The “Half-men” respond to the Boy-king

In 2006, and during the Israeli war on Lebanon, Bashar Al-Assad, claiming leadership of the Arab resistance camp, and using the popularity of Hizbullah’s struggle against Israel to burnish his own image, called Arab leaders “half-men”. Whether that was on the minds of the 18 foreign ministers who voted yes for the suspension of the participation of the Syrian delegation in all of the league’s activities and meetings remain to be found by those who write books of political intrigue and personalities. For now, it is clear that the Syrian regime thought that its policy makers are smarter than the “Bedouins” and has underestimated their resolve and intelligence.

The Chair of the meeting today, Qatar’s foreign minister outlined the decision in 7 points. Here they are in Arabic, then in English:

نص البيان

أولا :نظرا لعدم التزام سوريا بالتنفيذ الكامل والفوري للمبادرة العربية قررنا تعليق مشاركة الوفود السورية في انشطة الجامعة العربية لحين تنفيذ دمشق المبادرة العربية.

ثانيا: توفير الحماية للمدنيين السوريين بالاتصال الفوري
بالمنظمات المعنية بما فيها الأمم المتحدة ، في حين عدم توقف اعمال العنف والقتل.

ثالثا: دعوة الجيش العربي السوري للامتناع عن التورط في اعمال القتل والعنف ضد المدنيين.

رابعا: توقيع عقوبات اجتماعية واقتصادية على الحكومة السورية
في حال عدم الالتزام.

خامسا: دعوة دول الجامعة العربية لسحب سفرائها من دمشق ، مع الاخذ في الاعتبار ان هذا القرار سيادي.

سادسا: دعوة جميع اطراف المعارضة للاجتماع في مقر الجامعة خلال 3 أيام للاتفاق على رؤية موحدة لمرحلة انتقالية في سوريا ، ويقرر ما يراه مناسب للاعتراف بالمعارضة السورية.

سابعا: بقاء المجلس الوزاري العربي في حالة انعقاد دائم لحين متابعة الموقف.

Text of the Statement from the Arab League Ministerial Committee

  • First: Due to lack of commitment from Syria to the full and immediate implementation of the initiative, we have decided to suspend the participation of Syrian Arab delegations in the activities of the Arab League until  Damascus implements the Arab initiative
  • Second: Provide protection to Syrian civilians through the prompt contact with relevant organization including the United Nations as long as there is no halt to violence and murder
  • Third: Call on the Syrian Arab Army to abstain from being involved in the killing and violence against civilians
  • Fourth: Initiate social and economic punitive measures against the Syrian government in case of lack of commitment
  • Fifth: Calls on all Member States of the Arab League to withdraw their Ambassadors from Damascus, while remaining cognizant that this is a sovereign decision.
  • Sixth: Call on all sides of the opposition to meet in the League’s headquarters within three days to agree on a unified vision for a transition phase in Syria and for the council to decide on what it sees as appropriate in the matter of recognition of the Syrian opposition .
  • Seventh: Maintain the Ministerial Council in permanent session to follow up on the situation.

Some of my own thinking about the 7 items:

First: Due to lack of compliance from Syria to the full and immediate implementation of the initiative, we have decided to suspend the participation of Arab delegations in the activities of the Arab League until the Damascus implements the Arab initiative

While this is not a suspension of Syria’s membership in the League, it is still significant step. In addition, the Arab league here puts the blame squarely in the regime’s court. It is Assad’s regime who failed, willingly to comply with the league’s initiative, even after it was modified to address the regime’s request. The league also indicates that its members consider the statement delivered earlier by the Assad’s ambassador to the league as disingenuous attempt at gaining more time and they said no.

Second: Provide protection to Syrian civilians through the prompt contact with relevant organization including the United Nations as long as there is no halt to violence and murder

This is a very important item. It is the mechanism through which the architects of the AL initiative hope to regain momentum in the UN for the Syrian issue after the Russian and Chinese block. They now have mandate from the AL to bring Syria’s non-compliance with an initiative it signed on to UN Security Council.  The Russian and Chinese Ambassadors to the UNSC will now be in a bind, especially after their own governments have called on Syria to start implementing real reform and to put an end to the bloodshed nearly two months ago after the first attempt at UNSC. What will be the outcome at the UNSC is still undetermined and it will depend a lot on the outcome of other steps in this recent decision by the Arab League.

Third: Call on the Syrian Arab Army to reject being involved in the killing and violence against civilians

I did not expect this one. It came as a surprise and an incredible moral boost. It is a direct call by the Arab league to the Syrian Army to revolt against the thugs who are forcing its members to become involved in the killing of their own country people. It is also a warning that soldiers and officers engaged in such murders will be liable in the future.  This is a call for disobedience that will resonate and should be used to the hilt by the opposition.  However, I would caution against this call being considered a recognition by the AL of the FSA as a legitimate liberation force. Such will depend again on what the opposition does in the next 72 hours (by now 66 hours).

Fourth: Initiate social and economic punitive measures against the Syrian government in case of lack of commitment

No more invitation for Syrian Ambassadors to receptions held in Arab embassies worldwide. No more direct communication with Assad and his inner circle, and a halt to any investment or development project with increasingly tight economic sanctions. It is likely that an increased scrutiny of bank accounts will ensue and things will get uglier for the regime’s big fishes.

Fifth: Calls on all Member States of the Arab League to withdraw their Ambassadors from Damascus, while remaining cognizant that this is a sovereign decision.

Again, this is a clear call for complete isolation. It is unlikely to be followed by all countries and it may take time to implement, but it also gives impetuous for other countries who are not members of the AL to withdraw their ambassadors in recognition of the legitimacy of the AL. Given the hysteria on Syrian media, I expect that several embassies will soon be closed to protect the staff. Continuing insult of members of the league will accelerate the process. You can count on the Syrian regime, its trumpets, and media, to do the job.

Sixth: Call on all sides of the opposition to meet in the League’s headquarters within three days to agree on a unified vision for a transition phase in Syria and for the council to decide on what it sees as appropriate in the matter of recognition of the Syrian opposition 

This is one huge nail in the regime’s coffin. It is also the most serious challenge to the opposition. Some elements in the internal opposition will now face a new reality. If they want to claim legitimacy as part of the opposition, they will have to work within the framework now adopted by the league including the possibility of UNSC decision, and the clear admonition of Assad’s army. No longer can some play both sides since the AL has defined the parameters. The dialog is now defined as being a dialog within the opposition to identify a unified vision for the inevitable transition phase, which does not include the regime in the discussion. The league’s ministers probably intentionally put in a very short time to force the opposition into the table without allowing for maneuvering and to force them to identify commonality rather than bicker and get into backstabbing deals. This will filter the opposition and force fake opposition into the open where they have to declare their loyalty to the maintenance of this dead man walking regime. Recognition of the opposition by the AL opens doors to recognition by many more countries in waiting.

Seventh: Maintain the Ministerial Council in permanent session to follow up on the situation.

They’ll be watching

Syrian Regime Ambassador Reacts to the Decision


Syrian Regime unleashed its mobs against several embassies and consulates. —  developing

Syrian regime is again orchestrating series of “spontaneous” demonstrations objecting to the AL decision — developing

All of a sudden, the fierce pan Arab nationalist regime sycophants are striking the word Arab from the republic name. Expecting a reactionary official decree sometime soon…

So What is Next

Here is a flow-chart of the upcoming process. It can use more details (e.g., including Russia, China and other variables). But for now it relates to the AL.

Flow chart of possible outcomes in Syria's events during the next few days based on statements and press coverage of the 7 points Arab League statement regarding the wanton failure of the Syrian regime to implement the Arab League Initiative to which in signed on.


  1. The third item struck me too. This may cause panic within the civilian leadership. Surely the army knows that things have taken a significant turn and accountability is around the corner.


  2. OTW, what an amazing title you got here 🙂

    I wanna be the 1st to comment. OMG!!! I’m still bloody overwhelmed and literally in a shock state. What happened with the Arabs? It’s in such moments where I could reaffairm in God after ……….. Surely, It’s the fireball rolling all the way to Betho’s bedroom

    Annie, Sheila, Zenobia, Abuod, SGID, OTW, Hamster, Tara, Mundas, AP, Haytham, Majed, S.Expat, Muhammad, Husam, Observer, MGB, Robin, CSI HAMA, ….everyone.

    Since a long time, finally I can say I’m feeling hopeful and drinks on me (Metta is not an option Qurd :))


  3. Dear OTW.

    Dont thank me lol, I found it while following Syrian Commando’s twitter. It sounds very exciting even though I dont understand any of it. I thought it may contain Mr Yousef’s unfortunate use of language but that seems to have been during the AL meeting itself.


  4. “I had no idea that the voting would be so overwhelmingly in favor. Iraq abstained, and only The Syrian province of Greater Beirut Lebanon and Yemen voted against. Astonishing”

    Who would’ve thought the way it has gone buddy, even Algeria which is highly likely to be next voted yes even Sudan. OMG!!! honestly anyone to tell me what has happened, this “conspiracy” is perfect, and could happen only in movies and now with Arabs. Few months ago Betho abstained to vote against intervention in Libya and his trumpet in AL called it an illegal action and today the time goes around and it’s THE time to deliver the death note to Betho.

    Aboud, I liked how you addressed Betho in (2, 2011 at 2:11 pm) and I’d like to tell him GAME OVER and you really need to start looking into booking your one-way trip back to the mountains or Tehran.

    Zanqa zanqa, dar dar, bedna ……. ya Bathar


  5. I am working on a post in preparation about what happened to the Arabs. It should be forthcoming in next week.

    Zhourat is my choice or a cold glass of dark, bitter-sweet sous.


  6. I must agree with True about the title. My first reaction was ‘these guys are good at this’. The next though was that these guys are probably much older than I thought. Experienced. World-wise.


  7. Excellent! thanks for the overview post.

    Glad True is feeling hopeful if not joyful!

    come on OTW, i am you can think up a more exciting drink that that to rejoice with!..


  8. by the way, congrats. Wayyyyyyy faster than Syria Comment. They have nothing up on the site. : )


  9. You little Betho go and get m3almak (master) OTW one Zhourat and bitter-sweet sous, yala ya walad (Sighhhhhhhhhhhh that would be awesome)

    “come on OTW, i am you can think up a more exciting drink that that to rejoice with!”
    lol, what about ya?


  10. Dear Zenobia
    Can’t I just took 500Mg Ibuprofene. No exciting drinks tonight. And honestly, Sous is an exciting drink for me. It is my second most favorite drink right after charcoal barrel 15 year-aged single malt accompanied by a Churchill size dark-wrapped Honduran cigar,


  11. Mr. Ambassador, acting indignant after making a mockery of the league’s initiative is not smart. The smart thing would have been following up on the commitment your master made. There is a new reality, and the Arabs are fed-up with blackmailing and threats of turning the region into a fire pit. Better take that on your next post. Or may be you should get back to becoming the president of the Baathists’ National Student Union of Syria as you were in the late 70s and early 80s. Well, it got you your first Mercedes.


  12. “president of the Baathists’ National Student Union of Syria as you were in the late 70s and early 80s. Well, it got you your first Mercedes.”

    Mmmmmm I did not know that but I know he’s married Abier Jameel al-ASSAD (Betho’s cousin), anyone talking about nepotism in Syria al-ASSAD?


  13. That’s how Hafez al-ASSAD supported the foreign intervention in Iraq back in 1990, this video simply proves that AL uses the “Simple majority plurality voting systems” not the claimed “absolute majority plurality voting systems”. Hafez was happy with this voting structure and this in return refutes Betho’s trumpets allegation that the membership suspension resolution is not legal. For any further inquiries, I would advise these Vuvuzelas to pay a visit to Qurdaha (or hellfire) to consult his Hafez.


  14. Thank you all for the joy the AL brought us; for me it will be the same as OTW charcoal barrel 15 year-aged single malt but accompanied by a Montecristo lady size cigar.


  15. TRUE
    I think the regime guys are relying on the 8th article of the Arab League Charter, not on the issue of vote count. The 8th article of the charter which states:

    مادة 8:
    تحترم كل دولة من الدول المشتركة فى الجامعة نظام الحكم القائم فى دول الجامعة الأخرى، وتعتبره حقاً من حقوق تلك الدول، وتتعهد بأن لا تقوم بعمل يرمي إلى تغيير ذلك النظام فيها.

    Article 8.
    Each member state shall respect the government of the other member states and consider it a right belonging to those states and undertake not to conduct any act aiming to change that system

    In that, they may have a point regarding point 6 only, in which the AL calls on the opposition to envision transition phase, meaning that they are not happy with the regime and are acknowledging that it needs changing and also actively participating in that change.

    Notwithstanding Assad’s regime repeated violations of this article, there is an argument that could be made. The article applies to the relation between each state and the other states so it governs their bilateral relationships. But it says nothing about the right of the AL to act collectively in order to facilitate a regime change or to come to the aid of any state.

    As for the voting, items unanimously voted are obligatory to all members. Items with majority votes are obligatory to those who voted for them. So 19 Arab states stand now to withdraw their ambassadors.

    After the thugs attacked the Saudi embassy, UAE issued a warning to its subjects to leave Syria ASAP even through land if they have to.


  16. Folks, I am removing the restriction on Youtube. I trust all to only post relevant and meaningful clips. So no need to wait for my approval and no need to cut the link off.

    YouTube is now un-moderated. Have responsible fun.


  17. OTW,

    First congratulations on the blog. Please make sure it never becomes the cesspool that SC has become.

    I have to say I am surprised by the assertiveness of the AL. Where did it come from? My pet theory is that the Gulf Arabs want to cut Iran down to size and are doing it through Syria. The rest, like Sudan, were bought fair and square with oil money. It it would be interesting to hear what you and other commenters think.

    By the way, the press here in Israel reports that the Saudi embassy in Damascus has been looted.


  18. Drinks and cigars…excellent idea!

    Anyway, after reading the positive news about the AL, my question is this: what if the Athad regime flips the AL “the bird”?


  19. Hi Annie
    I always visit SC. I think it is very honorable of Joshua to call our little corner (Key blog on Syria). I always liked Joshua, admired and respected him, and nothing has changed. Although we never talked directly, I consider him a friend, and that also has not changed.


  20. “right after charcoal barrel 15 year-aged single malt accompanied by a Churchill size dark-wrapped Honduran cigar”
    i am trying to imagine that…..


  21. “Anyway, after reading the positive news about the AL, my question is this: what if the Athad regime flips the AL “the bird”?”

    they undoubtedly will and have!…. ; )…. the shame stings no less…


  22. Closed Circle, almost
    LOL, Akbar calling it the Athad regime. I am waiting for a couple more to do tho. care to gueth who?


  23. I am astonished, in two ways: First, that the Regime in Damascus has so badly played its relations with the countries of the Arab League. Instead of using their collective brain-power to devise fresh strategies, they seem to have visited The Tomb in Qurdaha to receive instructions from the Plan, The Man, The Nation.

    So sad and unpleasant to suspect that the Regime is in essence stuck with playbook written by the dead Lion. However much they leaf back and forth in the playbook, looking for the pages that tell them what to do … however much they search the Talking Trumpet points for new-sounding lines … however much they consult the Mafia donnas and dons who rule the Family Compact … however they search, there is no new Plan, just the old Plan. Crush, exterminate, lie, dominate, repress, jail, torture, disappear, harass, hunt, disparage, traitorize, condemn, corral and dispose into Tadmor’s welcoming embrace.

    I am also astonished by the frenzied, near-hysterical reaction of the hardcore expat Regimist Kazoos. Their speech acts have today shifted from intensely, cultishly self-deluded into frankly insane and beyond (over at The Other Place, the menhebakji are topping each other with witless hysteria and impotent threats.

    I am not as astonished by the Arab League vote itself.

    It is as if the senior deluded maniacs at the Syrian Palace have no defense against reality but the shopworn dialects of SANA and State TV. The separation of their cognitive apparatus from dire reality is now a yawning gulf (I watched a solid hour of State TV earlier today — the entirety of the report was a non-stop yammer, Tell Us What We Must Hear ‘ordinary citizens’ recruited to repeat the demented script. Paranoid, deluded, hysterical, uninformed, frightened).

    To those here who have approached Syrian issues with gravity, realism, heart and soul, and the utmost collegial intelligence, to our host OTW and to all the listed names above, my tankard is raised in salute.

    It is my firm conviction that — finally — Syria is experiencing The Week That Was … although I have only one broken spiritual bone in my body, I utter an invocation: please bring peace and wisdom and freedom to Syria, before Assad runs it headlong into the ditch …


  24. William, your smart comments are always welcome.
    Annie, everything in this blog from toe to head resonates wonderful
    Hamster, good point lol, who?.

    These are two smart comments from Rime Allaf on her FB

    “The next days and weeks may be tougher still on Syrian people: the regime usually first throws a tantrum and goes on a rampage, and then it tries to find solutions.”

    “I don’t agree that the Arab League’s decision against Syria was also an indirect message to Iran; Arab dictators, especially in the Gulf, have personal issues with Assad Junior, who has slighted them more than once and had to eat his words more than once. I think Iran showed little support for the Syrian regime today; that’s why Iraq merely abstained, rather than voting against the decision (like Lebanon and Yemen did).”


  25. Dear True,
    I would like to have Mate please, in honor of every decent Alawi, who had the power of conviction to stand with what’s right and not what’s easy.


  26. I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end for the Syrian regime. Who knows how long it will last, but we shall be surprised how fast it is going to disintegrate once it starts collapsing. I can not even be happy and celebrate. I am very afraid of what is next. The Syrian people have been bottled up in a tight jar for so long; they are going to explode out of it. Remember that freedom is a double edged sword: it lets good flourish, but it also gives more possibilities to evil.


  27. AP

    “what if the Athad regime flips the AL “the bird”?”

    Did you see the regime rep’s press conference? They pretty much told the AL to go to hell. Do not underestimate the role personnel feelings play in the making of policy among the Arabs. Qaddafi had alienated everyone from here to Timbuktu, and no one lifted a finger to save him from himself.

    Besho has now cornered himself into earning the same pariah status. There is only so much talk of “you are a tool of ze American-Zionist conspiracy against ze great prezident.” an Arab head of state will put up with, before retaliating.

    While the GCC was the driving force, what clinched the deal was Egypt. As does Egypt, as goes the rest of the Arab world. The Egyptian people have noisily and overwhelmingly come out for their Syrian brethren. The Egyptian military council has enough on its plate without risking a backlash from an angry populace for the sake of Besho the Baffled.

    In the end, the Arab League bowed to the inevitable. They would have had to take these steps sooner or later. In the age of Youtube and satellite channels, one can no longer ignore bloody atrocities, especially as they happen in a language everyone in the region understands.

    Also, remember the very last sentence the Qatari FM said at the press conference. Syria is an important country, a vital one considering its position. The Qataris admit Syria is an important part of the “resistance”. They just don’t think junior is the man to lead it. A civil war in Syria would be disastrous for the region, and the regime’s atrocious behavior, and the astonishing, astounding, unprecedented resilience and tenacity of the Syrian people, was making that nightmare scenario a reality.

    Now, two things will happen;

    1) The opposition needs to grow up. The AL and the world are pleading with a credible opposition to take Besho’s place. The initiative and momentum is now with the SNC. It has been earned and bought with the lives and blood of a Syrian people *who refused to give up*. Now the SNC must make the most of it.

    2) Pressure on Russia and China to reverse their positions. Arabiya’s correspondent in Moscow said that there are deep divisions within the Kremlin on Russia’s policy with regards to the regime. There is no doubt whatsoever that neither Russia nor China are prepared to alienate the Arab world for the sake of Besho. Can you imagine the hysteria of the menhebaks once a security council resolution goes against them?

    We can all eliminate and dismiss even the remotest possibility that the regime will come up with a diplomatic coup to extract itself from this mess. They are incapable of speaking or dealing with anyone with anything other than thuggery. Trashing Arab and the Turkish embassy? Seriously Besho? How you manage to put on your trousers in the morning is one of the great mysteries of this revolution.


  28. I just posted this on SC. I want to see the reaction. I am expecting cursing and swearing, but just could not resist. reading a few comments there really made my blood boil. There are many things that I can tolerate, but stupidity is not one of them. Here is my post:

    To all,
    I just wanted to drop in and point out to you that there is a revolution going on in Syria, just in case you have not noticed. There are people dying everyday; some are called citizens, some are called soldiers and some are called Shabiha, they just all happen to be Syrian. Our beloved regime seems to be incapable of controlling the situation, regardless of who or what caused it. So, it is high time for this regime to go. If you are afraid of chaos, we already are in complete and utter chaos, if you are afraid of sectarian violence, we already are experiencing sectarian violence and if you are afraid of the collapse of the Syrian economy, it is already in the gutter. Now you have to choose between continuing with the incapable or trying some other trick. (Hint: your choice will have high correlation with your IQ level).


  29. Great post Sheila. Reasonable, compassionate and balanced. Just the thing to get the menebaks foaming in their mouths with hysteria. You are so cruel 🙂

    Thanks to SGID for remind us of the best revolution chant yet;

    Ghaba’okun Ensurna!

    Your stupidity helps us to victory.


  30. I believe the regime has dug itself much deeper in the hole he dug himself in,those who are consultants to Bashar must have made the wrong calculations,the regime did not expect such reaction from AL,how would the regim confront Russia and ask for more support, would Russia continue to support Bashar? more economic sanction, more diplomatic isolation, Egypt and Algyria joined

    The call for the army to disobey bashar orders,is very important,I suspect the intelligence says that many officers are not happy and ready to stage a coup…A month ago I predicted November will be a decisive month.,days left not months.


  31. Great post Sheila. Reasonable, compassionate and balanced. Just the thing to get the menebaks foaming in their mouths with hysteria. You are so cruel

    Aboud & Sheila most WANTED by Menhebaks

    those who are consultants to Bashar must have made the wrong calculations,

    Betho’s consultants are SLEEPERS and 100% working for the revolution

    Can you imagine the hysteria of the menhebaks once a security council resolution goes against them?

    Great analysis Aboud, why don’t you put it in an article and share it with news agencies? When Russia and Chine jump the fence, I can Imagine HA and Iran sending emails to Betho titled with “Betho, You’re the weakest link“.


  32. Good on ya, Sheila! I tried to reply to some of the venom spewed by Louai, SS and SNK, but had to finally get off the computer at 4 a.m.

    In an interview with a tv station (can’t remember AA, BBC, AJ) Louai Hussein said that the AL resolution is going to force everyone in the opposition to either go under the SNC umbrella or side with the nizam. He does not like being put on the spot at all!

    It is noteworthy that many who have touted themselves as “independent” opposition have made it quite clear that they would side with the nizam if a military intervention were to be contemplated. M Kilo was one, and the above L. Hussain is another, I think. Let’s see if they will change their melody and also what other “independents” have to say to this latest development.

    At any rate, I must say I rather dread the next few days, as they will mean many more innocents being murdered and, worse still, many of those in detention will be set upon by sadistic torturers. Many promising young leaders of the future are now in the hands of a regime that is out of its wits with rage. The picture of what they might do is too terrible to contemplate.

    Aboud, were you able to find the place where the Bouq’s exact cuss words were reported (right at the end of the meeting, not the press conference)? would love to see. But surely if you heard them you could tell us? And would those in the know pleeeeze share with us the commands you use to do clever things such as italics, boldtype, line-across-words, etc. it just ain’t fair…

    And just in case some don’t know about this, google has a great input method editor (IME) which transliterates/converts the western alphabet directly into Arabic script, perfect for those who don’t have an Arabic keyboard.

    Cheers All
    MGB (aka Atheist Syrian…)


  33. The Infiltrators’ Syndicate Would like to congratulate its members on their outstanding performance throughout the Revolution, Starting with the smuggling of explosive terrorist baby milk into Deraa in the first days of the revolution, up until the successful implantation of Abou Abdou The Tombarji and Tawfeek Malek El Scania into Betho’s inner decision making circle. The last operation has been extremely successful, With Abou Abdou placing many critical suggestions in writing, showing that his Mahou Omiyeh degree was not useless after all.
    As such, the Syndicate would like to open the door for new members, and would like to set up a legal council for pursuing any unlicensed acts of Indisaas. We are entering a new age in Syria’s history, and the Syndicate would like to be one of the forward thinking and active institutions of this new age.

    Now, I can’t say I wasn’t surprised by the decision yesterday. The suspension was expected, as the Gulfies were all making noises under the table about it. What was unexpected was the ten-ton-hammer of sanctions, meeting with the opposition and threatening to recognize the SNC. This has clearly taken a large toll on the regime’s mental state, as obviously displayed by the abrupt call to.. arms? No, demonstrations, and the attacks on various diplomatic institutes throughout the country. Tawfeek Malek El Scania sent me a birdie (an American Eagle, that the palace guard did not shoot down for some reason…) that is telling me the regime feels like it has lost control. So far, they have been feeling as if they are loosing control. Yesterday’s decision made them feel as if the AL ripped the wheel out of their hands. Expect them to start acting like an embattled ‘last legion’, and a possible retreat to a mountain-hideout mindset. Hopefully, A Critical Group will see this for what it is and renounce the regime once and for all.


  34. MGB

    <strong> This is a text to become bold </strong> This is a text to become bold

    <em> This is a text to become italic </em> This is a text to become italic

    <blockquote> This a text to be placed as quoted text </blockquot>

    This a text to be placed as quoted text

    <a href=" " > This is how to link to web page </a> This is how to link to web page

    <strike> This text is to be struck </strike> This text is to be struck


  35. Oh, I see you’ve changed the reply. It isn’t that important, though. If it is standard HTML tags, then I think there are plenty of tutorials online. Cheers, mate.


  36. Yes Dear MGB, but not all html tags are accepted. The ones above are the most used for formatting comments. And I see you are a quick study. Good to have folks with high IQ around. And sorry for using incorrect name earlier, just fixed that.


  37. Another wave of “authentic” and “spontaneous” rallies is scheduled for today, according to Robert Fisk these are not orchestrated and logistically supported by the regime not at all but it happened that yesterday at night the traffic police patrols in Damascus were confiscating driver licenses from micro-buses drivers forcing them to show up today at a specific place to pick up a specific group then to drop them off at a specific destination, you know it just happened, and it just happened that schools principles have been contacted yesterday by the ministry of education to prepare the students for “spontaneous” rallies.


  38. Bill and Sheila
    It is wonderful when you grace 7ee6an with your presence. Deep thinking, rational sympathy with all of humanity are always welcomed. Thank you both. I loved the Matte idea, and I would like to have one for the same reason spoken of by Sheila.

    I would like to also acknowledge the conscript soldiers who perished in the cross fire. The Assads will be tried for them as well. They are the Assad’s victims no less than the heroes civilians. Sooner or later, most conscript soldiers and plenty of officer will regain courage befitting of their uniform and sat NO to the mafia gang.

    I hope you are joking about the explosives in the milk powder. Brave souls were barbarically murdered to get real milk to the children of Daraa. Some of Syria’s most brilliant actresses and actors continue to suffer harassment and more simply for asking that the children of Daraa not be deprived of milk and medicine. I will assume you are joking, since the rule of sarcasm on walls seem to be making fun of lies and not reinforcing them.

    Syrian Arab Republic
    Now the regime sycophants are striking the word Arab from the name of the republic (still born Athadithtan monarchy). Should this get those among us who believe there is more to Syria than the Arabic part of its identity out of the revolution.

    Their reactionary response only shows how think the veneer of Arabism. We knew how thin their veneer of resistance and now one more layer is peeling out. Never have i seen more reactionary bunch of bullies. Every time i think that this bozos ruled the old country for 50 years and destroyed its culture, civility, and harmony, i get angry and depressed. It will take tremendous work on rehabilitation. We should make sure that people like Zenobia are involved in that effort as we and others remake the Syrian mind. off course without the SNP fascist ideology.


  39. I’d love for them to try to hold a pro-Besho rally in Homs or Hama. Come on mutha fuggas, I dare you.

    Sorry Aboud, Had to strike that ..OTW


  40. Syrian Hamster

    The whole first half of the post was sarcastic. I understand the great plight of the people of Dera’a, and the sacrifices made by many, including Palestinians in the nearby camp while smuggling necessary supplies into the besieged town.

    Watching the TV, it seems as if the regime is having even more trouble than usual in trying to get people into Seven Pools square. The square, which is relatively small, is still not filled, and the cameras are working hard at getting any decent shots that show the gatherings as large.


  41. Dear 7ee6anis, Greetings of peace! I want hiking in beautiful forest today and got to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and breathe some much needed fresh air. However, I could not resist using my phone to check the latest and boy was I pleasantly surprised. What was most amusing was Syria’s ambassador (a.k.a. loser) reaction. The guy went bananas. I was so overjoyed for all those brave people who have been risking everything to give us a better future.

    The Syrian regime media thugs went bizerk as well. One of them went on Manar TV and made a most blasphomus utterance. It was so bad that the Manar TV person said “I seek refuge in God” (the last time, the Manar iterviewer didn’t say a word when something similar happened; only this time it’s a lot worse). I would like to see Hassan Nasr Allah defend allowing outright “kufr” on a so-called Islamic channel. I would like to see how the mullahs of Iran will spin this. This is not an aberration, rather it’s a pattern. In one utterance, they say “Allah, Syria, Bashar, and no one else.” Then they turn around and commit the most atrocious acts of disbelief (kufr) in Allah. What a retched group of people. I think this is unparalleled in the history of Islam. Their end will be horrible, and Allah knows best.

    By the way, I advise all of you to take some time out and go into the wilderness and witness the beauty of Allah’s creation. It was so refershing.


  42. Dear hazrid
    I gathered that….. sigh of relief. Its a good piece of work. I liked the Tumbarjy and the value of illiteracy erasing certificate. I really did.

    Thanks, and sorry for my knee jerk reaction. I guess I am a bit of a reactionary rat.


  43. Dear hazrid
    I see Hamster started the welcoming in his own way.

    Welcome to our hardly neutral Walls. Keep them coming, please.



  44. Dear Syrian Expat

    Just read your post. I wouldn’t want to know what words were said (blasphemy).

    I wouldn’t be surprised at the Godless Beast-men of Syria.

    Former Hama attorney general said about the Syrian revolution:

    “Yes, it differs from sister revolutions because it confronts a godless regime that believes in no religion or denomination and does not recognize the existence of God. It has security bodies run by individuals who are nothing more than talking beasts. These bodies are considered among the most brutal criminal bodies in the world. This is why the Syrian revolution differs.”


  45. Dear SYR.EXPAT
    I am a secular humanist, but I have to say that your post was inspiring. Please note that not all Agnostics and Atheists hate religions or disrespect them. Enjoy the serenity, it is a gift.

    Also, thanks for the term 7ee6anis. loved it, and ask permission to use it.


  46. Here’s a great post by the Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaquobi who was banned from public speaking back in May for “crossing the red line.” For this who don’t read Arabic, there is an English translation on this Facebook page:

    الشيخ محمد أبو الهدى اليعقوبي للنظام السوري: يداك أوكتا وفوك نفخ

    تعليقا على قرارات مجلس جامعة الدول العربية صرح الشيخ محمد أبو الهدى اليعقوبي – أحد أبرز علماء دمشق وزعماء المعارضة – بأن سقوط النظام السوري بات وشيكا وأن النظام الآن يترنح وهو على شفير الهاوية ، وقال: إن رفض النظام للمبادرة العربية والاستخفاف بالمقترحات المقدمة في مبادرة الجامعة هو انتحار سياسي . وأكد أن اتفاق العرب على هذه القرارات سيفتح الباب لتخلي الصين وروسيا عن النظام .

    وهذا هو نص البيان الذي أصدره الشيخ اليعقوبي :

    يداك أوكتا وفوك نفخ
    الشيخ محمد أبو الهدى اليعقوبي

    قرارات العرب أمس إيذان بقرب رحيل النظام ، بل هي إنذار قوي بأن تحرك العرب سيكون أقوى مما كان الجميع يتوقع . وهي دليل على أن النظام بات على شفير الهاوية ، بل إن هذه القرارات قد خطت بداية النهاية للنظام . إن رفض النظام للمبادرة العربية والاستخفاف بالمقترحات المقدمة في مبادرة الجامعة هو انتحار سياسي ، وهو دليل جديد على أن النظام لا يدري ما الذي يفعله وأنه يخبط خبط عشواء .

    فالأزمة اليوم تختلف عما كانت عليه قبل خمسة أشهر حينما كانت دائرة الصراع بين النظام والشعب تتسع لمختلف الآراء والحلول ، والذي أوصل الأزمة إلى هذه المرحلة من اليأس من بقاء النظام والثقة بانتصار الشعب إنما هي ثلاثة أسباب :

    الأول : ثبات أبناء الشعب الأبطال من المتظاهرين في مواجهة القمع ،

    الثاني : مواجهة المظاهرات بالقتل والقمع والاعتقال والتعذيب واقتحام المساجد والتنكيل بالناس .

    والثالث : فشل النظام في اتخاذ قرار واحد شجاع يقدم حلا جريئا للأزمة .

    إن سقوط النظام بات وشيكا ، وسيكون بقدرة الله تعالى أقرب مما نتصور بل أقرب مما يتوقع النظام وأنصاره . إنها نتيجة لا بد أن يصل إليها كل متأمل في قرارات النظام السياسية والأمنية وفي الخطوات التي يتخذها ، وقد وصل إلى مرحلة لا يمكن إنقاذه فيها . فقد خرج آخر سهم من جعبة النظام ، وهو سهم كان يعول عليه في المماطلة لإيجاد مخرج للأزمة ، خرج ذلك السهم ليصيب من النظام مقتلا شديدا .

    ونحن إذ نرى ذلك لا نأسف إذ نقول للنظام: يداك أوكتا وفوك نفخ . (وأوكى السقاءَ إذا شد الوكاء على فمه والوكاء حبل يشد على فم السقاء ليحفظ ما فيه – والفُو من الأسماء الخمسة هو الفم) .

    وأصل المثل فيما نقله أبو الفضل الميداني عن المفضل بن سلمة الضبي أن رجلا كان في جزيرة في البحر فأراد أن يعبر على زِق (أي سقاء من جلد) نفخه ولكنه لم يُحسن إحكامه ، فلما توسط البحر خرجت الريح من الزق (أي فرغ من الهواء) فأشرف الرجل على الغرق فلما غشيه الموت استغاث برجل فقال له ذلك الرجل : يداك أوكتا وفوخ نفخ”. فذهبت مثلا يُضرب لمن يجني على نفسه الحَين (أي الموت والهلاك) .

    وهذه خلاصة قصة النظام بعد سنين من الوعود قديما وأشهُر من البحث عن الحلول حديثا ، لم تزد النظام إلا ضعفا وتخبطا . لقد ظهر النظام اليوم وهو يترنح سياسيا بغير اتجاه ، ومن الأدلة على ذلك استعداء جميع العرب ، وأنه لم يجد مخرجا من الأزمة إلا بإلقاء اللوم وتوزيع الاتهامات يمينا ويسارا على الدول العربية ، وهي حيلة العاجز الذي لا يستطيع أن يجد مخرجا مما هو فيه إلا بإلقاء اللوم على عدوه .

    وإذا كان البسطاء من الناس يقبلون إلقاء اللوم على تركيا وقطر والسعودية . فإن الأمر اليوم مختلف فالعرب الذين اجتمعوا وأيدوا هذه القرارات هم من دول كانت تساند النظام كالجزائر والسودان وعمان وموريتانيا ، لكن النظام أوصل بسياساته هذه الدول إلى مرحلة اليأس منه ومن وعوده ورواياته فانتقلت إلى التصويت على القرارات الجديدة وفيها تجميد عضوية سورية في جامعة الدول العربية وفتح حوار مع المعارضة .

    فكيف سيتم تسويق هذه المواقف ؟ تُرى هل سينقلب النظام على جميع العرب ؟ هذا ما يبدو من بعض التصريحات التي أطلقها بعض أفراده ونعوا فيها ما سموه “العمل العربي المشترك .” والسؤال الذي يأتي بعد ذلك هو : ماذا سيكون جواب النظام عندما تتخلى عنه الصين وروسيا ، وكيف سيكون وقع ذلك عليه ؟ وهو أمر ليس بمستبعد بعد اتفاق العرب على هذه القرارات .

    نبارك لشعبنا تبني العرب لقضيته ونصرته لكفاحه ، فلقد قدم النظام هدية للشعب لا تقدر بثمن من خلال رده على مبادرة جامعة الدول العربية وإصراره على قضية الجماعات المسلحة ، ودفاعه عن حقه في صدها بقوة السلاح ، وهو أمر لم يعترف به العرب سواء صدقوه ضمنا وأقروا به سرا أم كذبوه علنا وأنكروه جهرا .

    وسواء أقررنا نحن برفع السلاح أم أنكرنا فإن ذلك لن يقدم اليوم ولن يؤخر ، لأن التسلسل الزمني للأحداث يكشف أن دعوى وجود الجماعات المسلحة لم تنطلق إلا بعد بدء المظاهرات ، وبعد ما رآه الناس من القمع الوحشي للمظاهرات في درعا ودوما وغيرهما ، مع عدم قيام النظام بمحاسبة أي من المسؤولين عن ذلك القمع والقتل رغم الوعد بذلك . وهذا ربما هو الذي دفع بعض الناس إلى إقامة الحق وإيقاف الظلم أو الأخذ بالثأر بقوة السلاح – وهو إن صح خطأ كبير تنجر إليه ثورة الشعب لإسقاط النظام . ولكن يبدو جليا أن الإعلام العربي لا يبالي بذلك وكأنه يريد أن يكفر عن الصمت والسكوت والتبرير والتغطية على أخطاء النظام وجرائمه عبر عقود من الظلم والاضطهاد .


  47. Dear CSI Hama,

    History will be rewritten soon, Allah willing. People will be shocked at the horrors that will be uncovered.


  48. Dear SYR.EXPAT
    I love the Arabic language in the hand of the competent. The respected Shaikh Al-Yaquobi seems to be a very competent and off course eloquent analyst. Thanks for posting the full article.


  49. Dear OTW,

    You are most welcome! Thank you for starting this blog and for allowing us to share our 2 cents.

    From the little I read and saw about him, Shaikh Al-Yaquobi is definitely something else.


  50. New Homsi joke:

    في اتصال له مع نتنياهو طلب بشار المساعدة وقال له: إن خراب بيتي يعني خراب بيتكم, نتياهو: طيب اذا ساعدناك شو بدك تعطينا؟
    بشار: راح اعطيكن الجولان.
    نتياهو: ههه الجولان عطانا ياها أبوك من ٤٠ سنة.
    بشار: راح أعطيك حمص.
    نتياهو: لا يستر عرضك .. بدك تخرب بيتنا؟.


  51. “Sorry Aboud, Had to strike that ..OTW”

    But…but…but….that was the nicest thing I’ve called them in months :p


  52. Dear 7ee6anis
    Please check the update in the post and the flow-chart. Please comment and provide suggestions for expansion and/or corrections.

    but.. but…. but… i didn’t erase it, i only struck it out…


  53. AIG
    Welcome as well.

    I will try my best to keep this blog they way it has been, a clean place, but i think I am already receiving a great help from the community of 7ee6anis

    As for the news about embassies being looted, I am not sure, but it sadly seems the case as you can see from other comments and posts. The reactionary reaction of the regime is developing and with it another layer of pretense is peeling.


  54. Here are some of my latest thoughts,
    Before yesterday there was no freedom and socialism in Syria. Today there is no unity, freedom and socialism, remember these are the main elements of the ruling party. What a failure it is…..
    Furthermore, Ive realized that the shows of “support” staged by the Syrian regime are a clear sign of their weakness. They always stage one after they’ve been dealt a serious blow. It’s also the first time a president tells his people the country could be facing an economic crisis yet halts work for 1 day every week to stage support. Why can’t they stage one on Friday?


  55. I will try to imagine myself a small fly on the wall in the presidential palace.
    Here is my analysis first
    First, the discussion is centered on the fact that Syria accepted the Arab initiative with a short time strategy. It accepted the initiative to gain time and throw the opposition in disarray. Then it actually flipped the finger at the AL by continuing the violence and the repression and orchestrating mass demonstrations. It thought that this will give it all the time it needs. It did not count on the new facts on the ground:
    1. The AL and every member state is facing a new reality called an active people educated and asking for participatory rule. Even KSA has used its massive wealth to buy yes buy loyalty from its citizens as it knows it no longer can use force. The people are fed up with one man rule with nepotism and corruption and graft and torture and yes slavery. This is the mentality of the regime in Syria and Libya. Either I rule you or I kill you. This is the mentality of the regime that is based I would say like the Zionist one on an exclusive place for the sect and the family in the world order.
    2. The Qatari actually anticipated this very reaction and gave the regime a rope to hang itself with. The regime drunk with power was even more stoned after the UNSC vetoes and thought itself immune. Once the facts of non compliance become known and the inability of the regime to genuinely respond become obvious the AL under the GCC moved for the kill. The decision stems from the desire to deny legitimacy to the regime or at least its current method of control. It also stems from the fact that the Arab world is watching to see if any of these rulers are going to hijack the revolutions and keep the regimes in place.
    3. The hysteria of the regime and its supporters is because the AL has effectively withdrawn legitimacy by suspending Syria’s representation; by offering a dialogue with the SNC; and by actually forcing the Coordinating committees in Cairo to commit to regime change. The local Coordinating Committees had requested regime change while leaving room for the current leadership to stay in place but the media exposure forced them to declare that the Security State in Syria is not acceptable and that they are not in dialogue with the regime itself.
    4. Calling on the armed forces to resist orders is the most important item in this regard as it clearly says that these orders and therefore the people issuing the orders are not legitimate or legal.
    5. Now that the AL has forced the issue, Russia is in a corner as it has always maintained that it is fostering a peaceful resolution and promoting dialogue without ever recognizing the legitimacy of the opposition. Now it will be forced to recognize the opposition as a valid and legitimate partner in this invitation to dialogue. In essence the stupidity of the regime has forced the hand of its supporters into recognizing the opposition. If the opposition cannot get its act together now then Syria is doomed.
    6. There is clearly talk in Syria of arming the “people” and as Hajj Ali said this am on Aljazeera we will all wear army uniforms now; this talk is meant for the regime base and only the regime base. It is a desperate attempt to rally the troops as they are now fearful of defections within their own ranks.
    7. Power delusion we witnessed with the Ghadafi clique as his sons just like Rami warned of dire consequences to the stability of Israel and the West, and we heard the Tooz on the AL from both Saif and the Syrian ambassador. This is emotional outburst that belies a complete misunderstanding of the change sweeping the region and of the balance of power in the region. Money talks and BS walks and B is going to walk. How soon and on which plank is the question now.

    Now here is the imagination scene
    B: What do I do now? 18 of the Arabths are after me and they are calling on the army not to follow my orderths. Pleathe Athma quiet the kidths I need to think. I have not done that in a while now.
    A: crying silently and hugging the kids who are also crying because they cannot play while daddy is thinking.
    M: In a rage destroying the furniture and ordering the killing of about 1000 detainees in Tadmur. Even his mother is avoiding him today.
    R: Pulling his calculator and re calculating the prices and the creating an excel sheet of where the deposits are.

    Now the serious work will be the privy of the old guard of the regime: these are absolutely ruthless thugs that may be plotting acts of revenge in various Arab countries and Turkey. The problem is that the AL is moving way too fast for their taste in this regard. When the AL head says that they are working on ways to protect the Syrian population, this means that the plan is moving forward and it has been thought through for some time. This the reason for the silence of the Turks as they coordinated with the AL and Qatar to see whether the regime is capable of reforms and whether the opposition can get its act together. Now we will see others helping the opposition form a legitimate alternative to the regime. Now they and others will have an Arab cover for intervention.

    By the way there is a Dom Perignon bottle that we have kept since 1964 waiting to be uncorked I hope that we can celebrate soon.


  56. AIG
    While I agree that Iran is an issue that stays on the minds of GCC rulers, I think it is more the combination of connections that is being used in the steady stream of blackmailing language that finally did the job. When regime trumpets, official and freelancers, go on GCC-based news networks and threaten to light up the region if attacked, even though no one has talked about attacking them, and everyone is trying to appease them to avoid their mischief, people get pissed, and there limits get pushed.

    I agree with Aboud that Egypt was the decisive factor more than the GCC. Egypt needs a relatively peaceful region to start its long recovery process. The more violence in the region, the more radicalized its base get (more than it is already), and if Syria is to go on a long protracted struggle, then Egypt stands to lose a lot in term of being busy politically with a real hot potato. I think this was the calculation for them, the sooner the issue is resolved the better. And they know that the Syrian regime has no intent on yielding a single inch and that it will continue to move things towards the below cosmetic change it has proposed, which means a protracted period that can spill out. The Egyptian vote will off course be smoothed with declaration of objection to any interference, but given the Syrian’s response, to date, the Egyptians, themselves having spent years in the AL dog-house for the camp-david accord, with Syria’s instigation, will be far less sympathetic to regime’s bravado and will perhaps offer their own forces if need be (heavens forbid). GCC is not targeting Iran as much as preempting possible mischief from adventurous elements in Iran if the Syrian crisis becomes a long protracted one.


  57. What an awsome blog ! Most of the comments I want to lift to my blog where I try to alert pple to what Syrians really think and believe.


  58. I just finished talking to my brother in Aleppo. He told me that there is no “mazot” in the city and no “gas” (propane tanks used for cooking). This is putting a lot of pressure on the electric service that everybody is expecting will collapse soon. Please keep in mind that the temperature in Aleppo today is 3 degrees Celsius. May God help the people of Syria.


  59. Sheila, same thing all over the country. Mazot and gas are in very short supply, everyone is installing electric heaters. And in Homs, no one is paying their electric bills.


  60. OTW : “I always liked Joshua, admired and respected him, and nothing has changed. Although we never talked directly, I consider him a friend, and that also has not changed.”

    I met Joshua and I liked him ; I can understand his juggling position, trying to stay on the saddle. At one point though we have to jump.
    The way I see it, Walls was begotten by Syria Comment and I am sure Josh is happy about its offspring.

    No need to kill the father. 🙂 we already have a father and son to take care of.


  61. First of all, and here I’m borrowing a little bit of Aboud’s arrogance 🙂 , everything seems going according to what we discussed and predicted in the last post of multi-phases strategy (Poking, Lobbying, Cornering, Pressuring and Ousting), I’m busy reading a study (happy to share) conducted by a Turkish university of Ankara-Damascus love-hate relation, although I could rephrase and call it casual-sex relation instead, literally it’s pay to get satisfied, and that’s exactly what Betho did when he sold İskenderun (al-‘Iskandarūn in Arabic الإسكندرون) in return for good neighbouring relations with Turkey.

    Second of all, this blog is getting WOW and honestly I could not just skim through comments, I read every comment and highly appreciated your thoughtful minds. How come only witty people are making it to this oasis? OTW, do you have an IQ filter of some sort installed somewhere ? Thanks to all of you and as our dearest Annie said No need to kill the father. we already have a father and son to take care of.

    At this stage, Betho (as Observer mentioned above) is doing some “useless” thinking and one of his inventions is to call for this emergency AL meeting. Honestly is he bloody screwed in the mind or just completely retarded? Does he think any of Arab leaders will be happy to waste few hours of his time listening to his BS!! Those peasants are stuck with 70s-80s mentality eh, anyway only, maybe, maximum 7 countries will endorse this call which is not enough to call for the meeting officially so this smoking bomb is useless similar to Betho. However, we need to pay attention to Wed’ meeting especially that the ministers of foreign affairs of Turkey Ahmet Davutoğlu will be attending in which I reckon the map of the buffer-zone will be endorsed with a timeline.


  62. I was talking with an American relative who lives on the West coast. She was crying and said she felt so much pain for us. I honestly don’t understand what she means.

    I am so unbelievably blessed.

    Yes, there are tanks in the streets, army checkpoints most places, shooting and tragedy. But I’m so much luckier than people far away, non Syrians who don’t have the same worries about their own homelands. Those people will finish studies, marry, have kids, live to a ripe old age….and never have done anything nearly as noble as win freedom for their country.

    How so much fortunate we all are than our parents, who never got the chance to take on a despot. Without evil, there can be no good. Without darkness, no light. Without depraved villains, no heroes. We, all of us, have been blessed to be present at the exact place and time when our country is living through its most decisive days. What happens in Syria has already changed the Middle East, and will continue to do so for years to come.

    Feel sorry for us? I wouldn’t miss this for anything in the world. Days like these come once every two generations. The last time the Middle East was disrupted in such a fashion was 1967. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m not waiting 44 years for another chance to be part of incredible events.

    Feel sorry for us? I pity people who will never have the chance to do anything remotely as extraordinary as what I’ve seen the people of Homs and Syria do, every single day for eight months.


  63. Angry Arab

    ” I realize I now oppose them [the SNC] in the same degree that I oppose the lousy Syrian regime”

    As’ad Abu Khalil, being As’ad, would find a reason to oppose Jesus in the same degree that he would oppose Mother Teresa.


  64. Juts to clarify, Betho needs 15 votes to endorse this emergency AL meeting.


    “Regime backers rally after Arab League suspends Syria” (CNN)

    “US official says sanctions on Syria will hasten ouster of Assad, consults Jordan” (washingtonpost)

    “Russia to honor Syria arms contracts” (RIA)

    “GOP candidates on military assistance in Syria” (washingtonpost)

    “The Arab League goes after Assad” (Jennifer Rubin)

    “Armed Mobs Storm Foreign Embassies in Syria ” (israelnationalnews)


  65. As’ad Abu Khalil, being As’ad, would find a reason to oppose Jesus in the same degree that he would oppose Mother Teresa.

    Goodness me! and who’s this vuvuzela? Is he after few gallons of Mazot or something?

    I was talking with an American relative who lives on the West coast. She was crying and said she felt so much pain for us.

    See Aboud it’s at moments like this when pieces start falling into place and the puzzle could be solved. Bless her.


  66. Dear TRUE
    There is off course a filter, it is called opposing tyranny,

    And I am angry at the AL. the 16th is the same deadline we have for commenting on the tyrannical policy of 7ee6an…..


  67. Algeria, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Sudan might support Bashar’s call for summit, but still they don;t jave enough votes together.


  68. The army was used to inflate the pro regime demonstrations .


  69. I heard one vuvuzela on TV pleading Betho to withdraw from AL and from the United Resistance States (URS) with Iraq, Lebanon and Iran tsk tsk tsk geesh their dumbness is incomparable


  70. AIG, I just noticed your post. Welcome back. This website is sooo much better than Professor Josh’s “House of Horrors”.

    Hamster, the name of the soon-to-be deposed President of Syria, “Athad” was something I picked up from Aboud. I like it better than “Besho” right now.

    Sheila, your post to SC was really good. I’m really impressed with many of the posts on this forum.

    Anyway, something I noticed, perhaps someone has an answer:

    What ever happened to Shai and Yossi (SC Israeli/liberal posters of yore)? Are they supporting the Syrian opposition or are they still supporting the “Baathist Boy Wonder”?


  71. The buffer-zone nearby the Southern borders between Syrian and Turkey is inevitably coming, but the question is whether it should go 5 km or 30 km deep inside Syria? My understanding this buffer-zone will go along the borders of 822 km so if I could rephrase the question, shall we go for 4,110 (km)2 or 24,660 (km)2 buffer-zone?

    While the bigger space option sounds more inviting an surely represents bigger humiliation to Betho. However, it needs more resources and surely way more maintenance, at the same time its eastern flank might get exposed to PPK terrorist attacks


  72. You are not going to believe this one. Irritated (I like to call him Irritating) wants to throw all the Palestinians out of Syria, because Palestine voted against Syria in the AL. This is the epitome of how low can you go.

    Here is my response:

    To Irritating,
    I do not know if you can get any more pathetic than this. Now that you can not find anyone else to play macho on, you are showing your muscles against the Palestinians? What do you want from them? You are the type of person who does good expecting a payoff. I do not know what religion you are, but this does not work in any religion. And if you do not believe in religion, this is called indecency. I hope that when Syrians opened their country to the Palestinians it was not to hold them hostages and expect them not to have an opinion of their own ever again.
    No one is looking suspiciously on the Palestinians living in Syria except sick people like you.


  73. True

    “but the question is whether it should go 5 km or 30 km deep inside Syria?”

    That’s like giving Besho the choice between getting his balls electrocuted by 100 or 200 volts.


  74. Sheila @ 2:51

    I saw it and loved ur answer.

    On another note, you, one time, agreed with someone on Syria Coma that the transportation system was good. This is the ONLY time that I disagreed with you.
    Did you know that there used to be a law that required all taxi drivers to be clean shave?
    Did you know we used to have a train in Damascus? Do we one today?
    Did you know that the bus used to only stop at bus stops not like do now in the middle of the street?
    Did you know how humiliating for women to ride in these mini busses and the harassment they endure?
    Did you know how bad the public transportation drivers are in the way they drive?
    Have you seen a worst transportation system from the airport in any other city?
    How good is the railway system in Syria today? In Europe and the US, you can set your watch based on the train schedule.
    Does the road system allow for carpooling?
    How about our airports? How about our domestic flights? How about our airlines. When we had the Syrian airlines, the entire GCC didn’t have one. The GCC countries had to join forces to establish Gulf Air.

    Syria is a failed state today. It needs a total overhaul. 😦


  75. Oh sounds like I got my assumption wrong! it does not seems the buffer-zone would be along the borders with Turkey. It would be established up the north-west in between Aleppo and Hatay (Turkish: Hatay ili , pronounced [ˈhataj]) and goes all the way south to include Jisr Alshogor. So the 5 km & 30 Km questions is about whether to include Aleppo right at the beginning or wait till it’s established and protected then liberate Aleppo. This video explains it very well, it’s in Arabic but the image speaks for itself.


  76. That’s like giving Besho the choice between getting his balls electrocuted by 100 or 200 volts.

    Mannnnnnnn you’re the one to put a smile on my face, I love Homs and people of Homs, I reckon I should get married from Homs 🙂


  77. Hey Sheila, tell this itchy irritated as$ that the Palestinians did not only vote yes but they’re actually actively involved in our revolution, tell him the Palestinians are running the tansiqya of Alhajr Alaswad in Damascus, tell him Almidan-Damascus was baptized with the pure Palestinian blood (Alaa Al-Sahli) to support their Syrian brethren. Finally, tell him that there are 12000 armed members of Hamas in Damascus who can take Almuhajreen palace over a night and put his Betho on khazzoq almarja just like that.

    See what the regime did to our Palestinians brothers in Dar’aa refugee camp while they were trying to smuggle food cans to their Syrian brothers in Dar’aa. see this video in YT warning very graphic photos) /watch?v=LWH2F7aNi7s!/pages/%D9%81%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B7%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%B3%D9%80%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D8%AD%D9%80%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%88%D8%A8%D8%B3-Freedom-for-Palestine-and-Syria/158090967617841

    The martyr (Ala’a Al-Sahli) who was shot in Almidan-Damascus


  78. 468. ANN said:

    ABOUD your lack of sleep is negatively affecting your brain and behavior. Also refusing to take your medications is seriously contributing to the deterioration of your mental illness.


    0  0

    November 14th, 2011, 12:14 am

    😦 this is really starting to piss me off. We get no respect. They are so obsessed with Aboud. We post something and they think it’s Aboud. We get no respect.


  79. ” tell him the Palestinians are running the tansiqya of Alhajr Alaswad in Damascus”

    As far as I know the people protesting in Hajar alaswad are Syrian refugees (naz7een) from the Golan and Qunaitera.


  80. 470. مندس said:

    468. ANN said:………

    I’m no psychiatrist. But you seem obsessed with Aboud.

    0  1

    November 14th, 2011, 12:26 am

    471. ANN said:

    I’m just concerned about the poor little fellow.

    Hey, if you hear from him give him those numbers they might save his life:

    1-800-799-4tty (Hotline For The Deaf)

    0  0

    November 14th, 2011, 12:37 am

    Ok this is the last time I bring up “Syria Coma”. I thought it was funny. 🙂


  81. “I’m no psychiatrist. But you seem obsessed with Aboud.”

    Are the menhebaks on SC still going on about Aboud? LOL, Ar’or didn’t manage to get them worked up like this 🙂


  82. Mundas

    “We get no respect. They are so obsessed with Aboud. We post something and they think it’s Aboud. We get no respect.”

    Sorry 🙂 I promise I’m not posting there, I’m not even visiting it. I have as much desire to visit SC as I have to visit a bar full of motor cycle gangs on advice on avoiding infections from piercings and tattoos.

    Man, how ironic would it be if Aleppo became a safe haven LOL!


  83. And by the way, SANA seems to have utterly misunderstood the AL’s declaration. They think it is just a draft, and will only come into effect pending a meeting on the 16th. Not so. No further meetings are required. The Qatari FM said that the only reason it was postponed until the 16th is because of the prescheduled joint meeting with Turkey.

    For Syria to be reinstated, it will require a 2/3 vote by the Arab League. And after junior’s thugs ransacked so many embassies, and his trumpets called everyone from here to the moon Zionist-Al Jazeera stooges, Besho has as much chance of getting a 2/3 vote as Netanyahu has of becoming Imam of Mecca.


  84. Aboud,

    I know you’re not posting over there. I don’t know what got into me. I was having fun with them at their expense. I asked them if they got paid by the word. I normally don’t have the patience to deal with such people. What’s to debate? There’s a mountain of evidence against a criminal regime they choose to defend. We’re not talking about issues like education, abortion, etc… I’m so glad we don’t have a legal system with a jury trial by your peers. Those thugs would never be found guilty.

    I’m still banking on Turkey. I never gave up hope. It will be GREAT if they go south as far as Aleppo.
    The current Turkish government identifies ideologically with the protestors. I think they play it smart. I believe they will do something. It had to take a while for things to evolve. The opposition and the Syrian people were not ready. We’re much more ready now as a nation for a change. I think NATO will come thru Turkey with or without UNSC resolution. Only somebody with bigger guns can get rid of these thugs. The regime does not mind all the embargoes. They don’t care if the people ate grass.

    I am amazed by Aleppeans and Syrian Christians. I always believed Syrian Christians were more open minded. But obviously, I was wrong. They were programmed just like a lot of people.


  85. Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    Please forgive me for saying the following, but I feel I have to.

    Without meaning to put a wet rag on dear Aboud’s revolutionary fervor and excitement, if I had a choice between what we’ve got now and BtB pulling a Zeine-l-Haribeen act and/or a Mubarak back-down after just 800-something killed, say back in April/May, I would gladly take the latter events. There are so many families who will be for a long time mourning the loss of their son, daughter or bread winner, and which no amount of talk about “momentous events” will ever provide them comfort or solace.

    I do not say this just because, as mentioned on SC once, I have a very close family member in the filthy hands of the criminal gang, I’d say it regardless. We all know that very few detainees will ever be released this side of the uprising; after all, why would you provide your enemies with an extra 50-100 thousand now-very-determined activists? I believe all detainees will be used as hostages or bargaining chips to guarantee the safety of the hundreds of thousands of BtB’s thugs and in the meanwhile provide a way for those soul-less, conscience-less thugs to vent their frustration whenever they meet with a setback.

    Please let us gloat when we have achieved total victory.

    Atheist Syrian…


  86. MGB | November 14, 2011 at 7:22 am

    We would’ve loved to have a peaceful transition. I am not speaking on anybody’s behalf. But it seemed to me that a lot of people turned against the regime because of the killings. Nobody wanted to see ANY killings.
    I live in Syria. Actually, I know a few people who had been imprisoned during the demonstrations. I know a lot of people who live in restive areas. All I can tell you is that if the regime was hated one fold, it is hated 1000 folds now due to its actions.
    The regime is making it so easy for Syrians to become vengeful and they will be gloating and rejoicing seeing “the family” hanging in Al Marje’ Plaza. They have orphaned too many kids, and widowed too many wives.


  87. ABOUD
    People on Qifa Nabki, another offspring of SC but more witty, are asking about HOMSI Citizenship. I told them requirements are courage, intellect, and wit. You may get a couple of applications from some of the most outstanding Lebanese folks.


  88. MGB

    “if I had a choice between what we’ve got now and BtB pulling a Zeine-l-Haribeen act and/or a Mubarak back-down after just 800-something killed, say back in April/May, I would gladly take the latter events”

    I’m sure everyone agrees with those sentiments. Unfortunately, even Tunisia and Egypt were light years ahead of Syria with regards to civil institutions and the professionalism of their armed forces, which did not for a moment consider becoming partners in crime with the rulers of those countries. Alas, we do not have the same situation here in Syria.

    Why did it take a world war spanning continents to finally bring down Nazi Germany? Because they were that big a threat. Why did it take decades of cold war for the Communist USSR to unravel? Because it was one big ass evil empire.

    Likewise, the Baathist regime has entrenched itself into every aspect of Syria like few other regimes have ever done, at the expense of Syria’s economical, educational, cultural and military capacities.

    Will all the deaths and suffering have been worth it? That completely depends on what kind of society and country we create post-Baath. Which is why I do not want Besho’s final days to be dragged from a hole in the ground and beaten up by vigilante mobs. We owe too much to your friends, MGB, to those widows and orphans, to besmirch the revolution by such barbarity.

    One day, I will die. I may die of old age, I may die crossing the street. I could get electrocuted by my misbehaving vacuum cleaner. I cannot choose my end. But all those who died, died for something great. Their sacrifices will remake the region. Of course I wish there had been another way, but freedom isn’t free. Just ask the Iranians. It’s bad enough to have had a shot at freedom and lived to remember the failure. It’s even worse to have to look on and witness how much more successful and resilient other nations have been when they got their chance.

    We can pack it all in tomorrow, everyone can stay at home. The prisoners will never be freed, the relatives of our martyrs will live with the pain of knowing that their murderers still walk among us. And we can look with envy at Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans, Yemenis and whoever else rises up to win their freedoms.

    If the effort and sacrifice seem great, it is because the chains that bind us were being forged for over forty years.


  89. I dropped a line that should have been in the middle between the 2 paragraphs above:

    “And let’s not forget all the people in detention, either.”

    Akhi mundass,

    My note was triggered by what Aboud said (at 7:28 pm) and it reminded me of myself of days gone by when I loved revolution and preferred chaos and actually wished it, if only to shake those complacent “silent majorities” all over the world who go about their daily lives
    كما قال نزار القباني
    بالحرب قانعون …والسلم قانعون… بالحر قانعون …والبرد قانعون…بالعقم قانعون …والنسل قانعون
    بكل مافي لوحنا المحفوظ في السماء قانعون

    This is a revolution that we’ve got to have, no two ways about it (and every country will have to live through an upheaval of some sort at almost regular intervals; change is the one unchanging thing about evrything). Maybe I am misinterpreting what Aboud wrote, but when I look at the situation I gravitate more towards pathos than euphoria.


  90. MGB

    “Maybe I am misinterpreting what Aboud wrote, but when I look at the situation I gravitate more towards pathos than euphoria.”

    If there has been any misunderstanding, the fault is entirely mine. I do not mean to glorify war. I do not think that there is anything romantic about flag waving youths dodging army tanks and shouting slogans.

    But I am glad, that the Syrian people have shown the will, the desire, and the ability to rise up and overthrow the most despotic despot in the history of despotism, and that all of us were fortunate to be at the right place, and at the right time, to choose to take part in the revolution.

    Our parents weren’t so lucky. Our children will look back with pride and respect at what we did. Alas, the burden falls to us, we are the generation on whom fate has decreed should take up the mantle and do all the hard work. No matter what happens, we have proven ourselves the greatest generation of Syrians.

    Now, I’ve just been watching Waleed Mu’allem’s press conference. In effect, it can be boiled down to the idea that the AL’s decision was “cooked” before hand, that nothing the regime could have done could have prevented the shafting it got. To which I say….dude, you are so screwed.

    I mean, think about it. The regime’s only hope lay in a disunited opposition, Arab League and UN Security Council. If 18 Arab countries are all in on a plot against ze eye doctor prezident, then he’s already in the toilet, and the hand is inexorably moving towards the flush. He has no hope, no chance of surviving against such a single minded determination to be rid of him.

    Actually, the myth of a pre-planned expulsion from the AL is the explanation the regime’s less than impressive diplomatic corp is using to cover their ineptitude. Doubtless, they told ze eye doctor prezident that such an occurrence could never happen. Far better to whine that they are the victims of forces greater than themselves, than put the blame squarely on their own bungling.


  91. Akhi Aboud,
    As the Aussies say, no woken furries, mate. Or the Hmasne “mafee mushkli”. I am sure your kids will be very proud of the role you have played in the liberation of beautiful Syria from the clutches of the Athadist Occupation just as I used to brag how may dad had his own gang that fought the French in Duma in the 30’s. As for me, unfortunately it will have to be participation from afar and only through cyberspace.

    When it is all over I hope we can have a big celebration in the inner courtyard of my grandparents’ 200 y.o. ancestral home in bab-i-ddreib, and you’ll be at the top of the invited list.

    This guy Mu’allem, is something else, ain’t he? I mean he sits there as if he’s the Holy Father in Rome pontificating his wisdom to the multitudes of believers! And whenever I look at his face I just can’t help but recall the Australian movie about that little piglet…(what the heck was it’s name?) especially when he’s smiling from ear to ear about all the clever things he’s just said.


  92. I should be very fair to the little piglet in the movie and offer an apology for comparing it to such a dishonorable malicious personality, especially considering that the piglet in the movie was a true little hero.


  93. The next step is for the Arab League to escalate to the Security Council, and pressure those countries that stand in the way of a strong resolution. None of the countries who in the past opposed a resolution are going to sacrifice relations with the GCC for the sake of Besho.

    South Africa, Brazil and India seemed to have had a nice time in their infantile need to stick it to the West, but that ride is over, and if the barbaric brutality of the regime wasn’t enough reason for them to take a principled stand, GCC pressure on them will make them change their tune in a moment. What will Al Dunya do with all those Russian and Chinese flags once the vote goes against the Baathists at the Security Council.

    Yes, the Russian FM made some noises about the AL’s decision, but remember that Russia tried to pressure the AL and prevent them from taking the actions they did. Also, it was heartening to hear that Turkey will work as a partner with the AL in whatever decisions are taken. Seems like there was a secret member of the AL Besho the Baffled didn’t take into account.


  94. Here’s a good one:

    According to Muhyiddin al-Lathiqani on BBC Arabic’s n.hiwar Yemen’s Pres. M.Ali Saleh called
    Besho the Butcher and said:

    “You know I really am behind you all the way but you gotta cut stop spilling so much blood. “


  95. AP

    “Jordan’s King tells Athad to step down…”

    I saw the interview, and it left me scratching my head a bit. I think we will need to wait until tomorrow, lest it turns out to be yet another case of a Middle East leader saying something he thinks will make him look good infront of the Western press, only for the usual disclaimer to come out of an official spokesperson the next day.

    I say this because King Abdullah seemed unsure of himself when he said what he did. If he was really pushing for regime change, he’d have been more forceful. Let’s wait to see if any qualifiers and toning down comes out of Jordanian official and semi-official sources between now and tomorrow morning.


  96. Aboud | November 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm
    The next step is for the Arab League to escalate to the Security Council,

    I understand that’s the idea. But is it supposed to go to the International Court after that? And once the thugs are indicted, the regime will disintegrate and be finished? If that’s the case, I don’t think it is enough. At the risk of sounding like KT, I think the regime will not be finished unless someone with bigger guns takes it out. They’re still recruiting. I still see applicants lining up outside the Mukhabarat branch i drive by. They’re ruthless and brutal. They never cared how miserably people lived, why would they now?

    The above is a question, not a statement. I’m hoping there’s a better scenario ahead of us compared to civil war where I think we’re headed.


  97. I say this because King Abdullah seemed unsure of himself when he said what he did.


    He is probably not sure if he’s next on the chopping block.;)

    Although I don’t put King Abdullah in the same category as Athad, he’s still an autocrat and I don’t know how well-liked he is in the Kingdom.


  98. Mundas, unfortunately I don’t see an indictment for war crimes as having any effect until after Besho and co are out of power. Every single politician who got hauled to the Hague had spent a few years out of power and on the run. An indictment didn’t overthrow Zenga Zenga, NATO and Arab special forces did.

    “I still see applicants lining up outside the Mukhabarat branch i drive by”

    Something we’ve learned in Homs, is that one doesn’t have to put out a Youtube video to actually defect. Even mukhabarat who live in a grey area are immensely useful. Professor Landis once said something on France 24 which I want everyone to remember; while Syria has many talented, intelligent, and sophisticated people in the opposition, almost all of them are out of the country.

    If someone wants to openly defect, the only way to stay alive is to go abroad, which weakens their effectiveness. Just as useful are those who haven’t yet openly defected, but do a half ass job of whatever it is the regime depends on them to do. And I assure you it does happen, every single day.

    In April, it took the army a week to occupy all of Houran. A month ago, it took them 10 days just to subdue Rastan, a town of 70,000. And it is taking them forever, and yet they still have not made any headway in subduing Baba Amr, just one area of Homs. Their effectiveness is obviously diminishing. Already they have to confiscate every fuel truck and drop of mazot and deny supplies to the entire country to keep their 50s era APCs and camouflaged dump trucks running. What the hell are these thugs going to do with the few resources left to them when they need to move on to Bab Esba3, Khaldia, Dayr Ba3labi, and again back to Hama, Telkelakh and Idlib.

    A few weeks ago, I outlined what I thought had to happen; increased military defections, which will encourage civilian defections, which will then make the more pragmatic Alawites come to an arrangement with the rest of the country. We have learned from Qaddafi how fragile and unreliable “die hard” supporters of dictators can be once the tide turns.

    If Besho was going to be able to subdue the country, he would have done so within a few weeks. The resources he depends on are finite and get used up rapidly. None of the factors that were in his favor (Russian veto cover, lack of international pressure, a disunited opposition) are under his control, and we’ve already seen how quickly those factors can turn against him.

    I did not count control of the military as an asset in his favor, because he is so obviously oblivious on how one uses a military in this day and age. So far, all that the “security option” has done for him is made him into an international pariah, sanctioned, isolated abroad, hated at home, the economy in a hole that it can’t possibly get out of, the army splitting, his Alawite constituents fearful and living under a siege mentality.

    The regime *can’t* stop the killing, not for a single day. It needs to punish and chase defectors, otherwise entire battalions would desert en mass. It needs to keep demonstrators away from the main squares, otherwise a dozen Syrian towns and cities will slip out of the regime’s control overnight. And so it is doomed, to continue on a path and course of actions whose results are…well, we’ve all heard of the concept of diminishing returns, but junior’s returns on his “investments” have diminished to such an extent that they are negligible. He isn’t holding assets, he is holding bad debts that no one will take off his hands.


  99. Dear OTW:

    I hope you will not consider my previous post a violation.


  100. Dear Haytham
    Not at all, we all have been posting “youtubes” and even valves, I removed restriction because It was causing delay in timely points and was unnecessary for now at least.


  101. Should have included the following in previous post:



  102. Guys, Besho is in urgent need of your donations. He is infront of a mosque with a begging bowl out, pleading for 15 Arab League votes. He can only scrap together three votes. Please, will anyone take pity on this poor man and donate 12 more votes! Where is your spirit of charity, Besho is sending out an urgent appeal. The menhebaks are trying to get Quincy Jones to make a “We are the World” type song to help raise the 15 votes Besho needs. Help him, oh the humanity! Besho has been declared a disaster area in desperate need of UN Humanitarian aid in the form of 15 Arab League votes. How can we all sleep at night knowing that somewhere out there, a despot can’t get the votes necessary for the Arab League to meet and hear his Foreign Minister call them all a bunch of Zionist stooges.

    In other news, a day after the UN Security Council told junior to rein in his menhebak thugs, they go and ransack the Jordanian embassy. I guess King Abdullah meant what he said after all.


  103. اليوم يزور وفد المجلس الوطني روسيا

    توصياتي لهم كانت كالتالي:

    كما قلت لك سابقاً إن لافروف هو الذي يحمل مفتاح القضية السورية. ليس عليك أن تقنع ميرغيلوف بشئ فهو مقتنع و هو بجانب الثورة.
    أولاً يجب أن تؤكدوا له أن إستمرار نظام الأسد يعني إستمرار الفوضى و من المحتمل الحرب الأهلية، لأن شريحة كبيرة من الشعب السوري تألمت منه و لم تعد تتحمل وجوده.
    يجب أن تؤكدوا له أن سوء تعامل الأسد مع الأزمة هو سبب تفاقمها. لذلك الحل هو برحيله.
    يجب أن تؤكد أن لا أحد في المعارضة يريد تدخلاً عسكرياً في سوريا من أي جهة كانت.
    إذا فتحوا معكم موضوع الحوار مع النظام، لا تقولوا أنكم ضد الحوار، يجب أن تؤكدوا لهم أن هذا هو جوهر المبادرتين العربيتين اللتين إقترحاهما الجامعة العربية و لم يكن ممكن تطبيقهما و أنتم تعرفون الأسباب.
    يجب أن تؤكد له أنكم لا تقودون المظاهرات. المظاهرات هي عفوية.
    يجب أن توجهوا له لوماً خفيفاً جداً لأنه ظلم الثورة بنعتها بعصيان مسلح.
    إذا فتحوا معك موضوع وجود مدنيين مسلحين يجب ألا تنكر ذلك و يجب أن تؤكد لهم أن لا علاقة لكم بهم و أنكم تنكرون أعمالهم، ولا تعرفون من يمولهم، و من يدعمهم.و أن سياسة الأسد هي التي دفعتهم لهذا.
    يجب أن تقولوا لهم أنكم تخشون حرباً أهلية، و أنه كلما طال الوضع هكذا صار إحتمالها أكبر.
    يجب أن تؤكد له أنك كنت صاحب أول مبادرة للحل السلمي.
    يجب أن تؤكدوا له أن جزء كبير من الحل هو بيد روسيا. إذل طلبت منه روسيا الرحيل فهو سيرحل و بذلك روسيا تجنب المنطقة الكثير من المخاطر.


  104. Dear Haytham
    I enjoyed reading your article about the two headed eagle. Very well done. You are gifted.

    It is likely that Putin will now hold the upper hand as he plans to re-assume the presidency after the upcoming election. And I agree largely with your recommendations to the SNC team visiting Moscow, but also recommend that the opposition gives Russia a guarantee that

    1. The Syrian people in general recall Russia’s long-term friendship

    2. Good economic relationships and and trade between Syria and Russia are natural and should not be affected by who governs Syria, In fact, the more support Russia provides to Assad the higher the risk that the good relationship will be affected by the reaction of members of the business community who are getting more alienated from the Assad mafia

    3. The Opposition has no objection about continuing to facilitate Russia’s access to the Mediterranean sea. Peaceful transition will allow that, however, forceful transition, whichever way it happens due to Assad’s continuing stubbornness will put that at risk. But in all, there is no guarantee that NATO will not find one way or another to interfere, It is in Russia’s long term interest to pressure Assad into leaving sooner than later.


  105. OTW,

    I imagine Syria (after the revolution) will do what all the other countries do: play for the highest bidder. I don’t think Syria will not fall into any “camp”; nor do I think Syria will remain a puppet of Iran. I would hope Syria would turn closer to the west and the US, but this is not guaranteed.


  106. Poets of the Syrian Revolution

    Dear TRUE
    Now this is real revolution poetry,…

    سوريّا شِعر: تمام التلاوي …………………………

    by شعراء الحرية
    عندي من الكلمات ما يكفي لوصفكِ ياسمينا ياسمينا

    وأقول “سوريّا” كوصفٍ للمجرّةِ,

    ليس كاسمٍ للبلادِ.. ولا كنصلٍ غارَ فينا

    وأقول “سوريّا” كأني لستُ أعنيها تماما

    بل أشبِّهُ باسمِها قطْرَ النّدى فوق الرموش

    ولا أسمّيها الحنينا

    وأعوذ بالحرية البيضاء من قنّاصةٍ أرواحهم سوداءُ مثلَ ثيابِهم

    وأحرّر السجّانَ مني والسجينا

    أنا مارقٌ عن لعنةِ الكتبِ القديمةِ والطوائفِ

    لا أصدق أيّ وَحيٍ غيرَ وحيِ الياسمين

    ولا أصدق أي صوتٍ غيرَ تغريدِ البلابلِ خارجَ الأقفاص

    تكتظّ الشوارع بي كما تكتظُّ بالوردِ الجنائنُ

    في ربيعٍ ظلّ مختنقاً بحنجرتي سنينا..

    مطرٌ خفيفٌ بانتظاركِ

    واقفان معا

    ووجهي الآن مبتلٌّ تماماً مثل شَعركِ

    والرياح تهبُّ من أقصى قميصِكِ

    يا صبيّةُ

    لم أقل يوما لغيركِ: إن هذا الشِعرَ من عسلٍ وإنكِ نحلةٌ

    يا حلوةَ الحلوات

    هاهم عاشقوكِ الآن في كل الحدائقِ يهطلون

    ليقطفوا ورد الشآم بكل ما في شوكِهِ من قسوةٍ

    وبكل ما نزفَتْ أصابعُهم من الأقمار في الطرقات

    هاهم يشعلون الآن ساحاتِ المدينةِ بالهديل

    ويُرجِعون الماءَ مبتسما إلى برَدى الحزين

    عيونهم شهبٌ من الأحلام تحرق ليل قاتلهم

    وأيديهم تَلوح كأنّها راياتُ نورٍ خافقاتٌ في الظلام.

    أريد منكِ الآن –والشهداء ينهمرون من غيم القصيدةِ-

    أن تمرّي كالسنونو في مخيّلتي

    وأن تتأملي أجسادَهم نبتَتْ شقائقَ حيثما سقطوا

    أريدك أن تجيبي الأمهات الحائراتْ:

    من يستطيع الآن أن يرفو لهم قمصانَهم مثقوبةً برصاص إخوتِهم؟!

    وأيّةُ إبرةٍ تلك التي ستخيط جرح الروح

    في الوطن الذي يمتدّ ما بين الزناد وبين رأس الطفل؟!

    أيّةُ دمعةٍ تلك التي تكفي لتَروي زهرة النسيان؟!

    أية قُبلةٍ تكفي لتُحيي مرةً أخرى الأميرةَ في حكاياتِ الصغار؟!

    ومَنْ سيحشو بالبنفسجِ بعدَهم سبَطانةَ الرشّاش؟!..

    كنتُ رأيتُهم يتآمرون معاً على الطغيانِ والقهرِ الطويل

    ويخرجون إلى الهواءِ مدجّجينَ بصوتِهم

    لا يطلبون من الحياةِ سوى الأغاني

    بعدما صدِئتْ حناجرُهم من الصمتِ المريض

    وقُطِّعتْ أوتارُ قيثاراتِهم بمناجلِ الحرمان.

    وجهي الآن مبتلٌّ وصدرُكِ شاسعٌ

    في أول الأرض التقينا

    قلتُ: ما اسمكِ؟

    قلتِ: “سوريّا”.. بمدِّ الياء..

    “سوريّا” بلا تاءٍ مقيّدةٍ


    قلتِ: “سوريّا”.. بلا روحٍ مكبلةٍ, ولا أيْدٍ مصفّدةٍ

    -وبيتُكِ أين؟

    قلتِ: أنا بلا بيتٍ.. أنا ابنةُ ساحلِ الإغريق وابني طائرُ الفينيق

    أعمامي ملوكُ السرو.. خالاتي أميراتُ الصنوبرِ.. والأكاسيا جدتي..

    ..يا بنتُ هذا الوقت منتصف الغوايةِ

    ليس لي بيتٌ سواكِ

    لأن هولاكو الجديد سطا على بيتي

    فشابَ الحبر في المنفى, وأغنيتي تهدّج صوتها.

    سأقول “سوريّا” لأني لا أرى اسما لائقا بالياسمين سوى مروركِ في أزقتها

    ولا وصفا جديرا بالنساء سوى حرائرها

    ولا شعبا يليق بها سوى شعبٍ طليقٍ كالنسورِ وشامخٍ مثل الكواكبِ

    لا أرى سفنا تليق ببحرها إلا احتفال الموج بالأنثى التي شقتْ عبابَ القلب

    يا بنتُ اسمعيني قبل أن تتكبّدي حريّتي

    أنا لا أموتُ إذا الرصاصةُ فجّرتْ رأسي

    ولكني أموت إذا رأيتُ أخي يصوّب باتجاهي حقدَهُ

    وأموت حين أراك جائعةً, وترتجفين خوفا في الظلامْ.

    مطر شديدٌ, والرياح تهبّ

    والعشاق ينهمرون من أقصى الغمامْ.

    عيناكِ تلتمعان.. وجهي الآن مبتلٌّ

    ووجهكِ ساطعٌ

    وهديلُكِ العالي يُزمجرُ في الزحامْ:

    شعبُ القرنفلِ لا يُضامْ

    شعبُ القرنفلِ لا يُضامْ..

    * * *


  107. Dear Hamster,
    Very nice poem. Thank you so much for sharing. Your posts are always a breath of fresh air in the middle of mayhem.


  108. Dear Sheila
    Thanks for the kind words. I noticed your post about IRRITATED, and while I don’t like talking about people behind their back,I must confess that occasionally I do read her/his posts with fascination because that person thinks very loud, and her/his posts are excellent way of observing self deception and rationalization in their extreme form, as for understanding, it would require more formal training than I have in the psychology of fear. Sometimes i think good old Joshua should charge psychiatrists and psychologists who want to visit his site and observe how such processes work in the political arena of the modern IT dominated world. I think It would be fascinating. I wish I can go back to hamster’s grad school, but the wheel must keep turning 24/7/56. REAL on other hand comes up with the conclusion of rationalization and self deception, but not sharing the pseudo-thinking process with the readers, the REALITY presented seems ultra-delusional, while in real reality, it is no less delusional than that of IRRITATED or others lilke SNK. SNP is plain nuts.


  109. And by the way dear Sheila, I am fascinated by the creativity unleashed by the Syrian Revolution.


  110. OTW “1. The Syrian people in general recall Russia’s long-term friendship”

    That is a comforting thought.

    And finishing the day with a furry hamster comment will get me a good nights sleep.
    As for the poem read thru google translate I get a vague idea of how beautiful it must be in the original.


  111. Dear Hamster,
    I agree. I had the opportunity to hear all the delusion in the world from my pro- regime brother when he visited. As a matter of fact, he called me today from Syria and started cursing and swearing about the “conspiracy” that Syria is being subjected to. How convenient.
    I also admire the creativity of the Syrian people during these hard times: from the Homsi jokes to the Kafranbell banners. Have you seen the one with Bashar’s picture with donkey ears that reads: the Syrian people know their donkey best? It is hilarious.


  112. Dear OTW:

    Thank you very much.
    The opposition agrees to keep the Russian access to the Mediterranean.
    The problem is the Russians are using Syria to challenge the Europeans. Putin wants to send the message to the European that you can’t change a regime whenever you want.


  113. The Syrian regime kept telling everyone that Syria is not Libya, it’s not Egypt, and it’s certailnly not Tunisia. In a way this correct. However, what the regime hasn’t realized is that because Syria is different, the scenario that will end the Assad mafia rule will be later known as the Syrian scenario.

    This article hints to what might be in store for the Bashar and his gang.

    الاسد ونصيحة العاهل الاردني
    رأي القدس

    عندما ينصح العاهل الاردني الملك عبدالله الثاني صديقه القديم بشار الاسد بالتنحي عن الحكم كمخرج من الازمة الحالية التي تعيشها سورية، فإن هذا يعني ان هناك توافقا عربيا ـ امريكيا على ان جميع الجهود الدبلوماسية المبذولة حاليا، ومبادرة الجامعة العربية على وجه الخصوص، هي خطوة الهدف منها كسب الوقت لا اكثر ولا اقل، تمهيدا لتنفيذ السيناريو الذي جرى اعداده في غرف مغلقة، للتدخل العسكري لاطاحة النظام الحاكم في دمشق.
    العاهل الاردني لا ينطق عن هوى، وهو من اكثر الزعماء العرب علما ببواطن الامور، بحكم علاقاته الوثيقة بالولايات المتحدة الامريكية اولا، والدول العربية الخليجية التي باتت تقود العمل العربي المشترك، وتفرض ارادتها على المنطقة من خلال هيمنتها على جامعة الدول العربية.
    وتتزامن نصيحة العاهل الاردني هذه، او رسالة التحذير الواضحة الى النظام السوري ورئيسه على وجه الدقة مع تصعيد تركي ملحوظ، فرئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب اردوغان اعرب عن اعتقاده بان الرئيس السوري اضاع كل الفرص، ولم يعد امامه اي فرصة اخرى، وطالبه بالاعتذار علانية عن حرق سفارة بلاده في سورية. اما وزير الطاقة التركي تانير يلديز فهدد باعادة النظر في امداد سورية بالكهرباء، كما اعلن ان تركيا قررت وقف انشطة التنقيب عن النفط التي تجريها مع سورية.
    وليس من قبيل الصدفة ان يأتي التصعيد التركي، ورسالة التحذير الاردنية في وقت تتكثف فيه الاحاديث عن قرب اقامة مناطق عازلة في شمال سورية وعلى حدودها مع تركيا، واخرى في جنوبها على الحدود مع الاردن، تتحول هذه المناطق الى نقطة استيعاب للمنشقين عن الجيش السوري، وبعد ذلك منصة انطلاق لاعمال عسكرية تكون عنوانا لحرب استنزاف ضد النظام الحاكم في دمشق.
    رئيس الوزراء التركي لم يجاف الحقيقة عندما قال ان النظام السوري اضاع كل الفرص الممكنة لتجنب تدهور الاوضاع في سورية الى الدرجة التي نراها حاليا، فادارة النظام لهذه الازمة كانت سيئة بل وكارثية، لانها ارتكزت على العناد، والتعاطي باحتقار مع المطالب الشعبية المشروعة في التغيير الديمقراطي.
    كان باستطاعة النظام السوري ان يتعاطى مع الانتفاضة الشعبية في محطتها الاولى في مدينة درعا بطريقة اكثر عقلانية وتبصرا، من حيث عزل ومن ثم محاكمة المحافظ الذي اذل اولياء امور الثلاثين طالبا الذين رددوا شعارات تطالب باسقاط النظام تأثرا بشعارات مصرية وتونسية مماثلة، ولكنه لم يفعل، واعتقد ان اعتماده على الحلول الامنية الدموية يمكن ان يرهب الشعب، ويقضي على الانتفاضة في مهدها، مثلما حدث في انتفاضات سابقة، ولكن الوقائع اثبتت كم كان هذا التفكير قاصرا بل مغرقا في السذاجة وعدم قراءة التطورات في المنطقة بشكل صحيح.
    الدول الخليجية رفضت طلب النظام السوري لعقد قمة عربية لدراسة الازمة، وكان هذا الرفض متوقعا على اي حال. فكيف تتم الدعوة الى هذه القمة في الوقت الذي تتعرض سفارات هذه الدول للاقتحام والحرق من قبل عناصر محسوبة على النظام او مرسلة من قبله؟
    لا احد يستطيع ان يتنبأ كيف ستكون عليه الخطوة المقبلة، لكن ما يمكن الجزم فيه ان زمن الحلول الدبلوماسية قد انتهى، وان التدخل العسكري بشكل شامل او على مراحل بات هو العنوان الرئيسي للفترة المقبلة، ويبدو ان النظام يدرك هذه الحقيقة جيدا ويتضح ذلك من خلال انتقال آلته القمعية الدموية الى مرحلة اكثر شراسة، حيث تم قتل اكثر من ستين شخصا بين مدنيين وعسكريين في اليومين الماضيين فقط.
    لا نعتقد ان الرئيس بشار الاسد سيستمع الى نصيحة العاهل الاردني ويترك السلطة الى منفى آمن، فلا يوجد اي مؤشر يوحي بذلك، ويبدو انه يسير قدما في خياره العسكري للتعاطي مع الانتفاضة، ولذلك علينا ان نتوقع مفاجآت دموية كثيرة، مثلما علينا ان ندرب انفسنا على التعايش مع هذه الازمة لاشهر ان لم يكن لسنوات قادمة، لانها ازمة مفتوحة على كل الاحتمالات.


  114. A new aspect to the Waleed Mu’allem Foreign Policy Doctrine; stay away from regional meetings and sulk like a teenager grounded on a weekend.

    Menhebaks, is this really the FM you are proud of? LOL 🙂

    By the way does anyone know how much electricity we get from the Turks?


  115. “By the way does anyone know how much electricity we get from the Turks?”
    The CIA is a good source for this information 🙂

    As of 2011, Turkey exports 1.12 billion kWh. So Syria must be getting less than than figure.
    Also, from 2009 to 2011, Syria imported 1.4 billion kWh. It is safe to assume that most of the electricity imported by Syria come from Turkey. If Turkey stops exporting electricity, we’re talking about a loss of 3% to 5% of the electricity consumed by Syria, based on the CIA figures.


  116. Dear MGB
    I do appreciate very much your kind consideration in formatting the YouTube embedding so that only the link is available, this is a good tutorial for me. At the same time, please feel free to allow for full embedding if you think that the clip does not have violence or gore.

    Moscow Press Conference


  117. Hope this is a hoax but apparently not says English Speakers to Help The Syrian Revolution

    “I wish this was a joke, but confirmed reports of 100 buses coming in from Iraq with militia … and their passports not stamped at the border even”.


  118. Syrian Hamster & OTW
    Thank you! Such misunderstandings must happen in such emotionally charged times, understandable 🙂

    Has anyone noticed the power cuts? From what I hear, Aleppo has been the hardest hit (teehee), but its happening here in Damascus too with a few hours each day for the last week. Definite signs of the crunch on Mazout, which, for those who don’t know, is used in most Syrian APCs.


  119. … he called me today from Syria and started cursing and swearing about the “conspiracy” that Syria is being subjected to.


    Is this your version of “How do you keep a Jew in suspense?”.



  120. Dear hazrid
    You have the coooooooooooolest avatar profile on the net. A master of an art i respect and like and It will be fun and learning experience for me sharing space with you on 7ee6an.


  121. Congratulation OTW and for all of us, you guys made it to the sky.

    After long effort finally we’ve been acknowledged internationally by the real deal people and heck yeah our 7ee6an are the WALLS 🙂

    Four Syrian bloggers to follow” (guardian)

    “Syrian blogger Off the Wall, location unknown:
    “Although personally I strongly oppose armed actions by the revolution or by anyone supporting the revolution, it seems that the regime has succeeded in pushing some of its own soldiers as well as other factions into armed action. Whether we like it or not, there are fights going on, and while the peaceful protest continues to be met with brute force whenever the regime can still do so, a parallel line has emerged and it is gaining strength.”


  122. “…

    Assad’s backers in the government, the Syrian military, and in Syrian society must now all understand this new reality. That’s going to make them less likely to continue abetting the regime’s atrocities and more likely to jump ship. This is how an autocratic government collapse can be like a bank run: the more likely regime collapse looks, the greater incentive that supporters and officials have for defecting, which in turn increases the chance of collapse. This may be why military defections seem to be increasing, a process that could accelerate in the coming weeks.


  123. Dear 7ee6anis
    I see TRUE has also found out. It pays, honest opinion, smart comments, and well thought and articulated ideas. This is the newest ever blog a bout Syria and you are already a recommended by the Guardian as a to follow site.

    Four Syrian Bloggers to Follow

    The list includes
    Ammar Abudlhamid’s blog

    Let us keep the good word. This may be a longer haul (we pray not) than we may have initially expected. Let us keep optimism, not hide our differences, and discuss them in civilized manner, as you have been doing for less than two months now.

    Thank you all and congratulation to all of us.



  124. F.M of Qatar:

    “But if Damascus does not agree to cooperate with the League, sanctions will be adopted against Syria,” he said, adding that the Arab states had “almost reached the end of the line” with Damascus.

    “I don’t want to speak about last chances so (the regime) doesn’t think it is being given an ultimatum but we are almost at the end of the line,”

    Read more:
    (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::


  125. Interesting article
    Assad spending spree may rebound as Syria runs short of cash

    Assad’s ‘Failure’

    The government’s worsening finances, with the increase in subsidies and salaries coupled with a 40 percent drop in tax revenue, will make it hard to maintain the stability of the pound, according to two Syrian bankers, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisal.

    That would amount to a vicious circle for Assad, said Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

    “The failure of the Assad regime to provide for its people was a major spark for this revolution to begin with,” he said. “Now it’s only going to become worse.”


  126. Defection, Assa’ad Ashiq Mustafa (former Minister of agriculture and former governor of Hama)
    انشقاق أسعد عاشق مصطفى وزير ومحافظ حماة السابق

    “The regime evenly does not respect opposition or allies”
    “The regime is in denial of Syrian people’s existence”
    “It’s al-ASSAD’s farm and that’s how they’ve been brought up”
    “Syrians are not sectarian and won’t be, if this situation happens anywhere else on this earth then we would see what being sectarian means”
    “Faris Alkhouri, the Christian, was elected three times as Syria’s prime minister”
    “No one in Syria supports foreign intervention but we need to stop the killing, if AL fails to achieve this goal then UNSC is obliged to take an action”
    “Syrians are wounded from Russians and Russia is responsible”
    “The opposition is running late, SNC has unified a big portion of the national opposition but should put more effort to contain other”
    “To my Alawi brothers, you belong to the revolution not to a clan”


  127. US plot to wage Syria war revealed
    Thu Nov 17, 2011

    Informed sources in Syria say they have discovered a pre-fabricated US scenario for the country’s future, seeking to wage war against the nation from various fronts, Press TV reports.

    Read more:


  128. CSI HAMA,

    So you’re relying on an Iranian news agency for the veracity of that unsubstantiated article?

    BTW, I enjoyed the few comments posted just after the article…


  129. Asma Packs her Bags NewZ


    Do you think Athad, when cornered, will pick up a kalishnakov and fight back? He was always so keen on resistance, you’d thiink he’d set an example for the jihadists he has supported all these years, Or he may just hide in a “spider hole” or a concrete pipe like his heroes Saddam and the Colonel…


  130. AP
    I really don’t know what he will do. But most self obsessed leaders, and those who think they are on a divine mission, be it from god or nation, have shown the ability to fight with someone else’s blood and treasure. This off course applies to some in our own country such as GWB and Chaney. Saddam did the same, but he faced his fate with reasonable courage. I guess we’ll never know for the others. Hole or no hole, I hope that everyone who killed an innocent soul will eventually face up for that crime in a court of law. Bare in mind that I am against capital punishment.


  131. This off course applies to some in our own country such as GWB and Chaney.


    You said that just to “get me going”, didn’t you?

    I voted for the Bush/Cheney ticket and they served both their terms admirably. They are not “Presidents-for-Life” like so many in the ME.


  132. AP
    I am not claiming that GWB and Cheney were tyrants, but it is true that both felt that they were on a divine mission, and that both fought wars that were unnecessary. The Arab spring was bound to happen for economic and dignity reasons if for nothing else. I am now more convinced than ever. Off course hindsight is always 20/20.

    The two served their terms like any other US president and his vice president. No matter what they did during their service, they left the office with dignity befitting the office. Bush did better than Cheney by disappearing, politically, for while, and allowing the new president to serve without looking like he is trying to serve a third term as a shadow president, but that is what most of our presidents did, no?

    We are fortunate that we have term limits and the institutions to enforce it. That, we never disagreed on. And to be honest with you, while I am not a believer in exceptionalism, i do think immigrants like me owe it to our host country to spread the word. It is not a romantic thing, it is simply stating the fact which both of us agree on.


  133. Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I am going back to Syria shortly and this is my last post…..for now.

    Dear Mr. OTW, I would be honored if you consider me a “7ee6ani”. I know what “7” stands for, is “6” supposed to be “ح”?

    I will be reading every comment. Congratulation on a successful blog..

    Dear 7ee6anis, try to help the distressed and suffering families of the protesters..


  134. Dear مندس
    Please stay safe. You are definitely 7ee6ani and your presence with us honor us all. Tel my beautiful Syria, I missed her terribly.

    7 = ح
    6 = ط


    If possible, remember the names of the distressed.


  135. Dear Mundas,
    I just finished watching the torture of the mayor of Kafranbel. I am still shaking with rage. Please be careful and take good care of yourself and your family. We are all with you. May God help Syria and its courageous people.


  136. Dear 7ee6anis,

    It’s time for some humor with non other than regime trumpet Taleb Ibrahim.

    For those who don’t speak Arabic, Taleb Ibrahim states in no uncertain terms that if forced to do so, Syria will impose a no-fly zone in the Eastern Mediterranean. Moreover, Syria will also impose a maritime blockade in the same area. All of this Syria will do alone without the help of Iran or Hizbulah.


  137. Dear مندس

    Be careful; clean your laptop before going. Be safe. I envy you.
    Yours in the struggle


  138. Interesting opinion from the NYT. I happen to agree with all of it. It also emphasizes the Iran issue in making the AL assertive.

    The Devil We Knew
    During the first 25 years of its existence, until Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970, the Syrian republic was a weak unstable state, an arena in which regional and international rivalries were played out. The first Assad reversed this state of affairs by turning Syria into a comparatively stable and powerful state, a player in regional and international politics.

    This was part of the unwritten pact between the regime and Syria’s urban population. Stability, prestige and a leading role in Arab nationalist “resistance” (to the United States and Israel) made up for the regime’s authoritarianism and corruption, and the hegemony of the minority Alawite sect.

    The outbreak of the revolt against the regime last March marked the end of this unwritten contract, and pushed Syria back to its pre-1970 state. It is once again an arena of regional and international rivalries, reflecting the changes that are transforming the region’s politics.

    The Syrian revolt is, of course, primarily a struggle between the regime — now led by Assad’s son Bashar — and its domestic foes over the nature and character of the Syrian state. But it is equally significant as a war by proxy between Iran and its rivals.

    In its quest for regional hegemony, Iran built a “resistance axis” comprised of itself, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. Syria was a crucial member of this axis, affording Iran access to its Lebanese assets and to the Mediterranean. Bashar al-Assad’s fall would deal a mortal blow to this axis, and Iran is making a major investment in trying to shore up his beleaguered regime.

    This is matched by two counterefforts. One is by Turkey. Until recently, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government had a close relationship with Syria as part of a policy sometimes call “neo-Ottomanism” and sometimes “zero conflict with neighbors.” But the rise of opposition to Assad’s regime, its persistence and its brutal suppression, have turned Turkey into an active foe.

    Turkey is worried by the repercussions of instability and potential chaos in Syria for its own stability, particularly in the Kurdish context. It also feels uncomfortable with the role played by Iran so close to its southern border.

    Turkey’s original policy of “zero conflicts” included an attempt to improve relations with Iran. But there could never be a comfortable relationship between a large Sunni state and a large Shiite state both vying for regional hegemony. With Iran seeking influence in Iraq and acting against Turkey’s policy and interests in Syria, an implicit rivalry is coming to the surface.

    The other effort is Saudi Arabia’s. Several developments have combined to alter the kingdom’s role from a reluctant wielder of discreet influence to that of a manifest, more aggressive regional power: Egypt’s current weakness; American reticence; and the threats presented by the Arab Spring.

    The Saudis intervened forcefully in Bahrain, are active in Yemen and are shoring up King Abdullah in Jordan.

    But for several months they were passive with regard to Syria. Like other states in the region — and like the United States and Europe — they were unhappy with Bashar al-Assad, but essentially subscribed to a policy of “the devil we know.” Bad as Assad’s brutality was, it seemed preferable to the dangers of anarchy, possible fragmentation and an uncertain future, given the fact that the Syrian opposition is largely an unknown.

    More recently, however, Saudi Arabia came to the conclusion that defeating Iran on the Syrian stage is the dominant consideration. This conclusion is shared by other Arab states, which explains the shift in the Arab League’s position and the extraordinary steps it has taken against the Assad regime.

    It is also a prime example of how “soft power” can be used by countries, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, that may not be a military match for Tehran.

    The roles played by Turkey and the Arab League are also a byproduct of the modest role played by the United States.

    In the Libyan crisis, President Obama sought to “lead from behind.” In the Syrian crisis, Washington does not lead at all. Yes, the American ambassador, Robert Ford, played a courageous role; the administration imposed some sanctions, and has used strong words to denounce Assad. But Washington does not have a coherent policy, and seems content to have regional powers in the driver’s seat in this crisis.

    Israel is passive as well. In 2005, when George W. Bush wanted to topple Bashar al-Assad, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon cautioned against doing so, using the “devil we know” argument. Assad was Iran’s close ally and Lebanon’s oppressor, a patron of Hamas and an anti-American actor in Iraq, but the alternative to his rule, according to the conventional wisdom at the time, was the Muslim Brotherhood.

    This is not Israel’s policy now. After the discovery of Assad’s secret cooperation with North Korea, and given the threats to its national security by Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, Israel came to the conclusion that there is more potential damage in Assad’s survival than in his departure.

    Deeply preoccupied with the Iranian threat, Israel is of the opinion that extracting the Syrian brick from the Iranian wall could usher in a new phase in regional politics. Clearly both Hamas and Hezbollah are treading more softly now.

    There is another dimension to this issue. Since 1973, Syria under both Assads fought Israel by proxy in the Lebanese and Palestinian arenas, but kept the Golan front quiet. This may change. Last May and June, Palestinian demonstrators were encouraged to approach the border fence at two sites in the Golan Heights and to try to break through it.

    Bashar al-Assad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf, recently warned, “if there is no stability here, there’s no way there will be stability in Israel,” and similar threats have been made by Syria’s foreign minister and by the leader of Hezbollah. The essence of these threats is that the regime does not intend to fall quietly, and should there be any external intervention, or should the final hour come, it might use its own and Hezbollah’s missiles against Israel and possibly other neighbors. Israel does not have a direct influence on the course of events in Syria, but it does have to take such threats seriously.

    There seems to be no real prospect of external military intervention in Syria. But the policies of external actors will have a major impact on the position of the Syrian army and on the middle classes of Damascus and Aleppo that so far have been sitting on the fence.

    The United States, France and other powers that traditionally played an important role in the Levant do not need to resort to military action. They have a full arsenal of diplomatic and economic assets that could tilt the current conflict in Syria, put an end to brutal suppression and bloodshed, and help the Arab Spring register another achievement.

    Itamar Rabinovich has served as Israel’s chief negotiator with Syria and as Israel’s ambassador in Washington. His books include “The View from Damascus.”


  139. AIG
    A reasonable analysis, but I would have liked to see a little more on the reason why KSA changed position and “came to the conclusion that defeating Iran on the Syrian stage is the dominant consideration.”


  140. هذا ماقاله بشار الأسد في لقائنا معه ..

    by Houssam Arian on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 3:03pm
    From FB

    Note: Bold emphasis on answers is added by OTW

    في البداية أود أن أشير إلى رفضي نشر الجانب المأساوي من النقاش سابقاً, وقد تم نشر ماصرحت به عبر الهاتف لجريدة السفير بجملة واحدة مفادها أننا ذهبنا لطرح الحلول لا إستجرار مطالبنا الشخصية ومع ذلك فقد كان جزء من الحاضرين يحملون مطالباً شخصية ..

    كما أود أن أسخط جملة “ماهي مطالبكم” حيث كانت تتردد على لسان كل مسؤول نصادفه وفي وقت سابق عبر إذاعة صوت الشباب أيضاً, وكأننا ذهبنا للتسول ..

    في الـخامس من أيار لسنة 2011 وعبر إتصال هاتفي من الإتحاد الوطني لطلبة سورية أبلغت بأنه تم طرح إسمي مع مجموعة من شباب سورية من مختلف المدن السورية, لمقابلة الرئيس الأسد للبحث في الشؤون العامة واللقاء بعد يومين أي بتاريخ 7/5/2011, قبلت وسافرت إلى دمشق ..

    في القصر الجمهوري هناك كان اللقاء, دخلنا جميعاً 14 شاباً وبعد الترحيب والتعارف بدأت الجلسة, فضلت أن أكون آخر الطارحين للمشاكل والحلول لكي لا أسرق فكرة أحدهم عن طريق الصدفة, لكن هنا سأسرد لكم بعض مما أذهلني بطريقة الردود أو التعامل المنتظر ..

    يجب تفعيل دور حزب البعث لأنه خلال العقود الماضية, المواطن السوري لم يلمس أهمية الحزب القائد في الدولة ..

    هذه الإجابة كانت من الرئيس الأسد على مداخلة لفتاة أتت من حمص حين طرحت فكرة إلغاء المادة الثامنة من الدستور بأسرع وقت ممكن لكي لاندخل في سجالات جديدة, والسماح للمعارضة بحرية التعبير, وتأسيس الأحزاب المعارضة لحزب البعث ..

    خدمة العلم بمفهومها الحالي هي خدمة للوطن وحتى لو كان الطبيب يقف عند الحواجز العسكرية ويحارب فهو بذلك يخدم وطنه ..

    جواب مختصر تلقاه أحد الأعضاء المشاركين معنا وكان آتياً من القامشلي, حين طرح فكرة تحويل مفهوم خدمة العلم إلى خدمة الوطن بوضع الإختصاص المناسب في المكان المناسب عبر إرسال المهندسين على سبيل المثال للمشاركة في المشاريع التابعة للحكومة وإرسال الأساتذة للتدريس في القرى, بهذه الطريقة الدولة تحقق فائدتين الأولى منهم هي تحقيق تغطية للمدارس في كافة الأراضي السورية, والثانية هي توفير مبالغ لابأس بها ويمكن الإستفادة منها في تحسين مستوى المدارس عمرانياً في بعض المناطق ..

    – وصل الدور لشاب قدم من الحسكة حين أدلى بمداخلة بسيطة, وهي توقف الأمن عن الضرب والقتل وإن كان هدفه الإعتقال فليعتقل وليحقق لكن بشكل محترم ..

    الرد كان, نحن نسعى لتدريب رجال شرطة مختصين في التعامل مع المتظاهرين وسيباشرون عملهم خلال أشهر قليلة ..

    كان ذلك أهم ماتم طرحه, حسب وجهة نظري أنذاك قبل أن أتوجه بثلاث نقاط للرئيس الأسد أولها كانت ..
    طالما أن رواية الحكومة صادقة ولاتحمل أي نوع من الأكاذيب والتلفيق, إذاً فلندع الإعلام يدخل إلى سوريا وليرى بأم عينيه مايدور على أرضنا ولتثبت الحكومة السورية أنها أصدق منهم ..

    جائني الرد, نحن لسنا بحاجة للإعلام الخارجي لسببين, أولهم أن وكالات الأنباء العالمية لديها مراسلين في شتى أنحاء العالم, عدا سورية .. فلذلك يبنغي عليهم أخذ أخبارهم من إعلامنا نحن ونحن من سيعطيهم الأنباء الواقعة على أرضنا, أضف إلى ذلك أن إعلامنا على طول السنين الماضية لم تسمح الفرصة لكي يبرز عالمياً واليوم هاهو يغتنم الفرصة لزيادة خبرته في هذا المجال …

    مداخلتي الثانية :
    الشعوب العربية بغالبيتها تميل للناحية العاطفية, ومع أن هذه الصفة هي من الصفاة الحسنة لكنها قد تكون نقمة على البعض الآخر إذا لم يتم التعامل معها بشكل جاد, لذلك أرى أنه ينبغي على رجال الأمن الإبتعاد عن الإعتقال العشوائي والتعامل مع المعتقلين بشكل حضاري وإنساني ..
    نحن عاطفيون فعلاً, لكن حتى نتغلب على كل ماذكرت يجب علينا أولاً وأخيراً متابعة الإعلام الصادق والمتواجد على الأرض ومن هنا نستطيع أن نحدد إلى أين ينبغي أن تسير عاطفتنا..
    وكما أجبت أحد أصدقائك هنا, نعم نحن نعد كوادر مدربة على التعامل مع المتظاهرين بكل أدب وإحترام ..

    القيادة والحكمة والقضاء لديكم, لماذا لم نرى حتى اليوم محاكمة للمتوطرين في سفك دماء السوريين كعاطف نجيب على سبيل المثال..

    أجل عاطف نجيب متورط “مع طأطأة للرأس” لكن لم يرفع أي شخص دعوى في المحكمة عليه ليتم محاكمته, أضف إلى ذلك هو إبن خالتي وصرلي 22 سنة ماشفته ..!!

    هنا أنا لم أستطع أن أتاملك أعصابي قبل أن أقاطعه قائلاً, لكن في الأمس فقط تم إعتقال عدد من أصدقائي في مظاهرة لم يكونوا مشاركين فيها بالأصل لكن الإعتقال العشوائي طالهم, وعندما ذهبنا للمطالبة بهم وعن طريق محامي, أتانا الرد التالي “أنت ضد مين بدك توكل محامي” ..؟!

    هنا طلب مني أن أعطيه أسماء المعتقلين من أصدقائي, لكن بقي لدي سؤال مبهم, مامصير باقي المعتقلين حتى هذه اللحظة ..؟!

    أكمل حديثه مع المجموعة قائلاً “مبارح 19 واحد بسيف الدولة وكلهم عاطلين العمل” قاطعته من جديد, من بين ال19 شخص هنالك خمسة أطباء وهم اللذين تحدثت عنهم, بالإضافة لذلك الإعتقالات في تلك الليلة تجاوزت المئتين معتقل
    ثم تابعت
    ماذا بالنسبة لقانون التظاهر الذي لم يطبق بعد..؟

    لا نحن لايهمنا من يتظاهر, لكن مايهمنا أمره هو من يصور ومن يرسل المقاطع للإعلام الخارجي ..

    بعد لحظات
    دخل علينا الحارس الشخصي ليبلغنا بإنتهاء الوقت المحدد ..

    وقبل مغادرتنا, طلب الرئيس الأسد متطوعاً في لقائنا على قناة الدنيا لكي يدلي على الهواء مباشرة مادار بيننا في اللقاء, لم يجبه أحد من بين الحاضرين ..
    صمت الجميع لبرهة, وقاطع الصامتين هو بعبارة “لهالدرجة” ..؟؟
    أجبنا سويةً, أنا ومن في جانبي .. وأكتر كمان ..


  141. OTW,

    Yes, Rabinovich should have been more clear. The straw that broke the Camel’s back is the Iranian interference in Bahrain.


  142. Syrian Regime Revision to the Arab Observers Protocol
    (From Basma Qadmani, Member SNC leadership, few minutes ago on Aljazeera)

    1. No visits to hospitals
    2. No visits to detention centers and Jails
    3. Regime wants to study the personnel files and investigate every single observer
    4. No talking to anyone
    5. Must be accompanied by regime minders.

    I think they should send them with tourist visas, it will be easier to gather information and to get in.


  143. The regime finally takes the bait and tries to stage support demos on Friday under the slogan “the mosques are ours”. The numbers are pretty small. Pictures from SANA speaks for themselves.

    I bet all those attending are either mukhabarat or shabiha.

    This settles the argument about “support from millions” with regime demos staged during the working days of the week and made mainly by government employees and school students.


  144. Dear OTW,
    This is an amazing interview. It shows you two things:
    1- How detached from reality Bashar Alassad is.
    2- How simple the solution to this problem could have been.
    It is sad to see that a bunch of kids in their twenties had the answers that could have saved the day while the adult president of a country does not even get it.


  145. Dear Annie,
    I tried to translate OTW’s post for you. I tried to do my best, but this is not my field of expertise, so please forgive the mistakes. Here it is:

    This is what Bashar Alassad said during his meeting with us:
    by Houssam Arian on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 3:03pm

    First, I would like to point out that I refused to publish the disastrous aspect of our debate earlier. What I said, was published by Alsafir Newspaper in one sentence that boils down to this: We went to propose solutions, not to ask for personal favors, despite that, some of the people present did have personal favors to ask. I would also like to say that I resent the question: “what are your demands?” that we heard over and over from every regime representative that we met and earlier over the broadcast of “the students’ voice”. It felt like we were there on a begging mission.

    On May 5, 2011 and through a phone call that I received from the Student union of Syrian students, I was informed that my name came up along with a group of other Syrian youth from all over Syria, to attend a meeting with the president Alassad to discuss the current situation. I was also told that the meeting will take place in two days, i.e. on May 7, 2011. I accepted and traveled to Damascus to attend the meeting at the presidential palace. We all went in. A group of 14 young men and women. After they welcomed us and we introduced ourselves, the meeting started. I chose to be the last to ask any questions about problems and solutions, hoping not to steal anybody else’s ideas without realizing it. Here is what amazed me in terms of the answers that we received:

    We have to activate the role of the Baath party, because in the last few decades, the Syrian citizens did not feel the importance of the ruling party in the government.

    This was the president’s answer to a young woman who came from Homs, when she asked about the proposed idea to cancel article 8 of the constitution with the utmost speed, so that we avoid arguments and allow the opposition free speech and permit the establishment of parties opposed to the Baath party.

    Military service, in its current condition is in fact national service. Even if you thought of a doctor manning a check point and fighting. In doing so, he is in fact serving his nation.

    This was the answer that one of the participants from Qamishli received, when he suggested that we should transform the concept of military service into national service. This will allow us to use the young conscripts in their fields of expertise, like sending engineers to participate in government projects or sending teachers to teach in underserved areas. This will achieve two objectives: first, is covering all the schools in Syria and second, is saving a good amount of money that can be used to improve the schools infrastructure in some areas.

    It was the turn of a guy from Hasakeh, who had a simple request: can we stop the beatings and killings by the intelligence services. If they are trying to arrest someone, why don’t they do it with a little respect?

    The answer was that we are working on training police forces specializing in dealing with demonstrations. They will start their work within the next few months.

    I believe that these were the most important questions asked before it was my turn and I asked three questions:

    The first was that since the government account of what is happening in Syria is the truth and not lies and fabrications, why don’t we allow the press to come to Syria and see what is going on to prove once and for all that the Syrian government is telling the truth.

    The answer was that we do not need the outside press for two reasons: first, because press agencies have reporters all over the world except in Syria, this is why they need to get their news from our Syrian press and we will give them the truth about what is happening on our soil, second, our press throughout these past years never had the chance to shine on the world stage. Today it is taking advantage of this opportunity to increase its expertise in this field.

    My second question was: Arabs in general tend to lean to the emotional side. This characteristic is a good one, but can prove detrimental if it is not dealt with properly. This is why I suggest that the intelligence services avoid random arrests and treat detainees in a humane and civilized manner.

    The answer was that yes, we are emotional, and to overcome what you talked about, we should first and foremost, follow the truthful press on this earth. this will help guide us on where to go with our emotions. I have also answered your friend that we are working on training the police to deal with the demonstrators with respect.

    My third question was: since you have the leadership, the wisdom and the judicial system, why haven’t we seen till this day any trial for those who are complicit and guilty of killing Syrians like Atef Najeeb?

    The answer was with a lowered head: yes, Atef Najeeb is complicit, but no one filed a law suit against him. In addition, he is my first cousin and I have not seen him in 22 years.

    Here I could not control myself and dared to interrupt him to point out that only yesterday a few of my friends were arrested during a demonstration that they were not even participating in. When we went to try to get them out through the judicial system, we were told: who are you going to sew? Here he asked me to give him the names of my detained friends, but I had one more question: what is the fate of the other detainees? He continued addressing the group saying:

    yesterday there were 19 people arrested in Seif Aldowleh, all of whom are hobos.

    I interrupted him again to say: of the 19 that you just mentioned, 5 are doctors. In addition, the arrests that night exceeded 200. Then I continued: and how about the new demonstration law?

    His answer was: we do not care who is demonstrating, rather who is documenting the event and sending it to the foreign press.

    After a few seconds, his personal guard came in to tell us that our time was up. Before we left, the president asked if one of us would volunteer to appear on Aldunya news channel live, to talk about our meeting with him. He received no answer from anyone of us. Everyone was quiet for a little while, when he interjected: has it reached that level? The answer came from me and the person next to me simultaneously: and a lot more.


  146. Thanks Sheila, I hope you don’t mind me adding the emphasis to the make the Arabic and English text comparable.

    It is important to realize the mentality. It is the closed mind one would find in any Baath party meeting a brute self deluding framework.

    The same writer also reported that when asked about article 8, the president’s answer was that we need to reactivate the party’s role in the society. So basically he will keep depending on the party, which as we witnessed in two private universities recently is now nothing more than a training group for thugs and shabeeha, who, while being trained to become doctors, pharmacists, and engineers, are also willing to act as cheap security agents for the regime and to beat their fellow students and professors with cattle rods.


  147. Sheila, thank you for the translation.
    I have translated Maysaloon post into French.
    About time my “leftist” friends think it over and reconsider their blind support to Bashar.


  148. Sheila, posted your translation on my English Blog, I am overcommitted and have no time to translate it into French right now. Hopefully to morrow.

    Where is Aboud ? He has not checked in for three days.


  149. The battalion who caught Seif-al-Ijram was the Khalid-ibn-al-Walid Battalion. Is this a premonition of Homsis being the ones who will get Basshar, Maher and the other criminals? I certainly hope so!


  150. I could not resist cutting Mr. Arian’s account and pasting it on SC. I am sorry if anyone may have found it too hasty. I know I should have asked for permission.
    It clearly shows the following
    1. Either complete detachment from reality or
    2. Complete deception and disingeneous state of mind
    Either way he truly thinks that he is Chosen to lead and that there is no question that he and only he can lead with the current structure and framework as built by his father.
    We are in deep trouble if this is the mentality of the regime


  151. Dear 7ee6anis

    This AL initiative and regime’s attempt to put conditionson the team of observers who will conduct this “fact-finding mission” is, imho, nothing but a little theatrical performance that will serve no purpose but increase the confusion and give the regime more room to argue and dispute facts and meanwhile to continue playing for more and more time.

    I mean, let’s look it realistically: even if they are allowed totally free unfettered access, what new things will they discover over and above what’s been recorded by the tens of thousands of mobile phone videos taken over the last 8 months? In fact, it is doubtful that even if there are events to be observed during their visit they would be able to be everywhere to witness everything that is happening; they’d need thousands of observers for that.

    Also, do not underestimate the ruling gang’s ability to come up with all sorts of devious schemes to falsify the picture. What’s to stop them from sprinkling their shabbiha dressed in civics and armed with concealed weapons within the anti-regime demonstrations that will naturally come out in big numbers when the observers come, then the shabbiha will start shooting here and there and the regime will say “see, 3sabat musallaha!” The army will be withdrawn and they are already dressing them in new blue/black uniforms and calling them with a new name and leaving them where the army was. You don’t need heavy weaponry to shoot civilian demonstrators.

    This delegation, even if it had the freedom to interview people “freely” will be followed and spied on and filmed, so who is going to speak with them without fear of retribution once the delegation has left Syria?

    And after they’ve been and gone, and they write their reports and even say that the regime was in fact guilty of many crimes, etc, etc., then what? The AL will issue an order for all the shabbiha and their bosses all they up to junior himself to receive two slaps on the palms, maybe a couple of smacks on the bum?

    All of the above are but a sample of the myriad of tricks that the regime can get up to and I am sure that you can think of many more than what I have been able to imagine.

    I know that many believe doing something is better than doing nothing at all (وأعلم كل العلم أن الحركة بركة), but I am afraid we’re just playing into the regime’s hands by agreeing to their game. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.


  152. Apologies for the late response, but my Indisassat internet connection was failing to connect to the conspiracy satellite so kindly donated to the Syndicate by our cosmic allies.
    Dear Syrian Hamster , thank you. I found this image a few years ago, and have been waiting for a chance to use it ever since 🙂


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