Keep your nationalism, Buzz-off mine, By SYRIAN HAMSTER

A Word from OFF THE WALL

I have been having some exchanges with Syrian Hamster, we both have felt depressed over the past couple of days as we have been sharing our own facebook experiences and some reading material. He said that he already started to write some thing along these lines. So here it is:

Syrian Hamster Says

Every once in a while I write in a depressed mood. On such occasions, my ideas are less lucid, more random, and far less connected to reality and to each others than the disaster zone they normally are. Here is my hurricane for today, a volcano is in the making and the deluge is in your future.

I will start by quoting from some younger germs on facebook, who are far smarter than I am as they address a friend of theirs who is a die hard men7ebaakji:

!!!غريب جداً أن تشعر بإهانة هويتك القومية فقط إثر قرار وصفه نظامك التحفة بأنو “حبر على ورق”، ورجف قفاك وشرت مخطتك من هول الحماس الوطني وطلعت تكسر سفارات وترقص بالساحات وتتنصل من العروبة وتطلعي بنظريات شوفينية هبلة، وما حسسك بالإهانة الوطنية كسوري وتفتخر، مناظر سوريين مقيدين عم يتدعوسوا من 8 أشهر لهلأ، وأطفال مقلوعة الأظافر ومدن سورية تحاصر وتقصف وتقطع عنها أساسيات الحياة. ليك .. من بعد إذن قوميتك: حلّ عن قوميتي

In English:

It is rather odd that you feel an insult to your nationalism only after a decision that was described by your precious regime as being “mere ink on paper”, and your ass shook, you dripped from the nose being so hyper-enthusiastic, and you went out demolishing embassies, dancing in public squares, and absolving yourself of your Arabism while pontificating idiotic chauvinistic theories, and you never felt nationalistic insult as a proud Syrian when you witnessed tied Syrians being stepped on for eight months, children with pulled nails, and Syrian cities  besieged, bombarded, and prevented from the basic necessities of life. Hey listen, with permission from you nationalism, buzz-off my nationalism. 

Now the Rant

After the eventual success of the revolution, many of us will face  a tough challenge of looking friends and family members, those we dearly loved, and may have admired, looking them in the face and asking them to tell us what made them support tyranny, justify murder, and equivocate, and still think that they are the patriots. Very few of us will be capable of understanding the psychology, for it is not as simple as the Stockholm syndrome. I have heard of families broken as one spouse stubbornly insists on supporting the rights of the Syrian people while the other actively participate in suppressing those rights.

There is no denial that Arab league proposed sanctions have turned many from being neutral, if not sympathetic to the revolution into hate mongering chauvinism, blasting the “uncivilized Bedouins” of Arabia, and threatening them of withholding civility from them as they are withholding food from us (Syrians). The person who wrote such nonsense is a very respectable mild mannered person who forgets that if it wasn’t for a Bedouin chieftain called Sharif Hussein, and his external helper form England “Laurence of Arabia” he would be talking Turkish, hailing the Turkish flag and calling Erdogan his prime minister.  Granted the external help was mischievous then, and it is likely to be mischievous now, but it is nonetheless an interesting point of our history.

A relative of mine is coming unhinged. She posts regime propaganda with spiteful comments attached. She plasters her facebook wall and the walls of others with spiteful replies and still arguing that she is against shedding the blood of Syrians (kind of like one major SC bully), forgetting that the whole revolution is one huge convulsion on behalf of the sanctity of Syrian blood, as any other blood, and the integrity of those in whose veins this human blood flows before the veins are blasted open with regime goons’ projectiles sending this sanctified blood gushing out.

By Ali Ferzat, who is now recovering and going through intensive therapy to repair the damage to his precious hands wrought by Bashar's thugs

I will not address secularism, or sectarianism here, but I would like to address this Syrian superiority complex Vis-à-vis neighboring Arabs and the fraudulent image of Syria being a most influential country because of the genius foreign policy of the dead Assad and his foolish son. Off course this fake image serves the demi-god  cult and justifies the brutality of the regime for the sake of greatness of the nation. Burhan Ghalyoun addressed this issue in a very long essay titled “Syrian Foreign Policy or the End of The Imperialist Era –in Arabic”. His main thesis was that over the Years, and subject to a critical review of Hafez Assad unethical hostage holding foreign policy, it will only demonstrable that these policies were a failure. And that continuation of such policies will only lead to disastrous results at all levels. Burhan, writing in 2007, was both brilliant and prophetic in his analysis of the relationship between that policy and the cancerous parasitic economy that was becoming the state of affairs in Syria, and in his no nonsense exposure of the anemic nature of the Assads’ victories.

In the end, Syrians, and for forty years were being bombarded with false self congratulatory image of sacrificing for the Arabs, and of being a great regional power at par with Egypt and KSA, while in fact they were paying the price of the limited imagination and thuggish interference of their leaders and policy makers in the affairs of their neighbors as they sought to protect their rule and not the country. Granted, there may have been some limited tangible benefits to that, but the damage far outweighs the pseudo-empire of influence the regime was able to build on a rotten foundation of oppressing people on the inside and holding the region hostage on the outside, along with their southern hostage taker neighbor (Yup, Israel).

Syrians will have to come to terms with the real size of Syria, and instead of building alliances based on extending their influence through the bullying capacity of their friends, they will have to learn to build cooperative relationships with their neighbors and friends. This is not a call to dump Iran, but a call to normalize relationship with that country, nor it is  a call for turning inward, but a call for building ones own human capacity before building a useless set of tentacles that in the end are controlled by powers outside the control of the regime (e.g., Hezbullah). Syrians must recognize that a priority should be given to building the person, along with the infrastructure, both societal and physical.

So I would say to some Syrians: Syria is no superpower, it has no reason to be. Just learn to live with it. you will love it more, and on the way, you will love yourself far more than you pretend to do. I think this is what separates a revolutionary from the Menhebbak, the first wants a country, and the latter lives in a deranged dream of a pseudo-empire. I say, loose it, and learn to live with that.

It is unfortunate that many nations only learn humility after painful defeat or vicious civil war. Syrians know well the taste of humiliation and they have followed their leadership into an abyss of self deceptive sense of victories, mainly as a rationalization for the miserable states of human rights, development, and the sense of helplessness they had facing the Assads’ menace and coping with the Assads’ repeated defeats be them military, economic, or developmental. One of the primary reasons I am hopeful about this revolution is that it’s capitol is Homs for there is no other city in Syria whose inhabitants are more capable of self deprecating humor,  a sign of intelligence, and a pre-requisite for recovery from false impression of greatness. Don’t believe Aboud’s arrogance, for in his arrogance he is sarcastically not taking himself too seriously. The Homsis are taking their revolution dead serious, they are making it fun despite of the painful retribution of the monsters. Syrians should learn not to take themselves too seriously; it will help in the long and painful recovery. I am from Aleppo, and we are sinfully too prideful to be successful in making a revolution for democracy, equality, and human rights. Am I being an anti-halabi chauvinist here?, or am I being uncharacteristically self deprecating halabi? I’ll let you decide….

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381 Comments

  1. Dear N.Z.
    Nicely written. I loved that piece, and it can also apply to other fights. But to tell you honestly, I did not feel like a referee. I felt like the judge who hung himself, you get my drift.

    Dear Zenobia,
    That was hilarious, good to see good spirit.

    Dear Sheila
    Thanks, but I would definitely pay attention to the BRICS issue, I think that unless the regime faces, in its mind at least, a real prospect of physical violence being applied to it at the same scale it has apllied physical violence on the Syrian people, there will be nothing that will cause it to change policy. Heck, the mafiosos may even up the scale of violence in an attempt at final solution. The blind, now seemingly unconditional support by Russia, is creating such environment where the mafia goons believe that they are untouchable. The best war is the war where one can convince the adversary that going to war is the worst decision and that it will end the regime in far worst situation than a peaceful exit and herein one is not talking about the national interest, but the exact physical and material survival of the goons themselves. Hafez understood that very clearly when Turkey acted in very serious threat and he backed off and flipped faster than Husam’s legendary hyperfast internet connection. He recognized that if he lost a fight with Turkey, his ass will be dragged on the streets of Damascus by non other than his own generals. The son’s regime, despite of huge military arsenal, never responded to repeated violations of Syrian air-space, the mere prospect of losing a fight directly, which may not necessarily be the case, because no one knows how a war will end, scared the crap out of these thugs. I have no idea how that can be done, but a message of personal doomsday must be sent to each and everyone within the regime and its supporters along with a message of amnesty to some key people in case they and the foot soldiers (including those whose support is only in chanting and singing for the regime) back off. Off course I want to avert civil war, but the one thing never brought up is how much would Russia stand to gain from civil war. There is at least 8-10 billion dollars worth of death trade (to both sides) for Russia in case civil war breaks up in Syria as most equipment are soviet style requiring Russian ammo and service parts. the AK47 remains the most affordable piece in the industry of death, and between Russia and the Czech republic (also a supporter of Assad) there will be a windfall if Civil war breaks out. It is not only the navy base, it is also oiling up the machinery of the arms industry in Russia with Syrian blood. This may have been one of my least coherent comments ever, but like you and everyone, I am concerned, and afraid.

  2. Dear OTW

    First off I’d like to apologize for never writing that article, I was a bit busy, exhausted and I’m won’t lie somewhat lazy … also the events accelerated and spiraled out of control that I felt anything I write will be irrelevant by the time I finish writing it, so again my apologies 🙂

    Now regarding the Russian stance, I think it’s pretty basic, they want to protect their economic interests. Forget the Russian naval base, it’s just a small maintenance bay, really irrelevant when you look at the large picture, the Russians want to protect their arms contracts with the Syrian army estimated at several billion dollars, add to that the passenger airplanes that Syria needed but could obtain because of the US sanctions forcing the regime into buying Russian made ones with inferior quality , and finally I read recently that Russia has around $10 billion in varies sections of Syrian economy and infrastructure contracts but you need someone more informed to attest to that last bit. But anyways that’s what the Russians are really defending, at the start they thought the regime will be able to overcome the uprising and they didn’t want to upset one of their loyal costumers, as things escalated on the international front, the demonstrators still couldn’t come out strongly against the brutality of the regime, and while we saw some large demonstrations those were not sustained which in my opinion deceived the Russians into believing the regime had things under control, not to mention the fact that the external opposition warming up to the U.S and E.U didn’t help the Russians feel any better about their future in Syria, all this lead to the infamous Veto, which in my opinion was the final nail in the Russian coffin since the demonstrators today are very hostile towards Russia whom they few as a supporter of repression and the reason behind their suffering (secondary to the regime of course), so personally I see that Russia backed itself into a corner where their only option is to support the regime and hope it can weather the storm, it’s a long shot but it still beats no shot at all!

  3. Hussam, you truly are a pathetic, feeble little shadow of a man. The only reason you came back to this blog was to assuage your wounded, hurt pride. You have contributed nothing whatsoever in way of opinion or discussion. Joe Frazer? More like Pewee Herman. I’m not letting your disgraceful insinuations pass by, you Canadian based Islamist whining ninny.

    Your Islamist friends in Egypt want to bring back stoning for adultery. Is that what you dream of, in your ridiculous idea if a resurgent Caliphate? Segregated fast food restaurants and women who are forbidden to drive? Man, the Baathists only ban Amazon. You people would ban Amazon and a million more websites.

  4. This is the kind of crap that Hussam wants to emulate. His model isn’t Thomas Jefferson, but Ben Laden.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/should-egypt-fear-the-rise-of-the-salafis/249377/

    “Most Salafis aim to emulate the “first century” of Islam, the first three generations of Muslims (as understood by Salafi literature published in Saudi Arabia). This emphasis on the “first century,” and scriptural literalism–wearing long beards without mustaches, donning short robes, practicing social separatism, and mandating a “homemaker” role for women may–seems similar to the attitudes of Christian Amish communities in the United States. This spin is useful for several officials at the U.S. and British embassies in Riyadh–but betrays the reality of the threat posed by extreme Salafism.”

  5. Sheila, all you’ve said can be summed up in one word; “Wait. It will happen. Keep waiting. Someday it will just happen by itself. Just keep waiting”

    Events do not happen just by themselves. The FSA’s actions is what finally scared the AL into staring the prospect of a civil war in Syria straight in the face, and forced it to take action. If someone can suggest how the Alawite community, which for the most part has been overwhelmingly for junior in a way that the Sunni community has not been for the revolution, can be separated from the regime, then I don’t put much trust in the “wait and see” approach.

    Or we can take Hussam’s fundamentalist approach, whereby all none 1st century orthodox Sunnis are irrelevant, and are taxed for not being Muslim.

  6. Dear Son of Damascus
    Welcome on board. Sorry for being late in moderating your first comment. All of your next comments will from now on be posted in real time

    Aboud
    I deleted one of your comments. You know which one. Within two hours, if this farce continues, I will be forced to put you in moderation. I don’t want apologies, I want adherence to a policy that was posted for comments, and you liked it.

    You have a lot to say, and so does everyone on 7ee6an. You have made contributions, so did others, but the continuing attacks on others is not tolerated and it is, sorry to say that, very unproductive. Same thing goes for anyone who continues this useless argument. All is derailing discussion of much more important issues. Anyone goes back to this argument will be in moderation.

  7. Sheila

    “I say it is impossible for anyone to survive all this”

    Zimbabwe. And Saddam until the Americans kicked down the door. The Baathists don’t feel isolated one bit. Not when Russia, China, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, India, South Africa all daily proclaim their love and support for Besho. You will have to turn every single one of those countries against the regime for it to begin to start feeling isolated. Right now the Baathists think they are at the center of some great world wide drama, at the forefront of repelling some global conspiracy. Yes, they are that delusional.

    Hey Hussam, this is what happens to bloggers in Syria in case you didn’t know;

    http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/12/04/syria-free-razan-ghazzawi/

    See, any Syrian who so much as makes a comment on a website like this risks life and limb. What are you risking, sitting in Canada and dreaming of your Canadian Caliphate? You aren’t a Syrian patriot, you have contributed nothing, zip, nada to this website. Your only concern is your pathetic little pride, so easily wounded. Such fragile pride in a grown man is so terrible to behold.

  8. OTW, I am not putting up with Hussam’s disgraceful insinuations. What has he contributed to this blog since coming back? Zip. Nada. Nothing. AP, Amir and Y haven’t derailed the discussions, they have contributed far more than that sad excuse for a wounded, feeble pride.

    Your blog, your rules. Do what you think needs to be done, but Hussam wants to play with fire, he shouldn’t cry and whine to his non cybering Mama when he gets hurt. Pathetic.

  9. OTW, if its alright with you I’m reposting the comment you deleted, minus the part that got it deleted.

    Sheila

    “Aboud. I demand an apology to all the women of Syria.”

    When I said teenager, I didn’t specify gender. A teenage girl in Baba Amr has more testicular fortitude than every guy in Aleppo. Explain how it is that the business community could rise up and force the regime to reverse its ban on imports, but don’t move a finger to rein in the the murderous rampage of the army and the shabiha. Importing Turkish biscuits is more important to Aleppans than the thousands of dead Syrians.

    The rest of the post was my taking issue with Hussam’s disgusting insinuations here

    “At least we learnt that Aboud invites people to his favorite place for beer but doesn’t drink himself and Majed, Aboud and many others have no problem with 100k dead as long it is not them doing the fighting. Cool.”

    What does a Canadian based whiner know about what I risk, continue to risk, or will risk. And this obsession with my drinking, or lack thereof. Doesn’t Hussam have anything better to do than to keep trying to assuage his easily hurt pride.

  10. Quoting Daniel Pipes seems to have slipped my mind;

    “I have a symbiotic relationship with my opponents — their coming out against me arouses curiosity in what I have to say,”

    Hehehe, so true. The rabid foaming at the mouth Anti-Pipes camp could secretly be working for Danny boy for all we know.

  11. Aboud has hit the nail on the head. It is the Alawites and relayed Islamophobic minorities who have held Besho hostage. From Day 1 I have been saying this on SC, it is pure sectarian hatred against Sunnis and Muslims. Most Alawi and Christian soldiers and shabbih are now feeling that they are figting for their sect, so does the FSA think they are fighting for Sunnis and Islam. It is that bitter, those who don;t realize this, haven;t been to Syria even in their lifetime.

    And I support ABOUD despite the fact that he does not like me and even called for me to be banned. But I still support him and his likes, and I assure u most anti-regime inside Syria are just like him.

  12. Zenobia, your language is too filthy for a woman. Profanity is un-Islmaic, un-Arab and un-Syrian even for a male, but in “our culture” when a woman uses profanity PUBLICLY it reflects on none other than her parents.

  13. PLEASE stop using profanity, it is childish. Its a shame we are using those swear words on fellow Muslims, we shoudl be using it on those MAJOUS on SyriaComment.

  14. Zenobia you are disgusted with videos of brave, gallant FSA soldiers waving their guns and shouting Takbeer, but what about the disgusting use of profanities by a WOMAN ? Your profanities are more disgusting than MENHEBAK torture videos. You have no consciousness of being a woman and what it means.

  15. Khaled
    You have no consciousness of being a woman and what it means.

    Don’t you think it is the height of arrogance to say the above to a woman. How the heck do you or me know what it feels to be a woman, or did some man tell you how should women feel. I find what you wrote repulsive and more profane than anything anyone has said here.

  16. NK
    I honestly think that some sort of Milgram experiment should be a prerequisite for many jobs where people might be put in similar positions.

    Prepare yourselves, for I shall rant.
    First of all, the culture. Anybody notice how none of us backed down when the previous argument latrinized? It was clear what was happening, it was clear where it was going, it was clear what we were all doing, but we kept on doing it again, and again, and again, until OTW reared the Mighty BanHammer, And lo, most were verily rendered civilized again.
    Most.
    Imagine a country, nay, just imagine a political leadership where such mentality is the regular frame of mind. Contrast it with the video CSI Hama posted. The woman was crying because she was announcing austerity measures. Not the death of an Italian citizen, austerity. Freaking. Measures. Contrast it again, with the Head of Tokyo Energy after the Fukishima disaster. Compare it to the delightful conversation we just saw happening.
    Yeah, it isn’t really just The Alewites. Its all of us. You included, President Aboud. Never Back Down has a time and a place, and when you’re all in what really amounts to an excrement flinging competition, You have to stop and think about how bad you’re starting to smell. Guys, you Khaleytou ilajaneb yitda7akou 3aleena.

    Aleppo probably has its own reasons, I’m not going to say anything about that. As for Damascus, we’ve been protesting since march.
    One thing you have to understand here, is that we protesting is difficult. Early on, we were making a map of Damascus, and using all sorts of mathematics and mapping techniques to find the optimum places to protest. I’m not going to say where they are, but have you ever noticed the spread of Mukhabarat branches in the city? Regardless of military or police presence, have you ever taken a look at a map of Damascus, and seen the Machiavellian genius the old guy employed in placing them? Every main street, every square, every major intersection has a Branch in it, or at most 100 meters away from it. Go on, check it.
    And then you have Surveillance. I kid you not, the Mukhabarat have people on the streets at all times, everywhere, and you can’t tell who they are. You might be able to tell who might be one, but not with any degree of certainty. So any protest in any street that has people walking by means the Mukhabarat have wind of it the moment it starts. It takes them no longer than 5 minutes in most cases to get the big white buses to the scene, while those buses are on their way, the protest is infiltrated and surrounded. Experienced protesters know when this starts happening, and leave. The record I know of so far is about 3 minutes from the start of the protest till its dispersal and the arrival of white busses, and it was a night protest that started in Dakkak Mosque in Midan. OFC, this is the case when the Mukhabarat don’t know where or when a protest is going to start. It takes much less time to ruin a protest if they know where its going to happen beforehand. Surveillance also means Cameras in every mosque that a protest might start from, and other places locations too. University toilets have cameras in them now. Oh, and protest more than once from the same place, that place will be patrolled from now on.
    And that’s without mentioning the Awayniyeh. We have the lowest type of Awayniyeh. You know in Al-Tall, someone told the Mukhabarat where the 4 year-old grandson of a defected officer was, knowing what they wanted to do to the kid? They went into the Pulman bus and shot him.

    I’m not saying we are doing as much as possible, as a whole. We aren’t, there is a lot more that could be done. But please, placing a Qashushi speaker infront of Betho’s house isn’t something for the weak of heart. Going to a protest when you absolutely know that it will be attacked, and that there is a good chance you will be caught isn’t something easy. We respect the amazing efforts put up by our brothers and sisters in Homs, and don’t think we are anywhere the dignity and respect they have garnered for themselves, but we are doing our part. This includes a large part of the merchant class. This includes very few of the Mashayekh.

    Khaled, I disagree. You talk about Alewites as if they were the only ones who got us to this point. Tell me, why did they call Houran the Baath reservoir? How many corrupt traffic officers come from Idleb Province? The list goes on and on, and pretty much the only people who haven’t taken part in our downward spiral as a country are the Kurds, due to official discrimination. It is all our fault, not theirs. Us, as a whole.
    Also, Are you a Takfiri or a Salafi? You know the distinction, right? Why are you using that language? Do you notice the irony, of blaming others of hating your views (islamaphobe), but then describing them in what is clearly derogatory terms? Tell me, these minorities you speak of. Do you find yourself assuring to them? I’m guessing you want someone who shares your views in a position of power. Does talking like that give them any indication at all that that would be good for them? Get out of the regime’s trap, because if you, who sees positive outcomes in the end of this revolution for your socio/religious/minority/majority/ethnic group, are espousing sectarian speech and thought, what do you want the minorities who have only been told of the negative consequences of you winning to do?

  17. All three of us are from Aleppo.

    Sheila,

    I see there is a lot being said here that is over my head.

    Husam, Zenobia,

    I appreciate your comments. If you don’t want to comment on the article Iinked to, you don’t have to. Maybe it bores you to explain yourself to a Zionist like me; whatever. That is why I appreciate Aboud’s ability to speak freely without concern for the subject matter or other taboos.

    Whether you like it or not, Pipes has a big following in the US and was once nominated for the US Institute of Peace. If a Republican becomes president again, Pipes could be called upon to serve the new administration is some way. His link/paragraph above is one of his few recommendations to an administration on how to deal with the ME.

    Aboud,

    Pleeeease stay focused on issues and not personalities. Your name calling is counter-productive.

  18. NK, I’ve heard about it. I think the willingness of the regime’s supporters to go down with Besho goes deeper than that. Far from holding the Alawite community hostage, the regime actually has found a willing accomplice in them, and in much of the Sunni community as well. There are far more Sunnis working for the regime than there are Alawites against it.

    Hazrid, the reason Homs could keep doing that its doing is because the protests are usually protected. In Homs it’s no longer a matter of how large the demonstrations are, but how many APCs get destroyed and how many shabihas are eliminated, and how many defectors can get away. Homs is the perfect place for defectors to hide in.

    The cluster of Talbisa, Rastan and Homs doesn’t exist anywhere else. It’s proximity to the Lebanese border and its central location facilitates movement to anywhere and from anywhere in the country. The only other place so advantageous would have been Aleppo.

    See, to host defectors and the FSA would inevitably require the civilian population enduring some very harsh difficulties and hardships. Aleppans aren’t prepared to go down that road. They’d prefer to be herded like sheep to pro-regime rallies. In Hama, 20 people were shot when they disrupted a planned pro regime rally. We have yet to see anything approaching such spirit from Aleppo in general.

    In hindsight, this revolution should have gone armed from May at the latest. Armed resistance has saved more lives than it has cost. This whole “silmiya at all costs” was a disastrous mistake. Hopefully other cities, such as Deir el Zour and Latakia, will follow the examples set by Homs, Idlib, Dar’a and Hama.

  19. “Pleeeease stay focused on issues and not personalities. Your name calling is counter-productive.”

    As soon as Hussam admits he lied when he said I threatened to boil anyone who didn’t agree with me. A real man would admit he was wrong. Hussam has not displayed anywhere near that depth of character.

    You see, to some people, the Syrian revolution is an amusing past time. Hussam probably never even acknowledged his Syrian heritage before April. In fact, what has he done since then. He can get on a plane to Damascus tonight, and no one would care. He hasn’t done anything that would bother the regime in the slightest.

    For those of us who are in Syria, this is deadly serious business. All I see Hussam doing is whining about be ripping him a new one a few weeks back. I wish I had the luxury of such pettiness.

  20. Is there any good news out there?

    Liberal Youth Behind Revolution ‘Decimated’ in Free Egyptian Elections

    “The youth feel let down. They don’t feel that any of the revolution’s goals have been achieved,” ElBaradei told The Associated Press in an interview on the same day electoral authorities announced that Islamist parties captured an overwhelming majority of votes in the first round of elections last week. “They got decimated,” he said, adding the youth failed to unify and form “one essential critical mass.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/12/05/liberal-youth-behind-revolution-decimated-in-free-egyptian-elections/?test=latestnews

  21. hazrid
    mind if I use your comment as a main post. I’ dont want it lost in the fight. It is incredible and it probably applies much to Aleppo as well.

  22. Dear Aboud,
    This is the last time I address you personally. I have no interest in these childish games. Just calm down and read your posts attacking Husam. Can you think about what you are trying to accomplish here? I see nothing but alienating a fellow Syrian, regardless of what his position is. You are entitled to disagree with him, but you are being extremely disagreeable. I for one do appreciate Husam’s contributions. You are attacking him for being honest and direct while sharing his fears and uncertainties in life. Who of us, other than arrogant fools, is so sure of everything and has no vulnerabilities?
    Many people addressed you asking the same thing. Would you please have enough decency to quit it and help us all back to what we are here for?
    As for your continuous attack on the people of Halab, there is nothing for me to say. You are right, but think about the fact that Halab has the highest number of detainees of all cities. I guess the only excuse is that people are trying and trying hard, however, can not compare to Homs.
    As for your objection to my call for patience, I also understand. I am not there in Syria suffering. But things don’t just happen. It takes time. I know what time means to people inside Syria. I know it means many more deaths. I know it means more suffering, but I really see no alternatives. It took a long time to establish the FSA. Once you have that critical mass, things will snow ball.

  23. Sheila, I’d be very interested to read your source for this

    “You are right, but think about the fact that Halab has the highest number of detainees of all cities”

    If that’s true then that changes alot of things.

  24. Sheila, when Hussam asked me about what I meant by the spirit of Islam, I wrote a long post. Know what was the only thing he took from it? That I didn’t drink, but invited the Israelis on this forum to a drink. That’s it, that’s his whole concern and focus. He isn’t here to discuss anything, he is here to settle a grudge that’s been seething. It’s pathetic. Again, I wish I had the luxury of such pettiness.

    If someone calls me a liar, and says that I’m not really Syrian, I expect him to back up his disgusting words with proof, or else prepare to forfeit his rear end.

  25. Sheila, do you know what your fellow Halabis chant when they go out to demonstrate for the murderer Besho? “Eli ma bi sharik emo Homsia”.

    Wallak elqun el sharaf aslan. Khawana. More concerned with their imports of Turkish biscuits than the murder of 4000 Syrians.

    Joke, how can a Homsi now see the Turkish border? Because all of Aleppo have their heads lowered to the ground.

    Bitter? Very much so. Aleppo can shake the regime if they want, but they aren’t prepared to suffer a bit of discomfort to do so. But hey, the regime went ahead and today all but killed off Turkish imports. Serves them right.

  26. Sheila

    “It took a long time to establish the FSA.”

    People in Homs and Rastan took up arms, and there were defections there, long before the FSA was declared. It was due to the heroics of those first few that the FSA ever managed to come into existence. Long before anyone had heard of it, the Khaled ibn Waleed brigade was defending Homsis, and doing an excellent job of it as well. I’m so glad people in Homs didn’t but into that “selmiya at all cost” crap.

  27. I absolutely agree with hazrids last post. Btw hazrid, are u in Damascus?

  28. oh dear god… no rebirth today apparently……

    @ khalid T.
    stop addressing me. I am not talking to you – only about your contributions i don’t like.
    And yes, my parents were awful. so that must explain it. Too Bad.
    but i am on good behavior today as long as possible. And i am not getting into this mess.

  29. OTW, I agree it is nicely written, it is a taken from Wikipedia. Watch the documentary if you have time.
    =====================================================================
    TIME WILL NOT DEFEAT US
    The debate is focusing on, whether, arming the dignified free people of Syria is the way forward to oust a well organized mafia that have been running Syria for over 40 years. My rant:

    As time will not defeat the Palestinians, time will not defeat the Syrians. The Assads of Syria are acting no differently than the Zionists, the more they grab the more they want, greed has no limits in their psyche. Killing, torturing, incarceration, target assassination, humiliation….are few of their perverted tactics that is done, under the name of “security” or combating ” Islamists” .

    “Islamists” is a term coined by no other than daniel pipes, a man that built his career on hate. Frank Gaffney a spit image of the former . They disguise themselves as “educators” to educate Americans about issues of national security, their main focus, is what they call the most urgent threat of radical Islam. They are key players in what appears to be a concerted effort to demonize the American Muslim community and Islam. Their particular focus is Sharia and the “danger” it poses to America.
    These two in addition to other organizations has been involved in the production/ distribution of documentaries such as Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West, The Third Jihad, and Iranium. Iranium I did not see, the name indicates that it might be related to Iran.

    All these so called documentaries are similar to Nazis propaganda against the Jewish people during Hitler and his racist party members, the Nazis.

    Both regimes claim they are protecting their people, when in fact they are protecting neither.
    Not only they are killing innocent civilians, they are denying both people, the Palestinians and the Syrians, their basic rights, freedom and dignity.

    When the enemy is from within, an armed struggle, most likely will lead to a civil war given the complexities of Syria’s makeup.

  30. Dear Hazrid,
    It is unanimous. I love your post. It is so true and what you described about Damascus is exactly what is happening in Aleppo. The sheer number of Mukhabarat is astounding. I think we should just stop blaming each other and concentrate on the task ahead. As for the Alawiis, I would like to say this again and again: the Shabiha in Aleppo are not Alawiis. They are Sunnis and Christians. They are people we know from the most prominent families in Aleppo. This is just for all of us to ponder.

  31. Dear Husam,
    I just want you to know that I totally respect you. Only a real man would expose his true feelings and vulnerabilities the way you did. I urge you to ignore Aboud’s rants. It is now clear that almost everyone is finding them unreasonable and unpalatable. Please be the bigger man and avoid being sucked into that vicious cycle again.

  32. The Assads of Syria are acting no differently than the Zionists, the more they grab the more they want, greed has no limits in their psyche.

    N.Z.,

    If the Assads are “acting no differently than the Zionists”, then Assad would be holding free elections where everyone would be allowed to vote. Moreover, Assad would have free speech and Syrian would be allowed to demonstrate without the fear of being killed.

    Aren’t we past the point where we don’t have to demonize Israel in order to improve neighboring countries?

  33. “As time will not defeat the Palestinians, time will not defeat the Syrians. ”

    Great. So the best we can look forward to is 60 years of tiny steps, while we whine that the world has “double standards”. How many resolutions did the Palestinians win at the UN? Dozens. Fat lot of good it did them.

    Sheila, you have a very selective memory. It is the Islamist (I love that word, thanks Pipes) who came back to this forum for the sole purpose of assuaging his hurt pride. Show me what he has contributed since coming here, besides his ridiculous dreams of a resurgent caliphate.

    Sorry that I don’t even bother paying lip service to your precious Aleppo. But they are traitors. They care more about their Turkish imports than the lives of thousands of Syrians. Do you really want to tell me that the country’s second biggest city are such wimps that they can so easily be forced into repeated pro regime demos? I don’t know whats worse, that the Halabis allow themselves to be herded like sheep, or that they actually do love junior.

    And I have yet to see you quote the source that said that Aleppo has the most number of prisoners.

    Maybe Syrians living abroad can live in a fantasy la la land where a bright sunny day is just over the horizon. The reality is quite different, and the complacency of Aleppo is one topic that must be tackled head on. THAT is the reason for your new found “respect” for the Islamist Canadian who only seems to care who I have a beer with. Because I tell you the uncomfortable truths you’d rather not hear. *shrug* Tough.

  34. AP

    “Aren’t we past the point where we don’t have to demonize Israel in order to improve neighboring countries?”

    I’m afraid not. Early on in the revolution there were all sorts of conspiracy theories that Israel secretly wanted Besho to stay in power. Even after Robert Ford, the bravest and most noble ambassador ever to set foot in Syria, put his neck out to save Hama, people on both sides were still going on about how Washington secretly wanted to maintain junior’s grip on power.

    I’m afraid AP, that Israel will always be part of any issue in the Middle East, whether it likes it or not.

  35. It’s such an amazing difference, when you compare the Homs Red Crescent with the Aleppo one. In Homs, the Red Crescent volunteers have to go into war zones and treat war wounds. In Aleppo, the Red Crescent has been known to completely ignore wounded protestors. In Homs, Red Crescent volunteers have been shot at, imprisoned, and one was even killed, and yet they never stopped working a single day.

    One of the biggest puzzles of this revolution, is how on Earth did the same society and country produce such remarkable bravery, and yet such abysmal cowardice at the same time.

  36. “The sheer number of Mukhabarat is astounding”

    There are THREE ARMY DIVISIONS in and around Homs. If the Mukhabarat are all over Aleppo, its because the Aleppans allowed themselves to get occupied in such a manner. I’d love to see a shabih take a stroll into any number of neighborhoods in Homs, Hama, Rastan, Talbisi, Dar’a or Telkelakh. Heck, they’ll need a battalion.

    I remember when I once saw the security forces pick up a dead shabih on Damascus road. They came in three APCs, with guns pointing upwards as if someone was going to shot at them. And this is Damascus road, one of the tamest and calmest areas of Homs. I doubt they would even have bothered to try to pick him up if he had been killed in Khaldia or Bab Esba3.

    Meantime, ten shabihas can shut down the Faculty of Engineering in Aleppo University. Doesn’t this lack of fighting spirit bother anyone?

  37. @ Hazird
    Your post is absolutely correct, I live in Abu Remmaneh/Malki in Damascus and the amount of mukhabarat outnumber the actual people these days, and that does not include all the haras (republican guard).
    The moukhabarat have been bloody efficient in quelling Damascus, but only to a point.

  38. From inside Homs, sounds of artillery and high caliber guns being heard for the past two hours. Trusted source (based on sound and no visual confirmation).

  39. Hazrid said :
    “Tell me, why did they call Houran the Baath reservoir? ”

    For this you gotta understand Syrian history and geography. Traditionally it was the “bazaari” merchant cities like Aleppo, Homs, Hama and Idlib which steadfastly opposed the Baathist and related Leftist-Nationalist ideologies. These citites were perfect examples of traditional Sunni conservative cities. Dara’a/ Houran or Deirezzor/ Al Jazira on the other hand was rural. agrarian, tribal ( bedouin) and semi-desert places and it was these places where the Baath found much of their Sunni rank-and-file support. But over time ppl in these Provinces became poorer and poorer thanks to crass discriminatory policies of the regime. Also , it was these rural Sunni provinces which were most influenced by Salafism. The Islamist currents in the major Shaami cities are still not Salafi and mostly represented by the “traditional” Sunni currents like the MB.

  40. Hazrid,

    I am Salafi, not Takfiri. But I believe in Takfir of Alawites and Shia. I don’t beleve in takfir on moderate Sunnis or “traditional” Sunnis, i.e Hanfis, Shafi’i and Sufis. However, I believe that any Sunni who is supporting the Alawi regime with his heart and soul is a Kafir.

  41. OFF THE WALL / December 5, 2011

    “From inside Homs, sounds of artillery and high caliber guns being heard for the past two hours. Trusted source (based on sound and no visual confirmation”

    Homs will NEVER be defeated.

  42. LOL why the hell are people afraid of Mukhabarat in Aleppo and Damscus ? Just kick their ass, lynching style, like the Homsis, Rastanis, Hamawis and Houranis did. Most of these Mukhabarat/ jawasees/ awayniyeh are sore losers, poorly trained and low on morale ( especially Sunni shabbih) and can easily be overwhelmed by mob force. In fact Hama showed the way back in May, i think.

  43. I would prefer to be arrested by Israeli security forces than the security forces of any Arab country. Just as an example, the 1,500 Palestinian men who had been locked up in Israeli prisons since 1967 were released last month. they were all in good health, and all of them were accounted for ( i;e no missing persons, no unaccounted deaths in custody).

    Now, tell me, name me ONE ARAB COUNTRY where political prisoners , pr prisoners arretsed in conflict aaginst the regime, willl RVER return to his home after more than 20-25 years, in one piece, in good health ????

    Also, as a Salafi, I have more religious rights in Tel Aviv than I do in some Muslim or Arab countries, Syria included. Want more examples ? Iraq, Egypt until recently, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia until recently; all clamped down on religious rights of Muslims much more than Israel, or any non-Muslim country for that matter, does 9 just ignore france will ya).

  44. OTW,
    Feel free to do so 🙂

    Khaled, I’d like to address the points you made first. I’m not going to agree or disagree with your point about the ‘Baath Reservoir’, from what I know of the Baath party it was started by a couple of Secularist Christians from Damascus who were influenced by Leftist French thought at the Sorbonne. A little similar to Burhan Ghalioun. I am honestly not making any parallels here, just pointing out something interesting. Early Baathism was… good, in some aspects.
    There are a lot of Salafis, and Pseudo-Salafis taking part in protests in Damascus. granted, they aren’t as many as say in Deraa, but they are a sizable group. Most haven’t been very aggressive in their anti-Alewisim, or their anti-Shiitism, but I’m guessing that might be because they’re trying to conform.
    Again, I’d like to ask you: what do you want to gain from your Takfir of Alewites and Shiites? Does it entail any sort of action to go along with that sentiment? If so, what sort of action?

    Some guy no longer in Damascus
    Yes, I am currently in Damascus. I hope on staying here until the end of the revolution, but I have a feeling that the Mukhabarat might be catching up to me. Until they do, I shall keep on resuming my official duties from the Mundaseen Syndicate HQ in Damascus, from the top floor of the Engineer’s association building on Mezzah Emergency Runway & Shabeeh Idiot Raceway.

    Aboud, methinks you are correct. Another point I should mention is the relative lack of deaths inside of Damascus and Aleppo, which are usually a catalyst for much more aggressive action. They only started regularly shooting at us a few weeks before Ramadan, and even then it would usually be reserved for the night demonstrations where the numbers became too large to handle. This started happening after people got the courage to start charging their containment lines, dragging a few of them away, and beating them up. Sometimes, they would run away. Sometimes, they would urinate themselves or cry while doing so. The protests after the Eid alfutr prayer, they were crying while beating protesters up. Usually, they prefer to use teargas and flashbangs, before they unleash their herds. They’re mostly armed with Black sticks that I’ve deduced are the engine belts from Soviet tanks. for smaller demos (maybe something like under 200 people?) they just use the surround & arrest method I recently mentioned.
    Tip for all: pouring sand into the gas tank of any Shabeeh vehicle will ruin said Shabeeh’s day.

  45. Dear Sheila:

    Thank you for your guidance, we can all use a little of it once in a while. Aboud is history to me. I did not bother to write back because his concept of the spirit of Islam is his own and are extremely skewed to say the least. Go figure, he would be content to die without have gone to Hajj, but at he still preformed Hajj twice! That is the spirit of Islam. Have you ever met anyone who went to Hajj and said what he said? What is there to discuss when you hear B.S. like that? By any standard, that remark itself (by any Islamic jurisprudence) nullifies his Hajj and that is if he really went. Anyways that’s his business.

    There are many more impressive places, old souks, and cafes in Homs, Halab and Damascus I would invite our dear Jewish cousins before I would invite them to a bar.

    What is there to debate really? You are right nothing constructive.

    He made references to my mother over 5 times, who is very dear to me. I don’t know who I despise more the shabeeha or the abouds of Syria. How low can someone be?

  46. “Aboud is history to me”

    And yet in the same post you whine about Aboud. 15 lines no less. LOL! Aboud will never be “history” to you. You probably slept last night with Aboud on your mind and I was the first thing you thought of when you woke up.

    “By any standard, that remark itself (by any Islamic jurisprudence) nullifies his Hajj and that is if he really went”

    Oh nooooes! The Fatwa of Hussam has nullified my Hajj! HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Dude, you Islamists love to hand out fatwas. I’ve noticed that the actual understanding of religion is in inverse proportion to the number of fatwas handed out. What dude, jealous that you didn’t go to Mecca yourself? Yeah, Canada is a long way away from Saudi.

    “He made references to my mother over 5 times, who is very dear to me”

    “There are many more impressive places, old souks, and cafes in Homs, Halab and Damascus I would invite our dear Jewish cousins before I would invite them to a bar.”

    Which you would know nothing about, when was the last time you stepped foot in Syria? Drinking offends you? Tsk tsk. Would you also force Christian visitors to hide their crosses lest they offend your Islamist sensibilities? I bet you are the kind who find a visit to the Krak de Chevaliers offensive, because it was built by the Franks.

    “What is there to discuss when you hear B.S. like that”

    There you are people, Islamist democracy in action. My opinions on Islam doesn’t tally 100% with his extremist views, and so there is “nothing to discuss”. How can people like him ever be expected to live in the 21st century and work with all the different viewpoints and faiths. He doesn’t want a dialogue, he wants to dictate.

    And it must eat him up that I’ve been on Hajj twice and on Umra half a dozen times 🙂 Mecca is really lovely during Ramadan. Exhausting, but few things beat sitting in the haram and watching the sun come up.

    The Fatwas of Hussam. Dial a sheikh, but make sure what you want conforms with 1st century Islam.

  47. OTW,
    Zenobia accepted to be quiet and call it a day conditional on Aboud stop his slandering remarks. Don’t expect any less from me. No less 10 comments/references since yesterday still about this crap. Aboud continues to make references to my mother, Islamist, etc…, and is trying to pick another stupid fight because he craves attention and because he is troubled by being exposed for what he really is.

    I woke up this morning to find his barrage of bullshit again. You asked him politely to stop it; otherwise there will be disciplinary measures. Well he didn’t. OTW, are you going to live by what you said you would do?

    I am sorry for putting you in this position, but after all the rules are there for a purpose and not just for show.

    This blog is bigger than one person.

  48. Hazrid, one famous incident happened in Homs was when a guy was surrounded by six shabihas all beating him up. His friend shouted to him “OK, there are six of them now! Blow yourself up!” I’m told the shabihas dropped their weapons and broke the record for the 100 meter sprint.

  49. And now we have Hussam whining to OTW and pleading with him to help extract him from the mess of his own making. You were the one who called me a liar and implied I wasn’t really Syrian. Expect consequences when you can’t keep your grudge to yourself.

  50. Also, interesting to see how Hussam is incapable of following Sheila’s advice and “being the bigger man” LOL! Hussam, you have not once displayed any depth of character. You cause a ruckus, and then whine when it gets too hot for you. When someone like me writes a post for a discussion, your extremist Islamist view on the world dismisses it as “nothing to discuss”. Like I said, your mentality makes you utterly incapable of holding a discussion.

    So what do you do? Whine that I’m not really a Syrian and couldnt possibly have been to Mecca. And hand out Fatwas that invalidate Hajjs LOL! The sheer arrogance of these people.

  51. @Husam

    when the shark is swimming around looking for a trace of your blood in the water so he can pounce on you, you should keep your flesh away from the water till he is gone.
    or at least until he gets the taste of blood out of his mouth.

  52. Good advice Zenobia. If people just ignored me I’d be quite sad indeed 🙂 Fortunately, some people don’t know enough to.

  53. N.Z.

    Thank you for reminding us about the origins of the “I” word. People use this word very loosely nowadays because it was market-ed in such a way to depict devout Muslims in general. So, basically anyone is a beard is almost always an Islamist, etc…

    Muslims come in all shades today just like Athiest, Christians, Jews, etc… but the direction of hatred obviously is focused on Muslims since 9/11. The minting of buzz words like these only sensationalizes the hatred further to a new high. It creates a brand new false identity and negative slogans about Islam and Muslims in general. In your view what is the end game? If the Nazis and Zionist had a master plan with the Jews as you say (perhaps to exterminate the Jews and Zionist to lay the groundwork for the state of Israel), what is plan do you think is for the Muslims? Is it the illuminati, the prophecies, the Saudis, etc… Very confusing. And how does all this fit with the Arab Spring, from Yement to Syria and Morocco?

    This is no doubt a popular revolution, but the dynamics are much more complex than that.

  54. fortunately? Fortunately, even sharks eventually bite the wrong hook.

  55. “So, basically anyone is a beard is almost always an Islamist, etc…”

    Or maybe people resent individuals who issue Fatwas against authors and cartoonists, but not against someone really dangerous like Ariel Sharon or Bibi Netanyahu. The other favorite pastime of the Fatwa makers is invalidating marriages because they don’t like what a professor or author said or wrote.

    “what is plan do you think is for the Muslims”

    Honestly, I’d stop worrying what the “Illuminati” and “Free Masons” are up to, and worry more that more Muslims have been killed by fellow Muslims than anything the Americans or Israelis managed to do.

  56. HUSAM, the hatred devout practicing Muslims receive from other “Muslims”, or from Muslim-related groups like Alawites or Arab christians, is much much more hurtful and serious than what they recieve from Frenchmenr or Belgians or Franco-Canadians. How many Frenchmen would fire an ROG at a Mosque, without any provocation ? But that happens all the time in Syria.

  57. ABPUD, what aboit the alarming news from Homs tonight that OTW posted ? Are they really using Artillery ? Pls give me an update.

  58. ABOUD, what about the the alarming news from Homs tonight that OTW posted ? Are they really using Artillery ? Pls give me an update

  59. Tsk tsk Zenobia, you aren’t much for acting on your own advice are you? Seriously, can’t either one of you practice what you preach.

    Khalid, they are always using artillery and firing guns in Homs. I can’t remember a night when some part of Homs didn’t have to endure firefights. But they aren’t using big heavy howitzers, not yet.

    Heck, it would be news if we had a quite night for a change.

    Oh wait, then we’d think we were in Aleppo. My bad.

  60. i never said i would lay off the mini-me, … but since i can see how much you guys want to be alone together… i will leave you alone with your blog….

  61. ABOUD, I think what we need is not foreign military intervention, but gradula arming of the FSA by foreign powers and NGOs. The same what happened during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan between 1979 and 1988, USA, Saudi and Pakistan used to arm the Afghan resistance with Russian weapons and it was these Afghan resistance fighters who drove away the second-largest Army in the world.

    If the FSA can get hold of heavier weapons, like a few BMP-2 and BTR armoyred behcles, maybe a few T-series tanks, some Katyusha or Grad-21 rocket systems, and hundreds of flatbed pickup trucks mounted with 12.7 mm heavy machineguns ( like in Libya), the regike forces will be routed within 2 weeks. Also, there is a dire need for the Igla-7 or SA-13 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, thesre are light, cheap and man-portable, whats more they are Russian made, hence the FSA can replenish the ammunition from the Assadian regime stocks. I always say anti-aircraft rockets are very necessary, they are very effective against the daedly helicopter gunships like the Mil mi-24D which the regime especially the 4th Division uses ruthlessly against the FSA in Telkalakh and Dara’a. During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Soviets used theur helicopter gunships ruthlessly against the Afghans, but once the advanced anti-aircraft systems were deployed in Afghan hands, the Sovoet forces started to collapse within 1 year.

    And those were illiterate Afghan nomads and tribesmen, here we are talking about highly trained Army defectors, just imagine the adamage they can do if they are properly armed. At this moment all they have are AKs and RPGs and a few Machineguns.

    Pls provide your inputs akh.

  62. “i will leave you alone with your blog”

    It’s not my blog. Really why would you diss OTW like that, Zenobia? Tsk tsk. And for just a brief moment, you tried so hard to be the voice of sanity. Didn’t last long though.

    That’s what I enjoy about brutal honesty. It isn’t popular, but at least I don’t have to strain under the pretense of being something I am clearly not. And after a while the seemingly heretical truths one speaks, eventually become accepted wisdom and cliche.

  63. Khalid

    “ABOUD, I think what we need is not foreign military intervention, but gradula arming of the FSA by foreign powers and NGOs.”

    Exactly, that’s precisely what is needed. And I’m impressed you’ve already picked out the weaponry. Press leaks say that Libya will be providing just such support to the FSA. As a country beholden to NATO, it is the only Arab country in a position to provide such assistance. Now it all depends on how much freedom the Turks give Riyad Al Assad.

  64. straw..man, straw man………

    you had better get back to mini-me shark – he wants to talk in great detail about all the weaponry that will be amassed… and maybe how he wishes they will be used.

  65. “he wants to talk in great detail about all the weaponry that will be amassed… and maybe how he wishes they will be used.”

    But Zenobia, I thought this is what a blog is for, to discuss ideas. Was I mistaken? An idea might seem outlandish to you, but maybe you have a point of view others have overlooked. It’s good to share different perspectives. Really, if you have a point of view, why not share it? It may stop you from being a little hypocrite for just a few minutes 🙂

  66. Zenobia:

    Out of respect for OTW, I am keeping quiet until I hear from him. This is his blog, his rules.

    A shark is too much esteem for this animal. Perhaps a stray dog is more befitting.

  67. Why is Libya the only Arab country that can give such support ? Why can’t Qatar, or KSA, or Jordan ? You don;t have to be using Russian weapons to supply the FSA with them. In the Afghan Civil War, the Americans bought the Russian weapons on a full contract from Eastern Bloc countries that were pissed off at Russia, like Romania, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Even today, there are many former Commie countries that use Russian weapons but are highly antagonistic to Russian interests, such as Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia, to name a few. They wouldn’t mind manufacturing the weapons the FSA needs if KSA give them a good, lucrative contract.

  68. one good point you made, Aboud, was the turks disposition to Riyad al Asad. Why aren’t they allowing him to leave the camp, and why are they restricting the visitors he can receive ? I am also thinking that the opportunsitc Turkish business class is just like the greedy Shaami merchants, who knows what they have in mind for the FSA, they always put money before religion, the greedy little pigs. ( and most Shaami business houses are also of Turkish descent, *sigh*)

  69. … but not against someone really dangerous like Ariel Sharon or Bibi Netanyahu.

    Ariel Sharon and Bibi Netanyahu are dangerous because they are willing to defend their country. As queer as that may sound to some. They are also willing to make peace. Their decision to accept the Oslo agreement, evacuate Gaza and large parts of the West Bank attest to that.

    IMHO, those that cling to eradicating Israel are the REAL danger: specifically Assad, Nasrallah, Meshaal, Ahmadinejad, al Queda, and the dozen or so Palestinian terror group fit in that category.

    Honestly, I’d stop worrying what the “Illuminati” and “Free Masons” are up to, and worry more that more Muslims have been killed by fellow Muslims than anything the Americans or Israelis managed to do.

    The 4000+ Syrian dead outnumber those killed in the Sabra & Shatilla, the recent Gaza and Lebanon wars COMBINED.

  70. with all that blood in the water!…you think I will come in there and share an “idea” with you… because you called me a “hypocrite”….? preposterous. Little notifications just pop up on my gmail…I look over at the water…and the shark swimming around dying for a bite…with his little mini-me symbiotic baby shark with baby shark teeth (uncultured hippie? that is practically a compliment)… stuck to his side…trying to bring him little morsels of bloody material….. weapons!!! …. weapons are not an “idea” they are a precursor to actions that people take when they have run out of ideas….

  71. That is it, both Husam and Aboud are now on moderation .

    If you can not let go, then I will let go of my reluctance. Any message from one of you addressing the other or complaining about the other will not be published. You two need blue beret to separate you and I will now do so. The reason I avoid moderation is that I am extremely busy both with work and with being a mundass in my own way. Thus, I only have few times per-day to moderate, which is evident for new members of the community, who sometimes witness a lag of hours before I can release their message. Husam and Aboud, dear friends. You are on moderation. Moderation will last a full week and will end on Monday December 12, 2011. Sadly, all it would have taken is for one of you to let go for one comment only without responding. Sorry for being a prick myself and for pontificating. Please note that moderation means that I value your opinions

    Dear 7ee6anis
    If you think I was not fair in this decision, please voice your opinion.

  72. Hussam,

    The burden of proof lies squarely on the shoulders of Muslims. Being a Muslim is neither something to brag about nor hide. It is not incumbent on any Muslim to question another Muslim sincerity, IF, in the context of the discussion you feel an urge to do so, a friendly reminder will do. No one is entitled to become a liaison between man and God. No one has the right to play God, otherwise why do we need One?

    Muslim prayers is not for display, fasting is not for display, Hajj, giving alms is not. A nice word will go a long way…between man and man, man and God.

    In Syria, Islam and Muslims are not the issue. Religion is often used to justify many issues. The main issue is how can we bring an end to the regime brutality.

    I will recommend some books on Islam if you are interested.

  73. A very fair and wise decision OTW. Actually in light of things, you were within your rights to impose a much tougher ban.

  74. OTW cld u pls stay online for a few minutes and moderate through the comment that ABOUD will adress to me, shortly.

    Curse you Husam and Zenobia, you trivialize the deaths of 5,000 ppl.

  75. “I will recommend some books on Islam if you are interested”

    Like AL RAHEEQ AL MAKHTUM.

  76. OTW, Thank you, thank you! Finally. Totally understood and I am content with your decision despite not getting any warnings from you. I am happy to go down myself if it means that this blog will be cleansed. [persona message to otw]

  77. Khalid, regarding Riyad Al Assad, he did actually cross into Syria briefly a few weeks ago. He met with the SNC. If something happened to him on Turkish soil like what happened to Harmoush, the Turks will never be able to live it down.

    Riyad Al Assad is too important to allow anything to happen to him.

  78. Dear Husam
    In my earlier warning to Aboud there was a warning to anyone who goes back to the story. As I said, I don’t get many opportunities to moderate. But thanks for understanding.

  79. OTW

    You have my full support, I understand tension is high and such altercations are inevitable but seriously beyond a couple of comments it just becomes something else. It’s like Hazrid said earlier

    when you’re all in what really amounts to an excrement flinging competition, You have to stop and think about how bad you’re starting to smell

  80. AP

    “Ariel Sharon and Bibi Netanyahu are dangerous because they are willing to defend their country”

    I said “dangerous” in the sense that if any of these judgmental self appointed policemen of our morals and thinking ever issued a fatwa against these two, there would be repercussions. Instead, they issue their fatwas against writers, professors and artists.

    Some people seem to have forgotten their Islamic history. Even Mohamad, after one too many provocations from Quraish, eventually took up arms. Just how many dead Syrians is it going to take for people to accept that the regime and its supporters already consider themselves in a war.

  81. Dear NK,
    I think I figured out who you are. We know each other. Out of fairness, if you want to know who I am, I will tell you. It is very easy. I can give you three clues on this blog that only you and I understand and you will immediately know who I am. Obviously, I will not tell anyone or even insinuate to anyone of what your true identity is.
    It is good to hear your voice on this blog.
    Take care

  82. N.Z.

    Thank you for your comment. Is it not the duty of every Muslim to stop the spread misconceptions and false representation? A friendly reminder is warranted to a civilized person when there is a slightest chance 0.0000001% of a positive outcome. However, when such person is already calling you an Islamist, calling your mother, distorting the truth etc… only the very gifted and spirited souls can ignore such language and keep quiet.

    Unfortunately, I have not reached those levels of humbleness. Inshallah one day.

    Your comment does make a lot of sense, but God gave people a brain to think. When I was 10 years old, I saw a Saudi friend of my Dads kneeling down praying when I knocked on his hotel room door. A prostitute answered the door, I knew this because his wife was in the other room down the hall and she was wearing a bathrobe with her hair wet etc… I did not judge him or his prayers. It is his business. However, should he have advocated in public that it is acceptable behaviour to cheat his wife, screw and pray… that this embodies the spirit of Islam… would you keep quiet?

  83. Dear Sheila

    You don’t have to give me clues unless you want to, I also understand if you want to keep your identity concealed for the time being 🙂


  84. Image: Putin and Medvedev facing the media today after what the BBC called a loss of face for Putin

    Oh-oh! Putin’s party has won the Russian election but with a reduced percentage compared to last time. This on top of reports of election fraud. This prompted Putin and Medvedev to appear before the media admitting to the reduced popularity. Also heard there were demonstrations in Russia today organised by the opposition. Putin was also recently booed at a mixed martial arts fight.

    If you remember, it was the 2nd Chechen war that was the vehicle that carried Putin to the heights of popularity when he replaced Yeltsin. In the current context (election results) what better than another war to boost ones popularity. Perhaps just an attempt to act tough and pushing things to the brink with disastrous and unintended consequences.

    The context being Syria.

  85. Dear NK,
    No, a few people already know who I am. I just do not want anyone to know, just those who I deem trustworthy.
    Here are your clues: my brother lives in the same city that you live in, he does the same thing that you do and my father and your father share the same profession in Halab.
    Please say hi to your mother for me. I have not seen her in ages.

  86. Dear N.Z.
    I really like what you wrote regarding Islam: “No one is entitled to become a liaison between man and God”, “No one has the right to play God”, “Muslim prayers is not for display, fasting is not for display, Hajj, giving alms is not. A nice word will go a long way…between man and man, man and God”.
    Do you see how far most Muslims today are from what you are describing above? Do you see how praying has become the national sport? Do you see how people lost the essence of Islam, while concentrating on what they think pleases other people?

  87. I said “dangerous” in the sense that if any of these judgmental self appointed policemen of our morals and thinking ever issued a fatwa against these two, there would be repercussions. Instead, they issue their fatwas against writers, professors and artists.

    Aboud,

    Then I misunderstood what you were saying. Sorry about that.

    I am seeing on this blog and others, that some religious moslems are a bit close-minded. This mind-set occurs with all religions, however, in a theocracy like Iran and Saudi Arabia, it becomes law.

    This is what concerns so many people around the world about the Arab Spring.

  88. AP

    “This is what concerns so many people around the world about the Arab Spring.”

    Well, voters in Egypt voted for a party running on a religious platform, and that’s what they will get. If they don’t rule well, the aura of religious piety will fade, and they will be voted out in the next elections.

    In Jordan, King Hussein never had any problems with the Muslim Brotherhood, because early on he gave them seats in his government. When they proved utterly unable to govern, their appeal fast faded.

    I think that in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, you will see a rush towards long oppressed religious parties. Let them get voted in, and let’s see once and for all if they can translate religious fever into effective governance. History says otherwise, but at least they can’t whine anymore that they never got the chance.

  89. Zenobia

    The experiment helps us understand basic human behavior, in our case it helps us understand the behavior of soldiers, and even communities … generally speaking, humans will do as they are told once certain conditions are met, notice that in the experiment Milgram didn’t have prior contact with those he studied whereas Syrians have been brainwashed for about 50 years now by the same propaganda machine.

  90. Aboud

    Since you mentioned Muhammad, it’s worth mentioning that he often gave his enemies full amnesty once he was victorious including their leaders … are you willing to do the same when it comes to Besho ?

  91. NK,

    My last comment was addressing you instead of NZ. I thought we can take this healthy conversation a step further for a change.

  92. Aboud,

    About your ‘civil war’ comment: Bashar was right. If there’s a ME country that has the potential to become the next Afghanistan, then it is Syria. A full scale civil war might result in creation of cantons, ruled by warlords. Just as it happened in Afghanistan after the withdraw of the USSR. You will end up with a Halabi warlord, Homsi warlord, Kamishli warlord supported by world wide Kurdish people, the emirate of Dar’a ruled by a Salafi Emir, and so on.
    This will be the end of Syria as we know it. Could you guaranty that this will not happened? If you can’t, let us not have a civil war.

  93. Amir,
    I hope Syria does not fall into a civil war, for the regime has learnt a lot from their experiences in Lebanon. They know how to fight militias, and most importantly they are deadly efficient at playing civil war politics.

    What Syria needs in my opinion are strategic strikes that can degrade the regimes ability for communications, hopefully with the loss of ability for central command to communicate with the divisions that are already spread too thinly across the country, this will expedite the process of more soldiers defecting (Hopefully entire divisions with their weaponry) if the soldiers and their commanders believe Western intervention is imminent. With the defected divisions the FSA can attempt a military coup with a little help when it comes to air power.

    Every army in the world brainwashes their soldiers to follow orders, especially in the Syria (where the entire population is under constant bombardment of mind numbing, spirit crushing, brain washing propaganda) and add the military intelligence (what an oxymoron) to the mix, you are left with is a Herculean task for the soldiers to defect.

    Make it easier for the soldiers to defect and you will see them do it in droves, and all the regime is left with are the hyenas which will not only betray them, but actually be the ones that bring in their bosses (or kill them) in order to get amnesty for the crimes they committed.

    This could be just wishful thinking on my side, but I truly believe it and that Bashar is NEVER right (which is not so wishful, as it is a reality).

    I hope you and Aboud don’t mind me chiming in with my two cents.

  94. Amir,

    Sunnis make up 70% of the population. Even in the unlikely event that the other 30% were all united against the 70%, there is no way they could win. Especially as so much regional powers would like nothing more than to see Besho go.

    The way to make sure that a Balkanization of Syria doesn’t happen, is for the Arabs and Turks to get behind the FSA, and make sure it has an overwhelming amount of power to be able to finish the job quickly. Can anyone object to Burhan Ghalyon leading a transitional government?

    The opposition inside Syria have all been very well coordinated, and there is a high degree of cooperation between the different cities. The different brigades within the FSA have also been able to work well together. How else could supplies arrive from Lebanon all the way to Idlib.

    Son of Damascus

    What you described would be the ideal scenario. Alas, NATO said time and again that they have no intentions of repeating a Libya style intervention.

    “This could be just wishful thinking on my side, but I truly believe it and that Bashar is NEVER right”

    He is never right. The biggest gift the revolution was granted was the complete and utter ineptitude of junior and the people around him. He had every advantage a dictator could dream of; Russian and Chinese veto, the two biggest cities complacent, a terrified and silenced Christian community, an army which was initially willing to unthinkingly carry out every massacre and atrocity required, the support of Iran, Lebanon and Hizbollah, and a non existent political opposition….and yet despite all this, the idiot STILL can’t subdue the revolution. Honestly, I think he needs someone to hold it for him when he takes a piss.

  95. I would prefer to be arrested by Israeli security forces than the security forces of any Arab country… Also, as a Salafi, I have more religious rights in Tel Aviv than I do in some Muslim or Arab countries, Syria included.

    Khalid Tlass.

    Thanks for acknowledging the obvious. Are your muslim/salafi friends in agreement with you? Do they want relations with the State of Israel, or is Israel’s fair treatment of prisoners and their freedom of religion still not good enough?

    BTW – I respect your muslim faith, why don’t you respect someone who is secular. We are all human beings.

  96. Guys, you may hear something about a massacre of around 30 people in Homs yesterday, whose bodies were dumped in Zahra, Hadara and Deblan.

    According to someone who saw some of the bodies at the National Hospital, they appear to have died some weeks ago. They all bear horrendous marks of torture. It is highly likely that they died under torture in prisons, and were dumped in Alawite neighborhoods in a cynical attempt by the regime to ignite….something.

    Also, someone told me that the Khalid ibn Waleed mosque was damaged yesterday. I haven’t been able to see the mosque first hand. If it’s true then someone will be sending pictures to the news channels for sure.

    And apparently the regime agreed to conditions in the AL’s initiative, conditions which the AL hadn’t even required, had never heard of, and didn’t even ask the regime to agree to.

    Russia is offering to send observers. I’d like to host them in my house. Either they do a professional job, in which case Putin can hardly ignore the reports from his own observers, or they do a half assed one, and it will be the last observer mission Russia ever gets to send without the international community laughing at the term “Neutral Russian Observers”.

  97. By the way Deblan isn’t a Alawite area, it’s the main commercial street in Homs, but it’s the one place you are sure that, if something happens there, people all over Homs will hear about.

  98. On one hand, I would like to skip the Babawawa interview with Junior as it is likely to give me hives.
    On the other hand, it could be fascinating to watch something that reminds me of a car wreck.

  99. I can see the outcome.

    The AL and Russian observers giving differing reports which the regime will use to undermine any damaging AL observations. Also such ‘inconclusive’ scenario can be exploited for delaying tactics.

  100. Angel amongst the beast-men?

    Came across this elswhere (including the description). An angel returns the body of a martyr to his family? (Homs,Syria). The description will explain more (see below). You don’t have to watch the video after 34 seconds as there is blood and I don’t think there is much to see after 34 sec.

    “I don’t know if it’s an Angel or just a Man with a strong Iman, and they said that because of the following:

    – The man dressing in a White Thawb and a Turban, and it’s not what the People in Sham dresses like!
    – The Man in the white Thawb crossed the road in front of the Syrian snipers, who were shooting every living creature and with precision, but none has targeted him.
    – No one could brought the Martyr, because of the Snipers, but the Man in the White Thawb took him up only with one hand, and apparently he didn’t looked burdened, he was like handling a school bag that a Normal Man wouldn’t do it that way.
    – The Man disappeared after he gave them the Martyr.

    They were shouting: “Pull him back! Pull him back!” referring to the man on the ground, and that White Thawb Man went directly to him, grabbed him with one hand, and pulled him like pulling 2 Kgs of weight!

    ALLAHu A’lam! May be just a Man that ALLAH has given Iman and Strength at that moment, and granted him Protection so the Syrian Army didn’t see him, and granted him the serenity to walk so calmly!
    Or a Muslim Jinn!
    Or may be an Angel! ALLAHu A’lam! “

  101. UZAIR !!! Surely it was an Angel !! Wallah !!! More angels will be sent down in Syria, just like what happened at the Battle of Badr, where there were 300 Muslims facing off against more than 5,000 Kuffar.

  102. From Twitter:

    “نصر الله: في هذه الأيام نستذكر مقتل الحسين وأهل بيته ظلما وعدوانا”
    صدقت ولكن أين أنت من الشعب السوري الذي يقتله نظامك

  103. These are the lies the tribal bully boy JAD is spreading about Homs –

    69. JAD said:

    “When there is any hope to go out of this mess the terrorists do their best, the barbaric terrorist FSA ‘angles’ commited the most horrific crimes today in Homs, 40 Syrians where slaughtered by the so called ‘Alfarouq brigade’ what a wrong name for those terrorist criminals.”

    The FSA could own your mummy if they wanted SANA boy.

  104. This is the surprising thing that SNP said on SyriaComment :-

    107. SYRIAN NATIONALIST PARTY said:

    “In Syria, after 50 years of Baathshits abuse to the nation and country, it is pretty much an improved Somalia. In fact Syria ranks pretty close on the bottom of all rankings to Somalia. It is going to need billions to bring it up to modern state comparable to even Lebanon”

    I can never understand the love-hate relationship with the SNP fascists and the Assadists.

  105. Muslims facing off against more than 5,000 Kuffar.

    Khalid Tlass,

    Who are the “Kuffar”? Is there a way to determine this?

  106. AKBAR PALACE,

    As Salafis, we are ideologically opposed to the exstence of the State of Israel. But pls note, this opposition is purely doctrinal and ideological. We are not opposed to a Jewish Homeland, infact not even on Arab Land, I’m sure we could vacate some land in Sudan or Libya for the Jews to settle. but we totally oppose the unjust occupation of Al Quds and ESPECIALLY Masjid al Aqsa, which is one of the 3 holiest places for Muslim believers. Salafis’ opposition to Israel and Zionism is centred around the unjust occupation of Masjid al Aqsa, IDF abuse and violence against worshippers at Masjid al Aqsa and restrictions of free entry in the Mosque precints for believers.

    That said, I believe treatment of political prisoners, including palestinian prisoners, is far far better in israel than in any Arab ciuntry, let me venture to say this, the Israel govt, treats a Hamas prisoner FAR BETTER than any Arab regime would treat its own Army officer who would say or do anything that displeases the regime.

    This is a cold fact, and nobody can deny it, not even Khalid Mashaal and Abu Mazen.

  107. ABOUD, with all that said about HALAB, I think they will be the quickest to rush to kiss the new regime’s hands once Assad falls. Pretty much sums up about them.

    Also, don’t forget Halab was not too long ago a major Muslim Brotherhood stronghold.

  108. WSJ: Hamas is leaving Syria.
    It is relocating to Cairo and Doha.

  109. We are not opposed to a Jewish Homeland, infact not even on Arab Land, I’m sure we could vacate some land in Sudan or Libya for the Jews to settle. but we totally oppose the unjust occupation of Al Quds and ESPECIALLY Masjid al Aqsa, which is one of the 3 holiest places for Muslim believers.

    Khalid Tlass,

    What if it was the 4th most holiest of places? Would that be better? I think there are quite a few holy muslim cities. Maybe someone of authority can re-order the list to make Jerusalem less important.

  110. Dear Akbar Palace,
    I am not opposed to the Jews living anywhere they want and I firmly believe that no one in the Arab World is. What I am opposed to is the lack of true Democracy by calling it a “Jewish state”. I am also opposed to a country being called “Islamic state”, “Christian state” or any other religion state for that matter, especially when there are people from other religions living there. Think about the US. How would you and I feel if it were a “Christian state”? As a matter of fact, many of the European Jews that built the state of Israel could be considered nothing but assets to any country they immigrate to: highly educated, smart and very motivated. I do not really feel like Jerusalem is a problem per se. There has always been Jews in Jerusalem and throughout the Arab world including Mecca and Medina: the first and second most holly Muslim cities. The issue boils down to true democracy. This is precisely what Noam Chomsky has been talking about for years. It is a reality that I hope the majority of Israelis can one day understand. The dream of having a “Jewish state” that has been realized is not going to last just for simple demographic reasons. The question is: so why are they antagonizing everyone in the area? It is nothing but a recipe for disaster.

  111. I am not opposed to the Jews living anywhere they want and I firmly believe that no one in the Arab World is.

    Sheila,

    Gee, I hope there aren’t any Arabs who are “opposed to the Jews living anywhere they want”. But there are: Palestinians so far have refused to accept Jews living in Palestine. All agreements to date have mandated that either Jews leave Palestinian areas or their safety cannot be guaranteed.

    The issue boils down to true democracy.

    True democracy states that the majority decides how they want to live. “Utopia” is a place like John Lennon’s song “Imagine” where there is no religion and no countries. Reality states that every country/nation has a “flavor” made up by the people and their customs.

    Israel has no state religion, however, it is the state of the “Jewish People”. I understand some may not like that. Here is a list of countries that have a “state religion”, something Israel does NOT have…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_religion

    Sheila,

    Noam Chomsky is an english professor cum Middle East polemic. He does not recognize the State of Israel and he does not recognize Israel’s right to self-defense. He

    The one thing Chomsky supports are the most anti-Semitic, anti-democratic regimes in the Middle East and the world…

    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=11&x_article=1151

    http://www.paulbogdanor.com/200chomskylies.pdf

  112. Yes Khalid.

    This has become a little more interesting. If you look closer at the clip in the beginning you can see the tree visible but no sign of the mysterious person. Does he appear out of nowhere moments later?

  113. Akbar,

    The sanctity of Al Quds has been declared by none other than our Prophet. It is the 3rd Holiest City, and nothing can change that. We will emerge victorious one day.

    Sheila,
    We are not opposed to Jews living in Jerusalem, we are opposed to the unjust control over Masjid al Aqsa.

  114. Did any of you guys see this

    Not that Rifat is trustworthy (to say the least) but it’s entertaining to listen to him talk about the crimes of his brother and nephew.

    as the Syrian chants (and sorry OTW for being vulgar)
    يلعن روحون واحد يقول للتاني

  115. Inshallah, Rifaat Assad along with other mebers of the regime will be broyght to trial for Hama ’82. WE will track down Rifaat whereevr he is and bring him hands and feet bound to Hama.

    Btw, do you think that ppl like Abdel Halim Khaddam, Mustafa Tlass and Hikmat Shihabi have some responsibilty for the Hama massacre and must be brought to trial. ?

  116. Btw, do you think that ppl like Abdel Halim Khaddam, Mustafa Tlass and Hikmat Shihabi have some responsibilty for the Hama massacre and must be brought to trial. ?

    Is that a question or an attempt to answer?

  117. The sanctity of Al Quds has been declared by none other than our Prophet.

    Khalid Tlass,

    Thanks for the reply, and let me add that you have been very respectful, and I appreciate that. Your comment, “We will emerge victorious one day”, seems to be another allusion to a future war, so all I have to say is that it doesn’t need to be fought. The Arabs are already “victorious”. The Arabs are a great people and they have only begun to emerge. The Arab Spring, hopefully, will push the Arabs back in the right direction. I wish Jews and Arabs could work together than to be demonized by an axis of fanatics, despots, and the ignorant.

    You said the “sanctity of Al Quds has been declared by none other than our Prophet”. Can you please show me the chapter and verse in the holy Koran where the Prophet made that declaration? I am, by no means, an expert on the Koran. Also, as a comparison, can you show me how many time the city of Jerusalem is mentioned in the Koran.

    I am linking an article (by the usual suspect;) that deals with the issue of Jerusalem. Feel free to comment on this.

    Shukran!

    In contrast, Jerusalem has a distinctly secondary place for Moslems. It is not once mentioned in the Koran or in the liturgy. The Prophet Mohammed never went to the city, nor did he have ties to it. Jerusalem never has served as the capital of any polity, and has never been an Islamic cultural center.

    Rather, Mecca is the “Jerusalem” of Islam. That is where Moslems believe that Abraham nearly sacrificed Ishmael; where Mohammed lived most of his life; and where the key events of Islam took place. Moslems pray in its direction five times each day and it is where non-Moslems are forbidden to set foot.

    Jerusalem being of minor importance to Islam, why do Moslems nowadays insist that the city is more important to them than to Jews? The answer has to do with politics. Moslems take religious interest in Jerusalem when it serves practical interests. When those concerns lapse, so does the standing of Jerusalem. This pattern has recurred at least five times over 14 centuries.

    http://www.danielpipes.org/343/jerusalem-means-more-to-jews-than-to-muslims

    Lastly,

    Here is a summary of the importance of Jerusalem to Jews:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_in_Judaism

  118. Democracy NewZ

    Baba Wawa’s chat with a living dinosaur (aka “self-appointed Arab despot”):

    “People went from house to house. Children were arrested. I saw those pictures,” Walters said to Assad.

    “To be frank with you, Barbara, I don’t believe you,” Assad said.

    Meanwhile, a past president of Israel, Moshe Katsav will spend the next 7 years in prison for rape. Rule of law and justice is blind.

    http://news.yahoo.com/defiant-assad-denies-ordering-bloody-syrian-crackdown-213046054.html

  119. Dear Akbar Palace,
    If you read your post, you can understand why there is no peace in the Middle East. You say : “ True democracy states that the majority decides how they want to live”, yet as an American Jew, you work so hard to make sure that the majority Christians in the US don’t get to do anything that has any religious flavor to it. What hypocrisy.
    You accuse Noam Chomsky of being an ant-Semite without really understanding where he is coming from. He is a pragmatic intelligent person, who truly believes in humanity. He loves his people and is worried about the mess they have gotten themselves into. He is trying to show them that if you treat people like dirt, you are corrupting your own self. Noam Chomsky’s followers are those who were able to get out of the brain washed status that many Jews are subjected to and started thinking freely for themselves.

  120. “It is not once mentioned in the Koran or in the liturgy.” D. Pipes.

    Glory to He (God) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless (Yusuf Ali’s translation). ”
    (17:1 )

  121. If you read your post, you can understand why there is no peace in the Middle East.

    Sheila,

    Really? You think there’s no peace in the ME because Israel wants a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict: one “Jewish State” and one “Palestinian state”? Frankly, I still don’t see how this issue has caused hundreds of thousands of Arabs and muslims to die under Saddam Hussein, the Assads, Gaddafi, Iran and Afghanistan, Algeria etc. But if you can tie all these tradegies to Israel, I’d like to see it.

    You say : “ True democracy states that the majority decides how they want to live”, yet as an American Jew, you work so hard to make sure that the majority Christians in the US don’t get to do anything that has any religious flavor to it. What hypocrisy.

    Sheila,

    I, “as an American Jew”, “work so hard to make sure that the majority of Christians in the US don’t get to do anything that has any religious flavor”? What in Tarnations are you talking about!!?? Christians in the US can do ANYTHING they want “that has any religious flavor”. The founding fathers and Americans do not want the US to be a “christian nation”, although there are plenty of countries where Christianity and Islam ARE the state religion.

    Luckily, you and I live in a country that has both freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Israel is no different. Israel as a “jewish state” only refers to the Jewish People, not the jewish religion. It is a national affiliation, not a religious one.

    I remind you of the First Amendment to the Constituion:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    You accuse Noam Chomsky of being an ant-Semite without really understanding where he is coming from.

    I never accused Noam Chomsky of being an anti-semite, I accused him of supporting anti-semites. He supports the same thugs that most people on this forum are trying to DE-THRONE. I guess what you consider healthy for Arabs isn’t so healthy for Jews and Israelis. Why?

    He is a pragmatic intelligent person, who truly believes in humanity.

    Supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, and Assad runs contrary to your statement above. Supporting organizations who send retarded children and dishonored young girls into Israeli population centers is not “humanity”.

    He loves his people and is worried about the mess they have gotten themselves into.

    If he loved “his people”, he would allow them to self-identify themselves as a “people” and he would support them. Noam Chomsky in not more important than 7 million Israelis.

    He is trying to show them that if you treat people like dirt, you are corrupting your own self.

    If the Israelis “treat people like dirt”, why aren’t they demonstrating against the government like they are in Syria, Egypt, Yemen, etc? Even Khalid Tlass acknowledged that Israel treats her prisoners in jail better than in Arab countries. These were his words. If the Israelis “treat people like dirt”, why do Israeli-Arabs have more freedoms and opportunity in Israel than in any other Arab country??

    Sheila,

    I am sensing that you are clinging to old ideas that don’t mix with today’s realities. As you have said before, you hate Israel. Apparently so does your ideological guru Noam Chomsky. And there are millions like you. This is an unfortunate sickness with no cure unless the victim looks inward.

    Noam Chomsky’s followers are those who were able to get out of the brain washed status that many Jews are subjected to and started thinking freely for themselves.

    Noam Chomsky’s followers are anti-Zionists and anti-semites. Do you agree? There are millions and perhaps a billion of such like-minded individuals. How many of these people set foot in Israel, let alone live there? How many of these people get their news from government-owned Arab media? How many of these people attend Friday prayers and sermons?

    And you have the audacity to say we’re “brain washed”? Pul-eeeeze!

  122. Transfer of USD from Lebanon to U.A.E. blocked by US Treasury Dept.

    A request to transfer from my account in Beirut got rejected.

    Reason given:

    “In accordance with United States Treasury Department and OFAC regulations, transactions involving Syria are restricted, payment instructions involving a Syrian institution, entity or individual will be rejected…..Such payment instructions will be reported to the office of foreign assest control…”

    So even a private person of Syrian origin can not transfer funds if it is in USD dollars. Euro is still doable for now. Guilty by association!

    So this will make it more difficult persons even outside of Syria to conduct business or send money to family, etc… The Euro workaround maybe what is helping keep its exchange rates high in current Eurozone turbulence due to pent up demand for a few billion Euros monthly needed in exchange for SYP.

  123. AP,
    Jerusalem is a city that is holy to three major religions, to say that it is more important to one faith than another would be wrong. All three faiths should have unfettered access to it, and not feel that they are not welcomed there. Making it an international city where both Israelis and Palestinians can live could be away to solve many of the issues, however I highly doubt either side would agree to it.

    What makes a Kaffir (Kuffar is plural) is being a non-believer. Traditionally Christian and Jews are not viewed as Kuffar since they belong to the Ahal Al Kitab (The people of the Book “Torah and Bible”), however nowadays a kaffir is anybody that does not follow the views of the ultra religious. I am considered (and have been called) a kaffir since many choices that I have chosen to do are considered sinful by many religious Muslims, in there eyes i have been corrupted by “Western” influences and in dire need to find god.

  124. Jews and Muslims are Ahl al Kitab but they are still non-believers. when even purported “Muslims” like Shia and Alawi are non-believer, how can Jews and Christians not be Kafir ?

  125. SOD,

    But the Israelis are restriciting access to Masjid al Aqsa for Muslims. Have you considered the number of violent incidents that have taken place between worshippers and the Israeli Police there since 1967 ?

  126. Akbar,

    There os a sahih Hadith that whoever prays 4 rakat in Masjid al haram, it is equivalent to 10,000 prayers. Whoever prays 4 rakat in Masjid al Nabawi , it is equivalent to 1000 prayers, and hwoever prays 4 rakat in Masjid al Aqsa Bait al Muqaddas , it is equivalent to 100 prayers. No other Mosques have been goven this honour, except these 3. So you can understand the significance Jersualem has for us. Besides, Jersualem was Jordanian territory before 1967.

  127. Dear Husam
    Thanks for sticking to the topic of Syria. I really appreciate it.

  128. Jerusalem is a city that is holy to three major religions, to say that it is more important to one faith than another would be wrong.

    Son of Damascus,

    Indeed. The GOI offered the PA partial sovereignty of Jerusalem’s Old City, but the PA never signed the deal. At this point in time, the best the Arabs have offered is the “holy” 1967 Green Line whereby Israel would have NO sovereignty of the Old City at all. So who is “wrong” in this case?

    This thread started when Khalid Tlass stated 2 things which I object to. He stated:

    The sanctity of Al Quds has been declared by none other than our Prophet.

    I’m still waiting for verification of this. Near as I can tell, there is no reference to the city of “Jerusalem” anywhere in the Koran. References to a “furthest mosque” isn’t a resounding reference like, say, Mecca and Medina.

    and

    We are not opposed to Jews living in Jerusalem, we are opposed to the unjust control over Masjid al Aqsa.

    The control of the al Aqsa is through the Islamic Waqf:

    Muhammad Ahmad Hussein is the head imam and manager of the al-Aqsa Mosque and was assigned the role of Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 2006 by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.[68] Ownership of the al-Aqsa Mosque is a contentious issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Israel claims sovereignty over the mosque along with all of the Temple Mount (Noble Sanctuary), but Palestinians hold the custodianship of the site through the Islamic waqf.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Aqsa_Mosque#Administration

    Jerusalem has been held by Jews, Christians and Moslems at various times. Now, Christianity sees no use in claiming Jerusalem (although they wouldn’t reject it if it was offered). Similarly, muslims never made much of Jerusalem until Israel was born nearly 100 years ago. Jerusalem has always been central to judaism even when israel was a distant pipe dream.

  129. ALL
    For now, this is a blog about Syria. Not about Jerusalem or Israel or Jewish Islamic relationships. There are plenty of sites where you can have such conversation. Please take this conversation, for the time being, to another location.

  130. Amen to that. 🙂

    @Husam,
    a friend of mine here temporarily – couldn’t use his ATM anymore (as of a few months ago) to get $ out from his account in Syria. It got all frozen up.

  131. I think Aboud is not coming on this blog anymore becz he is pissed off at the moderation.

    Anyway, this comments is for him :

    Aboud, I think Homs better start to build some defences for itself in face of an imminent special forces attack.

    How about getting hold of sandbags and building sandbag bunkers near important locations, or even brick-and-mortar walls to protect peoples; homes from bullets,

    Using barbed wire to protect civilan neighborhoods.

    Using iron beams, inclined in such a way and placed on people’s rooftops pointing upwards towards the sky, that it becomes dangerous for Special Forces soldiers to land on rooftops from helicopters;

    And most importantly, digging trenches all around town, especially in outlying areas like Bab Amr and Khaldiye, trenches at least 8 feet deep and 3 metres wide, some of these trenches can even be filled with mazout or gasoline and ignited in the event of an attack, creating a wall of fire, it will become doubly difficult for the Army to enter Homs,

    Placing sandbagged checkpoints mounted with machine guns and manned by FSA soldiers , on all major roads and intersections and in front of Mosques and Hospitals.

    Stocking bottles of acid and molotov cocktails inside homes in case of soldiers barging in, also arming women with chilly powder so that they can defend themsleves.

    Come on, Homsis are the most innovative and hardy people on earth, I know they will eventually come up with this and they can do it.

  132. For now, this is a blog about Syria.

    OTW,

    Sorry. My fault, however, I was surprised to learn that Assad isn’t the real reason there is no peace in the ME.

  133. Husam, just wanted to say I’m not ignoring you, I just didn’t get why that comment was directed to me and not N.Z. and a bit confused as I’m not sure what is the topic you’re discussing, that’s all. Yes I can be slow sometimes :p

  134. Dear Akbar
    Thanks for understanding. I do understand your sensitivity to these issues. Assad is a part of the problem, big part. But there are other parts. Let us let the Syrians, both expats and on the inside take care of what really matters now, a chance at a better life. Like everything we do,things morph into their own life once they take off. This blog has become a refuge for some Syrians whose intellect could no longer tolerate the crap going on in other places, for others who do a hit and run and come here to relax away from the incessant mental gymnastic (as AIG rather appropriately called it) of regime loyalists. During the revolution, I would really like it to remain so. I myself try to avoid getting too much into the discussion unless I have something to add that is relevant to the on-going revolution in Syria. But please rest assured, antisemitism and racism will not be tolerated here, I have it on words that you can trust at least five of us to stand with you in shredding whoever does that.

    Once Syrians emerge victorious in the first stage of their revolution, we all know that the issue of the Arab Israeli conflict will be one of many issues we will have to deal with. Then, we will have to deal with it, present all possible points of view, bicker and argue about the position of the moderate Islamic parties, the liberal, the nationalists, and the salafi (even though i don’t think that in Syria they will have as much weight as in Egypt). But at this stage, and from my point of you and from several others I have heard, responding every single time an issue I don’t like pops up, will have a chilling effect, not only on the issue important to you or to me, but on the issues important to a majority of 7ee6anis.

    Over the years, you and I have argued heavily. We can pick up later on, but I promise you that we will not pick up from where we left, for I am positive that both of us now have different outlooks. I am burning to discuss the election in the US, Obama’s position, the role of money, and many other things, but for now, I can skip activism for one election cycle and focus on giving helping the people of my country of origin, who are still my people as you are, and many 7ee6anis are my people in my new home-country, a similar right.

  135. Dear Zenobia and Husam
    I had a friend with identical problem. That was right when VISA started implementing the US-EU sanctions even before they were formally explained by the treasury department. In the morning they were able to use their pre-deposit card (sort of debit card) but in the evening it was frozen. It was a major inconvenience. I heard that last week, there was a rush to the Syrian airline offices in many European cities for people to return before airline movement is completely blocked.

  136. AP,
    It is a pattern with you: you are all nice and understanding until your basic tenets are challenged. Yes, I do believe that you and many other American Jews are being continuously brain washed by Israel. There is a system in place of sending one person after another from Israel to the US to shame you all into not daring to criticize. I have a Jewish American friend who lived in Israel for three years and was very disillusioned with what she saw. She told me that you, American Jews, are treated by the Israelis like mules, in the sense that they put blinders on you when you visit there, so as not to see the truth. You need to befriend a person who lives in the West Bank or Gaza to understand the severity of the mistreatment. The fact that the Arab World is in shambles and definitely worse than Israel, does not make Israel’s actions acceptable. Where do you think the Syrians and Egyptians learnt the latest techniques in torture? You really need to get out of your comfort zone and explore this issue from the other point of view. You might find a man like Noam Chomsky much more in touch with reality than Daniel Pipes.
    This is the last time I address you for two reasons: first because I want to concentrate on what we are here for and second because I see that discussing this issue with you is a futile pursuit.

  137. Dear Off The Wall,
    I apologize for addressing the Israel issue again. I had done it before I read your comment to AP. I will also refrain and get back to our discussion about Syria.

  138. It is a futile pursuit, indeed.
    I had almost the identical exchange about Chomsky with AP just one month ago – and he didn’t pay one lick of attention to the link with 70 citations of Chomsky’s work across disciplines, nor that he is one of worlds most highly regarded (commanding more than 10 times the respect and trust globally than someone like DP) in terms of his scholarship. Akbar is still calling him an “English” professor (!)…. ridiculous.

    but….. OTW has put this subject to rest for the time being…. praise the lord……

  139. Sheila, Zenobia,

    You wanna continue this discussion on another blog? I have an idea, we can hijack Landis’ website and then I wouldn’t feel so guilty…

  140. It is very interesting to watch on FB – every single Syrian person I know – posting and commenting on this interview of Assad with Barbara Walters. I saw the short version this morning and plan to watch the full Nightline interview tonight at 8 or 830 EST.
    It is really is mesmerizing. I think people are just dying to try to comprehend what is in his mind or what consciousness he has or doesn’t have – or how to explain such a capacity to put forth these types of denials and account for them in something that sounds rational.
    My friend Hasan – posted a definition of “psychopathology”, but of course I object because this not the right explanation.
    This not someone saying “yes i murdered the family and i don’t care”….it is much more bizarre and interesting than that.
    There was no murder, your ‘evidence’ is wrong. If there was a death it was an event without an agent. If there was an agent, the agent was someone else who I am not responsible for. If anyone is responsible, they are justified but x,y. and z.
    I told Hasan, you are looking in the wrong discipline, as I suggested to Haytham K – many weeks ago. Of course the cognitive process is a psychological one – one worth recognizing. But it can only occur within this structural context of who he is surrounded and the social bubble he is within and the entire meta-social psychology of it.
    There was a verbal pause of disfluency before he used the words “a leader who is crazy”…yes….everyone is now harping on this as a “slip”… but really is the specific man “crazy”?….or is the whole nuclear world he resides in crazy. I tend to think the latter.

  141. no Akbar. I don’t want to spend my energy diagnosing Daniel P’s problem. I want to stick with the president who says it’s not his military. Much much more interesting.

  142. You wanna continue this discussion on another blog? I have an idea, we can hijack Landis’ website and then I wouldn’t feel so guilty…

    LOL and Zenobia’s answer is also great. Some people with real intellect hang around here, obsessive compulsive, yes, but with intellect. Love it.

    We need An obsessive compulsive tail shaking rat

  143. This one is for Aboud –

    Aboud, I think Homs better start to build some defences for itself in face of an imminent special forces attack.

    How about getting hold of sandbags and building sandbag bunkers near important locations, or even brick-and-mortar walls to protect peoples; homes from bullets,

    Using barbed wire to protect civilan neighborhoods.

    Using iron beams, inclined in such a way and placed on people’s rooftops pointing upwards towards the sky, that it becomes dangerous for Special Forces soldiers to land on rooftops from helicopters;

    And most importantly, digging trenches all around town, especially in outlying areas like Bab Amr and Khaldiye, trenches at least 8 feet deep and 3 metres wide, some of these trenches can even be filled with mazout or gasoline and ignited in the event of an attack, creating a wall of fire, it will become doubly difficult for the Army to enter Homs,

    Placing sandbagged checkpoints mounted with machine guns and manned by FSA soldiers , on all major roads and intersections and in front of Mosques and Hospitals.

    Stocking bottles of acid and molotov cocktails inside homes in case of soldiers barging in, also arming women with chilly powder so that they can defend themsleves.

    Come on, Homsis are the most innovative and hardy people on earth, I know they will eventually come up with this and they can do it.

  144. Dear Zenobia
    I do tend to agree that the whole world he resides in is crazy. Ever read the Autumn of the Patriarch, some moments remind me of that book. But at the same time, you can not take the man away from his soldiers whom he just denied. The real issue is that they know his faults, but being vested in his survival the even exaggerate in exalting his brilliance. Off course he is not the prisoner of his condition as much as its primary maker.

    I believe that the revolution should now jump into creating a major campaign exposing him to the soldiers and shabeeha. Showing them with translation that he is denying that he has control over them and thus even denying them the false safety of “i was following orders” defunct excuse I think played well, this interview will result in major split from the army for different reasons.

    1. Disgust
    2. He proved that he does not take his role as the commander in chief seriously
    3. He demonstrated that he is willing to sacrifice all of them for the sake of his neck.

    I have not seen the interview, but I am seeing even some loyalists starting to find his giggles and laughs to be a source of mild-disgust. This will be the most catastrophic of his interviews, again, the SNC should make serious attempt at milking every single denial to the hilt.

  145. well nobody should have any problem milking it. He looks and sounds absurd….
    I will wait to see the whole thing to say more about it…but…in short version he mainly chuckled when he said that having an ambassador at the United Nations didn’t really mean anything in terms of any ‘credibility’ of the body….”it’s just a game we play”…. hmmm.

    however, i am not convinced that this type of thing has any real impact on loyalists really. Followers and loyalists are called “loyalists” for a reason…. they are always willing to fall on their sword to keep their leader out of the frying pan (sorry for mixing metaphors)…. think of a zillion other examples…or Ronald Reagan.. saying he had no idea about Iran/Contra etc…. there are always fall guys…
    this is a much more insidious situation obviously, because no wrong doing is even being admitted to – so there isn’t really a problem of who to blame for it. The level of hysterical defense of the leader… will probably be awe inspiring… up till the moment it all falls apart but until then…..
    The loyalists who would admit to atrocities…. have justifications ready for those atrocities and violations…. they don’t care if the were ‘specifically’ ordered…or it was just understood.
    the nature of a mafia structure is the deliberate splitting of chains of command and information so that no one knows more than they need to know to care out their own separate role in the machine…they are just a cog in the apparatus of death….so to speak…. there is no blame because the enterprise is divided up mechanistically to the point where no person really is responsible for the total outcome… (of course I mean theoretically…. eventually we as a world society decide how and who to hold responsible despite these mechanisms of denial and dissolution of responsibility)…..

  146. NK,

    I am so sorry, I am the confused one! (NK, NZ, NA…uffff) 🙂 My head is swamped over with project deadlines and I can’t seem to focus this past couple of days. It was actually meant for NZas he has sent me a message regarding God, etc… and was anticipating an answer or clarification.

    I do read and enjoy your comments, always.

  147. Below I summarize a news bit sent by friend instead of cut-and-paste

    0. Turkey joins the Arab Sanction.
    1. Syria levies 30% Tax on Turkish goods in a knee jerk reaction that pleased the regime loyalists eager for “National Honor”

    2. Syria doubled the fees on Turkish trucks and caused major havoc for their passing through Syria. Again pleasing those seeking fake national honor.

    4. Turkey, within a day time establishes new sea routes to Lebanon, and Egypt and land routes through Iraq.

    5. Turkey levies 30% tax on Syrian goods, and start prohibiting Syrian turcks older than 20 years from entering Turkish territories with fully legitimate EU standards compliance.

    6. Syria starts easing Turkish truck traffic

    .
    “They are sawing off the branch they’re sitting on,” Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan told reporters in televised remarks from Istanbul. “These aren’t moves that a country with such a need for cash and a seriously pressured economy should be making.”

    “It’s very easy for us to bypass Syria,” said the economy minister, who is responsible for foreign trade. He warned that Turkey would respond “in multitudes” to any threat to its
    interests.

    My Analysis.
    Now. Here is also a simple analysis. Turkish export to Syria 1.5 Billion Euros, Syria’s export in the range of 450 Millions, but represent a much larger percentage of total Syrian export than that of Turkey’s part of export.

    Tax on Turkish good will probably be absorbed by the upper class and can still be sold since selling in Syria has a high mark-up, despite of the declining trade. However, tax on Syrian exports, slated for re-export to central Asian Turkish countries will make such trade not very profitable and will result in abandoning Syrian goods to an eagerly waiting Iraqi, Jordanian, and Egyptian exporters.

    Turkey loses little
    Syria loses big

  148. OTW & Zenobia:

    Do you really think that all this stuff being frozen for the average Syria is a good thing? Some people will starve as many await money transfers from family to make it through the month all over the M.E. I thought it was a money restriction involving Syria (to & from) but what does Lebanon and UAE have to do with it….

    The average Syria is getting hit with it ouside of Syria. OTW, the debit/visa card of your friend probably belongd to a Syrian bank right? My story is the bank was a Lebanese Bank going to UAE, nothing to do with Syria (only because the account holder is Syrian).!!

  149. Finally, finally Sheila and Zenobia arrive!!

    I realized that 3 years ago about AP. I have nothing against him as a person, a jew, etc… but when you hear the same songs and album over and over till it becomes sickening. It is a dead end everytime…that was my whole point (until Aboud) bashed me.

  150. Husam
    No i don’t think it is right for Syrians. I have never been a fan of economic sanctions to start with. And yes, it was a Syrian Bank issued card.

    I would appreciate anyone telling me on the mechanism through which US treasure Dept can block transactions from third and fourth parties. ?

  151. I meant from non US non Syrian bank to non US non Syrian Banks, with US and Syria being first and second parties, and the other two third and fourth.

  152. Zenobia:

    You can spend all kinds of time trying to analyze the psyche of Bashar or finding just the proper buzz word to describe him. However, the mind is a very complicated map each with its own unique footprint. You will never understand a criminal mind no matter how hard you try (partly because you are not one). Here we have a criminal with power who’s supported by system which is 40 years in the making.

    It is far deeper than a giggle or two. I don’t believe he is stupid for 2 seconds as if that was the case, he would not have lasted 11+ years. The system no longer fits in this century and its the time has lapsed. Just like a solid (yes, for better or worse the system was solid) car that has been on the road for 20 odd years.

    I keep repeating: Bashar and his 100 top key people isn’t the only problem, it is a rotted out system which is deeply rooted. Removing him is just the beginning; there are another 100,000 that are… oh horribly dark as well.

    Just like Obama is a mouthpiece for the system, so is Bashar.

  153. OTW,

    I can scan the refusal from the bank and post the refusal from the bank if further proof is needed. Both the sending bank and receiving banks don’t branches in Syria or in any way affiliated with Syria. None of them have Syrian shareholders either.

    I suspect that the bank has to, among other things, disclose the nationality or origin of the sender or/and the recipient.

    …and they not only refused. but classified it in their records in the US. Not that I have anything to hide or worry about but it is just more dent to privacy issues and +1 for uncle Sam.

  154. Husam
    Your word is enough, I was merely asking about the technical part of it. Is it that all transactions have to go through US banks? or something like that. Mere curiosity about technicalities and not doubting your story. MY concerns are slightly similar to yours with respect to privacy and economic freedom. And furthermore, I am also very concerned with the possibility that once restrictions and sanctions are imposed on individuals who have nothing to do with the regime, it will be near impossible to lift them without long and tedious process. It is easier to ruin someones life than to rebuild it is such is recorded against them as opposed to being a blanket refusal, we really need a banker here to answer some of these questions.

  155. A new brigade with three new battalions, plus opening the door for volunteers

    a major escalation ?

  156. My brother, who is a permanent resident in the US, has an account in an investment bank here. He was informed that his account was frozen because he had an address in Syria on his paperwork. Luckily, he also holds a European passport and was able to unfreeze the account. Had he been stuck with his Syrian passport, that account would still be frozen. My other brother who only has a Syrian passport is completely screwed. When he came to visit me here in the US, he was unable to use any of his credit cards. He had to pay cash for everything. He has an account in London that was frozen. He’s had this account for over 30 years. He can not even use Western Union in Syria to send money for his Philipino house keeper.
    Bottom line, it is a mess for Syrians on the inside, but come to think of it, who really needs all this fluff other than the well to do? The rest of the population will not be affected by this, but will be affected by the lack of the basics and the rapid inflation.

  157. I also watched that little bit of the interview. It was literally painful to watch. He came across as a stupid delusional liar. For him to deny knowing anything about Kashoush or Ferzat is pathetic to say the least. If he thinks that this is a smart PR move, then I truly feel sorry for this poor imbecile.
    I do not know if I can muster the power to watch the whole think without throwing up.

  158. @Husam,
    Actually, he as an individual personality doesn’t interest me very much. I was merely bringing the subject again because every time he speaks – the web goes wild with such analyses, and I find it interesting how he gets characterized and in what form.
    Even the word “criminal” is not particularly salient to me – because it is a legal term, not a psychological term. It seems too obvious to talk about what illegal (human rights wise) actions have been taken by the authorities and the system over which he presides.
    But since NK is around I will just reiterate – my preference for applying the social psychological to the situation and offering the thought that – the leader’s way of answering and handling these questions is reflective of the whole and gives some worry. What will any “escalation” bring? these battalions are defectors – in physical terms and have made significant choices not to ‘obey’ the leadership they had, but they are still soldiers and they still born out of system that rationalizes violence in a very particular way. Are these combatants by virtue of having taken the step of “switching sides”…. changing allegiances, therefore somehow self selected to be able to resist the pull to commit human rights violations when they are up against a new target (ie their previous group)? Are they somehow different from the whole that they defected from? If so, what are those differences? an aspect of moral conscience, as we might wish to believe, or is it really a result of different identifications and bonds that have pulled them into a different group – that will simply represent a new allegiance but not different methods…. nor different standards of engagement in what would likely be a violent conflict.
    Nobody yet knows the answer to these issues.

    @NK,
    I just thought it interesting that Milgram had been mentioned for the second time on this blog in just a matter of weeks, as I had brought it up on Nov.20 when I was addressing Haytham on the “Bashar Delusional Detachment” post.
    At that time I said:
    “These historical circumstances are the product not of an individual personality – although certain a lack of imagination, intellect, leadership, and exceptional character can certainly be blamed…..Bashar is a ill equipped man embedded in a complex system and structure with no personal ability to change that structure or the strong character that would be required to challenge it or think himself out of it. He is simply incapable.

    Take your mind to social psychology instead, it is much more interesting and helpful.

    I prefer not to talk of evil. But if we must then I should ask you to turn to Hannah Arendt’s “Banality of Evil”…. her treatise on Eichmann. Not everyone will agree with her conclusions, but I am pretty sure it is what you are looking for and alluding to…. evil does not require psychopaths, sociopaths and maniacs, so to speak, it can flow from the absence of free thinking and from simply obedience to evil ideology that does the thinking for you. I recommend you set your sights in the arena of social psychology because it offers so much more to the picture of actions that are taken not in isolation in an interpersonal context …The arena we are talking about it an entire power structure and society – and in this – once can only analyze the individual’s role and response to that context…. the authoritarian context.
    It is more helpful to think about the obedience studies, beginning with the most famous – Stanley Milgram obedience studies… or the infamous Stanford prison experiments of Philip Zimbardo. These are decades old now – and much has been done on their backs….but the lessons hold true to this day…
    It takes an exceptional character NOT to commit ‘evil’ when people are embedded in an ‘evil’ system…. and when they lack that strength of character to in fact RESIST the pressure to conform to the obedience that is demanded of them – or the role that they are expected to play…. then they will in fact follow the easiest route of compliance with that ideology and structure around them.

  159. Sheila’s descriptions of her brothers’ trials with the bank account and the credit cards was also what I heard about… from a few here. Quite amazing.

  160. No Peace, obviously

    I have nothing against him as a person, a jew, etc… but when you hear the same songs and album over and over till it becomes sickening.

    Husam,

    Did you see the interview with Bashar Assad? Now THAT’S sickening. A boy crowned by his ruthless father to control millions of poor Arabs for over 40 years. Tens of thousands dead due to the Assad family’s disregard for the people they’re supposed to govern.

    So what is it with all these Arab despots? I really don’t get it. Colonel Gaddafi the King of Sun Glasses, Flowing Robes, and bombed commercial airliners and German cafes? Shotgun waving President Saddam Hussein the saviour of Kuwait known for Iraqi mass graves and the gas clouds of Halabja. And now President Bashar Assad, the western educated “resistance leader” whose family has now killed over 30000 of his own people though he isn’t really responsible for this and certainly not guilty of anything. What wonderful leaders I must say. Who else? Mubarak, the various Kings and Princes, the Presidents-for-Life, and the Iranian anti-semite.

    But, anyway, it’s good to know that none of these unfortunate personalities is preventing peace in the ME. As one participant here states, it is people like me (and the content of my post) that is at fault:

    If you read your post, you can understand why there is no peace in the Middle East.

  161. See the new post, the full text is there.
    This delusional piece of crap to the question about the cartoonist who criticized him “many people criticize me, did they kill them all?”

    What an uncivilized, uneducated, stupid, asinine and teen like, immature answer. So unless he (oops, they) obliterate and kill every single person who is critical, then he is not dictator.

    And then he tries to pontificate about the difference between dictatorship and dictators. What bugs me the most is that Barbara Walters called him highly educated and calm. Waite for the Syrian press to carry the water with these words to non end.

    This interview should have been conducted by Christiana Amanpour, if not possible, then Chris Matthews, or if not possible then Joe Scarborough.

  162. Sheila:

    The “well to do” is connected to the “not so well to do” and average person is effected in Syria. I want to send money to Syria to help my aunt who is in dire need and I am having difficulty… I have to wait until somebody that knows somebody in my city is going to Syria. Also, when small business people can’t get paid, then they can’t pay their employees… it is a domino’s effect.

    I just did not know that because a Syrian address was used when I opened the account 10 years that would be an issue in a “wire transfer” as I never saw my address on the wire document. What you said was on the money, I just got an email from my manager that a Foreign passport will do but the transfer will have to go through a europe instead of J.P. Morgan.

    I guess Chase / Morgan have to be the facilitator bank if it is in US funds even if you are using non US banks.

    The point that bugs me, is why people like your brother got screwed? Any Syrian is targeted now.

  163. Zenobia, OTW:

    With all due respect, a criminal and bozo-stupid are two different things. I don’t think ours is a stupid and a criminal at the same time. The way I see it: he is simply and cleverly covering his tracks. I don’t see him pulling the trigger on himself. He is already setting the stage for the 5% chance (in his mind), that if he ever gets tried he will keep this story in tug. Basically “I didn’t order shoot-to-kill”, and “our intelligence was that there were infiltrators and foreign invaders” and “my commanders made mistakes and lied to me, I was doing my best”.

    Whether this will fly and the circumstances around a possible trial at the Hague is what prompts him to sound delusional.

    Kill me if you will, but I do agree with him about the circus inside the U.N., sorry OTW.

  164. Thanks OTW for your confidence. I will manage for my affairs, but I hate blanket policies… it really bothered me. Iam sure the those who are well off will manage and find ways to move big amounts, but the little guy running an honest business or a family to family transfer become very difficult for them.

    I was only 8 years old when I learned the word “maf’ud” means. I never thought it would happen again in my lifetime.

  165. AP:

    I heard that song all last year. If you ever change your tune or find new lyrics that can be hummed by both Syrians & Israelis alike or you retire from your dollar-a-comment job then let me know. Otherwise, scream as loud as you want, nowadays my ears only hear SYRIA.

  166. Otherwise, scream as loud as you want, nowadays my ears only hear SYRIA.

    Husam,

    FYI, it is my policy to only comment on the situation on Syria, because I respect the purpose of this forum. However, I reserve the right to respond to posts that “veer off the subject”. I would urge forum members to stay focused on Syria or I may challenge what they have to say. To wit:

    – Posts about being arrest by Israeli security and what is “Kuffar” (Khalid Tlass above)
    – Posts about where Jews can live, the evil of a “Jewish State”, and the “honorable” Noam Chomsky (Sheila above)

    Yalla,

    What is it going to take to prevent Assad from appearing with Baba Wawa a second time?

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