Of Bombs and Fake web sites

I tend to agree with Maysaloon (the boy who cried wolf) , Robin Yassin Qassab (Now the Bombs) ,  and few others who were very rational in withholding judgement  about who was behind the recent explosions in Damascus. I find both posts to be well thought and encourage reading them both. Many have also posted and wrote about the possibility that it was the Syrian regime, using arguments that the names of the victims have not been announced (i have seen some names on FB discussions), the hurrid way of pinning the crime on Al-Qaida, the timing and the whole atmosphere of celebration of death accompanying the regime’s “see, this vindicates us”  unethical use of the dead. Notable, off course is the absence of the “it is not my army” head of the regime in the whole thing.

While I withhold judgement, I share with some 7ee6anis the notion that it is naive to exclude the possibility of an orchestrated act by the Syrian regime. It was very interesting to see that both SHEILA and I had similar responses to Joshua Landis’s article (Suicide Bombing Changes Nature of the Syrian Revolution). SHEILA writes

Dear Dr. Landis,
You said: ”I was asked by journalists today what I thought about the notion that the Syrian government planned the car bombs to provide a pretext for their increasingly violent crackdown on the opposition. It reminds me of the notion that Washington was behind the World Trade Center bombing to provide a pretext for invading Iraq. I don’t give either much credibility”.

I am a little shocked at this statement. Comparing the 9/11 conspiracy theory to the bombings in Syria is not something that an “expert” in Syria would do. The 9/11 conspiracy is very far fetched. For the US government to plan an attack on the scale of 9/11 and keep it as a secret is very near to impossible. The way the US government works makes it so. However, the way the Syrian regime works make it very plausible for it to do such things and never be exposed. The Syrian regime works and thinks like a Mafia. A group of criminals that are capable of doing anything. The regime today is under immense pressure, do you really put something like this beyond them? I am not saying it is a certainty that the regime did it, but not to give any credibility to such a claim is naïve at best. (no disrespect intended).

On 7ee6an, i wrote

 I really did not want to chime in on the explosions story. But i think that my dear friend Joshua has it wrong. To begin with the US politics, despite of all the deal making remains deliberative politics and the system works with a pile of checks and balances that would eliminate any chance of a conspiracy such as the one required for Sept 11 to be a US government made disaster.

On the other hand, the Syrian thuggish regime is a conspiratorial regime by its nature. Any one who watches the official media and its dirty sisters will recognize the cheep and stupid conspiratorial nature of this regime. The regime, being so, also views and perpetuates a conspiracy explanation of event. Equating the two is a nativity i had not expected from Joshua. I think that rationality has limits, and those limits are not dictated by how rational the person analyzing the events but by the irrationality of those making the events.

Yet, a pathetic attempt to pin the explosion of the Muslim Brothers of Syria, and by extension on the entire Syria National Council was made, exposed, and is now in tatter along, perhaps, with the sanity of a young man who worked for the regime’s propaganda.

Mr. Email K. Nasrallah, the man accused of faking the fake Ikhwan wab-site was quick to purchase privacy service for his web sites after the exposure of his relationship t the fake site (Ikhwan-sy.com) which was reported on 7ee6an first by hazrid, and then by Syrian Hamster.  All of his sites were taken off-line and the privacy shield was activated within a very short time after the story was found.  Soon afterward, regime propagandists, one them is an SC commentator, tried to peddle a technically sounding story, which links the owner of the privacy name server providing the privacy service just activated by Mr. Emile K. Nasrallah as the culprit. Hamster confronted the new fake, made a mistake in numbering the relevant SC comment, corrected it, but provided no technical details except for his usual hit and run savage attacks on the SC hypocrites as once described by our dear friend WSS.

Meanwhile, a young IT specialist, who is not connected in any way to the Ikhwan was working on the story, discovering one trace after the other and following Mr. Emile K. Nasrallah foray in the world of Syrian regime lies and deceptions. Below is the results of his work.

Why is this story extremely important. While I am no friend of MBs, but in the 1980s a series of events rocked Syria, these consisted of assassinations of Alawite intellectuals, a massacre in the military academy in Aleppo, and several explosions that resulted in many deaths and injuries. Some of these, especially the assassinations do have typical signature of the then active Ikhwan’s military wing, but some of the crucial events, such as a major explosion and the Azbakyya district of Damascus, paved the way for the regime of Hafez Assad to enact law 49, which punishes membership in Ikhawn with death, and has initiated much of the torture, executions, and very long jail terms of thousands of Syrians as described in the Novel Shell recently brought to the attention of  7ee6anis by Sheila. Many have argued that that particular explosion was in fact a Hafez’s regime false flag operation, but lacking investigative resources, and the fact that his regime continued in the regime of his criminal son, made it hard for anyone to identify truth from lies in the decades long regime’s propaganda against islamists in general, and more particularly, the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria. Then, a declaration of responsibility was issued, and most people, despite of the protestation of the Ikhwan’s leadership, believed it. Twafiq Hallaq, a well known TV anchor, who recently defected, alluded to the incident in a very sharp post on his own FB page.

Today, and 30+ years afterward, two explosions rock Damascus. Within minutes, the regime declares AlQaida as the perpetrator. This was stupid because while it may give the impression of lending credence to the regime’s story of militant groups operating in the country, the series of events leading to this accusation included a very recent lie, orchestrated with the help from the Lebanese defense minister (a HA guy) declaring that Al-Qaida has been active, moving between Lebanon and Syria in the rough terrain area of Ersal. The Syrian foreign ministry spokesman claimed that there was a formal warning from Lebanon regarding the plans of Al-Qaida to start operating in Syria, which was belied later by the Lebanese Foreign Minister. Immediately, regime propagandists had an explanation that it was Iran who has warned Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq of the upcoming wave of Al-Qaida massacres.

Notwithstanding the holes in the regime’s earlier story, it also had a fatal tactical mistake, and that was the implicit recognition that if Al-Qaida was moving into Syria, such move was inaugurated with the security buildings explosions, which fails to pin the numerous numbers of deaths that have occurred until now as being the results of militant groups and in linking the explosion to the current groups participating in the Syrian opposition . There was a need for immediate recovery and linkage to Syrian opposition. And there comes the alleged involvement of Mr. Emil K. Nasrallah.

Recently, a web site surfaced that claimed to represent Al-Ikhwan Almuslimoon of Syria (Muslim Brothers of Syria). The site (Ikhwan-sy.com) had made several claims that hinted to Ikhwan’s semi-control of the FSA and claimed Ikhwan’s responsibility for recent operations resulting in killing many soldiers and regime sympathizers. The language and tone of these declarations were modeled on printed pamphlets in the eighties, but a good examinations by experts points to inconsistencies and errors that are unlikely to be made by someone who reads Quran and Islamic texts as would someone in charge of Ikhwan’s media operations.

Lo and behold, the site described above was fast in claiming responsibility for the explosions. Off course the Ikhwan denied it, and the story told above unraveled to expose a fake site, fake media operation, and cheep lies of a murderous regime.

While a definite proof will require far more serious investigation before convicting young Mr. Nasrallah of being responsible for the Massacre, which is unlikely, but his role in the fake site is as tight as possible. All circumstantial evidence point to his role in creating the site. What is left is to discern whether he was doing it on his own initiative or by dictate from the propaganda team of the Assad regime. This will be left to those in Aleppo, but more importantly, the physical safety of this young man, whose father is an advisor to the regime’s grand mufti of  (Hassoun) and a well recognized and respected figure in Aleppo, must be assured at all costs. Needless to say, no one is accusing Mr. Emil’s father of wrong doing in this matter and no one should.

204 Comments

  1. A thought-inspiring video, about the failed 1991 Iraqi uprising. In 1991, just after the Gulf War, there was a mass uprising among the Shia majority of Iraq against Saddam. The armed revolutionaries and defected soldiers succeeded in taking Karbala City and controlled and defended it for 15 days, but were ultimately crushed by Saddam’s forces. This video has visual video recording of many events in Karbala during the Uprising

    I think this documentary is very relevant to the Syrian Uprising, especially the situation in Homs. Please watch the video Aboud, and do ur own analysis and tell how we can avoid a similar scenario and whether Besho is willing to use the same force like Saddam ( chemical weapons, Scud attacks, etc. ) Pls this is very important, ur inputs will be appreciated too OTW

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  2. OTW,

    I was not a sectarian person before 8 months, however this uprising has made me sectarian in the way it has been cold-shouldered by Syria’s minorities and Sunni secularists, and Shia regimes in countriies like Lebanonm Iran and Iraq, it made me feel that as Sunnis we are all alone and everyone wants to finish us off.

    However, in the recent days, since the last week, we have been seeing more anti-regime activity in minority areas. There have been anti-regime demos ( small ) by Christains in Homs and Al Hasakeh, the Druze in the Golan have rallied to the uprising banner, the entire Kurdish region is up in arms and the Assyrian Christians who reside in these regions have joined their Kurdish neighbours.

    The attempt by the regime to create more fear in the minoriites by those false flag ops in Kafr Souseh have been a terrible flop. On the same day, the Druze were taking out their rallies in the Golan.

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  3. Excellent post OTW, thanks for working on Christmas day on that.

    Khalid, the editor of al Quds always struck me as being a dour and pessimistic guy. He is drawing on his own experience from the Palestinian uprising.

    Frankly it’s impossible for someone in London to accurately measure the mood of people in Homs. I can measure it to a micro millimeter. And this is the last time I will say this, so please don’t waste my time by asking me the same question you’ve been asking for months now; people in Homs will *never* stop demonstrating. Even after the regime has fallen, Homs will be the country’s beating heart, Syria’s shinning beacon of democracy and freedom.

    Some Syrians have yet to make the effort to win their freedom. In Homs, we have already won it, and we are now fighting to keep it.

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  4. Dear Khaled,
    I urge you to read Yassin Haj Slaih’s new article in Alhayat, it is the best description of what is happening in Syria. As much as I hate cut and paste. This is a gem of an article from the only writer who ever participated in demonstrations and is currently living in hiding. Read it twice, three, or four times. I find new things in it every time I read it.

    ياسين الحاج صالح – الفاشية السورية و حربها ضد العامة
    by The Syrian Library | المكتبة السورية on Sunday, December 25, 2011 at 12:12am

    من يُقتَلون في سورية اليوم ومنذ تسعة شهور هم من العامة، الأكثر فقراً والأدنى حماية. هذا ما يوحِّدهم وراء أية فوارق ممكنة. ومن يُعطون الأوامر بالقتل ويخططون للقضاء على تمرد الفقراء هم أغنياء وأصحاب امتيازات، ومسلحون تسليحاً هائلاً. هذا ما يجمعهم، وما يحرِّكهم في مشروع القتل الجماعي للمحكومين الثائرين.

    كثير من أدوات القتل التي يستخدمها الأغنياء هم فقراء، بمن فيهم أكثر «الشبيحة»، يقتلون فقراء مثلهم، ويحصل أن يُقتَل بعضهم في مواجهة أشباههم. لكن الأكيد أن ليس بين المقتولين أغنياء مُنعمون. هؤلاء محصنون بأسلحتهم المتفوقة، وبأموالهم الوفيرة، وبسور من الفقراء يفتدونهم «بالروح والدم»، وبامتلاكهم للدولة. لا شيء في المقابل يحمي عموم السكان في سورية: لا قضاء، ولا سلاح، ولا مال؛ ولا أخلاق حاكمين لا أخلاق لهم. ليس لهم غير تضامنهم، وقد أظهروا أشكالاً رائعة منه؛ وليس لهم غير الله، واللجوء السياسي إليه يسجل اتساعاً لا جدال فيه.

    لكن ليس العنف المنفلت من كل عقال هو وحده ما مارسته طغمة الأغنياء الحاكمين ضد عموم المحكومين؛ بل بخاصة الكراهية. رأى كل مهتم أمثلة مريعة عنها: الدوس على قرويين عزّل، اللعب برأس رجل مسن بأحذية العساكر، الأشكال الفظيعة من التعذيب والإذلال كتلك التي تكلم عليها تقرير لجنة حقوق الإنسان التابعة للأمم المتحدة قبل أكثر من شهر، ومن هذه اغتصاب أطفال (في حالة واحدة على الأقل جرى ذلك أمام عيني الأب، وفي حالة أخرى تعاقب ثلاثة من سفاحي الاستخبارات على اغتصاب طفل عمره 11 عاماً)، إطفاء السجائر في مؤخرات بعض المعتقلين، والخوزقة بأجسام خشنة؛ ومنها أيضاً إجبار الأعداء المفترضين على إعلان أن لا إله إلا بشـار وأخوه. وهذا الأخير أكثر من تعبير أقصى عن الكراهية، هو بالفعل قطع رأس معنوي لمن أُكرِهوا عليه.
    والدلالة نفسها للشتم المفرط في الإقذاع الذي تمرس فيه أسافل عناصر الأمن في سورية (ولا يبدو أن بينهم غير الأسافل) ضد جميع من يقعون بأيديهم، وهو شتم لا يبدأ من الأم والأخت ولا ينتهي عند الدين.

    والدلالة نفسها أيضاً لتفرغ وسائل الإعلام السورية، العامة و «المستقلة»، طوال أكثر من تسعة شهور للتحريض على الثورة وإشاعة كل أنوع الأكاذيب، وتعبئة الموالين للنظام ضد الثائرين وشحنهم بالكراهية والبغض لهم، وإطلاق عبارات من نوع رعاع وحثالة وجهلة ومتخلفين ومتعصبين وسلفيين وإرهابيين عليهم، مع انخفاض شديد في عتبة التلميحات الطائفية في وسائل الإعلام العامة، التي يموّلها عموم السوريين.

    الغرض من حملات الكراهية والتحريض هذه هو خفض الحواجز الأخلاقية والمعنوية التي تحمي حياة عموم الثائرين وبيئاتهم الاجتماعية، وتالياً تسهيل قتلهم. فحياة الرعاع والمتعصبين والجهلة ليست مهمة، أو أقل قيمة من حياة الأكابر، «المنفتحين» و «المثقفين»، الذين يحكمون البلد ويملكونه، ويُعرّفونه. وما يوسع الشقة بين الطرفين أن الأخيرين هم التجسد الصافي للوطنية، فوق اتصافهم بالحكمة النادرة والعبقرية الفذة والكمال الذي لا تشوبه شائبة. ولذلك، فإن الشيء العادل والصحيح هو حمايتهم، وقتل الرعاع والجهلة الذين يثورون عليهم.

    لعل المفهوم المناسب لتوحيد ظواهر القتل الواسع النطاق للأفقر والأدنى حماية، وحملات الكراهية التي تشنها طغمة من الأغنياء المسلحين على قطاعات واسعة من السكان، هو الفاشية، بالدلالة التي حازها المفهوم في السبعينات والثمانينات من القرن الماضي في أميركا اللاتينية. الفاشية هنا نمط لممارسة السلطة، موجه نحو حماية كبار المالكين وأصحاب الامتيازات، مع وحشية لا حدود لها في التعامل مع الضعفاء، ومع توسع بلا ضفاف في قتل الناشطين السياسيين واعتقالهم وتعذيبهم.
    لقد سبق أن عرفت بلدان مثل البرازيل والأرجنتين والأورغواي والتشيلي والسلفادور مثل هذه الحكومات القاتلة. لكن للفاشية السورية خصوصيات تميزها عن الفاشيات الأميركية اللاتينية قبل حين.

    أولاً، كانت هذه مدعومة من الولايات المتحدة ومندرجة في منطق الحرب الباردة، وخصت بالوطأة الأقسى لوحشيتها اليساريين ومن اعتبرتهم عملاء للشيوعية. الفاشية السورية ليست مندرجة في منطق الحرب الباردة، وحملاتها للتخوين والتحريض تنسب بالأحرى معارضي النظام إلى مؤامرة دولية كبرى، تقودها أميركا. تستفيد في هذا الشأن من توجس عريق في الثقافة والسيكولوجية العربية حيال الغرب، لكن النظام السوري اجتهد كثيراً على تغذيته وتحويله إلى بارانويا حادة، تسهيلاً لعزل محكوميه عن العالم، وتسليماً بأوضاع لم يكد يبقى ما يشبهها في العالم.

    ثانياً، يمتزج المضمون الطبقي للفاشية السورية ببعد طائفي. وبينما تخاطب تعابير مثل متعصبين وجهلة ومتخلفين وسلفيين حساسيات طائفية، فإن مضمونها الطبقي أقوى في الواقع. يتعلق الأمر بازدراء شبه عنصري للقطاعات الاجتماعية الأكثر حرماناً والأضعف حماية، والتي تعيش حصراً من عملها، وتسكن في الضواحي والأحياء المتدهورة. وتلعب الإيديولوجيا الحداثية هنا دوراً مهماً في تغذية الالتباس بين الطائفي والطبقي، وإضفاء شرعية «حضارية» على التمييز الطبقي. والنقطة المهمة في الإيديولوجيا الحداثية أنها موجهة بصورة حصرية ضد «الأصولية» و «الظلامية» الإسلاميتين، بينما يقع الطغيان والفساد والطائفية على النقطة العمياء في عينها. وهذا ما يجعلها مناسبة جداً لأغراض الفاشية السورية والإيديولوجيين السائرين في ركابها. ويزيد من ملاءمتها أن قضايا القيم، الحرية والعدالة والمساواة والكرامة والإنسانية، غريبة عليها بدورها.

    وفي المقام الثالث، ربما تختلف الفاشية السورية اليوم عن الفاشيات الأميركية اللاتينية في أن الأغنياء وأصحاب الامتيازات السوريين يدينون بثرواتهم ومكانتهم بصورة شبه حصرية لـ «النظام»، فليسوا بأصحاب ملكيات تقليديين، ولا هم مصنّعون مرتبطون بشركات متعددة الجنسية، ولذلك لا وزن ذاتياً لهم من غير النظام. ولذلك ارتباطهم بالنظام مصيري. وبينما قد يكون كبار أصحاب الملكيات الزراعية وصناعيون مرتبطون بالسوق الدولية هم القاعدة النوعية للفاشيات الأميركية اللاتينية، فإن القاعدة الخاصة بالفاشية السورية هي «النظام» ذاته، أي النواة السياسية الأمنية التي تدير آلة القتل اليوم. و«القاعدة المادية» للنظام هي امتلاك «السلطة العمومية».

    بعبارة أخرى، أساس الفاشية لدينا هو «السلطة» (الثروة تتبعها)، فيما أساس الفاشية في أميركا اللاتينية هو «الثروة» (السلطة هي التابعة). وربما لذلك، فإن الثورة لدينا موجهة أولاً ضد نمط ممارسة السلطة، على نحو ربما يتكثف في شعار «الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام». في أميركا اللاتينية المحتوى الاجتماعي أقوى، وهو ما تأكد كظاهرة لافتة مع صعود اليسار الاجتماعي في بضع السنوات الأخيرة.

    لكن الفاشية هي الــــفاشـية هنا وهناك: حرب الطغمة الثرية المسلحة ضد العامة الثائرة.

    ———
    ياسين الحاح صالح
    كاتب و معارض سوري
    دار الحياة اللندنية
    الاحد 25 / 12 / 2011

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  5. Thanks Aboud, the funny thing is that we are supposed to support you and keep you going, but reality is that you are keeping many on 7ee6an going. History will remember you and your town. This revolution brought every single revolting town and victim town into the conscious of Syrians everywhere. We now know our country of origin in ways we never did before.

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  6. Great article OTW.

    Something people should be aware of. The Syrian people do not need the international community to get rid of the regime. If by sanctions and international isolation, junior can be convinced to step down and save countless of lives, then all the better.

    But if the international community shows itself to be impotent, then the Syrian people will naturally take a more militant approach. And there is no way on Earth that 30% of the population can win a civil war against the other 70%.

    Such a scenario will, however, cost countless of lives, has the potential to drag in neighboring countries, and will result in a Syria that will for all intents and purposes be unrecognizable. Regional powers are acutely aware of this, hence the international efforts underway to find a solution.

    The success of the AL’s initiative will save lives, preserve much of the institutions worth preserving, and would cut down on the time needed to remove the regime. But the time being given to the AL is being bought at the tragic cost to Syrian lives. Everyday that the AL waffles, means more lost souls in Syria.

    Despite Landis’s ridiculous analysis, we are not at that point yet. But there is only so much a people will take before taking matters wholly into their own hands. The Syrian people have been astonishingly brave and patient, and no one on Earth can blame them when their patience finally runs out, waiting for the Alawites, Russians and Iranians to finally see the light.

    The AL’s initiative isn’t there to save the Syrian people. It is there to save the region from the fallout of a Syrian civil war. It is Besho’s one last chance to preserve a little something for his supporters. I won’t even lie and pretend that junior can save himself anymore. At least he can think of the well being of his community, and stop using them as expendable pawns.

    And I look forward to the day when the Alawites in general wake up and stop allowing themselves to be used as pawns.

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  7. OTW

    “History will remember you and your town”

    Haha, I know sometimes I talk as if Baba Amr took on the regime all by itself. But this will go down as the most democratic revolution in the history of revolutions. The street demonstrations gave birth to the political leadership, and is leading them, rather than the other way around. Not a single town or village has been unaffected by events in the country.

    And yes, that includes Qurdaha. I’ve learned alot these past few weeks, and I feel for them. You would have thought that the regime’s security presence there would be to protect its residents.

    Not the case. People in Qurdaha are the most closely monitored and watched community in all of Syria. They are living in a mental prison far more controlling and tighter than any physical one. In Homs and other parts of the country, we can speak our minds to a very large degree, especially with friends. In Qurdaha, every second neighbor is a spy, every movement is watched, every coming and going and telephone call scrutinized.

    When I speak ill of Besho’s women folks on my mobile, I know the chances are very much against my line being tapped. Alas, people in Qurdaha can’t even whisper what they think.

    Frankly, I think they will be happier than Baba Amr when the regime falls.

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  8. My reaction on SC was all about the unknown. I still do not know who exploded the two cargos in Damascus. If SANA said ‘this operation bears the marks of “Al-Qaeda,”‘ or blueprints or whatever the first SANA phrase was, then I give it a maybe.

    But first, examine the official SANA line direct, examine the wording and the claims.

    Al-Qaeda is in SANAese not the same kind of weasel phrase as “armed terrorist group.” Al-Qaeda is a placeholder term for the ultimate boogeyman. In this instance, then, to say that the explosions bore the marks/seemed made on the same blueprint as Ultimate Boogeyman (UB) may simply mean ‘islamicist terrorists’ or ‘Islamic Terrorists.;

    I give this a maybe, a definite maybe. Damascus has been bombed by this boogeyman before, all the way back to 2004. But I want to hear more from SANA, more detail. The same UB terrorist group that blew up USA assets in 2001? The Bali bombing in 2002? The same as the one who exploded Damascus in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009?

    Not in 2004. SANA said it was “isolated extremist fundamentalist group” that bombed a disused UN building and were shot in ensuing gun battle. SANA laid out that plot with names, and connected it to a robbery, and arrested collaborators …

    In 2006 in two separate incidents in June and September, less information came via SANA, an attack by a ten-man cell in Umayyad Square, of which the captured nothing is known today, but at the time were featured by SANA as possibly inspired by underground “Abu al-Qaqa” CDs (though not noted was any role of Syria in Iraq-bound Islamic insurgents operating againsts US forces). By September when a major truck bomb reached the US Embassy (lesser grenade and carbomb attack and shoot-out killed four), the SANA story was that these were named local Syrians with no ties to Al-Qaeda, but radicalized in Saudi …

    In 2008, a head-rest car bomb blew up Imad Moughniyah, and the list of suspects still haunts SANA and Syrian security. At the time, the Israelis were officially deemed responsible.

    Later, 17 died when a reported 440 lbs of explosive detonated 100 metres from the Palestine branch of Military Security in September. SANA initially reported official DNA tests to identify the attacker and that several people were detained from a “Muslim extremist group” of uncertain origin. By November SANA could air confessions fingering the Fatah al-Islam group of Lebanon, IDing the dead bomber as a Saudi,

    So, by the time 2009 rolled around, one might say that the Islamicist extremist terror was a definite part of the SANA explanation for explosions in Damascus, even if the name al-Qaeda was only alluded to as ‘inspired by’ the organization’s avowed or proven operations elsewhere. Elsewhere, in 2009, was next door in Iraq.

    Meanwhile, Damascus 2009 again was rocked by a big detonation at a gas station. That was officially ruled out as Islamist Terror by SANA sources at the time.

    Which brings us to what we know about these latest two blasts. SANA reports each was about 300 lbs, and that is about it.

    No diagrams, timeline, no explanations of blast zone, no breakdown of casualties by name/age/ID/status as bystander, employee, security customer, guard, clerk or ranking officer, no phone numbers for those fearful to check the IDs of the unknown victims. No ID for the suspect. Nothing that suggests a serious investigation is underway. Under the Syrian cloak of SANA goes the actual story, and the regime pretends it has control of all the narratives.

    I said this over at SC:

    President Assad has brought this sombre, fearful, horrified Holiday Birth upon his country. May he pray or not, listen to holy advice or not, may he please have mercy, may he show pity on his subjects, may he still the guns of the regime and step away from the apex of dictatorial power.

    Troops to the barracks, torture rooms disbanded, tanks to the depots. Detainees to justice and to freedom. Demonstrators free to express their needs and demands without facing guns, beatings, threats or detention.

    My only hopes today are for the Arab League to insert itself as the seed of peace between the out-of-control repression of the regime, and the militant hostility of the opposition. May they be brave and effective …

    Damascus has been hit with two enormous explosions and resultant heightened terror and foreboding. These explosions must not be repeated. Investigate this crime and expose its planners lest it happen again in the near future.

    To the authors of the explosions: Why? What possible benefit can these gouts of blood give to Syria? Who have you harmed and who have you aided with the bags of flesh thrown under the cloak?

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  9. خطاب رئيس المجلس الوطني الدكتور برهان غليون الى الشعب السوري بمناسبة عيد الميلاد 24 12 201

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  10. the Syrian people will naturally take a more militant approach. And there is no way on Earth that 30% of the population can win a civil war against the other 70%

    except that… you don’t have the 70% at this point and events are not adding enough people to those willing to join a movement. The militarization may protect part of the population while actually detracting from building a political movement of 70% or more.

    And additionally, to “win” in a civil war, is not really to win necessarily in terms of having a civil country. You could win a war without gaining a country. In fact, one is more likely to lose a country by winning a civil “war”. It would be better to win a civil peace or a civil society.

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  11. I have been quite intrigued by the concept of “suicide bombers” in Syria. I have been thinking about this phenomenon that epitomizes despair to the point where someone is willing to sacrifice his or her own life to inflict harm on the enemy who is usually far stronger to be faced in a fair battle. But isn’t this precisely what Syrians are doing everyday? Every Syrian participating in demonstrations is suicidal: he leaves his house knowing that he might never return, he is out to inflict harm on the enemy who is far stronger and he is truly in despair of this life with neither freedom, nor dignity. The only difference is that he is not using explosives, rather sheer determination and hope that by disrupting the economy, the regime will collapse. So what can we call the demonstrators in Syria: suicidal hopefuls?

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  12. Dear OTW,
    I read the article that you posted written by Haj Saleh and I tend to disagree with him. The revolution in Syria is not the uprising of the poor, rather the uprising of the people who lost their dignity and hope and that includes many in the middle and upper classes. Of course the death toll is going to be overwhelmingly from the poor, but then again, Syrians are overwhelmingly poor. Look at us on this blog. We are mostly of solid middle or upper middle classes in Syria, yet we are putting all this effort to help the revolution. If I were in Syria, I would have been among the protesters. I am sure many of us here would do the same.
    I just do not see the social class warfare dimension to this revolution that he is asserting. I see warfare between those benefiting from the regime and those oppressed by the regime. Warfare between those benefiting from the status quo and those desperately seeking change.

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  13. Zenobia

    “It would be better to win a civil peace or a civil society.”

    And it would have been more preferable to have had Besho bolt after the first wide spread demonstrations. Or to have his supporters turn him out after his first speech. Or to have had Russia play a constructive role instead of providing diplomatic cover for the regime.

    Alas, in the real world, things didn’t turn out so rosy. The regime will willingly murder a million demonstrators in order to stay in power. A civil movement only works if there is a limit to how bloody your opponent is willing to be, if there is some sort of moral or pratical restraining influence on them. As we have seen, there is none. You could get together a five million person demo and march it towards Damascus, the regime will just turn its T-72s against it.

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  14. It is disappointing to see that our initial hopes that Russia had modified its position with regards to Syria, had in fact turned out to have been based on naive wishful thinking. As soon as the AL’s delegation arrived in Syria, Russia removed an important paragraph in its resolution, the part about condemning the disproportionate use of force by the regime.

    The Russians called this an armed uprising from day one. Apparently, there were alot of weapons waiting in the pipeline to be delivered to the regime over the past few months.

    Frankly, I don’t see what good will come of referring the issue to the security council, unless the move is matched by Arab pressure on the Russians.

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  15. Dear Zenobia,
    I completely agree with your assessment of what civil war would bring to the people of Syria or for that matter, any people, however, what options to you see us having at this point? It seems that the regime is hanging on and will continue to do so for the basic reason that it views this battle as a battle for life or death. Bar a coup d’état or a major defection by the army, this country is heading for a civil war. No one, it seems, is willing to interfere in a meaningful way and I do not blame them. It is a very messy affair. I do hope and pray that we will not get to the civil war stage. As you said: everyone ends up a loser.

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  16. And there is no way on Earth that 30% of the population can win a civil war against the other 70%

    How does anyone know what percentage of the Syrian people are with the opposition, with the current Baathist regime, or undecided?

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  17. To all,
    I just read this on sooryoon.net. To those who do not read Arabic, it says:
    From Google Earth: the cars that exploded in Damascus entered those buildings 4 days before the explosions happened.
    ذكرت صفحة الشعب الأردني مع الثورة السورية على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي ” الفيس بوك” بأن أحد العاملين في غوغل إيرث أفاد إن جميع ما يحصل في سورية يتم تصويره عبر الأقمار الاصطناعية وبشكل مستمر، وبشأن السيارات التي تفجرت في مبان أمنية بدمشق بأنه بعد أن تم مراجعة شريط التصوير بالكامل للمنطقة المستهدفة وتبين أنها كانت قبل أربعة أيام قد دخلت تلك المجمعات ولم تأت من خارجها..
    وقد دعا عضو المكتب التنفيذي في المجلس الوطني السوري سمير النشار إلى تحقيق دولي في التفجيرات التي وقعت في دمشق، وشكك النشار في قدرة الجامعة والمراقبين في إمكانية وقوفها على الحقائق في سورية، ورغم كل المجازر التي تقع في حمص لا يوجد أي واحد في بابا عمرو ولذا نطالب بكل الجرائم التي وقعت في دمشق وغيره والتي تسبب فيها النظام والتي يسعى إلى إلصاقها بالقاعدة وغيرها..
    ودعا النشار إلى رفع الملف السوري إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي من أجل توفير حماية دولية للمدنيين في سورية .

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  18. Dear Akbar Palace,
    Anyone of us who grew up in Syria is more than confident that at least 70% of the population is against the regime. I would venture to say that it is a lot more because if you ask the people that are pro-regime if they like it, the majority will tell you that they do not like the regime but they do not want chaos, thus, they are not really pro-regime, they are pro-stability. No one and I mean no one in Syria likes this regime except the very close to it and those number in the thousands.

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  19. You keep speaking in the past tense as if everything has happened already. But in fact – we are just at the beginning to my mind.
    Nothing is determined yet – except that eventually, one day, this gov will fall. but in what way and what the aftermath will be has not yet been determined.
    One can say that it is too bad it did not begin in a different way, but there are still choices to be made by people and not everything is set. There are different degrees of what will be. I don’t think the response of the authorities has determined the ultimate form or stance of the opposition or the street.

    You could get together a five million person demo and march it towards Damascus, the regime will just turn its T-72s against it.

    I disagree. Yes, the ruthlessness of the authority makes a difference in terms of how long things take. But I think there is in fact a critical mass that is capable of overthrowing even the most ruthless power. If a structure rots out from the inside.. through enormous pressures… even if it still has no conscience – it could cease to function to the point where even it is incapable of orchestrating violence in a successful way. Therefore – it is a matter of gaining that critical mass that must include internal middle and upper classes in the two capitals who are willing to challenge the status quo. Secondly, actual persons part of the structure of the gov have to start defecting and disobeying.
    This is a process. A rather long process, yes. But on the other hand….I think this is going to be a long process anyways….so it could be a long civil process or a long bloody process. People have to choose the course. It is not about compromise so much as restraint and strategy and planning, as opposed to reacting and being reckless and short sighted.

    In the same vein and re: Sheila’s comment – about a class stratification analysis, I have thought for the duration that this is a class struggle in addition to everything else. The external opposition is undoubtedly middle and upper class, however internally – these are the lower classes (and yes, in many ways average poor of Syria) who are in the outer cities who are taking the brunt of the reprisal and being the initiators. Homs is sort of an entity unto itself in terms of demographics and is particularly interesting for this reason. It seems to encompass all the varying groups likely to revolt at once. Of course the entire analysis is much more complex – but especially in the first Part I of the Crisis Group report from this summer – it brings together all of these coalescing factors into the picture in great detail. This includes both an bread uprising and a dignity uprising and all the timely issues leading up. To be successful – the entire ‘revolutionary’ project would necessarily have to bring these many motivations to join together that unites varying parts of the population who begin holding rather separate primary grievances.

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  20. AP

    “How does anyone know what percentage of the Syrian people are with the opposition, with the current Baathist regime, or undecided?”

    My left toe took a poll.

    Haha, Ok, seriously, a very valid question. So far the regime, Iran and Hizbollah have treated events in Syria as part and parcel of a wider Sunni versus Shia war. Someone explain to me how is it, that not one single Hizbollah member has come out and spoken out against the regime’s atrocities. To Hizbollah, sectarian concerns trumps everything else. The actions of these groups will make a wider sectarian war a self fulfilling prophecy. When the regime continues to take the default position that every non Alawite is automatically an enemy, or a potential traitor, then by its own actions, it forces a people who might otherwise have stayed out of events, to take action to defend their existence.

    But let’s say that 70% of the population are not against the regime. Let’s say just 50% are. Hell, let’s assume that junior has, through the past 11 years of incompetent rule, managed to achieve the unachievable in a modern democratic system, and has 80% of the population willing to go to war and kill for him….well then, that would make me a member of a minority. A persecuted minority.

    And if the state will not protect me, and society at large refuses to lift a finger to prevent my persecution, then I have every right to defend my life, and the lives of my loved ones, by any means necessary.

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  21. @Akbar,
    I am not speaking of what is in people’s heart necessarily. I am speaking of who inside Syria is willing to literally challenge the current circumstance – verbally in public and physically, or by disrupting their role in society or through collective action.
    so – there might be 70%, maybe – in terms of internal thought, but not in action. And I am not sure even in terms of internal thought. That is very very hard to know, as you would say. I can only guess by percentages of the breakdown of even the members of families that I know or ask about. It is very split.
    But again this is muddied by what you ask… say if we were taking a poll. I think well OVER 70% think the government is shite, so to speak. but far less than that are willing to abandon the president. And far less are willing to say they are full on in favor of a revolution. And generally – I think a great many people are just ambivalent or confused about reality. And also – we clearly are far below 70% willing to risk their own life to change things. So… these are complex details.
    but without that number… being really high…WHO can talk about ‘fighting’ a “civil war”… … most are sitting on the side lines watching in horror. They are not going to pick up a gun and fight a war!

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  22. Dear Sheila,
    While I agree with you about us 7ee6anis, we are not the true representatives of the upper middle class of Syria, which remains largely outside the uprising with the exception of few brave souls who are putting their money where they could not put their souls. We are immigrants, who lived most of our productive life in countries where the values you are talking about are cherished and protected. But if you look at the places where the uprising has taken hold, you will find that Yassin’s description fits really well. But again, the fascists on Syria comment are also similar in that regards.

    That said, i think Yassin Haj Salih agrees with your statement regarding the social class dimension in his last paragraph. His assertion than in Syria in its power–> money as opposed to South America, where it was money-> power explains the absence of the social dimension of the Syrian revolution. The wealthy (neo-wealth) are the ones who depend on the regime, on its economic maladies, and on its repressive corrupt tools in order to maintain their ability to generate their life-style. Yassin however, is very perceptive in finding the motivation for the excessive violence and barbaric behavior, which aims at obliterating any ethical guards standing between the regime’s instrument of murder (also the poor) towards continuing suppression of their kin.

    Also the mixture of the modernity ideological constructs, which puts the regime’s side as the “enlightened” “secular” fighting the dark forces of “Salafi Islamism” and “sectarian” minded people, is another reason for the lack of clear social-class dimension, but it hides the social-class dimension. That off course is not arguing that the Syrian revolution is a socialist or communist revolution. Actually, it is a truly democratic revolution of people against the fascist regime, which allies power and money against the people, mostly poor. The middle class can be a victim, but the worst is saved for the poor. Speaking of this fascist interpretation of “modernity”, you yourself were targeted yesterday with that sick tactic aiming first to paint you and everyone who dared criticized the fascists of Syria comment as “un-enlightened” “backward”, hence removing any ethical guard against someone like the pathetic SNK using vulgar language with all of us, and someone like. Look at the way to address TARA, this is fascism, pure and simple. Needless to say, reading Bassam Alqadi and others of Jad’s favorites shows how fascism reeks out of the regime’s defenders.

    At the same time, I am comforted with the absence of ideological underpinning for the revolution and of the fact that it is not calling for wealth redistribution, but for accountability and for freedom. All ideological revolutions of the 20th century ended up in disasters. The people have exposed the fascist nature of the regime and its base and thus refused to partake in its charade of election and constitutional changes which aim at preserving the power structure.

    The Assadian Fascism will be taught in political science schools. It brutality comes from the fact that those who support it need it for their survival as opposed to it needing them for its survival. As such, with the ability of the mafia family to murder even its closest servants, it holds an unimaginable power. The deification of the fool and his father are not mere propaganda, they serve to create an authority that replaces the authorities of normal ethical and moral barriers. I agree with you that everyone is their potential victim, but the poor are those who carry the biggest cross and who wear the thorn crown. Most of us carry our cross by our choice, but the poor are forced to carry it or to murder who does.

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  23. I think the critical problem is that being “against the regime” does not necessarily equate with ‘FOR’ the “revolution” at this point!!!
    I have heard countless people on the internet and many in my family and elsewhere who in one breath say how much they are against the regime….but they are against the revolution or the people they view as uprising internally as well!!!
    Or they are against the regime but they believe in external conspiracies and fear them even more.. and are even more paranoid about other dangers….so they are not in favor of overthrowing the regime on the path that is now unfolding.

    From these nuances you can realize what a serious problem there is psychologically and politically.
    but my primary fear and concern is that one cannot resolve this confusion by armed opposition, because the ambivalence that is there now will not necessarily fall to the revolution. In fact, I think there is a good chance that those who are on the fence will become more scared and retreat (as many are now) to the presumed safety of the current power structure.
    Sad but true.

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  24. Zenobia

    “You keep speaking in the past tense as if everything has happened already”

    Yes, I see your point. The thing is the regime, from day one, saw the revolution as a war to be fought in terms of tanks, helicopters, indiscriminate punishment of entire cities, with “success” being how much of a body count it could rake up. It treated each and every demonstrator as an enemy combatant.

    “I don’t think the response of the authorities has determined the ultimate form or stance of the opposition or the street”

    Every once in a while, someone on this blog writes something very profound that makes one stop and reconsider. Most of the time, that person is me (haha, joking). You are of course, correct, part of me has allowed the regime’s actions to dictate the manner of my response.

    But the other part knows that the approach I’m speaking of has bought results. There would have been nothing to gain at all from completely eschewing arms to defend certain neighborhoods, the demonstrations and to provide a safe haven for defectors. We would not have gained additional sympathy from the world or those Syrian communities still on the sidelines, if a few thousand defectors from the army hadn’t formed the FSA. But you have my word that Homs would have been crushed were it not for those crucial few thousand.

    “But I think there is in fact a critical mass that is capable of overthrowing even the most ruthless power”

    That was the theory behind a peaceful movement. It worked in Tunisia and Egypt. But for the grace of NATO the revolution would have failed in Libya. It is my belief that enough time and misery has passed, to decisively prove that even if a vast majority of the country hated, with every bone in their body, what the regime was doing, they would be powerless to do anything about it.

    “I think this is going to be a long process anyways….so it could be a long civil process or a long bloody process”

    Then it’s a race against time; betting that there will still be any of the opposition left alive, out of jail, or in exile, by the time…what exactly? What is it that’s supposed to happen? The closet 50 people to junior send him packing on a plane? Or the shabiha all melt away? Or that the army of its own accord defects in sufficient numbers? Give me a safe haven, and I guarantee you that Besho won’t have 50,000 troops left within a month.

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  25. Can anyone confirm what sooryoon.net wrote about Google earth and the explosions in Damascus? If true, this would be by far the worst embarrassment for this regime. It will expose it for what it truly is and make anything it does or says suspect.

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  26. Google Earth does not own or operate satellites and have no way of knowing if Syria is being monitored 24/7 at such high temporal and spatial resolution, enough to capture a car over 4 days continuously and determine that the car entered bu never left. Unless the car was parked in the same spot for 4 days where the satellite can capture it once or twice a day max there is no way for google earth to know.

    Google either buys images from private companies operating very high resolution satellites or use what is in the public domain from NASA and other space agencies. Buying means that they order certain satellites to obtain images in areas that they could not find in libraries, and satellites can then be programmed to obtain these images.

    However, if multiple satellites are used, and/or advanced military and spy satellites are used, then there may be a chance to capture an image every 2 to 3 hours. Problem is clouds and night time distinction between IR signatures of idle cars.

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  27. Dear Sheila:

    “If I were in Syria, I would have been among the protesters. I am sure many of us here would do the same.”

    Not so. Many in the west are liquidating assets they have/had there to locals. I have some family or are back and forth to Syria and none are taking any action accept helping with money. In Syria, only my “not so well-off” family is demonstrating and that is – playing it safe. The majority of my family belong to the as you put it “solidly middle-upper class” and none of them are taking part. Call us/them cowards, but that is the truth. Damascene families are still petrified of the regime and they are too busy shielding the families and their wealth.

    Those that hold passports have sent their families abroad. There are few brave rich ones on the street, but you can count them on your fingers.

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  28. I find it sooo one-sided here sometimes, that we are not even capable of entertaining even a mere 1% chance that infiltrators may have done these bombings. Why do we have to be sooo far left. When I brought up Belhadj reporting that he may have met with FSA, no one bothered checking it out.

    Has anyone heard of photographer Daniel Iriarte. This Spanish journalist working for ABC is with FSA daily in the north of the country.

    Iriarte is pro-revolution and totally against the Assad regime. He says that he was shocked when he came across 3 Libyans in the border town with Turkey, one of them was none other than AlQaeda-NATO buddies and #2 man Mahdi Al Harati of the Tripoli Military Council.”

    “How can it be explained that a daily newspaper as anti-Assad as ABC has decided to publish the testimony of its special envoy, who sheds light on the nauseating methods employed by NATO and confirms the Syrian government’s thesis of armed destabilization?”

    You guys should consider reading this article fully by Voltairnet.org with footnotes.

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  29. “that we are not even capable of entertaining even a mere 1% chance that infiltrators may have done these bombings”

    Because doing so would go against logic, common sense, and intelligent analysis, and things we know to be humanly impossible. It’s like asking us to entertain the 1% possibility that the Sun rises from the West, or that Tripoli is actually Homs, or that Al Bayda is actually northern Iraq. I tend to be one sided towards sanity myself. I really don’t need to entertain 1% notions of something that’s absolutely impossible. It’s enough that we have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the so called Muslim Brotherhood claims of responsibility was a stupid and clumsy fraud.

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  30. mmm. don’t bite that….. let it go.

    Ditto completely Husam’s comment at 2:19. I have same type of account.

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  31. I still haven’t seen a map of the blast sites that fixes them in place. The best I can do is point to the general area.

    Google Map

    Who knows more about this area of Kafr Sousah? I believe I saw somewhere in the past six months a map of security headquarters in Damascus — can anyone recall such a map or list of addresses?

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  32. Dear Sheila:

    During my visit to Tunisia, I met many Syrian intellectuals who left the country after the revolution started. All of them agreed that the revolution is not a revolution of poor people as much as a revolution of people claiming dignity.

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  33. Aboud,

    “Because doing so would go against logic, common sense, and intelligent analysis, and things we know to be humanly impossible. It’s like asking us to entertain the 1% possibility that the Sun rises from the West”

    I don’t want to get into another feud with you. But does it ever occur to you that not everyone has the same logic, common sense and your incredible IQ? Please don’t speak on behalf of everyone here (“us”). I know it is difficult for you when someone sees things even slightly different than you.

    I happen to see things differently, if that is okay. It is NOT humanly impossible for infiltrators to go into Syria and almost every single person I talked to that is pro-revolution thinks so as well.

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  34. Aboud, do you think Iriarte is lying and his account of seeing ex-alqaeda libyans on the border false?

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  35. Dear 7ee6anis

    Before anyone gets into another fight that brings up the number of hits sky high**, i want to mention that while the issue of infiltrators being behind the car bombs sounds very remote, the presence of Libyan Jihadis around and their attempts to get involved has a reasonable probability based on past behavior. I could not read the article (Husam, can you kindly provide the link again, for some reason it did was ripped off from the comment). After all, it is what they do and for many of them settling in an office is not the thing that kicks them into action. These guys need conflict and thrive on it. It was something well understood by fool jr. and his henchmen during the US occupation of Iraq, where they made Syria a base and transit point for Jihadis from North Africa and other countries wanting to go to Iraq. Some of the regime mouthpieces now boast that they (betho’s gang) cut the US head off in Iraq and thus they will now survive this new US conspiracy against Syria, which lend credence to the accusation that they were behind the mayhem in Iraq.

    But I digress. The point is that International Jihadis are likely to try to get involved in the Syrian revolution, especially Libyan Jihadis who have major grudge against betho given the accusation that he was helping their dictator. We should be aware of that and guard against allowing them to get involved.

    ———————————————————————

    **BTW, on Dec 5, the last time we had a fight on 7ee6an, traffic reached record number. One day I will show the figures. The spike in traffic was laughable as it seemed that many perverts flocked in to watch the fight. It is like violence and sex, they sell in the movies. Porno is out of question on 7ee6an, that only leaves verbal violence for perverts to anticipate. Shall we disappoint them? I am all for disappointing perverts.

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  36. Dear Zenobia
    From day 1, the regime’s use of brutal force aimed at preventing a critical mass from gathering in any public square in the country. The hyenas got specially mad after Hama and Homs were able to gather huge crowds in the largest public squares in both towns. In Damasucs, the regime want with special brutality after the leaders of the coordination committees especially those who advocated peaceful protest and demonstrated creative means of accomplishing that task (Ghyath Matar, for example).

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  37. This is very curious message from FB

    قرأت بعض أسماء شهداء تفجيرات دمشق وكان من بين الأسماء شهيد من ضيعة نيصاف في مصياف , تذكرت انها ضيعة صديقتي وزميلتي في الجامعة فاتصلت عليها مباشرة وسألتها :
    -صحيح في شهيد من ضيعتكم اسمو هاني ادريس
    -اي والله يامحمد هدا ابن جيراننا شفت هالارهابيين قتلوا ببابا عمرو.
    -الله يرحموا , قلتيلي قتلوا ببابا عمرو … ايمتى؟
    -من شي 10أيام ماشفت عالقناة الدنيا وشام اف ام شو بعتوا رسائل تعزية لأهلوا؟
    -لاوالله ما بتابعها لهي القنوات , بس أنا شفت اسمو بين شهداء تفجير دمشق ؟
    … صمتت لثواني وقالت – مابعرف بيجوز.
    فقط في سوريا يموت الانسان مرتين….
    نقلاً عن صفحة محمد الهزاع

    Translation
    I read some of the names of the martyrs of Damascus explosions, and among the names was a martyr from the village Nisaf in the Misyaf area. I recalled that this was the home village of my friend and colleague from university days so I called her directly and asked her.

    — Is it true that you had a martyr from your village whose name is Hani Idris
    — Yes, by god, Mohammad, did you see, the terrorists killed him in Baba-Amr (homs)
    — May god mercy fall on him, did you say they killed him in Baba-Amr,
    — About ten days ago, didn’t you see on Al-Dunya and Cham-FM how many condolence letters were sent to his family
    — No, by god, I do not follow these channels, but I saw his name among the martyrs of
    Damascus explosion.
    She went quite for few seconds and then said, I don’t know, may be……

    Only in Syria, a person dies twice…

    Copied from the page of Mohammad Hazzaa

    Like

  38. Dear Haytham
    Thank you very much for posting Burhan’s Christmas address, what a solemn occasion and an excellent speech.

    I eagerly await your article on the recent meeting in Tunisia. I have heard some news that are not very encouraging and I would like to read your opinion for I value them very much.

    Like

  39. The accounts of Libyans trying to infiltrate and infiltrating with 4000? men are probable bull.

    It does seem that the Libya has taken an interest in arming the Syrian revolution. If
    it is true then I say nothing wrong with it! In fact I pray to Allah that we get floods of volunteers armed to the teeth from Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and any other Arabs that want to chip in.

    The reality is far more simple. Nothing happened. No Libyans infiltrated and the Turks are not allowing arms to flow in. In fact the idea of NATO training camps is laughable. On par with Press TV and Dunya TV propaganda.

    Turkey does not want to get involved militarily. It sure as hell wants to limit the refugees coming in but at the same time wants to have feet in both camps. That is why it is doing a lot of shouting and applying the occasional sanction.

    We are only getting weapons by the occasional wholesale from the Assad thugs lol, by defections and the small black market out there in Iraq and Lebanon.

    Personally, I disagree with Aboud. We do not even need a buffer zone. If Turkey along with its Arab allies decided to arm the FSA with more modern Tank and helicopter (Afghan style) busting weapons with lots of small arm
    Ammunition then it will change things very quickly. Because of the spread of the revolution he cannot tackle it Hama style anymore

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  40. His tanks will be sitting ducks. How fast do you his 700 or so functioning tanks will last. I also think official figures are inflated because Syria has a lot of useless rusty tanks that are not fixed up like the ancient Homsi and Hamwi Taxis

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  41. Dear Jarthouma
    I agree that such numbers of 4000 infiltrator are ridiculous, but that does not discount excitable individuals trying to make it. So far there are no evidence that such individuals have been involved beyond one or two having been cited near the borders (if one is to take the Spanish photographer as being able to ID the persons with 100% certainty). In hot zones, it seems that presence of foreign elements is Zero, otherwise the regime would have paraded bodies of any foreign person (even the innocent like they tried to do with the Saudi student) with its usual celebration of death –vindication disgusting tactic.

    My understanding is that until now, most of the tanks used are personnel carriers (50s technologies) and T-52 tanks (late 40s technology). I don’t know if T-72s (sixties and early 70s tech) have been used, it seems that the regime is keeping those for a possible confrontation with external intervention or with safe-zone fighters if such is to happen. Or it is also possible that these tanks are far more complex for the regime to maintain operating for long duration. If anyone has information to the contrary, I would love to be corrected.

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  42. Dear 7ee6anis
    A friend sent me this article. It is a must read article from the Henry Jackson Society of the UK. I have not really looked them up carefully, so please note that I have no clear understanding, yet, of their motives and their structure.

    Intervention In Syria: Assessment Of Legality, Logistics And Hazards – Analysis

    Here is an excerpt:

    The Syrian National Council (SNC) is entering a critical phase in the Syrian revolution whereby the hope of a continued campaign of passive resistance to an exceptionally brutal and unrestrained regime is becoming more and more akin to a suicide pact. United States (U.S.) and European Union (E.U.) sanctions on Syria have indeed begun to take a serious economic toll on President Bashar al-Assad regime’s ability to finance the state apparatus of repression.
    …..

    The failure to secure a United Nations Security Council resolution that would impose comprehensive international sanctions, the lack of international consensus on enacting more robust measures to protect a vulnerable populace, the regime’s incitement of sectarian violence and its decision to launch multiple full-scale offensive military campaigns against civilians all suggest that prolonging decisive action to topple the Assad regime could very well plunge the Syrian state into a devastating and protracted conflict. Failed statehood is one outcome. A humanitarian catastrophe on par with the 1994 Rwandan genocide is another very real likelihood.

    Furthermore on the SNC:

    The SNC has three challenges to resolve before it can make the case convincingly for any form of foreign military intervention: its stated rejection of intervention as a matter of policy; its lack of international legitimacy as a government-in-exile; and its disunity with other oppositional elements in Syria, most notably the groups of rebel soldiers.

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  43. I’ve confirmed, via multiple sources (6 separate sources, two of whom are pro-regime) that at least one of the bombed locations was closed off from at least 1:30 AM, prior to the explosion. I’ve also confirmed that the Gas distribution center that is close to one of the locations was emptied prior to the blast.
    We still haven’t seen anything to point the blame directly at anybody other than the regime. The only party we see trying to place responsibility, via a false flag operation, is the Regime blaming the Muslim Brotherhood. Please note that the fire that seems to have happened at the top floor was in the Muslim Brotherhood archives
    We still haven’t seen a list with the names of the dead. Yes, there was a bus from the Mukhayyam, and the car with two passengers, and there were the two guards who were from some town I can’t remember the name of, and supposedly a high ranking officer but other than those We don’t know who were killed at the blast site. And other than those, the rest of the bodies were badly mangled, but not burnt. Did anyone notice the lack of carbonation? don’t such attacks usually cause massive burns? Again, this is me putting on my tin-foil hat, but still…
    Conclusive evidence, which will clearly silence any regime critics and prove the Regime’s story hasn’t been shown. I’m talking about the videos from the security cameras. it is unbelievable how monitored both locations are, and retrieving said videos is a simple task. These videos are of the utmost importance, and they will surely prove if the cars came from inside the compounds, or from outside them.

    Do I think there aren’t ex-Qaeda fighters working with the FSA? Of course there are. Do I think they had the capacity to perform such a task? Probably. Do I think they did it? No. An attack like this is useless to anti-regime fighters if it wasn’t followed by a large-scale attack on either compound, which would be quite easy after the attacks seemingly obliterated the entrances. They could have simply waltzed in and done it Afghan style, with a shootout to the death. ‘Terrorist Groups’ have used similar tactics all over the world previously. Right now, all they succeeded in doing is make the regime go security crazy, closing off whole streets and upping its security in a large number of locations. Some important locations strangely enough, haven’t seen any change in security.
    Oh, and this is the first time they’ve increased their security since the start of the Revolution. Yeah, they added sandbag barriers and extra guards, but that was pretty much it. This is including the Harasta attack on the Air Force Intelligence building, which was extremely effective (and wasn’t publicize in any way at all), and the attack on the Baath Party HQ, which they covered up in a few hours, then gloated about on Danee’a TV. Even though everybody in the area had heard the explosions, and some had seen the two RPG rounds being fired. I don’t know if I previously mentioned this, but the repairs were quite clear on the building for those who knew what to look for.
    Doesn’t anybody see that this is in total contrast to the regime’s reaction to previous large-scale operations within the Damascus area? And that the operations themselves are in extreme contrast to any previous attacks in the Damascus area, and Syria in general?

    OTW, I disagree with the article you posted. What the writer fails to mention is that Syria’s wealthy are concentrated in Damascus and Aleppo, and he hasn’t taken that into consideration. In Damascus at least, the protests have been happening in wealthy areas (Midan, Kafar Souseh, salheyeh, Mezzah) and middle class (Rukn I-Deen) areas as well as poor areas. The rich are over-represented in these protests, especially in Midan and Kafar Souseh. The suburbs are a different story, I don’t have as much experience with them.

    Like

  44. “I don’t want to get into another feud with you”

    Dear me, I wasn’t aware that a difference of opinion automatically translated into a “feud”. If you are going to feel threatened every time I express a contrary opinion, then having a discussion with you is a waste of time 🙂

    OTW

    “Or it is also possible that these tanks are far more complex for the regime to maintain operating for long duration”

    Not sure, but they were used in Dar’a. Just like cars, tank cannons and parts need replacing and servicing after x number of kilometers or times fired.

    As to the Libyans, the same burden on proof is on the menhebaks to prove that they are involved in Syria, as they demand from others everytime Hizbollah and Iran are accused of taking part in the oppression. Show me a smoking gun. Libyans weapons in Syria. Libyan fighters in Syria. A Syrian in Libya buying weapons even.

    Like

  45. Dear Hazrid
    Your updates are not only important, but outstanding as you weave smart analysis within news and in a rather pleasant way to read.

    I have no ideological attachment to Mr. Haj Salih’s article. But does he at least have a point with respect to the prevalence of the poor within the ranks of the victims of the Assadian fascist brutality?. And do you agree on describing the regime and its sycophants as Fascists?. Their language and attitudes display much in common with Fascists, but exceed them in profanity of words and actions. The youth of the middle and upper middle class have throughout history been pro-change. They do in many cases participate in forming the intellectual grounding to the mass movement, and I find their participation in Damascus very significant. As for Aleppo, most of the demonstrations have been restricted to lower-middle class areas within the city so far, except for a couple of attempts in solid middle class areas.

    But off course, I must agree with both you and sheila on several key issues you both brought up. This is because the article, in an attempt to force its notion (sort of what I am trying to do here), overlooks many issues (such as expats, and Damascus, as well as wealthy areas in Homs and Hama) being largely pro-revolution. The article also oversimplifies the “Class-Sect” connection and overlooks the issue of dignity completely, and I owe you and Sheila gratitude for pointing to these deficiencies.

    Like

  46. Hazrid

    “Do I think there aren’t ex-Qaeda fighters working with the FSA?”

    There probably are ex-Iraq Jihadists involved by now. But the FSA has always claimed responsibility for every attack, no matter how small or large, it has carried out. Why would it not claim responsibility for this, the most humiliating security fiasco that any dictatorship could possibly suffer.

    Know what guys, I’ll make you a deal. If Besho gets killed, then I’ll entertain the slight possibility that Al Ajazeera, Human Rights Watch and 131 nations at the UN are plotting to overthrow him 🙂

    Like

  47. And where is the giggling idiot hiding anyway? Why didn’t one senior member of the government make an appearance at the funerals? After 9/11 Bush spoke to the country.

    Where are you hiding Besho? Haven’t stopped giggling yet?

    Like

  48. Off the wall, I agree he is going to have one big problem with attrition. These Russian tanks are not really well running Toyotas now are they?

    You know, even if we do not get international
    intervention, at the going defection rate we will be faced (as mentioned in the excellent crisis report linked by Landis) with “free” zones that will be unstable. The stability will increase with increasing defections as each fees on each other. It is happening now. This option will be prolonged and we will face a protracted guerrilla war.

    One silver lining. He is using his best hardware and units now in Homs. It makes you think that he is using his last cards.

    We are faced with one last card. Wiping out a city and using chemical weapons. I think he is scared to do this at the moment because this may actually force intervention. He is getting close to it though.

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  49. This one shows women participation. Aleppo seem to have opted for a wedding like ceremony for their martyr. Listen to the ululation of the women, observe the circle dance. Agree with the rituals or not, they point to a resurgence of defiance, I don’t think that Assad’s brutality can subdue Syria any longer. His regime is dead man walking, he just does not recognize that yet. Imagine the determination of Homs, Daraa, Hama, Banyas (which i know has now been largely emptied of it youth), Rastan, and countless other besieged and traumatized cities. How can such a pathetic criminal regime survive the flood. It will be swept into the sewage of history, where it deserves to be.

    Meanwhile, 28 more victims of the brutal fascists lost their lives today, and the day isn’t even half over in Syria. Most in Homs’s Baba Amr. The Warsaw of Syria.

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  50. A muazen in Inshaat was killed by a sniper just because he called for blood donations.

    Besho ya manyak, *you will never subdue Homs ya tezi*. We will be the ones to send you and your unwashed relatives to the gallows. I have a rope all picked out for you. ‘Al ferqa rab3a ‘al LOL! We call them ferqat el tantat here in Homs. All they can do is indiscriminately shell civilian neighborhoods. That’s not an army, that’s a gang of thugs.

    Besho ya falah ya nawari, know that army barracks on the castle hill? That is where we will execute your officers and shabiha. We will then rename it Jabal Ar’or, and put up a big picture of him at the entrance to Hadara street.

    Bring it on ya bitch.

    Can’t wait for junior to stage the bombing of his own presidential palace. At this rate, the regime will destroy its assets for us.

    Like

  51. OTW,
    T-72 armoured divisions are positioned along the Israeli border and in Damascus, therefore they may be used in Dara’a, but it is unlikely you will see them up north. That is, untill the Syrian army concludes that Turkey is a more significant threat than Israel.

    Like

  52. DEVELOPING STORY

    Regime screwed up big time. One member of the observer mission was shot, he was just interviewed on Al-Arabya via phone. His condemnation of the regime is beyond scathing. Let us see the AL response. Some of his comments

    The lies are beyond imagination
    They remove the thugs while the mission passes, and then start shooting afterward
    This is a regime that is killing
    et….

    Alarabya lost connection and now discuss KSA budget.

    Like

  53. Dear Kubbeh
    Many thanks for the very reasonable and sane explanation. This explains why they were used in Daraa and not Homs. Come to think of it, the regime is keeping the T-72s in the more safe border for it. (couldn’t resist the pun)

    Like

  54. An Egyptian member of the AL’s observer team saw first hand the regime’s handiwork. He described what was going on as “genocide”

    Wow Besho, that didn’t take you long, did it? Less than six hours for what’s left of your tattered credibility to have been completely and irreversibly torn to pieces.

    Anyone still believe the whole “Al-Qaeda in Syria” bull-what-Baathist-brains-are-filled-with?

    Like

  55. Al Arabiya is still repeating the story. They have the name of the guy, and so far no one has said that he isn’t part of the observer team.

    An Algerian member of the team was utterly pathetic. He stated that the team would move about Syria only in co-ordination with the regime. Does the guy even know the difference between Homs and Hama?

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  56. Do I think there aren’t ex-Qaeda fighters working with the FSA? Of course there are. Do I think they had the capacity to perform such a task? Probably. Do I think they did it? No. An attack like this is useless to anti-regime fighters

    @Hazrid, succinctly and nicely put

    Like

  57. also to OTW, that is an amazing conversation with the old acquaintance of yours…. shocking

    Like

  58. @ Aboud,

    please don’t be provocative,and please don’t talk about looking forward to executing people.

    Like

  59. Zenobia said:

    WHO can talk about ‘fighting’ a “civil war”… … most are sitting on the side lines watching in horror. They are not going to pick up a gun and fight a war!

    Zenobia, et al,

    As I understand, the “70%” figure is some approximation based on word-of-mouth, talking with friends, relatives, etc.

    Unfortunately, it seems to me, the Syrian “Civil War”, so far, has been fairly contained within its borders with the side actors remain on the outside looking in. I have been very disappointed with Turkey, Russia, and the Arab League, but I am sure no one here is surprised. The West is sitting on its hands for a number or reasons: they’ll be blamed for taking a “Zionist” position, they’ll lose points with the “Arab Street”, they don’t want to get entangled into another black hole like Iraq. In addition, continued Syrian conflict reduces the influence of the “resistance camp” (Iran, Hezbollah, Baathism, etc) and therefore, the status quo doesn’t hurt the West’s interests. Can the Syrian opposition work with the US and the West openly and publicly without being seen as lackeys? I don’t know.

    Besides the probability of arms smuggling (to pro and anti-regime factions), the Syrian people look to me to be “on their own”. And who knows, this could be a mini-Iran-Iraq war lasting several years if no one intervenes.

    What’s left is the UN. So what can they do? What will Russia and China vote for besides sanctions? Would they ever vote for military action like they did against Baathist Iraq after 17 resolutions and 12 years? Maybe.

    It seems to me the brave Syrian people have to bring down this government on their own. I hope they do it, but as we can see, the cost is already enormous.

    Like

  60. I was watching a Documentary on the Rwandan Genocide. It was really touching and sad. It reminded me that no matter what we are, sectarian hatred in the name of religion, race and culture can breed the worst in all humans.

    I have to admit, with the sectarian Alawite thugs doing what they are doing in Syria, it actually made me understand why, what happened in Rwada happened. The Hutsi and Tutsi antagonism that was part of a colonial artifact is playing in the same way with the hatred between Sunnis and Alawis now. It is far worse for the Alawis, though, because they are a significantly smaller minority. By Allah, I thought may we never live in sectarian hate. Religion soaked in bigotry wherever it comes from is just as nasty as racial bigotry

    My advice to myself as well to others on the ground. Do not let your heart fill with hate and revenge. Leave it only with wanting a sense of justice, targeting it at individuals who perpetrate these nasty crimes.

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  61. It seems that their is infighting between the Arab observers depending on the interests of the states that send them . Obviously war criminals that represent Algeria and Sudan are trying to help the regime as much as possible. Sudan for weapons and support from the Iranian-Syrian axis and Algeria because of the thugs that rule it. We must not forget that the Algerians committed the same genocide in the 90’s blaming it on Islamists (although a minority of them i.e. so called Islamists were certainly criminal bigots) with the same stories and bull that our regime uses today.

    May Allah make Algeria the next popular revolution. I hope those generals get what they deserve.

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  62. Dear Zenobia
    It was not my conversation, It was copied from face book from someone I would trust. But it is shocking.

    We now have another filthy game aiming at discrediting the narrative in Homs, the AL(already discredited) and the opposition. History will tell that the world never knew a worst regime.

    Like

  63. AP

    “Would they ever vote for military action like they did against Baathist Iraq after 17 resolutions and 12 years”

    That won’t be required. Let the UN impose an arms embargo on the regime, and we will see how long they can last. The armed forces are in a pitiful state as it is.

    Keep in mind that despite the regime’s atrocities today, all their victims were civilians. One more weary time, they have completely, utterly, and epically *FAILED* to engage the FSA in battle and put a dent in their fighting capabilities. As always, the regime instead took its impotent anger out on those lest able to defend themselves. This should be enough to put to rest the ridiculous notion that somehow Baba Amr bought this on themselves, by hosting defectors who would rather go on the run and risk their lives, than be forced to kill their own people.

    Jarthouma

    “Leave it only with wanting a sense of justice, targeting it at individuals who perpetrate these nasty crimes”

    The regime is making an example out of Homs, as a warning to the rest of the country. Sadly for Besho, the message the Syrian people are hearing isn’t the one he wants them to hear. The fact that Homs and other parts of the country have endured, despite repeated atrocities, has served as an inspiration not just to Syrians inside Syria, but those outside it as well. In the flash mob demo in Toronto, a model of the Homs New Clock figured prominently.

    By the way, I keep saying New Clock instead of just The Clock, because there is an Old Clock near the main downtown market. But that’s right smack next to the police HQ. I kinda doubt there will be any demonstrations there.

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  64. I agree Aboud, it is a sense of pride that generally the Syrians are not going down that line. Man….Homsi’s are making me jealous. Can I get a Homsi passport with your connections Aboud ? What do I have to do to be a Homsi ? 🙂

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  65. OTW,

    Here is the full article below. The main page (voltairenet.org) has all footnotes in case you want proof. I believe this article has credibility.

    In the wake of the “Arab Spring” and NATO interventions, both official and secret, Qatar seeks to impose Islamist leaders wherever possible. This strategy has led it not only to fund the Muslim Brotherhood and to hand Al-Jazeera over to them, but also to support Al Qaeda mercenaries, who will henceforth oversee the Free Syrian Army. However, this new scenario raises serious concerns in Israel and among the supporters of the “clash of civilizations.”

    Voltaire Network | 19 December 2011

    Aldel Hakim Belhaj, historic leader of Al Qaeda in Libya, Military Governor of Tripoli, chief of the Free Syrian Army.

    The UN Security Council members are at loggerheads over the interpretation of the events that are rocking Syria. On one hand, France, the United Kingdom and the United States claim that a revolution has swept the country, in the aftermath of the “Arab Spring”, and suffering a bloody crackdown. On the other hand, Russia’s and China’s take is that Syria is having to cope with armed gangs from abroad, which it is fighting awkwardly thereby causing collateral victims among the civilian population it seeks to protect.

    The on-the-spot investigation undertaken by Voltaire Network validated the latter interpretation [1]. We have collected eyewitness testimonies from those who survived an armed attack by a foreign gangs. They describe them as being Iraqis, Jordanians or Libyans, recognizable by their accent, as well as Pashtun.

    In recent months, a certain number of Arab newspapers, favorable to the Al-Assad administration, discussed the infiltration into Syria of 600 to 1,500 fighters from the Islamic Fighting Group in Libya (IFGL), rebranded Al Qaeda in Libya since November 2007. In late November 2011, the Libyan press reported the attempt by the Zintan militia to detain Abdel Hakim Belhaj, companion of Osama Bin Laden [2] and historic leader of Al Qaeda in Libya, who became military governor of Tripoli by the grace of NATO [3]. The scene took place at Tripoli airport, as he was leaving for Turkey. Finally, Turkish newspapers mentioned Mr. Belhaj’s presence at the Turkish-Syrian.

    Such reports have been met with disbelief on the part of all those who regard Al Qaeda and NATO are irreconcilable enemies between whom no cooperation is possible. Instead, they reinforce the thesis which I have defended since the attacks of September 11, 2001, that Al Qaeda fighters are mercenaries of the service of the CIA [4].

    Who is telling the truth?

    For the past week, the Spanish royalist newspaper ABC has published a daily report by photographer Daniel Iriarte. This journalist is with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the north of the country, right on the Turkish border. Iriarte champions the cause of the “revolution” and can never find words harsh enough against “Al-Assad regime.”

    The Free Syrian Army is made up of more than 20 00 people, according to its political chief Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad, but of only a few hundred when listening to the Syrian authorities [5].

    However, in the Saturday edition dated 17 December 2011, Daniel Iriarte describes an encounter that shocked him. While his FSA friends were taking him to a new hideout, he came across some foreign insurgents: three Libyans [6].

    Mahdi al-Harati, commander of the Tripoli Brigade, resigned from his functions as deputy chief of the Military Council in Tripoli to oversee the Free Syrian Army.

    The first one among them was al-Mahdi Hatari, a Libyan who lived in Ireland before joining Al Qaeda. At the end of the Libyan war, he was named commander of the Tripoli Brigade, then number 2 of the Tripoli Military Council headed by Abdel Hakim Belhaj. He resigned from this function, according to some because of a dispute with the Transitional National Council, according to others because he wanted to go back to Ireland to join his Irish wife [7] The truth is that he headed for Syria.

    Even stranger: a member of Al Qaeda was among the pro-Palestinian activists, in June of last year, on board the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara. Numerous secret service agents, especially US, had infiltrated the “Freedom Flotilla” [8]. He was wounded and held prisoner for nine days in Israel.

    Finally, during the Battle of Tripoli, al-Mahdi Harati commanded the Al Qaeda group that besieged and attacked the Rixos hotel, where I was staying with my Voltaire Network companions and the international press, and whose basement served as a shelter for the leaders of the Jamahiriya under the protection of the custody of Khamis Gaddafi [9]. According to the latter, Mahdi al-Harati was being briefed by the French officers on the ground.

    The second Libyan that the Spanish photographer in the Syrian army is none other than Kikli Adem, a lieutenant of Abdel Hakim Belhaj. As for the third Libyan, nicknamed Fouad, Daniel Iriarte was not in a position to identify him.

    Iriarte’s testimony dovetails with what the Arab anti-Syrian press has been claiming for weeks: the Free Syrian Army is overseen by at least 600 “volunteers” from Al Qaeda in Libya [10]. The entire operation is run by Abdel Hakim Belhaj in person with the help of the Erdogan government.

    How can it be explained that a daily newspaper as anti-Assad as ABC has decided to publish the testimony of its special envoy, who sheds light on the nauseating methods employed by NATO and confirms the Syrian government’s thesis of armed destabilization? The fact is that for a week, certain advocates of the clash of civilizations have been riling against a set-up which includes Islamic extremists in a “free world” strategy.

    Writing on CNBC Guest Blog [11], former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar revealed on 9 December 2011 that Abdel Hakim Belhaj was suspected of complicity in the attacks of 11 March 2004 in Madrid [12], an event that put an end to Aznar’s political career.

    Sheik Ali Salabi, spiritual guide of Al Qaeda in Lybia, Abdel Hakim Belhaj’s mentor, and strong man of the “new Libya.”
    Mr. Aznar’s outing goes hand in hand with the intervention made by his friends from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the think tank headed by former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dore Gold [13]. They publicly voice their doubts about the validity of the current CIA strategy to place Islamists in power throughout North Africa. Their criticism is aimed against the secret society of the Muslim Brotherhood, but also against two Libyan figures: Abel Hakim Belhadj and his friend Sheikh Ali Al-Salibi. The latter is regarded as the new leader of Libya [14]. The two men are deemed to be the pawns of Qatar in the new Libya [15]. It was also Sheikh Salabi who distributed $ 2 billion of Qatari funds to help Al-Qaeda in Libya [16].

    Thus the contradiction that was desperately kept hidden for the past decade returns to the surface: the mercenaries, formerly paid by Osama Bin Laden, have never stopped working in the service of US strategic interests since the first war in Afghanistan, including the period of the September 11 attacks. Yet they are portrayed ​​by Western leaders as implacable enemies.

    It is likely that the objections of Mr. Aznar and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs will be overridden by NATO, as were those raised by AFRICOM commander General Carter Ham. At the beginning of the war Libya, he was incensed at having to protect jihadists who had gone to slaughter GIs in Iraq.

    Detached from reality, the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee (aka “Committee pursuant to resolution 1267”) and the US Department of State still have on their black list the organization of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sheik Salabi under its former label of Islamic Fighting Group in Libya. It would appear that is it the duty of every State to arrest these individuals if they enter their territory.

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  66. Haha Jarthouma, I’m not sure how hard it is to do a “naqel nofos” to Homs.

    “What do I have to do to be a Homsi ?”

    Kennedy once said “Ich bin ein Berliner”. Today, every freedom loving individual can say “Ich bin ein Homsi”

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  67. http://www.straight.com/article-570706/vancouver/gwynne-dyer-bombings-syria-and-iraq-raise-spectre-sunnishia-war

    “The response of the United Nations Security Council to these events was telling. It strongly condemned the Damascus bombs and sent its condolences to the victims, their families and the Syrian people. But it did not send condolences to the Syrian government, which would be its usual practice in such a case. Nobody believes Assad’s story.

    Except for Landis. And the “Qatar is imposing a Muslim Brotherhood world order” camp. LOL!

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  68. Aboud,

    Thank you Aboud, instead of answering my question directly, you rendered me a waste of time. Yet, you found the time to have a discussion with every pro-regime supporter on SC without complaint. Why are you afraid to debate with me on a simple question without personal attacks?

    You can disagree with me all you want, but you can also do so without the notion that those that disagree with you are against logic and common sense.

    I honestly think there is credible evidence like Yazrid and many others pointed out that AlQaeda is in Syria or helping the FSA, I know that doesn’t fit your theory. My position is that AlQaeda-NATO-cum is already in Syria. You disagree, end of story.

    Aboud, I promise not to address you no matter how much I agree or disagree with you. You said I am a waste of time, so it should be easy for you to listen to OTW and others and do us a favor – ignore me.

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  69. Dear Yazrid:

    I like what you said and agree with much of it re infiltrators. History may or may not reveal the truth. The U.S. is still struggling with the death J.F.K after 40-50 years.

    Somethings will remain unkown forever.

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  70. Calm down Hussam 🙂 I was laughing at the writer’s notion that Qatar is on a campaign to impose a Muslim Brotherhood theocracy on the world. I didn’t realize you believed the idea so strongly yourself.

    Here is a report from Human Rights Watch on the situation in Syria. It does not mention Jordanians, Iraqis or (more ridiculously) Pushtans. It mentions Syrians, being murdered by their government.

    http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/22/syria-s-guilty-men

    Where are the Libyans and Qataris in that report? Maybe Sheikh Hamad bought off HRW?

    If someone makes extravagant claims, one must be prepared to provide proof to match. It is my opinion that the idea that 5,000 Syrians were murdered by Jordanians, Iraqis and Pushtans is…lacking in credibility. Especially as I personally know of people who were arrested, tortured, and in two tragic cases, sent back to their families dead. So yeah, I am looking forward to putting a bullet in the head of a few security officers and shabiha scum on Jabal Ar’or.

    Like

  71. Dear Husam,
    I admire your ability to explore your inner self so candidly. I have to apologize for my statement: “If I were in Syria, I would have been among the protesters. I am sure many of us here would do the same.” Because I really do not know if this would be true. Would I be able to muster enough courage to do so?. It is hard to tell.
    I am thinking about what is going on in Halab. The area experiencing the bulk of the demonstrations is in fact the University. This place has the most diverse group of any other place or area in the city. It mixes people from all backgrounds, but most importantly, it features the youth who did not experience the 80s and thus carry less fear in their hearts.

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  72. Dear OTW:

    Thank you very much. I agree with you Ghalioun’s address was excellent.
    During my visit to Tunisia, I was impressed and encouraged by some very great Syrian minds. I will mention few: Hussin ‘Amash, Hazim Nahar and Aussama Kadi. All the people that I met were open-minded (including the so-called Islamist). After seeing those people I am not worried on the future of Syria. We had great discussion on many issues, including reconciliation, economy, political process and constitution. I will put out for you some of these ideas for the purpose on initiating national dialogue on these issues. The more we discuss them, the more we will help those people planning for the future of Syria.

    Like

  73. I am sure Qatar and KSA are flexing their muscle and influencing the outcome in Syria in favor of the Sunnis using their $ and any means possible. I should be happy as I am Hanifi myself. But I like to call a spade: a spade.

    There is no doubt that the regime is criminal, this is not what this discussion is about. It is whether there are foriegn elements inside Syira. And I say 100% yes. In what shape or fashion, no one really knows for sure.

    Like

  74. @Husam

    Nothing Hazrid said even comes close to the views expressed in that piece of writing you posted.
    I really can’t imagine what you find “credible” here.. or where this credibility is established?? Is it just because the overarching conclusion simply appeal to you? Because I have never heard of the Voltaire Network or anybody that works for it or what it is based on.

    Truthfully, this seems to be a really poor and badly written hack piece of writing. It is one long string of half truths thrown together and mixed in with substantial doses of unsubstantiated assumptions and then culminating in giant sweeping conclusions that are ONCE again ending in big reductionistic conspiracy theories.
    but the conclusions are not built on consistent established realities – again – only half truths based on some real events and people without actual substantiated publicly known relationships or agreements.

    This pile of conclusions based on assumptions based on potentially faulty premises…and so forth result in really poor unqualified statements…the worst of which is:

    Thus the contradiction that was desperately kept hidden for the past decade returns to the surface: the mercenaries, formerly paid by Osama Bin Laden, have never stopped working in the service of US strategic interests since the first war in Afghanistan, including the period of the September 11 attacks. Yet they are portrayed ​​by Western leaders as implacable enemies.

    Such statement just strike me as offensive nonsense and call into question all “credibility” whatsoever, if there was any to begin with.

    however, even without taking issue with the overarching BS at the end…. the whole thing is riddled with implausible “facts”… for example, as was mentioned… the notion that Pashtuns!! are in on the deal…. this should really make you laugh!! if not cry… additionally, vague descriptions – and vague terminology with unclarified implications.

    Also, by the way, where does one shelter 600 ‘visiting’ mercenaries???? in a small city in Syria??? this is preposterous.
    A partial truth is what Hazrid said – and someone like myself would agree with… there are likely a certain number of opportunist ‘jihadist’ types attempting to permeate the border and ‘join up’ so to speak… as they did during the Iraq war. In this case because they are Sunnis fighting an oppressor.
    but the contradiction would be most blatant (and I think untenable) to think that actually they are serving US or Israeli masters. How is this exactly supposed to work??? For what purpose?
    It is such a convenient conspiracy theory… because mostly it defies all logic but allows those who want to adopt it to continue to buy into all encompassing world view with all the desired ‘bad guys’ in one camp.. the proponents thus are getting rid of their own contradictions by trying to manufacture them somewhere else through nonsensical contortions, and turning every thing into black and white.

    Reality is anything but – however.

    Lasty, I would just like to add that … such writers- far from researchers or part of known organizations with actual credibility, no matter what they believe should go back and start from square one… like defining some critical concepts and working on basic problems.
    For one thing: what do we even mean by “Al Qaeda”???
    What even makes one Al Qaeda? How do you sign up? and is it enough to just call yourself that?
    Or is Al Qaeda just a catch all term actually…sort of like ‘terrorist’…? What are we doing when we use and misuse these terms repeatedly like NeoCons do, or Israeli gov. does, or now- the Assad government?
    Example: There were young Libyans who came from small towns (known towns) who had a long cultural historical memory they had grown up with about fighting the Italians ( the whole epic tale of Omar Mukhtar’s struggle)…. And these youth – when they heard about the Americans in Iraq – were compelled to go and try to join the jihad against these ‘invaders’… maybe when they got to Iraq.. they found an organization led by a Jordanian and called ‘al qaeda in Iraq’…. and so they joined them to fight the oppressors.
    Does this make them “Al Qaeda”???

    Maybe they went home afterwards if they didn’t get killed… home to Libya. And now they wanted to fight to liberate their country from Qaddafi. Would someone like that – leave and go to Syria? Probably not, but maybe that is possible.
    Is this correctly termed Al Qaeda?? And WHO gets to say!?

    I think this is a problem of identification in such cases. And it is this kind of problem that leads to even bigger issues of telling tall tales about the world. We don’t even know what we are talking about actually.
    So, we should leave it to actual experts, actual people who spent their lives researching one subject – because our world is too complex to think that just because the internet is a democratic place where anybody can write their bullshit all encompassing theories… and throw in a million “facts” that supposedly support it – that they know at all what they are talking about.

    Like

  75. It’s really silent in Damascus. It’s like time stood still. There aren’t much people out in the piercing cold. I’m waiting till the AL monitors visit midan.

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  76. It’s really silent in Damascus, as if time stood still. No one is out in the piercing cold.

    Like

  77. Husam you are really full of it aren’t you. Are you some secret mukhabarat goon pretending to be in opposition ?

    Oh my God! Qatari- al Qaeda conspiracy !! Loool

    What next model villages of Syria in Aljazeera studios ?

    What a crappy link. I mean seriously. Why not go to links about alien lizards ruling the world

    Like

  78. What I find most funny is that some people think that Al Qaeda militants, who never received any formal military training, who never fought as a formal military unit, and whose military record is not at all outstanding, are “overseeing” or “supervising” the operations of an army of defectors led by an Air Force engineer. LOL.

    Like

  79. Jarthouma,

    Do you really think the regime may use chemical weapons and Artillery on Homs ? I’m very worried. What do you think will be the future of the uprising in such a scenario ?

    Also, can you give an estimate on the number of defections per day ? I am guessing around 10 defctions per day, do you have a more accurate figure ?

    Like

  80. Thank You Sheila:

    I have 2 girls both 2 years old. Although my blood is NOT more expensive than the average Samir in Syria, I don’t think I can risk my life being a daddy. However, had I not had children and/or lived and worked in Syria that would have been a total different story. We all want justice and peace for Syria…that is what brings us all here. It is enough that you worry about Halab, others worry and are active, others risk their lives… we all are different but united for a better Syria.

    As for 9/11, I respectfully disagree. The checks and balances you and OTW are talking about are true to some extent. But, we all know the inner workings of the CIA and other groups… perhaps they let it happen for the benefit of the greater good. Many things don’t add up. One of my beefs is that building 7 had not yet fallen when it was announced that it did…had that been in Syria….they we would say….oh the Betho-Muallem idiots can’t get their story straight…but we never accept that with the CIA and their assests can never ever do such a thing or flop because they have checks and balances. I don’t buy it. Covert operations are part of every day life in every country and innocent people die for the interest of each country respectively. Files are top secret for reasons that you don’t want to know. Ehsani attacked me from A to Z because of my stance on 9/11. I don’t trust the official story to be the complete story of what happened.

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  81. Oh my God, a boouk on al-Arabiya had confirmed that the observers were shot at by the regime (what he called armed insurgents).

    You are right these guys are idiots ! Ha ha, maybe some of these mukhabarat are secret al Qaeda Qatari Bandari Kawniii scooby doooey terrorists against Assad

    Like

  82. This guy is willing to concede 9/11 being an inside job, but is still entertaining thoughts about the staged false flag bombing in Kafr Souseh actually carried out by Al Qaeda operation.

    WHAT A LOSER..

    Like

  83. Jarthouma,

    Do you really think the regime may use chemical weapons and heavy Artillery on Homs ? I’m very worried. What do you think will be the future of the uprising in such a scenario ?

    Also, can you give an estimate on the number of defections per day ? I am guessing around 10 defctions per day, do you have a more accurate figure ?

    Like

  84. I know it wasn’t addressed to me, but

    “Do you really think the regime may use chemical weapons and heavy Artillery on Homs ”

    Let them. Our will and determination will helps us overcome even chemical warfare!!!!!!

    OK, maybe not. You guys remember the ending of the first Batman film? The part about escalation?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TofiEsdr7YE

    Like

  85. Guys, I am not vouching for Voltaire or its authors. All I am saying is do you believe what the photojournalist imbeded with FSA said?

    Is he lying?

    And why isn’t anyone allowed to slightly have a different view on here without being called a mukhabarat goon?

    I never uttered one positive comment or said anything ever to velify this brutal regime. Just because I think the FSA is getting help doesn’t make me a traitor. Are you guys for real?

    Zenobia, I said I agree with Yazrid’s view not entirely with article as I said over and over the truths sometimes is hard to find. I just found it interesting that this anti-Assad journalist bumped into Libyans along the border. What the journalist wrote is in Spanish, I pasted the article as this what I can find in English referring to Iriarte’s testimony. As for “experts-in-their-field”, Joshua Landis is an expert in his field, but he is called an idiot on this blog because we don’t agree with him. So my question to you is, are we looking for neutral experts or experts who fit our own analogy? I never heard of this photojournalist, but his account did intrigue me.

    What we are sure about 100% is what the criminal thugs are doing is dispicable as the videos don’t lie.

    Zenobia: Al-Qaeda is CIA invention. Go ahead attack me.

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  86. Khalid, there are more than 10 defections a day 🙂 . Don’t forget those that run off or don’t even turn up for military service. I give his army another 18 months at most if we are just going by defections alone. Also many of the Shabi7a will run off once the Syrian lira is worth less than the toilet paper I just used.

    He just cannot keep this going on. What will destroy the revolution are the following things

    1- An armed revolution that takes on a sectarian militia like mentality. In other words local warlords

    2- The split in opposition because of compromises promised by these dogs.

    3- More importantly an alienation of the population away from the opposition. This happened in Algeria where the military response by the opposition went far ahead of the local population. They should go hand in hand

    As for chemical weapons, it will very problematic for the regime

    1- You do not have a local Halabja or only Hama now. If he does it it will push the revolution further. The fear barrier has broken all over the country

    2-He will therefore apply it all over Syria and that will be an ecological disaster and force an intervention

    3- Bashar does not have the military capability to use these weapons in a specific manner. Mainly scuds which are generally useless in Urban warfare. He just cannot do this in Damascus and Halab which are now on fire. Will he do it to Hama, Daraa, Homs, Der al zouu, Idlib etc……? How does it not affect his supporting sectarian minorities( I am only targeting the sectarian ones). Unfortunately they will be drastically affected. He will be shooting himself in the foot.

    Why can’t he go on forever ? Want to know why ?

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  87. “I don’t think I can risk my life being a daddy. However, had I not had children and/or lived and worked in Syria that would have been a total different story”

    Both Harmoush and Riyadh As’ad are married and have children. Giath Mattar died while his wife was pregnant. Tonight, there is a widow in Inshaat mourning her Imam husband, who was killed for the crime of calling for blood donations.

    Sadly, it is the rare individual who a) has enough money in the bank that he doesn’t have to work and thus risk losing his job b) has no relatives, friends or attachments whatsoever who could be held hostage or used against him.

    When I asked a father of four why he risked his life in demonstrations, he told me it was so his two sons and two daughters wouldn’t, after 20 years, have to risk theirs in demos against Hafiz the Second.

    Like

  88. Are you “guys” capable of criticizing without being complete assholes???
    the notion of KT calling someone a “loser”… it terrifically ironic.
    And You were told to not use personal insults – weren’t you???

    Now you have another person to worship… because he told your true love that he rocks… Why don’t you form an Aboud club…
    Somewhere else….

    @ Husam
    it is perfectly possible to say there were many ‘inconsistencies’ about what happened in the 9/11 incident without equating something like that to the paltry event in Syria.
    It is also not about any unwillingness to acknowledge the life of covert operations or the history of the CIA.
    but you have no evidence right now.
    In fact rarely do we know about covert events until well after the fact…
    the evidence of the past is not enough to indict people in the present when you don’t have evidence or any consistent information or ability to gather credible information. Imaginings are not evidence, beliefs are not evidence or research.

    The point others have made is not simply about relative differences in social and political systems that make wrongdoing harder to hide (ie checks and balances), but also the parallel doesn’t work on many levels. The sheer magnitude of the events in the US are not comparable in terms of what it would take to do something ‘covertly’… we are not talking about a car bombing in a somewhat secure location that involved maybe twenty people tops – or less even. People in one organization, on the ground with no collaboration from other people and not in front of anyone.
    How can anyone compare a situation of documented individuals, airlines, giant buildings, airplanes, governments, elected officials, the military, the military’s defensive systems, foreign entities, the pentagon, cia, engineers, and so on and so on… in a place where there are vast numbers of people who would have to give their consent if not participate in an atrocity that involved more than three thousand 500 people.

    Not 100 people and a garage in a heavily guarded building in an area in the complete control of a security that is completely opaque. And no independent investigators whatsoever to investigate what happened.

    These are not useful comparisons to make.

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  89. KT,

    “….but is still entertaining thoughts about the staged false flag bombing in Kafr Souseh actually carried out by Al Qaeda operation.”

    So I am a looser, while you entertain thoughts of killing innocent shias, which is far, far more horrific than anyone else’s.

    OTW, warned you not to attack people. Why won’t you listen and accept that not everyone is a salafi like yourself?

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  90. @husam,
    why should I attack you?
    but even that kind of statement doesn’t mean anything… and if it has any meaning..it is severely reductionist statement.
    It may only have some truth in the sense that Hezbollah is an Israeli ‘invention’.

    Like

  91. “but he is called an idiot on this blog because we don’t agree with him”

    No, Landis isn’t called an idiot. His warped analysis, however, is called idiotic. If someone wants to stand up and claim, for example, that the Besho we see on TV is an actor double and the real Eye Doctor is in a dungeon locked away somewhere, then he should expect a certain amount of ridicule.

    It is *that* level of absurdity that Landis wants us to believe explains what must be an investigation conducted in record time, of a crime that left victims with no names, broke the laws of physics, and occurred at such a moment in time that the Greeks who invented the term Deus ex Machina are laughing hysterically.

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  92. “Now you have another person to worship… because he told your true love that he rocks… Why don’t you form an Aboud club…
    Somewhere else….”

    Temper, temper 🙂

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  93. Husam, the very fact that you provided such a stupid link says alot. Yallah go look for a link about the secret blackwater mercenaries invading Syria. Ok some journalist had sources that told him that the Libyans were interested in providing armed help. That isn’t new, they have officially said this. That does not mean we have a Qatari Libyan Al Qaeda like invasion now does it!

    Also Landis is an Idiot if he thinks that the bomb in Damascus was done by Al Qaeda of Northen Lebanon. Did you hear the stupid stuff said by certain Lebanese politicians about the so called group infiltrating. Cough cough people are rolling over about this so called phantom group in Lebanon. It is sort of like the atrocious so called video of Al Qaeda after the death of Hariri.

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  94. Zenobia,

    You are right, I dont’ have any evidence. All I have was a testimony of a photo journalist that I came across who’s story I found to be plausible and wanted to share it with you guys. I never bridge it and said Alqaeda (who ever you believe they are) did the bombing, if I did , show me where I said that.

    I was misundertood and people just jump the gun and call me looser, mukhabarati, etc… same like SC kinda.

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  95. HUSAM,

    Al Qaeda is an Iranian invention, not a CIA one. Al Qaeda originally was a CIA invention, maybe, but now, for the last decade , it has been totally hijacked by Iranian intellgence and theur sectarian agenda of regional domination.

    Pls come to think of it, whom did 9/11 benefit the most ? IRAN. It indirectly got rid off two of the most anti-Iranian regimes in the region ( Saddam and the Taliban), put Saudi on the back foot and showed Sunnis in a poor light. Kill two birds with one stone. Do 9/11 and get rid of 2 hostile neighbours, Taliban and the Baathist Iraqi regime. Iran knew all along that 9/11 will be eventually followed by US attack on Iraq and toppling of Saddam’s, and lets admit it, Saddam was the only guy in the region with the firepower and the balls to stand up to Iran as well as to the Assad regime, unlike the pathetic Arab League. If Saddam had still been in power, the FSA would have got free use of Iraqi territory and even weapons from the Iraqi regime.

    Now thanks to 9/11 false flag operation, Saddam has been toppled and in his place a sectarian thug (Nouri al Maliki) allied to Iran ever willing to kiss Besho’s ass so much he isn’t even willing to apply sanctions.

    Al Qaeda is now totally controlled by IRAN. They used it to lauch suicde bombs across IRAQ in 2006 to create sectarian civil war and a pretext for ethnic cleansiing of Iraqi Sunnis. 9/11 had Iranian footprints all over, and Anwar Awlaki actually was in touch with Iranian intelligence operatives.

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  96. Bait? How did I bait you exactly? I expressed an opinion. You don’t have to like it, but I am under no obligation to refrain from expressing it just because you don’t want me to. It’s called free speech.

    From now on, put a disclaimer on your posts, saying that whatever Aboud says represents Aboud, and not Zenobia 🙂

    Like

  97. I never attacked anyone personally by name. Prove it.

    And I hope Aboud and Jarthouma wil stand by me in case of another mostrous attempt to get me banned.

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  98. I never attacked anyone personally by name. Prove it.

    And I hope Aboud and Jarthouma wil stand by me in case of another monstrous attempt to get me banned. I’m just a passioante guy and most of what I say is not harmful. Leatn to grow a thick skin.

    Like

  99. “And I hope Aboud and Jarthouma wil stand by me in case of another mostrous attempt to get me banned”

    Dude, asking a guy who got moderated for a week to give you a character reference, isn’t the smartest move 🙂

    Like

  100. @husam
    I have never ever said Joshua is an idiot and never would. I think Joshua, like many people is wrong sometimes and he has has some personal associations and vested interests that may bias his conclusions at times. That’s it. Not very amazing.

    by “expert”…i mean I mean people who actually go on the ground and collect data and who are bringing that data to reputable organizations to interpret.

    Even journalists like Seymour Hersh, in my opinion, are experts in some sense.
    But some guy you never heard of feeding to some unknown other source that disperses it – isn’t the definition of credible, even if it “intrigued” you.

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  101. Awww Husam I forgive you. Just don’t post stupid links again about al Qaeda Qatari stormtroopers from the Homsi death star lol!

    By the way how is Nazi commando and ss stormtrooper doing on SC? Any new zany ways to threaten the Syrian population with extermination ? Just joking man. Personally you have the right to link anything as stupid as you want.

    Like

  102. Aboud, what do you think about my analysis about Iranian control over Al Qaida ? Its plausible, isn’t it ?

    Like

  103. Jarthouma,

    You read too fast and write even faster. This article may be stupid to you but it is the only one in English referencing the what the journalist saw. If you want the Spanish original then look it up.

    “Husam, the very fact that you provided such a stupid link says alot.” Says what? That I am a mukhabarati. How stupid is that statement? Anyone who is not hardcore is now a mukhabarati.

    This is what the average Syrian is scared about: another x-rated group (fill in the blank) of people that act like “either you are with us or against us”. The new “us” sometimes is scarier than the old “us”. Either you grow a beard, or xyz….either you vow to kill all shias and qurdhan or you are not a true Syrian…either you sign up to ditch your children and risk your life all the other true Syrians did or you are traitor.

    Aboud, please skip me and my comments. It is easy, you see my name, go to the next. I don’t fit your revolutionary Syrian Hero activist and fan club. I won’t brag what I have done, it wouldn’t change your mind because with you and your fans, it is one size fits all.

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  104. KT,
    you just called Husam a “loser”… is that not a person insult.
    very straight forward. Being passionate is not an excuse.

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  105. JARTHOUMA,

    I just paid back SyrianCommando in his own coin, on Syria Comment. Go and check it out.

    Like

  106. Nonsense, Zenobia, I never called Husam a loser. I never mentioned him by name.

    And check out my analysis about the Iranian and Shia origins of Al Qaida.

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  107. KT I will give you a character reference if you insult a baltagiee goon. It has to be witty though

    Like

  108. Zenobia,

    “Even journalists like Seymour Hersh, in my opinion, are experts in some sense.
    But some guy you never heard of feeding to some unknown other source that disperses it – isn’t the definition of credible, even if it “intrigued” you.”

    I thought he would be credible enough if he was allowed or chosen to be with FSA, wouldn’t you say?

    Or perhaps he is a Syrian-agent, ehh…might as well the conspiracy theories are flying in ever corner now 🙂

    Al-Qaeda is now an Iranian invention.

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  109. No, I didn’t mean me. I meant H.

    this was the baiting:

    “Because doing so would go against logic, common sense, and intelligent analysis”

    and the comment @ 8:15 pm

    and you pretend you don’t know what you are doing….. with this further teaser…

    Dear me, I wasn’t aware that a difference of opinion automatically translated into a “feud”. If you are going to feel threatened every time I express a contrary opinion, then having a discussion with you is a waste of time 🙂

    Like

  110. Khalid, sorry bro but no, I don’t agree that Iran controls Al Qaeda to that degree. While it is true that Iran is the only winner out of the fiasco the Americans created, Al Qaeda have enough extremists willing to join its ranks without needing to be prodded by Iran. Just two years ago, Al Malki was accusing Besho of sending suicide bombers to Iraq. Gee, whatever could have changed in that time…..

    Husam, where did I insult you? Deride you? Say that your decision was right or wrong? You expressed an opinion, and I expressed one without mentioning you in any way. You made a post, I continued the discussion. That is how forums work. But they don’t work if one participant keeps being over sensitive. It is impossible to have a discussion when every contrary opinion is somehow interpreted as a personnel attack.

    If you feel I have derided you or insulted you, then you have my apologies. I don’t feel I could have been any more civil, but then it is hard sometimes to properly judge how one’s tone comes across online.

    Especially when English isn’t my first language. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha.

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  111. @ husam,

    no, I wouldn’t say… what is being chosen to be with the FSA have to do with credibility… it doesn’t..

    lots of journalists were embedded with US military in Iraq and that didn’t necessarily make them credible. In fact it led them to distort a lot because they ‘joined’ in some sense with those who now held their life in their hands….

    Like

  112. Since nobody thought of responding to this, I’m repeating this –

    Al Qaeda is an Iranian invention, not a CIA one. Al Qaeda originally was a CIA “asset”, maybe, but now, for the last decade , it has been totally hijacked by Iranian intelligence and theur sectarian agenda of regional domination.

    Pls come to think of it, whom did 9/11 benefit the most ? IRAN. It indirectly got rid off two of the most anti-Iranian regimes in the region ( Saddam and the Taliban), put Saudi on the back foot and showed Sunnis in a poor light. Kill two birds with one stone. Do 9/11 and get rid of 2 hostile neighbours, Taliban and the Baathist Iraqi regime. Iran knew all along that 9/11 will be eventually followed by US attack on Iraq and toppling of Saddam’s, and lets admit it, Saddam was the only guy in the region with the firepower and the balls to stand up to Iran as well as to the Assad regime, unlike the pathetic Arab League. If Saddam had still been in power, the FSA would have got free use of Iraqi territory and even weapons from the Iraqi regime.

    Now thanks to 9/11 false flag operation, Saddam has been toppled and in his place a sectarian thug (Nouri al Maliki) allied to Iran ever willing to kiss Besho’s ass so much he isn’t even willing to apply sanctions.

    Al Qaeda is now totally controlled by IRAN. They used it to lauch suicde bombs across IRAQ in 2006 to create sectarian civil war and a pretext for ethnic cleansiing of Iraqi Sunnis. 9/11 had Iranian footprints all over, and Anwar Awlaki actually was in touch with Iranian intelligence operatives.

    Like

  113. yes, Aboud. you are a terrible judge of how you come across in fact. So much so…that you look like you are playing stupid.

    Like

  114. Ya3nee shoo if it was originally in Spanish. The article is rubbish, it’s referencing is rubbish and it has preposterous analysis. Do you really seriously contend that your argument has more weight because it is the only article referenced in English ?! Oh yeah it was originally in Spanish, so there you go, and NO it does not support the journalist. The Journalist just talked about Libyan discussions with the Syrian opposition. How in the world does this relate to the rubbish in the article.

    I am not saying that you are a goon of the regime and I don’t really care. Still, if you are posting links that are purpoting the same junk as the regime then it makes me question things like

    1-Qatari, Libyan Al Qaeda conspiracy

    2-The targeting of minorities by the opposition

    3-The Damascus bomb could be said to be the work of Al Qaeda

    I mean really……

    Did you hear about the amazing medical miracles that clustered on the Turkish border ? Supposedly Turkish women have evolved collectively to produce children in 6 months once impregnated with Mundas genes

    Like

  115. Um….OK Zenobia, by that definition 99% of the posts on the Internet are baiting. Responding to opinions or accusations made by someone else is valid, and expected, on forums. Otherwise, we might as well all just get fed OTW’s opinions and tell him what a great think her is.

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  116. KT, what is mentioning by name! have to do with it…. now you want to play stupid!… you mentioned the exact thing that Husam said and then equated anyone who has that view as being a LOSER…

    for all purposes it is the same thing.

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  117. OTW,

    Would you rather I leave, I really did not mean to stir things up here. It is becoming like a social club that no one dares even breath differently.

    From lacking logic, to stupidity, to loser, to mukhabarati to baltagiee is anyone scared as I am of what future Syria will be? I know the priority is removing public-enemy-#1, but what is waiting for us remains to be seen. I certainly hope Hytham Khoury is right about his personality analysis of Syrians he met in Tunisia.

    Like

  118. Master Jarthouma, thank you for your forgivness, I am humbled, if I can’t rid of my goonship, will you allow me to live in your future Syria with my children freely?

    Like

  119. “So much so…that you look like you are playing stupid.”

    I’m just a simple Homsi.

    🙂

    Like

  120. It is not “responding”…it is baiting.. because you already have a negative relationship with him – that is obvious…and then you go after what he said as if only someone with no sense and no logic etc…would believe such a thing.

    Attacking the article…as I am happy to do…is one thing…and is not the same at all as implying… IMPLYING… even, that someone doesn’t have a brain in their head to bring up such an opinion. Not only that – it is regarding someone you have a whole antagonist relationship with… so that is baiting.
    and OTW saw it tooo so.. you know… you don’t even have to conclude that it was just my biased imagination.

    Like

  121. Jarthouma,

    You don’t get it. The article was not in Spanish, but the actual testimony of journalist was in Spanish without the conclusion and the spices of the author you don’t like…. ah forget it.

    Like

  122. Ok Husam , I will let you …. 🙂

    Basss laa tawj3 rasee with silly conspiracies. I swear if you mention that the moon landing was a fake in future Syria I will personally petition the government to have you read the Twilight Saga (God I hate teenage flicks) backwards !

    Like

  123. “because you already have a negative relationship with him ”

    Ah, but since then we have had several very civil exchanges. If there was any bad blood still involved, I’m afraid it wasn’t on my part.

    And the words I used to describe the opinions expressed were tame. No forum in the *world* would resent someone for using those exact same words. Sorry Zenobia, but it looks like you are doing your best to stir up a problem that doesn’t even exist.

    Like

  124. Fine… I take it back the article was the only one in English with referencing and that helped your case right ?

    Like

  125. HUSAM said :

    “From lacking logic, to stupidity, to loser, to mukhabarati to baltagiee is ANYONE SCARED AS I AM OF WHAT FUTURE SYRIA WILL BE” ?

    Closet menhebak.

    Like

  126. i love it.. now al qaeda is Iranian…. if you are busy attributing all evil to Shiite badness… that would make sense.

    but I think Al qaeda is a figment of all our projections at this point. It is what we say it is.

    Like

  127. “sorry” aboud, you did enough damage…that will not be fixed by your phony.. humility

    Like

  128. “I will personally petition the government to have you read the Twilight Saga (God I hate teenage flicks) backwards !”

    Oh the humanity! Is the latest film as bad as people say it is?

    Like

  129. Thank you Zenobia.

    I really don’t know what the big deal is really. Every person I talk to in real life, tells me there is no quesiton in their mind that every organization, every country and every entity will try to rip Syria appart for its own best interest including sending operatives to help FSA or other groups. A well respected and know businessman (and family) told me KSA and Qatar have deep pockets and he knows for sure that they already started money transfer to FSA and others (that doesn’t mean they financed the bombing, so don’t anybody blow a fuse yet). I rather believe real people that I see and hear rather than nickname personality online. I make my own conclusions.

    I get really sad when I see a hint of intolerance in New Syria, makes me want to go back to the Old Syria before the blood.

    As for Aboud, I respectfully asked him to ignore me. I hope he listens. I don’t think anyone should be banned. KT is another story.

    Since I am a conspiracy nut as everyone seems to like calling me. Perhaps KT is Aboud’s cousin in the next room 🙂 Ah, don’t you love those suspense thriller movies?

    Like

  130. Husam and Zenobia, get a life and stop quibbling. People are dying by the scores in Baba Amr for God’s sake…..show some respect and keep the discussions confined to the uprising, the future of the upriisng, the FSA, and such stuff.

    Like

  131. Zenobia, why don’t we all just share a box of cookies. Not the evil Internet stalking kind of cookie, but a nice chocolate cookie. Unless you’re allergic to chocolate. In which case I might have some barbecue chips somewhere.

    Like

  132. “Perhaps KT is Aboud’s cousin in the next room ”

    Ah, baiting. Even after I apologized. Tsk tsk 🙂 I know one guy with whom I won’t be sharing the chocolate cookies.

    Like

  133. Aboud and jarthouma, lets not respond to them unless they come up with something constructive, it is ruining the positive atmosphere of this blog.

    Like

  134. @ Husam

    yes, i know that plenty of people are thinking as you are and believe the thing that are intriguing you.

    Anyone who is imaging that the opposition on the ground can be grown to 70%…better gain an answer to this problem of these fears and belief.
    I don’t have it at this point. But it must be addressed head on.
    And it doesn’t work to simply call people idiots or paranoid (as i tend to do)… if it is your relative you are talking to or otherwise good people…. how do we who do not share this would view answer that in a way that actually persuades them to abandon that scenario and that narrative that results in not supporting the argument for change.

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  135. I agree Zenobia. Al Qaeda is not an Iranian conspiracy lol! I raise my hands in the air. We have our fair share of Sunni nutters too and I am a Sunni Islamist 🙂 . Still, we have a lot attributed to Al Qaeda by our draconian governments when they try to do crude and I mean really crude false flag operations. I am thinking Mubarak, Algerian general, Beshoo the depraved etc…

    It also happens with on the other side with the Shia mehdi army about to taking over Bahrain, Dhahran, and Northen Yemen.

    These regimes always look for an evil “other” to ensure that they stay in power.

    By the way hot of the Press

    Besho the impaired has banned the Tongue Twister

    Sea Shells by the Seashore because it ..what was that charge they have against Najati Tayara? Oh yeah, because it is detrimental to the national reputation of our glorious imperial nation.

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  136. Jarthouma,

    I don’t have a case! I had something which I thought would be interesting to share. Keep belittling me (Twilight Saga) and blow it out of proportion. We left Syria because of the fear and lack future, the New Syria should be more tolerant.

    Is it just me or do any of you fear that there is something inherently evident in many Syrians: I-am-smarter-than-you-stupid. I hope there are no such personlities with power (wishful thinking)

    Like

  137. Khalid, Qatar-inspired conspiracy theories might not be constructive, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong to respond to them. All one can do is put forward one’s arguments, make one’s case, respond to the other person’s responses, and hopefully share a box of cookies at the end of it.

    Like

  138. Ya Husam 🙂 witty banter here and there is just a bit of fun. I am sure a rude person in Syria does not equate to a dictatorship. Ok forgive me if I have offended you.

    Like

  139. Aboud, KT,

    Please stop. Just because you don’t mention me by name, doesn’t mean you are not referring to me or my comment. You are craftly doing your thing, and I don’t like and I am sure others are not stupid either.

    As for your apology, if it is genuine then I accept and right back at you. FYI, I don’t type fast enough and I do my work at the same time.

    This is my last comment to you. You can have the last word if it makes you happy.

    Like

  140. “Oh yeah, because it is detrimental to the national reputation of our glorious imperial nation”

    LOL! The tragedy is that someone like professor Landis, who is biased for the regime 75% of the time, would in Syria have been bought up on the same charges as Najati Tayara.

    “Is it just me or do any of you fear that there is something inherently evident in many Syrians: I-am-smarter-than-you-stupid.”

    No, it’s human nature. It isn’t just confined to Syrians. Read a Team-Jacob versus Team-Edward flame war and see for yourself.

    Like

  141. Jarthouma,

    If Al Qaida is not an Iranian controlled proxy, tell me, who gained the most by toppling Saddam in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan ? IRAN.

    Like

  142. Husam, you aren’t going to be able to play the martyr here, no matter how much you crave the role. Sorry dude, but I’ve been as civil as a person can be. If it isn’t good enough for you, then the problem does not lie with me.

    Like

  143. Speaking of twilight, my sister is making me watch it now on mbc 2 -.-

    Like

  144. Ya KT, it is more complex then that. Iran has alot to answer for in this Syrian revolution but it did not create al Qaida.

    Like

  145. Ya habibi, ya Jarthouma:

    None of the dictators or politicians had it written on their forehead before the throne. They were all fighting for our rights in the beginning. Afterall, our last one was a doctor with green eyes and an ipod. Who would have guessed.

    We can blame the future dictator all you want, but we accept others, their beliefs, etc… their will be no place for future dictator to strive and feed off of.

    What happened today is classical. We can’t accept differences even in opinion. We are too charged.

    Accept me, because I have already accepted you.

    Like

  146. If a person does not wish his ideas discussed by others, then why post them? This is to Husam. You really can’t get upset because people debate topics you yourself post here.

    I come to this forum to discuss ideas, and unless OTW imposes a ban on certain topics, I am not mistaken in the assumption that anything bought up or mentioned is fodder for discussion. It really isn’t constructive to get all upset when your ideas are discussed. Frankly, and I will be forgiven if I say so, but it is extremely childish.

    Like

  147. “Accept me, because I have already accepted you”

    lool! Grouuup hugg man

    Like

  148. Aboud, pls don’t start a fight again, I REALLY don’t want you to get banned, it was terrible the last time.

    Like

  149. Group hug for KT too. 🙂 Man, Syrians. They can withstand water shortages, medical shortages, torture. but being banned from a blog….

    Luk helaa bi KT.

    Like

  150. Khalid, haven’t I bent over backwards being civil? Even offering to share my cookies? Never again. Let them eat cake 🙂

    Like

  151. I was hoping the AL would acre the regime and stop them from attacking us. With this sudden encouragement the whole country would be engulfed in demonstrations. I hope I’m not naive. Or the monitors would see the horrific violence the regime did to us and would show the undisputed truth to the world.

    Like

  152. Just ignore them.

    On a more serious note, I think Riad al Assad should start looking seriously for heavy weapons, like Grad rocket launchers, anti-tank guided misiles and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rockets.; and think about shipping them to Homs, Idlib, Daraa and Hama.

    If FSA have heavy weapons I guarantee the regime wil collapse in a matter of weeks.

    I also think innovative methods are needed, like digging trenches and ditches areound civilan neighbourhods, using barbed wire and sandbag bunkers to protect neighbourhoods, etc.

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  153. SGID, if the Algerian guy who people are mocking on the satellite channels is any indication of the caliber of people they are sending, then I expect the AL to issue a statement condemning the people of Baba Amr for daring to waste the regime’s bullets by not dying from the first shot.

    Like

  154. يا رِفاقي

    I have been “lurking” (as they say) on this site since its inception, glad not to have to put up with all the menhebak effusions that took over SC, and very glad to hear from OTW, from Aboud, from Haytham Khoury, from Sheila and Hamster, Hazrid and Annie and Zenobia (if that is your Egypt blog I also read, تهاني) and all of you . I am not Syrian; I have visited Syria, I have friends there about whom I am concerned, and friends here where I live (in Paris) who are committed to the resistance . My languages are French and English with some Arabic – I would not have ventured my 2 centimes were it not for the citation from Voltaire.net. I simply wanted to alert you that that site is dubious, coming from a weird amalgam of far left and very-far-right, making a common cause of an anti-zionism that crosses the border to anti-semitism (anti-Judaism, that is, Arabs are semites) and a weird Islamophobia when “Islam” doesn’t correspond to a Hizbollah-and-company party line, with very concrete links in the past to Besho and also to the Iranian government. Take anything you read there with a grain of salt.

    Annie might be able to corroborate this.

    أنا حمصية

    Like

  155. By the way I am still puzzled by the anonymous observer that called in on Al Arabiya.
    It was a bit surreal that is all.

    Like

  156. What we need is a few more shots at the Arab observers by our stupid Mukhabarat.

    Like

  157. Jarthouma, the observer wasn’t anonymous. His name is Mahjob Mustashari, and someone who knows someone inside Baba Amr who got him up to Homs ASSURES me he is genuine. it’s just one of those things that we have to wait out for a day or two for everything to become clear(er).

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  158. i was scared the observers would pursue their own agendas rather than syria’s humanitarian needs, in that case i was hoping they would be bought over by the gulfie’s petrodollars( not by the book, but hey people would shake hands with the devil to get rid of this regime). either way, its too early to see where this is going but i am confident that if things go as they should, the regime would be in deep deep sh#t.
    joke:
    a thief went to rami makhouf and told him: give me your money!
    rami: do you know who i am? I AM RAMI MAKHLOUF
    thief: oh……then please give me back my money

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  159. Dear Khalid Tlass,
    I find this statement of yours rather refreshing. It goes to show you that when you put your mind to it, you can actually come up with something smart and profound:
    “What I find most funny is that some people think that Al Qaeda militants, who never received any formal military training, who never fought as a formal military unit, and whose military record is not at all outstanding, are “overseeing” or “supervising” the operations of an army of defectors led by an Air Force engineer.”

    Like

  160. Dear SGID,
    I am really glad to hear from you. I was starting to worry. So is the silence due to the national strike or just plain fear from the bombings? How are the people in Damascus viewing the bombings?

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  161. the strike in damascus is redundant. not many university students stopped going to classes, and only the shops on the fringes of damascus close. the bombings on friday scared many inhabitants and now many people are avoiding gathering places. malls, souks, etc…. im seeing more anti-regime graffiti though. and less pictures of bashar. midan is holding 2-5 demonstrations everyday, and you have occasional demonstration in some random place in the heart of commercial damascus. i would acknowledge that any one visiting damascus would truly feel as if nothing was going on. if i werent from midan, i would be ashamed i was from damascus.

    Like

  162. Dear Husam
    NO i don’t want you to leave. Sorry I was busy to mind this none-sense fight. And I am not happy about it, despite of the fact that once more, 7ee6an had a traffic spike. (local maxima). However, I read the first 15 comments of the exchange and skipped much if the useless rest. I thank you and Zenobia for maintaining a civilized discussion despite of her major critique of the article you have kindly posted in response to my request . of a link regarding the Spanish photographer.

    With respect to the article, you will be correct to expect that I would to share Zenobia’s criticism. From a logical structure point of view, I would consider her to have deconstructed the article completely. However, I will act differently than some others here, and take your word for what it is. You said you used the article in order to cite and anchor the testimony of the Spanish photographer and not to indicate your agreement with it. From that point on, what is in the article, other than the testimony, is out of the personal discussion between you and me. And since Zenobia has already deconstructed the article, there would be no point in further discussing its premise. Come to think of it, deconstructing poor logis if (fardh kifaya فرض كفايه ) and not (Fard a’ein فرض عين )، meaning that it done sufficiently by the few, there is no need for all to do it, especially if they are bad at that (hint).

    So now back to the basic premise. I have no reason to believe or disbelieve the Spanish Photographer in the absence of corroborating information. My problem is that given the article, I can not trust that the testimony was cited accurately especially that the writer mixes his analysis with the testimony. I have looked for other English sources, and found some sources, totally untrustworthy carrying the interest of Libyan council to provide support to FSA and blowing the story into Turkish and Qataries airlifting 600 fighters to Turkey so that they can infiltrate Syria. Debka was sourced, and that is enough for me.

    TO other dear 7ee6anis

    I am disappointed that people expect to be taken at their word and are not capable of reciprocating.

    Like

  163. Dear Husam
    Here is the English Translation of the Spanish Text from ABC (google without any edits)

    The train takes us to a cottage where we expect another group to be evacuated with us. And then comes the surprise: there are three Libyans who, in his own words, have come not to fight but to “assess the needs of the Syrian revolutionary brothers” . The Libyans did not try to hide their identities. These men close to Abdelhakim Belhadj, military governor of Tripoli current and former jihadist with links to al Qaida in the past.

    One of them turns out to be an old acquaintance of the reporters who covered the war in Libya: Mehdi al-Hatari, the former commander of the Brigade of Tripoli, who played a key role in making the capital and the fall of Gaddafi. The second, Adem Kikli, says he works for Belhadj, and for almost two decades in exile in the UK. The third, Fuad, seems to be a bodyguard. “We are here on their own initiative and personal, not least of anyone,” says Adem. He emphasizes that Harati publicly renounced his place in Tripoli on 11 October. Adem, also says he has been with other Libyans, “a few tens” , who have moved to Syria on their own to help the insurgents.

    Harati, no doubt, is a man of action. The character came to the fore after participating in the Gaza Flotilla in the spring of 2010. “I was wounded in the assault on the Mavi Marmara, and spent nine days in jail in Tel Aviv” he says. In February, Harati, who lives in Dublin and has an Irish passport, said goodbye to his wife and son, along with other Libyan exiles in Ireland, went to Libya. There he created the Brigade of Tripoli, an elite group of fighters, trained by consultants from Qatar, who fought fiercely in the final battle for the capital.

    ———– END TRANSLATION ——-

    Notice the crucial information (highlighted in bold) that was missing from the Voltair.net article.
    Clearly, the men were there, they were there to assess the needs of the FSA and not to take it over, and they were there on their own initiative. Furthermore, the number of few tens would be very consistent with hazrid’s comment, which I, like you do, find plausible.

    SO guys, i hate to rub it, this is how you respond, respectfully. I am being arrogant here, but I am sure I am the oldest one around here, and I am very happy to exercise that privilege.

    Like

  164. Dear umm nuwâs
    Welcome to 7ee6an. I only wish I had noticed your comment earlier. From now on, your comments will not go through the moderation filter. Only the first comment does. I think your comment was very important, and to make sure that it is not missed, I am quoting it below.

    umm nuwâs wrote:

    يا رِفاقي

    I have been “lurking” (as they say) on this site since its inception, glad not to have to put up with all the menhebak effusions that took over SC, and very glad to hear from OTW, from Aboud, from Haytham Khoury, from Sheila and Hamster, Hazrid and Annie and Zenobia (if that is your Egypt blog I also read, تهاني) and all of you . I am not Syrian; I have visited Syria, I have friends there about whom I am concerned, and friends here where I live (in Paris) who are committed to the resistance . My languages are French and English with some Arabic – I would not have ventured my 2 centimes were it not for the citation from Voltaire.net. I simply wanted to alert you that that site is dubious, coming from a weird amalgam of far left and very-far-right, making a common cause of an anti-zionism that crosses the border to anti-semitism (anti-Judaism, that is, Arabs are semites) and a weird Islamophobia when “Islam” doesn’t correspond to a Hizbollah-and-company party line, with very concrete links in the past to Besho and also to the Iranian government. Take anything you read there with a grain of salt.

    Annie might be able to corroborate this.

    أنا حمصية

    Like

  165. OTW,
    Thanks. It is just hard to decipher all this stuff. It seems clear to most here, but I personally hate to make an unequivocal judgment so fast. I do believe that there some facts in the article that sounded credible or possible. However, I understand what Zenobia pointed out –that although there are bits and pieces that may be true they were re-hashed to fit the theory. I buy her analysis.

    As for the Spanish photojournalist, thank you for showing me what I did not see. That is good stuff bro. Next time, I will use translate.google.com from the source. Now, no one knows for sure if Harati is acting on his own free will like he says or he is an asset. Kinda hard to be a renegade self-proclaimed leader, mentor, etc… without the green light from some intelligence agencies. So if the Qataris helped him before with success, they will help him in Syria. No? In many of my comments I said “helped/guided/etc.” FSA, I never said they were taken over.

    That is how it started in Libya, but in Syria it is much slower.

    OTW, when others respond to comments at warp speed, their aim was to kill the messenger rather than the message itself.

    Like

  166. Dear Khalid Tlass,
    You said: “I never attacked anyone personally by name. Prove it”. I would like to remind you of the time, not so long ago, when you called my brother “a murderer”. This qualifies as ”personally and by name” and this is exactly why OTW asked you not to attack anyone personally. Ironically enough, I am the one advocating not banning you.

    Like

  167. bravo OTW. ::), thanks for being a first class model for the children. We are challenged, as you can see. and fascinating contribution…

    @ Umm Nuwas,

    also, thanks for interjecting with your take on Voltaire. Also very interesting, and I am not surprised at all.
    No I am NOT the Egyptian blogger “Zanoubia”… who I had read a few times and heard a lot of accolades about. But I assume that is her Nom de Plume, whereas my name is ACTUALLY Zenobia.

    Hope you keep “lurking” and commenting even! We can always use more perspectives. In fact, you might say we are desperate for them at such moments! :: )

    Like

  168. Dear Husam
    I agree, it is very hard to decipher the stuff. There are so many interests that intersects in and around Syria, which is perhaps why no one is willing to take a concrete step except for those whose interest really matters, the Syrian People.

    There is as well major disinformation campaign going on. Some of it is pure regime propaganda (mostly in arabic text) written by regime friendly Arab journalists, and some is written by sources with interest in pushing one explanation not of the events, but of their aftermath. And there is no doubt in my mind that we all tend to believe what fits our world view.

    You are right that Harati may also be misleading in his statement about being in Turkey on his own initiative. But, why would he do so if the Libyan new regime has declared publicly (and no one contested that) the interest in arming and supporting the FSA. There is no reason for him to hide connection if such exists. FSA needs supplies, and no one, other than regime loyalists, or masked loyalists would begrudge them such. There is an emerging consensus within all shades of the opposition around one factor regarding FSA and that is support for its defensive operations, which have allowed people to demonstrate and have protected the demonstrators. As for support to offensive operations, I can say that it is not an agreed on issue. Many of us remain resistant to such idea in varying levels of strength.

    I am off course very alarmed by infiltrating Jihadists even if they are only few tens. Very alarmed. However, if they have infiltrated from Turkey, why would they now, all of a sudden, try to infiltrate from Lebanon?. This off course was addressed to the regime’s point of recent events.

    I did not mean that you said they are taking over i was referring to the tone of voltaire.net article.

    Like

  169. Dear Husam,
    I think you are a decent straight forward guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, but I also think that your sensitivity is making you miss the point. Debate is about you suggesting something and people shredding it to pieces. Some will agree, some won’t, some will think it’s genius and others will think it is stupid. You can not expect neither total agreement nor continuous praise and back patting for every idea you put out there. This applies to all of us. OTW and I have at times, posted almost identical posts at almost the same time while argued to death about other points. This is the meaning of debate.
    We are all here to listen to each other, but not to always agree. Every one of us has a different style: some are dead serious, others sarcastic, some deep thinkers and others bombastic. I did not want to attach names to my description, but you probably figured who’s who. Please rethink your style and try to develop a thick skin. Do not let criticism stop you from participating. Look at Khalid Tlass and what he’s been through, yet he is still around and kicking. Do not take things personally. Nobody even knows who you are. Just open you heart and mind and stick around. Stop harping on things. Try always to move on. Not everything in life has to have finality.
    Sorry. I did not mean to sound like your mother and I am not 95 years old. I just would like to hear from you again.

    Like

  170. “OTW, when others respond to comments at warp speed, their aim was to kill the messenger rather than the message itself.”

    Um, no, that is not the case. The problem is you personalize everything. Sorry, but I can’t help you if your neurosis extends to how fast people reply.

    OTW, Zenobia was unnecessarily rude and uncivil. Witness that disgraceful line about the “Aboud fanclub”. Nothing I said would have been found to be offensive in any forum in the world. I am not required to ignore points of discussion just because a couple of people here who play at revolution, want to live in their own Aboud free universe. If someone brings up a point, I will discuss it.

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  171. Hussam, you said this

    “Aboud, KT,

    Please stop. Just because you don’t mention me by name, doesn’t mean you are not referring to me or my comment”

    I dare you to tell me plainly, are you accusing me and KT of being the same person? I challenge you to give a straight answer.

    From the very first post Hussam made on this forum, all he was obsessed about was what “secret information” Alex on SC claimed to have on me.

    Like

  172. Dear Umm Nuwas,
    Thank you for the information and welcome to 7ee6an. It is always good to see another lady join our group as testosterone can run dangerously high at times.

    Like

  173. Aboud
    Zenobia is a straight shooter and when needed, she shoots from the hip. Very much like you do, but with a different caliber.

    And what is wrong with having a fan club, I thought I am a member….Ok Zenobia, take a shot…

    I dare you to tell me plainly, are you accusing me and KT of being the same person? I challenge you to give a straight answer.

    I think you are being very sensitive here.

    Finally, when I read the ladies of 7ee6an, i feel so much pride. I hope you do as well.

    Like

  174. This is a place I’m sure most of you are familiar with. It’s called Khaldia. It’s in Homs. It is next to the Khalid ibn Waleed mosque. See, I just want to make sure our distinguished guests from the AL can find it, and not end up in some shabiha infested gutter street (no need to mention names).

    Like

  175. “Zenobia is a straight shooter and when needed, she shoots from the hip. Very much like you do, but with a different caliber”

    Well OK, when you put it that way.

    Who has the bigger gun?

    Kidding.

    Like

  176. Dear Zenobia,
    I did not realize that Zenobia is actually your name. What a lovely name and what great power of rich history it carries. I envy you. My real name is rather dull and a total misnomer for me.

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  177. actually Aboud I didn’t address you about your fan club… it was to KT, whose pandering sounds pathetic to me…and TO YOU TOO at times, I have noted.
    really, who cares about how YOU think you are perceived or would be perceived on any forum in the world… the standards on most of the internet are extremely low.. and it is the standard to elsewhere to be aggressive and domineering.
    Anyhow, I saw you baiting and I said so. And it is a testament to this trend – that the conversation ends up here… mired in process rather than content. I took issue with Husam’s offering just as you did or OTW did eventually. NOT the point. YOU address him rudely and that is evident to anyone reading it. I told him not to bite, but his problem is he doesn’t stop himself. He just barely reals it in now .. just in time. You one the other hand are relentless. And your mini-me is even far more annoying.

    and you think cookies are going to make up for it… but it would really have to be some damn incredible cookies.

    Like

  178. I found myself thinking the last few hours about how surprised I am that H can both ascribe to the ‘US is behind Al Qaeda’ mythology.. and believing at least partly in the narrative of global / western conspiracy might be the driving force behind the revolution.. AND at the same time be in support of the uprising/opposition and revolution.

    Mostly we encounter so many Syrians who are proponents of this conspiracy narrative but who therefore as a result – distrust the revolutionaries and the potential outcome of overthrowing the government and won’t support the opposition.
    As I said earlier today to H, I very much feel there has to be an answer to this large number of people.
    And moreover, I want to know: What is the distinguishing factor that can allow someone who very seriously buys into this narrative to put the need and value of change and of ridding the country of the current leadership and authority over and above their fears of the ‘great plot’, so to speak.
    How can this factor be understood and targeted through persuasive argument, so that more Syrians who are currently against the government but more fearful of the great conspiracy and external threats they believe in…to change their equation or calculation about which is more important a valuation and more significant.
    How can one puncture holes in the prevailing beliefs that such people have been fed for decades now at least to minimize the severity of their convictions, but also – for the main purpose of allowing them to recalculate their balance of these fears against each other. The current defensiveness, extreme or not so extreme about supporting the regime, seems mostly to be about this… – when it is not a result of bigotry or self interest – it is about this… and the excuses made for the government doing what it is doing for the middle majority seems less about sectarian loyalties in these cases (especially with Sunni middle classes) than about trying to provide rationalizations to explain why they are on the fence or unable to join the opposition even mentally… never mind physically.

    It is a huge problem.

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  179. Dearest Sheila:

    “You wear your heart on your sleeves”. Yes, very true. I get myself in trouble like that and you are not the first one to tell me. You are super sharp. It is just who I am and comfortable in my own skin.

    “You can not expect neither total agreement nor continuous praise and back patting for every idea you put out there.”

    Sheila, where did that come from? Total agreement, back patting….I think you are talking about someone else and mixed me up. I am the last one who wants any fame or praise. Please spare me some slack Mother Theresa 🙂 (you asked for it). I wanted a simple answer or other’s point of you I was not expecting personal attacks. Zenobia and OTW made their point and won me over constructively.

    But when others are rude, have no issues calling people names, etc… and continue doing so you must wonder: they must enjoy it more than porn as OTW mentioned.

    Let me ask you, what would you do if those things where said about you? Would you blow a handle like Zenobia did once (mind you she did not even get a warning, nice to be a women sometimes isn’t 🙂 )

    Alas, Zenobia & Husam are the only ones going by their real names. Anyone else wants to switch?

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  180. Z,

    Are we going by code names now?

    You said:

    “and believing at least partly in the narrative of global / western conspiracy might be the driving force behind the revolution..”

    I have to stop you right there. Western conspiracy is NOT the driving force behind the revolution. You got me all wrong. From the beginning, this is a popular uprising which had nothing to do with the U.S or the west, at least to my thinking. However, I strongly believe that there is now and there always will be a conspiracy to shape the outcome or sabotage this revolution to the west or Israel’s benefit. Syria is strategic and so is Egypt (90million). They will try to make it sectarian, fuel one against the other and have another Lebanon in Syria. The only difference now, is that people (especially the young) are no longer stupid and just blame everything on the west. And even if the west conspire and help install another dictator, the people will keep revolting because the fear curtain has risen and I don’t think it will be ever drawn back.

    I just, just picked up my Mom from her Syrian friend’s house and there were no less than 6 guys there too (ranging from Doctor to Taxi driver). They are all thinking and feeling along the same lines. There is no conspiracy yet, there are machinations as I said earlier that will try to tear Syria and Egypt apart.

    I hope I made your “huge problem” clearer.

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  181. Husam:

    : ) I got a personal email warning when I was blowing a gasket… so there… actually it was more like pleading from OTW to cut the crap out.. ha ha… but… also… I wasn’t in so much trouble…only cause he caught up to us wayyyyyy after the damage was done…and secondly…i only got into it because I was defending YOU! It wasn’t because I am female…in addition, Unlike Aboud and KT who have splendid records of engagement already on SC (and perhaps elsewhere)…. I don’t generally go off on people like that. If you go back on the archives… you will find it – but it was reserved to SNP/SNK psycho person… and maybe one other time… and yes…lots of bad words were used ::))). Joshua was like wiping his brow in horror, as I recall. I got a personal note then too… : )

    I think Sheila said that Sheila is also her real name, no? … I thought that is what she meant by it doesn’t suit her…, but maybe i am wrong. I happen to think Sheila is a pretty sexy name and soothing, so I don’t know if it fits!
    Also, Haytham is Haytham…. and isn’t KT – KT…? who makes up a name like that?

    Indeed Sheila, Zenobia is not a internet tag, lest anyone think that I am being haughty by choosing it. Only my dad could be accused of having a big ego – i suppose- for bestowing it. And it is a bit too much to live up to most of the time.

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  182. ..and Z

    the next time you have something itching or conflicting about what I said, don’t let it sit for hours…just ask me before you make any conclusions. You will get a straight answer, always! Your time is precious to me.

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  183. @ Husam,
    I stand corrected about this particular nuance to your own stance. I wasn’t saying YOUR attitude is the problem; your attitude was just my jumping off point to talking about the zillion others who WOULD say…that the conspiracy is the “driving force” as I said .
    Maybe it is this difference that allows you to make the conclusion to position yourself as you do. That is my inquiry…
    But for so many others – they shift the other way… and that is because they don’t quite calculate it as you do.
    Nonetheless, that difference… is significant and those who then will not support the change is what I am saying is a huge problem.

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  184. @Husam,
    no dear…. I was not spending hours on YOU : )… you just got my mind going today… because you are holding some version of both stances in your head.. and that is significant to me.. because it means that this is possible!…. I have been working on this issue in my head for weeks and weeks… it is driving me crazy… starting with some of my own relatives, for christsakes, and then watching this crap all over facebook allllll the time…. people saying this stuff… people I think who are generally pretty normal… but they won’t let go of it… I will try to find one of the perfect examples… to quote.

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  185. Zenobia,

    I like your name, I find it exotic. The first time I learnt of it when I stayed at a bohemian little hotel on the outskirts of Palamyra called Zenobia. Perhaps it’s still there. It was the most restful place I every slept in. The next morning we woke up to breakfast outside overlooking the ruins, unforgetable. The olives and labneh were local and spectacular. I hope those days will come back once more in my lifetime.

    I toyed around with naming one of the twin girls Zenobia, however I made a ‘nader’ to call a girl, if had one, after my Mom and I did that (I love her name too). The other twin, was named by her Mom to avoid a battle.

    I could be wrong too, I thought Sheila was her nickname. Thanks for reminding me about Hytham.

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  186. Zenobia,

    I think we have to take Umm Nuwas’s advise and don’t believe the crap out there. I mean we knew that already, but we get suckered into it sometimes and there is nothing wrong with that. I thought I would come here and find some answers instead I got a barrage of fire from a few dragons (no offence intended, just the chinese new year comes to mind with all dragons, fire, etc… 🙂 ). Thanks to you and OTW, perhaps a nasty fight was avoided.

    The stuff you read on facebook (btw, I don’t even have a facebook account, never read anything on it) is just too hard core. The people in the middle whom you are worried about are, aren’t the problem. It is the exteme left/right that I (and perhaps you) should worry about.

    OTW,

    Are you talking about page views, or specifically unique visitors tha spiked up last month?

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  187. OTW told me that during that blow out.. the # of hits went “sky high’ as he put it… higher than ever before…and I replied that of course…cause they are sickos coming to watch the blog brawl…

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  188. Ok , Husam, Below is a full quote from someone on facebook on a recent thread, notice what he says… carefully… he is not far from your position, but then falls on the opposite side of the fence as a conclusion… there are tons of statement like this one going on.. but I just chose this one because it just happened and it sort of encapsulated the general kind of ‘argument’ if you will:

    “I am not a supporter of the regime. i am not a fan of the regime. i would like to see change that is complete and wholesome, and wholly the people’s change, and not one that is tainted by foreign involvement. i do insist on seeing beyond the simplicity of the antagonism at hand, and the daily violence, which, by the way, has spun out of control, and about which no one can claim to know where it all is coming from, and where it is leading. this violence that has transformed into war cannot be all coming from the same source. i am lebanese and we are fully knowledgeable with how civil wars are started, steered and ended, ad by whom. i see the interests of american, european and israeli intelligence also at play in syria. i see the rightful demands of the syrian people for economic, political and social freedoms pounced upon and exploited by all sides, including the regime, but also by america, europe and israel. i see the palestinian struggle, in this whole process, nay the ARAB-ISRAELI STRUGGLE, diminished day by day by many players in the arab world. everyone is after their own self interest, and are willing to work with the devil to get there, and are willing to push for violence and war and killing and exploitation of simple poor people for their own political claims. (hell, even the muslim brotherhood as well as the salafists in egypt have found a “shar3i” excuse that allows them to say that they will abide by the camp david accords!) i see the current situation in syria as a classic fitna, where truth is not clear. the unmistakable light of truth in our struggle for freedom, as arab people, and as muslims, is inseparable from our natural antagonism and irreversible opposition to israel. i simply cannot support violent upheaval except if it a people’s movement that truly desires real people’s freedom, meaning true freedom from ALL exploiters, including foreign, and ESPECIALLY foreign exploiters whose motive is the protection of israel and the killing off of the palestinian struggle.. that specific voice in syria has been co-opted or silenced.. it is not at the forefront of the syrian revolution, even if we were to ascertain that that voice, in reality, represents a majority of the syrian people, which i believe it does. i cannot support those who are willing to work with america, nato, and israel. simply put, they are untrustworthy, based on this basic point. i cannot be a party to fitna. only to real, clean and clear revolution.”

    then I replied this in response:

    “With conspiracies spinning around in your head like that, you will never have clarity or purity. You will be mired in stagnation and hopelessness. Clarity doesn’t exist except if you are willing to pare your perception down and stand behind the most basic and essential stances – such as standing with the basic human rights. You said yourself – that you know the Syrian gov to be far from moral and certainly lacking clarity – and yet you think that you are choosing to support a lesser evil, as they say. However it is a false dichotomy, a false choice fallacy. You don’t need to stand in alliance with your killer father against the killer neighbor or the killer ‘foreigner’. Many people don’t even believe in your conspiracy scenario at the level you described. It way too reified and over determined. It makes one paranoid about the world and this leads to bad decisions and wrong choices. Even if you believe it – the only clarity you could achieve is to ally yourself with basic humanistic principles against ALL the oppressors. It IS all the same struggle after all. You don’t have to succumb to this false choice. It is only the regime that is making people think that these are the only choices. But it has led to the spiritual death of the country. Syria has been drowning living under the premises and choices that you are using as justifications. You should especially care because as she drowns – she clings to Lebanon. The region as a whole has an opportunity that should not be missed to shake up the entire order and crack through it, to establish another order – a better one. We don’t have many chances….
    My critique is that you put your other fears ahead of your dislike of the regime. It is not about “dismissing” it is about looking for what is most important in this world and life. I and many others do not hold such a fetishized fear of CIA, the west, or Israel, but my point is that even if I did believe they were that powerful – I would still recognize that nothing you or governments like Assad or anyone else for that matter is going to surmount that with the kind of ‘resistance’ that has been clung to thus far. And the fact is that no matter who may have their hands in the pie, there is a legitimate uprising going on, as well, and supporting that is higher path to actual power of people and the power of right, rather than might. Might without right, always leads to death and failure ultimately…
    Additionally, i find it so bizarre that people speak of Israel and the CIA – as if this were some fact, when there is zero evidence of this presented…only thus far the imaginings…. (hence paranoia) of those who have been fed a steady diet of this for too many decades. Really? why is Iraq, Afghanistan etc completely out of control of the powers you fear? if they are so all powerful. This is what I mean by overdetermined. It is massive overkill in your ‘theory’ far from soundness. but the crazy thing – is if this idea were correct, then nothing like sticking with Assad or HA is going to ever make a difference….except to ensure that Syria will be so downtrodden economically that she will waste away further into a dry desert in the next thirty years.”

    As you can see, I went on and on, and yet…i am still REALLY dissatisfied with my ability to communicate a kind of persuasive reply. I feel there has to be something more formulated and clearer and effective..if I could understand what would actually change this equation for someone.
    In this case, the guy still responded by saying:

    “i do not fear these powers, but am cautious of them. they are my primary antagonist, and will remain so.

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  189. Thank you Zenobia,

    I agree, it is very close to my position. After reading it twice I can’t see what the beef is really. Perhaps it is too late for me and my brain is cooked for the day.

    You wanted him to say my primary antagonist is the Assad regime first and foremost? In what you pasted, he doesn’t say that he thinks this is the work of the CIA, etc.. he is just very cautious. What is wrong with that? Perhaps, he said more earlier…can tell.

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  190. My complaint is not that he is a very unreasonable guy. In fact, my point in choosing this – is that it is hard to argue with his attitude… except that
    and THIS IS THE CRITICAL “PROBLEM” AS I stated earlier is that he ENDS UP AGAINST THE OPPOSITION.
    He conclude with a stance that is not standing with the opposition or with a revolution and against the people who are suffering.
    So, that is the issue. YES, i want to know ! what is the critical difference that would allow YOU – to have a belief as you stated is fairly in the ball park of this one.. but then come down on the side of supporting and uprising, supporting the cause of overthrowing the government.
    what is the thin razor’s edge of difference.
    Because I think – unlike you stated – that I should worried about the extremes (yes, maybe in the aftermath… ) but rather the UNDECIDED, the AMBIVALENT… the critical middle..is actually the important segment.
    Those who are already so to speak, on our side…the side supporting change – all for it – and no turning back… well this is…we are preaching to the choir here…
    And on the other end of the spectrum are people who no matter what are never going to support opposition – as they are utterly behind the regime the status quo. They are not worth arguing with or approaching because it will be a waste of energy.
    But the fence sitters and those who have this contradictory attitude, or maybe I should call it complex, because they DO hate the regime and would like dramatic change but they are still defending their stasis and lack of support for opposition because of the argument for example that this guy above states.
    It is this type of person who it is necessary to think about and to figure out how they will be persuaded.
    We are no where near the %70 in terms of convincing people in the two largest cities that they can trust the opposition and the ‘revolution’… enough to actively support it and to literally start to take actions and open their mouths more and be unequivocal in their support.
    This is my concern. I am concerned about killing in Homs, but I really don’t think the FSA is capable of saving the country. And I don’t want militarization to end up being the primary mode of winning the country over. I think it must come from persuasion and a large scale campaign and transformation of this ‘silent majority’ who are critical of the regime but ambivalent about any alternative and wary of the uprising and its supporters.
    I think these people are there to be won over, but there has not been a very calculated and strategic effort to combat this ambivalence except through economic suffering…which just breeds further bitterness and cynicism about the gov’s ability to handle the situation. However, the economic pain doesn’t necessarily make people more trusting or make them question the soundness of their dominant narrative as being the most important narrative. This narrative, especially of ‘foreign threat’ has not shifted…and may be worsening… as militarization takes place (despite it being warranted on so many levels)… manipulative actions like the recent bombing – assuming it was carried out by the security authorities – are the kind of thing that is designed to keep solidifying the external threat narrative if it achieves the goal of convincing people that armed infiltration is a significant reality and danger.

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  191. I am sorry guys and girls there is a lot of inconsequential back and forth on this blog to make it interesting.
    1. With regard to the events of 9/11; Hariri killing; Church burning in Egypt under the former regime or other like it the important question to ask is not who did it but how does a superpower or an oppressive regime use the event to its advantage. The Bush Cheney crowd thought they could get what they want by confabulation of Iraq and AlQaeda to a shocked and gullible public.
    2. The Hariri one was used to bludgeon and pressure the Syrian regime until it delivered Mughnia’s head and then the emphasis shifted to HA.
    3. The tribunal will not have conclusions it will continue to occupy the HA and keep it looking to its flanks and rear and force it from a resistance movement to a political party where the minefields in Lebanon are much more deadly with corruption and graft what have you.
    4. The regime is buying time and is counting on one solution and one solution only and that is the military solution for it was formed and conceived and bred and groomed in this one solution and the only institutions that were semi functional are the ones of the regime security. The question is how to break that grip on power once and for all.
    5. KT has outlandish and very emotional reactions to what is going on but I would ask him to make sure that he and others are not being baited by the regime and regime supporters and to think 10 steps ahead of what he proposes not from the perspective of what is right and what is an ideal but from the perspective of a cold blooded murderous unscrupulous security general/structure. I ask him and others to get in the mind and shoes of such a system to try to dismantle it. So let us be constructive. Imagine you are the head of this or that security branch and you are unscrupulous and willing to kill a million to stay in power how do you do it and therefore what would it take for the revolution to defeat such a system.
    6. I go daily on the sites that are pro regime such as the TV station, SANA, Champress, and SC to gauge the mood of the pro regime and try to understand the logic behind their postings. One that keeps cut and paste is just a clerk doing the daily chores. Others are desperate for some calm to allow for the regime’s story to be heard in this they are constantly being frustrated by the incredible stupidity of the regime’s PR machine. I pity JAD for example that wants to give a voice to the opposition provided that it does not question the premises and the foundations of the regime and yet he finds himself/herself defending the impossible.
    7. It is clear that the latest offensive by the regime reflects one of two things: rage over the fact that it was humiliated in the Arab and International arenas and therefore it is taking its revenge on the poor people; and fear that it is appearing to be weak to some of its constituents and needed to regain their confidence that it is capable of crushing revolts and dissent no matter what the price is.
    8. Analysis and first hand information is what we need now on this blog.

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