“When is the Financial Crisis Coming?” by Ehsani

I will be traveling to the Middle East for a week and will be unable to post or moderate. Joshua.

Ehsani Writes:

The Syrian economy will soon suffer from what I will call a “financial crisis”. This will occur as credit write offs mount. The banking system will soon be hit with a wave of defaults at both the corporate and retail levels. The former will come about as the larger companies decide not to pay the banks. Most of the credit that they have been offered comes in the shape of overdrafts, bills discounting and letters of credit. Banks are exposed to this and their exposure exceeds that at the retail level (car loans for example). Some of the banks are already fearing that a number of businessmen will default and leave the country. Another very important thing to watch is the possibility that some state banks will default on payments to the private banking system. I am led to believe that this has already happened and that no one dares make the information more public. For now, they are treating the default as a “delayed payment” and so on. The private bank involved is of course starting to think it is a default. The Central Bank has been approached. No one can speculate if it will be liable or not as it may open the floodgates for other public banks. As you know, I have always highlighted the fiscal pressures on the government. The number of state employees and subsidies are simply unsustainable. The government will not be able to raise enough revenues to pay for such liabilities. They cannot borrow from the domestic or external sectors to bridge this gap. The only thing they may do is print more money. This will lead to inflation and loss of purchasing power as the Syrian Pound loses value.

How long will it take for the above financial crisis and/or fiscal crisis to show up publicly?

My sources continue to say that the answers is “Months”. They have been saying this of course for months. My own prediction is that it will take another year or two before things truly unfold. One thing to remember always is that Syrians are poor and more importantly are used to living well below global standards. The country has been through economic hardship many times over its recent modern past. It will take a lot of further pain to cause many to revolt in massive numbers.

Assessing the Risks of Military Intervention
Posted on Syria National Council website. Discourages US military intervention
Thursday, 05 January 2012
Assessing the Risks of Military Intervention

Executive Summary
Syria’s stability and its role in regional security politics have become steadily more uncertain since early 2011. The country has now experienced eight months of popular protests. Despite a lack of political cohesion or unity of purpose among the country’s opposition forces, rural areas and smaller cities continue to experience increasingly armed unrest. Meanwhile, the regime’s crackdown on dissent has shown little to no sign of abating as the country’s Alawite-led praetorian security forces attempt to restore order and quash unrest.

The chorus of international pressure on Syria has steadily increased. The US and EU have bolstered unilateral sanctions regimes, turned to the UN to deepen international pressure and have openly called for President Bashar Al-Asad to step aside. Turkey, until recently one of the regime’s closest allies, has been one of Syria’s most vocal critics. Lastly, the conservative Gulf monarchies, which continue to have reservations about regional popular unrest, have nonetheless pushed ahead with Arab League efforts to further isolate Syria.

On the one hand, local and expatriate Syrian forces opposed to the regime are backed by the West, and key Arab and Sunni states such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey. On the other hand, the Al-Asad regime enjoys the support of its key regional ally Iran, support from Hezbollah in Lebanon, and strong international backing from Russia and China – countries that could play counter-revolutionary roles during what is increasingly looking like a “long winter of Arab discontent.”

A number of countries – including US NATO allies such as France and Turkey – increasingly entertain the prospect of creating a “humanitarian corridor” in Syria, potentially along the border with Turkey, to provide relief to both the Syrian population and dissident groups opposed to the Asad regime. These calls are echoed by Syrian opposition forces both in and outside Syria, including the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council (SNC).

These calls do not address the real world challenges of creating such a “humanitarian corridor”: joint and combined military operations to suppress Syria’s air defense network, the need to neutralize the country’s air force, eliminating Syria’s asymmetric deterrence by containing unconventional threats from long range missiles (potentially armed with chemical or biological agents) and instability along the Golan Heights. They also do not address the risk of eventually having to engage loyal Syrian ground forces (including large concentrations of Alawites) that see few prospects in a post-Asad Syria.

Some consider military intervention in Syria to be a potential next step in shifting the regional balance in favor of the US and its allies. There is little question that sustained military operations in Libya would have been impossible without American logistics, targeting, command and control and sheer military capacity. In the case of Syria, military intervention is similarly unlikely to succeed without US involvement. However, military intervention, in the Middle East, let alone near the epicenter of the Arab-Israeli conflict, always involves serious risks and the impact of the law of unintended consequences.

There now is only limited support in the US, Europe, and the Arab world for direct intervention in Syria. However, the same could also have been said in the lead-up to operations in Libya. There are also reasons why the US might directly (or indirectly) take the lead in such efforts. The withdrawal of US troops from Iraq has left many questions about the future role and influence of the US, especially in the context of strategic competition with Iran. Instability in Syria presents Washington with the opportunity to undermine Iran’s regional posture, weaken or change the leadership of one of its key regional allies and potentially to downgrade the Islamic Republic’s role in the Arab-Israeli conflict through Hezbollah.

Syria is not Libya. While the later may be geographically much larger, it is a mostly empty country with a small population and very limited military capacity. In contrast, Syria’s population is more than three times larger than Libya, has almost 30 times the latter’s population density and a much larger and far more capable military overall. All of these factors complicate any calculus on military intervention in Syria, whether in terms of the level of potential military opposition, or with regards to the risk of high civilian casualties.

Opposition forces in Syria do not control territory, nor do they currently have military resources at their disposal to mount more than hit-and-run attacks. Most attacks by the FSA, while potentially coordinated, seem to have limited tactical or strategic depth and have yet to present a serious challenge to units loyal to the regime. While Libya’s opposition forces were divided, Syria’s are far more so, with little unity or agreement on the use of violence as a means to an end, and discord about the potential role of foreign intervention. The bulk of the security forces remain largely loyal as decades of over-recruiting from mainly rural minority groups bares fruit in terms of a strong corporatist military culture.

As the US and its allies weigh options for their next-steps in their Syria policies, they need to consider a number of key military and political factors that shape the prospects for any form of direct intervention:

  • Syria’s military forces have many qualitative limitations, particularly in terms of modern weapons, combat readiness, and recent combat experience. They are, however, very large and months of protests, and concern over a potential Israeli strike on Iran, have made them more alert. They would need to acquire more modern and capable systems, such as major surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and a new sensor and C4I network to defeat a major US-led air operation, but it would take a far more advanced operation than was the case in Libya, and Syria’s leverage over Hezbollah, and Syrian long range missiles, air and coastal defense systems, and chemical and biological stockpiles present another kind of challenge.
  • Despite defections and desertions, Syria’s praetorian military units may have little choice but to rally around the Asad regime. Given their limited prospects in a post-Asad Syria, heavily Alawite elite units with sizeable numbers of loyal Sunnis will likely perceive no alternatives to defending the regime in the event of wider intervention.
  • Armed opponents of the regime, such as the Free Syrian Army, are an important development. However, their size, structural limitations, their predominantly Sunni character and as-of-yet limited command and control and offensive capabilities mean that the FSA has limited prospects in the short term for presenting a meaningful counterweight or alternative to the Syrian military. It is far more likely that the group’s insurgency will be used as a platform by the Asad regime to weaken an already divided Syrian opposition.
  • Syria’s internal divisions are not new. However the Asad regime has managed to escalate Sunni-Alawite tension to the point that it has taken a life of its own and could be difficult to bring under control by any of the country’ political forces. This presents the risk that any escalation in Syria’s instability is likely to be sectarian, with real prospects for deepening divisions and broadening communal segregation. A divided Syria, once an unlikely worst case scenario for Syrians, grows increasingly probable as a result.
  • Given Syria’s relatively high population density and the close proximity of civilian and military centers, it is unlikely that airstrikes in or near major urban centers – even with advanced targeting – will result in fewer casualties than the number of Syrians the Asad regime is thought to have killed so far.
  • The Asad regime may react by pursing strategies that risk deeper regional destabilization as a means of deterring its regional and international opponents. It could also undertake desperate efforts to secure the future of the Alawite community. Syria’s potential responses – which include turning to regional proxies and its BCW-capable ballistic missile holdings – range in scale but all have potentially catastrophic consequences for Syria and the region. They also vary considerably based on what triggers Syrian escalation.
  • In the event of further escalation in Syria, there is no certainty that regional spillover effects can be contained. Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq are susceptible to instability, as are Israel and Turkey. The scale of Sunni-Shi’a regional acrimony, the stalled Arab-Israeli peace process and uncertainty about future political forces warrant a degree of caution.
  • The prospect of direct escalation in Syria may trigger kneejerk reactions from both Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. This includes deflecting attention from Syria and heightening the costs of intervention by escalating tensions with Israel. Should intervention take place, there is little to prevent Iran and its allies in Lebanon and Iraq from undertaking potentially destabilizing action in Syria not unlike the cycle of violence in Iraq in the wake of the US invasion.
  • Russia has emerged as a key player in balancing against further intervention in Syria. It is likely that Moscow will opt to heighten the stakes further through military posturing in the Mediterranean and “game-changing” military aid to Syria to deter the US and its allies from further escalating in Syria and raising the prospect of Libya-style intervention in the Levant. Other members of the so-called “BRICS” countries, crucially China, can also be expected to bandwagon with Russia at least at the level of the UN Security Council.

It could be argued that even without further escalation, a year of Syrian instability has been a critical setback not only to the Asad regime, but also to Iran and Hezbollah. Syria’s future will be governed largely by uncertainty and prolonged malaise. Given the range of risks, the US and its allies should consider carefully the potential costs and unintended consequences of further intervention in Syria.

تقرير إنساني من حمص: البحث عن الخبز والمازوت..فيديو في المشافي السرية
Syria Politic
Thursday, January 05, 2012

Arab League seeks UN help in Syria

Those who fear change in Syria
by Stephen Starr on Jan 5, 2012 • 12:00 pm

Three Reasons the Syrian National Council has rejected unification with the National Coordinating Body for Democracy.- al-Jazeerah video in Arabic
Samir Nashar (SNC) – Michel Kilo – Abdal Aziz al-Khaiyr (NCB) debate

  1. They refuse to hold dialog with Assad because he has killed Syrians
  2. They want foreign intervention to stop the killing.
  3. The SNC supports the Free Syrian Army; whereas, the NCB does not

The case against military intervention in Syria
Marwa Daoudy – a lecturer at the Middle East Centre, St Antony’s College, the University of Oxford.

In keeping to its spirit and independence, the Syrian Revolution would remain just, powerful and legitimate….. foreign military intervention should, under all circumstances, be ruled out; domestically, resistance to the regime should also remain unarmed…..

The regime is still in control of the army and the security forces, despite a few thousand defections to the Free Syrian Army. To deter future dissent, tortured bodies have been found or returned to families. The regime’s increasing violence is also leading to the collapse of institutions and public authority. Declining incomes from oil sales and the public sector, and a freeze on trade with Turkey and the European Union are impacting on the population rather than the regime…..

The risk of civil war is looming. Syrians are now killing each other in isolated incidents on the basis of their uniforms, alleged loyalties and religious affiliations….. If the country was forced to accept an externally imposed no-fly zone or safe haven, the parts of the population that have so far kept away from the struggle would side with the regime in a surge of national pride and solidarity…..

Syrian Media Awaken Despite Clampdown
By Alice Fordham

Jan. 5 (Washington Post) — BEIRUT — In the wake of a nine-month uprising, Syrian authorities are exerting ever-tighter control over the media, routinely censoring and detaining reporters, bloggers and photojournalists. But in spite of the risks, a flurry of new outlets has emerged to tell stories banned by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The magazines and journals — mostly produced outside the country and published online — offer an alternative to established newspapers and news channels in Syria…

MEMRI: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman Calls for U.S. to Take Heed of Public Opinion, 2012-01-06

In a December 31, 2011 article titled “Embracing the New Year’s Opportunities for Change,” which appeared in the English edition of the London-based daily Al-Hayat, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman praised …

Comments (42)

Ghufran said:

That was quick and much appreciated,ehsani
How would Syrians respond to an impending financial crisis?
Historically,when the crisis is blamed on sanctions,people suffer but not necessarily revolt against the regime. This time,the problem seems much bigger due to a dangerous mix of internal strife and external pressure.
A key factor here is neighboring countries,Iran and whether a political compromise acceptable to the US can be reached. I was never thought I would see this in my life time despite knowing that Syria was a time bomb.

January 9th, 2012, 12:43 am


aldendeshe معتز الدندشي said:

@Ehsani said : “….My sources continue to say that the answers is “Months”. They have been saying this of course for months. My own prediction is that it will take another year or two before things truly unfold….”

Ehsani, go for 10 or Twenty years. Syria is not an economy that you can use the text book economics that are used in Developed Western Economies to make prediction and forecasts based on learned trajectories. With the little help with hard currencies they get from Iran, they can sustain themselves with under the table printing presses for way too much time. As long as they have self sufficiency in wheat, corn, burghul, tahini, garlic, Onion and Lemons, Rice and meat and fish, they well maintain a stable economy. Syrians lived in deprivation for 6 decades, they are used to it. The Baathist click and parasites that lived luxurious protected life all account for merely 2% of the population. Many of these already have few millions in hidden in foreign bank accounts and will not be affected by economy, they can retire rich today.

As long as Iran sends in cash when the central bank need it, and as long as Syria is receiving in access of 3 billion, officially stated amount ( our estimate is in the 5-6 billions) annually remittance from abroad. They will survive, because it is a State Controlled Monopoly on all cash and hard currencies, as well as State industries productions and revenue. All that will preclude it from collapse as this the end game in free economy having global competition.

January 9th, 2012, 12:45 am


Waseem said:

ALDENDESHE معتز الدندشي said:

“Syria is not an economy that you can use the text book economics that are used in Developed Western Economies to make prediction and forecasts based on learned trajectories.”

This is a baseless and incorrect assertion. The principles of economics do not change with the subject country. In fact, much of the study of economics has its origins in attempting to make sense of why some nations developed and grew rich, while others lagged behind.

Syria is not immune to inflation. If the Syrian government has found a way to avoid inflation, I’m sure the governments of the rest of the world are dying to know these magical secrets.

Whether crops are grown inside or outside (supposed self sufficiency) is irrelevant to a discussion of inflation and financial collapse. A crop grown inside Syria is just as subject to inflation as a crop grown outside Syria. The dramatic rise in prices of all food items and the weakening exchange rate support my argument.

It also does not matter if wealthy Syrians have enough tucked away to last. If they cannot pay the army and the shabiha, those groups will simply stop fighting for the regime. Syria is headed down the same path as Argentina circa the late 90’s

January 9th, 2012, 1:35 am


Mina said:

The renowned historian Eric Hobsbawm has watched the revolutions of 2011 with excitement – and notes that it’s now the middle class, not the working class, that is making waves.

“It was an enormous joy to discover once again that it’s possible for people to get down in the streets, to demonstrate, to overthrow governments,” says EJ Hobsbawm at the close of a year of revolutionary upheaval in the Arab world.

He has lived his life in the shadow, or the glow, of revolutions.

Born just months before the Russian revolution of 1917, he was a Communist for most of his adult life – as well as an innovative and influential writer and thinker.

He has been a historian of revolution, and at times an advocate of revolutionary change.

Today’s most effective mass mobilisations start from a new modernised middle class – particularly the enormously swollen body of students”

Now in his mid-nineties, his continuing passion for politics is reflected in the title of his most recent book How to Change the World – and in his keen interest in the Arab Spring.

“I certainly felt a sense of excitement and relief,” he says, talking to me in his north London home, which is strolling distance from Hampstead Heath.

Books about jazz – he was once a jazz critic – jostle for space on the shelves with works of history in several languages.

“If there is to be a revolution, it should be a bit like this. At least in the first few days. People turning up in the streets, demonstrating for the right things.”

But, he adds: “We know it won’t last.”

The historian in him draws a parallel between the Arab Spring of 2011 and Europe’s “year of revolutions” almost two centuries earlier, when an uprising in France was followed by others in the Italian and German states, in the Hapsburg Empire, and beyond.
Arab democracies?

“It reminds me of 1848 – another self-propelled revolution which started in one country then spread all over the continent in a short time.”

One of the few British historians whose books are best-sellers, Hobsbawm has written works with global horizons and broad narrative sweep. Egypt is the land of Hobsbawm’s birth, but his European Jewish parents moved to Vienna when he was two, and soon afterwards to Berlin. Orphaned as a teenager, with Hitler’s grip on power tightening, in 1933 he came to London. After gaining a PhD from Cambridge, he became a lecturer at Birkbeck College London in 1947, publishing the first of more than 30 books in 1948

For those who once crowded Tahrir Square and are now worried about the fate of their revolution, he has a word of comfort.

“Two years after 1848, it looked as if it had all failed. In the long run, it hadn’t failed. A good deal of liberal advances had been made. So it was an immediate failure but a longer term partial success – though no longer in the form of a revolution.”

However, with the possible exception of Tunisia, he sees little prospect of liberal democracy or European-style representative government in the Arab world.

Not enough notice has been taken, he says, of the differences between Arab countries in the throes of mass protests.

“We are in the middle of a revolution – but it isn’t the same revolution.”

“What unites them is a common discontent and common mobilisable forces – a modernising middle class, particularly a young, student middle class, and of course technology which makes it today very much easier to mobilise protests.”

The importance of social media extends to the other global movement of the past year, the Occupy protests North America and Europe. That too has caught Eric Hobsbawm’s attention, and to a large extent his admiration.

The movement dates back, he argues, to Barack Obama’s election campaign, which successfully mobilised otherwise politically inactive young people, largely through the internet.

“The actual occupations in most cases have not been mass protests, not the 99%, but the famous ‘stage army’ of students and counter culture. Sometimes that has found an echo in public opinion – and in the anti-Wall Street, anti-capitalist occupations, that is clearly the case.”

Yet across the world, the old left of which Hobsbawm was a part – as participant, chronicler and would-be moderniser – has been on the margins of the mass protests and occupations.

“The traditional left was geared to a kind of society that is no longer in existence or is going out of business. It believed very largely in the mass labour movement as the carrier of the future. Well, we’ve been de-industrialised, so that’s no longer possible.

“The most effective mass mobilisations today are those which start from a new modernised middle class, and particularly the enormously swollen body of students.

“They are more effective in countries in which, demographically, young men and women are a far greater part of the population than they are in Europe.”
Wider push

Eric Hobsbawm doesn’t expect the Arab revolutions to ricochet still further round the world, at least not as the harbinger of wider revolution.

More likely, he believes, is a wider push for gradual reform of the sort which, in the 1980s, saw a movement of the young and middle class in South Korea wrest power from the military.

Of the political dramas still playing out in Arabic speaking nations, he makes a point of harking back to Iran in 1979, the first revolution to be couched in the political language of Islam.

One aspect of that revolution has found an echo in the Arab world in recent months.

“The people who had made concessions to Islam, but were not Islamists themselves, were marginalised. And that included reformers, liberals, communists.

“What emerges as the mass ideology is not the ideology of those that started off the demonstrations.”

While the Arab Spring has brought him joy, this aspect of it he regards as an “unexpected and not necessarily welcome” development.

Andrew Whitehead’s interview with Eric Hobsbawm will be broadcast on the BBC World Service’s World Today Programme.

(But I cannot find the interview on the BBC website!! Too commy?)

January 9th, 2012, 1:39 am


yqxo said:

Three videos about faking the suicide bomb in Damasucs last week.


I saw one of them and I was not convinced, but three of them? Might be true, someone in Syrian State TV can’t stomach these lies and hopefully we will see the whole debacle unedited.

January 9th, 2012, 3:44 am


Mina said:

An important article on the financial crisis in Turkey:

Recall notice for the Turkish model
By Spengler

Among all the dumb things said about the so-called Arab Spring last year, perhaps the dumbest was the idea that the new democracies of the Arab world might follow the Turkish model.

In fact, if you had invested in the Turkish model (that is, in the Turkish stock market) at the outbreak of the Arab revolts, you would have lost about half your money. If you leave your money in Turkey, you probably will lose the rest of it. Turkey is not a model. It is a bubble, and it is bursting, starting with the stock market and national currency.

January 9th, 2012, 3:59 am


Mina said:

Democracy according to the AL? Cancel a wedding because the impotents are unable to meet in one of the AL headquarters in Cairo and prefer a 5 stars hotel near the airport in Heliopolis… (But please let the FB and Twitter expat Arab teenagers believe in the AL because they might turn suicide bombers next time when al Aroor and Qardawy will tell them to).

Arab states continue to disagree over Syria
Following much quarrelling Sunday afternoon, Arab League delegates decide to keep their 67-strong observer mission in Syria, acknowledging a ‘partial decline’ in violence
Dina Ezzat , Sunday 8 Jan 2012

The maids of honour arrived and so did the groom’s best men. However, they could not enter the Pearl Hall at the Fairmont Towers in Heliopolis reserved for the wedding.

The Arab League meeting, in the very same hall, was dragging on as delegates quibbled over the situation in Syria. The meeting that started at two o’clock in the afternoon was supposed to end by five or so to allow the hotel to rearrange the setting and prepare for the wedding.

However, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El-Arabi and the foreign ministers of six Arab countries, along with their respective delegations, were still haggling over what to do with Syria and with the Arab League mission there, in theory until 19 January.

Ahmed El-Dabi, the head of the mission who arrived in Syria on 19 December, shared with El-Arabi and the foreign ministers – or their representatives – of Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Oman, Qatar and Egypt his assessment of the situation in Syria and the job conducted by the Arab League mission.

According to sources present in the meeting, the remarks of El-Dabi “which do not amount to a final report yet” indicated some but not full cooperation on the part of the Syrian authorities.

The mandate of the Arab League mission in Syria is to inspect the regime’s efforts in executing a set of commitments in accordance with a protocol set forward by the Arab League. The agreement that Syria signed is part of Arab League efforts to end the violence against demonstrators that have for the past ten months been demanding an end to the ruling regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

This mandate, ministerial meeting sources say, seems to be only half-heartedly taken by the Syrian authorities “but it is certainly not fully disregarded”.

The Qatari and Saudi delegations, and to a lesser extent that of Oman, seemed unsatisfied with the level of cooperation thus demonstrated by the Syrian regime and argued that it is better to withdraw the 67-strong observer mission than to comply with what they thought was a phony indication of a reduction of violence against demonstrators.

According to one Arab diplomat, Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim, who headed the meeting, urged for more pressure to be applied to the Syrian regime. Bin Jassim called for UN enforcement of the League’s mission, as the UN Security Council would assemble to discuss developments in Syria at the UN’s headquarters in New York on Tuesday.

Other delegations, the same diplomat said, were suggesting that it might be a better idea to solicit the technical assistance of the UN peace-keeping expertise, while a third group was arguing that the mission should continue its mandate and that any further decisions should await 19 January pull out.

Syrian opposition figures who took part in the meeting, one hour after its inauguration, said that they were not at all satisfied with the continued high levels of bloody anti-protest violence during the presence of the Arab League mission.

They demanded the suspension of the mission pending further cooperation of the Syrian regime or in anticipation of a firmer international stance that might force Assad to step down, in line with France’s demand, or to take steps towards a prompt power transition.

“It is a very tricky situation because Syria is such a tricky country with a diverse ethnic composition and with endless influences on regional stability, especially in Lebanon and Iraq,” said an Arab diplomat. He added that no agreement could be expected among the vast majority of the Arab countries on a tougher stance against Assad, “I mean really tougher”, before there is an agreement “at least in principal” on how to keep the country together when Assad “would be ultimately forced to go – one way or the other.”

Several Arab and Western diplomats say that for Assad it is a matter of when and not if, he will go.

As the meeting was coming to an end, a draft resolution obtained by Ahram Online indicated the intention of the Arab League to keep its mission in Syria for the length of it mandate and to enforce its technical and financial capacity.

According to the draft resolution, the Arab League acknowledged a partial decline in violence in Syria while calling on the Syrian regime to fully end the violence.


January 9th, 2012, 4:31 am


majedkhaldoun said:

What has been missing in this analysis are
1) The sizable opposition
2) the determination of the opposition
It is true that the fight will take sectarian face,the regime is to blame for this,other sects such as christians they support the regime but not as loyalist as the Alawites, The Druze are mostly against the regime,the Kurds are divided.
People in Damascus and Aleppo are generaly wealthier than rural areas and are accostomed to live with the control of Alawite,they are less religous than the rural people,and are willing to mix with the Alawite through marriage.this created the Ghufran syndrom.

The economic factor will take several months,but its effect will increase as printing money increase and devalue of the lira,which will accelerate, this will lead to more crimes,stealing corruption and murders,destabilizing the society,increasing the tension.

will increase in number due to defection and arming the revolution,supported by the money provided by Gulf states,raw bands will appear.and will become a major problem.
THe Elite are getting much more depressed as they loose control,the conflict will create new group who will be enriched by the conflict,morality will deteriorate a lot,lawlessness will rise the country will be difficult to control, suspicion of everything will become widespread.Rumors will become more beleavable.
This state can not be maintained, questioning the judgements of the leaders will be public, at that time the army will split vertically and the country will divide and seperate.foreign intervention will then markedly rise.
Damascus is the most critical issue,the regime will quickly loose control if he loose DamascusFSA must concentrate on Damascus.

January 9th, 2012, 8:25 am


Ali said:

يوتوب فيديو عمن وراء تفجير دمشق: غوار الطوشه في هذا الفيديو
Because of the regime’s history of murder, it is not an outlandish conspiracy theory to blame Assad’s regime for the bombings!

January 9th, 2012, 8:34 am


jad said:

What a difference between the sectarian ‘disease’ of #7 and this speech.

سماحة الشيخ حسون

أقول لمن حملوا السلاح من خارج الوطن اسقطوا السلاح فسورية ستولد من جديد هذا العام
إن اردتم سلطة فأرونا مناجهكم ولا تشرعوا علينا اسلحتكم
سورية لا تكون عزتها بقتل اطفالها وأهلها سورية ارادها الله لتكون مهدا لديانات السماء
سورية تفتح يديها لكل أبناء لبنان أمام الأزمات فهم ابناءها ولكل ابناء فلسطين وتقول إجلسوا في سورية ما شئتم
نبينا كان يخرج من ارض الحجاز إلى الشام ثم يقول لأصحابه إذا كثر القتل فعليكم ببلاد الشام فأنها الأمن والأمان إلى يوم القيامة
سورية هناك طاقة فوقها اسمها ملائكة الرحمن ترفرف عليها إلى يوم القيام
إن راهنتم على الطوائف والمذاهب والأحزاب في سورية أقول لكم لا تراهنوا فنحن إذا اشتدت الشدائد ننسى آلامنا وننصهر جسدا واحدا

January 9th, 2012, 9:43 am


jad said:

Regarding your comment about Women’s rights, here is a message from Bassam Alkadi to Roula Ibrahim (A Syrian working in Aljazeera TV as a news anchor) and to all Syrians who still working for TV channels that spread the message of hate and violence, he raised the issue of Women in the constitution asking for it to be a main point in it.

رسالة إلى رولا ابراهيم، وكل السوريين/ات العاملين في قنوات الإجرام

تذكرين عزيزتي رولا (مع حفظ الألقاب)، أنني دافعت عنك وعن العزيزة زينة يازجي حين تعرضتما لحملة تخوين شنيعة في بدايات الأحداث الدموية في سورية. معتبرا أن وجود السوريين والسوريات في هذه القنوات قد يلعب دورا إيجابيا في تخفيف جنونهما المعادي لسورية الشعب، والحرية، والأمن.

ولكن وقتا طويلا مضى منذ ذلك الحين، وقت امتلأ بجثث الضحايا الذين قضى عليهم إجرام النظام السوري، وامتلأ أكثر فأكثر بجثث الضحايا الذين يقضي عليهم كل يوم إجرام أصولي طائفي قذر، وخائن أيضا، يسعى إلى تأمين احتلال سورية بذريعة “الحرية”، التي لا تعني عندهم سوى أن يكنسوا أشخاص هذا النظام ليحتلوا أماكنهم، فيقيموا ديكتاتورية أصولية أخرى أقرب ما تكون إلى همجية. وليس أدل من ذلك رفضهم المطلق، حتى اليوم، لوضع برنامج ملموس لكيفية إسقاط هذا النظام، وكذلك لما يريدون لنا بعده.

وبدلا من ذلك يكتفون بجمل عامة يوافق عليها سادتهم من الأخوان المجرمين والسلفيين، وسادة هؤلاء في باريس وواشنطن وأنقرة والدوحة.. أي “العدالة”، “التكافؤ”، “مايريده الشعب”…

لم يخبرونا أبدا إن كانوا يريدون دستورا علمانيا يقضي نهائيا على أية عنصرية دينية تتمثل اليوم بحصر منصب رئيس الجمهوربة بمسلم! ولا باضهاد ديني بجعل الشريعة الإسلامية (على كل ما في هذه الكلمة من معاني متناقضة حد الصراع الدموي) مرجعية للقوانين!

لم يخبرونا إن كانت الديمقراطية التي يتحدثون عنها تتضمن حق حرية العقيدة. أي أن لكل إنسان أن يؤمن بما يشاء، أو لا يؤمن بأي شيء، مع كفالة حقه بأن لا تنتقص أي من حقوقه كمواطن/ة بناء على خياره هذا!

لم يخبرونا إن كانت المواطنة تعني تثبيت بند في الدستور ينص على أن النساء والرجال متساوون في الحقوق والواجبات، وتعديل كل قانون تمييزي ضدهم (من قانون الأحوال الشخصية الطائفي، وحتى قانون العقوبات)!

لم يخبرونا إن كانت الديمقراطية تلك تعني ضرائب تصاعدية على أصحاب رؤوس الأموال، وضمان اجتماعي عام!

ولم يخبرونا.. ولم يخبرونا…

ومن الغريب أن يكون من يريد كنس نظام لأنه كذا وكذا، لا يعلن أي برنامج يقول فيه ما الذي يريد فعله بعد أن يكنس هذا النظام؟!

ديمقراطية؟ ديمقراطية من؟ ديمقراطية الأخوان المجرمين؟ أم الوهابيين؟ أم السلفيين؟ أم عملاء أمريكا؟! لأن الديمقراطية التي تناقض هذا النظام هي حصرا: ديمقراطية المواطنة. أي، وبلا لبس، كل ما لم يخبرونا عنه!!

وتعرفين جيدا لماذا لا يخبرونا عنه. لأن ما في جعبتهم هو أسوأ مما نحن فيه. ليس ضد النساء وحسب، وليس ضد الحريات فحسب، بل حتى ضد الأطفال الذين ما زال الأخوان المجرمين والوهابيين والسلفيين يشرعون اغتصابهن باسم “الشريعة”؟!

وغير ذلك، تعرفين جيدا أن مجرمي هؤلاء قتلوا وفظعوا ليس فقط بالعكسريين والشرطة والمخابرات في سورية، بل أيضا بالمدنيين الذين اختلفوا عنهم طائفيا (!!)، وبكل مدني رفض الانصياع لأوامرهم الإجرامية بإضراب أو مظاهرة أو…

وتعرفين أكثر من أي شخص آخر أن الفيديوهات التي تعرضها هذه القنوات الإجرامية لا تصل إليها قبل أن تمر على مفبركي الفيديوهات (وكإعلامية تعرفين أن للفبركة فنون ومستويات، بعضها هو فقط موناتجي)!

وربما تعرفين أيضا أن بعض هذه الفيديوهات يتسرب من قوى الإجرام داخل النظام السوري نفسه. فهي لا تختلف بشيء عن تلك سوى بلون قبعاتها!

ولكنك تعرفين، وبالتأكيد أكثر من أي شخص آخر، كيف أن المعلومة بحد ذاتها لا تشكل، في الإعلام، إلا أقل من 5 % من أي خبر إعلامي. بينما صياغته وكلماته والاتجاه الذي تدفع نحوه تشكل 95% من الخبر، و100% من آثاره. فالحيادية في الإعلام ليست إلا كذبة اخترعها أباطرة الإعلام ليمكنوا زيفهم من أن يكون “مقنعا”.

حتى المعلومات التي قد تكون صحيحة، تبث عبر الجزيرة التي تعملين بها، وغيرها، بأسلوب وطريقة وإخراج ونبرة صوت، و.. و.. تؤدي إلى غاية واحدة فقط: تأجيج سفك الدماء في سورية، وطائفيا أيضا، بهدف النيل من سورية البلد، وليس سورية النظام. فهم يعرفون جيدا أن النظام لن يسقط بغير تفجير البلد نفسه. هذه ليست اختراعات وتخريفات نظام، هذه وقائع عسكرية وميدانية واجتماعية وطائفية واعتقادية لم يستطع حتى عتاة الكذب والنفاق أن ينكرها. وإذا كان النظام يقول ذلك بإرادة باطل، فإرادة الباطل لا تغير ما هو حق!

إذا، السؤال البسيط ياعزيزتي: ماذا تفعلين اليوم، أنت وزملائك في قنوات الإجرام: الجزيرة، العربية، فرانس 24، الأورينت، الدنيا؟

لماذا ما زلت هناك بعد أن تحولت هذه القنوات إلى أدوات إجرامية بكل ما في الكلمة من معنى ضد شعبك بالذات؟ شعبك الذي لا تحملين جنسيته فحسب، بل تحملين أيضا دمه وتاريخه وحضارته.. والأهم من كل ذلك: كرامته؟!

لماذا ما زلت هناك تساهمين بوجودك وعملك في هذا الإجرام؟ شئت ذلك أم أبيت؟ رغبت به أم لم ترغبين؟ فأنت، أيضا، من الذين يعرفون جيدا أن النوايا لا تعني شيئا في عالم الإعلام (مثلما في غيره)، بل ما تفعل هو ما يعني كل شيء. وما تفعل في الإعلام: ما تقدم، وكيف تقدم، وبأية وجوه وأصوات تقدم.

نعم يا عزيزتي رولا، لقد بات وجودك وزملائك وزميلاتك في قنوات الإجرام وجودا يثير ألف سؤال وسؤال. وجود لا يخدم إلا أهدافهم المجرمة بتدمير الشعب السوري ودفعه نحو حرب أهلية لن تكون الحرب الطائفية إلا جزءا يسيرا منها.. وجود لا يخدم شعبك بحال.. بل، إن شئت الحقيقة، فهو يخدم التيار المجرم في النظام، مثلما يخدم مرتزقة الأصولية الوهابية والسلفية والأخوانية.. عبيد العثمانيين والناتو..

هذه ليست دعوة لك لتتركي عملك، بل، ببساطة الدم الذي يسفك كل ساعة في سورية، دعوة لتوقظي ضميرك فيحكم هو فيما تفعلين اليوم، وفي إن لم تكن القروش التي تقبضينها هناك (هي احتياج أساسي من أجل الحياة) قد صارت ثمنا لمشاركتك الموضوعية في تدمير بلدك..

هي دعوة لك لكي تعيد التفكير جيدا بمدى عمق واتساع الجريمة التي تشيعها وتعززها قنوات الإجرام هذا، وفي كم من الناس يقتل يوميا (سواء بأي مجرمي الأصولية أو مجرمي النظام) بسبب السياسة الممنهجة لهذه القنوات والهادفة إلى المزيد من الإيغال في الدم السوري..

هي دعوة لك، كسورية، إلى أن لا تنسي كل مهاراتك ومعارفك الإعلامية حين تفكرين بمبرر ومعنى وجودك في قنوات الإجرام هذه.. لأن نسيانك لها لن يعني أبدا نسيان الناس هنا لها..

أشهر طويلة مرت يا رولا.. الكثير تغير.. والكثير توضح.. وما لم يعد فيه شك اليوم أن الجزيرة والعربية وفرانس 24 وأورينت.. هي شريكة كاملة الشراكة في الجريمة ضد الشعب السوري، تعمل ليل نهار، أيا كانت نواياها، في الإيغال في الدم السوري، والإيغال في تدمير سورية، والمضي نحو بيعها في سوق النخاسة الدولي لمن “يدفع أكثر”..

فلا تبخلي على وطنك بموقف سيكون، مع مواقف زملائك وزميلاتك، رسالة هامة جدا لهؤلاء القتلة المجرمين، ورسالة هامة أكثر لشعبك نفسه الذي يستباح دمه اليوم بلا رادع.. وليس، بحال، دفاع عن نظام أو تأييد له. بل دفاع عن شعب ورفض لذبحه. دفاع عن بلد ورفض لبيعه..

واسمحي لي أخيرا أنني استخدمت اسمك لأوجه الخطاب لك، ربما بسبب المودة التي أكنها لك رغم عدم تعارفنا شخصيا. فهي رسالة لك، وعبرك لكل من يعمل في تلك القنوات المجرمة، أيا كان عمله، من أصغر “كهربجي” فيها، إلى أعلى منصب في إدارتها.

وتقبلي مودتي واحترامي

*- الدنيا هي الوجه الآخر للحقيقة نفسها: من يبيع وطنه لأجل نظام قائم لا يختلف عن من يبيع وطنه لأجل نظام يريده أن يقوم.

**-أرجوك، لا تفكري بحال أنني أعفيت النظام من مسؤوليته، لا التاريخية ولا الراهنة، تجاه هذا العنف الذي يكتسح بلدنا. لكن الوقوف عند هذا، وتجاهل أن الواقع قد تغير بحيث صار إجرام الشارع يهدد وجود الوطن بحد ذاته، هو أمر بعيد كل البعد عن أي مستوى من الوعي السياسي. فالسياسة لم تكن يوما، ولن تكون، فن المناطحة المميتة، بل فن بناء ومعرفة قدرات الواقع، واستثمارها.


January 9th, 2012, 9:56 am


Ghufran said:

Do not you wish that our “know it all surgeon” sticks to the things he may know something about and keep his wild predictions to a TV program that interviews witches and fortune tellers? However, I have to confess that I find his post entertaining and I do not take it seriously.
On a serious note,diversity and intermarriages is a wonderful thing and it is not a Syndrome,what is truly a syndrome is people with degrees and money who can not see beyond their nose.
In my extended family,we have Palestinians,an Iraqi,and Syrians from most religious and ethnic groups,we only need a Kurd and a Druze to become a mini Syria. A number of women in our family chose to wear alhijab and a couple were victims of Assad brutal regime,nobody in my extended family is rich enough to go to “the best hotel in the world “, and even if they were,they would not be bragging about it when Syrians are standing in long lines to get their share of daily necessities.
Diversity is what allows people like our surgeon here to survive and thrive in a country like the US without becoming a hostage to his religious or political affiliation.
Dr majed,you have the right to speak,and we have the right to reject your ridiculous philosophy and disagree with your vision of the future. We both emigrated to the US and that was good for Syria, for different reasons in our case.
I was just told that abughassan’s group reached their modest goal of collecting $200,000 for Syria’s relief,none of those who donated had the chance to go to Vail.

January 9th, 2012, 9:58 am


jad said:

Re:Assessing the Risks of Military Intervention
This is the report in Arabic, I linked it before.

Some news about the SNC meeting, it seems that Istanbul council may extend to Ghalyoun which made Haytham Almale7 go ‘crazy’ (according to Ashraf) and things wont be clear until later.

January 9th, 2012, 10:15 am


mjabali said:

The future of Syria is dark with the likes of you Majedkhaldoun.

Your comment number 7 tells what a sectarian monster you are. Your attitude regarding mixed marriages is an indicative of how religion (Sunni Islam in your case) can brainwash a human being and create a monster. Funny how you live in the West among what you consider Infidels.

The future of Syria is through Secularism otherwise people like you are going to take it, and the whole Middle East to hell because of religion.

Here is two articles especially for you: one from Syria and one from Egypt to show what is the future looks like with your type ya Az3ar:


The second one is from today’s al-Arabiyah and reports how the most important business man in Egypt is taken to court…it is the Inquisition all over again….


January 9th, 2012, 10:17 am


Ghufran said:

100,00 Copts left Egypt in 2011 alone,and a larger number left Iraq since 2003
The islamists have no agenda for the future and will be rejected by most muslims including many of their own supporters who will discover that they invited the bear to their Bustaan. Syrians historically have been champions of diversity and peaceful change,this tragedy will end but the rebirth of the nation will not be easy,thousands of lives were lost and it will take time for Syrians to get over their anguish and anger and start talking instead of fighting.

January 9th, 2012, 10:33 am


Ghufran said:

Brian Whitaker

Lack of headway on the diplomatic front inevitably leads to talk of military action – a course also favoured by some of the Syrian opposition. One recent report, from the Washington Institute, looks at a variety of options (including a no-fly zone) while another, from the Henry Jackson society, favours creating a safe haven in the north of Syria.

While both reports favour military intervention, neither makes a particularly convincing case. They both acknowledge considerable risks and the Washington Institute’s report ends rather feebly by saying military intervention “should be carefully considered, not avoided altogether”. If this is the most that two thinktanks with neocon tendencies can come up with, then it’s probably a non-starter.

Although the arguments about protecting civilians during the Libyan uprising can also be applied to Syria, there are major differences in terms of practicalities. Aram Nerguizian of the Center for Strategic and International Studies explains them in a report which urges the US and its allies to “consider carefully the potential costs and unintended consequences of further intervention in Syria”.

The reality, harsh as it may be, is that there is very little that outsiders can usefully do to help the Syrian uprising beyond isolating the Assad regime as much as possible. This does not mean the revolution is doomed but it does mean the protesters will have to depend mainly on their own resources. In the long run, that could be beneficial if it eventually produces a government that is self-reliant and relatively independent of foreign influences.

The cost in human lives is certainly high, and it could get worse. But beneath the surface, the picture is shifting gradually but surely in the protesters’ direction. The regime is in deepening financial trouble and its authority is crumbling. As Syria watcher Joshua Landis noted on his blog:

“What we are witnessing … is not the clash of two titanic and centralised bodies: the state and the opposition. Instead, we are seeing the steady erosion of state authority and national institutions, as the opposition, which remains largely organised on a local basis, undermines central authority at many points.”
The question is no longer whether the regime will fall, but when.

January 9th, 2012, 10:50 am


majedkhaldoun said:

“The islamists have no agenda for the future and will be rejected by most muslims ”
Islamist will be rejected by Moslems,what kind of logic?, is this an educated person, is a person like this who hate islam is he a believer,he is non believer in Islam,
They hate Islam too much, yet they call themselves Muslem, What a hypocracy!

Is there jewsh and Majosi in your family too?,no wonder you hate Islam.

You wrote
“100,00 Copts left Egypt in 2011 alone”,
First 10,000 is not written 100,00,I wonder how did you passed middle school, you are ignorant in Hystory, and obviously ignorant in Math, you probably passed by Wasta.

January 9th, 2012, 11:09 am


jna said:

4. yqxosaid:
Three videos about faking the suicide bomb in Damasucs last week.

yqxo, I’ve seen the second video numerous times…the so called bags of vegetables being dropped on the street. But the first thing that always comes to my mind is that these are bags of body parts, personal effects, evidence, etc. that have been collected. Just to put that idea out.

January 9th, 2012, 12:01 pm


Mina said:

I am not sure I understand the reaction of Observer. Like many who have been calling for foreign intervention, do you think that 70 and 80 years old people are dumb enough to wait until they’ll be starved and no hospital will be functioning? Haven’t they been seeing what is happening regularly to the Palestinians? Who are they supposed to rely on in a country where places went into insurrections? No work, no tourism, no business and not so many supplies.

January 9th, 2012, 12:34 pm


jad said:

Terrorists ‘libyan’ style in Homs, they attack the army before hiding back in a residential neighbourhood and using civilians as shields from retaliation these acts became the main reason for the civilian victims, it’s been repeated everyday:

حمص 9-1-2012
الارهابيين في حمص رشاشات ثقيلة وسيارات بدون نمرة
ويعتدون على الجيش السوري البطل
ويحتمون بالمدنيين
ويريدون تغطية عربية لاعمالهم الارهابية

January 9th, 2012, 2:01 pm


Mina said:

Looking for a virtuous government…

Did anyone notice that Fukushima happened at the beginning of the Syrian uprising? It would have been a chance to point at the maniacs who govern us, these financial terrorists who build nuclear plants on sismic areas. But people were busy watching the Arab spring. Don’t get fooled next time.

January 9th, 2012, 2:13 pm


jad said:

غليون رئيسًا لـ”المجلس الوطني السوري” مرّة أخرى
الاثنين 9 كانون الثاني 2012

أكد مصدر في المعارضة السورية لوكالة “رويترز” أنّ “زعماء المعارضة المجتمعون في اسطنبول انتخبوا برهان غليون اليوم من جديد رئيساً لـ”المجلس الوطني السوري” المعارص.

وأوضح المصدر أنّ “فترة الاشهر الثلاثة التي تولّى فيها غليون المنصب مُدّدت لشهر آخر ريثما يتم التوصّل إلى آليّة أفضل لانتخاب رئيس المجلس”.

(موقع “رويترز” على الانترنت)

January 9th, 2012, 2:31 pm


jad said:

Allah Ykoun b3on Ghalyoun 3la halwar6a:

قناة وصال: المجلس الوطني “زنادقة” وفيه نساء طالبن “بيوم وطني لفض العذرية”

شنّ أحد الشيوخ السلفيين في قناة “وصال” هجوما غير مسبوق على المجلس الوطني السوري، وذلك خلال برنامج استضاف عبر الهاتف من حمص الناشط عبد الباسط الساروت، فيما كان الشيخ صاحب الهجوم على المجلس الوطني في الاستوديو.

وبعد الدقيقة الثالثة والأربعين ثانية، ينصح الشيخ السلفي الناشط الساروت وزملاءه في حمص بعدم الالتفات إلى المجلس الوطني لأنه ” يوجد فيه علمانيون وملحدون وزنادقة وفيه نساء والعياذ بالله يطالبن بيوم وطني لفض غشاء البكارة، فلا تعولوا على المجلس خيرا.. وشيخنا العرعور جزاه الله خيرا يشكل الآن الجبهة الإسلامية لتحرير سوريا تضم الإسلاميين بأطيافهم”.

ويبدو أن الشيخ السلفي الذي هاجم المجلس الوطني كان يقصد “رندا قسيس” عضو المجلس الوطني السوري، علما أنها كتبت مقال “نحو يوم وطني لفض غشاء البكارة!” في 9-9-2010 في موقع “الحوار المتمدن”، أي قبل الأزمة السورية وقبل وجود المجلس الوطني. ورندا قسيس هي الناطقة الرسمية باسم تحالف القوى العلمانية في سوريا.



January 9th, 2012, 3:02 pm


Mina said:

Jad #22
If this uprising leads to the unmasking of these Gulf TV-s and their supporters, the martyrs will not have died in vain. I think the West calculates that what is needed in the Arab world is a good 400 years war of religion like the Catholics and the Protestants experimented (intra Catholic, with the Inquisition etc and Catholic-Protestant, after the first Protestant churches emerged). But I hope the Arabs will be more clever. They have had their share of religious fights and creating a new sect everytime a respected person or an imam had a son!

January 9th, 2012, 3:14 pm


irritated said:

15 MajedalKhaldoon

“They hate Islam too much, yet they call themselves Muslem, What a hypocracy!”
About hypocracy, I think you are the winner.
You violent hatred of majussi, Christians and jews put you in the category of in-the-closet dangerous racist and extremist. You should be careful, in the USA they are laws to deal with such people.

January 9th, 2012, 3:29 pm


irritated said:

#7 Majedalkhaldoon

As all your previous predictions have failed lamentably, it turns out that your predictions indicate to us what is NOT going to happen, so they are very useful. Continue predicting.

January 9th, 2012, 3:39 pm


Luma said:

Re Syrian financial crisis: as for as the foreign banks are concerned, the have been cash covering all exposure to Syrian risk for the last 12 months because of concern about unsustainability  in general. Funny enough the commercial bank of Syria which is the strongest bank in the country has been cash covering all it’s trade exposures for the past 2 years! 
As a result, the sanctions hit, international banks had enough collateral to cover all exposures against Syrian entities but the money couldn’t flow back into the system because of the assets freeze the sanctions imposed, nice!

Now the up shot is that Syria is not reliant totally on a functioning financial sector, unlike the uk for the example where you cannot do a thing without a bank ac and the consumer credit it provides, Syrians can survive a financial meltdown which will include major defaults in both public and private banks although it will mean that it will take a very long time to rebuild trust in banks and the financial market.

The one brighter side is that i cannot see the market turning into dollarisation on the short /medium term so while savings are being turned into £/$, daily transactions will remain in SP£. 

There is a significant amount of scare mongering that is going on which I suspect is another way to destabilise the country but the important thing to remember is that when it comes to the essentials, the country eats what it produces. Let’s hope this continue to be the case.

January 9th, 2012, 4:16 pm


jad said:

Victims from any side are still Humans and still Syrians, they have families and many of them are innocent.
Pain, misery and violence have the same emotional devastation on every human being not on one side and not the other.
Terrorist acts don’t separate between any of us when the bullet is out and violence will never ever ever solve anything, dialogue and collaboration do.

جولة بعثة المراقبين العرب في دمشق 8 1 2012

دموعك غالية يا حج

January 9th, 2012, 4:35 pm


zoo said:

“• Syria: While Turkey now opposes the Assad regime in Syria, this is not out of a love of democracy but rather due to Ankara’s support for a Sunni Islamist takeover there. When Obama gave Erdogan the task of organizing a Syrian opposition leadership, the Turkish regime packed the group with Islamists.”

Bright future ahead for Erdogan
01/09/2012 05:40
Turkey’s prime minister has moved against American interests in many ways. So why does President Obama continue to support him?

For the first time in 40 years, Israel is not the American president’s favorite Middle Eastern ally. Instead, that role is played by Turkey’s government.

This would not be such a bad thing if we were talking about the “old” Turkey, the secular republic. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama’s favorite adviser among the regional leaders is Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Pretend all you want, but Obama really dislikes – hates? – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and truth be told Netanyahu has done nothing to deserve that.

The fundamental problem with Erdogan is despite being embraced by the United States, he is an enemy of the United States, the West more generally, and of Israel. He is on the side of radical, anti-American Islamists who want to wipe Israel off the map. So angry and passionate is Erdogan’s loathing of Israel that the leader of the opposition mockingly but pointedly asked if the prime minister wanted to go to war with the Jewish state.

In contrast, the list of Erdogan’s nearest and dearest friends includes Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, the repressive Sudanese dictatorship and Syria (formerly the regime there; now the Islamist portions of the opposition). Erdogan would also like to be good buddies with the Muslim Brotherhood forces in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, though they are suspicious of him.

TO LOOK at Erdogan’s record at home and abroad would be to understand what he and his regime are all about.

Indeed, the truly bizarre thing about Obama’s judgment is that Erdogan has done nothing beneficial to the US and several detrimental things to it. These include:

• Iraq war: Whatever you think of the Iraq war, Turkey’s refusal to allow US troops cross into northern Iraq in 2003 (despite a promise to do so) was an unfriendly act. Many American officials and members of Congress were outraged at the time.

• Israel policy: Erdogan has gone to an extreme in attacking Israel and sabotaging any possibility of conciliation. His government sponsored the Gaza flotilla knowing that many of the Turkish participants were violent Islamists who wanted to stage a confrontation.

• Iran: Erdogan’s regime tried to sabotage sanctions against Iran in 2010. He has repeatedly defended Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and denied that Tehran is seeking nuclear weapons. While there have been some bilateral disagreements – the Turkish decision to allow in NATO installations to watch Iran and backing different sides in Syria, the two countries remain close and Erdogan is currently visiting Iran.

• Lebanon and Palestinians: In opposition to US policy, Erdogan backs radical, anti-Semitic Islamist terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah. Hamas leader Ismail Haniya was just received as a hero by Erdogan.

• Syria: While Turkey now opposes the Assad regime in Syria, this is not out of a love of democracy but rather due to Ankara’s support for a Sunni Islamist takeover there. When Obama gave Erdogan the task of organizing a Syrian opposition leadership, the Turkish regime packed the group with Islamists.

• Worldview: Erdogan’s foreign minister wrote a book explaining the regime’s strategy of aligning with the Islamic world against the West. This is clearly what Erdogan has been doing. The bonus, however, is that the book is in Turkish so he has been able to pretend otherwise and thus act without any real cost or pressure from the West. On the contrary, he can tell Turkish voters that Obama loves him.

• Erdogan’s domestic policy: growing repression; arrests without trial; trumped-up charges of terrorism and treason; intimidation of the media; constitutional changes that give him control over all state institutions including the courts.

The very real fear and despair within Turkey is generally not reported in the West, but it is there. Talk to almost any Turk, at least to those who don’t support the regime, and they’ll tell you that the only explanation they can fathom for US policy is that the US wants an Islamist regime in Turkey to prove its sympathy for Islam and possibly affect such groups elsewhere. {…}

January 9th, 2012, 6:21 pm



Anybody honest knows who activated the bomb in Maidan. But anyway it will not solve anything accusing the security apparatus. The geostrategical fight is on and Syria will never be the same again. The regime could be pressured to avoid any syrian movement while US tries to knock out Iran. Syria could not respond (while trying to save their status and regime) and then the defeat of Iran would be easier than having Syria and HA in full operation mode.

January 9th, 2012, 6:29 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

we are told that the Booha will address the nation tomorrow, in previous speeches he was very disappointing, and no one expect the next speech to be any better
Is he going to stop the killing? No
Is he going to tell us the revolution is finished? it will be funny
Is he going to form new goverment? frustrated
Is he going to tell us about conspiracy? what is new.
Is he going to attack Qatar goverment? sign of weakness
Is he going to tell us the money is getting tight?
Is he going to welcome Russian fleet?
Is he going to fight Israel? No No NO

The thugs on SC will be eager to watch,Only them they are paid to to do that.to me he will be boring.

January 9th, 2012, 6:55 pm


irritated said:


It will be certainly less boring than what you wrote

January 9th, 2012, 7:15 pm


zoo said:

Syrie: La bataille de Syrie et la capture par l’Iran d’un drone américain sophistiqué
René Naba | 06.01.2012 | Paris<


Ghalioun hand in hand with Qardawi

January 9th, 2012, 10:08 pm


zoo said:

Syria’s Assad to address the nation Tuesday
2012-01-10 02:49:04

DAMASCUS, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will appear on the state-TV to address his nation on the recent development in Syria and the region, the private Elkhbaria TV and the official SANA news agency reported.

The speech due on Tuesday, the third since the eruption of unrest in mid-March of last year, comes as the country is facing escalating violence and crescendo of international condemnation as well as repetitive calls on Assad to step down.

Syrian government said a total of 2,000 army and security personnel were killed during the months-long unrest, while the United Nations put the death toll at more than 5,000.

The government says that the turmoil in Syria is not an uprising but the work of terrorists and foreign-backed armed gangs.

January 9th, 2012, 11:37 pm


zoo said:

After a ‘”successful” revolution, Tunisia’s economy is crumbling and the Al Nahada is begging the western country for money…

Tunisia urges G8 to materialize aid pledge in face of economic crunch

TUNIS, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) — Tunisian Finance Minister Houcine Dimassi urged the United States that currently chairs the G8 to implement conventions signed in May in the French town of Deauville, to help the country face a difficult external and internal crisis, the official TAP news agency reported on Monday.

Tunisia’s new Ennahdha-led government is faced with increasing public anger due to the slowness of reforms and increasing unemployment.

During the G8 meeting in Deauville, the group had pledged to assist Tunisia with a five-billion-U.S. dollar package in the short/medium term to help the country speed up infrastructure development, develop human resources, secure integration in international markets and improve governance.

January 9th, 2012, 11:45 pm


Mina said:


Tunisia should know where is the only cash left: join the GCC!

Even the West are now begging the Gulf any time they are in need.

January 10th, 2012, 3:51 am


Mina said:

The first unbiased article in Le Monde about Syria. For once, they didn’t twist anything or bring an Anonymous-well-connected-Lebanese to preach us the Gospel of true facts…
I am fed up to read every friday that there have been demonstrations in places (such as Duma 2 friday ago) and to ask friends who tell me there was nothing. Is a demo 4 guys who film themselves on a cell-phone? Not to deny the uprisings in Homs and Idlib (famously ultra-Sunni places). Even Deir al-Zor is not 100 percent behind the protests.

Assad accuse des parties étrangères de chercher à “déstabiliser” la Syrie

LEMONDE.FR avec AFP et Reuters | 10.01.12 | 10h59 • Mis à jour le 10.01.12 | 11h24

Bachar Al-Assad à la télévision syrienne, le 10 janvier.

Dans un discours retransmis par la télévision syrienne, le président syrien Bachar Al-Assad déclare, mardi 10 janvier, que la victoire est proche si les Syriens restaient loyaux. “Les parties régionales et internationales qui ont cherché à déstabiliser la Syrie ne peuvent plus falsifier les faits et les évènements”, a-t-il affirmé. Il annonce un référendum sur une nouvelle Constitution pour le mois de mars et indique que la Syrie ne “fermera pas la porte” à une solution arabe pour mettre fin à dix mois de crise dans son pays, tant qu’elle “respecte la souveraineté de la Syrie”.

M. Assad accuse notamment “les médias internationaux de tenter sans relâche de pousser la Syrie à l’effondrement. Ils ont échoué mais ne désespèrent pas” de le faire. “Ils ont voulu atteindre le chef en falsifiant mon interview avec la chaîne américaine [ABC]”, a-t-il ajouté. Début décembre, la Syrie avait déjà accusé cette chaîne d’avoir “délibérément” déformé les propos du président Bachar Al-Assad lors d’un entretien pour présenter la Syrie sous un jour négatif. “Personne ne peut se couvrir. Il n’y a aucun ordre donné à quiconque d’ouvrir le feu sur le moindre citoyen”, a ajouté Bachar Al-Assad dans ce discours prononcé à l’université de Damas. Il promet de frapper les “terroristes” d’une main de fer et affirme que ramener la sécurité est la “priorité absolue”.

>> Lire : “Violences en Syrie : Bachar Al-Assad essaie de se dédouaner”

Dans cet entretien, M. Assad avait nié toute responsabilité dans la mort de milliers de manifestants en Syrie, assurant que seul “un fou” pourrait donner l’ordre de tirer sur son peuple. La Syrie est en proie depuis la mi-mars à une vague de contestation réprimée dans le sang. Selon une estimation de l’ONU, plus de 5 000 personnes ont été tuées. L’agence de presse officielle syrienne SANA avait annoncé hier que le chef de l’Etat allait prononcer un discours ce mardi sur les “questions d’ordre intérieur et régional.”


Le grand mufti de Syrie, cheikh Ahmad Badreddine Hassoune, qui représente la plus haute autorité religieuse de l’islam dans le pays, a appelé les opposants à “déposer les armes”, lors d’une messe mixte islamo-chrétienne à la mémoire des 26 victimes tuées vendredi dans un attentat-suicide à Damas.

“Si vous désirez participer au pouvoir, présentez-nous vos programmes sans lever vos armes et s’ils nous convainquent, nous les adopterons”, a ajouté le mufti, dont le fils Sariah Hassoun a été assassiné en octobre dans le cadre d’une vague d’attentats visant les alliés du président Bachar Al-Assad. Cheikh Hassoune a appelé les opposants à “passer de la controverse au dialogue”.

L’archevêque Luka Al-Khouri, qui présidait la messe, a pour sa part critiqué les mesures punitives qui frappent de plein fouet l’économie syrienne. “Ceux qui imposent des sanctions aux Syriens et menacent son pain quotidien ne connaissent ni le Christ, ni la signification de la démocratie, des droits de l’homme et des valeurs humaines”, a souligné l’archevêque.

D’autre part, le ministre de l’information Adnane Mahmoud a déclaré que “plus de 136 médias arabes et étrangers ont obtenu des autorisations d’entrée et de travail depuis le début de décembre pour couvrir les événements en Syrie”, rapporte mardi le quotidien Al-Baas. M. Adnane a accusé “certaines chaînes de télévision arabes et étrangères” de se livrer à des “incitations hystériques contre la Syrie et à des manipulations médiatiques”.

L’opposition syrienne a jugé hier que le maintien par la Ligue arabe de sa mission d’observation sur place en dépit de la répression des manifestations antigouvernementales allait permettre au président Assad de gagner du temps. Les observateurs de l’organisation panarabe, qui sont arrivés en Syrie le 26 décembre pour vérifier l’application d’un plan de solution de la crise approuvé début novembre par Bachar Al-Assad, n’ont pas permis de mettre un terme à la répression.

January 10th, 2012, 5:42 am


aron said:

Ehsani – “The country has been through economic hardship many times over its recent modern past. It will take a lot of further pain to cause many to revolt in massive numbers.”

I think that’s probably true, but a “revolt in massive numbers” isn’t the key event we’re waiting for. The regime is based in specific segments of the population, it never depended on having broad majority support (whether it had at some point or not). It’s when it starts losing its hold on those specific segments, or they implode or start losing their power, that the system is liable to crack.

Point is: the erosion of middle class life will occur *much* faster and upset political loyalties at a *much* quicker pace, than among the population at large. Working class and rural communities are, as you point out, used to suffering — a bit crudely put, but there you go. The middle class support networks are recent arrivals to the regime’s side, have more tangible assets to lose before they hit rock bottom, and their way of life will be impossible to sustain if Syria pulls back into a bunker-style redistributive economy to get through the crisis, like in the 80s.

This will cause defections that aren’t necessarily huge in scale and do not touch upon the broad masses, but which will hurt the regime *where it matters*. Religious/regional and ideological factors will to some extent counteract this, on the other hand, since a large chunk of the middle class is Christian, Alawite or otherwise secular-minded.

So, bottom line, I think worsening living conditions will (a) hurt the regime *considerably* in the medium run, while also (b) increasing the religious/regional polarization. Breakdown along these lines will occur long before there’s any sign of “revolt in massive numbers”.

January 11th, 2012, 1:09 pm


Syrialover said:

I must have missed something.

Why the personal sniping and kneejerk dismissal of anything written by Majedkhaldoun?

What he writes is as reasonable, informed and realistic – even more so in some cases – as what others are posting here. You don’t have to agree with what he says, but you need to debate the points made.

And a gold medal to Majedkhaldoun for composing and contributing comments instead of just compulsively trashing the comments section with boring and useless cut and paste material.

It’s bad enough the main cut-pasters are too stupid to summarise and give a link, they also display mega ignorance and laziness by not even including a source, date and reference for what they dump online.

January 11th, 2012, 3:47 pm


Beirut Spring: ❊ Is The Fall of Bashar Inevitable? said:

[…] might take years before the economic sanctions really start to […]

January 12th, 2012, 6:20 am


Ghufran said:

The lack of a reasonable political deal in Syria serves the hawks on both sides but it does not serve Syria. The opposition in particular needs to focus on weakening Assad by winning the so-called fence sitters,a term I am borrowing from hitaan blog. Without giving those fence sitters a rescue pill they can swallow,no peaceful solution will be found and this crisis will take years to end,a bloody end I have to say.
A starting point is accepting the undeniable fact that Syria is different and that Syrians are divided along sectarian and political lines. This acceptance will open the door for a compromise which must include forming an inclusive government from all willing parties and groups. When all is said and done,people will admit that attacking every Syrian with any possible link to the regime,including army units that did not necessarily engage in the killing of civilians,was a terrible strategic mistake. People,especially those who are neutral or even sympathetic to the regime, were less opposed to targeting security forces that were identified by locals as assassins and torturers,but the same people were alarmed when they realize that armed militia hit men were on a campaign to kill everybody they did not like including army officers and civilians who they accused of being regime collaborators. The armed men in Syria from both sides can terrorize and control the streets but they are losing the hearts and minds of many Syrians who simply had enough.

January 18th, 2012, 9:25 pm


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