Valerie, an American Business Owner in Latakia, Tells Her Story of Gun Boats, Rimal al-Janubi, the Evacuation, and Miliatry Operations - Syria Comment

Valerie, an American Business Owner in Latakia, Tells Her Story of Gun Boats, Rimal al-Janubi, the Evacuation, and Miliatry Operations

Valerie – an American business owner in Latakia – tells her story of Gun Boats, Rimal al-Janubi, the Evacuation, and the Military Operation in Latakia

Reuters: Smoke rises in the city of Latakia August 14, 2011.

It is scary here. It seems the longer this goes on the worse the outcome is going to be for the Syrian people. Latakia is pretty much empty. This is supposed to be the busy season for most businesses here. Many of the business owners like us have been paying employees to sit and do nothing but busy work for months now. We are emptying our own personal savings to pay them. We won’t be able to do this for much longer.
Below is my account of what happened a few weeks ago in Latakia.

Regarding the military operation in Latakia on August 12th – 15th.

I am an American woman living in Latakia. I was at the Assad Sports City complex when residents from Rimal al Janubi and the Rimal Palestinian refugee camp were sheltered there.

On Thursday, August 11th, my husband called me from Turkey, where he was working for business, to tell me I should plan on staying close to home for the weekend. He told me the government had made an announcement of a planned military operation in Rimal al Janubi, a poor neighborhood that includes the nearby Palestinian camp. He said that the government was advising residents of the Rimal neighborhood to evacuate and that anyone who remained behind risked being caught in the gunfights they expected to ensue. They would also risk being arrested for suspicion of aiding the opposition fighters. Rimal is on the outskirts of Latakia and at the opposite side of the city from where I live. My husband was concerned that fighting might spill out from Rimal and into neighborhoods near the center of the city.

Gun Boats

My apartment is in the Al Asher neighborhood not far from Al Assad Sports City. I can see the complex from the balcony and roof of my apartment. Friday I stayed home with my children and listened to the news waiting to hear about what was going on in Rimal and if anything was happening in other parts of the city. My electricity, water, and internet were never cut. When I began hearing reports later in the day that the military was using war ships to shell parts of the Rimal neighborhood, I called another American friend who lives in an apartment near the southern corniche that overlooks the sea onto the Rimal neighborhood. He said he could see the ships sailing back and forth near Rimal, but had not seen or heard them firing. Like me he had been home all day. He had noticed the ships when he first awoke and had been watching them all day. He explained that he knew about the planned military operation and was thus waiting it see if anything happened and for that reason paid particular attention to the gun ships. When I spoke with him later, he said he had spent most of the weekend watching the ships and said never saw or heard them fire anything.

The Sports City complex

On Saturday morning my driver arrived at 8:45 am and went with me on my run. I run 6 days a week around the perimeter of the Sports City complex. While on the run I noticed about 4 or 5 cars of people pulling into the complex. I also noticed several children playing near the entrances with park staff. The complex is usually fairly empty at this time of the morning unless there is an event going on. When I asked, my driver later told me that these were people coming from Rimal and that many of them were staying inside the stadium. When the cars pulled in they had to register and show their ids to the guards. This is a standard procedure for anyone entering the complex at anytime. At about 10:30 am, after my run I sent the driver on a shopping errand in the center of the city. He came back early and told me that there was a lot of gunfire in the city and didn’t feel it was safe to be there. He said there were no protests going on. This was also the first time there had been gunfire in the center of the city so early in the day. During the day I watched a 3 or 4 buses of people from Rimal dropping off residents at Sports City. I also watched as truckloads of supplies and food were brought in. The Joud family (a prominent family in Latakia) donated a truckload of food for the Iftar dinner each night.

On Sunday, I watched as 2 or 3 more buses dropped Rimal residents off at Sports City. I had heard on the news that 5,000 people were staying at Sports City. This report seemed to be a great exaggeration. From what I could see from my apartment, I estimate there were only about 500. My driver told me that because of the announcement made early by the government of the planned military operation and the on going violence in the neighborhood many people had left the city to stay in the villages with family members. Latakia as a whole is nearly empty. Most residents who are able to, have escaped the daily gunfights here to their familial villages.

Four Soldiers and 50 Non-Soldiers Killed

On Monday, the government announced it had finished its’ military operation in Latakia. I watched as several bus loads (maybe 5 or 6, but definitely not 5,000 people) carried people from Sports City back to Rimal. Government television said 4 soldiers had been killed and 35 were wounded by gunfire. Approximately 50 others were killed and many others were wounded. It is difficult to determine if these were opposition fighters or civilians caught in the crossfire. No one that I have spoken to in Latakia believes there were any protests taking place in Rimal that weekend.

There have been rumors circulating in Latakia, some from credible sources, that the reason the military had gone into Rimal al Janubi and the Palestinian camp was that opposition fighters had taken over the neighborhood. Some rumors have gone as far as to say that the opposition had actually been able to set up their own check points and had closed several of the roads into the neighborhood. Being in Latakia and seeing what I have seen over the past 5 months these rumors seem more credible than the reports I see everyday on the news on peaceful protesters being murdered en masse.

I don’t believe all of the deaths in Syria are those of innocent non-violent protesters. I also don’t believe that the government is responsible for all of the deaths. The events I have witnessed here in Latakia lead me to believe opposition groups are taking arms up against the government forces (I have seen a Palestinian girl arrested after weapons were found in her apartment, the cousin of a friend was killed while walking in an Alawi neighborhood that has never seen any protests, another expat friend of mine saw a man setting up a sniper rifle on the rooftop across from the building where he worked and watched as the man was arrested after someone else called the police, the list goes on…). If the opposition is taking up arms against the government here in Latakia, the sheer number of deaths make it easy to believe opposition groups in cities and villages like Homs and Jisr al Shuggour are not peacefully opposing the government as the western media would like us to believe.

____

A Syrian from Aleppo writes:

I can confirm the death of the 4 soldiers in Latakia that day as Valarie mentioned. My cousin is serving his compulsory military service in the navy in a base in Latakia. He’s a medicine graduate, so he is a medic. That day in the morning they gave everyone on the base bulletproof vests and ordered them to wear them all day. Later in the day they took the medics to al-raml Al-janoobi area. My cousin saw 4 dead soldiers brought in and many others wounded. There is no question about the existence of militancy in the opposition. The coastal and boarder areas have surely witnessed a flood of arms coming in during the past six months. With the 24/7 incitement on Aljazeera and 2 dedicated extremist channels funded by Saudi and calling for people to jihad against the “heretics” and “Shiaa” and “rawafedh” in Syria, it would be strange if Al-Qaeda and other extremists aren’t pushing for holly war in Syria with arms and money.

Militancy is still a limited phenomenon in the revolt. My concern is that the media and activists want us to believe that the militancy does not exist and that the government wants us to believe that all demonstrators and revolutionaries are armed. This is not true. The activists should denounce the violence and the government should allow real peaceful demos to take place.

BBC Report: “It’s the first time, for a long time, that they’ve used gunboats.”

NYTimes: Syrian Navy Joins Attack on Key Rebellious Port City

Al-Jazeera video footage: Tanks and gunboats ‘fire on Latakia’

Comments (271)


some guy im damascus said:

The regime could do so much more to credit its claim, like announcing a zone for peaceful protests which is protected and protected from, every1 caught protesting somewhere else can be arrested, furthermore the regime has not recognized the syrians demonstrating for the end of the regime, they only recognized the demonstrators calling out for “reforms”

August 25th, 2011, 1:51 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

the regime could do so much to credit its claim, one possibility is the announcement of a safe zone to protest, which is surrounded by security forces meant to protect the demonstrators and protect people and property from demonstrators. furthermore besho hasnt recognized the people that want to see the end of him, he just made some blabber about people wanting “reforms”.
apparently , some regime supporter decided to add videos claiming the regime is fighting armed militants on 26/8/2011 Friday of patience and commitment

check out this user’s other videos….he has a total of 12.
but hold on, wait a second! isnt that supposed to be TOMORROW

August 25th, 2011, 1:57 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Key Word: “Believe”

If the opposition is taking up arms against the government here in Latakia, the sheer number of deaths make it easy to believe opposition groups in cities and villages like Homs and Jisr al Shuggour are not peacefully opposing the government as the western media would like us to believe.

Once again, Professor Josh uses pro-Assad “witnesses” to create doubt, while objective, 3rd party reporters are prohibited from doing their job.

August 25th, 2011, 1:59 pm

 

Arsalan said:

Assad is using tactics of his father by massacring unarmed civilians. Hama genocide of 1982 is now being repeated by using warships and gunboats bombard Latakia’s unarmed civilians. The Alawis should join with opposition to overthrow Assad’s regime and form new a government. The stigma of Alawi regime massacring Sunnis may come back to haunt them.

August 25th, 2011, 2:09 pm

 

Atassi said:

Getting Desperate Yea Bashar!!!

========
Syrian gunmen break hands of anti-regime cartoonist, warn him to stop drawing
By ZEINA KARAM
Associated Press
25 August 2011
Associated Press Newswires

BEIRUT (AP) – A renowned political cartoonist whose drawings expressed Syrians’ frustrated hopes for change was grabbed after he left his studio early Thursday and beaten by masked gunmen who broke his hands and dumped him on a road outside Damascus.

One of Syria’s most famous artists, Ali Ferzat, 60, earned international recognition and the respect of many Arabs with stinging caricatures that infuriated dictators including Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi and, particularly in recent months, Syria’s autocratic Assad family.

He lay badly bruised in a hospital bed Thursday evening with his hands swathed in bandages, a stark reminder that no Syrian remains immune to a brutal crackdown on a 5-month anti-government uprising.

Ferzat remembers the gunmen telling him that “this is just a warning,” as they beat him, a relative told The Associated Press.

“We will break your hands so that you’ll stop drawing,” the masked men said, according to the relative, who spoke anonymously for fear of retaliation.

Before inheriting Syria’s presidency from his father in 2000, Bashar Assad, a British-trained eye doctor, used to visit Ferzat’s exhibitions and offer encouraging words, the artist has said.

When the new president opened Syria to reforms, Ferzat was allowed to publish the country’s first private newspaper in decades, a satirical weekly called The Lamplighter.

The paper was an instant hit, with copies of each issue selling out a few hours after hitting the stands. It was soon shut down, however, as Assad began cracking down on dissent and jailing critics after the brief, heady period known as the Damascus Spring quickly lost steam.

Ferzat became a vehement critic of the regime, particularly after the military launched a brutal crackdown on the country’s protest movement.

Human rights groups said Assad’s forces have killed more than 2,000 people since the uprising against his autocratic rule erupted in mid-March, touched off by the wave of revolutions sweeping the Arab world.

An endearing figure with a bushy gray beard, Ferzat drew cartoons about the uprising and posted the illustrations on his private website, providing comic relief to many Syrians who were unable to follow his work in local newspapers because of a ban on his work.

His illustrations grew bolder in recent months, with some of his cartoons directly criticizing Assad, even through caricatures of the president are forbidden in Syria.

This week, he published a cartoon showing Assad with a packed suitcase, frantically hitching a ride with a fleeing Gadhafi. Another drawing showed dictators walking a long red carpet that leads them, in the end, to a dustbin.

The response was swift.

Ferzat, who usually works late into the night, left his studio at 4 a.m. Thursday, but a jeep with tinted windows quickly cut him off, according to the relative. Four masked gunmen then dragged him out of his car, bundled him into the jeep and drove him to the airport road just outside Damascus, beating him and making threats all the while.

The men then singed the artist’s beard, put a bag over his head and dumped him on the side of the road.

The Facebook page of the U.S. Embassy in Damascus described it as a “government-sponsored, targeted, brutal attack” and said it was deplorable.

Assad’s crackdown has not spared other Syrian intellectuals and artists who dared to voice criticism. A group of intellectuals and artists, including Syrian actress May Skaff, were rounded up and jailed for a week last month after holding a protest in Damascus.

Damascus-based activist and film producer Shadi Abu Fakher went missing on July 23 and has not been heard of since.

Ferzat, however, is the most famous victim of the repression to date. He had been encouraging other Syrian artists to side with the protesters, even publishing on his website a “List of Shame” that included names of those who were on the side of the regime.

“We were a group of reformers in the country, and suddenly, the doors of hell opened on us. It was a huge disappointment,” Ferzat told the AP.

The timing of the attack strongly suggests Ferzat’s attackers knew his unusual working hours and had been tracking him. Contacted by the AP earlier this month for an interview, Ferzat noted that his day starts at 5 p.m.

In a telephone interview the next day, he said he was full of hope that the Syrian revolution would bring about the change fervently desired by so many Syrians.

“There are two things in this life that cannot be crushed — the will of God and the will of the people,” he said.

Asked if he fears arrest because of his drawings, he said: “I have killed the policeman in my head.”

After news of Ferzat’s attack broke Thursday, online social networking sites exploded with angry postings.

“Assad’s Syria is the burial ground of talent,” read a posting on Twitter.

“Ali Ferzat, your innovation will stand in the face of their cowardice and hate,” wrote Suheir Atassi, a prominent Syrian pro-democracy activist.

Soon after the attack, his website where he published his cartoons and satirical commentary was taken down. “This account has been suspended,” reads a message on the website, http://www.ali-ferzat.com/.

——

August 25th, 2011, 2:24 pm

 

Muhammad said:

Yesterday one of my friends reminded me of a conversation a while back when I stated that I would vote for Bashar if he stood in an election. It gave me insight how much my position have shifted during the last 5 months. I’m sure there are millions of stories similar to mine. Bashar has lost his biggest asset and rather than being a strength to the regime he is now a liability.

A little story from my home city (Edleb). Edleb has been massive demos for a while. The first casualty was over a month ago and it resulted in a significant shift of mood in the city. Before then there used to be pro-regime demos. After that guy got killed (he was shot while still inside the mosque – they were trying to stop the demos early) none of this happens. A lot of people who used to be pro-regime came to his funeral and stated through speakers their “repentance”. The participation in the strike after his death was easily over 95%. Adunnya channel tried to play a really dirty game by blaming his murder on another family in the city. The two families are the biggest in Edleb in terms of numbers. It did not work well for Adunnya. The second family set up their own funeral for the martyr and the two locations became permanent anti-regime demos for days. The city became a completely different place following this event.

In terms of demos Edleb is on a par with Deir Alzor & Hama (considering it is smaller city). It has seen relatively very little bloodshed (I think 4 killed so far) although there has been a lot of violence on the streets between the police and the demonstrators. It is the only Governorate Centre currently that sees one large demo daily instead of multiple small once. There are areas the demos don’t go through (mainly by the last standing statue of Hafez). The army surrounds the city but as for now it has not gone in (snipers were deployed at one time though). I’m not sure whether the government has too much on their hands currently or whether they are afraid of a massive refugees movement similar to Jisr (we are about 20 km from the Turkish border) should the army go in.

August 25th, 2011, 2:24 pm

 

Tara said:

And those pro Assad witnesses are incapable of defending their position with the smallest of challenge. We are still waiting to hear from Ammar Shami regarding the name of the church in Bab Tuma that was sprayed with bullets by armed gangs. SGID visited all the churches in Bab-Tuma and found no evidence of a church sprayed by bullets.

In regard to Valeri’ story, again with all due respect, I find it difficult to believe that her husband call her on Thursday from Turkey asking her to stay home in anticipation of the government operation in Lattakia, she did on Friday where she watched gun boats at the coast line, yet on Saturday morning, in an empty Lattakia, with supposedly “armed gangs”, while the operation is ongoing and residents we were told unable to sleep from the noise of bombs and machine guns, she decides to run at the sport complex when everyone knows the regime have been using sport complexes to detain and beat demonstrators.

Stories like these help creating noise to blur the truth. Armed gangs stories do not surface except when the regime decides to silence demonstrators. Few months passed before Lattakia operation and we never heard of any armed gang there until the invasion of Alraml Aljanoubi. Does that tell you anything?

If the regime has nothing to fear, why free press is not allowed?

August 25th, 2011, 2:30 pm

 

As'ad Shallal said:

There are terrorists and no one can ever deny. I support the Government to stop the demonstration peaceful or NOT.

Stop those demonstration so Syria can embark on a dialogue where things will get spoken out. AS long as they demonstrate to remove the regime, the regime will fight back.

We will not let them do what they want.

Our govt with all its problems, fassad, al rashwe, and all the rest… is better than giving Syria to those salafists and Islamists or ikhwajiyeh.

1st – stop demos
2nd – dialogue (NO ARMS HERE)
3rd – lets move on and make sure things are changing on the ground.
4th – demonstrate if you want but in order. Demonstrate to ask for something possible such as a CLEAR DEMAND such as we want this or that…

wa al salam

August 25th, 2011, 2:36 pm

 

Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: AKBARIO PALLAZIO

RE: “…once again, Professor Josh uses pro-Assad “witnesses” to create doubt…”

No, dude. It’s not that at all. Doctor Landis gives you the variations on the theme so that you can make up your own mind (if you still have one after 40 years of the Assad Mafia telling you what to think).

Eye witness accounts of a dramatic event are like six blind men trying to describe an elephant. One grips the tail and says it’s like a rope. Another wraps his arms around a leg and says it’s like a tree. And so on and so on. Everyone sees the event from a personal vantage point. And who knows where the truth is?

Having said that, it’s still a lead pipe cinch that Besho is a dead man walking, capish?

August 25th, 2011, 2:50 pm

 

Aatssi said:

As’ad Shallal

1- NO ” Assad must go”
2- No “Assad must go”

3-No “Assad must go”
4- NO No “Assad must go”
Assad must go”
Assad must go”
Assad must go”

wa al salam

August 25th, 2011, 2:52 pm

 

Muhammad said:

@8 Thanks for the implicit admission that the army is targeting demos. Enough said.

The opposition was weaker that it is today and still had a Friday of “no dialogue”. If you think the regime can still dictate conditions then you need to wake up and smell the coffee. A tipping point is getting ever closer and if a sectarian war does start then all will lose but the minorities will be the biggest losers.

August 25th, 2011, 2:54 pm

 

Aboud said:

I’m sure this “eye witness” should have no problem in making her identity known, if she can back up her claims. Six months and not once has the government shown a hint of a picture or a video of armed gangs, and when you look at what this “witness” says, she never saw any herself. All the “evidence” towards armed gangs comes from rumors.

The residents put up road blocks? Why didn’t we see any evidence of such? And even if they did, what would you do if the army said they were going to do unto you like they did unto Hama.

The army only went in after the repeated nightly demonstrations in the area. The army always goes into cities after they hold massive demonstrations. Or did the “American lady” not witness any demonstration the whole time she was in Latakia.

A new low for professor Landis indeed.

August 25th, 2011, 2:56 pm

 

N.Z. said:

Valerie……. you lose your credibility once you equate the activists/protesters with the illegitimate government and its ostentatious not so secret, brutal and savage, security men.

Attacking a cartoonist, Ali Ferzat, and rendering him impaired, attacking elderly parents of a musician in Damascus, their son Malek Jandali, unlike Ali Ferzat, Malek lives in the States, his parents crime, guilt by association. Minarets destroyed all around the country. Forcing captured activists/protesters to proclaim that Bashar is their deity!! How dare anyone defend a criminal who invades our cities with tanks and the lowest of men?

How can you equate?
Valerie, if you have a weapon and someone is trying to attack you/family how will you react.

August 25th, 2011, 3:01 pm

 

Ales said:

Where are the pictures or videos of ships shelling or firing on the city?

August 25th, 2011, 3:03 pm

 

Aboud said:

I dare the regime right now to let a camera crew into the sports stadium in Latakia. That should clear up once and for all if anyone is being held there.

The regime has known for weeks that news channels are saying that the stadium is being used as a mass prison camp. Go on, prove them wrong, with just 1 minute of recently shot video.

August 25th, 2011, 3:07 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

Aboud, this is exactly what I’m talking about. This is what makes me go lunatic and spew verbal abuse on the Menhibaks,.

Dr. Joshua Landis, as educated and accomplished as you are, can’t you show a bit more respect to the 2,200 martyred souls ? By repeatedly parroting pro-regime versions of events in your round-ups, by repeatedly linking articles belittling the protesters, you are INSULTING the martyrs ( now I expect you to deny there are any martyrs). I have yet to come across from you any condolence for the deaths nor any condemnation of the regime. Its high time you issued one Professor. Otherwise I, alongwith a majority of the commenters will start doubting your objectivity, and might as well move to a new blog, or create one for ourselves. Then I’m afraid the very purpose of your blog will be defeated Professor.

August 25th, 2011, 3:12 pm

 

ziadsoury said:

Valerie,

I am sure if your husband was killed you would not care if it was done by a whack to the head, gun shot or gunship artillery. Right? All what you care about is someone killed your husband.

All what this post about is justifying the killings in Al Lazekia. Enough is enough. We are done with this thug and the rest of gang.

Your story has so many holes in it. Did your driver run with, drove the car at your pace or just parked the car and waited for you.

You painted us a beautiful picture of a great government taking care of its citizens. Families were sheltered and kids were playing. Very serene. Did you hear or see anyone crying by any chance?

I wonder how many more people were running at the same time?

“He told me the government had made an announcement of a planned military operation in Rimal al Janubi, a poor neighborhood that includes the nearby Palestinian camp. He said that the government was advising residents of the Rimal neighborhood to evacuate and that anyone who remained behind risked being caught in the gunfights they expected to ensue.”…………..

“My husband was concerned that fighting might spill out from Rimal and into neighborhoods near the center of the city.”
So despite being in a besieged city, and having your hubby from Turkey call and warn of all these dangers, you decided to go take a run where people were being treated very kindly (just like Ali Ferzat). Wow, I am glad I read your story because I just wasted 10 minutes of my life.
Norman,
You need to write another “thank you” letter to the Baath party for their great customer service and hospitality.
kindly (just like Ali Ferzat). Wow, I am glad you I read your story because I just waisted 10 minutes of my life.
Norman,
You need to write another “thank you” letter to the Baath party for their great customer service and hospitality.

August 25th, 2011, 3:16 pm

 

Aboud said:

“I have seen a Palestinian girl arrested after weapons were found in her apartment, ”

Wow, not even Al-Dunya went that far. Such things would have been great fodder for the government’s PR stooges. Did “Valerie” see the weapons? Or did she take the word of the nice mukhabarat men who were hauling away the Palestinian girl?

“the cousin of a friend was killed while walking in an Alawi neighborhood that has never seen any protests”

By who killed? You don’t know that do you, but the implication readers are expected to make are clear.

“another expat friend of mine saw a man setting up a sniper rifle on the rooftop across from the building where he worked and watched as the man was arrested after someone else called the police”

What an imbecile of an insurgent if he is going to set up a sniper position in broad daylight. But to be expected by a shabeeh.

I think we can remove the word “professor” from Landis’ title.

August 25th, 2011, 3:23 pm

 

Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: KHALID TLASS

RE: “…Joshua Landis, can’t you show a bit more respect to the 2,200 martyred souls?…”

They’re not martyrs, Dude. Stop demeaning the word, okay? You get to be a martyr by dying for God, not for a country or a secular cause. Get a different term like “late lamented,” “gone but not forgotten,” or “six feet under.”

August 25th, 2011, 3:23 pm

 

ziadsoury said:

Valerie,

I am sure if your husband was killed you would not care if it was done by a whack to the head, gun shot or gunship artillery. Right? All what you care about is someone killed your husband.

All what this post about is justifying the killings in Al Lazekia. Enough is enough. We are done with this thug and the rest of gang.

Your story has so many holes in it. Did your driver run with, drove the car at your pace or just parked the car and waited for you.

You painted us a beautiful picture of a great government taking care of its citizens. Families were sheltered and kids were playing. Very serene. Did you hear or see anyone crying by any chance?

I wonder how many more people were running at the same time?

“He told me the government had made an announcement of a planned military operation in Rimal al Janubi, a poor neighborhood that includes the nearby Palestinian camp. He said that the government was advising residents of the Rimal neighborhood to evacuate and that anyone who remained behind risked being caught in the gunfights they expected to ensue.”…………..

“My husband was concerned that fighting might spill out from Rimal and into neighborhoods near the center of the city.”
So despite being in a besieged city, and having your hubby from Turkey call and warn of all these dangers, you decided to go take a run where people were being treated very kindly (just like Ali Ferzat). Wow, I am glad I read your story because I just wasted 10 minutes of my life.

Norman,
You need to write another “thank you” letter to the Baath party for their great customer service and hospitality.

August 25th, 2011, 3:27 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Dale Andersen,

Although I agree with many of your posts, I disagree with your post #18.

As far as Khalid Tlass’s use of the word “martyr”, I think it is perfectly appropriate. Any unarmed person participating in a street demonstration who is shot dead is a martyr in my book (and in my dictionary).

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/martyr

August 25th, 2011, 3:35 pm

 

Aboud said:

“Valarie”, please show us how these army men were in fear of their lives when they opened fire with their weapons and APCs

Valarie, please tell us how the store owners in Homs were hiding weapons in their stores, and so deserved to get their places trashed

Valarie, can you tell us how the mukhabarat were completely justified in planting these brand new weapons in Hama and later selling the video to Al-Arabiya for 15,000 liras

By the time I’m through with this Valarie, her name is going to become synonymous with “fake regime eye witness”.

August 25th, 2011, 3:35 pm

 

Aboud said:

Did Landis himself really post this? “Valarie” isn’t even a name. It’s spelled “Valerie”

August 25th, 2011, 3:38 pm

 

Tara said:

Mamnhebaks

Guys, please stop criticizing Professor Landis. I find him fair and balanced. He is an academic and he is entitled to post different point of views. Other point of views should be allowed and heard. If I was in his shoes, I would post any story that comes my way. He is not endorsing one view or the other so please let ‘s practice what we preach. Argue all what you want but please refrain from making bad comments about JL.

August 25th, 2011, 3:39 pm

 

Aboud said:

Tara, one of the most basic jobs of a reporter is in determining whether a story or piece of information is credible or not. I hear a million rumors that I don’t repeat because, even though they paint the regime in a bad light, they just aren’t credible.

One of the first comments I wrote on this blog was something Landis quoted me widely on, when I said that Robert Fisks’ accounts of a massacre by the government in Telkelakh were not true. I knew that to be a fact; in April, there was no massacre in Telkelakh, and I said so, and was accused of being a regime stooge.

Well, it’s obvious now that certain people’s ability to discern the credible from the non-credible is seriously compromised by their prejudices and own self interests. Does Landis expect to become junior’s Patrick Seale someday?

August 25th, 2011, 3:45 pm

 

Aboud said:

A challenge to the menhebaks. If they can show me a video that disproves that the sports stadium in Latakia was ever used as a mass prison camp, I will never post on this website ever again

And by the way, how can an American own a business in Syria? An American-Syrian, sure (ie A Syrian Alawite who got American nationality and who didn’t even know how to spell Valerie maybe)

August 25th, 2011, 3:47 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

This beating of Ali Ferzat is back-firing. More people are trying to flock his site to see why he was beaten. His message will reach more people. Even if they kill him, they can’t recall his drawings. The damage has been done.

August 25th, 2011, 3:49 pm

 

NK said:

As’ad Shallal

1st – demonstrations will NEVER stop.
2nd – there really isn’t anything to discuss, Assad (the head of the terrorist organization known as the Syrian regime) must step down, tried for his crimes and eventually hanged in the middle of Marjeh square, until this basic and very simple demand is met there’s nothing to talk about.
3rd – refer to 2nd as a pre requirement to “moving on”
4th – again, our demands are very CLEAR and specific, it’s actually just one demand, extremely cheap and affordable too, it involves Bashar and six feet of rope.

August 25th, 2011, 3:49 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

Dr. Joshua Landis, as educated and accomplished as you are, can’t you show a bit more respect to the 2,200 martyred souls ? By repeatedly parroting pro-regime versions of events in your round-ups, by repeatedly linking articles belittling the protesters, you are INSULTING the martyrs ( now I expect you to deny there are any martyrs). I have yet to come across from you any condolence for the deaths nor any condemnation of the regime. Its high time you issued one Professor. Otherwise I, alongwith a majority of the commenters will start doubting your objectivity, and might as well move to a new blog, or create one for ourselves. Then I’m afraid the very purpose of your blog will be defeated Professor

Muy urgent request Dr. Landis, PLEASE do not post anything which puts the objectivity of your blog in doubt, because then I’m afarid the very purpose of your blog will be defeated. I for one am all for a concerted protest by all the Mamenhebaks on this blog.

Aboud and Tara, NOW do you understand why I get so emotional and passionate on this blog ? I can’t bear to see the martyrs insulted like this. Don’t you think its high time Dr. Landis issued an apology ?

August 25th, 2011, 3:51 pm

 

Aboud said:

“it’s actually just one demand, extremely cheap and affordable too, it involves Bashar and six feet of rope.”

Well said. I’d also like to add a demand; Maher by his side, and another six feet of rope.

“Don’t you think its high time Dr. Landis issued an apology ?”

No Khalid, Landis is not required to issue an apology for exercising his right to free speech, which includes “eye witness” statements from an American-Alawite who can’t seem to spell her own name. But it is also our right to point out the inconsistencies in such stories, and in the absurdities of deducing a change in the Gulf’s political stance just because the Saudis are still uptight about demos in their lands.

August 25th, 2011, 3:52 pm

 

sahar said:

Many of you posters on this blog are responding to fecticious SYOP ID names/characters. These so called posters are all one and the same. They originate from boiler rooms in Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and possibly Iraq. Their sole agenda is the protection of Israel no matter what the cost is.

Here are some of their aliases:

ABOUD = TARA = DALE ANDERSON = AIG = ARGAMAN = SYRIAN HAMSTER = TRUE = ABBAS = YALLATEEF = = = ELLIOTT ABRAMS ETAL!

Notice how they pretend they are chatting each others to justify posting their propaganda

DON’T BE FOOLED! THESE IMPOSTERS ARE NOT WHAT THEY CLAIM TO BE!

DON’T BOTHER RESPONDING TO THEIR NONSENSE.

Ramadan Kareem

August 25th, 2011, 3:58 pm

 

Tara said:

Aboud

I beg to differ this time. Professor Landis is not a journalist. He is a director of the center for Middle Eastern Studies. He has not hesitated in the past to post anti regime accounts. We all very much indebted to him to be allowed free speech on SC. We should hear it all. It is not his position to judge the credibility of any account before posting it. He is not endorsing Valeri’s or Ammar ‘s opinions or anyone opinion for that matter. He is linking emails he received from Syria. Anyone can do the same too. In fact, it is good that he posted Ammar and Valerie’s eye witness account so we can pinpoint the “weaknesses” we perceive in their stories.

August 25th, 2011, 4:02 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

From an earlier post:

“121. SOME GUY IN DAMASCUS said:

@syr.expat,
are you a first generation syrian expatriate?
the attack on the artist is appalling but not alien to this regime, it sickens me very much, to harm such an intellectual that contributes to syria’s talent pool. i wonder how people like Samara and Ali support such regimes.
by harming such a talented man, the Syrian authorities have assured us, Syria is the grave yard of talent.”

The supporters of the regime that massacres and tortures it’s own people are made from the same mold. Hitler had his supporters and Assad is no different. He also has a support base that won’t lose sleep over the torture of children, let alone adults.

August 25th, 2011, 4:08 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

professor Joshua and Syria comment were the first place i found where i can openly discuss my ideas about syria without fear, if it was up to me i would be debating on facebook but i fear for my safety. for that i have a lot to thank the professor for. im sure professor joshua is trying to be impartial and objective, but the regime and other elements are making his job harder. the very little credible truths that seeps out of Syria can be mutilated,exaggerated or dismissed.
يا جوشوا أنا معك إلى الموت
“O Joshua, i am with you until death”
😀 LOL

August 25th, 2011, 4:09 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

32. TARA

I agree with Tara.

August 25th, 2011, 4:09 pm

 

uzair8 said:

It just occured to me. Could Gaddafi be in Syria? Syria could do with the billions (even Gold) he brings with him to help the economy and prolong the life of the regime. Gaddafi could do with the safety in a country which is already defiant of the international community.

Nobody ever needs to know he is there. He seems to be releasing statements on Syrian channels.

Syria denied earlier that there were Syrians fighting on the side of Gaddafi.

Just a thought.

August 25th, 2011, 4:11 pm

 

amal said:

SO!

How’s the Independent Islamist Emirate Of HAMA doing now Mr. Ambassador?!

Oh! While you’re at it, how’s the other Independent Islamist Emirate Of HOMS now?!

Anyone?!!

August 25th, 2011, 4:14 pm

 

Aboud said:

“the cousin of a friend was killed while walking in an Alawi neighborhood”

How was he killed? Gunshot? A sword wielding bearded Salafi?

What day was he killed?

In fact, what the heck was his name?

The Syrian revolution can name every single one of the 2,200 people killed by the regime. It can provide the date of death of every one, their names, their relatives, and how they died…things, apparently, “Valarie [sic]” cannot for one person.

See, throw away sentences like this may seem insignificant to the pro-regime crap peddlers, but they mean a great deal when one’s credibility is on the line.

“يا جوشوا أنا معك إلى الموت
“O Joshua, i am with you until death”

>_<

August 25th, 2011, 4:16 pm

 

Aboud said:

Haaaamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa 25th August

In your face junior.

Also, Azmi Ebshara on Al-Jazeera this evening

في سوريا مظاهرات لمئات الالاف البشر لعدة أشهر، والوضع صعب مع القمع المستمر والوضع الأمني يشبه تعامل الاحتلال بوجود الدبابات، الوضع لا يقارن بأي بلد عربي مع نوع العنف والرغبة بالاذلال للشعب .. وقد اختار الشعب السوري خياره السلمي والمدني والذي أخرج مئات الآلاف الى الشوارع، لا نريد تدخل خارجي ولانريد لسورية أن تنتقل الى حالة ليبيا وخاصة أنه قد انجز الكثير عندما تحرر الانسان السوري داخليا وتراجع النظام بحدّة دوليا واصبح بشار يبرر افعاله بخطاب تبريري غير صادق، لا يجب قياس سورية بالوضع الليبي، فالنظام السوري استنفذ وتخبط في خياراته، وكأن النظام السوري في عالم آخر .. وكل وعوده مجاملات فقط

August 25th, 2011, 4:22 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

S.G.I.D,

I have read several accounts of atatcks by Shabbiha in Damascus. Its eems Ali Farzat was attacked around 4.00 am in the mroning in Omayad square. Your friends were also attacked in early in the morning.

So my question is, don’t these Shabbiha sleep ? At what time or how do they sleep, during daytime ? Or do they have enough manpower to use the “shift” system, i.e one group of Shabboa are active on the “day shift” while the others sleep in the day, who are activated on the “night shift” ?

If they do not sleep and work 17 to 18-hour shifts, it means they will be very sleepy at that time. Why don;t you guys just beat the shit out of them when they try to attack you ?

(I also suggest you guys do not wake up late into the night, to conserve your energy so you can fight !)

Aboud, maybe you can help me out on this one ?

August 25th, 2011, 4:23 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

it appears like ali farzat left hospital, -_- . i wanted to drop a rose at his door.
heheh ever since ammar shami’s story i feel like a myth buster.
infact i got a theme song.

If they claim there are salafis in your neighborhood
Who ya gonna call (MYTHbusters)
If it’s somethin’ weird an it won’t look good
Who ya gonna call (MYTHbusters)

I ain’t afraid a no ghost(SHABEE7)
I ain’t afraid a no ghost(SHABEE7)
If you’re seein’ things runnin’ thru your head
Who can you call (MYTHbusters)
@ khalid ,
im glad you asked me that question, and heres what some of my friends that were imprisoned told me.
the regime has harnessed the shabbe7’s energy well.
-they filter out the weak thugs from the strong ones, the weak ones are sent to administer the prisons, since there victims are handcuffed and not alot of physical force is required
-the stronger ones are sent out to gather protesters in the streets, via beating or intimidation
-the stronger ones get well rested before their operations and fed well, the weaker ones are barely sleeping and not getting the best treatment.
lol they remind me of the lord of the ring’s uruk hai. a morally bankrupt fighting force
heres an illustration:( i dont know if its an uruk-hai or a shabee7)
http://images.wikia.com/lotr/images/c/cb/Ugluk_of_Isengard.jpg

August 25th, 2011, 4:26 pm

 

amal said:

How’s the CEDAR REVOLUTION doing now Khalid Tlass?! 🙂

WELL! 🙂

August 25th, 2011, 4:27 pm

 

Aboud said:

ROFL SGID 🙂

August 25th, 2011, 4:31 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

Guess what. The Arab and Western media are now abuzz with stories about Farzat. The stupidity of the Syrian regime never ceases to amaze me.

August 25th, 2011, 4:36 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

Better than your friggin little Amal movement Majoosi. I hope Jumblatt and Hariri stuff your beards down your throats and send your Hizb fighters straught to hell where they belong.

How is your “axis of muqawamah” doing ? Well you just lost one of your allies. How is Gaddafi doing, Amal ?

I’m so glad watching the Libyan rebels are using Anti-Aircraft Autocannon on those thugs. Gives them a taste of their own medicine, what their brothers-in-arms are using against us in Hama and Deirezzor.

August 25th, 2011, 4:36 pm

 

Aboud said:

Best theme song ever 🙂

August 25th, 2011, 4:38 pm

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Dear SGID
Ali Farzat’s family was gravely concerned when two hyena pack members showed up at the hospital and ask if he has died yet. They promptly took Ali out of the hospital

Ali’s life is not more important than any other Syrian citizen’s life, who has been abused or murdered by the Assad hyena pack. His story only illustrates the level of panic the regime is under and their feer of free voices, words, and immages. very much like the pack’s extension here on Syria Comment.

August 25th, 2011, 4:42 pm

 

Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: SAHAR

RE: “…these so called posters are all one and the same. They originate from boiler rooms in Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and possibly Iraq. Their sole agenda is the protection of Israel…”

Sahar, you pathetic little puddle of paranoia! I am not a Jew or a supporter of the Jews. In fact, I hate Jews as much as I hate you people. My sole purpose here is to cast ridicule upon you and those of your ilk for having all these “outside plots” on the brain. Trust me, boy. It’s not the Jews. It’s not the Saudis or al-Qaeda or the CIA. It’s you. You, who let the Assad Mafia enslave you. You, who bought into the fiction that only the Assads could save you from the Mossad or the Salafists or whatever. And until you free yourself from that BS, you will continue to fail. You dig?

By the way, her’s a photo of me at my computer terminal in a Jew boiler room >>> http://www.networlddirectory.com/images/blogs/10-2007/cubicle-freakout.jpg

August 25th, 2011, 4:44 pm

 

amal said:

SO!

How are those mighty Wadi Khaled SALAFIST warriors doing now Khalid Tlass my BOY?! 🙂

WELL! 🙂

August 25th, 2011, 4:44 pm

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Amal
SNK character suits you better.

August 25th, 2011, 4:49 pm

 

Anas said:

While I appreciate and respect Valerie’s narrations I still can’t believe her, Lattakia is a large city and she couldn’t have been able to see the whole city from her house. Secondly, The regime has blocked any non-Syrian government media from getting close to the events and if they allow reporters to enter they accompany them and if they come to know that someone talked to foreign media they arrest them. Now having 4 bodies of soldiers doesn’t rule out the possibility that they refused to kill civilians and were shot by “Shabeeha” does it? Could Valerie tell a terrorist from a “Shabeeh” for example they all wear civilian cloth, and sometime mixed clothing. Finally I think Valerie has watched Syrian TV too much which has a credibility of 0% even if they say milk is white I still have to find out for myself, sorry but until the regime allow independent and free reporting and punish “Shabeeha” and Security forces or any official who committed crimes against the Syrian people I can’t take their BS to be true.

August 25th, 2011, 4:50 pm

 

amal said:

When are you going to dazzel us with your mastery of the French language KHALED TLASS my BOY?! 🙂

WELL! How about it?! 🙂

Something in French please! 🙂

August 25th, 2011, 4:53 pm

 

Aboud said:

My offer still stands by the way; show me a recent video of the sports stadium in Latakia, that disproves it was ever used as a mass prison camp, and I will never post here again. Come on menhebaks, it can’t be too hard if “Valarie”‘s story is true, and you people are desperate to be rid of me.

August 25th, 2011, 5:03 pm

 

OFF THE WALL said:

MEMO TO DALE
RE: MEMO TO SAHAR

I-we has/ve been discovered by chief detective SAHAR, she has found out. Stop pretending you are not me/aboud/SGID/Tara/Akbar/Hamster…… and on good day the prof. Join yourself in my/your/our escape pod. @ 39:12:67 Altares local time

August 25th, 2011, 5:05 pm

 

jna said:

Dear Mr. (the river was dry) Aboud,

There is no such thing as correct spelling of American first names. Americans can spell their names any way their parents deem proper, cute, unique, etc. It’s legit and common. And try googling “Valarie”.

August 25th, 2011, 5:11 pm

 

Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: ANAS

RE: Valarie

Valarie is giving you an account of what she thinks she saw or heard. It’s not the truth. It’s the truth from her vantage point. Just as the truth from your vantage point might be that there’s a salafist (or a Jew or a shabiha) behind every bush or under every rock.

And to the poster (probably Aboud) who stated that “Valarie” is misspelled, Westerners spell their names all kinds of strange ways. Dale, for example, can be spelled “Dale” or “Dayle” or “Del” or “Dell.”

August 25th, 2011, 5:14 pm

 

amal said:

S’il vous plait KHALED TLASS mon petit ZIZI! 🙂

🙂

August 25th, 2011, 5:15 pm

 

amal said:

Post 55

JNA, loved that “Dear Mr. (the river was dry) Aboud” 🙂

That was hillarious! 🙂

Remember he gets paid a penny a post! 🙂

Thank you 🙂

August 25th, 2011, 5:25 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

SGID,

I’m glad you found SC 🙂 I’m really curious about how do you, Aboud and others who comment from inside Syria, manage to do it safely. I’m not asking how you do it! I don’t want you, of course, to expose your methods. Just curious. I’m expecting an answer once Syria is free 🙂
.

August 25th, 2011, 5:29 pm

 

Aboud said:

“And try googling “Valarie”.

As if I have to wait for you to tell me. Google automatically corrected it to Valerie. Everyone on this forum spells it Valerie. But hey, I’d have loved to have seen the original email Landis got, before all the spelling and syntax mistakes were fixed 🙂

If this “eye witness” account hadn’t been attributed to an “American Business Owner”, it would have sounded like a bad Al-Dunya propaganda piece.

I’m still waiting for the video of the stadium. Or the Hama bridge, while we are on the subject. What, you people can’t find the bridge after all these weeks? Come on, Ramadan is almost over.

Amir, it’s no secret. How do people in the West get past their corporate or university firewalls and proxies? 😉

August 25th, 2011, 5:32 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

Amal,

Bachar est un fils de putain de trou du cul d’une pute rejeton de l’inceste et sa femme Asma sera violée et les vidéos porno envoyé à l’Iran

Does that make you happy ? Something in French, you asked for it, connard.

August 25th, 2011, 5:34 pm

 

amal said:

It’s very simple SON. They are not posting from Syria. They are posting from TEL AVIV just like you. DUH!

August 25th, 2011, 5:34 pm

 

Abughassan said:

People say “stuff”,some lie,some just have the wrong info. What I read in Valarie’s story is a lot similar to what I heard from my contacts in Latakia.The US ,eager to isolate Asad,could not support the navy attack story,for example. I keep seeing people asking for a “proof” of this and a “proof” of that. Applying the same YouTube logic many use here,I should probably ask those who have a different account of what happened in Latakia to show us a video of the navy bombing Latakia or the sport stadium being used as a big prison. I still think Latakia will be the last to revolt in masses against the regime.
I am not “oscillating” here, I am just saying.. 🙂

August 25th, 2011, 5:39 pm

 

Ales said:

Some may argue this is not real picture of Syria, but article contains a lot of background info rarely seen in “Time” like articles.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article2397096.ece

August 25th, 2011, 5:41 pm

 

amal said:

Iam dazzled by your superior Lebanese mastery of the French language KHALED TLASS mon petit COCO! 🙂

Baby, it looks like we need to find you that special someone to cure your loneliness! 🙂

What’s your gender preference please my BOY! 🙂

HUGS 🙂

August 25th, 2011, 5:42 pm

 

Tara said:

The documentary should be titled ” I killed the shabeeh in my brain”. Thanks Ali Firzat. He said when asked about his fears “I killed the policeman in my brain”. It should be directed by an unbiased internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker with a Sufi spin and sponsored by Aljazeera. I would volunteer as a consultant.

August 25th, 2011, 5:47 pm

 

Evan said:

#62 – “It’s very simple SON. They are not posting from Syria. They are posting from TEL AVIV just like you. DUH!”

Sorry to burst your bubble Amal but Israel could care less about the fate of Syria, whether it stays with Assad or goes. SGID and Aboud thank you for your insight about what is actually going on. I just saw on reddit a video of a Syrian soldier in a tank (with a Syrian flag on it!!) calmly firing at houses in the distance. Wow.

August 25th, 2011, 5:56 pm

 

Afram said:

23. Aboud said:
“Did Landis himself really post this? “Valarie” isn’t even a name. It’s spelled “Valerie””

to the selective ignoromaniac islamist,with the help of the infidel google

Information about Valarie.

1-Valarie Fiorenza
http://www.realcrimes.com/Fiorenza/vfiorenza.htm – CachedSimilar
Valarie Fiorenza. Our daughter, Valarie Fiorenza, 30, was found dead on April 15 , … On April 12, l993, Valarie had taken out a 209A Restraining Order on …

2-Valarie Kaur
http://www.valariekaur.com/ – CachedSimilar
6 days ago – Groundswell Director Valarie Kaur calls for a groundswell of compassion and mobilization to bridge religious divides at Auburn’s Lives of …

3-Valarie’s Place – A family friendly Jersey Shore restaurant in Sea …
http://www.valariesplace.com/ – CachedSimilar
Valarie’s Place is a Jersey Shore restaurant known for good eating and good times. From the moment you enter the restaurant, the owners and staff will make …

4-Valarie A. Zeithaml – UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School : Search …
http://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu › Faculty – CachedSimilar
Jawa Pos of Indonesia cited research by marketing professor Valarie Zeithaml in … Marketing professor Valarie Zeithaml is an internationally recognized …

5-Valarie Storm
http://www.valariestorm.com/ – CachedSimilar
This Florida girl got her first laugh on stage at 5 years old in the Little Miss Fort Myers Beauty Pageant, after an interviewer ask if she liked going to …

6-Valarie Pettiford – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valarie_Pettiford – CachedSimilar
Valarie Pettiford in October 2009. Born, Valarie Pettiford … Valarie Pettiford (born July 8, 1960) is an American stage and television actress, dancer, …

7-Valarie Rae Miller – IMDb
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0589474/ – CachedSimilar
Still of Ice Cube and Valarie Rae Miller in All About the Benjamins · Still of Valarie Rae Miller in Reaper · Valarie Rae Miller at event of All About the …
Innova Disc Golf | Valarie Jenkins
http://www.innovadiscs.com/team/star-team/valarie-jenkins.html – CachedSimilar
Disc Golf #1 in Disc Golf, AKA Frisbee Golf, INNOVA patented the bevel edged disc that has driven Disc Golf forward. In 1983 Dave Dunipace created the …
Did you mean

August 25th, 2011, 5:57 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

I’m so glad watching the Libyan rebels are using 105 mm Anti-Aircraft Autocannon on those thugs. Gives them a taste of their own medicine, what their brothers-in-arms are using against us in Hama and Deirezzor.

Abu Ghassan , ALL your sources are biased and have conflict of interest, does any of your sources include the average lower-middle class self-employed Syrian ? By this time, its apparent to everybody that people like you and Landis have a conflict of interest while trying to give objective reports about Syria.

August 25th, 2011, 6:00 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

Those dullards who think Aboud and SGID are not posting from Syria, why don’t you ask your Mukhabarat uncles to confirm ? Oh wait….they aren’t qualified to navigate their way through the internet, they have to call Tehran for that !!

August 25th, 2011, 6:03 pm

 

Aboud said:

Yes Abughassan, because the shabeha are going to let you go around and film their mass prisons.

If, however, it is not a mass prison, then a one minute recent video of it is more than enough to prove so. The regime has known for weeks that the news channels are claiming the stadium is being used to hold thousands of prisoners. It could disprove those statements in a day.

Tell your “contacts” to go film the stadium, and if it hasn’t been used as a mass prison, like I said, I will never post here again. Otherwise, kindly stop claiming to have sources you obviously do not have.

@68 Thanks. Proves that I can’t possibly be an American if I don’t know that much 🙂

Anytime anyone accuses me of being from the USA, I can just say “But I didn’t even know Valarie was a real name”

August 25th, 2011, 6:10 pm

 

jna said:

Afram

My god, so many illiterate Valerie imposters on Google conspiring to deceive us.

August 25th, 2011, 6:11 pm

 

Aboud said:

Eh he, and now Landis fixed the name in the post. I’d loved to have seen the original email. I bet it had a “ALLAH YEHMEEEK YA BASHAR” at the end 🙂

How could I possibly be from the USA…I don’t know enough about American names. I’m just a Syrian village boy, lost in the big wide world.

😉

August 25th, 2011, 6:26 pm

 

Arsalan said:

8. As’ad Shallal said: “1st – stop demos
2nd – dialogue ”

Bashar and this thugs had many years, months, weeks and days to offer dialogue and reforms but now it is too little and too late. The days of Bashar and his brutal regime are numbered. He should resign and let transitional government take over.

August 25th, 2011, 6:33 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

Photos giving a glimpse of the luxury the daughter of Ghaddafi enjoyed. They’re now on the run hiding in some hole somewhere. What an amazing fall from grace!

بعد افتحام الثوار لمغارة الزعيم الليبي مهمر القذافي وافراد اسرته

تم العثور في قصر ابنته عائشة القذافي على مقاعد ذهبية وتحف تشبه التحف الفرعونية
الى جانب العثور على مدسدس القذافي المرصع بالذهب والالماس عيار 24 محفور عليه اسمه
شاهد الصور
http://100fm6.com/vb/showthread.php?t=343297

August 25th, 2011, 6:33 pm

 

Shami said:

The job of Mr Landis is always to make the regime looks less evil than it is in reality.There is no doubt that he is pro Bashar.
Even if the regime did not attack through war boats ,what does it change to the reallity on the ground?more than 30 000 innocent civilians have been killed in Hama and as much missing and killed in other regions of Syria and today Bashar is following the same path by using brute and blind force in order to remain a dictator …no cases of torture,mass killings have been reported accurately by Dr Landis despite that’s the common behavior of this regime,insteed he likes to focus on futilities always with the aim of relativizing the behavior of the asad gang.
Dr Landis ,the syrian people are not dirts.
Relativizing Bashar crimes as he is obviously the most criminal dictator nowadays doesnt make you an honest observer.

August 25th, 2011, 6:36 pm

 

Joshua said:

Aboud, You are right. I incorrectly spelled Valerie.

August 25th, 2011, 6:37 pm

 

N.Z. said:

Valerie, we did not hear from you yet. Others, who tell their stories, normally respond to questions. Regardless, here is a question from As’ad AbuKhalil:

`Ali Farzat? One of the best talents in Syria and the region? Armed goons of the regime dare to damage his precious hands?? Which side are you on? Ali Farzat or Bashshar Al-Asad?

August 25th, 2011, 6:51 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

Dr. Landis, you are indirectly trivializing the death of 2,200 people. When you link any piece which shows the regime in even 1 % of good light, please consider this – do we even have to be “impartial” when it comes to this regime ? Murderers do not dserve impartiality.

August 25th, 2011, 6:51 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

i wanted to comment on this earlier , but i wasn’t sure. i just checked and heres what’s up:
the joud family runs a partial monopoly on the lattakia port, they used their expertise in a port in KSA to run it.
what bought my attention to doctor landis’s most recent post was this women’s class. i know a lot of westerners that wed Syrians and were dragged to syria. they are provided well, its obvious this women married a well to do business man who could’ve been part of the business elite. in addition , she cites the joud family distributing food(GREAT PR) which is kinda similar to rami’s philanthropist initiative. i dont think she is objective.

August 25th, 2011, 6:55 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

WROIGHT

Don’t you love it. Although Aboud was actually wrong, he turned out to be factually right. The menhebbakites are seething. I can smell brains frying all the way to where I am, and I am in my hole, way down and far from the recent earthquake.

Aboud, for heaven’s sake, how do you do that ?

August 25th, 2011, 7:17 pm

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

Wow Valarie, it’s always good to hear from people that are so representative of the community in which they live. You might have a chauffeur and a businessman husband, but I bet you’re still keeping it real with visits to the local market – after all, the fruit is organic! And you’re right, wasn’t Joud just so generous with those donations of food, such a heartfelt display of generosity on his behalf; ‘giving something back’.

It’s a real shame this whole democracy thing has got in the way of your business. I mean it wasn’t like you or your husband were to know that Syria is run by a dictator and that the businesses that succeed are often founded on a corrupt system of patronage and not entrepreneurial vision. I’m sure that wasn’t the case with you guys…

August 25th, 2011, 7:23 pm

 

Aboud said:

Hamster, it’s my world, the menhebaks just exist in it. The universe conforms itself to my needs.

🙂

Tomorrow, I’ll make 2 + 2 = 100

(no seriously, tomorrow I’m going to make it happen, you just watch and see)

August 25th, 2011, 7:24 pm

 

sheila said:

Dear About,
He is right. Americans do spell their names in all sorts of weird ways. For instance, the typical John can also be spelled Jon and Catharine can also be Kathrin. So Valarie is a legitimate possibility. I would not be surprised to find it even spelled as Valery.
What I find strange is her English. There are a few instances where you feel like someone is trying to translate into English.

August 25th, 2011, 7:25 pm

 

Tara said:

Aljazeera showed images of 5 dead premature infants died August 5th after electricity was cut from a public hospital in Hama so the initial report we heard was not fabricated.

August 25th, 2011, 7:32 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

you just gotta admire these people, despite a heavy military crackdown, Der3a wasn’t subdued. today the cradle of the revolution is alight again.
@ khalid tlass,
please ignore AMAL, he/she/it is not worth it.

August 25th, 2011, 7:38 pm

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

Guys, really, give it up. Who cares if Dr Landis got the name partly wrong, it’s an easy mistake to make. I can tell we have a lot of Syrians writing on this board as you’re all so obsessed with conspiracy theories. Go on tell me again how the CIA really did blow up the world trade centre and that a thousand Jews stayed at home that day. Ridiculous. How about focusing on the substance of the article.

August 25th, 2011, 7:44 pm

 

beaware said:

Aug 24 (Reuters) – Arab ministers will hold an urgent meeting in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the situation on Syria, an Arab League official said on Wednesday.

“The Arab League Peace Committee will hold an urgent meeting on Saturday on the latest events in Syria and the League’s secretariat is making calls to know the number of countries and the names of ministers to attend,” the official said, asking not to be named.

The United Nations says 2,200 people have been killed in Syria since the start of a five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. (Reporting by Ayman Samir and Omar Fahmy, writing by Yasmine Saleh)

August 25th, 2011, 8:01 pm

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

SGID

You are spot on. Joud is one notch below Rami – likes his soft drinks business. By the way, the guy is losing a lot of money at the moment. Anyone who has seen his accounts will testify to this.

August 25th, 2011, 8:03 pm

 

Aboud said:

@87 If this article was attributed to Al-Dunya, it would have been ridiculed and laughed off the website. But it was presented as an eye witness account from an American living in Latakia. Everything, including the uncommon spelling of the name, is fair game.

Still not quite sure why I flipped out and blamed professor Landis for an article I didn’t like. It’s not like he wrote it.

But I stand by my challenge; show me a recent video of the sports stadium in Latakia which disproves it was used as a mass prison camp, and I will never post her again.

August 25th, 2011, 8:17 pm

 

Tara said:

Mnhebaks

It is very dull. Infinite emptiness again. No single interesting statement was made by a mnhebak today. Please do something. Go for continuous education. Ask for help. Read a book and come back to discuss. We would even take Iranian operatives or HA guys to discuss with. Any thing. It is very boring. We can’t go on like this. How about a new conspiracy theory?

August 25th, 2011, 8:28 pm

 

beaware said:

Qatar Emir: Iran visit part of ‘friendly ties’
QNA/Tehran
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=454976&version=1&template_id=57&parent_id=56
HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday held a session of official talks at the presidential compound in the Iranian capital Tehran. The session was attended by the members of the high-level official delegation accompanying the Emir
HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has said his visit to Tehran and meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was part of the “friendly ties” with Iran.
“We have discussed bilateral relations and co-operation between the two countries besides matters of common concern,” the Emir said last night.
On his vision on the developments in Syria, the Emir said all countries that supported Syria in difficult circumstances have tried to encourage our Syrian brothers to take steps to implement a real reform process.
The Syrian people took to the streets in Syria on a real popular and civil uprising calling for change, justice and freedom, HH the Emir added.
The security solution has failed in Syria, the Emir said, noting that the Syrian people are not willing to back down after the price paid.
HH the Emir expressed hope that the decision-makers in Syria would understand the need for change in response to the aspirations of the Syrian people, adding that “we must help them to take such a decision.”
HH the Emir and his accompanying delegation were welcomed upon arrival at Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport among others by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

August 25th, 2011, 8:34 pm

 

cultofassad said:

It seems that counterfeit 500 Syrian Pound notes are in circulation in Syria. See video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgzLodn87t0&feature=youtu.be

It would seem that the government is either keeping their Central Bank reserves high on purpose for the Assad clan to siphon out or have actually used up all its reserves. If the Central Bank is on the sanctions list, that would mean it would be extremely difficult for them to sell their gold reserves as well in the international market.

August 25th, 2011, 8:38 pm

 

Syria no kandahar said:

If Arbood dos’t post here,what else he will do?
And who cares if you post or if you don’t post?
Do you really think that your posts are worth reading?
You are like a roaster,you think that the sun will not rize without your posts?
The facts on the ground are very solid and if I was you I will be depressed by now.
Too bad Ramadan is almost over,that is almost like 29 Fridays,and your terrorists friends are not going anywher.you-and kaled and Ubo umer-are perfect representative of this crappy Syrian mania
In being:
-mean
-lying
-Terrorist
-Not honest
-Revenge driven

So far you have divided the Syrian Army 6000 times,you are collecting hanging materials and
Boiling urine.That is all you have achieved.honest people with or against the governments will go on
To build the new Syria.The sun will keep rising regardless of your barking.

August 25th, 2011, 8:40 pm

 

Syria no kandahar said:

Moderating an idea on this forum is like killing female infants in the عصر الجاهليه.Moderate,reasonable and smart posters have been chased away by some angry dogs here.if you have an idea or a question,just google it or talke to your friends or your family.
Dr landis have been sleeping while his site has turned into Arbood Mental Bullying Hell.

August 25th, 2011, 8:55 pm

 

Norman said:

OTW,

((54. OFF THE WALL said:

MEMO TO DALE
RE: MEMO TO SAHAR

I-we has/ve been discovered by chief detective SAHAR, she has found out. Stop pretending you are not me/aboud/SGID/Tara/Akbar/Hamster…… and on good day the prof. Join yourself in my/your/our escape pod. @ 39:12:67 Altares local time)))

Sahar did not put you with the others, but she might be right as if you look at how many like and dislike are there you can tell that there are either many more loyalists than opposition or that the opposition personalities are writing from the same computer that they can not vote more than once ,

August 25th, 2011, 9:00 pm

 

beaware said:

EU extends Syria sanctions but stops short of oil embargo
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
By AFP
BRUSSELS
http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/08/23/163743.html
EU governments formally adopted sanctions on Tuesday against 15 more people and five businesses, but stopped short of concrete moves to impose a full oil embargo on Damascus.

The list of names covered by asset freezes and travel bans now runs to 50 people and nine businesses, with legal enforcement entering play when they are published in Wednesday’s legislative log, the EU’s Official Journal.

But a diplomat told AFP on Tuesday that despite a first discussion in Brussels on the oil embargo, “no clear decision has yet been taken,” with London in particular determined to ensure that sanctions do not impact on the Syrian people.

The source said: “We are in a process of working through what further tools we want to use.”

“We are open to all options–the oil embargo, sanctions on banks and telecoms, in line with the Americans–but we want to make sure sanctions are targeted at the Assad regime.”

“We are acutely aware of the need to ramp up sanctions, but we don’t want them to impact on the Syrian people,” he underlined.

Some 90 percent of Syrian crude oil is exported to the EU, where the main buyers are Denmark, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Spain, in that order.
more

August 25th, 2011, 9:02 pm

 

Tara said:

Norman

I’ve never pressed the like or dislike buttons on any post and I believe lots of mamnhebaks do not bother either. This is about substance not about green or red lights.

August 25th, 2011, 9:04 pm

 

Aboud said:

“Dr landis have been sleeping while his site has turned into Arbood Mental Bullying Hell.”

If I appear to be a giant, it’s because those who see me as such are very small people indeed.

(I’m so full of profound sh*t at 4am in the morning)

@92 Nothing in what the Emir of Qatar says seems to indicate a reversal of positions. They never asked for junior to step down, and no Gulf country will unless it is in concert with others. I don’t think an Arab country ever told another Arab head of state to step down.

August 25th, 2011, 9:11 pm

 

beaware said:

Syria has ceased all transactions in dollars Tuesday in favor of the euro
26/08/2011
(translated from french)
http://www.lorientlejour.com/category/%C3%89conomie/article/719417/La_Syrie_a_cesse_depuis_mardi_toute_transaction_en_dollars_au_profit_de_l%27euro.html

Syria has ceased on Tuesday all its dollar transactions because of the sanctions imposed by the United States and turned completely to the euro, said yesterday at the AFP Central Bank Governor Adib Mayaleh.
“For two days we can not do transactions in dollars and so we turned to the euro. Since 2005, we have encouraged all economic sectors to make transactions in euros but unfortunately they continued in their vast majority to be in dollars, “he said.
“Now it is completely stopped. This is the first time in the history of the country, “he added.
Barack Obama has demanded the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has also recently announced new harsh sanctions against the regime in Damascus.
The U.S. president signed a decree banning the import of petroleum and petroleum products from Syria and the United States froze all assets that the Syrian government may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
Mr Mayaleh said that the country’s reserves currently stands at
$17.4 billion, or $800 million less compared to mid-March, at the beginning of the protest movement against the regime of Bashar al-Assad .
“The exchange rate of the Syrian pound has remained more or less stable. This is our main goal since the beginning of the crisis, “he added.
Asked about a transfer of $6 billion from Iran to support the Syrian pound, he said: “It’s a joke. This is nonsense. The billions came how? In trucks? By bank transfer as both countries are under embargo? The central banking procedures are reported? It’s ridiculous. ”
“We created two years ago a fund for currency fluctuations and foreign exchange position with banks. It was around 5 billion dollars since the crisis, we have spent two billion to protect our currency, “he added.
© AFP

August 25th, 2011, 9:11 pm

 

ann said:

Inside Syria’s failed rebellion – August 26, 2011

President Bashar al-Assad’s government has imposed order — but is yet to slay the three-headed dragon which threatens its survival.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article2397096.ece

Thick black lines had been scored over the graffiti under the cherubic image of President Bashar al-Assad that guards the road into Hama{minute}a. The military’s clean-up squad had been less than diligent though: the word kalib, dog, survived the paint-brush censorship, and the soldiers had forgotten to have the President’s gouged-out eyes repainted.

Inside the city, the rebels had left behind evidence no amount of paint could obscure: the burned-down military officers’ mess on the Ard al-Khadra street, which mobs stormed in the hope of seizing weapons; the gutted office block which housed the justice department; the charred walls of the al-Hadr police station, pockmarked with machine-gun fire, where 17 police officers were lynched, before their mutilated bodies were thrown into a nearby canal.

Behind the justice ministry’s office, a small group of young men described what happened when the military moved in on July 31, three months after rebel groups, armed with guns, knives and petrol bombs, seized control of much of the town. “They used snipers to shoot at us,” one says, and “more than a dozen people were killed.” The army, he claims, then tied the hands of local residents and forced them to roll on the street, all the while beating them with rifle butts.

Ever since the spring uprising in Syria, the most serious challenge to the regime since it took power in 1970, commentators had been predicting that President al-Assad’s regime was on the edge of collapse. In spite of an energetic western media campaign, largely based on overblown accounts provided by exiled opposition groups, it is in fact becoming clear that the rebellion has all but collapsed: Damascus, for example, is more alive with everyday civic life than New Delhi.

But there is no disputing that Syria’s government is far from slaying the three-headed dragon which threatens its future: a threat from the West; an economic crisis engendered by neoliberal economic reform; and a mounting Islamist threat.
The failed rebellion

Late in February, authorities in Dera{minute}a arrested a group of teenagers for painting anti-government slogans on the town’s walls: like the Libyan, Egyptian and Yemeni rebels they’d watched on television, the protestors proclaimed that the people wanted the regime overthrown. Parents of the children, a widely-believed but possibly apocryphal account holds, met with Dera{minute}a intelligence chief Atef Naguib al-Assad to secure their release. In a traditional tribal gesture of supplication, one parent placed his headscarf on Mr. Naguib al-Assad’s table, who in turn flung it into the dustbin — an unforgivable insult that sparked off rioting.

This much is clear: the protests soon spread out of Dera{minute}a, to the towns of Jisr al-Shughour, Homs and Aleppo. For weeks, President al-Assad’s government allowed the rebels to hold control of the towns, ceding space in the hope of securing a political rapprochement.

In the end, the response was ferocious: the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said her office had received “over 1,900 names and details of persons killed in Syria since mid-March 2011; all are said to be civilians.” It received testimony that over 350 were executed. The Syrian government denies this charge, but has released no figure of its own.

Even though the opposition council-in-exile that claims to represent Syria’s rebellion includes a wide spectrum of ideological opinion — pro-western liberals, secular-nationalists and Islamists — there’s just one party that seems to matter on the ground: the Ikhwan ul-Muslimeen, or Muslim Brotherhood

Born in 1937, the Brotherhood had drawn its core from the pious traditional middle class of urban merchants, artisans and clerics — independent of the ruling Ba{minute}ath party’s patronage structures. Its first published manifesto, of 1954, sought the “establishment of a virtuous policy which would carry out the rules and teachings of Islam.” From 1963 to 1968, the Brotherhood led a dogged campaign of resistance against the secularising, Arab-nationalist Ba{minute}ath. Following the catastrophic defeat of Arab forces in the 1967 war against Israel, a radical faction led by the Aleppo-based weaver-turned-cleric Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah pushed for a confrontation with the regime.

Hafez al-Assad, an air force officer from the Latakia province — the first of his poor peasant family to graduate from high school — seized power. Even though Hafez al-Assad hailed from the heterodox {minute}Alawi sect, who make up just 10 per cent of the Sunni-majority of Syria’s population and constituted a peasant underclass, he won Brotherhood chief Issam al-Attar’s support. Knowing the al-Assad regime lacked a mass base, al-Attar bargained for policies that would help the Damascus merchant class.

In 1975 though, a combination of crippling inflation, high housing prices, and growing tensions between the Ba{minute}ath and Palestianian radicals led younger figures in the Brotherhood to take a more radical course. From 1976, there was a series of attacks on Ba{minute}ath functionaries, strikes and shutdowns — culminating in the massacre of 83 {minute}Alawi cadets at the Aleppo military academy in 1980.

The new Islamist radicals were the children of the traders who had formed the backbone of the Brotherhood — now largely students, teachers and professionals. Adlan Uqlab, who led the ill-fated 1980 uprising in Hama{minute}a, was a civil engineer whose father had been a baker; his predecessor, Abdus Sattar al-Zaim, was a dentist born to a tradesman. Husni Abbu, head of the military section of the Brotherhood in Aleppo, was a French language-teacher, born to a well-to-do merchant and the son-in-law of Shaikh Zayn-ud-Din Khairullah, the Imam of Aleppo’s grand mosque.

Figures who escaped the State’s ferocious assault on Hama{minute}a went on to occupy a key role in the global jihadist movement. Born and educated in Aleppo, 1958-born Mustafa Nasar joined the Combat Vanguard Organisation, a radical breakaway group from the Muslim Brotherhood, while he was studying mechanical engineering. He participated in the uprisings of 1980, and fought against Syrian forces in the 1982 bloodbath in Hama{minute}a. Forced into exile, Nasar moved to Spain and then London, where he had an influential jihadist magazine. In the years before 9/11, Nasar joined Osama bin-Laden’s inner circle — though he later fell out with the al-Qaeda chief, and set up a separate organisation under the command of the Taliban’s emir, Mullah Muhammad Omar.

Nasar has now emerged as among the jihadist movement’s most influential ideologues, arguing in his 1,600-page manifesto, Da{minute}wat al-muqawamah al-Islamiyyah al-{minute}alamiyyah, the case for a “leaderless resistance” of individual terrorism.

Following the violence in Hama{minute}a, Aleppo and Palmyra, the Brotherhood sought to head off these nascent jihadist tendencies by adopting a more adversarial relationship with the State, repositioning itself as the spokesperson of Syria’s Sunni majority against its {minute}Alawi rulers. “Nine or ten per cent of the population,” its 1980 manifesto argued (referring to the al-Assad family’s sectarian origins), “cannot dominate the majority in Syria.” The {minute}Alawi “minority has forgotten itself and is ignoring the facts of history.” This, the Brotherhood said, “could ignite a murderous civil war.”

The idea resonated among Islamists: the medieval cleric Ibn Taymiyya, who fires up the imagination of the modern neo-fundamentalist movement, argued that the primary challenge for the faith was stamping out heresies like those of the {minute}Alawi.

But, as commentator Hanu Batatu pointed out in a 1982 essay, the Brotherhood also reached out to a wider constituency, adopting ideas drawn from classical liberal thought. Its 1980 programme condemned martial law and torture, and advocated judicial independence and the rule of law. It spoke to capitalist concerns, castigating industrial workers who “think they are entitled to everything” and converted “factories into hospices for the lazy and indolent.”
‘Syria is stable’

Early this year, as rebellions erupted across the Middle East, Bashar al-Assad held out sage words for other regional rulers. “Syria is stable,” he asserted. “Why? Because you have to be very closely linked to the beliefs of the people.” “If you didn’t see the need for reform before what happened in Egypt and Tunisia,” he concluded, “it’s too late.” His assessment was correct — but applied as much to the State he runs as to other besieged Middle Eastern regimes.

First, the United States and the European Union have seized on the rebellion to build bridges with the Muslim Brotherhood, and isolate the geopolitical adversary, Iran’s principal regional ally. Harsh sanctions have been imposed, and direct support is being provided to opponents of the regime. The U.S. Ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, has been engaged in an extraordinary political campaign, first encouraging dissidents in Hama{minute}a to break off talks with the regime and more recently defying official travel restrictions to meet with opposition leaders in Jassem.

Ever since the rebellion that deposed Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt, the U.S. has moved to develop deeper links with the Brotherhood — seeing its pietist leadership as allies who will help replace its failing authoritarian collaborators with Saudi Arabia-style conservative regimes. The Brotherhood, U.S. diplomats argue, will also be able to contain anti-western jihadists. Ever since 2006, the Brotherhood has had a lobbying presence in Washington, D.C.; it also has the support of Turkey’s Islamist-led government and Saudi Arabia.

Though western sanctions alone are unlikely to undermine the regime, it faces a second challenge: from a growing youth cohort alienated from the Ba{minute}ath party’s patronage structure and hardhit by economic change.

President al-Assad’s neoliberal reforms generated respectable economic statistics: the real growth stood at 3.2 per cent in 2010, 5 per cent in 2009, 5.1 per cent in 2008, and 4.3 per cent in 2007. Poverty, long stuck at about 15 per cent of the population, declined to 11.9 per cent in 2006.

But Nader Kabbani, director of research at the Syrian Trust for Development, noted early this year that the country’s positive macroeconomic numbers masked disturbing trends. Though growth had been steady, few jobs had been created; those with only primary and intermediate qualifications found it hard to find work. In addition, severe drought, coupled with years of diminished investment in agriculture, alienated the Ba{minute}ath’s core constituency, the rural poor.

The protests now unfolding in Syria thus represent the rebellion of a new generation of disenfranchised youth — the vanguard of the third challenge to the regime, from political Islam.

Protest against the regime has expressed itself through religion: Damascus residents note a steady growth in the use of headscarves, for example, which authorities even felt compelled to ban from universities in 2009. Lectures by the neo-fundamentalist cleric Yousuf al-Qaradawi are said to have become increasingly popular. There is little doubt jihadists played a vanguard role in the rebellion. Homs’ Bab {minute}Amr area was one of several which came under de-facto jihadist control. A brigadier-general, along with his two sons and a nephew, was assassinated.
Policy backfires

For years now, the Syrian government sought to buy peace with the jihadists, allowing Iraq-based Islamist groups to ship weapons and cadre through their territory in return for leaving President al-Assad’s regime alone. That policy has backfired: at a recent meeting with visiting journalists, Hama{minute}a Governor Anas Abdul-Razzaq Na{minute}em admitted that “Salafi-Takfiri groups who want an Islamic emirate spearheaded the uprising.”

President al-Assad understands that democratic reforms are needed to contain the threat — but the several half-steps towards political openness he has taken since 2005 have led nowhere. Now, the uprising has compelled him to promise an end to draconian emergency laws, and commit himself to holding elections. At meetings with Indian, Brazilian and South African diplomats, Syrian authorities even said they would lift the ban on the Brotherhood, if it abandoned religion-based politics.

Will this prove enough? The gains of four decades of rule by the al-Assad dynasty ought not be dismissed: the country has, without dispute, the most secular State institutions and culture of any Arab State today; women occupy positions of influence; minority rights are scrupulously protected. The fact though is, that the accompanying absence of democracy has pushed more people to the religious right — threatening to sweep away these gains.

Even though the uprising of 2011 has been crushed, thus, Syria remains on the edge of the abyss: an abyss that black paint cannot obscure.

August 25th, 2011, 9:12 pm

 

ann said:

Russia, China boycott sanction talks – Friday, August 26, 2011

http://bigpondnews.com/articles/World/2011/08/26/Russia_China_boycott_sanction_talks_654455.html

Russia and China have boycotted UN Security Council talks on a proposal to impose sanctions on Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats say.

Their absence at the talks signalled the tough negotiations ahead on the move to act against Assad’s deadly crackdown on opposition protests, diplomats said.

Ambassadors or their deputies from the 15-member council were invited to the talks.

‘The Russian and Chinese seats were empty, there was no one,’ a council diplomat said.

Russia and China, along with the United States, France and Britain, are permanent members of the council who can veto any resolution.

Russia has strongly spoken out against Syria sanctions, insisting that more time be given to Assad to carry out promised reforms.

Brazil, India and South Africa, non-permanent members of the council, are also believed to have strong reservations about sanctions.

Britain, France, Germany, Portugal and the United States – the main backers of the sanctions campaign – hope to sway at least one of the three doubters from the emerging powers.

Their draft resolution calls for sanctions against Assad, his entourage and companies that fund the Syrian government and a total arms embargo.

Assad leads a list of 23 individuals and four entities named in the draft document who would be subject to an asset freeze.

The president is however not on the 22-name list for a proposed travel ban.

According to the UN, more than 2200 civilians have been killed since protests against Assad started in mid-March.

The Security Council has so far only condemned the violence in Syria in a statement agreed on August 3, following months of opposition from China, Russia and their council allies.

August 25th, 2011, 9:17 pm

 

Syria no kandahar said:

Proud Revolutionist Arbood:
I am so full of S…t !!

August 25th, 2011, 9:30 pm

 

Aboud said:

What’s the significance of #100? Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks.

(Will I still be able to get Haribo gummy bears?)

August 25th, 2011, 9:45 pm

 

ann said:

The US’ war of words against Syria – 25 Aug 2011

The US war of words against Syria is marred by hypocrisy and a lack of realism.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/08/201182281512952586.html

You’d need a team of linguists to tease out the internal contradictions, brazen hypocrisies and verbal contortions in President Barack Obama’s call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power.

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but …”

The “but” belies the preceding phrase – particularly since its speaker controls the ability and possible willingness to enforce his desires at the point of a depleted uranium warhead.

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing and slaughtering his own people,” Obama continued. One might say the same thing of Obama’s own calls for dialogue and reform in Iraq and Afghanistan. Except, perhaps, for the fact that the Iraqis and Afghans being killed are not Obama’s “own people”. As you no doubt remember from Bush’s statements about Saddam Hussein, American leaders keep returning to that phrase: “killing his own people”.

Now the Euros are doing it. “Our three countries believe that President Assad, who is resorting to brutal military force against his own people and who is responsible for the situation, has lost all legitimacy and can no longer claim to lead the country,” British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint statement.

If you think about this phrase, it doesn’t make sense. Who are “your” own people? Was Hitler exempt because he didn’t consider his victims to be “his” people? Surely Saddam shed few tears for those gassed Kurds. Anyway, it must have focus-grouped well back in 2002.

“We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way,” Obama went on. “He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” Here is US foreign policy summed up in 39 words: demanding the improbable and the impossible, followed by the arrogant presumption that the president of the United States has the right to demand regime change in a nation other than the United States.

US hypocrisy on Syria

Assad deserves no pity. He has killed tens of thousands even during his tenure. Political prisoners in Syria languish in secret prisons. But the same is true in Obama’s American gulags, which span the globe from Guantanamo to Bagram to Diego Garcia to the Californian state prison system, where inmates go insane after years in solitary confinement. Where is Obama’s moral standing? Who tells Obama it’s his time to scoot?

Assad is a dictator, and always has been, as was his father. As Obama knows, Assad’s regime was once convenient, not least for Israel, which appreciated the fact that Assad’s primary motivation was not the retrieval of the Golan Heights but rather the suppression of internal dissent. Obama’s phony request that Assad lead Syria to democracy is like asking a tiger to lead a lamb to safety. It’s nothing but bluster that reflects the simple fact that this Syrian thug has outlived his usefulness to the US and its allies.

What’s interesting about the US war of words against Assad is its “here we go again” quality. No matter which side of the Rubik’s cube of regime change one examines, the United States repeatedly deploys tactics without strategy – tactics proven counterproductive time after time after time.

In a world with one superpower, it’s almost as though, in order to guarantee order in the universe, the gods have given the United States one undefeatable enemy: its own incompetence.

The “global squeeze play” against Assad, as the Associated Press wire service characterised it, marks Obama’s fifth-and-a-halfth war (in addition to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Somalia) – a conflict of words and economic sanctions rather than the usual drone planes and missiles. (As Obama and his European puppets have made clear, there will be no hot war against Syria. The US is too overextended, not to mention broke. Besides, there’s an election next year – and the old wars are unpopular enough as it is.) In other respects, however, this is a dismal reprise of many of the same screw-ups the Bush Administration committed during the (lack of) planning for and subsequent occupation of Iraq.

So many questions remain unanswered. They all boil down to: What next?

Ex-dictators need a way out

In the good old days of American regime change (Duvalier, Ferdinand Marcos, etc.) a dictator past his expiration date could count on a military chopper on the roof of the presidential palace, an expansive villa on the French Riviera and a generous Swiss bank account full of looted retirement funds. It was corrupt arrangement to be sure, but it had two advantages from the American perspective: it was easier to convince tyrants to go and it made it easier for the CIA to recruit client states in the future.

Such sweet deals are no longer to be had in a world where all worker bees, even those wearing medals and epaulettes, with secret police at their disposal, get discarded like used tissue paper after their cost-benefit balance tips to the former. Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega languished in an American prison on trumped-up drug charges for 20 years before being extradited to France; Saddam got dropped down a trap door to the howling jeers of his rivals.

One can easily imagine a call from North Korean tyrant Kim Jung-Il to Libya’s Colonel Gadhafi a few years back: “Don’t disarm, Muammar. Just you wait! The second you give up your nukes the Americans will take you out. Saddam disarmed in 1991; now he’s in a tacky grave in Tikrit. What did Milosevic get for attending the Dayton peace conference? A war crimes trial. Look at me. I don’t cooperate. I don’t give in. Sure, they hate me. But I’m holding tight. Living large. Cooperation with the Americans is a mug’s game!”

Assad is brutal. Assad is tyrannical. Politicians follow their Machiavellian political imperatives, the first of these being survival and keeping power.

Leftist American political activists plan to recreate Egypt’s Tahrir Square in Washington, DC this coming September and October. They plan to occupy downtown Washington until their demands, including immediate withdrawal from the wars in the Middle East, are met. How long before Obama’s patience wears thin? How many protesters will get shot or beaten by security forces? National Public Radio paraphrases a cynical retired Lebanese general, Amin Hotait: “He says it’s no surprise that Syria is using tanks against its own people, saying that’s how forces around the world deal with terrorists and other armed opponents.”

Bush demanded that Saddam leave Iraq before the 2003 invasion. The big question was: where would he have gone? Bush wanted war more than regime change so he never offered Saddam the old-fashioned cushy exile – or any escape at all. When Obama went to war against Libya earlier this year, he followed the same policy vis-a-vis Gadhafi: he asked him to leave without leaving him a way out.

For beleaguered dictators, the choice is clear: killing “your own people” makes good sense. Surely as he watches his trial through the bars enclosing his courtroom hospital bed Hosni Mubarak rues not the hundreds who died during the Arab Spring but rather the thousands he should have killed to remain in power.

Now the what-next question pertains to Bashar al-Assad. “Where does the Syrian leader go?” asked CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Machiavelli advised his patron to allow his enemies a graceful exit strategy. Like his illiterate predecessor, Obama prefers to box them in. “I have no doubt that both Gadhafi and Assad will do whatever they can to make sure they don’t wind up like Mubarak or Milosevic. That means many more people will die,” predicts Blitzer.

Exit plans

In 2003 skeptics asked Bush’s neoconservatives: Who would run Iraq after deposing Saddam? If you’re going to remove a nation’s government by force, providing for a successor regime seems like the least you should do. A year and a half earlier in Afghanistan, the Bushists had a ready (though deeply flawed) answer in the form of Hamid Karzai. Not so much in Iraq, where major opposition figures had lived in exile for decades and thus were virtually unknown.

Like Bush, Obama is winging it in Libya. He is calling for President Assad to step down without having a clear (US-friendly, naturally) successor in mind. “It’s hard to argue with President Obama’s call for Bashar al-Assad, the bloodthirsty Syrian dictator, to step down. But it’s also hard to discern any logic or consistency in the administration’s handling of the ongoing tumult in the Arab world,” writes the liberal Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post.

As a right-winger David Ignatius, also a columnist for The Washington Post, reflects a more influential faction, the consensus view of most big-media print and broadcast outlets. Like Robinson, he acknowledges the incoherence of Obama’s policy. “This is a movement without clear leadership or an agenda beyond toppling Assad,” he wrote about the Syrian opposition. “It could bend toward the hard-line Sunni fundamentalists who have led the street fighting in Deraa and Homs, or to the sophisticated pro-democracy activists of Damascus.”

But Ignatius is a pro-war neo-con, whether his president is a Republican or Democrat.

“Despite these uncertainties, Obama is right to demand that Assad must go. Some commentators have chided the White House’s hyper-caution … But I think Obama has been wise to move carefully and avoid the facile embrace of a rebel movement whose trajectory is unknown.”

A big mistake in 2003, one rarely if ever debated in the US, is the United States’ tendency to overpersonalise its regional rivalries and military conflicts. In 2003 political cartoonists propagandised Saddam as a neo-Hitler complete with SS-style skull-and-crossbones badge on his black army beret. Dwelling on Saddam’s personality made it easy for the Americans to miss the fact that the Iraqi dictator had remained in power for decades because he represented a distinct political constituency dominated by Sunnis, embracing a post-socialist semi-secular brand of Islam embodied by the Baath Party. (Direct arms sales from the United States didn’t hurt either.) To Bush’s surprise, those disenfranchised constituencies, including many soldiers fired by proconsul Paul Bremer, took up arms and launched the first wave of the ongoing insurgency.

Here too, the age of Obama is much like that of Bush.

“Syria protesters defy Bashar Assad; Troops Kill 22” reported the Los Angeles Times. Most demonstrators quoted in such accounts took pains to say that they opposed the regime, not just the man. But the US media avoided such subtleties.

Cutting the head off Syria’s Baathist snake can no more create meaningful change within Syria’s political system than hanging Saddam did in Iraq or jailing Mubarak in Egypt. The underlying ideology remains in place, reinforced by years of propaganda in the schools and the media. The power brokers in the military, government ministries and major companies tend to retain their sinecures long after figureheads are removed. The Arab Spring has led to personnel changes in Tunisia and Egypt, not revolution. Revolution is the radical reallocation of power and wealth from one whole class of elites to another class or classes. Anything short of revolution is reform; reform isn’t enough to fix a broken government.

Finally, Obama is repeating yet another classic characteristic of US foreign policy, one we saw in sharp relief during the Bush era: militant ambivalence toward potential future successors. Despite having the set the stage for the ascension of, for example, the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, the US refuses to provide enough support to guarantee close ties down the road.

After the US-led call for Assad’s resignation the UK Guardian reported: “One veteran dissident in Damascus said: ‘I am jubilant. This came at the right time for the street.’ He said protesters were telling him they wanted to dance in the streets. A middle-aged woman in Homs said: ‘More protesters will go out now.'”

If so, they will learn what right-wing Cuban exiles learned when the CIA promised them air support for the Bay of Pigs invasion: US words aren’t always backed up by arms or money. If and when they come to power, the Syrian resistance won’t owe the US

Which, in the greater scheme of things, makes the gods happy.

Ted Rall is an American political cartoonist, columnist and author. His most recent book is The Anti-American Manifesto. His website is rall.com.

August 25th, 2011, 9:45 pm

 

Not Tara said:

Tara

Here is an observation. I did a tad bit of research on the ability of the Syrian Navy to ‘shell’….and this is what I came up with.

First. The goal of the Syrian Navy. In the U.S., we would call it the coast guard. It has no goal as a regional threat. In other words, every vessel they buy has one purpose…to attack other boats coming into its water.

Other navies, like the imperialist U.S. has vessels that actually have a mission of bombardment. Like in 1982 when the U.S. took the USS New Jersey out of mothballs and sent it off Lebanon and lobbed 2000 pound shells into the Shouf Mountains. That is what is called ‘shelling’.

No Syrian vessel is capable of this. According to every source I can find, they have fast missile attack boats (OSA), some very old frigates (PETYA) and some minesweepers. Nothing that has a coastal offense capability. None have the capability of firing shells. They either have anti-ship missiles or big machine guns.

Yet somehow they ‘shelled’ Latakia.

Maybe the Maher’s 4th flying tank division is now not only flyable, but sea-worthy.

Second. So the Navy did ‘shell’ as all the esteemed non-lying media claims. The Navy, which doesn’t practice this kind of thing (not its role…no mission…no vessels designed for the mission) was able to ‘shell’ and hit exactly the right spots to not cause serious collateral damage. Unlike western forces which seem to hit things like Chinese embassies.

August 25th, 2011, 9:54 pm

 

ann said:

*** First Dead Turkish Terrorist ***

Driver Mecit Akdoğan killed in Syria, marking first Turkish casualty

http://www.sundayszaman.com/sunday/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=254980

As Syrian troops pushed into the restive areas of Deir al-Zour and Homs Thursday in a fresh clampdown on pro-democracy protests, a Turkish driver was killed in the town of al-Rastan near Homs, a dissident region in central Syria.

Syrian citizens who saw that the driver, Mecit Akdoğan, was killed informed the Turkish Embassy in Damascus and Turkish officials are expected to travel to al-Rastan Friday to retrieve the body of Akdoğan, who was born in 1960 in the southern border province of Antakya.

Akdoğan’s killing marked the first Turkish casualty in the bloody crackdown in the neighboring country.

The Federation of the Coordination Committees of the Syrian Revolution, an opposition group, said that army tanks shelled the town of al-Rastan on Thursday.

August 25th, 2011, 10:00 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

The Syrian security thugs succeded in getting more attention to Ferzat’s drawing. They must be congratulated.

Ali Ferzat Attack: U.S. Condemns ‘Targeted, Brutal Attack’ On Syria’s Most Popular Cartoonist
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/25/ali-ferzat-attack-us-condemns_n_937340.html

August 25th, 2011, 10:18 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh returns to Form

Professor Josh,

Thanks for the acknowledgement to Aboud about the misspelling, but frankly, no one gives a fig.

The issue isn’t spelling, the issue is your continued support to save Assad’s ass.

You posted an article from some individual who states:

I don’t believe all of the deaths in Syria are those of innocent non-violent protesters. I also don’t believe that the government is responsible for all of the deaths.

Well OF COURSE no side is responsible for “ALL of the deaths”.

So what is this woman saying? You posted the article to place seeds of doubt about the Syrian revolution and the demonstrations.

Did this woman care to tell us what percentage of the over 2000 deaths were against unarmed demonstrators? Does she even have a clue?

Meanwhile you’re still blaming the usual suspects:

the evil neocons, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Why is it you ALWAYS excuse a regime that has refused to hold elections and provide basic human rights for the past 4 decades?

Why would you write article-after-article putting the onus on countries that already have democracies (like the US and Israel, see below) instead of putting it on a regime that has locked her people into ideological and economic closets for nearly half a century, who supports Islamic terrorists and who fires live ammunition into peaceful demonstrations?

If you were true to your beliefs, you’d move to Dera’a to see how the other half lives.

The U.S. should not tie its cart so closely to Israel and Saudi Arabia because both countries are pursuing policies which are not good for U.S. interests in the long run. What is more, the realists do not believe that the U.S. should take sides on the broader religious war being fought between Shiites and Sunnis in the Middle East. The U.S. wants to check Iranian power and dissuade it from going nuclear, but it does not want to enter into the religious war. Most importantly, the U.S. has too many military commitments in the Middle East, a region that has sucked up far too much of Washington’s time and money over the last decade. Greater involvement in Syria is not popular. In the end, this is a Syrian battle and the U.S. should not be trying to decide it.

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/24/washingtons-battle-over-syria/

August 25th, 2011, 10:19 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

ليبيا بيت عائشة القذافي Libye : Salle de bain de Aicha Kadhafi : Libya

August 25th, 2011, 10:22 pm

 

Aboud said:

@106 Something is missing from your analysis; the way “shelling” is defined. I don’t know how military experts define the difference between bullets and shells, firing and shelling. But to the ordinary person, anything more potent than a machine gun is “qasef” (shelling).

It’s the same mistake we see when APCs are routinely called “tanks”.

So, while the Syrian Navy may not have big cannons of the type we associate with battleships, they most definitely do have big guns capable of hitting the shore from the distance they were seen at. Such firing would be described as “qasef” by ordinary onlookers.

I doubt such firing would be accurate, but that isn’t important to an armed force whose purpose is not to fight a war, but to terrorize a populace.

@107 He was a truck driver, not a terrorist. I wonder how junior is going to pay his bills if every single truck from Europe decided to go through Iraq instead.

“Thanks for the acknowledgement to Aboud about the misspelling, but frankly, no one gives a fig.”

🙁

If you could just see my hurt expression. It’s like someone telling Michelangelo that his statue of David was a waste of marble. I shall go sulk a most grievous sulk.

August 25th, 2011, 10:23 pm

 

Tara said:

Dear “Not Tara”

Your name sounds very funny.

Hon: Discussing military equipments with me is really laughable. I really truly have no knowledge or interest in acquiring knowledge about the military stuff.

More importantly, it is a futile discussion. Regardless whether the Syrian navy “shelled or not”‘ 2200 killed, thousands disappeared, presumably dead, thousands in exile, 10000 arrested, kids murdered, pregnant women killed, kids tortured, the culture of humiliation is being practiced every day where demonstrators are forced to say “no god except Bashar”, artist’ hands got broken so he can’t draw again while being told “this is what you deserve making fun of your masters”, singer’ s throat got cut out pre or post mortem, tanks invaded cities…Isn’t that enough?

Do you really believe whether Syrian navy shelled Lattakia or not is really relevant?

August 25th, 2011, 10:29 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

China turns to Libya rebels, urges “stable transition”

(Reuters) – China urged a “stable transition of power” in Libya and said Wednesday it is in contact with the rebel National Transitional Council, the clearest sign that Beijing has effectively shifted recognition to forces poised to defeat Muammar Gaddafi.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/24/us-china-libya-idUSTRE77N2UI20110824

Libya Rebel Oil Official Says China, Russia Will Have Trouble Getting New Deals

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Global powers who took chilly positions toward Libya’s insurgents–such as China, Russia or India–will have trouble getting new oil contracts in the future, a spokesman for a rebel-controlled company said this week.

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110825-714270.html

Moscow counts potential losses in post Gaddafi era
by Nina Achmatova
According to experts, it will be difficult to rebuild a relationship with the new authorities who will be “much more pro-Western than before.” At stake billion dollar contracts currently frozen: oil, infrastructure and armaments.

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Moscow-counts-potential-losses-in-post-Gaddafi-era-22443.html

August 25th, 2011, 10:35 pm

 

Not Tara said:

#111

How an ordinary person defines it is one thing.

How the media defines is very important. And it goes to the reliability of the media…which frankly has zero at the moment.

Just because you say you are being shelled doesn’t mean the media should repeat that. It is their job to report facts, not feelings.

Political decisions are then made off what is reported. If the media does a pathetic job of reporting reality, and then it snowballs, really crappy decisions are then made.

And of course the word ‘shelling’ is far more emotional than gun fire. Which of course is why it is used. I doubt if the world would take notice of a bunch of Sunni Fundies holed up in a small suburb and were firing at some troops and then got fired on by some machine gun fire from a vessel. Yawn.

But ‘Syrian Navy is shelling’ makes great headlines.

Whatever floats your boat.

But the bottom line is that Syrian boats aren’t capable of shelling.

August 25th, 2011, 10:41 pm

 

MM said:

Let’s see:

“An American Business Owner in Latakia”

If she had said anything other than what was mentioned in the article above, the security services would’ve been on her doorstep in a jiffy. In a time when people don’t want to share identities, this person willingly identified herself. To curry favor, perhaps?

Anyway, do I buy her testimony? No. I have more sense than that.

August 25th, 2011, 10:46 pm

 

Abughassan said:

يا شباب
البينة اذا ادعيتم
لا نريد ان نقلد النظام و نرمي التهم يمينا و يسارا
When we claim that Latakia was shelled from the sea and that a stadium in it was used as prison we need some evidence. He said,she said is not an evidence. Just because I want the regime changed and Bashar out does not mean I am ready to believe anything I read in a blog,sorry to disappoint some..I expect more,and you should too.

August 25th, 2011, 10:51 pm

 

Aboud said:

@114 Actually, armed resistance in Syria today would make massive news. I remember when CNN first showed the bridge video from Hama. They were all “this could be a game changer!” and no talk of Syria could be complete without mentioning the bridge.

Of course, all the news channels eventually stopped mentioning the bridge when a)it became impossible to prove b)it paled in comparison to what the army was doing to Hama and Deir el Zour.

“It is their job to report facts, not feelings.”

But they can’t report the facts without relying on eye witnesses on the ground. Whose fault is it if the government is so paranoid about every single news organization on the planet, that they would only allow Al-Dunya and Syrian state TV anywhere. If the world’s media was allowed into the country, there wouldn’t be any need for Valerie Khanom to get front page treatment on this blog.

“When we claim that Latakia was shelled from the sea and that a stadium in it was used as prison we need some evidence”

Again, do you expect the shabeha to allow you to walk into their mass prisons and take photos? This issue can be cleared up within an hour by someone taking a walk to the stadium and videoing it right now. Unless there is something there the government doesn’t want the world to see, as is the case.

Why are you all so afraid of videoing a stadium that you claim to be innocent and filled with nothing but happy children playing with puppies? The regime has known that for weeks the world believes that the stadium is being used as a mass prison camp. It could disprove such rumors in an hour.

August 25th, 2011, 10:53 pm

 

beaware said:

Syria opposition must learn from Libya’s council
National Editorial
Aug 24, 2011
http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/editorial/syria-opposition-must-learn-from-libyas-council
The one lesson that Syrians must learn from Libya is this: set up a truly representative national council. The Libyan Transitional Council was formed on February 27, only 12 days after Colonel Muammar Qaddafi declared a war against his own people. Libya’s council, headed by an honest politician, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, then began rigorous diplomatic efforts to gain international legitimacy, support and access to funds. The council has done a good job overall.

In Syria, more than five months after the uprising began, no such body has been established, despite the killing of over 2,000 people. And the lack of an organised and united opposition makes the future of Syria after President Bashar Al Assad, well, oblique.

A national council including credible dissidents would convince many Syrians who currently sit on the fence to side with the protesters. By discussing post-Assad Syria, a council could also encourage the international community to move more aggressively against the regime. Military intervention is both unlikely and undesirable, but there is more to be done with smart sanctions and pressure.

In fairness, the opposition has little political or diplomatic experience, after decades of suppression. But although delay means more bloodshed, opposition figures are still disagreeing on lesser issues than the continuing killings. Some even pulled out of talks about starting a national council. If such discord continues, some in the opposition will bear some of the blame for a lack of success.

Yesterday, the UN Human Rights Council ordered a probe into the Syrian regime’s treatment of protesters. International organisations have documented rights violations that may amount to crimes against humanity. As Syria is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC), prosecutors could not open a probe without an order from the Human Rights Council.

This is a very significant step, and the opposition should build on it to apply more pressure against the regime through international diplomacy but more importantly by providing a clear-cut vision for the future, to win more support from Syria’s silent majority.

The heaviest blow to Mr Al Assad is an alternative to his rule. Only then will his regime surely crumble.

August 25th, 2011, 10:54 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

علماء دين ومشايخ سوريون يطالبون بدولة مدنية
http://www.alqabas.com.kw/Article.aspx?id=730044&date=25082011

August 25th, 2011, 11:01 pm

 

Abughassan said:

Another conference for the opposition,this time in Damascus with ,hopefully,more reps from Syrian youth who are the bread and butter of this uprising and the future of Syria.

August 25th, 2011, 11:02 pm

 

Tara said:

Beaware @118

This is the best thing I read today. Opposition needs to work very hard in reconciling diferrences to present themselves as a unified body as soon as possible. It is the only way to make a difference.

August 25th, 2011, 11:03 pm

 

Not Tara said:

you said you were bored.

Now it is beyond you?

You seem to have enough motivation to post here. To make fun of people. But you select what you want to be involved about. To do research on.

Are you serious about your cause? Or do you just find little areas to make snide remarks about.

The Syrian military (for good or bad) is the forefront on how the regime is dealing with various social issues. A serious component of this is how the West understands how the Syrian regime is using the military to deal with the current Syria social issues. Is the military acting in accordance to established law? If you can’t answer this basic question, why are you here?

August 25th, 2011, 11:05 pm

 

Aboud said:

“Are you serious about your cause? Or do you just find little areas to make snide remarks about.”

Um….the irony here could sink a Syrian naval vessel, “Not Tara”

How the military is being used is one thing, and discussing how well a MiG-29 would hold up against an F-16 is another thing (answer, pretty well actually, if the pilots were trained properly. Which they aren’t).

August 25th, 2011, 11:11 pm

 

Tara said:

Are you joking? Of course I select and choose what I want to talk about. It is called freedom of expression or lack of it when you feel like it.

To quickly answer you question, the Syrian military is behaving as or worse than an occupying power therefore it is not acting in accordance to established law. One needs no PhD in military affairs to answer it.

August 25th, 2011, 11:14 pm

 

DMZ said:

Enough of this nonsense about did they use gunboats or not.

The bottom line is this Mafia is using all the tools it have to subject the Syrian people be it militarily or not.

The opposition is fragmented but that is the nature of this revolt also. There is more yet to come. it seems this will go on for awhile more until it is no longer tolerable to fence sitters.

“The enemies you make by taking a decided stand generally have more respect for you than the friends you make by being on the fence”.

August 25th, 2011, 11:17 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

@118

We will do.

August 25th, 2011, 11:20 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

The issue of the navy shelling allegations is an example of why having the reputation of being a liar is not a good thing. We all remember the story of the Lying Shepard (the Syrian government in this case). Even if the allegations were untrue, it’s very easy to dismiss the Syrian government’s denials because of its well-earned reputation in lying.

Also, just because there’s no visual evidence, it doesn’t mean that there was no shelling. A ship may have fired a small shell only once and no one caught it on tape.

Personally, I don’t think the Syrian navy shelled the Raml district from sea. They really don’t have a need for that. Such shelling will cause lots of collateral damage in a densely inhabited area and will make matters worse for the regime.

August 25th, 2011, 11:34 pm

 

DMZ said:

SYR.EXPAT:

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence!”

What matters now since the damage is done is how to make the regime pay for this abhorrent conduct.

By that I don’t mean revenge but a proper peaceful transfer of power to a more inclusive and more representative transitional council. In order to stop this diabolical bloodshed.

August 25th, 2011, 11:45 pm

 

N.Z. said:

Why is Valerie not responding to the many comments? Fact or fiction, your followup will be appreciated. Or your post was meant to fuel, I meant “food for thoughts”.

August 25th, 2011, 11:46 pm

 

Not Tara said:

You state that. Yet you claim no knowledge.

You have no knowledge of military affairs, or why they are deployed, have no background to dispute inane (and theoretically impossible) accusations against them, yet quickly claim they are evil.

August 25th, 2011, 11:47 pm

 

Syria No Kandahar said:

I don’t know why I’m feeling so bad….I don’t have that confidence any more.I don’t think the regime can last much longer….I’m feeling very low.

August 26th, 2011, 12:01 am

 

majedkhaldoon said:

Not Tara
You are wrong, Syrian NAVY has two frigates both capable of shelling, they have canons with a range of 17Km,your informations are definitely wrong.
To know if Valerie is right or wrong we have to get an independent reporter,something the goverment is against doing.what are they afraid of if their story is reliable?.

Today Bashar was talking next to several Imams, he was scared,and trembling,he used to smile, he was frowning,and seemed very nervous.

August 26th, 2011, 12:03 am

 

Aboud said:

@130

Explain this video, and then come preach to us that we have no business to judge this disgraceful terrorist army;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzbg89YNWEM&ref=nf

1) No one is firing back at them

2) They are not taking cover, their entire behavior are of thugs who do not expect anyone to fire back

3) Their colleague thugs up on the checkpoint are similarly unconcerned about any possible retaliation.

August 26th, 2011, 12:03 am

 

Khalid Tlass said:

# 107 (Ann),

How did they know he was a “Turkish terrorist” ?

Besides, “Akdogan” doesn’t seem to be a real Turkish surname…its merely a play on “Erdogan” lol…another pathetic attempt by Besho.

Btw, 6 Hizbullah terrorists were captured today in Rastan armed by Nasrallah in South Lebanon.

They won’t be going home.

August 26th, 2011, 12:03 am

 

Abughassan said:

Expat,you hit it on the head,Syrians can believe anything about the regime because of its history,we all know the famous childhood story of the “Cry Wolf Shepard”.
Homs,which occupies 25% of Syria’s total area and is four times the size of Lebanon,is a far more serious challenge to the regime than Latakia,Damascus proper and Aleppo combined. The lack of good will and political vision by the regime will certainly lead to its demise without the use of force,I understand the calls to carry arms and change the regime by force,I just disagree with this approach and will not support it.

August 26th, 2011, 12:04 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

128. DMZ

Well, the regime is doing its best to speed things up. Using the navy without inviting impartial sources to monitor the action resulted in negative PR. Abducting and beating Ali Ferzat is a another act of stupidity by the government that will hasten its end. So the government is doing the job on behalf of the people.

August 26th, 2011, 12:05 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

134. ABUGHASSAN said:

“Syrians can believe anything about the regime because of its history,”
Indeed.

“I understand the calls to carry arms and change the regime by force,I just disagree with this approach and will not support it.”
Same here. People need to be patient. It’s easy for me to say this while others are risking their lives on a daily basis, but the peaceful approach is the way to go.

This is a great video that shows people the power of peaceful civil resistance.

August 26th, 2011, 12:15 am

 

DMZ said:

SYR.EXPAT:

We all have to admit that the regime is it’s own worst enemy. All the blunders they keep committing is what keep this revolt going on and on.

We may have to send them a thank you note once they are ousted..

I tend to agree with ABUGHASSAN on the need to keep the pressure on non-violently as has been the case so far.

I am under no illusion that an intervention might be needed at one point but the time is not now..

This Mafia will have nowhere to hide once the deluge hit them..

August 26th, 2011, 12:20 am

 

N.Z. said:

A caricature by Ali Firzat, depecting Assad carrying his suitcase and sitting beside his friend Qaddafi, led to such brutality on one of our most celebrated artists, Mr. Ferzat.

Firzat’s fame will be celebrated for years to come, as someone who stood with his people for freedom and social justice.

“Ali Ferzat is a another act of stupidity by the government” well said SYR.EXPAT

The whole post by Valerie, was intended to divert attention, intentionally or not, from Ali Firzat abduction by Assad’s henchmen. And they are many, unfortunately.

August 26th, 2011, 12:21 am

 

Guest said:

“A Syrian from Aleppo writes:

I can confirm the death of the 4 soldiers in Latakia that day as Valarie mentioned.”

That “A Syrian from Aleppo” misspelled her name too..Ummmm!!!!!Intersting

August 26th, 2011, 12:23 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

To the Syrian patriots who advocate change through peaceful means, this is for you:

August 26th, 2011, 12:28 am

 

Khalid Tlass said:

ABUGHASSAN said :

“Homs,which occupies 25% of Syria’s total area and is four times the size of Lebanon,is a far more serious challenge to the regime than Latakia,Damascus proper and Aleppo combined”

Do you mean Homs the city or Homs the Province ? Because approximately 33 % of the land area of Homs Governorate is the desert which extends into Al-Anbar in Iraq and Jordan.

Anyway, still the fact remains Homs in the second-most poulous province in Syria after Rif Dimashq, and both have risen against the regime. Many smaller towns like Rastan, Talbiseh, Qusayr are in Homs. Its safe to say about 65% of the Syrian population is against the regime, the rest 35% consists of 20% minorities and 10% Sunni Arabs who have intertwined interests with the Assads-Makhloufs, and also the 10% Sunni Kurds who are “fence-sitters” because they are uncomfortable about Turkey. Even if 65% is not an “huge number”, its enough to ensure a sound victory in any free-and-fair election.

August 26th, 2011, 12:50 am

 

N.Z. said:

from twitter, “a hand that never form a fist to fight should not be broken up by hands that never picked up a pencil to create”

August 26th, 2011, 1:00 am

 

Joshua said:

Dear Shami,

You write,
“The job of Mr Landis is always to make the regime looks less evil than it is in reality.There is no doubt that he is pro Bashar. Even if the regime did not attack through war boats ,what does it change to the reallity on the ground?”

This regime is killing Syrians in order to stay in power. It is following the example of every regime in every Arab country affected by the Arab Spring. It is doing very bad things.

I believe, however, that the truth still counts, and that we should not distort it. I think journalists in particular have a special duty to stick to the truth and to correct their mistakes when they make them. As an historian, analyst, and blogger, I also see it as my role to call it as I see it. I will make plenty of mistakes and have made plenty already. I depend on everyone who reads SC and writes in the comment section to correct me and to set the record straight.

Thomas Pierret, a French historian and Syria specialist who has just completed a book on the Baath and the Muslim Brotherhood, just write me this: “It shows Syrian soldiers firing on houses (reportedly in al-Rastan) with the four automatic guns of their Shilka anti-aircraft vehicle. It’s the closest thing to “shelling” I’ve seen since the start of the uprising

So what are bad consequences of false reporting or exaggerated reports? Let me name two:

1. The Deir Yassin massacre of 1948. Arab sources exaggerated the death count and savagry of the Zionist massacre. They did this in order to stiffen the resolve of Palestinian fighters. The Jordanian newspaper Al Urdun published a survivor’s account in 1955, which said the Palestinians had deliberately exaggerated stories about atrocities in Deir Yassin to encourage others to fight, stories that had caused them to flee instead.

Hazam Nusseibeh, the news editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service at the time of the attack, gave an interview to the BBC in 1998. He spoke about a discussion he had with Hussayn Khalidi, the deputy chairman of the Higher Arab Executive in Jerusalem, shortly after the killings: “I asked Dr. Khalidi how we should cover the story. He said, ‘We must make the most of this.’ So he wrote a press release, stating that at Deir Yassin, children were murdered, pregnant women were raped, all sorts of atrocities.” Gelber writes that Khalidi told journalists on April 11 that the village’s dead included 25 pregnant women, 52 mothers of babies, and 60 girls, which was not true. The truth was bad enough.

Menachem Begin, leader of the Irgun at the time of the attack, wrote in 1977: “The enemy propaganda was designed to besmirch our name. In the result it helped us. Panic overwhelmed the Arabs of Eretz Israel.”

The massacre was very bad, but by embellishing it, Palestinian leaders started panic among their people and contributed to the mass exodus of Palestinians, which has brought so much additional suffering to them.

Example two is Ahmad Chalabi’s record of exaggeration and falsification of Saddam’s nuclear capabilities. People may disagree over whether he was successful and whether the ends justified the means. He did get the US to invade on false pretenses, which served his purposes and helped to destroy Saddam’s regime. Many Iraqis may consider this a success and worth the exaggerations.

But Americans spent something like a trillion dollars on an adventure that they did not have to undertake. I understand full well that the Bush administration was complicit in Chalabi’s falsehoods. Many neocons wanted to invade and used Chalabi’s lies to further their agenda and convince the gullible American public to spend so much of their future income on it.

I do not know whether exaggeration and false reports from activists are designed to encourage foreign intervention in Syria. I do not know if there will be any bad consequences from passing on falsehoods and embellishments.

But why not stick to the truth? If the Syrian Army has not shelled its cities and the Syrian Navy has not shelled Latakia, that is something to be gratified by and not something to lament. We know that the Syrian army has killed over 2000 in this uprising, tortured more, and imprisoned yet many more. It has ruled Syria through fear for decades. This is very bad. The record stands on its own.

This regime is digging in for a long fight. From the outset I have argued that there was no “soft landing” for this struggle that will become and is “deeply sectarian”. People hated me for saying it at the time. They accused me of furthering Bashar propaganda. It wasn’t propaganda. Most people now accept this. Anyone who knows this regime and knows Syrian society could guess what was going to happen.

I visited Hama only two weeks after it’s center city was destroyed in 1982. I don’t need to be lectured about what happened there. I lived in Lebanon for several years during the civil war. I have watched one minoritarian regime after another cling to power in the Levant, usually to be crushed: the Maronites in Lebanon. The Sunnis in Iraq. And now the Alawis in Syria. There is not tons of variation. There is usually plenty of killing.

The Jews in Palestine are the exception. They had more luck and skill than the others. They were a minority, but they managed to turn themselves into the majority and can do pretty much as they please with the others today.

August 26th, 2011, 1:08 am

 

Gus said:

Looking at the posts here it is easy to see why the revolution is not attracting many people.
It is important to reject violence from all sides, nobody can defend all the regime actions, but if the protestors were not peaceful and they shot at the army then the army is going to shoot back at them.
2200 persons killed from the protestors but also there are more than 500 killed if not more from the army and security forces.
These numbers would be nothing if things escalate to outside intervention.
Trying to revenge for Hama 1982 is going to get nowhere, and saying that MB did not commit terrorist acts is pointless.

August 26th, 2011, 1:23 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

142. JOSHUA said
“But why not stick to the truth”

Exactly. The opposition needs to stick to the truth. This gives it credibility.

“They accused me of furthering Bashar propaganda.”

Since I started visiting this site, I never got that impression. People need to stop throwing accusations without merit. Prof. Landis, among other things, provides his opinion and analysis, which is greatly appreciated. You may not agree with it, which is fine. This is why Prof. Landis provides you with the opportunity to provide your feedback. If anything, Prof. Landis deserves gratiturdue. So thank you Prof. Landis for letting us share our views on the Syrian issue.

August 26th, 2011, 1:28 am

 

Abughassan said:

I do not know if 65% is against the regime,i do not see how people could quantify the opposition using numbers like that,but it is obvious that the regime lost the support of many Syrians and continue to lose the support of the undecided. I do not think this regime is good for Syria and I certainly have no problem with free and fair elections,but I absolutely disagree with the use of violence among members of the Syrian family to achieve political goals.whether the next president is Sunni or not,that is up to Syrians,I will support any Syrian who gets elected for the job,and I am in favor of bringing balance to the army and security forces but that is different from advocating a jihad against the national army. My position is a choice between bad and worse,and I prefer the lesser of two evils,with random violence being the worst choice.

August 26th, 2011, 1:32 am

 

Abughassan said:

Expat,I agree. The attacks on Joshua are without merit,they remind me with Fox news and George. W Bush. It is funny that some of you who are given free access to say what you want on this forum are throwing stones at the man who made this forum possible.
I have the feeling that Dr Landis is not losing any sleep over this 🙂

August 26th, 2011, 1:40 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

In a 2007 interview with Newsweek, Ali Ferzat predicted that a Tsunami is coming if the Syrian government did not quickly introduce complete and comprehensive reforms.

“وكان فرزات قال في مقابلة اجراها مع مجلة نيوزويك في عام 2007 “ان لم يستعجلوا بالاصلاح الكامل والشامل فان الطوفان قادم” لافتا الى “لا احد يسمع او يقرأ”.وكانت لجان التنسيق المحلية قد قالت إنه “اقدم عناصر امن ملثمون على متن سيارة مغلقة على اختطاف فنان الكاريكاتير العالمي علي فرزات بعد مهاجمته والاعتداء عليه في سيارته أثناء مروره من ساحة الامويين بدمشق وهو في طريق عودته من مكتبه إلى منزله فجر الخميس”.وقال الناشط عمر ادلبي الناطق باسم لجان التنسيق المحلية في سوريا “ان عناصر الامن الذين نفذوا عملية الاختطاف على طريقة العصابات الاجرامية المنظمة قاموا بسرقة محتويات الحقيبة الشخصية للفنان فرزات، من أوراق و رسوم و غيرها من حاجياته الشخصية”.واضاف الناطق: “ان عصابة الامن والشبيحة (بلطجية) التي اختطفت الفنان علي فرزات قامت برميه على طريق المطار بعد ضربه ضربا مبرحا خاصة على يديه” لافتا الى ان احد المارة “قام بإسعافه الى مشفى الرازي” في دمشق

http://www.arabtimes.com/

August 26th, 2011, 2:14 am

 

abbas said:

Dear Ehsani:
regarding Ali Farzat I am not saying that the opposition did that, I do believe that there is a third party fanning the flames in Syria, every time things calm down a little something happens to fan the flames, sure it’s a great gesture if someone from the regime go and visit Mr Farzat but I think even they suspect that some of their supporters did it, and that is the tragedy here, every one know how brutal this regime is and no one put it beyond them to do this, but I know the leadership is not that stupid, and I like to think that I know how the security thugs behave from my past experience, I know they will never use masks or gloves to hide their crimes because they are not afraid of any punishment, the regime had nothing to gain from this, if they don’t want Mr farzat they could of arranged a car accident that would kill him, who ever did this wanted him alive to convoy what they said to him.
I hope I don’t get attacked a lot for this post, I am along time follower of dr landis, since he started the blog, but I noticed that a lot of the old commentators stopped posting recently and left this blog to new names that spreading hate and propaganda from both sides, I hardly see anything posted by Ehsani, Alex and Qifa nabki to name a few

August 26th, 2011, 2:33 am

 
 

N.Z. said:

Dr Landis said,

“deeply sectarian”. People hated me for saying it at the time… Most people now accept this. Anyone who knows this regime and knows Syrian society could guess what was going to happen.

A soft landing is not what is awaiting Syrians, totally agree. I am neither a historian nor a blogger. I am someone who lived in Syria with family and friends. None of my acquaintances ever, and I assure you, spoke in sectarian terms. Let me give you examples.

Hizbullah, is made of 99.9 Shiites, they were the apple of our eyes, Christians and Muslims, the moment they turned a blind eye towards the brutality of this regime, their popularity diminished, is it because of their sect? I do not think so.

What was the percentage of Sunni support, Hariri and Saudi Arabia had before the uprising and now? Few if not null.

Assad junior, had the support of many, and if their was to be democratic elections, he would have won with a landslide. I read this on your blog, Was he an Alawite? I think so.

In all places of worship, all around Syria, you see Christians visiting Mosques, Muslims visiting Churches, Synagogues standing tall, people from different walks of life, do so out of veneration.
Have you ever encountered this phenomenon? I did.

Many Christians will fast on the 27th of Ramadan, many Muslims will fast during Lent. Christmas and Eid are times of celebration. Respect was much more observed, however, this regime tried and succeeded to a large extent, in erasing Syrians’ traditions and advance a Baathist one, a jumble mumble one.

Sectarianism is what they hide behind, they tried so hard to divide us, they succeeded only in ruling all of us with an iron fist. Their brutal dominance is about to end. How and when is anyone’s guess.

“deeply sectarian” is a term that hurts a majority, because we are not. We do not see others through this perverted lens.

August 26th, 2011, 3:02 am

 

ann said:

Abdulhakim Bashar of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria: “The Kurdish Parties of Syria Don’t Want Blood Spilled between Us and the Syrian Regime” – 26.08.11

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/bashar260811.html

Abdulhakim Bashar of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria: “The Kurdish Parties of Syria Don’t Want Blood Spilled between Us and the Syrian Regime”
by Rudaw

Rudaw interviewed Abdulhakim Bashar, secretary-general of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria.

Rudaw: The situation in Syria is turning increasingly violent and the western world has called on President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Where do you think things will go from here?

Abdulhakim Bashar: The Syrian regime will not fall merely based on the words and pleas of the west. The regime has made up its mind. Sanctions and international pressure will make things difficult, but the regime won’t collapse. We saw this in Iraq where 13 years of sanctions did not end Saddam Hussein’s regime until it was invaded. Syria is complicated. International pressure may encourage the protesters, but it will not be decisive.

Rudaw: Do you think the statements by western leaders will give the demonstrations a push?

Abdulhakim Bashar: It will, but the regime will also kill more of them. Currently, the regime won’t stop killing and the protesters aren’t willing to back down. The people of Syria are not the people of before March 15th (when the protests began) and the Syrian regime isn’t the same either. But Syria’s political (opposition) movement is not united. The meeting abroad will have no impact because it’s just propaganda.

Rudaw: How long do you think the Assad regime can hold out?

Abdulhakim Bashar: He may resist for quite a while. Also one of the following scenarios may occur: There may be a civil war in Syria, or a regional war because Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran both support the Assad regime. Syria is not alone. It’s part of an axis that is made up of Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas. Changing the regime in Syria will bring about major changes in the region.

Rudaw: What do you make of the Iraqi Kurdistan region’s silence about the events in Syria?

Abdulhakim Bashar: I believe that Syria is a sensitive case and any interference may cause a civil war. So we have to be careful and not do anything until the course of events is clear. We have to see what will happen to this regime and what will replace it. Then we can draw our own plan. The Syrian opposition has so far not recognized the rights of the Kurds and unless they do so we don’t know what the future of Syria will look like.

Rudaw: Is your party — the Kurdish Democratic Party of Syria — taking part in the protest?

Abdulhakim Bashar: We as the Kurdish parties of Syria decided that we don’t want blood spilled between us and the Syrian regime. We allowed the youth to take to the streets and ask for democracy and freedom and then we began holding our own conferences and meetings.

Rudaw: Don’t you think the lack of action by the Kurdish parties has created a gap between the parties and the Kurdish youth?

Abdulhakim Bashar: I don’t think so. In a city such as Qamishli where around 400,000 people live, we can bring 50,000 to the street. Two hundred or 300 people on the streets isn’t really a turnout. The Kurdish people are with the Kurdish parties. Around 50 percent of Syria’s Kurds are with our party and we can even mobilize the supporters of the other parties.

Rudaw: Fawzi Shingari, the leader of the Kurdish Accord in Syria, said in an interview with Rudaw that the Kurdish parties can liberate the Syrian Kurdish areas within 24 hours because the Syrian army no longer has a major presence in those areas. Do you think this is possible?

Abdulhakim Bashar: That information isn’t correct. The Syrian army and the Syrian regime’s intelligence apparatus are still in the Kurdish areas and there is heavy weaponry. Even if we manage to liberate the areas, how can we defend our people against a Syrian bombardment afterwards? You can’t take risks with the Kurdish cause. We have fighters and have fought in the past, but today you can’t bet on the lives of your people.

Rudaw: What is the plan of the 11 parties in the Council of Kurdish parties?

Abdulhakim Bashar: We are now preparing for a Kurdish National Congress in Syria. It may occur within 2 weeks. The parties, men and women, young people and intellectuals will take part so that we can draw up our future road map. We as the Kurdish Democratic Party of Syria have three main conditions for the Syrian opposition: to change Syria’s name from the Syrian Arab Republic to the Syrian Republic; to recognize Kurdish rights in writing; and to accept that Syria is not part of the Arab world.

August 26th, 2011, 3:02 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

سورية: انفلات العربدة من كل عقال

Alquds Al-Arabi
صبحي حديدي
2011-08-25

ينتهي نهار الإستبداد السوري في ساعة متأخرة من الليل، مع ‘ظفر’ جديد تحققه زمرة من الشبيحة، أو طراز جديد منهم صار يضع اللثام على الوجه، استئناساً ربما بمبدأ ‘إذا ابتليتم بالمعاصي فاستتروا’؛ أو، في تفسير آخر، لأنّ البعض من الشبيحة صار يستشعر دنوّ ساعة الحساب أمام الشعب، وأمام قانون حقيقي تنوي سورية المستقبل الركون إليه، لا صلة تجمعه مع قوانين الغاب والمافيا التي سنّها النظام، ثمّ أباح لعصاباته ذاتها أن تدوسها وتنتهكها. صحيح أنّ خاتمة ‘الظفر’ ذاك تمّت تحت جنح الظلام، وكما يليق بأشدّ الجبناء خسّة وانحطاطاً، إلا أنّ البداية وقعت في ساحة الأمويين: على مبعدة أمتار من وزارة الدفاع العتيدة، ومبنى الإذاعة والتلفزيون الأغرّ، وعلى مرأى ومسمع حواجز أمنية منتشرة في محيط الساحة كانتشار الفطر الشيطاني.

وهكذا، في دولة ‘الإصلاحات’ التي يتبجح بشار الأسد بإنجازها، كان لا بدّ من سقوط ستار جديد يكشف المزيد من وجوه دولة العصابات والأجهزة، حيث يمتزج الذعر بالحقد، وتنقلب أواليات الدفاع عن النظام إلى سلوك همجي صرف، وغريزة انتقام بهيمية، لا تعاقب المعارض بوسائل تنكيل لا عدّ لها ولا حصر فحسب، بل تقتصّ من الجسد في ذاته، ومن أعضاء فيه يخالها الوحوش مصادر خطر مباشرة على أمن النظام. بعد ذبح الزجّال الحموي إبراهيم القاشوش، وجزّ حنجرته التي صدحت ضدّ الأسد وضدّ شقيقه ماهر، بالاسم والتعيين الذكي الصائب؛ ها هم الشبيحة ينقضّون على رسام الكاريكاتير السوري الكبير علي فرزات، فيعرّضونه لضرب مبرّح، ويلقونه مثل شاة ذبيحة في ظاهر دمشق، ليس قبل استهداف الجزء الذي يخيفهم أكثر في بدنه: أصابعه التي ترسم!

الأرجح أنّ اعتقال فرزات على النحو الكلاسيكي، كأنْ تداهم بيته ثلة من رجال الأمن لاقتياده إلى أحد الفروع، كان سيصيب النظام بحرج بيّن؛ فالرجل شهير، وضمير نقدي حيّ عكس هموم السوريين على الدوام، وتألق أكثر من أي عهد مضى خلال أسابيع الإنتفاضة؛ وهو، إلى ذلك، رسّام كاريكاتير معروف عربياً وعالمياً، والمنطق الذرائعي البسيط يقول، بلسان حال النظام: لا ينقصنا الإحراج! بيد أنّ المنطق الثاني، غريزة إنزال العقاب بالمعارضين، وعلى النحو الهمجي الأشنع، ليس في مقدورها أن تنحسر أو تنطفىء في مواجهة اعتبارات الإحراج، ولهذا تدبّر الآمرون الذين يحرّكون قطعان الشبيحة هذا المخرج: لا نعاقبه على الملأ، بل في السرّ، وبالوحشية المطلوبة؛ ولا نعتقله رسمياً، بل نرسل إليه الشبيحة ملثّمين، لاختطافه من قلب العاصمة، أو بالأحرى إنزاله عنوة من سيارته، لكي يكون عبرة لكلّ من تسوّل له النفس الظنّ بوسائلنا وأساليبنا. وفي تنويع آخر على الرسالة إياها: لسنا مضطرين إلى الإعتقال إذا كنّا ننوي العقاب، بل يمكن أن نختطف، ولن نفعل هذا في العتمة، بل تحت الأضواء الساطعة.

أمّا التنويع الذي يخصّ شخص فرزات الفنان، المثقف، المنحاز إلى صفّ الشعب والإنتفاضة، الممثّل لشريحة آخذة في التوسّع والتجذّر، فإن الرسالة مزدوجة كما للمرء أن يرجّح: شطر منها إلى هذه الشريحة، وشطر ثانٍ إلى الفئة الموازية التي ينضوي فيها أمثال دريد لحام ورياض عصمت وصفوان قدسي. للشريحة الأولى تقول الرسالة إنّ مَنْ يذهب بعيداً في معارضة النظام، بريشته أو بقلمه أو بصوته أو بما امتلك من صيغة تعبير فنّية أو أدبية أو فكرية، سيلاقي مصائر مماثلة، ضمن مستويات متغايرة من العقاب المباشر، الذي قد يبدأ من اقتلاع الحنجرة أو كسر اليد، ولا ينتهي إلا عند إلقاء الجثة حيثما اتفق، في نهر أو على أرض. لأصحاب الشريحة الثانية، إذا كانوا في الأصل بحاجة إلى تنبيه أو مخاطبة، لا تقول الرسالة إلا الوجيز الواضح: اتعظوا بما جرى للقاشوش وفرزات، واعتبروا!

وقد يخجل أيّ مافيوزي عريق من دناءة هذا السيناريو، إذْ أنّ انفلات العربدة من كلّ عقال سوف يشير بالضرورة إلى نقائض مراميها، كأن يبغي المافيوزي من التنكيل بالناس إظهار القوّة العاتية التي يمتلكها، فلا يبرهن لهم إلا على أنه خائف ومرتبك ومتخبط، ضعيف الحيلة، خائر القوى. أيّ نظام قوي هذا الذي يلجأ إلى اختطاف فنان، على هذا النحو الفاضح الجدير بالعصابات وحدها، بهدف معاقبته جسدياً، وكسر يده؛ والأخير لا يستخدم إلا الحبر الأسود والضمير اليقظ والعين الحصيفة، في نهاية المطاف؟ ألم يبشّر الأسد أتباعه، قبل أيام قليلة فقط، بأنّ النظام صار أقوى، وأنّ ‘الوضع الأمني أفضل’؟ أهذا، اختطاف فرزات وتحطيم أضلاعه وكسر يده، في عداد ‘إنجازات أمنية’ تفاخر الأسد بأنّ نظامه حققها مؤخراً، و’لن نعلن عنها الآن لضرورة نجاح هذه الإجراءات’؟

نهار الإستبداد كان قد شهد، في ساعات سابقة، افتضاح أمر ‘ظفر’ من نوع آخر، لا يقلّ تشبيحاً وهمجية وكشفاً لطبائع الدرك الذي يهبط إليه نظام ‘الإصلاحات’، حيث لم يعد كافياً من المواطن أن يردّد الهتاف الثالوثي المقدّس ‘الله! سورية! بشار وبسّ!’، وتوجّب أن لا يُشرك السوري إلهاً آخر في بشار وماهر الأسد. شريط الفيديو (الذي حصلت عليه إحدى التنسيقيات من شبّيح في الفرقة الرابعة، لقاء مبلغ زهيد من المال، وصار شهيراً الآن) يُظهر ضابطاً من الفرقة الرابعة يصفع جندياً يُفهم من الحوار أنه كان بصدد الإنشقاق، ثمّ يطلب الضابط من الجندي أن يقول: ‘لا إله إلا بشار الأسد’، فيهتف الجندي بهذا؛ ثمّ يُطلب منه أن يقول أيضاً: ‘لا إله إلا ماهر الأسد’، فيفعل. يتعالى، في الأثناء، صوت ضابط آخر يطلب ما معناه: فلننتهِ منه، ونذبحه، ونلقيه في بطن الوادي.

اسم الضابط افتُضح بالطبع، ودُوّن في اللوح المحفوظ الذي افتتحته الإنتفاضة لأهوال مماثلة ارتكبها أعضاء في عصابات همجية، إذْ هكذا يتوجّب تصنيف الوحدة العسكرية التي ينتمون إليها، أياً كانت تربيتها الأخلاقية شائهة، ومهما بلغ ولاؤها من عمى بصر وبصيرة، وكيفما تحدّرت أصولها الدينية أو الإثنية أو الطائفية. وإذا كانت هذه الهمجية المعلنة، المنفلتة حقاً من كل رادع سوى خلائط الذعر والحقد والغريزة الحيوانية، لم تعد مفاجئة للسوريين، وللعالم بأسره في الواقع؛ فإنّ تصويرها بهذا الدم البارد، بغرض توثيق الوحشية أو التفاخر بها أو بيعها كما اتضح مؤخراً، يظلّ تفصيلاً مثيراً للدهشة على الدوام. ثمة، في أشرطة مثل هذه، تذكرة دائمة بحقيقة نظرة هؤلاء إلى سورية، في كونها مزرعة لآل الأسد يُبرّر فيها ارتكاب كلّ وأيّ الأفعال البغيضة الدنيئة، ما دامت تخدم سادة المزرعة، وقادة الشبّيح.

لكنّ حكاية إجبار الناس على تغيير عبارة ‘لا إله إلا الله’ إلى ‘لا إله إلا بشار الأسد’، ومثله شقيقه ماهر، ليست زلّة لسان من الضابط القبضاي (المرء يتخيّل ارتعاد فرائصه إذا ما أُجبر على المرابطة ساعة من الزمن أسفل تلّ أبو الندى، أو على مقربة من مرصد جبل الشيخ، في الجولان المحتلّ، مثلاً!)، في شريط الفيديو؛ مثلما أنّ تحويل آل الأسد إلى آلهة تجب عبادتها، ليس أمراً طارئاً. في الماضي القريب شاع هتاف يقول ‘حلّك يا الله حلّك/ يقعد حافظ محلّك’، تردّد مراراً على امتداد عدد من قرى الساحل السوري، في منطقة القرداحة تحديداً، وبعض الوحدات العسكرية الخاصة الأقرب إلى العصابات والميليشيات. صحيح أنّ النظام ليس غبياً إلى درجة الوقوف خلف انطلاق شعارات كهذه، إلا أنّ أجهزته الأمنية والعسكرية الخاصة تغابت تماماً عن ترديده على الملأ، بين الحين والآخر. وما لا يُمنع صراحة، أو يُعاقب عليه، فإنه ضمناً مرخّص به ومُجاز؛ وتلك كانت القاعدة في الماضي، عند تأليه الأسد الأب خلال التظاهرات الهستيرية، وهي تبدو القاعدة اليوم أيضاً، مع الأسدَين الصغيرين.

وسواء تلقى هذا الضابط أيّ أمر أو إيحاء أو ترخيص مبطّن، أو أعطى لنفسه الحقّ وأوحى إليها بأنّ السلوك سليم، بل مشرّف؛ فإنّ مآلات واقعة إجبار الجندي على تأليه بشار وماهر لا تختلف عملياً، من حيث أنها تمثيل تطبيقي لأخلاقيات الولاء الراهنة، ضمن مختلف أجهزة الإستبداد، والتي ترقى أكثر فأكثر إلى سوية العبادة والديانة. طريف، مع ذلك، أن يلحظ المرء ثلاثة تفاصيل لافتة في الواقعة ذاتها: أنّ الضابط أسقط، بصفة غير مباشرة، شعار النظام الأثير (الذي يقول: ‘الله! سورية! بشار وبس!’)؛ وأنّ عبادة الإستبداد ليست توحيدية في رأي الضابط، بل مثنوية، لأنها تجمع إلهَيْن معاً: بشار وماهر؛ وثالثاً، أنّ الضابط جدّف تحت عدسة التصوير، وبالتالي كان في منزلة من اثنتين: إمّا أنه آمِن مطمئن إلى أنّ ما يوم به هو سواء السبيل في ناظر أيّ محاسِب، فرد أو جماعة، أو هو غير مكترث بأيّ حساب أو مساءلة، البتة.
وأولئك الشبيحة الذين نبشوا قبر الطفلة الشهيدة علا جبلاوي (بنت السنتين ونصف السنة، من حيّ السكنتوري في اللاذقية)، ومثلهم الشبيحة الذين أظهرهم شريط فيديو آخر وهم يجبرون السجناء العطاش على الهتاف لبشار الأسد مقابل رشقة ماء على الوجه، أو الشبيحة الذين ذبحوا المواطنين على سطح مسجد الكرك بدرعا وكدّسوا فوق جثثهم قطع السلاح والذخيرة للإيهام بأنهم عصابات مسلحة، أو رفاقهم في السلاح شبيحة الرائد أمجد عباس من جهابذة الدوس على رقاب المواطنين في حيّ البيضا البانياسي، أو شبيحة عاطف نجيب من جلاّدي الأطفال ومُهْدري كرامة الناس في حوران، أو شبّيحة مجزرة سجن صيدنايا التي حرص ماهر الأسد على تصويرها بنفسه… أولئك، مجتمعين، هم أنصار ودعاة وأزلام ورجالات وقادة هذه الديانة النكراء.

إنهم أيضاً، واستطراداً، ثلّة الملثمين التي اختطفت فرزات من ساحة الأمويين، ونكّلت به، كأنما تعلن أنه رسّام الكفّار/ الشعب السوري الذي ينتفض لإسقاط نظام الفساد والإستعباد؛ وأنّ عقاباً مماثلاً ينتظر أمثاله من المجدّفين بحقّ ديانة الإستبداد الأحدث هذه، ممّن لا يهتفون كما أُمر الجندي المنشق البائس. ولكي تكتمل صفة النظام هذه، أي العربدة على طريقة العصابات والميليشيات وتحويل التشبيح إلى أوالية دفاع عمياء ومتعامية؛ كانت وسائل إعلام السلطة الحكومية، وتلك السائرة في فلك النظام،، قد سكتت تماماً عن واقعة اختطاف فرزات، وكأنها جرت على سطح كوكب آخر. دليل آخر، لعلّ بعض السذّج ما يزالون بحاجة إليه، على أنّ ‘مناخات الإنفتاح’ التي يشيعها النظام ليست زائفة وكاذبة وتضليلية فقط، بل هي في ذاتها أدوات عربدة وتشبيح.

وللسذّج، أنفسهم، أن ينتظروا ملمح شجاعة واحداً من صفّ المثقفين، أهل الشريحة الثانية، ممّن تنافخوا شرفاً في الدفاع عن ‘السلم الأهلي’ و’الوحدة الوطنية’ و’نهج الإصلاحات’، وتكاذبوا، وتدافعوا بالمناكب في مسيرات النظام المليونية. صمّ بكم عمي فهم راكعون للطاغية، ساجدون لأجهزته، عليهم حلّت لعنة الوطن، وبانتظارهم حساب شعب كفر، مرّة وإلى الأبد، بطواغيت استبداد وفساد آن لها السقوط في مزابل التاريخ.

August 26th, 2011, 3:24 am

 

ann said:

Turkey threatens to break ties with Israel over refusal to apologize for Mavi Marmara incident, Barak hints at Israeli apology

http://www.ejpress.org/article/news/eastern_europe/52692

ANKARA/JERUSALEM (EJP)—Turkey has threatened to break its ties with Israel for its refusal to apologize refusal for the attack on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara ship last year in which nine Turkish nationals were killed.

Until now Israel has refused to apologize despite US pressure on Jerusalem to do so.

While relations between Israel and Turkey have been on the decline for some time, they deteriorated further since the flotilla incidenty. Once one of Israel’s only Muslim allies, Turkey in recent years forged closer ties with Israeli enemies such as Syria and Iran.

Ankara could further downgrade its representation in Tel Aviv. It maintained a charge d’affaires after recalling its ambassador following the May 2010 raid.

The United Nations had launched an inquiry into the raid on the flotilla in August 2010 and its final report is expected to the published soon. The release of the report has already been postponed several times due to diplomatic efforts by Turkey and Israel to repair bilateral relations.

The four-member UN panel has former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer as its chairman and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe as its vice-chairman.

The report is widely expected to uphold the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, and its right to intercept vessels trying to break the blockade.

Asked by Turkish journalists about Israel’s latest response, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly said:

“As long as Israel does not apologize, as long as Israel does not compensate, and as long as it does not lift the blockade of Gaza, it is not possible for Turkish-Israeli relations to improve,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists. He is reportedlu considering visiting the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in an interview with Israel Radio that good relations between the two countries was in Turkey’s interest, no less than in the interest of Israel and the US.

“There is no place for an apology,” Ayalon said, adding that it was time to stop the “farce” regarding whether Israel would or would not apologize to Ankara.

“We should hope that logic and interests will triumph in Ankara so it will be possible to get Turkish-Israeli relations back on track,” he said.

But according to The Jerusalem Post Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday indicated that Israel was considering apologizing to Turkey.

He spoke after a meeting in Washington with American officials who stressed the importance of the Israeli-Turkish relationship.

“We are willing to consider apologizing for problems that occurred during the Marmara operation, if indeed there were such problems,” Barak said.

“I don’t like it, but that is the choice that must be made.”

Barak indicated that he agreed with the American assessment of the significance of the relationship with Turkey, and the priority Israel should attach to mending the fractured relationship.

Since the raid, relations between the two countries have significantly deteriorated. Relations between Israel and Turkey have been on the decline for some time. Once one of Israel’s only Muslim allies, Turkey in recent years forged closer ties with Israeli enemies such as Syria and Iran.

Ankara could further downgrade its representation in Tel Aviv. It maintained a charge d’affaires after recalling its ambassador following the May 2010 raid.

The United Nations had launched an inquiry into the raid on the flotilla in August 2010 and its final report is expected to the published soon. The release of the report has already been postponed several times due to diplomatic efforts by Turkey and Israel to repair bilateral relations.

The four-member UN panel has former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer as its chairman and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe as its vice-chairman.

The report is widely expected to uphold the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, and its right to intercept vessels trying to break the blockade.

Asked by Turkish journalists about Israel’s latest response, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly said:

“As long as Israel does not apologize, as long as Israel does not compensate, and as long as it does not lift the blockade of Gaza, it is not possible for Turkish-Israeli relations to improve,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists. He is considering visiting the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in an interview with Israel Radio that good relations between the two countries was in Turkey’s interest, no less than in the interest of Israel and the US.

“There is no place for an apology,” Ayalon said, adding that it was time to stop the “farce” regarding whether Israel would or would not apologize to Ankara.

“We should hope that logic and interests will triumph in Ankara so it will be possible to get Turkish-Israeli relations back on track,” he said.

But according to The Jerusalem Post Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday indicated that Israel was considering apologizing to Turkey.

He spoke at the end of a day spent meeting with American officials who stressed the importance of the Israeli-Turkish relationship.

“We are willing to consider apologizing for problems that occurred during the Marmara operation, if indeed there were such problems,” Barak said;

“I don’t like it, but that is the choice that must be made.”

Barak indicated that he agreed with the American assessment of the significance of the relationship with Turkey, and the priority Israel should attach to mending the fractured relationship.

August 26th, 2011, 3:26 am

 

N.Z. said:

Can anyone access Ali Ferzat’s website ?

Hypothetically speaking of a third party. A car hits him to the side, put Mr. Ferzat in their car beat the hell out of him, and then drove from the Ommayad roundabout to the airport. All this under the watchful eyes of the first and second party.

It is the same third party that assassinated Mughniyah in Kafer-souseh under the watchful eyes of Assad’s security forces.

August 26th, 2011, 3:33 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

HAMSTER was accused of flooding the post sequence to relegate posts did not like to the back, which I do not think is his intention. However, I have been observing the patterns, and it is obvious to me that ANN is trying to flood the thought sequence and the topic coherence. How Pathetic.

August 26th, 2011, 3:40 am

 

Khalid Tlass said:

145. AbuGhassan said :

I do not know if 65% is against the regime,i do not see how people could quantify the opposition using numbers like that,but it is obvious that the regime lost the support of many Syrians and continue to lose the support of the undecided.

I arrived at the figure doing some demographic maths. Lets assume of the 25% minorities, 22% are with Bashar. Of the 75% Sunnis, of whom 65% are Sunni Arabs, about 10% of Sunni Arabs support Bashar, for various reasons. It brings his support to 33%. The majority of the 10 % of Kurds are fence-sitters, becoz they don’t identify with the “Syrian Arab Republic” nor with the “Arab ba’ath Party”. But they do not identify with Sunni Arabs either.

So even at the lowest count, the opposition’s support would stand at 55%. More than enough to win any free-and-fair election, if the opposition would fight unitedly and in a coalition.

August 26th, 2011, 3:43 am

 

Khalid Tlass said:

Moderator, please take action against Ann for spamming.

OTW – What more do you expect from Reem Haddad’s sister ?

August 26th, 2011, 3:45 am

 

ann said:

Syrians must tighten belts as sanctions bite: banker

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ihF6PjuGZh-qSDfBsBqi_tllmnFw?docId=CNG.beb28d59410269b2326ae5ba2e5f2575.21

DAMASCUS — Syrians will have to tighten their belts if protests against President Bashar Al-Assad remain unabated and US and European sanctions bite, the country’s top banker told AFP in an interview.

“It will be more and more difficult because of sanctions and the events. We will have to tighten our belts,” said Adib Mayaleh, the governor of Syria’s Central Bank.

“The main hit has been to the tourism industry where revenues have fallen by 90 percent, and the ordinary citizen will suffer. Transport, imports, industry … all will be increasingly affected, and this will create unemployment and poverty.”

Mayaleh, 55, who holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Aix en Provence in southern France, has been the central bank head for six years.

“I say the opposite of Marie Antoinette who said that if the French have no bread they should eat cake. I think we will have to give up the cake to eat brown bread,” he said.

US sanctions had forced Syria to stop all transactions in US dollars since Tuesday, and the country had turned completely to euro deals, Mayaleh said.

“Since 2005 we have encouraged all economic sectors to conduct transactions in euros, but unfortunately many still used dollars,” he said.

“Now it is completely stopped. This is the first time in the history of the country.”

US President Barack Obama has called for the resignation of Assad and recently imposed tough sanctions against the regime in Damascus.

In an executive order last week he ordered the freezing of all Syrian state assets in the United States and forbade investment and exports to the country.

The order also targets Syria’s oil and gas sector, a key revenue stream for Assad’s regime, significantly ramping up pressure on Damascus to halt its assault on pro-democracy protests.

European Union governments too formally adopted new sanctions on Tuesday, but stopped short of concrete moves to impose a full oil embargo on Damascus.

Some 90 percent of Syrian crude oil is exported to the EU, where the main buyers are Denmark, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Spain, in that order.

“The sanctions punish all Syrians, especially the most vulnerable,” Mayaleh said. The US and EU “are talking through their hats when they say they don’t want to punish the people.

“They are the only ones who are affected, not the regime. The poorest are hit by rising prices caused by the embargoes.”

Mayaleh said Syria’s monetary reserves currently stand at $17.7 billion, or $800 million down from mid-March when the anti-Assad protest movement erupted.

“The exchange rate of the Syrian pound has remained more or less stable. This has been our main goal since the start of the crisis,” he said.

“The dollar is at 50.4 Syrian pounds on the parallel market, while the official rate is 47.69.”

He dismissed reports that Iran had transferred six billion dollars to support the Syrian pound.

“This is a joke. It’s ridiculous,” Mayaleh said.

Explaining the stability of the local currency, he said Syria had created two years ago “a fund for currency fluctuations and foreign exchange positions of banks.”

The fund stood at “around five billion dollars when the crisis started and we have spent two billion to protect our currency.”

He also said that some two billion dollars had been transferred out of Syria in the past five months.

As for bank deposits, “at the start of the crisis withdrawals hit 30 billion Syrian pounds ($600 million), but after two months 24 billion ($480 million) have returned to the bank, so there is a difference of six billion which is normal as people want to hold cash with them.”

Mayaleh finished by issuing a warning to Europe.

“We can solve our problems with the help of China. If the Europeans withdraw, the Chinese can easily take their place and fill the void. Russia may also aid us,” he said.

August 26th, 2011, 4:08 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

N.Z.
The site is not accessible, my not-so-connected sources tell me that the Syrian Server pulled the plug on the site. Which if true, goes to indicate who has interest in breaking the pen. However, here is the cartoon that broke the hyenas’ humps.

August 26th, 2011, 4:09 am

 

ann said:

Syria: Assad speaks of reform and security. The opposition is divided

The Syrian president reaffirms the existence of a “foreign conspiracy” in the country and receives the support of Muslim religious leaders. The attempts to develop an opposition “national council” in Istanbul has collapsed over suspicions concerning the Muslim Brotherhood. Islamists, nationalists …

http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=59227&t=Syria%3A+++Assad+speaks+of+reform+and+security.+The+opposition+is+divided

Damascus – The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad has insisted that the socio-political reforms in progress “are not inconsistent with state efforts to ensure the safety of citizens”, ie military and police operations against “armed terrorist groups”.

Yesterday evening, the President received a group of Ulema (Muslim religious dignitaries), accompanied by the Minister of Muslim religious property (Awqaf) and the grand mufti, and after evening prayer, offered them an “iftar” (the meal that “breaks the fast “), during which he delivered a long speech.

Addressing his guests, the head of state – who spoke off the cuff – stressed the importance of religious and moral values, and the “normality” of the bond between faith and patriotism, as well as the deep relationship between Islam and Arab culture. He asked for the ulemas’ cooperation to “strengthen the cohesion of the Syrian people” and to “participate in the reform process”.

He added that “the State is determined to move ahead with the reform process “, a process that is “vital to the future of the country and new generations” and must be “meticulously researched and based on the natural demands of society.”

Once again, the Syrian leader referred to a “foreign conspiracy” that wants to “sow discord” in the country, especially by criticizing “the role of the patriotic armed forces, which protect citizens and public and private property”, and moreover “the army embodies the national unity.”

The pressure from abroad, added the head of state, are not moved by concern for the welfare of the Syrian people and for reforms, as the claim in the West, but by the desire to “subjugate Syria,” which “will never happen, because the Syrian people chose independence and is not for sale, because sovereignty is its honour and national unity an invincible fortress. ”

In the meantime, the repression continues, with numerous deaths, injuries and arrests, especially in the cities of Homs and Deir ez-Zor as well as Harasta, on the outskirts of Damascus.

Meanwhile, in Istanbul on August 23 an attempt to establish an opposition “national council”, failed to create unanimity either in Syria or abroad. Many opponents say the move put forward in the Turkish city was prepared by the Islamist leaning Muslim Brotherhood, which is rejected by most of those who want to end the current regime. Moreover, a week ago, that is before the Istanbul announcement, a ” General Commission of the Syrian Revolution” had been set up by 44 local groups and committees to coordinate protests.

The Syrian opposition’s problem is its total lack of unity. There are, broadly speaking, three main trends: the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and others, the nationalists who formed the “National Committee for Democratic Change”, the liberal line which first appeared in 2005 with the “Damascus Declaration”. On the other hand, the young and desperate unemployed who started the mass movement in Deraa on March 15, followed by thousands of others in different cities and many villages in the country, do see their demands reflected in any of the three trends or by any existing political party .

The Arab League are set to discuss the situation in Syria in Cairo August 27.

August 26th, 2011, 4:13 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Again, for emphasis Ali Farzat’s Cartoon . 5 minutes or less before the deluge wave.

August 26th, 2011, 4:23 am

 

ann said:

Steve Jobs: The Most Famous Arab in the World – August 25, 2011

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/203893/20110825/steve-jobs-arab-apple-syrian-abdulfattah-jandali.htm?cid=2

The most famous and powerful Arab in the world is neither Moammar Gadhafi, the erstwhile leader of Libya, nor is it Bashar al-Assad, the imperiled president of Syria.

No, the number one Arab in the world is probably Steve Jobs, the iconic technological innovator who just resigned as chief executive of Apple Inc.

Jobs’ biological father is a man named Abdulfattah Jandali, a Syrian who was a political science graduate student when he met Jobs’ biological mother, an American named Joanne Simpson.

Jobs was later adopted and raised in the San Francisco area by Paul and Clara Jobs.

Reportedly, Jobs himself knew nothing about his biological parents until he was 27, so it’s doubtful that his part-Syrian heritage meant anything to him.

According to Yalibnan.com, Jobs’ biological father, Jandali, was born in Homs, Syria (ironically, one of the key centers of the anti-Assad movement in that country) to a traditional Muslim family.

Jandali emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1950s and eventually became a professor of political science, but he has largely kept his distance from the media.

Jandali’s father in Syria was a self-made millionaire — so perhaps, Jobs’ later astounding success is inherited.

Jandali, who was born in 1931, moved to Beirut, Lebanon in 1949 to study at the American University, where he became part of the flourishing pan-Arabist intellectual movement.

“I was an activist in the student nationalist movement at that time,” he once told reporters.

“We demonstrated for the independence of Algeria and spent three days in prison. I wasn’t a member of any particular party but I was a supporter of Arab unity and Arab independence. The three and a half years I spent at the American University in Beirut were the best days of my life.”

He also explained why he placed his son up for adoption: “The reason he was put up for adoption was because my girlfriend’s father was extremely conservative and wouldn’t let her marry me, and she decided to give him up for adoption. Steve is my biological son, but I didn’t bring him up, and he has a family that adopted him.”

Jandali acknowledged that he while he’s not close to his world-famous son, he admires him greatly.

“I think that if my son Steve had been brought up with a Syrian name he would have achieved the same success. He has a brilliant mind. And he didn’t finish his university studies. That’s why I think he would have succeeded whatever his background. I don’t have a close relationship with him. I send him a message on his birthday, but neither of us has made overtures to come closer to the other. I tend to think that if he wants to spend time with me he knows where I am and how to get hold of me.”

Jandali also added that he didn’t think his Arab origin means much to Jobs.

“I don’t think he pays much attention to these gene-related things,” he said. “People know that he has Syrian origins and that his father is Syrian, that’s all well-known. But he doesn’t pay attention to these things. He has his own distinctive personality and he’s highly-strung. People who are geniuses can do what they want.”

August 26th, 2011, 4:26 am

 

N.Z. said:

OTW,

Thanks for posting the cartoon. A prophetic pen indeed.

August 26th, 2011, 4:37 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

4:26 – 4:23
It was less than 5 minutes.

Here it is Farzat’z recent cartoon, one more time. and a nice slideshow of some of his brilliant works. And another one with some more recent background material. The man is genius, whose work can not, and will not be flooded.
Next wave please….

August 26th, 2011, 4:38 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Keeping with the cartoon topic, which was hijacked yesterday, here is an interesting cartoon by Cameron Cardow (Ottawa Citizen). Let’s see how long would it take the Shabbee7a in Canada to respond. And sorry for posting short and successive posts. I will try to collect some cartoons and provide links in a single post to those interested.

August 26th, 2011, 5:00 am

 

some guy in damascus said:

@Norman, and every other person that claims aboud,tara,i,otw, and many more are posting from the same computer.
“Sahar did not put you with the others, but she might be right as if you look at how many like and dislike are there you can tell that there are either many more loyalists than opposition or that the opposition personalities are writing from the same computer that they can not vote more than once ,”
this comment will get the highest number of likes since syria comment was made, from the same computer
i will show you how the like/dislike buttons can be manipulated from one computer.

August 26th, 2011, 5:30 am

 

Aboud said:

It has been more than 24 hours since Ali Ferzat was brutally attacked, and we have heard NOTHING from this disgraceful regime. Not a word of condemnation. Not a single visit to his home. You’d think that if they weren’t behind it, they would take measures to protect him to make sure something like this never happened again.

How anyone can still find excuses for this despicable gang of thugs defies belief.

August 26th, 2011, 5:42 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

NORMAN
Go back to Chief Detective, conspiracy buster SAHAR, and you will find that she used the phrase so called posters all are one and the same followed by here are some of their aliases .

SGID
I promise (i/me/they/them/us/we) will not give any thumbs up or down to your comment to avoid polluting (your/mine/his/hers/their/our) demo.

Seems no one read FOUNDATION and GAIA

ABOUD
I guess we did hear something from SANA. I am flabbergasted by how they rose to the occasion.

August 26th, 2011, 5:48 am

 

syau said:

The fabrications of this terrorist revolution do not cease.

Here is a staged ‘protest’ which was uploaded on youtube on the 25/8/2011, but the protest seems to have taken place on the 26/8/2011 with the banner including the name of this Friday and the date.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oCE_HsehMU&feature=channel_video_title

It seems that the ‘time machine’ smear campaign against Syria has allowed the ‘protesters’ to protest yesterday and Aljazeera to broadcast it as being taken place today.

I have no doubt the fabrications in this vicious propaganda war against Syria will not end anytime soon, after all, this revolution is based on a lie.

By the way Aboud, what’s happening in Homs? Why is it that internet is cut off, but you are still able to post?

August 26th, 2011, 6:51 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Historic X-Box Time Machine Invented

Earlier this week, the Syrian Revolution facebook page gave the name جمعة الصبر والثبات 26 آب to their upcoming Friday efforts. Promptly, the Syrian Electronic Army, with its mindboggling technological marvels, created in Syria by the commander in chief, king of informatics, lord or ATM cards, and universal x-box master, moved to utilize their indistinguishable from magic time travel x-box-machine. On the 24th of August, they succeeded to travel to the 26th of August and to shoot this video, depicting the Islamist militant thugs creating havoc on the 26th of august in Latakia . The proof of the historic time travel event is clearly visible in the date of updating the video indicated below the display.

Now, according to a multi-degreed tweeter, and a former Syria Comment authority on technology, time travel is really tricky, and during their historic trip, the Electronic Army may have inadvertently also captured the same group wreaking havoc in nearby Banyas, a while ago, and in posting, also inadvertently, the completely different video from Banyas , in the past. The expert says “when you travel in time, you will be in the past, future, and the present, you are also in different places. This causes everyone’s accent to be that of Tripoli, Lebanon, and causes all different locations to look identical with a location in Tripoli, Lebanon” . This phenomenon is called spatiotemporal-jumbling, common with all x-box based time travel devices, although only one has been invented so far.

Al-Doonya spatiotemporal correspodnant, Shabi Shibo, who was (if the word was had any meaning during the trip) embedded with the -4th division of eletcronic army battalion contributed to this article

August 26th, 2011, 7:05 am

 

hsyrian said:

Dear Joshua

You said:
“This regime is killing Syrians in order to stay in power. It is following the example of every regime in every Arab country affected by the Arab Spring. It is doing very bad things.”

I rephrase it :
“The Syrian elected government has to use minimum military forces against armed Syrians in order to restore order. It is following the example of every regime in the world affected by an armed Islamist uprising. It is doing that it can.”

You said :
“We know that the Syrian army has killed over 2000 in this uprising”

I ask :
“Where did you get this figure from ?
We (You) know that the activists inflated day after figures not only of victims but of self called peaceful protesters and went to include the deaths of security personnel and victims of the Islamist terrorists”

You did not answer my little academic question :

” How many ( 5000 ? ) INNOCENT victims has been killed by the terrorists of the Muslim Brotherhood between 1976 and 1982 until the Syrian Army terminated the Islamist armed uprising in Hama and the Islamist terrorist actions stopped in Syria.”

Including the slaughter of ( > 83 ) cadets at the Aleppo Artillery School in 16 June 1979.
Including the murder of the rector of Damascus University, Dr. Muhammad al-Fadl, killed in February 1977
Including the murder of the doyen of Syrian dentists, Dr Ibrahim Na’ama, killed in March 1978

August 26th, 2011, 7:10 am

 

Aboud said:

Who told you the Internet is cut in Homs? Landlines were cut to a certain area for a few days, that’s about it.

August 26th, 2011, 7:17 am

 

uzair8 said:

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liveblog/syria-aug-26-2011-1240

AFP reports: Syrian police are hunting for the attackers who broke the hand of the country’s leading political cartoonist, the official SANA news agency said Friday, after Washington condemned the attack.

“The competent authorities at the Interior Ministry are seeking the culprits in order to bring them to justice,” the agency said.

Cartoonist Ali Ferzat, 60, said that four men abducted him while he returned home before dawn Thursday, and broke two fingers of his left hand, his right arm and damaged his left eye.

Opposition activists have accused members of the security services and masked pro-regime militias of being behind the attack.

August 26th, 2011, 8:05 am

 

norman said:

SGID,

i guess, I am not as smart as i thought.

August 26th, 2011, 8:35 am

 

some guy in damascus said:

@norman,
i would like to take this opportunity to apologize for me,calling you a “morann”. it was foolish and childish of me, a moment where i let my temper get the best of me. i felt really ashamed since here in syria, we are bought up to respect our elders and you seem to be an accomplished doctor.
please accept my apologies.

August 26th, 2011, 8:52 am

 

najwa said:

Indeed there ia an international armed gang even active in Lebanon! (http://bit.ly/r4z2hJ)So a single statement from an unconfirmed unknown American and Aleppo man, facing footages and hundreds of wittnesses all over Syria telling atrocoties committed by regime, unarmed jordanians have been killed in Syria, just regular ppl, as well as a regular unarmed turkish driver, Ali Ferzat, Hamza Alkhatib, and in case u beleive Hajer Alkhatib was killed by armed gangs pls read this : http://bit.ly/lkUuEn , and Amnesty and HRW, with their investigations (see their webpages and reports on Syria) they are lying too? consiprace maybe eh?? All the refugees in Turkey families and kids do they look like armed salafists to you? Not saying that there were no fire or violence used in rare occasions for protections, because we are dealing with ppl and it is expected and logic that under all these atrocities some rare actions will happen and both Amnesty and HRW say that and admit, but they also say that the uprising in general is peaceful, and that the regime’s deeds might mount to crimes against humanity..So all you instead of discussing if it is armed or not and leaving ppl alone facing a ruthless death machine,and driving them by that into despaire, do some thing to help and support the poor uprising areas instead of looking at them from above like the burgeois in Europe hunderds of years ago did and treated the poor oppressed majority of the ppl

August 26th, 2011, 8:58 am

 

Ammar Shami said:

Dear Valerie,

All I can possibly say is thank you. I have always felt that the talk of tanks and boats shelling Latakia was complete fabrication. Not a single army in the world would use boats to “shell” a refugee camp. Each one of those shells wold bring down 10 houses at a time. And thank you for your detailed accounts, stay safe.

August 26th, 2011, 8:58 am

 

Aboud said:

Every online polling system has some room for abuse. Cookie based systems are easy to implement and people don’t have to go through the hassle of registering with a website, while Facebook-like polls are very reliable, unless some maniac creates multiple accounts to game a poll.

Every system has its share of users who try to cheat it, but never have I seen a group as obsessed about it as the menhebaks seem to be.

“since here in syria, we are bought up to respect our elders”

Yeah, tell that to my younger brothers! Next time they come over to my place, we are gonna watch the football match *I* want! So there!

August 26th, 2011, 9:01 am

 

some guy in damascus said:

@ammar shami,
please tell me the name of the church that was shot in bab tuma.
also have you read my previous post concerning the churches in bab tuma?
@aboud, why watch the match on tv, go to the karameh stadium, you homsis are the country’s football hooligans! 😀

August 26th, 2011, 9:02 am

 

EHSANI2 said:

NO MORE CAKE

From an interview with Mr. Adib Mayaleh (Central Bank Head) this morning:

“It will be more and more difficult because of sanctions and the events. We will have to tighten our belts”.

“I say the opposite of Marie Antoinette who said that if the French have no bread they should eat cake. I think we will have to give up the cake to eat brown bread”.

August 26th, 2011, 9:09 am

 

ann said:

Western Sanctions May Put Slow Squeeze On Syria = August 26, 2011

Syrian street vendors display their goods in downtown Damascus on Tuesday, Aug. 23. Syria’s economy was hit hard initially by the anti-government uprising. It has bounced back, but now the U.S. is urging the E.U. to join in banning import of crude oil from Syria.

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/26/139952344/western-sanctions-may-put-slow-squeeze-on-syria

The Syrian economy has so far weathered the mass protests and widespread violence that have rocked most every major city. But in a move that could increase the pressure, the European Union is considering a ban on imported Syrian oil, similar to sanctions the U.S. imposed earlier this month.

Western governments say the Syrian regime’s harsh response to an anti-government uprising has demonstrated that it is not fit to lead.

In March, when the uprising first began, Syria’s economy took a huge hit. Tourism — which accounts for a large segment of the economy — dropped to almost nothing.

But later, the economy bounced back a bit, and the middle and upper classes of Syria, based mainly in the city of Aleppo and in the capital, Damascus, recovered.

On a recent government-sponsored tour, called “Syria Is Fine,” reporters were shown bustling markets in Damascus where Syrians bought clothes, electronics and basic necessities.

The tour was arranged shortly after the United States formally called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down and banned the import of oil and gas.

American officials acknowledge this will have little impact unless Europe joins in as well. Europe buys nearly all of Syria’s crude exports, and those sales account for about one-third of Syria’s economy.

Looking To Iran

In an interview on Syrian state TV, Assad called these moves by the West “meaningless.”

“We have alternatives,” Assad said. “We’d already decided to start looking to the east, and we will continue to look east.”

Analysts say that means if Syria can’t sell its oil to Europe, it will sell it to India and China. But Assad wasn’t just talking about India and China. He also was referring to his strongest ally, Iran.

Regional news outlets have reported that Iran recently moved billions of U.S. dollars to Syria to help keep the Syrian currency stable. Syrian economic officials denied the reports.

Abdulhamid al-Dashti is a Kuwaiti lawyer and businessman who is based in Damascus and has close ties to the Syrian leadership. He says he has seen documents that show a massive influx of Iranian cash.

“And we know that the officials and semi-officials and businesspeople, they support the central bank with a lot of cash,” he says. That is, he adds, “the reason the economy is still strong.”

Still, Dashti says it’s an arrangement that can’t last forever. That’s why he and other businessmen are wary of making any big moves right now.

“They don’t like to spend more money, they don’t like to start any projects, they want to keep all the plans hanging until the situations will be clear,” he says.

Ban As Symbolic Move

Dashti says he does have a Plan B — namely investing outside the region altogether.

That kind of eventual pullout would be a slow bleed on Syria’s economy — the same affect, analysts say, that new oil sanctions would have.

Asaad al-Achi is a Syrian activist based in Qatar. He says he doubts the sanctions would have an immediate effect on the Syrian economy. But banning the sale of Syrian oil to Europe would be an important symbolic move.

“In the mind of a lot of Syrians, oil is linked to the army. All the revenue that they get from the oil industry is spent on buying arms,” he explains. “So when you say, OK, we’re going to stop the flow of crude, you’re basically saying to the Syrian people at the same time, we’re going to stop the flow of blood.”

With the death toll in Syria now at more than 2,000 people, activists say that symbolic move can’t come soon enough.

August 26th, 2011, 9:13 am

 

Tara said:

Ammar Shami

What is the name of the church that was sprayed in bullets? Does it really exist except in your writing?

Out of self respect, I wouldn’t keep posting on SC being accused of fabricating a story and not providing a proof. That is called integrity.

SGID visited BabTuma and found no evidence to your claim.

I am of course willing to offer an apology if I am proved wrong.

August 26th, 2011, 9:18 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Dear SGID
Well done on both accounts. The demonstration and the due apology to Norman. Norman is one most graceful fellow no matter where he stands on the political spectrum. By apologizing to him you demonstrated class and class is what Norman deserves and has earned based on my years of interaction with him.

You also demonstrated that fraud is possible, and that it has been occurring with obsession as Aboud aptly highlighted. This is the obsession of forging history and present reality contrary to all evidences.

N.Z. and All freedom loving Syrians
Ali Farzat’s site is back on but it is very slow. My no-so-connected sources seem to have been wrong regarding the location of the server, or the dumb regime got really panicked at the public and international outcry for this recent atrocity, which pales in comparison to all the atrocities being committed by history forgers and their masters in the Assad hyena pack. That said, I would ask all to kindly not overburden the bandwidth on the site. Many international journalists and cartoonists are probably trying to learn more about Ali Farzata and his creativity as they may want to express solidarity with a fellow satirist.

Aboud
Respect, not necessarily obey the whims of our elders. Also, I am afraid that older brothers no longer count as elders, one has to be at least a half generation removed to start getting conditional auto-respect… That does not bother me at all.

August 26th, 2011, 9:30 am

 

Haytham Khoury said:

@152

I agree with N.Z. I lived in Syria in the Bab Touma. It is known to be a Christian neighborhood. However, the west side of this quarter is not completely Christian. It is a mingle of Christians and Muslims (mainly Shai’i Ja’afari). Further, two minutes (literally) from my parents’ house, there is Qurmarie which is a Sunni quarter. Indeed, during the 25 years of my living in Syria, we never had a sectarian problem or even tension. Further, as a Christian, I always felt that the Muslim from both sides (Sunni and Shai’i) try to protect our feelings as a minority. We practice our religion with freedom. If there any restriction it comes from the government rather from the people.

Further, through my discussion with many of the youth on Facebook, I found the new generation is better than ours. While we used to certain measure, identify ourselves with our sectarian affiliation, the new generation has less tendency to do that. Further they are open to discuss overtly the sectarian issues.

Having said that, the sectarian issue is a sensitive one in Syria; however it is not a big problem in Syria, except if somebody plays with it, and the regime has been playing with it for a while.

August 26th, 2011, 9:36 am

 

Tara said:

Dear Josh

While I am totally in-tune with your effort to reach the truth by taking into consideration different accounts, I think it is imperative that authors of the eye witness accounts being featured in the main post make themselves available at least briefly to answer questions posted by commentators, otherwise their stories are only being looked at as fabricated propaganda tool.

Most of the readers of SC live in the west and by osmosis learned a different style of evaluating information thrown at them. The authors in my opinion should be prepared in advance that the audience of SC are not Al-Doonya crowed and for intellectual honesty should be willing to have serious discussion with the commentators, otherwise their “eye witness” story should not be featured in the main post.

August 26th, 2011, 9:43 am

 

ann said:

Syrian Arab Airlines A350s blocked by US sanctions: embassy cable

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/08/26/361335/syrian-arab-a350s-blocked-by-us-sanctions-embassy-cable.html

Syrian Arab Airlines had been in line to receive Airbus A350s as part of a broad fleet renewal covering 50 aircraft, newly-disclosed diplomatic cables reveal.

But the airframer’s plan to supply the jets – a package which included 10 A330s and 30 A320s – foundered over US government sanctions on Syria’s administration.

The cable, from the US embassy in Paris to Washington in October 2008, highlighted that Airbus would continue to seek a US export licence for aircraft sales to Syria.

It also stressed that the airframer had “no intention of structuring the deal to attempt to circumvent [US government] sanctions” – ruling out lease and purchase agreements with private third parties.

“The proposed Airbus-Syrianair deal is subject to a series of strong internal controls by Airbus’ top-level management,” the cable added, paraphrasing a senior representative of the airframer.

US government representatives pointed out to Airbus that even products qualifying for export licence under a presidential waiver still required “extensive review” by US agencies, a time-consuming process, and added that licence applications were “subject to a general policy of denial”.

The cable – one of thousands being publicly released by the Wikileaks organisation – also revealed Airbus’s “continuing frustration” over the “complicated US export control and licensing procedures” which could “impact” sales of Airbus products with US-built parts, it said.

It cited delivery of Lufthansa’s A380s as a case in point, stating that data associated with the type’s Northrop Grumman navigation avionics was restricted by International Traffic in Arms Regulations from disclosure to the European Aviation Safety Agency which was handling certification.

August 26th, 2011, 9:49 am

 

norman said:

SGID, OTW,

Thank you,

By the way, I am not that old. at least i don’t think so!!!!.

August 26th, 2011, 9:57 am

 

Aboud said:

“@aboud, why watch the match on tv, go to the karameh stadium, you homsis are the country’s football hooligans! ”

They haven’t allowed a single football match to be played in Homs since the revolution began. They (rightly) are afraid that any big gathering will turn into a mamenhebak-fest.

August 26th, 2011, 9:58 am

 

Aboud said:

“On a recent government-sponsored tour, called “Syria Is Fine,” reporters were shown bustling markets in Damascus where Syrians bought clothes, electronics and basic necessities.

The tour was arranged shortly after the United States formally called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down and banned the import of oil and gas.”

So this tour was arranged in the week before Eid, when shopping is traditionally at its highest. During Ramadan in general people consume more perishables, and the last week before eid is when people buy new clothes for the holidays. It is as representative of the rest of the year as the Christmas shopping season is in the West.

It would have been nice to have read some solid statistics and numbers to go with the article. As it is all we have is more rumors of Ayatollah cash in the banks.

August 26th, 2011, 10:22 am

 

Khalid Tlass said:

Speaking about football, Aboud, any news about Mosab Balhous, the national team goalkeeper ? I heard he was taken away by the Mukhabarat in Homs ?

Football/sports is another area where the regime has let down Syria terribly. I don’t think Syria ever got close to qualifying for the FIFA WC finals in the last 45 years. Whereas even small countries with much less resources like Kuwait , and even a war-torn poor country like Iraq has made it several times, not to speak of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran, who have become football superpowers in Asia. Our performance in Asia Cup has been equally miserable, whereas in 2007, even during the height of the civil war and sectarian conflict , Iraq was able to win the Cup.

August 26th, 2011, 10:40 am

 

Ammar Shami said:

Dear Tara,

I have already given my blessing on this blog for Dr. Landis to give you my e-mail address. I don’t know what else i can do? if u can find another way to privately give you my e-mail, please, tell me. Instead of calling someone a liar, think of new ways to exchange e-mail addresses. I will gladly give you my dentists number and his name. You can call him your self. You obviously do not believe me. I also wonder if you doubt the honesty in every story an opposition member posts here?

@some guy in damascus, can you please send me a link to you comment on the churches in bab-touma? I haven’t read them.

August 26th, 2011, 10:45 am

 

Mango said:

http://arabic.rt.com/news_all_news/news/563820
شاليط بدأ بالتخلي عن عادات ديانته اليهودية وبمراعاة صيام رمضان

كشف موقع “الرسالة نت” الالكتروني القريب من حركة حماس يوم الخميس 4 اغسطس/آب أن الجندي الإسرائيلي الأسير لدى فصائل المقاومة غلعاد شاليط بات يخجل من طلب الطعام خلال شهر رمضان.

وقال الموقع إن شاليط قرر أن ينسى حكومته التي اعتبرها “لم تعد تهتم بقضيته” ، وأن يترك كل عادات الديانة اليهودية وأن يقلد المسلمين حتى في صيامهم.

واشارت “الرسالة نت” الى أن شاليط يشعر الآن بالاكتئاب وفقد الأمل من إنجاز صفقة تضمن له حريته، وذلك لأن رئيس حكومته بات منشغلا بالمظاهرات الاحتجاجية في تل أبيب، كما لم يعد يسمع على قناة “إسرائيل الأولى” أي خبر عنه، بل إن قضية الشقق السكنية أصبحت تذكر أكثر منه في نشرات الأخبار.

ودخل شاليط قبل حوالي شهر ونصف من الآن في السنة السادسة في قبضة المقاومة الفلسطينية التي أسرته في عملية “الوهم المتبدد” التي استشهد فيها مقاومون وقتل فيها ضابط وجنديان إسرائيليان وأسر خلالها جندي المدفعية الإسرائيلية شاليط في موقع كرم أبو سالم العسكري شرق رفح جنوب قطاع غزة.

هذا، وقد وجه نوعم شاليط والد الجندي الاسرائيلي الاسير انتقادا شديد اللهجة إلى رئيس الوزراء الاسرائيلي بنيامين نتانياهو وذلك في أعقاب الإفراج اليوم الخميس عن عدد من الاسرى الفلسطينيين، من بينهم حسن يوسف القيادي في حركة حماس في الضفة الغربية.

وقال نوعم شاليط في رسالته: “إن نتانياهو ومعاونيه يحاولون تخويف الجمهور من موجة إرهاب وقتل محتملة في أعقاب الإفراج عن اسرى فلسطينيين مقابل صفقة مع ابنه”.

واضاف: “إن هناك العديد من الاسرى الأمنيين افرج عنهم اليوم”، مشيرا إلى أنه إذا كان هناك “إرهاب” كما وصف فهو “لا يمت بصلة للإفراج عن اسرى فلسطينيين مقابل الافراج عن ابنه”.

المصدر: وكالات

August 26th, 2011, 11:00 am

 

Tara said:

Hello Ammar

There is no need to exchange emails. All what you need is to provide the name of the church sprayed by bullets and SGID can check it out for us at his convenience

I do doubt anything and everything thrown my way in regard to what is happening in Syria. I am interested in knowing the truth. The regime continued to block free press from covering events in Syria and I find it very difficult to accept a global/ universal conspiracy theory.

August 26th, 2011, 11:04 am

 

Ammar Shami said:

Fair enough Tara,

I would call my dentist right now and ask the name of the church. But sadly he no longer opens the clinic on Friday anymore (i wonder why?) You are free to call him and ask him about that detail as well. I promise you to call him tomorow and ask him the name of the church. A global/universal conspiracy theory would be difficult to accept. But with so much evidence of a conspiracy, it’s hard to believe a good deal of the world is not out to get you. Such examples would be showing protests footage taken from Yemen (which showed the city’s name in the background). video of lebanese soldiers abusing prisoners, stories of “shelling”, pictures of dead babies taken from Alexandria. If those tactics were not used and uncovered, your side would have a lot more leverage, and the other side wouldn’t have the conspiracy card to play. You will hear from me tomorow.

PS: if u really wanted to, you could open an e-mail account with no personal info and use it for these forums so you could contact any of the people you don’t believe on this blog. You know, since you are so concerned about following up on people’s stories.

August 26th, 2011, 11:19 am

 
 

Akbar Palace said:

A simple question for Professor Josh

Reading Professor Josh’s Post #144, we learn Shami asks:

“The job of Mr Landis is always to make the regime looks less evil than it is in reality.There is no doubt that he is pro Bashar. Even if the regime did not attack through war boats ,what does it change to the reallity on the ground?”

Which is also my opinion. Professor Josh responds to Shami, to which I will add my 2 cents:

This regime is killing Syrians in order to stay in power. It is following the example of every regime in every Arab country affected by the Arab Spring. It is doing very bad things.

Professor Josh admits Syria and “every Arab country” is “doing very bad things”.

– Is Professor Josh disturbed? Someone, please link me to posts showing Professor Josh is disturbed by these “very bad things”. Apparently Tara, Aboud, OTW, and many others here are very much disturbed and angry about the Syrian governments actions.

I believe, however, that the truth still counts, and that we should not distort it. I think journalists in particular have a special duty to stick to the truth and to correct their mistakes when they make them.

What “journalists” are allowed to report what is going on in Syria?

Huh?

As an historian, analyst, and blogger, I also see it as my role to call it as I see it.

Professor Josh, do you see that no reporting is allowed in Syria? Did you see the initial YouTube video showing unarmed Syrians peacefully demonstrating and getting shot to death? Do you see the shear number of disaffected people who are demonstrating?

Where is your OUTRAGE against the Assad government!!???

I will make plenty of mistakes and have made plenty already. I depend on everyone who reads SC and writes in the comment section to correct me and to set the record straight.

Your actions only reflect your bias. They aren’t “mistakes”.

Why are so many SC participants like myself accusing you of being pro-Assad? Are we all dreaming?

So what are bad consequences of false reporting or exaggerated reports? Let me name two:

(Deir Yassin, and Ahmad Chalabi)

Professor Josh sidesteps the issue to focus on the usual suspects…

Professor Josh,

The US and Israel changes direction due to voting in free elections. One minute it is GWB and Netanyahu, the next minute it’s Barack Obama and Tzippi Livni.

When will you get angry AT THE ASSAD REGIME like the other participants here and the thousands who are demonstrating?

August 26th, 2011, 11:22 am

 

Abu Umar said:

” 94. Syria no kandahar said:

If Arbood dos’t post here,what else he will do?”

Keep boiling in your rage.

“And who cares if you post or if you don’t post?”

The menhebeks are outraged that someone objects to the Asad mafia!

“Do you really think that your posts are worth reading?”

And who reads your drivel?

“You are like a roaster,you think that the sun will not rize without your posts?”

What’s a roaster? I gotta get one for Maher.

“The facts on the ground are very solid and if I was you I will be depressed by now.
Too bad Ramadan is almost over,that is almost like 29 Fridays,and your terrorists friends are not going anywher”

No, you’re very wrong. The facts on the ground paint a very bad picture for the criminal Asad mafia. Millions of Syrians bearing volcanic rage against the regime and its thugs. The demographic numbers are totally against it. Even if the Syrian regime wins the current battle, it will lose the war in the long run.

“.you-and kaled and Ubo umer-are perfect representative of this crappy Syrian mania”

You, Souri666, Syrian Haywano, Samara, Jad, Ali, SYAU, Mjabali, Majed, Afram are going to be permanently banned from ever setting foot in Syria in the near future, getting a taste of your own medicine that millions of Syrians faced previously

“In being:
-mean”

Watch the menhebek propagandists who were justifying the execution of Hamza al-Khatib

“-lying”

The pure, innocent Syrian army and its shabiha never killed a single, unarmed protestor as if they don’t have a history of doing this in Lebanon and Syria.

“-Terrorist”

Hama, Tadmur, Tal az-Za’tar, etc.

“-Not honest”

Repeating yourself?!

“-Revenge driven”

Why do you expect tens of thousands of Syrians to go to their graves smiling like sheep so that your despicable regime can stay in power?

August 26th, 2011, 11:23 am

 

Abu Umar said:

“197. Akbar Palace said: ”

Even though Landis is tied to the Alawi sectarians and is interested in maintaining the Alawi power structure, your crocodile tears are a joke. Your terrorist Zionist regime backed many right-wing dictators and criminals and it is finished like the Asad regime.

August 26th, 2011, 11:28 am

 

Anton said:

Dear SGID ;

Your list of church are missing the most important, the largest church in that area , its 100 m before entering BabTouma , and its called Al-Salleeb church … you should knew it if you are from Damascus, its the most frequented church as well the Mariamiah church,,, all other churches you mentioned are small and mostly visited by tourist. And yes what Mr. A.S. said is true
Thanks

August 26th, 2011, 11:30 am

 

Ammar Shami said:

BTW, what is SGID?

August 26th, 2011, 11:35 am

 

anton said:

Dear SGID ;

Your list of church are missing the most important, the largest church in that area , its 100 m before entering BabTouma , and its called Al-Salleeb church … you should knew it if you are from Damascus, its the most frequented church as well the Mariamiah church,,, all other churches you mentioned are small and mostly visited by tourist. And yes what Mr. A.S. said is true
Thanks

August 26th, 2011, 11:38 am

 

beaware said:

August 26, 2011
Iran Monitors Turkey’s Rising Regional Power
By Stratfor
http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2011/08/26/iran_monitors_turkeys_rising_regional_power_99642.html
A high ranking Iranian cleric used some tough language against Turkey on Wednesday. Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi – recently appointed to head the newly constituted Arbitration Council- accused Turkey of promoting a Westernized version of Islam to advance its interests in the region. Shahroudi, who is seen as a possible successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Turkey’s claims to be the “guardian of the resistance movement” are tarnished by Ankara’s relations with Israel and alliance with the United States. He said that Iran, despite its support of the Palestinians and efforts against the West, has been pushed to the margins.

Shahroudis comments come a day after another high-ranking cleric, Naser Makarrem-Shirazi (a grand ayatollah who is very close to the Iranian political establishment) criticized the Turkish government for turning against Syria, accusing Ankara of being at the complete disposal of the West. Earlier on Monday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sought Ankara’s help in protecting the Syrian regime from Western pressure during a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that lasted more than thirty minutes.

The clerics’ remarks are the first time that Iran has used hostile language against the Turkish government since Erdogans Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power . Ever since the AKP assumed leadership in 2002, relations between Tehran and Ankara have been fairly close. It wasn’t too long ago that Iran sought Turkish mediation on the nuclear issue and Turkey drew the disapproval of the United States on the matter.

Clearly, much has changed and fast. In many ways, this estrangement was bound to happen. STRATFOR has long said that despite the current warm relations, Iran and Turkey would ultimately clash as they both seek to emerge as regional players in the Middle East. The Syrian regime’s use of force to quell popular agitation has served as a trigger with Turkey leading the heavy international pressure against Damascus.

Receive email alerts
Sign Up
Stratfor Turkey
Islamic Republic of Iran Syria
United States Israel
Ankara Tehran
Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi Naser Makarrem-Shirazi
Ali Khamenei Turkish government
Arbitration Council President
supreme leader cleric
[+] More

From the Iranian point of view, Syria is the only state actor in the largely Arab Middle East that is an ally of the Islamic republic. In fact, Tehrans plans to assume the mantle of a major regional power are tied to the durability of President Bashar al Assad’s government. Thus, Turkey’s turn against the Alawite-Baathist regime in Syria represents a major threat to Iran.

STRATFOR recently highlighted how Turkey and Iran, given their respective interests in Syria, must engage with each other. The recent shift in the Iranian attitude towards Turkey suggests that those dealings may have taken a turn for the worse. Indeed, Syria is not the only factor that has generated Irans displeasure towards Turkey.

Tehran does not want to see Ankara emerge as the dominant power in the Middle East and the leader of the wider Islamic world. Iran’s efforts to be seen as the vanguard of Muslim causes are undermined if Turkey emerges as a model for other Arab and Muslim states. Therefore, Shahroudi and Makarrem-Shirazi’s remarks are Irans way of sending a message to Turkey – that Tehran will not sit by and allow Ankara to take the lead and claim ownership of issues that are critical to Iranian national security interests. How Iran decides to confront Turkey remains unclear. What is certain is that Iranian-Turkish tensions will likely aggravate the situation in the region, which is already witnessing unprecedented instabilit
A Stratfor Intelligence Report.

August 26th, 2011, 11:39 am

 

ammar shami said:

Dear anton,

Thank you for the info, and would you happen to know the name of the church?

August 26th, 2011, 11:40 am

 

Revlon said:

179. Dear Ammar Shami,
You said:
“Dear Valerie,
All I can possibly say is thank you. I have always felt that the talk of tanks and boats shelling Latakia was complete fabrication.”

I just could not help but notice the huge smoke cloud in the photo of Latakia posted by Joshua up above, titled “Reuters: Smoke rises in the city of Latakia August 14, 2011”.
Is that a complete fabrication?

Which one is a more likely explanation?
An outburst of a terrorist Sniper,
or a resounding security accomplishement of a jr tank/gunboat?

The bottom line is you can only prove the presence of a fact; You can never prove its abscence.

August 26th, 2011, 11:41 am

 

uzair8 said:

Off topic but may be of interest to some.

There was a good discussion on BBC radio 5 this morning on Libya with 2 guests one of which was George Galloway. Worth a listen. About 10 minutes long.

GG mentions the accusation Gaddafi is a ‘Jew’, the islamists, and the former King Idris.

Listen below from 2 hrs 5 min.

http://www.bbc.co.uk…onsole/b013nqcz

August 26th, 2011, 11:42 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Abu Umar,

We already know the “Zionist Regime™” is evil incarnate. That’s a given.

But the demonstrators and the anti-regime participants here are against the Assad regime, Baathism, and the killing of innocent Syrians.

If there is anger against the “Zionist Regime™” for its crimes, why do you and Professor Josh give Assad get a free pass? Last I checked, all Israelis vote and have free speech.

August 26th, 2011, 11:44 am

 

Haytham Khoury said:

F.N.N | شبكة فلاش سوريا
فلاش || بيان هام من لواء الضباط الأحرار:

نظراً للمذابح والمجازر التي ارتكبها الفوج 41 في كل من (تلكلخ والرستن وتلبيسة وبابا عمرو وباب السباع وكرم الزيتون والقصير) فقد قام بعض العناصر الابطال المنشقين عن الجيش والتابعين للواء الضباط قاموا بعملية نوعية جداً
حيث تم استهداف كل من:
العميد الركن المظلي (عدنان زيدان ديب) قائد الفوج 41 برصاصة في رأسه وهو في حالة موت سريري وقد بلفنا أنه توفي اليوم..

كما تم استهداف ضابط الامن للفوج نفسه (العقيد بسام) وهو المنسق الأساسي للعمليات, حيث اصيب بثلاث رصاصات بالكتف والرجل والثالثة استقرت بالنخاع الشوكي

August 26th, 2011, 11:48 am

 

Ammar Shami said:

Dear Revlon,

The issue of the smoke has already been discussed before by many people. And if you ask most experts would agree that this kind of smoke does not come from “shelling” but rather from burning tires. If you go through the youtube video’s of “shelling” or tank footage. you will see plenty of burning tires in the road. If you read the original story by valerie you will read about a sniper being arrested. I’m no expert, but most snipers do not get arrested if they are sent by the government. I am not saying that the army does not use snipers, i’m sure they do. but thats not what i was discussing. I was only talking about the shelling that was suposed to have happened by boats.

August 26th, 2011, 11:50 am

 

beaware said:

Syrian opposition to convene national council in September
2011-08-25 22:03:15
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/25/c_131074696.htm
DAMASCUS, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) — Syrian opposition parties would convene a national public council in the Syrian capital later in September to announce a common stand toward what is happening in Syria, a prominent opposition figure told Xinhua Thursday.

The council would comprise about 300 national and independent opposition figures and would discuss the Syrian regime’s practices against the opposition at home, Mohammad Abdul-Majeed Manjouna told Xinhua by phone.

Asked whether the opposition abroad would take part in the council, Manjouna said “this is one of our demands,” pointing out that the opposition abroad reflects the trends of the opposition at home.

Syria’s fragmented opposition took steps toward forming a national council in Istanbul Tuesday, but serious divisions and mistrust among the members prevented them from presenting a unified stand against the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Syrian opposition at home held a conference in Damascus in June and discussed ways of transforming Syria into a democratic and civil state.

Syria has been in unrest since mid-March when anti-government protests broke out in the southern province of Daraa and spread to other cities. The Syrian authorities blamed the unrest on “armed groups and foreign conspiracy,” and stressed that it would track down gunmen who have intimidated people and damaged public and private properties.

August 26th, 2011, 11:51 am

 

Revlom said:

208. Dear Haytham Khoury,thank you for the post!
It is an interesting development.

This operation by FOM shows the damage that Defecting army forces can inflict on the commanding field officers who are giving orders to kill civilians.
It is time they get the taste of their own medicine!

August 26th, 2011, 11:58 am

 

Abu Umar said:

” 207. Akbar Palace said:

Abu Umar,

We already know the “Zionist Regime™” is evil incarnate. That’s a given.”

Your childish post proves my point. I was pointing out you shedding crocodile tears when your government has a proven track record of backing many thugs like Asad all over the world.

“But the demonstrators and the anti-regime participants here are against the Assad regime, Baathism, and the killing of innocent Syrians.”

And so do the Zionists who have also slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians. You and Assad deserve each other.

“If there is anger against the “Zionist Regime™” for its crimes, why do you and Professor Josh give Assad get a free pass? Last I checked, all Israelis vote and have free speech.”

Thanks for the chuckle proving without a shadow of a doubt that you are a Zionist troll shedding crocodile tears just like the menhebek lunatics doing the same thing. I am anti-Assad by the way and since all “Israelis” have the right to vote and free speech, I am sure you will have no problem when the Palestinians overtake the Jews in numbers, voting or me going on Israeli national TV talking about the Zionists expelled the Palestinians in 48?

August 26th, 2011, 11:58 am

 

mjabali said:

Through a facebook conversation with a friend in Lattakia who lives in al-Mashru’ al-3Ashir, where the American writer of this letter/article resides, she told me that one of her neighbors is an American lady married to a Syrian and has two kids and runs in the Sports Complex with her driver behind at her running pace.

She did not know if she has a business or not, but mentioned that the husband does.

She also said that the Sports Complex was used first to house some Alawi villagers, who fled the violence in Jisr al-Shughur and recently some families from the Raml al-Falastini looked for shelter there from the recent crackdown.

She said that the government took them away because they did not want, according to her, to have a refugee problem inside of Syria. She promised to take a video of that Sports Complex, but was suspicious of my request as from most of my questions.

Also, had a very long conversation with a childhood friend who is among the anti Assad groups, who went to some opposition meetings inside and keeps meeting with people to organize. He participates in demos. He is from Mashru’ al-Slaybah, a Sunni part of Lattakia.

He said that he went to some meetings recently and the mood there was chaos because of the lack of organization and the inability to work under when the tanks are running the streets.

He said that the fear now is if things turn sectarian, and he mentioned a link to a post in an Anti Assad facebook page that calls for open Sectarian war.

The post is very interesting because from it we could tell that al-Assad forces had made a security sweep in Jableh in the last few days, something we did not hear a lot about since no major confrontation had happened. al-Assad troops arrested many in Jableh. This crackdown, according to my friend, is hampering any form of demos in Lattakia to make any change. He and the first source agreed that things are calm today but could explode any second.

Here is the text of the sectarian post from Jabelh and then to a reply from Lattakia from an anti-Assad page calling to calm down sectarianism:

إلى الطائفة العلوية في جبلة لقد ارتكبتم أكبر حماقة في تاريخكم .حتى ملعون الروح حافظ الأسد لم يجرؤ عليها لأنه يملك خباثة الثعلب ونجاسة الخنزير . إن اعتقالكم لنسائنا وانتهاك حرمات بيوتنا .كان قرارا بالانتحار اتخذتموه انتم وليس النظام .والله الذي رفع السماء بلا عمد لن يكون لكم حرمة بعد اليوم .ولن نقبل منكم اي اعتذار
نشرتم قذارتكم على جدران مدينتنا .نهبتم البيوت وحطمتموها نبشتم القبور .القبور ايها المرضى .القبور تنبشون يا علوية
التدخل الخارجي قادم والحرب على الطريقة اللليبية قادمة واننا قادمون قادمون
ولا تنسى ايها العلوي ان مشكلتك مع حماه حقد دفين ومع الدير انتقام كبير ومع درعا ثأر وفزعة ومع حمص ومع ادلب وريفها واللاذقية الجريحة وبانياس العصية والان مع جبلة
يا علوي شو تركت لاخرتك .اذا ما لاخرتك لولادك واهلك شو ورثتون حقد من كل سوريا
يا علوي وين بدك تهرب ؟؟؟؟؟على الجبل
الجبل لن يستوعبكم كلكم والله لتموتوا من الجوع
الى ايران ؟؟؟؟؟
مارح يعترفو فيكون لما يسقط النظام
يا علوية 27 شاحنة من الدريبة فقط ملئت بالمسروقات
يا علوية انتو اقتحمتو البيوت وكسرتوها
يا علوية انتو نبشتو القبور
يا علوية انتو رقصتو من الفرحة عند البريد بجبلة
يا علوية اتذكروا كتيير منيح
يا علوية البادي أظلم
يا علوية شايفين كلشي عمل النظام بالاسبوع الماضي وارجعنا طلعنا ورح نبقى نطلع

Here is the reply to this post from another Anti Assad page,

اليوم اقتحموا باب الدريبة.. اعتقلوا الشبان.. ونهبوا المنازل ثم أحرقوا ماتبقى..

هي جبلة الأدهمية التي تنتظر الرعب منذ عشرة أيام.. والمخاوف من الاقتحام لا تفارق شبابها..

جبلة اليوم هي مفتاح حديثي هذا.. بعد أن رأيت على الصفحة الخاصة بها دعوات طائفية للانتقام من العلويين بسبب مواقفهم السلبية من الحراك هناك، والمظاهر التي رافقت الشبيحة فيها من إبراز مظاهر الانتصار على الأخوة الأعداء فيها.

هذه الدعوات التي أصبحنا نتفهمها اليوم بعد كثرة التشبيح بأنواعه المادية والمعنوية.. وبعد الانقسام الحاصل فيها، الذي طال حتى شاطئها.. فترى نصف الكورنيش ممتلئ ومليء بالحياة والناس .. والنصف الآخر مليء بالجيش والأمن والقناصة ويعاني من فراغ سكاني يملأ الجو بالخوف والذعر من القادم..

لم تكن جبلة وحدها على هذا الحال، فكذلك بانياس، واللاذقية والكثير من المدن المختلطة.. والتي يوجد فيها تواجد للعلويين. فمع ازدياد الربط بين الطائفة والنظام.. بدأت هذه المظاهر بالازدياد ومما فاقم الوضع الانكفاء الواضح لدى المثقفين وعدم الفعل للتخفيف من هذا التوتر الطائفي، وهو ما أرغب بالأتيان على ذكره هنا، وتفصيله.

في اللاذقية، وعند زيارتي للرمل الجنوبي، التقيت بأحد الرجال الناشطين هناك، قال لي: نريد تبيان موقف من الطائفة العلوية من النظام، وأن على المثقفين والمعارضين فيها التبرئ منه، ومن أفعاله، وقتها قلت له، الكثير من المعارضين هم مع الحراك، ولكن لا يقبلون أن يحسبوا على النظام فقط لأنه علوي، نحن مع الحراك لأننا سوريين ولأنكم سوريين، ولأن وجعكم وجعنا، وما يصيبكم يصيبنا. الرجل تفهم الأمر ولكن لم يستطع تقبله فهو لم يشهد أي من هؤلاء المعارضين بينهم كسوري، وبقوا لوحدهم هناك في الرمل الجنوبي يعانوا الحصار والعزلة.. وكان الاقتحام في اليوم التالي لهذا الحديث.

وعلى الرغم من الصدى الإيجابي لكلامنا ذاك، إلا أنه لا يشفي قلب المواطنين الذين يعانوا في كل لحظة من تعنت وعسف النظام.

في نقاشنا مع الشباب المعارضين هناك في الساحل كان موقف الجميع نحن سوريين ولا نريد أن نحتسب الآن على أساس طائفي..

ولكن ما لفت نظري هو الموقف من الذهاب إلى مناطق الحصار، أو محاولة التظاهر في مناطق أخرى.. فقد قالوا لي: نحن علويين في النهاية، والشبيحة لن يتركونا بحالنا أبداً ونحن نتلقى تهديدات يومية ومحاولات إيذاء ولا نستطيع النزول بحرية للتظاهر وتبيان الرأي!!!

الشيء الآخر: أن الجميع احتج على توقيعي على بيان للعلويين يتبرأون فيه من النظام مع أني كتبت (مع فصل الدين عن الدولة) لتبيان علمانيتي، غير أنني أحسست ان هذا التوقيع قد يجد صدى في قلوب الناس، فالناس متدينين والاحتقان موجود، وإن كان توقيعي يخفف منه فلما لا… صحيح أنا في النهاية علمانية، ولكن كل كلمة أو فعل لا نقوم به، قد نندم مستقبلاً على عدم فعله، وخاصة إن كان يصب في مصلحة توحيدنا كسوريين.

العلمانيون رفضوا التوقيع بحجة أنهم سوريون أولاً، ولكن خوفهم مما يجري يتم بحسابات أخرى وبأنهم علويون في النهاية ويخافون الانتقام.

الملخص: في التضامن نحن سوريون ومواطنون أولاً.. وفي تبيان هذا التضامن نحن نخاف كطائفيين!!!

هذه المعادلة وكيف ظبطت ماتزال تثير استغرابي

الاثمان التي دفعها السوريون هناك كبيرة جداً على وجدان اي واحد منا…. وطريقة التعامل الطائفي التي يحاول النظام تكريسها بل وكرسها في الساحل بالفعل، تحتاج إلى فعل سريع وفوري، كي نستطيع تجاوزها، والأخطر هو هذه الدعوات التي نراها اليوم بالانتقام، فهؤلاء المحتجون لم يروا امامهم سوى القتلة والشبيحة ورجال الامن الذين يلبسوا لبوسا طائفيا، ويتهمون الآخرين على اساس طائفي بالسلفية والعرعرة… وغيرها من تهم.

وخوف المعارضين او المؤازرين للانتفاضة السورية لم يظهر على السطح للأسف بسبب خوف هؤلاء، هذا الخوف الطائفي بامتياز، فأنا معارض ولكني علوي في النهاية، وسيتم الانتقام مني، من العلويين، كعلوي…..

ومع أننا يجب أن لا نتجاهل أن الشبيحة والمدافعين عن النظام ليسوا فقط من طائفته، وأن هذا يظهر في المناطق التي لا يوجد فيها هذا التمايز الواضح في الطوائف، كالمناطق الشرقية والشمالية وحلب، غير أن خطورة هذه الدعوات توجب علينا عدم تجاهلها، والعمل ضدها، وتبيان الرأي المخالف لها، وهذا يتطلب شجاعة من الجميع تبيان مواقفهم كسوريين أولاً، ومعارضين ثانياً بغض النظر عن طوائفهم.

المشكلة اليوم، أنه إن لم تظهر مواقف صريحة وواضحة من هؤلاء، وإن لم تظهر معارضتهم واستعدادهم لدفع ثمن هذه المعارضة، وأن يشاركوا اخوتهم السوريين معاناتهم بحق وحقيق… فستذهب هذه المعارضة الصامتة ادراج الرياح… ولن تفيد في ساعة ازدياد التوتر الطائفي وبروزه باشكال عنيفة

المثقف من الطوائف الأخرى يبدو ثقله أكبر اليوم، بسبب انتمائه لتلك الطائفة، لذلك رأيت أن هناك إشكالية يجب تجاوزها عند التمييز بين خوفنا الطائفي، وانتماءنا الوطني، وأن هناك ضرورة الآن تبدو ملحة للخروج من البوتقة الطائفية وإعلان مواقفنا بغض النظر عن طوائفنا، وتجاوز مخاوفنا الطائفية تلك.. فنحن كسوريون معارضون يجب أن نكون في الشارع.. ولا يمكن تبرير عدم نزولنا بأننا ننتمي إلى طوائف قد تحاربنا لأننا نزلنا

على السوريين الذين يمتلكوا موقف مما يحدث إن كانوا مع الانتفاضة بشكل صريح أو رافضين للتعامل الطائفي للنظام، أن يبروزا هذه المواقف وأن يحددوا من هم:

هل هم سوريون فعلاً وعلى استعداد للمشاركة في الصالح والطالح مما يجري؟

أم هم طائفيون وعليهم أن يتحملوا نتائج ما تعنيه هذه الكلمة الآن وفي المستقبل

خولة دنيا

25-8-2011

Let us fight sectarianism and go for a SECULAR SYRIA.

August 26th, 2011, 11:59 am

 

Aboud said:

Ammar Shami, what exactly is it that you or your dentist is claiming happened? Sorry, I forget.

August 26th, 2011, 12:04 pm

 

Dale Andersen said:

Memo To: ANN

RE: “…the number one Arab in the world is probably Steve Jobs…”

Not even close. The number one Arab in the world in Carlos Slim. None of you has heard of him, right? Shame on you! Carlos Slim is the richest man in the world. Let me repeat that…

http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/sli0bio-1

August 26th, 2011, 12:05 pm

 

BEAWARE PLUS said:

LANDIS ANALYSIS ALERT!

Mr. Landis you cannot keep wrapping yourself with statements like I’m a historian, intellectual, observer, Syrian specialist, been there and done that etc. then you hide behind “well I’ve been wrong before” and expect us to swallow your objectivity in your opinions or the very questionable articles you post on SC. We really expect more from a Fulbright scholar.

I know that you aspired to build a career as a junior Assadologist, something akin to “Kremlinology” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kremlinology in its heydays. You never miss a chance in interviews to proclaim that Syria was a banana republic (coups and more coups… I know, I know) before the Assads, honestly Landis what fruit would you slap on this regime today? Junior’s world is crumbling and so is the future of Assadology, just like Kremlinology before it.

The regime is to blame first and foremost for the false stories out of Syria because the press is banned. Period! Splitting hair with they shelled, no they shelled not posts, and applying gymnastic logic to authenticate/dispel video is beyond absurd. The regime is very brutal and animalistic, using all the arsenal of the state for repression and repression only. The opposition on the other hand, is using the minimum tools available to them (thanks to the internet and technology) simply to make themselves heard. And may I add with all due respect, they also expect a Fulbright scholar to err on the side of what that title entails. A 2 year old will tell you that the odds on this regime shelling its own people are more likely than not. How did the mosque minaret go down? Besides, who’s to stop them? For god sake Landis, this regime is filming its own atrocities and posting them on YouTube!!! It’s a historical first!
Absent of credible witnesses (international press) the regime is playing the “doubt card” doubt is their friend and best friend at that. A large part of this blog is peddling in regime doubt; American Valerie! Give me a break!

Everybody has a bias Landis, including historians like you, and before accusing others of inflating their stories, try first to deflate yours. A future indicator of a healthy open society in Syria is when people like Patrick Seal, Joshua Landis and Juan Cole realize that there are no more “criminology” to study but for those on the page six in local newspapers, and sticking to history would be best for them and Syria.

August 26th, 2011, 12:11 pm

 

Revlom said:

Aziz Salameh, a sargeant confesses to killing four civilians in Duma.
The bodies were trucked outside of Damascus and burried in mass graves.
Orders came from Jr and given on the ground by Colonel Mahmood Shaheen.
شبيح منشق يعترف بقتل 5 متظاهرين سوريين في دوما هام

August 26th, 2011, 12:11 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Dear mjabali:

I understand completely the fear that the Alawite in Syriacommunity live in. Certainly, in a lot of minds there are no distinction between the regime and the Alawite community. That is because Hafaz al-Assad used the Alawite community to consolidate his power. Before I left Syria 20 years a go, I had the opportunity to discuss with many ordinary Alawites; all of them were apprehending this moment. Now, the apprehension from a faraway danger has become a real fear from a present reality. Of course, one may say that it is Hafez a-Assad the one to blame in this situation, however that will not settle the problem or avoid the danger. In your opinion, what can be done to avoid the any bad event???!!! This is a question for all people.

August 26th, 2011, 12:18 pm

 

Tara said:

Dear Josh

In regard to the Syrian society being “deeply sectarian”, many of us on SC including NZ, Haytham khouri, and myself have expressed on many occasions our non-sectarian way of upbringing. For me, it is a way of life that I carried living in the US having most of my friend being non-Sunni. Have enlightened intellectual Alawis felt sectarianism directed at them living in Syria by the majority Sunnis? Sectarianism and Islamophobe (sunni-phobe) is ample on SC but I would appreciate if you can forward my question to someone like Kheder who we all appreciate and respect. Thanks.

August 26th, 2011, 12:21 pm

 

Nour said:

قراءة في تطورات الازمة الشامية 26-8-2011
by Milad Sebaaly on Friday, August 26, 2011 at 2:00am

كنا حذرنا في مقالات عديدة آخرها منذ بضعة ايام من ان المخططات الدولية التي تسوق لتسوية الازمة الحالية في الشام تؤسس لدولة تعددية طوائفية بغلاف ديمقراطي كما هو الوضع في لبنان والعراق. وان الصراع الغرائزي القائم بين داعمي النظام بحجة محاربة المؤامرة الخارجية والدفاع عن السيادة والأمن، وبين المعارضين المطالبين بالحرية وباسقاط النظام بأي ثمن ودون تهيئة البديل، وتغييب لغة العقل والتخطيط الاستراتيجي للمرحلة القادمة، ستؤدي حكماً الى نجاح المخططات الأجنيبة في استغلال هذا الصدام الاعمى والاصم. كما دعونا الى تغليب لغة العقل والتخطيط لانتقال تدريجي نحو الدولة المدنية الديمقراطية الحديثة عبر اصلاحات وتغييرات جذرية وعميقة توفر على البلاد اراقة المزيد من الدماء العزيزة، حتى لو تنازلت المعارضة وقبلت بمرحلة انتقالية برئاسة الرئيس الحالي تنفذ هذه الاصلاحات والتغييرات من ضمن خطة زمنية محددة، وحتى لو تنازل النظام الحاكم وقبل بتنفيذ هذه الاصلاحات والتغييرات رغم انها تمس في العمق مصالح عدد من المتنفذين الحاليين واتباعهم. غير ان المغالين في التوتر الغرائزي في الطرفين هاجموا طرحنا وكل طرف صنفنا اننا نتعاطف مع خصمه!

واليوم نقرأ في الصحافة المحلية التحليلات والمعلومات التالية:

1- أدلى رئيس الوزراء القطري، وزير الخارجيّة الشيخ حمد بن جاسم بن جبر آل ثاني بتصريح حول سوريا “الشقيقة”، مشدّدا على أن “استقرارها مهم في العالم العربي”، داعيا إلى عدم نسيان خصوصيتها وموقعها وحدودها مع إسرائيل، ومؤكدا “أهميّة التزام سوريا جدولا زمنيّا للإصلاحات، ووقف حمّام الدم من أي فريق كان”

2- اعطى الرئيس الإيراني أحمدي نجاد حديثاً الى تلفزيون المنار يدعو فيه “الشعب والحكومة السوريّة إلى الجلوس بعضهم مع بعض للتوصّل إلى تفاهم في شأن الإصلاحات، وعدم السماح للغرب بالتدخل”…

3- أشار الرئيس بشار الأسد إلى أنّ “الدولة ماضية في مسيرة الإصلاح في خطوات ثابتة”، مشيرا إلى “أن تجاوز الأحداث في حاجة إلى تعاون الجميع، وإلى الكثير من العقل والحكمة، بدلا من الأخذ بالعواطف والانفعالات”.

4- أعرب وزير الدفاع الاسرائيلي ايهود باراك، عن قناعة تكوّنت لديه، أنّ الاسد قد حدّد مصيره بنفسه. وقال: “إنّ الحديث عن إمكان إجراء تسوية مع الرئيس السوري، قد ولّى بالفعل، “لأنّ الاسد أنهى وظيفته، حتى ولو بقي ستة أشهر أخرى، إذ سيكون هناك شيء جديد، نحن لا نعرف ما هو، فتسارع سقوطه سيحدث أيضا نتيجة مواصلة استخدام للقوّة ونتيجة الضغط الذي يتراكم عليه”، لافتا إلى أنّ “لا أحد سيرسل جيشه، إلّا أنّ الضغط الدولي، وفي شكل رئيسي الضغط التركي والسعودي والبحريني ودول عربية أخرى، كلّها تضعف بشّار الأسد كثيراً”.

5- تكشف بعض المصادر ان “تسوية” بدأت تُركب للوضع السوري بين واشنطن وبغداد وطهران وقطر وانقرة، لا تصب في مصلحة الاسد، ولكنها تأخذ في الاعتبار مجموعة سيناريوهات لما يمكن ان يكون عليه المستقبل السوري، منها بقاء النظام في صيغته الحالية مع تنفيذ الاصلاحات عبر حكومة تشارك فيها المعارضة ولكن في ظل رئيس لسوريا غير الاسد.

وذكرت المصادر في هذا السياق “ان الدول المعنية بالشأن السوري استبعدت كل السيناريوهات التي لحظت بقاء الاسد رئيسا لسوريا من دون صلاحيات على غرار ما هو قائم في العراق. وأكدت ان بعض السيناريوهات المتداولة يلحظ تنفيذ إتفاق “طائف سوري” لحل الازمة السورية، مستنسخ عن “اتفاق الطائف” اللبناني، او عن النموذج العراقي، بحيث يكون رئيس الجمهورية من الطائفة العلوية بلا صلاحيات تنفيذية مباشرة، وتناط السلطة التنفيذية بمجلس وزراء تتولى رئاسته شخصية سياسية سنية.

6- كشفت مصادر أخرى ان الدوحة تعمل على تسويق اقتراح لتسوية الازمة السورية هو في الواقع طبعة منقحة عن الاقتراح التركي الذي دعا الاسد الى تشكيل حكومة جديدة تشارك فيها المعارضة وتدير مرحلة انتقالية يتم خلالها اجراء انتخابات نيابية اولا ورئاسية لاحقا. ولكن هذه المبادرة القطرية اصطدمت بالرفض الايراني لأنها تلحظ طلبا من الاسد ان يتنحى، الامر الذي أخّر زيارة امير قطر الشيخ حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني لطهران الى أمس بعدما كانت منتظرة مطلع الاسبوع الجاري.

اذاً المساعي العربية والاقليمية والدولية الحالية تسعى الى تسوية طوائفية على غرار النموذج اللبناني والعراقي، والخلاف هو على الرئيس العلوي المخلوع الصلاحيات، هل يبقى الرئيس الاسد أم يستبدل!

وهذا ما حذرنا منه ودعونا المعارضة والموالاة الى انتاج حل سوري لا عربي ولا اقليمي ولا دولي، يسعى الى المصالحة الوطنية والاصلاحات السريعة العميقة والجذرية لتأسيس دولة مدنية ديمقراطية حديثة، كبديل عن الثنائية المطروحة حالياً: اما الحرب الاهلية المدمرة، واما السير بالتعددية الطوائفية المطروحة من الغرب، لتحويل كل محيط فلسطين الى برميل بارود معطل من الداخل بالاختلافات الطوائفية على الحصص والنفوذ وتقاسم مقدرات البلاد، وجاهز للانفجار عندما تدعو حاجة الخارج واسرائيل.

هل يعي الغرائزيون من اتباع النظام وحلفائه الذين يدعون محاربة المؤامرة الخارجية انهم ينفذون اجندتها عبر صم آذانهم عن مطالب الشعب واصرارهم على وجود مؤامرة خارجية تستهذف امن البلاد، بينما هم يدافعون عن مكتسبات النظام الاقلوي الامني لا اكثر، ويسيرون بشكل اعمى واصم باتجاه تحقيق خطة الغرب بتحويل النظام الى نظام تعددي طوائفي بغلاف ديمقراطي، لا يخدم سوى الغرب واسرائيل، سواء بقي الرئيس الاسد ام لا؟

وهل يعلم غلاة المعارضة الخارجية والمتطرفين في المعارضة الداخلية، ان اشتراكهم في السلطة في دولة التعددية الطوائفية، مع انه يرضي طموحاتهم، ويضفي شكلاً من اشكال الديمقراطية المزيفة على الحكم، انما هو خسارة لمطلب تأسيس الدولة المدنية الديمقراطية الحديثة التي تستطيع النهوض بالبلاد، وغرق في مستنقعات الاصطراعات الداخلية البغيضة لتقاسم مقدرات البلاد بين ممثلي الطوائف والطوائفيين؟ ولبنان والعراق نموذجين قائمين على الديمقراضية والازدهار الموعودين من الغرب!

على المعارضة الوطنية في الداخل، وخاصة العلمانية منها، مثل الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي والاحزاب الشيوعية واليسارية والناصرية، والشخصيات العلمانية، ان لا تنغش في هذه المرحلة بشبق السلطة ولذة اسقاط النظام الحالي، وان تتجنب السير في ركاب المشروع الاميركي الذي يعد البلاد بالديمقراطية والازدهار بينما النتيجة الفعلية هي اعادة تشكيل السلطة بطريقة تشل البلاد بتوازنات ومحاصصات طوائفية واثنية لا تنتهي.

وعلى الرئيس الاسد وفريقه ان لا يكرروا الخطأ الذي ارتكبه النظام الشامي في لبنان يوم قبل بالسير بالطائف، لا بل نفنن على مدى خمسة عشر عاماً باللعب على التناقضات الطوائفية والمناطقية اللبنانية، واحتضن الطائفيين وضرب واهمل وشرد الوطنيين العلمانيين، إلا الازلام منهم، واسهم في تعطيل نهوض البلاد ووحدتها الحقيقية وفي امتصاص وهدر قدراتها وامكاناتها، الى ان اتى وقت انقلب السحر على الساحر وتحول الحلفاء والاصدقاء و”الشركاء” الطوائفيين الى اخصام ما تركوا موجة طائفية او تحريضية او دولية الا وركبوها.

ان المخرج “السوري” الوحيد من الأزمة، قبل وصول المبادرات العربية والدولية هو بالمبادرة الى سلة اصلاحات وتغييرات جذرية في القوانين تتوج بتعديلات دستورية سريعة باتجاه ترسيخ الدولة المدنية الحديثة، وتوسيع هامش الحريات والحياة السياسية الحقيقية، وتؤسس لمصالحة وطنية وانتخابات تشريعية ورئاسية قريبة على اساس القوانين الجديدة. وهذا يتطلب تنازلات عقلانية من طرفي النزاع، والا فـ”الطائف السوري” آتٍ، وعندها يصبح الامل ان لا يأتي على بحر من الدماء والدموع كما في لبنان، او تحت الحصار والاحتلال كما في العراق!

August 26th, 2011, 12:21 pm

 

Revlon said:

Security forces are in a state of desperation:
– Operative directives become common knowledge to activists and street demonstrators long before they know about it!
– Desertion is on the rise
– The end is near and it will be precipitated by in-fighting between different factions of Asad-Makhloof Mobs.

Ugarit News | أوغاريت الإخبارية
عاجل
تواصلنا مجددا مع عدد من الضباط الشرفاء وعناصر عالية المستوى بالمخابرات السورية فقالوا أنهم مستغربون عدم سقوط بشار حتى الآن وقالوا بأن الأجهزة الأمنية أصبحت بتخبط وانهيار كبير جدا والانشقاقات السرية قتلت كل تخطيطاتهم فأصبح القرار الذي يص…در من أجهزة الأمن يعلمون به الأهالي والمتظاهرين قبل أن ينشر على عناصر الأمن الذين سينفذونه وأضافوا بأن الأمن بتذمر وتضجر وارهاق كبير وأن عدد من الأمن هرب من أماكن تنفيذ مهمات موكل بها ولم يعد حتى الآن وأن عددا من هؤلاء يحملون معلومات سرية للغاية ………وقال مسؤول شريف مقرب جدا من ماهر الأسد بأن نهاية النظام في سورية ستكون قريبة جدا وستكون بالخلافات الموجودة بين عصابات الأسد وأضاف أنهم في تربص فيما بينهم كبير وأنا قسما كبير منهم منحاز للشعبSee
2 hours ago

August 26th, 2011, 12:32 pm

 

beaware said:

Syria: It would be better if the Arab League didn’t meet
Friday 26 August 2011
By Tariq Alhomayed
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=26362
The Arab League is scheduled to hold a meeting of foreign ministers on Saturday; the aim of which is to discuss the Syrian crisis and the Libyan file, following the collapse of the Muammar Gaddafi regime. The Arab League is also expected to unfreeze Libya’s membership, particularly as the country now requires the support of all Arab states, which contrasts with Algeria’s behavior towards the Libyan National Transitional Council.
As for the state of affairs in Syria – which is the crux of the matter – if you can believe the information that a reliable Arab source told me, then it would be better if the Arab League did not meet and the Arab Foreign Ministers did not discuss the Syrian file. I have been informed that the Arab League is attempting to put out a weak statement that satisfies all parties…a statement that represents a number of different views. According to my source, the Qataris have also succeeded in convincing the Syrian representative [to the Arab League] to attend the meeting; under the proviso that the Arabs understand that Syria is no Libya! If this is true, then the Arabs are committing a grave mistake against the unarmed people of Syria, and against the security of the region as a whole. The Syrian regime has committed the same sort of crimes against its citizens as Gaddafi did against the people of Libya. Rather, the question that must be asked here is: what Arab leader will today dare to shake the hand of the al-Assad regime, whose hands are drenched in the blood of the Syrian people?
Someone might say that this is something that the Arabs have already done during the reign of al-Assad senior, shaking his hand despite the Hama massacre, and they did the same with Saddam Hussein despite his massacring of the Kurds. All of this is true, but times change, as do circumstances, and the public today is far more informed about what is going on around it. In addition to this – and this is most important of all – the Arab region has witnessed the fall of three Arab leaders in six months, whilst two Arab leaders are on the way to meeting the same fate, namely the Yemeni and Syrian presidents. Therefore it is absurd for Arab states today to place their own security in danger in an attempt to polish the image of the al-Assad regime, especially as it is clear to the Syrians and Arabs that the only state defending al-Assad – despite all the horrors committed by the Damascus regime – is Iran. Indeed even the Iranian regime today has begun a public relations campaign to improve its relation with the Syrian people via Hezbollah affiliated al-Manar TV. In an interview with al-Manar TV regarding the situation in Syria, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the Syrian people have a right to demand “freedom, justice, and free elections.”
Therefore, it is only right for any statement issued by the Arab League’s ministerial meeting towards Syria to be no less forceful than the UN Security Council statement on Syria, the Human Rights Council statement on the situation in Syria, and the historic address issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz towards Syria. In the event that the Arab League statement is less forceful than the three statements mentioned above then this would mean that the Arab League – which we hoped would withdraw Arab ambassadors from Syria and freeze its Arab League membership – has instead come out to try and polish the blood-stained image of the al-Assad regime which is no different in any way, shape, or form than the Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein. Such a statement would itself constitute a crime against the people of Syria!

August 26th, 2011, 12:33 pm

 

BEAWARE PLUS said:

LANDIS ANALYSYS ALERT! (sorry, first post did not fully register)

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani said on Thursday that the security solution failed to solve the Syrian crisis.

“The security solution failed and the Syrian people who started a real revolt asking for change do not seem to be going back on their demands after the price they paid,” the Iranian News Agency (IRNA) quoted him as saying after meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“We all tried to encourage the Syrian [regime] to take real reform [action],” Sheikh Hamad added.

What is your analysis today regarding this statement, has Qatar as you say quote: “ backed away from its anti-Syria diplomacy as its leader heads for a visit to Iran”?!?!? unquote.

Mr. Landis you cannot keep wrapping yourself with statements like I’m a historian, intellectual, observer, Syrian specialist, been there and done that etc. then you hide behind “well I’ve been wrong before” and expect us to swallow your objectivity in your opinions or the very questionable articles you post on SC. We really expect more from a Fulbright scholar.

I know that you aspired to build a career as a junior Assadologist, something akin to “Kremlinology” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kremlinology in its heydays. You never miss a chance in interviews to proclaim that Syria was a banana republic (coups and more coups… I know, I know) before the Assads, honestly Landis what fruit would you slap on this regime today? Junior’s world is crumbling and so is the future of Assadology, just like Kremlinology before it.

The regime is to blame first and foremost for the false stories out of Syria because the press is banned. Period! Splitting hair with they shelled, no they shelled not posts, and applying gymnastic logic to authenticate/dispel video is beyond absurd. The regime is very brutal and animalistic, using all the arsenal of the state for repression and repression only. The opposition on the other hand, is using the minimum tools available to them (thanks to the internet and technology) simply to make themselves heard. And may I add with all due respect, they also expect a Fulbright scholar to err on the side of what that title entails. A 2 year old will tell you that the odds on this regime shelling its own people are more likely than not. How did the mosque minaret go down? Besides, who’s to stop them? For god sake Landis, this regime is filming its own atrocities and posting them on YouTube!!! It’s a historical first!

Absent of credible witnesses (international press) the regime is playing the “doubt card” doubt is their friend and best friend at that. A large part of this blog is peddling in regime doubt; American Valerie! Give me a break!

August 26th, 2011, 12:34 pm

 

AIG said:

Historians are notoriously incapable of analyzing events in real time. Their specialty is going through archives and documents usually many years after the facts and building a coherent story. They occasionally rely on testimonies from individuals but discount them heavily unless many unrelated sources claim the same thing or the testimony is corroborated by documents. That is how good historical work is done.

So really, Prof. Landis is doing the best he can to understand what is going on. He is in no better position than any of us. I for one, am willing to give him some slack and wait patiently for his book about the current happenings that I am sure he will publish in about 5-10 years.

As for the strategy employed by the Syrian government, it is called “Plausible Deniability”. Given their history and lies we should all agree that what they are saying is not plausible even though they are blocking the free press, the main eyes and ears of outsiders.

August 26th, 2011, 12:39 pm

 

sheila said:

Dear #96. Norman:

I think the difference between the regime loyalists and the opposition is clear. Most loyalists show major indoctrination by the Syrian regime, where no discussion will go anywhere. It is either Bashar forever, viva Bashar or the “ bilrooh bildamm…..“ Nonsense, therefore, they will go on clicking “dislikes” just based on the name of the poster. On the other hand, most opposition on this blog are independent thinkers who will not click a like or dislike without reading the post and just based on the poster. Unless it is a qualified kindergartner like Amal, who is still stuck in school yard taunting as a method of debate. Please note that I did not say “all”, rather “most”. I also think that most of the opposition actually do post. On the other hand, most of the regime loyalists are not educated enough to post on this blog. The reality is, that there are very few on the regime side that you can call intellectuals.

August 26th, 2011, 12:43 pm

 

Revlon said:

Sheikh Hamad of Qatar, from tehran: Asad must olige to his people’s demands!

قطر إذ تدخل على خط المطالبة بتبني تطلعات الشعب السوري
2011/08/26
http://www.sooryoon.net/?p=31678

حين يخرج أمير دولة قطر حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني عن صمته ومن طهران عاصمة دولة مساندة لنظام القتلة في دمشق ويطالب النظام السوري بالاستجابة لتطلعات وطموحات شعبه في التغيير، فهذا يعني أن دولة قطر اتخذت قرارا برحيل النظام السوري المجرم، سيما وهي التي كانت أول دولة تسحب سفيرها من دمشق، ترافق هذا مع تصريحات تركية متصاعدة بأنها ستقف مع خيارات الشعب السوري وليس مع خيارات الأنظمة، هذا الأمر يتزامن مع تصعيد في وتيرة البطش والتوحش الذي يقوم به النظام السوري ضد شعبه من خلال نشر البطش وآلة القتل والدمار والخراب في كل سورية ..
التدخل القطري له مدلوله سيما بعد انتصار الشعب الليبي العظيم على طاغيته، والذي كان لقطر دور كبير في إسقاط الطاغية المجرم ، وبالتالي فإن دولة مثل قطر التي تجرأ النظام المجرم عليها وعلى أميرها وعلى سيدتها الأولى الشيخة موزة وعلى رموزها بطريقة إسفافية حقيرة يحق لها أن تنتقم لنفسها من هذا النظام المجرم اليوم، بعد أن رأينا كل المقاطع التي نشرت على اليوتيوب والتي كانت قد بثت على قناة دنيا الكذب و الدجل التابعة لرامي مخلوف ..
ما نتمناه من دولة قطر أن تقود عملية تغيير حقيقية في سورية تطالب النظام المجرم بالرحيل كما فعلت دول عالمية من قبل، نريد منها أن تعلنها مدوية وهي التي تنسجم مع طموحات وتطلعات الشعب السوري، وبالتالي تكون أول دولة عربية تطالب برحيل النظام السوري المجرم الجاثم على صدر الشعب السوري والشعوب العربية والذي يبتزها منذ عقود ..

August 26th, 2011, 12:46 pm

 

BEAWARE PLUS said:

LANDIS ANALYSYS ALERT! (problem posting!)

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani said on Thursday that the security solution failed to solve the Syrian crisis.

“The security solution failed and the Syrian people who started a real revolt asking for change do not seem to be going back on their demands after the price they paid,” the Iranian News Agency (IRNA) quoted him as saying after meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“We all tried to encourage the Syrian [regime] to take real reform [action],” Sheikh Hamad added.

What is your analysis today regarding this statement, has Qatar as you say quote: “ backed away from its anti-Syria diplomacy as its leader heads for a visit to Iran”?!?!? unquote.

Mr. Landis you cannot keep wrapping yourself with statements like I’m a historian, intellectual, observer, Syrian specialist, been there and done that etc. then you hide behind “well I’ve been wrong before” and expect us to swallow your objectivity in your opinions or the very questionable articles you post on SC. We really expect more from a Fulbright scholar.

I know that you aspired to build a career as a junior Assadologist, something akin to “Kremlinology” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kremlinology in its heydays. You never miss a chance in interviews to proclaim that Syria was a banana republic (coups and more coups… I know, I know) before the Assads, honestly Landis what fruit would you slap on this regime today? Junior’s world is crumbling and so is the future of Assadology, just like Kremlinology before it.

The regime is to blame first and foremost for the false stories out of Syria because the press is banned. Period! Splitting hair with they shelled, no they shelled not posts, and applying gymnastic logic to authenticate/dispel video is beyond absurd. The regime is very brutal and animalistic, using all the arsenal of the state for repression and repression only. The opposition on the other hand, is using the minimum tools available to them (thanks to the internet and technology) simply to make themselves heard. And may I add with all due respect, they also expect a Fulbright scholar to err on the side of what that title entails. A 2 year old will tell you that the odds on this regime shelling its own people are more likely than not. How did the mosque minaret go down? Besides, who’s to stop them? For god sake Landis, this regime is filming its own atrocities and posting them on YouTube!!! It’s a historical first!

Absent of credible witnesses (international press) the regime is playing the “doubt card” doubt is their friend and best friend at that. A large part of this blog is peddling in regime doubt; American Valerie! Give me a break!

Everybody has a bias Landis, including historians like you, and before accusing others of inflating their stories, try first to deflate yours. A future indicator of a healthy open society in Syria is when people like Patrick Seal, Joshua Landis and Juan Cole realize that there are no more “criminology” to study but for those on the page six in local newspapers, and sticking to history would be best for them and Syria.

August 26th, 2011, 12:49 pm

 

some guy in damascus said:

“Your list of church are missing the most important, the largest church in that area , its 100 m before entering BabTouma , and its called Al-Salleeb church”
as i clearly stated, i took the list of churches from the bab tuma tourist map. im sorry i dont know much about the christian institutions in damascus, im not a regular church goer, furthermore i asked 2 food sellers about any such incident and they denied it.
btw is it possible the al-salleeb church is another name of any of the churches provided? the tourist map only displayed 7 churches.
we should blame the poor baathist managment for not putting ” the most important, the largest church in that area” on the tourist map.
@ all, especially anton and ammar shami, this is the post i keep referring too:
in accordance with a previous post of mine, i am here to share with you my recent visit to Bab Tuma which i concluded not a long time ago. i did it to a reply to Ammar shami’s post “…..The same day I was there a group of armed men stopped in front of the church and sprayed it with bullets.”
first let me start by saying there are 7 churches or christian places of worship in Bab Tuma according to the tourist map i viewed. i visited each and every single one of them, i didn’t want to spend a long time writing in front of the tourist post to i hurried when writing their names down
we have the
-the Ananias church
-marmariya church
-st john church
-st paul church
– sarkis church
-the seat of the greek orthodox patriach
-the Zeitoun ( im not sure if it was a church on a cathedral or something else).
6 of these churches, had no evidence of any hole, damage or assault.
however the church near the elissar restaurant( frequented by none other by besho himself), had 2 holes ( which are small enough to be bullet holes). they are both at opposite sides of the entrance and at the same height and could’ve been the a previous light installation or they were executed by a gunman who is trained perfectly in symmetrically aligned shooting.
its a far call from being “sprayed it with bullets”
furthermore, i asked 2 food sellers in bab tuma , i made sure they were christians by looking at the crosses they sported, since Christians would be the first to hear about such events.( i hate labeling people by religion, but i felt this would add further credibility to my investigation). the first one expressed that no such a thing happened, and that syria was fine. he also claimed the foreign media was jewish and lying. the second person also denied such stories and gave me the famous” MA FI SHI!” (nothings going on).
thats all i have to offer,
now its my time to ask, i ask mr. ammar shami to give me the name of the church he reported as being a shooting target. that’s all i request.

August 26th, 2011, 12:49 pm

 

mjabali said:

Mr. Haytham Khury:

What need to be done is very simple depending if you want to save SYRIA as a whole, or to divide Syria and have people live in peace with each other somewhat.

If you want to keep Syria together you have to think rationally first of all and leave your emotions outside.

Syria needs a SECULAR law that is protected by the Army. All Syrians should be treated equal no matter what sect, religion or racial background.

You need to guarantee the rights of the minorities, women included. You are going to need the help of the big countries (US, France, Englans…etc) No one should be allowed to exact street justice and alike. A legal system to prosecute all offenses will prove who are the criminals, who were just pawns, and who were innocent in any case.

Change has to happen through peaceful means, and nothing else. al-Assad is counting on the violent tendencies of the protestors and he is crashing them hard, so saving Syrian blood, before it becomes very late, should be a priority.

People inside of Syria proper need to organize to FORCE change. Without organization things are going to be the same for a while till Syria breaks apart. The tanks on the streets are not good for this at all. But people should find a way for that voice to be assembled in parties and associations. There is no body to discourse with al-Assad if the chance arise. Many wanted to highjack this movement. Organization Forces the people to channel their thought into formulating the future of the republic one way or another with no doubt. In parties people vote their leaders and this way you start having real representatives of the voice of the people. Parties is the way to go and this needs to be done ASAP.

AS for the disintegration solution: that is possible if armed resistance and foreign intervention make it a Qadhafi style conflict. The situation is very dicey and dangerous now. In my estimate, things could go either way but surely it is going to be bloody so let us hope for some reason here and there.

With my regards mr. Khury
سلام

August 26th, 2011, 12:50 pm

 

sheila said:

Dear #100. beaware
“Syria has ceased all transactions in dollars Tuesday in favor of the Euro”. I thought the Syrian government erased Europe from the map? What happened?. So, Europe does not exist, but its most important currency does?.
Maybe Syria should start doing all transactions in the Russian Ruble.

August 26th, 2011, 12:50 pm

 

Aboud said:

From the Syrian Revolution page

موجز :: حماة ::
ظنوا أنهم سيخيفوا أهل حماة الأبطال وهم يقولون أننا خارجون
واليوم في جمعة الصبر والثبات خرجت مظاهرات حاشدة في كل
حماة : السلمية – قلعة المضيق – طيبة الامام – سهل الغاب
” قسطون:الحواش:الشريعة :الكريم: العمقية” – حلفايا – الحميدية
– حي الصابونية – اللطامنة
– وتواجد اليوم قناصة على سطح مشفى مجمع الاسد الطبي في
منطقة الحاضر
– اطلاق الأمن نار كثيف عند جامع عثمان بن عفان وحاصر المنطقة
برجال الامن و الشبيحة
– حاول المتظاهرون الوصول الى ساحة العاصي
– سلمية : حافلتين من كتيبة حفظ النظام , وسبع سيارات أمن
يرافقهم حوالي 50 دراجة نارية تجوب الشوارع والحارات , واعتقالات
عشوائية من الشارع
– اعتقال الشاب عبيدة كجك و الشاب فخر الجابي من أمام جامع
المصري , حيث بعد انتهاء الصلاة وبمجرد خروج المصلين من المسجد
قامت قطعان ميليشيات الأسد بالهجموم على المصلين و قامت
بضربهم بوحشية و قد استمرت محاصرة المسجد حتى الساعة الثالثة
ومن ثم قامت قطعان الأسد بالانسحاب من أمام المسجد
و اعتقال كل من تجده في طريقها

August 26th, 2011, 12:54 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

As for the strategy employed by the Syrian government, it is called “Plausible Deniability”.

AIG,

And Professor Josh uses it to a tee, despite all the admitted “very bad things” he reminds us of bianually.

If Professor Josh was just half-enraged as many of the participants here, perhaps WE wouldn’t be accusing him of bias.

We really expect more from a Fulbright scholar.

Like the Nobel Prize, expectations can be easily dashed.

August 26th, 2011, 12:58 pm

 

sheila said:

To all and specifically to Dr. Landis,

Dear Abughassan,

Since you have relatives in Lattakia and are one of the few “neutrals” on this blog, could you please ask them if they can identify a woman who is American, in good shape (she runs 6 times a week), married with children and owns a business in the city? I can bet my house and first born that there would be very few to fit the bill.

Here is a sentence from her diatribe that I find suspicious:

“On Thursday, August 11th, my husband called me from Turkey, where he was working for business”.

I am not a native English speaker, but I have never heard the phrase: “working for business” before. To all those native English speakers, would you please verify?

August 26th, 2011, 1:05 pm

 

Aboud said:

“The same day I was there a group of armed men stopped in front of the church and sprayed it with bullets.”

Is that was is being claimed? For God’s sake, if you don’t respect our intelligence, at least have some self respect for yourselves.

1) Why didn’t state media report anything of the sort? They would kill to be able to report such an event.

2) If state media wasn’t interested, why didn’t the person who saw this “attack” call up the international news agencies…I’m sure the Russian and TheHindu.com would have been obliging..and let them know what he saw? News agencies are dying to know what is happening in Syria, and news of a church shoot up would have made front page news.

3) How is it, that despite the fact that every mosque shelling and shot up demonstration gets put up on Youtube within hours, not once did any of the Church goers at that church seem to have the presence of mind to take pictures or videos of the church.

And why is it that the first any of us are hearing about this, is on Syria Comment? Not one of the menhebaks made so much as a mention of this event for months…could it be because *they could not know of something that never happened*

In short, the only proof we have is the word of an anonymous “eye witness”. At least the eye witnesses on Al-Jazeera, CNN, BBC and Al-Arabiya have videos to back up their claims.

August 26th, 2011, 1:07 pm

 

Aboud said:

“but I have never heard the phrase: “working for business”

It’s not a phrase commonly used. But even professors make spelling mistakes and write poorly formed sentences

August 26th, 2011, 1:10 pm

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

being a zionist seems to be a lonely, empty, shallow, pointless identity.

so many come here and pretend to be syrian.

August 26th, 2011, 1:12 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

My New Bumper Sticker: “Very Bad Things” Happen

5 Dancing Ahmads,

That’s why we all know why Professor Josh is a Zionist and not a Syrian. He accused the Syrian government of “very bad things”.

August 26th, 2011, 1:19 pm

 

Badr said:

I for one give credit to professor Landis for saying this in a previous post:

From the opening days of this uprising I have predicted that Assad and his loyalists would try to fight their way out. The arguments against Assad negotiating an end to his regime are many. Here are a few. Close to a million Syrians will lose a great deal when this regime goes down — their jobs, their privileges, and some, if not many, will lose their lives. Syria’s allies also stand to lose a lot.

August 26th, 2011, 1:52 pm

 

Haytham Khoury said:

Dear mjabali:

I appreciate your posts very much. They reflect the aspect of the reality that most people forget. The emotions among people on the gound in Syria are high. Indeed, nobody is taking care of the real problem which is how prevent more deaths. God be with you.

August 26th, 2011, 1:53 pm

 

Revlon said:

Trigger happy Jr’s Officers strafing Talkalakh from a copter and enjoying it!
The call for a no fly zone is becoming irresistible!

حمص ضرب تلكلخ بالطائرات ‎ النظام الأسدي نظاما مجرما بكل المقاييس

August 26th, 2011, 1:58 pm

 

mjabali said:

Sheila:

Before you swear and say something outlandish, I made a phone call to Lattakia and found out that this American woman does exist contrary to your beliefs.

She is married to a man from the Kheirbek family (I am not going to mention his first name.)

I do not know him, probably he is in his 20’s, but his half-brother was a very close friend of mine who died in a car accident in the 1980’s in Lattakia. I also knew very well his other half brother who died from illness back in the 1970’s. My friend was an engineer who graduated from a university in the United States. I also learned that the woman is indeed athletic.

August 26th, 2011, 2:00 pm

 

Revlon said:

Gulf Sands Oil company stop payments to R makhloof and suspend his voting rights.
جلف ساندز توقف دفعاتها المالية لرامي مخلوف وتوقف حقه بالتصويت…
2011/08/25نشر فى: اقتصاد
كلنا شركاء
http://all4syria.info/web/archives/24638

كلنا شركاء
علقت شركة النفط البريطانية غلف ساندز دفعاتها المالية لرجل الأعمال رامي مخلوف، ابن خال الرئيس السوري، في سياق العقوبات الأوربية التي فرضت على النظام السوري.
وبيان لها صدر اليوم، قالت الشركة التي تعمل في سورية منذ العام 2000، أنها علّقت أيضاً حقوق مخلوف في التصويت.
واشارت وكالة بلومبيرغ المتخصصة بالأخبار الاقتصادية وعالم الأعمال بأن مخلوف يملك 5.75 % من الشركة عبر شركة استثمارات المشرق، وهو واحد من 13 شخصية سورية تخضع لعقوبات الاتحاد الاوربي من تجميد الأصول وحظر تأشيرات. وذكرت بأن مخلوف أيضاً قد اتهم عام 2008 من قبل وزارة الخزانة الأميركية باستثمار نفوذه في الاثراء الشخصي.

وسعت الشركة يوم أمس لتوضيح علاقتها بالنظام السوري وقالت جلف ساندز المدرجة في سوق الاستثمارات البديلة في لندن انها أقامت “علاقات تجارية بناءة” مع عدة شركات تابعة لمخلوف منذ دخلت سوريا أول مرة في عام 2000.
وأضافت “كل تلك العلاقات أقيمت على أسس تجارية خالصة وووثقت بشكل سليم وأعلنت وفق القوانين واللوائح ذات الصلة.”
وبحسب وكالة رويترز للأنباء فمن بين العلاقات الاخرى التي ذكرتها جلف ساندز استئجار مكاتب في دمشق من شركة مملوكة لمخلوف ودفع رسوم بنحو مليون دولار لشركة أخرى مملوكة له لتقديمها المشورة بشأن تحديد ومتابعة فرص التنقيب في سوريا.
وبحسب رويترز أيضاً فإن اسهم جلف ساندز خسرت أكثر من نصف قيمتها منذ مارس اذار بفعل المخاوف بشأن عملياتها في سوريا واحتمال أن يسير الاتحاد الاوروبي على نهج الولايات المتحدة في حظر واردات المنتجات النفطية السورية.
وقال دبلوماسي في الاتحاد الاوروبي يوم الأربعاء إن من المرجح أن تتبنى حكومات الاتحاد هذا الحظر الاسبوع القادم.
ونزلت أسهم الشركة 3.3 في المئة الى 141 بنسا الساعة 1043 بتوقيت جرينتش.

August 26th, 2011, 2:11 pm

 

sheila said:

Dear #239. Mjabali,
Thanks for the confirmation of the existence of this lady. Somebody else had also confirmed her existence earlier, however, you shed the light on the fact that her husband is a Kheirbeg. This is a family that benefited a lot from the Assad regime. They can also boast a number of very corrupt individuals in their midst. She is one of those who are poised to loose a lot from the demise of this regime.

August 26th, 2011, 2:29 pm

 

Aboud said:

Revlon @238

Dear God, they look like they need help counting to ten. These are the neanderthals the “secular”, latte drinking, MacBook wielding menhebak expatriates want to be associated with?

I mean, just look at them. They are the sort who would write “bel ro7 bel damn nafdek ya Bashar” on their hands, so they can look up what phrase they are supposed to chant.

August 26th, 2011, 2:36 pm

 

Tara said:

Revlon

If Assad is using helicopters to terrorize people, opposition should seriously start considering asking the international community for a no fly zone to protect civillians.

August 26th, 2011, 3:01 pm

 

mjabali said:

Sheila:

Watch your language. you are slandering a family that has nothing to do with al-Assad.

You are a totally wrong by doing this. You are reflecting a zealot mind. Take it easy, why are you so eager to prove she is a by-product of al-Assad.

One thing I want to tell you: This woman’s husband is related to Anis Kheirbeck that was jailed by Hafez al-Assad for few years.

I know most of these guys, the Assads hated them and they did not like al-Assad too. They are a big family from a long time, way before al-Assad came to power.

This branch of Kheirbeik are rich before al-Assad came to power. You owe them an apology. You can ask about them in Lattakia, and please ask the Sunnis first about this branch of Kheirbeik. Shame on you smearing honest people.

You contradict yourself when you utter this sectarian trash of yours. Weren’t you telling us before that there are some Alawis who are honest and good and others who are Shabihah? Those were your words not mine, so how come you jumped on the woman as soon you smelled she is married to a Alawi?

تبيني الأمر ياحجة قبل أن تصيبي قوما بجهالة فتصبحي نادمة على ماذا قدحت به هذه العائلة

بعد هذا احترنا ياقرعة من أين نمسك بك: قلتي لنا ان هذه الإمرأة غير موجودة فأتينا لك بالدليل على انها موجودة فقفزت حضرتك لتهوش علينا وتقول انها من مناصري الإسد. حيرتينا ياحجة ماهذا المنطق؟ الآن آتينا لك بالدليل على ان هذه الإمرأة متزوجة من أسرة كبيرة من قبل أيام بيت الأسد قدمت معاديين لبيت الأسد على مر الزمان فماذا سيكون ردك الآن ياحجة؟

August 26th, 2011, 3:05 pm

 

Aboud said:

“so how come you jumped on the woman as soon you smelled she is married to a Alawi?”

So I was right, she’s an American married to an Alawite. That explains how her “eye witness” accounts are complete crap.

No one is jumping on her because she is Alawite. We are jumping on her because her sectarian driven eye witness testimony has more holes in it than I’d like to see in Maher’s head. Gesh, you just can’t let go of the massive chip on your shoulder, can you.

August 26th, 2011, 3:17 pm

 

Revlon said:

Revolutionary poetry break

Why revolt!
Laish nthoor! Poem
دير الزور _ مدينة القورية _ قصيدة ليش نثور _ رائعة
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1HTxektc2Q&feature=player_embedded

I swear Asad shall vanish!
اقسمت أن يفنى الأسد – أحمد الكندري

August 26th, 2011, 3:22 pm

 

Ivanhoe said:

Through typical reactions of the most of the visitors of this web to Valery’s account on the Latakia story I feel very confirmed in my view the the outside world formed by main stream media does not want at all to know and find out all the truths and facets on what is going in Syria for the last 5 months and feel free to disregard Valery’s account as false and untrue only because she says something which does not suit in their picture and forget that she was there and so IS an eye witness. The joke of the 6 blinds and an elephant is simply not relevant and ugly and the joke teller does not simply see the tip of his nose.

I can only confirm that I also have many accounts from my relatives and friends living in Latakia similar to Valery’s account: no naval shelling, no detainees in the Latakia Sport City but only families from Raml and other neigborhoods where the action of the army took place, food supplies for them.

I appreciate Dr. Landis efforts to show all the faces of the conflict and of the situation in Syria and try to find out and give us one of the rare chances to find out based on detailed stories which does not only repeat what the main media says as Reuters etc. Unfortunately the situation in Syria is unclear and makes each of us to choose the white or the black, nothing in between. We should try not to fall in the trap of hate and onesideness.

But reading the comment section is a very disappointing experience, two camps created, each with its believes, with an Iron Curtain in between. I keep reading it for getting the information but with disgust.

I can also give acccounts about my friends from Syria coming to the Middle Europe and US and trying to give their eye witness accounts in media but nobody from the journalist of the main media like the main newspapers or radio stations were ready to listen because the stories did not simply fit the expectations. And not only that my friends were threatened concerning their civil dignity.

August 26th, 2011, 3:30 pm

 
 

Aboud said:

Ivanhoe, in every interview I’ve given to the BBC, they never once asked for or implied a certain angle. Sometimes the interviews would be live, or recorded a mere half hour before broadcast.

They had to run with it whatever I said, otherwise they would have had a big hole in their program. Their questions were always neutral, like “tell us how things are in Homs today”.

Obviously, a far cry from junior’s latest softball-prepared-beforehand *cough* “interview”

We have every right to point out the glaring holes in her account. If that upsets some people, so be it.

And I’m still waiting for a video of the stadium. No one would be happier than me to know it wasn’t used as a mass prison camp.

August 26th, 2011, 4:04 pm

 

beaware said:

US: Libya death toll could be at 30 000
28 April 2011
http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/US-Libya-death-toll-could-be-at-30-000-20110427
Washington – An Obama administration official says estimates of the death toll in Libya after more than two months of violence could reach as high as 30 000.

Gene Cretz, the US ambassador to Libya, says it is very hard to gauge how many people have died in strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s crackdown on protesters and the subsequent fighting between rebels and pro-government forces.

Cretz says that US officials have seen figures ranging from 10 000 to 30 000.

He told reporters on Wednesday in Washington that the US keeps getting reports of “bodies that have been uncovered on the beach” as it maintains communication with contacts it established when it operated an embassy in Libya.

Cretz warned: “We just have no sense of the scale of this thing until it’s over.”

also

Tripoli hospital horror as patients die untreated
26 august 2011
http://news.yahoo.com/tripoli-hospital-horror-patients-die-untreated-190627215.html

Abu Slim saw fierce fighting for days, and it was only on Thursday that the hospital was secured.

As the days passed, many patients inside died, one after another.

The scene in the three-storey hospital was macabre.

Scores of putrefying corpses were lying all around, dead from lack of treatment.

On Friday, an AFP correspondent counted some 80 of them, though Mohammed Yunis, a medical-student-turned-nurse, said many more had already been removed.

“There have been hundreds of deaths (in Tripoli) in recent days,” he said, visibly shaken.

“It is a disaster,” he said. “There is no more medicine in the hospital, no more medical personnel. They all left for fear of the snipers.”

Without air conditioning, the survivors waited for days in the heat as the stench of decomposing and bloated bodies grew. The basement morgue was overflowing with corpses, and the air was virtually unbreathable.

Twenty bodies were piled on the grass in the garden outside, and one was still lying on a bloody gurney outside the emergency ward.

At the end of one corridor, spattered with blood and littered with empty water and medicine bottles and other debris, lay a ward with 25 bodies, the floor covered with a thin film of bodily fluids.

Abdel Abdel Rahman is one of just two nurses and one doctor who remained holed up in the hospital throughout the ordeal.

He does not remember how many people he saw die before his eyes — civilians, loyalist soldiers and rebels.

Without electricity, bandages, oxygen, medicines and other supplies, he said there was no way for three people to treat everyone.

Asked how felt, he said nothing.

As for the 17 survivors, a Red Cross worker said they would be taken to the capital’s central hospital, which is still functioning./

August 26th, 2011, 4:08 pm

 

Mjabali said:

General:

The woman is American where the uncle of her husband was jailed by Hafez al Assad and you still talking. Shame on you sectarian violent devil smearing honest people

August 26th, 2011, 4:31 pm

 
 

Hans said:

Anyone belives that syria or any other country in the middle east can have a true democracy is out of touch!!
The ture democracy which we all want and hope for is not what the Arabic street asking for! Many on the street are angry for many different valid reasons; some becuase of the atrocity the regime has done, others because of lack of economical or intellectual freedom and the last because of sectarian.
Syria is a country like any other country in the middle east, cannot be ruled but by Iron of fest, people don’t have democracy in their homes first, therefore, can’t have democracy in their goverment, rules are all based on heircacy, tradition and foremost tied to religion, speaking of such you can’t have a free democracy unless you seperate the state from the mosque which is not going to happen in the middle east! you need to have people who can revolt against the religion first before revolting against the sociopolictal condition.
Even the young people who started the reveloution for whatever reason are not ready for free syria or true democracy, at the end it is going to be a theocracy where religion is the rule that’s why it is going to a very difficult to have a free Syria. Biggest example is Egypt where the Muslim brotherhood are establishing the Sharia Law instead of the civil law egypt had previousely, similar to Iran after the islamic reveloution.
syria has many different sects of religion and to have it ruled by the Sunni who are the majority and will ignore and persecute the others as every majority does is a shame.
The USA is not playing a fair game with Syria, they want Assad to go but they don’t inforce the demorcarcy they claim they champion; example the new Iraqi consistituation doesn’t respect the freedome of the minorities in Iraq.
It is all about citizenship and if religion is the ruler then the Citizenship not the reason for the existance of a human being… that’s is the problem with Islam, it is about religion all and foremost then the nationality it should be the otherway around, then you will have a true democracy like in Europe, Japan, etc…. in the USA and other countries muslim identify themselves as muslim americans instead of americans there is not other ethnic group use this kind of identity ( which will bring havoc to the USA in the future). Muslims have to leave the mosque and become citizens first to be able to have a free countries, seperate themselves from religions belongs 1500 years old, and have the freedome of thinking, arguing and make a free opinion not attached to religion accept others if they don’t believe in the same of if they don’t beleive at all in god or religion!
The world has moved centuries ahead of the muslims and they are still fixed to stone age ideas and concepts, Europe and the USA were liberated only after they seperated state from the church and that’s what needed in the middle east or in anyother muslim country before they can catch with the civilized world.
Saudi Arabia ( Sunni) is the biggest financier of spreading the Wahabi teaching all over the world from China to Russia to the USA. The Wahabi teaching is for people who are closer to primate than to humans.

August 26th, 2011, 6:10 pm

 

Norman said:

Sheila,

Your questioning the integrity of DR Landis Indicate to me what kind of person you are so i am not surprised that you think that the people who want reform without your bloodshed are not as smart as you are, they are not advancing the plan for the destruction of Syria.

August 26th, 2011, 7:00 pm

 

Ammar Shami said:

Dear tara,

I just spoke to my dentist and he told me that the name of the church is Al-saleeb chruch. just down the street from harmony cafe. I don’t know if you heard about the souk al hall incident. It was in late april early may, now i’m not sure it happened on the same day, but from what “people” are saying, i understand is that the 2 guys who were being chased from souk-al-hall came across the al saleeb church and stopped and shot at the church but aimed high ( i guess it was at the cross). they managed to hit the church and the building next to it while they drove away. no major damage was done, and the incident was indeed as u said, not brought up on the news. When i was there i was told that it happened in the very early hours of the morning, which would make sense since the souk is open very early and the shooting that happened there was during the start of business hours.

August 27th, 2011, 10:51 am

 

Ammar Shami said:

Dear tara,

I just spoke to my dentist and he told me that the name of the church is Al-saleeb chruch. just down the street from Harmony (or melody) cafe. I don\’t know if you heard about the souk al hall incident. It was in late april early may, now i\’m not sure it happened on the same day, but from what \”people\” are saying, i understand is that the 2 guys who were being chased from souk-al-hall came across the al saleeb church and stopped and shot at the church but aimed high ( i guess it was at the cross). they managed to hit the church and the building next to it while they drove away. no major damage was done, and the incident was indeed as u said, not brought up on the news. When i was there i was told that it
happened in the very early hours of the morning, which would make sense since the souk is open very early and the shooting that happened there was during the start of business hours.

August 27th, 2011, 11:01 am

 

Tara said:

Ammar

Is there a physical evidence of Saleeb church in Bab-Tuma sprayed by bullets, meaning bullet holes on the walls of the church that can confirm the incidents?

August 27th, 2011, 11:33 am

 

Ammar Shami said:

I’m gonna get u pictures and we can get this over with. I’m going down there in the next couple of days anyways. this way we can put this matter to rest once and for all.

August 27th, 2011, 12:06 pm

 

Tara said:

Ammar

Only at your convenience. Because even if you show me physical evidence, I will still doubt whether the actual act was done by the Mukhabarat to smear the revolution. The answer to this would have been free press, no?

August 27th, 2011, 12:13 pm

 

Ammar Shami said:

Dear Tara,

You seem to have changed you tone a bit. Why would you ask me for physical evidence if u r going to deny it anyways? does that sound very sound to you? you ask me if “Is there a physical evidence of Saleeb church in Bab-Tuma sprayed by bullets, meaning bullet holes on the walls of the church that can confirm the incidents?” and then you basicly say “don’t bother, because if there was proof i’m not gonna believe it anyways, because it was the mokhabarat” you know something, the mokhabarat could have faked the moon landing too.
If you are going to be so paranoid and believe only what u want to, then you could have said that from the beggining and not have waisted my time. This is exactly what is wrong with opposition members, they r just as silly as the “menhebak” crowd. Both are in complete denial when they are faced with info they don’t want to hear. I wouldn’t concider my self on either side, i take a realistic grey stance. There is no way on God’s green earth that the army and security services did not make mistakes, same goes for the armed opposition. but do we label the whole army as monsters because a few out of the 100’s of thousands behaved badly, and do we do the same for an entire city because a few of it’s people chose to rebel with weapons? If the army killed every person that went out to protests, the death count would not be at 2300, and if every citizen picked up a gun and shot at the army, the death count would not be at 450. Please don’t waste my time again.

August 27th, 2011, 2:19 pm

 

Ammar Shami said:

Dear revlon,

You were asking about the smoke, and what can cause it. here is another way this kind of smoke can be caused, a reason other than tires that is. take the video to 4:85

August 27th, 2011, 2:26 pm

 

Norman said:

Ammar, Tara,

The problem is not the church and if it was shot at, The problem is the chaos that will make difficult to know who is doing what to whom as Tara said somebody could be trying to start a sectarian conflict so at a time of anarchy infiltrators could be trying to lead Syria into division divide, therefore security and safety are essential to have political reform that we all can feel that we are worth something,

August 27th, 2011, 5:54 pm

 

Jim Conaway said:

The West has taken advantage of Arab States and people for years. The United States (my home, which I love) has for too long followed a biased policy toward the Middle East, blindly supporting Israel right or wrong. This is inconsistent with the values that we espouse as a nation. I am not anti Israeli but I am against blind support of any group, religion or country. I often think how very different (and better) things would be in the Middle East if we had as large a Arab Community in the US as we do a Jewish Community. Our weak politicians would be forced to be fair and objective. Still, the most important thing now is for Arabs to choose their own lifestyles within a multicultural state. Freedom of choice and respect for Constitutional Laws. I truly wish the very best for all of you in your efforts to move forward.

August 27th, 2011, 6:51 pm

 

Ammar Shami said:

dear norman,

I agree with you that someone is trying to play on peoples sects to devide them, the question is, who? i believe that both sides are playing dirty tricks. and its time we stop pretending that every Syrian is an angle and every soldier is the devil. There is no way something like this can happen in a country that has never seen this kind of devide (religious or otherwise) without both sides being guilty.

August 28th, 2011, 10:16 am

 

Hans said:

Many syrians who live outside syria, would like the new syria to be a free democratic country where free speech, fair and square election, intellectuals can express their opinion without the fear of repression or retalliation from the regime.
Better economy and less unemployement, improve the broken and infested education with out of date science.
Everyone wants the bribery to disappear and the people law is the law of the land based on equality, free of sectarian, or religious beleive no need to put religion on the ID card.
it is almost like being in a democratic western country although the latter has its own share of corruption as we all know but still human being is well respected in many ways.
I think the picture I painted above about the new syria is closer to a wishfull thinking than to reality, first of all many of the opposition are not looking at syria as a secular country instead the support they are receiving from Saudi Arabia is all for a new Sunni country where everyone else is a second class and human right are less respected than the current regime that’s clear in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan etc…
The Sharia Law is the future law of Syria as in Egypt where the Alazher sheiks and theocractic leaders are making the new egypt law.
it is a disgusting idea to dream of a free syria and end up with another theocratic country worse then Saudi Arabia or Iran for that matter.
to build a new Syria we have to have an agreement that the country is going to stay secular and Islam is not the source of legislation, leave the mosque and join the civil society to build a free progressive country where religion is left at the mosque and human being respected regardless of who they are!!! I would love to see that supported by muslims by actions not by words, there is no muslim country in the world respect or treat minority with dignity.
I don’t think something like this will happen in the middle east becuase islam is the main probelm and muslims have to look with open mind at their religion and say this is not what the 21st century is all about, who cares if you eat pork meat or not i am not a muslim and rarely I eat pork meat it is very stupid idea to follow something 1500 years old and has not relevant to human well being at the current time. making kids and women wear a veil is the dirtist thing islam uses as a political statment in the west as an identity and in the main land to repress the women. Muslims always complaints that the west is the main source of their problem but they deny that islam can’t live with others!!! example not related to the west is India, China, Russian where muslims wants to have muslim countries and can’t live with the rest of Hindu, others.
Westerners to most part are naive and they don’t understand the sneaky tactics Saudi Arabia and other muslims like Iran deploy to prey on the wensternes minds it is called Soft Jihad in opposite to the violent Jihad by force which made spread Islam spread all over the world. I know many of you will say I hate Islam and my anwser is that Islam hates me and everyone else who is not muslim.
and the only one thing i would say to muslims that they are missing on life if they don’t liberate themselves first and join the humanity into the 21st centruy.

August 28th, 2011, 6:08 pm

 

ahmad said:

I am from lattakia but living in canada now
After asking my family and friends about what is happing there i got shocked that syria could bring these kind of people murders drug dealers.

Everything she said is true these people had their own rules and own life they even had hangers to hand people who they tought where police or with the president and we saw videos about that.

The boats where going back and fourth to check if any body tries to escape from the city

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpcMS6k7VZ0

I hope everybody sees this video

September 3rd, 2011, 10:54 pm

 

ahmad said:

stay in touch with out media to see people who the army caught the are from arab and weastearn countries in syria and espically lattakia .

Thankx

September 4th, 2011, 3:28 am

 

» Blog Archive » Guerra de cifras en el conflicto de Siria said:

[…] V. LA MARINA QUE NO DISPARÓ EN LATAKIA En quinto lugar, ha habido otra intoxicación en relación a la represión de la rebelión en Latakia. Se ha dicho que en esa represión intervino la Marina siria, bombardeando los barrios rebeldes: así lo declaró EFE y Público. Lo cierto es que en las imágenes difundidas se veía un barco pero no había ni una sola imagen de bombardeos desde el barco, lo que coincide con el testimonio de personas residentes en la zona que declararon que no hubo bombardeo en absoluto. […]

October 1st, 2011, 1:42 pm

 

Post a comment