khemeni who deceptively brag about his Islamic teaching on one hand and sends in billions in cash and guns to the criminal dictator to keep it up, just because the dying and tortured are his preceived arch enemies, the Sunni Moslems. His action speaks volume than his deceptive words to the Sunnis all over, specially in Arabia. I always wondered, why Arabs never bought in to his Islamic B.S. Likewise, this video will not bring any remorse to someone like Asama Akhras, whose only obsession is to be as famous as lady Diana, except the lady was from well placed family, while Asma came from humble civil servant one, grew up with house furniture made out of vegetable crates wood and covered with bed sheets. The obsession of having to forget the past, where she came from, like that of Hafez Assad and many Baathists, and focus on who she think she is now is blinding to the soul and mind.

April 18th, 2012, 8:41 pm


Mawal95 said:

@ William Scott Scherk #82: I mentioned before on this board that Article 156 of the new Constitution says parliamentary elections must be held within 90 days of 27 Feb 2012. So any consideration of a postponement of the 7 May 2012 parliamentary elections could’ve only gone out as far as 28 May 2012.

@ William Scott Scherk #82: I think you are making a valid point about that video. I concede you may be correct in your point, though I can’t concede you’re definitely correct, and I thank you changing my mind. But let me remind you of a couple of other points about that video that I mentioned before on this board that you’re ignoring today: (A) The security forces we see after time 0:08 exhibit unawareness of the crowd we see before time 0:08; the security forces are sighting themselves to the far distance, far beyond the crowd we see before time 0:08. (B) The security forces are only firing into the air — freeze the frame at times 0:09, 0:10, 0:14, etc. and you’ll see that. Syria’s security forces have a longstanding policy of not firing at protesters and the policy is complied with.

@ William Scott Scherk #82: I mentioned before on this board that more than 7,000 competitors filed papers to compete in the 7 May 2012 parliamentary elections. Approximately all of them are competing in opposition to the regime’s candidates. Thus a voter who wants to vote against the regime’s party has no shortage of opposition candidates to choose from. There are only 250 seats in the parliament.

@ William Scott Scherk #82: I mentioned before on this board that the political organizations that Haytham Manna and Azim are attached to have refused to register themselves as political parties under the new Parties Law. Hassan Abdel Azim says the NCC group “will not participate in future elections.” These organizations have deliberately disqualified themselves as a tactical maneouver (to prevent embarrassment in the polls, I say). So neither you nor they can complain about the fact that they’re disqualified to register to be candidates in the contest.

April 18th, 2012, 8:43 pm


jad said:

More of Mr. Pipe and his cornice email ‘leaks’, poor Mm. Smile, the religious ‘men’ in snc wanted to throw her out:

المال القطري والديموقـراطية المفقودة

■ التمديد لغليون يُفقد المجلس صدقيته
■ القناة العاشرة الإسرائيلية
■ طلب إبعاد قضماني
■ مليون دولار كل خمسة أيام
■ «إدانة الطائفة»

يكشف محتوى البريد الإلكتروني لرئيس «المجلس الوطني السوري» برهان غليون الكثير مما يدور في «أروقة» الهيئة الأبرز في المعارضة السورية. المجلس ليس جسماً متجانساً بالتأكيد، لكونه مؤلفاً من مكونات عديدة، لا يربطها سوى العداء للنظام السوري. وهذا التنوع يضمر الكثير من التباين في العديد من القضايا: من آلية اتخاذ القرار إلى الهيكلية، ومن المطالبة بالديموقراطية في سوريا وغياب الانتخابات داخل المجلس والاستمرار بالتمديد للرئيس. ومن أبرز ما تكشفه هذه المراسلات، آلية صرف الأموال التي تأتي من حسابات قطرية، وتحول إلى تركيا بأوامر من برهان غليون واثنين من زملائه. في عدد اليوم، تنشر «الأخبار» عدداً من المراسلات التي وردت إلى البريد الإلكتروني لغليون وصدرت عنه. وبينها واحدة مع مراسلة القناة العاشرة في التلفزيون الإسرائيلي التي طلبت مقابلة غليون، إضافة إلى اثنتين تتعلقان بتحويل المال من قطر إلى إسطنبول، فضلاً عن رسالة طلب فيها الممثل الأبرز للإخوان المسلمين في المجلس، محمد فاروق طيفور، إعفاء الناطقة باسم المجلس بسمة قضماني من منصبها. كذلك تشكف إحدى المراسلات الحدة المذهبية في خطاب بعض المعارضين

April 18th, 2012, 8:47 pm


Juergen said:

wake up world, help free Syria

April 18th, 2012, 8:48 pm


Ghufran said:

Time 100 is published. Bashar and Ali Farzat are on the list :,29569,2111975,00.html
15 are either Arab,Muslims or from the Middle East

April 18th, 2012, 8:56 pm


jad said:

China today as Russia supported Annan plan and Damascus, while the warmongers of Washington, Paris and Istanbul are trying their best not to make it work, yet we’ve been asked to trust the colonial powers of their ‘good’ intention…sure we do…Not!

اتفاق على 90% من بروتوكول المراقبين.. وواشنطن ترى «فرصة أخيرة»
خطة أنان: دمشق تنال تأييداً صينياً

جددت دمشق، أمس، عبر البوابة الصينية، التعبير عن التزامها بخطة مبعوث الأمم المتحدة والجامعة العربية كوفي أنان وتعاونها مع وفد المراقبين الدوليين للإشراف على وقف العنف، عبر تأكيد وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم خلال زيارته بكين، أن بلاده «ستحترم وتطبق» ما ورد في الخطة. وبينما أكد المعلم أن بعثة الأمم المتحدة لمراقبة وقف إطلاق النار لن تحتاج لأكثر من 250 مراقبا، ألمح إلى رفض السلطات السورية لاقتراح بالاستعانة بطائرات وطوافات من الاتحاد الأوروبي لمساعدة البعثة في عملها، موضحا أن سوريا مستعدة لوضع سلاحها الجوي تحت تصرف البعثة إذا اقتضت الضرورة ذلك.

وفيما اتهم وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف المعارضة السورية المسلحة بأنها تسعى إلى إثارة أعمال عنف لإفشال الخطة السلمية التي وضعها انان، واصلت واشنطن لهجتها التصعيدية ضد دمشق، معتبرة أن «سوريا تمر بنقطة تحول، فإما ننجح في تنفيذ خطة أنان بمساعدة المراقبين، وإما يضيع الأسد فرصته الأخيرة قبل أن يصبح من الضروري النظر في إجراءات إضافية».

وفي الوقت الذي بدت فيه التهدئة صامدة عموما، على الرغم من الخروقات، التي أدت إلى سقوط 14 قتيلا من المدنيين والقوات الأمنية، أعلنت وزارة الخارجية السورية أن الحكومة وفريق المراقبين «اتفقا على 90 في المئة من بنود البروتوكول» الذي ينظم عمل البعثة، التي أكد رئيس وفدها الطليعي العقيد المغربي أحمد حميش أن إتمام مهمتهم يحتاج إلى وقت وبناء الثقة مع جميع الأطراف في البلاد.
إلى ذلك، بث التلفزيون السوري شريط فيديو للرئيس بشار الأسد وعقيلته أسماء يشاركان متطوعين، في إستاد الفيحاء في دمشق، في تعبئة مساعدات، لإرسالها إلى المتضررين من الأحداث في حمص.

ودعا الأسد، خلال ترؤسه اجتماع المجلس الأعلى للإدارة المحلية في دمشق، إلى «اعتماد مبدأ الشفافية في العمل عبر نشر خطط الإدارة المحلية ومعرفة مخططات البلدية من قبل الناس عبر الانترنت أو بوسائل التواصل الأخرى ونشر الموازنة الخاصة بها بما يغلق المجال أمام أي فساد ويسهم في مشاركة المواطن عبر إبداء رأيه ومقترحاته في هذه المشاريع والإعلان عن المهل الزمنية لإنهاء المشاريع المقترحة. وأكد أن «حل المشاكل لا بد أن ينطلق من الأولويات التي تكون على أساس حاجات الناس الأكثر إلحاحا»، داعيا إلى «زيادة الاهتمام بالريف وعدم إهماله لحساب المدينة، وكذلك إجراء توازن بين المناطق المتعددة في المدينة الواحدة والعدالة في توزيع الخدمات».

المعلم في بكين

وقال المعلم، في مؤتمر صحافي في مقر السفارة السورية في بكين بعد اجتماعه مع نظيره الصيني يانغ جيتشي، إن «وجهات نظرنا كانت متقاربة للغاية في هذه الأمور». وأضاف «عبر الجانبان أثناء الاجتماع عن دعمهما لمهمة انان وخطته ذات النقاط الست، وأكدا تأييدهما لإرسال بعثة المراقبين الأممية إلى سوريا لمراقبة وقف العنف. كما أكدا أن بعثة المراقبين يجب أن تعمل في إطار السيادة السورية والتنسيق مع الحكومة لتستطيع أن تمارس عملها بمهنية، ورحبا بمشاركة مراقبين من الدول التي لها موقف محايد من الأزمة السورية، مثل روسيا والصين والهند والبرازيل وجنوب أفريقيا».

وقال لافروف، في مؤتمر صحافي مشترك مع نظيره المغربي سعد الدين العثماني في موسكو، إن «الذين يريدون أن تفشل خطة انان كثر، وذلك لكي يطالبوا باللجوء إلى حلول أخرى، وقبل أي شيء إلى القوة». وأضاف ان «القوى الرئيسية في المعارضة السورية، بما فيها المجلس الوطني السوري، لم توافق رسميا حتى الآن على خطة انان».
وأورد «شهادات ظهرت في وسائل الإعلام الغربية والتركية مفادها ان المعارضة المسلحة تحاول تنظيم أعمال استفزازية لكي تستأنف أعمال العنف والحصول على ذريعة لوأد خطة انان».

واعتبر البيت الأبيض أن أعمال العنف الجديدة التي سجلت في سوريا تكشف «عدم صدق» النظام بشأن الالتزام بخطة انان. وقال المتحدث باسمه جاي كارني «سنعمل مع حلفائنا وشركائنا بشأن الخطوات التالية، لكننا نواصل حث السوريين على السماح للشعب السوري بالتحرر من أعمال العنف التي ترتكبها الحكومة وكذلك بحرية تقرير مصيره بنفسه».

وقالت وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية هيلاري كلينتون، في بروكسل، «من المقلق للغاية، أن تطلق مدافع نظام الأسد نيرانها مرة أخرى على حمص وادلب وغيرهما من المواقع». وأضافت «نحن في نقطة تحول حرجة، إما ننجح في تنفيذ خطة انان بمساعدة المراقبين، وإما يضيع الأسد فرصته الأخيرة قبل أن يصبح من الضروري النظر في إجراءات إضافية ».

ورفضت كلينتون الرد على سؤال حول ما إذا كان مقبولا أن تسلح دول أخرى المعارضة، في إشارة إلى السعودية وقطر. وأشارت الى ان الولايات المتحدة «لا تقدم أسلحة قاتلة» للمعارضة، ولكنها ترسل لها معدات اتصالات وغيرها من المساعدات التي لا تستخدم في القتل.

وقال رئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب اردوغان، في مؤتمر صحافي في أنقرة، «إذا لم تعد الدبابات إلى ثكناتها، لا نستطيع ان نقول ان خطة السلام المؤلفة من ست نقاط تطبق». وأضاف انه ينقل معلومات من «السوريين الذين لا زالوا يفرون من وجه العنف» إلى الدول المجاورة، مؤكدا ان «عمليات القتل لا تزال مستمرة خارج دمشق». وأشار الى انه «رغم ان الدبابات تنسحب من شوارع واحياء معينة، الا انها تدخل مناطق ريفية» ولا تعود الى ثكناتها.

April 18th, 2012, 8:59 pm


Tara said:


Lots of your writings are pretty intelligent. Yes, Azma and her family are incapable of shedding a drop of tear. This family forgot how to cry.

April 18th, 2012, 9:00 pm


jad said:

Bronco, Zoo,

Here is the meeting you were referring to, it seems that the sole goal of it is to screw Annan’s mission, nothing else.

اجتماع وزاري عاجل في باريس: محاولة للضغط على روسيا
محمد بلوط

رسمياً تنعقد «المجموعة الرائدة من أصدقاء سوريا» في باريس اليوم لمنع انحراف العملية السياسية والمهمة في سوريا. القول لوزير الخارجية الفرنسي آلان جوبيه، في معرض شرح الأسباب الداعية إلى استدعاء وزراء خارجية 14 بلداً من أوروبا وتركيا والولايات المتحدة، وسبعة بلدان عربية هي قطر والسعودية والأردن والمغرب ومصر ودولة الإمارات وتونس.

ولا جدال أن الاجتماع قد استدعي على عجل. فخلال لقاء قبل يومين مع احد المسؤولين الفرنسيين المباشرين عن الملف السوري استبعد أي لقاء من هذا النوع في الأيام المقبلة، مبرراً ذلك بضرورة انتظار تبلور الأوضاع على الأرض في ســوريا، واتجاهات تطبيق النظام السوري لخطة مبعوث الأمم المتحدة والجامعة العربية إلى سوريا كوفي انان. واعتبر أن انشغال فرنسا بالانتخابات الرئاسية قد لا يكون مناسباً للدعوة إلى مؤتمر «لأصدقاء سوريا» في باريس.

وصحيح أن مقاييس الاجتماع الوزاري اليوم لا ترقى إلى متطلبات المؤتمر الواسع، إلا أن ذلك يبقى مفاجئاً على اعتبار أنه لم تكن هناك أي مؤشرات في الخارجية الفرنسية تدعو إلى الإسراع في عقد مثل هذا اللقاء، ومنها طبعاً ضرورة منح أنان المزيد من الوقت لوضع تقريره الأول، ومن ثم مناقشته، واتخاذ المواقف المطلوبة.

ووضع جوبيه الدعوة في سياق «استمرار النظام السوري باللجوء إلى القمع، وعرقلة انتشار المراقبين الدوليين، ما يستدعي رداً قوياً من الأسرة الدولية». وهي كلها أسباب لا تستدعي الالتزام بأي روزنامة محددة لعقد أي اجتماع.

وعلى الأرض يبدو للدبلوماسيين الفرنسيين انه من الممكن عقد مثل هذا الاجتـماع، خصوصـاً أن وزيرة خارجية أميركا والدول الأوروبية يتواجدون في بروكسل، في اجتـماع لوزراء خارجية حلف شــمال الأطلسي. والأرجح أن الدعوة وجهت خلال اجتماع لجنة العقوبات الدولية ضد سوريا، في باريس أمس الأول، لتمديد أثرها والاستفادة من مفاعيلها لإظهار استمرار التعبئة في صفوف «أصدقاء سوريا».

وقال دبلوماسي عربي، في باريس، لقد فوجئنا نحن المعنيين بالملف باجتماع اليوم. ورأى أن الهدف من الاجتماع ليس التوصل إلى أي قرارات جديدة إنما انعقاد الاجتماع بحد ذاته للتعبير عن المخاوف بأن خطة انان تقترب من الغرق في تفاصيل مطالب النظام السوري المتزايدة.

ويسود شعور لدى الغربيين أن روسيا قد صادرت المبادرة السياسية في سوريا، وأنها باتت تقود شطراً كبيراً من العملية، بعد أن نجحت في فرض خطة أنان على النظام السوري. ويظهر مرة أخرى أن الإجماع على مبادرة أنان في مجلس الأمن لا يزال هشاً، لأنه حصل لأسباب متضاربة وأهداف متباعدة: الأوروبيون وأمــيركا كانوا يسعون إلى ضــم الروس بأي ثمن إلى مبادرة للتدخل في سوريا، وتدويل الأزمة، وهذا ما حصلوا عليه. أما الروس، فحصلوا على حق إدارة الأزمة في سوريا، وتنفيذ خطة انان، باعتبارهم الطرف، والراعي الدولي الوحيد المقبول من جانب النظام السوري.

لذا فإن ساعة اجتماع في باريس يليها عشاء للوزراء لا يمكن أن تهدد سيطرة الروس على خطة أنان، ولكنها تكفي للاتفاق على توجيه رسالة من خارج مجلس الأمن للروس، بأن وكالتهم عن سوريا، يجب أن تقترن بإنجازات فعلية في خطة أنان.

April 18th, 2012, 9:08 pm


bronco said:

#97 Jad

I am surprised that these ‘Stepford’ wives we never heard taking any position during these years where Lebanese or Gazans were bombed ruthlessly by Israel, suddenly wake up and address themselves to Asma Al Assad whose emails have just be hacked, made public and ridiculed.

Do they really expect that insulting further Asma Al Assad with a glittering professionally made tear jerking video showing only one side of the conflict will change anything?

So, when are the videos-petition to the wife of Qatar’s ruler, the wives of King Abdallah, or the wife of Ryad Al Assad or the virtuous Mrs Erdogan to stop arming the rebels and destroying Syria?

It seems the Western enemies of Syria media are seriously running out of tricks to move Syria into a civil war. After the hacked emails tabloid frenzy that died off, they are resorting to even cheaper shots.

April 18th, 2012, 9:18 pm


bronco said:

#108 Jad

Juppe was distressed and humiliated that the FOS meeting in Paris hastily renamed “Sanction Group meeting’ turned out to be an empty balloon as only ‘junior’ international officials attended it and even the media ignored it.

He needed something to save face and he begged the officials who were in Brussels for the NATO meeting to ‘pass by’ to have dinner in Paris so he can show some achievements. A photo-op, nothing else.
Anyway Juppe is maybe on his way out soon. It must have been a farewell dinner too.

April 18th, 2012, 9:31 pm


Jad said:

Dear Bronco

We will never hear from them when it comes to israel,

The Brit will be busy covering up her husband’s crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan while the German on top of covering her own crimes in Afghanistan and sending weapons’ s afraid to be called Anti-Semite if she dares to open her mouth.

Besides, they didn’t put any picture of any of the children the terrorists they support killed in this movie.

Qatar Wife? No ‘Wives’, the barelle of Zift, he has not counting the concubines.

I agree the western and Khalayjeh media don’t have many tricks left, they already bored their viewer from repeating the same lies, they don’t even have any more graphic video to show hence the repeating of the old ones.

April 18th, 2012, 10:02 pm


bronco said:

#111 Haytham Khoury

Examples of “hijacked” revolutions are all over history books.

April 18th, 2012, 10:02 pm


Jad said:

Great to see you back Hayhtham
How have you been? How is your initiative coming along?

April 18th, 2012, 10:36 pm


Norman said:

(CNN) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is strengthening his grip on the country during the relative decrease in violence brought on by U.N. demands, according to several experts.

April 18th, 2012, 10:44 pm


bronco said:

#115 Norman

The Al observers were halted swiftly by the AL under Qatar’s instigation when it appeared that their presence was actually strengthening the regime instead of threatening it. Now the presence of the UN observers seems to have the same effect on the regime in addition to weakening further the opposition, now scrutinized.

This time Qatar and the AL have no easy way to halt the UN observers mission. Who will?

April 18th, 2012, 10:56 pm


Badr said:

“to prevent embarrassment in the polls, I say”

Oh please don’t insult some readers’ intelligence!

April 19th, 2012, 2:49 am


Juergen said:

The Time 100 list has also Sh. Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani. They have a subcategory ROGUES, and the text about him might not have been aprooved by his US PR company:

Then there is Syrian President Bashar Assad. When he came to power in 2000, he seemed to be that mythical creature: a reformist autocrat. But the Arab Spring inspired many of his people to protest — and Assad, 46, responded by cracking down. He played on the fears of the ruling Alawite minority, businessmen and Syrian Christians to persuade them to stand by his secular ideology against the mainly Sunni Muslim uprising. As his father Hafez slaughtered thousands to preserve the regime in the 1980s, Bashar intends to prove he is the player in Syria to be placated — if only because he can kill most efficiently.
Chua-Eoan is TIME’s news director,28804,2111975_2112121_2112117,00.html

April 19th, 2012, 3:05 am


Sharmine Narwani said:


I thank you for re-publishing a number of my pieces on this blog over the years – I have always enjoyed the debate and different points of view offered both by the editors and the commenters on this site.

I take issue, however, with your allowing one of your commenters to call me a “lap-dancer” (# 82). I do not mind when readers disagree with my perspective, but I take exception to misogyny and sexual degradation in any form – targeting either myself or other women. You will note that the other two subjects of derision – Assad Abu Khalil and Ikhras – were not referred to in sexually reductive terminology by this commenter.

In Syria today, there is talk of rape being used as a weapon in this conflict, with both sides accusing the other of targeting women based on sect or political perspective. Sexually charged language is also used liberally to try to marginalize a woman’s point of view. Rush Limbaugh recently called Sandra Fluke a “slut” for her views on contraception – and was roundly criticized for it.

Commenter #82 is a white, North American male. Calling me a “lap-dancer” insults me twice. It insults me as a liberated woman, and it insults me as someone liberated of colonialism and its accompanying mindset.

Commenter #82 doesn’t just use SC to call me a lap-dancer and other sexually-charged names. He does so on other social media sites with the kind of worrying dedication that seeks to intimidate me.

If you do not censure his behavior on Syria Comment, then this is not the intellectually honest website I have come to respect over the years.

Sharmine Narwani

April 22nd, 2012, 3:37 pm


Alex said:

William, describing Sharmine as a “regime lap dancer” is not very polite. What exactly did she do to deserve that kind of language from a Canadian?

Do you have specific, and clear examples of things she wrote that were lies for example?

April 22nd, 2012, 4:24 pm


jna said:

Re: 119. Sharmine Narwani said: (…)

Some telling points you have made here. William Scott Scherk does indeed owe you an apology and a retraction.

April 22nd, 2012, 4:44 pm


Tara said:

Mrs. Sharmine

If WSS owes you an apology, then you owe millions of the Syrian people an apology and perhaps a compensation too. If you fail to call the slaughter of 35 people a massacre, to protect the regime for reasons only known to you, then what really constitute a massacre in your opinion? I think you calling yourself a liberated woman is a bit of stretch in my opinion. Libreration is a mental liberation if you know what I mean. And you bringing up the “targeting women” subject is very lame to say the least, given your failure to react to Assad’s thugs sniper little girls in the eyes. Aren’t that considered “targeting women” ?.

Finally, referring to WSS as a white male from Canada is using what he volunteers to tell us.  Care to tell us about your background?

April 22nd, 2012, 4:58 pm


Son of Damascus said:


How about your bullying and baseless accusations against journalists, is that OK by your books?

Was it not you who attacked Amal Hanano on your Twitter account calling her allegiances to Halab into questioning?

Was it not you that called Jadaliya an agent of the white man, what proof do you have such baseless accusations may I ask?

You take offence to a white man calling you out, however you continue to bully whomever you wish, is that not the very definition of hypocrisy?

How about your signalling out journalists that risked their lives to enter Syria and report that they can only put together a few words in Arabic, are you Sharmine a person that speaks the Arabic language? If not what gives you better authority to report on Syria than Marie Colvin that actually LOST her life reporting from Syria (something I am sure you WOULD NEVER do)?

April 22nd, 2012, 6:12 pm


Averroes said:


I would like to salute you for your courage as well as for your outstanding journalism. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for some people to see anything that’s outside the simple-minded story of Mass Media.

Please keep the good work coming.

April 22nd, 2012, 7:10 pm


Oula Dak said:

Thank you Mrs. Sharmine, William that was def impolite, you def ow her an apology.

April 22nd, 2012, 7:15 pm


Averroes said:


Welcome to the real face of Freedom Fighters. I will tell you that I have not spoken to one pro-Rev (that was not a relative) who did not end up insulting me, cursing at me, and/or threatening me. Some of my relatives and friends are pro-Rev and they have become very rude as well. However, whenEVER I write online, on FB, or on YT channels, there is no end to the abuse I receive from so-called pro-democracy camp (many of whom are not even Syrians).

This is especially true if the writers are using aliases, where they can lash out with no concern. My goodness.

So please know that there are MANY people who truly appreciate your great work, and to whom your writings are like a breath of fresh air.

With my respect and support.

April 22nd, 2012, 7:22 pm


Averroes said:

With these insults, Sharmine, they are really only expressing their frustration for the failure of their model, their prediction, and their FAKE revolution. Why do I call it FAKE? Because pretty much everything about it is FAKE.

April 22nd, 2012, 7:27 pm


AK said:

William, the only lap-dancer here is people like you and anyone else who sold out or is pushing for the invasion of another country because they think they know better to justify it. The logic of your argument can only be matched by the likes of Fox News anchormen or Sarah Palin.

I dont know where the f@#$ you got off lambasting Sharmine and that whole part about “non-Arabic-speaking Iranian-American fake-scholar independently-wealthy UK-NATO-citizen “. We have seen enough Syrians not knowing what the hell they are talking about for one, and non-Syrians providing more and better insight to the situation, people such as Sharmine and Dr Landis.

In addition, your use of ad-hominem attacks on Sharmine, if anything, prove how empty your argument is, and you have nothing else but insults to resort to. Again, very similar to most “followers” of the “fawra”.

Regarding the Hanano woman, she isnt the only one living in Aleppo and I can bring in a whole entire list of personal and family related stories to back up Sharmine’s point of view, but unlike the “fawra” people, I am not that skilled in crocodile tears, using the misery of others to beg or ask for intervention to get my own country invaded, let alone lying.

And as for the following:`

“Amal gets in Foreign Policy, and Sharmine gets a blog at Al-Akhbar english”

If this means anything, it proves how low Foreign Policy has sunk and one more proof how much good journalism Al Akhbar has demonstrated wether in Arabic or English.

Usualy I do not bother answering or commenting on the likes of you, but someone as honest and hard working as Sharmine deserves better.

I know fom personal experience with her that she will not post or write about anything unless it is confirmed and she avoids as much as possible writing based on “anonymous witness” sources, meanwhile “major news institutions” and even International NGOs based entire judgments and actions on a whole panoply of anonymous witnesses with no tangible sourcing or possibility of holding anyone accountable to what they say.

Hell I can just pick up the phone screaming saying my neighbours are getting raped by Rami Makhlouf and that would put me on a breaking news 8 pm of any MSM channel like CNN (yay Cooper) or Al Jazeera (all time favorite innit?)

As for SC.

I used to be a loyal follower for years, since the days when Syria was silently “getting killed” by the same people today, and many of the “fawra” people were silent, either enjoying ot, or benefiting or just not giving a damn.

The level of posting and commenting has plummetted, and this comment written by William is just another nail in that coffin.

I haven’t bothered coming here for a while since last year, and while reading down to reach the comment where Sharmine was insulted I remembered why.

Please take appropriate action to fix this.

April 22nd, 2012, 7:42 pm


Tara said:

“I havnt bothered coming here for a while since last year, and while reading down to reach the comment where Sharmine was insulted I remembered why.”

Who are you people? Never heard of your names before. Not since I started on SC a year ago. All of the sudden, new names posting on SC in defense of the indefensible. If AK never bothered coming to SC since last year, what happened today all of the sudden that made him pay us a visit, just few hours after Sharmine posted whining that WSS hurt her sensibility? This appears staged. I am expecting more and more unheard of names posting to enlighten us with their opinions in support of this hurt sensibility.

WSS, please remember the dead infants killed on purpose by the regime to instill fear, if and when you decide to respond. The grim videos of dead infants do not hurt Sharmine sensibility. Your calling her out does. I call that a dissociative sensibility.

April 22nd, 2012, 8:01 pm


AK said:

Tara, ive been coming for at least 6 years, and in my education/career of choice I have written about Syria more than you ever will. I dont always post here, and that is none of your business why, and needless to say nobody needs to justify anything for you or anyone else.

Staged you say? We are all on Sharmine’s payroll, with a lot of her Iranian money. Do something about that now would you.

And who the hell are you to ask who the hell are we? U mad brah?

Ironiclay the anti-spam word I was asked to type in is “respect” and you young lady need to get some of that.

Seriously children these days are unbelievable.

April 22nd, 2012, 8:09 pm


Patrick said:

I am just wondering what level had someone spoofed down to calling others names such as a “lap-dancer”?! I think we’re here to discuss the fate of a country and its people and not to throw others who just wish to express their opinion freely. And speaking of Lap dancing, being another Canadian myself,I have heard of cases in down town Toronto where many males consider it to be a full profession! So it is not really exclusive to ladies!!

April 22nd, 2012, 8:09 pm


Kevork said:

Willian that’s very rude comment! how come people become so much block minded? how come people preach freedom of expression but oppress others point of view? just to let u know William, there is no truth, except if u believe in Hollywood films, where the good beat the bad evil… the situation is not black and white in Syria, I admire Sharmine’s writings and I read it critically… even if I didn’t agree with her, but she is raising very serious points.

April 22nd, 2012, 8:21 pm


AK said:

Tara, as a woman (assuming you are one), how would you feel if someone called you a “lap-dancer” of someone or something. Would your “sensibitly” get hurt? Or is it OK to use it against someone you disagree with and not yourself?
Specialy when it comes from a Male such as William, we would think that it would hit your feminine cord and show some solidarity with a fellow Woman.

Dont preach compassion when why is it always about me? it is obvious you lack it. Worry not, you are not alone, there is an entire army of “fawra” who show the same ambivalence and double standards when it comes to compassion. Fruit punch is great these days I heard.

And “Not since I started on SC a year ago”, refer with that to my first post in this thread, you fit somewhere in ther probably too.

April 22nd, 2012, 8:28 pm


Alex said:

Tara, Sharmine sent me link to her comment because I am one of the authors on SC. I wrote a comment to support her and went back to a discussion with some friends. Told them what happened and two of them decided to write comments to support Sharmine (and me I guess).

You are free to dislike her articles and others are free to like them, the only part I objected to was the lap-dancer one. You wouldn’t want anyone to call you that either.

April 22nd, 2012, 8:40 pm


Tara said:


Thank you for your explanation. What I like about you is that you do not willfully insult the readers’ intelligence. 😉


I wrote this before I read Alex’s response. I may not have felt prompted to write it had I read Alex @132. Since It tool me som “mental power” to write it, I decided to send it anyhow. So here you go:


Tara the disrespectful?

Then explain further.  You said you have not bothered to visit SC since last year.  I haven’t made that up.  Read your own comment.  Was it the sixth sense that made you visit today?  Oh,  wait a second.. I forgot your “personal experience” with Sharmine (as you stated).  Silly Tara, the child she is,  how dare she thinks it is staged?  The fact of the matter is I know us women, we like to ensure moral support before we embark on something new.. 

Btw, I will refrain from saying that some adults these days are unbelievable.  But just a friendly note to *uncle* AK, if it is not Tara’s business to ask why you posted today, the same is applicable to you in regard to Tara.  She posts what she wants when she wants (thanks to the brilliant commenter who taught me that phrase.  I have leaned lots from you)      

You said you have written about Syria in your career of choice more than I ever will.  Great!  My career of choice is far away from political writing.  I don’t believe that I would even write about Syria after we expel Batta and accomplish a regime change…  Please post a real opinion one of these days so we can judge the substance.  We just can’t judge the substance of the writings from a post dedicated to praise someone,  Yes?  

April 22nd, 2012, 8:55 pm


Abbas Bazzi said:

All I see from the anti-government camp is hate, frustration and slander of those that reject their sectarian idealogy and their lack of a peaceful and coherent solution to the crisis.

I don’t know where someone like William Scherk gets off insulting a respectable academic and journalist like Sharmine Narwani in such a derogatory manner. All the woman has done is courageously counter the lies and propaganda bein peddled in the western media and Al Jazeera with unbiased and factual reporting.

If those those in the oppositon want to be taken seriously in intellectual forums, they should denounce such despicable behavior and commit to a respectable and healthy debate about a peaceful resolution to this crisis. Any other option – especially the militaristic ones being suggested by the ill-intentioned Gulf Countries and their American masters – are a complete disaster for Syria and the region.

April 22nd, 2012, 9:21 pm


Tara said:


Your comment is not acceptable. I hope you “help” is not actively enlisted by Sharmine. If it is, it only tell of the kind of person she is. You should be banned from posting here. Where is the moderator?

April 22nd, 2012, 9:31 pm


Alex said:

مؤتمر الوفاق الأول لقوى التغيير السلمي

An excellent document and initiative (in my opinion). It can unite a large number of Syrians. But of course it will be difficult to move beyond the meeting stage into specifics.

April 22nd, 2012, 9:38 pm


Alex said:

Tara #138, I agree.

April 22nd, 2012, 9:40 pm


Son of Damascus said:


You have not commented here in over a year, but with all the insults being thrown around here for over a year you choose now to come to the defence of someone that does not even comment here regularly, seems very suspect to me to say the least.

I digress…

“and you have nothing else but insults to resort to. Again, very similar to most “followers” of the “fawra”.”

As I remember from day one the opposition was called “mundasseen”, high on drugs, 3ar3ouri’s and zionist puppets, by apologists and the regime. Not to mention being called traitors and salafi agents, as if it is traitorous to believe in a free Syria without the Assad clan at its helm, or brainwashed by salafi ideology to believe that Assads are nothing more than thugs.

“I am not that skilled in crocodile tears, using the misery of others to beg or ask for intervention to get my own country invaded, let alone lying.”

So you are inadvertently claiming that Amal Hanano is lying while shedding crocodile tears over Syria to be invaded. Please provide me with one link in which she said that, or even hinted at that, oh right apologists love to claim others are lying without any proof to back them up, we just have to take your word for it right?

“If this means anything, it proves how low Foreign Policy has sunk and one more proof how much good journalism Al Akhbar has demonstrated wether in Arabic or English.”

Actually you are mistaken here, for Al Akhbar even before the events of the past year had suspect news reporting, and when they published Sharmine’s editorials under the guise of journalism they have proven that.

And for the record anyone callous enough to argue that the murder of 35 innocent civilians is not a massacre needs to re-examine their moral compass in life. Let alone attacking journalist risking their lives to get the voice of the tortured Syrian people heard in the world, while she sits comfortably in her London life.

In her last piece she not only desecrates the lives of the Journalist that lost their lives reporting from Syria, but calls their work into suspicion solely based on Al Akhbarieh and Al Dunnnia. What journalistic integrity does this woman have, or are the lives of Marie Colvin, Anthony Shadid, and Remi Ochlik and others mean nothing more than a conspiracy to her, and I guess to you as well?

I was one of those “farwa” people that was not only silent but enabled this regime, even have family relations that married into it. You are right I benefited, did not give a damn, and enjoyed the level of prestige my family connections got me. I am guilty as charged, but one thing I am not guilty of is standing by their side and enabling their killings, murder, and rape of my country any further. I finally turned from an Assadi to a Souri, and I have never been more proud to be a Souri.

Before you go label me (which apologist love to do) let explain somethings to you, I don’t believe in an armed struggle to gain the freedom of my country but at the same time I don’t believe in making a deal with the devil. They had their chance to reform its been 40 years and nothing good has come out of this cursed family.

NATO, GCC, Turky, Russia, and Iran can all go f-ck themselves, they are all guilty of using Syrian lives as pawns in their realpolitik games, they have shown what Syrian blood is worth to them, absolutely nothing.

The only way I Son of Damascus believe Syria can gain its freedom is by our voices, and not by the barrel of a gun. Every a–hole in military grub that swore to protect our freedom ended up jailing us, using the name of resistance to better fill his and his families pockets with ill-gotten gains, while holding back our countries.

It was not the opposition that swore “us or chaos” from day one (remember the Makhlouf interview with Shadid), or swore to turn Syria and the region into a 100 Afghanistans, or keep repeating the slogan Al Assad ouw nihrek el ballad (Assad or we scorch the country).

Make no mistake about it, Souriah Al Assad and its sick and demented reality is what is ruining Syria, not the opposition.

April 23rd, 2012, 1:44 am


jad said:


Just to let you know that those who are attacking Sharmine every time she writes an article their favorite writer is no other than Michael Weiss. Go figure!

Here is this zionist Weiss who wrote the whole plan of how to invade and destroy Syria in an interview on aljazeera telling us that this UN charade is useless and the Nato will go ahead with ‘his’ plan to destroy Syria, yet Sharmine is the bad journalist and Weiss is the ‘best’ ‘objective’ writer ‘ever’….

Michael Weiss, Henry Jackson Society talks Syria on Al Jazeera, April 19 2012

April 23rd, 2012, 2:06 am


Son of Damascus said:


So it takes courage for you to use a conspiracy laden blog such as Moon of Alabama (where the expert B does not even get the name of the neighbourhood correct) as proof of the Syrian army not using artillery to bombard Baba Amr for 27 days straight. As if the countless videos of tulip shells falling down on Baba Amr were not evidence by itself, not to mention the civilian death toll.

It takes courage for you to see someone lambaste journalists that risked their lives with some ultimately gave up to report from Syria, while she sits comfortably in her Western city claiming a Western conspiracy. is that not the very definition of false virtue, or is she living in the West to “learn the enemy”?

She is NOT a journalist, she blurs the lines between reporting and editorializing without even blinking an eye, thinking that her regurgitated old lines of Anti imperialism and anti zionism is enough cover for her shaky “truths”.

By the way your argument about opposition resorting to name calling kind of defeats the purpose when you are guilty of the same, oh right hypocrisy is something not recognized by Assad supporters… I guess we are not the only ones guilty of being simple minded!

April 23rd, 2012, 2:14 am


Son of Damascus said:


Michel Weiss is NOT my favourite writer, and the ONLY time I linked him here was because for once he did not go into his USUAL HYPERBOLE.

Here is a reminder since your memory is failing you:

Stop your lies about me, you were the one threatening legal actions against someone that dared to ask things about you, yet you choose to attack and call names, and make up lies to whomever you wish. No wonder you keep getting moderated…

For your sake I will side step all the shoddy and despicable sources you post such as Aldunnia, Akhbarieh, and Syriatruth and claim them as truths when they are nothing but lies and made up propaganda.

And for the record I don’t attack sharmine but her shoddy and shaky fiction that she claims to be reality. Was it not her that callously argued that the death of 35 Syrians is or is not a massacre, or is Syrian blood nothing to you unless it is someone swearing allegiance to Assad?

April 23rd, 2012, 3:06 am


AK said:

Once again we are reminded that anyone not agreeing with the “revolution” is either inhuman, or an alien robot zombie.

This just goes to prove my point, and a tangible example were anyone who does not agree with the fawra is immediately de-humanized.

No where in my post did i write anything pro regime. All my comment was against the “revolution” and the apparent online mindset of some/many of its followers.

If you are going to sit here and convince/force everyone to agree that this fawra is beyond reproach, so are the fawarjieh and their behavior, please go ahead.

So you said you are guilty as charged SonofDamascus, but you simply have more humanity than I do, and probably anyone else who disagrees with you. Id give you a medal for the amount of bigotry in that statement, but its been over a year thousands of fawarjieh have shoved this humanitarian argument down our throats it actualy faded and lost taste.

I admit, I have no humanity in me, along with everyone else who disagrees with this fawra, and only those “revolutionaries” who bandwagon insults and online intimidation (both online and offline), and those who de-humanize anyone who disagrees with them, and frustrated that some decided to show support of an independent writer, (one of the basic elements of freedom of thought which you just tried to preach to me about right now), those “revolutionaries” who are the only ones in a position to give us lessons in humanity.

All you had to say was it looked suspect that suddenly I decided to show up to support Sharmine. Alex already elaborated about this, and even if he didnt, my argument still stands, and everything I said applies. Your logical falacy in no way discredit my argument, if anything it demonstrated frustration.

The reason i use the term fawra is because i do not believe this to be a revolution, it is far from it and will never be one. As you said, there are other means to bring change, hence why i will never call it a revoution.

The rest of the jargon written i will not even dignify with an answer.

April 23rd, 2012, 4:24 am


AK said:

*bah i was editing and wanted to add this paragraph but the editor timed out.*

It is possible to guess where this frustration comes from. For over a year most of the fawra squad got used to saying whatever they want, controlling the narrative, either by bulliying or simply spamming everything everywhere all the time all the way making as much noise as possible that modest/objective and sound voices are either intimidated or simply hard to notice, and hardly anyone bothered questionning it. People either did not bother or simply stopped bothering because of the tremendous amount of nonsense.

lol “you should be banned from posting here” Tara said.
YOU MUST BE SILENCED hehe this sounds straight from a movie. Thanks for proving my point.


April 23rd, 2012, 4:37 am


HK said:

Without a doubt calling somebody like Sharmine Narwani a “regime lap dancer” is disrespectful and the kind of bullying many who “dare” to question the opposition propaganda, have experienced! WSS needs to apologize and so does SC for publishing such an disgraceful insult!..

Those in the opposition and their Arab and Western supporters who call for “freedom of expression and democracy” in Syria are often very quick to make accusations to others who happen to express different views to theirs! This is precisely the level of hypocrisy which has exposed those freedom promoters and showed them for what they really are!.. There has been rarely a real debate, it’s much easier to make accusations to undermine others than making real and rational arguments that address the issues raised by them..I have a great respect to Sharmine for having the courage and the will to be on the right side of history – a stand that is not shared with the rulers of Qatar and Saudi Arabia…

April 23rd, 2012, 5:09 am


Alan said:

shame to moderator !if you were the sun, it wouldn’t Rises !
Gas and peace: Egypt cuts off gas supply to Israel

April 23rd, 2012, 5:46 am


Shami said:

Aveqiqi for sure the assadist shabeeha are not false at all.

The revolution would be false, if the future tells that  your heterodox religious slogan Assad ila al abad is the truth.

Ila mazbalet el tarikh with  your assads, shaleeshs and makhaloufs .

April 23rd, 2012, 7:13 am


Shami said:

Bazzi,  all the islamophob and paranoid and marginal sectarian minorities support assad…we do not have islamohaters, christians or others in the anti-assad movement.

April 23rd, 2012, 7:18 am


Alan said:

moderator ! remove the mask ! UN to expand Syria’s observers mission The Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday expanding the number of UN ceasefire observers in Syria from 30 to 300 and demanding an immediate halt to the violence that has been escalating since the government and opposition agreed to end hostilities over a week ago. To find out the latest details on the U.N. decision we are now joined by Vasily Sushko, New York Correspondent. // Ricardo Young

April 23rd, 2012, 7:38 am


AK said:

“all the islamophob and paranoid and marginal sectarian minorities support assad…we do not have islamohaters ,christians or others in the anti-assad movement.”

Please do elaborate on that

April 23rd, 2012, 7:44 am


Shami said:

AK, what i wanted to say is that  all islamophob syrian christians support assad for the known reason ,and in the anti-assad movement we find the syrian christians(and other religions) who do not belong to the islamophob or islamohater group.

Most of supporters of Assad on this forum are of the first kind.

April 23rd, 2012, 7:57 am


Abbas Bazzi said:

Shami, the majority of SYRIANS support Assad now. Whereas before this fawra his support was probably below 50%. When the average Syrian witnessed the disgust being spewed by the leaders of the opposition, and the violence and chaos displayed by the militant wing of the opposition, they ran straight to the arms of the regime.

The Syrian government had its faults, no doubt about that; but very few Syrians wanna take the country down the road wanton anarchy and a bloody sectarian civil war.

April 23rd, 2012, 8:14 am


Shami said:

Moderation warning RED Bazzi, as a pro Hezbollah Lebanese, don’t take your wishes as the reality!

Arrogance is the weapon of the paranoid mini sectarian we had enough of it on Syria comment.

April 23rd, 2012, 8:23 am


Amal Saad-Ghorayeb said:


As a woman and an anti-imperialist, I really have to restrain myself from resorting to the same type of ad hominem attacks against you that you so easily avail yourself of here and on Twitter. Your misogynistic, sexually abusive slur against Sharmine Narwani as a a “regime lap dancer” is all too reminiscent of Orientalist tropes which revolve around the sexualized belly-dancing Muslim harem.

Such is your intellectual and political bankruptcy that you could not even abide by the minimal requirements of liberal, politically correct discourse which, while insidious in its own way, at least tames its more sexually and racially offensive elements into professing multicultural tolerance and sexual equality.

Nothing scares you more than the image of the decolonized native who rejects your preferred al-Jadaliyya (read, House Arab) line of thinking, than the decolonized female native who takes the lead in liberating the minds of her fellow natives. You silly little white man.

April 23rd, 2012, 8:25 am


HK said:


Does it occur to you to think consider that the sectarian language used by the some opposition leading figures is the reason that secular Syrians in general are against this so called revolution? This, by the way, includes ALL sects- not only minorities as you’re trying to suggest!!!

April 23rd, 2012, 9:53 am


Jad said:

Son of Damascud

‘Stop your lies about me,’
What lies I wrote about you and where?

‘you were the one threatening legal actions against someone that dared to ask things about you,’

Is it anybody’s buisness to know details about me other than a moukhabarati? I don’t think that it’s your buisness or anybody else to know those details, I never asked you are anyone else about your personal information so you or others have no right for that. What a silly and meaningless note to write.

‘No wonder you keep getting moderated’
🙂 as if that means anything when I’m moderated while many of the ususal sectarian commentators are giving the permission to write whatever they want without a word from the moderation ‘team’.
It’s the site problem that the moderator doesn’t do his job right and instead he tries to moderate me from replying to the provocateurs.

‘For your sake’
Thank you your highness

‘ I will side step all the shoddy and despicable sources you post such as Aldunnia, Akhbarieh, and Syriatruth’
I see, Weiss and Abrams are better and better resources and better writers.

‘and claim them as truths when they are nothing but lies and made up propaganda.’

I didn’t claim that they are the truth, they are sourcrs of NEWS like any others, I don’t write the articles I simply link them as you and any other commentators on SC do, I just share them when they have something we need to know about.

Besides, you don’t need to be made for that just skip them.

April 23rd, 2012, 10:08 am


DS said:

Dear Sirs/Madam

The underpinning of this revolution has always been based on sectarian hatred, and or supremacy. The ideals of freedom and democracy are largely tactical to ascertain western support and broader domestic support.

This fact became very evident from early on as those who claimed to be at the forefront of such noble goals vehemently rejecting ALL calls and efforts to negotiate rfeorms and establist rules and standards for Parlimentary elections, while eagerly embracing violence and extremists support from the region.

While i have seen many pro-rev advocates who are respectful and liberal minded, I have often seen the oposite. My Friend Abbas Bazzi has been frquently lambasted personally just becasue he is of Shia lineage; even called a Khomeinite.

I have often seen particulalry nasty comments against women who dare argue in support of the government. Now I am far from politically correct, and in fact am quite hostile to it, but I do believe that Sharmine was unnecessarily insulted directly. I abhor radical egalitarianism, but I insist on Chivalry and proper behaviour, especially towards the intelligent women who impart important information to us like Sharmine!!!

April 23rd, 2012, 11:07 am


Son of Damascus said:

“This just goes to prove my point, and a tangible example were anyone who does not agree with the fawra is immediately de-humanized.”

Where exactly did I dehumanize you, are you not dehumanizing the death of 13,000 Syrians by calling their death “fawar”? The people that got tortured to death because they dared to say no to Bashar and his cronies are all “fawarjieh” too?

I did not attack you personally, yet YOU chose to personalize the discussing while at the same time blaming the “fawarjieh” of the very same. Talk about double standards to say the least… You posted a comment here and I replied to it, which by the way you failed to answer any of my points except to attempt to ridicule me, the very definition of a bully. No wonder you like the “truths” that a hack like Sharmine writes.

“No where in my post did i write anything pro regime. All my comment was against the “revolution” and the apparent online mindset of some/many of its followers.”

No where in my post did I say you are pro-regime, I said you are an apologist rightfully so because you seem to reserve your indignation solely to the “fawarjieh” as is they are the one bombarding Syrian cities with artillery shells, and tank shells.

“So you said you are guilty as charged SonofDamascus, but you simply have more humanity than I do, and probably anyone else who disagrees with you. Id give you a medal for the amount of bigotry in that statement”

I was talking about MYSELF, I did not mention you or anyone else. Care to mention what was bigoted exactly about me saying that I am not guilty for standing silently by while the Assadi forces continue to kill Syrians? Oh right we just have to take the word of an apologists because proof mean zilch for you right?

“and only those “revolutionaries” who bandwagon insults and online intimidation (both online and offline)”

Hypocrisy at its best here, for I did not direct a single insult to you, I merely pointed out your hypocrisy and double standards.

For the record did you lambast Sharmine for attacking Conroy, Damon, and others? Or do you just reserve your indignation for anyone that does not follow your empty rhetoric?

“The rest of the jargon written i will not even dignify with an answer”

Obviously not, because you have no answers but made up lies and bullying. For once I would like a real answer from an apologist other than old age propaganda and imperialist crap.

The rain really makes the snakes come out.

April 23rd, 2012, 12:20 pm


AK said:

“are you not dehumanizing the death of 13,000 Syrians by calling their death “fawar”? ”

I stopped reading there.

Dont know how you got to that conclusion, but you are definitely very gifted.

people like you People like you are the fawarjieh, People who among other things put words into other people’s mouth when they have nothing good to say themselves.

Stop wasting our time.

The rest of the post is dismissed as jargon.

April 23rd, 2012, 3:13 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Which lie, lets re-examine what you said about me regarding Weiss to AK:

“Just to let you know that those who are attacking Sharmine every time she writes an article their favorite writer is no other than Michael Weiss. Go figure!”

Here is what I said to you:

“Michel Weiss is NOT my favourite writer, and the ONLY time I linked him here was because for once he did not go into his USUAL HYPERBOLE.”

Notice this is the THIRD time I explain myself yet you keep accusing me of being a Weiss follower, if I use the SAME logic as you are using that would mean your favourite news outlet is Al Akhbarieh and that YOU are NOT just posting it, but that you ACTUALLY BELIEVE in it.

“Is it anybody’s buisness to know details about me other than a moukhabarati? I don’t think that it’s your buisness or anybody else to know those details, I never asked you are anyone else about your personal information so you or others have no right for that. What a silly and meaningless note to write.”

No I never asked you about a single personal thing EVER, yet you keep on CHOOSING to attack Tara, Juergen, and Uzair8 whenever you feel like it, yet scream for the Law when someone merely just asked where in the West do you live (It takes a moukhabarati to ask such a question?). For your info in many Western nations ONLINE BULLYING IS ILLEGAL, and you have been guilty of that numerous times. If you fail to see the irony in that….

“It’s the site problem that the moderator doesn’t do his job right and instead he tries to moderate me from replying to the provocateurs.”

So the moderator is in conspiracy to silence your hate filled language and not the others? Did Dawoud not get moderated or how about the bigot KT has he not been moderated numerous times? Oh right accuse with no proof the MO of apologists.

And since when is calling someone a ‘stani, or accusing someone of being a Nazi part of a normal reply in a civil discourse? And are you not guilty of adding hate filled language in each one of your plentiful cut & paste jobs, or calling people terrorists sympathizers and 3ar3ouri’s alright in your book?

“I didn’t claim that they are the truth, they are sourcrs of NEWS like any others, I don’t write the articles I simply link them as you and any other commentators on SC do, I just share them when they have something we need to know about.”

yet you hold me responsible for ONE article I posted for Weiss, and another of Abrams that was a direct REBUTTAL to what Ehsani had posted. I can see how this makes sense to you.
(Another REMINDER of what I said that last time, about Abrams…)

I suggest to you before you resort to your usual name calling to actually READ what I write before replying me, or you can JUST SKIP MY POSTS all together. The decision is wholly up to you.

I have never forced anyone to read what I write, or even to reply to my posts…

April 23rd, 2012, 3:27 pm


Son of Damascus said:

“Dont know how you got to that conclusion, but you are definitely very gifted.
People like you are the fawarjieh, People who among other things put words into other people’s mouth when they have nothing good to say themselves.”

Like you have something good to say, all I have read so far is bigoted hate from an apologist that can’t even answer a single post without resorting to name calling.

And if you fail to see the fact you calling the revolution where 13,000 Syrians died from so far “fawarjieh” as dehumanizing, I feel bad for you. No matter what label you want to put it under those Syrians deserved better, and still deserve bitter.

You can skip my posts if they such a waste of time to you.

April 23rd, 2012, 3:32 pm


Tara said:

Would DS post concludes Sharmine’s mission to impress us?  Is there more to come or are we now done?  Sharmine’s entourage talking points specifically in regard to misogyny is laughable… 

Why is it so difficult for Sharmine’s entourage to understand that the worst kind of misogyny practiced against women is when you deprive a woman from her child or a child from his mother?  A difficult concept?  The regime has killed more than 500 children and much more than 500 women.

Sharmine , 
Sorry.  You have personally failed all generic women in this world, and you failed yourself too.   You certainly belong to Alakhbar site et al and warning you should just stay where you  belong.

April 23rd, 2012, 4:10 pm


Averroes said:

Wow .. this guy SHAME [Shami] is full of nothing but venom and sectarian hatred. I wish it continues to eat you out until it totally consumes you. You are beyond repair. Total.

Trade in?

April 23rd, 2012, 7:19 pm


Averroes said:

I suppose all the red question marks in SHAME [Shami]’s contributions are edited intellectual jargon.

(well, for his standards, I’m sure they are)

April 23rd, 2012, 7:27 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Its funny how someone comes here for the sole purpose to defend the “honour” of one journalist, takes it upon themselves to sully the reputation of another with absolutely NO PROOF.

The self proclaimed expert on Syria that has written so much feels it is so important to attack a Syrian Journalist that is writing in one of the most respected Foreign Politics magazines, with absolutely nothing to back their baseless and unfounded claims, even when asked to repeatedly.

They don’t even have the decency to attack Amal Hanano’s logic, but think it is alright to attack her honour because she so happens not to follow their simplistic and backwards look on life, the very same simpletons that keep crying conspiracy don’t know how to attack logic, they only know how to personalize their ugly hate under the guise of their cheap facade.

How so very honourable of you, I am sure Sharmine is glad to have someone like you in her corner…

I ask you again do you have a single proof to back up your unfounded and arrogant lies against Amal Hanano or are you just another shill artist that can’t back up what they say?

April 23rd, 2012, 8:08 pm


Tara said:


Please review Post# 537 linked by Tara on the new thread. Read and learn!

April 23rd, 2012, 9:10 pm


jad said:

Dear SNK,

You may be interested in this report:

Christians of the Holy Land

The exodus from the Holy Land of Palestinian Christians could eventually leave holy cities like Jerusalem and Bethlehem without a local Christian population. Bob Simon reports.

April 23rd, 2012, 11:16 pm


Sex workers against the casual invocation of sex work to demean one's opponents said:

Don’t know why I feel inclined to respond to this- Tara, I’ve never commented on SC so consider me a ‘mole’ or what have you. I disagree with Sharmine on the Syrian uprising and much of what she writes these days; when I do agree with her, I find she overstates her point and undermines it. In her most recent blog post on Al Akhbar English’s site, she writes that the problem with western journalists is that they are shilling for their governments (agree) and not that they don’t speak any Arabic (disagree.)

These are the kinds of self-serving arguments by Ms. Narwani that I take issue with: she speaks no Arabic but she thinks her ideological dedication to a narrative will overcome this. Not speaking Arabic is a huge problem. Sorry. What I wish for: more honesty given that Narwani is also a western reporter- raised and educated outside the Arab world, with no knowledge of the language, and with all the privileges of a wealthy foreigner; less sectarianism (wanting ‘her Sunni’ back. And who are you — umm al muqawama?); and not overstating her case with maxims (for the record, Israel’s ban on journalists from Gaza did provoke an outcry among western journalists, including on CNN where some Israeli spokesperson was called to task by an anchor. You can still make the point that the response to Syria is wildly hyperbolic, and particularly that the emotional journalism which is tolerated/encouraged in reporting (from a distance) on Syria is strangely absent when the perpetrators are western or the Israeli regime, without overstating your point.)

Having said all that, regardless of where one stands, regardless of how selective Sharmine’s own empathy may appear, there is absolutely no excuse for employing gendered insults against her, nor should one defend such comments by saying that Narwani doesn’t care when Syrian women are killed by the regime. The fact that this is even up for debate is pathetic. My understanding is that the originator of the ‘lap dance’ comment has since expressed regret. Let’s leave it at that.

The fact is, though, that being a female writer/journalist is not easy, and attempts to undermine women by invoking their gender or sexuality are nefarious and all too common, particularly in this profession. Disagree on the merits. And if this was all a fluke, WSS, examine your own knee-jerk invocation of demeaning gendered insults. They reveal more than you may realize. There really is no excuse.

April 24th, 2012, 12:48 am


William Scott Scherk said:

Alex writes: William, describing Sharmine as a “regime lap dancer” is not very polite. What exactly did she do to deserve that kind of language from a Canadian?

Sharmine Narwani writes: Duh. Jadaliyya means “kissing the white man’s ass” in Arabic.

Sharmine Narwani writes: Of course you need a translator for that too, because otherwise you wouldn’t have a fucking clue if you were in Idlib or Homs now, would you?

Alex is right about politeness, and he is right to ask why a Canadian would use such language.

I will answer the numerous posts mentioning me by name, or mentioning “white men.” I did catch the WSS is a Faggot reference before it was deleted (and laughed hard at the notion that Tara, repressive Tara, was demanding censorship of honest pro-regime outrage), along with the charge (widely Twitterized) that I am employed by the Israel embassy in Ottawa to recruit and spy on Syrian activists.

I will contact Sharmine privately, with a comment on her blog, Mideast Shuffle, and in the comments section of her last opinion piece at Al-Akhbar English. If those comments do not appear, I may attempt to post on Sharmine’s Facebook Wall. She has blocked me on Twitter and I have no idea how to contact her otherwise. My email is, as it always has been, willliam.scherk@gmail (those who have sent cheery messages about faggotry, pedophilia, getting it up the ass from Aroor, my Jew spymasters and so on, you may continue to cheer me. I reserve the right to publish in full your ravings. Thanks to the odious Syrian Commando for starting and widely disseminating the original false charges.)

I do not take instructions from foul-mouthed Baathi-boosting anonyms. Any forthcoming apology will be to Sharmine and to men and women who are rightfully offended by ‘demeaning gendered insults.’ The note from the Sex Worker played a large part in convincing me that I need to respond fully to the real and to the phony outrage.

To the scholar and researcher who wrote on her blog that:

Nothing scares such types more than the image of the decolonized native who rejects their preferred al-Jadaliyya (read, House Arab) line of thinking, than the decolonized female native who takes the lead in liberating the minds of her fellow natives. What a silly little white man.

And as for you Arab women out there who are siding with your male, white, Western, imperialist oppressor: the efforts of the likes of Narwani to liberate you from his grip, are wasted on you. You deserve your own self-imposed enslavement.

I have nothing to say that I have not said to her on Twitter. The racially-charged invective she lards about speaks for itself.

I should mention in passing that I have declared my interests. In my first postings to Syria Comment I told readers exactly who I was, where I lived, what my citizenship was, where my heart lay in relation to Syria, my capacity for languages, and my (lack of) political party membership and (lack of) religious beliefs. This was not to showboat, but to show good faith.

As a Canadian, as a British Columbian, I felt I needed to explain why I found Syria to be personally-concerning. I felt the need to explain the genesis of my interest, and to put it into the context of who I was and what had helped form my opinions. So, Syria Commenters definitely know who I am and what I represent — from my own words. I have nothing to hide, and every word I have written on the internet since 1997 has been in my own name. I am fully, personally, accountable for every word.

(the first Syrian I met in Vancouver was a refugee. This person was in a wheelchair, because of torture in Assad detention facilities. I think of him every day. If he goes back to Syria now, he goes back to prison, to the uncertain fate that awaits detainees today.)

As for the offending phrase, it is far too late to request deletion, and since the comment has become a minor Twitter meme, there is no point.

Thank you, Sex Worker. You reminded me of the work I did for the independent gay and lesbian monthly in Vancouver (Angles) on gender, especially my articles on street prostitution among the forgotten and abused transgender community. I take your commentary to heart. I need to be true to my own morality, without compromising a need to express myself.

Here below is the paragraph I posted earlier, with the offending phrase replaced.

Will the points made be addressed by Sharmine? Perhaps. As SOD has remarked, Sharmine’s gossipy and potentially destructive asides about real journalists such as Conroy, and her remarkable slurs against Jadaliyya — are a part of the context of discussion that has yet been entirely evaded by her and all her supporters.

Will those slurs be reproduced here? Perhaps. Will Sharmine respond to criticism. No. She does not do so on Twitter (‘House Arab’) and I see no deviation from her adopted stance of contemptuous arrogance and privilege.

Whatever credentials Sharmine has as a blogger and opinion writer will remain. Whatever credentials as a “journalist” she has will also remain. But it bears examining what the journalists she so casually slurs by name and implication think of her ethics.

That a (presumably) non-Syrian like Sharmine Narwani can demean and degrade the ethics, probity, patriotism, honesty and right to speak of Amal Hanano (by insinuation) still deeply disturbs me — this is what prompted the part of my post reproduced below.

If the regimist lap-dogs here want to continue to harry those who challenge Sharmine, good. That discussion needs to proceed, because Sharmine’s work on narratives is only a beginning — the questions she asks (but does not answer), the sources she alludes to (but never names), the ideological lenses she views events through — all this needs to be examined.

Let us not pretend we do not all have well-rooted biases. Those who struggle to confront and challenge their own biases get my support and admiration, regardless of their position on Alex’s spectrum of opinion. Those who do not challenge their own assumptions or narratives have my contempt — and that contempt ranges across the board of opinion, from the stupid and disengaged provocateur Dale Anderson to the hysterical Salafist shogun Khalid Tlass. If I thought anyone needed to be banned, anyone from these precincts, it would be those two. I perhaps would damn them to hell or Tadmor. Since I am atheist and a free-speech advocate in private and public life, I must assume that their biliousness and disempathy provides its own hell in the real world. To be an idiot without knowing one is an idiot is its own prison …

My next post will be addressed to Mawal95. I respect him. He is avowedly a full supporter of the Syrian government, its policies and its leadership, but rarely if ever stoops to the level of some of the players and trumpets here. He has engaged with me on points at issue, and left the door open …

I do very much appreciate the reasonable comments and challenges from both ‘sides.’ I regret attracting the hysterical, one-eyed, and blinkered trumpets of dogma.

In other news, Syria’s Amal Hanano (a pseudonym for a brilliant Halabi) is one of the best new writers emerging from the crisis. She is good enough to be slagged by faux-journalists like the regime lap-dog Sharmine Narwani (and Angry Arab, and Ikhras).

When a non-Arabic-speaking Iranian-American fake-scholar independently-wealthy NATO-citizen like Narwani gets off slurring and lecturing Syrians like Amal Hanano on probity, I know the media war is still full-on.

But Amal gets in Foreign Policy, and Sharmine gets a sandbox at Al-Akhbar english

Here is, finally, an earlier note posted to a blog by a a Syria Comment reader. It lays out the general beef with Sharmine.

Sharmine’s nasty asides on Twitter against journalists are not part of the ethics of journalism. They are part of an ethic of one-eyed advocacy if not propaganda. That Sharmine so easily slurs others about their backgrounds, activities, identity and beliefs … while concealing or attempting to conceal her own interests – this is another mark of someone who does not intend to be a journalist. The line between editorial and reportage has melted in much of the MENA press concerned with Syria. It is such a shame that Sharmine gets in the gutter. It reflects very poorly on her and her integrity. I was ashamed for her with her exchange with Qifa Nabki. Unnecessary and leaves her looking bitter and vindictive and unable to account for herself.

April 24th, 2012, 9:49 am


Tara said:

Sex Workers Against..

“The fact is, though, that being a female writer/journalist is not easy, and attempts to undermine women by invoking their gender or sexuality are nefarious and all too common, particularly in this profession. Disagree on the merits. And if this was all a fluke, WSS, examine your own knee-jerk invocation of demeaning gendered insults. They reveal more than you may realize. There really is no excuse.”

This was a good argument., and the name too.   Although I feel no womanly sympathy whatsoever to Sharmine …for her betrayal of womanhood and motherhood assuming she is one. 

I can agree with your point in principal.  Sexuality should not be invoked in arguments.  Whether against men or women.  I am glad that you did not appeal on the woman in me to defend Sharmine against misogyny.  The very use of misogyny  concept in defending her is appalling.  It is lame for women or their defenders to use “misogyny” against opponents as a cover up for their own failure.  This is all too common.  In Sharmine’s case, it is the epitome of hypocrisy to use misogyny in her defense when she willfully turned a blind eye on the worst case of misogyny women can experience, the slaughtering of their children.  

I am personally aware of  a woman from Hama who Batta’ s thugs asked her to choose one of her three young adult male children to be slaughtered.  She asked the thugs to make that choice themselves  and they did.  They killed one  in front of her very own eyes.  They came a month later and killed the second…This is the regime supporters of Batta are defending.  How possibly can someone try to defend it.  It is just indefensible.. 

April 24th, 2012, 10:38 am


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